Prime, blur and hydrate: dermalogica hydrablur primer

dermalogica_hydrablur_review - 1I am very lucky to be a friend of dermalogica, a brand I’ve been a fan of for a while. Everything I try agrees with my skin, and their new hydrablur primer is no different.

Launching on the 1st February, this product is a primer with blurring and extra moisturising properties.

It is off-white in colour and has a thick-ish consistency, as most blur products. It comes in a tube and I love it has a “squeezer” so you get every single drop out!

dermalogica_hydrablur_review - 2It does spread ok, there is a bit of drag and a little does not go such a long way, but upon application, you can clearly see the blurring properties: skin is smooth, even and slightly mattified.

Makeup applies well on top and the finish is refined. It also sat well, with minima flaking throughout the work day.

It smooths pores, fine lines and small texture imperfections, prevents shine and keeps thirsty skin happy. Mine for once, feels super dry by the pm, and I felt this (with the moisture boost) really help.

Among the ingredients are H20Release complex of sodium hyaluronate, algin and trehalose (optimises hydration levels), abyssinian seed oil (smooth and tone), mattifiers, mushroom extract (pore size reduction), wu-zhu-yu fruit extract (radiance) and micro-encapsulated tint (for a neutral coverage).

dermalogica_hydrablur_review - 3Overall, this product delivers in its three promises and I am quite impressed.

It is really good to see skincare crossing over into makeup without losing its core proposition. I love to see a product working hard and tackling multiple concerns well.

The dermalogica HydraBlur is available from dermalogica shops, concessions and online, as well as from a variety of retailers, such as Liberty, from 1st February 2016.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Lifting and refreshing: ole henriksen ultimate lift eye gel

ole_henriksen_eye_lift_gel - 3Ole Henriksen is a brand I came across quite recently. I was very pleased to try a couple products and their ultimate lift eye gel did not disappoint.

The first thing I noticed is, of course, its colour. It’s bright blue and looks like a hair gel I used to wear when I was very young, for ballet.

ole_henriksen_eye_lift_gel - 1The gel has a firm consistency in a the pot but melts well on the skin.

What I really love is that it feels super fresh and is very light, so perfect to use during the day, as it sinks in straight away and residue – creaminess or greasiness – is left.

To be used overnight, this helps de-puff, soothe, tighten and lift the skin around the eye.

My round the eye area is kept hydrated and nourished. In the morning is a joy to use, as it’s so fresh it helps you wake up and de-puff, by plumping and hydrating.

ole_henriksen_eye_lift_gel - 2Full of goodness, it contains biopeptide el-6, which firms & restores elasticity; diminishes crows feet & wrinkles, hyaluronic acid, which plumps and creates long lasting moisture barrier, red micro algae, for instantly lift and tightening and calming, cooling and de-puffing cucumber extract.

Another little gem to my skincare routine!

The Ole Henriksen ultimate lift eye gel costs £36 is available from Debenhams and online.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Microdermabrasion at home: the PMD Personal Microderm

pmd_microdermabrasion_review - 3I was a bit nervous about using this product at first. It is a professional grade microdermabrasion device for use at home.

What if skinned my face out? Fear not, the PMD Personal Microderm Microdermabrasion Device device is a joy to use.

For peace of mind, it comes with all the instructions you need. There’s a DVD and plenty of online resources on how it works, how to use properly and make the most of your device, as well as all safety information.

For me, that’s very reassuring and made me want to start using it immediately.

pmd_microdermabrasion_review - 2This device has the vacuum suction and exfoliation action, similar to the ones in the facialists’ equipment.

The exclusive patented spinning disc with aluminum oxide crystals to exfoliate away the dead, dull cells on the surface of the skin. There are four roughness of discs, from training to coarse.

After assembling it with the test head, I turned it on and with sweeping movement, ran though my whole face.

I started with the training disc (white) and after a few days, with my skin taking to the test well, I used the blue disc head and did the same.

pmd_microdermabrasion_review - 1After first use with the new disc, skin felt a tiny bit red, which faded by the morning.

