More good from the grape

No, it is not champagne! It’s Caudalie, of course, silly!

When the weather changes, my skin tends to suffer. I did talk about it a while back, but twice a year history repeats itself so I’m always on the lookout for new products to restore the glow through the transition phase and if they have pollution protection, even better.

Enter Caudalie Vine[Active], a collection of four products designed to support the skin and help prevent cell burn-out, which accelerates close to out mid-thirties.

The Anti-Cell Burnout Complex has vitamins E and C, stabilised grape seed polyphenol, and spruce extract to, respectively, maintain radiance, boost collagen and maintain melanin productions, preserve collagen and natural hyaluronic acid and stimulate cellular defense and, protect skin against oxidation.

Obviously I’ll start with the oil. The Overnight Detox Oil (£36) is 100% natural with omega 6, vitamin E and six essential oils (carrot, grapeseed, lavender, white sandalwood, sweet almond, rose, musk and neroli).

It’s a luscious oil that sinks well on the skin; which wakes up plump and healed. I love the distinctive herbal smell this oil has.

The VineActive Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum (£36) is another favourite. So light in contrast with the oil, it is great for wearing under makeup.

It has the Anti-Cell Burnout Complex together with hyaluronic acid in low molecular weight. It helps with skin ageing prevention and pigmentation.

Again, I use it in combination with the oil, at night and the VineActive 3-in-1 moisturiser (£32) during the day, which contains the same ingredients of the serum, for added plumping, plus anti-pollution polysaccharides and soft focus mattifying powders making it a great day cream, nourishing and creating that protection barrier. An SPF wouldn’t go amiss!

Finally, another obsession of mine: eye creams. The VineActive Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream (£27.50) also carries the anti Burnout complex together with peptides, fern and liquorice extracts and horse chestnut to lift, combat puffiness and dark circles.

Very light and quickly absorbed, I feel this eye cream is suitable for day or night. It also doesn’t upset my sensitive eye, which is a bonus!

The range is available from the Caudalie website and shops, as well as selected retailers.

And there’s also the purifying VineActive Facial Treatment available at the Caudalie spas, which deep cleanses and detoxifies. It includes thorough cleansing, deep exfoliation, detoxifying mask and moisturising, with a lymph and blood circulation activating facial massage.

Well oiled up

Oil on my face. That is something I never thought I’d put on deliberately. Having had problematic, blemish  skin all my life, I always struggled with the oiliness of my dry skin.

Three years ago, facial oils changed my life. And my skin. For the first time, I felt radiance coming from my acne-treatment-battered skin. And oh, boy, did I get addicted!

And now, I cannot live my life without it. For those that like me ran away from facial oils, give it a go. The reasoning behind it is that if you provide oils to the skin, it won’t produce, or produce much less of it.

On top of it, oils carry a great concentration of raw nutrients, nourishing the skin and working mainly on texture and condition.

Some nights, all I put on is face oil. I give it a lovely uplifting circular massage to my face and neck, breathe in the natural aromas and off to bed I go!

The this works stress check face oil is a bliss, I’ve been loving it recently. On top of its redness relief, calming and hydrating properties, thanks to its botanical oils, vitamin C, E and omega 3, it has the most calming neroli, patchouli, lavender, vetivert and camomile fragrance. A treat for face and mind.

Caudalie has just launched a fab facial oil, the Vine[Active] Overnight Detox Oil, perfect for city skins which are exposed to pollution and free radicals.

It is 100% natural and works towards detoxifying and regenerating stressed skin. Full review coming soon!

And while on the natural subject, other pure blend oils such as Dr Jackson’s everyday oil and the Skin & Tonic London Naked Beauty oil, a bit richer, are perfect for overnight.

I feel they work their magic getting deep in the skin, healing and supporting the skin regenerating process.

I love that Dr Jackson’s everyday oil also comes in a handy roll on, perfect for travelling, and perfect to carry on the plane. Definitely one to invest on for the holiday season, for its portability and to help sun exposed skin heal!

Super light oils like the Body Shop Oils of Life facial oil, the Eucerin Facial oil and the dermalogica phyto replenish oil are perfect to add to the foundation for extra hydration and glow.

For more specific needs, the GOSH Primer Oil Essence doubles up as a night oil that preps the skin for the next day and the Indemne Gimme Clear! oil is a helping hand for blemish prone skins.

Of course, I cannot leave out the first oil I ever put on my face: balance me radiance face oil. On the “natural, richer” category, this one really changed my skin and I owe it my absolute love (ok, obsession) with facial oils.

The market is brimming with great products, for all budgets. It is a great time for facial oils. And my skin is grateful!

What about you? Have you tried facial oils? How do they feel on your skin? Or are you like me in the beginning, scared of using them?

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Adding some oh-la-la to my skincare routine

Indemne.

Eau de Génie is a multi-tasking facial toner. Organic, it is basically fruits (lemon, grapefruit, apricot and tomato) water that revitalises, tightens pores and soothes skin while also removing micelles. It is also brightening and lightly moisturising as it contains lemon peel oil.

Because it is so gentle, it is suitable for all skin types and adolescent skin. It also works really well as a refresher; it behaves well over makeup. You can even keep it in the fridge!

As a toner, apply to cleansed skin and remove it a cotton pad, without rinsing. Skin feels fresh and comfortable after use. personally, I find it great as a facial mist.

And if you suffer from breakouts like me, you might want to use, in conjunction with Eau de Génie, the Gimme Clear! lotion.

In reality, it is a light oil that smells rather herbal formulated with natural essential oils and vegetable oils, such as hazelnut, hemp seed, carrot, citrus peel, cinnamon bark and oregano flower,  to purify and help reduce sebum and shine in the skin.

It works on blemishes and spots prevention, by helping declog pores and also aids in healing existing pimples. As it is an oil, it also contributes to skin hydration and improved texture.

One pump is enough for the face; the oil is light and absorbs quickly. I personally prefer using it at night, sometimes I just rub it on the blemishes themselves instead of using on the whole face.

You can get Indemne on their website. Eau de Génie cost £15.53 (135ml) and Gimme Clear! £18.42 (50ml). They also do haircare and beauty accessories.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Plumping elasticity for the skin

Just because I have a blemish prone skin does not mean I don’t think about concerns; I should be so lucky! I have to be double careful with my regime.

Eucerin has a brilliant, extensive range of skincare to cater for all skin concerns (I am a fan), taking into account sensitive skin, and their latest is no different: meet Eucerin Elasticity + Filler.

Now, these babies are made to not only work on texture, giving skin more elasticity and less sagging, as well as plumping, helping fill out the natural structure changes that come with age and impact firmness.

Arctiin (a collagen renewal booster), Sylmariin (which helps protect collagen and elastin) and hyaluronic acid (full of hydrating plumping goodness) are present on all three products in the range and working on aiding restore elasticity and reduce deep wrinkles.

I tried the fabulously smoothing Facial Oil, which is extremely light and smells divine.

It applies amazingly, sinks in quickly and leaves no greasy residues. It also contains Argan and Lady Thistle oils, as well as vitamin E.

It is fantastic mixed with foundation – you can put one precise drop with the pipette and it does not affect it – for some extra care and protection.

The nourishing Day Care face moisturiser is light, non-comedogenic, has SPF 15 (UVA protection, is very light, absorbing quickly and making a good makeup base.

I like that the lovely muted gold packaging really reflects how my skin feels after use: radiant and smooth, as well as supported.

The Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Facial Oil costs £31 for 30ml, the Eucerin Elasticity + Filler Day Care and the Night Care, £26 each for 50ml.

At the moment, you can get 25% off selected Eucerin anti-ageing products at Boots, so hurry!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Summer essential: that magic mist

Hands up if you’re guilty of, at some point in your life, not re-applying SPF as often as you should not to ruin your makeup? o/

Unfortunately, this is the reality: women fail to re-apply, or even apply in the first place (1 in 5 never do when in the UK), SPF because of its inconvenience. Stickiness, heaviness and interference with a flawless makeup are the main reasons.

