Saturday, 30 May 2015

A little Sephora and Ulta shopping


So I popped into Ulta and Sephora yesterday to pick up some bits and pieces. As you do.
Full reviews will follow but a quick flash guide is.....

  • Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Cleansing Cloths - for the previously mentioned areas only ;)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Mask. Saw it, fancied it, bought it. That simple. Won't use until I get home though as it's proper black mud.
  • Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask - Anna loves this and we tend to like the same things so I wanted to indulge. I couldn't find it in either Ulta I went into but it popped up in Sephora so I grabbed it.
  • Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Turbo - this is an alcohol-free, peptide loaded toner so I would use it as a hydrating tone after the acids.
  • Mario Badescu Aloe Vera Toner - mainly because it was the only thing I could find from the brand that I fancied if I'm being honest!
  • Fresh Lemon Body Lotion - because it has to be done. Nothing smells like it, it's extremely hydrating and it's twice the price in the UK! 



Thursday, 28 May 2015

The first Ulta body/hair smash'n'grab


So just a quick one for today as I'm silly busy in LA but want to keep daily postings going (YAY ME!). ;)

We popped into an Ulta briefly - I'll hit it properly before I come home - and I did what I always do and grabbed all the Pacifica I could get my hands on. Yes, you can get it in the UK but it's not everywhere, they don't always have enough stock and it's twice the price. I haven't used the Hand & Body Lotion Wipes before so thought I'd give them a go as we're coming into warmer weather (at least I hope we are) and fancy having them to play with.
Tahitian Gardenia is my first choice and the Indian Coconut Nectar, Ruby Guava and Vanilla are all on my must-grab list, so I'll get those before I head home.

The Shea Moisture products were affordable and so I thought I'd give them a whirl also - the scent is Tahitian Noni & Monoi with cherry and pink grapefruit. Yes please.

Then the Big Sexy Hair large size was on a 2 for 1. Literally BOGOF so I pounced. Sulfate-free Volumising Conditioner that is really light and really lovely.

Not bad going for a ten minute lunch grab. ;)

See you tomorrow!

My Travel Skincare Kit

Plenty of room for more! ;)
So keeping with the travel theme, this is what I brought with me to L.A. this time around.

I don't travel lightly, you may choose to, but I don't.! ;) I use these Muji Travel Cases because they're huge, but packable, they clean up nicely from any spillages and most importantly, they're rigid. A lot of my skincare is in glass and no-one wants that breakage to deal with. This is the smaller size, my body and hair are in the big one. I guess that's tomorrow's post.... 


Back row, left to right:

Cleansers

  • Zelens Z Pure Cleansing Balm - this was a production sample that I picked up from Dr Lens pre-launch and as it turns out, it's perfect for travel. The gel texture is great for the weather over here.
  • Clarins Extra Comfort Cleansing Cream - small size. So this I bring with me for when I want a cream second cleanse and I keep it specifically for travel now as it is no longer made. How rude of Clarins.
  • Emma Hardie Travel Size. Obvs.
Toners
  • Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist - light, airy and hydrating.
  • Pixi Glow Tonic Travel Size - not available yet - but I obviously stole one. 
  • P50 1970 Formula decanted into Muji travel bottles. Don't leave home without it.
  • Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads, Alpha Beta Glow Pads for face and body and Medi-Spa Peel - big ones. Easy for travel. No brainer.
  • Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads - these were in a goodie bag and they ziplock so again, no brainer. Travel sizes for the win!
Serums
  • Dennis Gross MD Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution - small sample size - perfect for travel. 
  • Zelens Intense Defense - massive antioxidant shot - perfect for the plane and working in an inner city environment.
  • Zelens Z Luminous - gorgeous brightening serum - available June - I previewed this a while ago and will review fully when I get back and bring back the serum reviews - nowhere near finished with those.
  • Kate Somerville - Deep Tissue Repair decanted into Muji pots. This is light enough to be used as a moisturiser - especially in L.A.

Moisturisers
  • Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturiser - this is Tata's moisturiser for oily/combination skin which is not my skin type, but this moisturiser is so light and hydrating that it's perfect for under makeup.
  • Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturiser - I brought this because I was concerned about being really hot and sweaty. Sod's Law it's overcast and cool for L.A. so I haven't used it yet - but it's supposed to be 90 degrees at the weekend so no doubt this will make an appearance then.
  • Clinique All About Lips - hydrates and firms but doesn't make a greasy base for under makeup.
Mask
  • SKII Facial Treatment Mask - for the one night I get time. Hasn't happened yet. But it will. 
  • Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask and Deep Hydration Revitalising Eye Mask. (behind the products) See above. Haven't used, but will. I save all of these types of pre-packed masks for travel. Just the perfect trick for making your skin act like it actually is moisturised.
Perfume
  • A second atomiser with Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. Too heavy for this climate to be honest. I don't want to knock everyone out. I do maybe a teeny spritz in the evening in the hotel just because the smell reminds me of home.

That's it for the face. It looks like a lot, but this is an 8 day trip. That's at least 16 cleanses, possibly more if I refresh for the evening. 20 or so cleanses is not, to my mind, decantable.
For 3 days or less, I decant everything or only bring travel sizes. For four or more days, I don't. Way too many weather/skin/allergy situations that may possibly need to be dealt with.

See you tomorrow! 



Tuesday, 26 May 2015

My long-haul flight kit


I tend to keep back all of my trial sizes that I collect from GWPs and brands in a dedicated drawer so that I can pick from them as and when I need them for travelling.

This is a fairly typical selection from me and left to right includes:

  • Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Cleansing Cloths - If I have to use a wipe, I pretty much always use Ole's
  • Radical Eye Revive Creme - never used this before - it was in a GWP. Not sure for long-term use but fine for an airplane.
  • La Mer Soft Cream - for layering with the oils and sprays
  • Chantecaille Jasmin and Lily Healing Mask - didn't use on the way out, but usually carry it just in case
  • Dennis Gross MD Alpha Beta Pads - always use these when travelling - the packaging just makes them indispensable
  • Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist - a must-have
  • Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist - this is the best travel size spritz purely for its spray action. It may be small but it sprays like a big player.
  • Perfume Travel Spritz filled with Frederic Malle Lys Mediterranee 
  • Roger & Gallet Fig Hand Cream - purely for the smell and lack of tackiness after use
  • Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil - I used this the most - lots of layers...
  • SKII Facial Treatment Mask - for scaring fellow passengers :)
  • Mavala Nailactan Hand and Nail Cream
  • Zelens 3T Complex - the perfect airplane size of one of my favourite moisturisers
  • Tata Harper Be Fierce Free Radical Resistance Lip Treatment - this is beautiful - airplane or no airplane
  • Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme CC Cream so that I don't scare immigration!
That's it. Going home will be different - mainly because PHARMACY AND TARGET AND KATE SOMERVILLE AND AND AND *head explodes*




Sunday, 24 May 2015

Pre long-haul flight prep

I'm off to LA tomorrow so this week's Sunday Facial had to have a little more 'oomph' than usual - I thought the rest of me also deserved a little more TLC.*


Flying is one of the most dehydrating things I do to my body. I prep like I'm trying to blow up a raisin with moisture.
I cleansed as normal then went straight in with Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, a really easy and gentle way to resurface if you have particularly sensitive skin - it goes on like jelly and hardens like egg white. I then applied Chantecaille's Gold Energizing Eye Recovery Masks to work while the Tata was on. I left both for 15-20 then removed the eye masks and washed off the Tata with warm water and flannel as per usual.
The next is easy and simple. Straight on with Kate Somerville Age Arrest, let that absorb for a few minutes then apply Sebagh Hydrating Mask on top.
That's my skincare for the day. I don't take them off, I just apply more as and when they're absorbed.


Post-showering and leg shaving (no time for waxing over here) I went straight in with Rahua Body Lotion on the upper body followed by Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion. I save my expensive body lotions for traveling/extra treats - I use mostly budget normally.
After that, it's self-tanner time - and in this case Michael Kors is my go-to. I just like it and it suits my skin.
Body done, hair then gets some Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum which I just apply all across the top of my hairline and in the front of my parting. Years of blow-drying take their toll so I try and just give my hair some help when I have time. I've been using Phyto 7 (and 9) ever since I was first trained in it nearly 20 years ago in SpaceNK. It's a leave-in treatment so whenever I know I don't have to blow dry, I try and apply this as an apology to my hair for the bleach and blowdrying! My hair then stays in a loose bun all day, with occasional shakeouts and reapplication.
Finish off with a little lip treatment from Clinique All About Lips and that's me hydrated to the max.
If you hug me you'll probably slide off. ;)

Tomorrow: What's in my long haul beauty travel kit?



