Gotta love a decent moisturiser! The weather is cold (and drying), central heating is drying and in the winter months our skin can really suffer. As we get older too, our skin can change and need a heavier dose of moisture and that’s certainly been the case for me. This winter, age 40, has been the first winter I’ve seen a real change in my skin. It was dry to the point of flaking off particularly on my cheeks. I’ve always suffered a bit of dryness on my nose that has always made applying foundation tricky but this year its spread out onto my cheeks and even my chin to a lesser degree and my usual moisturiser just didn’t cut it.
I recently blogged about the Aveda moisturiser I use and really love, but when I was sent the Balance Me Moisture-Rich Face Cream* to try out I thought I’d give it a go.
Balance Me’s whole ethos is one of using naturally active botanicals along with hi-tech natural formulations and pure grade essential oils to offer skin that works well as well as offering additional aromatherapy benefits.
This moisturiser is aimed at minimising signs of ageing in dry, sensitive and mature skin. Well that’s me then. *weep* It works to add a protective layer to shield the skin from daily wear and tear using Arctic Cloudberry to offer powerful anti-oxidants along with organic shea butter, camelia, rosehip and kukui nut oils to moisturise while offering vitamins, lipids and fatty acids.
It smells beautiful and feels really luxurious whilst managing to avoid any greasy feel on the skin although I can still feel something on my skin when I’ve finished applying. The lovely pump bottle dispenses just the right amount and I was pleasantly surprised at how little I needed.
Given that I’m already happy with my routine, and given the slight amount of product left on my skin once applied (it’s not greasy, so much as ever so slightly tacky), I’ve slotted this into my night time routine. In part down to the dryness, and in part just because of how my skin is, I can get some redness around my nose and I find using this at night means that redness is less obvious when I wake in the mornings.
Would definitely recommend this but depends on your skin and your routines as to whether I’d recommend it as a day cream, a night cream or both. I haven’t tried it under make up but as my skin and make up are fussy at the best of times I’m avoiding using it underneath cosmetics.
Balance Me Daily Essentials Moisture-Rich Face Cream is £24 for 50ml (as shown) and there are two smaller sizes available, 10ml for £6 and 25ml for £15.
*Product received free of charge for review purposes.
You probably won’t know, unless you read my old blog, that I am a devout, even evangelical lover of all things Aveda. I use exclusively Aveda skincare products finding they suit my skin perfectly and I have done for at least the last year, and for me who has notoriously chopped and changed my skincare, this is a miracle. It may even been closer to two years now. I’m sure products will come my way but I’d be very surprised if anything could pull me away from my beloved Aveda permanently.
That said, I recently ran into some issues with my moisturiser. I had been using the Aveda Outer Peace Blemish Relief Lotion which was helping to keep my skin (mostly) clear but as Winter set in and central heating turned up, it just wasn’t cutting the mustard, my skin was becoming dry and spotty. Sticking with Aveda I decided to try out the Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Cream but that didn’t agree with me too well either, it was just a touch to rich for my poor skin. The dryness disappeared but my spots increased. I was just wondering what to do when Aveda launched some new Botanical Kinetics products, and now I seem to have just the right moisturiser for me.
The Botanical Kinetics range are, as the name would suggest, plant based and are designed to support natural energy production in the skin cells,
I’ve got the Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Soft Creme* and the Botanical Kinetics Energizing Eye Creme*.
Starting with the Eye Creme (£35), this is a 98% naturally derived light creme to help tackle dark circles and puffiness. Including Licorice root (known for it’s soothing properties), plant derived caffiene (to energise the appearance of the skin and and reduce puffiness) and Cupuacu Butter to seal in moisture. You only need the smallest amount it blends easily without needing to rub and I feel that the area feels hydrating immediately and skin looks plumper. It’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for instant results, look no further.
The Intense Hydrating Soft Creme (£40) is perfection. It’s just what I was looking for, where I was finding that during this cold winter my moisturers were either too light or too heavy, this one falls right in the middle and is perfect. It smells beautiful for starters, if you’re familiar with Pure-Fume then you’ll know the scent, Rose, Geranium, Olibanum, Sandalwood and Neroli a gorgeous combination. Although the scent is perfection, it’s the active ingredients that really matter and they are good too. There’s Salicornia Herbacea (a seashore plant prove to stimulate skin cells) and Cupuacu Butter (contains lips like the skin’s own helping to seal the skin’s barrier and prevent moisture loss). My skin is now adequately hydrated, all my dry patches (particularly my nose) are gone completely and I’ve not had any new spots, the old ones are fading and I couldn’t be happier.
The Eye Cream on the left and the Hydrating Creme on the Right. I’ve used enough eye cream there for about 10 eyes, you need so little!
If your skin is in greater need of moisture, Aveda have also launched a “Rich” version of the hydrating creme to offer even more moisture.
The products are available now from the Aveda website and I cannot recommend them highly enough. I’ve not had a bad word to say about Aveda products yet. A hugely underrated brand in terms of everything they do outside of hair care.
*Products received free of charge for review purposes
As you’ll probably all know I’m a massive and dedicated fan of Murad products. The products worked a treat on clearing up my skin and although pricey, it’s well worth it for the effects. I did stray recently. As a blogger, it’s hard not to be tempted to try out something that sounds fabulous, but I learned my lesson and my skin very quickly turned bad again. So I’m back on my regime. I’ve run out of cleanser though and I want more of the wipes and I’m getting stressed out that they are out of stock!
Anyway, as you may recall, I use the range of products they have that is aimed at older skins that also have acne or blemishes and that’s me to a tee. Knocking on a bit and spotty like a teenager!
Recently the fab wipes were added to the line up and I love them so I was thrilled to see a new product added. The Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator.
Okay, so I’ve been giving this a whirl for the last few weeks and whilst it’s undoubtedly great, it’s not ideal for me (at the moment), but before I go into that, let me tell you a bit about it. If pores are your issue, then this is your product. Particularly if you’re not a youngster. Products for “tightening” are usually a bit harsh on more mature skins, but this isn’t. I’ll try not to bore you with too much press release science but essentially this is a product to minimise the pores, whilst treating your lines and wrinkles. It does this by boosting collagen to make skin appear smoother and plumper whilst giving a hit of RepleniCell.
RepleniCell technology was developed by Dr. Murad and his son Jeff Murad and essentially turns water into a hydrator for the skin. Quite clearly I’ve missed out a whole load of explanation there so please feel free to read up about it here.
For me this isn’t working at the moment. It’s not that it’s not working exactly, it’s just that it’s not right for me right now. Because I strayed from Murad products for a while my skin has freaked out. What this means is that where there isn’t a spot, is a dry flaky patch where there was a spot. The Minimizing Hydrator isn’t quite moisturising enough for me at the moment and doesn’t quite deal with these horrid patches, and because my skin is so spotty at the moment I’m preferring to use the Anti-Ageing Moisturiser that is tailored for blemishes.
That said, because the Murad products are so incredible, I’m expecting my skin to be largely fixed within a fortnight and at that point I’ll be switching over to the Pore and Line Minimizing Hydrator. In fact I can’t wait. As I say I’ve been using it for a few weeks and my pores look great, but it’s just not tackling the problems caused by the other products I was using.
Like all the Murad products I’ve tried, this is gearing up to be exceptional. I couldn’t recommend it for very dry skins or patches but for anyone else, particularly those with pore issues, this is one you must try out!
I’s £49.50 and available from www.murad.co.uk.
Hello! Hope you’re all well! I’m Karen from LiverpoolLashes Blog here doing my first guest post ever on Charlie’s blog!
Today I wanted to talk to you about my essential beauty products for summer. If you’re anything like me I like to sieve out my regular products a little for the warmer weather, keep things a more minimal for make up but add more skin protecting products instead so lets get started.
Vaseline Spray & Go Cocoa Radiant – The last thing you want to do in the summer is apply a thick body butter so this product is ideal. It’s a fine mist that barely needs rubbing in as it sinks right into the skin at a lightning speed and smells amazing. It’s also lso available in Aloe Fresh and Essential Moisture.
Dove Hair Therapy Leave-In Conditioning & Care Spray – At this time of year it’s not just your skin that needs that extra boost of moisture. This is another fairly new product that helps prevent breakage and split ends. It can be applied to wet or dry hair and once it’s on it’s weightless so there’s no feeling of limp, weighed down hair. Your hair is left feeling super soft with a gorgeous scent.
Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment – Lips can often be forgotten when applying your SPF so this is a perfect ‘on the go’ product with an SPF 15 whilst also providing essential hydration with a subtle rose coloured tint.
Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser – Probably my favourite face moisturiser ever and that’s really saying something. This lightweight gel-like moisturiser is dribblesome with it’s fresh and zingy orange scent. It sinks in quickly so that you can apply your make up straight away and truly is really refreshing. I’d even go as far as to say that this is actually one of my favourite parts of my morning routine. Extremely highly recommended.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat – This is a product I don’t hear an awful lot about but it’s really good. Officially it’s a moisturiser that gives a matte finish but I use it as a skin mattifying base for my make up. If I’m not wearing make up I use it just to take the shine away. It really is a great product!
