Tuesday, 27 June 2017

AVÈNE HYDRANCE OPTIMALE HYDRATING SERUM (REVIEW)

Having used many serums over the years, some good and some not so good, I actually wasn't expecting great things from this Hydrating Serum from the French skincare brand Avène.





Even though I've reviewed many of their products over the past few years
 (to read these reviews click on the pink link below) 
I haven't found one to date thats disappointed me and rather sceptically I thought that this could be the one product that I wasn't going to rave about!

Face serums generally contain a potent cocktail of highly concentrated active ingredients that usually deliver quicker results, but often at a higher price and this was the reason for my scepticism The Price ...
How could a serum only retail for R229.95






Dehydrated skin lacks water and appears dull, with uneven texture and fine, dry surface lines and should not be confused with a dry skin.
(Dry skin results from a lack of oil production)
Products from the Hydrance OPTIMALE collection are formulated to bring about intense and long-lasting hydration to the skin, by mimicing the skins own hydrating protective film. Unfortunately this hydro lipidic film does get damaged and this can be due to many factors like weather, incorrect product use or simply a poor diet.
The damage of the protective film allows hydration i.e. water to evaporate from our skin and unfortunately results in a dehydrated skin.

The Hydrance OPTIMALE Hydrating Serum can quickly target and remedy dehydration and with ongoing use, maintain the hydration levels in the skin. This fragrance free serum can be used by all types of sensitive or non sensitive skin.
Apply both morning and evening prior to your day cream and night cream for a deeper level of hydration. 
Two pumps of the gel serum is all thats needed, as it's incredibly light texture and is absorbed into the upper layers of the skin perfectly.


The serum contains a 77% concentration of their core ingredient 

Eau Thermale Spring Water 

providing a 24hr boost of hydration and along with 2 other active ingredients this serum is certainly unique, personally I have never used a serum like it in terms of texture.
Instantly your skin feels soothed and softened and it only takes 3-4 weeks to notice an improvement in the dullness and the hydration of the skin, so expect your skin to appear smoother and more quenched as opposed to donning the thirsty dry look.








Scepticism aside I was been blown away by how comforted and quenched my skin felt and it really is a pleasure to use. 
This is a serum that can easily be incorporated into any other skin care range to combat those periods of dehydration whether permanent or temporary.
However due to the price point of Avène products it won't cost you a fortune to tackle those signs of dehydration with the serum and the other products in the Hydrance OPTIMALE collection.

I have said on many occasions that Avène is an effective, affordable & readily available range of French products that cover pretty much all of your skincare needs whether sensitive or not.
I'm so happy that I found this serum and even happier to be writing another
(excuse the pun)

"glowing" rave review



Avène 
Hydrance OPTIMALE Hydrating Serum

30mls Sterile Pump Bottle

R229.95


£17


$38

For more info or to order online

Sunday, 25 June 2017

L'OCCITANE IMMORTELLE CREAM MASK {REVIEW}

Since the beginning of the year I have been on a bit of a "masking" mission and I've not only discovered some great masks, but my skin has really appreciated the extra weekly masking care.

Immortelle is one of L'Occitane's core anti ageing ingredients and having used many of the Immortelle products before I don't think I have every written a review on their Cream Mask and it was only when I lifted a sample of my sample jar did I realise that a review is long overdue.

Over ten years ago, L’OCCITANE revealed and patented the exceptional anti-ageing powers of Corsican Immortelle – the only variety that contains an incredibly high concentration of active ingredients.
Immortelle is known as the everlasting flower: it never fades, even after it has been picked. Its organic essential oil is rich in active molecules with unique anti-ageing properties. 





The Cream Mask is a dual treatment that is ideal for normal to very dry skin. Its ultra-rich texture boasts truly nourishing properties and keep your skin comfortable whatever the weather, particularly during very cold periods. Its specific formulation combines pure Immortelle essential oil, moisturising agents, vitamin A and vitamin E.

Organic Immortelle essential oil
Vitamin E
Rice peptides 
Vitamin A 
Glycerin






My skin was left feeling smooth, moisturised, intensively nourished and comfortable, and I had forgotten just what a luxurious mask this was...


How to use: 

Dry to very dry skin: 
as a cream, apply to clean face and neck in the evening. It can be used with the Elixir for a more intensive action. This is my preferred method of use.

Normal to dry skin: 

as a mask, apply a thick layer all over the face and leave on for 5-10 minutes. Simply remove any excess with a tissue. Alternatively, rinse off with Essential Water for face. Use once or twice a week.

