Wednesday 28 February 2018

A Personal Post - Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018

This post contains wording, information and details of Anorexia Nervosa and other Eating Disorders which some people may find triggering. 

I don't usually post on a Wednesday but this week is EDAW or Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018 which runs from 26th February until 4th March 2018. If you are a regular reader of my blog or you know me personally, or both, you will know that raising awareness of Eating Disorders is something extremely close to my heart and although I campaign throughout the year, I always highlight the importance of raising awareness of Eating Disorders when EDAW comes round each year. 

Raising awareness of Eating Disorders is something I will always do while I still have breath in my body, it is something I wish with all my heart I didn't need to do but our beautiful daughter Cole has been gripped in the clutches of Anorexia for 14 years this August and so raising awareness and trying to help other people in whatever stage they are of the eating disorder path, is very important to me.  

Last year for EDAW I wrote an in depth blog post sharing my daughters story, today's post will be more fact based, some based on my/Coles experience also and other things, it may be  a bit a lot all over the place and I may repeat myself from previous posts but please bear with me, this is very difficult for me to write, but important that I do.  

Why I am writing this?   

14 years ago when I started to worry about my daughter, there wasn't any information available, I searched and searched and hit a brick wall every single time, it was soul destroying seeing my baby starve herself in front of my eyes and not be able to do anything about it. I don't ever want anyone to feel the way I did, and although I'm not a doctor or a professional in eating disorder awareness, I am a mum who's daughter has been in the grips of anorexia for almost 14 years and in those 14 years I have armed myself with as much knowledge as humanly possible so I can help her, and I also want to use that knowledge so I might be able to help someone else. Last year when I wrote my post on our story, I had so many people say that they had learned so much and I also had emails and private messages from sufferers and carers saying my post had helped them, and for me that means the world and it is the reason I am doing this today, if I help just one person then it is worth it. 

Signs & Symptoms - Our Experience

One of the most asked questions I get is "how did you know?"

The first ever sign we had of Coles anorexia was aged 5 when I found her school packed lunches hidden under her bed when I was clearing out her room, I was expecting my youngest at the time and spoke to school, the health visitor and GP and was told it was probably just a reaction to the new baby coming, I accepted that, it fitted in with what was happening, little did I know it was the start of something much much more. The next time I noticed anything specific was her refusal to wear shorts on our summer holiday, she had turned 13 2 weeks before, it was extremely hot weather, and she flatly refused one day to wear her shorts because she said her legs were fat. 

Even to this day, Cole hates her legs, and now she covers them in tattoo's in order to "make them pretty" in her words. 

After the shorts incident we noticed things we were buying from the supermarket were lasting longer, and then we noticed Cole reading the food packaging and looking at recipes. Cole also changed, her mood changed, she wasn't the same child at all. She would say she looked fat or ask me if she was the same size as people at school or on TV.  By the time the food packet reading and recipe reading had started, I had a gut feeling about it all. I just knew in my head she had anorexia, I had spoken to Simon about it and he said it was normal teen behaviour, he probably wanted to ease my mind. My mum and best friend said the same, but I knew, I just knew. 

Some other things we noticed Cole was doing was over exercising, she was a dancer and used to practice in her room, this increased and increased. Cole would stand up rather than sit down, she thought this would burn more calories, she would use methods surrounding being cold ( I am not going to list these methods as I do not want to give any kind of "tips" to anyone) she would avoid eating things, she would all of a sudden "go off" something to avoid eating it. 

I was told by the GP when I first asked to "watch her after meals, is she going to the bathroom?" but she wasn't, Cole hasn't ever made herself sick, I falsely thought this was a good sign, I didn't know then that not all anorexics make themselves sick. 

Signs & Symptoms Of Eating Disorders - Professional Help

The Beat website has some brilliant information pages with signs & symptoms of all eating disorders, if you would like to check those out then just click on this link for all the information. 

Worrying about someone you suspect has an eating disorder.

If you have concerns for a child or friend, relative, loved one, it is horrible, I remember vividly noticing things with Cole and being worried sick, as I said, I spoke to my mum and my best friend and they said it was probably her age and "all teenagers think they're fat" but I knew, I just knew it was more than that, I knew in my heart that it was anorexia. Unfortunately 14 years ago there wasn't the information out there that there is now, I couldn't find anything to help me, this is one of the reasons I do this, because I don't ever want anyone to feel as desperate as I did. But that gut feeling is there for a reason and especially as a parent you just know, and hopefully this post and my previous post will be able to help you. 

