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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Garnier Micellar Water // Review

Micellar waters have really taken off in the last couple of years and are a cult favourite amongst backstage makeup artists and models, as they take makeup off quickly and effectively. Micellar waters originated in France and I’m sure we have all read many a post, about the much loved product,  that is Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar WaterUnlike most cleansers, micellar waters are non-rinse and soap free. They are convenient (especially after late nights out!) and great for travelling. 

So, when I heard that Garnier had had released a micellar water, it didn’t take me long to pop to the shops and buy it. The bottle is gigantic and has a cute pink lid and at a fifth of the price and double the solution of Bioderma - you cant complain (winning!). I use this micellar water everyday, with a cotton pad to pre cleanse and it is suitable for the face, eyes and lips.

It is without a doubt a dupe for Bioderma’s micellar water, it does exactly the same job, yet it is more affordable. It is perfect for those with sensitive skin - it is gentle, light, leaves my face feeling really soft, it is unscented and doesn’t leave your skin feeling stripped, greasy or dry. It removes the heaviest of makeup, including my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. However, it doesn’t remove waterproof eye makeup (Im yet to try a micellar water that does and as far as Im aware, they aren’t designed to do so). Garnier claims that 400ml will give you 200 uses, I can’t comment on this as I haven’t been counting, however, I do have to use slightly more than I would, if I was using Bioderma, but this bottle has lasted forever (I bought it at the beginning of February). I rate this micellar water way above L’oreals, which can be a little soapy and can leave the skin feeling tacky. You can read my reviews of L’oreals micellar water and Bioderma here

Garnier have done a fab job in creating this micellar water and it is certainly on par with Bioderma.  I wish I could have this solution on tap - I love the stuff! This product is an absolute essential in anyones skincare routine and if you are yet to purchase it, now is your chance as Boots are currently selling it a third of the price at £3.33 instead of £4.99. Like I have said before micellar waters are the way forward - facial wipes, who? 
Have you tried this micellar water? 
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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Lauren’s Way Darker Than Dark Glam Tan // Review & Giveaway

 I have completely fallen in love with self tanning again! It has been a good year and a half since I have fake tanned head to toe, other than a quick instant every now and then on my pasty legs, before a night out. But Lauren’s Way Darker Than Dark Glam Tan* has reignited my love for bottled tan! 

The brand Lauren’s Way, has been created by The Only Way Is Essex’s Lauren Goodger and although TOWIE didn’t exactly give her the best public imagine, Lauren has been extremely successful with her award winning brand and I’m very supportive of women who are making their way in the business world. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Lauren when she first launched the brand around 3 or 4 years ago (at Hertford Theatre) and she was lovely! Her tan range has been raved about online and I was very excited when I was sent her latest tan addition. 

Let’s start with the packaging. Although the packaging looks high end, is nothing fancy. It is simplistic, with pink, white and gold labelling. I really like the fact that on the bottle there are detailed instructions, which I find are really handy - especially for those of us who are no experts when it comes to self tanning (I’m sure we have all had a tan disaster, or two!). One word of caution, don’t shake the bottle as the tan may leak (oddly its fine laying down in my draw).  

I was hesitant at first, as I have never used a bottled spray tan, I was always a St.Moriz mousse kinda gal. But I plucked up the courage, shaved my legs and moisturised using Astral moisturiser. Now then, I’m very out of practice when it comes to applying fake tan and in all honesty, I was never that good at applying the stuff in the first place! But this tan is super easy to apply, I sprayed the tan onto my tanning mitt and worked it into my skin in circular motions. The spray was controlled and not messy in the slightest. The formula is dark and can be used on both the body and face. It also has a fab guide colour, making application far easier than if it was transparent. It glided onto the skin, applied evenly in just one application, left my skin feeling soft and there were no streaks in sight! It only took a couple of minutes to apply, was fuss free and dried within seconds. Impressive. Oh and doesn’t smell of fake tan in the slightest, instead it has a very subtle fresh aroma - so no smelling like a biscuit, which is always a bonus! 

Guide colour / after application (don’t be put off by how dark it applies)

Result after tan has been washed off

I assure you this tan is NOT orange at all, its a very natural deep, dark brown and in relation to how dark in comparison to other tans, its on par with St.Moriz Self Tanning Mousse Dark. However, the result shown in the picture above, is just from one application (I did not reapply multiple times), I presume it would be far darker if I had been a little more generous on application. I love the result of this tan (and it didn’t leave me with orange elbows - winner!). Furthermore, both my mum and sister commented on how nice and natural it looks. I would recommend this tan to everyone, especially those who love a deep tan!  In terms of price, its £19.95 a bottle (250ml) and I feel its well worth the money, a little goes a long way and Im certain this bottle will last all the way through till autumn - if not longer! 

Overall, LW Darker Than Dark Glam Tan* gave a very professional finish and is hands down, far better than any other self tan I have tried, including St.Tropez, St.Moriz and Fake Bake. Yes, this product was sent to me, but I would happily pay full price when I run out! I feel more than prepared for spring now and if this summer never comes, at least I will look like I have had twelve weeks of sunshine! 

