Skincare

The Skincare Miracle: Caudalie Vine[Activ]

Posted on 5 min read

 

A good few weeks back now I had the loveliest lunch meeting with the loveliest lady to talk directly about Caudalie’s newest skincare innovation and the four products that have ultimately changed the way I think about the victorious combination of holding both hectic routine and glowing skin. There were lots of informal chatter that day; from food, to the sightseeing gems of Leeds, to blogging, and overall daily life but most importantly, the effectiveness of this beautiful range that is created carefully and specifically to those ladies on the go – hence the name!

 

The VineActiv collection is designed for those who consume a fast paced lifestyle but still wish to maintain a healthy glow and a smooth, youthful complexion. I, for one, know the pressure my skin can feel after a few recurrent days of constant stress, lack of sleep and aggression from the outdoor air – I breakout, start to develop a dullness to the tones in my skin and my appearance starts to be noticeably tired but this collection is aimed to fight back against any external environmental factors and strengthen the skin’s capacity; proving your well being, your age and busy lifestyle can be positively tied together.

 

I wasn’t all that familiar with Caudalie before I was introduced properly. I’d heard plenty of promising reviews but have never had the chance to experience the full pamper from a brand that works for everyone! What I did learn in the process of falling in love is that Caudalie are strategically very science orientated which is extremely admirable. 2+ years of care and research has gone into making their famous Anti-Cell Burnout Complex in this brand new patented formula which not only globally protects and defends the skin cells but also acts as a natural advocate to the auto-regeneration of your own levels of antioxidants bringing immediate and long-lasting efficacy.

 

Without sounding too complicated, this innovation is basically made up of four ingredients; their star grape seed polyphenol, stabilised vitamin C & E, and spruce extract that is the super powerful finisher. Caudalie provides fact that our natural defense system is weakened as we grow, that we gradually (and often drastically) lose elasticity, and also lose our cells to a burn out as they die before they even reach the surface of our skin. This multiplex is there to help prevent this from happening so rapidly; to maintain radiance and suppleness, boost and preserve collagen, balance melanin production and increase protection against all antioxidant stress meaning our skin can look and feel brighter and firmer for longer.

 

 

As a self confessed indecisive nightmare when it comes to keeping a steady skincare routine, I never thought I’d be able to stick to one group of products without eventually getting fed up but all four of VineActiv’s treatments – the Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum, 3-in-1 Moisturiser, Energising and Smoothing Eye Cream, and Overnight Detox Oil – have changed my perspective well and truly. This two minute application as I settle down on a nighttime and awake refreshed in the morning has been a life changer and has demonstrated how a skincare ritual doesn’t have to be tedious. It’s simple, calming and injects some energy into that precious, welcoming me time.

 

The one stand out result from using these as a moderate foursome is how clear and velvety my skin has been since the first pump. Although it isn’t targeted for spot-prone, oily skin like mine it’s been an all round rescue for controlling those pesky blemishes and breakouts, from the face down to the neck, and I believe that’s purely because of the way the antioxidants get to work in all areas for all skin types. I’m incredibly impressed both by the formulations and the uplifting scent of cucumber meets vanilla meets lavender. A uniquely distinctive smell that sure won’t be forgotten!

 

The serum and the moisturiser are my main marvel duo – the serum applied first with the moisturiser on top both morning and night. Both have a lightweight and easily absorbed consistency that instantly perks up the softness of your skin and the radiance. They’re slowly soothing to give you that restored fresh feel but also swiftly on the ball with providing that luminous complexion. What’s great about the moisturiser is that it not only acts as a prevention for skin damage and lacklustre but it also limits the amount of pollutant particles deposited on the skin. It’s not pleasant to think about those tiny particles of dirt being able to access entrance to your skin without you knowing so with the extra veil in this moisturiser, you can confidently go about your day with the grime washed away.

 

I honestly hold my hand up and shamefully admit I’ve never been a constant user of eye creams but once again, this one has changed the game for me! It’s not heavy, nor greasy, and you don’t really realise it’s even there. My eyes, do, however because I’ve noticed a vast difference in my troublesome dark circles in the continuous month of consumption and it helps combat those dry patches that can randomly ruin your skin texture and layer of eyeshadow without warning.

