All posts filed under: skincare

Three Ordinary Favourites

Skincare doesn’t have to be expensive. Superdrug proved this years ago with their wonderful hydrating facial serum. But what about skincare with effective active ingredients? Can these also be affordable? If you’ve tried any products from The Ordinary, you’ll know the answer is a resounding yes. If your skin lacks hydration, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, is a great first step to add to your skincare routine. It sinks into the skin instantly and leaves no residue. If my skin is feeling exceptionally parched, I apply it two or three times in a row, pausing only to allow each layer to absorb into the skin. The hyaluronic acid immediately plumps and hydrates the skin, while the vitamin B5 offers longer-term benefits to the skin. At £12.90, Buffet is one of the more expensive products by The Ordinary, but you do get a tremendous amount of skincare for your money. This potent cocktail is full of peptides, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and a probiotic complex. It can be used morning and night. I like it as a …

DIY Cushion Compact Foundation

I’ve been on the hunt for a holy grail foundation for awhile. A couple have come close – It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream and Perricone No Foundation Serum Foundation, but neither are perfect. I like them both because they look like skin once applied, but the colours on offer are limited, and I can’t quite get a perfect match. I did find a perfect colour match in Armani’s Power Fabric foundation, but the coverage is much heavier than I like for everyday wear, so I decided to try to modify it to suit my skin. If you haven’t tried Armani Power Fabric foundation, £36, I do recommend it. While it’s very full coverage, it doesn’t look cakey or unnatural on mature skin. It is slightly matte, so I like to use it with a glowy primer. It’s the perfect foundation for a special occasion or a night out because it looks amazing and does not budge. I do find it too heavy for daily wear, though, so I decided to thin it out …

Sensitive

It’s been a whole year since I started writing makeup and skincare reviews here at Fig & Pen, and I’ve enjoyed it more than I can say.  Since I only review things I like, I can be positive and promote the products I truly believe in.  And I hope I’ve been able to help others make more informed choices about what they spend their money on. When I began testing products, my skin was quite sensitive, and I hoped I’d be able to help guide others with the same skin issues, but over the past couple of months, I’ve found I can hardly deviate from my tried and tested skincare ritual without suffering some sort of reaction.  When a recent trial of a fairly innocuous cleanser led to an inflamed eyelid, I knew my days as a tester were numbered. This doesn’t mean I’ll give up completely but, going forward, I won’t be able to review products weekly the way I’ve done in the past.  What I will do is search out cosmetics for those of …

Olay Regenerist 3-Point Cream

A few weeks ago, I noticed I was running low on my usual night cream.  It’s quite expensive, but I do feel it works.  I’d heard about Olay’s Regenerist 3-Point Cream from a trusted YouTuber I follow, so I decided to give it a try.  If it’s as good as advertised, it could save me quite a bit of money. Because I’m sensitive, I went for the unscented version and I’m happy to report it works well.  It contains niacinamide, panthenol, hyaluronc acidm and an aminopeptide complex so it feeds as well as hydrates the skin.  It claims to firm and lift sagging skin, but I’ve not yet seen this effect.  The texture of my skin has improved, though.  The little lines under my eyes have diminished and my skin appears more hydrated and healthy. At £30, Olay Regenerist 3-Point Cream is a bargain, and I can honestly say it works as well as the £125 cream I’ve been using for the past year.  It agrees with my sensitive skin, plumps out fine lines and keeps my face feeling hydrated and …

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

A lovely reader asked me recently how my beloved Emma Hardie cleanser compared to Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, £22.  Since I’d not used it before, it was the perfect time to buy a jar and try it out – and I have to say,  I’m impressed! When I opened the Take the Day Off, I was delighted to find it unscented.  As I’ve mentioned many times, my skin can be very sensitive, and fragrance-free products are less likely to irritate.  The balm itself was quite soft, and melted into a lovely oil on the skin. Where Take the Day Off really excels is eye makeup removal.  It easily dissolved my waterproof mascara and didn’t make my eyes water.  It also removed every scrap of foundation and left my skin feeling clean, soft and balanced.  Sadly, after a few uses, it caused the skin on my eyelid to turn that familiar shade of red, warning me not to continue lest I risk a weeks-long battle against inflammation.  I don’t think this cleanser would irritate most sensitive …

Gentle Morning Cleansers

I often skip cleaning my face in the morning – just a bit of warm water and a gentle buff with a muslin cloth works well, especially on my dry, sensitive skin.  When I do need to use a cleanser in the morning, it has to be super gentle. Natural Being Manuka Creamy Cleanser, £13, is one of the gentlest cleansers I’ve tried. Made with olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil and, of course, Manuka honey, it effectively cleans the skin without leaving it feeling tight or stripped of its natural oils.  It is pleasantly and lightly scented with essential oils, but this has never bothered my sensitive eyes or skin. Another good choice is MV Organic Skincare Gentle Cream Cleanser, £35.50.  Not only is it gentle, but with repeated use it can help combat skin sensitivity over time.  It contains camellia oil and chamomile, both known for their skin-soothing properties.  It’s also extremely gentle and doesn’t leave skin feeling over-cleansed or dry. If you want something fragrance free, Eucerin’s Mild Cleansing Milk, £9, is free not only …

Makeup-Removing Cleansers

I’ve mentioned before that I can’t be bothered faffing about with a double cleanse.  To me, it seems a waste of time and product, and it doesn’t work well with my sensitive skin.  Over cleansing leaves my face tight, dry and very unhappy, so I like to use one effective cleanser to remove makeup and clean my skin at the end of the day.  If you’re the same, here are three you might like. If you prefer a cream cleanser, Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Hot Cloth Cleanser, £22.50, will remove every speck of makeup while leaving skin soft and smooth.  It’s fragrance free, which I love because it doesn’t sting or burn when used to remove eye makeup.  It comes with a good-quality muslin cloth that is gentle, yet effective. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, £21.50, removes even the heaviest makeup, including waterproof mascara.  Its formula is simple – mainly olive oil – and it does not contain any fragrance.  It does, however, contain an emulsifier so it rinses away cleanly without leaving any residue behind. …

Quick Fixes for Skin Emergencies

We all have them – those days when we discover something’s gone wrong.  For me, this usually takes place before a big event like a wedding or party.  Horribly dry skin, blemishes, or severely chapped lips?  There’s a fix for that. You’ve come home after a long day, cleansed your face, and are shocked to discover a spot forming.  It could be a simple surface blemish, or it might be one of those insidious, painful lumps that threatens to erupt into an eye-catching zit that no amount of makeup will cover.  Don’t panic!  Just dab a little Super Spot Remover, £15, from Origins, on the affected area and go to bed.  In the morning, the swelling will be reduced and the spot on its way back from whence it came.  I would not have believed this stuff works as well as it does, but I’ve used it many times and have never been disappointed. If you find yourself with severely chapped lips, give Mama Mio Keep Calm Nipple Balm, £12, a try.  With triglycerides, lanolin, calendula, and shea …

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 …

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 …