Friday, 19 December 2014

Claudia Louch Botanical Cleansing Lotion & Face Cream With Deep Line Complex

Claudia Louch Botanical Cleansing Lotion* - £37.40
Claudia Louch Botanical Face Cream With Deep Line Complex* - £61.50

Claudia Louch's luxury botanical skincare range has completely won me over this year. With their gentle yet effective approach, her products have become staples in my skincare routine. They offer a calming respite from all the BHAs/AHAs/retinol that I can't resist throwing on my face. In the Winter I like to switch up the products I'm using for slightly heavier & more nourishing formulas. The cold weather always dries out my skin so it's important to make adjustments. I've stuck by using a cleansing oil followed by a gel for washing my face as that seems to work best for my skin type. I was previously using the Claudia Louch Chamomile Facial Wash which is a straight up gel cleanser with lots of lovely anti-inflammatory ingredients. More recently I've been using this Botanical Cleansing Lotion which is suitable for all skin types. The texture still feels like that of a gel but the formula is a lot creamier and therefore more moisturising on the skin.

This lightly foaming creamy cleanser is derived from coconut & sugar beets. It also features a wonderful combination of chamomile, aloe, cucumber & green tea which help to soothe and deliver antioxidants to the skin. They give it a gorgeous natural scent too. A little bit of the Botanical Cleansing Lotion goes a very long way, I only need to use a tiny amount each time. It leaves my skin feeling really soft & perfectly clean. It has helped to reduce the redness in my face & put paid to any dry patches. It balances out my skin & generally makes it a lot happier. I have to admit I'm not totally crazy about it like I am with the Chamomile Facial Wash but that's just my personal preference. They're both excellent gentle cleansers & this one is great for the current climate. However when this huge tube runs out (which will take a long time with a whopping 240ml of product!) I'll definitely be repurchasing the chamomile one. Somehow it just leaves my skin feeling calmer & better refreshed.

I'm still using the Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser every morning. I was also using it at night in conjunction with a facial oil until last month when I added in the Botanical Face Cream With Deep Line Complex to my routine. Unlike the other two Claudia Louch moisturisers I've tried, I keep this product solely for use as a night cream. It has the most beautiful velvety texture & the rich formula is deeply hydrating on it's own. This moisturiser is ideal for skin that requires more oils without making it feel greasy. It absorbs into the skin & gets to work very quickly. The key active ingredient here is grape seed oil which has fantastic anti-ageing properties and helps to tighten, tone, hydrate & soothe the skin. Other natural active ingredients include aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, avocado oil, green tea, 4% African shea butter & vitamin E. I absolutely love the feel of this night cream & I don't feel the need to use any extra serums or oils alongside it. This product just makes my skin feel super smooth & really helps to plump it up. I can definitely notice a difference in the appearance of my fine lines when I use this. I think it would be ideal for anyone with normal, dry, sensitive or mature skin. My one niggle with this product is the smell. When I'm massaging it onto my skin I get the faint aroma of fish oil which is kinda odd because I'm pretty sure it's not on the ingredient list! Luckily it goes away as soon as I've finished applying the night cream but it just doesn't smell quite as nice as the other moisturisers from Claudia Louch. Apart from that I can't get enough of this indulgent night cream.

These two botanical skincare products have really helped to protect my skin from the harsh weather outside lately. They might be very expensive but they simply work wonders & are cornerstones in my Winter skincare routine. Claudia Louch has got me hooked on her high quality products & my skin has got a lot to thank her for!

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Beauty Crowd

Say hello to Beauty Crowd, a new online destination for beauty lovers. Their marketplace features a veritable smorgasbord of brands & products that you won't come across anywhere else. If you're after something new & unique then you need to check out their website! From makeup & skincare to candles & bath products, they literally have something for everyone. However Beauty Crowd is more than just an online shop. They also have the BC.Edit which is a series of articles written by their in-house editorial team to provide you with the latest beauty news as well as BC.TV where you can watch videos featuring products, reviews & tutorials. Beauty Crowd recently sent me an amazing selection of products from their shop so that I could better acquaint myself with a few of their brands.

UNII Palette*
The item that I was most excited about receiving is this UNII palette. This is an empty magnetic case that you can transfer over eyeshadows or blushers into so that you can create your own personalised palette. I've wanted one of these for so long & I'm really pleased with it! I already have a completed MAC 15 pan palette but there were still a few solo MAC eyeshadows taking up room in my makeup drawers. I finally have something to depot them into so I set to work this morning & cleaned up these four pans. Here I have Whistle & Playful from the Barbie Loves MAC collection as well as Chrome Yellow & Juiced. The palette comes with a magnetic sheet to stick on the back of your makeup pans & a rubber thumb grip. It feels really sturdy & the sparkly black case looks very chic. I hardly use my MAC palette because it's just so large & cumbersome. Now that I have this more compact palette I can easily switch up my MAC eyeshadows & can add in a blusher as well. Plus it has a mirror inside the lid which makes it a whole lot more useful! The Unii Palette is exclusive to Beauty Crowd so you won't find this product anywhere else in Europe.

