Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Month in Skincare - January

I can't believe January is at an end already! Those of you that aren't on Instagram will be unaware that I've been keeping a daily record of the products I'm using. Not so much for me, more to encourage you to mix it up a little (where you can afford to - obviously), there is never a need to only use one brand. (Although I wouldn't mix a load of retinol products. You stay classy San Diego.)

Myself, the Mr and Max are all a little under the weather so there won't be a video tomorrow - I'll aim for Monday/Tuesday - but I need to rest up.

Feel free to ask any questions about the products shown or any routines etc in the comments. Although with this cold, bear with. Yes/no will be easier than essays this weekend! :)

Also: I'm focusing more on budget skincare in February. I'd be interested to hear from you with some of your favourites. :)

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Friday, 30 January 2015

FAQs - Alcohol

After yesterday's post, alcohol was the most-requested topic in the comments...

As you would expect, there are mixed views throughout the industry (and it may well be clear as mud after this post).

Similar to yesterday's 'toxic' conversation, alcohol can also be discussed in terms of dosage.

Alcohol used in cosmetics can be separated into 3 groups:
Simple, Fatty and Aromatic (used in fragrances).

Fatty alcohols are used as emollients. They're thick, wax-like and non-drying. This group includes the most commonly used cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol. This type is used as a thickening agent and helps give products their slip. I think it is unfair to accuse this group of 'cell death'.

Aromatic alcohol - benzyl alcohol, in skincare, is found in the fragrances and outside of that -  head lice treatments (eew). It can be an irritant for some, not for others. It is not used in high %s in products and is usually one of the last ingredients listed on the inci list.

Simple alcohol is where the problem lies, and probably where every other alcohol gets its bad name. Used under names such as isopropyl alcohol and denatured alcohol (alcohol denat or SD alcohol) - this used in its strongest form, can be incredibly drying.
Think of the strongest astringent toners aimed at acnaic skins - they are what you don't want on your skin. This type is also used heavily in hand sanitizers, that's why they can be so drying and why I am always asked for hand creams recommendations from people working in places like hospitals.
However, some of the exfoliating toners that I use do contain alcohol and used sporadically, my skin has no issue with it.

In short, not all alcohols are created the same. Keep an eye out for astringents, and don't be overly concerned with the fatty alcohols you generally see listed in face creams and cleansers.
Just bear in mind, if it's the first thing on the ingredient list it's probably nail polish remover!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

FAQs - Parabens


I am asked almost on a daily basis for my views on parabens.  I am met with outrage by some commenters who are mortified that I am recommending something that is 'toxic' and can 'give you breast cancer' (erm, no).
In short my response to those comments is always polite and explanatory but my response to websites spewing out this nonsense would really be 'bollocks' if I was being honest. Goop and the EWG have a lot to answer for. For example, in this article, Goop rages about how untrustworthy the beauty industry is because it uses the term 'non-toxic' because it means 'absolutely nothing'. And then in this article, not only uses the term openly and frequently, but puts it in the title.

I have no problem with parabens. I don't see them as toxic. I'm really beginning to hate the way that websites and some brands use that word for scare tactics or to make sales.
The word toxic is always dose-dependent. If a venomous snake bites you, you could die. If you take a little of that venom and use it to make an antivenom, it could save your life. It's no longer 'toxic'. It's absolutely 'toxic' in large doses. But the word is not appropriate in the latter situation.

Yes parabens have been found in breast cancer tumours.
They are also present in breast tissue that has no tumours or cancer present.
They are also present in your wee.
That's because you mostly break them down and pee them out.

I'm not a doctor, I'm not a cosmetic scientist, but tellingly, I have yet to work with one who has a problem with parabens.

Whilst it's true that the USA do not do a good enough job of regulating the ingredients of beauty products, the FDA have done research on parabens and found them to be 'completely safe for use in cosmetics'. Similarly the EU and Canada's governing bodies. I'm even in agreement with Paula's Choice website which has some great links to documented research if you want further reading.

Honestly? It will always come down to your personal feeling but I would just do your own research, try not read the Daily Fail, and the next time you go to a counter and say 'Is it paraben-free?' at least know why you are asking the question.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Sunday Riley Good Genes

What is it?
'A brightening, multitasking, radiance treatment and mask.'
'Naturally brightens and improves radiance, texture and circulation.'

