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Hailing from France, Kadalys is the first brand to use banana tree extract in it’s natural and organic formulations. The lip balm initially caught my attention and I couldn’t wait to get one of my own.

For thousands of years people in the Caribbean have relied upon the banana plant for it’s medicinal properties. When used in cosmetics it’s known to be soothing, healing and revitalizing. Personally I love banana. They are healthy and tasty so I was instantly taken by Kadalys use of it in their skincare.

My lips need special attention as they become severely dry and chapped throughout winter. I imagined the banana flavour could be either really good or really bad. I dislike anything that smells sickly or overtly sweet but in this case the fragrance is lovely and juicy. There’s no doubt it’s banana flavor. I had high hopes for this product and it didn’t disappoint.

In addition I received the Pure Melt Cleansing-Oil Gel. The texture of this product is very interesting. It starts as a gel and when massaged onto the face quickly melts into an oil (exactly as the products says). This element feels nice as it reminds me of both a balm cleanser and an oil cleanser. At times I like to use a balm but sometimes forget to wash the muslin cloths. This can be annoying as I can’t use it without the cloths. With the pure melt I get the best of both. This doesn’t leave a residue on the skin so if you find balm’s too heavy then you will love this product. Lastly, I received a small sample of Precious Radiance Oil which is a lightweight, dry oil. It’s perfect as a body oil during the summer as it smells subtly fruity.

My overall experience with Kadalys is excellent and I highly recommend you give this brand a go. The lip balm has such pretty packaging I wish they would carry it through the whole range. I would also prefer the lip balm to come in a tube, for hygiene. The experience, from the smell to the textures are excellent. My skin (and lips) are left soothed, soft and hydrated.

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I started this blog with a healthy passion for skincare. Six months in and the passion may be approaching obsession territory. Ooops. My skincare regime is becoming more and more detailed and to be honest, I love it. Of course it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s certainly possible to maintain healthy, glowing skin with just a few key products. One skincare essential that shouldn’t be skipped is face serum. The low molecular weight allows the skin boosting actives to sink deeper in the skin.

I cherry picked two of my favourites for AM and PM. You can also use either one both morning and night.

  • SKINCEUTICALS HYDRATING B5. A favourite with dermatologists, you might not have seen this brand outside of skincare clinics. It’s becoming increasingly available and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a lightweight moisture serum containing vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid. There were some negative customer reviews on the skinceuticals UK and US websites. Many saying it wasn’t hydrating enough. This isn’t the case for me as I find it incredibly hydrating. My skin looks plumper and brighter when it’s used underneath my normal moisuriser.

 

  • KIEHL’S MIDNIGHT RECOVERY CONCENTRATE. This is finitely a cult product from the Kiehl’s range. Whenever I post about Kiehl’s on twitter I get many so many positive comments. People seem to love this brand. The midnight recovery concentrate is worthy of it’s hero status. The lightweight serum is a perfect addition to anyone’s evening skincare routine. My skin always looks better the morning after using this and the lavender fragrance helps me sleep better.

Both Kiehl’s and Skinceuticals are available worldwide.

 

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For this post I’ve teamed up with Jurlique UK where I will be answering questions live on Periscope. The live Q&A takes place Thursday 25th February between 7-7.30 UK time. Please join us @JurliqueUK where I will be on board to answer your questions regarding the Celendula Redness Rescue range. You can submit your own questions on instagram or twitter. Simply add #jurliquetalks for the team to pick out your question. The best one will win a prize (I believe this is only open to UK residents).

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So, let me talk you through my first encounter with Jurlique. The Calendula Redness Range consists of three products. A Calming Mist, Restorative Treatment Serum and a Soothing Moisturising Cream. As the name suggests these products target anyone with sensitive skin. I was pleased to see the use of calendula which is an excellent natural anti-inflammatory.

The calming mist smells really good, I couldn’t quite work out the smell, juicy yet fresh but delicate, not too sweet. I’d describe it as grape and white tea but it’s actually fresh cucumber and chamomile. If you like to create a skincare ritual and layer your products then this will make a lovely addition but it’s certainly not an essential unless perhaps you have sunburn – then a refrigerated bottle of this would be ideal.

The restorative treatment serum is a great product for anyone with sensitive or irritated skin, it works well in combination with the moisturiser as it’s lightweight and absorbs quickly. It has a gel texture so distributes across the skin easily, I found 2 pumps enough, anymore and it might feel sticky. The soothing moisture cream is my favourite product in the range. My face needs a rich cream at this time of year and I’m impressed at how hydrating this product is. Avocado oil is what’s behind the hydration and chamomile will calm the skin alongside the calendula. I’ve been using the three products morning and night, I apply extra moisteriser at night which I love. I’m still using 1% retinol which I featured here so the calming elements of these products are a handy addition alongside the retinol.

 

 

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I’ve had my eye Rodin for a while because I find it so chic. If you’ve read about or seen pictures of founder Linda Rodin you will understand where the chic comes from.

Linda’s approach to beauty is simple. She prefers products that caress the skin noticeably over the anti-ageing claims and complicated regimes. After experimenting with essential oils in her bathroom for nearly two years, Rodin put the finishing touches on her first dream elixir in 2007. The original RODIN olio lusso face oil.

At 190€ this oil is definitely a luxury purchase. The base fragrance is jasmine which I absolutely love. Whilst the packaging looks beautiful the clear glass bottle will not preserve the oil from degrading day light. It’s better to store it in the box or a bathroom cabinet. Which is a shame because the start feature of this product is the packaging. You can purchase less beautiful yet just as effective face oils for much less. The fragranced plant oils have to the potential to cause irritation so sensitive skin.

This product is all about the luxury, it’s the ultimate skin treat. It looks precious and should be treated as such, stored away for occasional use when you want to feel special and pampered. Only then does it warrant the expensive price tag.

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Retinol (vitamin a) is one of the most effective anti-ageing skincare ingredients on the market. It’s ability to fight fine lines & wrinkles, refine pores and even target breakouts seems almost too good to be true. Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is one of the few brands that offer retinol in this strength. It’s the highest you can get without having to visit a dermatologist.

This product really does what it says on the tin and you will need to prep your skin before this this kind of treatment. The brand offers milder retinol products which are good if you are newer to retinol. My facialist/bestie who treats my skin gave me the go ahead to use 1% providing I introduce it slowly. If you go in hard and use it every night your skin will likely freak out. The results include ultra sensitive skin extreme peeling. So unless you want to scare small children then please listen to the experts.

To start I applied this at night, twice a week for the first week. I didn’t experience peeling, sensitivity or redness so I gradually increased it to every other night. I apply a pea size amount after cleansing followed by some moistutiser. To cleanse I’m using the Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser. It’s very gentle and soothing at night and in the morning I use Nuori Vital Foaming Cleanser.

Now let me get started with the results. Once word – beyond!

My skin looks incredible after using this. And thanks to a multitude of skin calming ingredients my skin is baby soft, even toned, hydrated and glowing. I even have rosy cheeks which I haven’t seen since I was like, eleven years old! I really like Paula’s Choice as a brand. It’s obvious the founder is obsessed with making the best products. Alongside hyaluronic acid, retinol is now one of my favourite skincare ingredients. You need to continue using it to retain the increased cell turnover and collagen production. Therefore it’s worth making retinol a permanent fixture in your skin care routine.

My thoughts on ageing? Prevention is better than cure. As I’ve seen the first signs of ageing in my own skin I feel it’s better to introduce a retinol now. And then hopefully my skin looks it’s best in ten or twenty years from now.

A brand I am very, very, very excited to introduce here for the first time is SkinCeuticals. Eeeek I absolutely love this brand because it makes a huge difference to the skin. They have sent me some samples which I will be featuring soon but for now I’m using the Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50+. When using retinol it’s essential to use an SPF during the day, I know, 50+ is on the higher end of the spectrum but I like it. I apply a small amount over my moisuriser which blends perfectly without leaving me ghostly white or chalky. It’s brilliant!

Lastly I want to introduce a quirky little product that I was sent by Niche-Beauty. Egyptian Magic is an all natural cream but I’d say it’s actually a balm. It’s contains olive oil, bees wax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly extract and bee propolis. I used it as a daily moisturiser during the first week of using the retinol as I find it gentle and comforting, whilst it offers lasting hydration. It’s an all purpose product so I’m now using it at night on my elbows and lips.

Hit me up on twitter or instagram if you have any questions.