Are The GlamGlow Face Masks Really Worth The Hype?

Maybe I’m just getting old, but increasingly I seem to be wearing my cynical hat and wondering when we all got caught up in the hype of ‘wonder products’ and their extortionate price tags. Although there are some truly wonderful innovations our there that really do make a difference, a lot of the time a product can be over hyped and over praised by those that won’t even truly benefit from the ingredients it has to offer. With so many beauty editors and influencers confessing to adore everything going, it’s hard to know whether or not the excitement is justified – or if you’d be better off saving your cash for something else entirely. GlamGlow is definitely one of those brands; I remember when it first launched and every beauty enthusiast was desperate to try this ground-breaking mud mask in an effort to revolutionist their skin. At the time I tried it and thought it was pleasant, but distinctively average, but a few years later (and with many more additions to the range) it was time to put Glam’s Glow to the test once again. Can these little pots of coloured goo really give you the skin you’ve always dreamed of?

YOUTH MUD (TO SMOOTH)
Originally designed as a ten minute ‘professional facial in a jar’ for celebrities about to walk the red carper, this smoothing mask gently exfoliates the surface to leave behind a softer and more glowing complexion. It’s not exceptionally abrasive, but it does gently buff the skin to leave it feeling like its had a bit of a work out; but the key here is to use it before a big meeting or night out, rather than as a bathtime pamper. The results aren’t groundbreaking, but they are noticeable – however, they’re also achievable with your usual facial exfoliator and a good manual massage. (Just saying!)

THIRSTY MUD (TO HYDRATE)
Apparently this uses ‘the most advanced hydration active technologies’ (nope, me either!) to hydrate, restore, replenish and calm the skin. First up, it’s a lovely balm-like formula that’s a pleasure to apply (helped by the fact it smells amazing) and can be used for a 20-minute hit or even overnight for a more intense treatment (when it’s £39.00 a pot I’m totally down with not washing it down the drain.) I love a hydrating mask and this is definitely a good one, but you’d get the same impact via a hardworking moisturiser or night cream – this just makes the experience a little more pampering.

FLASH MUD (TO BRIGHTEN)
Developed to create luminous skin, this treatment contains Betulin, Betulinic Acid and Ellagic Acid to create an improved ‘colour balanced’ skin tone. It also includes three types of exfoliant to slough away dullness and drive the ingredients deeper into the skin, as well as (wait for it) diamond photoluminescence to increase the reflecting level of the skin and make it appear more radiant. When I tried this is actually made my face bright pink and slightly warm for an hour or so after – and I’m not sure that that was the look they were going for. In all honesty I didn’t see or feel much difference at all, so this one was completely lost on me.

POWER MUD (FOR A WEEKLY POWER CLEANSE)
This was the mask I was most intrigued to try, but also most confused by. Was it a cleanser, a mask, a treatment or combination of all three? Power Mud aims to remove the build-up of cleansing product and excess grime, providing a more intense weekly power cleanse to those of us that use a lot of product; particularly handy for those who suffer with breakouts and dullness, this lightweight mud turns to an oil-balm when mixed with water. You leave it on the skin for ten minutes (presumably so it can ‘suck out’ all the bits of leftover product) and then wash off; it’s a very gentle and pleasant cleanse, but it’s also impossible to know if it’s really doing anything more than my usual cleanser.

GRAVITY MUD (TO FIRM & LIFT)
Currently available in a limited edition Sonic Blue shade, this is apparently an ‘instant tightening and firming treatment that contains mega-targeted ingredients that work together to help skin’s contours feel firmer and look more defined.’ So in a nutshell it’s supposed to contour your skin, while tightening those saggy bits. The rather gloopy formula is quite tricky to apply (and gets everywhere FYI – my bathroom plughole is still blue!) but once it’s on it’s a comfortable way to pass ten or so minutes while it dries; you can either pull it off in one piece or massage away with a warm damp flannel (if you’ve a lot of facial fuzz I’d recommend the latter.) As for the results, my skin was definitely left smoother and a little plumper, but I can’t say there was any contouring or lifting going on. Because of the nature of the formula you get a lot more from this than the other masks, but I’m just not convinced this delivers on its promises.

So there you go; each one of the GlamGlow masks tried and tested for your pleasure. Although each of them are perfectly pleasant to use (and also smell amazing,) for me there wasn’t enough of a difference or immediate result to warrant the price tag. Most provide similar results to my usual facial exfoliators, night treatments and anti-ageing skincare – which probably also work out cheaper per use, knowing how much mask you need to slap on. None of them are horrendous, but none of them rock my world either. If you’re feeling the need to get spendy then by all means make a purchase, but if you’d rather invest in a great skincare regime you can enjoy every single day, then that’s probably a wise decision too.

Have you tried any of the GlamGlow masks? What did you think?

The GlamGlow masks are available online, priced £39.00 each for the 50g pot. (15g sample sizes are also available if you want to test before you invest!)


