That beautiful moment when makeup does what it’s supposed to…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 27 - 2013

We wear makeup for many different reasons. Some of us like to experiment with colour, some of us like to improve upon our natural beauty *cough*, and some of us enjoy piling on everything we own just because we can.

At the moment, I’m somewhere between number two and a facefull of slap. Whenever I’m sick (is she still going on about that?), my skin is the first place it shows and the last place it recovers. Flaky, blotchy, purple under the eyes, and spots a-plenty are the order of the day. Which is exactly what one needs when you already feel like shit, of course.

Whilst I’d love to tweak my skincare routine to improve my natural radiance and rebalance my complexion from the inside out… I’d also like to be able to sprout a pair of wings and crap on the EDL headquarters from a great height. Sadly, neither are happening any time soon, and so instead, I turn to my makeup routine for the answers and pray that it won’t fail me.

a skin transformation_01

This isn’t a tutorial as such, I’m no bleedin’ make up artist after all… but I thought I’d go into some real depth about the products that I’m using to work, what is basically, a skin miracle at the moment.

a skin transformation_02

First things first, skin prep. If your skin is suffering, you can’t ignore this step in the routine. It’s imperative that you give your makeup the best possible base upon which to sit. It may be that you’re fighting an oil-slick or something akin to moon craters, or perhaps like me… you’re battling dryness of epic proportions. Take an extra five-minutes to target these concerns before you even go near your face with foundation, the finished result will be worth the effort.

a skin transformation_03

Starting with a cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturised face… I deal with the dryness that has been causing my foundation to cling in patches. Upon Caroline‘s advice, I’m treating my skin to a moisture sandwich of oil and cream, first with an Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss (£62.00) capsule which delivers an antioxidant-rich hydration boost in the form of moringa oil, followed immediately by a generous layer of La Roche Posay’s Nutritic Intense Riche* (£14.00)

And then I wait. A couple of minutes later, I can tell where I need additional hydration, so I work a little more of the LRP into the skin, avoiding the areas that are prone to midday oiliness. That done, I move onto the one product that generally replaces “primer” for me during the colder months.

a skin transformation_04

Maqpro Makeup Mixer (from £8.00) is a makeup artist’s trick taught to me by the wonderful Kenneth Soh who recommended it to me a couple of years ago as a great base for mineral products on drier skins. It’s a tip that continues to save me whenever my skin is behaving badly. Not only is it a wonderful mixer for sheering out heavier foundations, it also does wonders for improving how a product applies over, and sits ontop of dry skin without compromising the moisture levels underneath.

At this point, I use a brush to apply the Maqpro but I don’t work it fully into the skin, preferring instead to dot the product allover with the brush and only lightly blend. This way, it combines easily and increases the glide of the next layer of product.

a skin transformation_05

a skin transformation_06

Before even contemplating foundation, I still want to improve the radiance levels of my skin. A lot of the time, I reach for a liquid illumintor that I can apply allover and then “tone down” with foundation. I’ve been trying something a little different recently in the form of this rather splendid Lyster Cream Bronzer* (£36.00) from Swedish brand Manasi Makeup.

The pot contains far more product (55g) than I could ever see myself using and as such, I do wish they offered a smaller-size for less money but I can’t deny that the product itself is beautiful. Free from mineral oils and parabens, it delivers something inbetween a bronzer and a luminizer that works very nicely against my pale skintone. If you’re blessed with naturally great skin, I could see something like this being your one-pot wonder for sunkissed, healthy-looking skin without fear of looking orange or overdone.

I tap my brush lightly on the top (you don’t need much) and work the bronzer all over my skin using a circular motion, it blends nicely… but even more beautifully with my layer of Maqpro beneath it.

a skin transformation_07

Finally, it’s time for foundation! At the moment, I’m alternating between my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in shade 4.5 (£34.50) and my beloved tube of Clinique Supermoisture Makeup* (£19.35) which is a better option for when I don’t have the time to do this kind of skin prep. If I am using the Clinique, I skip the Maqpro in this next step as it’s an exceptionally moisture-rich foundation on its own merit.

