The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm Review

The Inkey List’s Oat Cleansing Balm seems to have taken the beauty world by storm. It’s all over Instagram and has quickly become a fave of the skinfluencers. It sold out everywhere when it first launched, so what is so special about this cleanser?

The Inkey List Oat Cleansing Balm

The brand

The Inkey List are one of the brands that are cutting through all the beauty jargon to bring straight forward, easy to understand, affordable skincare. Personally I think they’re comparable to The Ordinary (in terms of price and single ingredient products) but are easier to understand. Their products often feature some of the most sought after and on trend ingredients of the moment. Their recent releases have been increasingly innovative and they’re an influencer favourite.

The Oat Cleansing Balm is 150ml for Β£9.99, which is actually loads of product for a really affordable price. With it being in a tube rather than a tub, it’s a lot more hygienic than dipping your fingers in to a jar. The ingredients list for this is pretty clean – there are no irritants included and it has no added fragrance, nor does it have any sort of scent. The inclusion of 3% oat kernel oil helps to keep skin moisturised; smooth and blackhead free, while 1% oat powder reduces redness and irritation. It sounds like a sensitive skin dream right?

My skin

When I started using this product, my skin was pretty sensitive and reactive to new products. I would get small breakouts on the lower part of my face within a day of using a new product that my skin didn’t agree with (and it didn’t agree with most things). I was interested to see whether this would irritate my skin or break me out.

Application

It’s a little hard to squeeze this out of the tube at first, but once it does come out, a little goes a very long way. You need to dampen the skin before applying the product to avoid a more abrasive application! I was daft enough not to read the instructions the first time I used it and applied it to dry skin – as a result it was quite rough (though my skin did feel nice and soft afterwards). Be sure to read the instructions!

The balm melts away pretty quickly into a thick oil and quickly gets to work on breaking down the day’s makeup with relatively little effort. The instructions advise to avoid the eye area but I found this was gentle enough to use there with no irritation afterwards. When it came to removing mascara, I was amazed by what a good job it did! Many other makeup removers tend to sting or hurt your eyes but this one was absolutely fine – you could apply it and open your eyes with absolutely no problems. Sometimes I felt like this left a slight film on the skin and other times it didn’t. Most importantly for me, it didn’t cause any form of irritation. This is one of the only products I’ve added in to my skincare routine that hasn’t caused any form of adverse reaction in months, so I’m impressed.

What’s so special about it?

  • Very gentle
  • FAST and effective
  • Free from irritating ingredients
  • Very affordable

Overview

This is a great cleanser for dry or sensitive skin. If you follow the instructions, it is gentle enough for even the most sensitive to use. It’s an excellent product for anyone who is new to the double cleanse or even the most seasoned beauty veterans who are tired of being blinded every time they remove their eye makeup. I dare say that in terms of performance, this trumps high end products. It is really effective at removing stubborn makeup with little effort; removed eye makeup with absolutely no irritation and didn’t leave a thick film on the skin. Unlike other balms, you don’t need as much product to break down the day’s makeup, so the tube (which is way bigger than you would think!) will last you absolutely ages! There has been quite a gap in the market for an affordable cleansing balm and it has now been filled.

Want to try?

You can find the Inkey List in the UK at Boots, Cult Beauty, ASOS, Feel Unique, Selfridges and Look Fantastic.

Xo

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Luxury Hyaluronic Acid – Sylaine Paris Hyaluronic Acid Review

Sylaine Paris are a French skincare brands that produce capsule skincare products. They currently have two products – Hyaluronic Acid and a Starry Night Serum that brightens the complexion. They were kind enough to gift me their hyaluronic acid to test out and after a long time testing, here are my thoughts!

Let’s start with the packaging – it’s beautiful. You can definitely tell that this is a luxury product by the beautiful box that it comes in. Inside the box are 30 capsules filled with hyaluronic acid. I found that each capsule contains far more than 1 day’s supply, so the 30 capsules lasted much longer than one month (bonus!). The capsule itself has very clever packaging! You have to screw the top off to squeeze out the product, but if you then turn the top upside down, it has a little stopper that you can then reseal the capsule with. I personally have never seen this on a capsule before, so I was really impressed and pleasantly surprised!

