Wednesday 26 December 2012

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a very Happy Holidays from Skin Deep!
You may have noticed the absence lately and this is as a result of Skin Deep undergoing an exciting makeover, with lots in store for the New Year! Stay tuned...

Sunday 11 November 2012

Speed Review: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

My current favourite cleanser is Deep Cleansing Oil, a no-frills product from Japanese brand, DHC (and their bestselling product worldwide).

I've been raving about DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to quite a few people and inevitably, their response is, "doesn't it leave your skin greasy?" Absolutely not! It's time that people realised that oil treats oily skin. It may go against traditional skincare teachings but I promise that it's true. In simple terms, products which strip the skin of oils may have a short-term effect but the result is that they send the skin into overdrive, thinking that it needs to produce more oil to compensate. Applying oils to oily or combination skin has the opposite effect and skin becomes more balanced as a result.

So, what about DHC Deep Cleansing Oil in particular?
The packaging is minimalist yet functional, with a handy pump dispenser to ensure that there's no wastage. I like that the plastic bottle is transparent so that I can see how much of the golden oil is remaining.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil has a simple, olive oil base and this is the predominant scent. It's nothing special- not luxurious and spa like- but nor is it offensive.
The oil itself feels pretty heavy but I like that this encourages a massage application. It's quick and easy to use- I simply dispense two pumps' worth into my dry hands and massage onto my dry face before rinsing away with water. Upon contact with water, the oil emulsifies into a lightweight milk and rinses away easily.

My skin is left looking matte and rather than feeling greasy, it's balanced and doesn't feel tight and dry as it can after using some face washes. This effectively removes all of my makeup including eye makeup. Those who are familiar with using cleansing oils will understand what I mean when I say that the only downside of this is the occasional "cloudy eye" effect but its not unbearable.

If you're looking to try a cleansing oil, I highly recommend DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. Not only is it a fantastic product in its own right, it's also affordable, at £9.50 for 70ml (currently on sale at £8 until the end of November).

Thursday 8 November 2012

Speed Review: DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection

Whilst I appreciate the benefits of "tubing" mascaras, they really freak me out when it comes to removal. So, when I was sent DHC's version, Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection, I passed it onto a friend to try as she had mentioned she was looking for a good waterproof mascara.

DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection is a long-wearing mascara which utilises "tubing technology" (i.e. unlike traditional mascaras which "paint" the lashes, tube mascaras create a special polymer "tube" around each lash). This results in no flaking, smearing or smudging. When it comes to removal, you simply splash your face with water and gently pull the tubes off (which freaks me out because it looks as though you are pulling your eyelashes out).

My friend regularly uses waterproof mascara but had never come across a "tube" mascara before, so, what did she think?

This mascara applied very smoothly and provided good definition, separating my lashes. It didn't really create any volume but then it doesn't claim to. It was waterproof and didn't come off at all while swimming or showering, which is unusual. There were no smudges or clumps. I was very impressed.
To remove, you need to pull it off with wet fingers and whilst I liked that I didn't need a separate eye makeup remover, I found that this process took a little while and was a bit of hassle at the end of the day. Apart from that, I had no complaints and will definitely continue to use it, although only on days when I specifically need a waterproof mascara.
At £13, DHC Mascara Perfect Pro Double Protection isn't cheap, however, it offers a more affordable alternative to the cult blinc tubing mascara (RRP £18.50).

Monday 5 November 2012

Speed Review: Korres Wild Rose Foundation

I quite like Greek brand, Korres and although they're not quite as natural as I feel they make out, I was nonetheless keen to try their Wild Rose Foundation with SPF20 which combines colour coverage with skincare benefits.

Korres Wild Rose Foundation is presented in the brand's signature, minimalist packaging. On first impressions the bottle appears quite small but it's a standard 30ml size. It's a dark brown glass bottle and I wondered if this was to prevent oxidisation. I found it a little annoying that you had to peek inside to see how much was remaining. Perhaps the reason for the bottle appearing smaller than most is that there is no handy pump dispenser- you simply have the pour the liquid foundation out which I didn't like as it was difficult to control and as a result, I felt that some of the product was wasted. In fact, the main positive with regards to the packaging is that there's a metal mixing ball inside which made a satisfying rattling noise when the bottle was shaken.

Even though I wear SPF in my skincare everyday, I was impressed to note that Wild Rose Foundation contains SPF20. It also contains silicone (which is unusual for a natural brand) which enables the very liquid formula to blend well. I felt that it would lend itself well to application with a brush. The strong scent may not be to everyone's liking. It's a lightweight formula which doesn't sit heavily on the skin and what's more, it felt hydrating.
I opted for shade WRF1 which had quite yellow undertones, as do most of the shades in the range, from what I understand. A lot of people have complained that Wild Rose Foundation oxidises and discolours during wear and I have to admit that I also noticed this, although I didn't notice the orange tones which some have mentioned. For me, the coverage was too light- I prefer a fuller coverage. Having said this, I did like the finish which was smooth and soft, neither matte nor dewy but simply a lovely, velvet finish. Unfortunately, in spite of the silicone content, I didn't find this very long wearing.
At £20 for 30ml, I felt that it was overpriced (the Bourjois foundations are half the price and better in my opinion) and overall, I wouldn't repurchase it, however, if you're looking for a light coverage foundation to suit yellow undertone skin then this might be worth a look.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Monthly Miniatures: You Decide

The time has come once again when you have the opportunity to vote from a selection of miniatures- the most popular 5 will be included in November's Monthly Miniatures box for review. Simply comment below to vote for up to 5 products from the following list, thanks!

Diptyque Volutes Eau de Toilette
Lancome Hypnose Star Show-Stopping Volume Mascara
Erb Soul Surrender Salt & Oil Scrub
Naked Argan Oil & Meadowfoam Repairing Hair Treatment
Richard Ward Couture Hair Memoriser Holding Serum
Milk Shake Color Maintainer Conditioner
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse
Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Softening Body Cream with Jasmine and Ylang Ylang

Be sure to check back at the start of November to see which products you've chosen for my Monthly Miniatures box! In the meantime, feel free to head on over to my Youtube channel to see what I thought of the products in the September box. Click here to view.

Friday 19 October 2012

Speed Review: Lush Fair Trade Honey Shampoo

Lush has recently introduced a selection of new products to its existing haircare lineup, including Fair Trade Honey Shampoo which I was sent for review.
The press release explained that Fair Trade Honey Shampoo is "full of the power of flowers" with a base of more than 50% fair trade honey and 20% linseed mucilage to moisturise and add shine & lustre to locks. The high honey content means that Lush are able to do away with preservatives (the high sugar content is a natural preservative, preventing bacteria from growing), which I was pleased to see as one of my bugbears with Lush is that their products are far from natural, despite their ethical ethos (this shampoo is also vegetarian). It is particularly recommended as a softening shampoo for those who live in hard water areas.
At £7 for 100g, I thought that this was expensive (it costs more on a price per ml basis than my salon brand shampoo) and whilst this probably relates in some part to the high quality ingredients, I can't help but wonder how their customers will respond to such a high price point.

Regular readers will know that I'm 100% devoted to my La Biosthetique shampoo and as such, I passed this onto a friend to try. Here are her thoughts:
Fair Trade Honey Shampoo has a very dark colour which reminded me of honey and really appealed to me. Luckily, the scent put me off eating it! Although down to personal taste, I absolutely hated the scent (it's a floral blend of geranium, rose, bergamot and neroli). It had a very strong scent which would put me off repurchasing, although I was pleased to note that it didn't linger once I'd dried and styled my hair.
The first time I used this, it made my hair very tangled which is something I've never experienced with shampoo before. This did improve with subsequent uses although my hair was still left tangled. In spite of this, I did feel that it was beneficial to my hair. Fair Trade Honey Shampoo is suitable for all hair types but is particularly recommended for dry hair and I have to admit that it left my recently dyed hair feeling super moisturised. However, I'm not sure I will repurchase this once the bottle runs out as I really didn't like the scent.

Sunday 7 October 2012

Speed Review: Rodial 5 Minute Facial

If you watched my September Glossybox Unboxing video (click here to view), then you'll know that one of the samples I received was Rodial 5 Minute Facial (2 x 1ml sachets), which I've just tried out.
Rodial is one of my favourite brands and whilst I don't always agree with their shock tactics when it comes to naming products, I love that they deliver results so I was excited to see it included in my Glossybox.

5 Minute Facial is designed as a gently exfoliating and decongesting mask, with active ingredients to rejuvenate. It claims to clarify and absorb impurities, reduce pore size and reveal smooth, bright, glowing skin. The full size mask is presented in a functional 50ml tube, with Rodial's signature sleek branding and it's also available as a sample pack of 10 x 1ml sachets, costing £10.95.

In my Unboxing video, I mentioned that whilst I'd prefer not to receive products in sachets (given that it's a deluxe sample service and I associate sachets with magazine freebies), I was pleased to see they'd included not one but two sachets of Rodial 5 Minute Facial. However, when I came to try the mask, I was disappointed to realise that a single 1ml sachet contained such a miniscule amount of product that I could just about cover my chin with the mask. I made a quick enquiry on Twitter and I found that I was not alone. Using both the sachets along with a couple which I had previously received (4 in total), I was able to sparingly cover my face although it was such a faff & effort that the indulgence factor was somewhat diminished. For this reason, I certainly wouldn't recommend purchasing the sample pack.

The mask is meant to be applied generously, however, that wasn't really an option. I appreciate that Rodial is a luxury brand with a pricetag to match, yet the point of sample box services is to try products that you might not otherwise get the chance to & decide whether to repurchase.

Having said this, I actually rather liked 5 Minute Facial and if I'd tried the full size tube, then I suspect that this would be a glowing review. The mask itself is a clay mask which was white and chalky in appearance. It felt quite grainy (yet gentle) to apply and had a lightweight  "whipped" texture. This meant that it dried quickly and once set, it felt tight on my face. It had a pleasant fresh, fruity scent which wasn't overpowering.
As the name suggests, 5 Minute Facial should be left on for a minimum of five minutes. This appealed to me as it's not a big commitment in a busy lifestyle. The directions suggest that the mask can be gently peeled/ rubbed off which I struggled to do. Instead, I reached for my trusty muslin cloth and with the help of some warm water, simply removed using a circular motion. With this method, the mask was removed easily and there was no need to scrub at my skin.

My skin felt quite dried out following use so this might be a good choice for those looking to control excess oil. Having said this, it also looked healthy, glowing and felt smooth & deeply cleaned. My skin appeared slightly firmed and the texture was noticeably refined. I was impressed with the results- once again, a Rodial product has delivered on its claims- and would definitely consider repurchasing 5 Minute Facial.
The full size costs £35 for 50ml which isn't cheap- Rodial products never are- but given the skimpy size of the sachets, I feel that it's worth biting the bullet and investing in the tube which offers far better value for money (if you need to justify it, the tube offers a saving of almost £20 compared to the same volume purchased as sachets).

Friday 5 October 2012

Speed Review: Tommyguns Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner

A lot of people rave about Tommyguns and yet, despite having tried a couple of their haircare products, it's not a range which I feel overly familiar with and as such, wasn't sure what to expect when I came to try their Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner.
Tommyguns Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner is a hydrating conditioner, designed to treat dry, damaged and coloured hair. According to the blurb, it contains a blend of active ingredients to help strengthen hair and add moisture so that colour is protected and lacklustre locks are boosted with vitality and shine. Jasmine helps to nourish and revitalise hair; Sweet Almond rejuvenates and intensely conditions, whilst Wild Nettle moisturises and soothes & calms the scalp. So, did it live up to its claims?
My first impression was very positive. I liked the sleek packaging which is suggestive of an expensive product. Having said this, I'd have preferred the functionality of a pump dispenser or even a flip cap as opposed to the screw top. From the first time I used the product in my shower, the label took on the texture of wet paper and the text faded which I felt cheapened the packaging.
I was surprised at the formula which isn't as thick as I was expecting given that the conditioner is designed for dry, damaged and coloured hair. I'd say it's akin to a body lotion in terms of formula and as such, I found there to be a fair amount of wastage as a result of having to pour the conditioner out of the bottle. The scent is absolutely incredible- a floral burst of sweet jasmine which I found very indulgent. I appreciate that for some, it may be overpowering but the scent didn't linger once I'd dried and styled my hair. I found Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner was relatively easy to rinse out of my hair.
The first time I used this, I couldn't believe the results. My fine but frizz prone hair was left looking as sleek as if I'd had it professionally styled, frizz free and yet not weighed down. It felt soft & silky, looked shiny and simply beautiful. I really was very, very impressed. Unfortunately, I found the conditioner to be too rich to use every time I washed my hair and it did start to become weighed down (having said this, bear in mind that I have fine hair which I wash every day- i.e. not the hair type that Jasmine, Wild Nettle and Sweet Almond Conditioner is designed for) but I've been able to make it work for me by only reaching for it every other time that I wash my hair.
At £5.50 for 250ml, I feel that this offers good value for money. It's easily comparable to salon brand products and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this to someone with dry, damaged or coloured hair. I really liked it and look forward to discovering more from the Tommyguns range.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Speed Review: Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel

I've liked most of the products that I've previously tried from LA-based facialist, Ole Henriksen's signature skincare line (particularly the Walnut Complexion Scrub) so I was keen to try the bestselling Invigorating Night Gel, which seemed like an unusual product.
As with all of Ole Henriksen's products, Invigorating Night Gel is presented in brightly coloured packaging which appealed to me, however, I felt that a tube would be more functional given the gel formula of the product.
The directions were clear and easy to follow- simply smooth a layer over clean skin. Being a gel, I expected this to feel cooling and soothing upon application, however, if applied to sensitive areas, it stings! (For this reason, I wouldn't recommend it to those with very sensitive skin). Once dried, Invigorating Night Gel feels quite uncomfortable on the face, tight & almost mask-like.
Overall, I feel that this is an effective treatment which left my skin looking smooth and the texture improved. Having said this, I didn't find Invigorating Night Gel a particularly enjoyable or indulgent product to use, compared with others I've tried.
As this is essentially an exfoliating treatment, I feel that nightly use is excessive- I'd recommend using it just two to three times a week.
At £42 for 50g, it's not cheap and whilst it delivers results, I feel that there are better products out there (I personally prefer Heaven by Deborah Mitchell Skin Polish Exfoliator).

Monday 1 October 2012

October Monthly Miniatures

Thank you for voting for my October Monthly Miniatures. As you can see from the photo above, the products that you voted to be included are as follows:

Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream
Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer
Diane by Diane von Furstenberg Eau de Toilette
Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Hairtherapy Oil Miracle

Don't forget to check out my vlog at the end of the month to see what I thought!

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Speed Review: REN Jojoba Micro Bead Purifying Facial Polish

I'm a big fan of REN skincare and regularly recommend it to friends so I was excited to try REN Jojoba Micro Bead Purifying Facial Polish.

It's a creamy formula with small jojoba oil beads which makes for a gentle exfoliation, ideal for those with sensitive skin (I've previously raved about the REN Micro Polish Cleanser which is particularly good for those with hyper-pigmentation, however, this would be a better choice if you suffer from sensitivity).
I found the menthol fragrance invigorating but not overwhelming.
My skin felt soft & smooth following use and as with all exfoliators, I found that my other products applied better.
At £18 for 150ml, it's by no means a cheap product, however, I feel that the price is justifiable given that a little goes a long way together with the fact that it truly is a good quality product.
I really liked REN Jojoba Micro Bead Purifying Facial Polish and would recommend it.

Monday 24 September 2012

September Glossybox

To find out what I received in my September Glossybox, please click here for the Unboxing video.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Speed Review: Benefit The Porefessional


Despite reportedly being the UK's number one selling premium primer and counting the likes of Rhianna as fans, I'd never tried Benefit The Porefessional before so I was intrigued to see whether it lived up to the hype.
Presented in a bright tube with Benefit's signature fun and vintage style branding, it's both appealing to the eye and functional. As the image above shows, the primer itself is tinted, although I couldn't notice this once I'd applied it to my skin- perhaps it goes some way to softening the appearance of imperfections but it by no means offers any coverage (and it doesn't claim to). Described as a "pore minimising balm", I'd say its more of a lightweight gel. It has quite a strong fragrance but it's not offensive.
As I applied The Porefessional to my skin, I immediately began to worry as it felt smooth and velvety in the way that only a silicone-laden product can and it turned out that I was right to be concerned (a quick check of the ingredients list confirmed my fears). My sensitive skin reacted badly to this and I suffered a breakout. Of course, everyone is different and this may well work for you. I was impressed in that it works effectively as a makeup base and I found that my foundation lasted the entire day.
Although a little goes a long way, at £23.50 for just 22ml, I feel that it's overpriced.
Personally, I didn't get on with this and wouldn't repurchase it. Whilst those with oily skin would probably like The Porefessional, there are cheaper alternatives out there which offer the same benefits and are better value for money.


Thursday 20 September 2012

Speed Review: Bio Beaute by Nuxe Nourishing Mask (for hair)

If you've watched my recent French Haul video (click here to view), then you might recall that I received a sample of Bio Beaute by Nuxe Nourishing Mask with Apricot Kernel Oil and Almond, along with my purchases.
Designed for very dry and damaged hair, I was worried that the mask would prove too rich for my fine hair but as I've been using my straightening irons quite a bit recently, I decided to try it.

The full size of the mask is presented in a tub format and regular readers will know that I prefer tubes- they're more hygenic, less messy and less bulky in my ever more crowded bathroom. The "Bio Beaute" name is a little misleading- the products aren't completely natural or organic but more so than most and it holds the prestigious EcoCert mark, with this mask being comprised of 98.9% natural and 10.9% organic ingredients. These initial negatives were quickly forgotten upon opening the sample as I was hit with an incredible scent- the creamy mask smelt just like marzipan and good enough to eat! The directions were clear and easy to follow- simply apply a generous amount after shampooing, leave on for three minutes and then rinse. I liked that the mask gets to work in such a short amount of time, making it convenient to use and easy to fit into a busy routine. I struggled when it came to rinsing the product out- as it is packed with nourishing ingredients such as shea and mango butters, along with mirabelle and apricot kernel oils, I really felt as though there was an oily layer coating my hair which I simply couldn't rinse out, despite trying for quite some time.
Unfortunately, the tempting fragrance didn't linger in my hair once it was dry, however, it did feel as though there was still some product residue which may go back to my previous comments regarding the rinsability. Having said this, my hair wasn't weighed down and it looked sleek, shiny and was easy to style.
The main problem with this product lies in the rinsability issues- the initial appeal of the mask being an easy-to-incorporate quick fix was undermined by the fact that it took so long to rinse out and even then, it still felt as though there was product residue in my hair which irritated my sensitive scalp. For that reason, I wouldn't purchase a full size of this, even though I enjoyed the scent and the final appearance of my hair.

Saturday 15 September 2012

New video

My latest video, showing the beauty products that I received for my recent birthday along with a Glossybox unboxing, is now live. Click here to view.

Friday 14 September 2012

Monthly Miniatures: You Decide

It's that time again! Here's your opportunity to vote from a selection of miniatures-  the most popular 5 will be included in the next month's Monthly Miniatures box for review. Simply comment below to vote for up to 5 products which you'd like to see in the October Monthly Miniatures box, thanks!

Choose from:
Maybelline Dream Fresh 8-in-1 BB Cream
Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream
Sweet Breath Spearmint Mist
Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer
Korres Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturiser SPF6
Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Hairtherapy Oil Miracle
Molton Brown Warming Eucalyptus Bath & Shower Therapy
Diane by Diane Von Furstenberg Eau de Toilette

Be sure to check back at the start of October to see which products you've chosen for my Monthly Miniatures box!

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Bioderma Giveaway: The Winner

Thank you to all those who entered the Bioderma giveaway, which is now closed. The entries were input into a random number generator and I'm delighted to announce the winner as... Helen! Congratulations! (I'll send an email to arrange delivery)

I've got some more giveaways planned so stay tuned...

Tuesday 4 September 2012

France Haul

If you'd like to know what beauty products I purchased on my recent trip to France, click here for my haul video. And don't forget that I also picked up a bottle of the cult Bioderma to give away to one lucky reader- scroll down for details, good luck!

Monday 3 September 2012


At the end of July, Chanel launched an innovative pop-up beauty boutique in London's Covent Garden, playing host to some of the world's best makeup artists, nail technicians, theatrical artists and models, and from today, the concept is being extended.
The pop-up boutique is offering complimentary makeovers as well as a shape and paint nail service, followed by £25 to spend on your favourite Chanel makeup on the day in the pop-up boutique. So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance?
If you find yourself in London in the coming weeks, keep your eyes peeled for one of 25 special Chanel taxi cabs which have been painted in iconic Chanel nail and lip shades (wouldn't it be a treat to travel in a Rouge Noir taxi?!). Simply hail one of the special cabs between 3rd-17th September and state "Chanel at Covent Garden". Good luck!