Initially the price tag of R1145 may seem steep, but I must point out that very few face masks are offered in such a large size, as most are 50mls or 75mls, so ml for ml it really is on a par with other face masks from premium skincare brands.
This cream mask has the "dual use" option and can be used as an ongoing anti-ageing night cream.
I personally think the price point restricts many from experiencing the delights of this  superb, rich, nourishing mask and I would love to see a smaller version available not only to make the product more affordable, but more importantly to preserve the efficiency. 125mls of contents will take a long time to use and being in an open jar it really doesn't lend itself to being contamination free or at its most active for the duration.
I think L'Occitane need to re look at the packaging of this great product, or maybe they already are...

Available from L'Occitane Boutiques Countywide


To order online


125ml

R1145

£58


Thursday, 22 June 2017

MY PEDICURE AT THE SILO HOTEL SPA

Several weeks ago I flew down to Cape Town to visit a good friend for a few days and besides having a lovely time in the 'Mother City" I visited a new Spa on the Cape Town beauty scene and what a lovely experience it was...



The Silo Spa is located on the fourth floor of the recently opened Silo Hotel and it's a magical hotel that has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex, which towers above the V&A Waterfront. 
The views from the Silo rooftop command 360 degree views of Cape Town and is well worth a visit before you visit the spa.

The Silo Spa, has five treatment rooms, two of which can be made into a couple’s room.The Silo Spa is a tranquil space in which guests can relax and indulge in the latest therapies and spa techniques. There’s also a gym, sauna and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area. 
As always my "go to"  salon treatment is a pedicure and there is just something wonderful about having my "tootsies" pampered and painted.
Having had many pedicures in my time I was excited to see what points of difference the Silo Spa had to offer.
Upon entering the spa you immediately sense the calm and tranquillity partly due to the stylish off white decor, but also due to the calmness of the therapists, which was most welcome after the hustle and bustle of four days in Cape Town.




My appointment and arrival was professionally handled and I was also given some interesting background to this unique hotel.
I was offered the option of either a complimentary herbal tea from their tea menu or a glass of cold fruit infused water, which was served alongside a cute bowl of South African dried fruit and nuts, which was a lovely touch.




I was shown to my personal change room which housed a beautiful shower, basin, toilet and vanity table, where my fluffy soft gown and slippers were waiting.
I was also super impressed that the both the Hotel and Spa offered amenities from Penhaligons and as if it couldn't get any better it was the Quercus fragrance, which is my absolute favourite from their vast fragrance collection.






Once gowned I was shown through to the dedicated pedicure area where my unfinished drink and nibbles tray awaited.
As you can see from the photos the tranquil and calming cream palette continued throughout the spa and the longer I was there the more relaxed I became.






Without doubt the spa has been well designed and the fixtures and fittings are of a quality and beauty that what you would expect in a 5* Hotel & Spa, but all too often I have been let down some of these 5* exquisite establishments, by sub standard treatments performed by inexperienced therapists, but this was not the case with the Silo Spa...




My therapist was the lovely and attentive Coleen and I could tell within the first 5 minutes that she knew what she was doing and that I was in her very capable hands.

(I must make mention here, that like many salons and spas are now doing, they do not soak the feet prior, which is a pity as to me it its one of the most relaxing part of a pedicure.
Once Coleen saw my disappointment she did offer to do a pre soak but I wanted her to keep to the normal routine of the 60 minute "Total Pedicure" as booked)

Other than the soaking issue I could not fault the pedicure at all, especially as the therapist recognised that I needed some real TLC with regards to cuticles and the build up of hard skin on the pressure points of my feet and that's exactly what she focused on.
I have never had a pedicure where so much of this work has been done, as all to many therapists just flit over these areas without actually achieving very much.

The Spa offers CND range of nail polishes and treatments (I chose a pink Tutti Fruity) and the painting was good.

After over an hour of complete relaxation and pampering it was time to leave, but I will be back for another pedicure and one of their many other treatments that they have on offer.
 I highly recommend a visit to The Silo Spa and be sure to ask for Coleen.

I do advise though, to book in advance as the Silo Spa is open to the public subject to availability



TOTAL PEDICURE
A complete pedicure. Includes lacquer application. 
60mins 
R450

For further info or bookings contact:

The Silo Hotel, 
Silo Square, 
V&A Waterfront, 
Cape Town, 
8001,
 South Africa +27 (0) 21 670 0510 
spa@thesilohotel.com 






Tuesday, 20 June 2017

SUNDAY SAMPLE

Having used this Immortelle Cream Mask mask before from the French brand L'Occitane I realised that I have never written a review on it, 
and seeing this sachet sample in my sample jar just prompted me to use again during this week and post a full review for you on my blog on Sunday evening.




