Monday, November 24, 2014

Sick Day Saviours

Be prepared for I am going to play the sympathy card. I have been sick, for weeks. I had a shocking cold which dragged on for weeks. When it finally disappeared I was left with not one but two cold sores and to top it off my period. This shocking month was made somewhat easier by a few products which I wanted to share with you.

Thera Pearl Sports Pack* link
I've grown to rather love this brightly coloured pouch from Thera Pearl which works for a multitude of ailments from period pain to general aches and pains. You can either heat in the microwave or freeze depending on your need. Following my hangover cures post last week I must add that this is a life saviour for hungover days when a cold compress is needed as was it's need on a few hot and sweaty nights when I was filled with cold. Whilst suffering with the usual back pain the first day of my period brings it was great to be able to pop the Thera Pearl pack into the microwave and tuck into the waist band of my pjs and feel the pain ease away. Far easier than bothering with boiling kettles that a hot water bottle requires and the smaller more flexible pouch makes targeting the area you want far easier.

Compeed Cold Sore Patch link
I've suffered with cold sores ever since I was young and usually rely on Zovirax to do the job. That said I always find that they tend to look worse during the process and there's nothing less attractive nor obvious than a white cream covered blemish on the lips. I can't remember how I first came across the Compeed Cold Patches but I imagine it was when I was looking for a way to either speed up it's disappearance and mask it. What I've now found is that applying these plasters disguises the cold sore to a degree and minimises the risk of spreading that can occur with cream applications and it avoids the situation of, and sorry to go into gross territory but getting moist, plain gunky and then drying out which can lead to cracking and bleeding. The cold sore patches contain the cold sore, keep it at a minimal size and require less fuss. The wear of the patches will depend on how much eating and drinking you're doing with them on and depending on the area of the lip but I now rely solely on these than any creams and find much better results.

Dr Lewinn's Instant Beauty Radiance Booster* link
During my cold spell I needed a hell of a lot of radiance and moisture and thankfully I had the Dr Lewinn's Instant Beauty Radiance Booster to hand. I was still required to drag myself into the office during my cold and to avoid looking like the sick monster I felt a good layer of this cream helped perk me up, especially around the nose which was pretty red and dry from constant nose blowing. It has a faintly cucumber scent which I'm able to identify now (no chance of smell a few weeks ago!) and it worked really well as a primer before make up too which was an added bonus. Again referring back to my hangover kit this is a great product to use as a mask, applying a layer on the skin for 15 mins before washing off or as I do leaving to sink into my skin.

Vicks First Defence link
The nasal spray from Vicks was a recommendation from my brother who swears by it. I fear I may have left things too late to catch the early days of my cold but it certainly aided my nasal passage when I was struggling to breathe and frustrated with constantly sneezing and blowing my nose. Now there's a picture for you. For those who prefer to use more natural products my friend has recommended this version.

Janjira Eye Cream* link
The eyes, window to the soul they say. Well I hate to think what my soul was saying over the past few weeks. Trying to sleep whilst simultaneously stopping my nose from running and general exhaustion that I had to phone my mum on more than one occasion to pick me up the station and drop me home despite living 5 minutes walk away saw some pretty bad bags under my eyes. Thankfully the Janjira Eye Cream* contains Tumeric Extract and Caffeine which helps to reduce the dark circles an puffiness.

Of course this list isn't exhaustive and I will have a post up soon on two bath time treats that comforted me during my woe is my I have a cold days. There was also the odd medicinal glass of red wine and lots of tissues used too!

What are your sick day comforts?

*PR Samples 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

At Home Manicure with Scholl

Scholl Manicure Set* link

I was excited to receive the Scholl Manicure Kit* recently as I'm dreadfully lazy at doing my nails. As you'll have read in previous posts I dabble with Biosculpture Nails but have been known to miss one or two appointments and then laziness or lack of time prevents me to dedicating the time needed.

Hopefully the Scholl Manicure Kit would help speed up the process and make things a little easier. So what does the kit contain? Firstly you have a handy travel pouch to keep everything contained and mine has had one or two other products I use thrown in such as orange sticks and my Renunail Strengtheners.

I'm always dubious of these sorts of electronic beauty gifts as more time consuming but it's not the case with this handy gadge. The main component or 'pen' is chargeable so you only require mains access when charging and so far I have used this pen on numerous occasions and yet to need to recharge.

Nine different attachments tend to all your nails needs:
  1. Sapphire shaping disc to gently shape and file nails
  2. Fine grained sapphire disc to file thicker nails and shape them perfectly
  3. Course grained sapphire disc to shorten thicker toe nails
  4. Sapphire cone to remove dry skin or calluses from the soles of the feet and heels
  5. Felt polishing cone to smooth and buff nails for a high shine finish
  6. Flame stone to help remove difficult edges and ingrowing nails
  7. Rounded stone to gently remove corns and calluses with soft repeated touches
  8. Cylindrical stone to smooth the nail surface and remove dead skin around the nails - ideal for the regular surface of toe nails
  9. Polishing cone to smooth and polish the edge of the nail after filing as well as the nail surface.
I've found reason to use all the attachments which again is something you often find doesn't always happen. The discs for toenails are perfect and whilst I still enjoy using my Leighton Denny file for my hands it's something of a waste on the feet.

