Over the last 6 months or so I have found that I am getting the most success on clearing blemishes as quickly as possible by using these three spot treatments:
Quinoderm Cream – I have been using this on and off for a few years now but it is definitely a trusted favourite of mine and really does work. It contains the strong ingredients Benzoyl Peroxide and Potassium Hydroxyquinoline Sulphate. Due to how potent these ingredients are, they do the cream in two strengths (5% or 10%). I would advise anyone trying this product for the first time to go for the lowest strength to see how you get on. You only need to put a very small amount over the blemish (if you are getting a few blemishes, you might want to put it on the whole affected area). Due to the ingredients mentioned this cream can be extremely drying so it is advised to read the instructions and use sparingly. I find, just using it for 2 days, my skin is very dry and I usually stop (but I usually also get the desired affect by then too). I find this treatment works specifically well when I have a cluster of small spots coming through (sometimes all gone over night after just one application) and for any other one off blemishes. It is readily available from pharmacists without a prescription and I am aware that they do some other products too, including face wash, but I have not tried these. The downside is that you have to be very careful when using this product as it can bleach coloured fabrics (I did have a nice purple towel which is now all patchy). So definitely make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using and be aware of any fabrics you might come into contact whist using the treatment.
Freederm – We have all seen the TV adverts and I must say I have been quite impressed when I tried the gel. I have found that this is particularly good for spots which are quite inflamed and painful which I believe is down to the main ingredient, Nicotinamide. As it is a gel it seems to stay on quite well throughout the night and I have found that after a couple of days applying the gel, the swelling of the blemish has gone down considerably. This is also not as drying as Quinoderm which might be better for people who usually have dry skin anyway. They also have a range of other products which I have not tried.
Neutrogena Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment – It states on the tube that it can reduce spots in just 4 hours….now, I don’t know about that but it is quite good for a relatively gentile spot treatment (well compared to the other two mentioned). I tend to use this one if I feel I still need to treat a spot after a couple of days using the other two treatments as it is not a drying but still effective. I don’t think it can draw out a spot as effectively as the other two though.
If you are using any other spot treatments, specifically prescribed by the doctor, it would probably be best to have a chat with your pharmacist or doctor first to make sure the ingredients don’t react with what you are also using.
Have you seen the Kardashian’s make-up storage boxes and thought, “I want one!!”?? If so, you might have also seen that they are going for well over £200 plus shipping, which I think is extortionate! So, I decided to see if I could find something at least similar but with the same storage capacity. I was surprised to find that even somewhere like Muji didn’t have anything similar (just every small versions). Then I discovered the storage drawers from an online store called The Holding Company. They have stackable clear draws which are very similar to the Kardashian’s draws. However, these are even better as due to them being stackable, you can choose how many draws you need. You can also purchace drawer dividers if you want, and there are two drawer widths (one which they have designed for shirts and one for jumpers, which is deeper).
You can just about see the dividers I have added to this draw
As you will see, I decided to get three of the ‘shirt drawers’ which are a great size for all types of make-up and nail varnish. I also decided to get the deeper version drawer for bottles etc. Due to the company doing a deal of getting 20% off when buying three drawers I got all four for under £100 including delivery. I also like the fact that if I needed to add another drawer I could always buy another one and just stack it on top of the others. You can remove each drawer fully if you need to when having a rummage to find what you want and each drawer is also deeper than the drawers on the Kardashian boxes so you can fit so much more makeup. The only down side is that due to the stackability, it is quite flimsy so you have to be careful, however I haven’t had any problems myself.
The famous American cosmetic brand, Smashbox, has finally come to the UK high street! In only some Boots stores you will now see the wide range of Smashbox products. From holidays in America I have fallen in love with some of the products, specifically their Waterproof eyeliner pallet. When I recently visited my local Boots with Smashbox, I noticed they had a few sets which are great if you are new to the range and to try. I was really impressed with the prices of the sets too, which enable you to give a few products a go at the same time without buying full sizes products, at full prices! I am not sure if they are doing all of these sets for Christmas or to help launch Smashbox in the UK and encourage us to try (or maybe a bit of both) so if you are interested you might want to get yours soon, just in case.
