Wednesday 31 October 2018

Lush Halloween 2018

Happy Halloween everyone! Instead of going out trick or treating this year I'll be chilling in the bath tonight with some of these products from the Lush Halloween 2018 collection. Lush are one of the few brands that actually bother to bring out Halloween products so I always look forward to seeing what goodies they have on offer. Last weekend I finally managed to pop over to Leeds & pick up a few treats. The main thing I wanted to buy was the Bewitched gift set. For £26.95 you get a soap, a bath bomb & two bubble bars along with a fantastically spooky knot wrap. They have loads of different limited edition bath products for Halloween but in my opinion this set features some of the best smelling products & the design of the reusable packaging was just too cool to resist!

Lord Of Misrule Bath Bomb (£4.25)
I don't often buy bath bombs anymore as I prefer the moisturising qualities of bubble bars but Lord Of Misrule is a Halloween treat that's not to be missed! When you first put it in the bath, this bomb turns the water into a creepy shade of slime green. As it continues to fizz the bomb cracks open to reveal a pink centre which creates some gorgeously gross looking bath art. It also has popping candy inside which crackles as the bath bomb dissolves. Once fully dissolved the entire bath turns a deep wine colour. It's a really fun bath bomb to watch! Of course the best part is the smell. The powerful scent comes from a spicy herbal blend of patchouli & black pepper oil along with vanilla for sweetness. It's warming & relaxing, perfect for a cosy night in.

Ghost In The Dark Soap (£5.95)
There's much more to this adorable little ghost soap than meets the eye. If you get him wet, he actually glows in the dark! Not a huge amount but it's still a fun gimmick for Halloween. Lemongrass & bergamot are two of my favourite fragrances so I really love the smell of this soap. It's a tangy & sweet citrus scent that lingers on your hands or body for ages. The soap lathers up well & feels creamy on the skin. Solid soaps can be quite drying but Lush make some truly lovely ones & Ghost In The Dark is no exception.

Bewitched Bubble Bar (£4.95)
It wouldn't be Halloween without a black cat! This bubble bar features frankincense & bergamot oil to make your bath smell completely magical. It's sweet & woody, fruity & refreshing and unlike anything I've tried from Lush before. Like most bubble bars it can be crumbled in parts to make it last longer but if you only use a little bit the water will turn a weird grey colour which isn't the prettiest thing to look at. I'd recommend using the whole thing to turn the bath water fully black. Bewitched creates a ton of bubbles & it made my skin feel super soft. I hope that Lush come out with more products using this scent as it's very unique & something I'd love to experience more often.

Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar (£4.75)
This bubble bar was the product that made me want to visit Lush at Halloween in the first place. I love anything sparkly or pumpkin related so this little beauty has been calling my name for a while. This is definitely the messiest product in the set as it's covered everything else with orange glitter but at least it'll be a lot of fun to use in the bath tonight. Sparkly Pumpkin turns your bath water a rich orange colour & creates mountains of skin softening bubbles. The blend of juniperberry, lime & grapefruit oils is truly gorgeous. It's a combination of warming spices & uplifting citrus zing. This bubble bar is the ultimate Autumnal treat, I just wish it was available all year round!

Magic Crystals Body Scrub (£10.95 / 300g)
Lush have also brought out two new body scrubs with their Halloween collection but these products will be joining their permanent lineup. They kindly demonstrated both products on my skin in store but I still couldn't decide which one I liked best. Thankfully they gave me a sample pot of Magic Crystals so I could test it out properly at home. I'm a big fan of Lush's body scrubs because they use salt as a base & always have the most gorgeous scents. Magic Crystals is really special because of the bright purple colour, it definitely looks like something a witch would brew up in a cauldron. The scrub smells strongly of mint with a hint of aniseed. It features menthol crystals, spearmint oil & peppermint oil for a really refreshing polish that will make your skin tingle all over. The scrub is made from fine sea salt & Epsom salts so it's great for rubbing over your muscles after the gym. They've also infused the scrub with fresh rosemary & sage which have antimicrobial properties to help cleanse the skin. The consistency of this scrub is quite thin but this means that you only need to use a little bit each time. Magic Crystals leaves my skin feeling soothed, soft & tingly fresh so this mystical minty blend is well worth trying out.

