Glossier Solutions – Review

Solution – Exfoliating Skin Perfector

As soon as the email popped into my inbox ‘Meet Solution” I was hooked. Within a minute it was added to my basket and I was ready to order it.

I am always on the hunt for chemical exfoliators. I use Pixi Glow Tonic daily as the first step after cleansing. With 5% Glycolic Acid it improves skin texture and brightens. My skin does not get on very well with physical exfoliators. I don’t really like using beaded creams all over my face, it feels too stripping and harsh for my sensitive skin. However, I have to say I do prefer gel or balm based exfoliators like Clinique Pep-Start Cleanser or Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm on any super dry areas like around my nose.

I ordered some cotton pads as well, simply to get free shipping on the order. Haha! I mean it was a pretty extravagant purchase for £4 and only 60 pads, but they are actually very good quality.

Solution is designed to be used daily. It contains a combination of alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids.

Lactic Acid – AHA
Glycolic Acid – AHA
Salicylic Acid – BHA
Gluconolactone – PHA

AHAs are designed to remove the top layers of dead skin cells and promote firmness by increasing the thickness of deeper layers of skin. It is water soluble so it’s suitable for normal/dry skin as it helps to hydrate and reduce blemishes and dark spots. It is also important to use sun protection daily whilst using AHAs as it can make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight. BHAs are oil soluble and work to improve skin surface and is designed to clear out pores, so it’s perfect for oily blemish prone skin. It is also suitable for sensitive skin as it’s a gentle exfoliant and has skin calming properties. PHAs help to brighten and smooth skin by promoting cell turnover. It also has antioxidant properties to protect exposure to UV rays and helps to reduce flare ups in conditions such as rosacea and dermatitis.

First lets talk about packaging. It comes in a plastic tear bag which I think is a little unnecessary. A waste of plastic for a bottled product. I do like the pump dispenser bottle though. It comes in handy to dispense just enough product to sweep across your face.

I used Solution daily for one week to see if it had any affect on my skin. It helped to improve skin tone and the smoothness of my skin. I was pretty impressed with results after only using the product for one week. But there is a downside to Solution. It leaves a sticky residue on my skin which I can’t stand. Even after using moisture sprays on top, my skin still feels tacky. It also broke me out. I don’t normally get blemishes on my cheeks, but after using it for 3 days, blemishes started appearing, especially on dry patches.

I think I will continue using Solution, but only on more oily areas, such as my t-zone and hopefully I can continue to see the benefits of a three acid combination product on my skin.

Best of Beauty – 2017

I thought I would share with you my best of beauty picks from 2017. Some old favourites and some brand new discoveries that have now found a place in my everyday routine.

Lets start with makeup. The best primer that I wore almost every day is the Becca First Light Priming Filter. It gives a wonderful lit from within look and smooths everything over giving you the perfect base for your foundation. My two favourite foundations of 2017 are actually both from Lancome. First up is the Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation in 01 Pure Porcelaine. It’s perfect for when you are short of time in the morning but still need to apply a quick base before you head out. It has a light to medium coverage and is very easy to build. I also loved using Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear in 010 Beige Porcelaine. This is a great long lasting foundation medium coverage foundation and will not budge all day.

Next up is eye makeup favourites. First is an eyeshadow palette from Dior. It’s the Eye Reviver Backstage Pros Palette. its perfect for creating a everyday nude look. These creamy shadows have great pigmentation and are so easy to blend. In 2017 I have discovered some products that have managed to beat my oily lids. First up is the Lancome Artliner eyeliner. It creates very precise lines with it’s soft foam tip, dries quickly and is also easy to remove. Artliner is the only eyeliner that I have found that once applied, it will not budge. I cannot wear any pencils or gels because they end up smeared across my lids seconds after being applied. I also have the same issue with mascara. In 2017 I have gone through several tubes of No7 Lash Impact Waterproof Mascara. I can wear this all day without it smudging. The clump free formula separates and defines lashes for maximum impact.

2017 hasn’t really been a blush kind of year for me, but I have been using lots of different bronzers and highlighters. My favourite was the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Face Sculpt & Highlight palette. The sculpt shade is the perfect mid toned brown and the highlight is very subtle. Put them together and it creates the most healthy looking glow.

Brow products are tricky to get right. Finding the perfect shade that compliments your face without looking like slugs on top of your eyes is hard. My favourite has been the Fleur De Force by Eyelure Brow Palette. It creates the most natural look with the two shades and the powder gives you control over where you want to define.

Next is skincare. My favourite make up remover has been the La Roche-Posay Micellar Water Gel. I love micellar waters, but the gel version is even better. It leaves the skin feeling clean and fresh. I usually follow this with Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. The combination of eucalyptus and rosemary leaves your skin feeling refreshed and squeaky clean. If I am wearing a bit more make up, I will use Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse. The solid cleansing oil will melt your makeup away. I love it. Then the cleansing cream, will remove anything that is left on your face.

My favourite serum has been the Kiehls Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate. I have been on the hunt for any product that will add moisture to my skin. This product does just that.  This is then followed by Lancome’s Energie De Vie Nuit Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask. The gel texture smoothes and hydrates dull and tired looking skin.

The one fragrance that I constantly found myself going back to was Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet. It is both fruity sweet notes of orange with a touch of floral rose and peony.

These are just a few of my top beauty picks of 2017. I can’t wait to try some of the new exciting releases that are coming out soon in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It’s 2018 already! The older I get, the quicker the years just seem to fly by. I spent New Year’s Eve watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with my sister. I was given tickets for Christmas back in 2016 and it’s been a year long wait to experience the world of Harry Potter once again.

New year’s resolutions. Do you make them? I don’t usually. I have a habit of setting far too ambitious goals for myself to achieve before the year is up. This year will be different. My first goal is to make healthier food choices and to spend some more time exercising and staying fit. Probably everyone has something similar that they set themselves annually, but my main goal is to just feel healthier in myself and not necessarily to loose weight.

I also want to spend more time reading. I love the experience of going into a bookshop to buy a book and taking it home to spend the evening reading till the early hours of the morning. However, I don’t give myself enough time to do that anymore. I like to keep my books in pristine condition so I won’t usually carry them around in my bag because they would get scuffed being tossed around, so I will only ever read at home. The problem is that by the time I get into bed and want to pick up a book, I am just too tired from work or I’ll just want to switch on Netflix and fall asleep.

This year I also want to continue journaling. So much happens so quickly, it’s nice to keep a record of what went on so I can look back on events years later. As a teenager I would do this everyday. Now I probably won’t need to do it as often. Haha!

Anyway. I think that’s all I can think of for now. I have a couple of other goals I want to achieve this year, but I’ll share those with you at a later date. Happy 2018!

Christmas Shopping Haul

I’m one of those people who gets their Christmas shopping done very early. I’m talking October. That’s when I start organising myself and thinking about what I am going to buy for my family and friends. I don’t get very much time off work over the festive season so I like to get things sorted and wrapped up ready under the Christmas tree.

This has meant that I’ve also had a lot of time to also spend buying treats for myself. Haha! It’s been ages since I have bought a new fragrance, maybe a year in fact. In the Black Friday sales I bought Dior Addict Eau Fraiche and YSL Mon Paris. I’ve been eyeing up these two fruity fragrances for months and months. Addict for about 2 years and Mon Paris since it’s release last year.

I have finally got my hands on the limited edition Christmas Cleanse and Polish in Sweet Orange and Mint from Liz Earle. Every year I remember it’s back, but by the time it happens it’s already sold out. Also got myself a couple of beauty bits, two Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils in Mint and Candy, Mac Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3. Also picked up a bottle of Amino Acid Shampoo from Kiehl’s and a Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm.

It’s not Christmas without making a trip to Lush and selecting loads of bath bombs to enjoy on a cold winters evening. Every year I stock up on So White, the perfect apple scented bath bomb, but this year it was no where to be seen in store. Luckily I have still have a couple saved from last year, but thank goodness I later found it online and not discontinued it altogether.

I think it’s safe to say that I have spent a fair amount over the past month or so, but it’s Christmas!

 

 

Glossier – First Impressions

The cult beauty brand that everyone in the online beauty world is currently talking about is Glossier. It initially launched in the US and is all the rage again since the brand now ships to the UK. I decided to buy a couple of products to see what the hype was all about.

Delivery was prompt and of course it came in the pink padded pouch that everyone talks about. The products are protected and you can reuse the pouch over and over again. It also comes with a sample size of the new Glossier You fragrance.

A great everyday highlight is the Glossier Haloscope in the shade quartz. Don’t apply it straight to your face like a glue stick, but apply it to your fingers and then dab the product onto your cheeks  for a subtle glow. The stretch concealer is perfect for covering both spots and dark circles. Imperfections fade away without feeling cakey or creasing.

I use the Milky Jelly Cleanser face wash as a second cleanse after makeup removal. The jelly like texture leaves your skin feeling soft, however I’m not too keen on the rose scent to the product. The Mint Balm Dotcom is your bog standard petroleum lip balm. It’s nice but nothing special. In fact I actually find it quite hard to apply because It doesn’t have a lip friendly applicator, just a tube top.

