Murad – Age Reform Value Set

I bought 3 packs of these a while ago as they had been priced up rather cheaply on a website (back up to full price now) so I thought I would stock up without trying it because Murad has such a good name.

This week, I haven’t been feeling too great. I have had a set back in my recovery which made me feel quite low and I let that get on top of me for a few days and didn’t bother with my skin care routine.

My god I noticed a difference! My skin dried out and became quite sore. I also looked older. Because of this, I decided to do a face mask last night (blog post to come) and wanted to mix up my morning routine a bit this morning, so I decided to start using this.

Firstly, the cleanser:


This is a foaming cleanser, which I didn’t realise when I bought it. I’m not keen on a foaming cleanser personally. This smelled gorgeous and a little went a really long way, but I wasn’t sold on it. I’ll see how I get on with it, it certainly hasn’t put me off using it again, but my skin didn’t feel as good as it does after using my usual Clarins cleansing milk. I may use this as a first cleanse to get make-up off in the evenings if it doesn’t grow on me.

I followed this with the Elizabeth Arden – Skin Illuminating Serum, which I love and then followed that with the Murad Perfecting Day Cream:


I’m really impressed that this has an SPF of 30 in it! It has a thicker consistency than some creams I’ve used, in fact it has more of a consistency to a night cream in my opinion. I haven’t put make-up on over the top today, so I can’t comment on how make-up sits over the top, however, my skin is feeling a bit uncomfortable, a little tight. The weather has dropped considerably and I haven’t looked after my skin for a few days, so I certainly wouldn’t blame that on this cream, but it’s something I’m going to keep in mind as the days go on. This is the first time I have used both cleanser and day cream though, so I’ll see how I get on with them.

I have yet to try the ‘Rapid Resurfacing Peel’ that you get in the box. I think I want my skin to calm down a little first.



Elizabeth Arden ‘Sparkle on Holiday’ Collection

I seem to have been buying a lot of Elizabeth Arden items recently. This isn’t intentional, but they have been running some good offers of late, this one in particular.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been looking into retinols, and according to Nadine Baggott, the Elizabeth Arden one is a good one to start with:

So I decided to buy some to try (these take a while to make a difference, so I’ll write a blog post about them at a later date).


Debenhams are running an offer of ‘spend £40 on Elizabeth Arden products and buy the ‘Sparkle on Holiday collection’ for £58′, instead of the usual price of £232!!!

The offer is still running if you are interested, you can find out all about it here: (this is NOT a sponsored post, I bought this myself)

So I decided to go for it!


The case it came in is great, and will hold a lot when you take the plastic protecting the make-up out. it’d be great to use to take on holiday and should have plenty of room for lots of skin care too.


It came with 2 cards to give you some guidance using the products together (one in English, one in French).


There are a great selection of eye shadow colours and a little set of bronzer and blusher.


There is also a mascara, eye liner, a couple of glosses (that I may give my Niece as I’m not keen on gloss) and four fab lipsticks! I really am a sucker for a good red lipstick and the one on the right is right up my street!

These kind of offers are great ways of trying new things and building up your collection. There are so many fantastic gift sets available at this time of year, and don’t get me started on the Advent Calendars!!

Knowledgeable Beauty Insiders

Being a complete novice to skin care and quite basic with make-up (I’ve always had an interest in make-up, but never more than basic daily make-up really). I have relied on YouTube and blogs to help guide me. Anyone who knows anything about beauty or the beauty industry will know these people, but if you’re like me and a bit of a beginner, let these ladies guide the way…


Caroline Hirons – WEBSITE & YOUTUBE








Lisa Potter-Dixon –  YOUTUBE


Elizabeth Arden -Nighttime Miracle Moisturizer- Eight Hour Cream

Ok, I’ve only been using this for 4 or 5 days and will continue with it as I don’t like to waste anything, but…

I feel like I’m missing something with this? Everyone raves about the Eight Hour Cream range (and this is my first try of anything of that range, so the others may be great), but I’m not keen on this.

It says it’s a cream? I’d say it’s more of a balm.


