I have found face masks to be the most exciting skincare product as of late, every week there seems to be a brand new, totally innovative, mask added to the market - and I am totally down for this. I own more face masks than I care to admit, despite them being a bi-weekly occurrence in my skincare routine I still shell out the pounds on so many of them because I just have to see how they work.
The newest addition to said face mask collection is the Dr.Jart + Trans-Foam Clay Moisturising Pink, a triple functioning wash-off clay mask that turns into a foaming cleanser when it comes into contact with water, providing deep hydration while cleaning pores and lightly exfoliating the skin.
I love pretty much everything about the idea of this mask, a clay mask to help cleanse and exfoliate the skin with the additional benefits of the pink clay to keep my dry skin hydrated, perfect. But the results of using this product are much better than I could have expected. This really makes my skin feel squeaky clean after use, my pores feel cleared and I know that all of my makeup has been properly removed. It doesn't leave my skin feeling dry and tight like some other clay masks can tend to do, but leaves it feeling pretty hydrated - but still, doesn't allow me to skip moisturizer or anything that drastic.
I wouldn't use this mask to initially remove my makeup as I feel like it would defeat the purpose and stop it from working so well. Instead, I think of this almost like a double cleanse after removing my makeup with another cleanser.
I love this mask and the ease of use, but most importantly the results it gives. I think this is going to be a lifesaver for anyone that has dry skin but still struggles with blemishes.
It's been a while since I have done any sort of 'favourites' post, at least when it comes to makeup - I have been trying out a bunch of new makeup recently, as well as rediscovering some old favourites. Here are some of the highlights of the last month in the world of makeup for me.
I've always been so dead loyal with the Mary Lou Manizer highlighter, up until last month when I started to expand my horizons in the highlighting world. My most noteworthy foray into this has been this Tarte palette; housed in perfect matte black and gold packaging (because let's be real, could you imagine Tarte ever coming out with sub-par packaging?) you get three powders, two highlights and one bronzer. I really love the bronzer to start with, but be warned all those pale skin; it is pretty warm so be careful not to go in too heavy handed with the application of this. The two highlighters are super pretty; the shade 'burst' in the middle is a very yellow-toned highlighter that is pretty powdery and pigmented - I can imagine this not working too well on darker skin tones as it really is noticeable on the skin. The shade 'gleam' however is perfect, it gives the perfect highlight to the cheekbones with an amazing wet-look to it.
This is one of those products that you start out hating, leaving it alone for a while, then by chance one day use it again and figure out you were wrong all along and you now love it. I probably used this mascara maybe once when I first got it and found it way too clumpy and thick. Maybe now that it has dried down a little it has become a lot easier to work with. This mascara delivers some serious volume, definitely living up to the false lash-like effect that it promises. That being said you do have to be a little careful with application to avoid it being overly clumpy, I find that you have to focus a little more on really brushing through the eyelashes instead of it being a speedy application. But if you take a little extra time this really looks beautiful on the lashes.
Supposed to be an Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder dupe, I've found that this highlighter works so well as a bronzer on my pale skin. It's radiant without being full of glitter so applied on the cheeks it gives a beautiful natural glow that's not too dark and pigmented - making it perfect for the days when I don't really want to wear too much makeup. For anyone who has darker skin this would make a beautiful highlight, but luckily for us pale girls, it doubles up as an awesome bronzer.
I love these speedy one-swipe eyeshadow sticks, they make everything so much easier and quicker. In particular the Kiko shadow sticks are one of my favourites. They are creamy and easy to blend out while remaining pigmented. My favourite colour is dark taupe which is a rich brown with a little bit of shimmer, it works so well on it's own so its perfect for the days when I am in a rush,
I have never been a coral kind of girl, I've always gone for the nude pinks when it comes to lips and blushes but since trying this product out my mind has been completely changed. This is such a gorgeous coral shade which really complements my pale skin and pulls together an entire look effortlessly. It is creamy and hydrating and doesn't apply patchy to either the cheeks or the lips. This is a winning product and its multi-tasking ways makes it a handbag essential for sure.
At this point I don't even want to know how much money I have spent on skincare during my beauty obsessed years, I think my eyes would water at the thought of it. But why do we all feel the need to spend hundreds on the newest moisturiser that just about promises to give you a brand new face. For a few weeks I decided to ditch the high end products and instead opt for a natural-do-it-yourself routine. The rules? Make all the skincare products yourself and wait for the results. Inspired by this post from the beauty bible that is Intothegloss I had a headstart with the different DIY's I could do to replace the usual suspects of my skincare wardrobe.
