Salt, Sanex and Scent

Products I Love:

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I’ve got a fair amount of stuff I’ve loved this week (hurrah!). The Sanex Shower Cream for Sensitive Skin is something I’ve used for years, but then went off it for a while as I preferred something with a bit of scent in the bath – and shower. Recently I’ve been using this on my more sensitive neck, chest and upper back areas and then using whatever scented cleanser I have everywhere else – thus getting the best of both worlds. The Sanex really does work wonders on the skin and keeps spots and redness at bay. I’ve already restocked it. You can currently get it half price at Boots for only £1.64 for 500ml.

HSL Epsom Salts are brilliant for the bath – good for cleansing and relaxing so I put a couple of handfuls in automatically now. I used to get these at the garden centre (it’s the same product so don’t worry!) but I prefer this box as it’s easier to keep in the bathroom and comes with a very handy scoop. Yes, I know epsom salts are something your granny used to swear by but she was right! You can get them for £9.89 for 3KG at Amazon which I think is a pretty good bargain.

Regular readers of this blog will know how obsessed I am with teeth (totally, I tell you!!) and I wouldn’t be who I am at all without my Dentyl Active Smooth Mint mouthwash. It’s alcohol-free which is a key factor for why I buy this one, as I don’t trust alcohol-based mouthwashes, and it totally does the trick. You’ll be amazed at what ends up in the basin as you rinse out, LOL!! It’s a definite plaque-fighter! You can get it at Amazon for £3.95 for 500ml, but it’s also available at chemists/supermarkets etc and there are other flavours.

A new try-out for me has been the Dove Invisible Dry Anti-Perspirant roll-on which I love as a top-up during the day and for the evenings. It works very well and – total bliss – doesn’t stain clothing. I have already stocked up and will be using this one from now on. You can get it at Boots for £1.75 for 50ml.

I picked up the Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom scent just to add something to my online basket to get free delivery and because I do love cherry blossom. I wasn’t expecting a great deal as I don’t set great store by Body Shop perfumes, but this one is absolutely lovely. Fresh and floral and oh-so-summery, it lifts the mood at once, and puts a spring into my step. Okay, it’s light so doesn’t last long, but it’s great for topping up and giving me an extra boost in the evenings. I must admit I don’t like the bottle shape – it’s a dome – because I find it hard to hold steady. However, the good news is that when I restocked it, the bottle shape had been changed (temporarily, I think, sadly …) to a longer and thinner one which is far easier to handle. It costs £15 for 50ml so not cheap, but I like it.

I’ve LOVED Rimmel Match Perfection Silky Loose Face Powder in Transparent for absolutely ages and always have at least two spares in stock. It’s so easy, it really smooths the skin and it keeps the shine at bay. I do love the feel of a loose face powder. Basically, it does what it says on the tin with no extra fuss, which is exactly what I want in any product. It’s £6.99 for 10g at Boots, but they’re currently running a 3-for-2 Rimmel offer, so it’s a good time to buy!

I’ve talked about it before, but I do rather like the Roger & Gallet Beauty Vinegar, and have a full-size bottle to use too, as well as this sample size which I’ve just finished. It might be a tad too scented, but it feels good on my face and wakes me up nicely in the mornings. You can pick it up for £15 for 200ml at the Feel Unique website, so maybe a little treat for your Christmas! It’s also stocked at Marks & Spencer, I believe.

Products I Don’t Like:

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Oh dear me, I was so VERY hopeful when I picked up this pot of the Twist & Out Instant Nail Varnish Remover. I thought my days of struggling with those cotton pads were over, but alas no! This pot was okay for the first couple of times I used it, though it did sting my skin in a way that other varnish removers haven’t. Then it simply got too loose in the pot so no matter how often I waggled my fingers about, nothing happened sigh. It’s £3.79 for 55ml at Amazon, and that’s four quid I won’t get back, isn’t it …

Keeping to the nail polish theme for a moment, I bought a set of ‘London’ themed nail polishes at Nails Inc recently as part of my Black Friday splurge (well, it happens to us all, doesn’t it!) They’re not great polishes, I have to say, though the London street names are nice. The one I’ve singled out above is Kensington Gore and is honestly the most disgusting shade of dog-poo brown I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s also the sort of shade that makes you think that maybe the dog isn’t very healthy either, LOL! It’s making me feel quite ill even as I type this (yes, I have it on to give it a go – how brave am I!!!) and I can’t wait to take it off. You can get it for £6.99 at eBay, but really, why would you?

I’ve used the Super Facialist Rose Hydrate Facial Oil by Una Brennan as a make-up pre-cleanser a few times and used to like it, but now I think it’s a bit too strong for me – and I have other more suitable pre-cleansers now. So I’ve taken it from my Likes to my Dislikes list for that reason, though other people will be fine with it, I’m sure. It’s now £9.99 for 30m at Boots and is part of a one-third off superfacialist offer. The rose smell is lovely, anyway.

I’ve used up a Dermalogica Ultracalming Serum Concentrate sample this week, and wasn’t very impressed. It did nothing at all for me and so I’m not rushing out to buy a full bottle. At £45 for 40ml, I have therefore saved myself an absolute fortune!

The same can be said about my Roger & Gallet Double Extract sample, which felt a bit slimy to be honest and once more did nothing for me. So I have saved myself another £40 for 35ml at the Feel Unique site. All money which I can happily spend elsewhere on products I like, hurrah!

Have a lovely Sunday!

Anne Brooke

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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

 

 

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