Friday, 19 December 2014

Review: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+]

The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo has been around for quite awhile, but it was something I never bought into. However when they released the new [+] version, I was definitely intrigued. After reading some positive blog reviews and suffering with a bout of really bad skin, it ended up being something I just had to try.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+] is designed to target the key signs of oily, blemish prone skin and can be used daily, either alone or with a moisturiser. It claims to help correct the appearance of blemishes, refine skin texture, unclog blocked pores and control shine. It also helps to fight marks, which is the added benefit of the Duo[+] compared to the original Duo. This isn't a natural product and I'm not familiar with many of the ingredients - highlighted ones include ProceradTM, Linoleic Acid and Zinc PCA. However I couldn't see anything that I knew I would break me out and decided to rely on the fact that it is sold as non-comedogenic and suitable for acne prone skin. A 40ml tube costs £15.50.

I've been using the Effaclar Duo[+] for around 6 months now. It is fairly thin in consistency and has a creamy, gel-like texture; more akin to the formula of a serum or primer than a moisturiser. It absorbs quickly and isn't drying on the skin. I've found that this works best for me when used at night under a moisturiser or facial oil; even when applying under another product, in the daytime my makeup doesn't sit well over it. Plus using it twice a day has a tendency to make any spots and blemishes go a bit flaky, which makes them difficult to conceal. After only the first time of using the Effaclar Duo[+] I was so impressed - a couple of spots I had were dramatically reduced overnight. After four weeks of nightly use, the cluster of little spots I couldn't previously shift and stop recurring on my forehead, had been banished. But I do think this is a product where the effects are less obvious and impressive with continual use; when I stop using it for a few days I feel like it has much more of an impact. It certainly helps to reduce and heal spots and blemishes much quicker, which lessens the chance of scarring. I haven't noticed the biggest difference when it comes to shine but I do think the texture of my skin has improved, especially on my forehead and chin.

I do understand why there is a lot of hype around the Effaclar Duo[+] and it is definitely the best targeted, overall anti-blemish product I've tried. I don't think it 100% does everything it claims to do, but I will continue to incorporate it into my skincare routine and re-purchase when this tube runs out. It can be bought online here.

Have you tried the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+]? Which anti-blemish products do you love?

Beauty Bird xx

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Luxury Gift Ideas: Molton Brown Gingerlily Perfect Bathing Set and Frankincense and Allspice Festive Hand Wash Bauble

When I think of luxury and indulgence, one of the brands that spring to mind is Molton Brown. If you still are on the hunt for some Christmas gifts, whether a main present or a stocking filler, Molton Brown have plenty of options starting at £10.00. You never know you may find something for yourself at the same time!

You can't go wrong with a beauty themed bauble at Christmas and there's something so simplistically stunning about their Hand Wash Bauble. It has a spicy, aromatic but slightly sweet scent of Allspice, Frankincense and Vetiver, which is perfect for the festive season. Hang it on the tree and then in the bathroom - it will not only look amazing but the thick, foaming gel will leave your skin clean and refreshed. However Molton Brown have also very practically made the bottom of the bauble flat, so it can be sat on a surface if more convenient.

Gingerlily Perfect Bathing Set (Limited Edition) - £45.00

Everything about this set just screams indulgence. I was wowed by the beautiful packaging before I even got to the products inside; the box is patterned with Molton Brown's circular logo and simply finished with a cream ribbon. Lift off the lid and you are presented with three products; a 300ml Gingerlily Body Wash, 300ml Gingerlily Nourishing Body Lotion and a Gingerlily Mini Candle.

The fragrance is a divine blend of Ginger Oil, Tuberose and Cedarwood, which is a warming, spicy, woody scent and now one that I absolutely adore. The body wash is a thick gel that lathers up well and feels soft on the skin. Follow up with the light but creamy body lotion, which is great for everyday hydration thanks to White Lily and Polynesian Tamunu Nut Oil, and you are left with the most amazing smelling skin! The scent lingers for absolutely ages afterwards.

The Gingerlily Mini Candle is small but perfectly formed in its glass casing in a festive orange colour. I'd say I got about 8-10 hours burn time and to really enjoy the scent, I'd recommend burning it in a smaller room otherwise it does get lost.

What do you think of Molton Brown's Christmas Gift Range? Have you tried any of their products and if so, which is your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx

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

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Review: Lush Holly Golightly Bubble Bar

A few Saturdays ago I'd had a bit of a rubbish day and as I was very close to a Lush store, I decided to buy some make-myself-feel-better treats. One of these treats came in the form of the Holly Golightly Bubble Bar. At £4.75 it's quite an expensive bubble bar, but at the time that didn't matter...!

