It’s that time of the month again. Well, not that time of the month but you know what I mean. The lowdown on all the products I’ve been loving and using religiously over the past 30 days. Again, there’s a firm focus on skincare with my inclusions – but with Winter creeping upon us, I’m using all the help I can get to stop mine from drying out and getting out of control!
Creightons Frizz No More | link
The influx of dreary, rainy and damp weather doesn’t agree with my hair (along with many other things) so when things start turning sour, I immediately try and track down something to help curb the hideous effects it has. Last year, I found that KMC’s range was amazing for controlling fly-aways and keeping frizz at bay, however it was so expensive it wasn’t something I could carry on buying. On the lookout for a more affordable alternative, I discovered Creighton’s Frizz No More range, which is formulated for highlighted/colour treated hair and claims to defend against humidity and the ‘environment’. I’ve been trialling the shampoo and the blow dry cream alongside one another and have to say – I’ve noticed a huge difference.
I could probably leave the shampoo if I’m honest (although I’ll continue using it until it’s run out) but the Blow Dry Cream is incredible at locking in moisture (I used to get those dry, frazzled straw ends as soon as it got cold outside) and keeping it looking sleek, without weighing it down or looking greasy. A tiny dollop through the ends is all you need and it cuts blow drying time down by about 5 minutes (for which any extra time in bed when it’s FREEZING outside is more than good enough for me). Plus, it smells kind of like bubblegum and is £1.99. What more could you ask for?!
Exuviance Soothing Toning Lotion | link
Exuviance showcased at my #BloggersFestival last month and were overwhelmingly popular – dishing out expert skincare advice and giving away full size samples. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to chat to them while at the event, but followed up with a little ‘skincare session’ over email afterwards and they devised a plan for my troublesome skin. With both ‘sensitive’ and ‘dry’ to add to my wonderful skin accolades, I often find products too harsh or too gentle, with no ‘in between’ providing the right amount of moisture and exfoliant without stripping the cells within an inch of their life.
The Soothing Toning Lotion was a brilliant recommendation (in my opinion) because it’s honestly worked wonders on improving the texture and overall appearance of my skin. It’s alcohol free and specifically designed for delicate skin but it moisturises at the same time as removing dead skin cells, which is one hard working product if you ask me! It smells really fresh and lovely (chamomile and cucumber) and is the perfect thing to wake up both you (and your skin) in the morning before make-up application. I will continue to use this – and am pretty confident the results are only going to get better!
Aussie Winter Miracle | link
If there’s a new Aussie range out, it’s a guarantee they’ll be featured in that month’s beauty favourites. Long term readers of my blog will know that they are my all-time-favourite haircare brand and I’ve attributed them alone for the growth and healthy injection my hair needed several years ago. Every single product smells incredible (if you’ve only just been introduced, you’ll find yourself sniffing the bottles on every given occasion) and I’ve not yet been disappointed. They recently launched a new Limited Edition Design Winter Miracle range, which claims to ‘Winter-proof your hair’ with Australian Ginsend extract and Pearl Powder – for a ‘shiny barnet’.
I’ve been using these for a couple of weeks now and as always, they leave even the straggliest, greasiest of hair feeling super smooth and shiny after just one wash. I personally prefer the Deep Treatment and the Conditioner, as using the shampoo too much can be too strong for my sensitive scalp however if you don’t have any trouble, it’s worth using all three together because they do assist each other. I love how creamy, yet lightweight all the formulas are – they leave your hair in great condition – and it doesn’t wear off even after hitting the cold weather!
Amway Artistry Hydra-V | link
Although I try not to go into the science-y bits about beauty products on my blog (mainly because I won’t do it any justice and explain it terribly) I thought that the background behind these two items was too interesting to ignore. The development of this range was actually inspired by a Nobel-Prize winning discovery by Dr Peter Agre on the function of biological water channels (basically how water transports through cell membranes). Several ingredients were found to contain these new found ‘aquaporins’ which helps to hydrate even when faced with environmental, stress or medication adversity. Norweigian fjord water, Himalayan Pink Rock Minerals and Hawaiian Acai are just some of the well-researched (and cutting edge) formulas included.
So, now thats out of the way – the real question is, do they work? Well, in short – yes. As you probably know by now, I have super dry and sensitive skin (wonderful accolades, I know) and I struggle to find products which keep my skin hydrated ALL day long, without the need of a top up. I also find that my skin gets used to certain products after a few weeks of use and starts drying up again, so I really have to chop and change my skincare routine, with a number of key products to alternate.
