Nails of the Day: Motion of the Ocean~

Sorry I’ve been a touch quiet these last couple of days beauties, but my headaches were terrorising me again and I was just to spaced out to put words together (though I bet that would have been an interesting post ha!). The last couple of days have felt like I was somewhere out at sea so this nail polish is quite fitting in some odd way :P Luckily, Motion of the Ocean is also a gorgeous shade :) I picked up a set of polishes from Sea Siren Cosmetics a little while ago and this is the second shade I am reviewing (Mojito Madness was the first).

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In the bottle, Motion of the Ocean looks like a minty green, but in different light settings it can appear to more blue, even turquoise (but not garish and neon in colour). It’s a lot easier to work with than Mojito Madness, in that the colour is more opaque so it’s less of a struggle to get a streak free finish. It’s also lasted on my nails a whole week without any chips (though as you probably already know, I always wear a base and top coat). Another big plus with this polish is that should you make a mistake and not apply the colour evenly, if you apply a third coat of polish to your nail it won’t go thick and gluggy (sometimes it’s very obvious that you have applied to much nail polish to the nail and it just looks wrong).

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These little bottles make trying nail colours so easy peasy :) A bigger brush would probably be more comfortable in regards to application – but hey it’s a teeny bottle so you need a matching brush!

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A little mini polish will only set you back $6.95 while the full sized bottles (which look like a giant bubble!) cost $15.95. Sea Siren Cosmetics is a great little Australian brand and all their nail polishes are ‘5 free’ as in, free from Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Toulene, Formaldehyde Resins or Camphor AND are completely cruelty free and vegan. You can find them at Sea Siren’s official website here. What are you wearing on your nails today beauties? How has your week started off?

Catch ya soon!

Beauty Bee~

Beauty Tools: Hakuhodo Eye Shadow Brushes & Quick Update

I’ve been wanting to replace some of my crappier/scratchy brushes with good quality makeup brushes, and expand my eye shadow brush collection. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Hakuhodo brushes, so I thought I would start there. Hakuhodo brushes are hand made in Japan, so the hairs on every brush are individually tapered for exact product placement and superior brush movement. I heard that they were expensive and some of their face brushes are (as the brushes are bigger and more hair is used) but the eye shadow brushes are actually quite reasonably priced for Australian consumers, considering how much say MAC brushes cost (I tried to stay away from the MAC hype and only have one brush – the 109 face brush and I’m pretty meh about it). So here are the four that I picked out :) (p.s I bought these a little while before starting my $100 beauty challenge).

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I should first start off my saying that these brushes feel different in your hand. They are so feather light that they feel very malleable (the handles make maneuvering the brush so easy, it feels like you are painting more so than applying makeup).

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Brush no. 1: J146 Eye Shadow Brush Round ($17.00). This brush is made from goat hairs and is finely tapered at the tip. I wanted a big round blending brush and so I ordered this one without realising it’s quite small. It will be great to use for precise blending or for applying minimal but precise colour to the crease/lid. It’s not exactly what I was after (that’s what happens sometimes when you rely on internet shopping without being able to see the product first for yourself, firsthand) but it’s still a lovely brush.

Here is what the Hakuhodo say about the brush:

“The bristles are made from resilient yet soft goat that can produce great coloring. Smudging and blending colors can be easily achieved. Also ideal for highlighting.”

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Brush No. 2: J125R (or BJ125R – don’t ask me why this brush has two codes, I have no idea) Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brush Round and Angled ($26.00). This is probably my favourite brush out of the four. It’s made from both synthetic fiber and goat hair. It is densely packed, slanted and round. It will be perfect for placing eye shadow to the outer corner of the eye lid and for blending the colour into the crease.

“Carefully designed bristles create an angled brush surface for effortless contouring and highlighting. Synthetic fibers extend slightly further than the goat hair, and this specification means that the bristles have more spring which enables them to pick up just the right amount of product. This helps create a smooth finish to your makeup, while also helping it last even longer. Also ideal for applying glittery powder.”

