That'll be the beauty blog.
I do them so rarely as I am not a beauty expert at all. I also think it's a very subjective topic. What will work for one person's skin or hair, won't be as effective on someone else. Or it will be amazing on your and just meh on your mate.
However all I can is bring you what I find has worked for me. All these things I have bought, none of them are gifts and all of which I would (and do!) purchase again. Bizarrely I do get a lot sent to me but nothing has impressed me enough to make me want to buy it again.
The reason for bringing this today is that Feel Unique have some discounts on which end at midnight today Monday (although there is always usually an offer on if you google Feel Unique discount codes plus I think if you sign up to their newsletter again they send you a discount code).
I've already made my purchase - this. Starting with what is still my favourite cleanser ever. And now on offer and in the extra size 200ml pot. A must buy.
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Balm 200ml was £55 now £44
And it just so happens that I think the best eyeliner is the Lancome pencil. Unlike other pencils, it doesn't need sharpening after every second day (I am heavy handed with my liner, think Cleopatra Home Counties on the school run) but at the same time, it's not a harsh pencil you need to drag - it does go on super easily. It also lasts all day, doesn't smudge but is easy to remove. You do need a pencil sharpener and don't do what I've done on more than one occasion (I'm sure I am the only make up slut here - I will fess up that before I got my most recent Lancome pencil which was free in a GWP, I had been using the Cat Whisker pencil that we got from Claire's Accessories at Halloween. Like I say, make up really isn't that high on my spending agenda...For future reference though, the Cat Whisker pencil is highly effective and I've used a lot worse.) and try and use a kid's pencil sharpener. They don't work. I got my current one from Primark for about £1.
And you handily get a free one (eye liner not sharpener) in this kit which will last you for months, even though it's only a really diddy one (I am liberal - think Claudia Winkleman on speed - with my eyeliner and mine has lasted eons). Not to mention the lippie and nail varnish too. Winner. Plus you should get 5% off if you use the code FEEL5VC.
Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Set £21
The other Lancome gem which is a mainstay of my arsenal is the eye make up remover. This is an amazing deal (even better if you get your 5% off. Often, if you sign up for their newsletter they give you a discount code too). Obviously I have tried cheaper (duh) and for me - who is prone to eczema round her eyes - this is the only one that truly works.
Lancome Limited Edition Bi Facil Eye Make Up Remover £25 for 200 ml (this is usually £21.50 for 125ml..)
My other favourite face cream is from La Roche-Posay which currently has 34% off at Feel Unique. They do often have discounts at Boots but there's nothing on at the moment. The one face cream I have bought again and again and again.
La Roche-Posay Redermic Anti Wrinkle Treatment was £29.50 now £19.65
So I recently bought the Pixi Woo Glow tonic and some pad thingies which.. I sort of feel have done not a right lot. I genuinely can't see any difference at all and have been using them for a week. They did have mixed reviews on my last (ages ago) beauty post so I thought I'd give them a go as two of my friends also rave about them. Pah.
However I got this for my birthday (from a friend who works in the beauty industry and tries a lot - she also recommended the Emma Hardie which I am completely addicted to) and used it for the first time last night. Tingly is not the word. I would go so far as to say slightly uncomfortable and my face looked rather disturbingly red when I took it off last night after my allotted twenty minutes. But this morning, the texture of my skin is genuinely improved. Smooth, clear, bright - I can actually see a difference. I didn't realise it was quite this costly but... you only need to use it twice a week and you really don't need that much. I will definitely be buying again.
Codage Micro Peeling Mask £60
Shampoo now and I have a find that I love. I've been using SLS free shampoos and I've definitely seen a difference in the texture of my hair. In particular, I've been impressed with a set of products I bought at The Cosmetics Store in Bicester.
But you needn't traipse all the way there, you can get 15% off at Look Fantastic with the code EUROPE.
The brand is Ojon and the range that I bought was Damage Reverse. I bought a trial pack and still have to try the heavy duty conditioning treatment (you got a tiny pot) but I was super impressed with the shampoo and the regular conditioner.
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Shampoo £21 pre discount
This is the regular use conditioner that I was impressed with but do think my hair could do with the "for hair on its last legs" big tub.
Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner £23
And the oil which is hands down the best oil I have ever used - much better than any Moroccan oil is the Ojon Rare Blent Oil Total Hair Therapy £12 This is a scarily tiny bottle but you only need the tiniest of amounts.
Onto my Summer fragrances. I love perfume. I would love to be that person who just has one signature fragrance but I find if I use the same one day in day out, I can't smell it myself. Olfactory boredom sets in (even my nose is fickle).
