Foot Magic and Figs

Products 1

Palmer’s Foot MagicMade with pure Cocoa Butter and enriched with Vitamin E and Mango Butter, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Foot Magic provides a deep penetrating treatment for the feet. I bought this one just to give it a try and because it’s relatively cheap – and actually I really love it! The mango & peppermint is a lovely smell and it feels gloriously smooth going onto my feet – a real treat for the sole, LOL! You can get it at Superdrug for £3.99 for the 60g tube and when I’m running low on foot cream, I shall definitely repurchase this.

Roger & Gallet Fig Shower Cream: This refreshing shower gel develops into a soft and light foam that gently cleanses the skin without drying it out. I started out not liking the smell of this, though the lather is lovely as with all R&G shower creams. Then, actually, I warmed to it, as I think it’s a very adult and sophisticated scent and I would definitely buy it again. My version is the 50ml tube as it came in a set, but the link is for the 200ml one, and it costs £9.50 at Marks & Spencer, which I think is pretty reasonable.

4160 Tuesday’s The Sexiest Scent on the Planet Ever (IMHO)This is a scent with wafts of something akin to lemon meringue pie at first, then it settles down to stay close to your skin, with a velvety, woody fragrance you only detect close up. This is a very elegant scent which will take you from day to evening wear with no problem, as it’s subtle enough to encompass both. I’m not sure it’s my favourite of the 4160 Tuesday range, but definitely worth a shot. It costs £65 for a 30ml bottle, so one to treat yourself to, LOL.

Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask: Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask with Pink Clay provides purity, freshness and radiance for combination and oily skin. This mask comforts and purifies, refines the skin’s texture and leaves it matte and very soft. Non-drying, it is rinsed off easily. I totally LOVE this product and it’s my first go-to mask for spotty or blemished/sensitised skin. The pink clay ingredient is AMAZING. It really heals things up in double quick time without drying out the skin and you can use it for several days in a row with no problem. One of my favourite masks, and I already have 2 back-ups in my cabinet. It costs £18.78 for 50ml at Amazon. Go for it!

Products 2

Dove Invisible Dry Compressed Spray and Roll-on: Both of these products are brilliant anti-perspirant deodorants, they don’t stain your clothes and they’re gentle on the skin. What’s not to like? Well done, Dove! They’re the only deodorants I use now – I tend to go for the aerosol in the morning, and then the roll-on in the evening when I’m back home after work, but that’s just personal choice. They only cost about £2 or £3 each anywhere, though I’m linking to Boots here.

Carex Coconut & Almond Hand WashCarex Care+Plus Enriching Hand Wash with Coconut Oil and Almond extracts leaves your skin beautifully soft, fragrant and protected between washes, so that you and your family can feel free to live life hands on. This is okay as a hand wash, though I was expecting the scent to be stronger and just more interesting. But it does the job and doesn’t dry out the skin, so that’s good news. I just wanted more coconut! So I probably won’t buy this again, as Carex have other more zappy hand washes available. This can be found at Superdrug for £1.00 for 250ml as it’s on offer at the moment.

Otrivine Sinusitis SprayOtrivine Adult Measured Dose Sinusitis Spray delivers a measured fine mist of medication with each application. Otrivine is a highly effective decongestant which acts gently within minutes to relieve nasal congestion associated with sinusitis for up to 10 hours. This is not the best nasal spray I’ve used, and I use them at least once a day all year round, so I won’t be repurchasing this one, I’m afraid. You can find it at Boots for £3.79 for 10ml.

HRI Clear Complexion PillsHRI Clear Complexion is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the symptomatic relief of minor skin conditions such as spots, pimples, blemishes, mild acne and mild eczema, based on traditional use. This gentle complementary medicine contains natural active herbs, Sarsaparilla and extract from Blue Flag and Burdock Root that are beneficial for the following conditions: spots or pimples, blemishes, acne, eczema. If you have spots, zits or skin problems, the natural herbs in HRI clear complexion tablets help to treat skin from within and keep it clear. This gentle complementary medicine contains natural active herbs: sarsaparilla and extract from Blue Flag and Burdock Root that are beneficial for the spots or zits, acne, eczema and psoriasis. This herbal medicine is suitable for adults and teenagers to help keep skin free from spots and acne and looking good. This clear complexion is a UK licensed herbal medicine and is safe to take at the recommended dose. Goodness, that’s a big blurb! Still, I love this product and take a pill once in the morning, and once in the evening, and it keeps most things under control. I already have a spare packet. You can get this at Amazon for £5.98 for a pack of 60, and they’re well worth it.

