Unmasking my mask drawer- the DUPE EDITION: Part Uné

If 2016 was about strobing, 2017 was all about the mask. We had sheet masks, clay masks, bubble masks, Gold masks, dry masks, silicone masks, rubber masks…you name it, and you could have it. Some as little as 40p going all the way to, wait for it…take a deep breath, £230!

Now this is my humble opinion, I personally wouldn’t spend more than £20 (at a stretch… for something that lasts for only 20 minutes on my face once a week) I’d rather invest that money in a good serum, where the results are more beneficial as it’s used more regularly, given more time to penetrate and hence more effective.(My two pennies, you can disagree…respectfully please!) And don’t get me started on brands that have exorbitantly priced clay masks. Clay is one of the cheapest ingredients out there. Save your pennies for a product that contains real luxury ingredients.

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I got this Peter Thomas Roth mask (a part of a set as a present) and don’t get me wrong, I cannot diss it. I love it. Love, love, love it. But it’s pricey, like… I need me a sugar daddy pricey, and the cost per wear is £££. But then I  randomly bought this Andalou mask, and then I realised OMG this was a dupe for the Peter Thomas Roth Mask!

Ingredients comparison between the Peter Thomas Roth and Andalou Mask:

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme mask  ingredients: 

Water, Aluminum Oxide, Glycerin, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin), Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Edta Edetate Discodium Dihydrate USP, Methyl Eugenol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol.

Andalou Pumpkin Glycolic Honey mask ingredients: 

Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) puree*, aloe barbadensis juice*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil*, vegetable glycerin, manuka honey, ananas sativus (pineapple) juice*, pectin, glycolic acid, sodium hyaluronate, cyamopsis tetragonolobus (guar) gum*, fruit stem cells (malus domestica, solar vitis) and BioActive 8 berry complex*, lecithin, saccharum officinarum (sugar cane) extract*, calophyllum tacamahaca (tamanu) and limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) oils, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), aspalathus linearis (rooibos) extract*†, phenethyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, cinnamomum cassia (cinnamon), myristica fragrans (nutmeg) and eugenia caryophyllus (clove) powders*. * Certified Organic. † Fair Trade.

I think, the fact that pumpkin was the first ingredient in the Andalou Pumpkin mask tells me that the active ingredients* in the Andalou mask is further up in the ingredients list** and this means this mask is pretty powerful ( yet gentle, the slight tingle is normal). Great…So basically ingredient wise, the dupe is has better active ingredients  than the original, but how does it perform? Because let’s be honest, a dupe is only so much fun as its performance, isn’t this true of life in general? Hahaha…

The Andalou mask isn’t as gritty as the Peter Thomas Roth (PTR henceforth,) it slides  on smoother than PTR. It’s less of a physical exfoliant, and more of a chemical one (Glycolic acid is a clue) So if Glycolic acid isn’t your jam( allergies or you get reactions), then maybe you’re better off with the PTR one. If however, if you are okay with Glycolic acid then this baby has got your name all over it. It has a lot of fruit acids, which help slough of the dead layers of skin and give you that elusive “Glow”. (Please don’t let the word acid scare you, skin care guru Caroline Hirons has written a great blogpost on this… long and short, it’s not going to melt your face.)

BMS_andalou-pumpkin-honey-glycolic-brightening-mask-17oz-50ml-2

Image courtesy Holland & Barrett

This is a gentle and effective way of getting  your acid and mask fix. It does what it says on the tin, Which, let’s face it, rarely happens. I feel that calling the Andalou mask a dupe is doing it a disservice… it stands on its own merit.

I’m sat typing this post, wearing this mask and I know that 20 minutes later- voila, smoother, brighter skin! (Both masks give you this effect, but I feel Andalou wins on the brightness front) It’s only mildly gritty which when applied, but I can’t find the compound which causes this in the ingredients list (Chemistry degree FAIL lol) I reckon it’s the fruit compounds. (If you do happen know what it is, please do let me know in comments section below please?) It has Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and Vitamin E( Tocopherol) too. (Vitamin C is known to brighten the skin and Vitamin E is an antioxidant.)

