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! * LolaStar Hearts | UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog * !

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Vivant Skincare

Acne-prone, blemish-prone, bad-skin-day-prone. I’m big on skincare, it’s probably more important to me than makeup. If it had better skin I wouldn’t need as much makeup right? So I jumped at the chance when the lovely people at Vivant Skin Care offered to send me some of their range to review.

Morning Routine

I love this stuff. As you know I’m a scrub-addict so this was perfect for me. BP (Benzoyl Peroxide) is a peeling agent, which helps clear pores and reduces skin bacteria. I love using this in the mornings as I feel like it really clears my skin of any sebum produced during sleep.

Mandelic Acid is used as a more effective substitute for glycolic acid. Again, it has antibacterial properties to help kill the acne bacteria. It’s a clarifying toner that removes dirt and oil and helps with hyperpigmentation. I found this stuff a bit too strong. It smells like pure alcohol and I was worried that it may have been a bit too harsh for my skin. Admittedly, I didn’t react badly to it but I didn’t enjoy using it.

Daily Treatment Lotion SPF15* - $33
I’m a naughty beauty blogger – I don’t use SPF. I know, I’m bad. But I always feel like SPF moisturisers are too heavy for my oily skin and clog my pores. But this one is an absolute Godsend. Vivant are right, it’s super-light. It didn’t break me out or feel too heavy.

This serum is designed to protect against environmental damage whilst flushing out pores and improving pigmentation. Personally, I don’t see the use of this product. I forgot to use it on many occasions and found that it didn’t make any aesthetic difference to my skin whether.

Evening Routine

This can be used on the face and scalp for acne, dandruff and irritation. I didn’t use it on my scalp as I think it’d be too strong for my brittle hair but it’s a pretty decent face wash. I don’t love it as much as the exfoliating cleanser though. Sorry.

I love it when you can feel products working and this is amazing. It’s a clear gel that feels quite ‘slippery’, but dries with a vice-like grip. It makes your face feel really tight, but not in an unpleasant way. It’s an oil-free gel designed to hydrate your skin and calm it down. The tightness disperses after a while, and I found that I wasn’t as oily as usual in the mornings.

My verdict: The toner and serum were a bit of a miss for me. The toner was too strong and the serum was too – nothing, I guess. But I loved the rest of the range.

Did it work? Probably the most important question. At first the range broke me out. But they were small whiteheads so I think my skin was just purging itself. Aside from the initial breakout my skin really cleared up. BUT – there’s always a but, right? – Vivant has actually made me realise my ‘acne’ is hormonal. So whilst it was great at alleviating breakouts, it was pretty much powerless to stop them. Obviously that’s no fault of the products, Vivant, it’s not you, it’s me.

Would I repurchase? Toughie. Why? I’m a student and Vivant is hardly Asda Smart Price. The exfoliating wash is a bathroom staple for me now, so I’ll have to beg, steal and borrow to repurchase that. Skincare is important to me though so if my spots weren’t hormonal then I’d continue to purchase the whole range.

Vivant Skin Care is available to purchase from the Vivant website. 
The people at Vivant are lovely, and run a Skin Care Chat every Tuesday at 8pm (EST) and give tips and advice on skin care. The CEO Kelly Kendrick (@kllykendrick) also gives great recommendations on products for your skin issues too.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Review: WishTrend - Tosowoong Clean Pore Brush - Clarisonic Dupe?

Hello, my name is Lola and I’m a scrub-aholic.

I absolutely a love a good facial scrub – and body too. But after talking to Grace from All That Slap about scrubs and hearing about how they can be counterproductive – abrasive scrubs can cause micro-tears which can make you more spot prone as bacteria can get inside and cause breakouts – I went in search of alternatives. Weirdly, I don’t really feel clean if I don’t get a bit of scrubbing action so recently I’ve been loving the Tosowoong Clean Pore Brush* from WishTrend.

With 310,000 fine, anti-bacterial, synthetic fur bristles; the brush is designed to give your skin a deep clean while still being gentle enough for daily use. The bristles are said to reach the places that our fingers can’t, allowing for a deeper, more effective cleanse.

I love how soft the bristles are. But I was doubtful that they’d really manage to do much since they’re soft. But I was wrong.

The bristles are really dense so they produce a nice lather, which means I use a lot less cleanser than usual.

I wouldn’t say that it’s revolutionalised my skincare regime, but when I use it regularly I do notice that the overall condition of my skin improves. I will admit however, sometimes I just can’t be bothered.

Now I’ve never used a Clarisonic before, but I’ve heard that the Tosowoong Clean Pore Brush is comparable and holds up well in terms of effectiveness.

It's supposed to be particularly brilliant for oily skin types, but I think it's suitable deep cleansing brush for all skin types.

Picture taken from the WishTrend website 

The only thing I didn’t like was that the instructions were all in Korean. Obviously it’s really simple to use, but details like when it should be changed, or care instructions would be nice.

Bottom line: I like it, but I think the claims are a bit far fetched. Eliminating impurities in pores? Hmm, perhaps not. Would I repurchase? I doubt it. Compared to the Clarisonic it’s a bargain, but at $25 it’s still slightly more than I’d be willing to spend on a facial brush, personally.