Oral B Dental FlossBrushing alone can’t get to all the hard-to-reach places where plaque builds up. Oral B Essential Waxed Mint Floss can. With its light wax coating and its shred-resistant texture, it slides easily between your teeth and below the gumline. It helps clean the tough-to-get plaque away. Used morning or evening when you brush, Oral B Essential Waxed Floss helps your gums and teeth stay healthy. This is the best dental floss I’ve ever used, and the only one I go for now. The cord is thin enough to get in even the tiniest space and it easily dislodges any gunk, plus it tastes great! You can pick it up at Boots for a mere £1.60 and it’s worth every penny.

Hope you’re all having a great Easter break!

Anne Brooke Books

Simple, Sanctuary and SebaMed

Products 1

I totally love the Innisfree Bija It’s a Real Squeeze Face MasksA refreshing face mask made from the torreya oil to clear your skin! The Jeju green complex consists of green tea, tangerine, cactus, camellia leaves, and orchids to keep your skin healthy. This triple-layer sheet has a long-lasting moisturizing effect so that the essence can gradually be absorbed into the skin. I use this whenever my skin feels dry or when there are blemishes lurking and it just feels totally wonderful, plus it clears problems up in double quick time. My skin feels so soft after this one – I love it! Masks cost £1 at the Innisfree shop and I already have back-ups.

The Pixi Glow Tonic is a product I’m in two minds about: This best selling, cult favourite exfoliating toner perfects skin tone and texture, resulting in a healthy glow. Aloe vera, ginseng and botanical extracts work together to soothe and treat skin while 5% glycolic acid accelerates cell renewal. Alcohol-free and gentle on all skin types. Sometimes I think it’s great and really perks my face up and at other times I wonder if it’s too harsh. I have a couple of bottles still to get through, so lots of time to make my mind up! It costs £18 for 250ml at Marks and Spencer – so maybe a bit pricey if I’m not totally in love with it …

I always use the Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make Up Remover Pads for my eye-make up, whether waterproof or not: Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover Pads now with vitamin goodness are the perfect blend of cleansing and vitamin goodness to remove even waterproof mascara. These pads won’t sting or irritate your delicate eyes. Perfect for even sensitive skin. These ones are very gentle and do the job with no fuss, so I don’t use anything else. They cost £4.19 for a pack of 30 pads at Boots.

The DHC Velvet Skin Coat came as a sample product in a beauty package I received recently: Prepare your skin for pristine make-up application; unique transparent, powdery gel texture helps temporarily fill in fine lines; apply before foundation or wear alone for a flawless, natural look. I was deeply confused as I thought it was a BB Cream so started using it as that before I realised what I’d done, LOL! It’s a primer! It seems okay but didn’t really leap out at me so I won’t be trying a full size version. You can buy it at Amazon for £18.90 for a 15g tube, which is ridiculously expensive really.

Products 2

I’m nothing without my year-round daily dose of Haylief Hay Fever/Allergy tablets: Loratadine can relieve allergic symptoms due to hayfever and other airborne allergies such as house dust mite and pet allergies, plus allergic skin conditions including rash, itching and urticaria (hives); works within minutes and delivers a full 24 hours relief – without making you drowsy. This is a pretty decent hay fever tablet and I have already stocked up on another batch of them – okay, they don’t deal with the serious allergy stuff I have so I go on to my super-powerful pills at that point, but they’re pretty good for normal, everyday use. I do mix and match them with others of course, but that just helps me health-wise. You can get them from Amazon for £2.45 for 30 tablets.

Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Whitening Toothpaste has pride of place in my bathroom: Most other sensitive toothpastes primarily numb the pain; Colgate® Sensitive Pro Relief™ + Whitening works by plugging the channels that lead to sensitive tooth nerves, to block the pain; with regular use, it builds a long-lasting protective barrier that acts like a seal against sensitivity; its low abrasive formula gently effectively removes stains, helping to restore the natural whiteness of your teeth. This works really well and I use it every night – I add in another similar product in the morning. It helps to desensitise my teeth which basically makes life a lot happier, LOL! I already have 2 spares in the cupboard. You can get this at Boots for £3.80 for a 75ml tube, but there’s a 2 for £5 offer on at the moment, so stock up early!

I’ve written about the SebaMed Clear Face Care Gel loads of times: Panthenol supports the healing of acne lesions; hyaluronic acid increases the moisturizing binding capacity of the skin; aloe barbadensis soothes irritated skin; free from oils and emulsifiers; allantoin smoothens rough scaly skin. I always use this on my spots or blemishes at night and it really works. I also use it on my chest and back and it keeps my skin a lot clearer. Result! You can buy it at Amazon for £5.55 for 50ml, and it’s brilliant!

I was very excited about the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Gel-Lotion as I was going through my grapefruit-for-health phase: Full of pink grapefruit seed oil, our softening Pink Grapefuit Body Lotion will hydrate and nourish your skin. Your skin will be wrapped in moisture, with a sweet fruity scent; body lotion hydrates skin; 24hr moisture; fresh gel lotion; quickly absorbed; Community Trade honey from Ethiopia. I’m so over that phase now and I’m glad I’ve finished this one though it’s perfectly okay, if you really like grapefruit! It’s just a bit TOO grapefruit for me, even in the mornings when I need to be alert, LOL. You can get it at the Body Shop for £8.50 for 250ml.

