Friday, 8 March 2019

Juliette Armand Elements Hydration Gift Set

[AD gifted item] I've written about Juliette Armand previously - you can read that here - but today's post is all about taking a closer look at one of the brand's gift sets. I was given the Elements Hydration Gift Set to trial in an effort to help out my somewhat retinol-ravaged complexion and now that I've had a little time to try the products, it's time to spill the beans.

The Hydation Gift Set features the Cleansing Face Foam, Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Multi Hydrating Cream, so it's an easy trio to incorporate into your routine with one product each to cleanse, treat and moisturise.
The cleanser was the first product I pulled out of the box and actually tried pretty much immediately. I'd literally run out of cleanser the night before this arrived (not counting a few oil cleansers I had stashed away) and was in desperate need of something user friendly I could wash my face with. Balm and oil cleansers are of course wonderful to use in general, but they're not really a quick and easy option when you're getting ready in the morning/ running late. This cleanser however, is.
First things first, do not be fooled into thinking this is a foaming cleanser - it's not. The cleanser is dispensed in a pump action bottle which turns the product into a foam as it comes out. I just didn't want you to think it was one of those foamy, soapy facial cleansers that lathers up and strips your face of every last bit of oil, if you know what I mean? The cleansing foam is actually exceptionally comfortable on the skin and easy to use. Just one or two pumps massaged onto a damp face and then rinsed away. Job done.

The Hyaluronic Acid Serum is one I've tried previously so I'll just reiterate what I've said before. It's worth mentioning that I actually used up the entire bottle of the previous one I owned, which has until recently been an embarrassingly rare thing for me to do. What can I say? I can get bored easily. This hyaluronic acid serum is light, not sticky and perfect for layering and retaining moisture in the skin.

The Multi Hydrating Cream is a new product to me but first impressions are good! The cream has a thick, glossy texture that spreads easily and absorbs beautifully, so perfect for day wear and applying before makeup. The hydrating face cream contains hyaluronic acid as its key ingredient and promises to deliver deep hydration. It also features MOIST 24 which is a special ingredient extracted from the Imperata Cylindrica plant which is a type of grass that has an impressive ability to retain water and therefore is purported to be brilliant for providing long-term moisture to the skin.

The Elements Hydration Gift Set is a fantastic introduction to the Juliette Armand brand and I found that all the products delivered though the cleanser was the stand out for me. The set retails for £70 from Probeauty.


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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Caudalie Resveratrol [Lift] Face Lifting Soft Cream - Limited Edition Discovery Size.

[Sample/ Affiliate Links] Caudalie was one of the first French Pharmacy brands I got into when I started blogging. I think it was about 8 years ago now that I'd read so many rave reviews about the Caudalie Beauty Elixir that I was convinced I simply needed it, so I bought it and regretted nothing. That product and the Grape Water (a hot weather essential in my opinion) were the gateway pieces that started an appreciation for Caudalie* as a brand. I've actually not tried a Caudalie product I haven't enjoyed and the Resveratrol [Lift] Face Lifting Soft Cream is continuing that trend.
Image of a jar of Caudalie Resveratrol Lifting Cream
Incredibly nourishing and hydrating yet lightweight in texture, the cream is heavy on the hyaluronic acid and contains a unique patent of vine Resveratrol. Designed to firm, smooth wrinkles and 'redefine facial contours', the cream leaves the skin feeling and looking soft and hydrated. Resveratrol is the star ingredient here (the name probably gave you some idea of that!), which is a powerful antioxidant derived from red grapes and other fruits and some nuts. You know how it's been discovered that red wine offers antioxidant benefits? That's down to the Resveratrol. When applied topically however, it activates cell renewal and, combined with hyaluronic acid, firms and lifts the skin. The cream is a sort of whipped consistency which smooths on beautifully and absorbs quickly- pretty much exactly what you want in a daytime moisturiser. The cream is silicone free, which I personally think of as a major plus point for skincare designed to use during the day. I know that sounds a bit weird but hear me out! I don't generally like wearing silicone based moisturisers underneath foundation as they can pill if you use too much, which can totally ruin your base. Pilling is one of my major pet hates so the lack of silicone is a definite positive in my opinion. 
Image of a jar of Caudalie Resveratrol Lifting Cream - texture shot
Like all Caudalie products, the cream smells beautiful and is fragranced with a cocktail of botanicals including lavender, thyme, chamomile, sage and mint. 
Caudalie is currently offering a limited edition discovery size of the Face Lifting Soft Cream for £23. This 25ml size is a great way to try the product before purchasing the full size as you get enough product to see if it works out for you without investing in the standard size (£42 for 50ml). The jar itself is quality frosted glass, so it still feels like you have a luxe product- just a smaller version. 
You can find the Limited Edition 25ml sized Resveratrol [Lift] Face Lifting Soft Cream at Caudalie* where you'll also receive 3 free samples of your choice.    


