Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tan: The Many Ways To Fake It

Now that we're coming into the warmer months, it's time to start showing a bit more skin. However, I do not want to be responsible for blinding the public, or even my nearest and dearest, with my ultra-white legs. I just can't do it. And so, once Spring hits, out come the various forms of fake tan to take the edge off of Winter's work. There are so many ways to fake it these days that I thought I'd run through my favourite products from each main sector.

First up, there is the most simple and easy way to get that golden glow: a body bronzer. These products are ideal for when you haven't had the time/forgotten to tan and you're about to walk out the door. They're also really good for tanning novices, or those of you who just don't have the confidence to tan without streaks etc., but still want a nice glow.

I thought I'd show two here as they are very different in effect and texture. Above you can see the Baji Inca Bronze Shimmer. This is really strange when you first encounter it. It's super runny and shimmery. The colour looks very strong and, to be honest, not that appealing for a tan. However, once you apply this it disappears on the skin and becomes a subtle glow. It is not something that provides a strong hit of colour, more a small hint of glow. It is quite red, and you can see this when applied. But, on my skin at least, this wasn't un-flattering. I felt this was a really light and watery type product that gave me a hit of confidence to walk out the door.

One of my favourite instant bronzers is the Sportsgirl Body Glow. As you can see, this had a much thicker formula and a less orange base. Because of this, I feel, it gives a really natural look. The cream is easy to apply and doesn't stain your hands (be sure to wash them though afterwards!). I especially love the smell of this - it's lovely and coconut-y which instantly makes me think of Summer. This also has a shimmer to it, but it's nothing outlandish and really is there to give a nice glow to your, now Summer-y, legs.

Next on the scale of tanning products is the tanning moisturiser (also known as a gradual tanner). A tanning moisturiser has a tanning agent within it that's diluted - therefore providing a very sheer tan. Applied each day it will build in strength. This product is an absolute God-send to tanners of all kinds. Applied as a normal moisturiser, it won't streak (or if it does, it starts off so sheer it shouldn't be noticeable) so it's perfect for those who aren't keen on the more full on tanners. It's also great for those who do tan regularly, but want something to maintain it between applications. My favourite, shown above, is the Dove Summer Glow. It has a gorgeously soft scent and feels really nourishing on the skin.

Jumping up the tanning scale now, to something more long-lasting with quicker effects, we have the tanning gel. People seem to have either a love or a hate relationship with gel formulas. A lot of these products come with some kind of tint or colour within them that give you an idea of where you've applied. I've never had too many issues with the gels personally, but others I've known don't like that sticky residue they sometimes leave. You also need to work fairly quick with them as they'll 'set'. I think this is down to product and, of course, preference. My favourite is the Garnier Ambre Solaire Velvet Touch Bronzing Gel. It gives a lovely, rich tan that comes out quite quickly.

Next up is spray tans. Now, personally, I've never had too much luck with these fellers. These are definitely for the more accomplished tanners out there. I've found that no matter what I do or how hard I try, I end up with streaks. Super frustrating! I think I'll leave the spraying to the professionals. If you are interested in giving them a try though, I'd recommend the Garnier Ambre Solaire Self Tanning Spray. It's inexpensive and gives a nice colour.

Lastly, you have your creams. This is my preferred way to tan, mainly because I love the product (shown above) itself! Cream tanners are not moisturisers, although they're more moisturising than other forms of tan. What's good about creams is the way that they sink into the skin. I find I get a more even, longer lasting tan from a cream formula. But hey - we're all different! The Bondi Sands Self Tanning Lotion which I've shown above is my favourite. Yes, I know it's green! To be perfectly honest, I don't remember it coming out green when I first opened it, but it did have a greenish tinge when I would apply it at first. Now it's just all green. Don't be afraid though! This counteracts the orange tones you get in tanners, leaving you with a beautifully natural, deep looking tan. This product also goes on coloured, so you know where you've applied. After the given amount of time, you shower and the excess washes off. Underneath, you're left with a lovely bronze body!

A few other tips on tanning that I think are useful to keep in mind:
+ Use a mitt. For anything long lasting (think gels and up) use a tanning mitt (see above) to avoid staining your hands. I went without one for a long time. They're well worth the purchase and are inexpensive too.
+ Exfoliate. There's no point in putting tanner on if the skin is just sitting there about to fall off anyway. Be it an exfoliating glove, polish, whatever! Get scrubbing to give your tan the best chance.
+Hydrate. Moisturise first in order for you skin to absorb and not have dry patches - they can lead to a patchy tan. Also, by moisturising regularly, you can help your tan last the distance. De-hydrated skin will shed faster, taking your tan with it.
+ Avoid oil-based products. Any products with oil in them will interfere with your tan. It won't adhere/absorb into your skin and will turn it into a patchy mess.  Be careful of what's in your exfoliant scrubs too! Some of them are oil based!
So there are my main tips and suggestions on how to tan up this season! Also, if you're going to sunbake to get your tan, be absolutely ruthless with your SPF. You will still tan, but you'll also avoid problems down the road!
Do you have a favourite formula? Can you suggest your favourite tanners to me? I'd love to know your secrets on how you bronze up for the Summer!
Rachel x

Friday, 4 October 2013

Swisse Hand Cream

Tired? Stressed? You'll feel better on Swisse. We all know the saying. But have you considered the fact that your hands are missing out? I hadn't. My whole life has gone by so far without the slightest concern about how my hands are coping without the benefits of Swisse. But now I can tell you, I have thought about it - since this little tube has fallen into my hands.
Yep, I was just as puzzled as you probably are now. Don't Swisse do tablets and capsules? Aren't they supposed to specialise in nutrition from the inside out? Well, as it happens, Swisse have a whole range of body and hair products too. And the Swisse Hand Cream with Vitamin F and Pomegranate fits snuggly amongst them.

The first thing you notice about this cream is the smell. My God, it's amazing. It's citrus-y, but with heavier, more herbal, notes to it. The product is fast drying and non-greasy. I did find because of this though, sometimes I felt like it wasn't instantly moisturising. Now I've realised it's more about the ingredients in it that are nourishing and caring for your skin, rather than just injecting some moisture temporarily.

Which brings me to what's actually in it. I'm not going to waste space by attempting to fit the entire list of ingredients here, but let me just say that there is a ridiculous amount of natural goodies in this. From Pomegranate to Grapefruit, Sandalwood to Aloe-vera and Shea butter to Rose-hip oil. For the full list, have a look here.

What I will show you is what they don't include:
     - Parabens
     - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
     - Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
     - Synthetic fragrances and colours
     - Petrochemicals
     - Silicones
     - Mineral oils
     - Polyethylene Glycol (PEGS)
     - Triethanolamine (TEA)
     - Diethanolamine (DEA)
     - Urea
     - Peroxide
     - Animal products
     - Nano particles

It's nice to see, isn't it? This isn't your typical moisturising hand cream, but it does a pretty tip-top job at caring for your skin. I was pleasantly surprised by this little product. It's nice and affordable too for just $14.95 for 100ml or $29.95 for a whopping 500ml.

What do you think? Have you tried anything from the Swisse Skincare range? I'd love to hear more about them!

Rachel x

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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

September Empties

Lordy, how the months are flying! September has gone by in a flash and here we are in October - one of my favourite months (not just because it includes my birthday!). I have been up to a few different tricks over the last month - trying a few newbies in order to get my skin back under control. And so, without further ado, let me introduce to you, The Beauty List's September Empty List.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: This sample sized (7ml) bottle came in an Estee Lauder gift pack that I had received on a purchase earlier this year. Obviously I didn't use this every single night, but I continued to go back to it as a nightly serum and just love it. Being a uni student, you use every last morsel of product before going to get anything else and this was certainly the case with this baby. But it wasn't all sadness when it ran out near the start of the month. I just went and made another trip to the Lauder counter and grabbed the......

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair II: I guess it's little odd to include a tester in an empty post. But as this tiny little sample lasted me a good fortnight I think it warrants a place. I absolutely love the new formula for the ANR and have since gone out and gotten myself a grown-up sized bottle of this lovely little serum. If you haven't tried it yet and are interested, go down to your closest Estee Lauder counter and ask for a sample. They are always more than happy to give you a chance to try first and, like I said, it lasts you blooming ages. I have also posted a review of it here if you'd like to read more.

Estee Lauder Advanced Repair Eye:Yeah, I like Estee Lauder, alright? But seriously, this stuff is amazing. It is a very light and thin formula which makes it barely noticeable once applied. Yet, every time I put it on it feels moisturising and soothing. I never realise how much the eye area needs the attention until I put the back on. It takes a long time to use up and, luckily, I have two more sitting ready to go! I'm not obsessed, not at all. This is the travel/sample size that comes in gift packs etc.

T.N. Dickinson's All Natural Witch Hazel: I switched to this baby the other month after realising that the toner I was using was waaay too strong for my skin. I knew that my sister used this and asked her whether I could grab a portion to try out first, it's a decent sized bottle (240ml) to buy only to realised you don't like it. She had about half a bottle and gave me the whole lot. I love this stuff. It has a smell that took me a little to get used to, nothing too over-powering though. When I put this on, it feels like I could just be wiping water on my face, that's how gentle it is. It does leave the tiniest amount of tightness to the skin, but not in a bad way at all - just clean and toned. I really like this and have gotten myself a new bottle after using it up. I use it morning and night at the moment and my skin is loving it.

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water: This is a travel sized can (50g) that I used religiously day and night while it lasted. I found it perfect as a pre-moisturising step. It has no scent that I could tell and feels a lot like plain water. This isn't really a 'toning spritz' - it's more for hydration and soothing the skin. I used it occasionally for a pick-me-up throughout the day. It would also be really handy to keep aside for sun burn etc. as it's super soothing and contains anti-oxidants. I want more of this stuff, but have others to get through first!

Nivea 'Stress Protect' & 'Double Effect' De-odorant: The first of these that I used up was the Double Effect. I love the soft scent of this - it reminds me of a school camp that I went on when I first used it. I didn't find this to be the most effective anti-perspirant but it did smell good and I think it's going to be one that I occasionally go back to. It just smells good! On the other hand, the Stress Protect is the ideal anti-perspirant. It is aimed at kicking in when you become particularly sweaty in stressful situations. There are two types of smelly sweat; the first is normal sweat that isn't washed away and grows bacteria (lovely) and the other is the sweat produced when you are under stress. This was the concept Nivea worked on when formulating this baby. I've found it pretty effective and smells light and fresh. I definitely will be going back to this one.

Loreal Resist & Shine: This nail polish was a staple once upon a time. I heartily apologise for not being able to list the name of the colour - I had it in the photo and only realised upon writing this that the name has worn off. Well loved, I call it. What I can say is that it wouldn't matter if I could anyways as it's been discontinued. I think I picked this up in the specials at my work some time last year (it could have been the year before!) and it was the only one of its kind there. It's a gorgeous orange-red that has a way of lifting my mood on every application. I'm so sad that this has come to the end of its life.

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masks: On top of my much loved Decleor Clay Mask, I've given these a go as they've sat in my cupboard for quite a while. The Chocolate Masque smells so much like chocolate and feels amazing as you put it on. This is a clarifying, 'deep pore cleansing' mask and therefore sets as a clay would. I can't be absolutely sure, but I do think it made some difference. I think more regular use is needed for any kind of noticeable results. I also tried the Very Berry variety which included blueberry and cranberry and was a moisturising and cleansing mask. When I put this on, it looked quite fake. It almost reminded me of plastic once I applied it to my face, but it felt very moisturising and didn't irritate. These are natural products so that's an added bonus!

Clearasil Daily Clear 'Vitamins & Extracts Daily Wash: Again, I know it seems a bit pointless to put such a little tester in a post, but I just felt like I wanted to share my thoughts on this. As soon as I see the word 'Clearasil', I think of teenagers at the beginning of puberty, particularly boys who tend to assume the more they use they better it will work. In other words, I think of a product that's meant for super oily skin and doesn't matter too much if it's used up in half the usual amount of time. So I was surprised with myself when I even pulled this from a magazine page and gave it a go. I was even more surprised by what I thought of it. This cleanser was light, fresh and did not feel harsh at all. I could really smell the avocado in it, which you don't take as something with a strong scent. The 'key ingredients' that are listed are avocado and pomegranate, which effectively calm, sooth and clean the skin. Do not take this for an all natural product though - despite it's name it still contains some heavy stuff that's going to irritate some of you more sensitive-skin peeps out there. If you are one such person, I would leave Clearasil all together. All in all, I don't think I'll ever be caught buying Clearasil myself, but I am surprised by what I got out of this little sample. They are not as stripping and nasty as I thought - at least this product wasn't.

So there is everything that was finished in September. I'm super excited for October and all the goodies it brings. Have you used any of these products? What did you think of them?

Rachel x

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