Guest Review: Dermalogica Clear Start Range

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 17 - 2014

Ey up!  I’ve got a guest review on the blog today!

Kenzie hails from Kenzie Benali Beauty & Fashion, a blog that the Southampton-based student enjoys updating during her spare time from a busy Multimedia Journalism degree.  She kindly took charge of guest reviewing the new Dermalogica Clear Start Range* for me, as her younger skin is more suited to the range’s active ingredients and target audience than mine!

Take it away Kenzie…

For the last month and a half, I have religiously been using all of the products from the Dermalogica clear start range.

With a history of problematic skin and having tried what feels like every product on the market I was excited to find out what the hype surrounding Dermalogica was all about.

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Here is how I got on with them!

Breakout Clearing Foam Wash (£13.00) – I used this product twice daily and I have to say I loved it. It has quite a thick, gel like texture, which at first was a little hard to take to, but it really left my skin feeling cleansed and fresh and smelt beautiful.

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Breakout Clearing All Over Toner (£13.00) – This is a unique toner because of its mist form. Prior to using this, I had never tried any spray toners. At first it felt slightly uncomfortable as it leaves the face feeling a little damp but once you get used to the sensation and allow it to sink into the skin it is extremely refreshing and effective. If you can not take to the spray however, I often applied the toner onto a cotton pad and then to my face to avoid the feeling of residue on the skin. This product can also be applied onto other areas of the body that are prone to breakouts.

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Blackhead Clearing Pore Control Scrub (£13.00) – My skin is extremely prone to dryness, so out of all of the products this was one of the most effective for me. I used this 3 to 4 times a week and it made a visible difference to the way my foundation sat on my skin. Often my skin would become flakey and applying foundation on to my skin can just worsen this but using the scrub prior to doing my make up really helped to smooth the skin and provide a clean and soft base. The only trouble I did have with this was that I found the microbeads perhaps a little too harsh, that being said I have very sensitive skin! To combat this, I just used a tiny amount each time and rubbed it in extremely gently.

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Breakout Clearing Daytime Treatment (£16.00) – This moisturiser was lovely to put on after my morning routine. However, I did find that I had to leave a substantial amount of time in between applying this and doing my make up, (about 30 minutes) because it took sometime to really soak into the skin.

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Oil Clearing Matte Moisturiser SPF15 (£16.00) – This moisturiser promises to provide all day shine control and although it didn’t completely eliminate all areas of oiliness, it certainly helped to improve it. Often, a few hours after applying my make up, I start to get shine on my face so this was a great product for me.

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Breakout Clearing Emergency Spot Fix (£13.00) – I used this at the first signs of any breakouts and it made a very obvious difference. I usually applied the cream before I went to bed so that when I woke up the redness had noticeably gone down. My only criticism would be that it comes in an extremely small tube and I went through it very quickly.

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Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque (£16.00) – This masque was extremely successful in unclogging pores but most notably for hydrating my skin. I used it about 3 times a week whenever my skin was looking slightly dry. As my skin is so sensitive I only kept this treatment on for 5 minutes, rather than the 10 suggested but it still did exactly as the packaging promised and soothed away irritations.

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Breakout Clearing Overnight Treatment (£13.00) – This invisible treatment really improved swelling and redness and felt extremely soothing before bed. This product also seemed to greatly reduce dryness and kept my skin hydrated until the morning.

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Over all I found the clear start range very true to its word, “a clear winner for teenagers.” I definitely noticed fewer breakouts and improved clarity in the skin which I think in the longer term could potentially completely clear affected areas. All of the products smell gorgeous, with a very fruity and fresh theme running throughout and left me feeling completely cleansed. I would not hesitate to purchase anything from this range again!

Lots of love, Kenzie xxx

* press sample

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LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 11 - 2014

You didn’t know that I was psychic did you?  It’s ok, I didn’t expect you to… after all, I’m the one with the special powers, not you… and I know what you’re thinking right now…

“…there is never a time in my life that I don’t need my cleansing products to smell like hot-buttered popcorn.”

You’re right.

When it comes to the brand LUSH, I feel like I’m regressing. I’m sure that the proper rite of passage is to begin with a teenage addiction of all things LUSHY, then as you mature… you move onto the beauty halls and away from the “sniff me, sniff me!” LUSH stuff, keeping only a mild interest going (and a few furtive dips into the store for an occassional bubble bar topup).

