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Love me Beauty

I wanted to repurchase my Dr PawPaw soothing balm and was going to buy it from Boots (although now I'm not sure Boots actually stock it?) then I remembered I'd spotted that it was available in the Love me Beauty boutique. I'd also noticed there were several 50% off discount codes floating around for Love me Beauty, so instead of spending £7 just on the Dr PawPaw balm I thought I might as well spend a couple of pounds extra and get a few more products to try. 

Love me Beauty

If you've not come across Love me Beauty before it's a monthly beauty subscription box with a bit of a twist. Each month you're allocated 60 credits that you can spend in the boutique. The boutique contains a selection of products (and now also jewellery) each worth either 10 or 20 credits. Instead of Love me Beauty deciding what products you receive you head to the boutique and decide how to spend your 60 credits. If you want more products then you have credits for you also have the option of buying further credits so you can add further products to your box. The products don't just change monthly either, they're constantly being updated as products go out of stock and new ones are added. The box itself costs £10 and then postage is £3.95, so my box cost £8.95 altogether after applying the discount code.

Having never tried Love me Beauty before I haven't seen their box and when I opened my package when it arrived I was very impressed. The box is understated but really nice, featuring a grey/silver textured almost fabric like box with Love me Beauty embossed on the top in rose gold/copper. I thought the products inside came in a drawer string bag but I didn't get one, maybe because I didn't pay full price. 

Love me Beauty box

As you're aware the first product I chose was the Dr PawPaw Tinted balm (10 credits). What I didn't realise was that this is not the full size product but the same size as the previous sample I had, so I didn't quite get the bargain I thought I had ordering the box (I don't mind this though). The balm I've just recently finished was the clear original but this time I decided I wanted to try the red one out, which is a good job as it was the only one available in the boutique. 

The second item I chose was the Beauty lies within make-up bag (20 credits). As I spend half my life living out of a suitcase at my boyfriends house little make-up bags like this come in useful for keeping together things like the lipsticks I've chosen to take with me. It's not the most amazing quality, especially as one of the teeth in the zip is loose so it doesn't actually zip up all the way across, but it's a nice little make-up bag (and very Instagram worthy!). 

Since managing to master the art of liquid liner application I've had an itch to try various different felt tip pen style liners and various different colours. Although I couldn't find any good indication online of what colour Babylon brown is I thought well it's not black and decided to go for the Eye öf Hörus Liquid Define liner (20 credits). I was slightly disappointed to discover it's quite dark, so not a whole lot lighter than black, but from a quick swatch on my hand it looks promising, at least for a nice thin line if that's what you like. 

Finally I decided on the Nuxe Crème Fraiche de Beauté (10 credits) which is a moisturising mask. Although I do have several hydrating masks I have been curious to try this one and it was the only other product in the boutique at that time that I was really interested in. 

I'm impressed with the Love me Beauty concept and it's definitely a box I would consider ordering again in the future if there were products in the boutique I was interested in. The only thing that does put me off slightly is the £3.95 postage as I do think this is a little expensive. I was also slightly annoyed that I couldn't find out how much postage was anywhere on the website and only found out how much it is when I got to the checkout.

Have you tried Love me Beauty or would you consider giving it a try?

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Desert island beauty - Skincare

It's time for my second desert island beauty post and this time it's the turn of skincare. If you haven't read my desert island make-up post you can find that one here. So as well as having time to grab sun glasses and a towel and pick the five make-up products I want to swim to shore with I also had time to pick five skincare products. Choosing my make-up was quite easy but this one really was difficult because I use so many different skincare products on my face and different areas of my body. I'm not completely sure I've picked the right products, for a start I've realised I don't have a lip balm and I'm not sure I can live without one (not an exaggeration), but these are the products I went for. 

Desert island beauty - Skincare

If you're shipwrecked on a desert island then there's no question that if you had any choice you would make sure that you had a good sun protection cream with you. My current favourite is the Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh and I go for factor 50 because I want to protect my skin as much as possible and I burn easily. This one is actually a couple of years old now so will need chucking, but I'm hoping they still do this one so I can pick up a new one in the summer. The spray makes it handy to apply and it does feel cooling on the skin. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin minimally sticky/tacky, if at all. Being stuck on a desert island I wouldn't mind being slightly tacky from my sun cream but at home when wearing my everyday clothes I hate the stickiness you can be left with after applying sun protection. I do use a separate sun protection cream for my face but as I can only chose five products I would make do with using this on my face as well (and hope for the best).

After being in the sun so much your skin is going to need some moisture and I've decided to take the No7 Pampering dry oil body spray. Although I do like body oils I tend to prefer body lotions, but there's just something about this one I really like. It has a lovely spa like scent and is easy to apply as it's in spray form. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth and moisturised. I guess I could have just used this on my hands but as they really can get dry, especially the skin around my nails, I decided to take a hand cream and of course picked my favourite little The Body Shop hand creams. This one is the Christmas limited edition Glazed apple scent, which you obviously can't get now, but they have plenty of lovely scents to chose from all year round.

Desert island beauty - Skincare

When it comes to my face there were two things I definitely wanted to be able to do, one being cleanse away all that sweat, salt and sun lotion and the other being get some moisture in my skin. I was trying to decide between a cream or oil cleanser but in the end settled on an oil one to really melt all that dirt and grime away. I chose my current favourite which is the Clinique Take the day off cleansing oil. I possibly slightly prefer the Vichy Micellar cleansing oil over this one but I don't currently have a bottle of that! 

I also had to decide what sort moisturising product would be best for my face and settled on a moisturising serum. A serum is absorbed deep into the skin, moisturising as it goes, so if you can only use one product on dry/dehydrated skin this is probably the one to go for. Although it's not quite my favourite I'm currently using the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Power serum, so that would be the one that would currently go with me. 

What would your desert island skincare products be?

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Tips for dry/dehydrated but unthirsty skin 

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Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing collection

Elemis is a brand that I've only tried a couple of products from but I've been very impressed with the ones I've tried. I currently have a sample of their Papaya Enzyme peel, which I think came free with a magazine at the end of last year, and I'm very tempted to purchase it in full size when I finish the sample. Elemis currently have some amazing value skincare sets available from Debenhams and today I have the Dynamic Resurfacing collection* to show you. 

Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing collection
Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing collection

I've only had the set for a few days and I've not been using very much on my skin after reacting to a cleanser last week, so I haven't really used any of the products yet, but I wanted to show you the set as they're all only available for a limited time or until stocks run out. I will follow up with a review of each of the products in the future once I've given them a try. 

The Dynamic Resurfacing collection contains four products inside an Elemis branded wash bag. I have included a picture of the wash bag below but for some reason I struggled to get a good picture of it so I'm sorry it's a little dodgy. As you may know half the time I live at my boyfriends but I don't actually keep anything at his house so have to pack up any stuff I want to take each time. My current wash bag is getting pretty old so I'll be chucking that out and switching over to this as it's big enough to hold all of my skincare bits.

Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing collection

The first product included is the Dynamic Resurfacing facial wash, which is a full size of 200ml and worth £29.50. This was previously called the Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing facial wash but has now been rebranded. This encourages the skins natural cell renewal cycle, smoothing and refining whilst gently exfoliating. I have actually used this product (cautiously) once the rash/eczema had died down after my reaction as I thought it would help rid me of the dry flaky skin it had left me with and it is helping my skin get back to normal. 

The facial wash can be used twice a day and in the morning you can follow this with the next product the Hydra-Boost day cream, which is a full size of 50ml worth £38. This not a resurfacing product but is a hydrating one for dry skin and contains good old hylauronic acid.

For the evening the third product is the Dynamic Resurfacing night cream. I can't actually find this product, it only currently appears to be available as part of their value sets, but as the facial wash has been rebranded this might be the same as the Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing night cream. Although this isn't described as full size it is 30ml, which I think is a pretty good size. I'd describe it as a mini full size rather than sample size!

The final product is the Dynamic Resurfacing gel mask, which is a sample size of 15ml worth around £15. This one has also been rebranded from the Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing gel mask. More and more I'm preferring to use masks like this over manual exfoliation, so I'm looking forward to giving this a try. I will be quite careful with this to begin with though as this product apparently comes with a powerful tingling sensation and as my skin has proved recently it really can be quite sensitive!

The products in this set are worth £135 but the set is just £54.50, so this really is a bargain as you're saving 60%. As I said though these sets are limited so if you'd like to get your hands on one you need to get yourself over to the Debenhams website (I'm afraid I don't know if these are available in store).

