I hope you are having a good week, and if you aren't then at least you can be pleased that we've made it half way through the week now! The idea of this post came out of me wanting to post about beauty products I love. This isn't a sponsored post, no one is paying me to recommend or review anything, I just thought that you might find it useful to know which products I love. I have put many years of research into finding the products that work for me, read lots of websites, tried lots of products, and these are the ones I use most and love best. I hope you find it useful, or at least interesting to have a nose around my bathroom cabinet!
1. Gaviscon. This is left over from when I was pregnant! I suffered a lot with heartburn, which I found really miserable and uncomfortable. Gaviscon was definitely the best thing I found for it, and by the end I was swigging it straight from the bottle! I didn't realise until quite late on that if you ask your midwife you can get Gaviscon free on prescription while you are pregnant so I am always trying to spread the word to other pregnant ladies - know your rights and use them!
2. Vintage china flower basket and earthenware jar.
I was really pleased that these two charity shop finds found such convenient uses. I bought the flower basket because I loved the colour and shape, and that semi-matte glaze that ceramics from this period have. It makes such a pretty container for cotton wool pads. The little earthenware jar is really small and was part of a collection of bits and pieces someone had dug up and donated to a charity shop apparently uncleaned! I was looking for somewhere to keep my cotton buds and suddenly it occurred to me that this sweet little pot was the perfect size. I can also hook my tweezers over the side and stick my nail clippers in there. Although I can't tell you where to get your own, you can keep an eye out for unusual vintage containers to house mundane daily objects, and make your daily life a little more beautiful!
3. My perfumes.
I spent years trying out what must have been thousands of perfumes in department stores and duty free airport shops. Fragrance is such a personal, individual thing and I found it SO hard to find perfumes I really loved (and so easy to spray myself with 15 at a time that I hated!). I am not a fan of anything too flowery, too sweet, fruity or overpowering. I like perfumes that are quite fresh, with no hint of vanilla, fruit, chocolate or any of those sweet smells that seem to be used in lots of fragrances. The three I have here are all ones I love and never tire of. I know it is sort of pointless to try and describe smell in words, but if you haven't tried any of these, look out for them and give them a try the next time you're in a perfume department.
For classic ladylike occasions, I go for Chanel No. 5. This is of course a very famous and well known fragrance, and I think at first I was attracted by the Marilyn Monroe association it has, but I really do love it. It is obviously a classic for a reason. Incidentally, I always use the eau de toilette rather than the eau de parfum version since it is cheaper, but I have heard that they also smell subtly different so its worth checking. While this is a perfume that has been around for a long time, I don't find it old-ladyish at all, but modern and sophisticated. Wearing it makes me feel like a grown up woman.
For smart daytime use, I wear Hermes Eau de Merveilles eau de toilette. This is such a beautiful, unusual fragrance which I have had many complements about. I have read about it described as having a smell of salt and the sea, and it is as bracing and fresh as a sea breeze. I really can't think of another fragrance I tried that was anything like it, and can't recommend it highly enough.
For every day, I have recently started wearing The Sanctuary. I was given a really generous gift set by someone who knows how much I love the smell of their bath and body products (try their salt scrub, it is my absolute fave!). I wouldn't have thought to buy their Classic EDT fragrance but since trying it, I would definitely get it again. I find it smells fresh and clean, even on days where due to a demanding baby I haven't got a shower! It is also cheaper than the other two, hence why I think of it as an every day perfume.
4. Epson salts.
Have you ever tried adding Epson salts to your bath? They are meant to relax tired muscles, soften and detoxify your skin, and beat bloating. I am not making any medical claims for them here, but when I am tired and aching, or wanting to rid myself of water retention, I add a couple of handfuls of Epson Salts to my bath. They are easy to find in any pharmacy, and cheap too.
5. Liz Earle Skin Repair moisturiser.
Like with the perfumes, I have tried out so many moisturisers in the past, from all points on the price spectrum and this is the one I come back to. It is natural, gentle, non-greasy and effective at moisturising my erratic combination skin without leaving me greasy and shiny. My only wish is that it had an SPF, but that aside, it is my perfect day cream, and at least no SPF means you can use it at night too. I haven't yet found a Liz Earle product I don't like, and they always score highly in magazine polls. Do try them out - the Cleanse and Polish cleanser is legendary!
6. Spiezia Organics Organic Facial Cleanser
I am by no means strict about using organic beauty products, but this with this cleanser is is almost just an added bonus. It is one of those Eve Lom type oil-based cleansing balms that you remove with a muslin cloth. I find it a really effective cleanser and the oily consistency doesn't make my skin greasy, but means it doesn't have that tight stripped feeling some rinse off cleansers can give you. The main thing I love about this product though is the amazing fragrance. It is based on olive oil and scented essential oils and I couldn't tell you which of them makes me love this smell, but it is fresh and green smelling, with no hint of the lingering hippy shop smell that some essential oil based products can have.
7. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and Dermalogica Total Eye Care
My secret weapons! Beauty Flash balm is such a cult classic product that it hardly needs any introduction, but I wanted to mention it her because one of my best friends gave me this tube as a new baby gift, along with some lovely bubble bath. This seemed like such a perfect gift for that time, when you are getting lots of presents for the baby, and not looking your best. It is a perfect product for freshening up your face when you have only had a couple of hours sleep but still have to face the world. The Dermalogica eye cream is less well known, but just as good. I am surprised there aren't more similar eye creams on the market since it is a great multi-tasker. What I like is that not only does it have a brightening peachy tint and caring ingredients, but also a gentle SPF to protect the eye area as well. To me it is like a combination of a normal eye cream and a brightening/concealing product, and another must have for baggy-eyed mornings.
What's in your bathroom cabinet? What are your hero products, favourite fragrances and everyday classics? Have a fragrant Wednesday!