I always get a good feeling when I happen across a product or gadget that really works; one that makes a discernable difference. This year, in common with many, I’m trying to make my life a little easier. I’m trying to be more efficient and I’ve made a conscious effort to implement changes, big and small. From makeup glasses to supersonic hair dryers, here are a few things that have made a difference so far this year.
I mentioned the importance of health and self-care in my New Year Resolutions post. I’ve mentioned already I’ve had a few health issues investigated. Consequently I have a few hurdles ahead of me, but hopefully nothing to trip me up. These are the big(ish) things although none of the problems are serious (I hope!)
I’ve been drinking more water and less wine, eating extra healthily, taking (more) breaks from social media and reading more. These small things have already improved my quality of life and the feeling of well-being.
And now I come to the even smaller things. Little material things that have made a difference. At first glance, this list may seem somewhat superficial and in many ways it is. None of these products are life-changing in the true sense of the phrase, but each and every one has benefitted me in my day to day life, whether to speed up my morning routine or whether to simply give me enjoyment when using them.
Eyes: Magnifying Makeup Glasses
I love hearing from other women who run small businesses and recently I had a lovely email from Donna and Andrea. They told me that like many women who need reading glasses, they were finding it increasingly difficult to see to apply their makeup. They’d been unable to find a suitable solution; a magnifying mirror is too bulky to carry around and makeup glasses with flip-up/down lenses only work for the lower or upper eye area. So they invented their own makeup glasses, the FlipZees and asked if I’d like to try a pair.
You might remember that I recently wrote about my first pair of reading glasses and why we need them. At this stage, I can still see clearly enough to apply my makeup with ease. However, I was very curious to to take a look, not least because I couldn’t find anything similar online. Also, as an optometrist, people ask my advice about both clinical and non-clinical aspects of eyecare. If I recommend something, I need to know first hand that it works.
FlipZees Magnifying Makeup Glasses, A Unique Design
The design is unique. The frame is very slim and neat and has only one magnifying lens. This keeps the weight down. The lens can rotate through 360 degress so it can flip from one eye to the other. Not only that, and this is the clever part, the frame has a unique double bridge, (the part that sits on the nose). This means the frame fits on the nose the right way up and also “upside down”. The combination of the rotating lens and the double bridge makes for easy application of makeup to the upper eyelid/eyebrow and the lower lid and lashes.
Here the frame is the “right way up.” It’s easy to see and to access my lower lid.
And in this photo, I have turned the frame “upside down” and rotated the lens so I can apply makeup to my upper eye.
I got a pair in the lowest strength, +1.50, and I’m very impressed. They’re comfortable, easy to use and do exactly what they were invented for. I don’t need them to apply makeup (yet), but if you do, they’re excellent. But where they have made a huge difference to me is when I tweeze those fine, blonde, stray eyebrow hairs. This is an excellent product and I hope Donna and Andrea get the success they deserve with their cleverly designed makeup glasses.
FlipZees come in a range of strengths from +1.5 to +3.0 and in two colours, black and tortoiseshell.
Skin: Your Good Skin
YourGoodSkin was launched in September of last year by Boots. It was co-created with dermatologists, scientists and thousands of women. It has a wide range of products including cleansers and moisturisers and a “hero” product, the balancing skin concentrate. When I write skincare reviews, I use the products for at least four weeks. It is only then that I can substantiate any claims and draw a fair conclusion. I have been using these since the start of the year.
What I didn’t realise until writing this post is that YourGoodSkin has excellent price point. It’s a budget range and that surprised me. For sure, the quality of the packaging is middle-of-the-road but the quality of the products inside belies this. And that’s what matters.
YourGoodSkin nourishing Hot Cloth Cleanser
Hot cloth cleansers are by far my favourite and I’ve used this method of removing makeup for as long as I can remember. The Nourishing Hot Cloth Cleanser is nicely creamy and a little goes a long way. It massages in beautifully and removes all traces of makeup easily. At just £8.99 it is less than half the price than my usual Elemis Omega Rich Cleansing Oil and while it doesn’t have the divinely beautiful scent of the Elemis, it is just as effective.
YourGoodSkin Balancing Skin Concentrate
The YourGoodSkin Balancing Skin Concentrate has a creamy texture rather than the gel like consistency more usually associated with serums and concentrates. At £16.99 it is also a much lower price than many similar products too. It contains a cocktail of lovely-sounding ingredients and has a very soft, smooth and gentle consistency. It reminds me of the organic skin products I used on my children when they were babies. It’s kind, not at all harsh and it leaves the skin feeling comfortable.
It’s so difficult to know whether or not it has improved the texture and appearance of my skin, but what I will say is that I find a lot of serums and concetrates are too harsh and they make my skin tingle. This one doesn’t. The other thing to note is that it absorbs easily. It should be applied before moisturiser and it sinks in quickly. None of us have time to spare in the mornings so this is another huge positive.
YourGoodSkin SPF 30 Anti-Oxidant Day Cream
I watched a BBC programme last month called The Truth About Looking Good. A team of scientists put a host of skincare and beauty products to the test and looked at consumer habits and marketing too. It’s well worth a watch if you can still download it, both informative and insightful. THE take home message was that sun protection is the best thing you can put on your face. Perhaps not newsworthy in itself, but a useful reminder for when we chose a day cream.
It’s clear to see that I have very fair skin which freckles in the sunshine. I like it and I have looked after it by wearing an SPF since being a teenager. However, the last few day creams I have used habitually, have an SPF of 15 only so I was very interested to see how this felt on my skin. Would it feel too heavy and more like an actual suncream?
I also wanted to see how oily it is. You might remember that I wrote a post a while back about changing my skincare and makeup routine after seeing The MakeUp Doctor. One modification was to switch to an oil-free moisturuser to help my foundation stay-put and negate the need for a powder. Subsequently, I began using Benefit Triple Performing SPF Moisturiser and was impressed. It would take something special to sway me from this.
The YourGoodSkin SPF 30 Anti-Oxidant Day Cream is excellent. It absorbs and it isn’t oily; my foundation lasts just as long. I’m about half way through this bottle and I’ll buy it from now on instead of the Benefit. It has a higher SPF and it’s more pleasant to use. And although it doesn’t have quite the same shelf appeal, who cares? At £10 less per bottle, it makes total sense.
Hair: The Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer
I think you’ll know by now that my partner Ian is a very thoughtful and romantic man. This was proved once again when I opened my Christmas present from him. He had got the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer for me and it was a complete surprise. I hadn’t known of its existence until I opened it. He told me that he’d spent a long time researching it.
He did this is because I wash and dry my hair every day and have at times, bemoaned the time it takes. Although I don’t have long hair, there is a lot of it. Its natural wave makes it difficult to style and although I like wearing it wavy, it does tend to frizz. It used to take about twenty minutes to rough dry. With the Dyson hairdryer, it takes about half that time because of the powerful motor and the way in which the air is directed. Not only that, it significantly reduces static and frizz. It’s stylish and user friendly and the nozzle and diffuser attach magnetically which I love. It has three speeds and three heat settings and is one of those gadgets that I’m very pleased to have. Not only does my hair look and feel smoother, the Dyson dryer has made a significant difference to my morning routine. Time is everything is it not? Without doubt, it is an investment, but if you dry your hair frequently, it is, in my opinion worth it. I’m a lucky girl aren’t I?
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of things that have caught my eye and impressed me. From magnifying makeup glasses to supersonic hair dryers, little things can make quite a big difference to our daily routine and sometimes to our finances too. Have a lovely weekend and stay safe and warm, #beastfromtheeast.