* Certain T&Cs apply: There are a limited number of offers available and the offer is only open to those with a valid invitation. Not transferable or refundable, no cash alternatives. One per customer. Appointments are subject to availability. £25 offer is only available after a makeover or nail shape & paint. Walk in appointments are available, subject to availability.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Giveaway Time!

If you follow a lot of blogs or watch YouTube beauty channels, then you'll know that French Cleansing Water, Bioderma is hugely popular, with good reason. However, the cult product is notoriously difficult to get hold of here in the UK so when I went away to France recently, I stocked up for my personal collection and also picked up an extra bottle for a giveaway!
One lucky reader will be able to win this 250ml bottle of Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellaire Solution for Combination-Oily Skin (sorry, this is open to UK residents only).
To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment below telling me what your favourite cleansing method is, e.g. oils, balms, etc.. along with your email address (please ask your parents' permission if you are under 18). For an additional entry, tweet @Skindeepblogger. In order to qualify for entry, you must be a follower of my blog.
The winner will be picked at random and announced on Monday 10th September. Good luck!

Saturday 1 September 2012

September Monthly Miniatures

The products that you voted (thank you!) to be included in my Monthly Miniatures for September are as follows:

Fendi Fan di Fendi EDP
Moroccanoil Oil Treatment
L'Occitane 20% Shea Butter Dry Skin Hand Cream
Elizabeth's Daughter The Daily Moisturiser SPF15
Oskia Renaissance Mask: Nutri-Active Brightening & Resurfacing Mask

Don't forget to check out my vlog review at the end of the month to see what I thought!

Wednesday 29 August 2012

August Favourites

If you're interested in hearing which products I've been loving this month then please click here to watch my latest video. As always, I'd love to hear your opinions so don't forget to comment, thanks!

Saturday 25 August 2012

Speed Review: Payot Softening Eye Makeup Remover with Rose Water

Payot is a luxury, natural beauty brand which hails from Paris and as a fan of French skincare products, I was excited to try their Softening Eye Makeup Remover.

The bottle is sleek and I like that it is transparent, making it easy to see how much product is remaining. My only complaint (and it's a minor one) is that I'd have prefered the convenience of a flip top instead of a screw on cap. I liked the opening of the bottle which is the perfect size to allow just the right amount of the fluid formula to be dispensed without wastage.

Payot Softening Eye Makeup Remover feels cooling upon application and I was impressed that it contains rosewater, making it a gentle option for those with sensitive eyes. Whilst it did the job, it isn't the most effective eye makeup remover I've used and I found that I really needed to "scrub" at my skin to remove the final traces of mascara. I don't tend to wear waterproof mascara so I can't comment on its effectiveness at removing this. There was no Eye Makeup Remover residue left on my eyes after use.

Whilst Payot is a luxury brand, I find £16.50 for 125ml eye makeup remover expensive and I'd personally struggle to justify the price when I've previously tried perfectly acceptable, cheaper alternatives.

Friday 24 August 2012

Monthly Miniatures: August Review

I've just posted a new video! To find out what I thought of the Monthly Miniatures products which I tried this month, click here.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Speed Review: Mandara Spa Amber Heaven Conditioning Bath & Shower Cream

If you follow my blog or vlog channel regularly then you'll know that I recently introduced a new monthly series called "Monthly Miniatures" (click here for further details). One of the products which I trialled during July as part of the new series was the Mandara Spa Amber Heaven Conditioning Bath & Shower Cream and I thought that for today's review, I'd share my thoughts on the product.

Although described as a cream, I'd say that the formula is more of a pearlescent gel. I was pleased to note that Amber Heaven Conditioning Bath & Shower Cream is free from "nasties" such as mineral oil, parabens and SLS, especially because it's reasonably priced at £6.50 for 200ml. Considering that the formula is free from SLS, it gives an impressive lather and as a result of this, a little goes a long way.
In fact, the only thing that I didn't like about Amber Heaven Conditioning Bath & Shower Cream was the scent and that's purely down to personal preference. I was put-off by the overpowering scent of patchouli, which lingered on my skin long after my shower. There's a sweet undertone which I found more enjoyable but the predominant scent is undoubtedly patchouli so if you like that, you should definitely check this out. The Amber Heaven scent is just one of five ranges from the brand, with other fragrances such as Tropical Blooms, Honeymilk Dream, Island Paradise and Citrus Spice also available so I hope to try one of these in future.


Tuesday 21 August 2012

Speed Review: Lush Whoosh Shower Jelly

Made of vegetarian jelly, Whoosh is one of three scents in Lush's line of Shower Jellies. I had Whoosh in my "to try" box for a while before braving it as I honestly didn't know what to expect. I remembered that Lush used to sell their Shower Jellies as individual portions in ice cube bags so I had the impression that they were intended to be used as frozen cubes. Whilst the Shower Jelly can be frozen or chilled, it's also possible to use it at room temperature (as I did) and it will retain its wobbly consistency.
Whoosh is presented in a screw top plastic tub from which you scoop out the bright blue jelly. The second that I opened the tub, I was hit with an amazing, awakening and uplifting citrus scent which comes from the inclusion of  fresh organic lemon & lime juices along with grapefruit juice, grapefruit oil, rosemary oil and geranium oil. Whilst I was a little disappointed to note the inclusion of some "nasties" such as parabens and SLS (which tends to dry out my skin), this was offset to an extent by hydrating glycerin and honey water. There is a very slight lather when used in the shower, although I imagine it would produce more bubbles if used in a bath.

I really enjoyed using Whoosh and it's definitely the most fun product that I've come across in a while. It's ideal for kids and adults alike. What's more, it lived up to its claims of being awakening- Lush even recommend it when jet-lagged or hungover. My main complaint is that there was quite a lot of wastage as the slippery jelly is so easy to drop in the shower and for this reason, I'd struggle to pay £3.50 for 100g. I'm really pleased that I tried this but it's undoubtedly a gimmick so I'd be unlikely to repurchase it.

Sunday 19 August 2012

New video

I've posted a new video over on my YouTube channel, Skin Deep Beauty Vlog. It's a collective haul showing some pieces from the likes of MAC and Lush which I picked up recently. Click here to view.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Monthly Miniatures: You Decide

One of my YouTube subscribers suggested that I make my Monthly Miniatures series a little more interactive by asking readers to vote from a selection of miniatures with the most popular 5 then being included in the next month's box for review. I thought it was a fantastic idea!
Please comment below to vote for up to 5 products which you'd like to see in the September Monthly Miniatures box.

Choose from:
Elizabeth's Daughter The Daily Moisturiser SPF15
L'Occitane 20% Shea Butter Dry Skin Hand Cream
Fendi Fan di Fendi Eau de Parfum
Oskia Renaissance Mask: Nutri-Active Brightening & Resurfacing Mask
Trevor Sorbie Beautifully Moisturised Frizz-Free Conditioner
Occo London Mirnavina No 4 Grape, Blackberry & Fig Body Hydrator
Occo London Sipon No 2 Bay, Rosemary & Fennel Bath & Body Wash
Moroccanoil Oil Treatment

Be sure to check back at the start of September to see which products you've chosen for my Monthly Miniatures box!


