3 October 2014

A tale of three Eve Lom products...

I've recently finished up three Eve Lom products - two eye creams and a serum - and as I only seem to have photographed them all together may as well review them together too.

They are (pictured l-r):
Intense Hydration serum 
Eye Cream
Eye Lift

The Intense Hydration Serum (£75, 30ml) comes in for a bit of criticism in some online reviews due to the relatively small number of ingredients (namely water, glycerin, phenoxyethanol, sodium hyaluronate, panethenol and ethylhexylglycerin) it contains.  I enjoyed using it, my skin felt somehow more comfortable and less stressed with it on, and it felt hydrating. It's very similar in texture to Nubo's Hydrating Lipids Complex - super light and silky, almost more like a hair serum. It applied very easily, I found it suitable for patting around the eyes before eye cream application and it was fine under moisturiser. However I couldn't discern any visible improvements to my skin.

I also liked both the Eye Cream (£48, 20ml) and the Eye Lift (£48, 15ml) but again neither have found their way into my must-haves. Of the two, my favourite is probably the Eye Lift, which comes in a tube with hygienic applicator as opposed to the Eye Cream which comes in a round pot. The Eye Lift, which is recommended for daytime and nightime use, contains retinol and vitamin C, along with hyaluronic acid for hydration. I found it sat comfortably on the skin and provided a good base for under eye concealer. The Eye Cream, also for morning and nighttime use, contains ingredients such as peptides to reduce puffiness, and shea butter and rosehip oil to combat fine lines. It also applied nicely and didn't cause any irritation to my eyes. Apparently it can be layered over the Eye Lift, though I never tried this and don't really like the idea of using more than one product on delicate undereye skin. I used both for around six months and I do think they did a good job defending my eye area against the ravages of new-motherhood-induced sleep deprivation. But again, I didn't notice any difference to my undereye area when using them (I find it so hard to rate eye creams though - they all seem to do a decent job but unlike face masks, oils and creams etc it's much harder to discern any visible improvements to the eye area).

In all, three decent products and I'd consider repurchasing the Eye Lift in the future, but in the meantime I'll keep searching for my holy grail eye treatments and serum (currently trialling Omorovicza's Rose Lifting Serum).  I still adore my Eve Lom cleanser; it's one of my most loved and repurchased beauty products. I'm keen to try out some items from the new make-up range too, particularly the translucent powder that Lisa Eldrige gave a big thumbs up to.

Would love to hear what serums and eye creams you rate...

31 August 2014

Sisley Energising Foaming Exfoliant

I'm pretty picky about body scrubs, having tried a multitude over the years and having settled on a top two that I return to time and again (Ren Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm and Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub). But during a recent Sisley GWP promotion I wanted to try something different by the brand, and the sales assistant cited this as one of her favourite Sisley products. The exfoliant costs £74.50 for a 200ml tube, but as I've come to expect from Sisley, it doesn't disappoint.

Upon first using the exfoliator I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't provide enough friction to effectively exfoliate -not that I'm a fan of harsh scrubs but I was surprised at how liquid it was in consistency (though it's not marketed as a scrub but as an exfoliant). My concerns dissipated though once it had had a chance to work its magic. The exfoliant is a pleasure to apply, feeling gentle on the skin, and with a soothing scent of lavender and rosemary. Massaging it in, you really feel as if you're doing something good for your skin. Crucially, my skin feels very soft afterwards, but also more toned and just somehow healthier.

I prefer to use this on skin that is just very slightly damp as I feel less is wasted and it works better. I'm not sure I'd buy it again unless it was on offer; personally I'd rather invest this sort of money in an anti-aging or other skincare product. I don't think the results are much more spectacular than the scrubs I mention above, which are around a third of the price. But I'm glad I tried it, and if I feel the need for a luxurious treat again in the future, I may well repurchase.

I purchased my scrub from Fenwicks of Bond Street, but it's widely available online. I've recently purchased Sisley's Botanical d-tox, so a review to follow once I've trialled it for a few weeks.

29 August 2014

Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist

This facial mist was a bit of an impulse purchase for me last summer, during a Boots points event. At £44 for 50ml, it's by no means cheap, but it more than proved it's worth.

The mist contains hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, and a moisturising compound called Camellia Alba, which according to the product info offers antioxidant protection as well as hydration. In the few months I've been using it its become invaluable. When I first purchased it I was in the first trimester of pregnancy and suffering more or less constant morning sickness. I had neither the energy nor the inclination to spend any time on my skin, hair or make up, but this spray was a saviour. Simply misting it over my face after cleansing gave 'post facial' skin, even without the addition of toner or moisturiser. The same in the early months of motherhood when I found I simply didn't have time for the skincare regimens of old. A spray of this on cleansed skin meant I could get out of the house without feeling I had to go through my usual routine of toning and moisturising, and made going without make up much more bearable. It feels comfortable and moisturising on the skin, smells heavenly (I wish they'd make a perfume with a similar scent!) and gives the skin a dewy, rested finish - it really is like a mini facial in a can!

The mist can also be used to set make up, and according to various online beauty mags it works well over serum / moisturiser to prep skin before applying make up, though I haven't yet used it in this way. I have however used it with my Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (which I love - separate post to follow!) to sheer it out a bit - it then applies beautifully.

It is expensive for a tiny amount of product, but with careful use it will last a good few months. It's just one of those products that delivers. Having just finished my can, I'm planning to repurchase asap.

13 November 2013

Essential measures #10 - Eve Lom cleanser

Not an original choice, but I credit this cleanser with transforming my skin after months of battling troublesome acne on my cheeks. Since I started using it in Jan 13, my skin has been fantastically clear, with only one or two minor breakouts. After use, my skin looks and feels healthy, glowing, clean and balanced.

 The cleanser comes in a round pot and has a thick, paste-like consistency, so needs 'scooping' out. I enjoy the ritual of applying this to my dry skin, and removing with a warm, wet muslin. And whilst it is breathtakingly expensive - for a cleanser, at £85 for a 200ml tub - a little goes a very long way. I use it once a day, in the morning, and occasionally in the evening unless I’ve worn a lot of make up in which case I prefer a cheap cream cleanser to remove that - with careful use, a 200ml tub could easily last a year, and while the product info advises it has a nine month shelf life the girls at the Eve Lom counter advised me it would be fine for a good deal longer than that.

I also have a tube of the Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, essentially a slightly less thick version of the tub cleanser. I find this gives similar results (super clean, healthy looking skin), but my tube developed a fishy smell a few months after opening, and its hard to get the product out when you're nearing the end of the tube. I was delighted in the recent Liberty beauty gwp to receive a compact travel sized version tub cleanser, which will more than suffice for weekends or weeks away and into which I can decant product from the larger tub when needed.

I use Eve Lom’s muslins, or my smaller Liz Earle or Boots versions. The Eve Lom ones are very generously sized, allowing you to blanket your entire face and neck with the muslin as recommended in the detailed instructions! I’ve more or less abandoned my former holy grail cleanser, Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish, in favour of Eve Lom. While I like Cleanse and Polish, Eve Lom’s cleanser has made a visible and long-term difference to my skin. I never want to be without this product.

I purchase my Eve Lom cleanser from online stores such as Beauty Expert, or Liberty of London. Liberty often has special beauty events for Eve Lom and other brands such as Sisley and Aromatherapy Associates, where you can enjoy a  facial or other treatment and the cost is redeemed against a minimum spend on products in the range. I tend to wait for these sorts of events before purchasing these more expensive products – if you’re going to splurge, why not treat yourself in the process at no extra cost!


12 November 2013

Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Body Scrub

I found this a decent scrub if not exactly life-changing. It made my skin feel soft and smooth, but the effects don’t seem to last as long as my other favourites (Ren Salt Scrub and Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub) and I didn't find it particularly luxurious to use - it look and smells quite earthy, though I was pleased it didn't leave any residue on the skin, a pet hate of mine!

I'm glad I tried it, but I won’t repurchase - still a huge fan of the Aromatherapy Associates range in general though. I recently purchased the Sisley Energising Foaming Exfoliant which seems to get excellent reviews, so looking forward to trying that next.

I can't see this particular scrub on the Aromatherapy Associates website at present, but it is available from Liberty and costs £35 for 200ml.

22 September 2013

Liberty Ultimate Beauty Gift 2013 - What I bought and what's in the bag

I’ve indulged in a couple of beauty sprees at Liberty and Space NK this month, tempted by the beauty GWPs both stores had (and in the case of Liberty – still has) on offer with a  minimum spend of £150.

They’re both pretty impressive, but the Liberty GWP pips Space NK to the post in terms of the selection and size of products – in my opinion at least.

Here’s what’s in the bag (I didn’t get the colour bag I wanted, but I can live with that - and it's a fantastic size washbag).

I'm not going to list all of the items individually, but highlights for me include:

  • Mini Diptyque candle in a scent I love - Baies
  • A mini pot of Eve Lom cleanser - not only is this my favourite cleanser in the world but the pot is a perfect size for travelling, and I'll easily be able to decant cleanser from one of the larger pots into it when it runs out
  • Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - never tried this but very keen to and this is a very generous sample size
  • Nars Orgasm illuminator - ditto
  • Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist - have wanted to try this for ages and again it's a very generous size
  • ESPA body oil
  • Plus goodies from Kiehl's, Dermalogica, Ren, Trish McEvoy, Aesop, Aromatherapy Associates, Phillip Kingsley, Cowshed, Hourglass, Chantecaille and more. 

I'm really impressed with the range of samples and their sizes. It's a definite improvement on last year's Beauty Gift, and while the minimum spend has increased from £125 to £150, I think the contents more than justify this.

So what did I buy? I had a few things in mind, but all that changed when I dropped by the Trish McEvoy counter and received a mini-makeover using the two products pictured below - Instant Solutions Beauty Balm and the Instant Eye Lift.

I've never tried any Trish McEvoy products before, but the natural colours of the blushes and eyeshadows have always caught my eye when passing by the counters (I'm a sucker for delicate pinks, peaches, and soft taupes and browns). I needed a new base and concealer, so I asked the sales staff what they'd recommend, and ended up having a lovely mini makeover.

First of all the exfoliating Beta Hydroxy Pads were used on my face, which I really liked, before an eye serum and face serum, then the BB cream, eye lift and a beautiful gel blush with a powder on top. I was impressed with the results of all products, and purchased the BB cream and the eye lift, with the others all added to my wishlist for a later date. They are costly products - up there with Sisley, By Terry and Chantecaille - but I'm hoping they'll prove to be worthwhile investments - fuller review to follow soon.

I also booked a facial with Eve Lom, which brought me to (and beyond) the required £150 spend. In my opinion, money very well spent. The Beauty Gift provides a great opportunity for you to treat yourself to products you've had your eye on, replenish stocks of tried and tested favourites, and also to buy some early Christmas presents in for beauty-loving friends (the products in the GWP make great stocking fillers too). Judging by the popularity of the Liberty and Space NK beauty GWPs (and I think Harvey Nic's do one too) it surely won't be long before some of the other big departments stores start doing similar... here's hoping anyway!

The Liberty GWP is sold out online but still available in store - though I'm not sure for how long, so hurry on down there if you're interested! I'll post about the Space NK GWP and what I purchased soon.

4 September 2013

Rodin Olio Lusso Lip balm

I first bought this lip balm on impulse a year or so ago, when stocking up on items to qualify for the Liberty beauty gwp.

At £23 for a mere 5g of product, I suspected I was paying as much for the sleek packaging as I was for the product itself. But intrigued by claims that the product is a favourite of various supermodels - and by the lack of reviews on the web - I decided to give it a go.

I didn't know anything about Rodin so did a bit of googling - the brand was started by former model Linda Rodin, who, unable to find products suitable for her dry skin, starting creating her own. There were just five products in the range when I purchased this - face, body and hair oils, a body cream, and the lip balm - they now seem to have added perfumes, candles and a travel kit. Each product contains natural, plant-based ingredients (the lip balm includes jasmine, orange and also beeswax and shea butter) - as well as essential oils - marketed as 'Olio lusso' (luxury oil).

The lip balm comes in a pleasingly heavy, clear lucite case and is certainly very pretty to look at. The balm itself is a delicate rose pink shade. The texture is soft and ever so slightly greasy without being sticky, though its kind of hard to get a decent amount onto your finger and then on to the lips.

and on the lips!

The "famous floral scent" I'd read about obviously needs a far more delicate sense of smell than mine to discern - my balm doesn't seem to have any scent at all! It is marketed as a lip treatment rather than a colour - I think it does prettify my lips a little, giving them a delicate pink sheen, but that is about it.

It is meant to be smoothing and moisturising - I don't find it to be either of those things particularly, especially in the winter when my lips seem to constantly cry out for something more heavyweight such as Eight Hour Cream. I actually use this more in the summer when my lips are less dry, just to make them look a bit more polished.

Overall I'm really not sure how I feel about this product, though I did repurchase it recently so it does seem to have wheedled its way into my affections. This has been my first foray into luxury lip balms and I do feel there's a hint of the Emperor's New Clothes about it - it is so subtle it's almost invisible, yet somehow I'm happy to spend money on it. I'll use up my second pot, but I doubt I'll repurchase it as I have a brand new pot of By Terry's Baume de Rose to try next - will be interested to see how the two compare.

Has anyone else tried this balm or any other Rodin products? Despite my mixed feelings on the lip balm, the other products in the range do look rather lovely, especially the facial oil, so there may be more Rodin on the blog in future.

Rodin Lip balm is available from Liberty and Cult Beauty (cheaper at Cult Beauty!).