22 May 2014

Tackling that Summertime Dryness

Winter is generally when most people talk about moisturising your body.. but not on LMYU. The sun dries my skin out like no other (to the point of desperation on holiday when I one smooshed some shea-based hand cream onto my face), so I find myself reaching for body moisturisers more in the warmer parts of the year.

Recently I've discovered these three products that I really enjoy, which are quite different from your everyday body moisturisers (my usual favourites? L'Occitane.)

Dove DermaSeries Intense Repairing Rough Patch Treatment (link here - £14)
I spoke about this on my launch post (link here), but this is a must-have for the cheesegrater elbow/heel/ankles out there - one application of this will soften them up for at least two days, if not more. Personally, I've seen improvements over time and find myself only applying this maybe once or twice a week now, since first starting to use it almost three weeks ago. The texture is a super heavy balm, almost like Elizabeth Arden's 8Hr Cream, except less wet and it absorbs much quicker into the skin. A must-have for getting those arms, legs and feet out in the coming months.. fingers crossed, anyway.

Sanctuary Spa 7 Day Moisture Miracle Oil Balm (link here - £7.50)
The formula of this is really unique - it comes out as a balm, but almost instantly melts into an oil. I love using this when I'm out and out about, because it absorbs really easily so I can get on with whatever I'm doing. It's also much easier to manage than oils (I have indeed spilled the NUXE oil all over myself in the silence of the library once.. sneakily smothered my arms in it while checking no one was watching. Wasn't great.) Out of the three this probably has the least noticeable effects - don't get me wrong, it moisturises just fine like any other moisturiser, but the formula and absorption is very on-the-go friendly! It also helps that I absolutely ADORE the smell - it's summer all over.

HealGel Body (link here - £39.50)
This is like, my miracle find of the year so far. I LOVE this stuff. It's the lightest gel in the world and you wouldn't believe that it was such an intensely hydrating moisturiser. It sinks in instantly whilst leaving the most refreshed-looking, refreshed-smelling AND refreshed-feeling surface of your skin, instead of dragging it down with heavy moisture. In fact - I also use this for my hands! I usually don't moisturiser my arms because it's too heavy - but this? I SLATHER this stuff on. It's literally the perfect multi-purpose, summer moisturising product ever. Being from HealGel, it soothes any irritations you might get, which is great for those pesky burns after sunbathing in the park. It's super pricey, but my goodness, if you can afford it - this stuff is gold dust.

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21 May 2014

What's New from Pixi Beauty

Here's some newness coming your way from the American brand, Pixi Beauty. Alongside a few new nailpolish colours and brow products (links here) they've also released the new Mesmerizing Mineral Palettes (£12 - link here), Shea Butter Lip Balm (£8 - link here) and my absolute favourite of the moment, the H2O Skin Tint (£21 - link here). Here are my initial thoughts..

Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Emerald Gold
The green instantly grasped my attention, and I am pleased to report that this eyeshadow performs as well as all the other Pixi powder eyeshadows I've tried. It's super pigmented, very soft and lasts well on the lids. If my pick is not to your taste, I imagine the Copper Peach would be the first pick for many of you!

There's also something about the vertical shape of the palette that's really intriguing. I also love that it's so slim and compact, that it'll be easy to take with you anywhere. The variety of light to dark shades also makes it great for a day-to-night palette. Unlike many other brands, the free eyeshadow applicator that comes with this palette is a nice rubbery foam, which grasps colour beautifully.

Shea Butter Lip Balm in Pixi Pink
This super pigmented lip balm will be a go-to this summer. It smells like vanilla, and applies smoothly on your lips. Quite standard in terms of packaging and texture, but the colours are much more pigmented than what you'd expect from most tinted lip balms. I struggled to choose between this gorgeous hot pink and the cherry-toned pink of Ripe Raspberry.

What's also great about this formula is that it can be used as a cream blusher. I haven't tried this yet, but I really like the idea of tying your look together with the same shade on your lips and cheeks.

H2O Skin Tint in Nude
Ffjdkslfjdsfklds. I seriously cannot get over the sheer amazingness of this H2O Skin Tint. Being more of a medium/full coverage gal, I didn't think this would provide enough coverage but I was so so wrong. This is a water-based gel textured product, that is like a low/buildable foundation in coverage, but a tinted moisturiser in texture. It's so light, that you'll forget you've got anything on, and it will give you the most natural finish, that still looks lit-from-within with a finishing powder. Because of its gel and water base, it's also really hydrating and very cooling on the skin. It's up there with Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua as my base pick for the coming summer months!

Buff it in with something like Real Technique's Buffing Brush for an easy, yet polished finish.

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19 May 2014

The Return of My Favourite Hand Cream Ever!

While L'Occitane has done this amazing thing to work with The Royal Ballet to create this beautiful collection, with the beautiful muted green, and gorgeous canvas drawstring pouch.. all that's running through my head is, OH MY GOD THE ALMOND HAND CREAM IS BACK. (Refer to this post for the last time L'Occitane released this hand cream).

Let's rewind. This set was created with a ballet dancer perfection in mind, and all of the products were used by Royal Ballet dancers (yes, it pleases me I have the same hand cream taste as a delicate ballet dancer..). It contains the Almond Tonic Body Oil, Almond Lighter Legs and of course, the Almond Smooth Hands.  The line is created to soften, tone and firm your skin, which is great for the upcoming warm weather!

The thing that I love about the Almond Smooth Hand, is that it's both super light like a gel, but softening and moisturising. The best thing though, is how it absorbs so quickly. I also think the condition of your hands improve over time, and the only other hand cream that I've really seen do that is the Apivita Intensive Moisturising Hand Cream (review here).

If you love the Almond Milk Concentrate, I think the Almond Lighter Legs will come as a welcome surprise. It has a very similar gel-like texture that softens the surface of your legs but absorbs super quickly. Perfect for the summer. I also love how the spout of the tube is absolutely massive! And the Almond Tonic Oil is extremely similar in finish, but I'm not sure it spreads as well as the Lighter Legs. The spray is also of a great quality and sprays an even layer of product.

The three products are encased in a gorgeously sturdy canvas pouch with the same muted green ribbon as drawstrings. One side of the bag has the Royal Ballet logo, while the other has a watercolour image of a ballerina. Very delicate and something I intend on using as a washbag, or maybe even storage!

You can find this nationwide in boutiques or online (link here), and it retails for £49. The products are also available individually (link here), but this Royal Ballet set saves you over £20 compared to if you bought the products individually. You can also get the Smooth Hands in the travel-friendly size!

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18 May 2014

My Favourite Concealer Brushes (that aren't really concealer brushes..)

If there's a category of brushes that's always disappointed me, it's concealer brushes. They are all usually a very small foundation brush that doesn't blend the concealer in. Try and use most foundation brushes to blend concealers, and most of them just soak the product up, and you're left with, well, nothing.

If that sounds familiar, I would be inept at my duties if I didn't bring your attention to these two, amazing, AMAZING concealer brushes (that aren't really concealer brushes) - the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush (£29 - link here) and the ELF Studio Mineral Powder Brush (£3.95 - link here).

What these do, is to blend your concealer seamlessly without removing the product or blending them to oblivion. After applying the concealer (liquid or cream) with your fingers, these will maintain the coverage whilst making the texture of the concealer disappear. The "techniques" however, differ for each brush.

Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush
This one I prefer for stiffer cream concealers - an example being the MAC Studio Finish Concealer, but it's the more versatile of the two because it works really well with liquid as well. The trick to using this is to apply a fair, concentrated amount on the area with your fingers to give the product a bit of slip with the warmth of your fingers. Then, use a stippling/short strokes to blend the concealer in. If you're more of a liquid concealer gal, short strokes should do the trick.

E.L.F Studio Mineral Powder Brush
This is one I love for the undereye because it's so soft, and I think it's best for liquid concealers because it has quite a lot of give, which makes me feel that it wouldn't have enough force to blend harder cream concealers. The best way to use this is as you would imagine is to just buff in small circular motions, and long sweeping motions. I use this with the Maybelline Eraser Eye (review here) and the By Terry Touch Expert Advanced.

I know what puts me off buying from E.L.F is their shipping costs when you only want one product. I recently bought the Studio Small Smudge Brush from this seller on eBay, and I was very happy with their service :)


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17 May 2014

It's almost like HD Brows..

I am a make-up snob - no question. So I have never given beautyuk much thought, and to be honest, most of their things don't appeal. However, this High Brow All in One Definition Kit stood out to me as a potential HD Brows dupe.