Urban Decay De-Slick – When the temperature rises it can definitely take it’s toll on our make up so thankfully Urban Decay have this amazing make up setting spray to keep your make up on for longer. It’s available in a two sizes so perfect for your handbag as well as your dressing table.
17 BB Cream – Most of us like to keep things lighter with our make up but 17’s BB Cream is an unexpected favourite of mine. The coverage is brilliant, far better than the higher end brands I’ve tried but still feels just like a moisture on your skin. I have a full review with swatches on my blog for this one.
Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara – In summer I think that it’s a great look to go ‘fresh faced look’ with just a BB cream or tinted moisturiser and mascara. Okay i’ll admit I threw this one in as a summer essential but it’s really a holy grail – there I’ve said it! If you have straight lashes that don’t seem to hold a curl you need to read my blog post posted on the 24th June called ‘Keeping Straight Lashes Curled’ – it will change the way you think about your lashes!
If you made it to here then thank you and a massive thank you to Charlie for letting me write it! I hope you enjoyed it half as much I enjoyed writing it. If you did then feel free to come and visit my blog, I have a post up every single day which is mainly a product review but sometimes I post about my work as a nail technician & beauty therapist.
Many thanks to Karen for helping out while I’ve been away, please do head over and take a look at her lovely blog!
If you like a dewy finish to your face then look no further as I have the product for you, well, maybe. Read on to find out why I’m conflicted.
I’ll start by saying I’m ashamed to admit this is my first try of an Elemis product. The brand as a whole are widely respected both in the blogging and wider worlds so I was pretty excited by this.
The Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm is a hybrid product, being both a moisturiser (a light one) and a primer. This means for many of us we can skip a step, leaving out your moisturiser or your primer and just opting for this.
In terms of the product itself, well first off it is very heavily scented. Now this doesn’t bother me at all but if you don’t like scented skincare you’ll want to skip this. To me this smells beautiful, it’s very floral. Texture wise it’s a thick cream but applies like a light moisturiser. I can’t really explain that too well. It comes out of the tube thickly, like a balm, but when you apply it it feels like you’re applying something much lighter and it feels cooling and soothing. So far so good.
Although it’s intended to be a “flash balm”, the flash doesn’t come from glitter or shimmer so you won’t find any of that in this tube of stuff, instead it just add’s a boost of glow, or rather dewy-ness to your skin.
I find that it makes a perfect canvas for foundation too and allows the dewy effect to show through, without turning your face into an oil slick.
For me, this hasn’t worked out well as part of my daily ritual, I’ve a long history of problems with my skin and within a few days of using this the spots had started to appear. Now I don’t want to put anyone off with that, it’s well documented that my skin can’t take many things without breaking out and whilst I mostly have it under control now my hormonal outbreaks are still getting me down, but I digress, basically my freaky skin started to break out. I think generally speaking though this would suit most people with no issues at all, except maybe the oily skinned of us, or those already prone to break outs. Certainly if you can get a sample to try out I’d recommend it as the finish it leaves on your skin is beautiful.
**This post contains an affiliate link.
Er… typical England… where has the Summer gone? I’ll not be put off by a lack of sunshine, the following products for anyone who wants their legs to look and feel lovely.
They might be hot and tired because it’s a hot Summer’s day, or maybe you’ve just been on your feet all day and your legs are hot and tired…
Lets look at the incredible Light Legs Crackling Mousse (£12.90) first.
This is an example of a product that does exactly what it says on the tin. This mousse is light, it crackles, it has a gentle light fragrance and it’s ICY cold. The coldness and the effervescence really soothe tired hot legs, it’s a most peculiar, but refreshing sensation. I would strongly advise not using this if you’re feeling a bit chilly! Such a great product!
The second product is the Firming Iridescent Cream (£12.90)
Another lovely product for Summer this lotion is again, very lightly scented and nourishes as you apply it leaving your skin instantly feeling more supple. It also seems to turn into an oily texture as you massage it in, in a really good way, it’s just lovely.
The only possible disappointment is that although it’s called an Iridescent cream, it’s not really that iridescent. For me this is a good thing, I don’t really want iridescent legs, but it adds a sort of glow to the skin regardless, it’s just not one I’d describe as iridescent.
I love it. I don’t have smooth skin on my legs at all, and I always admire girls with glowing skin and now I create that with ease, this does just what I want it to do, creates the illusion of skin so soft and smooth it shines. Perfect.