Scrub Scrub Scrub Body Scrub (£12.95 / 300g)
Even though I loved how incredibly soft Magic Crystals made my skin feel, I eventually decided to purchase a full size pot of Scrub Scrub Scrub. The juicy blackcuurant scent was utterly irresistible & is very similar to the fragrance of their Comforter bubble bar. In the pot it kinda smells like Wine Gums but the full fruity power is unleashed once you apply it to your skin. Scrub Scrub Scrub is a great release for Halloween because the pitch black colour is certainly a bit spooky. The scrub is black because it contains powdered charcoal as well as fine sea salt so it does a brilliant job of exfoliating your skin. Charcoal deeply cleanses the skin, absorbs excess oils & has antibacterial properties. The dark crystals are also infused with toning rosemary, grounding pine & refreshing buchu oils. It gently polishes & buffs away dead skin cells, leaving your whole body feeling baby soft. The consistency is much thicker than Magic Crystals but again a little goes a long way. The gorgeous blackcurrant scent really lingers on the skin & transforms your bathroom into a magical place. The only thing that's not so magical about this product is the mess it leaves behind in the shower. Cleaning up afterwards is a small price to pay for the beautiful fragrance & wonderfully soft skin. This is one of Lush's very best body scrubs & if you're a fan of The Comforter, you will absolutely love Scrub Scrub Scrub!

Bewitched Knot Wrap
Lush sell lots of different knot wrap designs but this one is exclusive to the Bewitched gift set. Witches & cats aren't just for Halloween so I'll be more than happy to use it all year round! It's made from 100% organic cotton & is the perfect gift wrap alternative. We waste so much paper when wrapping presents so this long-lasting, reusable packaging is an awesome addition to this gift set. You can reuse it as a scarf, a bag or a tea towel but my favourite way to wear a knot wrap is as a cute & quirky headband. I love the neon green & pink colours which complement the Lord Of Misrule bath bomb. It's a great way to brighten up any outfit & do your bit for the planet at the same time.

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Thursday 11 October 2018

Bali Balm Bergamot & Grapefruit Lip Balm

Bali Balm Bergamot & Grapefruit Lip Balm* - £20

A heavy duty lip balm is an absolute must-have at this time of year. As the weather gets colder, my lips always get drier so I've been on the hunt for something to keep them properly hydrated. My latest & greatest discovery is Bali Balm, a luxury unisex lip balm. The rich, intensive formula is 100% natural, vegan & cruelty-free. Each lip balm contains active botanicals that are high in antioxidants & boast antibacterial properties. Most importantly, they make your lips feel incredible! Bali Balm is currently available in four different flavours: Bergamot & Grapefruit, Cinnamon & Burnt Orange, Lemon & Black Pepper and Sandalwood & Ginger. To create each flavour Bali Balm collaborated with Russell Batemen, a London chef well known for his fresh, innovative cuisine.

I decided to go for the Bergamot & Grapefruit lip balm as I love citrus flavours and I'm obsessed with Earl Grey tea which is heavily flavoured with bergamot oil. The balm is strongly scented & has the most wonderful citrusy aroma. Even though I obviously know what bergamot & grapefruit taste like, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour of this lip balm. I expected something quite mild & sweet but it's actually pretty powerful & somewhat masculine. Bergamot oil is known to have both calming & uplifting effects, while the grapefruit acts as a purifying agent. It also features peppermint leaf oil & rosemary extract. Combined, these ingredients give the lip balm a clean, fresh & fruity taste that really packs a punch!

Some of the best lip balms on the market use beeswax, honey or lanolin as a base. However Bali Balm are a vegan brand so they don't use any ingredients that are tested on or produced by animals. Instead the lip balms are created from ingredients that are readily replenished without harming the environment. The Bergamot & Grapefruit lip balm contains coconut oil, castor seed oil, kukui nut oil & candelilla wax. Blended together, these ingredients create the most luxurious moisturising balm that almost melts into the lips. It's so comfortable to wear & doesn't feel greasy or sticky at all. The smooth semi-matte finish will appeal to all genders. A little goes a long way with this product and it instantly makes my lips feel more supple & hydrated. For a lip balm, the staying power is really impressive. This stuff stays on my lips for hours, shielding them from the elements & treating them overnight. It's one of the best cures for dry, chapped lips & it also makes a fantastic base for matte lipstick.

