Tuesday 27 December 2011

Speed Review: Rodial Glam Balm Wipes

I really like Rodial and although I may not always agree with their shock tactics when it comes to naming products, I do rate the range of results driven skincare and bodycare. I've recently been trialling Rodial Glam Balm Wipes. Regular readers will know that I don't agree with cleansing wipes but I do appreciate that they serve a purpose and I realise that many people can't live without them, particularly during party season.

As with all Rodial products, the packaging is seriously sleek and uber desirable. Personally, I'd prefer a "click" function to ensure the freshness of the wipes, particularly given that I only use wipes occasionally and find that they can dry out quickly with just a sticker seal .
The wipes weren't particularly moist so I found that I needed to use at least 2 to effectively cleanse when wearing full makeup and at £15 a pack, that's some pricey usage. I liked the scent which stays true to the Glam Balm range.
The wipes were thick and didn't rip as I moved them over my skin, as some cheaper brands can. They felt gentle and I didn't feel that that I was overloading my skin with nasties, nor stripping it of its natural oils.
Having said this, I just didn't feel that the cleansing was as effective as with other wipes I've tried.
At £15 for a pack of 25 wipes, they're not cheap (60p each!). In my opinion, you'd be better off checking out Good Things Total Wipeout Face Wipes and saving your money for one of Rodial's amazing moisturisers.

Monday 26 December 2011

Speed Review: Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser

I quite like the Burt's Bees range of natural products, particularly the ethos behind the brand which started out as a cottage industry selling homemade beeswax lip balms and hand salves at craft fairs. I get the impression that Burt's Bees is a responsible company, with its products presented in recycled or recyclable packaging and a percentage of profits given back to charity and environmental research projects. At its heart are products which are a pleasure to use and I've recently been trialling one of these, Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser.

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser is designed to be used as a sulphate-free facial wash but the rich balm-style formula would also lend itself well to hot cloth cleansing. It feels gentle to use and effectively cleanses without stripping skin.
Unsurprisingly, given that I adore the scent of orange, I loved the uplifting scent of Orange Essence Facial Cleanser and it's this which makes it particularly enjoyable to use in the mornings. It also gets another "tick" from me for being presented in a handy tube, although for convenience, I'd have preferred a flip top rather than the screw on lid.
I haven't been using Orange Essence Facial Cleanser for long enough to comment on the long-term effects but my first impressions are very favourable.
What's more, I feel that this represents fantastic value for money at £10.99 for 123g. A little goes a long way and the price is very reasonable compared with other balm style cleansers.

Sunday 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing each and every one of my wonderful readers a very Happy Christmas!


Saturday 24 December 2011

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 12

Stocking fillers are one of those gifts which tend to get left to the last minute so I thought that it would be apt to dedicate today's post to some final ideas which I hope will help if you're panicking! Don't worry, they're still all under £10.

I sometimes wear false eyelashes when I go out and despite not normally liking 'sleb ranges, I really rate the Girls Aloud for Eylure range of falsies. Kimberley's design is my personal choice and, as I tend to use each pair just once, I'd be happy to find a pair in my Christmas stocking this year.
For film buffs, check out this handy Audrey Hepburn inspired accessories set which includes nail clippers, tweezers and a nail file.
Fun brand Anatomicals have put a festive spin on showers with their Jingle Bells, Santa Smells Shower Gel Baubles.

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 11 (belated)

Reed diffusers have gained huge popularity in recent years. They make wonderful gifts- part beauty, part interiors.

For fashionistas, look no further than the Orla Kiely Reed Diffuser, available in three scents. Choose from sage and cassis, basil and mint or fig.

I like the Rituals brand, although I feel that they have some way to go in breaking into the UK market and establishing their identity. If you're yet to discover the brand, why not check out their range of reed diffusers.

For green goddesses, check out the new range of reed diffusers from Neal's Yard Remedies, who have celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. The calming version is perfect for bedrooms.


