Gimme vitamin…C

I’m no stranger to the Nivea Q10 range; a while back I was introduced to the antioxidant properties of Q10, which is a co-enzyme present in our skin.

Now Nivea has just boosted these properties with amazing vitamin C, also known for its antioxidant properties and to deliver radiance and energy to the skin.

The Q10plusC Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Eye Treatment (£10.99) is my favourite – you know I love an eye product.

It’s light and super smooth, I find perfect for the day as it keeps the area moisturised and bright, but also great for the night as it is not heavy and works wonder de-puffing and refreshing dull and tired skin.

The Q10plusC Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Skin Sleep Cream (£10.99) is a delight. It is a very fluid cream that glides and sinks so well in the skin.

It feels so light but works wonders: skin wakes up refreshed, rested and plump.

Last, but not least, the Q10plusC Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Day Cream with SPF 15 (£10.99).

Of course, any sun protection is always welcome and on top of it you have fantastic skin protecting antioxidants.

It has a firm consistency but spreads smoothly and behaves extremely well under makeup.  I don’t know if it’s me but it feels like it creates a good, non-greasy and even base for foundation.

This range went straight to my bedside table (ok, not a bedside table, but the packed everyday skincare drawer more like) and I’ve been using very regularly since putting to the test.

Oh, and the smell on the face products is rather nice; slightly reminiscent of the classic Nivea, but fresher and not overpowering. I love it!

You can check them out on the Nivea website and you can get them from major retailers, such as Superdrug and Boots.

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.

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.

That peeling face mask…

Oh face masks… is there anything that screams being pampered more than a lush face mask accompanied by a fluffy dressing gown?

BLAQ mask (£14) is a peel-off facial mask with activated charcoal to target toxins and draw out impurities.

I must admit I’ve been a bit scared of peel-off black face masks as so many people seem to have had some asphalt mix that set on their faces, was damn hard to peel and took a layer of their epidermis off when finally pulled out, leaving them with that newborn panda look.

But when I got my hands on this, I could not resist and I am glad I didn’t.

After cleansing and using a warm cloth to open pores, I applied an even layer of the mask avoiding hairline, eyebrows, lips and eye area.

I waited around 15 minutes and I went off to peel the shiny layer of face mask that was set like plastic on my face.

Laugh away:

I found a little spot to grab on to and started. It did come off quite easily, and although I could feel the pull, it wasn’t aggressive on the skin, but there was a little bit of redness.

After a few minutes, my skin felt super soft, clearer, calmer; blackheads were pulled out.

Together with the face mask, I also got the BLAQ Hydrogel Eye Masks (£22), which I have to say, I’ve been very excited about.

The slug like patches come in a solution and are extremely soothing and cooling upon application.

After 15 minutes they easily come off and the area felt de-puffed and had a glow, brighter and tighter. Sounds a load of rubbish, but I did noticed a visible change.

It contains glycerin, witch hazel extract, bamboo charcoal, Irish moss powder (0.1%), konjac fibre, algin and citric acid.

Finally, the BLAQ Meteor Shower scrub (£19.95). I mean, just to start with: pretty. It fells lovely on the skin, and really exfoliates, leaving it soft, shimmery and glowy. It is perfect to prep for tanning!

I find it quite sweet that you can “track” the origin of the meteorites used on your scrub. Each pack has a number, here’s mine:

It contains sea salt flakes, meteorite powder, mica, activated charcoal, soybean oil, sugar and olive fruit oil. The meteorite powder as found in the scrub is 100% biodegradable; the scrub has no preservatives or additives, and BLAQ does not test on animals!

You can get them all at blaq.co.

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.

British natural skincare

Often I go on about the joys of discovering new beauty brands and when Evolve Organic Beauty popped in I was delighted to give a go.

And not just because I didn’t know them before; the fact they are natural and hand made in the UK with organic ingredients is a massive bonus. They also got me by sending all time favourite skincare: facial mist and eye serum.

The Daily Defence Moisture Mist contains prickly pear, known for its calming, firming and protecting properties, African moringa, which has skin protectant peptides, skincare sweetheart and water holding hyaluronic acid for extra hydration. all laced with gorgeous orange flower and rose water for a delightful fragrance.

I love applying in clean skin, under it over makeup for a quick burst of hydration and freshness. Kept in the fridge it’s an even better treat! Mine was made by Leanne and is 99.4% natural and 20.5% organic.

