Favourite Products of 2014

Favourite Products 2014

So…it’s been a while since I last posted something!  I was still very active on the beauty and skincare front in 2014 but finding the time to blog about the many products that I have tried mixed in with a very full work schedule made it difficult to find the time to blog about them in any meaningful way.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have resolved to be more active this year on this blog!

I thought that a good place to start the year off would be a post on what I have enjoyed using (both makeup and skincare) in 2014.  These are products that I find myself reaching for again and again despite having other products in my collection.  This isn’t intended as an all encompassing blog post of what’s best in certain categories of products…it’s simply a run down of the products that have stood out for me time and time again over the past year.  So, without further ado, here are my favourite products of 2014:

1.  Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel – what can I say about this cleanser?  It’s amazing, plain and simple!  I was rather late onto this bandwagon but when I saw a good friend getting really good results for her skin after using this, I knew I had to try it.  It’s a very simple gel cleanser that has a mild, inoffensive and pleasant scent.  There is something really special about it as it cleanses without feeling harsh and really helps to keep skin clear.  I can’t recommend it enough!

2.  Nude Renewal Serum – this is such an unassuming product and when you stick it on your skin I can’t say that the effects are immediately noticeable.  It was only when I ran out and didn’t use it for a week or so that I really noticed the difference.  One of the nicest non-silicone serums around in my opinion.

3.  Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – my go to, tried and tested going out foundation.  Looks great in photos and never lets me down.

4.  Loreal True Match Foundation- a surprise addition to the makeup stash in 2014.  I would be the first one to admit that I am a high end foundation girl. I have never managed to find a cheap, drug store foundation that has the same finish and lasting power as a high end foundation but I always keep an open mind.  After hearing a few beauty bloggers rave about how good this foundation is, I thought I’d give it a go and I really love it.  It’s long lasting and the finish is lovely.  Gives any high end foundation a run for its money!

5.  Too Faced Lipsticks – I have a lot of lipsticks in my stash but it’s one of the categories of makeup products that I struggle with – both in terms of finding the right colours to suit me and also I have to admit that sometimes I cannot be bothered with the faff of having to re-apply lipstick constantly throughout the day.  Anyway, I have to say that these lipsticks were a pleasant surprise find for me.  They have a lovely balmy texture and the colour payoff is lovely.  So lovely, that it is slowly converting me to be more of a lipstick lover!

6.  Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette – I have a lot of blushers!  Aside from eyeshadows, blushers are my other big obsession so for something to stand out takes a lot!  This palette is beautiful and the colours seem to go with any kind of makeup on the face and they last all day.

7.  Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder – this powder has magical powers!  I use this power on my cheeks, down my nose and forehead and pores seem to look really reduced.  I’ve used this powder all year.

So there you have it, my favourite products of 2014.  What were your favourite products in the past year and what’s on your list for the coming year?  I’d love to hear your views.


Silicone Free Moisturisers – My Skincare Revelation!


About six months ago I suddenly realised something…I realised that I hadn’t had a major break out for months!  Yes, months!  You know the ones I mean, those big red, MASSIVE, nasty spots that don’t really form a head and are really painful.  No matter how hard you try or how many YouTube makeup tutorials you watch on covering spots, you can never hide them.  After the spot eventually goes, it then leaves some pigmentation for weeks…great…not!  I still get the odd small break out here and there but for a few months now I have managed to keep those nasty boil-like break outs at bay and I am pretty sure that it has been down to cutting out silicones from my moisturisers.  I’m not saying that this will work for everyone but I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences on this in case it helps a few people.

So I discovered this theory quite by accident.  I needed a new moisturiser so off I went to SpaceNK with a mission and was introduced by the sales assistant to a new product range that had just launched in their stores at the time.  A dermatologist brand called Goldfadden MD which claims to be free from “nasties” which means no silicones, alchohol, parabens, mineral oils, etc.  It sounded great!  I selected the Vital Boost Moisturiser and after a couple of months of using it realised that my skin was generally less greasy and that I had not had a major breakout for the months which I had been using it.  I thought about the rest of my skincare routine and whether anything else had changed…nope…it hadn’t…only thing was the moisturiser.  Since this realisation I have gone on to try other silicone free moisturisers with the same effect…my skin reacts well!  I have to admit that finding silicone free moisturisers are a bit of a pain seeing that the ingredient is a staple for most moisturisers but for me the results are totally worth the time trying to find them.

I’m not saying that silicones are a product to avoid as I believe that it is not generally considered a “bad” ingredient in skincare so if your usual moisturiser works for you and its not silicone free, then by all means carry on using it.  However, if your skin is on the oily side (like mine) and you suffer from time to time from big break outs that don’t seem to be down to anything else (e.g. diet) and your skin is not particularly acne prone or sensitive otherwise, then I would urge you to try cutting out silicones from your moisturisers and see what happens.  I can honestly say that my skin has felt so much better and overall less oily when using a silicone free moisturiser.

Since, like I mentioned that silicone free moisturisers are a slight mission to find, here is a rundown of my tried and tested silicone free moisturisers:

1.  Goldfadden MD – Vital Boost Moisturiser;

2. Estelle & Thild – Rose Otto Face Cream;

3.  Estelle & Thild – Rose Otto Night Cream;

4.  Omorovicza – Rejuvenating Night Cream;

5.  Omorovicza – Balancing Moisturiser;

6.  Omorovicza – Illuminating Moituriser.

I also hear that the Nude Skincare range does good silicone free moisturisers – I will be trying some soon!

Have you had any skincare revelations or have similar experiences with silicone free moisturisers?  I’d love to hear about it!


Zelens Daily Defence Suncreen

As the weather during my trip to the Big Apple is apparently going to be sunny and warm, I thought I would go on the hunt for a new sunscreen.  In the warmer months I don’t like to rely on the SPF in my moisturiser or makeup…I don’t know why…I guess I’m just not sure if they’re “enough”!

With skin which is prone to oiliness and spots if I use the wrong product, sunscreens are a difficult one for me.  I’ve nailed down the ingredients/products that work well for my skin type so I’m always weary of “undoing” the good work of my serums and moisturisers by lathering on a sunscreen which makes me greasy and spotty!  I’ve previously used suncreens from Bioderma and Skinceuticals both of which have been good for oily skin types but the problem I have with them is that they tend to leave a bit of a white cast on the face and then suddenly my foundation isn’t a good match!  So back on the hunt I go for the “holy grail” suncreen and I came across a new release from Zelens in SpaceNK one day.  I’ve been wearing it for a few days now and it is truly is a lovely sunscreen.  Makeup sits well over it and it has a really pleasant smell to it which is not overpowering.  However, there are two qualities to this product that makes it stand out over the rest…it does NOT leave a white cast on the skin (it sinks in and feels lovely) and my face is not an oil slick by the end of the day.  Amazing!

I would totally recommend this sunscreen.  At £55 it is no doubt very expensive but I think the qualities of the product and its added skincare benefits justifies the price for me.

If you have tried this suncreen, I would love to hear your views!

Sepai Cleanse and Tone Try Me Kit

Sepai-Clense-and-Tone-Try-Me-Kit Sepai-Try-Me-Kit

The Selfridges Beauty Workshop is a dangerous place!  For a skincare junkie like me, hours could pass by and I wouldn’t even realise.  I like that they have some quirky less mainstream brands and I think it competes very well with the likes of SpaceNK.

A good alcohol free toner has been on the “mission” list for a while now and not very many products have made the cut but a toner from the Sepai skincare range caught my eye.  It feels lovely on the skin and has a very light, pleasant scent.  Now, the drawback is that the product is £60…yes, £60!  I’m not adverse to spending serious money on skincare that works but £60 for a toner?!  Even I had to think twice about that!  However, you can buy this try-me kit for £38 which is slightly easier to stomach.

I’m intrigued by this brand as it is apparently packed with peptides and has no parabens or silicones.  You can apparently customise the moisturisers by injecting them with these mini injection like products to suit your skin.  All very high tech (and I like a bit of high tech in my skincare!).

Anyway…I’ve used the toner for a couple of weeks now and I like it.  Is it a repurchase?  I’m not sure…the £60 price tag is hefty and I’m sceptical about whether I can see any added benefit.  I would definitely like to try the other products in the range though.  Might need another excuse to head back to the Selfridges Beauty Workshop…as if I need an excuse! 🙂

If anyone has any good recommendations for alcohol free toners I would love to hear about them!

Review: Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet Foundation



Well…what can I say about this foundation?!  It is only one of the best foundations I have tried for my skin type and I have tried A LOT of foundations in the past!