Me?  I had no interest in LUSH stuff growing up.  I was a Body Shop girl through and through.  It didn’t help matters that we didn’t actually have a local store I could nip into… but still, I just wasn’t particularly tempted by the brand.  When I did develop more of an interest, mostly through seeing other people’s LUSH hauls and the like… I appreciated their ability to turn a boring bath into a far more interesting one.  But beyond that?  I still sidelined them somewhat.

It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve come to the realisation that I have a few LUSH staples in my bathroom that you’d have to prise out of my cold, dead hands before I’d give them up.

I’ve just discovered a new one.

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser

Let The Good Times Roll is a skin cleanser that delivers a damn good exfoliation while its at it.  On paper, with my prone-to-redness skin, I should probably run a mile from its manual exfoliation capabilities but my flaky skin would stage a mutiny if I dared to stop using this now.

To use it, you break a small amount away from the crumbly mass contained in the pot and rub it into your palms with a little water until it begins to emulsify and develop a creamier texture.  It’s packed with grains of maize flour and polenta to exfoliate the skin and I’m careful to use only a light hand as I massage it over my skin.  If you’re particularly sensitive, I’d recommend restricting its use to a couple of times a week but I’ve been using it every morning for over a fortnight now without any signs of irritation or over-exfoliation.

I use it when I’m in the shower, keeping the pot within easy reach… it’s a little messier than your average cleanser and I prefer to do my exfoliating immediately prior to my makeup application anyway.  Before I started using this, I was using Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant for exactly the same reasons and Let The Good Times Roll has completely replaced this high-end product, which will shave 10s of pounds off my yearly beauty budget, hoorah!

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser 2

The reason that I place this above the Dermalogica for my needs, is not only because of its price point but also because it leaves a moisturising residue behind that the Dermalogica daily exfoliator doesn’t.  This leaves my freshly-cleansed skin feeling more comfortable in the short-term, giving me half a chance to get my fringe dried before I have to get my daily moisturising skincare routine organised.  It may even be enough to replace some of my moisturising needs as the weather warms up, time will tell.

I’m a proper fan of this product, I was going to leave my usual full-month of skincare testing before writing my review but I just don’t need to… I don’t need to judge it on any anti-ageing or treatment capabilities, I just want to praise it for how it fits neatly into an already established routine, rids my skin of the daily flakies, and will leave me feeling less light in pocket than the product I was using before.  Job done.

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser has now been made a permanent part of the LUSH skincare lineup, it’s priced from £6.35 for 100g available instore and online.

* press sample

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Au Revoirs Les Micellars! Out with the old, in the with the new…

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 14 - 2014

Don’t panic!  I’m not really saying goodbye to the much-loved micellar craze!

Au contraire (Rodney), I haven’t found a better complement to my skincare routine in years.  For me, the micellar has replaced the oil cleansing method… my maturing, dry skin just doesn’t appreciate the amount of tap-water I have to use to emulsify the oily liquids.  I still use them occasionally because old habits die hard and I love how an oily skin massage feels.

On the whole though, my first step in makeup removal has been revolutionised by a cotton pad and a bottle of makeup-remover; Oh! I’m such a revolutionary!

my micellar waters

my micellar waters3

My post title actually refers to the fact that I’ve just welcomed two new micellar waters into my little collection!  As you can see… my backup bottle of beloved Mixa Expert has almost reached the end of its life – a brand that I haven’t been able to find outside of French supermarkets.  It was with a heavy heart that I turned to the internet for a replacement.

Thankfully, I needn’t have worried… there is indeed much life outside of Bioderma, which I’m slowly coming to realise is a little bit expensive for what it is…

I directly compared my Bioderma bottle with the Mixa Expert in a review a little while back, so if you’d like to see how a French supermarket cheapie compares to the holy grail of micellar waters, click on through – you might be surprised!

Back to my new acquisitions for a moment though!

my micellar waters1

Mustela is a brand that I’ve been familiar with for a few years but basically ignored, dismissing it as a brand for baby skincare… it was only after a late-night MakeUp Alley trawl that I discovered people were using the brand’s Physiobebe Cleansing Fluid (500ml for £12.93) meant for a post-messy clean up cleanse on babies bottoms, on their faces.

Now, as a well-behaved beauty blogger… I appreciate that products designed for baby’s bums are not necessarily suitable for lady’s faces (sudocreme, wipes, et al. Caroline Hirons is looking at you).  However, in this case… for my first step in removing the day’s makeup… I’m going against the grain!

The Physiobebe water cleanser does a sterling job at dissolving much of my makeup, mascara and all.  It takes one pump on one cotton pad to do half of my face and neck.  My only caveat with this product is that it is highly scented and you will smell like a (clean) baby’s bum when you’re done.

my micellar waters2

My other potential long-term replacement is one that you will probably have already heard about.  The B. Pure Micellar Water* (150ml for currently £2.47).  It lacks the convenience of a pump but does an equally effective job at removing the day’s grime, scoring extra points for being much easier to throw into a weekend bag and let’s not forget… being far more accessible than most, from your local Superdrug.

I feel the slightest of residues with the B. Pure but as I use my micellar waters as a first-step in my cleansing routine, this isn’t an issue for me.

Ultimately, I know I’m going to keep replenishing these until I can restock my Mixa Expert the next time I’m in France.  Both are cheap enough to allow this to happen and I will always be grateful for a super-size micellar in the bathroom and a more portable version to take on overnighters and holidays.

Are you a micellar cleansing fan?  Who makes your favourite?

* the B. Pure Micellar is a press sample

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Pamper every inch with Elemis’ Top-to-Toe Beauty Skincare Collection

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 7 - 2014

I have a soft spot for limited edition beauty “collections”, especially when they contain premium bodycare products that, to be honest, I’m too tight to spend full RRP prices on.  You see, I don’t mind splashing the cash on my face or my makeup collection but I’m a terrible tightwad when it comes to body products.  I’m just not dedicated enough to spend £££ on body lotions and bath elixirs, I usually only remember that I’ve forgotten to moisturise my legs when I feel my winter-ravaged shins scratching against my tights halfway through the day.

Elemis have released a Limited Edition Top-to-Toe Beauty Skincare Collection which features a full £115.80-worth of products for £55.00, that’s a £60 saving on the retail prices!

There’s also none of your meagre 5ml or 15ml sample-sizes, each product included in the collection – even if “sample” sized – delivers a minimum of 30ml, which is as much as many full-size products on the market, ensuring that you’ll get to give each item a proper trial.

Pamper every inch with Elemis' limited Edition Top-to-Toe Beauty Skincare Collection

Pamper every inch with Elemis' limited Edition Top-to-Toe Beauty Skincare Collection

One of my favourite things about this new collection is the simplicity of the items included.  Elemis haven’t included any of their more “niche” products in this, there’s no cellulite-reducing products… no foot creams, no temple balms.  Basically, there’s nothing in it that I wouldn’t use on a regular basis in my normal routine, ensuring that I’d get my money’s worth on every item.

The 5-piece collection contains the following award-winning products:
• Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, 30ml
• Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, 30ml
• FULL SIZE Papaya Enzyme Peel, 50ml
• Full SIZE Skin Nourishing Shower Cream, 300ml
• Frangipani Monoi Body Oil, 35ml

Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, even Birthdays… this is one of those beauty collections that simply won’t disappoint, each and every item an Elemis classic, a hero-product.

The Elemis Top-to-Toe Beauty Skincare Collection is available to buy on counter and online now from timetospa.co.uk and johnlewis.com, priced at £55.00

* press sample

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New Year skin recovery with The Elemis Radiance Collections

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 9 - 2014

There’s a certain flatness to this time of year that engulfs all that’s gone before.  The “party season” is nothing but a distant memory of too much Prosecco and too many mince pies and all that’s left behind is the depressing knowledge that it will take far longer to shift the Christmas podge than it took to gain it.  If you’re really lucky (like me), you’ll also be haunted by the thought of your tax return that needs to be filed imminently and a daily mirror reminder of how much your skin detests the combination of pregnancy hormones being wreaked upon it.

I’m dry.  Drier than a teetotaler at an AA meeting.  Sitting here now, I can run my fingers over my face and feel the rough patches… I yearn for the warmth of some Summer sun on my skin and despite my half-hearted efforts at making adjustments to my daily skin care routine, the hormones are winning.

Elemis have recently launched four new Radiance Collections to target particular post-Christmas skin concerns which are ingenious in a neatly-packaged, do-the-hard-work-for-you kinda way.  I’m hoping that one of these releases in particular will go some way to improve the current bleak outlook for my skin, no prizes for guessing that my collection of choice is: Rehydrating.

