So Many Lovely Things beauty retrospective 2015: skincare

skincare_retrospective_somanylovelythingsIn 2015 I fell in love with skincare even more. I really drilled onto the nurturing aspect of dealing with my difficult and acneic skin, and the results, overall, are amazing.

Another very tough choice as the options are aplenty and great, but here we go:

Facial oil

dr_jacksons_face_oil_review - 1Dr Jackson Facial Oil: what an oil, what an amazing brand. The product is rich and nourishing, a delight to use. My skin loves it.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Oil: what a delight. I am a fan of the Eight Hour Cream, and this oil delivers in all areas: face, body and skin. It’s light and locks moisture for the long haul.

Face cream

Day

kiehls_ultra_facial_cream_review - 3Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: super light, a delight under makeup, steady moisturistion during the day.

IMG_2530Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Broad Spectrum anti-wrinkle protect cream: lovely smell and texture, great moisturisation and SPF20.

thisworks_lightime_skin_plumper_review - 1This works light time skin plumper: super light and efficient, it’s plump-tastic. Plus the smell heps you wake up.

Night

Dermalogica pure night: light, moisturising and directed to pigmentation issues.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Cream: rich with oil goodness and a fab smell.

Serum

Skinceauticals Blemish+Age Defense: the product that has it all for my skin type. It fights blemishes and ageing signs. Very fluid, easily absorbed and works a treat.

jurlique rose serumJurlique Rose Moisture Plus: a fluid moisturing serum, quickly absorbed by the skin which smells of roses.

liz_earle_serum - 1Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum: thicker than your usual, but light on the skin. Full of goodness and perfect for night.

bee_god_serum_review - 1Bee Good Hydrate, Smooth and Prime Serum: having honey as main ingredient, this light serum is quickly absorbed to create a semi-matte finish.

Hydration booster

dermalogica skin hydrating boosterDermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster: a little pot of goodness with a fluid, water-like liquid that delivers a boost of lasting hydration to your skincare routine.

Skinceauticals Hydrating B5: also fluid and water-like, works to potentialise the effects of your other mositurisers.

Lip balm

Nivea lip butterNivea lip butter: still a favourite, not losing its place in my favourites. This year, the coconut version is the star!

Eye cream

Ole Henriksen ultimate lift eye gel: bright blue and super light, this gel is refreshing and super light, perfect for day.

dermalogica wonder eye creamDermalogica intensive eye repair: also very light and extra moisturising.

S5 RENEW EYE CREAMS5 renew eye cream: a brand close to my heart that makes the most amazing products. This eye cream is supple, light and super moisturising.

Facial wash

s5_clarity_cleanser_review - 2S5 Clarity Cleanser: a star. Ever so gentle, cleans deeply, soothes and helps with blemishes.

a light foam that cleans deep. Skin feels purified and there’s no tightness.

Face scrub

Alpha H Micro Cleanse Exfoliator: with glycolic acid, this granulated product exfoliates and polishes skin, in a gentle manner. Skin feels renewed and radiant after use.

PMD Microdermabrasion: an amazing personal microdermabrasion device. Used weekly, I really felt a difference after a few uses.

Best all rounder

elizabeth arden eight hour creamElizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream: no praises spared on this one. Fabulous all-rounder for the face, I use on lips and occasionally on the skin when the wind gets stronger. Amazing regenerative properties, so great for scrapes.

Blemish fighting

Malin + Goetz Sulphur paste: spot zapping at its best. This weird product does work a treat, you do, however, have to put up with white patches on the face. One to use overnight.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I.: a gentle target breakout corrector. Not a killer zapper, but a gentle worker.

Face masks

Trilogy Mineral Radiance Mask: a lovely dark clay mask that is super moisturising. A great treat.

caudalie glycolic peel maskCaudalie Instant Detox Mask: a pink clay mask that purifies and tightens without drying. In fact, all Caudalie masks are ace, I also use the Glycolic Peel and the Moisturizing mask which are fab.

Toners

pixi glow tonicI love a good toner, and the Pixi Glow Tonic is just that. Slightly exfoliating, it delivers radiance within days of use. And has a great price.

The Clinique Anti-Blemish Clarifying Lotion is great for when skin is not behaving well and is breaking out.

