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Beauty Bite: Bumble & Bumble Full Form Mousse

Just a quick morsel about my new favourite hair product!

I have very thick but fine hair, and as a result, getting any kid of long lasting volume is very tricky – the hair is too fine to be able to hold itself up at the roots! (At least, my gorgeous and charming hair guy, Philip, tells me!)

I’ve tried hundreds of shampoos and mousses and treatments to get some volume, but for the most part, although I achieve volume initially, it’s fallen flat again by the end of the day.

So, when I purchased Bumble and Bumble’s Full Form Mousse, I wasn’t expecting any miracles. But oh, what a wonderful surprise!

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I always blow dry with my fingers to ruffle up the hair at the roots and finish up blow-drying upside down (I look a fool I’m sure…) brushing the hair down the wrong way and this does go some way to achieving some volume, but when I added the product, the results were incredible!

The directions instruct you to work the product through damp hair, starting at the roots. It’s a great, thick mousse and you really only need a very small amount, just a palm full for all the hair really. Working though damp hair thoroughly and then blow drying, you are left with lightweight and very volumous hair, and there’s no nasty smell or residue afterwards! Hair is still silky soft and smooth and I don’t find it makes my hair greasy or heavy any quicker than sans-product!

Not only does it have a long lasting all-day effect upon my hair, but it actually lasts for days – I only wash my hair about every three days (When it needs it really, I don’t like to wash too often as it’s not good for the natural oils) and I never need to reapply the mousse, it stays strong and effective between washes!

I did find, however, that if you apply a little (or a lot) too much, you can feel it when hair is dry and it makes your fingers a bit dusty when running them through your hair – I play with my hair ALL THE TIME, and if there’s too much mousse, you can feel it coming off in your fingers and it’s not nice, but if you are sparing with the mousse, it gives the volume and none of the residue!

The smell is great too – not a harsh chemical spray that is reminicent of nasty cheap hairspray or salon treatments, but it’s a subtle, sort of floral scent that’s really gentle and nice!

IMG_0484I would definitely recommend Bumble & Bumble Full Form Mousse to anyone with heavy, flat hair, or even people who are just looking for that added wow-factor from really big hair! It lasts for days and just a quick ruffle with the fingers is enough to renew the volume and height and keep it fresh!

“For the illusion of more hair, layer and build. Boasting an innovative formula that contains shaping polymers to give hair extra definition, whilst keeping the natural sheen and healthy bounce of your locks. K.D.” – Spot on I’d say!

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Beauty Bite: The Fragrance Fix

There seem to be a couple of different schools of thought and approaches to fragrance.
Some people love to try all different types of fragrance and are always switching up their perfumes and sprays etc.
I prefer to have one fragrance and stick to it. Religiously!

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I have been involved in a love affair with Chanel no.19 since I was 16 (so we’re approaching our 5th anniversary!) and it’s a completely monogomous relationship! It goes on every morning when I get dressed and is topped up throughout the day. Pretty much without fail. (Unless I’m actually not leaving the house AT ALL…my flatmates just don’t care what I smell like!)

This comes from my childhood. For as long as I can remember, my Mum, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, who were all a big part of my life, all had their own ‘signature’ scents. They wore the same perfume all MY life and I associated them with those smells completely. I still think of my Great Grandma when I get a whiff of Chanel no.5 (the classic!) and although my Mum has recently changed her frangrance to Bobbi Brown’s ‘Almost bare’ (which is lovely by the way) I still feel her presence when I smell Eau De Ciel by Annick Goutal!

There’s a big connection between our sense of smell and our memories and experiences throughout life, so I see a lot of sense in having your own personal frangrance. My friends now all say they know when I’ve been round, beause they can smell my perfume where it lingers! And a year or so ago, a freind liked my Chanel 19 so much, she bought some, but she doesn’t use it because people kept saying she smelt like me!

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So, by all means, play with scents and fragrances, I think there are so many stunning scents out there and many that I love the smell of and would happily have as a home fragrance, but for me, I like to have one smell. People know me by it, they associate it with me and it’s also comforting for me. And whats more, because it’s so consistent, all my clothes smell of it now, after years of use, so I have to use less and less!

And I can always stock up in duty free too…

Our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our emotional memories. A whiff of this or a gust of that smell can trigger a whole sequence of nostalgic memories, so I like to have a fragrance that is totally and utterly me. Chanel no.19 is young, yet timeless and a classic…no doubt I will change it at some point, but for now, it is my scent. People know it, they remember it and they associate it with me. it’s my signature scent and I love it!

Beauty Bite: Origins Modern Friction – The Debate!

Origins Modern Friction Exfoliator.

I am in two minds. One the one hand, I really like the product. On the other, I’m not sure how effective it really is.

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The debate:

Argument one – The product is applied onto dry skin and is bursting with natural goodness and I really like how gentle it is on the skin, but I can still feel it working away at all the dry skin on my face. The smell is to die for and a little seems to go a very long way. Using rice starch as the exfoliant it has none of those nasty chemicals that I don’t like and utilises ‘natural technology’ to get results. For the most part, it works great on my face. Skin is smoothes and refreshed and the dry skin and all gone. Furthermore, it’s great when you have sensitive areas – it doesn’t irritate any spots or blemishes and actually evens out the skin tone and texture wonderfully. I’ve been using it three times a week and for the most part, it’s an excellent product.

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The Opposition – I have really bad black-heads on my nose. Only my nose, the rest of may face is remarkably clear. it’s just the nose and they’re really quite bad. I have never found a product that successfully clears them. Although Modern Friction does wonders for the rest of my skin, it doesn’t appear to have made much of an impact at all upon these blackheads, which is dissappointing, but not surprising to me.

As far as I am aware, blackheads aren’t pores clogged with dirt – it is actually the result of larger, open pores where the oil within the pores is exposed to the air and ‘oxidises’ turning black as a result of having contact with the air. You can be as clean and cleansed as you like, but the oil in the pores will always turn black when it meets the air. So they have to be ‘evacuated’ regularly. By most accounts, blackheads must be regularly cleaned out and exfoliation will help keep them clear.

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So, with this in mind I am persuaded to be generous to Origins and suggest that maybe I need to have a good facial and get those pores de-congested properly before I pass judgement on the blackhead preventing qualities of Modern Friction.

That said, I would still hope for a little more action on the blackhead front! it is an exfoliator afterall!

So judgement time. When all has been said and taken into account, I think that overall (for me anyway, this is after all only my opinion!) Origins Modern Friction is a pretty great product. It is gentle but effective (mostly!!) on the skin, doesn’t irritate or inflame, and clears out (most) pores and dry sken, leaving the face smooth, radiant and soft as a baby’s bottom!! And really, isn’t that the dream?!

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Origins Modern Friction uses natural products and utilises the organic exfoliating properties of rice-starch to gently remove sluggish cells, uneven patches and dry, damaged skin. Lemon Oil kick starts the process of illumination and Vitamin C mops up skin-menacing free radicals! Leaving the skin renewed, smooth and radient.

Origins Modern Friction used three times a week is a great addition to the beauty regime. A salon facial once a month or every 6 weeks will leave you with a clean slate and Modern Friction will be the perfect accompaniment to keep the skin clear and congestion free in the mean time!

Beauty Bite: Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask

I reeived a free sample of Omorovicza’s Deep Cleansing Face Mask from What’s In My Handbag last week and on Friday evening I had the luxury of the flat to myself, no plans and no pressing matters to attend to!

So, I put on my lovely Hush Pyjamas, had some lovely warming stew bubbling away on the stove for dinner and settled down to watch Downton Abbey and give this mask a go!

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It’s a thick clay mask and feels a dream when you apply it. It says to ‘apply a generous amount’ but I found that a little goes a long way! I think generous is realtive! I’ve always loved the feel of clay – taking me back to childhood art classes and the odd desire to plunge my hands into the clay (and oil paint…?) and squidge it between my fingers! – and it’s whipped and smooth and feels very luxurious as you apply it.

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Leave for 15-20 minutes. So that got the first part of Downton out of the way (The Crawley’s threw a party and I could feel the glamour of the 20’s oozing out of the TV and into me!) The mask sets and dries on the skin, but doesn’t get too stiff and uncomfortable. I can have slightly sensitive skin, but I didn’t have any itching/tingling/reaction to the mask as I’ve had with so many before.

Wash off with a damp cloth. Done, it comes of easly and smoothly, no caked bits left clogging up pores and even as I was cleansing it off, I could feel the difference it had made to my skin already.

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I can definitely say this mask is great! My skin was left smooth and definitely brightened and more radiant. The mask claims to ‘clear congested pores and brighten skin as it draws out impurities’. Well, it definitely does! I have a big blackhead problem around my nose (as I’m sure so many of us do) and It definitely cleared out a lot of these clogged pores (not all, but I would be awe-struck if it had managed where no treatment had before!) and the rest of my face with significantly smoothed and cleared.

Sometimes I get build-ups of toxins under the skin of my forehead, leaving very small little bumps – not quite spots and they never become whiteheads, but I know its a clogging of the pores under the skin – and this mask definitely drew them out. I’ve had gleaming skin all week and I’m thrilled!
Omorovicza is a Hungarian company that encorporates the healing properties of Hungary’s famous thermal waters into their products. Combining over 200 years of the Omorovicza family’s experience in creating healing treatments in the Spas of Budapest and working alongside a Nobel-Prize winning laboratory, Omorovicza’s products are a pioneering range of skincare and beauty products that are natural, luxurious and bursting with the healing power of Hungary’s thermal waters!

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The mask comes in at £57 for 50ml, but I think it’s definitely worth it! My sample is only 5ml and I think I can squeeze 2 uses from it, so I reckon you’d get 15-20 applications from the full sized jar, meaning each application would be between £2.80 – £3.80. Not bad, and a great investment! One of my Autumn/Winter Musts.

A once weekly application of Omorovicza’s Deep Cleansing Mask would do wonders for your skin and I will definitely make it part of my skin care routine. It clears the pores, brightens the skin and left my face refreshed and fully cleansed! A definite must, especially this Autumn/Winter season!

Beauty Bite: Autumn Eyes

When we come towards the Autumn and Winter months, I always like to start bringing bolder colours, styles and looks into the mix. For me, summer is a time of soft shades, simple looks and natural beauty, but it’s time to wave that goodbye, now that the cold has really hit us! Bring out the deep tones and dramatic looks.

So I’m going to talk about eyes. I’ve always loved the smokey eyes look, but it can be just too dramatic for the daytime, so I’ve played around and modified it a bit to come up with a couple of bold smokey eye looks for the season that are just played down enough for the daytime, but could be given a little extra oomph to take you into the evening.

I’m still working off my initial Autumn colour palette, and here I have a softer-brown based eye look, and a dazzling blue look!

IMG_0154All the kit you need: Clinique BB Cream, Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara, Yves Saint Laurent Radiant Touch, Nars Liquid Eyeliner, Benefit Hoola Bronzer, Bare Minerals Foundation, Clinique Toast of the Town Eyeshadow Palette, Clinique Galaxy Eyeshadow Palette.

For Both looks, I do my simple and basic every-day skin make-up…nothing dramatic, just some eyen coverage and a nice smooth canvas on which to work. I’m a big advocate of the ‘Just play up one key feature’ stance, and for me, it tends to be the eyes, but you can have too much of a good thing…don’t play them up too much all the time!

For the face I start by applying the Radiant Touch to any areas of discolouration (dark circles under eyes really!) as it evens up the skin tone: I have blue undertones and the pink shade really balances my out. Next I apply a thin layer of BB Cream with the brush all over the face, gently padding it over the areas where I have applied the concealer (don’t want to move it around!) and then apply a light layer of the BareMinerals powder foundation over the top, using circular brush movements aroudn the face to really blend it and help it stick. Finally, a gentle sweep of brozer over the cheekbones and then I blend that in a little with the foundation brush, just to give a hint of bone structure without making the make up obvious.

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I love brown for the eyes, as it goes well with my skin tone and brings out my eyes (which are brown) but it’s not as harsh as black, which can wash you out. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a starkly contrasting black eye look against milky pale skin, but for a casual daytime look, I prefer the softer, more stubtle tones.

The eyes are really simple. Using the liquid eyeliner, I apply a very fine line of liner along the eyelid and just gently flick it out at the edges. This defines the eye but keeps it simple. Next, I use the palest shade of the palette and apply to the whole eyelid, bringing it right down to the inner corners of the eye to brighten and lift. Taking the second lightest, golden shade and apply to the eyelid from about 3/4 in and blend, sweeping all the way to the outer corner. Repeat with the third, darker shade from half-way in and then finally, a tiny touch to the outer corner with the darkest shade and blend. Simple, easy and gives great definition to the eys, making them lovely and big, but bright as well as subtly-smokey at the same time! Add a lick of mascara to the upper lashes, and just touch to the lower to bring the whole look together and make the eyes pop!

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I’ve talked about blue, and I think for a while people have been scared of blue on the eyes, reminiscing about the 90’s blue trends that saw us (if you’re of the 90’s generation like me!) parading around as pre-teens with vivid, horribly applied powder blue eyeshadow in a ghastly way. I’m trying to revivie it and move on from these times! You know what I’m talking about…

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This blue look work in the same way the brown does, but has a little more sparkle and drama. I couple of alterations and it would be perfect for a winter-snowflake themed look, with a hint of sparkle and flash of vivid blue.

Apply the liner as before and then follow the same steps with the shadow, starting with the silvery blue, and working your way progressively to the darkest tone at the outer corners. I bring the light shade righ down to the bottom corners of the eyes to really make them pop and stand out, but it’s a subtler look without this and still looks gorgeous. The hint of sparkle in two of the shades on the palette really give the look an edge and you could take it further and more dramatic very simply for a great little evening look!

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I love to colour coordinate…In fact obsessed by it, and I think ti can really help bring a whole look together. I wear the brown look a lot, as I often wear muted and tan tones, but if I’m wearing, say, red, I don’t necessarily want to bring red to the eyes for a day-time look, so I will use the neutral brown look then as well. What’s great about the blue is that it jumps out and you don’t have to do much at all with the rest of your face or hair, and it’s bright and bold enough to hold its own. If I’m wearing a blue dress, or shirt, or accessory or whatever, the blue in the eyes really demonstrates thought behind the outfit and brings everything together, the outfit complementing the eyes and the eyes making the outfit stand out. Or at least…I think so!

Autumn is a time when we can truly reclaim the big, the bold and the eye-catching. Bring on the dark, berry shades, the deep blues and purples and the smokey, dramatic looks on eyes, nails and lips! But as always, try to pick to one area – lips or eyes – and play that up…it takes a brave girl to go for both eyes and lips…and for a party, great, but when we’re just going to the office, is it really necessary? Sometimes less is more, sometimes more is more, it’s about knowing which is which…but there’s no harm in going a little Bolder this season!

Beauty Bite: Neal’s Yard Cleanser and Toner Review

Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose Facial Wash Cleanser and Rehydrating Rose Toner…The Review!

    IMG_0128Well, let’s start with the packaging shall we? I’m an aesthetic person and I like things to look nice and pretty, and these do! In lovely glass blue bottles, with simple labelling they look adorable and lmost like bathroom furnishings rather than my beauty products! So there’s a point to NYR…

I’m very much about using products that are kind to the skin and aren’t filled with chemicals, harmful substances and man-made nasties! This is the major reason why I love Neal’s Yard. I have always used their soaps and body lotions, and occasionally sunscreen, but until a couple of weeks ago, I had never tried their beauty products, so I was unsure what to expect. Although their soaps smell great and are very kind to the hands, I didn’t know whether their cleanser and toner would have enough ‘punch’ as it were to ‘get the job done…’ I wondered if it might be just a little too gentle to balance the skin and get rid of all the bad stuff.

IMG_0134I can safely say, I was wrong! These products are great; The cleanser is very effective at removing all the makeup and really getting into the pores and cleaning out the skin – my T-zone is definitely less oily, although that will be a combination of different factors as well, and my skin looks brightened and fresh after a cleanse which is great! Full of natural oils, plant extracts, organic ingredients and the softest acids (we like slightly acidic PH skin!) this product is wonderful, and it smells divine!!
IMG_0138The toner too works wonders…A lot of toners have all number of nasty, and potentially very harmful, chemicals in, supposedly to close up the pores and aid the rebalance of skin’s PH, but I know for a fact that these are unnecessary! The Neal’s Yard Toner is packed with essential oils, aloe vera and is water based, which means no added oil to the skin, and it uses to softest, natural acids to bring the PH down! It has been working wonders for my skin, and doesn’t have that nasty burn that can accompany lots of toners out there!
IMG_0140I often have a problem when I use new beauty products, in that my skin reacts badly and will break out and I will get lots of tiny red spots under the skin, almost like a rash. This has not happened here, in fact my skin has, in the 15 days I have been using the products, cleared up immensely and is much smoother, more refreshed and more even than it has been is some time!

IMG_0141My one gripe here, however, is the use of alcohol in the products. I didn’t check thoroughly before I purchased and I wouldn’t normally buy a product for my face with alcohol in. it’s drying, its damaging and there’s just no need for it! Although it is denatured Alcohol, whihc is supposedly derived organically and is therefore less harmful, I am still very reluctant to put it on my skin. But oh well, if my skin starts to dry out, bye bye Neal’s Yard!

Neal’s Yard create natural, plant based and organically produced products and these are by far the best products to put on the skin. We as humans are organic (mostly!!) and natural, so it makes sense that nature can provide everything our skin and body needs to survive and look good! Putting natural and non-toxic products on your face is the best way to ensure you take the best care of your skin possible, anf these products from neal’s Yard are not only bursting with natural ingredients, and very kind to the skin, but they work wonders and are great for fairly normal to sensitive skin! The one downside? Alcohol.

Score: 7.5/10…dropped a point for the nasty alcohol there!!

Beauty Bite: Autumn Skin Care

Beauty Bite: Autumn Skin Care

When the weather begins to change this Autumn, one of the biggest must’s is skincare! In the wind and the cold, our skin can get very dry and damaged very quickly and it’s more important than ever to take good care of it!

A good, consistent beauty regime is in order now, and we have to leave the casual approach to beauty of the Summer months behind us! Our precious faces need extra TLC this Autumn and here are my picks of the moment.**

**Subject to change…I’m indecisive and very fickle with my favours!!

That old routine…

If you’re anything like me, now’s the time you’re putting on a little more make-up…I barely wear any foundation/powder etc. in the Summer months…better to let the natural tan shine! But now that we’re all getting a little ‘pasty’ the tinted moisturisers, the BB creams, the foundations, the primers, the blushers and bronzers…they’re all re-emerging as Autumn takes hold!

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So a good cleansing, toning, moisturising and exfoliating regime is in order! Cleansing off the make-up and general grime of the day (especially living in the dust-field that in London!) is a must, and I tend to cleanse right before bed and just when I get up as well, to refresh my skin for the day.

Toning shrinks the pores and rebalances the skin after the stress we put on it throughout the day, and enables it to repair itself and absorb the all important moisture to keep your skin smooth and happy!