Elemis Radiance Collection Rehydrating_01

Elemis Radiance Collection Rehydrating_02

Elemis Radiance Collection Rehydrating_03

The four collections: Rehydrating, Balancing, Resurfacing, and Illuminating each come packaged in a mesh wash-bag and offer a minimum of 40% savings over purchasing each item individually.  It’s a great way to kick start your New Year skin care routine in the direction that it’s demanding without completely breaking the bank.   There’s nothing overly-complicated or particularly fancy about these collections, but they’re a good way to take stock of current cleansing routines and shift them up a gear to target particular concerns.

The Rehydrating Collection (for dry and mature skin types) contains: Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser 200ml (full size), Rehydrating Ginseng Toner 200ml (full size), and Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 15ml.

The Balancing Collection (for normal/combination skin types) contains: Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser 200ml (full size), Balancing Lavender Toner 200ml (full size), and Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 15ml.

The Resurfacing Collection (for skin types in need of post-Xmas detox) contains: Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash 200ml (full size), Soothing Apricot Toner 200ml (full size), and Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 15ml.

The Illuminating Collection (for dry and mature skin types) contains: Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser 150ml (full size), Soothing Apricot Toner 200ml (full size), and Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm 15ml.

How is your skin faring after the excesses of Christmas?

The collections range in price between £30 and £35 and are available to buy on counter and online from timetospa.co.uk, while stocks last.

* press sample

(Probably) the most expensive face wipes in the world…

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 23 - 2013

In these times of austerity, does anything seem more wasteful than spending ££££ on disposable face wipes?  But for every face-wipe detractor out there, you’ll find someone who wouldn’t be without the convenience of their skincare-enriched, disposable towels.

As someone who tries to avoid too much water when cleansing, I’ve been known to use face wipes as part of my cleansing routine.  Not to remove a full face of makeup, but to freshen my face in the mornings…  I have to admit, however, that I’ve never paid more than around £6 for a pack.  I’m not sure I could bring myself to pay any more than this… but would you part with the cash for any of these?

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01: Murad Clarifying Wipes for Blemish-Prone Skin (£18.00, lookfantastic.com) – 30 wipes per pack / 60p per wipe

These wipes from Doctor-led brand Murad have been enriched with witch hazel, algae extract, grape seed extract and vitamin E.  Designed specifically for blemish-prone skintypes, the wipes promise to tighten your pores, regulate sebum and oil production and protect your skin from free radical damage.

02: Dermalogica Skin Purifying Wipes (£14.40, jerseybeautycompany.co.uk) – 20 wipes per pack / 72p per wipe

The Dermalogica Skin Purifying Wipes contain Antibacterial Triclosan, extracts of Balm Mint, Coneflower and Camphor, Salicylic Acid, and witch-hazel to cleanse, remove excess surface oil, and purify the skin.  These are particularly recommended for popping in your gym bag as a post-workout freshen-up.

03: Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Wipes (£15.00, hqhair.com) – 30 wipes per pack / 50p per wipe

For a less astringent cleanse, the Ole Henriksen Truth To Go wipes offer naturally based mild surfactants to gently lift away dirt and impurities while essential fatty acids nourish the skin.  These orange-scented wipes also include Vitamin C and Micro Algae stimulates Collagen production to lighten, brighten and tighten the skin.

04: Stila Ready for Take Off Moisturizing Cleansing Cloths (£12.50, fenwick.co.uk) 30 wipes per pack / 42p per wipe

The clue is in the name.  These wipes from Stila promise to deliver a more moisturising cleanse, perfect for the upcoming colder months.  Containing extracts of  lavender, chamomile, and aloe vera these wipes are made without synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens or phthalates, making them a great choice for more sensitive skins.

05: MAC Cosmetics Wipes (£15.00, debenhams.com) 45 wipes per pack / 33p per wipe

These oversized wipes from staple cosmetic brand MAC promise to make quick work of makeup-removal.  Saturated with M·A·C cleanser and infused with vitamin E, they offer a convenient cleanse.  Less of a skin treatment wipe, more of a fuss-free cleanse and go.

Would pay over £10 for a pack of face-wipes?  Are you a fan of any that I’ve mentioned?

Deal Alert: A great Omorovicza GWP only at Urban Retreat Beautique

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 22 - 2013

Who doesn’t love the added incentive of a great gift-with-purchase when you’re doing some online beauty shopping?  Well, Urban Retreat’s Beautique have got a lovely one at the moment in the form of an Omorovicza travel set which includes a nifty makeup/toiletry bag and some fairly generous sample-sized goodies.  Take a look…

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The set includes the following items:

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask 15ml
Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist 30ml
Omorovicza Cleansing Foam 30ml
Omorovicza Illuminating Moisturiser 4ml

To qualify for the free gift you need to spend £50 or more on Omorovicza products.  I’ve heard great things about the Deep Cleansing Mask… but what are your top Omorovicza picks?