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Burt’s Bees at Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow

Burt's Bees Pop Up 

Calling all my fellow Scots and those who may just be in town for the next few days (if not don’t worry there will be other locations and dates added to the tour), Burt’s Bees will be bringing their interactive Wall of Kisses to no other than Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow, to celebrate the launch of their new lipstick collection from the 3rd-5th of March.

Burt's Bees Pop Up 

If you are available to pop along not only can you see all 18 shades of the new lipstick in person but you can of course try on as many as you like and have a mini lip consultation with a make-up artist on hand. As mentioned there is a interactive wall of kisses, which will display images and gifs created at the Burt’s Bees pop up which will then be emailed directly to your inbox so you can upload your creation onto Twitter and/or Instagram to be in with the chance to win all 18 shades worth no less than £178.

Burt's Bees Pop Up 

I promise it will be a lot of fun – who doesn’t love lipstick? – and it would be lovely to say hello in person – I will be at the Burt’s Bees Pop Up at Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow (ground floor) tomorrow so if you can, please drop by.

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New In This Week: Pretty (Yet Practical) Makeup Bits To Make You Go ‘Ooooooh!’

You know what they say: you wait for great makeup launches to come along, and then a tonne turn up all at once! It’s taken a good long while for genuinely exciting bits and pieces to land on my doorstep this year (red lipsticks and another re-hash of a mascara are not exciting,) but can I get a whoop whoop because boy do we have lift off! I’ve pulled together an edit of nine launches I think you need to know about, all of which just happen to be more than a little bit pretty too. Here’s the lowdown, so get your notepad and pen at the ready because there *will* be a shopping list.

Benefit Galifornia Blusher (£24.50)
More well known for their box blushers than possibly anything else, Benefit have knocked it out of the park with their latest launch. Galifornia is a beautiful coral peach shade that’s infused with golden pigments to add a natural glow to cheeks, enhancing a tan or just helping to provide a touch of radiance. The gold is very subtle and catches the light to provide a beautiful highlight, but that does mean you have to apply this strategically if you’re not a fan of looking a bit too glowy! The best bit though is the fact this smells like holidays; the tropical scent ensures it’s addictive and transports you instantly to somewhere altogether more warm. I’m obssessed already – it’s my new fave.

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Best Of: Love Lula’s Beauty Box.


Because I got my last Love Lula Beauty Box last month, I thought it would be nice to round up my favourite items from the 5 boxes I did get. And it turns out there was quite a lot! It doesn’t always seem like it at the time, but you accumulate an awful lot of product with subscription boxes.

What I loved most was getting to try new brands, over the 5 month period I sampled about 12 new brands, ones that maybe I would have noticed and bought myself in the future, and ones that I know I would not have, but surprisingly won me over once I got to try them.

One of my highlights was discovering Madara, which I talked a lot more about in my previous brand spotlight post here. I got to sample 3 miniatures from them and have been hooked ever since.
I also loved finally trying the MOA (Magic Organic Apothecary) Fortifying Green Bath Potion, which smelt nothing like I was expecting – a pleasant surprise! Keeping with the bath and body theme, the Apple & Bears Body Silk was another surprise, a lush cream that sinks into skin in a flash and smells dreamy. In my last box I also got the John Masters Evening Primrose Shampoo for dry hair – I’ve been using this for the past week or so and feel like I’m onto something here. Instead of searching out scalp specific shampoos that often clarify, I’m going to try some super moisturising ones for a while as this seems to be very soothing on the ol’ noggin.

I also very much welcomed some Ooh! Oils of Heaven into my stash, with their baobab and argan oils. Highly recommend for fuss free, nourishing natural single-ingredient oils available in a bunch of affordable sizes. The Balm Balm rose water mist was so handy for travel and setting makeup. And I really enjoyed using the FoM London Hydra Plump Serum, too. It made a nice change from all the creams and oils in my routine to use something that felt like water!

My favourite box has to be the December box (pictured above). Three amazing full-size items, a moisturiser sample that turned out to be fantastic and a handy mini argan oil from a brand I already love. The Strawberry & Ginger Tea from Beauty Brews has been a tasty treat over the past few weeks, and the sugar scrub is so good! like, seriously good! Just be careful if you use it on your feet in the shower because it quickly becomes slippery city. The Spearmint perfume was a lovely surprise too, it smells so fresh and bright.. and obviously minty. I think I need to pick up another single note perfume from Balm Balm to layer this with to avoid the mouthwash vibes. I’m just not sure which. I like it for clearing food smells from clothes or the room at the moment, though.

The boxes cost, including shipping, £12.50 a month for UK subscribers and have options for discounted pre-pay. If you’re further afield you can also subscribe and it works out at £17.50 a month (though you have to pay 3 months at a time).

The White Company Launch A Capsule Skincare Collection (But Is It Worth The Price Tag?)

Overpriced pillowcases, fluffy socks and candles are my guilty pleasure – and there’s no better place to seek them out than The White Company. It’s become a destination in its own right because of the purity of the colour scheme and the quality of the items within, but until now they’ve kept their focus very much to homewares. I was surprised to find out that the founder of The White Company was originally a beauty journalist and therefore incredibly passionate about skincare, so it makes complete sense that this year the brand are trying their hand at launching a capsule range of beauty products that very much fit within their ethos of minimalistic and aspirational shopping. Rather interestingly they’ve partnered with Deciem (who really know their stuff – they’re the people behind The Ordinary, Niod, Hylamide, Fountain and Hand Chemistry) to bring this collection to life; if you want the industry to stand up and take notice, then these are undoubtedly the guys you’d turn to for help. Using their expertise to develop a collection that consists of a cleansing balm, night oil, moisturiser, concentrated serum and eye treatment, the result is a five piece line-up that provides a great basis for any skincare regime. But is it worth the hype, and more importantly the price?

The stripped back approach to skincare they’ve developed matches the brand aesthetic completely, remaining in-keeping with their approach to everything from candles to bed throws. There’s no fluff or faff, just a range of easy-to-use and incredibly beautiful formulas that will undoubtedly appeal to The White Company customers old and new; even the packaging is simple, elegant and timeless – ensuring that this appeals as much to a 25 year old as a 65 year old. Although the capsule collection is somewhat refreshing, it does mean if you want a more bespoke skincare regime or have specific needs that you’ll need to look elsewhere – or at least add in a product or two from perhaps the standalone Deciem ranges. Let’s take a closer look at each in turn…

SUPER SERUM £40.00
Featuring a blend of grape vine stem cells, protein-rich amino acids, green-tea and marine extracts, this intelligent serum offers protection against UV damage and ageing while also helping it to look plumper, smoother and more even. This is probably my favourite from the range, as it’s incredibly light and more like an oil than a serum; my skin soaks it up within a few seconds, leaving a pretty radiant complexion behind that’s ready for my moisturiser. It’s a great all-rounder for all ages, but you will need a touch more punch if you’re wanting to tackle any bigger issues than ‘I just want to look after my skin.’

ADVANCED HYDRATION £30.00
Blended with an advanced form of hyaluronic acid, nourishing Amazonian oils and soothing aloe-vera butter, this lightweight moisturiser is non-greasy and absorbs quickly to leave skin feeling hydrated and comfortable. It’s delicately scented with lavender, rose and orange essential oils to make the experience evocative (although the lavender puts me to sleep a little!) and luxurious, but despite that it’s a relatively standard moisturiser. In my opinion the price is a little steep considering the amount of product you get, and the downside is that I’m a little disappointed there’s no dressing-table appropriate pot.

EYE REVIVE £20.00
This ultra-light gel formula claims to diminish the appearance of dark circles, visibly reduce puffiness and helps to lift the upper eyelids. It’s definitely cooling and pleasurable to apply, and thanks to a blend of Persian silk tree, oxygen-boosting actives and probiotic technology there’s the possibility that it could actually brighten over time too – but again, it doesn’t provide the immediate difference I look for and it’s not amazing enough for me to stick with over a longer period of time.

SUPER BALM £25.00
A cleansing balm that’s designed to deeply, yet gently, cleanse and dissolve all traces of make-up while instantly boosting hydration, this is a great staple for anyone that needs a good cleanser at the end of a long day. It starts as a cream, melts into a lightweight balm upon contact with the skin, and then emulsifies when mixed with water to leave a creamy cleanse behind. You get a lot of product for your money too, making this a relatively affordable and effective option that I wouldn’t think twice about recommending.

NIGHT OIL £30.00
Formulated with an enriching blend of Amazonian oils, anti-oxidants and poppy-flower extract to ensure that you’ll awake with deeply nourished, super soft and firmer-looking skin, this night oil smells delicious and is a great texture for those nervous about applying oils. Although it’s certainly pleasurable, I don’t think there’s anything groundbreaking going on here so you’ll definitely be investing in more of a sensorial experience rather than hardcore skincare – but if that’s your bag, you’ll love it.

Overall the range is great to use and provides a simple approach to skincare, but it’s not rocking my world. I feel like you’re definitely paying a premium for it being in White Company packaging, rather than for what’s inside; my main concern with this range is the fact that partnering with Deciem means that you can get the same level of expertise and quality of ingredient from them directly – for a much cheaper price point. (The Ordinary starts at only a fiver, and if you know how to use it the range will be a life changer.) It’s the perfect addition for the usual customer that pops into The White Company for a bathrobe or Christening gift and I completely understand why they’ve made this brand extension, but for those of us that expect great things from their skincare product it may be worth investing your cash elsewhere. (Or just picking up a load of Deciem instead.)

What do you think about The White Company’s skincare range? A great addition, or a waste of money?

 

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