Fresh brand overview

I discovered Fresh around this time last year and in that time I’ve accumulated a quite a few products that I want to share with you!

img_1945

Let me give you a quick overview of Fresh – They are a luxury skincare brand that combines natural ingredients with modern science to produce beautiful skincare that give you a sensory experience. So far I have tried their Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner, Sugar Face Polish, Rose Mask, Vitamin Nectar Mask and the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream.

Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner – Β£34

img_1935
My pic was shared on the Fresh insta in 2018!

I had never really used a toner regularly in my routine before and I was talked into buying this after a facial I had at Fresh. It contains real rose petals and hyaluronic acid which is supposed to boost hydration and minimise pores. I can’t say that I notice any difference in the size of my pores when I use this, but it isn’t something I particularly struggle with. It does definitely deliver on the hydration front – this toner is alcohol free (which can often dry out the skin) and is packed full of rose bi-products (rose water, rose oil) which soothes and hydrates the skin. It never leaves my skin feeling stripped like others had in the past but it is an extra that I feel I can be without. I’m currently working on ‘panning’ this. I find the price point a liiiiittle bit hard to swallow… Because I don’t notice a massive difference (not sure how anyone could see an enormous difference with toner really) and because the price seems steep to me, I wouldn’t repurchase this.

Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream – Β£42

img_1938.jpg

After a few facials at Fresh, I wanted to keep my skin feeling this good and purchased this moisturiser at the same time as the rose toner. Let me just say that I have dry skin and this is a very thin moisturiser that doesn’t offer much for those of us that are a little drier… This cream smells very strongly of cucumber, which I personally hate. I’ve tried their Soy Cleanser before and couldn’t fall for it because of the scent. It is a very lightweight, thin cream that I thought would be perfect for summer (I purchased it in July 2018). I took this on holiday with me but felt like it just wasn’t delivering on the moisture front. Despite the heat, I was finding dry patches cropping up around my mouth that I couldn’t get rid of until I used a heavier cream. Since then, this has sat in my collection unused. It is not a bad moisturiser, it is just too thin for my skin type. I really want to pan this one too because I won’t miss it once it’s gone.

Vitamin Nectar Face Mask – Β£21 – Β£52

fullsizeoutput_2e5fThis is easily the best smelling Fresh product that I own. The Vitamin Nectar line smells absolutely UNREAL! It is a really fresh (lol) and citrus/orange scent that is a total, TOTAL win for me. This is a very gloopy mask that is supposed to brighten your skin, though I’ve never seen any visible improvements in brightness or clarity. This feels quite a lot like you’re spreading marmalade across your face (though it smells way better). This dries down pretty quickly and the chunks (which are apparently crushed oranges, lemons and clementines) stay as chunks on your face and look very attractive. I tend to leave this one on for longer than the recommended 10 minutes and find that my skin is really soft afterwards. This mask is supposed to offer a nice little exfoliation as well, and for my skin I’d say it offers more exfoliation than brightening. While I definitely want more of this scent in my life, I wouldn’t be too fussed in repurchasing. I just don’t find that vitamin C/brightening products do anything for me? Maybe it’s because I have the skin of an angel already…?

Sugar Face Polish – Β£21 -Β£52

IMG_4520

This is easily my favourite product I own from Fresh. I had never had a physical exfoliator before and I was a little weary of exfoliating my skin because I thought it would end up damaging my skin instead my causing micro tears. This is definitely not the case with this. Because it uses brown sugar and strawberry seeds as the exfoliants (which are tiny), it is really gentle on the skin. Brown sugar is softer than regular sugars and is actually a natural humectant so it absorbs moisture – making it okay on even the most sensitive of skin (though you still might want to have a little test before you put it all over your face). When you apply this and start to buff it in, you can actually feel the sugar dissolving away into your skin – it’s amazing! I usually like to apply a few blobs on my cheeks, forehead and chin before spending a minute or two buffing it in. It’s actually really relaxing to just take a little time to massage this in to the skin and take a little time for yourself. As soon as the sugar begins to dissolve, you can feel how smooth your skin is underneath and for me there is something really satisfying about feeling the dead cells be buffed away. I much prefer this form of exfoliation over chemical exfoliation. The only down side to this product is the price. I got a mini of this as a free gift when I bought the moisturiser and the toner, but the full size is Β£52 which is steep. I think I’m going to try and find some cheaper alternatives and if they don’t live up to my expectations then I’ll bite the bullet.

Rose Face Mask – Β£21 – Β£52

img_1944

This rose mask quite forgettable. The scent of rose is very strong with this, which isn’t a positive for me as rose often can smell a little dated. I never reach for this mask and can’t remember the last time I used it. As it’s packed with rose petals and rose water, this mask is supposed to hydrate, restore radiance and soothe the skin. I don’t suffer from any inflammation these days, but I didn’t notice any visible difference in my skin in terms of calmness or radiance.

