Friday, 30 March 2012

Final Review: Avene Cleanance Range

Hi everyone! Over the past 4 weeks, I've been updating you with my progress with the Avene Cleanance Range. As it's been a month since I started using it, I think it's about time I gave you a full review on the range! Please note: this range is best suited to oily, blemish-prone skin.

The products I was sent to try: Soapless Cleanser, Purifying Toner, Anti-shine Regulating Lotion, and Exfoliating Hydrating Treatment Gel.

I have really enjoyed using this cleanser! It is a thick, luxurious-feeling gel which produces a light lather on contact with water. It glides across my skin and leaves it feeling unbelievably smooth and feeling deeply cleansed. It has a fresh, clean scent which isn't too strong - always a plus! It is a little drying, which is nothing a little bit of moisturiser can't fix! However, as a result, it is fantastic at oil control during the day, in combination with the Anti-shine regulating lotion. These two will be a match made in heaven for the summer months, where my skin goes in to oil production overload! I can see this bottle lasting quite a while as I've been using it twice daily for a month and it's just under 3/4 full still! All in all, a perfect cleanser for the summer months, which I shall continue to use! I will however revert back to my Cetaphil Cleanser during the winter months, as it does dry my skin out just a little.

Next up is the toner. Unfortunately, this, in combination with the cleanser was a little too much for my skin. Bearing in mind, the weather was wintery when I started using the range, my skin was a lot drier than normal, and was too dried out by them both. However, I plan to reintroduce it in to my routine during the summer, when my skin is a lot oilier. I will definitely let you know how I get on!

I can't sing this gem's praises enough! If the thought of putting moisturiser anywhere near your oily blemish-prone skin makes you cringe, look no further! This lightweight, easily absorbed cream sinks in to the skin beautifully, and aids the healing of old blemishes. It keeps my skin hydrated all day without breaking me out, or leaving my skin like an oil slick a few hours later - a miracle! I actually look forward to applying this moisturiser, as it balances my skin out, and calms everything down unbelievably! It's a pleasure to use, and I would highly recommend it. The star product of the range, in my opinion! I can't wait to have a calm-looking, matte face mid-summer, as long as I'm using this wonder moisturiser!

Finally, another wonderful product from this range! This gel , best used as an overnight treatment, combines AHA's (Glycolic & Lactic Acids) with the BHA Salicylic Acid to gently but thoroughly exfoliate and refine the skin. It leaves my skin feeling amazingly soft and literally glowing by the morning! It, in conjunction with the other products, has also reduced the appearance of my post-acne scars, which is fantastic! I feel chemical exfoliatants are miles better for acne-prone skin than granular exfoliants like scrubs, as they are less irritating, and don't scratch the skin to smithereens (St Ives Apricot Scrub, I'm talking about you!) They can also aid healing by stimulating the skin's cells to regenerate. I will definitely continue to use this exfoliator as opposed to my old facial scrub, and I would highly urge anyone with acne-prone skin to try a chemical exfoliator, as they are truly fantastic! 

The range has definitely improved my skin - I have had one tiny (and under-control!) breakout since I started using this range, which is such a joy, compared to my previous 3/4. My oil production has definitely reduced and I haven't had to use oil blotting papers at all this past month! As well as fighting my acne, the range also keeps my skin so calm-looking and reduces redness, which is wonderful. In addition to the products I was sent, I purchased their Hydrance Optimate UV Light SPF 20, which is a holy grail product for me. It is incredible - no word of a lie, it is the first facial SPF I have ever used that hasn't left my skin feeling tacky or looking shiny after a couple of hours. It has a very similar texture to a light moisturiser, and also sinks into the skin extremely quickly. It leaves my skin feeling extremely soft, and also looking matte ALL DAY, yes, all day! I would highly recommend this as a daily SPF for people with troublesome combination/oily skin, especially during the wonderful weather we've been having recently!

