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Eve Lom moisture cream

Today is the day that my Eve Lom moisture cream is coming to an end. Sad times, but I couldn't let this one go without jotting down a few lines. 

I've been using this cream for a couple of months and I have really enjoyed it. The fragrance of the cream is quite strong and I was a little worried that it would agitate my skin. This didn't happen and there were no reactions (other than positive) to my skin. 

The cream's texture is rich and glides onto the skin with ease. Even though it is a heavier cream than I was used to, it isn't heavy on the skin at all. I did feel like my skin drank up the moisture and lovely ingredients. I only use this as part of my daily routine, as I use a separate night cream for that extra moisture surge whilst I sleep! It is also a great base for makeup as I have discovered. The cream is very nourishing and leaves my skin soft and supple, however, I can't say that it has left my skin looking any younger. 

The pot screams luxury and its weight and design definitely deliver this. It looks beautiful on my dresser and I will miss seeing it once it is finished. 

Will, I re-purchase? Unfortunately, I don't think so. I think it is a lovely cream, but it is very expensive and not something I would payout for. I'm now on the lookout for another day cream, not overly fussed about the SPF as I use a separate one. What are you using? Drop some ideas in the comments for me.

Why not come and join me on my Insta page @claritybeautymc it would be great to see you! 

 

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Sweet dreams

Today marks the tenth day I have been using my Mark & Spencer Silk pillowcase which costs enough at £29.50. Does this product fall into the beauty and skincare category? Yes, I think it does.  It claims to put an end to bad hair mornings and offers sleepers an anti bedhead benefit. It claims also that it can work to reduce lines on your face and allow your skin and hair to retain moisture. Is this the case? Read on to find out. Oh and forgive the slightly random photography in this post, pillowcases are obviously not my niche! 

My silk pillowcase was in fact a gift from my husband for Mother's Day. I had been mentioning (quite a few times) that I really wanted to try one, and just like that, one appeared on my special day. Who knew! I digress. So, the pillowcase came in a small cardboard package, which on opening expanded into a normal-sized pillowcase. Both sides are in fact silk, as some have a cotton side on one side. The feel was immediately dreamy.  I love grey and the boy did good buying the perfect colour for me. 

My feedback about this pillowcase is that no, I am not looking 10 years younger, but yes my locks are definitely smoother and not so scarecrow first thing! I love lying on the silk, it's soft and so luxurious on my face, and I must say that I don't think that it soaks up my potions and lotions as much from my nighttime routine. This can only be a really positive outcome in my opinion. I hope then, that this contributes to the anti-aging process whilst I sleep. Why not take a look at my cleanse, tone and moisturise routine for some great tips to up your skincare routine here.   

Functionality to me is important, and this pillowcase can be washed at 40 degrees in your washing machine. It advises not to tumble dry, so I have followed said instructions. It does, however, dry very quickly and hasn't lost any of its quality feel afterwards.

The big question to answer is... are they worth the spend? At £29.50, it is a lot to spend on a pillowcase when its cotton counterpart is much cheaper. But to answer my question, I would say yes. Even if they don't make me lose 10 years overnight, the luxury and comfort they bring are so nice. I'm over forty now, so I will happily add luxury (and an extra bit of help) to my world of beauty, skincare and anti-aging and enjoy the small benefits that come with that little luxury. 

The range of silk pillowcases and their prices is vast on the internet, and I would be interested to be able to compare a £100 one to my one, we'll have to see if that happens. Have you used a silk pillowcase and what did you think? Comment below and let's compare notes.  

Why not follow me on my Instagram page @claritybeautymc where I share lots of bits and bobs from beauty and skincare to positive vibes.  See you there.   


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Products I use... Part 2 - Tone and moisturise PM


Howdy and welcome to part 2 of my evening cleansing routine, tone and moisturise! I admit, taking off my makeup and pampering my skin is a perfect end to my day. Our skin works hard for us so let's get cracking and I'll take you through my routine. 

