Hylamide Low Molecular HA – Review

I wanted to talk about my new favourite hyaluronic acid serum! This is the Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster (RRP £18). Hyaluronic acid is a popular skincare ingredient that we do have in our bodies naturally but when used topically it can really help to hydrate the skin! I have used two other serums with a notable amount of hyaluronic acid in them – Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum (RRP £24.99) and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£22.50) – however this one from Hylamide is definitely the one I have personally found most effective in terms of hydration.

I really like the look of the packaging, it looks very high-tech and scientific! I’m not completely sold on the pipette dispenser, but it has come in handy now that I’m running very low on the serum as I can use it to suck up the last bit at the bottom. When it was new I just tended to wipe off the excess on the pipette and use that as opposed to squeezing it out – looking back this probably wasn’t the most hygienic thing I could have done lol. I’ve gotten used to the pipette now so it doesn’t put me off repurchasing it but I do always prefer a pump.

The serum itself is more liquid that the other two hyaluronic serums I’ve tried (mentioned in the intro) that were more gel-like. I think I prefer it being more liquid as I reckon this is partly why I have found it so hydrating. Having said this it’s still by no means incredibly runny and doesn’t move like water, it still clings to the pipette and is not drippy.

The more I’ve used it the more I’ve found that a little can go a long way. At first I was probably using too much and I could have made the bottle last a lot longer. Using it both morning and evening on most days, I reckon by the time I’ve finished the bottle it will have lasted about 2 .5-3 months which is not bad for a product that RRP’s at £18 and that you can often use discount codes on.

I have definitely noticed a difference in the hydration of my skin since using this serum. The texture when applied to your face is initially a bit sticky but it sinks in very quickly allowing you to apply your moisturiser. When I’ve used this I no longer wake up with ‘tight’ feeling skin in the morning which is great! Maybe the 5 forms of hyaluronic compounds said to be within this serum are the secret to its effective skin quenching abilities!

I definitely recommend trying this if you think you have dehydrated skin, which you can have with any skin type, even if you’re oily!

Love Nicole xxxx

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Current Skincare Routine

This Sunday I thought I would talk about one of my favourite things: skincare. I’m pretty happy with my current routine but I’ll explain any products that I’m not particularly taken with and wouldn’t recommend or buy again. I always make sure to use products up as I absolutely hate waste! Unless they’re causing me some kind of bad reaction then I use everything.

I am using different products for my morning routine and my evening routine so I will go through them separately! Just as an FYI, I have normal/dehydrated/spot prone skin.

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Morning Routine

The cleanser I am using in the mornings at the moment is the Superdrug Clearly Youthful Cream Cleanser (£3.69). I was excited to try this as it has AHAs/BHAs in it which are great for gentle exfoliation and of course, it’s a fantastically affordable price! Unfortunately, I don’t personally enjoy using it and I find it stings my face and feels quite harsh. I’ve not had any horrible reaction to it, it just doesn’t feel nice to me. However, I think this would probably be great for people with oily and/or more mature skin.

I then go in with a cotton pad soaked with Pixi Glow Tonic (£18) all over my face. This is a lovely gentle exfoliating toner that I didn’t find drying. I didn’t experience any miraculous results from it but I will definitely buy it again as I do think it helped to keep my skin smooth and keep spots in check.

Next, I use about four spritzes of Botanics 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz (£4) all over my face. I recently did a whole post dedicated to this product, which you can read here. This adds some hydration and refreshment.

For my serum I am using the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (£26). I chose to buy this after reading a very positive review on Paula’s Choice. I have to say I agree with most of it now I’ve used it! It’s a very refreshing gel formula that has good ingredients to help improve your skin’s condition. It does initially quench dehydration however for me it’s definitely not enough on it’s own and I still need extra moisture from a moisturiser or oil. According to Paula’s Choice though it has excellent anti-oxidants so that’s a big plus.

The eye cream I’m using, which seems to be never ending and is lasting for ages, is the First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream (£23). It has a nice, almost velvety smooth feel to it which makes application very pleasant however it’s hard to notice with eye creams whether they’re actually doing anything. It hydrates which is the main thing but I’ve already bought a different eye cream to try once this one is empty. I’d like to try something that can help brighten the under-eye area.

Lastly for my morning routine is my moisturiser. It contains SPF which is now an absolute must for me as I’ve pledged to use SPF everyday but I can’t be bothered with having a separate SPF. It is the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 (£28). I’m planning on doing a whole separate post on this product but I really like it and this is my second tube. It’s a thick, whipped, creamy texture with mineral/physical SPF protection. This means it’s gentler and generally safer and suitable for sensitive skin. I hugely recommend and we should all be wearing SPF daily if we want our skin to age well.

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Evening Routine

For that initial makeup removal I use a micellar water. The one pictured here that I’m currently using is Boots Time Delay Daily Cleansing Micellar Cleansing Water (£4.49). I am not a fan of this as I don’t feel it’s particularly effective at removing makeup and it really stings my eyes! I will not repurchase this. My favourite is still Botanics Hydration Burst 3 in 1 Micellar Cleanser (£4).

For my evening cleanse I am using Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm (£20.50). Again, I hope to do a whole individual post on this product where I can properly rave about it. If you love cleansing balms like the ones from Emma Hardie or Elemis, or you wish you could try them but find them just too expensive, this is a fantastic value alternative. I appreciate it’s still not super cheap but with deals and discount codes you can easily get this for around £15 like I did and it’s beautiful!

Now’s my exfoliation step where if I’m not using Pixi Glow Tonic or if I feel like my skin is crappy and needs something more powerful, I will use Alpha-H Liquid Gold (£33.50). This is my second bottle of it which I got in a supersize 200ml. If my skin really needs help I will apply Liquid Gold with a cotton pad and leave it there as regards to my skincare for the night. This gives an intensive treatment and it’s one of the few products that when I wake up in the morning after using it, I feel I genuinely notice a positive difference; my skin just looks brighter and more refined with less redness.

If I’m not going for an ‘intense treatment’ then I have been following the exfoliating toner step with Lush Eau Roma Toning Water (£4.50). This is nice to use in the evening as the lavender scent is relaxing, however, while this may be the case I’m not a huge lavender lover so I’m not sure I’d buy this again.

I then use Indeed Labs hydraluron™ moisture boosting facial serum (£24.99). I really like this and have to say I find it more hydrating than the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum that I use in my morning routine. Again, it’s a water based gel formula containing hyaluronic acid. It has relatively few ingredients which I like however this does mean it lacks the anti-oxidants of the First Aid Beauty offering. I quite like having both of them though and utilising the anti-oxidants of the First Aid Beauty one in the day time and then using the more hydrating Hydraluron over night.

Next I follow up with the same eye cream as my morning routine.

Lastly, as a night time moisturiser I am using Face Theory’s Relaxing Night Cream M10 (£10.99) which contains 1% Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Argan Oil. I like this a lot and the formula and ingredients are great. A little goes a long way. It’s very rich so ideal for normal-dry skin but probably not for oilier complexions. Face Theory are a small UK based company and it’s nice to support businesses like that, especially if they have great products with good ingredients at affordable prices.

Love Nicole xxxx

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Empties with Mini Reviews #4

It’s been about 5 months since my last empties post so those empty products have been building up! I finally got round to photographing them and then joyfully tipped them in the recycling bin 🙂 Oh man this is going to take so long to write…

So let’s start with makeup!

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Urban Decay De-slick Makeup Setting Spray

I got this in the Selfridges Summer Beauty Box (omg that’s reminded me to get excited for this years one!) It was a travel size one and I enjoyed using it, I love the effect setting sprays have on my makeup, they mesh everything together so nicely and lessen that powdery, unnatural finish. However, I’m currently using a NYX one that does exactly the same job for me so I wouldn’t repurchase this for the price. I can’t say if it adds any wear time as my makeup generally lasts well regardless.

Would I buy again? No

Collection Sheer Loose Powder – Translucent

I’ve used this powder for years and it gives an awesome finish! It mattifies but gives a glow and really made my makeup last. However, I don’t think I’ll buy again now I have become more conscious of ingredients; there’s some pretty cheap ones in here and if possible I’d like to be avoiding parabens and talc.

Would I buy again? Probably not

NYX Micro Brown Pencil – Chocolate

Love this brow pencil! Having a brush on one end is important for me and I love the thin pencil, as well as it being a twist up so no need for sharpening. The colour range is good and there should be something for most people.

Would I buy again? Yes

No7 Dramatic Lift Mascara

I can’t remember why I picked this up, No7 isn’t usually a go-to brand for me however I am taking more notice lately as they really do have some great products at a good price point. This mascara impressed me; it was really black and volumising. It dried up a while back so I can’t remember if it ‘lifted’ my lashes as such but I know I liked it.