The directions of use are as follows (from their website):

1. Dip fingers into the jar and take a small amount of moisturizer onto your fingertips.
2. Gently warm the product between fingertips.
3. Breathe in the scent of the soothing lavender to calm and lull senses.
4. Lightly massage onto face in small circular motions. Apply product generously to other dryness-prone areas such as hands elbows and legs.

My skin can get quite tight, and massaging this, even after warming between my fingers, pulls on my skin and it’s quite uncomfortable. I did watch an infomercial about this on YouTube and the lady presenting it said that you can roll this on to the skin after another moisturiser to ‘seal in’ the moisture of your other moisturiser. I may try that.

My skin does feel very soft in the morning though, but I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this.

Results of current skin care routine

I started looking after my skin probably about a month to a month and a half ago. My routine is incredibly basic at the moment and I haven’t introduced a retinol yet and don’t use a separate SPF as yet either (I always make sure my moisturiser has it in, although when spending more time outdoors (I work from home) I will need to consider a higher SPF)).

My current morning routine is:

Clarins Cleansing Milk – Alpine herbs, Moringa, Anti-Pollution for Normal or Dry Skin
Clarins Toning Lotion – With camomile, Alcohol-free for Normal to Dry Skin
Elizabeth Arden – Skin Illuminating Serum
Nivea Q10 day cream

and my current evening routine is:

Aqueous cream – ONLY if I’ve worn make-up
Burts Bees cleansing oil with Coconut and Argan oils for Normal to Dry skin
Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair
Elizabeth Arden – Eight Hour Cream – Night Time Miracle Moisturizer


I have only used the serums for about 2-2 1/2 weeks I think, but they made the most difference to my skin. It has really cleared up. My skin has smoothed out, I have a more even skin tone and my skin looks brighter. I also used to suffer from dry skin on my forehead, but that has disappeared now.

This is me with no make-up on, just a small amount of Balance Me BB Cream.

I’m really happy with the results so far and really see a massive difference. I’m looking forward to trying other new products and seeing what kind of results I get from them. I’m also looking forward to seeing what difference a retinol will have!

My top 5 ways to de-stress

To keep on the same theme over the last couple days, I thought I’d write about a few things I do to make myself de-stress (other than listening to music)! These are in no particular order (except for my number 1!)

5. Bath – Having a bath with candles is really relaxing for me. When we first bought our house, we couldn’t have a bath as the one we had was too small for adults, but we have (thankfully) since replaced that! It is so nice to just have a soak in the tub with some candles lit and Netflix or music on.


4. Cup of tea/coffee and book – I try to make time for this every day, even if just for 10 minutes.


3. Walking dogs – My happy time. I love getting out in nature with the dogs and my Husband.


2. Skin Care – Starting to look after myself better has had a tremendous effect on my self-esteem, as well has my skin. It’s another great time-out twice daily to just look after myself and relax.

1. Ziggy! I don’t know what I’d do without this bundle of craziness!!! He always wants cuddles and is an absolute clown. He makes us laugh constantly!! He has also been an amazing help to Leia when we adopted her from China. We couldn’t wish for a better boy 

Adding a serum to my skin care regime

It’s been about a week and a half since adding a serum to my skin care regime. I use the Elizabeth Arden – Skin Illuminating serum after my toner in the morning and the Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair after my first or second cleanse (depending on whether I’m wearing make-up or not).

I have to say, the difference is phenomenal! My skin has become a lot softer and clearer, and hormonal spots are clearing on my chin (that could be a co-incidence though).

I started them both at the same time, so I’m don’t know which is better than the other, but they are both working really well for me at the moment, and the Elizabeth Arden smells amazing!

So my skin care now consists of:

Clarins Cleansing Milk – Alpine herbs, Moringa, Anti-Pollution for Normal or Dry Skin
Clarins Toning Lotion – With camomile, Alcohol-free for Normal to Dry Skin
Elizabeth Arden – Skin Illuminating Serum
Nivea Q10 day cream


Aqueous cream – ONLY if I’ve worn make-up
Burts Bees cleansing oil with Coconut and Argan oils for Normal to Dry skin
Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair
Nivea Q10 night cream