My new face care ritual – Le Soin Aura Mirabilis from Roger & Gallet

So you know when you think you think you know a brand – and you’ve filed it away in your head like you know what it’s about and how relevant it is to you? Well that’s kind of how I felt about Roger & Gallet. I had it categorised as a quality brand that has a great history that’s a nice to have but that I wouldn’t necessarily include as part of my regular beauty routine.

Now let me tell you that if that’s how you think about Roger & Gallet then you should be prepared to change your thinking because this new skin care range Le Soin Aura Mirabilis is so impressive!

The History Bit

Patent of Eau de Cologne

Aqual Mirabilis

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Over 300 years ago monks created a powerful remedy called Aqua Mirabilis. This was a secret recipe that used rare medicinal plants to make a natural elixir that could be drunk or applied to the body to protect and treat, to preserve health and provide beauty. It was patented in 1727 by the faculty of medicine in Cologne (that’s a copy of the patent in the original French above) and was renamed Eau de Cologne. It was a remedy used by the royal courts, emperors and empresses like Napoleon III and Queen Victoria and legend was that it was the source of their health, beauty and aura.

Le Soin Aura Mirabilis

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Roger and Gallet own the formula for the original Eau de Cologne and have incorporated the 18 distilled plants into their formula to create this amazing range – Le Soin Aura Mirabilis.

In case you’re wondering which 18 plants they use and what they’re for:

  • Sandalwood, lavender and geranium – healing
  • Neroli – regenerating
  • Lemon zest – astringent
  • Lavandin – calming
  • Bitter orange – firming;
  • Sweet orange – anti-aging
  • Citronella -anti-inflammatory
  • Damask rose – reduces redness
  • Palmarosa – helps to smooth out wrinkles
  • Green mandarin – hydrating
  • Lemon grass – antioxidant
  • Thyme – uplifting
  • Exotic vervain – emollient
  • Magnolia – antiseptic
  • Rosemary – rejuvenating
  • Bergamot – brightens

So the concept is a melding of tradition and modernity which has culminated in the four products that make up the new range Le Soin Aura Mirabilis that’s newly launched in Marks and Spencer. They are the Extra Fine Cleansing Mask £15, the Beauty Vinegar £15, Double Extract £40 and the Legendary Cream £32.

Extra Fine Cleansing Mask

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This is the first step in the beauty ritual inspired by oil based formulas and their make-up removing efficacy. It concentrates all the powers of the 18 plants combined with helianthus flower oil. It has a double use as a make up remover and as a detoxifying mask. As a make-up remover it’s the best I’ve tried! It’s a clear gel that turns into a fine oil when you massage it in and it just melts everything away including the toughest mascaras and it doesn’t sting your eyes. You apply it to dry skin and when you add water it turns to a milk. I’ve been massaging it in with my fingers and then removing it with a wet flannel or muslin. It smells and feels divine! As a mask you apply a thicker layer all over the face (apart from eye area) and allow it to absorb for a few minutes before rinsing off.

Beauty Vinegar

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The use of cleansing vinegars made from flowers fruits and spices began in the 18th Century (a little bit more history for you!) This is the source of Roger & Gallet’s inspiration for this bi-phased face care formula. The essence phase (the green bit at the top) concentrates 18 plants and the watery phase contains fruit vinegar. This removes make-up residue, helps to eliminate dead skin cells, refine texture, tightens pores, clarifies and refreshes.

Now don’t be put off by the word vinegar – this isn’t anything like the stuff you put on your chips (and thank goodness for that – I can’t bear the stuff!) It’s the most gorgeous hard working, yet gentle and delicately fragranced product. I use it at the toner stage of my skin care routine and it really will take a very special product to make me move away from this one.

Double Extract

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Again this is a bi-phase product and this double extract has a high concentration of ingredients that can penetrate into the skin fast. It’s designed to restore the skin’s barrier, correct wrinkles and irregularities and infuse the skin with radiance. It hydrates and revives leaving the skin with a delicate bloom. It also protects against external agressors -definitely needed here in London!

I didn’t get to bring this one home but applied it to my hand along with the other three products in turn at the launch and was so impressed with the look and feel. I’d use this at serum stage of my skin care process.