The dinky roll on Hyaluronic Eye Complex is still a little secret waiting to be told. It’s ever so light and perfect to keep the round the eyes area well moisturised during the day!

It contains active botanical cells, hyaluronic acid and is 99% natural and 34% organic. It was made by Freya and should be available early 2018.

As a(nother) bonus, I got a very special edition Tranquility Essence, which is great as a little tool to aid mindful breathing, with lavender, cedarwood, bergamot, mandarin and grapefruit oils, blended by Laura and made by Grace.

If anything, the should have a little less alcohol in the formulation (it’s not an issue for me but I see many having one).

Evolve has a great range of natural products, with some organic ingredients, all lovingly made in Hertfordshire, UK. I love the fact the gave the name of the person who made it on the label and their prices are really good – well worth checking out (Miracle facial oil at £30, I’m looking at you).

The Daily Defence Moisture Mist costs £20 for 100ml and can be bought at evolvebeauty.co.uk.

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.

Plant-powered skincare

I always say there’s nothing more exciting than discovering new brands and products. And when those come in the form of an extensive range powered by plants, I’m sold.

Botanics is a brand I often spotted at Boots but never actually looked into. Lucky I was invited to one of their events to find out more about the range.

Botanics has five ranges catering for specific skin concerns and you can build a routine according to your needs, mixing and matching.

The Organic range has rosehip as its main ingredient, All Bright has hibiscus, Hydration Burst has clary sage, Radiant Youth has gingko and Triple Age Renewal, purple orchid.

All main ingredients are sustainably sourced and their efficiency checked by Kew Gardens in London, so you know they are the finest grade available and can work their wonder.

For me, the absolute hero product is the All Bright Radiance Balm (£7.99, 50ml). I have been using it pretty much every day under my makeup.

It has the most subtle of pearlescence and is a fantastic addition to the make up routine making a beautiful base that delivers a glow that seems to radiate from inside the skin.

Used with the SPF 15 Hydration Burst Day Lotion (£8.99, 50ml, with clary sage from Spain) and the All Bright Hydrating Night Cream (£6.99 for 50ml), it really works as a boost to skin overall appearance.

The hibiscus flower extract, present in all All Bright range, is a natural exfoliator thus being radiance and glow inducing. The flowers are sustainably hand-picked in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

I mentioned I love a good facial scrub and the Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion polish (£9.99, 120ml) has fine, volcanic rock (pumice) offering great microdermabrasion without being too aggressive and drying.

A delight to get deep into pores, it scrubs away dead skin and contributes to overall skin texture. Skin is smooth and polished after used. A great one to keep and use in the shower.

Now, I’m a sucker for facial mists and the Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz (£7.99, 150m) is just lovely. It refreshes, soothes and calms skin. I love keeping my mists on the fridge; in the summer it’s an extra treat but as the season changes it is still going strong!

I also have a thing for eye creams and I tried two from Botanics: the All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-on (£8.99, 15ml), which is applied with a metal sphere and is super light, almost water like, and refreshing; perfect for day.

The Radiant Youth Hydrating eye cream (£11.99, 15ml) is great for the night. It is slightly thicker than my preferred consistency, but quickly absorbed and does not upset my sensitive eyes. It contains gingko sourced from the Mu Shan reserve in China.

Of course, no routine is complete without a facial oil (well, at least for me) and the Botanics Facial Oil 100% Organic (£11.49, 25ml), encapsulates the brand name as it’s packed with botanical extracts, a rich blend including of rosehip from the Andes, sweet almond, bergamot and lemon peel oils.

In the summer, I use oils on their own at nigh, sometimes a couple of times a week. In the winter I usually use it in addition to my light moisturisers or serum. This one feels a little bit heavier, so it’s either alone or with a serum for me.

As you can see, they are great products I loved using at a fantastic price point – I mean, organic facial oil for £11.49?

You can read all about the ingredients and explore all the ranges at the Boots website.

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.

My lips aren’t sealed…

Lately, my lips have been terribly dry, flaky and cracked? Am I kissing too much, you ask?

Well, I don’t kiss and tell, but what I can tell is that I freaked out when I saw a crevasse, which for me was Grand Canyon sized, and that got me thinking about around the lips ageing and how I haven’t come across a specific product for that.

Obviously, as it was around my birthday, I started thinking my lips look like those of a 100-year old with (no, I’m not dramatic, no, there is absolutely no exaggeration on this statement) and I started thinking about what I was going to do about that…

Enter the super compact (and rather effective) Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate. I mentioned the Hyaluron-Filler range before on the blog and absolutely love their CC Cream and the eye cream and realised their Concentrate would be the perfect boost to care for that so often neglected area.

This intensive anti-wrinkle in a serum form, it is great for the area as it is very light and absorbs so quickly.

The combination of high and low molecular hyaluronic acid and bio-active glycine saponin helps target prematurely ageing skin where the wrinkles originate and support skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid. Nifty, eh?

I’ve been using it morning and night, and have already felt a small improvement on the area. And while I am there, I also dab a bit around the lines coming from the edge of the nose to the corner of the mouth (known as “Chinese” moustache).

So, with six of those vials coming in each pack, I am sure I can be laughing through to 2018 without worrying about those lines (too much)!

The Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate costs £30 for 6x5ml., which I think is very good price indeed for a serum this potent. You can get it from major retailers and the Eucerin 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.

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.

Overnight hand care

If like me you’re obsessed with hand creams, keep reading. Crabtree & Evelyn, which has the best hand cream in town, has an overnight hand therapy cream and I am sold.

I do have the habit of moisturing my hands before going to bed anyway and lately I have been doing with a product made exactly for that.

But Dani, how is it different from a normal hand cream, you ask? Well.. of course, the trick in on the concentration. This rich cream contains a concentrated complex of vitamins and amino acids, including arginine.

It is formulated especially to protect, by enhancing the skin’s natural barrier, maintain the natural moisture level, help skin recovery and soothe any dryness.

As any Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy creams, it is easily and totally absorbed by the skin leaving no trace, but a long-lasting moisturisation. Applied at night, this cream works its wonder so I have been waking up with soft and nourished hands.

The classic La Source – a crisp, clean scent of refreshing aquatic notes, musk, and gentle shoreline breeze – is the version I’ve been using, but the overnight hand therapy is also available in three other amazing scents.

I’ve talked a lot about the hand therapy creams (which is always in my bag) and the amazing 60 second fix for hands (which I use about twice a week) and now the overnight hand cream is yet another Crabtree & Evelyn product that has a firm place in my life.

The overnight hand therapy costs £19 for 75ml and you can get online from the Crabtree & Evelyn website or in their ever so tempting shops!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.

Handy and affordable sunscreens to take anywhere

SPF is very important in our lives. Regardless of being gloomy in London or scorching in the Caribbean, winter or summer, we know sun protection should always be in our minds – and most importantly, in our skins!

It is great to find sunscreens that take little space and you can take away with you on a daily basis, for all those important and often neglected top ups.

As the sun is gracing my balcony today, I felt inspired to put together a small selection of sun creams I have been wearing that offer a great protection and can be carried around for all day long wear. And they are pretty affordable too!

I fell in love with the Bioderma Photoderm Max Aquafluide SPF 50+ during my last holiday. What a delight to apply; its fluid water-like texture is great. It dries quickly and matte, is water resistant and behaves very well under makeup.

Plus, apart from high UVA/UVB protection, it has the patented Cellular Bioprotection which activates the skin’s natural defences at cellular levels, protecting our cells and combating premature skin ageing.

And probably the best thing? Extremely well priced at around £13 for 40ml.

Moving on to one from my favourite sunscreen brands, very affordable and easy to find, the Nivea Sun Caring Roll-on SPF 30 is super easy to apply, it is water resistant, protects agains UVA and UVB rays and offers long lasting moisturisation too.

The formula is great, dries quickly and is non-sticky, the smell so familiar and lovely, and the price is also extremely friendly at around £7 for 50ml.

I raved soooo much about the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Face Mist SPF 50 when it launched and after almost using it all since, I will maintain my review: it is the most practical SPF around and perfect for us city folks as it can be applied on top of makeup.

For me, that is priceless but you can get it for an affordable £10. And I just found for £6 at Boots. Going to stock up.

Finally, a  little gem from Eucerin, the Tinted Sun Creme SPF 50+. Ideal for those who wear little or no makeup but want a natural flash of colour, it is oil-free, non-comedogenic with UVA and UVB protection. It costs £16 for 50ml.

These are the little heroes keeping me safe all year round!

What are you favourite “portable and affordable” SPF?

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.