Lip Balm Quest: NUXE

It seems I have just certified the best lip balm for me. I have tried a number of different lip balms in recent years and after several weeks of use, I am excited to state that Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm seems to be the best thing I have found. The balm’s thick consistency and matte finish make it perfect for both night and day time use. I first warm a bit of the product and then apply. It stays on for ages and more importantly, lips feel nourished and smooth.
It is always best to exfoliate the lips gently to remove any flaking skin. No lip balm will work if there’s loads of flaky bits hanging on. Hence, I use a muslin cloth, cotton pad or by rubbing my fingers on dampened lips to exfoliate 🙂

Nuxe is known for its dry oil which I find to be quite nice on my skin and hair so I was eager to try other Nuxe products in the local pharmacy. I purchased this balm for nearly €12 (and I know it retails for about  £8 to £10) so it is not as cheap as a tin of Vaseline which, is always a stand-by because it is very protective albeit not a mosturising product. Other lip products I have found to be good for sensitive lips are
L’Occitane’s Shea butter lip balm
Kiehl’s lip balm #1 (although, it does have petroleum jelly in it)
The Body Shop’s Chocomania lip butter (which seems to be the only lip product from the brand that doesn’t make my lips even more chapped).

I will probably end up purchasing this again when it has been used up but will definitely keep an eye out for discounts and bargains.


Are we doing too much?

Another intriguing question I also found myself asking is, “are we doing too much?”. Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise are the main practices preached by many a beauty editor and even the average women. These each entail a variety of products and tasks that looks like a lot of work.
My skincare arsenal for routine use includes nearly 40 products for all kinds of weather.
There is olive oil for use to remove makeup (typically eye makeup) on the rare occasion I wear it.
Cleansers include foaming, cream and gel cleansers, a cleansing water, toner, cleansing milks and exfoliating scrubs.
Moisturisers range from the light to heavier water based moisturisers as well as a few basic oils and butters for very cold and dry weather conditions.
Now, that’s just for the face. What about the other numerous things for the rest of the body; including haircare, pedicures, depilatory and other grooming tasks?

With all these, why aren’t we all walking around with perfect skin? All the energy, money and time just seems to be frittered away into a possibly needless and never ending routine.
I love trying out new products and seeing what is available to keep us looking even better but perhaps sometimes, I should just wash with water and leave it at that? Who knows, my skin may actually thank me for the break.


Beauty Fixes

Image courtesy of beautyheaven.com.au

I had a conversation about the quest for the magic product(s) that will solve all of one’s skin and/or hair care problems. I am more intrigued by the science of beauty and its presentation but have always wondered why beauty products never really seem to fix anything permanently. When purchasing skincare items, I rarely found “normal” as an option so for my personal needs. There is always normal/combination, normal/dry skin etc.
So yes, why is it that we will always seem to fall into a problem category? Large pores never seem to shrink to invisible radii, spots never seem to fade completely and skin never stays smooth, soft for longer than the few minutes after a mask or exfoliation and frankly, one never really looks 10 years younger even with the religious use of anti-aging products.
Even with anti-acne products, it often seems to be a case of time that clears up the problem but I’m willing to accept that the right products can sometimes make a huge difference.

Genetics does play a big role in what one’s skin looks like and the rest is really more of lifestyle and beauty practices. Slathering the most potent products would do little if one is always stressed and does not do much to protect and look after the skin.

So perhaps it is better to put our faith and trust more in better skincare and lifestyle practises than in the actual products themselves, at least in a less exclusive manner.


Home made Hair Scrub

I was inspired to make something along the likes of Lush’s Big Shampoo which I have been meaning to try for ages. However, circumstances (primarily laziness and perhaps the price) has prevented me. Since the ingredients seem straightforward enough (sea salt, oils, citric juices…), I felt “why not?”.

However, I ended up using a mix of sugar, coconut and olive oils. It felt a little strange at first and did make a bit of a mess but it actually felt nice to massage and exfoliate my scalp. I did this for about a quarter of an hour, then wrapped my head with a shower cap, bundled it in a towel and left it to “deep condition” whilst I did other chores.

After washing with a non-SLS shampoo (I’ve been trying out a few types), my hair felt nice and clean, without the squeaky clean effect that can sometimes happen after shampooing.

All in all this little “scrubby” experiment has made me realise I quite like a gritty shampoo and I’m probably going to take the plunge and get the clarifying Lush shampoo when I get a chance. Until then, this scrub will do nicely 🙂 I may add lemon juice to it next time.


Chocomania

The Body Shop has released a new line called chocomania and it is precisely what you would imagine – Chocolate.

The star product in my opinion is the Body Scrub which is has the right amount of grit and smells the most like chocolate. Some people may be averse to smelling like food but if that is not you, then this might be a favourite.

The Body Wash looks like melted chocolate and lathers quite nicely but not overly so. It did feel a little unusual washing up with “chocolate” so I much rather prefer the scrub even though it does create a bit of mess.

The body butter like most by the body shop, is simply heavenly and the scent of chocolate lingers for quite a while so be careful as some might suddenly imagine you as chocolate cake. I was a little taken aback by the colour since I expected it to be chocolate brown but it is more of a pale colour.

The same goes for the lip butter which I was hoping it would taste as good as it smelled but it does not. It feels nice on the lips and is not at all glossy which is just fine by me.

I am yet to try the soaps but the scent is quite heavenly and the mini soaps have joined my arsenal of travel products for times when I’m away and don’t feel like using gel or cream washes.

The chocomania line is available in many countries but one would have to check stores and online in your country. Happy Indulging!


Grapes are not just for Wine

Caudalie; I was somewhat recently introduced to by Ruth’s post on A Model Recommends. The active ingredients from this French brand’s products are from grapes so I guess wine is not the only commodity from viticulture.

The Cleansing water is a star product in my opinion and fantastic for cleansing the skin without the need for rinsing with water. Wetting a cotton pad with it and a few swipes later, I feel clean, awake and there is no uncomfortable tight feeling. It is quite effective in taking off light make-up but might need more than one cotton pad to get everything off. It is also perfect for travelling or when in a rush to get ready.

The cleanser is essentially oil droplets in micelles dissolved in water hence you don’t see the characteristic oil-water phases. The oils are able to dissolve dirt, oil and makeup on contact with the skin.

It does not contain mineral oils, artificial colouring or common surfactants (e.g. SLS) that can irritate the skin. It does contain fragrance but is said to be for all skin types and I would be willing to bet that most sensitive skins will not complain about this.


and the Butter was not bitter…

I would like to make a tongue twister like the one about Betty buying butter for her batter but I seem to have fallen short.

The Body Shop probably makes the best moisturisers especially the ones of a thicker consistency. My favourite is the Shea Body Butter which is just perfect. It’s super thick but not greasy and sinks into one’s skin so easily.  The scent is a lovely nutty and fresh scent that is not overpowering but lingers for ever so long.  Truly makes the post-bath moisturising ever so pleasant and leaves skin ever so soft for hours and hours.

I tend to use it in the colder months when a lighter cream or body milk simply doesn’t cut it.