LookFantastic Beauty Box May 2016

LookFantastic's May 2016 edition is themed #LFHelloBeautiful. Last month, they released spoilers that this box would contain body and hair products - the April box was supposed to be au naturel face care but contained mostly bath and body products. The product magazine says this month's products will give you a flawless and radiant complexion. A copy of this month's issue of Elle UK is included with the exclusively-designed green box.

Scroll down to take a look at the contents of the May 2016 LookFantastic Beauty Box.

Here are the contents of the May 2016 LookFantastic Beauty Box.

Cargo Cosmetics Land Down Under Eye Palette Review, Swatches

Cargo Cosmetics Land Down Under is the second eyeshadow palette I bought this year. Shocking, innit? I have a strict limit of six (ideally five) palettes this year, and, with seven months left, I might actually meet that target.
The moment I saw this on Cindy's blog, Prime Beauty, I knew I wanted it. For starters, it is Cargo and I always love the colour choices in their palettes. For another - Aussie theme! I made a bunch of Aussie friends at uni - whose sense of humour was the best - and we've had some amazing times together. Cargo has been doing location-themed palettes for a while now. We have seen Paris, Shanghai, NY, Venice, and now this.

Scroll down for the review and swatches of Cargo Cosmetics Land Down Under Eyeshadow Palette, and my EOTDs.

Review and swatches of Cargo Cosmetics Land Down Under Eyeshadow Palette, and eye makeup looks.

Best Acid Treatment Pads For Acne Prone Skin

Since the end of last year, I have incorporated acids in my skincare routine, following my dermatologist's advice for a skin infection. I now use Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) pads in the morning and Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or combination pads in the evening. Together, they help fade pigmentation, prevent acne, exfoliate, provide a bunch of nutrients to the face and facilitate quicker and deeper absorption of other products. Here are my favourite treatment pads and WHY I love them.

Scroll down to read more about the best acid treatment pads for acne-prone skin. 

Best Acid Treatment Pads For Acne Prone Skin


When to use acid treatment pads

After cleansing. Before a hydrating mist or moisturising toner such as Thayer's Rose Water (and the rest of your skincare routine). Some of these need to be followed by a splash of water to the face to neutralise. I cut most of my acid pads in half, so they last much longer (with a sterile pair of scissors I keep aside for this).

Best Acid Treatment Pads For Acne Prone Skin

AHA or Combination Pads:

1. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula

HG. If I had to pick just one, it would be this.
What: Two-phase treatment. There is an alpha surface refiner and a beta treatment pad. You get it in individually-packed boxes as well, so you can take 'em travelling without risk of spillage.
How many: 30 pairs.
How much: £59.25. Code LF15 for 15% off. 
How to use: Apply the alpha refiner pad first. Wait for two minutes; apply the beta pad. I use this two nights a week.
Versions: Two Alpha-Beta Peel versions - original formula and extra strength. They also have other pads but we're talking about AB Peels now.
Repurchase: I've bought the Extra Strength version recently; let's see what they are like.
Buy it here.

2. Cane + Austin Retexturing Treatment Pads

As effective as DDG - also formulated by a dermatologist. I adore the packaging.
What: 10% glycolic acid. Also has Vits A, C and E, COQ10 and antioxidants. 
How many: 60 pads.
How much: £34
How to use: Dab away. Cut 'em in half so they last longer. Use sterile scissors. I use this four or so nights a week. Or whenever my skin feels congested.
Versions: An anti-acne version with 5% AHA and 2% BHA; and a 20% glycolic version called Miracle Pads.
Repurchase: Yes! These and Dr Dennis Gross are my favourite glycolic/combo pads. I might buy the Miracle Pads next.  
Buy it here.

3. Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel

What: Lactic acid, white willow bark and glycolic. Seriously soft pads.
How many: 60
How much: £38
Use as the other single-pad formulae listed here.
Repurchase: When there's a GWP or offer across the site.  Incidentally, the Skyn Iceland Discovery kit contains a full-sized jar of 60 of these pads and costs as much as the pads do by themselves. So you get a sample face wash, moisturising lotion, two eye gel pads, and a full-sized eye treatment pen FREE for the price of the pads.
Buy it here.

4. Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Pads

What: A 20% complex of alpha, beta and gamma acids and amino acids, Vits A, C, D, E and F, chamomile and green tea extracts. 
How many: 60
How much: £29
Versions: There's also a Max Complexion Corrector version which has peach bellini fragrance, but it also contains alcohol (denat.) high up on the list. 
Repurchase: Yes, when there's a GWP or offer.
Buy it here.

5. Pixi Glow Pads

What: 20% glycolic, rose water and some SA and lactic. STRONG stuff for me. Slightly smaller circumference for the pads, so I didn't cut these in half.
How many: 60
How much: £24. Code LF15 for 15% off.
Versions: I wish they had a milder version; this was a tad too strong for my skin. 
Repurchase: If I need something this strong.
Buy it here.

6. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

A pad-based form of Pixi Glow Tonic.
What: Mildest mix of glycolic, lactic and hyaluronic. Start here if new to acid or if you've never used acid-based toners. Good to use every day.
How many: 60
How much: £22. Code LF15 for 15% off. Buy now and get an FAB hydrating serum free with two FAB products.
Repurchase: Have progressed to stronger formulae.
Buy it here

BHA pads:

7. Stridex Maximum Strength Pads

Everyday morning treatment
What: 2% salicylic. Feels strong, so maybe build up after using Paula's Choice 2% BHA or a similar milder formulation. 
How many: 90
How much: $6. Yes, 'swhatisaid.
Versions: A regular strength and an aloe version for sensitive skin. I prefer the Max Strength version, though.
Repurchase: Yes. 90 pads is always a good deal.
Buy it here.

8. CosRx One Step Pimple Clear Pads

What: Salicylic, hyaluron, tea tree oil, orange peel. Nice, large-sized pads. Gentler than Stridex but has equally good flattening and preventive effects on acne. 
How many: 70
How much: $26. Code 2758605 for $5 off.
Repurchase: When there's a sale.
Buy it here.

Favourite AHA/Combo Pads: 

Tie between Cane+Austin and Dr Dennis Gross. I suppose being formulated by an MD makes a huge difference!
If you are a beginner, start with FAB, but after your first jar, upgrade to Cane+Austin or Dr Dennis Gross.

Favourite BHA: 

Tough; both perform beautifully. I would say CosRx, but 90 pads makes Stridex much better value for money.

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Beauty Gifts And Offers That Ship Worldwide: May 2016

Despite all the hype around the Holiday season, retailers and brands offer the best gifts with purchase and offers around Spring/Summer, to push sales, so this is a good time to stock up on essentials and treat yourself.
Space.NK.Apothecary has a lovely Best Of Beauty set containing full-sized and deluxe sized products, and a nice mix of makeup and skincare. Brands include Nars, Laura Mercier, Lipstick Queen, Becca, Sunday Riley, Chantecaille and more. This is one goodie bag you do NOT want to miss out on. Worldwide shipping is free and tracked. Very few numbers left; so rush here to buy - use code BEST16 at checkout once you sign up.

Scroll down to see other beauty offers on this May.

Beauty Gifts And Offers That Ship Worldwide: May 2016

Algenist Repairing Tint & Blur Moisturiser Review, Swatches, FOTD

I now have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from a nasty infection I had in December; so I need full coverage makeup, though it is fading. Now that the weather is warm, I have been experimenting with tinted moisturiser to see how far things have improved and if I can ditch the heavy warpaint.
Algenist Repairing Tint & Blur Moisturiser is a multitasker that claims to work as primer, foundation, skin regenerating treatment and broad spectrum UV protector. It comes in just four shades - Light, Light/Medium, Medium and Tan.

Scroll down for review and swatches of Algenist Repairing Tint & Blur Moisturiser and a makeup look.

Review and swatches of Algenist Repairing Tint & Blur Moisturiser and a full-face makeup look.

May Makeup Madness International Beauty Giveaway

As promised, here is the giveaway for May 2016. Because it began late by a week, this giveaway will run for an extra week and close only on June 16, 2016. Open worldwide. Two prizes. Rules, entry form and other deets about prizes are further below.

Scroll down to enter the May Makeup Madness International Beauty Giveaway.

May Makeup Madness International Beauty Giveaway

Becca Ombre Rouge Eyeshadow Palette Review, Swatches, EOTD

I received the Becca Ombre Rouge Eyeshadow Palette in the Beautylish Lucky Bag 2015, reviewed here. Seriously, that bag was epic. Everything was full-sized and amazing. Do it again soon, Beautylish. I will buy!
Becca Ombre Rouge Eyeshadow Palette is one of the softest neutral palettes I own. It is also my favourite weekend getaway palette at the mo'. Take a closer look.

Scroll down for review and swatches of the Becca Ombre Rouge Eyeshadow Palette and eye makeup looks.

 Here are the review and swatches of the Becca Ombre Rouge Eyeshadow Palette and eye makeup looks.

YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheek Soft Matte Colour Review, Swatches

Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheek Soft Matte Colours look rather like nail polish bottles. I had overlooked them, but the SA suggested that I might find a long-wearing lipstick among them. Neither liquids nor creams, these are mousses, the SA said, and can be blended nicely on the lips and the cheeks.

Scroll down for more on YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheek Soft Matte Colour.

Review and swatches of YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheek Soft Matte Colour.

Beauty Products Emptied In April 2016

M y new skincare routine includes drinking three litres of water a day - more if I am working out. I work out at least three times a week, even though my derm isn't a huge fan of sweat on my face right now. Also, six hours' sleep. I know, I know; we will get to eight eventually. Baby steps.
Product-wise, I go through non-foaming cleansing, acid toning/pads, hydrating mists, treatment, facial oil and a final coat of moisturiser - in that order - two times a day. Until January 2016, my routine involved a harsh cleanser, some kind of serum OR moisturiser - if I could be bothered - and oodles of benzoyl peroxide. Two - three at the most - glasses of water a day. What sleep? *Hangs head in shame*.

Scroll down to see the beauty products I emptied in April 2016 and for my quick thoughts on each.

 Here are the beauty products I emptied in April 2016 and my quick thoughts on each.