I am facing into the impossible task of trying to choose what products to bring with me on holidays to Portugal. I’m not a hand luggage only kinda gal and since I am going for ten days, I’ll need adequate supplies. We are staying in a five star (save your “ooh, no recession round here” because we got a good deal on when we booked way back in January) so I expect the toiletries in the room will be decent but I still prefer to have my products with me. You never know how you might react to something when you factor in the extra heat of a sun holiday. So what’s making the cut?

Facial Skincare:

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Cleanser: La Roche Posey Physiological Foam Water, I reviewed the gel version of this here, I liked it so much I went to repurchase it but was tempted to try the foaming version for a change.
Serum & Moisturiser: L’Oreal Skin Perfection, I’ve only started using these so I will do a full review when I’ve given them a full trial, but initial impressions are very good.
Eye Cream: Sample size of Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes

Hair and Body:


Body Wash: Dove Purely Pampering Shea Butter with Warm Vanilla
Shampoo and Conditioner Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Moisturising range
Deodorant: Dove Invisible Dry Compressed


Sun Screens: Piz Buin Tan Accelerator, SPF 15 & 6, believe it or not I can tan

Obviously I wouldn’t go to a warm country without adequate primers:


MAC Prep & Prime for under foundation
MAC Prep & Prime BB Cream for occasional day use instead of foundation
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly for eyelid primer

The old reliables for a perfect base:


Foundation: Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour
Colour Corrector: Bobbi Brown – under eyes
Concealer: MAC Pro Longwear
Finishing Powder: MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural Light
Contour: MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural Medium Deep

Now the fun stuff, eyes:


MAC Mineralise Eyeshadows in Fireside, Twilight Falls, and Summer Haze
MAC Eyeshadows in Omega (for Brows) Satin Taupe, All That Glitters, and Nylon (to use as a highlighter)

Liners: Rimmel Scandaleyes in Bronze & Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Black Violet
Mascara: Lancôme Hypnose Drama

Blush & Lips:


MAC Powder Blush in Peaches (my all-time favourite)
Dior Addict in Jet Set
Clarins Joli Rouge in Sweet Plum

I know it seems like a lot but I am sure I am forgetting something (I might leave out some of the eyeshadows). Any other suggestions, anything important that I am leaving out?


Skincare Products

I was looking up close in the mirror at the skin on my face when it occurred to me that it is really clear at the moment. The pores, especially the ones on at the sides of my nose, seem smaller than usual. I’m not sure that they are actually smaller because I don’t physically measure them or anything, but they seem to be smaller than I remember. Also the pores on my nose are remarkably clear, not a black head in sight, which is impressive considering I wear so much makeup and lately I’ve gotten into the naughty habit of leaving my makeup on when I work out. I’m not sure which product or products this is all down to, so I figured I would share all the products in my current skincare routine.

First up are the cleansers:

Vichy Purete Thermale 3 iin 1 Micellar Solution La Roche-Posey Physiological Foaming Water Neutrogenta Viably Clean Pink grapefruit Daily Scrub

La Roche-Posey Physiological Foaming Water: This is the cleanser I use at night to remove my makeup. I was using the gel version of this, which I reviewed here. I liked it so much that I went to repurchase it but decided to try the foaming mouse version because I do like a bit of foam or lather when I cleanse. It is basically the same as the gel but I find the foam is a bit irritating to my eyes, which wasn’t an issue with the gel. It’s not a big problem for me but bear it in mind if your eyes are particularly sensitive, the gel would be the better option.

Vichy Purete Thermale 3 in 1 Micellar Solution: I use this in the morning. I’m not a morning person so a quick swipe of this is an easy option to quickly cleanse my face. No effort required. You can read my review of it in full here.

Neutrogena Visibly Clean Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub: I keep this in my gym bag and use it to wash all the makeup and sweat away after a workout. The exfoliating bits gently exfoliate everything away without any irritation. The only thing is I really don’t like the smell of it but that hasn’t stopped me from using it, as you can see it’s almost all gone. I don’t think I will repurchase it though, so I’m on the lookout for something new.
All three of these cleansers serve a different purpose at different times.

Serum and Moisturiser:

Nuxe Creme Fraiche Serum Comfort Zone Hydramemory Gel

With the warm and humid weather we have been having I’ve being trying to keep it light. After all, I have combo, oily skin so the last thing I want is to use something too heavy and end up looking like a grease pit.

Nuxe Creme Fraiche Serum: I only recently posted a review of this (here is the link if you missed it) so I won’t say too much about it now. The texture is a light lotion that sinks in quickly and keeps skin hydrated all day but it never makes my face shiny or oily.

