A new way to cleanse

I’m quite particular about how I cleanse my skin, I am one of those annoying people that will always cleanse my skin before going to bed, even if it ends up being a baby wipe I will always remove the days impurities. Living in london and having a daily underground commute I love nothing more than that skin fresh feeling.

All that said I am a sucker for a one product wonder. I lean towards water based cleansers that will hydrate feel cooling and clean my skin and eye area. For years my ultimate go to was YSL 4-in-1 cleanser (now known as Top Secrets Toning and Cleansing Water) it was a luxurious and soothing way to end the day, knowing that I didn’t need a separate eye makeup remover or toner afterwards..

Then two years ago I discovered Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser and my attitude towards cleansing took on a new angle. With the most beautiful textures, exquisite spa-like aromas it was a pleasure to massage on to my skin every day. The best of all it was eye makeup remover friendly. Finally a professional deep cleansing product that could be used across the whole face.

What I loved most of all was the soft hydrated feeling it gave my skin, the cream texture formula glides on to your skin, Elemis and indeed I also recommend leaving it your skin for a minute or two, I tend to use this time to brush my teeth, I wear quite thick eye liner so usually removing it can be a struggle as I’m sure most of you reading this have experienced. However this cleanser somehow dissolves it, there is no other way to describe it. It comes packaged with a luxurious 100% cotton cleansing mitt, like a flannel you can slip your hand into. Warmed under the tap or sink the feeling of the hot cloth on the skin is really replenishing. Your cloth will look very dirty however it is easily cleansed under the tap and eventually in the washing machine.

This shift in cleansing rituals made me re think my use of toners, despite working in the industry for years I had never really given toners the time they deserve. So why tone? Well toners help rebalance your skin, close your pores, restore your PH level and aid the absorption of your moisturiser and if used in the morning your foundation – think of it as a primer!

So why the need to discuss this now? Well my routine has been given a super boost! The launch of Elemis’s Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm has added a deeper spa treatment inspired boost to my skin. You can use this cleansing balm daily however I intend to use it once a week as a more intense cleansing treatment mask.

Just unscrewing the beautifully simple but luxurious jar gives out the most beautiful aroma, like a spa in a jar, you instantly go on a sensorial journey by the British botanical actives, geranium, lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, ho wood, orange, menthol and clove, blended into wheat germ, oat, starflower, elderberry oils and mimosa and rose wax.

As you can imagine it has a waxy oil texture but one that feels more silky than greasy. It’s texture and formulation apparently make it perfect for oily or blemish prone skin, I don’t suffer from those skin issues but felt that the texture was very exquisite. You can simply massage on to skin and instantly remove with the cleansing cloth or leave on the skin up to ten minutes as a treatment mask, perfect for when you’re relaxing in the bath. The cleansing cloth that comes with the product is large enough to cover the entire face and is designed to hold the warm heat from water to give a hot cloth style mask.

A little goes a long way and if like me you intend to use weekly the £39.50 investment will be easily justified. I follow with Apricot Soothing Toner and Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Makeup SPF 15 Continue reading

Great skin just a sleep away

If like me you have all the best intentions of getting gorgeous, radiant, youthful skin but somehow never have the time to invest in a full on skincare pamper fear not… Here are just a few of my top picks to work skincare miracles all while you sleep, so you can wake up to gorgeous glowing skin (if only all problems were that easy to solve!)

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Skin Recovery Complex

I have been using this little brown bottle a couple of years now and I am addicted. This Multi Award Winning repair serum is inspired by DNA research and works to help restore and repair your skin, it is a great anti irritant (which is one of the top reasons I started using it) making it perfect for more sensitive skin too. Best used every night to repair past damage, protect and hydrate skin.

Elemis Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream

Oxygen for your skin? Yes we don’t just need to breathe it we need it to help our skin glow and aid regeneration. This fab cream also speeds up night time skin recovery to counter the effect of sleep debt and daytime stress, its a true multi tasker as it also helps to plump the skins natural collagen for younger looking skin too – perfect!

Guerlain Midnight secret

The lifesaver… if you’ve been out the night before and you know you need a proper sleep to have a fresh faced, no bags look…think again! This is eight hours sleep in a jar! Yes girls this is the answer to those cheeky nights out. Sssshhh it’s our little secret

Dior Capture Totale Multi Perfection Nighttime Soft Peel

This is a little gem of a product, put simply it’s a face peel you can sleep in to gently renew your skin, it brings a whole new meaning to beauty sleep. Its no rinse formula makes it super easy and you can apply your usual night cream on top!

Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Face Cream

I’ve never been a big advocate of the Dr Andrew Weil for Origins range purely as I wasn’t taken by the aroma of the first collections – however I like to think of this as a hidden gem because as you drift off to sleep, this magic cream with St Paul’s Wort simply eases away tense skin and visible lines. It really seems to clear your dead skin cells plus, one of my favoutite things about it is that it’s filled with 100% natural camomile & lavender oils to relax your mind and body for a great night sleep too!

Bliss Fat Girl Sleep

Night time skincare is not just for your face – Fat girl sleep from the spa guru’s Bliss creates a sleep-friendly environment with lavender whilst sacred lotus flower gets to work on the four causes of cellulite: fat storage, fat burning, water retention and slackened skin. Anything that blasts cellulite while I sleep gets my vote!

The Body Shop Deep Sleep Dreamy Pillow and Body Mist

This is my little secret wonder spritz, this is a heady aromatic mix of Jujube date extract, camomile and essential oils – literally 1 spray on your pillow or Pj’s and your eyes get heavy – it’s brilliant for when you fall out of a sleep pattern or find yourself unable to sleep easily. Keep it by your bed for easy spray and sleep! Don’t be tempted to use more than 1 spray its potent stuff and 1 spray is really all it takes!

Top wake up tip…

After all that replenishing sleep wake up your skin with Clarins Super restorative Wake Up Lotion – the skincare step for beautiful skin even first thing in the morning. It eliminates puffiness and sleep marks, no need to wash off just apply to a clean face and follow with your usual moisturiser and make up!

Can Benefit revolutionise our skincare routines?

Earlier this year I was invited to the EXCLUSIVE reveal of Benefit’s hush-hush new skincare launch, held in the stylishly hidden away boutique Hempel hotel in London. Until now we have been under the secrets act to not spread the word… but now the word is out – B-Right is soon to be the word on every Bene Babes lips…

So what’s it all about? Can the cute fix-its brand do what it has to make-up and start a skincare revolution?

Well one thing is clear from the off – this is serious skincare, with over 4 years research and development from the clever bods at the LVMH laboratories Benefit have developed and patented their very own dullness erasing skincare ingredient (in Benefit language this is Tri-Radiance Complex)

I took time to talk directly to LVMH senior vice president of R&D Eric Perrier, a man who has spent his career finding the best of the best skincare ingredients and formulas to bring us the products we covet so dearly today (and I have to say I have never been so taken with science before – or maybe it was the french accent that gave it a whole new spin)

“Benefit’s exclusive tri-radiance complex includes several vegetable-based sugar and glycol derivatives plus a perfectly selected set of different sizes of hyaluronic acid, to boost hydration in the skin as much as 73 percent within two hours after application (measured in triple performing facial emulsion SPF 15 PA++), an incredible result in an SPF 15 PA++ emulsion!” Eric Perrier

From creating a skin care texture that sounds & feels the same as silk, to a feeling of clean (which apparently feels and smells differently globally) to testing thousands of different application techniques – I realise that this is not just some cute, fun products to brighten our bathrooms this has serious technology that will like all Benefit’s fix its – deliver.

Benefit founders Jean & Jane Ford asked him for the solution to every woman’s skincare wish – not to rid them of wrinkles (as much as we’d love that) but to simply Brighten, awaken their skin from looking dull and give it that perky lift that is just soo Benefit! So B-right!

The collection is cute, on first looks you may well be surprised – it isn’t overtly colourful or quirky. It smacks of old school pharmacy bottles, with a wash of light aqua’s and greens – it looks and indeed smells fresh and I’m surprised at how taken I am with the range.

I’m an avid fan of Chanel Hydramax Serum by day and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair by night both times coupled with Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream so I don’t sway from my usual routine that far (and I get to try and test a fair few products) but I really liked the fresh take on skincare that this collection is taking and think this is going to cause just a little ripple in the beauty waters…

My favourite of the range and my tip as the one to watch out for is the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF15 – this literally felt like no other product I have put on my skin, no residue, no oil just my skin only a bit less thirsty!

The range is hitting Debenhams counters exclusively in the UK from 2nd April as well as on Benefit’s own UK website and in the Benefit Boutiques, it has just launched online in the US so you can check it out Benefit’s YouTube Channel for a sneaky peek