Having decided an image overhaul is the best way to re-brand myself as an absolute powerhouse (perfect at everything, except it would seem, being sociable), I’ve been splashing out on a huge selection of yummy products. But the big question is, do they work?
1. Body Shop Tea Tree Blackhead Exfoliating Wash £5.50
I was quick to snap up this product, and quick to assume it would work. There were generous reviews (on The Body Shop website) and it retails at a very purse-friendly price, so why not give it a try? I suffer from a horrific t-zone, and have, for at least the past ten years had a blackhead riddled nose, with a few spreading to that little gap between my eyebrows as well as the creases in my chin. A month in, and I’m 95 per cent sure I have more of those little feisty yellow fellows scattered across my skin. The tea tree antibacterial properties haven’t stopped the usual spot breakouts either – the silver lining is, my cheeks do feel much smoother.
2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion – £28.50
Top of my Christmas wish list came this little gem, after a love-at-first try when it came free with my Glamour magazine last year. I have to say one of my favourite perks is that you hardly have to use any to get instant face (and neck) coverage, and my skin instantly feels fresh and plump. Although pricey, I know it’ll last a good few months. The one downside for me is that straight after my morning application I like to apply my make-up and sort of use it as a make-shift primer, but it gets absorbed by my skin much more quickly than any other moisturiser I’ve used before.
3. Clinique All About Eyes Cream £23
Another Glamour freebie, another love affair. I’m still on my freebie size pot, and use this only bi-weekly. Whenever I’ve spoken to/read an interview with anyone in the beauty industry they’ve always recommended eye cream from the earliest age possible. I dabbled a bit in my teens, but it’s this dewy stuff that makes me want to use it. Soft and nourishing, the rich texture makes skin instantly smoother. The morning after is when you can feel the real effects – it may not be so great at diminishing bags but it makes my eyelids as soft as a newborns, and I’m fairly certain it’s preventing those first baby wrinkles.
4. LUSH Marilyn Hair Moisturiser £8.50
If nothing else this is a very clever little bit of marketing; which girl doesn’t want to look like Marilyn? It promises to use camomile to enhance the blonde in your hair whilst nourishing and moisturising it, and I was entranced by it in the shop, a week later it was in my Christmas stocking. It tells you to use lots for maximum effect, and I’m afraid I chickened out (I’m still in student survival mode and can’t bear to waste anything). Ok, so my hair wasn’t any blonder, but my dried out hair, which is probably at its wits end with the amount of chlorine I’ve thrown its way, did have a little more life in it. It’s a great pamper product for a Sunday evening (you use it before your shampoo and conditioner), and it certainly made me feel like I was bettering myself somehow.
5. John Frieda Go Blonder (avg £5.50 each)
After a gruelling few months at home using cheap shampoos and conditioners that left me with almost instantly greasy hair again, i knew I needed something different fast. This was the obvious choice (mostly because it was on offer) but also because I wanted something formulated to target my exact hair type. My first point is the smell of this, it’s pretty chemical smelling, which is a far cry from my usual fruity flavours. I’ve not been terribly impressed, because it barely puts up the effort to attempt to nourish my dry swimmer’s hair. Although it has to be noted – my hair can go for an extra half a day to full day without washing which is sublime when you’re as busy as me.
6. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter £3.77
This has been my go-to moisturiser for at least five years. I’ve always had a couple of back-ups stacked up on my product shelf, but I always find myself creeping back to this one. I love the smell, just love it. I love the richness of this on all levels, and it is my absolute holiday necessity. I use it as a replacement for after-sun and it works wonders at prolonging my tan (but that’s a whole other blog post). So it may not diminish my faint silver stretch marks (slashed across the tops of my thighs) quite as much as I like, but I doubt there’s a product out there that will. I love the price, and I love the way it makes my skin feel.
I’m always hunting for exceptional products to better myself (especially now that I’ve got my Facebook stalkable quest), so please, please let me know of your absolute favourites!