Monday, 28 January 2013

Skincare I am using right now

Skincare reviews

As it's been so long since I blogged about skincare, I'm going to write about a few products all in one go.

Ole Henriksen Express the Truth Creme

At night, I'd been using Forest Secrets serum and oil but I found myself having to reorder the bottles too often (the product size literally halved from 30ml to 15ml some time after I wrote my review), and delivery times from the UK to the US were a little unpredictable. I also missed the simple pleasure of applying a "cream" before going to bed.

I whittled my brand options down to Ole Henriksen because I'd already liked their Truth Serum and also because their ingredient lists looked better than other brands. The accompanying moisturiser to the Truth Serum had too many reviews of dodgy smells - my favourite description was "it smells like an orange with B.O.", so I ended up going for the Express the Truth Creme from the African red tea range.

Express the Truth Creme is marketed primarily as a wrinkle-prevention cream, but is a good all rounder in terms of ingredients and contains antioxidants, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and peptides. I was also drawn in by the ingredient, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, which is something that the Elemis eye cream I'd been using also contained (see further down). It's a derivative of seaweed which apparently has moisturising and firming properties.

Ole Henriksen Express the Truth Creme review

The cream actually feels wet in the jar - it's hard to explain but it's literally like a jar of moisture (it's not really like a cream or even a gel). It feels nourishing and hydrating on the skin without feeling heavy. It smells quite strongly of fruity sherbet which I'd prefer it not to, but it's not unbearable.

I've been using this for several weeks and I really like it. It leaves my skin soft and hydrated and it doesn't feel like it's clogging my pores.

I paid $65 for a pot which looks like it will last me at least four months.

The full ingredients of Ole Henriksen Express the Truth Creme are:

Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethyl Macadamiate, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Triisostearyl Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polylysine, Dimethicone, Sodium PCA, Glyceryl Laurate , Sorbitol, Allantoin, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sorbitan Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Polysorbate 60, Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Caramel.

Ole Henriksen Total Truth Eye Creme SPF 15

I've always used non-SPF eye creams and instead applied normal sunscreen all around my eyes including my eyelids. But for as long as I can remember, I've had issues with irritated eyes and scratchiness under my eyelids and I started thinking it might be because I use products around my eyes which aren't designed to be used near the eyes.

So I ended up buying this SPF eye cream from Ole Henriksen.

Ole Henriksen Total Truth Eye Creme SPF 15 review

The eye cream is really thick, like a paste. But it spreads and absorbs fine. I use it under my eyes and on my eyelids. I do find that eyeshadow is more likely to crease when I've worn this eye cream, so people with oily eyelids might not like it. I personally like that it is so emollient because the skin under my eyes gets that crepey look when it's dry so I need as much hydration as I can get.

I paid $45 for a 15ml pot.

The full ingredients of Ole Henriksen Total Truth Eye Creme SPF 15 are:

Active ingredients: Avobenzone 2.0%, Octinoxate 4.0%, Octisalate 4.0%
Inactive ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycery Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Ceteareth-20, Phenoxyethanol, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Allantoin, Volubilis (Mountain Peanut) 2, Seed Oil, Schinus Terebinthifolius Seed Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol, Lecithin.

Note: It doesn't contain Oxybenzone, yay!

Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal

I've had this tube for a few months and have been using it at night. I bought it after trying some sample sachets and seeing how much difference it made to my eye area after just one night. It miraculously seemed to have a visible effect on dark circles and fine lines and made me look fresher. I looked up some reviews afterwards and several mentioned similar experiences.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal review

This eye cream is a velvety gel formulation and doesn't leave any greasy residue.

A 15ml pump bottle usually costs around £60, but I bought this 30ml tube for £36 from a British eBay seller (who seemed trustworthy enough). I hope it's not fake!