*basically means I shaved my legs

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Instagram catch-up

T-shirt of the month

Bobbi Brown was brilliant

This is shocking enough until you see Bobbi is standing on her tip toes. #bigbird

Sunday Mask Session

Trialling lots of newness

Cursing Marc Jacobs for discontinuing this

Yes. :)



;)

The amazing Joy Williams at Islington Assembly Hall

Clinique PA in Central London - my face everywhere. Never not odd!


A little dayglo orange because why not?

A brilliant blow-dry from Blow Ltd's at home service. Highly recommend.



CONGRATULATIONS IRELAND! #marref
And Ava with Tyler Oakley and Sam Chapman doing the best photobomb ever. :)


Friday, 22 May 2015

Kate Somerville Mega-C Dual Radiance Serum


What is it?
'A supercharged face serum for a double dose of radiance. This revolutionary, high-tech radiance serum is packed with 10 percent vitamin C and youth-enhancing bioactive omegas 3, 6, 9, and 7. This two-phase system is divided in the dual-chamber to preserve purity and potency of ingredients until released. It improves the appearance of dark spots and discoloration, evens out skintone, and brightens the complexion to promote an all-around healthy radiance and glow. Recommended for nightly use, it replenishes skin’s natural lipids and restores the barrier function to soften skin texture and improve moisture retention.'

Who is it for?
Anyone concerned with a lack of radiance, dullness, uneven skin tone and mild pigmentation.  

What’s in it?
Omega formula: Water, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Propanediol, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Diisopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Fragrance (Parfum), HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Pyridoxine HCl, Silica, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Starch Octenyl Succinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocotrienols, Adenosine, Sea Whip Extract, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide

Vitamin C Formula: Isododecane, Ascorbic Acid, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Polysilicone-11 

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Fragrance

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man made

Tested on animals/sold in China?
No/No

What's not in it?
mineral oil
parabens
phthalates 

How do you use it?
Apply to freshly cleansed and toned skin in the evening before moisturiser. You dispense one pump from each of the two chambers into the palm of your hand, swipe across with your other palm and apply.

What’s good about it?
Immediate gratification ahoy. This works, both on a superficial level and throughout the day.
Some vitamin C products can be drying or cause too much redness on the skin. This doesn't do that for me. The vitamin c level is 10% and it is dispensed separately from the Omega section which is sea buckthorn oil pulp, an oil heavy in omega 3, 6, 9 and 7. The omega section also contains vitamin e, which helps reactivate vitamin c, essentially super-powering it if you will, whilst providing antioxidant, soothing and moisturising side-effects. They work very well together, one stimulating and active, one soothing and protective.
Skin remains healthy looking with a great glow for the day.

What’s not so good about it?
I personally found this to have a bit of a kick so if you have sensitive skin I would definitely try first. (If you can)
It doesn't make me red at all, but I definitely feel it when I apply it.

Where to use in your routine?
As serum, after toning, before moisturiser.

Similar products?
Dennis Gross MD Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum
SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel
Elemis Advanced Brightening Even Skin Tone Serum

Exchange rate – does it punish the UK?
Kind of, because you have to order in $. Between customs and shipping you end up paying dollar for pound. (approx!) Better value than a lot of serums available in the UK market regardless.

Kate Somerville Mega-C Dual Radiance Serum is $90.00 and available on www.katesomerville.com


Thursday, 21 May 2015

L.A. - brace yourself


So I'm off to L.A. on Monday. I'll be at Generation Beauty with Pixi Beauty next weekend - the 30th and 31st. If you plan on going and see me there - please do say hello! I'll post specific stand and meet-up details next week closer to the time.

In the meantime, there are two serious topics that I need your help with.

Burgers and Beauty.

Where to eat?
Where to shop?

I have the usual list including Fred Segal etc - but would love to hear your tips. I have an empty suitcase ready to go.

Also: prepare to be blitzed on my Instagram. And I may well Periscope for the first time - especially when I get to my Kate Somerville facial. *SQUEALS*


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Cheat Sheet - How to use a retinol/vitamin A product


My most frequently-asked-questions recently have all been about retinol. I'm still planning my retinol cheat sheet but in the meantime, I thought I would answer the most popular question, both on social media and in the comments section on here, so that I only have to so it once. 


How do I use retinols?

Brands will all give you instructions on the packaging, and whilst there will always be exceptions, the key things to remember are:
  • Retinols go onto the skin after cleansing and toning
  • You can use other products, but they go on afterwards
  • If you have sensitive skin it is worth applying onto dry skin as it slows the absorption rate and, therefore, reduces the risk of inflammation 
  • Don't apply a lot thinking it will work faster. It won't. Save your money. And your skin. Apply a small pea-sized amount, or in the case of an oil, a few drops, not an entire pipette. 
  • Don't overdo it. The results can be very alarming - in a good way - almost overnight. Don't be tempted to think more is more. It isn't. In the case of retinols, and especially if you have not used them before, less is more. Every 3rd night, moving to every 2nd night. Unless a brand specifically says differently.



I have been using retinols a long time. If I know I'm using a vitamin A product in the evening, I cleanse, acid tone, spritz, then use my retinoid. I usually follow it with a soothing moisturiser. I love them. They are easily the best products for fighting signs of ageing. Everyone should use one. They are worth the faff. Just use them correctly.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Meeting Paula Begoun


Oh lovely people! So today I went along and met the brilliant Paula Begoun and her co-author Bryan Barron. We chatted for over two hours and I could've stayed all day. Next time she's over we may hit the department stores on Oxford Street together. ;)

If you are unaware of Paula Begoun she is the Cosmetics Cop and the woman behind both Beautypedia and Paula's Choice skincare. She is sassy, opinionated, intelligent and did I mention opinionated? 
I see a lot of brands, meet a lot of people 'behind' brands where there is just nothing but dollar signs in their eyes. Not here. We spoke for so long that it would be nigh on impossible to cover everything but these are some gems that I took away from meeting Paula. 

'More than half my life has been in this industry, it's been over 35 years. Product development is what I love now. Developing products that encapsulate everything we believe is a joy.'

Her beliefs/the brand ethos
'We're now in 50 countries. Thank God for the internet!'
'We were on the cusp of setting up in China and then we heard about the animal testing and we pulled out. We said 'No'. It's a billion people market. It's a big deal. But 'No'.'
'Skincare has to be based around a system. There is no such thing as a hero product. Skin is too complicated. It's the largest organ of the body, it has specific needs and concerns that take more than one ingredient, more than one product to address.'
'It is the rare person that has a 'normal skin'. Or one skin type. So it takes a system to address those variety of concerns.'
'Everybody's skin, no matter who you are, has the same needs from the same ingredients. Everybody needs antioxidants. Everybody needs anti-inflammatories because inflammation is a skin destroyer that comes from many sources and then they need cell-communicating ingredients. Ingredients that can tell cells to make better cells, especially later in life or if you have a tendency towards blemishes.'
'So what it comes down to is texture. If you have an oily/combination skin, you may prefer gels. Same ingredients, but in a gel formula. If you are drier you may prefer a creamier formulation.'
'You cannot use fragrance. It's damaging as soon as you put it on. Skin doesn't show damage in the short term, it takes a long time. We know this from UVA. You step outside, the damage is immediate, even though you don't feel it. Irritation, no matter what the source, is taking place, even if you cannot see it.'

CH: 'And you love/use mineral oil. I hate it.'
PB: 'Well the research says that it is a wound healing ingredient. There is no negative research about mineral oil.'
CH: 'Weellll, that depends what studies you read.' :)
PB: *sits forward* 'What studies?' 
There follows a long off the record conversation about mineral oil and brands that use it.
CH: 'Certainly from a massage point-of-view, during facial massage, plant oils are superior. I would never massage with mineral oil, although I would do a paraffin mask during the treatment.'
PB: 'Mineral oil and plant oils have two different properties. Plant oils have fatty acid properties and are anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. They absorb in better and work at cellular repair. Mineral oil, on the other hand, is a surface ingredient. It's too large to penetrate. It's great for wound healing. It allows for air to flow through and keeps moisture to a minimum.'
That's where we left that conversation. ;)

Her products
'A great skincare product takes into consideration that there are things that need to stay on top, things that need to absorb, and then things that need to absorb deeply.'
'The other thing is the notion of 'gentle'. It is a huge issue because everything about ageing, everything about healing the skin, red marks, blemishes, is all about reducing inflammation. What we know about ageing and collagen destruction and sun damage is inflammation is a killer. Whatever that source is, whether it's the sun, hot water, irritating ingredients, fragrance, fragrant plant extracts, essential oils, it causes further irritation and damages skin. So everything we do is to encompass active ingredients in a formula loaded with soothing ingredients that contain no irritants. That's who we are.'
'All of the claims we make for the products are supported by published research, that we list on our website. We take all of that very seriously.'

Exfoliants
'A major component of Paula's Choice is exfoliants. It's a fundamental concept for healthy skin, to help skin shed naturally what it can't normally do because of things like sun damage. Glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids are the ones we know the most about. However, not everyone can use all of them so we make different products so that everyone can use something.' 
CH: 'I love acid toning.'
PB: 'You call it acid toning? I think that's brilliant!'
CH: 'Don't nick that Paula! It's mine.'

She's not a fan
'That everything needs to absorb, or everything needs to penetrate, or this needle-rolling to create channels to get things into skin is just bogus.'
Me: 'What do you think of dermarolling? I hate it.'
PB: 'It's damaging. Repeatedly wounding the skin does not generate collagen. It generates (we both say together) scar tissue. If you use it once a month, it may not give you an issue, but a lot of people are using it on a regular basis, using at-home kits. Over time, it ends up stiffening the skin. It does not give you supple, pliable, beautiful skin and it damages elastin. And elastin doesn't rebuild. It is very hard, if not impossible, to rebuild elastin. Dermal rollers are terrible. They are physiologically bad for skin.' 
*high fives Paula*

And my favourite part of our conversation
I asked Paula what she thought of the frequent criticism of her Beautypedia website being conjoined with her Paula's Choice website.
CH: 'Do you find it's a fine line to cross between having a website that talks, frequently in a negative fashion, about all the other brands and then at the bottom up pops a box with a 'Try this!' and it's recommending something from your range?'
PB: 'No not at all.'
CH *smiling*: 'You don't care?'
PB: 'Well it's not that I don't care, I get that it's controversial. But I know that we are the only cosmetics company in the world that recommends products other than their own - that are willing to talk about other products.
So as long as we stay, in Paula's Choice, respectful of what we are trying to achieve and keep each other in check, and never cross any lines....
Listen. I know, for a fact, that we have some of the best products on the market, and as an entire line, some of the most cohesively consistent formulas and packaging. We're not going to make everybody happy. You never will. For years we were almost embarrassed that we had our own products. So no, I don't mind the criticism.'

The Lady has a point. 

And yes. She has great skin.




Monday, 18 May 2015

MUJI Skincare


Well this is certainly going to please a lot of my lovely readers. Especially those with sensitivity to fragrance and those of you on tight budgets. *calling all students*


MUJI, home of all beauty bloggers favourite storage, have relaunched their skincare and it shows great promise. It is fragrance, alcohol, paraben, dye and mineral oil free. Although that alone makes it attractive, the price point and sheer value of the products mean it is worth checking out for everyone, not just those mentioned.


Coming from the Far East, it advocates double cleansing, has a selection of essences and even sheet masks (YAY!).

There are three collections, Cleansing, Sensitive and High Moisture and prices start at £3.95 and go up to a whopping (she says sarcastically) £14.95 for the High Moisture Essence Lotion. Don't worry about the descriptions either, the soaps aren't 'soaps' of old, they're not loaded with SLS.
The Moisturising Essence for Eye Contour - second tube from the left in the picture above is worth checking out at £10.95 for 30ml.

I've added various items from the High Moisture range to my shelves and will report back but in the meantime, at these prices and sizes, it's worth checking out for yourself right now.

Your only immediate challenge is that it is exclusive to Selfridges for 3 months.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Serums update!




I started the day with the intention of answering all of your questions on the serum clinic and writing more serum reviews. Before I did that I wanted to make sure that I had all of the options at the front of my mind and so I decided to sort through my collection and then break them down by purpose/claim to be a little more targeted with both your answers, and the reviews, but that took forever so...

Hydrating

Brightening and/or Pigmentation
With the best will in the world, I don't think I could review all of them in a month. These pictures show approximately half of them. Not shown are high-end, budget, retinols/overnight treatment serums, the doctors, the Somerville, anti-wrinkle etc etc

Brightening/Glow
Still, at least things are a little more under control now.

Brightening/Radiance/Smoothing (you see my problem) :)
Soothing
Reviews will be coming and will probably extend further than May. If you see something you are particularly interested in, do leave me a note in the comments.
And the answers to the Clinic WILL be prioritised tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.