Legendary Cream

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The Legendary Cream completes the line up of the four step process. It concentrates all the natural powers of the 18 plants combined with extract of white lily which is particularly effective at tackling redness and irritation. It’s a micro-emulsified formula that starts off firm and melts as you apply so you get the freshness of a gel with the comfort of a cream. It targets dehydration and discomfort, boosts radiance and texture and protects.

Again I could only try this at the table but I was wowed by the effect that the combination of the four products had on my skin. There was no grease or tackiness and my skin was illuminated and dewy and the smell is so delicate. Gorgeous!

The Verdict

What can I say – this range is glorious. It’s taken history and tradition and used it to make an amazing plant based range that’s fresh and modern. You can find it in Marks & Spencer and you may find that you’ll be queueing up with me come pay day as I make sure that I have the full range to use in my new skin care ritual!

Hazel

This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Body Shop Rediscovered

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When I entered the lobby of the Charlotte Street Hotel lobby to attend the Thirty Plus Blogger Awards I was looking forward to seeing some of my blogger friends receive well deserved awards in one of my favourite SoHo event spaces. The reception room and the screening room where the awards were presented were so pretty and the whole place was buzzing with excitement.

30 plus

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Of course it was Hayley Carr that made the whole thing happen but what I hadn’t really noticed before the event was that the event sponsors were The Body Shop. They’re celebrating 40 years in the business this year and that had me thinking back to when they first appeared on the scene, how exciting the concept was back then and how we all have Body Shop products that we’ve grown up with. I realised then that since I’ve been blogging I hadn’t reviewed any Body Shop products – but I didn’t have to wait very long before the perfect opportunity presented itself as I received a huge range of products in my goody bag that included some brand new products and some old favourites. I’ve was so excited to try them out!

So here are my thoughts on everything – in detail where I’ve been using the product and in brief where I haven’t had the chance to try yet. I just didn’t want to wait any longer to tell you about some of these amazing products!

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Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask £24.00 –  Love everything about this product! Stunning packaging with fresh colours and a quality feel make me feel good about the product before I even opened it. The product itself is bouncy – I can’t really explain you’ll need to see for yourself. It’s enriched with edelweiss stem cells and it’s designed to be left on overnight. After one application I was really pleased with the result which was a really hydrated look and feel. If you’re intrigued there’s more info on the Body Shop website. They’ll help you to analyse your skin and you can get involved with the Drops of Youth challenge.

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Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil £28.00  I’ve grown to love facial oils over the last couple of years and tend to use them at the serum stage of my skin care routine. This one is infused with  black cumin seed oil from Egypt, camellia seed oil from China and rose-hip seed oil from Chile. It’s lightweight and is a real wake up call for the skin as it moisturises as well as making it look more radiant. Again I love how this product looks on the shelf and I love having it as part of my beauty routine.

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Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence £16.00 This one ticks so many boxes! It has SPF50 with broad spectrum UV filters, brightening red algae and antioxidant vitamin C. All the things I need to protect, brighten and maintain healthy skin. It sits well under my make-up for the day and has been perfect for these hot summer days in the city.

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Peppermint Intensive Cooling Foot Rescue £9 A Body Shop best seller that I’ve never tried. I always try hard to use up products before I open a new one which is often a struggle when I commit to trialling so many and I’ve been using a body butter for body and feet for a while. It hasn’t really been doing the best job for my feet and they’re quite dry – which isn’t a good look when it’s sandal wearing weather. So the other night I reached for this thinking that it was worth a try. It felt really refreshing and moisturising going on but I wasn’t holding out much hope for a noticeable affect on dryness. But next morning I was proved wrong as nearly all the dryness had gone! What a miracle worker!

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Camomile Silk Cleansing Oil £10 Not tried this one yet but it’s billed a make-up remover so I’ll be testing it out on those stubborn mascaras!

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Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask £15 This one definitely looks like you could spread it on toast. I’ve not tried it yet but it’s a 100% vegetarian face mask which includes Community Trade honey from France, marula and olive oils. No parabens, paraffin, silicone or mineral oil. It looks and sounds like a winner to me!

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Mango Body Butter £6 This is another best seller that you’re likely to be familiar with. It contains Community Trade cocoa butter and has an exotic mango scent. Not tried this one out but as I’ve explained I’m working through a pot from another brand – #blogger problems!

