My Favourite Fragrances

I love a fragrance that is floral and fresh. It has to be natural and subtle, not cloying or overly sweet, the kind of way flowers really smell when you’re outside in the sunshine with them. I own three extraordinary niche/luxury fragrances by Diptyque, Serge Lutens and Byredo. I wanted to talk about them because they really are something special, and if your preferences fit the description I just gave, I think you’ll love them too. The right fragrance can lift your mood and make you feel amazing even when you’re squeezing onto the Jubilee Line at 7am on a Monday. Fragrances are extremely personal and the right one can transform you, but it’s so hard to find ‘your scent’ with all the choice out there. I’ve also given some advice about how to make the right choice at the bottom of this post.

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Inflorescence by Byredo is the least subtle member of my collection, because it’s inspired by the intensity of spring flowers; the first blooms of the year, filling gardens with their fragrance. I love its bold, complex notes of freesia, lily, rose and jasmine. I think that Inflorescence is the best fragrance Byredo have created, I find their others smell a bit run-of-the-mill, could be by anyone. Inflorescence smells like nothing else. It’s phenomenally complex, intoxicating, heady, but fresh and uplifting at the same time.

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Serge Lutens Fleurs d’oranger is still my favourite of all time, so fresh and sweet, with orange blossom (obviously), jasmine and tuberose to round out the floral side, and citrus to give it a lift. This fragrance is regarded as a masterpiece by some and isn’t hard to see why – not only is it without question the best orange blossom scent that’s ever been created, few fragrances are this upliftingly fresh whilst also retaining a gorgeously sweet, lush, summer feeling. Although I adore the other two and thoroughly enjoy wearing them, this one is ‘my scent’, and I get the compliments to prove it, too!

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Finally, Philosykos by Diptyque is inspired by the scent of the leaves and fruit of the fig tree under the hot Greek sun. It is peppery and fruity, really unusual, but intoxicating. There’s freshness from fig leaves, sweetness from the fruit, and even woody notes from fig tree sap; extraordinarily well balanced, and ‘figgy’ to the core. This was the first premium fragrance I ever bought and I still absolutely adore it; but I’ve actually given it to my boyfriend to wear so I can still smell it whilst wearing my others. It suits him down to the ground and lasts all day on his skin. Diptyque fragrances are also all unisex, although I don’t buy into such nonsense …it’s a smell, as long as it suits you and you love it, just wear it!

Buying niche and luxury fragrances

I know that these aren’t cheap (trust me, I KNOW), but I really do think fragrances are something worth investing in (I have genuinely spent a total of £330 on these three over the years). There is some absolute shite out there in the fragrance world, with so many lazily designed, recycled ideas, so much overpricing, so many cheap formulations and imitations. These three fragrances are the best of the best in terms of quality, uniqueness and artistry, but I didn’t just trip and fall on them, I had to look.

The first step is obviously to find out what you like. I began this by spending an long time in Liberty’s fragrance section a few years back smelling everything, thinking about what I liked and I didn’t. Both of my grandmothers and my mum had awesome fragrance collections, so I was already firm on some likes and dislikes, and I had been given a few mass market perfumes as gifts in my teens (Clinique/Chanel etc), but it was good (and fun!) to have a look for myself, without necessarily looking to buy. Whenever I smell something I love, I douse myself in it and leave the store. If I’m in the right place financially to potentially invest, I go back three or four more different times and spray it again. As a result of freebie hunters, you might find a lot of resistance when you ask for a sample (I bloody do, is it just me?) although with the rise in online shopping I think it’s getting easier. If you can get a sample, do that instead, but if not, and you truly love a scent, keep going back until you either don’t like it anymore, or you cannot stop thinking about it. Then it’s time to think about buying. You don’t have to buy from somewhere like Liberty, and it is possible to get luxury fragrances on sitewide sales like on Feelunique. But you’ll struggle to do that with niche fragrances, which is why it’s so important to make sure you are head over heels in love with it before you buy.

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22 Products I’ve Repurchased More Than Once

I think that one of the most glowing accolades a product can have is that someone would use an entire bottle/pot/tube of it and then go out to buy another one right away. Even more so, when someone has done that more than once… in a world of millions of beauty and cosmetic products to choose from, repurchasing is definitely the best measure of quality! So with that being said, here are some products that I have purchased, in full size, multiple times. I know, it’s A LOT. I won’t be offended if you just scroll through and skim read until you get to a product or product type you’re interested in 😉 The list includes cleansers, skincare, makeup, haircare and bodycare products. Enjoy! And share some of your ‘most bought products’ in the comments 😉

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Cleansers

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REN Evercalm Cleansing Gel, £15. This is my everyday cleanser for morning and evening. It’s very gentle and soothing, and the perfect cleanser for anyone with delicate or sensitive skin who wants a rinse-off product that won’t completely dry out or strip their skin of natural oils. I’ve used about two bottles of this, and it’s a great, basic cleanser.

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser, £22.50. I’ve been using this stuff for EVER and I love it. It’s perfect for combination skin types that can get a little on the oily side – I love to use this three or four times a week to deeply cleanse, or in the evening when it’s been a hot or long day, as it really feels like it removes everything without leaving your skin tight or uncomfortable. I must have gone through about four bottles by now, no matter what else I’m using I always have to have a bottle of this on the go too!

Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub, £23. I’ve been using this for about three years and am on my third tube – this stuff lasts forever! It smells gorgeous and the thick gel texture, rich in aloe vera, protects and soothes the skin. There’s also ginger in there to refresh, coconut to moisturise and camellia to soothe. The scrub particles are gentle and rounded palm seed fragments – so they are biodegradable too. I find that this scrub is very gentle, but really effective. With most scrubs that perhaps might slough off a lot more, they can actually be really irritating for the skin, so it’s best to use a gentle one more frequently than a harsh one less often. I highly recommend this one as a great option!

Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil, £18. This is such an amazingly fuss-free product – all you do is massage three pumps of the oil over your face (including eyes), emulsify it into a milk with a little water on your hands, and then when all your makeup is melted, rinse off with more water. It takes seconds! The only makeup remover that has ever come close to being as good is Trilogy’s Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm, but you have to use a flannel with that one so it’s not as practical (that being said though, you don’t need to double cleanse with the Trilogy product and you do with this, so I guess they’re about equal really). I must have gone through four bottles so far, and I have a travel size…

Skincare

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Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion, £13.50. I’ve been using this pretty much exclusively as my moisturiser since it launched two years ago, and I love it as much then as I do today! This moisturiser has only 7 ingredients and is completely free of preservatives and fragrance. Now, I love fragranced products but my skin can be picky, and ever since I introduced this into my routine I noticed that my skin has been much calmer, less sensitive and better hydrated than ever before. Which is a delightful finding. I would recommend this, not only to people with sensitive skin, but anyone who wants a light moisturiser that will protect and lock in hydration. I wrote a more in-depth review of what makes this moisturiser so special here.

Caudalie VineActiv Serum, £36. Oh GOD I love this serum. I’ve been using it since January and am on my second bottle. The idea of this serum is that it contains a really powerful complex of antioxidants that will help your skin to combat the free radicals that we encounter every day, which can cause dullness and premature ageing. And it really, ACTUALLY works. My skin had an inner glow after I started using this, and I was super stressed and working in London so that’s pretty impressive! I can’t attest to it’s anti-ageing powers because I deliberately started using it before my skin started to age, but I have no plans to stop using it so if my skin starts getting saggy and wrinkly, I’ll let you know. But judging by the way it made my skin so glowy, I doubt that will happen!

Hurraw Coconut Lipbalm, £4.99. This natural coconut scented lipbalm is the best I’ve ever tried. It melts onto the lips so doesn’t have that horrid thick feeling of many wax or mineral oil based lip products. With coconut, almond, cocoa, jojoba, olive and castor oils, it is super nourishing and leaves even very chapped lips feeling soothed and comfortable.

Lush Rosy Cheeks Face Mask, £7.25. This has been my favourite face mask for years! It does everything – deep cleanses with clay, soothes and nourishes with rose and reduces redness (from spots or sensitivity) with calamine. The scent is absolutely beautiful – pure rose to calm the senses, and the price is very reasonable.

