Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

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Regular readers will know I wasn’t mad about the L’Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution. I didn’t feel like my skin was really clean, and it made the skin around my eyes quite sore. I heard from several people that the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is better than the L’Oreal one and is more gentle around sensitive eyes, so I thought I would give it a try.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water supposedly contains micelles which act like magnets, gently lifting away makeup and impurities from the skin. The formula  has no perfume and is suitable for the face, eye area and lips. You just put some on a cotton pad and wipe all over your face.

I have found this quite refreshing on the skin, but when I tried to remove eye makeup, it didn’t budge. After quite a bit of rubbing, the skin around my eyes was sore and I still had panda eyes from my eyeliner. I have taken to using this in the morning with my Liz Earle cleanser at night to remove makeup.

I really just think micellar waters are not for me. I guess that’s understandable; everyone has different skin types, skin needs and some of us have sensitive eyes to consider too.

Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

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I bought this Liz Earle toner on a little bit of a whim when I was buying Cleanse & Polish. I had a total disaster with the last toner I tried as it dried my skin out completely (you can read more here) so I was a bit nervous about the idea of trying another toner, but I sort of trust Liz Earle to be good to my skin now.

The bottle of this toner has a really clever top. Instead of a lid, you turn the top and it reveals a little spout. Genius.

The fragrance is heavily floral scented. It has Chamomile, Geranium and Aloe Vera essential oils. I’m not mad on it to be honest as I think it’s quite “old” smelling. I much prefer a fresh scented toner like the Garnier Fresh Essentials Toner. It’s not at all like the scent of Cleanse & Polish.

I take a little toner on a cotton pad and sweep it over my face. I do this every evening and most mornings too. In the evenings it helps make my face feel super clean after cleansing and removes any tiny traces of make-up left on my face.

Most importantly, it hasn’t dried my skin out at all, thank goodness!

Updated Evening Skin Care Routine

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This post might shock you, because unlike most beauty bloggers, I use hardly any products on my face. However, I wanted to do this updated evening skin care routine because I have finally found the products that work for me.

I would describe my skin as normal-combination. I sometimes get a little oily around my t-zone, but it’s not too bad now I’ve got a proper skin care routine.

So first thing’s first, I start by using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser to remove my makeup and they day’s oil and general yuckiness. I rub the cleanser all over my face and then wipe off with a muslin cloth which I’ve run under the hot tap so it’s hot but not uncomfortably so. I rinse the cloth and repeat as many times as I need to. If I’ve been wearing a lot of makeup, I repeat these steps to make sure I’ve got everything off.

Most days, and especially if I’ve worn a full face of makeup, I follow up with Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic. I apply a little on a cotton pad and sweep over my face. I’m not mad on the heavy floral scent of this toner, but I like how it freshens and soothes my skin and removes any over traces of makeup left after cleansing. I have to be careful not to use toner twice a day and to give my skin a bit of a break by taking a dsy off every now and again because toners dry my skin out quite easily.

Since I have been using Liz Earle products, my skin has had shown a dramatic improvement. I used Cleanse and Polish from summer last year and stopped for a month or so to try a new cleanser. My skin got really oily again and I broke out all over the place constantly. As fast as I got rid of a spot, another sprung up. A combination of going back to Cleanse and Polish and this next product finally got my skin back under control.

After using toner, I apply La Roche-Posay Effaclar A I targeted blemish corrector to any spots or blemishes. This works really nicely at either making the spot disappear virtually overnight or significantly speeding up the healing process.

I leave the blemish treatment to dry for a minute or two and then I finish up with moisturiser. I am quite lucky with moisturisers, because unlike cleansers, different moisturisers don’t seem to have much of an effect on my skin. I like to change it up quite a lot and try new ones. I go for something quite light. At the moment I am using Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream, which I really like. I think my favourite so far though is the Garnier Moisture Match Mattifying Fresh Cream because it really helps stop excess oil production in summer.

And that’s literally my entire skin care routine. It’s worked really well for me and I now can’t imagine ever using another cleanser. Of course skin care is a hugely personal thing and everyone’s skin is different, so I can’t promise this will work for you, but I think these are quite universal products and might be worth a try.

