Posts tagged ‘Darphin’

October 3, 2012

Space NK and leaving beauty boxes behind.

I had a subscription to one of the beauty boxes until recently. Each month, I’d get a pretty box filled with a selection of sample beauty products posted through the letter box. And for a while, it was great. I love to get exciting post, and this was a little treat just for me. But after a while, the lustre wore off the whole thing. I heard rumours that beauty bloggers were getting different products to the rest of the subscribers, purely so they could act as free PR for the companies, and then another rumour about a ‘premium, invite-only’ box, that the company were going to just make available to a select few people. Quite how they were going to decide whose £12 a month was the most deserving of this premium line, I don’t know, but it seemed a little bit of ‘us and them’ behaviour to me. Of course, these were just unsubstantiated rumours, and I’m no beauty expert, but I decided to leave.

The other thing that I really realised about the experience is how much I love to go into stores and play around with products before buying them. Even getting the samples in the post wasn’t really the same, because part of the fun for me is chatting to the staff and learning more about the products that way. So, I’m back in the stores, trying things out, and enjoying the great customer service you often find with beauty brands.

One of my favourite places to do this is in Space NK. I like that they have a range of different brands, and that the staff in my local branch all seem to be really passionate about what they do and what they sell. Maybe they’re on commission, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I always feel as though I’m being treated well and leave the store with a happy feeling.

At a brilliant card holders’ event recently (where I had my hair straightened) I came away with a incredible free bag of lovely goodies, after spending enough money (on gifts and for other people, so not spending money to get freebies, which is really bad maths!) and I really don’t think it would have been bettered anywhere else. I have favourite brands elsewhere (Liz Earle and Neal’s Yard Remedies for example), and favourite brands in Space NK (Eve Lom, Darphin, Caudalie, Diptyque to mention a few) and there is room in my life for them all! I’m enjoying the process of choosing things in store again, and I don’t think I’ll be going back to a beauty box subscription any time soon.

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January 20, 2012

Sprinkles: why it’s time for serious skincare.

I went for a run the other day. The first one in months, and of course, the day we decided to venture out, it was minus 4 degrees. Covered up in as many layers I could practically manage whilst still retaining full mobility, with a pink Buff secured over my ears, I looked great. By which, I clearly mean, a bit rubbish. The run itself went really well. It was bloody cold, but the fact I am pretty unfit meant I was soon warm and running through the woods, jumping over fallen branches and avoiding frozen puddles was as much fun as I remembered it being before my stupid foot injury, so I was really pleased. At the end, I was steaming like an out-of-condition racehorse, so the weather wasn’t so much of a problem.

Only when I got home and went into the bathroom for a shower did I notice the skin on my face. I’m blessed with that ‘lovely’ pink skin. You know, the kind that turns red at the hint of the sun, rarely tans, just gets more freckles, and in my case, turns bright purple after exercise and stays that way for hours… So, naturally, it was purple at that moment. It was also really sore though and it still is.

My skin appears to hate the cold. Which is weird really, because it hates hot weather too. So basically, my skin is against ‘weather’ in general. That’s helpful.

Alongside this revelation is my lovely son’s obsession with my ‘sprinkles’. I must have spent most of my life being in a state of shock because I always seem to raise my eyebrows. Always. Which means that although I’m not massively wrinkly on the rest of my face, I do have lines across my forehead, deep furrows like perfectly ploughed field. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but they are there. And my son is very concerned about them. The other day, he gave me a little cuddle, then ran his hand across my forehead, talking about my ‘sprinkles’. Then he frowned with all his might, and pointed to the teeny tiny furrows between his eyes.

This is why I forgive him…

Adorable though it was, I have now started spending a lot more time in front of a mirror peering at them, pulling at the sides of my face to see what I might look like if I had a facelift and imagining a perfectly-Botoxed and therefore furrow-free forehead. Not that I’m going in for surgery. The mere idea of voluntarily injecting myself with any form of Botulism purely out of vanity makes me shudder – although each to their own and I know lots of people do.

What I am going to do, though, is invest a bit more in my skin care. I need a serum, decent moisturiser, face masks. Whatever it takes to make me feel a bit better about it, and stop my face feeling so sore. At the moment I am hacking off the tops of off my lotions and potions to make them last until pay day. Once it arrives though, I am planning to spend a bit of money on saving my face. First up is an emergency treatment to take away the soreness, then I’ll look for a serum and moisturiser to help me deal with my sprinkles…

Here are my favourite emergency skin-saving remedies:

Eve Lom TLC cream – rich, designed for more mature skin and great for taking away the tightness of dry and sensitive skin and the soreness of my wind-chapped cheeks.

