Mask it up!

How amazing is to treat yourself with a gorgeous face mask? I have to say it is one of my favourite things.

And that’s not only for my skin but also for my mental health; I do take those 15-20 minutes to unwind and create some headspace, which I usually find quite challenging.

Starskin has a fabulous range of amazing masks to cater for all your skin needs. I am very impressed at the list of ingredients on each product and how much of the serums are actually present on each mask.

Their new Diamond Mask VIP Illuminating mask (£12.50) is a luxury bio cellulose second skin mask, which feels comfortable and supple on your face.

The bio cellulose is made of naturally fermented coconut juice and is safe for all skin types, as it offers non sticky adherence.

It is nourishing, brightening, refining and enhances elasticity, thanks to its long list ingredients. Are you ready? It does feel like I am in a jewellers…diamond dust, emerald, tournaline, coconut, evening primrose, olive oils, purslane, adenosine, antarcticine, white mulberry bark and tripeptide-t. Phew.

The mask comes between two layers of protective mesh and infused with 30ml of serum. Personally, I found a bit fiddly to unravel and apply, but nothing I could not overcome in a few seconds. Once applied, the mask feels so comfortable and refreshing.

After 20 minutes, I easily removed it – it slips off effortlessly and massaged the leftover product on my face, letting it absorb naturally, which took a few minutes.

My skin felt fresh and radiant, and makeup applied later that day sat extremely well.

Before applying my mask, I cleaned my face with the Detoxing Sea Kelp Leaf cleansing foam (£20).

This rich lather is created from only a pea size amount of the product and a drop of water, applied to face and neck. It feels very cleansing on the skin and does a decent job of removing eye makeup (although I did use a proper remover afterwards).

Kelp, glacier water, clay, spirulina, green caviar, sea cucumber, hiziki, jelly fish, sea fern, peony and licorice roots come together to promote detoxing, cleansing, smoothing and balancing.

Also on my Starskin book, is the Foaming Peeling Perfection Puff (£8.50). Now, I love this things as one puff can be used up to 3 times.

Pop the foil open, add a few drops of water, squeeze the puff a couple times inside the packet and then use it to scrub the whole face for about 2-3 minutes.

I could really feel the exfoliating power of the puff. Skin was smoother and brighter after, drinking products very well!

It brings exfoliation, smoothing, skin tone and radiance improvements, as well as deep cleansing thanks to (a salad) carrot, tomato, turnip, broccoli, cabbage, olive leaf, rice, plus aloe vera, lactic acid and arginine.

Another product that made me very excited was the Plumping & Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Lip Masks (£8.50).

Made of the same coconut bio-cellullose as the VIP mask, this was a saviour to my lips that suffer an awful lot with dryness. Also, it’s a pretty shape 🙂

5 ml of a serum formulated with sea fern, mango, flaxseed, chia seeds, coconut oil, honey, collagen, jojoba oils, hyaluronic acid, beta glucan and pomegranate infuse every lip mask for plumping, softening, smoothing and hydrating effect.

There are 2 masks per pack, which is nice!

You can get Starskin products at major retailers: think FeelUnique, Debenhams, ASOS, Selfridges, House of Fraser, LookFantastic and many more.

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.

You actually scrub up well…

You know when your skin feels a bit congested, and no amount of a good cleanser seems to actually make it feel clean?

Enter facial scrubs. I am a huge fan since my skin, with all its issues, seem to demand that, from time to time, a use something less gentle to keep it under control.

And because I like variety and rotate skin products, I decided to share the scrubs that have been keeping my skin in check:

The Alpha H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub (£35.95 for 100ml) has been a favourite for ages. Alpha H has some lovely products all with my dear glycolic acid, which here is at 12%. The formula also contains eco-friendly jojoba beads, caffeine and peppermint, for renewed and refreshed skin.

It’s a fine but tough scrub; it does have at-home microdermabrasion properties and I leave on my face for a few minutes so the glycolic acid can work on the skin.

The Botanics Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish (£9.99 for 125ml) is one of the finest I’ve ever encountered and I love it! So effective yet gentle, it is infused with extracts from the leaves of the Gingko plant and polishes away dead skin to reveal smoother radiance.

In fact, Botanics, which you can get from Boots UK, was one of my biggest budget skincare discoveries this year and I will be soon talking about more products, the company, their love of natural ingredients and how they work with Kew Gardens to deliver the best plant power to our skin!

The gorgeous dermalogica daily microfoliant (£48 for 75g) that has been with me forever! I love this dry rice powder product that releases papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes when wet.

Can be mixed with water but my best tip is to mix with your favourite foamy face wash. Works a treat for gentle exfoliation and can be used more frequently so super soft skin.

And talking about powders in a tub, meet the Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub (around £7.99 for 125g), which is Bioré‘s answer to the bad boys microbeads.

Activated by mixing with water, it fizzes up for cleansing and gentle exfoliating – and you can make is thicker or thinner, depending on how much exfoliation is required. The fact is completely dissolves helps avoid over-scrubbing.

Of course, scrubbing should be done lightly, in upwards circular movements to also help boost circulation on the skin. Never over-scrub as this can hurt the skin and in case of spots, make them worse!

It is also very important to pick a scrub for your skin type. Sensitive skins will not like it very much and maybe you should opt for a gentle chemical exfoliator instead.

Still, I find the act of using a facial scrub extremely satisfying! Am I alone on that?

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains some 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.

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liz earle orange and chamomile cleanse & polish No secret that Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser is my favourite cleanser – since I discovered it, I haven’t looked back. Don’t just take my word for it – recently, this cleanser celebrated more than 100 beauty awards!!!

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Product review: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser

Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Nothing beats a good cleanser. Really. That feeling of having a deeply clean and not dry skin is just wonderful. It seems to strip away the daily stresses. And that’s how the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser make me feel.

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