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

 

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Aromatherapy and Avene

Products to Buy Again

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Silvikrin Classic Hairspray is just a no-brainer for me and I’ve used it for quite a while. It keeps my hair in place, it’s not sticky and the smell isn’t overpowering. What’s not to like? You can get it at Boots for £3.14 for 400ml, but they’re running a 2 for £5 offer on Silvikrin at the moment so a good time to stock up.

When I first bought the Avene Eau Thermale Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion, I liked it for a bit, then I decided I didn’t like it, and now I love it again. Phew! The rollercoaster ride of the Brooke World of Beauty, eh? It’s ideal for hypersensitive and irritable skin, and it feels lovely on the face and makes everything a lot smoother, so I will definitely be restocking at some point. I think the period I went off it was the time when my skin was just dreadful and I needed other products to kick my spots into touch – but for when your skin is okay this product is great! You can get it for £10.50 for 200ml at Boots.

The Aromatherapy Associates Support Equilibrium Bath & Shower Oil turned up in a sample package I bought, and the smell is utterly GORGEOUS. Rich and floral and sophisticated, and just wonderful to add to your bath. The main ingredients are rose, geranium and frankincense which are all fabulous. It’s £45 for 55ml, so a definite treat for when you’re feeling very flush indeed!

Products I Won’t Buy Again

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The Elizabeth Arden Skin Renewal Booster was another sample product and I really don’t like it. It just feels too watery and the smell is like old washing up water. It didn’t do anything for my face either, so I’m giving it a miss. It’s £45 for 30ml at Boots, but they’re doing a 3-for-2 offer on selected Elizabeth Arden at the moment, so you might want to give it a go. Everyone else seems to like it, but not me.

I’ve finally finished up my supply of La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masques and I’ve not got anything much from them, so won’t be buying these. Boots are selling the full-sized product for £12 for 50ml, which is down from the usual £16 as there’s a 25% offer on La Roche-Posay products. You might like it better than I did!

Anne Brooke

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Konjac and Marshmallow

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Products I Love

I have three TOTALLY brilliant products to rave about this week and honestly I am REALLY excited about them.

First off is one I’ve mentioned before – the La Roche-Posay Serozinc spray tonic is amazing and I use it every morning. It’s particularly good for blemish-prone skin and keeps everything under control without drying the skin out. I already have my back-up in place. It’s £8.50 at Boots but there’s a 3-for-2 specialist skin care offer on at the moment so my advice is to snap this up asap!

I picked up a taster bottle of TreacleMoon’s MarshMallow Hearts Bath and Shower Gel at my local Tesco  a while back and just started using it last week. I LOVE this so much – the smell is TOTALLY gorgeous – it’s like wrapping yourself up in all that was wonderful from your childhood and it’s not at all a childish scent either. It also lathers up very well and the  amazing scent lingers on the skin – bliss indeed! I’ve already rushed back and stocked up on a full-size bottle, which I can’t wait to use. It’s £3.00 for 500ml, but Tesco have a 2 for £4 offer on until the end of January so my advice is buy some soon! This is actually a little better than Imperial Leather’s marshmallow shower gel in my opinion though I do love both.

Finally in this section, I must give a HUGE SHOUT-OUT to Mrs Strawberry Blonde who suggested a week or so ago that I should really get myself some of these new Facial Konjac Sponges from Superdrug. Given that, to my knowledge, Mrs SB has never been wrong, I immediately went online and bought three – they’re £1.99 each, but I bought 3 of them with the current 3-for-2 offer. My dears, this product is absolutely MAGICAL for my spot-prone super-sensitive skin and really my face has never looked so good. No, I kid you not! I use mine in the morning and evening – I make the sponge damp and then very gently rub my whole face with it a couple of times with whatever product I’m using. There’s no tingle or irritation, and it thoroughly cleanses my skin without damaging it in any way so I’m a total convert now. The spots which were threatening me before I started using the sponge have gone away, my make-up goes on better and stays on better and my face looks SO CLEAR!! Honestly, I keep glancing in the mirror now to see if it’s still true, and it is. Gosh! Go get yours now! Just remember to rinse the sponge and give it a gentle squeeze to get rid of excess water and then hang it somewhere dry (not in the bathroom!) to dry out. This is definitely my favourite product of 2016 and so cheap too – result!

Products I Don’t Love

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The Kiehl’s Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter came as a sample product recently, and I have to say I really loved it the first time I used it. Then when I used it again, it made me feel quite ill and I realised that it actually smelled like rancid milk. Yukk!! Thankfully, it wasn’t too large a sample so I’ve used it up when I definitely wasn’t going anywhere. It costs £30.27 for 226g at Amazon so I’ll be giving it a miss.

