27 April 2011

Fancy a 'Modern Updo'?

The key to maintaining healthy hair ends is to have a 'protective' hair style, for example a bun. However having the same hair style day in day out, can become boring and tiresome. Browsing the local supermarket, my mum came across this product from a company called 'Goody'. Now when I saw it, I thought ''What the heck is this?'', ''How on earth can this secure my hair and keep it in one place? Well, how wrong was I, it actually works great lol. It is in fact a very good hair tool for creating that 'modern updo' style. 

The hair pin comes with instructions, which are on the back of the packaging. My mum and I didn't find the instructions very clear. Although after several minutes, combing, brushing and etc, trying to get our heads around it, we eventually sussed it.

{Apologies the picture quality is not great, currently can't find my camera and using my iphone instead}

Once the hair is in place, it is in fact a very nice and tidy hair style. It didn't move, I didn't have any straggly whispy bits of hair everywhere and it wasn't painful (as in the hair pin digging in).

Like I mentioned before, my mum and I couldn't quite get our heads around the instructions on the packaging, so I thought instead of me writing out the instructions for you, using a good YouTube clip will help to show how much easier it is to do, than the instructions (always the way with some things lol).


So are you going to try the 'modern updo' style? . . . . 


Lip Care?

So spring has finally decided to make an appearance here in the UK (YAY), after a nasty long winter spell. As you may know, the winter months really can take a battering to our hair and skin, in particular the lips. Now I don't know about you, but I find during the winter months, my lips are incredibly dry and it is so frustrating trying to find the right product in order to prevent the lips from drying and peeling. Although it is mainly during the winter months where dry lips occur more frequently, it can occur at any time during the year. So I came across 6 good tips which will make your lips smooth, nice and healthier:

1) Dispose of any cheap, smelling, tasty chapsticks - this will only encourage you to lick your lips, tasting them, which will provide no protection to your lips - drying them out
2) Use Burt's Bees or Carmex chapsticks or lip glosses -  they work much better than your regular chapstick and are inexpensive
3) Avoid junk food - your lips can harbour plaque, which can dry out the lips a lot more
4) Always carry a moisturising lip balm - this helps lips to stay moisturised. Using a stick lip balm is much better, as it's easier for application 
5) Exfoliate the lips - using a tablespoon of honey, mixed with enough sugar until you get a body scrub consistency, use a toothbrush to gently exfoliate the lips, removing the dead skin. This in turn will help remove any dry, dead skin from the lips and replace moisture. However it is important to moisten/dampen your lips beforehand, as your lips are very delicate.
6) Water - drinking water prevents the lips from getting chapped and keeps the lips moisturised

Hope you found the tips of some use to you.

26 April 2011

Polish that body. . . .

Haha you're probably wondering what on earth am I going on about, well I am talking about this beaut:

Yes, that's right - 'The Sanctuary Salt Scrub'.

Whilst browsing Boots, I came across a little stand alone shelf, filled with sanctuary goodies (tucked away next to the sandwich fridge!). On this shelf were a lot of sanctuary goodies (many gift sets), targeted at rejuvenating the skin, ready for the summer. Boots that day had an offer, if you purchased any sanctuary products that totalled in value to £10 and over, you were entitled to a free gift. The free gift was the 'The Sanctuary Spa Me Time Spa Treats', worth £10.47 (Boots price as of April 2011). That I thought was a fantastic bargain, and I decided to purchase 'The Sanctuary Salt Scrub' priced at £10.20, in order to get the gift. That very same day, after I got home from swimming, I jumped into the shower, so I could try out the salt scrub, and as expected with all sanctuary products, I was not disappointed.

The salt scrub smelt absolutely divine. Even my mother commented on how gorgeous it smelt and she too went to town the following day to get her own tub! Haha. The salt scrub is made up of coconut, jojoba and sweet almond oils, with good lashings of sea salt to give it its rough, gritty texture needed to scrub the skin well. I found using this scrub to be incredibly invigorating and my skin afterwards really did feel nice, soft and smelling absolutely delicious. I usually moisturise my skin after every shower/bath, but when using this scrub there isn't much need due to the oil it contains, which essentially has already moisturised the skin. 
The scrub is 650g in a thick, plastic solid jar. The opening is that of your typical glass biscuit glass jar, which opens easily and locks easily. There is also a rubber seal, which prevents the product from spilling or leaking, as the oil sometimes separates from the salt scrub mix. 

