Wild Rose and Angels

Products 1

Mugler Angel Eau de Parfum: Scents: sweet, patchouli, warm spicy, cocoa, caramel and woody. I received this as an incredibly tiny sample that you somehow had to pull out in order to smell it. You couldn’t even get it on the skin! What’s the point of a sample like that? I also broke mine whilst trying to open it so was really cross with it. As far as I can tell, it smells really sweet and sickly and is probably one for the younger woman who doesn’t mind when people around her start fainting, LOL! Definitely NOT one for the office – though on the other hand it depends who you work with … You can find it at Amazon for £36.02 for 25ml.

Tesco Nail Polish Remover: I’ve had this for years and only rediscovered it in the cupboard recently. It’s perfectly okay though not the best nail polish remover I’ve used. I was happy to finish it up though – but be warned, it’s not great at getting the glitter polish off, even if you do use the kitchen foil trick! You can get it at Tesco for £1.25 for 250ml, so a real bargain.

Imperial Leather Sherbet Lemon Shower CreamRefresh your skin with this zesty sherbet lemon shower cream leaving you feeling clean, revived and smelling great. I started off really liking this one as the lemon scent is the perfect balance between sweet and sharp – but I must admit I got a bit bored with it so won’t buy it again. However, if you’re a lemon freak, this is the one for you! It costs £1.00 for 250ml at Boots.

L’Oreal Velvety-Soft Toner: Specially adapted for dry and sensitive skin.Thoroughly cleansed, your skin feels soothed, skin is more supple, softer and brighter, and it feels comfortable and less taut. I didn’t really get on with this one, I have to say, and in the end I threw it away as I just couldn’t bear using it any more. It just feels slimy on my face and left a curious film on my skin that I didn’t take to. I know loads of people like it though, so I’m probably the exception that proves the rule! You can get it at Amazon for £7.48 for 200ml.

Max Factor FaceFinity Compact Foundation in Porcelain (01)A pressed powder which combines the comfort of use with the properties of a liquid foundation, giving you the desired smooth coverage and a satin finish. The Perma-Wear technology provides all-day fade resistant colour and flawless coverage that lasts up to 8 hours. This compact contains SPF 15 which helps to protect your skin from the sun rays. I love this compact and always take it to work with me – I need to touch up a couple of times during the day so it definitely doesn’t last 8 hours, but then again, what does? It gives great coverage and reduces the appearance of redness and scarring. The only problem is that it doesn’t last long and it breaks up easily which is a SERIOUS pain. However, it’s still the best touch-up compact I’ve found for day use. It costs £9.74 for 10g at Amazon which is a ridiculous price, but I still buy it because it’s just so good.

Vanilla Flower Air Purifier Concentrate: this came with my Amos Air Purifier which is just brilliant for helping my breathing at night, and I do really like this scent. I put two or three drops into the water holder every couple of nights and it works like a dream. You can get the whole caboodle at Amazon for £19.99 which is a great bargain for a good night’s sleep without the snorting and gagging, LOL!

Products 2

Simply Supplements Menapol Plus Capsules: An invigorating herbal complex that may help to ease women through the uncomfortable transitional period of the menopause. Each MenapolTM Plus EasyGest capsule provides: Red Clover, Liquorice Extract, Dandelion Root, Acai Berry, Soya Isoflavones, Chamomile Extract, Cranberry Extract and Siberian Ginseng. These are really very good – I take one each night and it keeps menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms very much at bay. Even when hot flushes come, they’re much shorter and less dramatic than they used to be, so that’s a definite result! They cost £12.15 for 120 capsules which is a pretty decent price, to my mind.

Baylis & Harding Wild Rose & Raspberry Leaf Cleansing Hand Wash: a luxurious, scented hand wash and fragranced with exotic jasmine and fruity raspberry. It is made with gentle notes of wild rose for a fresh light fragrance. I really liked this one and it’s also very gentle on the hands, which is fabulous. The only problem for me is the enormous size of the pot as it just doesn’t fit on my basin very well. If only they made a smaller size, I’d buy it, but I’m not repurchasing this large one again. I will have to find my subtle rose fix elsewhere! You can buy it at Amazon for £2.15 for 500ml, so a decent price too.

