beauty

Fridays beauty findings – a review of Nip + Fab No Needle Fix Night Cream and Glycolic Instant Fix Mask

Last week I managed to grab the Nip + Fab No Needle Fix Night Cream and Glycolic Instant Fix Mask on offer in Superdrug as well as their own brand B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz.  For the last 7 days I have incorporated these into my routine to see if they are any good.

I have used the No Needle Fix Night Cream each night before bed and the best way I can describe it is that it has the consistency of Sudocrem.  Thick but blendable. It smells a little chemically with a hint of orange but nothing that would be enough to put me off wanting to use it.  I can honestly say that I noticed a difference in my skin after the first night and after 3 nights one of my coworkers commented that my skin was glowing.

The No Needle Fix Night Cream is made with retinol.  According to dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD, retinoids assist in reducing the signs of ageing by “prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly, making way for new cell growth underneath”.  While I feel  it has made a difference to my skin, it does apparently take 3 – 6 months to notice real difference.  Will I stick with it for that long?  Perhaps, I can’t say I might not switch to another brand with retinol but I do intend to keep using retinol in my routine to see if it can help me maintain healthier skin.

If you decide you want to try the No Needle Fix Night Cream please remember that you do need to use a sunscreen on your skin daily to protect it from the sun.

Next was the Glycolic Instant Fix Mask which I used twice during the week.  Again a chemically fragrance to it but nothing too offensive to put me off. I wanted to give this a go because with glycolic acid being an alpha hydroxi acid (AHA), its a great exfoliator.
Glycolic acid works by kind of eating away at the top layer of dead skin cells and dissolving them, leaving you with the brighter and fresher looking skin from underneath and in doing so helps reduce the signs of fine lines and ageing.
Has the mask reversed the signs of ageing and left me looking like a teenager?  No but it has made my skin feel much smoother after each use.  Again it is something I will keep in my regular rotation along with my AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution by The Ordinary.
Last but not least was the B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz.  I am a HUGE fan of Hyaluronic Acid and as the one I haven’t got around to reordering my usual one from The Ordinary, I figured this was worth a go as it was only £3.95.  Hyaluronic acid helps to keep the skin plump and hydrated, it’s a clever little ingredient that draws the water into your skin and in doing so keeps those pesky fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
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The B.Hydrated Hyaluronic Facial Spritz is £3.95 from Superdrug

I really can’t say I noticed any difference from this products use.  It is supposed to help hydrate the skin for up to 12 hours but if I am honest it felt like little more than a refreshing spritz to the skin.  I wouldn’t buy it again but if you were traveling somewhere hot and wanted a spritz to cool yourself down, I would say you wouldn’t go to far wrong with this as an option.  If you want to see the effects of hyaluronic acid…. then go check out The Ordinary!

 If you’ve tried any of these products, let me know how you found them x
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beauty

Kylie is turning 50 and this is how she stays looking young!

This morning I turned on the TV and Lorraine was on talking about beauty treatments currently popular in Hollywood, so naturally I kept her on the TV to watch.  I’m glad I did because the next segment was on Kylie and one of the questions she was asked was what her top tips are for keeping her youthful looks.  Her response was great and so I thought I would share them with you.

First up she said “Sunblock” and I very much agree.  If you follow me on Instagram you may have spotted I am a big fan of wearing Ultra Sun SPF 30 on my face daily.  It’s light, sinks in quickly and leaves a matte feel on the skin which is perfect to apply makeup over.  If you aren’t a fan of the idea of adding an extra step in with an SPF then try to pick a moisturiser or foundation with an SPF built in.

Her next tip was to clean your skin with a muslin cloth.  A muslin cloth will offer a daily gentle exfoliation and it is a great way to make sure you are removing the grease of the day and all your makeup in one go.  They can easily be used with any cleanser and fit in with your own daily cleansing routine (though there are some fabulous cruelty free cleansers out there intended to be used with muslin cloths – keep an eye out for a future blog on this topic soon).

“Always take your makeup off” she said while affirming that this is something she makes sure she does every evening.    The main problem with sleeping in makeup is that we block our pores and long term this can cause breakouts and blackheads which lets be honest, none of us want.   Dr. Schweiger told the Huffington Post that “Sleeping in your makeup can result in unnecessary exposure to the free radicals in the environment, which the makeup holds on to” and additionally that “free radicals cause the breakdown of healthy collagen, which results in fine lines on the skin.” Eeeeek, if I didn’t already take my makeup off in the evening, I sure would now.

