Stuff on a Tuesday | Life

10/28/2014 02:00:00 pm
Normally, when I am in my routine, it tends to be a Sunday that I post a "stuffs" post - a little life catch-up of the past week if you will. But routine is not my bag, and I wanted to post this today, so here we go: a bit of inside my life from this week.
Much love,
Ani x

Speed Review | Alpha H

10/27/2014 08:43:00 pm
Alpha H is a brand I have loved for around about 4 years now - I have only used one product, but use it often, and find it to be one of the best skincare innovations available to the consumer market. The product that I am talking about is indeed Liquid Gold. However, it suddenly occurred to me that seeing as I had such good results with this, that I should probably try some of the other products in the range. Enter QVC and their wonderful easy pays! I saw this kit on QVC one night, and decided to go for it - 2 easy payments of £24.50 made it an easy purchase, that I have already seen results with.
This kit covers all your skincare bases, from cleanser, to resurfacing treatment, rejuvenating cream and eye gel - definitely your one-stop shop for radiant skin. I have been using this system for around about a week now, and I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed. It is amazing what changes can be seen in the skin, and how quickly they can be seen when all the stages of your routine include active ingredients. My skin reacts so well to AHAs and BHAs, and the lactic and glycolic acids present in these products are slowly but surely refining the texture of my skin, lessening the appearance of marks, and keeping breakouts away.
When it comes to eye creams, I tend to fall in the horrid category of using a steroid cream to alleviate any eczema flare-ups that seem to always be present. When I saw the gel-like, serum-type texture of the Absolute Eye Complex, I immediately assumed that it wouldn't be able to help my eyelids at all, but I was thankfully wrong. Cooling, firming and hydrating, this has meant that for the last week (touch wood) my eyelids have been eczema-free, and that is really no mean feat at all!
The Liquid Gold, as always, is such a staple and necessity in not only my routine, but that of my mum and sister too! Fixing a multitude of skin issues, this is one that I recommend to the whole world.
Next up, the Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Cream, another newbie to my stash, and I absolutely adore it. If you have ever used liquid gold in a hardcore way - lots and often - you can sometimes crave a little luxe in the skincare routine, and that is when this steps in. Glycolic acid swathed in cream, you still feel the slight prickliness associated with the Liquid Gold, but topped off with the comfort of a cream. Gorgeous for the days in between your Liquid Gold use, or layered on top of Liquid Gold, this is a perfect overnight skin workout.
Lastly, the Liquid Gold Anti-Ageing Cleanser. One word for this. Amaze. I have never had a cleanser that felt so active on my skin before: glycolic and lactic acids combine for the gentlest (but beware, prickly-feeling, and heaty-y) exfoliating cleanse ever. Just enough slip to get a really good facial massage out of this, it is one that I would never waste on a first cleanse or make up removal (I reckon it would super sting the eyes), but would want on my bare skin, to really infiltrate the skin's surface. 
And those are my speed reviews of these wonderful Alpha H products. I'm pretty sure most of these will achieve holy grail status.
What new skincare discoveries have you made?
Much love,

Body Shop | Rediscovery

10/08/2014 01:00:00 pm
I often find myself wandering in to The Body Shop - I think it's the smell that draws me in. I remember it from when I was quite small, and a little bit obsessed with all things pretty, even back then. But that smell, always pulls me in. However, I don't often find myself buying anything - just a browse, a couple of spritzes of scent, and I flounce out. Until a few weeks ago, where I found myself wanting to buy everything! The Body Shop really has had quite the upgrade in terms of their products, their relevance within the world of beauty, and the ingredients and actives they now put into their products. So, what did I walk out with you ask? Three cleansers of course!
I have had a few weeks to test all of these, and I have to say, I love them. I purchased both the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter and Silky Cleansing Oil - I have a penchant for a balm or oil as my first cleanse (I really don't think anything cleanses/ removes make up as well as a balm or oil), and thought the Balm in it's little tin would be brilliant for my Dubai holiday. The oil is beautifully silky, as the name suggests, and has a good amount of slip to it, perfect for rubbing into lashes to remove my beloved Urban Decay Perversion mascara. It is suggested that you add water and emulsify to remove, but I am unashamedly loyal to my hot-water, rung-out flannels! The balm on the other hand, is now one for when I fancy a long, relaxed, facial massage - all knuckles and fingers! If using in this way, it is my second cleanser, to really plump up and relax the skin. The same gorgeous scent as the oil, it just does it's job brilliantly. On holiday, this was actually my first cleanser - the metal tin just travels so well! As a first cleanse, it does all I want it to - it removes the majority of my make up, leaving my skin clean enough for the second cleanse. Both of the Camomile cleansers are definitely new loves for my skin. I have already talked about the Tea Tree Cool & Creamy wash in my last post, but the long and short of it is that I love it!
With all the offers The Body Shop has these days, I am definitely looking forward to trying out more of the range.
Much love,
Ani x

