All posts filed under: Face

Extremely Helpful Gadgets

I am not one of those ladies who refuse to admit when they need a little help, and am all for having my life made a little easier.  Here are three beauty gadgets I cannot do without. Facial hair.  Ugh.  I seem to be sprouting new ones daily.  I used to tweeze, but honestly, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  So now I use an Emjoi Travel Epilator, £29.95.  Just a quick run over my upper lip and chin keeps me comfortably deforested and confident.  It’s a bit nippy at first, but after a few uses it isn’t painful at all.  It’s also deeply satisfying removing those unwanted whiskers.  Just a quick note – if you do choose to remove hair this way, it’s super important that you exfoliate regularly to prevent ingrown hairs. I’m too unsteady to use an epilator on my brows, so I still need to tweeze there.  My eyesight isn’t what it was, so I rely on my Babyliss Illuminated Magnifying Mirror, £24.99, to help me see what I’m …

Spend vs Save

It can be tricky to find makeup that works well with older skin.  I’ve tried lots, and I’m sad to say that the older I get, the more money I have to spend.  Drugstore foundations don’t work for me any more, and heaven forbid I try to use an inexpensive mascara.  Of course, my view on this is subjective, but I do believe there are products upon which you have to spend, and those on which you can scrimp a bit.  Here are three fantastic products that don’t cost a fortune. As I mentioned, I have to spend a decent amount on foundation, but on brow products, I can save loads and not compromise on quality.  The Sleek Brow Kit, £8.49, comes in five flattering colours and works just as well as its more expensive counterparts.  With a powder and a setting wax, it makes quick work of shaping and defining brows.  The kit also includes two decent brushes and a set of mini tweezers. I’ve tried many mascaras, but I’ve yet to find a budget …

New Year Resolutions

I don’t tend to make resolutions – especially in January.  It’s so dark and cold, and I don’t feel like making major life changes.  Instead, I try to make tiny changes that make a big difference to my health and well-being.  Some haven’t stuck, but a few have.  So here is a list of easy beauty resolutions for 2017.  These are the ones I’ve managed to keep over the years. Cleanse your face every night before you go to bed.  I can’t impress upon you how important this is.  Find a cleanser that works for you.  For me, it’s Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm.  I use it every evening without fail and my skin looks better for it.  Proper daily cleansing is something you can do that will make an immediate and visible difference to your skin. Eat fresh fruit every day.  It doesn’t have to be a chore and you will eventually come to miss it if you accidentally forget.  Because it was January when I started this, I ate a tangerine most days, and …

2016 Favourites

I spent most of 2015 battling terrible sensitive skin issues.  It was my sixth case of conjunctivitis  from dry eyelids that sent me on a journey to find skincare that my skin could tolerate, and I’d nearly sorted it when my lips became so chapped that I ended up with cheilitis.  It took months to recover to a point where I could try new things to see if they irritated or not, so I’ve been able to spent this year testing both skincare and makeup.  I’ve had to give away a lot of once-used products because they caused my skin to become annoyed, but I also found quite a few things that are great for sensitive skin.  Here are my top discoveries of 2016. On top being sensitive, my skin becomes dehydrated easily, so when I tried Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum, £29, I found that it not only helped my sensitive skin to feel more comfortable, it also hydrated and made my skin look plumped and fresh.  I try not to use skincare that contains …

Primers for Mature Skin

Have you noticed that your foundation doesn’t look as nice as it once did?  Perhaps it’s going a bit patchy by midday, or accentuating the fine lines around your eyes.  Maybe it wears away before you’ve even left work for the day.  Or worse, settles into pores and wrinkles and does more to age than to improve. The good news is that they probably haven’t changed the formulation to your favourite foundation.  It’s more likely that you need a primer.  A good primer will go a long way to improving the finish and wear of foundation, but it’s important to choose the right one for the task.  Here are three I like, each with a specific function. When opting for a natural look, Hylamide Finisher HR Blur, £19.00, is great for making skin look healthy and flawless.  It diminishes the appearance of fine lines and pores, and helps makeup go on smoothly.  It’s contains no silicones, so it works well with all sorts of foundations, and it has the added bonus of being full of skin-plumping hyaluronic acid. …

Hydrating Gels

With winter in full swing, my skin is suffering the effects of cold air and central heating.  In a nutshell, it’s dehydrated and, without constant attention, could easily become chapped and inflamed – which can lead to broken skin and a long healing time.  Best to fight the dryness and keep skin healthy and supple. A good gel hydrator, used twice daily, can help skin retain moisture and keep it looking fresh and young.  Simply apply to clean skin and then layer on your usual skincare.  You will see an immediate result, especially under the eyes where dehydration can cause skin to look aged, lined and tired. The Hero Project Hyasoft, £19.00, is a great hydrator.  As with all hydrators, it contains a generous dose of hyaluronic acid, but with the added benefit of B5.  Upon application, thirsty skin is plumped and soothed – ready for serum. Indeed Lab’s Hydraluron Moisture Jelly, £24.99, is my personal favourite.  Packed with glycerine and hyaluronic acid, it gets right to work refreshing and smoothing tired, dehydrated skin.  I like this …

Three Foundations for Mature Skin

Upon observing my maturing skin in a magnifying mirror, I’m always surprised by the small age spots, enlarged pores, fine lines, and general crepiness, especially around my eyes.  My instinct is to cover it all up with the thickest foundation possible, but that’s not always a good idea with mature skin.  Heavy foundation doesn’t hide time.  In fact, it can be cakey and ageing, swapping one set of problems for another.  But there is hope!  I’ve found three foundations that play nicely with mature skin. If you’re looking for light coverage, you’ll not find a better foundation than Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum, £45.00.  It’s feather-light and makes skin look bare-but-beautiful. Use this one over a blurring primer for a flawless-but-natural skin effect.  Perfect for weekends, trips to the newsagent, or dog walking – any time you want to look good, but not done.  Best applied with fingers. For medium coverage, It Cosmetics’s Your Skin But Better CC Cream, $38.00, is my everyday go-to.  It seems to hover just over the skin and never shows off pores, …

Beauty Junkie Christmas Gifts for Under £30

Now that Bonfire night has come and gone, I don’t feel quite so guilty talking about Christmas gifts.  If there is a beauty addict on your list this year, here are some great ideas – all for under £30. For the lipstick fanatic, look no further than Charlotte Tilbury’s Mini Lipstick Charms, £29.  You get three of her gorgeous Matte Revolution lipsticks in three very wearable shades.  Beautifully packaged in rose-gold tubes, there are wonderful for any age.  I’d happily buy them for someone who is seventeen or 70. If you’re shopping for someone who loves eyeshadow, Laura Mercier’s Layer Up Holiday Caviar Collection, £29, is something special.  Four beautiful stick cream eyeshadows in flattering colours, including the must-have rosegold.  Comes in a pretty package ready for a gift bag. Skincare is always a welcome gift, and I don’t know anyone who would be disappointed receiving Emma Hardie’s Merrily Mooring Balm, £15.  It comes in a cute little bauble with one of Emma’s fantastic cleansing cloths.

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Healthy Glow Powder

I’ll come right out and say it: Bronzer scares me.  I’m quite pale, and every bronzer I’ve tried has been either too dark, too shimmery or too orange.   At my age, I have to be quite careful with powders of any sort as they tend to leave me looking a bit chalky and dull.  Chalky, dull, glittery and orange?  Not a look I go for. So how to add a bit of colour and life to my pale complexion?  Joli Teint Healthy Glow Powder is just the thing.  The powder itself it finely milled, so it never looks artificial, and it adds the most beautiful touch of healthy, sheer colour without a hint of orange.  Skin looks glowing, radiant, natural and very very pretty. There are four colours from which to choose – all of them gorgeous.  I prefer the Light Brunettes, but there are darker options if you want a bit more colour.  All of them have a very pleasant, light scent that disappears almost immediately.

Revitalising Face Masks

When my face needs a boost, I make time for a good revitalising mask.  They’re brilliant for helping to remove dead skin cells, lessening the appearance of texture on the skin, and adding glow and bounce.  Because I have sensitive skin, I do have to be careful using these as they’re quite powerful and can irritate delicate skin.  With each, I did a patch test on the hinge of my jaw, just to make sure they were OK.  I rarely leave them on for the recommended time as they’re all quite powerful. Liz Earle’s Brightening Treatment Mask is great for revitalising tired, dull skin.  It’s also quick!  I leave it on for about a minute and always get good results.  Because it doesn’t leave skin looking red or irritated, it slots beautifully into my morning routine once or twice a week.  And it always leaves my face looking smooth, glowy and healthy. If you have a bit more time, Ren’s Glycolactic Radiance Mask gives a real boost to lacklustre skin while deep-cleaning pores and removing …

