Sunday, 14 September 2014

Review: KERNOWSPA Uplifting Wonder Oil and Soothing Foot Scrub

I first mentioned KERNOWSPA on this blog back in 2013, a Cornish brand that produce skincare and toiletries with 100% natural ingredients; no SLS, parabens, petrochemicals, artificial fragances or artificial colours. I love the fact that their products are handmade in Cornwall, one of my favourite areas of the country and that the focus is all on the ingredients. I've been trying two of their bodycare products; the Uplifting Wonder Oil and the Soothing Foot Scrub.

Uplifting Wonder Oil - 150ml - £10.95

The Uplifting Wonder Oil contains a blend of natural oils including Almond, Sunflower, Jojoba and Olive to hydrate the skin and Lemon, Orange and Bergamot to provide an uplifting scent. The packaging is simple but functional - the opening of the bottle is restricted so that the oil is released in a very controlled manner, one medium sized drop at a time.

I prefer to use this as a body/massage oil, though KERNOWSPA do also say that it can be added to a bath. I would describe it as quite a dry oil; it isn't a runny formula and absorbs into the skin really quickly when you massage it in. The formula is silky rather than greasy, leaving my skin soft and moisturised. At first I did make the mistake of using too much and then the oil feels too heavy on the skin and just sits on top of it. I absolutely adore the scent of the Uplifting Wonder Oil - it really is lovely and invigorating, but isn't overwhelming. This is definitely one to use in the mornings!

Soothing Foot Scrub - 250ml - £8.95

The Soothing Foot Scrub contains Dead Sea Salt to exfoliate, Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil and Jojoba Seed Oil to nourish and essential oils of Tea Tree and Eucalyptus to soothe. The scrub comes in a round pot with a screw lid so it can be simply scooped out when used.

I've been using the Soothing Foot Scrub about twice a week, as I get quite dry heels and sometimes dryness on my toes too. This scrub combats the dryness, improving it dramatically; if I forget to use it then it's amazing how quickly my skin reverts back. The salt is scrubby but not harsh - however it does dissolve into the skin so you have to work fairly quickly! When the salt dissolves you're left with a silky layer of oil to nourish and hydrate. It's quite slippy though so be careful if having a shower - it's best to apply this in the bath. The scent is very menthol-y, but not in a cold medicine way; it's much more natural and actually really reviving. Again, it's a scent for the mornings or perhaps when you're a bit congested - I don't see why you couldn't use this on the rest of your body too.

KERNOWSPA always seem to deliver - their products do exactly what they promise to, all with completely natural ingredients and at a really affordable price. I'd really recommend checking out these products on their website here. I've been eyeing up their candles too as they have some gorgeous sounding scents - Pomegranate and White Fig and Lime and Sweet Orange are on my wishlist!

Have you tried any products from KERNOWSPA?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. This post contains PR samples. This does not affect my opinion of the products.


Thursday, 11 September 2014

My Favourite New Beauty Tool: The Body Shop Facial Massager

After being intrigued by The Body Shop Facial Massager and the concept of facial massage for awhile, when I finally went to buy it it was just my luck that it was out of stock for absolutely ages. However I finally found it in store and it's one of those beauty tools I didn't know was missing so badly from my life.

The Body Shop Facial Massager looks a little bit like a mini paint roller, apart from the rolling part of it is covered in lots of nodules. These nodules are designed to massage the skin without dragging or damaging it and encourage the absorption of skincare products. Facial massage also encourages blood flow and circulation, which is meant to help the healing process and generally contributes to healthier skin. The massager costs just £6.00.

