My favourite products

My favourite products
Which one to use today ...

About my beauty missions

I have always suffered from dry, sensitive skin with eczema. For years I just used my trusty old friend, E45, but then one day I woke up and spotted my first wrinkle- alarm bells went off! If I have 'dry skin,' I thought, then surely I must be even more succeptable than most to the aging process? Thus began my beauty mission. My quest to find the best skincare and anti-aging products out there for dry, sensitive skin...

Monday, 31 January 2011

Disappointingly simple .... anti wrinkle eye cream

Oh damn it!

Just looked in the mirror and my skin looks awful!!! Saggy bags under my eyes and a really dry texture and the wrinkles oh my god!! Never seen it look so bad! The wrinkles had extended down under my eye bags I could not believe it. Ok, I was looking in the magnifying mirror. And come to think of it, I moisturised at about 7am this morning and went out straight after work so that's a 15 hour stretch ...

I have now cleansed and moisturised, (facial oil, eye cream and all) and feel much better but that was really shocking! I usually moisturise straight away when I get in from work and not doing it certainly showed.

But I have been having doubts about my current eye cream (simple anti-aging eye cream) and this is the final straw! It just doesn't seem to be stopping the wrinkles at all, in fact I'm sure I've developed more than ever in the past month I've been using it. It feels nice to put on because its quite gel-like, cooling and soothing , but it's just not moisturising enough for my dry skin. For me, dryness = wrinkles and I really don't get these anti-wrinkle products that are thin and watery- where's the moisture in that?!

So I have been using the simple eye cream since my last eye cream blog but I really feel that I have given it a fair run and it's just not doing it for me at the moment. I am properly disappointed as it's obviously a cheaper one, I was feeling so smug at saving all that money but I never had these doubts about my more expensive caudalie eye cream =(

Anyway, the next one I have to trial is the nivea Q10 anti-aging eye cream..... but it's not looking good so far- just put it on and my eyes feel puffy and sore already- boo! Will definitely give it a bit more time though....

Anyone know a lovely moisturising eye cream with anti-wrinkle properties as well, that's not too expensive??

Saturday, 8 January 2011

How many eye creams is too many eye creams?

Voila my current stock of eye creams!
From left to right:

Burts bees radience eye cream (used for about 4 weeks, didn't seem to absorb properly, ok but not overly impressed, moisture didn't seem to last)

Dr. Harnik Stop puffy eyes gel (used for about 4 days under eye cream- hassel waiting for it to absorb- saw no difference in puffiness- gave up!)
Nivea Q10 anti-wrinkle eye cream (researched 'best budget eye cream' and this came up. Not even opened, am waiting to finish my .....

Simple anti-wrinkle eye cream (also came up when I reseached 'best budget eye cream' and my original idea was to compare this to nivea Q10, using this up first and then switching to nivea.... so far still using the simple! Bit thin in texture, not convinced it's rich enough)

Avene Ystheal+ contour des yeux (bought in curiosity and in my love of avene products. Probably very good but I was not patient enough to use it consistently, use it now and then, still feels rather thin and watery, not creamy enough)

Avene soothing eye contour cream (love the creamy texture, very moisturising for my dry skin but no anti-wrinkle properties- *sobbing bitterly*)

Simple kind to eyes soothing eye balm (a Christmas pressi from hubbie- ha ha he knows me well! This used to be an old fave when I was young and crease-free, now I use it to refresh my eyes during the day as an extra treat)

I have now got to the ridiculous and point where my impatience has peaked and I have caved in to buying another new one today!

Weleda wild rose intensive eye cream!

A TK - MAX bargain, reduced from £11.95 to £4.99 (yes- sucked in!)

Never even heard of the 'make' but the list of ingredients is amazing- all natural oils etc, no fragrance, and then in the shop I sneakliy pulled out the inside leaflet and read it an the instructions said you could apply it over your eyelids! Woo-hoo SOLD!

I will review this properly as soon as I've had time to use it for a few days... if I can fit it in my busy eye cream schedule....
My eye cream obsession....

I am obviously aware that, by having too many eye creams and not using them consistently, I am not getting the full benefits from any of them but still I cannot resist buying more- what is wrong with me??? Addicted to eye creams!

I'm afraid I am obsessed with my 'puffy eyes' -as I call them- even though no one else confirms that they are (which, to be honest would be quite rude so I'm not complaining.)
When I was younger (like, 7 or 8 years old) I had E45 cream prescribed to me by my doctor for my eczema, and I remember him saying, "use it all over your face, twice a day," so I did, including my eyelids! I remember one day being in the bathroom, fastidiously creaming my eyelids with this thick heavy cream when my mum came in and said, "darling! What are you doing? You musn't put cream on your eyelids! It will make them all puffy!" Well mum, I'd been doing it for months.... and the fear of having puffy eyes has stuck with me for life!
But even back then, I liked the feeling of putting moisturising cream on my eyelids, I need to do this, otherwise after washing my face the skin feels too tight and dry, so I am always looking for creams that say you can apply on the lid. Nothing is more annoying to me than opening the packaging and reading the 'instructions' that say to apply to the under eye area only (Dr. Harnik I am talking to you- do you really think women don't care about puffy eyelids? Think again)

