Monday, 27 April 2015

'Wobble to Model' - first workout!

Yesterday I did week 1, day one of the 'Wobble to Model' plan by Results with Lucy.

It's a six week online exercise plan with 4 workouts a week.  Each day is different and has been handpicked by Lucy and her team to provide a structured full body workout that apparently will get harder over the next six weeks!

I have done her 'New Beginnings' plan before and had good results.  I think the reason Lucy's plans work is that you never get bored - Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred DVD is great but it's so boring doing the same workout every day.  I love the 'pick and mix' approach of the RWL website and it's actually fun to see what exercise comes up next in the playlist! 

Unusually, the exercise plan also comes with a weight loss guarantee - if you log in and do your exercises when you're supposed to, and eat properly, then you will get results, or else your money back!  How could I refuse?!

I'll keep you updated with my progress.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Review: Palmer's Cleansing Gel and Facial Scrub

You may have noticed recently that Palmer's, creators of the gorgeously scented cocoa butter body lotion, have branched out into facial skincare.  I'm such a fan of their body lotion that I thought I'd give these two products a try: their fragrance free daily cleansing gel, and their gentle exfoliating facial scrub.

As you can see, Palmer's seem keen to reassure you that their products are gentle and suitable for sensitive skin.  I have delicate skin that is often prone to allergies and dryness (lucky me!), so i was intrigued to see if these products really passed that test.

The cleansing gel is a clear gel which apparently is fragrance free... I must confess I wasn't sure whether I liked this or not!  It did seem scented in a way that something truly fragrance free (such as water) isn't, however I couldn't quite pin down what the fragrance was.  However, the important question is, did it work, and I have to say, yes, it did!  It effectively removed all traces of make up and didn't irritate my skin.  If you can get along with the 'no-fragrance fragrance' then I would recommend this! 

Moving on to the facial scrub... you can see that the micro-fine cocoa beans are indeed quite finely ground, however upon further examination there were definitely some rather large chunks of cocoa bean in the tube that I wouldn't necessarily want to use if I had very delicate skin. The scrub itself was creamy, nicely scented and did a good job of exfoliating.  I would recommend it for most skin types but if you do have very sensitive skin I might go for something with smaller exfoliating particles.

Overall, I was happy with these products and I will consider trying more of the range!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

I do love the Elemis brand - the products smell delicious and you really feel a sense of luxury when you're using them.  I bought the Duchess of Spa set recently and was delighted to get a few free samples.  One of these was the exotically named Papaya Enzyme Peel, so I thought I'd let you know my thoughts!  The sample size was 15ml and I estimate that I used a third of it - meaning that with the regular size 50ml I think you'd get around ten uses from it - good to know if you're thinking of investing, as I know Elemis aren't the cheapest brand around.

The peel itself was smooth and creamy, with no exfoliating particles.  The mask claims the papaya and pineapple fruit enzymes will slough away dead skin, revealing fresher and plumper skin with regular use.

Oh wow, did I love the smell!  A deliciously fruity hit of pineapple made the mask an absolute treat to use!  It went on very smoothly and I left it for ten minutes.  During this time, it didn't dry out or crack, so you could still chat on the phone or have a cheeky glass of wine!

After the ten minutes were up, I washed away the cream using a soft flannel and water.  I could definitely see and feel a difference!  My skin felt a lot softer and smoother, and there was no irritation at all (I have rather sensitive skin so I was very pleased!).  I would definitely recommend it, espeically if you can find it in a value for money set! 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

FAQ: Serums and moisturisers

When I was working as a skincare advisor, one of the most popular questions women (and some men!) would ask me was to do with how to apply serum and moisturiser, and what role each one should play in a skincare routine.  With so many lotions and potions on the market, it's easy to become baffled by how you are meant to use each one, so allow me to explain here.

The easy way to remember the difference is this:  Shop for a moisturiser according to your skin TYPE, shop for a serum based on your skin CONCERN.

For example, moisturiser's primary role is to protect and hydrate the skin.  If you have an oily skin type, it's fine to use a light lotion, or even a gel, whereas if you have drier skin, or if you live in a cold climate, then use a richer cream.  If your skin type is sensitive then use a natural moisturiser, free from parabens and other potential irritants.  Always, always use SPF (and yes - there are many SPF moisturisers suitable for sensitive skin).  

Now, if you have any specific skin concerns, this is where a serum comes into play.  So, say you have deep set wrinkles, age spots, dehydrated or flaky skin or a spot breakout.  There are serums available for all sorts of skin concerns so all you need to do is find the right one for you.  If you have two skin concerns, you could even get two separate serums and apply them one in the morning and one in the evening.

Finally, always apply your serum first and your moisturiser second.  By doing this you allow the serum to really sink into your skin and work its magic, while the moisturiser can then protect your skin against the elements.  Ideally, wait a few minutes after applying each layer before you put on the next - but I know in reality this can be difficult in today's time pressed world so don't worry too much if you can't manage this!

So, there you have it.  I hope that this has helped explain the difference between serums and moisturisers and how to use each one.  But if you have any more questions - just leave a comment!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review: Garnier Ultra Lift SPF15 cream

I'm only gonna say this once.  Well OK, probably more than once, but let me say it now.  Always use a facial moisturiser with SPF!  You can spend a fortune on a face cream, with all sorts of added magic ingredients, but if it doesn't contain an SPF then you are doing a huge disservice to your skin!  An SPF will help prevent signs of aging better than any fancy lotion.  I promise.

Now that I've made my feelings clear(!) on that matter, I'm going to talk about my experiences with the popular Ultra Lift cream from Garnier...

First impressions are that the cream has a fairly rich texture, pleasantly scented and off-white in colour.  The brand claims regular use will reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.  Well, I don't have any age-spots (yet!) but now I've hit 30 I am starting to see fine lines around my eyes, especially when I'm running low on sleep.  I've used up a whole pot of this cream now and have found that it gives me a really good 'glow' - my skin looks healthy and plump and a signs of fatigue are lessened.

I must say that this is the only facial moisturiser that I have repeat bought, in quite a long time.  Why?  Well, I think it's becoming increasingly rare to find a good moisturiser with SPF for less than £10 for a pot, and the last time a moisturiser made my face look this good was when I used Decleor's Hydrafloral range (which I would love to use now if only it had SPF!)  So, a hearty recommendation from me.  Let me know what you think!