Exfoliating Products

When it comes to exfoliation, I much prefer the chemical variety.  Chemical exfoliants tend to be gentler, with no scratchy particles to possibly break or damage skin.  But that’s not to say that I always use them.  There are some fantastic facial scrubs that do a great job of removing dead skin without damaging what’s underneath. I’ve mentioned before that Olay’s European marketing annoys me, and they’ve once again managed by ceasing to offer their brilliant Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel System to their customers in the UK.  For improving skin tone and brightening skin, I’ve found nothing better.  It’s quick to use and gives instant results.  Do take care with sensitive skin, though.  It isn’t particularly scratchy, but the activator step is very active. For a gentler experience, Oskia’s Micro Exfoliating Balm is a nourishing facial scrub with tiny, smooth silica particles that will not aggravate skin. Instead, it leaves skin silky, bouncy and glowing. If you prefer a cleaner-mask combo, try Aurelia’s Refine & Polish Miracle Balm.  By applying this thick, rich balm into the skin and then …

Great Cleansers at any Price Point

A member at one of the forums I frequent asked what product makes you feel better when you’re not at your best, and the answers were interesting.  A lot of people said lipstick – they put it on and instantly feel better.  Others went for perfume – a couple of spritzes and they are ready to take on the world.  For me, it’s cleanser.  The act of washing my face is healing to both my skin and my psyche.  It’s like I’m washing away all of my troubles along with my makeup.  It’s the best pick-me-up I know of. A good cleanser needs to do three things to keep me happy: remove makeup (including eye makeup – even the waterproof stuff), clean the skin, and leave the face feeling soft and well conditioned.  I’ve found three that perform each of these tasks beautifully. Superdrug’s Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser is an absolute bargain at £5.99.  At the time of writing, it’s on sale for £2.95, making it an ever more amazing deal.  It comes with a lovely …

Summer Skincare Routine for Dehydrated Skin

Summer often brings a vast improvement to my mature, sensitive, dehydrated skin, but it still needs a lot of hydration this time of year.  I’ve developed a foolproof routine that adds moisture without feeling heavy or greasy.  And it’s just four steps. After cleansing, I apply Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum.  While I wouldn’t classify it as a typical serum, it is one of the best I’ve found for quick hydration.  What it doesn’t contain is any oil or silicone (or fragrance – hurrah!), so I do find I need a separate serum over the top of it. For this, I use Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum.  It glides over skin, leaving it hydrated, soft, and balanced.  I find it also seals in the moisture benefits of the Hydraluron and preps the skin for the next stage. Even in summer, I find it beneficial to use a facial oil every day, but it does need to be a light one.  At the moment, I’m trialling my own blend, but I can recommend Nude …

Ilcsi Apricot Gel Mask

I’ve not always been a fan of natural products and have often opted for better living thorough chemistry.  If someone spent a lot of time designing and perfecting an ingredient in a lab, it must be good, right?  Well, yes.  There are some fantastic synthetic anti-aging ingredients on the market, and I’m happy to use them. Recently, I’ve been trying more natural brands, and I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised at how effective they are.  I especially like natural fruit acids which are incredibly effective at resurfacing the skin, and Ilcsi’s Apricot Gel Mask is an excellent example. Just twenty minutes with this mask and my skin is noticeably smoother and more refined. It’s especially helpful on days when my skin is tired, grey and in need of perking up.  Ilcsi’s products are made from fresh ingredients, and it’s recommended they be stored in the fridge after opening to retain their high vitamin content. Effectiveness: 5 – skin is rejuvenated, tightened, and glowy. User Experience: 5 – there is some tingling, but nothing …

Liz Earle Superskin Face Serum

As a completely self-aware beauty junkie, I’m used to reading a lot of bold claims.  Certain products promise to decrease wrinkles, add glow, or take years off the complexion.  It’s easy to get drawn in because I do want to believe all of this is possible, but experience has taught me to be wary.  Products may be good, but they are rarely all they promise. I approached  Superskin Face Serum with only moderate expectations.  I suppose I do expect a lot from Liz Earle.  I’ve been a fan of Cleanse & Polish for years, and her Skin Repair Moisturiser is one of the best around.  So I expected this serum to be good, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint.  In fact, it blew me away. After one use, my skin appeared less tired and dull.  After a week, I noticed a lovely glow.  Three weeks in, my skin appeared a lot smoother and nicely plumped.  And by the time I finished the bottle, I couldn’t believe how well this serum had performed.  It …