You Beauty Discovery Beauty Box – Jan

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This month’s You Beauty Discovery box is full of lots of little goodies and a full-size lip balm from Balmi in a gorgeous scent (Roseberry). With this beauty box you choose two products from a list that changes every month and you receive one or two little surprises in trial sizes. The box costs £6.99 a month which includes delivery and can be cancelled any time.

The two items I chose were:

Balmi Super Cube Lip Balm in Roseberry (full-size)

Lord & Berry Pailettes Eye Pencil in Sparkle Black (deluxe sample size)

My two bonus samples were:

Perfection Gel Cushions (1 pair)

Dr Organic Organic Snail Gel

This month’s box has a great selection. The lip balm (Balmi) has a gorgeous sweet jasmine-like fragrance and comes in a very bling gold cube but it was not as moisture-rich as I hoped but as a caveat I do have extremely dry lips due my Sjogren’s. The Lord and Berry eyeliner is very smooth and soft which surprised me as it does contain glitter. The glitter effect liner is not at all bling but very subtle and will make a nice alternative to the classic black liner.

The Gel Cushions will make a nice addition to my handbag armoury and then there is the Dr Organic Snail Gel. The Snail Gel sounds hideous but once you get past that it’s amazing. I have already been using Dr Organic’s Snail Gel and the Snail Gel Serum for months and it is so dewy and is great for firming and smoothing skin. I use the Snail Gel Serum to seal in my moisturiser at night and it has made my skin look much healthier despite of my many flare-ups. I can’t rave about it enough. The Dr Organic range that can be found  http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/brands/dr-organic/#so=sort_topseller&totalNumRecs=225 has some great products that contain great ingredients at a great price.

http://www.youbeautydiscovery.co.uk/

 

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I’m chuffed, so thank you x

200 Likes

I know people don’t often post their ‘reward stickers’ for how many likes they get but for a blog that’s only been going 4-5 months I’m really grateful for all the support people have given me. I started the blog as a way to connect and share experiences with others and as a means of giving me something positive to focus on. Chronic illness cruelly isolate people and I’ve found blogging a great way to fend off this isolation. So a huge thank you to those of you that have taken the time to click ‘like’.  x

likes = smiles

Elemis Treats Free with Marie Claire UK

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In this month’s edition of Marie Claire UK you get one of these two Elemis goodies for free. I love Elemis products. Elemis is a British brand that blends science with nature harmoniously to create effective but pure products. With Marie Claire you get either the Papaya Enzyme Peel or the Illuminating Flash Balm.

I ran out of The Papaya Enzyme Peel a few months back and haven’t yet replaced it as I’ve been distracted with new things courtesy of my BirchBox and GlossyBox subscriptions but I’m so glad to see it with Marie Claire as it made me remember how much I loved it. Firstly, it smells divine and conjures up an image of tropical sunsets (always appreciated in damp and grey England). It is gentle but invigorating, pepping up the skin by kindly buffing the surface leaving behind clean, supple skin with a fresh-faced can-do attitude.

I’m still using my first full-size Elemis Illuminating Flash Balm but I have to say that I can take it or leave it. It is pleasant enough to use and has a similar fresh and peppy approach to the skin but I’ve found I’ve used other products more, such as: Benefits Porefessional, Clinique’s Smart Custom Serum (reviewed in an earlier post), Liz Earle’s Skin Tonic, even Ultrasun’s 30 Face which is a sun screen acts as a pretty good pre-foundation perk-up. It can sometimes make my skin a little too pink and flushed but this is probably due to my Lupus and Sjogren’s sensitivities which can make me prone to blotches and redness.

Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Elemis’ Cleanisng Balm are in my first division of skincare essentials. Elemis’s Pro-Collagen Marine Cream is my summer moisturiser, it’s light, gel-like texture make ideal for summer skin unburdened by winter blights but its moisturising and anti-aging credentials mean that although light to touch still deliver powerful effects.

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum

I LOVE magazine freebies. I’m a sucker for anything free in the title especially when it’s a beauty freebie. Not only is this month’s UK issue of In Style magazine giving away a beauty freebie but it’s a new launch beauty freebie – Clinique’s Smart Custom Repair Serum. I have been trialling the serum for over a week now. The product claims to ‘respond to skin’s individual needs. Visibly repairs lines and wrinkles, dark spots, uneven tone, firms, imparts radiance.’ There is not much written information regarding the product’s ingredients so I’ll just mention a few that are named on the box: grapefruit, mulberry, grape, barley and cucumber. I have to say I have never heard of barley being used before, does anyone know what it’s benefits are?

The sample is a generous size for a serum (10ml). It’s pretty costly in it’s full-size form the retail starting price is over £40. The serum’s texture is not like any other serum I know in that it’s thicker and creamier as most other serums are oil-based. It’s texture is similar to that of a primer such as Benefit’s Porefessional and I think the link between primers and this serum extends in the airbrushing effect that this serum has had on my skin. The serum has evened-out my skin-tone and redness and, most notably for me, reduced the look of my pores – just like a primer would. Except the serum is skincare not makeup, so the effects stay and improve over time. I’ve seen an improvement in tone and radiance over just seven days. As for its effects on wrinkles I confess that due to my age I’m probably not the best person to test that line of the product on.

