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.

Pear-fect care and protection

When you are 100% sure you found your hands down favourite Dove deodorant scent, they bring out something completely different to confuse you. Meet the Dove GoFresh Pear and Aloe Vera antiperspirant deodorant.

I’m not usually one for fresh scents but this one hooked me in, so once again, the collaboration with Givaudan pays off for Dove.

The pear and aloe vera fragrance is fresh, but very feminine. The sweetness of the pear totally does it for me, if I am honest.

On top of that, Dove is always improving the formula on their products and of course you can count on the 1/4 moisturising cream, which is now, in fact, is using the same ingredients as luxury face creams, to care for your underarms’ skin, keeping it soft, as well as protect against sweat for 48 hours.

Worth remembering that when we shave our underarms, 36% is actually skin! No wonder that often neglected part of the body can feel dry and irritated.

The range contains the fabulous anti-perspirant in spray, roll-on and stick, body wash and the brand new shower foam, which I will have to talk about in a separate post as it is divine!

You can get the fabulous Dove GoFresh Pear and Aloe Vera range from retailers nationwide and products are priced from £2.65.

For more information on all amazing products from Dove, including the 2017 launches and their Self-esteem Project, visit the Dove UK website.

P.S.: Sorry about the cheesy headline. Obviously I could not resist!

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.

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.

This Christmas, give the gift of good skin

dermalogica-power-rescue-masque-trio-review-1Now, why not, this Christmas, give the gift of good skin?

Dermalogica has come up with some fabulous gift sets for many skin demands. Being the mask lover I am, I went for this handy Power Rescue Masque Trio, which has my favourite mask ever, Charcoal Rescue Masque (38ml), the MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque and the Skin Hydrating Masque.

dermalogica-power-rescue-masque-trio-review-2Perfect for this time of the year and multitasking, this kit will cater for many skin concerns. You can also layer the masks – when I say this is a super muilti-tasking kit, I mean business!

Individually, the masks have very distinctive properties and are a dream to use.

Together, they deliver the perfect combination for my sensitised winter skin: purification and exfoliation for the T-zone, anti ageing moisture for the centre of my face and extra hydration for everywhere else.

Apart from the Power Rescue Masque Trio, which costs £43.25, you can also get:

  • Body Buffing Set (£15.50) – perfect gift to buff up dull skin and reveal the smooth underneath in time to see in the New Year. Contains travel size Conditioning Body Wash and  Body Hydrating Cream and an Ultimate Buffing Cloth.
  • Skin Health Heroes (£33.10) – a trio of Dermalogica’s most popular products in handy travel sizes, this kit contains Special Cleansing Gel, Multi-Active Toner and Hydrablur Primer for the healthiest skin ever.
  • Skin Brightening Duo (£53.25) – made up of two of Dermalogica’s skin heroes, the combination of a full size Daily Microfoliant® and PreCleanse work together to remove impurities, leaving clear, bright skin.
  • Skin Perfecting Set (£67.60) – illuminate skin during the day and repair at night with this complementary duo of full size Skin Perfect Primer SPF30 and Overnight Repair Serum. Firm, smooth and minimise the appearance of ageing.
  • Clear Skin Day In, Day Out (£13.70) – ideal for teen skin, this kit contains a complete day to night regimen of travel size Foaming Wash, Daytime Treatment and Overnight Treatment. Clearing the way to healthy skin from a young age.

Visit the Dermalogica website to find out more and purchase the gift sets. You can also get it fromthe Dermalogica shops, counters and many retailers, on and off line, across the country.

Be quick and get your hands on them before they sell out!

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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.

All over tan – Got your Back!

bronzie-tanning-mitt-4Tanning. I love looking bronzed; it makes me feel better. In fact, we all know that looking tanned masks the imperfections, so our bodies look better.

However, we all suffer from the back tanning problem: how to get even tan? Ask a friend? When I had a love in boyfriend the poor thing would, most of the time begrudgingly, apply tan on my back. What about now?

Fear not, Bronzie is here to save us all!

bronzie-tanning-mitt-1Bronzie Got Your Back is a 3 in 1 back and body mitt that not only solves the back tanning problem but also makes tan application much faster.

It is basically 2 luxury, velvety, soft and padded tanning mitts with a protective film on the inside, linked by the same material.

bronzie-tanning-mitt-3You can apply your favourite tanning product whenever is needed, anywhere on the mitt. The middle part is perfect for reaching across the whole back and back of the legs, like a huge tanned hug.

And of course, you have two mitts, one of each end of the band, to apply all over the body, so no need to change hands.

I have to say, tanning is way quicker and efficient since Bronzie entered my life.

And I must add: now that not only is the sun gone, but also gone is the hope of tanning in this country until next year (brrr, chilly wind), my Bronzie is going to get more frequent outings!

You can buy the Bronzie Got Your Back from their website, and it costs £14.99.

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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.

All natural, Naked Beauty (oil)

skin-tonic-naked-beauty-oil-review-1Now, I’ve had my eyes on Skin & Tonic London for a while and was thrilled to try their new product: the Naked Beauty Oil.

Yes, it’s an oil (although they call it a serum), so it’s more than halfway to winning my heart. More than that, its British produced, organic and from a company well worth knowing, they are really good people.

Starting with the deep reddish orange colour, this luscious oil applies and sinks well on the skin.

I love using oils overnight, and with this my skin wakes up plump and radiant.

With rosehip, apricot, pumpkin and raspberry oils, all containing vitamins A, C & E and omegas 3 & 6, this oil has healing, refining, soothing and hydrating properties for dry skin.

skin-tonic-naked-beauty-oil-review-2It is perfect for the colder season just coming in and at £25 for 30ml, it is a real bargain.

The Skin & Tonic London Naked Beauty Oil is available from their website and from shops like Selfridges, Anthropologie, Whole Foods Market and Fabled by Marie Claire. It is certified organic (99%), 100% natural, unscented, suitable for vegans and , non GMO and not tested on animals, so it’s all round goodness for you and your skin.

Remember when I said they are really good people? Skin & Tonic London use a maximum of 7 ingredients and they are organically certified.

Their small batches are hand crafted and they support small, local producers in the UK and France, as well as fair trade cooperatives in Ghana and Sri Lanka, and give 10% of their profits to charity:water.

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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.

Gimme (more) oil!

dermalogica-phyto-replenish-oil-review-1Here I go say it again: I love oils. I know I keep going on about it but there are so many amazing products now on the market I cannot help but rave about it.

Dermalogica is a brand I am very close to and they have added yet another product to my love list: the phyto replenish oil.

What I like the most about this, apart from its amazing properties, is the fact is mixed well with other products, even makeup. No surprise as dermalogica was the first in the market to come up with the concept of skincare layering.

I’ve been adding a drop of it to my foundation before applying on my skin for that extra glow – after all, it is a luminous treatment oil!

Of course, that means the skin protection barrier reinforcement treatment is working thought the day, even if in a small dosage.

dermalogica-phyto-replenish-oil-review-2The best thing is that is does not compromise the foundation finish (except for a subtle added glow) and durability. Skin does not feel greasy, heavy or as if it is about to melt.

Alone, it is a fabulous replenishing oil with a great texture that sinks beautifully in the skin, which is left free from shine, but with enhanced luminosity.

It contains antioxidants camellia japonica, that helps reinforce the skin natural barrier and eating later collagen, tamanu oil, which combats free radicals, chia seed oil delivering fatty acids, balancing orchid flower extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid, sunflower seed oil and vitamin rich rice bran oil.

The dermalogica phyto replenish oil sells for £56.20 (30ml) and a tiny bit goes a very long way with amazing results.

You can get it from the dermalogica website or over their fabulous shops and counters nationwide.

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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.

Colourful and confident at Goodwood

dove-invisible-dry - 4It is no secret I love bright colours. Although, like most of us, I fall back into black most of the time, I usually feel very comfortable being colourful.

60% of British women feel happier when wearing colour, but 79% are not confident enough to actually don the brights.

I can say I notice that quite a lot, especially when I wear brights; I always get comments such as “so summery”, “so bright”, “how colourful”, that carry in that tone that they do like it, but feel I am brave for wearing it.

Dove started, a while ago, a campaign to boost colour confidence, with the help of Invisible Dry deodorant, which won’t stain your blacks and other 99 colours!

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And because it is one of my favourites, of course I’ve been using it for a while: you can read my full review here.

You can rest assured you are protected, your armpits are kept soft and you won’t have marks on your favourite colourful attire.

Dove Dress of 100 Colours Revealed at Goodwood Ladies' Day

Dove Dress of 100 Colours Revealed at Goodwood Ladies’ Day

This summer, Dove got together with Gok Wan, who is a fabulous advocate for body confidence, to create a bespoke dress featuring 100 colours, to inspire women to be more colour -confident.

The dress was revelead at the Goodwood races, and I was there displaying all my colour confidence and looking for inspired looks.

We stayed at box number 1 with fabulous views of the races and I might even have made some money!

Colour confidence expert Annie Ashdown gives us some tips, if you are still a bit shy about embracing colour in your life:

  • replace your socks for a colourful pair. I am into pop socks at the moment, and they makey it really easy to add a touch of colour.
  • wear turquoise – it’s the confidence colour!
  • magenta is powerful – the perfect choice for that business meeting!
  • gold says you have high standards; it’s high time you donned those skinny golden heels.

Dove Invisible Dry is available from retailers nationwide and costs £2.39 (50ml roll-on), £32.79 (compressed 75ml) and £3.79 (compressed 125ml).

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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.

 

The rise of makeup and skincare hybrids

effaclar-duo-unifiant-review - 1We all love makeup. And we need (ok, we do love it too) skincare.

When 49% of men and women in the UK suffer from spots, blackheads and oily skin*, and 21% of those look for some blemish coverage, how great it is to have products that work towards beautifying skin long and short term?

Many brands now are investing in innovative products that not only prettify, but also care for the skin.

Plus, if a brand caters for problematic skin, you can guarantee I’m already half way being a fan.
And when they work… that’s how love comes about.
La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar range covers all acneic skin needs and recently they started branching out into tinted products.
effaclar-duo-unifiant-review - 2I raved about the Effaclar BB Blur, which I use quite a lot still, and now they are pulling more out of the bag.
The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant tinted moisturiser carries the same formula as the best selling La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + cream, but has  mineral pigments to make it a tinted moisturiser.
It delivers a very sheer and glowy coverage; used alone, for my skin, only in extremely good skin days. However, I find it’s a fabulous base for makeup. It is light applies very well.

I put it on after my primer, before foundation. Of course, I’m resting assured I have treatment on my face, as well as a sheer base that surfaces a bit of glow.

It contains anti-inflammatory niacinamide, bacterial infection-fighting piroctone olamine, healing/skin renewal agent LHA, sebum-combating linoleic acid and the ceramid procerad, which fights inflammation and helps minimise hyper-pigmentation scars.
Since getting it, I’ve been using everyday.
The new La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant comes in two shades: Fair/Light and Light/Medium, costs £16.50 and can be purchased from retailers nationwide.
*Influencers and path to purchase study, 2014.
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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.