Shiffa Skincare

Shiffa Skincare has been a favourite of mine since I have started using it since the past few weeks. Of course besides the fact that the brand name is similar to my name (with an extra 'f' which I ignore!), it is an exotic middle eastern brand, more precisely from Dubai, that is all about mental peace and well-being and is used throughout luxurious spas in the middleast, leaving brands like La Praire behind!

The word 'Shiffa' means 'to heal' in general. What I have from the brand is a cult favourite Healing Balm and an Energising Body Oil.

The Healing Balm is something in the line of Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Skin Protectant but more chic and elegant, non sticky and in a jar.

It is a multipurpose balm that can be used all over the face on areas that require intense healing such as dry patches, chapped skin, eczema and so on. I personally like to use it as a night cream as that way I can slather it all over the skin and let it work throughout the night without any disturbance.

It can also be massaged into the skin, for a little at-home DIY pick-me-up and it adds a quick glow to the skin due to its balm like, intensely hydrating texture. 

Although the texture of this is like a gritty balm, once its rubbed between fingers, it melts into a lovely oil like texture. Unlike its Elizabeth Arden counterpart, it's just so lovely to use and is comparatively better in texture, consistency and scent - it's almost addictive. 

It's main ingredients are Indian Neem, Arnica extract, Chamomile and has a comforting Lavender scent to it.
From their Energising range, I have a very gorgeous Energising Body Oil. It is mainly to stimulate the mind and body and revitalise energy levels. In my opinion, the USP of the oil is the perfect blend of ingredients from Peppermint Oil, Lemon and Lime to Spicy Black Pepper and Ginger, which gives it a perfect citrusy and woody fragrance.

It is very moisturisng as well as due to Jojoba that it contains but is something that absorbs completely into the skin on massaging, leaving velvety soft skin and a nice scent that lingers around for hours. I love to massage this between the palm and then inhaling the aroma for a minute or two and it seriously helps relax and destress quite effectively.
If you like naturally effective, soothing and comforting skincare that has combined aromatherapy benefits as well, this one would make a gorgeous treat for yourself and an even lovely present for someone, especially as it comes packed in gift boxes and ribbons any way. 

Shiffa skincare is available on its website, Zuneta.com, Urbanretreat.co.uk and Harrods. 


'Truth or Dare' by Madonna

Well I always choose truth in such a situation as I am such a chicken when it comes to a dare. Plus who actually comes to know if you're actually telling the 'truth' eh? ;)

On a more serious note, Truth or Dare is Madonna's new Fragrance that has released exclusive to Selfridges from the 16th of April.
Madonna's inspiration for the fragrance is her mother who always smelled like 'Gardenias and Tuberose' according to her and that's what she was trying to replicate. It's always amazing how fragrances bring back certain memories and make you feel exactly like how you felt in that situation, whilst wearing that scent. Aah the bitter-sweet feeling of nostalgia.

I currently possess a sample of the fragrance but the original bottle is quite vintage looking yet classically chic in my opinion. It comes in a white and gold packaging, something that never goes out of trend really!

The fragrance itself is a complexed concoction of floral notes alongside woody and sweet vanilla based notes to balance it out. 

It's not meant to fulfil a certain criteria when it comes to notes in perfumes. Personally, it starts of pretty strong in my opinion, on a tangy-bitter note, with a slight hint of floral and a tad bit of vanilla notes. It's dry down is more subtle and something I much prefer, as its musky and woody and quite comfortable to pull off as an evening scent.

It's definitely not your everyday morning fresh and cheerful scent. It's quite mysterious, elegant and more reserved for the evening. Due to the dominance of the woody notes, it tends to incline slightly towards the masculine side in my opinion and would be perfect for those of you who despise the overtly feminine, sugary sweet scents. 

A 30ml Eau De Parfum starts from £25 which is quite reasonable in my opinion. A line of Body Lotion and Shower Gel is also available in the range. Go give it a sniff!


Lavera Skincare and Make-up

Lavera Natural Skincare, a skin care and make-up brand that has been operating since 1937 has relaunched some of their products and here they are.

The brand stands for simple, fuss free yet effective solutions and suitable for sensitive skin products.

The All-Round Cream is my favorite as it's magic ingredients in a dinky tin. Well the container is quite dinky but comes with a tonne of product inside that will take me months to use up! All that for £6.95 is too good to be true in my opinion.

