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

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Dove Delight and Nyx Fail

Lots more products I’ve completed this week, so it’s a bit of a bumper week for me.

Products I Like

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The Imperial Leather Marshmallow Shower Cream is absolutely amazing and smells like heaven. It’s one of my total favourite things for bath – and shower! – time. I always have a bottle of this in the bathroom – you can pick it up at Boots for only £1 and it’s often on offer there or in other stores. I particularly love the long-lasting lather so you don’t need to re-soap up much.

I use Dove Firming Nourishing Lotion on my thighs at night, and I think it keeps my ageing skin under some kind of control, LOL. I’d probably buy another but I’ve got a different thigh cream to try out next, so I’m going to leave it for a bit. You can get this at Amazon for £5.75.

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (with marula oil) is a totally wonderful facial cleanser and feels so soft on my skin. I really love it. I have another bottle in reserve as this is a must for my cleansing routine. Marula gel is very good for the skin and I’ve been buying more of this recently. Interestingly, I went off all Clarins products for ages as I used to have regular facials with their therapists in my local town, but two or three years ago, they kept cancelling my appointments for no real reason, and then left me waiting for over half an hour on two occasions before saying they couldn’t make my scheduled appointments – so the customer service was terrible. I was really angry and upset and never went back. These days, I’m using some of their products again, but I’m steering clear of having any Clarins facial treatments for sure. Anyway, this product is brilliant for sensitive skin like mine. It’s £21 for 125ml. A bit on the expensive side but so worth it.

Rimmel BB Cream 9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup (Very Light)  is one of my go-to products and I use it every day when I get home from work and touch up my make up for the evening. You can never get it at Boots Online as it’s ALWAYS out of stock for some reason so I buy it at Amazon – it’s £5.49 for 30ml. I use Very Light as my skin is so pale it’s almost vampiric (typical redhead, eh!) but there are other tones too. It’s a staple in my bathroom cabinet.

Nip&Fab Viper Venom Eye Fix is quite good and I do like it, but I’m not so keen on the roller mechanism, which I don’t think is so good for the skin around the eyes. That said, I’ve learnt recently that I’ve been putting my eye creams/gels on wrongly all these years by dabbing it onto the skin directly under my eye. Apparently – and I’ve been doing this for about a week and it really makes a positive difference to how I look!! – you should be dabbing or rolling on the eye products on the ridge of the eye socket so from the outer corner of the eye in a curve down to the middle of the nose. Who knew! Anyway, my eyes look much better since I’ve been doing that, so I will definitely be using this product again as the roller doesn’t do damage on the socket. It’s £7.47 for 15ml.

Montagne Jeunesse Creamy Coconut face mask is just flipping wonderful and I love the smell. I get two masks out of the 15ml pack and they only cost £1 so what’s not to like? It makes the skin really soft and is brilliantly moisturising.

Salcura Bioskin Zeoderm Cream (No 2) came as a free sample and is really very soothing. It’s a light green colour which is surprising but not unpleasant, and certainly feels moisturising once it sinks in (it takes a while). It’s very good for eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions, but though I did like it, at £24.99 for 250ml, I’ll probably give it a miss. I’ll enjoy using up the other sample though!

The Eve Lom Kiss Mix is the most expensive product in this section, size for size, but I LOVE it, and I have 2 more in my cupboard, so that’s a relief! I love the slightly minty flavour and the way it makes my lips shine – I’m a definite gloss girl – bah to the matte lip look, eh. So this is definitely for me. It’s £16 for 7ml at SpaceNK but when I remember that it’s taken me 8 MONTHS to finish up, then maybe it’s the best bargain I’ve found after all! A little goes a long way – get some now!

Products I Dislike

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I’ve talked about the Dr Schrammek Sensiderm SOS Balm before – it’s pretty decent as a facial moisturiser but because the woman who gave me the product sample was so nasty, this one is a no-no for me! Even more so when I look at the £79.99 price tag, yikes!

I picked up a sample of Estee Lauder Double Wear Make Up in Cool Almond in our local House of Fraser – and I have to say that the make up man who dealt with my queries and issues (Stephan) was absolutely incredibly lovely, and very kind indeed. Thank you to Stephan! – I sent a thank you email to the House of Fraser main office and they said they would send it on and so I hope they do. He was great. I’m just sorry that the Cool Almond shade was too dark for me, though I have liked the feel of the foundation itself – it stays on (a miracle for me!) and doesn’t cake as much as other stuff. So I’ve purchased a full-size bottle of the Ivory Nude shade (1N1) from eBay – much cheaper! – and I think it’s very good. Especially when mixed with my CC cream which gives it a bit more moisture. This costs £31 for 30ml from Boots.

Nyx Blotting Paper – Fresh Face and Tea Tree versions – was an impulse buy and a bit of a waste of money though neither were that expensive (£11.60 each for 100 sheets). I think I was just carried away by the whole Nyx thing, and forgot how much I hate blotting paper and how little it does for me – as well as making me look streaky, sigh. I shall have to put them in a drawer, forget about them and they will slowly make their way to the bin!…

Have a wonderful beauty week, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

Tea Tree and a Bit of a Rip-Off

Here are the products I loved this week:

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The Avene Eau Thermale is a facial spray I’ve used for a long time and I really love it – it’s very soothing and I tend to use it several times a day, whatever the season. It’s only £3 from Boots, so well worth it.

