cleanser

5 Ways to improve your morning routine

  1. Bye Bye Broken Sleep 

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This may be unpopular among those of you that love a good lie in, and I do admit I am rather partial, but many health experts suggest that as soon as you wake up in the morning you should actually get up rather than turning over for another snooze. You telling your body to go back to sleep after you’ve woken up in the morning, is no different to waking up in the middle of the night. That broken sleep pattern will only make you feel overtired during the day, so as soon as you wake up give yourself a little time in bed, but then get up – go watch some TV or check your emails and see how much more wide awake you’ll feel.

2. Get Your Lemon On 

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Forget grabbing sugary fruit juice or a coffee on your way out the door – water with lemon is the way to go. Hollistic websites suggest that it can improve your mood, boost your immune system, help clear your skin and can aid in weight loss. Plus – if you don’t leave the lemon in for too long – it tastes pretty nice too. Millie Mackitosh has been quoted saying that she drinks this every morning, so why not give it a go?

3. Pick Yourself a nice 8 Tracks Playlist

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I am an 8 tracks obsessive, ever since my flatmate introduced it to me last year I have probably played over 50 playlists. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically the Tumblr of music websites, instead of sharing photos members share playlists with hash tags. So you could search: #folk #indie #nightout #gettingready – whatever you wanted really. My favourite is #morning because it’s full of playlists with exactly the right songs to get me out of bed and in a good mood for the rest of the day. My favourite morning tunes are: On My Way – Rusted Root; Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson; Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds; Put Your Record On – Corrine Bailey Rae; Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 – among many others!

4. Shovel down a half decent breakfast 

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As I believe I have said before in this post. I LOVE breakfast. It’s easily my favourite meal: toast, cereal, eggs, pancakes, teacakes, yoghurt, porridge – the opportunities are endless and I honestly love nothing more than a long weekend breakfast. Sorry for the cliche, but I’m a big believer that it is indeed “the most important meal of the day”. If I don’t have a good breakfast in the morning, I’m basically a zombie before I have anything to eat that day, and then I crave coffee and bad food. Start your day with egg, they’re a great source of protein and will help keep your energy levels high throughout the day.

5. Splash your face 

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Since I bought my beloved Arbonne Cleanser I have been washing my face a lot more in the mornings, I find there’s nothing like a splash of cold water in the face to really wake me up for a 9am lecture. Washing your face with cold water in the morning helps to reduce any swelling under your eyes from the night before, and it naturally brightens your face by increasing blood circulation. Pick cold water over warm if you can bare the shock in the morning, it might be just what you need to start the day on the right foot.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any tips for getting out of bed, particularly on these chilly mornings? 

Harriette

The No Nonsense Skincare Products*

This week, coinciding with my Fresher’s Week back at University, I have been lucky enough to test out some lovely new skincare products! I am a huge skincare fan and so I was very excited to try out a totally new brand that I hadn’t heard anything about before. If you have read my review of Sweet Cecily’s Lipbalms, then you might know that I am becoming very fond of beauty products that contain natural substances and companies that try to avoid nasty chemicals and animal testing. What is this magical new brand? One word. Arbonne.

Arbonne is a very unique beauty company, both in its set up and the products that it creates.The brand itself is not available in retail shops, but relies on the work of independent consultants like the lovely Emma Tellesey (@ArbonneEmma) who promote the company and its products, cutting out the middle man and thus making sure that you get more for your money. The consultants themselves benefit from commission on the products that their clients buy, and other perks like a large discount on all the products etc.

As previously mentioned, Arbonne products are free from nasty chemicals and animal testing, which is a great bonus as they are much better for your skin and your conscience. Although priced at a premium rate, they are considered to be high-end in their quality, with their unique, patented formulas.

Emma gave me the Arbonne FC5 range to test out, which she said is generally aimed at younger people’s skin.

IMG_4296 Cleansers + Toners IMG_4299 I tested out two cleansers, the Purifying Cleanser + Toner for Oily/Combination Skin and the Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener for Normal/Dry skin. As my skin is pretty fickle, I felt that both were pretty similar.