. . .But what about the free gift? What was inside the box?

Well 'The Sanctuary Spa Me Time Spa treats had quite a few nice miniature sized products. Inside the box included the following:

*Spa essentials body wash - 75ml = a good lathering body wash that leaves the body feeling fresh, clean and summer'y. Contains moisturising sesame oil and fragrant spices, with little red beads that act as a gentle exfoliator. 
*Spa essentials body scrub - 50ml = acts as a natural pumice, containing rejuvenating patchouli and a dash of orange oil. Smells lovely.
*Spa essentials body butter - 50ml = rich body butter that contains cocoa butter, shea butter and macadamia nut oil. It is incredibly moisturising, giving the body the necessary moisturise needed.
*Spa essentials hand cream 30ml = good for those who suffer a lot with dry hands. A rich, creamy hand cream that contains shea butter and is not greasy like some hand creams tend to be.

There isn't a great deal to say about these products, apart from although they have been infused somewhat with different oils, they essentially still have the same signature sanctuary scent. The products are miniature sized so are good to take away with you on holiday, weekends away or to the gym. They are also small enough to fit in your bag, without being big and taking up unnecessary space. 

If you've never tried Sanctuary products, then I do urge you to give them a try, as it is a lovely range, that not only offers body/spa products, but also skin care. They also have spas dotted around the UK, for example Bristol, Cambridge, London (Covent Garden being the main popular spa) that is often talked about many magazines 

So check out Boots and its Sanctuary range, and you too will love them as much as I do.

25 April 2011

Hotel Chocolat

Wondering around Birmingham 'Bullring' on a shopping trip with a friend in 2009, took us past a chocolate shop that neither of us had heard; Hotel Chocolat. Greeted by one of the sales assistants, with a tray of sample chocolates, immediately struck chords with both of us that we were in ''chocolate'' haven, that no choc - o - holic could possibly resist. 2 years later, I am completely obsessed with the store and always manage to leave with some form of chocolate in my possession. 

Easter has just come and gone, and unfortunately I didn't manage to get any Easter treats until today; 50% off their Easter range, an offer that I could not possibly resist. I decided to go for the ''Eggsibitionist'' egg. This Easter egg is made from 40% cocoa milk chocolate, and comes in the form of shells. Inside each shell are 6 mini eggs, (12 in total) each filled with ultra smooth pralines and soft centres. I personally like my eggs to be 'firm' and have stability, and I therefore decided to go for the extra thick egg. The extra thick egg is more than 3 times thicker than the normal Easter egg on the high street and feels incredibly sturdy, which is what I wanted from an Easter egg. 

The egg shells and the overall packaging of the box were superb. The outer box was sealed beautifully using 'Hotel Chocolat' ribbon, which could easily be reused again should you wish to give a gift to someone from 'Hotel Chocolat'. The silver foil used to wrap the egg shells is thick and plain, preventing easy damage to the chocolate. Although not embossed with the signature 'Hotel Chocolat' logo, the chocolate egg shells have 'Hotel Chocolat' stamped into them, which created the impression on the foil packaging.