Would I buy again? Maybe (I’m not very loyal with mascara)

Soap & Glory™ Archery™ 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush

I’ve got through one of these before and they’re great! If you can make one of the two shades this comes in work for you then it’s a winner. Easy, quick brows. Very similar to the NYX Micro Brow Pencil except that one has the far superior colour range

Would I buy again? Yes, I already have

Sleek MakeUp Eyebrow Stylist

Since trying the NYX and Soap & Glory pencils this just doesn’t measure up. I really liked it at the time, it’s a lot thicker than the other two but after trying them I’ve found I prefer a thinner pencil as it’s more precise. The shape looks quite similar to the Anastasia Brow Definer tbh… But I can’t say for definite as I’ve not tried it.

Would I buy again? No

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I’ve repurchased this so many times and it’s still one of the best concealers I’ve used. It has parabens but until I can find a concealer that’s as good and affordable then I’ll probably always have one of these in stock for a reliable option.

Would I buy again? Yes

The Body Shop All-in-One Instablur

I didn’t get on with this, it had got so hyped up so I was excited to see my pores disappear from my nose and cheeks but this did absolutely nothing. As a primer, fine, it made a good base for makeup (however it is very silicone-y and came out of the tubes in lumps and spurted everywhere – annoying) but it didn’t demonstrate to me any ‘blurring’. A disappointment and not exactly cheap.

Would I buy again? No

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No7 Early Defence Eye Cream

Not much to say on this, miracles were not worked but I still liked this eye cream. At my age there shouldn’t exactly be much to work on anyway so it’s mainly just about hydration and keeping things young for as long as possible, which is what this range is about. It was pleasant to use and was a good base for makeup!

Would I buy again? Maybe

Superdrug Vitamin E Radiance Eye Cream

The link I’ve given is not to the exact product as it seems that Superdrug have reformulated this eye cream. The main selling point of it for me was that it had SPF 15 in it and not many eye creams do, however this new formula doesn’t appear to contain any SPF. The product was okay, it was a bit hit or miss as to whether it would apply well as I think it reacted badly with some other skincare I used as it would sometimes ball up and flake off my skin which is the most annoying thing when it happens! Although when it applied well it was a very nice eye cream.

Would I buy again? No

Superdrug Simply Pure Micellar Water

Meh, this was okay. But I will refer you to the next product as in comparison that one is much better and more pleasant to use!

Would I buy again? No

Botanics Hydration Burst Micellar Water

This is my favourite micellar water I’ve ever used. It’s gentle, gets off my makeup and isn’t as drying as other formulas can sometimes feel.

Would I buy again? Yes, already got 2 more bottles

Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Skin Serum

As with all the products in this range, this smells amazing! So lovely to use. It’s what I imagine a serum texture to be, a creamy, slightly gel-like consistency. Whilst I enjoyed using it I’m unsure whether I saw or felt any improvement from using it. I was hoping the Vit C would improve some marks but I didn’t really notice any difference.

Would I buy again? Maybe, if it was on offer

Superdrug Vitamin E Radiance Face Cream

This is a very affordable day moisturiser with SPF 15 and has a shimmer to it which makes the skin glow. It was fine and I don’t really have many complaints other than the texture isn’t as smooth as I might ideally like. It feels a bit thick and gritty, possibly because of the shimmery element.

Would I buy again? Probably not

Yes To Carrots Daily Facial Moisturiser SPF15

I enjoyed using this, a majority natural product with some SPF. It was a runny, thin consistency though that’s probably better for summer months than winter as it wasn’t the most moisturising. It’s initially a bit sticky so you need to let it sink in a bit before makeup.

Would I buy again? Maybe

Yes to Carrots Intense Hydration Night Cream for Normal to Dry Skin

Another one from Yes To. I’d argue that it’s not ‘intense hydration’, I still felt my skin was a bit dry and it didn’t quite quench it with moisture. It’s a good but basic night moisturiser and a very affordable natural product.

Would I buy again? Maybe

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Alpha H Liquid Gold

I love Liquid Gold! When I purchased it the first time it hurt because of the price tag so I was praying it actually made a difference. So I was very happy when it did. It’s smoothing and brightening and despite being quite strong I found it gentle. I love how much of a lazy product it can be, you can simply cleanse and then wipe this all over your face and it will act as your toner, serum and moisturiser. I still apply some eye cream though. You can do this as often as every other night. I’ve been without Liquid Gold for months and I’ve now got a supersize 200ml on the way and I can’t wait to have it back in my life.

