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 

Peachy lips and bright nails - perfect combo?

It is definitely getting to that time of year when all nail varnish has to change to a shade of coral, it's just an unwritten rule in my world. I have so many different shades of coral, reddy coral, orangey coral, and so on. So buying another shade to add to my collection, was nothing out of the ordinary. However, whilst searching for a top in Next that wasn't dark or long sleeved, I came across their own selection of makeup. So, here are two of their products and more importantly what I thought of them.

Nail Colour Collection in Paradise £4
The colour attracted me initially. This shade of coral leans towards a more orange in tone, which is perfect for this time of year and this shade promotes a glossy finish as with most varnishes. I wore this colour on my little minbreak to Venice, and surprisingly I only had to touch up a couple of chips while I was away.  
So longevity wise it did well, (although there was no washing up, changing nappies, cleaning etc to contend with). It dries quickly and evenly, ensuring you have a good solid base coat underneath that is. I would definitely recommend that a second coat is applied, as the first will leave gaps of colour on the nail surface. Overall, I really like the colour and depth it presents once both coats are in situ, it was a good varnish for the relatively inexpensive cost.
Make Me Beautiful Lipstick in Simply Peach £8
I am still working through my obsession with matte lipstick, so this was my final purchase before I begin to obsess about lip gloss for the next few months. My initial observation of this product was the great packaging. It is really funky, and looks a lot more expensive than it is. The texture of the lipstick is creamy and grips onto the lips with ease. (Tip: If your lips are not completely smooth, these bits will show up a lot more using this shade. Try putting a bit of Vaseline on your lips prior to application). I used a nude colour lip liner to define the shape of the lip which I think should be used. I suggest a Boots Natural Collection in Almond, a pretty good match, for me anyway.  I was pretty chuffed to receive a compliment on my colour this afternoon, as I still wasn't completely convinced. 
Certain matte lipsticks can create a dryness on your lips, thankfully I haven't experienced this to date, but I have seen many reviews claiming this to be the case for them. I have not felt any over drying or uncomfortable sensation whilst using this product, so that is a positive!

These two little products have performed really well, and I was particularly hard on them, almost looking for flaws (naughty me), but in all honesty, I can't find anything negative to say. The two colours work nicely together, especially for a day wear look. A great concept to buy a new top, and treat yourself to a new make up product at the same time, brilliant.

Have you bought any NEXT make up products? What did you think?

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Ally x

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 


Perfect peepers

Nothing sets off your eyes better than perfectly applied eyeliner. I must admit, I'm still working on the ink liner application, that cat eye flick isn't quite there, however, smudged, smokey is such an achievable look, and one I use daily. I've decided to include two eyeliners for this post, both designed to do the same job, however one is more expensive and waterproof.

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner
Too faced. I love the name, and I will be honest, I bought this pencil on the reviews and description provided. I had a couple of reasons for choosing this brand, one is that I wanted a better quality pencil lead with longevity and a more durable outlook, and one that can go up against a toddler splash session and survive, hence the waterproof aspect. The other is the colour, I wanted a rich dark brown, no sparkle, just brown. It isn't cheap at £16 plus postage, so I was expecting good things.

Bloggers don't want to say anything negative about a product, but I felt a tinge of disappointment on the first application. I began to draw, as one does across the lash line and virtually lost half of the lead as it was very soft! Naturally, I gave it the benefit of the doubt, so proceeded onto the other eye with extreme caution. This was improved due to the lighter application technique, however having to be so careful is not ideal. The lead is easily worn down even with a lighter touch, so a sense of hesitation in using it everyday creeps in. On the upside, the colour of the lead is nice, with no sparkle and is a solid brown, so no complaints there. 
There is a definite positive with this liner and that is the smudger on the other end of the pencil. Once the colour had been applied, it enabled you to create a smooth coloured area across the lash line, but I wouldn't say smokey smudged, as it is too creamy and soft. The downside to a pencil of this nature is that it needs sharpening very often, hence it disappears very quickly, not a good prospect for the credit card. 