The 12 mini eggs were filled with 6 different flavours, which I was intrigued to taste:
*Caramel Egg: I found this sweet, with a slight hint of bitterness, until I hit the caramel centre, which I wasn't too fond of; abit salty. Nevertheless, still a nice sample to have within the shell.
*Milk Praline Egg: I absolutely LOVED this mini egg. I have always loved nuts, so this mini egg was perfect for me. The centre was incredibly smooth, with the centre just melting of hazlenut praline.
*Mousse au Chocolat Egg: I am not a big fan of dark chocolat, and I found this mini egg to be quite sharp on the taste buds. Although a lovely ganache, if you're not a dark chocolat fan, this mini egg perhaps won't bode well with many. 
*Strawberry Egg: I love stawberries, but I loathe white chocolate, which this mini egg is formed out of. Although I did try it, my opinion towards white chocolate has not changed. However the strawberry centre was lovely, which had the right balance in sweetness. 
*Vanilla Custard Egg: Vanilla often gives many foods a nice flavour. However with custard, my opinion of this isn't great. Custard I have never really been a huge fan of, and I wasn't expecting the centre of the mini egg to be so strong in taste to custard. Although I did finish eating it, I wasn't too keen on its flavours. If the chocolate had an essence of vanilla only, my opinion of the mini egg may somewhat be different.
*Chocolate Brownie Egg: Another one of my favourites in this collection of mini eggs. I love hazelnut, so it was immediately an instant winner with me. With the cocoa crispies and the mellow mass of milk chocolate, this was absolutely divine. If only the entire egg was filled with this mini egg and the milk praline - yum!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I got this egg in the 50% sale. The original price for this egg was £24, but with 50% off today it took the price down to £12. Although many may say it is still a little expensive, at £12 for 2 good quality egg shells, plus 12 mini eggs, it is in fact a decent buy. 

The egg is, of course, milk chocolate which is made up of 40% cocoa. It is incredibly silky and smooth and tastes absolutely divine. Any choc-o-holic can tell the significant difference between ordinary chocolate in high street shops, to Hotel Chocolat.

Will I be purchasing from Hotel Chocolat again? Absolutely. 

24 April 2011

Just a quick message to say . . . .

Happy Easter

Hope you are all having a lovely day, eating lots of chocolate and enjoying the sunshine.

22 April 2011

Step by Step of my Hair Regimen

Hey all!

So I am a member of The Student Forum (TSR) where many students from all walks of life visit on a daily basis. On my quest to healthy hair, I set up a thread for ladies (and gents) of Afro Caribbean/African descent, as a place to discuss anything hair related. During this thread, I did a post on my hair regimen, which from time to time people ask about, and I am very happy to tell them what I do. However the thread has since become quite large, and I have absolutely no idea where my hair regimen is. So I have decided to write it here on my blog, to make it easier for people to find and read. I will also be showing pictures of tools I use in my hair regimen, which I have found to benefit my hair a lot better. So here goes . . .

Step 1

Pre Poo

Now if you're new to hair care, and never visited any of the hair forums, you're probably wondering what on earth is a pre poo? Well a pre poo is a concoction of cheap conditioner (or a conditioner you no longer want), mixed with oils and an egg! Yes you read correctly, an egg! Now, depending on what week I am (protein or moisture), will heavily influence what type of pre poo I do. So if I am doing a moisture week (moisture conditioner - all will make sense further into the routine), I will have a protein based pre poo, which will include the egg. If I am having a protein based conditioner, I will do a pre poo without the egg! (I hope that makes sense and hasn't confused you). So you're probably wondering, why pre poo? Pre poo'ing (conditioner and oils) actually acts as a barrier to the harsh shampooing process. The egg gives the hair the protein, encouraging the hair to grow, shine and be healthy. I have noticed my hair has become thicker since having a pre poo routine.

How do I do the pre poo? Using a large bowl/tub, I use 1 x egg, a good amount of conditioner (I use Alberta Balsam either Strawberry cream or Tea Tree because they both smell nice and they are cheap, approx £1, if not cheaper depending on where purchased), a generous amount of Amla oil and another generous amount of olive oil.
Mix well before applying to the hair using a hair applicator brush. Apply from the ends of the hair to the roots, and then saturate the entire scalp with whatever mixture is left. (If you have too much mixture left after saturating the hair, throw it away).
Cover the hair with a shower cap, or a plastic bag and leave for one hour. If you have put egg into your mixture, DO NOT put direct heat onto it, you'll end up with scrambled egg!! If you have used a pre poo mixture with NO egg and you have a hooded dryer or steamer, use the heat for 20 - 30mins. Don't worry if you have no access to heated appliances, just leave the mixture for one hour, and make yourself busy in the meantime; this in turn will generate heat!!

Step 2

Shampoo'ing and Conditioning

Before I shampoo and condition, I ensure I thoroughly wash out the pre poo, removing all traces. I then use ORS Creamy Aloe shampoo, shampooing my hair no more than 2 times. Why? because shampoo is incredibly harsh on the hair and essentially stripes the hair of all its natural oil and the oils used in the pre poo. I then towel dry my hair before I apply any conditioner.

