We’ve had such a lovely Easter break: A week in Cyprus with the kids, relaxing in the sun, followed by a long weekend with some of my oldest and dearest friends.
Now I’m breaking the writer’s block with a mammoth ‘best of’ beauty post – a roundup of some of the wonderful products I’ve tried over the last couple of months. Some of these I’ve bought myself (shock, horror), others have been sent to me for my honest review.
As always, I’m only including my beauty heroes here. The skincare and makeup villains don’t get a look in.
Transformulas Marine Miracle Crème [RRP £69.99]
“A facelift in a jar. The regenerative properties of the marine miracle crème are truly extraordinary, an effective, ultimate de-ageing formulation. A potassium rich marine cocktail that intoxicates the skin with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, aiding the skin to look and act years younger, relaxed, toned, lifted. Surface lines and wrinkles are plumped out and the skin feels ultra hydrated and smooth.”
I nearly finished the whole pot before remembering to take a photo. I seriously love this cream. The texture is silky, gliding on and instantly refreshing the skin. It is cool on application, rich without being sticky and absorbs easily. The fragrance is light and fresh. It is an expensive habit this one – just under £70 for 50ml.
I have been using this every morning and evening for about a month. My sensitive skin didn’t have any problems adjusting to the formula, I had no break outs. My skin looks smooth and feels soft. Facelift in a jar though? Wishful thinking.
Environ AVST Eye Gel [price varies]
“The AVST range is a series of products that provides for a complete skin care programme. The moisturisers contain Vitamin A and antioxidants including Vitamins E and C, Resveratrol and Beta-Carotene.”
Environ doesn’t use marketing hype or fancy packaging. They take a scientific approach to skincare and their treatments are backed up with clinical trials. In fact their products aren’t meant to be available online, to encourage you to seek professional advice before you purchase. I did buy mine online, but that was before I realised my local pharmacy stocks it.
I bought the gel to treat a problem I developed on my eyelids. They became so dry, the skin was peeling off, and the crease of my eyelid was red raw. I had no idea which of my makeup or skincare products was responsible for the symptoms, but I needed help.
A little gel goes a long way. It feels cool and soothing on the skin. I didn’t feel any tightening or discomfort, even on my raw eyelids.
I used a very small amount of the gel, morning and evening, all around my eyes and on my eyelids. A week later, my eyes were back to normal.
I was introduced to Environ by another blogger who kindly recommended it. I’m embarrassed to admit I can’t remember who it was, but I’ll give you a name check and a link to your blog, if you identify yourself in the comments!*
*Kerry did identify herself. Thanks Kerry. Here’s a link to your lovely blog.
Environ Intensive Skin Energiser Colostrum Gel [price varies]
“Specially formulated by a world renowned aesthetic surgeon. Contains bovine colostrum in a non-greasy formula. Contains a mild lavender fragrance and a preservative. The product is recommended for mature, chrono-aged and sun damaged skin as well as for consumers who have skin problems.”
I bought this alongside the Environ Eye Gel, solely because I was impressed with all the reviews I read during my research. The gel isn’t going to be for everyone – it’s made from colostrum for goodness sake. It’s not unpleasant to use, but you need to let it dry otherwise it feels sticky.
As a treatment for very dry or problem skin, this works well. Once dry, it gives a tightening sensation and provides a good base for a daytime moisturiser.
Arbonne Calm Soothing Eye Gel [RRP £24]
“This gentle, ophthalmologist tested eye gel glides on with our cool roller ball applicator for an instantly refreshing feel. Helps reduce the appearance of puffiness and hydrates the eye area for smoother looking skin.”
I’ve used this before and remembered the relief of that cold metal roller ball on tired eyes. There are no ‘active’ ingredients in this product. This gel is to dry, tired skin, what eye drops are to dry, tired eyeballs! In contrast to Environ, the entire Arbonne range is vegan and botanical.
I used this to complement the Environ Eye Gel. Environ treated my eyelids, Arbonne soothed and cooled them. Keep it in the fridge for intense eye area refreshment!
“Refines and brightens. A balancing cleansing cream that melts away makeup, dirt and environmental build up. Invisibly polishing away dead skin cells and accelerating cell renewal, revealing a brighter and balanced skin perfectly prepped for treatment. The biomimetic structure of this formula mimics the natural biological conditions of healthy skin, to ensure optimal absorption, skin compatibility and delivery of actives to each layer of the skin.”
An unfussy, light but effective cleanser. The essential oils – Petitgrain, Palmarosa and Neroli give the cream a menthol/eucalyptus type scent, bringing to mind those Olbas drops which help you breathe through a cold. It’s an unusual fragrance for a cleanser and leaves a slight tingling sensation – not unpleasant.
This cleanser can either be applied and removed with cotton wool, or rinsed off with warm water. I used a damp flannel.
I needed several pumps of cream to cover my face, but it did remove all traces of makeup and left my skin feeling soft and cool.
But whatever you do, keep it away from your eyes. Wow, that stings! I only ever use Arbonne’s Easy on the Eyes eye makeup remover.
I’ve just taken delivery of a very exciting new skincare device called Newa, which rebuilds collagen and reduces wrinkles.
It’s apparently the most advanced home-use skin tightening tool available. I’ve already taken my ‘before’ photos and have started using it, so watch this space for the results. Or keep up with me on Instagram to see me un-ageing before your very eyes.
[Editor’s update: the review is now published here: http://www.lifestylemaven.co.uk/the-honest-bloggers-review-of-the-newa-skincare-device/]
Much love, Vx
[Disclosure: Thanks to Vivderma and Transformulas for sending me products to review. Some affiliate links are used in this post. No sponsorship received]