Saturday, 19 April 2014

March Favourites

Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask*
If you struggle with dull skin or post-blemish scarring then this mask could solve all your problems. It's a thick & creamy hydrating mask that promises radiant skin in just 10 minutes. This mask works as a skin peel so it will speed up the skin renewal process for healthier & brighter looking skin. It uses papaya enzyme & glycolic acid to dissolve dead skin cells, refine pores & resurface the skin. Caudalie's patented Viniferine has an exceptional effect on radiance & scarring. It feels so comforting on the skin and the subtle fragrance of galbanum essence, caraway & spearmint is very refreshing. Using this mask a couple of times a week will soon sort out your skin & get it back to looking it's best. Full review here.

HealGel Intensive*
HealGel is one of my favourite skincare brands & this original Intensive version is such a brilliant product. It's an all rounder really as you can use it for a multitude of skin ailments. This aqueous gel can be used to treat acne, eczema, burns, bruises & sunburn. It's basically a little miracle worker for skin problems. It really helps to speed up the recovery time of scarring. HealGel Intensive is best used on specific areas. For example I use it on my face if a nasty blemish has left a scar. It works well as a follow up to the Caudalie mask to make my skin look as clear as possible. I've also successfully healed up a burn mark on my hand using it. Chloe's been a bit accident prone lately and she ended up with some grazes on her face when she fell over outside. I applied HealGel Intensive to these twice a day and the marks cleared up in no time. It feels really soothing too so it's suitable for all the family. This is a must-have product for all households as it can be used on everything! Full review here.

Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil
I'm a big fan of Bumble & Bumble products. The only bad thing about them is that they're pretty pricey. This hair oil has been on my wishlist since forever because I felt bad about spending £30 on such a small bottle. I kinda wish I'd gone for it sooner though because it is worth every single penny. I personally like to use it on wet hair. Running a couple of pumps through my hair before blowdrying is all I need for super soft & shiny locks. It's hard to describe quite how soft this makes your hair. It's almost too soft if you know what I mean so I always pair it with a volumising spray to stop my hair from looking flat. It adds a beautiful shine, completely transforming my damaged bleached hair into healthy natural looking blonde lengths. Moroccanoil has got nothing on this. Best hair oil ever!

Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Demure
I love the formula of these Revlon lip balms. The combination of shea, mango & coconut butter makes my lips feel perfectly hydrated. The minty fragrance smells delish & lightly freshens up your lips. The Lacquer Balms have a glossy finish & small glittery particles to help plump up the appearance of your pout. I've been wearing the shade Demure non-stop as it's such a lovely peachy pink lip colour that's perfect for any Spring makeup look. You can see how it looks on my lips here.

I got this ages ago as a freebie in Boots when I bought a tube of Hydraluron. I tried it once & then it pretty much got tossed to the side. Picking off my mascara is a terrible habit of mine & it does impact upon the appearance of my lashes. A noticeable gap appeared along my bottom lashes so I decided to give this product a proper go. I've tried several eyelash growth treatments & I tend to prefer ones that use a mascara wand style applicator. Peptalash has a small eyeliner style brush so you can run it along your eyelids. This method of application is a little annoying but it doesn't change the effectiveness of this product. After just a couple of weeks of using it I saw a change in my lashes. They became longer, thicker & the little gaps had begun to fill in again. Peptalash is surprisingly good & fairly cheap compared to products like RapidLash.

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Friday, 18 April 2014

My 1st Years

Oh hey, long time no see! One of the many reasons I've not blogged this month is that on the 4th of April it was Chloe's 4th birthday. I still find it really weird that I'm only 25 and I already have a four year old child. Seems like only yesterday I was waddling up to Leeds General Infirmary at 2am in the snow! Anyway I had a bit of a crisis and started worrying that I was spending all my time on my laptop or doing housework instead of playing with her. I've come to realise that it's important to establish a balance that will keep both of us happy. It sure is hard work being a mum! The Easter holidays are here now so I feel like I've finally gotten on top of everything and am ready to start blogging again. I'll go into the other reasons I got bored of blogging another time but for now let's get back to the point of this post. Like I said it was Chloe's fourth birthday recently and she received so many amazing presents. My house is now completely filled with Disney Princess, Hello Kitty & My Little Pony junk haha!

Just before her birthday I was contacted by My 1st Years, an online boutique specialising in gorgeous personalised baby gifts. I love buying personalised presents as you know that the recipient won't already own anything else like it. I'm still a sucker for anything with my name on it too. Most of their products are aimed at newborns but they have some lovely gifts for toddler boys & girls too. If Chloe were any younger I would've gotten her some personalised baby shoes or something from the adorable baby clothes range from My 1st Years. As Chloe is a bit of a fussy eater I always try to buy cute crockery to encourage her to eat more. That's why I thought that this personalised bunny ears egg cup would be the perfect gift for her. She loves egg & soldiers and now that it's Easter the egg cup also works great for her chocolate eggs. We're both so pleased with it & I'll definitely be browsing My 1st Years for presents when my niece's 1st birthday rolls around in July.

I didn't really take many pictures on Chloe's birthday this year as she was at pre-school for most of the day. When she got back we just opened presents and ate party food & cake with family. I got a couple of shots but it was dark outside by the time I remembered to put my battery back in my Canon so they're a bit rubbish & blurry. I'd thought I'd pop up a couple of other pictures too. Chloe dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood for World Book Day. Her costume came with wolf & grandma finger puppets so she had lots of fun doing some role playing. I also liked this picture of us together. I'm always the one behind the camera so sometimes when I'm doing blog makeup photos I grab her & get her to take a few pictures with me. We got her infant school application results on Wednesday and thankfully we got into our first choice school! I'm so relieved. It's kinda scary that my little baby is now four years old & will be starting proper school in September. I'd better make the most of the time we have left together!

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Friday, 28 March 2014

The Eye Care Edit

Eye products are a funny old thing. With other types of skincare products you can normally tell within a few weeks if something is making your skin better or worse. Eye creams are more of a guessing game. How do you know whether something will stop you from getting wrinkles in the future when time travel isn't an option? I think that's why so many people don't actually bother with them. It's an easy step to miss out when doing your skincare routine but it only takes two seconds & can make all the difference when you do get older. Genetics & your overall health will dictate the natural appearance of your eye area but using a separate eye product can help to reduce puffiness, dryness, irritation, dark circles & fine lines. This product roundup is aimed towards us young'uns. We might not have huge puffy bags & crows feet just yet but it's so important to start looking after your eyes in your twenties. The eyes are one of the first places to show signs of ageing & prevention is always better than cure.

THE GELS: Personally I greatly prefer eye gels over eye creams. If dark circles & puffiness concern you then I would recommend using a gel. My eyes get easily irritated especially during the Summer so a calming eye gel is exactly what I need. Organic Surge Eye Gel* is the one I always reach for when my eyes feel really sore. It contains aloe vera, green tea, witch hazel & menthol which can help to naturally reduce inflammation, puffiness, sagging & dehydration. I think gels work best with a pump otherwise you can end up with far too much product on your finger. If the Arran Aromatics Feel Good Formulas Green Tea Eye Gel* came with a pump it would be much better. This gel has a really thick texture so you only need a tiny bit. It has an amazing scent & feels so cooling, especially if you pop it in the fridge first. As it's so thick I like to layer it on as a refreshing eye mask, leave it for five minutes & then blot off the excess product with a tissue. It's a great pick me up after a day of hayfever hell. I also like the REN Active 7 Eye Gel. The texture is very lightweight, almost watery but I find it takes a while to absorb properly. When it does absorb it effectively smooths away any fine lines & really tightens the skin. It's not so great at hydrating the area though which is why gels containing hyaluronic acid, like the next two, are more worthy of an investment.

HealGel Eye* is my current product of choice. If you can afford it then you should definitely buy this one. It sinks in immediately & firms up the skin. The problem with most other eye products is that you can't tell if it's making a difference or not. HealGel Eye has had a visible impact upon my under eye area and has actually reduced the discolouration of my dark circles. The effects are cumulative rather than just being a temporary fix. Arnica is a wonderful thing. Like I mentioned previously, it also contains hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture to the area & plump up any fine lines. Alpha-H Absolute Eye Complex is very similar to HealGel Eye but it's dark shadow correcting properties don't quite match up. Otherwise, it's pretty damn good.

THE CREAMS: Creams are the better choice if you need something really hydrating. I don't find them as effective for dark circles unless you want something that works as a temporary solution. Origins GinZing Eye Cream is brilliant at perking up tired eyes. It contains caffeine to tighten & depuff the area. I love the shimmery light reflecting particles. They help to brighten up dark circles meaning that you don't need to use as much concealer. Some of the best eye creams I've come across are from Lierac. They're a French pharmacy brand so their products are tricky to get hold of but I found mine in TK Maxx. Lierac Diopticalm is an instantly refreshing eye balm. It is incredibly soothing & gets rid of any dryness. You can use this as an eye mask too. Lierac Diopticerne is one of the few creams that works well on dark circles whilst also adding plenty of moisture. The only good thing about Clinique All About Eyes is it's moisturising properties. It does nothing for fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness or dark circles. However it does keep the eye contours well hydrated & gives the area a smooth base for makeup.

THE TREATMENTS: There's loads of home remedies out there for eye problems such as teabags, cucumbers & backs of spoons so you don't have to spend a lot for an effective treatment. One of the cheapest but most helpful things to carry around with you is a bottle of eye drops. I'm using Optrex Refreshing Eyes Drops to wash out any dirt & calm irritation. I get really bad hayfever so eye drops & baths are a must have for me come Summertime. I want to give one of their eye sprays a go as they claim to not smudge your makeup but they are a lot pricier. Something I cannot live without is Liz Earle Eyebright. It is my favourite ever Liz Earle product & it is a miracle worker on tired eyes. If I'm struggling to get out of bed in the morning I pop some on a couple of cotton pads and leave them on my eyes for a few minutes. I instantly feel more awake & ready to face the day. I've also used this to clear a mild eye infection when I couldn't get to a pharmacy. It's so cooling & refreshing - perfect for hayfever season too.

I first discovered Talika when I tried their amazing Lipocils which is brilliant at growing back eyelashes & eyebrows. They have loads of amazing eye products including these unique Eye Decompress masks. You simply pop the white tablet into the blue fluid. The tablet absorbs the liquid so that you can then unfold it into a soothing eye mask. It really helps to reduce swelling & detox the eye area. It'd be great to take on a plane for some inflight pampering. I also like the Jamela 24k Gold Under Eye Masks*. They use pure gold leaf, hyaluronic acid and plant collagen to brighten & tighten the skin. They feel a bit weird & make you look a bit crazy. You have to leave them on for half an hour so I would suggest lying down in bed with them on so they don't slip off. Despite the weirdness, they do actually work quite well. Save these for a special occasion when you need to look your best.

What's your favourite eye product?

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