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, 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 =)