Holly Golightly is quite a large, thick bubble bar and looks like a brightly coloured, shimmering Christmas cake with a sprig of holly on top. What attracted me to it is the scent - containing Patchouli, Persian Lime, Clove Leaf and Sweet Orange Essential Oils you get this gorgeously festive aroma that is spicy and warming, but still has a hint of sweet citrus. 

I got two uses out of Holly Golightly, each time enjoying a layer of foamy bubbles and water that turns into a rich green. The scent is perfectly balanced; it's refreshing but not too uplifting for an evening bath and it's relaxing but won't make you fall asleep! The only thing I would say is that's a bit too subtle - I don't whether this is simply because I used half of the bar each time or whether this is how it's meant to be. However it is a gorgeous scent and after discovering that the shower gel Hot Toddy has the same scent, I have added it to my wishlist. 

You can find out more about Holly Golightly or buy it for yourself online here.

Have you tried the Holly Golightly Bubble Bar? What products are you loving from this year's Lush Christmas range?

Beauty Bird xx

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Green Gift Idea: Conscious Skincare Indulgent Organic Mini Spa Set

I love it when brands create sets from their product range; it's a great (and often more affordable) way to be introduced to a new brand or to discover more products from a brand you've used before. Plus they tend to be presented in pretty boxes or bags, so they make fantastic gifts too. If you're a fan of natural, organic skincare or know someone that is, then the Conscious Skincare Indulgent Organic Mini Spa Set is a potential gift or treat to check out.

Conscious Skincare is based in West Wales, making hand blended skincare from natural ingredients in recycled or recyclable packaging. I have tried a few of their products before and been really impressed with the quality and the delicious scents. The Indulgent Organic Mini Spa Set includes six of Conscious Skincare's favourite body products in 50ml bottles and pots, packaged in an organic, fair-trade cotton bag. The bag is handmade in India by ladies who were formerly trafficked in the sex industry and each one is unique, as the inner lining is made from recycled sarees. The body products are;

Grapefruit and Cedarwood Body Wash
Sweet Orange and Frangipani Body Oil
Grapefruit and Cedarwood Body Lotion
Grapefruit and Rosewood Bath Soak
Body Polish - can be purchased in your choice of scent
Body Butter - can be purchased in your choice of scent

My favourite scent is the Grapefruit and Cedarwood - I'm having a real moment with grapefruit right now and the mixture of zingy and woody scents works so well together! My favourite products would have to be the body polish, which contains fair-trade, organic sugar for a really invigorating scrub and the body oil, a dry oil that absorbs into the skin quickly and leaves my skin feeling beautifully soft and nourished.

This set only costs £19.99, which I think is great value - you can purchase it online from Conscious Skincare direct here. Conscious Skincare also produce facial skincare, handcare, cold pressed oils and have many other gift sets available, so I recommend checking out the rest of their range!

Have you tried any products by Conscious Skincare?

Beauty Bird xx

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

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Friday, 12 December 2014

A Christmas Beauty Bargain: Ciaté Tree Trinket Set

When I wrote the post My Favourite Christmas Beauty Baubles of 2014, I included one of the individual Ciaté Tree Trinkets. When searching for a link for the product I came across the Ciaté Tree Trinket Set on the TkMaxx website. This was released last year for £30.00, containing six baubles with 5ml Ciaté nail polishes inside in six different shades. On the TkMaxx website it was listed for just £16.99 and it was one of those situations where I left the website, then couldn't stop thinking about what a bargain it was. Inevitably I went back online later on and the offer of free delivery sealed the deal. 

The six baubles are made of plastic, decorated with little snowflakes and Ciaté's trademark black bow. The box also includes ties and tags so they can be given as gifts and hung on the Christmas tree. The shades included are all glitters and are;

GlitterBall - Glittering purple

All Aglow - Vintage gold with tiny flecks of red

Naughty or Nice - Deep midnight blue with flecks of purple and green

Blizzard - Frosty platinum silver

Candy Cane - Cerise pink 

Yule Rules - Twinkling turquoise

I haven't swatched these because I intend to give most of them as presents - and what cute and unique presents they are! Unfortunately when writing this post I found that the Ciaté Tree Trinket Set had disappeared from the TkMaxx website, but hopefully if you want to get your hands on one they will still be in the stores. Although they do have the Mini Manicure Advent Calendars at 60% off RRP here! If you heart is set on the Tree Trinkets they can still all be bought separately in their own little boxes for £8.00 each from Boots, ASOS and also from Ciaté direct, who are currently offering 2 for £12.00 here

What do you think of the Ciaté Tree Trinkets? Have you picked up any Christmas beauty bargains recently?

Beauty Bird xx

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