Orogold 24K Deep Peeling. Cosmetic quackery?

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 22 - 2013

If you’ve been following me for a little while, you may already know my thoughts on the use of gold in skincare.  Ultimately, I believe it’s an addition that’s far more beneficial to the marketers than the end user… it’s not a mineral enriched with healing properties, it’s a metal, prized for its stability and inertia.  But boy, does it pack some prestige and “luxury” into a product, no?

I was sent a beautifully packaged 24K Deep Peeling gel from Orogold Cosmetics for review… it really is a rather splendid thing.  Priced at £100… I guess it should be.

Orogold Cosmetics 24k Peeling_1

Orogold Cosmetics 24k Peeling_2

The heavyweight packaging, embossed font, and satin-lined box all scream luxury… living up to its placement and price tag.  But what about the product inside?  What are its claims and does it live up to them?

Orogold Cosmetics 24k Peeling_3

Orogold Cosmetics 24K Deep Peeling is an exfoliating product that promises to remove a thin layer of dead skin cells to “reveal ultra-smooth and youthful skin”.  It is recommended to be used once a week with a “sweeping circular motion over skin until you feel the dirt forming”.  Oddly, there is no mention on the website of the 24k gold that this product contains.  Considering that this is such a selling-point and no doubt a price justification… I’m surprised to see that the brand have omitted this information online.

So, what about this gold?  Is it there, do you need a microscope to detect it?  Well, no actually…

Orogold Cosmetics 24k Peeling_4

Orogold Cosmetics 24k Peeling_5

Each pot of Orogold 24K Deep Peeling comes with its own certificate of authenticity (I told you the packaging was good).  The certificate proclaims that the product contains pure 24K gold from Italy.  And you know, it really does… it contains food-grade gold leaf.  Very pretty to look at but at that size, unlikely to have any impact on your skin.  You’d need pores the size of moon-craters to benefit from any of its so-called properties.

To put it another way, the thickness of gold leaf is rated at around 125nm and anything rated above 40nm has been shown not to be able to penetrate deeper than the upper 1/5 layer of the epidermis.  This gold ain’t going nowhere except down the plug-hole.

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But you know, pretty….

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So, I’m obviously not convinced by the gold.  But what about the peeling?  How about the exfoliation?

Orogold-24k-Peeling-Reaction

See the picture above?  That’s the “dirt formation” you will feel after rubbing the product into your skin for a few moments.   It’s not dirt… it’s not your dead skin cells being sloughed off… it’s the product’s chemistry reacting with the massage motion you use to apply it.  This isn’t a new thing… many products, particularly those in the Asian market exfoliate skin using this method.  It’s pretty cute… let me explain how it works…

To create this kind of “balling up” upon application, you need to create a chemical reaction on the skin.  Two such ingredients that will create this effect are: cetrimonium chloride and carbomer… both of which are present and correct in Orogold’s 24K Deep Peeling.  Clever huh?

Now just because I’ve (semi) explained the science behind the “magic” doesn’t mean that it’s all smoke and mirrors.  Those little flakey bits will actually help to gently exfoliate your skin as you massage them over your face and let’s not forget the other ingredients contained within the exfoliator, namely: tocopheryl acetate (vit e), ascorbic acid (vit c), and glycerin… all of which will indeed help to smoothe and soften the top layer of the skin.  That being said, it’s a very gentle exfoliation and I’m not sure how effective it would be in the long term if used only once a week as per their direction on the website.

All in all, Orogold 24k Deep Peeling is an exfoliator that works to errr, exfoliate.  I won’t deny that it feels nice on the skin, looks the business in the pot, and leaves my skin feeling soft but… is it worth £100 of your hard-earned cash?  I wouldn’t pay more than £10 for it – gold or no gold.

Orogold 24k Deep Peeling is available to buy instore from one of Orogold Cosmetic’s London boutiques or online from oro-gold.co.uk

* press sample

You can say that again! Well, unless you’re me and managed a stonking D at A Level French, and then… you probably can’t say that again.  You see I was top of the class in French all the way through “big” school, got a nice shiny A* in my GCSEs and then discovered that things were about to get serious at college.