Overall, Fresh as a brand is awesome for a sensory experience if you’re okay with fragrance. If you are sensitive to fragrance, this probably isn’t the brand for you. Most products are pretty heavily scented, especially with cucumber which I personally find unbearable. In terms of the efficacy of products, they’re a bit hit and miss for me. That is not to say that these products won’t be amazing for you but I think I’ll just stick to my Sugar Face Polish for the meantime.

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

Ole Hendriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner – Dry Skin Review

Another month, another treat under 30 quid! We’re back again with Ole Hendriksen to try *the* cult product in the line – the Glow2OH Dark Spot toner. I tried (and failed) to get this when it first launched but it was out of stock for WEEKS. Let’s find out if there is good reason for that!

The claims

IMG_9234This toner claims to reduce the appearance of dark spots in as little as 7 days. Additionally, it promises to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and even out texture in a AHA toner that is gentle enough for everyday use.

I’ve seen a number of influencers sponsored by Ole Hendriksen and their hero product is always this toner. When a post is sponsored it does make you think about whether their love for the product is real or not, so I wanted to find out for myself.

My skin before

I don’t consider myself to be someone that suffers greatly from pigmentation or dark spots. I have light freckles, which I really like, and what I consider to be the remnants of my acne scars on my cheeks. So many people will tell me that they aren’t really there, but there is definitely something left over on my right cheek.Β I’m looking to see if I can even out my skin tone more by reducing the appearance of my ‘acne scars’.

The process

Every night I will moisten a cotton pad and swipe it in circular motions around my face, with extra attention on my cheeks and T-zone. It wouldn’t leave my skin feeling stripped, but it didn’t leave it feeling nourished either.

The results

The main thing I noticed was a big difference in the texture of my skin – and the results were really fast. Now my acne has gone I don’t struggle with visible texture, but when I touch my skin it is definitely smoother. It feels as if I’ve done my DIY babyfacial mask everyday (which I haven’t). However, aside smoother skin I haven’t noticed any differences in the appearance of marks on my face, which I’m pretty disappointed with. I’m sure other influencers that have been talking about this have said about the lightening of acne scars, so I am a bit surprised that I didn’t see any noticeable brightening of mine.

One thing I did notice is that the sides of my mouth and around my nose got a lot drier and there was some discolouration – the corners of my mouth were significantly darker than the rest of my skin and it looked really odd. It often would crack when I would put makeup over it and was clear to see when it wore off throughout the day.Β I had to stop using this toner to try and stop this dryness that was plaguing parts of my face. It claims that it is gentle enough for daily use, but I think maybe the AHA’s were a bit too powerful for my skin to handle everyday. Β I definitely prefer a physical exfoliation rather than a chemical one as I have a lot more control over it and I can avoid overstripping my skin. Whereas with a chemical exfoliation, clearly my skin didn’t respond that well.

If you have concerns over dark spots caused by sun damage I think that this could be a great product for you. However, if you have sensitive skin you might want to approach this one cautiously, or even avoid it all together. I would continue to use this to use it up, but I certainly wouldn’t use it everyday.

If you want to try this out for yourself, you can pick this up at Boots.

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

The Lip Care Products You Need

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the only lip care products you will ever need to banish dry, flaky lips and keep those lips looking luscious! These products are a mixture of old and new faves, with some of these helping me through my crazy Roaccutane lips.

Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm – Palmers

This is the your new everyday lip balm – hands down. It’s under Β£2 and is the most moisturising lip balm I’ve ever tried. It glides on smoothly and is very light on the lips. While I was on Roaccutane, my lips were so painfully dry and peeling that I was hunting high and low for a saviour product. After trying tried SO many, both high and low end, this was the only lip balm that could keep my lips looking as though nothing had changed and kept them feeling moisturised. Looking back, I don’t think I could have got through my time on it had I not found this lip balm.

Nu Lips – Nurse Jamie

nur007_nursejamie_nulipsrxmoisturisinglipbalmlipbrush_2_1560x1960-647gyThis was really expensive but it was 100% worth it. I had tried so many lip scrubs to get rid of the ridiculous amount of dead skin on my lips and they all barely worked and left my lips feeling really sore and sensitive. The little tool that comes with balm this was a LIFE SAVER! All you have to do is wet the tool and your lips and just move the tool around in circular motions. ALL the dead skin gets exfoliated away really gently. After the tool, I’d apply the lip balm just before bed and I’d wake up with the most amazing feeling lips. I would say that this lip balm was more long lasting than the Palmers one but as it was so expensive, I would only put it on at night. I would recommend this to ANYONE that either really struggles with dry lips in general or is struggling with peeling lips as a result of medication.

