Hylamide Low Molecular HA – Review

I wanted to talk about my new favourite hyaluronic acid serum! This is the Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster (RRP £18). Hyaluronic acid is a popular skincare ingredient that we do have in our bodies naturally but when used topically it can really help to hydrate the skin! I have used two other serums with a notable amount of hyaluronic acid in them – Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum (RRP £24.99) and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£22.50) – however this one from Hylamide is definitely the one I have personally found most effective in terms of hydration.

I really like the look of the packaging, it looks very high-tech and scientific! I’m not completely sold on the pipette dispenser, but it has come in handy now that I’m running very low on the serum as I can use it to suck up the last bit at the bottom. When it was new I just tended to wipe off the excess on the pipette and use that as opposed to squeezing it out – looking back this probably wasn’t the most hygienic thing I could have done lol. I’ve gotten used to the pipette now so it doesn’t put me off repurchasing it but I do always prefer a pump.

The serum itself is more liquid that the other two hyaluronic serums I’ve tried (mentioned in the intro) that were more gel-like. I think I prefer it being more liquid as I reckon this is partly why I have found it so hydrating. Having said this it’s still by no means incredibly runny and doesn’t move like water, it still clings to the pipette and is not drippy.

The more I’ve used it the more I’ve found that a little can go a long way. At first I was probably using too much and I could have made the bottle last a lot longer. Using it both morning and evening on most days, I reckon by the time I’ve finished the bottle it will have lasted about 2 .5-3 months which is not bad for a product that RRP’s at £18 and that you can often use discount codes on.

I have definitely noticed a difference in the hydration of my skin since using this serum. The texture when applied to your face is initially a bit sticky but it sinks in very quickly allowing you to apply your moisturiser. When I’ve used this I no longer wake up with ‘tight’ feeling skin in the morning which is great! Maybe the 5 forms of hyaluronic compounds said to be within this serum are the secret to its effective skin quenching abilities!

I definitely recommend trying this if you think you have dehydrated skin, which you can have with any skin type, even if you’re oily!

Love Nicole xxxx

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Skincare, Bodycare and Perfume Empties with Mini Reviews

Following on from my Makeup Empties post, here is the rest of the stuff I accumulated. There’s a real assortment so I’m going to do my best to keep it short and to the point.

I had this mini size of the ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (£40). I absolutely loved it as it was delightful to use; it felt so luxurious and nourishing. I’d love to say I would buy it again but I don’t think I could bring myself to pay the large price tag… Maybe if I ever have a very well paid job! But if you do have the money to spend on luxury skincare I totally recommend.

The Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash (£16) was not to my taste at all. I didn’t hate it, but the formula is more of a (as it says in the name) ‘wash’ and is kind of foaming and I prefer balms or creams. I didn’t like how it felt and I didn’t like the smell.

I’ve written a whole post on the Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (£20.50) so if you want more detail have a read of that but in short I think it’s a fantastic cleansing balm and I enjoyed using it and would buy it again.

A collection of makeup removers next…

I really didn’t like the Boots Time Delay Daily Cleansing Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.49). I found it really stung my eyes and wasn’t that effective at taking makeup off. It took a lot of cotton pads drenched in the stuff to get everything off. I would not buy it again.

The next product however I have already bought again – Botanics All Bright Soothing Eye Make Up Remover (£2.50). I really like this eye makeup remover and I agree that it is soothing. It has a very oily, silicone-y feel on the skin which will probably not be to everyone’s taste but I love it and it’s probably what I find soothing about it.

Another Botanics product, the All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution (£2.50), was okay. It was better than the Boots Time Delay one but it still wasn’t the most gentle on my eyes. I found it slightly drying also. As I’ve spoken about in earlier empties posts, I love the other micellar water by Botanics – the Hydration Burst 3 in 1 Micellar Cleanser (£4).

The Lush Eau Roma Water (£4.50 for 100g) was a bit of a meh product for me. It took me ages to use it up as I just didn’t really enjoy using it, probably partly to do with the fact I don’t really love the smell of lavender. I also found it would irritate my eyes if they were feeling a bit sore already. I wouldn’t repurchase.

A product however I love, and have given it’s own post, is the Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz (£4). I really like this product and I think it’s great value. It’s very refreshing and gives a boost of hydration. I would definitely buy it again.

The Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) is such a popular product within the beauty community and I count myself as a fan. I already have another bottle on the go! I didn’t find it performed any miracles for me personally, but that’s likely because I was no stranger to glycolic acid when I first used it so my skin was already in pretty good nick. I just find it a gentle, reliable liquid exfoliator that I can use morning and evening to upkeep my skin condition.

The Antipodes Joyous Night Replenish Serum (£39.99) took me a long time to use up. This is a pricey product and I’m afraid I don’t think it was worth it, even though when I bought it I got it for around £25. I didn’t really notice any benefits from it that I hadn’t seen from less expensive serums. I love Antipodes as a brand and how natural everything is and you can tell this serum (to me, it’s more like an oil) is beautiful quality with lovely ingredients, it just personally didn’t do much for me. Hence, I would not repurchase.

I bought the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£22.50) when I was looking for a good hyaluronic acid serum. I read a good review on it on Paula’s Choice so I thought it’d be a good one to try. I did really like this serum but it didn’t completely wow me in terms of hydration. I also found I finished it really quickly which was annoying as it’s not cheap. Having said that, I think I probably would buy it again as I did like it and apparently it’s fantastic for anti-oxidants.

The Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask (£22.99) seems to be a popular mask among the blogs I read and rightly so! I enjoyed using this mask and reaping the benefits of the anti bacterial manuka honey. It was great for stubborn spotty skin and I would definitely buy it again.

A rather fun to use product is the Pixi Glow Mud Mask (£18)! It’s a black colour and makes you look rather terrifying when you put it on. I loved/hated how it would dry and I could see all of my pores as black dots on my nose and cheeks! The tube surprised me with how tiny it is but actually it did last me a long time as you really don’t need to use much. However, I’m not sure I noticed any real, tangible benefits from using the mask, and it’s not exactly cheap so I’m not sure I would buy it again.

As of right now, the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 (£28) is my holy grail daily moisturiser. I have written its own dedicated post which you can read here if you’d like to know why. I’m onto my third tube now I think.

The unscented Salt of the Earth Spray Deodorant (£3.99) is a pleasant enough natural deodorant however I much preferred the other version shown here which is the Salt of the Earth Pure Aura Women’s Natural Deodorant (£5.99). I just prefer my deodorant to have a scent and this one smells incredible. I have written a whole post on these deodorants if you’d like to read more. I would definitely buy the Pure Aura one again!

I absolutely love this body lotion and can’t believe I hadn’t tried it before. The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion (£3.75) is so thick and creamy to use and I feel it really does give deep moisturisation as well as smelling amazing. I’ve already purchased another bottle of it and I love that it’s so affordable and available in so many shops.

I finally finished up one of my favourite perfumes – Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gioia. It had started to smell a bit funny tbh because I’d had it so long so I was making a conscious effort to use it up before it went past the point of no return. Unfortunately, Giorgio Armani is not a cruelty free brand so I’m not sure if I will repurchase in the near future. It’ll be hard not to because I love it but hopefully one day all cosmetics companies will go cruelty free.

I don’t think this Antigua fragrance by Next is available anymore but it smelt bloomin’ gorgeous! It seems to be available as a reed diffuser and candle though. I may have to buy that candle…

Lastly, I got this sample size of the this works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (£16) from a magazine. I rather optimistically hoped this would miraculously knock out my anxious mind every night but, alas, it did not. It smells good and like it should be calming and I believe that it does work for some people but for me, I just seem to be resistant to this sort of stuff.

Phew, we have reached the end! I hope you enjoyed reading my opinions on these products I’ve finished and remember to subscribe or follow me on Bloglovin!

Best wishes, Nicole xxxx

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Ending Blogtober with a Beauty Haul!

I’ve made it to the end of October and have managed to get a post up every day bar three, which I’m very satisfied with! Having the time and ideas to blog about something everyday is quite a feat and respect to those who do it every day, all year long! If you’d like to catch up on all my Blogtober posts then you can do so here. 🙂

Anyway, onto the haul. I’d actually gotten through most of October with very minimal spending. I think I bought some things at the start of the month and then when it got into the last week of the month my addiction was kicking in and I needed some deliveries to my door. Beauty Bay released a discount code and I knew it was time. Here’s what I got.

beauty bay haul milani baked blush dolce pink foundation and concealer light beige mario badescu face mist zoeva wing liner brush makeup gerard cosmetics skinny dip hydramatte lipstick

I got one of the Milani Baked Blushes in Dolce Pink. These are so pretty! The gold packaging is cute and the pigmentation is insane. You have to be very careful not to put too much on, literally just a dab in the pan with a brush is enough.

After seeing so many positive reviews I also got a foundation from Milani – the Milani Conceal and Perfect 2 in 1 Foundation and Concealer. I’m always really wary of buying foundation online and despite obviously looking at swatches the shade I bought – 03 Light Beige – is not quite the right shade for me. The lighter shade 01 was not in stock so my options were limited. 03 Light Beige is just a little bit too dark for me and it’s slightly too yellow toned despite the description saying it was for “light skin with neutral undertones”. Notwithstanding the shade issues, the foundation does seem to give good coverage and last all day. I might buy some of The Body Shop’s shade adjusting drops to use with this and see if that improves the shade match. Has anyone tried them and if so, are they any good?

The only skincare item I bought was the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater. I love a good face spray but I don’t like spending a lot of money of them so this one seemed like a nice one to try out!

I also bought another Beauty Blender just so I’ve got one in stock for when my current one gets too manky. Another beauty tool I got was the ZOEVA Rose Golden Vol.2 317 Wing Liner Brush. I already have this brush but in the black and rose gold colour scheme and I love it; it’s such a good shape. I use that one for brow pomade but I wanted to get another one to use for eyeshadow and liner.

Lastly, I finally got a Gerard Cosmetics Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick after toying with buying one for so long. I went for the shade ‘Skinny Dip’ and it is gorgeous and I’m so glad I finally bought one! I’ve only worn it twice so far but so far I love the formula; it’s not drying at all and is creamy and pigmented with good lasting power. So pretty much everything you could want from a liquid lipstick. The packaging is cute also, gotta love anything in frosted glass.

That’s everything! Now Blogtober’s over I’ll be back to my usual routine and just posting as and when I can, but hopefully that’ll be at least once a week.

Love Nicole xxxx

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My High Street/Drugstore Go To Skincare Brands

As much as I love dabbling in premium skincare I am always trying to find great affordable products in the likes of Boots and Superdrug. I really enjoy trying lots of new products and when you come across a brilliant, affordable product it’s much more satisfying than purchasing a £30 cleanser! Also, there’s far less room for disappointment when you’re paying less for a product.

Today I thought I’d share which brands I gravitate towards when I’m in Boots or Superdrug and share any product experiences. As far as I am aware, all the brands I am going to mention are cruelty-free which is something I actively seek out.

nip and fab glycolic fix daily cleansing pads no 7 boots cleansing melting gel superdrug vitamin e naturally radiant hot cloth cleanser boots botanics super facialist vitamin c

Nip + Fab

Nip + Fab is the great, affordable sister brand to the premium brand Rodial. They make some fantastic products, my favourite of which being the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads. They are definitely worth a look if you’re wanting something effective but affordable and they are often on special offer. Nip + Fab is available in both Boots and Superdrug.

No 7

Boots’ No7 brand is, in my experience, often overlooked in the online beauty world, but they really do have some lovely products. Their Melting Gel Cleanser was very nice to use and I’ve just bought the Hot Cloth Cleanser which I cannot wait to use tonight! It looks really luxurious and I used one of the £5 off No7 skincare vouchers that are periodically given out so I got it for a great price.

Superdrug Vitamin E Range

This is an extremely budget friendly range and I really like the scent of it. It’s obviously nothing fancy but I’ve never had a bad experience with any of the products and I am really loving the Toning Facial Mist at the moment. I really need to try the Hot Cloth Cleanser from the range too.

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Range

Another Superdrug own brand that is super affordable whilst having really great products. The Hot Cloth Cleanser is gorgeous.

Boots Botanics

Back to Boots now and I am a big fan of the Botanics range and always check it out whenever it’s on offer. It uses lots of natural and organic products and extracts which is a plus and is a purse friendly price point with nice packaging. I particularly like the Rosewater Toning Spritz and the Hydration Burst Micellar Cleanser.

Super Facialist

If you’re after a more premium feeling brand but with a more appealing price tag, then Super Facialist by Una Brennan may be one for you to check out. There are some gorgeous products for a variety of skin concerns and the packaging is so pretty! I’m currently trying out the Vitamin C+ Eye Cream which I am enjoying so far. Some tried and tested products that I really like from the range include the Rose Hydrate Cleanser, Anti Blemish Clay Mask and Vitamin C+ Cleansing Oil. As far as I’m aware this range is only available in Boots.

Good Things

Another brand which I think is only available in Boots, Good Things concerns itself with including only ‘good things’ in their products by omitting many of the nasties of the skincare world like parabens and mineral oil. I think it’s probably quite good for teenage skins as there are lots of products aimed at clearing skin and they have a lovely manuka honey range which is anti-bacterial therefore great for treating spots. And of course, it’s affordable for young people who might not have access to lots of money! I really need to try the Manuka Honey Face Mask; I can’t believe I haven’t already!

Yes To

Yes To is a majority natural based brand. Their product range is vast so you’re bound to find a range to suit your needs. They also do hair care and body care so there’s plenty to try. I had good experiences with the Yes To Carrots range; it was nothing phenomenal but it did the job. Yes To is available in Boots and also on ASOS.

So, there’s eight great ranges for you to check out if you’re searching for more affordable skincare. 🙂

Love Nicole xxxx

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My Favourite Chemical Exfoliants | Nip and Fab, Pixi, Alpha H, Paula’s Choice

I am a big advocate for the benefits of using chemical exfoliants. In fact, as you may have seen in my Current Skincare Routine post I use them every single day and night! I used to have quite bad, spotty skin, and I still think I would if I didn’t control it to some extent with the help of these products. They essentially help your skin cells to turnover therefore hopefully lessening the chances of pores getting blocked and forming spots. I still have far from perfect skin, but it is much, much better than it was before I introduced products such as these into my routine. I am generally much happier being seen minus makeup and when I am wearing makeup it looks so much better because of fewer lumps and bumps.

And just in case you don’t have a clue where these would fit in your routine, they should be used straight after cleansing and before any moisturisers, serums or oils.

pixi glow tonic nip and fab glycolic fix daily cleansing pads alpha h liquid gold paulas choice skin perfecting 2% bha liquid exfoliant

I love and recommend all of the products pictured but I thought I’d try to break them down to help you see which one might be best suited to your needs! Most of these are AHA (glycolic acid) products but there are a couple which contain BHA (salicylic acid).

If you’re on a budget…

The Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads (£12.99) and Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme (£14.95) are absolutely amazing if you’d prefer to keep costs down. The prices in brackets are just the RRP but I’ve never paid full price for these as they are nearly always on some sort of offer at either Superdrug or Boots. I got this pot of the original pads for £5 from Superdrug last month – absolute bargain! I love these pads and they were the first chemical exfoliant product I tried and they completely changed my skin for the better with daily use. The extreme version contains both AHAs and BHAs so if you have particularly problem skin they could potentially be a good choice.

If you have sensitive skin...

I was surprised how gentle Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) was when I first tried it! The formulation is quite natural based and refined and it is an alcohol free formula which is great in terms of not drying out or irritating your skin. However, the ingredients list does include fragrance which surprised me as it doesn’t really smell of anything at all – maybe that’s the idea. Overall though I think this a brilliant option if you have a more sensitive skin type thanks to its gentle formula containing soothing ingredients.

If you’ve used glycolic products before and want something more extreme with noticeable results…

If you’re looking to brighten your complexion and even out your skin tone all whilst effectively resurfacing your skin to help prevent blockages, then Alpha H Liquid Gold (£33.50) may be a worthwhile investment. Again, shop around and look out for discount codes and offers and you can save yourself £££s off the hefty price tag. I do really think it’s worth a splurge though – this is my second bottles of it, which I got in a supersize! I generally use this as an intensive treatment overnight whereby I cleanse and then apply this to my skin and leave it overnight without applying any subsequent products. I find I wake up with my skin looking much brighter with less redness which is amazing.

If you’ve got oily and/or problematic, spotty skin and/or you don’t get on with glycolic acid…

This is my one recommendation that is a solely BHA product containing 2% salicylic acid. It is from Paula’s Choice and is called the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (£25). This is excellent at getting into pores and controlling spots thanks to the salicylic acid. It feels almost velvety on the skin when you apply it which I found surprising – it does not feel harsh at all. However, whereas with all the other products I have mentioned which I would use every day and night, with this product and the fact salicylic is stronger and more drying than glycolic, I would only suggest using this one a maximum of once a day either morning or evening. I found when I used it both morning and evening my skin began to dry out and look a bit flakey which would look awful when I applied makeup. So I reckon once a day or once every other day would be the ideal, depending on how much your skin can take! If you’re particularly oily maybe you could cope with it twice a day, but that definitely wasn’t the case for me as someone with normal/dehydrated skin.

I hope you found this somewhat helpful and that I’ve intrigued you enough to make you try one of these great products. I couldn’t imagine my skin care routine without a chemical exfoliant now!

Love Nicole xxxx

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Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (Review)

I thoroughly enjoy trying new cleansers but I do like to try and keep within more affordable brands. Cleansers don’t spend all that long on your face so I don’t believe you should have to spend a fortune on them. However, unfortunately for me, through trying different products I found I have an overriding preference for cleansing balms – which tend to err on the more expensive side of cleansers.

I have loved Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (£38) and Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (£40) which are both rather pricey! I tried samples of them both and they are awesome but I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase a full size. So, instead I searched for a cleansing balm with a more attractive price tag. I came across Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (£20.50) and I have been really impressed!

Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing BalmTrilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm reviewTrilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (3)Trilogy Make-up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (2)

This is a beautiful natural product, rich in oils that makes it feel luxurious to use and removes makeup brilliantly. It’s not quite as smooth as the two aforementioned, more expensive cleansing balms, it’s seems to be slightly more gritty but once it’s melted onto the skin it’s just as smooth and beautiful.

I haven’t tried to properly remove eye makeup with this but it does remove base makeup exceptionally, completely melting it away which you can then remove with the cloth that the product comes with.

The smell is very non offensive, just quite natural!

I really enjoy using this, it gives me everything I love about using a cleansing balm but for half the price of buying Emma Hardie or Elemis. If you buy from sites like Look Fantastic or Feel Unique you could easily get it for not much more than £15 with the discount codes and offers they have.

Overall a really lovely product and if you, too, love cleansing balms you should definitely give this a try!

