jeudi 9 avril 2009

Moisturising Cream Mask - 50ml
RRP : £21

What the promo says:

"A true moisture bath for the skin! This mask, which can be used to replace your cream, deeply rehydrates the thirstiest skin and allows it to defend itself more effectively against harsh environmental conditions. For all dry and very dry skin in need of an ultra-moisturizing, regenerating and soothing skincare product."

Why I bought this product: I bought this following my ‘Caudalie Experience Day’, held at my local pharmacie in France.

Packaging: As this product is part of the VINOSOURCE range, it comes in a white box with the signature silver grape logo, mauve lid and mauve band around the base. The tube containing the Vinosource cream mask resembles that of the Vinosource Riche cream and is a pretty light pink colour embossed with the silver grape logo with CAUDALIE written in green and 'Vinosource in mauve.

Application: The cream should be applied to a perfectly clean face and neck 2 to 3 times a week. The instructions say that you should allow it to penetrate and rinse away any excess product after 15 minutes. However, my 'Vinotherapist' told me that my skin would probably soak it all up in that time and she was right. I much prefer the idea of a cream that slowly blends in to the alternative of applying something whereby you have to hide in the bathroom in the fear that someone might spot you looking like a ghoul, with some ghastly concoction smeared over your face, counting the seconds to when you can rinse it off! I tend to do my face treatment first at night and, by the time I am ready to emerge into the bedroom the cream has disappeared. My husband likes the smell. Always a bonus....

In case of very dehydrated skin or extreme climates, this cream can be applied in a fine layer to replace your day cream creating a protective shield against the elements.

Appearance/Texture: Smooth and silky, it goes on well and rapidly penetrates the skin.

Scent: The cream contains grape-seed oil, essential oils of sweet lime, lemon, orange, hybrid lavender, coriander, vetiver, wild guaiac wood and sandalwood. No wonder it smells so good!

Short term/long term effects: Skin looks smoother instantly. I think the most stunning thing I have to say about this treatment combined with Vinosource Riche cream is that MY HUSBAND COMMENTED ON MY SMOOTH SKIN about a week or so after I had been following the beauty programme. Such a thing is rare, I am sure all women would agree. He asked me at breakfast one day how I felt after my 'Caudalie day' and whether I was pleased with the products....and when I asked why he had asked the question, he replied that he had noticed a difference in the quality of my skin tone. NEED I SAY MORE?!

Value for Money: Used just twice a week, the 50ml tube lasts a long time because only a small amount of the product is needed to cover the face and neck. A small amount seems to go a long way and I have the impression that I apply quite a thick layer. I have been using my tube for a month now and it is nowhere near finishing yet.

Perfect partners:
As part of the dry skin beauty programme the following CAUDALIE products can be used:-
Gentle Cleanser
Grape Water Cleanser
Beauty Elixir*
Vinosource Moisturisng Concentrate*
Vinosource Anti-wrinkle ultra-nourishing cream (Reviewed)
Tinted Face cream*

The website lists stockists in your area.

mercredi 8 avril 2009

Anti-wrinkle Ultra-Nourishing Cream
RRP : £26.50

This cream belongs to Caudalie’s ‘Dry Skin range’ with grape-seed polyphenols and vinolevure*.

What the promo says :
« This rich, silky cream provides remarkable anti-oxidant action, deeply nourishes even the driest skin and reactivates the skin’s internal moisture mechanism.

Some CAUDALIE chemistry.....
“Dry skin has a smooth surface with fine, taut pores but is also subject to tightness and the appearance of dehydration lines. It suffers from a lack of lipids, which leads to damage of the skin bCouleur du textearrier. This barrier becomes permeable to water and harsh external factors. As a result, water evaporates and the skin is weakened. Caudalie ensures your skin is comfortable, radiant and youthful with the Nourishing range for dry skin, featuring grape-seed polyphenols and Vinolevure*. “
What is Vinolevure*?
Vinolevure is a molecule extracted from the surface of wine yeast used during the wine-making process. It has unique moisturising and protective properties because it has the ability to retain up to 100 times its volume in water. It therefore helps to prevent dehydration of the skin and naturally reinforces the immune defences of the epidermis by protecting the skin from drying and irritating factors.
Following use of ‘Vinosource Riche’.....”skin is strengthened and softened. It regains its suppleness, softness and maximum moisture level.”