No7 Stay Perfect Metallic Eyes Pencil  
As with all these posts, there has to be a competitor to compare your argument to, and it's No7 today. I've had this pencil for about two months and it's a great everyday pencil with the ambition to create an impressive evening look too. It is different to the Too Faced lead, as it is classed as metallic, which yes it is, but not in an overpowering way. The lead is very pliable. It is soft and doesn't drag on the eyelid and most importantly holds it's composure! As I mentioned, I have worn this most days, as it is easy to apply, gives a nice impact statement on the eyes and it lasts. I have also used it underneath an eye shadow as a darker base to build up colour on the lid for the evening. The smudger is also perfectly formed and creates a smooth, smokey finish.
The interesting and bonus feature of this pencil is the cost. It is reasonably priced at £6.50, which I think is great for an everyday pencil. I wouldn't hesitate in trying other colours in this range and even the non metallic range.   
That's it for now, if you have any great eyeliners to shout about, drop me a line. 

Ally x

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 


Sparkle doesn't have to cost as much as you think

 I love accessories. Bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, all different styles and all different prices. I especially love sparkle, and over the years, I have become a big fan of Swarovski. The pieces I have are so elegant, so unique and very affordable. 

The brand was founded in 1895 in Austria and they specialise in high quality crystal items not only for us to wear, but to glam up our homes to (must get round to looking at some of these). The company has grown into a global icon and among their numerous shops all over the UK, there are boutiques and outlets that also sell their beautiful products, as well as online. I have chosen two of my favourite pieces today. They are both very different in style, but I feel have a WOW factor whenever I wear them.

To begin, I have this stunning clasp bracelet. The embossed pattern is only on one side of the bracelet, of the famous swan split into four separate images. Then the clear crystal stones used an outline which catch the light and lift the matt and shine pattern. It is opened and closed by using the clasp, which once clicked together, feels safe and secure on the wrist, a real feeling of great workmanship. Inside, the metal is shined to perfection and the clasp adorns the Swarovski logo. The only downside is that there is no adjustment with this bracelet, but I have never needed to and my wrists are quite slim.  
The bracelet was presented in a solid box as well as being wrapped in a soft cotton drawstring bag to protect the item. I love the weight, it feels and looks very expensive and sparkles in a very confident way. This accessory would be perfect worn out to dinner with your beau or best friends, it's a real eye catcher and it will be in my collection for many years to come. 
So moving onto piece number two. I have only recently bought this item from my local Swarovski shop. The cuff is light and easy to wear, either in the day or evening, a completely different and more pliable item to the one above. It is embellished with stunning crystals on every strand of fabric, which catch the light at every opportunity. It can be adjusted to a tighter fitting by using the press studs, covered by four clear crystals. I think this bracelet is really on trend and I love the universal colour and lightweight feel of this one, but they do come in some amazing variations, so there would be one for any occasion or outfit! I find if I wear a bold colour on my nails, either a cheerful coral or vampy red, the bracelet's character really comes through. I'm looking forward to the Summer so I can throw it on and enjoy it sparkling in the sunshine! 
I have some really nice pieces of jewelry from this brand, and I have not been disappointed with any of them. I especially love the fact that although Swarovski is so famous across the world, they are still family run and you can see this in each piece. 

Storage is key for all precious items, and if possible keeping them in their original box and away from extremes of temperature and light will ensure the longevity of your jewelry. 

Thank you for reading, have a great day!

Ally x

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 


Beautiful British brands

I just love hearing about up and coming British brands, be it in fashion or beauty. London Butterflies is just that type of brand. It is fresh, bright and bold and prides itself on being British. This is from where it sources the product ingredients, to even ensuring all packaging and products are manufactured in the United Kingdom. I have been using a mini selection of their products over the last week or so, and I am excited to share my findings with you.
Let us start with the selection. A bath salt scrub, a whipped body cream and a Body butter souffle. All of the products are packaged in a heavy glass pot with a black plastic screw on top. The weight and look of the pots immediately sets it above a high street drugstore purchase. I am a big fan of the bold silver lettering and butterfly emblem, it is clear and easily recognisable.
Dead Sea Salt and Sweet Almond Oil
Well, well, well this is just a little pot of sunshine and I am a big fan. As with most people, I am starting to drag myself into preparing my body and mainly pins for the warmer months. The easiest way to breathe some life into your skin is to exfoliate and mositurise, which is just what this product does all in one go. I have used lots of similar products, but I don't believe that I have felt the effects so soon after using them. The texture is a fine grit but not so gritty it is uncomfortable to rub over your skin. The sweet almond oil smells beautiful, a sensual and almost musky perfume. Skin is left rejuvenated and so soft, even after drying, just as if a moisturiser had been applied. I will happily use this product daily, as the salt is fine enough and the oil is super hydrating.
Winter Jasmine and Starflower, with Sweet Almond oil Whipped Body Cream 
The description of this cream is just heavenly, and the smell is too. If you open the lid and inhale, the scent isn't very strong, it is actually very delicate, and can almost appear faint. I found that once the cream had been rubbed into the skin, (which just melted into mine) then the ingredients seem to work together and a beautiful aroma is left. The texture of the cream is perfect, not too heavy, but enough to feel that your skin is soaking up some real goodness. As with most creams, leave it a little while to lose that slight sticky feeling, and all you will be left with is fabulously soft skin with a welcomed lingering scent. 
British Tundra Berries and Meadow sweet with Golden Jojoba oil Body Butter Souffle
I loved the whipped body cream, however I adore this body butter. I'm not sure if it is that time of year where my skin is craving something a bit more substantial, but this certainly hits the spot. Don't misunderstand me, it is not heavy at all, it is light and airy but with a hidden depth. The butter is a very pretty light pink, which I found to be very appealing and made me want to delve in. It is very easily absorbed, but I found my skin needed a little longer to dry off before I got dressed. 

