Book Review: Compacts and Cosmetics by Madeleine Marsh

Hi Beauties!

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Image by Sepherene

I posted up a picture of the book by Madeleine Marsh on my Instagram account a while ago and was surprised at all the interest it received. The natural thought that came to mind was that maybe, just maybe, I should share a few more thoughts on the book with you beauties here on the blog. I’m also considering writing up book reviews from all different genres – not just beauty related texts. Is that something you would be interested in? I think that will also motivate me to read more generally and I really want to read more even when I am flat out manic and busy. As a kid and even in high school, I read a lot of books. I still love reading, but I found that while studying at uni, I was turned off reading novels and longer books just because I was tired (tired of life it seems lol). Now I work at uni (oh how ironic life can be :P ) and still have to read a lot of academic literature, but don’t have that general aversion to reading anymore and almost feel like I have to ‘catch up’. So, with saying that – let’s start off ‘our’ first book review shall we? :)

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Funnily enough this book isn’t a novel or biography, but rather a historical book (how serious of me!). Ms Madeleine Marsh is a write and a specialist in antiques – hence the history. I do actually really like history and would say that if you have an interest in the beauty industry in general – you should find this book a good read (and there’s lots of good images and pictures to boot)! Madeleine Marsh covers the development of the beauty industry from early modern Europe (beginning in the Victorian era) to the present day in detail. She does discuss some of the known beauty habits and rituals from both ancient Egypt, Greek and the Roman time period, but this is more of a ‘token’ mention. The ‘birth’ of the beauty industry as we know it, began in the early Victorian age when women would either buy skincare and cosmetics from ‘rouge traders’ (sometime ending with disastrous results) or make beauty products at home (beauty products and especially makeup, were to be hidden and undetectable). Luckily as more women moved to the cities, skin care began being produced by pharmacists and some perfumers. By the late 19th century, cold cream was a hit and was being produced by almost everyone (and I should mention that cold cream was developed by a Greek physician waaaay back, so people caught on late).

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The book goes on to detail not only what products developed (when and where), but also how the industry developed to include concept brands and marketing on a larger scale (Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden). I also think that the way pop culture and ‘movie stars’ lessened the stigma of makeup thanks to exposure to the masses (movies etc.) is so fascinating as it’s something we still see everyday now (celebrity endorsement etc). Social and political events are also discussed as the major world wars changed peoples spending habits and what products could be produced. Novelty packaging, seasonal ‘collections’ and selling techniques also changed an already dynamic industry.

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The books language isn’t ‘academic’ by any means and it is very easy to read. It isn’t like a gripping novel, but reading about the changing eras and new innovations is really interesting, if you are a beauty nerd (some would call that an oxymoron, but we know that is not true).

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Did you know Avon was founded in 1886, when David McConnell as travelling Bible salesman decided to offer a small bottle of perfume with every purchases of a book? And from there, slowly the idea of selling cosmetics door to door arose! 

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Wouldn’t some of the vintage ads make great prints?! Perhaps not the cringe-worth ones though (like the one below on the right cough cough*)

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This book would be a wonderful gift for any beauty enthusiast, especially when most of us have to much makeup. I don’t regret having it in my collection for a second, because it’s a great book to even flick through and gather some inspiration. I originally wanted to buy the book off Amazon, but it must not be in print anymore in the states because all I could see was second hand copies or new copies selling for like $100 US dollars of more. Luckily, I found an Australian retailer the Nile which orders in the book from the UK for only $29.43 – and you get free shipping with every order within Aus – winning! Get it while you can Beauties :)

Are you a history nerd at heart? Does this book interest you at all? Let me know if your all for more book reviews!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer

Every now and then, on my way home from work my skin will become super red and blotchy. I don’t have rosacea, so for a long time I had no idea why my skin would flare up so much. I finally narrowed it down to temperature fluctuations and general tiredness and stress. At work, the air con is blasting all day (which I hate most of the time as I’m always cold) and when I leave work and go to the train station, it suddenly gets very hot (the train station is underground). Once I hop on the train it’s cold again (more air con) and then when I get off in Sydney’s West, it’s hot again. No wonder my skin just goes mental on me for a while (it literally looks like I’m sunburnt temporarily). I saw Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer and was intrigued because it’s a moisturiser created to soothe stressed skin. It’s the first Kiehl’s product I have tried, so I was eager to share my results with you :)

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Now what stressed skin means is open to interpretation. It’s not quite scientific per se, but I was still curious. Here is what Kiehl’s says about it’s Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator:

Although everyone encounters stress, more than 50% of people actually experience its visible signs on skin. Because daily stress is unpredictable, skin can become vulnerable, resulting in hyper-sensitivity that shows visible fatigue and dehydration, or that triggers inflammation that can lead to redness and flare-ups.

Our chemists have formulated the first antidote for stress-prone skin, Skin Rescuer. Naturally-derived Rosa Gallica helps control skin’s visible response to stress by preventing inflammation, while Mannose, a unique sugar molecule, works to protect the skin barrier, making it less vulnerable to stress going forward. Soothing Chamomile Extract provides instant comfort and relief, ensuring skin is left cool and calm.

With daily use, this restorative, all-day hydrating formula actively works to make stressed skin less vulnerable, minimizing and protecting against the visible signs of stress on skin. “Stress-proof” skin is visibly well-balanced and hydrated with a clear, fresh and unified tone.

  • Formulated specifically for skin that experiences the signs of stress, our unique, ground-breaking moisturizer minimizes and helps protect against the visible effects of daily stress.
  • Helps control skin’s visible response to stress by preventing inflammation
  • Protects the skin barrier to make skin less vulnerable to stress
  • Provides instant comfort and relief to stress-prone skin
  • Provides all-day hydration

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The first thing this moisturiser is, is hydrating. The second ingredient in this formula after water is glycerin. Glycerin is maybe a ‘basic’ and common moisturiser but that does not mean it isn’t amazing, because it is! It is both a humectant, occlusive moisturiser AND an emollient. Emollients not only smooth the skin – but they also stop water evaporation from happening, so you skin retains moisture better. The third ingredient in the formula is squalene. Squalene occurs naturally in sebum (but it only makes up a small amount of sebum, 13% or something like that) and in other substances like olive oil, rice bran oil and shark liver. Shark liver may sound odd, but apparently a lot of cosmetic companies used shark derived squalene in the past (poor sharks!) luckily thats not the common thing to do anymore. Squalene also provides some anti-oxidant capability which is awesome – protecting your skin from unnecessary ageing. Because squalene is something our own bodies produce, it’s easily absorbed by the skin and doesn’t leave the skin greasy but is still moisturising. It also helps repair our lipid barrier, which if your remember from my Skin SOS post, if your lipid barrier has broken down, infections, bacteria and regular everyday irritants can more easily penetrate the skin and hyper-sensitivity can step in. Squalene is used in hospitals on babies skin if babies are unwell because it protects their skin and has some anti-fungal properties. I can now totally see why Kiehl’s would use squalene in a stress-minimising moisturiser! The moisturiser also contains emollient shea butter (which also has some anti-oxidant capabilities) and ceramides – specifically, ceramide 1 (EOS – strengthens skin cells), ceramide 2 (NS – reinforces the lipid barrier and skin ‘matrix’), ceramide 3 (NP – helps your skin hold moisture), ceramide 6 (AP – lightly exfoliates) and ceramide 9 (EOP). Ceramides are great because they are naturally found in the skin, in-between skin cells, holding cells together and make them strong. The ceramides in Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer is quite low (they are at the bottom of the ingredient list) but I’m still glad that they are added in there.

