I love them because of they promise so much - luxury, pampering, self-indulgence & the possibility of looking like a better version of yourself. On the other hand, there's an awful lot of bulls**t, the promotion of only a very few 'acceptable' ways to look and the promise of looking like an eighteen year old, which any sensible person over the age of nineteen knows is rubbish.
On that note, I'd like to share with you some of the beauty products I've tried recently and my experiences with them. I have notoriously difficult skin - dry, extremely sensitive to environment influences like central heating and prone to rosacea. My hair is similar but without the rosacea - dry and prone to frizz at the drop of a hat.
I'd like to start with Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect.
Image courtesy of www.iloapp.queenpeach.com
This is an interesting one. In 2007, BBC's Horizon programme, which is a very well respected science programme, claimed that the No. 7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum actually worked. This naturally sparked a buying frenzy and Protect and Perfect has been at the top of the best seller lists ever since.
So did it work for me?
Unfortunately not. The cleanser and the beauty serum felt harsh against my skin and both the day & night moisturizers made my face sting. After a week, my cheeks were noticeably redder and felt inflamed. I certainly didn't notice any reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Rather worryingly, after about a month, I found that my skin was more sensitive to things like central heating. I also don't like the fact that the range doesn't differentiate between skin types - ie. there's no special creams for oily skin, dry skin etc. It's just one cream for all skin types and let's face it, dry skin needs are very different to oily skin needs.
However, I'm not going to dismiss Protect and Perfect out of hand though because my friend S swears by it and even I can see the difference in her complexion when she's not using it.
After my (didn't) Protect and Perfect experience, I was looking for something to try and calm down my now inflamed looking complexion. I don't have a lot of money at the moment to spend on cosmetics, so I was nosing round my local branch of Boots when I spotted this.
Image courtesy of kaboodle.com
Eau Thermale Avene's Gentle Milk Cleanser. I bought the cleanser along with the Soothing Hydrating Serum. Immediately I noticed a difference, even after the first application. The cleanser is very soothing and feels good on the skin. My complexion looked far less ruddy and felt far less dehydrated. After about a week, people were commenting on how healthy I looked and my skin felt far more supple and far less susceptible to environmental influences. My rosacea has calmed down to the point where I just look like I have healthy, rosy cheeks. Definitely a big yes from me.
I can't abide celebrity endorsed products so it's with a heavy heart that I have to tell you about this.
Image courtesy of eleven.se
It's James Brown's Richly Moisturizing Shampoo. James Brown is Kate Moss's hairdresser and boy, does he let you know about it. The shampoo is however (sadly!) excellent. In fact, I'd go as far as to say, it's the best shampoo I've ever used. It's a little odd to use because you leave it on like a conditioner for three minutes and I keep forgetting that I then need to apply conditioner after that but no matter. It leaves my hair soft, silky and most importantly of all, not frizzy!! Absolute bonus in my books. Just a shame he felt he had to go down the celebrity route because the product is good enough to stand on it's own merits.