If you're looking for a reasonably priced range to sort out your oily blemish prone skin, while totally calming it down, then this range is for you! A big thank you to Avene for giving me the opportunity to try these products. I'm so excited to see my skin getting better day by day! You can purchase the whole range from Boots, E-Chemist, and, where all Avene products are 33% off at the moment!

I hope you've enjoyed the series of updates and reviews I've posted, and they've been somewhat helpful! How do you keep your skin under control during the warmer months?


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fabulous Freebie: Nivea Super Moisturising Lipstick

Hello all! Just another fabulous freebie I have stumbled across, and I thought share with you all!

"Nivea Beaute Colour Shine Lipstick gives your lips a fresh and transparent touch of colour with a brilliant shine. Special hydrating formula with Jojoba and Avocado Oil to condition lips as you wear."
-Taken from their Website

Head on over to Halfpriceperfumes to get this lipstick for FREE - it has an RRP of £6.99 so grab a bargain! You only have to pay £1.99 for postage which still saves you £5! To get yours, simply add the lipstick to your shopping basket, and enter the promo code FREENIVEALIPPY at the checkout. Furthermore, you also get a free Fudge Oomf Conditioner sample! Go and grab yours now!

Have you come across any Fabulous Freebies lately?


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Week 3 Update - Avene Cleanance Range

Hello all, time for another update on how I'm getting on with the Avene Cleanance Range I'm currently trialling. I must say I really am enjoying updating you weekly, as it makes me think about the products and their effects much more than I would normally!

Now, down to the update. My skin has remained relatively clear since I've started using the range, with exception to the odd hormonal outbreak. Having said that, I have noticed my spots disappear and heal a lot more quickly while using these products!

 The cleanser is still drying out my skin a little, however, it is nothing a little bit of moisturiser can't fix! It does, however, do a fantastic job at controlling oil for the whole day! I feel it will be perfect for the summer, as my skin is a little more troublesome in the warmer months. I am still really enjoying using the SPF and moisturiser, which I would highly recommend to people who have oily acne-prone skin, and can't find a moisturiser with SPF which doesn't cause outbreaks or oiliness. Big love for that product! Finally, after 3 weeks of using the Cleanance K exfoliating treatment, I really am beginning to see and feel the benefits! My skin appears a lot brighter, smoother, and I think it's reducing the appearance of some light scarring I have developed post-acne, which is fantastic! 

I will be writing my final review next weekend, when I have used the range for a whole month! I look forward to updating you then!


Friday, 23 March 2012

Purses, Purses, Purses...

I've been searching for a new purse for what seems like forever now -  I want one which will be long-lasting, yet stylish and grown-up. Easier said than done, as I am extremely particular about my purses! They must be quite big, have plenty of card spaces, a coin section, a note section and a little bit to store receipts and other little bits. Here are a few which have caught my eye recently, but are not quite perfect (mind you, I do LOVE the look of the Ted Baker one!)

What is your favourite brand for purses? Do/did you have trouble finding the perfect one?


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

My Favourite Perfumes

Now, I'm a sucker for perfumes. Whether it's a beautiful, grown-up looking bottle, incredibly tacky or vintage-esque with one of those little pumps, I love it. I really like sweet, fruity, girly scents, and these are a selection of my current favourites:

1. Midnight Fantasy by Britney Spears
"A limited edition fragrance under the Fantasy umbrella. It is a sexy and mischievous fragrance with the strapline Magic begins at Midnight. A delicious combination of florals and musks including freesia and amber."

I wasn't expecting much from this perfume - it's designed by a celebrity which I find kind of tacky, and the packaging is a little tacky! However, whilst bored in Boots, it caught my eye, and it smells delicious and girly, slightly fruity too! The bottle looks pretty on my dressing table and it's dead cheap, too!

2. Love ETC by The Body Shop
"Our irresistible fragrance in a lasting eau de parfum: a heart-stopping fusion of jasmine, vanilla 
and sandalwood notes."

