AA Seaweed + Aloe Refreshing Eye Gel

I have to admit, I do love my skincare but the areas that I always forget to look after include my neck and under eyes. I do have eczema around my eyes on occasion, my skin is always dry anyway and I have very fine lines under my eyes which I think is due to using steroid creams on my eczema for years. So I struggle to find eye creams and to be honest very few have impressed me - most are just face creams in smaller packaging, in my opinion.  

However, I recently received the *AA Skincare Seaweed + Aloe Refreshing Eye Gel (£6.96, 50ml) and I'm an eye cream/gel convert! The product is paraben free, suitable for all skin types and it contains some of the following ingredients: aloe leaf juice, sea lavender extract, Irish moss extract, mallow extract and more. 

Firstly, I love the packaging, it is simple and effective and it has a pump! The pump dispenser is so handy, it allows a tiny amount to be dispensed and it is mess free. The packaging alone makes the eye gel so convenient and quick to use, it has now become a part of my evening skincare routine. One of the issues that has always put me off using eye creams or gels on a daily basis is that I thought it was a fussy, time wasting extra step but this product has resolved that issue just because it's so quick and handy. 

The gel itself is cooling and it has a smooth gel consistency which  instantly refreshes, smoothes and moisturises the skin; it makes my skin look plumped and radiant almost - without shimmer/glitter. I find that this product helps with reducing dehydration lines especially as well as the look of fatigue as it just perks up the skin. I haven't noticed any irritation at all from this product. 

Overall, I can't say enough good things about this eye gel, it is so convenient, moisturising and it provides a great base for concealer. It also claims to remove makeup which I haven't tested yet but I will update this post when I do. Overall rating: ★★, 5/5. 

Have you tried any products from AA Skincare? Do you use an eye cream/gel daily?

Dolce + Gabbana Polishes Ft. Direct Cosmetics

Dolce and Gabbana nail polishes from direct cosmetics
L- R: 220, 100, 210
When I was given the opportunity to try out a few products from Direct Cosmetics, I couldn't say no! I have only tried a couple of 'designer' polishes and I have been impressed so I chose three polishes from Dolce and Gabbana. The photographs of the swatches above show the polishes with just one coat. 

Firstly, I have to mention the stunning packaging! The boxes are so chic and luxe as are the polish bottles themselves. The lids have Dolce & Gabbana printed on them as well as a cute floral lace pattern. I think these polishes would make amazing gifts, I know my friends and aunties would love them! 

*Dolce & Gabbana Lace Nail Lacquer - Perfection 220

I chose all three Dolce and Gabbana shades from Direct Cosmetics as they all looked gorgeous and to be honest, who wouldn't want super fancy designer polishes! The shade I tried first was 220 and it is a gorgeous, chic cool toned deep beige, in my opinion. The polish is darker and more cool toned in 'real life' when compared to the college above. This polish is definitely my favourite as it is such a wearable shade, it is easy to apply and it is very pigmented. I can get away with just one coat but two is better and the longevity is pretty good too. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

*Dolce & Gabbana Lace Nail Lacquer - Pink 100

Again, the packaging is just gorgeous and so pretty! The polish is a milky pink shade so I think it would be great as a french manicure polish. The shade is quite sheer with just one coat as you can see from the photographs above but it can be built up however the more coats you add of any polish, the longer it will take to dry and these polishes by no means have the quickest drying formula. This shade would be great if you just wanted a light wash of pink on the nails but nothing over the top or too bright; it would be great for work. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

*Dolce & Gabbana Lace Nail Lacquer - Nude 210

Lastly, a summery apricot shade. As with the Pink 100 shade, this one is quite sheer and needs a couple of coats for a good level of opacity but again it would be nice as a sheer wash of peach/apricot on the nails. As I have ghostly pale skin, I find that this shade looks quite yellow on me but I think on a darker skin tone it would look summery and bright but still on the natural/nude side. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Overall, I love the 220 and 100 shades, they are so wearable and pretty on the nails. All three polishes apply well despite the relatively thin brush and if built up in thin coats they do dry fairly quickly. The longevity is good and as they are more natural shades, when they do chip and wear, it won't be very noticeable. The polishes are currently on sale on Direct Cosmetics are only £9.99 each which I think is a great price for a 'designer' polish. I have my eye on a few other items from Direct Cosmetics now!

Have you tried any polishes from Dolce and Gabbana? Have you purchased from Direct Cosmetics?

Boots Beauty Box: Best Selling Skincare

I was first introduced to skincare by my mum who bought me my first skincare products when I was around 13 years old and it was the Boots own cucumber range which is so nostalgic to me and they worked well from what I remember. I have reviewed a few Boots own skincare products on my blog years ago (here). Now at the grand old age of 22 *23 in August, cries* I have moved onto more natural and more expensive skincare which my bank balance doesn't thank me for. However the Boots own skincare range, including the Botanics products, are fantastic and I was kindly sent a range of their best sellers!

