Pinching My Bloke’s Skincare

These are the best skincare products for men, which also work just as well on women too. Sometimes you only have a small amount of storage space in your bathroom or if you live separately, you can’t be bothered to lug a wash bag around every time you stay over, so why not share your basic skincare! I also think that certain scents can be very androgynous and so are sexy on everyone!

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Faith in Nature, Blue Cedar, Handmade Soap £1.99

BUAV approved; certified vegan; organic and SLS free, this soap is as kind as it gets. It’s also kind to every skin type and can be used for face and body, as it contains moisturising vitamin E and soothing green tea. The cedar scent is also super sexy!

Bull Dog Original Moisturiser £6.00

I cannot tell you how many moisturisers I’ve tried that either give my skin a ‘velvety’ texture (read ‘sucks all of the radiance out of it’) or they have a strong flowery scent or are cheap but too harsh for my complexion or are effective but way too expensive! This moisturiser, made with aloe vera, camelina oil and green tea is so calming and moisturising, without feeling too heavy. It also works well under many types of foundation – perfect! Oh yeah, my bloke loves it too, ha!

AA Skincare, Grapefruit & Cedarwood Deodorant £4.95

Another Cedarwood scent but much zingier due to grapefruit essential oil and Aloe Vera. I’m showing my age here but the scent reminds me of Impulse O2 body spray from the late 90’s – which the boys used to borrow of us. This isn’t an antiperspirant so no good for heavy exercise (as if!?) but a wonderful fresh and effective deodorant. It doesn’t contain any aluminium salts which can clog pores and is perfume and alcohol free so non-drying, equalling happy pits – I mean ‘under arms.’

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My bloke has just read this and actually snorted with laughter at the term ‘under arms’. “Do we have ‘under elbow’ and ‘under knee’ too or is that ‘side elbow and ‘side knee’? No wait, that sounds like our body parts are being bitchy, like ‘side eye'” I can’t imagine what else he’d come out with if he read my copy of Cosmopolitan.

Chrissie

 

 

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

What is it?

Don’t let the very specific tittle put you off, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£35 200ml) gives your skin a helping hand with cell turnover and hydration to reveal smoother, more radiant skin.

How does it work?

It uses gentle Salicylic acid (BHA), Lactic and Glycolic acids (AHA’s) to dissolve dead skin cells. AHAs are water soluble and do not penetrate very deep into the skin of the person, while BHAs are oil soluble and often do penetrate much deeper into the skin, even past the oil barrier of the face. AHAs are good for eliminating dead skin cells on the surface that are caused by sun damage. The oil solubility of BHAs make it better suited for clearing up clogged pores deep in the skin, so that they can be removed.

Jojoba beads are also used to exfoliate and to boost hydration.

My skin type

I have high maintenance and very indecisive skin. Flakey, dry and oily. I seem to have a very quick cell turnover but the cells just build up (because they stick to the natural oils) instead of shedding to reveal the new skin underneath. Basically, I’d make a terrible snake. I also have a collagen disorder thanks to Hypermobilty Syndrome which means I have less collagen in some places but more in others, thanks to acne scarring in my teens and 20’s. As a result, my cheeks have ended up with a very dimpled, orange peel effect going on. Gimme the Pollyfiller, now!

Verdict

This is one of the most effective cleansers I’ve ever used. The beads are natural so no damage to the environment and are incredibly fine so a little bit really does make a big difference. I’ve been using this three times a week as my skin really needs it. I wouldn’t say I have very sensitive skin but it can go red easily when massaged too much using harsh cleansers and soap. Even though this contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate it is still very gentle and does not irritate my skin or strip it’s natural oil barrier.

My skin feels incredibly soft and looks surprisingly smoother and more radiant. It also means that my serum and moisturiser can actually sink into my pores now and foundation just glides on without looking dry or dull. I’m actually not bothering with my medium-full coverage foundation as much, even on nights out.

Honestly, after four weeks of using this, I looked in the mirror and did a little happy dance!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Soap and Glory – The Perfect Ten Limited Edition Shadow Palette

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The amount of random, individual eyeshadows I have is ridiculous so I thought I’d get a general more coherent palette. When I looked at this online I liked the mixture of matte and shimmer shades.

palette

Something I dislike about this palette is that Soap & Glory have included a light matte shade, a warmer matte shade and a black matte shade but they’ve left out the medium and/or darker matte shade. So what do I use to create a cut crease and/or add depth then, black?!

Another thing I disliked about this palette is the fall out of the powder, even after I’d tapped the brush. The eyeshadow ended up on my cheeks, on my clothes and on my eyebrows.

Something I actually hate about this palette is the lack of depth in the pigment of each shadow. You know when you use mineral makeup and it becomes almost translucent when you use the flash to take a photo? Well, that’s what these are like normally, without any flash! I wanted to do swatches on my arm but the colours simply didn’t show up – not just on camera but in real life! Through trial and error I learned that wetting the brush really made a difference to the depth of colour but then I couldn’t blend it at all. I ended up just doing a big sweep of one colour on my eyelids, otherwise it looked clumsy and stripy.

I do actually like the packaging as it’s really functional and light-weight. So it seems I have a palette which will give me good pale matte eyeshadows to use under my other shadows to intensify the colour and a few subtle shimmery ones. Does it earn it’s place in my already over crowded makeup bag though – nah!

I would recommend this palette if you have a very light skin tone and want to add some warmth as it might actually show up on you.

Rating Shame I can’t physically give this half a heart

Zoya Nail Polish in Raven


This has the best consistency of any black nail polish I’ve ever used. Two were too thick and goopy and one was so thin it required three coats and then chipped the same day. This requires two coats and glides on perfectly. The brush is a descent width and the bottle is easy hold.

The colour is a very flattering shade of black. Not gloss paint black but more of a printing ink shade of black, with a subtle sheen. It also lasts around three – four days without chipping if used with a good top coat.

Zoya nail polish is free from: Camphor, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate).

Available from their own US site or Holland & Barrett for people in the UK

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box review – February

The Vegan Kind Beauty Box review - February

The first box I reviewed (here) was a backdated one from summer but this is the official The Vegan Kind – February beauty box (£15 + 3.15p&p), which is why I’ve gotten lip scrubs in two consecutive boxes, by chance I suppose.

Tea Face Healing Hydration Scrub (RRP £17.99)

Apart from me wanting to call this ‘Tea-y Mc Tea Face’ I actually think this product is worth a post of it’s own because I need to show it to you properly. It’s a face or body scrub made up of green tea granules and essential oils which hydrates and evens skin tone and texture. Very effective!

Discount Code: YTVEGANK10 for 10% off from 1st Feb – 31st March http://www.yourtea.com

Noughty Intensive Care Leave-In Conditioner 150ml (£6.99)

This newly launched haircare range is vegan and 97% natural, free from petrochemicals, silicones, parabens and sulphates. The last time I used an intensive conditioner all over my hair I had to wash my roots again the next day! Not so with this leave-in conditioner as the shea butter and argan oil moisturised all of my hair evenly and balanced it perfectly. Naturally, I still had to oil my coarse hair afterward but only nearer toward the ends as the rest simply didn’t need it – hurrah!

Discount Code: NOUTVK25 for 25% off from 1st Feb – 31st March http://www.naughtyhaircare.co.uk

Grounded Edible Mango Lip Scrub (£4.95)

When something has edible in the tittle, you know that it’s totally natural. This is the perfect flavour for a lip scrub as it’s tropical rather than sickly sweet. It also has the perfect amount of Jojoba oil to moisturise but not too much that the sugar granules slide around ineffectively like other lip scrubs I’ve tried. This actually worked perfectly!

Spectrum Collections Unicorn Tears Wonder Sponge (RRP £4.99)

The sponge is latex free which I appreciate and I like the idea that it comes in a zip lock pouch but the plastic of the pouch has that chemical kind of smell that cheap inflatables have, which rather spoils it. Still, a great tool to apply your perfecting/matifying moisturiser, foundation and shimmer or highlighter and also easily washable of course. I’m sticking to brushes when to comes to applying powder though.

Discount Code: VEGAN15 for 15% off http://www.spectrumcollections.com

PHB Ethical Beauty 100% Organic Apricot Lip Gloss (RRP £12.95)

I’d say around 80% of the lipgloss I’ve tried have immediately given me a mild sore throat. This does not and it doesn’t smell or taste of sweets and my hair and my Bloke don’t get accidentally glued to it and it actively moisturises lips (even mine) with Shea Butter and Jojoba oil. It’s more like a slightly frosted lip balm with a doe foot applicator. Again, another perfect product!

