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

 

Sanex and Starflower

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I’ve loved Sanex Dermo Sensitive Shower Cream for ages and always have spares in stock. Especially developed for sensitive skin and approved by dermatologists, this shower cream contains lactoserum, an ingredient rich in milk proteins which helps to leave skin feeling comfortable and soft. Dermo Active 3 complex delivers the 3 key benefits to keep skin healthy: 1 Deep Moisturisation: for a soft and well hydrated skin; 2 Protection: improves your skin protective barrier: 3 pH Balance: restores skin’s natural pH. I use this shower cream every day – it’s great for my extra-sensitive chest and upper back and definitely keeps problems at bay. It costs £2.50 for a 500ml bottle at Sainsbury’s so a real bargain.

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The Baylis & Harding Jojoba, Silk and Almond Oil Cream Hand Wash is really quite nice – and I chose it because Jojoba and Almond are both very good for the skin. It’s fairly moisturising and I like the smell, but my real problem is that the bottle is so large that I have difficulty fitting it on my bathroom sink! Yes, I know that’s a First World Problem, but it does put me off it, so I probably won’t be buying another one. If you have an enormous sink (lucky you!), then you can find this product at Superdrug for £2.15 for 500ml.

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I’ve taken Evening Primrose & Starflower Oil 1000mg tablets for ages. High strength GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid); rapid release soft gel capsules; contains vitamin B6 which contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity. Holland & Barrett Cold Pressed Evening Primrose Oil and Starflower Oil Capsules 1000mg plus Vitamin B6 Evening Primrose Oil and Starflower Oil provide the fatty acids Linoleic Acid (LA) and Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Not all fatty acids can be made in the body so must be supplied through diet or supplementation. These tablets have seen me through the worst excesses of my nightmare period years, and I still take them now I’m menopausal. I just think they’re really good for female health issues. They cost £9.49 (currently half-price) for 90 tablets at Holland & Barrett, but you can get them cheaper elsewhere if you shop around, I think.

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I take a teaspoon of the Pukka Elderberry Syrup each day, in the morning. Elderberry juice, manuka honey 14+, trikatu and thyme, along with the other herbs in this syrup, have long been used to help support seasonal health. This concentrated broad-spectrum syrup contains the highest organic grade, sustainably cultivated herbs, carefully selected to bring you the full potential of nature’s goodness. It includes ginger as well which is brilliant for me, as I use this to help stave off colds and sinusitis nightmares, and I think it (a) works well and (b) makes colds etc shorter if I do succumb. Plus it tastes fantastic, though it’s a dark red colour, so be careful not to stain anything! I make sure I wash the lid and bottle after I’ve had my dose to keep the stickiness away, LOL! You can find this at Amazon for £10.63 for 100ml, and I have already stocked up again.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books

Scents and Sensitivity

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Lots of products to love this week, hurrah! It’s not a beauty product as such but Beconase Nasal Spray stops me snorting like an old horse and wanting to gag all the time (ah, the joys of throat sinusitis are so many and glorious that I couldn’t possibly recount them all here, LOL!) so it’s a health & beauty necessity in my book. I have to have mine on prescription from the doctor, but other nasal sprays can be found in all good chemists and and are also very good at stopping The Beast (as I like to call it). Just try to balance it out with the inevitable nosebleeds and if you’re a serious sinusitis sufferer (yes, you know if you are – all those nights being unable to sleep and being sick all the time will give you the clue …), then try my short guide to coping with the worst of the effects, Atishoo and Bless You! The ABC of Mucus Management – only 99p for your Kindle! Advert over, phew …

4160Tuesdays are my go-to perfume provider for special occasions – and I try to mop up their products whenever they have a sale on. They’re not cheap but they last a good long time and people always comment on how nice they are. They also have some FABULOUS names for their scents – the handbag sized one above is The Sexiest Scent on the Planet Ever (IMHO) and it’s perfect for both day and evening wear. Their description calls it “smooth, soft and seductive – lemon meringue pie, blended with velvety woods. Really.” And I can’t argue with that, LOL. The 9ml handbag size ones are £15.00, but they send small samples with their parcels, so an added bonus.

This week, I ventured into TK Maxx for the first time in a long time – I always get depressed and confused when I try to shop there so have given it a miss for a while. However, I hadn’t realised they did discount beauty products as well, so ventured in one lunchtime and collected a small stash. The Cettua Clean & Simple Anti-Redness Mask for Sensitive Skin was only £2.00, down from £4.99, so a total bargain. It’s a sheet mask but I managed okay with it and it’s definitely very calming and reduces the redness. What more can you want? If I see it again, I’ll pick up another one, and am definitely tempted by the link above which goes to the Beauty Spin site – there it costs £2.60, so not bad.

