Friday, 27 March 2015

Clinomyn Toothpaste: whiter whites and brighter... Gnashers.

So apparently Clinomyn has "held a place in many household bathrooms across Europe for over 40 years". I'll be honest and say I haven't actually noticed it on the shelves here in Ireland, but then my first stop is usually Colgate as its the Hubs' favourite. When Clinomyn got in touch and offered to send me a tube of their toothpaste to try, I accepted as I'm looking for a toothpaste that is effective at combating staining (damn you Corsodyl mouth wash) without being harsh on my teeth.

Clinomyn assured me that they could restore a natural and whiter smile in just 14 days with their stain removal formula that removes discolouration and stains caused by tobacco, coffee and wine (and Corsodyl) using a unique cleaning system which contains Polynam. It also contains fluoride to prevent cavities and plaque and a quite a strong mint flavour for fresh breath. It is also Approved by the British Dental Health Association...  Challenge Accepted!

Formulated for everyday use, I used it twice a day and found it to be quite gentle on my teeth and after using it my mouth felt properly clean and there was no residual furriness after the standard 2 minutes of brushing. I didn't get any sensitivity that many of the scrubby toothpastes cause either because the scrubby bits contained in Clinomyn are very fine, you can hardly feel them, I quite like this because it means that as long as you maintain a light pressure with your toothbrush you aren't going to scrub away at the protective enamel on your teeth.

It also contains Calcium to help re-mineralise (harden) enamel and neutralise plaque acids. Flouride strengthens teeth and protects against cavities. Polynam particles gently polishes your teeth to lift of stains and leave them whiter with each use until the staining is gone. I don't struggle with nicotine stains, but I drink a reasonable amount of red wine which stains like a mofo sometimes, and due to a gum issue I use Corsodyl mouthwash which stains teeth terribly, but my teeth were definitely a shade or two brighter after 2 weeks of using it. I didn't have any sensitivity while using it and after 4 weeks the Corsodyl stains were pretty much gone too (I stopped using it for the 4 weeks I was trialing Clinomyn).

While not everyone will like the strong minty flavour, I do. I think smokers will appreciate this too as it seems to keep my breath and mouth fresh for a good while longer than my ordinary Colgate does.

Clinomyn isn't in any of the Irish Boots stores that I can see (I haven't ever seen it in my local store and its not online) but I actually have spotted it in my local Tesco a few times, and it comes in a few pennies cheaper than Himself's favourite Colgate (over €3) at €2.39 for a 75ml tube.

If you struggle with staining and you aren't quite ready to go the whole whitening hog just yet... give Clinomyn a try. I managed to go 2 shades whiter and I'm not running to the dentist to get rid of the Corsodyl stains every 2 months.

*used with my Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush

**PR sample gratefully received, Opinion my own

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea: A Ritual

Rituals. We do them everyday, even when we don't think about it, even if its not strictly a ritual, more of a habit, a necessity. We get up, wash, go to work, check emails, get the bus, sit in traffic, come home, bath/shower, go to bed. It varies, but its mostly its the same and mostly its mundane and we do it without thinking about it.

One of the girls standing still in the midst of the bustle of everyone.
I love that I managed to capture this

We are so used to being bombarded with images, videos, twitter, instagram, emails, requests, tasks, information, that we don't fully immerse ourselves in one task at a time. We are forever multi-tasking. Generation X is great at multi-tasking, but our attention spans are shortened and we very seldom give our full attention to anything. I find this a bit sad. Mindfulness can be gloriously peaceful and refreshing. Which is exactly what The Body Shop had in mind (hehe) with their new Fuji Green Tea Range.

Generally green tea, when brewed on its lonesome  in a cup isn't the nicest smell (well not to me), but The Body Shop has blended Japanese green tea with other ingredients to create a scent that is relaxing, calming, centering, refreshing and invigorating, all at the same time. Citrus and fresh, but with a deepness to it, TBS Fuji Green Tea reminds me a lot of CK One. And puts me in mind of Crabtree & Evelyn Tarocco Orange. And Eau de Cologne. They aren't all exactly the same... but the similarities are there and this makes me incredibly happy.

I was invited to the Grafton street store to help christen their new treatment room, which is upstairs and is pretty amazing. Clean lines with a distinct eastern feel that is calming and relaxing. If you have a chance, pop in and get your brows threaded, your nails done or get an update on your make-up routine. And we were sent home with a few bits of the new Fuji Green Tea range to try. And it is perfect for blowing out the winter cobwebs and clearing the mind for spring.

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Bath Tea and Bath Tea Infuser is gorgeous and it is my favourite thing of the range. The salts smell quite strongly, strongly enough to make you cautious, but a generous tablespoon of the salts into the infuser and swished through the water or hung off the overflow valve under the running water (like I did) perfumes the air and fills it with that heady, sharp citrussy herbal scent that chases away worries and brings you into the moment. I love it. I love the scent. I love the ritual of it: opening the infuser, dispensing enough salts, closing the infuser, running the bath and then enjoying it. Fuji Green Tea Bath Tea is calming and refreshing all at once. The water is softened by the salts and the perfume hangs on to your skin for ages after. And its not just your skin, the bathroom smelled like Fuji Green Tea for a week after I used it.

And to keep skin soft and smooth The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Body Scrub contains little granules suspended in a hydrating gel to buff away dry skin. And once again the scent lingers on your skin long after you have rinsed it off.

I can only imagine how lovely the actual Body Mist and the EDT smells, and it is on my wish list along with the incredible Body Sorbet which is going to be AMAZING for summer. I think that Fuji Green Tea is my favourite of all The Body Shop scents. I really love just immersing myself in the smell of it and leaving all my worries outside of the bathroom door for a few minutes, taking the time to just be.

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea range will be on shelves by the end of March 2015, its worth checking out if you are looking for a fresh summer scent or a new bathing ritual to bring you back to yourself.

**PR Samples Gratefully Received, Opinions my own

Monday, 23 March 2015

Justine: 2 face masks from South Africa

In South Africa, Justine is the name that is synonymous with Tissue Oil. Justine Tissue Oil was there before Bio-Oil happened and the Justine brand is starting to make waves in the skincare arena in SA. Tissue oil is to South Africans what Windex is to TV Greeks: it is the cure for pretty much everything. I am lucky enough to have a friend who works for the brand and when she comes to visit she always brings me new bits to play with. And a big bottle of tissue oil.

If you can get your hands on the brand it is well worth giving them a try.

Saffer Goodness in mask form.

These two face masks are particularly good. Part of the Essentials Range, Justine Dual-Action Exfoliator and Justine Hydrating Anti-Fatigue Mask are gel based masks meant to hydrate and plump skins ravaged by the cold weather or by the scorching sun. If memory serves they are about ZAR160 each, but they are regularly on special.

L-R Dual-Action Exfoliator, Hydrating Anti-Fatigue Mask

Justine Dual-Action Exfoliator works in 2 ways:
enzymatic - natural glycolic acid (as sucrose, yep good auld sugar, kids)
mechanical - the wee black bits which are hydrogenated jojoba esters.
All in a hydrating gel base that spreads easily on the skin as you massage it in allowing the ingredients to do their job. This is an exfoliator but its not a scrubby exfoliator. It has the scrubby bits, but they are not the main show, they are the extras to the lead, which is the enzymatic action.
Once a week, I massage an almond sized blob into my skin after cleansing, working it around for about a minute, concentrating on my chin, jaw and forehead. Then I rinse it off really well and follow it up with a more moisturising mask.

Justine Hydrating Anti-Fatigue Mask is bloody amazing. Wonderfully cooling and soothing and the gooey gel oozes hydration. Toted for Dry & Dehydrated skins, I think any skin type in need of a hydration boost will like this. Its not heavy, and it isn't cream / oil based. This is a water-based gel mask that is going to plum and calm the skin without inducing the skin to produce more oil. I wouldn't use this on broken skin though... it does sting.

It is difficult to find a decent (ie proper) ingredient listing for any of the Justine, but I managed to get my hands on the official listing after making some enquiries, and the ingredients are great, and wonderfully lacking in mineral oil... which I was worried would be one of the main ingredients:

Justine Essentials Dual-Action Exfoliator Ingredients:
Aqua, Glycerin, Sucrose, Sorbitol, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate , Peg-12 Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate , Dimethicone , Phenoxyethanol , Polyethylene , Parfum, Caprylyl Glycol,
Cyclopentasiloxane , Trideceth-6, Disodium EDTA , Jojoba Esters, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Actinidia Chinensis Fruit Extract.

