Review: Eloquence Beautycare featuring Sacha Inchi Oil

Eloquence beautycare range

 

Has your skin been like sandpaper recently? Mine has. I think it's a combination of being ill and run down, plus the storms and cold weather, plus the central heating being on. It's not really a recipe for happy skin.

The only plus point is that it's a great time to be trying out products for dry skin, starting with a lovely range from Eloquence Beautycare. Eloquence are a new brand based in Chester in the North West of the UK (a great city, but never try to park there).

The secret ingredient of the Eloquence range is Sacha Inchi Oil, which comes from Peru and is part of the Argan oil family. Sacha Inchi Oil is a bit like flaxseed oil, in that it contains around 50% omega-3 fatty acids.

The Sacha Inchi plant has grown in the Amazonian rainforest for over 3,000 years and is also known by an adorable nickname: the Inca Peanut. It's rich in proteins, antioxidants, iodine and Vitamins A and E and is especially good for dry skin.

So far the Eloquence range includes:

  • Nourishing Treatment Oil
  • Purifying Facial Cleanser
  • Firm & Tone Serum
  • Firming & Moisturising Eye Gel
  • Protect & Repair 24 hour Cream

Despite oil being the star ingredient, for the most part these are creamy rather than oily products. I think sometimes people get put off oil-based products because they assume it will lead to a greasy face but that's not usually the case (or if it is, you're using too much product).

The oiliest product here, as you might guess from the name, is the Nourishing Treatment Oil. This is a good all-rounder which can be used on skin, hair and nails - I've been using it in the shower to stop my skin getting dried out. Works a treat.

All of the Eloquence products contain no artificial perfumes or colours and no harsh chemicals. As well as the featured Sacha Inchi Oil, you'll find a range of other natural oils including sunflower, coconut, grape seed and olive oils. The serum, eye gel and cream all contain hyaluronic acid too, so you can see why it's ideal for dry, sensitive skin. All in all, this is designed to be a gentle and non-irritating range with the emphasis on natural ingredients.

For most of the Eloquence products, you only use a very small amount (the packaging recommends using a pearl-sized amount, which in my experience works out to about 1 pump). So it's all quite compact, making it a good range to pack for travelling.

The Purifying Facial Cleanser is only a 20 ml size which is more like a tester size for a cleanser, but it really does work with only a small amount of product. Use one pump and add water to foam it up before cleansing. It's good if you want a less-drying alternative to foam cleansers, since you get the experience of washing your face without it feeling tight and dry afterwards.

Eloquence beautycare review

The Eye Gel was my favourite in the range. This clear gel feels cool when first applied, and helps to reduce puffiness around the eyes. It's lightly moisturising as opposed to heavy, so it's the kind of eye gel you could use during the day without your eye make-up slipping all over the place. According to the recommended four step regime, this is the third product to apply but I put on first because I am a rebel. And also because I always apply eye cream first so that it doesn't get mixed up with facial products and lead to irritation.

Step 2, the Firm & Tone Serum is designed to be worn under Step 4, the Protect & Repair 24 Hr Cream, but I found that the two of them together was veering into the too-rich side for me, and left my face a bit shiny. This is fine for when you want a really deep moisturising treatment, but not so good under make up. So I switched to either the serum or the moisturiser, but not both. There is a very, very light lemony scent to both, so I wasn't surprised to see Citrus Oil in the ingredients list - watch out if you are sensitive to this ingredient.

As you can see, the packaging is the same across the range and consists of a lovely Spring-fresh bright zingy green with silver accents. And if Sacha Inchi Oil becomes the new argan/coconut/whatever oil, you can say you heard it here first.

 

Product information

This range is all available on the Eloquence Beautycare website, priced from £7.99 - £29.99, or you can buy the whole collection together for £75 (saving £18).

 

What do you think of this range? Have you heard of Sacha Inchi Oil?

 

*PR Samples


Review: Avene PhysioLift - Super-sensitive types queue up here

Avene physiolift

Lots of people have been asking me for recommendations for extra-sensitive skin recently and there is one brand I always send them to - Avene.

This French pharmacy range (pronounced Ah-venn and not Ah-veen) has a great range of modestly-priced skincare specially made to keep sensitive skin calm and not irritated.

The thinking behind the new PhysioLift range is that many anti-ageing products have quite harsh or strong ingredients which don't work well for people with sensitive skin. So the idea is to take the best of skincare for older skin, but without adding in the sort of stuff that's going to make you blush like a tomato. Gentle but effective is the aim here.

 

Product overview

There are five products in the Avene PhysioLift range, with the emphasis most firmly on night care.

  • Eye cream (for use at night only)
  • Night balm
  • Wrinkle filler
  • Smoothing emulsion
  • Smoothing cream

All are packed in nicely designed, very hygienic, airtight pump dispensers to keep the ingredients fresh. 

The stars of the show in the PhysioLift ingredients are: collagen-replenishing Ascofilline™ and Hyaluronic acid fragments to help smooth the appearance of wrinkles and firm the skin. There's also an added anti-oxidant, Pre-Tocopheryl, which aims to boost the skin's luminosity.

There are no strong perfumes to irritate the skin, but that doesn't mean that the range is unscented. It has a light, slightly medicinal scent which you will be familiar with if you've used French pharmacy products before. Think lab coats, not flowers.

The products I liked best out of this range were the eye cream and the smoothing emulsion. Not to be confused with Korean emulsions (which are more watery), the Avene PhysioLift Smoothing Emulsion is a light moisturiser for normal to combination sensitive skin.

If your skin is drier, then the thicker consistency of the Smoothing Cream will probably work best for you (not both at the same time). I switched between the two depending on how dry my skin was feeling that day, and it worked well. It reminded me of the two different versions Dr Hauschka have of their Rose Day Cream (regular and lighter).

With products for sensitive skin, you're looking at what they don't do as much as what they do, and what I liked about the PhysioLift Eye Cream was that it was moisturising and absorbed quickly, but was very light and didn't irritate around the eyes at all.

The PhysioLift Night Balm is a good choice for overnight moisturising. It's lighter than a lot of night creams and sinks into the skin pretty quickly, so if you don't like thick, heavy creams then this would be great.

I was less keen on the Wrinkle Filler. I really couldn't see any visible results from this at all in the same way that I could from the other cream filler I tried recently, Fillerina.

Nor did I experience any lifting effect that the name PhysioLift suggests - but then I'm not naive enough to think that any cream is going to give me a face lift. Smoothing, moisturising, brightening - yes, it can do all that. But actual lifting? It's a moisturiser, not a fork-lift truck.

 

Avene eau thermale physiolift review

So (Wrinkle Filler aside) product-wise I have no trouble recommending Avene as a reliable brand for the sensitive of skin. However, the PhysioLift range is harder to recommend, and that's entirely down to the packaging, which has Deep Wrinkles in big letters all over it.

Who does that really speak to? Keith Richards? Walnuts? I know lots of fab, glamorous women in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond; and not one of them would I describe as having 'deep wrinkles'. I feel like if I recommended this range to them then it could easily come across as an insult. I think if Avene could lose the "deep wrinkles" tag it would make a big difference. As it stands, I think it's very off-putting for people who would really benefit from this range.

The good news is that at least some parts of the company know that this is a problem. Recently Avene hosted a fascinating debate on anti-ageing products in conjunction with the Thirty Plus Collective. The discussion looked at how anti-ageing products are sold to us; what we like and what we would prefer to see.

And whilst a horror of wrinkles, as if they were the most terrible thing in the world, may make sense to a twenty-something marketing exec; by the time you've actually got some wrinkles you realise they're not that big a deal after all. Moisturising them isn't the same as wishing them away.

PhysioLift is Avene's anti-ageing range, so if you're interested in products like that and have extra-sensitive skin do try it out. Just don't look too long at the packaging, and throw the box away.

 

 

Avene PhysioLift is widely available online and on the high street - Boots usually carry quite a lot of the range and have currently got  3 for 2 offer. The PhysioLift range is priced from £22 to £29.

 

*PR Samples


Review: Fillerina Night Cream Grade 2

Fillerina night cream review

Sometimes a product comes along that really confounds your expectations in a good way, and this is one of those times. I was given Fillerina Night Cream to try at the 30 Plus Blogs event last year, and I was a bit bit nonplussed by it initially.

First of all the name is slightly silly and reminds me of something that a group of Apprentice contestants would come up with. And then there's the packaging, which is so plain white and minimalist, it looks like something a chemist might keep on the top shelf next to the hemmoroid creams.

So I squeezed some out of the tube to give it a go with no particular expectations. The next morning - wowsers. Distinctly plumped up and much smoother skin. There was a definite difference which I could see and feel from first use. The effect doesn't last all day, but now I'm tempted to try some of the Fillerina day products to keep it going.

So what is Fillerina? Well, it's a non-needle home filler treatment developed in Switzerland and made in Italy. If you've been thinking of having fillers but can't face the thought of having stuff injected into your face (and who could blame you?), filler creams like this are a great alternative.

Personally I prefer to keep my face plumped with regular intake of pizza and cake, but that will only go so far. Plus, sometimes you run out of pizza.

Fillerina contains an innovative blend of six types of hyaluronic acid, all with varying weights and size. So some of them will sit on top of the skin and others will penetrate deep into the cutaneous tissues. It also contains salicylic acid which produces a mild resurfacing effect; dissolving dulling dead surface cells to leave your skin smoother and glowing.

It comes in three graded strengths - from the early signs of wrinkles to the full Keith Richards. I was using Grade 2, which retails at £69.

 

Fillerina night cream grade 2

The manufacturers claim it can treat visible wrinkles and sagging skin, especially around the cheekbones and lips. Its primary aim is to recover some of the plumpness that we all lose with age (and not enough pizza).

So those are pretty lofty claims, aren't they? But I have to say that for me, it really did live up to its promises. I've been using it for a couple of months now. Not every night, because it's an expensive product and I want to make it last. But I definitely can tell the difference the morning after I've used it, as opposed to the times I haven't. My skin seems smoother when I wake up in the morning. It does have a distinctly eau-de-chemist scent but the texture is surprisingly silky and it very quickly melts from white cream to disappear into the skin. 

So now I really love that uber-minimalist packaging, with its sleek white lines and no patronising slogans promising endless youth. It feels like a secret weapon for the skin. You can't judge a book by its cover, and it would seem that the same applies to skincare too.

 

Fillerina Night Cream is available online and in high street outlets including Marks and Spencer and Omniya London. RRP £59-£79. 

*PR Sample


Korean beauty products you need to try in 2016

Anastasia Beverley Hills recently released their new Brow Definer (AKA eyebrow pencil) which is apparently all special and new and innovative on account of its triangular nib.

Er...except it's not all that innovative at all because it looks very much like Korean brand Missha's best-selling Auto Eyebrow Styler which you can pick up for about a third of the price. I've had one for at least a year. It doesn't look so new from this angle.

These days, you can see the Korean influence in many beauty brands and in wider trends such as multi-masking and layering of skincare. Even Marks and Spencer has an own brand cushion foundation - and where did cushions originate? I think you can guess.

Yet there are some Korean beauty trends that just haven't made it to Western shores, when they really really should because they are fun, effective and (usually) budget-friendly. And lord knows, if there's one thing 2016 could do with in massive doses it's FUN.

So this year I'd like to see more of Korean beauty and skincare products like

Peeling gels

  Skinfood pineapple peeling gel

 

I think the off-putting part here is the word 'peeling', because who really wants their face to peel off like they're in a B-list horror movie? What these gels do is clump up into peely bits (similar to wet paper) that give you a very gentle but effective exfoliation and leave the skin soft and not at all peeled off your face. So just think of peeling gels as softly-softly face massagers and give them a try.

 

Sleeping packs

A sleeping pack is basically a very heavy-duty type of Korean moisturiser, to be applied after all your other lotions and potions, right before you go to sleep. It won't sink in and you'll have to put up with a very juicy face, but you will wake up soft and cushiony as a marshmallow, which I know is a look we all aspire to.

 

Modeling packs

Korean Modeling mask

I LOVE a modeling pack, and I think if you try one you will too. They're a spin off from the special effects industry, as make up artists noticed that when they made rubber moulds for facial effects, the actors would be left with super-soft skin after the mask was removed. This developed into a spa treatment, and now you can buy the masks for use at home.

A modeling mask starts off as a dry powder. Add water until it becomes a stiff paste, then slather that all over your face in as thick a layer as you can. In about 20 minutes it will have solidified into a soft rubber shell, which you can then easily peel off to admire how fabulous your skin looks. The down side is that for those 20 minutes you will look utterly insane, but hey, sometimes you have to suffer in the name of throwing all kinds of weird stuff at your face.

And speaking of fun/silly/effective face masks that make you look like Shrek, have you seen this one?

Elizavecca bubble clay mask

 

 

The Elizavecca Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask starts off like your regular clay mask, but then it all goes banana-nightshade. As soon as it hits the air, the formula starts to bubble up like a swamp. Within 5 minutes you will have grown a pretty good beard of mucky bubbles on your face. Then you get to massage in the clay bubbles like a loose toddler in a mudbath. Alas eventually the fun ends and you have to wash it off but up until then it's good times for all the family.

 

Anything with crazy-ass ingredients...

Korean beauty products with wine

...like red wine! Anything to take the edge off Dry January. And see how that Innisfree Wine Peeling Jelly Softener looks like a mini wine bottle? The down side to that is, I can't bring myself to open it and spoil the cuteness.

So I hope this has inspired you to have a play with some lesser-known Korean beauty products. Will we be seeing them in a UK high street soon? Luckily online shopping means you don't have to wait for that. There are many reputable Korean sellers on eBay, and that's where I bought most of this stuff.

Or you could always wait until a Western brand rips it off and tries to sell it to you in three years' time for double the price..

 

What Korean beauty trends would you like to see more of this year?


Free beauty gift offer from SpaceNK

I don't normally post stuff like this but I love a bargain, especially in the unbearable bleakness of cash-squeezed January and wanted to let you know about a great beauty offer.

Luxury beauty specialists SpaceNK have a really good referral promotion running at the moment for new customers. How it works is this - click through on a referral link like this one: http://cob.uy/ae085bo , use the code provided and you'll get free delivery plus a goody bag of luxury beauty samples.

I placed an order last week and the goody bag just arrived in the post. This is what's inside:

  SpaceNK goody bag

 

I'm really pleased with it because it's all decent sized samples of brands I haven't tried before. Total value = £55.82. The Algenist eye balm alone is worth over £22 as it's half full size. Sunday Riley is a brand I've heard a lot about so it's great to be able to try out their face oil without having to shell out £60 for the full bottle.

 

 Points to note about this offer:

  • You have to be a new customer to the SpaceNK website. This is an online only offer.
  • The free shipping is UK only
  • Minimum order is £20 (though the goody bag is worth a lot more). Order can include sale products, and they currently have lots of sale stuff at up to 70% off.
  • Don't panic if the goody bag is out of stock, you'll get it eventually.
  • There are at least two variations of the goody bag so you won't necessarily get the one shown above. If anything, I think the other one is nicer as it has more make-up and a mini Diptyque candle. Have a rootle around online and you might be able to turn up a pic.
  • I am not being paid to promote this, but I will get a 'beauty gift' for every three people I refer. No idea what that might be #excited There is also a top prize of a £150 gift card for whoever refers the most people but I think my chances of getting that are as remote as a Scottish island.
  • This offer runs until 31st January 2016

So once again, this is the link to redeem the SpaceNK goody bag and free shipping offer : http://cob.uy/ae085bo Feel free to share it with anyone you know who might be interested.

And this is what I bought in order to qualify for the goody bag. There was no minimum value when I ordered (they added in the £20 threshold on 20th January) so I splashed out a whole £4.50 on three Rococo nail polishes which were reduced from £12 to £1.50 each. 

 

IMG_5822

 

Very pleased with them and their tiny polish wardrobes/coffins. This is my treat for doing my tax return. Really, it should be a business expense because nice nails make you type better, don't they? What do you think?