Generally I am used to using a cotton pad with my cleanser and toner, which involves little more effort than moving to and from my desk, however, with these products I actually had to wash my face, which I found made me feel a lot more awake first thing in the morning. Both cleansers contain natural products like fresh strawberry cells and golden jojoba, and they smell really fresh and clean and soapy, which was really pleasant.

Both cleansers were really nice to use, they were smooth and lightweight on my skin and foamed satisfyingly when rubbed onto my face so I felt like I was getting a really good clean. The end result, after only using a pea-sized amount of product was that my skin looked brighter, cleaner, fresher and more awake. Being a bit of a cleanser girl, I was really impressed with how little I had to use and how healthy and awake it made me look and feel.

Day Lotions  IMG_4304 IMG_4305 The two Day Lotions I tried, were the Oil-Absorbing Day Lotion and the Nurturing Day Lotion, both of which contain SPF 20. They both come in handy pump bottles, so that it’s easy to only use the small amount of product that you need. I was however, put off a bit at first as the white colour and thin consistency made it look a lot like suncream, which gave me the impression I’d be rubbing for ages before it actually sunk into my skin.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it blended into my skin really quickly with the same fresh, cucumbery, slightly floral scent that the cleansers had, prompting my boyfriend to cuddle me and tell me that I “smelt great” – always a bonus. Although I don’t think of my skin as particularly oily, I much preferred the Oil- Absorbing Day Lotion to the Nurturing one, as I found it left me with a wet, oily finish that I didn’t really like. It did however, make my skin look rather radiant and glowing, so that was pretty nice.

Night Cream

IMG_4302 IMG_4303The Moisturizing Night Cream I think probably got overshadowed by all of the other products that I was trying at the same time, and had I the time to test it out on it’s own, I probably would have got a better idea of what exactly it does. What I did get from it is that it uses ingredients such as fresh mango cells and olive leaf extract and has a much more floral and soothing scent than the other products in the range. Just like the other products, only a small amount is needed to completely cover the face and neck, and after applying my skin looked and felt really soft and healthy.

Primer

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I would argue that I have definitely saved the best until last. This primer is hands down the best one I have ever used (though I have to admit I have not tried a large variety of premium primers). It is absolutely fantastic! Just like the day lotions, again here the pump bottle comes in really handy as it makes sure you don’t waste any product – and one or two pumps is definitely enough which is great.

The primer itself has a gel-like texture, which instantly feels smooth and nourishing on the skin. It immediately reduced the redness on my cheeks and around my chin, and gave me a really healthy dewy glow so that I was happy to wander around the house all morning wearing it just on its own.

The true magic of this product however is revealed when you apply your foundation over the top. Typically I only use high street foundations, but with this primer it looked absolutely amazing. My skin literally looked photo-ready, as if my makeup had been done by a professional, absolutely radiant, mattified and pore less. And one major bonus to add, is that the texture of the gel works to smooth out the under-eye area and so I didn’t experience any of the usual concealer residue lines in the creases under my eyes. I was really, really impressed with this primer and I definitely think it’s one for my wish list, just because I think it can make even a cheap foundation look really expensive and well-applied.

The Round-up

As a whole I was very impressed with the FC5 range from Arbonne and the wonders that it did to my skin. All the effects were very positive: some little dried up spots, which generally would take ages to go away were gone within two days of using these products, and a few horrible little spots that threatened to move in around my chin area shrunk back to little bumps and disappeared. Miracle!

The top two for my wish list are definitely the cleanser and the primer, as I felt I could really see what they were doing – another benefit of Arbonne of course is that you get to trail the products in advanced to see which ones best suit your skin, but also so you can see what you’re paying for.

Although the products themselves are certainly more expensive than I would usually pay, I really do think that you get what you pay for, both in how far the products themselves actually go and in the visible results. My skin has looked disappointingly dull and lifeless ever since.

Have you ever heard of, or tried out any Arbonne products? Which ones did you test? 