The two sets I went for are these below:
I have heard a lot about the Smashbox primer so I am keen to try that. I was also pleased to see that their primer, foundation and powder are all oil free so won’t clog pores and great for people who are prone to blemishes.
I will be reviewing each of the products in these packs once I have had a chance to try them out a few times and really see how they perform.
If your local boots isn’t stocking Smashbox you can purchase the Christmas sets as well as the other regular products from www.boots.com
I was first intrigued by this product when I saw it on QVC Beauty. It was then their ‘Product of the Month’ which meant free postage and an extra-large bottle of the ‘amazing’ lotion, as well as their usual 30 day money back guarantee.
After listening to the presenters saying how good it is (I know, I know, I had a moment of weakness lapping it all up) I was interested to see all the reviews on their website to see what people were saying about it. When I looked, there were so many great reviews, including some which sounded like they were from people who had a similar skin type to me. So, I went for it!
The idea is that you include it into your already existing skin route, but every other night, after cleansing, you just soak some cotton wool with the Liquid Gold, apply to the face and then leave it over night without putting anything else which you normally do.
From reviews many people said they saw an almost instant effect, so as you can imagine I was looking forward to the next morning to see glowing new skin….well nope, nothing different. At the time, I had gone a couple of months with good skin and hardly any breakouts but my skin was still looking a bit dull. So, I thought it will probably take a little while to kick in. Unfortunately, after using this product every other night as advised for 2 weeks, I saw no improvement in my skin, but in fact within a few days I started to breakout. I still persisted thinking it could be a coincidence but the spots just kept coming. After the two weeks I decided to call it a day as I was eager for my skin to clear up again sooner rather than later. So it is now currently all packaged up and back on its way to QVC HQ.
Even though I did not have the best experience with this, the QVC 30 day money back guarantee is good for when you are keen to give a product a go (especially when it is a little on the expensive side). The down side is that you have to pay for the postage when you return the product. However, I think this is a small price to pay to have some time to really get to know if the product is good for you or not.
There are quite a few supplements out there which claim to help you achieve better skin, hair and nails. For years I have tried them on and off and never been too impressed. However, about 6 months ago I thought of trying them again and went for the Boots own brand supplement for skin, hair and nails. I have them next to my bed and every night (well, almost every night) just before I go to sleep I take on. It is probably because I am very impatient and like to see instant results, that I never stuck with them before and therefore didn’t think they ever worked, however, for whatever reason this time I did persist and I must admit I do believe they are having a positive effect.
I think the first thing I noticed was with my nails – I have quite weak nails that often break or split before getting too long. However after about 3 month of the supplement, I noticed they were growing longer and not breaking as often.
If you have read any of my other posts you will know that my skin is quite temperamental, but since being on the supplements, I do think my skin has been better and haven’t had as bad breakouts as before.
I am quite lucky, and have always had quite healthy hair, however I have started to dye it in recent months (which we all know isn’t the best for our hair). Just the other day I had a good look at the ends of my hair to find hardly any split ends – and I haven’t had it cut for about 4 months!!
For me, these supplements do seem to be working – not to an amazingly high standard, but working none the least. It is always worth talking to your doctor though before taking any form of supplement, but if it is something that you are thinking of trying I would say remember to stick with them for at least a month as you may not see any effect before this time.
I thought of doing a post on eye liner as there are so many different ones on the market now – different colours, textures, prices etc – that it can get a little confusing. I would say that if you are not too sure about which eye liner is best for you, just keep to the classic colours of black and brown and focus on ones which have the best staying power – Then you really can’t go wrong.
One thing I would say is that if you like to have definition around your eyes for the day but don’t like the harsh look of using black eyeliner, try a brown or a black/brown colour. This will give you the look you want without making you look like you are ready for a big night out. I specifically like this for an everyday work look. My favourite is Clinique Cream Shaper for eyes in Brown Sugar (£14). It is a pencil but has a creamy texture. It is quite a soft brown colour which looks great for a natural look. I have been using this for years and I love it! It lasts all day and even though it is not said to be waterproof, it is water resistant and I have had a tear or two with this eyeliner on and have not had it budge!! They have a few colours in this range and whilst writing this post I am actually thinking I really need to invest in another colour or two – why haven’t I before??
