Tuesday, 29 April 2014

YÜLI Panacea Elixir Review

YÜLI is a natural skincare brand from the USA I came across last year and it stood out to me as the products are high performance yet use clean, high quality and pure grade ingredients in an innovative and advanced way. The products are created in small batches in YÜLI's lab located on their farm and this attention to every detail creates a line that is highly potent and effective. 

Clean brands have come a long way in recent years, there are some exciting brands emerging that are challenging the natural skincare arena and YÜLI to me is definitely amongst those brands that are doing things differently. The aesthetic is minimalist (which I love) and it means business!

I placed an order for two of their products, the Panacea Elixir and the Cell Perfecto PM (review of this to come).

The Panacea Elixir is a toner for normal to combination, oily and blemish-prone skin. The base of the elixir is crafted from 'organic and wild-crafted botanical hydrosols and flower water that contain living nutrients and are incredibly active'.

YÜLI describe this toner as a 'multitasking toner that rebalances skin, refines skin texture, primes skin's delivery system for corrective regeneration, delivers intense lasting hydration, and decongests skin of excess sebum, toxins, & waste. Made from the finest botanicals collected from around the world, this toner truly is a cure-all!'

With the promising sounding description and ingredients I had high expectations for this product, but unfortunately was left feeling a little disappointed as this for me was a bit underwhelming. It is nice for a toner, feels gentle, hydrating but I was expecting a little something extra, to take it from the realms of ordinary to something I want to absolutely rave about. I haven't found a great many toners that I really get the urge to repurchase (Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Trilogy Hydrating Mist and Liz Earle Skin Tonic are amongst my repurchased toner list).

It comes in a handy spray bottle and 3 different sizes - 10ml trial ($12), 50ml ($36) and 100ml ($68).

D-Aloe barbadenis, R. damascena (Rose) hydrolat*, H. italicum (Helichrysum) hydrolat*, L. angustifolia (Lavender) hydrolat*, H. virginiana (Witch Hazel) hydrolat^^, A. millefolium (Yarrow) hydrolat^^, frequency enhanced water, C. sativus (Cucumber) extract, N. officinale (Watercress) extract*,Papaya Enzymes, Trace minerals complex, Colloidal silver

* Organic
^^ Wildcrafted

Despite my slight disappointment with this toner, I am still curious to try their other 2 variants (Cocoon and Metamorphic).
I bought this directly from the US site (so was stung by customs and Royal Mail handling fee), but YÜLI is also available from amazingy.com which ships from Germany.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

& Other Stories Canvas Taupe and NARS Douceur Blush Comparison

The & Other Stories store in London is a lovely set-up, I like how the beauty section is laid out so that you feel invited to come and have a play with all the products (and having a large sink close at hand to wash off when you run out of skin to swatch on is a nice touch). About a month ago I was browsing beauty, having quite the swatching session going on and I came across this little blush in the shade Canvas Taupe and immediately my mind sprang to my beloved NARS Douceur blush, as it has that similar dusty rose tone. I always get a lot of use out of these sort of shades so off I went to the checkout.

I was curious to see how Canvas Taupe measured up to NARS Douceur, as this has probably got to be one of my all time favourite blushes, it's just one of those shades that you don't need to think about as it goes with just about any makeup look.

Side by side they look incredibly similar, Douceur appears ever so slightly warmer (as you can see I have made quite a dent), but it's only when swatched you can see more of a difference.

Top - & Other Stories Canvas Taupe, Bottom - NARS Douceur

Top - & Other Stories Canvas Taupe, Bottom - NARS Douceur

On the top is the & Other Stories Canvas Taupe which on the skin shows up as a little paler and pinker in tone. Douceur below is slightly deeper and warmer which works better on my skin tone as it shows up more where as Canvas Taupe is a touch pale, although as it blends in nicely I do still use it.

Texture wise both are nice and smooth (although I think as my Douceur has been used a lot the texture has gone a bit drier now then when it was new). Wear wise the NARS wins hands-down as it lasts longer and fades evenly where as Canvas Taupe goes a little patchy.

Despite the wear I do like Canvas Taupe and there are a couple of other shades I would quite like to get, and Douceur, no doubt requires a repurchase!



Monday, 14 April 2014

S5 Replenish Serum

S5 Skincare's Replenishing Serum has got to be one of the most silkiest oils I have ever used, it is a ridiculously smooth consistency that I have been loving using in the evenings, especially after a clay mask as it's very nourishing and excellent for massaging in.

This particular serum is targeted for dry and scarred skin as it is rich in Omegas 3, 5, 6, & 7 that help dryness, elasticity and scarring. My skin is normal to combination with dehydration and is blemish-prone with scarring left from past acne.

S5 Replenishing Serum has Arctic Sea Buckthorn Oil which is naturally rich in Omega 7 and Omega 3. I take PharmaNord's Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil supplement and I find it excellent for my skin and it has helped improve my acne so I hold this ingredient in high regard and was excited to see it included in this serum.

This also contains High Altitude Rosehip oil which is rich in vitamin A that helps to regenerate and heal the skin; Desert Pomegranate Oil which has anti-oxidant properties and helps reduce inflammation and accelerate cellular regeneration; and lastly Desert Argan Oil which is rich in Omega 6, 9 and tocopherol.

One thing that takes a little getting used to is the scent as even though it's naturally derived, it is unusually strong although after a while I don't notice it as much as when I first started using it.
Even though this is plenty nourishing on it's own, I prefer it under a moisturiser as I feel it kind of seals in the goodness of the serum and as you only need a few drops I have found this has lasted quite a while.  
Overall this has been a beautifully healing oil that hasn't aggravated my skin but helps to calm it and as the name states is 'replenishing', especially when I feel like I need something extra.

Coco-Caprylate, Rosa Rubigiosa Seed Oil*, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil*, Punica Granatum Seed Oil*, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Parfum (Natural, Low Allergen Fragrance), Tocopherol. *ingredients from organic farming

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Volume for Fine Locks: PhytoVolume Actif

My fine flat locks need some oomph when it comes to the volumising department and a product that I have just finished every last drop of is Phyto's Phytovolume Actif spray.

It's quite telling when I use up a hair styling product as in the past I've found it a bit of a chore to properly style my hair and I'd often buy products for them to just sit unused. Unfortunately with my fairly recent foray into ombre-ing and also growing my hair long I've had to up the ante in caring for my tresses so I've been making more of an effort with styling too.

The Phytovolume is my go-to when I blow dry so after towel drying my hair, I just spritz near the roots and lift up sections and spray underneath, from root to mid lengths. It's a light liquid spray that doesn't weigh my hair down and if I overdo it slightly, once I blow dry I cannot detect any residue. It has a nice volume effect and helps to give a slight lift and thicken the hair so it feels like I have a bit more fullness. It is heat activated but I've also used this when naturally drying my hair and it still gives a bit of volume.

This contains wheat proteins and amino acids that help to thicken the diameter of each hair and is silicone, sulfate and paraben free.

Overall I've been really happy with this as it's a great volumising product without feeling like you have lots of product in your hair.

I bought this from feelunique.com

Monday, 7 April 2014

Pai Echium Eye Cream

Eye creams to me are not the most exciting element of my skincare ritual, but it's one step I would not skip. Since turning 30 last year, I find I need a little bit more hydration from my skincare, and my current eye cream of choice is Pai's Echium Eye Cream.

This is a lovely light cream texture, that absorbs well without greasiness and gives an immediate hydrating feel to the skin. I find this very handy post makeup removal and/or cleansing as my eye area can get a bit dry and this cream sorts this right out, no doubt due to the gentle yet effective ingredients such as Echium Seed Extract which is rich in Omegas 3 & 6 that attribute to the nourishing and soothing effect. Fine lines are also given a helping hand with Gamma Linolenic Acid and Steridonic Acid.

I tend to stick to the same eye cream for both morning and evening and this works well during the day under my makeup, and is nourishing and replenishing for night use.

I think Pai do creams really well - I am a sucker for lush textures and after their Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream, the Echium Eye Cream is my next favourite Pai product, it is a lovely all-rounder.

Ingredients: aqua, argania spinosa kernel oil* (argan oil), prunus armeniaca kernel oil* (apricot kernel oil), carthamus tinctorius seed oil* (thistle oil), cetearyl alcohol (coconut derived emulsifier), glycerin* (vegetable glycerine), butyrospermum parkii butter* (shea butter), echium plantagineum seed oil (echium extract), rosa canina seed extract* (rosehip seed oil), cetearyl glucoside (corn-derived emulsifier), pelargonium graveolens oil* (geranium oil), citrus sinensis peel oil* (orange oil), jasminum officinale flower extract* (jasmine oil), helianthus annuus seed oil* (sunflower oil ), mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin e), sodium levulinate (corn extract), sodium anisate (basil extract), sodium lauroyl lactylate (from coconut oil), glyceryl stearate citrate (from sustainable palm oil), lactic acid (from sugar beet)
Naturally occurring in essential oils: citronellol*, d-limonene*, geraniol*, linalool*

*Certified Organic by the Soil Association (Organically produced 74% of product).

Just a note that I have the previous packaging as the new one has 15ml instead of 10ml.