Justine Essentials Hydrating Anti-Fatigue Ingredients:
Aqua, Glycerin ,Hydroxyethyl Urea, Polysorbate 20, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Carbomer, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate , Imidazolidinyl Urea, Parfum , Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Malachite Extract, Olivine Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sorbic Acid.

I have had these since September 2014 and I have used them at least once a week and I am only just coming to the end of the tubes now (March 2015). I am trying to eke these out as I am going to be  very sorry when they are completely empty, because I know I am not going to be able to get my hands on them (and the other bits in the essentials range) easily.

If you can get them, try them, one of my favourite moisturisers is the Tissue Oil Face Cream, and I am hoping that either my mom or my bestie will come visit soon so that I can stock up.

**Presents from my Saffer Bestie, Opinions my own.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Crabtree & Evelyn: Cottage Chic & Yummy Scents

Crabtree & Evelyn have undergone a bit of an update in the last few years. I ADORE the Tarocco Orange range. While the packaging invokes a gentle vintage / cottage chic vibe, the scents are not any in way granny-ish. Their concession in Arnotts is fantastic because it has everything you could possibly want from a scent range and the folks that man the stand are friendly and full of knowledge.

Not my most liked packaging and even though I am not a big lavender fan, this Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender Body Lotion is going to go down well in Summer when we are craving freshness and light. The Verbena is the main scent and I think the addition of lavender is purely to enhance the freshness of the verbena, which is very in-your-face. While this is a light body lotion that absorbs quickly, a little goes a long way and it packs a mighty hydrating punch to keep skin hydrated and comfortable from morning to evening. After a while the sharpness dries down to soft fresh finish that lingers quite a while. I do wish it had a pump instead...

While I might not choose this exact scent again, I love the formulation and I will revisit it in another scent.

Fruity smell: check! Ultra moisturising ingredients: check! Big value for money tube: check! Long lasting protection: Double Check! Comes in a lovely box so you buy it as a gift but its so good you can't give it away so you keep it for yourself: shameless check. Pomegranate, Argan & Grapeseed Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy does everything it says on the swish looking box. All the butters and oils make for a gloriously thick hand treatment, perfect for applying generously before bed so you wake up with hands as opposed to chicken feet. A very pretty present to give to any female with hands, but its going to be tough actually handing it over because you know its so good.

I have Big Love for citrus based scents. I like them fresh and a little bitter, more masculine than feminine. Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Honey & Coriander Conditioning Hand Wash satisfies my need for fresh hands perfectly. It cleans gently without drying and I am not rushing for handcream (unless it is citrus scented). I was going to get another bottle of the Roger & Gallet Cédrat Hand Wash for christmas, but I got this Crabtree & Evelyn one before them and now I am not sure which one I prefer. The Cédrat is pure citrus, while Citron's citrus is tempered with the honey and coriander. Both are lovely, so I think I will alternate them.

My Favourite favourite is still the Tarocco Orange Range. I have already replaced my Shower gel and I will be getting a bottle of the body mist to take on my holidays because it is so refreshing. But Citron comes in a close second. Also it fits in with my bathroom colours.

If you are ever in Arnotts, pop in and say howdy to the lovely folks on counter and have a wiff of all their lovely scents. I guarantee that you will find one that evokes a favourite memory of a favourite person and you will be hooked.

**PR Samples gratefully received. Opinions my own.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Waxperts: the shizz in the fight against excess fuzz

Waxperts. Unless you've been living under a rock, or in some place other than Ireland or the UK, you will have heard of this fantastic Irish brand that has taken the hair-removal scene by storm.

Now look. Unless of course you are the waxer: Waxing will never be completely painless.  You are essentially ripping your hairs out by their roots. But the kind of wax and the way you are waxed does make some difference to how much pain you experience. Ellen Kavanagh has overhauled the waxing process and the pre- and post-wax treatments to make it a pretty pleasant experience.

