What’s inside the box? What’s inside the box??! This is a video of me opening a box, comparing primers then covering my face in colour corrector to compare two brands. I will write in more detail about these issues in future posts.
Today I wanted to review the Bionsen deodorant. What’s special about it? It’s aluminium free. Most deodorants contain aluminium as the anti-perspirant (and most deodorants are combined anti-perspirant and deodorant). I don’t usually worry about ingredients in products, because you reach a certain age when you realize that all the people older than you, who use all these products, are still alive and their arms/legs/faces haven’t fallen off yet. However, buildup of aluminium can cause brain damage and while the miniscule amount in your deodorant can’t do that in one day, it has the ability to contribute to losing your marbles and I need all the marbles I can get, since I have a pre-existing mental health condition (two, actually). It’s the same reason I won’t buy aluminium cookware if I can avoid it. It’s like people with asthma tend to avoid air fresheners, not because they’re going to kill them, but it simply makes life more pleasant if they can stay away.
Bionsen deodorant was also alcohol-free, and I have a bit of a bugbear about alcohol in cosmetics (especially skincare cosmetics) because it dries your skin out and kills cells, both of which can lead to premature ageing. That’s why it’s a bad idea to spray perfume on your bare chest/cleavage. I don’t go massively out of my way to avoid alcohol in cosmetics, since I’m not averse to drinking it, which is probably worse, but I always get excited when I find something that is alcohol free.
Bionsen is a Japanese brand and it looks like a good fit for those of us who want an Al-free deodorant. It was a bit more expensive than my usual brand, but I thought it would be worth it if it did a good job.
It smells nice in the roll-on and when you first apply it.
It is aluminium free and alcohol free.
It didn’t stain my clothing.
It only lasted a few hours.
It doesn’t have an anti-perspirant so you still get wet patches.
I wear this occasionally when I’m not going anywhere, but it’s very annoying when I’ve showered in the morning, to get to lunchtime and have whiffy pits. I don’t really want to have to re-apply my deodorant every few hours, time’s moved on since the days when women had to drag around an entire drugstore of products so she could spend hours in the bathroom “powdering her nose” or touching up her make-up, and I feel like this deodorant was a step backwards. I don’t have the room in my handbag for carrying around my deodorant along with everything else in there, and I don’t think this deodorant was a fantastic purchase for that reason. I do still use it on lazy days when I am just popping to the supermarket and only need it to last that long before my next shower, but it hasn’t become a permanent fixture in my life and after a month of trying to make this work, I caved and bought a cheap deodorant spray for everyday use. I really wanted this to be my perfect deodorant, it looked like it was going to, but I find I actually smell less in the afternoon if I just don’t use deodorant so it’s only a short term fix to use the Bionsen.
Want to get rid of stinky sweat stains in clothing that won’t wash out? Find out how in this article.
What do you think? Tried any good deodorants lately? Let me know in the comments!
The Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner is an eyeliner that should last for 24 hours. I’ve been using the brown one for my brows and I was happy with it right until I did the experiment in the shower to find out how well setting spray worked. Then I discovered the 24 hour Felt Tip Liner doesn’t have very much staying power. This disappointed me (I’m on my 2nd tube of the brown one) to say the least. It’s only £2.99 so I suppose I should just get over it, but if I did that, what sort of beauty blogger would I be?
So I decided to do an observation experiment to see how this eyeliner held up over the course of 24 hours, and I took photos to compare. I was very surprised by the results:
Hour 0: When I first applied it:
Hour 8: After a long day inside the house:
Hour 16: As I am about to go to bed:
Hour 24: The next morning:
The Collection Extreme 24 hour felt tip liner doesn’t smudge like a pencil would, but it doesn’t stay put any better than any normal liquid eyeliner. It starts to fade before 8 hours. After 16 hours, it’s really not looking so good. For someone who needs long lasting make-up (archaeologists, for example) this isn’t going to cut it. I don’t think the brown one is fit for purpose, neither as an eyeliner nor as a brow filler, as it only lasts a few hours then fades at an immense rate. The purple one performed a lot better which makes it ok for eyes, but who wants purple brows?? I am now on the lookout for something else to do my brows with.
So I read an article about 18 months ago about anti-ageing prevention for those of us in our late twenties. The article had some interesting points that got me thinking about the best anti-ageing strategy for people in our late twenties who haven’t really started getting wrinkles yet. I want to discuss that at some point, but the result was that I bought the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream last year, then never got a chance to try it, so last week I opened it, which is what I’m going to review in this article.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding this cult beauty product and the information from Elemis’s website says this:
“Clinically proven*, the powerful anti-ageing ingredients of Pro-Collagen Marine Cream have been shown to reduce the depth of wrinkles, improve skin firmness, tone and hydration in 15 days.
The unique Mediterranean algae, Padina Pavonica has been shown to dramatically increase the quantity of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) within the skin. By special cell communication, these water-attracting GAGs are responsible for skin moisturisation, improving suppleness, firmness and elasticity. In addition, Ginkgo Biloba providing superior free-radical protection has been blended with precious Rose and Mimosa Absolutes, thus creating the ultimate anti-ageing cream from ELEMIS.
*Independent Clinical Trials” — Source: http://www.elemis.com/pro-collagen-marine-cream.html
Of course, those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know I am renowned for being very skeptical of the claims of beauty products (amongst other things), but I had to admit everything Elemis said about their cream was making it look like a really good option. It basically works by causing your body to produce more collagen in the area you’ve put the cream, and since loss of collagen is one of the signs of ageing, it looked to me like it would be a good choice if you’re in your mid twenties or late twenties and want to avoid or delete those first anti-ageing signs. Since I’m not going to throw my disbelief out of the window until I have hard evidence, I decided to try the cream for myself.
I bought a small sample size bottle because it was £30 for a sample or £100 for the full sized jar (the price seems to fluctuate between £80-100), and I didn’t know if it was going to work out or whether I would want lots of it. 15ml was a good size for a sample (the same size as a full-sized tube of eye cream, actually) and I’ve been using it for over a week and I don’t think it’s half-empty yet. The bottle looked like this:
A couple of points I noticed when I first got it; I really liked the scent of the cream, it was very pleasant and that instantly made me think this was going to be a good product. Secondly, I really liked the consistency. There are a lot of anti-ageing creams, even “entry level” ones that are designed for those of us in our late twenties, which are far too thick and that annoys me because thick creams clog pores and cause breakouts. They’re just not made for normal or breakout-prone skin. Now, usually, I have very clear skin but that’s because I’m incredibly careful about what I put on my face and I stop using anything that causes me issues. The fact of the matter is, I’m prone to breakouts which is exactly why I have to be careful. The Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream had a nice, medium consistency that wasn’t too watery or too thick.
The cream rubbed into my face easily and the same can be said for my hand. The two indentations in my hand, btw, came from a rabbit bite a few years ago. I don’t normally use hand cream because I hate having damp/greasy hands, so my hands tend to be less taken care of than other people’s. This cream left no greasy residue whatsoever and I didn’t feel the need to compulsively wash my hands after using this.
After I rubbed it into my hand, the skin looked moisturized and plumper than with nothing on my hands, and the rabbit bite scars looked less bad as well. I tried to take a photo of my hands side by side for comparison but had to give up and just photograph this same hand again. I don’t know if I managed to photograph it very well (holy CRAP it’s hard to take a piccie of your hands):
When I tried it on my face, the effect was much more subtle (I really couldn’t get a good photo that showed any difference at all) but I could tell it was definitely making a difference, even if I was the only one who could notice it. The only thing I didn’t like was seeing my normal face when the cream washed off before bedtime!! This cream made my face feel a lot more moisturized with absolutely no greasiness, pore-clogging or breakouts. I am not 100% convinced on the anti-ageing properties but one of my friends (who is over 30 and when I mentioned I was doing this review, she told me she loves this Elemis cream) said it can take a couple of weeks for the long-term benefits to show up. I only wish this stuff had an SPF so I could use it more regularly as a day cream.