Would I buy again? Yes, I’ve got one on the way to me

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

I love the original Glycolic Pads from Nip+Fab so I was interested to see what these were like. I was a bit underwhelmed as I didn’t find they did anything extra and I hoped the addition of Salicylic Acid would be good for my skin. However I think I should’ve used these in exactly the same way as I had used the original i.e day and night, rather than taking notice of the name. This might’ve given better results. However I found these less hydrating than the originals and that the pads were less soaked with the formula. I may try these again given that in theory the ingredients are good and should be effective.

Would I buy again? Yes

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads

I’ve talked about these again and again so it should be obvious that I think they’re great. They were the first Glycolic product I ever used and I really noticed the difference to my skin. If you’ve never tried glycolic before I think these are a great one to start off with – not going to break the bank and super convenient with the pre-soaked pads.

Would I buy again? Yes, I have

Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid

As you can see I bought a mini of this before buying the full size so I obviously liked this! Salicylic acid is more effective than Glycolic for spots, redness, blocked pores etc which is what I struggle with more, so after some research I found this. I do think this slightly faded the redness of acne marks on my cheeks and helped to control spots. The results were not miraculous but I do think it made a difference and it has a good formula. Paulas Choice generally seems like a great brand, I love the philosophy of just using necessary ingredients that work; and being cruelty free of course!

Would I buy again? Yes

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Superdrug Pro V Silky Smooth Argan Oil Conditioner and Superdrug Pro V Colour Care Conditioner

If you’re on a budget but want cruelty free products, Superdrug’s own brand products are a reliable choice. The big 400ml bottles are great when you use as much conditioner as I do.  I found the UV Filters one much better than the Argan Oil one. They smelt great, like the smell of a hairdressers salon.

Would I buy again? Maybe the UV Filters one

Yes to Carrots Scalp Relief Conditioner and Yes to Carrots Scalp Relief Shampoo

More from Yes To! Again, good, affordable cruelty free haircare. However the conditioner was not enough for my dry hair. The shampoo was good, lasted me a long time and the addition of tea tree was good for my scalp. Don’t think I’d buy these exact products again though, but I would check out some of their other haircare.

Would I buy again? Probably not

Inecto Naturals Coconut Conditioner

I picked this up from a Savers store as it sounded pretty good. Natural and with coconut oil in it! It made my hair smell great, so coconutty! Once again though, it just wasn’t enough to make me feel like my hair was super nourished so I wouldn’t buy it again. As you can probably tell, haircare is another thing I’m completely not loyal to!

Would I buy again? No

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Lastly, we’re rounding it off with a perfume I’ve finished up!

Britney Spears Believe Eau de Parfum

I don’t think anyone can argue that Britney Spears has a phenomenal range of amazing smelling perfumes for young women and girls. Back in the days of ‘Fantasy‘ filling the school corridors I was among those wearing and loving it. The sickly sweet, vanilla smell and beautiful pink bottle. I also had Curious and Midnight Fantasy which I loved equally. I was a big Britney fan back in the day so when she released perfume I was very excited.

A couple of years back when I wanted a new but affordable perfume I remembered I’d got a tester of Believe in a magazine years earlier and it was really nice; a more ‘grown up’ scent from Britney, not as sweet and vanilla-y but it’s fruitiness ensured I still liked it. It’s a really pretty scent and the link I’ve given details the notes if you’re interested. If you like other Britney scents I feel like you can’t dislike this one even if it is slightly different but in a good, more mature way.

Would I buy again? Maybe, but it’s one I can live without

I say it every time but I really shouldn’t let things mount up to this much, it takes flipping ages to write these posts! I hope you’ve found it interesting or helpful.

Love Nicole xxx

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Naturisimo Beauty Haul

In my quest to lead a more healthy lifestyle, I want to gradually introduce more and more natural products into my beauty regime. Naturisimo.com is such a great website that makes doing that so easy; this was the first time I used the site and I got great value for money and super quick delivery.

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Jason Normalizing Tea Tree Treatment Shampoo £6.99

Shampoo is an easy thing to swap for a more natural alternative. I wash my hair roughly every 4 days and towards day 3-4 my hair starts to get pretty itchy so I thought a tea tree shampoo might do my scalp some good and keep the itchiness at bay. I haven’t tried this yet but the bottle is huuuge so let’s hope I like it as it’s going to last me ages.

A’kin Macadamia & Wheat Conditioner for Dry Hair £8.90

My hair’s main concern is dryness so I always go for conditioners aimed at dry/damaged hair. I’ve used this once and it was a thinner consistency than I’m used to however it was very nourishing and it just felt…natural, which was great! Unfortunately for someone like me who uses lots of conditioner every time I wash my hair, this lil bottle will not last me long 😦 I reckon 3 applications, 4 if I’m lucky.

Lily Lolo Eyeliner Pencil £6.99

My super sensitive eyes were being a pain in the ass and watering sooo much every day so I was trying to figure out what was causing it. I thought a new natural eyeliner wouldn’t hurt so I got this one which is very nice and black! However I later established that the culprit was my moisturiser (Good Things Manuka Honey Daily Moisturiser) which I have now had to stop using 😦

Odylique Avocado 24 Hour Replenishing Cream £22

The next three purchases were all intended to combat my dehydrated feeling skin. The moisturiser I was using at night prior to this just wasn’t cutting it so I wanted to buy a new one. As I use this at night, I can’t say what it’s like under makeup. My assumption would be not great as it’s quite rich and oily. As a night cream thought I have been loving it, in conjunction with the other products I bought (below). I no longer wake up with a tight feeling face. I like that it’s in a pump as it’s much more hygienic than all the moisturisers around that are in tubs. It does have a bit of a funky smell but that doesn’t really bother me as I view it as demonstrating how beautiful and natural it is!

Laidbare From Dusk Till Dawn Vitamin C Serum

I know how beneficial Vitamin C can be for skin so when I saw this for an awesome price along with some other great ingredients, I just had to try it! I’ve only used it a couple of times as I have been using the Antipodes one (see below) more, but it seems good. It’s a very oily formula which surprised me when I first pressed the pump as I was expecting something more creamy! The packaging is basic but good, however I have already cracked the plastic lid that protects the pump lol. I’ll give it a proper trial run once I’ve done likewise with the Antipodes one.

Antipodes Joyous Night Replenish Serum £24.99

Last but not least I picked up this similarly oily serum. It comes in a pipette bottle and is a real pleasure to use. Both these serums are great for a facial massage whenever you want to treat yourself to one. I wanted to try an Antipodes serum after enjoying using their Manuka Honey Mask so much (which I spoke about a bit here). Naturismo are selling this one for such a good price too, £24.99, whereas the RRP is £38.99! That pulled me in probably more than it should of haha. Overall though, this in conjunction with the moisturiser has really helped get rid of that feeling of dehydration.

Do you have any natural products that you swear by?

Love Nicole

xxxx

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Beauty Splurges

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After Christmas and my birthday on boxing day, I was feeling pretty flush after generous gifts from family, soooo I thought after that it’d be as good a time as any to purchase some very expensive makeup I’d been wanting to try for ages! I bought these about 2 months ago so I’ve used them numerous times up to now.

Nars One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette

It’s not hard to understand why this palette was so tempting. It LOOKS gorgeous and I really wanted it. I hadn’t tried any Nars powder products so it was actually a good value way to try lots of different products. I have no regrets buying it as I love using all the pans in there; my most used is probably the palest pink blush as it’s just so pretty! The contour and bronzer are good shades for me and the matte highlight makes for a good setting powder. In theory, they’re probably not anything life changing, but it’s an amazing collection to have all in one gorgeous palette.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

This was very much a blogger induced purchase. The Hourglass powders are much hyped and raved about for giving a beautiful luminosity and pore-refined, airbrushed finish, along with beautiful packaging; I just couldn’t wait to try one. I went for Diffused Light as I thought the yellowy tone may help with redness and flatter my skintone. It is a really nice product, not super pigmented (I do a lil swatch here), with a silky, finely milled formula and definitely delivers in terms of glow! I use it mostly all over as a setting powder however sometimes I feel that gives just too much glow so I only use it in certain areas. My pores were unaffected; they weren’t blurred but neither were they emphasised. I don’t regret buying it, however now I’ve tried it, I don’t think for £38 it’s one I’ll replace when it’s finished. It will however last me absolutely ages! 🙂

NIOD Photography Fluid

This purchase came about after seeing Laura from buynow/bloglater post about it on Instagram I think it was, describing it as an “Instagram filter for your face”… She’s since written a full post on it here which, since having the product myself, I completely concur with! I was happy with the price:hype ratio; £20 was easily parted with for what sounded to me like a great product. Base products (along with lipsticks) are my weakness. It’s a sheeny yellowy liquid (kind of like a liquid Hourglass Diffused Light!) that comes in a bottle with a pipette. The packaging is not fantastic, I just wipe it on my face from the stick rather than squeezing it. I use it all over my face as a primer before foundation, and it really does have a pretty effect! It’s a luminous glow that evens out dullness and redness in my face, and helps slightly to hide my humongous cheek pores! If you want a glowy primer to even out your skintone then this is definitely worth a shot.

Love, Nicole

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