Thursday, 31 March 2016

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Nightly Brightening Pads



What is it?
'Help brighten, smooth and tone while reducing the appearance of dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. These luxurious, eco-friendly bamboo pads are saturated with antioxidant-rich organic fruit acids to brighten..'

Brightening Pads for PM use.

Who is it for?
Designed for all skin types but especially useful for those with issues relating to dull or discoloured skin.

What’s in it?
Organic juices of pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*, citrus medica limonum (organic lemon juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe juice)*, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), organic vegetable glycerin*, gluconolactone, polysorbate - 20, palmaria palmata (red dulse algae extract), saccharum officinarum (organic sugar cane extract)*, citrus medica limonum (lemon extract), citrus aurantium dulcis (orange fruit extract), pyrus malus (apple extract), aloe barbadensis (aloe extract), cucumis sativus (organic cucumber extract)*, sodium benzoate, caprylyl/ capryl glucoside, sodium hydroxide, camellia sinensis (organic black tea leaf extract)*, potassium sorbate, glycyrrhiza glabra (organic licorice root extract), arctostaphylos uva ursi (bearberry leaf extract), sodium hyaluronate

What's not in it?
parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
not really

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
All of the above except it's listed as vegetarian, not vegan.

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/No

How does it smell?
It doesn't really smell of anything, it's very faint.

How does it feel on the skin?/Absorption rate?
Although there are warnings about the tingle and the skin feeling 'flush' afterwards, I experienced none of that.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
Post-cleanse, pre-serums.

How long before you should see results?
Well it's supposed to be fairly quickly, but I didn't experience that.

How long did I test it for?
Two months, on and off.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
£42.00 for 60 pads. £0.70 a pad

What’s good about it?
Not a lot. They contain niacinamide, which is an excellent ingredient, but how much of it is a guessing game.

What’s not so good about it?
I had really high hopes for Juice Beauty. Between the hype, Gwyneth, the seemingly never-ending good reviews in the press, I jumped in and bought these, the moisturiser and a starter kit. Being the acid freak that I am, I went with these first, almost as soon as I got back from LA in February.

In short, to make me 'tingle and flush', these would have to be thrown at my face from above and hit me from a great height. The pads (albeit eco-friendly bamboo ones) are a bit too flimsy, and the pot was almost dry when I opened it. I turned it upside down and left it overnight to try again the next day. No joy.
Maybe it's that there wasn't enough 'juice' in it to start with, or I got a bad batch, or maybe this is standard. In fairness, they are not sold as a traditional 'acid pad'. They are sold as nightly pads to use for brightening, but the descriptions on all their retailer websites use the word 'acids' freely, and mention that the pads are 'saturated'. No they're not. Sadly. Lesson to me to be even more anal than I already am when scanning ingredient lists.
Either way, these made no noticeable difference to my skin and were, in short, a very expensive pot of pads that I will keep and use to apply my acids that come in liquid form - you never know, there must be something on them and I am loathe to bin them. I may well add some P50 to them and leave them in the pot. P50-Pads-on-the-go. You heard it here first people. :)

Works well with?
Supposedly the rest of the range, but I tried that too and it made no difference.

Would I repurchase?
No.
What were your experiences with Juice Beauty? Please let me know. They're a big brand, it can't be all bad? Although it doesn't bode well for the huge amount of money I just spent on ordering GOOP from the US, as that brand was made by Juice Beauty too.

What’s the website like?
The website is excellent. It lists ingredients and you can shop by collection, concern or product category. From the selection I've tried thus far, at this point I would say the website is better than the products.

Similar products?
Every other post-cleansing/toner/acid pads/acid toner that has ever been on the blog performs better than these, although again, in the spirit of fairness, they don't market then as a solely 'acid' pad.
www.carolinehirons.com/acidtoning


Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Nightly Brightening Pads are £42.00 or $45.00 for 60 pads and available from JuiceBeauty.com





Not a sponsored post. No affiliates. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Bliss Giveaway Winners


The five winners of the Bliss giveaway chosen at random by Rafflecopter are:

JESS THOMAS
SARAH HANNAWAY
HELEN BOYER
EMILY GROSVENOR
CLAIRE MURRAY

CONGRATULATIONS!

We'll be in touch. Thank you to everyone that entered. Names are also displayed on the original post withint the rafflecopter widget. (If your name matches but you haven't had an email then it's not you - sorry! - But do check your spam.)


Thanks @blissspaUK and thank you everyone that entered.



Not a sponsored post. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser


What is it?
'An innovative creamy, moisturizing cleanser that gently removes impurities and makeup without stripping skin of essential moisture.'

A hybrid between a cream/oil cleanser.

Who is it for?
All skins, especially sensitive and/or dry/dehydrated.

What’s in it?
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Lauryl Glucoside, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Water, Moringa Oil/Hydrogenated Moringa Oil Esters, Manuka (Leptospermum) Honey Extract, Goat Milk Powder, Lactose, Milk Protein, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Bisabolol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Fragrance, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid

What's not in it?
parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, shea butter

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
fragrance

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

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/No


How does it smell?
Unlike the original Goat Milk products, this smells lightly of vanilla. It's very pleasant and not overpowering.

How does it feel on the skin?
At first contact this seems to be a runny cream, almost congealed gel. Upon application and massage however, it immediately turns into a cream/oil consistency.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?/1st or 2nd cleanse?
'Apply a small amount to dry face and neck and massage gently for 30 seconds.'

I would only add 'remove with warm facecloth' - although it does emulsify upon contact with water, so you can splash off if you prefer.

I would use this for mornings or second cleanse in the evenings.

How long before you should see results?
If you're sensitive and have been using the incorrect cleanser, your skin should feel softer after the fist application and should present with less redness post-cleanse.

How long did I test it for?
Two months.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
$34.00 for 120ml. Used once a day this should last about 8 weeks, used twice a day it should last around a month, depending how heavy-handed you are, so either way around .53/54 cents a go. (please bear in mind these are very rough estimates!)

What’s good about it?
Praise the MAKER finally a cleanser from Kate Somerville that I can get on board with.
Prior to this, the brand only really offered foaming washes - very USA, and in fact, very 'L.A.'. Whilst it's understandable that most US brands have foaming cleansers due to the warmer weather, Californian brands in particular are fond of anything that can be applied and removed in showers, such is the long term and ongoing water shortage. Sounds nonsense, but 'tis true.
I did buy the Moisture Milk Cleanser when I was in LA in January, and I have high hopes, but trialled this one first.
This is a lovely cleanser, that does not in any way leave the skin tight or dry. It's gentle, oily yet not greasy, and leaves the skin clean, fresh and comfortable. It's pleasurable to use.

What’s not so good about it?
It still contains fragrance so if you have really sensitive skin, or any problem with fragrance, even though it states 'clinically tested for sensitive skin' you'd obviously have to take that into consideration.
At $34.00, and probably around £30.00 when KS does eventually come back to the UK (2017), it's definitely in the more expensive category of cleansers. Bear in mind though, that the best-selling high end cleanser in the UK is still more than double the price of this in the US for a similar amount.

Works well with?
Any acids for toning would be fine, and any pre-cleanse eye makeup remover would be fine.

Would I purchase/repurchase?
Yes

What’s the website like?
Brilliant. All information including ingredients are listed and you can shop by category/concern or collection. One of my favourites. www.katesomerville.com

Similar products?
REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel
Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser
OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing gel
NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly


Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser is $34.00 for 120ml and exclusive to Sephora.com and Sephora stores.

*At the time of publishing I am unsure how long the exclusivity lasts for.


*I did find out that Kate Somerville are discontinuing my favourite CC Cream at some point this year - I stocked up in LA - just a head's up. I use 04 Medium for reference. sephora.com/katesomerville
(How rude.)






Not a sponsored post. Some links may be affiliates. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser


What is it?
A gel cleanser. (I know: obvious.)

Who is it for?
It makes no skin type specific references, but after using it I would suggest it's better for the slightly more combination skins. It wouldn't be my first choice for dry skin types.

What’s in it?
Water (Aqua, Eau), Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Saponaria Officinalis Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Abies Sibirica (Fir Needle) Oil, Cymbopogon Martini (Palma Rosa) Oil, Pelargonium Graevolens (Geranium) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Lauryl Glucoside, Gluconolactone, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

What's not in it?
SLS, SLES, sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde carriers, PEGs, MCI/MI, steareth-n, synthetic fragrances, dyes

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
essential oils

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

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/No

How does it smell?
Fresh, not particularly strong.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
The instructions say to 'Dispense 1-2 pumps of cleansing gel. With water, rub hands together to create a gentle foam. Massage onto wet face. Rinse and pat dry.'