So, we have covered texture, now to discuss the smell. All I can say, is that it is edible. The selection of ingredients is perfectly blended, and they all work together in harmony. They create a much deeper fragrance and it is noticeable even from an initial application without being overpowering. 
I have really enjoyed using these products and I am impressed with the quality and uniqueness about them. I hadn't heard of London Butterflies before, but I have a strong feeling that their brand and products will become a firm favourite with me and other beauty lovers.

What is your favourite body scrub and body cream? Why do you choose that brand? I'd be really interested to know.......

If you have any questions about this post or any others, then please get in touch.

Bye for now.

Ally x

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 



Lip smackingly good

Lips are very important to me. I think there is nothing nicer than having a soft, blemish free and kissable pout. This little number is the key to having just that. I had to re-read the description due to the word STEMCELL, hmm not a phrase you see everyday! However, when I saw Super-food, and then glam balm, all was okay with the world. Once again I was sold on the clever wording used to entice us beauty hungry soles.  
I have been using this glam balm for a while now and it goes everywhere with me. The product itself is clear and has a floral scent to it, not surprising really as it contains Alpine Rose Stemcells. How beautiful does that sound? I have used it alone and also over the top of my lip liner and it gives a nice high shine, just under glossy and an immediate relief to my lips, even if I didn't think they felt particularly dry. If there is a favourite matte lipstick colour you like, it could be applied over the top to create a glossier effect. 

This tube of glam balm is not the actual product that you would buy, but a smaller sample that I received in my You Beauty calendar last year. I'll be honest, I had not heard of Rodial as a skincare brand, but I have been doing some research and there is a fabulous portfolio of products available, ranging from skincare to makeup, with a high profile following. Hmm can I ask for Easter presents?
To conclude, I'm loving the quality of this lip balm. I love the smell, the texture, the high shine and I really love the branding! I think if I whipped the 'real' product out, I'd be asked all sorts of questions by my beauty enthusiast friends. Although the retail price of this is £19 online, I am so impressed with the longevity of this sample tube, it will be a good investment long term. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have enjoyed my post, get in touch and let me know your thoughts. 

Ally x

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 


Summer is coming.....

I have found a new friend in my skincare regime. It's the Garnier Original, Miracle Skin Perfector All-in-One BB cream in Light. I'm not embarrassed to admit that this is my first experience of using a BB cream and I'm really happy with it's performance so far. There are so many choices out there and nearly every skin care brand has a similar product. I went with one that I had seen before and a brand that I trust. Usually during the warmer months I use a tinted moisturiser, and only apply foundation if I am going out in the evening for a deeper coverage. This cream is a little miracle worker, and I have already purchased the medium shade for when I start getting my tan! Ever the optimist!
As you can see, the cream is coloured and so it requires some blending, especially around the jawline and hair line. It is designed to perfect skin tone, blur imperfections, leave you with a healthy glow and provide an SPF 15, all of which I can vouch for. It's consistency is really nice, not too runny but not too thick either. The cream has a slight scent, but nothing that is off-putting. I'm using the cream as a complete moisturiser only in the morning at the moment and my ever changing skin is soft and happy. I'm still using my night cream for that extra boost of moisture overnight. I chose the light option at this time of year, as I'm a little pasty after hibernating for the Winter. I think I would struggle to make a darker shade blend well, so I advise it's best to go safe if you are not sure! 
I think this is a great alternative to tinted moisturiser and if I am honest, it covers and moisturises so much better. We are now heading into Spring, with more sunshine and a more promising weather report. This product is a little step away from foundation, allows a more natural coverage but with a sturdy confidence. Roll on the Summer so I can try the darker shade!