All those verbs, tenses, and other stuff that I was pretty rubbish at meant that having a good vocabulary could only get me so far.  I still (genuinely) wake from nightmares about not having done my coursework, fifteen years later!

But just because I’m not the world’s best French communicator doesn’t mean that I can’t hold my own in a Super U! Le fromage, le vin, et le pain au chocolat!  I can sweep a French supermarket faster than Dale Winton in a beauty parlour.

My last attempt at clearing the shelves whilst on holiday was particularly fruitful and I came away with plenty of goodies, one of which was this bottle of makeup remover which I picked up from Monoprix.  Mixa appears to be your standard high-street brand with a bias toward sensitive and delicate skins.  The brand has an entire range of baby products and Leila is currently working her way through their hair and body wash as I type.  The brand have been around since 1924, obviously a French staple… so I can’t help wondering why I haven’t heard of this rather fabulous makeup remover before?!

mixa makeup remover french supermarket

mixa makeup remover french supermarket2

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Mixa Expert Peau Sensible Eau Nettoyante Apaisante is, to all intents and purposes, a micellar cleansing water, similar to the legendary Bioderma Crealine.  Both cleansers leave no trace of their use behind, no greasiness, residue or anything left on the skin that would make you think you’d used anything other than water to cleanse.

Unlike the Bioderma, this one may not be universally suitable for everyone with sensitive skin or eyes.  It contains a perfume and has a faint rose scent… something which I love and hasn’t caused me any irritation (remember the Mixa is formulated to suit sensitive, reactive skin) but it’s an important difference to note.

As for the performance, it’s on a par with Bioderma… perhaps even better.  You see, I buy the Bioderma because I sorta assumed it was the best of the best.  But it’s quite possibly not.  Make up artists swear by the stuff, stockpile it like it’s going out of fashion… and we (as normal beauty lovers) want in on that action!  But, our needs really aren’t the same, are they?  Professional makeup artists need a product that will do a sterling job on all their models, and while its performance is in-arguably awesome, I think its merits as a suit-all cleanser override everything else.

I put the two cleansers to a side-by-side test.

Mixa-vs-Bioderma

Both cleansers actually did a brilliant job at removing a combination of cream eyeshadow, mascara (non-waterproof), and tight-lined eyeliner… but to my eye, one fared slightly better than the other… just a wee bit… can you see a difference between the two eyes?

Mixa-vs-Bioderma2

As you view the picture, I used Bioderma Crealine on the right eye (my left), and the Mixa Expert Peau Sensible Eau Nettoyante Apaisante on the left eye (my right).  I think that the Mixa outperformed the Bioderma at removing the eyeliner from the lash-line.

Neither product caused any irritation to my eye and neither left any residue behind.

The clincher for me is the fact that the Mixa Expert Peau Sensible Eau Nettoyante Apaisante costs around 4.50 € for 200ml (but comes in duo packs for 6.50 €) whereas the Bioderma Crealine costs 8.00 € for 250ml or 12.00 € for 500ml.  Of course, you have to think about availability and the fact that Bioderma is now readily available in the UK makes this a less appealing swap.  However, I’ve already instructed my parents to stock up on the Mixa for me when they return from France in the Autumn.

Who needs boxes of cheap wine when I can get them to bring back bottle upon bottle of makeup-remover? Err…

Mixa Expert Peau Sensible Eau Nettoyante Apaisante… bloody brilliant if you can get your hands on it!

Pick up a pick-me-up with The Body Shop face masks!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 21 - 2013

News of The Body Shop’s latest launch is like well-tuned music to my ears.  I’m a sucker for anything that promises an instant fix in less time than it takes to watch a movie and their NEW single-shot face mask sachets will turn you into a movie-watching, zit-busting multitasker of EPIC proportions!

Pick up a pick-me-up with The Body Shop face masks!

There are four different varieties of mask available in the range, here’s a quick guide to give you an idea of which might be the best choice for your current skin needs:

Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask

“Bring skin back to its optimum moisture levels with intensely hydrating Vitamin E.  Bursting with antioxidants this cushioning moisture cream protects and rejuvenates, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth.

This is an overnight leave-on mask, great for when your skin is feeling dehydrated or in need of some extra TLC, personally… I’d use this in conjunction with any one of the cleansing masks.

Vitamin C Microdermabrasion Mask

“Filled with fine micro particles and crushed garnet stones, this zesty Vitamin C mask gently and effectively removes impurities and dead skin cells, providing deep exfoliation. It improves skin texture and tone, revealing a brighter, balanced, more radiant complexion.”