The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 10 (belated)

Handcare is an essential part of any beauty regime, particularly in the cold winter months.

Hand wash and lotion duos are a necessity in any chic bathroom, especially when you are expecting guests and Brit brand, Molton Brown, offer some of the best. I adore the sweet orange scent of Naran Ji whilst one of my good friends favours Thai Vert.

Another brand which instantly springs to mind when thinking of handcare is L'Occitane whose Shea Butter Hand Cream is renowned as a cult beauty product. For Christmas, the French brand has released a limited edition trio which pays tribute to the African origins of the wonder ingredient, Shea Butter.

They're not attractive but I swear by Bliss Spa's Moisturising Gloves. For Christmas, they've released the appropriately named, Two Turtle Gloves gift set.


The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 9 (belated)

I'm quite fussy about my haircare so I personally don't quite understand the idea of giving haircare gifts unless they've been specifically requested. However, there's plenty out there so someone must be buying them and for this reason, I've decided to round up three top picks today.

For teens and party girls, check out Tigi Bedhead Party Girl Gift Set which contains three items to create party ready styles.

Moroccanoil has been one of the big hair success stories of recent years and although I don't personally find that it suits my hair, plenty of people swear by it.
I am, however, a big fan of Bumble & Bumble. I was disappointed earlier this year to discover that they had discontinued one of my favourite products, Bb Shine Spray but the range they released to replace it hasn't let me down.


The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 8 (belated)

Electronics seem to be a popular Christmas gift and if my own Christmas wishlist is anything to go by, beauty electronics are also desirable.

I've been desperate for a deep skin cleaning Clarisonic for some time now and it's top of my Christmas wishlist this year.

Forget an i-pod, I'm wishing for an O Pod Heated Rollers set from Cloud Nine.

I haven't tried it myself but I've been hearing great things about the new Instyler hair tool from my fellow beauty writers.


Thursday 22 December 2011

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 7 (belated)

I'm a firm believer in adults still receiving Christmas stockings. My parents each had stockings when I was growing up (and still do!) so I have no intention of stopping the tradition any time soon. My one rule, however, is that stocking fillers shouldn't be too expensive, with approx. £10 as the limit.
Here are some beauty ideas...

The cute, collectable tins of multi-purpose moisturiser from Steam Cream make particularly good gifts for travellers as the cream can be used on face, hands and body.
As a teenager, I had a holiday and Saturday job working in The Body Shop and I still associate Christmas with their limited editions and gift ideas. For a festive treat, try Cranberry Joy Lip Balm.

Re-runs of classic childhood films such as Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and The Wizard of Oz are one of the guilty pleasures of the festive season and there's no better time to channel your inner Dorothy and paint your nails with a glittery red polish. I find the Pro-wide brush on OPI polishes one of the easiest to work with for home manis and pedis.


Monday 19 December 2011

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 6 (belated)

This is a good time of year to pick up beautiful, often limited edition, solid fragrances encased in jewel-like offerings.

Marc Jacobs' Daisy fragrance doesn't appeal to me personally- I prefer the original scent- but the white floral scent is hugely popular, making it a relatively safe bet for gifts. It'd be difficult to go wrong with this solid perfume, presented in a fun flower ring/ necklace.

Clinique's bestselling Aromatics Elixir celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and to celebrate, the brand has introduced some stunning, limited edition releases. One of the prettiest is this compact/ necklace which contains a fresher variation on the classic, patchouli laden fragrance.
For a chic, wearable option in every sense, try Swarovski Aura which is a softer, powdery fragrance.


Sunday 18 December 2011

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 5 (belated)

At this time of year, most people have their fill of turkey, mince pies, Christmas pudding, alcohol and chocolates so rather than giving more food, why not choose a foodie themed beauty gift instead? Indulgent and practically good enough to eat, here are some favourites...

I definitely wouldn't be disappointed to find Laura Mercier's Souffle Body Creme Sampler Set under the tree on Christmas morning. The set contains whipped body moisturisers in Creme Brulee, Almond Coconut Milk, Creme de Pistache and Fresh Fig.
I've loved Philosophy's foodie theme ranges for years. Admittedly, they're not the best choice for those who prefer natural products but they're certainly fun. Try the Warm & Toasty set which contains body washes in Hot Cocoa, Hazelnut Espresso and Hot Buttered Rum. Mmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

For a wallet friendly gift, check out Floozie by Frost French at Debenhams' Lip Balm Gift Set. For less than £10, the cute set contains a Cupcake Kisses Lip Balm, a Lemon Meringue Lip Balm, a suitably festive Plum Pudding Lip Balm and a Cupcake Kisses Lip Scrub. I've tried the scrub and although it's rather synthetic in feel, it's effective.


The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 4 (belated)

I always think that the best gifts are things that you want but don't necessarily need, i.e. the items which you'd feel guilty buying for yourself. For me, luxury candles fall under that category. Luxury candles are a great gift at any time of year but are particularly fitting at Christmas.

If you're unsure of where to start, look no further than NEOM Luxury Organics which I've previously raved about as one of my favourite candle ranges (click here to read). Previously known as Natural Magic Candles, NEOM Luxury Organic Candles are made using only vegetable wax and pure essential oils so they don't release potentially harmful pollutants as they burn. With 3-wicks, they look chic and give powerful therapeutic benefits. For Christmas, choose the Christmas Wish candle which combines Cinnamon, Ginger, Mandarin and Tonka Bean for a wonderfully festive fragrance. What's more, it stays true to the Christmas spirit as for every candle sold, NEOM donate £1 to the Make A Wish Foundation which grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses.

Diptyque Candles make a true style statement and, as violet is one of my favourite scents, top of my personal Christmas list is Diptyque's stunning Violette Scented Candle.
Diptyque Candles may be pricey but you only need to burn them for a short time for a room-filling fragrance. If you're unsure of which scent to choose, the ever-popular Baies is a safe bet, whilst Figuier is a unisex fragrance which makes a good choice for couples.

Finally, travel candles make a great gift for someone who is always on the go. Jo Malone is the go-to brand and this year's offering of a trio of candles, comprising a Pine & Eucalyptus, a Pomegranate Noir and a limited edition Roasted Chestnut is sure to fly off the shelves.


Thursday 15 December 2011

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 3

One of my good friends has a low maintenance approach when it comes to beauty but her one indulgence? A weekly pampering session and soak in the bath, every Sunday night. I always try to remember this when choosing a gift for her. Proving that bathing needn't be boring, today I've rounded up 3 Christmas Gift Sets for those bathing beauties.

Origins' Ginger range is wonderfully warming and perfect for this time of year, so what better gift than Go Ginger Gift Set, £20. Containing miniature versions of Ginger Souffle Whipped Body Cream, Ginger Burst Savoury Body Wash and Incredible Spreadable Ginger Body Smoother, the products would be a fantastic treat to come home to after a brisk winter's walk.
Check out my review of the fabulous Incredible Spreadable Ginger Body Smoother, included within the set, by clicking here.

Lush are arguably the High Street kings of bathtime and their Christmas pre-wrapped gifts offer the ideal, ready-made present for time pressured shoppers. Their Mr Frosty knot wrap is almost too cute to use but is worth opening as it contains a Golden Wonder Bath Bomb, So White Bath Bomb and their infamous Lil Lush Pud Bath Bomb.

Regular readers will know that I'm a big fan of Aromatherapy Associates' Bath & Shower Oils. Frankly, I think the world would be a nicer place if everyone used these (ok, I realise they are somewhat pricey). Their Little Star Gift is an adorable way to introduce someone to the brand this Christmas and is priced at a wallet friendly £10. What's more, once you know that they like Aromatherapy Associates (which they will), you'll have gifts wrapped up for years to come as they discover the extensive product range.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas- Day 2

Everyone knows at least one person who is practically impossible to buy for. It's hard to go wrong with a washbag or cosmetics purse- they're forever functional and even though the recipient is likely to have one already, it's handy to have a selection of different styles.