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The formula is just lovely – it isn’t sticky or tacky at all (like some other HAs – *cough* The Ordinary) and it leaves the skin feeling very smooth and plump. Other hyaluronic acids I’ve tried haven’t offered much in the form of hydration, but have just left my skin feeling sticky and thirsty. This delivered a heavy dose of hydration and didn’t have me rushing to get my moisturiser on. I’d definitely say that this is the nicest Hyaluronic Acid I’ve ever tried. But then again, for Β£75 it should be. That is perhaps the only downside to this product, as the price is probably a bit too high to encourage people to take a step up to a more luxurious feeling HA.

If HA is your THING, then I think you would really enjoy this. To be honest, I think you would really enjoy this if HA wasn’t your thing. However, what I mean is, if HA is a must-have, can’t-be-without ingredient for you and you want to invest in a luxury one, then this is your girl.

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A slight concern for me is the plastic packaging. Is it recyclable? Is it eco-friendly? Is it going straight to landfill? If these little capsules are made of plastic and are not recyclable, this is something that the company needs to change ASAP. With climate change being as big and as prominent a problem as it is, beauty aficionados everywhere are looking to cut down their beauty-related waste. While having daily doses of HA is convenient to travel with, it isn’t so convenient for the planet. I can’t say for fact whether this isn’t recyclable as I can’t find any info about it on their website or social media, but I find it quite odd that the brand hasn’t posted anything about the sustainability of their products.

Overall, this is a fantastic Hyaluronic Acid – by far the best I’ve tried. I personally would not repurchase this with my own money because the price tag is that bit too steep for my current situation, but I have really enjoyed using the product.

*Items gifted by Sylaine Paris

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I Dew Care Vitamin C Review

Vitamin C is an ingredient that everyone should have in their skincare routine, and it couldn’t be any easier to add in with an array of fun new Vitamin C products from I Dew Care!

I Dew Care are a K Beauty inspired brand that works out of the US. They exude positive vibes and just feel really cheeky and fun! They were kind enough to send over 2 products from their new Vitamin C line – The Bright Side Up serum and the Saw You Dew moisturiser. Their new collection is really vast – it contains a mist, serum, moisturiser, cleansing balm, lip oil and lip mask.

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Right off the bat, the packaging for these products is absolutely gorgeous – the bright, nearly neon colour scheme that is present throughout the entire Vitamin C range is perfect for products that brighten your complexion! All the products that have lids also have this cheeky winking smiley which is also the initials for I Dew Care!Β img_5212_facetune_06-09-2019-22-36-54

Bright Side Up Serum – 30ml – $25.00

img_5924_facetune_29-09-2019-14-58-01This Vitamin C serum is a 30ml bottle of pinky-red goodness – it includes grapefruit extract to reduce the visible signs of ageing, even skin tone and boost radiance. It also contains vitamins E and B5 to condition the skin, relieve dryness and increase hydration.Β It has a soft scent that smells quite fruity, which I guess is the grapefruit! The consistency is described on their site as a ‘jelly serum’ and I can totally understand why. It isn’t one of those annoying serums that runs between your fingers when you squirt it from the dropper. It is certainly a liquid, but it does have a thickness. It’s almost gel-like but a touch thinner whereby it stays put when you apply it to your hand. When applied to the face, it feels really hydrating, spreads very easily and leaves no feeling of tackiness. There is no tingling sensation afterwards and it sinks into the skin very quickly.

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In my bottle, the dropper isn’t the best and it takes a few squeezes to get an amount to cover the entire face. I’m not sure whether that is because I have a dodgy dropper or whether the consistency of the serum is a touch too thick for the dropper, but either way I’m happy to just keep at it until I have the amount I want.

Most importantly, it hasn’t caused my skin to break out. In fact, when my skin broke out while testing another product, I feel like it was this product that helped to calm it down. I can’t really say that I’ve noticed my skin looking any brighter (mainly because I rush through my morning skincare routine as fast as I can to move on to makeup), but I can feel that my skin feels soft and smooth after use and it doesn’t feel tight.

It’s probably my favourite vitamin C serum that I’ve tried – the non-sticky texture, the lovely smell and how it leaves my skin feeling after I’ve applied this makes it an absolute winner in my eyes!