When I’m using anything other than the Clinique, I reach again for the Maqpro (as shown below). One blob of each and using the same face brush as I’ve been using all along, I give the products a little mix on the back of my hand before working into my skin lightly.

a skin transformation_08

I never apply foundation heavily or in more than one layer when my skin is playing up because it doesn’t matter how much preparation or effort I put into the application, after a few hours… my foundation will clump over the dehydrated patches if it’s too heavy. Which is why, I always reach for concealer as the last step despite usually being a bit of a concealer-phobe when my skin is less fussy.

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Bare Minerals SPF 20 Correcting Concealer* (£21.00) is the perfect choice for dry skin-types thanks to a light texture and a lot of slip. It’s very creamy and offers a good amount of coverage, making it a great choice when your aim is to keep your layers as thin as possible. The final step is a little precision highlighting with something like the iconic YSL Touche Eclat (£25.00).

Now, that’s quite a lot of product but use my “how-to” as a guide rather than a manual. The principles are simple and you’ll already have certain products in your collection that you know you can substitute…

1. Make a real effort to get your skin in the best condition possible before you go near it with colour.
2. Work in thin, lightweight layers.
3. Add additional moisture or “slip” as you go.
4. Now isn’t the time for powder, keep things creamy.
5. If you’re nervous about being too heavy-handed with illuminator or bronzer, apply it before your foundation.
6. Leave concealer until the last possible moment, you’ll end up using less product as a result.

How’s your skin behaving at the moment and what trickery are you employing to get the best from your complexion?

* press sample


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

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

Silky Skin? LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2012

I’m not a body lotion type person but I have about four bottles open, each at various stages of emptiness… I slather them on and wander aimlessly across the landing and back, waiting for the icky feeling to subside.  I have to use them because underneath my skin, I have scales.  After showering, the water seemingly dissolves the upper epidermis leaving me feeling more horny toad than supple and soft.

The worst bits are typically in those hard to reach areas, namely that horizontal line that connects both shoulder blades.  As the water evaporates, my skin tightens and I feel a familiar tingle that has me running for the body cremes.  When I say “me”, I actually mean Mr. L… I’ve already said that I can’t reach.  It’s a daily ritual… and one that I’m very grateful that I have a husband to help me with.  I’m so high maintenance.

Enter LUSH’s latest innovation, Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner*.

Taking the hair conditioner theory and applying it to the skin, it’s basically a tub of sweet-smelling, oil-infused skin conditioner that you smear over your body after washing, then rinse off prior to stepping out of the shower.  Towel dry your skin gently and you’ll feel as if you’ve just smothered yourself in a rich body creme.  And unlike last year’s innovation, Toothy Tabs… I’m a massive fan.

A). It smells completely delicious, like a mixture of cocoa butter and roses… truly edible.

B).  It really works.

It feels odd on the skin whilst you’re still in the shower, like you’ve just waterproofed your skin with a slather of grease to be honest.  Deliciously-scented but lardy nonetheless.   As I patted my skin dry with the towel, it felt simply amazing and still does, sitting here 5 hours later. *strokes arms*

A little goes a very long way and the trick is to increase its ‘spreadability’, work with a small amount and don’t be afraid to really eke it out over the skin’s surface.  It’s generously rich in oils and although some parts may feel like you have more product on than others, have faith that you’ve done a good job in spreading the conditioner.  It’s not the cheapest outlay but it will easily last twice as long as my regular body moisturisers PLUS, I don’t have to stand around shivering as I wait for it to sink in!

LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is priced at £15.50 for 225g and I highly recommend it for post-shower lizard people.

