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  • If mosquitoes love you, but you don’t love them, India Knight has a Deet-free bug spray.

    Unstung Hero

    I know bug spray isn’t a sexy product exactly, but now the weather is warming up, you’ll thank me soon enough. I am catnip to bugs, to the point where my lower calves are a tragic, blotchy sea of decades’ worth of ancient scars and bite marks, including two stonking horsefly bites from Wyoming in 1988, which, incredibly, are still a bit raised (horseflies are the absolute worst — they can bite through denim). I suspect I have some kind of allergy to bites and stings; certainly I need injections if I’m stung by a wasp (against my skin swelling to the point of bursting rather than against anaphylaxis, but still, no fun). I’m telling you all this to show that I am no mimsy pushover when it comes to insect repellent.

    I’ve tried everything, obviously, and found that the only products that really work involve Deet. Deet was invented in 1944 by the US Department of Agriculture and was initially used as an agricultural pesticide. The US army started using it in 1946 (it was used by soldiers in Vietnam and Southeast Asia), and eventually civilians in the late 1950s . Deet can cause wheezing, burning eyes and headaches, and in 1998 the US Environmental Protection Agency reported 14-46 cases of potential Deet-associated seizures, including four deaths (the risk of seizure is 1 in 100m, to be fair).

    Deet: it doesn’t muck about. The commercial potions that contain it — pretty much every effective insect repellent — pride themselves on using safe levels. I don’t find this especially reassuring, plus they smell disgusting. I am permanently on the lookout for a more pleasant alternative, and last year I found it. It’s called Mrs White’s Unstung Hero (£20 for 250ml) and it’s basically a lemony cologne (which smells OK rather than actively delicious). According to the manufacturers, it contains “a naturally occurring amino acid that renders you ‘invisible’ to mosquitoes, ticks, black fly, wasps and bees ” (I don’t know why nice bees are in that list , as they don’t sting you unless it is a total accident). You can spray it on yourself or your clothing, as well as your pillowcase — it’s not oily, so won’t stain anything. NB: you need to reapply it every two hours.

    I have found it brilliantly effective against mozzies: my bites usually turn into child’s fist-sized lumps, but with this I have either no bites or normal person’s bites — bites that itch a little, then quickly quieten down without ever swelling insanely. Unstung Hero is also available in 100ml aeroplane-friendly sprays. The same company also makes a fly repellent called Swatnot (£15), which, it says, “will eradicate your stable fly problem and not compromise your horse’s health”. No horsefly bites seems miraculous to me. I haven’t tested it, but if you have stables/horses, you might want to try it.

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CAIS 5%

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 5% Review

 

I love how some things come full circle. Two years ago Victoria Health debuted the Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1% from NIOD, Deciem’s (at the time) newest skincare venture in the 2015 May Newsletter and on Tuesday I was featured in this year’s May Newsletter talking about my love for the 5% version. The honour of being featured on The Podium (alongside the Wayne Goss no less) was exciting and humbling, and led to lots of messages in my inbox asking all about CAIS 5%, so I thought it was time to get my thoughts and experiences out there because I could not love this wonder product more and you need to know why. When CAIS 1% first launched I immediately bought it, fell in love and pretty much started this blog a few months later so I could write a post about it because I was that impressed, and now almost two years later I have been blown away all over again.

To give you some background information, I have been using CAIS 1% on and off (mostly on) for two years and I love it. Back in 2015 it was the most advanced/active product I was using and the results were incredible. I didn’t have a blog then, but you can see what I said about it on Instagram below and I completely stand by that statement. It ended up being one of my most used/loved/repurchased products of the year and one of the products featured in my 2015 Favourites. In my original post I wrote that this serum “really does it all, unlike anything I have ever used before” and I meant it. This was long before I started using retinols or higher strength acids and my skin just responded so well. I used it pretty religiously during that year, but from mid-2016 I started using it less regularly as I had things like NAAP and Verso’s retinol serum and I felt like maybe I didn’t need it anymore. Then The Ordinary launched and I began using a mix of those products and felt like CAIS 1% wouldn’t be necessary anymore but I was so wrong. Read More…

The £5.70 Foundation With A 50,000 Person Waiting List

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    It’s every bit as good as you’d expect says Elle Turner

    *Drum roll……* The Ordinary (purveyors of brilliant, faff-free, affordable skincare) are launching a foundation. Scratch that. They’re launching two! The Coverage Foundation, a highly pigmented base that offers full coverage and The Serum Foundation, a moderate coverage with a light, serum-like texture.