Great for combination and congested skin-types, perfect to use a couple of days before an event or big night out.  As it’s an exfoliator, I wouldn’t use this one more than once a week at most.

Tea Tree Face Mask

This antibacterial, deep cleansing clay mask smoothes and refreshes the skin by absorbing excess oil.  It gives an instantly cooling, soothing sensation whilst leaving skin clear and squeaky clean.”

A good choice for oily skin types.  If you’re wary that it might be too much for your skin, limit its use to a dab on any blemishes you have and save the rest to give your back/shoulders a deep cleanse!

Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask

“Draw out impurities and rebalance the skin’s natural ph levels with this mattifying clay mould mask. Packed with the purifying properties of naturally sourced seaweed, it cleanses deeply, controlling excess oil, leaving skin oil and shine free.”

Who doesn’t love a good sea monster-esque clay mask?  These are my favourite to tackle congestion and blackheads across my t-zone.  Again, I’d use an overnight moisturising mask after treatment to restore hydration on my dry skin and limit its use to once a week.

All masks are single-use sachets containing a 6ml volume, making it a great and inexpensive way to mix-and-match treatments for an at-home pampering session.

Priced at £1.50 each and available in store and online at bodyshop.co.uk

* the seaweed ionic clay mask appears to be temporarily unavailable online

** The Body Shop are currently offering 40% off and free delivery when you spend £5 online with code EXTRATREAT

*** In other news, TBS are discontinuing the Sweet Lemon range, I’m so sad!

My French Pharmacy/Supermarket Haul (skincare and more!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 2 - 2013

I spent every Summer in France as a teenager, so it was lovely to be able to rediscover some of my old haunts, particularly down the aisles of the nearest Super U.  My first stop wasn’t for skincare, but haircare.  My obsession with Dop shampoos has been a long-lasting inexpensive love affair which my poor Mother has to tend to every-time she returns to France in the Summer with a shopping list longer than her own!

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This time around I decided to treat my dry hair to some of their more moisturising shampoos in the shape of their Argan-oil and Shea Butter-enriched formulas.  Ignore the 2-in-1 labels, I never actually use these without a separate conditioner.  The bottle on the left is their original formula, I find that all of these shampoos are less stripping than many of their UK counterparts, plus the 400ml bottles last forever!  I paid around £1.40 per bottle.

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For conditioning, I picked up two Le Petit Marseillais products, one enriched with Shea and Argan, and one with Shea and Honey.  Both have been made for dry, frizzy hair-types and cost around £2 / £3.50 respectively.  All of the above I bought at Super U, our local French supermarket.

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Next, I moved on to the pharmacies.  Outside of Paris, there’s less choice in the brands available and they tend to vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.  Our local supermarket has it’s own rather wonderful para-pharmacy attached so I didn’t have to venture too far but I still couldn’t get my hands on any Embryolisse (I wasn’t surprised, I’ve never been able to in the past outside of major cities), or more disappointingly, Avibon – of which I was told they are currently experiencing a nationwide shortage!

I did, however, manage to pick up a tube of Homeplasmine which Mr. L uses on his lips when they’re cracked.  It’s a great alternative for anyone who dislikes the feeling of balms as it doesn’t feel remotely claggy or heavy with more of a matte texture.  It’s also great for sore, post-sniffles noses, and cuts and bruises and is priced at around £3.75 for a small tube.  My final pharmaceutical purchase was for Leila and is something I always get Mum to pick up for me in lieu of Calpol!  Doliprane is France’s generic kid’s paracetamol and dosage is measured by the child’s weight rather than their age, making it far more effective (in my opinion) at bringing down fevers.  It costs around £2 a bottle.

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I bullied myself into trying some new skincare products, desperate though I was to stock up on the old faithfuls.  I’m quite proud of myself that I didn’t come back with more than this!  My skin is still pretty dry and the change of water/travelling has made it quite finickity.  You may notice a bit of a Zinc theme running through my choices, blame my Dad… he’s a bit of a skincare tart (thanks to his eczema not vanity!) and led me in the direction of these tantalising treats.  What a great Dad I have!

I opted for a full set of skincare from makeup removal to cleansing, toning and moisturising.  I’m currently undergoing another round of IPL for facial hair removal, so tailoring my choices for irritated skin seemed like a good idea.