So what other goodies are in there? Rose Gallica extract and camomile reduce inflammation. Camomile also speeds up skin healing and  soothes the skin quite quickly for instant relief. Gotu Kola extract is also included, and contains vitamins A, B, C and D and a range of minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, silica and manganese. One of the other interesting additions is the sugar molecule, mannose. Mannose is said to re-enforce the lipid barrier and retains moisture (it works as a humectant). As mannose is a sugar chain, it is a glycan, and glycans have become quite famous in skin care over the last few years because they help cells communicate more effectively (YSL have a famous skincare line based on glycans – Forever Youth Liberator line). As we get older, glycans tend to work less effectively and bio-chemical changes deep within the skin turn sluggish. Charging up this process to work more effectively is quite amazing (but that’s also a topic for another day ;) ) so I’m excited to see this ingredient in the list!

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Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer isn’t marketed as being scent free, which is a shame on one part because sensitive skin can be very irritated by scents, but on the other hand some of the scent come from the rose Gallica extract which minimises inflammation. The formula also contains p-anisic acid which is a type of fragrance. I have a feeling this was added  in order to diffuse some of the natural scents from the other extracts/ingredients – because when you smell the moisturiser, it doesn’t have a distinct scent at all. It’s rather ‘medicinal like’? This makes sense if you take into consideration Kiehl’s past (creating medicinal like skin care products in a pharmacy for customers) It isn’t strong nor is it noticeable really.

So what are my own personal thoughts about this moisturiser? Firstly, it comes in a pump which is great! It means the moisturiser formula stays more stable and the ingredients more potent, thanks to the air-tight container. You also get 75ml of product over your standard 50ml facial moisturiser, for $50. The cream itself is quite light, ‘almost’ like a light lotion. It does however, have some tackiness/stickiness to it. The moisturiser blends and sinks into the skin easily, but some of this tackiness remains on the skin surface. For this reason, I can’t see myself using this moisturiser in the morning, under makeup even though it is marketed as a day and night moisturiser. For night time use it is fine and I wake up with happy and comfortable skin.

In regards to the moisturiser being ‘stress-minimizing’, I would say that I am happy with this claim. When applied to my poor red and inflammed skin, I don’t experience any stinging or unpleasant sensation. It isn’t ‘cooling’ but it helps my skin feel comfortable. Could a regular moisturiser do the same? Maybe, but I like the highly moisturising formula and that many of the ingredients that have been added are anti-inflammatory (which I need!) and lipid re-enforcing (also important for soothing skin and keeping sensitivity at bay). I would also add that while my redness doesn’t subside instantly after application, it does reduce more quickly with the help of this guy. I use this moisturiser as a ‘treatment’ moisturiser and it works for me. I think you get a well formulated product for a reasonable price. being the first Kiehl’s product I have ever tried I’m quite impressed :) You can find Kiehl’s in department stores (like Myer), free standing shops (there’s one in the QVB in Sydney) and online here if you live in Aus.

Have you ever tried a Kiehl’s product before beauties? What are your thoughts on the brand and products?

Until next time!

Beauty Bee~

Comparison & Review: Evo’s Fabuloso Platinum Blonde Colour Intensifying Conditioner & Redken’s Blonde Idol Custom-Tone Violet

If you colour your hair its probable that you have used a colour depositing treatment or shampoo before, to help make your colour last longer. Blonde hair in particular has a tendency to darken and become brassy. I lighten my hair as I think cool blonde tones suit my skin tone much more than warmer tones (my natural hair is a mousey blonde colour which is warmer to what I prefer). While the upkeep is annoying and time consuming, I think the results are worth it! I have always used a ‘toner’ or a colour depositing treatment to help cool any reemerging warmer tones in my hair. Purple tones work by cancelling out brassy gold tones of pigment (an opposite colour to yellow will achieve this). There are shampoos which also colour correct, however I think adding coloured pigments to a detergent like product just strips your hair unnecessarily so (coloured pigments do dry the hair a little as well). Using a conditioning treatment with added coloured pigments, just seems so much gentler and kinder to your hair. I have tried two colour depositing treatments in the last couple of months, and so I thought I would let you know which worked for me best and why.

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I bought the Redken Violet treatment months ago and have used it till the end. I used to be very committed to the old Redken cool blonde colour depositing treatment but it was replaced with this Blonde Idol version, which you ‘customise’ based how strong you need the violet pigments to be. The packaging does look nifty having the purple colour correcting cream separate to the treatment conditioner and then having the two mix when needed. 1 on the dial means that you don’t need much pigment at all and then you get more of the conditioning treatment itself (or pretty much only conditioner). As you turn up the dial, you get more purple pigment and less of the conditioning treatment (so at 6, you get only the purple pigment). The idea behind this is that the numbers can represent the weeks since your last hair colour. It is then also recommended to use the treatment once a week to keep hair colour fresh (though you can use it more often than that).

Here is what Redken say about their product:

Product Benefits

  • Dual-chamber releases a custom calibrated blend of color-depositing and conditioning formulas that can be adjusted as needed over time
  • Violet, for cool or platinum blondes, helps neutralize brassiness
  • Deeply conditions, strengthens and helps preserve tonality between salon visits

WHEN TO USE:

Following a color service, dial up weekly to increase color deposit or adjust as needed.

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The first time you use the treatment, you turn up the dial to 6 and keep pushing down onto the pump until product starts to dispense (this will be the violet pigment). After product starts to dispense, you turn the dial to 1 and again keep pushing down onto the pump until product dispenses (this will be the conditioning treatment). Once both sides of the product have started to dispense, you can move the dial to your preferred setting (based on the state of your hair). This is where my first problem with the packaging occurred. The pump is sooo weak, so I needed to push down on the pump for a good 5-10 minutes, in order to get any product moving. That’s a long time. I thought my product had faulty packaging at first, but luckily I persevered and kept at it until it started to work (mind you, my wrist started to hurt because the packaging is awkward and the pump is just so damn weak). I also didn’t use my treatment religiously every week, I would use it based on my hair colour. I would most often use the dial placed somewhere in the middle so that I would get a good mix of both pigment and treatment product (I found I liked the dial set to 3 and 4 best). I found that using the almost pure pigment (set on dial 5 and 6) was reallly difficult to wash out of my hair. If you get some product on your scalp, it’s incredibly difficult to rub out of your roots. If I needed a stronger colour correcting treatment, I just left the product in my hair a touch longer but still only set the dial to a 4 or 5. The other issue is that depending how you use the product, one side of the product can be used up much more quickly than the other. It’s just to fussy for my liking and I wish they had just stuck to their old formula and packaging. Why change something if it’s not broken? It is moisturising however, and if you use the dial set to 2 or above, it does get rid of brassy tones in blonde hair. My hair is very easy to brush after rinsing out the treatment and isn’t dry or frizzy.