If you really want to spoil someone, Smythson is suitably luxurious. I'm totally lusting after their brush roll this year.

I absolutely adore Lulu Guinness and her quirky designs. Years ago, I used to work for the company and can confirm that the designer herself is as lovely as you'd imagine someone who creates such cute pieces to be. I already own a few pieces by Lulu but next on my wishlist is this Lipstick Top Zip Purse with its rather apt slogan. It's the perfect gift for makeup fans and as British design classic, would make a nice present for those living overseas.

I'm a big fan of ZPM's fun prints and practical wipe clean fabrics. Their hanging weekender has five pockets so is sufficiently roomy for essentials and more, making it a good choice for those who "don't do" packing light. My personal favourite prints are Tattoo, Glamour Gals and Alice Allover.


Tuesday 13 December 2011

The 12 Beautiful Days of Christmas... Day 1

I didn't want to go into overkill with Christmas gift ideas on Skin Deep but nor did I want you all thinking of me as some sort of Scrooge character either. The compromise? A countdown of 12 beautiful days of last minute Christmas gift ideas (and yes, I do realise that the official 12 days of Christmas starts on 25th but I'm allowing myself a touch of creative license!). I hope that you'll enjoy the suggestions. On with Day 1...

I love a good coffee table book and feel that they make a good "wow factor" gift if you can find one which perfectly captures what your recipient is all about.
I've had plenty of enjoyment from my copy of The Essence of Perfume by world renowned "professeur des parfums", Roja Dove. It's a beautifully put together book which walks the reader through the history of perfume, highlighting examples of iconic modern fragrances such as Thierry Mugler's Angel. I'd highly recommend it to any fragrance fanatics or if you know someone who'd simply like to learn more about the wonderful world of scent.

Next up is The Green Beauty Bible from the fabulous Beauty Bible series by Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley. I've returned to my copy again and again as a wonderful source of reference and although it's now a little outdated, I still rate it for those who want to expand their knowledge of natural and organic beauty.

Last but by no means least is a book which is on my personal wish list this year, Alex Box by Rankin, a collection of beautifully photographed creative makeup looks from Illamasqua's famous makeup artist.

Saturday 10 December 2011

Speed Review: Amway Artistry Time Defiance Intensive Repair Daily

A long time ago, I was set an A-level Business Studies project on Amway but I've never tried any of the products before now. I was recently sent a sample of Amway Artistry Time Defiance Intensive Repair Daily, which I've been using approx. a month. Now, I either did a really bad project or they have seriously upped their game because I imagined Amway to be pitched around the Avon, Vie at Home level. However, once I received the sample, I was impressed with the sleek packaging which felt far more luxurious than I had been expecting. The directions are clear and straightforward. Simply apply to clean skin ahead of moisturiser in the same way in which you'd use a serum.
I liked that Intensive Repair Daily has very little scent as my sensitive skin has been playing up recently and I'm trying to avoid aggrevating it. My favourite aspect was that the smooth texture didn't feel sticky when I applied it to my skin and I certainly couldn't feel it "sitting" on my skin.
I'd say that you need to use quite a lot in order to cover the entire face and neck so I'm not sure how long the bottle would last and for me, this was definitely a downside.
I'd recommend this for people in their mid 20s- mid 30s who are starting to see or worry about the first signs of aging. It's not a miracle worker but I certainly felt that my skin benefitted as a result of Intensive Repair Daily being incorporated into my regime.
The only compaint I have (and this relates back to how much you have to use) is the price. At £74.50 for 30ml it's not cheap and although I enjoyed using it, I'd struggle to justify the expense.

Friday 9 December 2011

Breaking News

I am absolutely thrilled that Skin Deep has been featured on Channel 4 Beauty's round up of the Best Skin Care Blogs.
So what did they have to say?