Love Nicole xxxx

Blogging every day in October! (Or trying to anyway)

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Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 Review

Today I’m going to talk about an awesome daytime moisturiser from Paula’s Choice. This is the second tube I have bought which demonstrates how happy I am with it! As a daytime moisturiser it was important to me that it had a decent SPF, which this one definitely does. I chose this one specifically because it is a physical/mineral sunblock with the active ingredients being Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. This makes it more appropriate for sensitive skin. Also, I had read some scary things about chemical sunscreen ingredients causing counter-productive chemical reactions on your skin and possibly disrupting hormones. This was why I really wanted to find a trusty mineral SPF.

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 review moisturiserPaula's Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 review moisturiser (3)

The formula as you can see is thick and white and a little goes a fairly long way. The blob above on my hand would have been more than enough for my face and to go down my neck too; it is important not to be stingy though as otherwise you won’t get the sun protection. The finish is definitely not matte but it does provide a perfectly fine base for makeup – personally I still use primer anyway. Because of its consistency you do have to make sure it’s rubbed in properly to avoid any white cast but this has never been an issue for me.

The product is aimed at normal/dry/very dry skin however I don’t think it’s enough on its own if you have dry or very dry skin. I don’t actually find it that hydrating and prefer to use a hyaluronic acid serum underneath it. This is possibly because zinc oxide as an ingredient can be drying for some, but this would never put me off as I’d rather zinc oxide than some horrible chemical sunscreen ingredient! Used in conjunction with a serum my skin has been staying at relatively ‘normal’ levels, not getting too dry or too oily.

Along with SPF it is also apparently packed full of antioxidants too which all helps towards protecting skin from environmental factors and ageing. The 60ml size is also pretty generous for a moisturiser. It sounds pretty great right?! You should try it. I personally have bought it via Look Fantastic (£28) both times I’ve purchased it as they offer free delivery and always have discount codes floating around so you shouldn’t ever have to pay the full price. 20% discounts are quite common and make sure you’re signed up to their mailing list to be notified of any codes.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Current Skincare Routine

This Sunday I thought I would talk about one of my favourite things: skincare. I’m pretty happy with my current routine but I’ll explain any products that I’m not particularly taken with and wouldn’t recommend or buy again. I always make sure to use products up as I absolutely hate waste! Unless they’re causing me some kind of bad reaction then I use everything.

I am using different products for my morning routine and my evening routine so I will go through them separately! Just as an FYI, I have normal/dehydrated/spot prone skin.

current skincare routine normal dry dehydrated skin pixi glow tonic boots botanics rose water toning spritz first aid beauty serum paulas choice spf 25 skin recovery daily moisturizer

Morning Routine

The cleanser I am using in the mornings at the moment is the Superdrug Clearly Youthful Cream Cleanser (£3.69). I was excited to try this as it has AHAs/BHAs in it which are great for gentle exfoliation and of course, it’s a fantastically affordable price! Unfortunately, I don’t personally enjoy using it and I find it stings my face and feels quite harsh. I’ve not had any horrible reaction to it, it just doesn’t feel nice to me. However, I think this would probably be great for people with oily and/or more mature skin.

I then go in with a cotton pad soaked with Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) all over my face. This is a lovely gentle exfoliating toner that I didn’t find drying. I didn’t experience any miraculous results from it but I will definitely buy it again as I do think it helped to keep my skin smooth and keep spots in check.

Next, I use about four spritzes of Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz (£4) all over my face. I recently did a whole post dedicated to this product, which you can read here. This adds some hydration and refreshment.

For my serum I am using the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£26). I chose to buy this after reading a very positive review on Paula’s Choice. I have to say I agree with most of it now I’ve used it! It’s a very refreshing gel formula that has good ingredients to help improve your skin’s condition. It does initially quench dehydration however for me it’s definitely not enough on it’s own and I still need extra moisture from a moisturiser or oil. According to Paula’s Choice though it has excellent anti-oxidants so that’s a big plus.