The replenishing moisture cream here is definitely a winner and a new contender within my routine. It’s thick in the sense you only need a little bit to cover a large surface area but once applied, it sinks in almost immediately and it feels very lightweight. Used either as a night cream or under foundation, it penetrates your cell membranes and for a full week – I felt like I had ‘normal’ skin which didn’t flake off at the slightest touch (woo hoo). The foaming cleanser is great for removing make-up without stripping away any natural oils which help keep your skin hydrated naturally. All in all, they’re top products if you’re looking for something to banish dryness. They are expensive (they differ in price depending on where you buy – but £15/£30) however I don’t mind investing in items that stop the itchy, dryness I’ve been suffering with.
Palmer’s Manuka Flower Honey Formula | link
My hair has had a real treat this month, as I’ve also been trialling Palmer’s brand new Manuka Formula range. Palmer’s themselves have been a favourite of mine recently (their new coconut oil range featured in a recent post too – and who doesn’t love their cocoa butter formula) as they continually bring out incredible (both in the way they work – and their scent) collections. Affordable, yet high quality – they dominate my bathroom shelves (they do a coconut based product for dry scalps which has been my absolute saviour) and so when these arrived, I couldn’t wait to see if they lived up to their older ‘product siblings’.
The first thing I have to mention is the smell, which as you can imagine – being based around Manuka Flower Honey – is divine. It’s a really creamy, almost vanilla based scent, which I personally love and immediately fell for. With added Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter, each of the products restores moisture and makes your locks instantly soft. Having trialled these for just over two weeks now, my firm favourites have to be the Leave-In Conditioning Cream and the Finishing Hair Oil, which work in harmony to banish frizz and soften the ends (mine were just starting to look split after a hair cut a couple of months back – so perfect timing). Often, when you have something that smells incredible – it has so many ingredients that it weighs your hair down, however in the case of these – they’re lightweight and non-greasy, so even if you get a bit too leave-in-cream-happy, you won’t risk ruining your hair wash. Next time you’re in Boots, I’d stop by and pick up the hair oil – it works wonders.
Proto-col Cosmetics | link
I’m fairly unadventurous when it comes to my make-up bag. I’ve been used the same products (with the exception of one or two) for about a year and my main ‘contenders’ very rarely get switched up. However, with my blusher and beloved eye-shadow running low, I thought it was about time to look into some other (different) bits. Proto-col was a brand I hadn’t heard of previously, although I now wondered how on earth I missed them in their bright pink packaging. Specialising in natural mineral cosmetics, it’s super affordable and has some fantastic offerings – three of which I thought I’d feature today (as I got on with these best).
First up is the Baked Mineral Colour Correct (the multi-coloured one in the picture) which is a FABULOUS invention that I should have been introduced to sooner. I suffer ridiculously with redness and so when I do actually put on a full-face of make-up, I want to do my utmost to cover it up. Concealer works somewhat, however smearing thick (and expensive) liquid on your face every day can be a bit of a struggle especially if you’re in a rush, and it usually wore off within a few hours. The colour correct calms the redness down and with a quick swish of the brush, restores an even skin tone. I know it’s been all over the blogasphere lately about using green and pink concealer to hide any redness when contouring – and this does that on a much quicker and easier scale!
The cream mineral blush is a really pretty yet wearable pink – and the baked mineral shimmer is really great for building up contour naturally. They all seem to shimmer and glitter (and highlight/illuminate) as well as their prescribed functions, so this is a great added bonus. If you’re in the market for some new make-up staples, head on over to Proto-col for a look in!
LouLou Belle London | link
Considering I’ve only got one face, I surprised myself at how many new skincare items I’ve been loving and trialling recently – however these bits (which I shared on Instagram and got lots of great feedback about) were too lovely not to share. As I mentioned previously, I do have to change up my skincare a lot due to persistent dryness – so even if something works for a couple of weeks, it usually returns to normal once my skin has ‘got used’ to the products – and so I have to switch between and alternate. Unless something has worked consistently for a good week or so, I usually gift the product to friends and family – as it would otherwise sit on my shelf collecting dust, however these bits worked very well.
With pretty minimalist packaging and a focus on catering for dry and sensitive skin, I knew almost immediately that we’d get along. If I had to choose just one product to talk about in depth (seeing as I know both you and I don’t have all day – although I could waffle on forever) it would be the Plum & Argan Facial Oil, which feels very luxurious and provides the silkiest hydration. Although it’s a little greasier than your average moisturiser, it dries to a very lightweight consistency and you don’t notice it’s there at all, even if you pop foundation over the top. It’s great to sleep in if you’ve had a particularly dry-day as by the morning, you’ll forget you even had any dryness! Teamed with the Rosewood Hydrating Toner and the Palmarosa & Patchouli Moisturiser, they make for a great little skincare regime within a pamper night (I’m not usually able to use such gorgeous scented products) and they’re now sitting rather proudly on my dressing table!