Both products are available from www.kikocosmetics.co.uk and do be sure to head over as there’s an amazing sale on right now (I’ve just spotted it so I’m heading back there for a proper look!).
*Disclosure – PR Samples*
I’ve alluded to my bad skin woes lately quite a few times, especially on Twitter, but as yet I’ve not really taken the time to write about what’s been going on in any detail here.
So brace yourself for grim photos of bad skin, news of skin saving products and a make up free photograph I’m proud of but should still probably come with a warning.
So to start at the beginning. Ever since I started my periods (apols for the TMI), I’ve suffered with hormonal outbreaks. Nothing too major. A few spots around my time of month and that’s about it. Fast forward many years to me post having children and my hormonal side effects started to get much worse. Not only the spots, but migraines, mood swings and all the other side effects we all know and love. It started off with the spots becoming worse, not more frequent, but instead of the usual whiteheads and whatnot, a distinct increase in cystic spots. You know the ones, like having a pea under your skin that never come to a head and take weeks to go. So whilst the spots weren’t coming all month round, they were lasting all month round. Then things took an even bigger turn for the worse when in the last three or four months the spots started to appear and last all month round, so I was never without small spots, cystic spots, pimples and so on. At any age this is distressing, at the ripe old age of 38 you really hope you’ll be past the spot stage and it’s incredibly difficult to find products that can deal with my type of skin…looking for a product that’s suitable for older skin, tackles spots and dry patches is nigh on impossible, despite the claims of manufacturers… trust me I know. I’ve tried lots. Then along came Dr Murad. I’d heard good things about the brand and they offered to help me out.
I had to send them photographs of my skin along with lots and lots of information. All of which I thought was great, as it meant they really wanted to understand what was going on with my skin rather than just sending out their products for spot prone skin, they wanted to put together a regime that would really suit ALL of my issues, along with advice for my lifestyle (eat more fruit and veg and drink more water!).
So they came up with a recommended regime for me, and offered to send me two products off the list.
So I chose the Age-Diffusing Serum and the Anti Ageing Moisturizer for blemish prone skin. In addition I then purchased the Time Release Blemish Cleanser.
I’ve now been using the products for a month and a half and feel in a position to write about them.
Okay so the Time Release Blemish Cleanser (£29) is a really gentle cleanser which continually releases blemish treatment throughout the day whilst hydrating to help minimise the signs of ageing. It’s got a minty feel on the skin and lathers very very gently, I’m not even sure if you can call it a foam really. It lifts every last scrap of make up off my face although I do tend to need to use an eye make up remover as well (depending on my mascara). It doesn’t leave my face feeling tight or dry, just clean!
Then the Age Diffusing Serum (£64). This is a plant based serum with a gorgeous fruity scent and is designed to address menopausal challenges, such as dry, dull skin, excess facial hair, breakouts, wrinkles and loss of elasticity. I love this product. I’m not menopausal, but I do suffer with many of those symptoms above and I feel this lightweight serum works really well. It spreads easily over the skin and absorbs very well leaving no residue except for smooth soft skin.
Finally the Anti-Ageing Moisturiser SPF20 (£49). This is the dream product for my skin. Just what I was after. A moisturiser for older skin but that tackles blemishes. This minimises oil production but promotes collagen production. I find this, combined with the serum, does a more than adequate job of moisturising my skin. Other moisturisers I’ve tried in the past for blemish prone skin have not been moisturising enough for me. This is. It leaves no residue on my skin, banishes dry patches and flaky bits left over from spots and as I say, leaves my skin feeling soft.
So do they work? Well you can probably tell from the title of the post, if not the unwitting bias in the post so far but my god, yes.
There’s no better way to explain just how well than to you show you which means you are going to have to look at some less than desirable photographs. The first is of my chin, a week after starting my regime. It’s not pretty, but it’s better than it was a week before. The spots are drying up, and red and the big cystic one is drying and flattening out, but it’s a gauge of how bad things were before I started.
Then imagine this about twice as bad, which is as bad as it usually gets.
And now, make up free (except mascara) five weeks later.
Really there are no words for how pleased I am and I don’t feel this review needs any more words about the amazingness (!) of the products. The photographs speak for themselves. I haven’t been completely blemish free for months and months now. Many months. And now I’ve been mostly blemish free for weeks.
Regarding my time of the month, I still got spots. Remarkably there wasn’t one cystic spot amongst them, there were about three small spots, all of which cleared in double quick time. Very impressive.