Bye for now. 

Allyson x

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 


Something a little different...

Well, this is my first lifestyle post for my blog. I purchased this lovely little number in Brighton at the Neal's Yard Remedies store, I virtually floated out of the shop after inhaling all the beautiful aromas floating around. I also discovered that this company makes and sells a great collection of beauty and make-up products, looks rather nice to, (I was ushered out far too quickly)!

Writing about an oil burner and oil may seem a little random in comparison to some of my other posts, but I am really taken with it. I was having a mooch around a clothes shop called Noa Noa, and I smelt it as soon as I walked in, a clean, refreshing and uplifting scent in the air. What is that I thought? So with an elbow in the back, my hubby went up and asked the cashier, 'Oh it's a Neal's Yard oil called Women's Balance' came the answer. Right, off to Neal's Yard it is. No clothes, but definitely an oil or two please! The lovely lady in Neal's Yard new instantly which smell it was when we told her where we had smelt it, quite amusing really!
I can remember when I was a teenager having josticks, and a less expensive version of this product, but it definitely did not smell as good. The ceramic burner comes as a whole piece (as some of them enable you to remove the top). It is very basic in it's operation, add some water and a maximum of two drops of the oil, then let the heat from the night-light work it's magic. It doesn't take long to feel the impact of the oil on your senses, (I'll be chanting next), but really I feel it really relaxes me. It's almost like you become enveloped in a hug of aroma and it's quite heady. The water doesn't evaporate too quickly, but keep an eye on it so that it doesn't dry out. I have found that I needed to add a little more water rather than the oil as it lasts, which balances out the cost, (excuse the pun)!
I must say that I winced a little at the cost of these two. £16 for the ceramic burner and £9.50 for the oil, but I am glad that I chose these and didn't skimp on an imitation oil. The quality of the essence is superb and this is what makes it special. The Women's Balance blend is designed to be very good for us ladies in particular, to balance our hormones and emotions, but I feel it is perfect for any time of the month and for men to. My husband is now a big fan, and will happily set up the burner for me.

Neal's Yard Remedies sell an extensive selection of oils for vaporisation and use on the skin, all with unique qualities to soothe away those ailments or worries. The team on the shop floor are very knowledgeable and keen to help. It's definitely worth a look, I'm glad I delved in, and now I'm hooked!

I hope you enjoyed this slight detour in my blogging content, hope to hear from you.

Bye for now. Ally 

Twitter: @clarity_beauty 


The 'Evil' coldsore battle

Let's face it, if you suffer from cold sores as I have done (really badly) and still do occasionally, then the word evil is not a strong word to call them. I used to get these wretched things if I was poorly, tired or stressed, a sure sign to me that I wasn't taking care of myself. They can make you feel very poorly, self conscious and generally miserable. An article that I read in Cosmopolitan magazine inspired me to write this post as I couldn't believe that a little miracle that I have found was not mentioned. I was reading through said article fervently hoping to find mention of it, but it didn't come. The article mentioned maintaining a good diet, avoiding certain foods and taking Aciclovir, an active ingredient found in the cold sore cream Zovirax as a tablet. It also recommended a very expensive cold sore cream which could be unreachable for many sufferers. So what is the mystery remedy I am talking about? It is called Lysine. 
I've had this little pot of sunshine for over a year, and to be honest, I haven't looked back. The ointment is clear and has hardly any smell. It is from the health food store Holland & Barrett and is not expensive at only £4.49. I would pay whatever it took to reduce the frequency and pain of the darn things! 

I have now gone up to another level of fighting back, after much research into Lysine and it's benefits. I take 1000mg of L-Lysine everyday, which is an amino acid which helps support the growth and maintenance of the body. It has been over three months since taking these tablets and (touch wood) I haven't had any breakouts, even with illness and a few sleepless nights. I also take an extra tablet if I feel any sort of tingle in my lip or around my nose, coupled with a hearty coating of the ointment before bed. (Make sure you wash your hands after use). This may all sound a little over the top, but I would take a routine like this over the beasts any day!     
Don't get me wrong, I also try to keep to a healthy diet, drink water and green tea, and get 8 hours of sleep every night (hilarious), but sometimes we just need a little extra help in our systems to fight off these pesky viruses.

