Just Charlie G

People who have been with me since this blog started will know that my skin has been an ongoing battle for a long time. Plagued with dryness and spots, as well as natural ageing and reactive skin, has meant finding suitable skincare has been not easy. Products designed for spots tend to aggravate my dryness while products for dry skin nearly always break me out. It’s frustrating! There have been several rave reviews of brands/products over the years all of which still stand, but for some reason I tend to find that after a while (often months) everything goes back to normal (bad). I have no idea why that is, but it means the search is only ever over temporarily.

That’s why I am blogging today with some hesitance! But I’m here to share my love for the Body Shop Vitamin E Range. The Vitamin E range is extensive and I certainly don’t have all the products in the line, but I’ve added the products I am using, one at a time, slowly so I can see what suits me and what doesn’t.

The Body Shop Vitamin EThe Vitamin E range can  help to protect against pollution and is great for premature ageing. What I really love about it is that it seems to be deeply moisturising, without being too rich for my skin. Quick reviews of all the items I have, below

Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash  (£7.50 – 125ml) – This is brilliant stuff. I heard that foaming cleansers dry out your skin but I don’t think this one does. A little goes a long way and has no issues at all removing my make up. It’s lightly foaming, feels rich and creamy and doesn’t leave my face feeling tight and dry. Win!

Vitamin E Hydrating Toner (£7.50 – 250ml) –  Alcohol free toner that leaves my skin feeling ready to go!  Has a slightly thicker than water texture, as if it’s a gel maybe. I apply this twice a day religiously. Lovely stuff and a brilliant price. Actually the whole range is!

Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion (£10 – 160ml) – This was my latest purchase and I wasn’t sure what it was for and I’m still not. I love it anyway because it just slots into my routine. Again this is not watery, like a traditional toner, it’s slightly thicker than the Hydrating Toner and I’d describe it as a serum/gel. You add a couple of drops to your hand and pat into your skin after toner, before moisturiser. It absorb very quickly, leaving no residue on the skin and I think just adds another layer of moisture and protection against free radicals.

Vitamin E Intense Moisture Serum (£14 – 30ml) – It’s been a long time since I’ve used a serum. I found nearly everything I tried in the past caused me to break out, either too rich or too packed full of silicones. This one is so light in texture, it leaves my skin feeling amazing after application and isn’t at all greasy.

Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil (£16 – 28ml) – This is the product I was most nervous about using, my spot prone skin doesn’t get on well with oils, but I’m pleased to say I’ve had no problems with this at all! I use four drops massaged into my skin every night before bed and wake up to soft moisturised skin.

Vitamin E Moisture Cream (£13 – 50ml) – Out of all the products I have, this is the one I think of as my hero product. I use it daily, morning and evening, after all the other products and I think it works like a charm, Containing not only vitamin E but also hyaluronic acid this is the product that I really think stamps out my dryness. If feels so moisturising, but not at all rich, it is light and smooths in easily and quickly without leaving residue on my face. All the other products help my skin be plumper, and less dry, this is the one that the keeps it this way

Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream (£14 – 50ml) – This is the one product that doesn’t suit me too well. I kind of knew it wouldn’t be great for me when I bought it, but I was optimistic given my successes with the rest of the range.  It is just too rich for me, and applying all over my face definitely results in me waking up with blemishes, on my chin especially. I have however found it especially useful when my skin is really suffering. Like my nose was after a recent cold. I used this every night afterwards on my nose which was dry and red from constant nose blowing, and this really soothed and helped.

Vitamin E Refreshing Eyes Cube (£9.50 – 4g) – The name of this one annoys me because it’s not a cube! I know it’s supposed to be a play on Ice Cube, but still! Leaving that aside, eye cream is another product I’ve avoided for a while after two huge break outs under my eyes from creams that were too rich. Annoying because I know the skin around my eyes looks and feels so much better and less wrinkly when I use it. This one is fab! A twist up stick of cooling cream, although I’d describe it more as a balm, it glides on and cools. I use it morning and night and have had no issues so far. It’s worth mentioning that this has a tiny amount of sparkle, I find it very hard to spot, so you don’t need to worry about glittery eyes, but it’s worth knowing it’s there! My under eyes definitely feel plumper and smoother.