Acai and Mango Lip Scrub – Herbal Dynamics

9aac5620-b8f1-4a16-b692-1365e67eaff4If you are a fan of a lip scrub, this is one of the best you’ll find. The best way I can describe it is by comparing it to the Lush ones. Lush lip scrubs are very grainy and when you pick them up on your finger, it’s like picking up powder or sugar because it all falls away. This still has the graininess needed to give you a great exfoliation but it’s in a thick balm (the word I want to use is goop, but in the best possible way) to make sure that the lips stay hydrated and aren’t dried out by the exfoliation process. It’s packed full of nut oils and cocoa butter to make sure that your lips look and feel great afterwards! If your lips are a bit more on the sensitive side, this might not be the one for you.

Coconut Lip Balm – Wow You Beauty

img_7743This is an AWESOME lip balm! This is the first new lip balm I’ve used in 2 years and it’s just a joy. It is long lasting and gives instant relief to dried out lips. It’s in the cutest packaging too which is a plus! When you first open the macaroon shaped packaging, the balm is pressed so hard that it’s quite difficult to pick up any product just by swirling your finger round. Instead I had to dig in a little bit which doesn’t look as pretty, but it’s worth it!

 

I hope you enjoyed my lipcare picks! What are your holy grail lip products?

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

 

4 dry-skin friendly moisturisers that pack a punch

Moisturisers that really nourish dry skin can be a little hard to find sometimes. We can often get tricked into thinking that a moisturiser is great when you first apply it, only to find that your skin then feels tight and in desperate need of a drink. Keep reading to discover a few I’ve found that really pack a punch!

Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream

This guy is the man you call in when you’re in serious need of some moisture. Ceramidin cream is formulated for those with very dry skin and is a fabulously thick moisturiser that feels absolutely amazing on the skin. For a cream so thick, it doesn’t sit on top of the skin for ages either, which is a real plus. This is easily the most moisturising of the 4 and is perfect for winter or dealing with outbreaks of very dry skin.

Beauty Pie Jeju Overnight Moisture Superinfusion

The Jeju moisturiser is amazing as a night time moisturiser. If the Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream is a bit too thick (or you want to layer products), then you need this in your life. The consistency is a very solid moisturiser – it is almost balm like in that you have to pull some away on your finger, but once you massage it on to your skin, it melts away to a normal moisturiser.

Clinique Pep Start Hydrorush SPF 20

I recently rediscovered this moisturiser and it made me question how I ever put it down. The SPF version of the Hydrorush moisturiser is an fabulous daytime moisturiser that will quench your skin’s thirst for moisture while also providing a little bit of sun protection too. It is a really rich texture that doesn’t feel heavy at all on the skin and sinks in really quickly. It has an SPF smell which I personally love because it smells like holidays! This one is really accessible as you can find Clinique all over the place and it’s pretty affordable at Β£25. The tub will last you absolutely ages and will become a firm fave!

Beauty Pie Japanfusion Supreme Cream

This is my favourite morning moisturiser. It’s silky smooth (almost silicone like – it does contain dimethicone) and more of a gel consistency. It sinks in really quickly, which is just perfect for quick morning application and leaves the skin looking great for makeup wear. This is also a really great summer moisturiser for daytime and nighttime because it is light on the skin but still delivers on moisture.

I’m aware that the Beauty Pie moisturisers aren’t the most accessible but I’m coming to the bottom of BOTH at the same time and I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself! These four are always in rotation and ones that I would repurchase in a heartbeat. None of them leave my skin feeling tight and they are great go-to products!

Have you found any other dry-skin moisturisers that you can’t be without?

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

SAMAYA – The Ayurvedic skincare brand to balance mind, body and soul

I was recently introduced to the wonderful world of Ayurvedic skincare through. Have you heard of it before? It stems from Ancient Indian medicine and is rooted in the idea of achieving balance in your life… and your skin! Get ready to hear all about it and one of the leading companiesΒ  – Samaya.

Firstly, here is what you need to know about Ayurveda. Based on ancient Indian principles, it is a system of holistic medicine that has been practiced for millennia. The aim is to help achieve samadosha or ‘perfect balance’ in all areas of your life and it is becoming increasingly popular in the West because it’s an effective, natural way of healing. It all comes down to the idea of harmony – having the mind, body and soul in balance – and when these are out of balance then our health and wellbeing can be affected.

The heart of the matter comes is all about finding your dosha – this is the name for the energies that rule each person. Generally speaking there are three types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each dosha has a set of physical and emotional traits. Usually one dosha rules a person, but sometimes a mixture of two or even all three can govern each person. When our dosha is balanced (mind, body and soul), it manifests itself in beautiful skin. However, when there is an imbalance, then it is for all to see in our skin.Β 

SAMAYA SKINCARE

Samaya is an award winning Ayurvedic skincare brand that is storming the industry. It has won so many awards in the industry and has tongues seriously wagging. Before I saw this brand on Instagram, Ayurvedic skincare was certainly a new concept to me. However, after researching it more and taking the Dosha quiz on their website, the results sounded as if they had been made for me! Not only did it sound like my skin, but the personality traits were pretty bang on too! My Dosha result was 50% Pitta, 30% Vata and 20% Kapha. Generally speaking, sensitive skin types sit within Pitta, dry skin types fall into Vata and oily skin tends to be Kapha. Here is what my description was for Pitta. Does this sound like you?

