Caroline (at Beauty Mouth - see her milia cheatsheet here) suggested I keep my under eye area 'oiled up' to prevent milia (those small, hard white-ish lumps that can form under the skin) and my Alpha H Complete Eye Complex, whilst it's great for mornings, wasn't quite cutting it. So I popped along to the Kiehl's store in Westfield Stratford to pick up the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. A super rich eye cream with Avocado Oil, it is targeted at dry skin...which I don't have, but it doesn't migrate around your face making it ideal for combination skins where you want to target extra hydration without risking breakouts on other parts of your face.
You only need a tiny amount and it's best when gently warmed between your fingers to loosen the texture, before patting along the orbital bone. I've also been using a little on my eyelids to combat tiny patches of mild eczema. I only use this in the evening as it is quite heavy, but my concealer is definitely sitting better in the morning and any fine lines aren't quite as pronounced. Since I've been using this a couple of the milia have actually come to the surface and vanished after gentle exfoliation. I have no idea if this is linked to the eye cream, but it's not something that has happened before so it certainly doesn't seem to be doing any harm.
It's not a wonder product as eye creams go, but a great product to try if you suffer from dry patches around your eyes or are struggling with milia. It's reasonably priced at £20 for 14ml as you really only need a minuscule amount. Available from John Lewis, Selfridges and Space NK.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Butyrospermum Parkii/Shea Butter, Butylene Glycol, Tridecyl Stearate, Isodecyl Salicylate, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Persea Gratissima/Avocado Oil, Isocetyl Stearoyl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate/Hexacaprate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium PCA, Ozokerite, Metylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Isopropyl Palmitate, Copper PCA, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Zea Mays/Corn Oil, CI 75130/Beta-Carotene
Joliebox - June
I wasn't going to post about beauty boxes this month (partly because they are blogged to death every month and partly because I have a backlog of lovely things to blog about) but I just had to post some photos of this month's JolieBox because it's so pretty!
JolieBox have just had their first birthday and are celebrating with specially designed boxes, French themed products and lots of giveaways. In my box was a full size Elysambre lipstick. Not my colour at all (it's similar to MAC's Gel lipstick), but I like the concept of 'all-natural vegetal active ingredients' in makeup. Next is an Institut Esthederm UV inCellium Spray to boost the skin's natural defences and 'ensure a long-lasting tan'. I've heard lots about Institut Esthederm lately and the concept of enhancing the skins natural protection against the sun is pretty intriguing. I'm not going on holiday this year, but if we get some sun again I'll be sure to test it out. I used to work at L'Occitane so I have a soft spot for their products (my recommendations are their Almond Pate Delice, Almond Shower Oil and Shea Butter Hand Cream incase you were wondering!) and I was pleased to spot the Angelica Hydration Cream. It has a fresh, green scent and sinks in quickly so it's a nice product to have around in summer. The sample is quite generous too at 15ml - the full size product is 50ml. The final product will differ slightly depending on the customer beauty profile, as JolieBox are now offering slightly tailored boxes (whilst still keeping the main products the same for everyone). I have slightly combination skin so received the YonKa Pamplemousse (BEST FRENCH WORD EVER...it means Grapefruit by the way) Protective and Vitalizing Cream for Normal to Oily skin. It's a luxuriously thick cream, which I love as even oily skins need hydration, but sinks in rapidly. It does smell quite strong, but as far as I can see the scent is derived entirely from natural oils. There will probably be some grumbles about two moisturisers, but I love skincare - particularly if it is targeted at my skin type and especially if it hails from France. The cover of this month's JolieMag is adorable and a great read as usual. There was also a little JolieBox nail file in the box; a bit of a non-item but very handy as mine has vanished.
JolieBox seem to be thriving at the moment by adapting and listening to their customer base. I've had a lot of questions lately about beauty boxes, and which one I think is 'best'. It's a tricky question as everyone is looking for different things, and beauty box subscriptions are definitely a luxury rather than a necessity. However over the last couple of months I've been slightly more impressed with JolieBox.
Jolieboxes cost £10 plus £2.95 p&p.
Jolie Box UK provided me with this box for consideration. All options are my own.
When I last posted about scalp shampoos there were quite a few recommendations for the Pureology line. Pureology haircare is 'ZeroSulfate'; sulphates being the foaming agent in most bathroom products and, as a detergent, something that can cause dryness, tightness and irritation. I've tried sulphate-free shampoos in the past and whilst they didn't irritate my skin, they didn't actually perform as haircare products and I couldn't get used to their lack of lather.
Over the last few weeks I've been trying the Pureology Hydrate shampoo and conditioner,* for 'dry, colour treated hair'. What surprised me most is that the shampoo foams just like a regular shampoo and both the shampoo and conditioner smell incredible. The conditioner contains peppermint and corn mint essential oils which not only smell lovely, but are slightly tingly and soothing rather than irritating.