Are you a fan of Elemis?

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Sensitive teeth and Sensodyne

I nearly completely forgot to write this post as brushing your teeth is something you do automatically each day without thinking about it too much. I've always had sensitive teeth but for some reason have never really considered trying products designed to try and tackle sensitive teeth, maybe because mum buys our toothpaste so I just use what she buys. If you suffer from sensitive teeth you'll know many things can set them off, cold food or drinks, the water spray at the dentist, even just a cold wind and when they do play up it can be really quite painful. Sometimes there doesn't even need to be something (that I'm aware of anyway) to set mine off, they just kind of ache and even breathing through my mouth can be sore.

When I was offered a sensitivity SOS package from Sensodyne to try I thought it was a good opportunity to finally try some products designed to help tackle sensitivity. I was sent the new Sensodyne mouthwash in cool mint*, Sensodyne Repair & Protect toothpaste*, Sensodyne True white toothpaste* and a Sensodyne Precision medium toothbrush*. 

Sensodyne sensitive teeth products

Although I'm aware that toothbrushes come in different levels of hardness I've never really considered what level I should be using. As I do have sensitive teeth I should really be using a softer brush as it will be kinder on my teeth and gums. When I first started using the Sensodyne Precision toothbrush I was surprised by how much softer it was than the toothbrushes I've used in the past. As we all know you should really replace you're toothbrush every three months but using this toothbrush has shown me that I do brush too hard because this one needed replacing much sooner than that. The softer brush felt much more gentle on my gums and even though I was obviously brushing too hard I experienced much less bleeding than I normally do. While using this toothbrush I had a check up at the dentist and was pleased to be told that my teeth didn't need to be cleaned, that's only happened once before, so I think I've been doing a pretty good job of cleaning my teeth using this brush. I've now bought a new softer brush and I'm trying to remember not to brush too hard.

Although my teeth aren't too bad I have recently been thinking that I would like them a little whiter. I'm not talking Simon Cowel, Tom Cruise or Rylan levels here, just a little whiter than they are currently. Although I've never really thought about whitening methods before thinking about it now I guess they could possibly be a little harsh if you have sensitive teeth. So I was pleased to see a sensitive whitening toothpaste had been included in my sensitivity SOS package. This is designed for stain prevention and removal but also to provide sensitivity care and to be low abrasion. This doesn't quite feel like a standard toothpaste, it's thinner and doesn't appear to foam as much, but you do get used to it. As this is low abrasion I'm guessing it might not be as effective as other methods of teeth whitening but I was pleased to see a slight improvement in the whiteness of my teeth.  

Sensodyne sensitive teeth products

As the name suggest the Repair & Protect toothpaste is designed to continuously repair and strengthen vulnerable areas and protect your teeth. I still have some of the True white toothpaste left but I've worked my way through the whole tube of Repair & Protect and I did notice an improvement in my sensitivity. It didn't disappear completely, but it was improved and I would imagine this is a product you should really use continuously and long term to keep seeing an improvement and to keep up the effect that it has.

I do like to use mouthwash at least once a day but my dad keeps putting the bottle in the bathroom cabinet and because I don't see it I forget to use it, so I haven't used it regularly for quite a while now. I've made sure to use this daily in the morning with the Repair & Protect toothpaste and because I've used the two together I don't think I can comment on this as a product on it's own with regard to sensitivity. I do like it as a mouthwash though. It leaves my mouth feeling really clean and fresh, like I've just had a clean at the dentist, but as with all mouthwashes it can get a little strong the longer you keep swilling it around.

I enjoyed using all of these products and I'd definitely consider buying them in the future. The mouthwash is £4.99, the toothbrush £3.60 and the toothpastes £4.49 each and all are available at Boots.

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth?

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Antipodes Limited edition Moisture Boost minis

It was when I followed Renata's blog Speaking Beauty UK that I first spotted the Antipodes Limited edition Moisture Boost minis set and it immediately caught my eye. Antipodes metal tubes in gorgeous colours have always appealed to me but I'm yet to try any products from the brand. In fact it was only when I looked into buying this set that I realised I've actually been calling the brand Antipods!

The set features mini versions of two of Antipodes products; the Divine facial oil (10ml) and the Vanilla pod Hydrating day cream (15ml). I think a set like this is such a great idea as you get to try a generous sample size of a couple of products before you decide if you want to commit to a more expensive full size product. The products are also the perfect size to travel with as they don't take up much space.

