Hey Bloggettes, Followers and Friends!

I’m back in the act with a review or two for you…Seeing as its been a hot minute since my last beauty post, I thought I’d replenish your thirsts with a little beauty outburst!

I’ve long looked after my face, ever since I recovered from the crater-face my eczema left me with. I’m super conscious about what (and who) I allow to touch my face, a little OCD about germs and the polluted London air… and London people in general. Its not that I am vain or anything, yeah, admittedly I think my face is alright and that, but yeah I also happen to recall the times my face was not so alright *fights back the memories of scabby skin*. Where most girls invest in £300 worth of shoes a year, (some a season, and some a month) I probably spend that amount annually on skin-care (don’t judge me). My theory is pure and simple: You only have one skin, but you can have many shoes. I’d rather spend the cash on my hair and beauty products, although I don’t really believe in buying vast amounts of cheap shoes – bags? Perhaps. But shoes?… no, I believe shoes require decent investment, unless you care to invest in bunion surgery instead of course. Each to their own.

Onto the skin care. I always get asked what my skin care secrets are, how I combat skin problems and remain youthful looking. No my response is not “Black don’t crack!”. My response is this: Fresh air, nutrition and diet, hydration and sleep! However, I understand that sometimes that alone is just not enough without the supplement of a good product regime. As you wise owls know: Different products have different active ingredients that serve a variety of purposes. I’m a bit of a herbalist (no narcotic based racial stereotypes please) and know a lot about natural products and their benefits. So when looking for products available on the market for skin care, I know exactly what it is I’m looking for. Pretty packaging just doesn’t cut it; A pretty face sometimes requires the stinkiest, ugliest and rawest of products! I’ve been lucky enough to try and test A LOT of products over the years, and by now I have managed to collate a Beauty Best Buy List for you guys!

Best Moisturizer: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream


This moisturizer is like a second skin; it is soft without being oily and leaves no residue. It glides on and is not too thick and leaves skin moisturized for the entire day. Its not too gloopy and allows pores to breath; very ideal if you have combination skin. It is also ideal if you wear a lot of make-up as it really allows pores to breath. Leaves a radiant but not too reflective sheen on your face. You get a lot of product in this tub, the only thing I would say is a downer is that the tub is a nuisance. This gel is so watery that it can slip out of the hand or tub easily – I’ve already mentioned the consistency of Kiehl’s products in earlier review (hehe) when you open the tub you’ll know what I mean… This would be perfect with a ‘pump’ canister to control the fluidity of this product with more ease. Apart from that, its perfect. Dry skin? I’d suggest Clarins Hydra-Quench Cream.

Best Facial Wash: Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel

3300076_0001-zoomProdNeeding that squeaky clean feeling after a wash? Yep this is your answer. Lathers up lovely and a little goes a long way; just a pearl sized amount with the addition of water between your palms and you are good to go. Very efficient in unclogging pores and removing impurities skin deep. Although it contains astringents, its soap free, so keeps skin smooth and soft whilst cleansing away dirt and grime! Really recommended for those battling acne as part of wash – cleanse – tone routine. You will see results almost immediately – skin will feel tighter and cleaner after just one wash.

Best Exfoliation: Sanctuary Spa Brighting Facial Radiance Exfoliator

3206-radiance-exfoliator.jpg_2I needed an exfoliator that was vigorous enough to buff my skin to sumptuous degree without feeling like I was scrubbing my face raw with sandpaper. I have tried so many – including going through the ball-ache effort of making my own. I absolutely love the Sanctuary Spa Salt Scrub for body, so much so that I even tried using it on my face! After getting past the apparent desperation and finally doing some careful research, I discovered they do a facial range – well duh? Smells heavenly and leaves skin feeling so, so, so buff…

Best for Removing Make-up: Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine

120870_fpx.tifLet me tell you a little secret about this product… So I was using this as a cleanser for about three months, finding it leaves skin so sparkling and clean… but with a residue left behind like ice-cream around a child’s mouth. Then I decided to re-read the directions and realised that you are actually meant to rinse the product off of your face. Ahh, that’ll be it then. I’ve found though that it does do wonders at removing make-up, the clumpiest of mascara’s and the dreaded waterproof eyeliner quiver and shake at the site of this gem!

Best fCleanser: Kiehl’s Calendular Herbal Extract Toner


Before any smart alec’s start, I AM aware that this is indeed a toner. However, the Calendula ingredient also has superb cleansing properties also. It doesn’t tighten the facial skin as most toners do. It softens the skin and is ace at removing the day or nights build up of oils on the surface of your face. There’s a great deal of actual Calendula extract in every bottle, so you really feel like your skin is getting one of natures little treats! My blemishes have been kept at bay ever since I started using this six months ago. It all started off with a 30ml tester – Kiehl’s always gives away fantastic sized “samples” with every large purchase! Its to get suckers like me well and truly hooked and committed! Its worth the mid-market price and the Kielh’s specialists are well and truly trained in all things SKIN.