“Well-proportioned and compact build, with a focused mind and a love of order. Confident and passionate, enjoying challenges. Prone to anger and impatience when out of balance. Benefits from gentle skincare as skin can be sensitive and irritable, susceptible to wrinkles, sunburn and inflammation.”

If you want to find out your skincare Dosha, then click here!

Samaya were kind enough to send me their Pitta Anti-Ageing Treatment Oil* to review. As I mentioned, the Pitta range is targeted towards sensitive skin types who are susceptible to wrinkles, sunburn and inflammation. Although I’m quite young and don’t really need an anti-ageing oil, the properties of the ingredients in the oil span so far beyond a typical anti-ageing product. To me, this oil is the ultimate multi-tasker!

fullsizeoutput_32d3

Let’s take a look at the ingredients. Although the oil is marketed as an anti-ageing treatment, the ingredients offer a multitude of amazing properties that include anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, healing and collagen producing:

Jasmine Flower Extract – Mood and energy boosting, helps to balance moisture levels, soothing for body and mind, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Lotus Seed Extract – Anti-inflammatory, zinc and anti-ageing enzymes that repair damaged/sensitive skin while soothing and calming the mind. Can be beneficial for acne prone skin.
Spilanthes Acmella (Paracress) Flower Extract – Known as ‘Nature’s Botox’, it is known to instantly relax facial tension and reduce the appearance of lines, UV damage and blemishes.
Neem Oil – Promotes skin healing while helping to reduce itching and roughness. It can achieve a more radiant complexion by neutralising damaging free radicals.
Shatavari Extract – Traditionally used in Ayurveda. Used as a tonic for female health concerns and to reduce stress. It also has rejuvenative properties that contribute to a more youthful appearance.
Gotu Kola Oil – An anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing herb that helps to fight chronic skin conditions by repairing damage to the skin.
Saffron Extract – Gives natural radiance as it helps to reduce pigmentation. Also has mood enhancing and aphrodisiac properties and can be used in a tonic to improve general health.
Tumeric Root Oil – Heals the skin barrier while protecting from free radical damage.
Feverfew ExtractΒ  – A cooling and anti-inflammatory herb that is great for Pitta skin types. Also good at calming emotions.

The ingredients certainly walk the walk, and the oil definitely talks the talk. It is absolutely lovely. It smells very lightly of Jasmine, which sometimes I can find a bit unpleasant and overpowering but it’s so lightly scented that it doesn’t bother me at all. Jasmine supposedly has mood boosting properties and can even reduce anxiety levels, which is probably why I feel so calm after using it. The texture of the oil is not too thin and not too thick. It doesn’t sink in straight away, nor does it linger on the skin and feel really sticky. In my eyes, it is probably the perfect consistency and made my skin feel really plump the following morning! Depending which moisturiser I use underneath, there is sometimes some pilling, but honestly I think that is more on the moisturiser than the oil. If you are an oil lover, then I think you will adore this – regardless of your skin type (or dosha!)

The whole Samaya experience was one of pure luxury. When my package arrived, it came in a beautiful bag and the bottle in a stunning cardboard cylinder. While I’m not usually a fan of excess packaging, as all of it is recyclable I’m not going to grumble. The whole vibe of the brand makes me feel very calm? Maybe it’s a combination of the beautiful logo, the pale colours and the gorgeous packaging, but it just brings such a fantastic feeling of relaxation.

The packaging is stunning – the box is beautiful and fits the bottle perfectly inside it, and the bottle is a really unique design that I haven’t really seen before. It uses a pump rather than a dropper, and the top part is curved to perfectly fit your finger. The pump can be a little stiff, but it means that there are never any accidents. Despite using every night for over a month, I still have so much product left (even though I absolutely douse myself in it).

The oil is free from parabens, sulphates, synthetic colour and fragrance, silicones and mineral oils among other things. Phew! Suffice to say, if you are buying from Samaya, you know that the products are ethical, natural and good for your body (and values!)

I would absolutely love to try more from this brand. Each of the three ranges are comprised of a cleanser, an exfoliant, anti-ageing cream, anti-ageing oil and a supplement. Honestly, they are all calling my name so loudly, but I’m really interested in trying the supplements next. I have absolute faith that all the other products will be as absolutely fantastic as the oil. Using this product is definitely one of those instances where skincare becomes self care. An stunning oil made with amazing ingredients that nourish the mind and soul leave you in a state of pure relaxation and balance; that lifts your mood and gives you beautiful skin.

What product would you want to try from the brand?

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

*The Pitta Anti-Ageing Treatment Oil was gifted to me from Samaya in exchange for review. All opinions are my own.Β 

TREATS UNDER 30 | Ole Hendriksen Brightening Moisturiser and Banana Eye Cream

Treats under 30 is a new feature here on my blog all about trying new, hyped products that come in at under Β£30. Most of these brands will be indie brands or Instagram brands that you always look at and think, is it worth trying? Does it really work? Allow me to be your guinea pig!

For the first month, I’ve been testing out the Your Best Selfie mini set from Ole Hendriksen, which contains the Brightening Moisturiser and the famous Banana Eye Cream. After seeing this brand all over Instagram and being promoted by a few of my favourite Youtubers lately, the brand finally launched in Boots at the start of February. This little set is under our budget and comes in at a tidy Β£22.

fullsizeoutput_326f

First impressions
The set is a mini set, so don’t expect the pots to be large – the banana eye cream especially is tiiiny! When I saw how small they were, I was a bit disappointed and thought that I would literally get about a weeks worth of use out of them, but a little really does go a long way.  Immediate first impressions of the creams – OMG these smell AMAZING! There is a real citrus/orange smell which totally matches the theme of the range and isn’t overpowering at all.

The claims 

The C-Rush moisturiser claims to alleviate the daily effects of stress, fatigue and pollution by instantly illuminating and delivering 24 hour hydration. It supposedly targets fine lines and wrinkles, firms the skin and improves makeup application.

The Banana eye cream claims to brighten, alleviate fine lines and wrinkles, with its most famous claim: to reduce dark circles.

Both products are formulated with vitamin C which works to brighten the appearance of your skin overtime.

The process

The application of C-Rush feels so refreshing on the skin. I think it’s a mixture of the gel texture and the orange scent that has an instant wake-me-up effect. Likewise, the Banana eye cream feels nice to apply, but doesn’t have quite the same *zing* that C-Rush does. A very small amount goes a very long way with this though, which is really good because it means this tiny pot will last a lot longer.

fullsizeoutput_326c

The results

The C-rush moisturiser is really lovely. It’s a gel-like consistency that delivers a real burst of moisture. I was actually surprised by how refreshed my skin felt after using this. It had a lasting effect and I didn’t feel the need to top it up with an additional moisturiser. Because it is lightweight, it’s the perfect moisturiser to use in the morning. I wouldn’t necessarily agree that it improves the application of makeup, because any moisturiser you use should create a ‘smooth, hydrated canvas’ if it suits your skin. I think that quite a lot of vague statements are made in the claims, as the average person probably won’t notice the daily effects of stress, pollution and fatigue. Unless you have very reactive skin that is really sensitive to pollutants, then I have no idea how you would actually test these claims properly. The moisturiser lasted a surprisingly long time for such a tiny pot, which definitely exceeded my expectations.

As for the Banana Eye Cream, I didn’t notice any difference in my dark circles, which I was quite disappointed with. It was a really nice eye cream/moisturiser for the eye area, but I didn’t notice any results. Dark circles aren’t a particular concern of mine though, so perhaps I am not the best person to judge this! I have no trouble with concealer/makeup sitting around my eye area normally, so I didn’t see any improvement in how my makeup sat.

Repurchase?

I’m really not sure. I wouldn’t repurchase the Banana Eye Cream because I can get the same level of moisture under my eyes with just about any other moisturiser. The C-Rush moisturiser was nice, but at just under Β£40 I don’t think I’m willing to spend that much on a moisturiser when I can get a lovely morning moisturiser from Beauty Pie for a fraction of the cost. If I did have a little extra disposable income, then I would probably repurchase and test this even longer but alas, I am not that lucky!

Have you tried anything from Ole Hendriksen? Let me know how you got on!

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

The double cleanse – is it necessary?

If you speak to any skincare addict, they will laud ‘the double cleanse’. What is this mystical ‘double cleanse’? If you’re already a skincare addict, then I’m preaching to the choir. But if you’re a skincare newbie, then lean in a little closer…

Well, the practice started in Japan and Korea and has made it’s way over to us in the J and K beauty crazes. Much like everything else in Asian beauty, the double cleanse has exploded in popularity within the beauty community – and for good reason.

img_5888_facetune_26-01-2019-22-28-48

The idea is pretty straight forward – all you have to do is cleanse your skin twice, but (usually) with two different cleansers. The first cleanser tends to do the heavy lifting and and removes the bulk of your makeup and SPF, while the second cleanser removes any residual makeup and actually functions as a more traditional cleanser (aka to clean the skin rather than to remove makeup). If you’re new to skincare and want some more info on cleansers, check out my post on Skincare for Beginners!

Is this mandatory for everyone? Absolutely not. If you’ve worn no makeup or SPF that day, you should find that just one cleanse will sufficiently clean your skin and no further cleansing action is required. However, if you wear fairly heavy makeup (i.e. more than no makeup makeup), wear SPF or have very oily skin, then you will probably benefit from a double cleanse. If you’re wearing SPF (and you should be), you need to cleanse twice to fully remove it. If you’re super oily, then cleansing twice with cleansers suitable for your skin type can really help to keep oils at bay.

How do you know which cleanser is suitable?