This has worked for me, and of course I am not a medical practitioner, so check it out before you start taking any vitamins. I would just hate to think of people suffering like I was; thinking all avenues had been taken and there is no help. Here are the links on the Holland and Barrett website for more information:

Wishing you all happy healthy lips, just in time for Valentines Day, (timed it quite well didn't I)!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, drop me a line.

Twitter @clarity_beauty 


An unexpected 'great' review - Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil Free Moisturiser

The weather and ones hormones can play havoc with your skin, and especially the face, a more sensitive and needy area. On this particular occasion, I had tried my normal face moisturiser and even my 'when all else fails' Original Nivea cream, but nothing seemed to be working. My skin continued to feel tight and looked dull and lackluster. I apologise that this reads like those cringe worthy adverts that appear on the TV, however this really was how it happened.

In comes my new skin saviour, a product that my husband of all people bought for him. It was just sitting there, so I decided to try it and I must say it is a really nice product. The smell of the cream is just edible, zingy grapefruit (I have likened it to a Starburst sweet)! The texture is lightweight, a white cream that rubs in very easily with no sticky residue. An unexpected sensation follows shortly after applying, which can only be described as a cooling effect, which normally disappears very quickly. Try to avoid rubbing it in around the sensitive eye area as the cooling can be a little much there. 

I was very skeptical, and especially as it contained grapefruit, I imagined my skin feeling drier and it acting like an astringent. After a couple of days, my skin was soothed and looking brighter and those irritating dry patches had gone. I am in no doubt that the state of my skin at that time is due to many factors, but I can genuinely say this cream helped a lot.

It is very strange that your skin can change from one month to the next and your usual products can suddenly become ineffective for that period of time. This experience has highlighted to me that I have become a bit of a facial care 'snob' and the idea of buying a standard drugstore product such as this didn't even flash onto my radar. It's not always the cost of the product but the ingredients contained that can help with your skin issues at that time. I have some Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish cleanser to use up, but after that I have now got the corresponding facial wash to try. Review to follow!

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions then please drop me a line.

Thanks Ally 

Twitter @clarity_beauty 


Can a perfume really change your mood?

Interesting title right? Can a smell that you spritz onto your neck and wrist really leave you feeling happier, fun, sexy, confident or whatever mood you want to be in? I think yes. I have so many perfumes, ranging from Boss to Chloe and I love all of them. There is nothing nicer than smelling great everyday, it's gives oneself an inner confidence and if you know you are wearing an expensive scent you feel a million dollars too! I have a variety of categories for my perfumes, day to day, sporty, evening and that perfume you bought that you wish you hadn't, but can't throw away! I have picked four of my favourites, all for different reasons and all smell equally beautiful.
Emporio Armani Diamonds

Firstly, this is one of my day perfumes and I find it to be very elegant and classy. It is fresh, but with a sweet muskiness that takes over once it has been on the skin for some time. Longevity of the scent is excellent, and I love the way it smells after hours on the skin. I didn't realise, but this perfume was released in 2007, yet it seems a very new fragrance to me. I use this perfume if I am going out for a shopping day or if I have client meetings, as it oozes a confidence, a self assured scent making it a winner for me. The bottle is very simple in design, looks nice on the dresser and has the emblem almost floating through the fragrance. 
Giorgio Armani Code for Women
Okay, so this is one of my favourite perfumes. It was bought for me as a gift some time ago now and I love it. It has a wonderful deep and sophisticated scent, not too heavy but leaves a heady aroma that stays with you. This perfume suits a black dress while out to dinner and cocktails, perfect combo! This week however, I have been wearing it in the day, just because it is so addictive, and I haven't found it to be overpowering. The scent almost wraps around you and if you don't get a compliment whilst wearing this perfume I'll be very surprised. The bottle is very sleek, and the only downside is that it is easily knocked over as it is a little top heavy, but that is because I have too many in one place!
Chloe Eau de Parfum
As you can see from the bottle, this is not a brand new bottle of perfume. I have had this for quite a long time and the smell has remained just as perfect as when I first opened it. I do tend to store my perfumes in a cupboard, out of sunlight and any extreme temperatures, it really does help to preserve your perfumes. Moving on, this perfume is just gorgeous and iconic in my book. It is just feminine to a 't', and this is my ultimate 'out for the evening' perfume, I feel fabulous wearing it, leaving a lingering waft wherever I walk, the perfect finishing touch to your outfit and makeup. I know that once I have sprayed Chloe, I can expect to have a pillow and duvet scented with top, heart and base notes of heaven. Even the bottle (in its newer form) is very elegant and timeless, attributes that you will find in this beautiful perfume.

