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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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Pampered skin routine

After a long hard day of smashing life, every so often I like to come home and really go to town on my skincare routine as a treat. This usually happens over the weekend and is one of my favourite ways to unwind and prep my skin for the week ahead.

Here is my step-by-step routine for perfectly pampered skin:

Cleanse

If I have makeup on then I’ll double cleanse, otherwise I’ll just use my second cleanser. For a more luxurious first cleanse I love using the Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm. It’s a super rich texture that feels beautiful when massaging into the skin to break down your makeup. It feels super smooth and washes off really easily.

To carry on the facial massage, I love using the Pretty Athletic Cool Down Cleanser. It is a gel cleanser that cools down the skin and feels amazing. You’re supposed to massage it in for 30 seconds before rinsing off. Because of the soft gel consistency and the cooling sensation, it feels so luxurious and leaves my skin completely clean and my mind relaxed.

Exfoliation

I always see exfoliation as a treat to myself. My favourite at the moment is the Fresh Sugar Face Polish. Made with brown sugar and strawberry seeds, it’s strong enough to exfoliate away any dead skin cells but gentle enough to not feel like the exfoliants are ripping into your skin. As it’s made of sugar, the grainy particles will eventually exfoliate away into the skin, leaving you with baby smooth skin. There’s something super relaxing about not only massaging the face but feeling the grains dissipate away to nothing…

Mask

My favourite mask to use is hands down the Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask. This brand is all over Instagram and is a firm favourite of influencers because it is the ultimate multi-tasker mask. I use this mask mostly to calm my skin and to make it smoother. I usually keep this on for an hour at least (if I can) and my skin emerges smooth as anything and feeling really rejuvenated. If I’m feeling really boujee then sometimes I will double mask and use something like the Farmacy Honey Potion Mask before the Happy Honey Mask (Clearly there’s something about honey that I like!)

Essence

This might not be an essential product for everyone, but it’s become a step in my evening routine that I don’t like to go without. Essences prepare the skin for the next products you apply to your skin and helps them absorb more easily. I find that it is just a good base to have that makes my skin feel more hydrated and makes it easier to spread other product out across my skin. I use the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence.

Serum

If I’m treating myself, I will always use my Kiehls Re-Texturising Hydro Plumping Serum. This is very gel like in consistency and makes my skin feel unbelievably smooth and as though I’ve had a big glass of water.

Moisturiser

This one is a bit of a tricky step. If I weren’t to apply an oil after the moisturiser, I would hands down use Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream because it is the most beautiful, thick moisturiser. I love thick moisturisers because I have fairly dry skin and I don’t find that the thinner moisturisers give me any long lasting moisture. The only problem with this one is that it pills sooooooo badly. One I have been enjoying recently before I apply the oils is the new Dermalogica Intense Moisture Balance. It’s quite a thin moisturiser, but still is thick enough to really back a moisturising punch and more importantly doesn’t pill when I put oils on top of it.

Oils

Because I’m extra, I really like to apply two oils. The first is The Ordinary Rosehip Oil and the second is Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I ran out of the rosehip oil recently and noticed that my skin was not as soft as before, so quickly repurchased it. I probably saw the biggest change in the texture and feel of my skin with the Kiehls oil, so I’ve never turned away from this product. It makes me feel so relaxed to massage this oil over my face (it’s a very smooth oil, the rosehip oil is a little thicker and sits a little heavier on the skin) and I like to hold my hands over my nose for a few seconds and breathe the lavender scent it. Lavender aids with sleep so this is always my last step before turning in for the night.

To add to the pampering mood, I love to burn candles. My favourites are super budget friendly – they’re from Home Bargains and cost just Β£2.99 for a massive one! They do various different scents, but my favourite hands down is the Gingerbread one. It makes me feel all cosy and ready to relax.

I hope you found my pampering routine useful. Let me know how you wind down and treat yourself!

Xo

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