Florabundance: October 2014

18 October 2014

Lush Helping Hands

Say hello to my new little saviour - Lush Helping Hands. 

"A nurturing almond, cocoa butter and chamomile hand cream to give back some of what life and washing has taken out"

Apparently this was created for nurses (and people with cracked/sore hands) in mind who have dried out hands from frequent hand washing at work. I can definitely see the logic and imagine this helps a lot.

I'll explain my story first. Back in May I developed severe dry skin on a finger on my left hand which occasionally itched and caused the skin to peel. Cue many unsuccessful trips to my GP ("there's nothing wrong") and a lot of online research and I realised I had dermatitis. Over the course of the summer it spread to 3 fingers and nothing seemed to be working. The steroid cream from the GP (which I demanded!) would temporarily clear it up only for it to come back with an avengence. I used E45 as my emollient hand cream which just sort of stabilised the problem but again, didn't clear it.

Fast forward to September, I was at Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Fair washing my hands in the (classy!) portaloos and saw the tubs of Lushing Helping Hands out on display for guests to use so I swiped a blob and rubbed my hands together thinking nothing of it. A little later I noticed what a difference it had made! My hands stayed moisturised for hours on end and they finally looked decent for the first time in months. Not long after I bought a tub from my local Lush and it has been working its magic ever since for me! I am so impressed. It's not necessarily a cure but it has improved the condition of my left hand an incredible amount.

The formula is sort of a loose emulsion that is quite greasy and tacky to begin with so I tend to reserve this as my "before bed" intense hand cream. When I wake up the skin on my hands feel noticeably plumped and nourished. Throughout the day I tend to use E45 after washing my hands but I do keep Helping Hands in my handbag just in case of an emergency! 

It's not just a good hand cream though. The products in it are perfect for dermatitis/eczema sufferers. Honey is a natural antiseptic, chamomile reduces redness, linseed mucilage softens rough skin and helps repair the cracks. In terms of scent it is nothing special but to be honest in this kind of situation I doubt a heavily fragranced hand cream would help me. 

Lush Helping Hands retails for £7.50 for a 100g pot. A little pricey but definitely worth in my books!

If you have any other recommendations for dealing with dermatitise/eczema then please let me know. 

Lydia xox

12 October 2014

Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss #13 Affriolant

Back in the very early blogging days I used to squeal over any and every new beauty launch. These days it has to take a majorly impressive product to get me excited over a new launch. And these new Chanel Rouge Allure Glosses are certainly impressive!

As soon as I heard about them I began scouring the web for swatches and reviews. Intrigued, I then headed to my local Chanel counter to see these babies in person. Oh boy, they are outstanding. And so they should be for the eyewatering £26 pricetag! I have to say the price did make me wince at checkout but they are utterly perfect for a special treat or even as a gift. 

The sleek, opaque black packaging is very luxe. You know you're getting luxury with Chanel and they have totally outdone themselves with this packaging.

My favourite thing has to be the unique click-open design. I know that it is just like the Rouge Allure Lipsticks but somehow a click-open gloss just feels very unique and special. It's not something I would have ever imagined using for a lipgloss but it totally works.

The doefoot applicator is a dream to apply with. It fits the lips just right and allows me to apply precisely with ease. I also think it holds just the right amount of product for one application so dipping back in to the tube for extra product is not required. 

Beyond packaging and the applicator, the product itself is also utterly fantastic. I've never used such a highly pigmented lipgloss before. In my opinion it almost feels like a lipstick/lipgloss hybrid but not at all drying like some other brands offerings. The texture is very smooth and feels lovely on the lips. However, it is quite sticky in consistency which I'm never too keen on but have to admit it does strengthen the staying power. I road tested it by going out for food wearing this yesterday and it stayed on very welll! Major brownie points.

Here's a photo of me wearing shade #13 Affriolant, a gorgeous mid toned pink with a hint of coral to it. I think this one is great for day and evening alike. (Excuse the rest of my face in that photo - had been caught in torrential rain!)

The colour range is gorgeous - I really struggled to just pick one shade. Some are the same as their existing lipstick shades (e.g. #19 Pirate, a stunning red!) and some are new. I'll definitely be picking another one up in the future and possible one or two as Christmas gifts!

Lydia xox

11 October 2014

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua: Holy Grail?

I'm very fickle when it comes to foundations; I have a drawer filled with them and often flit between different ones. I'm a true foundation junkie. Any new launches and I'm all over them! I guess I'm just looking for 'the one'. That HG foundation we all desire. But this morning it occurred to me I had quite possibly already found it...

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua, I'm talking about you. As I applied my makeup this morning I squeezed out the last drop of my current bottle of Vitalumière Aqua and panicked (yep, first world problems right here!) so I head straight to Debenhams to repurchase. That's when I realised that this is quite possibly my all time favourite foundation. I just can't be without it!

For starters, on packaging alone it is near on perfect in my opinion. A squeezy bottle that does not seem to waste any product. It's teeny tiny small and compact so great for traveling. It's also really light in weight so if you're the kind of person who carries all their makeup with them then this is great, it won't weigh your handbag down at all. The only negative would be the opaque bottle - you can't tell when it will run out!

In terms of the product itself (which is essentially the most important thing of course!), I also think it is near on perfect. It's very light in texture but provides a decent coverage - I would say a medium but this does layer well too. It doesn't fully cover my imperfections but it's nothing a bit of concealer can't fix. The finish is very natural; it's not matte and it's not luminous. I agree with Chanel when they say this foundation is like applying a second layer of skin. In terms of longevity, it's fairly decent considering I have an oily t-zone anyway. I never touch my foundation up (I only carry lip products in my bag!) and I wear this foundation most days to work so I can confidently say it lasts a strong 10 hours, however my skin is definitely more luminous (ahem, a shiny discoball!) by home time but I'm ok with that. 

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua currently retails for £33. 

Lydia xox