Skinfix Nourishing Cream*

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Even though we are (hopefuly) heading straight into summer, my skin can sometimes feel like it’s mid-winter. It’s sesitive, dry and prone to redness, so I do everything possible to keep it calm and hydrated.

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Creams which suit my skintype are usually horribly expensive, as many are targeted to an older demographic, so I was over the moon to try SkinFix’s Nourishing Cream. Packaged in a cute litte pump-top jar (yay for hygeine) this cream performs like a seriously premium product, just without the scary pricetag!

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Using the cream couldn’t be simpler. After cleansing in the morning, and patting on a little Essence to dry skin, I just smoothe a pump or two on the lotion onto my skin and massage in. The cream feels soothing and hydrating, but without being overly greasy or sticky. It disappears into skin, leaving it perfectly primed for foundation or BB creams, and the feeling lasts all day. It’s also a great night cream for oily-to-normal skintype who need some lightwieght hydration.

SkinFix Nourishing Cream is priced at £18.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Ciate Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm*

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So it’s fair to stay that highlighters have become a serious piece of makeup kit. It was only a few years ago I bought my very first one, and they have become shinier and shinier in the months that have followed. To be honest, I love a good highlight – I love the ones which give a subtle gleam in the light rather than the ones which give you a metallic shine.

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I want my highlight to look like I’ve been living on green juice for a while, rather than layering on the product, and Ciate have come up with the perfect solution in the form of their Dewy Stix. A colourless balm gives skin a buildable level of shine without any stickiness, tackiness or sparkle.

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The crayon packaging means that application couldn’t be easier. For day-levels of sheen, I dot a little around the tops of my cheekbones and temples and blend in. But if I want to look a little glowier – I swipe it over my eyelids for a glossy finish, and add a little to the bridge of my nose. It has been released right in time for summer, so if you’re wanting to look beach ready – even if you’re nowhere near the ocean, this is the easy way to fake it!

Ciate Dewy Stix is priced at £22 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

QVC Tili Box*

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Ok, I feel like I’m seriously behind the times, but did you know that QVC has a seriously impressive beauty line up? Like awesome-good? No, me neither, and honestly? We’ve been missing out! The channel stocks brands which are the stuff of dreams – Benefit, Margaret Dabbs and Erno Lazlo are all in there alongside hard-to-find favourites like Tarte.

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In something of a stroke of genius, QVC have released a beauty box which is stuffed full of products you’re basically guaranteed to fall in love with. The name of the box – Tili – even stands for ‘Try it Love it.’ And honestly, the contents are better than any other beauty box I’ve ever seen – with a balance of skincare, makeup and haircare with generous samples which are perfect for tucking into gym and overnight bags. This is a beauty box you should definitely treat yourself to!

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First up is the OPI nail polish in Two Timing the Zones. I’ve managed to forget to take a close up of it (oops). But it’s a new shade which is part of the brand’s 2017 Fiji collection. A blue-based milky pink, this one is absolutely dying to be a summer pedicure! Shades vary in the boxes, but it’s a full size, and one of my favourite polish brands!

The bottle of Alpha H in Liquid Gold Rose is a generous sample size of a limited edition formula. Promising to hydrate and resurface skin, it’s perfect for creating a summer glow. To use, after cleansing, I dampen a cotton pad with the formula and swipe over my entire face. It doesn’t sting or itch, and after leaving it on for 10-15 minutes, I follow up by slapping on a little moisturiser.

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There is a shampoo and conditioner duo from New York City hairdresser Julien Farel, which is perfect for summer-stressed ends. With a shampoo designed to fortify ends, whilst the conditioner nourishes and smoothes ends. This is a must-have pair to keep hair looking its best all season long.

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Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara has been kicking about for a few years now, and I’ve been meaning to try it, but for one reason or another, never really got round to picking up a tube. Well, more fool me. This stuff is incredible! Super black and seriously lengthening, this mascara is something of a magic wand for lashes, and I’m going to be picking up a full sized version asap!

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I was so happy to see this tube of Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser included in the Tili box! Coming complete with muslin, this is a real favourite of mine. The cleanser smells absolutely diving – all herbal and spa-like – and it leaves skin looking and feeling incredible.

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I probably got over excited about the tube of It Cosmetics CC Cream. It’s been seriously lauded by a handful of bloggers (people like TheAnnaEdit swear by the stuff) and I’ve never seen it in stores. Although the included shade (medium) is a touch deep for me at the moment, it will be perfect once I’ve got a bit of a tan! Lightweight with buildable coverage, this is perfect for achieving a luminous, natural look.

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In a stroke of genius, QVC have included a must-have for summer in the form of sunscreen. SPF 30 from Ultrasun is perfect if you’re heading off to warmer climes – big enough to slip into hand luggage without breaking liquid-roles, this is one of the few sunscreens which doesn’t make me break out or itch.

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There is also a tube of Vita Liberata Ten Minute Tan. Suitable for use on both face and body, I’m cracking this out this weekend to fake a summer glow. Like all tanners from the brand, this one leaves skin looking believebly sunkissed rather than tango’d, and it never leaves you smelling of bisuits. Even better? You only need to leave it on clean skin for 10 minutes before rinsing for an even and believable tan.

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Last up, is certainly not least! A double cleansing duo from Erno Lazlo. No joke, but I’ve been dying to try products from this brand for years. It’s a dinky little pack which I’ve already slipped into my travel bag for my next trip. A tiny cleansing oil to gently cleanse skin, whilst the teeny tiny soap gets rid of any oily residue, and leaves skin squeaky clean without feeling taught.

This is an absolute steal at £20 and you can get your own here.

Will you be treating yourself?

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask*

When it comes to beauty gadgets, I love a good one. I think it’s amazing how much brands have come along, and the fact that you can now give yourself a salon-worthy treatment at home will never get old. So, when I saw that Neutrogena were releasing a Light Therapy Mask, I couldn’t resist!

The mask comes as-is in the box, and using it couldn’t be easier. All you do is slip the mask on, push down the button and relax for ten minutes. The mask has a mix of red and blue lights which work together to effectively fight acne in a way which won’t irritate sensitive skin.

Neutrogena recommend that the mask be used every day for a ten minute period to clear up and prevent acne. It’s a surprisingly simple solution for a problem which can really be debilitating, and the fact that it’s so easy to use is a real lifesaver!

The mask is super lightweight and comfortable to wear, and even though the lights are super effective, they’re really gentle on skin. After continued use, any signs of those sore, under the skin spots I sometimes get are completely gone!

Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask is priced at £59.99 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

Perricone MD Pre:Empt Daily Foaming Cleanser*

As someone who has been obsessed with all things beauty since about the time I could talk, one of the main issues I come up against is formulas designed for people who are much, much older than me. It’s all well and good having preventative skincare, but I’m still in my twenties. I don’t really need lotions and potions which firm and lift skin. I need products which combat pollutants, stop wrinkles from forming in the first place and generally keep everything ticking along nicely. So I think I may have squealed when I heard about the Perricone MD Pre:Emt Series. A line of skincare formulated for those of us in that tricky spot of trying to keep young skin looking its best.

The Daily Foaming Cleanser is a real stash staple. I’ve been using it every morning and night to keep my skin clear of makeup and pollutants. The formula relies on Dr. Perricone’s proprietary Nrf2 antioxidant support complex – a seriously potent blend of ingredients to support skin’s natural ability to address oxidative stress, environmental aggravators, and aging.

It’s a real workhorse of a product which makes short work of any sort of makeup, and you only need the tiniest amount of the stuff to really get a good ‘foam’ going. It’s one of those cleansers which really leaves your skin feeling super clean, without heading into the stripped territory.

It also works really well if I’m using a Clarisonic or Foreo device as the pulses seem to make it even frothier and foamier! I’m such a fan, and it’s made me absolutely desperate to try out more of the product line!

Perricone MD Pre:Emt Daily Foaming Cleanser is priced at £29 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Lush Behind your Ears Shower Gel

Ok, when it comes to Lush, I can get a little fanatical. It’s not Christmas in my household without at least a few bottles of Snow Fairy cluttered in the bathroom, so when I saw that there were a few new releases for Easter I couldn’t resist. I know we passed by Easter a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t resist sharing this newness!

The first thing you’ll notice about the shower gel is the colour. It’s orange. Very orange, and it gets everywhere in the shower, but the smell is so good that it more than makes up for the mess. It’s a super pretty floral, full of Jasmine and Rose which skews fresh rather than overly heavy. It even suds up like a dream – I love using it on a shower puff as it leaves skin looks and feeling super soft and smooth, and seriously hydrated.

Lush Wash Behind Your Ears is priced from £5.95 and is available here.

EcoTools Perfecting Blender Duo*

If an artist is only as good as their tools, then your makeup is only as good as what you apply it with. If I’m honest, 9 times out of 10 I use my fingers. I’m lazy, and I like the natural look I get, but sometimes you just feel the need to step things up a notch (or two).