 

The surprise favourite of the bunch is the detox oil which does sound pretty crazy considering my skin already is excessively oily most of the time. I did discuss with Cia whether this would be a problem but, like me, she didn’t succumb to the ‘don’t apply oil to oil’ myth. It really has awakened my skin with a high quality purification that hasn’t made a difference to how the oil oozes and has in fact kept it at bay combined with the rest. This is perfect for those time periods where you just feel a bit bleurgh and under the weather as it reconditions that shielded suppleness. It’s like something you’d be blessed with at a relaxing spa day, where the world around you just shuts down and your focus is on how luxuriated your face is emanating. A bi-weekly treatment that makes me feel like a new woman!

 

Thanks so much to Cia for introducing me to this range that I won’t ever look back on, only to repurchase when I’m in desperate need for more! Individually the products are priced from £27.50-£36 but you could get away with just investing in one of the skincare based products to feel the effects. I promise you, it’s ground breaking!

 

Are you familiar with the VineActiv range?

 

Bridie x


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The Products I’m Currently Testing

Posted on 4 min read

As a blogger I’m lucky enough to receive beauty samples left, right and centre but I have to be careful because if I throw them into my blog basket (yes, the products have taken up residence in their very own designated space) then I can easily forget about all the new, exclusive luxuries I have to trial and eventually indulge in. That is until I give myself a shake and my room a revamp and rediscover those bits and bobs absent from my routine. Recently, I’ve been testing out a random bunch from various brands and I’ve loved the alternative introduction to my usual. It’s been a while since I’ve mixed it up and I’ve really valued the change as well as the advances.

First up are a couple of items from a popular non-invasive advocate – Transformulas. Their skincare, bodycare and cosmetics range is extensive, specialising in anti ageing but revitalising your natural beauty in a flash. The revolutionary Arm Lift is the perfect addition to my regime not just because I’m a demotivated mare who can’t be bothered with those intense tricep dips but because I lack the strength and ability, too. My arms are probably my least hated feature, they’re certainly not a cause for concern in the ‘why am I sooooo flabby’ thought department but there’s always time to keep your skin firm and it’s best to start young! The product aims to sculpt, hydrate and lift and I must say in terms of the smooth layering I’ve noticed a refreshed softness in the short time period I’ve been using it. I was sceptical at the thought of a lightweight, absorbing lotion making any difference opposed to exercise but I feel if I keep this up over the years, the elasticity will result in less bingo wing and more solid swing.

The Kylie Jenner lips are becoming more sought-after by the minute and the rage of lip fillers by both the general public, the influencer industry and the celebrity world has got me questioning my own pair. I’ve never had a problem with my lips, they’re shapely and can be filled by the magic of lip liner but in comparison to the luscious pouts spreading the nation, mine are quite tame. If you haven’t jumped into the surgical route just yet, the LipVolume by Transformulas is an incredible alternative. In the style of a gloss it’s simple to apply but provides such a high performance boost. The powerful combination of nourishing and volumising ingredients really gets to work straight away, you can feel the amplifying progressing with a tingling sensation which forms into a heavy defined contour. It’s my current go to product to smear underneath my fave lipstick, my absolute handbag essential and acts as both a plumper and moisturiser so you get a two in one bonus!

Moving away from products and onto tools, the L.A.B.2 (live and breathe beauty) Strokes Of Genius brush kit for the eyes has been my holy grail for a month or so, now. It features five brushes that are must have basics to hold in your collection. An eyeshadow brush which I use to cover the base and distribute the colour evenly, a crease brush which I use to blend the hues and harsh lines seamlessly, a pointed eyeliner brush that I use with my gel liner as it’s the ideal thinness to produce a precise line moving into a flick and both the brow & liner brush and brow & lash groomer that have enabled my brows to be defined naturally, I’m so much happier with my brows since finding this combination and all five brushes are saving me a good ten minutes on a morning with their high quality finish. Amen to the creators.

