Face Masks…

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Skin Regime For Acne/ Breakout Prone Skin…

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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!

 

 

Clarins Daily Energizer Range…

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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!

Go-To Evening Makeup…

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Prep:

  • Liz Earle – Cleanse and Polish
  • Liz Earle – Gentle Face Exfoliator
  • Liz Earle – Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer
  • Liz Earle – Skin Repair Moisturiser (Normal/Combination)
  • Nivea – Post-Shave Balm (Sensitive)
  • Gatineau – Defi Lift 3D Revolumising Lip Care

Base:

  • Charlotte Tilbury – Light Wonder Foundation (5 Medium)
  • Yves Saint Laurent – Touche Éclat
  • Benefit – Boi-ing Concealer (02)
  • Chanel – Soleil Tan de Chanel
  • Bobbi Brown – Shimmer Brick (Beige)
  • Benefit – Coralista Blusher

Eyebrows:

  • Benefit – Brow Zings
  • Model Co. – More Brows (Medium/Dark)

Eyes:

  • bareMinerals – Prime Time Eyelid Primer
  • Urban Decay – Naked 2 (Foxy, Tease and Chopper)
  • Benefit – Hoola Bronzer
  • Cynthia Rowley – Pencil Eyeliner
  • Rimmel – Glam Eyes Liquid Liner
  • Revlon – Eyelash Curler
  • Red Cherry – Eyelashes (#747 S)
  • Eylure – Lashfix Clear Finish Eyelash Glue
  • Benefit – They’re Real Mascara (Black)

Lips:

  • Makeup Academy – Lip Liner (Brooding Plum)
  • Mac – Matte Lipstick (Russian Red)
  • Stila – Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (Beso)

April Birchbox…

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This month Birchbox said that they were including a Benefit sample for every box, which I was so happy about because I love Benefit and haven’t received anything by them yet. I got the Benefit ‘Dew The Hoola’ liquid bronzer, which is the exact item I wanted as I almost purchased it a couple weeks ago for myself. I absolutely love the original Hoola bronzer, as it really is the perfect shade and definitely isn’t orange, however I am so sad to say that I really don’t think this product lives up to the hype surrounding it. I applied quite a lot and the moment is has buffered into the skin it is almost undetectable and this seems to me pretty pointless. I have a reasonably pale complexion but I definitely have more colour to my skin that a lot of other people so this may be one for the extremely fair girls to try out, as it may show up a lot better. I am still happy I got to try this as I probably would have ended up buying it for myself eventually and would have been more disappointed at paying £20+ for this product.

The second makeup item I received this month is the Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner. I have used this a couple of times and the staying power is incredible, I have mine on for probably around 8 hours and I even caught myself rubbing my eyes unintentionally and this stuff didn’t budge. It is incredibly creamy and pigmented and it glides on like an absolute dream. The only thing is if you are going to smudge it for a smokey effect like I did, do it quickly as it dried fast. Unfortunately, I am and always have been a liquid liner girl and I rarely line my waterline as I have quite small eyes and I don’t like closing them up even more, but I will definitely play around with this a few more times to find a look that suites me because I do really think it’s a great eyeliner.

For my skincare product this month I received the Balance Me ‘Tinted Wonder Eye Cream’. This is a really good concept that I’m surprised many brands have not caught onto yet because it seems the two elements of this product go hand in hand. This is a tinted eye cream that hydrates, plumps and firms the under eyes whilst concealing at the same time. I’m lucky to not suffer from bags or dark circles so personally I can’t see much of a difference, but I don’t tend to with any eye cream, however I can definitely feel my under eyes tightening after application and it definitely makes them feel a lot firmer.

My haircare product was the Parlor by Jeff Chastain ‘Detangling Leave-In Conditioner’. I wasn’t too excited about this product as I received a leave in conditioner by Number 4 a couple of months ago in my Birchbox and I really hated the smell of it so it kind of put me off them but I am happy to report that this one smells so good! It does what it says and detangles really well but I must admit the main reason I apply this is definitely for the smell, so I am super happy with this product.

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Finally, my bodycare product is one that I really was looking forward to using but am probably the most disappointed with. The Kueshi ‘Foot Care Cream’ is a foot cream that contains almond oil, royal jelly and tea tree oil so it smells amazing – I absolutely love the smell of tea tree oil, however it is so thing and I love a really thick foot cream that you can put socks on after and let soak in overnight, which is exactly why I love the Soap and Glory foot cream so much. I have used this a few times and there is no need to put on socks afterwards as it really does soak in immediately, but apart from the nice smell I haven’t noticed my feet being any softer.

Liz Earle Skin Regime…

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I briefly mentioned that I have started using a Liz Earle skin regime in my March Favourites post but I thought I would do an entire post dedicated to reviewing/talking about the whole line that I am currently using. I was not happy with my skin regime and found myself using bits from different brands and was unimpressed with the impact it was having on my skin, so for my birthday my mum bought me the Liz Earle starter pack, which contained the cleanser, tonic and a moisturiser, I have also since bought a couple more products. I have been using the majority of these products for about a month now, so I thought this would be a great time to post as I now have a good perspective on the long-term effects of these products.

As I have already said, I have been using these products for about a month and my skin has definitely changed! Only within the past week has my skin started to really show signs of improvement, as the first 2-3 weeks of using the product really caused my skin to break out it’s worst since I can remember, however I think this may be a good thing as I feel like all the impurities were being drawn out of my skin. My skin still has a couple of spots, but overall it has left my skin feeling softer, smoother, definitely more radiant and I have noticed that I no longer get any dry patches, so overall I am really happy with the results of the Liz Earle range. I also want to point out that Liz Earle is a cruelty-free range, and although I don’t by any means claim to only buy cruelty-free products, as most of mine probably aren’t, it is just another reason as to why this brand trumps others in terms of great quality skin-care.

Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

This is the product that I recently included in my March Favourites post, so I have already professed my love for it! I had heard so many amazing things about this cleanser before getting it myself and it definitely did not let me down in the slightest! I use one pump every morning and night and I massage it into my dry skin, I then use a hot, damp flannel to gently wipe off the cleanser on my skin and it leaves it so soft and fresh, as well as feeling cleaner than any other cleanser has left my skin! Unfortunately, I received this product whilst I was in Rome and managed to leave the muslin cloth that it came with in my hotel room, so I am yet to try one of those, but I can’t imagine it does much of a different job to a normal flannel!

Instant Boost Skin Tonic

The starter set that I got included a tiny 50ml skin tonic, which originally I was not all that excited about and wasn’t worried about the size of it, because I really only wanted the cleanser and moisturizer, but I was so wrong! This tonic smells so good, it literally smells like a spa, there is just no other way to describe the scent of it! It is pretty much finished now, but to use it I pour a generous amount onto a cotton pad and gently wipe it across my face and leave to dry for a couple of minutes before applying my moisturiser. This toner really soothes my skin and makes it feel so much fresher after using it.

Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer

This is literally the Instant Boost Skin Tonic in spray form! As I was drawing to the end of my smaller tonic, I decided that I wanted to get the spritzer when repurchasing because I felt that the amount of cotton pads used with the tonic was extremely wasteful. With the tonic spritzer, I just spray my face 3 or 4 times from a bit of a distance and let the product sink into my skin. The spritzer version probably does not have quite the same effect to when you wipe your face down with it, but it still feels refreshing and the smell is still the same so I feel like it is quite a luxurious step within my skin regime.

Skin Repair Light Moisturiser (Combination/Oily)

First I just want to state I received this moisturiser by accident, I meant to send my mum the link for the normal moisturiser but when she bought it, the link had somehow changed to the light. My mum also accidentally bought it for combination/oily skin, whereas I am normal/combination. From the start this product was never going to work for me, but seeing as I have used it a few times I thought I might as well review it! It is definitely an extremely light moisturiser, made even lighter by the fact it is made for oily skin types so I found my skin to be quite dry after a short time, this may also have been a contribution as to why my skin took a while to clear up after I started using this regime. However, one thing I did find this moisturiser good for was to use before applying the Nivea Post-Shave Balm as a primer, as the post-shave balm is quite a rich and moisturising product and therefore my moisturiser needed to be a lot lighter.

Skin Repair Moisturiser (Normal/Combination)

Finally, this is the last product that I purchased as a replacement for the light moisturiser and I am SO much happier with this! The product smells exactly the same as the light moisturiser (a smell I must admit I am not too keen on), but the texture is so different and in the pot it almost feels like a body butter, it is so smooth and silky and an absolute dream to scoop out and apply! This definitely keeps my skin hydrated and I find that this is the product that has really made all the difference to my skin. I was initially a bit sceptical about using the same cream for day and night, as I usually like a thicker, more hydrating product for night-time but this is such a great all rounder. Can’t see myself changing moisturiser any time soon!

Overall I am incredibly happy that I decided to try out the whole Liz Earle skin regime, as I feel like products within the same brand are all made to work with each other and therefore the outcome will be so much better than if I were to use odd products from different brands. I definitely encourage anyone looking for a new regime to try out Liz Earle, as it isn’t too pricey and yet gives beautiful results! I am planning on buying the exfoliator next and will do a review of that when I do, but in the meantime if anyone has used it, I would love to know your thoughts!?