I feel like Glossier does the basics very well. I probably will try more from the range and with loads of discount codes flying around, there is no better time to get your hands on some new products to try.

November Product Empties No.4

It’s that time again where I share with you all the products that i’ve used up over the past couple of months. The bag that I have in the corner of my room has been slowly filling up with my essentials. Mainly skincare. Again I’ve probably used about 700 cotton wool pads and they definitely have to be the Boots Double Faced Round Pads. I know it’s only cotton wool, but trust me these are the best. They don’t fall apart regardless of which side you’re using.

It takes me a while to get through make up products because I chop and change what I use so often that it takes a while to even make a dent in them. But the one thing I hardly ever change are my primers. The Becca Backlight Priming Filter is my current favourite. It provides the perfect base for foundation leaving a little glow and blurring effect on any imperfections. I also never wear eyeshadow without applying some Clinique Touch Base for Eyes, in Canvas. It is the only product that combats my oily lids.

I’ve been trying a few different eye makeup removers recently. I used to just use a normal micellar water, however it just wasn’t cutting it with my mascara and liner. I have been loving the Clinique Take the Day Off makeup remover at the moment. It works wonders at removing waterproof products. A good dupe for this is the Garnier Express 2in1 Eye Make-up Remover. This takes a little longer to break down product, but for the price it is worth it. I probably wouldn’t repurchase the Lancome Bi-Facil remover because the Clinique version works quicker. At the moment my obsession with micellar water has been put on pause and micellar gel has taken over. Currently I have been using the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac Micellar Make-Up Removal Gel.

My usual skincare favourites appear once again. I can never get enough of my mists. La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc keeps spots at bay and Pixi’s Hydrating Milky Mist adds the hydration. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo will always have a prime spot in my routine because it’s the only moisturiser I have found that helps to correct the appearance of imperfections left behind from my breakouts.

My favourite hand cream at the moment is the La Roche Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream. It has the perfect balance of being moisturising and creating a non greasy barrier to treat my very dry and irritated hands. For my face I have been using Vitamin C treatments to give my skin a bit of a perk up during the cold winter months. The Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster and the No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence have been great at getting my glow back. Click here for a full product review. The one area of my face that is constantly dry is around my nose. Foundation really doesn’t sit well and there is only so much scrubbing you can do before you make it worse. I currently use Clinique Moisture Surge Melting Mask Balm. I use it at night as a intensive treatment just on any dry patches for added nourishment.

List of Products

Becca Backlight Priming Filter
Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster
Clinique Moisture Surge Melting Mask Balm
Clinique Take the Day Off Make Up Remover
Clinique Touch Base for Eyes
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Mask
Garnier SkinActive Express 2in1 Eye Make-up Remover
Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel
Lancome Bi-Facil Instant Cleanser
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation (Sample)
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
La Roche-Posay Rosaliac Micellar Make-up Removal Gel
La Roche-Posay Serozinc
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Xerand Hand Repair Cream
Loreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay Anti-Dandruff Conditioner
Mitchum Pure Fresh Anti-Perspirant Deodorant
No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence
Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist

Beauty Advent Calendars

It’s not too soon to be thinking about Christmas. The shops have been decked up since September and the clocks have gone back an hour, so we’re half way there! I’ve never really had a chocolate advent calendar. Even as a child, it wasn’t really a thing with my family. Maybe one year I may have shared one with my sister, but that was it. But beauty advent calendars are a whole other story. Last year I remember getting a Liz Earle calendar. It was only 8 days but included a full size 150ml hot cloth cleanser. I loved it and it was great value for money.

Spoiler alert! Here I will share with you some advent calendars that have been released this year. They all vary in price and length, both 12 day and 25 days.

Sleek Makeup A Gift a Day

This 25 day calendar is great value for money at £35 and comes in the classic tear off packaging. This collection of products will be perfect to create multiple looks over the festive season.

It contains:

4 Matte Me Lip Creams
3 Twist Up Eye Pencils
4 Twist Up Lip Pencis
1 Mascara
2 Eyeliners
1 Blush
3 iDivine Eyeshadow Palettes
1 Lip VIP Lipstick
4 Matte Nail Varnishes
2 Makeup Brushes

Liz Earle Twelve Days of Christmas

Priced at £66, this calendar is for the skincare enthusiasts out there. All the products are individually wrapped in little cute blue boxes. This calendar contains similar products to last years version and is also almost double in price, with only a deluxe sample size of the award winning hot cloth cleanser and the addition of products from their Superskin range.