Saw You Dew Moisturiser – 50ml – $29.00

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Okay, so I nearly died when I opened this moisturiser – that is no exaggeration (lol of course it’s an exaggeration – can you imagine? Death by moisturiser). Anyway, I have never seen a texture so beautiful in my entire life, and that one is no exaggeration. When you first open this up, it is like WATER. Basically, this moisturiser is a water-like gel on top of a cream. A really cute spatula comes with this for you to mix it all together before applying it to your skin. It is a little bit heartbreaking to mix it together and lose the amazing gel, but the texture post-mixing is lovely too. It becomes a lot more like a traditional cream moisturiser, but is still very light (below). It contains lemon extract and vitamin C to lessen the skin imperfections and signs of ageing while also boosting radiance and protecting from environmental aggressors.

 

The formula is very thin – it would be a great moisturiser for summer, oilier skin and as morning moisturiser. I have dry skin and this still sets me up perfectly for the day. It sinks in quite quickly and doesn’t leave a feeling of heaviness or greasiness on the skin. Like the serum, it does have a slight scent that smells a little bit like lemon but it is really pleasant and isn’t too noticeable. A little bit goes a long way so you don’t have to pile this on to get the result you’re after.

I have absolutely loved testing these products out! I was so excited when the brand reached out to me – they have a really positive, colourful, fun vibe that definitely translates into their products. If you’re looking for budget-to-mid range vitamin C products then this is definitely a brand you should consider. You can find I Dew Care at Memebox or at Ulta if you’re in the US.

Remember, if you’re using vitamin C product, please always apply a good SPF!

Xo

*Both items gifted from I Dew Care

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Pretty Athletic Cool Down Cleanser review

Pretty Athletic is an active skincare brand that boasts some truly epic products, one of which being their Cool Down Cleanser, which I have developed quite a liking for.

I mean, have you ever come across a product that you love so crazy, madly, deeply that you feel the need to tell every stranger on the street and scream it from the rooftops. Yep. This cleanser.

I’m sure you’re thinking, why this cleanser? Well allow me to retell my epic love story with the Cool Down Cleanser. I came across this product in the goodie bag at the Indie Beauty Expo in London last year and thought the concept was pretty cool. Pretty Athletic was the brain child of a fabulous lady called Leyla who wanted to create post-workout skincare for women on the go. As a gym bunny myself, I loved the sound of a cooling cleanser, especially as I am someone who really works up a sweat and gets very hot and red.

This cleanser, quite obviously by the name, is aimed to calm and cool the skin after exercise, but it also rehydratesΒ and removes sweat and impurities that have built up during your workout. It combines botanical ingredients such as aloe vera, cucumber, chamomile and green tea with actives like hyaluronic acid and prebiotics to reduce oiliness, prevent exercise related breakouts, intensely hydrate and support your skin flora! Your skin goes through quite a lot when you exercise and this little powerhouse makes sure that doing your thing doesn’t have an impact on your skin.

It is a lovely, thick, gel cleanser that feels so nourishing and hydrating. I should mention that it is not thick in that it feels heavy on the skin or would clog your pores, but when you pump it out, it is quite solid and doesn’t run straight off your hand. As it is so thick, it feels amazing when you massage this into the skin (the brand recommends massaging in for roughly 30 seconds). I’m not sure what I was expecting when I first used this, but I really didn’t expect such a pleasant cooling sensation! It is in no way overwhelming or tingly on the skin, but it’s almost as if you have splashed your face with cool water. It instantly cools the skin down and you can feel the moisture and goodness returning to your skin as your massage. It does have a scent, but it’s subtle and to me it doesn’t smell artificial, so I don’t think it would cause an issue to anyone that has a fragrance sensitivity. It is also totally safe to use on your eyes and doesn’t sting them at all, even when you open them.Β One thing I’ve found with this which is a massive bonus, is that my skin is always much smoother after I use it. I don’t tend to leave this on for a massive amount of time, usually around 20-30 seconds, and my skin feels noticeably softer.Β 

Pretty Athletic Cool Down Cleanser

This is hands down the best second cleanse I’ve ever used! Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be a gym bunny to love this! This is extra nice to use when my skin is hot or red after the gym and you definitely feel the benefit of it, but it’s just as amazing after a long day at work/a short day at work/the best day of your life/any day of your life. Basically what I’m getting at is that this is an absolute banger and you need to try it.

I have actually started to have nightmares about running out of this cleanser. I am not even joking. I had two empties in the same day and that night I had a nightmare that I ran out of this unexpectedly. If you follow my Instagram, you’ll know that I have a massive thing for texture. I’ve had dreams about this texture too. THAT’S HOW DREAMY IT IS!

To top it all off, this is the only second cleanser that I have ever repurchased.Β I usually see second cleansers as a bit meh, a bit replaceable, but I can’t be without this one. As soon as I run out, I place an order straight away!

