Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Until this year, I’ve been seriously lucky with my skin. Apart from the occasional monster-spot, I’d always had a really clear complexion, and any skincare regime I’d adhered to had been more for fun and pampering than due to any real need for something to sort my skin out. I’d always had gargantuan pores, but that’s not too drastic.

However, at the grand old age of twenty-three I developed acne, which was scarring quite badly. My skincare needs morphed from ‘smells nice and makes me feel fancy’, to ‘will actually make a difference to the appearance/feel/general wellbeing of my face’.

So I was delighted to be given a few bits and bobs from L’Oreal’s Skin Perfection Range to try, and thought I’d share the results with you!

First impressions of these products are that they look lovely, have a really nice texture, and smell wonderful. (Funny story - my boyfriend actually nicked the moisturiser a few times until I had to ask him to stop. He felt really bad and asked if it was because it’s expensive. I had to tell him that no, but it’s weird kissing a man who’s face smells so girly. Needless to say, product thievery has become a thing of the past.)

I’ve been using the Cleansing and Perfecting Milk, the Velvety Soft Toner, the Serum* and the Day Moisturiser* for a month now, twice a day (if I remember), and the difference to my skin is remarkable.

I’m not going to claim that these products are a miracle cure for acne. Mine is improving due to a face wash prescribed by my dermatologist, an effort to drink more water and be more careful with my diet, and the fact that I’ve started to exercise more regularly. I think that a lot of people expect mind-blowing results from new beauty products, but at the end of the day there is so much more to a healthy complexion than simply what goop you’re applying to your face.

Having said that, I really love these products. The cleanser and toner are lovely and gentle, my skin feels so clean and smooth after using them, and my face smells like a bunch of flowers, which I really like. A lot. I’ve also noticed a huge improvement in the scarring on my cheeks, and my pores look a lot smaller.

Basically, I think that these products are fab. No, there’s no miracle cure for your skin, but in my (very humble) opinion, these are pretty damned close. They’ll also leave you feeling wonderfully pampered – far more than anything I’ve tried in a similar price range. I actually get a little bit excited about using this range, every day. Clearly I need more adventure in my life!

Thank you very much, L’Oreal Paris – these get a big thumbs up from me!

Have you tried any products from the Skin Perfection range? What did you think of them?


Products marked with an * are PR samples


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A few weekends ago, Henry, Baloo and I took a trip to Wiltshire to help some friends with the annual cider-making. A weekend of idyllic out-doorsy pursuits entailed, so I thought I'd share some sepia-toned snaps with you.

As a newbie to the cider scene, I thought I'd take a step back from the mulching and other technical aspects of the job, and instead offered my finely honed tree-climbing abilities to the apple collecting team. Baloo spent the weekend hustling the little'uns like a pro, and feasting on their Pombears, mince pies, and other treats.

It's such a treat sometimes to spend a few days doing something completely different from everyday life - especially with the knowledge that when we return, it will be to sample the fruits of our labout! All in all, it was a weekend well-spent with great company, food, drink, and clean country air to blow out the cobwebs. Although I wouldn't complain if I didn't see another apple for a while*.


*Although I will happily make an exception if someone would like to make me some toffee apples?


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A few weeks ago, I was offered two tickets to see Wicked by Shows in London. As a chronic show-tunes shower-singer, my answer was an instantaneous YES of the biting-off-your-hand variety. Fast forward a few days, and Fran and I were sitting in our (very nice) seats at the Apollo Victoria, bouncing up and down in our seats in anticipation, bemoaning the fact that no one else dresses up for the theatre any more, and giggling like loons over the time we went to see Mamma Mia in the cinema and she leaned over and whispered "Is this a musical?", mid-I Have a Dream.

And then the show started, and we were both stunned into silence by the sheer brilliance of the show.

This has been a difficult post to write - I am by no means an expert on musical theatre, and the expectation from a lot of blog readers seems to be that if you've been given something for free, you'll just say loads of gushingly nice things about it. However, my praise of Wicked has nothing to do with the fact that it was a comped experience, and everything to do with the fact that it was, hands down, the best thing I have ever seen in the theatre. 

Seriously. The show itself is fantastic (in terms of story-line, script, music), but the production blew me away. In everything from it's set design to it's choreography, I was left completely mesmerised (and the costumes were the stuff of my dressing-up box's wildest dreams. 

I wish I could dress up like Glinda every day, but my family, friends, boyfriend and pets would probably disown me.
Image from here
For me, however, the highlight of the show was Louise Dearman, who played Elpheba. Her performance was so, so wonderful, I had to gulp back tears at her solos (my mantra was "you WILL NOT cry in front of the other bloggers and journalists. Repeat. You WILL NOT" etc.). To use a very tired but totally appropriate cliche, I felt shivers up my spine when she sang. She was sensational.

As was my interval ice cream. I am nothing if not a die-hard theatre traditionalist.
All in all, Wicked was a jaw-droppingly good show, and I cannot believe that anybody wouldn't enjoy it. This is escapism at it's best, I really was transported to Oz for the evening! You can get tickets from just £18 from Shows in London, so please please do so, and let me know what you think!

I promise that it will knock you're jewelled slippers off.

And in case you're wondering, Defying Gravity is my new favourite shower show-tune.

That is all.

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