I bought my Redken Blonde Idol Custom-Tone Violet (the name also seems… unfinished? The wording is awkward) product from RY for $33.96 – not the cheapest product either. Unfortunately I won’t be repurchasing this one. I think they also have a version of this product for warmer blonde hair.

Since I wasn’t a huge fan of the Redken treatment, I needed to find another similar product with better packaging… In comes Evo’s Fabuloso Platinum Blonde Colour Intensifying Conditioner. This treatment also comes with a pump dispenser.

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Luckily, this pump dispenser works like a treat! For some reason I thought the treatment might come out in the texture of foam (don’t ask me why), but it doesn’t – instead, it’s a purple cream, similar to the Redken treatment. Here is what Evo say about their product and how it will work:

“Maintain and extend the life of your colour treated hair with evo fabuloso instensifying conditioner. Evo fabuloso platinum blonde colour intensifying conditioner is a colour enhancing conditioner that provides an instant hair colour combined with a super nourishing treatment to repair, condition, add shine, instantly tone and intensify hair colour.

Evo fabuloso platinum blonde colour intensifying conditioner is suitable for dull, dry, colour-treated blonde to very light blonde hair to achieve a clean blonde tone (remove yellow tone/brassiness). This ammonia free peroxide free formula is gentle on both the scalp and hair whilst offering a surge of moisture for softer, more nourished and shiny hair in 3 minutes.

Is there anything evo fabuloso can’t do for dull, dry, colour treated hair? Probably not.”

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I probably leave this purple treatment in my hair a touch longer than the instructions dictate when my hair needs some more life and anti-brassy action happening, and it works wonderfully! It takes out all brassy and golden tones out of your hair. The other plus is that the treatment contains argan oil and it does feel like this treatment hydrates much more so compared to it’s Redken counterpart. Not only is my hair hydrated after the treatment, but it also feels healthy. That’s saying a lot when you colour your hair quite often. This guy is a winner in my eyes <3 I also think this bottle will last me for a long time as you don’t need a lot of product per treatment. The Redken treatment contains 196ml of product, while the Evo treatment contains 250ml. It is a touch more expensive coming in at $39.99, but it probably works out to be cheaper because of the size and the little amount of product that you need to use for each treatment. I would only use this colour correcting treatment about once a week as it is pretty strong, however if you natural hair colour is not blonde and is much darker, you may need to use it twice a week or so. I bought my wonderful Fabuloso from Adore Beauty. They also have a promotion going at the moment, where if you buy a Platinum Blonde Fabuloso, you get a free mini Helmut hairspray :) Find that promotion here while it’s still in stock! Free shipping is included with all orders of course. I also love the Evo cater to all different hair colours, so even if you don’t have platinum or cool blonde hair, there is bound to be a colour enhancing conditioner out there for you! Find the full range here. 

*Note* I also find that I don’t need to use gloves when using either treatment as it doesn’t stain the hands (or anything else for that matter).  That is probably my own personal preference.

You know who else has blonde hair and would approve of colour correcting treatments? Sailor Moon! Sorry, I had to sneak that in somehow after my Miss Manga mascara post…. hehe

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Have you used a colour correcting treatment before? Any favourites?

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Nails of the Day: Red Wine

I think I posted about this nail colour agggges ago when i first started my blog. I’ve been going back to it lately, so I thought it deserved a revisit :) Red Wine in a gorgeous deep red shade from Avon’s Speed Dry nail enamel line. It does indeed dry quickly, and it lasts on the nails without chipping for days!

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The formula itself is great – not to thin or watery and not to thick and gluggy either. You could get away with just one coat of polish, but I always go for two. Topped with Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine top coat, my nails look incredibly glossy and the red polish really does shine! I’m actually a fan of all of Avon’s nail polishes, so do check them out if you can!

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I should also mention that I’ve had this particular bottle of nail polish for agggges and it’s still as fine as when I first bought it. I rarely use up a bottle of nail polish, as they usually go bad before I get the chance to use them up. Luckily, this one is going strong! Red always makes me feel more confident, so if you need a boost it’s a great colour! It also never goes out of fashion and always looks sophisticated in my opinion.

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Have you tried Avon’s nail polishes before? What is your favourite red nail polish?

Until next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Review: L’Oreal’s Mega Volume Collagen Miss Manga Mascara in Tropical Violet

When I saw L’Oreal’s new Miss Manga mascara, my heart skipped a beat to be honest lol 15 year old Beauty Bee was obsessed Japanese Manga, in particular Sailor Moon. When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. I still enjoy anime and I thought it would be fun to try the mascara, since I don’t usually stray away from my Dior Diorshow mascara.

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When I popped by Priceline (a drugstore here in Aus) I saw that there were some coloured Miss Manga mascaras – Tropical Violet, Electric Blue and Pop Turquoise. Instead of going for the standard black mascara, I grabbed the purple Tropical Violet shade. I have never used a coloured mascara and been impressed by it’s formula or colour – so the 15 year old in me was reallllly hoping this violet toned mascara would be all that and a bag of chips. I even tried an expensive YSL violet toned mascara years ago, and almost cried when I realised the formula was dry and disappointing (after spending so much money on it).

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So I was so hoping this bad-ass Miss Manga would not let me down! Unfortunately, it kinda did. It’s not the worst mascara ever, but it’s not the best either. Firstly, I like the design of the packaging and the colours they chose for it (it looks fun). It is incredibly light, so if they had weighted the mascara packaging it would have felt more expensive (especially since it has a metallic cap). It wasn’t hella expensive, but L’Oreal still tends to be on the higher end of drug store makeup so I do expect more from them. I actually bought mine on sale at Priceline for $15.36 instead of the usual retail price of $21.95.

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The brush itself is kinda meh. I don’t have any real feelings about it. The wand is really bendy, which is quite new to me. It’s the formula of the mascara which is bothersome. It’s pretty dry so it takes a little playing around with to coat all of your lashes well. The mascara is said to be volumising but really, it’s more lengthening than volumising in my eyes (pun intended). Because of the dry mascara formula, it can go clumpy if you’re not careful with it. What about the colour? Well when you apply it to your lashes the violet colour is visible but it isn’t to pastel or bright. Using a white eyelash primer underneath it helps to bring out the violet tones in the mascara even more. The only other bummer is that once the mascara has totally dried on your lashes, it’s like the colour darkens somewhat. I think I wanted it to be a little brighter than it actually is (though I suppose that will be a plus for a lot of people and is more ‘grown up’). It does last all day on me without smudging or flaking, so I give it props for that. If the mascara formula was a touch wetter, I think it would preform so much better.

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It was difficult swatching the mascara on the back of my hand because of the dry formula.

For $15 it isn’t a bad mascara – if I had spent $22 I’d probably have been a little more disappointed. I’d give it about a 3 out of 5 stars (or moons ;) ) overall. A purple mascara does make the eyes look a little clearer (and pop if you have green eyes) so I think it will be a great if subtle, look for autumn and the colder months ahead. If you want to try out one of the Miss Manga coloured mascaras, be quick as they are limited edition!

It looks like the moon princess will still have to keep searching for that totally amazing, purple toned mascara!

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Do you like coloured mascaras? Have you tried the original Miss Manga mascara (the black version)? What was the last mascara that disappointed you?