The lip balm comes packaged in this bespoke moulded gift box. The bold white & orange packaging feels expensive & high quality. The box is fully recyclable as Bali Balm are very passionate about looking after the environment but it's kind of thing you'd probably want to keep as storage for little bits & bobs. The product inside is wrapped in delicate tissue paper that matches the gift box. It all looks extremely classy & high end. It's the kind of thing you'd be thrilled to receive as a gift or a stocking filler. The lip balm comes in this green squeezy tube with a slanted applicator that really hugs your lips. The tube has a simple, elegant design that easily slips into your handbag. For £20 you get 15ml of product which might seem expensive but everything about this item screams luxury. There aren't many luxury brands that are so environmentally friendly or willing to donate to charitable causes so in my mind that makes these lip balms worth every penny.

One of the things I really like about Bali Balm as a company is that they seem much more environmentally minded than other brands. They created the 'Kiss The Planet Pledge' as a way to support eco-friendly, sustainable & cruelty-free practices in the production, packaging & use of their lip balm. Bali Balm really go out of their way to make sure that when you buy their product you're also contributing to organisations that are doing their part to make the world a better place. They even include a pre-paid envelope with every order so that you can send your empty lip balm tubes back to Bali Balm for recycling. I only hope that more beauty brands start up similar recycling initiatives to help reduce plastic waste as this is such an important environmental issue that affects us all.

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Neom Organics - Scent To Make You Feel Good

Aromatherapy is a powerful thing. Different scents have the ability to stimulate the mind & body, impacting on our overall wellbeing as well as our state of mind. Just a hint of a particular aroma can conjure old memories or make you feel a certain way. While I don't believe in aromatherapy as an alternative to traditional medicine, I definitely think that it's an effective tool for managing stress, anxiety & depression. Today is World Mental Health Day & as someone who really struggles with anxiety and depression I thought it would be useful to share how I use aromatherapy as a form of self-care. I'm trying hard to build up my resilience to everyday stresses & I've found that practicing different relaxation techniques helps me to cope with my anxiety. Aromatherapy comes in many forms. You can use an essential oil diffuser, room sprays, burn candles, perform aromatherapeutic massage or use pulse point roller balls. Sometimes I want to reward myself with a more luxurious form of aromatherapy & that's when I bring out a selection of goodies from Neom Organics. They have a whole range of products designed to have different effects on your wellbeing through the power of aromatherapy. All of their fragrances are 100% natural & made from blends of the purest essential oils. They smell simply divine & most certainly live up to their name as scents to make you feel good.

When I'm on the go I always carry aromatherapy products in my backpack to help soothe my mood or boost my energy. It can be especially useful when travelling via public transport as you never know what your nostrils will encounter on your journey! I love these little sprays from Neom because you can use them to spritz your own skin as well as the air around you. Spray the bottle upwards & let a scent cloud rain down upon you. Take this time to breathe deeply, allowing yourself to relax whilst inhaling the wonderful fragrance. This simple act can create a great moment of calm during a stressful day. My favourite sprays are the Mood Lifting On The Go Mist & the Energy Burst On The Go Mist. The Mood Lifting Mist features their signature Great Day fragrance made from a blend of eight essential oils, the most prominent of these being wild mint & mandarin. It has been specifically created to help lift your mood & calm the body. The scent is really fresh & instantly makes me feel a bit brighter. This is my go-to when I'm really stressed out & desperately need something to help me relax. It might sound weird but the smell instantly transports me to a happy place that helps me to get through the rest of the day.

