Sunday, 14 September 2014

Favourite Blemish Treatments & Skin Saviours

I think I'm finally getting to a place with my skin that I know mostly how to keep it in check. For reference I now have normal skin, slightly combo in places, recovering from post acne marks and scarring. The past couple of years my acne has subsided considerably to a point where my skin is mostly clear with smaller blemishes and the odd larger one now and then.

I'm 31 and upped the game with my treatment products these past few years so I thought I'd run through my favourite skin saviours - all of these I'd recommend in a heartbeat as they each excel in their own ways.

Murad Acne & Wrinkle Reducer
I spoken about this product before and it's still up there as a good blemish buster. I like this on occasions when I have larger, redder bumps as it helps to bring them down and also softens fines lines as well. I've used this all over my face at night with no issue.

Sunday Riley Good Genes
My love of Sunday Riley has begun with this amazing product. It is a little multi-tasker that at first seems quite unassuming as it's a light creamy serum that doesn't feel potent on the skin, but when used at night, the next morning it seems to have refined and brightened the skin and also brought blemishes down or gotten rid of them without pulling a sweat. I had ummed and aahhed for a while before buying this as it is at the top range of what I'd spend on a single product, but reading others glowing reviews and a Beauty Expert discount code swayed me into it, and I'm glad I took the plunge as it's a valuable product in my skincare arsenal.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
This was something I tried a sample of and it was immediate love. May Lindstrom uses the most exquisite natural ingredients and it's really telling in her products. This divine smelling balm includes Blue Tansy, Virgin Marula and Baobab oils as well as a whole host of other gorgeously pure ingredients. It's is a light blue coloured concentrated balm that upon contact with the warmth of the skin melts into a light oily texture. It completely soothes and calms the skin, reduces inflammation and evens the look and overall quality of the skin. You only need the tiniest amount of product so it doesn't feel in any way greasy or overwhelming but quite the opposite. I like using this post face mask or at night in place of a night cream, but it's one of those products that has a multiple amount of uses. I also have May Lindstrom's Clean Dirt and found that her products last a while so despite the high price tag (this was a treat to myself for passing my driving test), I'm confident the Blue Cocoon will last me ages before needing replenishment.

Cane + Austin Anti-Blemish Treatment Pads
When I first purchased these I was not really taken with them, I thought they were possibly a waste of money but as you can see I have finished my pot up of these pads and done a complete 180 from my initial assessment. To start with I was using them everyday but I think it was possibly too much so I only used them when I had more congested or uneven skin as the combination of 5% Glycolic and 2% Salicyclic Acids is quite potent and really helps to bring blemishes down. I would sweep a pad over my face, leave it to do it's thing for about 30mins, then follow up with a soothing or less active product (I like The Blue Cocoon or Ren's V-Cense Night Cream after this). It does sting a tiny bit initially upon application, but understandably so as it is a little powerhouse of a product.

This Works In Transit First Aid
As the packaging says this is 'brilliant in a crisis' and I would have to agree with this statement as it's one of those rescue products that is great for when I don't know what's up with my skin. On the odd occasion I've had some irritation or freak array of blemishes appear that I know need killing with kindness, this is does the trick nicely as it's a natural blend of oils with antiseptic qualities.

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum
I don't think I've ever spoken about Balance Me considering I've liked just about everything I've used from them (their cleansers are my fave picks from them) and this product is no different. This one I like to use in the day as the light gel serum texture works well underneath my moisturiser and is non-drying so good for use under makeup. It is gentle but works quietly to bring blemishes down and soothe skin. It's pleasant to use and smells lovely with a refreshing citrus scent.

As you can see I like a good selection and these definitely fit the bill. I'd love to hear your recs - what are your favourite skin saviours?

Sunday, 6 July 2014

EX1 Cosmetics Pure Crushed Mineral Powder Foundation M300

Continuing on reviews of products that I've completely used up, this next (very) overdue post is a review of EX1 Cosmetics Mineral Powder Foundation.

Mineral foundation is one makeup product I have to have in my stash, it's like a safety net for my acne-prone skin as even though I love my liquids, I can't go wrong with a good mineral base.