Antipodes Limited edition Moisture Boost minis set

Although I do have several facial oils, apart from The Body Shop's Serum-in-oil and balance Me's Radiance face oil, in general I tend to prefer serums at the moment. However seeing that the Divine facial oil contains avocado and rosehip oil made me want to give it a try as I believe both are supposed to be amazing for your skin. It also contains macadamia nut and jojoba oil and Vitamin E, which my skin particularly loves. 

The Divine facial oil comes in a pretty standard facial oil bottle with a dropper, but the mini size makes it so cute. The oil has a light green colour to it and a light herbal type scent that I actually really like (I'm not always a fan of herbal scents). I find this quite a light oil and as long as I don't apply too much my skin absorbs it well and it leaves my skin feeling, soft, smooth and moisturised. I'm not sure if this is intended to be used in the morning or evening but I use it in the evening as that's when I personally prefer to use oils. 

The Vanilla pod Hydrating day cream comes in one of those lovely metal tubes I mentioned above but sadly this one is just white. It's not quite as pretty as one of the coloured tubes but I do really like the packaging. Now although this is called a vanilla pod day cream essential oil fragrances of vanilla pod is one of the last ingredients in the list, so I'm not sure how much vanilla there is in there. However it does contain shea butter, manuka honey, avocado, macadamia nut and rosehip oil, so there's plenty of lovely stuff in there. It has a really nice natural (rather than artificial) vanilla scent to it with a hint of something else I can't place. Although this is a day cream my dry but unthirsty skin personally finds this too rich to be used in the morning so I've been using a small amount in the evening with the Divine facial oil and my skin has been loving it. In general my skin has been looking great while I've been using these products and has even had a little bit of a glow to it, which is unusual for my skin. I would definitely consider buying both products in full size, but to be honest the sample sizes will be lasting me quite a while.

The set is limited edition and is currently showing as out of stock on the Feel Unique website (where I purchased it from) but it is still on the website so they might be getting more in. You can buy the full size products though and the Divine facial oil is £19.99 for 30ml and the Vanilla pod Hydrating day cream £27.99 for 60ml. If you pop over to Feel Unique via this link you'll get 15% off your order.

Have you tried any Antipodes products?

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OPI Nail Envy nail strengthener Matte formula

In general my nails grow well, in fact a few days ago I actually had to trim them down because they were getting a little too long, but I do have some problems with them. They are a little on the thin side and get quite soft when they're wet and I do also suffer from some peeling, which I tend to pick at (I know, naughty). One of the main problems with my nails though is that I suffer with what I call 'fault lines' which you can see running down several of my nails. I'm not sure exactly what has caused them, I'm assuming some kind of damage in my nail bed maybe, but I have been told by a manicurist that they'll never go, I can only try and improve the appearance of them. Buffing down my nails does help to minimise them but doesn't get rid of them completely and I don't like to buff my nails too often because I don't want to damage them. There was also a week patch on the thumb nail on my right hand and when that nail grew it would get to that point and break.

Of course I've heard of OPI's Nail Envy and had previously bought it for my mum to try. As she gave me some good feedback I thought I'd give it a try myself.

OPI Nail Envy nail strengthener matte formula

I bought my mum the original Nail Envy formula, which features a glossy finish, but I decided that I wanted to give the matte finish formula a try as I've never been a fan of the look of clear nail varnish on bare nails. Last year I discovered that I do actually like a really glossy finish on bare nails, the sort of finish you'd get if you had a clear gel manicure, but a standard nail strengthener gloss appearance doesn't do it for me. So I thought the matte formula might provide a more natural nail appearance. 

Nail Envy is formulated with wheat protein and calcium to protect against peeling, cracking and splitting. The pack instructions direct you to apply two coats followed by another coat every other day, but you can obviously also wear this as a base coat if you're a prolific nail painter. This comes with a fairly standard sized brush on it, not too big and not too small either, and the strengthener has a cloudy/milky appearance to it. When removing excess from the brush on the neck on the bottle you can almost see a white powdery type appearance run back into the bottle which my head says to me is the calcium, I have no idea if that is actually the case or not! 

