The Art of Bathing | Balm Balm Bath & Body Oil

I will be honest and say that I prefer to shower. I’m one of those people who likes everything to be quick, convenient and functional. I don’t often just lie down and smell the roses, and I think it is something I need to work on.

I’ve been given a shove in the right direction lately by Balm Balm, who sent me a Rose Geranium Bath & Body Oil. I absolutely love the scent of Balm Balm’s rose geranium products and I already have the face balm, which I often use at night when I feel like my skin just can’t handle any more high tech retinol-packed products. The bath & body oil has encouraged me to turn bath time into an event.

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I love that it comes with a spray nozzle so you can easily apply it to your skin without the mess of pouring oil. It can also be sprayed over the surface of your bath for a relaxing rose-scented soak while giving your skin some pampering.

It is a light oil which is fast-absorbing and doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily, and has the added benefit of being a natural insect repellent. I usually spray some on after bathing or showering just for the mood-enhancing scent, but it does leave my skin feeling soft and nourished and rounds off that ‘clean’ feeling you get after washing the day away. You can buy the bath & body spray for R120 and other Balm Balm products from Luhla.

The Art of Bathing

 

Diorskin Star Foundation Review

If you’re looking for a pricey foundation which makes you glad to have spent all that hard-earned cash on it, then it might just be that Diorskin Star foundation is the one for you. I absolutely had to try it after hearing it described as Dior’s “selfie foundation”. If you follow me on Instagram (if not, you can click here if you want to) you will know that I take a lot of selfies.

But in my defense, I have had so many comments about my makeup of the day posts that it has encouraged me to be more creative and now I just see my face as a blank canvas. It isn’t about me looking in the mirror in the morning and thinking, ooh, I look good! I had better take a #selfie! It is partly for those who enjoy the pictures, partly a form of makeup diary for the future, and a good dose of self-education. It is like an artist painting self portraits until he feels he is good enough to paint other people’s portraits. This entire explanation is especially for my dad, in case he ever reads this, because he probably thinks I’m vain and self-indulgent.

Diorskin Star

Dior spent two years developing this foundation to make women feel more confident about being photographed, which frankly was very nice of them. We aren’t all blessed with Natalie Portman’s skin. Apparently Diorskin Star contains titanium-rich silica beads which diffuse the light, even out skin tone, hide the appearance of wrinkles and redness etc. This is all wonderful, you are thinking, but does it work?

Shade: I have it in shade 10 which is slightly too light for me. Shade 10 would be my perfect winter shade, and shade 20 would be my summer match. They are both neutral shades. Shades ending in a 0 (like 20) are neutral, whereas 21 would be yellow undertones, 22 would be pink undertones and 23 would be peach undertones.

Application: I find this foundation is best applied with a damp sponge or beauty blender (I use the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge) to get the most natural, invisible effect. Dior actually recommends sponge application and sells a sponge alongside it, but I didn’t feel the need to splurge on a Dior makeup sponge.

Coverage: Diorskin Star has slightly more coverage than Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, but it is still a light/medium coverage foundation. It can be built up with more than one layer in areas where you need more coverage without losing its ‘invisibility’ on the skin.

Finish: I really like the finish of this foundation. It is a good example of radiance without any shine or shimmer. It isn’t dewy, but it isn’t drying either. It is more light-diffusing than light-reflecting, I think if your skin is normal or combination you can get away with it. It brightens up your skin but gets rid of shine at the same time.

Lasting power: Over a primer I find it lasts well, although without primer I get a little bit of oiliness around my T-zone that needs touching up. I use the Dior Pore Minimizer primer underneath and will set my T-zone lightly with powder, and the majority is still intact by evening. I think you can’t expect it to set like concrete on your face considering it isn’t a matte or full-coverage foundation,

What it looks like on the skin

What it looks like on the skin

Verdict and Price: I really love this foundation, so if you have tried Dior foundations before and know that the shades work for you then I really recommend this one. As with all foundations it is best to get a sample first and test it properly before committing to the purchase, R680 at Dior counters.

Pregnancy Skin Care

This feels like a strange topic for me considering it was half a decade ago that I was actually pregnant, but inspired by pregnancy awareness week (7th to 14th February) I thought it might be useful to someone out there to do a pregnancy skin care post. The focus this week is on pregnancy education, and I feel quite strongly that understanding the biology behind all aspects of your pregnancy really helps towards not feeling like your body is a weird foreign object which has been taken over by an alien creature. When I was pregnant and afterwards when I had a baby in the house I became much more aware of and committed to using natural or organic products. When you are pregnant you really care a lot more about exactly what you are putting on your skin.

Hormonal fluctuations can either wreak havoc on your skin or in some cases improve it. Here are some common skin issues, and what you can do about them:

1. Stretch marks
This is probably the most common skincare issue and sadly one you don’t have a huge amount of control over. If you do develop stretch marks, or to try and prevent them, then using an oil containing vitamin E twice a day may help in reducing them. Although it is not guaranteed to make a difference to your stretch marks, it is worth doing anyway. And it has the added benefit of soothing a dry, itchy stomach caused by stretching skin.
Tip: Try Bio Oil or Mama Mio Tummy Rub

2. Melasma or pigmentation

Pregnant women are more susceptible to developing pigmentation spots which are unwelcome visitors. Since skin is more sensitive to the sun it is important to wear a high factor facial sunscreen daily in order to minimize your risk of developing pigmentation. This actually applied to everyone, so don’t slack on the SPF. Whether you opt for a ‘natural’ or chemical sunscreen is up to you, but more on this issue in the next point.
Tip: Try Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen SPF40 or Bioderma Photoderm MAX Ultra-Fluid SPF50

Image www.kcsmed.com

3. Breakouts or oilier skin
Hormones during pregnancy can make your oil glands overactive and leave you with oilier skin than usual. It is best not to use products targeted at breakouts which use medicinal ingredients not recommended for pregnant women. Anything too astringent will just dry out your skin.

Tip: If your skin is oilier than usual you can switch to an oil-free moisturiser and sunscreen, and look for gentle cleansers that won’t strip your skin (making it produce more oil to compensate). Oil cleansers can in fact work well even for oily skins. You can read my cleansing with oil post here.

Exfoliation is important to keep your skin from breaking out, but avoid scrubs which can aggravate your skin and opt for chemical exfoliators. Tip: Using AHA to exfoliate is safe during pregnancy but avoid salicylic acid or BHA.

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Tip: If breakouts are a problem, using an organic product like Balm Balm Tea Tree Face Balm at night can really help to clear up your skin while keeping it supple and your skin’s natural oils in balance. I use it myself and can really recommend it.

Tip: If you are suffering from morning sickness (I feel your pain!) then stick to fragrance-free skincare products which won’t aggravate your nausea. Try Balm Balm Fragrance-Free Bath & Body Oil or Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel (fragrance and oil free)

Pregnancy Survival Kit

 

Cleansing with oil, and Sorbet’s new offering

Over the past two years my skin has definitely been on a roller coaster, partly due to the fact I am forever testing new products. It has been a learning curve, but I know now exactly what kind of products my skin prefers, what it does not handle well, and how to deal with my skin’s temporary tantrums.

Cleansing balms and oils have become non-negotiable for me. Any type of foaming cleanser, even the most gentle, leaves my skin feeling a bit uncomfortable and over time it becomes dry and flaky. Cleansing creams like Clarin’s Extra Comfort one are great, but I don’t go a day without using a balm or oil in my routine.

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If you’re oily skinned this might sound daunting, but in fact by cleansing with an oil or balm your skin is not stripped of its natural oils and therefore will not try to compensate by producing yet more oil. It’s a vicious cycle. Oil-based cleansers are fabulous for breaking down even long-lasting makeup, and because they’re not water soluble you need to remove them with a warm, damp facecloth which has the added benefit of a light exfoliation at the same time. Oils also contain essential fatty acids which are good for your skin. You can read more about oil cleansing on a site dedicated to it.

After this rather long introduction, what I actually wanted to say was that Sorbet’s new Salon Skin range includes a 3-in-1 Cleansing Oil. I have been using the Chamomile Cleansing Oil from the Body Shop for the past year, so I was eager to compare the two:

Sorbet Cleansing Oil

The Mini Review

While the Body Shop version feels oilier on application and emulsifies into a milk which is easy to rinse off, the Sorbet cleansing oil is thinner and less oily in texture but turns into more of a cream when you add water. The instructions say you can rinse the “milky emulsion” off with water, but I find I have to use a warm facecloth to remove it as it just doesn’t rinse off. However, since I prefer this method anyway it suits me just fine, and does a good job of removing dirt and makeup as well. The other benefit of this cleansing oil is that it leaves your skin feeling supple and moisturised. It is also very gentle and my sensitive skin is happy with it…and my skin is fussier than Karl Largerfeld’s cat. The Salon Skin range from Sorbet is available at Clicks, and the cleansing oil retails for R130. P.S I also like the sleek pump nozzle.

Sorbet Cleansing Oil 2

The main ingredients

Sorbet 3-in-1 Cleansing Oil: Bergamot, orange and lemon oil, castor oil, jojoba oil + added vitamins A, C and E.

Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil: Sweet almond oi, sesame seed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil