Rich, faithful and smooth

You know when something just does what its supposed to do? And you get that satisfied feeling, almost quite smug. Well that’s what I felt when I started using Skin Doctors supermoist spf30+ accelerator cream. As is my experience with all their products it has a prescriptive feeling about it. Like its never not going to do what it says! Skin doctors use the word “Cosmeceuticals” when I looked this up Wikapedia said, “Cosmeceuticals refers to the combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with biologically active ingredients purporting to have medical or drug-like benefits”. I then looked up purporting (just in case!) - Appear or claim to be or do something. English Language lesson over I can concentrate on telling you just how lovely this product really is to use.

Over the years I’ve tried many super rich, super moisturising, super anti aging creams and most have been heavy, greasy, brought me out in spots and all have had a strange oily smell disguised with an over powering floral perfume. This one is definitely different. Its very rich to touch, almost silky in look and feel, it glides on your skin as if its part of you, absorbs quickly and leaves no residual at all. Oh and it smells of nothing, not a waft of floral or oil or green grass cuttings with a hint of meadow chamomile! Nothing. 

The packaging is not the girliest and it’s certainly more Swedish clinical bathroom than French boudoir dressing table, but that aside it’s functional and delivers the small 50ml glass jar to you in one piece.

Inside the jar contains the supermoist cream I’ve just raved about. It works great as a base for your foundation and with light reflecting particles it just gives your skin a healthy glowing look and dare I say a younger look too! On a serious note it has an SP factor of 30+, so it’s essential for helping you to protect your skin against harmful UV rays and the ageing effects of the sun. 

SKIN Doctors is getting a cult following – Demi Moore is said to use nothing else and it’s even reported that Tom Jones is a fan! – Praise indeed 

John Lewis, Debenhams and Boots are the high street stores were you could pick up your own jar or visit www.skindoctors.co.uk to see the full range of SKIN DOCTORS products. Oh I forgot; it costs £24.95 a small price to pay for something so lovely.



SPF 35 on a stick

Clinique have launched their latest SPF 35 Targeted Protection Stick. It’s a stick of sunshine, packed in a bright yellow oversized lip balm stick that’s perfectly sized for your handbag and perfectly coloured for finding it at those required moments.

Lets put this into perspective – we all know that the sun makes us feel alive and excited about the day ahead, but it also has some pretty horrible effects if we’re not careful. I don’t want to do the whole doom and gloom speech but we all have to be prepared. The British summer can be spontaneous – raining one minute and glorious sunshine the next. What better to have to hand than a high protection stick that can be used on all those delicate areas exposed to the sun that we can easily forget to put sun cream on? I once burnt my forehead - I’d just got my first convertible and decided the hazy sunshine was the perfect time to drop the roof and travel from London back home to Cheltenham along the M4. It was beautiful, the sun was shining and I looked cool! Unfortunately my forehead looked like a red traffic light stuck on stop – and wow did it hurt. 

Lets be honest we’ve all done something similar – I could recount numerous times I’ve not been prepared for the sun that appears out of the blue (or grey). This protection stick is ideal for dropping in your handbag and using on those delicate areas around your face that we often burn with out realising until it’s too late. The eyes are a particular favorite, along with the tops of ears, nose and even you lips. 

It's for sale on all Clinique counters across the UK and cost £15.50 – well worth the small investment that can always be to hand and just help protect us from the sun we all love but all know isn’t as good for us as we like to think. Thank you Clinique for sending me this to test and adding another thing I have added to my must have list to carry around with me all day!


She's How Old?

My grandmother used to say there was one thing a lady can’t hide about her age –  her hands. 

Perhaps this is why I’m verging on the obsessive about using hand cream at every possible moment throughout the day. Two of my most frequently asked questions are “does anyone have any hand cream?” and “do we have any chocolate between us?” Don’t ask me to choose if I could only have one!

Most hand creams are designed to make our hands feel soft with a quickly absorbed, nice smelling moisturising lotion. Great, ticks all the boxes or does it? The Australian company SKIN DOCTORS has created a hand cream that obviously does all of the above; but will also help your hands look 10 years younger in 6 weeks. Now that’s a hell of a claim to make. So I’m happy to report that I’ve taken the challenge and am going to use this every day for 6 weeks or as long as the 75ml tube lasts me.