* press sample

I’m a big fan of homeopathic brand Nelsons, a British institution with over 150 years of history behind it.  As a teen, I relied on their Bach’s Rescue Remedy to get me through my GCSEs and driving test, I keep an Arnica kid’s stick in my handbag for when Leila walks into something/falls over/needs to pretend that she’s a doctor, and I keep forgetting to pick up a tube of Graphites Cream for the little eczema flare ups that I get where my wedding ring sits.  I find the products effective at providing quick relief (almost like a security blanket) without breaking the bank.

I was sent a tube of Calendula Cream*, which is marketed as a multi-purpose cream for rough, dry, flaky or chapped skin.  Oh hai!  That’s me that is!

I’ve spent the past two days rubbing it into my cuticles as a benchmark, simply because I’m so used to nourishing that area I feel that I can judge it’s efficacy better here than by using it on other parts on my body.  I’d describe the Calendula Cream as a good option for those who need a lightweight but nourishing moisturiser.  This isn’t something I’d apply before bed for an intensive treatment, it’s better suited to a daytime environment.  It’s a little too slow to absorb to keep in my handbag (when you’ve literally only got about 30 seconds before you need to be doing stuff/touching things again) but it’s nicely balanced as an option for your desk drawer.

It has been effective at softening the hardest bits of skin around my fingernails even after only a couple of days.  I don’t care for the scent, which I’m struggling to describe as it smells (to me) neither floral, nor herbal.  I don’t know what calendula (the plant) actually smells like, it may be a perfect representation.  The cream doesn’t leave a greasy film behind but does leave a silky sensation that may put you off… you can ‘feel’ it, but it doesn’t hinder at all.

You can use this on any dry bits, I’m currently suffering around my hairline… so I’ll be giving it a go on my face, albeit a little concerned that it may be too rich… we shall see!  I’ve posted a picture of the ingredient’s list above, the cream is described as being free from: artificial colourings, fragrances, parabens, PEGs, lanolin, silicones and mineral oils.  So basically, it’s a good option for anyone that has experienced (or feels they have experienced) any problems with the above ingredients in the past.  I also really like the Weleda Calendula Weather Protection Cream which is more of an intensive treatment (and doesn’t sink in so well) for very dry skin.

Priced at £6.35, Nelsons Calendula Cream is available to buy instore and online at Boots

* press sample

Coming Soon: Lanolips Golden Ointment

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 28 - 2011

I’m excited to share this with you… because over the past few months, I’ve been hiding a pot of gold.  A little lab sample of Lady Lamb’s latest launch (try saying that drunk).

Lanolips Golden Ointment is a deeply rich, nourishing balm for ultra-dry skin.  The kind of skin that tears at your clothes and makes your tights feel like sandpaper against your shins… the skin we dread each Winter.  If you’re in need of deep moisturisation and instant relief, this could be what you’ve been looking for – provided in the form of some of the most natural, pure and most-overlooked ingredients in the world.

Smelling like warm, buttered-honey, Golden Ointment has a creamy consistency to match.  The ointment is enriched with Ultra Pure Medical Grade Lanolin, Manuka Honey & Vitamin E, and contains no artificial colours or fragrance (of course).

Simplicity always was the recipe for success.

Lanolips Golden Ointment will launch mid-November EXCLUSIVELY at Victoria Health (waiting list available), priced at £17.99 before rolling out across Boots stores nationwide from February.

 

My tips for dealing with dry skin: treating

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 23 - 2011

You may remember my post of tips I put together regarding the cleansing of dry skin… well, I’m back with a follow-up on how to treat dry, reactive skin types.

Allow me to copy in a little from the previous post to remind you of the background…

What do I mean by dry skin?  Well, for me… my combo/dry skin is largely self-inflicted.  I know I don’t drink enough water (and always see a marked improvement when I do), I refuse to give up my cleansing oil addiction and although I’m leaning more toward kinder organic cleansing balms, I refuse to just ‘get rid’ of some of my more drying oils until they’re finished.  Waste not, want not as my Mum would say.

I don’t suffer too badly in the Summer, but come the end of October, my skin loses its glow and the biggest problem I have to battle are those dreaded flakies that make any foundation look like crap.

