Monday, 21 April 2014

Easter Update

I absolutely adore Easter, not just for the obvious reason that you can stuff your face with chocolate and not feel guilty, but because it symbolises the beginning of something new. Every where is in bloom and summer is just around the corner! 

Speaking of blooms, I was chuffed to see we had a small cherry tree nestled away in the corner of the garden recently... I hadn't noticed it before as we moved in over xmas when the trees were bare but now it is just full of pretty pink blossom swaying in the spring breeze.  I took the above picture on my way to work bank holiday Friday and it really made me feel much happier just from standing beneath it for a little while before my shift.

I've always dabbled with the idea of purchasing some Diptyque candles and never actually done it until recently. I thought they were very expensive and was worried I would't get my monies worth out of them - not being anywhere near a boutique that stocked them I couldn't even whiff the various scents on offer! Space NK had an offer on recently where you got £10 off a £50 spend so I picked the 2 scents that i had managed to smell on a trip to Manchester once and remembered.  I opted for Geranium Rosa in the larger standard candle size which is a very pungent floral scent of geranium and roses funnily enough! I love it, but the partner finds it a little over powering. The smaller travel size is Feu  de Bois which is very peculiar to me and not my usual type at all but I love the woody aroma is gives off. Very soothing. They both look absolutely beautiful on my dresser, makes me almost not want to use them just yet... I did purchase a lid topper for the standard size, it's meant to keep the candle scent for longer and protects from dust etc. The Standard 190g candle price is £40 and for the smaller 70g it is £20 - the lid is £12.
I've received 1 of 2 Melissa Odabash bikinis ordered via Brand Alley - below is the classic purple Dubai style and I just love the colour and the little gold charms... I'm not feeling quite as ready for summer as I was this time last year so getting this has given me a little push to upping the intensity now to make sure I do this beautiful bikini justice! I've been trying some green juices since the beginning of the year but I don't stick to any particular routine of drinking them, just as and when. They certainly make me feel healthier even if I haven't seen that much different in weight and or skin but I wouldn't when I counteract them with the rubbish food I keep eating...
Below is a stunning semi precious amethyst necklace from thatI am just dying to get my hands on but it isn't stocked on the site just yet - I saw it in their magazine and I'm hoping I get an alert soon to say that it is live! It looks very magical :)


Saturday, 12 April 2014

REVIEW: Paula's Choice - Hydralight Moisturiser, Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel and Skin Balancing Toner

Paula's Choice, formulated by Paula Begoun, is a range of wonderful skincare products that aim to take 'brilliant care of your skin' that never contain colouring agents, fragrances and have never tested on animals. So far so good! What I also find quite novel about Paula's Choice is the Beautypedia - not only does Paula recommend her own products but other well known and niche brands too! I've never really seen a company do this before, which makes me feel somewhat more assured that Paula's Choice is essentially very honest and has the customer's best interests at heart.

When I start using new products, I really like to try them for a good while before I do a review on them as I really want to give a true reflection of my experience. I implemented these three products into my routine just over a month ago now and my skin has never looked more even and radiant! I'm not saying i've been left with totally new skin without any imperfections or flaws as it hasn't miraculously cured me of the odd breakout, but my skin looks a lot fresher than before I started using Paula's Choice.

In order of usage, here's what I've been using...

1. Skin Balancing Pore Reducing Toner £19.25 190ml
This is super lightweight and mildly moisturising, aimed at normal to oily skin. It's fantastic for combination skin as it doesn't feel feel greasy but at the same time it isn't making problems worse by being too astringent like most toners i've tried before seem to do. It helps provide a bit of moisture to the areas that need it and doesn't sit heavy on the areas that don't. I think the price is very reasonable for the amount you get which is 190ml. I don't totally drench a cotton pad and use just a few drops so really this will last a VERY long time.
If you're looking for a brighter and more even complexion, look no further!This exfoliating gel is my absolute star product from the trio. I wasn't sure how my skin would react to this as i've heard mixed reviews about using BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids) products but thankfully i've not had any problems and I link my radiant skin these days to this little gem. It's not an exfoliator n the normal sense of the word, to me anyway, it doesn't have any gritty bits that rub against the skin to reveal new skin underneath but uses salicylic acid (2%) to help combat blemishes and redness. Basically, BHA's work inside the skin, within the pores so are great for problem skin, whereas AHA's (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) work on the outside and are better for dry skin types generally. The only thing I dislike about this product is the sticky feel on my hands and face for a minute or so after applying. It does sink in to the skin pretty quick though and the sticky residue is gone without a trace afterwards. A word of advice... you MUST make sure you wear a minimum SPF15 when using BHA products, as they make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Moisturisers have always been a problem for me, I've always found them a chore as I find it hard to find one that provides enough moisture for my oily skin type without making my skin feel greasy within an hour or so. This moisturiser is definitely a good choice for oily skin types like mine as it certainly is shine free and very light as the name suggests. It provides a excellent sun protection with the SPF30 and provides a really good base if you're going to be applying makeup. However, if you are not going to be wearing makeup on top of this product it could leave you looking a little washed out - this is due to the mineral spf complex. For me it's not so extreme as I look like i've seen  ghost, it just leaves me looking a little paler than before.

Overall i'm so glad i discovered Paula's Choice and i've already got my eye on a few other products to try soon. One that recently arrived is the RESIST Multi Correctional Treatment which i'm going to use on top of the BHA gel for hopefully even better results! Full review to follow in the near future...