This week I’ve been (really) liking…
Spring cleans, spring greens and a splash of Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain! What’s not to love about the longer, lighter days ahead?
Here are a few of the finds I’m loving which I wanted to share with you this week…what’s been putting you in a spring mood lately?
First up, Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain. I bought this at the airport a few weeks ago and have been spritzing it ever since. It doesn’t have marathon-style staying power but it’s full of mandarin feelgood factor, with a little bit of bitter orange bite, beautifully balanced with the scent of basil. You can almost smell all the summer days around the corner and if you’re a fan of Guerlain’s Aqua Allegorias this is a lovely twist on a classic citrus.
I’ve never really been a fan of potentially cloying, stick around, heavy scents for summer so Guerlain’s Mandarine Basilic looks like it’s going to end up being a summer season staple for me, too. Light but distinctive – it’s got character, no airy fairy vague citrussy whiffs here. A lovely spring uplifter.
“Full of mandarin feelgood factor, with a little bit of bitter orange bite, beautifully balanced with the scent of basil”
GUERLAIN Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic 75ml/£37.80 at ESCENTUAL.COM
10 x more effective than cleaning by hand, lasts 15 days (used twice a day) when fully charged and is 100% waterproof so you can use it in the shower.
I’ve definitely been liking this cleansing device recently – for me, one of the best things about the VisaPure is you can use it in the shower because it’s totally waterproof.
It gets more points for its 3 interchangeable heads, too – there’s one for Normal Skin, one for Sensitive and there’s also a replacement Exfoliating Brush Head too. Once you’ve charged this, it lasts for 15 days (used morning and night).
Use it for 20 secs or so on your T-zone and left and right cheek – it’s a breeze to operate, as the rotating head and gentle vibrations do all the work, sweeping away dead skin cells and the day’s “debris”.
“A lazy person’s answer to super-clean skin”
I started out with the normal brush head but after a couple of cleanses switched to the softer super-flexible Sensitive Skin bristles which feel right for my skin.
This is the super soft Sensitive brush head I’ve been using with my VisaPure (£7.99)
VisaPure will take your cleansing routine to another level and if you’re one of those people who finds the cleansing part of your skincare a chore, it’s the lazy person’s answer to super-clean skin.
Find VisaPure at Boots, John Lewis and other retailers (John Lewis sells it with a 2 year guarantee).
MADARA DEEP PURIFYING FOAM CLEANSER
…yes and speaking of cleansers, here’s another new find of mine, the very clean and green MADARA cleanser, suitable for all skin types.
It’s a purifying foam – and a lifesaver for me personally after the Awards when my skin underwent a barrage of trying, testing, moisturising, exfoliating and cleansing (oof!) Testing a handful of products is fun. Testing 550 products (most of them skincare) with four other people and extra testers, to come up with the winners is a massive responsibility and a serious undertaking. This cleanser by Latvian nature-inspired brand Madara – after all the trying and testing over a period of 4 months – was like a breath of fresh air for me.
Madara’s Deep Purifying Foam is incredibly gentle, so I think this is one to try if you have very sensitive skin or are prone to redness and irritations. It’s beautifully no-sting and I’ve been using it to take eye makeup off with as well – I wasn’t convinced it would work but it does.
It’s formulated to help regulate oily areas and moisturise those drier patches but beyond all else it’s the clean, pure feeling it gives after cleansing that I’ve been liking the most. Like clean, cool sheets on a warm summer night. If you love a cleanser that generates shaving cream Alpine peaks of foam – “pass”. Because this is a light, not rich, quite delicate foam which doesn’t generate much lather. But if you love a ‘do-no-harm’ product that feels very zen, pure – in that sort of glacial, Arctic way – which is also 100% natural and incredibly gentle, this is a dream.
“A super gentle, ‘do-no-harm’ product which feels very zen and very pure – in a sort of glacial, Arctic way”
What’s in it? Northern Yarrow and Chamomile extract among other things – here’s the full low down for label readers:
Aqua Sodium Cocamphoacetate Rosa Damascena (Rosa) Flower Water* Alcohol Glycerin*** Lactic Acid Surcose Cocoate Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract* Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract* “Chamomilla Recutita (Camomile) Flower Extract*” Aroma**. 100% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. 13% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming. *Organic. **Natural aromatic component of essential oils.
You can get the MADARA DEEP PURIFYING FOAM at BIGGREENSMILE.COM and other retailers. £15/150ml
COMFORT ZONE SKIN REGIMEN HYDRA-PRO BOOSTER
There had to be a serum in this line-up…!
It seems like a million serums were entered into our awards and this category gets tougher to judge each year, but one of the ones that stood out in my mind was Italian brand Comfort Zone’s Hydra-pro Booster. I’ve been massaging in about 5 drops each morning and night. This formula contains LONGEVITY COMPLEXTM an exclusive blend of maqui, spinach, chia (as in the chia seeds we’re all putting in our smoothies these days – and which features in One Love Organics’ Supercritical Chia Face Oil) and carnosine.
“A potent cocktail to combat the negative actions of the 4 skin killers: oxidation, glycation, methylation and inflammation”
Comfort Zone have come up with this potent cocktail to combat the negative actions of the 4 skin killers: oxidation, glycation, methylation and inflammation. It contains 0.25% HYALURONIC ACID as well, which thanks to its (science name coming up here – it means the ability to attract moisture from the environment and hold on to it) “hygroscopic” properties, binds water to it which is a great help to skin in keeping it properly hydrated. HA also provides a sort of cosmetic filling action (as in “plumper”).
Comfort Zone’s Skin Regimen Hydra-Pro Booster is at Salon Skincare: 30ml/£58 so it’s on the pricey side but this is a high end science-meets-nature brand from Italy with years of research (by Dr. Davide Bollati) and intelligent formulas behind it.
Discover the brand and more products at COMFORT ZONE: Skin. Science. Soul
Comfort Zone is at SALONSKINCARE (UK)
Library…is right. Deep, intriguing and a true original…love this candle! Can’t wait to try their Secret Garden blend next
THE BIRCH & BROOK LIBRARY CANDLE
Birch & Brook (or should that be “book”?) say: Enclosed in Guaiac wood and patchouli, this aromatic scent tells a story of discovery and contemplation. Cinnamon, clove buds, and soft base notes of cedar and moss all recall the quiet decadence of a stolen afternoon, lost in the world of a long forgotten book.
I’m not an avid cinnamon scent fan normally but B&B have created a really fabulous blend, and I’d say the cedar, subtle patchouli, woods and moss – for me, anyway – come through the most. It’s a really grounding, warming but never cloying fragrance; you’ll feel like you’re chilling out in a cosy country house – and this candle has strong his/hers appeal so any grooming bloggers reading this, definitely try and get your hands on one!
Finalist – Best Home Fragrance/Luxury Candle, 2014 Beauty Shortlist Awards
AROMATHERAPY & HOME FRAGRANCE
Best Home Fragrance/Luxury Candle
Ancienne Ambiance Rose Damask Reed Diffuser
NEOM Organics Tranquillity Luxury Candle
Birch & Brook – Library Candle / Pinks Boutique Rose & Vetiver Eco Soya Wax Candle
Made in England and £38. The LIBRARY CANDLE by Birch & Brook (you might also like their Fireside Candle)