Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30

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Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (£60 50ml) combines, vitamin C for radiance and firmness, antioxidants to shield skin from environmental damage and  sun protection against UVA and UVB rays.

If you are anything like me, you might have cringed, just reading £60 never mind spending it. Here’s why I did a) My skin needs all of the technical and biological help it can get b) I ALWAYS forget to wear suncream on my face c) When I do remember to apply some generic one that’s around the house, my makeup slides off within the hour d) As I’ve hit my mid-thirties my skin has become a lot dryer to the point where it makes the best foundation look like cement on application.

Pro’s

  • Non greasy
  • Doesn’t have an obvious suncream scent
  • Makes skin look naturally radiant, even under medium-thick coverage foundation
  • Keeps skin moisturised all day
  • A little goes a long way

Con’s

  • If I’m going to pay £60 I either want more product or a fabulous looking jar
  • Too heavy for oily or combination skin
  • Not an all-in-one product. You’ll need to use a separate primer after this if you want your makeup to last in a hot club/at the gym etc.

Note:

For the golden skinned or the old-school tan lovers out there, please don’t be put off by SPF 30. If you are out in the sun for hours your skin will noticeably thank you for protecting it (especially as you age) and SPF does not mean total sun block so you will still tan, even on days with light cloud.

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

Monthly Roundup – Feb & March

FEB

I’m going to start off with ‘Our Day’ as we call it because it’s around Valentine’s Day but it doesn’t HAVE to be on that exact date. We went to our favourite Asian vegetarian restaurant for traditional dishes, contemporary dishes and as many of the amazing mock meats we could fit!

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For Autumn and Winer and lets face it, most of spring in the UK I’ve taken to wearing JJH – Jumper, jeans and heels. For warmer days I pick a light knit with a wide neck, looser boot cut jeans and strappy heels. For colder days a chunky oversize knit, skinny jeans and high heeled ankle boots.

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After a busy afternoon or a night out at a gig, I’d be pretty useless the next day. I was being defeated by simple things like opening bottles, getting dressed and combing my hair, and also saying sentences which went around in circles without any point because I was really brain fogged as well as fatigued and utterly uncoordinated. So I sat down and kind of forced myself to think of 10 Reasons Why I Love My Wonky Body. The post got so many positive responses, from gentle encouragement to people saying they totally empathised and I’d made them feel better.

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I have to confess, in the 80’s I loved bumbags or fannypacks (for peeps in the US). Now the trend has been recycled into the more fashion friendly ‘belt bags’. So here are 12 Belt Bags for Spring.

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I also blogged 10 No Nonsense Life Lessons as it’s taken me a while to figure some of them out and I wished I’d have know all of them in teens and twenties.

Me and the Bloke celebrated Shrove…Pancake Day this year and made some rather substantial pancakes by adding too much flower – oops! We have them in the traditional neutral/savoury way, with lots of sugar and lemon.

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I always get flabby over winter from over eating and hibernating but I figured while the weather is cool I should get my butt moving now, before the weather gets too hot in Spring/Summer. I’m pretty pleased with the result, although those shiny nylon type of leggings act like cellophane (saran wrap) and do a lot of the work aesthetically!

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MARCH

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What a top night! The supporting band was Afro Cluster (reminds me of a retro hair product) who’s sound I’d describe as funky jazz hip-hop with a fantastic MC. Charles obviously knows his Northern Soul, trad soul and funk as he’s been doing this for over a decade now but I loved that he threw in three of Stevie Wonders funkiest tunes. Band On The Wall were lovely when it came to reserving me a banquette (as part of their disability accommodations) so I didn’t have any anxiety over standing in pain or passing out with heat fatigue.

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It snowed!!! Yes, as you can tell, I love snow. This is my view from the living room window. Rather Narnia-esque isn’t it? ^_^

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I’ve finally found a dairy-free chocolate and nut spread which tastes like Nutella, better actually! Here’s my review of Meridian Cocoa & Hazelnut Butter.

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Now the weather is getting milder (utterly indecisive) for Spring, I’m moving toward my trusty 90’s grunge look as the layering is so practical, plus, it’s more socially acceptable than going out in PJ’s.

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Eeeh, pie! For too long it has been a case of No woman, No pie, so for British Pie Week we accepted an invite to Pieminister on Church Street – which is quickly becoming my fave city centre street. I chose Wild Shroom pie; mushroom and asparagus in a creamy white wine sauce and the Bloke chose Saag Pie-neer; pea, paneer cheese, potato, chilli and mango, both with mash spud and gravy, of course (£7 for one).

The pies were amazing, pastry not too flakey, not too stodgy, with perfectly balanced flavours. I loved the mash but the Bloke thought it a little over-worked. He liked the gravy and I thought it would go perfectly with any pie on the menu but, for me, it didn’t taste savoury enough. Pieminister also offer three gluten free options but it depends were you go for your pie (pub, cafe, restaurant) as they aren’t available everywhere.

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It would seem that I’m going grey early, or rather, gold. My nearly black hair has been getting lighter and lighter, as have my pale green eyes, which are now a golden-amber shade. So does that mean I’m going to be a golden oldie? Haha! Sorry.

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I was sent this Hempz body moisturiser which has the scent of banana, which is just heavenly! It contains pure hemp seed oil, an absolute saviour for dehydrated, under nourished skin. It also contain Shea butter and ginseng to sooth skin (I used it after shaving my legs and it didn’t irritate them) and vitamins A, E and C to protect against environmental damage.

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We are growing a chilli plant, well it was three chilli plants but we killed the other two somehow. I was going to give it a name but the Bloke advised me not to get too attached, going off the overall survival rate.

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These Violife dairy free (and vegan) cheese slices taste like Kraft Cheese Slices but better. I’ve been melting them onto nachos in the microwave for 40 seconds for very melted on with salt and pepper or 20 seconds which is like that sweet, gooey, cinema cheese.

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I decided to check out Peacocks, a brand I used to love in my 20’s. They’ve gotten even better. I bought, beautiful lingerie, an initial cup, an initial makeup bag, a rose gold (and very sturdy) charging lead, and the most blinging hand-warmers and beanie I’ve ever seen. Everything I bought is well made, well fitting, reasonable priced, not to mention, very pretty!

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For anyone who is too old or just too damn cool for an easter egg, I did a little post of Dairy-free Chocoalte Treats for Easter.

Chrissie

Lush (Halloween) Monsters’ Ball Bath Bomb

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Lush have 16 halloween related products including bath bombs, bubble bars, a black lip tint, a shimmer bar (for party skin) and soap. I chose this Monsters Ball (£4.50) bath bomb because my legs love the Himalayan rock salt as it helps with water retention and wrestless legs syndrome at night. Plus he’s a cute little monster.

The combination of lime and neroli oil combined to create an unexpected scent, reminiscent of zingy strawberry sweets which lasted all through my bath. It fizzed for a long time and turned the water pink, then blue and then all purple. I broke him (it!) up into two as there was more than enough for one bath. Relaxing, uplifting and made my skin surprisingly soft.

Rating 4/5 (I’m saving the extra point for when I get the beautiful golden Bubble Bar)

Chrissie

 

 

Figs & Rouge Hydra – Activ Hero Cream – Limited Edition ‘Aphelia’ Design

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With the change of season I’ve been wearing trousers and haven’t been paying much – alright, any – attention to my legs. Today I de-fuzzed them and they looked so dry lacklustre. I exfoliated them with those unmerciful nylon gloves and some shower gel and then applied a dollop of cream to each leg while my skin was still damp.

Texture

I used to love really rich oily body creams like shea butter and cocoa butter but I’ve started to hate that clingy celophane-wrapped feel they give my legs. Hydra – Activ Hero Cream (£18 80ml) feels indulgent but sinks in well and leaves your skin feeling moisturised but not tacky.