I’m breaking the tips into a couple of posts:  cleansing, treating, moisturising & makeup.  Please remember that I’m in no way an expert, I’ve just bumbled through a lot of trial and errors to find what works well for me.  So without further ado…

Treating

1.  Think about supplementing your diet with additional vitamins or minerals to keep your skin in top shape.  Either go for a general multivitamin to give a beauty boost or look for something more specific containing zinc and a good balance of vitamins A, E & C.  Also aim to eat more foods rich in high-quality fatty acids such as Omega-3.

Suggested products: Neals Yard Beauty Boost with Frankincense, Cosmetofruit: Face Anti-Aging Defense, Functionalab Radiance Formula, Oskia Pure MSM, Viridian Hyaluronic Acid 50mg

2.  One of my most-frequently repurchased beauty items are cans of pH-balanced water.  To many, that will sound like a horrible waste of money but I became addicted after my laser hair removal last year, when nothing else worked to cool and hydrate my skin as quickly.  I keep a can in the car and one by my computer, they mist lightly and instantly give a boost of hydration when needed.

Suggested products: Avene Eau Thermale, La Roche Posay Thermal Spa Water, Evian Facial Spray, Uriage Thermal Water

3.  Exfoliating is critical for those of us with dry skin but as our skin is often quite sensitive, we have to be careful to choose the right kind of exfoliator.  If you prefer the feeling of a mechanical exfoliator, make sure the granules are fine enough not to cause any micro-tearing to your skin.  Alternatively, opt for a chemical exfoliator that harnesses the power of fruit enzymes, glycolic acids and BHAs.  As to how often you should exfoliate, that varies and the best way to find out is to see what your skin will tolerate.

Suggested products: Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Origins Brighter by Nature Peel Pads, No7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator, Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask

4.  Get specific to your skin’s needs with a high-intensity serum, oil or concentrate that contains hydration-boosting or skin-repairing ingredients.  Incorporate this into your bedtime routine to give your skin optimum time to repair itself while you sleep.  Look for products that combine well with your favourite night creams to quench the thirst!

Suggested products: Dermalogica Ultra-Calming Serum Concentrate, Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, Medik8 Hydr8 B5, REN Max Moisture Concentrate

5.  Lie back, put your feet up and treat your skin to a regular mask treatment.  Because I still get an oily nose, I tend to use two different types of mask simultaneously — on my cheeks, chin and forehead I use something deeply nourishing whilst my nose gets blasted with a good old dose of something clay-based to draw out the impurities.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match, it’s all about tailoring your skincare to find the best results for your skin type.

Suggested products: Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque (t-zone), Dr. Hauschka Rejuvenating Mask, Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Cream Mask, Korres Thyme Honey Mask

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Whilst you’re treating a flare up, avoid products that foam and make sure that when you bathe or shower, the water isn’t too hot.  Turn down the central heating just a touch (yeah, I know) and if Winter causes annual issues, think about investing in a humidifier for the room you spend the most time in.  Most “normal” dry skin conditions can be treated with a little know-how and a lot of dedication to pinning down what works for you but if in doubt, always consult your doctor.

Do feel free to add any TREATMENT tips you’ve discovered for dealing with dry skin, I’d love to hear them.  I’ll be covering general moisturising tips later.

* disclosure: in the above picture, the SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective, Neals Yard Beauty Boost and Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque were press samples

 

My tips for dealing with dry skin: cleansing

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 16 - 2011

I don’t usually do “tip” posts like these, infact I’m not sure that I’ve ever done one before.  So it’s with a little apprehension and a large dose of ‘Do I know what the hell I’m talking about?’ that I present to you some of my tips for dealing with dry skin.

What do I mean by dry skin?  Well, for me… my combo/dry skin is largely self-inflicted.  I know I don’t drink enough water (and always see a marked improvement when I do), I refuse to give up my cleansing oil addiction and although I’m leaning more toward kinder organic cleansing balms, I refuse to just ‘get rid’ of some of my more drying oils until they’re finished.  Waste not, want not as my Mum would say.