Until next time,

Beauty Bee

Review & Comparison: Clarisonic Mia 2 & the Foreo Luna

Hiya beauties! I know there is probably hundreds of posts like this on the world wide web already, but I thought I would join in anyways, seeing as I have both gadgets :) Both gadgets work in a slightly different way, but they are both cleansing devices which use sonic pulsations, created to deeply cleanse your skin removing dirt, makeup and sweat. Not cleansing properly (morning and evening) means that your skin can’t function properly as was intended. Not cleansing properly also means that your skincare products can’t work to their full potential, as old cells and grime begin to build up on your skins surface. Cleansing using one of these devices, means that you are kick starting your skin to function better. I don’t think most people will need both (and both are quite expensive), so if you are curious about each devices pros and cons, stay with me and hopefully one of these devices ‘speaks to you’ :)

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Let’s start with the Clarisonic, which has been on the market for the longest and started the ‘sonic’ cleansing tend. The Clarisonic has a brush head which pulsates gently (moving back and forward). You hold it gently against your skin and the brush movement does the work for you.  I wet the brush head and then squirt out a little cleanser onto it. The movement of the brush head makes the cleanser foam up a little (without going overboard). I have heard that some cleansers don’t foam up as well as others when paired with the Clarisonic, but I suppose this is a trial and error type of thing (which will depend on your preferences also). You move the brush across the different areas of your face. One of the new functions of the Clarisonic Mia 2 is that the brush ‘buzzes’ when you should move onto another part of your face and then when you should finishing up cleansing. What are some of the other features of the Clarisoni Mia 2? Let’s take a look!

Features:

  • Cleanses the skin 6 times better than regular cleansing by hand.
  • Sonic frequency moves the brush head 300 times per second.
  • 2 Speeds (Delicate, Universal)
  • Adjustable T-Timer
  • USB-Enabled Universal Voltage pLink Charger
  • Interchangeable Facial Brush Heads
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Waterproof

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There are 4 types of brush heads available and you choose them depending on your skin type and skin concern. There is a normal brush head (for an ‘invigorating’ cleanse), a delicate brush head (for dehydrated and irritation prone skin), sensitive brush head (ideal for most skin types including sensitive and combination skin) and Deep Pore brush head (to dislodge oil and debris in pores if that is your primary skin concern). Clarisonic recommend that you change your brush head every three months. You also shouldn’t use your Clarisonic every time your cleanse, a few times a week is plenty as it does physically exfoliate your skin and over exfoliating your skin isn’t a good idea.

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Pros (as according to Beauty Bee): 

  • You can choose a brush head depending on your skin type and/or skin concerns. If your concerns change, you can change the brush head according.
  • Is great at breaking down oil and blackheads because of the physical scrubbing (which is still more gentle than most other physical scrubs). It is surprisingly easy to maneuvere around the nose area.
  • The first initial cost for the Clarisonic is cheaper than the Foreo. The Clarisonic Mia 2 costs $190.00 and comes with one sensitive brush head.
  • Comes with a handy travel case.
  • Has two adjustable speed settings (delicate and universal).
  • Totally waterproof, so you don’t have to worry if you drop it into the bath!
  • Even though you a physically exfoliating the skin, the exfoliation is still quite gentle because you are not manually scrubbing the skin and pressing the brush into your skin harshly. It should not aggravate broken capillaries and doesn’t cause small tears and scratches etc.
  • Removes face makeup super well, so you don’t need to double cleanse (though if that’s your jam you still can!).

Negatives (as according to Beauty Bee):

  • You must change the brush head every three months for the Clarisonic to effectively deep cleanse your skin. That’s a cost of $32 every three months (or $54 for a pack of two).
  • The battery life of the Clarisonic isn’t the greatest. It depends on how often you use it – but the battery life lasts around 2-3 weeks until it needs a recharge. Charging the Clarisonic also takes a while to (a good few hours).
  • If your skin becomes irritated or hyper-sensitive over a period of time, it’s best to not use the Clarisonic in case the bristles of the Clarisonic (and the physical exfoliation while gentle) irritate the skin further.
  • You should not use the Clarisonic with cleansers that contain micro cleansing beads or that are abrasive (this must damage the brush head some way).

 While lots of ‘imitations’ came onto the market after the release and success of the Clarisonic. another game changer arrived with the release of the Foreo Luna. The Foreo Luna also uses sonic technology to deeply cleanse the skin, however it doesn’t use a traditional brush head and the shape of the Foreo is totally different to that of the Clarisonic. It’s been designed to sit comfortably in the palm of your hand and uses anti-bacterial silicone ‘bristles’ to deeply cleanse the skin very gently. The bristles or ‘nodules’ are super soft and upon first inspection I think it is natural to question whether or not it will actually work well for cleansing (but it does!).The Foreo Luna also features an anti-ageing massaging side, which relaxes muscles and works in your skin care products for you. There is three different Foreo Lunas to choose from depending on your skin type – the pink Luna is for normal-sensitive skin (which is the one I have), the blue Luna is for combination skin and the white Luna is for ultra-sensitive skin.

Features:

  • Emits up to 8,000 pulsations per minute.
  • Removes 99.5% of dirt and 98.5% of makeup residue.
  • The silicone material which is used for the Foreo Luna is gentle enough for everyday use (you can even use it twice a day if you wish). The silicone is also non-porous to resist bacteria build up (it is 35 x more hygienic than other cleansing brushes).
  • Waterproof.
  • 2 year warranty and 10 year quality guarantee.
  • Adjustable speed.
  • Anti-ageing mode – lower frequency pulsations directed through silicone waves onto wrinkle prone areas to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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You don’t apply your regular cleanser to the Foreo directly (as you do with the Clarisonic), instead, you apply the cleanser onto your face and then allow the Foreo Luna to work it in for you. The Foreo buzzes when you should move onto another part of your face and then also let’s you know when to stop cleansing (by emitting three succinct buzzes).

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Pros (as according to Beauty Bee): 

  • No interchangeable parts – so while the Foreo Luna is more expensive than the Clarisonic (retailing at $249 while the Clarisonic Mia 2 retails for $190) you never have to buy an additional part for it (as you do with the Clarisonic brush heads) so it works out to be cheaper in the long run.
  • The battery life is amazing – one charge should last for 450 uses.
  • Because the silicone is extra gentle, you can use the Luna as often as you wish (so twice a day is fine)!
  • The antibacterial silicone is something new and innovative.
  • The shape of the Foreo Luna is surprisingly comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand.
  • Has both a cleansing side and an anti-ageing treatment/massage side to the device.
  • You can increase the speed of your Luna depending on what is comfortable for you.
  • Dries incredibly quickly and you only need to rinse the silicone to remove any left of cleanser/debris etc.

Negatives (as according to Beauty Bee):

  • The Luna isn’t as comfortable getting in and around your nose as the Clarisonic Mia is. It takes some practice when figuring out how to maneuver it around your nose.
  • While its deep cleansing, it doesn’t dislodge blackheads as well as the Clarisonic Luna does.
  • Forking out the initial $249 hurts!
  • You also should not use the Foreo Luna with cleansers that contain exfoliating micro beads or that are abrasive.

