Friday 16 May 2014

Speed Review: The Sanctuary Spa Sleep Smoothing Silk Polish

I've really been enjoying the re-launched ranges from The Sanctuary recently and have so far put the Relax and Sleep lines to the test. Today's review is of the Smoothing Silk Polish from the Sleep range.

On first impressions, I liked the packaging. The purple colour and matte finish of the tube added a certain luxurious quality. The directions were clear and I liked the inclusion of a Therapist's Tip to reiterate the home spa message. What's more, I appreciated the functionality of the tube dispenser.
I found it unusual to use a body scrub before bed as I usually prefer to apply this kind of product in the morning to boost circulation and help awaken. However, the incredible fragrance makes it ideal for night time use. The scent is a luxurious combination of Ylang Ylang to reduce tension and relieve stress, Frankincense to clarify and calm, and Patchouli to help reduce anxiety before sleep. I absolutely adored the fragrance, finding it to be reminiscent of far more expensive products. I really found it to be a joy to use.
Whilst I found the creamy texture (which sank into my skin) enjoyable to use, the scrub itself lacked the satisfyingly abrasive quality that I favour. The exfoliating granules of ground coconut shell simply aren't sufficiently concentrated within the product. Admittedly, it's described as a gentle polish and as this is a term which I associate with lighter, less thorough formulas than scrubs, perhaps it's unsurprising. However, even when following the therapist's tip of applying to dry skin prior to showering, I still didn't find it to offer the effectiveness that I desired.
The Sanctuary Spa Sleep Smoothing Silk Polish didn't leave a residue on my skin following use and whilst my skin didn't feel tight, dry or stripped, I was unable to forego moisturiser. My skin did feel smooth so whilst I didn't find it to be as thorough a scrub as I'd like, I'd say that it lives up to the smoothing name. The incredible scent helped me to unwind and feel relaxed before bed.
Despite not being abrasive enough for my personal taste, I feel that The Sanctuary Spa Sleep Smoothing Silk Polish represents good value for money at £8 for 200ml. I'm eager to try out more of the products within the same line and would be keen to see if there is a body wash in the same fragrance.


Monday 12 May 2014

Makeup Monday: Blogger Makeup Bag

For this month's Blogger Makeup Bag, I'm thrilled to introduce one of my favourite bloggers, Michelle from Luxe Life Aspirations. Based in Dublin, Michelle is a beauty addict and fellow skincare junkie. Every time I visit her blog, my beauty wishlist gets longer so I couldn't wait to peek inside her makeup bag. Without further ado, I hand you over to Michelle...

My makeup bag is an old Marc by Marc Jacobs pouch that I've had for years but I love it. Who doesn't love a bit of leopard print? And it's huge so I can fit lots in it, including the kitchen sink if necessary! 

It's getting ridiculous now the amount of times I go on about this but the Diorskin Nude BB Crème in shade #001 is much hyped and deservedly so. I love the flawless satin skin-like glow this gives.

For under my eyes or on any redness, I use the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla. This offers a hefty dose of correcting and coverage.

Because I over-plucked my brows as a sixteen year old, they will always need some definition. I use the Laura Mercier Eye Brow Pencil in Auburn. Not too cool or warm, this is the perfect shade for me.

Cheeks are sorted with a light application of cream blush. My current favourite is Le Blush Crème de Chanel in #62 Presage, a gorgeous pinky/ peach hybrid that dries down to an almost velvet finish.

I generally skip eyeshadow during the day and go for lashings of mascara. I'm using the Lancôme Hypnose Doll Eyes at the moment. The brush gets to the root of the lashes like nothing else and it gives amazing volume and thickness.

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in #10 is added mostly for the large mirror but also because it's amazing for taking down any shine without ever looking cakey.

Lastly, continuing the colour theme, lips are kept glossy and peach toned with Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Mirth.

I've recently downsized my handbag so these are the makeup items that have survived the cull. Just a handful of products to lug around with me, just incase.

Thanks Michelle for taking part!
For more from Michelle, visit Luxe Life Aspirations or follow @LuxeAspirations on Twitter.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Speed Review: Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Repair Mask

Previous reviews of Trevor Sorbie products here on Skin Deep haven't been the most positive (click here for a review of the Beautiful Brunette Warm Rich Intensive Treatment and here for a review of the Beautifully Straightened Heat Defence Blow Dry Spray) so I didn't have particularly high expectations when it came to trying the Frizz Free Repair Mask.

Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Repair Mask is described as having an extra moisturising formula with Avocado oil to replenish dry, damaged hair and leave it super soft, healthy and shiny. I have fine hair which I'd describe as being in normal condition rather than dry or damaged. However, as it is prone to breakage and moderate frizz, I try to care for my hair using oils and occasional masks. So, what did I think of the Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Repair Mask?

It will come as little surprise that I didn't like the plastic tub packaging. I'd have preferred the functionality of a tube. From an aesthetic point of view, the bright turquoise packaging might help to catch my eye if I saw it on a shop shelf. I didn't like that the instructions for use were difficult to find as I like to be able to see at a glance how long to leave a mask on for. I eventually located them on a lift up sticker on the base of the tub. Having said this, I liked the inclusion of the Salon Stylist Top Tip on the side of the tub which reiterated the "salon approved" message.

In the tub, the mask has a very strong, synthetic fragrance which reminded me of cleaning products, however, during use I found the scent to be quite pleasant, and I'd describe it as fresh and floral. Either way, I couldn't detect any scent in my hair once it was dried and styled.

Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Repair Mask has a very thick, rich texture which means that a little goes a long way- the tub will last and last. I found it easy to work through my hair and I appreciated the convenience of only having to leave the mask on for 3- 5 minutes. I was concerned that the rich texture would make it difficult to wash out so I was impressed at the relative ease with which I was able to rinse my hair.

Following use, my hair was left feeling extremely soft. It looked healthy, with noticeably improved shine. I was impressed that my fine hair wasn't weighed down despite the rich formula of the mask but instead, had a healthy bounce and movement.
My hair had a smoother finish than it usually does and whilst there was still some fluffiness and a little frizz that needed taming, I felt that my hair was nourished.

I was pleasantly surprised by Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Repair Mask and am keen to try out more of the products in the line. At £5.99 for 200ml, the mask is an affordable option which I'd recommend.


Sunday 4 May 2014

Speed Review: The Sanctuary Relax Unwind Luxury Bath Soak

I rarely indulge in baths, preferring the convenience of a shower but on the rare occasions that I do enjoy a soak in the tub, I like to make it a truly pampering experience. I light candles, switch my phone onto silent and add a bath soak to the water. I've been trying out the recently re-launched range from The Sanctuary, specifically the Unwind Luxury Bath Soak from the Relax line.

The Sanctuary Relax Unwind Luxury Bath Soak contains essential oils to aid relaxation and calm the senses, helping to unwind after a stressful day. Vetivert helps to calm the mind, Cedarwood promotes a sense of clarity and Labdanum provides gentle relaxation. It also contains Milk and Honey along with Lotus and Sweet Almond Oil to soothe skin and leave it feeling silky soft. The formula is free from parabens.

The plastic packaging isn't the most luxurious but I liked that there is a purely aesthetic cap which pulls off to uncover the second lid. However, when it came to using the product, the squeezy nature of the plastic bottle helped to dispense it. The directions are a little unclear as to how much to use, simply stating "pour generously under warm, running water." I took the "generous" direction literally and I'd say that I used approximately an eighth of the bottle in one large bath. For this reason, I don't think that the bottle would last for very long if you bathe regularly.

I thought that the room filling fragrance smelt sophisticated and expensive. It's the kind of spicy, sensual scent which I adore so I was pleased that it lingered on my skin following use. I could easily see myself getting addicted to it!

The Sanctuary Relax Unwind Luxury Bath Soak is definitely a bubble bath. The high concentration of SLS meant that a generous amount of bubbles was created, which many people look for in a bath soak. Personally, I was concerned that the SLS laden formula would prove drying on my skin and for this reason, I wouldn't forgo moisturising afterwards.

Whether it was the product, the effect of taking some "me-time" in the bath or simply a placebo, I did feel that it helped me to unwind and I felt calm afterwards, although the effects weren't so relaxing that I felt sleepy.

At £10 for 300ml, it's not the cheapest bath product and given how much I used, I'm not sure how much value for money it represents. Having said this, I was impressed overall and in particular, can only reiterate how much I enjoyed the fragrance so for this reason, I'd recommend it as an affordable luxury.
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