I do have a bit of an ingrowing nail problem on one of my toes and after a day walking round in heels can suffer from hard skin and it's great that I don't have to go through the effort of soaking feet to use these attachments and I can maintain the process on a regular basis as I'm not relying on trips to the salon.

As I said I often find these are the sort of gadgets that you use once or twice and then they sit at the back of a draw but the ease and results from using the Scholl Manicure Kit means it will most definitely have a permanent place in my kit.

Are you a beauty gadget fan? 

*PR Sample
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mistletoe Ready with The Breath Co.

The Breath Co. Fresh Breath Toothpaste* link
The Breath Co. Fresh Breath Oral Rinse* link
As a single girl one of the Christmas traditions I enjoy is the hanging of mistletoe - what better excuse is there to pucker up with eligible suitors. The one thing that could lead to my downfall is the fact I am a smoker so luckily I have The Breath Co. to offer me a hand.

It's a strange thing to admit but I hate brushing my teeth, always have done. I'm not entirely sure why but I just find the whole experience traumatic, slight over dramatisation but either way I'm not a fan so I want the products I use to be quick and effective with minimal gagging - not attractive.

The Breath Co Fresh Breath Toothpaste* has a mild flavour which I find inoffensive compared to many as I'm not a fan of mint either so this mild, not really minty at all taste is perfect for me. The dentist recommended formula eliminates the bacteria that causes bad breath and leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean rather than just minty like other brands. A major plus for me was that you can eat/drink straight after brushing which you certainly cannot do with the mintier varieties, fresh orange and regular toothpaste is a big no no. I'm also very lucky despite my smoking that my teeth aren't too discoloured and to maintain this The Breath Co combine OXYD-8 and Aloe Vera to clean and brighten teeth.

In addition to disliking teeth brushing and despite my skill for downing vile tasting shots I'm also not a fan of mouthwash, again this may be due to the overly minty taste. Once again like the toothpaste the taste of the Fresh Breath Oral Rinse says mild mint but again as a fresh taste, almost tasteless but in a positive way like I'd say water is. Again OXYD-8 is included and this aids removing sour, bitter and metallic tastes all which can be remnants of nights out or exotic meals.

It's quite amusing to me that something I saw as a necessary evil has become something I don't associate as a negative and I've got into quite the habit of using my mouthwash after meals and the like. I'll definitely be keeping up this new regime as we move closer to the festive season and don't forget to wish me luck under that mistletoe.

*PR Sample 

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Aloe Skincare Range from The Body Shop

The Body Shop Aloe Skincare Range* link
When The Body Shop contacted me to see if I was interested in testing out some items from their new Aloe Skincare range I was more than happy to. The Body Shop is a brand that I remember fondly for their make up as their All In One Facebase was the product that got me through my late teens but I have never sampled their skincare. 

I often refer to my skin as fairly normal and wouldn't consider it sensitive as I can pretty much slap anything on without fear of horrendous side effects but the reality is that even the not so noticeable outbreaks and redness can be due to sensitivity which I've had highlighted in various skin scans during my blogging days which is where the Aloe Skincare range comes in.

The first product I've been using is the Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser* which is created to ensure your skin isn't left feeling tight and dry whilst soothing the skin. I've used the product both morning and night and loved it as a morning cleanse likening it to a less creamier version of Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish. I've spoke many times of  enjoying my morning cleanse more than night time and this is certainly a cleanser I would keep in that line up. For the purposes of a well rounded review I also used this for my evening cleanse either after a micellar water or oil or simply alone. Either works well but I was impressed when using alone how quickly it dissolved my make up and removed stubborn make up. I usually don't find cleansers drying because I will tend to go straight in with toners, serums and the like but I tried to wait between the next stages to see if I noticed any difference and the noticeable thing was I didn't. I wasn't reaching for more moisture as my skin wasn't left dry or tight so it certainly works as instructed. 

If were to be critical and this is only a personal criticism I would prefer a tube to dispense the product as sometimes when hands are wet squeezing the product out feels an effort and I can imagine as you reach the bottom of the bottle this will be a struggle and I would prefer it to be clear so I could see how much is left otherwise it's a thumbs up from me.

I was also sent the Aloe Soothing Day Cream* to add into my skincare regime so this has been my morning moisturiser during testing and I'm pretty impressed with this petite pot which is an affordable £4. The Aloe Soothing Day Cream offers hydration from it's light texture which sinks into the skin without leaving it greasy. Due to both it's efficiency and size this would be the perfect product to take on holiday with you if you're going to warmer climes and forget your SPF without a doubt and it'll be on my travel shopping list next time I'm heading to the beach. It's soothing and calming formula was welcome after a threading trip when I was experiencing extra sensitivity.

Which leads nicely onto the Aloe Soothing Gel* which I wasn't able to test too throughly but did reach for after the aforementioned threading appointment when things were looking a little red and it certainly did the trick. The Aloe Soothing Gel contacts Community Fair Trade organic aloe vera which is just the thing to cool and moisturise and again would be a perfect holiday staple.

The Body Shop has had many skincare products over the internet which I've had on my list to try and the experience with the Aloe range has definitely enhanced my desire to try more and it will certainly be a staple in my travel beauty bag next year.

Have you had any experience with The Body Shop's skincare products? I'd love to hear your recommendations. 

*PR Sample
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