Immediately after application, skin felt very soft and absorbed my skincare products extremely well.

I’ve been using it weekly (with a recent break due to the weather changes and my skin condition) and I love it. I feel overall improvement in texture, tone and pigmentation.

Skin feels smoother, radiant, and my normal product routine seems optimised: less product, quicker absorption, as the dead cells barrier between your skin surface and deeper layers (where you want your skincare to go) is lifted away.

It’s compact, quick and effective, giving you a professional treatment at home. My skin has just normalised after dealing with weather changes and I am straight back on it!

It comes with a few exfoliating discs (they last about 3 uses each) and two different size headers, for larger areas, such as elbows and feet.

The PMD Personal Microderm Microdermabrasion Device costs £139 from Amazon, with free P&P.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Purrrfect lingerie: Charlotte Olympia for Agent Provocateur

charlotteolympia_agentprovocateur2Well, well, well… if you were to be caught in a sexy web… it would look just like this.

Absolute no secret I love Charlotte Olympia. Everything the woman does, I am sold.

This collection for Agent Provocateur, launching today (18 Jan) at Charlotte Olympia and Agent Provocateur shops and online, as well as at Net-a-Porter, is no different.

“I almost have more lingerie than shoes! Both brands share similar sensibilities – we’re feminine, playful and love glamour” , says Olympia. And it shows. The pieces are sexy and flirtatious.

Obviously vintage inspired, modelled by Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and inspired on the likes of Anne Bancroft in The Graduate, the plays with Charlotte’s signature themes: cats, spider webs and leopard.

Somehow, it makes £95 for three cat knickers worth the money…. They are, after all, Purrrfect!

Here are my favourites.

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You shall go to the ball. Sinderella pumps will take you home!

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 2If you a heels lover like me, and especially if you live in London, you know how hard it is to navigate the streets and public transport in towering heels. The struggle is real.

I’ve been a fan of carrying flat pump in my bag to change for quite sometime now and the foldable pump changed my life.

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 7The main problem is most of the ones I tried are pretty much disposable: flimsy and uncomfortable, a few wears and its paper thin sole is coming apart.

Not great if you ask me.

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 5That’s why I was rather impressed with the Sinderella foldable ballet pumps.

As far as foldable pumps go, It has a decent non-slip rubber sole, strong “vegan leather” upper and my best surprise: a very comfortable, cushioned and soft inner, thanks to its memory foam insoles.

They feel super comfortable to wear and take weather quite well. I love the sole goes over back the end of the shoe to help avoid it dragging on the floor and then ruining the pumps in no time, as it happens to most.

sinderella_foldable_ballet_pumps_review - 9Folding is easy and it folds to some 2.5cm (d) x 13cm (l) x 8cm (w). It comes in a pouch and with a carry back and my only complaint would be that bag is not big enough to fit my heels (I’m only size 4!) when I am wearing the pumps.

The Sinderella foldable ballet pumps are really a step ahead of the others.

They come in a few different colours and mine is London, a black with diamond shape stitching. They usually sell for £29.99 but at the moment they have a fab sale on and you can grab yours for £19.99 a pair!

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Amped up lashes: I discovered the Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer 

