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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Cover FX Skin Tint SPF30

Cover FX is a new brand to me, hailing from Canada and cruelty free, and you can now find it at the House of Fraser in the UK. I've had mixed feelings and experiences with mineral based liquid foundations and concealers. Often they are too dry for my dry skin and no matter how much moisturiser I use, there is irritating cling on to dry patches of skin. So I tend to stay away from mineral based foundations unless they are powders.

Pictured with the Skin Prep FX primer (top) which I use with other foundations, it's not necessary with Skin Tint FX

So I was sceptical that a sample sent to me would do much for me. After several weeks of use in many different conditions, I feel this is different, different enough to feel positive about. Skin Tint FX is not meant to be used as a foundation however it is good enough for me even on a not so clear skinned day. I quite like the hint of shimmer as it brings an added dimension. I've really enjoyed using this over the last few weeks, no irritation and a whopping SPF30 has made it to my "current make up box". More about that box in a later post I think! It's quick to smooth over the skin with fingers providing nice coverage with a sunkissed look which is effortless. I then pop a bit of concealer around areas still needing cover or colour correction.

I think the formula is excellent, so different to other tinted moisturisers I have used before. It's not dry or greasy but feels like you would expect a silicone-based primer (it contains dimethicone polymers), in that it is smooth and lightweight. It also doesn't melt in humid or sunny conditions. I find that I don't need to powder to set it either, probably due to the mattifying effect of the mineral pigments.

I get an excellent colour match with the C Light shade, so I am not sure whether to recommend it for all skin colours or whether if you are lighter skinned a lighter tone would be more suitable. I think that this would add a bit of a fake tan element if you are trying to extend your summery tan (of if you haven't been on holiday but want to look like it). I don't think it would be suitable for very pale complexions.

At £36 for 30ml it is at the pricey end of the scale however I would buy this as I've not found a tinted moisturiser with such a natural feel and finish. Also a very little amount goes a long way. Based on this experience I will probably explore the rest of the range either online or when I am near a stockist.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Face Oil

Not even the books I have read about pregnancy prepared me for the changes to my skin. The books tell you to expect either oilier or drier skin as the levels of hormones change. In my case, my skin became as dry as the Sahara and scaly across the cheeks with rosacea. So to add to feeling sick and tired, I was also looking in the mirror feeling sorry for myself and wanting to hide under a balaclava.

I have tried many of my tried and tested products (several face oils and rich moisturisers to no effect). To my rescue came Aromatherapy Associates who sent me their new Nourishing Face Oil. Containing sandalwood (one of my all time favourite scents), rose, peach, jojoba oil and evening primrose oil, I slathered and massaged this over my face in an attempt to bring moisture to my parched and sore skin. It made my skin tingle slightly which was probably the rose oil boosting my circulation, it soon subsided as the oils soaked in and left me with a rosy glow.

After about 30 minutes the short term effects of softening dry skin and soothing sore bits were apparent. If it still feels oily at this point and you need to apply make up or go out then lightly dab with a thin single ply of tissue to remove the excess.

The next day my skin was less dry but I continued to use it for a few days until my skin began to rebalance itself. Then I used it just at night and halved the amount.

You can add this to your current skin routine, in between your serum (if you use one) and moisturiser. Alternatively, you can use this as your moisturiser and facial massage oil. Whether you use this daily or just if your skin suffers an episode, it smells incredible. I was very chilled out after my first use!

A 15ml bottle will probably last months and you can buy it from lots of stockists such as Space NK or their website for £37.

Do you have any must have skin products that have resurrected your skin in times of need?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Exfolia Cloth - An awesome find!

Have you ever considered microdermabrasion for stubborn dry patches, fine lines and deep exfoliation? I've had it and it was expensive, uncomfortable, time consuming (you have to book appointments) and didn't deliver any results.

On a random internet research mission I came across a microdermabrasion cloth and for £10 I thought I'd give it a go. The Exfolia cloth (distributed by Jica) is a light green lightweight woven cloth which feels like a chamois leather.

You can use it in several ways, but you must read the instructions or you will end up taking off too much skin which is quite sore! It is not for the faint hearted but it does deliver unparalleled results considering the price tag and the best thing is that you don't have to change your favourite cleansers or book appointments!

It is that effective that you don't need to go overboard with it. It's very easy to be seduced that more is better but with this cloth you must follow the instructions carefully or you'll be very sore. You may think I am over stating this point, but it's very important and not to be ignored. I use this once a week or fortnight. I wouldn't suggest using this every day.