MiaRoma Sweet Almond OilA natural, cold pressed oil with a neutral aroma that provides the perfect base for you to create your own blend of aromatherapy oils to suit your mood. The softening and nourishing effects of sweet almond oil mean it can be used alone as a face or body oil. This oil is totally fabulous for my face and I use it morning and evening just after my toner. I also smear a small quantity on spots and it really helps to heal them very quickly. Result! It costs £7.69 for 200ml at Holland and Barrett, and they’re also running a Buy One Get One Half Price offer at the moment so this is well worth popping into your shopping basket!

HRI Clear Complexion Tablets: Treats skin problems from within; it is used for the symptomatic relief of minor skin conditions such as spots, pimples, blemishes, mild acne and mild eczema; this gentle complementary medicine contains natural active herbs. Contains burdock root.  I use this product regularly and it definitely keeps my skin problems under control. One tablet in the morning and one at night seems to suit me just fine. They cost £5.98 for a pack of 60 at Amazon and I have already restocked them.

Montagne de Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Pac: Dead Sea Mud draws out impurities and opens blocked pores to give clean, soft skin in a refreshing mud pack; anti stress relief for normal, oily and T-Zone skin; a relaxing ultra deep pore cleanser with Sea Kelp nutrients; contains aromatherapy anti stress oils. I really love the light blue colour of this mud pack – it’s fun! The light scent is also very pleasant and it feels very soothing on my face. I would definitely restock this one at some point though I have loads of these masks at the moment and need to use them up! You can easily make it last for two face packs as there’s loads in the sachet. It costs £1.00 for a 20mg pack at Boots.

Have a beautiful week!

Anne Brooke: Biblical Fiction UK

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

 

Gold Lady and Grapefruit

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I never would have bought the Imperial Leather Sweet Vanilla and Cherry Blossom Foamburst Body Wash as I thought (weirdly) the look of it was way too masculine and I couldn’t work out who it was aimed at. I mean what’s with all the spooky black background? Seriously odd. It was only because I came across a blogger who was raving about it and said how much both she and her husband loved it that I decided to give this one a go. This luxurious body wash transforms from a smooth gel into an abundance of rich, creamy lather that glides across your skin like silk. Benefits: Immerse yourself in a delicious heavenly fragrance with this sumptuous vanilla and cherry blossom body wash. Leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth after just one wash. Our expertly crafted blend delivers a unique fragrance burst and a lather so rich and silky it can also be used for shaving. I’m glad I bought it, because I must say I absolutely LOVE it. The smell is glorious – like immersing yourself in the best ever cherry pie and it somehow feels very Christmassy too. As with all Imperial Leather products, the foam is fabulous and you only need one small squirt for your whole body – bliss! I will definitely be picking this one up again very soon. You can find it at Superdrug for £3.15 for 200ml, but they’re doing a 2 for £5 offer at the moment.

I must admit that when I bought it online, I thought the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Butter was going to be a much larger tub so when it arrived it was fairly disappointing. I’m no good with measurements, as you can tell! This rich and creamy Body Butter is a feast for the skin. It melts straight in to leave skin feeling soft and smooth. It contains Community Trade cocoa butter and has a zingy grapefruit scent. 

  • Body moisturiser
  • Lightly moisturises (24hr hydration)
  • Nourishes skin
  • For normal to dry skin
  • Skin is left feeling softer, and suppler
  • Easily absorbed
  • Refreshing, zesty scent

However, I enjoyed the product a lot more than I thought I would – the smell is great and not too harsh, and it rubs in very easily. The only issues are the size and the price – it’s £6 for 50ml, so you don’t get much bang for your buck. A shame really …

The Olay Regenerist 3 Point Day Cream was sent as a sample, and left me fairly cold actually. Olay Regenerist 3 Point day Cream with SPF30 provides fast anti-ageing results on face, neck and décolletage. From the first use, its lightweight, non-greasy texture leaves skin brighter, hydrated and protected from the ageing effects of sun damage. After 5 days skin feels firmer. Firms and helps protect from damaging UV rays SPF 30 protection in a lightweight prestigious feel. Hydrates skin and regenerates for a youthful look. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Exfoliates, smoothens and brightens. The trouble is that it’s just so lightweight that I didn’t feel it was doing me any good at all – like putting absolutely nothing on my face. I do at least like to feel it’s making some kind of difference, LOL! However, if you like things being that invisible, maybe this is the one for you? You can get it at Boots for £19.99 for 50ml, but they are having a one-third discount on Olay products at the moment.

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The Tesco Lens Wipes are my go-to product for cleaning my glasses and sunglasses. For spectacles, cameras and optical devices: quick drying, smear free and individually wrapped. I only actually clean them once a week but I really should do them more – I’m just too lazy! I would say these ones do leave some smears but they vanish very quickly so there’s no need to scrub at them. They cost £1.25 for 26 wipes, so not too bad at all.

