Sunday, 19 May 2013
really rubbish days can only ever have one redeeming quality when i'm at home; and that's the thought of a cosy ol' bath when i get in. doesn't matter how angry or achey i'm feeling, a bath is always the best way to get myself feeling slightly more human again. even after i go running, i'd rather get in a warm bath than mess about in the shower. from full-on pamper sessions to just a quick pick-me-up, having a splash about in the tub (sorry mum) is my everyday indulgence. my favourite bath is probably the one before a night out or event, where i get myself feeling super soft and smelling like a patisserie, but the relaxing, de-stress bath is a firm favourite too. when i'm having a bath, i like to add a capful or two of elemental herbology's detox bath oil. this has literally become my smelling salts - i've been known to just whiff the bottle when i'm feeling a bit stressed. grapefruit and juniper berry give it a wake-you-up kick that helps to boost lymphatic drainage (and tackle cellulite, apparently), but more than anything, it just smells fresh and clears your head. almond, jojoba and peach kernel oils make it moisturising and soft on skin, too, with vitamin e to repair skin. i much prefer this to a lot of bath oils, which i find a bit heady and sickly - this is just divine. now, i KNOW philosophy's bubble baths are SLS-laden traps of synthetic nasties, but damn it, the christmas cookie just smells TOO good. i love a cheeky capful for some bubbles. H2O's sea salt scrub is a new favourite for me - it's got a reassuring rough texture that sloughs off dead skin and leaves me feeling satin soft. you have to scrape granules out to work against the skin, but it's the perfect buffer before tanning or moisturising. finally, i love darphin's body products for a real treat. the velvet cream is so moisturising, with a mousse-like texture that stops it being sticky and gloopy. almond and shea butter make for super-soft, firmer skin - it's a bit of a wonder product for dry skin like mine. i don't notice how soft it's made my skin until the next morning, when i nearly slip out of bed. i use the nourishing satin oil underneath on my elbows, thighs, anywhere that needs a little extra TLC. the red ginger in it smells divine, and leaves my skin feeling beautifully soft. a little goes a long way! what are your bath time faves?
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
it's officially the season of coral, y'all. i'm shunning berry tones and anything remotely heavy in terms of skincare in favourite of sorbet shades and any excuse to rock my favourite almost-orange shade. i think the cusp of spring and summer is when we all start feeling slightly more "undone" beauty - loose wavy hair, barely-there make up and simple skincare now that we're not fighting the onslaught of winter aggressions anymore. as you all know, i'm all about keeping it simple when it comes to make up anyway, but while the soaring temperatures make me want to ease up on bases, a bright, moisturising lip shade sounds good to me. first up is probably my fave hair product ever - the bumble & bumble brilliantine. it's perfect on my wavy-curly hair for defining the curls, reducing frizz and giving me more slept-in, but tamed locks. you really only need the tiniest bit - i've not tried many products that i think really work on wet hair, so i use this on my hair when it's completely dry. personally, regardless of what i prep my hair with, it basically dries the same, so i tend to focus styling on dry hair, and this product is literally a 30 second job. essie are definitely my favourite for nail polishes, and the tart deco coral shade is next to mint candy apple in my most-reached for products. i always get stacks of compliments on this shade - it's bright without being in your face, and doesn't chip at all. aveda are a new brand for me - i knew their haircare was pretty renowned, but i'd never tried their make up until i got my hands on this lipstick - it's a gorgeous, light coral, subtle and perfect for everyday. the shade's "melochia bloom" - it's more sheer than matte, but you can layer it for a more intense shade, and it's incredibly moisturising, which is perfect for dry summer days. it's just so natural-looking and pretty; i've worn it almost every day for a week. having said that, i love the clinique "runway coral" lipstick for night-time - it's like the aveda one with the pigment turned up to 100. it's slightly more pinky, but has a really intense colour that somehow manages to look elegant, instead of garish. it's got good staying power, too, but to be honest, i'm just unbelievably sold on coral at the mo! the trilogy rosehip oil antioxidant plus is all my skin needs oil-wise at the mo - the nude progenius is a little heavy for me now it's not so cold, but this delivers as much hydration, whilst still being light on the skin. this definitely improves my skin's tone - it always looks lighter and brighter for using this, and gives you the sort of glow you want in warmer weather when you skimp on foundation or tinted moisturising. finally, the manuka doctor repairing skin cream is perfect for cooling my skin down after hours out in the sun or a particularly sticky run - it's so refreshing on the skin, and the manuka honey is antibacterial and healing, perfect for keeping skin in check. there you have it - my sure-fire spring hits!