It's suitable for use on the face, especially on drier areas and is catered for sensitive skin in particular. Made up or organic Jojoba, Almond and Shea butter, it's an inexpensive treat for the skin.

I like to use it around the eyes, nose and chin, where I usually suffer from dry, flaky skin that normal moisturizers cannot combat. It can be used all over the face and regardless of the quantity I slather on, it never leaves the skin greasy but instead absorbs so well, leaving a velvety effect that is intensely hydrating.

I am in fact wearing the Mineral Sun Glow today and wasn't expecting it to be great to be honest. You know Skincare brands are usually not that great when they step into the make-up territory. But this is brilliant quality, finely pressed and glides on like a dream.

Yes it has a bit of shimmer which is hardly visible when used as a contour. On darker skin tones, it would work better as a Highlighter/Illuminator I suppose.

A lovely chunky compact it comes in that feels rather luxurious. For 13.90, if you are looking for something to give you a real sun kissed effect, either to contour or highlight, try this out and you'll love it! It reminds me of Bobbi Brown's Illuminating Bronzers and 'Rose Light' from Lavera is what I have my eye on now.

The Lip gloss also contains Jojoba and Olive Oil hence is very moisturising. It's not sticky at all and glides on quite smoothly blurring out any dry/chapped areas on the lips.

It gives a gorgeous ultra glossy lip and although this shade looks too dark in the tube, it applied like a my-lips-but-better shade which I found was quite easy to pull off.

I can't believe there is nothing I dislike from what I have tried from their range. It's actually quite good, be it make-up or skin care and does exactly what it says on the tin.

Have a look at their website to see what else catches your fancy!

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, www.lavera.co.uk is offering complimentary products worth £25 when you spend £25 or over on the 25th day of each month, throughout 2012.  Also, Every 25th fan of lavera Natural Skincare on Facebook or @laverauk follower on Twitter wins an iconic lavera product.



Back to basics...

Now you'd never think I'd blog about Soap and neither did I but this one's just so worthy of blogging about hence an exception.

I personally am not a fan of the slipperiness involved in using a Soap. I remember loving only Pears as a child as the rest made my skin so dry and taut even in humid climates.

Queen's Cosmetics Sensitive Skin Soap is an all rounder in that way. It can be used all over the body as well as on the face for those of you with Sensitive Skin. I would say it would work particularly well if you have Combination/Oily skin as opposed to very dry.

Not only that, it's uses are unlimited from being suitable for babies, men, shaving, dry-flaky skin, dry hands and so on. It foams up quite well and creates a nice rich lather which also makes it fun to use. I almost forgot how long soaps last as opposed to liquid soap products.

This glycerin based soap is non-perfumed and gentle enough for those of you with acne, eczema and so on. It's available for £5 from Queen Cosmetics and it definitely worth a try!

I wont deny that I absolutely am a sucker for high-end, skin specific, luxuriously packaged skincare but there are times when I wish there was something simpler that I can slap on without thinking what skin condition I am suffering from currently.

I used to use Vaseline's Intensive Moisturising range at first for that purpose and it was amazing! Something similar to that is Astral. It's simple and effective yet rich in hydrating and protecting the skin.

The concept is a bit like Vaseline, Sudo Creme et al which are suitable for all skin types, for all over body hydration and also for the face.

My personal favourite is their 'Light & Creamy' version which has a more lighter and whipped consistency as opposed to the original one. The texture of the cream is also gel like and bouncy and great to use during the day, before make-up application as it absorbs and hydrates in less than a minute. 

It hasn't broken me out and has worked quite well in combination with my Combination/Oily skin so a bit thumbs up for that! 

The original one I reserve for extremely dry areas on the face such as around the nose and so on where I usually tend to suffer from flaky skin, which normal moisturisers don't seem to remedy. 

This one's also more suitable as a night cream or for mature skin over 40's to replenish back all the hydration that you have lost during the day, during cleansing and so on. 

It's obviously best for all over body use, especially the knees, feet, elbows due to its Sudo Creme like, thick texture that needs to be worked into the skin and stays on for longer. 

These are available to purchase from all drugstores including Boots and Superdrug.

It felt great getting back to simplistic ways of skin care for a while and I wish everything could be as simple for other products and brands as well.