Toner

I read conflicting arguments regarding the use of toner. Personally, I tone after cleansing. I find that it removes any residue that is on my skin and I like the feeling of my clean skin afterwards. I am going through a bit of a trial with a couple of products from Aldi, Lacura. I'm using the Healthy Glow Glycolic Toner, which is a dupe for the Pixi Glow Exfoliating Tonic. Whilst it is doing what I need it to do, I won't change it. To use this product, just dampen a cotton wool pad with the product and sweep over the face (avoiding under the eyes) which can be a bit harsh for the gentle skin around the eyes. It's as simple as that. I would recommend monitoring how the skin reacts if you are not used to using a toner and deciding from there if it is right for you. I really like this toner, so would recommend it for sure. There are also spray mists which I have seen other beauty bods using, have you tried any? 

Facial Oil

Next in my repertoire is facial oil. In all honesty, I have only started using a facial oil in the last month or so. I felt like my skin needed some extra moisture. I had read some lovely reviews about the oil I am using which is Lacura Healthy Glow Rose Oil. First things first, the packaging is okay, it's basic and I prefer to have the bottle transparent so I can see how much I have left. (random) I do, however, like the rose gold detail on the dropper. The product inside has a beautiful rose scent (funny that), and I use about two drops each evening. Rub it into your hands and blend into your face (avoiding the eye area again). The oil is not heavy on the skin, I definitely feel my skin soaks up the liquid and the rose scent last a while which is lovely. A word of advice would be to let it soak up before applying your next product. 

Eye Cream

Who doesn't love a good eye cream? I'm a big eye cream fan and I'm currently using quite a posh one. It is the Nuxe Nuxuriance Ultra Eye and Lip contour (anti-aging). It claims to reduce wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness and slackness around the eye and lip area. I have been using it for some time and I am really enjoying it. It has saffron and Bougainvillea Bi-floral cells, which contributes to the gorgeous smell it has. I don't have very dark circles or slackness (yet) so I cannot confirm or deny it offers miracles there. All I can say is that I really like using it daily and my outer eye area is bright and smooth.  

Retinol

Well well well, now it's time for the big boys. Retinol, which is a derivative of Vitamin A is a product used for skin renewal, something I have used for about two months. I'm over 40 now, so I thought that it was time I started to use some proper anti-aging products. I can only write about my experience, but I am pretty sure it has reduced some fine lines on my face, especially on my forehead! I am using The Inkey List Retinol, which was personally recommended by another skincare junkie. If you are new to using Retinol, this one is a good place to start. Generally, there are levels of Retinol, usually measured in percentages. At 1% this is fairly low but can still cause a reaction if not used correctly. My way, which has been problem-free is as follows:

1. Use a pea-sized amount and rub it into the skin, cheeks, forehead and neck (avoiding the eye area).

2. Let it soak in and ensure to follow up with your night cream of choice. 

Please make sure that these steps are followed as it helps to lock in the product and not cause the dry/red patchy skin you can get. Don't be afraid of Retinol, it just needs to be used properly and consistently to get results. I think I will try a higher percentage soon, any recommendations for me? 

Night Cream

I do feel that a night cream should be the piece de resistance of an evening skincare routine. It should be like that gorgeous heavy duvet that envelopes you on a cold winter's evening (but for your face). The cream should be soothing, relaxing and feel like it is working hard whilst you snooze! I was lucky enough to have the LookFantastic Beauty calendar last year, and the night cream I'm using is from that collection. The Comfort Zone Renight Cream is currently loving my skin. It contains Goji berry, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and macadamia oil. The smell is beautiful, and the cream is easily absorbed so beautifully into my face and neck. I love the packaging as well, it's funky and modern and I've been impressed by the results. My skin gets a treat every evening, and I wake up with very soft skin. I don't use lots of this product, just under half a teaspoon I would say. It does go a long way and overall I will definitely consider buying it after I finish this 30ml version. It is a little pricey but I certainly think it packs a punch in the night cream arena. 

Self-tanning drops

It must be spring heading into the summer months as my fake tan products are being resurrected! I was recommended the Bondisands Pure self-tanning drops by a friend who is very particular about their facial products. If you are looking to find a natural glow that is easy to configure into your skincare this is it! By just adding two or three drops into your moisturiser and applying as normal, a tanning effect will happen in a couple of days. That's how long it took for me anyway. One thing I will admit is that I had a bit of dryness on my face at the start of using these, but this is now cleared up so it could have been anything (especially at my age). Do wash your hands after using the drops as they can give transfer onto the palms and that's not the best look really. Overall, I think this is a great easy to use fake tan option for the face, definitely try it leading up to the summer!

