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Beauty & Other Things

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    I have a bad habit when it comes to buying nail polish, not just that I can't resist buying a new one regularly, but I'll often buy several at a time, then they will sit there for months before I actually use them. This isn't a reflection on the polish itself, but just my very changeable nail polish moods!

    Anyway, one polish that I should have cracked open ages ago is this one, Sunny Pink from the Max Effect range by Max Factor.

    Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish - Sunny Pink

    Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish - Sunny Pink

    Ever since I've applied it I cannot stop glancing at my nails, it's beautiful! Sunny Pink is, as the name would suggest, a golden pale pink - very glowy and ethereal kind of shade and it does look slightly more golden or more pink depending on the light as the above pics show.

    I love this as it doesn't contrast a great deal against my skin but compliments it well and gives a polished look with the golden tones giving a nice lift against the dullness I can get sometimes on my dry hands.

    This applies very well with two coats being fine for coverage although I've gone for three as this does dry relatively quickly as it's a slightly thinner formula. I haven't used a top coat on this either.

    I am loving all these mini sized polishes coming out in the drugstore, perfect for my changeable polish moods:)

    I bought this from Boots.

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    L'Oreal Color Riche 304 Spicy Orange

    I had no idea L'Oreal were adding an impressive line-up of nail polish until seeing these in Superdrug and getting rather excited at all the wonderful array of colours. With the 3 for 2 offer (I think it still might be on), I could hardly resist picking up a few of these.

    One colour I had been on the look out for was an orangey-red, a kind of colour that I could see worn in Mad Men, and I think this fits the bill perfectly. Spicy Orange (304) appears a little more orange in the bottle (especially in the store lighting) but when applied it leans more red.  While I am a bit red-lippie shy, I adore red on my nails, it just makes me feel instantly more cheerful.

    The formula is excellent, it feels much more expensive then the £4.99 price tag - not thick or too thin and applies very smoothly with a slightly rounded shaped brush. With some reds like this I have found that I need a few coats to get an opaque coverage, but with this one it was almost full coverage with one coat (the pic is 2 coats).

    I haven't bothered with a top coat as it's quite glossy without and I find this dries rather quick too - all in all I have nothing bad to say about these, I'm super-impressed.

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    Just thought I'd pop this quick post up as I received a Pai Skincare newsletter today to inform of a fabulous offer on their website running for 5 days (or while stocks last) on their cleanser.

    With a purchase of the Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser you get a free BioAffinity Tonic worth £30 (the cleanser is £25, so a great bargain!)

    I haven't yet tried their tonics, so I hastily put in an order and picked the Rice Plant & Rosemary one, I've heard good things about this, so looking forward to trying it out.

    I am in no way affiliated with Pai, I just like their stuff.

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    A while back I purchased a couple of the Dolce & Gabbana eyeliners and I've been using them fairly often (considering the amount of eyeliners sitting in my stash).

    I picked up Chocolate (10) and Bronzo (15). Chocolate is (unsurprisingly) a dark chocolate shade that has no shimmer and Bronzo is a pale taupey champagne type shade.

    I should have sharpened Chocolate - sorry!

    Both of the shades swatch intensely and the texture is quite creamy, although Bronzo has more glide where as Chocolate is slightly firmer so I find myself pressing the pencil a tiny bit more on the skin. They don't have as much glide as some of the gel type pencil liners like YSL, however a plus side is that they do wear well and the colour doesn't seem to migrate and I can soften the line with the rubber tipped end.

    I love both shades but Bronzo I tend to use only on the lower lash line to give a subtle brightening effect, and Chocolate I use all around as a softer alternative to black.

    I bought these from the Dolce & Gabbana counter in Harrods.

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    I went to check out the new Revlon lip butters but my eyes were also drawn to this palette with my favourite colour combo of browns. I think this is new as I don't remember seeing it previously.

    It's a lovely compact size with a pretty selection of natural shades with good pigmentation. I really like the embossing on the powder which gives it a little bit more interest and is a detail that grabbed my attention initially. The texture is smooth and fairly buttery although the first shade on the left and the middle paler shade are a little powdery than the others.