I prefer to put 1-2 pumps (they're generous pumps, so usually 1 is sufficient) onto fingers and apply it directly to dry skin, then add a teeny bit of water to 'spread' it out. Massage into skin, remove with flannel in the usual way.
I've tried it the other way, I prefer it this way.

How long before you should see results?
It's a cleanser so you're good to go with one try. :)

How long did I test it for?
On and off for a few weeks.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
$18.00 for 150ml. Difficult to say exactly, but if you use this every morning, it should last you at least two months/ten weeks, so I would guesstimate around 24-30 cents a use? If you're careful with it and don't use it to remove makeup, but as a morning or second cleanse, that would probably reduce by half.

What’s good about it?
This is a perfectly acceptable cleanser and a good one to check out for those of you that love gels, but obviously don't want to dry your skin out with ones laden with SLS. If you prefer to splash off in the mornings or don't like to overuse flannels, this would also work. It does rinse away well without the flannel.

What’s not so good about it?
I personally wouldn't use this to remove makeup. It's certainly not great for heavy eye makeup. I'd use it as a morning or second cleanse.

Works well with?
Works well as a second cleanser after an oil-based first cleanse as the mild soap element removes any remnants of oil.

Would I repurchase?
Yes, but probably for Ava. The lack of heavy-duty chemicals* and the light texture would make it great for teens/young skins.
*I cannot bring myself to use the term 'non-toxic'.


What’s the website like?
It's what I would call 'nice-looking basic'. It's pretty to look at, has some video content and lists the ingredients, but there's scope for more. Q&As would be good, more info on the background of the company etc. Still, it's early days.

Similar products?
REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel
NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly
OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel



Honest Beauty Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser is $18.00 for 150ml and available from HonestBeauty.com





Not a sponsored post. No affiliates. Full information can be found here: http://www.carolinehirons.com/p/about-me.html

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

What is it?
Acid pads 

Who is it for?
All skin types except those with obvious sensitivities to acids.

What’s in it?
Aqua (Water/Eau), Glycolic Acid, Triethanolamine, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Niacinamide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Mandelic Acid, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Limonene, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Benzoate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Linalool

What's not in it?
parabens

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
fragrance
alcohol

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

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/No

How does it smell?
Nice. Citrus.

How does it feel on the skin?/Absorption rate?
Good. Only slight tingles.

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
After cleansing, before everything else. I use AM and PM, despite the 'Night' label.

How long before you should see results?
It depends how long you have been using acids for. If you are an old-timer, they will slip nicely into your current routine, if you are new to acids you will notice a difference in the texture of your skin after a couple of uses.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
They are normally 60 pads for £14.95 so just under 25p for each use. BUT: they are currently on offer in Superdrug for £7.45 so 12p a pad.

What’s good about it?
I really like these pads. They're not as strong as they make out, the glycolic at 5% being the equivalent of Glow Tonic, but they do contain extra acids in the form of lactic, salicylic and mandelic. They also contain niacinamide, a brilliant ingredient that is proven to improve skin’s elasticity, enhance its barrier function and help with pigmentation. After I posted about them on Instagram, quite a few readers mentioned that these are much better than the original Glycolic Fix pads and much less drying. That would make sense as these contain less alcohol.

What’s not so good about it?
Not a lot. They're great. If you were being picky you could point out that they weren't exactly 'Extreme', but that's being pedantic. They could be 'Extreme' to someone new to acids.

Works well with?
Good before a really good serum. Your skin will be prepped and ready to go.

Anything to bear in mind when using?
Don't forget your SPF if you do decide to use them in the morning.

What’s the website like?
Good. Ingredients listed, and easy to switch between US and UK accounts.


Similar products? (links are to reviews, listed in ascending price order)
Radical Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads
Colbert MD Intensify Facial Discs



Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme are currently £7.45 from Superdrug.com and instore.
They are £14.95 normally from nipandfab.com and surprisingly, also $14.95 from ulta.com 

Why are they cheaper in the States if it's a British Brand? No clue. You'll have to ask them.


Friday, 25 March 2016

Requested Reviews - follow-up



*26.03.16 COMMENTS CLOSED DUE TO OVERLOADING (AGAIN) :)


Well it would appear we broke blogger's comment system. The original requested reviews post (here) has so many comments that it is impossible to reply to them all, so I thought I would list them here - along with the ones that I won't be reviewing with a brief reply as to why. I will keep the comments on this post tighter so that we can have a conversation - sorry - I know it's frustrating.

Most requested reviews will start soon - ones that I'm not reviewing are also listed:
  • CeraVe - lots of votes for this - I've already bought it and started using. So far so good, although I avoided the heavier face moisturiser due to its mineral oil content.
  • Drunk Elephant Glycolic Serum - ordered from the States, on its way
  • GOOP - ordered the entire range - this is arriving next week
  • Glossier - can't get this in the UK - will have to get shipped over from the US (head's up Jordan!) ;)
  • Retin-A Cheat Sheet - this is coming along with retin-a/retinol recommendations
  • Honest Beauty - more in-depth reviews on individual products as opposed to the original overview - these are coming
  • Fresh products
  • Kat Burki - I have these, they're on the review list
  • The Body Shop Drops of Youth and Oils of Life
  • Facial tools - Foreo, Clarisonic etc. I'm not a fan of either of these, but it's worth mentioning that I have lots of readers that love them.. to each their own
  • Herbivore
  • Nuance by Salma Hayek - will try and get from the US 
  • OSKIA
  • MV Organics
  • Dennis Gross MD Serums
  • Bare Minerals new skincare
  • Verso
  • Mizon Snail products - too grim. Not for me.
  • philosophy Purity Made Simple - too drying IMO
  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye and Night Cream - too thick, both very sticky and similar to the original Magic Cream. Although good for extremely dry skins IMO. Great for making dry/dehydrated skins look glowy really quickly, other than that, too heavy.
  • Natura Bisse/La Prairie/Sisley - may do the odd product but in general I don't tend to review things in the multiple hundred of pounds (I know there has been the odd exception in 6 years, but as a general, no-one has £££ to spend on skincare). I talk about how much I would be willing to spend on products in this post: cheat-sheet-top-tips-for-great-skin
  • OM Skincare
  • SK-II
  • All asian skincare - will review as and when I come across it but I don't intend to particularly seek it out, it's not really new, just new marketing for the big European market etc
  • Bravura
  • Clark's Botanicals - I like this brand. Most of what I've tried is good.
  • Medical grade skincare - mostly love. Some is a little harsh for me, but will review. This includes Obagi, NeoStrata, Exuviance etc - but it is worth bearing in mind that everything is considered over the counter unless it comes with a prescription. Whether a brand chooses to only retail to clinic/salons/spas/doctors is their choice, but calling it 'medical grade' is a little spin on marketing.
  • Biologique Recherche products other than P50 - probably won't do, I literally only use the P50s. I didn't particularly like the other products whe I was training.
  • Origins Maskimizer Mask Primer, Night-a-mins etc
  • Paula's Choice
  • Kiehl's - probably won't review. It's ok, just not earth-shattering.
  • Indeed Labs Vitamin C24 - this was too silicone-y for me. Didn't sit well underneath moisturisers.
  • January Labs moisturisers
  • Mario Badescu - won't be reviewing, have mentioned previously, not a huge fan. I have a couple of items I can review, but that's about it.
  • Sunday Riley Tidal/Blue Moon - not in my plans to review
  • Sarah Chapman - not in my plans to review
  • Rodial - won't review. Disagree with the ethos and the product names. I have softened towards Nip+Fab purely because they are hugely more affordable than their parent company and accessible to a lot of people.
  • Eucerin
  • Cetaphil - the cleanser can be drying on the wrong skin and is certainly not good for removing makeup
  • Olay - mostly like and the reviews are coming
  • Dermalogica - I feel similiarly to Dermalogica as I do about Kiehl's. I don't 'dislike' them, I'm just not wowed.
  • La Roche Posay
  • Rodan & Fields
  • Peter Thomas Roth - yes, have lots of this, need to review - will get on it
  • NIOD - major overview from NIOD already on the blog, I can look to review once I've worked through them
  • Murad
  • DHC
I think that's most of them. If you have any others please do let me know. I've closed the comments on the original post to save confusion. 

Reviews incoming. :)



*26.03.16 COMMENTS CLOSED DUE TO OVERLOADING (AGAIN) :)

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Sonya Dakar Eye Wash


When I posted this picture on my Instagram last week it received more mixed reviews than usual. Most of the comments were based around the Flash Facial (the majority love it, but not the smell - in a nutshell) although I myself am more impressed with the not-so-famous Eye Wash.

What is it?
'A delicate eye makeup remover suitable for the most sensitive of eyes.'

Who is it for?
Anyone can use, but particularly good for those that wear a lot of eye makeup, including waterproof, but also have a sensitised eye area.

What’s in it?
Vitis vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Cucumber Oil, Apple Extract, Natural Fragrance (Pure Essential Oil Blend)

What's not in it?
parabens
mineral oil
synthetic colour
synthetic fragrance

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
I was really shocked when I saw that this contained essential oils for fragrance purposes, because it literally has no smell. In fact, it smells like raw oils, which is to say, not something you would wear as a perfume. :)

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
100% natural/Vegan

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/No

Country of Origin?
USA

How do you use it?/ Where to use in your routine?
It says to apply 1-2 pumps to eyes an massage in before removing with a damp cotton pad. I apply 1 pump across both eyes, massage gently and then go over with my cleanser before removing the whole lot with a flannel.
If you were double cleansing, this could be your first cleanse. Only if you were wearing a high SPF under your makeup would you maybe need to go in again a second time with your cleanser.

What’s good about it?
This is a really gentle, thorough eye makeup remover that in all honesty, took me by surprise. I'm not sure what I was expecting but this works really beautifully and is so gentle that it feels like you're giving your eyes a massage rather than removing product.
One pump is sufficient for my normal makeup, if you are a habitual waterproof wearer, you may need 1.5/2 pumps. Crucially for the eye area, there is absolutely no sting or irritation at all, and I asked three friends to test it too, just to be sure I wasn't a fluke.
Eye Wash contains two very powerful anti-inflammatory agents: ursolic acid and quercetin contained within antioxidant-rich grapeseed and cucumber oil, which not only moisturizes, but has antiseptic properties. 
Despite its oil base, there is absolutely no greasy residue.

What’s not so good about it?
Despite the inclusion of the fragrance, it smells reassuringly of a cold-pressed grapeseed oil, which is to say, slightly pongy. It reminds me of my training days though and mixing our own massage oils and so for me, is not an issue. This is not for you if you want everything floral or citrus. (I have asked the brand what the oil blend is and will report back when I hear from them)
It's obviously an oil, so no good if you wear fitted fake lashes, as it will break the glue seal.
It's only 15ml, like most eye skincare products, although if only using one pump a night it will last a few months.

How's the website?
Good. No full list of ingredients, but everything else is clear and concise, including a detailed Q&A about each individual product: sonyadakarskinclinic.com/eye-wash which is really good.

Similar products?
Clinique TTDO Remover for Lids, Lashes and Lips
Lancome Bi-Facil
Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover


Sonya Dakar Eye Wash is $42.00 and available from Sonyadakar.com in the US and £32.00 from CultBeauty.co.uk






Wednesday, 23 March 2016

bliss fabulous drench'n'quench Giveaway


Good news from the lovely people at Bliss. To celebrate their fabulous drench'n'quench being back in stock across the land, they are giving five lucky readers the chance to win their very own pot. When I originally posted about the moisturiser here, I was unaware that the brilliant India Knight had also positively reviewed it a few days before in the Sunday Times, hence it was already hard to find. Sorry!

To enter, simply follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below. (Leave your email and that's it)

T&Cs
  • entry via rafflecopter only
  • giveaway ends Tuesday 29th at 11.59pm
  • you can enter once a day
  • UK only
  • prize will be sent directly from the brand
  • your details will not be kept, nor passed on to the brand, they are for contact purposes only
  • no purchase necessary

@blissspauk

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Not a sponsored post. CH has received no payment for this giveaway, no affiliate links.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

VLOG 24 - Brace yourselves for Country Music


Hi Everyone! A little country music festival to get your week going. :)

I'm taking the Easter break off with the kids - Max has three weeks off this year - I'll still be blogging - just not vlogging. See you back here around 11th April? 



