12.7.13

Clayspray Pore Refining White Clay Face Mask

Clayspray is a range of face masks that have been created using the purest and the most luxurious clay in the world according to its makers. To be precise, the Clayspray mask contains around 60% of clay which is quite a lot compared to the typical 20% you will find in traditional clay sprays.

Also, what makes Clayspray different as per it's name is the fact that it comes in a spray can to preserve it's authenticity, the clay's benefits and to prevent it from drying out. Quite clever isn't it? I have had clay masks in tubes and pots dry out so many times, it's unbelievable so I can actually relate to the concept and appreciate the packaging.



They have a range dedicated to different skin concerns and I have the 'Pore Refining' one that draws out impurities from within the skin, encourage skin cell turnover, boosts collagen production for a youthful appearance and most importantly, seals in the moisture keeping skin supple. If you thought clay masks leave skin parched, dry and tight then you have got to try this out.

It's quite a modern formula in the sense that it does feel tight on application of course but when removed, my skin felt quite comfortable even without moisturiser. It looked brighter, cleaner and soft. I have been relying on this for a few spots I have been having on my right cheek only, god only knows why!




I found removing this was quite easy as well. Although the clay feels like it is glued to the skin, it comes off easily with warm water without any tugging or pulling at all. I also like to spray my face with a face mist while the mask is on to moisten it a little for removal. Try this one if you have combination/oily. stressed out skin like I have been having at present due to lack of sleep (think 5 hours max!).

What I found quite unique is that they have clay masks for the hair which I haven't come across before and am quite excited to try out and will be coming out with body masks soon.

Check them out at www.clayspray.com.

11.7.13

Elemental Herbology Cell Food Radiance Facial Serum

I never believed in a serum until I read it's vital to layer your skincare, especially with products of different textures and not just plain old moisturisers. After incorporating balms in my skin care regime, it was high time for a serum to make an entrance. I have two I am using at present and this is one of them.

I analysed my skin and as La Roche Posay seems to keep it clear of spots, dullness would be my next skin concern and Elemental Herbology's Cell Food seems to be targeted towards just that. It contains all natural, active ingredients that nourish skin, rehydrate quicker compared to other products, add a dash of protein to the skin and make it resistant towards environmental damage.




I like how it's targeted towards frequent travellers whose skin goes through fluctuating climates, dry cabin air and ends up looking inflamed and exhausted. This acts like a repair session for them helping the skin come out of what it goes through and still manage to look...alive if you know what I mean. It would be great for a post-holiday skin recovery or to treat your skin after being naughty with it at a festival or camp. If you have a hectic work routine as well where you don't get time to indulge in pampering facial sessions or spas, I feel this uplifts the skin and helps it look vibrant and radiant. 





The texture of this unlike other gel based, transparent serums is in fact rather creamy and lotion like. It feels tacky when applied initially to the skin for the first few minutes. You have to massage the potent blend into your skin after which it disappears completely, still making skin feel a little sticky but looking plump, fresh and radiant. I also feel it helps my moisturiser adhere better to the skin and last longer.



I personally like to use this in the day as that means it can actually lend my skin the helping hand it needs in keeping up through stress, heat, humidity, skin cell build up and so on. I know quite a few people use it at night and I guess that would work too but I feel it's one of these serums that actually works hard and would benefit the skin by protecting it in daytime.

It's not cheap for £45 but if I can splurge that amount on a Topshop bag without thinking twice, I would just be purposely ignoring skincare if I wouldn't spend the same amount on a serum.

www.elementalherbology.com

10.7.13

New Online Beauty Store for Mineral Make-up & Luxury Haircare

Currently I am obsessed with natural looking mineral make-up and luxurious hair products. Funnily enough, mineral make-up is something I started out with when I initially got interested in make-up. I know after reading tonnes of reviews online, I bought myself something from OceanMist Cosmetics. Old times eh! Do you remember the samples mineral make-up companies used to make available so you could try out your Foundation shades? How cool was that! After dipping my feet into the Mineral Make-up sector, I remember trying out a British mineral make-up brand named Lily Lolo for mineral foundation. Me and my sister were hooked to it for a good few years and what lovely, natural yet buildable coverage it gave.

I recently came across it on an online beauty store named Beauty Dept and was thrilled to rediscover it! The luxury online portal is created by industry professionals and retail experts giving you a hand-picked selection of haircare, skincare and make-up goodness. They also offer free worldwide delivery which is always good news for the wallet isn't it?

Lily Lolo have some lovely new pressed eye shadows in store and eye shadow primers as well. I however feel they are excellent at mineral make-up which is their forte and would still indulge in their vibrant blushes and flawless foundations. They were amongst the few mineral make-up brands I had tried that never broke me out. I thought I’d share some of my summer wish-list Lily Lolo products with you which I have added in my virtual checkout basket.



Hair has been something I’ve been obsessed with lately as well. I just feel like I don’t give it enough importance when compared to make-up and skincare and it’s showing a little now. I mean I can still make it appear superficially bouncy and pretty but overall the condition of them doesn't seem top notch with a flaky sensitive scalp, breakage, tangling and uncountable split ends. This has led me on my quest for luxurious hair products on various online beauty stores. My definition of ‘high end’ just means nothing off the high street or under a tenner really. Two luxury haircare brands that have intrigued me recently are Kerastase and Rahua.

I am a little late on the Kerastase band wagon and have embarrassingly never tried any of their cult-favourite products from any online beauty stores.  I have read their masks, shampoos and serums are a match made in heaven for damaged and colour treated hair both of which are my concerns. I am not sure when these released but their Elixir Ultime, Nutritive Mask and Scalp Concentrate seem absolutely lush to treat damaged hair! There’s just something so convenient and spa like about hair oils, serums and masks that I love the application regime.




A little more luxurious and high-end than Kerastase is a brand called Rahua that I found via an online beauty store. It’s apparently made up of 100% natural ingredients and bases its products on Rahua Nut Oil, which has been used by tribes since decades and has a small enough molecule to penetrate into the hair and scalp and give fabulous results. 

Their shampoo is a classic and is raved about quite a bit hence quickly making it to my wish list as I am tired of using silicone laden, soapy formulas in the name of shampoos. The sooner you understand that a strong, healthy scalp will equal luscious hair, the better. Rahua’s Finishing Treatment also seems like the 8 Hour Cream equivalent for hair and is a multi-tasking product that can repair fragile hair. Megan Fox and Gwyneth Paltrow are apparently fans. Yes please! 

9.7.13

Anti-Ageing Facials: CACI Non-Invasive Face Lift

I love Anti-Ageing Facials! Yes I know I am in my mid 20's and don't really need it right now but I feel it's one of my top most skin concerns. I have relatively decent, combination skin which is now in control thanks to La Roche's Posay skincare. Besides that, uneven skin tone which is quite common in Asian/Indian skin and wrinkles & fine lines are my priority concerns.

I can already see my expression lines around the mouth area seem to leave behind a slight crease even when I'm not smiling. Let's not even talk about those pesky crows feet and fine lines under the eyes. Dehydration around that area especially makes things worse for me hence you see I have more than one reason to indulge in Anti-Ageing Facials.


Now I have a good skincare routine in place, well at least according to me, with the help of Caroline Hiron's blog. I try to use Glycolic Acid in skincare which apparently helps with wrinkles and shedding dead skin cells minus the abrasive exfoliation part. I was always sceptical of anti-ageing facials and would hardly indulge in one as they are usually overpriced in London.

A little digging later, I did manage to find a few good spots where me and mum could enjoy a girly day out coupled with a good relaxing facial as we now share similar skin concerns you see *sigh*. I wanted to try something different and came across CACI which is apparently an anti-ageing electronic facial which is equivalent to having a face lift. It uses fancy gadgets like electro buds, microcurrent roller and wrinkle comb to re-educate the skin and in simple terms, give it a much needed workout.

I don't know about you but for a consumer who want's the most value for the buck like myself, I loved CACI as not only was the therapist working hard for a good 45 minutes but so were the electronic gadgets leaving my skin in heaven. Apparently Jennifer Lopez is a huge fan of CACI and I can see why as it delivers the most beautiful, post-spa, post-holiday glow ever. My mum who suffers from ageing, dehydration and pigmentation actually looked quite pleased with her skin and confident enough to flaunt it make-free from the salon to home. Impressive eh!