    Shade 1 is a dark, almost black brown which is more matte than the other shades. Shade 2 is a deep, warm brown,  Shade 3 in the middle is a pale creamy beige sort of colour,  Shade 4 is a rich, chocolately slightly red-toned brown and the last shade is a pretty golden brown.

    I always get good use from these kind of colours and they are ones I reach for instinctively in my collection, especially when I'm in a hurry.

    There are 2 other colour variants I saw - one of which was more blue based and another that I was also tempted by which had a beautiful deep green and purple.

    The palette is £7.99 which I think is rather good for the quality and range of colours.

    I purchased this from Boots.

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    I am a bit of a lipbalm-aholic, I love a gorgeous balm so will have a variety about the house/handbag/work and these are a couple I'm currently loving:

    Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer
    I read Visionary Beauty's review on this a while back and made a mental note to check this out when I went to SpaceNK (and had also accumulated enough N.dulge points;)

    This is a nice, thick clear gel texture that feels so cushiony and nourishing on the lips, elevating any dryness straightaway, making the lips feel super-smooth and generally lovely:) It is fragrance and colour free as well.

    I think I prefer this more than the Lanolips 101 Ointment because I find it a little more moisturising and because it's completely clear I can be quite liberal with it and not get a milky-looking build up my lips that can happen with the Lanolips if I lay it on a bit thick!

    This Works Turbo Balm
    I got this free with a purchase and initially I was not taken with it as even though it's a balm, it has a thinner texture which feels a little granular rather than completely smooth. Because of this, I mainly kept it for use at home and was not expecting a great deal but after having using it consistently most evenings it seems to over time improve the feel and general hydration of the lips which has been a pleasant surprise. It's also good for any other dry patches of skin but I use it mainly on the lips.

    L- This Works Turbo Balm, R- Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer

    Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer Ingredients:

    This Works Turbo Balm Ingredients:
    Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract, Euphoribia Cerifera (Candellia) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Oil. 

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    I have several eyeshadow shades that I know are very similar and it's only after I've bought them I've thought to myself 'I hope I haven't ended up with the same eyeshadow', so I've done a comparison to see.

    These are all in the dark taupey brown category - my instant go-to for smoky eyes/outer corner and crease blends.

    From top left clockwise: Burberry Taupe Brown, Revlon CustomEyes Naturally Glamorous Palette, Rouge Bunny Rouge Blackpepper Jay, Une Sfumato Eyes S11

    Bottom-Top: Rouge Bunny Rouge Blackpepper Jay, Burberry Taupe Brown, Une S11, Revlon CustomEyes Naturally Glamorous Palette

    L-R: Rouge Bunny Rouge Blackpepper Jay, Burberry Taupe Brown, Une S11, Revlon CustomEyes Naturally Glamorous Palette

    L-R: Rouge Bunny Rouge Blackpepper Jay, Burberry Taupe Brown, Une S11, Revlon CustomEyes Naturally Glamorous Palette

    The Rouge Bunny Rouge and Burberry are the most pigmented shades and the ones that look very similar, but on closer inspection the Burberry Taupe Brown (07) is a touch warmer (maybe a tiny bit green) toned where as the Rouge Bunny Rouge Blackpepper Jay (045) looks a very tiny bit darker and more neutral than warm.

    I adore the quality of both of these shades and the texture is equally as smooth and impressive in one swipe although the RBR is just that tiny bit smoother, although I don't think there is much in it. Blackpepper Jay I haven't had as long where as the Burberry is the first one I bought from the four shades so I have used this much more and it is one of my favourite eyeshadows.

    The Une Sfumato S11 is one of Une's better pigmented shades although not quite as pigmented as RBR or Burberry. It looks to be a lighter and more warmer brown-toned version of Blackpepper Jay. Even though matte, it has a subtle sheen to it whereas RBR and Burberry are very much matte.
    The Une I have had to make a few passes to get a bit more intensity but I think the sheerer texture works well for layering and when I don't want as strong a look.

    I've already recently reviewed the Revlon CustomEyes palette here, but thought I'd see how the darkest shade looks in comparison. This is more pigmented than the Une and has a similar warm tone like the Burberry but with a subtle sheen that is visible when the light hits it.

