Thursday, 31 January 2013

Winter Skincare Routine

I love having a skincare routine, especially at night time. There is nothing better than scrubbing off that hard day and being left with a fresh, blank canvas. It's a ritual for me, my skincare routine is therapeutic and I don't feel right if I skip it which is RARE. My AM cleansing routine is practically the same, give or take a product or two and I only use a flannel in the morning.

I've recently had a huge skincare overhaul and I'm pleasantly surprised. These products for me, work in beautiful harmony. First of all, I get the thick of it off with my Bioderma Crealine H2O, a product that needs no introduction. It dissolves the majority of my make up and eye make up really quickly, it's brilliant. I do have to get this off eBay, there are some good sellers out there so have a look. I then move on with my Origins Zero Oil Cleanser, the mint is so fresh and it lathers up a treat. I use this with my Clarisonic Mia or a warm flannel in the morning. It leaves your skin feeling so clean and fresh without the tightness, I've also noticed that it controls my shine throughout the day too. I then use the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti Oxidant Toner which I wrote a little review for, here.

Regardless of it being morning or evening I slather on Hydraluron before my moisturiser. This has made such a difference to my skin, it plumps up my skin from really deep down and locks in any other products I put on top. My skin texture is far smoother than before too. This product is my savior when I may have had one too many tipples the night before. In the morning, I've been reaching for Origins Vitazing moisturiser, I really like this. Once you begin to work it into the skin it leaves just a oh-so subtle glow to your skin which eases any redness you may have. Best of all? Not greasy. Feels really nourishing but far from heavy so great for my fellow oily skinned gals. If I'm a little more congested I go for the over hyped Effaclar Duo by La Roche-Posay. I don't know how to feel about this at all, I can't say I don't like it or like it, I'll get back to you on that one.

In the evening, I switch my Vitazing for Origins Night-a-mins. Can you see I'm having a love affair with Origins yet? Such fantastic products. Night-a-mins is basically an oil free mineral enriched  renewal cream. I've had products similar in the past like Clinique Turnaround but this one is just wowza. It smells delightful, like an orange yogurt. Not good news if you don't like oranges. It's really not sticky, sinks in almost immediately and when you wake up your skin just feels so balanced, smooth and a hell of less angry looking.
These products are by no means miracle workers and what works for me won't necessarily work for you, but they are worth a try. I can definitely see a difference in my skin and breakouts, I'm hoping within the next month it gets even better.

Now I am off to get the best thing for your skin- a good nights sleep.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Beauty Haul #1

If you live in the UK then you will know the country has pretty much been snowed under. I, for one, hate the snow. I'm such a grinch. I hate how cold it is, how I ALWAYS slip over and how much I panic when I'm driving. So I took this snowy day as the perfect opportunity to do a little shopping. I knew I had vouchers to spend and time to kill so I jumped in my car and struggled through the sludge.

My first port of call was Boots. I had a couple of things of my wishlist for a while and had to pick them up. I bought Hydraluron from Indeed Labs. I've heard the brilliant Caroline and Anna talk about this and had to get my eager beaver hands on it. I have oily skin, but it is also fairly dehydrated and rough. This little wonder product is packed full of hyaluronic acid which can hold up 1,000 times its weight in water. Wowza. I can't wait to slather this on tonight and pray for plumped up, glowy skin in the morning. I will definitely be doing a more in depth review in the future. Next thing I headed for was the Essie section. I love Essie Nail Polishes, I love the diffusion line even more. (Hello amazing, streak free brushes). I currently have a fancy for the paler, softer colours as apposed to my usual grey/beige tones. I stood here for a good 10-15 minutes deliberating which colour to buy. Hard life, I know. It was between Ballet Slippers, a very pale but very soft pink. Or, Fiji, another very pale white/pink which seemed a little more opaque. I plumped for Ballet Slippers, it's so pretty. I'm really loving that fresh, clean look on nails at the moment. This may become my thing.

I love Cath Kidston wash bags. They're easily wiped down, durable and seem to last a good while. However, I do a lot of travelling. I tend to stay at my boyfriend's a few nights a week which means chucking my stuff into one of these bags and throwing them in the car. They do get a battering and I did want some fresh new ones. I bought the smaller wash bag and the make up bag, I think in Spray Flowers print (?). I got both of these in the sale for £17, bargain. They look so lovely and white I just don't want to use them! The Cath Kidston sale is still on and if you're wanting any little bits and bobs I would get them now as you can get some nifty savings.

My last buy, was a biggun'. The Clarisonic Mia. In my defense, I bought it from my work and had had vouchers to spend so I did only fork out a fraction of the price. This is a big risk buying this. I have read countless reviews, some being good, some being not so good. If you're unaware what the Clarisonic is, it's basically a toothbrush for your face. It's a cleansing system you use in conjunction with your preferred skincare choice. It is meant to deeply cleanse the skin and remove up to 6x more make up than manual cleansing. You can use this twice a day, I'll be only using this in the evening at first. If I need to cut down on usage, I will. Another precaution is the skin "purging", which I'm bracing myself for. This is where you can break out due to all the rubbish in your skin coming out but if you persevere then it's meant to be worth it. I will definitely be keeping you all updated on how I get on, I'm intrigued myself. I'll also try and recommend what cleanser work best with it too. The Clarisonic Mia RRP is £120, but look out on QVC for Special Offers and Easy Pay. The Mia 2 is also available but I didn't really need an extra speed or pulsing.