Avène Cleanance Toner

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It’s been a long while since I used toner, so I was really excited when I spontaneously decided to buy a new one. I spent ages on the Boots website looking at different products, and eventually went for a mid-range toner: Avène Cleanance Toner.

This toner is specifically designed for blemish prone skin (which I would say mine certainly is these days *sob*). It is supposed to purify the skin after cleansing, as well as absorbing excess oil to mattify the skin and leave it shine free. Sounds perfect right?

I’m really disappointed to say that this toner and I did not get on at all.

I used it morning and night on a cotton pad the first few days (as per the instructions), just sweeping it across my face. It removed the little bits of foundation my cleanser left behind, and left my skin feeling really clean. It didn’t feel tight at all. Things were going well.

Then, disaster struck. I woke up on the fourth day and my skin was so unbelievably dry. It felt almost scaly to touch and it was red and sore in places. I abandoned use of the toner immediately and spent 5 days using a seriously heavy duty day and night cream for dry skin. Eventually my skin got back to where it had been before.

As you can imagine, I was very nervous about using this toner again. I am too tight to throw away a full bottle, seeing as it cost more than £10. I am not using it every day, and definitely not twice a day. I have been using it in the evening on the odd day I wear a full face of makeup. It cleans my face up well, but obviously it isn’t doing it’s job if it is supposed to be used twice a day, daily.

So obviously I can’t recommend this product. If you are thinking of using it, I would advise steering clear unless you have very oily skin, as it is very drying. If you have combination-normal skin, it will most likely dry you out completely.

 

December/January Empties

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I have gathered quite a stack of empties to share with you over December and January. I’ve been in the mood to use up lots of half empty things basically. As always, any products I have done full reviews of, I will only mention briefly, but the main review will be linked. I hope you enjoy!

Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector – good grief, this product lasted me one entire year! Now that’s what you call value for money. If only it didn’t stink so much.

Soap and Glory Flake Away scrub – I got this travel size pot of Flake Away in my Boots advent calendar and started using it straight away. Like all Soap and Glory products, it smells really sweet (“aromas of leafy greens, bergamot and mandarin, with floral and fruity middle notes, and a soft, sexy, musk, oakmoss, amber and woody drydown” according to the Boots website) which I really like. I’d say it’s more of a luxury product than a heavy duty scrub as the particles are very fine. It won’t revolutionise your skin care, but it will make you smell great!

Lush Catastrophie Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask – I was really pleased with this mask, but unfortunately it’s on the empty list by default. I always forget about the fresh face masks because they live in the fridge not in my bathroom. I think I only ended up using this once or twice. What a waste!

L’Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution – I bought this product back when everyone in the beauty community started going crazy for it. It is supposed to remove makeup, unclog pores and tone the skin all at the same time. I found it irritated my eyes a little and made the skin of my eyelids quite sore. I also felt like my skin was never truly clean afterwards, so I didn’t rate it much.

Nina by Nina Ricci Perfume – This perfume has lasted me a whole year (my boyfriend bought it for me last Christmas) but I have sadly run out now. I’m sure it won’t be long till I repurchase it though. I really love Nina Ricci’s perfumes, they smell great, and their staying power isn’t too bad.

Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer – This shadow primer wasn’t too bad actually. It stops the tell tale eyeshadow creasing that shows how long it was since you applied it. However, I don’t like the fact that the wand starts to look dirty after only a couple of uses (picking up the foundation around your eyes). It shows up all the more because it’s white. That makes it feel quite unhygienic and unappealing. I also found that it’s consistency changed towards the end of the tube, so it doesn’t last very long either.

Body Shop Raspberry Shower Gel – This stuff smells absolutely amazing. It’s definitely my favourite Body Shop scent so far; delicious!

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – I’ve tried a couple of cleansers since finishing this and nothing’s as good, so I’ve already re-ordered it! Enough said!

L’Oreal Ever Riche Nourishing & Taming Shampoo and Conditioner – I really love the smell of these: rich and creamy like shea butter. The conditioner was absolutely fantastic, which surprised me because I am very picky when it comes to conditioner. The shampoo worked really well too but it didn’t knock my socks off.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream – This is the little hand cream that’s been in my hand bag for dry hand ’emergencies’. I really don’t like the formula and I definitely won’t be repurchasing!