For a first cleanse, oil cleansers or cleansing balms are preferable as they will break down makeup, SPF, oils and pollutants the best in one go. To add a bit of exfoliation, but also to remove the makeup easily and quickly, lots of people like to use either muslin cloths, softer cleansing cloths or Konjac spongesΒ (check my post I just did about them!) If you have super sensitive skin or active acne, I would personally recommend using the konjac sponge as they are really gentle on your skin. When I used a muslin cloth on my cystic acne, it became much more inflamed and was really painful. The konjac sponge was able to remove every bit of dirt/makeup and give me a bit of exfoliation while being gentle on my skin. These days I tend to switch between konjac sponges and softer cleansing cloths depending on what I have around. For your second cleanse, you should use a gel, milk or jelly. There are hundreds on the market and you just need to be sure that whichever cleanser you choose, it’s catering to your specific skin type and skin concerns. If you have oily skin and choose a rich cleansing milk, this might not have great results for your acne.

When would you double cleanse?

You would normally do this in the evening when removing your makeup and preparing for your evening routine. You would not need to double cleanse in the morning as you don’t apply makeup or SPF to bed. It would be excessive to double cleanse twice a day for most skin types, but I suppose it depends on what works for you. Often people will use their second cleanser as their morning cleanse as it is lighter and will remove any sweat or oils that have built up over night. Balms and oils tends to be more of a makeup remover, so a jelly cleanser or cleansing milk would work much better in the morning.

Will I notice a difference?

I love how clean my skin feels when I do double cleanse and how noticeably smoother and softer it feels. When I only do a single cleanse, I always feel like I still have makeup on. You should definitely notice a difference if you usually use white towels to dry your face as you’ll no longer get little orange marks from around your hairline or black smudges of mascara where you didn’t quite get it all off! If you use a toner, you will generally notice that the pad will emerge less dirty too.

First Cleanse

For your first cleanse, stick to a balm or an oil. Makeup wipes and micellar water do not count here. My current favourite first cleansers are Kiehls Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleanser (oil) and Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm. Both of them are really gentle, melt makeup away easily and don’t sting your eyes like some cleansers do. I’m actually preferring an oil cleanser at the moment because it’s just so easy to get everything off!

img_5880_facetune_26-01-2019-22-23-21

Second Cleanse

For a second cleanser, you should use either a gel, milk or jelly. If you have any specific skin concerns (acne for example), this is where you would address it with targeted cleansers. My favourites at the moment are REN Evercalm Cleansing Milk and the Pretty Athletic Cool Down Cleanser. I think I prefer the Pretty Athletic one at the moment because I really enjoy the cooling sensation and The REN one seems to leave a little bit of a residue which I’m not a massive fan of.

img_5882_facetune_04-03-2019-20-29-06

Some people might say that double cleansing is excessive, but really it all depends on what works for you. If you use a balm or oil as your first cleanse instead of wipes or micellar water, I honestly think you’ll notice a world of difference, not only in how much makeup you remove in one go, but the look of your skin, the texture of your skin and how your skin feels post cleanse. Try it out! You’ll never regret taking care of your skin.

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

All hail the Konjac Sponge!

Have you heard of Konjac sponges? …No? Where have you been!?

These little powerhouse sponges came over to the West in the K beauty takeover and they’e here to stay.Β They are the ultimate cleansing aid for anyone with sensitive skin, acne, or just environmentally conscious. If you’re looking for a cheap, clean way to remove your makeup and give your skin a little exfoliation, then this is your ticket!

When you initially open the sponge in the packet, it will most likely be it’s full size, but be ROCK hard. Once you’ve got it wet and squishy, it’s ready to go! You can remove your makeup in pretty much the same way as a cloth – all you have to do is sweep the sponge across your face in circular motions, rinse off the dirt from the sponge and go in again. They are incredibly gentle on the skin and an absolute must try!

These became my favourite product when I had my acne because I could get a good cleanse, a gentle exfoliation and it would not irritate my extremely sensitive acne. I had a Liz Earle muslin cloth and it was too rough on my cystic acne and actually made it more inflamed and painful. In the search for an alternative, I stumbled across these in Sephora and wanted to give them a go. The improvement was almost instantaneous! My acne would look much calmer, my skin was smoother (still acne, but less dead skin cells) and most importantly, my skin wasn’t sore or stripped.

If you like to use a muslin or cotton cloth to remove your makeup, then you might like to consider trying this instead. At the moment, they are my go-to way to remove makeup. The best part is that these sponges last quite a long time if you look after them well. The average Konjac sponge should last for 2-3 months and should be replaced once it starts to break down. You’ll be able to tell when you need a new one because little rips start to develop on the surface of the sponge, and then it’s time to crack open another one! You can get various different varieties that have green tea, charcoal and chamomile infusions to cater more specifically for different skin types. I’ve tried nearly every type and I can’t say I notice a real difference between them.

