Friday, 3 April 2020

Trying Out ARK Skincare Age Defend (Skincare For In Your 30s & 40s)

I have recently been trying out some amazing skincare from ARK Skincare. They offer products suitable for all ages, as well as more specific, targeted skincare depending on your age. I am 36, and so the collection I have been trying is the Age Defend products, which are suitable for those in their 30s and 40s, along with a couple of products from their core collection.
Starting with the ARK Skincare Skin Essential Pre Cleanse & Make-Up Remover (£30.00 for 150ml), which is a product from their core collection, and so this is formulated for all ages. This is a liquid solution which is the first step of ARK's cleansing routine, a multi-fruit lipid blend with Omegas 3, 6 and 9 which works to dissolve every last trace of dirt, excess sebum and make up. The Pre Cleanse contains grape seed, avocado and kiwi oil, which leaves your skin deeply nourished and well-hydrated, even for a cleanser. There is a light fragrance to the Pre Cleanse, which I love as it reminds me of a spa, very fresh, clean and relaxing, but it is not overpowering whatsoever, and the formula is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skins. The bottle has a small hole at the top, so you simply squeeze a small amount into your hands, massaging gently all over the face, and then adding water which makes the formula slightly thicker. Massage again and then rinse off with warm water. I love this part of the routine as it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean before I have even used any further products.
The second cleansing step is using the ARK Skincare Age Defend Conditioning Cleanser (£25.00 for 200ml), which is the first product from the age-specific collections. As I mentioned, I am using the Age Defend, which is for people in their 30s and 40s, but there are of course other options. The Age Defend Conditioning Cleanser comes in a bottle with a pump applicator, which I find really handy with cleansers. This is an ultra-nourishing cleanser which also helps with skin's natural exfoliation to leave your complexion looking clear and radiant. If you don't get the Pre-Cleanse, fear not as this will also remove makeup really well along with any excess sebum. I get quite a bit of redness, especially on my cheek area, and I have found that that has calmed down since I have been using these skincare products. The formula is gel-like and again has a very feint scent to it. I use this cleanser both morning and evening and you simply apply to dampened skin, massage the product into the skin and then remove with warm water or a reusable cloth or cleansing pad. This leaves my skin feeling calm and super clean and that natural exfoliation really helps to rid my skin of any impurities or dead skin cells.
Going back over to the core products, we have the ARK Skincare Skin Perfector Hydration Injection Masque (£35.00 for 75ml). This intensive multivitamin mask has really helped my skin get over the colder weather we had back in February, and not only does it quench the skin, it also claims to plump up any wrinkles - I don't have wrinkles at the moment, so I cannot comment on that unfortunately/fortunately. I tend to use face masks about once or twice a week, as I find my skin really needs something extra and this too can be used within a similar time frame. The Masque contains a blend of Vitamin A to regulate collagen synthesis, Vitamin B5 to smooth the skin, Vitamin C to fade any pigmentation on the skin and Vitamin E to act as an anti-inflammatory and to prevent UV damage. A further ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid, and I am sure we all know by now what a wonder product this is for adding moisture to the skin as well as locking it in, keeping the skin hydrated throughout the day. Due to those anti-inflammatory and calming ingredients, this mask can be used to instantly relieve irritated, skin prone to redness or Rosacea. Depending on your age, is how long you should leave the mask on for, but it does come with full instructions, and for us gals and guys in our 30s and 40s, we should leave the masque on for around 10 minutes to reap the benefits, and it can be washed off or left on overnight for a more intensive treatment.
Now onto moisturiser, and we have the ARK Skincare Age Defend Replenishing Moisturiser (£35.00 for 55ml), which is a treatment moisturiser which contains Co-enzyme Q10 and is full of natural moisturising agents such as Shea Butter and Olive Oil. This moisturiser comes in a pump applicator bottle, which I do prefer with moisturisers as I hate when you have to put your fingers in a pot each and every time and unscrew the lid and so on. Pump applicators also mean that you can share a product. The Age Defend Moisturiser contains clinically proven wrinkle plumping peptides, which smooths the skin, plumps and tones it, diminishing signs of premature ageing. Again, I can't really comment on the wrinkles side of things, but my skin definitely looks and feels much healthier and plumper. Key ingredients within this moisturiser include kiwi and passion fruit lipids which are full of Omega 3 fatty acids to boost the skin's moisture, blue lotus, which is a powerful antioxidant that is know to boost firmness and elasticity and vitamin A from Retinyl Palmitate which converts to Retinol in the skin to help keep it strong, plump and helps increase collagen production. The formula is a lightweight cream, which is not at all greasy or heavy on the skin, and I find it melts into the skin straightaway, which I do really prefer with my skincare. I have found that this moisturiser has really helped to keep my skin much smoother and well-moisturised than it has been for the last few months and even if you can't afford to get a whole skincare routine, at least try and get a cleanser and a moisturiser as that will help so much.
I never really bothered about using separate day and night creams until round the last year or so, but I do find it can make such a difference if you suffer from especially dry skin as evening creams tend to be slightly thicker and more concentrated, allowing you to wake up to much more nourished skin. The ARK Skincare Age Defend Regenerating Night Treatment (£42.00 for 55ml) contains active ingredients which work to aid the natural repair process that occurs whilst we are asleep, and to combat the signs of everyday stress which tends to be at its peak amongst women in their 30s and 40s. The Night Treatment comes in exactly the same packaging as the regular moisturiser, and so just one pump will give you enough moisturiser for the full face. As imagined, this is slightly thicker in texture than the regular moisturiser, however it doesn't feel greasy or heavy on the skin and it still melts in rather quickly. The Regenerating Night Treatment is of course just to be used on an evening after cleansing, so that you can wake up to fresh, nourished, healthier skin. Key ingredients include anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help with acne and Rosacea, and even though I don't officially have Rosacea, this whole skincare routine has definitely helped with my redness and irritated areas. The Treatment also contains detoxifying properties to help repair dull, tired skin, conditioning agents to hydrate and relieve dryness whilst also boosting elasticity, and protective properties to help with over-sensitised skin. All in all, this is a wonderful treatment for the skin and I am in such a happy place with my skin after trying out this complete collection.
You can find ARK Skincare online here, where you will also find more information about the different age-specific collections.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

