Thursday 24 November 2011

Speed Review: Guerlain Midnight Secret Late Night Recovery Treatment

If I was told that I could only use one beauty brand for the rest of my life, I would choose Guerlain without hesitation. From my favourite perfume to their stunning cosmetics and effective skincare, Guerlain epitomises luxury beauty at its finest.
Discovering Beauty Blogger recently asked me for night cream recommendations and one of my favourites is Guerlain's Midnight Secret Late Night Recovery Treatment. As the name suggests, it's something of a must-have for today's busy women, whether you're putting in the hours at the office, a party girl or a new mum. Famously loved by supermodels such as Sophie Dahl, it's my personal go-to night cream when I know I'm not going to get much sleep but still want to wake up looking fresh faced.

There's something about the satisfyingly weighty gold and blue bottle that harks back to a more glamourous era and this is reiterated when it comes to applying the wonder cream. As I expect from a luxury product, it's well thought through with a functional pump dispenser and sufficiently transparent packaging that you can see how much is remaining.
Unlike many night creams, Midnight Secret Late Night Recovery Treatment has a lightweight formula which is easily absorbed. Skin is left feeling velvety. One of my favourite things about Guerlain products is the fabulous scents and this doesn't disappoint, with a delicate floral fragrance.
Guerlain Midnight Secret Late Night Recovery Treatment isn't going to work miracles 100%. If your partying could rival Pete Doherty's then sooner or later it's going to be reflected in your appearance. However, I feel that Midnight Secret Late Night Recovery Treatment delivers on its promises and this (and perhaps a dab of YSL Touche Eclat) will certainly help to disguise the telltale signs of one too many late nights.
Now, at £62.50 for 30ml, noone can deny that this is a pricey product but a bottle will last you for a considerable amount of time as you need to remember that it's not intended to be used every night. What's more, it feels so luxurious that it really is a treat to use, a little goes a long way and most importantly, it delivers. Everyone should try this.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Speed Review: Elemis FreshSkin Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash

You may remember that I recently trialled a couple of products from the Elemis FreshSkin range which launched earlier this year, aimed at those in their teens and early twenties. I've only just gotten around to trialling Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash and although I'm not in the target market for the FreshSkin range, I wanted to share my thoughts.

I tend to use a face wash in the morning for convenience and the packaging of Elemis FreshSkin Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash certainly facilitates this. It's a functional pump bottle and it's transparent so that you can see how much product is remaining. If I were to be picky, I'd say that you can tell it's a cheaper sub-brand from Elemis as it lacks the sophistication of the main line but this could well be intentional so that it's not intimidating to the target market. I found that the dispenser gives a generous pump of product and in fact, I felt that I was wasting some of the cleanser due to not needing the full amount that was dispensed.
The name of the product is fun and I imagine that it would appeal to teenage girls. I was a little concerned that this would be reflected in the scent of the product but it's surprisingly fresh, with a delicate hint of peach which isn't at all sickly sweet.
Elemis FreshSkin Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash is a gel formula, suitable for all skin types, which contains hydrating chicory extract, conditioning elderflower and skin-awakening lemon extracts. Although I didn't find that my skin was as deeply cleaned as with, say a balm cleanser, I did find this comparable with other gel face washes I've tried. My skin felt clean and soft, with no tightness although I did need to moisturise.
At £12 for 100ml, it's more expensive than youraverage high street cleanser but if you're looking to introduce good skincare habits or want a better quality product that won't strip skin in the way that some mass market brands can, I'd recommend checking this out.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Speed Review: Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil

I'm not exactly what you'd call a gym bunny. In fact, I don't own a pair of trainers. So it's probably not that surprising that I rarely pay attention to muscle soothers but lately, I've been suffering from aches and pains in my neck, shoulders and back. Whether it's the result of carrying heavy bags, being hunched over a desk or simply a sign that I'm getting old, I'm not sure but short on time to treat myself to a massage, I reached for the next best thing. Step forward: Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil.