Another major plus is that they are much more environmentally friendly than other types of makeup removal aids. Made of vegetable fibers, they’re 100% clean, natural and most importantly biodegradable – all while lasting a hell of a lot longer than single use pads or face cloths that need washing all the time. So if you are environmentally minded, this is definitely one to consider!

You can find these everywhere these days, but my favourite brand is The Konjac Sponge CompanyΒ who are dedicated to using only the finest grade of Konjac that are free of pollutants and microbes. You can find their products at Cult Beauty, Feel Unique and Look Fantastic.

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil Review

I recently got the chance to try out the Noni Glow Face Oil by Kora Organics as a part of Space NK’s N.Dulge loyalty program. The brand is coming to Space NK very soon and I was selected to give it a go ahead of time! I’ve been testing it for a little while now, and I have some thoughts…

The brand

Kora Organics is the skincare brand of model Miranda Kerr. The range is mostly vegan and not tested on animals, but on Miranda herself. I really like the vibe of the brand – from doing some research on their website they use really natural, multi purpose ingredients that are energised with Rose Quartz, which is believed to carry a soothing energy to promote love and acceptance.

Packaging

The packaging of this is beeeautiful. The bottle is glass and super sleek. However, the best part by far is the fact that the pipette sits very tightly in the opening of the bottle, which means if the bottle is undone and falls over, there is no spillage (I tested it)! If you’re paranoid about spilling your oils or just plain clumsy, there is no need to worry with this one!

img_6524_facetune_17-02-2019-17-33-47

‘The Juice’

The Noni Glow Facial Oil contains rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil and pomegranete oil, along with noni fruit extract.

  • Noni fruit when applied to the skin is known to be a great moisturiser and reduce the signs of ageing
  • Sea buckthorn oil contain antioxidants and helps to repair damaged skin, soften the appearance of scars, blemishes and wrinkles.
  • Rosehip oil is rich in antioxidants, omega 3 & 6, vitamins A & C and has anti-inflammatory properties. It softens sun damage, pigmentation, scarring and other environmental influences that can lead to signs of aging. Great for all skin types
  • Pomegranate oil has an abundance of amino acids, antioxidants and vitamin C and improves your skins protective barrier by providing deep moisture. It promotes a more radiant looking appearance while also protecting against environmental aggressors.

Application

The oil itself feels lovely. It is quite light and doesn’t feel heavy at all on the skin. It doesn’t sink in straight away but it doesn’t sit on the skin for ages either. Even though the website directs you to apply this before moisturiser, I apply it after. I have mixed it in with a few different moisturisers too and it feels absolutely beautiful when you apply it.

Results

Consumer research on their website report that many people noticed brighter, more even toned, bouncier, less imperfect, healthier looking skin within 4 weeks.Β I haven’t seen any noticeable differences in my skin. I was expecting some visible results, but nothing of the sort happened. Maybe this is because I haven’t been testing it for long enough (I’ve been applying once a day for almost 2 weeks)Β but I would have hoped to have seen increased radiance, which most people saw after 1 week. What I have noticed is that my skin is not as nourished and soft the morning after when compared to my squalane, rosehip and Midnight Recovery oils. More notably, I didn’t get the same glow that Miranda apparently gets the morning after she uses this.

I’m not necessarily disappointed in this oil because the experience of applying it is so positive and my skin feels so good when I do first apply. However, this was not life changing for me. I’m going to continue to use the oil to see if there will be any long term results, but I would consider using this in conjunction with one of my other oils to get softer skin by morning. I would have really liked to wake up with glowy skin, but I can find these sort of results in other products.

You can buy Kora Organics at Space NK NOW!

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest

Skincare for beginners

Everyone has to start somewhere! If you are a skincare newbie, then you’ve found yourself in the right place. I’m going to give you the info you need to create your own skincare routine.*

If you follow the beauty community, you’ll know that lots of people’s skincare routines are very long and comprise of loads of products. When you’re starting out from scratch, you don’t need to include all of these! I’d say to focus on the basics: cleanser, moisturiser and SPF.

First things first: know your skin type. Oily, dry, sensitive, normal or combination. This will help you to choose products that are more catered for your skin.

  • If you find that by the middle of the day that your face is pretty shiny and you have blackheads and larger pores in the oiler parts of your face (generally the T-zone – across your forehead and down your nose) then you’re probably oily.
  • If you have dry patches around your face and need to use a lot of moisturiser, you’re probably dry.
  • If you skin is quite prone to irritation, blotchiness and redness, then you are probably sensitive.
  • If you don’t have any particular skin concern, then your skin is pretty ‘normal’.
  • Lastly, if you have a combination of these (e.g. an oily T-zone and dry cheeks), then you are combination.

img_5877_facetune_26-01-2019-22-19-47

Cleanser

Generally there are two types of cleanser: one that takes your makeup off and one that actually cleans your face. Sometimes they can do both, but more often than not they are separate. If you are still using makeup wipes or micellar water, put them down and step away from them now. Makeup wipes don’t do a good job of cleaning your skin, which is why you probably need to use a few to get all your makeup ‘off’. You’ll probably be tugging on your skin too, especially around your eyes to remove stubborn mascara, which can lead to premature ageing. There’s even been research to suggest that instead of cleaning the skin, wipes just spread dirt and bacteria around your face and push bacteria further in to your skin. Micellar water is also not a great makeup remover. Like makeup wipes, it can be incredibly drying and you have to use a lot of product to get makeup off. Micellar water was originally only to be used when you have no access to water, like backstage at a runway show, so don’t be lazy!