*These items were gifted to me, but all opinions are my own

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Sweet Dreams With Feather & Down

Even though we are all going through a very tough time at the moment, I have always struggled with my sleep. So, when Feather & Down asked if I would like to try some products from their Sweet Dreams collection, I jumped at the chance.
The first item I kindly received is the Feather & Down Sweet Dreams Magnesium Sleep Salts (£8.00 for 500g). These magnesium salts are enriched with lavender and chamomile essential oils, and both of those are well known for having calming and relaxing properties. Magnesium is naturally occurring in our body and has a good impact on the nervous cells in our system, therefore a lack of magnesium can result in sleep problems. That is why magnesium salts are an excellent addition to bath time and with those lovely essential oils, these are going to help you get a much better night's sleep. You get quite a large resealable bag of the magnesium salts and you just add a couple of handfuls to warm running water and let the aroma and magnesium work their magic.
The next item I received is the Feather & Down Sweet Dreams Soothing Body Oil (£8.00 for 150ml), and a body oil is something I use quite regularly anyway, as in the colder months I tend to get very dry, irritable skin on my arms and legs and oils help them no end. This too contains lavender and chamomile essential oils, and so it is a lovely product to use on an evening after your bath. I sometimes even pop a bit of the oil into my bath for a little added extra nourishment. The Soothing Body Oil comes in a spray bottle so it is super easy to apply onto the skin and I found that it sank into my skin almost instantaneously which meant I wasn't hanging around before I could put my pyjamas on. This is wonderful for keeping the skin super soft and of course you are getting those relaxing essential oil aromas just before bed.
If you travel a lot or know someone who struggles with their sleep, I would recommend the Feather & Down Sweet Dreams Perfect Sleep Gift Set (£8.00). The packaging is lovely, with a navy blue and gold theme complete with ribbon and inside you receive the Sweet Dreams Pillow Spray (50ml), the Sweet Dreams Relaxing Roll On (10ml) and a gorgeous silky soft eye mask. I think this is amazing value! The Pillow Spray comes in a spray bottle and before you hop into bed, spray generously onto your pillow to help you as you drift into a peaceful sleep. The Relaxing Roll On is also easy to use - you just roll onto pulse points before bed - this could include your wrist, the inside of your elbow, your temples, forehead and so on. Both items are of course infused with that gorgeous lavender and chamomile fragrance and will help you have a much better night's sleep, helping you feel much more refreshed in the morning.
You can find Feather & Down online here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx

*These items were gifted to me, but all opinions are my own

Monday, 30 March 2020

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipsticks Review + Swatches

I have really been loving and enjoying using Pat McGrath products in the past six months, so at the end of last year when there was an amazing deal on the Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipsticks, I stocked up on eight amazing shades!
There are 30 shades available and each one comes beautifully packaged, as well as each tube being a glossy black and gold luxuriously feeling casing. Each LuxeTrance Lipstick provides the lips with seriously saturated colour whilst providing them with rich hydration and protection from free radicals. The formulation of the lipsticks glides on to the lips, and just one swipe provides you with full coverage and colour, so even though these are pricey lipsticks, they are going to last and you are getting quality with each and every swipe.
The first of the shades I chose is Beauty Junkie, which is from their Seasonal Colours range and is a pink violet colour. I love this colour as it is slightly different to the normal shades I tend to wear, but will be great for Spring and Summer. I then chose Donatella, from the Skin Show colour collection and this is a medium nude, so is great for most skin tones and most occasions. A slightly warmer, spicier nude is the shade LaBeija, which is also from the Skin Show collection. Going even more warmer toned, we have Lust Angeles, which is a darker nude, and I imagine this would be beautiful for darker skin tones and during Autumn and Winter. Madame Greige is from the Skin Show range and is a mauve-toned nude, which I feel would suit most skin tones and occasions. From the Seasonal Colours, we have Psycho Candy, a bright fuchsia shade, which is going to look stunning with a tan during the warmer months. Sorry Not Sorry is a beautiful plum shade from the Colour Blitz collection and I believe this would look amazing for a pop of colour all year round. Finally, we have Wrecked, from the Vicious Venoms range and this is a beautiful true berry shade, which would work stunningly on warmer skin tones.
There is no doubt that these are expensive lipsticks, but if you want amazing colour pay-off and long-wearing lip colour, then I would definitely recommend making the investment. You can find them online at Pat McGrath here.

All the Loves,
Kathryn xxx