benefit_theyreal_lash_primer_review - 2There is something about Benefit I canto quite gauge. I love their packaging, adore the name and the concept behind their products, see thousands of people who swear by them but nothing I tried seemed to quite work for me.
Until now. To my surprise, at the uber generous QVC SS16 press preview bag, there was a Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer.
Let’s start with the brush. It’s a plastic, with super thin and flexible bristles in varied lengths that will get right in there, on to every little lash. It also has a spiky end, which is fabulous for lower lashes.
benefit_theyreal_lash_primer_review - 1 (1)The formula is gel, in a watery brown colour, which is great and can be used on its own for a lighter, feathery and super defined look.
But as a primer it truly shines. It separates and defines, conditions and gives a little bit of lift and volume.
benefit_theyreal_lash_primer_review - 1Mascara application (admittedly, my new found love from Charlotte Tilbury), is somehow smoother, lashes go that extra mile in terms of length and separation.
Am I about to start a love affair with Benefit?! Not yet, but I am not dismissing it. At all.
benefit_theyreal_lash_primer_review The Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Primer costs a brilliant £14.55, plus £2.95 p&p from QVC. You can also get it in shops nationwide, as well as online.
Beauty at QVC is something I have rediscovered recently. Apart from having an extensive range of amazing big known and boutique brands and great prices, they will also carry exclusives and special packs which usually carry a very special price tag too. Well worth checking for all you beauty needs!
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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A BB for blemish-prone skin: New La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur

larocheposay_effaclar_bbblur_review - 1Many a times I said I’m not a fan of BB creams and other multi-function products.

It’s time I stopped, given that so many proved me wrong last year! The La Roche-Posay BB Blur, although carries another thing I don’t quite like (blur) has once again proved me wrong.

This mousse consistency product, however, is tinted, offering a really great coverage and is light as air.

It applies very well, but doesn’t set too quickly and it has all the Effaclar goodness to care for blemish-prone and sensitive skins. Plus, it has SPF20.

Look is flawless and I can see that blur working hard.

larocheposay_effaclar_bbblur_review - 2Durability wise, it’s not amazing in the long haul (10 hours on a work day), so I wouldn’t say it will replace my foundation, but it’s perfect for less makeup days and speedy makeup. Because it is from the Effaclar range, not only does it make my skin look good, but it’s also looking after my blemish prone skin.

I love wearing it for the gym or hoop classes (where might be photography involved); it hangs in there pretty well and combats shine.

The technology behind it is airlicium, a mattifying ingredient which combats shine and imperfections; perlite, which protects against humidity and has absorbing powers and BB pigments which offer a great colour adapting coverage.

For that, it absorbs oil, blur fine lines and wrinkles, smoothes texture, softens, scatters light for better tone, covers blemishes, blur marks, masks redness, minimises pores and evens out skin.

somanylovelythings - la roche posay effaclar bb blur I must admit that I notice all benefits above, but mainly even tone, a slight radiance and better texture, which is quite amazing, bearing in mind it is one product.

It does come in two colours, Light/Fair and Light/Medium, but sadly not suitable to darker skin tones. The medium is already on the light side for my skin, which is not a very fair shade, but not dark.

A fabulous surprise from a brand that entered So Many Lovely Things recently and is certainly here to stay. La Roche-Posay has opened 2016 with a bang.

The  is now available exclusively at Escentual (at a promotional price of £11), will be sold Boots and pharmacies nationwide from April 2016 and costs £16.50.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Truly stunning Full Fat Lashes from Charlotte Tilbury

charlottetilbury_fullfatlashesmascara_review - 2Here I am again going on about how amazing Charlotte Tilbury makeup is.

Honestly, the Full Fat Lashes Mascara is possibly the best mascara I’ve ever had. And trust me, I’ve been though quite a few.

A great mascara for me works mainly on separation and definition. This baby does it and more: there is fabulous lengthening and some volume, for those feathery, fluttery lashes.

charlottetilbury_fullfatlashesmascara_review - 3The formula is a great glossy black and is not too wet, which is great for application control.

The bristles seem the usual drill, but on closer inspection you’ll notice a plethora of different lengths, which will catch all lashes.

charlotte tilbury full fat lashes mascara reviewI am totally sold. Of course, it carries a premium-ish price tag, but worth every penny.

The Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Mascara in Glossy Black is available online from the brands website, as well as their lovely Covent Garden shop and retailers like John Lewis.

And while you’re at it, you can also see my Charlotte Tilbury Rebel look and the Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil review.