I don’t suffer too badly in the Summer, but come the end of October, my skin loses its glow and the biggest problem I have to battle are those dreaded flakies that make any foundation look like crap.

I’m breaking the tips into a couple of posts:  cleansing, treating, moisturising & makeup.  Please remember that I’m in no way an expert, I’ve just bumbled through a lot of trial and errors to find what works well for me.  So without further ado…

Cleansing

1.  I refuse to give up on my cleansing oils/balms for makeup removal, so try to find one that is as natural as they come.  That means no mineral oils or other Petrochemicals.  Let your second cleanse shift the residue rather than relying on the inbuilt emulsifying agents.

Suggested products: Inlight Organic Cleanser, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Nude Cleansing Facial Oil, Spiezia Organic Facial Cleanser & Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel

2.  Don’t use your hands to wash!  Make sure you have a stockpile of your favourite flannels/muslins and use them to exfoliate!  I can’t abide ‘flappy’ muslin cloths and always opt for microfibre or generic flannels.  I buy 2 microfibre cloths for £1 in Asda (the home cleaning aisle!) but anything is better than nothing at all!

3.  Choose your cleanser carefully.  My skin always reacts most positively to the ‘boring’ cleansers on the market.  These are usually the creamy-type ones that don’t make any additional claims other than to gently cleanse your skin.  Avoid that ‘squeaky’ clean feeling like the plague.  We don’t have the excess sebum production of oilier types and can’t tolerate twice daily skin stripping from harsher cleansers.  Avoid SLS and Petrochemicals.

Suggested products: Bare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser, Lavera Organic Lemon Balm Facial Cleansing Gel, Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream & Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser.

4.  Mind that water!  Living in the South, our water supply tends to lean toward the alkaline end of the PH scale which can encourage dryness if you don’t use a PH balanced cleanser to even things out when washing.  Most ‘gentle’ cleansers are PH balanced by default but it goes a long way to explain why I’ve stopped simply splashing my skin with water in the mornings.  I thought I was helping by not over-cleansing.  Wrong!

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I’m sure there are lots of other little gems out there to cleanse effectively without over-stripping our skin but these are the ones that I find work for me.

Do feel free to add any CLEANSING tips you’ve discovered from dealing with dry skin, I’d love to hear them.  I’ll be dealing with exfoliating, treating, moisturising, lifestyle type tips later.

* disclosure: in the above picture, the Inlight Cleansing Balm and Bare Minerals Cleanser are press samples

Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 31 - 2010

Like many in the beauty blogging community, I’ve been trialling a few Liz Earle products over the last month or so and I’d like to offer my thoughts on how they’ve been working for me.

I’m gonna start with the Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser.

Before I had been contacted by the PR for Liz Earle, I’d had a couple of ‘beauty’ friends on twitter comment to me that I should be trying this moisturiser for my combination/dry skin.  Now I can see why.

Superskin Moisturiser is a deceptively light-feeling cream that packs one hell of a moisturising punch.  Brimming with natural ingredients such as Borage Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Glycerin, Pomegranate Extract, Rosehip Oil, Shea Butter and Vitamin E, it’s marketed towards a more mature consumer with dry to very dry skin.  I have combination/dry skin with a slightly oily nose and I didn’t find Superskin moisturiser to be too heavy for my oily areas in the slightest.

It absorbs quickly, leaving my skin feeling supple and replenished.  I haven’t noticed it having any particular softening effects like some moisturisers I’ve tried, but I can happily attest to the fact that my skin no longer feels tight or dehydrated since I replaced my usual moisuriser with this a month ago.

There’s a slight scent that I would class as herbal, it’s not entirely to my liking… but it’s not unpleasant at all, it’s just one of those ‘natural’ smells.  I apply Superskin Moisturiser at night only, prefering a day cream with SPF in the mornings.  The packaging is darling, from the outer cardboard design to the heavy acrylic jar inside.

Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser doesn’t come cheap at £32.50 for a 50ml jar… in all honesty, I balk a little at that price considering it has no specific anti-aging claims… but now I know how well the cream is suiting me, I think I’m probably forever ensnared into the cult of Liz.

I think this would particularly suit you if you would like a lighter, more easily absorbed product that gives the same level of moisturisation as a thicker, heavier and more uncomfortable cream.

Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser is available from the Liz Earle website priced from £12.00

Nude Cleansing Facial Oil – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 28 - 2010

With my love for cleansing oils fairly well documented, I was keen to try another in my (quite possibly) never-ending quest for the ‘perfect’ cleansing oil.

I want my oil to do 3 things…

1). Cleanse my skin (like, duh!)

2). Rinse clean leaving no oily residue.

3). Not dry my skin out.

There’s other stuff too like “smell nice”, “not break the bank”, “easy to dispense”, “look pretty in my bathroom”… but they’re secondary to my 3 Commandments of Cleansing Oils.

I was sent a bottle of Nude Cleansing Facial Oil for potential review and immediately liked it’s sleek, minimalistic exterior.  I am a sucker for packaging, and this ticks all the boxes for me.

Detergent free? So that’s SLS and the like which are well known culprits for stripping skin of moisture… good stuff!

The ingredients are listed as:

INGREDIENTS: glycine soja (soybean) oil, polyglyceryl-4-oleate (vegetable oil), squalene (olive oil), tocopherol acetate (plant sources), natural fragrance (parfum), benzyl benzoate (essential oil), linalool (essential oil), eugenol (essential oil)

The first thing I noticed was the quality of the ingredients… At £28 a bottle, this stuff isn’t cheap.  But if I think back to my SK-II, (which came in at a hefty £32) it’s central ingredient was mineral oil.  I commented then on how mineral oil is one of the cheapest substances on Earth and I’m delighted to see that Nude Skincare have stayed true to their Organic ethos by keeping their ingredients as natural and pure as possible.

On their website, Nude assert that…

Up to 70% of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into the blood stream. Our remarkable products work with the skin, using active ingredients that face and body can understand and use without harm.

I can get on board with that..

Packaging is 40% recycled plastic apparently and I have no quality issues to report.  The bottle is great for travel… I carted this up to the North East with me and didn’t experience any spillages.

The blurb says to dispense 1 or 2 pumps.. I don’t wear huge amount of makeup, but I don’t find 1 pump to be enough.  It’s quite a thick oil and doesn’t spread *that* easily.  2 pumps makes it easier to guide over my face, and if I’m wearing a smoky eye… then it needs to be 3, which is quite a lot compared to other oils.

When using this, I actually feel like I’m experiencing a ‘treatment’ rather than simply cleansing my face.  One of the reasons is the scent.  Quite strong and pungent, it’s inescapable.  If you’re not a fan of strong scents in your skincare products, then I’d think really carefully before purchasing this cleansing oil.  I’m a huge fan of the smell… it reminds me of something quite specific which you’d probably all laugh at, but which turns the whole experience into something a little more special than simply washing my makeup off.

I can’t really say that without telling you what it makes me think of can I?

OK… it reminds me of being a teenager at my parent’s home in France.  It reminds me of Autumn and of damp horse chestnuts scattered over the lanes… It reminds me of woodburners and the wood from those horse chestnut trees spitting as the resin gets caught by the flames.

Silly and very personal to me but I can only review on my experiences.  What’s useful for you to take away from that is the fact that scent-wise, I think you’d either love it or hate it.  Have a sniff of it next time you’re in Space NK and let me know what you think!

Because the oil is of a thicker, more viscous consistency, I find myself massaging it into my skin in little circles.  I do this without any real thought – it’s almost a subconscious action, and one that probably benefits my skin more than I appreciate.