    I like all of these shades and even though some are more similar than others, they are not exact dupes so I don't feel too bad owning them all!

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    Petite Marie Organics is a Switzerland-based range (although it initially started out in the UK) founded by nutritionist Julie Gabriel after years of struggling with acne herself and the range focuses on natural skincare for these more problematic skin types. 

    I stumbled upon this suncream after reading a review on vivawoman.net, and it piqued my interest as it seemed like it would be a beneficial sunscreen for my acne-prone skin as it is mineral based, using zinc oxide (not-nano) as the primary sun defence.
    It also contains some other natural lovelies to calm and soothe the skin like Arctic blackcurrant oil as well as antioxidant protection from Green Tea and Lycopene.

    The texture is a light cream, but because of the zinc oxide, I find that it takes on a very slight chalky feel as you rub into the skin. When initially applied the cream does look whiteish, but with blending leaves barely a trace visible on the skin.

    Even though the texture is a little strange at first in comparison to other sunscreens, I do not find it drying and it's only if I've applied too much that it seems to settle around drier areas like spots. I think if you had drier skin then you would probably need a separate moisturiser underneath. I have used it without and it's fine on my combination/acne/dehydrated skin but because of the texture I like having a 'cushion' between so I usually slip a little serum or moisturiser underneath.

    Purified water, zinc oxide (18%), organic olive oil, cetearyl olivate (emulsifier), sorbitan olivate (emulsifier), organic shea butter, organic sea buckthorn oil, cetyl palmitate (emulsifier), sorbitan palmitate (emulsifier), organic Argan oil, organic Echinacea extract, organic calendula extract, Siberian ginseng extract, starflower oil, Arctic black currant oil, olive leaf extract, xanthan gum, green tea, lycopene, gluconolactone, sodium benzoate.

    I bought this from petitemarieorganics.com

    EDIT 5/5/12: Something I forgot to mention in my review was the website service (the comment by Anonymous reminded me).
    I did find it took much longer to receive my order than I would normally find ordering from overseas. I would expect an order to be dispatched within 3 days from any website (unless it is stated on the website that there will be delays), but this took about a week for the status to be updated, then another week or so for it to arrive.

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  • 05/02/12--12:47: Oskia Eye Wonder Review

  • Oskia is a gem of a skincare line, and one that I have been impressed with from the products I've tried so far. I had been using a few sample sachets of the Eye Wonder, and loved it enough to buy the full size.

    I'm quite picky when it comes to eye creams as I have used a few 'meh' products in the past that either feel fine but don't seem to do anything even after using up the whole product, or they don't sit well next to my eyes or under my makeup.

    Being in my late twenties, my main concerns for my eye area are hydration, smoothness and dark circles (although I am prone to this on my Indian skin and it is hereditary so I'm not expecting a huge deal on this front). I am getting more conscious of preventive care so if it helps with initial fine lines then it's all good:)

    I tend to go for gels or light creams as I'm not keen on anything too heavy or rich around the eye so I find the texture of the Eye Wonder perfect as it's a gel serum that feels very light and absorbs quite easily into the skin.

    A little of this really does go along way - the sample sachet lasted over a month so I can imagine this lasting the good part of a year so even though it's the most expensive eye product I've ever purchased at £58, I don't think I'll need to buy anything new for a long while yet. The pump dispenses the product precisely so I don't find myself wasting any product either.

    This feels light and refreshing yet very gentle, but still packs a punch of beneficial ingredients including Oskia's signature ingredient of MSM to help support collagen production; Niacinamide, Milk Peptides and Swiss Apple Stem Cells to help with a whole host of issues such as fine-lines, pigmentation, firming, puffiness and hydration.

    I rarely suffer from puffiness so I cannot comment how well it would work for this but I love how it does seem to keep my eye area hydrated - I use a little on my lids too and I don't think they are as oily as they used to be. I have been using this for several months now and I do think it has helped with the general smoothness and condition of the eye area and also a little bit with dark circles as I find I don't use as much concealer as before.


    Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Methyl Sulphonyl Methane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzyl Alcohol, Whey Protein, Zinc Glycine, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture, Limonium Narbonense Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate Lysate, Galactoarabinan, Panthenol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Lactic Acid.