And this is damaging our skin. I am often quite careful, and still, my analysis showed my skin is 4 years older than my actual age. Yikes!

So we get it: sunscreen is very important. Even in the city, and all year around.

As only it could be practical…. Fear not. With the sun coming out to play in London and all of us wanting to flock to the parks ray-seeking, Garnier gives us a godsend: the Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Mist with SPF 50 that can go over makeup, no problems.

It is light and efficient. It dries instantly and not a hint of heaviness, greasiness or stickiness in sight. Its 75ml tube means that it’s perfect for the handbag.

Its cutting edge technology means, on top of the expected  UVA and UVB protection, it also has  long UVA and infrared protection, as well as anti-oxidants Baicaine and vitamin E, and hydrating vegetal glycerin.

Of course it is safe for your eyes (which should be closed when applying anyway), as well as your skin!

It also creates an anti-pollution barrier that can be reinforced throughout the day, effortlessly.

I became a huge fan instantly. It is a practical product that encourages us to use full sun protection day after day. It does not make it a burden, it is not restrictive and does not take time.

And for only £10, what is not to love? Plus, when it’s warmer, it’s a lovely breath of freshness on your face!

You can get the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Mist now (in time for tomorrow’s picnic) from Boots (in-store and online). No excuses

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Let it be light!

A while ago I appeared on Instagram bobbing along looking like something out of a sci-fi movie. remember that?

Well, I’ll refresh your memory. It turns out I had just started to try the revolutionary Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask, a device that bring the dermatologist LED therapy into your home, safely and at a fraction of the cost.

But what does it all mean? Basically, the futuristic looking mask emits therapeutic blue and red lights that penetrate intro the skin to kill the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts.

The blue light kills the bacteria while the red light reduces inflammation (is it just me our it feels should be the other way round? Hehe).

After using for about a month, I noticed my skin is calmer. Usage overlapped with my pre-menstrual period, when my breakouts are more active. Although I still have some, I feel they disappeared much quicker.

I did notice some changes pretty early on. Small breakouts seem to be zapped, larger ones subdued quicker, skin tone, texture and general condition seem to have improved. I feel it is a bit addictive.

Using it is very easy: wash your face, attach the activator device, make sure the metal pin is all the way in, pop the mask on like sunglasses and hit the button.

The daily treatment lasts 10 minutes and the mask turns off automatically. In the activator, you have a display with a count of how many treatments you have left.

And that is the catch and what people have been feeling uncertain about: the mask itself costs £59.99 and can be re-used. Now the activator, which is a necessity for it to work, costs £14.99 and deliver 30 treatments of 10 minutes, enough for a month.

Some find it is unfair that such a revolutionary treatment is made available to the masses but has an ongoing cost. As someone suffering from acne for 20 years, I will put it out there: this has always been the way.

And a lot of what is now readily available, wasn’t when I was a teenager that could not afford expensive treatments. And what was available was extremely costly.

Again, making your skin a priority might require some compromise on other areas and back up from your parents. This is how I went through countless treatments when young.

Also worth bearing in mind that this product is not suitable for severe acne, which I did have for a few periods of my life. In those cases, seeing a doctor and seeking a dermatology referral is always the way forward.

However, if you suffer from mild to moderate acne, which seem to be the case for me nowadays, this products is great and I highly recommended.

Furthermore, I’d say that after a while month I will get extra activators and not do it every day. Maybe every other or even every three, just as maintenance.

Also, the depleted activators can be recycled and Neutrogena offers information on it, so they can be disposed responsibly.

The Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask costs £59.99  and comes with one activator for the first month. Additional activators cost £14.99 each, and multipacks are available. The recommended initial treatment is 3 months.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Beauty treasure trove

I must start this post with the admission that I fell out of love with beauty boxes a while ago but the March Glossybox really made me see the excitement with these monthly beauty delights.
The March edition came brimming with some of my favourite brands and two full size products I truly love (and *may* even have graced the blog before!).
I have said before that their hand cream are second to none, so it is only fair that I start with the superb Crabtree & Evelyn Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy Cream.
Of course, the formula is the amazing one we know and the Somerset Meadow fragrance is light and fresh: a sunny summer morning in green fields in a tube. And in its 25g, it is the right size for your handbag.
Then, comes the Sleek Eye & Cheek palette which I raved about before. It has everything for the flawless transition from day to night in a compact form for the makeup bag. I got probably the more party-like of the lot, slightly more tricky to use (but with a killer gold shadow and blushers).
The other three versions are much more neutral and I have the Midsummer’s Dream one and I am seeing the pan on most shades.  Amazing pigmentation and price. What’s not to love?
Now, I am a huge fan of this works. I don’t think there is a single product they do that doesn’t work for me (because, well, this works!) and I do have the full size of the versatile in transit camera close-up primer, moisturiser and mask.
It is reportedly a must have on Mrs Beckham’s travel bag so if it is good for her, well, I am in. That aside, it is a great product; a fantastic moisturising base for makeup which I use quite often, so glad to have a travel size.
Another brand I like a lot, Schwarzkopf is present in the form of the BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Brazilnut Oil Pulp Treatment, a rich hair mask to restore shine and nourishment.
To be used twice a week for 5-10 minutes for manageable, shiny hair.
Finally, a brand that is new to me (shock, horror): Oolution. The eye love is 100% natural and 65% organic.
It contains antioxidants and it is very hydrating to help banish puffiness and dark circles, morning or night! Behaves well under makeup and you just need a little bit.
Glossybox is available through monthly subscription for £10/month (+ P&P). Always five products, at least a full size one and they always bring special editions that sell out pretty fast!
You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

On plump and radiant skin

this-works-light-time-review-1Now, that is a big claim: plumper and more radiant skin. can one line of products deliver? Well, sceptic as I am, I must say the this works light time range does not disappoint.

I first came across the light time skin plumper, a light moisturiser that seems to wake up and un-crease the skin. I reviewed a long time ago and since I could not let go.

It is perfect for the morning, to smooth that pillow face and fight fatigue.

this-works-light-time-review-2However, I was totally impressed with the other products on the range, starting with the amazing light time open eyes eye cream.

Apart from the product itself, the best thing about it is that the hole from which the product is dispensed is not directly on the fabulous massaging metal applicator. It makes a massive difference applying them smoothing separately; for me, it is just more practical.

this-works-light-time-review-3The de-puffing cream is light, glides and absorbs very well. It contains vitamin-rich algae, Persian silk tree extract, aloe vera and Argan 0il to smooth, revitalise, soothe the delicate round the eye area.

The biggest surprise comes at the end of this piece: the light time cleanse & glow. Most of you will know I don’t like cream cleansers. I am a foamy cleanser girl through and through. However, this got me from day one.

this-works-light-time-review-1-1Applied on dry skin and massaged, this balm starts melting makeup straight away. Then, add a bit of water and keep massaging in circular moves to activate the vitamin C and cleanse even deeper. Remove with water and skin is super clean and comfortable.

Nourishing and a delight to use, it removes even eye makeup rather well (minimal left for the eye makeup remover, I tell you!) and contains jojoba, water-activated vitamin C and vitamin E.

The whole range is tightening, smoothing and brightening; weirdly, skin feels awake after use, so it’s my favourite for the morning routine.

You can get them from the this works website. The cleanse & glow costs £30 (75ml), open eyes, £25(15ml) and skin plumper, £29 (30ml).

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them

Night time skin rituals

this-works-no-wrinkles-review-1I have that kind of skin that goes downhill during the day – it loses hydration, lines and scars become more visible, even if make up does not sink. Add the weather and the stresses this time of the year and boom! Skin nightmare!

