Friday, 27 May 2016

Masks - Clay/Mud/Charcoal etc

Clay masks - the easiest way to give your skin a deeper clean without being harsh or spending a fortune. The market is FULL of them but as I have said previously (on numerous occasions), if you are on a tight budget, this is where you can save money.
Cattier are a French brand that make really affordable and really good clay masks - which is great if you live in France but not so great if you don't. They're available in every pharmacy and literally cost a few euros. You can buy them in pink, white, green and yellow clay, and you can buy them ready-made or as a base powder clay that you just add your chosen liquid to. Simple.

In the mid-ranged pricing arena you can find Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask which has been a bestseller for years - and with good reason. Easy to use, light, not too much tingle, and leaves the skin soft, not dried out. Excellent.
Origins Clear Improvement has more 'oompf' and is perhaps better for an oilier skin. Another good choice, particularly if you're oilier.
Pixi's Glow Mud Mask is another easy option for all skin types and is in an aloe vera base making it softer than some, while still having a deep cleansing effect.

If you just love products and don't mind being a little more spendy, there are endless options. Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Mask is mud, volcanic ash, seaweed and charcoal and works a treat. It's not so good with anything other than a really dark facecloth though - be warned. This is proper, black, goop - 'scaring the kids' territory.

The luxury end, unsurprisingly, makes beautiful products that do the job but are also a pleasure to use. Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask contains pure Hungarian Black Moor Mud that is loaded with calcium and magnesium that very gently cleans the pores with no tightness or drying. Skin is soft and clean afterwards.

May Lindstrom's The Problem Solver is based with Fuller's Earth, a stronger clay, and Red Moroccan Rhassoul Clay and comes in its original powder form, to which you add equal parts liquid, make a mousse and apply, ideally leaving it on for 45 minutes or until its dry. Brilliant.

If you fancy being a bit of a kitchen sink chemist, you could also buy yourself some powdered clay in its most basic form and make your own. It's what beauty students have been doing all over the globe for years. Not as easy as squeezing a tube or opening a ready made pot, but always an option. In the UK, Baldwins have been supplying clay powders to the industry for years, and you should find similar stores local to you wherever you live with a simple google search.

Masks mentioned:
Cattier - I'm not linking to Cattier's website because I think it's corrupted. My screen started opening all sorts of games/spam when I clicked on it - just keep your eyes open in case!
Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask
Origins Clear Improvement
Pixi Glow Mud Mask
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud
Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask
May Lindstrom The Problem Solver
G Baldwin & Co

Happy to answer specific other brand questions in the comments. :)

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Glow Tonic To-Go

Ooh head's up Glow Tonic fans. You're about to be able to get your hands on Glow Tonic in a travel/quick grab/ To-Go version. 

These pads launch in the UK exclusively on QVC in July, more info on pricing and US launch to follow. 
No more decanting onto cotton pads and ziplock bags for me. ;)

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Cult Beauty Box 'How-To'

I had a lot of requests for more information on the products in the box and what skins they are suitable/not suitable for so thought a quick debrief may prove helpful before the box goes on sale, and while the waitlist is still open.

Sonya Dakar Eye Wash - £32.00  
This was one of my favourite surprises of this year so far. Super-light in texture, it works extremely quickly but more importantly, gently, in the very delicate eye area. It removes all makeup effortlessly with one pump. Use in the evening if wearing makeup,  as a first cleanse, just on the eye area. A little goes a very long way.

MV Organic Skincare Gentle Cream Cleanser - £35.50
MV is one of the loveliest organic brands on the market and this cleanser is perfect for both ’normal’ skins and those that sometimes need something calming as well as cleansing.  It’s gentle and non-foaming so causes no further damage if your skin is even slightly reactive. It’s great as either a morning cleanse or a second cleanse in the evening.

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser - £54.00   
This defines the term 'multi-tasker’ having such a wide range of uses that it is one to grab if you can only take one. It works as a morning cleanse, an evening first OR second cleanse and is also an eye makeup 
remover. If your skin is playing up, feels tight, hot or red, if it’s even a little annoyed with you, this should be your first choice from the box. This is your ‘when in doubt’ cleanser. A no-brainer.

Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm - £48.00
Not everyone likes acids, and even those of us that love them occasionally want something that goes a step further and physically exfoliates. This balm uses MSM and silica beads - not a microbead in sight - to give a granular, gentle, exfoliation, It also smells beautiful, making the entire process much more satisfying.
Use twice a week as needed, am or pm.

Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm - £18.00
Sometimes life takes over and you want one product that will just ‘do the job’ in the evenings. This is the Pixi balm for me. Used in the evening, it destroys makeup and spf and is a quicker, better alternative if you would normally grab a wipe and be done with it. Used in the mornings, it’s the perfect cleanse if your skin is feeling a little dry or dehydrated.