It was several years ago that I used and it will be good to re acquaint myself with this intensely nourishing creamy mask that can be used as a night cream, especially as we hit the colder weather here in South Africa...



Sunday, 18 June 2017

RAIN BIOLOGIE HAIR RANGE {REVIEW}

 Rain is and has been my favourite local skincare brand for several years now and I often mention them on my social media platforms and write product reviews on this blog.

Admittedly Rain is not a brand that I would normally consider for hair care as I have, for as long as I can remember, always purchased professional salon hair care products and never had any issues in more than 35 years of sticking to the salon brands.

Recently Rain very generously sent me a gift of the 3 Biologie hair products below following a post I wrote about an unpleasant hair experience I had with some Dove hair products that left me with an itchy and sensitive scalp. 
Rain wanted me to give my hair some of the Rain 'Natural" TLC treatment and looking at the ingredients and the values of the Biologie range that's just what my hair and scalp needed.

The Biologie collection of products is proudly eco-ethical, formulated using organically certified botanical ingredients and sustainably wild-harvested plant oils and extracts.
Biologie products are biodegradable, environment-friendly, specialized products designed to care for hair, feet and hands.






Biologie All Natural Shampoo




The all natural Shampoo not only makes you hair smell fresh and clean, but it certainly cleanses the hair well.
 (Thinking about it I can't remember the last time my hair felt literally squeaky clean.)
Packed with vitamins and natural ingredients my scalp felt comforted and it felt
good to cleanse away the product build up that happens over time and I did write about this in a previous post about My Hair Detox

This shampoo is quite runny in consistancy ,more so than other shampoos that I have tried.
It also doesn't lather just as well as non natural shampoos do, but don't be fooled into thinking its not cleansing the hair as well, as it does.

Ingredients

*Baobab Extract: 
contains Vitamins A, D, E & F

Glycerin: 
reduces skin dryness, humectant, moisturizing, increases skin hydration

Sesame Oil: 
treats dry skin, skin-softening

Rooibos Extract: 
antioxidant rich, contains Vitamin D

Hydrolised Wheat Protein: 
conditioning
*Wild Harvested Ingredients

Fragranced with Essential Oils: 
Spearmint, Rosemary

Natural/Naturally Derived > 99%
Biodegradability > 97%


Lather into hair then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Repeat. Follow with conditioner.

250ml/R165

55ml/R59
~~~~~~

Biologie 100% Natural Hair Conditioner





All natural and organic ingredients are used in this nourishing conditioner to best condition the hair and scalp, which is exactly what I needed. 

Ingredients



Jojoba Oil: 
humectant, protects skin, prevents moisture loss, has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties

*Marula Oil: 
moisturizing, suitable for dry, damaged and fragile hair, improves skin hydration and smoothness, reduces skin redness

Sesame Oil: 
treats dry skin, skin-softening

Hydrolised Wheat Protein: 
conditioning

*Wild Harvested Ingredients

Natural/Naturally Derived > 96%
Biodegradability > 97%

This lightweight Conditioner whilst nourishing doesn't leave the hair feeling "weighed down" or coated with product like so many conditioners can. My hair felt soft and again the fragrance from the inclusion of the essential oils of Spearmint and Rosemary linger beautifully in the hair.

I do need to use a conditioner every time I wash my hair due to it being highlighted and without using, my hair would be not only dry but also very damaged due to the 
sometimes lengthy detangling process, however whilst most conditioners aide with this process I have tried some that seem to aggravate, but the Biologie 100% Natural Hair Conditioner coped well.

It's not only easy to use (in the normal way) but also easy to rinse out.

Massage into wet hair after shampooing and rinsing. Leave for a few minutes and then rinse gently.I also discovered that this conditioner could be left in the hair much longer to act as a lighter hair mask. 
I must make mention of their packaging as its simple and the flip top lids on the shampoo and conditioner make it so much easier to use in the shower.
They also retail the shampoo and conditioner in the smaller 55ml size, which is not only great for travelling, but handy if you just want to try the products before investing in the larger sizes.

250ml/R165
55ml/R59

~~~~~~



Biologie Mineral Rich Hair Mud Mask 





This was a first for me as I had never used  a mud hair mask before and I was intrigued with its story.

A moisture increasing hair mask made with bioactive organic mud from a 30,000 year old fresh water lake source in eastern Europe.

Whilst this product has a much thinner consistency than I expected and it does smell slightly earthy, it delivers well on the moisturising and nourishing front, as it left my hair feeling deeply conditioned, but again without leaving any oily residue on the strands of hair and I do highly recommend the plastic wrap method to increase the product penetration.