    I bought this from Fenwicks.

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    I was in Space NK a couple of weeks back having a browse at the Kevyn Aucoin range and saw this beautiful pink lipgloss but at the time I was thinking 'I really don't need another lipgloss' even though I didn't have anything like this. Since then I couldn't get it out of my head so the other day I passed by again and purchased it, and I am really happy with it.

    Valentina is a fairly bold medium fuchsia pink, that is very well pigmented in a liquid lipstick sort of way. The texture is non-sticky, creamy and smooth and it's quite soft so I don't need to press into the pan very much to get the product. It lasts fairly well for a lipgloss and fades away evenly without making the lips feel dry.
    I am not overly fond of lip products in palettes but I quite like the sleek red toned packaging of this and the mirror is useful for touch-ups although I do use a lip brush to apply the gloss more precisely as it's quite pigmented.

    In context with the rest of my face (my skin has gone a bit bonkers in the hot weather so please excuse the blemishes):

    Rest of makeup:
    Face: Lily Lolo Mineral foundation Warm Honey, Alison Raffaele True Concealer (5), Beauty UK Baked blush - Royal Rose, MAC Sculpt & Shape Powder - Accentuate as highlighter.

    Eyes: Revlon CustomEyes palette - 020 Naturally Glamorous  (the lightest shade on inner half, mid taupe shade outer half of lid), YSL Faux Cils gel liner Ashy Black (2) on upper lash line, MAC Chromagraphic pencil NW25/NC30 on lower waterline, NARS Larger Than Life Voluminising Mascara, GOSH clear brow gel.


    This is £22 for 3.65g and I bought this from Space NK Duke of York Square branch, London which seems to stock the full Kevyn Aucoin range.

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  • 06/05/12--09:33: Sugar StripEase

  • With bare legs being exposed these past few weeks (although not currently as the sun has decided to pack up for the Jubilee weekend), I thought I would share my current favourite hair removal product.

    Sugar StripEase is something I have repurchased as it's the most gentlest sugar/wax product I've come across as it's a natural formula of sugar and water.

    I favour sugaring for at-home hair removal mainly for my legs as I find it more effective, lasts longer and regrowth seems to be finer on certain leg areas. Also I find using a warm product makes it much less painful than something like a pre-waxed strip.

    The product comes in a microwaveable tub which you heat as per instructions provided then use the enclosed spatulas to apply a thin layer over the skin.

    In the box you are given washable strips which are quite durable and I have re-used them several times. Personally I think I prefer the more paper type strips as the structure is more tightly packed which I think helps to get more hairs out where as these have a more woven texture which sometimes I find not as effective (although it might be just my lack of waxing skills!)

    Once I've finished I find my skin doesn't get so red and bumpy as it would do when using normal wax and any slight redness doesn't take too long to settle down. The product is suitable for most parts of the body although I use it for mostly legs/bikini line.

    Sugar StripEase is £9.99 and available from www.sugarstripease.com, and several other online retailers such as Victoriahealth, Feelunique, Amazon and Boots.com

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    Rouge Bunny Rouge Swift Length Mascara Endless Miracles in Untamed Sable was something I received ages ago as a free gift with purchase from Zuneta, but I had forgotten that I had taken these photos a while back so this is a rather late review.

    Anyway onto the mascara - this is RBR's lengthening mascara that has lash conditioning properties from Bamboo, anti-ageing properties from Vitamin E and D-Panthenol for hydration.

    The brush is a more traditional medium-sized bristle one that I quite like as I can get to most areas for an even application. The shade I had (as I have now used this up) was brown which gives a natural depth of colour so it's a good one for general day wear or fairer lashes.

    Bare lashes

    Bare lashes curled

    Mascara applied
    As you can see the effect is quite natural, giving a little volume at the base of the lashes, some definition and a look with a little more length - more noticeable on the outer corner.

    I find this a slightly underwhelming mascara, it naturally enhances the lashes but I would expect a bit more for the £25 price tag as I feel I can get this look with a drugstore mascara.
    On the positive, the formula is a nice one as it doesn't flake/smudge/clump/irritate and is quite straightforward to remove with the standard oil/balm makeup removers I use.