Finally we have the eco-friendly Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Weightless Texture Spray that has been a life saver for me as the winter fog and drizzle frizzes my hair to the extreme as soon as I step foot out of the house (you know my problem, gals). I spray it all over my hair – from root to end – when it’s half way between damp and dry and it delivers a balance of body and definition for an effortless, ‘I just woke up like this’ look; augmenting that natural tousle, energising the shine and aiding that manageability when my long hair seems more troublesome than usual. As well as pampering the hair, I’ve also been treating my face to a Vitamasque firming and lifting face mask. This mildly sweet pomegranate scent is delicious, not too forceful and nice and serene once applied. With it being a singular sheet sample I’ve only used it the once but that night was filled with a fresh glow with no discomfort and for the price, it’s absolutely one of those underrated gems!

What are you testing and simultaneously loving, lately?

Bridie x

*some of these items may have been sent for me to review, please see my full disclaimer for more information.

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Shop My Favourites

Summer Beauty Saviours*

Posted on 4 min read

 

Did you survive the heatwave? Yes? Good. It’s hard work dealing with temperatures past a certain point isn’t it – especially when that point is sitting out in the garden at 10pm because the brisk of air is cooler than your front room with all the windows open and a house representing Bug’s Life. When it’s hot in Britain, it’s hard to handle so imagine how parched your skin gets in its daily exposure to sun (okay, what I really mean is when you’re on holiday or enjoying the three days of warm weather at home).

 

I find there’s various problems your beauty regime and your prized skin are faced with in the summer time. There’s the sweating off of makeup when you’re trying to look your best, the battle of burn turned bronze, sunscreen breaking us out, damage, dryness, peeling, increased oils, and a general yucky feeling which is why it’s important to not only stock up on the essentials that will ensure our skin stays safe, soft and smooth but that will carry us appropriately through the season. With so much on the market it’s hard to know where to start but today’s (very late I’m sorry) Wednesday Saturday wishlist hopefully narrows the sections. I’m starting with the L’Occitane sun care range, a luxe collection that is specifically designed to protect your face and body against the sun’s unfortunate harmful rays. The light cream with an ultra light formula does the complete job of protecting, hydrating, firming, softening and straightening without any extra effort and their choice of lip balms – tinted or transparent – are a must have when your pout is lacking moisture and in need of enrichment.

 

I find a high performance sunscreen is a problem solved with one application, especially when the UV protection is nourishing, absorbed quickly, waterproof and powerful – Shiseido’s anti ageing protection lotion is a great pick. A multi usage dry oil is another staple product that keeps your skin velvety soft and healthy, I love the glistening glow oil provides as it volumises tan instead of drowning it. It’s always handy to have a calming cosmetic nearby too for when your skin turns troublesome, the intensive Heal Gel  is an ideal multi purpose skin rescue which would be the perfect barrier for irritation. Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air is exactly that, there’s nothing like a refreshing spritz of a toner to cool you down and provide a welcoming sensation to dehydrated skin. There’s no denying The Body Shop is my go to place for anything sun related, their Vitamin C range is potent for that vibrancy and one I always find myself going back to when I want to stock up on holiday toiletries – the polish would be a classic duo that cleanses and exfoliates in one step! TBS releases continue to improve and this time round I’m eager to get my hands on their new Skin Defence serum; with an SPF of 50, strong antioxidants and ingredients that help protect against aggressors and combat any dullness effects of a summer well spent, it’s an integral extra.

 

Moving on to makeup, it’s difficult to find the right balance. I know for me personally I end up quitting completely and risking the bare face but then I’m disappointed because it’s my mission to find both a base and its accompanied highlights that allow me to shine (but not literally, as my over oily skin would definitely win the battle). Starting with a lightweight finish with a correcting and brightening function is the motto to consider – Clarin’s Instant Light would be perfect as it naturally radiates and hydrates your complexion without that heavy feeling. Blotting powder is also crucial for soaking up any unwanted and the description of Becca’s Blotting Powder Perfector – phenomenally oil absorbent and pore minimising with a tendency to blur imperfections and provide a beautiful soft focus without drying, caking or collecting in creases – sounds like my dream saviour. To inject some colour into your cheeks either as a bronzer or a full face, Stila’s Stay All Day 10-in-1 Bronzing Balm is a good place to begin. It has SPF, helps to banish blemishes and is subtle in leaving a golden glow. Finalising with a floral, sun kissed fragrance like Jo Malone’s White Jasmine & Mint allows you to set yourself up for the day ahead and put the exploring plans in action.

