Category Archives: Beauty

REN Skincare

REN Skincare Marks and Spencer Beauty Discovery Event. Resurfacing AHA Concentrate, Invisible Pores Detox Mask & Discovery Kit.

REN is a brand I’ve wanted to try for a really long time. I love that all their products are clean, using natural active ingredients & without harsh chemicals, irritants & parabens. The brand is also against animal testing & as far as I can tell all the products are vegan too, a huge plus as far as I’m concerned. I hear a lot of their products, the masks in particular, raved about constantly but I like to buy new beauty products in person (is this just me? Am I weird?) & I didn’t think anywhere here carried the brand. Then I saw it was stocked at my local Marks and Spencer, I feel this could be quite dangerous as I’m really impressed with the products I’ve tried so far! They are currently holding a Beauty Discovery event too, where purchasing 2 or more products from their many brands earns you a free gift. Each brand has a different offer on, so do check, the REN offer is this Discovery Kit full of generous sized samples of some of their best sellers.

Resurfacing AHA Concentrate :
I have been wanting to try this out for ages, especially after having my enzyme facial peel & seeing what a difference a good chemical exfoliation made to my skin. I will definitely be going back for another peel as soon as I can, but the idea of an at home treatment to use in between to keep the results up is appealing. I did want to try out the Alpha-H Liquid Gold, but honestly, it scares me a little & this is often mentioned as a gentler alternative. I was skeptical of it at first, I tried the mask out before this & the results of that were instant, so I expected something similar & was a bit disappointed when it didn’t really seem to be doing anything. I went to bed without adding any moisturiser over the top & woke up to bright, healthy looking skin. This is supposed to be used over the course of a week, every night & then stopped for 2 weeks before repeating, so I’m hopeful that after the first week the results should speak for themselves.

Invisible Pores Detox Mask :
I’m a sucker for a good mask, and I often end up leaving the beauty hall with an armful of new ones to try that I’ve heard others rave about. Usually I find myself a little disappointed with the results, but not with this one, it fully lives up to the reviews for me. I think it may have even have overtaken my favourite The Body Shop seaweed mask as my number one clay mask too, though maybe it’s too early to say just yet. I did find it a little hard to spread onto my face, it’s creamy but dries very quickly to a chalky finish & the herb-like smell is not my favourite. However, within minutes I could see oily spots dotted all over my t-zone where it’s drawn out the gunk from my pores, yuck! Once dry, you then buff it off with your finger tips for a little gentle exfoliation & wash the remainder off. It left my skin feeling thoroughly clean & fresh, and the areas of my face that are prone to blackheads, like my nose which other masks make no difference to, looked noticeably clearer & that really surprised me.

Discovery Kit :
I always love little kits like this, they are the perfect way to test out a couple of products without splurging on the full sizes before you’ve properly tried them out. This kit contains 6 of REN’s best sellers & they are all really good, generous sizes, I managed around 5+ uses out of most of them, which is plenty to decide if you think a full size is worth it.
The product here that really stood out, and I will absolutely be buying a full sized version of is the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, both myself & my Mum were massively impressed with it, and she is hard to please when it comes to skincare. It’s a sticky, orange fragranced gel that applies so easily you only need a small amount & immediately after wiping it off our skins were left fresher, glowier & feeling like velvet. Seriously, my face was so soft, I found myself absent mindedly stroking it for hours after!
I was also impressed with the cleanser which foams up really well & leaves skin feeling squeaky clean without any tightness & the eye gel too, though I don’t imagine this does anything long term like a targeted cream would, it’s seriously great at de-puffing in the mornings & feels nicely refreshing on tired eyes.

Marks and Spencer‘s Beauty Discovery Event is on until April 16th – Purchase 2 products from any of their brands including REN, Nuxe, Bliss & St. Tropez, amongst many others & receive a free product or gift!

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Skincare Saviours #2

FAIIINT Beauty blog Sanctuary Spa Fresh Faced Purifying Wash & Therapists Secret Facial Oil, Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm, The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask. Acne prone oily skin routine.

In my never ending quest to keep my problem skin under control I am constantly trying new products in an attempt to find ones that actually work for my skin. I mentioned last time that I’d found my perfect moisturiser & serum, but I still needed to find a really great cleanser & a night cream. These are a couple of products I’ve been enjoying using recently that are totally worth raving about.