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Brush No. 3: J5523 Eye Shadow Brush Round & Flat ($18). Made from goat hairs and can be used with powder products and/or liquid/cream products. This brush is great for applying eye shadow to your whole lid. It can also be used to blend colours softly into each other. The brush is super soft against the eyelid and is nicely tapered at the tip.

“The bristles made from goat are soft on your skin and provide moderate resilience. This brush can be used for the upper eyelid area and produces great coloring and also can be used with all types of products – liquid or cream base makeup and even powder.”

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Brush no. 4: J239 Eye Shadow Brush Angled ($21.00). Made from horse hair, this angled brush is flat. If it was denser and not flat it would be a great crease brush, but as it is flat I think it works best for softening liner (especially if you have used eye shadow as liner). I will probably use this brush the least out of the four – but don’t get me wrong, if feels lovely and soft against the skin, it’s just not a brush I reach for everyday.

“The bristles offer moderate elasticity and excel at producing great coloring. Blending of colors is easy to achieve. The angled shape also works well as a highlighter brush.”

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All of these brushes are incredibly soft. This means that even if you have a lot of blending to do, or if you plan to apply lots of different products onto the eye, your eyelid won’t become irritated (my eyelid has become irritated when blending eye shadows using some other blending brushes – yes I may have been excessively blending, but still lol). This also means that you may need to apply a little more product than you would have to say if you were using other brushes. I don’t mind this as I know that I am at least being kind to my eyelids (you should not be rough on such a sensitive and delicate area of your face!).

Hakuhodo have a huuuuge range of brushes, so I hope this post was helpful to you in some way. I would like to try some of their face brushes, so hopefully soon I will get my mittens on a few! In saying that, I think my next purchase will be a Zoeva brush set because I have heard countless good things about the quality of their brushes, so stay tuned!

If you are interested in checking out Hakuhodos brushes, check out their website here. I paid $14.00 for international shipping (this is without tracking – but my order arrived just over a week later and my order was well packed) or else you can choose express postage with tracking for $49 (I said hell no to that option!).

It’s Thursday beauty bees and I’m so tired… It has been a long week and I am SO glad that tomorrow in Friday! I had a job interview this week which I *think* went well. Even though I probably need a new challenge in my life, I am a little anxious about starting this new adventure. Going from part time work to full time will be great financially, but it will also be a huge lifestyle change. I’ve never worked fulltime before, hence my fear lol I know that with time you get used to it etc. but somehow I can’t quell this fear of mine. Do any of you beauties have some pearls of wisdom for me? How do you cope with change? Gosh a holiday would be nice right about now lol I wish I could go on a weekend escape to the Polish countryside. I miss the forests there greatly. Serenity now!

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Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

 

Skincare Love: FutureDerm’s Vitamin CE Caffeic Silk Serum 16+2

There’s three things your skin needs from your morning skincare routine: moisture, antioxidants (to prevent oxidative stress) and sun protection. Futurederm’s Vitamin CE Caffeic serum is my go to serum for the mornings. I think I have been using it for about 2 years now (since it launched). Not only does it contain 16% of stable vitamin C which is proven to brighten and even out your skin tone over time, vitamin C also targets UVA radiation. Vitamin E targets UVB radiation, so your sunscreen will be boosted if you use this serum underneath your moisturiser and everyday sunscreen. I have a few tiny sun spots on my face (I think that’s what they are) which are slooowly disappearing thanks to this serum (I have had them for a looong time, so they must be quite deep in the skin). The most important factor for me is that I have not had any new pigmentation develop since using this serum.  Prevention is everything!

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I have found that when I am suffering from a breakout and my skin is sensitive and inflamed, I have to put my retinol products on hold while my skin calms down as it can become more aggravated with their use – vitamin C however has the opposite effect, it helps calm my skin even though it is highly active. Vitamin C and E have synergistic antioxidant capabilities, so they can prevent and help fight oxidative stress (excess pollution, ultraviolet rays and biochemical reactions that can deteriorate the skins functions and appearance). Oxidative stress as well as internal imbalances can effect collagen production and cell renewal processes and vitamin C can not only trigger collagen production but can also help decompose damaged collagen (less build up, mean brighter skin). All of these processes and effects are well documented, so you aren’t just buying into marketed hype – that’s why I love this serum so much! <3