It’s packaging is quite clinical, with a white and grey box with black writing. It gives it an air of authority - a feeling that you should instantly believe what it’s telling you. I for one will be disappointed if for £29.95 its not telling me the truth about dramatically reducing age spots, freckles, fine lines and wrinkles, leaving my hands plumper, smoother, super soft and hydrated.

So lets have a look at what’s in this hand cream that gives them the confidence to make these bold statements. 

1)    Line Factor 10 – this is the bit that increases the skin density and firmness, improves the texture and generally smoothes and plumps the skin

2)    Uniprosyn PS 18 – makes the wrinkles on our hands appear less deep. Its also a bioactive ingredient that reduces the roughness of our skin and stimulates protein synthesis

3)    Phyllanthus Emblica or to you and I Indian Gooseberry! – this lightens the skin giving a brighter more even colour. Also as an antioxidant it eliminates free radical damage

4)    Lactic Acid (Isn’t this what you add to milk to make yoghurt?) – in this cream it exfoliates by loosening or breaking up the thick outer layer of the skin, which in turn smoothes the skins texture and stimulates natural skin regeneration. It also acts to hold more water in your skin therefore further reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

5)    And finally it has SPF15 to provide UVA/UVB protection against UV rays and free radical damage

So lets recap – this cream will make my hands feel and look younger, with the help of some pretty impressive ingredients and 15 years worth of experience that Skin Doctors have within the specialist skincare business to provide “clinical strength skincare without a prescription”.

Its been 12 days now and my hands still say I’m 43 …………… ! however I can defiantly feel they are smoother and generally have a healthy moisturised feeling.

Would you put Cantaloupe Melon on your skin?

Clarins always seem to find the most amazing natural products that not only have out of this world skin enhancing properties but also smell divine.

This product is designed for those of us that don’t want to wear foundation everyday or a sun-tan lotion that we reserve for our holidays but do still want to protect our skin from harmful UV rays.  It can obviously also be worn under your daily moisturiser and or foundation as well as on its own - It reminds me a little of their Beauty Flash Balm but with added SPF40.

One of the things I do find confusing about beauty products in general but in particular with Clarins is the amount of products that seem to do the same if not very similar things. I do understand (before you all start shouting at me) that they have to cater for different skin types, but even so if I look at just a small selection of the products available most do seem to either do similar things or have similar properties. If I take this Ecran Multi-Protection SPF40 Day Screen High Protection – to give it it’s full name, I could put it under or over my moisturizer or instead of, under my foundation or just wear it on its own. I’m also guessing I could wear it with the Beauty Flash Balm I mentioned earlier! I just find I have to really read what the product is and then work out where it goes in the “I’m putting my face on” process!

That said this is lovely to wear. At first I think it washes me out slightly, but as it settles onto my skin I find my natural colour and freckles come through. If I put it under my Clarins Skin Illusions Foundation it provides a really smooth surface to apply it to and does seem to settle the foundation onto my skin with a slightly more even tone. Its oil free too so your not left with a shinny film or heavy feeling on your skin.

So were does the Cantaloupe Melon come in? Well it provides the super oxide dismutase (SOD), which is an enzyme that neautralises the toxic oxidants that ages our skin prematurely. By encapsulating this in microcapsules Clarins can make sure this is only released when its applied to the skin which gives us maximum potency (can I make a childish joke about us all liking maximum potency?) in turn this means its one of the most effective products in the Clarins range for anyone that’s out and about this summer and who’s favorite day cream doesn’t give them SPF protection. It also looks after those with ultra sensitive skin to UV light and pregnant women who are quite prone to UV-induced hyper-pigmentation.

On top of all this it also gives your skin its very own environmental shield! In addition to the Cantaloupe Melon it has extracts of white tea, succory dock-cress (nipplewart), rhodiola (a herb known for its anti-aging properties) venuceane (a natural antioxidant peptide) and glycofilm (anionic polysaccharide) all of these help protect our skin from the pollution that occurs in our air today. (You start of with simple Cantaloupe Melon and end up with a chemistry lesson – sorry)

So lets summerise. If your looking for a small 30ml bottle costing £29.50 that can make your skin look smooth and fantastic, that you can wear on its own or under your favorite daily moisturiser and or foundation, that has a SPF of 40, help minimize aging and smells of melon this is the product for you …. I think!


Today it’s all about Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation SPF10

I’m new to wearing foundation and so far have tried a couple and talked to a lot of my girlfriends who tell me it’s a very personal choice. It all seems to depend upon the weather, what they are doing that day and how their skin is feeling in general. Seems very complicated and a little unnecessary to me. But then what do I know! As I said I’m new to this foundation wearing.

The one thing Clarins always gets right is the presentation and this product is no exception. In its striking red box with clear white text it instantly gives you an understand of its style and sophistication. Open the box and you are delighted with a perfectly sized square glass bottle with a gold top complete with thumb print notch on one edge to house a simple C. For a foundation bottle its sexy and one I would definitely display on my dressing table.

Its packed full of goodness for your skin with a cocktail of minerals and plant extracts that aim to give your skin the illusion of a natural and flawless complexion. Something I’m pleased to report it actually does. I’m lucky I think, through out my teenage years spots were something that didn’t plague me and as a result my skin is pretty clear, apart from a broken vein or two on my cheek and the usual areas that are a slightly different shade, oh and my freckles which I like. This Skin Illusion Foundation however just gave me a completely even skin tone that allowed my natural colour to radiate through. I’m lead to believe this is the mineral silicon from Brazil that helps to fill and smooth small lines but adds a subtle opalescent glow to your skin tone. 

From France they harvest pink algae that’s rich in active silicon, which helps the skin appear more plump and energises the cells for better hydration and as a result a more supple and younger looking skin. Brown algae extract and acacia gum help to lock in the skins natural moisture to reduce dehydration and acts as a reservoir of moisture that is released through out the day. Finally it has a protective barrier against pollution, oxidants and UV through the use of white tea extract and succory dock-cress or nipplewort as it’s more commonly known.

I’ve learnt a lot about foundation on this journey and have now accepted that its not just about how it applies, looks and feels but also that the range of colour available can be the deciding factor. Too few colours are as bad as too many. Clarins offer 10 shades to suit the palest of complexions to the darkest.

103 Ivory

104 Cream

105 Nude

107 Beige

108 Sand

109 Wheat

110 Honey

111 Toffee

112 Amber

113 Chestnut

As I’ve just mentioned how it applies is very important. I do find it easier to apply with either my fingers or a damp brush. I found with this foundation my fingers gave a more even and transparent result and meant I reduced the risk of any tidemarks around the neck, hairline and ears. Not a good look! However the flip side to that is I found it didn’t stay on all day. As the day progressed I found the coverage thinned and towards the afternoon I had to just touch up a couple of key areas around my ‘T’ section.  Its not a huge criticism as it applies so easily and feels like liquid silk and after a day in the office we all have to touch up the face before heading off for a drink after work.

As with all Clarins products it retails at the slightly higher end of the high street market. This foundation is £24.00 for the 30ml glass bottle with pump. I’m certain though when you’ve tried it you’ll also agree its £24.00 well spent.

Am I now a foundation user? Yes I do believe I am and this one will certainly be on my list of likes. Will I wear it day to day? Not convinced I will be, I will definitely wear it when I go out and want to present a flawless naturally health complexion with minimum fuss.

Thank you Clarins for introducing me to this Skin Illusion Foundation SPF10. www.clarins.co.uk or call 0800 036 3558 to find your nearest stockist.

The first day of the rest of my life ……..

Turning 43 last week found me finally admitting my skin may need a little extra help. Queue The Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser with SPF15 protection.


Day One

Woke this morning after a reasonable good nights sleep and decided toady was the day. The box was sitting on the dressing table, looking pretty with its muted colours and flowers and the iconic silver C glistening in the sunshine. With trepidation and I should point out that this really will be the first time I have ever worn foundation, I studied the box to decided if this was a moisturiser or a foundation. It appears it offers both. A super hydrating, lightweight modern gel-cream that gives any skin type the right amount of coverage to create an even, flawless complexion. Perfect I found myself thinking, I understand moisturiser, appreciate what it can do for my skin and buy into all marketing that tells me I should have been using it pretty much since I was 7.

