Guest Post: Top tips for better skin

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 25 - 2013

Hi! I’m Anna and I write a blog called On the Dressing Table (found at www.onthedressingtable.blogspot.co.uk) which is primarily about all things beauty. I am so excited to be writing this post for one of my favourite blogs and I hope you will enjoy reading it. If you do, I’d love it if you’d come and say hi on Twitter @OTDTblog or head over to my blog and leave me a comment.

 

I met some fellow bloggers the other day at an event and one of them was kind enough to comment that I don’t look my age and asked what my secret was!

I wasn’t blessed with the skinny gene or the long legs gene but one thing I have been lucky with is my skin, I am often complemented on it and I have been lucky in that it’s always been pretty clear and I only get the odd blemish around that time of the month. A lot of this is down to genetics but I do think my passion for skincare has helped and as I approach 30 (despite a couple of very bad habits), I am relieved that my fine lines are at a minimum and my biggest skin complaints are a slightly oily t-zone and some redness along my jaw (also inherited as both of my brothers have the same).

So, for anyone who is interested, here are my top tips for improving and maintaining your skin.

Stay Hydrated

I try to drink 2 litres of water every day, not including any cups of tea or fruit juice. At first when you start doing this you can end up running to the toilet every 5 minutes but if you persevere this passes and you really notice the difference in how hydrated and plump your skin is. This is even more important if you like the odd glass of wine, cup of coffee or salt on your chips as they all have a diuretic effect which can leave you and your skin feeling dehydrated.

Cleanse, cleanse and cleanse again!

I can’t emphasise enough the importance of regularly cleansing your skin, especially if you wear make-up. We’ve all had those nights when you are so tired you want to just fall into bed and the thought of washing your face seems like too much effort. But trust me – if you clean your face morning and night and follow up with a good quality moisturiser you will start noticing a real difference after 3-4 weeks.

image 1

Invest in a High Quality Moisturiser

Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream is my number one skincare product and I will never be without it. It isn’t the cheapest moisturiser in the world but I think that you pay for quality, and when it comes to skincare I am happy to invest in products with those ingredients that will really make a difference long term. The Pro Collagen Marine Cream contains Padina pavonica – a clinically proven, collagen-boosting marine algae. If you’re interested to know the science behind it: it stimulates the synthesis of hydrophilic (water loving) molecules in the skin that retain moisture and therefore improve the texture and elasticity of the skin. I also love to use a hydrating mask regularly; my favourite is Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask which has a lovely fruity smell and really intensely hydrates my skin.

Exfoliate

As our skins cells are constantly renewing it doesn’t take long for dead skin cells to build up on the surface of the skin. This not only leaves the skin looking dull and lifeless but also prevents the products that we put onto the skin from penetrating down to the layers in which they work, so you might be using some great products and really not seeing the full benefits.
My favourite chemical exfoliant is Alpha H Liquid Gold which contains Glycolic acid to dissolve away dead skin cells, and my favourite manual exfoliant is the Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains which you can add in to your favourite cleanser to give it a rough texture which loosens and removes any dead skin cell as you massage your cleanser into the skin.

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Rainbow Diet

A healthy diet really does make the difference to your skin. Whatever you put into your body shows on the outside. Now I’m not going to pretend that I don’t indulge in all those things that are bad for us (alcohol, processed foods etc.) but I try to make sure I always eat a variety of fresh (organic where possible) fruit and vegetables and have at least 5 a day. I love to make fruit smoothies for breakfast or fresh vegetable soup for lunch. The trick is to eat a variety of colours of food to ensure you are getting the range of different nutrients that you need.

Exercise & Rest

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and as with other organs a good blood supply is essential in order for your skin cells to renew. You need to keep the blood pumping and regular exercise, especially if it’s outside in the fresh air, really does wonders for your skin and your general health and well-being. Rest is also really important as our skin cells renew while we are asleep so the more sleep we get the better our skin will look!

Sun Protection

It’s so easy to think that sun cream is only needed for that week abroad in the summer but the harmful UV rays are hitting your skin every time you are outside, even if it’s overcast. At the time you don’t notice the damage that exposure to these UV rays is doing but they are prematurely aging your skin so if you want to hold on to your youthful looks, in the words of Baz Lurhman, wear sunscreen every day! If you try and incorporate it into your skin care regime you will soon be doing it without even thinking about it. I would recommend investing in a product designed specifically for your face as those for the body can be too rich and result in break outs.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have managed to pick up a trick or two!