It can be difficult to raise the issue of an eating disorder when you are worried about a family member, friend or loved one, we worry about how to bring it up, what to say, what they will say, will we offend them, will they fall out with us? It is really hard, the most important thing to remember before approaching the subject is that, it isn't the persons fault, they can't help it, it is a serious mental illness.  I wasn't armed with any knowledge the first time I spoke to my daughter and I went about things totally wrong because of that, luckily I have spoken with Cole about the early days and she understands my lack of knowledge and despair. Simon found it harder than me in some ways, as her dad, Simon felt this was something he couldn't sort out or mend, and it was hard for him as usually dads sort everything out and fix everything and this was something he couldn't fix. 

Ultimately because of this, our first conversation didn't pan out well, these are some things to consider before speaking to someone about your worries for the first time. 

  • Think about what you want to say beforehand and don't bombard the person with your worries, facts or information. 
  • Don't say things like "you're going to die" or "you're making me worry" "can't you see what you're doing to your mum/dad/loved one/friends" or use accusatory language, the person can't help it and you will both end up very upset and get nowhere.  
  • Try not to focus on food/weight other than a reason why you're worried, for example say a person has lost a lot of weight and you're worried, but try not to focus on it too much or speak about what the person is/isn't eating and how thin they look and don't compare them to celebrities or peers.   
  • Speak about things you're concerned about but don't list things you've noticed or say "you've been doing xyz" because they may feel "spied on". 
  • It is likely they will become defensive and angry, don't respond by being the same, try to remain calm.
  • They may say there is nothing wrong, and maybe extremely convincing and it maybe that they don't realise they are ill, denial is considered a symptom of anorexia so trust your gut instinct, you were worried for a reason, keep an eye on them, make their school/college/uni or workplace aware and if they have a friend you can confide in and trust, speak to them or if they are younger and visit friends houses, speak to their friends parents too and explain your concerns, this way everyone is keeping an eye out.
  •  Don't try to talk before or after meal times. 
  • If they do accept there is a problem, make an appointment at the GP as soon as possible and depending on your circumstances go with them or offer to go along as support.  

There are a lot of myths surrounding eating disorders, the media doesn't help these myths, some common myths are -
  • All anorexics make themselves sick - Cole has never made herself sick.
  • All anorexics/people with an eating disorder are thin - not true at all, someone can be very unwell and not "look thin".
  • Families/Parents are to blame for a person having an eating disorder, there must be a reason - there can be reasons, and sometimes there is no specific reason, we were told Cole was pre disposed to anorexia having mental health in her genetics, there is no reason, which is hard to accept as we all want a reason. 
  • Only teenage girls get eating disorders - males get eating disorders too and females/males of all ages get eating disorders, some children as young as 6 have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, some people are teens, some adults, some pre teens, some middle aged, eating disorders have no gender or age limit.
  • Eating disorders are a phase or for attention - they are a serious mental health condition and should be treated that way, always. 
  • People with eating disorders want to be thin - weightloss and restricting food are a side effect of anorexia and other methods surrounding food and weight are side effects of other eating disorders, it is NOT a desire to be thin.  

The Anorexic Voice

The anorexic voice is one of the things I find most people have no idea about, the voice can be heard inside the persons head or something heard from outside. At first when the sufferer hears the voice it will suggest they will feel better if they lose a little more weight, but then it becomes much louder and much more critical, it may say that the person is weak for eating or a failure for not losing weight and it will threaten them with consequences should they try to fight the illness. 

Cole calls her voice Henry, she hears him all the time, he will tell her that she is fat, ugly, worthless, that nobody likes her and that me and Simon are trying to make her fat and we want her to be fat. And not only does Cole hear Henry, she also sees him and he looks horrible, he is very very tall, about 8 feet, he is extremely thin, black in colour, furry and he has black spiky hair, red eyes and yellow teeth that are like a monsters teeth, he sounds delightful doesn't he? It breaks our hearts that our daughter can see that and hear it every day, Henry sits on Coles bedroom furniture swinging his legs and in a sing song voice he will say "nobody loves you, everybody hates you" and he tells her all sorts of horrible things, all of which are untrue. He tells her how many calories she is allowed to have per day, he tells her he is her only friend and the only person she can trust, that only he cares about her, he is absolutely vile and I hate him so much, it's like having a house guest that you hate and don't want there but you can't do anything about. 

The first time Cole admitted she had a problem was after having a hospital appointment for a genetic kidney problem she has where she agreed with the consultant that she would see a doctor about her weight loss because he had noticed how thin she looked. She burst into tears, which for Cole is rare, she doesn't cry, she has aspergers and it's rare she cries, but she cried, and we cried too, and that was when she told us about Henry. It was horrendous, can you imagine your child telling you that when you know nothing about the illness as it is, it was awful. 

