The Aesop Parsley Seed Mask is one that is much spoken of on the blogosphere, I however tried the Chamomile and ? Mask first and fell in love which then prompted me to buy the former. After using these (for different purposes) throughout the past few months I thought I would share my thoughts on these masks and recommend which one would be best suited for you...

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque
If there could ever be a 'blogger-favourite' mask, this has to be this one. This is a clay-based mask which includes a multitude of other nourishing ingredients. It works extremely well as a weekly mask to, as the name suggests, cleanse the skin and gently clear out pores. However, if you are wanting a mask that will seriously clear out your pores, any trapped dirt and help banish spots and blackheads, this may not be the mask for you. Who is this mask for? Those who aren't spot-prone but want to keep the odd blemish at bay and those who work in stressful, polluted environments who need that extra boost in their skincare routine.

Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque
On the other end of the scale is the not so talked about Chamomile Concentrate mask. Again, this is a clay-based mask which doesn't focus on nourishing the skin but calming the skin. This is one of the strongest yet non-irritating masks that I own. The mask can be used weekly for acne prone skin that wants soothing whilst unclogging pores or it can be saved for those particularly blemish-prone moments where no other mask will do. However, if you don't really suffer from break-outs but just have a few blackheads, this isn't the mask your skin needs. Who is this mask for? Those who are blemish-prone and want to clear up spots and calm redness and soreness in the skin.

Which Aesop mask is the one for you?
When it comes to skincare, there are times when you just have to face the fact that certain brands are better. Certain skincare brands invest their money in the best research and ingredients, providing the most effective skincare you can by for your money. I'm here to guide where you should be thinking about spending your hard earned cash to get the maximum benefits for your skin.

The Cleanse
I wouldn't usually advocate spending lots of money on a cleanser as it stays on the skin for such amount of time. I still hold this advice, to a certain extent and never pay obscene amounts for a cleanser. However, I would recommend buying a good balm cleanser and investing in a higher end one if you like to do facial massages. A cleanser like the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm is excellent value as it is packed with lots of essential oils which not only feel great on the skin whilst massaging but also nourishes the skin.

The Liquid Exfoliator
Liquid exfoliants are hard to come by so it is pretty certain that you will have to spend more than £10 on this product. The good news is that most £30+ liquid exfoliants on the market are only to be used 2-3 times a week and you get a good quantity for your money so you're money will go a long way. The case usually is that the more money you spend on a liquid exfoliant, the more powerful it is so if your skin is used to milk AHA's and BHA's but is looking for an extra boost, then I would recommend trying the Alpha H Liquid Gold which is one of my holy grail skincare products.

The Serum
Serums are perhaps the one skincare product where I would recommend you search for and invest in. Most other products have cheaper alternatives which work just as well but I truly believe that good serums have good science and good ingredients in them, none of which come cheap. The serum you will get will depend on your skin type, however if you find it all a bit overwhelming, a good all rounder is the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum.

The All in One Facial Oil
You can get excellent facial oils at an affordable price however the Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial is worth the investment. At first I was skeptical, £46 for 15ml worth of product seemed quite extortionate. However, one pump dispenses the perfect amount of product for the whole face. I don't use this every night, but more as a treatment oil, a few nights a week which means that it will last longer. This is almost like a serum and oil in one which makes your evening routine simple and if you don't have extremely dry skin, you can probably get away with using just this one product.

The Spot Treatment
Tea Tree Oil works excellently for some as a budget spot treatment, however, I find that it isn't as effective as I would like it to be on acne spots. The Origins Super Spot Remover may be tiny bu it packs a punch and dries up those painful, bulbous spots overnight! It isn't cheap for its tiny size but this is the only spot treatment I own and use and it has lasted me well over a year and I still have more than a third left!

What's your favourite splurge skincare item?
Being a student, I have tried my fair share of budget skincare and seem to have found some real gems which I will purchase over any higher end counterpart. Budget skincare is really great, so long as you know where to look and what to avoid. Always avoid any "cheap" ingredients such as mineral oil and always look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide, kaolin and essential oils and try and make sure these don't feature at the end of the ingredients list so that they are effective on the skin.

