Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Striking a Balance - Clarins Lotus Oil and Caudalie Beauty Elixir Review

Earlier this month I posted about my extensive skincare purchasing (here). The new routine is going pretty well - double cleanse at night, double tone, serum and moisturiser on a good night - and I'm loving playing with the new products. My main problems still are the odd spot and how to deal with them/ calm them and ultimately, prevent them as my skin has been feeling terribly unbalanced. Step forward two stars of the routine who already seem to be making a huge difference in this area.

First up is Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. It may seem
counter-intuitive to use an oil on your skin when it is already prone to oiliness, but think back to your school basic chemistry lessons - oil and water do not mix. So by adding 'good oil' into your skin, it stops over-producing sebum - the 'bad', shine-inducing, make-up melting, pore blocking, spot breeding oil that we all dread. I apply it after cleansing, when the skin is still slightly damp with toner. There is something hugely satisfying about the packaging, using the dropper to add one or two drops into my palm (I'm back in that chemistry lesson again with a pipette and litmus paper!). Then I  rub my palms together and apply it to my face - swiping and pressing it into the skin. It smells divine - it has essential oils of lotus, rosewood and geranium - and it's so wonderful to inhale those aromas before hitting the pillow. Some nights I follow up with my usual moisturiser, sometimes it's the last layer I use and in the morning my pores are reduced, skin is plump and any potential breakouts are significantly calmed. I have also been using it sparingly on any spots as part of the morning routine and it does seem to calm any redness then too. It is gorgeous stuff  and to anyone with similar skin concerns is the one product I would recommend without question. Your oily skin needs some friendly oil in its life. This could be your skin's new best friend.

Another gallic beauty here from French brand Caudalie - their Eau de Beaute Beauty Elixir.  Caudalie's signature ingredient are extracts of grape - who'd have thought the French could have come up with a better use for grapes than wine! It is in basic terms a toning spray, which I use mostly after cleansing and acid-toning in the morning. It is so much more than just a toner. It seems odd to say that something can be hydrating and astringent at the same time, but somehow that is what this achieves. It adds radiance and moisture where it is needed and tightens the pores at the same time. The fragrance, again, is glorious - heavy on the rosemary and mint it is an instant pick-me-up - and it is these and myrrh that give it's astringency. At its base are orange blossom water and rose which soften beautifully.

After shaking the bottle to mix the ingredients (we're back with the oil and water again!) I spray it all over my face (eyes closed, obviously - ouch) then follow with serum and moisturiser. I can feel my pores tightening and my skin feels fresher - so much fresher - instantly. I have also been giving my face a spritz after applying make-up to help set everything and it's wonderful throughout the day to refresh both skin and make-up. Keep one in your handbag, keep one on your desk, keep one on your dressing table, keep one in your bathroom. Seriously, this stuff is a keeper.

And the best news about these little wonder products? I managed to get 30% off them at Escentual and that deal lasts until the end of March. You're welcome. Happy bargain beauty shopping, people!

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