I use an ample amount of conditioner (either ORS Replenishing conditioner if I have done a pre poo with egg OR Africa's best hair mayonnaise if I have done a pre poo without egg), to ensure it has been distributed evenly throughout the hair. Some people I believe like to comb their conditioner through using a large tooth comb. However I find this takes a lot of hair out/chunks as the hair is fragile, so I don't do this method. I massage the conditioner well into the hair using my fingertips and then cover with a shower cap and leave at the recommended time on the packaging. Once conditioned, I wash out thoroughly and towel dry, ready for styling.

Step 3

Product application and styling

When the hair is wet, I try not to manipulate as much, as the hair is fragile as mentioned before. So I gently towel dry, ensuring any excess water has been soaked up with the towel.
I then spray my hair with the Elasta QP H Two Leave in, as this is replacing the moisture bringing the hair back to its healthier state. This is then followed by a good amount of ORS moisturising lotion and the IC Fantasia hair polisher (heat protector), I mix both together in my hands before applying to my entire hair. I then use the Elasta QP Mango butter to seal my ends.
Using a hair attachment, I then blow dry my hair on a medium heat, not hot as it damages the hair and dries out what moisture and/or protein you've put into your hair.
Once fully dry, or near abouts, I then use the amla oil to oil my scalp. My scalp has a tendency to get dry, so using this oil helps to reduce the dandruff and keep the hair smelling nice and add extra sheen. I section my hair into 2, using the end of a rat tail comb, I then begin to do mini sections on one side and oil as I go. And I then repeat on the following side.
Once my scalp is completely oiled, I blow dry for a few seconds, to help distribute the oil. The Amla oil tends to go a long way, so you only need a little bit.

And then I style as desired, which is usually a protective style, such as bun to ensure my ends don't get damaged or dry out.

*Phew* . .and that's it = ta'da, that's my hair regimen. I hope it's helpful and useful to you all. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. However please do take into consideration, I am NOT a professional hairdresser nor am I trained in anyway; what I do is purely what works for me and what I have researched.

{Linked pictures are purely for illustrative purposes, so people can visibly see what products I am using}.

21 April 2011

Body Care?

{Body image is not that of the blog creator, image can be found here}

As a woman it is important for me to have soft, well moisturised skin. Not one day do I leave my house without some form of moisturiser on my hands and body. So I thought I would make this blog post, explaining what products I use on my skin.

I am a woman of Afro Caribbean descent, and I often find my skin gets extremely dry and tight if I have no moisturiser on. I therefore use the following products to help keep my skin soft, supple and replenished:

Palmers Cocoa Butter: This for me is a must, every single day. Every inch of my body is fed this cream, ie arms, legs, tummy, you name it, it's fed cocoa butter!! I have used it on my skin since I was a child, and I just love it. The smell also is divine, you just want to eat it! However depending on where it is purchased, it can be a little pricey. I tend to get mine from either Superdrug or Asda; Superdrug currently sell it for £3.73 and Asda currently sell it for £3.53. Clearly Asda is the cheapest, but do keep your eyes peeled at Superdrug as they sometimes have it on offer for £2.

Bio Oil: I enjoy using this product as it is great (in my opinion) at reducing blemishes and scars. Many have claimed it has worked for them (me), however many have said it hasn't work and is nothing more than a fade of a product to convince the consumer into purchasing. The thing with Bio oil is you have got to be persistent with it; it is not an overnight quick fix, which a lot of people expect. Many shops, such as Boots, Asda, Superdrug, and many more sell this product at an extremely expensive price of £20, or near to. I personally don't believe in spending that much, when if you shop around online, find legitimate websites, such as this, you can get the 200ml bottle at a very reasonable price, ie £10. I do enjoy using this product; the 200ml bottle lasts me upto 8-9months and that is with day and night application. A little bit of this oil does go along way, hence why it tends to lasts a long period of time.

Body Shop Almond Body Butter: My mum (who is obsessed with the Body Shop) purchased a tub of this body butter for me for xmas. It was reduced to £5 from £12.50, and I thought nothing more of it. When I came to using it, the smell of it was absolutely divine; a gorgeous, fresh, sweet scent wafted across my nose. It is most suited to those with normal/dry skin and is very moisturising without being too greasy.The consistency of this body butter is thick (not too thick) and melts really well into the hands. I tend to use this on my feet and then put slipper socks on to lock in the moisture, and it's amazing at how soft my feet feel once I have taken my socks off. Unfortunately however this body butter is no longer sold online, or in shops, as I believe it is an exclusive butter that appears in stores for xmas. So ladies (and gents) keep your eyes peeled for Body Shop xmas 2011 as it may return for the festive season!

Hope you all found my post useful and informative of what I use on my skin.

20 April 2011

Hair Regimen and Products

{This is not me, picture taken from here}

August 2008 saw the beginning to better, healthier, longer hair. Before this I did not have a regimen at all; my hair was badly breaking, my ends were splitting and my hair was not growing. After years of using cheap products and my hair in a bad condition, I decided to research as much as I could into caring for Afro Caribbean hair that was relaxed (processed).

Whilst researching I was astonished to learn about the ingredients in the 'lower end' products for afro Caribbean hair, that are in fact quite damaging to the hair. For example mineral oil, which comes from crude oil, also known as petroleum, often used as a cutting or lubricating oil. Mineral oil acts by coating the hair, preventing moisture to penetrate into the hair. It prevents the hair from being able to ''breathe'', as the mineral oil acts like a plastic bag. This can then lead to breakage and damage of the hair. This is just one ingredient in hair products that many don't realise is preventing their hair from growing and sustaining health.

After much reading and research, I took a good look at the state of my hair and basically concluded that my hair was lacking severe protein and moisture. Protein is essentially what helps the hair to grow, make it strong and make it thicker. Moisture helps to prevent breakage and increase elasticity in the hair. To get the right balance, I needed to ensure I had the right products, so I literally binned or gave away what products I did have and got new products. After reading the blog from Hairlicious and visiting numerous hair forums for those of Afro Caribbean decent, I decided to try the Organic Roots Stimulator (ORS) range. The ORS is quite a popular range that uses organic, natural components, such as olive oil, carrot oil, jojoba oil, which significantly make a difference for the majority in terms of healthy hair and maintaining growth.

As I wanted to keep my new regimen simple, and with the majority of my products from the same brand, the following will detail my routine and products that I have used since August 2008:

ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo: great shampoo that really gets to work on removing the dirt and ensuring a good clean scalp thereafter. I also find that it lathers very well from an ample amount, which goes a long way.

Moisture/light protein Conditioner
ORS Replenishing Conditioner: lovely conditioner that often leaves my hair nice and soft and shiny, almost glowing if you like. It also smell divine, oranges, which leaves the hair smelling beautiful. When using this product, I leave on the hair for approx. 1 hour to give my hair a good deep condition.

Deep Protein Conditioner
Africa's Best Hair Mayonnaise: I have been using this product for years, even before my hair journey, and I have always loved the smell of it; nourishing and clean. I often find once I have used this product that my hair feels strong and has regained back what oils were washed away during the shampooing stage. For an extra deep condition/treatment, apply to the hair and go under the steamer/dryer, you can always tell the difference, as the hair feels silky and soft.

{Just to clarify, I alternate between these conditioners every time I wash my hair. So wash day, I'll use the ORS replen. pak as it's moisture, and then the next wash day I'll use the Africa's Best Hair mayo as it's a protein. This routine is what I have stuck to religiously since Aug. 2008 and it's worked a treat for my hair}

Organic Roots Stimulator Olive Oil Moisturising Lotion: I love this product, it's a very moisturising lotion that my hair seems to love. I use this lotion on a daily basis, but when my hair is dry, I apply an ample amount and work well into my hair. It is also not greasy, ok it has a little bit of grease (due to the oil), but it's not 'icky, slippery like some hair lotions can be. It smells very nice and fresh and has one of the key oils (olive oil) which promotes health and growth for the hair.

Leave In Moisturiser
Elasta QP H Two Leave In Moisture Seal Conditioner: After washing my hair I often spray this moisturiser into my hair, and I have found it to be quite a nice leave in moisturiser. It has a nice smell to it, protects the hair from UV sun rays and gives some body to the hair. It is also light weight, softens and detangles and is also great for those who have braids.