Makeup

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NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and Radiant Creamy Concealer, £34 and £23. These have been my absolute holy grail for a flawless, full coverage makeup look for about three years, I am obsessed with them both and have repurchased each three times. However…as I was writing this post the announcement came that NARS have started to sell in China. Now, my opinions on brands that sell in China aren’t black and white for several reasons, but a brand intentionally taking its business to China when they KNOW (because brands didn’t always know) what is going on, makes it clear that they are only out for money, and I don’t agree with that, so I won’t be buying these again when they run out.

Benefit Bathina ‘Take a Picture, it Lasts Longer’ Body Balm, £23.50. Ok I know, this is a really weird thing to have bought more than one of, but when you’re pale and have no intention of being anything else, it’s a great way to give your skin a summery sheen without using bronzer. I use it on my legs and arms when I’m going out in the summer, and it leaves my skin just looking a little more…alive. Ha. Plus is smells SUPER gorgeous. Here is a full review!

DHC Oil Blotting Papers, £4.50. I use these constantly; for preparing my eyes before I apply eye makeup, for just blotting on super hot and oily skin days, and for prepping my skin to receive more product if I’m going out in the evening and want to layer over my workday makeup. They come in a lovely little cardboard holder, and don’t disturb any makeup, including eyeshadow!

Serge Lutens Fleurs D’Oranger Eau de Parfum, £75. This is the most expensive cosmetic item I own and it’s SO worth it that I’ve bought it twice. This perfume is my perfect scent, I don’t have much more to say about it other than if you like your fragrances light, floral but not ‘pink’ (if that makes sense) then pop down to your nearest House of Fraser (or Liberty) and have a smell, because this is the most beautiful fragrance I have ever worn. Also, I get compliments constantly, so…

Bodycare

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Lush Elbow Grease, £5.95. This was SUCH a revelation when I first bought it. Originally it was one of the exclusives on offer in Lush’s Oxford Street store but it became so popular that they made it available anywhere. Not only is its greaseproof paper packaging one the most sustainable ways of storing a body oil/lotion, it is honestly one of the most beautiful products I own, and I think I’ve gone through three or four now. The scent is a rich, tropical, floral concoction and the product melts into a nourishing oil as soon as you massage it in. You can use it on your hair too! Read more here.

Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel, £8. I’ve bought this so many times that I have memorised at least 5 different stores near me that stock it. This is been my favourite shower gel for about three years now and nothing so far has beaten it! It leaves my skin soft and refreshed but it’s the SMELL, guys. Oh my GOD. It’s sweet and fruity from the pear but has a fresh citrus notes from the bergamot. It’s just the freaking BEST.

Avene XeraCalm Cream, £16.50. My partner and I are both prone to the occasional bout of eczema or contact dermatitis. This cream from Avene actually works on the itch receptors in your nerves to stop you from itching, whilst also protecting the skin and adding oil back into it – basically everthing you need to heal a plaque of eczema. I also use it as a hand cream in the winter time to prevent eczema from forming. It really works, and I would recommend it to anyone with super sensitive dry skin too.

Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder, £5.95. While I will be the first to admit that I own a lot of ‘princess products’, I do like to think that at least some of them are valid as products with practical applications, as well as being a little bit indulgent and pretty. This is definitely one of them. A jasmine scented ‘dusting powder’ certainly fits the description of a product you really don’t need but makes you feel all nice when you use it. And it really does! But over the years (yes years, I bought my first back in like..2013?) I’ve found it to be indispensable for preventing thigh chafe, for applying to the underarms at night to prevent them smelling in the morning, for freshening up your sheets when you’ve just had a bath but it’s not time to change them, for applying to your feet on hot days… it might be a silly sounding product, but it fits perfectly into my life and I will never be without it.

Pit Rok Salt Spray Deodorant, £4.05. I’ve been using this for about four years now and oh my GOD if you’re still using anti-perspirant just stop already. Ok, it’s not the same for everyone, I know that, and actually my boyfriend still uses anti-perspirant because his job is very active, but if you work in an office, you should really try using a salt deo instead, it’s just so much better for you, and Pit Rok’s works soooo well! I hardly ever have noticeable body odour, and even then it’s not like that smell where you walk past someone and recoil, it’s only if I actually smell my underarms. But even for that, there is a solution…

Weleda Sage Deodorant Spray, £9.50. I keep this at work (hence why it’s not in the photos) for those days when the tube journey in was hotter than hell, or when I’ve been to six meetings in a row and arrive back a sweaty, flustered mess. Just to make sure I don’t accost my colleague’s nostrils with any possible smell! It’s absolutely perfect for this, as it completely eliminates odour. I work in an office where you can reapply your deo while sitting at your desk, but if you’re in a more formal environment, Weleda actually make a mini size that you can bring to the loo with you. If you’re still not convinced, I have also written a post about how to go anti-perspirant free 🙂

Haircare

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I think of myself as someone who never experiments with haircare, but actually I was looking back through my blog the other day and saw the products I was using when I first started blogging, and not only do I not use any of them anymore, I can’t even remember why I thought they were good! The products I’m sharing here though? A M A Z I N G.

Lush RnB Hair Moisturiser, £11.95 per 100g. I have literally repurchased this 8 times, 6 of those times in it’s largest, 400g tub size. I am utterly addicted to it, it sinks into my hair faster than any other hair cream I’ve used before, it creates beautiful, soft, smooth and defined curls, and it smells divine. Read the full review and then go buy some if you have curly/dry/textured/thick or long hair!!!!

Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Conditioner, £10.99. I always used to think I HAD to use expensive hair masks instead of conditioner, because my hair is so thick, curly and porous. I mean, when I was still using measly European hair products I did, but since discovering Shea Moisture a few years ago (before they hit Boots I’ll have you know), I realised that was no longer the case. This conditioner detangles, smoothes and nourishes my hair better than anything from any other brand I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried at least 50 different conditioners in my life, aimed at pretty much every hair type there is, and this is my favourite.

Hei Poa Monoi Oil with 1000 Fleurs, approx £11. I first discovered this while browsing a Monoprix in Paris, and I’m SO annoyed that it hooked me the way it did – because you can’t get it over here! However, you can buy it from Cocoon Centre, which is an international website that uses distributors to ship worldwide. This oil is normal Tahitian Monoi oil, which is known for it’s beautiful fragrance and ultra-nourishing properties, but it’s infused with a concoction of other flowers too, giving it the ‘1000 fleurs’ name. This scent is almost indescribably beautiful; think of the most tropical thing you’ve ever smelled, then times it by 10 and imagine smelling it in 30 degree heat, surrounded by palm trees, watching the sun set over a calm sea. I apply it to my hair after conditioner and then wrap it up in cling film for an hour, for the softest hair ever. It solidifies at room temperature, which means that it doesn’t wash out as easily as a normal hair oil, which makes it perfect for this. I’m about to start my third bottle.

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I hope you enjoyed this! As a bonus I thought I’d share some more products that I definitely plan to repurchase but don’t need to just now, because I haven’t run out yet, or am getting rid of a few things in my stash first: Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss, Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm, Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist, Jurlique Rosewater Mist, Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Oil, Aveda Dry Remedy Shampoo, Caudalie SOS Thirst Quenching Serum.

Reviewing 8 Different Facial Mists!

Hello summer heatwave, that time where any skin friendly liquid found in a spray bottle becomes fair game for me and my face, tbh. Today I was SO insanely hot that I started to worry I was getting heatstroke – needless to say I generously availed myself of my collection of facial mists… I thought I would share my thoughts on all of them, since there are SO many mists on the market right now, perhaps this will help you decide which one to go for, when the next wave of inescapably warm weather hits (or, you know, you go on holiday).

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1. Avene Thermal Spring Water – the most basic but deceptively effective spray ever – this is pure water from a spring in France that has a uniquely soothing affect on the skin. When spring water is underground it sits in a cave and in the Avene water’s cave are microbes that excrete a completely unique amino acid compound. It’s this that has the calming and soothing affect on the skin, because the acids actually have an affect on the itch-receptors in the skin. If you have bug bites, heat rash or sunburn, or you want a spray to use on a baby, opt for this.

