I'm highly fond of the Deciem brand, they're very innovative when it comes to skincare. I've reviewed their brands products a few times already through the blog, here, here,  here & here. This year they launched The Ordinary, which is effective skincare at amazingly reasonable prices. I decided to try 3 of their products.
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA 30ml £7.00
This serum has 2% Alpha Arbutin which helps reduce the look of spots and hyperpigmentation. 2% is a higher concentration versus the 1% standard concentration. It's said to be the safer alternative to Hydroquinone, the main source of Alpha Arbutin is the Bearberry bush where it's derived from the leaves. Arbutin comes in alpha and beta, alpha is said to be better as it offers higher stability and preferred for skin lightening. Making is ideal for hyperpigmentation. The Hyaluronic acid ingredient is described as a next generation form, Hyaluronic acid is used to retain moisture within the skin (one gram (.03 ounces) of hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to six liters (1 quart) of water!) helping it to look plump and healthy. It can be used daily, AM + PM (sunscreen definitely needed after AM application). It's a clear liquid, watery serum, glides onto the skin to be absorbed quickly with no residue left over. I think this is going to be a great saviour during the colder months with being able to retain moisture but helping my other skin concerns, I find it gentle for what it's meant to do.

Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% 30ml £5.50
Lactic Acid is found within milk and sugars - this is where it's derived from and it's antimicrobial, so it stops any growth of bacteria, gently exfoliates skin & prevents pigmentation (i.e. dark spots - doesn't whiten the skin, no bleaching *I stress this*). I'm familiar with a lot of acids, especially AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) as they're used to gently exfoliate the skin to help brighten by revealing new skin underneath and this is how it helps to stop hyperpigmentation. This acid in particular I've not had much experience with until as of late, from doing a body peel and then this. It's at a 5% level which is probably good for entry levels so your skin can get used to it and then you build up the strength. Within this mixture is Tasmanian pepperberry, it's a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne & skin conditioning properties, it'll reduce the signs of irritation often associated with acid use. Also supports Vitamin C and collagen production. I've definitely not experienced any peeling or irritation. It took a while but the skin had slight places on my face where it started to exfoliate but it's always a good sign and my skin is starting to look a lot more brighter and even.

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil 30ml £9.00
The reason I choose to use this cold-pressed and organic Rosehip Oil is because of it's amazing benefits, to help aide all what I'm trying to correct. It's full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, these help skin concerns such as dark spots, reduce scars and fine lines and hydrates dry, itchy skin. The antioxidants have the ability to penetrate deep layers of the skin, Vitamins A & C stimulate collagen production. As I mentioned the dark spots are helped because the antioxidants combat free radicals that cause sun damage, this'll prevent dark spots from getting darker. Vitamin A & combined with essential fatty acids improve skintone, texture and pigmentation. They suggest to use it once a day, preferably at night but I use oils morning & night because I use it after my moisturiser especially if I'm not wearing make-up, it seals my layers and always gives me a non greasy but healthy sheen while working and protecting my skin.

& there's still a few more to mention at a later date...

Have you tried anything from Deciem or The Ordinary?

Samples.

Deciem The Ordinary Review.

I have combination skin, sometimes it can be pretty problematic but it also can be sensitive to certain products. At times I joke that my skin is like leather but it can also be a tad sensitive especially around these times when the weather changes and it can be a little delicate to products and the skin type changes. This product will help to increase the skin's ability to cope with stress, aid recovery and strengthen the protective moisture barrier. I've spoken about my skin having little break outs but those are pretty much menstrual reactions but sensitive skin is skin that is irritated & inflamed - such things as redness, itchiness, dryness so forth. The environment & lifestyle can also play part in how your skin reacts and can lead to the sensitive skin as times goes by.

Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask aids in alleviating and comforting the skin because the skin also has the ability to block the stress signals between the brain & the skin, this mask helps to break the stress cycle! Your skin starts to repair and heal without alerting the brain. Within the ingredients is an original White Mushroom Extract that de-stresses the skin by blocking the irritation & pain messages to the brain and you'll get instant sensation of comfort. It has a skin mimicking texture to leave a soft-touch feel.

Key Ingredients:
▸ White Mushroom: A naturally derived painkiller for skin that blocks the mediators for pain and itchiness. Contains Grifolin, Neogrifolin and Scutigeral that act as topical skin analgesics to effectively block the message of pain at the site of generation, which prevents swelling, itching and redness.
▸ Bakers Yeast: A Yeast compound with potent antibacterial and antihistaminic effects on the skin that will boost and balance the skins immune system strengthening and restoring the skin barrier function and accelerate its regeneration after stress.
▸ Arnica Montana Flower: Used by surgeons to reduce post-operative trauma, it reduces irritation, inflammation, stinging, burning, and redness. Acts as a potent free radical scavenger too.

Use 3 times a week or anytime the skin need or urgent rescue. When my skin was quite irritated for awhile, I'd apply this about 4x a week without an issue. It was soothing and normally if your skin is sensitive to products when you put products on it'll tingle, sting and get more red and irritated but this will not be the case with this mask at all. Left on for quarter of an hour and just wipe off with a damp cloth or cotton pad but I prefer the cotton pad.

This product will hit the counters next month (January 2017) £28/50ml bottle.

Purchase: REN Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask

Sample.

REN Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask

After having some bad sleepless nights and looking gormless and tired, these Optrex eye masks were ideal to help relax my eyes. You can use these while travelling, before bed or just to relax anytime. The difference with this product is that they have Microsteam technology which means that as soon as they're opened they instantly warm up. I've never come across something like this before.

Optrex Warming Eye Masks are air-activated and start to warm up instantly when opened. The MICROSTEAM™ Technology delivers a gentle warming steam that is designed to moisten and soothe tired eyes:
▸ Air activated, self-heating masks.
▸ Single use disposable masks.
▸ Designed with straps to allow mask to fit securely over your eye.
▸ Suitable for everyday use.

I've got a pack of fragrance free but you can also get lavender scented which if you like the scent it would be relaxing for your senses as well as your eyes. In the evening when I'm unwinding before bed, popping a mask during the unwind helps the eyes feel less tired and sore in 10 minutes. Of course it doesn't stop my body feeling tired but that eye ache - girrrrrl...that's what I can't stand cos I need my eyes to see - thankfully. I think these are very good to even just have in your home for a 'just in case' situation.

Have you tried these Optrex Warming Eye Mask?


Purchase: Optrex Warming Eye Mask


Sample.

Optrex Warming Eye Mask

I've mentioned before, I like to glow, it makes the skin look sun kissed, healthy and of course around this time of the year skin has a tendency to look sullen and dull. Boo! Transformulas have an anti ageing hydrating & recovery crème that aims to soothe and smooth skin by using a blend of vitamins and minerals that leaves skin wrinkle free and refreshed. As I have no wrinkles I cannot attest to that claim.

▸ Hyaluronan (Hyaluronic Acid) - This key ingredient has regenerative properties that helps combat the signs of ageing.
▸ Aqua - Highly purified water that helps spread anti-ageing ingredients evenly through the skin.
▸ Zea Mays Oil – Gives your skin a silky smooth texture whilst moisturising it.
▸ Gold powder – Illuminates the skin giving it radiance.

Benefits of this crème include: luminosity & radiance, hydration, toning of collagen fibres, nourishes and promotes cell stimulation, combats free radicals, hydrates the epidermis (the upper or outer layer of the two main layers of cells that make up the skin) and the derma (true skin, lying beneath the cuticle) of the facial skin & 23 carat gold Illuminates the skin with a hint of shimmering gold
How I like to use it:
Small amounts is the best way to go, I like to add a couples pumps no more to my moisturiser, if I'm bare faced it gives a nice illuminated feel to the skin without doing much. That also goes for foundation I've mixed it a couple of times with BB cream and foundation just to give a glow - which I'm pretty happy with results wise. Especially as I always like my skin to look glowing and bright, it's never a bad thing to have a little help.

Have you ever tried Transformulas before?

Purchase: Hydration Gold


Sample.

