Lush Cupcake Face Mask

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I bought this mask as part of a recent ‘accidental’ Lush haul. I’d never tried a Lush face mask before, but this one appealed to me because it looks and smells like chocolate and it would be an understatement to say that I like chocolate… I love the way Lush present the mask in a bowl with chocolate drops on top in the store, it makes it look really enticing. You can see an example on their website here.

The mask is particularly good for anyone with younger, more spot prone skin, or anyone with problematic oily areas. According to the Lush website, it has linseed  to nourish and soften the skin, fresh mint for toning, cocoa butter which is really moisturising and rhassoul mud to absorb grease and give a deep cleanse. I have had a rhassoul mud treatment before and I do think it’s great at cleansing and freshening the skin.

There is no other way to describe the smell of this mask except chocolate heaven! It smells like really rich dark chocolate in a pot and continues to smell like chocolate even when its on your skin.

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Once you’ve bought the mask you should keep it in the fridge because it contains lots of fresh ingredients. It also means the mask is pleasantly cold when you apply it to your skin. I don’t think I’d fancy applying lukewarm chocolatey mud to my face… It has a very thick consistency but it spreads well and evenly across your skin. I leave the mask a good 15 minutes till it has completely dried out and then I wash it off.

I really love this mask. Not only is it fun to apply, but it leaves my skin feeling really fresh and clean. It also only cost £5.95 which I think is quite good value. You get four or five fairly generous applications out of it and it feels like a high quality spa product.

The only downside is you will get in a bit of a mess. In fact ‘a bit’ would be an understatement. It takes a lot of warm water and soap to wash off and whatever flannel or face cloth you use will end up covered in it so will need to go straight in the wash. You are also likely to get it all over your sink, so don’t use it if you cleaned your skin an hour earlier! I totally think it’s worth it though and I can’t wait to try more Lush face masks. Any recommendations?

 

Review: Simple Soothing Facial Scrub and Deep Cleansing Face Mask

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I have had these two Simple products knocking about in my beauty stash for quite some time now. Like most products I own, I used them religiously for a long while and then forgot about them.

The Soothing Facial Scrub contains Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and rice granules to gently exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells. To use it, you wash your face so that your skin is damp and then apply a small amount  and massage in circular movements. Then you can wash it off. The rice granules are quite large, albeit fairly sparse. You can definitely feel them when you are using it though. I really like being able to feel a scrub working! Afterwards, my skin always feels smooth and really clean and fresh. It doesn’t dry it out at all or make it feel tight. This product has never broken me out and I do feel like it makes my skin look more even and polished. It’s great to use before or after a cleanser a couple of times a week.

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Simple Soothing Facial Scrub

The Deep Cleansing Face Mask has a thick cream consistency. You apply it all over your face and leave it for three minutes before washing it off. It contains Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Bisabolol, natural clay and seaweed extracts and is designed to draw out deep dirt and impurities in your skin. I really like using this mask once a week when I have a little more time to make sure my skin is really deeply cleansed. When it dries it feels a little tight but not uncomfortable. Afterwards it always leaves my skin feeling really clean. It washes off really easily so it doesn’t matter if you get it in your hair – it won’t leave it crusty like some face masks.

The major downside to these products has got to be the smell. Like all Simple products, they don’t contain any perfume so that they are kind to sensitive skin. However, this means that they end up smelling… well a bit like chemicals. The scrub in particular doesn’t smell overly pleasant. They are very much products to buy for their function, rather than because you fancy a luxurious beauty product.

Overall I do like these products. I have seen good results using them and I think they are quite the bargain at just £3.99 each. They are definitely worth a try if you are looking for an everyday scrub and/or mask, particularly if you have sensitive skin or don’t like using products with a strong fragrance on your face.

Testing Products Part Two

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This is part two of my Testing Products series where I try samples and miniature versions of products out and let you know whether it is worth buying a full size one or if you should avoid them altogether.

Nip & Fab 365 Body Glow Fix

I don’t quite have the words to express how much I hate this product. It came free with a magazine – Cosmopolitan I think – a month or so ago. It’s a clear tanning gel which will supposedly give you a streak-free natural golden tan in four hours. The first time I used it nothing happened. Even the following day I saw no difference to my skin. The second time I applied a little more to see if I could get some colour. I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen a difference by the time I went to bed seeing as it is only supposed to take 4 hours to develop. By the time I woke up the next day my legs were not only orange, but really patchy as well. It was terrible. I spent the next week soaking in the bath, exfoliating like a crazy person and rubbing lemon juice on the darker patches in a desperate attempt to fix the mess. The only redeeming feature of the product is the fact that it doesn’t have the usual smell of fake tanning products. I have to say this is now going straight in the bin!