I generally use The Body Shop Facial Massager in the evenings as the final part of my skincare routine after applying a facial oil. Facial oils tend to take longer to absorb than serums and moisturisers, so the massager gives the oil a helping hand. The Body Shop recommends using the massager in forward and backward motions, vertically on the forehead and then diagonally across the cheeks and chin. I do find it hard to get a grip on the forehead, but it works brilliantly well on the rest of my face. The nodules feel quite firm across the skin but not painful or uncomfortable in any way; I actually really enjoy using this! I always finish using the massager in a downwards motion, because this is meant to help lymphatic drainage, which carries away waste toxins from the skin tissue back towards the heart. Lymphatic drainage is meant to promote clearer skin, so anything that helps with that I am all for! I find that after using The Body Shop Facial Massager my skin has a gorgeous, healthy glow, with the products I use beforehand definitely working more effectively, especially in terms of hydration and redness. So although I'm not 100% sure yet if it reduces breakouts directly, it definitely makes my skin looks brighter and clearer. I prefer not to use it when I have any open spot wounds (e.g. if cleansing with a muslin cloth has removed whiteheads), because I don't want to risk spreading bacteria.

So in summary, your other half may look at you with much confusion when using The Body Shop Facial Massager, but it feels so nice and makes your skin look so much healthier, that you really won't care. If you use facial oils on a regular basis (or heavy serums/moisturisers that take awhile to absorb) then you need this - you just won't realise it until you try it! It can be bought online from The Body Shop here.

Have you tried The Body Shop Facial Massager?

Beauty Bird xx


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tips for Treating Spot Scars/Marks

Having extremely breakout prone skin for over half of my life (wow that's a depressing stat!), I face an ongoing battle not only with the breakouts themselves, but the consequent scars that follow. Now I am by no means a skincare expert, but I feel like I have a good grasp now of what routine I should follow and what products I should use to help those annoying red marks disappear quicker than they would otherwise.

1. Don't Pick Your Spots!
This is probably an obvious one, but years of fiddling with my face has taught me that picking spots can make them redder, more inflamed and take them longer to heal. Picking spots can push the infection deeper into the spot and damage the skin tissue around the spot, all of which means evidence of the spot is going to stick around for a lot longer. 

2. Regular Exfoliation
It is important to exfoliate as it encourages the removal of dead cells and allows new skin cells to be exposed. Regular exfoliation will therefore help red marks fade quicker. Regular readers will know I love the Pixi Glow Tonic, which is a liquid exfoliator that contains Glycolic Acid, an ingredient that naturally loosens dead skin cells without the need for physical grains or beads. I use this every day because I find it helps to reduce actual breakouts too, so is fantastic for a clearer complexion overall.

For a more intense exfoliation I use a radiance face mask either once a week or once a fortnight. My favourite is the Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel. This also contains Glycolic Acid, plus a whole host of other natural, active ingredients, including Jojoba Beads to manually exfoliate as you apply and remove the mask. This gives my skin an amazing glow; it looks brighter, fresher and clearer instantly.

3. Use Facial Oils
Independent studies and trials have shown that using natural or essential oils on the skin can improve the appearance of scars and marks. One of the most popular is Rosehip Oil and I use the Pai BioRegenerate Rosehip Oil, which according to Pai is the most concentrated Rosehip Oil on the market. The oil contains Trans Retinoic Acid, which converts to Vitamin A when absorbed by the skin and helps the skin to repair itself. I use this about four times a week, sometimes more, because it really does reduce redness over time. I also use and recommend the Antipodes Divine Face Oil, which contains a mixture of oils including Rosehip, Avocado and Jojoba.

I just want to give a little mention here to the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+. It's not a facial oil but more of a primer/serum. I'm still making a full judgement on this, but it really seems to be helping with reducing my spots and the marks they leave behind much quicker than before.

4. Wear SPF
We all know that the sun causes skin damage and when it comes to scars and marks the sun can actually them redder and darker, which obviously makes them look a lot worse. I'll be honest, I do forget to apply SPF sometimes. However now I have my Susan Posnick Brush on Block SPF30 in my handbag I can apply SPF at any point in the day and over my makeup, which means I'm a lot better than I used to be! My skin definitely looks less red when I've protected it from the sun.