Saturday, 11 May 2013
when it comes to treating congested skin, or just generally giving your face a bit of a refresh, exfoliating is usually the way forward. i love a good ol' bit of microdermabrasion every now and then to get my skin feeling tingly-fresh, but since i've been using chemical, rather than manual, exfoliants i've noticed an almost other-worldly glowiness to my skin. in the same way a manual exfoliant would, chemical exfoliants help to shed dead skin cells, clear up patches of congestion and treat any problem areas for renewed and refreshed looking skin. however, when you've sensitive skin like mine, this can be a bit of a tricky one, as lots of amazing exfoliants (alpha h liquid gold, nude miracle mask...) rely on glycolic acid for their tingling properties. i have managed to come up with a pretty winning duo when it comes to exfoliating my skin; the elemental herbology facial glow and clinique's turnaround radiance renewal serum. the elemental mask is a sure-fire winner for me; it's packed full of fruit acids, as opposed to man-made ones, for potent exfoliating on a more natural level, and has manuka honey to soothe and heal the skin after the chemical overhaul. the vitamin content helps to protect the skin against outside aggressors, and the fatty acids ensure the skin stays hydrated and not totally dried out after you've used it. don't be alarmed by the fact that they call it a "peel" - it's nowhere near that aggressive, and is perfect for lots of skin types. i usually follow the mask with the cell food serum, and then later in the week use the clinique turnaround - a new fave for me! it helps to improve skin texture and my skin felt incredibly soft and supple the morning after i first used it - it infuses the skin with energy to increase cell turnover and get the skin back to it's glowing best. have you tried any exfoliants?
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
oils are by no means new - my nonna claims to have been putting olive oil in her hair since she was a littl'un - but there's still some really great new ones coming out all the time. now we've managed to get past our collective wonder at "you can put oils on oily skin? really?", there's so many different kinds of facial oils for every skin type and concern. i know the nude progenius oil is amazing for dry, dehydrated skin (i use it every few weeks on patchy dry areas), and the juno oil from sunday riley is incredible for rejuvenating the skin, but i've always like the trilogy rosehip oil antioxidant plus. a couple of drops of this oil before your moisturiser at night can really turn your skin around - it improves the skin's texture and nourishes it with vitamins. i often find my skin just looks better after using it, even if i can't quite pinpoint how. great for sluggish skin in need of a pick me up, i used to use this every day, but i turn it to it now when my skin feels dry and a little dull. nicky clarke's dry argan oil has to be my fave for hair - it actually contains a lot of argan oil, unlike other brands, and it's a dry oil, meaning you can use it on dry hair as a frizz-tamer. i tend to warm a drop or two in the palm of my hands and use it to smooth flyways and finish a blow-dry. it has a similar effect to lots of hair serums, but the added bonus of nourishing the hair with argan. caudalie's huile divine is a great intensive treatment for dried-out hair like mine - a generous pump or two through wet hair (or into dry hair before a run, as i do it) and then rinsed out adds serious shine without grease. its combination of grape seed oil and shea butter make it seriously moisturising. finally, african botanics neroli infused marula oil - love, love, LOVE this. it smells deliciously and light floral, and is super moisturising - i used in on my elbows to get them soft, and across my decollatage for a soft, dewy glow. one bottle goes a long, long way. what oils do you love?