Active Ingredients

Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin complex A, C & E. Sesame Seed & Avocado Oils, Aloe, Cucumber & Carrot Seed & Cucumber Fruit Extract.

Result

My skin stayed hydrated for much longer than normal thanks to the inclusion of Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring acid in the skin which draws in moisture from the air. Skin tends to produce less of this as we age. Clearly my legs have never bothered producing much of this at all! They tend to look very dull, even though I have a naturally golden skintone but after using this my skin appeared more radiant and looked healthier.

Packaging

I love the metal tin as it’s recyclable, easy to open and you can scoop every last bit of cream out of the tin. There are two different design collections to choose from Mythic and Empire, with five designs in each collection. The tins are the perfect size to upcycle into storage pots and they also turn the cream into a lovely luxurious gift for someone.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

 

 

 

Murad Intensive-C Radience Peel

Peel? Sounds scary! Actually no, the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel (£55) is a very gentle process which doesn’t even cause redness.

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The Claim

‘Instantly brightens skin and reduces hyperpigmentation… Actively smoothes and perfects skin to enhance luminosity’

The Science Bit

‘Glycolic Acid exfoliates to accelerate turnover of dark damaged cells, removing dullness and improving skin texture to make skin glow.’

‘Vitamin C and Indian Fig protect against free radical damage while enhancing skin clarity and luminosity for an illuminated complexion!’

‘Myrtle Extract supports collagen production to boost youthful resilience and elasticity.’

To Use

Gently massage onto your clean face and neck, leave on up to 10 minutes (you might feel a slight warming sensation) and then rinse off with a warm wash cloth.

Does it work?

Absolutely! It’s such a shame that it’s so difficult to show smoothness of skin in a photograph because this really made a difference.

The pores on my nose looked smaller and my skin felt incredibly smooth, in fact it looked really healthy. My skin didn’t feel tight or dry and my daily moisturiser was absorbed really quickly, rather than it just sitting on the surface.

A few days after exfoliating there is usually a small blemish or dull flakeyness (my skin renews its self quickly so I get a build up of skin cells which dull my complexion and blocke pores) but my skin looked great for four days! My cheeks didn’t look instantly smoother but a BB balm was sufficient coverage – even when I went out for drinks that evening.  I’m going to keep on using this every four – five days as it’s gentle enough.

Expense This is at the very top of my skin care budget but considering the cream is very thick and I only had to use a small amount to get a big effect, I know this will last me a long time. Plus, if I only use this on problem areas it will last even longer!

Rating 5/5 (I need a 6!)

Have you considered using any kind of facial peel before?

Chrissie

Summer Skincare Tested (miniatures)

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Amie, New Leaf Deep Pore Exfoliating Polish (full size 100ml) £5.95

The scent of this exfoliator which includes mango and orange blossom extracts is beautiful. I wish it were available in a perfume! This gently but thoroughly exfoliated my skin and left it super soft and glowing. Amie products contain no mineral oils, no sodium laureth sulphate or sodium lauryl sulphate and no animal derived ingredients.

Alva, Handcream (full size 75ml) £8.50

With organic avocado oil, antibacterial tea tree and anti-fungal calendula this is the perfect handcream for hardworking hands. It also sinks in quickly without being tacky, which is really important to me.

Sanctuary Spar, Radiance Exfoliator (full size 100ml) £10.00

Tiny apricot granules & grape seed are the exfoliators in this product which also includes pumpkin, pineapple & papaya extracts to ‘increase cell renewal’. This is another gentle exfoliator which I’ve used three times a week for smooth, clear, brighter skin.

This Works, In Transit Camera Close Up (full size 40ml) £30

This product has been formulated as an three-in-one mask, primer and moisturiser. I found it be too heavy and rich to use as a mask and it was useless as a primer for makeup, which slid off as soon as I got too hot. I do love it as a general moisturiser though. It evened out the texture of my skin slightly and calmed some redness and my combination skin stayed balanced until early evening.

Which cruelty free brands have you recently come across?

Chrissie

 

 

Faith In Nature Coconut Body Lotion Review

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I’ve tried Faith In Nature shampoos and not been remotely impressed; I’ve tried their shower gel and been rather apathetic toward it, but this Coconut Body Lotion is absolutely heavenly!

Made with organic coconut oil it’s amazing fragrance is all natural. I even had an attractive bearded shop assistant comment on how ‘lovely and tropical’ I smelled. Bonus!

This product is perfect for either humid weather or when you’ve run out of face moisturiser and need to hydrate skin fast without it feeling tacky or greasy.

Alergy warning contains wheat straw sugar.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

 

Arbonne, Calm Range Review

I’ve only recently discovered Arbonne, traditionally a skincare company developed in Switzerland in 1975 and I’m impressed with the purity of their products and the ethically sourced botanicals they contain. Their products – now ranging from skincare and makeup to nutrition – are vegetarian, free from animal products or by-products, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, benzene, formaldehyde donating preservatives, mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sodium laureth sulfates (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), synthetic dyes and talc and gluten.

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I have mild heyfever so my skin gets irritated easily in spring and summer, so I need lighter, gentler products making the Calm range perfect for me.

Soothing Facial Serum

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

It’s been so humid lately I’ve not needed to use any moisturiser (my skin sucks up the moisture out of the air so well) but my skin did need soothing and balancing, which is exactly what this serum achieved and without any oil slicks around my T-zone in the evening. I’m going to carry on using my usual serum for Autumn and Winter as it contains vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid and retinol (which I know some people can be sensitive to so it’s understandable this wouldn’t be a suitable ingredient for the Arbonne Calm range).

Gentle Daily Cleanser

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris), rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I think I’ve worn makeup twice this whole summer but when I did, it was a full face. This gentle cleanser removed all of my makeup (although I wasn’t wearing water proof mascara) and left my skin feeling clean, refreshed and nourished.

Soothing Eye Gel

• Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) soothes and moisturises
• Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) helps soothe skin
• Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) softens and soothes skin
• Mallow (Malva sylvestris) rich in vitamins, softens and soothes
• Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) contains antioxidant properties
• Sea mayweed (Matricaria maritima) calms skin
• Japanese green tea (Camellia oleifera) helps soothe skin

I have to confess that I’ve been upping my salt and water intake to help me cool down in the heat and my gosh has it made a difference to my giant puffy eye bags! After using this gel (which I keep in the fridge and apply by gentle taping with my ring finger) my bags weren’t visible AT ALL. Can’t get any better than that!

Gentle Daily Moisturiser

After some gentle exfoliating with a fruit peel my face needed some moisturiser but I was dreading the feel of it on my skin and wondering if it would be too heavy. My skin absorbed this moisturiser immediately and any redness from exfoliating had subsided within five minutes. I also used some on my hands which were rather dry as it was to hand (please excuse the pun) and it worked really well. I would recommend this as a basic moisturiser to everyone, no matter what their skin type.

Overall Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie

 

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Weleda, Calendula Shampoo and Bodywash

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My frizzy hair does not react well to any kind of chemicals. I dye it though which means my haircare has to be really gentle and natural in comparison, which this Weleda Shampoo and Bodywash is.

  • No synthetic preservatives
  • No fragrances
  • No colourants
  • No mineral oils

It’s active ingredients are Almond Oil and organic Calendula, which made my hair soft, clean and manageable. I really like how creamy it is because it’s easier to massage into my hair without using too much product or having to dilute it. It’s so creamy I actually re-read the bottle, wondering if I had bought conditioner by mistake!

I must add that after using this there was no noticeable fade to my turquoise streaks which made me very happy.

Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Chrissie