"A new-ish kid on the block, this has become one of our go-to blogs for clear, no-nonsense reviews of skin care products, both luxury and budget. We love the intelligent, detailed descriptions, clear layout and smart design. Reading it is like flicking through the beauty section of a glossy magazine. Lovely."

...Click here to read the full feature.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Skin Deep talks to...

Lesley Chivers, Head of In-house PR for one of my favourite wallet friendly cosmetics brands, Bourjois and their natural sister brand, UNE. Lesley has worked in PR for over 15 years.

SD: So, why beauty PR?
LC: Beauty is my passion, I'm a real product junkie. I originally trained as a makeup artist before moving into beauty PR. My makeup skills and knowledge of application and colours have certainly helped with my role over the years.

SD: What is the best aspect of your role?
LC: The best aspect of my role is every day is varied and unpredictable. Seeing the results of efforts put in, by way of positive press editorials, is always rewarding.

SD: And the worst?
LC: Keeping things to myself. As a PR you are often confided in and the worst you can do is tell!

SD: What would you be doing if you weren't working in beauty PR?
LC: Definitely in the creative field, most probably as a makeup artist. I still love to get my brushes out. I'm also a qualified manicurist and find it very therapeutic giving someone a manicure.

SD: What is the best insider tip you've picked up?
LC: Massage your face every day after cleansing- it really gets the circulation going, brings natural colour to your cheeks and helps to firm and improve the tone of your skin.

SD: You have five minutes to get ready... what do you do? LC: In five minutes I can do my makeup- a touch of base, blush, mascara and lip colour are a must!

SD: Any favourite treatments?
LC: Definitely eyebrow shaping. I have this done professionally, more regularly than facials.

SD: What are your desert island beauty essentials? LC: Hydrating facial spray, SPF cream and UNE sheer lipbalm.

SD: Finally, what do you predict will be the next big thing in beauty? LC: More youth promoting ingredients in cosmetics and multi-purpose time saving products.

Saturday 3 December 2011

Speed Review: Dermalogica Ultracalming Relief Masque

Sorry for my silence lately readers- I've been under a lot of pressure and sadly Skin Deep has had to take something of a back seat in my attempts to prioritise. Aside from an apology, this also brings me to today's post rather fittingly.
I've always been lucky with my skin and have never really suffered from severe breakouts. However, my skin definitely mirrors what's going on in my life; I get one or two hormonal spots on my chin when it's that time of month and quite a few tiny pimples on my forehead when I'm stressed. This isn't helped by the fact that, like many women, eating well and getting sufficient sleep fall near the bottom of my "to do" list in times of pressure and I've noticed that this can make my sensitive skin more reactive.
Step forward: Dermalogica Ultracalming Relief Masque

I like Dermalogica and always find that the products perform well. As a mid range brand with more of a focus upon science than nature, I wouldn't necessarily veer towards Dermalogica over other brands but it is one that I come back to every now and then and remember that it's actually a very good quality line.

Ultracalming Relief Masque is part of the sensitive skincare range from Dermalogica. Having tried the Ultracalming Cleanser and been impressed in the past, I had high expectations of this mask and I'm delighted that it didn't disappoint.
It's a delicately scented, gel cream formula which is easy and mess-free to use. Simply apply a generous layer to dry, clean skin, wait 10 minutes then rinse off with warm water. I really liked how easy it is to rinse off and although 10 minutes is a little longer than I'd like (I'm more of a 5 minute mask kind of girl), I found it a good way of forcing myself to unwind.
Although I didn't notice a dramatic difference to my skin, it was left feeling calmed and conditioned and I'd say that the product delivers on its promises. I'd definitely keep a tube of this in my bathroom for times when my skin needs some extra support, be it through stress, late nights or simply the change in seasons.
My only complaint is that I do feel this is quite an expensive mask at £37.60 for 75ml and although it feels high quality, I'm not sure I'd commit to using it regularly enough to justify the price.
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