So I know I haven’t been posting…I don’t have reasons beyond life really kicks my ass a lot. I’d like to post more but….I promise to always write what I care about. I’ve been to some great events and learned about some fantastic products recently but right now I am home sick with tonsillitis and have about as much energy as a snail (not the Turbo kind!) and wanted to write something to do with all the time I have feeling like death and my nose is doing that awful runny/stuffy thing (ugh!) and my throat is more raw than the harshest sandpaper because my glands are so swollen I can barely breathe and I’m coughing nonstop…so basically I figured I could blog about something simple like a few of my favourite products! Now…can I say toners really do anything? Sorta…after I wash my face they sometimes bring off extra grime or I like to swipe them around my chest or upper back to get some grime off when I come home at the end of the day to feel less gross after wandering around the dirty smog-riddled loveliness of my beloved London streets! I definitely use these 4 toners in a half and half way. 2 are very calming and moisturising for my uber dry skin and 2 are more astringent-esque (although definitely not in a paint-stripper way…my sensitive skin would die!) and I tend to use 1 of each every time I tone my skin. I start off with the astringent one and finish off with the moisturising one to calm down any temporary inflammation or dryness caused by the thorough cleaning done by the stronger toner!
Astringent Toners: Pixi Glow Tonic has been lauded by pretty much everyone who has ever tried it…including me! I heard about this from the imcomparable Caroline Hirons (she has no equal, if you don’t read her now you should begin ASAP!) I have to admit the first time I used this it did burn my skin (but I was warned it might do this…especially with my uber sensitive skin) but it wasn’t unbearable, more of a strong tingle and it went away by the 2nd or 3rd use and now I don’t feel anything when I use it and truthfully it is one I often forget I own because of the two bathrooms in my flat I leave it in the smaller one (and tend to do all my face stuff in the big one so I can sprawl with all my products around me!) and so it is sort of a constant pleasant rediscovery product for me, I am perpetually coming across it and wondering why I don’t use it more often because it is absolutely lovely and strong enough to slough off gross bits of skin and not so harsh that it aggravates my skin that pretty much gets upset by…..air! One of the big things about this product is its comparison to Biologique Rechereche P50…apparently they are mostly the same product but the Pixi Glow Tonic is more widely available and a fraction of the cost. I cannot comment on this as I missed the “world’s best toner” (I use quotes because I cannot authenticate these claims without having tried it myself!).
This can be purchased from the Pixi website both US ans UK. It is supposed to be available from Asos and Target but I couldn’t find them online!
A bit of me wishes I was more into skincare and a bit less into being a teenager when I was still living in Los Angeles (pre-London move!) because I would have had unlimited access to skincare brand Kinara and now I have to buy it imported from my childhood town! This is actually a brand I found out through reading another absurdly amazing blog, the ever talented and uber famous Lisa Eldridge (another must-read blog! This woman’s tutorials have taught me how to apply makeup properly!!!) I originally looked into this brand for their lactic acid serum that Lisa praises highly (and I definitely do also!!!) and stumbled across their dry-skin serum while browsing their website and I think this was pre-Pixi Glow days or it was sold out (it was sold out and they were unsure of when it was coming back for awhile because when Ms Hirons says to go and buy something…you can guarantee you’ve got a hit ). I can’t give you a better reason beyond it was a highly recommended brand and an exfoliating toner specifically designed for dry/sensitive skin (my skin!) sounded like a product I needed to own. So I tend to use this as my primary “workhorse” toner (mostly because I keep it in the bathroom with the gigantor sink, mahoosive counter space and big mirror and better light [which I obviously commandeered the moment my husband and I moved into our flat…a beauty junkie woman has her needs!! ;)]. I use 1-2 pumps depending on if I just cleaned my face or just got out of the shower (2 pumps for at the end of the day cleaning and really just wanting to get everywhere like my chest, back of my neck…anywhere I can think of that has been exposed to the air and grime after a long day versus 1 pump if I just got out of the shower and I know my body is supposed to be squeaky clean and this is just a simple part of my routine and ensuring I am thoroughly cleaning my pores!).
Kinara is a more expensive brand, in the UK it is only available at FeelUnique and it will run you £32 but I genuinely find it to be worth it and I’ve had my bottle at least a year and it has genuinely helped my skin. I couldn’t tell you which to pick because I genuinely use the Kinara more than the Pixi but this is a product I would repurchase. I believe it has helped improve the quality of my skin and I know that as much as I love cleansing balms and oils and washing my face thoroughly using this toner will pick up what gets left behind…because about 99% of the time somewhere on my face be it on my neck or near my hairline or somewhere…some bits of dirt will remain in my pores and these two toners can grab it and remove it.