Makeup Removal: This was a hard one, I'm a die-hard Bioderma fan with the simple idea that simply nothing can remove my waterproof mascara like a micellar water can. But the solution? Olive oil. Now if you think about this, the idea of using olive oil as a makeup remover isn't really that farfetched as it's not too different from your usual cleansing oil, just a lot more natural. This is the best thing I have found to remove all my makeup perfectly, the only downside is that it is pretty messy but that's no bother if you're using it in the shower.
Cleansing and Moisturising: From this experience, I have learned that coconut oil is a skin care lifesaver. It's moisturizing and just as hydrating as some of my other far more expensive cleansers and moisturisers. I seriously cover my whole body with this stuff and have no regrets (and neither does my wallet).
Exfoliator: I was pretty early to the all-natural exoliator bus, I have been using an oat scrub for years now. Basically, take a hand full of oats, mix with some warm water and you have a scrub perfect for sensitive skin. Oats are an anti-inflammatory and mild cleanser that's easy on even the most sensitive of skins.
The effects of going all-natural are just as good as you would imagine, clearer skin that felt so much less sensitive due to removing the unwanted chemicals from my skincare routine. All in all it was a good experience, though requiring a lot more effort. I am not switching over to a fully natural skincare routine but I am well on my way to treating my skin a lot better.
How many of you have used an essence? More to the point, how many actually know what they are supposed to do for your skin. I fall into the large category of not really knowing what an essence is and is not. Every day I diligently apply my essence hoping that it's going to work miracles and, although I believe when everyone tells me that it is a crucial part of my routine, I really don't know why.
You just need to type in 'What is an essence' into any search engine and you will be faced with a magnitude of results of people explaining the main skincare question we're all asking. A site I trust when it comes to all things K-beauty is Soko Glam, and so was the base of my investigation into the modern-day mystery that is the essence.
So in the most basic form, an essence is a concentrated formula that targets things like wrinkles, dull and aging skin. Basically, think of an essence as turning back time for your skin and making it appear far more youthful and healthy. This is down to the plethora of active ingredients housed in the watery formula that works to penetrate deep into your skin, making it far more effective than your usual skincare product.
The first essence that I explored was not really a good place to start, it was the Muji Sensitive All in One Essence, which left me feeling even more confused when it came to the topic of essences. This essence is all about calming down the skin with the help of ingredients like chamomile and rose - although this essence calmed my skin down and made it look less red, that was the extent of its effects. It really didn't do anything more than my usual calming toner would do. For a while after this I gave up with essences, thinking they were an unnecessary step.
But then enter the Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion, aka the product that lighted my love for essences. This did everything that everyone had promised me an essence would do; made my skin look more youthful, bright and hydrated. And I was officially sold on all things essence. I've noticed such a significant difference in my skin since incorporating this product into my routine, it's the cherry on top to make my skin look the best that it can be.
My next step is to explore the world of real Korean essences, as if the Western take on the cult product is anything to go by I'm sure the K-essences are going to be amazing. Below are some links to other essences that, although I haven't tried, I have heard so many good things about.
I am a hardcore fan of the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh perfume, I have been repurchasing it for so many years now and no perfume has ever compared to it. I am such a fan of the really light floral/sweet perfumes that aren't too offensive and strong but still smell really good and I feel like the Daisy Eau so Fresh is the ultimate perfume in this category. The only downside, the high price tag. It's something that I can't just repurchase every time I run out, I have been on the hunt for a similar scent for such a long time but nothing has had the same 'lightness' and freshness of Daisy.
While shopping in Zara I wandered upon their perfumes, I've never really given them a second look before but have heard a few good things, plus for just under €10 for a 100ml bottle it's definitely a bargain. They really do have a huge selection of different scents, one for everyone no matter your preference.
I chose the Orchid Eau de Parfum as it really reminded me of my oh-so-loved Daisy perfume. It's a floral scent with notes of; Bergamot, Rose, Blackcurrant, Lily of the valley, Peach, Cedarwood, Musk, and Amber. Altogether these scents blend so perfectly together to make this perfect everyday perfume that just screams Spring/Summer. The scent lingers so nicely, it is definitely noticeable - getting a whiff of the scent every time you move, but it's not going to give you a headache or anything while you're wearing it. This is what I would describe as a very 'me' scent, and although I am not going to stop buying my Daisy perfume in place for this one, this is just the kind of perfume I want to keep me going when I'm waiting to repurchase my favourite. And for Zara perfumes in general they are definitely something that you should consider giving a go!