Neals Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm. I use this lots-  as a creamy cleanser and exfoliator (when used with the muslin cloth it comes with) or, more often as a rich, use anywhere, moisturiser. It smells wonderful, and although it has quite a greasy texture, it sinks in well. I really recommend this for things like chapped lips too.

Darphin Aromatic Renewing Balm. This works really well as an overnight balm on dry and sensitive skin and the combination of essential oils makes it smell amazing. Great as protection against environmental conditions.

I admit that they’re all pretty expensive but they do last me for months and months.

I’ve also heard very good things about the following two creams. Although I haven’t tried them yet, I intend to soon:

Lush Skin Drink – Designed for dry and sensitive skins and great at helping you to winter-proof your skin. Plus this one is quite a lot cheaper than the others, so  could use loads if I needed it!

Lush Skin’s Shangri La – Described as being great for winter, and leaving you cheeks that are soft to the kiss!

So, that’s my chapped cheeks dealt with. Next is the search for a great moisturiser and extra treatments to save my face in the longer term!

My sprinkly face…

October 7, 2011

Home Spa.

Now I don’t have training to do for any physical challenges, it’s safe to say that I have slowed down a bit and haven’t made it to the gym as often as I should. I’m also trying pretty hard to deal with my sugar addiction.  No more full sugar coke and Danish pastries for me for a while – at least until I sign up for another challenge. Then I’ll give myself licence to eat a bit more!

What I tend to do when I’m trying to avoid food, is turn to the bathroom. Indulging in lotions, potions and other lovely things stops me from putting my hand in the biscuit jar too often – it’s pretty hard to eat and paint your nails (using my new NARS polish in Orgasm) at the same time! Plus, it makes it easier to eat better if you feel as though you’re looking after yourself on the outside too.

So, I thought I’d share some of my favourite products with you. We all like a nosy around each others bathroom cabinets to see what other people are using, so here’s my ‘I’m on a Diet’ Spa Evening…

All the ingredients for a great spa evening…

The first thing I do is light some candles (preferably from Jo Malone, The White Company or Dyptique) and  run a bath, adding REN Rose Otto bath oil. A classic, this foamless oil has the best  Moroccan rose essential oil scent ever, so it’s truly relaxing and moisturises your skin beautifully. I leave the bath to cool a little while going through the rest of my home spa routine.

I have a quick shower, using Lush’s ‘Rub, Rub, Rub’ salt scrub. It’s bright blue with a floral scent, and most importantly, it does a great job of tackling the bumps (keratosis pilaris) on the upper arms.

Then once I’m out of the shower, it’s onto a facial. My cleanser of choice is Eve Lom. The slightly medicinal and eucalyptus smell (always reminds me of horse hoof oil), takes a while to get used to, but I do love it now. Partly though, it’s because I know how well the product works. I massage it into my dampened skin and leave it on for a while before using the provided muslin cloth to take it off again. It cleans, exfoliates, decongests and soothes. I cannot cope without it now, and notice a real difference to my skin when I run out!

For my Spa Evening, I often exfoliate as well as use the Eve Lom muslin cloth. A recent discovery is Dr Brandt’s Microdermabrasion exfoliating cream, which I apply onto damp skin and massage gently round the face, especially the t-zone. It has a lovely lemon-y scent and really fine grains, making it really gentle but effective.

After relaxing in the bath, I’ll then apply a facial serum, often Caudalie’s Vinoperfect radiance serum. Serums make all the difference to a daily skin-care routine, adding so much more than just a moisturiser, especially now I’m in my mid-thirties. My skin isn’t too bad, but I am noticing more issues, so I want to try and deal with them without resorting to extreme measures. Having said that, I have started doing that thing of looking in the mirror and stretching my skin back with my hands to see what I might look like after a face lift! Oh dear…

As an aside, my favourite moisturiser at the moment is also by Caudalie – Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid. A moisturiser that tackles imperfections, pigmentation, texture, and radiance – basically all the problems I have at the moment!

If my skin is really congested I do also love to use Darphin’s Aromatic Purifying Balm. With twelve different essential oils, it smells amazing and I use it over cleansed skin at night.

The REN Rose Otto bath oil removes the need for a body moisturiser after the bath. So, it’s straight into clean pyjamas and having a warm drink, before going virtuously to bed…