Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rituals Himalaya Clay

When emerging from the tube station this morning on perhaps the rainiest day of the century, my mood was lifted significantly with the free gift that comes courtesy of Stylist magazine. I have an uber brand Rituals body clay to test out, I'm a fan of Rituals already after using their shower gel so I'm looking forward to trying this.

The scent is Holy Basil and Black Pepper, which sounds like the flavour of a packet of crisps in a gasto pub rather than a beauty fragrance but the smell is very distinctive and could even be suitable for men.

I will be testing it out tonight on my d├ęcolletage and will let you know what I think!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter

This is a product that I rate highly for a cheap and effective night cream. Yes, it's actually meant for a baby's bottom and I should feel guilty however, this works a treat on my skin while I sleep and needs must. Sorry babies.

I like this because it has a great texture, a cross between a lotion and a greasy balm so for the sake of effectiveness it's best to use at nights I don't find it mixes well with makeup. This also works great on elbows and knees. Remember you should never neglect your knees.

Get your hands on this pot for less than £4 in every Waitrose baby isle.

Raw Beetroot Devotion

Here I have taken an uncooked beetroot, peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks. In the past I had heard many things about the benefits of beetroot but the only easy option in a supermarket comes boiled or pickled in a jar for God knows how long. I tried organic beetroot juice an actually vomited afterwards, which if you are familiar with the colour and consistency of beetroot juice, its not a pleasant experience.

Raw chopped beets were the last chance saloon in my bit for beta cyanin Nirvana and it finally worked for me. This tastes nothing like the beets you get in a jar or vacuum pack and thank goodness it's a far cry from the juice, in fact it's pretty close to raw carrots.

My understanding of raw beets are that a portion every day like the one I have pictured (the size of a small apple) works wonders for eradicating toxins from the liver (helping you recover better from hangovers), combats blood pressure, enhances seratonin, boosts the immune system and provides essential vitamins C and B6! Zoot Alores! I'm exhausted.

This is my mid-morning snack (with a redbush tea, obviously).

My Redbush Tea journey

They (as in, the internet and magazines) say if you drink at least two cups of redbush tea every day for a couple of weeks, your skin thanks you with a brand new, fresh flush of youth.

Well, my own obsession with this claim is increasing at a rapid rate and it's certainly not doing any harm. For a start it's caffeine free (so it won't dehydrate you) and is rich in antioxidants (much like Vitamin C, antioxidants fights ill health). It is also actually very pleasant to drink and furthermore, it is fast becoming a major player on the supermarket shelf, saving you the schlep to your nearest health food shop.

I'm currently finding articles from the Redbush Tea Company very useful in understanding the benefits I'm not sure what my caffeine riddled system will have of this new hustler long term, but its nice to feel smug at my desk now and then.

British Nanny Moisturiser from Lush

So, I was shopping in the Lush store on Regent Street late last year, browsing their laden baskets and laughing at the staff who were enthusiastically singing along to Cher's greatest hits. Sometimes I find the staff a little too pushy, on one occasion an assistant on the Kings Road store was soooo over chatty I realised I had used up most of my 15 minute 'time to kill' window listening to her tell me about what she had bought her mother for Mother's Day. Needless to say I left the store not having the opportunity to look at any of the stock.
The Regent Street times were much better, I was allowed to actually shop and my basket filled up nicely. I picked up a sample of British Nanny and was won over by the consistency (I love love love thick moisturisers) and the SPF 30.
 When it came to ringing up this little gem with my other items I learned that this retails at around £26... I thought "are you kidding me? For a 45g pot? I was expecting something around the £10 mark for something like this, if I'd known I probably wouldn't have taken the punt however I wasn't really up for the ordeal of explaining this to the lady on the till and took the hit, frowning at my receipt as I left putting down to yet another expensive beauty mistake.
Time passed and I applied it occasionally, not giving it very much love but slowly over time I started to notice the radiance in my face in photographs when I had it on; my cheekbones shone out without any need of a highlighter and the rest of my face had a very healthy glow in all the right places, so I started to take a closer look at this ‘mistake’ of a cream. For the past week I have been applying it every morning; this is an instant moisture hit without the need of a serum or primer, it is thick but sinks into the skin very quickly and sets my makeup into place fantastically well. As the day progresses I find very little need to reapply concealer and the laughter lines are nowhere to be seen as it has a great plumping effect. One word of warning is to keep it well away from your eyes; otherwise they will be streaming all the way to the office.
British Nanny is currently tagged as ‘unavailable’ on Lush’s website which makes me wonder this product  may be sold out and I have a cult wonder cream on my hands and they totally deserve this status. As the summer months approach it will be a key player in my morning routine and when I finally get to the end of the pot (you only need a pea sized blob to do the job) I’ll be back to Lush for my replacement.  

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Charbonnel et Walker

I was recently to my delight presented with Charbonnel et Walker pink Champagne truffles from my sweetheart for Valentine's Day. For many years I had admired them in shops but thought it inappropriate to buy them for myself but this year I finally have some.

After I had enriched myself in the dusty decadence of the truffles I thought it sad to add this beautiful box to the waste bin, so I now use it to house my hair pins.

Sanctuary Ultimate Facial Cleansing Oil

In the UK, the Sanctuary is revered as England's number one day spa and they offer a range of bath and body products inspired by their spa treatments.

The accessibility of their products combined with the results they give to my skin makes the Sanctuary of my favourite beauty brands.

Here is my most recent purchase: a facial cleansing oil to dissolve makeup, purify and moisturize all in one. Apply to a dry face and massage away for a few minutes before adding warm water and gradually washing off. I rate this product because it takes away makeup and the grime of the day without stripping your skin like soap or face wash can. However, having said that I really enjoy cleansing my face first with an everyday face wash before adding this, I feel that by doing this it increases the chances of the oil doing a better job in driving out impurities.

Add it to your evening routine once or twice a week for brand new skin the next day or save for the morning of a big day / night out as I find makeup sits on my skin much much better after using this.

Neal's Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm

The next time you see Neal's Yard skin care collection in a department store, walk up to the stand, select the Wild Rose Beauty Balm, smooth a little over the back of your hand and inhale. Then try to walk away.

The balm itself is made up from a mix of rosehip seed oil, beeswax, other oils and it is suitable for all skin types, the finished product has a consistency of clarified butter. When I first sampled a little in John Lewis, I was completely won over by the delightful rose scent and the radiant sheen it instantly cast over my hand, I purchased immediately solely upon this whim and have not regretted a penny.

One thing that surprised me when the kind lady at John Lewis handed me the balm in it's presentation box is that it came with a very comprehensive muslin cloth, and this balm's primary purpose is to be a cleanser. I am still finding it impossible to wipe this off my face barely minutes after application so I set the cloth aside for other cleansers and continue to use this balm as hand cream, elbow greaser, I mix a little with my moisturiser and apply before makeup for an unrivaled dewy finish and run it across my collar bones for an instant healthy highlighter. I also like to sweep a small amount around my crows feet if my eye makeup ever looks too cakey by the afternoon, or if I'm adding extra makeup to my face for the evening.

I can't really comment if this offers any long term benefits if used regularly as to be honest I rarely bother monitoring that kind of thing if the results are immediate, however the oily consistency discourages makeup to sink into laugh lines or wrinkles, so it can create a definite youth boost.

In conclusion, this really is a wonder balm. It currently retails at around £35 for a 50g pot, it's very good value  for me as it is something that is used many times daily and the scent is unique in the market.