Tough Stuff: Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover

Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover |  Pink Elephant Blog

Cleansing is the most important step in a skincare regimen to me... you've probable saw me droning on about it previously on the blog. I wear waterproof mascara 90% of the time (oily eyelids problems...) and there is really nothing that I hate more than having to rub my eyes for ages only to find that I still have a layer of clumpy mascara on my lashes. But these are struggles of the past, I found my new love - the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover!

This stuff is incredible! It's a dual-phase lotion that instantly removes heavy or waterproof eye make-up, without leaving a trace of oily residue. All I do is shake up the bottle, dispense a little onto two cotton pads and gently press them against my eyes for a while to let the makeup remover break down and loosen my mascara. After that I give the lashes a very gentle wipe with the cotton pads and that's it - all of the mascara is gone and I can go on to using my cleanser without having to scrub my eyes for absolute ages.

The Instant Eye Makeup Remover, even though super potent, is really gentle - it doesn't sting and is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

It's a bit more of an investment than the budget makeup removers from the high street but I promise you, your eyes will thank you in the long run! No premature aging or wrinkles for us!

Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover is available from Clarins counters nationwide for 23.Worth every penny!

What is your favourite eye makeup remover? Would love to hear your recommendations!

Alex Signature

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The Best Toners: To Tone Or Not To Tone?

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Toners: To Tone Or Not To Tone? An easy guide to toners & our best picks!

All those bottles that disappeared from our bathroom cabinets for nearly a decade are now back with a bang! Now you have a huge choice of exfoliating lotions, hydrating tonics, anti-acing toners, rejuvenating spritzes... it's hard to know what's what and what they actually do. This is my little guide to toners and some of my favourite picks that I've have tried and tested. 

Toners have a bit of a bad rap. A lot of us think of some kind of astringent paint stripper that is full of alcohol and leaves the skin dry, itchy and tight. The toners of today, thank goodness, are a completely different story. Toning is a step in your skincare routine that is meant to re-balance & normalise your skin after cleansing and allow for better absorption of any of your skincare products you put on top. Some toners address more specific concerns, like dehydration, aging or dullness but all in all balancing is what it's all about.

Best Acid Toner

I've tried a few different acid toners and my current favourite is the Pixi Glow Tonic. It's budget friendly and most importantly, it's gentle. I've used it for years and have weitten a more in-deapth review here. Lotion P50 by Biologique Recherche is a similar toner / lotion,  it's a much stronger formulation but gives fabulous results. If you are not on a budget I would highly recommend trying it! It's a bit tricky to get hold of, I finished mine a while ago and unfortunately can't get my hands on it here in Ireland.

Best Soothing Toner

One of my favourite toners to use when my skin is a bit stressed and dry is the Thayers Rose Petal & Hazel Toner. It's completely alcohol free and contains aloe vera and vitamin E so feels moisturising and calming on the skin. It's unfortunately also one that you will have to buy online but it's worth it! You can get it about £10-15 on Amazon.

Best Spritz Toner

Serozinc from La Roche-Posay is hands down my favourite spritz toner. In a nutshell, Serozinc is a zinc sulfate solution that is suitable for most skin types. It soothes the skin, helps clear up minor irritations and gives your skin that bit of extra moisture. A great all-rounder that I use most days in my skincare routine. It's easily available, affordable & a fantastic product! If you only check out one of the toners mentioned here, make it this one!

The Caudalie Beauty Elixir, a cult product at this stage, is absolutely beautiful, especially during summer months or when away in a hot country. This little spritz toner is super refreshing, smooths the skin, tightens pores and doubles up as a makeup setting spray.

Other favourites...

There are two other toners I reach for very often: the Calendula Herbal Extract Toner & Iris Extract Treatment Essence, both by Kiehls. The treatment essence is a bit different in consistency to other toners, it's ever so slightly ticker. It contains Iris Extract and LHA (Lipo Hydroxy Acid – a great exfoliator) and is designed to smooth and gently exfoliate your skin. The Calendula toner is great for oily or acne prone skin. It's gentle and rather than relying on harsh alcohol, it sooths skin with a blend of whole flower petals and natural herbal extracts. The gentle formula won’t strip your skin or leave it feeling dry.

