The Secret of Avène Eau Thermale

On Thursday I was invited to breakfast with my favourite skincare brand – Avène.
They had cryptically told me that I would be finding out the secret behind their products.
As the brand has made such an impact on my skincare routine I couldn’t wait to find out.
Amongst the gorgeous bouquets of flowers and delicious food were some new products.
Avène is now releasing their ‘XeraCalm A.D’ range, which is aimed at those with eczema.
As someone who suffers from eczema from time to time, this came as a delightful surprise.
But wait, didn’t I mention a special little secret? Well luckily for you I’m going to share it.
So what is the secret of Avène?
The lovely representative told us that it is all down to nature. A long time ago, the founder of Avène found a spring that had special healing properties. The locals also knew about it and used it to bathe in and to help ease their skin conditions. It sounds as though it could be something from a fairytale, right? At least that’s how I imagined it. 
Now, do you remember your geography children? Then you might recall how springs come about. Rain falls down into the soil and makes a magnificent journey through the earth before creating a spring. It is this process that allows Avène to gather their eau thermale, as it rises from a hot spring under the earth. The water in this spring takes all the minerals and a unique microflora ‘dolomiae’ from the earth and soil. This process takes over 50 years, so the eau thermale in all your Avène products really is special. It is a science that the Avène team have been working on, and perfecting, for many years. Luckily for us they are now sharing their secret, so we can all benefit!
So it’s no wonder why Avène’s products are soothing, anti-free radical and anti-irritating. It’s amazing to think that a spring discovered in 1736 is still helping us, and our skin woes today. Avène have put a lot of research, thought and care into their products and I love that about them. I also think it’s wonderful that the eau thermale in their products comes from a natural spring. How many people can say they use the water from a thermal spring in their skincare routine? Their products aren’t only for those with eczema or sensitive-skin, anyone can use them. If you want to be converted, like I was, then you need to try out Avène. 
You can purchase Avène’s new range from selected Boots stores, from April 2014.

Review: Shiseido Fullmake Washable Base

You’d be forgiven if you’re slightly confused as to what this product does. Whereas the name may be in English, it doesn’t make much more sense than FWB. Well Shiseido can be forgiven as this skincare product is aimed at the Japanese market. This is a base for your make-up, that will help it stay put, but also easier to remove. It also claims to nourish skin, whilst evening your skin tone and improving lip colour. I decided to give it a go as I love Shiseido, and the idea behind this.
+ Easy to apply
+ Fragrance free
+ Non-sticky formula
 + Kept my make-up in place
+ My foundation washed off easily

– Doesn’t work on waterproof make-up, such as eyeliner/mascara
– Left a mark when I got a spot of water on my face during the day

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put this on in the morning, but it applied easily with no fuss. The base is fragrance free, which is always a plus for a face product in my books. The product has a texture between a cream and a gel, and doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I wore this over a few days and my make-up did stay put each day. Although on one of those days I happened to splash some water on my face, and it did leave a visible mark on my foundation, but it wasn’t too big. When it came to washing it off, now that’s when I got excited. There are a whole bunch of instructions on how to apply and wash this off to get the best out of the product, and they’re definitely worth reading – at least I read them. You can read them here. So after following the instructions I noticed that my foundation had come off my face and was mixed in with the water droplets on my skin. It’s hard to explain, and it looks a bit odd, but it works! It removed my eyeliner and mascara…to the rest of my face, but then this doesn’t work on waterproof make-up, which makes sense. You do need a cloth or cotton pad to remove the make-up…or you could maybe stick your head in the sink, but I’d recommend the former. I was impressed with how my foundation removed so easily, and it left my skin ready for a good cleansing. It definitely makes the removal of make-up, and your skincare routine a lot easier. For around £11, this isn’t a bad price and is up there with some well known British brand primers – but then this does a bit more than that. I’d consider purchasing this, for all of its benefits, because it does exactly what it says on the tin tube.
You can purchase Shiseido’s Fullmake Washable Base at Lunatu.

