Silky Underwear from Lush is the Best Thing Ever

Silky Underwear, Lush’s luxurious dusting powder, first caught my eye when I was around 13. Lush was pretty new where I lived and it was very exciting. My mum would talk to the sales assistants and I would wander around the store, reading and smelling everything. Obviously as a 13 year old it caught my eye because it sounded ‘naughty’.

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I didn’t pick it up because I thought I’d get told off. Then as I grew up it seemed like an unnecessary frivolity, so I never used my pocket money or student loan to try it out. Then I got a grown up 9-5, and I thought ‘I’m the kind of person who buys this now’. And now I regret the 25 years I spent without it, because I’ve found several different uses for it already, which would have been great for a teenager or student. You live and learn.

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Everything about Silky Underwear is amazing – the gorgeously sexy scent, the soft, light texture, the way it sinks in and nourishes the skin better than many creams…

Jasmine is one of my favourite scents. I live near the Langham Hotel in London, and on the way home on nights out in the summer I would take a shortcut up Regent’s Street, past their jasmine bushes. The night-blooming flowers would fill the warm air with their perfume, a beautiful treat after the car fumes of Oxford Circus and the sweaty clubs I’d been in minutes earlier. I used to pick a couple of blooms so I could wake up with the scent on my pillow. Naturally, I can’t wait to cover myself in this powder for in the summer. For me, jasmine is the ultimate summer scent. It’s heady, but light enough that it doesn’t feel cloying in the heat.

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It’s just as well that jasmine goes with summer, because Silky Underwear can be used for thigh chafe – I get this sometimes when I wear dresses (I think it depends on what shoes I wear, which should tell you a bit about how ridiculous the concept of a ‘thigh gap’ is. I’ve used it on my underarms instead of deodorant, and it actually kept them dry (and odourless!) So I think it’s going to work great on any thigh issues I may experience.

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The soft, light powder contains cocoa butter to moisturise the skin (I don’t fully understand how they’ve managed to turn cocoa butter into powder, but I’m a fan) and cornstarch, along with magnesium carbonate and kaolin rather than nasty talc. My geologist boyfriend really enjoyed explaining where these two ingredients come from and what they do…I chose not to share this with you, you’re welcome. The scent is jasmine absolute and vetivert oil (which is apparently an aphrodisiac…well helloooo), and it is D I V I N E. IMG_5879

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As you can see here (you might have to squint, I am about as white as the powder) it sinks straight in. My skin is left SO soft, and the scent lasts for ages. It’s a different experience entirely from using a cream as the skin is dry, but incredibly well nourished. This really is the perfect way to moisturise in the summer. I’m in love.

IMG_5875In fact, I loved it so much I actually bought a bottle for my friend in Canada for her birthday – I used the Canadian website* and my PayPal account (and her husband, who kindly messaged me their address and phone number without telling her), and it arrived within three days. The wonders of global connectivity! In the UK Silky Underwear is a mere £4.50, and if you’re of the Canadian persuasion (or know someone who is) then it’s just $7.95

Thank you Lush, we both LOVE THIS :)

*didn’t think there was much point trying to send a bottle of white powder across an entire continent in the post.

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Weleda Wild Rose Bath Cream Review

I’m a big fan of Weleda’s Body Care, and would struggle to pick a favourite product (though my favourite from their entire product range is without question the Oat Hair Treatment, oh my god). I adore the Wild Rose, Sea Buckthorn and Birch products in particular, so when I got this Wild Rose Cream Bath as a leaving present from my last job I was pretty chuffed (yeah, they knew me well).

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This is a really thick bath cream, with a massive amount of jojoba oil and olive oil in it. Jojoba is the oil our skin absorbs most easily so you can imagine what sitting in a warm bath full of it will do. Olive oil is really richly nourishing, but takes longer to absorb, so the warm water of the bath allows the oil and the skin to partner up much more readily than normal, and your skin will reap the benefits. IMG_5822

There’s also some rosehip seed oil in there, which is ridiculously good for the skin. Anti-aging, scar fading, good for spots, there’s pretty much nothing rosehip seed won’t at least try and do for your skin. Soaking in it once a week is a bit like giving your skin a lovely nourishing mask. My skin really did feel lovely after I towelled off, and boy was I chilled out.

Then of course there’s the scent. It’s heaven. Weleda are definitely one of the best brands when it comes to rose scented products, and this Cream Bath is probably the most delightful of them all. When you smell it in the bottle its incredibly strong, but once you’ve poured a glug of the creamy liquid into the bath and swirled it around, it is absolutely, perfectly, balanced.

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Treat yourself to one of these beautiful bottles of loveliness. You deserve it. And even if you don’t, I’m sure you will at some point in the future. Get it here, £12.95 for 100ml.

Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser Review

Before Christmas, I bought a tub of Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask. I’ll blog about that soon (spoiler alert: it’s incredible) but first I wanted to share my thoughts on their Morning Time Cleanser, since I’ve used it every day from the day I first bought it, and have just started my third tube.

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Eve Lom have an amazing product range, and this cleansing balm is without question the best cleanser I’ve ever used. It has a warm, slightly spicy smell and a beautiful texture that spreads over the skin wonderfully. I barely take an interest in daily cleansers any more, because why would I? This stuff is perfect!

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I think one of the reasons I love it so much is the way it works. You smooth the cleanser over your face and neck, then leave it on for a couple of minutes, enough time to brush your teeth and climb into the shower, where you can massage it off and let your skin steam up while you wash. This is such a calming way to get ready in the morning, because not only does it feel like you’re giving yourself a mini facial every single time 7am rolls round, it’s also completely hassle free.

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Morning Time Cleanser contains papaya fruit enzyme extract to exfoliate and clear the pores, and I’ve found this gentle daily exfoliation has worked wonders on my complexion. Chamomile soothes the skin and carrot oil is a great source of pro-vitamin A to stimulate collagen production. I have noticed an absolutely enormous difference to my skin since using this as my daily cleanser.

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It took me a while to realise that you can use this to remove makeup too, but I don’t think I’ll do that. I know fruit enzymes are a very gentle exfoliator but I’m not sure my skin needs to be exfoliated twice a day. My current routine is working great, and I’ve fallen victim to over-exfoliation before. Not fun. However, if you’re braver with your exfoliation than I am, I have tried it as a makeup remover and it’s brilliant.

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Morning Time Cleanser, like every Eve Lom product I’ve tried, is a wonderful product to use, it’s gentle, high quality and ludicrously effective. At £40 the quality is reflected in the price, but you get what you pay for. FeelUnique.com have offers on it quite often, but I really do think it’s worth every penny.

Jurlique Body Exfoliating Gel Review

I’d been looking for a good exfoliator forever, particularly to use on my thighs and the backs of my arms. Jurlique Body Exfoliating Gel, it turns out, was the perfect choice. I’m not really fussy about what I use on my body, as long as it’s mostly natural, it works, and it smells amazing. I have a million oils, shower gels, lotions and creams and I just use them all interchangeably whenever I feel like having a particular smell on me .

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That meant that choosing a scrub was a bit tough, since there are so many effective, natural and deliciously scented exfoliators out there. To be honest, the only reason I chose this one is that it looked nice in the picture and I love Jurlique. Lucky for me, that panned out well! The Gel contains walnut shell powder for exfoliation, and an amazing cocktail of herbs to keep the skin bright and healthy.

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This gel contains a massive amount of witch hazel, an ingredient that is SO good at smoothing out the skin. The scent is a very pungent witch hazel smell, which is perfect for waking up in the morning. Other botanicals include lavender to soothe, green tea as an anti-oxidant, turmeric and tea tree to brighten and cleanse, as well as lemon balm and rosemary to stimulate and improve circulation.

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I really like the way Jurlique products are packed full of so many different plant extracts, because it means that each product is perfectly targeted towards a certain skin issue – this one, for example, has EVERYTHING you need to enjoy super smooth, bright and soft skin.

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It didn’t look the way I was expecting it to – the actual gel is thinner than I thought it would be. But it has this amazing effect – as you massage the walnut shell powder into the skin the gel actually sticks to the skin, holding the shell in place as you massage it. This makes it an incredibly effective exfoliator.

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So, what effect has Jurlique’s Body Exfoliating Gel had on my skin? Well, it’s smoother than smooth. Seriously. I was starting to get a teeny bit of on keratosis pilaris my upper arms (those unsightly red bumps that you get after a long winter of wearing jumpers and doing no exercise), and thanks to this gel, they’re GONE. I also get a smoother shave when I use this the day before shaving my legs, and its completely perfect for getting rid of morning underarm smell, which if you use natural deodorant instead of antiperspirant, you’ll be all too familiar with.

With spring on its way, this is definitely a good purchase to make soon – so you can make the most of any sun we might get this year ;) At £28 it isn’t the cheapest scrub on the market, but you get what you pay for and Jurlique is worth every penny.

Have you got any exfoliation recommendations?

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Cream

Sometime in mid-January, boyfriend and I were having a conversation and got onto the topic of flowers and Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t a fan, I told him, of people buying unsustainable roses for massive amounts of money when they’d just die in a couple of days anyway. I do like cut flowers, they brighten up a room nicely, but I personally don’t like to get them as gifts. I like my gifts to last!

Anyway, when Valentine’s rolled around, I did get some roses. They were mashed up, with beeswax, geranium, aloe vera and soya oil. And poured into a tube with Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Cream written across it.

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This is the best hand cream I have ever used. And no, I’m not saying that because my boyfriend bought it for my first non-single Valentine’s Day (I’m not that nice), it is straight up AMAZING stuff.

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I was interested to see that this contains rosehip fruit oil, rather than seed oil. I moisturise with rosehip seed oil, but I also drink rosehip tea (made from the fruit) every day, and I firmly believe it’s an incredibly rich source of antioxidants. It makes me feel SO good. People in the Andes have been drinking it for centuries because of its health-giving properties, and I love that the fruit extract is in this hand cream.

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The hand cream is 92% organic, which is great for the environment. It has beeswax to protect the hands, sweet almond oil to heal and nourish, and aloe to sooth. This is a combination that’s perfect for someone like me, who’s hands get so irritatingly flaky and red that even cotton catches on them sometimes. It sorts them right out.

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Though the texture appears a bit lumpy, it doesn’t feel that way at all, and absorbs into the skin really easily. Natural hand creams don’t do that very often unless they aren’t very moisturising in the first place, but this stuff lasts almost all day! The cream has a strong, uplifting scent of geranium, ylang ylang and patchouli, which I really adore.

IMG_5562If you saw my post about my makeup bag from the other day, you’ll have seen my horrible flakey hand. I hadn’t been using this cream when I took those photos, and look at my hand now that I have! Soft and smooth. I am very happy. Well done boyfriend!

And thank you Neal’s Yard! You can get Wild Rose Hand Cream from their website, for £10.

What’s in my makeup bag

This combination of Laura Mercier, Eve Lom, Clarins, Benefit and No7 has transformed my skin over the past few months. Basically after I came back from North America my skin went rapidly downhill and I had dryness, dullness and spots. I had to change my routine completely, and I want to share all the things I’ve found, because they are uh-mazing.

Fair warning before we begin: Recently I’ve been on a what can only be described as an Eve Lom binge. Prepare your blog-reading eyes because this is just the first instalment.

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It’s kind ironic that I chose this Pamela Barsky bag while staying in New York in the summer. Since then I’ve been doing admin work and become horrendously well organised. Or have I? Perhaps I’m pretending…

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May as well start at the beginning of my routine. Also, sorry, these photos are not as good as I was hoping, I didn’t realise until I started writing but now I want to share, DAMMIT! I don’t have time to wait until I’m home during daylight hours again! Ok anyway. To be honest, I chose Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Primer because I was idly walking around Brighton with my boyfriend, went into a shop,  someone I used to work with was there, and she recommended it. But I’m really grateful she did.

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My foundation lasts longer, comes off easier, and looks WAY better. This stuff, if you have oily or combination skin, is perfect. It feels silky when it goes on, and there’s no colour to it, or GLITTER. I can’t stand glittery primer (it’s not ‘shimmer’ either, don’t start that now).  Get it for £29 – it lasts for quite a while too!

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This is such a bad picture. Urgh, just click the link and save me from myself. Clarins Instant Concealer is pretty good, I’d say it’s the only product in my makeup bag that I don’t love, just tolerate though. It’s £21, and it does last for a long time, but they only do three shades and I happen to be really lucky that one is my skin tone. While the concealer does do the job well, the bottle is horrendous. it holds air inside it because it’s a stiff plastic which doesn’t shrink down when you use the product, which I feel must mean it ruins the concealer after a while, or there are lots of preservatives in it. If you have any suggestions for better concealers, PLEASE COMMENT! Help me perfect my makeup bag.