I tried the Mario Badescu Facial Spray, as so many beauty bloggers were recommending it. A refreshing & hydrating facial mist. Features a gentle & non-irritating formula. Contains fragrant Herbal Extracts & Rosewater to provide a boost of moisture. Instantly soothes tight, dehydrated skin. Leaves skin refreshed & comfortable. Perfect for all skin types. Can also be used on dry hair. To use: mist on face, neck & hair as needed. Also great for setting makeup. This one is fine and the rose smell is nice, but I wouldn’t say I was wowed by it at all. I think there are better and cheaper rosewater sprays on the market. You can buy this one at Amazon for £10.66 for 120ml.

The Milton Lloyd Gold Lady Parfum de Toilette is one of my reliable day-time/work scents and I already have a spare to use now I’ve finished one. The notes are:

  • Citrus, Fruity
  • Jasmin Lily Rose
  • Caramel – Musk
  • Oriental-Fruity

For me, it’s pleasantly floral with a slight spicy kick that I love. You can get it at Amazon for £2.95 for 50ml, so a real and worthwhile bargain!

I’ve got loads of the Montagne Jeunesse Aloe Vera Blemish Mud Masks and they’re fairly good at clearing up the skin. The attributes are:

  • Special mud blend of Aloe Vera, Willow, Rosemary and WitchHazel
  • For Clear, Clean & Refreshed skin

The trouble is that the smell is starting to annoy me a bit so I have tended recently to approach it with a slight groan. It does the job fairly well, but I’m opting for one of my other blemish masks when the need arises these days. I’m hoping this is just a blip as I do have lots left, LOL! You can buy it at Amazon for £1.98 per 20ml mask, and this will last you at least two sessions.

Finally, I’ve been using the Nyx Dark Circle Concealer in the Fair shade for a while now. A serious solution for one of beauty’s most challenging problems! No fancy names – just a product that can be counted on to do the job. The product glides on without looking thick or obvious. Coconut oil provides intensive moisture and ensures no caking. The subtle hint of orange counteracts the appearance of dark circles while natural skin-toned pigments work in unison to provide the ultimate coverage. It blends in well – but I don’t think it does the job as well as other products to be honest – though my eyes do need a lot of help! I was also annoyed by the way it caked up in the pot as I was coming to the end of it, which was very irritating. I kept putting caked pieces of the concealer onto my face and having to wipe it off and start again, grrr! So, while it’s been an interesting experience, I won’t be bothering again. You can buy it at Boots for £6.50 for a 2.9g pot, and it lasts a good while.

Happy Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books 

Dove, Dentyl and Figs

Products I Will Buy Again

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

 

Mists, Masks and Matis

Products I Love

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Hope everyone has had a happy Christmas! I’ve had a great time, partly because I’ve LOVED a lot of products I’ve used up this week, hurrah!

The Innisfree Bija Sheet Mask is lovely, and I’ve used it before. It’s great for my acne-prone skin, the mask stays on easily and it’s incredibly softening and refreshing. You can get 1 for £1.00 at the Innisfree site but I buy mine at Ebay and have already restocked. I’m not even a fan of face masks, LOL, but this one is an exception.

Keeping with the acne solution theme, SebaMed Clear Face Gel is just marvellous – though I use it as a spot gel rather than as a gel for the whole face. On the other hand, I might try using it as it’s supposed to be used for once and see how it goes – it’s not at all drying but it does the job I want it to very well. Again, I have already restocked this from Amazon where you can buy 50ml for £5.55. A bargain and one I definitely recommend.

The Neutrogena Concentrated Unscented hand cream is a MUST, at all times of the year for me, but absolutely vital in these cold winter months. I always use it in the mornings as it’s just so good. You can get this for £2.77 for 50ml from Boots at the moment as they’re having a special 25% Neutrogena discount – so well worth popping this in your trolley.

The Roger & Gallet Fig Extract Hand Cream is a new one on me and I have loved it. Roger & Gallet is my new (to me) Rising Star beauty company! The smell is subtle –  fig isn’t my favourite scent – but the quality of the cream is brilliant. I will be buying more of this, but think I will try a different scent just to see what it’s like. This one is £6 for 30ml from FeelUnique and I admit I will buy this hand cream again even though I rejected the Body Shop 30ml hand creams which are only £4 – yes, I am a hypocrite!! – but R&G is just so much better. You get what you pay for, LOL.