Another toner I use from time to time is the Clarins Exfoliating Toner. It's slightly harsher as it contains alcohol but works really well on my combination-oily skin. It gets rid of any dead skin cells and really preps the skin for all the other steps of my routine. I find this one is particularly handy for times when I struggle with dry patches and congested skin.

This concludes my toner roundup. Hope it helps any of you looking to incorporate a good toner into your skincare routine! It doesn't add a whole lot of time to your regimen and will give you great benefits!

Have you been using any great toners lately?

Alex Signature

Cult Product: Pixi Glow Tonic

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Pixi Glow Tonic

I ordered Pixi Glow Tonic as soon as it went on sale online. Until recently it was a product that only Londoners could easily get their hands on in the Pixi Boutique. If you are  a beauty buff you have probably heard about this product but if you haven't, here is the lowdown: it is a gentle, oil-free, alcohol-free exfoliating facial toner. It is rich in aloe vera and therefore doesn't irritate the skin. It also contains natural ingredients like ginseng, witch hazel, glycolic acid and horse chestnut to tone, firm, soften, exfoliate and stimulate circulation in the skin. What it doesn't contain is artificial colours, fragrances or fillers.

Pixi is a lovely, natural brand created 10 years ago by Petra Strand who prides herself on each of her products being multitasking, flaw-fixing, youth-enhancing and can be applied easily and quickly. Petra has a passion for skincare and generates products infused with botanicals and beneficial ingredients.

I have been using Pixi Glow Tonic twice a day, every day for the past two months and I have really been impressed with the results. I have combination - oily skin and get dry, flaky patches, especially around my chin and adding this toner to my daily skincare routine has helped a lot. I also found that the Glow Tonic has helped to minimize the dark spots I had on my cheeks, curtsey of some long gone acne. Before the Pixi Glow Tonic I used the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator but as it contains quite a lot of alcohol I didn't really want to use it every day. It is still a great product but one I use only two to three times a week now.

The Pixi Glow Tonic is a brilliant toner and is suitable for most skin types, maybe avoid it if your skin is sensitive. I cannot say enough good things about it and think that everyone should have some type of exfoliating toner in their skincare stash. It made a huge difference to my skin and I will definitely be re-purchasing it.

Pixi Glow Tonic £18 from pixibeauty.co.uk or Pixi Boutiques in London

I cannot wait to try more products from Pixi. Have you tried any of their products? Let me know your recommendations, I would love to hear them!

A. xx

My Morning Skincare Routine of the Moment

My Morning Skincare RoutineThese days there are so many different skincare products on the market, it can be quite overwhelming and confusing at times (unless you are a bit of a geek like me & then it's a wonderful world of plenty ready for you to explore). But however much I love testing out new products, I have my core skincare staples that I always come back to. On an everyday basis there really are only 3 - 4 steps to the routine (unless disaster strikes and I wake up with a massive spot in the middle of my forehead... but I digress...). So without further ado, here are all the products I use in the morning to make myself look & feel presentable: 1. Cleansing (Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm)My Morning Skincare RoutineI've written about this product before here, so I will not go too much into the specifics. All I will say is: you do need a cleanser. I know that a wipe may take a little less time but it will also not actually cleanse your skin, just wipe off a very superficial layer of sweat and grime & possibly irritate your skin. My preferred cleansers are oils or balms as they are gentle but there is a multitude of amazing cleansers out there. Giving yourself a little facial massage in the morning will also get your circulation going & drain away some of the fluid that causes puffiness. To rinse off just use a flannel (mine are mostly from Penneys / Primark) and warm water. Your face will feel clean and fresh without being stripped or tight.