I've long been a fan of Aromatherapy Associates' incredible Bath & Shower Oils but hadn't yet had the opportunity to try the De-Stress Muscle version.
I decided to use this as a shower oil, by applying it all over my dry skin before stepping into the shower. Whilst a long soak in the bath may seem preferable, I find that by applying the oil directly onto my skin, the results are more noticable than if I'd diluted the oil in the bath. De-Stress Muscle is a much more liquid consistency than the other Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils I've tried and whilst I found that this encouraged massage when applying, I found it a little difficult to control how much I was pouring out of the bottle (and at nearly £40 for 55ml, you certainly don't want to waste any!).
As tends to be the case with Aromatherapy Associates, the scent of De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil is incredible, combining lavender, rosemary and ginger essential oils. I really liked that the blend of pure essential oils made it enjoyable and indulgent to use and challenges the assumption that muscle soothing products have overwhelming, unpleasant scents. I didn't feel that I needed to use moisturiser afterwards as my skin felt nourished but not greasy.
I have to admit that I was initially a little dubious about how effective De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil would be but having used it, I'm absolutely amazed at how well it worked to soothe my muscles. Immediately after my shower, the knots and tension felt loosened and as the evening progressed, the pain drifted away almost entirely. What's more, I felt mentally relaxed. Highly recommended.

Monday 21 November 2011

Speed Review: Bliss Fabulips Softening Lip Balm

I'm a big fan of Bliss (whose founder, Marcia Kilgore is one of my beauty heroines) so I was excited to try out their new lip balm, Fabulips Softening Lip Balm. Lip balm is one of my most used beauty products- I always have some with me and am firmly of the opinion that a girl can never have too many, something which most likely comes from my teenage years when my friends and I would collect various flavours then sit in class and reapply them constantly.  
Fabulips Softening Lip Balm is the same lip balm which is used in every Bliss Spa facial treatment.
On the packaging front, it gets the thumbs up from me for being presented in a practical stick format for easy, mess-free and hygenic on-the-go application.
The formula contains shea butter, jojoba and grapeseed oils along with Vitamin E and it does feel as though it is melting onto your lips when you apply it. It feels soothing to apply and doesn't leave a sticky residue, just a glossy finish. I loved the sweet orange scent. I found that I needed to reapply regularly in order to maintain the moisturised feeling.
Admittedly £12 is more than your average lip balm costs and I did find that I was getting through the tube at an even more alarming rate than usual so I'd question how long it is likely to last and this might put me off repurchasing. It's not the best lip balm I've ever used but I have enjoyed using it.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Speed Review: Healthspan Nurture Protect Day Cream SPF 15

I'm going to start off by being completely honest and admitting that I'd never have given Healthspan Nurture Protect Day Cream SPF 15 a second thought and certainly wouldn't have tried it, had it not been for the fact that I completely trust the opinion of their knowledgable PR. So.. what had put me off? Firstly, I associate Healthspan with vitamins and supplements and whilst we all know the importance of taking care of the inside of our bodies in order to look good on the outside, I wasn't convinced that they'd be able to create a skincare line to compare with my usual brands. I also feel that you should spend the most you can afford to on skincare and as an affordable range, I probably wouldn't choose this personally although I know that it's my duty as a blogger to review a variety of products at different price ranges. Finally, the packaging is clinical and bland. I doubt I'd even notice it on a shop shelf, let alone choose it.
But it turns out that you really shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I was really impressed with Healthspan Nurture Protect Day Cream SPF 15. I've given it a fair trial, testing it for over a month without changing other aspects of my skincare regime.