It's an AHA exfoliant.

Who is it for?
Ideally for someone concerned with the texture of their skin or pigmentation and scarring issues.

What’s in it?
Agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) Leaf, Cypripedium Pebescens (Orchid), Opuntial Tuna (Prickly Pear) Fruit, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract & Saccaromyces Cerevisiae (Yeast), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Extract, Lactic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut Oil), Butylene Glycol, Squalene, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Stearic Acid Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) extract , PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-75 Meadowsol, Lemongrass Extract, Arnica Extract, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth-20, DMDM Hydantoin

What's not in it?
mineral oil
shea butter

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
40% lactic acid so no good for really sensitive skins

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man made/natural/vegan

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?

How does it smell?
Fresh, citrus-y

How does it feel on the skin?/Absorption rate?
Like a lotion, absorbs easily

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
Daily as a serum or when required as a treatment mask. I would suggest using it in the evenings under an oil or a moisturiser. And yes you can use it after exfoliating acid toners. Maybe not P50, but certainly the milder ones.
I've seen a few reviews recently of people from people that are using it AM and PM as a serum. Personally, I think that's overkill and you may be opening yourself up to milia and broken capillaries. I'd keep an eye on your skin to ensure it isn't over-exfoliated. And make sure you are adding moisturiser/oils afterwards. 

How long before you should see results?
If you are new to acids you will see results in a day or two. If your skin is acclimatised to acids it may take a few more days, but it generally works quickly.

How long did I test it for?
A few months

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
£85.00 for 30ml - hard to say but it should last around 2 months if using a few evenings a week (from my experience). 

What’s good about it?
Good Genes gets all the praise because the effect is almost immediate. It contains 40% unneutralised lactic acid which gives it a very low PH. As lactic acid works on the surface of the skin - more topical than its counterparts, the irritation risk is less than with other acids such as glycolic and salicylic. 
I prefer to use it in the evenings simply because it is so effective at resurfacing that I find my makeup can have a tendency to go patchy if I use it during the day. 
It is purposely used in a soothing, calming base to counteract any potential irritation from the strength of the lactic acid, and this seems to work well.

What’s not so good about it?
The high % of lactic acid could be too much for some skins. 

Works well with?
You can mix it with Sunday's Ceramic Slip cleanser for a 'Flash Facial'. Sunday Riley recommend using this over Luna, but I have always done it the other way around. Good Genes first, then Luna. 

What’s the website like?
It's being revamped as of 25.03.16 and thus unavailable.

Similar products?
Obagi ExfoDerm Forte
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Glycolic Night Serum
Cosmedix Purity Clean

Sunday Riley Good Genes is £85.00 from and $105.00 from

Not a sponsored post, links may be affiliates.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

First Aid Beauty Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser

What is it?
'A complete facial cleanser that removes makeup and impurities as it nourishes and conditions skin, lashes, and brows.'
Ergo: a milky/emulsifying cleanser for everything.

What's in it?
Water, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate, Jojoba Esters, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Tetrasodium EDTA, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, BHA, EDTA.

Possible acne/allergy/upsetting for some ingredients?
Tetrasodium EDTA is not popular in some circles. It's commonly used instead of parabens and some people say it's worse. Some. Not all. 

What's not in it?
Parabens (see above) 
Mineral oil
Synthetic fragrance

Who is it for?
Everyone really.

How do you use it?
They say: 
'Spread three to four pumps onto fingertips, tissue, or pad and lightly massage over entire dry face and eye area for 10-20 seconds or until makeup begins to dissolve. 
Wipe off with a tissue or damp cloth. 
It may be rinsed off with water if desired.'

I would:
Apply in the usual manner on to dry skin and remove with a flannel. The thought of wiping this off with a tissue is a bit grim to be honest. But that's nothing new from me the tissue-hater.

What's good/not so good about it?
I've been using this for about a month now.
I'm not sure this is great for waterproof, but it's OK for everything else. I tend to always remove waterproof with a dedicated eye makeup remover - so I don't use it as a first cleanse. This is very much a second cleanse or morning cleanse for me OR an 'only cleanse' in the evening if I'm not wearing makeup. 
In general, I get along very well with FAB products. They don't make huge claims, they're made with sensitivities in mind and they don't cost the earth. Hard to go wrong.

Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser is $26.00 and available from It launches in the UK at the end of February/beg of March.

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask

After yesterday's (and last week's) video, this latest product from The Body Shop's Nutriganics range was among the most-requested for a follow-up review. I thought I would do this first as I've just written a post for TBS on night time tips and it's fresh in my head!*

What is it?
The Bouncy Sleep Mask is literally that, a mask designed to be slept in aimed at restoring a smooth, fresh appearance on the skin.

What's in it?
Aqua/Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Helianthus Annuus Hybrid Oil, Polysorbate 20 , Diheptyl Succinate, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Caffeine, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Linalool, Citronellol, Leontopodium Alpinum Meristem Cell Culture, Limonene, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum

Possible acne/sensitivity triggers/anything I am always asked about? 

What's not in it?
Mineral oil

Who is it for?
All skin types, particularly those that are dry or dehydrated.

How do you use it?
Apply on top of your serum in the evening - or apply directly to the skin after toning and use on its own.

What's good/not so good about it?
The texture. The texture is actually the answer to both of these questions. If you saw yesterday's video you'll have seen that the texture is akin to a memory foam mattress. 
When you first try it you may think 'WHAT THE DARNTOOT'IN BLAZES IS THIS ALL ABOUT?'  'Hhm that's weird.' 

Alas, fair reader, do not be put off. Persevere. It comes with a scoop, but God Only Knows *literally pauses to YouTube Beach Boys* what I did with THAT. You need to start working with it as soon as you pick it up as it will immediately start to soften. The consistency is a liquid/soft gel/cream Yes, I know. I'm not helping. Clear as mud.

It's hard to grab hold of, annoying even. But once you get the knack it's actually a bonus, as you only use a tad. AND - this is a 90ml tub so will last you yonks. These masks are actually a very affordable way of using a 'night cream' over your more expensive serums. They come in bigger sizes, and are infinitely more affordable than usual night creams (if hydration is your main concern).

If you're a product junkie, this is similar to Origins Drink Up Mask or the Dr Jart sleep-in masks.
If you have no bloody idea what I'm talking about, you apply this before bed, go to sleep, and wake up with hydrated, soft skin. Tis true. It does what it says on the pot.

Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask is £22.00 and available now at 

*The Body Shop did not ask me to write/pay me for this review

Sunday, 25 January 2015

What's New this month?

Hi Everyone!

Back in the land of the living albeit looking roughhhhh. It's a long one - but if you are borderline/full-on obsessive about all things beauty you may make it to the end.


A full list of the products discussed are in the video description box.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

FAQs - Exfoliating

How do I know if I'm over-exfoliating?

Proper exfoliation leaves the skin refreshed, invigorated, smooth and soft. The aim is a radiant, glowing skin. Not blistered, red, dehydrated and sore skin.

My personal preference is for mild daily exfoliation via aha/bha's as opposed to physical scrubs. I've found them to be more gentle - but if you prefer a scrub, carry on - just look out for the below...

Signs you could be over-doing it include:

  • Tightness
  • Flakiness
  • Uncomfortable stinging
  • Increased sensitivity to your normal products
  • Burning
  • Dehydration (more than the normal day-to-day)
  • Persistent redness
  • Milia (if they are new to you and you never suffered before)
  • Acne outbreak 
  • Increased pigmentation
  • Broken capillaries

  • If you have any of these conditions, have a break from exfoliating and treat the skin as sensitive and dehydrated until balance is restored. Use facial oils overnight and under your moisturiser during the day. Do NOT use a sonic cleansing brush during this period.

