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.
A few weeks ago I was hovering by L’Oréal’s stand in Boots, mainly because I wanted to try the Manga mascara in turquoise. My eye then caught their stock of foundations. In abundance.
Truthfully I have forgotten the last time I bought foundation from the high street (or “drug store” as some of the English bloggers having an identity crisis insist on calling), so I was left bamboozled at the various types L’Oréal alone offers. I’m sure I counted at least five types. Effort!
The hardest issue I have to deal with is a match for my Asian brown skin. Swatching on the back of your hand is not a reliable colour-match method and there is major doubt on the hygiene levels of the testers, so it is always a gamble to buy a whole bottle. There must be a landfill somewhere just full of discarded foundation bottles two-thirds full…
I have tried the much talked about L’Eau De Teint from L’Oréal but the darkest shade Sand is too dark and the next shade up is dipping into pinkish tones when I’m yellow.
Any way as I fleeted between L’Oréal’s various foundations, I kept returning to True Match. After several swatches and confident Honey was the ‘true match’ for me, I was on my merry way. I was won over by the claim that 96% were satisfied this foundation was a true match for their skin tones and also with such a wide selection of shades available, I figured I stood a better chance.
Well I am pleased Honey is a spot-on match. I’m usually a NC42 in MAC, 12 in Illamasqua’s Skin Base, F300 in EX1 Cosmetics and coincidentally also Honey in EVE LOM’s new foundation and tinted moisturiser (reviews of those coming soon).
Firstly I am fond of the shape and design of the bottle. Dispensing from a pump and light enough to stick in my make-up bag are a couple more plus points. Secondly, it applies and blends seamlessly, leaving a soft, matte finish. I apply the foundation at 8am and by the end of the working day, it’s not screaming for a touch-up. True Match is something I have been both surprised and impressed with, and consider it an ideal everyday foundation.
Here’s how it looks on me. (I am extremely tired so don’t concentrate on the bags under the eyes. Gracias!)
At £9.99 for 30g it costs substantially less than my favourite (Skin Base at £27) and best of all, is a true match to my skin tone. That’s a pretty good deal in my books. Have you given True Match a whirl? Let me know what you think!
Grab a spoon, the Body Shop’s latest bath and body collection is so deliciously fruity you’ll be finding it hard to stop yourself from eating it.
As we are coming into season with British raspberries timing couldn’t be more apt with this special edition Early-Harvest Raspberry range which is made up of their iconic Body Butter (£13), Body Lotion £8), Body Scrub (£12.50), Shower Gel (£4) and Eau de Toilette (£8.50).
So why is it called ‘Early-Harvest’? Well these early-harvested raspberries are picked to preserve their skin-boosting antioxidants. Raspberries are my favourite berry fruit so I’m totally enamoured with the products I’ve got to try – the Body Butter and Body Scrub. Lusciously fruity and sweet, if only this was edible.
If you’ve tried the blueberry Body Scrub, then the consistency and texture of the raspberry one is exactly the same – it looks and feels like sloppy jam with the seeds acting as an exfoliant. It’s not your average scrub (there’s no lathering) but the seeds exfoliate effectively against the skin, leaving a hint of a raspberry scent. It makes a change from the usual creamy/sugary formulas and if you don’t like your scrubs with soap suds, then give this a try.
The Body Shop’s new Special Edition Early-Harvest Raspberry Bath and Body Collection is available from 15th April 2014.
All this talk of raspberries has got me thinking…it’s been a while since I’ve made this: