Escentric Molecules has fast become my new favourite perfumery brand due to the boundaries that they push in fragrance. If you are unaware of Escentric Molecules, they base each fragrance on a single aroma-molecule and create two separate fragrances from it; the Molecule scent will always contain just that single aroma-molecule and nothing else, whereas the Escentric scent will add extra ingredients to the molecule to further enhance the fragrance, this leads to the 4 different pairings – Molecule 01, Escentric 01, Molecule 02, Escentric 02, Molecule 03, Escentric 03 and most recently Molecule 04 and Escentric 04. Each pairing will smell very similar but Escentric will always be more complex and enhanced than the Molecule. Another way in which Escentric Molecules is revolutionising the perfume industry is through their fragrances being gender neutral, allowing them to be worn by both men and women.
Molecule 01 is the original and probably the brand’s most prolific fragrance, made up entirely of the aroma-molecule Iso E-Super, a synthetic molecule. It is the ultimate in minimalist fragrance, with Escentric Molecules describing it as containing an almost “hyper-modern cedarwood note”. I have found myself unaware of the scent after a few minutes, however the aroma will still be apparent to hours, with people stopping me in restaurants to ask what perfume I am wearing even 6 hours after I have sprayed it; I have never experienced this with another fragrance.
If you haven’t had a chance to try this fragrance (or any of the others from the range), get yourself down to Liberty London and take a whiff, I guarantee you will fall in love like I have! With the 30ml bottles costing £30 and 100ml £69, this perfume is not one to break the bank either!
I am lucky to have long and silky hair, however it is also extremely fine and therefore has a tendency to just hang there limp and lifeless. I have tried getting layers cut in, I have tried rollers, mousse, you name it but nothing ever works and due to my hair length curls drop out within minutes. Then, within the space of a year I found three different products that have remedied this issue: the Color Wow Carb Cocktail, Philip Kingsley Plumping Cream and Color Wow’s Raise The Root.
The Color Wow Carb Cocktail is a bionic tonic leave-in supplement that binds cellulose, oat bran and corn starch (carbs) to hair strands to thicken when blow dried and heat activated. I apply a small amount – about the size of a two pound coin – into my hands and then onto damp, towel dried hair that has been brushed through, making sure to focus the product on the ends and mid-lengths of the hair rather than the roots. I then brush through to ensure even distribution and then blow dry as I usually would, making sure to dry upside down too in order to ensure extra volume. This bionic cocktail really does an incredible job and thickens my hair to almost twice it’s size, just make sure to brush thoroughly as sometimes it can get a bit crazy. I would also recommend using a serum like Color Wow’s One Minute Transformation, as the Cocktail can leave hair looking quite dry.
The Philip Kingsley Plumping Cream is very similar to the Color Wow Cocktail in the sense that it is applied the same way, with the same amount needed and it also contains a wheat protein, which I guess acts similarly to the carb complex in the Cocktail to thicken individual hair strands. The main difference, however, is that the Plumping Cream acts as a serum too, ensuring a smoother and softer finish to that of the sometimes unruly and drying results of the Cocktail, whilst still reaching nearly the same volume. This is my current go-to product due to the fact that it is less hassle, however the Cocktail does still leave a bigger and longer lasting effect.
Color Wow’s Raise The Root is a ‘thicken and lift spray’ to give lift and fullness to limp, flat hair. Raise The Root contains flexible resins that form a thickening “spring” around strands to ensure volume and staying power. I use this with both of the products previously mentioned to add volume to the roots where they give thickness to the body by spraying on damp hair – concentrating mainly on the roots and then blow drying.
All of these products are great solutions for lifeless locks and really have saved my bad hair days. I would recommend the Color Wow Carb Cocktail for hair that needs extreme volume as this definitely does the better job but for just a bit of extra fullness I would go for the Plumping Cream as it leaves hair looking silkier and smoother.
It hasn’t been until the last six months that I have realised the incredible impact masking has on your skin and just how important it is to use more than just one.
I have slowly been introducing more masks into my skin regime when I have found myself tackling different problems. I began using clay masks when my skin started to break out as a way of drawing out impurities and have found that the SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque is the best of them, using earth clays and minerals it clears congested pores and removes any excess oil without irritation. I use this mask for 15 minutes approximately twice a week – mainly on a Sunday or Monday night to detox after a weekend of makeup and drinking and then again on a Wednesday or a Thursday for a mid-week decongestion. I find that using a foundation brush when applying this really helps for a smooth and even distribution of product to ensure even drying of the mask.
The next problem I encountered with my skin was when it finally began clearing up a bit I was left with dark marks and scarring from spots so I started using a peeling mask in the form of Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel. This mask uses enzymes and jojoba beads to help shed dead skin whilst vitamin C helps to reduce pigmentation and increase collagen production. I use this mask one a week, keeping it on for around ten minutes (the suggested time is 4 minutes, however I keep it on for longer for a better result). To apply you rub the exfoliator type cream into damp skin and washing off after the recommended time with a damp flannel. I will usually apply this mask on a Thursday or a Friday night so that I have a clearer and less pigmented complexion in time for the weekend.
The final issue I encountered was that after months of using strong products for my breakouts, my skin was beginning to dry out (especially after a couple nights of drinking and neglecting my skin regime) so I opted for a hydrating mask. I have never been tempted to try a hydrating mask due to the fact that I always thought it would break me out with my naive belief that moisture = spots, however I am now a convert thanks to the Vichy Quenching Mineral Masque. Although deeply nourishing, this mask is in no way rich with it being more of a gel consistency, so I am able to use this once every week or two – or whenever my skin feels dried out and in need of some TLC. Containing Vichy’s signature thermal water, this mask hydrates skin and can also provide a cooling relief to irritation or redness. You can either opt for a quick burst of moisture by keeping the mask on for 10 minutes and washing it off or as I do, by applying a thin layer and letting it sink in overnight with it being completely absorbed by morning – leaving you with soft and deeply nourished skin.
I cannot stress the importance of masking enough – if you haven’t tried it or if you feel like certain masks won’t work for your skin type, remember that your skin is constantly changing with different conditions and therefore constantly needs a different remedy without changing your day to day regime.
The only eyeshadow palette that I have used for the past year or so has been the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette and however gorgeous it is I found myself extremely bored and regularly resorted to using bronzer as eyeshadow instead as transitional shades were non existent… Enter the Morphe 350m palette.
I have heard incredible things about this palette but it was not until I tried it that I realised what I have been missing. This is holy grails of eyeshadow palettes, not just because of the easy to blend buttery texture or the hyper-pigmentation, but because of the colours – each colour is completely wearable, which can’t be said about many palettes. The red tones are completely on trend at the moment, with the two colours in the bottom right of the palette being by absolute go-to colours for nights out, with the top two rows being prefect for day looks or transition shades.
This palette costs just over £20 for 35 amazing matte colours and is so much more pigmented than most high-end brands that I have tried – I have not turned back to my Naked 2 palette since and I can’t see myself turning away from Morphe anytime soon – with the next on my list being the 350s so I can see how the shimmer shades compare!
For the past year my skin has been a complete mess and I have tried so many different products without any success – if anything most products made my skin even worse. After months of suffering from the worst breakouts I decided to do a complete skin-detox by not wearing any makeup during the weeks and using strong products that are formulated for acne-prone skin. Finally, my skin has completely cleared up and I could not be happier with it so I thought I would share my routine.
First I use SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Cleansing Gel – this cleanser is specially formulated with strong cleansing agents such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid to target acne. I will warn that this cleanser is extremely drying and very potent so I would suggest you only use this if you do have a breakout and switching to something gentler when you don’t. I apply this to my wet FOREO LUNA mini 2 device and use it on a damp face until the product is foaming – I use this all over my face avoiding the eye area for about 2 minutes. The LUNA mini 2 uses T-Sonic pulsations to provide a deep cleanse, I would really recommend using this over other cleansing devices as the silicone bristles are so much more hygienic and can’t store much bacteria, which is ideal when trying to clear up your skin.
After cleansing I use SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense. This serum contains Salicylic Acid, which helps to reduce the formation of acne and is specially designed to be used alongside the cleanser. This is an extremely active serum that you really feel working from the moment it touches the skin. Initially it may sting or burn you but don’t worry this is not a reaction and after a few uses you will no longer be able to feel these sensations as your skin will get used to the strength.
Following on from the first serum I apply La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+, which is a light gel-like cream that I use as a second serum, however oilier skin types may use this as their moisturiser. This product contains zinc, which is amazing for preventing and treating acne, it is also a lot gentler that the SkinCeuticals products and great for sensitive skin.