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It has an interesting texture because the active ingredients are suspended in silicone. It has a dry-like texture to it, so it doesn’t leave your face feeling greasy or oily. The purpose of the silicone is that it leaves the surface of your skin prepared for moisturiser and makeup application. You have to give the serum a good shake before dispensing and a little goes quite a long way. OH – and because it has a teeny tiny amount of natural orange in the formula, it smells very fresh without being overpowering :) I do wish the dropper came with a cap to totally close the bottle should you want to travel with it. I do take it with me on weekend aways etc and haven’t had it leak so it’s decently made, but I wouldn’t trust the dropper on a long haul flight (flight pressure and all).

I think I will be using this serum in the morning for a looong time to come – why change something if it works so damn well? :) Futurederm’s Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum 16+2 costs $89 US from Futurederm’s online shop. They ship internationally (and seeing that I live in Australia that helps me a great deal!) and international shipping is $20 flat rate. I do wish their international shipping was cheaper, especially if I only want to order one product but alas – they are still a small but growing company, which is incredibly honest, so that soothes my shipping pains :P If you are interested in their products they do discounted sets and pairings of products, which is great!

What do you use as your daily/morning serum? Do you use serums in your skin care routine?

Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Review & Comparison: L’Oreal’s True Match Touche Magique Concealer & Lumi Magique Highlighter Pen

I heard about these L’Oreal pen like concealers a little while ago and the reviews for both seemed to be pretty darn good. I hadn’t seen a review comparing them against each other, so I thought I might give them a whirl as the both look and sound almost identical. Most of the reviews I read seemed to state that for ‘drugstore’ products they are worth their price and provide really good coverage.

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Lumi Magique Touch of Light Highlighter is the ‘concealer’ in the metallic rose gold like packaging. Here is what L’Oreal claims the product will achieve:

Powered by Liquid Light Technology, skin is instantly illuminated with the click of a pen. With a few strategic strokes of this complexion highlighter – dark circles, fine lines and signs of fatigue virtually disappear so you look rested and refreshed – even if you’ve been up for hours. Sleek and sophisticated, it discreetly slips into a make up bag for quick touch-ups anytime. “

Lumi Magique promises a lot doesn’t it lol as does True Match Touche Magique:

“True Match Touche Magique Concealer has a sleek twist-top pen that helps correct dark circles, removes imperfections and brighten the shadowy areas. Applied to the eye area, Touche Magique instantly rejuvenates, perfects and illuminates to leave eyes looking radiant. Applied to the nose, it refines pores and dark shadows. With a soft brush applicator, True Match Touche Magique offers precise and controlled application in a range of 4 customised shades.”

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So even though Lumi Magique is more of a highlighter pen, it claims to lesson the look of dark under eye circles as does True Match Touche Magique, which is an illuminating concealer. You can see now why I was confused between the two, so as someone who struggles with under eye circles I grabbed both!

I bought Natural Beige in the True Match Touche Magique as it seemed like the most ‘neutral’ colour of all the four on offer (they were either very pink toned like Ivory Beige the lightest colour of the four, or very yellow and warm, like Warm Beige). Mind you, it still does have light peach tone to it, which may be perfect for disguising under eye circles like a colour corrector. There’s only three colours on offer within the Lumi Magique line and I bought the lightest colour 1 Light, which looks like a real but very light neutral shade to me.

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 Above: Top left swatch is of L’Oreal’s True Match Touche Magique Concealer in Natural Beige and the bottom right swatch is of L’Oreal’s Lumi Magique Highlighter in 1 Light. 

From the above swatches you can see that the Lumi Magique shade in 1 Light is much lighter and less peachy/yellow than the True Match Touche Magique Concealer.

So how do both concealers fair against each other when used under the eyes? To be honest they are very similar in regards to consistency and how they sit on the skin. The True Match Touche Magique Concealer is a little better at hiding dark circles because of it’s slight peachy/yellow tone. I wouldn’t call either of these concealer/highlighter pens heavy duty concealers – and they most definitely don’t conceal all darkness under the eyes as L’Oreal claims they will.

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Above: My face sans concealer under my eyes. You can see that the inner corners of my eye socket are quite dark. My dark circles aren’t the worst ever today because my eyes aren’t puffy – but even with plenty of sleep I still have darkness which is difficult to conceal.

It’s difficult to capture how much darkness the concealers cover in photos, as natural light does make my dark circles less visible. But I’ve included some photos of how the concealers sit on top of my skin for reference. Hopefully they help somewhat :)

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Above: Wearing the Lumi Magique HIghlighter under the eye area (I never bring my concealer/product out all the way to the outer corner of my eye as I think that’s unnecessary as the darkness under the eye doesn’t extend out that far).

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Above: Not the most attractive photo ever lol but you can see that under my right eye in the photo I am wearing the True Match Touche Magique Concealer.

I would rate the coverage from L’Oreal’s True Match Touche Magique Concealer as a 6 out of 10, while I would give Lumi Magique a 5 out of 10. I gave theBalm’s Time Balm Concealer a 7.5 out of 10 if you want to compare these pen concealers to a more ‘heavy duty’ concealer. The consistency of the concealers is nice and light, however if applied to dry skin, they can start to cake and crease (especially True Match Touche Magique) so your skin has to be hydrated before application. They don’t dry out the under eye area and if you only sometimes suffer from under eye circles or tired eyes, either concealer will work well for you. Lumi Magique is probably the most universal product, as it works well around the nose area (to hide slight redness) and does work as a highlighter (so it is comparable to YSL’s Touche Eclat). I wouldn’t use True Match Touche Magique on other areas of the face, only because it’s to dark and yellow toned for me (I have neutral skin undertones and anything to yellow or peachy will look obvious – hence the opposite of what we want from a concealer – to look ‘invisible’ on the skin).

Oh, the last thing I have to mention is that the packaging for these concealers isn’t the greatest. They feel a little flimsy (especially the packaging for True Match Touche Magique). Once you twist the end of the ‘pen’ and product is released into the brush, product will start to get onto the inside of the cap etc. and the brush becomes quickly splayed.

I hope you found this post useful – my search for the best ever under eye concealer will continue on!

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L’Oreals True Match Touche Magique retails for $25.95 in Aus, while the Lumi Magique Highlighter pen retails for $27.95. OH – I should also mention that I bought these concealers a while back, so they haven’t impacted my $100 beauty challenge :)

Have you tried these concealers? What is your go to everyday concealer?

Catch ya next time beauties! <3

Beauty Bee~

Nails of the Day: Knoll

Today I present to you the ‘other half’ of my STRANGEBEAUTIFUL nail duo – Knoll. Bandaids a bit pissed off, but what can you expect! Knoll is not a timid red – she is a bold, fiery, tomato red. And I’m happy to say that this colour lasts sooo much better on the nails compared to Bandaid! I love Bandaid as a rosey nude shade, but the formula just chipped way to quickly (I had to remove it after 3-4 days as it had started to chip insanely – my fingertips did not look attractive at all). I had some hard core chores to perform today with my hands (cleaning the bathroom, dishes, doing some washing etc all without wearing gloves) and Knoll still hasn’t chipped at all – today is day 5 I might add, so I’m pretty convinced this colour should hold strongly for a full week. The colour is so so vibrant, I can’t help to love it <3 It may look scary in the bottle, but having it on your nails gives you a different perspective.

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The formula is super opaque and goes on super smoothly. It isn’t to watery/thin, nor is it to thick and gluggy. I always do two coats just to be on the safe side and I’m super happy with the results (as you can see in the photos above and below).

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What do you think of the red shade? :) Are you a fan of red nail polish? Red is my favourite colour, so I will give every red shade a fair go :P There’s no other colour that is quite as vibrant and passionate as red. It actually kinda reminds me of Curtis Kulig’s Love Me graffiti – tagged all around the world. Here are some examples of his work -

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You can find STRANGEBEAUTIFUL nail duos at the Violet Box shop for $20 each. If you want to know more about the brand, check out my review of the colour Bandaid here. Oh and I will probably post some more love me graffiti pics on instagram, so don’t forget to check out my profile :)

Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

 

Happy Monday & First $100 Beauty Challenge Update!