I hate to sound like a cheesey, hair-swishing, 'results from first wash' advert, but the first time I tried it out I already knew it would be a 'love you long time' kind of product (I've held off blogging about it for almost a month!). When I got out of the shower I could see a difference in my scalp, it was soothed and completely clear without feeling stripped. When I blow dried my hair, the softness and shine were the same as after using my favourite Redken or Kerestase products. The 'sore spots' haven't healed completely quite yet but my scalp feels better than it has in years and my hair is soft and shiny. My hair only has a tiny bit of colour in it, so I can't vouch for the 'AntiFade Complex' but it certainly delivered some moisture.
[Pureology Hydrate Shampoo ingredients]
[Pureology Hydrate Conditioner ingredients]
I hate to 'hype' a product so I will mention that the ingredients, whilst I had no problems, aren't completely free of potential irritants. I've included the ingredients list for both the shampoo and conditioner above.
I know it's not always easy to find ingredient lists online so I will try to do this as often as possible, particularly with skincare and haircare, if it is helpful?
Have you tried Pureology?
*c/o FeelUnique...but clearly I'll be buying it again...and again.
Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel
A few weeks ago I went a bit face mask crazy on ASOS. I absolutely love the REN mask I picked up, but I wanted to mention the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel first because it is the most gentle, yet effective, mask I've tried.
The name is a little misleading as it doesn't make your skin 'peel' in the literal sense (that word gives me the heebie-jeebies) and it does say 'anti-ageing' on the tube but I think this has something to offer for most skin types. It brightens, smoothes and repairs the skin using the gentle exfoliating action of papaya and pineapple enzymes - which means it smells incredible! It's a thick cream without any abrasive particles, something I personally love as I've all but abandoned abrasive exfoliation methods, and noticed my skin has been much clearer since.
It's meant to be ideal for sensitive and mature skin, so I also roped my mum in as a guinea pig and she said it was 'lovely' and made her skin 'really soft and brighter' which makes it a bit of a winner all round. It's a little pricey at £28.50 for 50ml, but it's so rich and creamy that a little goes a long way. For me it's worth the investment to use as an occasional skin treat when you want a refreshed complexion without slapping harsh chemicals on your skin.
If you do pick this up, look out for the limited edition packaging - for each of these tubes sold, Elemis will provide a 5-in-1 Pentavalent vaccine to immunise a child in Africa against 5 leading diseases. If you're looking to try quite a few Elemis products, Feel Unique are currently offering a crazy deal on the Elemis Hero Collection which includes 8 products (including a full size Papaya Enzyme Peel) at £75... £225 off RRP!
What's In My Makeup Bag #1
Just a quick post to link you to my newest video. As I said...I'm pretty nosey about what other ladies (or gents?!) have in their makeup bags. Whilst I don't think I could do my own makeup on the train, as I'd imagine it would result in lipstick on my brows, it's always interesting to see what is taking up precious space in makeup bags!
Do you do your makeup on the train/tube/bus or are you a snooper like me?
DIY: Neon and Wood
This is a shamefully easy DIY inspired by, of all people, Martha Stewart - but I saw this feature on Pinterest and wanted to give it a go. I haven't gotten around to updating my wardrobe with some colour for the (fairly non-existent) summer and now my bank balance has taken a battering as result of moving house, it probably won't happen. So this seemed like the perfect way to add some colour on the cheap - and I think the finished result could pass for something purchased from COS.
All you need is some plastic lacing (the kind you can make bracelets and key rings from) in a neon colour and some wooden beads. I picked both up from eBay (lacing and beads) and enough supplies for two necklaces, including postage, came in at under £7. You can refer to the original feature here, but all you really have to do is thread the beads onto the lacing in whatever pattern you desire. I went for super simple and I love the way the neon looks against the light, untreated wood.
Let me know if you'd be interested in some more DIY themed posts as I have some (slightly more complicated) projects planned for after the move.
Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten
I owned Stila's Kitten eyeshadow, a perfect shimmery champagne shade, a few years ago and absolutely loved it, so when I spotted this Smudge Pot in the same colour I was hoping it would be just as good. Smudge Pots are described as a 'waterproof gel eyeliner' on the box, however they are quite popular as cream shadows and I picked it up for that purpose.
I'm not sure how it translates in the photo but there is something just a little inconsistent or chunky in the texture, making it a bit frustrating to blend across the eyelid. Even after using a blending brush it is left looking a slightly patchy. Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten is a pretty colour and it is definitely workable over small areas, like an inner corner highlight, or in combination with a smoother cream shadow (I like MAC Paint Pots or the Maybelline Color Tattoos), but it's not something I would buy again. I purchased it using some Boots points, but they retail at £13 for 4g.
I love Stila's aesthetic as a brand - their enhancing, rather than masking, colour palette and simple packaging - so I really wanted to love this product but there are more consistent, and cheaper products available.