Finally, and not pictured is the Vitamin E Hydrating Face Mist (£10 for 100ml). I don’t use this Face Mist as part of my skincare routine but instead keep it with my make up and use it as a finishing spray to set everything in place. I’m sure it’ll come into its own in Summer too!

So conclusions:

I read over on British Beauty Blogger that The Body Shop may be up for sale… this will just be terrible new for my face!

Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend this range, so do head over to The Body Shop website and check it out!

*All Products purchased by me and opinions unbiased!

 

 

 

24. 07. 2015

Sad times have slowly happened over the last six months or so. I’ve been using Aveda skincare for years now, and have recommended to everyone, its amazing stuff that my skin loved…until it didn’t anymore. After several months of terrible skin it was time to face facts, my skin care routine wasn’t working for me any more. It’s definitely not Aveda’s fault, the products didn’t change, but I guess my skin did, its pretty much happened with every brand I’ve ever used.

My realisation that I need to switch things up came, unfortunately, at a time where I had not a huge amount of money, and of course its an absolute nightmare to find products that work on acne, but that aren’t designed for oily teenage skin. I’m not sure what led me to Mario Badescu, I know that sometime ago someone recommended the range to me, alas I can’t recall who it was, but regardless, I’m glad I tried it out.

First thing to mention is that its not an easy brand to find in the UK. The only stockist I could find was Beauty Bay. The other thing to mention is the range is huge and its hard to know which products to start with, and that’s where the Mario Badescu site is amazing. Not only can you sort products out by skin concern on the site, but you can also fill in some questions and have a regime prescribed to you, which they’ll send to your inbox. If that’s not good enough or if you have specific questions, they have live customer service which I used twice and got excellent advice on both occasions.

My skin had become incredibly dry and flaky, all over my cheeks and nose, while my chin was absolutely covered in a wide variety of spots, from big cystic spots to small bumps under the skin and whiteheads thrown in for good measure. I bought all the products recommended to me.

Mario BadescuThe Enzyme Cleansing Gel (£11.95) is a non foaming gel cleanser and contains papaya extracts as well as alpha hydroxy acids. It feels great on my skin and removes all my make up with no worries, even mascara and liquid liner. I found it totally non-drying and my skin felt clean and soft after washing. I rub in and rinse off with hot water and a cloth.

I follow this step up with the Seaweed Cleansing Lotion (£12.95), which is actually your toner. Containing no alcohol, this does contain witch hazel, seaweed and aloe to soothe and disinfect dry, sensitive skin.

My day moisturiser is the Oil Free Moisturiser (£16.50). It’s so simple and no frills, I was hesitant, but along with the rest of the products it seems to be doing the trick, my cheeks and nose had lost their flakiness within about three days and it’s never returned. It’s non-comedogenic and fragrance free and quickly absorbed.

My night cream is the Seaweed Night Cream (£18.75). This little pot of green cream is magic. Oil free and non greasy it contains collagen and hyaluronic acid and softens, hydrates while not clogging.

Finally I bought the famous Drying Lotion (£12.50).

Mario Badescu Drying LotionThis little bottle contains calamine and salicylic acid and is for use on whiteheads overnight. You dip a cotton bud into the bottle, down into the pink layer (don’t shake the bottle!) and apply to any blemishes. It will dry in little white/pink patches on your face and if your husband is juvenile like mine is, he will laugh at you. It will reduce spots really quickly and it doesn’t seem to dry out my surrounding skin at all.

While I was pleased with the moisturising-without-clogging, and I liked the drying properties of the Drying Lotion, I felt the spots were still coming thick and fast, which at 41 is pretty depressing. So I decided to buy a few more products to step it up a notch.