The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask :
This is not a new find, but it’s probably one of my favourite masks & I’ve been using it for years. I find clay masks work really well with my oily skin, and I’ve tried all manner of them over the years from super cheap to extortionately priced & I still think this is the best. It does such a good job at mopping up excess oils & really deep cleansing, but never makes my skin feel dried out no matter how long I leave it on & it leaves my skin looking clean & refined.

Sanctuary Spa Fresh Faced Purifying Wash :
Sanctuary was never a brand I payed much attention to until a few years ago when I brought my Mum some of their products for her birthday & she raved about how great they were. I’ve tried lots of their products since then & have actually been pretty impressed with all of them. This is a standout for me though, because it delivers squeaky clean skin but it feels gentle too, without that familiar tight, dry feeling on your face afterwards.

Sanctuary Spa Therapists Secret Facial Oil :
After trying out a heaps of night creams I’ve decided my skin just doesn’t really like them, they’re too thick & rich and always leave my skin greasy in the mornings. Instead I’ve started using this oil layered under my usual Vichy moisturiser for added nourishment. Previously I was using the Clarins Lotus Oil, but I honestly think this one is better & it’s less than half the price too. It sinks in almost immediately & leaves my skin plump, soft & feeling really nourished when I wake up, without any greasy residue like the Clarins version left behind. I think the combination of this & the Rodial cleansing balm are also helping to control my oilyness, as my skin has been noticeably less oily since I’ve been using them. Both this & the face wash are currently 1/3 off at Boots too, making them even better value.

Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm :
I had a very generous sample of this in a goodie bag at the end of last year, it sat in my drawer for ages unused because I feared that it would break me out. The consistency is odd, like an oil in gel form that melts into a creamy oil when massaged into your skin. I finally tested it a few months ago & completely fell in love. Pretty much from the first use I knew I’d have to buy the full size, it removed every last scrap of makeup without the need to double cleanse and left my skin bright & glowy too, thanks to the amino acids. For years I had been using harsh soapy cleansers assuming that’s what my skin needed to battle the oilyness, but this has worked better than any of them ever did. Maybe my skin was just crying out for a more gentle cleansing routine & a little moisture? Currently I use this as my night time cleanser & the Sancturary one in the mornings, the improvement in my skin has been really quite amazing, all the clogged pores & little bumps along my forehead & jaw have gone, as well as most of the stubborn blackheads on my nose too! The one thing I don’t love is the price tag, though for me personally it’s 100% worth it for the results, I honestly could not recommend this enough. I did recently come across it on AllBeauty at almost half price, though I’m not sure if this is a permanent discount or a special offer, so I’ve ordered a replacement just incase!

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ESPA Enzyme Facial

FAIIINT reviews ESPA Enzyme Facial at Creme Hair & Beauty Salon Oakham LeicestershireFAIIINT Creme Hair & Beauty Salon Oakham Leicestershire, Christmas decorations treeFAIIINT Creme Hair & Beauty Salon Oakham Leicestershire, converted Church building, hairdressers, beam ceilingFAIIINT reviews ESPA Enzyme Facial at Creme Hair & Beauty Salon Oakham LeicestershireFAIIINT reviews ESPA Enzyme Facial at Creme Hair & Beauty Salon Oakham Leicestershire, before & after treatment photos

These were all taken on my iPhone, in my bathroom around the same time of day & have not been edited in any way.

Last Saturday Creme Hair & Beauty invited me down to test out their new ESPA Enzyme Facial, as many of you know my skin has been really getting me down lately & I’ve been trying out all kinds of things in an attempt to get it to behave, so I was thrilled to be asked to try this out. The products I mentioned a few months ago in this post have helped a huge amount in getting the acne under control & getting it looking somewhat normal again, so it doesn’t look too bad at all now, but I still had scarring, clogged pores, blackheads, and dull splotchy skin & I was hoping this would help.

The salon is based in the market town of Oakham, in a converted church, and it is absolutely beautiful inside & out, they’ve kept so many of the original features so it feels quite dramatic, especially the huge vaulted ceiling with the heavy wooden beams. I was taken to a private room upstairs, with dim lights, soft music & a table with the fluffiest duvet to get under, it was the perfect environment & I caught myself almost falling asleep a couple of times because I was so relaxed!

My face was first thoroughly cleansed & prepped using a Clarinsonic brush, then examined under a special light to show up exactly what my skins issues were. I was told my skin was actually in pretty decent shape other than a little dehydration around my eyes, and the obvious spots & scars. I was also super pleased to be told I don’t have even a little sun damage or any of the first signs of aging yet either, and that’s all down to my SPF50 obsession. After this the peel was applied all over my face & neck, containing pumpkin enzymes & botanical extracts it gives a through & deep exfoliation, gently removing all traces of dead skin cells. It felt warm & tingly, but not in an uncomfortable way at all – I kind of liked it, you know it’s working! After around 10 minutes the peel was wiped off & I was asked to choose a facial oil from a choice of two by smell, apparently your body is very good at knowing which it needs & I was instantly drawn towards the one containing black pepper. My face was then massaged with cooling rose quartz crystals to calm the skin, stimulating the lymphatic system at the same time to drain away puffiness & toxins from the face. After this, a menthol & ‘devils apron’ seaweed mask was applied to further soothe & moisturise my skin, and I was given a head massage whilst I waited for it to set. The whole thing lasted for around 90 minutes, and I left feeling so pampered, calm & relaxed.

Apologies for my spotty, makeup-less face up there, but I thought it was best to show you the results instead of just talking about them. I just want to mention again, that I’m wearing no makeup (only moisturiser) in the photos & I tried to take them in the same place, at the same time of day so the light didn’t affect the images, they are also completely un-edited. The left photo is my skin before my visit & on the right, 2 days after. In the middle you can see it straight after the peel, looking a little pink & shiny, and with some spots looking a bit worse than before, this soon subsided though. The difference isn’t huge, but I think it’s pretty clear to see that it’s made my skin smoother, brighter, plumper & has helped with the pinkish scarring a little too. Overall I am extremely pleased with the results, it was a lovely experience & I couldn’t recommend Creme more if you’re based in or close to Leicester. I shall definitely be booking myself in for another next time my skin needs a little pick-me-up!

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Skincare Saviours

FAIIINT Skincare for acne prone oily skin. Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing & illuminating day cream, Philips Visapure facial cleansing brush, Clarins exfoliator brightening toner.

I’m sure those of you that have me on Twitter have seen me moaning about how awful my skin has been over the last couple of months. To cut a long story short, I had been on the contraceptive pill for over 10 years, then suddenly my doctor recommended that I stop using it due to my constant migraines. The migraines went away, but within a few weeks my skin looked like it had reverted back to being 14 again & with that, the same self consciousness & insecurities too.

I stuck it out for 3 months, hoping it would settle down once my body had adjusted, but if anything it just got worse as my jaw and forehead became covered in painful cystic acne. It sounds shallow, but I couldn’t deal with it & decided I would rather have the migraines than terrible skin (and awful mood swings too). Bad skin can have such a massive impact on your confidence, especially if like me you were teased quite relentlessly about it as a teen. I hoped that once I started taking the pill again my skin would improve, but it didn’t. So, I started researching for products to help get it back on track. I know a few of you were having similar skin issues, so I thought I’d share the products that have made the biggest difference for me so far. My skin’s still not perfect, but it’s so much better than it was.

Philips Visapure Facial Cleansing Brush :
This is basically Philips version of the Clarisonic, an electronic facial brush. I chose this over the Clarins version mainly because I liked the smaller brush & it felt more ergonomic to use, but also because it was cheaper & it looks nicer too! When I first brought this I used it twice a day for about a week & then got so frustrated I considered taking it back, my skin looked worse than ever! After doing a little research though, I discovered that it was my skin purging, bringing all the gross stuff to the surface to get rid of it. I was skeptical, but I persevered. After about a week or two it started to slowly improve, and it’s been getting better & better ever since. It leaves my face feeling so deeply cleansed & smooth and the buffing action gives you a gentle exfoliation too, my muslin cloth just isn’t cutting it after using this. I’ve been using the sensitive brush head on mine with my usual cleanser, as the normal one seemed a bit too rough for using twice a day, especially as I have a separate exfoliator. I think this is the product that has made the most dramatic difference for me. The purging stage is pretty awful & it’s quite an expensive purchase, but the difference it’s made makes it more than worth it in my opinion & it definitely lives up to the hype.