If I want to wear a black colour in the day I tend to go for Lancome Crayon Khol Waterproof in Raising Noir. This is waterproof yet still is good for smudging if you want the smoky look or to rub in to reduce any harsh lines for a softer, more day-time look. The staying power is good but I have found that if I have a strong line on the top of my eyelid, by the end of the day I can see a crease of black higher up my eyelid from where the liner has touched my lid when my eyes are open. Saying that, I have only noticed it after wearing the liner for many hours (usually already after I have finished work – so it doesn’t matter so much then!!).
Unless you are one of the lucky few, curling your eyelashes can really enhance your look. Many people think that just putting some mascara on will make a difference, but it won’t if you have poker straight, downward lashes.
I have very straight lashes and I find that the best way to curl the lashes is by using an eyelash curler. There are many different makes but I think it is important to find the right one for you as they are all slightly different in shape. You need to find one that suits your own eye shape to not only make it more effective, but it will be easier for you to do the curling. My favourite is the Tweezerman eyelash curlers. I find they are less curved than most and therefore fit my eyes, leading to less pitching. It also allows to me be able to move around easier – getting into those awkward lashes in the corners. My mum was using an old Vaseline top to curl her lashes for about 30 years, often trying eyelash curlers from time to time, but always going back to her Vaseline top as she never got on with them. After recently purchasing the Tweeserman curler, she is finally hooked!! She too agrees it is down to the fact they are less curved and so easier to use. She even had a moan as to why I hadn’t told her about them before!
Regarding the technique as to how to curl the lashes, please remember that there is no need to press hard. Your lashes are very delicate and you don’t want to damage them in any way. Also, you want a natural ‘curled’ look, not with a 90-degree angle to them. I like to start at the root, then gently curl the middle part and then the tips. You can also pick up extra small curlers for the corners, which may be difficult to get to. The ones pictured here are Ruby and Millie.
I have also found that using waterproof mascara helps to keep the curl all day. I am not sure if it just me, but if I use any mascara which isn’t waterproof my lashes drop almost imidianetly (yes, that is how straight my lashes are naturally!!).
I first tried the 3 step Proactive products back in 2010 after buying it whilst in America. It includes a daily exfoliate, toner and moisturiser. The first thing I would say about this product is that (for me anyway) it took a while to kick in and work. I didn’t use it twice as directed due to it being quite drying at first (my skin did get used to it though) – I only used it in the evening after I took may makeup off. I think it took about 3 months for my skin to really clear up, and when it did I was really impressed! Due to only using it once a day it lasted longer that they suggest (which is good for me!!). I then ordered another set online. Please be aware as they will automatically get you on the system so that they send you another one after a certain amount of time (and of course charge you!) so if you don’t want this to happen you have to inform them of this.
I was pleased to see that my skin stayed pretty clear for around 4 months. However, I feel like my skin then started to get immune to it. This probably won’t happen to everyone, but for me the great results just didn’t last. However, I would still recommend this for anyone who suffers with spot pone skin as it is worth a try. As my skin is so up and down I probably wouln’t say no to giving it another go if I have a bad few weeks.
Over the past year I have tried a few of the Dr Sebagh products and I thought of letting you know how I have got on with them…
Breakout Foaming Cleanser: Unfortunately, I did not feel that this did anything for my skin. Also, it seemed to get used up very quickly – at £25 a bottle I was not impresses. I have combination skin so it may be better for oily skin, which is does state it is particularly created for.
Breakout Cream & Antibacterial Powder: I got this moisturiser the same time as the face wash (it must have been during a bad week for my skin and went a bit crazy finding a miracle cure for my spots!!). With this you get a tub of the moisturiser and then 5 tubes which are filled with powder. The idea is that you mix the moisturiser and powder just before you use it so that the active ingredients are at its most powerful. This is not something to be doing when you are rushing in the morning as it is easy to knock the powder everywhere. I have just been using it as a night cream, when I have a little more time to fuss with this. What I do is, put equal amounts of the powder and moisturiser in the palm of my hand (making sure I have just washed my hands) and then mix it together using the spatula given. I made the mistake of putting on quite a bit the first time I used it (don’t do this!). As soon as you start to rub it into your face it goes all white and you will notice it is quite thick, so less is definitely better with this product. Another reason why I only use this at night (or on days I am not planning to wear any makeup) is because of the thick texture I don’t feel it works well with makeup on top (it might depend on the foundation you use, but mine doesn’t blend well). Also, you have to be really careful not to get it on your eyebrows – if you have dark eyebrows, like me, then the cream will just cake into your brow, with a white residue, which is not a good look! In terms of the overall effect of this moisturiser….I am not overly convinced it is as fantastic as it is made out to be. My skin does not seem to have any major response when I use it. Also, because it is so fiddly, it is just not practical for those of us just wanting quick, yet effective products. It is also not cheap at £62. However, due to only using it in the evening (probably only about 2/3 a week) it is lasting ages.
Serum Repair: I am now on my second bottle of this. I love it. It is only a small bottle but you don’t need a lot. I also don’t use it every day to make it last longer and I feel my skin actually responds better to using it just a couple days a week rather than every day to give it a little boost. One of the reasons I like it is because as soon as you put it on the skin, it has an immediate firming effect (similar to the tightening effect you have when a facemask is ready to be removed). I use Clinique Moisture Surge after I have used the serum to relieve my skin from the tightening effect (you will definitely need a moisturiser of some sort soon after the serum application). I feel it gives my skin a lovely smooth finish and I have seen some of my fine lines reduce since using it (which is the best part!). I also pop it around my eye area (again with an eye moisturiser after) and also impressed with the effect. You can of course use this in the day under your makeup but I prefer to just use it as a night treatment. The downside…..the expense. It is a whopping £69 for just 20ml!!!! However, if you want to treat yourself to something new and give your skin a boost I would definitely recommend this product
Eye Expert: I have been using this product for a few months now. The first thing I would say is that it is best to use this at night or if you are not planning to wear any makeup that day as it is quite a thick cream which can make your makeup cake up a bit. To be honest, I have not seen any major effect since using this product. However, I am only 27 so I only have a few fine lines around my eyes, so this product may be effective for more mature skin. I must admit, it is hydrating and feels refreshing when I put it on the skin, however, I am on the fence about this product. For £42 I don’t think I will be buying it again.
If you are anything like me and like to do some research into products before trying them (especially when they are quite expensive) then I hope this review of some of the Dr Sebagh products I have tried has been helpful. Obviously, each person is going to respond differently to products/ingredients, but if you are around the same age and have combination skin, then you may have a similar experience to me.
It is very difficult to get a great result without the helping hand of a few handy accessories. Here are a few which I just can’t live without!
1) Makeup brushes – I know may people who still use their fingers or the little applicators which come with products to do their makeup yet wonder why it never gives a good finish. From foundation to eye shadow, makeup brushes are essential to help the makeup sit well on your face. They key brushes I suggest everyone should have are: foundation, powder, blusher and at least 2 eye shadow brushes. They don’t have to be expensive and a lot of high street stores now stock a range. Have a feel and see which ones you prefer. The softer the better for me.
2) Tweezers – I am sure no one can deny these are essential to get rid of those stray hairs on any part of the face, but specifically the eyebrow area.
3) Eyelash curlers – Depending on your eyelashes, some mascaras can help to lift and curl your eye lashes, but especially for those of us with poker straight, downward looking eyelashes, the curlers are a must have and I would be lost without mine! They can take a little time to get use to but once you do, they can dramatically change your look for the better – opening the eye out, making the eye look more awake and brighter. If you don’t like to wear mascara but still want to have a great looking eye, just curl your lashes as they will automatically look longer, yet natural.