Exploring & Other Stories Skincare

When I discovered & Other Stories had their own collection of skincare, make up and body care products, I just couldn't resist. Starting off with skincare, around £30 later I'd ordered a nice selection of products to try. Their skincare range is surprisingly vast consisting of cleansers, makeup removers, facial sprays, lip balms and more. I'm often skeptical when clothing brands venture into beauty, but with the surprising success of TopShop's makeup and the popularity of H&M's entire beauty range, they're well worth a try before you write them off. Reasonably priced, great ingredients, and a gorgeous design; & Other Stories skincare can't help but impress you. Ever tried their skincare range?
If you're yet to find your favourite eye make up remover, or just aren't a fan of micellar waters, then their Double Duty Eye Make-up Remover may be just what you're looking for. Ophthalmologically tested with Lash Protecting Pro-Vitamin B5, this was the first product I tried from & Other Stories Skincare to begin my evening skincare routine. As soon as I tried it I thought to myself "is it possible for a product I've only just tried, to become my favourite?" I was so surprised at how gentle and soothing it was, plus it's effectiveness was second to none. My eye makeup came off so quickly, and easily compared to my micellar waters and other eye make up removers; I cannot stress enough how good this stuff is. After using it I also felt my skin had greatly benefitted from its minimal yet effective ingredients, it felt softerpurer and completely soothed. Perfect for the sensitive skin around the eyes. 

Price: £5 // 125ml 

Important ingredients: Sweet Almond oil, Corn Extract, Wheat and Soy Protien, Olive Fruit Oil, Rose Water, and Radish Extracts
Moving straight on to the second stage of my skincare routine, I turned to the Tussah Cleansing Gel. In my eyes this is again a winner; it's so gentle and smells amazing with a healthy blend of minerals and beneficial ingredients. & Other Stories claim that it promotes clear and radiant skin, and removes excessive oil whilst balancing out the skins moisture. I find that it helps tremendously with my combination skin as it evens out the PH of the skin and hydrates it enough for a healthy balance of oils producing soft, supple skin. It's a more foaming gel as a pose to melting, so I like to use it for my first cleansing stage with an exfoliating brush. I really love how great this feels on my skin; it didn't cause any unnecessary break outs, in fact in prevented blemishes from appearing and promoted a more glowy complexion

Price: £5 // 125ml

Important ingredients: Chamomile Flower Water, Fruit extracts, Citric Acid, Sugar Cane, Orange extract, Lemon Extract and Sugar Maple extract
If you're a regular reader then you'll know I absolutely adore toners, hydrating or acid, I love trying new ones out and adding them to my skincare collection. Whilst & Other Stories are yet to bring out an acid toner (which I think they definitely should) they've got a very nice Spray Genie Face Mist with pure mineral water to perfectly hydrate the skin post cleanse or during the day when the skin needs a pick-me-up. I like to use this directly after my acid toner with a few spirits of this before my serums and moisturiser. I love the packaging, it's simple, chic and very practical; the product comes out really well out of the spray top and delivers perfect hydration in just 2 or 3 pumps. My skin has been visibly smoother and clearer since using this instead of my other spray toners, I couldn't be happier with the results so far.

Price: £7 // 100ml

Important Ingredients: Rose Water, Citrus Amara Flower, Tilia Cordata Water, and Chamomile Flower Water
I thought it was only right to pick up a few of their essential skincare tools, starting off with their soft Cotton Pads (consisting of 80) and their Sticks (consisting of 200). There's really nothing special about these two but it's nice to know you can get almost everything you need all from & Other Stories alone. The cotton pads are a little softer than I'm used to and the sticks (aka cotton buds or cue tips) are strong and very handy.

Having been so pleasantly surprised by the quality and results gained from using these products, I'm so eager to try the rest of & Other Stories' skincare collection as well as the rest of their beauty ranges. The design and simplicity of ingredients is so impressive, plus the prices are mind blowing given the quality and quantity. Some products are also perfect sizes for travelling with a little bit more to spare, and all the products are dermatologically tested as well as suited to all skin types. 

Other products you can buy from their skincare range include; Toile Lip Oil, Moiré Anti-Stress Serum, Cashmere Hydrating Cream, Gentle Cleansing Wipes, Camlet Hand Balm, Organza Eye Cream, Lip Balm in Mint, Lemon and Coconut

What are your first impressions of & Other Stories Skincare? Tried any of these products before?

Carli Bybel x BH Cosmetics Eye Shadow & Highlighter Palette

As promised, today I'm doing a full overview of Carli Bybel's collaboration with BH Cosmetics on this gorgeous Eye Shadow and Highlighter Palette. Sorry for the weeks delay, those of you who've applied or are applying to uni know exactly what its like this time of year! Anyway, I've been following Carli Bybel on youtube since she had maybe 200 subs, I know its cliché, but her journey is simply awe inspiring to me and once you get stuck into her videos you can't help but love her. We got a first look at her palette back in August 2015, then shortly after it was released at the price of $20/£14. At the moment it's selling for on $12.50/£8 thanks to a 38% off sale on BH Cosmetics makeup, so don't hesitate to pick one up whilst it's on sale! Are you subscribed to Carli on youtube? Have her palette yet?

April Birchbox Unboxing

This months Birchbox had a slightly different format for April as they've teamed up with Pantone creating a tin of health and beauty favourites. It was such a pleasant surprise to find this in my mail, the tin is very spacious and can definitely be reused, unlike the card board boxes! As always there are a few new brands in the selection, but also a couple of familiar faces that I was more than happy to see again. There's a bit of everything in beauty for April, and I'm excited to share my first impressions and eventually a full review if the product works for me! What did you receive this month?
To kick of this months box overview, I've received yet another Beauty Protector product which I couldn't be more delighted about. They specialise in mainly hair care but also a couple of body care products including April's Beauty Wash Body Cleanser. It has such a soft, sweet scent and works well for those who shower and bath; they recommend pouring a little into your bath water for a gorgeous smelling bathing experience in the tub or used as a shower gel. This brand is exclusively carried by Birchbox right now, but I'm sure as it grows, they'll branch out. A few months ago I received their Protect and Detangle hair spray which has been really good, so I have high hopes for this next item. 

In the skincare department, by a new brand I've never used or heard of before, it's an exfoliating cleansing gel with Aloe Vera and exfoliating beads. La Rosée is a french brand based in Paris, exclusively with skincare in mind. Their Soft Face Cleanser is said to exfoliate, smooth and purify the skin and targets the congested pores in the evening. I'm not always keen on bead cleansers because they can get stuck in your flannels, brushes and cloths for ages, but this one after first using it yesterday, seemed pretty un-stressful. Containing 0% parabens, jojoba oil and, of course, Aloe Vera, the skin will definitely benefit from this. 
Another skincare mini included this month is the cult classic Lait-Créme Concentré by Embryolisse, a french brand I'm certainly familiar with. If you read my recent Evening Skincare Post you'll have probably seen the full sized version among my favourite moisturisers to use at night. But, it's also great under makeup and an all round skin fix. I couldn't be more happy to get another tube of this from my Birchbox, and even happier that its a travel size so I can take it with me when I go on holiday. (Full price: £27)

Birchbox always seem to hit the spot with their inclusion of some fabulous new, old, unknown and known hair care brands/products, so I have high hopes for this one. Hip's Cocoon Shampoo is a sweet, nourishing product that uniquely targets the delicate scalp fibres and softens the hair to the touch. I can imagine it would be great with dry scalps, dry hair and damaged hair from heat, the sun or colouring. It specifically targets hair with some sort of damage, and keeps in mind that the health of the scalp is half the battle. I'm hoping, since the warmer months often dry my hair out, this will be very handy soon.
Makeup in a Birchbox is the most exciting part for me, and this month its from the brand Sumita (eye and brow artistry) which I didn't know of until now. Boy am I glad I finally do! Birchox included this mini Sumita Eye Liner Pencil in brown (my preferred eye liner shade) and it is gorgeous. I wore it just last night for a party and loved how easy it was so apply, and how well it stayed on. You are guaranteed a 'bold colour'  and a 'waterproof', 'oil enriched formula' that glides on smoothly and stays on for hours.  The brand itself specialise in brow products, eyeliners, mascaras, and brushes all of the same amazing quality and priced pretty reasonably. I'm not sure why I've not heard of this brand before, but I most certainly will be exploring it further! 

What subscription service are you on? What did you get this month? Tried any of my new products?

Evening Skincare Routine | Spring 2016

Last month I did a post focusing on my Morning Skincare routine, so I thought it's about time I share my evening skincare and the products that are perfect for my skin after a long day. At night I like to add a few more nourishing products and ingredients to my routine as it's essential to repair and protect the skin after removing my makeup. I also exfoliate most evenings with an exfoliating brush (post here) so I layer my products a lot more to ensure my skin is smooth and protected. What is your current evening skincare routine?

#1 The Cleansers

Vichy Calming Cleansing Water - At moment my micellar water of choice is this jumbo sized, nourishing micellar water from one of my favourite french brands Vichy. This micellar water simply allows me to remove most my makeup before I cleanse, its easily done with a cotton pad and is a staple at the start of my routine. 

La Roche Posay Effaclar Foaming Gel - My current favourite go-to foaming cleanser is another La Roche Posay gem; Effaclar is an ingredient used across their products, and works so well with combination to oily skin. It comes as a clear gel but when added to water makes a nice foam easily partnered with any exfoliating brush, cloth or device. I think this type of cleanser wouldn't work as well with dry skin, but if you fully nourish the skin after cleansing, it would work just as well. 

Una Brennan Super Facialist Cream Cleanser - I always partner my exfoliating cleanser with either a cream cleaner or a balm, and Una Brennan's affordable calming cream cleanser is a really nourishing option. It smells great, my preferred flavour is Rose, but it comes in many other flavours too. I like to massage it into newly exfoliated skint to achieve smooth, great smelling skin. 

Emma Hardie Morning Cleansing Balm - This is such a must have cult classic balm, the best ingredients and formula for an 'amazing face'. I prefer to use it on days that my skin is in need of an extra boost, and as it's on the expensive side, that helps it last longer. A little trick that Emma Hardie tweeted to me was that in the summer months, it's fine to put it in the fridge if it starts melting!
#2 The Toners

Pixi Glow Tonic - I've repurchased this toner so many times I've lost count; the Glow Tonic has been a favourite of mine since I first tried it, my toning stage would be nothing without it. It works wonders just cleansing the pores, balancing out the skins ph and preventing unwanted blemishes. It's ingredients are magical. 

The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner - When I'm looking for a deeper tone, designed for combination skin, I turn to this one. Straight after exfoliating a swipe of this delivers a deep, tingly sensation that prevents my skin from being too oil and significantly reduces blemishes. If you have combination to oily skin, I highly recommend the Sea Weed range, it reduces excessive oil without dehydrating the skin. 

Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Mist* - I love this refreshing face mist, it's smooths out and soothes my skin getting rid of redness and sensitivity after using an exfoliating toner. There are so many face mists on the market, but this one is a favourite of mine. 

#3 The Serums

Sk:n Blemish Control Lotion* - For a more intense blemish treatment, I like to use Sk:n's lotion which you can apply to the whole face for all over effectiveness. As soon as I've toned, my anti blemish lotion comes directly after to ensure maximum impact. I love this stuff because it's my go-to serum when I'm having a bad breakout and need overnight treatment. 

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eyes - A night cream at night is a must for me, I adore the Advanced night repair range, and whilst it's very pricey, it makes all the difference. If like me you wake up looking sleep deprived, then you might want to apply this before bed!

Cellnique Paramedical Skin Action Sebum Gel* - Specifically focused on removing blackheads, I like to apply this sebum gel all over nose and under eyes; any areas that blackheads might appear. Sebum is a substance secreted by the skin that causes the skin to be excessively oily, this gel is great for lowing the concentration of it on the skin and balancing it out. Great for oily to combination. 

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse - A dry oil is a great alternative to basic nourishing oils that can make your skin very greasy. Nuxe's is great any time if the day but I like to use it at night so it gets a good chance to really settle into the skin. Great for dry areas, over hydration and clear skin. 

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Night Serum - A more thin gel like serum, the Aqualia Thermal treatment for skin overnight gives a dose of hyaluronic acid which immediately soothes my skin and is a great blemish treatment. The smell reminds me of mens after shave but very mild, don't let that put you off, it will do so much for your skin and the smell goes away very quickly. 



#4 Moisturisers

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask - I bang on about this moisturiser all the time, and if you haven't tried it, you need to. As well as an intensive moisturising cream, it's such an all round perfect product. It smooths out the skin more than anything I've tried, smells great (orange) and doesn't leave a film of grease on your skin. Until I find something this good, it's a guaranteed repurchase. 

Sudocrem* - For pennies Sudocrem is a base essential for all round skincare, not just your face but anywhere that needs immediate help and protection. This works well as an over night mask or just on areas that are causing you issues.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré - Another cult classic is this light cream by the french brand Embryolisse which delivers the perfect noticeably hydrated skin. It's great under makeup, if you watch Pixi woo on youtube you'll see this used all the time, but I like to use it as a perfect overnight moisturiser. 

The Bodyshop Seaweed Clarifying Night Treatment -  Last on my list is another seaweed range favourite, this time it's The Body Shop's light over night gel. The feel and texture of this gel is so nice when applied and soothes out any sensitive areas on the skin. I use it most nights as it's suited for combination to oily skin with just the right amount of hydration.

What's your nightime routine? Use any of my products?

Latest Instagrams

© A So Called Beauty Blog. Design by Fearne.