    Rouge Bunny Rouge is available at Zuneta.com

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    I do like trying out different nail polish removers, from high end to low-end but an important factor for me is that they don't suck the life out of my naturally dry nails/hands as I change my polish quite frequently.

    Deborah Lippmann's The Stripper is one that fits the bill well as it removes polish quickly, while not overly drying my nails. It doesn't have that strong chemical smell either, rather more of a quite soft, floral scent (although I wouldn't go sniffing it any closer!).

    The only negative thing is the price - £18 for a 100ml pump-dispenser bottle (I did hesitate for a second when buying this - is it worth £18?) but I think this is one of the nicer high-end removers and it lasted a decent amount of time.

    I have recently finished The Stripper and was looking to try the new Bourjois remover but instead I read of Twist and Out's Instant Nail Polish Remover on another blog so picked up one from Savers.

    I have never tried any of these instant removers before so was amazed at how they work - it's like magic! There is a sponge inside with a hole which you place your nail in and twist around. At first I was a bit dubious as the sponge isn't firm, but after a few seconds I was surprised to see my polish was completely removed! I could not believe how quickly it worked. Even glitters were much more easier to remove with this (I thought The Stripper made shorter work of these but this beats it by miles).

    The packaging is not perfect as ideally I would like to remove the lid fully as it gets in the way a bit when removing the polish, but at the bargain price of 79p, this isn't too much of an issue. I find it leaves the nails a little bit drier than The Stripper, but not as dry as other budget removers I've used in the past. Oddly I find acetone-free removers make my nails feel drier, so I went for the acetone version in this (they do an acetone-free one as well).

    Overall, as much as I liked The Stripper, this time the steal wins!

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    Antipodes is slowly becoming a favourite range of mine, I'm loving the textures and scents of the products, and the Deliverance Kowhai Flower Hand Cream is no exception.

    A wonderfully nourishing yet light textured cream, this absorbs well into the hands without leaving any residue or greasy feel so I'm finding it perfect for my bag and desk-side at work. It leaves my hands soft, smooth and moisturised. My hands are naturally dry so I find with most hand creams I have to reapply through out the day but with this one I don't mind so much as it is lovely to use.

    For me this has got to be the most beautifully scented hand cream I've tried as the fragrance is a mix of sweet orange, tonka bean and sandalwood that is light and gives me a subtle feeling of contentment, which might sound like a bit much but there is something about this that draws me in.


    I received this as a free gift with a purchase from LoveLula, but I'd happily buy this again.

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    It's been a while since I did a nail polish post, so to get back into the swing of things, here's a little gem from a recent Superdrug trip.

    2True No.49 is one of the newer shades recently from 2True and it's beautiful turquoise shade that is lovely and summery, reminding me of the ocean and tropical beaches. It has a beautiful fine silvery shimmer that lifts it nicely without being discoball-esque- love it!

    The pic is with two coats and the formula applies nicely so I didn't bother applying a top coat.

    As 2True is 3 for £5, I did pick up a couple of other shades as there are a few more new colours including some lovely limited edition glitters as well.

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    Dermaquest is a range found in professional skincare clinics and one I was introduced to when I had the Agera Oxy facial at DestinationSkin several months back.

    I purchased the Dermaquest Daily Enzyme Cleanser when I had the facial as I quite liked the sound of enzyme exfoliation so thought I'd give this a go. I finished this bottle towards the end of May and have had time to reflect on it as sometimes I find I don't like something to begin with, but when I'm coming to the end I think actually, I rather liked using that.

    This cleanser is a clear gel texture, that has a light lather (it is SLS free) and rinses off easily with water. This has mild exfoliation properties from the enzymes in the pineapple and papaya in the formula. I have acne-prone, combination skin so I was hoping this would help to clarify the skin more gently then a product with AHA/BHAs like Glycolic or Salicyclic Acid as I was using other active elements in my skincare routine so didn't want to bombard it with something else that was too active.

    When I initially started using it, I did find it a little drying at first, but nothing uncomfortable but nevertheless I cut back to using it once a day in the mornings and then after a couple of weeks went back to using it twice a day, and that seemed to be fine.

