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

Sorry ladies, don’t mean to play chief enabler on a Wednesday afternoon but I know that many of us are starting to think about Christmas pressies and the like and this seemed like too good an offer not to shout about.

Debenhams are offering an online Elemis exclusive collection which includes some thoroughly lovely products in travel sizes, some of their most popular infact… for only £23.50.

Award winning Elemis collection in travel sizes! Beautifully presented in a silver cosmetics pouch:

  • Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 30ml
  • Papaya Enzyme Peel 15ml
  • Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 35ml
  • Exotic Frangipani Monoi bath & shower cream 50ml
  • Pro-Radiance cream cleanser 30ml

The entire set is worth in the region of £74, that’s a saving of ALMOST 70%!  Debenhams are also currently offering 1000 bonus beauty club points on spends over £50.

How’s your Christmas shopping going?

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay Matte Hydrator

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 3 - 2012

A with most great battles throughout the ages, there are rarely any real winners.  This is how I’ve always felt when it comes to the issue of my skin.  The beauty industry likes to neatly compartmentalise us into skintypes, it makes it easier for them to sell us the products they think we need and it gives us a sense of understanding and order in our already chaotic lives – it serves a purpose.  The problem is that many of us don’t neatly fit into those prescribed compartments, it’s not that they’re irrelevant to us… it’s just that they don’t provide the full solution.

I’ve always described my skin as dry.  This is because I get flaky skin in the winter (despite exfoliating), visible flakes around my nose and chin whatever the weather when I wear a foundation that my skin won’t tolerate, and a tightening sensation after cleansing with any type of water.  I’m loathe to describe it as sensitive, because although I do have redness, I never get reactions or burning sensations when applying products (and I’ve tried a lot!).  That’s all pretty standard so far, but the thing is… these areas are at the same time oil-slicks by lunchtime!  How is that even fair?

I pretty much tolerate it because it can be blotted, and I know it’s not as bad as people with true oily skin get… I only need to blot a couple of times a day for example, but surely that I, with all my flakes… shouldn’t have to blot at all!

That was quite a lengthy introduction but it seemed important to express how I feel about my skintype because the product that I’ve been trying for a few weeks has proven itself to be perfectly suited to my particular concerns.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator is an instant skin mattifier with an oil-free formula that importantly (for people like me) promises to supply necessary hydration to the affected area.  In the past, I haven’t had huge amounts of success with Clinique skincare, I’ve found that it pampers to the extremes and I know that some oilier-skinned types really adore the classic 3-step skincare system, but I found that it simply eft my skin feeling uncomfortably tight.

The Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay Matte Hydrator has a lightweight formula and I only need to use a small amount across my t-zone once my moisturiser has been given five minutes to settle.  It’s priced at £32 for 50ml which isn’t unreasonable for the quantity but judging by the rate I’m getting through the bottle, I’d prefer to pay £16 for 25ml you know?

I’ve found that my t-zone remains far more matte throughout the day since using this, which has had the wonderful side-effect of not seeing my foundation slip from my nose as the day wears on.  I can’t say that I’ve noticed any particular improvement in pore-refinement but my “dry” skin is remaining comfortable despite using this and I’m not experiencing any additional flakiness.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay Matte Hydrator is available to buy on counter and online at clinique.co.uk priced at £32 for 50ml

Does your skintype fit neatly into the dry/oily/combination compartments?

* press sample

INA Crystals White Gold Glow Face Wash

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 8 - 2012

You know, for all the chemical exfoliators in the world, there’s still nothing quite like giving your face a good scrub. But can you actually do that past the age of 25 without feeling guilty that you’re being too harsh on your delicate skin?

Well, yes. Yes you can.

INA Crystals White Gold Glow Face Wash is an SLES-free facial cleanser that combines a rich, nourishing formula with the scrubby goodness of ground loofah and liquid crystal. The finely-ground loofah provides the perfect amount of scrubbiness without feeling scratchy or harsh against my skin.

