It's that time again. You know the drill...
REN Clearcalm Clay Cleanser - I ran out of my beloved Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish at the beginning of the month and was planning on buying another or maybe even going for the Emma Hardie cleansing balm (still desperate to try that!) but I was in Whole Foods in Giffnock randomly and spotted this. FYI, any of you Glasgow ladies into organic/natural skincare or makeup should DEFINITELY get down to Whole Foods, they have a decent-sized department in store with brands like REN, Dr. Hauschka and Lavera among others, plus the staff are SUPER helpful and friendly. Aaaaaanyway I'd heard Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup raving about this on Youtube and decided to give it a go.
Although it says it's a clay cleanser, it doesn't dry hard on the skin like a mask but it is kinda thick and gloopy and smells a little weird. It basically works in much the same way as the Liz Earle except I remove most of my makeup with a micellar water first, just cos I'm totes anal about that. I usually leave it on for a few minutes but it doesn't sting, or tingle and I just remove with a muslin cloth as usual. And I LIKE IT. It makes my skin soft, clean and comfortable, with the added benefit of a slight sooking-out-of-oil property that's missing from the Liz Earle. Having said that I'm not convinced it's better than C&P just yet, it's just working as a nice alternative and I haven't had any weird side effects.
REN Hydra Calm Global Protection Day Cream - I've actually had this moisturiser rolling around the bottom of my massive toiletry bag for months but I've been enjoying a kushty love-in with my Lancome Hydra Zen and I'd sorely neglected it. I'm running out of the Hydra Zen now, SOB, and before I pick up a new one I figured I may as well try this out in conjunction with the REN cleanser and see what happened.
Like the rest of the REN range, it doesn't contain any parabens or preservatives or any other nasties, and relies on natural oils and minerals to provide moisture that's suitable for sensitive skin. I found this works best on me as a night cream rather than a day cream as it does tend to linger on the skin in a kind of shiny, dewy way that makes applying makeup a bit tricky. But as a night cream I really like it. It's light enough that it doesn't break me out, it smells gorgeous, and although it's not as smoothing as the Hyrda Zen, the reason is probably because it doesn't contain sillicones which reassures me that it must be GOOD for my skin. It might be a kind of placebo effect type deal going on, but I think my skin tends to thank me when I use more natural products as opposed to loads of harsh chemicals. We'll see. Not giving up HZ as a day cream though. NEVER!
Dermalogica Clearing Mattifier - I've definitely mentioned this before, if not a few times, but it's an absolute holy grail item for me! At over £30 it's not cheap but, as with all skincare, you get what you pay for. Recently, although we've hardly seen the sun in Glasgow (today seems to be a rare exception, hurrah!), it has been pretty MUGGY and close - basically sweaty beaty weather. This is the best primer I've ever used for helping to minimise oil and help foundation last in humid weather. Seriously, it's AMAZING!
It's sillicone based but it also contains zinc gluconate, caffeine and 2% salicylic acid (the highest concentration you can get without a prescription) to help clear breakouts and minimise pores. It's been something of a lifesaver this month and it's one of those products, just like Advanced Night Repair, that I can really see working. If you're in the market for a new primer and you have oily/combo skin, check it out for sure.
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - Again, something of a re-discovery. Previously I had only ever used this as a lip balm - of which it is the best in the world by the way - but this month I discovered another use.
A few weeks ago I noticed a couple of weird, red dry patches of skin on my legs and arms, around the circumference of a biro. They weren't very noticeable or itchy but they were definitely there, and they kind of freaked me out. I'd seen them crop up once before about 6 months ago and I showed them to a friend who said it looked like the beginnings of Psoriasis, which, if you didn't know, is a hellish auto-immune disease that affects the skin. Naturally I was TOTALLY BUGGIN, but actually the patches disappeared over time of their own accord so I'm guessing that wasn't what it was after all. Phew! This time though there were more of them and they were very slightly bigger...
One night while I was slathering my lips in 8 Hour Cream like I do most nights (when I can remember), I put a bit on the red dry marks just to see what would happen. 8 Hour Cream has a mythical reputation at being able to cure bites, stings, cuts and rashes, and sure enough in the morning they were vastly reduced. I've continued doing this and they are virtually all but gone so I'm pretty sure it's not the beginning of Psoriasis (which is incurable), but whatever it was it wasn't all that pleasant so if you have any weird skin issues (maybe even mild eczema) try out 8 Hour Cream. It might look slightly gross and smell a bit funky but it works. Seriously. Plus, you know, it's the best lip balm IN THE WORLD.
Origins Out of Trouble 10 minute mask - another one I've talked about before, sorry! Like I mentioned, I don't know if its this warm, muggy weather or what but recently my skin has been super oily. I normally have normal to combo skin but in summer it does tend to get a bit more shiny, but these last few weeks have been RIDIC. I've been reaching for this more and more - up to around 3 times a week at the moment - because it really works at reducing oil and closing pores.
It's not clay-based so it doesn't dry which I prefer in a mask, but it does look like ACTUAL toothpaste on your face and it smells strongly of camphor which I don't mind personally but I can see others finding it a bit offensive. Ultimately, though, it does what it says and it's not too expensive.
Nuxe Multi-Purpose oil - This was the standout freebie in my July Glossybox - I've since cancelled my subscription to Glossybox by the way, since I don't think it's worth it any more. I'm sick of crappy perfume samples and sachets, plus SO MUCH wasted packaging! - Anyway, yeah, I LOVED this multi-purpose oil from cult french brand Nuxe. I haven't used it on my face (the thought makes me boke) but as a body oil it works amazingly.
I've been using it mainly on my arms since I've been getting them out a bit more than usual recently, and over a few weeks I feel I can see a difference in the texture of my skin. Plus, I find dry oils in general are excellent for prolonging fake tan and again this really worked at holding onto the St Tropez I applied for my birthday a while ago.
L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil - this is KIND OF a cheat since it's actually my Dad's girlfriend's and not mine, but it lives in our shower nonetheless, and I've been
using it all the time sneaking the odd use here and there... I LOVE IT! At first it feels a bit weird to use an oil in the shower, but once you pour it into your hand and sort of lather it up a bit it emulsifies into a thick, oily lather that smells AH MAY ZING. It's not for cleansing so much as indulging, but it's also the best thing I've ever found for shaving your legs. Fact. Downside is that it doesn't last very long, especially if you're like me and DRASTICALLY OVERUSE shower products. Seriously, I slather myself in this head to toe - it's just pure greed.
MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara (Olympic gold edition) - Although I was loving my Lancome Doll Eyes, I felt I wanted something with a bit more clout for nights out and for when I want to look like I've got falsies on (because I am thtoopid and scared of putting on ACTUAL false lashes for fear they rip my own ones out when I go to remove them. Irrational much?).
There's been loads of talk in the beauty community about some great dramatic mascaras like MUFE's Smoky Lash and Benefit's They're Real but again I was randomly in Boots a while back and remembered I used to love this stuff back in the day, so I picked up the special gold Olympic-themed version. The brush is synthetic and absolutely MASSIVE, so if you have very short or sparse lashes I'm not sure how you'd cope with it to be honest. But after spending ages faffing about with the uber-precise Doll Lashes wand it was nice to just whack this on, so to speak. The formula tends to build volume more than length but you can do a few coats without clumping and it holds the curl well. Really enjoying this for the moment.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Something else I've been hearing loads about are these Revlon balm stains in a nifty wee twist up crayon. I guess these are meant to be dupes for the Clinique Chubby Sticks (snigger!) and they do look similar but I've never tried the Clinique formulation, but now I don't need to - these are my fave!
I especially love the bright orange colour Rendezvous which goes on fairly sheer but thanks to the natural pinky colour of my lips it turns a gorgeous coral shade which surprisingly lasts most of the day without touchups. Obviously the 'balmy' quality disappears quite quickly but the stain is fairly impressive and they are pretty reasonably priced too, with loads of shades to choose from. If you're the kind of person who wants to try a bright lip but keep it wearable for daytime then these are ideal.
MAC Cut a Caper lipstick (lustre) - I LOVE THIS LIPSTICK! It's my absolute favourite daytime/muted night time lippy but it's limited edition and sold out online and in the MAC concession in Frasers in Glasgow, AND it's going for upwards of £25 on eBay... NIGHTMARE!
As much as I love it, I'm scared to overuse it in case it runs out - I'm not ready to mourn a loss like that yet. If I had an unlimited supply though, I'd be wearing it 24/7 - I'm obsessed with how it warms up my complexion and compliments my slightly sallow undertones. If ANYONE reading this has a Cut a Caper they don't want any more please please PLEASE let me know and I'll buy it off you. Do I sound kind of insane? I'm pretty sure I sound deranged, but you guys don't even know how much I'm in love with this colour!
Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder - Another random Boots buy. I really wanted a replacement MAC MSF natural but this month I found it hard to justify £20+ on just one makeup item (so unlike me to be restrained, right?). My ultimate favourite face powder is Chanel's loose powder but it's at least £30 and I've been really trying hard to reign in my ridiculous spending - these days about 25% of my wage goes on cosmetics, that is MESSED UP y'all!
I have no idea what made me go for this over any other drugstore powder, maybe it's because I'm a fan of the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, but I've actually been liking it quite a lot. I've completely ignored the lol-worthy claim that it contains "Asian fruit therapy" - huh?! - that aside it's finely milled, mattifies, sets and doesn't look cakey. Unlike the MSF natural there's no additional coverage with this product but that suits me fine at the moment. Only downside is I've hit pan already but I've only had it a few weeks. Not sure if I'd be running out to repurchase but for the moment it's working out well.
So there you go, that's what I've been putting on my face for the past month or so. In terms of skincare I've found I've really had to work hard to keep it balanced and normalised in this muggy, boke-worthy weather. Being stuck inside a sweltering booth at work isn't helping matters much either! More so that at any other time of the year, this is when I'm most prone to oil and breakouts but the products I've mentioned have seriously helped. Do you guys find your skin type changes with the seasons?
Quite a few drugstore/highstreet makeup picks which isn't always like me, and I've also been MASSIVELY enjoying using the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation too... It's changed my mind a bit on the quality of (some of) the make up you can pick up in Superdrug as opposed to just the beauty hall. What do you guys reckon, it's not ALWAYS all about high end, right?