The eye cream I’m using, which seems to be never ending and is lasting for ages, is the First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream (£23). It has a nice, almost velvety smooth feel to it which makes application very pleasant however it’s hard to notice with eye creams whether they’re actually doing anything. It hydrates which is the main thing but I’ve already bought a different eye cream to try once this one is empty. I’d like to try something that can help brighten the under-eye area.

Lastly for my morning routine is my moisturiser. It contains SPF which is now an absolute must for me as I’ve pledged to use SPF everyday but I can’t be bothered with having a separate SPF. It is the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 (£28). I’m planning on doing a whole separate post on this product but I really like it and this is my second tube. It’s a thick, whipped, creamy texture with mineral/physical SPF protection. This means it’s gentler and generally safer and suitable for sensitive skin. I hugely recommend and we should all be wearing SPF daily if we want our skin to age well.

boots micellar water alpha h liquid gold hydraluron indeed labs face theory lush aroma toning water trilogy make up be gone cleansing balm

Evening Routine

For that initial makeup removal I use a micellar water. The one pictured here that I’m currently using is Boots Time Delay Daily Cleansing Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.49). I am not a fan of this as I don’t feel it’s particularly effective at removing makeup and it really stings my eyes! I will not repurchase this. My favourite is still Botanics Hydration Burst 3 in 1 Micellar Cleanser (£4).

For my evening cleanse I am using Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (£20.50). Again, I hope to do a whole individual post on this product where I can properly rave about it. If you love cleansing balms like the ones from Emma Hardie or Elemis, or you wish you could try them but find them just too expensive, this is a fantastic value alternative. I appreciate it’s still not super cheap but with deals and discount codes you can easily get this for around £15 like I did and it’s beautiful!

Now’s my exfoliation step where if I’m not using Pixi Glow Tonic or if I feel like my skin is crappy and needs something more powerful, I will use Alpha-H Liquid Gold (£33.50). This is my second bottle of it which I got in a supersize 200ml. If my skin really needs help I will apply Liquid Gold with a cotton pad and leave it there as regards to my skincare for the night. This gives an intensive treatment and it’s one of the few products that when I wake up in the morning after using it, I feel I genuinely notice a positive difference; my skin just looks brighter and more refined with less redness.

If I’m not going for an ‘intense treatment’ then I have been following the exfoliating toner step with Lush Eau Roma Toning Water (£4.50). This is nice to use in the evening as the lavender scent is relaxing, however, while this may be the case I’m not a huge lavender lover so I’m not sure I’d buy this again.

I then use Indeed Labs hydraluron™ moisture boosting facial serum (£24.99). I really like this and have to say I find it more hydrating than the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum that I use in my morning routine. Again, it’s a water based gel formula containing hyaluronic acid. It has relatively few ingredients which I like however this does mean it lacks the anti-oxidants of the First Aid Beauty offering. I quite like having both of them though and utilising the anti-oxidants of the First Aid Beauty one in the day time and then using the more hydrating Hydraluron over night.

Next I follow up with the same eye cream as my morning routine.

Lastly, as a night time moisturiser I am using Face Theory’s Relaxing Night Cream M10 (£10.99) which contains 1% Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Argan Oil. I like this a lot and the formula and ingredients are great. A little goes a long way. It’s very rich so ideal for normal-dry skin but probably not for oilier complexions. Face Theory are a small UK based company and it’s nice to support businesses like that, especially if they have great products with good ingredients at affordable prices.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Boots Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz Review

Face mists and spritz’ have become a popular addition to people’s skincare routines, with many offerings from high end brands with the accompanying high end price tags. For something that is often essentially just glorified water it’s not necessarily something you might want to spend lots of money on. I love and enjoy a good face mist but I do begrudge having to spend big money on a step that is very much an add-on rather than an essential. Face mists are one of those ‘Princess’ products that if we’re honest are not necessary but we enjoy nonetheless.

What we have here is a very affordable and pleasant product that can fulfill your face mist desires for less than £5!

