I have been using the same one for a few years now, it works brilliantly for my skin and I have no current intention for changing it. I use Avene Hydrance Optimale Rich, which retails for around £13. Despite not suffering from very dry skin I prefer the rich formula over the light one that they also offer, you can also purchase it with SPF if you are using it as your morning moisturiser. I apply this onto my face and upper neck, it dries quickly and doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky. It is good, soothing and moisturising – everything I require from my moisturiser at this age.
La Roche-Posay Serozinc spray is a toner, and sells for around £8 (again, all depends where you are buying it from and sales). It is designed to target oily, blemish-prone skin and I do feel like it helps, it leaves my skin less shiny and greasy and helps maintain good, spot-free skin, although hormonal breakout still power through, but I haven’t found anything that can stop them completely, just help minimise. After washing my face I spray this on, with my eyes closed, leave it to soak in for a couple of minutes, and then pat off any excess with a cotton pad. It has been a constant repurchase for me since early 2015, the only issue I have with this product is that as you get to the bottom of the can the spray is no longer a mist but sporadic droplets. Whilst mildly irritating, I do still get full use out of the product.
Clean and & Clear is an all round good wash, it leaves my skin feeling clean, helps reduce oil, helps both prevent and minimise current breakouts and is very quick and simple to use as it doesn’t require any extra steps like some face washes. It is also cheap, priced at around £3 and widely available, it is a constant repurchase for me.
Maybelline New York, Brow Satin I LOVE this, the pencil works brilliantly, creating very natural hair strokes, don’t be disheartened if you swatch it on your hand and find no colour pay off without having to press very hard, for whatever reason I don’t find this the case when actually using it on my brows. Then there is the sponge with the powder pigment which I use to just sweep over to darken the colour of my natural brow hair.
I was quite interested in the idea of this; of mixing the mask yourself from the powder provided. All you need is water, as the lid of the product works as a mixing bowl and there is a built in spoon provided. However, the reality was not as much fun as I had thought, it was very messy and having obviously added more water than I was suppose to, despite filling it to where indicated, I ended up using a lot more powder to turn it from a liquid to a thicker, normal mask consistency. Once on it felt fine, no stinging or unpleasant feeling until it became dry at which point it felt tight but no more than normally experienced with masks like these. When I removed it though my skin was very red and sore, I ended up drowning my face in Caudalie Beauty Elixir to try and soothe the pain I felt. The redness reduced after around half an hour, but even then my skin was still tender and tight. Granted it looked really good for days afterwards, very clean and pores diminished but I’m not sure it was worth the reaction. If you have sensitive skin, even slightly sensitive, I probably wouldn’t advise using this mask. Although I have read good things about the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask which I’m assuming is basically the same product, but ready mixed… Maybe I’m allergic to tomatoes as a lot of the reviews I’ve read on this product are positive..?? I will use it again, and if I find that using it for less time doesn’t cause this reaction I’ll come back and add an edit to this.
I have never before used a hot cloth cleanser, and because of the pricing of this one I decided to jump into the hot-cloth-cleanse-craze with this product. What I especially liked about this product is how I saw a lot of people not only using it to remove their makeup, but as a quick face mask, rubbing it in and the letting it sit and work it’s magic for a few minutes. The first time I used it was to take a days worth of makeup off, and it did work very well, I’ll include pictures below. It left my skin feeling very soft and clean. The smell is very familiar to me but I just cannot place it, it’s not specifically offensive, reminding me of some kind of baby product..? Maybe slightly like Sudocrem? Although when I shoved both of the products under my Mum’s nose she didn’t agree, so who knows. [Edit: After using this more and more I have grown to not like the smell, it seems to really linger on my skin, but otherwise I do still really like the product]. Using it as a treatment/mask-type product instead is also very nice; rubbing the product in to give a nice deep cleanse and massage is not only how the product works best but it also help boost circulation and in turn promote collagen production. You can leave it from anywhere to 2 minutes (whilst massaging it in) to 15 minutes (whilst just letting it sit and work it’s magic). Just from my limited use so far I do enjoy the process and like the results I am left with. It leaves my skin feeling moisturised as well, unlike some masks where it feels like your skin has been stripped of all moisture.