When skin is sensitive (after microdermabrasion or exfoliation), the dermalogica multi-vitamin toner saves the day as it’s very mild and hydrating.

Pre-routine

bodyshop_oils_of_life_review - 1I wasn’t sure how to call the Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Essence Lotion, but it’s in. It’s fresh, slightly moisturising and a delight to use.

Face mist

pixi glow mistCan’t live without a face mist, and in the winter even more so. The Pixi Glow Mist is a firm favourite and delivers in all areas.

The Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist is fresh and an office staple, and the Liz Earle Skin Booster Tonic Spritzer is nourishing and refreshing. Long live the facial mists!

What products couldn’t your skin live without in 2015?

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This post mentions some press samples.

More oil: The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil

bodyshop_oils_of_life_review - 10When I heard The Body Shop was bringing out a whole range based on oil blends, I was very excited.

The first product from the Oils of Life range I wrote about was one that intrigued me. After all, the Intensely Revitalising Essence Lotion is a different product that added new step into the routine.

The second one I am going to talk about is more traditional. A facial oil, which is a type of product I love (I tried hard not to say I love oils, again! Failed!).

bodyshop_oils_of_life_review - 12The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil, however, is slightly different, it feels lighter in its consistency.

It is absorbed well by the skin, and it feels very soft after application, although I need a good 4-5 drops just for the face, whereas usually for richer oils, 3 is enough.

What it does, however, is to enable me to wear an oil during the day. It’s great to wear alone, with moisturiser or serum on top or mix to your face day cream to give it a little bit of winter skincare richness, without weighing it.

bodyshop_oils_of_life_review - 13Either way, it behaves very well under makeup and adds that extra moisture and protection so needed in this weather.

Currently, my skin is super mega dry, so I am pulling at all stops to replenish it. This product has proven to be very handy.

Oils have really changed the appearance of my skin. Since the introduction of them to my routine I feel the texture and radiance have improved dramatically. This product has contributed to that too.

bodyshop_oils_of_life_review - 11Packaging is a lovely ombré glass bottle with pipette. The oil itself is light yellow.

It’s made from 99% natural origin and contains three precious seed oils: black cumin, camellia and rosehip, ingredients are known for their repairing and revitalising properties.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil costs £28 and it is available online and in the shops nationwide.

You can also read about the product I count on for when the weather is not treating my skin very well!

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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 Body Shop Oils of Life: fuelling my obsession with oils

bodyshop_oils_of_life_review - 1As if I weren’t obsessed enough with oils, here comes The Body Shop and adds more fuel to the fire with the amazingly luxurious Oils of Life range.

It contains a massager and four great products: two creams, an oil and a lotion, with which I will start with, as it is a bit different from all skincare products I tried before.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Essence Lotion has, of course, oils, mixed with water, making it a bi-phasic solution, much like the best eye makeup removers out there.

As every item in the collection, this contain three precious seed oils: black cumin, camellia and rosehip. Lovely, no? These ingredients are known for their repairing and revitalising properties.

The Revitalising Lotion is a pre moisturising step, preparing the skin to receive the care and it should be applied after cleansing and toning.

I have to say that my skin routine has enough steps, but this ones adds something extra. Apart from making skin feel softer and helping spread the products that follow, it proved to be particularly valuable in the morning, as it is a helps to wake me up with its freshness and subtle lovely smell.

bodyshop_oils_of_life_review - 2Obviously, it is super light, feels like water and really gives the skin that pick me up before the nourishing routine. You just need a few drops, after shaking to mix, for the whole face and neck.

Packaging is quite simple; a plastic orange bottle with a sturdy cap, not exactly luxurious but gives you that apothecary look (but the feel as it is not glass!). I like the label is small and you can see the solution mix as you shake it.

It does make me wonder that this product would make a fab spray to be used during the day; I might put it in an atomiser to carry around, being the huge fan of face mists I am.

Doubtlessly helps boost radiance as part of the routine, but for me, its “wake me up effect” is its best feature.

The lovely Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Essence Lotion costs £15 for 150ml and can be bought online or at The Body Shop shops 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.

The best beauty advent calendars 2015

It’s October, I know, but Christmas seems so close (?) I can almost smell it. And I’ve seen so many fabulous beauty advent calendars that I can barely contain myself.

Looks like this year companies really upped their game.

So I am listing my favourites on the market. With offers this great, a little more than a month to decide might seem a long tim – but it is not.  Before you know, you’ll be popping that number 1 window…

charlotte_tilbury_beauty_advent_calendar_2015The Book of Make Up Magic, Charlotte Tilbury, £150

Is there anywhere Ms Tilbury is not in at the moment? No. And her advent calendar, albeit counting with “only” 12 items, including a fair share of CT classics, is fabulous. You can sign up now to be the first to know when it becomes available.

house_of_fraser_beauty_advent_calendar_2015Color Couture, House of Fraser, £20

Coming in at an almost unbelievable price, this lovely beauty advent calendar is packed full of HoF own beauty brand. I had a peek at their Christmas show and it is full of very wearable items. Fantastic value for money.

 liberty_beauty_advent_calendar_2015Beauty Advent Calendar 2015, Liberty, £149

Limited edition, beautiful inside and out…. Oh, Liberty has done it again and it’s full of their fabulous premium brands, including Diptyque, Hourglass, Kiehl’s and Aromatherapy Associates.

It’s available now from the Liberty website or in-store. And you get that welcome overdose of pretty Liberty print.

bodyshop_beauty_advent_calendar_201524 Happy Days, The Body Shop, £60 and £80.

The Body Shop is bringing out not one, but two advent calendars. The 24 Happy days advent calendar, the “standard” one, contains bath and body classics plus some new launches.

The 24 Happy Days Premium Advent Calendar includes more luxury ranges such as the fabulous Oils of Life.

bodyshop_beauty_advent_calendar_2015_1Plus, they are partnering up with WaterAid, and for each selected Christmas gift they sell, water for a whole day is provided to a family in Ethiopia.

selfridges_cosmic_beaty_advent_calendar_2015Cosmic Beauty Advent Calendar, Selfridges, £95

Think the iconic shop beauty hall in a box. With an outer-space motif. What’s not to love? Exactly. Armani, Kiehl’s, Lancôme, Shu Uemura, Urban Decay, Viktor & Rolf and YSL classics and launches are in there. Even better, you can get it now!

ciate_beauty_advent_calendar_2015Mini Mani Month, Ciaté, £49.99

Nail addicts all look forward to this one, which has become a Christmas classic. Every year it seems to get better and this edition comes with a special Olivia Palermo shade too.

No excuses not to have festive nails throughout December!

benefit_party_poppers_advent_calendar_2015Party Poppers, Benefit, £34.99

Music with your festive calendar? Yes, please. Plus 12 minis to live in your handbag during the party season. Available now.

makeup_revolution_advent_calendar_2015Makeup Revolution Advent Calendar, £45

A fab calendar packed with 25 full size (yes, all full size!) Makeup Revolution products, which I love, selected by staff at their HQ and the 25th is a Christmas gift. Sweet. Available at Superdrug.

m&s_beauty_advent _calendar_2015Beauty Advent Calendar, M&S, £25

Packed full of well-loved brands, this advent calendar comes in at an affordable £25, but there’s a catch: you must spend at least £25 on M&S beauty to be able to buy.

lush_12days_ofchristmas_contents_beauty_advent_calendar_201512 Days of Christmas, Lush, £49.95

Natural and fragrant bath product in all shapes and sizes to prepare you for the big C day. And oh, yeah, it’s vegan too!

loccitane_beauty_advent_calendar_2015Noel Approche, L’Occitane, £39

24 luxurious hair, body and skin care treats awaits inside this super cute calendar, available later this month.

no7_boots_beauty_advent_calendar_201525 Days of Beauty Wonders, Boots No7, £38

A fan of Boots No7 brand? well, you are in for a treat. There are loads of skin care, body and makeup here, including six full-sized products. You can sign up to be the first to know when it launches.

you_beauty_discovery_advent_calendar_2015YOU Beauty Advent Calendar, £59.95 (plus P&P)

You can get £330 worth of great brand products in this advent calendar – Caudalie, Benefit, Molton Brown, REN, Rodial and more, all await behing the little doors. Available from You Beauty Discovery.

As I said, plenty to look out for, and for  all budgets! Always worth remembering Primark usually brings a couple out at around the £10 mark.

Which one do you want to get you beautifully manicured hands on?

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You can take a look at my 2014 selection here.

Weather changes: what about my skin?

winter_skincare_somanylovelythings - 1My skin is, at the best of days, problematic. After suffering from acne most of my life, I really need to be careful with how I approach skincare.

Season changes can play havoc with it if I don’t start adapting my routine at the first signs of change.

Whereas spring and summer are gentler and require less care in general, this time of the year can be quite challenging for me, and I have already started to adapt my ways.

winter_skincare_somanylovelythings - 2Immediately, the colder air seems to suck out the moisture of my skin. Although I have acne, my skin can get quite dry and dehydrated.

A common mistake for acneic skin sufferers is to think oily skin doesn’t need moisture. I myself did that for a long time. Sebum and hydration are two different thing, so make sure you are hydrating and nourishing oily skin.

At the same time, I cannot use very rich creams on my face. In the summer, I can’t even contemplate; in the winter, I can take a bit more richness, but not a lot.

I change to a gentler face wash/cleanser, such as S5 Clarity Cleanser (ever so gentle) and Trilogy Balancing Gel Cleanser.

In terms of toners, I tend to swap for gentler one, such as the Dermalogica Multi Active Toner every other day, then rotate my favourites Clinique Anti-Blemish Clarifying Lotion and Pixi Glow Tonic.

winter_skincare_somanylovelythings - 7

A pre-cleanse, when wearing heavy make up, also helps making the whole process less abrasive. The Dermalogica Precleanse is fabulous, I cannot recommend enough.

During the day, I’ve been starting with The Body Shop Essence Lotion and follow with a moisturiser with SPF, which can be Caudalie Polyphenol C15, Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser, Dermalogica Sheer Tint or Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance (the last two are tinted).

Other times I use Clinique Anti-Blemish Solution Clearing Moisturiser or thisworks energy bank sun flash or light time skin plumper with a sunscreen underneath, such as the fabulous Eucerin Mattifying Sun fluid.

winter_skincare_somanylovelythings - 8At night, I usually apply either a good moisturiser or light night cream. Favourites at the moment include the S5 Balance Fluid, The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Gel and Cream, Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum (which is a fabulous thicker serum).

Then I complement with a serum and/or oil, depending on how parched my skin feels. Favourites include Balance Me Radiance Oil, Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely revitalising Facial Oil, Caudalie Vinoperfect (to help me get rid of some sun/hormonal dark spots that usually appear on my face in the summer), Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus, S5 Purity Serum.

winter_skincare_somanylovelythings - 9I never thought oils would be suitable for my skin, having acne and all, but since I started, with Balance Me Radiance oil, I noticed a great improvement.

The theory is that once you are already giving your skin oil, it doesn’t need to produce more. It did work for me and after a while I could, for the first time in years, see radiance on my skin.

All that in conjunction with the fabulous Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, which is great for face and eyes, giving my skin that extra hydration, day or night.

winter_skincare_somanylovelythings - 4I feel that high on my cheekbones and around the eyes,my skin get extra dry, so I use eye creams in the morning and evening. Favourites include Dermalogica Intensive Eye Repair, S5 Renew Eye Cream and Joan Collins Superlift eye serum, not to forget some coconut oil from time to time.

Mists play a huge part in my winter routine. Central heating is not great for skin so I keep mine in check with a great facial spray.

I love the Jurlique Rose Mist, Pixi Glow Mist and Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritz.

winter_skincare_somanylovelythings - 6My lips suffer all year round and tend to dry, flake and chap quite easily. Unlucky for me, they are also quite “fussy” in regards to what works, and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream and Nivea Lip Butter are the only things that will prevent and treat them well.

As the season evolves and weather fluctuates, I adjust the above accordingly. I am always trying different combinations: some nights I might use oil, serum and moisturiser; some days, only serum, depending on how my skin feels and looks.

The important thing for me is is to keep it comfortable, looking healthy and most importantly, breakout free as much as possible.

What kind of changes do you make to your skincare routine for the new seasons? Does your skin suffer with it?

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This post contains a mix of press samples and products I bought myself. Refer to links for full reviews and info.

Review: The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser

the body shop tea tree pore minimiser review - somanylovelythingsPrimer: probably my biggest makeup discovery. It really makes a world of difference and I am always up for trying new ones – this time, I tested The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser.

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