This is a very subtle cream, for people who want to prevent ageing or want to get rid of the very first signs of ageing. I didn’t feel that this cream really deserved cult beauty status amongst older women but maybe their skin responds to it differently to how mine did. This cream absolutely did wonders for the back of my hands but the effect was less noticeable on my face. I did like this cream but I’m not sure I’d pay the full £80-100 for it given that I’m currently a full-time student supporting myself from writing. Having said that, if I was earning enough from my writing that £80-100 was a reasonable price point, I would definitely get more of this cream because it made my face look and feel very nice. If you want to buy the full-sized jar of cream, you can get Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream on Amazon (US) or click here to buy a smaller sample from UK Amazon (I obviously don’t know where you live, so check if they ship to you).
Tried this for longer than me? Tried this at a different age? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to find out more about the long-term benefits of Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream!
When my Dearest and I buy a chicken to eat, we tend to cook it on one day and eat half between us, then we eat the other half on the second day after re-heating the chicken for 45 minutes in a hot oven.
So this time it turned into another cooking disaster. I can’t actually take credit for this one… I mean, I did the right thing and ensconced the remaining half-chicken in cling film (saran wrap?) to make sure it didn’t go bad while it was in the fridge overnight.
However, I wasn’t the person who then put the chicken in the oven.
I was the one who came to take it out and discovered it was coated in melted plastic.
I’d like to be classy and say we threw it away on the spot, but I really wanted to eat something and I’d just spent 45 minutes waiting for a chicken to cook that someone else had put in the oven. So I didn’t throw the chicken away.
Using mad surgical skillz, I very carefully dissected the chicken in such a way that the chicken coated in cling film or any chicken that might have absorbed plastic was all removed.
There was maybe 1/2 a cup of chicken left at the end of it all. I poured some soup over it and ate it.
It tasted funny.
I am not really sure what the lesson is here. Don’t let other people cook? Seems a bit of an overreaction. What do you think? I have learned nothing from this episode.
I have a severe dust allergy. It’s like having hayfever year round with additional sporadic skin rashes and scalp hives. Sometimes I cannot vacuum or touch surfaces, because the dust makes my skin prickly, itchy, my nose runs, my eyes stream, my lips burn and split… you know the drill.
I have taken allergy tablets on and off for years, and recently I’ve had to stop taking them because I’ve linked them to mood episodes so severe they’ve left me suicidal at times. First, it was acrivastine (UK Benadryl – there are 2 types of Benadryl in the UK, neither are the same as US Benadryl) that caused issues, which used to be the best thing ever for my allergies. Then loratadine did it too. Finally, cetirizine was also making me have mood swings. At the very end of July, I finally got to see a qualified immunologist at the allergy clinic. I explained the problem I have with allergy tablets. The only allergy tablets that don’t give me extreme mood swings are diphenhydramine (US Benadryl) and promethazine. The allergy doctor gave me a nose spray (Avamys – fluticasone fuorate) and suggested I try cetirizine (in the UK the brand is Benadryl in the US it is not) twice a day.
After three days on the cetirizine, I noticed I was just as mood-swingy as before. I was like a grumpy toddler. Anyone who pissed me off sure KNEW they’d done so, and I’d flip from furious harpy rage to tearful sobbing mess with no warning at all.
This is NOT normal, even if you have bipolar disorder (which I do). People think this is a mental health issue. Hell, I thought so too. I nearly got mis-diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder because of this reaction to allergy tablets!! The first psychiatrist I saw didn’t think to rule out allergy tablet reactions (despite the fact most allergy tablets are in the broader antipsychotic family and therefore it makes sense that they can all affect your mood in various ways). And the doctors don’t seem to recognize that this is a severe and debilitating side effect of allergy tablets. But it is. How can I be so sure? When I don’t take allergy tablets, this goes away.