Harriette

My Daily Skincare Routine + Elemis Skin Brilliance Hydrating Skincare Gift Set Review

So I just wanted to start off this post by letting you know a little bit about my daily skincare routine. I am  18 and have had my fair share of bad skin, however in recent years I’ve been blessed with pretty clear skin which  I put down to the fact that over the last 4 or so years I have used these two key products:

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Left: Simple Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion 200ml Right: Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner 200ml

I use these products everyday before I put my makeup on, Cleanser then Toner then Moisturiser however I would also really recommend using the Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Make-up Remover which I love. Simple credit themselves on being experts in sensitive skin. Their products have no colour, no perfumes and pride themselves on being suitable for all skin types particularly the most sensitive – so if like me, you have sensitive skin, these could be the perfect products for you.

On using the Cleanser and Toner before  putting on your makeup  you can see on the cotton pad the dirt that comes off your face, without using these products all of that dirt would remain on my skin and underneath my makeup for the whole day – gross! The products recommend that you use them twice a day, once in the morning before you put your makeup on and once in the evening to take your makeup off – personally I usually just use makeup remover wipes to take my makeup off at the end of the day but I’m sure these products work really well for makeup removal too.

Simple have created a wide range of products for good, healthy skin some of which are especially designed for bad skin, for example I use the Kind to Skin Purifying Cleansing Lotion, but they also do a Kind to Skin Pore Minimising Toning Cleanser and a range of Spotless Skin face washes and Deep Clean Cleansing Pads for getting right into those pores. I would certainly recommend Simple products to anyone as they are nice to use, they last a long time as very little product is needed per application and they are a good price. The three products that I frequently buy, the Cleanser, the Toner and the Make-up Remover retail at around £3.00 each, which I do not think is bad at all.

In fact the only product so far that I have tried from the Simple range that I don’t like is  the Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. It’s a really great light moisturiser but I really hate the smell, it’s quite plastic and artificial and I find I can smell it throughout the day, which I don’t really like. I did originally get all 3 products but I have phased out the moisturiser and used a range of different others including the Elemis Mattifying Moisturiser as a replacement as I prefer the smell and texture.

So for Christmas this year I asked for an Elemis Moisturiser and I was lucky enough to receive Elemis Skin Brillance Hydrating Skincare Collection Gift Set…

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I am completely and utterly smitten over this gift set, I have already been looking at where I can by another one reduced online because it is so good. Originally my mum had planned just to get me the Elemis Maximum Moisture Day Cream , which retails at about £38.00 on it’s own, so the lady at the counter convinced her to get the whole gift set which full price before Christmas was about £40.00.  This set includes: the Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser 50ml, the Soothing Apricot Toner 5oml, the Maximum Moisture Day Cream 50ml (full size) and the Skin Buff 20ml.

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So these products are basically luxury versions of my Simple collection. The Cleanser and Toner both smell absolutely amazing and are soothing to apply to my skin – also very little product is needed which is good because then it will last much longer. The moisturiser is light and sinks easily into my skin creating giving it a dewy look. The only thing I would point out is that this is the Hydrating Skincare Elemis Gift Set so if you have quite oily skin this probably isn’t the gift set for you. I have combination skin and so I feel these products give me just the right glow before applying my makeup without making my skin look shiny and oily. I also wasn’t a big fan of the Skin Buff, which I have only used once in the shower, but I found it was very rough on my sensitive skin which I didn’t really enjoy – however I will give it another go and update you if I like it a bit better next time. Overall, however I cannot recommend these products highly enough I absolutely love them and feel like i’m giving my skin a little spa treatment each time I use them.

They are quite expensive, particularly if you’re buying them separately and so I don’t use them everyday like I do my cheaper Simple collection, but I do like to use them on special occasions or if I just want to smell glorious! And they do make fabulous gifts for your friends and family to get you if you’re not sure what you want for your birthday/ christmas. If you’re looking to purchase this set it’s worth shopping around online as some shops are still doing reduced versions after Christmas – personally I’ve got my eye on the Elemis Skin Brillance Gift Set, which includes 200ml versions of the Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser and the Sooting Apricot Toner, a 50ml Maximum Replenish Night Cream and a 20ml Maximum Moisture Day Cream. That’s one thing for my birthday list already!

I hope you found this post useful to read, please feel free to comment and let me know what are your holy grail of skin products – I’m always looking to try out new ones (bank balance permitting). Thanks for reading.

signed