My skin: oily, sensitive, clog-prone, gets dehydrated easily. I apply this to dry skin in the evening and massage it in a little. You don't need to go mad; massage it gently so you don't break your capillaries. I remove my eye make-up with Bioderma first as I don't like using oily products on my eyes. I leave it on while I brush my teeth so it has a couple of minutes to warm on the skin. Then I massage it in a little more, add some warm water and massage again, and keep doing this until most of the cleanser has been removed. At this point I cheat: you're supposed to remove it with a cloth but I don't like using things to remove my cleanser. Instead, I rinse a few more times and wash with my normal foaming cleanser, Sebamed Face & Body. This seems to be enough to get rid of any greasy residue. The result: hydrated, calm, clog-free skin. If I run my fingertips along the bridge of my nose it's completely smooth. When I think of what I used to have to do to my poor skin to get it unclogged - px retinoids, harsh scrubbing etc - I couldn't see a way to clear the blackheads without being harsh to the skin and reddening it. That's no longer the case. It's fairly pricey but I've been using the product for about three months since just before it's official launch (got a large 30ml sample at a pro beauty show) and I'm only just getting to the end of the bottle so it's great value for money. If you've always liked the idea of oil or cream cleansers but struggled with oily residue, redness, dehydration or broken capillaries from them, this may just be what you're looking for. Hugely recommended for blackhead sufferers in particular. And there's a final bonus to this cleanser which I've recently discovered by accident: if you rub it more vigorously and for longer into a patch of dry skin or an old scab the dead skin just rolls right off. The only other product I've ever been able to do that with is Ice Elements 2-minute miracle, so it's quite cool to have another option. Much gentler than regular manual exfoliation.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Emjoi Micro-Pedi Portable Pedicure Device
Daphers 6/12/2012 8:26:00 AM
This is one of those electrical pedicure devices that has a coarse surface whizzing round to get rid of dead skin on the feet. I've tried a couple of these from other brands before and they did zilch; the only reason I tried buying this was that it had nothing but 5-star reviews on the Boots website. I tried it last night on my poor callused feet and - it works. I have mostly soft, smooth skin. You're not supposed to use it for more than 3 seconds on any one area of skin but I was able to keep going for 30 seconds before I knew it was time to stop. The difference in my feet is remarkable and I can't believe how much dead skin came off. The treatment areas are also glassily smooth and I only used the coarsest option. The only products I've found previously to work are the Microplane Orb (quite good) and the Diamancel diamond files (excellent). The difference between the Emjoi and the Diamancel is not in the results exactly but in the amount of work and time required to get there. To achieve the results I got from 5 minutes' effortless treatment with the Emjoi would have taken close to an hour's hard work with the manual file. Having only used it once I can't speak about the life of the battery, replaceable inserts or the device itself, but I had to rave about this straight away. It cost me £40 in the UK, which is about the same price as a Diamancel, and worth every penny.
Iíve been drinking spearmint tea for about three months now in an attempt to reduce my androgen-related acne. I drink a cup twice a day. Some people restrict their drinking to a certain portion of their cycle only; I havenít tried that. Results: No hormonal acne! In other words, no cysts on the chin. Skin significantly less oily and shiny. Iím back to blotting only once a day at work and can sometimes get away without wearing powder on a night out. Side-effects: Iíve heard other people complain that spearmint tea makes their periods irregular. Well, mine were irregular to start off with and this has regulated them somewhat. I canít say anything definite about it causing a change in PMS because so far my PMS has been completely different every month, just like normal. Spearmint tea acts much like peppermint tea in that it soothes the stomach and aids digestion, but it also relaxes the sphincter muscle that prevents acid reflux, so if you suffer from acid reflux this may make things worse. I do already have problems with excess stomach acid and donít think mineís any worse than normal now Iím drinking the tea regularly. You need to get the dosage right and that will probably take some experimentation. When Iíve got it too low I start getting spots on my chin; when itís too high I feel sick and get bad headaches that start in my shoulders. Personally I havenít been too careful or precise about my doses. I always make sure I have two strong cups a day but often I forget the morning one and have two at night instead and it doesnít seem to cause much a of a problem. Ideally I guess I would measure out the exact amount of tea, use the same size cup every time and time the length it brews. Frankly Iím too lazy to do any of this and most of the time I get it close enough just by eyeballing it and letting it brew about 5 minutes. What type of tea to buy: If youíre trying to use this to control your hormones or breakouts, I recommend avoiding buying a version containing green tea. Green tea seems to cause breakouts for some people (and certainly does for me). Iím in the UK and buy mine loose-leaf from the Tea Palace in Covent Garden, London. Itís delicious and completely different from the Palanquin bagged stuff, which I found online on a couple of Indian websites. Loose-leaf allows you to control the quantity you use but is more expensive than bagged. If you know androgens are the cause of your problem, this may be worth a try. Just be aware that you may have to experiment for a while to get the dosage right for you.