Now, on to the exciting bit! The lovely team at Lauren’s Way, have put together a very generous LW hamper, worth over £70 which one very lucky person will win! It includes the LW Darker Than Dark Glam Tan that I have reviewed here, amongst lots of other lovely LW goodies. This competition will run from the 1st April - 1st May and in all honesty you would be silly not to enter (I would quite like the hamper myself!). You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Also don’t forget to check out the LW online store here and follow LW on twitter for the latest updates. 

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Avène Soothing Hydrating Serum // Review

Avène is an unique French Skincare brand that has created a line of skincare for sensitive, intolerant and allergic skins and this serum is simple and soothing. I have been using Avène’s Soothing Hydrating Serum* near enough every morning and evening for just over a week and it has become a welcomed addition to my skincare routine. Serums have high concentration of certain products and are formulated to penetrate deeply into the skin to deliver these key ingredients. In the case of this serum, that key ingredient is Avène Thermal Spring Water whiccontains a unique active ingredient, renowned by dermatologists for its soothing properties.

This serum comes in a lovely frosted glass bottle with a pump, which I really like as it is far more hygienic than a tub. This serum is extremely cooling and soothing on the skin when applied, it is non irritating, reduces redness and leaves my skin soft and plump. I like to apply this serum after cleansing and toning and before moisturising and it gives my moisturiser that much needed boost, leaving my skin far more hydrated, than if I had used the moisturiser alone. It also has a very, very, subtle scent which I really like and a little goes a long way - so dont be put off by the 30ml measure.  And don’t over do it otherwise you’ll be left looking greasy! It isn’t as tacky as other serums I have tried and I haven’t broken out since using this product. 

If you feel your current products are quite doing their job, it might be time to add a serum to your skincare routine and I highly recommend this serum especially if you suffer from dehydrated, sensitive, stressed or irritated skin. This serum is a great alternative to Hydraluron Moisture Booster from Indeed Labs, not only is Avène’s serum far cheaper, I much prefer it! You can buy it online here at Escentual who are currently offering 25% off this serum making it just £12.75 = winner!
You might also be interested to know that Escentual are currently offering up to 1/3 off their popular French Skincare pharmacy category on their website for the whole of March - so now is the perfect time to update your skincare routine for spring! Here's a breakdown of the offer:

-VichyLa Roche-Posay and Nuxe at 33% off RRP
-AveneKloraneRene Furterer and Pierre Fabre at 25% off RRP
-Caudalie at 20% off RRP
-A-Derma at 10% off RRP

Have you tried this serum? 
What are your top French skincare picks?
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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask // Review

Charcoal isn’t just for BBQ’s ladies! Say hello to my new holy grail (yes that’s right, holy grail!) face mask from Origins. This charcoal mask is spoken about frequently in the beauty blogging world and I was lucky enough to receive an Origins mask gift set for Christmas last year. I initially thought it would would another hyped product, that would be full of empty promises, but listen up... it does exactly what it says on the tin! 

This mask is packed with active charcoal, which acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, that are created from environmental toxins such as dirt and debris. It also contains white china clay, which does us all a favour, by absorbing these environmental toxins and lecithin also helps to dissolves impurities. My skin has been crying out for a helping hand recently, it has been all over the place, with those dreaded under the skin bumps and those spots that just won’t budge not matter what you do and this mask has really helped to get my skin back on track. It has really helped to decongest my skin and let it breathe - I love the stuff! And just a quick FYI, my skin is blemish prone, sensitive and dry. 

I like to use my facial steamer before applying this product, as it preps the skin by opening the pores.  The product is in an easy, squeezable, no fuss, see-through tube, which is great as you will know when you need to stock up (which you will!). It is pleasant smelling and not overpowering at all like other face masks I have tried - Michael Todd’s charcoal face mask for instance. The mask is thick and applies smoothly to the skin and is quite cooling.  It doesn’t dry uncomfortably tight and you can feel it working with a very subtle tingly sensation (no burning, or warming). After the product has dried which can take up to 20 minutes depending on how thickly you apply it, I rinse my face with luke warm water. Now be warned, the rinsing off of this product is super messy, as the water will turn grey and get everywhere - use a face cloth, or take off in shower if necessary. After I have cleaned up the mess left by this mask, I notice my pores have significantly reduced in size and my skin is left feeling plump, soft and very clean (not stripping) and considering I have dry skin, Im always pleasantly surprised that my skin isn’t left feeling tight and dry - although I do follow up with a toner and moisturiser. In terms of blemishes, it doesn’t clear you skin after one use, but I have been using it twice a week for the last month and have noticed my problem areas are starting to clear up! Bye-bye blackheads and those pesky under the skin spots! The first time I used this mask I defiantly noticed a couple of blemishes that had been lurking beneath, came to the surface but they disappeared far quicker than they would normally would have. 

Origins are currently offering free delivery on all orders and when you buy this mask you get a free trial and if you dont like it, you can send the product back and get a refund, so you would be silly not to give it a go! If you dont have the budget for this mask, I recommend you try Una Brennan’s clay mask - you can read my review here

This mask is suitable for all skin types and although this mask is super messy, it does a seriously good job and I can’t recommend it enough! 

Do you have a holy grail face mask? 
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