So when I caught sight of EcoTools Perfecting Blender Duo, I knew it was the combo for me. The set comprises two makeup sponges – a larger for lighter, more buildable coverage, whilst the smaller provides more targeted applications. The mix of flat sides, rounded bottom and chilled tip means that the sponges can be used in a variety of manners. I tend to apply foundation with the rounded end, and if I’m playing with a subtle contour I like the straighter edged side.

The smaller is perfect for techniques like baking under eye concealer. It’s small enough to fit into awkward areas like around the nostrils, and it’s super soft. Like all beauty sponges, these are designed to be used damp to they don’t soak up all your product!

EcoTools Perfecting Blender Duo is priced at £9.99 and is available here

Sisley Supreme Anti-Aging Facial at Fletcher’s Cottage Spa*

Archerfield is one of those places I had been dying to visit for years, so, when the opportunity arose to visit the North Berwick-icon, and enjoy some relaxation I absolutely jumped at the chance! To be honest, I had always thought of it more as a wedding-venue or golf course, but more fool me – it’s an absolutely glorious spot perched high on the coastline, with stunning suite accommodations and a spa to die for – I’m already planning my trip back!

The spa is tucked away in Fletcher’s Cottage – a chic lodge which falls somewhere in the middle of cosy-Scando and Hamptons retreat. There are puffy sofas and armchairs everywhere – very convenient for a post-treatment slouch, and it’s pretty much where I’d like to live from now on.

When you enter, you’re asked to turn off your phone, take off your shoes and slip into some puffs of slippers provided by the spa. As you fill out your client forms, you’re treated to a fresh juice and a dampened towel. It’s a cute way to really start the relaxation process and leave the outside world behind.

Once you’ve filled in your forms, you’re led into individual closets where you can take a quick shower (filled with Aromatherapy Associates goodies), take off your makeup and slip into one of their provided robes. Unlike most spas I’ve been to – there is no communal areas. These little rooms are your alone to relax in, there is not waiting for a hairdryer or tripping over someone else, instead you can just potter around at your own pace, enjoying the calm!

Then, once I had my robe on, and my makeup off, it was time to enjoy the relaxation area. Filled with comfy chairs, every magazine you can think of, I could have spent hours here.

I think it helped that I visited on the sunniest afternoon you can imagine, but honestly, I could easily move in here. With fruit-infused waters and even warming sherry available, the whole ethos of Fletcher’s Cottage is about wellness and relaxation. There is even a bar where you can order fruit juices, smoothies snacks and teas if you want to further extend your visit.

I was visiting Fletcher’s Cottage to enjoy the Sisley Supreme Anti-Ageing Facial, but honestly, every one of the treatments on offer sound absolutely divine. Considering I’m a huge fan of Sisley skincare, I couldn’t resist the chance to enjoy a facial stuffed full of their products, and I have to say, it’s one of the best ones I’ve had in quite a while!

After being shown to a plush room complete with comfy beauty bed and hundreds of blankets, it was time to really relax and enjoy the treatment (I didn’t want to swing a camera around too much and annoy other guests), but the treatment rooms are as pretty as the main areas. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Sisley products in one place.

The treatment rooms also overlook the cottage’s breathtaking gardens. It was absolutely dreamy to lie back and relax in such pretty surroundings!

After having a chat about what I wanted for my skin (hydration, radiance and anti-redness) and which products I’d tried before. I was absolutely over the moon to hear that I’d been using many of the products which had been looked out for the treatment. The Sisley Gentle Buffing Cream (review here) made sure my skin was clean and prepped for all the goodness which was to come!

Then using Sisley’s own face brush, as well and a multitude of products, my face was massaged by my therapist, and moisturised with oils and hydrating masks. I fell absolutely in love with the Black Orchid Oil, which finished off the treatment. Honestly, I don’t think my skin has ever felt or looked smoother or healthier. My redness was pretty much gone, and I was on cloud 9.

What I didn’t realise, is that Fletcher’s Cottage is also a seriously stocked outlet for some of my favourite brands. There is pretty much every Sisley product you’ve ever heard of, including their makeup and fragrance.

There is also a huge range of Aromatherapy Associates and Voya Beauty to choose from, so you can continue the relaxation back in your room or at home.

I finished off my afternoon with a glass of freshly popped rose champagne out in the garden with a good book. It was an absolute treat to be able to escape the everyday for a heavenly few hours. It’s the perfect little spot to enjoy if you need some real luxury and relaxation.