The cloth can be used dry or wet with cleansing products or not, but make sure to use it on a clean face. I used it to take off make up and it's still got stains all over it that just won't come off!

If you are new to the cloth and microdermabrasion then use it dry and on a dry face. Gently sweep the cloth over the face (not eyes or lips) not more than 5 times in the same place.

If you're feeling braver the next time, use it dampened with warm water when it becomes soft and pliable with your cream or gel cleanser.

If you are completely hardcore and used to it like me then try using it after your cleanser with a dab of your usual cream exfoliator.

You may find that your skin is tingly and tight afterwards which is normal but it should not feel sore. If it is then you've gone a bit overboard - slather some aloe vera on and it should subside.

Afterwards rinse carefully and apply a nourishing and comforting moisturiser or oil. Your skin will drink this up and benefit the next day by being plump and soft.

I tend to use this in a bath and with a moisturising mask afterwards. It's advisable, like with any beauty treatment or facial, not to apply make up for at least 12 hours to get the best effect.

The cloth should last about 60 - 80 uses, which for me is about a year for me. I have two, one for my face and one for my body where it's great for bumpy arms, rough skin and ingrown hairs. It's a great way to exfoliate before applying fake tan (not that I do, it's just a suggestion).

I have already bought or recommended these cloths for friends and family and they love it too. Look out for it on special offer at beauty shows and trade events where you can pick them up half price sometimes.

Otherwise you can find it to order on the Jica website.

Monday, 18 July 2011

MuLondon - White Chocolate Truffle Moisturiser

This gorgeous creation was a present from the wonderful ModestyBrown. Nothing delights me more than a gift of something that I could really use and enjoy. ModestyBrown has wonderful taste in all thing cosmetic, I highly recommend that you head over to her blog and check out her thoughts.

With only six ingredients (shea butter, cocoa butter, vanilla, cocoa and rosemary extracts and Jojoba oil), it is sinfully rich and a pleasure to use. It is meant to be a face moisturiser but I prefer to use it on my growing bump. Since becoming pregnant, I have totally gone off chocolate, this is a serious matter, but I can't seem to get enough of this White Chocolate moisturiser. The scent is identical.

The range is cruelty free, vegan, organic and natural. It ticks a lot of boxes for a mum to be.

Texture-wise it is a white solid oil that you need to scrape out of the pot, it quickly melts into a rich oil which moisturises for about 24 hours. I tend to use it after an evening bath.

Available in two sizes (30 and 60ml jars) I think it's a reasonable price of £7 (or £13 for the 60ml). A small amount goes a long way so I have used nearly half of it in a few months.

You can find this and other MuLondon products from their website.
I don't think I will ever buy another body butter again I am so happy with this one.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Face Atelier Façade in Livid

Façade is a lip and cheek colour product, I received an email newsletter from and I was drawn to it immediately (credit card at the ready it was purchased that same day). I have two similar products by Varama in pink and peach but not one in a cherry red which is perfect for Indian skin tones. The handy lipgloss type tube is very portable so good for the handbag too.

Livid is in the middle of the colour spectrum of the five shades currently available (light peach to deep plum). If you've used a silicone based primer or foundation you'll know the silky blendable but light formula I'm talking about. I prefer it to a cream blush as it isn't oily or pore clogging. I also prefer it to a gel which tends to cling to any dry bits on my cheeks in that familiar bloom pattern. It's much easier to control and blend than a powder blush. Less is definitely more with this product so work quickly with very small amounts to build up colour intensity. Use a damp brush or sponge if you apply too much to blend away and remove excess.

As a longevity test, I've used Façade all day. I'm very pleased with the results. There is some fading but much less than a cream or powder. Most of the fading is due to me touching my skin but I didn't need to touch it up all day. It's also very effective in humid conditions (steamy club or holiday) It's a great cheek product.

I do like it used on the lips but it doesn't last as well as a lipstick, it's too dry because it isn't waxy . So I suggest using it with a touch of balm over the top. There is nothing as satisfying as getting an exact match between lip and cheek colour so it is worth pursuing (these small things make me happy).

You can find Façade lip and cheek colour from Cocobeau at £22.50 per tube. It seems like a lot however a small dot blended over the cheekbones and lips is all that is needed for long lasting lip or cheek colour. It's going to last me a very long time.

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