Secrets & Lies

Eating disorders are often surrounded by secrecy and also by lies, sufferers will often lie to their loved ones and say they have eaten, they may hide food, and do other things. Luckily for us, with Cole having aspergers, she doesn't tell lies, this can be a double edged sword as she has openly told us things she has done to prevent eating. But it is worth noting if you are worried about someone, they may tell lies and be very secretive, not because they are being horrible or deceitful on purpose or because they don't care about you, it is part of the illness, they can't help it and often their "Henry" will have a lot to do with it. 

Unhelpful Advice

Like anything, when people find out someone has a medical condition, they become a master of all knowledge, we have had some incredible advice such as "just take her to the doctor, there was a girl on Hollyoaks and she went to the doctor and got sent somewhere and is fine now" excellent, we'll do that then cause it's bound to be the end of it. Or we've had "I'd make her go to the doctor" or "I'd force feed her if she were mine" "Just get her to the chippy" "My next door neighbours, brother in laws, 85th cousin twice removed had it and they read this book and it sorted them out" all excellent advice I'm sure, but as frustrating as it is, try to remember that people are only trying to help and because it is a condition a lot of people don't understand they don't know what to say, so my advice would be to nod and smile and try to remember it is said with the best intentions. 

Everyone Is Different

Having a child or loved one with an eating disorder may mean that you connect with other people who are or have been in a similar situation to yours, try to remember that we are all different and people recover at different times, it is heart breaking and brilliant when a friends child begins recovery or is in recovery 12 months after starting and they have stayed in recovery, you feel so elated for the sufferer and their family and friends but at the same time almost jealous because it isn't you and your child, but we are all different and one day I hope that it will be Coles turn and I'll be that mum who is ecstatic but for now it isn't our time. 

I remember going to that very first GP appointment and them diagnosing Cole with anorexia, the doctor said he would make an urgent referral to CAMHS and I remember feeling absolutely brilliant and thinking that it would all soon be over, I feel stupid now, almost 14 years later and Cole worse than she was then, because I didn't know anything and I just assumed that was it, the magic CAMHS who would sort it all out. I do know now that it is natural to feel like that and if you have felt that too at least you know you're not alone cause I did. 

Some Information

YouGov recently conducted a survey of young adults in the UK about their knowledge when it comes to spotting the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. These are some of the results -  
  • 34% were unable to name a correct sign or symptom

  • ‘Weight loss’ or ‘Being thin’ was twice as likely to be listed as any other 

  • 23% listed physical signs only 

  • 79% couldn’t list a psychological symptom 

  • Out of the 68 signs and symptoms we identified, on average, respondents to the survey gave 3 correct answers. 

As a result of the survey Beat (the UK's eating disorders charity) are calling on the Government and the NHS to promote the importance of spotting the early signs and symptoms of eating disorders, asking that they invest in measures to increase awareness. 

When I was at my most desperate and after months and months I found Beat who were the eating disorders association and became Beat in 2007, they had forums for parents/carers and sufferers and I joined the parents forum and it made a massive difference, so I will say if you can join forums please do, it really helps to talk to people who understand, because your friends and family can be the most amazing in the world but nobody "gets it" like someone who is or has lived it.

There are numerous places online and also local support groups now for carers and sufferers which is incredible and I am so pleased and if you are thinking about taking a look and joining a forum or support group, I would definitely say to give it a go, I can't speak for support groups but that Beat forum definitely kept me going at times and I made some amazing friends, some of who I am still very close to.

Help For Carers & Sufferers

When I was looking for information to list in this post, I came across the This Morning website and they have a really useful page listing lots of places to go for help with eating disorders and so I thought rather than me listing all the same numbers etc, I will link to that page and then it's easy to access. That page can be found by clicking onto this link.

EDAW Campaign 2018 
Every year for EDAW B-EAT have a different campaign and this year for 2018 their campaign for EDAW is the Why Wait campaign, they are focusing on the time between the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder emerging, and people finding help, which is, on average, three years. You can find out all about the Why Wait campaign and how to get involved if you would like to on the Beat website

Things NOT To Say

It is very hard to know what to say to someone with an eating disorder or someone in recovery from an eating disorder and it can feel like you're treading on eggshells, these are some of the things not to say to both someone suffering and someone in recovery. 

What NOT to say to someone in recovery
  • You look well - they hear "you look fat".
  • You'd never know you were ill now would you.
  • So don't you make yourself sick now?
  • Do you eat what you want now?
  • So can you come for a meal now?