Here's the product I wanted to blog about yesterday. It's not a new product, but it is new to me and I'm really loving it. My usual concealer, Collection Lasting Perfection, was becoming a little to dry for my under eye area and after the brief spell of sunshine both shades 1 and 2 were no longer suiting my skin.
I spotted the Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer in Boots and it looked like the sort of shade and texture I was after. I picked up shade 52 'medium radiance' which is fairly neutral, meaning it works quite happily as both an under eye concealer and to cover minor blemishes. As the bottom photo shows, blended out it has good medium coverage whilst still looking like skin. It covers dark circles without looking cakey or overly 'radiant' - which I find often means so shiny that it draws attention to the problem you were trying to cover! Best of all the longevity is great and I've had no creasing issues at all (hallelujah!), despite the quite pronounced lines under my eyes. The packaging is also more sanitary than the doe-foot applicator of the Collection concealer.
Unfortunately it is scented, like most of the Healthy Mix range, but I haven't had any issues with skin irritation or breakouts. It's a little pricey at £7.49 for 10ml, but this is the best under eye concealer I've found on the high street.
To cut or not to cut?
I was hoping to bring you a post today about a Bourjois product I picked up last week and absolutely LOVE. But in true 'Meg' style, I remembered to pack my camera but failed to put the battery in! So instead I thought I'd show you my 'new' haircut (riveting, I'm sure), for those that aren't on Instagram.
I've been deliberating having my fringe chopped back in for a while now but I was worried that, as I'd *ahem* gained a little weight, it wouldn't flatter my face anymore. However growing it out just wasn't working for me, my 'fringe' had pretty much stopped growing at an awkward length where it didn't quite join the mid-lengths of my hair and I couldn't do much with it. So when I went for a rather belated haircut today I had it cut back in. I've had a similar haircut since I was about 17 (bar a brief spell with a pixie cut and this recent growing out attempt) so, as soon as it was cut back in, I felt a bit more like 'me' than I have done in a while. Funny what a haircut can do!
Anyway apologies for the slightly pointless post but here's a progress and final photo. Say 'Hi' to my hairdresser, Tim. You may see him in a video soon because he can do a much better job of explaining how he cuts shorter hair (today there was a razor involved?!). I've had quite a few comments and emails lately enquiring what I ask for when I go to the hairdressers, but to be honest Tim has sorted my mop out for about 5 years so I pretty much sit down and let him get on with it...unless he picks up one of those texturising powders (OSIS Dust It, etc.) which I hate with a passion.
Normal service will resume tomorrow. Don't be too mean if you think I look like a mushroom. x
Want to give JolieBox a try?
It's JolieBox's first birthday this month and to celebrate, they have offered Lips So Facto readers a chance to win one of ten French JolieBoxes.
There are ten chances of winning and all you have to do is 'like' the JolieBoxUK Facebook page and. if you'd like a more entries, you can tweet about the giveaway or leave a comment on this post - all using the Rafflecopter widget below.
UK only this time, sorry! The winners will be announced via this widget on Sunday 10th June 2012!
A Right Royal Knees Up
As you can probably tell by the Instagram photos, this wasn't a planned post at all, but I thought I would post something to acknowledge Liz's 60th year on the throne (and the accompanying mania for all things British at the moment). I'm no fanatical royalist but Marks and Spencer's is currently a bit of a danger zone - cute Jubilee tins EVERYWHERE!
Instead of buying one (and subsequently eating all the biscuits) I decided to channel my patriotic energies into some nail art. And I mean 'art' in the most literal sense...think Jackson Pollock and Alexander McQueen running into each other at high speed. Et voila, the abstract Union Jack. It's not necessarily pretty but the thought was there.
I used the imPRESS instant manicure that came in a bag of goodies from Blogger Boutique, which sadly I couldn't attend. Unfortunately the design wasn't exactly 'me' so I painted them red, white and blue. I don't think they'll last too long as I can't stand the feel of fake nails (how does 'one' get anything done?!) but they were certainly easy to apply.
Anyway, I hope you have a lovely long weekend whatever you are getting up to!
The sun is/was out so I've finally been craving some colour. I have the H&M sandals in black but I think I need to go back for the orange and coral pair as they're only £9.99 and really comfy. To be honest I had a hard time narrowing down the items for this month, there are so many lovely things about, those River Island jeans are a somewhat wearable pattern, non?, and don't even get me started on Zara.
Anyway here are some favourite songs of late -
Grizzly Bear - Shift (alternate version - there is another version on the Horn of Plenty album, but you might recognise this from the film Blue Valentine...with Ryan Gosling.)
Alpine - Hands (Weird video...like they handed out crazy pills in an American Apparel factory.)
Eric B. & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke (This is in my motivational essay writing playlist...no joke.)
As always I hope you have a good weekend and a great month. x
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