OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cleansers are probably my favourite skincare item to try as you can usually tell after a couple of uses whether or not you like it. I realised recently that I’ve got a few new cleansers on my skincare shelf, so I’ve decided to do a roundup of what’s currently on rotation. Before we dig in, I have relatively normal skin that, dependent on the weather/hormones, can sometimes be combination.

MUD & CREAM CLEANSERS

Medik8 Cream Cleanse // Effortless Skin // £16.00 // HERE –  I like to keep an AHA-based cleanser on my skincare shelf at all times. Long-time readers of my blog will know about my love of the MD Formulations Glycolic Acid Cleanser which has sadly been pulled out of the UK. Thankfully this cream cleanser from Medik8 is a good replacement. I love the smell (sweet orange) and the fact that I know I’m getting a good exfoliation (well, the best you can get given it’s a wash off product). I use this when my skin is particularly hormonal/congested.

Antipodes Grace Gentle Cream Cleanser // Feel Unique // £24.99 // HERE – A relatively new addition, but one that I love. This is a beautiful cream that smells heavenly. I like to use this as a morning cleanse because I don’t feel it’s quite thorough enough to tackle makeup in the evening.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser // Boots // £14.00 // HERE – An oldie, but a goodie. C&P is a cult classic that I nearly always have a tube of. I tend to use this as a first cleanse to break down not-too-heavy makeup. It’s a good option for those who don’t like oils/balms and prefer cream textures to remove makeup.

Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser // Cult Beauty // £18.00 // HERE – A brilliant mud cleanser that smells beautiful and leaves my skin feeling fresh and balanced. It contains 5% glycolic acid, thereby offering a mild exfoliating effect. My only gripe with this product is the packaging. After a few uses, it just looks so rubbish because of the plastic quality. I know how incredibly superficial that sounds, but I like to have pretty looking products…

bareMinerals Clay Chameleon // QVC // £15.00 // HERE – This stuff is just dreamy. It’s a red clay cleanser that you massage into dry skin until it turns white, after which you apply water to emulsify it. I prefer it to the Pixi Glow Mud because of the way it removes from the skin. I’ve been using this when we’ve had rare hot, sticky days as it feels very refreshing. I feel like it’s really getting in there to lift off the day’s oil, dirt, pollution etc. It’s also a total steal at just £15.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OIL CLEANSERS

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil  // Debenhams // £22.00 // HERE – This is my go-to, no-fuss, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin cleansing oil. I recommend this to people who don’t like fragrance or who have a sensitivity to essential oils etc. The balm version of this is also lovely, but I like the hygienic pump bottle better. This is also my go-to for when I’ve been wearing heavy and waterproof makeup because it shifts everything the most effectively and the quickest out of all my cleansers.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil // Feel Unique // £21.50 // HERE – Shortly after the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil, this would be my second favourite. I love the simplicity of this product, with its minimalist packaging and very few ingredients. On an olive oil base, it dissolves pretty much all traces of makeup.

OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel // OSKIA // £29.50 // HERE – Ah the Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Loved by Beauty Editors and adored by bloggers and with good reason. OSKIA were the first to launch a gel-to-oil formulation and many others have since followed suit because the sucragel base is so fantastic at lifting off dirt, oil, pollution and makeup. I always use this as a second cleanse or morning cleanse to fully benefit from the ingredients.

Alpha H Liquid Laser Cleansing Oil // Look Fantastic // £35.95 // HERE – Last but not least, the Alpha H Liquid Laser Oil. This is another gel-to-oil formulation and it’s another product I really enjoy using. I love the scent and my skin never feels tight afterwards.

Details:

  • No affiliate links, just the places I’ve found them to be the cheapest.
  • Does contain some PR samples, but all opinions are my own.
Follow:

Apart from the name, you’d never guess I talk about beauty judging by the how infrequent the beauty posts have been around these parts. In all honestly, I’m just a bit bored of beauty. I work in beauty all day, so as I’ve mentioned on here before, it’s difficult to come home and write about it some more once you get in. That said, I’ve got a few bits to chat to you about today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

First of all, I need to tell you about this Sun Safety Kit from Sephora. I got my brother to pick one up for me when he was last the US and it’s by far one of the best things I’ve ever had from brand. They regularly do these little kits with miniature samples from decent brands (a bit like a pimped up Birchbox/Glossybox that isn’t full of perfume samples). This one features lots of summer beauty bits and so far, I’ve LOVED nearly everything I’ve tried.  Initial thoughts:

  • BOSCIA B.B. Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 27 PA++ – almost mousse-like in texture. Adapts to your skin colour. Light coverage. Like a lot.
  • DR. JART+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 –  not keen, doesn’t have great spreadability.
  • FRESH® Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 – SUCH A CUTE MINI!
  • Supergoop!® Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 – Love this. Like that it’s a facial mist with a few extra uses, mainly the SPF. Smells amazing.

You can get it shipped to the UK and it works out at about £25 – well worth it in my opinion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So I know I’ve already mentioned the Sienna X Hit Express Tan recently in my fake tans you need to know about post, but it needs a second mention because I am OBSESSED. It’s the quickest developing fake tan I’ve ever come across. I love the colour, I love how it fades, I love that it doesn’t smell. Go get one and let me know what you think.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s so hard to find a decent blonde eyebrow pencil on the high street. Most that I come across tend to be a bit gingery as opposed to ashy. I thought I’d give the Maybelline Brow Satin pencil in the shade ‘dark blonde’ a go. I think the sponge end is useless, but the pencil end is decent enough. It’s not quite perfect and is still a bit warm for my liking, but it’s a nice high street option for now. MAC, please bring back ‘dirty blonde’ please and if any of you have any high street recommendation for a good dark blonde brow pencil please do let me know.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eugh my skin. My sodding skin. I honestly don’t know what’s going on. Well, that’s a lie, I do, but it’s really bloody annoying. Basically, I came off the pill four months ago after being on it for the best part of a decade and naturally my body and skin have gone “WTF?!” It’s so infuriating because I tend to have 9 days of awful skin (whiteheads, general congestion, but only on T-zone) then 6 days of the most amazing skin I’ve ever had in my life. It’s all very odd and I need to do a bit more research into it. If you’ve been in a similar situation I’d love to hear your thoughts. Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve been using the above three products to help try and sort things out the best I can (although I suspect as it’s hormone related there’s not a great deal I can do skincare wise).

  • The Medik8 Cream Cleanser is lovely to use and has a very mild exfoliating effect thanks to the L-mandelic acid. Love.
  • The Exuviance Clarifying Solution isn’t something I’d probably buy again. It’s glycolic acid and I think I’d have preferred a BHA instead. Alcohol is also quite high up on the list which I’m not keen on either.
  • The Priori Advanced AHA Skin Renewal Cream is something I’ve had before but I decided to get a new bottle to use as a decent leave on chemical exfoliant. If I’ve not used this for a while I do notice a slight tingle when I try it, but it’s nothing uncomfortable.

So yeah, a bit of a none story for you there! Like I said, if you have any recommendations/insight into this I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Finally, we’ve wrapped up the first series of Beauty Talk Podcast. All ten episodes are available to listen on iTunes, Soundcloud and Sticher. Just type in beauty talk podcast into the search bar and we should come up. We’re planning on starting up series two in September so if you have any suggestions please drop us a message on Twitter – @beautytalkpod

Follow:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s been an influx of new and exciting tanning innovations recently, with most major tanning brands bringing out new products. Being somewhat of a tan connoisseur, I’ve sifted through the new launches to share those you need to know about this summer.

Sienna X High-Intensity Tanning Express Tan // £24.95 // HERE – A relatively new launch from Sienna X is their ‘HIT’ express tan. You’ll notice that more brands are starting to follow the trend of minimal wear time, with Sienna X is the latest to join. I love this because there’s nothing worse than waiting around for your tan to develop, so the quicker I can wash it off, the better. With the Sienna X HIT Express Tan, you apply to dry skin and leave on for an hour, after which you’re free to wash it off. The key is to pat and not rub yourself dry afterwards, as the tan will continue to develop for a further 2-4 hours. This is a very ‘red’ tan and when you’re washing it off in the shower you’ll be like ‘what IS this stuff?!’ but I promise it’ll leave you with a very natural looking tan and definitely will develop, so don’t be fooled by the initial colour after washing off. I found it faded well and didn’t give me the tell-tale ‘lizard skin’ appearance when fake tan starts to ‘crack’.