The Sanctuary Cleansing Burst Body Wash came in a bundle of products at Christmas: Sanctuary Body Wash is an aromatic body wash infused with essential oils and spices to gently cleanse and condition, whilst moisturising capsules of sesame oil and jojoba burst on the skin to help leave it feeling soft, silky smooth and subtly scented. I was fooled by the inclusion of jojoba oil which is very good for the skin, forgetting this is Sanctuary and so it smells like the 1970s, yuk! I really disliked the scent and was so glad when it was finished. I won’t be buying this again! If you like the 1970s, then you can get this one at Boots for £6.00 for 250ml, and there’s even a 3-for-2 offer on all Sanctuary products. But you’d really have to be desperate …

Ah, Eos Vanilla Mint lip balms: aren’t these a bit of a con? You pay all that cash for a pretty looking lip salve which does exactly the same as all the other lip salves in existence, but at a much higher price. The taste is also so subtle that it’s hard to tell flavour what it is at all. But if you’re sold on the packaging, then you can get it at Amazon for £6.99 for 25oz. What was I thinking? I still have some of these left in the same and different flavours which I bought during my crazy Eos phase, but I won’t be bothering again …

Have a fabulous Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books 

Grapefruit, Ginger and Peony

Products 1

I received another DHC sample package in the post recently – I had the Eye Bright (£19.50 at Amazon), the Deep Cleansing Oil (£23.98 for 200ml at Amazon), and the Face Wash Powder. (£10.50 at Amazon). The Eye Bright was fine, and the Deep Cleansing Oil is okay – I’ve used it before as a first cleanser but I have others I prefer. But it was the Face Wash Powder that was seriously weird! It’s literally a powder that you dab onto your skin and then add water to make it into a foam. I really didn’t like it as it felt disgusting – like making glue on your face, yuk! Personally I’d avoid it, and on the whole I’m still not sold on the DHC brand, LOL!

I also received another sample Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream – which I used as it was there, but I’m not rushing out to buy it. It doesn’t seem available at Amazon any more, but I’m not that bothered …

It’s a whole other story for the sample Yves St Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche perfume though – I LOVED it! Live the night with BLACK OPIUM NUIT BLANCHE, an electrifying new interpretation of the iconic BLACK OPIUM coffee signature. A seductive white coffee floral fragrance designed to give the wearer a burst of energy to last through the night. NUIT BLANCHE translates to ‘White Night’, a night in Paris once a year when rock chicks take control and make the city their playground until dawn. The iconic white floral heart of the original Black Opium Eau de Parfum is electrified with a burst of energizing aldehydes and aphrodisiac white musk for an all-night adventure. Well, I’m no rock chick and I adored it – a perfect mix of sultry and sweet and strangely right even for the office if you want to go for that essential hint of sophistication. I got loads of compliments on this one! Sadly, it’s way beyond my price range, being £64 for 50ml at Boots, but if you’ve got the cash, then grab this one for sure.

Products 2

From the sublime to the ridiculous, I’m nothing without a handful or two of HSL Epsom Salts in my bath – so very cleansing, my dears! And only £10.29 for 3kg at Amazon and I’ve already restocked it.

Meanwhile, me and my super-sensitive teeth absolutely LOVE Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste – I usually go for the whitening one as it’s really good so I must have picked this one up by mistake at some point. Still good though. It’s only £4.50 for 75ml at Boots, and they have a 2 for £6 offer on Sensodyne toothpaste at the moment – so don’t forget to pick up the whitening one too!

I’ve at last managed to finish off the dreaded second bottle of the frankly appalling VO5 Volume Boost Gel Spray. Does anyone really still believe in this? It’s sticky and doesn’t boost the volume, though the scent isn’t bad. I won’t be bothering again, but if you’re feeling foolhardy, you can get it for £5.98 for 200ml at Amazon and there appear to be only 8 bottles left. Which is surely a blessing, eh.

Products 3

I wasn’t really prepared to like the Greenland Fruit Emotions Grapefruit & Ginger Body Butter, but actually it’s not too bad. It’s not available on Amazon any more, but costs 14 Euros at the Greenland site. I think that’s far too pricey for such a small tin and I won’t be bothering again, I think. However, on the plus side, it doesn’t smell cheap, which is great, and it sinks into the skin well.

I totally LOVE the Marks & Spencer Peony Shower Cream – the smell is wonderful and very grown-up too. Sadly, M&S don’t seem to do this separately as it was part of a Christmas set – but I really wish they would produce this on its own and in a bigger tube. I would rush to buy it!