VitaminEcream

Vitamin E Moisturising Cream £12 This is the Body Shop’s best selling skin care and is a lightweight protective mosituriser for all-day hydration. It’s formulated with vitamin hyaluronic acid and wheatgerm oil together with Community Trade shea butter from Ghana and  Community Trade aloe vera from Mexico. It’s another one on my to try list!

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil £8 So many bloggers, friends and family say that this is a miracle worker and keep this little bottle in there bag all the time. I haven’t had cause to use mine yet but it can be used directly on the skin to target blemishes as it has anti-bacterial properties and isn’t drying. The Body Shope describe it as one of their beauty gems!

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Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo £5 – Dandruff isn’t something I suffer from but I love the thought of how refreshing the ginger will be so I may be tempted to give it a go!

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So, after this journey of discovery getting reacquainted with the brand and discovering the wide range of new and hero products that the Body Shop sell I feel as though I’ve traveled the world a little too!

Are you a Body Shop fan? If you haven’t shopped there in a while I’d recommend taking a look!

Hazel

This post contains PR samples.

Discovering the OUAI to everyday effortless hair

OUAI post on strandonbeauty.com

The Creator

Jen Atkin is the woman behind the OUAI brand. let me just leave that there a moment. We’re talking about the person who’s styled hair for the likes of  Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Emma Stone, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, Kim Kardashian, Cindy Crawford, Katy Perry, and Christina Hendricks and worked with designers and models inlcuding Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang, Chloe, Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Marchesa, and Christian Dior.

She works in beauty, print, film, music video, runway, red carpet, celebrity, and advertising. Her creations are covered by Vogue, Elle, InStyle, Esquire, Nylon, Allure, and W Mag and photographers Annie Leibovitz, Ellen Von Unwurth, Rankin, Warwick Saint, Walter Chin, and Patrick Demarchelier.

I’d say that’s a pretty good measure in anyone’s book of what makes someone experienced, stylish, relevant and generally in the best position to produce a fabulous hair care range!

The Concept

I’d been searching for a way to capture the essence of what the OUAI brand is about and then found this on the brand’s about page – “A brand that looks dope enough to Instagram, but epic enough to actually get the job done? Yes OUAI.” For those of you who have an aversion to the strapline and sound bite approach here’s a little more.

Jen Atkin was in that place that all women have found themselves in. You’ve tried everything, you’ve asked all your mates and yet you just can’t find exactly what you need to make your hair look and feel how you want it to. The difference (or one of the differences) between her and us is that she’s done something about it!

OUAI haircare is a range of luxury products that are simple, affordable, and classic. They’re also easy to use and Jenifer’s aim has been to replicate what happens backstage at a fashion show  and make it easy for us all to do our hair in 15 minutes and look fabulous!

The Products

The range caters for all hair types and covers daily care, styling, treatments and travel sizes. I selected four products to trial which were the Repair Shampoo (£22) and Conditioner (£20), the Treatment Masque (£25) and the Finishing Crème (£20).

  • he Repair Shampoo is designed to replenishes moisture and to strengthen hair that’s prone to breakage to leave hair stonger and shinier. Also to protect colour it’s free of parabens and sulfates and isn’t tested on animals.
  • The Repair Conditioner is a potent hydrator to feed damaged hair without adding weight. It aims to give you nourished healthy looking hair and again it protects colour and is free of parabens and isn’t tested on animals.
  • The Treatment Masque comes in sachets that give you just the right amount of product each time It’s described as a restorative healing mask formulated to repair damage in minutes and to leave your hair soft and smooth after just one treatment. Ingredients include Artichoke Leaf Extract to seal the cuticle and protect hair from future damage. And you guessed it it’s free of parabens and there’s no animal testing.
  • The Finishing Crème Described as lotion for your hair it’s a lightweight crème to protect your hair from styling and to smooth dry ends. It’s designed for fine-medium and gives a light-reflective shine. It’s …..you already know the rest haha!

The Experience

I’ve been using my selection of OUAI product over the last few weeks. The and I’ve been considering how they work as a total package. My hair is very over processed and dry at the ends so it really needed all four products to get the promised result on the first use. However the masque worked it’s magic in minutes and I’ve found that I don’t need to use it on every wash as it’s effects lasted on through several washes. I tend to use the finishing every day between washes to to tame flyaways and I’m really pleased with the over all outcome when using these OUAI products as part of by hair care “ritual”. Oh and  I agree that they’re instagrammable too!