Dr Gross Ferulic & Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel Pads x 8 - £38.50
These are still fairly new to market and I’m thrilled that Dr Gross agreed to let me have them in this box. It takes the ‘acid toning’ stage a step further by including ferulic acid and retinol to help accelerate cell renewal, aid pigmentation and an even skin tone. I noticed a difference with these after two uses. Use twice a week in the evening, follow with your usual routine. Fab.

May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden Facials Spray - £48.00
This is the product that elevates the second toning stage from a ‘spritz’ to a must-have. Jasmine Garden is a phenomenal mix of silver, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang and vanilla that not only engulfs the senses and soothes the skin but seals in hydration whether used after acids or during the day as a top-up spritz. Beautiful.

Value of box: £274.00
RRP of box: £175.00

The wait list closes at 10am tomorrow morning. Sign up here:
Watch your emails tomorrow lovely people!

Normal blog service resumes tomorrow - back to masks! 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Cult Beauty Box Full Reveal


The Cleansing and Prep Box will go on sale this week. The sign up for the waitlist is here: 

Some FAQs and T&Cs:

  • The Box will go on sale within the next 48 hours.
  • Value of box is £274.00 - the Box retails at £175.00.
  • There will be no second run of this box. Once it's gone, it's gone.
  • Worldwide Free Shipping
  • It opens to the waitlist first and then will go on general sale should there be any left over after that period. 
  • The waitlist closes at 10am on Thursday.
  • Emails will be sent fairly quickly together, however, your host may hold them up and also file some as spam - check your spam folders if you haven't received anything by Thursday evening.

  • Full reveal is below in the video - I hope you like! :) 
    More details on how to use everything in the box will be on the blog tomorrow.

    The box contains:

    MV Organics Cream Cleanser - Full Size
    OSKIA Micro Exfoliating Balm - Full Size
    Sonya Dakar Eye Wash - Full Size
    Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser - Full Size
    Pixi Cleansing Balm - Full Size
    Dennis Gross MD Ferulic & Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel Pads - 1 month's supply
    May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden - Full Size

    Monday, 23 May 2016

    MASKS - An Overview

    There are literally thousands of masks on the market. Endless options for all skin types and all skin conditions. So where to begin?

    Masks were traditionally a quick fix or an extra boost, normally used once a week to help possibly fix whatever issue you had.
    These days they're much more sophisticated and can be left on overnight, used as a 15 minute quick fix, or used under moisturisers during the day if you so desire.

    So what type of mask works best for which skin? More in-depth reviews will follow but for now the briefest of overviews:

    The original and most well-known type of mask, clay is traditionally used for deep cleaning, decongesting, in general it's the one you grab when you feel a bit dirty, like you need a really good clean.
    Best for:
    oily, combination, blackheads, breakouts, dull
    Avoid if:
    Check the ingredients for magnesium and avoid if you're sensitive - it can be very stimulating.

    These are either bead-based (I don't recommend microbead masks, I'm talking about silica/jojoba etc), enzyme or acid-based and are used to resurface the skin, slough off dead skin cells, turnover the stratum corneum (15-20 layers of dead, flattened, skin cells) a little quicker to give you smooth skin.
    Best for:
    dull, flaky, sallow, dry, dehydrated
    Avoid if:
    sensitive, easily reactive

    Moisturising masks are usually used last and add oil-based moisture to the skin. They're the perfect mask to sleep in if you're older and contain things like shea butter and oils.
    Best for:
    older, premature ageing, mature, dry,
    Avoid if:
    oily, combination, acne-prone

    This is more a sub-category but worth a mention as a lot of the hydrating/moisturising masks use 'anti-ageing' as their main focus. These will contain peptides and other trademark name ingredients, some of which you will never have heard of, some of which you will.
    Best for:
    older, mature skins, skins worried about signs of ageing
    Avoid if:
    You're 21 (under 30) and just want a quick clay mask. Save your pennies.

    These are generally water, glycerin and hyaluronic acid based, amongst others. They work great as a quick boost for all skins but work especially well for:
    dehydrated, dry, dull, - basically a one-size fits all mask
    Avoid if:
    literally anyone can use these masks - when in doubt, buy hydrating

    Sheet Masks
    Ah sheet masks. Or as you may have come to think of them: bandwagon masks (maybe that's just me). Not since the dawn of face wipes has a trend hit so quickly, and so hard. Everyone is doing a sheet mask. These gained their popularity in the Far East and show no signs of going away.
    Best for:
    forcing you to sit still/lie down for a while - and the benefits of the ingredients obviously..
    Avoid if:
    You're very sensitive. Or at least check the ingredients as sheet masks can be heavy on fragrance and alcohol. Not all, but quite a few.

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