Best of British Look Fantastic Beauty Box

I finally did it. I subscribed to a beauty box! If you follow me or in fact I follow you, you’ve probably seen me comment about desperately wanting to try out a beauty box but being unsure whether to. I was ordering another product from Look Fantastic, and the subscription box popped up just as I was about to check out, so I went for it! Yes, I’m your typical easy sales customer.

I have to say, I am so glad I did because I really was like a child on Christmas when it arrived. The box itself firstly is beautiful and what’s inside… well that’s just as beautiful! Not only did it come with six miniature products to test out (eek), it also came with a September issue of Elle (which annoyingly I’d bought that day…). It also comes with a short booklet giving you a little more information about the products included as well as some other interesting beauty bits. I opted for the 12 month subscription, and honestly, a year of receiving these little boxes of heaven really is going to make me one happy customer.

So what’s inside….

  • Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist – the beauty world is buzzing over the word ‘anti-pollution’ so I’m really excited to try out a product that is aimed at protecting your skin from the stress of harsh environments. I work on one of the most congested streets in London so I will really put this to the test!
  • Renu Lip and Eye Active Lift – As you may know, I love a good eye cream so throw one my way and I’m yours. I haven’t used this brand before so I’m intrigued to see how I get on with it.
  • Bloom and Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz – I have two 8 hour flights coming up soon and I know this will be amazing at hydrating my skin whilst helping to keep me look slightly more normal. It’s also perfect timing for the (supposed) heat wave we’ll be having here in the UK!
  • Percy & Reed Wonder Balm – My prayers have been answered. After a week in the sun the ends of my hair are feeling very sorry for themselves, so a treatment like this is sure to work wonders!
  • Balance Me Congested Skin Serum – I recently tried a serum that my skin hasn’t taken to too well, so although I’m nervous, it will be interesting to see how I get on with this…
  • Bee Good Vanilla and Honey Lip Balm – I can’t count how many lip balms I own on about five pairs of hands, so I’m giddy to try one I don’t already own!

As I only received this today I haven’t had time to properly test and trial these products, but I will most certainly keep you up to date with them in future posts.

Would love to hear recommendations of any other great beauty boxes. But please be gentle. I think I’m addicted….

x

 

Balance Me Samples 

  
If you’ve read my last post you’ll have seen that I went to my absolute heaven over the weekend – The Glamour Beauty Festival. Whilst there, I had a skin consultation with Balance Me after which I was recommended a few products to try. There was a pick and mix set up (which was amazing), where I chose these three smaller sized products for £10.

The first I was immediately drawn to was this Wonder Eye Cream (as it did sound wonderful…!). I absolutely love my Kiehls eye cream (review here) but I was really interested to see the difference between the two products. What I love about this is that it absorbs straight into the eye area without leaving any kind of greasy residue. It’s also really light when applying which is lovely and refreshing on the eye area. I went a few days without using my Kiehls under eye cream to try and make sure that the area wasn’t affected by it when testing a new product. The first morning after using my eye area did seem a lot brighter, and it was definitely less puffy! After continued use the area does feel and look healthier, so I would be happy to buy this again.


The second product I went for was the Restore and Replenish Face Cream. Again, I’m really quite happy with my current moisturiser, but I was really intrigued to see how my skin would react to a different product. Compared to my usual everyday this is a lot thicker which I didn’t think my skin would take to, but it actually has! It takes more effort to work into my skin, but because of this it definitely feels more luxurious when it’s on. My skin feels so protected and nourished, which probably is a result of the ingredients, but the consistency also definitely helps this! It promotes natural collagen production where the hyaluronic acid helps to provide instant skin plumping and soothing benefits. The aloe vera and rosehip oil helps to soothe irritated skin, and there’s even blackberry leaf extract which protects skin again environmental damage and premature ageing. I’ve only been using this at night time as I think my skin suits a lighter moisturiser in the day to let it breathe, but for an evening treatment, this is amazing! I make sure to thoroughly cleanse my skin, and then use this as a sumptuous, nourishing product to really give my skin the TLC it needs after a long day at work. The best way to describe my skin in the morning after using this is plump! It’s so smooth and feels really hydrated. A massive thumbs up for me on this one!