There you have it, from toning through to self-tan, here is my current routine as it stands. I am using some great products that don't have to cost the earth and enjoying some lovely results. I am, however, a huge advocate of an inside out philosophy. I always recommend drinking lots of water, eating well and exercising as these all contribute to a healthy mind and body. What products are you using or if you have used any of my products, what did you think?

Why not follow me on my Instagram page @claritybeautymc where I share lots of bits and bobs from beauty and skincare to positive vibes.  

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Products I use... Part 1 - Cleansing PM

Well hello! It's March 14th and it's my first free Monday in a long while. A contract has come to an end with a client, so I'm having a little bit of time to catch my breath before embarking on my next contract. And what better way to spend it than musing about my favourite beauty bits. The candle is lit, the words are flowing and I hope you enjoy it. 

I wanted to write a post today about skincare and in particular, my product choices and routine. For me, there is nothing better than cleaning your face using your favourite products. It is like the end of the working day and the start of my evening. As I have gotten older, my routine has evolved, as my skin has changed and needs more TLC! There are also A LOT of conflicting views on the best skincare routine, to double cleanse or not, to use foaming products or not, to use oil-based products or not, and it goes on. Bearing this in mind, I am just sharing my routine and my opinion which works for me. 

So let's dive straight in. I was, up until about a year ago, just washing my face once in the evening, using the Elemis Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser. By all accounts I was happy, but then I read a wonderful new book, Skincare by Caroline Hirons. Caroline discussed the method of cleansing called double cleansing, something (I cannot believe I didn't know about). A few YouTube videos later and I was sold on this new cleansing ritual! Now it's time to find out what I use and what are the results.

I have no problem admitting that the thought of using an oil-based cleansing product filled me with dread! I envisioned breakouts and shiny skin, OMG it was going to be a disaster. Well, thankfully my first experience with a facial cleansing oil was just lovely. It was the Marks & Spencer Ultimate Cleanse Micellar Cleansing oil, very gentle, effective and smelled beautiful. After this, I decided to branch out and try a different brand, come on down Super Facialist Skin Renew Cleansing Oil! Currently, I am finishing my first bottle, whilst the second is already purchased and waiting to be used. It just works. It removes all makeup, sunscreen and tough mascara, whilst leaving the skin soft and supple with no dryness. The smell is so nice, soft citrus, and not overpowering in my opinion, although there are some that think it is. 

If you are new to using oils, it can feel a little odd to apply them to dry skin, but once you have massaged the oil into your skin (the best part) it transforms into a milky texture when in contact with water. I also soak a cleansing cloth in warm water to wipe the excess oil and grime off my skin. In my experience, even doing this doesn't leave skin feeling tight or strained. I use the Magnitone ones as they are super soft and wash very well. 

This is where the double cleanse comes in. Once you have used the first cleansing product, you follow up with an additional cleanser to complete the routine. I use the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser for normal to dry skin, which has not failed me yet! I pump some product into my palm and rub it into my hands. I then rub it into my face and massage it in. Use a warm cloth to wipe off the cleanser to finish. I will be transparent and say that sometimes I get a slight stinging sensation on my face using this, but I have never had a breakout or bad reaction and once I have used the warm cloth to wipe my face again, it is fine. It is designed to work in harmony with the skin and not to disturb the natural protective barrier.

These are the products that I use religiously every day to keep my skin clear and happy. I will not change my first cleansing product but I might swap to a different second cleanse, any suggestions? It's worth noting that I use a face polisher once a week. It was one that I got in my LookFantasic calendar called Omorovicza Budapest Refining Facial Polisher. It is a very expensive product and thankfully, a little does go a long way. The texture of the product is fine granules which is Hungarian Moor Mud, rich in magnesium and calcium. I only use it once a week, however, it can be used two to three times if needed.  

As with everything in life, there are ups and downs with my skin. Having a consistent routine and using high quality products does help to keep things in check. I hope you have enjoyed reading my post, and please do get in touch with your comments or questions, it would be great to hear from you.

Don't forget to follow my Instagram page @claritybeautymc for little updates and pictures from my world!


See you soon, Ally x

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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



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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
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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 

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