Try it. I guarantee you won’t regret it. Okay, I can’t guarantee it, but I’m pretty sure you will fall madly in love and never want to look at another gel cleanser again. If you go on the Pretty Athletic website and sign up to their newsletter, they often send out discount codes and their shipping is super quick!

*This review is not sponsored I just love it that much. I have received free products from Pretty Athletic in the past, but this was not one of them.*

Xo

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Dr Botanicals Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask Review

Are you searching for the perfect mask to hydrate and replenish your skin? Have you tried loads of masks to no results? Well this might be the one to change the game for you!

Dr Botanicals reached out to me to try out their new hydrating mask, and I couldn’t say yes quick enough! They areΒ one of the world’s top vegan brands, who are cruelty free and focuses their formulations around all natural ingredients. For the environmentally minded among us (and you should all be environmentally minded), Dr Botanicals’ packaging is not only recyclable but also made up of recycled fibers.

They sent over their Cocoa & Coconut Superfood Reviving Hydrating Mask for me to review and share my thoughts. This 10 minute mask promises to hydrate, nourish and revive your skin with an all natural formula! As someone with normal-dry skin, this sounded right up my street! Before I get into the review, can we just take some time to admire these beeeeautiful photos that I took (I’m so proud of myself)

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The two key ingredients here are cocoa butter and coconut oil. Cocoa butter is great for smoothing and moisturising the skin and coconut oil is high in fatty acids and antioxidants that restore, hydrate and protect the skin. This is supposedly suitable for all skin types, but I know a lot of people have some serious reservations about coconut oil in products. If you are a bit concerned about that, then this may not be the product for you. Another quick note on the ingredients, if you check out the ingredients list, alcohol is listed pretty high up. DO. NOT. PANIC. In case you aren’t aware, there are good and bad alcohols in skincare, and this is one of the good ones. It contains cetearyl alcohol which is a fatty alcohol and particularly benefits those with drier skin. Paula’s Choice (which is a great source of info on skincare ingredients) confirms that this is a safe ingredient for alcohol haters, as fatty alcohols do not pose a risk for sensitive skin.

So I opened it up and had a play! The texture of this is surprisingly thin for a nourishing mask and it has very little scent. The first time I applied this, I felt the need to apply quite a thick layer on in order to get maximum hydration/nourishment as it was so thin. It did dry down which surprised me and it left my skin feeling a bit tight before I washed it off. When I removed it after my first trial, I didn’t feel any noticeable difference to my skin. I was pretty disappointed but… I didn’t read that you should apply a thin layer… Let this be the lesson!

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

Ever since, I have applied a thin layer and have left it on for 10 minutes. I could tellΒ instantlyΒ how smooth and soft my skin was as I was washing it off. I literally could not stop touching my face afterwards! I have quite smooth skin anyway, but the softness absolutely blew my mind! It didn’t leave any feeling of tightness or feel the need to moisturise my skin straight away – I was quite happy to sit stroking my baby smooth skin for a while. It really does deliver on hydration and nourishment! What’s great about this mask is that it’s quite small so it’s easy to travel with, the results are fast and it’s easy to apply (and not too messy!)

Dr Botanicals doesn’t use any preservatives in their products so this only has a shelf life of 3 months. That might not sound like a very long time but it’ll be pretty easy to get through it in that time as the mask is only 30 ml.

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Overall, this little mask is a powerhouse! If you’re on the lookout for a hydrating mask that leaves your skin feeling like it’s had a tall drink of water, a long night’s sleep and 5 weeks off. Basically, your skin feels amazing afterwards! I often find that masks don’t do too much for my skin, but the results were instant and undeniable with this one! This little mask is super affordable at only Β£9 – bargain!

If you’d like to try this out and save 30% on your order on the Dr Botanicals site, use code 30HANNAHΒ at checkout! I’d really appreciate it!

Xo

*This product was gifted by the brand in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Evy Technology Daily 30 SPF Mousse Review

As your resident pale gal, I NEED to protect my skin from UV rays, especially in the summertime when I’m starting to spend more time outdoors. EveryoneΒ knowsΒ by nowΒ Β (or at least should know) that SPF is an absolute must all year round, but as we approach summer, sun protection becomes even more important.Β EVY Technology were kind enough to gift me their Daily 30 SPF Mousse to review, so here are my thoughts on it!