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Saturday, 23 February 2019

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask

The Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask is another goody that was included in the Gothamista collaboration with Wishtrend (read my post on the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream here)and I'm so glad I had the chance to try it.
Beauty products always appeal when they have a bit of a novelty factor and this mask has a cool texture that certainly fills that brief. It looks and feels like some kind of chilled pudding; by that I mean it's bouncy and light and sort of like a thick baked custard that breaks apart and melts when you smooth it on the skin. It's an awesome censorial experience that makes it quite a fun product to use really. I guess the texture is quite similar to The Body Shop's Bouncy Sleeping Mask that was very popular a few years ago - the texture is such that it 'self settles' back to a smooth finish after you've scooped out what you need. It's weird and it's cool.
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask pot
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask pot and lid
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask texture

The thick texture of the mask helps it to adhere to the skin, so the ingredients can get to work and do their thing. Speaking of ingredients, the mask includes Niacinamide, Adenosine and of course Vitamin E.
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 which helps to reduce inflammation and ease redness, reduce the appearance of pore size, help the skin retain moisture, minimise signs of sun damage and fine lines, prevents excessive sebum and protects against environmental stressors. An all-round great ingredient really!
Adenosine is a yeast-derived ingredient that has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory and 'wrinkle smoothing' effects while Vitamin E is of course a much loved nourishing and anti-oxidant ingredient.
The purpose of the Freshly Juiced Mask is to hydrate, moisturise and brighten as well as improve the overall appearance and texture of the skin. It's recommended that the Vitamin E Mask is applied after Vitamin C products as it helps stabilise Vitamin C products. therefore enhancing the brightening, antioxidant effect. So pop this mask on after your Vit C serum to ramp up the effects!
While this is labelled as a mask, it can really be used as a moisturiser, day and/or night or as a sleeping pack. It's not a mask that you rinse or wipe off; this one is designed to stay put. I have used the Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask a handful of times (not in conjunction with Vit C though I might add) and have not only found joy in the unique texture, but can report that it feels lovely and comforting on the skin (it sort of melts in like an essence/ mousturiser) and gives my face a little bit of a glow. It's a nice product and to be honest I'd repurchase for the texture alone!
You can find Klairs Freshly Juice Vitamin E Mask at Wishtrend for 27USD or here in the UK from Beauty and Seoul for £24.60 for 90ml.


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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Chantecaille Just Skin

[Affiliate Links] I've already shared my newfound love for Chantecaille Just Skin* on my Instagram but figured it's time I write a whole blog post about it, so here it is!
Firstly, a little bit of a background on my makeup habits or lack thereof; I'm not excellent with makeup and I'm pretty open about that, which is honestly probably why I'm so into my skincare.
I've watched countless smoky eye tutorials and contouring videos but at the end of the day I like makeup products that are easy to apply, require minimal time and the least amount of effort possible. I don't have a steady hand so I've accepted that the perfect winged eyeliner probably won't ever happen for me and as for my blending technique? Well, I don't really have one. It's a good thing then that I've finally found what might just be the best makeup product a low-maintenance girl like me could hope for, in the form of Chantecaille Just Skin.
I'm aware that this is not a new product and many bloggers and beauty writers have been singing it's praises for years but now that I actually own it, I can finally add my own two cents!
Image of a tube of Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer

Just Skin is a tinted moisturiser but it's also so much more than that. It's a skin perfector that leaves a virtually seamless finish and offers some sun protection with its SPF of 15. I find that my shade-aptly named 'glow'- blends with my skin easily (I just use my fingers most of the time to buff and pat it in) and evens things out, covers any tired looking bits (ie my entire face) and just generally creates a nice base for a touch of blush and/or highlighter.
It gives my skin a dewy sort of look, perks up my complexion and makes me feel a bit better and more presentable in general. That's what easy every day make up should be about really.
The tinted moisturiser contains honeysuckle, algae and green tea extracts as well as thyme, damask rose, edelweiss and 'butterfly bush extract' which offers antioxidant benefits. I have generally dry skin at the moment and find this to be absolutely what my face needs in terms of a base; something that won't cling to dry bits, won't sink into and accentuate fine lines but will give me a hit of hydration and protection while it makes me look generally better. Just Skin contains titanium dioxide for the sun protection, which is a physical SPF rather than chemical and is advertised as suitable for sensitive skin.
I find that it lasts well on the skin (though I purchased when summer was on it's way out so I'll have to see how well it stays on if this summer is as sweaty as the last) and feels virtually weightless - just like a light face cream really and definitely not greasy or uncomfortable in the slightest. It really is a pleasure to use in pretty much every aspect.
I love that Chantecaille Just Skin was specifically designed for both women and men,too. That's obviously not to say that men can't or shouldn't wear regular foundation or other tinted moisturisers but I like that the brand has been deliberately inclusive in this instance.
I bought my tube of Just Skin from Space NK* but it's also available at Look Fantastic* at an rrp of £64.