So I vary between a couple at a time. This year, I've gone back to three favourites which over the years I have had many times and always come back to. I do try new fragrances occasionally but in my head I have my very own Hall of Fragrance Fame and it takes a real contender to make it in. (yes I need to get out more).
These are three that my children recognise, the husband likes (he is very fussy and hates anything that smells like "old ladies") and I adore. They're not what I would call Modern fragrances. They're not breaking any scent mould, they are classic but to me, all are fresh with a hint of masculinity/woodiness to them.
Starting with one which I go back to again and again. It's quite random and very few people recognise it but it's the fragrance that is commented on most often.
Liz Earle Botanical Essence No.1 £49.50 A little goes a long way as it is an Eau de Parfum. Even though I have no concept of a little. Think tart's boudoir.
And my final latest beauty find is a rather random one which is rarely mentioned. But used far far more widely than I certainly realised. I'm talking good old Botox. Yes the dreaded B word. I was so super nervous at having it (I had it at the end of Jan), but having seen so many friends suddenly look "fresh" as if they'd had a month's holiday and finding out their little secret, I caved.
I had mine done at home by the amazing (and locally very popular) Dr Ellie Holman Aesthetics. Either click on the link for details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or for more details, you can email me on email@example.com.
How do I find it worked? It takes fives years off you. It looks like you've had a week of amazing sleep. People say you look really well but can't quite put their finger on why. Until you tell them. I am breaking all the rules and coming out and saying I've had it and I love it. And you would be surprised at how many people (I now learn having been honest about it) do have it.
Why did I try it? Well after our rather harrowing Christmas break, no amount of water, sleep or Pixi Glow Tonic and peel pads would make any difference. I needed an instant pick me up and this worked wonders. I felt and still do feel, so so much better. Even the husband who rolled his eyes so much when I said I was caving, he looked like a permanent cast member of The Exorcist, admits that it does look good. I don't know why so many people are so cagey about admitting they have it.
Will I have it done again? Yes definitely. Will I carry on and go too far? Well, I'd like to think not. I was so impressed (as I know others have been) with Dr Ellie's honesty (and she herself looks beyond amazing) that I'm confident in not turning into Cat Woman any time soon. Anyone with any questions, do just email me.
Anyone else a Big B fan?
Finishing with a couple of products I'd love to get your opinion on. Firstly, the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer. I have heard people rave about it but I'd love to know if anyone who has truly wild hair has given it a go?
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer £17
I did have an Olaplex treatment which I was impressed with - am just waiting for my colourist to drop off the conditioner which you can use afterwards. I've only washed my hair twice since I had it done (skank alert) but it's definitely less frizzy. I'm wondering if you can use the Elasticizer alongside it?
And then I need your recommendations for tinted moisturisers. I have never worn foundation in my life and every time I have attempted to try one - even a BB cream, it has brought me out in spots. So I now have the smoothness (thank to the Big B) and the texture (thanks to the Codage micropeel mask) of a 16 yr old's (ish) skin but of course I now want it to be completely blemish free... I am verging on see through so any sort of blemish is instantly visible.
I've been looking through the selection at Space NK where they handily have a whole section dedicate to them and just wondered if anyone had any specific recommendations?
The other option is for me to just stick with my old favourite, the Chanel Soleil Identite in Bronze. Which is nearly always out of stock everywhere. Managed to locate at House of Fraser for £30 and again at Feel Unique for £30
So there we have my run down of things at the minute that are working for me.
Let me know of any must haves you're loving at the minute or any you're thinking of trying as I'm sure someone will have some feedback on them.
Outfit from today which is all the relaxed. It was one of those days where things have gone wrong from the off. Forgot to put the dishwasher on last night, 11yr old didn't get up in time, left her lunch at home, drove to drop the car off at garage only to find they haven't got the right light fitting (for when I reversed into a wheelie bin and smashed it. Excellent), friend had offered to drop lunch off for 11yr old at school but bless her, then locked her car keys and the lunch in her car meaning I had to make another lunch and drop it at school (only as she's a coeliac and can't eat normal school lunch otherwise I'd have made her have that. But it's not fair on the Catering manager if she hasn't had any warning). And breathe... Then set off to walk to school to pick the boys up and it started chucking it down. Is it bedtime yet?
Cream linen jumper - hush
Blush (they say stone, I really think it's blush) cashmere hoodie - Me+Em
Grey Lola joggers - Whistles
Jetstream wedge trainers - Elena Iachi at Russell & Bromley
Onyx leather jacket - hush
Black hands free Harker bag - Anya Hindmarch
So I am still waiting for the DHL man to drop off my sandal order from yesterday. Not entirely sure why I'm so keen for him to arrive seeing as it snowed here last night...