Happy Monday beauty bees :) I’m still a little sleepy and bleary eyed, but I’m ready to make this week a positive week!

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So I have decided to do the $100 beauty challenge! What does this exactly mean? For four weeks I cannot spend more than $100 on beauty related goods – this includes makeup, skincare, beauty tools (cotton balls, nail files etc), hair products and nail goodies! I’ve decided to not count my regular hair appointment, as I’m not sure if I will get called in for a job interview in the coming weeks and I want to look ‘put together’ (regrowth doesn’t scream put together to me lol). The only other exclusion I have made is buying beauty products as gifts for others since I have a few friends birthdays coming up (and as it’s not for me per se, I think that’s fair!) and I plan on buying my bf a few small toiletries for his upcoming overseas trip (it won’t be anything extravagant – and I will show you beauty bees my purchases).

 I will of course update you on how I’ve been going, what I have been buying, struggling with and perhaps what substitutions I’ve made :) I think this will help me appreciate what goodies I already have and how much I actually spend on beauty goods (scientific research right? :P) I am a little nervous, but I think I can do it! Thank you if you commented on this idea earlier, your words really motivated me :) Since I am starting the challenge today, the challenge will end on the 11th of August.

Would you consider doing this challenge? Let me know as then we can support each other :D

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I hope you have a positive Monday and week lovelies :) I’ll be in touch ;) (join me on Facebook for more updates!)

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

Nails of the Day: Bandaid

I received this interesting nail duo in my Violet Box last month and the brand really intrigued me! They are a little brand from the US called STRANGEBEAUTIFUL, inspired by design and saturated colours which step outside the box in regards to ‘standard nail trends’. They want their colour library to be vibrant, eclectic, provocative and ornamental. I really appreciate this fresh take on nail colours. Their nail polishes are also ‘3 free’, as in free of  Formaldehyde, Toluene, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate). The nail polishes are meant to be creamy, opaque and chip resistant – all of the good stuff! I received the colours Bandaid (a rosey nude shade) and Knoll (a bright tomato red) in my duo. I really wanted to try Bandaid first as it reminds me of the 90s and is a colour that should go with most outfits and my ever changing moods :P I think Bandaid is a funny and yet fitting name for the colour!

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I’ve been prepping my nails first with a cuticle/nail oil (Handbag Holiday by Butter London), then by painting on a base coat (I’ve been trying a new base coat/strengthening nail polish by Sally Hansen – Complete Care 4 in 1 Nail Treatment). After applying my nail colour, I finish off my manicure with my favourite ever top coat – Sally Hansen’s Mega Shine :)

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I really like this colour. I think it looks more stunning on the nail then in the bottle actually. The nail polish goes on smoothly and you could probably get away with one coat (I always go with two, just to get more of a colour punch!). The only issue I have with this nail polish is that after about three days it does start to chip. After putting in all of the prep work and using a top coat, I would have liked it to last longer. I’m hoping that the red nail polish lasts and performs a little better.

They are most definitely thinking outside the box and seem to be a brand that wants to try new colour combinations and break the ‘rules’. Each nail polish duo comes with 4ml of each nail colour, perfect for travelling. A duo like this will set you back $20 and you can find STRANGEBEAUTIFUL nail polishes at Violet Box. Their range is still a little small, so I hope Violet Box extends the range soon!

What do you think of these colours? Have you heard of Strangebeautiful before?

I’m so glad it’s the weekend! It’s meant to be a rainy and windy one in Sydney, so I hope you are soaking up the sun wherever you are!

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Catch ya next time beauties!

Beauty Bee~

Challenge Ahead!

Hi beauty bees!