*Also - just as an aside. I have this amount of product because it's my job and has been for nearly 20 years, I'm not insane.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

This week's MVP. Clinique Moisture Surge


I hit the Clinique store with a bang on Wednesday evening. Thank you so much to all of you that came out to say hello and talk all things skin. 
And a huge thank you to the team at Clinique who stayed an hour after closing so that we could see some very important latecomers. 

Whilst recommending this to nearly every person on Wednesday, I realised that I have never actually talked about it on here.

So this week's MVP is Clinique's Moisture Surge. 

Do you need it?
If you are perpetually dehydrated/dry/acne/dull etc then I would definitely have a look at it.

It's a 'wet' moisturiser, so not only is it great for giving you a quick shot of moisture if your skin feels 'tight', you only need to use the smallest amount to see/feel the benefit. I recommended it to a lot of people. Boys and girls.


And: it's £34.00. Check it out here: www.clinique.co.uk

Friday, 15 May 2015

Clinic - Serums


Whilst we're mid-month of Serums focus I thought it would be good to do a quick Q&A/Clinic on the topic so that further reviews during the month may prove to be more helpful.


As always, I will try and answer around 25 questions - although it's usually a few more once the dust settles.


So if there is anything you want to ask/need to know/have always wondered about serums, just leave a comment below.


Please note I will not be answering the questions until tomorrow as I am away from my desk all day - and as always I will only publish the questions I am answering otherwise due to the sheer volume, it becomes an impossible read.

Thank you everyone!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum


What is it?
A hydrating serum.

Who is it for?
A serum for 'women with sensitive skin looking for deep and lasting hydration'.
(Dear Vichy, Seems a tad sexist no? What about the boys?)

What’s in it?
AQUA • GLYCERIN •DIMETHICONE • PEG/PPG/POLYBUTYLENE GLYCOL-8/5/3 GLYCERIN • PEG-60 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL • DIMETHICONOL • SODIUM HYALURONATE • PHENOXYETHANOL • CHONDRUS CRISPUS (CARRAGEENAN) • AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE • POLOXAMER 338 • DISODIUM EDTA • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • CITRIC ACID • BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1 • ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER • PARFUM /FRAGRANCE

Ingredients listed on website?
Not one of the retailers that sell this in the UK lists the ingredients. Not Boots, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic, Escentual or Vichy's own website. They are not even listed on L'Oreal's fancy new Derma Center store, it just says 'main ingredients'. What a wasted opportunity. 
I had to track them down via the USA.
Were it not a much-requested review I seriously would not have bothered. 
Personally, I don't think I'm being over the top to ask a retailer to take responsibility and LIST THE INGREDIENTS. We want to give you our money, we would like to know what is in the bloody thing.

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
glycols
silicone
fragrance

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
man-made

Tested on animals during production/sells in markets that require animal testing i.e. China?
No/Yes

What's not in it?
parabens
mineral oil

How do you use it?
Apply onto dry fingertips, spread onto fingertips of the other hand, apply directly to skin.

Where to use in your routine?
Serum, post-toning, pre-moisturiser.

What’s good about it?
This gives immediate relief for a dry, dehydrated skin, It's 'wet', which sounds strange but basically means it's a water formula, whereas Hydraluron for example, is a gel texture. I would still use this the same way, under a moisturiser, and I would still avoid a heavy silicone-led moisturiser/product and go for wet moisturisers on top of this. 
It will make sense if you've been reading the blog for a long time but:
Clinique Moisture Surge is wet.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is silicone.
It won't be enough if you're dry, you'd still have to use a good oil-based moisturiser on top, but if dehydration is your main concern, and with the price point, I would definitely recommend that you check this out.
Sali Hughes is obsessed and synonymous with it.

What’s not so good about it?
This serum should not work. But it does.
It contains glycols, silicones and fragrance. I don't mind them, but it's the kind of product that would give Beautypedia a hernia. 
Therein lies the mantra of one size most definitely does not fit all. If you don't like those ingredients, avoid. If you're dehydrated, and of the thinking 'whatever works', go for it.

Similar products?
Hydraluron
Hyalamide
Hydraquench - Clarins 
(are we seeing a pattern here) :)

Exchange rate – does it punish the UK?
Not really. We're close enough to France. I imagine the Americans and the Australians are screwed though.

Vichy's Aqualia Thermal Serum is available in a lot of retailers in the UK priced anything from £17.00 - £22.00. 
However, none of them list their ingredients so they can jog on for a link.

Step forward vichyusa.com