Monday 13 August 2012

Speed Review: NIP + FAB Clean Fix Wipes

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of facial cleansing wipes and whilst I appreciate that they offer a quick and easy skincare solution, so do cleansing waters which are more beneficial for the skin. Having said this, there are rare occasions when I reach for cleansing wipes and I've recently been impressed with the NIP + FAB Clean Fix Wipes from the wallet friendly brand created by the founder of Rodial.

The packaging is sleek and appealing, however, I'd have prefered a secure plastic clip fastening as opposed to the sticker to avoid the wipes drying out. For me, this is something which is particularly desirable given how rarely I use wipes.

The wipes themselves have a fresh scent and are satisfyingly saturated with cleanser, making them more effective than most at removing makeup. The fabric feels soft and strong- I even tried to rip these and they didn't tear.
I liked that they are free from drying alcohol but instead feature soothing aloe vera and hydrating glycerin in the ingredients list. Having said that, I did experience a slight stinging sensation when using these on the more sensitive areas of my face. Also, I found that my skin felt slightly dry after use so I couldn't forgo moisturiser. However, overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Clean Fix Wipes and as a result, am keen to discover more from the NIP + FAB brand.
At £4.95 for 25 wipes, I feel that these are fairly priced. I'm never going to recommend wipes as an everyday skincare option but if you're looking for some wipes to use occasionally, these are worth checking out.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Project 10 Pan

I've just uploaded a new video on Skin Deep Beauty Vlog showing you the 10 beauty products which I've used up recently. I hope you'll find it interesting- click here to view.

Sunday 5 August 2012

Speed Review: Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer

I was recently sent Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer for review and as I prefer Clinique makeup to their skincare (which can be too harsh for my sensitive skin), I passed the sample onto a friend to try. Here are her thoughts:
As with all Clinique products, the packaging of Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer is classic and sleek. I liked that it was suitable for all skin types, from very dry to combination oily.
The scent of the product was quite off-putting. I've tried quite a few Clinique products previously and like that they tend to be fragrance-free or at least, not offensive but I struggled with this one, which smelt very synthetic.
Clinique Turnaround Overnight Radiance Moisturizer has a thick texture which lent itself well to a massage application. I found that it took a while to be absorbed but once it was, there was no greasiness. When I woke up, my skin still felt nourished and the texture improved as a result of the hydrating benefits, however, I struggled to notice any dramatic difference to the overall appearance of my skin.
I might be tempted to repurchase this if Clinque were running one of their "Bonus Time" offers and I certainly used up the product, however, I probably wouldn't pay more than £20 for it so I was surprised to hear that it's £34 for 50ml.

Thursday 2 August 2012

July Favourites

If you'd like to know which products made it to my July Favourites, click here to watch the video on Skindeepbeautyvlog.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

August Monthly Miniatures

Following the launch of Monthly Miniatures in July, my "If Skin Deep Did Beauty Boxes" products for August are:

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner
Dermalogica Ultra Calming Relief Masque
Issey Miyake A Scent By Issey Miyake EDP Florale
shu uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo
Yes to Carrots Nourishing Shower Gel

Don't forget to look out for my vlog review at the end of the month to see what I thought!

Sunday 29 July 2012

Monthly Miniatures: July review

At the start of this month, I introduced a new concept called Monthly Miniatures based on the idea of a subscription sample box service. For July, I reviewed miniature versions of products including Benefit Porefessional, Miller Harris Le Pamplemousse Eau De Parfum and REN Jojoba Micro Bead Invigorating Facial Polish and have just uploaded a video with my review. Click here to watch.

Saturday 28 July 2012

Olympics Special: Top 10 British Beauty Brands

To celebrate the London Olympics, I've filmed a special video for Skin Deep Beauty Vlog which showcases my favourite British beauty brands. In my opinion, they all deserve gold! Click here to view.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

New video- Holiday Haul

I've just uploaded a new video on my YouTube channel. If you'd like to see the beauty products that I purchased on my recent holiday, click here to view.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Speed Review: Terre d'Oc Indian Radiant Face Serum

I'm fascinated by beauty brands from around the world and find it interesting to hear about the different products and rituals which women in different countries use. With this in mind, I was keen to try Terre d'Oc Beaute du Monde Indian Radiant Face Serum.
The Terre d'Oc range takes inspiration from the best beauty secrets, rituals and traditions of women around the world and uses it in a natural product line-up. The range is divided into sub-ranges, each based on a different country and includes Bali, Japan and Morocco to name just a few. I've recently been using the Terre d'Oc Indian Radiant Face Serum which has been designed to feed skin with an antioxidant, Omega-3 and vitamin rich blend of Pomegranate, Hibiscus and Pink Peppercorn extracts.

Terre d'Oc Indian Radiant Face Serum is presented in a red cardboard box which hints at the exotic influences behind the product but which doesn't feel particularly luxurious. On opening. there's information printed on the inside of the box which can be opened up to reveal a magazine style editorial with information about Indian rituals and traditions. This might not appeal to everyone but I liked it and felt that it communicated the brand message effectively. The bottle itself has a functional pump dispenser and I was impressed that it delivers the perfect amount of product to cover the face and neck in just one pump to avoid wastage.
Before trying Indian Radiant Face Serum, I was worried that it would have a sickly sweet scent but I was proven wrong. On first impressions, the scent is very pleasant and fruity and it reminded me of the REN Radiant range. However, as the scent develops as it warms on the skin, it takes on a musty "incense-like" fragrance which I found rather overpowering and this is one of the main factors which would put me off repurchasing, although of course, fragrance is very personal. Having said this, I couldn't notice the scent once the serum had dried.
The formula is lightweight and easily absorbed. A little goes a long way and the bottle lasted me approximately 2 months. Whilst I didn't fall in love with Indian Radiant Face Serum (mainly due to the scent), I have to admit that it delivered on its promises. My skin was left feeling smooth, nourished and glowing. I was particularly impressed with these results given that the changable weather we've been having here in the UK would normally play havoc with my skin.
Although I found the product to be effective and liked that it contains high quality natural ingredients, I was nonetheless surprised to discover the price. At £32.95 for 30ml, it's more than double the price I was expecting and compared with similar brands, I'm not convinced that I could justify a repurchase even if I had been wowed.


Tuesday 17 July 2012

Speed Review: Philosophy Purity One-Step Facial Cleanser

A lot of people within the online beauty community rave about Philosophy's Purity One-Step Facial Cleanser so when I was sent a sample, I was excited to try it out. Admittedly, it's not the sort of product which I would normally choose myself. I cleanse with a face wash in the mornings for the sake of convenience but I usually select natural or spa brands.
As with all Philosophy products, the packaging is fun and something which I'm more than happy to have on display in my bathroom. In terms of functionality, I like that the bottle is transparent so that it's easy to tell how much product is remaining and I found the flip top dispenser worked well.