I'm currently going through a pretty rough patch with my skin, it's red, has an uneven texture and extremely prone to breakouts. I have always had pretty clear skin that needs little maintenance to keep it looking good. There isn't really any reason for this sudden downturn in the appearance of my skin; I am not being any more unhealthy than I have been before, not added any new products into my routine, generally, all has been the same so this change in my skin is unexpected, to say the least. I've always had my trusty breakout-banishing products like Serozinc, Effaclar Duo, Origins Clear Improvement Mask, but these are no longer doing the job so here goes my journey to sort out my skin and get it back to the way it was once before.
The first thing I picked up to battle my not-so-perfect skin is the Dr. Jart+ Trans-foam Clay Pink Mask. For me I always feel like clay works really well with my skin, it's an ingredient that helps to pull out the impurities from your skin, giving you a deep cleanse that leaves you with clearer skin. Along with this Dr. Jart has always been a brand that I have wanted to try so this product seemed like a perfect match for me. This product is a triple functioning wash-off clay mask, it's interesting because you apply the product like you would any other clay mask, leaving it on for about 10 minutes. But when you add water it turns into a foaming cleanser which makes it easy to remove but also really makes it feel like its cleansing and cleaning your skin. It's packed with moisturising pink clay so not only is the mask really getting all the dirt out of your pores but it moisturises and brightens your complexion at the same time while gently exfoliating. You can actually use this mask to remove your makeup but for me, I think it makes much more sense to use this as you would a normal mask when you have already removed your makeup and thinking of this as more of a double cleanse to finish off your routine.
Then we have the Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment Complex. I am by no means an expert when it comes to essences, I'm not really completely sure on what they do additional to something like a serum, all I know is that everyone tells me that they are something that I should religiously add to my skincare routine. I have been recommended this essence in particular for a long time now, and Origins is a skincare brand that I really trust so these two things combined gave me the hope that this product would really work for me and make essences an essential product for my skin.
This essence is all about boosting the glow and moisturising your skin, it's supposed to make your skin go back to what it was like originally (aka exactly what I am looking for right now). The whole ferment thing may put you off as it's not really the kind of thing you want to willingly put on your face. In this, the essence is fortified with dynamic Dual Ferment Complex that enhances the blend of Willowherb and Persian Silk Tree. The formula of this is a very liquidy lotion that isn't oily and feels very lightweight on the skin, I usually use this as the last step of my skincare routine just before I apply my moisturiser, morning and night.
Tarte has long been one of my favourite makeup brands, ever since falling in love with their Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed after purchasing it in New York it's been a brand that I have admired from afar before it was available to be shipped to the UK. During a free shopping offer, I added to my Tarte stash and am falling in love with everything about this brand even more.
The main reason for my purchase was to pick up the cult-favourite concealer Shape Tape, a lot of products get hyped up but this product exceeds the hype of anything else. I feel like every Youtube video I have watched in the past few months has featured this product. And when everyone is talking, I can't help but listen. And this concealer really is as good as everyone says it is; full coverage, not cakey and creamy - what more could you want. Even after a few weeks of using it I would say that it is up there with my all-time favourite Urban Decay Naked Concealer. I have mine in the fair neutral shade and it is a great light and brightening colour that looks great under the eyes.
Because I couldn't just buy one thing I picked up the Glow to Go Highlight and Contour Palette which contains two powder highights and one powder bronzer. The bronzer is a very warm shade and very pigmented so I have to be careful not to go too overboard with this as it can tend to show up a little orange on my pale skin if I go in too heavy handed. The top highlighter is my favourite, it's so shimmery and almost wet looking when applied to the skin which makes it perfect for an intense highlight without looking way too obvious. The middle highlighter has quite a lot of pigment, rather than it being straight up shimmery it is quite a pale colour that shows up on the skin so it's not something that I would wear alone but mixed with the top highlighter it looks great.
Finally just to get my order eligible for the free shipping I picked up a gift set containing two of their Tarteist Clay Paint Eyeliners and also a brush to apply them with. I found the application of these a lot easier than I expcted, the bend in the brush actually made it super simple to keep close to the lashline and see what you're doing - as well as creating a killer wing. I really love the black eyeliner but I feel like the shimmery brown shade doesn't have a lot of pigment. But this doesn't really matter much to me as I kind of like how un-intense it is as it pulls together a bronzey look really nicely without stealing all the attention.
Sheet masks are having a moment right now, and boy is there a lot of them on the market now. From walking into your local Superdrug and picking up a sheet mask for a quid to emptying your whole wallet on a pack of high-end everything-infused masks. Whatever your budget there is a sheet mask for you.