I’m of the firm opinion that for the money, French pharmacy brands offer some of the best solutions for diffcult skin-types. Escentual.com have long been my online destination for French pharma-brands, the beauty retailer offers shoppers worldwide a range of continental treats that can be difficult to source on the high street.

I’m happy to share the news that from today until the end of March, the online store are once again running their popular French Pharmacy promotion. “What’s this?” I hear you ask… it’s simple, let me break it down for you…

For the next 31-days customers can enjoy a full 1/3 off the price of Vichy, La Roche Posay and Nuxe; 25% off Avene, A-Derma, Klorane, Rene Furterer, and Pierre Fabre Dexeryl; and 10% off Caudalie.

As if that isn’t exciting enough… in celebration of this, I’ve teamed up with the guys at Escentual to offer five lucky Lipglossiping.com readers the chance to win a set of my personal top French Pharmacy picks.

French Pharmacy Skincare

These are the products that I return to time and time again… and from my extensive list of favourites, I’ve narrowed it down to a selection that should suit most skintypes:

A-Derma Epitheliale A.H Repairing Cream is a skin miracle for those of us with combination/make your mind up skin-types. It delivers comfort to my most irritated patches without saturating my t-zone.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar AI is a product that I’ve written about many times before. Got a spot? Zap it with this and watch the “anger” disappear overnight.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP delivers rich moisture to dry skin. Use allover the body to calm and nourish irritated skin.

Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray remains one of my Summer staples. Cooling, refreshing, and the perfect skin pick-me-up.

Klorane Soothing Makeup Remover Gel can be used with or without water. The cooling gel formula is enriched with soothing cornflower water that never leaves my skin feeling tight yet makes light work of stubborn mascaras

Want to win the above products?

Leave a comment telling me whether you’ve tried anything from a French pharmacy brand and if so, what’s been your favourite?

T&C

1. Start date for this competition is 1st March 2013 at 00.01 GMT
2. Closing date for this competition is 8th March 2013 at 23.59 GMT
3. There are five prizes to be won, a set of five French pharmacy products as listed above. No cash alternative.
4. Lipglossiping.com is the sole promoter of this competition.
5. Only one entry per IP address will be accepted.
6. Personal details will only be used in the context of this competition to inform the winner(s) of their prize status.
7. Five winners will be selected at random from all entries received.
8. Winners will be notified within 7 working days and will be expected to reply to an email sent to the address used to enter your comment within 5 working days or risk forfeiting the prize.

Bronzing Translucents… It’s bronzing but not as you know it!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 28 - 2013

I talked yesterday about the new bronzing cream from Manasi Makeup which works to inject both colour and luminosity onto the complexion.  Today I want to take things a step closer to Summer and introduce you to a different kind of bronzing formula.  Never in my 18-years of wearing makeup have I ever found a powder bronzer that looks entirely natural against my skin-tone.  For many years, I thought that I was looking at the wrong brands and so I graduated from the BarryM’s of the world to the lofty heights of Guerlain bronzers, which I still believe offer some of the best shades for pale skin.

But now I’m ditching the powders.

Sure, I’ll still use them for contour… they offer great precision and I’m hopelessly attached to my Illamasqua Rumour and my NYX Taupe (which, ironically, are both marketed as blushers rather than bronzers) but for that all-over hint of colour that gives the impression of sun-kissed skin?  Nope, there’s a better option out there for us.

Bronzing Translucents... It's bronzing but not as you know it!

Looking frighteningly dark in the bottle, you might find it hard to believe that these two products offer the solution we’re looking for… but take the time to look a little more closely at a pair of products that have been somewhat of a revelation for my sun-shy skin.

Dr. Hauschka’s Translucent Bronze Concentrate* (drhauschka.co.uk, £27.45) offers a blend-able and realistic tanning pigment in a lightweight formula.  Once worked into the skin, the translucency allows your natural colouring to give the impression that the tone has self-adapted to suit your undertones.  It’s buildable from the lightest of applications, providing anything from a sheer glow right up to an intense depth of colour.

Being a liquid, you can use it to custom-fit any foundations that may be proving a little pale for your summer skin or you could even add it to your daily moisturiser for a lazy boost of colour without the full-on tan effect.