The final product I decided to test is the Radiance face mask. This is so different to how I expected it would be. For some reason I imagined this to be similar to my clay-based mask I use (read review here), however it reminded me of a cleanser in its texture, where the exfoliating beads also add to the feeling. You only leave this on for around 5 minutes and then gently wash off. The exfoliating beads in this are so lovely to massage into the skin as you feel like you’re getting a really good deep clean. The lady at the counter said this was perfect to use in the morning whilst brushing your teeth, however my skin was quite red after using so I think I’ll only use at night time. I also only used on my t-zone as I didn’t want to upset my more sensitive areas. I had a couple of small blemishes appearing on my nose the evening I used this, but the morning after they were gone! Another great product by Balance Me!
I would definitely buy all of these products again, and would recommend to anyone with sensitive skin as the natural-based ingredients really act to soothe and protect.
If you’ve tried any other products from this range I’d love to hear! 
X

The Glamour Beauty Festival 

 
Yesterday I headed to what can only be described as a paradise. The Glamour Beauty Festival. The event runs all weekend, with brands from Rimmel to Liz Earle there with their own section offering amazing free treatments as well as great advice (I particularly enjoyed seeing how to really conceal my black under eye bags that you may have heard me moan about before…)

 The festival was held at the Saatchi Gallery, which admittedly I’d never been to (but definitely will be going back), where the aroma of beauty obsessives filled the gallery. There were four main sections; hair, make up, skin care and nails, where brands were set up ready to pamper and preen to perfection! I tried to get around as many as possible, but there was so much choice I just couldn’t!

 


 

In the makeup section I first headed to Laura Mercier where an artist showed me how to conceal my under eyes as well as any other areas of concern. I bought this little pot of magic, which amazingly concealed my sins from my work drinks the night before.

 I then headed to the Nars counter where I was shown how to properly highlight, contour and apply blush…


They developed this exclusive colour called Goule for the event which I absolutely loved, and so felt it was rude not to buy it….

After that, I headed to the skincare section. Balance Me were offering an amazing skin assessment service. I put my head into this box with curtains where there was a blue UV-type light with a small mirror.


The specialist then looked in from the other side to assess my skin. I had this done years ago before I underwent treatment for blemishes, so it really was amazing to see the difference it had made to my skin! The only issue she could see, which she said everyone would have, is the dehydration on my under eyes *grabs for water*. They had a pick and mix type shop, where 3 sample sized products were £10, so I bought….

I then headed over to Elizabeth Arden, where I had this amazing treatment which I sadly can’t remember or find the name of (if you can help please let me know!). It essentially looked like a mini spray tan applicator, which she filled with vitamins and sprayed over my skin. She then went back over when there was purely air pressure to massage the product in. It was supposed to be a ‘Madonna effect’, which for the rest of the day, my skin really did glow. I have to also say that on a slight hangover, this was the most amazing treatment! It was so soothing and refreshing that I asked her to do it again! She said they offer a 15 minute treatment for £15, so I would definitely pay for another.

They were the only treatments I had as the queues were fairly long, but I loved spending time just mooching around looking at products.

 

 

As part of the ticket you could also choose a talk to attend. I went to one where Jo Malone, Liz Earle and Thea Green (founder of Nails Inc) were talking about how they started and grew their businesses. It was so interesting and actually really empowering to hear about their journeys. Also, Liz’s skin was literally glowing from around 5 metres away, so I am SO excited to try the hot cloth cleanse and polish. Yes I finally have it!

Now for the best part, another perk of your ticket was that you received a goody bag full of amazing products (a lot full sized!). These are the fab things I received….

So stay posted as I’ll be posting a few product reviews of the great products I discovered at the event!

Would love to hear if anyone else was there and what they tried!

Thanks for reading 🙂

My Top 4 Hand Creams

 

With this cold weather that doesn’t seem to be leaving us alone, my hands are constantly screaming out for some TLC. I always try to take really good care of my hands because they can show the first signs of aging (thanks to sun exposure), and I’m desperately trying to nurse my nails back to health after shellac has ruined them (completely my fault as I peeled the varnish off instead of getting them properly removed….oops). So, it’s fair to say I’ve road tested a few hand creams along the years, and after whittling down my favourite few, I wanted to share them all with you!

These all range in price, so if you’re looking to try a new hand cream then hopefully this will help you to find a product to suit your budget!

 

L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Hand Cream, £19.00

 I can’t remember the first time I tried this, but it’s been a staple in my make up drawer for years. It’s so nourishing, smells amazing and leaves a great smooth finish. The cream is enriched with 20% shea butter and honey, almond extracts and coconut oil are blended with aromas of jasmine and ylang-ylang essences to not only leaving your hands smelling delicious, but also to ensure that this caring cream is extremely effective. It has a really rich texture to it which helps to leave your hands super smooth, and really penetrates the skin to leave hands nourished. It weirdly reminds me of the texture of Philadelphia spreadable cheese, but obviously smells a lot nicer! Also, because of the rich texture you’re not left with any oily traces, which I absolutely love about this product! Whenever I apply this product I can’t help but touch my hands, which I think says it all!

Rating: 5/5

 

 

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, £15.00

 This is another staple product in my household thanks to its instantly nourishing properties. It’s an emollient-rich (seeks to really moisturise) cream that contains soothing sesame oil and fortifying Japense mulberry, which gives it a luxuriously rich texture, and lovely smell! This cream absorbs in so nicely and doesn’t leave any oiliness, which is great! It also really helps to condition cuticles to cuticles to make your nails healthier and stronger. If you’re looking for something to really treat your hands, and help maintain healthy cuticles, this is the perfect product!

Rating: 4.5/5 (The only reason I didn’t give this is 5 is because I love the L’OCCITANE one so much!)

 

 

Soap & Glory Hand Food, I’ve pictured the smaller size, but the larger is £5.50

 I love Soap & Glory products so I knew I would fall in love with their hand cream. First, the texture is quite similar to the L’OCCITANE cream as it’s quick thick so it does give a really intense moisturising effect. As you can imagine this smells gorgeous because of the shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow (mmmm) it contains. It absorbs really well into the skin and you only need to apply a small amount to cover both hands.

Rating: 4/5

 

Vaseline Healthy Hands & Healthy Nails, £3.99

I picked this up when I was out and about in the freezing cold and my hands were in desperate need of some moisture. This has a lovely smell to it, and definitely did succeed in moisturising my hands. It has keratin and has a three-layer level of moisture so it really acts to delve deep and give intense nourishment. It does also help to soften your cuticles and make the area appear healthier. The texture is lighter and almost runny compared to the other hand creams, which I don’t like as much; as well as this it does leave a slight oily residue. My only other issue with is the product is that is stung my skin when it was super dry and I applied it. I do have very sensitive skin and I know that it’s quite common for really dry hands to react to certain products, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for really sensitive skin!

 Rating: 3/5

Depending on your skin type, all of these creams have great properties that all act to nourish and soothe your hard working hands. However, if I had to select my favourite products based on a budget buy and a splurge buy,  they are…

Best Budget Buy: Soap & Glory

Best Splurge Buy: L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Hand Cream

 

 

Thanks for reading 🙂

MAC Lip Liner in Staunchly Stylish

Hello hello!

This will only be a short post this evening, but I had to share with you my new favourite lip liner that I recently discovered. I picked it up last week at the MAC counter when I was travelling through Milan airport. I was pretty overwhelmed with the products available, but after trying more than 10 different colours in various lipsticks and lip liners on my hand (getting to the airport early meant it got a little out of control…),  this lip liner in Staunchly Stylish kept catching my eye because of it’s deep and pretty nude colour.

 

It’s quite a neutral colour on and the finish is so moisturising and yet buildable that it looks really natural on. This particular colour is part of the pro longwear lip pencil range which is really obvious when wearing! It’s durable and gives a great finish, but then that’s no surprise from MAC!

 

 

I wear mine alone under lip balm to give a slightly more dewy effect on my lips, but it definitely gives enough nourishing coverage to be worn alone.

I’m starting to really invest in my lip liner collection so I’d love any suggestions you have!

Have a great Friday!

XXX

Cheat Your Way To Perfect Nails! 

 

If there’s one thing I’ve always struggled with it’s maintaining strong nails. But, what I discovered a few years ago is the importance of maintaining good cuticle health to ensure your nails are as happy as can be!

I was recommended this Jessica Phenomen Oil for my cuticles by a beauty therapist, and it is the most amazing thing!! She told me that if I use one thing on my nails, make it this, as it’s so strengthening.

It firstly smells absolutely divine (I wish I there was a smell cam). And even better, this little pot goes such a long way!! I’ve had this for a good year now and it still looks untouched. I was told to use a small amount of this everyday before bed, but it’s more like once or twice a week depending on when I remember! But, this still is a good amount for leaving your cuticles feeling nourished. I basically take the applicator and dab a small amount on each cuticle then gently rub in. I also use the Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment to make sure my hands also feel super moisturised. The combination of the two products tricks my hands into thinking they’ve spent a day at a spa!

 

A great alternative to this oil that I’ve found is this Vaseline intensive care cream, which is a two in one targeted hand and nail cream. It’s not as effective as using the oil alongside a hand cream, but if you use this daily it will definitely make a difference!

My final tip for helping your nails to be as strong as can be it to use a strengthening nail polish. I use this Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Nail Polish either alone, or as a base coat if I’m painting my nails. If you want this to act as a targeted treatment then build up layers every other day. I don’t have the patience to do this often, but when I do I can really see the results!  Would love to hear if of any other cuticle targeted products!

X

Concealer Wars


  


If I was abandoned on a desert island and left with only one product, it probably would be concealer. It hides a multitude of sins, and can make me feel 100 times better in an instant! From covering spots to dark circles to bruises I think it’s the most amazing product!


  


As an advocate of concealer I have experimented with my fair share; so, I’ve decided to share some I’ve tried with you. Apologies for the lack of some products, as you can see, I love them!

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1. Rimmel ‘Hide The Blemish Concealer’ in Sand.

This really is an all-round winner. It’s long-lasting, easy to apply and gives really good coverage. The lipstick style applicator is great, and makes application so easy. However, if you are using to cover a blemish I would use fingers as you don’t want to contaminate the product, and spread this elsewhere on your face. I also wipe clean the concealer every week to get rid of any germs that may be building up. For me, this gets five stars. For an affordable alternative this is the way to go!

2. Benefit – Boi-ing in 02.

This has been a staple in my make up bag for some years now. I first invested in the product when my cousin described it as ‘industrial strength’ concealer. Intrigued and a little bit frightened, I bought it and haven’t looked back since. It really is industrial strength!! Not only does the product itself last long, but the coverage on your face is amazing. I’d only reapply if I was going out on an evening and was touching up my day’s make up. It’s smooth to touch and covers your face so evenly. If you are willing to spend a bit more then I would recommend this product without a doubt!

3. Laura Mercier Undercover Pot – 2.

As much as I love this set, I’ve been disappointed at how quickly the Secret Camoflage (concealer) part of this duo ran out. Whilst it gives great coverage and is super creamy, it lasted me no longer than a month. Which, for the price, I would have expected it to be at least two months. The under eye Secret Concealer however has lasted, and hides my dark circles really well. There’s also a great sheer powder that comes as part of the set. I’ve bought Laura Mercier concealers beforehand as I love how creamy and smooth they are, but always find the same problem that they run out too quickly! I think I’ll just be buying the under eye corrector rather than the set next time.

4. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer in Natural, Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Pale Yellow.

I really can’t sing the praises of Bobbi Brown enough, I am a slave to her products! But, this concealer didn’t live up to expectations. It does give full coverage, but when applying I feel like rather than easily blending in, the concealer sits on top of my skin. What I do love about the product is the handy mirror that comes as part of the compact, making it great for taking in your handbag. There’s also a sheer powder in the set, but I rarely use this as I don’t usually take my brushes out with me in the day. I think this is ideal for a live-in handbag product, but it wouldn’t take place in my main make up bag.

Midnight Robbery


  


I’ve been at my boyfriend’s this weekend, and have discovered some great products in his bathroom cupboard. Who knows where they came from, and I’d really rather not know!

