An obsession with skincare, makeup and all things beauty. Honest reviews and opinions.

Monday, 30 December 2019

December Empties 2019

*This post contains PR products and affiliate links.
Space NK UK

Can you believe this is my final empties post of 2019?! Where has this year gone? Anyway onto the products...

First up is Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (bought myself, available from numerous retailers, I bought it from YesStyle for approx. £10) - This lip mask is a favourite of the Instagram beauty community and was a favourite of mine until recently. It's a thick, slightly sticky balm that you apply generously to your lips and leave on overnight. I found that it's that thick, you still have it on in the morning! For a long time, I loved this but recently it just seemed to stop working for me. It used to give me soft, hydrated lips but not anymore. No idea why but I'm gutted! Luckily I've found a replacement. 
Marks out of 10: 5/10 it would have been higher if it worked like it used to!
Do I recommend it? Yes it's definitely worth a try.
Will I repurchase? No.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50 (bought myself, available from Boots and Look Fantastic for £17.50, shop around it's often on offer) - I'd bought this as I wanted a higher SPF for summer and this came highly recommended from loads of people. Sadly it didn't work well for me as I found it pilled. I tried using it up on no-makeup days but it still left me with little white bits all over my face! However I gave it to my hubby to use and he had no issues with it. I still can't convince him to wear it every day but hr did wear it in the summer. 
Marks out of 10: 2/10
Do I recommend it? Personally no but I'd say try it as it may work for you.
Will I repurchase? Not for me but I'll rebuy it for my hubby.


Hada Labo Super Hydrator Lotion (PR, available HERE for £16.95) - You can read my full review of this serum HERE but to re-cap - it's a fantastic hyaluronic acid serum with added anti-aging benefits. It's brilliant value for money as it's a huge bottle. 
Marks out of 10: 9/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? I've already got another bottle to go at.


Pixi Zero Zit (bought myself, available from Boots & Look Fantastic for £16) - I didn't think much to this. I think it would work well for someone with occasional spots but for it's definitely not strong enough for someone with acne like me. It's a very gentle treatment.
Marks out of 10: 3/10
Do I recommend it? If you have occasional, small spots - yes. For anyone else - no.
Will I repurchase? No.



Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse body oil (bought myself, available from Look Fantastic and Cult Beauty for £29.50) - This is one of my favourite body oils. I'm definitely more of a body oil girl rather than cream. This is a dry oil so it's not heavy but it's still really nourishing. I always apply oils onto damp skin straight from the shower to lock more moisture in. It makes them easier to apply to! This has the most gorgeous scent - to me it smells expensive and summery! It's quite a strong fragrance that lingers well. I love the scent that much, that I bought the matching perfume. 
Marks out of 10: 10/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? Yes, I've already replaced it although I've gone for the new Florale version which I love even more!

  
Beauty Pie Double Phase Cleanser (bought myself, available from Beauty Pie for £6.24 for members) - If you're not familiar with Beauty Pie - read my blog post HERE. This cleanser is nice enough but didn't wow me. As cleansing is my favourite step, I have to love the cleanser I'm using. It's a thin, cream consistency that breaks down nicely when mixed with water. One thing that I did really like was the scent - it's a very light, sweet orange fragrance. I used as a second cleanse.
Marks out of 10: 5/10
 Do I recommend it? For the price yes.
Will I repurchase it? No




Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Mask (Ndulge birthday gift from Space NK, available HERE for £43) - This is a lovely mask - it's gritty with physical exfoliant but it's harsh. It contains turmeric to brighten skin. It's also slightly minty making it rather invigorating! It definitely leave skin soft, smooth and bright after use.
Marks out of 10: 6/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? No as I prefer to get my exfoliation from serums / toners.




Rodial Vit C Brightening Mask (bought myself, available HERE for £65) - Now I managed to pick this up in TK Max for about £15 if I remember correctly. It's a gorgeous fruity smelling gel that leaves skin brighter, soft and smooth. 
Marks out of 10: 8/10
Do I recommend it? Yes but I don't think I'd pay £65 for it. It's often on offer though.
Will I repurchase? No because I struggle to fit exfoliating masks in my routine.




Charlotte Tilbury Pretty Youth Glow Filter blusher (bought myself, available HERE for £30) - Sadly I didn't get on with this blusher so it'll be getting passed on to a friend. It's a cream blush and highlight duo. I didn't find it pigmented enough or long wearing at all. It also easily disturbed my base makeup underneath. The brush that comes with it, although really lovely, is useless to apply this product! Total fail for me. I think I've been spoilt by Trinny London's cream blushers as they're fantastic! (See my reviews HERE).
Marks out of 10: 2/10
Do I recommend it? No
Will I repurchase? No.




Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules (bought myself, available HERE for £8.65 for Beauty Pie members) - I didn't get on with these. They broke me out sadly. I found them very siliconey too, which meant they often pilled when I applied my moisturiser on top.
Marks out of 10: 2/10
Do I recommend them? I'd say they're worth a try as we're all different!
Will I repurchase? No.




Oskia Liquid Mask Lactic Acid Micro Peel (bought myself, available HERE for £65) - You can read my full review of this HERE but to recap - it's a fab exfoliating serum / mask that leaves skin smooth and clear. I just struggled to fit it in my routine as I need BHA acids in my routine as well, to keep my acne under control. So this is getting passed on to a friend.
Marks out of 10: 7/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? No



Priori Tetra fx250 SPF (won with a giveaway, available HERE for £75) - You can read my full review of this HERE but to recap - this is a gorgeous SPF, really light.
Marks out of 10: 7/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? No because it doesn't beat my favourite SPF from Evy Technology (read my review of that HERE).



Touch In Sol Pretty Filter Waterful Glow Cream (Gifted, available HERE for £23 - don't forget you can save 25% on Touch in Sol using my affiliate code TTBSOL25) - This is a gorgeous, light gel cream. Super hydrating without being heavy.
Marks out of 10: 8/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? Yes




Freshly Cosmetics Blue Radiance Enzymatic Serum (PR, available HERE for £31) - I forgot to take a photo of the empty bottle before I recycled it so here's a photo of the full bottle instead. This is a gorgeous exfoliating serum that's used as a final step in your routine. It gives skin a lovely glow the following morning.
Marks out of 10: 7/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? I've been kindly sent a second bottle so will be using that.



A.Florence Skin Barrier Restoring Serum (PR, available HERE for £33) - This is a gorgeous, rich oil that is packed full of nourishing ingredients like ceramides, all designed to restore your skin barrier. I've loved using this after my peels or if I've had sensitivity with retinol or acids.
Marks out of 10: 9/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? Yes



Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser (PR, available HERE for £29.52) - This is quite an unusual cleanser as it's warming! It's a thick consistency that reacts when applied to damp skin. The warming sensation is really relaxing. The cleanser loosens up when more water is added, making it easy to massage your face and rinse off.
Marks out of 10: 6/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? No. It's nice didn't blow me away. I'm fussy with cleansers as it's my favourite step. I've got the love them!




Boscia Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleanser (PR, available HERE for £19.68) - This was fun to use but I think is a bit gimmicky. The cleanser itself was lovely, is gently lathered and left skin clean and soft. I just didn't think it was very practical or hygienic due to it being a jelly ball. You have to leave it out to dry, now although I always gently covered it over with the packaging it came in, it still collected dust easily. Plus it quickly seemed to shrink and end up misshapen like in the photo.
Marks out of 10: 4/10
Do I recommend it? Not really.
Will I repurchase? No.




Algenist AA Barrier serum (PR, available from numerous retailers including Space NK, Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic for £80) - You can read my full review of this HERE but to recap - This serum is fantastic! It's been absolutely brilliant to keep my skin nourished after having a peel. My skin is all round in better condition when I use this.
Marks out of 10: 10/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? Yes, I already have! I won't be without this.



Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask (GWP, available HERE for £110) - This infamous mask had a huge reputation to live up to! Sadly it didn't wow me. It's lovely don't get me wrong, but not £110 lovely. It's a thick cream with a gorgeous rose scent. It does leave skin super nourished and soft. I don't think it performs any better then the REN Evercalm mask though, and that's a fraction of the price at £32.
Marks out of 10: 7/10
Do I recommend it? Yes if it's in your budget.
Will I repurchase? No




Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (bought myself, available from Space NK, Cult Beauty, Skin City for £54-57) - This is a lovely gentle exfoliating mask. It gently exfoliates and clarifies skin.
Marks out of 10: 7/10
Do I recommend it?
Will I repurchase? Yes at some point.



Liyu Skin African Honey mask (free sample, not on sale yet so price unknown) - There was enough in this sample for one use but it gave a great first impression. It reminds me of Sjo Skin's happy honey mask. It's thick and sticky when first applied but it soon loosens up with your body heat. I left it on for about 20 mins then rinsed. My skin was super soft and happy afterwards!
Marks out of 10: 9/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I purchase it? Hopefully! It depends how much it costs. I'd certainly like to buy it though.




Jo Malone Wood, Sage and Sea Salt cologne (free sample, available HERE from £48) - Oh my do I love this perfume! For years I suffered with migraines from fragrances. I literally wore the same perfume for about 10 years. But for some reason this last year, I seem to be less sensitive to scents and have been able to find more perfumes to wear! Honestly it's been amazing! So I'm a bit behind on all the lovely perfumes you see on Instagram like Diptyque, Jo Malone and Byredo. For me, this is such an unusual scent! You can really smell the freshness of the salt and the smokiness of the wood. I love it!
Marks out of 10: 10/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I purchase it? Yes definitely at some point.




Living Proof Restore Repair Leave-In conditioner (bought myself, available from Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Feel Unique for £26) - This is a lovely leave in conditioner. It smells nice, doesn't weigh hair down or make it crispy and leaves it nourished.
Marks out of 10: 8/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? No because I prefer Function Of Beauty's leave in conditioner which I get on subscription (see my review HERE).


Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur foundation (bought myself, available from Benefit Cosmetics, Boots, Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic for £26) - You can read my full review of this foundation HERE but to recap - This is a gorgeous foundation. Light-medium coverage, natural finish but surprisingly long lasting. Not a great shade range though (I'm the lightest shade). This has started to oxidise a bit now so I'm binning it but it's definitely well over a year old. It was nearly empty anyway.
Marks out of 10: 8/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? Possibly although I do like to try new foundations so not at the moment.


Function of Beauty Shampoo and Conditioner (available HERE, £29-39 for the pair, depending on size) - You can read my full review of these HERE but to recap - these are my holy grail shampoo and conditioner! They're bespoke to your hair type as you fill in a quiz beforehand. You even get to choose the scent and colour! I get the 16oz bottles on subscription to be delivered every 6 months so they're actually great value. I'm not stingy either, I've got long, thick hair so use a good amount each time. I wash my hair every 3-4 days, for reference. No shampoo and conditioner have ever left my hair in such good condition as these have. I also use their leave in conditioner, mask and serum - all amazing!
Marks out of 10: 10/10
Do I recommend them? Yes
Will I repurchase? Already have.



Paula's Choice The Unscrub (available from Paula's Choice, Skin City, Cult Beauty for £26) - This is a gorgeous cleanser. It's super gentle with little soft jojoba beads that exfoliate your skin. They naturally dissolve too. It's a perfect morning cleanse for me, such a pleasure to use!
Marks out of 10: 9/10
Do I recommend it: Yes
Will I repurchase? Yes most definitely, but once I've used up some other cleansers first.



Paula's Choice Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA (bought myself, available from Paula's Choice, Skin City, Look Fantastic and Feel Unique for £30) - You can read my full review of this HERE but to recap - this is a fantastic daily exfoliant to keep pores clear. It has the added benefit of containing peptides for anti-aging too. Brilliant stuff!
Marks out of 10: 10/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? Already have.

  
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol serum (won in a giveaway, available from Space NK and Cult Beauty for £62) - You can read my initial review of this HERE but now I've used a full tube I'd like to go into more detail. I had a love / hate relationship with this serum. It took so long for my skin to become accustomed to it, it was ridiculous! I had practically finished the tube before I was able to use it daily without sensitivity. As time went on, I had issues with the packaging too. You had to be really careful not to squeeze the tube much else far too much would come out. I did find that if I tapped the lid flat on a hard surface, that seemed to help a bit. Results wise, it was great! Exactly what I'd expect from a retinol serum. 
Marks out of 10: 6/10
Do I recommend it? I would recommend it if you're a big Drunk Elephant fan but I would say that I'd recommend Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol serum over this. 
Will I repurchase? I got a mini version in a Christmas set but I think I'll save it for a giveaway, rather than use it myself. I wouldn't buy it again on it's own. 




NYK1 Lash Force serum (PR, available HERE for £35.99. You can save 10% off this using my affiliate code TORIA10) - You can read my full review of this HERE with before and after photos but to recap - this serum is magic! I still can't get over the results I've had from it, my lashes have never been so long. 
Marks out of 10: 10/10
Do I recommend it? Yes
Will I repurchase? Endlessly! 


And that's it! My final empties of the year. Thanks for reading.
Skincity.co.uk
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Monday, 16 December 2019

Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense Serum Review

*This post contains affiliate links. Skincity.co.uk

If you've been following me for a while, you'll know how much I love the British brand, Medik8. Check out my reviews of their Crystal Retinal 1 HERE and Crystal Retinal 6 HERE. Their products are super reliable and reasonably priced too. The latest product of theirs that I've fallen for is the Hydr8 B5 Intense serum.

Now I'd tried the original Hydr8 B5 serum when I'd been given a sample after my monthly Medik8 peel at Beauty at the Gate. It's a perfect serum to use after a peel as it contains Hyaluronic Acid which helps to lock moisture into your skin. I'd loved this but hadn't got round to buying it. In the meantime, I'd read a number of glowing reviews about Hydr8 B5 Intense. The main difference between the two serums is that the intense version contains Natural Moisturising Factors. NMF's also help skin retain water making this serum a double hydration hitter! It also contains Saskatoon berries which are packed with antioxidants. They give the serum it's gorgeous pinky / purple colour.

The serum itself is a silky consistency. It glides onto skin and absorbs instantly. There's no stickiness or tackiness. Skin is visibly plumped after use. Now I first started using this straight after a peel facial. For the first time, my skin didn't visibly peel or flake. It was obviously retaining hydration better. I've also seen a difference with how oily my skin is too. It's definitely less oily than it used to be. If skin is dehydrated, it will produce more oil to compensate. So again that's another sign that my skin is stayed hydrated better that it was.

I've been using this serum in my morning routine to keep my skin as plump and hydrated as possible throughout the day. I've been that impressed with it, I bought a back up within 2 weeks! I'm not risking running out. It's definitely my favourite hyaluronic acid serum to date. 

Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense serum is available HERE for £55. 

Skincity.co.uk
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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Skin City First Concentrate Serum Review

*Post contains PR samples and affiliate links. 
Skincity.co.uk 
One of my favourite beauty retailers, Skin City, recently launched their own range of skincare. I was lucky enough to be sent five of their products to try. To say I was excited, would have been an understatement! 

The range comprises of 16 products and covers everything from cleansers, toners, exfoliants, serums, creams and masks. There's products to suit all skin types and they're reasonably priced too (costing from £21-42). All the products are vegan and the ingredients are responsibly sourced. The packaging is recyclable too. The range is designed to be easy to use, whether you're a skincare newbie or addict (like me!). All the products are clearly labelled with details of when to use it and where in your routine, how to use it, what it does and what it contains. I love this as it means there's no messing about - it's all so clear. 

