Thursday, 3 April 2014

Spring Beauty

It's at this time of year that the fashion mags are full of features on 'spring cleaning' your beauty regime. But frankly who's got the time to shampoo their makeup brushes, declutter their beauty bags and organise the bathroom cabinet with season-appropriate products? Plus there's the small issue of not necessarily having the cash to fund a little jaunt around Space NK. That said it's this time of year my skin does tend to do some weird stuff, my limbs are their most dry and pallid and I generally look 'peaky' (as my mother regularly reminds me.)Her theory is that the changing of the seasons are responsible for all manner of ills, looking peaky being just one of them. Glancing in the mirror this morning, I do see her point.

Just recently I've made some cost-effective beauty discoveries that I really recommend and which are helping to address some of the aforementioned beauty issues. Not all are bargain-basement cheap, but they do, in my opinion, offer value for money, and might be worth looking into if, like me, you're feeling and looking a bit run-down and want to make some wallet-friendly additions to your beauty cabinet this spring.

1. Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera

I've been using Alpha H products for about a year now and can't recommend them highly enough. If you have sensitive, reactive skin that erupts with the slightest mishandling, this range is well looking into. According to beauty blogger and skincare expert Caroline Hirons problem skin needs an oil, milk or cream cleanser and anything that foams or is in gel format is a big no no because they break down the acid mantle of your skin, just making inflammation worse. I used to use gels all the time but since making the switch to this creamy, non-lathering cleanser I noticed a change almost instantly. It's brilliant and at £23 for 200ml is not prohibitively expensive. I buy mine from fab online beauty retailer Bath & Unwind which has a reward points system so you can get money off subsequent purchases.

2. First Aid Beauty Daily Face Cream

A light-weight, oil-free moisturiser that is also fragrance free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. What's not to love? It's basically suitable for all skins, including sensitive and acnegenic. A lot of moisturisers I've used in the past - including ones that claim to be non-comedegenic - have brought me out in spots so it's nice to find a product that does what it's meant to do without any annoying side effects. It costs £15.50 from Bath & Unwind.

3. bareMinerals Faux Tan Face

Talking of products that have a propensity to bring skin out in pimples: facial fake tan. Usually pretty horrific. Finding a non-orange facial self-tanner that doesn't render the skin a mass of seething pustules is no mean feat but this product pretty much hits the spot (excuse the pun...)It contains no parabens or artificial oils, which helps keep spots at bay, and develops into an even, light tan that looks natural. It's tinted too so you can see exactly where you're putting it and make sure it's sinking in evenly - a nice bonus as streaky, blotchy faces are not so nice. Highly recommended for adding a touch of colour to sun-starved faces. It costs around £15 from various online beauty retailers.

4. Rodial Brazilian Tan - Light

Moving on to bodies and mine would have a grey, ghostly pallor were it not for this nifty product. I buy this from TK Maxx (they seem to have a constant supply)for around a fiver, which - given Rodial is a 'prestige' brand - is quite a bargain and cheaper than mass market fake tanners. The Light version is jut that - natural rather than TOWIE-style scary. 

5. & Other Stories Fig Fiction Body Scrub

There's something quite cathartic about feeling like your sloughing off dry, moisture-starved winter skin. It's the perfect prep for fake tan, too. There are loads of great scrubs around but for the feel-good factor with just the right amount of 'scrub' (not too harsh, not too weedy) the body scrubs in the & Other Stories range is fantastic. I love all the & Other Stories beauty products and last time I was in London I stocked up on this delicious Fig scented version. You can also buy online and the scrub costs a reasonable £7 (a little goes a long way, too)

6. Dr Stuart Skin Purify Tea

I wanted to give this a mention as it really seems to do what it says on the tin. In conjunction with cutting right down on sugar, going easy on the vino and trying to eat a bit more healthily generally, this tea seems to be aiding a general clearness of skin and feeling of overall well-being. 


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