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!

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Speed Review: Crystal Clear Body Firm Complex

Did you know that Skin Deep is on Twitter? You can follow me @SkinDeepBlogger if you're interested in hearing about what I'm up to as well as for blog updates. Earlier today, I tweeted asking which of two body care products my followers would most like today's review to be on and the most requested was Crystal Clear Body Firm Complex. It seems that in spite of the awful weather we're having, people are still thinking about getting summer ready!

I'm a big fan of Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion yet although I was aware of the body care range, I'd never previously tried it.
Crystal Clear Body Firm Complex is presented in a matte black box which feels suitably luxurious. Inside, the product itself is equally sleek with white and silver packaging which gives the impression of a clinical, results-driven product. The directions were easy to follow, although guidance of how much to use would have been helpful but I quickly got to grips with this.
I loved the gel-like texture of Crystal Clear Body Firm Complex, which meant that it was mess-free to work with and easily absorbed. Unlike many cellulite products which I've tried previously, the scent wasn't offensive. Best of all, it's pink! A win for me!
The directions state to massage the product in gently but I have to say that I found using a firmer touch, similar to a lymphatic drainage technique, more effective.
I focussed my usage my problem leg area and after a few weeks' use, I definitely noticed that the skin on my thighs looked and felt firmer. I found the routine easy to follow and will certainly continue to use this, particularly in the run up to bikini season. I'd recommend Crystal Clear Body Firm Complex and feel that the price of £32 for 200ml is fair for the quality product.


Tuesday 24 April 2012

Speed Review: Ren Hydra Calm Cleansing Gel

Firstly, I must apologise readers for being such a bad blogger recently. Work has been super busy with deadlines and sadly, Skin Deep has had to take a back seat but I'm so thankful for your continued support.
On with today's review...
I'm currently loving REN Skincare and have recently been using the Hydra Calm Cleansing Gel.

As with all REN products, the packaging is sleek and reiterates the clean and pure branding. I like that it's functional, with a pump dispenser and transparent so that you can see how much product is remaining. As a cleansing gel, it's practically foolproof to use and for me, this makes it ideal for use as an in-shower facial wash in the mornings. I also really like the delicate orange blossom scent.
I'd recommend this to anyone, particularly those with sensitive skin. My skin was left feeling clean but not stripped or tight.
At £17 for 150ml, it's not exactly a budget option but a little goes a long way and I do feel that the price reflects the quality.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Guest Post: Hello Flawless- Foundation with Benefit

Today I'm delighted to be hosting my first ever guest post, which has been written by the fabulous Olivia Cox, beauty intern at Marie Claire magazine and blogger at So, without further ado I shall pass you over to Olivia...

Do you remember when all you wanted from your foundation was a pretty-much-ok-ish colour match? I remember dabbling with brands so frightful they shan't be named, with scents so putrid they made my eyes water. All in the name of "beauty".
Thankfully, those days are long gone- last year's arrival of hot Japanese import B.B. creams made sure of that. Sending ripples through Beautyland, these everything-in-one super creams caused humble slap to up its game: who wanted a cover-up to simply cover up, when you could halve your morning routine by using one with seven added benefits? Exactly.
So, no longer satisfied with traditional coverage, we now demand active ingredients, prefer multi-tasking solutions and quietly poo-poo a cover-up without SPF.
Cue Benefit's latest launch, Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW Foundation, £24.50.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW Foundation went on sale recently wih all the usual hallmarks of a department store foundation; vitamin C, vitamin E, high SPF... you know the drill. But what makes it seriously special is the use of cell-plumping oxygen- it is the first ever liquid foundation to do this. The super hydrating formula creates an instantly dewy and brightened complexion, giving the illusion of naturally better skin. The actual coverage is fairly light but that's ok. This foundation is about working with what you've got, rather than covering it all up.

Hello Flawless is available in nine shades from Benefit counters nationwide. If you plan to get your glow on this summer, this is the ONLY foundation you'll need.

If you enjoyed this then please follow Olivia on Twitter @LivvyCox

Friday 13 April 2012

Speed Review: He-Shi Face & Body Tanning Gel

I'm not someone who uses fake tan year round but I do like to give my pale skin a little boost as we head into summer and I recently tried He-Shi Face & Body Tanning Gel. He-Shi Face & Body Tanning Gel is a relatively new launch from the specialist tanning brand (click here to read my interview with the brand's co-founder, Shelley McMurray) and I have to say that overall, I'm impressed.

The brown and yellow packaging feels suitably summery and, in keeping with the brand name, would appeal to both men and women. I liked that the gel is presented in a functional tube and that the directions for use are very clear. Whenever I use fake tan, I like to use a tanning mitt as I find that it makes application a breeze and I don't have to worry about telltale stained palms and this time was no exception. I applied He-Shi Face & Body Tanning Gel using the Tanning Mitt from the same range and only used the product on my body, preferring to bronze my face with makeup.

As the name suggests, He-Shi Face & Body Tanning Gel is a thick gel formula which makes for a mess free application. The gel itself has a "guide colour"- a dark tint designed to make application easier so that you can clearly see where you have already applied the product. This also means that you appear tanned instantly, even though it takes a few hours for the colour to truly develop. When I first squeezed the product out of the tube, I was initially shocked at how dark the colour was but I shouldn't have panicked as it doesn't apply to the same shade depth. As with any fake tan, you can apply more layers of product for a deeper colour.

The packaging states that you can dress after two minutes and whilst it's true that the gel formula does dry relatively quickly, it definitely took longer than just two minutes. At first, I didn't notice any strong scent but it certainly became more prominent as the hours progressed and the tan developed. Personally, I don't find the "biscuity" scent associated with fake tan particularly offensive so this didn't bother me too much.
The colour that developed was very natural indeed, with no orange at all due to the inclusion of subtle green tones in the formula to counteract this. What's more, I was impressed at how long the colour lasted. Obviously, this will vary depending on your skin type and lifestyle but I still had a natural hint of colour up to a week later. The only complaint I had was that I found my skin became incredibly dry after using this, although I have been testing a few different products recently so I can't say for sure that the dryness was down to the fake tan.

Overall, I'm impressed and will definitely use this again.  In particular, I feel that this would be a good choice for fake tan beginners as it's such an easy product to use. I feel that £17.50 for the 150ml tube is a fair price.

Monday 9 April 2012

Speed Review: Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Wash

Regular readers will know that Aromatherapy Associates is one of my favourite brands and I particularly love their incredible Bath & Shower Oils. However, sometimes you simply require the convenience of a shower gel formula and I've recently been trialling Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Wash.

The plastic packaging isn't offensive and it's certainly practical with its pump dispenser but it doesn't feel particularly luxurious, which I would expect for the price.
The blend of neroli, pink grapefruit and bergamot adds a delicate, sweet citrus scent which is uplifting for use in the mornings. As it's SLS free, it doesn't produce a rich lather but you could boost this by using the body wash with a shower puff. I'm really impressed with how long this has lasted. I've been using it everyday for 3 months and I'm only just getting to the end of the bottle. I applied it with my hands but if you used the aforementioned shower puff, I'd imagine you could make the product go even further. I love how fresh and clean this leaves my skin feeling after use, without any dryness or irritation.
Yes, it's expensive at £23 for 200ml but sometimes I feel as though it's worth spending that little bit extra to add indulgence to my beauty routine such as injecting some luxury into my otherwise mundane morning shower.
Final edit: During the course of my research for this blog post, I noticed that the Aromatherapy Associates site is offering a free bottle of Body Wash when you buy one of their bestselling Bath & Shower Oils along with any other product, excluding lip balm, during April. It's a great opportunity if you're looking to try this out.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Speed Review: Natio Meditate Body Scrub

I have to admit that I haven't gotten on very well with the Natio range of products in the past. I like the idea behind the Australian range but have felt that the products have failed to deliver. However, I was recently sent some products from their new Meditate range and decided to keep an open mind when testing them, starting with Natio Meditate Body Scrub.