Good for: Hard-core tanning addicts who want a medium to dark tan and fast. 

St Tropez Gradual In Shower Golden Glow ‘Medium’ Tanning Lotion // £14.50 // HERE – You might remember this time last year when St Tropez launched their revolutionary in-shower gradual tan. The idea was that you smothered yourself in the caramel gel-cream whilst in the shower, stood for 3 minutes, then rinsed it off. Your tan would then develop over the next few hours. In theory, this was a brilliant idea, and I did see it give me a very light golden hue, but being a fan of a darker tan, I wanted something a bit deeper. Thankfully, St Tropez has done just that and brought out a ‘medium’ version that incorporates their signature 100% natural DHA with Vegetan Premium – that’s the DHA with added melanin enhancers that you’ll find in the St-Tropez Dark products. I found this to give a slightly deeper tan, but it’s still quite a fair hue. St Tropez is undoubtedly the leader in when it comes to tanning, so I can’t wait to see what they bring out next!

Good for: Paler skin types to add a light golden hue. 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

St Tropez Everyday Tinted Body Lotion // £15.00 // HERE – This is one of those products that had me thinking ‘why hasn’t someone thought about this sooner?’ I like gradual tans every now and again because they’re buildable and you’re not stuck with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ colour. The only problem with them was that you could never really see where you were applying them (they’re typically colourless) so I sometimes ended up with white patches. St Tropez launched their Everyday Tinted Body Lotion back in March which has all the benefits of a normal gradual tanner, except this time it has a natural tint to add a touch of bronze. I also noticed that it has a slight blurring effect – think a more toned down version of Sally Hansen’s Perfect Legs Spray – thanks to ‘silicone cosmetic powders’ that imparts of a sort of air-brushed finish.

Good for: Those that want a very natural tan that can be built up, whilst offering moisturising benefits.

Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion // £18.00 // HERE –  Long time readers of my blog will know my love for the Clarins Liquid Bronze Tanning Lotion. Having used the stuff since my late teens I’ve been through a somewhat excessive amount of bottles! Recently, however, I’ve found myself swayed towards a new facial tanner from Clarins. I don’t know much about the launch of this, but I saw Cherry Sue in Ireland with a bottle of the Clarins Milky Lotion and had to hunt it down. It wasn’t easy as nowhere had it in stock! Eventually, I found that Escentual had some and got to testing it as soon as it arrived. The first thing you’ll notice is the heavenly smell. Anyone who is a fan of figs will adore it. Secondly, you’ll notice it gives you the most natural looking facial tan you’ve ever come across. In terms of the colour it’s near identical to the Liquid Bronze Tanning Lotion, but I much prefer the formula and scent of the Milky Lotion, so will be using it as my go-to facial tanner from now on – something I never thought I’d say!

SELF TANNERS

 

Follow:

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think Kevyn Aucoin might just be my new brand crush. The last time I became obsessed like this about a brand was when I discovered NARS and proceeded to buy pretty much everything from them. Recently I’ve been lucky enough to try some hero pieces from the Kevyn Aucoin range and I have to say, I’ve been very impressed with their offering.

THE SENSUAL SKIN FLUID FOUNDATION // £52 // HERE – Let’s talk about my favourite product of the bunch to start with. The Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation is a lightweight, silky soft (due to the silicones) foundation requires a good shake before you use it. It falls into the ‘serum foundation’ category and is a very fluid foundation that comes with a pipette so you can control the exact amount you need. Only a few drops are needed to cover your entire face/neck as it’s a very spreadable formula. The finish is incredibly natural – it blends into the skin seamlessly, so you can’t see it sitting on top – and leaves a lovely plump, dewiness to the skin. I find it works best when you apply it with fingers, the warmth from them seems to help it sink into your skin better. The coverage on this is buildable, but not to a point where you’d have very high coverage, this is a low to medium coverage foundation at best. However, I think that no matter how many layers you put on it would still feel weightless.