Now I think this range is very expensive and it’s not one of those brands were a little goes a long way either. Not that you have to use a lot of product, I’d just say it was a normal amount, which means I think, looking at how much product I have left, I’ll be looking to replace the serum and moisturiser every two and a half months approximately and the cleanser will last a lot longer as you actually don’t need much of that. But it is worth every single penny. No doubt. And I’ve already put money aside to replenish my stock as I can’t just come up with that kind of money on short notice. But as I say, it’s worth it, and I’ll pay it. Your skin is so important and blemishes on the skin can affect your self esteem so badly, to have clear skin is worth saving up for!
I can’t recommend this brand highly enough.
There is a 20% Sale off on the Murad website now I’ve just discovered so head over now for some bargains and it looks like they’ve now introduced free shipping, which they didn’t have when I placed my order. Hooray!
If you’re not sure what products you need, there’s a questionnaire on the site to help you out and the gifts and kits are a more budget friendly way of getting started too.
*Disclosure – the Serum and Moisturiser were sent to me free of charge for review purposes*
Some lovely lovely new things from Melvita of late, I’ve got loads of their scrummy products to blog about, but for now, here’s two.
Firstly, the Apicosma Body Scrub (£16.50). I love the Apicosma range. And this is no exception. The 3 honeyes (thyme, acacia and orange blossom), moisturise well and smell lovely And the scrub aspect of it is argan powder, which very gently exfoliates. It’s very effective and leaves my skin so so soft.
The other item I wanted to mention is the new Ultra Nourishing Cream (£27). I’ve not tried this yet because I’m sticking firmly to my Dr Murad prescription for the time being, but this is a moisturiser for dry skins and comes very highly recommended indeed. For actual reviews see British Beauty Blogger’s review and Really Ree’s review.
I think Melvita are massively underrated, every single product I’ve tried has been fabulous and I’m currently absolutely loving the Argan Oil roll on, which I roll onto my cuticles every night without fail.
Both of the above are available now from www.melvita.co.uk.
*Disclosure – PR Samples*
This post has been a long time coming, for which I apologise as this is one of those brands I should be shouting about all over the place. I’m talking about Manuka Doctor, the skincare range containing Purified Bee Venom. Bee Venom is much loved by celebs for a youthful glow, and you can count Angelina Jolie, Caroline Flack, Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton as fans.
Dr Sunil Chopra is the Clinical Director of the London Dermatology Clinic and he says “there is convincing laboratory data to support Bee Venom’s effectiveness in anti-ageing, particularly in the prevention of the photo ageing and the repair of damaged skin cells. When choosing a Bee Venom skincare product, I would recommend looking for a brand which uses Purified Bee Venom, as this process removes any unwanted particles such as dust and pollen, helping to ensure a more efficacious product.”
So step forward Manuka Doctor, a brand which does indeed contain Purified Bee venom.
The Repairing Skin Cream is to die for. It’s £24.99 and worth every single penny. A clinical trial showed that wrinkles visibly improved in four weeks, skin immediately feels more radiant, increased skin tone in four weeks, skin feels measurably smoother and skin appears instantly more nourished and I’d have to agree with all of these. Using in combination with my Brenda Anvari skincare my skin is very happy indeed. There are a few things that I especially want to point about this cream, one, it’s extremely light on the skin, important for my skin which gets so easily congested, buy my skin is so glowing with this, it’s amazing. I find it absorbs very quickly and when it does it leaves my skin feeling velvety, not greasy or even silky, just like velvet, it’s really lovely and suits my skin perfectly. Clearly my skin loves Bee Venom and touch of Manuka Honey. I can’t rave about this highly enough, this is a fabulous product.
The other item I’ve been trying a loving is the ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask which is a slightly scary £49.99 for 50ml. Again, you’ve probably read nothing but good reviews of this and I’m going to be no different. When Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends says something is good, you better listen, she’s not wrong. This is a mask that actually has visible results immediately after using. The Bee Venom works in a way that basically lightly stings your skin all over (not that you can feel this I must add) to stimulate collagen growth, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and renew damaged skin cells. It’s not just the bee venom though, there’s Manuka Honey, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin to nourish. Easy to use, you just apply, leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes, then you flake it off by rubbing and rinse any remaining product away. To leave you looking glowing.
Now I have to say a couple of things, firstly, this range does really work. Secondly, I am told the bee venom is harvested in a cruelty free way, but I have very little understanding of this issue. I am not sure of the technicalities but think this definitely something each person has to research and decide for themselves. Thirdly, it goes without saying really, but if you are allergic to bee stings, this probably isn’t the range for you!
Available from Holland & Barratt.
*Disclosure – PR Samples*