Handcream and hairspray

25-feb-products

Quite an okay week, beauty product-wise.

The E45 Cream is an absolute necessity of my collection. Clinically proven to treat and soothe dry, itching, flaking, chapped, rough and calloused skin; non-greasy emollient formulation is quickly absorbed by your skin; recommended for more serious dry skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, ichthyosis etc; dermatologically tested and perfume-free. It does the trick for me, and really soothes and smooths my chest and upper back areas. I wouldn’t be without it now and have already ordered a back-up. You can find it at Amazon for £4.09 for 350g. Perfect!

Silvikrin Classic Firm Hold hairspray is very reliable too. Lets you shape with double the volume*, without a sticky feel (*vs untreated hair); Extra Strong Lightweight hair spray; slow drying hair spray allows you to work in your style while being easy to comb out; workable volume that lasts all day; helps to provide UV protection. This one is a good balance between getting a decent hold and looking natural so I really rate it. I’m going to try other hairsprays now I’ve used this up, but I suspect I’m going to come back to this one at some stage. You can get it at Sainsbury’s for £3 for 400ml, so a pretty good bargain.

I’ve been loving the Carmex Vanilla Lip BalmDiscover how this ultra smooth, extra moisturising balm makes your lips feel incredible. The Carmex Ultra Moisturising formula provides superior, enhanced hydration and makes even the driest lips soft and suppler again. This fun, creamy flavour is unlike anything you have tried from Carmex before. Our exotic Vanilla flavour soothes and calms your senses while the SPF 15 helps protect your lips. For over 75 years the Woelbing family has been making Carmex Lip Balm. Tested on family members – not animals. It Soothes. It Moisturises. It Protects. Ha ha! I love the concept of this being tested on family members rather than animals, though I hope the family members had a say in the matter, LOL! The vanilla taste is scrummy and it’s a very moisturising balm so I shall definitely be purchasing this one again, once I’ve got through the six million lip balms I actually own! Do you think I need help? Answers on a lip salve, please … Anyway, Boots sell this balm for £3.25 for 4.25g, and it’s a winner as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve raved about the Neutrogena Concentrated Unscented Hand Cream before and I will rave again now. Instant relief of dry, chapped hands – Just a dab need; immediate and lasting relief for even the most dry hands. Just a dab of this glycerin-enriched formula instantly relieves and protects seriously or chapped hands. Even under the harshest conditions, it leaves hands noticeably softer & smoother. Concentrated for over 200 applications. Honestly, it’s the only hand cream that stops my hands from going rough and raw in cold weather, and as the UK knows nothing else but cold weather, it’s a must for me! It’s absolutely true that it lasts an age as you only need a tiny bit. Wonderful! You can get it at Boots for £2.77 for 50ml, as they are currently having a 25% discount on Neutrogena products, hurrah!

Finally, this week, I always put a few drops of Black Pepper Essential Oil in the bath as it’s great for health and definitely helps my breathing issues. Fortifying, warming and penetrating; woody spicy aroma to rejuvenate body and mind; free from artificial fragrances and parabens; not tested on animals. I love it – it helps clear my head as well and it goes very well with any other oil too so you can easily mix and match. You can find it at Amazon for £7.60 for 9ml, and it lasts a while as you only need a few drops.

Have a fabulous beauty week!

Anne Brooke Books

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Pearls and Pokemon

Products I will Buy Again

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You can’t go wrong with the Boots Anti-Dandruff 2-in-1 shampoo – I like it very much as it lathers up easily, cleans the hair well and gets rid of any dandruff, hurrah! The link takes you to the citrus one which I didn’t have but which sounds nice anyway – the only other linking option was the men’s shampoo and so I decided against that one. The one in the picture must have been discontinued for some reason, but in any case both options now at Boots are in an offer of only £1.00 for 400ml so you can’t go wrong.