When I'm going through a period of depression even the smallest things can seem overwhelming & use up all of my energy. Drinking loads of coffee or other stimulants can often make things worse so I prefer to use something more natural. The Energy Burst Mist does the job brilliantly with it's expertly created blend of seventeen energising essential oils. Citrus scents always make me feel more refreshed so I'm a big fan of this sparkling grapefruit, lemon & rosemary concoction. This glorious fragrance helps to invigorate the body, sharpen the mind & give you that much needed boost of energy. It immediately perks me up & motivates me to do everything I need to do when I'm feeling down. If you want something a bit more discreet then I highly recommend the Intensive Energy Boosting Treatment. It features the same fragrance blend as the Energy Burst Mist but in a roller ball format. You can use them individually or together for an even more intense experience. To activate these therapeutic oils simply roll it over the pulse points on your wrists, temples & behind your ears. Organic coconut oil is used as a base for the essential oils so it feels really lovely as you massage it into your skin. Aromatherapy is often said to be most effective when focusing on pulse points so this will ensure you get the most benefits out of the highly potent Burst Of Energy fragrance.

I'm very obsessive about washing my hands, to the point that I've sometimes made the skin cracked & sore! I hate getting sick & germs in general so I wash my hands a ridiculous amount of times every day. When you wash your hands as often as I do, it's important to use something that will gently cleanse & leave your skin feeling soft. I always try to find something with a wonderful scent too because if something smells good, I automatically associate it with being clean. I picked up the Great Day Body & Hand Wash as well as the Burst Of Energy Body & Hand Wash from Neom. They feature the same two scents as the On The Go Mists so you can continue to surround yourself with these fragrances even when washing. You can use them as a regular shower gel or as a hand wash. Personally I prefer to use Burst Of Energy in the shower & Great Day as hand soap but they're both fantastic for either purpose. These soaps are packed with mineral rich Japanese seaweed, anti-oxidising pomegranate & soothing aloe vera for clean, soft skin. The scents linger for ages in the bathroom as well as on the skin. They're both really uplifting & promote positive thoughts so washing with these products is always a great way to start the day.

One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is to get cosied up in bed with my snuggly dressing gown, a good book, a large cup of rooibos tea & bask in the soft glow of a candle. It's such a simple ritual but it feels weirdly indulgent. A relaxing bedtime routine such as this is one of the best ways to combat nighttime anxiety. Pricewise, Neom's treatment candles are definitely in the luxury category. Their travel candles are a great choice if you want to try them out but don't want to spend nearly 50 quid on a candle. I purchased the Happiness Travel Scented Candle which provides 20 hours of burn time for £16. The candles are hand poured using 100% natural vegetable wax & there's a massive 14-18ml of essential oils in each one. I think that Happiness might just be my favourite out of all the Neom scents! It features a complex blend of seven fresh, first pressed essential oils including neroli, mimosa & lemon. There's also natural fresh grass notes to evoke the scent of a fresh Spring morning. This fragrance has been designed to help you balance your emotions & feel more positive. The clean, floral aroma completely fills the room with joyful, mood-elevating fragrance even when not lit & is the perfect accompaniment to these dark Autumn nights. Every time I catch a whiff of this candle it literally makes me feel happier & I feel like it makes my home a happier place too. I can't get enough of this treatment candle & the three wick version is currently top of my wishlist!

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt & Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator

Exfoliating my skin is something that I always look forward to every week. It almost resets my skin, unclogging pores & polishing the surface so that I'm left with a perfectly smooth canvas for makeup. Generally I like to go for gentle chemical exfoliants on my face & a more intense physical scrub on my body. I was stoked to try out these two products from Dermasuri because they certainly seemed to tick my boxes when it comes to exfoliation. Dermasuri are an award-winning skincare company passionate about bringing the beauty secrets of the East to the West. I'm already majorly into Asian beauty products so I was keen to see their take on these increasingly popular trends. Their skincare range promises to deliver glowing & refreshed skin using a blend of highly curated ingredients. Here I have the Deep Exfoliating Mitt & the Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator. Both of these products exfoliate the skin but in very different ways & I have to admit that they are absolutely incredible!