Flint+Flint Glycolic Cleanser*
As soon as I saw the word 'glycolic' on this cleanser my face lit up! Generally AHA cleansers aren't as effective as a separate AHA treatment because they only stay on your skin for a couple of minutes before you have to wash it off. However if I've had a week where I've been a bit lazy with my skincare routine then this is exactly the kind of thing I like to reach for to quickly sort out my complexion. This cleanser from Flint+Flint contains 12% glycolic acid which means it's even more potent than Alpha-H Liquid Gold. It also features bisabolol which accelerates the skin healing process & defensil which soothes irritation. The cleanser itself is a clear lightly foaming gel with no discernible scent. You're supposed to leave it on for two minutes to give the ingredients time to work on your skin. After washing it off I was really surprised by just how smooth my face felt. It had eaten away all the dead skin cells on my face to reveal softer, clearer & perkier skin. It's a highly effective acid cleanser which isn't actually too drying. I would still probably stick to using this twice a week rather than every day though. All Flint+Flint products are formulated to the highest standards here in the UK. They all contain really innovative active ingredients but their prices are lower than many other medical dermatology products. Flint+Flint seems like such an interesting & high quality brand. I really like their minimalistic packaging & would love to try some more of their products.

SoCal Curls Hair Tie*
These SoCal Curls Hair Ties are pure genius! This is a microwavable hair band that can give you no-heat beachy waves in just half an hour. I rarely curl my hair because I don't want the heat to damage it any further so this is a great alternative to a curling wand. You just pop the piece of fabric into the microwave for 30 seconds, tie it on top of your head & wrap strands of your hair around it. You then leave it in for a minimum of 30 minutes & once removed it'll transform your hair into a beautiful set of bouncy ringlets. You could even leave it in overnight for more dramatic curls. Unlike many other no-heat hair curlers this one is very simple to use & actually looks really cute tied up in your hair. I'm gonna do a full review of this in the future so you can see how pretty it makes my hair look. It's such an awesome hair tool & I'm really impressed with it!

Lola's Apothecary Golden Elixir Of Rose*
I'd never heard of Lola's Apothecary before but I am absolutely in love with this rose & geranium body oil. It's one of the most wonderful things I've ever smelled. Not only is the fragrance incredible but the essential oils help to refine skin texture, soothe inflammation, promote cell renewal & balance the skin. It makes my body feel so soft & supple. The 10ml rollerball is great to keep in your handbag for whenever you're in need of an aromatherapeutic treat. I'm sorely tempted to buy the full-size bottle now. I also really want to try some more of their products, especially the Citrus Glow Body Polish which sounds utterly dreamy.

I am so impressed with everything that I received and this selection of goodies is just a small example of all the superb hand picked products that Beauty Crowd have to offer. Make sure you check out the full list of brands available on Beauty Crowd as most of them are exclusive to their website. They also stock some you might be more familiar with such as ELF, Decleor, Ginvera & Magnitone. Either way you'll find a treasure trove of beauty products chosen & acclaimed by the crowd that you're bound to love too.

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

TIGI Bed Head Party Girl Gift Pack

TIGI Bed Head Party Girl Gift Pack* - £18.99

TIGI were one of the first haircare brands that I really connected with. Their products just seem to work really well & they all smell absolutely gorgeous. I love their whole brand identity & I'm always drawn to their eye-catching packaging. I spotted this set of goodies on the Hairtrade website & thought that it would make an amazing gift. I've actually bought all of these products before & would thoroughly recommend them to everyone. The Party Girl gift pack comes with full-size bottles of After Party Smoothing Cream, Headrush Shine Spray & Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray. It contains everything you need to prep & style your hair ready for a big night out. Best of all this set has a value of about £45 but you can get it for less than £20 on Hairtrade. Whenever I go on a night out I like my hair to look glossy & voluminous. This kit helps me to achieve that with virtually no effort. Here's how I use all of these products to style my hair:

I always apply a hair cream after blowdrying to tame frizz & smooth down any flyaways. After Party was the first smoothing cream that I really fell in love with. Running a little bit of this lightweight cream through the lengths of your hair makes it feel like silk & adds a healthy looking shine. It's especially good if you have dry hair as it'll make your ends look smooth & soft. I love the smell of this product! It's very sweet & fruity and always keeps me coming back for more.

Bleached hair rarely looks glossy & healthy on it's own. I don't like to put creams too close too my roots as this makes my hair get greasier quicker. Instead I spritz on some of the Headrush shine spray. It makes my hair look glossy from root to tip without any product build up. This spray adds depth & definition to my hair colour. If you have highlights then it helps to refresh them & brighten up your colour. It also eliminates static so you're left with perfectly polished locks. I'm obsessed with it's strawberry bubblegum scent! This spray is easily my favourite TIGI product ever. It just makes your hair look & smell so nice. To add some volume & texture to my hair I then use the Masterpiece hairspray. I lift up my top layers and give my hair a good spray from about 10 inches away. I also tip my head upside down & spray as an alternative to backcombing. This is a medium hold hairspray so it won't make your hair feel as hard as a rock. It will keep your style in place for hours but you'll still be able to brush it out if you fancy a change. This hairspray is also humidity resistant which allows you feel confident with your hairstyle whatever the weather. I like that it has a shiny finish as many other hairsprays can make your hair look matte & dull.

After applying all my products I just ruffle up the layers & shape the front sections away from my face. The hairspray does most of the work in this look but the other products will give the hair a super healthy appearance. My hair is left looking really full, textured & lustrous. It's an extremely quick & easy way to glam up your hair for a night out. Plus you'll smell good enough to eat! Are you a fan of TIGI products?

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