Mario BadescuThe Buffering Lotion (£15.50) is similar to the Drying Lotion but this time you need to shake it, and its for cystic spots, the deep big kind.  It’s sulfur based and is quickly absorbed into the skin. It also contains ingredients too soothe and take away redness, while promoting  healing. I love it. Nothings going to get rid of cystic acne in record time, but this does stop them getting quite so big and takes a day or two off their life span I reckon.

The Glycolic Foaming Cleanser (£13.30) is a foaming cleanser for dull, congested skin. I only use this twice a week (mondays and thursdays if you’re interested!). It leaves my skin feeling unbelievably clean and smooth without feeling dry.

The Glycolic Acid Toner (£15.50) is an exfoliating toner for dry and sensitive skin. Containing 2% glycolic acid, grapefruit extract and aloe it exfoliates, refreshes and is a Beauty Bay best seller. I use this as my evening toner, every day, while the Seaweed Cleansing Lotion has now become my morning toner.

I can’t believe I have never reached for Glycolic Acid before, it seems to be the key ingredient my skin has been missing. All my congestion as gone, my skin felt bumpy to the touch, but thats all gone now, but it took a little while to for the results to show. I find my skin is more glowy and plump looking which in turn makes my fine lines look far less obvious.

I cannot recommend these products highly enough, for me they have been fantastic. I suspect I’m always going to be spot prone, but now they are far less frequent and they go much faster, and my skin is smooth, and well moisturised, with moisturisers that don’t give me spots.

Highly recommended, and as I say, the range is huge so whatever your skin type, there are products for you. I bought all of these products with my own money and have already replaced the Enzyme Cleansing Gel once, a great, well priced, effective brand and I’m amazed I don’t read or hear more about them.

 

 

My gosh this post is long overdue. I reviewed the amazing ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask and the Repairing Skin Cream last year here and some time after I received a few more products to try out.

The ApiNourish Hydrating Facial Cleanser and the Apiclear Purifying Facial Toner.

Manuka Doctor Skincare Review

And the ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream, please ignore the smashed lid, it arrived with me that way!

Manuka Doctor Skincare Review

Manuka Doctor Skincare Review
As we all know by now, I suffered a great skincare disaster in the last year so I stopped chopping and changing my skincare items and stuck to a prescribed regime by Murad, but before that I gave these a fairly good run. Now because of the spots I’d been suffering its hard to review these but I must stress that I firmly believe the spots are all part of my hormonal issues and nothing to do with the products! So as it is, I’m just going to give you a quick run down of these products.

First, ApiNourish Hydrating Facial Cleanser (£19.99 for 100ml).  A beautiful face wash which really feels like it’s deep cleansing without stripping the skin at all. Simple to use, massage in and rinse away (with a cloth preferably). Lovely cleanser, not cheap but great quality.

Secondly, the ApiClear Purifying Facial Toner (£17.99 for 150ml).  So I’ve talked about the ApiNourish range on my other post, but the ApiClear Range is the range for troubled skin. Which means in theory this is ideal for my spot prone hormonal skin. Unfortunately I used  this for a while and whilst I had no issues, circumstances meant I stopped using it to switch to my Murad prescription. This though is a revitalising toner, I think it’s the bees venom that gives the tingling feeling (don’t use obviously if allergic to bee stings!) and although you might think the opposite, its the bee venom that assists in calming and controlling troubled skins.

Finally the ApiNourish Restoring Night Cream (£24.99 for 50ml). A beautiful rich night cream that replenishes and hydrates.

The range is really lovely, everything is quality and the sole reason I am not currently using these products any more is that I needed something specifically geared towards my hormonal acne issues that was also geared towards ageing skin. Still for anyone not having the same issues as me, I’d recommend this brand with no qualms at all.

You can purchase the whole range from www.manukadoctor.co.uk along with reading all about the benefits of Purified Bee Venom.

*Disclosure – PR Sample*

I recently told you about my visit to Visage House in Exeter, to try out CACI, the non-surgical face lift. I told all about CACI, what it is, how it feels and what results you can expect to receive.

Today I want to tell you about Visage House, Brenda Anvari’s products and about the things I learned about my skin.