The proof is in the post-washing glow that looks back at me in the mirror without a hint of increased redness across my sensitive areas.

Having so far waxed lyrical about the pleasures of the White Gold Glow Face Wash, I have to say that I wish it posessed a more luxurious scent.  I know many, many women can’t use highly-scented products. But, if I’m spending £23 on a face wash, I want that all-encompasing end-of-the-day relaxing experience when I take my makeup off. And for me, a big part of that is a damn-good aroma – I’d describe the scent as… earthy.

You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

That aside, the blend of sweet almond, basil, fennel, juniper berry, and carrot oils make for a nourishing experience that complements the exfoliation process and provides a longer-term moisture boost for my combination/dry skin.

Heartily recommended.

Aqua (Water), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultane, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit, Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Disodium Cocoamphoacetate, Parfum (Fragrance), Sal (Himalayan Crystal Salt), Sodium Chloride, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Sucrose Cocoate, Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Limonene

INA Crystals White Gold Glow Face Wash is available online at Zuneta.com, priced at £23 for 100ml

* press sample

If you’re looking to stock up on the classic Liz Earle cleanser – you know, the one that’s gathered a veritable army of fans since its launch 17 years ago – you might want to take a gander at the special edition which goes live on the website today.  Combining the original tried-and-tested formula with the aromatics of rose and lavender essential oils, it promises a relaxing cleansing experience.

This is all well and good, unless you’re anything like me, because by the time you drag your sorry self to the bathroom in search of a flannel, your main priority (other than emerging with a clean face) is not to fall asleep at the sink and drown yourself.

For the more alert among us, this could be just the thing to switch brain from day to night mode.  Or you could reach for it in the mornings and then BLAME the cleanser for everything you do wrong that day.  “Sorry, sorry!  Didn’t see your thumb there…. it’s this new cleanser, it’s the most relaxing thing ever and I keep accidentally washing my face with it in the mornings!”.  That would totally work for almost everything.

£2.00 from every product purchased will be donated to youth charity, The Princes Trust which aims to help provide support to young people looking for work, education and training.

The Liz Earle Rose and Lavender Special Edition Cleanse & Polish is available in a larger-than-usual 150ml pump and is priced at £19.75, available from today at Liz Earle Stores, the Customer Centre on  
01983 813913, lizearle.com, John Lewis, and on QVC

Sacre Bleu! Save a 1/3 on French Pharmacy Brands at Escentual.com!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 31 - 2012

Sacre Bleu indeed!  The last time Escentual.com ran this promotion, I parted with more than my fair share of cash to dip my gallic toe in as much French skincare as it could bear.

Not literally, that would be really unhygenic.

I’ll be restocking the brilliant La Roche-Posay Effaclar AI Targeted Breakout Corrector (the closest thing I’ve found to stop emerging spots DEAD in their tracks), La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP – Lipid Replenishing Body Balm (your skin will thank you this winter!),and the wonderful A-Derma Sensifluid Cleansing Lotion (massage onto skin, wipe off with a barely-damp flannel for brilliant waterless cleansing).

I may also be taking a tiny dabble with some Nuxe Reve de Miel – Honey Lip Balm (‘cos other bloggers keep making me want to try it!), the new La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – Soothing Repairing Balm (to soothe my post-IPL skin), and a Klorane shampoo & conditioner… I haven’t decided which yet, so I’m open to suggestions!

Will you be indulging in any of Escentual.com’s French Pharmacy brands during their price promotion?

What do The Grand Canyon, The Aswan Dam, my blackheads and the Great Pyramids all have in common?  All totally visible from space.

I’ve been reliably informed that my unwanted facial potholes have often been mistaken by the Mars Rover as an interplanetary field of black holes, thoroughly capable of sucking all living matter within a 1000 mile radius into them.

Sounds about right to be honest.

I’ve been trying a daily scrub from Neutrogena which promises to help eradicate these ‘orrible blighters and although it’s early days, I’ve been pretty impressed with the results so far.