Boots Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz review toner rose water (2)

This is the Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz which currently as I’m writing this is priced at £4… It did used to be more than that so I don’t know if this is a new permanent price or what, I hope so!

I have now finished my first bottle of this and I loved it. I used it to soothe and hydrate after using an exfoliating product (like Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Pads or Pixi Glow Tonic) and before applying my serum, eye cream and moisturiser or oil. The spray on it is not too hose-pipe like which is always good and I probably used about 4 sprays each time I used it. This gives a thorough coating but doesn’t leave you completely drenched. I would then let it sit for a while before patting it in.

Rose water supposedly has many benefits for the skin so it’s great to find it for such an affordable price. I found it refreshing and soothing, I’m not sure I can credit it individually with much more than that but my skin is doing really well at the moment so I regard it as a worthwhile step in my skincare routine (which I will be posting about shortly so stay tuned).

Whatever your skin type or condition, I don’t think there’s much to lose by giving this a try – you might love it too!

Love Nicole xxxx

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Salt of the Earth Natural Spray Deodorant Review

After reading some worrying articles about antiperspirants (namely aluminum as an ingredient in them) I thought I’d give some natural deodorants a try. I am not completely convinced of any dangers but it made me think that for day to day use maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to use something more gentle and natural and save the heavy stuff for when I actually need it and am doing something sweaty.

salt of the earth natural clean deodorant unscented pure aura womens

I first bought the Salt of the Earth Pure Aura Women’s Natural Deodorant (£5.99) online and this is the one I would recommend out of the two as it smells amazing. It’s scented with lavender and vanilla; I don’t usually like the scent of lavender but apparently when it’s mixed with vanilla I love it! It reminds me of some sweets that I can’t put my finger on… The Salt of the Earth Unscented Spray Deodorant (£3.99) I grabbed one day in Holland & Barratt as they didn’t have the Pure Aura one and this unscented one is £2 cheaper. However, it’s pretty boring without a scent. I suppose you could add a couple of drops of an essential oil.

The performance of these deodorants was slightly better than I expected. You have to accept with these that you are still going to sweat, so if you’re used to antiperspirants this can take a bit of adjusting. However, when wearing them day to day I never felt self conscious of smelling bad. You will still occasionally get sweat patches though, so don’t be throwing on a grey top wearing this. These deodorants work by “inhibiting the growth of odour-causing bacteria”, they essentially destroy the odour from sweat but you still sweat, hence the sweat patches. This for me is generally fine as long as I wear appropriate clothing. I like that my body is able to do the perfectly natural function of sweating but I don’t smell awful because of it. It’s not like you smell completely fresh as a daisy though, by evening you will have that slight BO smell, TMI? – just being honest!

It is essential with these deodorants that you’re showering every day and applying it to clean skin. I say this because I know before I have been guilty of not showering for two days because my antiperspirant was so effective I genuinely didn’t smell so I just sprayed more on top! With the natural deodorant there’ll been none of that, it’s a quick shower every day. You also need to allow them to dry, which can take a a few minutes. They never leave any white marks though. I used about 4-5 sprays per armpit and tbh the bottles didn’t last as long as I wanted so maybe that’s too much? It felt right to me though.

These deodorants definitely do a good job of preventing odour when compared to wearing nothing. I think it entirely depends on you individually whether they will be for you. If you are very used to antiperspirants then you can’t use this and expect it to do exactly the same thing, it just can’t. But if you’re not a super active or sweaty person then I think you can get on just fine with these! If you are self conscious about sweating then maybe this would not be enough to keep you confident, but I do believe in giving your body a break sometimes so maybe you could consider using something like this that’s more natural on days where you’re just around the house. I personally do this but if I’m doing anything where I think I might sweat more than normal and am around other people (I’m a nervous/anxious sweater) I will still reach for an antiperspirant.

Try the Pure Aura one! Even just for the smell! <3

Love Nicole xxxx

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