I find that it dries quickly and leaves you with a really nice smooth matte effect on the nails. The best way for me to describe it would probably be 'my nails but better'. It perfects the look of your nails and makes it look like you have really nice healthy natural nails. Although your nails aren't completely matte, there is a slight sheen to them, it's probably subtle enough to be able to wear this without anybody realising you are actually wearing any kind of nail varnish. It's the sort of effect you'd get after giving your nails a good buff. 

In terms of whether my nails have actually benefited from using Nail Envy, I have seen some improvement but I haven't been blown away by it. I don't think this has had any effect on my fault lines but I have seen some improvement in the strength of my nails and the peeling and my thumb nail has got past that annoying breakage stage. As I said above my nails are also growing really well as I've just had to trim them down.

In general the reason I really like using this is because of the amazing finish it gives my nails and if I'm not wearing nail varnish I'll be wearing this. OPI Nail Envy is definitely on the pricey side pushing £20 in Boots and through most retailers. However the most reasonable price I have found it for so far is £13.65 through BeautyBay, so if you do want to give it a try make sure you order it from there. 

Would you go for the matte or gloss formula of Nail Envy?

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Max Factor False Lash Effect Velvet Volume mascara

Back in October I received an email from Max Factor saying they had an exciting new launch coming in November that they'd like me to try. Curious as to what the launch might be I confirmed my delivery details and eagerly awaited the arrival of the new product. There was a little bit of a delay with it getting to me but as few weeks later the Max Factor False Lash Effect Velvet Volume mascara* arrived. 

Max Factor Velvet Volume False Lash Effect mascara
Max Factor Velvet Volume False Lash Effect mascara

The Velvet Volume mascara is part of a three piece velvet collection that includes the mascara, a Smoky Eye Drama kit (eye shadow) and a Masterpiece liquid liner. The mascara is also an extension to their False Lash Effect line. I believe all of the existing False Lash Effect mascaras feature a plastic brush and this one is no exception, featuring a reasonably thick barrel with short stubby bristles. You can just about see that the brush features short and longer bristles, designed to capture and coat each lash. I do currently have the standard False Lash Effect mascara after I received it through the Max Factor/Olay promotion on Twitter a few months ago and comparing the brushes the Velvet Volume one is slightly longer with a thinner barrel. One thing that I did notice about the standard one when I received it was that the barrel is really quite chunky. 

The 'velvet' part of this mascara is a move that several brands appear to be making now. Max Factor conducted some global research and found that many women find that volumising mascaras leave their lashes looking stiff and feeling brittle. Max Factor describe the formula of this mascara as 'mousse-like' and rather than drying to the hard, crispy feeling finish we're used to with mascaras this stays soft, so it feels more like your bare lashes. The formula contains a combination of natural beeswax and glycerin, ingredients that are used in hair conditioner to keep hair smooth.

When I first tried the original False Lash Effect mascara I expected it to provide a dramatic false lash look, as if you're actually wearing false lashes and can tell that you're wearing them, but it doesn't provide a really dramatic effect and neither does the velvet version. Instead I find it similar to my favourite mascara, They're Real, and find that it separates, lengthens and defines each individual lash. I'd say it's quite a natural but lengthened and defined look rather than the full and fluttery look I was expecting. 

Although it is nice to touch your lashes and them not feel crispy and coated in dried product, I don't actually touch my lashes very often, unless I forget I have make-up on and rub my eye, so I'm not sure whether soft feelings lashes is actually needed. However, Max Factor did find that women complained about crispy lashes, so maybe it is something people want. As long as my lashes don't look crispy and spidery and clogged up with mascara then I'm happy. But overlooking that it is a very nice mascara and although I would say I would go for the standard one because I'm not that bothered about the velvet feel, I actually prefer the thinner barrel on this one. So I would chose this one over the standard one and the soft feeling lashes would be a nice extra bonus if I decide I want to stroke them.

The Max Factor False Lash Effect Velvet Volume mascara is £11.99 and is available from Boots. You can find details on Max Factors entire mascara range on the Max Factor website.  

Would you use a velvet feel mascara?

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Desert island beauty - Make-up

Last week I spotted a tweet from Laura looking for ideas for posts for her blog for the following week. Straight away an idea popped into my head so I tweeted it to Laura and she created this post. My idea was, if you were shipwrecked on a desert island and could only swim to shore with five products (I never said it was a realistic idea!) what products would you chose. A few people commented on Laura's blog saying it was a great idea for a post *blushes* so I thought hold on, why don't I do it as a post on my own blog. I think I might even do it as a mini series with desert island make-up, skincare and maybe nails, so watch out for those posts in the future.

Desert island beauty - Make-up

Now I know my photo looks more like a day by the pool then deserted on an island but this is an imaginary desert island scenario so we can make it as glamorous as we want to. There would definitely be time to grab some sunglasses and a beach towel! As I'm stuck on a desert island there are obviously other things on my mind over applying a full face of make-up, but if I'm going to be rescued by the desert island equivalent of Prince Charming then a little bit of make-up might be required. You know the fairy tale drill, we sail off into the sunset together to live happily ever after, and that's not going to happen if I look like I've actually been deserted for any period of time.

I really wanted to include my favourite YSL Fusion Ink foundation but you know, expensive and glass bottle, so instead I think I would probably have taken the Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude foundation as I consider it a dupe for Fusion Ink. As it costs about a quarter of the price of the YSL foundation I wouldn't be too upset if the bottle got smashed. 

I'm not too worried about concealer because my foundation will do a good job of evening everything out and hopefully a bit of sun might have helped improve my skin a little. This is a desert island though so I would imagine it's going to be hot so I might need some powder to try and help set my base. I've gone for the Vichy Dermablend setting powder because it comes with a sponge/puff for quick and easy application/touch-ups and I can give the sponge a wash in the sea to clean it.

Desert island beauty - Make-up

For a little bit of colour in my cheeks I've gone for the Illamasqua Powder blush in Hussy (and I'll be sure to make sure I tell desert island Prince Charming that's what it's called!). I haven't previously been that bothered by this shade but since changing my hair to red I pulled it out again and it's been pretty much all I've used recently. I'm also pretty sure Illamasqua blushes will last forever as they're generously sized and I've barely made a dent in this one.

I picked up a sample of Benefit's They're Real Tinted primer with whatever magazine it was free with at the end of last year and I'm loving it. It really reminds me of They're Real mascara (I wonder why!) which as you may know is my favourite mascara. I think this would be perfect as a desert island product because it provides a subtle look but it provides some colour, separates, lengthens and in general just organises your lashes.

Finally, I'm certainly not going to want anything heavy or matte on my lips when it's hot and sticky and my lips are probably going to be quite dry and parched. So I'll want to go for something light and maybe even slightly glossy (but without stickiness) to keep my lips feeling supple. I've gone for the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker gloss stick in Pink Punch because it's easy to apply/re-apply, is light on the lips and will give me a juicy red/pink pout ready for desert island Prince Charming when he arrives.

So apparently as well as having time to grab sunglasses and a beach towel I also had time to actually pick products that would work for being shipwrecked on a desert island! Oh and shout out to Bourjois for their free sunglasses (pictured) offers they've run in summer for the last few years.  

What would your desert island make-up products be?

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Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Soothing cleansing lotion & Sensitive Skin hand cream

Weleda are a brand that I am aware of but I believe I've only tried one sample size product that I received in a beauty box or some kind of goody bag. The product I tried was a day cream from their Wild rose range and I enjoyed using it and made a mental note to try more of their products in the future. 

Weleda are a natural brand created in 1921, originally in the area of holistic and homeopathic medicine, and they grow a lot of their ingredients for their medicines and products themselves not far from me in Derbyshire. Their products are free from synthetic chemicals, fragrances, preservatives and anything else synthetic. There's a huge amount of information about the brand on their website that would take forever to try and summarise here so it's probably best if you head over there to take a look if you'd like to know more about the brand. 

Towards the end of last year I was sent their Almond Soothing cleansing lotion* and Almond Sensitive skin hand cream* to try. 

Weleda Almond Soothing cleansing lotion

As I mentioned in my last post on tips for dry/dehydrated skin, cream cleansers that you apply to dry skin with cotton wool or a cotton pad tend to irritate my skin and leave it sore and unfortunately that was also the case with the Almond Sensitive Skin Soothing Cleansing lotion. This was one of the better ones I have tried though and there was only slight discomfort after use. I feel it's important for me to point out that this is nothing against the product itself, there's just something about my skin that does not like cleansing lotions. I used the lotion to remove my make-up and it did an ok job. It took several cotton pads to remove it all but I find this pretty standard across all cleansing lotions as I don't find them to be the best method for removing my make-up. I find it a little strange though that the box states the product is suitable for the removal of make-up but that you should avoid the eye area. So you would need to use another product to remove any eye make-up. I've passed this on to my mum who does use cleansing lotions to remove her make-up. 

Weleda Almond Sensitive skin hand cream

After not using any hand cream at all for most of my life it's now something I'm pretty dependent on as my hands can get really dry and I end up picking at the flaky bits of skin I get around my nails. If I'm going to use a hand cream throughout the day it has to do two things; absorb quickly and not leave any kind of greasy or sticky/tacky residue behind. If it doesn't meet those requirements I'll probably still use it but it'll be relegated to the 'before bed' pile. 

The Almond Sensitive Skin hand cream is a nice light cream that does contain fragrance and as the name suggests has an almond fragrance that reminds me a little of marzipan. I find if I rub this one in too much it does start to pill a little so I tend to rub it in a bit and then leave it to sink in by itself. It absorbs well but does leave a slightly oily feeling on my finger tips that needs a few more minutes to disappear. Although the hand cream hasn't blown me away it is a nice hand cream and is one that I would consider using through the day if I didn't need it to absorb pretty much straight away. It does leave my hands feeling soft and smooth and helps get rid of any flaky bits I have.

The Almond Sensitive Skin Soothing cleansing lotion is £9.95 (currently on offer for £7.96) and the Almond Sensitive Skin hand cream is also £9.95 (and also currently on offer for £7.96) and both are available from the Weleda website.

Have you tried any Weleda products?

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Tips for dry/dehydrated but unthirsty skin

I think the title of this post might need a little explanation. I have what I would consider to be quite strange skin. My skin is dry and I believe usually dehydrated (I'm still not entirely clear on the distinction between the two) but yet despite being so dry my skin often flat out refuses to absorb the products I apply. You'd think it would drink them up, but no. I'm sure I can't be the only person with this strange and rather irritating problem, so I thought I'd put together a post with some of my tips for dealing with dry but unthirsty skin.

Products for dry/dehydrated but unthirsty skin

Use hydrating serums

Discovering hydrating serums was a bit of a breakthrough for me. Serums are much lighter than moisturisers and whereas moisturiser is absorbed by the upper layers of the skin serums are absorbed down into the deeper layers of the skin, where your moisturiser can't reach. Serums are usually absorbed into the skin almost instantly, so adding one to your morning routine will hardly make a difference to the time it takes. In the summer when my skin is usually much less dry I can often get away with just applying a serum. However if my skin is being particularly difficult it can even have trouble absorbing serums if I use too much, so I start off with a small amount and then apply a little more over any area that I think need it. If you have dry or dehydrated skin applying a hydrating serum followed by a moisturiser is one of the best ways to go to ensure your skin stays as hydrated as possibly through the day.

My recommendations
Avene Hydrance Optimal Hydrating serum £17 (currently with 25% off at Escentual until 19/1)
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Power serum £22.50 (currently 1/3 off at Escentual) 

Use lighter gel creams

Back towards when I first started blogging I got a sample of Clinique's Moisture Surge free with a magazine and this was another little skincare breakthrough for me. I'd been struggling so much with my dry flaky skin and nothing seemed to be helping to relieve it. I'd never tried a lighter gel cream type moisturiser before and I discovered that my skin drank it up and for the first time in ages my skin was soft and smooth and flake free. I now know there's no point in me bothering with thick, heavy creams targeted towards dry skin because they'll mostly just sit on the surface of my skin and do nothing except leave it tacky and maybe even slightly oily looking. I guess because these types of moisturisers are much closer in consistency to serums it makes it much easier for my skin to absorb them.

My recommendations

Apply several light layers of product

I've kind of already touched on this above but I've definitely found that the best way to go is to apply several light layers of product, either using the same product or different types of products. As I said slapping on a thick a layer of any product is just not going to work on my skin, it'll either just sit there or take forever to absorb. My morning routine currently includes using a serum followed by a light moisturiser (if I feel I need it) and my evening routine includes an oil followed by a moisturiser. If you don't want to use multiple products like I said you can just use one and apply a light layer and follow up with further light layers if you feel your skin needs it.