When I went for my appointment I nearly didn’t spot Visage House. I actually walked past it twice…I was looking for your traditional beauty salon and I bypassed the gorgeous looking gift shop rammed full with elegant bottles and potions and jewellery.

Visage House Exeter

Then I spotted where it was and headed in to a warm welcome, offers of a drink while I filled in a form and took in my surroundings and waited for my therapist Paula.

When Paula was ready I was ushered into the treatment room which was softly lit and there, in the middle was to all intents and purposes a bed. I’m sure it was the usual type of couch, but there was no mistaking the the big thick pink polka dot duvet. I was asked to remove my top, and shoes and to pull my bra straps down so that my shoulders and upper chest were uncovered, and then I hopped into bed and was tucked in. Very cosy it was too! Considering it was a very hot day, I didn’t feel at all hot. I don’t quite know how that worked, but the temperature was just dandy.

The last time I had a facial (at another salon), it was so hot and stuffy I left with a horrific migraine. This was absolutely fine. And I might add very comfortable.

So Paula asked me if I had any concerns about my skin, and I saw the opportunity to mention the bumps under my skin that have been plaguing me for so long now. I’ve tried so many things to be rid of them but nothing has worked. And in addition, I’ve never actually known what my skin type is as I never seemed to fall into any of the neat brackets. I have hormonal spots, I have dry patches around my nostrils, the bumps under my skin all around my jaw, chin and cheeks, and I’m in my late thirties so concerned about ageing.

Now I know what I am! So Paula decided to examine those bumps and told me that the contents would tell her exactly what condition my skin is in. And so she set about, well, I’m sure there’s a technical term for it, but the best way I can describe it, is squeezing. It was fairly uncomfortable at times, and she only did a few because that wasn’t why I was there. And so it is that the contents of my little bumps are hard. Which tells Paula, and me, that my skin is dehydrated, other factors, based on our discussions, also presented the us with the fact that my skin is sensitive.

This is the best picture I could find of  “the bumps”… I think you can just see my cheeks and chin aren’t smooth.

Visage House Exeter

I cannot tell you how delighted I am to learn this. I know it sounds weird to learn your skin has a few problems, but it’s not, the fact is that once you know what the problem is, you can go about fixing it. Before now I’ve been fumbling around blindly trying to treat my spots, care for the dry bits, and worrying about ageing. All of which I’ve been doing and probably making things worse in the process.

So, the way forward for me is to have a deep pore cleansing facial, in which she’ll clear out all of those blocked pores and to strip back my routine to cut out all heavy moisturisers, all anti ageing products, all spot creams, just everything and go right back to basics with the most simple products… and then and only then, when my skin is clearer and less bumpy and reactive, then start adding in anti ageing products where necessary. And of course, the recommended products are Brenda Anvari products.

Now Brenda Anvari is the owner of Visage House, but for many years Brenda worked for Elizabeth Arden, training therapists all over Europe, before moving with Elizabeth Arden to New York to look after their US Salons, train all new therapists and to develop new treatments and so she bought a great wealth of experience and knowledge with her when she opened her own salon in Exeter. Along with the salon is a great range of products, for your skin, for your body and for scenting your home. And what I’ve tried is so beautiful I’m convinced enough to be ditching everything I’ve previously used.

Brenda Anvari

Brenda Anvari
I was lucky enough to be sent home with the Skin Tonic and the skin serum, both of which I’ve only been using for a week now but so far so good. The Skin Tonic is a floral water toner to balance and stimulate the regeneration process, it’s also calming and so perfect for my sensitivities. 100% pure, no added ingredients, . No parabens. Gorgeous rose product my skin loves. I’ve been naughty, very rarely toning, now I’m religiously toning twice a day. This is £15.95.

Then there’s the fab Skin Serum which is also rose, it’s a perfectly clear gel form, that feels slightly sticky when I apply it but absorbs so quickly into my skin it fails to cause any issue. It’s all free and infused with antioxidants and essential oils and seems to be calming a my skin quite well. After my pore clearing and and CACI, I did suffer quite an outbreak (because I have reactive and sensitive skin and it was also that time of the month) and I believe the two products I was sent home with have really helped to calm the break out also.