The Olay Firm & Lift Anti-Wrinkle Booster & Firming Serum is quite nice, as well as being a mouthful to say, LOL! I use this in the evenings, after work as a primer for my evening top-up make-up, though I’m not sure I’m going to buy another one, as I have others to use. It costs £4.99 for 50ml at Boots, which I believe is down from £9.99 so do give it a go.

And I absolutely would NOT be without my trusty Max Factor Pan Stik in Fair – it is GENIUS and covers every possible spot, blemish and redness you can imagine. I don’t like using it as a foundation – though I know many people to – as I prefer to have a liquid surface on my face. I use this as a concealer instead and it makes my skin look totally amazing. You can get it for £7.99 for 9g at Boots and it is worth its weight in gold, I tell you!

Products 4

Last but not least, my Lancome Love Your Age sample which came in the post last week. I didn’t expect to like it, but actually it’s very good, and certainly smoothes my skin out. I’ve been using it day and night, and am impressed. The Youth Activating Concentrate goes on first, and then is followed by the Renergie Multi-Lift. They make my skin look brighter and smoother without causing any irritation. The only thing I’m not happy about – and which means I sadly won’t be trying out the full-sized products – is the horrendous price! £47.20 for 30ml of the Concentrate, at Boots, and £53.60 for 50ml of the Multi-Lift, again at Boots. Really, you’d have to take out a mortgage! But if I ever won the lottery (which I suppose means actually entering it!), I would buy this set.

As ever, have a beautiful week!

Anne Brooke Books

Pixis and Doves

Products 11 March 2017

A mixed bag of products this week: some good and some bad. I’ll take it from the top.

Montagne Jeunesse Manuka Honey Peel-Off Mask: For all skin types; cleansing, moisturising and refreshing; a natural cleanser which gently peels away. I absolutely LOVE the smell of this one, and it does cleanse and soothe the skin, but I just can’t get beyond the fact that I hate peel-off masks. It’s the faff of it all – the age it takes to peel off, the mess in the sink that you have to clear up, etc etc. It’s a real nuisance so, even though I think the product is very effective, I’m not buying any more of these. You can get it at Amazon for £1.99 per mask and each sachet will last you for 2 sessions.

Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel: Panthenol supports the healing of acne lesions; hyaluronic acid increases the moisturising binding capacity of the skin; aloe barbadensis soothes irritated skin; free from oils and emulsifiers; allantoin smoothens rough scaly skin. This for me is a life-saver. I use it most nights on spots and scarring and it really calms and smooths everything down. Heaven! I have already restocked it. It costs £5.55 for 50ml at Amazon and is worth its weight in gold.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Overnight Intense Soothing Care: La Roche-Posay Tolériane Ultra Overnight 40ml is a night care cream that instantly repairs and soothes the face and eyes of ultra-sensitive or allergic skins.Rich in La Roche-Posay thermal water, its formula contains Neurosensine, a powerful soothing antioxidant that targets cutaneous discomfort, but also the detoxifying carnosine/vitamin E complex to limit the appearance of redness when you wake up in the morning. Without preservative, paraben, fragrance, alcohol, colouring or lanolin. I received this as a sample product (one use only – what is the point of that??!) and wasn’t impressed. It seemed very watery to me and did nothing for my skin. Still, what can you tell from a one-hit wonder, eh? Needless to say, I won’t be purchasing the full size. If you fancy a go, good luck, and you can buy it at Amazon for £16.75 for 40ml.

Vicks Sinex Micromist Aqueuous Nasal SprayFast relief from a blocked nose due to common cold, hayfever and sinusitis. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that I suffer from throat sinusitis on an all but permanent basis. Recently, I’ve decided to take another shot at making life a bit healthier and kicking the constant feeling of nausea and wanting to be sick into touch, as best I can. So I’ve bought a whole load of different nasal sprays over the counter (rather than the really strong one from my GP which I’m supposed to use as little as possible as it does tend to give me nose-bleeds, sadly) and am slowly trying them out. This is the first one of the selection I picked, and I take one spray in each nostril every morning. It’s brilliant. Honestly, my nose and throat have never been so under control. Yes, it means a bit of sneezing each morning – but to me that’s a good thing as the more I sneeze the less likely I am to want to gag – and the odd nose-bleed here and there, but nothing like the ones I get with the GP’s super-spray. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to use them for more than ten days at a time, but if the people who write these instructions could go through what I’ve been going through for the last few years, then they wouldn’t be quite so strict with these rulings. It does the trick for me and, heck, if Andrew Motion says that he has a Lemsip each morning as it helps him write his poetry, then I’m jolly well going to have a couple of nasal sprays each morning if it helps me breathe without gagging, LOL! Anyway, you’ve guessed it – yes, I would buy this one again, but I’m going through the others too to see if there’s a preference before I think about restocking. You can buy this particular product at Boots for £4.49 for 15ml. A total bargain!