I received this perfume as part of a swap with a lovely lady from the Lush Forum. I didn't really know what to expect as I've never tried any of the Body Shop's perfumes before, but it is really nice! Again, a light, girly, floral scent. This is also extremely cheap, and they also sell body lotions with this scent too! I really want to try them as I love this perfume!

3. NYC by SJP
"Sarah Jessica Parker NYC is a delicious fruity-floral fragrance opens with fruity notes of wild strawberry and osmanthus flower. The heart is a chic bouquet of mimosa, gardenia, honeysuckle and red rose, over a creamy and sensual base of sandalwood, vanilla, musks and a touch of rum."

This perfume is quite a bit more expensive than the other two, but it is my ultimate favourite and it's only used on special occasions! My sister bought it for me last Christmas and it is just gorgeous! This one is more fruity than the other two, and still has a lovely sweet fragrance. If I were to recommend you just one of these perfumes, this would be the one!

Have you tried any of these perfumes? What is your favourite perfume? 


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Week 2 Update - Avene Cleanance Range

Hello all! Time for a week 2 update on how I'm finding Avene's Cleanance range, which I'm trialling.

Nothing much has changed since I updated you last week, although my skin is getting a little dry, so I've been using lots of moisturiser! I've noticed the texture of my skin is improving, which I think is down to the Cleanance K. I've had a little breakout, but it's definitely being controlled by the range. Overall, I'm still very impressed, and I'll have another, hopefully a more lengthy update for you next week!


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Lust List #002

New Look Tall Chiffon Maxi Skirts
Cath Kidston Floral Purse
Jane Norman Feather Print Dress
Nails Inc Magnetic Polish
Topshop Enamel Stone Rings
H&M Feather Earrings

What have you been lusting after recently? 


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Week 1 Update - Avene Cleanance Range

Hi everyone, so it's been a week since I started using the Avene Cleanance Range, so it's time for my first update! Just in case you missed my introductory post (link here), I was sent the Cleanance range to review by the lovely Katie at Avene. 

I received the whole range and I must say, I am extremely impressed! Although it is still only early days, I am really happy with the effect the range is having on my skin! The moisturiser doesn't contain SPF, so I purchased their Hydrance Optimale Light SPF 20, which I will also include in the review. I have used all the above products twice daily for the past week, with the exception of the toner. When I first used the range, the cleanser followed by the toner was a little too much for my skin, as it is already a little dry due to the cold weather. However, I hope to re-introduce it to my routine during the summer, when my skin is a lot oilier. So, this is how my routine looks at the moment:

First off, the cleanser. This is an absolute pleasure to use, and even beats my beloved Cetaphil. It is a thick, luxurious-feeling gel which produces a light lather on contact with water. It glides across my skin and leaves it feeling unbelievably smooth (something which Cetaphil didn't!) and feeling deeply cleansed. It has a fresh, clean scent which isn't too strong - always a plus! However, a little warning: keep it away from your mouth as the taste lingers and isn't too pleasant! It does a great job at controlling oil production (in combination with the Emulsion moisturiser) and hasn't broken me out. In addition, it calms down the redness on my skin fantastically and isn't harsh at all. Overall, a fantastic cleanser which I actually look forward to using!

Next up: the Emulsion and SPF 20. The emulsion itself is a very light gel, which vanishes in to the skin immediately, leaving no greasy residue at all. This is too light for me during the day in the winter months, but I'm sure it'll be perfect for the summer, when my skin is an oil-slick by noon. However, I use it underneath the SPF 20, and the combination is fantastic!

The SPF is amazing - no word of a lie, this is the first facial SPF I have ever used that hasn't left my skin feeling tacky or looking shiny after a couple of hours. It has a very similar texture to a light moisturiser, and also sinks into the skin extremely quickly. It leaves my skin feeling extremely soft, and also looking matte ALL DAY, yes, all day! I would highly recommend this as a daily SPF for people with troublesome combination/oily skin.