The first reason why, is because the top left corner is a cooler brown - I know it looks warm in the photos, but in reality it's relatively cool. And if I've ever seen one colour that everyone loves from HD Brows, it's the Ash colour from their Foxy HD Brows Palette - I myself am on that list. But everyday when scraping the last bits of the shade, I feel like paying £20 for just one colour is painful. This is a great alternative, at only £3.99 for the palette.

Of course, the reason why everyone loves HD Brows is because of their amazing lasting power, and I was blown away when I found that this beautyuk alternative lasted a full day as well.

One thing that is glaringly different from HD Brows, is that the bottom right corner is a wax. This is great for girls with unruly brows, as this literally makes this palette an all-in-one. It also comes with a tweezer and a decent double-ended brush. I haven't used the tweezers, but the brush is okay. The angled end is a bit thin for my liking but it's definitely useable, and the rounded side is good to run the wax through your brows.

Let's face it. At £3.99, this baby is a steal. You can keep up with beautyuk deals at the brand new Baobella Boutique (link here).

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4 May 2014

Dove Goes High End

I always find it remarkable how companies are always looking to expand no matter how established they are - and Unilever is no different. They've set off on a journey in to the premium market, starting off with two new branches of Dove - true tone and DermaSeries - and a premium shaving line to Men+Care range.

Very quickly, the addition to Men+Care are aimed to incorporate moisture and care into a man's shaving regime. So you've got the Exfoliating Pre-Shave Scrub (£18), Softening Pre-Shave Oil (£18), the Smoothing Shave Cream (£18), Total Comfort Shave Cream (£22 - this one is more hydrating than the Smoothing Shave Cream) and the Intense Post-Shave Repair Balm (£22). The fiance has been on to the Smoothing Shave Cream, and has so far given it the thumbs up.. more to come.

This is a super simple range with two steps - cleanse and moisturise - and targets extreme dryness.

On the Cleanse side, you've got the Ultra Caring Gentle Cleansing Bar (£8), the Ultra Caring Gentle Body Cleanser (£16) and the Ultra Caring Gentle Cream Face Cleanser (£14). Having tried the latter two, I think these are products you can skip. I didn't find either of the products particularly nourishing or cleansing, for that matter, and there are better cream cleansers out there for the price!

As for Moisturise, these products fare better. The Intense Repairing Skin Relief Cream (£14) and the Intense Repairing Body Cream (£16) are both body lotions, and the Intense Repairing Rough Patch Treatment (£14) is more of a concentrated balm.

I've tried the Body Cream, and am impressed at the matte finish and the quick absorption on areas with normal skin like my legs and arms, but on thinner skinned areas like the inside of my arms, I found it a bit rich and tacky - so beware!

The Rough Patch Treatment really excited me because I've had crazy dry and chapped elbows for as long as I can remember, and am always testing products against it (silver lining and all that). I have to say that this works very well, and even after two days my elbows feel relatively soft. It's meant to cure minor things like that, but also work great to make conditions like eczema and psoriasis manageable. Apparently people compare the initial texture to Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream, but I prefer Dove's by miles. It absorbs easier, and doesn't have that shiny finish, nor the chemical smell. This is definitely the star of the range!

true tone
Pits. Not taboo, but not exactly a party topic either. Either way, here it is. I've always had darkness on my underarms and never really understood why, until a few months ago when I had them waxed at Wax In The City - I noticed that after not shaving for a week or so, the darkness had gone. This led me to the conclusion that it's probably some sort of irritation from shaving, and I started applying oils and moisturisers on my underarms. Voila - the dark marks were fading.

I suppose I'm not the only one to have had this experience because Dove's new creation is the first purpose-built night moisturiser for dark underarms. Their research showed that women with darker skin tend to experience this, and has ranked it as one of their biggest skin concerns - I'm definitely in that category! It can really make you conscious about raising your arms when wearing tank tops! Therefore, the Underarm Dark Mark Eraser (£20) is a cream to soothe and repair your skin, moisturise it and to lighten existing dark marks.

Now my question is how it compares to me using any moisturiser/oil as I did before. If you're like me and moisturising does the trick, the key ingredient to lighten marks isn't of much use! This product takes 7 consecutive nights of used to show results - so it's currently being tested by yours truly. Updates to come.

All of these products have launched exclusively at Selfridges, and will be stocked elsewhere (the true tone at Boots) in the near future.


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