Review: Micro Pedi Gift Set

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and brands are bringing out gift sets left, right and centre. That makes it slightly more difficult for those who may want to purchase one for their mum. I was contacted about going for a pedicure with my mum, and receiving a gift set from Micro Pedi. Unfortunately I was unable to make it, so they sent me over the gift set so I wouldn’t miss out. I found out about Micro Pedi last year and actually gave one to my mum as she loved the idea. So it made sense to me that this was the perfect gift idea for me to review for Mother’s Day!
Included in the set is:
The Micro Pedi foot smoothing device, with extra coarse roller.
The Micro Pedi Finishing Foot Cream, with peppermint oil and cocoa butter.
Micro Pedi Manicure/Pedicure Kit, compromising of 5 separate attachments.
Nail Scissors, Nail Clippers, Nail Brush, Toe Separators and Pouch.
What did I think?
When I used the Micro Pedi I found all of the claims to be true. It’s so easy to use and you don’t feel anything at all whilst you’re using it. Like most people I’m not immune to rough/hard skin on the heels of my feet. This managed to get rid of it after using it for only a minute or so on both feet. The cream smells amazing (I’m a big fan of peppermint) and is the perfect accompaniment. I prefer to pair it with the cream after use (and some bed socks), for perfectly soft tootsies. As for the manicure/pedicure tools, they were actually the part I was most excited for. You all know I love anything to do with nails so I will be getting plenty of use out of this. The scissors, clippers, toe separators and nail brush are good, useful additions. This is perfect for some Mother’s Day (or all year round) pampering!
The Micro Pedi Gift Set is now half price at Boots (was £79.99, now £39.99).

Review: Trilogy Age Proof Line Smoothing Day Cream

Just as my current moisturiser was running low, this fell through my letterbox. Trilogy is a brand I have known of/been using for the past few years, and I trust it. This particular product is a cream that claims to hydrate skin and help restore natural elasticity. It can also help combat those fine lines by smoothing them out, hence the ‘Age Proof’ label. I figured I might as well get a head start on the ageing process, so I tried it out for myself.
+ Hydrating
+ Absorbs quickly
+ Nice subtle scent to the product
+ Non-greasy texture to the cream
+ Leaves my skin smooth and supple
+ Packaging is simple yet sleek
– Thin cream
– Product is a bit big for travelling
I like Trilogy’s products and this cream has only cemented that feeling. I have been applying this in the morning, as part of my usual skincare routine (I use a different moisturiser at night). The cream itself is slightly thinner than the usual moisturisers I use, but thankfully that doesn’t detract from the quality of the product. I like the texture of the cream, it’s not greasy and it doesn’t sit heavy on my skin. It actually absorbs pretty quickly into my skin, leaving it feeling thoroughly moisturised. It has a nice subtle scent to it, and although I can’t pin it down exactly, I still like it. After using this my skin feels smooth and supple, and whereas I can’t credit it purely to this product, my skin has been in great condition lately. This is a nicely packaged item, with plenty of product. However I do find that it’s a bit big to pop in my handbag, or to take with me when I’m travelling. At £30.50 this is high end skincare that is certainly worth the investment.
You can buy Trilogy’s Line Smoothing Day Cream at Boots.

Review: Witch Blemish Stick

Witch is a well established skincare brand in the UK, and I’ve been using their products for years. For over 40 years, Witch have been using witch hazel as the main ingredient in all of their products. A naturally clever ingredient that helps cleanse, soothe and tone skin, leaving it perfectly balanced.  The Witch Blemish Stick claims to fight the bacteria that causes spots, getting to work instantly. I’ve used their blemish stick previously but not for several years, so this was a long awaited reunion. 
+ Easy to use
+ Simple, cute packaging
+ Main ingredient is natural
+ Didn’t dry my skin out
+ Good price point
+ Works well
– Strong medicinal smell, when first applied (gone after about 10secs)
This product worked the same as I always remember it working. I felt a spot coming under the skin so I popped some of this on and it brought it out. Luckily though this products helps you skip that awkward, gross stage where your spot is all inflamed and gets a head. Instead it goes straight to the calming down stage, where the spot is beginning to fade. It’s a good product and does what it says. Of course it’s not a miracle worker and won’t rid you of spots entirely. Once you realise that, you’ll also realise that this product is worth adding to your collection. This is usually priced around the £2 – £3 mark (depending on where you purchase it), which isn’t bad at all.
You can purchase the Witch Blemish Stick at Superdrug and Boots.

