Category Archives: Beauty Buys

Haul style posts documenting the damage done in the beauty stores, everyone’s guilty pleasure.

My Double Cleanse Routine

Ditch those face wipes, it's time to give your face the take off time it deserves.

Double Cleanse Duo

I mostly double cleanse on the occasions where i've either been exposed to a lot of pollution, been at the gym or applied any makeup products to my face. Having said that, I think a double cleanse routine should be carried out every evening, whatever you applied and wherever you went that day. I just struggle some nights to follow the 1st step with the 2nd, over the thought of flopping into bed (I think we have all been there...)

Double cleansing is normally only required in the evenings, and essentially uses two cleansing formulas (dependent on your preference and skin type) to better target the oils, dirt, makeup or sweat that lives on our precious faces daily. In two steps it will provide a better more thorough clean up than your standalone step would.

It becomes a bit of a therapy, and a great way to leave the day behind you.

One thing to make sure of is that you are using 2 separate cleansers from different product families.  When you dip your toe into this cleansing routine you don't want to be using a gentle milky cleanser, and then following with a gel like cleanser, whilst they are better than nothing for sure, they are going to be gently cleansing the skin, and not necessarily targeting the oils.

As a first step, oil attracts oil. You will be targeting on cleansing the (perhaps most visible) of your daily grime off in this step. So something like a balm cleanser or oil would be perfect here.

Double Cleanse Duo

I currently use the REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm (suitable for all skin types - I have sensitive skin). I have found this a great dupe for the pots and pots of the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Balm I have been through, EH is an amazing cleanser but the packaging of the tub splitting and falling apart annoys me so much! In protest I moved onto something cheaper and just as good!

I use a ten pence piece of the balm (at the most - depending on the days wear) and massage into dry skin. I really work all of that nasty stuff around, you can even use this on your eye area, unlike some oil cleansers. Then I grab a good muslin cloth and wash away the first step. This is where many people would dab their face with a towel and head to bed... but not here.

Step 2 combats the environmental and water based dirt. You might even think, 'My face is clean, there's not a scrap of makeup on it now...' but go ahead with this step as it targets the stuff that doesn't just sit on the surface.

Cult Beauty advises to

Pick up a gel, blemish-busting, exfoliating or clay-based formula, to target the needs of your complexion

My second step uses REN again, it's the Rosa Centifolia cleansing gel this time, which I now only have under a quarter of the bottle left since buying in March (which is pretty good value!). Just pop this on your skin, mix it with some water and then rinse off to finish your double cleanse system.

I've picked out some of the best balm & gel cleansers for all budgets below;


Shop for step 1: 

Shop Balm Cleansers

Affordable: Boots Botanics 97% Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm 70ml £6.69

Mid-Range: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm 125ml £22.00

High-End: Oskia Perfect Cleanser £32.50


Shop for step 2: 

Gel Cleansers

Affordable: Yes To Cucumbers Daily Gel Cleanser 90ml  £6.99

Mid-Range:Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser 200ml £24.30

High-End: Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser 125ml £35.00


Let me know how you like to double cleanse, have you tried any of these products?

If you want to see a more in-depth review on my double cleansing products from REN then just ask!


Maybelline Colour Elixirs

Maybelline Colour Elixirs The Maybelline Colour Sensational 'Colour Elixirs' (+ 'The Elixirs') must be one of the most blogged about products still not available in the UK... BUT according to the fabulous Jane Cunningham (@ British Beauty Blogger) these versatile lip colours are now on there way to the UK - see Jane's post here.

This is essentially a post telling you all, that these are an essential addition to your makeup bag/your dressing table/your purse/your car...

Maybelline Colour Elixirs Applicator

Before I went to New York I had made a huge obnoxious and shameful list of the products I was going to hunt down and bring back (I think Sephora saw me coming...) the Maybelline Colour Elixirs were top of that list, after seeing FleurDeForce pick them up, and Amelia Liana also having blogged about them back in Dec 2013, the Colour Elixirs are definitely a solid example of the power the beauty blogging world can have on sales and increase of demand. Well done Maybelline NY PR & marketing!

I headed straight to a CVS near my hotel to scout these out, and picked up an initial two colours of the Colour Elixirs to get testing. I should have just brought the whole lot right there...

Maybelline Colour Elixirs

At around $8.99 in the US, I would be guessing the price of these when they hit the UK would be around £8 (just a guess!) definitely affordable for any keen lip product addict.

Between my mum & I we now have 6 shades, a selection of nudes and pinks perfect for every day & every occasion. The texture is silky, not sticky. The colour is wholesome and not too sheer and the gloss - is just super super glossy, yet the staying power is pretty good!

Maybelline Colour Elixirs

With attractive and simple, 'non drugstore looking' packaging I always have one of these in my handbag. Every store I went into in the US I discovered more and more shades.  So whilst I can't guarantee if you spot a shade you like in my swatches that it will be released in the UK,  I've got a sneaky suspicion that whatever shades Maybelline deliver in this formula they are going to sell well here.

Maybelline Colour Elixirs Shades

The difference between the Maybelline Colour Sensational Colour Elixirs, and the Maybelline Colour Sensational 'The Elixir' branding is one I am really not sure of. From my comparisons the Colour Elixirs are more pigmented, and deliver a little more colour pay off, than sheerness. The Elixir I believe was the 'original' release, but having been so similar I have mixed them up in this post. If you know the true difference let me know!

Maybelline Colour Elixirs Shades

Do any other beauty bloggers have that obsession with having to get the whole collection of product, when they know they can't get it at home?!  




Favourite Fragrance: Jo Malone 154 Cologne

Jo Malone 154 Cologne

There is no better time to venture into a classic, high end brand than when passing through duty free.

In February when I travelled to the Philippines, I couldn't resist the Jo Malone shelves staring at me as I sat killing time in Heathrow's T5.

I love buying new perfumes before I travel. Fragrances work great to conjure up old memories of travels and experiences you left behind.

I think most women are always on the search for that fragrance that epitomises who they are though, something they can call 'my scent' and the true friends can bulk buy to supply you with each Christmas, year on year.

For me, before my introduction into the world of JM, I have always had the likes of Bvlgari's Mon Jasmin Noir, and anything Tom Ford on my dressing table. Now I have added Jo Malone's 154 Cologne to that group of favourites.

154 was brought out in 2001. It's name comes from the address of the 1st of Malone's stores in London. A similar naming strategy to Dipytque with '35' (another firm favourite of mine!).

I've been using this most days since late February this year and am not even a quarter of the way through this perfect handbag sized bottle.  You can purchase at top department stores such as John Lewis, or even got direct to Jo Malone.

The fragrances I always go towards are those which are feminine but woody, normally based upon Vetiver like this one - as are many of Tom Ford's. Something fresh, rather than floral and sweet, something that lingers but doesn't give you that perfume overload headache.

The notes that complete this fragrance are; a base of Vetiver, to add dimension and woodiness, Lavender to provide the fresh but soft scents and finally Mandarin Orange which equips each spray with a bright freshness. A spritz of this when you are feeling a bit rubbish, or applying every morning to kick start your day is how I like to use it.

I'm not sure whether it's the cologne formulation but this scent just lingers beautifully, it stays with you but doesn't overpower you. This means you are not going to be a woman smelling like aftershave on the morning commute, but the man in your life can, (and is likely to) use this. You'll probably need to provide him with his own bottle of this stuff after he uses your own a few times too many, but perhaps use his credit card...

The travel size of 154 retails at £40 for 30ml, & £82 for 100ml.

Do you have a favourite Jo Malone scent? Let me know below!