I had the good fortune of getting to try a Waxperts Wax at my local salon, Mise Beauty on Park Street in Dundalk, and while it wasn't 100% painless, I can whole heartedly say that it was a whole lot more comfortable than my last bikini wax (about 7 years ago). After my wax I picked up the Waxperts Wonder Pads (€9.00 in store).

Waxperts Wonder Pads come packed 40 in a tub and each pad has a rough side and a smooth side and is soaked in the not-so-secret formula that keeps in-grown hairs at bay. This formula is also great in dealing with the occasional spot, or KP (keratosis pilaris) on the auld arms.

The pads don't really smell like anything and you basically just rub the pad over the area where you want to keep in-grown hair free. For the most part this stuff works. I did still get a few small in-growns, but it was my first ever brazillian, and I wasn't expecting a 100% result. It did however lessen the severity of the 6 I did get, they weren't as red/angry, and they healed in about half the normal time.

And its not just after shaving or waxing... I used a pad on each of my legs straight after using my Epilator (its a Braun one) and it immediately soothed my puckered skin and took the redness down within minutes. And I haven't had as many in-growns on my legs as I would normally have either. So it does work.

For €9.00 it is a great way to keep bumps and lumps away after waxing, but you will need to use a mechanical (gloves or a shower scrub) once a week to ensure a really great result.

Waxperts Pads are available on the Waxperts Website, or from your local waxperts salon!

**Purchase and opinion my own

Monday, 16 March 2015

Slap off! Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar waters are not new to the beauty market, but it was a band wagon I didn't immediately jump on. It took me a long time to get round to it. Bioderma was the holy grail, but until a year or two ago you could only get it if you were passing through France (or could bribe a friend/relative/husband) who was going, but happily other brands like La Roche Posay and Garnier, you can now find them fairly easily on local supermarket shelves, pharmacies and even in Penneys for pretty reasonable prices. I was skeptical... but Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water does work.

Generally I don't wear an awful lot of makeup. But I HATE getting my facecloths manky with mascara during first cleanse. Which is where Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water shines. A micellar water is, in the most basic sense, a dualphase liquid that you don't have to shake to mix. That part has been done for you by the manufacturers who managed to get the super tiny oil particles suspended within the water base. It is these oil particles that help to "dissolve" makeup and "lift" it off your skin and lashes with a bit of soaking. It is elbow-grease without the elbow : no scrubbing/rubbing needed in other words.

This big 400ml bottle (which comes with a flippy top - YAY!) cost me €3 in Penneys and Garnier says it contains 200 uses (provided you can eyeball 2ml between 2 cotton pads), which is about right. I don't use it every day, but when I am wearing makeup I have been reaching for this and my cotton pads before I reach for my actual cleanser.

 I don't like to rub at my eyes, so I soak my eyes one at a time, with a cotton pad soaked in the micellar water for about 30 seconds and then mascara and eyeshadow slides off with very little coaxing. Then I do the other eye. It does give me blurry eyes, but it doesn't sting and the blur goes quickly once I wash my face properly.

Personally I do find this quite greasy and I wouldn't be leaving it on my skin (eh, thanks, but I'll rinse), but as a pre-cleanse - to remove the majority of makeup- this is Ace. It didn't irritate my skin or my daughter's skin (we removed face paint), but I wouldn't use this as my only cleanser. It would do in a pinch, but I would still feel a little icky if I couldn't wash my face properly.

All in all, this does work and I quite like it. The bottle isn't airport travel friendly, you can put it into a smaller bottle, but this will be a bathroom staple for me. I have something else I am taking me instead.

Oooh, I also used this to deep clean my makeup brushes, to help loosen the grime, and it worked a treat! My brushes washed and rinsed easily and came out super clean and my foundation brushes are not stained anymore!

I did see that Garnier have released a Micellar water for oily/combo skins, in a green bottle, and I'd be keen to give it a go and see how it fares...

Friday, 13 March 2015

Essence Lash Princess: Best Mascara EVAHR!

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara is one of those products that you want to keep to yourself its so good, but because it's so good you kind of have to share it with your fellow mascara users. And oh boy... this is pretty amaze-balls*.

Lash Princess is so good I got a spare for my gym bag and I bought another for my "fussy-about-mascara-Sister-in-law". FYI she likes it too and we don't want this to be discontinued please Essence Big-Wigs!

When I initially opened it I wasn't impressed with the brush, mainly because I struggled with this shaped brush in the Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves mascara. But once I had used it I changed my mind.

Lash Princess brush is big, but its not massive or difficult to handle. It hold just the right about of product and distributes it evenly without clumpiness. I also didn't get too much of it on my actual eyelid. Which is near impossible for me, I always get mascara on my eyelid at the eyelash line. Two or three swipes of the brush for your first coat gets all the lashes and makes it easy to use.

In the above pic I have bare lashes. They are short and blonde and pretty much invisible... In the pics below I have one coat of mascara on. I have lashes. Lashes you can see. and they aren't stiff or crispy (I hate crispy lashes). And they are long. I also only tend to put mascara on the bottom side of the lashes, the side that would be touching my cheeks if I close my eyes, cos I am lazy. But even though I am lazy, I still have nice looking lashes.

Two coats means a good dose of volume. And this literally takes 30 seconds. No clumping, just extra "volume".

The best bit? Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara costs just €4.09. Yep. Less than a Fiver.

So. Will you be trying it? Have you tried it? Did you love it?

 *sorry. I couldn't help myself.

**My first tube was a PR Sample that I obviously fell in love with and then bought for myself and family.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Catrice Nude Purism: My new favourites

Catrice is one of my go to brands. Especially when I feel like a little (Non food) treat or when I feel like trying something new in the makeup department. And even if its not exactly as I expected I am never badly out of pocket as their prices are well within the budget range even though the quality of the Catrice products often rival more expensive brands. I initially picked up 2 pieces from the latest CATRICE Nude Purism Limited Edition line:

Catrice Nude Purism Pure Shimmer Highlighter €4.99 (5g) and Catrice Nude Purism Gentle Lip Colour €4.99 in C03 Delicate Rosewood. I loved Rosewood so much I went and picked up a spare and C04 Nearly Nude.

While I generally steer clear of out and out highlighters, I had to see what the fuss was about. And I am so glad I did. Catrice Nude Purism Pure Shimmer Highlighter was sold out in the first stand that I came across (in my local Penneys and yes I checked the drawer: it had not a one) and I was thrilled to find it in my village pharmacy. This is a beauty.

The 3d effect pressed powder is something that looks gorgeous. Pretty to look at through its sturdy plastic packaging, which snaps closed with a solid click, so its not going to mess its shimmer into your makeup bag.
I thought the powder would be quite soft and that you would lose the embossed effect quite quickly, this is not the case though. It is pressed in solidly and it is quite hard to get a fully opaque swatch, but the nature of the powder means that you will only pick up just enough of the shimmer to create the most beautiful soft shimmer.
This is proper highlight that isn't just glittery. It blends easily and sets quite nicely with very little fallout. Catrice Nude Purism Pure Shimmer Highlight is going to look AWESOME over a tan.

Catrice Nude Purism Gentle Lip Colours are little sticks of hydrating balm but with a lovely injection of colour that is nicely pigmented, but not so much so that you have to have a mirror to reapply. Delicate Rosewood is my perfect lip colour. I bought a spare I love it so much. And if I come across another bullet I will buy it and put it in my stash with the other one. And I will cry when I finish them, because their colour is lovely. A soft colour that has the glossy shine of a gloss with none of the gloopiness. Perfect for a natural fuss-free look.

Gentle Lip Colour in Nearly Nude is pretty pigmented too. It does tend to wash out my lips if I am not wearing makeup but I didn't buy it for that. When I wear a smokey eye and am in the mood for a nude lip: Its perfect. Nearly Nude just takes the colour down a shade or two and leaves a soft shine  behind.

There are a few other bits in the range as well (2 eyeshadow quads, 4 nail varnishes and 2 other Gentle Lip colours), but these were the ones that caught my fancy. I'm on a serious budget now: I'm saving for America!

Catrice Nude Purism is a limited edition range and is on stands now. If you only get one thing get the Highlighter... and the Gentle Lip colour.

**no PR Samples, opinions always my own

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial: It's no flash in a pan...