Why I bought this product:
I bought this following my ‘Caudalie Experience Day’, held at my local pharmacie in France.
What I liked about this cream was that it could serve as both a day and night cream. No need for two tubes. To make it extra nourishing, my beauty therapist recommended mixing a few drops of Vinosource Moisturising Concentrate in with it at night.

CAUDALIE’s packaging is pretty and eye-catching. White boxes with CAUDALIE written in green with a silver grape logo. Depending which range you buy, there is either the boxes have a light green or purple lid and band around the base. No attempt is made to deceive the purchaser with the size of the box, which closely fits the product contained inside. The tube containing the Vinosource Riche cream is a pretty light mauve colour. What I like about Caudalie’s tubes is that they are slim, elegant and light. Great for travelling!

Morning and evening on face and neck...a moment of ‘pur bonheur’ for your face! Only a small amount of cream is needed and it slides on beautifully, penetrating the skin’s surface.

I cannot rate Caudalie’s products highly enough....the smell divine and, as I said in my ‘Caudalie Experience’ ..provide aromatherapy for your face. I am now addicted to the scent and application of this cream both starts and ends my day with a smile....

WONDERFUL! This cream contains grape-seed and borage oils, shea butter, chestnut extracts, camomile, violet leaves, cedar, beeswax....Need I say more?Buy some and see!!!

The tube is fairly small (40ml)...but who cares? At least it means I don’t have to buy a different product when I go on my travels. So far I have been using it since my beauty treatment day, which is a month. I have a feeling the tube will come to an end fairly soon (but I shall cut it open and eke out the very last droplet..) ...I estimate it may last me six weeks, applying both morning and night.

Short term/long term effects:
Immediate effect is very looks hydrated and feels wonderfully smooth. After a month I still feel my skin is looking good. Does this mean I may cast aside my ‘Lancôme NUTRIX’ after all? I definitely prefer the scent of Caudalie’s creams and, for the moment, feel converted.

Value for Money:
Compared to other products on the market I feel that Caudalie’s products are reasonably priced. I feel they are worth the money for all the reasons listed in the ‘personal commitments’ of the manufacturers.

Perfect partners:
As part of the dry skin beauty programme the following CAUDALIE products can be used:-
Gentle Cleanser
Grape Water Cleanser
Beauty Elixir*
Vinosource Moisturising Concentrate*
Vinosource Moisturising Cream Mask*
Tinted Face cream*

The website lists stockists in your area.

mardi 7 avril 2009

Some information about...


Caudalie products come from Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, a family-run property. In 1993 the owners met Professor Vercauteren, director of the Research Laboratory of natural substances at the University of Pharmacy Bordeaux. He introduced them to the extraordinary power of grape-seed polyphenols. These latter have exceptional anti-ageing properties. They protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals by helping to naturally stimulate the production of elastin and collagen fibres. These latter ensure the elasticity and youthfulness of the skin and improve skin micro-circulation.

Some important facts about CAUDALIE products :

The owners of Chateau Smith Haut Laffite have a personal commitment :
· Not to use parabens and phenoxyethanol
· To use plant extracts with active molecules
· To use a maximum of natural active ingredients (over 100 extracts from different plants)
· Not to test finished products on animals
· Not to use ingredients of animal origin
· Not to use mineral oil or colourings
· Not to use sodium laureth sulfate
· To prove the results claimed on volunteers through scientific evaluations under dermatological supervision.
For all these reasons...I am a CAUDALIE FAN !
Over the next few weeks/months....there will be more evaluations of CAUDALIE products as I work through their range.

samedi 28 mars 2009

LIPIKAR EMOLLIENT - moisturising emulsion for very dry skin LAROCHE-POSAY

RRP: £11 (200ml as shown. Also available in 400ml pump-action dispenser £16 )

What the promo says:
"This emollient saturates dry skin with lipids immediately. The skin becomes elastic and soft. Light and non-greasy texture absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave greasy film. Apply once to twice a day, preferably after a bath or shower. Suitable for dry to very dry skin. "
Lipikar contains 10% Shea butter - a nutritive emollient, glycerin to hydrate and thermal spring water as a soothing antioxidant. It penetrates the skin quickly to soothe and restore comfort and suppleness. It replenishes dry skin and compensates for lipid deficiencies, helping to restore the hydrolipidic layer.
Why I bought this product:
Because my mother, who has passed on some positive attributes but also her dry skin to me, told me that the only body lotions worth using on our crepe paper skin were those containing LIPIDS. She's not stupid, my Mum....

La-Roche-Posay products come in simple no-nonsense packaging. As they are usually available from good chemists...they have gone for the 'clinical' sort of image...lots of white, the 'signature' blue rectangle with the name of the product clearly written on the front in black lettering. it's not glamorous or attractive....but do you want superbly hydrated skin or an ornament for your bathroom? Lipikar can be bought in a white tube which stands easily on your bathroom shelf or in a pump-action dispenser.

One squirt from the pump action dispenser goes a long way. But if you are going to do your whole body you will need a squirt for each portion! The good thing about the pump action dispenser is that it can be very easily controlled, so you only squeeze out exactly what you need. A small push obtains just a small amount of lotion. You are not obliged to push the pump down all the way each time. I find one application is generally enough in Winter...but in Summer when I am in and out of the pool...another application before going out in the evening is generally required.

Just as the promo is a light cream that goes on easily and is quickly absorbed into the skin. It has a silky texture that isn't greasy and leaves skin looking smooth and hydrated.

It has a light, fresh scent on application. This lasts for a while but is not obtrusive if you want to wear your favourite perfume over the top.

Couleur du texteLongevity:
The effects last a long time and, because so little of the cream is required, so does the tube/dispenser. I find the large dispenser lasts around three months.

Short term/long term effects:
Excellent. One of the best body lotions around.
Value for money:
Excellent. ....especially if you follow the suggestions below!

Sarah's HOT TIP to make it last:
As I have suggested before with similar containers, the flexible tube has the advantage that it can be cut open and covered with cling film...enabling you to gain at least another week of use.
I wasn't going to be defeated by the harder pump action container either....convinced that there was more to be had once the pump no longer worked...I took a sharp knife to the container and sliced it in half. I gained a MONTH's worth of body lotion!
A good reason for a visit to France! Available from all good chemists.

RUSH HOUR -Instant Makeover for lips and cheeks - BENEFIT

- What the promo says - "A 10 second's a fresh and lively touch up for lips and a silky smooth sunberry's peppy on all complexions!" This is all that is written on the leaflet inside the box but there are more useful details (full of exclamation marks and very 'American') to be found on Benefit's website as follows: "THE instant makeover for lips & cheeks. It's low maintenance, oil-free & non-comedogenic makeup for the gal on the go. This sunberry color cream is your shade! Apply to cheeks, dot on lips-vroom,'re ready to go!
Tips and tricks: The twist-up slim-line design makes application mess-free and fast! Starting at the apple of your cheeks, apply rush hour using whisker-like strokes. Blend evenly with fingertips. Then dot on lips and you're gorgeous in a flash!"

- Why I bought this product - I have always felt that the cosmetics industry is a bit of a rip-off, making us buy this product for one part of our body and that product for another. Whilst I am aware that things like nail varnish can only have one use (!) I felt that powders and creams for eyes, face and lips could be used more imaginatively to save having to buy so many products. So, when I saw that Benefit were combining something for cheeks and lips I thought, "Hooray! At last someone is producing a dual purpose product."

- Packaging - I love Benefit's packaging. It is colourful and bright and often quite 'retro'. The 'Rush Hour' box has a glamorous gloved hand sporting a ring over the glove... holding the steering wheel of a car. Inside there is a slim gold lipstick style container in gold with black geometric patterns. Easy to keep in your handbag.

- Application - Just a few dots needed on the cheeks, blended in with the fingers...for a glowing effect. A quick dash over the lips and you are ready. Just the sort of thing you can do quickly in your rear view mirror when the traffic lights are red.

- Appearance/ Texture - Goes on well and is pleasant to apply. Lips are nice and glossy on initial application.

- Scent - Not aware of one.

-Short term / Long term effects - Appearance is good after initial application. The colour is good for my cheeks although, being blonde, I do find the lipstick colour a little dark for me. Application lasts well ...all morning at least. ...although being a fan of Lancôme's 'Rouge Absolu' I do not feel that this lipstick has such a good hydrating effect. I find my lips are feeling a little dry by the end of the morning. The colour lasts well...and when it does fade, it seems to cling to the outer edges of your lips which gives the effect of a lip-liner.

- Longevity - This is a product that I would have used much more in my 'former life' when I was dashing around going to conferences and meetings as a Headmistress. I think it is a brilliant idea to have something to touch up your make-up after a long journey when you are looking and feeling a little tired. My present life-style is not so 'rushed' and I have every opportunity to go and replenish make-up throughout the day whenever I I cannot give a good idea of how long this product would last if kept in a handbag and used regularly but I think the general idea is a good one. Well done, Benefit.

- Value for Money - Product does what it says and is not too expensive compared to other quality lipsticks on the market. When you bear in mind that it is a blusher as well....! Good value.

- Suppliers - Sephora, Boots, House of Fraser

MAVALA - MAVA+ Extreme Care for Hands

RRP: £9.50

- What the promo says -

"Mava + is an intense repairing and moisturising treatment containing Camomile and Vitamin E to reduce redness and soothe, Shea Butter to nourish, smooth and repair, and a botanical complex which acts as a protective sheild to reinforce the skin's barrier defences. From the first application Mava + calms, softens and soothes hands giving immediate and long-lasting benefit. "

- Why I bought this product -

I had old-looking hands at the age of 18! It must be genetic....but my skin looked 'crêpe paper-ish' from a very early age. Looking at my grandmother's and my mother's hands...I knew where mine were headed...destined to look old before their desperate measures have always been required. Finding the right hand cream, though, is not always easy. Mavala' s products have always been renowned for their effectiveness. I was lucky to receive this as part of a pack of beauty products shared with my niece (thank you, Bianca!) ordered from 'Votre Beauté' a French beauty magazine.

- Packaging -

Mavala's products come in the usual distinctive red and white packaging. A no-nonsense style that is easy to recognise. The box is about the size of the tube it contains so not deceptive.

- Application -

As with all Mavala's hand creams, only a small amount is needed. A tiny blob on the back of each hand goes a long way.

- Appearance/Texture -

Thick and creamy but not greasy, this cream goes on well and penetrates the skin's surface. It leaves the hands looking INSTANTLY SMOOTHER AND YOUNGER.

- Scent -

Sorry, Mavala, but why is it I find so many of your hand creams rather 'clinical' when it comes to scent? I have a wonderful French rose petal hand cream that smells divine and I found myself wishing Mava+ smelt the same. However, if one has to sacrifice scent for effectiveness...then Mava+ beats any other hand cream. What little scent it has soon fades, which is an advantage if you would rather not detract from your expensive perfume!

- Longevity -

As stated above, a small amount goes a long way so the tube lasts a long time.

-Short term/long term effects -

10 out of 10! Hands look silky smooth and the effect lasts all day. Hats off to Mavala! This cream will have to be added to my list of essentials.

- Value for Money -


- Sarah's Handy Hint to make it last -

Cut the tube when you can no longer squeeze out any more cream and civer open ends with clingfilm so that contents do not dry out.