The PTR mask has Vitamin C,  Vitamin E so it relies on the Vitamin C ,Pumpkin enzymes, AHA’s  as its chemical exfoliant. It contains Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) which is said to brighten the skin. However, in my humble opinion, the Vitamin A ingredient usedis too weak to really work its anti ageing goodness. It’s a physical scrub which I personally can’t get on board with. (minute tears on the skin etc etc. Hey, if that’s the way you like to play, I ain’t gonna judge you) Plus when you wash it away, it feels gritty. I always feel like I need to use a cleanse to clean the grit after this mask (totally defeats the purpose 😦 )

If you are in a rush, this is a great mask as you only need to put it on your face for a maximum of 7 minutes(minimum of 3)

peterthomasroth_pumpkinenzymemask_780x980

Image courtesy Cult Beauty

What makes Andalou a dupe of the cult fave Peter Thomas Roth mask? Its  The Pumpkin enzyme, which is a fruit enzyme (Exfoliant) and Alpha hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) which gently slough away dead skin cells. And they both smell like pumpkin pie, cinnamon-ey….mmm. Wherein PTR has added Vitamin C , and Vitamin A and has Aluminium Oxide(used in microdermabrasion ) which is what gives it its characteristic grittiness. The Andalou mask is based on all the above (except the Aluminium Oxide) and the added punch of the Glycolic Acid, which is what takes it a notch higher (in my books), And Honey which is said both an emollient and a brightening agent.

If all of this doesn’t sway you, the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is £55 for 50 ml at Cult Beauty. Whereas the Andalou Pumpkin Glycolic enzyme mask is £9.99 for 50g from Holland & Barrett ( there is shipping involved, so just buy two and throw in a lip balm and a few other bits and bobs too 🙂 and this way you save on shipping. See? I’m a maths genius :).  Both claim to be cruelty free, though neither are vegan.

I have another dupe coming up… and I could’ve stuck it in this post, but it was getting so long and science-y (sorry about both) that I decided to break this up as I don’t want to bore you lovely, lovely readers. Besides, absence doth make the heart grow fonder 😉

Love Elle xx

*( the ingredients that cause physical changes in skin)
**( the further up an ingredient is on the ingredients list on a product, the higher its concentration is)
Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

 

 

 

 

Glow-mo. Highlighter and the career person- The cream edition.

I have to say this, when it comes to highlighters…I’m late to the party. As in, the guests have left, but the DJ is still playing some ABBA tunes for me to sadly throw some shapes to.

But I have a reason(ok…excuse), I cannot resonate with the Insta Sexy Stripe. You know the one that I’m talking about?That stripe across the cheek that was so popular in the last two years, the cheekbones that scream “Beam me up Scotty”?   If this is you…I respect and admire you immensely. I’m too chicken to pull it off. ( Maybe the blog should’ve been titled, cream highlighters for the chickens amongst us.) I’ve seen plenty of Insta inspired cheekbones walking around and more power to them for owning the shine.

I fail to see how it transcends to your 30’s and or the workplace, (if you’re a career woman)and in general day to day life. I know that in my line of work especially , that extra stripe of sheen would be a tad too much, may look slightly unprofessional and would distract from the job at hand.

So how does one adapt a trend started by the Millennials and made famous on social media to the workplace or even on a 30 something face?

This is how I’ve done it, this is what works for my dry, dehydrated, perennially tired, career mum face…

I’ve realised that just like not all matte red lipsticks are created equal, neither are highlighters. When I’m aiming for that youthful, glowing, fresh-faced look that can look cool in a board meeting as well as a daytime lunch with the girlfriends…I find that I usually reach for one of these. I have to say this that highlighter will highlight whatever skin is underneath, so if you have texture or wrinkles, try dotting just on the high points of your cheekbones using a matte lighter toned concealer or  go for an illuminating cream (post coming up soon…)

 

Application for daytime use ( my way)

(ps- You only really need one, as usual I have far too many, but choice is not a bad thing…sometimes 🙂 )

1. Asos Makeup chubby highlighter stick ( 2 colour options Tenacious ( Rose gold) Flawed (Bronze) £9.00 Asos, Lookfantastic)

Asos highlighter

I have the chubby stick in bronze and it’s good, albeit with a few chunky glitter particles. So I see it as more a Summer Day Ladies who lunch option. It does blend and can be built up. Be warned, that this is not subtle and is a highlighter that will make its and your presence felt. Which is not a bad thing. But forewarned is forearmed (or light handed in my case.)

  2. Sleek Makeup highlighter palette ( they have two colour ways Summer Solstice, and Cleopatra’s Kiss, I have Cleoptra’s kiss. Both retail for £9.99 in Superdrug )

Sleek palette called Cleopatra's Kiss

Sleek, with their stunning packaging have really been changing the drugstore makeup game. I do think that this is rather trend driven, which is why the fact that they are so inexpensive, makes them so covetable. Plus their packaging is stunning. Insta stunning.

This highlighter quad comes with four pans, two cream and two powder. The cream highlighters have surprisingly small glitter particles so they work and blend seamlessly to create a stunning glow, which can be built up to create some serious sexy alien sheen. ( The Cleopatra palette has two cream shades one which has a golden tone and one which has a creamy silvery undertone.) This can be everyday and special occasion.

3. Glossier Haloscope trio (£18 on Glossier, three colour ways – Topaz, Quartz and Moonstone)

Glossier Highlighter: Quartz, Topaz, Moonstone

Glossier describes this as a fusion between skincare and makeup. The highlighter contains an outer ring of colour, and inner core of moisturiser. And wow this is my my fave of all the ones listed thus far. ( Topaz has a bronze sheen, Quartz is universally flattering with a champagne Sheen, and Moonstone like its name has got a silver sheen)

These give the most natural looking glow  to your cheekbones, and the most grown up one there is. You can literally swipe this in a moving cab, in the dark and not go wrong. A bit of dabbing and off you trot. Which is perfect for multitasking women on the go. I cannot pick a favourite, I’d much rather pick a favourite child.

4. Ciate Dewy Stix (£22 from lookfantastic, asos, pictured here is the shade Lustre)

Ciate Dewy Sticks

 

This could be described as the creamy version of the famous Iconic London liquid highlighter, it feels like that to me at least. One swipe and you can see your cheekbones from space. Because its creamy, it can be blended a bit, but this is more suited to a day lunch with your mates, or a glitzy day do. If you work in a corporate setting, you don’t want your space age cheekbones to be the topic of conversation in the ladies washroom. It comes in three colour ways, Glow- transparent, Lustre pink iridescent, Gleam gold opal)

5. Nars the multiple ( Luxor, you can see by the wear on the lid how old mine is, plus mine is a travel version…the full size retails at £29 in lookfantastic )

Nars Highlighter: Luxor travel size

This was one of the first highlighters that I remember buying, more as it was a part of a trio with Malibu and Orgasm cream blushes rather than for its own merit. So its only recently that i discovered this little gem lurking in my drawer. My loss. Its got definite sheen ( more of a presence than the glossier haloscope) but the glitter particles aren’t chunky.  So if its workplace glamour, I might go sparingly or choose the glossier one above. This is great for a girly lunch and I think it would look stunning on every skin tone.

6. Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint ( Dewy £24.50 at Beauty Mart )

Jillian Dempsey Highlighter

This has gotten so much love on insta, amongst influencers and MUA’s alike. I had such high hopes for it…But upon receiving it I couldn’t be more disappointed. I don’t see the hype. This goes on like an oil slick (not far off Vaseline to be honest). At the price it is, its not worth it. I don’t see myself buying it again to be honest. Buy some vaseline instead and save yourself some money.

7. Becca Shimmering skin perfector ( Rose Gold £15 down from the usual £32 on Space NK , look out for flash sales, also available in liquid versions)

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Rose Gold

Wowzers, I really didn’t think I’d fall in love with the colour as much as I did. This is a soft gold with a deep rose tint, so this solves the issue of blusher and highlighter and does double duty.

The sheen is subtle, the kind that catches the light and creates a glow, and keeps your female colleagues guessing. ( Though I’m all for girl power and I always divulge what I’ve got on…)

A word of caution though, this may not show up on deep ebony or mahogany skin tones. Becca has a range of other pressed highlighters though so don’t give up on the brand entirely if you have a deeper skin tone than cafe au lait.

My Verdict:

The Glossier Haloscopes. Hands down.

IMG_2977

(image courtesy hollywoodlife.com)

I think the Topaz would be a great summer colour or to bring warmth to winter pallid skin. I’ve seen it swatched on every skin tone and I love how it manages to suit every skin tone.

Quartz is an amazing champagne silvery colour that manages to stay on the right side of sheen vs shimmer. If there is just one Glossier haloscope your budget can stretch to, I’d say buy this. One cannot go wrong, its a simple swipe, dab and press motion on the cheekbones. You can do it in the dark, blindfolded, one handed and still not have a Bridget Jones’s moment.

Moonstone, this is a cool toned silvery highlight that suits most people but the cool toned amongst us will definitely benefit. It’s still day wear appropriate and will just give that moonbeam glint when it catches the right light.

Other cream highlighters worthy of mention:

MAC cosmetics Hush– which is a more peachy version of the Becca Highlighter mentioned above, Nars the Multiple in Copacabana, a more golden version of the Nars highlighter in Luxor and probably more well known. A drugstore cream highlighter which is Benefit’s Watts Up, a champagne glow highlighter. Hope this helps you make a glow worthy decision…

Do you have a favourite highlighter? Do let me know in comments please~Love Elle xx 

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

 

Glow-mo. Highlighter and the career woman- The cream edition.

I have to say this, when it comes to highlighters…I’m late to the party. As in, the guests have left, but the DJ is still playing some ABBA tunes for me to sadly throw some shapes to.

But I have a reason(ok…excuse), I cannot resonate with the Insta Sexy Stripe. You know the one that I’m talking about?That stripe across the cheek that was so popular in the last two years, the cheekbones that scream “Beam me up Scotty”?   If this is you…I respect and admire you immensely. I’m too chicken to pull it off. ( Maybe the blog should’ve been titled, cream highlighters for the chickens amongst us.) I’ve seen plenty of Insta inspired cheekbones walking around and more power to them for owning the shine.

I fail to see how it transcends to your 30’s and or the workplace, (if you’re a career woman)and in general day to day life. I know that in my line of work especially , that extra stripe of sheen would be a tad too much, may look slightly unprofessional and would distract from the job at hand.

So how does one adapt a trend started by the Millennials and made famous on social media to the workplace or even on a 30 something face?

This is how I’ve done it, this is what works for my dry, dehydrated, perennially tired, career mum face…

I’ve realised that just like not all matte red lipsticks are created equal, neither are highlighters. When I’m aiming for that youthful, glowing, fresh-faced look that can look cool in a board meeting as well as a daytime lunch with the girlfriends…I find that I usually reach for one of these. I have to say this that highlighter will highlight whatever skin is underneath, so if you have texture or wrinkles, try dotting just on the high points of your cheekbones using a matte lighter toned concealer or  go for an illuminating cream (post coming up soon…)

FullSizeRender

Application for daytime use ( my way)

(ps- You only really need one, as usual I have far too many, but choice is not a bad thing…sometimes 🙂 )

1. Asos Makeup chubby highlighter stick ( 2 colour options Tenacious ( Rose gold) Flawed (Bronze) £9.00 Asos)

IMG_2930

I have the chubby stick in bronze and it’s good, albeit with a few chunky glitter particles. So I see it as more a Summer Day Ladies who lunch option. It does blend and can be built up. Be warned, that this is not subtle and is a highlighter that will make its and your presence felt. Which is not a bad thing. But forewarned is forearmed (or light handed in my case.)

  2. Sleek Makeup highlighter palette ( they have two colour ways Summer Solstice, and Cleopatra’s Kiss, I have Cleoptra’s kiss. Both retail for £9.99 in Superdrug )

img_2919.jpg

Sleek, with their stunning packaging have really been changing the drugstore makeup game. I do think that this is rather trend driven, which is why the fact that they are so inexpensive, makes them so covetable. Plus their packaging is stunning. Insta stunning.

This highlighter quad comes with four pans, two cream and two powder. The cream highlighters have surprisingly small glitter particles so they work and blend seamlessly to create a stunning glow, which can be built up to create some serious sexy alien sheen. ( The Cleopatra palette has two cream shades one which has a golden tone and one which has a creamy silvery undertone.) This can be everyday and special occasion.

3. Glossier Haloscope trio (£18 on Glossier, three colour ways – Topaz, Quartz and Moonstone)

IMG_2973

Glossier describes this as a fusion between skincare and makeup. The highlighter contains an outer ring of colour, and inner core of moisturiser. And wow this is my my fave of all the ones listed thus far. ( Topaz has a bronze sheen, Quartz is universally flattering with a champagne Sheen, and Moonstone like its name has got a silver sheen)

These give the most natural looking glow  to your cheekbones, and the most grown up one there is. You can literally swipe this in a moving cab, in the dark and not go wrong. A bit of dabbing and off you trot. Which is perfect for multitasking women on the go. I cannot pick a favourite, I’d much rather pick a favourite child.

4. Ciate Dewy Stix (£22 from lookfantastic, asos, pictured here is the shade Lustre)

IMG_2928

 

This could be described as the creamy version of the famous Iconic London liquid highlighter, it feels like that to me at least. One swipe and you can see your cheekbones from space. Because its creamy, it can be blended a bit, but this is more suited to a day lunch with your mates, or a glitzy day do. If you work in a corporate setting, you don’t want your space age cheekbones to be the topic of conversation in the ladies washroom. It comes in three colour ways, Glow- transparent, Lustre pink iridescent, Gleam gold opal)

5. Nars the multiple ( Luxor, you can see by the wear on the lid how old mine is, plus mine is a travel version…the full size retails at £29 in lookfantastic )

IMG_2926

This was one of the first highlighters that I remember buying, more as it was a part of a trio with Malibu and Orgasm cream blushes rather than for its own merit. So its only recently that i discovered this little gem lurking in my drawer. My loss. Its got definite sheen ( more of a presence than the glossier haloscope) but the glitter particles aren’t chunky.  So if its workplace glamour, I might go sparingly or choose the glossier one above. This is great for a girly lunch and I think it would look stunning on every skin tone.

6. Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint ( Dewy £24.50 at Beauty Mart )

IMG_2940

This has gotten so much love on insta, amongst influencers and MUA’s alike. I had such high hopes for it…But upon receiving it I couldn’t be more disappointed. I don’t see the hype. This goes on like an oil slick (not far off Vaseline to be honest). At the price it is, its not worth it. I don’t see myself buying it again to be honest. Buy some vaseline instead and save yourself some money.

7. Becca Shimmering skin perfector ( Rose Gold £15 down from the usual £32 on Space NK , look out for flash sales, also available in liquid versions)

IMG_2933

Wowzers, I really didn’t think I’d fall in love with the colour as much as I did. This is a soft gold with a deep rose tint, so this solves the issue of blusher and highlighter and does double duty.

The sheen is subtle, the kind that catches the light and creates a glow, and keeps your female colleagues guessing. ( Though I’m all for girl power and I always divulge what I’ve got on…)

A word of caution though, this may not show up on deep ebony or mahogany skin tones. Becca has a range of other pressed highlighters though so don’t give up on the brand entirely if you have a deeper skin tone than cafe au lait.

My Verdict:

The Glossier Haloscopes. Hands down.

IMG_2977

(image courtesy hollywoodlife.com)

I think the Topaz would be a great summer colour or to bring warmth to winter pallid skin. I’ve seen it swatched on every skin tone and I love how it manages to suit every skin tone.

Quartz is an amazing champagne silvery colour that manages to stay on the right side of sheen vs shimmer. If there is just one Glossier haloscope your budget can stretch to, I’d say buy this. One cannot go wrong, its a simple swipe, dab and press motion on the cheekbones. You can do it in the dark, blindfolded, one handed and still not have a Bridget Jones’s moment.

Moonstone, this is a cool toned silvery highlight that suits most people but the cool toned amongst us will definitely benefit. It’s still day wear appropriate and will just give that moonbeam glint when it catches the right light.

Other cream highlighters worthy of mention:

MAC cosmetics Hush– which is a more peachy version of the Becca Highlighter mentioned above, Nars the Multiple in Copacabana, a more golden version of the Nars highlighter in Luxor and probably more well known. A drugstore cream highlighter which is Benefit’s Watts Up, a champagne glow highlighter. Hope this helps you make a glow worthy decision…

Love Elle xx 

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

 

Affordable serums for parched skins. #shopyourstash

The month of January brings about ( especially in the Western Hemisphere) cold, bitter winds and also empty pockets. The last is true of most of us who celebrate Christmas. Come January, my dwindling funds and angry looking bank account is only less depressing than the sight of my grey, pallid skin.(yes even a permanent tanned moi can look pale)

I need all the help I can get for that funny shade of grey-iege that I become and I look to serums to layer under my skincare. Today I’m talking about the kind that infuse your skin with pure hydrating ingredients.(The over 30’s should be using a serum with active ingredients at night, this I would use in the day) Your skin drinks it up and it instantly looks dewy. It’s been the buzzword for skin care for a while, but glow has never gotten more love than in 2017 ( and it looks to be here to stay, not that I’m complaining. Glowy, youthful, skin…what’s not to love?)

A friend of mine threw me a challenge, she said that I should try talking about affordable skincare, those that more of us can buy. I know that a lot of us feel poorer in January than any other time of the year. So I rose to the challenge, and took it a step further. I shopped my stash. ie- I didn’t buy another serum ( even for research purposes which is always how I justify my skincare and makeup spending ) But I picked a bunch from my own shelf. And I kept it affordable.  I do believe that serums  are usually the most expensive  bit of skincare for a reason , ie. Serums are made to penetrate into the deeper  layers of our skin and hence contain a higher concentration of actives or Hyaluronic Acid (HA). This bumps up the price. Estee Lauder’s iconic Advanced Night Repair II ( or ANR as it is widely known) is the industry standard for a good serum. ( it retails at a whopping £53. And that’s its smallest bottle. Worth every penny, but that’s not the point here.)

IMG_2734

However companies like the Ordinary have practically turned the beauty industry inside out and raised the stakes, you can get lots of serums, oils and skincare lotions and potions that have either a single or a few powerful ingredients for as little as £4! Other brands have had to step up their game.

For the purpose of research, I have both stuck to budget( all of these cost under £20), and I shopped my stash. Just so that there was some sort of order to my thoughts( yes sometimes even I can be methodical.) I grouped them in the order of price, from lowest to highest.

1.) L’oreal Hydra Genius ( *£6.66 at Boots/ Superdrug)

IMG_2739

This is marketed as a cream, inspired by Korean Skincare, and its multi layered approach. But the ingredients contain HA which makes it more of a serum for me as it is too light to use on its own. I love its silky feel, and the slightly tacky texture that HA leaves. (I don’t have sensitive skin so there should be a warning here that it does have a lovely light fragrance, and this could be a potential irritant. Even the one aimed for sensitive skins.)

I do use this as a serum and for this price its a brilliant little multitasker. I will try this under an SPF in the summer which means that when I’m travelling to hotter climes ( a girl can dream) I don’t need to pack a serum + moisturiser. More room for eyeshadow palettes in my makeup kit.:)

2.) Lacura Caviar Power Serum ( *Aldi £7.99)

IMG_2741

Forget Kim K, this range broke the internet when it launched two years ago, hailed as a dupe for the La Prairie range, not just in its packaging but also its main ingredients like caviar and snow algae. The Serum also contains HA which makes it a whopper for the price you pay. The Bottle looks pleasing and luxe which is so important too. But thats not why I love it; it’s a beautiful texture, goes on smoothly and hydrates beautifully,(it must be said that it doesn’t smell fishy AT ALL) Now this range is targeted for dry, and mature skins, so those with oily skins should proceed with the rest of the range with more caution. This however, is one for us all, its just purely hydrating and it does its one job beautifully.

Buy it, and if you don’t like it, give it to your friend, sister, cousin, mum, or even me. I suspect however, that the occasion will never arise.

3) The Ordinary Matrixyl 10%+HA ( *£9.00 in ASOS)

IMG_2737

This viscous, but still light formula from the Ordinary is amazing. What the Ordinary have done is taken out the extras in your skin care, kept its packaging simple to keep the costs down. They usually stick to single or a few high quality ingredients. ( Downside is that you really need to research your ingredients as they are named after the scientific principal ingredient… the website however, does give you a reference grid of how to use each and every thing.)

What I love about this serum is that not only does it give you the hydration from HA, but it also has a high percentage of peptides. Does anyone remember Nadine Baggott and her pentapeptides advert? This was way back in the early 2000’s. But peptides was the buzzword before HA came to steal the scene. There’s no reason why the two can’t live in harmony however. And that’s what this serum does beautifully. Hydrates and nourishes. This serum from the Ordinary is anything but.

5) Vichy 89 Mineral ( *£14.66 at escentual)

IMG_2736

This latest launch from the pioneer of the serums company is only going to be good. It is supposed to have 89% mineralising water and just 11 other ingredients. I’m no skin care expert but from reading from the blurb on their website, I’ve gathered that this is meant to be suitable for the most sensitive and the dehydrated amongst us.

Ok… what it does for me, when my skin is feeling particularly sensitive after a dermarolling session ( watch this space ) or retinol treatments (again…watch this space )I turn to this serum under a repair balm. It just hydrates without any expectations nor activity. No strings attached. With some things in life, there is a free lunch after all!

4) Vichy Aqualia Thermal Power serum Dynamic ( *£16.66 at escentual )

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Anything that I have to say about this game changer of a serum has already been said, ( please read up what Sali Hughes has written about this in the Guardian). French pharmacies have been riding the crest of the skincare wave for so long that it’s a given that this will be good, this hydrates, pure and simple. It does it’s job  simply and beautifully. My dehydrated skin always looks beautiful after I’ve applied this. You only need a little penny sized amount to cover the face and neck.

I’ve purchased two backups just in case of any unforeseen emergencies.  Like the apocalypse maybe…

There are so many more budget friendly serums, Superdrug has a highly rated one for £2.99, The Body shop has an aloe one for £12.99. But the memo was to shop my stash, so I stuck to my promise.

And why do I give so many options? Because if one size fitted all, I’d be wearing Kate Moss’s Size 2 jeans darling! Love Elle xx

 

*PS- Prices go up and down, and the price mentioned was good at the time this post was written.

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

 

 

 

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