Ayo Salute The Sun | link
Also in skincare news, although this time for your body rather than your face, is the Ayo Salute The Sun range, which I have in handy travel size containers (despite not having a holiday booked to pack them for *sad face*). Described as a ‘mood boosting, luxurious’ collection (which I can definitely vouch for), the products smell like you’re in a spa of your very own – packed with 100% essential oils. The Body Creme (which I’ve nearly run out of – getting a little too overzealous with my portion sizes) is so hydrating and melts into your skin to reveal a silky smooth outer layer that leaves you stroking your legs (and encouraging other willing volunteers to join you) for the next few hours.
The body scrub is gentle enough not to strip the last of your summer tan (I’m holding onto it for as long as I can) but contains enough of the included Apricot Seed to buff gently at any dead skin – contributing to the silky smooth exterior as illustrated by description in the above paragraph. The products are great for gifting (as they arrive at your door in cute little drawstring bags) – whether that’s a birthday, celebratory gift or even just a treat for yourself. Once Winter has ‘officially’ kicked in, I’ll need all the pampering I can get, so I’m going to hold onto these!
SEQuaderma | link
When dealing with particularly problematic skin, sometimes even your most loved/most useful skincare products don’t quite cut the mustard. For example, I’ve recently been suffering with the wonderful problem of having dry skin around my nose. Keeping me on my toes, it peels away at the most inappropriate of times, making me look like I have some weird white flakes collecting on my nostrils. THANK YOU skin. So, when in need of a helping hand in these difficult times, I look to specialist products to minimise these rather embarrassing occurrences.
SEQuaderma was a recent discovery however a very necessary one, as their products – which are tailored towards red, dry, itchy and irritated areas, work absolute wonders. I can pop them onto problematic areas before I put my make-up on and be reassured that I won’t need to worry the day away or keep looking into a tiny mirror to check all my skin is behaving. The ‘Redness Prone’ solution also calms down my skin after a session at the gym, in the sun or after I’ve taken my make-up off (which is when I turn into a full beetroot usually). They’ve also got a fab one for if you have scaly skin or bumpy patches, as it smoothes things down and stops the areas from becoming dehydrated. Definitely worth a look in if you suffer from eczema, dermatitis or generally very dry skin!
Braun Satin-Hair 7 Brush | link
You washed your hair just a day ago but you’ve woken up (with no clue what on earth you were doing in the night to justify such a birds nest) and it’s frizz city. Or you’ve been out and the weird weather has reduced your hair to a dull, lifeless stuck-to-your-head extravaganza. We’ve all been there. It’s one of those ‘I’m going to have to tie it into a messy bun’ moment, wasting whatever styling you’d done the previous day or morning.
Fear not, for Braun have come up with something to make these such occasions a thing of the past. I guess it’s a bit of a weird concept to be inserting batteries into your hairbrush but it’s all for a good reason. The Satin Hair 7 has an in built ion jet, which releases active ions which calm, smooth and soften your hair with each stroke. Working much like a conditioner, they tame the hair cuticles (you know those pictures on the side of the conditioner which illustrates the hair VERY super close up) and remove any static. I was cynical (as always) but after going to the gym and having to do a Skype interview almost immediately after, I needed a quick fix – and this was my solution. Even if you’ve just washed it, a few brushes somehow make it look shinier and glossier. So I’m pleased to report that it’s not just a fad, it actually works!
Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion & Skin Smoothing Polish | link
And, last but certainly not least are a couple of products from Murad – who have definitely been a go-to brand for skincare over the last few years and consistently bring out some fantastic new items. The Rapid Collagen Infusion was formulated for ageing skin however it has the most amazing plumping and hydrating effects and gives that really lovely glowy, dewy look under foundation – which is hard to achieve in the colder months. It looks like a cream in consistency and texture but applies like a gel – cooling any redness and irritation and melting into your skin, providing a soft, matte base.
The Skin Smoothing Polish is a little harsh for my face but I’ve been loving using it on the rest of my body as it smells incredible and is great at buffing away any dry, red areas (like the back of my arms – silly keratosis pilaris!). It helps relieve congested pores and provides a soft base for your moisturiser. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking for some new pampering pieces!
Are there any specific beauty products you’ve been loving – or can recommend – this month? I’d love to see your suggestions below!