I went for: Uriage Anti Irritation Cleansing Gel (approx. £7.50), Bioderma Atoderm PO Zinc Ultra Soothing Creme (just under £10.00), a supermarket cheapie micellaire for eye-makeup removal in the shape of Mixa Eau Nettoyante Apaisante (£3.00), and La Roche Posay’s Serozinc which I’m hoping will provide additional cooling/calming after my lasering (£5.00).

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As if I could forget the chocolate (or the wine, but that’s a whole other post!)

The French seem to have a greater appreciation for salty caramel chocolate than we do in the UK.  Crunchy, smooth, chewy, silky… all textures are catered for… I reined myself in a little but could have returned with far more than what you see above!

What do you think of my buys?  Anything you’d like to try for yourself?

Guest Post: How to beat The Oilies

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 29 - 2013

Kirsty has been one of my favourite people to follow on twitter for a while and I’m delighted that she’s finally started her own beauty blog.  I don’t know a huge amount about her but she’s got a wonderfully potty mouth, has spermy eyebrows and gets regularly impregnated on the Jubilee line (her words, honest).  Check out her newest baby at www.blushnsuch.comToday, she’s sharing her wisdom on how to combat oily skin.

How to beat The Oilies

Oil. I put it on my cuticles, I have no qualms with heating it until it spits and crackles and makes my chips taste delicious and I always slather my hair in it before bedtime to keep it as glossy as can be. It has its uses, definitely, and I love it when it’s anywhere but my face. ANYWHERE but the face.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a shiny t-zone which is as irritating as it is persistent. I get all the lovely spots and enormous pores which come with having combination skin and a bit of dehydration thrown in for good measure (there is no God) – all of which serve to create a seriously fussy canvas for make-up application.

Luckily, I’ve uncovered a few things which help to balance my skin over the past few years. The products that I’ve listed below are all absolute essentials in my eyes and I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who has ever applied a full face of make-up in the morning only to have it sliding all over your mush like a well-oiled tubby kid on a water park slide by the time you get to work. Enjoy.

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1. Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner

I only received this in the post a week ago and it’s already one of the products I love the most. It’s a milky-coloured gel which I use as a primer to mattify my skin and also smooth over pores. You know how your make-up can look kind of melted on warmer days (or just any old day if you’re as oily as I am)? Well, this stops it. I only need to powder twice in a 12-hour period when I use this stuff, which is nothing short of a miracle. And Lisa Eldridge uses it in her professional kit too. Double joy.

2. NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

Again, a fairly recent purchase. Again, I can’t imagine myself without it. It looks awful when applied with a brush and just as bad when a BeautyBlender is used, in my opinion. To get the best out of this you’re going to have to get right on in there with your hands. I apply it bit-by-bit, starting on my nose, by slowly massaging it into my skin and blending it outwards until it turns to nothing.

This is the only foundation I own that allows me to skip powder and it keeps me matte for around six hours. Don’t let the word ‘sheer’ fool you into thinking this is a wimpy light coverage foundation, by the way. This is a solid medium coverage product that doesn’t whine when you try to build it up. If you’re on a budget, the best alternative to this is Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation.

3. Ben Nye Banana Powder

This powder is an absolute bargain. I paid £5 for 42g of product which is only just halfway gone after eight months of daily use *swoons*. It comes in several different shades but my MAC NC20/ Bobbi Brown Sand-toned skin likes the Banana powder best. It’s yellow-toned, finely-milled and, most importantly, it’s not going anywhere.

The packaging is a bit finickity and impractical (I pour some out into a Muji pot, then use it) but the value and quality of the product really speaks for itself. I have powders worth four times the amount that succumb to The Oilies within the hour – this stuff keeps me going for at least five. Nuff said.

4. Clarins Lotus Oil

I know what you’re thinking. Oil. The very thing you’re trying to keep away from your mush, and here I am pleading with you to put some right back onto it. But of all of the skincare I have purchased in my life, this has been the biggest game changer. After a thorough double cleanse every night, I mix some of this with whatever toner I’m using at the time and gently pat it onto my face. I wake up to plump, bright skin every time.

This product has really helped the dehydrated patches on my cheeks without upsetting my oily, clogged areas and it has definitely helped my skin to chill out on the oil production front. The dropper bottle also makes me feel a bit like a scientist, which is also somehow a massive bonus. Clarins, in their eternal wisdom, also sell Blue Orchid oil for dehydrated skin and Santal oil for dry/ extra dry skin, so no one need be left out. Excellent.

What are your favourite products to keep The Oilies at bay?

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