One note of caution, this is a fantastic foundation for drier/normal skin types and those that already have quite good skin. I think those with oily complexions might find it a little more difficult to pull off. On the whole, my skin is normal/a tad combination at times, but recently I went through a phase of having really quite oily skin (a whole other story). I found that it didn’t last very long at all and actually started to ‘disappear’ and look quite oily in places, so I’d definitely say to avoid if this is your skin type.

THE ESSENTIAL MASCARA // £26 // HERE – I really like this mascara, it reminds me of the Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Mascara that you can currently only get in the US. It’s one of those very natural looking mascaras. It coats each lash jet black and separates them with ease. It’s a very soft, natural, fluffy ‘mink lash’ type of effect if you get what I mean. It’s a style I personally love, but I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste. The only downside I’ve found with this is that when it’s particularly hot, it can start to smudge a bit on lower lashes. Nothing crazy, but worth mentioning none-the-less.

THE CELESTIAL POWDER ‘CANDLELIGHT’ // £35 // HERE – I RAVED about this highlighter in my May products of note post that you can find here. Essentially, this is the most beautiful highlighter I’ve come across to date. It gives the most natural looking, ‘lit from within’ (yes, I’m cringing, but it’s true) look when swept across the tops of cheeks, brow bone, cupid’s bow and center of the nose.

Have you tried anything from Kevyn Aucoin?

Follow:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You might have noticed around these parts that there’s been a distinct lack of beauty posts recently. This is for a few reasons. As some of you may know, I’m a PR Manager for a skincare brand, so I spend all day talking beauty, which I LOVE, but when it comes to getting home and writing about beauty some more, well, I’ve found myself yearning to write about something a bit different, which is why there has been a few more lifestyle posts dotted about.

Second reason is that I’ve been pretty happy with the products I’ve been using. I’ve also massively cut down as part of my New Year’s resolution to buy less, and to only replace what I actually need (the exception is the US Sephora haul from last month, because, Sephora). Anyway, I feel like I’ve got enough new discoveries to talk about to jumble them into a little post, a May favourites if you will.

Antipodes Grace Cleanser* (£24.99/HERE) – What a lovely little cleanser. I’ve only ever used the Manuka Honey Mask by Antipodes in the past, which I absolutely loved, so I was keen to try their cream cleanser. I don’t know about you, but in the hotter months, I like to switch up my cleansers in favour of clay, cream or gel-based cleansers as they’re much lighter in texture. The Antipodes Grace Cleanser is a fantastic example of a beautiful cream cleanser. It’s brimming with skin loving ingredients and after rinsing (unheard of for me) it leaves no residue, just lovely comfortable skin. I’ve been reaching for it in the mornings and have been utterly loving it.

The White Company Super-Hydrating Hydra-Gel (£25.00/HERE) – If I didn’t already love The White Company enough already, they’ve now brought out a spa range which is TO DIE FOR. This Hydra-Gel smells so ridiculously gorgeous. It’s very spa-like, with its essential oils, but it’s the texture that makes me want to write about it. Put simply, it’s divine. The light gel texture is hydrating and sinks into the skin with ease. Great for when you don’t want to hang around waiting for a moisturiser to dry.

Louise Young Blush ‘Room43’ (£14.00/HERE) – I generally adore Louise Young products, but this soft rose blush in shade ‘Room43’ is stunning. In fact, I *think* that this might be my favourite ever blush. It’s the perfect everyday shade and seems to suit my fair complexion really well. I also love that there’s a slight pearliness to it. If you’re new to Louise Young products, start with her incredible brushes first. You won’t be disappointed.

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder ‘Candlelight’ (£35.00/HERE) – This was my first introduction into Kevyn Aucoin’s fantastic, well-thought out range. Yes, it’s £35.00 for a highlighter, but you know what? I’m going be buying this again and again. I hate to sound all cliché, but it really does make you look like you’re ‘lit from within’. *Cringing hard right now* It’s so natural and gives you a subtle, natural glow. 10/10.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick ‘Berlin’ £14.00(ish)/HERE) – There’s a reason this stuff has over 6,500 reviews and 450K loves on Sephora’s website. Believe the hype! Yes, they’re slightly drying, but aren’t all liquid lipsticks? The staying power of the Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick is like nothing I’ve ever tried. LOVE.

Follow: