My Elemis Experience so far...

Skincare brands.... One brand works wonders for one, whilst that same brand causes huge issues for another. As I age, I genuinely feel that I am on a constant journey to find the miracle product(s) to defy time and take me back to my plump, peachy skin of my twenties. Don't get me wrong, I am embracing my 40's, don't you know they are the new 20's??

Moving swiftly on. This post will focus on the moisturising aspect of my skincare, however I plan to do another post on the cleansing routine shortly. Up until Christmas Day, I was using a very well known and loved moisturiser called Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Fluid which was great, with no reactions, no breakouts, happy days...So why on earth would you consider changing I hear you ask and what brand would make you stray? 

In a nutshell, I got bored and add to that the successful experience I had with a travel size tester I received in a beauty box, I had the bug. The new skincare kid on my block is Elemis! To be specific, Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream & Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream. Oh so fancy!

According to this iconic brand, this cream is 'the ultimate in anti-ageing cream' from their collection and I, after a surprise delivery from Santa, was very happy to jump right in. Learning also that it won CEW Best Beauty Icon Award, I was going to expect great things from this cream and great skin. 

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 50ml

The first thing I noticed about this cream is the packaging. The container oozes class and quality, from the sharp branding to the shiny embossed lid. I would be proud to showcase this in my bathroom (not that anyone will be visiting my bathroom anytime soon.) 

Venturing inside, I immediately lifted the protective insert to reveal the white pot of goodness and oh, the smell, just divine but not overpowering. The texture of the cream is just like whipped cream, if a little heavier. Knowing the cost of this cream, I was a little conscious on how much to use, however one need not worry as a small amount really does go along way. Daily, I dab a small amount onto my forehead, cheeks and d├ęcolletage, and gently smooth into the entire face and neck with upward movements. The smell, it's heavenly. I have always thought that a cream that smells, will somehow cause issues with my skin, but not with this one. 

As I write this, I have just passed two weeks of consistent use morning and night. I can honestly say that the swap has not been a problem at all. I did have a slight dry area appear around my nose on day three, but that soon disappeared, and I can't say if that was because of the cream or that it was just my skin playing it's crazy games. The promise from Elemis is to 'improve skin suppleness and elasticity' as well as 'reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin firmness, tone and hydration in 14 days'. Boy, that is a lot to fix in 14 days and staring at my face in the mirror, I'm not convinced that all of those promises have been met. My skin is definitely smoother to the touch and I don't have any signs of a tight feeling after cleansing and toning. In all fairness, the winter creates havoc for skin, with cold winds and central heating, so I wasn't expecting the cream to transform me but any improvement is a bonus! I can say there are improvements, but I will need a few more weeks to possibly see better results.

Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream 50ml

The name of this night cream is impressive enough, without reading about the benefits it can bring to your skin. Aesthetically, the container pot is just like the day cream, well made and looks great. The texture of the cream is slightly thicker than the day cream, however the gorgeous smell is the same. The idea is to apply the cream before you go to bed, sleep and wait for the anti-aging properties to work their magic. I always make sure that I apply the cream to fully cleansed skin, which is a real treat at the end of the day. 

So, the verdict... Once again, the quality of the product ensures that you do not need to use a lot of cream and once applied it melts into the skin and doesn't feel heavy at all. From using this cream over the last couple of weeks, I do feel that it does give your skin an extra boost during the night. On waking, the product does leave me with smoother and more moisturised skin, although again, not visually different (yet).  

The Round Up

My overall feeling about this duo is quietly impressed. I say quietly, as I cannot yet shout about the changes to my skin, but I can see some improvements in terms of smoothness and feeling more moisturised. I would hope to see even more benefits as I continue to use it. I am a firm believer that a topical cream alone cannot improve your skin. It needs support from many other factors such as healthy eating, fluid intake, sleep, exercise and overall wellbeing. I am thoroughly enjoying my Elemis experience, whether it will continue to be a permanent replacement for my moisturiser, only time will tell.  

What is your all time favourite moisturiser? Have you used or are using Elemis and what are your thoughts? Let me know... Stay safe and see you next time. Ally x


Mat but not matte..Kiko mat Lipstick

Matte lipsticks are still my favourite lipstick of choice. I used to be a gloss girl every day of the week, however I just can't handle the sticky lip thing, hair sticking to my lip, then onto the lens of my glasses and so it goes on. The lipstick I'm featuring today is a Kiko Velvet Mat Satin lipstick.

My previous matte lipstick purchases have been from Rimmel, Wycon and Lancome, so a real mix of brands but all of them great. I'm a big fan of Kiko, it's like walking into a sweet shop as a child and I could happily spend hours mooching, swatching and creating my wish list  Anyway, back to my review of this lipstick. 

I chose the colour of 612 which is called Strawberry Pink. I liked this as it is an ideal colour for a bolder lip in the day but not scary bold if you are not used to brighter colours. The colour is a reddy pink, and for me, it is perfect for the transition from Spring to Summer. Once applied, the longevity of the colour is average in my opinion. I find that I am left with a lipliner rim around the edge of my lips two to three hours into the day, and I have to apply more colour. One advantage of this lippie is that I haven't experienced dry or sore lips, which can happen with some matte lipsticks I have used in the past.

I think I was expecting a real matte look with this lipstick, so initially was a little put off by the creamier and more shinier appearance of it as it goes on. The look does change slightly after application, but it is definitely not as matte as I usually prefer. One observation I will make, is that the lipstick has a really nice smell, which thankfully you cannot taste (not a fan of this). So if you do not like this in a lipstick, I would test it in the shop before you buy.  I also recommend using a lipliner as close to the colour to avoid bleeding, as this makes the lips look fuller and neater. I have received some nice compliments while wearing this lipstick which is really nice, and I do enjoy wearing it, although I would prefer it to stay put longer.

One thing that I do love is the lipstick case, it is so pretty and funky, which makes the lipstick look more expensive than its actual cost of £6.90. So would I buy it again I hear you ask? Absolutely yes, a great price, a great quality product in many fun colours, what's not to like?
If you haven't used any Kiko Cosmetics before, I would really recommend popping into your local store. If you love makeup, skincare, and anything beauty, then it is perfect to keep on trend and not break the bank! What are your favourite matte lipsticks? Have you tried Kiko products? Drop me a line!

Bye for now, 

Ally x

Image Skincare...Age Later

Skincare, it is such a personal thing. I have tried and tested many different brands of skincare, from cheap and cheerful to very expensive, and they all have their place in the world of beauty.  I don't know about you, but my skin has a mind of its own sometimes. Some days it is well behaved, others it just plays up and nothing seems to settle it down.

If I am honest, this is the reason I am always apprehensive about trialling new skincare products, as I have my ritualistic cleansing routine using trusted products. However, I received this trial kit and it just had to be tried. 

The brand of skincare that I am going to discuss today is called Image Skincare and these products are from the Iluma range which are "formulated to lighten, brighten and illuminate all skin tones for an even, glowing complexion". There are numerous ranges under the umbrella that is Image Skincare, covering anti-ageing through to sensitive skin. 

The box contained a cleanser, serum, face moisturiser, hand and body lotion, all in mini sizes. I have decided to focus on the serum and the face moisturiser, as a I personally felt that they made the most impact on my skin. 
Okay, so I used the cleanser for a few days, and unfortunately I just didn't like the way that the product left my skin. I found it to be on the heavy side and left a coating on my skin which I felt I needed to wash off. I am not a huge fan of oil based cleansers, I feel that my skin isn't left clean and can be left greasy. Not put off by this, I used my own cleanser and continued the trial with the other two. 

The serum however, is not oil based, and is in no way greasy to use. It has a beautiful smell, and is absorbed with ease into the skin. The consistency of this serum is quite runny, which is very different to some that I have used. The colour is a lightish brown, and believe me that a little goes a long way, so there is no need to slather it on.  The serum leaves the skin with a dewy texture, and is a perfect base for the moisturiser.
Moving on to the moisturiser, I was really impressed with its performance. I loved its consistency and also its fresh fragrance. Once the cream was applied, it soaked into my skin and seemed to gel really well with the serum. The two together made my skin feel super special, almost like it had a protective barrier. The initial feeling of "just applied' cream faded almost instantly, and I had no hesitation in applying my foundation. 

After several days of using this clever little combo, I found my skin looked healthy and clear, and I didn't need to use a primer under my foundation which was a bonus. The dewy texture and appearance lasted all day, and the foundation seemed to stay put, which was also a positive for me.

It was a shame that I couldn't use the cleanser, but for those of you that enjoy the result of oil based products, it will most likely be a perfect combination.

This handy little trial kit was a fantastic introduction to a brand of skincare that I wasn't aware of. I'm afraid that it hasn't swayed me to purchase full size products, as my skin is at its best using my regular products, but it has been a really enjoyable experience.

What is your favourite skincare products? What are their benefits?

Bye for now, Ally x 


Rub a dub dub!