My skin type is combination to oily although a good skincare regime has controlled a lot of the oiliness lately.  Although having said that, some foundations do still tend to leave me looking very shiny (and not in a kind of dewy good way) by the end of the day.

For me, foundations need to tick a few boxes…they need to:

1.  last all day (I only ever really apply foundation once in the morning and that’s it even if I am going out after work);

2.  not break me out and keep my skin relatively matte without looking cakey or heavy.

I had heard quite a lot about this foundation by the time it hit the shelves last month and wanted to get my hands on it and it’s the first foundation launch for a while which has caught my eye.  The lady at the counter assured me that it was a “15-hour wear” foundation with a totally matte finish.  I was slightly sceptical but gave it a go anyway.

After having used this for two weeks now this has become my go-to favourite foundation.  The lady was not wrong about the lasting power…if I apply it at 7.30am, it’s still there at 6pm.  It doesn’t slide off, it stays relatively matte by the end of the day AND it covers my pores without looking heavy.  So far, I haven’t broken out from it either.  I am also impressed it has SPF.  I am a total fan!

Word of warning in that it is a scented foundation though so maybe not one for people who are sensitive to fragrances.

This is a beautiful foundation overall with a lovely finish.  Foundations have to work hard for me and this one is definitely worth the price tag and the hype!

Evening Skincare Routine

So here it is…my first blog post!

I love hearing about people’s skincare routines so thought that this might be a good topic for my inaugural post!  So what have I been loving lately and what’s made the cut as holy grail?!

I am an avid fan of Caroline Hirons‘ blog (those of you who have yet to encounter her blog…I advise you to head straight there!) and took on board her advice in relation to having a good skincare routine about a year ago.  I have oily/combination skin, prone to breakouts at certain times and HUGE pores.  Since locking down a skincare routine, I have hauled my skin from oily/combination to…dare I say it…normal!  I am now a total convert to a good skincare regime!

So here are the products that I have been enjoying using:

1.  I start off with the Emma Hardie Moringa Amazing Face Cleansing Balm.  This stuff is amazing!  It is an oil based cleanser that removes make up like no other.  I have used a variety of cleansing balms in the past but always come back to this one.  I use a face cloth to take the balm off…I love this step!

2.  After using the Emma Hardie, I head in for a second cleanse.  Yes, this is the step that apparently cleanses the skin (not just takes the makeup off).  I have a number of “second step cleaners” (yes, seems excessive…but a girl’s gotta have cleansers!).  I am loving the Zelens Luminous Facial Cleanser at the moment.  It’s a beautiful product, has a mild pleasant scent and somehow manages to get those pores really clean so that they appear smaller.

3.  After cleansing, I apply a serum.  I’m currently flitting between two… the new Nude Serum and a Kate Sommerville Total Vitamin Anti-Oxidant Serum (good if you suffer from pigmentation after getting spots).  Both have hyaluronic acid as an ingredient (a wonder product for infusing the skin with moisture).

4.  Eye cream is the next step and I am currently testing the Liz Earle Superskin Lip and Eye Treatment.  I have been pleasantly surprised by this product.  It doesn’t contain any silicones which I have tried to keep away from with eye creams as it tends to make my eyes puffy.  I am pleasantly surprised by this product…I think it will be a re-purchase!

5.  If my skin is feeling particularly dry, I will use an oil.  I find that oils really help to balance my oily skin…it’s a strange thought but it works and I highly recommend it.  My current favourite oils are the Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil (a beautiful product without a strong scent like some other oils on the market) and the Zelens Z-22 Absolute Face Oil (another wonder product that feels amazingly light for what it is).

6.  Then comes moisturiser. I have tried countless different moisturisers in the past but I am currently using the expensive but really amazing Omrovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream at the moment.  It is silicone free; something that I look for in my moisturisers and skincare in general nowadays as I have figured out that silicone breaks me out and makes me quite oily.  The product leaves my skin really plump by the morning and I am never greasy.

So…phew…quite an epic skincare routine…but it has really helped to keep my skin in check recently and has totally confirmed to me that a good skincare routine can do wonders for your skin!

I would love to hear about your skincare routines or about other product recommendations…so please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!  Also, let me know if there are any products that I mentioned that you would like me to produce a more in depth review on!