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All up – which do I prefer and why? If I could only choose one device to use for the rest of my life, it would be….. the Foreo Luna. This is because is leaves my skin soooooo incredibly soft. I don’t quite understand how it does it, but the extra gentle silicone bristles must have something to do with it ;) I also love not worrying about over exfoliating my skin like I do with the Clarisonic. I had the Clarisonic before I bought the Luna and after using the Luna, the Clarisonic’s bristles started to feel ‘harsher’ than I remembered them to be. I don’t know if this is because my skin has changed or if the softness factor between to two devices is just that different. I have a feeling its a little bit of both. The Clarisonic is great if you have extra oily skin, large pores, blackheads or if you need that extra bit of help retexturising your skin. I sometimes use the Luna’s anti-ageing side on wet skin, straight after cleansing and that also works a treat (as opposed to using it after applying your skin care products). I don’t have any wrinkles yet per se, so I can’t tell you if it works, but it is relaxing and feels like a treat. The Clarisonic is great to use before a mask as it does leave my skin feeling extra clean and ready for absorbing potent ingredients. I do find that buying brush heads for the Clarisonic is a bit of a pain, as is changing them every three months. It gets confusing if you don’t note down when you last changed your brush head – so if organisation isn’t your strong point, that might be a deal breaker. Neither device is bad – so it’s all about figuring out which would suit your skin needs better. Both devices will revolutionise your cleansing routine and your skin will be clearer and happier for it!

You can buy a ‘mini’ version of the Foreo Luna called the Luna Mini (how fitting lol) and it’s a touch smaller than the original and doesn’t contain the anti-ageing massager on the reverse side of device. The Luna Mini retails for $179 which is a touch cheaper than the original Luna ($249). The Clarisonic Mia 2 is the Clarisonics ‘travel’ friendly version of the device, which is a little smaller and contains only 2 speeds while the Clarisonic Aria contains three speed settings. The Clarisonic Aria retails for $245 (so on par with the original Foreo Luna) in comparison with $190 for the Clarisonic Mia 2.

Do you have a cleansing gadget beauties? If not, would you consider purchasing one? Which one speaks to you the most? I would love to know so do leave a comment below! :)

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Review: Mungo Murphy’s Nourishing Seaweed Mask

I have one more gorgeous goodie from Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. to review for your beauties :) As a lover of face masks, I was so excited to see a powdered face mask which is just pure, wild seaweed! Because it is in a dry powder form, no preservatives are needed to keep the mask bacteria free.

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Seaweed is packed FULL of nutrients, it’s like an energy drink for your skin. Mungo states the mask should remove skin impurities and toxins (deeply cleansing skin), while hydrating, balancing skin tone and firming.

Mungo uses ascophyllum nodosum (a type of seaweed) for his face masks because it is full of alginic acid (a hydrator which acts like a humectant), ascorbic acid (vitamin C, antioxidant), mannitol (a sugar which also acts as a humectant moisturiser), vitamin E (antioxidant), vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, K3, Calcium, Copper, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc. Vitamin B3 can be broken down into two forms, niacinamide and nicotinic acid – niacinamide is one of my favourite skin care ingredients because it reduces glycation (which can result in the yellowing of the skin with age or sallowness), reduces the distribution of melanin so it evens out skin tone and hyper-pigmentation and ups ceramide synthesis so your skin is more hydrated. Both forms of vitamin B3 reduce inflammation and strengthen the top layer of your skin so your lipid barrier can function at full capacity and ward off environmental stressors. Because of this, it is a great ingredient for acne prone skin. Zinc is another one of my favourite skin care ingredients, and I think it’s highly underrated. Zinc is brilliant at regulating sebum production and helps reduce inflammation while stimulating wound healing. It’s gentle on sensitive skins and this is why you will often find zinc oxide in nappy rash creams (not to mention, in your sunscreen – it’s a fantastic physical sun blocker).

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Another bonus of using powdered masks is that you can mix it into various emollients, depending on what effect you want to achieve. I love to mix one teaspoon of seaweed powder with a teaspoon of honey. Using honey means you will get an even greater hydration boost while also calming inflamed skin. I try and use manuka honey when possible because of its high antibacterial count (to learn more about the effects of manuka honey on the skin, check out my One Hit Wonders post here). If you don’t have manuka honey don’t fret, because any organic and unrefined honey is still great (there’s a whole variety of bush honeys available in Australia).

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 The consistency of the mask turns out to be a paste – it shouldn’t be to runny. You can also mix the seaweed powder with all natural plain yoghurt, if you want the mask to be more refining and unclog pores and blackheads (there is also a One Hit Winder post on using yogurt as a face mask here). The lactic acid found in yogurt gently exfoliates the skin, lifting out impurities for a clearer complexion. If you have extremely dry skin and find that honey doesn’t provide enough of a moisture hit, you could potentially mix the seaweed powder with organic argan oil as it’s not a solely occlusive moisturizer and is light enough.  You should get about 5 masks out of one pot of Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Mask, even though the pot looks quite small.

So how did I find the mask? Well I use it mixed in with honey most of the time, and I find that the mask is very moisturising but also lightly exfoliates the skin also. Because the seaweed powder is slightly grainy, when you go to wash it off, Mungo suggests using your hands in circular motions to lift off the mask and lightly exfoliate your skin. You must do this with lukewarm water, otherwise it’s difficult to remove. I redip my hands into warm water a few times to gently remove the mask without being harsh and over rubbing my face. My skin is left smooth, clearer and looks more rested. I love that this is a multipurpose mask – it doesn’t just moisturise or just cleanse the skin. It does all of those things, while also adding antioxidants into the mix. The little pot would be excellent for travel. The powdered seaweed does have a strong scent, however it isn’t soooo strong that it would knock you over. I think that the first time you use the mask the scent is quite confronting, but once you pop the mask on your face, the scent disperses and fades. If you love DIY skincare and all natural products – you will love this mask! It’s a great pick me up no matter what your skincare concern is!

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Mungo Murphy’s Nourishing Seaweed Mask can be purchased through Love Lula’s website (they offer free worldwide shipping!) for £8.50. That’s roughly $16-17 Aus dollars which isn’t to bad at all.

On a side note, can I just say how much I would love to go on a holiday? Or maybe that should be, I need to go on a holiday! The new uni semester has started and my schedule is a little bit crazy, so I apologize if my posts are a little scattered time wise. I will be doing my best to get at least one post up a week. I know that I shouldn’t complain – most people don’t get to travel overseas annually and some can’t even take a holiday for a few weeks to somewhere local, but I just feel so run down. My last ‘proper’ holiday was to Byron Bay in December 2011 (for about a week) and my last overseas trip was to Korea and Japan in 2010 (that was for 5 weeks). I am also lucky that I traveled extensively when I was studying at uni and I am still dreaming about going back to Ireland for a longer visit (I went to Dublin for a long weekend and also got to see some of the surrounding countryside and coast – it was gorgeous!). For those of us who can’t travel there just at the moment, here are some photos from Connemara Ireland where Mungo Murphy works hard, harvesting seaweed by hand from the Atlantic sea waters :)

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The above two photos are not my own. Unfortunately I am not sure who took the wonderful photos. Let me know if you would like to see some of my own photos from my travels – even though they are a few years old now! :)

I also for the life of me cannot fathom that it is March already.  By the time I accept that a new month is upon us, another begins and the circle for delirium continues lol! Here’s to hoping March is good for all beauty bees :)

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Check out Mungo Murphy’s Facebook page and website for more sea inspiration! Let me know how your month has started off and where your next holiday will be (even if we are just dreaming atm!).

