I’ve been obsessed with face masks ever since someone bought me a Liz Earle one about 10 Christmases ago and in 2017 my fascination seemed to reach total fever pitch. Like everyone, I’m a sucker for instant results and when it comes to skincare, there’s nothing better than a pick me up you know will work. That’s where the Glam Glow Super-Mud Mask comes in because on bad skin days when I’m breaking out, this literally saves me.
The Super-Mud contains four of Glam Glow’s revolutionary formulas in one mask. Firstly the Acnecidic-6 a blend of 6 acids, including salicylic which is designed to clear and repair your skin, then the Pore Matrix which contains activated charcoal to absorb bacteria and toxins. Then there’s the Bio Life Cell Science which soothes and regulates oil production and lastly their Teaoxi technology which uses Eucalyptus oil to freshen you up. It promises to be effective against a whole list of issues too including pores, imperfections and spots as well as razor bumps and ingrown hairs which is great for guys who shave regularly.
When you first put it on it feels quite light in comparison to conventional mud masks and it’s really gentle on the skin. Sometimes masks that specifically target acne or congestion can be really harsh or sting but I didn’t get that at all with this. The magic happens when it starts to dry though as you’ll start to see black dots on the very oily areas of your face. This is basically the charcoal working to unclog your pores and remove the build up of sebum and bacteria which causes spots. Afterwards, my skin feels so fresh and it’s perfect for controlling oil and breakouts as well as redness. After washing it off my face doesn’t feel really dry either, just clean and soothed and the oily areas are way more under control.
I managed to pick this up on sale at the M&S beauty hall however the full retail price is £42. It’s a little bit expensive but I’ve had at least 10 applications out of this pot already and the results are really impressive. I think if you’re looking to invest in something special and you have particularly oily skin it would be totally worth it.
I love to support local, home grown companies and when I first heard about Lulu & Boo I was really excited to try their skincare. Created by makeup artist Claire Edmunds, the brand is organic, cruelty free and caters to people with sensitive skin. The idea came after Claire began reacting to the everyday products she was using and decided to start experimenting with aromatherapy and herbal remedies.
As a skincare junkie I was very excited to receive the Aloe and Eyebright Eye Gel to test, which I’ve been using for about a month now. The eye gel claims to moisturise the under eye area while reducing dark circles, fine lines and puffiness. This is perfect for me as I don’t get much sleep! It’s main ingredients are Aloe Vera, Apricot Oil, Organic Witch Hazel and Arnica and it’s 98% organic.
I’ve got on so well with this product and it’s fitted in really well with my skincare routine. The gel instantly refreshes my eye area and helps to cool and soothe any puffiness, which is one of my main skin concerns. It doesn’t feel heavy at all and when I apply it before bed I definitely notice a difference around my eyes in the morning. It does feel a bit tacky as it dries, so if you want to use this before applying makeup I would suggest leaving it to dry for about 10 minutes but that’s really my only hang up. I absolutely love the smell, it’s fresh and you can tell it’s organic as it doesn’t have that artificial, perfumed scent that a lot of other skincare products have. Something else which is worth mentioning is how gentle the formula is, my eyes sting after applying certain creams but this is so delicate and calming.
I’ve been using this mask for a while now, I actually bought it when Charlotte Tilbury first opened in Cardiff so I’m surprised how long it’s taken me to write this. Recently I’ve been trying to use up everything in my bathroom cupboard and I’m slowly rediscovering things that were pushed to the back. This is one of them and not because it’s bad but because it’s so bloody expensive I want to savour it!
Charlotte Tilbury says “Darlings, forget EVERYTHING you think you know about clay masks! My Goddess Skin Clay Mask features ingredients to tighten pores, moisturise your skin and clear imperfections, with 85%* of users agreeing their skin appears brighter. Now everyone can have flawless, glowing Goddess Skin!”
This is a very luxurious face mask, from the packaging to the scent and the colour it’s all perfectly feminine and instagramamable. For me, I like that it’s in a squeeze tube, especially after reviewing the Niod Flavanone Mask, I now fully appreciate anything I don’t have to scoop out of a small pot. You don’t need a lot to cover your face so the bottle actually goes a long way. The texture is really smooth, it’s not gritty like some other clay masks can be and it feels really light on the skin. There is no tingling or drying sensation at all, in fact it’s really nourishing and gentle. With other masks you can sometimes get that really tight, dry feeling (I call this botox face) but this isn’t like that, even after 10 minutes it’s set but it’s not uncomfortable.