    Things to remember:
    • Cleansing brushes like the Clarisonic are exfoliators. Do not use these in conjunction with scrubs or 'beady' cleansers. Don't terrorise your skin. Equally, a flannel/washcloth is an exfoliator. If you wash with a flannel, then use your Clarisonic, then a scrub, then an acid toner, then a retinol overnight product, your skin will in all likelihood, be stripped naked.
    • Try and stick to a maximum of 3 of the above at any one time. For example, a flannel cleanse, acid toner and retinol overnight treatment is more than enough to be getting on with. Equally. a flannel, mild powdered scrub and a retinol should be sufficient. Exfoliation is important, but so is maintaining a healthy acid mantle.
    • You need to treat the face, neck and decollete more delicately than the body.
    • What we take away we need to replenish, make sure you moisturise afterwards, whether it's body or face.
    • If you have been overdoing it, please stay away from face wipes (more than usual) until the skin has had a chance to repair itself. Dragging and pulling on the face with most types of wipes will only exacerbate the problem.
    • If you have the symptoms of over-exfoliation, SPF is your priority. Your skin is compromised and in essence, has lost its security blanket. Protect it.   

    Friday, 23 January 2015

    Migraines 2015

    Me, once the worst was over... Big throbbing veins either side of forehead still evident
    So this week was FUN. I say 'FUN', I mean 'STAB ME IN THE HEAD IT WOULD BE LESS PAINFUL'.

    I posted previously about migraines last year, after a particularly nasty spell took me away from the blog for days.

    This week my vile, throbbing,head was mixed with a flare-up of IBS, something that Jane from BBB suggested may in fact be stomach migraines (I'm looking into that). WHO knew that was even a THING? 

    Anyway, whilst I'm now on Day 4 of the fading symptoms/hangover I thought I'd update the little list of things that have helped me... and as always, please leave your suggestions below for fellow sufferers. Migraines were a gift to me after I had my first child, previous to birthing out the sproglets, I never had so much as a flutter of a headache. Swines. 

    What helped?
    • Warm showers. Letting the heat gently pound the back of my neck while standing in the dark bathroom was strangely soothing.
    • Bananas - as always. You really need to eat when you take things like Sumitriptan (well I do anyway), and bananas also give you a potassium shot. I know they are not the highest potassium-containing foodstuff, but when you can barely move you're not about to cook up a sweet potato/bean/spinach casserole. People who try and preach to migraine sufferers that there are foods with higher potassium levels than bananas are missing the point of what being incapacitated by your throbbing, stabbing head actually means. *digresses, goes back to post*
    • Water - tons and tons of water. Sparkling for me, normal water makes me more nauseous when the head is killing.
    • Magnesium supplements - to ease the throbbing and relax the muscles - and the brain ache!
    • Ubiquinol - I mentioned this in my January pillbox post and hadn't taken it for a few days - as most people say CoQ10 helps, this could also have been a factor... *never goes without again*
    • The Dark - obvs.
    • And.....

    these gems. Or should I say 'Chewing' - and then say these gems...

    I bought these Bounce balls a couple of weeks ago to snack on during those days when I'm running around and don't want to resort to grabbing rubbish on the go.
    I hid them* from my older boys (the weight-lifting, body-building, food-hoovering duo) under my bed and completely forgot about them. This week, during the flare-up, I dropped my pillbox on the floor and whilst scrambling around in the dark and swearing like a navvy I found them!

    Turns out these things are a GODsend. The chewing works wonders (who KNEW?) and they give you the feeling of being full up so you don't have to worry about taking meds/feeling nauseous. I wish these had been around when I was a day at lunchtime meant I wasn't hungry so could focus on just getting rid of the headache...

    Anyway, that's my little tip for the migraine crew. If you suffer from them, I hope it helps, if you don't suffer from them, try wrapping gaffer tape around your head really tightly 6 times, then stabbing yourself repeatedly behind your right eye for 6 hours, and remember to vomit intermittently. :)

    Oh and I got the Bounce balls from Whole Foods, but I'm sure you can get them in Holland & Barrett etc... 

    *Yes, I hide food from my children. When your kids eat 6 chicken breasts 'as a snack' after getting back from the gym because they're 'starving' and then say 'what's for dinner?' you'll hide food too. 
    I also hide beauty products, clothing and remote controls when necessary. 

    Indeed Labs - Fillume

    As mentioned earlier this week, coming next Monday is the latest release from Indeed Labs - Fillume.

    What is it?
    A moisturiser that claims to:
    • restore the look of facial contours
    • plump the appearance of furrow lines and laughter lines
    • improve the tone and texture of the skin

    What's in it?