I can’t afford to replace my whole regime with Brenda Anvari’s products, yet so I will be replacing one by one as and when I can afford it, so at the moment am reaching for the most basic bits in my collection to compliment the above two products, and I’m giving away anything fancy, rich, full of ingredients I don’t need. I’ll also be back in to the Salon for my Deep Pore Cleansing Facial.

Regarding the skincare products used on me during my facial, I must give special mention to the Sicilian Lemon cleanser which smelled and felt wonderful,  and also the Facial Exfoliating Cleanser.  Stunning.

And before I round up this super long post I must also give mentions to the body care line, I was given an arm and hand massage using a body cream which comes in several stunning varieties, I opted for Pomegranate, Raspberry and Patchouli (as stunning as  I thought it would be), but other options included Lime, Mandarin and Grapefruit, Orange Blossom, Persian Rose and Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood and Black pepper. The last one is what I’ll choose next time!

Finally there is also a beautiful range of home fragrance products in all of the above scents and Cranberry, Orange and Cinnamon…. I’m thinking they will make wonderful Christmas Presents.

Whilst those of you not local to Exeter can’t very easily go along to Visage House for a treatment (if you are local, you should) but should any of the products take your fancy, you can buy them all from the Visage House website. Delivery is a hefty £6.25 per order, but I understand that all items are sent by courier.

Amazing. My skin is already seeing the benefits and when I move house (have I mentioned I’m moving imminently??) then I’m going to ensure the house is beautifully scented too.

*Disclosure – products mentioned were received free of charge*

LP Skin Therapy

LP Skin Therapy is a skincare range created by Dr Linda Papadopoulos PhD. Dr Papadopoulos is a very well known psychologist but what I suspect is less well known is that she is especially knowledgeable about the field of psychodermatology. I’d never heard of this before so just by way of quick explanation, psychodermatology is taking a psychological approach to skin disorders, recognising the role emotional stress can play in triggering conditions and tackling the distress they can cause. Therefore, it is no surprise that the LP Skin Therapy range has been designed to tackle ageing skin, not only by helping with external factors such as sun and pollution, but also by helping to tackle stress.

Not as out there as it actually sounds really, if you believe in the power of scent, or aromatherapy, then this is along those lines. One thing I particularly like is that on the brand’s website there’s a sort of encyclopaedia where you can look up many of the ingredients, and is actually in terms that I can understand, I don’t feel blinded by science.

Anyway, a little bit about the products, all the items I was sent are mini samples so they’ve not been rigorously tested but I am able to tell you what I think of them all so far.

Starting with the System Balance Face Wash which is £15.99 for 150ml. Now I totally avoid foaming face washes as I know they can be drying and not good, in the spirit of trying things out for the blog I gave this a whirl and have to say I’ve been loving it. It’s very lightly foaming and leaves my skin soft but not at all tight or sensitive. It is quite heavily scented, orange blossom, which I love. Would definitely consider purchasing this after I’ve finished my other cleanser, to use along with my oil cleanser.

The next item i tried is the Uplifting Facial Water.  Loving this again.  It’s £15.00 for 120ml and you can use either after your cleanser, as a toner or as a spritz as and when throughout the day, again this is fragranced with orange blossom. It contains aloe vera and hibiscus extract to sooth and calm along with Colloid PMG-WP (!) which is a source of hydrolysed wheat protein and 24 carat colloidal gold to fight the ageing process. This just feels very refreshing, so for that reason I like it and would definitely use it after my cleanser.

Then we have the Refining Lip Exfoliator, £15 for 8ml. Now this is a lovely product, I’ve really been enjoying using this.  It’s not a thick balm, on the lips it feels like oil which has small beads of jojoba oil in it. I use this as the last stage of my evening routine, every night religiously. I like the lemon oil scent for a start and the fact that it leaves my lips so soft. This doesn’t feel very exfoliating as the beads are sparse, which isn’t a criticism, I love this. You apply, massage in for 30 seconds and then tissue off, hence why I use it last thing at night, rather than throughout the day. It’s very lovely although a little pricey in comparison to the other products mentioned so far.