Steer clear from the topic of food, weight, how someone looks. If you have to say anything just say you're proud of them and you're always there for them if they need support, or ask them what they would like you to do and ask what they don't want to hear, it's better than saying the wrong thing. 

What NOT to say to someone suffering from an eating disorder
  • Oh I could do with some diet tips for my holidays.
  • How many calories do you eat in a day?
  • What do you weigh?
  • What do you eat?
  • So when you look in a mirror do you see a fat person?
  • You're not fat (their anorexic voice will say you are lying).
  • I wish I had your stamina, I'm always starving.
  • You're so lucky, I look at a cake and put weight on.
  • Aren't you hungry?

All these things have been said to Cole and some in the last 3 months, common sense would say, don't say certain things, but because there is such little awareness people just don't know what not to say, this is why raising awareness is so important. 

How Is Cole Now?

I wish with all my heart I could tell you that Cole is in recovery and doing well but unfortunately she isn't and she isn't well at all, she is very underweight and I honestly don't know how she stands up most days, Henry is very much in control right now and he is the house guest we really don't want, Cole knows that both Simon and I are there for her and always will be and that if she ever wants to get any kind of help, we will be with her every step of the way but unfortunately for now, she doesn't want that help. 

How can I raise awareness?

I get a lot of questions about this, and it is so easy to do. Unfortunately schools and colleges don't educate regarding eating disorders in a way that actually raises awareness, TV shows and soap operas never show how it really is and they always show a person going to the GP, getting a referral and then getting help and being recovered within about 6 months or sooner. In reality in the part of the UK I live, there isn't any NHS help for eating disorders, not any at all, it is a post code lottery so say for example, in London there may be NHS clinics or Birmingham but in Liverpool there might be nothing, it is wrong but it is how it is I am afraid and where we live there is nothing at all, we have to be referred to a private clinic and then hope and pray that the PCT will fund the treatment, which costs thousands of pounds, it is awful but the harsh reality, there is just no NHS funding in many parts of the country and some sufferers can be placed hundreds of miles from their families. 

You can raise awareness by simply speaking to a friend, partner, family member, colleague, someone on public transport, anyone at all and bringing up the subject and then chatting about it, if you have learned something from this post or my previous posts then maybe tell them a fact you've learned, you never know, they may then pass it on and that's how you raise awareness, it is so easy and the more people who know how eating disorders really affect people the more awareness there will be and parents/carers/friends/loved ones will be able to spot the signs and symptoms sooner. 

You can also get in touch with Beat they have a Get Involved page on their website and you can request leaflets and information to leave around your school, college or workplace too. It is easy to raise awareness, I have been and will continue to Tweet 2 tweets from my Twitter account with a fact about eating disorders throughout EDAW, please re tweet those tweets and like them, that way more people see them and again, you are spreading awareness. There are lots of ways, and it's free too and your conversation or re tweet could be life changing for someone, how amazing would that be? 

Last years blog post - EDAW 2017 Our Story

Thank you

Thank you so much if you made it this far, I know this is a ramble, and it is probably all in the wrong order and I've probably waffled on but thank you so much for reading this post, it means the world to me, and thank you so much to everyone for all your support with my fight to raise awareness and for your concern for Cole, it is very kind and means a lot to me and Simon and to Cole too.


If you have just started on your path as a carer or sufferer and don't know which way to turn or if you've been fighting for a long time like me, what ever the circumstances, if you need someone to talk to, I am always here, my email is please drop me a line, don't feel alone.


Tuesday 27 February 2018

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel

Every now and then I receive a product to try that intrigues me and every now and then I also receive a product or products that blow me away.  Today I have a product that did both and I want to tell you why, today I am going to be telling you about the DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel £40.00 124ml and sharing my thoughts on it with you. 

Who Are DHC?

DHC are one of the worlds top health and beauty brands, back in the 1970's a young enterprising business man named Yoshida owned an education company in Tokyo, believing that knowledge is the key to enlightenment, Yoshida was curious about the world beyond Japan, so he packed up and travelled to Europe. There, in Spain he met an olive farmer whose family had been producing the highest grade of organic oil available for more than 200 years. Immediately he made the connection between traditional Japanese herbology and the antioxidant properties of olive oil, and a new skincare philosophy was born and today DHC remains a radically different kind of skincare company. 

DHC is dedicated to it's core Japanese values, offering premium antioxidant skincare and advocating for education. DHC pride themselves in formulating their skincare using the best ingredients and technologies available, and without parabens, colourants or added fragrance. 