So I was catching up on some blog reading and I noticed a beauty challenge circulating around Polish blogs – the $100 beauty challenge. The idea of the challenge is not to spend more than $100 on beauty related goods in a month (four weeks). I think this is a good idea to reign in your spending and to use up some of the makeup goodies we have in our drawers that don’t get all of the lovin’ they deserve ;) But I’m wondering if it’s something I can really do (I know I know!). I need to go to the hairdressers soon which would have to not count (I spend over $100 every time and I wouldn’t forgo my appointment especially since I might have a job interview around the corner, so I want to look ‘fresh’ just in case) but besides that I’m pretty stocked up in terms of my skin care basics (some of my serums would put me ‘over budget’ immediately if I had to restock) so perhaps I could do it? Perhaps I need to have more faith in myself or encouragement? It may sound easy at first, but all related beauty goods means even cotton balls, deodorant etc would count!

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Is this a challenge you would consider doing? Do you think I should take the plunge? :P Let me know what you think!

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

 

Review: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Foaming Gel and Skincare Lesson of the Day!

I received two samples of the La Roche-Posay cleanser in my Bellabox back in the day (don’t ask me how I got two, it was probably an error on their part) and I have been using them steadily whenever I go to my boyfriends. I thought that they would be ok since the packaging states that they keep the PH level of your skin at a perfect 5.5, but I didn’t expect to like this cleanser as much as I did!

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I like using gel cleansers at night, to remove all the makeup, oil and grime from my face. They leave me feeling fresh and ready for the rest of my routine. In my opinion, a good cleanser should remove all the makeup and dirt from your face successfully (except for eye makeup, for which I use a separate product). This clear gel does just that. This is what the producer says about their Effaclar cleanser:

“The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Foaming Gel:  Purifying Foaming Gel is a daily use gel cleanser that eliminates excess sebum and tightens the pores of oily and thickened skin, without causing dryness.Purifying Foaming Gel gently purifies and leaves skin clean and fresh thanks to cleansing agents selected to respect sensitive skin. Including soothing, anti-irritant La Roche-Posay thermal spring water, this gel cleanser is soap-free, alcohol-free, colorant-free, and paraben free.”

If a cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable, it is probably to harsh for your skin. Even though this cleanser is marketed for those with oily skin, I still love it and I have normal to combination skin. The gel foams up nicely (without going crazy) and smells kinda half soapy half fruity, which is so nice and refreshing. I am still currently using my Jan Marini C-Esta Cleansing Gel, which I also really like – I think this is my third bottle of the stuff (and this stuff lasts for agggges because it’s supposedly a ‘concentrate’). The big difference between the two is the price, the Jan Marini C-Esta Cleansing Gel is around $40 while the Effaclar Foaming Gel is $22.95 from Adore Beauty. Size wise the C-Esta Gel is a tiny bit bigger (it is 237ml while the Effaclar Gel in it’s full size is 200ml) so even though I’m pretty loyal when it comes to my skincare routine and products, once I’m out of cleansing gel I think I will swap over to the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Cleansing Gel :) If I can save a few pennies while still getting a great, effective yet gentle cleanser – I’d be silly not to swap over.

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I was reminded earlier this week about why it is so important to cleanse your face morning and night and I thought it was sooo fitting for this post! So here is the lesson of the day :P

Our skins biological processes work in sync with our body clock and hence skin cell activity changes based on whether it is day or night time. At night, our cells work hard to repair damage and create new cells (whilst getting rid of old cells which then usually sit on the surface of your skin) so not washing your face at night means that the pollution and grime on our faces slows down this process. It can also make your pores bigger because not only is there dirt and oil on your face but dead skin cells start to accumulate on the surface also. You will also notice that your skin needs hydration to keep this whole process working well, so if your skin is dry upon going to sleep it is likely that your skin will soon become dehydrated and the cell renewal process will become ‘sluggish’. Anti-ageing products and other skincare cannot work well if there is a layer of oil or dirt between it and your skins surface. In the morning, you need to rid your face of all the build up of dead cells and rehydrate your skin again. Unfortunately, splashing your face with water won’t get rid of all of the cell build up on your skin and if you don’t wash your face, your complexion will begin to look more dull. If you would like to read a little more into this this article by Futurederm sums it up nicely (and is backed up by evidence). I also did a post a while ago on when you should use specific serums and creams so that they are most effective, you can check out that post here if you’re interested!

What is your current cleaner/s beauty bees? Are you a fan of gel cleansers?

Catch ya next time!

Beauty Bee~