The Results 9/10
When I first tested this at the counter I put a small circle on my hand and there was literally a little circle of perfect skin left when I took it off. So I had very high hopes. There is a marked change in my skin after using this and it really does give you instant results. The biggest difference is that it completely shrinks my pores and gives me that soft, airbrushed effect. It also takes down redness and helps to sooth my skin so that it feels nourished and well prepped for makeup. It’s the best mask I’ve tried and the only one that gives me an instant boost and a marked improvement in the condition of my skin. For me it’s far too expensive to be in my everyday routine but it’s perfect for special occasions when you want your skin to look it’s absolute best.
Last week I had the facial to end all facials at Charlotte Tilbury in John Lewis and part of my treatment included the new Instant Dry Magical Sheet Mask that everyone has been raving about. As a self proclaimed connoisseur of the sheet mask, I have to say that it’s a bit weird to use one that’s dry. I’m not aware of any other sheet mask on the market that isn’t dripping in serum so it’s amazing that this achieves anything, considering there’s no liquid product.
It promises the results of a facial in 15 minutes and to brighten, lift, hydrate and reduce lines (yasss). The mask is described as a “bio-mimetic revolutionary system that gives a prolonged release of the ingredients”. Apparently the serum in wet sheet masks will evaporate off your skin after 45 minutes so by being dry it prolongs the effects for up to 8 hours. It also doesn’t harbour bacteria so you can use it up to 3 times, which is good news considering it costs £18! The sheet is quite thick too, far thicker than other ones I’ve tried and you can feel a dry residue on the side that you place on your face. The best thing is that it fits really well and the hooks around your ears help to keep it taught across your face so you get the most of the mask. Certainly worth look like Hannibal Lecter for!
It really does give you a moisturised, fresh and plumped finish. The fine lines on my forehead disappeared which was so exciting and overall I looked more dewy and well rested. It’s strange because while it’s on it doesn’t feel like it’s doing anything. With the other mask I use, like the Garnier Moisture Bomb, the coolness of the sheet makes it feel like it’s actively working but this one is nothing like that and yet delivers even better results. It gives a glow rather than a heavily moisturised finish and I felt my skin was better prepped to apply makeup than if it was saturated in product . Even while I’m writing this I put the mask on 2 hours ago to take a picture and my skin still looks amazing. I think this is a perfect product for a special occasion or for when you need to really perk up your skin.
Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing balm is one of those cult blogger favourites that has stood the test of time. It’s ability to remove every scrap of makeup without drying or irritating is phenomenal. Couple this with a gorgeous scent and a dewy finish it’s no wonder it’s everybody’s favourite. However the funny thing about cult products is that you don’t often hear about the rest of the brand range, which is why I wanted to branch out with this post today.
Being part of the Moringa Balm tribe I knew that Emma Hardie’s product ethos suited my skin type. Simple, gentle and nourishing products that deliver results. So when I went hunting for a day cream I didn’t have much reservation in trying this out. The Protect and Prime promises to protect the skin with SPF 30 while providing a soft focused, dewy and luminous complexion.
The consistency is gorgeous, it feels luxurious and is very much a spa like product. This is the stuff dream facials are made of. It has the most lovely scent but it’s not too heavy on the skin and absorbs quickly, leaving a gorgeous glowy sheen and a more wide awake look. An important factor for me is how it sits under foundation, which I wear everyday but I found it worked really well. It definitely gives a soft focused finish as promised and helped in the longevity of my makeup. I also noticed that my skin was less red and dry towards the end of the day, which is normal for me but a marked improvement in this made it all the more impressive.
The only downside would be the price tag at £46. It is a very expensive cream so I would recommend waiting for a special offer and keeping an eye out for deals, like I did. 100% worth that price point though if you have the budget!
A few weeks ago now I met up with Laura, the PR for Deciem, to chat about the brand which has got every blogger, skincare fanatic and magazine talking. Deciem is also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company and for good reason. They have stripped back on unnecessary packaging, ingredients and false claims to bring us the best in scientific research that REALLY works. Under the umbrella of Deciem are their handful of different brands including The Ordinary (which I have a review of coming soon), NIOD, Fountain and many more. It brings about the change that so many of us have been looking for, moving away from the hype and concentrating on back to basics, affordable skincare that we can trust.
Today I’m reviewing the NIOD Flavanone Mud Mask, which I chose to try because it’s very purifying and effective on spot prone skin. NIOD, which stands for Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science is the most advanced of the Deciem brands. It’s also a good way to describe the look and smell of the Flavanone Mask, it very much feels like a Science project.