Narciso Rodriguez for Her Eau de Toilette
Hmmmm, if you want a wonderfully sexy and yet quietly powerful fragrance, then this is the one for you. This beauty is the latest edition (from Santa) to my collection and I adore it. I have been hampering after this for months and months, but I couldn't warrant the cost to buy it myself! This perfume is very clever, the smell initially is very different to the end result. The perfume and the scent evolves and creates the most beautiful aroma that radiates from you. The perfume almost embeds into your skin, hair and clothes and it just stays there, on a serious note, great value for money! It is the perfect combination of floral, musky, sensual and plain right sexy! Wow, can you tell I have been exceptionally keen to report my findings about the fragrance? Aesthetically, I love the bottle, a black statement of confidence, I know I'm great I don't need a swirly fancy bottle to prove it! There is also a for her Eau de Parfum which has a slightly different scent, sweeter and a little softer, but equally as beautiful, (next Christmas maybe)? :) 
So to summarise on my post heading, can a perfume really change how you feel? Well yes, I still agree with my original answer. We all wake up in different moods, have different stress and strains to deal with on a daily basis, but if a perfume can make you feel good, and smell good I truly believe it instills an inner confidence and happiness to help us through the day.

I hope that you have enjoyed my selection of perfumes, why not drop me a line to let me know your favourites and why? Bye for now!

Twitter @clarity_beauty 


Bright Eyes

I was listening to the radio this morning, and they were debating when it becomes a little annoying to keep hearing 'Happy New Year'. It was decided that saying it once to the person or audience is more than sufficient, so here is my one time 'Happy New Year to you all'. Briskly moving on.

Today we will be discussing concealers, an area of the beauty market flooded by numerous products. After the 'party season' we are probably feeling a little in need of a helping hand in the 'bright eyes' department! I have highlighted (sorry) two of mine that I am using currently.

No7 Instant Radiance Concealer
I have had this product in my make-up bag for a few months hence the less than pristine condition. I bought it when I was having a bad run of sleepless nights and basically needed a good disguise. The cost is approximately £14 so not the cheapest but not Dior expensive. Overall, this concealer is really good. Good coverage, lovely consistency, blends well and does hide dark circles. I probably wouldn't say that I turn back the hands of time from using it, but it certainly improves the appearance for me. It is easy to use with the handy little button at the end which distributes the product into the bristles, and then apply straight onto the delicate eye area. A few dots and you are ready to face the world.

Barbara Daly Trade Secrets Light Effect Concealer Pen 2
Okay, now this is a first for me, buying makeup from Tesco. It somehow just doesn't sit right that one can buy peppers, teabags and Cheerios and also a great range of beauty products, but I decided to run with it. I read about this product in a magazine, and the writer was raving about how great it was and a steal at only £7.99. I didn't really need it, but I'm afraid that little devil on my shoulder made me do it!  

I must say that it is actually a really lovely concealer. There are a couple of shades to choose from, so I just guesstimated which one. I really like the packaging, and the branding is simple but bold. The dispensing of the concealer is much the same as the No7 pen, apart from a twist base rather than a push button. The consistency is good, perhaps a little more watery than I would have liked, but it soaked in well and did cover the darker circles under my eyes. I found that the longevity was not as good as the No7, but for a concealer at this price, you could reapply throughout the day. 

This range of makeup has recently been re branded, and from what I saw a few weeks ago, I must say for the better. I have witnessed over the last couple of months the transformation of the beauty sections within Tesco and the high end brands they now stock is fantastic. Thank goodness I do online shopping elsewhere, as they are so full of treats for the beauty obsessive I'd never eat!

I hope you have enjoyed my little concealer round up, any comments or questions just let me know:    

Twitter @clarity_beauty 
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