I can attest that for both products a little goes a LONG way. I’ve had both for ages and I’m maybe 1/2 way through the Kinara and I use it frequently and I have to admit I’ve barely made a dent in the Pixi Glow but mostly because I keep forgetting I own it. I really should put it in with the rest of my skincare products!
Lulu & Boo were one of the best discoveries I made in 2013. A Vegan/EcoCert/Organic company that I have fallen head over heels for and own (I’m almost certain) their entire dry/mature skin range of products and use them all regularly (or as regularly as my stupid fatigue allows me to take care of my skin!). Every product is a dream and a pleasure to put on my face. As someone who reacts to almost everything these products are a joy to use and I tell everyone I know about them. When I wanted to write a blog post about my favourite discoveries/brands of 2013 (and then got too sick to ever write it) this brand was at the top of the list. I’m not much of a “carry spray around in my bag to refresh my face” kinda person…but if I was…I would carry a tiny bottle of this. Sometimes when I am feeling tired or stressed or my skin just feels gross I spray this all over my face. Way more sprays than I need because I just like how it feels (I used to hate the smell but it grew on me) and rub it into my skin because it makes my skin soft and moisturised and calm and it sort of settles me as a person. If that makes ANY sense at all! This is one of the two toners I use after using an astringent one. I use the astringent ones onto a cotton pad and swoosh it around my face just like I read how to in a few books so I would do it properly but this one I spray directly onto my skin and it feels cooling (but not cold…I hate cold!) and lovely. I then take a cotton pad and do the swooshing thing again. It has a few benefits: it puts any moisture lost from the astringent back onto the top most layers of my skin (at least in my head because it feels nice and soothing) and it picks up any last dirt brought to the surface from the astringent section. It’s pretty win/win for me. Then I go onto serums and oils and moisturising depending on the time of day.
This beyond glorious product is from my other favourite brand of 2013 (I’m not saying these are new brands…but they were new to ME in 2013), Jane Scrivner. Another discovery from the brilliant Ms Hirons although she was pushing the cleansing balm (which I own and use frequently and it’s so so lovely) and while I was on the Jane Scrivner site I saw she had a limited edition Wild Lavender Drench which I had to look up because I sort of understood having been to a couple REN seminars and overloaded my brain with knowledge about pure rosewater and it was sort of the same concept. It is as if someone took the best parts of lavender and lavender essence and distilled them into liquid but amplified by a very large quantity. I use this one pretty sparingly because I’ve only got the one bottle and it was a limited production run…but I have to admit every time I use it I want to undo all the goodness I’ve done to my skin and run my hands all over my face because it feels like what I imagine a baby’s butt feels like. Super smooth and soft…I basically just want to pet my face over and over again. It’s a little creepy. I think she might have put lavender addiction drugs in them ;)…it’s just that good!!! It also smells beautifully calming (unless you hate the smell of lavender [which then I would suggest NOT buying it!]) and you just pour the tiniest amount onto a cotton pad and swoosh it over your face and it feels wonderful. It is definitely one of the better purchases I made last year.
This is only available on the Jane Scrivner website (and I cannot be held responsible if you decide you need every product she makes…over many many months I sucumbed to that sin as well…and I won’t apologise! I’ve yet to find a product that isn’t crafted with knowledge, reverence, care and genuine individualised attention to her customers. I am definitely a Jane Scrivner convert and if I happen to turn you into one as well…I will gladly welcome you to the addiction 😉 ).
I just thought you would all like to know this post took me 4 very sick days to write but I really wanted to share something with you all because I miss my blog but I have been very sick and very busy but I don’t neglect this lovely blog because I have nothing to say. If you only knew…I have over 14 half written entries. It’s just finding the time and energy to finish them. Between my migraines and fibromyalgia (and now tonisillitis!) it is very tough to start things I finish and the sliding scale specialist I used to see died so to see a new specialist for my diseases will cost me $850 for 30 minutes. So things have been tough for me but I’m still reading blogs and keeping busy by trying to keep on the periphery of beauty as much as possible. I hope you liked reading about my 4 toners.
(I’m sure publishing at 10pm UK time is bad for stats or something but truthfully? I’m not in this for the numbers or the freebies anymore. I bought each one of these toners with my own money and every review is a honest one of a product I purchased with my hard earned money. So I’m not getting anything except hopefully your comments. Please comment? I miss you all!!!)