DHC Beauty Philosophy

"There’s a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics known as wabi-sabi. Derived from a Buddhist teaching, it’s described as finding beauty in imperfection and it’s how we at DHC see beauty.
To us, perfect skin isn’t a complexion free of flaws (let’s be real – there’s no such thing). We believe beauty is a process, not a goal. It’s the ability to love your skin and all its perfectly imperfect distinctions. Your idea of beauty is entirely your own. We’re just here to help you do you."

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel - £40.00

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel

About DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel 

The DHC Astaxanthin collagen all in one gel is a multi action (toning, moisturising, hydrating and brightening)  age defying gel cream, it absorbs into the surface of the skin to deeply moisturise and defend against free radical damage. It contains firming collagen and elastin, alongside hyaluronic acid to help the skin maintain it's natural moisture barrier. 

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel

Few people are aware that Flamingos get their pink colouring from the algae they eat which is Astaxanthin, it is one of natures most powerful antioxidants and that is why the gel has the pink colouring. Astaxanthin is a super antioxidant, one of the most powerful in nature, and is considered to be approximately 6,000 times more powerful than Vitamin C, DHC harvests Astaxanthin from Haematococcus Pluvialis, a freshwater green algae and uses micronisation technology for superior absorption and antioxidant efficacy. 

Using The DHC Astaxanthin & My Thoughts

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel

It's no secret I have dry skin, now when I say dry I don't think I could ever convey just how dry my skin is, it feels rough to touch especially on my cheeks and the skin all over my forehead, on my temples and between my eyebrows is very flakey, it is also very dehydrated and seems to get worse, I have always had dry skin and have suffered with eczema and psoriasis since being a teenager, but since starting with my health problems and having to take certain medications it has worsened and it is the absolute bane of my life. 

The first time I used the all in one gel, as soon as I took the lid and protective plastic top, I loved the colour of it and the texture is lovely too, it is a cross between a gel and a cream and feels lovely it has a whipped feel to it. The gel applies to the skin beautifully and sinks in well without leaving any residue and I love that I only need to use a small amount despite how dry my skin is. The gel doesn't have a scent which doesn't bother me at all, it feels lovely and my skin looks lovely after I have used it. 

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel

The first time I used the gel, I used the gel in the evening, I used a balm cleanser, then an acid toner and then applied the gel, I was surprised at how little I needed but pleased that it would also last well. I loved how the gel sank into my skin and left my skin looking plump and smooth and with a healthy glow. In the morning I still had that healthy glow and my skin looked great even after cleansing. I was thrilled that I noticed instantly the first time after using it, that my skin looked amazing and it felt amazing too, and when my skin is as awful as it has been, it's unheard of if I am able to notice a difference after just one use and I was completely blown away. 

I have used the gel both in a morning and an evening and sometimes both morning and evening the same day and I love how my skin looks and feels, if my skin is horrendously dry, I will apply a thick layer in an evening and let it sink into my skin, my skin looks and feels incredible the morning after. Unfortunately because of my health, I am unable to carry out a full skincare routine morning and evening on a daily basis but I wish I could because if I am able to use this twice a day, two days running I notice a massive difference in the way my skin looks, so I can only imagine that if I used this twice a day permanently or even once a day permanently, my skin would look and feel incredible. 

Something I struggle with because of my skin, is wearing a medium or full coverage foundation. I have recently been trying out a full coverage foundation with a matte finish and it looks lovely on my skin, it doesn't cling to any dry or flaky skin, doesn't go patchy and wears really well and that is all down to the Astaxanthin gel, I have never been able to wear a medium or full coverage foundation, but now I can if I want to and I am thrilled. When I wear the gel before applying my foundation, it applies like a dream and looks lovely on my skin and wears beautifully too, and I am absolutely thrilled. 

You may be thinking that the gel is expensive at £40.00, but it contains a massive 124ml of product, most moisturisers contain 30ml or 50ml of product. If this was a 40ml tub, worked on the pricing of the 124ml tub,  it would be approximately £13.30 for a 40ml tub. 

All in all I absolutely love the DHC Astaxanthin collagen all in one gel, it is an incredible product, and really does do exactly what it says on the tin as they say, it brightens and hydrates my skin and it looks and feels incredible. This is rather a large claim considering the amount of moisturisers I have tried over the years, but it is by far the best one I have tried and continued to use and something I will always use now, it is just amazing and if you have dry skin or like me your skin is ridiculously dry and you struggle with wearing foundation, you need this in your life. 