I love the Lifeplan Aloe Vera Gel and use it on my skin (not the face) after a bath or shower when I’m feeling sensitive. The only issue I have with it is it does feel very cold in winter – it takes on the cold more than other body gels I’ve used, I think – so you have to be prepared for the initial shock! Other than that, yes, I’ll be repurchasing later as I already have a back-up for now. You can get this at Boots for £7.49 for 200ml, but Boots now have a 3-for-2 offer on selected products including this one – so treat yourself!

I’ve started using eye make-up products again now I’ve discovered that I can use mascara on my top lashes without getting crazy-eye syndrome, hurrah. These Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make Up Remover Pads do the trick even on waterproof mascara, and don’t hurt my eyes so that’s great. I’ve got 2 extra packs but will restock later. A pack of 30 pads costs £4.99 at Boots but there’s a 3-for-2 on selected Simple products and these are included.

I quite like the Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Eye Perfect Cream and it does help with under-the-eye wrinkles. I will probably get more (cream – not wrinkles, I hope!!) at some point, but I have other eye creams to try and there are some I prefer anyway, so I’m leaving it for the moment. You can buy this at Holland & Barrett for £8.99 for 15ml.

The Milton Lloyd DNA Parfum de Toilette is my favourite of the Milton Lloyd range so far. The scent is a nice blend of spicy orange and ginger and it just sets me up for the day perfectly. It’s my go-to weekday perfume as it’s ideal office wear. I buy mine at Fragrance Direct and it’s only £2.99 for 55ml, so a complete and utter bargain.

This sample of Lioele Blooming Shimmer Pearl Base came with a beauty package recently and I love the whole pink and sparkly thing going on – it’s great! The product feels wonderful on my face and gave me a smooth and gently glowing base to work with – which I loved. Sadly I can’t find it anywhere so maybe it’s been discontinued which is a shame. Oh well. If I knew where to find it, I’d definitely consider buying a full-size bottle.

Products I Won’t Buy Again

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The Tesco Hand & Nail Cream is okay and I do have another at work where I use it – but I have a lot of other small hand cream tubes now which are much nicer so I don’t think I’ll buy this again. It’s £1.00 for 75ml, so it really doesn’t have to be great and still be worth it, LOL!

The Baylis & Harding Beauticology Pink Grapefruit & Raspberry Shower Scrub was a gift for Christmas, so I’m really sorry that I just totally dislike it. I think the two of us got off to a bad start though, as I expected it to smell of grapefruit and it doesn’t. It smells entirely of raspberry, which was a bit of a shock as the raspberry is definitely not the main theme here! The colour is a very lurid pink which is far too much for me first thing in the morning. However, the most awful thing about this stuff is that it doesn’t – whatever you do to it!!! – lather up at all. Yes, I know it’s a scrub, but I expected some kind of lathering ability but there’s just nothing. It also doesn’t massage in very easily and in fact it just slips off the skin and lands, globule-like, in the bath and you have to chase it round to try and catch up with the pesky beast, sigh. It’s one of the most disheartening washing experiences I have ever had (and this includes the time when I came out of a shower on a campsite in France wearing nothing but a towel and a smile and found myself surrounded by four snarling security alsatians with a taste for the full English(woman) breakfast!…). Hey ho. However, if you like bath time challenges, you can pick this up at Boots (why, Boots, why??) for £4.00 for 250ml. Good luck. You’ll need it.

The TonyMoly Pokemon cream was another sample I received this week and it’s a total mystery what it was as I can’t understand any of the language on the sample. It might have been a face cream with a tint of some kind as my skin did take on a strange tanned glow when I put it on. I instantly put on the next sample product to try to counteract the existential horror of it all, which is …

The BCDation foundation. This is supposed to be an all-in-one foundation, BB and CC cream mix – it’s okay but seemed a bit runny to me – though in its favour it got rid of the alien glow that the weird Pokemon cream gave me. I couldn’t find any links in the UK, but it’s $36 for whatever sized bottle they have on offer (currently unavailable) at the TonyMoly site, so it’s not one I’m adding to my purchase list. And while I think of it, why can’t companies send instructions about samples in a language we can work out rather than playing Guess What The Product Does and getting it terribly wrong? It’s surely not that hard to do!…

I’ve been using my sample of Guinot Shine Control Moisturiser as a primer before foundation and haven’t been greatly impressed. Which is brilliant news as it costs £57.75 for 50ml from Amazon and comes in a totally odd-looking pot. Just think of all the money I’ve saved by NOT liking this one!