Finally, the Cleanance K. This is an exfoliating gel which I use as a night cream. I really rate chemical exfoliators - I feel they are perfect for acne-prone skin as they won't shred your skin to death! This product leaves my skin feeling silky-smooth in the morning, and is a pleasure to use. Although I haven't seen any reduction in scars/blackheads/open pores, it is still early days.

Since using this range, I haven't had any new breakouts, so, so far, so good! I feel the range is effective, yet also extremely gentle - which is a must for acne-prone skin. I look forward to continuing to trial this range, and will update you again a week today!


Clarisonic Mia Giveaway - WINNER! Is it you?

Hi everyone, can you believe it's been a month since I launched my Clarisonic Mia giveaway?! Me either, total madness! It took me forever to count up all 528 entries - someone remind me to use Rafflecopter next time! Anyway, I have totalled up all of the votes via Excell, and I can now announce the winner, chosen via!

The first and last page of entries!

...And the winner is...

Congratulations So many shops, so little time (Louisa)!
I have sent you an email: please reply within 3 days, so I can arrange for the Mia to be delivered to you! If not, I'll pick another winner. Thank you for all of your entries, and keep your eyes peeled for more giveways in the near future!


Saturday, 10 March 2012

The BEST Millionaire's Shortbread Recipe

Hi lovelies! After slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon, I hereby introduce fruits of my labour. I must say, it is absolutely delicious! I found the recipe here and it was surprisingly easy to make! It's easily one of my favourite desserts!

Nigella's Millionaire's Shortbread

225g plain flour
75g caster sugar
375g unsalted butter
379g can of sweet condensed milk
4 tablespoons of golden syrup
325g dark chocolate

.Preheat the oven to 170 C/gas mark 3/325 F
.Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in 175 g. of butter, clumping the dough together to make a ball. Press this sandy shortbread mixture into the tin and smooth it down. 
.Prick with a fork and cook for five minutes, then lower the oven to 150 C/gas mark 2/about 320 F, and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until pale golden and no longer doughy. let it cool in the tin.
.Melt the remaining 200 g. of butter in a large microwavable bowl, then add condensed milk and golden syrup. Whisk the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. 
.Heat in microwave for 6-7 minutes until boiling, stirring thoroughly every minute. It's ready when it's thickened and turned a light golden brown. 
.Pour this molten toffee over the shortbread and leave to set. 
.Melt chocolate and pour over the fudge mixture and leave to cool. 
.Once set, cut the caramel shortbread into pieces. Makes about 24.

What's your favourite Indulgent dessert?


Dip dye Hair... Without the Dye?!

Hi everyone! Today I'd like to share with you a nifty little creation I've recently stumbled across. Following the recent Dip-dye hair craze, Australian hair stylist Kevin Murphy invented the Colourbug.

The Concept of the Colour bug is basically a wash-out eyeshadow/chalk for your hair. The great thing about the colour bug is it doesn't damage your hair in any way, and when you're bored of it, you can just wash it out! Sounds great, right?

"In the world of session styling I’m always looking for new ways to change the models hair.  Wild crazy colour became the new hot thing but you cant just colour a models hair just because you feel like it. I wanted full on colour but without the commitment!  I had had my share of moments where I wanted crazy colour hair on a Friday, but come Monday morning I didn’t want my crazy colour anymore.  I want to be able to put it on and just as easily take it off. I thought to myself why cant hair colour be just as easy as applying make-up? I had been experimenting with pigments since the 80’s obsessed with the powdered wigs of the French Revolution. The influence came from those times but I wanted it to be intense and almost fluro as it is the intense flash of colour that makes it modern. COLOR.BUG is wipe on, wipe off colour!  It’s just for fun and just for the one night. With a towel draped around your shoulders to protect your clothes, I would apply a hair product and then the COLOR.BUG to make it stick. The COLOR.BUG adds body to hair, you can keep this raw texture or add a fine mist of hairspray to lock on the colour.     
Avaliable in Pink, Purple and Orange."
-Taken from their Website

I really want to try one of these for Summer - I've always wanted to dip-dye my hair, but was really hesitant about dying it as it's already really damaged! The only problem is, I'm really torn between the pink and purple! I'd love for them to bring out one in blue in the future, too!