Firstly, lets start with the nostalgia, I have the *Boots Cucumber 3 Minute Clay Mask (£1.50, 50ml) which takes me back to my teen years! The mask claims to cleanse and draw out impurities and excess oils. Myself and my sister have used this mask, I just apply it with a foundation brush to my t-zone and leave it on for 3 minutes. I found this mask to be mattifying and cleansing on my t-zone which can become really oily and congested at this time of the year. The results aren't as good as my Caudalie Detox mask but this product is only £1.50 and the Caudalie mask is around £20! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Sticking with the detox, cleansing theme, I also have the *Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Deep Cleansing Facial Scrub (£3.21, 150ml) which again myself and my sister have tried out and we both really like - we have very different skin types and it works well on her combination, blemish prone skin and my more sensitive, dry skin. The scrub is dark grey which may look scary but it feels quite spa like to me and it smells medicinal/clean. The scrub is quite exfoliating and it does a great job but it isn't too abrasive. I would personally only use it on my t-zone as that is the only area I have where my skin can be oily and in need of a full deep cleanse. Overall rating: Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

The final product targeted towards more blemish prone skin is the *Boots Skin Clear Ultra Rapid Action Spot Gel (£3.99, 25ml). I personally don't get that many spots, they only occur every few months but when they do, they take ages to reduce and they usually leave some form of pigmentation behind. I have tried a few spot gels/treatments in the past but none of them really help. The only product I've tried that has a noticeable rapid effect is Sudocrem. I tried this product on one faded blemish and the next day it was definitely smaller, less red and less noticeable! However my sister tried it on more recent blemishes and it didn't work as effectively. In my opinion, it is well worth a try especially for the low price point! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Next up, a couple of Boots Botanics products which is the Boots skincare range I have tried the most from. I wrote a rave review of the Botanics Skin Relief Serum and the Hot Cloth Cleanser both of which I would re-purchase (here). I recently tried the *Botanics Micellar All Bright 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution (£1.49, 250ml) which I've been using on and off for the past couple of weeks. I find that it is fantastic at removing my makeup, apart from waterproof mascara although most other micellar waters struggle with waterproof mascara, in my experience. It doesn't irritate my skin or dry my skin out. This product contains AHA's (alpha hydroxyl acids which are found in fruit, for example) which exfoliate the skin and have anti-ageing benefits. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

The second Boots Botanics product is the *Botanics Radiant Youth Hydrating Eye Cream (£4.49, 15ml). One skincare product I always forget to use is eye cream however in my 20's I think it's a great time to start using them; also I do have very fine lines under my eyes already! This eye cream definitely helps hydrate and reduce dehydration lines under my eyes which I have most of the time. It leaves the skin looking and feeling moisturised, radiant and it provides a great base for concealer. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Now onto the last couple of products, I have been using the *Boots Simply Sensitive Protecting Day Moisturiser (£1.74, 125ml) on and off for a couple of weeks and from the first use I was so impressed by it, as was my sister. The moisturiser doesn't irritate my skin, it is moisturising enough and it leaves my skin feeling SO smooth/soft. It isn't too heavy for my sisters combination skin and it has the some smoothing effect. I'm so impressed by this moisturiser and considering the price it is an absolute bargain! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Last but not least the *Boots Cleansing Wipes For Dry Skin (£1.50, 25 wipes). Facial wipes are viewed by the blogging and online beauty community as a skincare no-no and on the whole I have to agree. I only use makeup wipes for swatches, changing my lip colour and for my full on halloween looks. Although I used to use the Boots cucumber wipes all of the time as a teen and my skin was always pretty good (apart from occasional eczema). I have tried the wipes and for once they don't feel like they strip my skin but I did experience a small amount of irritation; however my sister really liked them! Overall rating: ★★★☆☆, 3/5. 

Phew, there are my opinions on the Boots own skincare best sellers and I have to say there is only one product that I am slightly disappointed by which are the wipes but as I said, I don't use wipes anyway. I think the Boots own skincare ranges are absolutely fantastic especially considering the low price and the range is massive so you are bound to find products suitable for your skin type that are in your budget. 

Boots currently have a few offers on skincare. Their Essentials range is currently 3 for £3, the Botanics products are on a 3 for 2 offer and most of their products are currently discounted as I'm writing this on 26/07/2015. You can also receive a free Botanics Instant Moisture Mist when you spend £25 on selected skincare. 

Have you tried any Boots own skincare? If so which products did you try? Have you bought any of the products I've featured?

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