Clarisonic Review

I wrote this review a while ago for guest list on another blog but I’ve recently fallen back in love with my Clarisonic after forgetting about it for a while so I’m re-publishing it here…

While I was pregnant for the second time I noticed that my skin became extra oily and my pores even more noticeable. Already feeling like a huge frump, the last thing I wanted was terrible skin, so I decided to invest in a Clarisonic facial cleansing system. There are several different types available but I opted for the Mia 2 Deep Pore Decongesting Solution, which seemed perfect for me because the box read ‘Reduces pore appearance and helps control excess oil on skin’s surface, for visibly clearer looking skin’. Great, just what I needed!

 So I handed over £140.00 (ouch!) and headed home with what I hoped would be my new skincare saviour. Inside the box was a white deep pore Mia 2 cleanser with deep pore brush head attached, 177ml deep pore daily cleanser, 60ml decongesting clay mask, charger and a hard travel case. I was also given a free travel bag as part of a promotion.

That evening, after I had removed my makeup, I was excited to use the Clarisonic. I followed the instructions, splashed water on my face, put a penny sized amount of the daily cleanser straight onto the brush head and got to work on my face.

The Clarisonic uses patented sonic frequency and the brush head moves at a rate of over 300 movements per second. There are 2 speed settings on the Mia 2 and a 1 minute timer. I must say, I loved the feel of the Clarisonic against my skin, I could feel the dead skin and dirt faking away. I had to resist the temptation to keep using it for one more minute. Twice daily for one minute each time is what Clarisonic recommend.

Clarisonic claim a visible improvement will be seen after just one use but I didn’t really believe that would be true. However let me tell you – it is! My pores were tighter, especially on my nose, and my skin felt so amazingly soft I couldn’t stop touching it. I was so impressed and immediately felt it was a justified spend.

Several months on and I still use the Clarisonic daily. It is now part of my morning and evening skincare routine. When the daily cleanser ran out though I didn’t replace it. I went back to my old faithful Johnson’s Clean and Clear. I’ve used so many facial cleaners over the years, from Clarins to Superdrug’s own brand, but I find this cheap and cheerful choice great for my oily skin.

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I use the decongestant clay mask weekly and I still have some left. A little goes a long way and it’s very easy to spread, unlike a lot of clay masks. I find that a weekly application is enough to really clean my skin and unclog my pores.

Overall I’m very pleased with the Clarisonic Mia 2. We can never totally remove our pores, it just isn’t possible, but using the Clarisonic definitely makes mine appear much tighter and smaller and helps me keep my oily skin under control.

A totally unfiltered selfie to show you my skin.
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Car Selfie (Project 366 – Day 35)

  

This photo is being included in Project 366 purely because it was an extremely good skin day. Thank you Estée Lauder! 

If you’d like to see what my skin is like pre-make up application you can read my post here on Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation and how amazing it is. 

Nail Fail

Pre-children I used to have my nails done every 2 weeks and yesterday, as I was walking past the nail salon with an hour to spare, I decided I’d have them done for old times sake and to cheer myself up after a crappy few days. 

Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding between myself and the lovely Vietnamese nail technician, who seemed to be filing my nails into some sort of arrow shape?! Was this just a new method of filing? Would the end result be ok? No. No it wouldn’t. Stiletto nails! She was giving me stiletto nails! 

The offending nails themselves
 
Being terribly British I couldn’t bring myself to tell her until she was onto the third nail. She was mortified and offered to take them off and start again but I didn’t have time and told her it’d be fine and to carry on. It’s not really fine. 

It’s not really fine because I’m now basically unable to cope with life. Not only are these nails essentially pincers, they also have some serious camber on them! Here is a little taster of what I cannot do with these godforsaken nails:

  • Send a text that makes any kind of sense
  • Use the self service checkout in Tesco
  • Open the back of Mr Potato Head to retrieve his spectacles at the request of my toddler (thus resulting in said toddler having a nervous breakdown)
  • Take just one baby wipe out of the packet (taking at least ten out at once is achievable, however)
  • Pick up a pound off the floor after dropping it (resulting in walking away from the pound and being disproportionately sad about it for the rest of the day)

As you can see, it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs. Plus the pincer-nails make my already sausage fingers look positively Cumberlandish. On the plus side, I imagine these pincer-nails can be used in lieu of a hot drinks stirrer or a screwdriver. Always handy things to have at your fingertips.

    
Moral of the story: never feel shy to tell the Vietnamese nail technician that you didn’t ask for pincer-nails today.

Make up staples – Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation 

Since I was 13 I’ve been wearing a full face of make up and unless I’m made up I don’t fully feel like myself. It’s not that I hide behind make up or that it’s a mask, it’s more just part of who I am. And now that I’m older, have children and am sleep deprived, good concealer and foundation are things I really rely on. 

Like most teenage girls I started off with the cheap stuff – Collection 2000 and Rinmel. I can still remember the smell of the Rimmel concealer stick and matt foundation I used to cake on every morning before school. Then when I got a Saturday job at 16 I thought I’d hit the big time and used to buy Max Factor, L’oreal and sometimes Body Shop make up. 

