New In: Pixi Lash Primer & Mascara

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New In: Pixi Lash Primer + Mascara

Pixi is hands down one of my favourite skincare brands (stay tuned for some skincare reviews in the coming weeks!) - I've previously written about their legendary Glow Tonic! Up until recently I hadn't tried any of the brands coloured cosmetics but have now made up for that by trying some of their new releases for spring / summer. If you are looking for a mascara, this review is for you!

Unfortunately for me I was not blessed with great lashes. I have all the problems... my lashes are short, straight and not particularly full and all this has made me quite a picky mascara wearer but I have to say I did really enjoy using this combo!

PIXI Black Laquer Lash Primer* (€20)

New In: Pixi Lash Primer + Mascara

First up, the primer. I generally think lash primers are a bit of a faff but find that this one is quite different! For a start, it's jet black and can be used as a stand alone mascara (for those no makeup looks). It's not an essential step but I treat it like the first coat of my mascara. It gives me that much needed volume and preps the lashes for the weight of a heavier mascara I use for my second coat. It really helps my lashes not to droop and is also packed with lovely ingredients such as formula vitamins A, C and panthenol to help keep lashes in decent condition.

PIXI Lengthy Fiber Mascara* (€21)

New In: Pixi Lash Primer + Mascara

This one is definitely quite a full on fiber mascara that will make your lashes longer, waaay longer! I don't think I would use it on it's own on my lashes as this mascara gives a lot of length but not that much volume so I need something underneath (you may not need that layer if your lashes are naturally full). I love the brush that comes with this mascara - it's a good old traditional mascara brush that makes it so much easier to avoid clumping. Again the formulation is full of good stuff: vitamin E, panthenol, and chamomile extract are added to strengthen and protect the lashes.

If you are on the lookout for new mascara these are definitely worth checking out! If your lashes are good you may not need both products but for me these two are the dream team and I love using them together.

PIXI makeup is available from Cloud10 Beauty & in the Marks & Spencer Beauty Hall.

Have you ever tried any of the PIXI makeup?

Alex Signature

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*this post includes PR samples

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

On the spot: How to keep your skin clear?

On the spot: How to keep your skin clear?If you've been reading this blog for a while you may know that I struggle with breakouts. A lot! Even though I am in my late 20's spots are still the bane of my life but I have learned to deal with them with a little help from a few trusted products. I constantly try out new anti-blemish cosmetics but these are some I trust to do the job!

Dream Dots for Spots are the latest  addition to my skincare routine. They are little patches (or unique super absorbent cross linked hydro matrix.... ehm... I'm going to go with 'patch') that you stick on spots to make it disappear and heal faster. I was a little skeptical in the beginning but they worked extremely well - after just one night the spot was reduced to nearly nothing so that I could very easily conceal the little mark with makeup. These are also fantastic for when a spot has left you with an inflamed and flaky inferno that is impossible to conceal with makeup - stick on a dot and the situation will have calmed down by the morning. I love the Dream Dots and have already purchased my second box (I'm a bit afraid to run out!) but they are not cheap - €14.95 for a pack of 24 or €24.95 for a pack of 48. Having siad that I don't use them every night so they last for a long time! They are available in McCabes and Sam McAuleys Pharmacies.

Vichy Normaderm Night Detox is a treatment that controls the over-production of sebum, detoxifies the skin and helps with achieving an even and radiant complexion in the morning. It contains powerful ingredients like Eperuline (similar to glycolic acid but with better tolerance) and two of my favourite ingredients LHA (a β-lipohydroxy acid) and salicylic acid. I use the Night Detox when my skin is hormonal and temperamental to make sure that the sebum it produces during the night doesn't clog up my pores and cause breakouts. The Night Detox also reduces shine but without drying out the skin. A big thumbs up from me! Vichy Normadermn Night Detox is €17 and available in Boots and most pharmacies (currently on offer in Boots for €14.24!!!)

Lush Tea Tree Water is something I have written about before (full article here) but I couldn't not mention it in a clear skin post. It is a gorgeous, gentle toner that contains tea tree water along with some other anti-inflammatory ingredients. It's very gentle and purifies the skin without drying it out. An absolute staple in my skincare routine and at less than €10 it is an absolute bargain!

La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. is an intensive local treatment that has the ability to deeply purge imperfections and prevent residual marks. It contains LHA, Niacinamide and La Roche thermal spring water. This is something use on a breakout that isn't just one spot but several inflamed and blocked pores (this usually happens around my chin) to prevent large spots from forming. I love this product because it's a very gentle spot treatment that is very effective without burning the spots away and leaving you with something even worse to deal with! La Roche Posay Effaclar A.I. is €13.25 and available in Boots and most pharmacies.

Pixi Glow Tonic is another one of my holly grail products that I couldn't be without! I have written about it before, so for more detailed information check out this post. The Glow Tonic  is 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. It's a fantastic product that keeps your skin not only clear but also healthy and glowing! It is £18 and can be ordered from the Pixi Store online. I know it's not the cheapest but, trust me, it's worth it!!

Just for reference: I have combination skin with an oily T-zone and dryness around my cheeks and am prone to breakouts especially around my chin, mouth and jawline.

What are your most trusted "clear skin" products?

A. xx

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