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The brand

EVY Technology are a Swedish suncream brand that is specially developed for those with sensitive skin and active lifestyles. Their products are recommended by dermatologists and the Vitiligo Association and is gentle enough for those with sun eczema, sun allergies and albinism. It’s a great option for those who are sensitive to conventional types of suncream as EVY’s formula is hypoallergenic and very gentle. They have a really wide range of sun products, with SPFs ranging from 10-50, tan activators, after sun and a daily repair mousse which is specifically targeted towards sensitive skin types. Their products are safe for children, with some products specifically targeted towards kids.

Unique?

IMG_0023The reason this SPF is so unique is because it is a mousse. Think the mousse you’d steal off your mum for your hair (was that just me?) – it’s just like that.

They have a patented formula which offers the user the best protection out there! Forming a protective barrier, it enhances your skin’s natural defences. Rather than just sitting on the surface of the skin like ‘normal’ sunscreens do, the mousse penetrates through the top layer of the skin and offers superior protection to UVA and UVB rays –Β SoΒ a single application lasts up to six hours. It doesn’t need to be applied as regularly as ‘normal’ suncream and is actually wind, water, salt, chlorine and sweat resistant.

This means that is doesn’t rub off as you’re living your life – whether you’ve just come out of the sea, sweating it out or toweling off and one bottle lasts twice as long as other suncreams. For these very reasons, EVY is loved and relied on by a whole host of elite sports teams – from long distance sailing teams, the Swedish cycling federation and volleyball teams.

Daily UV Face Mousse

I was sent the Daily UV Face Mousse SPF 30 to test out, so here’s what you need to know:

  • With its lightweight formula, it doesn’t clog pores and works to prevent any irritation and inflammation caused by makeup.
  • It is packed with vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid and collagen.
  • As it enhances your skin’s protective barrier, it helps to counteract pigmentation and premature aging from the sun and pollution
  • It’s perfect for under makeup or post shaving.

My experience

Give the bottle a quick shake before use and turn it upside down so no extra gas comes out. The brand recommends a golf ball size amount for your neck and face. When you first pump it into your hand, the mousse is very airy, voluminous and actually pretty solid/dense. Once you start to rub it into your hands, the mousse loses a lot of it’s volume, becomes a lot more liquidy and rubs into the skin very smoothly. It leaves your skin feeling really nice – it is certainly not a matte finish, but with glowy skin that feels ever-so-slightly tacky. As it has that glow/tackiness, it would make a really great base for makeup. After it sets down more, it leaves the skin feeling really smooth and silky. I’ve found with some sunscreens that it can feel a bit tingly/prickly and this does not happen with the EVY one. This dries down pretty quickly (probably within 5-10 minutes at the absolute most) and doesn’t leave that wet, sticky feeling where your hair get stuck to your face – thank goodness!

Just a small word of warning – don’t get too pump happy! Don’t hold the pump down for as long as you think you need otherwise you’ll end up with a massive amount of product that will probably go to waste. In an attempt to use it all up, you’ll probably end up looking like some sort of yeti (like me). You can always squirt a little bit more out, but you can’t put it back in! This is the typical less is more approach – build it up bit by bit.

If you are a SPF rookie and still think back the sticky suncream that your mum used to slather all over you, this couldn’t be further from it. It goes on so easily, isn’t sticky at all and dries down really quickly. It doesn’t leave a feeling of oiliness on the skin so is your perfect primer before makeup. This would be a great SPF option for someone who is just adding SPF to their routine or someone who has been scarred by conventional suncream.

Despite lasting 6 hours, I don’t think I would leave it that long before reapplying my suncream, mainly because I’m paranoid and don’t want to risk getting burnt. It would be really interesting to test out the longevity of the protection, but I don’t think it’s worth getting burnt to test it.

Final thoughts?

This is a major win for me! It is one of the nicest feeling SPFs I have tried on my skin and doesn’t leave any tackiness or any silicone-smooth feeling. I wore this out in the sun at the weekend and I felt safe and didn’t get burnt. I got burnt elsewhere on my body that I missed with this (doh!), but this offered me great sun protection in areas that I alllllways burn (shoulders). Because this is a different/fun way of applying suncream, I think it would be great for kids who hate the stickiness of conventional sun protection and will encourage them to apply it more thoroughly and regularly.

You can purchase the EVY range at the EVY website, Selfridges and Space NK (among other places!)

Xo

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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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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

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