Lip Treatments -Unlisted Brand - Dr Lipp Original nipple balm for lips
Daphers 7/25/2011 5:27:00 AM
Let me start by announcing that I am a lip balm addict. I re-apply lip balm so often it looks like I have a tic, probably every 5 minutes or so. (And to be clear, this IS a lip balm. It was originally designed for sore breast-feeding nipples, hence the name.) Having discovered Dr Lipp, this is no longer the case. I put some on and it's still there up to four hours later. This is a miracle for me. I had noticed over the last year or so that my formerly full lips were starting to shrivel: they were so dry except for the minute or so after applying a product to them that they looked wrinkled and significantly smaller. When I use Dr Lipp the moisture doesn't vanish so fast so my lips stay plump, unlined, and are even pinker. They also have a light gloss from the balm. It's ever so slightly sticky but not enough to catch your hair when you're out in the wind. I haven't tried applying it under lipstick yet but I always add a thin layer on top. The balm doesn't remove or dilute the colour and because I don't need to keep re-applying balm the lipstick stays on quite happily for hours. I realise this is probably normal for many people but if you're addicted to lip balm like me and feel that lipstick just isn't enough moisture, you'll understand. On top of that the lipstick doesn't gather in lines and has a nice sheen. I haven't yet tried it overnight but I will do soon, and maybe under lipstick too. I should also add that this is my first lanolin-based lip treatment so I can't compare it to others, but the leading brands beside this seem to be Lansinoh and Lanolips. If you have constantly dry or ageing lips, do try this. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I think it's changed my life.
Masks -Unlisted Brand - Institut Esthederm Osmoclean Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser
Daphers 10/29/2010 6:27:00 AM
This is not a daily cleanser! It's an occasional-use deep cleanser, for once or twice a week, so I've put it under Masks. Now that's out of the way let me rave about this awesome product. It's purpose is to dissolve blackheads and clogged pores in a gentle way. If you have blackheads and have been using clay masks, I strongly recommend you switch to this. It does what it says. I've been struggling with blackheads for 18 years and although they're now mostly under control thanks to Tazorac, SebaMed Face & Body wash and Shiseido's facial brush, I do still sometimes have bad days where I need an extra boost to clear them out. The instructions for use are not clear - there's no guide as to whether you use this on dry, damp or wet skin - but you basically apply it and massage it into the skin until the cream changes texture to become thick and dry. If your skin isn't sensitive you can leave it on another five minutes while you hop in the shower for an extra-strength treatment, which I do occasionally just on my nose. Rinse well afterwards, very well. I use a toner as well to help get it all off. After rinsing my pores are clear and shrunken. I can run my finger across my skin and it's completely smooth. Seriously, I can't recommend this highly enough. The only remotely negative thing I can think to say about it, other than the high price, is that there is one other product on the market which does the same thing: Sothy's Desquacrem. (Reviews for that product are less good than they should be because lots of reviewers have assumed it's a daily cleanser, which it's not.) They're both quite difficult to get hold of (at least in the UK), so get whichever you can, they're equally good. I own both with back-ups!
This is one of two new Lush products (the other is Silk Stockings) which are body tints. Both of them retail at an overpriced £7.50, they are solid and buttery, like the massage bars. Both have a slight tint (obviously) and some shimmer. Silk Stockings is supposed to be for pale skins, like mine, but it's very pink-toned and looks ridiculous on my pale yellow skin, so I went for Black Stockings instead, which is supposed to be for tanned (I wish) or black skins, yet really suited me, bizarrely. You can either let it melt in your hands or apply it straight to your legs. It moisturises, gives a golden sheen and a pretty realistic tan colour, which will wash straight off in the shower. You can also wear it on top of fake tan. It's a little bit of an effort to get it nice and even all over, but that's just the nature of a product like this. Any streaks which appear can be rubbed in easily. Overall a very good product. I think it's more of a bronzer than a stocking-replacement product like the Sally Hansen airbrush stuff, though it does even out the skin beautfully so it may work for you in that way too. Well worth a look, but test both products to check which colour will suit you best: in my experience it's less about how dark yur skin is and more about the underlying tone. Only negative point really is the price, which doesn't feel quite right. £5 would have seemed more suitable.
I have been looking for a good wash-off bronzer for my legs for literally years. I've tried a lot of products and hated them all. They were streaky and either invisible or ludicrously dark. Eventually I tried Charlotte Island because I'm an old Lush fan. This. Is. Awesome. No streaks. Seriously. I don't bother with fake tan any more because I can't manage a streak-free application, but this was easy. The colour looks natural, with a hint of pink to it. Warning: if you UNDER-apply, you will end up with just a red tint. Well, I did, but then my legs are crazy pale and very yellow-toned so YMMV. But applied more generously I have a natural, believable tan and even, glowing skin. The scent is OK but not great, and your skin is left slightly sticky, same as if you'd just moisturised. There's no shimmer here and as usual for Lush you have a choice of bottle sizes. To get the best possible result, follow the same principles as you would with a self-tanner: moisturise as much as you can the night before. exfoliate. moisturise lightly. leave as long as possible between getting out of the shower + moisturising and application, because the moisturiser and the heat from the shower and any remaining dampness will all stop you gettng an even result. apply the product, using your palms rather than your fingers so you're applying it evenly. check for any bits you haven't rubbed in! And leave the house looking all glowy ansd goddess-like.
Lip Gloss -Le Metier de Beaute - Lip Creme Lip Gloss - Sweet Creme
Daphers 7/19/2010 6:52:00 AM
Despite reading the previous review to mine which warns that this product is basically colourless, I still went ahead and ordered it. And the reviewer was absolutely right. Even if you pile on this light pink product you still get absolutely no colour payoff. Texture is ok, not too sticky, but the smell is extremely sweet. I'm not a fan of sweet scents so YMMV but I found this unwearably pungent and therefore won't be trying any other colours.
In the pot this is a dupe for Bobbi Brown's Wheat (another of BB's misnomers, as it's a taupe and nothing like the colour of wheat). On the skin however this turns from medium grey-brown to (very) yellowed light brown. These are probably two shades for which if one suits you, the other won't. Having said that, with a light hand I can make this work, but who wants to force shades to work? Definitely try this one before you buy as you're not getting the shade you think.
Gorgeous cool/neutral brown (no red, orange or purple undertones, despite the name) with a satin sheen and decent-but-not-amazing colour payoff. Suits me as I can't cope with highly pigmented dark shades. Lasted well and didn't crease.
Without question the best foot cream I have ever used. It sinks in without feeling sticky or damp or greasy and genuinely softens the skin - something that never happened with any of the more expensive products I've tried. Can't believe Boots have come up with something so good, and at drugstore prices. Hideous packaging, but that's ok: I don't tend to display pedicure products on my dressing table! It's a squeezy plastic tube.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Braun 7781 Silk-Epil Xpressive Epilator
Daphers 6/15/2010 9:21:00 AM
This is the version that can be used in water. I'm an old hand at epilating and this is my fourth epilator. I bought it because I loved the idea of lying in the bath and removing hair at the same time: it hurts less to pluck hairs out when your skin is wet and warm, and it saves time rather than having a bath and then having to epilate afterwards. My main concern was that the machine wouldn't be able to lift the wet hairs to grab them. This seemed to be true. Great. But then I tried it on dry skin and things got worse. Virtually every hair broke off instead of being pulled out by the roots. 15 years of epilating and I've never had this problem before, so I've decided it's the epilator. At around £100 it's not cheap and yet it works less well than a £15 machine. Good idea, poor execution. Don't buy this.
Lip Treatments -Sleek - Pout Polish in Perfect Plum
Daphers 2/19/2010 12:01:00 PM
First off, don't let the name fool you. This is a plummy red. Like all four of Sleek's tinted lip balms this is a strong colour and it's highly pigmented. Like, lipstick pigmented. It leaves a stain, though not a very even one. In terms of moisturising ability it's awesome, leaves your lips super-smooth. I have to be sparing with it because of the brightness of the colour and it still moisturises enough for my dry lips. Really wish they made a colourless version though, and also paler/more muted shades. The range is aimed at black women so I assume that's why the shades are dark/bright. As a PPP who doesn't wear red lip colour this is too much for me but I still think it's a pretty great product. And I might be tempted by the pink one. 10g, SPF 15, smells strongly of coconut. Ingredients: Bis-diglyceryl polyacylapidate-2, ethylhexyl palmitate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, diisostearyl malate, polyisobutene, microcrystalline wax, mirystyl lactate, sodium saccharin, fragrance, ozokerite, octokrylene, jojoba oil, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, methylparaben, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, propylparaben, shea butter, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, wheat germ oil, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, ascorbyl palmitate [+ various colours].
I love Darphin and I love lip balm, so I assumed that when I finally scored this cheap on Ebay (I feel guilty paying retail on HE lip balms) this was going to be a love story. It ain't. Vitalbalm (as mine is called) feels like the cheapest chapstick. It barely moisturises at all and I find myself re-applying every five minutes because my lips feel so dry, even immediately after application. The only good thing is the smell, which I can't describe, except that it has the exact same smell as Darphin lipsticks (which ironically I find really moisturising). Really not my favourite stick balm. If you're prepared to shell out this much go for Fresh instead.
Skincare - Face -Cellex-C - Clear Complexion Seboregulator
Daphers 9/3/2009 11:14:00 AM
This is without a doubt the best moisturiser I have ever used. I have oily sensitive skin. Some people say you shouldn't moisturise oily skin but I strongly disagree: oily skin needs hydrating. And that's what this does. No oil, no sensation of coating the skin, it just leaves the skin feeling hydrated and clean, and it slightly reduces oiliness throughout the day. The menthol doesn't irritate my skin (though I'd still prefer it not to be there) and the product doesn't make me "sweat", like other moisturisers I've tried which cause little beads of moisture in the air to condense grossly on my face. I've had the jar for nearly a year and there's still loads left despite daily use, so it's great value for money despite the high price tag, and even though it's a jar, which I would normally find a bit unsanitary, there's absolutely no dust or dirt in there for some reason. I can't recommend this enough. It's probably the star product in my skincare arsenal.