In the past I have managed to stick to one eye cream until I finished it, but I started off in my early 20s with an inexpensive 'simple eye balm' and gradually got into more and more expensive ones, (like all addicts!) from burts bees to clinique and finally a wonderful eye cream by caudalie. The caudalie was my favourite but at £26 a pop I decided it was too frivolous and I could probably get the same effect from a 'budget' eye cream. So I reseached the 'best' ones on google and my searches mainly came up with these 2:
Simple anti-wrinkle eye cream
Nivea Q10 anti-wrinkle eye cream
Arch enemies or best friends???
I am on my second tube of the simple but I wish I had switched to the nivea straight away really. Although I was initially hapy with the simple eye cream, now, in the depths of winter, my eyes are craving more moisture throughout the day, my creases I feel are getting more, not less visible. Maybe I am imagining it? I have sneakily tried a bit of the Q10 and it seems to have a thicker texture, less gel-like than the simple, more of a thicker cream.
I would love to hear other people's personal experiences of these 2 eye creams- which one really is best? Can budget eye creams really work?

One of my problems is that I want an eye cream that does it all, but I'm afraid of buying a really expensive one incase it's no good- or even if it's really good- and I'm tempted to commit a small fortune to buying it regularly. Are the more expensive ones really that much better? I want an eye cream for sensitive eyes as I sometimes get eczema on my eyelids. I want an eye cream that I can apply all over my eyelid so it feels soothed and moisturised all day. I want one that will depuff my eyes and get rid of all my wrinkles, with natural ingredients and no fragrances.
Is that too much to ask?
Probably. *sighs heavily and applies eye cream*

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sorry I have not posted for so long, I have been so so busy with work and life at the moment! I have not given up on this blog!

So a quick update: the nails are doing well, this is the first time I've been able to grow my nails to nearly the ends of my fingers (stop laughing my long-nailed friends, that's really impressive for me!) without them bending like paper and chipping and breaking, I can only conclude that it is the high-strength vitamins I am taking, they have helped make my nails extra strong.

I have now stopped taking the aloe vera juice. I took it for about 4 months every morning and at first I really thought I noticed some health (and nail) benefits but it's so expensive and I started to think I could get the same effect from vitamins. So I have stopped the aloe and I don't see any great differences to be honest.

Instead (I always gotta try something new!) I am now taking a probiotic supplement 'Acidophilus' every morning. I have yet to see any differences in my health although I am loosing weight. I don't think my weight loss is due to these supplements though, it's due to the fact that I've upped my exercise and cut down on crap food (suprisingly!!) and it's damn hard work.
There's more info on probiotics on my health blog if you're interested.

Can probiotics make you fat?

PS. Don't worry they don't seem to have so far! =)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Nail growth update!

Look how my nails have grown! Sorry about the rubbish photo I just couldn't get it in focus but I think it shows how my nails have grown since last time. I think maybe the vitamins are the answer! =)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Right I am currently on a mission to grow lovely long, strong nails. My nails have been short my entire life due to developing a nervous habit of picking at them at about the age 7, old habits are hard to break, BUT...

...recently I have a renewed interest in growing my nails properly and I am determind to break my childhood habit. I have come close to this a few times before but I always cave a few months in, when my newly grown, weak, brittle nails keep snapping off. Not this time!

This time I have 3 defense weapons at my aid:

1) Sally Hanson Natural Nail Growth Revitaliser

2) Vaseline Healthy Hand and Nail Conditioning Lotion

3) Aloe Vera Juice

1) Firstly, I bought the (rather worryingly BRIGHT blue) Sally Hanson, Natural Nail Growth Revitalizer. This was about £7 from Boots. I went for the Sally Hanson brand as it seems quite popular (and prolific!) and I chose this particular product as it sells itself as a 'natural' product. Some of the Sally Hanson range has small print on saying 'contains formaldehyde'. This substance has been linked to cancer and is generally a 'not very nice ingredient' which one should probably avoid! So, while I'm sure my bright blue little bottle is not completely wholesome and pure, I do feel it's a bit more on the natural side (it contains 'marine extract' -whatever that is?!)

It is a thin, liquid that you apply over nails twice a day and is supposed to promote nail growth. What I particularly like is that it sinks right into your nails after you have applied it in about 30 seconds (frenzied hand flapping required). Then it's completely gone and you can carry on your daily chores without worrying about it rubbing off onto everything. Amazing. Of course, it doesn't give any kind of top coat protection, but I prefer this, as any clear coats I've tried just seem to chip off with me.