There are a billion blackhead-busting scrubs out there but what makes this one a little bit different is the fact that instead of being advised to use it only a couple of times a week, Neutrogena have formulated this one gently enough to be used every day as a replacement to your usual cleanser.

The key ingredients which should make all the difference to our beloved blackheads in this instance is 2% salicylic acid.  A rather brilliant beta hydroxy acid which helps break down congestion deep inside the pore – and used regularly (which you can with this scrub) – will help keep pores free from debris.  Combine this with the manual exfoliation and massage provided by the synthetic microbeads, and it’s a pretty decent way to encourage clogged pores to remain clear.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice that the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub contains no SLS, and as a result, doesn’t foam much.  The wonderful side-effect of this, for me at least, is that I don’t have to run screaming from the bathroom in a dash to slather moisturiser on my rapidly-tightening face.  I find it a touch drying but nothing that would stop me from using this daily.

Because of the salicylic acid, I’ve actually been leaving this on my skin a little longer than you may expect in order to give the chemical the best chance at having an effect on my deep-space-nine (billion) blackheads.  I’m not the biggest fan of the microbeads because they feel a little granular to me and not quite as smooth as I’d like but I’ve been gently rubbing them in a circular motion around the sides of my nose (area of most congestion) and then leaving the product on my face for a couple of minutes before rinsing my skin clean.

I’ve noticed an improvement in the appearance of my blackheads, especially the larger ones… which I suspect, are the ones that are probably the easiest to flush out.  I’m not sure that I love using the product enough to use it daily for like the. rest. of. my. life.  It smells kinda unpleasant…. in a medicinal way but I’ll definitely reach for it often when I notice those little alien heads peeping out of my pores.

Beam me up spotty.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub is currently on offer at Superdrug, priced at £2.34 – definitely worth a punt for those among us who are blackhead-affilicted!

Got blackheads?  How do you bust them?

Elemis Fresh Skin launches new Clear Skin range for troubled skin

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 8 - 2012

With the Elemis Freshskin range now offering greater accessibility nationwide at Superdrug, it was only a matter of time before the brand expanded on the popular 10-piece collection aimed at a younger market.  Skin Clear has been developed with blemish-prone skin in mind and combines a combination of active ingredients from the highest quality essential oils, promising to re-balance, regenerate and renew oily and problem skin.

I definitely envisage the new introduction appealing to more than just teenagers, who says that spotty skin stops when you hit your mid-20s!?

At the heart of each skin clear product is an Iris Complex – a potent blend of 3 active (Iris, Zinc Salt and Vitamin A), anti-blemish ingredients that work in synergy to maximise the individual benefits of each ingredient and deliver a more powerful treatment to the skin.

If you want to see how my guest reviewer fared with the original Freshskin lineup, click through to read Gem’s comprehensive review on the products that she felt hit (or fell short of) the mark.

The full Skin Clear range will be available from September in selected Superdrug stores nationwide and on www.timetospa.co.uk or by calling 0117 316 1888

This no buy thing has been wearing thin from the beginning.  If I’m honest, I’ve amazed myself at my new-found ability to resist the urge to pick up shiny beauty products.  Each time I smugly congratulate myself, Mr. L reminds me that it’s not like I’m not buying anything at all, it’s just that I’ve temporarily swapped makeups for curtains and shit like hob covers.  He reckons that if I were actually not buying anything at all, I’d find it much harder.  I think he’s right, even though it hurts like hell to admit it.  I am so utterly bored of Ikea though.

Anyway, in the midst of this no buy – I lost my facial sunscreen.  I was pretty gutted about it too, thinking I’d only be able to afford to replace it with a thick, pasty varient until our bank balance was looking a little healthier.  Until I went to the 99p store that is….