    The blimph says:

    '5 Key Actives' *eyebrow*
    • LINEFILL: A natural active from the seeds of sesame that works to restore lost facial volume leaving skin plumper and restoring the look of facial contours.
    • ReGENESEA: Contains a special aqueous extract to help to redistribute subcutaneous fat, significantly improving skin smoothness, wrinkle density and wrinkle volume.
    • Sym 3D: Stimulates fat cells to correct and bring volume to the skin through a unique dual mode action, resulting in added plumpness.
    • Hyalufix: Creates hyaluronic acid, a high level hydrating substance that works to erase shadows, increase skin volume, improve radiance and diminish signs of wrinkles.
    • PatcH20: A molecular network of natural biopolymers with a high concentration of moisturising complex glycerin, it provides immediate and long-lasting hydration through a molecular mesh that creates a protective film over the skin’s surface to reduce water evaporation. 

    What does that mean?
    Using a lot of different trademarked names for things is nothing new to the industry. I could mix up a batch of 'Hironsflex' out of glycerin and hyaluronic acid, trademark it and call it a 'key active'. It's still glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
    And please don't get me started on things that allegedly shift 'fat' around or stimulate fat cells. It doesn't work on cellulite creams and as my mate Sali Hughes says, if it did, would we not apply this miracle potion to premature babies in high dependency units to beef them up a tad? Hogwash.

    Possible allergy/acne triggers?
    It contains silicones, alcohol and glycols if you are concerned about those. The texture however, is not silicone heavy and there is certainly no alcohol 'burn' on application.

    What's not in it?
    It's fragrance-free for those with problems with fragrance - either synthetic or essential oil based.
    Mineral oil

    Who is it for?
    Aimed at all skin types, it is targeting people with 'loss of facial contours' - it's hard to say what age that would come in at as it could depend on your lifestyle as much as your genetics and age. I.e. if you smoke, your face is going to look 'saggy' before that of a non-smoker, even possibly in your 20's - so go by your own lifestyle as well as your age.

    How do you use it?
    Apply a 'pea' sized amount am and pm. I needed a bit more than a pea. More a broad bean. :)

    What's good/not so good about it?
    Having said all of that, this is a lovely moisturiser that works brilliantly on top of very active serums. For 25 quid, it easily stands up against hydrating/plumping moisturisers with a much higher price tag, without the added costs for packaging and fancy boxes.
    I would have liked a 50ml size though, even if that put the price up a bit.

    I really like this cream - and I enjoy using Indeed Labs products, I just hope they keep it simple and don't start going down the 'too many claims/trademarked' names road - that would be a great shame and possibly distract from what is in essence, a great, affordable, range that for the most part, does what it says on the box.

    Fillume is available from from Monday 26th January and is £24.99 for 30ml.

    Thursday, 22 January 2015

    Choice Books - Business: The Glitter Plan

    I read as many books as possible from people who have started their own businesses - even if one of them is married to John Taylor from Duran Duran. How rude of her.

    Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor were the two women behind Juicy Couture, the home of the velour tracksuit (eew) and the fun handbags and accessories (yum). 

    This tells the story of how they started, the building of a multi-million dollar business and the eventual sale to Liz Claiborne in 2003 for $250 million dollars. As you do. *gulp*

    If you like reading this kind of thing - this has lots of bullet-point individual pages listing for example, retail terms, their top tips for starting businesses and 'surviving the transition to corporate management' - something that Jo Malone could relate to (if you listened to her Desert island Discs last week). 

    The Glitter Plan is available on for all different kinds of prices depending on the format you want.

    It also contains pictures of John Taylor and Anthony Kiedis. #bonus 

    Wednesday, 21 January 2015

    FAQs continued...teen years

    Firstly, thank you to the teacher that tweeted me to point out hat it was FAQs, not FAQ's. Doofus alert. :)

    And thank you lovely readers for your response. Some of the questions left beneath the post were a little off topic and it started to turn into a clinic - so I hope you don't mind but I'm going to cherry pick the ones that I am genuinely asked regularly, not the 'please fix everything in my routine' ones.

    Starting with...

    Are all the products that your recommend suitable for teenage skins?