    In terms of exfoliation, I think this on it's own was rather mild to slough away my cloggy pores and it didn't do a great deal in terms of helping acne but it didn't aggravate the skin either.

    I think this would make a nice cleanser for the summer months when sometimes I tend to crave gel cleansers to help cleanse away the build up of warmer weather skin ickiness, and leave it feeling freshly clean. I quite liked this, but I'm not sure if it's something I'd repurchase as I want to see more results and I have used other products that have been more effective.


    Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Polysorbate 20, Caprylyl Glycol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit ) Peel Oil, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) 

    It is slightly pricer at £27, but it is a 236ml size which lasted a good 3 months.

    I bought this from DestinationSkin.

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    As much as I am obsessed with nail polish, I don't pay much attention to my cuticles and they are often neglected as I think to myself, 'they don't look so bad', so it's a part of the manicure I tend to skip but that was until I came across Orly's Cutique Cuticle & Stain Remover. Now I can't believe I didn't get on to this sooner.

    This looks like a some sort of base coat, but basically you apply it on the nail for 30-60 seconds and then use an orange stick (or similar) to push back the cuticle and then rinse with warm water. It removes stuff I didn't even know was on my nail and gets rid of stains from previous polish really well, overall leaving a perfect base to start a new manicure.

    After that I apply Essie's ridge filling base coat. I was in the market for a new base coat and spotted this in TK Maxx in a little set with a polish, I had already been thinking of Essie so took this as a sign to purchase (plus it was a bargain!).
    It's great for smoothing the finish of nail before applying polish and dries quickly.

    What I have noticed the most since using these products is that my polish lasts longer than before, and gives a better level of finish to my manicure.
    These have really become staples and I am keen to explore some more Essie and Orly base/treatment products.

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    Ren has long been one of my favourite brands for skincare, and many of their products I have repurchased quite a few times over the years. The Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream is one of them.

    When I was first introduced to Ren, I was recommended the line for sensitive skin which this moisturiser is a part of as at the time my acne-prone skin was quite a mess with dehydration, inflammation and just generally quite unbalanced.

    The ingredients in the Hydra-Calm cream really help to combat these issues as it contains arctic blackcurrant seed and arctic seabuckthorn berry oil which contain Omega 3 and 7 to help with the inflammation, Bisabolol to help soothe and reduce redness, and also a 'Global protection complex' with anti-oxidants to help protect against UV damage.

    The texture of this is lovely, it feels creamy and smooth but without being oily or greasy and it applies very nicely leaving the skin feeling well hydrated and comfortable without any heaviness. It feels very much like a 'proper' moisturiser and pleasant to use.

    When I first started using the Hydra-Calm cream, I had issues with flakiness on my forehead, and this completely got rid of it, and I've not had this problem since. It does have a slight calming effect in that it helps a little with redness too.

    Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Cetearyl Ethyhexanoate, Myristyl Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetearyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Triheptanoin, Oryzanol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Bisabolol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Pueraria Lobata (Kudzu) Symbiozome Extract, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora Linalloliferum (Ho Wood) Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool, Tocopherol.

    This is £27 for 50ml which I think is very reasonable for the quality, and I find that this usually lasts me around 4-5 months (I only use in the mornings), as you don't need too much and also the airtight pump dispenser allows for good control and less product wastage.

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    This year I've been exploring the Dermaquest skincare line and the ZinClear SPF 30 sunscreen is a product I've been using for the past few months. The ZinClear was used on me post treatment at DestinationSkin, and I quite like the feel of these so first purchased the version without the tint.
    As the name suggests, these are mineral based and contain 18.6% Zinc Oxide.

    The texture of these feel lovely and creamy, quite a moisturising feel to them but still relatively light. I like that these don't feel like sunscreen and even though they are quite creamy, the texture is absorbed well and doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy (but not matte either) - I took the sunkissed version on holiday to Morocco recently and found it perfect in the 41 degrees celsius heat.