REN. Launched 15 years ago, this Swedish based brand has found its way onto my list of favourite things to use on my face. And this is their mostly new-ish product. REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial is pretty special, because it works. Not in 8 weeks, not in 2 weeks, immediately. It works Immediately, and I am liking what it is doing for me.

Flash Facial 1 Minute Rinse does everything it says on the box. Something very few other products can do. The active ingredients go to work immediately for instant visible skin improvement. And for me the result doesn't fade away over the course of the day, my skin looks just as good the following day: my moisturiser and serum go on beautifully and sink in quickly.

REN uses only 100% plant and mineral derived actives so you can be sure that the ingredients are pure and highly active. Their products are also free from mineral oil, parabens, PEGS and synthetic fragrances. And while Flash Facial isn't suited to sensitive skins, most of their other products are.

One of the main ingredients is Vitamin C. This works to instantly brighten the skin and stimulate circulation, which is what you want. The other ingredients all work together to gently, but thoroughly exfoliate the surface of the skin. And the way that REN want you to use it ensures that you get a great result from the first use. These ingredients work so, so well together, REN put together a real winner with Flash Facial.

Its a really odd product straight out of the tube. I advise giving the tube a good shake to mix the ingredients before you use it as they do tend to separate. Its a pale green tinted gel that looks almost gritty and smells divinely of oranges, compliments of the vitamin C. 
To use this I cleanse my face and then squeeze the excess water out of my face cloth and wipe 95% of the water off my skin, too much water when you start "activates" the vitamin C and you don't want that to happen until you have exfoliated. Then I massage about an almond sized blob of the gel into my skin. It goes on super smooth and cool, almost watery. But as you massage the gel seems to grip dead skin cells and the gel gets weirdly gritty and you can feel a decent bit of exfoliation happening. I concentrate on my wrinkles, and on my congested areas and I feel like I am getting a serious scrub out of this gel.

After about a minute I run my fingers under water and work it into the gel and the grittiness immediately disappears to leave a super smooth gel and you get a wiff of copper. You are instructed to leave this to work for a minute and then "rinse thoroughly". I use my damp face cloth to take most of it off and then I like to use running water and splash-wipe this off. I know lots of folks don't like to splash water, but I like to do it this way. I then follow with my serum of choice and moisturiser. My skin looks pink and fresh and clean and radiant. Radiance levels are at Fresh-From-The-Salon-And-An-Expensive-Facial level. It is amazing.

The only thing that I don't like about Flash Facial is the fact that it doesn't have a flip-top. I love me a flippy-top so I do. I do find the lid a bit awkward to screw back on properly once you have dispensed product onto your fingers, and with Vitamin C being one of those ingredients that degrade in open air you don't want to be faffing with a lid that doesn't close properly.

So REN if you are reading: FLIPPY TOPS PLEASE! I'm tired of chasing the lid around the bathroom floor when I drop it.

Other than this I will not ever be without this again. My pigmentation is looking freaking amazing, especially on my forehead. My fine lines are much finer, and my skin texture looks great. Apart from the epic hormonal break-outs on my jaw. Yes I'm still struggling to get those under control. 

REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial is pricey coming in at €37.95 for a 75ml tube. But there are at least 15 uses in the tube (if you use 5ml per treatment) and considering that a mini facial costs €25, this works out pretty well and you can do it every 3 days!

My tube was a gift from the wonderful folks at Cloud10 Beauty, but I can promise you now, I will never, ever, be without this. It is love. It was love within a minute.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Gym Bag Heroes Baby!!

My morning routine in the house is pretty basic, as I generally rush to get the kidlets to school and then most mornings I hit up the gym straight after drop off. I don't go with anything heavy or intensive as I know I am going to sweat/rub it off anyways. And after the gym I don't want to faff, I just want to get done so I can get home and get started on the housework.

I love this toiletry bag. It has four see-through plastic pockets with zips making it easy to see whats in them and it has a metal hook so that you can hang it over the door of the shower: No more juggling bottles! Also it has my name on it.