I have liked using The Body Shop Smoothing Eye Cream and it has been quite effective, but for £16(!!!) for a mere 15ml, I’m afraid I won’t be restocking. I think I must have got this in a half-price offer or something, as I certainly wouldn’t have considered it otherwise. Still, if you have spare cash, then you might like to try this – or even better send me the spare cash and I can spend it wisely for you!…

The Vichy Normaderm Anti-Blemish Care came as one of my monthly free FeelUnique samples and I do like it, though I don’t necessarily love it. I did a tidy up of all my beauty products this week (yay, me!) and found a full size product  ready to be used, so no need to think about buying any more. You can find it at Superdrug for £10.85 for 50ml – which is about £3 cheaper than at Boots. Good old Superdrug!

Due to the Christmas excesses (any alcohol- or chocolate-free days, anyone? Um, no, me neither …!!), I have treated myself to the 7th Heaven Nut Oil Mask which is fabulous. A great smell, and it contains marula oil (I really rate this for calming things down), and it clarifies and softens my skin – yes, I will be restocking this one, though I have loads of 7th Heaven masks in my cabinet which are now in one place (see note re the Beauty Tidy above …) waiting to be enjoyed. At the moment it’s not available at Amazon, but you can pick these up really cheaply at supermarkets and at Ebay for only about £1.00 per mask. I get 2 uses out of each.

I have LOVED the Avene Thermal Spring Water spray for absolutely ages, even though I don’t think it’s very popular now, but it still does the trick for me in terms of soothing my skin quickly. I’ve not restocked this yet, however, as I have a couple of new facial sprays to play with, but I’m sure it’s a product I’ll come back to in the end. You can buy this at Boots for £10 for 300ml, which I think is pretty good for a branded product.

I think this is my last Guinot sample and this time it’s their Dry Skin Face Cream – it’s been quite nice to use and I do like the delicate scent, but at £24.95 for 50ml at the AllBeauty site, I think I’ll be giving it a miss. I’ll probably pick up another sample at some point though (wicked me!)…

Finally, Matis is a new brand for me, and I have really enjoyed their Hyaluronic Performance Cream as it goes on so beautifully and seems to make my skin feel so much better. But – alas and alack!! – it’s a whopping £55.14 for 50ml at Amazon and I don’t think my bank balance can take it! I can still recommend it though – and if you get it, I shall have to sneak round and steal a swipe or two when you’re not looking …

Products I Don’t Like

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I picked up the DD Anti-Ageing Cream from Superdrug a while back and all I can say is that it’s okay, but not as good as my usual CC creams which I mix with my foundation. I think it’s just too watery and doesn’t smooth over imperfections very well. However, it claims to do marvellous things, so perhaps someone else will have better success with it. At a mere £4.95 for 50ml with the current Superdrug half-price offer, it’s worth a go.

Now, here’s a list of La Roche-Posay fails, sad to say – as I have other products from them that I totally LOVE, but these aren’t they. The Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour Gel only came in a 2ml sample which isn’t enough for a pinhead really – but I didn’t rate it much, I’m sorry to report. You can find it at Boots for £14.90 for 20ml. Hmm, not sure it will be worth it …

In similar fashion, the Toleriane Ultra Intense Soothing Care was a ridiculously small sample and didn’t leave any great impression on me. Actually, I can’t remember a thing about it, to be honest, but as it was only 2ml, I might well have blinked and missed it. If you fancy giving it a go, you can find it at Escentual Beauty for £17.50 for 40ml – though if you wait until January, you can get one-third off ALL La Roche-Posay products, so don’t click too soon! A special mention for Escentual for actually telling us that before we buy – well done, folks!…

Finally, in this section, I was so looking forward to trying my sample of the Effaclar Duo+ as I’ve heard amazing things about it wherever I travel on the Interweb thingy. La R-P must have been feeling generous (not!) as this sample was actually a whole 3ml – well, perish me timbers, me hearties, as they say!! Whatever next? Maybe La R-P might ease the purse strings a tad and give us decent-sized samples we can properly test out? Don’t hold your breath … Anyway, this did nothing for me and indeed it vanished into my skin and did zilch – if you see what I mean. That saves me a bit of money then, hey ho. You can get this at Boots for £15.50 for 40ml, and everyone else but me loves it!

Happy New Year to you all, and I wish you a fabulous start to 2017!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

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