INSTEAD:Β Consider switching to an oil or a balm to remove your makeup in the evening! Apply these to your hands and rub them gently into the skin. They will both melt your makeup away really easily and will remove your eye makeup with ease. You don’t have to use much product to get really good results either. Go with the less is more approach and add more product if necessary. You can either use warm water or a soft flannel to remove it. Let me tell you, your skin will feel so much more hydrated than when you use a wipe or micellar water! These products don’t need to cost a bomb. Yes they will cost more than makeup wipes, but the results should be far superior and they’re way more gentle on the skin. Here are a few different options for different price points:

Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil – Β£12
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish – Β£10
Clinique Take the Day Off Balm – Β£24
Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter – Β£10

BONUS: If you have ever heard of someone ‘double cleansing’, this is when you use one cleanser (usually an oil or a balm) to take off their makeup followed by another (thinner) cleanser to actually clean the face. If you have any skin concerns like acne, this would be when you address this. These cleansers usually are more likely to be a gel (for oily skin) or a milk (for drier skin). You can often use this ‘second’ cleanse as your morning cleanser too.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser – Β£14 – GREAT for acne prone skin (my personal skin saviour when I had cystic acne). DO NOT USE EVERYDAY.
REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk – Β£20 – Great for dry or sensitive skin.

Moisturiser

Regardless of whether you have oily or dry skin, you should be using a moisturiser. Probably not with the same one, but your skin will need moisture even if you have very oily skin with bad acne. Quite often when our skin is dry (usually from stripping the skin with aggressive products) all the natural oils that the skin produces are removed. In a panic, your skin will actually produce more oils – not less – because it’s so dry and theΒ  natural reaction is to try and re-moisturise with oils. You should be applying moisturiser in the morning and evening. They don’t have to be the same – you might prefer a thinner one for day time and a thicker one for night time depending on your skin type, but this is all down to preference.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat – Β£16 – Oily skin
Clinique Pep Start Hydro Rush Moisturiser – Β£25.50 – Dry/Normal skin, morning moisturiser
Nivea Soft – Β£4.29 – Even with all my other expensive moisturisers, I ALWAYS have a tub of this around. This is a good all rounder that may be a touch too thick for oily skin, but great for normal-dry skin.

SPF

SPF is your absolute best friend. YOUR BEST FRIEND. Whether you are at work all day in an office or walking out in nature, you need to be wearing SPF. Just because you’re inside doesn’t mean that you are not exposed to UV rays. Quick rundown of UV rays – there are two main types: UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates more deeply into the skin and causes aging, while UVB penetrates less deeply and causes the skin to burn. Just because it’s the middle of winter and cloudy all the time, doesn’t mean that UV rays don’t exist. They penetrate through the clouds and come through windows just as strongly as when you’re outside, so you need to be covered! This would be the last step in your skincare routine before you apply your makeup. SPF that is included in your foundation or moisturiser is not sufficient cover – you need an extra line of defence.Β SPF should be applied 15-20 mins before you go into the sun and you should roughly apply half a teaspoon to your face for sufficient coverage. The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50Β is a really nice SPF that isn’t too much money on Amazon. It’s a really watery consistency and is much nicer to apply than regular sun cream. It’s also factor 50 so will give you all the protection you need. I really like the Beauty Pie Ultralight UVA/UVB SPF 25Β because the consistency is amazing, but you have to be a member so if you really do want to get into skincare you might like to take the plunge. Ideally you would go for something between SPF 30-50 (I just love the consistency of the Beauty Pie one too much). If you’re out in the sun all day, be sure to apply every 2 hours or so, otherwise it’s your makeup base.

You can add in extra products to your routine with time, but these are the main steps that you should include. These steps are vital to ensure that your skin is kept clean, moisturised and protected from any sun damage.

I hope this run down has been useful for any skincare beginners reading – I have a few people in my life that I’ll be sending this article to! Please let me know in the comments if you have any product recommendations for various skin types and hopefully it can help someone else!

* I am by no means a skincare expert. In my opinion, these are the essentials. If you want to look into anything in more detail, go to Caroline Hirons’ blog, read The Skincare Bible or visit the expert advice section on Paula’s Choice. The products mentioned may not work for you – it happens. What works for one person doesn’t work for everyone. It’s a trial and error process, so make sure you do research on the products, read reviews and make sure the product is made for your skin type.

Xo

Follow me on:

Instagram|Bloglovin|Twitter|Pinterest