Catch ya next time beauties,

Beauty Bee~

Nails of the Day: Heavenly Clouds

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I haven’t done a ‘Nails of the Day’ post in aggggges! Why? The nail on my thumb (on my left hand) ripped half way up the nail horizontally. I don’t even know from what or how, but it progressively got worse. It wasn’t to painful, but it was super annoying because I had to be careful that the broken nail wouldn’t catch on anything and rip off (now that would be painful!). Sounds awful, I know. I decided to give my nails a good break from nail varnish (except for the occasional nail stregthener/treatment). Even once my nails were healthy and strong again, I just couldn’t be bothered painting them. Lazy Beauty Bee strikes again. I think a good break from most things does us some good and my nails now feel ‘refreshed’! Now that I felt like painting them again, I thought I would share my ‘look’ with you :) It’s not the best nail painting job in the world, but I’m chuffed with the colour and texture combination on my nails! I also used some nail polishes which I knew would last a good week or more.

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I loooove the Zoya Pixie Dust nail polish in Tomoko. It’s so gorgeously shiny and not to gritty. It adds some texture to your nail, without feeling or looking harsh. It also lasts very well, so no need to worry about chips! I used a top coat over the varnish and luckily this doesn’t take away from the final effect. I also decided to use the L’Oreal Color Riche Le Vernis nail polishes in the shades #857 Chantilly Lace (a white) and #858 Ocean Porcelaine (a very pale blue – almost like a off white blue). For me, the colour combination reminded me of the sky and heavens :) I love the partly gel formula of the L’Oreal nail varnishes. White nail polish is hard to do – it’s often streaky, thick and gluggy or thin and not pigmented. Chantilly Lace is the perfect texture, not to thin and not to thick. You do need at least two coats or best three, if you painted your nails unevenly. It’s still one of the best white nail polishes I have ever tried and I would rate it more highly than the  Essie 024 Marshmallow.

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I was originally going to paint my nails white and gold, but the contrast was to ‘harsh’ and the blue just added the perfect balance. What do you think of the colour combination? Have you tried the new L’Oreal nail polish formula? My thumb nail is painted pale blue just in case you can’t make it out.

I’m thinking of doing a nail care and lip care post soon. What do you think of that idea beauties? I’m going to be working a lot more over the coming weeks (the new academic year has begun in Australia and I’ll be teaching a bit) so I will have to do some more planning when it comes to my posts, but I’m positive I can stay on top of it all! It’s all about quality not quantity right? :P

Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Review: Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed

If you have been a reader of my blog for a little while now, you may have noticed how much I loooove baths! <3 I think it stems from my childhood – in Poland, most people live in apartment blocks and bathrooms as a result tend to be quite small. In order to save space, you usually find that people have a bath combined with a shower (so like a shower attachment connected to their bath tap). Even once we moved to Australia, baths were just the natural choice for me. Along with being super relaxing, I now know how beneficial they can be for our health (and extra beautifying ;) ) In my salt bath post, I mentioned how beneficial baths are when you add into a warm bath ‘nutritional’ and natural ingredients. This is because your pores and skin cells expand in warm water, allowing nutrients from the water to be absorbed by our skin, reaching the deeper layers of our skin. When I first found out about Mungo Murphy’s wonderful Irish seaweed, I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the idea of using all natural seaweed in the bath. I think this was because Australia has such a large coast line (and as a result – lots of seaweed) but I’ve never come across this bath/body treatment before. If unrefined sea salt is rich in minerals and vitamins, it makes total sense that seaweed could be just as beneficial. I just had to try it, and share my results with you :)

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Mungo Murphy only uses sustainably hand-harvested seaweed from the West Irish coast – creating wild and magical beauty products, as well as seaweed for human consumption. Apparently seaweed baths are an age-old tradition in Ireland, used to naturally treat many health conditions such as poor circulation, muscle aches, promote weight loss, depression and poor liver function. Today however, both seaweed and salt baths are still used to effectively boost circulation, speed up your metabolism, minimise the appearance of cellulite and to soothe skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and dry skin. In hot water, seaweed releases light oils which contain vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D, K and E, amino acids and trace elements (up to 79 trace elements have been found seaweed species – including maganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron and zinc). The types of seaweed harvested by Mungo Murphy also contain polysaccharide Fucoidan, which is an anti-inflammatory that is also possibly an anti-oxidant. I predict that in a matter of few years, seaweed will be labelled a ‘super food’ because it is just brimming with vitamins and nutrients (and most species are still being studied for their nutritional benefits and topical uses).

So how exactly does a seaweed bath work you ask and how do you prepare one? Quite simply really! Mungo Murphy offer Sea-Bags and loose seaweed, which they call Simply Seaweed. Let’s look at the loose variety first – Simply Seaweed.

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The Simply Seaweed loose seaweed, comes in a box containing approximately 200 grams of dried Atlantic seaweed. You can break it apart to get a few seaweed baths out of one box, or use the whole amount for one bath. I would suggest either using half the seaweed or the whole amount in one go – because this way, you will get a concentrated treatment. You can also collect the seaweed from your bath and dry it out again, to reuse a second time.

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Once you’ve decided on how much seaweed you want to use, pop it into a pot of boiling water and let it infuse and rehydrate for about ten minutes. During this time, the oils within the seaweed will start to release into the water. After about ten minutes, pour the pot of water and the seaweed itself, into your bath. Now while the seaweed is rehydrating and realising it’s oils, it does have a somewhat strong smell – not fishy (for some reason, I thought it may smell fishy), but it has that ocean-y salty smell we all recognise from the beach (especially if seaweed is lying around on the sand or being washed up on shore). Once the seaweed itself and the water containing the oils is mixed into your bath, because it gets ‘diluted’, the smell becomes very subtle should you be worried about this.

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Having the seaweed float around you in the bath is quite lovely – it makes you feel as if you are swimming in the ocean – except that the ocean has come to you :) The oils the seaweed releases are also quite light – it won’t feel as if you have coated your skin in let’s say, coconut oil. Oils which are quite thick or occlusive in nature, often feel like they sit on top of your skin (most oils actually become occlusive if you apply to much to your skin) and once they rub off, you notice that your skin is again dry as paper (occlusives work by creating a barrier on top of your skin, locking in whatever moisture is already in your skin – they won’t add in moisture themselves). Because these oils and the nutrients within the seaweed can penetrate your lipid barrier with the help of warm water, your skin feels very hydrated without that very oily feeling. It’s quite remarkable really, because the difference in the of moisturisation of your skin is very noticeable.

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The warmer your bath water is, the better – however, after rehydrating the seaweed in boiling water, I have added the seaweed into a lukewarm bath before and I still felt like I got most of the benefits out of the seaweed oils. This is a great help should you live in a warmer climate (salt baths need to be very hot – the bath water has to be around 40 degrees for you to reap the benefits of the salt – not ideal if you live in a tropical climate or are in the middle of summer). Make sure that you catch some of the floating seaweed in your bath, to give it a good squeeze – you want to get all the oil possible out of the seaweed! *Fun Fact* Seaweed is rich in mineral iodine, a nutrient which is essential for a healthy functioning thyroid. Mineral iodine in turn, promotes a healthy metabolism. 