Heat Protector
IC Fantasia Hair Polisher serum (pink bottle): I use this product a lot, due to the fact that I use a hair dryer all the time to dry my hair and I need a product that will protect my hair well. Yes I know heat isn't good for the hair, however I can not air dry as I do not get on with it, but I use the dryer on a medium heat. I love using this product as I find my hair is always nice and shiny, not burnt or frazzled from the blow drying. It keeps in the moisture and does not leave the hair saturated in oil, like some serums tend to do.

Hair Sealant
Elasta QP Mango Butter: I only purchased this product on Monday, so am not able to give a thorough run down of the product. But from the one day I have used it, I liked it. Its sole purpose is to moisturise and seal the ends of the hair, in a bid to prevent breakage and split ends. From the quick test I tried, it certainly did moisturise well. I'm not quite sure however if I am going to use this product on a day to day basis or every other day. But I shall see how my hair reacts to the weather.

ORS Olive Oil: I purchased this product for the purpose of moisturising my ends only due to the fact that it does contain traces of mineral oil. (I know there is abit of contradiction in the blurb I just wrote regarding mineral oil, but so long as it's not going on the scalp or coating the entire hair, it is ok). However I began to find that it was abit too oily for my ends, and I am not too fond of the smell. I use this once in a while, maybe in the winter months when the weather is really cold, drying, but not often.

Scalp Oil
Amla oil/Vatika oil: This is the only oil I have been using to keep my scalp oiled and healthy. It's green, it's extremely light, smells nice and has (I believe) been one of the biggest contributors to my hair growth. Even when I go to get my hair done at the salon, I take this oil because my hair just loves it. I do however dispense it into a spray bottle, as it makes applying to the scalp very easy. You also don't need a lot of this oil, as a little bit goes a long way.


I will do another blog on other regimes I do for my hair; some of you may have heard of it but 'pre poo's' which I have found extremely good for my hair. But more on that another day.

Hope you're all enjoying the glorious sunshine the UK is getting at the moment. Remember however to use sun cream (if you plan on sunbathing).

Here are some snaps of my hair from what I started with, to what I have now:

August 2008

April 2011

19 April 2011

REVIEW: Liz Earle Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise

{Image used for illustrative purposes and is not that of the blog creator. Image can be found here}

Since my teens my skin has been plagued with acne and blemishes, and I have tried everything under the sun in a bid to reduce the problem. But after many failed attempts using Tea Tree oil (Body Shop), Differin (Dr prescription), Clinique, and many other products (not used at the same time, just to clarify), I was at my wits end as to what else to try. However after reading and hearing many reviews about the Liz Earle Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise range, many claiming it has improved their skin, reduced/stopped breakouts and cleared up blemishes, I decided to give it ago.

The 'Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise' range is a 3 step system, that is targeted at maintaining the skin in a healthy manner, without using harsh chemicals. An example of this being Clinique toner which felt like white spirit/paint stripper on my skin after x amount of years use, yuck!. Anyway as I no longer wanted to use harsh chemicals on my skin, Liz Earle seemed the most appropriate, as all its products use naturally active botanicals, herbs, vitamins and plant oils, which are much gentler on the skin.

I was going to order the starter kit, which is priced at £13.25 however I realised in the kit the moisturiser best suited for my skin (combination/oily) was not part of it. So I decided to pick the items individually; 1 x cleanse and polish 30ml £5.10, instant boost skin tonic 50ml £4.85, skin repair moisturiser: light 15ml £6.65 and 2 packs of muslin cloths £3.55. My order took 3days to arrive, and I was only expecting what products I ordered. However I was astonished to find a bundle of little extra bits and bobs, which I was very pleased with, and felt like I was a valued customer (although it was my first order). The package included product information, step by step guide on how to use the cleanse and polish hot cloth cleanser correctly, price list, catalogue and a free 50ml sample of the cleanse and polish hot cloth cleanser, which I thought was very kind of the packer. Also included with was a note from the person who packed my order, and the opportunity to call should I have any queries. Even my mum, who had never heard of Liz Earle was surprised at the little extra bits that came.