Do you like the dip-dye look? Will you be trying these out?


Thursday, 8 March 2012

1/3 off Avene/La Roche Posay/Vichy Products @ Escentual!

Just a quick heads up for you all - throughout March, all French Pharmacy Brands at Escentual have a massive third off! This includes leading French skincare brands such as Avene, La Roche Posay, Vichy, and many more! If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know I am currently trialling Avene's Cleanance Range (you can see my post here), and so far I am really liking it! Avene have a huge range available on the Escentual website - there really is something for every skincare need!

Have you ever tried anything from any of Avene's products? Do you have a favourite?


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Avene Cleanance Range: An Introduction

Hi everyone! I've been extremely upset with my skin lately: It feels like I've tried absolutely everything to get my acne under control with no avail. Following reading Jemma @ Bamboozle Beauty Blog's Blemished Skin Series (which you can read HERE), I contacted Avene about their Cleanance range. I was sent the range by the lovely Katie to try, and here's my introductory post on it. I will be updating in a months time with how I get on with it, and I'm extremely excited to start using it tonight! I have taken some photos of my skin before using the range, so hopefully if I see results I'll feel brave enough to post them on here!

I was sent the following products to review:

Cleanance Soapless Cleansing Gel
Cleanance Purifying Lotion Toner
Cleanance Anti Shine Regulating Lotion
Cleanance K Exfoliating Hydrating Treatment

I am so looking forward to testing out these products and letting you know how I get on! Remember to check back next month for my full review!

Have you ever tried this range? What do you think of it?


Friday, 2 March 2012

Fabulous Freebie: Origins Product Trade-In Day!

Hi everyone, hope you're all well. Just a quick heads up about the Origins Product Trade-In Day, which is returning this April!

If you don't know what their Trade-In Day is, it's one day only where you can take any empty skincare container (from any brand!) to one of their counters, and in return, they'll give you a free full size tube of either their Starting Over Age-erasing Moisturiser, or A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-Defense Moisturiser! Sounds great, right?

This year, Origins are working in partnership with Global ReLeaf, which means for every product purchased from their A Perfect World range between 15th and the 28th April 2012, Origins will plant a tree on the Customer's behalf!

The trade-in day itself is the 21st April 2012, so pop it in your diaries, grab your empty container and get down to your nearest Origins counter for the opportunity to try a fabulous free full-size Origins product!

Have you ever tried anything from Origins? Do you have a favourite?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Big Skincare Revolution - Revealed!

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll have seen I reviewed a mystery, unbranded face wash a little while ago (link). Well, the brand of the product has been revealed via The Big Skincare Mystery Facebook page! Without further a due, I give you...

Clearasil's Daily Clear Wash & Mask with Avocado & Pomegranate Extracts!
"A creamy 2 in 1 cleanser that can be used as a daily wash or an indulgent treat when left on the skin as a three-minute mini facial mask. It contains clarifying salicylic acid with a blend of avocado, pomegranate extracts and vitamin E known to nourish the skin, so it’s extra gentle but strong enough to clear away impurities. 150ml for £4.99"
-Taken from their Facebook Page

I assumed the product would be made by a company along the lines of Clearasil/Clean and Clear/Neutrogena, so no huge surprises for me. Although, I must say I am really surprised with the packaging! It looks really neat, "grown-up" and attractive, which is a definite positive.You can read my review on it here, I was definitely impressed with it, and would recommend it! I think the PR for this product was a fantastic idea, and would love to participate in one of these mystery trials again in the near future!

What do you think of the new product? Are you going to try it out now it's been released?