First application – remember I’m convinced it’s a moisturiser. A good dollop in the end of my fingers, rub hands together and apply over the full face and neck. Yes? No! I now look like my grandmother with heavy cream eyebrows caked in ‘one-colour suits all’ thick foundation. Wash off and 2nd attempt – success.

Was I 43 or 34! 

Late afternoon – so far it feels great. It’s a hot day for a late spring afternoon and although I’m not directly out in the sunshine it’s a fairly warm office and I’m not experiencing any sliding down of the face or wow you look patchy comments from the girls in the office. It still feels light and to be honest I have no idea I have anything on my face apart from a slight mottling I think I can see on my forehead. I also have the added benefit of knowing that when I do go out the SPF 15 gives me protection by using physical and chemical sunscreens that help protect my skin from premature ageing and any harmful effects of the sun. Every little helps at 43!

Day Two 

Completely forgot at 11.30 last night that I had anything on my face and now have an odd coloured flannel!

Very early start this morning, my first meeting was at 7.30am so the application had to be slick and quick! Success, I’ve cracked this application job. Still love the feeling it has on my skin. - Feels fresh, cool and light and doesn’t give a cloggy feel or look and my skin will feel completely hydrated for the whole day. What more could I ask for?

Small crisis last night, I found a very small but definitely visible spot on my forehead. Now for someone that has never suffered I can only at this stage conclude it may the tinted moisturiser or I’m not taking it all off at bedtime? Should I need to use more than 2 makeup remover wipes?!

Day Three, Four and Five

I went to see friends this weekend and received a number of comments on how lovely my skin looked. Proudly announcing I was wearing The Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser with SPF15 protection, I was greeted by the usual divide between the girls with cries of “oh I love Clinique” and “no I’m more of a ……. girl”.

I have to say apart from the growing spot on my forehead I still love it. It’s light and smooth and gives me a model like, even skin tone that god didn’t bless me with and that powder on its own just can’t create.

I should tell you that The Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser is available in six shades for the fairest to medium/deep complexions and retails at around £21.00. I have a few freckles, so opted for the fair to medium shade. This has given me beautifully smooth skin, but still allows my freckles to be seen – a good natural look.

Am I convinced Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser is for me? Well yes I am. I conclude that at 43 I do need a little bit of extra help and I have clearly found the answer to keeping my middle ageing skin moisturised, smooth and with a hint of a tint sun safe as well.

PS- my tip of the day -  

 I found it easier to apply the Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser with a foundation brush. It gives you a really nice even application and stops you over applying. As always with any Clinique product, you’ll feel the maximum benefit if you apply after Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System.

Summer Essentials

Ultra Sun Professional Protection - protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and wage a war on wrinkles.

Designed to be an alternative to your daily moisturising lotion the Ultra Sun High 30 SPF Professional Protection is free from perfume, emulsifiers and preservatives and is designed to be anti-aging. In a nutshell it is designed to protect you from all the harmful suns rays we all know about and a wealth of ones we didn’t even know existed. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plump the skin and minimise’s the loss of the skins natural moisture.

It comes in a glove box friendly sized 500ml and 100ml with a secure cap that satisfyingly clicks into place, hopefully avoiding those terrible moments of when you realise the lid isn’t on properly and the contents have deposited themselves in the bottom of your glove box. Retailing at £19.00 it sits middle of the road on price, but when you consider that you only need apply once in a day it makes for a very affordable and effective sun protection/daily moisturiser.

Also available in the range are a Sports Medium 20 protection, designed for the outdoor sports people amongst us, 30 SPF Super Sensitive ideal for those who suffer from prickly heat and other irritating heat related conditions and 50+ SPF for babies and children. All are available in either a non-sticky cream or pump spray. Both are absorbed easily and relatively quickly into your skin leaving no white residual or sticky feeling that makes you want to wash it off as quick as you put it on. 

Don't Forget!

Also make a small space for the Ultra Lip Medium 15 SPF. Enriched with blackcurrant seed oil it gives you a smooth translucent protection that doubles really nicely as a moisturising lipstick to give you a naturally healthy look to your lips. It will also help smooth rough chapped lips and works well as a base for your coloured lipstick. Retailing at £5.00 it’s more than a match for most good quality lip balms, but with the added benefits of really protecting your lips against the sun, wind and cold winter weather conditions for girls and boys.