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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!

Thursday Bite: Get Ready For The Fall!

Thursday Bite: Get Ready For The Fall!

paper-autumn-coffee-books-notebook-290x290I’ve said it before; as far as I’m concerned, Autumn doesn’t begin until next week, so I’m using this week to prepare for Autumn. In every way!

Uni starts back up next week and my French Language course begins in the next couple of weeks too, so it’s time to get organised and prepared for some work!

It’s been oddly warm here in London all this week, so it definitely doesn’t feel like Autumn, but I’m told (although BBC weather may not be as reliable as it would have us believe…) that next week the mercury will begin to drop again, starting the steady slide into winter and the dreaded negative numbers!

With the dropping temperature of Autumn, obviously there is a need for a new wardrobe. Jumpers, scarves, cardigans, boots…the list goes on and I’m totally un-prepared for Autumn so I need to start stockpiling the woollens!

Furthermore, now that summer is almost behind us (I know…who am I kidding?) I need to over-haul my beauty regimes and make-up bag. I need to say good-bye to the light summer tones and hello to the intensive moisturisers (to soothe the wind-battered skin!) and dramatic Autumnal make-up tones.

So…one hell of a to-do list…But I shall begin as I mean to go on (and I secretly love making lists and plans and over-preparing for anything I can!)

GET ORGANISED!

Flatpack bookshelf assembly instructions: 2 People 1 hour. Bookshelf
Last night: 1 girl, 35 minutes. Take that Ikea!

So I put together my new bookshelf last night. It’s a cheap thing from Ikea until I can get hold of a nicer one; I might steal one from my parents’ house…But anyway, for months now I’ve had a growing collection of piles of books, papers, files and folders in various locations around the floor of my room, and it was getting ridiculous.

Anyway, I spent the rest of the evening enjoying a nice fuzzy-feeling of accomplishment…now all I need is some new stationary for the upcoming academics!

Starting out a new academic year (or term or even week…) organised and fully prepared really sets you up to buckle down and get hard at work. Out with the old and in with the new!

AUTUMN WARDROBE!

I’m not going to deny it, I’ve thrown myself into the acquisition of a new wardrobe with vigour!

I always make use of the Summer sales to grab some bargains on the essentials for Autumn, and I’ve been preparing for this season for a couple of months now!

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See my review of Hush’s Autumn/Winter line for all the essentials, and I’ve already put in my first order for the season…currently compiling the second!

Must take a trip to Sloane Square this weekend to pop into Massimo Dutti, Reiss and Anthropologie – who have a great ‘20% off Dresses’ offer on at the moment – as well as all the other favourites to really kick off Autumn in style!

I’ll begin my Autumn Fashion Series next week, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the preparation for it this week! The single best thing about the colder weather (and let’s face it, there aren’t many positives…) is the need for a new wardrobe. And I savour it!

Making use of the summer sales and starting well ahead of the season to get the basics and essentials for the colder weather is a great way to spread the cost and grab some bargains, leaving you the space to splash out on luxury statement pieces when the A/W lines drop!

BEAUTY MAKE OVER!

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The most important thing about a beauty regime in the Autumn and Winter months is taking care of your skin. The cold and wind and rain really take their toll and making sure that you have a solid beauty regime is vital to keepyourself looking healthy and take care of your precious skin! After all, skin is for life, not just for Christmas!

I’ve started researching the new products in skin care this season, and I’ve been hunting around for some good deals and trying out all the samples! There’s no point in spending a lot of money on products that aren’t right for my skin and will turn out to be a waste of money…

I’ve started getting quite a few things on ebay at the moment…if you look hard enough, you can find some great make-up deals on completely new and unused products, as long as you know what you want and what you’re looking for!

My biggest MUST for Autumn make up, however, is get in new foundations/powders etc! the sun-kissed glow of summer skin is already beginning to fade an

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d so often people (me included sometimes) forget to change their products with the change in skin tone! I’m off to Bare Minerals’ GoBare Tour this weekend to get ‘re-fitted’ for the coming season. I don’t often wear foundations and many skin products in the summer as they’re heavy and I don’t need much, but when Autumn hits, I need to start wearing a little more!

Take advantage of as many samples, testers, trials and free products as you can before you splash out on a new set of Beauty products for Autumn. There’s no point in wasting money on below-par products or treatments that aren’t right for you. Experiment before you buy, but remember, skin-care is an all important MUST for this season!

Beauty Bite: My Cabinet Essentials!

Although products come and go, cleansers, serums, masks and treatments always change, there are some essentials that are all-time favourites and constant staples in my beauty regime!

The bathroom cabinet basics: (or a nifty little basket as my landlord hasn’t refitted my cabinet in the bathroom yet!!)

  • Basic Make Up Remover
    Neways True Touch Make-Up Remover. This is an online only, mail order company specialising in only using safe products and really gental ingredients. They are completely safe and chemical free products, so I find it’s really gentle on my skin and won’t irritate, no matter what concern I may have! I’m always changing my cleansers and toners etc. but I always use this before cleansing so that I don’t irritate my skin by scrubbing away too much with the cleansers. I love this product and will use it forever!
  • TCP
    The ultimate spot treatment. It stings like hell, but it really works. A couple of days of applying it gently with a cotton bud and it’s completely gone, and the redness is reduced from the first application. And no unslightly scarring! A godsend at less than £2 a bottle!
  • Basic All-Purpose Moisturiser
    DSCF0821Puriskin Therapy Resurfacing Formula. I use this mainly for my face when I don’t have any specific issues or concerns. It’s a great, gentle, general moisturiser that’s always there in case of emergencies or if I just need a light moisture. Also full of vitamins is proven to help reduce scarring and even skin tone, so thats a bonus!
  • Basic Body Lotion
    Sanctuary Body Lotion. Great general body lotion. Goes on a treat, isn’t too heavy and is a light, general body lotion. I use lots of different products depending on whether I want a gradual tan, or have particularly dry skin etc. but this is there for every-day, no fuss moisture! I love the scent and have used this for years!
  • Hand Cream
    Another old favourite! Trusty old L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. I adore this hand cream. It doesn’t leave a funny residue on the hands, and is such an excellent deep moisturiser for the hands. I have used it for years and will continue to use it for years. The best hand cream I have ever come accross, and smells great!
  • Basic Shampoo and Conditioner
    Another Neways product. Exuberance Conditioner and Ultimate Shampoo. I use other shampoos and conditioners depending on circumstance: sometimes I have very dry and damaged hair and this doesn’t cut it, but it’s great for regular washing as it’s very gentle and light, leaving no weight in the hair and leaving it smooth, shiny and soft. But if I need a deep condition of repair, I need to use something else!
  • Lip Balm
    Kiehl’s SPF15 Lip Balm. Deep moisture, nice SPF coverage. Enough said!
  • Tweezerman Tweezers
    I will never be able to use any other tweezers again! These are great, the diagonal edge on the ends is great for getting the tricky little hairs and they are strong and firm enough to be useful! I’ve been ruined for any other tweezer manufacturers!
  • Cotton Wool Pads and Buds
    Need I elaborate?
  • Frangrance: Chanel No.19
    Okay, it doesn’t live in my beauty cabinet, but it’s an utter staple in my routine. It goes on after I’ve done my make up but before I get dressed and then I reapply after I have clothes on. I use it every day and have done so for years. I adore this fragrance and have no desire at all to change!!

fruitMy final beauty basic: Healthy diet and plenty of water. I cannot stress enough the importance of lots and lots of water and a balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables. Every meal has fruit and/or veg and I must drink about 6 litres of water a day! It has a remarkable effect on the skin and it is my ULTIMATE staple in any beauty regime!

Having a few tried and tested staple products always at close hand is a must for any beauty regime. Cleansers, toners, serums, treatments and masks all change with the times, but when you’re on to a good thing, why change it?