A box of Simply Seaweed costs £10.66 – that’s about $20 Australian dollars atm. You can find Mungo Murphy products at Love Lula boutique – a UK based website, but don’t fret, they offer free world wide shipping! Yay! If your not sure if the loose seaweed is for you (there is a little clean up hassle) then the portioned up Sea-Bags are made for you!

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The individual Sea-Bags are great! You need to rehydrate the bag full of seaweed in the same manor as the loose seaweed, however you can do this in a bowl instead of a pot as the Sea-Bag is more compact.

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Once your seaweed has rehydrated and the oils have started to release from the seaweed, pour the bag and the water into your bath. Make sure you give the bag lots of good squeezes, so that all the oil can find its way out of the bag. You can use the gentle bag as a loofah as it’s made out of muslin cloth, to get some exfoliation happening while benefiting from the seaweed oils. It might be a little easier to dry out your seaweed bag after your first use of it, so you can reuse it for a second bath. I don’t find that I need to moisturise my skin after my seaweed bath (because the seaweed oils are so lovely and hydrating) but being the moisture fanatic that I am, I still try to do so, so that I can seal all of that goodness in for longer :) You can buy a box of 6 Sea-Bags for £19.18 from Love Lula, which works out to be around $39 Australian dollars (the box of Simply Seaweed contains around 200g of seaweed while in all the Sea-Bags combines you get 360g of seaweed – so almost double).

There’s something about using all natural, almost ancient treatments isn’t there – they inspire the imagination… :) We now also know thanks to studies that seaweed baths are very good for our health and I would say that they are even nurturing. Taking the time out of our busy schedules to take a bath is great because we get to slow down for that 20-30 minutes and relax. I love taking seaweed baths now and I will continue to treat myself to them every now and again (intermittently with my salt baths). Do give the seaweed a go, I think most people will be surprised at how lovely the treatment is!

Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. also make a powdered Nourishing Seaweed Mask which I will also review for you and show you how to use – but that review will be in another post (episode two if you will ;) ). So stay tuned! Also, be sure to check out Mungo Murphy’s Facebook and Instagram pages to see some gorgeous Irish countryside and all the products in the making!

How does this beauty treatment sound to you Beauties? Are you a fan of baths or are you more of a shower beauty? Have you heard of seaweed baths before and are you intrigued? :)

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

A City Girl’s Morning Face Care Routine

A city girl has it pretty tough – air conditioning, UV rays, pollution, dust and stress. All of these factors can make your skin weaker, sensitive, dehydrated and more prone to ageing. So what do we need? Products that work first and foremost, and that are multi-functional.  After cleansing, the most important factors to consider are UV and free radical protection, boosting your skins functionality and hydration. How do we achieve this? Antioxidants, moisturisation and sun protection.

Below is my morning face care routine. Hopefully it acts as a little bit of inspiration when it comes to layering skincare and what ingredients to look for. I should also mention for those who don’t know that I live in Sydney and am 26 years old (I was about to write 25, but no, sadly that was last year lol) and very focused on prevention. Prevention is key when it comes to anti-ageing. I also used to battle with acne and while I don’t use specific acne treatments anymore, I try and find products that will keep my skin clear and cell turnover high (without being to harsh and over exfoliating) while also dealing with other concerns (e.g did you know that vitamin C not only prevents pigmentation, but also stimulates collagen production and boosts your UV protection?). Keep reading if you are interested! :)

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The first step is of course to cleanse. Splashing your face with water in the morning isn’t enough – it will rinse off sweat or surface dirt, but it won’t get rid of cell build up and deeper impurities. At night, our skin cells work hard to repair damage sustained during the day and create new skin cells. The build up of old cells can sit within your pores, along with trapped dirt and oil. With time, this build up can make your pores larger. Not cleansing properly will also with time make the process of cell renewal sluggish and make your skin dehydrated (because moisturiser will have a difficult time reaching the deeper levels of your skin if it is indeed clogged up). Here are my picks for the morning :)

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Jurlique Clarifying Deep Cleansing Gel - If I have a little more time in the morning, I do prefer to use a cleanser that I can wash off with water. There’s something about using water that makes me feel ‘clean’. This gel cleanser is very refreshing for the skin – it’s clear and jelly like in texture and only foams up slightly. It also contains micro exfoliating beads, but these are very small and smooth (not rough at all). It smells a little herbal, but it’s still quite a fresh scent (thanks to rosemary, sage and peppermint extract). Jojoba esters are very high in the ingredient list and thanks to this along with soybean proteins, means that the gel isn’t drying. Oily skins would love this cleanser. Witch hazel, nettle and willow bark extract help clarify the skin. In summer, I often wake up a little sweaty and oily, so this cleanser ticks all the boxes in that regard. Once I use up this cleanser, I think I will change to a cream cleanser for the cooler months ahead, but I will keep you posted on that change once it happens ;)

Bioderma Hydrabio H20 Micelle Solution – For mornings where I am rushed or running late, Bioderma’s Hydrabio micelle cleansing water is a saviour! I reviewed this particular cleansing water ages ago (find that review here) and I am still using it, because it is simply great. I personally don’t use micelle waters for makeup removal as I then need to use so much product it almost feels like a waste (though for sensitive eyes and skin, it’s a God send!), however for morning cleansing I only need two cosmetic cotton rounds soaked in a little bit of product and my skin is left fresh and clean :) It takes a little getting used to (cleansing without water) but it works a treat! I never ever use products which leave the skin feeling tight or aggravated, so this ‘hydrating’ micelle water is perfect! <3 I should also mention that it doesn’t leave a film on the skin and you will still need to use a moisturiser after cleansing, but it’s just less irritating and stripping compared to some other cleansers out there.

The second step of my routine is to tone. I don’t think toners are absolutely necessary (and I skip this step when in a mad rush) BUT they are lovely to use and if you use one which is full of antioxidants, then this extra step will provide you with more protection from oxidative stress (the more the better really!). Futurederm’s 7 Wonders Antioxidant Rich Toner contains a triple tea complex (white tea, green and red tea) and grapeseed extract (all great antioxidants) . Alternatively, you can pick a toner which will target a skin concern of yours (e.g. dryness, oilyness, pigmentation etc). Check out my Toners 101 post if you are not sure what toner to go for. I love that this Futurederm toner smells delicious. It’s a little pick me up in the morning and as I am not a morning person, every pick-me-up is welcome! I just really hope they haven’t discontinued this guy (I can’t seem to find it in the Futurederm shop atm). IF they have, I will be very upset :(

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Next up is my ‘targeted’ pigmentation spot treatment and eye cream. Acids or any types of chemical exfoliants should be applied to clean skin before any kind of serum or moisturiser. Acids or chemical exfoliants should never be combined with vitamin A but can be used alongside products containing vitamin C. If you do use any kinds of acids or chemical exfoliants in your morning routine, make sure to be diligent with applying sunscreen in the morning also. Using chemical exfoliants in the morning may not be the best idea for sensitive skins (leave this for your night routine if this is you).

I have been using this Medik8 White Balance Click treatment on some seriously stubborn pigmentation spots (which I believe to be sun spots). The treatment is made up of 7 strategic acids/ingredients (Kojic Acid, L-Lactic Acid, Niacinamide, Linoleic Acid, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, Sepiwhite andL-Leucine). It is meant to work on freckles, age spots, sun spots, blotchiness and uneven skin tone. How is it doing? Ok. I’ve already used up one little bottle of this (I dropped the bottle as I was reaching the end of the serum – it’s glass you see) and am now onto my second (you receive two little bottles in one pack – this keeps the acids ‘fresher’ and more active for longer). The pigmentation has faded, but hasn’t totally gone (yet). I don’t have a lot of issues with pigmentation, but the few spots I do have irritate me greatly. After I finish off this spot treatment, I will probably give my pigmentation spots a break (for the time being…). I thought this treatment would make my skin sensitive or more prone to irritation, but it hasn’t actually. It’s also very thin in texture and sinks into the skin quickly, without leaving a film on the surface – so it’s perfect for using under other skin care products. You could use this treatment all over the face, or as a spot treatment as I do.

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My choice for morning eye cream is the Futurederm Vitamin CE Eye Cream 10.0. I think it’s worth having and using two eye creams in your beauty cabinet (one for morning use and one for evening). Check out my Eye Care 101 post here if you want to read more about why. The Futurederm eye cream is phenomenal because it contains 10% vitamin C and 1% vitamin E (most eye creams don’t contain anywhere near this amount), which has been proven to work at decreasing dark circles, pigmentation and uneven skin tone – brightening the whole under eye area. Products containing 10% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) have been found to decrease the depth of wrinkles with consistent use over the course of three months. By combining vitamin C with 1% vitamin E, each antioxidant can borrow an electron from the other, renewing itself in the process. This is why you should use a product which contains vitamin C and vitamin E in it’s formula. The eye cream has a cream texture, but it is very light and sinks in incredibly quickly.The cream also contains avocado oil (fatty acid) and grape seed oil (antioxidant)

The only time I have experienced some irritation while using it, was when I used to much cream and it got into my eye (my eye just felt itchy but it wasn’t red or inflamed thankfully). I have been using this eye cream for a few weeks now (a little over a month) and my under eye circles do look less ‘bruised’ and purple. I would definitely call this eye cream my morning ‘staple’. The only slight negative when it comes to this eye cream is that if you don’t apply makeup over the top of it (and you go au natural instead) and you rub your eyes, the formula left on top of your skin does ball up and you will find white flakes under your eyes. I believe this is one of the slip agents which makes the eye cream easy to apply. It isn’t a big deal (but worth noting as we shouldn’t be rubbing our eyes anyways – but something I clearly fail at ;) ).

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The next step in my routine is my all over vitamin C and E serum. At the moment I am using the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum, but I do slightly (and I mean ever so slightly) prefer the Futurederm Vitamin CE Caffeic Silk Serum 16+2 (full review of that product here) because of it’s formula and price. I had to revert back the SkinCeuticals version because Futurederm was out of stock of their serum for a while (I have two bottles being shipped to me as we speak!). While the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is twice as expensive as the Futurederm offering, it does last a looong time, so you are getting your monies worth (longer than a bottle of the Futurederm CE Caffeic serum – it just hurts paying $174 all at once).

So why is a vitamin C and E serum such a beneficial and important product that needs to be included in your morning routine? Vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid stimulates collagen production in your skin. Luckily this serum contains 15% pure L-ascorbic acid (the Futurederm serum contains 16%). It also boosts sun protection four fold when used under sunscreen. As I wrote earlier, your morning routine should be full of products which help prevent damage before it occurs. The formula does contain alcohol, however this helps the product penetrate into the deeper levels of your skin and the drying nature of the alcohol is offset by the hydrating and antioxidant power of the vitamin C. As I mentioned above (when writing about the Futurederm vitamin CE eye cream), vitamin C and E work in a synergistic way to prevent and treat oxidative damage (and hence it is great for minimizing existing pigmentation – plus the UV boosting capabilities will prevent any new pigmentation from taking hold if you also use sunscreen daily). Vitamin C is also an anti-inflammatory and will be extremely beneficial to those treating acne or breakouts. Tick, tick, tick! :) *If you can’t allow yourself to go for the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum and don’t want to order goodies from overseas right this moment (cause the Australian dollar sux at this very moment and you can only order Futurederm goodies from their US based website) the other great option is the SkinCeuticals Serum 15 AOX+. It still contains a big dose of vitamin C (15%) along with hydrating sodium hyaluronate. It just doesn’t contain the vitamin E.*

After applying a serum, the next step has to be of course, moisturiser. You must moisturise no matter what skin type you have. If you don’t give your skin enough moisture, fine lines can start to creep in because of dehydration. Your skins primary function is to act as a barrier between you and outside ‘threats’ (bacteria, irritants etc.) and without enough moisture, your lipid barrier can become compromised, leading to hyper sensitivity and possibly, infections.  I was using a gel moisturiser earlier (the Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion) but wanted to try something a little more hydrating plus with added antioxidants. This is where the Jojoba Company’s Hydrating Day Cream comes in. The moisturising ingredients in this daily moisturiser are superb – jojoba seed oil (contains vitamins A, D and E), glycerin (a humectant and occulsive moisturiser), beta-glucan (a moisturiser that promotes wound healing and reduces wrinkle depth and height), macadamia seed oil, shea butter and panthenol (vitamin B5). I love that this day cream contains loads of antioxidants – green tea extract, olive leaf extract, pomegranate seed oil, vitamin E (tocopherol), rice bran oil (oryza sativa). The moisturiser also includes a host of other extracts like Siberian ginseng (tightening and firming), silk amino acids, balckcurrent seed oil, chamomile extract and rosa damascena oil – to name a few.

The moisturiser comes in a pump bottle which is so handy and means that all the ingredients in the moisturiser will stay fresh and potent. The cream itself is a light lotion and spreads easily over the skin. The cream makes my skin slightly shiny, but this doesn’t bother me as it isn’t overly shiny. If you are very oily, you can of course use makeup over the top of the moisturiser to minimise the shine. The Jojoba Company do also make a daily moisturiser with added sunscreen – but I prefer to use a seperate sunscreen hence I went for the moisturiser without spf. This particular moisturiser also seems to include more botanical extracts and oils.

Finally, the very last step of my morning skincare routine :) Sunscreen! Sunscreen is crucial for every girl – including a city girl as UV rays are uber sneaky… they come in through windows, bounce off buildings and pavements. My all time favourite sunscreen is the Neova DNA Damage Control Everyday SPF 44. Now this is a high tech sunscreen! Not only does it contain a combination of physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen (a combination means you get the best of both worlds and the sunscreen remains stable) but it also contains a combination (which we know is best!) of vitamin C and E, PLUS L-Ergothionene (a powerful antioxidant) and Photolyase – a type of plankton which increase UV protection by capturing UV rays and helps repair DNA cell damage. If you’re not sure which sunscreen is best for you (and fits into your budget) check out my Sunscreen Battle post here and my Sunscreen 101 post here.

That wraps up my morning skincare routine Beauties :) You will reap the benefits of a skincare routine if you are consistent. This routine takes around 5-10 minutes each morning and is quite easy to do once you form a habit of it, Let me know what products and steps you can’t live without in your morning skin care routine!

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Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~