I hope you found these tips useful! I'd love to know any tips you have for treating spots scars and marks?

Beauty Bird xx


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Review: Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle

There are so many scents that I love from hair, bath and body products and I often think how amazing it would be if the scent was incorporated into a candle product. This is exactly what Neal and Wolf have done - their haircare range has a unique scent created by a perfume house just for their products and now it can be enjoyed from a candle too; the Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle.

I have some Neal and Wolf hair products in my stash and love the sweet yet almost musky scent. It's really strong and I can smell it in my hair for ages after washing and styling it. I have never been able to work out what made the scent, but I now know it is Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Lily, Ylang Ylang and Orchid. I think calling it "indulgence" is very apt; I can't explain why but the scent just screams luxury. The candle is packaged in a beautiful, purple glass jar and has a burn time of up to 45 hours. (It does also come boxed when you buy it, should you wish to give it as a gift.) The Neal and Wolf Indulgence Candle retails at £17.95.

The candle burns evenly and cleanly, but I can't deny that I'm a little disappointed by the strength of the scent. I know I am basing my expectations on my experiences with Neal and Wolf's hair range, which isn't a comparable product, but I guess I was hoping it would be similar (I also prefer strong scents in general). The scent in the room itself is quite subtle and it doesn't waft into other areas of the house.

The Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle is a lovely candle with a luxurious scent that I adore, but unfortunately it's not for me because the scent is too light. However if you prefer your scents this way, then I would definitely recommend it. It can be bought direct from Neal and Wolf here.

Have you tried the Neal and Wolf Indulgence Scented Candle? Are you a fan of strong or subtle scents?

Beauty Bird xx

P.S. Please note that this post contains a PR sample. This does not affect my opinion of the product.


Friday, 5 September 2014

August Empties #2

So hands up who else started hearing the word "Christmas" a lot in August?! Summer isn't over yet but already there's talk of the number of days/weeks until Christmas and my sister text me the other day asking for what I wanted as a present this year! Me, I'm still clinging to the hope that the sunshine will be back before Autumn sets in - Christmas couldn't be further from my mind. Anyway, the purpose of this post isn't to talk about the dreaded C word, but my beauty empties from August. Here's what I used up this month...

HealGel Eye 15ml* - £32.00
I used this eye gel mainly in the mornings as it contains light diffusers, which helped to make me look more awake. However I don't think it really made a long term difference to my under eye area. Full review here.
Re-purchase? No. Currently trying to decide what eye cream to buy next, so let me know if you have any recommendations!

Soap and Glory Flake Away 50ml - £2.50
I did enjoy using this scrub, which contains sea salt and sugar to exfoliate. The grains weren't too sparse, so I felt like it was doing its job. This scrub is scented with the original "Pink" S&G fragrance, which I used to love, but I'm a little bored of it now!
Re-purchase? No, instead I've bought a full size Sugar Crush to try.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - £4.19
This seems to have some product left in it, but something happened to the seal between the lid and the tube, so it started leaking over everything and what was left felt quite dry. So it was time to let go! It's a great, all round, budget concealer, but I hadn't found myself reaching for it as much as I used to. Full (old) review here.
Re-purchase? I haven't yet, but I'm sure I will.

Cosmetics à La Carte Divine Lash Black Mascara* - £23.00
This mascara came into my life via a Love Me Beauty Box and I never fully reviewed it as I just couldn't make up my mind about it. It was strange, but it didn't apply the same; one day it made my lashes look beautifully long and defined, then the next day it would clump them all together.
Re-purchase? No.

Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel 15ml - £2.25
I've mentioned this a few times on blog posts because I just love it. It contains AHAs and jojoba beads for a really intense exfoliation, making my skin look brighter and clearer. The full size is a whopping £40.00, so I think I'll buy the sample size again because it actually lasted for quite awhile.
Re-purchase? 100% yes.

What empties have you used up this month? Are you a fan of any of the products above?

Beauty Bird xx