Living with No B.S.

If the boys won’t let me live my life free of it, at least my skincare can now be no b.s.

Yes, you heard it: a skincare brand that says we should put up with no bullsh*t – and they live up to it in their formulations.

Retinol is one of my favourite ingredients, mainly due to my skin type and condition, and the no b.s. Retinol Night Cream is a dream. 

Because it has no nasties, it relies on the line smoothing, scar fading properties of retinol with the added benefits of moisturising hyaluronic acid, protecting vitamin E and soothing aloe vera to do its job. 

And what a job it does – from the first use, skin wakes up plumper, smoother and overall feeling great. 

Over time, the retinol gets to work its wonders, especially when pigmentation fading is concerned. 

If I weren’t before, I just became a bigger fan of no b.s. and was glad to extend the motto to another part of my life! 

No b.s. is an American company that has a simple message: say no to toxic crap. And their products, apart from the sassy name and bright packaging are leaded full of clean ingredients in potent formulas, to create a simplified routine.

They are cruelty free, free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, phtalates and sulfates; their packaging is recyclable and with exception of one product (SPF 20 moisturiser), all products are vegan.

I am really into their whole range – it’s straight forward and packed with goodness, so you can truly #LiveNoBS skincare wise (boys, help us here, it’d be great to extend that to you, just saying).

The no b.s. Retinol Night Cream costs £58 for 30ml (it goes a long way). In the UK, you can get your hands on them at FeelUnique.

written by Dani

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

ps: the butterfly was mounted by me and it is ethically sourced – it lived its full life in a sanctuary and died naturally before making its way into my wall.

Get your skin some beauty sleep

Facial oils are one of my favourite types of skincare. I find easy to use and they give my skin more than just their core function.

I mentioned in the past how discovering facial oils changed the way I care for my skin and coming across a new brand is always great, especially when it works, as the Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir does.

The elixir is 100% natural blend of 14 plant-based oils, including Caribbean coral extract, lavender herb, seabuckthorn fruit berry, geranium and neroli flowers oils, capric tryglicerid from coconut as well as oils from sandalwood nut kernel and from the seeds of camellia, chia seed, bitter cherry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, blueberry and cranberry. Phew! It also has a boost of vitamins, minerals and omega 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

These ingredients together work to help prevent ageing signs caused by inflammation. This process, where the protective skin barrier is compromised, happens over time usually due to skin exposure to pollution and sun, over exfoliation or simply by having the wrong skincare regime.

The Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir works to help renew and repair the skin and its barrier, overnight, while you sleep and skin is at its prime regeneration mode.

The oil itself is rich in colour but moderately rich in texture, absorbing well. For my skin type, best used in the autumn/winter and at night, applied with a lovely massage to face and neck.

It works well with other products – I’ve been using a pigmentation and and a vitamin C serum, and sometimes extra moisturisers on top of it.

It can also be used under makeup, or mixed to foundation, but that does not quite work for my skin.

After using it for a while exclusively at night for about 4 weeks, I did notice skin is suppler and overall happier and glowier, breakouts have been stable and skin condition is good.

It is suggested as a topical blemish inflammation reducing but again, for me, I felt it is not necessarily more potent as I was applying to the whole face anyway and my blemishes have been under control.

Also, a little goes a long way so the price tag of £42 (30ml) is, for me, good value for money!

The Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir is made in the UK, with 98% organic oils can be purchased from they Beuti Skincare website and lookfantastic.com when it is in stock: it is very popular and sells out super quickly so get your hands on it whenever you can!

I am lucky to have mine!

written by Dani

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

Ayurvedic botanicals for your skin

A while ago, I got my hands on the Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Kapha Anti-ageing Treatment Oil, but it took me a while to fall for it.

The weather was warmer and being the rich oil it is, it didn’t quite work for my skin. However, when the winter came I decided to give it another go, and I now understand why this oil has rave reviews.

All natural, its main ingredients are fine high-performance Ayurvedic infusions such as ashwagandha root extract, sandalwood, vetivert and frankincense oils which have anti-ageing properties as well as a calming and soothing scent, helping bring tranquility.

It also contains high quality almond, turmeric root, apricot kernel and got kola oils, paracress flower extract, so overall a mix of antiflammatory, healing, balancing, cleansing, antioxidant properties to pamper the skin.

And the senses! As it is based on Ayrvedic principles, it helps restore balance – the brand name combines two Sanskrit words: sama, ‘balance’ and alaya, ‘place’ to create a ‘place of balance.

I felt my skin calmer, especially on the breakout front. It also felt nourished and replenished in the morning (I only use it at night, alone).

In the summer, I am going to mix a drop or two with a moisturiser at night, and see how it works for me, as I really loved using it.

It does retail for £79 for 30ml, but I can assure a little goes a reaaaally long way.

You can get the Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Kapha Anti-ageing Treatment Oil from the Samaya website and also selected retailers such a Whole Foods and Fenwick.

You can also browse all the range, including the other doshas Vata and Pita – you can even do a test on their site to discover which one is your dominant!

written by Dani

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

A beauty lift for eyes

Eye creams: I’m obsessed! No secret, I use them day and night and I juts love the feeling of applying and of course, having hydrated  round the eye area all day long.

DHC brought the Beauty Lift range out a while back and although it didn’t quite work for my skin, the Beauty Lift Eye Care Essence Roll-on is a complete different story.

Start with the three tiny metal beads that form the roll-on. They mean a more delicate and targeted multipoint gentle and cooling massage on application to ease puffiness.

Inside, a very light and fluid serum like formula containing firming and smoothing oat kernel extract, also firming mevalonolactone and ceramide 3, plus hydrating and lifting pentapeptide-18.

It’s light enough for multi-use. For the day, first thing is the morning, it’s a godsend to help with puffy and bed eyes. At night, it’s a refresher to wake up hydrated and refreshed.

I also like the click pen that delivers the exact shot for one application! No excess product or waste.

And how pretty does the pearlescent pink packaging look? Dreamy!

The DHC Beauty Lift Eye Care Essence Roll-on costs £24 for 6ml, but it’s currently on sale until 30/11/17 for £20, a real bargain! You can get it directly from the DHC website.

written by Dani

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.

When dermatologists do skincare

My skin has always been a constant issue for me. Being far from perfect, more often than not it has caused me more pain than joy.

Acne that plagued my younger years never ceased to returned, and the that meant my skin was always dry, flaky and dull from the many aggressive treatments I subjected it to. I spoke openly about how acne made me feel and only from a few years ago I started to love my skin and give it some chance to thrive.

ZENii London skincare has a great ethos – and mind – behind it. Dr. Johanna Ward, award winning skin doctor, has developed ZENii for her clients, and the brand looks as skin health holistically, inside and out.

I’ve been using the regime for about a month now, almost exclusively and have to say my skin has never looked better – move radiant, more even in texture and tone, less blemishes and no breakouts, not even around my period. That’s huge.

My favourite has to be the fantastic Antioxidant Power Serum (£85, 30ml) with L ascorbic acid, niacinamide, vitamin e, ferulic acid and panthotenic acid. Full of antioxidants, it’s like a vitamin shot for the skin, it supports collagen production and has anti-ageing and pigmentation repair properties.

It’s a delight to apply and I know you’re gonna call bullsh*t, but I can, in a way, feel it working in my skin.

The Micronutrient Night Repair Cream (£75, 50ml) is another delight. For a night Cream, is rich but very light thus being perfect for my skin, which just drinks it. I must point out that the dispenser is great, a push downso your product in the pot never gets in touch with air thus not oxidising!

It contains pro-vitamin B5, vitamins E and C, jojoba oil, coral seaweed, retinyl palmitate and sodium hyalunorate so it helps restore, repair and rehydrate skin overnight by working on the fight against free radicals and supporting the skin natural night healing and repair process.

With an SPF 50, the mighty Moisturising Sun Protection (£50, 100ml) has quickly became a favourite of mine. Vitamins B5 and aloe vera add hydration to the broad spectrum sun protection.

It’s super light, behaves well under makeup, and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.

A good cleanser is also essential in any skincare regime and the Papaya and Chamomile Cleanser (£35, 100ml) does not disappoint. Enriched with vitamin E and orange oils, it is super gentle removing debris and makeup efficiently and not drying the skin!

Finally, tying the regime together is the Antioxidant Q10 Toner (£35, 120ml). Very mild but potent, it has coenzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, aloe Vera and botânica extracts, this toner adds to the moisturisation and skin support as well as refreshing and improving radiance.

Because my skin is looking better, makeup looks great. Having said all that, I feel a pang of sadness given the, in my view fair price for such superior products, but still above my budget.

Although after using it a month continuously, it does feel like they go a long way so once I’m finished, I’ll workout the cost per month and am sure it will end up being worth investing in my next lot!

I feel a lot of confidence on the company and the wonderful Dr. Ward, whom I met at the range launch over a fabulous breakfast at Sky Garden. She exudes the confidence, expertise – not to mention glorious skin- and care I would trust my problematic skin to.

