Friday, 14 March 2014

Diptyque Does Skincare: First Impressions


As someone who likes to invest in her skincare, I was very interested to investigate crowd-pleasing perfumer and candle maker Diptyque's new skincare range. I've actually never purchased anything from Diptyque, not a single Figuier candle, but I know it's a luxe brand so I was expecting that quality from their new bevy of skincare products as well. I had to go to London this week to get my visa approved to work in America in the summer, so naturally a trip to Selfridges was in order. As a side note, the customer service in there was brilliant. At pretty much every concession I browsed at I was offered free samples of products and makeovers, which resulted in me sporting a very dramatic feline flick courtesy of the Charlotte Tilbury ladies for the rest of the day.

Anyway, I headed to the Diptyque counter to have a look at this newly minted skincare range everybody in the beauty blogging realm has been talking about. However, the sales assistant informed me that they didn't have it in stock yet but that I must take some samples of it away with me. (Yet more samples!) Even though each of the three samples only had a couple of uses in, I've been trialling them over the last few days so I could share my first impression with you and unfortunately, the result is one of overwhelming indifference. Obviously I wasn't expecting miracles after just a few days' use of each product, but I expected to be more wowed than I was.

The first product I tried was the Infused Facial Water which I have been using at the typical toner stage. It has quite a strong scent of rose, probably due to the high Damask rose content, which I actually rather like but I know a lot of people don't like strong fragrances in their skincare. In fact, all of the products I tested have a noticeable floral scent, although I suppose that fragrance is really Diptyque's forte. The toner feels refreshing and not in the least bit drying on the skin and so I found it pleasant to use. However, it retails at £35. Nice, but not £35 nice in my opinion. I also tried out their Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay which I decided to leave on for ten minutes and use as a mask. I have to say that I really enjoyed using this; it wasn't drying in the slightest and left my skin feeling extremely soft and smooth afterwards. However, as Caroline Hirons says, clay is clay and so I think you could very easily find products which do the same thing and don't cost £44. Finally, I tried their Radiance Boosting Powder which is the most innovative of the products I tried in terms of its actual formula - it's not often that you come across a cleanser in powder form. In that sense, I was expecting it to be like Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant but it's far less gritty, almost a floury texture actually, which transforms into a foam upon contact with water. Now as a rule I never use foaming face washes any more as I find them far too stripping, but this one felt quite nice and creamy when I was massaging it in. However, once I rinsed it off, I felt that dreaded feeling of tightness that I associate with foaming face washes. So it's really as a matter of principle that I wouldn't use this, plus I think the powder texture is an unnecessary gimmick for a pretty unremarkable product.

So all in all, not a revolutionary new skincare range. I believe that a lot of the time with expensive skincare, you get what you pay for but I certainly wouldn't bother buying full-sized products from this range. Sorry, Diptyque, but stick to what you know.

Have any of you tried this range yet?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Flying the Nest


I had an unexpected day off work today and it being too late to organise to meet up with anyone, I took the opportunity to spend some time by myself and walked around my local golf course. The weather was nice for the first time in ages and it was good to be able to spend an hour just thinking with no interruptions. I've always loved the view of my hometown from the top of the hill there, and today I stood there taking it all in and thought about how lucky I am to have grown up here. I know a lot of people can't wait to get away from their hometown but I actually really like mine: it's a nice town with lots of green areas and you can find respite in the countryside within minutes. And of course, it'll always be home to me.

My life is going to be changing hugely in the next few months, what with working and travelling abroad and leaving home to go to university. I'm flying out to Bangkok in less than four weeks which is crazy considering it was just a vague idea a few months ago. Leaving home is something that I've known was going to happen for a long time but as it draws nearer and nearer I'm becoming much more acutely aware of it and how little time I have left at home. Between now and September I'm hardly going to be spending any time at home and so I want to cherish the little time I have left by doing things like walking round the golf course as I often do on Sundays with my mum. Of course I am excited about all this change but at the same time, it's pretty daunting. I'm not someone who gets particularly homesick and I'm quite independent, but then the longest I've ever been away from home is a week so I don't know what I'll be like when I spend months away from home at a time.

My mum has just texted me saying that she's going to be finishing work early so we're going to have afternoon tea at a local farm shop. With my mum commuting and me finishing work at 7 most nights, we mostly seem to see each other in passing these days so it'll be so nice to catch up and actually spend some time with each other properly. It's little things like this that I think my younger teenage self took so much for granted, but now that I realise that soon I won't be able to do these things and see my family whenever I want, I think I'll treasure them so much more.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Late to the Pinterest Party

(All images: Pinterest)

I've finally bitten the bullet and jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon (how's that for an idiomatic sentence?). I know, I know, where have I been? I could definitely see its appeal but didn't think I could justify being the owner of yet another social media account. Plus, I never really knew what the difference was between Pinterest and Tumblr - surely they're both just pages of stuff you like! Now that I'm finally a member of Pinterest, I can say that ultimately, yes they are. But Pinterest just seems like a more grownup version of Tumblr which I can see myself leaning towards more now that I'm no longer an overly emotional 15-year-old. I can see it being somewhere I would turn to for all kinds of inspiration, from interior design to places to go whilst backpacking. I also like how you can create boards on Pinterest so that you can organise your stuff into categories. (Can you see me trying to justify this?) Anyway, here's a collection of stuff I've liked so far. My Pinterest mostly consists of pictures of Alexa Chung at the moment in the hope that if I pin her enough, I might become her.

By the way, I was thinking of doing some posts about preparing for backpacking, i.e. what to pack and medication and stuff. Would that be interesting or useful? Let me know.

In summary, this post is a shameless plug for my newly minted Pinterest account. You're welcome.