Oh. my. goodness. what a treasure trove.  I emerged from that store with: 4 Bountys, 4 cans of Pepsi Max, 6 toilet rolls (I have no shame), a spaghetti holder, 2 kinder eggs, a tin of Ye Olde Oak Ham (don’t judge, we only got a cooker today), 160 tea bags and my new facial sunscreen.  All for a total of £7.92 – screw you Tesco.  Having said that, I might give the loo roll to Leila, she needs some new tracing paper.

My new sunscreen is by Coppertone, which I believe is a U.S. brand, though this one was obviously intended for the Asian market.

Packaged without fuss and small enough to tote around in my handbag, the UV Protect UV Cut Milk Mild is a real find for me and one that I’ll be returning to pick up a couple more bottles of before the stock runs out, probably never to be seen again.  I generally favour an SPF of around 30 for daily use and the Japanese PA++ rating is enough to satisfy my needs in this non-tropical climate.

The lotion is light-weight and will please oilier skintypes who want their sun protection to feel barely-there in this warmer weather.  A few minutes after applying, my skin feels dry again with no residue or tackiness left behind.  The milky formula also spreads extremely well with a thin, liquid texture.  Although it claims to be odourless, I think I detect a slight scent, not unpleasant… but not hugely endearing either, just a bit…. chemically.  Thankfully, this fades quickly after application.

The packaging prevents product wastage and everything about the design is built for convenience rather than style.  There’s not much more to say about it really, at 99p – it’s a no-brainer and I’m really pleased I lost my Biore now!  Stock probably varies across the branches but there were a few other Coppertone products instore earlier this week (including spray sunscreens) so it’s worth a look if you have the chain near you.

What sun protection are you using at the moment?

Deal Alert: Half Price Suncare at Boots!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 6 - 2012

If you’re doing some last minute shopping for your Summer holidays, you might be interested to know that all Soltan-branded suncare (Boot’s own brand) is currently half price, instore and online.  There’s a full range to suit the entire family – I really like (and currently use on the whole family) the Soltan Kids Rapid Cover SPF50++ one but am incredibly tempted by one of the aerosol “lighter than light” options whilst it’s at a bargain price.

Are you a fan of the Soltan branded suncare products?  Which ones do you rate and which ones should we avoid!

Remember how I told you that I’m supposed to be on a no-buy?  As in… no-buying anymore beauty crap until I’ve redeemed my spendy ways and bought enough substandard, veneered beech/birch/what’s the difference flat-pack from IKEA to furnish our new flat?  Well, I’m getting devious in my old age.

We went to IKEA last night and I totally came back with beauty stuff in the guise of it being for the new bathroom.  1-0 to me!

Ok, so it’s not the most exciting beauty purchase since the time I got all excited about finding a jumbo sharpener to fit my NARS Glitter Pencils but c’mon, a girl’s gotta get her beauty fix somewhere?  The blog-worthy thing about these IKEA NÄCKTEN flannels (guest towels/whatever) is that a). they’re 20p each and b). they’re BIG – about twice the size of normal flannels – which means that they soak up twice as much water as normal flannels and really give your pores a good steam.

They’re perfect for encouraging us grubby lot to change our flannels more regularly.  At 20p eahc, you can afford to keep a stash that you can just throw at the laundry basket (bonus points if you get it in) when you’re done.  Judging by the washing instructions, these should even survive my refusal to acknowledge anything that can’t be tumble dried – the lazy girls iron.

So next time you’re trudging around IKEA all sad-faced ‘cos they’d run out of Daim Cake and only had that trio of ugly mini-cakes that NO ONE EVER EATS, EVER – don’t be glum, go and buy some flannels or something.

And a hot-dog on the way out.

What are your favourite ‘cheap’ bathroom essentials?

Heal Gel, the closest I’ve come to “miracle in a jar” beauty

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 19 - 2012

Heal Gel.  The most visually uninspiring product to land on my desk, ever.  Except – perhaps more than most – as beauty lovers, we should understand that looks can be deceiving, and if my instincts on a product’s efficacy serve me well, this unassuming little jar contains something not unlike a miracle.  Yeah, you heard me.  I don’t mince my words when it comes to my reviews, but you’ll rarely hear me call something out as a skin saviour.

