Last month I came to the end of some truly fabulous products, so good that I’d been trying to eke them out as long as possible. In an effort to clear some space in the bathroom I’ve ended up with quite a few May empties. The items I was really sorry to use up were the two Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Limited Editions. I’d been using the Sweet Orange and Mint in the morning for a zesty and fresh start to the day, while saving the soothing Orange Flower and Chamomile version for night time.
I’ve been a fan of Cleanse and Polish for many years now. While I find it impossible to fault the original version, I can never resist buying the limited editions. Luckily for me (and every other Cleanse and Polish devotee) Liz Earle is celebrating its 20th birthday with some amazing offers. One of those is a limited edition Cleanse & Polish Beauty Trio. The set contains 3 x 100ml pumps in calming Rose & Lavender, zesty Grapefruit & Patchouli and soothing Orange Flower & Chamomile, plus 2 muslin cloths for £35. Too good to resist I reckon!
Another skincare system I’m a fan of is Murad’s Essential-C range, which I find works particularly well for me in warmer weather; in fact it made it onto my list of Beauty Essentials for Running. The broad spectrum SPF 30 of the Essential-C Day Moisture provides a good level of protection from UVA and UVB rays, although I like to apply a separate sunscreen on top as well. The eye cream has an SPF of 15, which is a little low for my liking, although I’m never without big sunglasses, even in Winter. I like to use this cleanser after a workout as I find an emulsifying cleanser more convenient to use in the shower than over the sink, and the citrus fragrance is refreshing and energising.
The texture of the Advanced Active Radiance Serum is quite thin and runny. Although it sinks into the skin quickly I didn’t find it particularly hydrating. However, it did give my skin an energising boost which complimented the other products in the range. I also used it up very quickly. The Intensive-C Radiance Peel is one of my favourite treatments because it’s so easy to use. You only have to leave it on for up to 10 minutes and it leaves my skin feeling fresher, cleaner and brighter, without the tight shiny feeling you get with some face masks. I first reviewed Murad’s Essential-C range on Style Splash here.
Over the past 18 months I’ve never been without an Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant stick in my makeup bag. I first discovered this amazing lip balm when I bought the Elizabeth Arden Eight Winter Essentials kit. I’ve been quite lucky because I also bought my mum one of these gift sets and she gave me her lip protectant stick. Just as that was running out I bought the Latest in Beauty Dream Box 2 which contained one. It’s an incredibly useful item to have in your makeup bag because in addition to being an excellent lip balm it can be used on scrapes, sore bits and blisters (just remember to apply it with your finger or wipe the stick afterwards!)
The hand cream is another high performing product, as you’d expect from this range. Somehow it manages to stay on my hands even after I’ve washed them several times. The fragrance might not be to everyone’s liking but if you can overlook that I’m sure your hands will thank you for slapping this on.
The Sanctuary 30 Day Youth Revolution kit and Power Peptide Serum were absolute bargains at just £6 and £5 respectively, which I bought back in October. I have to admit that I wasn’t disciplined enough to use the mask twice a week as advised, but even using it less frequently my skin still felt the benefit.
The mask is thick and gloopy which takes 15-20 minutes to dry…then comes the really satisfying bit…peeling it off! Is it just me that loves doing that? Well apparently not as my daughter insisted on doing it for me every time! The mask contains glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells and stimulate renewal. I really enjoyed using this mask, even if it is a bit messy – having a brush included in the kit helps. but even though I washed it out thoroughly after every use it still went hard.
The Anti-Wrinkle Activation Serum gave a nice boost of radiance to my skin. Like the Murad serum, it’s quite runny but I didn’t need to use loads so it did last quite well. I also used the Power Peptide Serum intermittently, which contains Matrixyl and hyaluronic acid. Given the impressive ingredients I had really high hopes for this product, but I wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped to be. In fact I didn’t notice much of an improvement in skin tone or texture but as it only cost £5 I’m not too disappointed. However, I would definitely purchase the 30 Day Youth Revolution kit again, in fact I’ve been back to the Factory Shop to see if I can pick another bargain up but sadly they’re no longer in stock.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra is my favourite base and one that I use daily. I’ve tried many different foundations but I always come back to this. It gives lasting coverage and blends in so well. It’s not cheap but for me it’s worth the splurge. When BB and then CC creams exploded onto the market a few years ago I was a bit confused about the whole concept. I don’t like tinted moisturisers (they just seem a bit neither here nor there to me) so I didn’t think a CC cream would impress me. However, I was quite surprised at the level of coverage the Clinique cream gave and how well it blended in. It left a more dewy finish than I’m used to, which often resulted in a shiny nose and forehead by mid-afternoon. But for holidays when you don’t necessarily want full coverage it’s a great product, especially as it contains an SPF 30.
Last but not least, two fabulous products from Benefit. The Dandelion Ultra Plush lip gloss is the first lip product I’ve tried from Benefit, and now I’m asking myself why I hadn’t tried it before! I am quite fussy when it comes to lip glosses – I don’t like the really gloopy and sticky ones that your hair gets stuck to on a breezy day…yuk! So the silky texture of this Benefit beauty really floated my boat. I’ll certainly be buying the full size version and probably in several other shades too…It just goes to show that giving out mini versions as free gifts really works as a marketing strategy!
Back in May I reviewed Gimme Brow alongside L’Oreal’s Brow Artist Plumper, and despite preferring the Benefit gel I was swayed by the more purse friendly drug store version. After a couple of months of using the cheaper product I’m now sitting on the fence, mainly because I find the brush a bit cumbersome and the colour is a little too dark and warm-toned for me. Yes there is a big difference in price but I guess it’s true that you get what you pay for. I always did have expensive taste!