Feet, Teeth and Sponges

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I’m a huge fan of the La Roche-Posay Serozinc toner. This product is specifically designed to target key signs of oily, blemish-prone skin. The skin looks and feels less shiny and greasy, and also looks mattified. I use this every morning and it’s just bliss spraying it on my face after my shower, particularly as I don’t even have to wipe it around so it saves me that essential microsecond of time, hurrah! It’s also brilliant for my sensitive spot-prone skin. I already have a back-up in place, plus the new one I’m using now. It costs £8.50 for 150ml at Boots but they’re doing a 3-for-2 on selected skincare & No 7 products so a real bargain right now.

My Oral B 35 Medium toothbrush is an absolute necessity for me – the head is quite small so it’s easy to use. Product details: Blue Indicator bristles fade when brush needs to be replaced; ergonomically designed handle for comfort and control; polished end-rounded bristles are gentle on teeth and gums. I change my toothbrush every 3 months and can recommend that everyone does this as after 3 months they don’t work as well. This brush is gentle on my gums but small enough to get into awkward areas around my teeth too. I buy the 2-pack option at Amazon which costs £3.90.

Keeping in the dental area I’ve been using Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpaste as one of my regular teeth products and it’s totally brilliant! Colgate® Sensitive Pro-Relief™ is clinically proven to provide instant* relief and lasting protection from tooth sensitivity – there is no other product which is more effective. The toothpaste contains arginine, a naturally-occurring amino acid, which, when combined with Calcium Carbonate, blocks and seals the microscopic channels that lead to your tooth nerve centre. I use this each night and it’s wonderful for my sensitive teeth, reducing my pain levels to almost nothing. What’s not to like? The minty taste is great too. It costs £4 for 75ml, but Boots are doing a 2 for £5 offer on this product in all the flavours at the moment, so it’s a great chance to stock up.

I was incredibly hopeful about the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. A best-selling, natural sleep aid that will fragrance your bed and calm the nerves. The miracle solution to a good night’s sleep. With this works signature relaxing fragrance, this pillow spray will become your must-have sleep solution. Infused with essential oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Camomile to soothe the body and mind. Sadly, this one doesn’t … um … work. The smell is very pleasant but it doesn’t have the power to send me off to sleep, I’m afraid, and I therefore found it totally ineffective in every way. Which is a shame as it cost me £16(!!!) for 75ml at Boots. What a rip-off! I’d steer well clear of this if I were you.

However, I’m happy to say that the Skin Owl Lavender Beauty Drops are very effective indeed. Having struggled to find a cure for her own cystic acne, SkinOwl founder Annie Tevelin turned to lavender – entrusting her complexion to its powerful calming and anti-inflammatory properties. A blend of only the finest organic lavender and unrefined argan oils, Beauty Drops Lavender are ideal for anyone whose skin is oily/combination, congested or susceptible to redness – absorbing excess sebum and battling blemish-causing bacteria, to quickly restore skin’s clarity and equilibrium. This is the oil that transformed Annie’s skin within just 42 days – her spots disappeared and the redness was all but eliminated after just over two months of applying this oil every morning and evening. This product is just wonderful – I use it most mornings and it totally improves my skin and makes it feel fantastic. It really heals up my spots super-fast and keep them and the redness at bay. It is now a staple in my beauty routine. Okay, it costs £38 for a 2oz bottle at Cult Beauty, but it’s worth its weight in gold!

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I’m sure I’ve sung the praises of Femarelle tablets for menopausal and post-menopausal women before and for good reason. Product details: provides fast relief to menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, headaches and sleep disturbances; increases bone mineral density and leads to new bone formation; relieves vaginal dryness (atrophy); does not affect the breast and uterus, and does not affect clotting. I take one tablet each day and it definitely keeps those hot flushes at bay and makes me feel a whole lot better! They cost £35 for 56 tablets from Amazon and I’ve already restocked. These are vital if you’re a woman of a certain age …

The Baylis & Harding Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit Balancing Body Wash was part of a set I received for Christmas and I’ve just finished it. I’m sorry to say that I really hated it. The scent is neither mandarin nor grapefruit as far as I could tell, and just ends up as a sweet-smelling cheap-feeling gel. In fact the gel is quite slimy and I hated the way it came out of the bottle in a glutinous lump which I had to spread over my flannel before washing as otherwise it just fell off in the shower or bath. So annoying! I’m so relieved I’ve finished it. There’s a body lotion that’s come with it too (sigh) which also just smells sweet and cheap, so I’m going to use it as foot lotion to get rid of it … No idea what it cost as I don’t think they’re selling it any more (thank goodness) but I’d give it a miss for sure.