Boring isn’t it?  But when compared to some of the flash self-proclaimed “miracle” creams on the market, this one actually appears to have some potency.

I put a shout out on Twitter to ask for recommendations on products that might help to improve the appearance of my daughter’s scar.  She picked the scab that had healed over a scratch back in February and it had, in return, left her with a slightly red dent on her cheek.  It wasn’t the most noticeable thing in the world, but on her completely flawless canvas – it was a shame.  Thankfully, over time and with generous moisturising with calendula cream – the colour in the scab calmed and returned to match her skin-colouring, the dent however, remained.

I genuinely didn’t think that there would be any topical product that would help this situation, I mean… if there really were something that could ‘plump’ the skin up enough to fill a dent (and do it permanently), that stuff would already be holy grail for every single woman on the planet (and probably cost a bajillion pounds) right?  The good people on Twitter suggested lots of things and home remedies that I’d already tried – the most popular being Bio Oil, something that I’ve used in the past and didn’t personally feel achieved much compared to how lauded it is in the beauty community.

The PR for Heal Gel* asked if I wanted to try a sample of the product which is used to treat post-operative scarring, keloid scars, blemishes and aged scar tissue.  My interest was piqued, on paper – it fits the bill but I was unsure, because it’s one thing testing products out on myself but I don’t feel comfortable trying samples on my daughter.  I googled to find out more about Heal Gel and had a DM from a fellow blogger with much more skincare nouse than me who had seen the tweet and suggested that it might actually work.

Well, it worked.  I think.

I applied a tiny amount directly to the dent, three times a day and within 3 weeks of application, I started to notice that when my daughter turned her head, the light that reflected in the dent was looking more shallow than it had previously.  It’s really hard to quantify a change that, to be quite honest, is minimal.  I have to trust my instincts somewhat that it’s not a placebo effect but both myself and my husband agree that overall, the scarring is looking flatter and can only really be noticed now when she angles her head into the light.

I feel that perhaps this is something that would have happened in good time.  She’s young, has plenty of collagen and good skin elasticity but I also believe that my use of Heal Gel accelerated the natural healing process.  I commented on Twitter that I thought I was seeing good results… but I wasn’t entirely sure about writing a post extolling it’s virtues – I didn’t want anyone to go rushing out to spend their pennies on this stuff based on my reccomendations without something just a little more tangible.  I started to use Heal Gel on my own aged surgery scars, and crossed my fingers.

That was only a week ago, not enough time to notice any difference in the slightest.

So why am I writing my review now?  Well, I got sunburned on Sunday morning, walking around the car-boot sale.  I’d SPF’ed my face to the max and completely ignored my chest, clever no?  Combined with a stiff breeze I really didn’t feel the effects until I sat back in the car and felt the tell-tale stinging sensation that tells me I’ve over-done it.  Bugger.  Until I remembered the Heal Gel sat in my desk at home and I formulated a cunning plan!
I would treat one half of my *cough* burnt bosom *cough* with my usual aftersun solution of Aloe Vera gel and the other, with the Heal Gel.  Within 24 hours, I’d found a good enough reason to trust my initial instincts.  Look!

I’m half proud of my ingenuity at trying to deliver some tangible results with the product, and half mortified that I’ve basically flashed my boobs in my leopard-print cami (don’t try and pretend you didn’t notice the cami) on the fucking internet.  Go me!

I’ll leave you with this thought…  If it takes five leading British plastic and cosmetic surgeons only three years to perfect the formula for Heal Gel.  Why is it taking me longer than thirty years to remember to sun-protect my chest in the first place?  Shameful.

Heal Gel is priced at £33.50 for 30ml and can be purchased online from Victoria Health and Cult Beauty.  It’s also available instore at Liberty.

* press sample

** for an ingredient list and more scientific information than I’m able to provide, click through to either Victoria Health or Cult Beauty for more information, the Heal Gel website is a little sparse at the moment!


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