Where To Buy

OUAI hair products are available to buy in places like Space NK, Selfridges and Cult Beauty

Let me know if you’ve tried OUAI  I’d love to hear what you think!

Hazel

This post contains PR samples.

 

 

 

 

Feeling the Benefit

Those that know me well will know that I can be stubborn. If everyone is saying that you just have to try something then I’ll be the one that’s cynical and thinking that it’s all marketing hype and refusing to consider it. Even when the hype is about a brand as well known and successful as Benefit and whose products I already own and cherish – I’m still that stubborn.

Still as you will no doubt have guessed I’ve started writing this today because I want to tell you about another couple of Benefit products that are impressing me right now – and I’m using everyday. They are the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil and the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara.

Goof Proof Brow Pencil £18.50

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Now I’m guessing that if you’re a blogger, make-up artist or a friend of either of these then you’ll have got your self a sample of the Goof Proof Brow Pencil recently. Benefit had another of their twitter sample sharing sprees and so we all got a mini version. So apologies to all those of you who’ve seen this and made up your own mind about it but here goes.

Most recently I’ve been using brow gels like the Benefit Gimme Brow (reviewed here) and the Rimmel Brow This Way (reviewed here) but in the past I’ve been most successful with doing my brows with twist up angled brow pencils like the Eyebrow Stylist from Sleek. This Benefit version is every bit as good but with one further enhancement – the shade is a slightly better match for me.

Benefit describe it as having “a custom, non-sharpen “goof proof” tip, soft colour and a glide-on formula for super easy eyebrow filling.” It’s also 12 hour waterproof and comes in six different shades. They recommend using thir Ready Set Brow Gel on top. (Another product I need to try if I can get over my stubborness!)

Roller Lash Mascara £19.50

Rollerlash

This was an occasion when I actually recognised that Benefit had produced some of the best mascaras that I’ve used. You may have read about my experiences with They’re Real mascara and primer which I love.

So I went to a Benefit counter to take a look and get some help with a decision over whether to buy They’re Real again or whether the Roller Lash might be better for my lashes. After a bit of a chat and a mutual appreciation of Benefit in general we decided that the formula and (just as importantly) the brush, would be the best for my tiny lashes.

I’ve been using it every day since and I’m really loving how it makes my lashes look and how my eyes look wider. It doesn’t stick my lashes together either. It is a little bit of a chore to remove at night but I’d rather that than have it smudging under my eyes during the day.

So like it says in the title I’ve been feeling the Benefit again – maybe I should just stop fighting the hype where Benefit is concerned!

What do you think? Are you put off by too much hype or do you just splash the cash as soon as a new product is feted in the press? Or do you only do that for Benefit?

Hazel

This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

 

3 Top Ways To Cleanse With Avène

I always have at least two cleansers on the go  – one to remove my make-up and then one to cleanse my skin. I usually use a cleansing balm or cream to lift away make-up and then follow with a foam or gel cleanser to make sure that my pores aren’t blocked and my skin feels clean without getting dried out.

For this post I’ve been trying out three cleansers from Avène. They’re aimed at different skin types but I found that I was able to use all of them within my routine for my combination skin.

1 Eau Thermale Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser  

Avene say that this is formulated for dry, sensitive skin. It’s moisture enriched and gently cleanses skin without altering its protective barrier. It’s designed to be massaged into your skin with your fingers but I apply and remove it with cotton pads. For me this is definitely for use at the make-up removing stage as it’s rich and creamy and lifts make-up gently. I found that I needed something a little extra for heavy duty mascara though, but that’s not unusual for this type of cleanser – it’s gentle.

£12.00

2 Eau Thermale Avene Cleansing Foam

This newly launched cleansing foam is designed for oily skin. It’s a soft gentle formula that designed to cleanse and remove make-up. It’s a soothing, hydrating and rebalancing formula that’s suitable for combination skin.

Ingredients include:

  • glutamic acid for pore tightening and mattifying
  • thermal spring water for it’s soothing and anti-irritation properties
  • lactic acid for hydration, softness and suppleness

I used it as the cleansing stage of my double cleanse process rather than to remove make up. I find I need something a little richer around the eye area and especially to lift eye make up. Still I found it met it’s stated aims to “leave you and your skin feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and revitalised!” And it’s a really handy and quick product to use.

£12.50

3 Eau Thermale Avene Micellar Lotion

This one claims to be able to remove all your make up and is formulated for all types of skin. I love micellar products and they’re generally great all-rounders. This one’s been developed to both cleanse and remove all traces of face, eye and lip make-up as well as to protect the skin’s natural barrier. For me it succeeded for all except in removing the stubborn mascara products I mentioned before. Still I happily used this as a first stage make up remover and then followed up with the foaming cleanser. That isn’t a necessity it’s just my preference.

Ingredients include:

  • micelle molecules to gently lift away impurities
  • alpha-bisabolol to clean, soften and soothe.

£13.00

There’s definitely something here for everyone from this quality French brand with the famous spring water at it’s heart.

Are any of these in your top three? Let me know what you think in the comments box below!

Hazel

This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

 

Empties – July 2016

Time for a nosey at what I’ve been using up this month! In fact I’m a little late with this but I’m hoping you won’t mind too much.

Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3

SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3

Loved this luxurious emulsion which I used at the serum stage of my skincare routine. I’ve reviewed it previously here and it’s available to buy here priced £96 so it’s one to choose when you’re feeling spendy.

Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer

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This is one of those products that you don’t know you need and then become addicted to – then you just don’t know how to manage without it. Really must replace this one! I’ve reviewed it previously here – you can find it here priced £15.50.

Nu Colour Curling Mascara

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I tend to find that you find mascara perfection only when the formula of the mascara and the brush are completely right for your lashes. This Nu Colour Curling Mascara gets pretty close. It’s £24.04 here and I’ve previously reviewed it here.

Prai  Radiant Gemtone Caviar Triple Matrixyl Serum

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This Prai  Radiant Gemtone Caviar Triple Matrixyl Serum  had been pushed to the bottom of my drawer – it’s the fate of many products that I get to sample as each new sample comes along. So glad I resurrected this one recently and finished up every last drop! I’ve reviewed it previously here and it’s for sale here priced £33.

Superdrug Dragonfruit and Vanilla Showercream

Superdrug Dragonfruit & Vanilla Fruity Shower Gel

This Superdrug Dragonfruit & Vanilla Shower Gel impressed me. First because it smells so good and is really gentle and creamy on the skin and then just now when I searched it on line and found that it costs 99p! Even better it’s currently on offer for 78p here – madness!

Superdrug Coconut and Sweet Almond Shampoo

Superdrug Extracts Shampoo Coconut & Almond 400mlskin

This Coconut & Sweet Almond Shampoo is another gorgeous smelling own brand product from Superdrug. As a shampoo it does the job and it comes in at £2.29 for 400ml and is currently on offer here for £1.09! Craziness!

SkinPep Wrinkle Clear

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Last up it’s the Skin Pep Wrinkle Clear Serum – this is one from way back (you can probably tell by the photo quality if nothing else!) It’s a brilliant brand and you can read my review here. This one will cost you £22.49 for 50mls here. What I do love from Skin Pep though is that you can buy samples and smaller sizes of each product (7ml is £3.99).

This  month I also cleared out a number of mascaras and foundations that I’d used a bit but not got to the end of before they’d dried up or gone off. I’ve decided that means I didn’t love them quite enough to finish and so I’ve not included them as empties.

Hope you’re having a great summer!

Hazel

This post contains PR samples and affiliate links

 

 

Review – Liquid Metals from Eye of Horus

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Eye of Horus is an Australian brand with a range of eye makeup based on Ancient Egyptian formulas, with ingredients including organic moringa oil claimed by the gods for its beautifying and regenerating powers.

The concept is that it’s designed to Awaken The Goddess Within ® every woman – a Goddess who knows she is beautiful the way she is, confident in herself and worthy of all the love in the world.

The award winning range of eye products is wax and oil based, and is paraben, nut and gluten free, is great for sensitive eyes and not tested on animals.