I started using this product when a fellow Dental Nurse let me try it after I exclaimed that she smelt really nice, and I have basically been buying it ever since. I think it is a really good, not too greasy, hand cream. I’ve personally never come across a completely non-greasy hand cream – but then maybe that’s my excessive usage. Being a Dental Nurse has the occupational hazard of constantly dry hands, wearing latex gloves all day and washing you hands all the time quickly dries them out, so I quickly fell in love with this cream when I realised it did actually help keep them in good condition. I try to use it every night, before falling asleep. If my hands are in especially bad condition I will slather loads on and then wear those moisture gloves over top and fall asleep – although by the time I wake up in the morning I have ripped them off at some point – even my sleeping self must get self conscious of looking like Michael Jackson in his gloves. I find it also works as a brilliant cuticle cream, I will spend extra time rubbing it into my cuticles when they are dry or I have been to a nail salon and they have cut them off – which I really don’t like anymore, they just grow back extra hard and dry. The only complaint I have is regarding the packaging, especially the hand pump, which I prefer for constant and easy use, but not for the amount of product wastage. I now frequently cut open the tub when it is no longer coming out through the pump and get a shocking amount of product decanted from it – if you don’t do this and just throw it away once the pump is no longer supplying the cream then you are wasting a lot of product, and your own money. But this isn’t a major complaint as it is that case with a lot of companies and how they package their products to have more frequent repurchases.
The other day I was watching a certain Youtuber’s video and she was waving and flapping her hands about and I couldn’t stop staring at her nails, thankfully (or not, depending on whether I consider what money I then spent) she informed the viewers that they were Elegant Touch nails. I went straight over to Feelunique and I now also understand the urge to wave, flap and point all the time, because it is so satisfying to do whilst having beautiful, long nails. Also, I have become quite ‘tap happy’, by which I mean, if I start to drum/tap my nails upon a surface I find it very difficult to stop, in the same way that when I have to pierce holes in a microwavable meal I get majorly carried away because the noise is so satisfying. Application is very simple, just be careful with the glue as it can get messy very quickly if you apply far too much, and you’ll end up with your fingers sticking together, and unlike when you were a child using white PVA glue to comically stick your hands together this will actually hurt a bit. For the first 24 hours or so I really didn’t like the length of the nails, and if I had had any confidence in my ability to file them down without completely ruining them, I would have done. However, I quickly got used to them and actually revelled in the length (see above about pointing and incessant hand gestures). And whilst I really love them, and they leave me feeling chic and glam there are a many basic things that become difficult to do, and in turn make you very un-chic and un-glamorous:
Going to the toilet: it’s just difficult to ensure proper ‘wipage’ whilst wearing these things.
Getting dressed: pulling up tighter fitting jeans becomes near impossible, you may have to ask for assistance.
Inserting or removing contact lenses: this actually becomes quite dangerous.
Inter-dental cleaning: flossing is reasonably easy but using actual inter-dental sticks is beyond me right now, which as a dental nurse, I am finding very distressing.
Opening any kind of can/tin. Or packet for that matter.
Cleaning sleep out of your eyes (or my dogs eyes): again, dangerous! Be careful.
Obviously I am teasing a bit because none of these things are actually detrimental to my life, and with continued and regular use I would get used to them no doubt. In the course of 9 days (which is how long they lasted me, they could have possibly gone longer had I been more consciously careful with them), 3 nails fell off, none of which were the same; the first one I lost half an hour after applying so I simply hadn’t used enough glue, so that one doesn’t count. The second one I lost trying to pull up said tight jeans and the third attempting (and failing) to open a tin of tomatoes. I simply filed down the excess glue and stuck them back on without further issues. On the last couple of days I wore them they were beginning to fall off left, right and center, and it didn’t seem worth the effort or time to keep reapplying them, despite still having glue left over, if I had wanted to. All in all I really enjoyed wearing these, and as a nail novice i.e. I cannot apply nail vanish without making a right old mess, these are a great alternative. I wouldn’t wear them all the time for the same reason I wouldn’t wear anything on my nails all the time, I like them to breathe, recover and look/feel healthy. I feel naked and lame without them now ;) Elegant Touch Core Polish Nails - Charcoal
The texture of the glow mask (it's name in the UK) is gritty due to the exfoliating beads, which help remove dead skin cells, aiding the ‘glow’ that the mask promises to give. When removing the mask I’d advise gently massaging it off to get the most out of the beads, also to avoid being too abrasive and ending up with sore skin. The Red Algae that is in the mask is suppose to have brightening properties, but whether it comes from the Algae, the exfoliating beads, or a combination of the two,my skin does look brighter after use – nothing astounding – just an overall brighter, clearer complexion, that is also smooth to the touch. However, it is possible that with continued use the ‘glow’ would become more obvious, as they do suggest using 2-3 times a week.