As those of you with chronic conditions may attest my skin will never be stable, even if I had all the creams in the world so I have learnt to build up an arsenal of skincare weaponry to fight any battle conditions. I have my rosehip oil for extreme dryness, my Liz Earle oil for calm, for example but if I can get over the price of this serum I would very much like to add it to my skin care arsenal to fight uneven terrain.

N.B. On the box it says apply morning and night so it may be viable for some to forgo a primer and use this serum instead in the mornings.

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The Perfect Balance

I struggle with foundation. I am very pale-skinned and most ranges don’t go pale enough add to that my very sensitive skin and my pool of choices becomes very shallow. I like BareMinerals Original Foundation but whilst it’s great most days it can look cakey and clumpy on my skin on bad days when my skin is dry. I love a lot of BareMinerals products as they are extremely non-offensive to my skin and often have great staying power but I wondered if a liquid foundation would better suit my skin on its off-days.

I try to choose products that are as natural as possible and when Liz Earle (whose skincare products are incredible!) brought out a make-up range a few years ago I thought I’d give their liquid foundation a go. It was a lovely foundation with moderate coverage and lovely skincare benefits. I split my foundation days between Liz Earle and BareMinerals happily until Liz Earle ran out of the foundation (I heard it may have been due to ingredient sourcing problems) – I was so annoyed! I had finally orchestrated the perfect routine – BareMinerals gave Matte coverage for shiny days and Liz Earle gave dewy sheen for dry days – but then it was over almost as quickly as it was found. So for many months I looked at other foundations but could not find anything near as good as what I had but then when I almost gave up BareMinerals released their first liquid foundation – BareSkin.

I received a weeks sample of BareSkin from my local BareMinerals counter after being colour matched. The foundation needs to be shaken before use at also contains a serum and it can be layered up to get basic to moderate coverage, although I managed to get quite a full coverage after only a few layers. The foundation is smooth and light on the skin and it didn’t dry out my skin at any point in the day.BareMinerals advise that people use their new ‘revolutionary’ brush to apply this particular foundation. The brush is quite stubby and has a ‘dip’ carved out of the middle that the drops of liquid foundation sit in, you then buff the foundation onto the skin just like the Original Foundation. I hate it when brands try to flog an extra product onto another stating that it works best in conjunction because if one product will only work with another then they should come as a set, in my opinion. The brush is quite expensive and I’ve not had good experiences with BareMinerals brushes in the past as they’ve moulted terribly. However despite their claims for the brush I found the foundation worked very well without it. Overall I’ve been very impressed with the BareSkin foundation and would happily buy it…but I’ve just seen Liz Earle’s foundation is back on the shelves and I’m not sure which one is better…although Liz Earle’s Signature Foundation requires no additional purchase to work its best.

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To Tone or not To Tone?

I have talked about how much I love Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish it is my one constant. Whilst I’m forever altering, tweaking or completely overhauling my other products and regimes I always use Cleanse and Polish even when I’m really ill it is one thing I insist on being able to do. But one thing I almost never do is tone. A toner is not part of my regime – is this a terrible a thing to admit?

When I first started reading beauty magazines in my teens the skincare mantra was cleanse, tone and moisturise, but that instruction is surely out of date now. Serums would have to be added, so would masks, eye creams/gels, lip balms, topical treatments etc. Skincare has advanced, yet when it comes to toners I feel that have stalled what is the point of them now, was there ever a point? Toners were supposed to remove the last bits of cleanser, close the pores, prep it for the moisturiser but any good cleanser wouldn’t need a toner to clean up after it and serums have far more functions and benefits than toners – don’t they?

The main reason that I don’t use toners is that they were generally awful when I was starting out in skincare and I came to see them as an uncomfortable and unnecessary expense. Most toners need to be applied with cotton wool and I hate cotton wool. Even cotton wool is scratchy and irritating to my sensitive skin. And the toners were mostly contained alcohol and left my skin tight, tingly and damn right sore that I came to hate them and whilst toners have improved I still can’t bring myself to like them. The Liz Earle toner has a gorgeous fragrance and is calming on the skin when used as a spritz in the summer but I don’t even like using that as its primary role as I don’t see a difference. The Elemis Apricot toner is quite pleasant to smell and non-offensive on the skin but again I feel no benefit, no motivation to use it in my skincare routine. I would rather use the money I save on a toner to pay more for an excellent serum or moisturiser. So am I missing out? Do you tone?

The Skincare Equivalent to Hot Chocolate

I recently tried Birchbox’s beauty box delivery and have loved how it has opened me up to experiencing new products and often unheard of (to me at least) brands. One of my most prized ‘discoveries’ has been the Masque Crème Fraiche by Nuxe. It must be good as I hate masks; I hate the mess, the time it takes, the texture and the tight, often stingy feeling that gets left on my face. The Nuxe mask is different.

The mask is gentle right from the way it is applied through to how it is removed due to it’s milk-like texture (it can be gently removed by cotton-wool or a damp cloth). It’s smell is subtle and calming and takes just a few minutes to work, so easily applied even if your bed-bound. As it’s not harsh it could be used a few times a week for a moisture boost and the moisturising effects are long-lasting. My Sjogren’s acts as a massive sponge taking away all my skin’s moisture and when it’s very active I sometimes have to apply quite rich moisturiser a few times during the day just to keep my skin ‘stable’. This masque means those applications are less during the 24 hours after I applied it. Effective and lovely to use. A comforting layer for those harsh winter days – ‘uuummmm!’.

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