Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15 – Review

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I’ll just put it out there, I don’t like primers. It first started when I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer around 6 years ago and experienced one of the worst breakouts of my life. Around a year ago I decided to try the Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser and again it made me break out a little but what’s worse is that it actually increased my oiliness.

Whilst doing some research I stumbled across the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15 and on a whim decided to give it a go, as I quite liked the look of the ingredients. Take from the SpaceNK website, Mineral Veil Primer is:

“A mineral-based, water-resistant primer with SPF 15 that creates an impossibly smooth canvas and seamless look. Veil eliminates redness, minimizes pore size, softens fine lines and creates a uniform canvas for a flawless makeup application. This clean, satin-finish formula helps keep makeup looking fresh and prevents fading, while SPF 15 shields the skin from the sun.”

A teeny, tiny 10ml bottle of this primer costs a whopping £20.00 and can be bought in the UK from SpaceNK or John Lewis.

Packaging: This primer comes in a frosted glass bottle with a pump. A great delivery system for a primer and hygienic too.

Formula: I really like the formula for this primer. It contains mostly silicones to give it the slippery texture but also contains mineral sunscreen. What I like about this primer is that is doesn’t feel oily when applied to the skin and it dries to a matte powdery finish.

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Application: The pump dispenses a small amount of white cream which is the perfect amount for the whole face. When applied I can see the redness disappear immediately and the texture of my skin is left looking really smooth. In fact I would feel completely okay wearing this alone without foundation.

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I chose to test this under the DiorSkin Airflash Foundation. After the primer set I applied this foundation using a stippling brush. This primer made my foundation look ridiculously smooth and flawless whilst maintaining the dewiness of the product.

Longevity: When I look at all the claims this product makes it indeed meets all the requirements. It reduces redness, minimizes pore size, softens fine lines for a smooth canvas, prevents fading of make-up. The only downfall was that it doesn’t control oil, but then again it didn’t claim to. I have an extremely oily T-zone and whilst this did help a bit it only kept the oiliness at bay for say around 2 more hours than usual. I also found that my make-up faded less when this was on my skin. I also used this product several times and experienced no skin reactions.

Below is a raw unedited picture of me wearing Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer under Estee Lauder Double Wear and MAC Studio Sculpt combined. I’ve found this primer works amazingly well under these foundations in particular and works really well with my combination- oily skin. I think you’ll agree it has made my skin appear really smooth and flawless.

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So has my opinion on primers changed? Yes actually, I’d say so. I’m rather impressed with this primer but at that very expensive price tag it isn’t something that I personally can afford to use every day.  If you’re someone who loves high end products and wants a primer to give a perfect, smooth canvas with the added benefit of SPF then this is a really good choice. For me personally this is good for when I want my make-up to stay flawless for around 6 hours, or during the cooler months. If you’re specifically looking for oil control then perhaps you should look elsewhere.

Jay x

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Clinique Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask – Review

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask 100ml If any of you are avid readers of my blog you’ll know that I have combination-oily skin that can be problematic in the T-Zone area. Whilst I don’t have blackheads anymore due to using Paula’s Choice 2% BHA liquid (twice daily) I still suffer from the very rare breakout on my forehead and whiteheads around my nose.

To treat this issue I knew I had to invest in a good clay mask. Clay masks draw out impurities from the skin revealing fresh, clarified skin. Usually, I find it difficult to get the balance right in a clay mask between it being too stringent and not strong enough and have tried numerous ones from the drug store I decided to buy the Clinique Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask which costs £20.00 for a 100ml tube.

Taken from the Clinique website “Anti-Blemish Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask. Soothing natural clay-based mask helps heal blemishes, prevent breakouts and keep skin shine-free. Medicated formula goes deep to clean and unclog pores, rid skin of excess oil. In just 5 minutes, skin looks clearer, smoother, less blemish-troubled. Gentle, non-drying formula won’t irritate skin. Oil free.”

The base of this mask is kaolin. Kaolin is a clay that is used commonly in skincare due to it’s absorbency properties. The formula also contains 1% Salycylic acid which is an especially good ingredient for anyone that suffers from spots. There is no fragrance and oil in this formula making it suitable for sensitive skin. I use less than a 10p amount of the white clay mask on my T-Zone as this is the problematic area on my face. I’m an impatient person so I love that you only have to leave it on for 5 minutes to dry and do its job. The mask is easy to rinse off and leaves my skin deeply cleansed and balanced.

I’ve been using this two or three times a week on my T-zone for more than a month now and my whiteheads have reduced by around 90% and my spots have completely disappeared. I haven’t had a breakout once since using this product. I would recommend giving this mask a try if you have clogged pores around your nose and nothing else has worked for you. I’m so happy that I’ve finally found the perfect clay mask for my skin and I can see this product slowly becoming a holy grail for me. Jay x

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel – Review

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If any of you remember seeing my previous wishlist you’ll know that I was looking for a night time moisturiser for my combination/oily skin. An ever so popular choice that kept cropping up during my research was Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. I’m a big Clinique fan so I thought to give this moisturiser a go. I bought a 50ml tube of this for £17.50 from Feel Unique

Taken from the Clinique website “Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is oil-free and non-comedogenic. It gives you the lightweight hydration without oiliness so your skin feels smoother, softer and more comfortable”. This moisturiser is specifically for combination or oily skin.

The moisturiser has some decent ingredients including my favourite sodium hyaluronate which is very hydrating, caffeine (invigorating), cucumber extract (soothing) and a couple of antioxidants, which wouldn’t remain stable in this packaging anyway.. The yellow tint (colouring has been added to give the tint) gel has a very slippery, silicone texture that absorbs very quickly into the skin providing some immediate moisture that doesn’t leave a residue on the skin. There is a natural fragrance with this product but no added fragrance making it suitable for sensitive skin. With this having no SPF in it I wouldn’t find it suitable for daytime use.

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For the first 2 weeks of using this product my skin didn’t experience any amazing benefits from this product. I mean, it did the job of moisturising the drier parts of my face whilst not aggravating the oily parts, but I certainly didn’t see a “dramatic difference” in the texture of my skin. It seemed to be working just like any old moisturiser that I can buy from the drug store and didn’t give me the glow I expected.

I continued to use this at night and by week 3-4 I noticed LOTS of whiteheads around my nose. It was really gross to be honest, I had to steam my face and scoop all the gunk out with a blackhead extractor tool. I continued to use the moisturiser and noticed the bumps reappeared around my nose. When I stopped using this the bumps reduced therefore I’m pretty confident this product is responsible for the clogged pores around my nose. I did find that this makes a really good make-up base however so I’ll continue to use it for that purpose.

From reading other reviews I know this product is either a hit or miss with people and unfortunately it was a bit of a miss for me. I would say if you don’t have very oily skin that is prone to clogging then this could potentially work for you.

Hope you found this post useful, comment below if you found this product worked for you or not.

Jay x

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement Serum – Review

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For the past 10 weeks I have been testing Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement as my daily night time serum. Taken from the Bobbi Brown website Intensive Skin supplement is “an advanced, multi-benefit serum that improves skin’s appearance as it helps prevent the visible signs of aging including dark spots and fine, dry lines. White Birch Extract reduces the look of fine, dry lines, while Grape Extract helps clarify and brighten the complexion. After just four weeks’ use, skin looks firmer, smoother, more even-toned and radiant.” I picked this bottle up from my local department store for £45 and have gotten around two thirds of the way through it in 10 weeks.

Packaging: This serum comes in a semi-opaque bronze bottle with a dropper on the top. I would have preferred if the bottle was fully opaque and there was less air exposure so that the anti-oxidants can remain more stable. However, I have to say I really like the way this bottle looks.

Formula: This serum is water based and contains a few silicones and glycerin which gives it a nice texture and leads to a plumping effect on the skin. Grape Extract is said to help even out skin tone and Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant (may not remain stable because of packaging), Castor oil is also present in this formula making it moisturising whilst not being comedogenic.  It is also fragrance-free making it suitable for sensitive skin. The formula is marketed for all skin types.

Texture and appearance: This serum is clear in appearance. The texture is very watery but once I pat it into the skin it becomes quite sticky. This absorbs in within seconds but leaves a sticky residue, which in my opinion makes it unsuitable for daytime.

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Effects: On the very first night of using this I woke up to more balanced skin, my oily T-zone was less oily and my cheeks were more hydrated. I also had a big red spot on my left cheekbone which disappeared within 2 days of using this and an overall reduction in redness. I’ve been using this only at nighttime only and my skin looks and feels plump and evenly toned. Together with my Paula’s Choice BHA liquid this has reduced the bumpy texture in my T-zone as well. If you have mature or dry skin however this may not be moisturising enough.

Having used this serum for a while now I can say that my skin looks more balanced and the serum has complimented the rest of my skin care routine. I know that this serum is one that I can go back to should my skin break out but I’m not sure I would necessarily purchase it again as it didn’t make me say “wow” unlike Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.  I experienced balancing in my skin making it perfect for combination/ oily skin and an overall reduction in redness which also makes it suitable for sensitive skin. It is simple and effective skin care with some great ingredients which prevents ageing. Based on that I recommend it if you have troublesome combination-oily skin that is prone to breakouts.

My Current Skincare Routine

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Happy Sunday loves! How are you all? Today I’m going to be sharing my skincare routine with you, I love seeing what others use as I get some great advice from reading other blogs, so hopefully this post should help if you have skin like mine. I would describe my skin as combination-oily meaning it is normal on my cheeks, very oily in the T-Zone with some dryness on the undereyes. Over the last year I have tried a plethora of products to help improve my skin and I feel like I finally understand what ingredients and formulas work for me.

MORNING ROUTINE

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1) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

In the morning I need my cleanser to refresh my face and get rid of any oiliness and product left overnight. A pea size amount of this cleanser does the job without stripping my skin.

2) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

This toner is really good at imparting some moisture into the skin and prepping it for the serum. I use this by applying it onto a cotton pad and wiping it over the skin.

3) Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

I use a 5p size of this serum all over my face, it keeps me hydrated throughout the day and provides my skin with some much needed antioxidants. I also like that I can use this serum on my eye area. Full review here.

4) Paula’s Choice Hydralight Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

This moisturiser is amazing for the daytime and great for oilier skin! It really helps keep my oiliness at bay but protects it from the sun. This step is imperative for everyone but especially if you have hyper-pigmentation like I do.

5) Clinique Superdefence Eye Cream SPF 20

This eyecream is great at hydrating my eye area and protects it from sun damage.

NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

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1) Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil

This is a great make-up remover, I use two pumps of this to get rid of all of my make-up. Click here to see my full review.

2) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser

Same as morning.

3) Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner

Same as morning.

4) Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

I used a liquid exfoliant on my T-zone to help combat blackheads and clogged pores. I have been using this for two months now and have seen a dramatic reduction in texture and it is getting better the more I use it. To use I put some on a cotton pad and let it absorb into the skin. BHA exfoliates by getting deep into the pores and preventing them from becoming clogged. This product is great for oily or acne prone skin.

5) Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement Serum

This is a great little serum for balancing the skin and keeping it healthy. I’m not overly attached to this serum but it’s what I’m using at the moment, I’m likely to try another one after this one is up.

6) Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Lift Cream

I’ve got dry skin under my eyes so in the night time I like to give it a drink of moisture. I pat a bit of this on to my under eye area using my ring fingers. Again this isn’t the best eye cream I’ve used so I will be buying a different one after this. Full review here.

7) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

This moisturiser is perfect for oilier skin as it keep my skin from drying out overnight without exacerbating oiliness. I’ve been using it for around 10 days and haven’t had any breakouts, good so far!

TREATMENTS

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1) Clay Mask

Once a week I use a clay mask to extract oil from my pores, I don’t have a favourite one so I’m still on the hunt for a really good one but I’m using the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask at the moment.

2) Sheet Mask

Once a week I try to make time for a Korean sheet mask. These are infused with ingredients that target your skincare concerns. You just pop one on for 20 minutes and let your skin soak in the goodness. I buy most of my my sheet masks from YesStyle.co.uk.

3) Paula’s Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA

I use this treatment once a week by applying it liberally onto the skin with a cotton pad. I leave this on my skin between 10-30 minutes depending on how much time I have and rinse off. There is a bit of tingling with this product when first applied and when you wash it off you get the softest, supple, fresh looking skin ever. This is a product that I would recommend solely if you’re 25+ because it is an “anti-ageing” product which is highly effective. Also proceed with caution as it can irritate sensitive skin.

4) Mount Purious Hemp Oil

On the rare occasion that I get dry patches I love massaging hemp oil on top of that area. It is a great oil for oily skin as it is non-comedogenic and it is very hydrating on the skin.

So THAT is my routine, I hope you enjoyed this post. Comment below on what you think of the routine as a whole, if you like/ dislike any of the products that I use. What products do you like using and what could you not live without?

Jay x

My Favourite Mineral Sunscreens for Combination/Oily Skin

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I’ve been searching high and low for a daytime moisturiser with SPF for the past year and have tried at least four different ones that haven’t worked for me. As many of you might know, sunscreens are notoriously thick and occlusive on the skin making it feel greasy and diminishing the appearance of make-up. Furthermore it is difficult to find formulas that contain only mineral sunscreen (Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide) that are suitable for oilier skin. I also prefer formulas to be without added fragrance.

I have combination-oily skin and find that when wearing sunscreen my make-up will last around 2 hours before I’m oily in the T-zone and by lunchtime I can’t wait to get home and remove my make-up. Recently I bought some sunscreen samples from one of my favourite skincare brands Paula’s Choice which are formulated for oilier skin and I wanted to give my quick opinion on these products.

The first is Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex SPF 30 (60ml £25.50) which contains Zinc Oxide 6% and Titanium Dioxide 2.32% as the active ingredients.

This is a white lotion that is lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. It doesn’t leave a white cast and feels moisturising on the skin with no tightness. However, even after the product has absorbed the finish is not 100% shine free, although it doesn’t leave any greasiness. It leaves my skin baby soft and is a great base for liquid and powder make-up. I find that the oiliess in my T-zone is kept at bay for at least 4 hours when using this moisturiser and I didn’t experience any breakouts after 7 days of using this product.

The second product I tested was Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 (60ml £29.00) which contains Zinc Oxide (12%) as the active sunscreen ingredient.

This product is lightly tinted so if you have very fair skin then it may actually be too dark for you. On me, this product still leaves a white cast because it is tinted lighter than my skin tone and I find that it has a chemical smell when first applied. I actually think this may be a good product for any men who suffer from redness because of the light tint. The texture of this moisturiser is probably the BEST I’ve tried for oil control, it actually leaves the skin on my cheeks feeling a bit tight/ dry and keeps oiliness at bay on my T-Zone for at least 6 hours. I found that my liquid make-up didn’t go on as well with this moisturiser because it causes the product to catch onto the skin. I didn’t experience any breakouts after 7 days of wearing this product and noticed that my pores looked smaller when using this.

All in all these are both great moisturisers with SPF for combination or oily skin. If your skin is normal-combination or combination then Hydralight is the way to go. If you have oily skin all over then go for the Super-light. Personally I like both of these equally for different weather conditions as they provide broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays whilst not exacerbating oiliness and are fragrance/colourant free.

Jay x

New Holy Grail Cleanser – Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil

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After 7 years of using the same cleanser (Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish) I have finally found a make-up remover that I love EVEN more than the previous one! Cleansing oils have been all the rage since last year and I really wanted to try this cleansing method, but with combination-oily skin I knew that using any old cleansing oil wasn’t going to work. When I came across this product I had to try it. I bought Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil for £22.00 from Feel Unique.

Packaging: This cleanser comes in a see through purple bottle which is great because you can actually see when you need to top-up. On the top is a pump which you can lock close when you’re not using. I use around two pumps per use and there is 200ml of product in the bottle.

Ingredients: This cleanser has some awesome ingredients in it. Lubricating ingredients (Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate), skin conditioning (Triethylhexanoin), anti-oxidants (Tocopherol -Vitamin E) although how stable/useful it is in this product is questionable, humectant (Glycerin) and chamomile oil which is skin conditioning. There is no alcohol, no sulphates and no fragrance in this product making it suitable for sensitive, oily and even acne-prone skin.

Texture and appearance: This clear oil is extremely watering in appearance and texture. In fact it isn’t “oily” at all, but more a dry oil which doesn’t absorb into the skin.

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Application: I take the oil between my palms and massage it into my skin for around 30-60 seconds focusing on areas like the eye. I don’t experience any irritation/ stinging even when the product got into my eyes, making it safe for eye make-up removal. Within seconds you can see the make-up literally melting and breaking down. You can wash this directly off the skin (it turns to an emulsion) or use a soft face cloth. What is amazing is that it left absolutely NO residue, NO oiliness and NO make-up on the skin. My skin is left feeling very clean but not stripped. I notice that the oil doesn’t absorb deeply into the skin so I wouldn’t recommend this for dry skin.