So here's what I put in those pockets:

Body: Soap & Glory Sugar Crush body wash. Smells yummy, washes like a dream and doesn't dry out my skin. And it smells yummy.
Face: Shiseido Ibuki Cream Cleanser (mini size). I only need a half pea- sized blob on my wet fingers to clean my face and neck. It doesn't foam, but the addition of water seems to make this cleanser double, even triple, in amount, without becoming watery. It cleans my face really well, but I do tend to need to moisturise Immediately after.

Legs, bum & waist: I love Mango & Papaya Body Butter. Part of a gift set, this is small and very rich. Perfect to lock in moisture straight after a shower, I tend use my hands to sluice off the majority of the water and then go in with a small a blob of this. It doesn't sink in very quickly, but my skin feels great after I dab off any excess moisture with my towel. It smells nice, but this is more for function than pleasure.
Chest, bewbs, arms: Bath & BodyWorks Twisted Peppermint body lotion. A gift from my Almost Niece in America. Strangely this compliments Sugar Crush quite well, I smell like sweets after I use this, which is why it only gets used on my upper body. So Yummy! It lasts just about all day but its gentle and just there, especially when your hands or arms come close to your face. Its my son's favourite smell on me because "You smell like sweeties Mommy".

I am also old. I have a shower cap that I wear in the gym showers. I don't wash my hair in the gym. It takes too long: the water pressure isn't enough to properly rinse my hair and the shower only runs for 30 seconds at a time and you have to keep bumping the button, so it takes me ages to get the job done. And then I have to try get it dry... I don't have time for that nonsense. No Sir. I use my shower cap and wash my hair at home.

Toner: Pixi Glow Tonic, in the Sisheido bottle. Its gentle, replaces moisture, while tackling my pigmentation and "blemishes".
Eyes: Vichy Idealia Eyes. A lovely moisturiser for my eye area, but can't say I've noticed a massive improvement. But it moisturises nicely.
Serum: La Roche Posay Effaklar Duo +. I'm getting to the end of this and I really like it. This is helping my skin to heal without scarring, but I do find it a bit drying, hence the reason I use it as a serum instead of a moisturiser.
Cream: Avon Anew Flawless Bright Day Cream trial size. This was a gift from my bestie in SA. Its a lovely cream that sinks in quickly, has the added benefit of a decent SPF25 and it doesn't leave me feeling greasy. I haven't noticed a brightening effect yet, but I've only been using it for about a month and a half. Its a pity we can't get Avon easily in The Republic any more...

Foundation: YoungBlood Liquid Mineral Foundation. Already professed my undying love for it here.
Concealer: NYX HD Concealer wand. This does a pretty awesome job of covering red spots, my hyper-pigmentation, and any under-eye blueness that may show. It needs a full post... but the internet is full of them.
Blush: essence Silky Touch Blush Autumn Peach. My Favourite blusher at the moment. Silky, great colour, great staying power and I can apply it with my fingers or a brush. Its also cheap and I won't be crying if it breaks.
Eyeliner: YoungBlood Mineral Eyeliner in Blackest Black. Goes on easily, smudges with little effort and sets within a few minutes to stick around the whole day. Blogged my love for it here
LipLiner: YoungBlood Mineral Lip Liner in Malt. Goes on like a dream and sets to a proper matte finish with great staying power (at least 4 hours of talking/shouting/kissing booboos/eating/4 cups of coffee). It can feel a bit dry on the lips though, so it is followed by a slick of EOS lip balm (not pictured).
Mascara: essence Lash Princess Mascara in Black. Love Love LOVE this stuff. €4.09 in my local pharmacy and it gives fan-fricken-tastic lashes in one coat. 2 coats for extra drama. No flaking, or crunchy lashes here, and it removes easily. The packaging is pretty, and the pink decor on the lid is rubbery giving you great control of the brush. I have one on my dressing table and one in my gym bag. I hope to goodness they don't discontinue this because it is my perfect mascara!

And that is my Gym wash bag. It seems long winded, but it takes me 10-15 minutes to get through everything and get out of the gym and into the car. I am not into long drawn-out showers in the gym, I won't shave in those showers (I have seen ladies applying hair removal cream and standing around waiting... wtf???) and I always ALWAYS wear my flip-flops, if they are not in my bag, I will shower at home instead.

Am I missing a trick? Is there a better product to use, a nicer bag, dry shampoo recs? Let me know in the comments.

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