The final product I’ve been trying out is the Untired Eye Cream (£25 for 15ml) and it’s the only product I’m not entirely convinced by. I’ll explain in more detail. It’s an eye cream to help reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes but in the long term it promises to firm up the skin and keep the area hydrated. As an eye cream I really like it. It’s slightly iridescent and on application you can see it brightening the area, which is great, the thing I’m not so keen on is the sparkle….there’s a lot of sparkle in this stuff, and whilst it is incredibly fine and far from being chunky glitter, it is still quite obvious. Now under foundation this causes no problems at all…but if you are going foundation free then be prepared for sparkly eyes. For me, I wear foundation most days so its not a problem and I’ve enjoyed using this, but I have to say it’s a no go for me on no foundation days.

All in all I’ve really enjoyed trying out this range, it’s considerably more affordable than other brands I’ve reviewed this week, and the products are very pleasant to use indeed. I also really like the ethos, it’s logical, if you look after yourself, get plenty of sleep, manage your stress effectively, your skin will improve. A very nice range and it’s available from http://www.keepmeinspired.co.uk/

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Melvita

I’m totally loving Melvita right now, these three products in particular. I’m using more Melvita bits and bobs but I’ll do a blog post on those another time, for now I’ll just concentrate on these three skincare products.

First up, the Cleansing Milk,  a truly beautiful cleanser that does a wonderful job of cleaning my face at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I only use this a couple of times a week as I wash my face with water and product at all other times but when I’m feeling tired or lazy I smother this all over my skin, rub it in and then tissue off and follow up with Micellar water (which I’ll talk about in a minute!) and my face feels so soft and clean. Rich in rose, Linden Waters and aloe vera it also has beautiful shea and mango butters along with Acacia Honey, Olive and argan oils, all blended together to create a very gentle product that does a fantastic job, even making light work of my mascara. 200ml is £16 and well worth it for those lazy days!

After I’ve used the Cleansing Milk I always follow up with the Fresh Micellar Water. If I’ve not been wearing make up I’ll just use this alone. Cleanses, tones and removes make up in one step. Created with wild rose petal extract and rose floral water. Again this leaves my skin feeling fresh and crystal clear. This is part of the new Rose Nectar range which is on special offer, you can buy two items for £25 or 3 steps for £44 with free postage. The Fresh Micellar Water is £14.50 for 200ml and I love it.

Finally is a product I took a while to warm to as I wasn’t too sure what to do with it, the Rose Extraordinary Water. It’s described as a skin prep lotion, its anti-aging product containing Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerine and it has a strange texture, its like thick water! I suppose you’d call it a gel. It’s very lightly scented and also has rose floral water for rejuvenating and marsh clover for firming. I’ve been using it in two ways, firstly after the above two products as a toner. Secondly, I have this strange habit of taking my showers in the late afternoon rather than evening or morning and I always used to have this quandry as to what to put on my skin at that time of the day as it felt too early for my night cream, now I just slather on this beautiful gel, it leaves my skin soft and moisturised and takes me through until bedtime when I can use my night cream. Truly a lovely product. £14 for 100ml.

For those who don’t know anything about Melvita the firm is dedicated to natural products, 95% of the total ingredients are from natural origin, water included. At least 10% of the ingredients are from organic farming and at least 95% of the total plant-based ingredients are organic, all ingredients are traceable, all packaging is recyclable and I think it probably goes without saying the whole brand is cruelty free.

*Disclosure – all products provided as PR samples*

I’ve been taking my time to get this review done because I wanted to be sure how I got on with them, but I have to say, I’ve forced myself to keep waiting, but have been fairly sure my Holy Grail products have been found from the first week of use.

I shall talk to you about the products in the range, about the the range, about the products and how I’ve been using them and getting on with them.