It wasn’t until I started university in Leeds that I really discovered the delights of Mac, Laura Mercier, Dior, YSL, etc and I have to confess that a probably unreasonable wad of my student loan was spent at make up counters in House of Fraser and Harvey Nicholls. In my defence I did work on a Dior counter for a while and made huge use of the staff discount. 

I’ve tried a lot foundations over the years, from the very cheapest to the decadently expensive, but I always go back to this one: Estée Lauder Double Wear.

 I’ve converted a fair few of my friends to it too and they’ve all thanked me, without exception. A few months ago I gave Georgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation a try after hearing marvellous things about it, but for me, Estée Lauder Double Wear still comes out on top. 

So what’s so good about it? Pretty much everything! Except perhaps the price (around £30 for 30ml). But I think it’s well worth it. First of all, the coverage is amazing! You can apply a second layer if you need to but I never have. My skin tone is naturally uneven but this foundation covers all of that and leaves me with a good complexion. Secondly, it lasts! It really truly does last for a full 15 hours (at least) without having to be touched up. It doesn’t budge! Thirdly, and very importantly for me, it’s oil free. I have very oily skin so if I don’t use an oil free foundation I soon become shiny in a sweaty-looking way. Not a good look! And finally, a 30ml bottle goes a long way. Because the coverage is so good I find that I don’t use as much per application as other foundations, so I only buy it two or three times a year.   

Because it’s oil-free and fairly dense (there is a more lightweight version available but I prefer more coverage) it’s important to moisturise really well before applying. To apply I use a brush; I find that this method achieves the best coverage quickly and evenly. I then use a setting powder and that’s it, I don’t re-touch for the rest of the day! 

I also use the Double Wear Concealer under my eyes. As well as the usual I’m-a-mum-and-I-get-no-sleep dark circles, I also still have the remnants of the dreaded melasma from my last pregnancy underneath each eye. Double Wear Concealer coupled with the foundation totally covers them! 
Everyone loves a before and after so here’s me pre and post application of concealer and foundation this morning. I didn’t use a colour corrector and the after shot is before I dusted on the setting powder. The photos were taken with the front camera on my iPhone and aren’t edited in any way. Pretty impressive hey?!

Do you see why I love Double Wear so much?!
 
I purchased the foundation and concealer yesterday in Boots (gotta love the advantage points!) and received a free gift in the shape of a lovely red cracker. I haven’t opened it yet but I’ll share its contents when I do. Oh and I also got 500 bonus advantage card points too, win!  

I realise this post probably sounds like a sponsored big-up of the products but I promise you it isn’t, I wasn’t given anything or paid for writing this, I really do just genuinely rate them highly and wanted to spread the joy!

If anyone thinks there’s an even better foundation out there please let me know but I doubt I’ll like it as much as my beloved Double Wear!

I Miss Being Vain!

 
My children are everything and I love the bones of them. I wouldn’t swap them for the world but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss certain things from my pre-mum days. And one of those things is being vain.

   
I miss looking like this. I miss spending 4 hours getting ready for a night out. Or even just a day out. Or actually, even just going to work. I’ve never been what would be described as conventionally beautiful but I’ve always taken care over my appearance. Despite always having been on the heavier side (ok yeah, I mean fat), I care what I look like and love applying make up.

In my pre-children days I would spend 50 minutes in the shower, exfoliating and conditioning to my heart’s content. No rush, I could stay in that bathroom as long as I liked. Then I’d saunter into my bedroom, put some tunes on and spend hours on my make up, literally hours. 

First I always tweezed my eyebrows and examined my pores in a magnifying mirror for about 20 minutes. Then I’d prime my face with a moisturiser, eye cream and pore minimiser. Next I’d apply concealer and 3 different foundations followed by setting powder. I’ve always enhanced my eyebrows (even before it was fashionable. I am a victim of the 90’s over plucking phenomena) so I’d spend at least 15 minutes on them. Then the eyes; at least 5 eye-shadows, liquid eye-liner, khol eye-liner and individual false lashes. Then highlighter and bronzer. I’d sculpt my face and keep on sculpting until I was happy with it. Last was always the lips. For some reason I never spent much time on them, usually just a couple of lip glosses would do. 

Then onto my hair. Products galore at my disposal, ghd’s and curling wands at the ready, I’d make sure there wasn’t a hair out of place. 

 

The pre-children me. Although I’ll concede the eyebrows are a bit dodgy here.
 
These days I’m lucky if I manage a 10 minute shower in peace. Half the time I rush out of the house with 50% wet hair (the other 50% being dry but frizzy). I slap foundation on whilst feeding the baby and hope for the best. I still insist on sorting my eyebrows out (I really can’t go around with sparse eyebrows can I?) but I’m altogether a much less appealing sight than I was before. 

I live in denial. Each day I go out looking a mess I vow that it’s the last day it will happen. ‘I’ll get my act together tomorrow and be glam again’ I tell myself. It doesn’t happen. But it will one day. Probably sometime in 2030.