Lush Tea Tree Toner Tab and Dream Steam Tab

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Frequent readers of my blog will no doubt have noticed that I’ve featured a fair few Lush products recently! To keep up the trend, today I’m going to talk about a couple of the steamer tabs.

Tea Tree Toner Tab

These little tabs are only £1 each and you can buy them individually. Tea tree has fantastic natural antibacterial properties so it is great for oily or spot-prone skin, but is far kinder than artificial and chemical filed spot treatments as it won’t strip your skin of it’s natural defences.  The toner tab doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives but unlike a fresh toner will keep for a really long time until you’re ready to use it.

To use the tab, fill a bowl with hot water and add the tab. It will fizz away and infuse with the water. You can then steam your face, allowing the steam to open your pores and release the benefits of the tea tree. If you put a towel over your head you’ll trap more of the steam inside.

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The concentrated tab smells quite strongly of tea tree so I was concerned that the infused water would be really overpowering and I wouldn’t want to breathe whilst steaming my face. However, it isn’t like that at all. In fact, I would almost have preferred more of a tea tree scent, as really there is virtually no fragrance at all once the tab has dissolved into the hot water. Having only use one tab, I can’t really say if the product works or not, but I certainly don’t think it does any harm. If it will encourage you to steam your face more often, it’s definitely a good idea!

This product also has a secondary use. Once the water has cooled, you can put it into a clean bottle or container and then use it on cotton wool or a face cloth as a toning water removing any excess dirt from your face. The sales assistant told me it would keep for 3 days or so. You’ll see I’ve been quite economical and kept it in an empty, washed up Lush shampoo bottle!

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Dream Steam Tab

The Dream Steam Tab is designed to calm and soothe the skin. It contains a blend of essential oils like tea tree, rose, chamomile and lavender which combine to treat your mind and your skin. The tea tree again has antibacterial properties, whilst the rose will calm any redness. The chamomile and lavender should relax your mind, leaving you calmer after a long day. At £2.50 it is a little pricier, but it does feel more like a luxury product than an essential daily product.

I used the Dream Steam tab after a long day of cleaning my old apartment before moving out. I thought it would be the perfect occasion because I needed to unwind and relax. As with the Tea Tree Toner tab, you drop it into a bowl of hot water, allow it to infuse, and then inhale the steam.

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I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed by this tab. The scent didn’t remind me of lavender or chamomile particularly. If I’m honest the steam just had a generic soapy smell like you might get from cheap hand wash. I didn’t like the random pieces of dried flowers floating about the water either. They looked quite unappealing. The process itself did relax me a little, but I think that was more from the calming effects of breathing deeply and sitting still for a little while, rather than due to any magical properties of the tab. A bit of a miss I’m afraid.

L’Oreal 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution

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I have seen a lot of people talk about the L’Oreal Micellar Solution recently, including the lovely Bethany Worrall who has written about it in several posts recently, including here. As with all products that are surrounded by a bit of hype, I wanted to try it myself.

This product claims to be three different products in one. It is supposed to (1) remove all traces of make-up, (2) unblock pores and act like a purifying magnet to capture and draw out excess oil and impurities, and (3) tone and soothe the skin. To use this, I apply a little to cotton wool pads and wipe my face, including my eye area. It is a light, water-like consistency, very much like a toner rather than a cleanser.

This product has a lovely clean, fresh scent and is really good at removing make-up. It doesn’t struggle with stubborn water resistant eye liner or mascara. It feels just like a toner usually does. In fact it reminds me of the Garnier Fresh Essentials toner. It has that same cooling, refreshing quality when you apply it to the skin.

However, I’m not sold on this product for also unblocking pores and cleansing the skin. After I’ve used it, my face feels like the make-up is gone, but it doesn’t ever feel truly clean. I always find myself itching to use a proper cleanser afterwards to make sure there’s nothing left blocking my pores. As always, I guess I am sceptical of a product which claims to do too many things at once.

I think this product is something great to have on hand for quick and easy make-up removal – it’s probably far better for your skin than using wipes – but I wouldn’t recommend it as an alternative to a deep cleansing product.