Tosowoong Clean Pore Brush is available from the WishTrend website, priced at $25.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

REN Haul & Freebie Offer

Those subbed to WIMH* might remember an email they sent out a while back, with a special offer from REN. Now most ‘special offers’ find their way into the trash folder, but this was a good’un.

Valid on any REN purchase, new customers were entitled to a free Six of the Best set worth £20, 10% discount and four free samples. Bargain right?!

At the time I managed to resist the offer and trashed the email – I’m trying to save! But after reading a post by Jo from Beauty and the Books I just had to get my hands on something.

I’m a big fan of their Glycolactic Mask but at £30 it’s not exactly budget friendly. Instead I opted for their Kit for Blemish Prone Skin. By the time I was ready to check out the kit was out of stock(!), so I got the Kit for Combination Skin instead, which was cheaper than the former at only £12.

Mayblossom T-Zone Cleansing Gel – 25ml
T-Zone Balancing Fluid – 15ml
Invisible Pores Detox Mask – 15ml

I missed out on the offer of four free samples and only got two, but free is free so I can’t really complain! I got myself a sample of the Glycolatic Mask (a favourite of mine anyway!) and an extra Invisible Pores Detox Mask.

The Six of the Best box was added at checkout and contained:
Mayblossom T-Zone Cleansing Gel – 25ml
Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Polish – 25ml
Omega 3 Overnight Repair Serum  - 10ml
Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask – 15ml
Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream – 15ml
Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel – 3ml

This lot should cost me £32 but I paid just £10.80 (plus £3 P&P). Not bad, eh?

I’ve checked on the website and the offer is still on so make sure you get over to the REN online shop and pick up your free Six of the Best set and samples!

If you use the code ‘RENHANDBAG’ at the checkout, your Six of the Best set will be automagically added to your basket, along with your 10% discount. No minimum spend required. New customers only.

*This post contains a referral link.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Purely Natural Skin Acne Treatment - Acne Cleanser & Mask

Before I start this review I just want to make it clear that I don’t have acne. I used to have it when I was a teenager but now I have oily, blemish-prone skin. I do however have hormonal problems that cause breakouts from time to time that seem almost resistant to any products I put on them.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been using the Purely Natural Skin Acne Treatment* religiously. The treatment consists of a cleanser and mask, to be used daily and weekly respectively.

The products are exactly what they say on the tin – natural. A gentleman called Dean who suffered with severe acne for several years founded Purely Natural Skin. With a few lifestyle changes and the help of the Acne Cleanser he was able to get rid of his acne problems.

The Cleanser

The cleanser arrived in a solid ball and smelled exactly like lemon curd. The ground almonds and essential oils make it very crumbly, like a loose biscuit mixture. I’m also guessing that they’re what give it a relatively short shelf life.

I really love this cleanser. It makes my face feel fresh and clean, which is strange for me as I always need something quite scrubby to really get that fresh feeling after cleansing.

I usually break off a piece of the cleanser, mix it with a few drops of water into a paste and smooth it over my face and neck. The cleanser emulsifies when you add water, and turns into a milky, almondy paste.

My only real issue with this cleanser is that due to the tub and it’s crumbly form it’s not the ideal shower companion. I found myself having to break a piece off before getting into the shower, which can be a little annoying. I also found it difficult to fit into my skincare regime at night, as it’s not the greatest cleanser to use to remove makeup.

The Mask

The mask is my favourite mask, ever. When it first arrived and I opened the tub to be greeted by a powder, I did find it a bit strange. And admittedly, the first time I used it I wasn’t really pleased that I pretty much had to make the mask. However, the results are amazing and worth a couple of minutes of DIY.

I use a small plastic Tupperware bowl and the end of a makeup brush to mix the powder with some water to make the mask. The first couple of times it was difficult to work out the best water:powder ratio, but you quickly get the hang of it.

The mixture starts to dry when applied to the face, and as it’s drying it also starts to shrink. The shrinking feeling makes the mask very tight – no eating or drinking while it’s on, it’s like a vice! It also feels like it’s ‘sucking’ your face, for want of a better word haha.

I rub the dried mask off after about 20 minutes, splash my face with water and remove the residue with a damp muslin cloth.

The mask leaves my face feeling fresh and my pores feel very much unclogged. It’s great if you’ve got oily skin, as it feels as though the mask absorbs the oil. It makes my spots a lot less angry and if I use it at night, they significantly reduce in size when I wake up.

The first ingredient is oats (avena sativa) which gives the mask an unfortunate porridge scent, but it’s a small price to pay when you see the results.

Bottom line: The cleanser is great and it’s firmly in my skincare regime. The mask is a definite must-have and I’ll be buying another one when this runs out. For the quality of the product, the price is fantastic. I’m not a huge fan of the packaging (I’m a sucker for something pretty!) but it’s a minor gripe.

The Acne treatment is available from the Purely Natural Skin website, priced at £13.95. 
The treatment now includes a muslin cloth too.

*This treatment was provided free of charge for review. As always, whether negative or positive, my review is completely honest. 
I have not been compensated for writing this.

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