 I hope to do a video on my favourite budget skincare items however, for now, I will give you a sneak peak into some of my favourite products.

The Cleanser
I love a cleansing oil to remove any makeup, which I will then follow by a cream or balm cleanser. I have tried the Body Shop Cleansing Oil which is great however my ultimate favourite is from Super Facialist by Una Brennan. The Skin Renew Cleansing Oil not only breaks down your makeup but it also nourishes the skin, smells amazing and leaves the skin looking bright and clean. I couldn't recommend this enough, plus, it lasts a really long time so you do get some bang for your buck.

The Exfoliator
Now most people don't advocate a manual exfoliant as most of them are rough on the skin and leave it looking red and irritated however since discovering the Soap and Glory Scrub Your Nose In It, it has changed the way I see manual exfoliants. This product is very gentle on the skin and feels refreshing which makes it great for mornings. It also doubles up as a mask which once rinsed off, leaves you with the smoothest skin you have ever felt. Make-up will apply beautifully on top and you will struggle not to stroke your supple skin all day long.

The Face Mask
Usually, I am not picky with my face masks, however most are very average and don't stand out to me. The Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask is a mask that would make all skin types happy, it has honey to soothe and smooth skin, kaolin to pull out impurities and the balance of ingredients don't feel stripping or overly nourishing on the skin. It is a quick fix product that will make your skin feel soft and clean in just a few minutes.

The Eye Cream
Controversially, I am not the biggest fan of Simple Skincare as I love tech/science skincare as well as 'natural' skincare and find that other affordable products perform better. The Simple Revitalising Eye Roll-on is an excellent product for young/oily-normal skin as it is a gel formula which feels cooling and light around the eyes, brightens them and makes them look more awake. It isn't one for super-effective results and more mature skins may want something more potent but for mornings, I think this is an excellent product that is similar to other gel eye creams on the market.

The Treatment
I have categorised The Avene Cleanance K as a "treatment" however we could also fit this into the "serum" category as well. It is a cream formula which contains Glycolic Acid and can be used as a treatment on problem areas (such as blemishes or textured skin) or applied underneath your night cream. I love this as it is super effective at tackling congested skin and with consistent use (a few days a week - evenings only) I have found blemishes/blackheads have reduced. It is quite a potent product so if you're sensitive then this is probably not for you but if you are looking for an extremely effective yet affordable AHA product then this is certainly one to try.

The Moisturiser
I have saved the best for last, Eucerin Hyaluron Fuller moisturiser is, perhaps, the best moisturiser I have ever tried, ever. It is aimed at oily skin, but I believe that all skin types would adore this product (even those with sensitive skin) as it provides the perfect balance of moisturising and hydrating the skin. I have always struggled with finding a nourishing moisturiser as many contain Shea Butter which is too rich for my skin type. This moituriser however feels rich and comforting on the skin and quite luxurious but it contains hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate skin so it doesn't clog skin. I can use this morning or evening, no matter how my skin feels!

What's your favourite budget skincare item? 
Skincare, like most cosmetics, can be expensive and difficult to test out. However, skincare can really be the biggest waste of money as what might work for one person may not work for you so it really is essential to test out skincare if you want it to be effective and economical. So here are a few tips on how you can do that...

If you don't ask...
I know that asking for a sample without even purchasing an item can be daunting however, be polite and make up some lie about having slightly sensitive skin and they won't even bat an eyelid. Most skincare counters will have samples of products or even testers which they will decant, just don't take advantage of their generosity.

Travel Sizes
A lot of companies have started to release travel size items of their best selling products which means that we don't have to pay the full size yet can still test out a skincare product. Surf the web and see which brands can offer you a travel size item.

Ioma Skincare
Speaking of travel size items, a new skincare brand on the block named Ioma has started selling a 7 day sample pack which is an excellent idea. Around £10 will buy you a generous 7 day sample (pictured) and I really hope that other skincare brands follow this initiative.