{My Liz Earle order, inc. the extras as mentioned above}

Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser:
Ingredients: Cocoa butter, Rosemary, Chamomile, Eucalyptus essential oil

I found this product to be very nice on the skin, gentle and smell really nice. Liz Earle claims that it is best to work the cleanser into the skin in a circulation motion working outwards. This I have found quite good as it's massaging the cleanser deep into the skin thoroughly, getting into the pores and really working hard to cleanse and lift the dead skin. Although it is said that only 1 or 2 pumps are required, which for me personally isn't sufficient, I personally found a decent blob dotted around my face and neck goes a long way. Once I had worked in well, I leave for a minute of 2 before I move onto the next stage.

Muslin Cloths:

The muslin cloths are pure cotton, I believe, and they are great way to gently exfoliate the skin, without being too harsh and enhance circulation. I have found these cloths to be very gentle and are of good quality. However although there are 2 in the pack, for £3.55 I think the price is a little steep for what is essentially a cloth used to wipe off cleanser.

As the cleanser has been on my face for a minute or so, I saturate my muslin cloth in hand hot/warm water, wringing out and placing on my skin. This essentially is opening the pores, allowing the impurities to come out, wiping away the dead skin cells. I repeat this step a further 2 times before splashing the face with cold water (closing the pores) and towel drying. My skin thereafter feels as soft as a baby's bottom lol.

Instant Boost Tonic:
Ingredients: Organic aloe vera, calendula, rose cented geranium, cumcumber and natural vitamin E

This product I find smells absolutely divine; fresh, clean and youthful. Like most toners I have used in the past, the majority tend to burn, which is an indication to me that whatever is used to make the ''concoction'' of a product is far too strong for my skin personally. With this toner, there was NO burning, which I was so glad about. My face didn't feel tight, stinging or anything like that, it felt very cool, clean and smelt lovely. However I have started to notice that it has become slightly sticky on my face once it has dried and I am not sure whether or not it's because I am using too much tonic or whether this just happens?

After cleansing and towel drying, use a generous amount of tonic onto a cotton pad, and gently sweep over the face and neck. I ensure I give my face a good sweeping with the tonic, to ensure I have done every inch of my face and then leave to dry.

Skin Repair Moisturiser - Light
Ingredients: Borage and avocado oil, echinacea, beta-carotene and natural vitamin E.

As my skin type is combination oily, I didn't need a moisturiser that was very heavy and oily. With the Liz Earle Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise, there is the choice of 3 moisturisers; Light - suitable for those with combination/oily skin, normal combination and dry/sensitive. The light moisturiser was most suited to my skin, which I have found incredibly nice and light, just as it claims to be. I apply generous blobs across my face and neck and massage well into the skin.

After completing the 3 steps, I do find my skin to be incredibly soft, cool and light, which is a change from the routine I was doing before. I have also noticed that my skin is often glowing and youthful once I have completed the steps. Although I have only been using the products for 3-4days, I have not yet noticed a significant difference in my skin. However I am going to give it 2 weeks, to see if I get any improvement of my skin.

What do I think about Liz Earle? I absolutely LOVE the products; the smells, the simplicity of its routine and its claims to improving good, healthy skin.

Will I be purchasing again? IF I see big improvements with my skin, I shall be returning to buy more.

So ladies (and gents) = although I am yet to see big improvements, seriously go and get your Liz Earle 'Cleanse Tone and Moisturise' kit to better your skin.

17 April 2011

Hello All. . .

Hello all and Welcome to Serenity of Beauty.

Well after a few days of debating whether or not to start up a blog, I have finally taken the plunge; so here I am hello blogland! :-) **Waves**

My primary reason for starting up this blog is to basically tell you all about the in's and out's of my hair and beauty tips/regimes/products that work well for me. I will also incorporate some fashion bits and pieces (I'm a shoes/handbag girl :-P), telling you all about my latest bargains and buys.

Although a short opening blog, I do hope you enjoy what I write and I look forward to hearing from many of my followers (if I get any :-P lol).

PS: Just a lil bio on myself:

Name: Cas 
Occupation: Graduate in Crime and Society
Interests: Beauty, fashion, Crime, Books, Swimming, Ballet and Tap, Travelling and Reading