Last but not least she said we should invest in a good dermatologist for regular treatments if we can afford it.  I appreciate that not every one can but we can sure as heck make sure we take good care of our skin at home using effective products that don’t necessarily cost the earth and if you do want to go for treatments that wont cost the earth I am a big fan of supporting local training schools because that is where every good beauty therapist out there started out.

Happy Birthday Kylie, here’s to turning 50, may we all look as amazing as you in our “golden” year x

beauty

Save £10 with the House of Fraser Beauty Event!

House of Fraser currently have £10 off when you spend £50 or more on their beauty favorites!

A quick look and I can see their favorites list contains lots of cruelty free brands including:

  • Bare Minerals
  • Charlotte Tilbury
  • Elemis
  • Pixi
  • Stila
  • Urban Decay

Some of the products I noticed and would be tempted by include the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation and I enjoyed the Urban Decay Naked Skin Complete Coverage Concealer so I would recommend trying that.  Some of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes are also included in the offer as is the Pixi Glow Tonic.

The offer is available in store as well as online so if you were already planning on picking up a few bits you’re quids in!  Enjoy the savings.

Emmy x

 

beauty

Review of The Body Shops Vitamin C exfoliators

 

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I was lucky enough to be gifted these products from a friend last week and  I decided to give them both a go so I could compare their effects.

The first one I tried was the Glow Revealing Liquid Peel.  This is supposed to lift any pollutants that are sitting on the surface of our skin.  I applied it but when I started to massage it in for it to form clumps that I could brush/take off my skin I realised I was actually pulling the hairs on my face with it and it pinched!  I grabbed a wash cloth and even then I still found it really difficult to remove those balls of product as they were almost glued onto any downy hairs on my face.

A few days later I gave the Glow Boosting Microdermabrasion exfoliator a go.  This is more like a traditional scrub.  It has very fine particles and ground garnet (my birth stone ironically) to exfolite the skin thoroughly.  I REALLY liked this one.  It felt like it gave my face a really good scrub and my skin was left both soft and smoother to the touch after using it.

I did have a moment of “oh my gosh I didn’t check if this has microbeads!” but you will be glad to know The Body Shop do not use any plastic microbeads in their exfoliators, winner!

Overall I really can’t see how the Glow Revealing Liquid Peel has such amazing reviews, it has a 4.5 out of 5 on their website and that leaves me baffled because I just really couldn’t get on with this product (and neither could my friend which is why he gave it to me).  I can however see why the Glow Boosting Microdermabrasion has a 5 out of 5 on their website!  Hands down love it and would 100% recommend it to anyone looking to try it.

beauty, Christmas

The Body Shop Opening, Newry (and a mini haul)

Nothing is more exciting than going into a beauty store and knowing EVERYTHING is cruelty free and suitable for vegetarians.  Yesterday The Body Shop opened in The Quays in Newry, so clearly I took  dander down on my lunch break to see what the craic was and of course to buy a few bits while I was there.

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The main display as I walked in were their body butters.  I guess it’s one of the things they are best known for.  Not something I have ever gone in to purchase but I can appreciate that if you love a good fruity fragranced body butter that The Body Shop is a good place to go.

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I do however really rate their makeup range and what I really wanted was to get a new foundation brush and one of their Star Stamp Liners.  I spent a bit of time looking at their cosmetics on my own and one of their sales assistants then came to chat to me.  Asking me what I wanted and showing me stuff.  She was very lovely to chat to and she was keen to share with me her favorite products (a tea tree spot treatment if you are wondering) she was talking to me about the brushes but as I already have almost all of them there really was only one I wanted which was the foundation buffing brush.  I then asked for the stamper as I couldn’t see it but sadly they didn’t have any and aren’t sure when they will be getting them in.  I really wanted the free gift and so I decided to buy some InstaBlur to try out, it was then I was advised both the items I had picked were on 3 for 2… so I had to pick another item.  Gosh it was hard to actually pick a 3rd item, which tells me I really didn’t need/want anything else but in the spirit of getting an item free I picked one of their new cleansers to try.

In between the cleansers and the makeup they had this little table and I have to say I really liked the make-up station.  I can imagine it would be great for somebody who wasn’t sure what makeup they wanted and really needed to see it on.

Make up station

They had 2 or 3 stations on each side of the shop highlighting some key products and the Love Your Body offer of “Spend £25 and get this £20 gift free”.  The gift being a full size Vanilla Pumpkin body butter and matching shower gel.

I was a little surprised to see gifts reduced in price and put on sale for their opening event.  With Christmas coming up it doesn’t strike me as a time when a store needs to put things on sale, especially when it’s a store that already has some great offers with 3 for 2 and free gifts with a £25 spend.  I’m sure some customers were thrilled to nab a bargain though.

The product that seemed to be doing most of the pulling was their Vanilla Pumpkin body butter.  It was on prominent display and also a product that was in the free gift.  From speaking to people whom I knew were excited for the opening, I also know this is one of the products they were most excited to try.  To me it smelt a bit like a sweet latte from Starbucks.  It wouldn’t be something I would use, however I can again see why other people like it and it will make for a fab Christmas gift.

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When I got to the till I handed over my 3 items and the lady serving me (I actually think it was the manager) was a bit confused using the till system.  She wasn’t sure if my 3 for 2 offer had gone through and had to get a girl who I assume was over to train them to come check.  Thankfully it had gone through and my total spend was £29 so I dutifully handed over my Love Your Body card to get my free gift (It was also double points if you were shopping yesterday and today).

And there we have it, my mini haul of 5 items which involved a spend of £29 to get £61 worth of products.  Bargain!  But you want to know what I make of them all right?

Well, the foundation brush is pretty amazing.  I used it to apply my foundation this morning and it not only did a great job but felt insanely soft.  It’s part of why I love brushes by The Body Shop – they always feel amazing on the skin and do a good job. Back when I was training in beauty I would only keep cruelty free brushes in my kit and it was hard to find a company offering quality brushes that didn’t cost a bomb.  I was over the moon that The Body Shop fitted the bill and have been converting people to their brushes ever since.  The InstaBlur primer is also pretty good.  It makes my skin feel silky and makeup glide on easier.

I feel a little indifferent about the Drops of Light Pure Clarifying Foam Wash.  It cleans my face okay and it smells pleasant but it just wouldn’t be something that leaves my skin feeling “oh wow!” to make me want to buy it again.

So that’s that.  The Body Shop is now open in Newry and it offers the same stable, fragrant range we all have come to expect from them along with pleasant customer service.   Now for them to hurry up and get the eye stamper I want in time for me to wear over the Halloween and Christmas period.

 

beauty, Christmas

The best cruelty free advent calendars for 2017

I get it, it’s only October and you don’t want to think about Christmas yet BUT if you want one of the really good beauty advent calendars you generally need to get in there early to avoid disappointment because some of them are already selling out!

I have been browsing my favorite brands and here are my top suggestions for Cruelty Free Beauty advent calendars for 2017.

The Body Shop, £45-£99 (Vegetarian)

These guys have not one, not two but three options ranging from £45 – £99 depending on the budget you want to stick to.  The great thing with these ones is you get more product value than you pay for the calendar.  There are however none suitable for vegans which is a real shame when they had 3 boxes to play with.


 

Lush, £67.50 (Vegan)

Lush gift boxes are always beautiful at Christmas and this year is no exception.  The 2017 range again includes the 12 days of Christmas which is as aesthetically pleasing as always and vegan friendly.  At £67.50 it does work out more than buying the products individually but if like me you love the boxes and reuse them then it’s a winner!

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Sleek, £35 (Vegetarian)

This one looks like it has already sold out Boots.com but may still be available in your store if you are lucky.  It is also part of their popular Christmas 3 for 2 mix and match. Packed with loads of beautiful cosmetics it’s a sure fire winner for anyone who loves makeup treats and also contains some exclusive items!

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NYX, £50 (Vegetarian)

Lip lovers rejoice, this advent calendar by NYX is for you.  24 lipsticks to see you through the Christmas season and more with a variety of colours and textures to suit everyone.

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Soap and Glory, £40 (not vegetarian or vegan)

Also taking part in the Boots 3 for 2 offer is the Soap and Glory “it’s a calendar, girls” which is filled with sweet smelling delights.  All items are minis and perfect for anyone who likes to try smaller sizes of new products or for putting into your travel bag.