I still think that the presentation is aesthetically boring but I loved the functional pump dispenser. My only complaint would be that as the packaging is opaque, it's difficult to tell how much of the product is remaining. The cream itself feels rich yet is easily absorbed and didn't leave my skin feeling greasy. I like that it incorporates an SPF, something I wear every single day and which I feel justifies the "Protect" name, yet it doesn't feel heavy on the skin. A little goes a long way. It's fragrance free which might make it appealing to those with very sensitive skin, although I admit that I missed the luxury which I associate with beautifully fragranced products.
By far the best thing about this product is the price. It's just £9.95 for 50ml. I know I said that you should spend the most you can afford to on skincare so this is something of a contradiction but I really was impressed at just how well this product performs for the price. It's quite a cultural change to use an affordable skincare product and something which I'm still getting accustomed to. However, I'd definitely consider repurchasing this, particularly if money was tight.

Available at

Saturday 19 November 2011

Speed Review: Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser

Sorry for my silence readers. I've been oop north in Leeds and following a nightmare journey home, Skin Deep is back to business. So, on with today's review...

I really like balm style cleansers, which I feel are one of the most effective ways of deep cleaning my face but I admit to not always using them. For example, in the mornings, I opt an easy-to-use face wash for convenience.
Recently, I've been using Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser. As regular readers will know, Elemis is one of my favourite beauty brands although I tend to prefer their bodycare to the skincare line. Having said this, I've been seriously impressed with Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser. As the name suggests, it's a thick cream formula as opposed to a cleansing balm but it works in the same way. The cream needs to be massaged into dry skin where it melts away makeup and works to lift off dirt when wiped away using a warm, damp washcloth. It's easy to use but I do find the process takes a little longer than simply using a face wash, the trade off being that I feel I've cleansed more effectively.

Elemis products are always a treat to use and Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser doesn't disappoint. I liked the convienient pump style dispenser and although the packaging is a little plain, it's sleek. With it's rich texture and incredible scent which combines Sweet Brazilian Orange, Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli, Elemis Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser feels luxurious to use. It feels as though you are putting a product made with quality ingredients onto your face and as it is packed with anti-oxidants, it might be a particularly good choice for city dwellers.
My skin was left feeling clean yet the moisturising benefits meant that my face didn't feel tight or stripped after use. I'd definitely recommend this.
I feel that £27.60 for 150ml is a fair price for this quality product, particularly given that (as tends to be the case with Elemis products) a little goes a long way.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Speed Review: Lush Friends with Benefits Massage Bar

I'm really loving Lush at the moment. I tend to get like this around this time every year when their Christmas offering never fails to put me in the festive spirit. Having said this, today's product review isn't from their Christmas range but is a new introduction. Step forward Friends with Benefits Massage Bar.

I've never tried a Lush Massage Bar before. I don't really go in for home massage and frankly, there's just so many other products I'd choose to spend my money on ahead of a massage bar, oil or gel but seeing as I was sent Friends with Benefits Massage Bar, I figured I'd give it a go.
The idea behind the Lush Massage Bars is that they are a solid, environmentally conscious, preservative and packaging free alternative to oils in a bottle. I really like this sentiment. It's innovative and stays true to the Lush brand.
The bar itself resembles a soap in appearance and has a pretty raised floral design on the top. The bumpiness of the design means that it doubles up as a clever massage tool to really work into deep knots.
The scent is absolutely incredible- a tempting chocolate orange that's practically good enough to eat. If you did want to choose one of these as a Christmas gift, it's a nice twist on the traditional Terry's Chocolate Orange stocking filler!
Made with a base of organic, fair trade cocoa butter and shea butter, the massage bar melts upon contact with warm skin to leave a lubricant layer which encourages massage. As it heated up, I found it very slippery and difficult to handle although perhaps this would be easier if someone else was applying it to you.
Friends with Benefits Massage Bar contains chocolate-scented tagetes essential oil from African Marigolds which boasts skin soothing and healing benefits, making it ideal for use this time of year when skin is dried out. It's incredibly moisturising and I'd happily use this as a change from my everyday lotion on occasions when my skin needs an extra boost or simply if I want an indulgent treat! You only need to gently sweep the bar over skin and a layer of moisturising residue remains so I think that the bar would last a long time. If you're thinking of investing, I'd definitely recommend buying one of the massage bar tins to keep it in good condition. I'm all for the idea behind the paper wrapping and I like the old-fashioned feel of it but in a busy bathroom, a tin is infinitely more practical.
Friends with Benefits Massage Bar definitely feels more like a sensual treat so if you're looking for a deep muscle soother, I'd say there are better products out there for the job.
At £6.50 for 65g, I probably wouldn't repurchase this for the same reasons that I wouldn't have tried it in the first place if it hadn't been sent to me. It's good and I enjoyed using it but I simply don't use massage products. However, if you do, I'd definitely recommend checking this out.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Speed Review: Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel

I'm a big fan of Clarins but I have to admit that I do think of them as something of a "mummy" brand. It's not that I think of them as old-fashioned or fussy and I certainly find their products desirable so perhaps it purely comes from the fact that I've grown up noticing the recognisable red font in my mum's bathroom, or maybe it's because they are so well established? Part of the problem may lie in the fact that they are firmly rooted in the department store mid-market category which I associate with a certain type of sales assistant, or maybe it's down to the price of some of the products. Anyway, it turns out that I'm not alone in this perception and earlier this year, Clarins launched Daily Energisers, a skincare range specifically targeted at a younger market, with prices to match.
I've recently started using Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel and although I haven't been using it for long enough to comment on the long-term effects, I've been impressed so far.
I like using a face wash in the morning when there's an emphasis on speed and convenience. I've already deeply cleansed my face free of makeup the night before so it's simply a case of removing any night cream residue and freshening my skin for the day ahead and for this purpose, a wash serves me well.
Clarins Daily Energizer Cleansing Gel is lightly foaming and a little goes a long way. It's easy to apply and feels gentle on the skin. It has a gorgeous fresh scent which stays true to the brand's roots. Skin is left feeling clean and soft.
At £10.50 for 75ml, I feel that this offers good value for money and is worth checking out whether you're new to the brand or simply looking to discover the range.

Monday 7 November 2011

Speed Review: Lush Rose Queen Bath Ballistic

I tend to opt for showers rather than baths and on the rare occasions that I bathe, I like to use a bath oil such as Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil or Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil. Having said this, there is something about Lush Bath Ballistics and when I was recently sent their new Rose Queen Bath Ballistic, it offered the perfect excuse for a relaxing soak in the tub.
To me, Lush Bath Ballistics are the original and the best. Invented in 1987 by Lush co-founder, Mo Constantine OBE, they are one of the brand's bestselling products and count the likes of Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue and Sarah Jessica Parker as fans. Fun, ethical and enjoyable to use, they're also reasonably priced and make good gifts (their Christmas editions are the ultimate stocking fillers).
Rose Queen Bath Ballistic is a bubblegum pink colour when solid and is presented in minimal packaging in line with Lush's ethical policy. To use, you simply drop the ballistic into an already-run bath and watch it fizz away. Rose Queen Bath Ballistic combines rose absolute and geranium with amber notes of rock rose. It's a delicate, feminine scent which filled the room beautifully.
I love the indulgence of lying in a bath filled with warm, pink coloured water with tiger lily, apple blossom and larkspur flower petals floating on the surface. It feels like the sort of product Cleopatra would go for if she were around today. The only downside is that, unlike Cleopatra, I don't have legions of slaves to clean out the bath afterwards and wiping away the mess caused by the petals does undo the relaxation factor somewhat.
At just £2.50 for 95g, it's an affordable treat.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Ministry of Waxing team up with PETA

Regular readers may remember me raving about Ministry of Waxing last year in my piece, "Brazilians... what the magazines don't tell you". I'm a big fan of the specialist treatment rooms and so felt it fitting to share their latest news with you.
From now until the end of December, Ministry of Waxing will donate £2 from every full priced Brazilian and XXXX waxing to Peta, the ethical animal treatment charity. It's a cute twist on the concept of being anti-fur and all in a good cause.
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