Take Initiative
Sometimes, you just have to take what you want. I like to buy small travel tubs and go to a skincare counter and ask the sales advisor to decant some of the tester product into it and they usually have no problem at all as the tester product is there for us to test and it is the most reliable way to sample exactly what you want.

Welcome to skincare week, today I will provide you with a quiz to allow you to asses your skin type so that you can choose and use products that will improve your skin woes. Quite simply pick one answer, take not of the colour and then which ever colour you answered the most of will be your skin type. Once you know your skin type you can find some key ingredients to look for in products to aid your skin type. Enjoy!

When you wake up in the morning does your face look grey and sallow?
Yes, my skin often looks ashy and dull.
Not particularly, my skin is neither luminous or dull.
No, my skin is usually quite bright and plump.
My face can be both plump and lackluster or bright and sallow.

After washing your face or getting out the shower does you face feel tight and uncomfortable?
Yes, it feels itchy and uncomfortable.
My face feels slightly tight.
My face feels fresh and clean.
My face feels sore/itchy and becomes very red.

When you touch your face, what does the texture feel like?
Dry and/or scaly.
Smooth, no dry patches and fairly matte.
Smooth and slightly moist/greasy in areas.
Some areas are smooth but others are dry and flaky.

What does your makeup look like at the end of the day?
It is still on at the end of they day, however it has settled into fine lines and looks flaky.
Most of it is still on, skin looks slightly shiny.
It has almost completely disappeared and skin looks very shiny.
It has disappeared from the T-Zone but some areas look flaky and still have make-up on them.

Does your skin react to new products?
I have to be very careful which products I use as my skin can become red and quickly react.
If a product is too rich I will break out.

How often do you get pimples/blackheads?
Very rarely.
Perhaps once a month.
It varies.

Do you have enlarged pores?
My pores are noticeable but not large.
I have very noticeable pores.
I have very noticeable pores.

The Results

Blue: You have dry skin.
Your skin is dry in texture and feels uncomfortable. Dry skin lacks oil so focus on adding a facial oil to your routine so that it can lubricate the skin. Use an oil/balm or cream cleanser as this will be gentle on the skin. When looking for moisturisers, look for ones with Shea Butter, Avocado Oil and Olive oil in them as they will keep skin feeling comfortable throughout the day.

Pink: You have normal skin.
Your skin is neither oily nor dry. Your main aim is not to overload your skin with harsh or overly nourishing products so keep away from products that contain Alcohol or anything astringent and also keep away from products with Shea Butter in them. However, you are quite lucky in that most products will be suitable towards your skin type.

Orange: You have oily skin.
Your face feels and looks quite greasy and may suffer from break-outs. You may have oily skin however stripping those oils may encourage an over-production of them. Please avoid any astringent, foaming or alcohol based products, they may have an immediate effect but you will suffer long term. I recommend that you clean your skin with a non-foaming cleaner, use products which have AHA's and BHA's such as Salicylic or Glycolic acid and use a lightweight facial oil (Pai and Clarins make excellent ones) to balance your skins oil production.

Red: You have combination skin.
Your skin is both dry and oil in different places. This can be frustrating and may take longer to clear. The first step is to read the Dry skin and Oily skin paragraphs, depending on how dry or how oily your skin is, follow them in conjunction. Use rich products on your dry areas, use acids all over the face and make sure to use oil as this will balance your skin, focus on balancing your skins oil levels through facial oils rather than creams. 

Green: You have sensitive skin.
Your skin is sensitive and there isn't much advice I can give as it really is a matter of trial and error. The few tips I can give are: don't use grainy/manual exfoliants, choose products that specialise in sensitive skin and have simple and minimal ingredients. The biggest advice is not to believe that "all natural" products are better for you as many essential oils can be irritating, I would suggest you look for more technologically advanced skincare ingredients as they have been developed to work with skin in a more controlled manner.

Skin Concerns

*please read*
Now some of you may state that dehydration is a skin 'type' rather than a concern, I have put it under concern as I believe that all skin types can be dehydrated (and probably are). Dehydration is NOT dry skin (lacking of oil), it is skin which lacks water. You can tell if your skin is dehydrated if it is dull, sallow or feels thirsty once coming out of the shower. You can be both oily and dehydrated, just as you can be dry and dehydrated. Of course the first measure is to up your water intake. The second best thing to do is to use products that have Hyaluronic Acid as an ingredient - this is a molecule which is already present in skin and help to retain water.

Blackheads and Blemishes
Please remember that you can suffer from congestion with any skin type. If you have blackheads and regularly get blemishes, large or small, look to other reasons than your skin type. Blemishes aren't always caused by an over-production of oil, most of the times they are caused by bacteria, an allergy or your diet. Make sure to clean your face daily, try and eliminate any products from your routine that break you out and cut down your sugar and alcohol intake. And of course, use a clay based face mask weekly.

Medical Conditions
If you suffer from rosacea, psoriasis or eczema please visit your GP and get expert advice on your next steps. Do not try to immediately self-prescribe products as you may make the situation worse. If you ever want to try new products, make sure to do your research on which will work best with your condition and be prepared to expect a variety of results as products work differently on different skin.

So, what's your skin type?
Welcome to skincare week, for the next seven days I am here to give you the best advice, tips and product recommendations to help your skin recover from the party season. Today I am going to bring to you the 'routine'... what does that mean? Basically, I am going to tell you which order you should be applying your skincare to get it's maximum effect.

Before we get started, when I say "face" or apply it onto the "skin", I must clarify that your face doesn't end at your jaw (well, technically it does) however I recommend you continue your skincare to you neck and decolletage as these areas often show the first signs of aging.

Step One 
The first step in your skincare routine is to wash your face. Face wipes don't count. My preferred method is to remove makeup with a cleansing oil  and a face cloth (any brand/coconut or olive oil will do) then follow up with a good cleanser (not a foaming one). 

Step Two
Toner. No stripping toners with alcohol please. This step is optional, you can use a facial water/spritz, a gentle liquid exfoliant (the serious stuff should only be used 2-3 times a week) or your favourite toner, mine is La Roche Posay Serozinc.

Step Three
Apply your serum. This can be applied all over the face and not in a delicate so and so manner, massage it into the skin. Let this sink in for a few seconds/a minute before applying anything on top of it.

Step Four
Optional Evening Step - Apply a facial oil. Most of you might be afraid of facial oils but don't be, there are some great ones on the market that boost hydration, improve the skins texture and brightens skin. Rub the oil (2-3 drops will do) between your fingers to warm it up then massage it into your skin. If you suffer from very dry skin I recommend doing this during the day as well or mixing a drop of facial oil into your moisturiser.

Step Five
Once your serum and oil have been applied onto the skin, you want to seal this all in with a moisturiser. This is the final step in your skincare routine, you're now ready for bed/makeup.

- Masks should always be applied onto a freshly washed face
- Exfoliators such as Alpha H Liquid Gold should be applied onto freshly cleaned skin and be the only step in your evening routine for maximum effect
- SPF should always be applied last. If you moisturiser contains an SPF then you can skip this all together but if it doesn't then I beg of you to wear one as applying a broad spectrum is the best thing you can do in preventing premature aging.

Welcome the beauty releases that graduated at the top of 2014. This is a make-up only zone as skincare shall be tackled next week on the blog. The graduates in this blog are the best of the 2014 releases, however where there wasn't one I named my favourite discovery of 2014 instead. 

Discovery of 2014: Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer

Best Release of 2014: Diorskin Star Foundation
Honorable Mention: By Terry Densiliss Foundation

Tinted Moisturiser/BB/CC Cream

Best Release of 2014: Diorskin Star Concealer

Best Release of 2014: Vichy Dermablend Loose Powder

Discovery of 2014: Becca Bronzing Skin Pefector

Best Release of 2014: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

Best Release of 2014: Diorskin Golden Shimmer Powder

Best Release of 2014: Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo

Best Release of 2014: Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade

Best Release of 2014: L'Oreal Colour Riche Mono

Discovery of 2014: Diorshow Overcurl Mascara*

Best Release of 2014:  Urban Decay 24/7 in Mrs Mia Wallace

Best Release of 2014: Nars Audacious Lipticks*

Best Release of 2014: Maybelline Colour Elixir Lip Lacquer

Nail Polish
Best Release of 2014: Dior Diorette Vernis

- No new discovery or release
Most Used of 2014: Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl

Best Release of 2014: Real Techniques Sponge*

*product posts to come on Coquet Noelle.

What were your favourites of 2014?

2014 saw a whirlwind of new product releases, from limited edition wonders to new formulations, we saw them all. However, there certainly was a theme throughout the year and an abundance of similar releases where every company created their own version to beat the last and those were lipgloss and liquid to powder foundations. Everybody from YSL and Dior to Maybelline and Revlon had a go at either a new lipgloss or foundation, some brands even had a go at both!
Who came out on top? Well, that's not for me to say as I didn't get a chance to try every new release and there are an abundance of reviews on each of these items online, some even on this blog. This post is just something to show you what 2014 in Beauty was all about, and now we have our non-sticky lipglosses and new age foundation formulas... what will 2015 bring? Will it be the New Matte Lipstick? Or will this year be the year of the Eyeshadow formulation? Or will we be looking at new revolutions in skincare? I'm excited to see what the year has to bring after witnessing some impressive releases in 2014.

What do you think the 2015 'it' product will be?
 Welcome to 2015, I am guessing that most of you will have made a few resolutions already, be those health or work. I am here to suggest five beauty resolutions to try which may benefit you in more ways than one...

Watch Your Pennies

Just because we blog about it, doesn't mean that you have to go buy it. Here on Coquet Noelle I do a lot of reviews on new beauty releases, this is to inform those who want to buy it on how good a product is, to compare it to existing products and to let you know if it is worth your money or not. I am not encouraging you to buy it, spend within your needs and means and not so much your wants.

Love Your Lipsticks

Now I know that many of you out there love your lipsticks as much as I do, we both know that we own more than one woman can wear but there are some that go forgotten and unloved. Let's not get lazy in 2015 and stop reaching for the lip balms and start slicking on the lipstick.

Every Morning and Every Night

In 2014 I worked on my skincare routine and washing my face morning and night is a ritual that everybody should have and do. Take it steady, push yourself to do it and remember that it is only a 2 minute job... I don't care how tired or how many glasses of wine you have had. You will thank me once you see the power of the face washing ritual.

The One Week Rule

This is a resolution that I shall make and it is to wash my brushes, especially foundation and powder brushes, on a weekly basis. Bacteria builds, makeup dries and application becomes more difficult. Laziness is the only excuse I have but the brushes shall be clean in 2015.

Neat Feet

2014 was certainly a year of neglect for my poor feet, they were rarely filed, moisturised or painted. It is easy to care for feet, especially with an episode of Gossip Girl on in the background so there is truly no excuse. Get the foot masks, the ped-egg, the richest body butters and the cotton socks out, our feet shall become pretty as can be for Summer 2015.

Protect Your Face
Wear an SPF, either through a moisturiser which provides a broad spectrum protection or a seperate SPF. You can get some really nice ones at an affordable price from French pharmacy skincare brands and Soap and Glory so their really is no excuse!

Those were just a few suggestions that I preach and a few that I shall practice,
do you have any beauty resolutions for 2015?
Coquet Noelle 2014 was a fun year, personally, my year was had its ups and downs and that reflected on the blog. Most posts were reserved to Edits and Reviews (mainly reviews). Here I bring you the most read blog posts of 2014 and they all seem to have something in common...

The One Where I Blame Lisa - 

The Ones Where We All "Ooh" Over New Lipsticks - 

It looks like we were all interested in Lipsticks and Lisa... 


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