30 second review: L’Oreal Hydra Genius Aloe Water

L'Oreal Hydraphase Aloe Water
L’Oreal Hydraphase Aloe Water

Well this really is a little bit genius if you are currently sweltering in the British heatwave, or heading off to sunny climes this summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I *love* heat – humid, tropical climates are my jam, but when it comes to skincare I don’t want cloying, sticky creams and balms. I want cooling, quenchy gels that really hydrate and don’t irritate my skin (I still stand by this review of Astalift that ticks all these boxes and more).

I’ve used Hydraphase range from La Roche Posay in France for the last few summers. It’s fab, really hydrating, light and non-irritating. I particularly like the light daily moisturiser with broad spectrum SPF20 and the intense serum for a serious hit of hydration.

But I’m in the UK at the mo and this was on offer in Boots; plus in the heat-haze I was sucked in by the ‘Aloe Water’ quenchy tagline.

The Aloe sap and Hyaluronic Acid are its top billing ingredients. The ‘liquid care’ texture is a hybrid gel/cream that’s a super light-weight water-based formula. I cleanse as normal then when my skin is still damp I slather a pump or two of this on. It’s sucked in super quick, doesn’t leave the skin tacky and I know it’s a skincare cliche, but it does feel like your skin’s had a drink. It smells really good too – a summery, marine fragrance. I then apply my sunscreen over the top (Ultrasun SPF 30) and I’m good to go. I use more targeted skincare in the evening (wrinkles, pigmentation etc), this isn’t going to do much on that front, but for keeping your skin hydrated and peachy during the day – it’s a winner.

There are versions for dry/normal and normal/combination skin. L’Oreal Hydra Genius Aloe Water, Boots.com – currently £6.66 – normal price £9.99

CF Gadget: Fitbit Flex

2013-12-20 09.51.02I wanted to wait a month before I posted about my latest gadget, as I really wanted to put it through its paces. In Mid December I was kindly given a Fitbit Flex by my boss, after coveting hers all year. In my role as Creative Director for a new health and wellness brand, a lot of self tracking devices have crossed my desk in the last 12 months and I do think this is the best of the crop.

Okay, so it’s not the most attractive of bangles, but it’s pretty inconspicuous. You wear it day and night (you can even shower in it, but not bathe) and it tracks the steps you take, calories you burn and distance travelled. It also monitors your sleep patterns and tells you how ‘efficiently’ you’ve slept (determined by your restless and awake periods).

Perhaps a bit ‘Big Brother’ for some, but studies have proved that by measuring your activity levels not only gives you finite goals (you can set yourself challenges to walk X number of steps a day, or so many miles) to work towards, but simply by wearing it and being aware of how active you are in itself increases your fitness and interestingly, keeps you motivated.

I can agree with this, I am now fanatical about hitting my ‘10,000 steps a day’, making sure I factor in one 20-30 minute walk each day to ensure I reach my goal. By tapping the display on the Flex 5 flashing dots denote your progress in 20% increments. 5 dots and you’ve reach 100% of your target. You then simply sync the wireless Flex with your laptop or phone to see the facts and figures (for geeks like me there are lots of comparable charts and graphs which is very pleasing). The dashboard also has the facility for you to track your food intake and water consumption, too. However, I already use My FitnessPal app on my phone to track my food as I’ve found it has the most comprehensive database of food brands/items, so makes for accurate calculations.

So, faddy or useful for a health kick? Because it is so effortless to capture the data (you really do forget you’re wearing it) and the quantitative goal-setting really means you have something tangible to work towards, I think it’s a really clever bit of kit that goes beyond the ‘novelty’ factor to actually be a really useful motivation tool. I’m not looking to run a marathon, but simply increase my day-to-day activity levels to become healthier and fitter and the Fitbit Flex is keeping me on track!

fitbit.com, the Fitbit Flex is £79.99



Treasured possessions: Laura Mercier lip palette

Could this be the most loved Laura Mercier lip palette?!

It was a press gift many moons ago and didn’t even make it to the beauty cupboard when I got back to the office, it was a firm staple in my handbag from first sight and, as you can see, has been well used ever since.

The larger pan on the far left was a lip conditioner that you applied pre-lippie, it was brilliant for ensuring the colour went on smoothly and gave it a great, glossy finish.

As is rarely the case, all the colours are fab (bar the sludgy brown, bottom left). I particularly like the two coral-y shades along the bottom, but the hot fuschia pink on the top row is fab too. Unexpectedly, the almost flesh-tone shade at the top is brilliant for toning down the bold shades into a more pastel, natural look.

I love the massive mirror (before it broke) and I often used the pinkier shades as a cheek tint for touch-ups on the go.

So, my plan is to take my rather beloved palette to the Laura Mercier counter next week and see if they can match up a couple of the shades with their traditional bullet-style lippies. Unfortunately the label on the base has worn-off long ago, but it should be do-able? From the website the Tangerine and Sunrise look promising…

On a separate Laura Mercier note – I *seriously* hope I’ve been good enough this year to find this creme de pistache souffle body creme in my stocking on Christmas morning. A-MAZING.

CF Buys: Ash studded metallic leather sneakers – from The Outnet

Be still my beating heart.

It is not often that a piece of clothing makes my pulse quicken but by George did I get palpitations when I clapped eyes on this pair of beauties:

As the photo suggests, I ordered them IMMEDIATELY and they arrived today – on sale at The Outnet down from £155 to £80. I wrote about my ASH wedge trainers in spring and I have worn them to death, so feel quite justified in snapping up this vajazzled, seasonal update.

I cannot tell you the love I have for these leather sneakers. The rose suede trim, matte silver studding, metallic sports-luxe leather… the only thing I’m not sure about is the ‘pre-loved’ sole that has been discoloured/scuffed so they look worn in. To me they just look grubby, but hey-ho.

It hasn’t dampened my ardor that much… if feet could talk these would be VERY happy indeed.

Ash studded metallic leather sneakers, £80 down from £155 at The Outnet now.

CF Loves: Mary Greenwell Lemon EDP

I reviewed legendary make-up artist Mary Greenwell’s Lemon EDP back in February, when it was love at first sniff – and it’s one fragrance love-affair that has no signs of abating (as is my usual, fickle olfactory want).

So, after last week’s birthday, I knew exactly what I’d be splurging my birthday money on:

I really cannot convey *how much* I love this scent. The bottle is pretty spectacular, too.

The 100ml bottle is a weighty dressing-table-worthy number; a simple glass flacon, adorned by an oversized 22-carat gold plated pebble stopper. The fresh lime and lemon packaging reflects the ‘green notes’, which are the key to the amazingness of this vivid scent.

It has eschewed any cliched ‘zesty’ references, and intelligently and knowingly gone straight for the botanical, lemon grove freshness that has me ‘barefoot in Amalfi’ with one squirt. It’s so hard to describe, without sounding like Jilly bloody Goolden, but it’s as much about the leaves and the sun-warmed bark of the lemon grove, as it is about the fruit. It’s earthy and masculine but with a heart of narcissus absolute and hyacinth that keeps it pretty and fresh, rather than musky.

I haven’t got in this much of a flap about a fragrance since I discovered ‘White Suede’ by Tom Ford, which to me smells like amazing sex in the back of an expensive car with a hot guy (sorry mum, but it does). Yep, it’s leathery and smoky, with amber and saffron… it’s totally ungirly but at the same time incredibly womanly – if that makes sense? Like grown up, sexy, ballsy womanly – you know?

Anyway, back to Lemon. Another reason I splashed out for the 100ml was that at £90, instead of £60 for 50ml, it represented much better value for money and knowing that one squirt after my shower in the morning will last me through to the evening (boy does this scent wear well), it does actually represent good value (and quality) for money.

You can purchase Lemon, or Mary’s first scent Plum direct from her website, if you want to give it a whirl without splashing out, she offers a sample for £2.50. Or alternatively it is available in some House of Fraser stores.




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