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt (£19.95)
I've tried so many different body scrubs but I've never been completely satisfied with my purchases. Most scrubs I find in Boots use sugar as an exfoliant & when I use those I feel like I'm literally letting money run down the shower drain. They might have a beautiful scent but my skin never feels significantly smoother afterwards. It's been surprisingly difficult to find something that can thoroughly polish my skin & leave it feeling unbelievably soft. After years of searching, I think it's safe to say that I've finally found what I was looking for. It doesn't have quite the same olfactory impact as the scrub I usually end up buying from Soap & Glory but this Deep Exfoliating Mitt is the best body product I have ever used!

Inspired by the green Italy towels used in traditional Korean spas, Dermasuri created the Deep Exfoliating Mitt as an at-home version of this hardcore treatment. It's quick & easy to do yet far more effective than any body scrub. The mitt relies on friction to exfoliate the skin so it's best to use it before any shower gel or hair products. For optimum results you should allow your skin to soften by going into the shower, bath or a steam room for five minutes beforehand. It should be used on wet skin but not running water so step away from the shower & gently squeeze the mitt to dry it out. Then you just have to vigorously rub it over the areas that you wish to exfoliate. You will immediately be able to see the dead skin cells being removed & the more pressure you apply, the better the results. It looks kinda gross to see all these weird grey rolls of skin coming off your body but it is also immensely satisfying. You might think that having a shower every day is enough to keep your skin clean but you will be shocked by all the grime that this mitt removes.

Unlike shower poufs, loofahs or scrubs, the unique fabric of this mitt grabs & sloughs off all those dead skin cells from your body. This helps to rid your skin of impurities & improve circulation resulting in noticeably smoother, healthier looking skin. I'm prone to keratosis pilaris which means that I get small bumps on my upper arms. Using this mitt has completely done away with them! It's pretty remarkable as I've had them for years & this got rid of them in just a few weeks. You only need to use this mitt once a fortnight to maintain the results so it ends up being really good value for money. As well as keratosis pilaris, it also works well on ingrown hairs & clogged pores. I don't use fake tan personally but I know that you have to exfoliate before you apply it & when you want to remove it. I'm sure that this would work wonders if you want a really even looking tan. If you're fed up of trying pointless sugar scrubs, give this mitt a go. I can guarantee that the results will have you shook!

Dermasuri Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator (£29.95 / 25g)
As amazing as the Deep Exfoliating Mitt is, unfortunately you can't use it on your face. It'd be way too harsh on that area but thankfully Dermasuri have a much gentler alternative. The Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator is a gommage style gel product. Much like the exfoliating mitt, this stuff also produces visible rolls but in a much gentler way. These rolls are the product itself balling up but somehow they manage to lift away the dead skin cells & exfoliate the skin. You simply massage a few pumps onto damp skin & it gets to work immediately. The more you rub, the bigger the rolls become so it's a good excuse to indulge in a bit of proper facial massage. Unlike the mitt you don't need to apply much pressure as the rice milk formula does it all for you. When you wash it off your face you're left with baby soft skin that feels polished & smooth. It makes my face feel really clean & fresh without stripping it of moisture. Plus it is completely unscented so if fragrance is an irritant for you then you should be totally fine with this. It's best to use it about three times per week to reveal a brighter, more youthful complexion.

The rolling gel formula strongly reminds me of the Ginvera Green Tea Exfoliating Marvel Gel but this product uses rice milk as the key ingredient instead of green tea. The enzymes in rice milk have brightening properties that make your skin look radiant. When used regularly it can lighten scars & pigmentation. It can also help to reduce oil production which means fewer clogged pores & blemishes. Skin whitening products are very popular in Asia, especially those featuring rice milk. It was said that women who worked in the rice paddies always had beautiful skin because they washed in rice milk & Japanese Geishas also used rice milk to keep their skin smooth underneath their heavy makeup. I think it's interesting that such a basic ingredient has such a rich history as a beauty product. This exfoliating gel also features hyaluronic acid & vitamin E to keep the skin hydrated & nourished. This product is so much fun to use because I'm addicted to seeing all the rolls coming off my face. I normally stick to chemical skin peels as I'm not a fan of face scrubs but sometimes you just want to physically see those dead skin cells being removed. The super gentle formula is also brilliant if your skin is too sensitive for acids or if you want to avoid them during pregnancy. The Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator is such a wonderful skincare product & I'm utterly obsessed with it!