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Monday, 4 February 2019

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Hydrating Cleanser

Ever since Caroline Hirons showed the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser* in one of her videos, I've been itching to try it for myself. There are a couple of reasons why it's taken me years to get it into my bathroom; firstly, like all Kate Somerville products up until recently it was only available in the US and secondly, it was being reformulated so wasn't available to anyone! Now though it's back in a better formula (this one is a cream whereas the original was a balm) and it's now stocked at Space NK and at Kate Somerville online in the UK so those of us who've been desperate to try it can now do so with ease! 
Prior to this cleanser I'd been using Kate Somerville's Exfolikate Cleanser* daily, which I did like but feel that it's more of a 'summertime' cleanser for me. With daily use I found it a little bit drying for my skin and really should have been using a hydrating cream cleanser, which is what my skin really craves at the moment. 

I've only had the goat milk for a couple of days but I already feel like this is the start of a beautiful relationship. After my very first cleanse with it (pea sized blob massaged into damp face for 30 seconds before rinsing) it was as if my face did a huge happy sigh of relief. It was like it was grateful to me for bestowing such a glorious thirst-quenching gift upon it's parched contours! My face didn't feel tight in the slightest after rinsing, which is something I've experienced lately with virtually every cleanser, even Cerave, and it sort of frothed up as I massaged it in which was a happy surprise given that it's a cream formula. It has to be mentioned that the goat milk cleanser smells superb. It's a bit sweet, a bit vanilla-ry and a touch goat milky. I guess like a scoop of goat milk vanilla ice cream? It's a delicious scent, however you describe it. The cleanser contains goat milk, Manuka honey and jojoba and avocado oils and is sulfate free. The sulfate alternatives used in this are Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate and cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine which are partly derived from coconut oil and are said to be less harsh on the skin than classic SLS. 

Which leads me to my next point- the goat milk cleanser is so gentle and comforting to use it's unreal, so I imagine it would be absolutely brilliant if you've overdone it with your active skincare (acids, retinols etc) and need something that is not going to disturb your skin in the slightest. All in all, I love this cleanser. It is a high end brand so comes with the price tag to match at £32 for 120ml but my word it is glorious. You can find it at Space NK* or Kate Somerville.
*Affiliate Link


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Friday, 1 February 2019

Nourish London Limited Edition Radiance Firming Facial Oil in support of Walk the Walk

Nourish London are a brilliant home grown beauty brand - they really do create some beautiful, effective products- and now they're doing something really special. 
The brand has just released a limited edition version of their lovely Radiance Firming Facial Oil* with a percentage of the proceeds going to Walk the Walk, the largest grant making breast cancer charity in the UK.
Nourish London are donating £2.50 from each sale of the oil (which retails for £25) to Walk the Walk, who organise power walking fundraising events throughout the UK and abroad, which gives participants the chance to improve their overall fitness whilst raising funds for various breast cancer charities and of course have fun doing it!

The oil itself is one I've used on and off before and can confirm it's a lovely, quality facial oil that can be easily incorporated into your routine.
Designed to improve elasticity, firm, hydrate and lift the complexion, the 98% organic facial oil is a blend of omega-rich oils including Macadamia and Pumpkin, with Rosehip and Borage oil and gently fragrant Geranium and Damask Rose.
French Marine Algae extract and Frankincense round things off nicely as they help to protect collagen, making the oil a decent addition to your stash- whether you're specifically into organic beauty or not.
It is up there with some of the more expensive facial oils I've used and it's worth mentioning that the Radiance Firming Facial Oil won the award for Best Facial Serum at the Natural Health Magazine International Beauty Awards

As mentioned, the Nourish London Radiance Firming Facial Oil is £25 with £2.50 of each sale going to Walk the Walk. You can find the limited edition bottle at Nourish London.