Since stopping the cetirizine, my doctor put me on Fexofenadine (Allegra) and that was great for a week, except every morning I couldn’t get my brain to fire up until about 11am. I thought this was due to my bipolar meds, but they’ve never done that to me before. This week, the rage was REAL. So were the tears. At first I didn’t recognize what had happened because I’ve been in a deep depression for a few weeks and I thought it had gotten worse. The emotional disregulation really crept up on me this time, I think it was subtle at first, because I was watching for it and still didn’t notice.
The thing is, I had a cold this week, and I don’t know what you non-allergic people are complaining about when you catch a cold because it’s literally nothing at all compared to how it feels to have a cold alongside a severe and unregulated allergy. I always wondered why managers never understood why I called in sick with any given cold, until this week, when I caught a cold while my allergy was finally under control.
Let me tell you, fellow dust or pollen allergy sufferers; it was amazing! Having a cold whilst having a controlled allergy was like, half the nose blowing of a regular day without allergy tablets. My face looked awful, and I was tired, but the sore throat was more comfortable than the feeling of gradual drowning I usually experience, and I wasn’t afraid to go to sleep at night, in case I woke up choking on snot (a regular occurrence when I have a cold).
I was so disappointed, then, to realize that the severe PMS-like-symptoms I’ve been experiencing were actually from my allergy tablets. Anger, unbridled fury at stupid things, impatience, inability to talk to people, profound sadness and hatred of everything, feeling like a waste of space and wanting to quit my Master’s degree that I worked so hard to get onto. If you felt like this, and found a way to make it stop, at the expense of being able to breathe normally, what would you do? I skipped a dose two days ago and I was back to my usual chipper self within hours but I was choking on my own snot again. It’s heartbreaking. And gross.
On the (significantly good) plus side, the nose spray Avamys has not given me any negative side effects. It felt weird for a couple of weeks while I got used to spraying in my nose but sweet mother of mercy, that stuff gets rid of about 40-60% of my dust allergy. The Allegra tablets are really just to give it the final kick. I can actually go running when I take Avamys and Allegra together, and I can do all the proper breathing etc without having to stop because of drowning in my own fluids (it really wrecks my form).
So now I’m experimenting with making my own Allegra-D, because I hear that the pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) is a stimulant (and decongestant) that might offset the irritability and depression of the allergy tablets (fexofenadine, my current allergy tablet, is the Allegra in Allegra and Allegra-D). I can’t go back to uncontrolled allergy, and if you don’t relate to that, I can’t really explain it to you. I can finally get through a lecture or a short bus ride (or a meal) without having to blow my nose seven or eight times, people actually want to talk to me, and I can finally leave the house without a wad of toilet roll in my pocket/handbag. Do you know the panic of realizing you’re away from home without any tissue? Or the horror of trying to discreetly swallow your own goop like everyone else, but its so thick it makes you throw up instead? If so, then you’ll know why I am trying so hard to make this allergy tablet work.
So if like me, you can’t take any allergy tablets for hayfever or dust allergy, I would strongly urge you to try some Avamys (fluticasone fuorate) from your doctor. It’s a nose spray unlike any other nose spray I’ve tried. For starters, it doesn’t make my sinuses swell and burn, I can barely feel it going in. Secondly, it takes about a week or two to reach maximum effect, but for me it was a game changer, and I no longer wake in the night (even without allergy tablets) to blow my nose constantly. I can actually sleep through, now!! If my allergy wasn’t so bad, I would probably only use nose sprays.
All Amazon links for examples of things you can try are usually for US Amazon except, where stated, they’re for the UK Amazon.
If you’re really suffering badly from allergies without allergy tablets (I get an itchy scalp which is where my hives hide out), I have not been emotionally deregulated when I’ve used the traditional, old fashioned anti-cholinergic allergy tablets: diphenhydramine (Benadryl* is the brand name in the US, or here’s the cheaper generic one in the US) or prescription-only promethazine, but do read all the information about them before deciding to try them.
*NOTE: UK Benadryl is NOT the same ingredient, it’s cetirizine or acrivastine, both of which have caused me emotional issues. In the UK, diphenhydramine is only sold over the counter as a sleep-aid (the usual brand is Nytol but not the herbal stuff) so you have to talk to a pharmacist to get it, and you can’t buy it for allergy but you can buy it if you have trouble sleeping.
Diphenhydramine and promethazine are both fantastic for allergy but long-term (more than a week) use isn’t a good idea as they can cause something called rebound insomnia from the drowsiness, meaning it’s harder to sleep! Additionally, studies have shown if you use anti-cholinergics daily or near-daily for years, you’ve got an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. So don’t do that.
This blogger had good results with Clarityn (loratadine) and I never used to get affected by it, but for the past year it’s been one of my worst ones for triggering moods. This post (not by me) pretty much sums me up on loratadine. You could try that though in case it doesn’t affect you the way it affects me.
So things to try (carefully):
- Clarityn (US) aka loratadine on UK Amazon (because it’s readily available)
- Diphenhydramine (US) for really bad allergy days (but not long term; you have to get this from a pharmacist in the UK)
- If your allergy is snot-based (you know what I mean), get Avamys from your doctor and don’t look back!
- Use Avamys with a saline nasal spray (US) I use the ones for kids because they’re gentler on my nose (find on UK Amazon here).
- If you can’t get your allergy and emotions under control with these methods, see your doctor again and if they don’t take your emotional problem seriously, educate them about the fact that this is a real issue.
- If any allergy tablet makes you feel suicidal, STOP TAKING IT and see a doctor asap for support (and a new allergy tablet if you need one). Be sure to tell them if the suicidal feeling wore off when the tablet did.
- Use the Yellow Card System to report these antihistamine side effects to the MHRA (the people who monitor pharmaceutical side effects), so they can finally have the evidence they need to investigate these debilitating side effects!! The quick link to report a drug is here: https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk Please give them separate reports for every adverse effect you’ve had from an allergy tablet so they can be aware how extensive this problem is!
- Try alternative medicines. They’re not really proven, but they seem to work for some people and at this point I’m not ruling anything out.
How to use Avamys for best effect:
- Buy a saline nose spray (that’s for US Amazon) (I got this one from Amazon UK) and rinse your nose with it first. This will get rid of any dust or pollen particles that are stuck in there (and which are causing your allergy to trigger when you’re nowhere near any other allergens).
- About 5-10 mins later, spray the Avamys into each nostril. If you haven’t been given a dosage, use it like this: For the first two weeks, spray it twice in each nostril, then once it’s got your allergy under control, use it once in each nostril. Do this once a day, either morning or evening, depending when your allergy’s worse, day or night. I do mine at night because I like being able to wake up without a throat full of goop.
- If your allergy is especially bad on any given day, you can have an extra spray or two of the Avamys, it won’t harm you to do that.
- If your doctor gave you different instructions, follow those instead.
Massive Disclaimer: 1. There are other mental health issues I haven’t taken into account here; this article is aimed at informing people who have ruled out other mental health problems as the underlying cause of their emotional difficulties, e.g. if you stop having emotional problems (or if they significantly improve) when you stop taking your allergy tablets.
2. Do not stop taking important medication without the advice of a doctor. I am not a doctor, I am just a former pharmacy assistant and a chemistry teacher, and my opinions are based on my own experiences and those of patients I’ve seen, and my opinions are informed by my understanding of chemistry – your mileage may vary. My article is for your information only, please research further, use your own judgement, and if you are unsure about anything or you’re on any other meds, speak to your doctor!!
3. This page sometimes links to Amazon Associates UK because they have a wide range of products and it’s easier to show you examples of useful things. Use your common sense – if you know of a cheaper place to get them, go there instead!
Today it’s Korean beauty vs Japanese beauty, and I’m testing out how Korean brand Clio’s Water Me Please BB cream stands up against Japanese brand SANA’s Keana Pate Pore Putty BB Pact (which I also reviewed here).
I applied both to my face without any moisturizer or base, to see how they fared just on their own, because normally a BB cream is used instead of layers of traditional make-up. SANA Pore Putty BB Pact SPF 40 PA+++ was on the right and Clio Water Me Please BB SPF 30 PA++ is on the left.
Please bear in mind I am currently ill having contracted Fresher’s Flu at university this weekend, and my face got severely weather battered by going sailing today as well, and it’s past my bedtime but I’m trying hard to make time for you guys today (I’m scheduling it so you can read at a more friendly time of day); so that’s three good reasons why my eyes are so red and puffy!! That makes this the perfect day to test these two products though, because there’s no point testing out foundations on a good skin day when I look great anyway!
The Clio Water Me Please gave a much more natural look with less coverage than the SANA Pore Putty. I think I would use this one when I wanted something lightweight that didn’t look like I was wearing makeup. My boyfriend couldn’t actually tell I was wearing makeup.
White Cast / Grey Cast:
The Clio Water Me Please BB Cream has been criticized by some beauty bloggers for giving a grey cast, but when I applied it today with a beauty blender (actually, a cheap Chinese dupe; my budget doesn’t currently stretch to an expensive make-up sponge), it did not give a grey cast. In fact, its base tones blended perfectly with my natural face color (NC15-20). The SANA Pore Putty SPF40 PA+++ gave a slight white cast in the mirror but it’s not noticeable in the photos for some reason.
Did they Cause Breakouts?
The Clio Water Me Please BB Cream did not cause any breakouts at all, and never has done, not even the time when I first used it and smeared WAY too much on my face (seriously, dab it on lightly). It’s uber skin friendly.
The SANA Pore Putty has left my skin with very minor breakouts every time I’ve used it, so after using it several times I can honestly say I think it’s the Pore Putty doing it. However, while my skin is usually normal, occasionally it goes on a spree of being sensitive and gets upset at certain products. Just like it occasionally goes dry or oily. Weird, huh? I think it’s down to what I eat throwing my skin out of balance sometimes, but I can’t prove it.
I found that the Clio Water Me Please BB Cream blended exceptionally well on my face (NC15-20) and on the back of my hand (about 2 shades darker). It was practically invisible, which is fabulous for a product with SPF-30 and PA++. The SANA Pore Putty didn’t blend so well, and sort of sits on top of my skin, but it’s only as bad as my L’Oreal True Match, which is to say you can hardly tell.
I don’t have any permanent lines to find out if either product settled in them, so I’m only talking about expression lines here. The SANA Pore Putty made those expression lines more obvious, which made me look older when I smiled or frowned. The SANA Pore Putty BB Pact definitely creased more in the under-eye area, making that area look more dry, but the Clio Water Me Please BB cream left a more uneven surface, especially around the (ever-growing) pores either side of my nose. The SANA Pore Putty BB Pact worked to minimize these pores, even if the make-up itself was more obvious. I will add that a good primer will get rid of more of this issue, regardless of which BB you use.
The SANA Pore Putty was just much better at covering up red areas, though. In the three photos, you can see the line down my forehead where the SANA Pore Putty is covering up all the redness I’ve currently got from being ill, and the Clio Water Me Please BB cream isn’t covering that up. Definitely if you have clear skin the Clio Water Me Please is a much better choice, but if you have things to cover up, SANA Pore Putty is better.
The SANA Pore Putty BB Pact is SPF40 (or possibly 35; they keep changing it), ten whole SPFs more than the Clio Water Me Please BB Cream. More importantly, Pore Putty is PA+++ and Clio Water Me Please is PA++, meaning Pore Putty offers 33% better protection from harmful ageing UVA rays than Clio Water Me Please.
In general, the Clio Water Me Please BB SPF 30 PA++ is a very good BB cream, good value for money at $11 a tube, and I think it’s got a lot more advantages. However, if you are looking to minimize the appearance of pores, or cover up redness, the SANA Pore Putty BB Pact SPF 40 PA+++ really comes into its own and does those jobs very well. It also has the better sun protection, which is a consideration if you don’t use separate sunscreen year-round. Neither of these BB products are very expensive compared to some other products, and that also counts in their favor. If I had to just use one on an average (non-sunny) day, however, I would reach for the Clio Water Me Please BB Cream.