Vichy Idealia Life Serum & Smoothing and Illuminating Cream :
I started using serums & anti-aging moisturizers when I hit 21, and I’ve tried so many different kinds over the years since then. I’m a big fan of Vichys other products, so I was keen to try these out as soon as they launched. They are light, easily absorbed & give a velvety finish to the skin, leaving it feeling plump, hydrated & glowy. The serum has a tiny, barely noticeable amount of shimmer in too, and used under a light foundation gives a similar glowy sheen to YSL’s Touche Eclat foundation. It’s a really pretty finish & instantly gives a nice radiance to dull skin, whilst helping to camouflage spots & scarring too. The best part though, unexpectedly, is that they’ve made a huge difference to my acne too! I’m not sure why, as they aren’t marketed for this problem, but they are so soothing & seem to do a great job at reducing redness & inflammation too. Maybe it’s because they are made with sensitive skin in mind? Whatever it is, I think I’ve found my holy grail of moisturizers & I shall definitely be repurchasing once these run out.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner :
This is my little secret weapon. It’s a super gentle chemical exfoliator that dissolves the dull top layers of skin to revel brighter, fresher looking skin underneath. It sounds scary, but it’s so much gentler than a harsh scrub & is the best for getting rid of the dry, flakey skin I usually get on my cheeks & around dried out blemishes. This does state to use only twice a week, but when my skin is really bad I use it on that area every day & it really helps it to heal up much faster, without any averse effects like drying my skin out as most spot treatments do.

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Selfridges Festival Box

FAIIINT Selfridges Festival Beauty Box : Topshop lip crayon in Powder Room - Sol de Janeiro Coconut Water Cooling Mist - Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Navy - Coloursmash Hair Shadow in Je Ne Sais Quoi - Violent Lips Lip Appliques in Warm Rainbow - Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Surge - Azature nail polish in Champagne - Cowshed anti-bacterial hand gel - NPW mini scented hand & face wet wipes - NPW chubby glitter stick in PinkFAIIINT Selfridges Festival Beauty Box : Topshop lip crayon in Powder Room - Sol de Janeiro Coconut Water Cooling Mist - Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Navy - Coloursmash Hair Shadow in Je Ne Sais Quoi - Violent Lips Lip Appliques in Warm Rainbow - Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Surge - Azature nail polish in Champagne - Cowshed anti-bacterial hand gel - NPW mini scented hand & face wet wipes - NPW chubby glitter stick in Pink

Due to being rather ill over the past few weeks I’ve had to miss out on all of the festivals I had planned to go along to with Ollie. Most people will know that festivals are one of my favourite things to do & it doesn’t feel like a proper summer to me without going to at least one, so obviously I was pretty upset to be missing out.

This little package from Selfridges really cheered me up though, crammed full of a mixture of necessities, staples & a couple of really fun products too, it’s the ultimate girly festival kit & I’ve loved playing around with & testing them all out whilst stuck at home. The boxes are super limited edition & have a total product value of £110, but Selfridges are selling them for a tiny £25! Get one here before they sell out!

Despite most of these products being things I wouldn’t usually choose, as they’re not my usual ‘look’, I’ve found some new favourites amongst them. The Illamasqua liquid metal is beautiful used subtly as a highlighter for cheek & brow bones, the golden tinged pewter colour makes it super flattering & it has just the right amount of shimmer too. I really want to try it as a base for a nighttime smokey eye also, with lots of black shadow layered over the top. The Azature nail polish is possibly my favourite thing in the box, a lovely golden nude, I love that the colour is so subtle & neutral, yet it has the most over the top shimmer when the light hits it. I’ve been wearing it since it arrived & the magpie in me is making it impossible to stop staring at my nails! The Eyeko eyeliner is another stand out – obviously I love eyeliner, but it’s always been black for me, so who knew I would find this navy one so appealing. It is an almost black-ish blue, so very wearable, but that hint of colour makes it seem really modern & a nice alternative to the usual black.

I’ve also had more fun than I probably should have giving myself a faux pink ombre with the Coloursmash hair shadow. I’ve had the spray versions of this in goodie bags before, but they never show up on my almost-black hair, this one however is super bright (though more purple on my dark hair) & washed out effortlessly too.

PS: Sorry for the lack of outfit posts this week, I’ve barely left my house with this awful week long migraine & lack of sleep. Things will be back to normal next week!

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