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Tuesday 2 October 2018

What I Bought From Glossier

It has almost been a whole year since Glossier first launched in the UK. To be completely honest I wasn't too excited about the launch as their whole natural beauty aesthetic really isn't my thing. I like to wear a lot of makeup & I like people to be able to see the effort that has gone into doing my makeup! Many of their products are overhyped & overpriced, especially their skincare range. Why would you spend £24 on one of their Super serums when The Ordinary make exactly the same product for a fiver? The cult of Glossier is very strong & in the end FOMO led to me ordering a few things just to see if anything lived up to the extraordinary hype surrounding their products. As an impulse buyer I normally want to try everything but when I placed my Glossier order I stuck to a small list of four items that I was longing to put to the test. I think it's telling that since the initial launch none of their new releases have piqued my interest so this looks like it might well be my one & only Glossier haul.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (£15 / 177ml)
Skincare is very important to me & a good cleanser should be the cornerstone of any skincare routine. It's not often that I try anything new these days as the CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is just absolute perfection to me but the Milky Jelly Cleanser seemed to tick all of my boxes. Gel formulas are my favourite to use, it has an excellent pH level of 4.5-5.0 and it's extremely gentle on the skin. You can use it on dry skin in lieu of a makeup removing balm or on wet skin as a regular face wash. The aptly named cleanser has a thick, viscous texture that comforts the skin & features a blend of five skin conditioners. It contains rosewater to soothe & poloxamer, which is normally found in contact lens solution, to cleanse. I normally love rose scents but the rosewater in this sometimes makes me gag. As a second cleanser it does a decent job of washing my face & leaves my skin feeling really soft without any tightness. However I don't rate it as a makeup remover at all. You have to really scrub at your face to get rid of every last trace of makeup & for me that negates all of the gentle cleansing that this is supposed to provide. Overall it's by no means bad but it's just okay? It's an alright product but I don't love it. I really do not understand the hype around this cleanser. I've relegated it to the shower to wash any excess conditioner off my forehead but otherwise I would not use the Milky Jelly Cleanser as a regular part of my skincare routine.

Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom (£10 / 15ml)
Balm Dotcom is one of Glossier's star products. They claim it's a universal skin salve but like most people, I only use it as a lip balm. I was sorely tempted to order one in every flavour & colour possible but in the end I just went for the Birthday edition. The Birthday Balm Dotcom is untinted with subtle shimmery particles. Best of all, it tastes like cake! The flavour was inspired by Milk Bar, the award-winning bakery owned by Christina Tosi. I love watching her on Masterchef USA & would give anything to try her cereal milk ice cream or rainbow sprinkle birthday cake. Sadly I'll have to settle for a cake flavoured lip balm for now. I'm a big fan of the thick, moisturising texture and the scent & taste are incredible. The shimmer in this Birthday Balm Dotcom makes your lips look super pretty too. Before I ordered it I wasn't too sure if this product was just glorified Vaseline due to the inclusion of petrolatum but I honestly think it's so much better. If I were to repurchase anything from Glossier, this would be it as I'm not sure how much longer I can resist collecting all the other flavours!