Products for dry/dehydrated but unthirsty skin

Not necessarily using a night cream at night

Although the beauty industry indicates that we need to use a day cream in the morning and a night cream before going to bed if that's not suitable for your skin then ignore the invisible rule book. Night creams can be heavier and thicker than day creams, but if your skin isn't going to absorb it properly you'll just end up with most of it transferring to your pillow and hair every night. There are obviously some night creams that aren't quite as thick and heavy as others, maybe ones directed more towards normal skin, so it's all about trying out different ones to find which ones work for you. Just don't think you need to use a specific night cream.

Leave hydrating/moisture masks on overnight

You probably know this one already but even though the directions for hydrating masks say to remove any excess after 10 to 15 minutes there's no reason why you can't leave them on for as long as possible, even overnight if you want to. If your skin does take a long time to absorb products like this then yes it might be a little sticky overnight but once a week or so you can tie your hair back out of the way or wash your hair/pillow the following day. Hydrating masks don't work amazingly well for me, they do usually take a long time to fully absorb, that's why I tend to leave them on overnight if I can.

My recommendations
Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight mask £30
Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant gel mask £40  

Pick the right type of cleanser

Although a cleanser is only on your face for a brief period of time it's still important to pick one that works with your skin type. I've always found that most cleansers and methods of cleansing can leave my skin at least a little stripped or even sore afterwards afterwards. In general any type of cleanser that foams will be stripping and so it's probably best to avoid them if you have dry or dehydrated skin. I tried the Ole Henriksen African red tea foaming cleanser and I thought everything was going fine until a few days into using it I realised my skin was so stripped I could see those little lines you get when your skin is more arid than a desert. I stopped using it immediately and it took a few days to try and get my skin back to a slightly more hydrated state.

My favourite cleansers for removing makeup are oil cleansers and for my second cleanse (usually using my Magnitone cleansing brush) and morning cleanse I like to use a creamy cleanser. Before I tried oil cleansers I really didn't like the idea of it, why would I want to smear my make-up all round my face in an oily mess, but after trying them I haven't looked back. I'm not usually a fan of balm cleansers as although they do melt down to an oil I find them a little 'dry' at first and sometimes difficult to remove. I'm not keen on using a muslin cloth as I don't like that it then gets covered in make-up. 

For most of my life I used cream cleansers that you apply with a tissue or cotton pad to remove my make-up and whatever I used they would always leave my skin sore afterwards. Discovering micellar waters was a breakthrough for me, for the first time I could remove my make-up without my skin becoming sore and irritated and discovering oils was even better. Creamy cleansers you use with water are the complete opposite for me though and in general leave my skin feeling soft and not at all sore or stripped. 

My recommendations
The Body Shop Camomile Silky cleansing oil £11
Vichy Purete Thermale Beautifying Micellar cleansing oil £13.75 (also a 1/3 off at Escentual)
Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing oil £22
Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep cleansing milk £8 (currently 25% off at Boots)
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot cloth cleanser £6 - £75  

Products for dry/dehydrated but unthirsty skin

Use hydrating mists

If your skin needs a little moisture boost during the day but it's not time to apply a moisturiser then a hydrating facial mist is perfect. You can apply them to bare skin or even over make-up, although if applying over make-up you'll want to make sure it has a fine mist so it doesn't disturb or make your make-up run. I particularly like to use them just after removing my make-up or after a shower as this is when my skin can feel a little tight and dry. They're also very refreshing in the summer if you're feeling a little hot and flustered.

My recommendations
Avene Eau Thermale thermal spring water £3.15 - £10 (currently 25% off at Escentual)
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing mist £18

Drink more water

By far the easiest way to get more moisture into your skin is probably to water it from the inside out by making sure you're drinking enough water. I'm the worst for this because I actually don't like the taste of water (I know you're probably going to tell me it doesn't taste of anything!) and in general I've always just drunk when I'm thirsty. In the winter this means I can go the whole day and suddenly realise I haven't had a single drink. Last year I made the decision to start training myself to drink water after I started getting close to fainting a lot. As it's currently winter I'm not doing great at this but I am making sure I'm drinking regularly throughout the day and I now do drink water, but still hate the taste!

Do you have difficult skin like me?

Some similar posts
Vichy Idealia Skin Sleep Recovery night gel-balm
Blemish fighting skincare
Avene Hydrance Optimale Hydrating serum 

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