Saturday, March 14, 2015

Current Cleansing Routine for Dry/Dehydrated skin

After buying my Clarisonic I went on a bit of a cleanser binge, splurging on a variety from both high end and budget brands.  If you've been following the blog for a while you'll know that I have very dehydrated skin but I'm also prone to bouts of cystic acne. I thought I'd share some of the cleansers I'm currently using and give you a sort of insight into my cleansing routine. 

 The Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing foam wash was a complete impulse buy (I needed something to bring up my total to avail of the free delivery). Having heard good things about the brand in the past, I thought it was as good a time as any to try something out for myself.
I honestly wasn't expecting much from it but was surprised by how much I actually do like it. I find myself reaching it for it in favour of both my Shiseido Ibuki gentle cleanser and my Clarins Daily Energizer cleansing gel.
I use this as my morning cleanser and while I might not necessarily feel wide awake, this gives my skin the perk up it needs - My skin looks brighter and feels incredibly clean. It has a really refreshing scent and foams up nicely without leaving my skin stripped of moisture. It is priced at €5.99 and is available here.
While it is a great face wash, I wouldn't rely on it to remove a face full of make up. In the evenings, I tend to use something slightly more heavy duty, like a cleansing balm/oil cleanser. The one I'm using currently is 'Ultrabland' from Lush. I have reviewed it previously so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail but what I will say is that I've been using it religiously since last July and I honestly don't see myself changing any time soon. I'll then go back in with the Botanics Cleanser for a second cleanse to ensure there is no residue left on my skin.

 My skin tends to get quite flaky especially during the colder months so I try to give my skin a good scrub twice a week. I don't like anything too abrasive especially since I started using the Clarisonic because it is essentially an exfoliating tool in itself. The one I'm using at the moment is the Visible Difference balancing exfoliating cleanser from Elizabeth Arden - its a bit of a mouthful I know! I've been using this for a couple of months now and I really like it. I tend to be quite wary when it comes to manual exfoliators as they can leave my skin feeling raw and irritated. This one is very gentle,while still managing to remove any dead skin I may have leaving my face exceptionally smooth and clean. Again, it is soap free so perfect for anyone like me with excessively dry skin.
It is on the pricier side at €22 for 125ml however, knowing my skin is in great hands with Elizabeth Arden being one of the "it" brands when it comes to skincare I'm happy to spend that little bit more and because I'm only using it 2-3 times a week the tube lasts ages. You can pick it up here.
So that was just a quick insight into my current favourite cleansers/cleansing routine. I'm really into skincare at the moment and I'm hoping that 2015 is finally going to be the year for my skin. If you'd be interested in an overview of my whole skincare routine I'd be happy to do a post outlining some of my holy grail products - Just let me know!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer | Review

I'm having a bit of a love affair with concealers of late. There are so many good ones on the market, both budget and high-end. In January, one of my favourite brands (Urban Decay) launched a new one and I just had to have it. 
I love Urban Decay because their shade range is so broad. There are 8 shades available currently, even catering for those paler than myself and let me tell you, that's a small minority. 
So the product itself?
Urban Decay claim that this concealer won't settle into fine lines thanks to an ingredient called Matrixyl 3000 which basically mimic's the breakdown of collagen causing your skin to react by regulating skin cell activity, producing more collagen and elastin - Sounds good doesn't it? Well it doesn't stop there.. It also contains Litchiderm which adds a moisturising element to the concealer and Japanese Green Tea extract to enhance the skins luminousity. Now they're some pretty hefty claims to make Urban Decay..
I must admit that while these ingredients all sound wonderful, I was slightly skeptical about the demi-matte finish. How can a product be matte and moisturising at the same time?
I picked it up about three weeks ago at an event in Debenhams and I must say, my current favourite: NARS radiant creamy concealer has had to take a backseat ever since.

 I just love the texture and consistency - It is really creamy, and the coverage like a lot of the Naked range is medium but very buildable, while still looking really natural once set in place. The Japanese Green tea extract does make it quite luminous and it acts as great under-eye highlight without creasing or caking throughout the day.
I love the packaging too, it looks just like a miniature bottle of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid foundation which I am also trialing at the moment. It has a spoon like doe-foot applicator which ensures you get just enough product. 
I'm currently using the shade 'light warm' but will definitely pick up a shade lighter and one darker for all my skintone eventualities.
It is priced at €22 and available here.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Clarisonic Mia 2 | Review

A Clarisonic, for those of you who don't know is a sonic cleansing brush, think electric toothbrush but for your face. I have been firmly on the fence about investing in one for a long time. They have been around for as long as I can remember and are hugely hyped in the beauty community. With the majority of the reviews online being extremely positive, the bad ones were diabolical. I was very slow to part with my cash. 
Curiosity and post holiday blues finally got the better of me and in January I finally made the splurge, deciding 2015 was going to be a good skin year. I opted for the Mia 2, which has 2 speed settings, so you can switch between the two depending on your skins needs. Baring in mind it is in itself an exfoliating tool so don't get carried away. I wouldn't recommend using it more than once every day/second day depending on your skins sensitivity. 
When I started using it first, my skin went through a bit of a purge and I broke out in quite painful, cystic blemishes along my cheekbones and around my chin. While it wasn't ideal by any means, it was a sign that my skin was getting a good cleanse - the sonic pulses were penetrating deep into my pores, bringing all of the gunk in my skin to the surface. 
Six weeks on, these blemishes have subsided and are now few and far between - Thankfully! The texture of my skin has changed. It isn't nearly as flaky as it used to be - I do still get little patches around my chin and along my jaw but I manage these by swapping my regular foaming cleanser with a gentle exfoliating cleanser used twice a week on the slower setting and don't find that it's too abrasive for my skin. The biggest difference however has been the reduction in the size of my pores, especially around my nose and the centre of my forehead. My skin hasn't been cleaner or felt this soft and smooth in a long time, my makeup sits better on my skin than ever before, even without the use of a primer.

While it is pricey initially at €149 and you do have to replace the brush heads every few months, I honestly don't think I'll ever go back to traditional cleansing methods again. Be sure to stay tuned to the blog over the next few days if you're considering investing in one yourself as I will be detailing the different products I use along side the Clarisonic.

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