Glossier Boy Brow in Brown (£14 / 3.12g)
Blocky Instagram brows are finally falling out of fashion & natural fluffy eyebrows are back at last. If that's the look you're trying to achieve then there's nothing better than a tinted brow gel. I've used quite a few brow gels from the likes of Anastasia Beverly Hills, Benefit & MAC over the years. They were all brilliant but Boy Brow is better than all of them. It thickens, fills in & grooms your brows all in one go. It's so quick & easy to use, giving your brows the desired amount of texture & definition in no time at all. One of the best things about this product is the tiny brush applicator. It's a minuscule spoolie that coats every individual brow hair without blobbing the product on your skin. Boy Brow comes in four different colours: blonde, brown, black & clear. I went for brown & I was really impressed with this colour. It's a deep ashy brown without a hint of red. I hate it when my brows look too warm so this shade works well for me. It has a creamy wax formula for a flexible hold that doesn’t flake but it still manages to keeps my brow hairs in place all day long. I get my brows tinted & threaded so I already have a pretty good shape but this stuff really helps to beef them up without making them look completely unnatural.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam (£15 / 10ml)
I was in two minds about ordering one of Glossier's Cloud Paints because I normally detest cream cheek products. I always set my base with powder & then I always apply a powder blusher on top so I felt like there was no room in my makeup routine for a product like this. People really seem to love these Cloud Paints though & I have to admit they look exceptionally pretty on the cheeks. They have a collection of six different shades that are designed to work on a wide range of skin tones. After much deliberation I decided to get Beam as I'm a sucker for peachy cheeks. Cloud Paints have a light, liquidy texture that easily blends out with your fingertips. They're sheer but very buildable & impart a healthy looking flush to the cheeks. I tend to be quite heavy handed with blusher but with these it's hard to apply too much so they always look fresh & natural. They go on very smoothly & contain blurring powder pigments which ensure a seamless finish. I adore the soft apricot tone of Beam, it really perks up my complexion & also looks cute when used on the lips as I have done in these photos. I still don't reach for it quite as often as my powder blushers but I certainly don't regret buying one of these Cloud Paints.

When I ordered these products from Glossier my expectations were really high & in the end the only thing that disappointed me was the Milky Jelly Cleanser. After actually testing their products I think that they do somewhat live up to the hype. A lot of people love Glossier & they definitely make some great stuff but most of their products don't interest me at all. I don't like their 'cool girl' attitude or that you need to have perfect skin to use most of their cosmetics. The transformative power of makeup is so much more interesting to me & their minimalistic approach just isn't in line with my own preferences. Now that much of the hype has died down I'd love to hear which Glossier products you like & what you think about their natural, no-fuss style of makeup!

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'

Monday 1 October 2018

September Favourites

The Chemistry Brand Hyaluronic Concentrate
Hyaluronic Acid is still one of my favourite skincare ingredients & not a day goes by when I don't use a HA serum on my face. It's especially welcome around this time of year when it starts to get a bit colder outside, the heating goes on & skin dries out easier as a consequence. As someone with eczema-prone skin, my body also suffers from dry patches so it's really important for me to keep of all my skin hydrated. Despite the extremely low cost of The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum, it wouldn't last very long at all if I started spreading it over my body so I decided to try out this product from one of their Deciem sister brands, The Chemistry Brand. As stated directly on the bottle, their Hyaluronic Concentrate is literally a big tub of hyaluronic acid. It comes with a pump dispenser so that you can apply liberal amounts of the stuff where it's needed. The Chemistry Brand's Hyaluronic Concentrate boasts a 99.5% pure hyaluronic acid. This high level of purity assists the delivery of actives in other products so anything you use on top of this will be able to work better as a result. You can just use it on it's own or underneath a regular moisturiser but with continued use Hyaluronic Concentrate will help skin to retain its own moisture, reducing the need for other products in the long run. Compared to the liquidy texture of the HA facial serum, this product is much more gel like in consistency. When it comes to body products I'm not a fan of anything creamy or sticky that takes ages to dry down so I really enjoy using this fast absorbing gel. I've been slapping it on whenever my skin has felt a bit irritated or dry & now everything looks so much healthier. It started working really quickly too as I saw results in less than a week. The areas I apply it to most are my hands, legs, knees & elbows but you can use it absolutely anywhere. This stuff is a godsend if you suffer from dry skin.

The Chemistry Brand Hand Chemistry
The Chemistry Brand also specialise in hand creams so I bought one in my desperate attempts to find something that would soothe the horrible eczema flareup on my right hand. They have a few different ones but I decided to go for the original Hand Chemistry. There's something rather special about this hand cream, it's easily the most effective one I've ever tried. Our hands are one of the first places to show signs of aging as we use them all the time & they get a lot of sun exposure compared to the rest of our bodies. This product was designed to combat 8 signs of hand aging simultaneously. It promises to improve the firmness, elasticity, density, evenness, brightness, texture, smoothness & hydration of your hands within 11 days. I noticed a difference right away as it visibly brightens & smooths the skin almost immediately. I love the texture of this hand cream, it absorbs quickly & almost coats your hands so they still feel soft hours after application. This cream works really well on your nails too & nourishes the cuticles whilst promoting nail growth. It has a sweet fruity scent which makes it a pleasure to use. It's also a great partner product for the Hyaluronic Concentrate. I layer them together for the ultimate hand hydrating combo. These products provide instant relief for any scaly, itchy areas & after just a few weeks my hand eczema was history! I keep a smaller tube of this stuff in my handbag at all times because nothing else compares when your hands are feeling worse for wear.

Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo
A few years ago I tried some hair products by Swell & loved the voluminous results on my fine, flat hair. My only gripe was that the products are incredibly expensive & I simply cannot afford to spend that much on shampoo. Luckily my local Boots decided to get rid of all their Swell stock & heavily reduced their entire product range. I managed to pick up a full size bottle of the Advanced Volumizing Conditioner for £8 instead of £28 as well as their Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo for £5 instead of £20. Boots' clearance aisle is literally the best thing ever! I had never tried the dry shampoo before but I remember reading some rave reviews when it first came out. What makes this product stand out from other dry shampoos is the fantastic pump dispenser. It's not as harsh as blasting your hair with a can of Batiste but still manages to really freshen up second or third day hair. You're not left with the weird dull look or gross feeling that some dry shampoos can give you, your hair simply looks clean again. The ultra fine nozzle is very precise so you can target the roots easily & add volume exactly where you want it. Best of all, it doesn't leave any powdery residue in your hair! The Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo is brilliant for those of us with fine hair that needs a bit of lift & it's discreet enough to slip into your handbag for on the go freshness.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
I love a bit of Charlotte Tilbury & her Hollywood Flawless Filter is by far the most exciting release she's come out with. This product has completely revolutionised my foundation routine. The Hollywood Flawless Filter is basically a tinted liquid highlighter but there's one available to suit every skin colour. It gives you a soft focus, airbrushed appearance by smoothing out fine lines & texture whilst illuminating the skin. There's just so many different ways to use it & each one will leave you looking like a glowing goddess. You can use it as a primer, mixed with foundation or as a regular liquid highlighter. My preferred method of application is to sweep some over the high points of my face & then mix it in with my foundation using a Beautyblender. I'm obsessed with how radiant my base looks paired with this illuminator. It also looks stunning on completely bare skin as the flesh coloured tint does give a small amount of coverage. It subtly evens out the complexion & reduces redness for a naturally flawless look. I often use it like this with just a bit of concealer under my eyes when I want a low effort, quick base that still looks fabulous.

Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick
Makeup Revolution have been coming out with new products non-stop recently & I think that they're one of the most innovative beauty brands on the market today. Not only are their products amazing, they're also amazingly affordable & to be honest I'm struggling to keep up with the constant barrage of new stuff! I can't wait to pick up their new Conceal & Define Foundation as I'm a huge fan of the concealer but for now I'm still loving their Fast Base Foundation Stick. One of the reasons that I love their foundations & concealers is the vast shade range. All other beauty brands should take note because Revolution are one of the few brands with a truly inclusive range of colours to suit every skin tone. I have the shade F1 which is spot on for my complexion as it's pale with yellow undertones. This foundation provides medium to full coverage & it builds really well without looking cakey. Stick foundations are notoriously difficult to get right as they're often too dry & drag on the skin or too greasy & melt off your face. The Fast Base Foundation Stick formula is superb & sits right in the middle. It's so quick to draw on your face & blends out effortlessly. It doesn't highlight skin texture or cling to dry patches, it just smooths over everything & makes my skin look flawless in no time at all. The foundation feels really lightweight on the skin & provides a fresh dewy finish. Once set with powder, it lasts really well & doesn't break down on my skin. It doesn't transfer much but if I scratch my face it can come off quite easily. I normally use a Beautyblender to do my base but I actually prefer a brush for this foundation. I've been using the Real Techniques Mini Multitask Brush with it & they're the perfect team. I think it'd be a great product to pop in your bag if you do your makeup during your daily commute or need touchups throughout the day. For just £5 I didn't know what to expect from this foundation but it is unbelievably good & has only further cemented my love for Makeup Revolution.

twitter / tumblr / youtube / instagram / bloglovin'