Bronzing Translucents... It's bronzing but not as you know it!

I prefer to use this on my face, delivering a shimmer-free hint of colour in a non-oily formula that lasts well through the day.  The image below shows the product lightly blended over bare skin… you can blend it more sheerly by mixing with your moisturiser or foundation.  Completely adjustable colour.

Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate – Ingredients:
Water/Aqua, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Alcohol, Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Lysolecithin, Beeswax/Cera Flava, Fragrance/Parfum, Citral, Linalool, Farnesol, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Eugenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Algin, Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex/CI 75810, Iron Oxide/CI 77491, Iron Oxide/CI 77492, Iron Oxide/CI 77499.

Bronzing Translucents... It's bronzing but not as you know it!

Douvall’s Argan Bronzing Oil* (urbanretreat.co.uk, £32.00) works along the same principles as Dr. Hauschka’s Translucent Bronze Concentrate but there are some subtle differences that makes this one more suitable for use on the body (in my opinion).  As the name might suggest, the formula is alltogether more oily, making it an exceptionally blendable, streak-free option which can be used as a standalone moisturising product thanks to some beautifully nourishing ingredients.

Bronzing Translucents... It's bronzing but not as you know it!

It contains a subtle shimmer which looks beautiful worn across the decolletage, arms, and shins but would perhaps prove a little too glowy for the face.  The dewy finish peps up tired skin and imparts a naturally healthy glow – according to the bottle – you can even apply it to your hair, something I’ll admit I haven’t tried yet.

Bronzing Translucents... It's bronzing but not as you know it!

Unfortunately, the packaging is far from perfect… I manage to make a mess each time I put the the pipette back in the bottle and have to wipe clean the bottle-neck before I can screw the lid back on… a pump-dispenser like the Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate would have been a better choice.

You can see the subtle shimmer in the above photo, it’s really very pretty and understated, just enough to catch the sun and create a 3D effect on the skin.

Bronzing Translucents... It's bronzing but not as you know it!

Douvall’s Argan Bronzing Oil – Ingredients:
Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Squalane**, Silica**, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Mica, Limonene, Linalool, Citral ,CI 77491, CI 77499CI 77492

Do you use bronzing products?

* press sample

The Midas Touch: Gold in Skincare…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 20 - 2013

Eternally revered as one of the world’s most precious metals, gold has been a highly sought-after commodity from the earliest of ancient civilisations right through to the modern day.  Much of its worth has been built through socially-constructed symbolism rather than via any intrinsic financial value, but the rare metal has nevertheless proven useful in some fields thanks to certain unusual properties.

Gold is extremely durable, stable, and for a metal, unusually coloured making it a perfect exhibition of wealth.  It holds a strong continuity of value over time, and looks just as beautiful when first laid in a treasure chest as it does 20, 30 or 50 years later.  It’s an element that is difficult, dangerous and laborious to mine and rarity has always held a value when it comes to the importance of status within our society.

The Midas Touch: Gold in Skincare...

But what about in practical use?

We regularly see gold put to good use in the field of electronics, to plate connectors and prevent oxidisation.  As a metal, it conducts electricity extremely efficiently (though interestingly, not as efficiently as silver).  In dentistry, the metal is valued for its malleable attributes which can be used to easily construct fillings, crowns, and bridges.  Its chemically stable nature, makes it a suitable, nonallergenic material which has thus far proven to cause no adverse effects on long-term health.

But what about the usefulness of gold within the beauty and skincare industry?  Let’s take a look at some products today which seek to employ the midas touch…

The Midas Touch: Gold in Skincare...

1). Nahbi Pure Repair Gold Essence contains 24ct nano gold and gold leaf extract which claims to help stimulate circulation, cell renewal and the removal of toxins from the skin.  Nahbi use colloidal gold (suspended in liquid) and nano-technologies to increase the likelihood of physical absorbtion.  The particles are rated at 1.5nm, which is tiny indeed when you consider that the thickness of gold leaf is rated at a rather chunky 125nm!  The full range includes masks, serum, toner, a moisturiser and a cream. priced from £25, beauchoix.co.uk

2). Jamela offer a range of gold-infused masks that combine “active gold” and plant collagen with other, more recognisable ingredients including hyaluronic acid.  The masks have been designed to contour various body parts to deliver their collagen-boosting benefits including: eyes, lips, face, and even breasts!  I particularly like the idea of wearing one of these masks overnight before throwing it in the bath with me the next morning, they dissolve in hot water to release any remaining goodness!  priced from £24,50, jamelaskincare.co.uk

3). Chantecaille are well-known for their high-end formulations so it comes as no surprise to see an entire Gold Collection from the U.S. brand.  Their Nano Gold Firming Treatment is not simply content with exploring the supposed anti-inflammatory effects of nano gold, but hedges its bets on another recent “technological breakthrough” in the form of Swiss Apple Stem Cells which claim to deliver the creme-de-la-creme of antioxidant benefits within skincare.  For all this technology, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny.  priced at £280, uk.spacenk.com

4). Focusing on exploring the links between the precious metal and its soothing, anti-inflammatory benefits.  Omorivicza’s Gold Eye Lift uses gold ferment in an attempt to repair micro-damage and strengthen the delicate skin by renewing lost elasticity and as you would expect, the Hungarian brand remain true to their spa roots with the infusion of mineral compounds and their globally famous thermal waters rich in copper, zinc, calcium and magnesium.  priced at £110, selfridges.com

5). For the “gold standard” (geddit?!) in gold-enriched skincare, look no further than Swiss brand La Prairie for their Cellular Radiance Concentrate Pure Gold which claims to diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles and help regulate discoloration.  The gold, suspended in a colloidal gel promises to help prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin whilst illuminating the skin with a stunning radiance. It will certainly lighten your wallet.  priced at £408, urbanretreat.co.uk

6). For something a little more tangible, not to mention… affordable, Zoya’s Gilty Pleasures trio contains an 18k real gold flake top coat which will transform all your manicures into something a little bit special.  priced at £29.60, nailcareclub.com

7). ByTerry’s Or De Rose Elixir Extreme is a rose-tinted primer which delivers instant radiance thanks to its blend of 24-carat pink gold micronized particles and light-reflecting prisms.  More of a cosmetic radiance-giver than a skincare marvel, coming from the queen of highlighting herself… that ain’t no bad thing.  The closest I’ll get to being a gold-dipped bond girl.  priced at £108, uk.spacenk.com

 

So, the question remains… can the benefits of gold be applied to anti-ageing theories?  Scientists and dermatologists are frankly divided on the issue and serious research is ongoing on the potential health benefits of using gold in the fight against cancer and the relief of rheumatoid arthritis.

To my mind, there appears to be a somewhat necessary leap of faith in order to believe that something so valued for its chemical inertia can also posess such life-changing, tangible benefits but there’s no doubt that this is one debate that will run and run.  Especially while it continues to give cosmetic companies such a wonderfully marketable element of luxury and privilege.

What say you? Are you interested in unleashing the power of gold on your skin, hair and nails?

Dry Skin? Putting a cold weather skincare plan into action…

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 24 - 2013

My skin has been coping with winter far better these last few months than it has in previous years… that is, right up until about 5 days ago when the mercury plumetted and the heavens started to rain that ‘orrible/lovely (delete as appropriate) white stuff down upon us.  Since then I’ve been battling dry patches that make the Sahara look like Centerparcs.

Not one to take this sort of nonsense lying down (unless it comes with a cup of tea and two chocolate digestives), I’ve raided my bathroom cabinet for some products that I hope, when combined, will prove to be my winter saviours.

dry skin, cold weather, skincare

I’ve always suspected that I may overdo things a little when it comes to cleansing, I’m certainly no skincare guru (you need Mrs. Hirons for that) but cleansing is a proper little joy in my daily routine.  So much so that I’m not averse to the double-cleanse method, once to remove my makeup and then again, to clean my bare skin.  Of course, there may be nothing wrong with this and I know that many of you enjoy a similar ritual without issue… but perhaps, when my skin is at it’s driest, it might be wise to cut back on the cleansing.  Just a little.

