I always like the January sales as there can be some great bargains, but this year there haven’t been as many. Some companies still have advent calendars on sale, while some who didn’t sell out have broken them down and will repackage the items as other promotional gifts. Finding a good deal is much harder these days, but I suspect some companies will do some last minute reductions in the next couple of weeks to clear any Christmas stock. See above my bargain which is a Marks and Spencers Beauty Bag for £5. They sold out within an hour, so it’s a good idea to check the website daily for any last minute offers. Among the companies that do have some offers are the following:
- Clarins have a sale on remaining gift sets with double samples on all orders (for a limited time).
- Nuxe have up to 50% off items, which includes special buys and sizes.
- Birchbox have a sale, but quite a few things are now out of stock (but still show up in s search).
- Latest in Beauty have 30% off some collection boxes (no code needed).
- SpaceNK continue their sale with up to 75% off items.
- This is Powder have some seasonal discounts: get £10 off the NARS Limited Edition Box (now £30) and the Winter Box is £20 off (now £30).
FOREO have a new product called UFO ($279 rechargeable) and UFO mini ($179 battery operated), which they are using Kickstarter to launch in April. If you sign up you can get up to 50% off the retail price of the new device. The campaign ends on 22 February and is an all or nothing project, which means if they don’t the funding then the project on Kickstarter will be cancelled. The device is a new way to use a facemask that uses Hyper-Infusion Technology (heating + cooling + T-Sonic pulsations) and LED light therapy, so the device as different settings. Red LED reduces the signs of aging by stimulating collagen, Green LED helps stimulate a sluggish and dull complexion, and Blue LED helps kill bacteria that is prone in acne or oily skin types. The device claims to give a spa like treatment in 90 seconds.
The only issue I see with the device is that it is only compatible with their own masks which you have to buy in packs directly from them. As I haven’t tried either the device or the mask I can’t say whether it is as good or better than using a face mask either as a sheet mask, or a rinse or peel off one. They have already raised more than half their target, so if you do like gadgets it’s worth taking a look at.
Even though I like my FOREO Play, I’m quite fussy about my masks, and I like overnight ones, and ones that I can rinse off. In general, if you have healthy skin and exfoliate regularly then masks are effective as long as you apply and remove them correctly. Plus, there is the additional factor that masks take time to penetrate into the skin, and there are some things that shouldn’t be rushed.
Moving onto the BBC investigation named ‘The Truth About Looking Good’ which I finished watching with some misgivings, as some results didn’t appear to be officially scientific, and also some information being a little misleading in my opinion.
First of all the claims about moisturizer, and that you don’t need it, but is that really true? The test wasn’t specific, as what is their criteria for healthy skin? From what I saw, the skin of several of the test subjects didn’t look that healthy with lines and dryness. In addition, in a group of 25 people of all ages with different skin types it is hard to say they were all the same. To do a an objective test, the subjects need to be all the same age and have the same skin type, and be the same gender as men tend to have slightly thicker skin than women. In addition the test was done over 3 weeks, and as all dermatologists know a skin cell renewal cycle is 28 days in a healthy skin, and can be as much as 6 weeks in a skin that has problems. Therefore, you cannot see any changes until at least a month later to compare the results properly.
In regards to the Nivea and Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (DDML in the business) giving more hydration than the Embryolisse, that is because of the glycerine content, which is more of a barrier ingredient used in emollients and thus creates a moisture film. Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre in the study came out last, but is in fact the product I would recommend out of the three as it absorbs into the skin more readily without leaving a film, and softens and hydrates the skin. The test was looking at hydration levels and how much the water the skin holds. It’s a hard test to do because hydration comes from using softening lotions and toners (and not moisturizers), so if the test subjects didn’t use any, then their hydration levels would be low regardless of how much moisturizer they used. A moisturizer simply seals in the water and softens the skin on the surface, but if there is no water in the first place it has nothing to hold! Toners are like water to the skin, and moisturizers are like food and are generally oil based.
Don’t stop using moisturizer as it does act as a barrier to dirt as well and prevents the skin from getting dry. Is it anti-aging though? I would say it helps, because the more water and oil you have in the skin, the less wrinkles and fine lines you will have as that is what causes them.
- Embroylisse is actually one of the best moisturizers on the market for all skin types and ages, and is an affordable £13 for 30 ml or £20 for 75 ml (Escentual has 33% off until Jan 31st on both items).
- The Nivea Soft Cream (£4.29 for 200 ml) tested is a very basic moisturizer and can be quite heavy and greasy on the skin, as it is for the face, body and hands and thus would be much richer. Why they decided to test a product that was for the whole body and compare it to ones that were purely for the face doesn’t make sense, nor does it make the findings of the test fair. The fact that some have claimed it’s the best purely from the results even though this test that wasn’t actually carried out for at least a month, or with comparable products, shows that people will buy what is hyped.
- Clinique DDML is £18 for 50 ml, or £30 for 125 ml, and is a good basic moisturizer that hydrates, and that’s all it does. I used to work for Clinque, and the only time I used the product was when I took the samples sizes on holiday with me. I never bought it or used in on a daily basis because it it was just a very average product compared to the other products I owned.
Next, onto the packaging of products and whether people are swayed by basic or fancy boxes and bottles? It’s pretty much a given that people like the look of luxury, but basic products can be excellent hidden gems. Personally I use a few basic items and some of my friends are surprised, but they like name dropping brands and posting images on social media and are easily swayed by pretty packaging. The blind tests with the makeup proved that people can be swayed by packaging. My advice is always test products, because each of us prefers different results, and smells, and colors can and do change especially foundation and lipsticks. An expensive product is not always better, and an inexpensive one maybe a hidden gem, and as the show stated Lancome is owned by L’Oreal is is made in the dame factory, and many brands are actually made by the same factory with different packaging.
Cellulite is something most women tackle at some point in their life, but rather than choose between dry brushing, exercise, or using a cream, you can actually use all three. Again, the test is a hard one to analyze because the test subjects were all different ages, sizes, and some may have had children and others may have lost or gained weight and this all makes a difference. You can only do a proper test with the subjects if they are all the same age, and weight, and body size. Creams work more effectively in conjunction with exercise and dry brushing or massage, and basically it’s about stimulating the circulation and not allowing the fatty deposits to settle in the legs and buttocks!
Finally I’ll say a little about retinol, basically if you have healthy skin then you don’t need it. What the show should have stated is that retinol can’t prevent wrinkles; it helps to encourage new cells which is why you can see the difference in someone who has wrinkles or sagging skin. It can cause reactions though, especially if it is too stimulating for the skin, and if you are sun sensitive. I would go for the less is best approach, because many people don’t need retinol if they take care of their skin. Also if you are pregnant, breast feeding or taking medication you shouldn’t use any retinol products as tests have shown high doses of vitamin A can be harmful to unborn and newborn babies.
One thing I did agree with is that sun is the major factor in aging, which is why I wear sunglasses all year around and not to look mysterious. In fact I never leave home without them like my keys and credit cards. It is important to use SPF products (UVA= aging, UVB= burning) not just on the face but the neck and the hands as well. I tend to use SPF 15/30 during winter and SPF 50 for the rest of the year. Fortunately there are more products with high factors on the market at affordable prices, and I would recommend using a separate product over your moisturizer for the best protection. I use The Body Shop Drops of Light SPF 50, which is light in texture, and also Nuxe and Clarins SPF 50 creams during summer because the texture is richer and can withstand heat and humidity.
News in brief
- Dollibox no longer offer a monthly subscription box but will do one off boxes in the near future.
- Love Me Beauty will be launching their own factory priced cosmetics in February.
- My Little Box will no longer be available in the UK.
- Glossybox UK is now owned by The Hut (who own Look Fantastic among other brands).
- Caudalie have launched a new Premier Cru serum to add to the range that features an innovative patented technology, Vinergy®, that helps restore cellular energy metabolism.