So, apologies for the lack of posts of late. In all honesty, I have been pulled away from my 'fun' with my business role and little people and illness, the list goes on. School is out, so the Summer has officially begun! 

I'm back with a great little post about a gorgeous body scrub I've been using for some time now and I loved it so much, I felt it warranted a mention on my blog.

The Fortune Scrub is part of the range from Rituals, a skincare and makeup brand, who also create candles, perfume and numerous other beautiful products. There are different ranges that offer different spiritual and cleansing needs, here's a little bio on the Laughing Buddha range featured here:

"In ancient China, 1100 years ago, the Laughing Buddha was a famous monk whose legendary smile brought happiness wherever he went. For centuries, rubbing his belly has symbolised good luck and prosperity. This tradition is the inspiration for a collection of uplifting products that celebrate this positivity".

The ingredients are combined to give a powerful yet moisturising concoction. It is a clear gel that once blended with water becomes a foaming friend and once you begin the 'circles', the exfoliation really clings to the skin and gets to work on those difficult areas i.e. upper arms, thighs, arms, hip area. I would advise using an amount for each area about the size of a 10 pence, a little goes a long way. Even under the shower, it doesn't disintegrate and wash down the drain, which is a big tick in the box. I use this twice a week, and I wouldn't recommend any more due to the power of the exfoliation. I love it, as I feel a definite improvement in my skin every time and the fragrance is not overpowering but refreshing and invigorating. Once dry, the skin you have focused on feels smoother, not tight at all and moisturised, which lasts. 

The cost is usually around £10, however this particular scrub is reduced to £5 from the Rituals e-commerce site. From researching the brand, I imagine it is to do with the fact that a new fragrance for this scrub has been introduced, I wonder if I would like the Sweet Orange and Cedar as much?

So, there you have it. A short sharp burst, and if you would like to bring some happiness and prosperity into your life (along with gorgeously soft skin) give this scrub a try. Just for information, Marks & Spencer also stock this brand in their beauty section, just in case you fancied popping along and having a look see.

Have you tried the Rituals scrubs or any other products of theirs, what is your favourite?

Bye for now, Ally x

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 


Holiday in a bottle!

When I took photos of my 'Holiday in a bottle' products, it was the most glorious sunny day, then May happened and it's all gone a bit 'Pete Tong' to name a phrase. Well, ever the optimist, I am getting my recommendations in early for sun creams for body and face, and if you are like me, once you have used this you will not go back!
There you have it, 'Holiday in a bottle', a line that sums up these products perfectly, or otherwise known as Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration. I used these all of last year, and they have been re-purchased for this year. I just love them! Fragrance, tick. Absorption, tick. Greasiness (or lack of it), tick. Protection, tick. A full house then. 
So, let us start with the body sun cream. Well it has a high factor of 30, to give high protection. I only use factor 30 or above, there is just too much research out there to prove the harmful effects of the sun if you don't protect yourself well. I would recommend that you shake the bottle a little to mix up all the ingredients before you apply, as if it has been standing, the oil can separate slightly. Moving on to how this cream has got me into such a fluster. It is strange, the smell of a perfume, body spray or even a candle, can evoke memories and feelings which make you feel great, just as this does. I apply this beautiful cream and the smell is just fabulous, it is the beach, cocktails, the sea, relaxation and warm sunshine all rolled into one. The texture of the cream is perfect for a sun cream, rich, easily absorbed and sinks into the skin without any residue. Skin is left moisturised but more importantly, protected and with the many years of experience behind this brand, I have confidence that I won't burn. 
Now, onto the face cream. In my opinion, this is a base for my skin come the summer days, when I am out and about enjoying the good old British sunshine. It is suitable to apply under makeup, and I am a big advocate of doing this throughout the warmer months. I probably should through the winter to be honest, but as I tend to use a foundation with SPF15+ I feel I'm protecting my face reasonably well. The fragrance of this face cream is just the same as the body cream, so that makes it even more heavenly to apply. It is non sticky and does not interfere with my makeup. I apply it all over my face as a moisturiser, and also my decolletage. Once again, I only buy the Factor 30 as a minimum, as I truly feel that if we take care of our skin now, (hopefully) it will look after us as we age gracefully. 

So, this is my recommendation for the perfect sun creams for summer. It has the smell, the look and the protection for glowing, healthy skin. Have you used any other Hawaiian Tropic products? What's your favourite? Let's compare notes....

I hope you have enjoyed this little ray of sunshine.

Bye for now, x

p.s. This is a useful little website to have a look through :) 

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 
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