It contains:

Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
2 Pure Cotton Cloths
Eyebright Smoothing Eye Lotion
Gentle Face Exfoliator
Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask
Deep Cleansing Mask
A Sponge
Superskin Moisturiser
Superskin Concentrate for Night
Superskin Superlip Balm
Botanical Essence No.15 EDP
A Soft White Headband

Clarins 12 days of Christmas

What I love about this calendar is that it comes with two full sized products worth £39.50. This calendar is perfect for for someone who wants to try Clarins products for the first time. It has both skincare and makeup products for £60. This calendar is also great to reuse and make your own advent calendar for next year.

It contains:

Supra Volume Mascara
Instant Light Perfectors
Beauty Flash Balm
Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate
Instant Eye Make-Up Remover
SOS Hydra Mask
One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
Gentle Refiner
Hand and Nail Treatment Cream
Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer
Eau Dynamisante Candle

Ciaté Mini Mani Month

This advent calendar will take care of your nails for more than just a month. Priced at £50 for 24 polishes. There is only one filler product, a miniature nail file.

I will be getting the M&S calendar too, which came out the 9th November. It’s £35 when you spend £35 on clothing, beauty and home.

There are some great advent calendars out this year. They make great presents for friends and family, and you don’t have so spend a fortune on them either if you just wanted to try out products for the first time.

Orange Cookies

After a long week at work, there is nothing more I enjoy than spending an afternoon baking. Here is how I make orange cookies.

Ingredients:

200g unsalted butter, softened
80g coconut sugar
250g plain flour
Grated zest of 1 orange

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 170°C, Gas mark 3

-Cream the butter until soft in a large bowl or a food mixer

-Add the sugar and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy

-Add the zest and flour to the mixture to form a dough

-With your hands, shape dough into small balls and place them on a lined baking tray

-Flatten the dough slightly and place in the oven for 14-20 minutes until golden brown

-Transfer onto a wire rack to cool

I like using coconut sugar as it’s a slightly healthier alternative to caster sugar and gives the cookies a lovely golden colour. You can add pretty much anything to the cookies, like chocolate chips, dried fruit, or lemon zest. Just swap out the orange zest and replace with an alternative.

Sushi

So I’ve been on holiday this week, and thought I would share with you how I make sushi. It is very simple and makes for a delicious lunch.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of medium grain sushi rice per person

2 Tsp of sushi seasoning per cup of rice

3 Sheets of Nori per person

Any filling ingredients – I used Smoked Salmon, Seafood Sticks and Cucumber

Soy sauce

Wasabi

 

Directions:

  • Rinse the rice under cold water to wash the surface starch off the grains, repeat till water is clear
  • Cook the rice in a rice cooker
  • Once the rice is cooked, add the sushi seasoning to the rice and stir
  • Using a bamboo mat, place the rough side of Nori upwards and using a rice paddle, spread the rice evenly across the sheet
  • Place your filling in the centre of the sheet, I used smoked salmon, seafood sticks and cucumber, but you can pretty much put anything you like in the rolls. Avocado works well or even some chicken
  • Using the bamboo mat slowly roll towards the centre and over your filling, then pick up your sushi roll with the mat and squeeze the roll to secure the filling inside
  • Unroll and use a serrated knife to cut into small pieces

It’s best served with some soy sauce and I like it with a hit of Wasabi.

Get your glow back!

Summer has been and gone, but that doesn’t mean your skin shouldn’t continue to glow throughout the winter months. The best way that I have found to keep my skin looking radiant is by using fresh vitamin C products. These fresh products generally have a shelf life of about 1-2 weeks.

I have found two products that have made a noticeable difference to my skin. The first one being the Clinique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser and Daily Booster. The powder comes in little sachets and are to be used in the morning. Pour the contents into your hand, add a little water and then it is ready to be applied to your face. This is then followed by the daily booster with 10% pure vitamin C. This product should be used for 7 days for full potency, after this the efficacy decreases. I mix the booster with my moisturiser, currently Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, or it can be used separately as a serum.


Another product I have also tried is the No7 Youthful Vitamin C Fresh Radiance Essence. The recommended treatment time for this product is 2 weeks and similarly to the Clinique product the consistency of this product changes after it’s shelf life and it does turn a bright orange colour, but can be used if there is still product remaining for up to a month.

Both these products have improved the appearance and texture of my skin, however I do prefer the Clinique range as it is more powerful, with 5% more fresh vitamin C than the No7 product and it also combines well with any moisturiser. The No7 essence is a little too thin to combine, so I use it as a separate treatment.

These products are not designed to be used long term. I use one every month or so just to give my skin that extra boost of brightness. Clinique offers a handy 7 day system where you get one booster and 7 powder sachets to try before purchasing them individually.