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I had been using Clarins Everlasting Foundation for a long time, and it stopped feeling good. I got a sample of Eve Lom’s Radiance Lift Foundation and adored it, but I was concerned by the way it seemed to streak a bit when I applied it with a brush. This was why I was kind of absent mindedly browsing for a primer, and by using a makeup sponge to blot over it after I put it on, I have pretty much the smoothest face of my life (well, maybe since puberty hit).

IMG_5510Eve Lom Foundation is incredible, I love the colour and the way it feels on my skin. It’s £50, so do with that information what you will. I think it’s completely worth it though…

IMG_5499Yet another terrible photo. This is No7’s trusty Perfect Light Pressed Powder. You really can’t argue with a product like this, it absorbs oil and keeps my super greasy lids perfectly matte all day. I used to apply it all over when my skin was seriously oily, but I don’t need to do that anymore, just my lids. Very simple, very affordable, I highly recommend it as a powder for someone who doesn’t need to use powder very much. Plus it’s only £11.50!

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Lastly, here are my applicators. I’ve had this brush, and the one below, for about seven years. They’re from The Body Shop, and wow were they worth the investment. I buy cheap eyeliner brushes which I have to replace every few months, but these two have lasted so well…actually…WHY do I still buy cheap eyeliner brushes? Maybe it’s time for another minor investment. This is my foundation brush, it’s really soft, and spreads foundation perfectly.

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And this is a powder brush, which is what I use to apply powder to my eyelids. I wash these every few months in gentle shower gel like Dr Bronner’s or Weleda, and I think that must help them last longer too. They’re just great. Get them here – because mine are so old I don’t actually know exactly which ones they are, but I’m sure the new ones will be just as good!

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Ending on a slightly boring note…this is what I use to apply concealer and blend my foundation. I use the pointy bit for concealer, and the rounded bit for foundation. This came in a pack of 8 from Superdrug and cost basically nothing, but the great thing about it is that it doesn’t seem to absorb much makeup at all. I washed it for the photo, but very little actually came out! To be honest I bought it because the sponges were arranged in a flower shape…but they do a great job anyway, luckily.

IMG_5495So there you go! My current makeup essentials. What are yours? Any recommendations? :)

Stress, eczema and Eau Thermale Avène

I’m not going to go into much detail about why I abandoned this blog (a blog that I was really quite proud of to be honest) for six months. What I will say however, is that about two months ago I woke up to an itchy rash all over my torso. Having never seen anything like it before, I was horrified. Apart from dry hands I haven’t had any issues with the skin on my body at all. I ran off to my doctor immediately, and was diagnosed with eczema. When I told the doctor that this was the first time I’d had it, he seemed confused. Was I under any particular stress, he asked.

After I described to him exactly what kind of stress I was under, he sent me off with a steroid cream prescription, an IAPT appointment and instructions to come back if it got any worse. Suffice to say, I am coming out of this experience MUCH stronger, and FAR wiser.

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As I walked from the GP’s to get the prescription, my skin was on fire. I sent my boyfriend a text screaming for help, and he suggested a bath. What on earth was I supposed to put in a bath when I had this all over me? Everything I use is natural and gentle, but full of essential oils. Lucky for me, my lovely local pharmacist knew exactly what I needed. Eau Thermale Avène Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil.

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I put about five pumps of this into a mildly warm bath, and my skin was so, so soothed. The irritation went right down, and I actually didn’t need to use very much steroid cream at all. I used the Cleansing Oil for about two weeks in the shower after that, by squeezing it onto a sponge and using it like soap. It foams up really nicely, and leaves the skin feeling clean and soft.

If you’re struggling with your skin I can’t recommend it highly enough. The soothing nature is incredible, I found that my skin felt calmer as soon as I rubbed it on. I’m so happy I had it.

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Since my skin healed quite quickly, I wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of the bottle (you get a LOT for your money). Then one night I ran out of the makeup wipes I’d been using. I thought this stuff, being so gentle, must be ok for use on the face, and boy was I right! My waterproof mascara melted away after I lathered up twice. So if you decide to try the Cleansing Oil for a pesky skin condition, (which it then ends up curing) I highly recommend using the rest as a makeup remover.

I was having a rough time, and I would like to take a end by saying that IAPT stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, and is the NHS’s attempt to make sure people can get help when they first need it. If you’re struggling with something in your life, and haven’t gone to a doctor about it, you CAN now. This initiative is designed to prevent irreparable damage being done to your mental health, and no matter how mild you think your problem is, they have something in place for you.