A little more about an upcoming Walk the Walk event - 
On Saturday 11th May 2019, Walk the Walk will be holding its 22nd MoonWalk London at Clapham Common. Choose from walking The Full Moon Marathon (26.2 miles) or the Half Moon (13.1 + 2 miles) and see London's famous landmarks at night.

*Sample


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Monday, 7 January 2019

REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm

Skin feeling the chill? If you're in need of a little something extra to soothe your face this Winter, REN have you covered with their Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm.
Image of a small jar of REN Overnight Recovery Balm

First things first, this balm is without a doubt the richest night treatment I've put on my face. It certainly means business and trust me when I say a little goes a very, very long way.
The balm is thick and 'oily' and offers instant relief to tight-feeling, dried out faces; the perfect product for this time of year when it can become bitterly cold and central heating saps moisture from our skin.

The recovery balm was developed to support the natural balance and moisture barrier of the skin all the while alleviating visible signs of dehydration and stress. Specially designed for use at night when the skin is most susceptible to repair and healing, it contains a range of oils including jojoba, sunflower, olive, almond, borage and linseed as well as beta-glucan, which is a moisturising anti-irritant derivative of oats.

Perfect for sensitive skins, the balm treats inflammation and dryness and has a 'balm to oil' texture. In other words, it starts as a balm formula but melts quickly into the skin on application or when warmed between finger tips.

I use the balm as the very last step at night and have found it to be particularly good after retinol use to counteract any drying effects. You really do need the tiniest amount of this- a pea sized amount is probably even too much, to give you some idea, because it is super rich. If I apply slightly more than I need it leaves me looking and feeling very oily and I find it doesn't absorb brilliantly if I overdo it.
Now that I've figured out the amount that works well for me, it's a brilliant overnight treat which my skin has been loving. I've found that it's fantastic for sore nostrils that have seen a lot of tissue-action recently too!
As a parting note, the Overnight Recovery Balm smells like absolutely nothing, which is great on one hand as it will suit virtually everyone but left me missing that little bit of sensory joy that comes with sleepy-scented night products.

REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm is available at any good retailers that stock REN as well as on the REN website for £40.




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Saturday, 5 January 2019

Weleda Skin Food; why you need it in your stash

It's nothing new (in fact it's been around for almost a century) but Weleda Skin Food is having a moment. Read on to find out why every makeup artist and Aesthetician worth their salt has a tube in their stash and you should too.
Skin Food is one of those products I'd always see on both physical and virtual shelves but never felt compelled to buy. Now that I actually own some, I totally get the hype and I'm pretty sure I don't ever want to be without it to be honest.
Supremely talented makeup artist and queen of dewy skin, Katie Jane Hughes regularly mentions Skin Food, which is actually the main reason I ordered some for myself. I think Katie's actually responsible for getting a lot of people hooked and it's easy to understand why; this stuff is quite simply brilliant.
I got my first tube in September last year and I just know it's going to become a staple in my household.
Tube of Weleda Skin Food resting on an Aloe Vera plant

Skin Food is very, very thick and almost 'gummy' in texture, if that makes any sense at all. The formula (I don't know whether to call it a balm or a cream, because it's not really either!) can be applied basically anywhere that needs a little love. That includes elbows, knees, knuckles, cuticles , feet and even the face. In fact, my face has seen more skin food than the rest of my body has because it's exceptional on dry, flakey, generally annoyed skin.
It has both moisturising and protective qualities and you can use it on your face for everything from soothing wind-chapped lips to adding a touch of sheen to cheekbones, so it's a worthwhile addition to anyone's skincare stash.
In case you're interested to know, Skin Food is not a vegan product as it contains lanolin as well as beeswax in two forms - hydrolysed and non-hydrolysed. The ingredients are all natural as is expected from Weleda and include sunflower oil, organic calendula, organic chamomile and organic rosemary leaf and pansy extracts.

For some reason I expected Skin Food to be scentless when in fact it has quite a strong smell. It's a citrusy sort of scent and actually reminds me a little of citronella candles (you know, the ones you burn to ward off mosquitoes!) but I don't find that the smell lingers, so if you really don't like it, the way it smells shouldn't be a deal breaker.
Weleda have recently brought out more products in the Skin Food range including Skin Food Light for people who find the original formula a bit thick, a lip product and body butter. You can find it anywhere that stocks Weleda including Look Fantastic starting at £7.95 for a 30ml tube (it comes in a metal tube, which I really love).


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