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Revolution, £50 – currently on offer for £30 in Superdrug (Unsure)

Perfect selection of makeup for a beauty enthusiast with this calendar containing a range of products for the face, eyes and lips.  If you love your hilighters then I also feel this will be a winner for you.

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Revolution, £120 currently on offer for £70 in Superdrug (Unsure)

Say what now? Revolution again? Well, yes.  They also have this fabulous Christmas Tree advent calendar available with a great range of makeup and brushes hidden in its boxes.

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Charlotte Tilbury, £150 (would be vegan if it weren’t for the lip colours)

Another 12 day option with beautiful high end products.  Note that they sometimes use carmine (yuck!) And i believe they use it in the lip colours.  Fine if you just want cruelty free, not so much for veggies and vegans.

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Superdrug Bloom, £24 but currently on offer for £12 (vegan)

12 days of new fragrances with this cute little offering from Superdrug.  Perfect if you aren’t looking any new makeup but enjoy trying new scents.

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Superdrug Studio London festive as beauty, £16 currently on offer for £8 (vegetarian)

If you don’t want to commit to a big spend on a cosmetics advent calendar then this is a great option with lots of fun cosmetics to try out.  It contains everything from eyeshadow quads to mascara and lip gloss.  I’d say It would also be perfect for a teenager starting to experiment with make-up.

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Bare Minerals box of wonders, £75 (shockingly neither vegetarian nor vegan!)

Amazing value for money as it contains £238 worth of product.  A 24 day calendar and a must for any Bare Minerals devotee.  It’s such a shame it includes Carmine or I think this would have been my first choice of advent calendar for 2017!

beauty

The Dermalogica 30:30:30 facial review

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You may have noticed that I love trying to take care of my skin and facials are something I go for fairly regularly.  Last week I visited local salon Thee One in Warrenpoint for a Dermalogica facial.  I had the Dermalogica 30:30:30 facial which is a 30 minute facial for £30 with 30 days worth of products to take home.  It is a short facial with less pampering but all the effect of a good facial.

It was a little bit of a maze when I arrived but I found the therapist who took me up to their relaxation room to wait in before my treatment.  The relaxation room was nice, dimly lit with a star lit sky effect on the ceiling and comfy loungers to wait on.

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When I was taken for my facial the room was pleasent and the bed looked super comfy with a big warm duvet on top.  Now i had heard this place does a good skin analysis with a clever machine, however my experience was the therapist asking me what my skin was like.  I told her combination with a very oily t-zone.  She disagreed, said my skin wasn’t oily but looked dehydrated around my jaw and normal everywhere else.  That was a real shame because I KNOW my own skin pretty well so telling me I’m not oily just made me question her knowledge from the get go.

When I was tucked up on the bed the therapist came in to perform the treatment, starting with cleansing my skin.  It was when she was cleansing the skin she realised I was quite right and commented that she could feel how oily my nose and central forehead was and proceeded the rest of the facial with products suited for oily to normal skin.

After my pre cleanse she performed a cleanse using the Special Cleansing Gel.  This was followed up with the Skin Prep exfoliator.  In the past I have used the dermalogical daily microfoliant which I haven’t much enjoyed but actually after this facial my skin felt so soft that I was super impressed with the skin prep as an exfoliator.

The toner smelt nothing short of amazing and the hydrating mask was also nice.  While the mask was on I recieved a short head massage which was lovely, I’m a sucker for a head massage and then I was left for 10 minutes to relax while she got my free 30 day kit.  When she returned she removed the mask and applied the Active Moist moisturiser to suit my oily skin, it felt good on but I was a bit sad it doesn’t contain SPF.

And that was that, she told me what was in my kit and I was left to get ready to go down and pay.  I won’t lie, I really did feel a bit sad I didn’t get a skin map as part of my consultation as I love skin geek things like that.  It was also at this point I realised they didn’t take card – whoops!  Wish they had said to me when I booked the appointment.

Overall the salon is lovely, the girl who did my treatment also seemed lovely but my experience of the treatment was marred a little by not getting what I had expected from the consultation itself.  I would 100% have this treatment again and the 30 day skincare kit is fantastic but I would be likely to go elsewhere in order to guarantee a full experience of the skin mapping process.

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