Finally, I apply La Roche-Posay Effaclar H to moisturise my skin. This cream claims to moisturise skin that has been weakened by drying skincare products and this is entirely true. The SkinCeuticals cleanser is so brilliantly effective, however it really does dry your skin out to the point that if you do not moisturise it will peel off (I have experienced this numerous times), so this moisturiser is the perfect product to combat dryness whilst still containing ingredients that prevent breakouts.
I am so much happier with my skin now and rather than trying to prevent breakouts I am finally able to work on trying to get rid of the scarring and blemishes left behind (the SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense is also great for scarring) and will soon post about what products I felt were the most effective for this.
I hope this helps – trust me if you stick to this it will make such a difference!
Last month Elle gave readers the Benefit ‘Goof Proof’ brow pencils, which I have since been addicted to and used every single day, so when I saw that Marie Claire were giving away an invisible eyebrow gel (the very product I having been looking to buy), I snapped it up immediately. Marie Claire retails at £3.99, so for that price you are also receiving a near full sized benefit product that would retail for nearly five times that amount. I have been using this product constantly as I’ve felt that my Model Co. brow gel was too pigmented and looked almost as if I was painting my brows, however this invisible gel shows your real brow colour through it and the result is a lot more natural.
One thing that I did find really odd about this product is the spoolie, which unlike other brow gel spoolies, is a hard one with bristles that don’t continue the whole way around, rather just on two of the sides. This has taken some getting used to as I feel like a softer spoolie gives off a softer effect. I have found myself using the spoolie from my Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Brow Definer’ on top of this, but I will probably give that up once I have become more accustomed to this brush.
Overall, I am really happy with this product, my eyebrows do not move all day and the transparent gel really proves for a more natural look. I would definitely recommend buying this month’s issue of Marie Claire to get this amazing product at a discounted price.
I have had absolutely no time to do any posts lately, as I have been non-stop for the past few months and this is the first weekend I have had at home in longer than I can remember. The last skincare regime that I shared was Liz Earle, however as you would know if you have read my past posts, this really did not work for me and it seemed to make my skin breakout due to the moisturising nature of the cleanser. I have since been using the Clarins Daily Energizer range for the past couple of months and it has definitely had a major impact on my skin and really changed it for the better. This range specifically targets younger women in their twenties and therefore provides solutions to the skin problems that we encounter.
The first product in the range that I have been using is the Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel. This product is so amazing and at only £13.50 for 75ml, this is a steal in relation to other Clarins products. This is a foaming gel cleanser and therefore the opposite of creamy moisturising Liz Earle cleanser, which I felt was the source of my bad skin. As this is a gel cleanser, it leaves skin dry after use and feeling a bit tight – whilst a lot of people dislike this in a cleanser, I really love it as it makes my skin feel so clean and it really feels like there is not a single bit of dirt left on my face. The ultimate positive of this cleanser is the fact that it makeup comes off so easily, so easily that even a full face of makeup is gone (without panda eyes) upon the first cleanse, leaving me not needing a second as I usually would with most other cleansers.
Next is the Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster, which is ultimately a toner and is applied after cleansing by applying with a cotton pad all over the face. Using this after my cleanser remedies the tightness and the dryness by rehydrating the skin and bringing it back to life with it’s green coffee and white tea extracts, which wake up the skin (as the name suggests). Toner for me is a really luxurious step in my skin regime and probably the part I most look forward to and this product in particular smells and feels great. This toner retails at £18, which really isn’t bad in comparison to other high end toners.
Finally, the star of the show as always… the Daily Energizer Cream. This moisturiser is everything! The texture is thick, without leaving your skin oily and shiny, it smells expensive and luxurious when it actually only costs £21, I go the entire day without my skin drying out or feeling oily, makeup glides on like a dream so there is no need for a primer… The list goes on and on, but the most important positive for me is the fact that this moisturiser does not make me break out! I still have a few blemishes here and there but as a whole, this skin regime has really settled the breakouts that I have been experiencing and I finally feel like my skin is on the road to recovery.
I highly recommend this range to younger women as it really does leave the skin feeling amazing without breaking the bank! I am coming to the end of these products with only a couple uses left in each but I would buy these all again in a heartbeat and I probably will, however I am going to move on to trying Elemental Herbology and will give you all an update on how that goes in a month or so!