2) Also, I am using this Vaseline healthy hand and nail conditoning lotion; I bought it because it says: 'strengthens nails by 50%' (50%! That's quite an impressive claim) and it's not even an expensive product! So I religiously massage in the cream to my nail and cuticle at least once a day (ok I have been doing this for like, 6 days so far!) Afterwards my nails feel stronger and more moisturised. I am hoping this will reduce splitting.

3) Finally, the main reason I have been motivated to try and grow my nails properly is that I think the aloe vera juice I have been taking, has been making my nails grow faster than normal.

I did not start taking aloe vera juice to improve nail growth (I took it for other health benefits- yes- I am also addicted to 'health products- see my other blog 'health missions' for proof!!) but it seems to have had the effect of making them grow fast and strong. I have been drinking about 30-60ml per day since January. About a month ago I noticed they seemed to not be as small as they used to be so it may have taken 3 months to start to work.

Here is a site that talks about aloe vera benefits: (see point 14 about nails)

At present I have been consciously 'growing' my nails (ie. leaving them damn well alone) for about 2 weeks and I am convinced they have already grown 1 or 2mm, which I think is a lot for nails! They now have white bits on the ends! They did not have any white ends previously and the nails came to just over half way up the nail bed. I am definitely going to chart the growth progress over the next few weeks and let you know how it goes. I include a picture as evidence so I can compare in a couple of weeks. I am aware my hands/nails are not nice or pretty so apologies for that!!
Does anyone have any nail growing tips? Which products do you swear by to keep your nails healthy?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Eye-lid eczema- not again!

I really thought that at this time of year (nearly summer!) that I would be immune from those irritating little red eczema patches- my skin only usually tends to flare up in winter.... But alas, things have been pretty stressful for me recently and so out of nowhere I noticed a sore patch on my hand the other day. Ok I can cope with that, bring on the hand cream.... Then I noticed my eye-lid was a bit puffier than usual, and, on closer inspection, the fold was all bumpy and crumpled looking- argghhh it's back!! My eye-lid eczema damnit! My eye-shadow has been creasing for a few days now, I guess that was a pre-eczema sign...

So what am I going to do? Whip out my lovely Avene 'soothing eye contour cream' of course! It contains simple, non-irritating ingredients- no perfume or even any anti-wrinkle chemicals (the lack of anti-wrinkle ingredients are at once what makes it so gentle but also why I don't use it all the time as a regular eye cream!) The avene cream is the only thing that does not sting my sore eye skin and it makes my eyelids feel moisturised but not sticky. Ahhh, if only you also had anti-wrinkle properties my lovely little faithful eye cream....

According to the website, here are some of it's benefits:

Soothes and relieves under eye puffiness
Hydrates and soothes the sensitive eye area
Provides moisture and anti-oxidant protection
Smoothes expression lines
Ophthalmologists tested for safety
Fragrance-free and preservative-free
Avène Thermal Spring Water soothes and softens the skin
Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic


I fear tomorrow I might not be able to wear eye-shadow which is quite gutting as I do love it so! I am thinking of buying a new everyday one in an expensive brand that is good for sensitive skin. I was thinking Clinique? I need a non-creasing but also a really soft, gentle eyeshadow. At the moment I am using maybelline shadows (taupe and nude beige) as I love the natural colours but I am sure I could get similar in other brands. (Er, excuse the cracked case I tend to tread on most of my make-up accidentally!) I hope my maybelline eyeshadow hasn't given me the eczema? But no, I've had it before, it's more a of a stress thing I think.

Can anyone recommend me a good eye-shadow brand for sensitive skin? Or let me know if you get this and what you do to sooth it. Thanks =)

Friday, 23 April 2010

Ok I have a confession - I haven't stuck to my skin improvement plan (in earlier post) as well as I intended =(

I couldn't bring myself to do the green tea thing as I thought it was disgusting BUT I think this is because I had a few minor points that needed tweaking!

1) Get a green tea + something else flavour to make it taste nicer- (I am loving green tea and citrus from Twinings at the mo.)

2) Don't over-brew! Even leaving it a minute too long will make it taste yuk in my opinion. At first brew for a minute or less and then take it from there. I find a minute or 2 is plenty.

Now I am well into the green tea thing and on 2-3 cups a day I am expecting amazing results soon (optimism!)

What else? I said I would eat more carrots. Unfortunately I find these a most uninspiring veg. and a pain to prepare with all that peeling and boiling (lazy me!) Oh and the almonds- I keep forgetting to eat them every day although I do quite like them. And I can't seem to eat them alone as they give me really bad indigestion so I have to have a big drink on hand and another snack to wash them down!

The only thing I have been doing is taking an omega-3 supplement and vitamin tablet every day.

Anyway, it's best not to change too many things at once isn't it, else you don't know what's had the best effect do you? I never was a good scientist. Too impatient. I want to try everthing all at once. 'sigh'

I have to say I am a bit disappointed as I thought the omega supplement would help my dry skin but instead recently my hands have got worse and are becoming more dry and cracked again. it could be a stress thing though. I am going to do a bit of research on supplement oils I can take, I am thinking maybe evening primrose oil...