Pixi Glow Mud CleanserThis active yet gentle cleanser with 5% glycolic acid exfoliates to reveal a glowing, healthier-looking skin tone. Mud deep cleans and detoxifies pores while hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and avocado oil plump and nourish the skin. Leaves complexion feeling smooth and purified. I have a couple of sample tubes of this and am really enjoying using them. Even though it’s quite highly scented, that doesn’t irritate me at all and, in fact, it does what it says on the tin, and leaves my face smooth and deeply cleansed. I’m also sure it helps calm down irritations on the skin before they get too much to handle! When I’ve finished the second sample tube of this, I will be buying the full-sized product for sure. You can get it at Marks & Spencer for £18 for 135ml.

Sanctuary Silky-Smooth Body LotionA lighter, more refreshing way to quench skin. This easily-absorbed lotion contains a revitalising mix of ginger and fragrant spices to help stimulate the circulation, as well as nourishing jojoba to provide 24 hour moisturisation for soft, smooth skin all day long. Please note: Silky Smooth Body Lotion contains ginger which stimulates blood flow in the skin. This is beneficial to the skin’s health and as a normal consequence it can lead to redness and a gentle tingling sensation. I thought I’d treat myself to some of this over Christmas just to see if there’d been any changes since I last bought any Sanctuary products: is it just me or do all Sanctuary products smell the same?? It’s like something we used to use in the 1970s – as if the whole range has been trapped in time somewhere and never escaped, LOL! It’s okay but so old-fashioned in my view, sigh. Also that description worries me!! Why on earth would you put something on your skin that makes you go red and tingle??? Um, NO!! Thankfully that didn’t happen with me or I would have chucked it away at once. Oh, and it doesn’t smell of ginger, which is a shame as I like ginger, which has never made anything about me tingle except my taste buds! I will therefore be avoiding this in future, but if you’re feeling brave, you can get it at Amazon for £19.99 but it’s not worth it …

Dove Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Roll-OnHave you noticed how wearing different colours can make you feel different? Whatever your favourite colour makes you feel, the last thing you want to worry about is white marks on your clothes. That’s why the best accessory to your colourful wardrobe is Dove Invisible Dry Anti-perspirant Deodorant Roll on. As well as protecting your clothes, Dove Invisible Dry helps keep you fresh and dry with up to 48 hours of antiperspirant protection, so you never have to worry about wet patches or white marks. The 0% alcohol and ¼ moisturising cream formula helps underarm skin to recover from irritation caused by shaving and leaves your underarms feeling softer, smoother and looking even more beautiful. So be bold, be daring, be colourful. Your anti-perspirant won’t get in the way. I love this deodorant. It’s the one I use just before I go to work and I top it up when I get home. It has a pleasant light floral scent, never leaves marks on my clothes (hurrah!!) and I don’t feel dressed – or ready for my evening – without it. Yes, I’ve already restocked. It costs £1.75 for 50ml at Boots, which is amazingly reasonable for such a good quality product. Well done to Dove!

Balance Me Congested Skin SerumAn SOS instant spot minimising serum for combination/oily skin. This light, non-greasy formula clears and prevents spots. Anti-bacterial May Chang, calming Lavender and cooling Aloe Vera give instant results. 99% natural. Instant treatment reduces spots as soon as they begin to show. Treats problem areas without drying the skin. Balance Me my bottom!! This is a truly ineffective product – you may as well put water on your skin for all the good it does you. On the plus side, it does no harm, which is the most that can be said for it – but honestly I’ve never put anything quite so hopeless onto my face and it’s a pleasure that I’ve finally used it up, hurrah! It didn’t make any spots better at all so there’s no point buying it. Thankfully, it appears to be out of stock on Amazon, so let’s hope it stays that way, LOL!

Soap & Glory Puffy Eye AttackLoaded with anti-dark circle and anti-puff BOTANICAL PEPTIDES, detoxifying OXYGINSENG™ TECHNOLOGY, HYPER HYDRATORS and COOL-CUCUMBER-X™, Soap & Glory™ Puffy Eye Attack™ is a fast-acting, de-bloating, skin-firming, collagen-boosting GENIUS IN A JAR! Tackles dark circles and puff; firms, tones, rehydrates; boosts collagen production; helps kick-start stagnant undereye circulation; cools, soothes and moisturises; perfectly balanced for all skin types. If you can get beyond the Soap & Glory ENTHUSIASTIC SELL TECHNIQUE(!), and believe me I can, then this is the best eye cream I have ever used. I love it – it smooths my eye area, makes me look like a human being rather than a zombie that’s seen better days, and eases my puffiness, big-time. I will be buying another one very soon, but I do have other eye products on the go at the moment so need to give them a fighting chance to state their case. If anyone is convinced they’ve found an eye product that is better than this, however, PLEASE let me know! You can get it at Boots for £12.50 for 14ml. It’s not cheap, but it’s so worth it.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

 

Dove, Dentyl and Figs

Products I Will Buy Again

5-feb-products-i-love

I do so love the SebaMed Clear Face Care Gel, as I’ve said before. I use it as a spot cream at night on my face where needed, and also on my back and chest whenever I’ve had a flare up. It really calms everything down and I now won’t be without it. It costs £5.55 for 50ml at Amazon and I have already restocked it.