I do love my Simple Gentle Care Shampoo though. Simple Gentle Care Shampoo is a trouble-free solution to get great looking hair whilst protecting your scalp. The active benefits in Simple Gentle Care Shampoo include Pro-Vitamin B5 to enhance sheen, Chamomile Oil to gently soften and soothe, and it is pH balanced so works in harmony with your scalp. The shampoo contains no perfume or colour and is dermatologically tested and approved. I always stock this one, and use it between anti-dandruff shampoos to give my hair a break. I wash my hair every day so it’s especially important to treat it gently! It’s £2.99 for 200 ml at Boots and I recommend this one.

I’m a total convert to the Facial Konjac Sponge that I picked up at Superdrug a while back. Sadly, Superdrug don’t seem to stock them any more (sob!) but they’re amazing so I hope they bring them back. I’ve given you a link to the Konjac Sponge Company instead where I intend to buy a replacement when my Superdrug set wear out. The prices are fairly reasonable (not as reasonable as where I bought them though!). I use this every night with my facial cleanser as a kind of facial massage on the skin, and it really cleans in a very deep way without irritation. Perfect! I rinse the sponge afterwards and then hang it on the door handle by its string to dry it out. Once a week, I give it a wash with my brushes and it lasts about a couple of months. Bliss indeed and it makes my skin a lot clearer and softer. I’d rush and get one of these if you haven’t already!

Last but by no means least, I’ve enjoyed using the Boots Deep Moisturising Foot Cream. Product details: a soothing, medicated and antiseptic foot cream to nourish and soften hard dry skin. Contains natural herbal extracts (mint, lavender & marshmallow). Dermatologically tested. Suitable for all skin types. Lanolin free. This is a nice soothing cream for my feet and I’ve been using it in the morning. I could have done with a much punchier mint and/or lavender scent but for the price I’m not complaining. It’s £3.99 for 100ml at Boots, but they have a Buy-One-Get-Second-Half-Price offer for their foot products now so a real bargain.

Have a beauty-filled weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

 

Clear skin, scent and an eyeliner disaster!

Products I Love

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A nice bunch of products I love this week for a whole lot of reasons. First off, there’s good old Femarelle tablets which are just BRILLIANT if you’re going through the menopause – they keep those hot flushes to a minimum and if you do get one, they make it a lot shorter – which is a huge relief. I take one every morning (and have another type of menopause pill in the evening) and the combination works like a dream. The main ingredients are soya and flaxseed. They’re not cheap – £21.13 for 56 tablets at Amazon, but worth their weight in gold.

I’ve been taking a teaspoon of Pukka Elderberry Syrup every morning for a while now and it definitely keeps those winter colds and bugs at bay. Yes the bottle gets messy, but if you wipe it down after each use and keep it in the box, then you should be fine. Just don’t get it on your clothes though or it won’t come off! Once opened, you need to store it in the fridge. The cost is £10.48 for 100ml and I’ve already restocked it.

The Simple Spotless Skin Triple Action Face Wash (with zinc and chamomile) is a product I’ve used for ages and it’s very reliable for calming down spots and soothing the skin. I’ve not been using it as much recently as my skin is so much better these days (hurrah!!) but I have 2 or 3 back-up bottles from the years when I used it all the time. It is always going to be one of my favourites, and you can pick it up for £3.75 for 150ml at Superdrug.

I’ve really loved using my little tube of Couvent des Minimes’ Gardener’s Hand Healer – the smell is very fresh and it’s very soothing on the skin. However it doesn’t seem to be in stock anywhere in the UK now, and the original website link shows it as hugely pricey anyway at $19 for 2.6 oz. Um, no … no matter how good it is …

I set great store by the HRI Clear Complexion tablets and was a bit traumatised recently when I just couldn’t get hold of them anywhere – yikes! Apparently they were updating the ingredients and the new formula version is now available, hurrah! I take one of these a day and it does wonders for my skin. They’re currently on sale at Amazon for £5.99 for a pack of 60 tablets, and I can thoroughly recommend these.

As I’ve said before, I’m sure, I love my new deodorant – Dove Invisible Dry roll-on – it does exactly what it says on the tin and there are no stains on my clothes so I’ve stocked up on this product. It’s a snip at £1.75 for 50ml at Boots, so buy early buy often!

I have very sensitive teeth which tend to stain as soon as they look at a cup of tea, so I’ve been using Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Whitening toothpaste every evening for ages (I mix it up with a similar product as I don’t like having the same thing all the time …). It makes my teeth much less sensitive and I now have no staining, so I can’t recommend this enough. It’s half price at Superdrug at the moment at £.1.82 for 75ml so well worth picking this one up if you have teeth like mine.

I’m a fairly recent convert to the Simple Gentle Care Shampoo and use this as a ‘chaser’ between my stronger anti-dandruff shampoos as I think it gives my hair a bit of a breather. It’s a lovely clear shampoo which lathers up easily and does the job of making my hair super-clean without damaging it. I have a few bottles as a back-up and will continue to restock this in the future. You can pick it up at Boots for £2.99 for 200ml, which I think is a real bargain for a decent product.

The Sanctuary Velvety Hand Cream is just lovely – it has that wonderful Sanctuary scent and makes my hands feel wonderfully smooth. However, though I do like it, I have lots (lots and lots!) of hand creams to use up at the moment so I won’t be restocking this one for now. It’s £3.00 for 30ml at Boots so not the cheapest hand cream around but a nice one if you want to treat yourself now and again.

Products I don’t like

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The Milton Lloyd Summer Flowers scent hasn’t been bad actually, and I’ve been happy to use it up but it’s not my favourite Milton Lloyd perfume spray as I have several others I prefer. It’s floral and feminine, but not as spicy as I personally like. Still, at £2.99 for 50ml at Fragrance Direct (where would I be without them?!?), you can’t go wrong – and as I say there are a lot of lovely £2.99 scents to choose from which is a total bargain.

This week, I’ve been trying to be more adventurous with my eyes – which I usually leave WELL alone as they are hugely sensitive and start stinging at the slightest thing, groan … The wonderful news is that I have worked out that I CAN use mascara as long as I put it on my top lashes only and not my bottom ones, and it just makes me feel great to finally be wearing mascara at last! On the other hand, I had a go with eye-liner – the Bourjois Ultra Black eye liner as pictured above – but, my dears, I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was supposed to do with it. First off, I put it under my bottom lashes which made me look like a panda so I wiped it all off again. Then I resorted to the Internet to tell me what to do with eyeliner and realised it was supposed to go above the lower lashes, LOL! What a dork I am, eh! Once again, missing out on the “how to be a woman properly’ lessons at school has been my undoing!… Anyway, I tried it as it’s supposed to be done, but I HATE anything that near my eye so it was the world’s shakiest line – plus it was starting to make my eyes itch, yikes! – so I wiped it all off again and haven’t repeated the traumatic experience since! I think I’ll cut my losses and stick to the top-lashes mascara trick only – that seems to be working so far … Anyhow, I’m sure the eye liner is fab, if only it suited me or I had the abilities to put it on, and it’s £6.99 for 10ml at Superdrug if you fancy a try.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

Rice and Soya Solutions

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I’ve not used up many products this week – just two! – but have loved them both, which is great news.

The TonyMoly Rice Face Mask Sheet isn’t one I wholly expected to enjoy, as I’ve been a bit on-the-fence about previous TonyMoly products, but this one is very good and I will definitely buy it again (I have one left to use) – assuming I can find it anywhere in the UK, as it’s out of stock, groan. It feels lovely on the skin, it’s very soothing and my face looked better afterwards for quite a while, so I was very pleased indeed.

I’ve been taking one a day of the Femarelle tablets – a soya-based product for menopausal women and it definitely makes the hot flushes go away fast. I’m HUGELY against HRT for all sorts of decent personal health reasons (no, don’t ask!!) so this is a wonderful alternative. They’re not cheap at £20.85 for 56 tablets, but worth their weight in gold. I’ve already restocked, naturally.

Also this week, I’ve been to the dentist to get a cracked filling sorted – yes, I managed to grind my teeth SO HARD that I cracked my own tooth and the filling fell out, making the whole thing hurt like hell. Yuk – and ouch! Just call me Jaws Brooke, eh …!! Anyway, the dentist was wonderful and the filling is now sorted out, and so the pain has gone, hurrah! I got told off for not wearing my mouthguard every night (I’ve been lax about this lately, as it’s a bit of a bore …) and I am now newly converted to having to wear it. Honestly, and a word to the wise – you really DON’T care about beauty issues when you have toothache – so make sure regular dental visits are part of your beauty regime today! Plus always do what the dentist tells you – and your mouth will remain as beautiful as you are!

Anne Brooke Books

Lori Olding Children’s Fiction

Hot tip: Femarelle and Menapol Plus

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I’ve been having hot flushes for a while now – I think they call them hot flashes in the US, which explains the cartoon! At the beginning – some months ago – they lasted for quite a while, but when I started taking Femarelle from Holland & Barrett health shop, it cut the time they lasted right back down, which is brilliant.

Recently, however, the hot flushes have been coming more frequently, and a friend on Facebook suggested that I try Menapol Plus from Simply Supplements UK – these have soya (as Femarelle does) but also include red clover, liquorice extract, dandelion root, acai berry, camomile, cranberry extract and ginseng – so the combination might be better for me.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anne Brooke