The DHC Astaxanthin gel really has been a game changer for me, I have tried products which I've been impressed with before but nothing like this where it has blown me away totally the first time I used it and when writing a post there isn't enough words I could write to say how brilliant it is, so instead, I will do something I haven't ever done before and I will simply say, buy it! 

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel is £40.00 for 124ml and is available from the DHC website and from Feel Unique.

Have you tried the DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All In One Gel? If not is it something you think you'll purchase? Or have you tried any other DHC products? If you have chat with me in the comments and let me know your favourites. 



Friday 23 February 2018

NEW In Skincare - L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

NEW In Skincare - L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

I love trying out new skincare products and especially when those products are brand new products from a brand I love, so when the BRAND NEW L'oreal Smooth Sugars Scrubs arrived for me to try out, I was super excited and couldn't wait to start using them. 

About The Smooth Sugars Scrubs

 "When skin is feeling dull, rough or clogged up and in need of a pick me up, it's time to try Smooth Sugars Scrubs"

The Smooth Sugars Scrubs are an exfoliating sugar fix for smooth skin and lips, enriched with a unique blend of three super fine and natural sugars, these gentle exfoliators are designed to slay away dead skin cells, unclog pores and speed up the skins natural renewal process, to reveal a smooth, polished complexion and healthy glow. 

NEW In Skincare - L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

Sugar granules provide a natural and gentle, yet effective means to remove dead skin cells and boost cell turnover, for a smoother, fresher face. L'Oreal Paris researchers have selected a trio of natural sugars for their fine granules and their ability to gently exfoliate as well as soften the skin. 

White Sugar - Fine crystals that melt onto the skin while gently buffing away impurities. 
Blonde Sugar - Extracted from sugar cane, with natural moisturising properties.
Brown Sugar - Rich in minerals that help strengthen the skins barrier. 

There are three unique scrubs in the range, each containing a delicious blend of sugars with carefully chosen ingredients for targeted skincare solutions, the scrubs are also paraben and silicone free. 

The three scrubs are the Glow Scrub, Clear Scrub and Nourish Scrub. 

Smooth Sugars Glow Scrub - £9.99

L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

All the scrubs come in an outer box with a window showing the product and some product information on the front of the box with directions and ingredients on other parts of the box. The scrubs are housed in a glass jar with a plastic lid and contain 50ml of product. 

 L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

 L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

The Smooth Sugars Glow Scrub combines the 3 fine sugars with the antioxidant action of Grapeseed Oil, Monoi Oil and Acai Powder for a radiance boost. L'Oreal claims that from the first use the skin is clean, soft and polished. 

Smooth Sugars Clear Scrub - £9.99

 L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

 L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

With a blend of the three sugars, added kiwi seeds to smooth the skin and sweep away impurities and Peppermint and Lemongrass Essential Oils to clear the skin, the Clear Scrub leaves the skin feeling instantly clearer, fresher and softer and after using the scrub for a week pores and blackheads become less visible.

Smooth Sugars Nourish Scrub - £9.99

 L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

 L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

The Nourish Scrub is a blend of the 3 fine sugars, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil and Cocoa Grains to provide a velvety formula that instantly pampers, gently exfoliates and smooths the skin. 

Using The Scrubs & My Thoughts

 L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Scrubs

The first of the Smooth Sugars Scrubs I used was the Clear Scrub after cleansing, as part of my evening skincare routine, and the first thing I noticed was the scent of the scrub, it has a delicious fruity scent. The directions of use are to apply the scrub to the face and lips, add water and then rub in and wipe/rinse away, I applied the scrub all over my face, avoiding my eyes and over my lips, I rubbed the scrub in and then added some water and rubbed a little more then used a flannel/face cloth which I had run under hand hot water and wrung out to wipe away the scrub. My skin was left feeling lovely and smooth and clean, the scrub didn't leave any residue on the skin and my skin looked and felt lovely. I used my acid toner and then my moisturiser and my skin still felt lovely and smooth in the morning. 

I then used both the Glow and Nourish Scrubs on different days, leaving at least a day between, this isn't instructed just something I did. The scent of the Nourish Scrub is sweet and the Glow Scrub has a scent I can't really describe, it isn't sweet or fruity it's a little earthy but not particularly unpleasant. All the scrubs are really nice to use and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth, I prefer the texture of the Glow and Nourish scrubs as the grain is smaller but they are all nice. 