Transformulas Hydration Gold

I've never tried a scent from Accessorize, to be honest I never knew they even did fragrances but since their first in 1998 there's been 13, with the latest being this one, Lovelily EDT. A name I like, it's so sweet and soft. It's a 75ml bottle that packs some flavour, it's got hints of fruit, citrus and floral with musk notes flowing throughout the bottle.

Top notes
Bergamot, raspberry and orange.
Middle notes
Jasmine and lily-of-the-valley
Base notes
vanilla and musk
The design of the clear 75ml hexagonal bottle is simple with the logo & name completed with a clear glass with a fuschia pink lily blooming inside.I'm all for fruit floral scents during the day, this one is ideal for those Autumnal - Spring days and I think it can work for both day & night due to the light scent of vanilla & mask. I think this will make a great fragrance from teens - young women, it's quite sweet with musky undertones as it dies down on me the base notes seemed to thrive. Not that long lasting in all probably 5-6 hours wear but by then it's very much died down but a great option. I think I may have to get one for my cousin being a teen, she would appreciate this.

Have you ever tried an Accessorize fragrance?

Purchase: Accessorize Lovelily £19

Sample.

Accessorize Lovelily

Since being introduced to the beauty blender some years ago, I’m all for sponges now. I’ve tried a few brands and Real Techniques this year released some new additions along with their leading sponge.

Miracle Complexion Sponge.
I’ve had this sponge previously and it’s always welcome. Due to the different sides, the rounded sides are great for blending larger areas on the face, dab – dab – dab. While the tip can pin-point blemishes and imperfections which I find good for pigmentation marks for me while using camouflage makeup. The flat side is for around the eyes and nose

Miracle Diamond Sponge.
It’s a really interesting looking sponge. 13 facets meaning you can get more out of the sponge. The designs of the swirls are different on each sponge; no two swirls are the same. Just like the complexion sponge, the pointed tip works on small imperfections, while larger sides apply makeup to larger areas quicker such as the forehead and cheeks. Smaller sides work around eyes, mouth and brow bone. The top works to buff and blend to make the foundation flawless.
-_______It can be used wet for dewy application & dry for full coverage powders.
-_______Recommended to be changed every 1 – 3 months.
-_______Latex Free.
Miracle Sculpting Sponge.
A sponge to help you contour and highlight!? It could possibly work. At times using a brush and not buffing out your lines as well can leave stark lines. This 6-sided sponge, with a very unique design uses the small sides for precision highlighting, making it good for that brow bone, nose tip, cupids bone and highpoints of the cheek. Large side for contour, temples, jawline and cheek. It’s not a large sponge so it makes working with it easier and should keep too much product on the sponge to a minimal.
-_______Use it wet for dewy application & dry for full coverage.
-_______Recommended to be changed every 1 - 3 months.
-_______Latex Free.

Miracle Mini Eraser.
Sponges to erase those mishaps, flaking mascara…! Always extremely handy because sometimes some sponges are just too large to target some areas. Now I’ve seen mini ones before but wasn’t captured too much by them but in hindsight, it’s not a bad idea. With the mini eraser, 3 different sides help to do 3 different things.
-_______Flat edges: erase
-_______Rounded sides: buff + blend
-_______Tip: targeted sweep

There’s 6 ways to erase and for you to get the most out of the sponges:
-_______Sweep away under eye shadow fallout
-_______Wipe away liner gone wrong
-_______Pick up brow product fallout
-_______Wipe away mascara smudges
-_______Pick up over applied shadow
-_______Blend away too much blush or highlighter

I like to use it to definitely sweep away fallout but also to apply my concealer underneath my eyes if I'm going for a full - heavy face (which isn't often)


Purchase: Real Techniques Sponges


Samples.

Real Techniques Sponges.