To this end, I’ve enlisted the help of Lancome’s Galatée Confort Comforting Cleansing Milk, especially formulated for dry skin.  I used this when I first went waterless with my cleansing last year… something that I seemed to have great success with.  I’m not going completely waterless again but I will be using as dry-a-cloth as I can get away with to remove my cleanser.  And then leaving it at that.  I know my fingers will itch to dunk my face in the sink but I’ll just have to strengthen my resolve.  The Lancome cleansing milk has a wonderfully creamy formula that defeats my makeup admirably without leaving any residue, a definited repurchase later in the year.  £21, lancome.co.uk

I’ll be putting aside my serums for a few weeks as I reach for something a little richer, Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer for Normal to Dry skin*.  Free from parabens, synthetic fragrances, and artificial oils, this moisturiser ticks all my boxes for a lightweight (it’s very lightweight) yet hydrating moisturiser that’s perfect for use in the daytime.  It doesn’t contain SPF which seems like a bit of an oversight but I generally wear a separate sun protection lotion anyway.  £27, bareminerals.co.uk

I’m still as much in love with toners now as I was back when I wrote a post for Carmine (remember them?) on how I use and wear toner.  It’s a daily essential for me, although I know that many find them superfluous.  Balance Me is a great brand who seem to be going from strength-to-strength at the moment.  I recently received a sample of their Skin Bright Hydrating Face Mist* with hyaluronic acid, suitable for all skin types, and it’s a gem.  It smells incredible, dries to a non-tacky finish and delivers an instant surge of hydration to my skin.  £20, balanceme.co.uk

Daytime taken care of, it’s in the evening that I’ll be focusing some extra attention on slathering my skin (though probably not my t-zone) in something a little more heavy duty.  I still use my Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask once a week (which I mentioned in my favourite products of 2012 post) but I’ll be swapping out my regular night-time moisturiser for a new product from a brand that hasn’t let me down so far.  A new introduction to the brand’s lineup is La Roche Posay Nutritic Intense Rich*, a cream which I believe succeeds their original Nutritic Intense and promises to intensely reconstitute superior layers of the epidermis. Oh rly?  I know I could do with some intense reconstitution.  Or some intense anything to be fair.  Also available in the original formula in a convenient 50ml tube.  £13.15, escentual.com

When it comes to intense nourishment from a moisturiser-type product, I’m still firmly in the yay Selexir camp, you may remember my review from a little while ago… it’s ah-mazing.  There’s one problem with it though… I made true on my word and gave my press sample to my father.  He loves it.  But he hoards it like a mutha, as soon as I told him how much it cost to buy/repurchase, I watched the blood drain out of his face and I swear the man now only uses enough product to cover half a flea.  Frustrating.

dry skin, cold weather, skincare

Seeing as I’m turning over a new skincare leaf, I thought that I might aswell indulge my over-processed hair with a little bit of pampering.  Touché By Flavien* is an intensive hair treatment containing: goji berry extract, olive fruit oil, hydrolyzed silk protein, rosemary oil, and shea butter and is designed to be used in place of conditioner.  This suits me well… because no matter how great my intentions, I always forget that I’m supposed to be treatment-masking my hair until the moment that I step into the shower and get it wet, at which point… well, it’s a bit bloody late isn’t it.  I have utmost respect for you ladies that sleep in hair oils, I call that being organised.  £17, urbanretreat.co.uk

dry skin, cold weather, skincare

My lips are infact, the only real part of me that isn’t suffering from this cold snap.  There’ll be no surprises when I tell you that this down to a nightly dose of the lovely Lanolips 101 Ointment, there’s no more to say… it’s still a holy grail product and possibly the only one that gives me mini palpitations as I near the end of a tube!  £11.22, boots.com

My last cold-weather “resolution” (if you will) is to regularly indulge in one of those moisturising face sheet masks, partially because I’m just a bit curious about them, and partially because I’ll have fun freaking my daughter out with them.  I’ve pulled this Wei White Lotus Hydrating Face Treatment Pad out of my things that came free with shit that I bought drawer, and it’ll do for starters.  If anyone has any favourite sheet masks that they use, do let me know!  £??, thinkitsdiscontinued.com

 

How is your skin holding up since the snow put in an appearance?  Hope you’re all keeping warm out there!

* press sample

Would you inject yourself in the name of beauty?

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 22 - 2013

There comes a point in our lives when we may find ourselves looking in the mirror, bemoaning the fact that whoever said “pevention is better than cure” was an ass.

All the sun-protection in the world won’t stop the inevitable ageing process, it’s a fact of life, and one that some women seem better prepared to deal with than others.

It’s at this point that you might find yourself searching for your own “cure”. From so-called miracle creams, lasers, supplements, injectables, and even surgery, there are seemingly limitless paths to explore.

Have you thought about a spot of DIY?

20130122-070354.jpg

Tok-Tok, produced by UK company U-Biomed (and not to be confused with the death-defying mini-wagons on the streets of India – that’s tuk tuk!) claims to be the world’s first home beauty device that lets you ‘inject’ your own skin with anti-ageing therapies including the much talked-about Epidermal Growth Factor protein (EGF).

Regardless of potential gimmickry or efficacy, I think it shows an interesting shift in the direction of “cosmeceutical” treatments. We live in a world where our leisure time is compressed and our budgets increasingly squeezed, does the DIY beauty option fulfil our changing needs?

I think it also goes to show just how much more confident we’ve become in understanding, and even using, gadgetry within our beauty routines.

Which begs the question, would you inject yourself in the name of beauty?

If the advent of this new year has inspired a fresh start when it comes to your skincare choices, you could save yourself a pretty penny by heading over to the Organic Surge website and indulging in their Skin and Body Mega Bundle which offers everything you need to turn over a new leaf.

Organic-Surge-Mega-Bundle-sale

The Mega Bundle, worth £60, is currently priced at an astonishingly good value of only £23.97 and contains many of Organic Surge’s bestselling products including:

Gentle Cleansing Lotion
Daily Care Face Wash
Skin Perfecting Polish
Overnight Sensation Night Cream
Super-Intensive Daily Moisturiser
Eye Gel
Kiss & Make-Up Wipes
Gentle Meadow Body Lotion
Sweet Blossom Shower Gel
Lemon & Honey Soap

This deal should be of particular appeal to those of you with sensitive skin and anyone concerned about the chemicals in their skincare, the entire range is 100% free of parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate with no artificial fragrances or colourants.

Beware, this is a limited edition bundle so go forth and shop!

Selexir Peace Balm, so good. SO good.

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 20 - 2012

They say that the best things in life are free… rubbish.  When was the last time you didn’t pay for an apple turnover?  Having said that, I was recently sent this innocuous-looking tube of salve from a Swiss-based company called Selexir.  The brand only make the one product, and it’s this:

Selexir Peace Balm

I’m gonna cut to the chase.  The Selexir Peace Balm is the most moisturising product that I’ve used on my skin.  Ever.  If you take all the good points from something like Elizabeth Arden’s 8hr cream and dispense with the greasiness, the stink, and the overwhelming feeling that you’re slathering your skin in something that you should be polishing your horse with instead… you come close to what Selexir have created.

If you’re aggravated by dry skin… and I don’t mean “mildly irritated”, but if extremely dry skin is something you have to deal with on a daily basis, then you need to go and buy yourself the travel-sized tube of this balm. Stat.

Selexir Peace Balm

It’s free from parabens, paraffin, silicones, mineral oils, petroleum or synthetic dyes and fragrances.  The balm melts into the skin under the heat of your fingertips and you only need the smallest, smallest amount to see results.  You know that I particularly suffer from flaky skin this time of year which plays havoc with how my foundation looks and feels on my skin.  I’ve been adding just the tiniest amount of balm to the areas of my face that see these problems, this stuff literally transforms the texture of my skin in an instant, and it stays that way all day.

Selexir Peace Balm

Selexir Peace Balm

It’s also great for grazes, elbows, shins, knees blah blah blah but to be honest, I wouldn’t pay that much money for something I use on my body when I’m not a major sufferer of eczema, I usually only feel the temptation to splurge mega-bucks on products for my face.  I also wouldn’t get through the largest size tube in anything less than about three-years, so I am pleased that the brand have smaller, more affordable sizes available.

Selexir Peace Balm

I rarely ga-ga-gush over a product unless it’s really made a difference for me and it’s so rare that a skincare product does have such a tangible, profound effect that can be experienced so rapidly.

I’m really excited by this and although I’m loathe to pass it on, I’m going to pay it forward and give my tube to my Dad who suffers from terrible eczema, usually (poorly) controlled by immunosuppressive meds and topical steroid creams.  Of course, I’m not in a position to medically assess how he gets on with it but I promise to come back and let you at least know how he feels it’s working for him.

Selexir Peace Balm is available to buy online, priced from £20 for 15ml

* press sample

Get uplifted with Douvall’s All-in-one Argan Oil Cleanser

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 7 - 2012

I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a cleansing oil connoisseur, but I’ve been a fan of them for a little while now and have tried far more than my fair share in the quest for perfection.  The beauty of a cleansing oil, for lazy girls like me, is that they offer a perfectly quick solution to makeup removal AND cleansing.  In theory.  In reality, I often feel as though I need to cleanse with another product once I’ve removed my makeup with the cleansing oil.  It’s not how they’re supposed to work – but I find that many others feel the same way, advocating the double cleanse method.

Douvall’s All-in-one Argan Oil Cleanser is a 100% natural and 71.9% organic cleanser, enriched with almond, safflower seed and grapeseed oil as well as the all important Argan Oil from which the cleanser derives its name.  In-fact, a glance at the ingredient’s list reveals that Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil is indeed at the top of the bill, reassuring.

argan oil cleanser

I’ve been enjoying trying out this 20ml travel-size sample of the Oil Cleanser over the last couple of weeks, you only need a tiny amount to melt away your makeup so even just a small amount lasts a significant while.  The oil is thinly-textured but sufficiently viscous enough to provide some great oily massage on the skin.  My favourite thing about the Douvall’s All-in-one Argan Oil Cleanser is the scent – some oil cleansers stink, even the really posh eones.  In general, I’ve found that the more “organic” the brand, the better the scent that’s derived from some of the natural oils.   The Douvall’s cleanser is an absolute citrus dream, tsharing top position for the best I’ve ever used in terms of scent (Nude Skincare’s is the other one).  It’s uplifting and really encourages me to linger with the oil on my face whilst I massage it into my skin, not a bad thing.

It doesn’t emulsify very well, so be prepared with your basin of warm water and make sure that you rinse completely – it will take a few passes until your skin feels oil-free.  It doesn’t leave my face feeling tight though I still need to moisturise afterward.  A lovely, pampering treat for a mundane daily task.

Douvall’s All-in-one Argan Oil Cleanser is priced at £28.00 for 150ml and is available to buy online at The Urban Retreat Beautique.

Hints and Tips for Winter Lips!

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 30 - 2012

When it comes to skincare, it can occasionally feel like I’m chasing my tail, fixing one problem only to be faced with another… but if there’s one aspect of looking after my face that I seem to have gotten the hang of, it’s caring for my lips.  This time of year reminds me of the miserable winters I used to spend with constantly sore and painful lips.  If I wasn’t licking at them like a dog attempting to heal its wounds, I was picking… or even worse, peeling.

Lip condition can deteriorate rapidly, we put the central heating on on Sunday for the first time (we didn’t make it to November!) and last night, lying in bed, I could feel that tell-tale tingle around the edges of my lipline.  It’s time to up my game and put my winter plan of action into… well… action!  Without further ado, here are my hints and tips for winter lips!

Hints and Tips for Winter Lips

I shower in the evenings, and the first step in my annual plan for luscious winter lips involves the most basic of cosmetic tools, the washcloth (£3 for 10).  Whilst I’m waiting for my hair conditioner to turn my locks into mermaid-hair, I grab my hot flannel and gently rub back and forth across my lips.  Be gentle mind, you’re not trying to remove a wine-stain!  Doing this every day will soften any flakes that are ready to come away whilst encouraging blood flow and regeneration.

Once I’ve left the shower, my first port of call is to reach for my moisturisers and my lips don’t get left out here.  My night-time ritual (and I do this everyday) is to apply a layer of Lanolips 101 (£11) before bed – this rich, lanolin-based balm provides the best barrier for locking in moisture through the night.  When I wake up in the morning, it’s still there and my lips are plumpity soft underneath – this stuff has been a lifesaver for me over the last couple of years.

During the day, I opt for something a little lighter in texture, which brings me on to Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm (£7.25).  Whilst not as nourishing as the Lanolips, the formula is more comfortable to wear during the day and the added SPF is a bonus.  It’s a compromise that I’m really happy with for now – plus the flavours are lush!  I reapply this over the top of my lipstick whenever I feel that my lips need it.

Talking of lipstick, it can be tricky to provide your favourite shades with a great base and The Body Shop’s Lipscuff (£8) is a cult classic for priming your pout in preparation for every shade.  Swipe the bullet over your lips in the morning, massage in the formula with your fingertip and wipe the excess away with a tissue (or the back of your hand if you’re a bit of a grot like me).  The Lipscuff leaves just enough coconut oil behind to provide moisture without slip and the exfoliating granules ensure that your lipstick won’t emphasise any dry bits.