 

What are your summer skincare and makeup holy grails? Do you have anything on your list?

 

Bridie x

 

*parts of this post are in collaboration

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Oil Pulling – My Minty Coco Experience*

Posted on 4 min read

*14 Day Course – C/O Minty Coco

 

I’ll be brutally honest here, I hate my teeth. I don’t want to sound like a repetitive self-loather but it’s the truth and I’ve always been conscious of them throughout my youth. You’ll rarely see me with a goofy smile, instead it will be replaced with a stern pout and my signature resting bitch face (whoops). It’s not just the fact they aren’t the straightest of sets; it’s the way my mouth awkwardly curves up in an odd shape, my chubby chipmunk cheeks come out to say hello and of course, the colouring doesn’t exactly match up to those you see on the likes of TOWIE.

 

I’m not particularly familiar with all the teeth whiteners on the market because quite frankly I’m clueless. I’ve always wanted to start somewhere but feel I need to research before I go ahead and spend money on a product that won’t make the slightest bit of difference to both my confidence and my teeth. There’s the cosmetics you can whip in your trolley at the supermarket, the pointless promisers of sparkling gnashers, reduced sensitivity and banished bacteria but I’ve tried all of them in the past and non have touched within an inch. This is where it’s time to move on up in in-demand quality, to the natural remedies on the horizon that are talked about from the latest A-Lister and beyond. There’s the famous whitening strips from various brands and then there’s oil pulling, a traditional and historic way of whitening teeth and boosting overall oral health with more benefits along the way. This is where Minty Coco falls into the equation, when the opportunity arose to trial a 2 week course of their very own creation, I jumped at the chance. The mission for teeth I can show off to the world depended on a formula of virgin coconut and peppermint oil in a convenient sachet you swish around your mouth for 5-15 minutes, so to say I was intrigued was an understatement. Much to my sadness, I’ve just finished my last one and wanted to share my views and experience in a highly praised and positive manner!

 

As a newbie to this miracle method, I made sure I read the instructions (and snapped a pre picture) before I went ahead and tested the solution out. To my thankful relief it was a pretty straight forward technique – ensure the oils are compressed enough to form a liquid, peel open the sachet, keep quiet, leave the communication behind and get that irrigated mouth into action. It took me a couple of days to get used to the strange feeling of the mushy texture and the cold sensation, at times it felt as though I just needed to take a big gulp but I persevered and it got easier – not to mention, it tastes delicious with the mix of both soft coconut and minty flavours combined. Although it can be used at any time throughout the day, I always made sure I swilled and settled before I brushed my teeth on an evening as I came to the conclusion it gave better potential to rid of all the built up residue and bad bacteria (that talking of which, should be spit out into anything but the sink as it does tend to block). Though it seemed a long duration of time, I held the oil in and around my mouth up to the full 15 minutes as I found this to be the most advantageous.

 

After only a few days of including Minty Coco into my dental routine, I certainly noticed a vast difference in the general cleanliness of my mouth, gums and breath; they felt fresher, there were no resounding nasty tastes or aftermath and it didn’t even take the full 14 days for me to compare the shiny glossiness of both the top and bottom sets of teeth. My enamel was more visible due to the erasure of plaque, especially in the fang area where yellow-hued stains were present. The colour alteration has immensely improved! I’m 100% convinced it was fully successful in combating bacteria and giving my teeth that healthy boost. I also have strong praises for the help in reducing sensitivity, I suffer with delicate teeth (hey I was even told by my dentist for some reason they’re more prone to pain and breakage) but I found within a couple of uses of the formula, brushing my teeth became more bearable!