I’ve used a couple of masks this week – one is the Innisfree Real Squeeze Bija Mask – which confused me as I didn’t realise it was a sheet mask until I opened it up. However, it’s very soothing indeed and I shall definitely buy more of that one. The other advantage is that you can wear it at the same time as brushing your teeth and it doesn’t slip off, hurrah! What could be better, LOL? NB I bought this one as part of a really cheap set from eBay so that’s good too.

The Montagne Jeunesse Tea Tree Peel-Off Mask is also very cleansing but not in a horrid way -though I must say peel-off masks aren’t my favourite, I will be buying this one again as it made my skin feel refreshed and ready for action. And that’s a rarity at any level! It costs £1 from Boots, but they’re doing a 5 for £4 deal at the moment so I’d stock up if I were you.

Keeping to the tea-tree theme, I’ve just finished using the Boots Tea Tree Cream– which I use for keeping my spots under control in the mornings (I use a stronger product in the evening for overnight healing). I really do like this cream and I will buy it again. It’s priced at £4.39 for 30ml, but there’s a 3-for-2 offer for herbal products and complementary medicines at Boots.

I’ve also been trying out the Dove Invisible Dry roll-on Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, which is good as it doesn’t leave white marks on my clothes like Mum Deodorant always does. Yes, I think Mum is probably better at keeping me entirely sweat-free, but Dove isn’t bad and at least it’s doesn’t ruin my clothes! This costs £2.30, but Boots are doing a 2 for £3 offer on it, hurrah.

My final favourite of this week is by far the best – I bought a sample product of Dermalogica Ultra-Calming Barrier Repair recently just to have a go – though I know Dermalogica is very expensive and it’s the slippery slope to bankruptcy, LOL. Much to my purse’s horror, it’s TOTALLY brilliant – I use it in the morning after toner and before adding my moisturiser and it just creates an amazing barrier across the skin which feels wonderful and is totally invisible. I LOVE it. I have already bought a full-size version, eek! It’s £36.90 for 30ml (double yikes and call my bank manager) but you can get it cheaper elsewhere if you search the Interweb thingy and it is SO GOOD.

Products Which Have Disappointed Me:

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I’ve already spoken about my disappointment with the Soap & Glory Smooch Operator Lip Balm, but have now finished this jar and it didn’t really impress me any more than at the beginning – which is a shame as I normally rate S&G very highly indeed. Yes, it became easier to get out and onto my lips by the time I was halfway through, but it wasn’t anything above average, in my view. It’s priced at £5.00 which is WAY too much for the minuscule size of jar, but you can buy one and get a second S&G product half price at Boots, so you might want to give it a go? Needless to say, I won’t be joining you …

The funny little pink & silver foil package in the picture isn’t a really odd shaped condom (perish the thought!) but a sample of Lioele Triple The Solution BB Cream – no I’d not heard of them either, but they’re very big in Korea, which is where it’s all happening in the beauty world, I gather. My big problem with it was that I got terribly confused and thought it was a serum so put it on instead of my morning moisturiser and was deeply bamboozled, until I got my glasses out and read the packet properly, deep sigh! What am I like?!? There’s nothing wrong with it, as far as I can tell, but at £54.99(!!) at Amazon, it doesn’t inspire me to rush out and buy it, even in order to use it properly!

However the biggest swizzle-stick disappointment of my week was my ‘sample’ of the new Charlotte Tilbury Scent of A Dream perfume. Call me an old fool (many do), but when I think of sample perfumes, I think of actual mini-handbag size tubes that you can get three or four decent sprays out of. This however is just a piece of card that you have to rub to get the scent off so can’t even put it onto your skin!! How are you supposed to know if it suits you or not? When I pressed my nose to the card, it’s a pretty decent scent – though remarkably like the other 150 million scents there are around, but I was so annoyed by the ‘sample scam’ that I couldn’t be bothered to pay £49 for a 30ml bottle. Who would, harrumph? It certainly hasn’t filled me with the ‘light, power and positivity’ it’s supposed to give me, and in my view a good bottle of champagne will give you far more l, p & p and at half the price, hey ho.

Have a great week!

Anne Brooke Books

 

 

Skin Solutions: BB and CC Creams

Call me ignorant but I’d never heard of either of these creams before and was deeply confused as to what they stood for until I looked them up on Google. Good old Google, eh! And, yes, I know that means I am probably the least Girly Girl in the universe, but hey at least I admit it, LOL.

Rimmel BB CreamMax Factor CC Cream

I bought both the Max Factor CC (Colour Correcting) Cream and the Rimmel BB (Beauty Balm) Cream on a bit of a whim though I had done some research on both when I went into Boots in Guildford.

I started off using each them as an individual foundation, but for main daytime use my skin needs something more – though for me it’s fine to use either for the evening if I’m just at home. I’m finding the BB Cream is slightly better for me – and even more brilliant when mixed in with the marvellous Max Factor Whipped Creme as together they provide excellent and moisturising coverage.

Whipped Creme

This is the first time I’ve ever been brave (or desperate!) enough to mix my foundations, and it’s really working well, hurrah. As an added bonus, adding in the slightly lighter in colour BB Cream to my Warm Almond Whipped Creme foundation makes it lighter, which suits my skin more.

I purchased all these items at Boots, and they are also available at Boots Online.

Anne Brooke