    Dermaquest ZinClear SPF30 no tint (L),  Sunkissed tinted (R)
    Dermaquest ZinClear SPF30 no tint (L),  Sunkissed tinted (R)
    Dermaquest ZinClear SPF30 no tint (L),  Sunkissed tinted (R)
    The verison with no tint leaves virtually no whitecast and I didn't really notice anything except there is a minuscule purple tone initially when applying. I do prefer the tinted one as it seems to even out the skin a tiny bit as the shade blends well into my skintone.


    Ingredients - untinted version
    Ingredients - Sunkissed tinted

    The downside to these is the price - they are around £40-something (depending on where purchased), but sometimes DestinationSkin have offers on the products as when I bought the regular version they had an offer where if you buy one product, the 2nd was half price (the tinted I purchased when there was no offer).
    Despite this, I have been reaching for this constantly and it has now become one of my favourite products.

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  • 08/28/12--16:33: Phylia de M. Connect Review

  • Phylia de M. is quite a new haircare brand hailing from LA, having launched only this year and one I had been intrigued about after reading information from VictoriaHealth.com (who exclusively stock the range in the UK) as it combines 'ancient Aztec and Mayan herbal remedies with modern science'.

    Phylia de M. promotes more healthier, thicker hair for a variety of hair and scalp conditions through a unique blend of ingredients which they grow in their own private organic gardens - I'll leave it them to explain this so here is the information on the ingredients taken from the leaflet that came with the product:

    'Aloe Blend
    A powerful anti-oxidant, aloe rehabilitates cell damage and assists in the production of keratin, the main component of hair, skin, and nails. Our potent, customized aloe blend revives and encourages regeneration.

    Tannic Acid Blend
    When a plant is damaged, it secretes tannic acid to repair and renew. We apply the same method to hair follicles with our pure blend of select tannic acids.

    Fulvic Acid (Fulphyl de M.) 
    (our custom organic humic-free pure fulvic acid)
    Fulvic acid provides nutrients to scalp and nerves while removing excess toxins. It transports vital keratin to cells and reminds them to work to their full potential. Our custom-created fulvic acid is completely pure and humic free.'

    In the past I've used supplementation that contains Fulvic Acid and it's not an ingredient I've seen used in haircare before so this did pique my interest in the line.

    These past 2 years I have noticed that my hair is generally thinner than it once was and while I am trying to address this through nutrition and supplementation, I wanted something topical to use so the product I was most eager to try is the Connect. A review I had read described this as 'fertiliser' for hair, so I had high hopes for this!

    Connect is a treatment product for follicles, scalp and hair that comes in a spray form that you apply to scalp and hair in sections after washing and towel drying. It can also be used in dry hair, before styling, on brows and also on nails. It feels light like water so when sprayed it doesn't weigh hair down or make it feel greasy, so I can be liberal with it without issue.

    I have been using this a little over 2 months now, about 2 times a week after washing my hair and for me I have noticed a bit of an improvement in that my hair (especially near the roots in the centre) seems a little less thinner. During the first month of use of didn't really notice much, it's only recently that I've seen some positives.
    Another thing I've noticed is that if I leave my hair to dry naturally, it helps to promote the natural waves in my hair which is an unexpected plus.


    A gripe I do have is the amount of product you get - when I first opened my package from Victoria Health, I held up the 120ml bottle and thought 'this looks small', which may have been ok if it wasn't £45! I have, as initially thought, got through the product rather quickly even though I have only being spraying in my roots rather than all over. I haven't tried the other uses yet as I didn't want to run out so quickly as I think I would have probably gotten through it in around a month or less had I used it frequently. Ideally it would have been nice to have at least a 200ml bottle for that price considering the versatility of use.

    If you would like a super-size version, Victoria Health just announced today there is a 570ml refill bottle available for £180.  A saving if you were to buy the standard bottles individually, but still a considerable sum.

    The range also has a shampoo (£28 for 265ml) and conditioner (£30 for 265ml) which I will probably try once I get through some existing products. There is a kit with all three products for £103 (which works out the same as if you were to buy each product individually, so not sure what the incentive is there?).

    I really do like this product, and even though the size/price bugs me, I will most likely repurchase as it is straightforward to use and does seem to actually do something.

    Phylia de M. is available from Victoria Health(not affiliate link)


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