We’re battered by the cold and wind all day as Winter draws in, and this seriously dries out the skin, so a good moisturising routine is a must, must, must!! I use an intense moisturiser at night and then a very light one in the morning, so that it’s not oily and make-up will sit nicely on top of it. But whatever your skin needs, moisturising should not be left out!

I exfoliate about three times a week in the evening. I use a gentle exfoliator, but with all the dry skin that accompanies this season, its more important than ever to get rid of the dead cells regularly to avoid breakouts and dry, damaged skin!

There are hundreds of different cleansers, toners, moisturisers and exfoliators out there and realistically, it coms down to a. Your specific skin needs and b. Your own personal preference. But my major advice is to avoid the use of heavy chemicals and lots of alcohol! There’s no need to put this on your skin! Lots of toners use alcohol, but it dries out the skin and it’s so so bad for you! We only get on set of skin, let’s be gentle and kind to it!

We as human beings are entirely organic products. Therefore, there’s nothing that nature shouldn’t provide us with. Why use harsh, man-made, damaging chemicals when you can get everything you need naturally? I love brand such as Origins, Burt’s Bees, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Ren especially, as they tend to be very low in the chemicals, exploit ‘natural’ ingredients as much as possible and avoid all the skin damaging, nasty chemicals that so many brands shove in their products!
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I’m using Neal’s Yard Rose Facial Cleanser and Rehydrating Rose Toner daily and I love them so far. Origin’s Modern Friction exfoliator is great too, and I’m in love with Ren’s Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream for moisture before I go to bed; a lovely sales assistant in Space N.K. Gave me about 15 samples of this stuff last time I was in and I’m still going through it, but I will have to invest in a full bottle when I run out! I apply a fine layer of Ren’s T-Zone Balancing Day Fluid in the morning,as I don’t want to put a whole lots of oil on under my make-up and the BB cream I’m currently using is a good moisturiser anyway. Check back soon for a full review of this little beauty routine and all the products!

Then the lips. These get their own category as this time of year, I know I have major major lips issues! They get all dry, and peeling, and then they crack and we can wander round looking like we’re dying of dehydration! Not this Autumn!
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Carmex. I swear by this stuff and have about a hundred pots in various places around my house, in coat pockets, in different bags and in every nook and cranny imaginable! Put it on before bed and let it soak into your lips overnight, when you wake, they’ll be smooth as…well…you know! Also try to use an SPF lip balm during the day: I love Kiehl’s as it’s not too sticky but gives a lovely glossy shine and really packs in the moisture. SPF on lips is important all year, but even now, as it not only protects from the sun, but protects from the harshness of the weather and cold too.
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Oh…the hands! Dry hands are the worst this time of year! If you’re not careful they get all dry and cracked and red and flaky and just…ugh! This is when the hand cream becomes super important!

I love L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream, there’s nothing quite like it! It smells divine and leaves hands really soft and moisturised for hours and hours…and there’s none of the pesky residue when you wash your hands! I was given a bottle of Neom Organic’s Violet, Camomile and Cedarwood Hand Cream and it smells divine! It’s less heavy duty than the L’Occitane so it’s more suited to a quick top-up rather than intensive hand care but it feels great and my flatmate says (literally just said to me right as I write this) it smells great, it permeates the room!

I’ve said it before and I say it every time I post of skin care. The most important thing you can do for your skin is to eat healthily and rink lots of water! The vitamins and minerals found in fresh fruit and vegetables are invaluable and eating your 5-a day (or 8 for me!) and drinking your 2 litres (ok…about 5 for me!) of water will do wonders for your skin. Hydrated skin is happy skin!

And, of course, the health benefits of having lots of vitamins and minerals in your system is great this time of year too. Avoid the colds and flu and the highly unattractive pallor that accompanies these maladies by staying healthy and eating right!

We only get one set of skin. Look after it. Be kind to your skin: cleanse it, tone it, moisturise it and exfoliate! By trying to use natural products and ingredients, combined with a natural healthy diet, you’ll be doing your skin the world of good. Look after your body and it will look after you!