I haven't used exfoliating products with grains in for a long time and have been using acid toners to exfoliate my skin instead but the L'oreal Smooth Sugars Scrubs are really nice products, I have been really enjoying using them and my skin feels so nice after I have used them. I don't have a problem with dry lips but I have been taking the scrub over my lips when using them and my lips feel lovely and smooth, my daughter and partner do have dry lips and they have used the scrubs on their lips and found that they remove any unwanted dry skin and leave them feeling nice and soft.

Overall, I really enjoy using the Smooth Sugars Scrubs, and they do do what they claim. My skin feels lovely and soft after using them and any patches of flaky dry skin I have are gone after one use. I have sensitive eczema and psoriasis prone skin, plus I suffer from auto immune Urticaria and I haven't found any discomfort when using the scrubs.

I like the texture of the Glow and Nourish scrubs the most of the 3 but they are all lovely and the scent of the Clear Scrub is lovely and definitely my favourite scent out of the 3. I think my overall favourite would be the Glow Scrub because my skin does look lovely and glowing after using it, I use the glow scrub in an evening after cleansing and then use my acid toner and my moisturiser or overnight treatment of choice and in the morning my skin feels so smooth and looks lovely and is radiant and glowing, also if I am applying makeup it applies well and looks lovely. 

If you haven't tried the L'Oreal Smooth Sugars Scrubs yet, I definitely recommend them, they are easy to use, the results are brilliant and my skin looks and feels lovely. If you would like to try the scrubs, you can find them on the Superdrug website priced at £9.99 each.

Have you tried the L'Oreal Smooth Sugars Scrubs? Do you use exfoliating scrubs? And which of the 3 do you think you would like best? Let me know in the comments below. 


Tuesday 20 February 2018

Banishing Winter Blues With Essence

Banishing Winter Blues With Essence

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you will have read many posts featuring Essence. Essence are a high street cosmetics brand and have fast become one of my favourites, their products are not only very affordable but also incredible and I have yet to find an Essence product I don't like. 

Today I have some Essence products that are all a great "pick me up" to banish those winter blues, it is absolutely freezing here in the UK at the moment and if it's not snowing it's pouring with rain or windy and just generally really really cold and the dark mornings and evenings make for a really "urgh" kind of mood even though they are getting a little better. The Essence products I have to share with you today are sure to bring some brightness in this dull and very cold and dreary winter we're having. 

Essence Metal Shock Eyeshadow - One Second To Mars - £3.50

Essence Metal Shock Eyeshadow One Second To Mars

"Create a look to stand out from the crowd with Essence's Metal Shock Eyeshadow. This creamy, highly pigmented eyeshadow lights up your eyes with a bright metallic pink look."
The Essence Metal Shock Eyeshadows come in 7 metallic shades, all of which are stunning, I have the shade One Second To Mars, a beautiful rose gold metallic shade. The shadows come with a doe foot applicator and are a cream/liquid formula that dries to a gorgeous highly pigmented metallic finish. I find applying the product directly to my lid with the applicator then using a brush to blend it out suits me best when applying the eyeshadow. 

I don't experience any creasing at all when wearing the eyeshadow, but it is worth mentioning that I always use an eye primer as I have very oily eyelids, the shadow is easy to use and looks so pretty on the eye. I like to wear this shade on it's own all over the lid and under the lower lash line with lots of mascara for an easy everyday look or I add a little dark brown or bronze shadow in the outer corner to add some depth but both looks are simple to do and look lovely. 


Essence Metal Shock Eyeshadow One Second To Mars Swatch

This swatch like all the swatches on my blog, has not been edited in any way.

Essence Rainbow Glow Highlighter - £3.50

Essence Rainbow Glow Highlighter

"Create the perfect rainbow ombré effect on your skin with this Essence Prismatic Rainbow Glow Highlighting Powder. The four complimentary rainbow colours all work together to create an iridescent, multi-coloured prism-glow on the cheeks."

The Essence Rainbow Glow Highlighter looks absolutely stunning, the bright rainbow design instantly brightens up any cold, dreary winters day, just look at those colours! I have to admit I did wonder how the highlight would look on the skin being such vivid colours but it is a beautiful shade that also looks lovely as an eyeshadow. The colours in the highlight can be used separately on the eyes and face, or they can be swirled together to create a beautiful highlight shade, this is how I use it. 

Essence Rainbow Glow Highlighter

The highlight when all the shades are swirled together with a brush, is a peachy toned highlight and looks so pretty on the skin and as I said, it is also lovely as an eyeshadow. The highlight is quite a subtle highlight but can be built up if you like a stronger glow,  I don't find the highlight accentuates my pores and it lasts well on my skin also. 