Comfort Zone Hydramemory Gel: Here is the link to the review I posted on this a few weeks ago. It says gel but it is actually a light lotion. It feels cool as you apply and this also hydrates skin well and doesn’t cause any oily or greasy shine.

These two are a great combination for the current climate, they keep skin hydrated but don’t produce any extra shine. The Comfort Zone Hydramemory is nearly all gone. I not sure if I should repurchase because it is working so well for me, or if I should try something new for the sake of the blog.
What skincare products are working for you in at the moment?


Vichy 3 in 1 Micellar Solution

If I’m honest I bought this ages ago, probably before I started the blog and I had no intention of reviewing it as it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. During the big fashion weeks, blogs were buzzing about micellar solutions and how great they are at removing all traces of makeup. I though perfect, since makeup removal wipes are now public enemy number 1, a micellar solution would fill the gap. There are loads of times when you need/want to be able to remove makeup quickly and easily. Unfortunately that is not what this micellar solution does; in fact it would take nearly the whole bottle and a pack of cotton pads to get all your makeup off with this. Imagine my disappointment when I had keep wiping and wiping and cotton pad after cotton pad were still covered in makeup and no sign of the clear swipe.

Lately I’ve noticed bloggers talking about micellar solutions and how they use them to remove some makeup before cleansing properly. I bought this looking for one quick step, if I wanted to wash my face, I would just wash my face, not turn it into two step process. So with all the makeup removal expectations removed, I gave this a go again with a different purpose.

Recently I’ve needed to be ready earlier in the morning and with building work going on in the house, I had to move into the spare room with no en-suite. This little gem proved very handy for giving my face a quick swipe in the mornings (no sink required) and presto, my face was clean in a matter of seconds. As it is Vichy, it goes without saying that this is gentle, non-drying and unscented, so perfect for those with sensitive skin. It is perfect for a quick morning cleanse. In fact now that the building work is finished and all is back to normal, I’ve continued using the micellar solution for cleansing in the morning because I really like using it, and I only need to use my normal cleanser in the evenings so it’ll last longer.

Have you ever originally been disappointed by a product only to end up really liking it later?

My Current Skincare Routine

I’m afraid my skin care routine could be a long post. Looking natural takes a lot of time and money folks. So lets begin.

Cleanser – Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 €13.57. Your can use it as a cream cleanser, scrub, or mask. This reduces sebum production, removes impurities and I find it great for removing my make up. There are loads of reviews online for this so I won’t go into too much detail. I like it but even though the scrubby bits are gentler than most scrubs, I’m not sure I should be exfoliating with a scrub every day so I might try something gentler when this runs out.

Serum – YSL Forever Youth Liberator €77. Fancy! I know. I bought this because I heard a radio personality say that she was accused of using botox by a reporter since she started using the YSL Forever Youth Liberator moisturiser. Since she is about the same age as me I had to have it. I like it, it’s a good serum, but my expression lines are no better or worse since I started using it. I’m only 32 so maybe it’s is too soon to be spending so much on anti-aging, but I have always looked younger than my age and want to keep that trend going for as long as possible. Will I repurchase? I already have once but I want to try the new Clarins double serum that should be out soon.


Eye Cream – Vichy Liftactiv Retinol HA for eyes €26. I like Vichy products and often return to them when there is nothing new and exciting on the waiting list to try. It’s an all round good product. More or less does what it says and I find Vichy products will never irritate your skin. Still not quite the miracle in a bottle I’m looking for but will do until that comes along. I am particularly concerned about creases around the eyes. I have two older sisters, 14 and 17 years older than me, so I know what’s in store for me in terms of crows feet.


Day Moisturiser – YSL Forever Youth Liberator Fluid €77. I bought this in duty free thinking that combining this with the serum would definitely improve results. Again it’s a good moisturiser but it doesn’t light my fire. I bought the fluid instead of the cream because I have oily/combo skin. Since it’s so expensive I only use two pumps on my whole face, so it has lasted ages but in this frosty weather two pumps just don’t seem soothing enough. That said I probably will be tempted to but it again at some stage, but I’m already on the look out for something else for when it runs out. Now someone older might see better results and love it, just bear in mind that I haven’t been ravished by time too badly, yet.

Night Cream – Vichy Liftactiv Nuit €32. Vichy again. This is a great night cream and the day version is just as good and maybe my go to next time I need to purchase a day cream if nothing else entices me. I have repurchased both many times, I like to wait for boots 3 for 2. It’s a great product for the price. It feels really luxurious but not too heavy for my oily skin.


So that’s all my regular products. Seeing the prices listed out like that is a bit shocking. When you pick bits and pieces up here and there you don’t realise just how much you are spending. I like trying higher end products, but as you can see by my love of Vichy you don’t have to spend big to get great quality.