I bought the New Dawn Rose Geranium Face & Body Moisturiser a year or so ago when the menopause seriously kicked in and my skin went utterly TERRIBLE in every way. It started off being okay but my skin back then was so desperate that it would probably take anything and feel better, I think. Then I realised the product was just too rich for my face, so I put it away, but lately I’ve been using it up as a hand cream in the bathroom. It’s okay but the scent is a little too strong for me. I’m also not sure if the company make this one any more as – though it’s mentioned on site – I just can’t find it but the site does seem very confusing. Oh well!

The Guinot Hydra Sensitive Face Cream came as a sample and is okay, though Guinot’s not a range I would normally go for. Then again, at £40.75 for 50ml from Amazon, can you blame me!?! So there’s nothing wrong with it, and it doesn’t irritate my skin, but there are many other better products at more reasonable prices out there.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fabulous and beautiful Christmas!

Anne Brooke Books

 

Shampoo and Paradise

Products I’ve Enjoyed This Week

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I’ve used Vick’s VapoRub for a very long time and ALWAYS carry one in my handbag – I’m a regular sufferer of throat sinusitis (no, don’t ask!) and it really helps to settle things down. On days when things are okay for me, I use it at night on my neck, chest and upper back. When things aren’t so okay, I’ll use it in the morning as well, and throughout the day as and when needed. It’s one of my serious health staples, though I never actually use it with steam as that’s way too strong for me. You can get it from Boots for £4.36 for 100g and it’s a little miracle worker.

Pantene 2-in-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is also brilliant and up until now I would never be without it. Sadly, however, it seems to have been discontinued, so I will have to look for other options, DEEP sigh …  I do mix and match my shampoos and usually have two different types of anti-dandruff shampoo on the go, alongside one normal shampoo. However, this one has always been one of the choices. NB I never use Head & Shoulders as I think it’s awful and makes my dandruff worse!!! Anyway I’m really sorry this one has gone (badly done, Mr Pantene, badly done) …

Before the menopause hit me, the Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation in ivory was always my go-to choice of foundation – and to be honest the only one I had! Then, when the menopause arrived, it was seriously drying out my skin and making me all flaky and horrid so I had to stop using it and try to find more suitable products. That search included totally revamping my skin-care regime anyway so things are now a lot better – and recently I’ve been using this foundation again. And it’s been fine – maybe not as good as other foundations I now use and trust more, but I still like it. It’s £7.99 for 30ml at Boots, but is currently part of a 3-for-2 Rimmel offer, so a good time to try it out.

I received a sample of the La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque recently and have found I really love it! It’s very soothing, easy to put on, I like the light-blue colour, and it makes my skin feel really fresh. What’s not to like? I’m definitely going to be getting a full-size product, and you can buy it at Boots for £16 for 50ml. When I next get low on masks, that one is going into my shopping basket for sure.

Products that have Disappointed Me This Week

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I’m really sorry to have to include an Imperial Leather Body Wash product in this mix, as I usually LOVE them, but the Tropical Paradise Body Wash has an overly-fruity smell I just can’t warm to. I think when I bought it, I was seduced by the concept of lotus flower, but the guava smell takes over and it’s really wearing. That said, as ever, Imperial Leather knows exactly how to do a bath wash, and one squirt is so luxuriously foamy that it does everything, LOL! If you want to give it a go (though I don’t advise it), it’s £2.00 for 250ml at Superdrug.

The Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser came as part of a pack and it was okay, but nothing special really. I also found it really hard to get the pesky stuff out of the bottle and had to keep shaking it and putting my finger in to retrieve it. All a bit too much like hard work for me, and with little result. You can get it at Amazon for £22 for 250ml, but I don’t think it’s worth it.

I would also definitely advise you against the Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist – what a truly awful medicinal smell!! It’s like being in a hospital, which isn’t actually something I want to be reminded of. It’s definitely this week’s worst product by a long chalk. Why on earth do companies think we want to smell like this?? Yes, it might be doing me the world of good, but I was so busy rushing to counteract the horror (oh, the horror!) of it by spraying perfume on myself that I decided it’s just not worth it. If you want to have a go, it’s £29.48 for 177ml at Amazon, but you’d have to be feeling brave!

Lastly, I’ve finished my last tube of the Body Shop’s Pink Grapefruit hand cream – which I’ve been using on my feet. The smell is lovely, but really I ain’t paying £4.00 for a 30ml product for anyone! It’s worth £2.00 at the most, surely. Wicked Body Shop, eh! Such a shame, as if it was priced at a reasonable rate, I’d buy more of it. But, alas, the cost alone means it’s a disappointing product, ah well.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Anne Brooke