Friday, 22 July 2016

Tropic Smoothing Cleanser

tropic smoothing cleanser for oily skin review

It seems like forever since I changed up my cleanser, I’m trying so hard to go through them one at a time instead of having about 5 on the go at once…I’m doing well, I’ve only got two on the go right now! One of which is the Tropic Smoothing Cleanser which I received in my #NWMeet 2.0 goodie bag. 

100% natural, made with green tea extract, golden jojoba, and eucalyptus leaf oils, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and handmade fresh in good ol’ Great Britain, there’s a whole lotta good in this cleanser, but how effective is it?

The cleanser itself is really luxurious, thick and creamy, not exactly what you’d imagine an oily skinned girl like myself is looking for. However, I have found in the past that my skin has responded well to really rich cleansers, it keeps my face supple, and nourished, which actually stops the glands from producing excess oil. Go figure. And the Tropic cleanser is no exception. The cleanser comes in a very sleek and hotel-stylish pump action bottle that looks very fancy pants in my bathroom. It claims to melt away makeup and impurities to promote a clear, smooth and refreshed complexion. 

As it’s super rich, I only use it once a day, of an evening. I figure that's when the most dirt, grease and grime has built up on my face (sexy!) so that’s when I’m in need of a thorough cleansing. Two pumps is enough to cleanse my face and neck. I apply to dry skin (still taking off my make-up with The Body Shops’ Camomile Makeup Remover beforehand), in circular motions which, after one long bloody day is so relaxing. The cleanser smells amazing, the eucalyptus scent is pretty strong so it’s really refreshing. Then, I take it all off with the Tropic bamboo cleansing cloth, soaked in warm water. The cloth, oh! The cloth! It’s like having your face stroked by a soft, warm, not-going-to-claw-your-eyes-out, kitty. Once the cleanser is removed I splash my face with fresh cold water, then pat dry. 

My skin feels like it is physically breathing after using this cleanser, everything feels open in a good way and super clean. I did notice a couple of tiny spots appearing after the first couple of days, but within a week they had cleared up and none have appeared since. This cleanser is super rich and would be ideal for someone with really dry skin. A while back I had these weird dry patches cropping up on my t-zone and they’ve cleared right up since I started using this cleanser! 

tropic smoothing cleanser for oily skin review

One thing I will say is that right now, with this really hot and humid weather we’re having, it’s too rich for me. The sun and heat is sending my skin into overdrive and all my usual products are too much for my skin to handle. My skin as become excessively oily which is a pain in the ass, and causing me to look as sweaty as I feel. Urgh. Come autumn/winter, this little baby will be perfect to keep my face frostbite free, but for the summer, it’s going to have to go on it’s own little holiday to the back of the drawer. 

That being said, I’m not put off using it at all, I actually think it would work really well with my Clarisonic for a really deep cleanse. If you have normal to dry skin, this is certainly going to put some life back into those cheeks! I’ve been eyeballing the Tropic range, and have already added their clay mask, organic nail nectar, and their mineral foundation to my wish list!

How vegan-friendly, cruelty-free is your skincare routine?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

*Juicing vs Blending with Panasonic

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

I do love a good kitchen gadget, and something new and shiny always gets my backside back in the kitchen and gets me experimenting. When I was asked to try out the Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500, I was already buzzing with ideas of concoctions I could juice up and try out, from the nice to the naughty and back again, and if it gave me a health kick at the same time - who was I to say no?

I’ve always been a blender, from smoothies to shakes, it all got chopped up, blended up, and drunk down, bits stuck up my straw and all,and I genuinely thought blending was the only way to go. I’ve been downing green juices since they came into fashion and haven’t looked back…until now.

Hands up if you thought blending and juicing were kind of the same thing? I’ve got both hands up (typing with my toes, duh). It’s fruit, it’s veggies, it’s a chance to get a boat load of vitamins and minerals into my wannabe temple-body that I wouldn’t usually get. Ok, they both do do that, but there are a couple of differences too;

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

Blending is full of fibre, satisfies hunger cravings and fills you up for longer, with a slow release of energy. The slow release also balances your blood sugar levels - meaning you won’t peak, go bonkers, then crash into a lifeless heap on the floor, craving a snickers. 

Juicing takes out the fibre, making it easier on sensitive digestive systems. It’s also a quick, sure-fire way to get a huge vitamin and nutrient boost as all that good stuff is absorbed quickly, and will give you an instant energy boosting pick me up. Less fibre means you can get in more fruits and veggies than with blending, but it also means you have to watch your sugars. 

The Panasonic Slow Juicer is a centrifugal juicer, which means it crushes the fruit and vegetables slowly which releases more juice, preserving vitamins and minerals, than regular masticating, twin gear and hand cranking juicers. This also makes it one of the quietest juicers on the market, and the most stable. I swear, no matter how much fruit I pushed into this baby, it stayed solid and there was no fear of it rocking off the counter top. 

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

Speaking of counter tops - I’m someone with zero countertop space, that's city living for you, and to find something that takes up less space than my kettle? Talk about impressed. It’s compact enough that it doesn’t get in the way, and having it out means I’m more likely to opt for a quick fresh squeezed orange juice over breakfast before reaching for a carton - come on, you’re telling me freshly squeezed juice doesn’t tickle your fancy pants tastebuds? Because it makes me feel very Mrs Bouqut (say it properly now hehe!)

And if it wasn’t fancy enough? It comes with an interchangeable frozen attachment which means you can make frozen desserts and sorbets! Have you not seen the weather we’re having right now? As someone who can’t eat much ice cream (and I curse the heavens daily for this), sorbets are my saviours and I never thought it would be so easy to make my own! You simply chop, freeze, change to the frozen attachment, then pop the frozen fruits in - job DONE. I’m telling you, I feel like a dessert queen!