Sadly, I’ve not been very impressed by the sample of Matis Absolute Soothing Serum either even though I’ve had other Matis products I’ve loved – it just seemed very average to me and didn’t sink in terribly well either. You can find this at Amazon for £36.74 for 30ml if you want to give it a go. [And, while I’m on the subject of Matis, I see that the product I loved from my previous post – Matis Hyaluronic Performance Cream – is down from the £55 it was when I first blogged about it to about £39 so I have ordered some, go me! Can’t wait for that one to arrive …].

Finally, the Marks & Spencer Senteurs Blanche hand cream was part of a gift box at Christmas once again. The quality of this is good of course – it’s M&S, my dears! – but the scent is a bit too subtle (it’s supposed to be lemon and … err … green …) and I do so dislike twist-off tops on hand cream tubes. I know that’s weird – but I don’t want to mess around getting tops on and off, dropping them and scrabbling round the bathroom floor like a crazed guinea pig in the morning trying to retrieve them. I just want to squirt and go. If you’re in the mood for tube-top juggling, you can find this at Marks & Spencer for £5 for 75ml.

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke

Doves, bees and argan oil

Products I Love

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Have just finished my last tube of Dr Organic Manuka Honey Foot & Heel Cream this week and have been enjoying that, though I do get annoyed because it’s so difficult to get the last little bit out, grrr! Never mind, at £5.99 for 100ml, it’s pretty good value and even more so now as Holland & Barrett are having a Buy-One-Get-One-Halfprice offer on it, so well worth a look. That said, I won’t be stocking up for now as I have a lot of other foot creams to try out and don’t want to crowd the dressing table too much, LOL!

I TOTALLY love love love the Carex Care Plus Macadamia Oil & Vanilla Hand Wash – the smell is amazingly delicate and I loved the colour – it’s pink. It’s very moisturising and feels very luxurious too. It’s just £2.19 for 100ml at Superdrug so don’t miss out. As a side issue, I really like the pump dispensers as I can get much more of the product out, I find. Is that just me?

The Garnier Hand Repair Intensive Restoring Hand Cream is very good indeed – though again, the tube means I can’t get all of it out. It’s for extra-dry skin so I’ve been using it at night and I think it makes a real difference to my hands. The smell isn’t overpowering either. At the moment it’s HALF-PRICE at Boots for only £1.99 for 100ml, so I can recommend this one. It’s odd really, as I usually avoid Garnier products as I’ve never got on with them, but this one bucks the trend.

I received the sample of Clinique Aromatics in White scent recently and was prepared to be utterly unimpressed (don’t really know why, though Clinique products have let me down in the past, so possibly that’s it). However, this scent is absolutely incredible and I am so in love with it! I would say it’s one for the evening rather than daytime, though I have been wearing it at the office and nobody’s complained, but honestly I can’t get enough of it. The price at Amazon is £36.95 for 50ml and I’m desperate to have this, even though I have loads of perfumes (I am a perfume tart, LOL!) and it’s too pricey for me!! I think I might have to pop some in my shopping basket at some point over Christmas though – it’s just too good to miss.

The surprise of the week for me has been the sample of Dermalogica Precleanse which I also received in a parcel recently (can you tell I’ve been Christmas shopping?!?) Again, I wasn’t expecting much but it’s so easy to put on, it feels wonderful on the skin, the fragrance is a very subtle floral one which I love, and it gave my skin an amazing glow after I’d washed it off. After drying my face, I rushed to my computer and bought a full size bottle. It’s £34.35 for 150ml and it’s arrived today, so I can’t wait to use it! And yes, I know I have weird standards, as I’ll pay this for a cleansing product that’s good for my skin but baulk at a perfume which is almost the same price. But that’s just the way I am – crazy but cute!…