It's when I came to use Purity One-Step Facial Cleanser itself that disappointment set in. So many people have raved about the scent that I was expecting something indulgent and akin to my usual spa brand choices. Therefore, I was more than a little disappointed to discover that the product has a fragrance which is reminiscent of citronella insect repellant- a scent which I've never enjoyed! It turns out that the scent is the result of the essential oil ingredients as the product itself claims to be fragrance-free. The formula of the face wash is a gel-cream which made application quick and easy. There was a gentle lather and it was easy to rinse off. The overall feel of this product is very synthetic and a quick glance at the ingredients showed that it's full of  the "nasties" which I usually try to avoid. Given this, I felt the name and the fact that the first line of the wording which makes up the design of the packaging reads, "Purity is Natural" to be rather misleading.
Having said this, my skin was left feeling clean, soft and not dry or tight. I was impressed that it didn't irritate my sensitive skin and overall, I have to admit that it does do the job, it's just that I simply didn't enjoy using Purity One-Step Facial Cleanser. Furthermore, at £17.50 for 240ml, I feel that it's overpriced and you'd be better off spending you money at a brand such as REN.

Monday 16 July 2012

Speed Review: M&S Formula Age Repair Night Cream

That most British of High Street institutions, Marks & Spencer has recently rejuvenated its beauty offering with a collection of desirable brands including the likes of Philip Kingsley, NUXE, Murad, Skyn Iceland and Leighton Denny now available. However, I've been impressed with the M&S own brand beauty for some time and today's review is of the Age Repair Night Cream from the affordable yet results driven Formula line.
Specially formulated to target the skin concerns of those aged 40+ e.g. fine lines and wrinkles, I passed Formula Age Repair Night Cream onto a friend to try as at 28, I'm not yet in the target group for this product. Here are her thoughts:
When I was first given the product to try, I was intrigued as I hadn't heard of the Formula range before. Upon closer inspection of the packaging, I noticed that it was an M&S brand which I was surprised to discover. The packaging is classy and felt pricer than I'd expect of an M&S beauty product. The directions were clear and simple- massage in gently in upward circles- practically foolproof! As I try to avoid "nasties" in my beauty regime, I was pleased to note that this is free from parabens.
One of the things I liked most was the texture of the product which is sufficiently thick to feel luxurious but not so rich that it became difficult to apply. I don't tend to like products with strong scents, particularly ones you use at night, so I appreciated the neutral scent of Formula Age Repair Night Cream. I really enjoyed using this- it's a very pleasant night cream, however, I wouldn't say that it's the most results driven product I've tried so if you want to see a visible difference in a short space of time, this may not be the best choice for you. The main difference I've noticed has been to the texture and feel of my skin which is softer than it's been in a long time! If I didn't know that the cream was from M&S, I'd say it's worth around £35 to £40 and even now that I know, I'd still be willing to spend approximately £20 on it. With this in mind, I was amazed to discover that it's just £9.50 for 50ml and would definitely recommend it as a good value for money option.

Sunday 15 July 2012

Inglot video

I've uploaded this week's video over on YouTube. It's a makeup haul from Polish brand, Inglot which I hope you'll enjoy. Click here to view.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Introducing... Monthly Miniatures

Starting today, with a preliminary plan to run for the next 6 months, I'm going to be running a new monthly piece called Monthly Miniatures. To find out more, please click here to watch a video explanation.


Monday 2 July 2012

Favourite Products: June 2012

I've just uploaded a new video on Skin Deep Beauty Vlog which features my favourite products of June 2012 along with a brief explanation over my recent silence. Click here to view.

Friday 29 June 2012

Happy Birthday Skin Deep

Today is Skin Deep's second birthday so I wanted to take the opportunity to thank all of those who have supported my blog over the last couple of years- a big "Cheers" to you!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Drugstore Haul Video

I've just uploaded another YouTube video, a Drugstore Haul. Click here to view.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Project 10 Pan

I've decided to undertake a Project 10 Pan whereby I'll share with you the beauty products which I've used up. I'm going to be doing this as a video series and you can check out the first one by clicking here, enjoy!

Speed Review: Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Eye makeup remover might not be the most exciting beauty product but it's an essential nonetheless. I've recently been using the Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover and felt it might be helpful to share my thoughts, although I don't wear waterproof mascara so I'm afraid that I can't comment on its effectiveness at removing this.

I was a little nervous before trying this. The reason being that I tend to think of Estee Lauder as a mid-range brand in the same vein as Clinique, Elizabeth Arden and such like. I have a tendancy to be more sceptical of the effectiveness of these powerhouse brands, although the upside of this is that when I like a product from one of them, I know it must be good! What's more, I've previously had a very bad reaction to a Clinique eye makeup remover which I can assure you, did not result in an attractive appearance! The skin around my eyes is sensitive and I also wear contact lenses so I was intrigued to see if this would live up to its "Gentle" name.

Upon first impressions, the bottle looks sleek and expensive. I liked that it was transparent so that I could see how much product was remaining. The formula is a clear, oil-free watery consistency. As it is very fluid, you need to pour onto a cotton pad with care to avoid wastage as it flows out of the bottle quickly. Having said this, I liked that the hole in the top is large enough to fit a Q-tip (cotton bud) into for precision tidy ups.

The Eye Makeup Remover feels cool & refreshing upon application and I'm pleased to report that the gentle formula did not irritate my sensitive eyes. However, you have to be careful not to get any of the product into your eye as I did when using a very saturated pad around my tear duct- it stings a lot if this happens! It works well to remove eye makeup without having to scrub at the area, however, I'm dubious as to whether it would be effective on waterproof mascara.

My main problem with this product is the price. At £18 for 100ml, it's undeniably expensive. I liked it and found that I kept coming back to it but I doubt that I could justify a repurchase when there's little to set it apart from cheaper, effective options such as those by teen brands, Amie or Elizabeth's Daughter (both of which I rate highly).

Sunday 10 June 2012

Speed Review: Bliss Fabulips Foaming Lip Cleanser

Regular readers may recall that I've previously reviewed a couple of products from the Bliss Fabulips range, namely the Fabulips Lip Scrub and Lip Balm and today's review follows in the same vein with a review of the Fabulips Foaming Lip Cleanser.

As with all Bliss products, I liked the bold packaging. It's functional too, with a pump dispenser which releases just the right amount of product so that there's no wastage. What's more, I liked that the tube is transparent so that you can see how much product is remaining. The only downside is that I felt it was lacking in clear directions for use.
I tested this out when wearing Topshop Rio Rio lipstick, a bold orange-red which is fairly long-wearing. I applied a single pump's worth to my lips which was the perfect amount. I imagine that the tube will last a long time.
The cleanser itself is a pearlescent gel formula which has the same tempting sweet orange fragrance as the other products I've tried from the Fabulips range.
Upon application, the cleanser starts to foam (there's no need to apply to damp lips or mix with water) and it's very reminiscent of Bliss' bestselling triple oxygen mask. I found the foam slightly tickilish but it's by no means unpleasant or uncomfortable. I decided to remove the product using a dampened cotton wool pad to avoid staining any towels or flannels. My bold red lipstick was quickly and easily removed.
Overall, I really liked Bliss Fabulips Foaming Lip Cleanser. At £12, it's by no means an essential product as you can, of course, use your regular cleanser or purchase a lip & eye makeup remover in one but if you regularly wear bold lip colours or long-wear formulas, then this is worth checking out.