-Suppliers -
You can search for stockists near you on the website but most good chemists stock Mavala products.

vendredi 6 mars 2009

The Caudalie Experience


When my local pharmacie in Saint Ambroix, Languedoc-Roussillon, offered me the chance to participate in a 'CAUDALIE DAY', offering me a free facial, I jumped at the chance.

Yesterday was the day...and I was treated to half an hour of cossetting in a small back room which had been beautifully decorated with Caudalie spa pictures on the walls, flowers and plants strategically placed and small candles flickering. There were sofas, a treatment chair, a table with the products all displayed and soft, relaxing music playing. I was even given a Caudalie grape herbal tea...which was delicious (and no need for sugar). I was ready to be spoilt!

Obviously, the young lady offering the treatment used as many products as she could on my face in the time available...all of them vital to the preservation of my dry skin....but what the hell? It was nevertheless a most enjoyable experience, even if the aim was ultimately to sell me as many of them as she could to me afterwards.

She gave good advice, was quick to analyse my skin's needs and knew what she was talking about...the chemistry of essential oils etc., so I was impressed.

I came away with a complete personalised beauty programme. Reviews of the items I bought to follow shortly...but here is a brief run-down of the products used on me during the half hour session.
CLEANSING STAGE..............
GENTLE CLEANSER for eyes and face.
My beautician added a small quantity of the facial scrub to this product to gently exfoliate my skin. The mixture smelt very pleasant and slid easily over my face. Whilst exfoliating, it did not feel too gritty or rough. It was removed gently with soft sponges. When I read the box afterwards I realise why it smelt so good and why it is such a thorough cleanser. It contains: grape-seed polyphenols, cornflower water, oat milk, sweet almond and jojoba oils, shea butter, coriander, sweet lime, memon, guaic wood, sweet prange, vetiver, sandalwood and a hybrid lavender. OUF! How do they cram so much in?!!

This was spritzed over my face and left it it feeling fresh and clean and the smell was delicious.
Not quite sure what the difference between these two toners was...but both were equally pleasant and this latter comes in a handy handbag size bottle for daily spritzing and feel-good factor. It contains extracts of grape and essential oils of rosemary, orange blossom and rose extracts, benzoin, myrrh, organic balm mint and mint. Mmmmm!

Now this is my idea of a beauty mask! None of your revolting pink concoctions to spread across your face and hide from your husband/hope no one rings the doorbell! This is a wonderful rich treatment that can just be left to penetrate deeply into the skin and does not require removal. Once again, it is full of all those wonderful CAUDALIE scents that are their trademark. It contains grapeseed polyphenols, grapeseed oil glycerin, cornflower, essential oils of lime, lemon, orange, hybrid lavender, corainder, vetiver, wild guaic wood and sandalwood. WOW! My skin is so dry it happily absorbed the lot in a very short time. My beautician recommended that I use it twice a week instead of my usual night cream treatment. She added to this a few drops of PULPE VITAMINEE REGENERATING CONCENTRATE... a magic little bottle containing a wonderful blend of essential oils: grapeseed oil, sweet almond and musk rose oil, neroli, petitgrain, carrot, sadal and lavender . This latter can also be added to your day cream to transform it into a more penetrating night cream.

Finally, she applied VINOSOURCE RICH ANTI-WRINKLE ULTRA-NOURISHING CREAM, which smells totally wonderful - the final 'cocktail' of ingredients being grapeseed and linseed oils, omega 3s and 6s, borage oils, chestnut extracts, olive squalane, shea butter, camomile, violet leaves, cedar and beeswax. She added TINTED MOISTURISER to this....a nice touch so that I didn't have to emerge into the world with a face scrubbed of all make-up. Eye make-up was left in tact.

My beautician's final tip was that I should take a 3 month course of CAUDALIE VINOCAPS nutritional supplement capsules to penetrate my skin from within. As I really do believe that beauty comes from within...I shall definitely give them a go once my bank balance has recovered from this month's expenditures and a recent holiday to Italy!

Take my word for it....

The whole experience had me luxuriating in wonderful scents which lasted well beyond the treatment itself.