Products I Dislike

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Ah, Burt’s Bees. Oh dear me, Burt’s Bees!!!! I have no idea why, but I always have a problem with their products. I really try to love them – or even like them (honest I do) – but I just can’t do it and over the years I’ve been bitterly disappointed with every single one of their offerings. Yes, even though everyone sings their praises and they are good for the environment – the bee’s knees if you like (did you see what I did there?), I still hate them. Anyway, I have tried one last time (I swear it!) with their Citrus & Ginger Body Wash – as I love citrus products and ginger, so surely nothing can go wrong this time … Um, yes. This product is truly awful (sorry!). The scent is plastic and feels like something which wasn’t very successful in the seventies, and the consistency is very thin so it doesn’t lather easily. It’s £9.99 for 350ml so if you want to suffer then this is a bargain. As for me? I’m avoiding those pesky bees from now on …

Dove DermaSpa Body Cream is okay – there’s nothing really wrong with it though the scent is a bit sweet so it feels more like a teenage-focused product rather than one for adults. It’s disappointing as I usually rate Dove quite highly, but this does nothing for me. I don’t think it’s made my skin any smoother and I’ve used the whole tub now. The really positive point is that I can use all the cream as it’s in a tub, hurrah! It’s £7.99 for 300ml at Boots, but I won’t restock it.

And now – in shock news! – I have found a Montagne Jeunesse mask I really hate! Honestly I even rather liked the cucumber one that Mrs Strawberry Blonde didn’t like because of the smell. But this Argan Oil Mud mask is just awful. The smell is horrid and very medicinal, and I swear to you that as I put it on, my whole face recoiled in terror! Or that’s what it felt like. As there’s such a lot in each packet, I only used half and had to come back a couple of days later and use the rest of it up – honestly, I was all but crying when I entered the bathroom to do this (I can’t stand waste!) and now I’m just so pleased it’s finished. A brief round of applause for my courage here! Thank you … So, if you want a terrifying mask experience, it’s £1.00 at Boots, but I wouldn’t advise it.

In more Dermalogica news, I also received a sample of their Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque this week – well, I’ve used it and it’s nothing to write home about, though honestly it was hard to tell as there was so little of it in the sachet. Maybe today’s spot-suffering women have smaller faces or something? Well, I have a big head (oh, in so many ways!) and this barely covered my nose, hey ho. If you want to give it a go, it’s £16.15 for 75ml, but I’ll give it a miss.

A friend gave me the Champneys As Good As New Hand Cream for Christmas last year, and I’ve been using it in the downstairs bathroom – but then it got moved to the bedroom to be used as a foot cream as the top is so hard to open. It’s good for both, and moisturising enough, but there’s not much of a smell to it – which I prefer for hand and feet products. At Boots, it’s £6.00 for 75ml, and they’re doing a 3-for-2 indulgent body care product offer at the moment if you’re interested.

Have a fabulous weekend, and keep beautiful!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

Soap & Glory Hand Products

 

I picked up a set of Soap & Glory hand creams at Boots Online recently as I was trying to see if there was anything other than my usual Neutrogena hand cream (which does get a bit boring due to the lack of smell). I get very cold hands and they get quite red raw if I go outside in Winter (or Spring or Autumn) without gloves.

So I started using the Hand Food one first at night to see how I got on. It’s billed as having an ‘original pink fragrance’ which is interesting (does pink have a smell?) but the scent is very girly and slightly 1950s – though I suspect it will probably appeal more to the teenage market it’s aimed for. The cream itself is quite good and non-greasy which is great. My hands have been fine in the morning when I get up, but I have to admit I may not purchase another tube unless it’s on special offer, mainly due to the smell.

Then, more recently, I’ve started using the Hand Dream one for the day, and really I prefer this one – the smell is far more adult, and it still has that same non-greasy but protective feel. It lasts throughout the day too and I didn’t have to reapply very much. As a change to Neutrogena, I would definitely buy this one again.

Anne Brooke Books