 

As you can see from the contrast between the two photos, it’s changed the entire appearance of my teeth, they have such a glow to them now and as I’ve finished the course I’m worried they’ll go right back to normal. I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t the slightest bit sceptical because I was but I genuinely think it’s worth sticking with to produce a constant re-mineralized and antimicrobial effect. I can imagine how transformed your teeth will look a year down the line if I felt the benefits of the detox in just two weeks. On a personal level, it’s spoke volumes – I actually feel comfortable enough to grin away without worrying my teeth will look out of place and I just can’t stop running my tongue along the resurfaced smooth layer. Brighter teeth, cut out toxins, an extracted organic alternative opposed to the harsh mouthwash and chemical filled toothpaste you often find on the shelves; what more could you ask for? 14 sachets of Minty Coco retails at £23.99 and you can buy directly from their website.

 

 

Have you had any experience with oil pulling? I’d love to know if you feel as optimistic as I do!


Bridie x

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The Body Shop British Rose Collection: Celebrating 40 Years

Posted on 5 min read

There’s two event emails that raise my excitement levels to an extremity, and that’s Lush and The Body Shop. This time it’s the latter (although next week is the first option, eeek). Last Thursday, The Body Shop on Leeds Briggate were holding an evening of cosmetic cheer and showcasing to parade their brand new British Rose Collection and to celebrate 40 years of their face, body and soul foundation – and I was luckily invited down, along with plenty of lovely ladies and gents! Greeted with some chocolate nibbles, prosecco, lots of cameras and eager bloggers in their natural habitat, we were left to wonder round until the others arrived and were then given a short but sweet consultation and demonstration of the freshly exclusive products.

 

 

It was almost guaranteed I’d love the range if the pretty pink packaging and blooming blossom filled displays were anything to go by, and it certainly didn’t let me down. I can’t say I’m a huge rose-scented lover (I often describe it as the old granny smell – shh) but this one was far from your typical fragrance; certainly not in your face overpowering opposed to a strong floral but soft, subtle and refreshing. Grown in an 100% organic justifiable British setting, the line includes everything from your shower gels and your bath foams, to body butter, hand cream, body scrub, and exfoliating soap. Then there were the more sumptuous of the selection (and my three favourites); the absolutely gorgeous Instant Glow Body Essence that left a natural, glowy shimmer on the skin, the Eau De Toilette perfume which was a lovely, uplifting scent and the Eye and Cheek Palette packed with captivation. Once again, The Body Shop split their products into separate rituals; cleanse, bathe, exfoliate, moisturise and glow, fragrance, and finish – meaning there are plenty of treatment choices and ample gift sets. The collection was actually originally released for Mother’s Day but as that’s been and passed, it now makes perfect sense to validate a splurge in time for Easter!

 

Not only were we introduced to the British Rose Collection, but the specialised skincare and makeup experts were also on hand to provide us with some interesting, insightful presentations into their overall skincare, bodycare, and makeup. Split into three groups, we were ushered over to the skincare section first and were shown the top rated products intended to create a six step routine. Our guinea pig blogger (Jamie from www.jamiesowden.com) proved the extra time is worth it, as you could seriously notice a difference in terms of radiance and a clearer complexion (and neck; we were given confirmative advice not to neglect the neck) within that short time frame – and it’s made me eager to introduce some of those recommended into my own regime!

There were some general discussion about The Body Shop products we’d previously used and loved (fyi mine were the trusty Tea Tree, Seaweed, Vitamin C and Vitamin E) but we were blessed to hear about some newbies and take a sneak peak into the future launches hitting the stores very soon. The flourished demos were the Drops Of Youth and Drops Of Light, along with the fancy Oils of Life (and word is – the genius addition to their makeup range – the Shade Adjusting Drops that transform your foundation will also be on their way to a local store near you). We sampled them all and I was thoroughly impressed; nice texture, no heavy residue and a healthy shine concluded.

 

Next up was the makeup guide, where there were rapid but glam makeovers as the MUA’s took over with their skills, putting the products into action. Not before we were acquainted with the the British Rose Palette I’d fallen head over heels for at first sight, however. The palette has six gentle, eyeshadow shades and two cheek blushes, a mixture of rose tones and smoky hues to match the timeless harmonies in the general British Rose collection. Along with the Shimmer Cube Palette, the looks devised were an opposite contrast – one for a dramatic, smoky, darkened, night-time look and the other for a more daytime, neutral, nude look proving along with the Shimmer Cube Palette, that this is bound to be a staple, multiple purpose palette ideal for any occasion. It retails at £20 which in my eyes is an absolute bargain for something that does the job without the need to multi-task.

On top of the eyes, we were ventured into the world of face and lips. I made it quite obvious I was a huge fan of the Instablur but I never get bored of trialling the cooling and smoothing paste and hearing how much of a dependable primer it is! The paired BB Cream struck a cord with me as an ideal light base, especially as it adapts to your natural skin tone which would be exemplary for a holiday (ooh did someone say summer?!). The Lip and Cheek Stains were also a hit with our group which made me want to take the time out to have a nosy over at the other lipsticks (as well as Dei from www.sunnydei.com receiving her fetching nude lip makeover). With all three available in a variation of colours from bright to dusky and promised a pigmented finish, I’m dying to give them a try and add yet more lippy to my ever growing stash.

 

Finally, we wrapped it up with bodycare where we were lead over to the beautiful Spa of The World range. Of course, I don’t need to delve too much into it as I attended the introductory event last year but it certainly confirmed how luxurious and heavenly it still deemed to be as the products were shown and passed around to test (the Japanese Camellia Cream is to DIE for, I swear!) and how I need to purchase the Dead Sea Salt Scrub and Egyptian Milk and Honey Bath quicker than you can say soon.

 

As much as I’d have loved to have splurged with the discount on the night, surprisingly (and sensibly for my poor bank account) I left empty handed, with all but a lovely white labelled box packed with goodies that I was kindly gifted with. I can’t thank The Body Shop Leeds Briggate enough! I think I’ve been to around three or four The Body Shop events now but I can honestly say this one was the most fun, interactive and busiest. The detail and thought put into how the team can occupy our thriving minds was super in depth, not to mention the staff were absolutely brilliant in all areas (including warmth and friendliness!). My hands were drowned in enough products to lose count of but they had a great beautification and I can’t wait to head back for more, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Have you been to a TBS event lately? Have you tried the British Rose Collection yet?

 

Bridie x

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Beauty: the garnier micellar water round up

Posted on 2 min read

 

I’m taking it right back to the start today! Garnier Micellar Water was a compelling discovery made by myself a good few years ago now (yes, right back when face wipes were my only form of cleanser, yikes). Despite its cost effective price, it was an absolute life changer and I believe the simple purifying method is an important must in a daily and nightly skincare routine. If you’ve been reading my blog since the start (and if you pay any attention to my frequent complaining) you’ll know I have extremely oily, troublesome skin that’s prone to breakouts most of the time – which takes me on to a realisation of an updated version on the micellar water. Pure Active has been around a while but for slack old me, it took a TV advert to bring it to my attention that there could be an even more beneficial form for my skin type.

 

I wouldn’t say there’s much difference between them (apart from the colour of the bottles, and even then I don’t know which one I prefer or whether I can part with that pretty pink). They’re both distinctively gentle, free from harsh chemicals and fragrance, great for sensitivity and work the same way – with a quick but efficient swipe across the face removing the first layer of makeup (although it erases that grimy, build up feeling, I would recommend a second follow up cleanse to ensure full clarification). I did feel the pure active was stiffer, like you need to press harder to see vanishing results but it wasn’t any less effective than the normal kind. With the ordinary solution being such a staple, I wasn’t put off with swapping to the pure active. They both provide that refreshed, squeaky clean after effect and soothe my complexion with the natural, lightweight consistency and without weighing my face down without residue and any vast irritation. Luckily, both are suitable for my reactive skin!

 

I’ve only been using the pure active mix a week or so but I have noticed I am less greasy waking up on a morning which lasts mattifying throughout the day, opposed to the duration I’ve used the previous type. I’m getting compliments on my glowing cheeks and apparent ‘healthy appearance’ and I haven’t changed up anything else so I’m convinced the extra ingredients do touch on the surface. I’m just hoping it contributes towards curing this awful, angry cluster of spots I’m currently sporting across my forehead by reducing the amount of clogging oil my skin produces. If anybody has any tips to get rid fast please hit me up!

 

Have you tried anymore versions of the Garnier Micellar Water?

 

Bridie x

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