The skincare collection has 10 pieces and has been designed for individual skin types, and features the usual, cleansers, toners, moisturisers along with targeted products for eyes and lips. There are no miracle cure claims, it’s a no nonsense range including the most potent plants and minerals from around the world.

Molton Brown Skincare

First of all, I’m loving the simplistic packaging which is both fuss free and stylish.

Molton Brown Kalahari Melon Cleansing Fluid

Molton Brown Peruvian maca Anti-Ageing Hydra Creme
Ok so the products I received to review are the Kalahari Melon Cleansing Fluid for Normal to Dry Skin (£25 for 200ml), the Tamarind Fruit Refining Toner for Normal to Dry Skin (£25 for 200ml) and the Peruvian Maca Anti-ageing Hydra-creme for Normal Skin (£65 for 50ml).

The Kalahari Melon Cleansing Fluid is blended with Kalahari Melon Seed which is full of fatty acids for supple skin, Appleseed Oil for moisture and Safflower Oil packed with anti-oxidant vitamin E. This is a light liquid with a slightly oily texture, which you rub into your skin and then add water which lathers it up very very slightly and turns it milky, you then rinse it away. The product itself smells lightly fruity, there’s no heavy scent here, just a clean fresh light smell that washes away with the water, its a pleasure to use and my skin feels very clean after use.

Next we have the Tamarind Fruit Refining Toner. Blended with Tamarind fruit seed to hydrate and boosr elasticity, Aloe vera for comfort, tripeptides to lightly exfoliate and it is of course, alcohol free. Again a lovely light texture and out of all the products this is my favourite. It literally feels like you are wiping dullness away leaving you with a lovely healthy glow.

Finally there’s the Peruvian Maca Anti-ageing Hydra-creme. Peruvian Maca Plant reduces the appearance of  wrinkles and helps skin appear more radiant, tamarind fruit helps hydrate and firm and Tetra and oligo peptides help reduce the appearance of fine lines. In all honesty I’m used to a heavier moisturiser than this. It’s so light I thought it simply wouldn’t be enough for me, but actually I think my skin is looking better than ever so perhaps heavy moisturisers have been part of my problem. This is so light its absorbed almost immediately. Yet my skin feels perfectly moisturised. Brilliant.

So lets see how these products fit into my usual routine to create what I think is my Holy Grail skincare routine. Certainly my skin has never been happier.

Morning
Bioderma Crealine Micellar Cleansing Water
Molton Brown Tamarind Fruit Refining Toner
Molton Brown Peruvian Maca Anti-ageing Hydra-creme

Evening
Pre-cleanse with Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil
Cleanse with Clarisonic and Molton Brown Kalahari Melon Cleansing Fluid
Molton Brown Tamarind Fruit Refining Toner
Clarins Blue Orchid Face Oil
*when needed I sometimes add moisturiser as well, the Molton Brown one, although this is rare*

My skin is seriously great (for me!).

In addition to the above products I also received a couple of sachets to try out.

Molton Brown Skincare

The Karanja Tree Sunshield SPF30 is the final step in your routine.  You apply this over or under your make up and it has a light matte finish to help protect your skin from the harmful sun.

Finally the Vita B3 Eye Concentrate is a super light serum which I loved and didn’t last long enough, to help fight dark circles and with tetra peptides to soften fine lines and wrinkles. As soon as I can afford it I’ll be buying the full size product, it’s gorgeous. It’s £45 for 15ml.

So seriously, I can’t rave about this range enough. It’s worked absolute wonders on my skin. I’m sorry its so expensive BUT I’m happy to pay it for such amazing results. My skin feels happy. I just hope everything doesn’t run out at the same time! For now, I’ve got plenty left and I’m saving my pennies to the Eye Concentrate as its bothering me that I’m not using an eye product at the moment.

The range is available now from www.moltonbrown.co.uk and I recommend highly!

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

Liz Earle Flight Essentials Kit

Another fab Liz Earle Review. Sometimes it gets a bit embarrassing as there’s not much I can find that Liz Earle do wrong. This is a lovely product for the Summer. I’m not sure the fabric bag comes with this lovely kit but what I am sure about is that you get a little zippy bag that contains a 30ml Skin Tonic Spritzer, 15ml of Skin Repair Moisturiser dry/sensitive, 5g of Superbalm and 15mls of Hand Repair Cream. This kit retails at £15.75 and is available from www.lizearle.com.

The little bag is the perfect size to pop into your hand luggage for a flight. The likelihood of me getting a flight  in the near future is slim to zero but even so I think this little bag will fit in my handbag and be my Summer out and about kit.

I’ve already reviewed the Skin Repair Cream and Toner, although I’m looking forward to using the toner as a spritzer instead of on cotton wool. Both are lovely. The hand cream is lovely and lightly scented and fairly quickly absorbed, it’s not the quickest but it’s within a minute or two which is fine by me. The Superbalm is something I’ve wanted to try for a while now and it’s perfect! Use it on your cuticles, dry elbows, flaky nose anywhere that needs a hit of moisture.

I wish I was going on holiday but as I say, I’ll be carrying these handy size bits in my handbag for the rest of the Summer and in fact probably through Winter too. A really great little kit.

Ok so here’s pt 2 of my Liz Earle reviews. Then I think we’ll have a day or two off while I post about other things. So first up is the Instant Boost Skin Tonic 200ml bottle which I understand is £11.50.
They say:

This heavenly scented, non-drying floral tonic revitalises, soothes and brightens. Gentle and alcohol-free it also adds a fine layer of moisture. With conditioning natural source vitamin E, hydrating organic aloe vera and rose-scented geranium. Cucumber extract is calming, cooling and toning. Calendula is healing and anti-inflammatory making it ideal for sensitive skin. Organic aloe vera juice moisturises, soothes and can even help relieve sunburn.nstant Boost Skin Tonic is the essential second stage of your daily regime:

Moisten a cotton wool pad and sweep over face and neck every morning and night after cleansing with Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. This tones, brightens and hydrates your skin; follow by gently massaging in Skin Repair Moisturiser. Apply this light floral tonic to revitalise skin and add moisture after using one of our Special Treatment masks. Whether your skin is dehydrated, oily, dull or congested, the nourishing and brightening botanicals will help to leave your skin feeling soft and looking fresh for longer. It also primes your skin perfectly for Skin Repair Moisturiser. Try our spritzer after towel-drying skin to refresh yourself all over and boost moisture levels. Ideal for use after showering, bathing or swimming, wait for a minute before massaging in Nourishing Botanical Body Cream to help ‘seal in’ moisture.

I’ve only used this in the traditional manner, after cleansing or after using the Brightening Mask. I don’t have a huge amount to say about it really! I don’t normally use a toner but for the purpose of this review I’ve used it day and night. First thing to mention is the smell, I think it smells gorgeous and I find I rather like the ritual of cleanse, tone and moisturising. I’m not sure I really see any special benefits of using it on my skin but I like it so I see no reason not to continue! Recommended.
The second item I’m looking at today is Skin Repair Moisturiser for normal/combination skin. I have the 50ml jar which retails at £17.25.
This is what they say:
Rich in natural actives including borage (a potent source of the skin conditioning fatty acid GLA), avocado plus echinacea and antioxidant natural source vitamin E to help replace lost moisture in normal/combination skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Avocado oil, borage oil and echinacea help strengthen and natural-source vitamin E help protect to ensure total daily care for your skin.Carefully balanced for normal/combination skin types to both hydrate and protect face and neck, day and night.
This cream is lovely. I love the texture, I like the lack of (synthetic) perfume and I like how soft it leaves my skin. It feels really rich but absorbs pretty quickly which allows me to apply my make up fairly soon after. I would prefer to have tube which is handy as they do a 50ml tube for the same price. However, as lovely as it is, I don’t think this is the moisturiser for me. At 35 I’m looking for something specifically for my fine lines and wrinkles and I’m not sure this is the right one for me. I’d be looking for something specifically designed to tackle mature skin. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this though, it really is gorgeous and I think, very reasonably priced, especially as a little goes a long way so a pot should last a good long time.