Lips shrivelled up in the cold?  I’m just joking… we’ll leave the shrivelling up thing for men to deal with.  But if you do need a little extra plumping – particularly lovely for when you’re rocking a nude lip – I still swear by the original (and the best), Du Wop Lip Venom (£11.85) – it’s delightfully tingly (IT’S BURNING, IT’S BURNING!) and leaves my top lip almost matching the stature of my bottom lip, almost.  Thanks for the genetic un-eveness parents…

Finally, you literally shouldn’t leave the house without a little bit of lip highlighting.  Don’t know where to do it?  I stick to the cupids bow, using a subtle highlighter like YSL’s Touche Eclat (£25) which makes for quick and easy blendability.  If you’re wanting to go for a full-on pout, you can also add a highlight along the centre edge of the lower lip line to give the illusion of fuller, more lifted lips.  The Touche Eclat is subtle enough for daytime but if you’re wanting to highlight for a “going out” look, choose a highlighter with a little more shimmer for added wow-factor.

What are your favourite products for keeping your lips soft and full in the colder weather?

Got Jowls? Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Effect

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 23 - 2012

GUYS! See how cute saggy jowls are?  Don’t you just wanna grab, pinch and shake?

Y u no look this cute on humans?

Those gorgeous pups might be part of the anti-botox brigade but only in the animal kingdom is this kind of ground-dragging sagginess acceptable.  Boobs, jowls, ear-lobes and bums – you gotta keep ‘em pointing at least 90 degrees from the vertical – well.. maybe not ear-lobes but you know what I’m trying to say!

Elemis have recently released Pro-Intense Lift Effect, a cream which promises to be the latest non-surgical solution to help improve firmness, tone and elasticity for a more lifted, sculpted facial contour.

I really think you need a couple of stitches and a scalpel to get the kind of lift that most women want to see but if you’re in your early thirties like me, and you’re just starting to see a loss of definition around the jawline and neck, it might be an area that you’d like to focus your skincare and attention without the drama or cost that having surgery creates.

Or you could just do what I plan to do and tie a couple of bells to your jowls in celebration of the “alternative to getting older is being DEAD” kinda thing.

It’s a nice enough formula that sticks to Elemis’ ethos of mixing natural products with cutting-edge science and it does indeed deliver an instant tightening sensation to the area which is strong enough to give me an “ooh it’s working” reassurance but not enough to send me screaming to the bathroom to check that it hasn’t shrunk my head.  It doesn’t deliver enough hydration to my combo/dry skin to use in place of my usual moisture so this would most likely be a “booster” to your usual skincare.  I’m sitting on the fence with this one.

Elemis Pro-Intense Lift Effect is available to on counter and online, priced at £55 for 30ml

* press sample

Pukka Nourishing Brightener

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 19 - 2012

Let’s get this straight… Pukka Nourishing Brightener smells like it needs to go in a curry. It looks like it needs to go in a curry and if I sneeze whilst standing too closely to it, chances are, it will end up in a curry. It’s aromatic in the extreme, horrendously messy to work with, and an eternally bemusing thing to put on your face.

That said, it’s bloody brilliant.

I don’t think I’ve actually ever used anything in 3/4 years of beauty blogging that’s had such an instant effect on my skin.  Long-lasting effects?  Well, I don’t know about that but in terms of the skincare miracle that you’d want to apply before a big night out for a glowing complexion?  Well, I think I might have found mine.

I don’t even know what it actually is… Pukka say that it’s got Amla and Gotu Kola in it.  Say what?

I mean, how can this little pot (and you don’t get an awful lot for your money) of… of… what looks like the scrapings off your burnt toast (sorry Pukka) coax my parched skin into such a glow?  It’s like a post-facial glow but without all the steaming, blackhead extraction (the blackheads are still there unfortunately), and skin pummeling.

Simply mix a little bit into your usual cleanser (I use a creamy one like A-Derma Sensifluid Cleansing Lotion), rub it in a bit (technical term) and then rinse off with a warm flannel.  HELL-O GLO!

Pukka Nourishing Brightener is priced at £13.00 for 15g and available online from PukkaHerbs.com – it’s probably awful in a curry.

* press sample

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