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

As for juicing, I’ve been playing around with some really simple, summery juices that have been perfect for breakfast or as a post ridiculously-long-hard-hot-day-at-work pick me up. Oranges, carrots, pineapple and apples, all things I buy every week but always have too much leftover that ends up going to waste. Not anymore! I juice up the extras and make 4-5 days worth of juice at a time, meaning the only waste I have now is the pulp (and if I had a garden, I wouldn’t even have that as I think it would be ideal for a compost heap!). 

panasonic slow juicer mj l500 review

The one and only downside I have to comment on is the cleaning. Though the juicer comes apart easy enough, some of the nooks and crannies are so finicky to get fruit and veg pulp out of that it can take me a good while, and a good scrubbing before I’m satisfied it’s all out. It does come with a handy cleaning tool but in the morning pre-work rush, I just don’t have the time. Batch juicing on the weekend seems the best way to go, as I have time to make my juice in bulk and time to make sure it gets a good cleaning. 

Overall, I’m impressed. I won’t even look at the cartons of pre-made juice in the supermarkets anymore, always opting to make my own, even if it is something simple like an orange juice, there’s just something really satisfying about making my own. I’m looking into some detoxing and cleansing juices that I can’t wait to try (and will report back on, obvs) and did you not see me mentioning sorbets? I’m not saying blending and I are through, we’re on a Ross and Rachael style break, but juicing has seriously won me over right now!

Are you team blender or team juicer?

Until next time,

*Come Round kindly provided the Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 110% my own :) For more information, see my disclaimer here.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Mix and Mask with Origins

mix and mask box origins

Open your purse. Go do it now. Opened? Good. Is there £20 in there? No? Ok, go check down the back of the couch, the jean pockets about to go in the washing machine, the bottom of your bag. Find £20 because it’s going to be the best £20 you’ve spent on beauty products in a while. 

When Jane, British Beauty Blogger, partners with Latest in Beauty, you know you’re in for a treat, but when that partnership involves Origins…seriously, just take my money right NOW.

Ok, Ok, I’ve had caffeine, it was a good idea at the time. let me calm down for a….



Nope. There will be no keeping calm. 

It’s been forever and a day since I last bought a subscription box of the beauty kind, I’d gotten fed up of repeats, sachets, perfume samples and a lifetime's supply of hand-creams. I love un-boxings, I love seeing what I could have won but nothing has ever caught my eye enough to make me want to take up my subscription again. Now, one off boxes, they can be a whole different story. You usually know what you’re getting before it arrives (OK, I miss the mystery a little bit), and you can work out if it’s worth the pennies you’ve scrimped together. The problem usually is, by the time you’ve done the sums to see if it really is that good a value for money, chances are it was limited edition, it’s sold out and well, here’s what you could have won. Swings and roundabouts people!

Jumping right into the box, I knew it was going to be worth the money, let’s face it, £20 doesn’t get you a whole lot at Origins, so a box full of goodies was going to really give you bang for your buck, but let’s have a look inside shall we, the proof is in the mud mask. 

mix and mask box origins

Vitazing spf15 moisturiser full size, worth £29. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, I have zero luck when it comes to tinted moisturisers but this is supposed to be all kinds of different, more sheer and matte with skin energising and mineral boosting ingredients. 

Maximiser full size, worth £18.50. This. This I almost bought the other day but I ran out of time to hit the counter to grab one. Gimmick or saving grace? That’s what I want to know. Self-confessed mask-addict, even face masks need an accessory and the maximizer is suppose to prep your skin, allowing your face mask to work even more miracles than it was already promising. Watch this space!

mix and mask box origins

By All Greens 25ml. This is a foaming, deep cleansing green tea based face mask. Tea. Green tea. It’s like they knew I would be getting my hands on this box. It foams up on contact with the skin, then when mixed with water, doubles up as a cleanser too - sounds perfect for an in-bath pamper session, don’t you think?

Drink-Up Intensive 30ml. I have the full sized one of these and was all ready to decant a little off for when I go travelling later in the year…but decant I shall not! With a long haul flight coming up this little facemask is my best friend. I won’t be landing long-haul looking like my face has been used as sandpaper for 9 hours, oh no! Plump, hydrated skin, ready to holiday like no-one has holidayed before. 

GinZing Peel off mask 15ml. Because who doesn’t want their face mask to look like a Snapchat filter? I’ve never had much luck with peel off masks but if this makes me look like a sexy rose-gold terminator, who am I to judge? I’ll just upload the Instagram picture and let you guys decide!

mix and mask box origins

A Quad of Pods 10ml each. I have been wanting to try the mask pods forever and a day but they don’t seem to be that easy to get hold of! Damn lucrative beauty products! They’re the perfect way to try to a mask on a more luxury sample size basis, ideal for travelling, and for experimenting with multi-masking! Each pod will easily give me two full face masks, and bonus I was lucky enough to receive a super-sized 30ml of the Original Skin mask over a 10ml pod - winner! 

And that’s it. That IS IT. 

£20 well spent if I do say so myself, I won’t be needing to buy a face mask anytime soon that’s for sure, and with so many new toys to play with you can guarantee I’ll be getting a couple of snazzy new reviews out of this one box too!

At the time of rapidly writing up this un-boxing, the Mix and Mask box was still in stock but at the time of publishing…well…sorry guys, I guess it’s one of those here’s what you could have won posts. Oops!

What’s your desert island face mask?

Until next time,

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