EX1 is quite a new brand and one I'd not heard of before until Caroline Hirons mentioned it on her blog. I had a discount code for Beauty Expert and needed a replacement so purchased the shade M300 which is a perfect fit for my NC40/42 skin.

EX1 Cosmetics Mineral Powder Foundation M300

EX1 Cosmetics Mineral Powder Foundation M300 - heavy swatch (sorry for the blurred pic)

EX1 Cosmetics Mineral Powder Foundation M300 - blended out
It's a light mineral powder consistency that doesn't feel overly fine or flyaway like a HD powder. As a foundation this product did not do it for me as it's too sheer and offers hardly any coverage but it does excel as a finishing powder to give a natural look and set my makeup.

Mica, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Squalane (derived from olive oil), Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Carbonate, Lauroyl Lysine, Glyceryl Caprylate, P-Anisic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Calcium Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tourmaline [+/- (May Contain) Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77019 (Mica), 77491, 77492, 77499 (Iron Oxides), 77007 (Ultramarine Blue), 77742 (Manganese Violet), 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), 75470 (Carmine), 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), 15850 (Red 7 Lake), 45410 (Red 28 Lake).

I bought this from

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Holiday Beauty Buys

Even though I don't need any more opportunities to buy more beauty bits, I cannot go on holiday without getting something so when I was away for a couple of weeks recently in Canada and the US, there were a few things on my wishlist to get.

I had my eye on the MAC 286 brush for some time, it seemed like the perfect brush for blending undereye concealer and that's exactly what I've been using it for. It has a good firmness so it doesn't flop about but still is soft and workable. The duo fibres lend themselves well to getting diffused and naturally blended edges.

Walgreens was right across the street from the hotel we were staying at in Las Vegas so it turned into a midnight trip (as they are open 24hrs). Even though there is an incredible selection of drugstore lines, I only bought Maybelline's Color Tattoo Shimmering Seas (115) which is a limited edition shade in a beautiful golden beige with aqua shimmer to it. I already have a few of these eyeshadows and love the formula so I know this will get a lot of use. I now wish I'd picked up the other LE shade as well as this swatches much nicer than how it looks from outside.
Maybelline's Color Elixir gloss in Celestial Coral (010) is a beautiful medium coral pink semi-sheer gloss. As there are no testers I chose a 'safe' colour that I know I will use.

Even though Sephora now ship to the UK there is nothing like seeing the products in person and the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Honeymoon Honey has been on my list since testing it in Toronto on holiday last year. It is quite a unique formula that feels light, hydrating and cooling, with a natural flush of colour.

Another item I tested last year and have had on my mind since then is TokyoMilk's Tainted Love Shea Butter Handcreme. It's really the scent that took me in with his hand cream as it is fragranced with Dark Vanilla Bean, Orchid, White Tea and Sandalwood so it's a slightly more deeper and sensual scent that I love. The formula itself is quite light and silky and absorbs easily into the skin.

Makeup Forever Smoky Lash and Anastasia Brow Wiz are products I've wanted to try for ages and Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo Invisible Spray is a product Liana Beauty mentioned on her blog that had me curious as it's meant to be completely invisible. I haven't yet found a dry shampoo I've been completely happy with so have high hopes for this.

I was holding out on buying the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes until my holiday as I had tested them previously and Diffused Heat was the one I was immediately drawn to as it's a lovely radiant brightening shade with good payoff.

I hadn't intended to get anything from Bath and Body Works but my sister was eager to get these Anti-Bacterial Hand Gels so naturally curiosity got the better of me and I also picked up several of these cute little bursts of scent for on the go use.

Some last minute duty-free buys were a cosmetic bag and and fragrance mist from Victoria's Secret. I really like the choice of toiletry bags they have and this one is such a lovely tropical print and has two handy clear zip compartments. Bombshells in Bloom Fragrance Mist is a nice, sweet floral fruity scent that's perfect for my bag.

L-R: Celestial Coral, Brow Wiz in Granite, Shimmering Seas, Honeymoon Honey, Diffused Heat

L-R: Celestial Coral, Brow Wiz in Granite, Shimmering Seas, Honeymoon Honey, Diffused Heat

I'll leave you with one of my favourite things in Las Vegas. Day or night, these fountains are stunning.