    The price alone (£5.90 and £5.70 respectively), is truly commendable. But what of the 50,000 person waiting list? (Those who have pre-ordered, can expect their new beauty loot to start shipping in the next 2-4 weeks.) It speaks volumes that, since landing in the UK last year, the brand has garnered such a solid reputation for simple, effective products, that thousands are prepared to queue up for their latest creation. The question is, is it worth it? And the answer, is yes.

    The shade range alone is very impressive. Each of the two foundations are available in 21 colours over three categories. The shade name begins with a 1 for fair to light tones, 2 for medium tones and 3 for darker tones. A second number designates the depth of the shade from 0 (the palest) to 3 (the darkest) and finally, a letter P (pink), R (red), Y (yellow) and N (neutral) indicate your undertone – 2.1Y, for instance is a slightly warm medium with a yellow undertone.

    I’ve been wearing the Serum Foundation for the last few days. Natural looking, with light, but ample coverage and a semi-matte finish, it just looks like your face, but on a really good skin day – and that, I reckon, is the secret to a brilliant base.

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It’s A Skin Miracle

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    Want an anti-ageing boost? Look no further than the latest products containing the super-hydrating hyaluronic acid, says Victoria Hall

    Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients that is bandied about the beauty industry like its going out of fashion. It’s not. In fact, it’s just had an upgrade and your going to be seeing a lot more of it.

    For those who are not entirely au fait with the skin-quenching wonder ingredient, it isn’t a traditional ‘acid’ and won’t leave you tingling or red. In fact, hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that can retain between 500 and 1,000 times its own weight in water and your body naturally produces it. However, like most things, this slows down as we age.

    Hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated, plump and firm, which is why it’s used in serums and face creams. Unfortunately, the molecules used by some brands are too big to get through the skin’s layers and stay on the surface, offering only a temporary fix.

    Some serums, such as The Ordinary’s, contain different sized molecules, which can provide a higher level of hydration. But until recently the only way to get the ingredient deep into your skin was by injecting it.

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

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Supercharge Your Skincare

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    Up your Vitamin intake in the prettiest way possible.

    Vitamins. They pretty much tick all our look-good boxes. Want smoother skin? There’s a vitamin for that. Keen to take down pigmentation and reduce the signs of ageing? Yep, there are vitamins for that, too. From A all the way to K, the clever science people have found ways to infuse vitamins into face-changing products for our daily routines. Here is one of the best out there…

    SMOOTH OPERATOR Vitamin C is one of the most powerful face-freshening antioxidants around, but it’s a pricey ingredient. So The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, £4.90, is a bargain, with a 23 per cent hit of the vitamin. Expect visible smoothing and a brighter complexion. Can be used before other skin hydrators.

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23%

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Super Serum & Boost Hydration

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    IF you have eye bags, spots or even a touch of sunburn, you do not have to resort to bankbreaking highend products. No matter your skincare issue, here, CARLY HOBBS reveals how to fix your face for a fiver or less.

    The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (£4.90): That’s not a typo – this vitamin hit could not be more of a bargain. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants out there to freshen our faces yet it’s hard to pop into products. This incredible blend manages a massive 23 per cent hit in a formula that can be used before other skincare hydrators. Expect fine lines to fade and a healthier complexion.

    The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors (£4.90): Random name, incredible abilities. This new cult alternative to your classic moisturiser is a potent blend of amino acids, fatty acids, ceramides and hyaluronic acid – AKA Team Hydration. These work together to plump and rejuvenate skin cells on the surface and lower dermis so new cells look their best. Apply with your fingers using upward sweeps to encourage added firmness.

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23%

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors

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