I'm all for brows! Everytime I 'touch' mine up with a little removal here and there. I get annoyed cos they start to look too 'thin' granted I have brows but I'd want them to be more dense but on top of that I've got bits of my brow that just doesn't grow in so they need filling. Always want more than we have but for that there's brow products and I've got the OG, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade, ColourPop, Shishido, the brands can go on but I'm always on the look for something else. Know Cosmetics are one of Sephora's most popular brands that have since launched in Superdrug. Yes for small mercies.
What intrigued me the most about the No Bare Brows pencil is that it's a 4-1 universal product! - How Sway!? It looks to be a medium to dark brown shade but it can be used for those with light brows too, with wax at the other end to tame brows. This pencil also comes with two additional caps that have built-in sharpener & brush so you've got all you need with just your pencil.
What I think is good about this because it's got buildable colour, you use it very lightly, light strokes for light hairs and a little more pressure for dark brows or continue to go over the strokes to build colour. I was pretty impressed with how it works because it's almost detachable, I didn't feel to have very bold brows on this day and used light strokes to do my tail and sparse areas and I was pretty impressed.

Purchase: No Bare Brows

Sample.

Know Cosmetics - No Bare Brows.

I've tried a couple brands of coloured contact lenses before and having read about Solotica during this year. I've seen it's a popular brand amongst celebrities (Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Pia Mia) and bloggers and since being able to trial them, I can see why.

I opted for the Solotica Hidrocor in Avela because it's a light hazelnut shade. The Hidrocor range have no limbal ring (the black outer ring), they're very opaque and natural looking. When I looked at them in the vial I could barely even see them.
Here's some details on the contacts :
Material: 62% Polymacon ▸ Hydration: 38% ▸Diameter: 14.2 mm ▸ Base curve: 8.7 ▸ Degree: PLANO 0.00 Degree ▸ Manufacturer: Solotica Brazil

In the box there was 1 pair of YEARLY lenses + Lens Case, so I did have to go out a couple days later and get some multi-purpose contact solution. Another good point would be to also have lint free towels because it's the ideal way to make sure once you've washed your hands you'll get a fluff free result and that means no pesky fluff in your eyes. As I couldn't tell you the amount of times I've got a little hair or fluff in my eye while putting contacts in. I've either got use to putting contacts in and wearing them or there's something completely different about this brand that I have such ease putting them in and wearing them.
Here's the eyes closed up, you can see the pattern on the contacts that I feel gives it that beautiful flawless light design, the brown of my eyes is still there through the opaque pattern but it seems to work and give it a unique colour. Avela. As described previously it's a light hazelnut colour that covers my dark brown eyes amazingly as there's not a trace but it also gives it a natural result from afar and even close up, I had someone who knows me look twice and ask if the light was changing my eye colour lol or did I have contacts in but complimented on how natural they appear. I agree. Now for some these can be an issue price wise, these are currently £76.46 which for some you're going to be thinking WTF!? but they're yearly which works out as £6.37 a month and most monthly ones cost £25 or less depending on the brand so it actually isn't a bad deal at all!

Do you like to wear coloured contacts?

Purchase: Solotica Hidrocor Avela Lenses

Sample.

Solotica Hidrocor Avela

Earlier this year I reviewed the MooGoo Super Vitamin C Serum and now I'm featuring the product that started it all for MooGoo. As my skin hasn't really been dry I've not been able to feature it but a few beauty treatments have started to dry the skin out so I pay attention and cure.

Formulated for dry skin, this is surprisingly a light cream and I can see & feel why they say it's the lightest of their creams. I only locate this to the problem areas that feel drying and it absorbs easily and nothing is greasy but it leaves my skin hydrated and comfortable. The milk protein within this product keeps the skin supple and encourages the elasticity. The power of this cream has even reached a number of hospitals within Australia, to be used for dry & damaged skin following chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Some of it's ingredients include Aqua, Sweet Almond Oil due to the high fatty acids to help troubled skin, Aloe Vera for it's healing and soothing, Olive Oil is an excellent humectant (draws moisture to the skin), Rice Bran Oil & Vitamin E. Just from these alone you can see how much benefits this cream has. It has a powdered milk scent that I find isn't strong but it lingers on the skin for quite a bit but as I only use it in some areas it's no problem for me. It's £8 for 120ml and if you use it only on specific places and the fact you don't need much it'll last quite a bit.

Have you ever used anything from MooGoo?

Purchase: Skin Milk Udder Cream


Sample.
Due to the Hydrolyzed Milk Protein this is not a vegan product.

MooGoo Skin Milk Udder Cream