The mask is said to have three phases, the Purifying Phase, Protective Phase and Responsive Phase. Combined they decongest the skin without throwing off the balance meaning it gives purifying results that last. It is a mud mask but the consistensy is lighter and more watered down. You only need to apply a small layer to get great results but it’s worth noting that it does sting your skin. This is mentioned in the directions but it feels counterintuitive leaving something on that isn’t so comfortable. However the results are worth the 10 minutes of discomfort. It deeply cleanses your skin and leaves it looking matte but not feeling dry. It also helps to take down the redness of any spots or pigmentation leaving them less angry.
I read a few reviews before trying it out and a lot of them were saying to use it everyday for the first week and then once a week after that as a top up. I found that everyday was a bit too much for my sensitive skin but using it every few days definitely helped to keep my spots at bay. It’s also worth noting that this has a shelf life of 6 months so you need to be using it often to get through the pot. I’m thinking of taking it down to my chest (as I get a few spots there too) to make the most of the product within that time. I would definitely repurchase this mask again and NIOD is a brand that I really want to explore more.
As soon as my friend told me TK Maxx had Korean skincare I ran there to pick some up. BRTC is a derma technology cosmetic brand that specialises in skin care. The masks may be the most well known of their products but they also offer serums, creams and cleansers with the same benefits. However, these were what I was most excited to try and I’m so glad I found them. After watching Lisa Eldridge’s Korean hauls it’s my dream to go on a shopping trip there… one day!
The first mask I used was the nourishing sheep mask, which looks completely terrifying. I swear on everyone else it looked so cute but I put it on my face and I was like holy cow that is horrifying. However it smells incredible, very much like grapefruit and is lovely and cooling on the skin. When you first take it out of the packet it feels like theres a lot of product on the mask but once it’s on your face it starts to soak in really quickly. It felt instantly soothing and I had no irritation or sensitivity at all, which is rare for my skin when using masks.
The next one I tried was the anti-ageing Empress Mask, this didn’t smell as natural/scented as the first one but felt more like a serum. It really plumped and lifted my skin and gave me a nice glowy finish. I feel like this would be the perfect pre-night out/special day mask as it gave me a good starting point to put on my makeup.
The last mask I tried was the Temptation mask which was my favourite design. This one was really nourishing and had a similar smell/texture to the sheep mask. It gave me dewy, moisturised finish and really helped to get rid of any dry, red patches on my skin. All the masks feel really light and even though they give great results they’re not harsh or heavy either. I would also say, for me anyway, they seemed to give much better results than traditional face masks.
If you’ve tried these masks or any other BRTC products I would love to hear your thoughts below. I will definitely be picking up some more of these soon and might even try out some of their other products if I can get my hands on them!
Being a huge fan of Avene, I’m not sure why I waited so long to venture into using La Roche Posay. As another strong French skincare brand, who also incorporate and anti-irritating thermal spring water into their products I should have known this would work wonders for me.Starting with the Corrective and Unclogging Anti-Perfection Care, this was recommended to me by my Aunty who said it did amazing things for her skin and I’ve also seen this in a Model Recommends video. It’s a very light gel, it glides over the skin really easily and it doesn’t leave you with the very tight dry feeling that a lot of acne products do. You can instantly see a reduction in your pores and after using it for about three days I noticed a significant difference in my skin. I didn’t have a single breakout and in areas where my skin had been problematic I noticed it becoming clearer, less red and smoother.
The ingredients include Niacinamide and Piroctone which promise to reduce severe local imperfections and prevent breakouts. It also contains LHA/Linoleic Acid to unclog pores and La Roche Posay spring water to sooth over sore skin. This honestly worked better for me than a cream I was prescribed by doctor which dried my skin so much that it was left red and irritated (not sure whats worse, that or zits?). It’s definitely a miracle product, if such a thing was ever to exist and delivers quickresults.
As I loved this so much I decided to purchase the Purifying Foaming Gel as well, as it’s in the same range and targeted towards oily/sensitive skin. It has a really light feel and again your not left with a tight feeling as you are after cleansing with other products. Swapping my normal face wash for this, I’ve definitely noticed a difference, I have less breakouts but my skin is also less red and so much smoother. I think the key to these products is that they’re not too harsh, it’s not over cleansing or has too many harsh ingredients, so your skin is just left clean, refreshed and spot free.
