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Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm Review

23 May

Elemis_Pro_Radiance_Illuminating_Flash_Balm_50ml_1367399430As far as adding new products into my beauty routine goes, I’m normally quite reluctant. When the options are either a) stay in bed for an extra 10 mins, or b) get up to cleanse, tone, apply eye cream, sun protection, moisturiser and all other kinds of goop to my face, I’ll hit snooze every time.

However, I’ve recently discovered that Elemis Flash Balm is a THING THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE. It might seem like a brand new pre-make-up product to worry about, but in fact it saves you time, acting as an amazing moisturiser-primer-highlighter combo that does wonders for lacklustre skin.

I’ve been trying out this product for a few weeks now and I absolutely love it. You only need to use  a small blob each time and it sinks in easily, leaving skin feeling hydrated and soothed after cleansing.

However, the really wonders of this product become apparent when you apply make-up. It creates a perfectly even base for foundation, and holds it in place for longer, as well as giving you lovely glow-y skin. This is particularly great for when you want to use a more bronzed shade in the summer, as it gives it a more natural edge (overly-matte and orange is not a good look, as anyone who watches Snog Marry Avoid? will know).

£32, buy it here.



Darphin Perfecting Body Scrub – Review

29 Apr



Last week, a confusing thing happened. I was looking out of the window in the morning, and there was sun. People were walking to work without coats. I couldn’t see one puddle. I turned to my flatmate in bafflement, because I’d actually forgotten what to wear in such circumstances. Do you need a jacket in 19 degree temperatures? Can you get your legs out?

In the end I did both, feeling incredibly adventurous by bearing at last 4 INCHES of leg above my ankle for the trip to work. Unfortunately the legs in question were pasty and dull, after a winter in which they only times they’d been revealed were during marathon training sessions (needless to say, I didn’t even bother shaving them for those outings). Undoubtedly, it was time for operation summer skin had to commence.

I’ve been sent loads of fake tans recently so I’ll be reviewing those one by one, but first of all let’s look at one of the items I’ve been using to prepare myself for all that tanning – Darphin’s new Perfecting Body Scrub.

One thing I love about this product is that it’s much more gentle than some of the scrubs I’ve tried previously – the apricot seed flakes are big enough to exfoliate effectively, but not so big as to irritate the skin. It also washes off very easily, so you don’t get out of the shower only to find you’re still covered in little granules.

The smell and texture are very luxurious – as you would expect of a product of this price – although if you’re the type of person you likes a really foamy, lathery body wash you might be disappointed. Another sticking point is the packaging – maybe I’m being stupid but the cap on the bottle is really hard to open, especially if you have slippery wet hands in the shower!

Overall though I’d definitely recommend this product. It leaves skin feeling refreshed and radiant, ready for the next steps of your summer-goddess prep (to be continued…)

£29, buy here

Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF30 Review

1 Mar

dermalogica skinperfect spf 30I must apologise for being completely useless at blogging lately – would like to pretend it’s because I’ve been on a glamorous holiday but in fact it’s just that marathon training and work are taking over my life!

However, I just had to write about this new product I have been trying recently – Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF30 because it’s so bloody good.

I have to admit, I’ve been something of a latecomer to primer – what with cleansing, moisturising, spot zapping, concealing etc. it just seemed like another step to complicate things skin-wise!

However, now I am a complete convert, thanks to this product – a lifesaver for those with skin that’s uneven both in colour and texture (yup, I;m still  a teenager despite reaching my mid twenties).

The product has a slight tint so evens out redness before you apply foundation, as well as providing a smoother surface to work on. Unlike some other primers I’ve tried, it doesn’t cake or do that awful thing where you rub your hands over it and it comes off in little shreds (anyone who has experienced this will know what the hell I’m on about).

In fact, applying make up over the product is a dream, and it certainly makes both foundation and concealer last longer. That would be enough to convince me of the benefits of this product in itself, but even better – SPF 30! Now this is a brand that cares about skin.

Beauty editors are constantly warning that you should use sun protection year round, but as I mentioned earlier, adding another step to my face regime (slathering on the sun cream) is something I’m fairly reluctant to embrace. That means I’m always on the lookout for moisturisers, foundations and now primers that will do the job for me – so this one is perfect.

It’s pricey, but fab – and I use a fairly cheap foundation on top as my justification (Revlon PhotoReady – it’s fab!)

Price: £37.50




The Rules of First Date Make-Up

6 Feb

DO give yourself plenty of time. Arriving in a flap with mascara smudged across your face is not a good first impression.

DON’T wear bright lipstick – not unless you’re definitely not intending to kiss them! (if all else fails have wet wipes close by)

DO stick to your personal style. Always wear blue flicky eyeliner? Then he better accept from the start. (Unless your signature style is red lipstick, in which case, see above).

DON’T over-do it. ‘Applied with a trowel’ is not a good look.

DO take a little mirror on your bag. That way you can check just before arrival that you haven’t managed to mess it up.

DON’T worry if you’re having a bad skin day. Just invest in a brilliant concealer and remember that you always notice these things way more than anyone else.

