Archive for the ‘Skin Care’ Category

posted by on Skin Care, The Body Shop

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This one is a throwback to my younger years (*cough*). The moment I put it on my face, I was transported back in time as the familiar smell and tingling sensation hit my pores. With the temptation of new products on the market, it’s easy to forget the ones you used to rely on.

The Honey and Oat 3-in-1 scrub mask is a triple treatment – it cleanses, polishes and moisturises normal to dry skin in one step. It’s a creamy scrub mask containing oat grains and Community Fair Trade honey, and my word, does it smell delicious! It’s not a sweet honey scent but more like its blossom – can’t stop opening the lid and inhaling a whiff of it.

Honey is well known for having antibacterial properties and is great for softening, smoothing and moisturising skin. Asian mums will bang on about mixing honey with gram flour to make a face mask (No? Just my mum?) or shove it down your throat when you’ve got a cold, so I have certainly been educated on the power of the golden nectar.

The Body Shop ethically sources its honey from Bezamar in Ethiopia via their Community Fair Trade program, using traditional methods whilst fiercely protecting the bees and this little pot contains that little bit of love that’s gone into making one of the key ingredients.

You smear it on and leave alone for 10-15 minutes before washing it off. It doesn’t dry so you won’t have to worry about the product feeling crusty or tight on the skin but it does tingle a fair bit so if that’s a sensation that’s not your liking, then perhaps you may want to skip past this in the shop. (I’m hardcore so I will pretty much put up with anything so long as my skin isn’t melting off.) After I prefer to wipe it off with a flannel to make sure it’s all gone.

Afterwards my face feels baby soft, hydrated and it glows. It’s not an exfoliating scrub as such, it just polishes your complexion. I would recommend cleaning it off with a damp flannel or face towel because it’s quite messy.

Recommended to use once a week, the mask is £10 for 100ml.

*PR sample


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posted by on Skin Care



Azerbaijan. A country that until recently to my knowledge, only cropped up in the Eurovision Song Contest. I think they won it a few years ago. (A quick search on Google confirms this was in 2011.)

Well Azerbaijan has something else to be proud of – Gazelli, a luxurious skincare brand and to give you an indication of the level of luxury we are talking about, the products are sold in Harrods’ Urban Retreat and have been since 2011. That must have been a magical year for Azerbaijan!

Gazelli is a family-run company based in Baku, founded by Dr Zarifa Hamzayeva who is the president too. On a personal note, I am fascinated by the name of the company because it’s a word I recognise. ‘Gazel’ is Persian for a form of poetry praising beauty and love, and it’s also used in my native Urdu a lot to refer to poetry and classical songs, so it’s a nice touch to name a skincare range after such a beautiful and descriptive word.

Recently I met Jamila, Dr Hamzayeya’s daughter who introduced a group of us to the Gazelli collection, namely the Triple Youth skincare range. It’s a collection that takes pride in its exclusive hero ingredient, Gazelli White Oil™, patented and exclusive to Gazelli which aids to improve skin ability to regenerate itself, without drawing upon its reserves, and absorb nutrients and oxygen for deeply nourished skin, something those of us living in pollutant cities like London crave.

Its hero product is the Triple Youth Ultra Nourishing Saviour Mask (and breathe…!) and it is what I was most excited to try just from testing a sample on the back of my hand. My skin felt remarkably soft and supple to touch and so I had big hopes for what it would do to my face.

It’s a creamy gel (with extract of fig) that you apply thinly all over, leave for 10-15 minutes and blot off with a tissue. You can also leave it on as an overnight mask. It is recommended you use it twice a week to see noticeable results.

I wanted to really like this, honestly, I did but instead I was perplexed. My skin felt nourished and soft immediately after blotting. Sadly the effects of the mask wore off rather quickly and my skin was back to feeling and looking the way it was before – no plumpness or brightening complexion, nothing extraordinary to be perfectly frank. The following morning I looked my usual ‘meh’ self.

Gazelli’s Triple Youth Mask will set you back £40 for 75ml and is available from Harrods’ Urban Retreat. In all honesty, it’s not ridiculously expensive. Intriguingly, beauty journos and bloggers have given this rave reviews. Oddly it’s not blown me away.

*PR sample

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posted by on REN, Skin Care



As someone who dutifully cleanses skin daily, there is one part of the process that I have been awfully lacklustre in – using a toner.

Caroline Hirons spotted this omission and gently slapped my wrist. Yes, I’m fortunate to have trouble-free skin, I drink more water than I used to, I don’t smoke and I always take my make-up off no matter how tired I am but my cheeks always look so dehydrated and that’s because I am not using a toner. Hnnnnnnnnngh, I know that’s bloody terrible but come on, I am being honest! I’ve just been dismissive of using a toner and also lazy.

So for the past couple of weeks, I have religiously been using an exfoliating (followed by a hydrating toner) after cleansing and good golly, Miss Molly my skin is happily glowing as a result of it.

Let’s focus on the exfoliating toner. After reading several beauty blogs, I settled for REN’s Clarimatte Clarifying Toner, which has also earned high praise from customers on its website. Suitable for combination and oily skin types, it is also alcohol-free and therefore absolutely recommended for twice daily use. Toners containing alcohol are harsh for your skin and unbearable (I noticed the discomfort with using Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 2).

In less than two weeks using REN’s Clarrimatte Clarifying Toner has massively improved my complexion. My skin appears smooth, soft and it has removed the dehydrated areas on my face. I know this because blusher no longer looks patchy on my cheeks.

The toner also feels wonderfully calming and soothing, and I’m sure my skin lets out a happy sigh every time I use it. I bought it for £18 but currently a 150ml is only £12 on REN’s website, which is not to be scoffed at. I would irk at paying a lot more and thankfully REN is grounded on its pricing.

I bought the toner directly from REN’s site which offers a lovely incentive – 10% off your favourite REN product for life. I have a feeling the Clarimatte Clarifying Toner has cemented its place in my skincare routine – really, really chuffed with the results.

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