Christmas Gift Guide #1

I love Christmas shopping and I always start early, partly because I love it and partly because the best gifts always sell out quick. From now until Christmas, I’m going to do a post a week on the best Christmas gifts out there.

Origins Mask Marvels £25

I don’t think anyone dislikes Origins, it’s a brilliant brand. All of their Christmas gifts are really nice but this is my favourite. This has three of the most famous Origins masks – Drink Up Intensive, Drink Up and Clear Improvement (all 75ml sizes, a full size is 100ml). I think this is perfect for anyone who takes an interest in skincare and its a great way to be introduced to the brand.

http://www.johnlewis.com/origins-mask-marvels-gift-set/p621326

Benefit Little Love Potions £29.50

This is a great gift for someone just getting into makeup because it introduces someone to the best from Benefit.

http://www.johnlewis.com/benefit-little-love-potions-makeup-gift-set/p575118

L’Occitane Hand Cream Trio £22

Everyone loves L’Occitane hand creams, this set contains the famous Shea Butter hand cream, the Cherry Blossom and the Pivoine Flora scents. Each hand cream is 30ml.

http://www.johnlewis.com/beauty/new-in/c600001924/pg2

Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Brush Set £55

Christmas is pretty much the only time of the year you buy a brush set. Bobbi Brown always releases a brush set, this year’s it’s part of the Old Hollywood Collection. It contains a face blender brush, an eye sweep brush, an angled eyeliner/smokey eyeliner brush and a eyebrow brush all in a gorgeous case.

http://www.johnlewis.com/bobbi-brown-old-hollywood-mini-brush-set/p677302

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Skincare for Beginners

I am by no means a skincare expert, I’m not very adventurous when it comes to skincare, I don’t think skincare needs to cost the earth and I don’t think skincare needs to be too fussy. Once I find something that works for my skin, I tend to stick to it because my skin goes crazy if I switch products often. I read reviews and I read ingredients of products but I think skincare is really personal and what works for me might not work for you and vice versa. These are my favourite budget friendly skincare items, there is other products I like but they’re a bit more expensive but not crazy expensive (I’m not the kind of person to £20+ on a cleanser).

I think cleansing is the most important because if your skin isn’t clean you can get breakouts. I really like the Simple Moisturising Face Wash, generally I find face washes harsh and drying but I like this one for the morning and it’s never dried my skin out. I also really like Avene’s Extremely Gentle Cleanser is one of my all time favourite cleanser, it’s incredibly gentle and it’s never broke me out and it helps my skin to calm down when it’s a little crazy. For taking off my makeup I tend to use creamy cleansers, I don’t like oils or balm cleansers, I don’t like how they feel on my skin. My all time favourite cleanser is Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish but a fantastic cheaper option is the Simple Cleansing Lotion.

Moisturiser is a really important, I still haven’t found one I love but I do like a few. Everyone needs moisturiser, even oily skins because skin needs hydration.

I’m currently using the Balance Me Balancing Moisturiser and I really like it. It’s incredibly light but it’s enough moisture for my oily/combination skin but it doesn’t leave any shiny or tacky residue and it’s a great base for make-up. If your skin is more on the drier side, Balance Me Moisturise Rich face cream is a thicker formula for comforting dry skin. The best cheaper moisturisers I’ve found are the Garnier Moisture Match range, there are five different moisturisers aimed at different skin types and concerns, I have the one for oily skin and I really like it.

Eye creams aren’t an essential for a lot of people but I like eye creams, the skin under the eyes is much thinner than the rest of the face and eyes are always the first place to show aging. My favourites are the Origins Eye Doctor eye cream, it’s really hydrating Benefit It’s Potent, very hydrating and makes a good base for concealer.

For masks. I mostly use clay masks and occasionally I use a hydrating mask when I feel my skin needs it. My favourites clay masks are Origins Clear Improvements  and Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask. My favourite hydration mask is the Dr Jart+ Moist Water Max Sleeping Mask which is utterly amazing and it’s quite often on offer in Boots.

I hope some of these recommendations are helpful and there obviously other great, affordable products out there but these are my favourites and I’ve found them to be really effective.

What are your favourite affordable skincare products?

June Favourites

Another month is over so it’s time for another rundown of my favourite beauty products.

Origins No Puffery Roll On

If you suffer from puffy eyes because of hay fever, this is perfect for you, it’s just like the eye mask but it’s more convenient to use and it’s easy to take on the go.

Percy and Reed No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo

I really don’t like dry shampoo, I don’t like the feeling it leaves it my hair and I’ve never thought dry shampoo has really done anything but then I discovered this and it is the best dry shampoo I’ve tried. It instantly refreshes my hair without that horrible feeling or white residue.

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia

If I had only had to wear one perfume for the rest of time, I would happily use this. For me, it’s the perfect scent, it’s fruity and floral but not sickly sweet, it’s sophisticated and long-lasting.

Origins No Puffery Roll On

For me the summer means one thing, red, puffy eyes from dreaded hay fever. I’ve tried lots of things for puffy eyes in the morning, eye creams, cold tea bags and cold spoons, these methods do work but I would like something quick and easy to use first thing in the morning and throughout the day. This year, the perfect product has been launched, No Puffery Roll On.

I already have the No Puffery Eye Mask and I really like it, for the mornings or at home it’s perfect but this roll on is ideal for on the go. It comes in a tube with a roll-on applicator which makes it super easy to use and it really does instantly reduce puffiness and it feels very soothing on the under eye area, perfect for tried eyes. I’ve also been using it throughout the day when my eyes feel horrible from hay fever, I’ve applied over make-up and it hasn’t destroyed my concealer or foundation.

Overall, I really like this product and it’s small and convenient to use during the day and you can always rely on Origins for good eye products. It’s £24 for 15ml and is available from the Origins website. http://www.origins.co.uk/product/3855/26842/Skincare/Category/Eye-Care/No-Puffery/Cooling-roll-on-for-puffy-eyes/index.tmpl

Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturiser

Origins is one of my favourite brands and I’m always on the lookout for a fantastic day cream that doesn’t cost the earth, so I was overjoyed when I discovered this. One of Origins most famous products is their GinZing eye cream, of which I am a fan, finally, Origins have added a moisturiser to the GinZing range and it does not disappoint.

It’s designed to provide hydration and provide skin with a healthy, wide awake appearance. The packaging looks like a larger version of the eye cream, it’s in a bright orange pot which is sure to brighten up any bathroom cabinet. It’s £23 for 50ml which I think is pretty good value for money because it’s increasingly difficult to find a good around moisturiser that doesn’t cost a fortune. I don’t want the world from my day cream, I just want it to hydrate my skin and for make-up to comfortably sit on top. This ticks both of these boxes, it provides just enough hydration for my oily to combination skin (it’s oil free so it’s suitable for all skin types) but it might not be enough for drier skins and make-up glides over the top. The texture is gel like which feels really light but it’s still provided enough hydration. It smells of oranges which I really like, it’s very refreshing in the morning and I prefer fruity scents to perfume smells.

Overall, I’m really pleased with this moisturiser and I think I might finally have found a favourite moisturiser.

It’s £23 and is available from Boots and the Origins website http://www.boots.com/en/Origins-GinZing-Energy-boosting-moisturizer-50ml_1327088.

New Beauty Products

Recently there have been some interesting new products, here’s the ones making my shopping list.

Clinique Jumbo Vitamin C Lip Smoothie

Clinique have reinvented and improved the previous Lip Smoothies, I liked the old version so I want to see how the new ones compare.

£15.00 http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Clinique+Jumbo+Vitamin+C+Lip+Smoothie/183889727,default,pd.html

Urban Decay Primer Potion Travel Size

I think Primer Potion is the best eye primer on the market and now it’s available in a travel size and it’s great if you just want to try it because it’s £7 cheaper.

£8.00 http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Urban+Decay+Original+Eyeshadow+Primer+Potion+Travel+Size/185373544,default,pd.html

Origins No Puffery Roll On

The mask version is fantastic for the summer when eyes are sore from pollen and hay fever, it’s one of my absolute favourite products all year round. Soon it will be available in the roll on which is brilliant because it means you can it around and use whenever and wherever you are to perk up tired eyes. On the Origins website you can sign up to be notified when it’s released.

Origins Ginzing Facial Moisturiser

The Ginzing eye cream is faultless and when I seen the formula had been adapted for a facial moisturiser, I had to get it. I’m currently using it and I think I think I’ve finally found a moisturiser I like (I’m annoyingly fussy when it comes to moisturisers). A full review to follow.

£23.00 http://www.origins.co.uk/product/10950/26237/Skincare/Range/GinZing/GinZing/Energy-boosting-moisturizer/index.tmpl

Top Skincare Tips for Oily Skin

Being a sufferer of oily skin, I have picked up some tricks and methods to minimise breakouts and keep shine at a minimum. I hope some of the tips can help you too. These tips have worked for me but everyone’s skin is different and can react differently, so please try to test products before buying them. Its worth saying I am a huge Liz Earle, it was the first skincare range that really worked for me and improved my skin.

  1. Cleanse. Its really boring and everyone says it but cleansing is crucial to improving skin. Before I started using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and the hot cloth cleansing technique, my skin was dull but shiny and prone to breakouts and blocked pores but now my skin is completely different. I think the best cleanser is the Liz Earle one but the Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean, the Simple Cleansing Lotion and the Purity Cleansing Lotion (available from Superdrug) is also very good. I think the best way to properly clean oily skin is hot cloth cleansing because its wiping away everything lying on the skin, muslins and face cloths are best method.
  2. Moisturise. I completely understand why people with oily skin skip moisturiser, it can feel like more grease and oil and some moisturiser for oily skin are still too rich and causes make-up to fall off. My favourites are the Liz Earle Skin Repair Light (very light but doesn’t really have a mattifying effect) and the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Moisturiser and I’ve just tried the new Garnier Moisture Match Shine Be Gone moisturiser and it looks promising (I’ll do a post when I’ve came to my conclusion).
  3. Exfoliate/Masks. It removes the dead skin and helps to clean out blogged pores. I don’t like scrubs but the Liz Earle Gentle Cream exfoliator is very good, its super gentle because it has the same texture as the cleanser but the joboba beads buff away dead skins without hurting my skin. Masks are great for cleaning out pores, my favs are the Liz Earle Clay Mask, Soap and Glory Fab Pore and Origins Clay Mask.

Stockists

Liz Earle – John Lewis and uk.lizearle.com

Soap and Glory – Boots and soapandglory.com

Origins – Boots and John Lewis

Garnier, Simple and Neutrogena available in chemists, Boots, Superdrug and supermarkets

Purity – Superdrug