The Dentyl Active Smooth Mint Alcohol-Free Mouthwash is the only one I use – once a day, at night only. The taste is great and it certainly gets rid of the plaque. I also really appreciate that it’s alcohol-free, as I just refuse to use mouthwashes with alcohol in them. You can buy this at Superdrug for £4.39 for 500ml, so really good value.

I really like the 7th Heaven Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Blemish Mud – it’s very soothing and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. Our special blend of aloe vera, willow, evening primrose and witch hazel in our face mask naturally target your problem areas for a clean complexion. It costs £1.98 at Amazon for a pack, and I get 2 uses out of it, so it’s incredibly good value. I have a supply of these in my bathroom cabinet, hurrah!

My favourite product of this week is definitely the Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating TonerThis best selling, cult favourite exfoliating toner perfects skin tone and texture, resulting in a healthy glow. Aloe vera, ginseng and botanical extracts work together to soothe and treat skin while 5% glycolic acid accelerates cell renewal. Alcohol-free and gentle on all skin types. I was a bit uncertain at first as I don’t like a whole lot of exfoliation going on, as my face is sensitive enough without rubbing it to death! However, this is not at all harsh, and feels both soothing and cleansing which is great. I have stocked up on this one. You can buy it at Marks & Spencer for £18 for £250ml.

Now that I’ve got seriously into painting my nails – even people at work are noticing, well gosh! – I wouldn’t be without my Pretty Nail Drying Spray, which cuts the waiting time down to a mere minute. It’s great stuff. You can buy this one at Amazon for £1.10 for 150ml, though postage will apply. Definitely recommended.

I also love my Dove Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant Deodorant – it keeps me dry and doesn’t rub off with any nasty white marks on my clothes, result! Dove Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant Roll On gives 24 hour protection without leaving any white marks on clothing. It contains 0% alcohol so is gentle on skin whilst being an effective deodorant. And the fact it’s alcohol-free is a bonus, as deodorants with alcohol give me rashes. It’s on offer at Boots at the moment as a 2 for £3 on Dove products offer, and it costs £1.75 for 50ml.

Products I Won’t Buy Again

5-feb-products-i-hate

I’ve used the Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash for quite a while, but I’m not sure it really does anything important for me these days. A fresh, comfortable microgel which melts into the skin and acts like an invisible “radiance patch”: it gently decongests, eliminating dark circles, puffiness and fine lines while hydrating and protecting the fragile skin of the eye contour. To be honest, I don’t notice any difference and though I will use up the tube I have left, I won’t restock it, as there are other eye products I prefer out there. Plus, for £29 for 20ml at Boots, I’m saving myself a fortune!

The Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream sample was okay, but it didn’t wow me. The phrase ‘Beauty Sleep’ is no accident. While you slumber you secrete growth hormones for cell turnover and fortify the proteins in your skin like collagen. This night cream is like a wheatgrass shot for the skin, with Apple Pectin to hydrate and retain moisture, Plum Almond oil to protect against free radical aggressors attacking and ageing the cells, Wild Carrot rich in pro-vitamin A to boost collagen and Hazelnut Peptide to firm and lift so you wake up toned, nourished and glowing. Heavens above, that blurb!! All of your 5-a-day veggies in one night cream. I think it might be too rich for me and it didn’t settle well into my skin. If you want to give it a go, it costs an enormous £110(!!!) for 50ml at Cult Beauty, but really you’d have to be made of money, LOL!

Actually, I grew to quite like the Roger & Gallet Fig Bud Body Lotion, as it’s such a lovely consistency, but the smell isn’t quite me, I don’t think. I’m not that sophisticated! The fresh and indulgent scent of Eau Fraiche Fleur de Figuier radiates light and opulence. A melting formula, infused with fig pulp, the main active ingredient is extracted from the buds of the plant, known for their softening properties and effect on suppleness. It’s on offer at Marks & Spencer at the moment at £10.50 for 200ml.

Finally in this section, a couple of samples I received recently – at least I understood what they both were this time and could look them up on the web, hurrah! The Etude House Collagen Essence was hardly worth it as there was nothing but a few drops of the stuff in the packet, groan. But it seemed very thin to me and I don’t think my skin liked it much. You can get it at Amazon for £10.95 for 180ml, but I’m giving it a miss.

The TonyMoly Black Tea London Classic Serum looked quite promising really, but it felt tingly when I put it on my face, and I really don’t like that feeling. I don’t trust it … Then again, I’m not a huge fan of tea, so I should have been warned. This anti-aging and moisturizing serum infused with 56% of black tea ingredients fills skin energy to improve skin elasticity and provide rich nutrients. You can buy this one at Amazon for £27.27 for 55ml, if you’d like to give it a go.