So a little skin care review today and it’s the Avène redness relief moisturising protecting cream with SPF20. For those who haven’t heard of Avène before, it’s a French skincare brand known for its Thermal Spring Water, which is incorporated into all their products and targets irritated skin. I’ve been looking to update my skincare for winter and needed something very hydrating and nourishing that I could put on before my makeup in the morning and this was the perfect find. It’s nice and light, absorbs quickly and it’s not sticky either so you don’t have to wait to apply makeup up. There isn’t an instant difference but I’ve noticed a significant reduction in redness throughout the day as well as keeping my skin hydrated just from one application in the morning. The SPF20 is also great as the foundation I’m using at the moment doesn’t and it’s just enough sun protection for the winter months. If you’re looking for a little skin pick me up I would definitely go for this, I feel like I’ve found a new beauty staple in this cream and will definitely be repurchasing.
One of the reasons I started reading blogs was to learn more about makeup and so I thought it would be nice to share my current favourites in the hope that other people can find a product they love to. These are just a small collection but are things I use on a regular basis as well as repurchasing often. If you’ve used any of them before or have any of your own recommendations or reviews please feel free to comment below, I always love getting other people’s opinions and tips on beauty!
High Beam by Benefit – This for me has become something of a necessity, I just don’t feel like my makeup is done without it. During my degree I had sleepless months in the run up to deadlines and even in my zombie state this really did wonders in brightening my skin and making me look a little more awake. It is quite a thick formula in comparison to other highlighters but it does blend really well and I find it’s quite long lasting.
Golden Lilac Blush by Bourjois – After seeing this on several other blogs I decided to try it out, I’ve never bought anything from Bourjois before but I’ve really fallen for this product. It smells amazing, I would actually say it’s quite a good budget version of the Chanel blush and it isn’t too pigmented so it’s nice and easy to apply and build up the colour as you need it.
Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder – If you are very pale, like me, I would highly recommend this as a subtle powder for the day. It’s predominantly bronzer with a little blush and just gives a really nice healthy glow to the face without being streaky as well as evening out the skin tone.
Eau Dynamisante by Clarins – I think the reason I love this so much is because the first time I discovered it was while on holiday so it’s just one of those fragrances that has great memories for me. It’s quite a strong scent with lemon, patchouli, white tea, ginseng and petit grain but it smells luxurious and is very long lasting. It also doubles as a treatment oil, promising to boost vitality, firmness and freshness so make sure you spray directly onto your skin for maximum effect.
8 Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden – So I’m pretty sure if you’re interested in beauty you will have heard about this by now but if not this is probably one of the most intense moisturising and repairing creams available. The thick formula can be applied anywhere to dry or tired skin for instant hydration and I also find it works really well on scars or scratches to help speed up recovery. The original cream is very thick and has quite a strong scent however there is an entire range including my favourites the lip balm and hand and nail cream which have much lighter formulas.
Skin Perfector by L’orèal – I discovered this back when it first came out and I haven’t been able to live without it since. It’s very easy to blend and smoothes out the skin tone without feeling as heavy as a foundation and gives a nice dewy finish to the face. (This also works really well with number 1. High Beam)
7. Nude Beige by Models Own – I’m very much into nude and grey nail polishes at the moment and this one is my favourite shades so far. I find NailsInc has a really nice finish, you do have to apply two coats but it seems to last a little longer than some other high street polishes and they have a great range of shades.
8. Transparent Finishing Powder by MAC – I have very oily skin, particularly in the T zone and this is great for a long lasting matte finish. You only need to use a tiny amount and it also helps to set your foundation for longer lasting wear.
9. Salonnière by Jenny Packham – This was part of a collaboration she did with boots at Christmas last year and I fell in love with the entire range. All her products have a very glamourous, old Hollywood feel and come in beautiful packaging and gorgeous makeup bags. She’s doing another range this year and has bought out some new lipsticks which I would highly recommend, they have a very smooth finish without being too glossy and don’t dry out the lips.
10. Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm by Palmers – Excuse the very battered packaging! But this has been very well loved. A really great, highly moisturising lip balm with SPF15… no brainer.
11. Ever Matte Foundation by Clarins – Again very well loved. This has been great for me over the summer in my battle to stay matte and avoid melting in the crazy heat. It has a kind of cream to powder consistency and so is a little harder to blend but the finish is great and it works well for oily and spot prone skin.
12. Zero Smudge Lengthening Mascara by Estee Lauder – I don’t like big, clumpy mascara brushes as I have quite sensitive eyes so this is the perfect one for me. It’s more lengthening than thickening which I like and the brush is very thin and light which makes getting into the corners much easier. My second pet hate with mascaras is not being able to take them off, I hate having panda eye residue that I can’t remove but I always find Estee Lauder mascaras come off really easily with eye makeup remover despite being really long lasting which is why they are my go to.