Gratuitous Charlie Esten shot for you. :)





Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil



What is it?
'A nourishing cleansing oil.'

A liquified oil cleanser.

Who is it for?
Everyone. Elemis advertise this to all skin types.

What’s in it?
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polysorbate 85, Sorbitan Oleate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Limonene, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Camellia Japonica (Rose of Winter) Seed Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Geraniol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract, Ascorbic Acid

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
fragrance
essential oils

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Mixture of both.

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/No

What's not in it?
mineral oil
artificial colouring
parabens
sls
sles
dea

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
'Massage 1-2 pumps of the light-weight oil into dry skin and then add warm water. The oil will melt into a luxurious milky lather that cleanses the skin. Simply rinse off to reveal a clear and nourished complexion.'

I do apply to dry skin but I don't emulsify. Apply, massage, remove with flannel.

What’s good about it?
This is a lovely oil, much-needed on the market in term of volume vs price. Admittedly, there are only so many cleansing oils that you can call 'innovative', and while this is not reinventing the wheel, it works, and will appeal to both Elemis customers and fans of oil cleansing.
Heavy in omega 9, this is over 90% natural oils and leaves no residue, whether rinsed off or removed with a facecloth. Suitable for first or second cleanse.
Also, it's a whopping 195ml for £29.50.

What’s not so good about it?
I needed a couple of goes to remove eye makeup, but I do wear very 'kohl-y' types of mascara. If you don't wear a lot of makeup you should be fine.

How's the website?
Elemis.com is much better than the older timetospa.com, which looks really outdated by comparison. Lists ingredients, test results, returns etc very clearly.

Similar products?
Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil
Origins Clean Energy  Gentle Cleansing Oil
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil
L'Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil


Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil is £29.50 for 195ml and available from www.elemis.com/nourishing-omega-rich-cleansing-oil and all Elemis stockists.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Requested reviews


Just a quick one. Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I've closed the comments on the original post as we were nearing 400, and I think that's enough to be getting on with! :) 
I've seen some products listed that I won't review for numerous reasons but I'll put 'why' under your requests as I sit and go through them over the next fortnight or so.


Thanks All! 

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Bliss fabulous drench 'N' quench


What is it?
'A tranformative cream-to-water moisturizer.'

Who is it for?
Anyone wanting/needing moisture without that heavy, greasy feeling.

What’s in it?
water (aqua/eau), cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, butylene glycol, dimethicone, hydrogenated polyisobutene, passiflora incarnata seed oil, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, silybum marianum seed oil, tocopherol, porphyra umbilicalis extract, algae extract, commiphora mukul resin extract, rosa multiflora fruit extract, dimethicone/PEG-10/15 crosspolymer, sodium chloride, nylon-12, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, potassium sorbate, fragrance (parfum), guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, polysorbate 20, phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol, sodium citrate, chlorphenesin, linalool, butylphenyl methylpropional, alpha-isomethyl ionone, limonene, citronellol, blue 1 (CI 42090)

Possibly acne/troubling for some ingredients?
fragrance
silicones (although they are crucial to this type of formula)

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

Sold in territories that advocate/require animal testing like China?
Yes

What's not in it?
mineral oil
parabens

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
After serums/before SPF or foundation

What’s good about it?
This is a really lovely moisturiser. Clearly drawing its inspiration from the Far East 'water droplet' technology, this applies as a light cream/almost lotion and then upon patting/gently rubbing the droplets start to appear on the skin, which are then absorbed. The formula does contain marine extracts, which is probably why my skin in particular, enjoys it.
Unlike some of its counterparts, the silicones in this formula work with the ingredients, as opposed to what feels almost 'independently' in some formulas. And by that I mean that there is no 'rolling' a couple of minutes after applying. The formula feels more sophisticated, and Bliss seem to be taking their technology a little more seriously these days. Lovely. Works well when making product 'sandwiches' with more expensive products.
Check it out. If you can find it. More of which below.

What’s not so good about it?
With the product? Nothing much. Good, solid cream that does exactly what it says on the box and is not extortionately expensive.
Here's a repeating winge of mine, so much so that I've added a new category to the reviews that you'll see from now on:

How's the website?
At first glance the website was great - namely because they have a full ingredients list. Here's the problem that is costing them money:

Bliss Spa launched 20 years ago this year, although it has changed hands a few times since then.
Why in the name of INSANITY is the UK website not transactional? 
Blissworld.co.uk is essentially a marketing landing page.  