And ZENii does not do only skincare as Dr Ward, a cosmetic dermatologist, believes in inside and ou, holistic beauty and wellbeing, so there’s a fantastic line of supplements for various skin concerns and relaxing home fragrances.

Visit the ZENii website to soak in all the greatness and purchase all the products I’ve been using.

written by Dani

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.

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.

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.

For plumper skin, just fill it up!

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-1Eucerin has an extensive range for all skin concerns, and you probably noticed that I do tend to love them.

The latest I tried was some products of their Hyaluron-Filler range, with advanced skin solution products designed to hydrate and plump the skin.

Not only do the products have high and low molecular hyaluronic acid, but it also has  a bio-active ingredient that helps promote skin synthesis of  the plumping, hydrating acid.

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-4This complete regime has all the basics – day and night creams, a moisturiser and eye cream, as well as targeted care, the Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate.

They have just recently introduced the Hyaluron-Filler CC Cream, which has all the goodness of their moisturiser plus light concealing and correcting properties.

It contains hyaluronic acid and bio-active glycine saponin and it has SPF 15. And it is anther example of skincare and makeup hybrid I love so much.

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-2For me, although I can clearly see the correcting properties at work, the coverage is too sheer to use alone.

However, it works fabulously as a primer; I did notice more even skin tone and better texture immediately on application. It is non-greasy and applies a treat. Even though I thought “light” was going to be too light for my skin, it blends very well.

Makeup applies very well on top of it and because of its advanced moisturising properties, it keeps skin plump and hydrated throughout the day.

The whole range is really fantastic: it delivers suppleness in a very gentle way, suitable for the most sensitive skins.

eucerin-hyaluron-filler-cc-cream-review-3Having said that, I do have to mention the Hyaluron-Filler Eye Cream in particular. It is rich but not heavy and it feels amazing on the skin.

You can really feel it sinking deep down in the skin and bringing it up. And it has SPF 15, all that is missing in other eye creams. Love doesn’t even cover it.

Particularly useful in the morning for a fresh look.

The Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler CC Cream retails for £28 and is available in light and medium; the Eye Cream costs £22 and both are available from major retailers natiowide, inclusing Boots and Escentual, together with the rest of the range and other lines from Eucerin.

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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.

Skincare, for all pockets

nspa-skincare-review-4Be honest: would you say, by looking at the gorgeous nspa skincare products, that they carry a tiny price tag? I don’t think so.

Nspa is a brand created by spa experts in the UK, exclusively for Asda. Yes, you heard right. Asda.

In fact, Asda beauty has a great range of products, including nspa, whose products are benchmarked against big brands in the market.

I tried some of their Beauty Rituals Ever Youthful anti-ageing products, which are all enriched with a hyaluronic acid and tetrapeptide complex.

The whole Beauty Rituals line carries four steps of skincare: cleanse, exfoliate, treat and moisturise. All products are dermatologically approved and free of parabens.

nspa-skincare-review-3As I love a serum, I’m going to start with that. The Ever Youthful Double Action Serum, which costs £6.40 (no, you didn’t read it wrong), contains ginseng and and anti-oxidant rich Vitamin A, E and Pro-Vitamin B5 complex.

The serum is light and sinks in the skin very well. Skin feels soft , nourished and moisturised after use. It is also vegan friendly.

Eye creams are also a little vice of mine and the Ever Youthful Eye Cream (£5) is very good. Light upon application and quickly absorbed, it does not irritate my sensitive eyes.

Can be used overnight and also during the day under makeup; it behaves very well.

nspa-skincare-review-2It helps support the delicate round the eye skin, plumping and nourishing, working against crows feet and fine lines.

They also have a day and night cream: the recharging and restorative Ever Youthful Bouncy Night Cream (£6.40), which is admittedly is a bit rich my my skin type, but has real bouncy texture and does feel nice on the skin once applied.

The Ever Youthful Day Cream, £6.40,  (obvs!) with protecting SPF 15 and is possibly thicker than I would like, close to the night one, but absorbs well and feels lovely on the skin. The smell is very nice too – in fact, all products have a lovely smell.

Not pictured, because it lives in my bathroom, is probably my favourite product from the range, the Deep Cleansing Face Wash (£4.50). Its pump delivers a rich foam that cleanses without stripping the skin and does a very good job of even removing eye makeup.

The nspa Ever Youthful range is really goo, especially when you think about the price point – the most expensive products cost £6.40 and at the moment they have a 2 for £8 deal on.

Plus, you can get it while grocery shopping at Asda, in-store and online.

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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.