Essence Rainbow Glow Highlighter Swatch

Essence Ultra Last Instant Colour Lipstick - 13 Undying Blossom - £2.30

Essence Ultra Last Instant Colour Lipstick - 13 Undying Blossom

"the lipstick range unites high-coverage and colour-dispersion with just one application and a feathery, light feeling on the lips. the creamy texture is long lasting and won’t dry out the lips."

Essence lip products are amazing, they are very affordable and apply, wear and last just as well, if not better than some of the high end lip products I have in my makeup collection. The shade Undying Blossom is a stunning matte shade and one I loved as soon as I took the lid of it. The shade is a bright cool toned pink/red shade and looks beautiful on the lips, I love bright lipstick and I feel brighter when I wear a bright shade too. 

The lipstick applies well and feels comfortable on the lips and not drying at all, I don't have any issues with dry lips at all but if you do, you could pop a little lip balm on before applying the lipstick, but I personally haven't had any problems and find it comfortable to wear. I get around 4 hours wear time including eating and drinking or 6/7 without eating and just drinking.


Essence Ultra Last Instant Colour Lipstick - 13 Undying Blossom Swatch

Essence Party In A Bottle - 01 Party - £2.00

Essence Party In A Bottle - 01 Party

"Rock your own individual style with Essence's Rock In A Bottle Nail Polish. The loose pearl-effect glitter particles turn your nails into a trendy accessory that's suitable for any occasion. Use either as a complete manicure or on individual statement nails."

The Essence Party In A Bottle is great for adding some sparkle to any nail look,  to have an accent nail or to have every nail full sparkle. It is easy to apply and looks really effective on the nails, you simply shake out the glitter onto any clear polish, top coat or any nail polish then use a top coat to seal, any remaining glitter can be put back into the tube. The nails look amazing and it lasts really well too without chipping. 

Essence The Gel Nail Polish - Amazed By You - £1.60

Essence The Gel Nail Polish - Amazed By You

"The next generation of Essence nail polishes is here! The special nail polish formula provides nails with an incredibly long-lasting manicure and an amazing gel shine. The innovative colour technology offers intensive colour combined with perfect coverage."

The Essence The Gel nail polishes are such incredible polishes and priced at £1.60 each means they are very affordable too, I have a few different shades and love them all. They apply well and last really well without chipping too, Amazed By You is a dark blackcurrant shade and looks darker on the nails than it does in the bottle, but that isn't a problem as it's a beautiful shade. It has a lovely glossy finish, is opaque in 2 coats, has a great drying time, applies easily and wears really well and for about 4 or 5 days without chipping.

Essence Out Of Space Stories - Outta Space Is The Place - £2.00

"Get the latest, trendy prism-effect look on your nails with Essence's Out Of Space Stories Nail Polish. This holographic, iridescent and metallic nail polish comes in a bright pearl colour for stand-out style."

The Out Of Space Stories nail polish in the shade Outta Space Is The Place is a lovely pale pink iridescent shade with a metallic and holographic vibe all in one, it looks so pretty on the nails and is the perfect shade to go with any fashion and makeup look, should you wish to coordinate. The polish applies well and is opaque in 2/3 coats, has a good drying time, it has a nice glossy finish and lasts for around 4 days without chipping. There are 4 other shades in this range if this shade isn't your thing. 

Essence Holo Rainbow Nail Polish - Holo Love - £2.80

"Nail eye-catching, multi-faceted colour with the Essence Holo Rainbow Nail Polish. Its holographic look and glitter particles let your nails shine in every colour of the rainbow."

The Essence Holo Rainbow polishes come in 5 shades including Holo Love and all are beautiful polishes that can be worn alone for a super sparkly look or as a glittery top coat over another polish, but all are really lovely polishes. The apply well and are opaque in 3 coats, they last for around 3 to 4 days without chipping and they remove well and aren't a nightmare to take off like some glitter polishes. Holo Love is nice as an all over the nail accent nail worn with a pink polish or as a top coat over any pink or purple polish or as a full on sparkly look, it is a pretty polish and one I love to wear. 


Swatches of Essence Nail Polish

Those are all the products from Essence that I think are great pick me up shades to banish those winter blues, I would like to think that Spring is in the air but it is absolutely freezing right now and my heating is on full so unfortunately I think we have some more winter weather upon us for a while yet. 

I hope you liked all the products I had to share with you today, if you did you can click the prices next to the product name to be taken directly to the item online (I don't use affiliate links) or you can find these items and other Essence items in store at Wilko or on the Wilko website

Which item was your favourite? And have you tried any of these products or any Essence products? And if you have tried Essence, which is your favourite product? Chat with me in the comments and let me know. 

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