One of them was this Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser face wash by Kiehls. It’s designed specifically for acne-prone skin and acts to clean pores by removing the impurities which cause acne.

It feels like a runny gel when you apply it, so I wasn’t convinced at first of how well it would cleanse my face. But, I was pleasantly surprised. It foams really nicely, and my face felt literally squeaky-clean. It also effectively removed all of my make up. My only issue with using this long-term, would be that I could see it would really dry my skin out as the next morning certain areas of my skin felt very dry. This was on areas that I had spots however, so I guess it really targeted those areas that needed help by drying them out.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried this product, and their experience with it? I’m tempted to steal this one and use it full time, but am worried how my skin will react! Maybe it’s a useful product to have on backup to help tackle breakouts. If I do use this, I’ll let you know how my skin takes to it!

Super Sleek Hair – Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti Breakage Serum

  

I generally don’t use a lot of products in my hair, as I hate that greasy feeling you can get! One product that is now a staple in my regime however is this Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti breakage serum by OGX.

I bought this when I was travelling the East Coast of Australia, and had been neglecting my hair. I’d discovered the benefits of coconut oil in Fiji and wanted something similar that could give my hair the TLC it really needed. After using this product combined with no straightening or blow-drying for two months, my hair is the longest it’s been since I was 10! I still have the dry, split ends that I badly developed when at school and straightening my hair every day… But, I think the product has helped to strengthen the split ends rather than completely eliminating damage.

My hair is naturally wavy, which unfortunately is accompanied by frizz. If definitely doesn’t completely eliminate frizz, but compared to when I don’t use this product, the waves in my hair are so much more defined.

  

With the help of my friend Google I found out that the serum contains ultra whipped egg white proteins that help add strength and elasticity, alongside the weightless coconut oils for added hydration. I’ve tried quite a few hair serums, and have found this one to be the lightest so far. Also, it smells amazing because of the coconut oil!

I put about a five pence piece sized amount in the palm of my hand. I have fine hair, but lots of it, and find this is the right amount for me. I would definitely adjust and experiment with the amount you use depending on the thickness and length of your hair. It’s so easy to use too much, which can make your hair look and feel greasy. I’ve had to re-wash my hair before as I completely over estimated the amount I needed, so beware!

To apply, I rub the serum between my hands to get it warm, and then apply evenly through my hair after washing using my fingers as a comb to get full coverage. I towel dry my hair first, as it generally takes to your hair better. To get a super sleek look I then blow-dry my hair.

Would love to hear of other hair serums if you’ve tried any!

A Glory’us Scrub – Soap & Glory Flake Away

I love body scrubs, and if there’s one product I don’t travel without it’s this one from Soap & Glory!
  

For me, it’s one of those products that over the years I have continuously come back to. I’m one of those people that always searches for something better, and, like my perfume, I thought there must be something more effective out there. But for me there really isn’t! The texture is fantastic, as is the smell, and I love the fun packaging that all of their products come in! This body polish contains Shea butter, sweet almond oil, peach seed powder, sea salt and sugar. No wonder it smells so good!
  

I first began using this when I was a teenager to try and rid the spots on my back caused by factors such as hormones/product build up. Using this in the shower not only helped to diminish these unsightly spots and scars, but also left my skin feeling so, so soft! If you can bear it after using the scrub, turn your shower to freezing and stand under for a few seconds. This is fantastic for closing up your pores to prevent any unwanted product seeping in, and, leaves your skin feeling even more amazingly smooth. It also gives your hair a great shine!

The tub lasts me for a good couple of months, which is great, as I tend to use it every other day! If you’re using the scrub just to target dry skin, I’d recommend using only once or twice a week. However, if your worry is spots building up on your back or other areas of your body, there is no harm in using the product almost every day for a couple of weeks until they settle down! As long as you apply in gentle circular motions rather than vigorously, your skin should be fine. On the odd day though I think it’s good to give your skin a break and let it heal itself – it’s amazing how with a little bit of help it’ll do wonders!

They even stock this in a handy travel size, which I have ready for my trip this weekend. I would love if Soap & Glory developed the equivalent in a facial scrub, the effects would be Glory’us!

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend everyone!