Morning Time | Cleansing

10/07/2014 04:03:00 pm
Everyday, when I wake up, the first thing I feel the need to do is wash my face. Before bed I will have at least double cleansed, massaged and put a whooole load of lotions and potions on, and of course, upon waking, toxins and residue have seeped out of the skin. Enter morning time cleansers! 
Every morning I choose between one of the above - the Kiehl's Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash for Men, and The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy Wash. Both are relatively new purchases - The Body Shop was one I purchased for when I was off to Dubai - I thought it would be a lovely, deep cleansing but nourishing choice for a world of extremes - immense heat, humidity and then freezing-cold air conditioning.  Lo and behold, I was right! Just like it's name, it is super creamy, a thick, but fluid texture that calms and cools the skin immediately.  The Kiehl's however, is a much newer addition, that was actually purchased at Dubai Duty Free. I have been wanting to try Kiehl's for the longest time, but tend to like to try a small kit, or some samples first. This kit consisted of the Exfoliating Wash. a toner, and a moisturiser, and like I often do, I picked the kit for men! This particular face wash is a lovely, thick, gel consistency with beads suspended in the formula. Generally my preference is a chemical exfoliant, but the exfoliating action within this is super-soft, but effective. Both of these are perfect for refreshing and waking-up the skin of a morning!
What are your current morning face washes?
Much love,
Ani x

The Repurchase | Max Factor Facefinity Primer

10/05/2014 01:00:00 pm
You may or may not know, but I tend not to finish products, and I tend not to repurchase. However, shock horror, I have gone and done both. Max Factor have struck gold with their primer - so much so that I ran out, went without it for 3 days and after wearing a primer-less face of make up, ran out to get it. That is how good it is. The effect it has on bare skin is wonderful, the effect is has under a freshly-made-up face is beautiful, and the longevity it has during a working day is the icing on the cake!
I wholeheartedly recommend this for all skin types, and can vouch for how good it works on my very oily skin (currently on offer at Superdrug, wink wink!).
Much love,

New In | Make Up Revolution

10/04/2014 10:21:00 pm
Now this is a complete and utter new in. Wanted these forever, finally bought this afternoon, and not even touched yet. A first impressions post will be coming soon :).
I am hugely looking forward to using the more berry-toned shades in the eye shadow palette, and seeing how well the highlighters work in the Blush and Contour palette.
Much love,
Ani x

Vacancies | 1 | AKA the Empty Ones

10/02/2014 11:02:00 pm
I had a weird moment tonight, about 10 minutes ago, where I decided to slightly have a quick clean-up of the bathroom, leading to this post - the empties. I then decided to choose a synonym for the word empty, because why not? And that is how we now have a "Vacancies" series.
Bouffe Dry Spray:
I noticed this at the checkout of Boots one day and thought WOWZA that looks like something the wonderful Marie-Antoinette would use, and lo and behold, it was bought. I love the packaging, so different from any other dry shampoo on the market. But to be honest, that's where the good ends. This is one of the few that come in an actual black shade - but that is part of the problem: it is a flat, fully matte black that looks horrendously unnatural. On reflection, choosing the "transparent" option probably would have been the way to go with this product. It has all the grit and dryness of my fave Superdrug Dry Shampoo, but the colour rubs off onto anything like nobody's business, and makes hair feel like it immediately needs washing. Probably a good one for structured up-dos, but not so much when you just want a refresher for the hair.
Batiste Dry Shampoo in Dark and Deep Brown:
This happens to be a bog-standard dry shampoo that I seem to have hoarded a while ago and decided to use. I don't have any particular feelings on it - it refreshes the hair, but tends to leave a slightly too-warm brown cast on the hair, but is not too unnatural.
Ginvera Green Tea Whitening Marvel Gel:
Now, let's address the elephant in the room: this has nothing to do with whitening - I am hugely against anything that lightens the skin for cosmetic reasons, as I feel everyone has a slightly different colour that should be celebrated. This product however is the absolute bomb. I'm sure many of you have tried this, but for those who have not, it is essentially a thick, cooling, green gel that you smooth over the skin. After waiting a minute or two you rub, rub, rub off the skin. The magical formula literally exfoliates and brings away dead skin with it as you rub. A quick swipe of the flannel, and you have the smoothest, healthiest looking skin. Definitely one for repurchasing.
Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing and Perfecting Mask:
This is one that I used sparingly as I loved it so much. A definite brightening mask, that really feels like is does something. Clearer, smoother skin in around 10 minutes.
Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser:
I know a lot of oily-skinned girls swear by this range, but after trying the entirety of it, I can say it just does nothing for my skin. This cleanser I actually found to be stripping, but at the same time, to not take care of my oil issues. Puzzling. I used up this mini - it has quite a nice, cooling feeling for the morning cleanse, but I wouldn't repurchase.
Good Things Manuka Honey Creamy Cleanser:
This is a brand that I 100% love the premise of, but in terms of reality, I have disliked more products that I have liked. One of my fave ever products - their 5 minute face mask - is from Good Things, but I have had less luck with their cleansers, until now. This was definitely an impulse "oh-its-on-offer" buy, but turns out, its a pretty lovely product. Soft, creamy and thick, this takes off make up like a dream, and is a thick enough texture to use as a massage product. The smell is beautiful, and all in all it acts like a much higher-end product. Another for the repurchase list.
I hope you liked the mini reviews.
Much love,
Ani x