Saturday 9 June 2012

Speed Review: G Baldwin & Co Revitalising Body Wash with Lavender, Peppermint & Lemon

Established in 1844, G Baldwin & Co holds claim to being London's oldest herbalist. I've recently been enjoying using G Baldwin & Co Revitalising Body Wash.
The packaging looks sleek and expensive, with a purple, exotic design adding a spa-like feel. I like the functional pump dispenser which delivers just the right amount of product and ensures no wastage.
The blend of lavender, peppermint and lemon is unusual but very pleasant and makes for a refreshing and revitalising treat. Obviously, the body wash can be used at any time but I'd particularly recommend it for use in the mornings, post-workout or during the summer. I believe that the gel formula is sulphate free which means that it doesn't give a very rich lather but also means that it's not drying or irritating. Skin is left feeling wonderfully clean.
I was surprised when I discovered that the price is just £5.09 for 250ml. This feels far more expensive and I was expecting it to be at least double.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

New Video

For a bit of long weekend fun, I've filmed my first ever "tag" video on YouTube, albeit in terrible lighting (sorry!). To find out what my 7 Deadly Sins of Beauty are, click here.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Speed Review: Dr Darren McKeown Active Peptide Day Cream SPF20

The Dr Darren McKeown skincare range comprises five products, all with a focus upon anti-ageing. I've recently been using the Active Peptide Day Cream SPF 20 and wanted to share my thoughts.

I've previously tried a face mask from the Dr Darren McKeown skincare range but this is the first daily use product that I've used. When I originally reviewed the mask last year (click here for the review), the range had just launched under the "Naked Truth by Dr Darren McKeown" branding and whilst I liked it, I questioned whether the format would work in the chosen distribution outlet, Superdrug. The range has since been rebranded, dropping the Naked Truth moniker and adding some brighter colours and design to the previously minimalist packaging.

So, on with the review...
On first impressions, I liked the bright colourful box which effectively communicates the scientific message of the brand, with molecular diagrams making up the design and a highlight towards the active ingredients of 3% Pentapeptide Complex to reduce lines and wrinkles and 3% Black Tea Extract for plumping and brightening effects.
Inside, a weighty glass jar feels luxurious and looks sleek. Despite preferring my products to be presented in other formats (not jars) for functionality and hygiene reasons, I have to admit that I was impressed. I certainly wouldn't guess that this is sold in Superdrug.

I liked that the cream incorporates an SPF- it's an essential for me when choosing a day cream as I insist on wearing SPF on my face every day of the year, regardless of the weather. Perhaps in part because of the SPF20, the cream itself is incredibly rich and a little goes a long way. I've been using this every day for approximately a month and a half as my day cream and the jar barely looks touched. As a result of the rich formula, I'd say that those with oily skin types probably wouldn't like this although it is easily absorbed and I didn't feel that it sat on my skin. There's a Photo-Protective Hydrating Fluid SPF20 in the range which may be a better choice for those with oily skin and what's more, it's £8 cheaper!

Active Peptide Day Cream SPF20 has a very pleasant citrus fragrance which made application in the mornings a real treat.

Whilst I can't say that I've noticed any dramatic difference to my skin since using this, I am enjoying it and feel that it offers fantastic value at £20.99 for 50ml (Active Peptide Day Cream SPF20 is the most expensive of the five products in the range). There's a lot about this product which makes it feel like a more expensive option. I stand by my previous comments regarding Superdrug being a strange choice of distribution outlet and will be intrigued to see how the brand performs instore following the re-launch. Overall, I'd recommend checking this out if you're looking for an everyday option which offers good value for money.

Friday 1 June 2012

Elemis celebrates the Best of British

Elemis is one of my favourite beauty brands and for me, the fact that they are British is simply an added bonus.

In celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Elemis have released a Best of British gift set containing six favourites including the bestselling Pro-Collagen Marine Cream along with Melting Cleansing Gel, Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir, Tranquil Touch Body Polish, Wild Lavender Hand Lotion and Treat Your Feet Foot Cream (which was a winner in my 2011 Skin Deep Beauty Awards). It's presented in a keepsake box with striking Union Flag design and a label inspired by the Capital's distinctive street signs. The set, which costs £45, offers the ideal way to indulge in some at home pampering over the long weekend and might be just the pick-me-up that's needed after one too many Pimm's!


Thursday 31 May 2012

Speed Review: Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask

Luxury skincare brand, Omorovicza harnesses the healing powers of Hungarian thermal waters in a range of products which are seriously results driven. I've recently been using Omorovicza's Deep Cleansing Mask and I'm extremely impressed.

I introduced the mask into my regime in the hope of tackling some of my congestion and I've been using it once a week religiously ever since.
Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask is presented in a sleek, minimalist box which contains the weighty, frosted glass jar of product. The jar itself is quite small and you only receive 50ml of product, although I'd estimate that there's sufficient to be able to apply at least 10 masks.
The mask contains calcium and magnesium minerals from Hungarian Lake Heviz Mud to help draw out impurities. It's quite a wet mask which I found a little messy to apply and I didn't feel that the jar presentation lent itself well to this. What's more, the directions aren't printed on the jar but on a paper leaflet. I appreciate that this enables Omorovicza to address various languages but I found it a little annoying having to search for the directions.
The mask has a strong scent which might not be to everyone's liking but which I personally enjoyed, particularly as it is reminiscent of a spa. The mask feels cooling upon application and whilst I experienced some very mild tingling in sensitive areas such as around my nose, I still feel that it is gentle enough for all skin types.
After 15 minutes, I used the Omorovicza Cleansing Mitt to gently remove the mask (although a regular flannel would work equally well). At this time, the mask hadn't completely dried onto my face. I found it quick and easy to remove.
Whenever I use this, my skin is left feeling wonderful with a refined, even tone. Redness is noticably calmed and diminished. My skin is left with a matte finish but without a dry, tight feeling so I feel that the mask is suitable for all skin types. Particularly impressive is the fact that the results last for a few days after use and I really feel that this is a product whereby results will just become better and better with use over time.
At £57 for 50ml, Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask is pricey but I can honestly say that this is the best deep cleansing mask I've ever used and possibly even the best skincare product that I've discovered so far this year. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Favourite Products of May 2012

Want to know which products I've loved this month? Here's a sneak peek...

For the full round-up, click here to view my latest YouTube video. I'm hoping to make these round-ups a regular feature so would love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday 27 May 2012

New Video

Earlier this month, I launched Skin Deep Beauty Vlog, the YouTube sister channel to my blog which I hope you're enjoying so far. Please click here to watch my latest video which showcases a selection of products from the MAC 2012 Summer Collection. I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Thursday 24 May 2012

Speed Review: Caudalie Cleansing Water

I've really been enjoying using Cleansing Waters lately and most recently, it's been the turn of the Caudalie Cleansing Water.

As with all cleansing waters, Caudalie Cleansing Water offers a quick and easy way to cleanse and remove makeup. Overall, I've been really impressed with the cleansing waters that I've tried and have been recommending them as an alternative option to facial cleansing wipes. After all, cleansing waters are equally simple and convenient to use but with far greater skincare benefits.