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The Eye Of Horus Liquid Metal Liners are long-wearing and smudge-proof. They’re so easy to apply. The brush is really fine and you can apply a thin line close to the lash or apply a little more pressure to broaden the brush stroke.

The colours are divine! I found it a real struggle to decide which to wear first. Available shades are:

  • ancient pewter
  • imperial bronze
  • alchemy gold
  • copper sphinx

I’ve always been a sucker for shiny shadows with golds and bronzes being my most used shades so these liners really hit the spot with me and they have different tones depending on the lighting.

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These liners really do stay on well and when I tested them on my hand they wouldn’t move with hand-wash, or cleanser. I had to use an oil based product and rub firmly. When I wore them all day they lasted the distance too and didn’t budge or smudge!

They’re infused with aloe vera leaf extract, lavender flower water and evening primrose oil that sooth the eyelid and give you the goddess look at the same time.

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I absolutely love them and to steal a phrase from a popular game – “you gotta catch ’em all”! They cost £16.50 each here.

Hazel

This post contains PR samples.

 

 

 

Discovering Ekia – Organic Anti-Ageing Skincare

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At a recent press day I met Carine Mudry, the creator of EKIA, a unique certified organic anti-ageing skincare range from France. Carine told me about how she consulted with dermatologists and completed a clinical study in order to find the perfect anti-ageing ingredient. This study led to the discovery of the brand’s valuable active ingredient known as Dragon’s Blood.

Her unique approach to anti-ageing has been to identify three different mature skin types that aren’t defined by the age of the skin but by how weakened the skin is and each of these types needs a different solution from a skincare product. The three distinct  types of mature skin are well preserved, weakened, and damaged and Ekia have a specific face cream for each of these.

As we spoke Carine suggested that we go through a questionnaire to identify my skin type. If you would like to complete the questionnaire you can find it here. My skin type fell between well preserved and weakened but I took Carine’s expert advice and decided to try a product for weakened skin – Ekia Cream Intense.

Its key features are:

  • complete anti-ageing skincare
  • organic certified
  • regenerates skin
  • repairs the skin renewal processes
  • nourishes to restore natural vitality
  • effectively treat wrinkles, sagging, brown pigment spots and skin dryness

Promised results are:

  • Immediate: skin is more supple and comfortable
  • In one month: skin texture is finer
  • In 3 months: skin is firmer, wrinkles have diminished, marks are less visible, and the complexion is bright

I’ve been trialling Ekia Creme Intense for a little over two weeks so I’m at the supple and comfortable first stage. It’s a dense cream that feels quite rich when it goes on but does sink in quite well. At the time of writing I applied the cream 14 hours ago and I have to say it’s still feeling really great.

Also on the same day I got another Ekia product – this time not prescribed specifically for my skin but it was nestling among beauty treats in my goodie bag. It’s the Ekia Eyelid Lifting Serum.

This is a clear gel serum that feels really cooling and fresh as it goes on. You can feel it lifting and tightening immediately – exactly what’s needed for tired eyes. It’s organic certified and highly concentrated in lifting active ingredients.

Promised results are:

  • Immediate: the eyelids are lifted, the eyes look wider and brighter.
  • In 3 months: the eyelids are lastingly firmer, the eyes look less tired.

As before I’m at the initial stages with this product but that’s fine by me with such immediate results!

Ekia products are available on line here now. They’re also stocked in selected Whole Foods Market stores and are coming soon to Holland & Barrett stores.

Hazel

This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

 

 

 

Book Review – Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe

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Much as I love books I haven’t reviewed many on my blog as they’re rarely a fit for the topic. Still when I got my hands on Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe I instantly recognised that the subject matter was a perfect match for me and the blog. Eating and beauty is what I’m all about!

I won this copy as a giveaway prize and it’s signed by the author Wendy Rowe. Wendy has more than 20 years experience working with A list models and  celebrities. (The foreword is by Sienna Miller – yes she’s that well  connected!) She’s an international make-up artist and beauty expert and is Burberry’s artistic consultant for beauty.

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I’m pretty sure that most of us inherently know the “we are what we eat” concept and that eating well and healthily has a direct effect on how good we feel and look. In this beautifully presented hard back book Wendy has brought together recipes, beauty routines and tips that are based on nutrient boosting ingredients.