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Fighting adult acne and ageing signs with SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense solution

skinceauticals_belmish_antiage_defense_review - 1Wow, 2016 sees really to be about skincare! Acne, as most of you know, has been the bane of my life for a very longtime. So long that at this point my main concern should be ageing signs and not spots.
Caught between preventing ageing signs and fighting blemishes, there is very little on the market that will cover both aspects of my skincare needs, furthermore, one usually aggravates the other, as anti-acne products are extremely drying and aggressive, and anti-ageing products are usually quite rich.
Imagine my happiness when I came across the SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense Potent Treatment solution at Dermacare Direct. Sounded perfect!
This product is a clear solution, very slightly viscous, which is oil-free and contains salicylic (1.5%) and salicylic capryloyl (0.3%), dioic (2%), glycolic (3.5%) and citric (0.5%) acids. It’s the first to market to have dioic plus alpha and beta hydroxy acids in its formulation, to fight blemishes and fine lines and uneven skin tone and texture.
It applies and absorbs very well. The feeling is slightly tingly when you apply, but only for a few seconds.
There was no redness, no irritation and better still, no dryness, of any sort. Prolonged use did cause my lips to chap more than usual this winter, as I apply on the chin, where my blemishes are, twice a day, but that is expected with any acid products.
I’ve been using at night on the whole face and day on the problem areas only (mainly chin) and noticed an improvement, not only in blemishes but skin in general, mainly tone and radiance.
Using now over a few weeks, I can now notice an overall improvement. I feel it does target all the promised areas.
skinceauticals_belmish_antiage_defense_review - 2I’ve been using this product in conjunction with the SkinCeauticals B5 solution for extra moisturisation, as my skin suffers at this time of the year, plus other serums and moisturisers in my skincare routine.
Overall impressed. I had never tried SkinCeauticals before, but heard great things. This certainly lived up to the reputation of the brand and more.
I am already panicking when it gets to the end, but I have to say it is worth the price tag.
Dermacare Direct is an online cosmeceuticals company that stocks the best brands on the market. They also have the lovely Andrea, a cosmetic nurse, who is qualified to give the best, honest advice when picking your skincare to best suit your needs. Plus, she is super lovely!
You can get the SkinCeauticals Blemish + Age Defense for £64 for 30ml from Dermacare Direct.
They so stock other SkinCeauticals lines and various other cosmeceautical brands at great prices!
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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Scrubbing it off: the Alpha H Micro Cleanse Exfoliator

alpha_h_micro_cleanse_exfoliator_review - 1This time of the year is tough on my skin. I usually keep a small arsenal of gentle exfoliating products, from peels and exfoliating toners to microdermabrasion devices but the extra dryness of my skin in the winter rules most of them out.

When I got my hands on the Alpha H Micro Cleanse Exfoliator scrub I was excited and worried in equal measures.

Would it be too strong?! It is a scrub and acid after all.

On the other hand, all the flakiness and dryness left my skin begging for a good exfoliation. I noticed my complexion was duller and makeup wasn’t performing.

The scrub has a medium grittiness to it, not being to harsh on the skin. I applied with soft circular moves, paying special attention to forehead, chin and nose.

I left it a minute after massaging in so the acid could get some extra action in the skin. There was a very mild tingling, like peppermint oil, and no redness.

alpha_h_micro_cleanse_exfoliator_review - 2I applied the soothing Dr. Jackson face oil immediately afterwards, followed by a serum.

I don’t think my face has ever felt that soft after a scrub. After only one application, the softness lasted and when I woke up in the morning, it was even better.

Skin looked clearer, more radiant and overall with better texture. Makeup sits well and the radiance seeps through.

I am now using it weekly, sometimes more often and I love it.

This scrub contains 12% glycolic acid, jojoba beads (which are eco-friendly), caffeine extract, cucumber extract and peppermint oil.

Acid scrub in the winter for this problem skin?! Yes. I can have my cake and eat it.

The Alpha H Micro Cleanse Exfoliator cost £26.50 and can be purchased from QVC.

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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.