Upon first impressions, I liked the packaging. It's a sleek design which has a spa feel to it and features a yoga inspired illustration to reiterate the Meditation theme. It's presented in a functional tube, which is always my preference when it comes to scrubs (and most products for that matter!). The scrub itself has a thick paste formula which needs to be applied in the shower or bath, onto damp skin. A little goes a long way and I feel that the tube would last for some time.
I loved the delicate scent of the scrub, which smells quite luxurious although it didn't linger on my skin afterwards.

The exfoliant is in the form of finely milled walnut shells and these made for a much more gentle scrub than I was expecting. As a general rule, I prefer a satisfyingly rough scrub on my body but these were effective nonetheless and my skin was left feeling soft and smoothed. It also contains Tumeric which is traditionally used to brighten skin. I still needed to moisturise after use.
Overall, I've been pleasantly surprised by Natio Meditate Body Scrub and at £13 for 150ml, I would recommend checking it out.

Friday 6 April 2012

Cute Easter Knot Wraps

Just a quick post to share these adorable Easter Knot Wraps from Lush with you...

Aren't they cute?!
The Chick Knot Wrap costs £2.95 and can be used to wrap one of Lush's signature Bath Ballistics, whereas the Hoppy Easter Bunny Knot Wrap costs £10.95 and is pre-filled with two bathtime treats; The Carrot Reusable Bubble Bar and Fluffy Egg Bath Ballistic. What's more, they're far more eco-friendly option than chocolate Easter eggs which come wrapped in excessive amounts of cardboard and plastic.

Monday 2 April 2012

Speed Review: Lierac Demaquillant Douceur Micellar Cleansing Water for Face & Eyes

Cleansing waters are very popular in France with brands such as Caudalie and the cult Bioderma leading the way. French women are known for their perfect skin so, figuring that they might be onto something, I decided to give Lierac's version a go.

Lierac Demaquillant Douceur is a micellar cleansing water which,simply put, means that it contains oil molecules suspended in soft water. So, what did I think?

I liked the bold purple colour of the slimline 200ml bottle and the functionality of the pump dispenser, which makes it easy and mess-free to use. One or two pumps sufficiently saturate a cotton pad, although you may need to use a few if you wear full makeup. Even so, I found that the bottle lasts a relatively long time.
To use, you simply swipe the saturated cotton pad over your face. It's a good choice for those with sensitive skin and as there's no rinsing, oily and dry skins alike aren't irritated and balance is improved. You can even use it to remove eye makeup (which it does reasonably effectively on light makeup, plus it contains vitamins which are said to promote eyelash growth).

Lierac Demaquillant Douceur has a pleasant, yet not overwhelming floral fragrance and feels fresh to use. For me, I really feel that the success lies in its simplicity- it's a quick and easy way to cleanse effectively so there's a good return on very little commitment. Because of this, I kept up with it.
The only thing which I didn't like was the slightly sticky feeling from the residue which is left on the skin, although this goes when you follow with moisturiser. I suspect that this residue is from the added skin-softening ingredients such as glycerin, honey and mallow as well as detoxifying probiotics so the trade off is worthwhile, even if you don't moisturise.

At approx £15, this is worth a look if you want to try a cleansing water.

I followed with a sweep of the complementary vitamin enriched toning lotion, Tonique Eclat, across my face which helps to remove the final traces of makeup.I was pleased to note that both the cleansing water and the toner are alcohol free which was a big plus point. It's certainly not essential to follow with this step but the toner is pleasant to use with a tempting orange fragrance and I liked that you can even use it on the eyes.
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