With sections on beauty & food, seasonal chapters, beauty tips, healing herbs and spices, supplements and superfoods and a guide to nutrients the content and photography is a feast for the senses.

It’s laid out in a clean and crisp style that’s in easily digestible chunks that you want to read rather than acres of dense text that read like a sermon.

eatbeautiful

I have to confess that I can’t make up my mind whether to add this to my coffee table beauty book collection to dip in and out of – I’m particularly intrigued to try some of the DIY beauty treatments – or to keep it in the kitchen for inspiration for healthy meals (or the odd treat – there’s a gorgeous flourless orange and almond cake I want to try). I think that what I’m trying to say is that this is a book that I’ll turn to time and again for inspiration and information wherever it resides in my home.

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With praise from the likes of Victoria Beckham, Cara Delavingne and Christopher Bailey it’s not just me that thinks that Wendy’s knowledge and experience is really something to value. If you’d like to get a hold of a copy for yourself then here’s where to look.

 

Hazel

 

I learned how to wash my hair!

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When I attended a blogger event for Swell recently I was expecting to learn all about the award winning brand and its founders Andrew Bidwell and Jonathan Stallick but I wasn’t expecting to learn something really fundamental that works and that is how to wash my hair!

Andrew Bidwell (the hairdresser behind the brand) started by explaining some of the mistakes that we all make when cleansing and caring for our hair (whether it’s fine or not). He told us the usual routine is that people pour a whole heap of shampoo into their hands and apply it to the roots, lengths and ends of the hair. His big message is that no one needs to wash the ends of their hair. You should concentrate on cleansing the roots and then the rinsing away of the product from the roots will be enough to cleanse the lengths and ends of the hair!

He went onto explain the best method for washing is to start with applying shampoo to the roots at the lower part of the back of your head by bringing your hands upwards from the back of the neck and massaging it into the roots. You should then apply shampoo to the next section of the back of your head bringing your hands in from the side of your head and lifting up the section at the roots and massaging in the shampoo. Carry on applying section by section till you reach the top of your head and all the roots are covered and then rinse away.

With the conditioner it’s the opposite. You generally don’t need to apply conditioner to the roots only the ends and lengths. If you happen to be one of those people who have a need for a bit of conditioning at the roots because you have frizz then Andrew advises that you use the tiniest amount at the last minute and only leave it on for seconds before rinsing it away.

Now of course I’m going to tell you all about the brand and it’s efficacy in this post but I just wanted to say that simple though this instruction is it’s the overriding takeaway message from the event for me – and I’ve tried it now and it works – brilliant!

Goodie bag

So now to the Swell Hair Care brand developed by the founders Jonathan Stallick, leading homeopath and top London hairdresser Andrew Bidwell to address the problems  people face with fine limp hair. They found that whist there were plenty of styling products available there was little that provided long term results and even less availability of products that achieve this naturally.

So at Swell they’ve developed a volume hair care system that uses a blend of botanical extracts to provide a 3 step system:

The 3 step system creates stronger healthier hair over time. It cleans the hair of silicone build up and ensure it receives the nourishment it needs. It optimises existing hair from day one and then treats the roots to help hair to grow stronger and healthier.

3step

Key features are:

  • adds immediate volume
  • enhanced with 18 active botanicals to combat hormones that cause hair to thin and encouraging hair growthi
  • reduces hair loss meaning up to 50% less shedding
  • three hero ingredients peruvian maca, blue lupin extract and swiss apple stem extract stimulate growth, improve strength and reduce hair loss
  • stimulates hair follicles to improve growth by 93%
  • reduced static
  • increased colour-fastness
  • superior detangling

I’ve not tried out these products yet and I’ll be passing them to a friend to trial (she has really fine hair). The 3 step starter kit (contents pictured above) is available priced £23.50  which gives you the chance to make sure it’s right for you before investing in the full sizes.

Swell Serum and Dry Shampoo

There are further products in the range here and I’ll be trying out the Ultimate Protect and Renew Serum developed to banish frizz and to give hair sleek, hydrated look and the Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo which promises to brings 24 hour freshness and body to all hair types and reporting back. If you can’t wait to try all the products yourself then here’s where to find them.

Have you got any haircare hints and tips to share? Comment below – it’s never to late to learn!

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Hazel

This post contains PR samples.