Cuticura Lemon Sherbet & Sugar Candy Hand Gels

Cuticura Lemon Sherbet & Sugar Candy Anti-Bac Hand Gels*

I wasn’t sure whether to blog about these when I received them as it’s not my usual content.
Then the fiancé came home and told me that one of his work colleagues was sick with a cold.
I grabbed up one of these and put the other in my handbag – I don’t need a cold on my birthday!
It made me realise that anti-vac hand gels are commonplace now, and very helpful in the Winter months.
These arrived with a personalised jar of sherbet lemons too (not included with purchase unfortunately).
How cute is that? Cuticura had definitely got my attention, and I decided that warranted a post.
Cuticura are known for their lovely scented anti bacterial hand gels and hand washes.
They come in two sweet and delicious scents: Sugar Candy & Lemon Sherbet.
The scent isn’t amazingly strong, as they are alcohol based gels, but it’s sweet.
The lemon sherbet is my favourite of the two, but it wasn’t an easy choice.
These are perfect for carrying around with you or taking to the gym/work etc. 
I like the idea of a sweet smelling alcohol gel that isn’t just in a boring bottle.
The packaging is incredibly cute and fits the concept perfectly.
Both scents are exclusive to Primark stores from February, and are priced at only £1.

How I Fight My Eczema – Eczema Remedies

I suffered from eczema a lot as a child. 
It would often cause me a lot of pain and discomfort, and I would usually bleed due to the severity of it. I remember my parents trying all sorts of remedies to get rid of it, but nothing really worked, until one day…it just disappeared. 
I had pretty much forgotten about it until September 2011, when I saw my eczema return, with a vengeance. I had returned from my holiday to Provence and suddenly my whole stomach, leg and breast area was covered in dry, sore, itchy spots. I visited the doctor and they confirmed it was eczema. I was given an emollient cream to help, but it didn’t work. I was then given a steroid cream that I could only use for 2 weeks. My eczema disappeared…then it came back a week or so later. The doctor didn’t know what to do and told me to relax (as it can be caused by stress) and continue using a moisturiser and the original cream. I would have a shower and then look down at my body and burst into tears. I felt embarrassed and grossed out by my own skin. My fiancé tried to console me time after time but it had worn me down. I’d had enough. None of the medications worked well enough to solve the problem so I decided to try out something a little more natural and sensitive. Surprisingly they worked a lot better and even got rid of most of my eczema.
My eczema remedies are:

Korres’s Fig Showergel (90.4% natural content) & Fig Body Butter (93.5% natural content).
These products have been my saviour and I 100% believe they are the reason for the eczema on my stomach, legs and breasts disappearing. I had heard from a friend that these were great at combatting eczema and even psoriasis! She wasn’t wrong because I now use these daily to help keep my skin hydrated and to combat my eczema. I first used these until I ran out, then my eczema came back and Anna bought me some more. Now it’s slowly going away again. 
I swear by these products.

You all know I am a big Avène fan and use it in my daily skincare routine. Well when my eczema started appearing on my face for the first time I didn’t know what to do. It actually coincided with my trip to Chamonix, so I figured that since I was in France I’d try out a cream by one of my favourite French skincare brands – since they recommend it for those with eczema. I used it for a week on my face, and by the end of my holiday my eczema had cleared up. This is free of parabens, fragrance and colouring agents – and they’ve used as few ingredients as possible, making it perfect for sensitive skin. 
This is now my daily moisturiser for face & neck.

Eczema can be a very uncomfortable, painful and sometimes embarrassing illness.
I don’t want anyone else to suffer so I’m hoping these remedies might help others also.
Let me know your own personal remedies in the comments!