On a less beauty related note, I am so saddened about HMV in Administration. I always bought my CDs/DVDs from there as I'm not patient enough for online shopping. I did, however, take advantage on the slightly cheaper prices today and gorged myself on Ryan Gosling films. Can you blame me though? He's helping me through this harsh winter.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect foundation. Dewy but no greasy. Long lasting but not powdery. I'm a fussy little madame to say the least. I've had foundations that come close to my expectations but no cigar. However, Ms Mercier may have just seduced me.

I bought the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation a little while back after reading all the hype in the blogosphere. I trotted off to my local Space NK and the lady who served me had it on. I was besotted with her skin, everytime I see her she looks flawless and beautiful and she swore by this. I'm so easy, such a foundation hussy. I was then sold and chose the shade in Medium Ivory. It boasts itself as a flawless, natural base. It also claims to offer light-reflecting properties which cause any imperfections/lines to vanish. I'm not arguing.

The colour, first of all, is PERFECT. It contains just the right amount of golden tones in for me and steers away from the pinkier, warmer shade. I can wear this with and without tan and it still looks great. It's extremely pigmented so you need the smallest amount for brilliant coverage. I would definitely say this is a medium/full (buildable) coverage foundation, however, completely natural. I kid you not. There is a gorgeous dewiness to it minus the grease slick look. The longevity of Silk Creme is pretty impressive too, it seems to withstand the harsh department store lights I battle with at work and the central heating.

Admittedly, my first few applications of this didn't wow me so much. I did find it patchy and quite dry. The trick is, not to use powder. Embrace the glow, other products melt into this without powder too. Sometimes, if you over do it with the amount you apply, it can just sit on the skin. I like to blend it in with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush followed by my fingers just so it sinks in a little.

Price wise this is definitely a premium, luxury buy (£33). I would definitely repurchase this, unless I find something even more life changing in the meantime (I did say I was fickle)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner

I could've practically jumped my postman this morning when he delivered this little beauty. This toner by Aesop has been on my wishlist for a couple of months now and I finally have gotten my little paws on it. Aesop has never been a bran to grace my bathroom shelf but after countless reviews I knew I had to have it. Really big kudos to Aesop for super quick delivery followed with a handwritten note to myself and a selection of gorgeous samples for me to try, thanks!

This is their Parsley Seed Anti Oxidant Facial Toner, which is from their most popular range, Parsley Seed. Now, this is a toner suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and dry. It contains botanical extracts which soothe, calm, hydrate, balance and even skin tone. Other ingredients include Aloe Lead Juice, Witch Hazel Blue Chamomile which make my skin jump for joy. The Parsley Seed toner is rich in Anti Oxidant properties which we definitely need due to modern lifestyle these days (and that cheeky vodka and coke I shouldn't have had).

The past week I have been battling the most horrendous breakouts so I have been desperate for anything to help. This may just be my answer. I cleansed my face with the Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser sample which is absolutely gorgeous. In a nutshell, its full of Lactic Acid, Jojoba Oil and Blackcurrant Seed, it made my skin feel refreshed, clean and calm with no sting or tightness. I can hear my credit card sobbing already...

I then poured a little toner on a cotton pad and swept it across my face. It got rid of all that horrible grime that was lurking about. What stood out to me with this toner is that it didn't sting or make my face feel tight, my skin felt clean and comfortable. Immediately all my red spots and marks looked less angry and less sore. Perfect! I definitely have high hopes for this product and will most definitely be dabbling into the Aesop brand a little further.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Breaking Beauty Habits

Happy New Year from VLB! I have been a bit MIA lately so forgive me, I have been so busy with visiting family away and stuffing my face with food but I'm back and blonder than ever with so much to write about. 

New Year, for everyone is time for reflection and time to reevaluate everything in our lives. For me, that means a beauty over haul. The glitter from the nails have gone along with the smokey eye. January, I feel is going to be the month of the beauty adjustment. I tend to slip in to really bad habits when it comes to my daily regime, slapping on the same old face day in day out, squeezing that blackhead a little too much and eating that chocolate bar that I really could have done without. My skin hasn't thanked me for the past couple of weeks. I've broken out, my foundations aren't sitting right, my lips are chapped and my nails have seen better days. So it's time for a BIG resolution. 

Starting with the basics, my diet. As much as it pains me to say I'm swapping sausages for salads and Fanta Lemon for water (sob) but not only will my skin thank me, so will my waistline. Not squeezing spots, I can't help myself, I love a good squeeze. Nothing good comes of it, well all know that so no more on that matter. Perfecting my skincare routine is definitely up there, I am in desperate need of a toner and a new moisturizer and maybe a Clarisonic?? Is that really £120 I want to part with? I do have new skincare on the way so I can't wait to try it out and let you all know how I get on. Bring on the dewy glow! I also need to up my intake of water and sleep but when you're a Breaking Bad fan, sleep doesn't come easy. 

Skincare aside, I need a shake up in the make up department too. I've now gone blonder which means I could do with a slight adjustment with colours I wear. I want to keep everything looking extremely fresh, soft pinks and dewy skin along with clean, manicured nails. Think Victoria Secret Angels, we can dream. I can't wait to try Dr Jarts Water Fuse BB Cream (£18). OPI Privacy Please is my new favourite polish, such a beautiful colour. Less is definitely more when my face is involved. Saying that, I do want to start wearing new trends. As someone who works with cosmetics, I should really already be doing this but it is so easy to stick to the same, safe look everyday and I've gotten bored so I will be glued to ELLE Magazine's beauty pages for inspiration! 

What's your beauty resolutions?
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