The Sisley Supreme Anti-Ageing Facial is priced at £130

 

Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer*

I feel like I’m going through something of a love affair with Too Faced at the moment. I think it all started with the Sweet Peach collection, and I’ve been drooling over the entire range ever since. So, when I was looking to pick up a new concealer, I headed straight to my nearest counter.

I’d heard a lot about the Born This Way range, all of it good, so when I was roaming the beauty aisles and caught sight of a tube in their lightest colour (Very Fair) I couldn’t resist. There are 10 shades to choose from spanning Very Fair to Deep, and it’s described as a product which conceals imperfections whilst still leaving skin radiant; which sounds perfect for summer!

Like all of Too Faced’s offering, the packaging is to die for! I just love the gold accents, and the pretty touches! It’s also got a pretty intriguing formula which includes Coconut Water, Alpine Rose and Hyaluronic Acid for ultimate hydration and radiance – this isn’t a concealer which is going to leave your skin looking dried out or cakey.

Since I’m feeling super pale, I opted for Very Fair, which has subtle pinky undertones. This means it’s absolutely perfect for using under my eyes to combat dark circles. It feels cooling to apply, and isn’t too thick or too opaque. Instead it smoothes onto skin beautifully, hiding any signs of redness or dark circles, leaving skin looking super natural yet still perfected.

I’ve been tapping a little on my underage area, around my nostrils and anywhere else I need to disguise redness. It lasts all day without ever looking dull or dried out, and it never transfers onto my hands or scarves when I’ve been wearing it. Instead it just leaves skin looking perfected and radiant!

Too Faced Born This Way Concealer is priced at £20 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Kiss Lash Couture Faux Minx Lashes*

When it comes to lashes, the bigger does normally mean better. For day, I like to add a couple of individuals to amp up my eyes a little without looking too obvious. But when it comes to evenings out, I don’t really think that lashes can be too big or too fluttery!

So, when Kiss’ stunning Lash Couture Faux Mink Lashes popped through the letterbox, it was love at first sight. Designed to mimic the lightweight and fluttery nature of mink lashes, these are absolutely beautiful. I’ve been giving out the Midnight and Gala styles a go, and I have to say, if you want some drama – these are the lashes for you!

Before applying, like any lash, I tend to bend the band a little to fit my eyes, and trim the edges a bit to ensure a perfect fit. Then, I line the lash band with either of my two favourite glues (Shu Uemura, or Esqido here), give it a minute or two for the glue to feel tacky, then place on my lash line. Both of Kiss’ styles are absolutely stunning – Midnight is probably the more dramatic of the pair, but Gala is close behind. They’re so light and comfortable I’ve managed to forget I’m wearing them every time, and they look seriously premium. They’re such a great choice if you’re looking to inject a little glamour into your look, or if you’re looking for vegan lash options!

Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink Lashes cost £7.99 per set and are available here (UK)

MoroccanOil Blow Dry Concentrate*

As someone who blow dries their hair on a daily basis, you’d think I’d be a bit better at it by now. But no matter what, I’ve never been able to really pull off that salon-fresh look. I wrestle with round brushes, boar bristle brushes, the lot, but I never get the smooth and shiny effect I’m really after, until I got my hands on MorrocanOil’s Blow-Dry Concentrate.

When I say that the Blow-Dry Concentrate is a game changer, I’m not exaggerating. It’s done what brushes, straighteners and countless serums have failed, and smoothed my hair in a manner which nothing else really has done before. It’s designed for very coarse and unruly hair, and although mine isn’t too thick or too out of control, it has a propensity for frizzing at the smallest sign of heat, humidity or moisture, so the concentrate sounded perfect.

The Blow-Dry concentrate comes packaged in a sturdy pump-top glass bottle, which means using the product could not be easier. When I come out the shower and squeeze out the excess water from my ends, I use about less than a quarter of a pump of the Concentrate, and apply it to my ends. The concentrate itself is quite thick and viscus, so anything more would leave my hair overwhelmed.

So, using the tiniest amount allows the Concentrate to smooth into hair, and then I blow it dry as usual. The difference that the Blow Dry Concentrate makes to hair is insane. Even just using a blow dryer, my hair is softer and smoother, but once I seal everything with the straighteners – it’s where the magic happens! My hair feels silky and thicker than usual, and it’s shinier than normal too! No matter what I get up to during the day, my hair stays looking pretty much exactly the same – it’s magical! I’ve tested this on rainy days, gym days and those hideous hot and sticky days, and the Blow-Dry Concentrate wins every time.

In the run-up to summer, this needs to be in your hair kit!

MoroccanOil Blow-Dry Concentrate is priced at £17.35 and is available here (UK) and here (US)