The full ingredients of Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal are:

Water (Aqua), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, PEG-8, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hexyldecanol, Hexyldecyl Laurate, Padina Pavonica Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbitol, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Fragrance (Parfum), Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Algae Extract, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Tocopherol, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Leaf Extract, Polygonum Fagopyrum Seed Extract, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Acacia Decurrens Absolute, Rosa Damascena Flower Absolute, Butylphenyl Methylpropional.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

I had a bit of a break from this while using Forest Secrets which was a serum and oil in one, but I came back to it after remembering how much I raved when I first tried it. It contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate which is a stable derivative of Vitamin C that only gets converted to Vitamin C once it's on the skin, which means it doesn't oxidise in the bottle. My full review can be found here.

Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30+ PA+++

I'm on my second bottle of this. I wasn't sure if it would be moisturising enough for the cold winter months but it has been fine (especially layered over Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic and then a serum. I love that it has high and broad sun protection without being greasy and that it doesn't contain Oxybenzone (which is apparently carcinogenic but is in most products that contain SPF). I don't seem to have gained any new freckles this year so it must be doing something good. My full review is here.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A British beauty blogger in California...? On the move again

Happy new year nice people who still read or stumble on my blog. God knows why, but there is still traffic to here for which I am very thankful for given my shameful blogging frequency of one post per two months in 2012. It's always hard to pick blogging back up after so long off, but I'm just going to write and see where this goes...

It's been just over two years since I moved to New York and I've found myself needing to move again, this time to San Francisco. In a couple of weeks I'll be packing up an apartment again and setting foot in another city I look forward to getting to know.

It's been a truly amazing experience living in New York. The first year was hard - working an average of 13 hours a day in the office, seeing the coldest winter New York's had for 30 years (-14°C at one point, just when my heating decided not to switch on), no friends, only seeing my husband every few weeks, eating absolute rubbish (which culminated that winter in the biggest spot ever on the side of my nose by which I am still physically and mentally scarred). But somehow I still loved being in New York. Every TV series or film I'd watched or was watching seemed to be set in the same city I was living in... I felt like I was in the centre of the world. London seemed so small, slow and grey each time I went back.

Hmm I'm still thinking about that huge spot that first winter. I can't believe when I think of my first year in New York, the first thing I think of is that spot. Now that's vanity for you. It was massive though.

My second year was a whole different story. If my first year was just a bud, my second year was a giant, fully bloomed, rainbow-coloured bouquet. I worked more reasonable hours; I turned around one day and realised I had made an amazing circle of friends who I could discover more of New York with; I started running the Central Park loop and doing spin classes and did more exercise in one year than my entire life put together; I started green juicing; Sandy happened and I realised the strength and community of the people of New York; I made a home (albeit one I would only live in for a year) with my husband in a really nice apartment right by the park; and all in all, I lived a whole lot more.

I have mixed feelings about uprooting again. I feel really quite sad that I will leave behind the friends and colleagues who have made my time in New York so enjoyable and so well, easy. But I know it's time to move on because there are little things that are starting to bug me about New York which never used to. Actually it's just one thing that bugs me, and that's the amount of dog poo on the sidewalks, especially in the neighbourhoods I've lived in in the Upper East and Upper West Side. I used to say with such Ned Flanders bounce, "that's just part of living in New York - dog poo and trash!" but my God, I don't think I could do another summer being hit in the face by a gust of poop and urine aromas every time I turned a corner. You have to see (and smell) it to know what I'm talking about.

Speaking of summer, have I ever said how New York summers are the best (despite the poop)? The summers literally feel endless with sunshine and hot, balmy days for three to four months straight. You can leave the apartment in flip flops and stay out all day doing as much or as little as you want, whether it's rowboating on the lake, cycling along the river, having a picnic, going to a free concert or festival, or just reading and eating frozen yoghurt in the park. I love, love, love New York summers. I'm excited for people I know who have just moved here during the winter because they still have all that joy to come.

But I'm looking forward to seeing more of the West Coast, road trips, agreeable weather all year round and even more tasty Asian food than in New York (mm mmm mmmmm).

So San Francisco here I come. Here's hoping for more good times and hopefully a bit more blogging than I've managed during my time in New York (I still buy way too many beauty products but can't seem to get myself to take photos and sit and write about them)!

Happy 2013 everyone!
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