Wash hair as normal. Lightly towel dry. Apply the mud liberally .
 Leave on between 10 to 30 minutes (if possible cover hair with a plastic to increase warmth and absorption) Rinse thoroughly and style hair as normal. May be used weekly.

Ingredients


Organic Silt : 
a powerful anti-oxidant & high in chlorophyll, carotenoids and toco¬pherols. Actives in the mud increase cell turnover and leave your hair feeling richly nourished, smooth and soft. 

Jojoba Wax : 
high anti-oxidant activity, free radical scavenger 

Marula Oil* : 
high anti-oxidant activity, free radical scavenger, a natural tissue oil, helps to reduce dryness and breakages in hair.

Spearmint Leaf Oil : 
helps with headaches, migraines, nervous strain, fatigue and stress 

Tocopherol (Vitamin E) : 
protects hair and skin from cancer causing free radicals 

Sesame Seed Oil : 
hair and skin softener

*Wild Harvested African Oils


Natural/Naturally Derived > 100%

240ml/R210


Overall:

I was impressed with this trio of natural hair care products and my scalp seems to have been calmed, soothed and gentle treated after several weeks of use and the itchiness has completely disappeared (thankfully).
Combined the products have left my hair feeling less weighed down with oils and in return my hair feels thicker and fuller.
If you are looking to change to a natural hair care range or if you suffer from a sensitive scalp whether temporary or permanent then check out these products from Rain.

"Thank You" 
Rain for showing me a 100% natural way of caring for my hair and scalp.




To find out more and order on line visit


Thursday, 15 June 2017

PIXI GLOW TONIC {REVIEW}


PIXI is a skincare and make-up brand that you may not have heard of, but if you have then it's most probably due to one product and that would be their now iconic

PIXI GLOW TONIC

Before I get into my review here is the backstory to this brand...

Creator Petra Strand has 20+ years experience as a makeup artist & product developer.Created over 10 years ago and launched in our flagship boutique in Soho, London, Pixi has a loyal worldwide following thanks to its pure, awakening & skin-loving products that create a naturally radiant "just had a good night's sleep" look.Passionate about skincare, Petra creates innovative formulations that are infused with botanicals and beneficial ingredients. Petra has real-world experience as a busy working mother of four, therefore Pixi is truly about multitasking, flaw-fixing, youth-enhancing products for women on-the-go with no time to spare.



Her catch phrase of Makeup to Wakeup appeals to me, as I'm sure it does to many of you reading this post.

I had heard about the brand from afar and in particular one product Glow Tonic and it had received "Glowing" reports (excuse the pun) and I was curious to know what all the beauty fuss was about.





My London "Kiddiewink" recently brought me a 100ml Glow Tonic over on his recent trip.
The Glow Tonic is available in both 100ml and 250ml size plastic bottles.
I opted for the 100ml as I was admittedly a little sceptical about the product, so the 100ml was a better option for me or so I thought.





The below should help you to understand why the PIXI Glow Tonic has such a loyal following that now includes moi :

Exfoliates and purifies the skin with 5% Glycolic Acid
Ginseng improves circulation and energizes
Aloe vera soothes and hydrates
Refines the appearance of pores
Gently accelerates cell renewal to reveal a brighter, glowing complexion
Balances, heals and soothes for radiant, healthier looking skin


How to use: 

Either in the AM and PM or when needed, but I use both AM and PM

Step 1: 

Cleanse your face
(I also followed the cleanse with my usual alcohol free toner)

Step 2: 

Saturate a cotton pad with the Glow Tonic and sweep across face, neck and décolletage (avoiding eye area)

Step 3: 

Follow with the a serum or moisturizer


As I said earlier in this post I was a little sceptical and even after a week or so of use I was still undecided as to whether it's really worth all the hype and it was only after several weeks of use, that I decided this product has to be a daily part of my skincare regime.

The product is surprisingly gentle on the skin and is alcohol free, suitable for all skin types
and is not tested on animals.
 As it's an exfoliating tonic it removed dead skin cells revealing a brighter more radiant, healthier looking skin.
If you are not into exfoliation (which you should be) then using this product is an easy alternative, however it is recommended to continue your regular exfoliants etc as this product will only enhance their effects.

It's literally an "all in one" tonic for the skin.
It combined easily with the other skincare products in my routine, including my peels and scrubs, and now that I agree with all those reviews that I had previously read, my biggest challenge is how to get a regular supply over from the UK...

PIXI Glow Tonic
100/250ml

Not available in South Africa

£10
£18