This is the best beauty box out there in my opinion because it’s great value for money, the products are natural and luxurious and the brands are all cruelty free.

Chrissie

e.l.f. Satin Lipstick, Cream Eyeshadow, Baked Eyeshadow & Eye Cream review

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e.l.f. Studio Satin Lipstick £6.00

Not the most moisturising lipstick I’ve ever used but it does glide on smoothly, doesn’t dehydrate lips and lasts an average amount of time. ‘Touch of Pink’ is a warm dusky pink shade which would flatter most people and is true to the sample shade on the UK website. Average-good value for money which e.l.f always is.

e.l.f. Studio Smudge Pot Cream Eyeshadow £4.50

This is the kind of eyeshadow that is easy to apply with your fingers but it’s also the kind which will end up in a line in the crease of your eye, unless you use primer first and even a tiny dusting of powder afterward. ‘Ain’t That Sweet’ appears paler in reality than on the website but used on the eyelids it’s the perfect shade for green or blue eyes or used sparingly at the highest part of the brow bone.

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e.l.f. Studio Baked Eyeshadow £4.50

I needed a rich medium-dark brown eyeshadow for my cut crease to add depth to my very hooded eyes and ‘Bark’ is the perfect colour. However, the sample square on the UK website makes it look like a matte grey-ish brown so do go off the full picture instead. A lot of people use matte shadow for this but I’ve found shadows which are slightly metallic help to open up my eyes more and makes them appear less ‘frowny’. Studio baked Eyeshadow is easy to blend when dry but the colour has more of an impact when applied with a damp brush.

e.l.f. Illuminating Eye Cream (normally) £12.50 for 14g

This free sample was included with my order. I actually prefer the cooling effects of eye gel which I normally keep in the fridge. I suffer from terrible under eye bags rather than dark circles and found that the Illuminating Eye Cream didn’t make much of a difference aesthetically but it did make my eyes feel much fresher and more awake.

Chrissie

Dr Organic Mini Haul

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Pomegranate Deodorant

Organic, Aluminium free, SLS free, Paraben free, Alcohol free.

I like this deodorant a lot as it feels wet on contact but dries quickly and is easy to apply. It has a pleasant and mild natural scent.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Whitening Aloe Vera Toothpaste

Organic, vegan, free from: parabens, SLS, synthetic colours, Phthalates, petroleum, glycols silicones.

I was impressed with how much brighter my teeth looked after just one use of this toothpaste. Now because it doesn’t have any kind of bleaching agent it hasn’t made my teeth whiter than their natural colour but (after a week) it has taken them back to the pale cream colour they were when I was a kid. Pretty impressive!

Rating  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Manukau Honey Shampoo

SLS and Paraben free.

Ive had the exact same problem with this shampoo as I had with the Dr Organic Cocount shampoo – it just does not spread! I wish I had tried one first, rather than buying the two together. I diluted it in a cup of warm water and it still wouldn’t spread through my thick waves and ended up making the ends like tangled straw instead. Useless!

Rating [no hearts]

Chrissie

‘v–v’

Barry M Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint

First off, shouldn’t this be called SunRISE Daylight Curing Nail Paint? Anyway….

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First I applied Iron Man because my nails have always been very weak and they dry out quickly when I apply nail polish directly to them. Then I applied Sunset Daylight Curing Nail Paint in All The Things She Red, which is a tropical orangey-red. I finished (as Barry M instructs) with Sunset Daylight Curing Top Coat. The top coat dried really quickly in direct sunlight to a firm, incredibly shiny finish. After using all three, my nails felt stronger and less flexible.

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My DIY mani survived me washing my hands a few times and doing some light house work on Sunday but unfortunately by Monday pm the paint on one of my fingers chipped badly. The rest hung on though until Tuesday pm before chips at the ends of my nails started appearing and I had to remove it all.

This really didn’t last as long as hoped it would and I would in no way compare this to a real gel manicure, however it is the best nail polish I’ve used to date, regarding shine and staying power and for the amazingly affordable price, I’m going to be buying a lot more colours.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie