Friday, 2 December 2011

exfoliateexfoliate exfoliate

Anybody who knows me knows I have spent a very large chunk of my life exfoliating, talking about exfoliating and looking for new exfoliators.

I genuinely believe that if you read on and follow these simple steps, you could feel happier in your own body, without losing a pound.

For years I searched around looking for the perfect exfoliator, one that really felt like it was working. and after many years of searching I found it.....but then, as like every product that I get attached too., it was discontinued. Boo! It was Elle MacPhearson's SOS Salt Scrub and it worked miracles.

Anyway, after that heartbreak, I continued my search for the best exfoliator.  I must admit, I have never found a product that was quite like it.

However, there are a few that I have found that work well, and with the method I use, can achieve great results for your skin.

If you haven't exfoliated for a while, or God forbid, ever, then to achieve the best result you need to start with using your exfoliator in dry skin as this helps to remove dead skin cells more vigorously.

There are a 2 different exfoliators I am using at the moment, and I can assure you, there aren't any others out there that are better. Trust me, I have looked and tested every single one I can get my hands on.

There are 3 steps I follow to really get the most out of exfoliating. However, depending on time, you may just want to do one or two.

So start off with using Aveda Caribbean Therapy Body Scrub. It has salt and sugar in which are the 2 best exfoliators and most exfoliators with these things in are the best. It smells divine but be careful as it is quite tricky to use. Make sure you follow these tips and you will be fine.

Aveda Caribbean Therapy Body Scrub

If applying to dry skin, for a more extreme result, then stand in your bathroom on a towel. The towel catches any of the product that doesn't make it onto your skin, and you can use it later.

Scoop a handful of the scrub into your hands and massage it into your palms for a few seconds. Then start with your arms and rub the scrub vigorously over your whole body, paying particular attention to your knees and elbows and also the tops of your arms. Most people have dry, uneven skin on the tops of their arms so this helps to get rid of this and prevent it from reappearing.

Once you have scrubbed your whole body, get in the shower. Rinse the scrub off.

For those who are applying the scrub on damp skin then before you apply it, wash your body with a shower gel first. I have been using Johnson's 24hour Moisture Extra Rich Body Wash for 5 years and when I use something else, I really can feel the difference. This shower gel works wonders and really does moisturise as it cleans. Brilliant for dry skin.

Johnson's 24hour Moisture Extra Rich Body Wash

As you can see, the products I use aren't all really pricey. The real reason for this is because I don't just look for products that are in a high price range. I look for products that actually work and make a difference.

So, once you have washed your body, turn the shower head away from you, so that your skin and dry off a bit. By applying the scrub to damp skin instead of wet skin, the scrub can really work.

Again, apply the scrub from your neck down to your feet, in vigourous circular motions. I often sit down in the shower whilst I do this. Once you've tired this out you will realise why. It is a tad tricky to try and scrub your entire body standing up. Sitting down helps me to really get to those hard to reach areas, and give them a good scrub!

I then reach for a different exfoliator. The one i am using at the moment is Sanctuary Revive Invigorating Body Rub. It smells like heaven and works well. I pop that onto my exfoliating gloves and start the scrubbing process again. really go for it this time, put your back into it.

Sanctuary Revive Invigorating Body Rub

Everybody should own a pair of exfoliating gloves. You can use them with a scrub for double exfoliation or use them with a shower gel in between using a scrub to gentle sift off dead skin cells. I use them in conjunction with a scrub on days when I have more time. The gloves i swear by and have been using for years are Sanctuary Exfoliating Gloves  which can be found in any Sanctuary section at Boots. I have found that quite recently, much to my dismay, these gloves are often out of stock. But don't panic, I have found a similarly priced alternative.
Soap and Glory Exfoliating Scrub Gloves will put you back about £4 and are lovely and pink, which looks great in your bathroom. They do work a treat but I only ever use them if I can't find the Sanctuary ones.

Soap and Glory Exfoliating Scrub Gloves

I change my gloves approximately every month as I find they lose their strengh after about 4 weeks and don't work as well. So keep changing them, it's worth it.

Having done that, I grab ANOTHER sponge. You can get them from pretty much everywhere and cost about 99p. They have the rough white part on the top and a spongy bit on the bottom. I often get the pink ones as they look cuter in your bathroom.

The rough part of this sponge exfoliated the skin and removes dead cells and its very vigorous and you really feel like you have new skin after using it. I use this is conjunction with either scrub I have discussed, however, like before, depending on how much time I have, I may use it with just my shower gel.

This may sound like a long time, but once you have made it your routine it only takes 10 minutes, sometimes less. If time really isn't on your side then cut out 2 methods and just do one but make sure at least once a week you use all three if you really want to benefit from it.

So lets just recap:

  • Use a salt based scrub on dry or damp skin, massage over the whole body.
  • Rinse off and then sit down/stand up and apply another exfoliator, with a more creamy texture
  • Put on exfoliating gloves and squeeze on some exfoliator.
  • Scrub away
  • Use a cheap exfoliating sponge, using the rough,course part on the top. Use from head to toe in conjunction with a shower cream or a scrub. 
  • Rinse off 
I usually do all of this whilst I have a deep conditioning treatment on my hair as it saves time and makes sure the mask has had ample time to soak on. I will be discussing hair care in another blog so look out for that!

Once out the shower I immediately apply Johnson's Baby Oil to wet skin. I started doing this a good few years ago and I use it either alone or in conjunction with another moisturiser. I massage that into wet skin and leave for a few seconds then PAT dry with a towel.

Johnson's Baby Oil

 I then follow with Clinique Turnaround Body Cream or if I am staying in for the night I apply Clinique Deep Comfort Body Moisture which is a lot thicker but really soaks in and works it's magic.

Clinique Turnaround Body Cream
Clinique Deep Comfort Body Moisture

So there you have it! That is the best and only way to get beautifully soft and subtle skin and I can guarantee that your skin will feel amazing straight away but if you carry on with this routine it can really change your skin forever. You will feel happier in your skin too, as if it looks great then you will feel great. Trust me, if I ever feel rubbish I just get scrubbing as it makes me feel better about my body straight away.

Many people may laugh and think what a waste of time but remember your skin is your body's largest organ and taking care of it now will be worth it in the future.
I won't go on about how important exfoliating and moisturising is as Im guessing you would have realised I wouldn't have spent time writing a blog about it if it wasn't important.

My next blog is going to be on getting rid of spots followed by a special blog on Foundations and Tinted Moisturisers.



Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Removing your makeup and cleaning your skin before bed is essential as during the night your body replenishes and repairs your skin. Using the right products before bed will guarantee your body repairing it to its full potential.

I start off by removing my eye makeup. having tried and tested numerous eye makeup removers I have found that oil based ones are a God send for removing stubborn mascaras and liquid eyeliners. Despite it being able to remove my vast amounts of mascara it is also very gentle and you don't feel like it is damaging the precious skin around your eyes. THE BEST EYE MAKEUP REMOVER EVER is a very modest £3 and is Johnson's Daily Essentials Eye Make Up Remover for all skin types.

Johnson's Daily Essentials Eye Make Up Remover

With many products such as makeup and moisturisers, the more you pay the better the result but this is not always the case as i have found out through the years. And, having tried Chanel, Dior, Clinique, Lancome and many other expensive brand eye makeup removers I have found the best one for a mere £3.

Okay so once the eye makeup has been removed I use a face wipe to remove the first layer of make up from my face. Again, having tried numerous face wipes, I always go back to Johnson's Baby Wipes as they remove make up and dirt and have NO chemicals in them whatsoever.USE THEM. 

Johnson's Baby Wipes

Having done that I use and old trick which I promised i'd never tell anyone but here it goes.

Use a cotton wool pad and pour a 50p piece of Johnson's Baby Oil onto it and wipe that over your face. You will be amazed at what happens. The makeup residue and dirt clings to the oil and you are left with a makeup free face. Do this as many times as needed to remove all makeup traces.
Johnson's Baby Oil

Your face may feel greasy after this so just swipe a baby wipe over your face to get rid of any excess oil.

So now all the make up is removed I then go onto using a cleanser and clarifying lotion.

I have 2 cleansers that I swear by and depending on how much time I have will depend on which one I use.

If im shattered and only have a few minutes I will use Lancome Galatee Confort (in English, Comforting cleansing milk). I have used this for over 5 years and swear by it. Its very gentle and so creamy and leaves your skin feeling fab.Pump the bottle 2/3 times and swipe the cleanser over your face using a cotton pad.

Lancome Galatee Confort 

I follow this with Clinique's Clarifying Lotion, which will make your face tingle a bit but that just means its working. Again, swipe this over your face using a cotton pad. This clarifying lotion exfoliates the skin, removes dirt, opens pores and evens out skin tone which helps create a smoother appearance. Check at Clinique for the right one for you as there are different ones for different skin types.This one if for dry/combination skin. 

Clinique's Clarifying Lotion

On the evenings where I want to have a proper good clean I use Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Polish which was recommended to me by a friend when i broke out in spots. WOW is all i can say about this product. Try it - you wont be disappointed. 

Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Polish

Follow with moisturiser or night cream. I tend to use a thick lip balm before bed so whilst Im sleeping my lips care be repaired. I use Blistex Relief Cream. It really is the only thing that will actually rid you of dry cracked lips.

Then I sleep, sleep, sleep.

In my next blog I will be discussing body skincare.



pre makeup skincareroutine

Before I get in the shower, every other day I start with using Clinique 7 day Scrub Off Cream.
Clinique 7 Day Scrub Off Cream

I massage that onto dry skin starting with my fingers tips and then using the palms off my hands on drier areas of my face. Wash this off in the shower. 

On the days I don't use this i use St Ives Facial Scrub (I use the Invigorating one but there is one for sensitive skin (Gentle) and one for spot prone skin (Blemish Fighting)which is applied to damp skin whilst in the shower. I swear by this facial scrub and have used it for years. It never fails me.
St Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub

It is super important to exfoliate the skin on your face but to also remember to not be to harsh as it is very delicate skin. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells, leaving the appearance of your skin, shiny and healthy. 

Personally I suffer from eczema and generally have quite dry skin so i find exfoliating it regularly helps remove the build up of dry skin. 

Once your face is exfoliated, use a good, creamy moisturiser. I use Chanel HydraMax + Active as I find this one soaks into the skin quickly and leave my skin radiant and fully moisturised all day long. 

Chanel HydraMax+Active Cream

In the winter, when skin becomes drier I tend to use a thin layer of Bio Oil on my face before applying moisturiser as I find this give it an extra helping hand in staying moisutrised and dewy throughout the harsh winter months. Having tried hundreds of different facial oils, this one is by far the best.
Bio Oil

I find that sticking to the same products is better than changing them as often changing your skin care products can mess with your skin. Stick to what you know. 


beforemakeup comes thebase

I'm going to start with skincare for the face and then go on to skincare for the body as I believe you cannot enhance what you have until the base of what you have is looking it's best.

Over the years i have tried and tested thousands (yes, literally thousands) of different facial skincare products and have finally found ones that are staples in my bathroom cabinet and in my wash bag. 

I like to keep different products in 3 seperate places ; the products I use morning and night everyday I keep in a washbag, the products I use once or twice a week, or less than twice a month i keep in my cabinet and then in my shower i keep my everyday products for my body. By keeping everything seperate you gain more of a regime for your skin.

So, try to think of your skincare regime as a way to create a good base before using make up to enhance your natural features. 

I will set up a different blog for different products including facial skincare, body skincare, make up, hair products and any other little bits.



So, after 10 years of trying and testing every beauty product around, I have decided to start blogging about them all to help people choose the right products for them.
My blogs will range from makeup to skincare and will include everything from the best lip balm to the best tweezers. 
Enjoy! xx