How to Multimask

I don’t know about anyone else, but when multimasking became a ‘thing’ it was a complete revelation to me. It was one of those moments where you just go ‘Oh THAT’S what I’ve been thinking about all this time!’

I’ve been multimasking twice a week for a year now, and I can honestly say it’s been one of the best changes I’ve made to my skincare routine in a long time. I thought I’d share my method, as I’ve refined it a little bit over the months, and might help you get the most out of it too!

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REN Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil Review

Do you ever find a product that just slips so perfectly into your routine that you kind of forget it’s there? Then a year or so later you’re like ‘huh, I actually couldn’t live without this stuff’…

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That’s what REN’s Vita Mineral Skin Oil is for me. Their customer service team recommended it to me about a year ago – and I’ve just ordered my third bottle. I had pretty upset skin at the time, and while I’d just found a moisturiser that was working, I was really struggling to find a serum that would hydrate without irritating my skin.

The product is basically a serum, and I find that texture is quite unusual – it’s a fast absorbing oil that leaves your skin feeling really soft and plumped, as though you’d slathered on a great big layer of rosehip oil, without any greasy feeling at all. I have combination skin and it works great on both dry and and oily areas. Omega 3 Skin Oil contains rosehip oil for vitamin A, along with algae extracts for the omega content and rice germ oil for vitamin E. It’s quite a simple serum, with each ingredient carefully chosen to support the skin’s natural protective barrier, promote cell renewal and basically just keep the skin hydrated, radiant and revitalised without anything complicated or potentially irritating.

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This is the perfect serum for someone like me who has combination, sensitive, easily irritated skin. From the first day I started using it my face felt softer and smoother, and after trying a couple of ‘stop/start’ tests I can tell you that it really does make a difference, because my skin looks dull and dehydrated when I haven’t used it for a while! I’m so glad I found a serum that works for my skin, and even better, a bottle lasts for at least 6 months. Thanks for another great product, REN! Get it here for £25 – link

Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm Review

I absolutely hate taking my make-up off. It’s a hassle, its not a particularly comfortable experience for my delicate skin (cotton pads scraping across my face, urgh) and most of the make-up removal products I’ve tried leave my skin irritated. Wipes and micellars are a nightmare, and most creams leave my skin feeling dirty. It’s a hard life. I’ve found a few gems though, so let me tell you about my latest love…

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I’ve been curious to try Trilogy products for years, but I’ve just never gotten round to trying them. However I was invited to try something from the range and I settled on Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm.* I was actually pretty sceptical, because the things I’ve heard people say about this product defy belief. That it lifts make-up away effortlessly and completely, that it leaves skin perfectly cleansed, that even sensitive skin becomes soft, clear and comfortable after using it…

To use, you scoop out a serving (I push my thumb in and gouge out enough to generously cover my nail) and massage it well into dry skin. If you’re wearing eye make-up, eyebrows or lipstick, give it a really good massage to loosen the make-up. Dampen the soft facecloth that comes with it (or another clean flannel/face cloth – just make sure you only use them once and then wash them! NOT OPTIONAL!!) and wipe the balm off your face. I usually rinse the flannel, turn it over and go in for another swipe afterwards, just to be sure.

After this, you’d probably assume that you’ll need to double cleanse, to really get the make-up off, right? Wrong. Trilogy’s Cleansing Balm has removed every iota of make-up from my face every single time. I check by spraying my face with Avene Thermal Water Spray and gently wiping my face with a cotton pad…my face is always perfectly clean. It’s insane, I don’t understand how a balm can be so effective!! But there it is. Now, I never use waterproof mascara or heavy eye make-up because I have very sensitive eyes, but I can tell you that it removes normal mascara as easily and quickly as it removes the rest of my make-up.

The balm is a blend of sunflower, olive, coconut and their famous rosehip oils, together with soothing camomile extract and antioxidant vitamin E. It smells gorgeous, and I love the way it instantly melts onto the skin.

Would I buy it if I hadn’t been gifted it? Yes! Despite it seeming fairly pricey, it’s lasted twice as long as my other favourite make-up remover and I still have some left, so it’s definitely worth the price!

Get it on Look Fantastic for £20.50 – link

How to go anti-perspirant free!

I stopped using anti-perspirant about three years ago now, and I will NEVER go back. I made the choice because I didn’t like the idea that I was blocking a natural process. I can see that it might seem like the kind of thing only inconsiderate ‘hippies’ might go in for. Well, I am a bit of a hippy, but that doesn’t mean I’m inconsiderate, because the thing is, going perspirant free does not increase the number of times I get body odour! Read on to find out how I keep myself smelling nice without stopping my body doing what it needs to do.

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How to keep body odour at bay without anti-perspirant

  1. Use a good deodorant. Of course, going anti-perspirant free doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a good, natural deo. I’ve tried them all, and for my everyday, morning application I love PitRok and Salt of the Earth. I use PitRok if I’m not showering, but if I do shower I use Salt of the Earth which needs to be used on wet skin (or wetted before use). These both do an amazing job and I often find they last all day. 
  2. Keep underarm hair sweet. If you’ve decided to dump the razor as well as the anti-persp, I have one great tip for how to help yourself feel more confident with your newfound armpit hair, and that’s to look after it. Apply a scented oil or balm like Lush’s Elbow Grease and your armpit hair will be smelling like a fresh bouquet all day. You can’t beat it.
  3. Re-deodorise at your desk. Whatever your job, you will find that occasionally you have some odour to cover up. This can easily be sorted out with Weleda Sage Deodorant, which eliminates odour in seconds, and lasts for ages. If your job is less sedentary than mine, you may have to do it more often, but to be honest I walk (briskly) two hours a day and my boyfriend cycles to work and works on his feet and neither of us have ever had a problem that Sage Deo couldn’t fix.
  4. Nighttime protection. This is an important one for the summer. If you start to smell at night because you’re entwined in sweaty sheets (or a sweaty significant other) it’s very likely that some BO will set in overnight and be really difficult to shift come morning. You can prevent this with a sprinkling of dusting powder before bed – Lush’s Silky Underwear is my all time fave though they have others, some of which I think are actually designed to combat odour!

So, there are my tips! As I mentioned, I don’t have a hugely active lifestyle (I don’t work on a building site) but I do exercise and I do walk a lot to and from work, and this routine works perfectly for me.

Are you thinking of going anti-perspirant free? Or have you already done it and have your own fave products? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Weleda Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion

I’ve used Weleda’s Almond Soothing Cleansing Lotion on and off for years, so I thought it was time I finally wrote about it!

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This is a very basic, simple product that I come back to time and time again, particularly when my skin is playing up and I need a gentle make-up remover. With only seven ingredients, it’s perfect for people with sensitive skin who need to keep their exposure to skincare ingredients to a minimum.

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Just in case you needed proof that I really love Almond Cleansing Lotion! I bought a load on Black Friday to keep me going. I know no matter what other products I have on my shelf, I’ll end up reaching for it frequently.

The consistency is kind of like a thin facial cream – not quite liquid, but not entirely solid either. When you squeeze it out it looks like there’s little balls in it, but you can’t feel them when you massage it into your skin. I squeeze it out onto my fingers and apply it all over, rubbing lightly and in small circles to loosen the make-up. Then I wipe it off with cotton pads. Usually I have to apply and remove twice to get all the make-up off, unless I was wearing a bb cream, in which case once is fine.

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The smell is lovely, it’s a light almondy/marzipan scent, though obviously the product is fragrance free. Despite having two lovely, nourishing oils in it, the lotion leaves my skin feeling so clean and fresh, and for that reason, I find myself reaching for it when my skin is oily. This deep cleansing effect comes from lactic acid (an AHA) and alcohol, so I wouldn’t suggest it for people with dry skin, but for any other skin type, it’s great!

I love this cleanser. I started using it around the time I first realised I had sensitive skin, and the fact that I’ve come back to it so much ever since really says something about it’s effectiveness, gentleness and quality. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Weleda are cruelty free and environmentally conscious! Get it for £9.95 off Look Fantastic – link

Skincare and make-up for sensitive eyes

I have the most outrageously sensitive eyes. At the faintest whiff of stress, harsh products, or god forbid, heavy eye make-up, they get weepy, and the skin around them breaks out in eczema patches. I have recurrent styes in my right eye too, which is particularly annoying as it means I can’t buy expensive mascaras or eyeliners since I have to chuck it out every time I have one! I have a skincare and make-up routine in place now that has kept my eyes in check for a long time now, so I thought I’d share!

Skincare

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Cleansing and eye make-up removal can be a big problem for many people with sensitive skin, but the solution for me was a lucky find – Klorane’s Gentle Eye Make-up Remover. Despite having fragrance and colour, this eye make-up remover is the most soothing product I’ve ever used. Even when I have eczema flare-ups (yes I still use make-up, leave me alone), it doesn’t sting. After cleansing, I use a normal eye cream most of the time, but when my eyes are bad, at night I apply XeraCalm Cream from Avene*. This stuff is super thick, and unbelievably soothing. It’s so so good for eczema flare ups. I love doing a little ‘eye mask’ with it in the evenings, and it’s great for my extremely dry, often itchy hands too. I can’t use it during the day though, as it’s so thick, so in the mornings I apply a soothing aloe vera gel like this one.

Make-up

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It took a loooong time for me to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t wear mascara when my eyes were irritated  – and even longer to get my every day make-up to a point that I was actually happy with the way I looked without it. I’m more than happy with this look though – I love it! It’s pretty basic, but I’ll explain anyway. I start with Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation all over my face, and then dot their Radiant Creamy Concealer on blemishes, and on the inner corners of my eye area. After that, I brush a thin layer of Clinique Almost Powder all over my face, followed by Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush on the apples of my cheeks. I fill in my brows with Benefit Brow-Zings, and then finally, on the outer corners of my eyes and over a bit of the lid, I pat on some BareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener. The Brow-Zings and brightener are kind of like a replacement for mascara – they give my eyes a wide awake, noticeable look, equivalent to that of mascara. Here’s the finished look:

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I usually throw on a bit of Lipstick Queen Frog Prince too, which balances my face out nicely. Even though I do put the foundation, eye brightener and powder near my eyes, it doesn’t affect them because they are high quality products, and they aren’t absorbed. In fact, they form a protective layer which is actually quite good for the skin!

Do you suffer from sensitive skin or eczema? How do you cope? I hope you found my skincare routine helpful!

REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk

Let me tell you a little story about REN and this cleanser.

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I went to Scotland a couple of months ago, and when we were halfway up the motorway I realised I’d forgotten my bottle of Gentle Cleansing Milk. I panicked, and tried to use REN’s store locator on my phone, but with the shoddy signal it wouldn’t load. So, I took to twitter…

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Just a couple of minutes later, REN replied:

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I loaded the address into my phone, and an hour later we were back on the road (because we stopped for lunch too, obviously) with a new bottle of Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk in my bag! Thank you REN!

So anyway, you’ve probably worked out that I have some pretty strong feelings about Gentle Cleansing Milk by now. Here’s why.

This cleanser has not only cleared up the red patches I was getting because of sensitivity, it’s also smoothed out flakiness, improved my skin’s radiance, AND kept blackheads and oil at bay. This is an absolute powerhouse of a cleanser, and when you look at the ingredients it’s easy to see why!

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To nourish the dryness so commonly associated with sensitive skin, Gentle Cleansing Milk has sesame oil, sunflower oil and shea butter, three rich oils that are easily tolerated by reactive skin.

Calendula and geranium extracts are both gentle antibacterials, so help to keep the skin healthy and promote healing – something that sensitive skin needs more than most. Then fennel extract helps to decongest and reduce puffiness, while chamomile soothes and calms. Finally, ho wood oil helps to relieve irritations by cooling the skin.

As for radiance? Blackcurrant seed oil helps to reduce roughness and has a rejuvenating affect on the skin, while oryzanol (rice bran extract) is great for sun damage and as it’s easily absorbed, can have a lasting affect on the condition of the skin even in a cleanser. Then there’s Sea Buckthorn extract, which is fantastic for radiance, with high concentrations of vitamins A, C and E as well as omegas and anti-oxidants.

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The texture is wonderfully thick and creamy, which makes it a joy to massage into the skin, and the scent is beautiful – it’s like a warm, slightly floral scent with a bit of a woody undertone. Another thing I love about this cleanser is that it’s quite versatile in terms of removal. You can rinse it off like I do, but you can also use a face cloth or cotton pads if your skin is very dry and you can’t use tap water on it. This is such a good option to have!

If you have sensitive skin and you’re looking for a fuss-free, gorgeous, and not-too-expensive product to leave your skin perfectly clean without being stripped of oil, I cannot recommend REN’s Gentle Cleansing Milk enough! Get it here for £17 – link