Best Toner: Kiehl’s Acai Damage-Protecting Toning Mist


…and here’s the toner. With an astomizing pump to spray a fine air-like mist onto the face evenly. I find that spraying a toner is better than that of rubbing toning solution into the skin. Rubbing and sweeping is great for cleansing, but with toning you are not really trying to get anything off of your face, more applying a film of product onto it. So, the pump makes sense. It feels really cool and refreshing and skin definitely will feel tighter and more supple after application. It has a sharp, zesty smell, leaves no sticky residue and so long as you remember to close your eyes when spritzing – you’ll be good to go.

Best Treatment: Clarins Blue Orchid (Huille Orchidee Bleue) Face Treatment Oil

soin-huile-orchidee-bleue-liquide-jaune-clarins-390158390-174843This feels so, so good. Rubs into the skin like a hot oil massage. Smells heavenly – if you happen to like that Camomile, floral smell. I happen to have disassociated that smell with the trauma of Chicken Pox, I now find it relaxing and comforting. This is meant to remain on the face for about five – ten minutes before removing. However, I use it over night once a month – twice a fortnight in the winter, to revive dull skin and hydrate dry skin during colder months. You will wake with brighter, softer and more youthful looking skin. Fact.

Best Facial Mask: Body Shop Seaweed Iconic Clay Mask

The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask-500x500I find face masks are hard to rate. Its more down to what properties in a mask you are looking for, and results you want to achieve and well, personal taste. Whether you want a peel off or wash off, relaxing or vitalizing, or hydrating or oil-stripping… its down to the individuals’ needs. This one from the body shop is a bit of an all round treat; it’s great for that last ditch effort before a night out. It strips the skins of impurities; leaving skin softer and cleaner after use. However, its not too drying; skin feels balanced and pores feel tight and unclogged. I really like this mask, there is so much product in this pot, so get the girls over for a pamper session. Movies, Popcorn and PJ’s to the ready….

Best Spot Treatment: Orgins Super Spot Treatment


This is AMAZING. I remember feeling hard done by, handing over my hard earned cash for this diddly little squirt. Oh but what power this small potent little bottle possesses! On clean skin, apply directly onto the required area, it will feel a little like Bonjella (I have wondered whether it is in-fact Bonjella – that would be a bump – pun intended) both tingly and drying. It cleanses and dries out the blemish, the gel-like substance covers and protects against any dirt and grime from getting into the porous spot. It targets that area with all its wonderful cleansing properties. If you have pale skin, you’ll notice the reddened aggravated area of skin, settles soon after application of the Super Spot Remover. If you have a mammoth of a spot, all lovely and pus filled – you will notice that it shrinks significantly in size, the cooling properties will soothe the blemish. This is quite literally, seriously cool stuff.

Best Radiance Serum: Creme De La Mer Radiant Serum


Before you say it, I know this product breaks the bank. However, I have been lucky enough to score 20ml worth of samples to try it out for long enough to rate it. One day, I will totally invest in the amazing Radiant Serum. I used to be under the impression that radiance equalled shiny. Wrong. Radiance is not all about moisturizing; its about clarity. How clear and bright the skin is. Now you guys know how I feel about skin bleaching… this isn’t about that. Its about correcting skin pigmentation and normalizing complexion.I have to admit, my biggest skin bug-bear is my patchy neck; I’m lucky enough as a lady of color not to suffer from dark circles, but I do have areas of inconstancy on my face… upper lip, neck and old scarring from eczema. Unlike radiant creams, this doesn’t just camouflage and cover darker areas; Its active properties targets darker areas and lifts them – creating balance on the face. I think Make-up, BB creams and highlighters do wonders in providing you with instant glowing glory… but in the long run? You need to invest in a serum thats going to solve the imperfections, not hide them. Need a cheaper alternative? Try Burt’s Bees Radiance Serum, or A’kin Cellular Radiance Serum.

Also guys and dolls, remember to treat skin from within: Eat well, drink well, get some sleep and supplement if needed. I am taking full advantage of Holland & Barrett‘s Penny Sale, picking up:

  • Cod Liver Oil Capsules
  • Sicilia Hair Skin and Nails with Silicon and Collogen
  • HRC Complexion Tablets

Here’s Lookin’ At Chu Kid….


La Minx