    No. The main things you need at this age are a decent cleanser, possibly a very mild exfoliating toner if you are suffering from spots/acne and a moisturiser followed by SPF. You could add a mild, gentle exfoliating powder to the mix if you don't particularly need the acid toners.
    You do not need retinols in your teens. You do not need expensive 'anti-ageing' serums. We older folks use those to attempt to get something like the skin you've already got. Save your money.
    Keep it clean, keep it exfoliated and keep it moisturised and protected.
    Don't smoke.
    Don't become a sugar addict.

    And most of all, embrace everything that is good about yourself, don't obsess about things you don't like about yourself.

    And unrelated to skincare: Girls. If he wants to know where you are all the time and who you talk to/hang out with, he's not a boyfriend, he's a pimp. It's not romantic, it's wrong. Kick him to the kerb.

    Tuesday, 20 January 2015


    As the blog nears the end of it's 5th year - a lot of lovely new readers *waves* are joining the ranks and I am now regularly being asked a lot of questions of a similar vein.

    I don't mind at all - having so many readers is a privilege. I did think however, that it could save you time and enable me to answer more questions if I had a page for 'Frequently Asked Questions'. So, as you ask them, I'll answer them and then add them to the page. A lot of you raise the issue of FAQs regularly on my social media pages so feel free to prompt me when you see them.

    My most asked question recently is along the lines of:

    'Can I use retinols after/alongside P50/acid toners/Liquid Gold?'

    In essence, yes, but you may need to neutralise the acids, hence the spritz (stage 2 toner in my routine).
    Example: Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Pads recommend using for anything up to 3 minutes then rinsing the face with water. These pads though, are at a 20% strength. The second ingredient is glycolic acid, the fifth is lactic. They're among the stronger ones on the market.
    P50, First Aid pads etc etc are nowhere near this strength. 
    I would go by your knowledge of the product versus the strength of the vitamin A - i.e. if it's prescription strength, don't go using it with PTR pads and no rinsing in between. 
    Pixi Glow Tonic/FAB pads however, would, in theory, be fine, especially if followed by a neutralising floral water/spritz/traditional toner on cotton pad.
    I wouldn't use LG under retinols. Liquid Gold is not a toner. Alpha-H recommend using Liquid Gold on its own in the evening, although I always have to add a light hydrating moisturiser afterwards, otherwise I feel dehydrated.
    The key thing to remember is that formulations have come such a long way since AHA and BHA's were introduced. A lot of the old scaremongering around retin-a and acids is outdated - Kate Somerville even makes a retinol product delivered in a glycolic base formula (she doesn't recommend using it after ExfoliKate Intensive however, you can have too much of a good thing).

    Feel free to start asking/reminding me about my most FAQs in the comments. I can already see the mineral oil question on the horizon. ;)

    Monday, 19 January 2015

    Fillume - new from Indeed Labs

    New from the home of Hydraluron comes Fillume - a 'volumising moisturiser' aimed at targeting 'the appearance of subtle facial volume loss'.

    I'll be trialing it this week but it claims to:

    • restore the look of facial contours (does it come with a crane?)
    • plump the appearance of furrow lines and laughter lines
    • improve the tone and texture of the skin

    Meaning that it's aimed at a slightly older audience, because if you're 20, you don't really have 'loss of contours' (unless you're a smoker - obvs).

    First impressions are that it's light, yet nourishing and it's not too silicone-heavy (although it does contain silicone) and of course it's fragrance free - bonus for the people that have problems with fragrance/essential oils.

    I'll report back by the weekend. :)

    Fillume Volumising Moisturiser is priced at £24.99 for 30ml and is available exclusively at Boots UK and from 26th January


    Sunday, 18 January 2015

    Empties January 2015

    Ah relief! I can finally throw the empties I've been collecting the last couple of months in a big bin and crack on with everything else...

    There's some old favourites in here - and some that you won't have seen on the blog before.

    Hope you enjoy! Next Sunday is Newness for 2015 which includes a sneaky peek of this amongst other until the end of Empties for a sneaky peek.

    Saturday, 17 January 2015

    The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel

    How I missed this sitting on the shelf of The Body Shop until recently I do not know. It's right up my alley.