I totally LURVE the Max Factor CC Cream in Fair as it just gives my skin a second wind and an added glow when I redo my face for the evenings. I’ll be buying some more when I run out of CC cream again, but I’ve got others lined up in my over-stuffed bathroom cabinet to try out so I’ll leave it for a bit. At Amazon it’s £4.80 for 30ml, which is great news.

The Eucerin Dermo Purifyer Cleanser is very good for sensitive spot-prone skin like mine and I’ve been using it for a while. It doesn’t dry my skin out either, hurrah! I’ve got another back up which I’ve started, but I’m also trying out other stuff so am seeing how I go with everything before repurchasing the next in the line. If you see what I mean! It’s £9.50 for 200ml at Boots, but there’s a 3-for-2 offer on selected Boots expert skincare products at the moment and they’re well worth a go. Have fun!

Finally, in this section, I have to expound the virtues of the Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening toothpaste – it’s brilliant for people such as myself who have enamel problems (my father was an apple farmer and it’s now known that apples attack the enamel of teeth if you eat too many of them. My dears, as I lived on an apple farm for the first eleven years of my life, you can imagine how many apples – in all sorts of disguises! – have come my way!!). This toothpaste also keeps my front teeth white and is good for my delicate sensibilities too. I use it once a day in the morning, and have other similar toothpaste for the evenings. I like to mix and match for a healthy mouth! At the moment, it’s £3.00 for 75ml at Boots as they have a one-third discount on. Shop early shop often and wake up to beautiful teeth!

However, in the midst of all this beauty joy and happiness, we have one lonely and surprising dud, alas!

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The Boots No 7 range is one I tend to rely on in many areas, but this No 7 Restore and Renew Foundation has proved very disappointing indeed, oh dear me. It can’t be just me either because, as you can see, it’s been discontinued and you can’t get it anywhere. Probably a good thing. Anyway, as you can tell if you look closely at the above picture, the actual contents are only about one-third of the volume of the bottle they come in. One third!!! Do they think we’re idiots or something??? Why not just put the pesky product in a smaller jar instead of wasting all that plastic?!? Badly done, Boots No 7, badly done … To add to my rant, it’s not a very good foundation either – rather too runny and feeble for my tastes, and covers nothing that you want it to cover. I’m glad it’s finished and – you guessed it! – I won’t be buying it again, should it ever have the temerity to become available, ha!

Anyway, have a lovely weekend, and keep beautiful!

Anne Brooke Books

Almond and Ginger Delight

Products I Love

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Lots of lovely products this week, hurrah! I’ve been a fan of the Miaroma Sweet Almond Oil for ages and always massage it onto my face night and day, whatever happens. It’s also TOTALLY BRILLIANT to put on spots, especially nasty spots, and stops the nastiness in no time. It’s my go-to product for both good and bad face days. You can buy this one at Holland & Barrett for only £7.69 for 200ml and at the moment it’s part of the (seemingly never-ending) penny sale, so you can’t go wrong!

My hands can get very sore and red raw very quickly – which is why I always wear fingerless gloves from September to about April – but Neutrogena Unscented Concentrated Hand Cream keeps the itchiness and pain at bay. Again I use this morning and night – it’s not the most interesting of products but it does exactly what I want it to and makes my winter hands look normal. NB The other Neutrogena hand creams definitely aren’t as good as this one, so don’t waste your money on them if you need a serious product … You can buy this one at Boots for £2.77 for 50ml, which is a 25% reduction offer they have now.

I usually use a variety of anti-dandruff shampoos on my hair, which are all brilliant, but recently I’ve been mixing it up with Simple Gentle Care Shampoo – which lathers up well and feels really nice every now and again. I’ve already bought more of this as back-up. It’s only £2.99 for 200ml at Boots so a real bargain.

Miaroma Ginger Oil is totally FABULOUS if you have sinusitis or catarrh problems – I use this in the bath and also in face and throat products I make up myself with the sweet almond oil base (see above). I would never be without this as it really clears the passages, and is also good for colds, as well as being supremely comforting. The smell is gorgeous (ignore that 1-star review at the link above – the reviewer must be crazy, LOL!) – it’s £6.49 for 10ml at Holland & Barrett, but again it’s in the penny sale (isn’t everything?…)!

I was sent a free sample of some Roger & Gallet products this week – and though they’re not a brand I ever think of, I’ve actually enjoyed these ones. They even came with instructions as to when to use each one, which I always find very helpful (hint to other sample senders!!) as I am a Beauty Klutz. The Extra-Fine Cleansing Mask was very soothing indeed and made my face clean without drying and also without it being scented too strongly which was nice. It’s £12.75 for 100ml at Escentual and I would actually seriously think about getting this one – it’s suitable for sensitive skin which is great.

The Beauty Vinegar is a toner (no, I don’t like the name either!) which again is very soothing and I think I will definitely buy this as I need a new toner as I’m getting bored with my other ones. It’s £12.75 for 200ml at Escentual, which I think is amazing for this type of product! It has a subtle floral scent which isn’t cloying at all.

Finally, the Legendary Cream is a night-time moisturiser and feels great and very comforting. I did love it, but at £27.50 for 50ml, again at Escentual, it’s a bit out of my price range – but maybe as a special treat, I would go for it, and after all Christmas is coming up, LOL!

Products I Won’t Repurchase

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The Soft & Gentle Lavender & Patchouli Anti-Perspirant has a lovely scent and doesn’t damage your clothing, which is wonderful, but I personally don’t think it’s a particularly lasting product and I couldn’t rely on it alone to keep me sweat-free. You can get it at Boots for £2.69 for 150ml if you want to give it a try.

The Freeman Beauty Pomegranate Revealing Peel-off Mask is astonishingly clear when I expected it to be red! I did like the way this one went on my face – it’s a gel and quite thick so easy to go on and easy to tell where it is. It also really does refine and purify the skin without causing rashes or dryness. My only issue with it is that I do find peel-off masks a TOTAL hassle and so I have reluctantly decided to give it a miss. It’s £1.24 for a sachet at the BeautySpin website but I got two uses out of it, which really brings down the price.

For some strange reason, I found a sachet of The Sanctuary Salt Scrub in my order from the Book People (yes – I know – what?!?) and used this in the bath during the week. I’m never sure about scrubs as I don’t like things that rub against my (already sensitive skin) and indeed this one was quite painful when I used it – ouch, ouch! That said it smelt lovely and my skin was very smooth indeed afterwards but for me it’s just not worth the pain, LOL. It’s £12.00 for 650g at Boots if you’re up to the challenge.

Have a great weekend, and stay beautiful!

Anne Brooke Books

 

A Scoop of Foundations

I thought I’d give you a chuckle or two with this picture of the box I’ve started keeping my foundations in – I’m just a cheapskate and can’t be bothered with paying for a pretty box, LOL! It does the job though, and means my bathroom cabinet is a bit clearer, plus I can get to the foundation I want more easily, hurrah!

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Has anyone else got a worse foundation box, or is it really just me?… 🙂

Products I Like This Week:

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The Sanex Sensitive Shower Cream is one I’ve had in my bathroom for a while and gave up using it as there were lots of other more interesting shower/body creams to use. However I’ve started using it again on my chest and upper back as one or two spots have crept back in and this is TOTALLY brilliant at clearing them up. This time round though, I’m just using this cream on those areas, and using nice scented stuff for everywhere else – I’m multi-cleansing, LOL (Multi-masking is so last month, don’t you know …). It’s only £2.00 from Boots, so a complete bargain.

The SebaMed Clear Face Care Gel is just brilliant for those difficult-to-get-rid-of spots – I put it on my face where needed at night, and on the rest of my body at morning and night. It’s not drying either, which is great. It’s £7.18 from Amazon and I really rate this product.

I picked up a few samples of the Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Hand Cream recently – as grapefruit is really good for my sinusitis problems, I’ve recently learnt – and it contains real pink grapefruit seed oil. I don’t really like it on my hands – too citrusy, to my mind – but it’s brilliant on my feet and I’m putting it on, using reflexology movements to ease sinusitis, every morning now. I think it’s working! It’s £4.00 for 30ml which I think is a bit steep but I really do want to buy this one again. I wish they did an actual foot cream in this range, but sadly they don’t …

However, my Product of The Week is definitely the Montagne Jeunesse Nut Oil Masque – which contains Baobab Oil and Marula Oil, which are both A-MAZ-ING for congested skin. Honestly this mask is brilliant – it clears up my skin beautifully and leaves it so soft, it’s almost unbelievable. It gets a tiny bit dry on the face, but not in a horrid way and washes off easily. I’m going to stock up on this one for sure. I LOVE it! It costs £1.86 for one mask (and I get 2 uses out of this) at Amazon – so rush out and buy it now! You won’t regret it.

Products I Dislike This Week:

I blogged about the Salcura Bioskin Zeoderm moisturiser a couple of posts ago, I think, and  I’ve now just finished up the last sample – it’s okay but nothing to write home about, so I won’t be purchasing a full size product. Others might like it though! It’s £16.03 for 150ml so not exactly a bargain …

Sadly, my Worst Product of The Week has to go to the Tanya Burr Nail Polish which I picked up at Superdrug earlier on. The colour I chose is Mini Marshmallow, which is fine, but honestly the consistency is truly awful – very runny indeed no matter how much you shake the darn bottle, and it just made my nails look awful. I’ve liked other items in the Tanya Burr range, so this is a real shame – but at least I only paid £4.99 so not much money wasted. I see someone (not me!) has already given it a 2-star review at Superdrug, so I don’t think this nail polish range is going places anytime soon …

Anne Brooke Books