What about cleansing though? Does it budge mascara, foundation, eye liners?  Yes… apart from when I use a particularly hard to budge eyeliner, I have no problems removing my makeup with this cleansing oil and my eyes suffer no sensitivity from wiping this over my eyelids.

It doesn’t emulsify as completely as I would like.  I’m finding this to be my main annoyance with most of the cleansing oils I’ve tried.  It (like many others) leaves a slightly oily feeling on my hands and face.  I don’t think it leaves a proper ‘residue’ per se, but my skin doesn’t have that squeaky clean feeling after rinsing off.  I need to second cleanse with another product when using this cleansing oil.

A huge plus point in it’s favour is that I’m not noticing this oil drying my skin out at all.  Compared to all the others I’ve tried and reviewed (DHC, Shiseido, SK-II, Smashbox) – this one leaves my skin feeling as soft and supple as promised.  I’m putting that down to those carefully selected ingredients.

So, Nude Cleansing Oil… are you my Holy Grail?  You *are* lovely and I have thoroughly enjoyed using you…. I love the feelings your scent invokes and the way you’ve quite unexpectedly turned my cleansing routine into a mini spa.  I just wish that you emulsified completely and were a little more affordable.

Pros: Beautifully Scented, Removes makeup well, Quality Ingredients, Great Packaging, Non-Drying & Luxurious to use

Cons: Doesn’t emulsify completely, Expensive

January Essentials – Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 18 - 2010

Love it or hate it, Rose-scented products tend to polarise opinion… I’m in the love-it camp, I find it a comforting smell in a Granny kinda way.

I’m talking Granny in a cool Lily of the Valley sense.  NOT Granny in a mint imperials wrapped in tissue discovered in the bottom of a musty-smelling handbag sense.  I hope we’re clear on that?

Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil promises to protect skin from free-radicals whilst moisturising and promoting inner balance and harmony.

Inner balance? Harmony? Please excuse my whilst I attempt to mainline about 5 litres of the stuff directly into my veins… I’m on the final day of my inlaws visit.  I love them really… but… well, yano…

Oils are my thang, I’m a lazy git when it comes to body moisturising… and oils just seem easier to me than creams.  I apply them after turning off the shower taps whilst my skin is still damp.

Doing it this way, means I can be quick and messy and get the chore over with.  I also like to screw with Mr. L and leave an oily residue in the bath.  It’s like banana skins x700 billion.  *claps hands with glee*

I also find them to be great value for money.  Body Oils are generally more expensive than creams and lotions, but a little goes a very long way and a single bottle will easily last me 6 months of daily use.

I especially like the sound of this one ‘cos you can slather it on your face too… god I’m such a sloth.  I’m sussing myself out as I type this…  I want an all-over oil that I can apply in about 5 secs flat from top to toe without moving from the warmth of the bathroom don’t I?  Well.. step forward Weleda!

And this… ladies and um ladies, is why I’m announcing Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil a bonafide January Essential (for lazy flakey-skinned bitches).

Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil is available from LoveLula.com and priced at £18.95 for 100ml

Are you a body oil fan?

January Essentials – Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 4 - 2010

Want it!

My cuticles are a mess… I’ve lost my little v-shaped trimmer thing that I normally use every couple of weeks to tidy up the edges before moisturising and my lemony flutter doesn’t seem to be making the difference it once did.

Yu-Be is the #1 selling medicated skin cream in Japan and contains the following skin-loving ingredients:

  • Glycerin – Natural “Humectant” attracts and retains moisture in the skin, making it softer.
  • Vitamin E – Natural anti-oxidant and skin protector.
  • Vitamin B2 – Helps to smooth rough or damaged skin – also gives Yu-Be it’s yellow color.
  • Camphor – Helps soothe minor skin irritations – mild scent fades in minutes leaving skin feeling healthy.

It contains no: Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Synthetic Dyes, Petrochemicals or Phthalates

Available from Zuneta, priced at £11.74

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