Ted Baker Origami Bath Foam

This miniature bottle of bath bubbles smells really good. It’s quite a mature scent (very floral) but it’s very luxurious. It created a respectable amount of bubbles in my bath and I particularly liked the fact that the scent lingered on my skin even after I got out of the bath. I think this would be a great gift at Christmas time.

Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner

I was excited to try this product because I know a lot of people absolutely swear by it when their hair is feeling a little dry and damaged. I’m afraid I was very disappointed. It smells really nice but it didn’t feel very thick or hydrating when I applied it to my hair and I have to say it had made no difference to the appearence or feel of my hair after a couple of weeks worth of use. Back to my staple conditioner Pantene Pro V Classic Care!

Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask

This is a thick grey face mask with the consistency and texture of mud. It feels really warm when you first apply it to your face, but the warmth doesn’t last unfortunately. You leave it on your face for a few minutes and then wash it off. I enjoyed using this and I liked how fresh and clean it made my face feel afterwards.

L’Oreal Hair Expertise EverRiche Nourishing and Taming Shampoo

I got this sample of shampoo from a magazine which is a great place to find freebies to try. It sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a go. It smells really  luxurious – sweet and creamy – it reminds me of shea butter. It lathered well too. I’d definitely consider buying a full bottle.

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser

I have used body conditioners that you apply to wet skin and then towel dry (my favourite is Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner from Lush) but never one you wash off. It sounded such an interesting concept I had to try it. It worked quite well and left my skin feeling very soft. I don’t think this would be a substitute for a really good moisturiser, but I think it’s a great idea to have this in your shower ready for days when you feel lazy or are pushed for time.

Nivea Soft

This product is designed for your face, body and hands. I was very skeptical of products that claim to have multiple functions; in my experience they are more likely to do many things averagely and I’d rather have one thing that works really well. I used this on my arms a couple of nights in a row. I’ll admit it absorbed int the skin quickly and didn’t feel sticky. However, it doesn’t smell very exciting or luxurious and I wouldn’t say it left my skin feeling soft or hydrated. All in all it’s a bit of a miss really.

My Summer Essentials

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The weather in the UK is so changeable at the moment. We’ve had everything from glorious boiling hot sun to pouring rain and strong winds in the last few months. However, with true British grit and determination and with continued hope for more sun, I have put together a list of my essential summer beauty products for hot weather.

First up, we all know it’s essential to use a really good sun screen. My absolute favourite is the Nivea Sun Invisible Protection Spray. I use SPF 30 for the UK weather. This is a transparent liquid which you spray onto your skin and rub in. It’s brilliant if you are running low on time and want something which won’t leave white marks even if you don’t spend a lot of time rubbing it in. The downside is, like most sun protection, it has that typical sun screen smell – chemicals, yum.

Following on from sun screen, I also like to have a bottle of after sun to hand.  I use the Nivea Sun Moisturising After Sun Spray. This is so cool and soothing after a day in the sun and is particularly good if your skin has burnt as it contains aloe vera. The spray bottle makes it very easy to use.

Another product which I think is essential for summer is a really good moisturiser. I don’t know about you but my skin does tend to dry out a bit in the summer time. I love using a body butter to add some well needed moisture back into the skin. I love the Body Shop Cocoa Body Butter because it smells divine!

Like most people, the minute I see sunshine I want to show off my legs in skirts and dresses. To make sure they look as good as possible, I always reach for my exfoliating gloves. Mine were really cheap from Boots. I use them with a body scrub or with my ordinary shower gel or body wash to get rid of dead skin cells and leave my legs looking and feeling smooth.

I always keep a big hair clamp close to hand in the summer time so I can really quickly put my hair up and get it off the back of my neck in hot weather. Sunglasses are also a must to protect my eyes from the sun and keep nasty pollen particles out of my eyes (hayfever is not my friend).

I hate wearing a lot of make up in hot weather but sometimes I do want a little bit of coverage if I am having a bad skin or low confidence day. That’s why I have been using my No 7 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser a lot this summer. I reviewed this product here if you’d like to read more about it.

Finally, in hot weather I tend to do less with my eyes because nothing looks worse than smudged eyeliner and also because I wear sunglasses a lot. Instead I tend to reach for bright, coral lipsticks. Two of my favourites are Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Coral Queen and Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Coral in Gold. The Coral in Gold shade has a gorgeous gold shimmer to it so it’s fantastic if you are going somewhere special.

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From top to bottom: Rimmel Lasting Finish 210 Coral in Gold and Rimmel Moisture Renew 620 Coral Queen