If you want to actually 'buy' a product, you have to: 
  1. click 'Where to buy' which takes you to their separate stockists page. You presumably would click on a stockist, then be taken to the product yes? 
  2. No. Click a stockist of your choice and you are taken to a generic page where every Bliss product is listed in no particular order which means you start searching again. 
  3. Dutifully search again in the left hand column. It's out of stock on the first three I tried, including M&S.
  4. If you end up on 'Time to Spa', the parent company's website, it's not there either. And even better, in the middle of your search, an Elemis offer pops up. Elemis is owned by the same company. But that's not why I landed on your page. Talk to me in Bliss terms please.

Still with me? No? Me neither. Because I would've already thought 'sod it' and gone off to make a cup of tea.

Similar products?
Bio-Essence Aqua Droplet Sleeping Beauty Mask
Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask
Pixi H2O Skin Drink

It's easier to find in the US.
Fabulous Drench N'Quench is $38.00 and available from Skinstore.com  in the USA.
The only place I found it in the UK is M&S and they're sold out: M&S/Bliss - it's £29.50. 

Sorry. I tried to give you a useful link. Bliss aren't co-operating. GREAT CREAM THOUGH.








Thursday, 10 March 2016

VLOG 23


Hi Everyone! A tad delayed. Soz. 

I'm off to the C2C Festival tomorrow. I imagine there will be cowboys in next week's vlog, so there's THAT to look forward to.



Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Review Requests


*Comments closed - see updated post here: www.carolinehirons.com/requested-reviews

Hi All!

When I'm looking at Google Analytics I can see the search words that you are using that lead you to my blog. Recently there have been a few brand names popping up over and over again so I thought it was worth asking you what you would like to see reviewed on here.
CeraVe is the main one, but do please let me know in the comments.
Also: If I have no intention of reviewing something that you have requested, I'll let you know why underneath your request.


N.B. I have ordered the entire GOOP collection but it will take a while to get over here from the US because they won't ship to the UK, so I have to have it sent to a friend and sent on etc.. Will let you know when it arrives, and I'm still testing Juice Beauty.


Thanks!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Avon ANEW Clinical Advanced Resurfacing Peel


What is it?
'Professional-grade, at-home treatment pads that exfoliate, retexturise and
resurface all skin types.'

Acid toning pads.

Who is it for?
Everyone, except people with obvious intolerances/allergies to glycolic.

What’s in it?


Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
acids
alcohol
benzephones
silicones

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan? Gluten-free?
man-made, not gluten-free

Tested on animals/sold in territories that advocate testing?
No/Yes

What's not in it?
parabens

How do you use it?
The advice is to apply every other day, morning or evening after cleansing, which seems fair enough.

What’s good about it?
These are very affordable, perfectly good acid pads that work well as an alternative to some of the more expensive ones. They may contain a few more ingredients than the others, but I wouldn't let that put you off. The glycolic content is 10% and it also contains what Avon have trademarked as their 'Multi-Acid 5 Complex' which I expected to be five 'acidic' acids, but it's not. The Multi-Acid 5 is glycolic, hyaluronic, TPA, oxalic and salicylic. At 10%, they sit about in the middle of the acid spectrum. 

What’s not so good about it?
They have a bit more bite than some pads, i.e. sting, but it's certainly not unbearable.

Anything else?
Yes. I am new to the Avon website, but it is without doubt one of the worst that I have seen for lack of information. No real description, no information on ingredients, no ingredient information at all, hence my very professional (not) picture of the box. This, from one on the biggest brands in the world, is just not good enough. I don't know why it's so bad, if you do, please let me know in the comments.
Ignoring that, the pads are great and on offer for £10.00. So check them out.

Similar products?
First Aid Beauty
Pixi Glow Peel Pads
Nip & Fap Extreme Pads
Dennis Gross Pads
Zelens PHA Pads

Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Resurfacing Peel Pads are £15.00 for 30 but currently on offer for £10.00 from Avon here: www.avon.uk.com/anew-clinical-advanced-resurfacing-peel