    What is it?
    'Smoothing, refreshing gel-to-oil cleanser'

    What's in it?
    Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Emollient), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Hair & Skin Conditioning Agent), Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Glycerin (Humectant), Sucrose Laurate (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Sucrose Palmitate (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil (Emollient), Benzyl Alcohol (Preservative), Salicylic Acid (Preservative/Hair Conditioner), Limonene (Fragrance Ingredient), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Skin Conditioning Agent), Citral (Fragrance Ingredient), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil (Fragrance Ingredient), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), Arginine (Skin Conditioning Agent), Buddleja Davidii Extract (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Thymus Vulgaris Extract (Natural Additive), Malva Sylvestris Flower Extract (Natural Additive), Foeniculum Vulgare Oil (Fragrance/Essential Oil), Citrus Nobilis Peel Oil (Fragrance Ingredient), Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract (Natural Additive), Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil (Fragrant Essential Oil), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil (Fragrance Component), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Thymus Vulgaris Oil (Fragrance/Essential Oil), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Rosa Damascena Flower Oil (Fragrance Ingredient).

    Possible allergy/acne triggers?
    Essential oils
    Benzyl alcohol

    What's not in it?
    Mineral oil
    Shea butter

    Who is it for?
    Baffling. It says 'first signs of ageing'. But it's a cleansing balm.
    In theory, anyone. We're all ageing.
    In reality, if you are severely acnaic you may need to rub too hard to get this off. Try a sample or try it instore if you can...
    Good for everyone else. Gym-goers may like it as a post-workout cleanse, it's oily enough to give your skin back some moisture retention, but not greasy enough to stop your skin sweating glowing post-workout.

    What's good/not so good about it?
    It's a perfectly good affordable balm cleanser that I use as a morning cleanser. May sound weird, but it doesn't give me quite enough 'grease' to remove my full makeup face - Camomile is Queen for that - and it can make my eyes a tad blurry - so I prefer it in the AM when I'm not removing eye makeup.
    It's great as a morning cleanse that leaves the skin comfortable and not tight. And you need the smallest amount so don't squeeze too much out on your first go. Grip not slip.
    Certified organic for those of you that care about these things.

    How do you use it?
    Apply to dry skin and massage in. My advice is to remove with a flannel, not water, as it says on the bottle. If you have spots and are removing this just by splashing, you're more than likely to have residue and that could lead to more spots - so use a washcloth and make sure it's all off.

    Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel is a bargainous £10.00 and available at all TBS stores and online at: 

    Friday, 16 January 2015

    Jo Malone Just Because

    Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water your money was safe in your wallet. Nope. Jo Malone again.

    The new Just Because campaign/offering is so ridiculously simple that it's only surprising no-one thought of it before. You order any gifting option that you want to send to someone - and it is sent with the 'just because' message card, stickers and specialised ribbon  ...

    'Why not celebrate generosity? And being thoughtful. Giving someone a treat because they
    made you laugh this morning. Because you love them. Because something made you think of them.
    Because you’re grateful. Because you’re sorry. Because the sun is shining…Just because.'

    Jo Malone Just Because service is available now at

    Thursday, 15 January 2015

    Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

    Cheeky Clarins. This review was originally going to be in time for the launch in February - but this was released across Clarins counters and online on Sunday and is already sold out nationwide.

    I can see why.

    The Instant Light range was always going to be expanded on, such was its success (clearly!). I've used the original perfectors since they came out.

    Between the weather and travelling for work, this gem of a lip product saved my lips last week. It's comforting, soothing, shiny without being sticky and has my most-favourite lip applicator ever. I kid you not. It's the most comfortable use of a product ever.

    It contains:
    - Polyglyceryl-2 ISO-Sterate/Dimer Dilinoleate COP-Lymer
    - Dilinoleic Acid/Propanediol Copolymer
    - Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jo Joba)
    - Corylus Avellana Seed Oil (Hazel)
    - Prunus Insititia Seed Oil
    - Parfum/Fragrance
    - Vanillin
    - Tocopheryl Acetate
    - Ammonium Glycyrrhizate
    - Capsicum Annuum Fruit Extract6
    - Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Sun Flower)
    - Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary)
    - Leaf Extract

    and is designed to enhance, protect and nourish, which it does, wonderfully.

    Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil I am told, is going to be back online by the end of the week from and it is £18.00.

    Join the queue. I have (need the raspberry!).