Caudalie Cleansing Water has the same distinctive, fresh scent as many of the products from their range. It feels refreshing to use although it's not so invigorating as to make it inappropriate for bedtime use. It contains a blend of antioxidant rich grape extracts, moisturising plant glycerin, toning mint, caraway, camomile and galbanum.
I found that I needed to use 3 saturated cotton wool pads to remove a full face of makeup, on average. Caudalie Cleansing Water feels gentle and is even suitable for use around the eyes, although on most occasions I still used a separate eye makeup remover. It effectively wipes away all traces of makeup and doesn't leave a "film" of residue on the face. My skin was left feeling hydrated and clean but not stripped. I'd recommend this to anyone but particularly those with sensitive skin.
At £15 for 200ml, I feel that this is fairly priced and in line with other brands such as Lierac (click here to read my review of the Lierac Cleansing Water).

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Quick Update

This is shaping up to be a super busy week so I'm afraid I'm not sure how much I'll be able to blog. To tide things over, I've posted a short shopping haul video on my new YouTube channel which I hope you'll enjoy. Click here to view.

Friday 11 May 2012

Speed Review: Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel

I've recently tried Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel, a two-step at home microdermabrasion kit which is one of the "heroes" of the brand's skincare range.

Early last year, I reviewed the Vie at Home Skin Sparkle Set (click here for the review) which retailed for approximately £15 so I was intrigued to see how the Philosophy set would compare.
On first impressions, whilst I liked the aesthetic of the Philosophy products, I preferred the functionality of the Vie at Home ones which are presented in convenient and hygenic tubes.

As with the Vie at Home set, Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel has two phases, starting with Vitamin C/ Peptide Crystals which are suspended in a balm-like formula. The directions for use are easy to follow, stating that you have to massage the balm into clean, dry skin for 60 seconds in a circular motion. I absolutely loved the formula of this which lent itself well to the massage technique. The balm sinks into the skin beautifully and the crystals are very finely milled for a gentle yet thorough exfoliation. What's more, the balm has an incredible sweet orange fragrance. The only downside is that I found I needed to use quite a bit to cover my entire face.

The second phase involves the application (on top of the balm) of a Lactic/Salicylic Acid Activating Gel. This has a very liquid formula which foams upon application. There is also a warming sensation upon application which I quite liked as I felt reassured that the product was working. The directions state that you have to leave the foam on your face for 2-3 minutes to allow the Vitamin C to infuse into skin, before rinsing thoroughly. During this time, the foam remains very liquidy so you can't really move around.
I really liked The Microdelivery Peel and was impressed with the results. It left my skin looking and feeling wonderfully soft, smooth and radiant. I do feel that it delivers on the claims of helping to brighten and even skin tone & believe that it would help to minimise hyperpigmentation with use over time. It would be a great at-home treatment to use before an event, although it may not be suitable for those with very sensitive skin.

I definitely think that kits like this give better results to a standard exfoliator- they are, after all, more intense and designed to be used as a special treatment. The downside is that they are more fiddly and time consuming to use and as a result, I've used the kits I own a lot less regularly than I originally anticipated.

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel kit costs £59. The Vie at Home kit is approximately a quarter of the price at around £15. The products are pretty much identical so whilst I'd recommend the kit, I'd suggest saving yourself some money and picking up the Vie at Home kit instead.


Thursday 10 May 2012

Speed Review: Ren Micro Polish Cleanser

I've recently been using REN Micro Polish Cleanser and those of you who have watched my newly launched YouTube channel (click here to view) will know that it's one of my favourite products so far this year.

REN Micro Polish Cleanser is a facial exfoliator which combines physical scrubbing particles such as crushed Amber Microbeads with Glycolic Acid exfoliants from fruit such as pineapple extract. It's a minor quibble but I do feel that the name is quite misleading. This should not be used as a daily cleanser but 2-3 times per week (I've been using it twice a week for approx 6 weeks so far and following with the REN Radiance Perfecting Serum).

I liked the functional tube presentation which looks sleek with the signature Ren "clean" & minimal branding. The tube itself feels very lightweight and as though you're not getting the full amount of product but this is merely due to the texture of the product inside. I've found that the product separates a lot in the tube between uses so recommend shaking the tube vigorously before squeezing the product out.

REN Micro Polish Cleanser has an unusual mousse-like formula with scrub particles. It feels as though a little goes a long way but having said that, I feel as though I'm getting through the tube rather quickly. The formula, combined with the tempting fruity fragrance, make this a joy to use. It feels lightweight to apply onto the skin and although it offers a very effective exfoliation due to the combined effects of the scrub particles and the Glycolic Acid, it doesn't feel scratchy or overly abrasive. The double action exfoliants mean that it's more powerful than you might suspect and as a result, those with very sensitive skin might find that this isn't suitable.
This leaves my skin feeling deep cleaned (I'm looking forward to using it in the summer when I apply heavier SPFs) and super soft & smooth. I have some hyperpigmentation on my face which looks slightly diminished and I feel that any spots I've had have healed more quickly than usual.

At £20 for 150ml, REN Micro Polish Cleanser doesn't come cheap but I can't recommend it highly enough.


Wednesday 9 May 2012

Speed Review: Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer

Although I like Clinique makeup, I can find their skincare a little on the strong side for my sensitive skin so when I was recently sent Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer, £32 for 30ml, for review, I passed it onto a friend to try. She has normal skin and her concerns are aging and the occasional hormonal breakout. Here are her thoughts...

I was excited to be asked to try this as it's exactly the sort of product that I'd normally go for. Brands including Clinique and Estee Lauder feature heavily in my regime so I'm familiar with the brand. I liked the packaging which is both sleek in appearance and functional with a pump dispenser & clear directions.
The product itself is designed as a chemical exfoliator and has a gel cream consistency, like a serum, which makes it easy to work with. A little goes a long way. Although easily absorbed, I could feel the product on my skin which might not be to everyone's liking. There is a slight scent but it's certainly not offensive.
I found it easy to fit Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer into my regime. I liked the product and felt that it improved the radiance of my skin & blemishes healed slightly more quickly than usual. Otherwise, I didn't notice dramatic results so perhaps it would be better suited to someone more mature on whom the results would be more noticable.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Introducing Skin Deep Beauty Vlog

I'm delighted to announce that Skin Deep is now on YouTube!

There's still a long way to go before I perfect the lighting and sound but I'm excited to have an additional platform through which to share my latest beauty finds with you. My first video can be accessed here. I look forward to hearing what you think! 


Monday 7 May 2012

he-shi Giveaway: The Winner

The he-shi giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all those who entered. The entries were input into a random number generator and I'm delighted to announce the winner as... Jude! Congratulations!
I've got some more giveaways planned so stay tuned...

Sunday 29 April 2012


We're having such awful weather in the UK at the moment that I thought it'd be nice to add a little sunshine with a he-shi fake tan giveaway. I've got a brand new tube of he-shi Face & Body Tanning Gel, which I recently reviewed here, to give to one lucky reader (sorry, this is open to UK residents only).
To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave a comment with your email address and for an additional entry tweet @SkinDeepBlogger. In order to qualify for entry, you must be a follower. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Sunday 6th May. Good luck!
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