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

Seaweed, Doves and Poppies

Products I Like

products-i-love-28-jan-2017

Lots of good products this week, though I’m not actually going to restock some of them at the moment for a variety of reasons.

The lovely people at 7th Heaven (Montagne Jeunesse) kindly sent me a free black seaweed peel-off mask recently and I’m grateful for the chance to try this one out. It contains natural minerals from Laver Seaweed and Sea Buckthorn which deeply cleanses and draws out dirt and oil. It definitely does this and my face was a lot smoother after this mask – which lasted me two sessions – but as you know I’m not a huge fan of the peel-off mask anyway (takes too long!) and this one is seriously messy and involved a major clean of the basin afterwards, so whilst it does what it says it will do, it’s just not for me … It costs £1.00 at Boots.

I have been TOTALLY loving the Dove Dermaspa Uplifted Body Lotion – and honestly I think it’s the best thing ever for my crinkly thighs, LOL. Uplifted+ is our first spa-like body lotion to blend satin gel with Surface Cell-Moisturisers™. This unique lotion, that gently moisturises and replenishes, give your skin a pick-me-up to improve elasticity and firmness. It’s nicely scented and I also love the fact that it’s a very pale blue colour – which is just different from every other cream under the sun so that’s great too. It’s half-price at Boots at the moment at £2.99 for 200ml, so snap this one up!

During my ‘grapefruit obsession stage’, I picked up a tube of the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Fresh Body Sorbet just to give it a try, and really I’ve fallen in love with this one. This sorbet is the perfect skin treat. Bursting onto the beauty scene, this must-try moisturiser will leave your skin infused with the zesty scent of grapefruit and provide lightweight, instant hydration. I love the fact that it’s lighter than body cream but still gives me smooth skin and that fresh grapefruit smell – it’s brilliant for the mornings! It costs £8.50 for 200ml at Body Shop (not bad for their prices really) and I shall buy it again once I’ve made more of a hole in my massive body cream collection …

My total FAVOURITE product of 2017 has to be the Marks and Spencer Christmas special Star of Wonder Midnight Poppy and Saffron hand cream. I’m utterly devastated that I can’t provide a link for this as it was only a Christmas edition (weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth!), but I’m telling you that this is the happiest product you will EVER put on your hands EVER. Trust me. The tube tells the complete truth on this occasion: A luxurious hand cream with a captivating midnight poppy scent at the heart, on a base of sandalwood, amber, saffron, cinnamon and musks. It’s the creamiest, most gorgeously scented hand cream ever and it’s the cinnamon that does it – I LOVE cinnamon and I wish it was in more products – this product made me happy and it made my friend-going-through-a-horrendous-time happy, and I can’t say a negative thing about it. Please bring it back soon, Marks & Spencer – I can’t wait until next Christmas for more of this – really I can’t!!…

The Dove Compressed Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant Deodorant spray is now my go-to deodorant, as I think it’s even more effective than the roll-on – though I like to have both in stock, always. Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant Deodorant contains translucent anti-perspirant ingredients. It combines protection against white marks on skin and clothes, with powerful anti-perspirant ingredients and advanced 1/4 moisturiser technology. Tough on sweat, not on skin. It’s brilliant – keeps me dry and never stains clothes. I love it. I have two more in stock, but will repurchase definitely when I start to run out. At the moment, it’s £3.50 for 125ml at Boots, but they are having a 2 for £4 selected Dove products offer, so pop this one in your basket asap.

I’ve used Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening toothpaste every morning now for ages (I use another type of toothpaste at night) and it’s an auto buy for me. New Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste is specially formulated to protect against acid erosion and also gently yet effectively remove stains, restoring teeth to their natural whiteness. As it contains fluoride it also provides the benefits of a regular toothpaste. The mint flavour is great – not too sharp – and it keeps the stains well away from my teeth, so what’s not to like? It’s £4.50 for 75ml at Boots, but they are running a 3-for-2 selected Sensodyne offer, so even more of a bargain.

The Dr Organic Tea Tree Cream is pretty good and I’ve used it for quite a while. It’s good for keeping facial spots under control and I use it most mornings. It’s very soothing, but perhaps not quite strong enough for any serious rash crises – though of course I have plenty of other products for those! Whilst I would look at buying this again at some point as it’s just so comforting, I have other options at the moment to try out. It costs £5.99 for 50ml at good old Holland & Barrett.

