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Review: Dermalogica Clear Start oil clearing matte moisturizer spf15

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For what seems like months now I have been looking for a suitable moisturiser for my oil prone skin that also contains an SPF – no easy task in itself as sunscreens tend to be a little on the oily side to begin with! However, I think I might have found an answer to my beauty conundrum.

After spending countless hours trawling the depths of the web, I finally happened across a product from firm beauty favourites Dermalogica. I have used the Dermalogica mediBac Clearing® system in the past and although I enjoyed using the products, I don’t really feel like my skin benefited, however, I feel my problematic skin was more down to my lifestyle choices and stresses and strains rather than anything a few lotions could easily sort out. Anyway, the product that I stumbled across was the Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer complete with an SPF 15. The moisturiser promises to minimise oil and shine and help to protect against the UV rays that can make breakouts worse and cause dark spots.

To be honest, I was sold right there. In the shopping cart it went.

The moisturiser arrived a couple of days later and I was seriously impressed with the packaging. “This is not a beauty product, this is an investment in your skin” read the scrawl across the top of the box. I happen to agree fiercely with this – if there’s something you shouldn’t scrimp on, it’s your skincare and your foundation. Anyway, Dermalogica also kindly sent me an AGE Smart® sample pack to try too which I thought was a lovely touch.

So, the moisturiser contains special botanical oil-absorbers which act like micro sponges to minimise shine while the moisturiser helps to keep the skin hydrated. Dermalogica state that the moisturiser is formulated with 19 gentle botanicals including licorice, birch and willow, which are all known to sooth and protect the skin. And on top of all this, there is of course the Broad Spectrum sunscreen which helps to provide defence against UVA and UVB rays without clogging the pores and leading to breakouts – something ladies (and guys too) with oily skin will know tends to come with the territory.

I used the moisturiser after following my normal cleansing routine of the Clean and Clear exfoliating face wash and Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion and used a pea sized amount to gently smooth over my entire face and neck – don’t forget to bring your moisturiser down onto your neck, it often gets a little neglected in skincare routines but taking care of this area early will stand you in good stead for the future. The lotion has a strange smell to it that I can’t place, it reminds me of the essential oils used in soothing spa massages and strangely of Old Fashioned cocktails – but I think the latter says more about me than the product…

The moisturiser did tingle a little on my skin which I was a little apprehensive about at first – I was concerned that it was going to mildly irritate my sensitive skin but after a minute or so had passed, so had the tingling sensation and I was left with smooth, shine-free skin.

I have also trialled using the moisturiser under my daily foundation for work (using the tip in my ‘The secret to longer-lasting foundation’ post here)and it seems to work beautifully with whatever foundation or primer or BB cream I try over the top of it. Strangely mattifying but still moisturising, this is definitely a good little beauty investment for anybody who suffers with the same skin ailments at myself – and at £16 for what is viewed as a high-end, ultra professional product, it’s well worth the price.



Dermalogica’s Clear Start moisturiser underneath MAC Studio Fix foundation

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.

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The secret to longer lasting foundation

Foundation is one of those things that can either make or break your makeup look – after all, it’s our base that we use to work from hence the name.

I was recently watching a YouTube tutorial by the amazing Wayne Goss who had a little tip to help our foundation stay put for longer throughout the day. Girls who suffer from oily skin like me will definitely benefit from this tip and it’s a handy little secret to ensure that even the sheerest of foundations stay where they’re placed.

So, what’s the secret? Simply to powder your face before you apply your liquid foundation. Here’s what you’ll need to do…

Perform your usual skincare routine

For my skincare routine, I currently use Clean & Clear’s Exfoliating Scrub followed by Cliniques Clarifying lotion. For my moisturiser (remember, it’s important to moisturise even if you have oily skin) I use Dermalogica’s Clear Start Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer with added SPF 15 – I’ll be writing a review on this soon so keep checking back if you’d like to read about it. Allow your moisturiser to settle in for around 10 minutes. Now is the perfect time to pop the kettle on…

Powder your skin

Taking a fine milled translucent powder (not a pressed powder), lightly apply it to your face just as you would if you were setting your foundation. My favourite is Illamasqua’s translucent loose powder.

Apply your foundation

Take your favourite foundation and apply it over the top of your freshly powdered skin – I used MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid in NC20. Don’t worry, the foundation won’t cake due to the slight amount we’ve used and due to the powder being super fine.

Set your foundation

Now, go on to set the foundation just as you would normally making sure to powder the oil prone T-zone. And you’re done!

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This really helps to lock in the foundation to give it an extra time coverage boost on the skin. Try it out and see what you think!

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.

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DIY Beauty Treatments: The Aspirin Face Mask

When we look for seriously effective beauty treatments, we usually find that they have a hefty price tag which accompanies them. But what about the beauty treatments that we can make in the comfort of our own homes, and with ingredients from our kitchen cupboards?

Aspirin face masks have been used for years to help treat acne and keep skin looking fresh, healthy and clear. The reason why the aspirin face mask works so well is that aspirin is actually made out of Beta Hydroxy Acid, BHA for short, which is actually Salicylic acid – the main ingredient in acne treatments.

Rachael Divers Makeup Artistry

To make an aspirin face mask, simply take two uncoated aspirin (you can use coated, but they take much longer to dissolve) and pop them into a dish or onto a small saucer. I prefer to use an egg cup as it’s much easier to mix the ingredients together and scoop them out later on. Add a tiny drop of water to the tablets and allow them to dissolve in the cup. Once the tablets have dissolved, take a teaspoon of honey (great for it’s bacteria fighting properties) and mix them both up to form a paste. I prefer to use Manuka honey for this which is famous for its ability to treat infections – it’s even recently been tested as a weapon against hospital infections like MRSA! Manuka honey can tend to be a little expensive so if you’d prefer, you can use any form of natural honey too.

Apply the mixture to your freshly cleansed, dry face and allow it to sit on the skin for ten minutes before rinsing away with warm water. Pat dry, and apply your favourite toner and moisturiser.

To get the best results out of your aspirin face mask, you should use it no more than twice weekly.

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.


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Review: Indian Head Massage at Essentials Beauty, Garforth

Essentials Beauty Studio

Last weekend I had the pleasure of being invited to Essentials Beauty over in Garforth to indulge in a luxurious treatment of my choice.

As I have been suffering a lot lately with troublesome headaches, I decided to opt for an Indian head massage. Indian head massages are based on the Ayurvedic system of healing which has been practiced in India for hundreds of years, it is thought that the massage can help to release stress and tension that has accumulated in the tissues, muscles and joints of the head, face, neck and shoulders making it a great treatment for a headache sufferer like me!

The treatment consists of a range of different movements such as kneading, compressing and massage along the neck, shoulders and scalp, and stimulation of the pressure points on the face.

As I had never had an Indian head massage before, I really didn’t know what to expect but my lovely therapist Hannah ensured to inform me of the process. Hannah told me that it is traditional for clients to sit up whilst the treatment is performed, but in the aid of comfort, I was able to lie down on a pre-heated treatment table and wrapped in warm towels which was relaxing all by itself. The treatment room was decorated in blacks and reds and lit by three candles to really give out a relaxing vibe, a calming CD played unobtrusively in the background as Hannah started my treatment.

Firstly, my feet were cleansed which I thought was a really nice touch. Despite being relaxing, this really helps you to feel grounded ahead of your massage and helps you to feel like any negative energy is literally being washed away. As Hannah began the Indian head massage and worked around kneading, massaging and stimulating the pressure points on my neck and shoulders, she placed a rose stone over my heart chakra – she explained that this would help me to feel grounded and is associated with love, compassion, charity to others and psychic healing. After stretching the shoulders and neck out, and massaging all around my head, Hannah moved onto my face, she placed a stone over my third eye which would help with enlightenment, clarity and positivity and got me to take a few deep breaths. She pressed along the pressure points on my face which really felt like a relief on the heavy ache my sinus area had been giving me for the past few days! After a few more relaxing moments, the massage came to an end.

Hannah cleansed my feet again and allowed me to take a few deep breaths, relax, and get up in my own time. I could have probably stayed right there and slept for the rest of the afternoon I felt so chilled out! Hannah was waiting for me downstairs with a nice cold glass of water before I left the beauty studio and headed back home mentally noting her advice to avoid caffeine, heavy lifting and take an easy day. I certainly didn’t need telling twice to take it easy in the beautiful sunshine we were blessed with!

Driving home afterwards, I felt in such a relaxed state and like my muscles had really let go of the tension that had been plaguing them for some time. I’m not sure if the sunshine helped, but I felt full of inner peace and tranquility which is exactly what I was hoping to feel like. Another small miracle happened too – the next day I woke up headache free which hadn’t happened for around a week.

I found the massage quite relaxing in parts and quite intense at others – as Hannah worked on the pressure points and my stressed muscles, I could literally feel the tension draining away which was a strange feeling and a relaxing one all at the same time. The day after the massage, the muscles around my neck and shoulders felt a little tender, but this soon subsided after a day or two and my muscles were left feeling relaxed and relieved.

Overall, I feel really happy with the results of my first Indian head massage and I’ve found that I’m still reaping the rewards of the treatment days later. I feel calmer, my headaches seem to have subsided and I feel like I’ve indulged in a little well-craved pampering!

Thank you to Catherine for inviting me to Essentials Beauty to trial a treatment and to Hannah for the lovely, relaxing treatment.

If you too would like to book your own massage or even just learn more about the salon, you can find the Essentials Beauty Studio website here.

Rachael Divers MuA

Relaxing in the sunshine after my lovely treatment…

© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.

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