DO go to the ladies during the evening to make sure you haven’t wiped your face off during that passionate conversation about why you’re so pleased Clapham now has a Waitrose.

DON’T wear so much hairspray he has to go outside for a breather every half an hour.

DO take a compliment – DON’T cackle and shout “you should SEE me without make-up” when you get one.

Winter Skin Savers

30 Nov

The coldest weekend EVER is coming up and guess where I’m going? To Scotland of course!

Yes, this Southern nancy is off up North – and I am going to be packing some serious layers.

As well as clothes, good skincare is important when the temperatures drop, in order to avoid tight, chapped and dry skin peaking out the gap between your scarf and your hat.

Here are some of my favourites:



Vaseline Lip Therapy – £1.99

Vaseline might lack the fancy packaging or exciting scents, but it’s the old favourite for a reason. I use this on my lips, cracked hands and when I’m feeling ultra-sexy, to soothe a chapped nose post-tissue fest.

johnsons-daily-essentials-moisturiserJohnsons Daily Essentials 24hr Day Cream with SPF 15 – £4.07

If like me, you have skin that somehow manages to be dry, oily, spotty, flakey, EVERYTHING at the same time then this is a good choice of moisturiser. It sinks in very quickly with no greasy residue, but still provides intense hydration. It smells lovely and is very gentle on sore spots (I’m talking about the nose again).

neutrogena-unscented-concentrated-hand-creamNeutrogena Concentrated Unscented Hand Cream – £2.39

This is the best hand cream I have ever tried for seriously sore hands. It doesn’t sting, delivers hardcore moisturisation and makes a noticeable difference to chapped skin within just a few uses. Also, I love the fact it’s unscented so you don’t spend the whole day eating food that only tastes of hand cream.



Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm – £1.89

Call me a bit paranoid, but I really hate using my fingers to apply lip balm when I’m out and about in London. Just thinking off all the bannisters, tube rails and Topshop pin-pads I’ve touched and all the germs I’m then rubbing onto my lips grosses me out a bit. In that case, it’s nice to have a tube lip balm like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter one – subtle smell, great results.



Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser Review

19 Nov



Exactly a month ago I wrote this post describing my spotty skinned plight and the new products I had bought to control it. Luckily, the skin is now looking a lot clearer, even though I completely failed in my attempt to cut out the sugar/alcohol/late-night chips.

Since I haven’t made any lifestyle changes whatsoever, I think I have to put any improvements in my skin down to the products, and the Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser is my favourite for defo.

It’s very easy to use – you simply spread the cream evenly over your face, leave for a minute, and then run the muslin cloth enclosed under warm water before using it to wipe off the cream.

I know this sounds strange, but my skin after using it just feels clean beyond clean! As in cleaner than when I’ve just got out of the shower or used a facial scrub like I normally do in the evening. You almost don’t want to put any moisturiser on because it will spoil the lovely pure feeling of a completely product-free face!

I would totally recommend this product, which although it’s £10, lasts a long time and really delivers good results. Also, you’ll normally be able to find it on some kind of 3 for 2 deal at Boots (how I love their special offers!)

Operation Spot Control

19 Oct

My skin is driving me crazy at the moment. I say ‘at the moment’ but actually it’s been driving me crazy ever since I was about 12, and my first spot appeared. Since then I’ve been plagued by the little bastards – to differing degrees of severity I must add – but I’ve never gone a day without a few lurkers spoiling my bid for perfect skin.

All I want is to be one of those girls who say things like “You wear foundation everyday? Oh I can’t be bothered!” (because obviously they don’t need to) or “Argh my skin is sooo bad today” when they have one tiny spot on their otherwise flawless complexion. Actually, I don’t want to be one of those girls, because they are annoying, but you get the idea.

I recently interviewed U.S. skincare expert Dr Murad for work. His theory is that the route to perfect skin is 20% topical (i.e. the lotions and potions you put on your face) and 80% to do with what’s going on inside: your diet, how much sleep you’ve had, how stressed you are etc. “When your heart is happy, your skin is glowing” was his motto – meaning you should set aside time to pamper yourself and promote some inner peace to give you a lovely complexion.

I’ve decided to combine the pampering sessions with some targeted skin products, in a bid to achieve gorgeousness. My products are:

La Roche-Posay Effaclair A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector – Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends has written about the efficacy of this brand, and although it’s pricey I’m willing to give it a bash. I also have the mattifying moisturiser which promises to tighten up pores –  that would be fab as the pores on my right cheek are probably visible from the moon.

Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser – I’ve read many articles singing the praises of  hot cloth cleanser, and I’m pretty sure the Guardian’s beauty writer Sali Hughes recommended this one specifically. After only one use I can definitely say it gives you a really good deep clean – intensive without the abrasiveness of a scrub.


Aveda Outer Peace Cooling Masque – promises to reduce sebum production and unclog pores. I am going to use this once a week as part of my ‘me time’ probably accompanied by a glass of wine and an episode of Snog Marry Avoid. It’s all about pampering yourself right?

I will report back on how effective this lot are – in the meantime if you have any amazing products or tips you can recommend, I would love to hear about them!

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