Night time is very important for skin; it’s the time it restores, heals and resets itself. And because This Works develops its products based on our circadian rhythm, it caters for all skin needs at different times of the day.

In my search of replenishment, I have fallen in love with their No Wrinkles range, which supports my skin natural restoring abilities.

this-works-no-wrinkles-review-2The amazing Wonder Essence (£30) is a water like product that works to brighten and rejuvenate skin. I apply after cleansing and its natural protease enzymes gently exfoliate while antioxidants protect and hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin. It’s a great start to the night routine.

this-works-no-wrinkles-review-1Then I move on to the eyes with Tired Eyes (£42), a tightening serum that fights puffiness, tiredness and lines. Containing detoxing Persian silk tree extract and counting with the retinyl palmitate, hyaluronic acid, botanical oils and plant extracts super blend, present throughout the range, this eye cream combats both the signs of ageing and tiredness.

this-works-no-wrinkles-review-5After that I apply the Night Repair (£45) serum, which has a thicker than expected texture for a serum, but absorbs super quickly. It works by reducing the signs of tiredness and it attacks glycotoxins, which are produced when we don’t get enough sleep.

It contains Persian silk tree and cactus flower extracts, as well as retinol to prepare the skin for its natural night repair rituals.

this-works-no-wrinkles-review-4Then comes the Midnight Moisture (£46), a super nourishing moisturiser (which some days I feels is on the richer side for my skin, so I replace with another or an oil) that works hard to accelerate and support the overnight repair and detox of the skin.

Persian silk tree extract works on the detoxification, retinol on collagen production and cell renewal, hyaluronic acid on hydrating and plumping, with evening primrose and jojoba oils and shea butter adding extra moisture richness.

Add a little (ok, maybe not just a little) of their Sleep Plus Pillow Spray and voilá: a great night sleep awaits! And a beautiful radiant morning ensues!

You can get the whole No Wrinkles range on the This Works website. And I hear they are having a sale preview – 25% off on some of their hero products! Hurry – it ends at midnight 23rd December!

signature1You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Enter the Red Door Experience

red-door-experience-debenhams-londonParty season is now and full swing and if you are like me, you – and your skin – might be feeling a bit exhausted!

You’ll be pleased to know that Elizabeth Arden brought their NY beauty secrets to the heart of London: welcome to The Red Door Experience.

Newly opened at Debenhams Oxford Street, The Red Door offers services from speedy pick me ups to full body pampering.

Now, I must point out that the 15 minute treatments are perfect for the festive season: the Oxygen Blast Facial cost £15 and is designed to revitalise skin. A thorough cleanse and tone is followed by an oxygen, hyaluronic acid and 16 minerals. I tried that myself and just say skin felt renewed for a few days. Night before who?!

elizabeth-arden-red-door-debenhamsApart from that, there’s another express device at the same price, the pollution solution, perfect for us big city folks, which has anti-ageing and anti-pollution properties. You get a quick fix that packs s punch: Cleansing, a boost with the SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster and a sheet mask full of antioxidants.

The top treatment is the the Ultimate Arden Facial (£70, 75 minutes) which has microdermabrasion and special mask, as well as décolleté treatment, scalp massage, hand treatment and upper body warm stone massage.

red-door-experience-debenhams-london1The introductory Elizabeth Arden Essential Facial counts with cleansing, exfoliation and hydration (£50, 50 minutes), the Ceramide Anti-Ageing Facial (£65, 65 minutes) is focused on rejuvenation, strengthening and moisturisation and the Oxygen Infusion Facial (£65, 65 minutes) delivers that fabulous signature oxygen and minerals infusion and a collagen mask for rejuvenation.

Apart from those, you can also count on the free Lady Liperty (exfoliating lip fix, Eight Hour Cream Protectant and lip colour to match you mood and complexion), Pampered Hands (lush Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment plus All-Over Miracle Oil) and Find Your Perfect Match (foundation type and colour match).

To find out about all the treatments and book your, visit the Elizabeth Arden website.

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