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Tested on long wear and waterproof make-up swatches. After application make-up begins to break down. Waterproof make-up dissolves after massaging into skin. Turns into milky emulsion with water. Washes away without residue.

What really took this cleanser over the edge was the fact that when I did the toner-test, there was no make-up left on my cotton pad. I don’t even need to double cleanse when using this, although I still do. I cannot fault this product, it is an amazing make-up remover, it is gentle, effective and perfect for oilier and even acne-prone skins. I haven’t experienced any breakouts. It’s important to note that this is specifically a make-up remover so you will need a different cleanser for the daytime. This product also comes in a balm form which is formulated for dry skin.

Jay x

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – Review

IMG_3247Paula’s Choice is one of my favourite skincare brands. I like Paula’ Choice because the ingredients they use in each product are all backed by science. Having a science background myself I can’t tell you how impressed I am to have found a company that actually consults and refers to scientific journals to choose what ingredients they should be including in their products.

Free radicals are present within the body as well as in the environment. They can damage protein structures in the skin like collagen through a process of oxidation. There are a number of foods which are high in antioxidants that can slow down this process and it is important to consume a good amount of this in your diet. However, it is also important for your skincare to contain some antioxidants to combat the free radicals in the atmosphere.

Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is supposed to balance oily skin and prevent the signs of ageing whilst also reducing signs of redness. It is packed with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to help fight environmental damage. I have been using this serum since December as my daytime serum under my moisturiser and I’m around two thirds of the way through finishing it, so a single tube should last 6 months if used once per day, 3 months if used twice. I bought this product online from the Paula’s Choice website for £30.

Packaging: The serum comes in a 30ml opaque tube with a nozzle tip, this allows the antioxidants to remain stable without light and air exposure.

Formula: This has a number of amazing ingredients in it. It’s built around water and silicone slip agents but contains a cocktail of 6 antioxidants including Vitamin C and E, cell communicating ingredients and Hyularonic Acid which is one of my favourite ingredients to hydrate the skin (the molecule holds 10x it’s weight in water!). It is also colour and fragrance free making it suitable for sensitive skin. It is aimed at combination to oily skin as it is a lightweight formula.

Texture and appearance: This serum is clear with a slight yellow tint. I use around a 5p coin size for my whole face by warming it up within my palms and patting it into the skin. It has a really slippery texture and absorbs into the skin within seconds. I LOVE that it is safe to use around the eye area!

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Feel: My skin is left feel really soft and smooth after this product has absorbed into the skin. There is no sticky residue and it actually makes a great make-up base. My skin also looks more plump immediately after applying this serum because it is very hydrating. I use this underneath my SPF moisturiser.

This is a holy grail daytime serum for me, for the nighttime I like to use something a little heavier and moisturising. This serum doesn’t exacerbate my oiliness and hasn’t caused any reactions or breakouts. It has kept my skin hydrated and I feel confident knowing that my skin is being protected from free-radical damage. If you’re just starting to think about preventative measures you can take to protect your skin from the environment then this serum is a great place to start.

Jay x

 

Clinique Superdefence Eyecream SPF 20 – Review

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You might know that I have been on the hunt for a daily eye cream with sun protection built in. This product from Clinique has broad spectrum SPF 20 it in making it suitable for short periods of sun exposure . I bought this 15 ml tube from Feel Unique for £30.

Packaging: The eye cream comes in a 15ml, opaque tube which allows the sunscreen and antioxidant ingredients to remain stable. The tube also makes it hygienic to use.

Formula: I love the ingredients in this cream! In contains a good amount of mineral sunscreen (Titanium Dioxide 5.6%, Zinc Oxide 3.8%), antioxidants and some moisturising ingredients.

Appearance and Texture: This cream is an off white colour and provides a brightening effect under the eyes, it is nicely hydrating but not massively so I still use my antioxidant serum before this eye cream. It leaves a white cast which I actually like because I like to see my skin being protected.

Feel:  I love that I can use this eye cream all around my eyes including the eyelids right up to the lash line with no sensitivity and no irritation. I use around a third of a pea size for both eyes by patting it into the skin with my ring finger, it absorbs quickly and sits well under concealer.

There are no downsides to this eye cream apart from it being a little bit expensive, it is so important to protect your eye area from the sun as the skin there is extremely sensitive and thin. I shall be repurchasing this eye cream so long as my budget allows!

Jay x