Clinique Cleansing Balm €28 from Boots

2. Toning (Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner)My Morning Skincare RoutineNow, toning is the forgotten step of skincare (seems a little bit 90's) but it's so worth incorporating into your day! An exfoliating toner will help get rid off any dead skin, making it more glowing and youthful looking. There is a lot of exfoliating toners of different strengths available on the market (Pixi, Ren, Shiseido...) and most of them can be used morning and evening. The one from Clarins is amazing, I use it every morning as my skin is very hardy & can take a little bit more exfoliation. For more delicate skins I would recommend using this toner every other day.

Clarins Gentle Skin Exfoliator €31 from Boots

3. Serum (Indeed Labs Hydraluron)My Morning Skincare RoutineThis is an optional step if you feel you want to be extra nice to your skin or have a particular skin concern. I am using Hydraluron, which is a no fuss serum that contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid and basically helps your moisturiser go that little bit further. It gives your skin plumpness and elasticity, which will reduce signs of aging in the long run.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron €32.50 from Boots (often on offer!!)

4. Moisturiser (Dr Perricone Photo Plasma & Origins GinZing)My Morning Skincare RoutineAgain, Photo Plasma by Perricone MD is a product I have written a post on before here. Because I use an exfoliating toner I need to protect my skin with a high SPF during the day. There is a multitude of fantastic moisturisers for all skin types and skin concerns so take your pick but DO NOT skip this step! Even if you have oily skin, you really need to replenish moisture in your skin to prevent premature aging and a multitude of other skin problems. I also use an eye cream - important for me as my under eye area gets quite dry sometime and, unfortunately, I am prone to puffiness and dark circles.

Origins GinZing Eye Cream €32 from Boots Perricone MD Photo Plasma approx. £54 from Space.NK

If a routine like this is too much fuss for you reduce it to cleansing and moisturising, these steps are truly essential and will make a huge difference if you are consistent (every day, twice a day). I do realise that the products above are on the pricy side, so if you are on a budget you can replace a cleansing balm with Coconut Oil (available in most supermarkets), it is very gentle and absolutely perfect for cleansing and it can also be used for moisturising. Alternatively, the Una Brennan Vitamin C Cleansing Oil is a very good option too (less than €10 in Boots).

What are your skincare staples?

A. xx

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Summer Skin in Winter

Clarins Liquid BronzeI am always very careful with self tanners, facial or otherwise. The truth is, I'm just no good at it! I will get streaks on myself with the most foolproof tanners out there! After a lot of trial and error, I came to the conclusion that I am alright with gradual tanners for my body & really love the Garnier and Dove ones. As for my face, I tried several tanners and gradual tanning creams but pretty much everything I used settled in my pores and left me with little brown dots on my face, especially around my nose. Gross! Some of them also really clung to dry skin and made that area darker than the rest - not a good look I won't even mention the smell of some of them! If tan goes wrong on your body you can somehow conceal it, with your face, unfortunately, it's not that easy! I just gave up.

A while ago I was traveling and found myself at the airport shop in Dublin with some time to waste. I came across the Liquid Bronze at the Clarins counter and having remembered reading good reviews about it before I decided to pick it up. And I am so happy I did! It's an absolutely gorgeous product. It's a liquid, milky texture and is easy to spread on your face with just a cotton pad or your fingers.  The Liquid Bronze works overnight and develops the colour evenly on the skin. It also seems to absorb into the skin rather than sit on top, a bit like a toner so it doesn't cling to pores, lines or dry skin (or pillow cases, for that matter). The smell of the product is ok, it doesn't smell of biscuits or burning toast, it smells like a lot of facial creams do, kind of floral / soapy. It's not a very natural scent but it doesn't linger for too long and has not bothered me at all.

I use the Liquid Bronze about once a week, literally just to give my skin a bit of a healthy glow and take the edge off my blue paleness. This is the only facial tanner I would recommend from the ones I used. I think it will come in handy during the summer too - I use very high SPF on my face and end up with my body a bit darker than my face & neck...

Clarins Liquid Bronze for face and decollete costs €26 and is available in Boots and other Clarins counters.

A. xx

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