The first product that I've got round to testing is the First Concentrate Serum. This serum is to be used after toning / exfoliating. It can be used either AM or PM. It's a true multi-tasker and is designed to deal with a number of concerns. Ingredients wise it contains:
  • 10% Niacinamide which addresses large pores and improves barrier function.
  • Hyaluronic acid, panthenol and glycerin to hydrate and moisturise.
  • Liquorice root to brighten.
  • Antioxidants Vitamin C and Reservatrol for free radical protection.
  • Allantoin and oat kernal oil to soothe and calm.
The serum itself is a traditional serum consistency. It's more on the watery side which means it absorbs quickly and instantly hydrates. There's no stickiness or tackiness. I've used this alongside a number of other serums and moisturisers and have never had any pilling issues, which is always a huge plus for me. 

Now as I've been using Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster serum (read my review HERE) for a number of months, I didn't expect to see any major changes in my skin whilst using this serum, as it's designed to do the same thing. However First Concentrate has continued to maintain the brilliant effects I've had for a while, like my pores looking smaller, sebum production being reduced and my skin barrier being strengthened. This confirms to be that this serum is just as effective for me. I've been using this serum in my PM routine. All in all I've been enjoying using it and would definitely recommend it. I'm not sure I prefer it to the Paula's Choice one but it's a very close second. It's slightly cheaper than the PC serum so would be a great budget friendly option.

Skin City First Concentrate serum is available HERE for £33.  
Skincity.co.uk
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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Elemis Peptide4 Adaptive Day Cream Review


 
*Post contains affiliate links. 

If you've followed me for a while, you'll know that I adore Elemis. They were the brand that really got me hooked on skincare in a big way, so I'll always have a bit of a soft spot for them! I love Peptide4 Night Recovery Cream Oil so was really excited when I heard that they were going to expand the range by adding a day cream, night sleeping mask, wash off mask and an eye cream. I managed to get a great deal on QVC which included the day cream. It's been sat in my skincare stash of unopened products for a while whilst I used some other products up. Let me tell you, it was so hard not to open it straight away! But it was worth the wait.

Anyway, onto the cream. It's an AM moisturiser that's designed to double as a primer by giving a satin-matte finish. It promises to absorb excess oil and blur pores, thanks to mineral microspheres. This really appealed to me as I'm super oily skinned! It contains Peptide4 (tetra-peptide) which is inspired by the skin's natural circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are basically the skin's version of an alarm clock. At certain times of the day, cells are prompted to perform certain tasks. For example overnight, cells repair and renew. Environmental stressors like pollution and lack of sleep can have an effect on out circadian rhythms, which in turn has an effect on out skin. Elemis' Peptide4 is designed to help support and synchronise the skin's natural processes. Clever, right? As well as Peptide4, this moisturiser contains Honesty Seed Oil to support the skin's moisture barrier and thyme, butterfly bush and mallow to maintain the skin's natural defences against the environment.


So what do I think of it? The moisturiser has the most amazing texture - it's so light, almost whipped and mousse like but it still feels nourishing. It's so smooth, it just glides on. It blurs pores brilliantly and gives the satin-matte finish as promised. I was worried that it would pill because of this but I've not had any issues like that at all, which is a relief! It has a very light scent of lavender. It's so subtle, so don't worry if you're not a fan of lavender. This cream keeps my skin well hydrated throughout the day and does help to control oil, not completely for me but it definitely helps! It really does prime skin well for makeup. All in all I'm really enjoying this moisturiser. It doesn't beat my favourite Pro-Collage Marine Cream though but that really takes some beating!

Elemis Peptide4 Adaptive Day Cream is available for Elemis and Look Fantastic for around £50. 


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