There's quite a few options you can choose from when it comes to a CACI Facial. I have tried the Face Lift one as it's super hydrating, tightening and plumping. Have you tried CACI? Let me know your thoughts!

8.7.13

Popchips: Guilt free alternative to salty, oily crisps

   



If you're on a clean eating mission like myself, you would know its difficult to keep up with. Same old recipes, same old ingredients hence when motivation's low, it's actually pretty easy to resort to a bag of chips. I won't lie, I have been a crisp lover since quite a few years now. I have given it up completely since six months now along with fizzy drinks and all that junk jazz so was quite pleased to see Popchips all geared to reintroduce some flavour back into my diet, without piling up the calories. 

The chips are not baked nor fried but are instead 'popped'. The bag contains a total of 18 chips and a reasonable 94 calories per bag. Not bad eh? My favourite flavour is the Barbecue one without doubt but the Sour cream and Onion one is quite delicious too. Compared to your usual Walkers crisps, they are substantially less salty and don't leave any orange residue on your fingers (I cannot stand that!) or a film of oil. 

I wouldn't indulge in them quite often only because I am seriously trying to loose weight but if you have reached your goal weight and are just trying to maintain it, these make a great snack for movies, picnics and day out. They are not the in-your-mouth-melt ones but instead are quite crunchy and have a nice bite to them leaving you satisfied and not wanting for more to be honest. I wouldn't mind carrying one of these with me when am out in case I get peckish and resort to rather unhealthy options. 

Verdict, it's not clean eating for me (although it contains no fake flavours or colours) but a guilt free once in a while indulgence. If you're not on a diet or trying to loose weight, do try these as they make a great alternative to the traditional oil slick crisps. Plus they taste amazing! You can find them at Boots, Sainsburys, Waitrose & even Starbucks now. Say what?! That's my second home.

La Roche Posay Compensating Soothing Moisturizer

Okay so I have no idea whatsoever why I didn't talk about this on the blog earlier. You know some products that are fabulous, you end up using them religiously everyday but just never find the time to talk about them on blog? Yes, this is exactly that.

I bought this a while ago when I repurchased La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo. Yes that is still a life saver if you're wondering. I ran out of it for a week or two and just get so paranoid that I am breaking out in little whiteheads all over my face. I don't break out in cystic acne or angry pimples as such, just teeny tiny annoying white head like bumps all over the face if I stop using it.

Back on the product that's from the same family, I got La Roche Posay's Effaclar H Compensating Soothing Moisturizer. I read in a recent article that this comes in UK's top 5 skincare products when it comes to men and I can see why. It's frills free, simple packaging, no fragrance, no irritation, no breakouts - just pure good old moisturiser. A little bit like old spice for men. Does the job and that's it.


It dispenses like a thick lotion from the tube and what that means is only a pea sized amount is what you need for the face and neck. It has lasted me so long just because I don't need to use much of it. Once on the face, it gives you time to massage the product into the skin and make it absorb. I like this feature of it as opposed to it sinking right into the skin. It forces me to massage my skin a little.

Once absorbed well, it leaves a nice radiant finish on the skin and makes it look plump and glowing. It doesn't dry matte and has a lovely naturally radiant finish to it. Not too oily or greasy feeling at all. It stays like that for the entire day without drying out the skin  as long as you exfoliate it well using a warm flannel.

I can see why it's made for acne prone/oily skin that has been stripped off it's moisture by drying skincare products. It did not break me out and has become my daily moisturiser that I can slap on without any worries and not wake up with whiteheads or blemishes on the skin. This paired with Effaclar Duo is a match made in heaven for normal/combination/oily skin. I think dry skin types would need something more intense as this wouldn't be enough.


My verdict - get it now! I got in sale for under a tenner I believe and it was the best ten quid I must have ever spent on skincare. I will repurchase until La Roche Posay or any other brand for that matter brings out something for crazy aka combination skin types that doesn't result in breakouts but still hydrates well.

I get my La Roche Posay stock from Chemist Direct. It's the cheapest out there really and they usually do discounts on entire skincare lines when it's cheaper to stock up and try out new products.