Although part of me will always view sheet masks as an overpriced gimmick I can't help but continueing to add them to my basket every time one piques my interest in the aisles of Sephora. A sheet mask with snail slime in it? Sign me up, every time. They are a good way to test out new formulas and ingredients on your skin without having to devote yourself to a huge tub of face mask so in that sense they are good. But for me, I will always see them as an occasional treat rather than a daily skincare staple. That being said, here are some noteworthy sheet masks that I have been using recently.
Firstly is an old favorite that I still love and use, the Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Masks that use breakthrough 3D timed release hyaluronic acid - an ingredient that is oh-so-good for dry and dehydrated skin like mine. For when my skin is feeling dry, dull and in need of an intense shot of hydration this is the mask that I will go for as it leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth. When you have a big event or something that you want to look good for, this is the perfect mask to use before doing your makeup as it creates a hydrated base and allows for your makeup to apply so much easier and flawlessly.
Another mask that I have tried recently is the Erborian Blanc de Shot Mask. this mask is supposed to enhance your skin's radiance, illuminating your complexion and reducing the appearance of an uneven skin tone. These are always the kind of face masks that I reach for because I am all about glow-giving products, and because I've used these kinds of masks a lot I didn't think that this mask was as good as others I have tried, for example, the Sephora Pearl Mask. Upon removal, I just don't think that my skin looked any difference and especially from a single-use mask you want to see some kind of instant results but I didn't really see anything besides a subtle glow. So this isn't a mask that I would buy again which is a shame because I have heard so many good things about the Erborian brand so hopefully their other products will work better on my skin.
Finally, and the star of the sheet mask show, is the Nuxe Anti - Dark Spot Perfecting Mask which is one of the only sheet masks that I have ever tried that I can honestly say is amazing. This is a kind of similar idea to the Erborian mask in the sense that it aims to brighten and even out the complexion. But the difference with this is that you actually see results when you take off the mask. Now I don't really have too many expectations for a mask that is on my skin for 10-15 minutes, it isn't really much time to achieve anything mindblowing but with this mask my skin looked amazing afterwards. It looked so bright and glowing, I've really never seen anything like it. I didn't even need to wear makeup after because my skin looked so naturally healthy. If there is any mask that I reccomend you to try it would be this one, for once a sheet mask that actually works wonders!
There's just something about the French Pharmacy that I love; the clinical feel that makes all the products seem so trustworthy, the luxury sounding French names that makes everything sound so much better, and the huge range of every product you could imagine lining all the walls - it's just great.
After living in Lille for around 5 months now I have found my favourite pharmacy, situated on the main street of the city and it is pretty much heaven for all things health and beauty related. An hour browsing the aisles of the pharmacy will leave me with everything from skincare, green tea, and vitamins. Along with that, it is the cheapest place I have found for skincare, for example, the Erborian face mask I mention is €8 in Sephora but in this pharmacy, it is half the price. Which obviously justifies all the unnecessary purchases I make.
To start off I made a repeat purchase of the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk as it is my favourite dry shampoo that I have used. It doesn't make your hair feel like straw like most do and although it has a white tint to it, a quick brush of the hair makes it completely undetectable. And the smell isn't too striking either, it's a soft natural scent that fades away quickly.
I went on a bit of a Nuxe binge, my only foray into this brand previously had been the Reve de Miel Lipbalm (which I LOVE) but now I have a lot more of their products to my name. Firstly I picked up the Nuxe Comforting Cleansing Milk which is your basic cleansing milk but with rose petals to make it soothing on even the most sensitive skin, I have been enjoying using this as my second step cleanser as it gets rid of any remaining makeup left behind but also leaves my skin hydrated and calm. I also got the Nuxe Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Mask out of curiosity as I have never heard of this before, and I plan to do a more in-depth review on this soon but after using it once I was in love with the results.
I have been experiencing a lot of problems with my skin recently, so this trip to the pharmacy was mainly focussed on me getting some new products in hopes of getting my skin back into shape. I started off with a new cleanser, the Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel as it's a soapless formula that keeps your skin's pH balanced. I just wanted a really basic cleanser that won't disrupt my skin and just really cleaning it, and so far it has been working great. I also decided to try the Nuxe Thermal Active Mask, which I am unable to find any UK links for. This is one of those masks that have little grains to exfoliate the skin and to buff away any impurities. The reason this attracted me, in particular, was that this is a heated mask which promises to dilate the pores and really clean them out. I can't talk about any of the results yet as I have only been using it for a week or two but I feel like this could be a great product.
Finally, I picked up the Erborian Blanc de Shot Mask, so this is a Korean/French brand that isn't commonly seen in your average French Pharmacy but the one near me stocks a few of their products for a much cheaper price than somewhere like Sephora as I mentioned earlier. I really want to start getting into Korean beauty and Erborian is a good brand to dip your toes into when making the switch.