I’ve come to (well over!!!) the six-month usage for a couple of my favourite mascaras recently and I like them both for different reasons, so here they are:

The Boots No 7 Extreme Length Sensitive Brown/Black mascara is very gentle on my super-sensitive eyes – especially as I’m now concentrating on the top lashes only and leaving the lower ones to do their own thing, LOL. Introducing No7 Extreme Length Sensitive Eyes Mascara. Giving all of the definition, length and separation of the original, this gentler version contains natural waxes, almond and jojoba oils to care for every lash. Enriched with Almond and Jojoba oils to take care of the lashes and D-Panthenol to condition, the mascara has a mild pH neutral formula to ensure eyes are tear free and is suitable for contact lens wearers. It’s easy for a mascara-klutz like me to use and tends to stay on even with my watery eyes. A couple of times, it has run a little bit but it doesn’t cause any pain which is great for me. I feel very happy with this one and will repurchase when I next need to buy a mascara (I have other ones on the go at the moment). It’s £12.50 for 7ml at Boots, though No 7 products have a Buy-1-get-2nd-half-price offer running now.

The Maybelline Waterproof Great Lash Very Black Mascara is very reliable too, but in a slightly different way from the No 7 one above. It definitely doesn’t come off, no matter what – which is great! Though on occasions, I’ve found it a bit on the irritating side. Still, it’s a good evening mascara in my view, and I would look at repurchasing it when I need another mascara. This one is £4.99 for 12ml at Boots, and if you buy one at the moment, you get a second half-price!

I must also thank Mrs Strawberry Blonde this week for mentioning the wonders of the Kabuki brush for putting on face powder recently. I’d never heard of this at all, so I rushed to Superdrug to buy one, and am loving it. It really does give my face a smooth finish, and I’m now a Kabuki fan, LOL! It’s £4.49 at Superdrug, and they’re running a buy-1-get-2nd-half-price offer on selected make-up accessories. You can also get a similar Kabuki brush at Amazon for £3.49, so lots of choice here.

Products I Won’t Repurchase

products-i-hate-28-jan-2017

Here I must give yet another shout-out to Mrs Strawberry Blonde for first introducing me to the facial Konjac sponge which I absolutely LOVE. I bought mine at Superdrug but they don’t seem to be stocking them now, which is a crying shame, but you can still get them at Amazon, hurrah! Anyway, inspired by the sponge wonder, I bought a pink clay Konjac sponge for use on the body generally – I love pink clay as it seems to really soothe my skin. At first I enjoyed using it but after a while I think it began to give me spots again on my chest and back, so I’ve stopped using it and have gone back to my trusty flannel. It has also fallen apart very quickly, which isn’t great. Mind you, when I look at the Amazon product info, I’ve probably been using it wrong as apparently you don’t need soap or shower gel, which I didn’t realise. Don’t know if I’ll try it again, as it’s not given me confidence. The face one is still great though! If you do want to give the body version one a go, it’s £11.99 at Amazon – a bit pricey really.

I’ve been using up the Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Day moisturiser, but haven’t been that impressed really. Olay Total Effects 7in1 Fragrance Free Anti-Ageing Moisturiser is an all-in-one solution for younger-looking skin from the world’s facial skin care brand. It helps fight seven signs of aging: visibly smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, helps skin to maintain its moisture, evens skin tone appearance, minimizes the look of pores, smoothes and evens out skin texture, enhances brightness, hydrates to restore firmer skin appearance. Reformulated with 40% more vitamins than before, it’s Olay’s simple, smart approach to younger, healthier-looking skin. Total Effects’ VitaNiacin Complex, containing vitamin E, pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin B3 (also known as Niacinamide), helps enhance your skin’s healthier look with 7 beautiful benefits. Enjoy visibly firmer, younger-looking skin every day. Sorry, but it’s way too light for me and delivered none of the promised results, oh well. If you’re an Olay fan, it’s currently on offer at a one-third discount at Boots, so £9.99 for 50ml.

Finally, I have finished my sample of Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Rich Cream but it did nothing for me. Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich gives, for the first time, Vichy Thermal Spa Water and a micro-encapsulated delivery system of Activ Hyaluronine improve the diffusion of moisture into the surface of the epidermis. The skin feels replenished with water, as if continuously hydrated by misting micro-sprays. The skin is intensely hydrated feeling soothed. It feels supply, refreshed and velvety soft, free of sensation of tightness all day long. The skin is more resilient, with increased suppleness and radiance. Its effectiveness is proven on 100 women under dermatological control. The rich cream is refreshing and melts into the skin. Non-greasy and non-stick with no sensation of thickness.The Aqualia Thermal range helps fortify and soothe the skin giving it 24 hour hydrating care for use on dehydrated and sensitive skin. Intensely hydrated, the skin feels soother, refreshed and free from sensations of tightness. Harrumph! Really appalled with the standard of English here!!! Have Boots no decent translators at all? Heck, even I can do better than this – but I thought I’d leave it as it is on their site to give you a laugh! My dears, it worked no miracles for me, so I have saved myself £17 for a 50ml pot, phew!

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

 

Pearls and Pokemon

Products I will Buy Again

products-i-like-21-jan-2017

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

products-i-hate-21-jan-2017

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