2. Caudalie Grape Water – this 100% organic grape extract has an intense moisturising action on the skin, increasing its hydration levels by 127%! This is thanks to an invisible layer of natural polysaccharides that keep moisture in the skin. I spray this all over myself, all the time. It’s also been shown to reduce redness from sensitivity in the skin by 61%. I would recommend this one for sunburn too, as it helps to hydrate as well as soothe.

3. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist– if you like roses you will love this mist. Made from rosewater and aloe, it’s scent is calming and soothing while also feeling like a luxurious treat. I like to use this one when I feel really sad because it’s feminine, pretty scent is so uplifting. It’s wonderful on the feet too!

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir – This is one of the most unique products I’ve ever used. The idea behind Beauty Elixir  is that it gives the skin a boost of radiance, resets and refreshes makeup and tightens pores whilst also having an aromatherapeutic affect on the mind. And it really works! A spritz of this when you’re feeling low, sweaty or stressed and you just feel ready to take on anything. It’s also bloody amazing for travelling, especially when you’re fellow travellers (or you) are smelling…less than fresh.

5. Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist – Interestingly then inspiration behind this mist is the same as the Beauty Elixir, but they are totally different and I don’t find this one anywhere near as good, despite it being almost twice as expensive. One benefit is that it contains Hungarian thermal water which is REALLY good for the skin, but the spritz is way too fine and I don’t really think it does much to refresh, soothe or hydrate. I tried using this as a toner for a long time to see if the thermal water would have an effect, but didn’t see any improvement at all.

6. Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist – I love this stuff so much. As a makeup setting spray it works wonders, and the rose with green tea scent is perfect for waking the skin up in the morning. I also find it’s amazing as a primer on bare skin before my foundation, and for dampening brushes and sponges before blending. It definitely helps my makeup to last longer, and I love how it’s more skincare than makeup.

7. Mario Badescu Facial Mist with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater – I used to love this stuff. A gorgeously light and refreshing scent, similar to the Pixi Fixing Mist and I found it was very cooling in summer. However, this contains phenoxyethanol, a preservative with a questionable safety record. You’ll find it in almost every skincare product because it replaced parabens as the cheap, effective preservative of choice. However there is research that indicates it’s just as bad as parabens, so I try to avoid it in any product that I actually leave on my skin, and definitely mists as you’re likely to inhale it too. So while this is a lovely product that I used to adore, I would give it a miss now for that reason.

8. Pixi Glow Mist – I use this instead of  the fixing mist when my skin is dry or irritated – the formula has a gorgeous mixture of oils including lavender, argan, avocado and evening primrose in it so it really helps to calm the skin and get a smooth finish when my skin is rough or flaky. It also gives a lovely dewy finish when used as a setting spray, which is really nice for going out – though I definitely prefer the fixing mist for everyday when I don’t want anything too shiny.

Stay cool xxx

My Everyday Summer Makeup

As soon as the weather starts getting warmer, all I can think about is escaping from under the layers of makeup I live in during the winter. I enjoy makeup a lot, and I’m so pale that in the winter my skin looks ridiculous – red nose, pink cheeks, dry patches, white as death. So in the summer, when my skin is a little more…consistent looking…I like to scale the coverage back a lot. Plus, there’s also the fact that for the past two summers I’ve worked in an office with no air con, which I love because it means I actually experience summer instead of spending my days in a temperature controlled vacuum….but it also entails a fair bit of sweat, and sweating in heavy layers of foundation and powder is UNPLEASANT. So anyway, let’s get to the products!

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Base: Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF30. I had been meaning to try this for years after it was recommended to me by several people, but I just didn’t believe it would give my skin enough of a boost. I picked it up on a whim in an airport, and haven’t looked back. The formula is free of everything I’m sensitive to (I’m allergic to a lot of chemical sun filters), and the shade is a perfect match. It sinks straight in, and keeps my skin ‘perfected’, hydrated, and protected all day. I’m so glad I’ve finally found a BB cream that works for me, and is the right SPF for everyday usage! Fun fact: unless you are a child under 3, have a specific skin disorder, work outdoors or are on holiday somewhere hot or at a high altitude, you shouldn’t be using SPF50 – not only is it pretty unnecessary, the chemicals are also a lot stronger and aren’t good for your skin over long periods of time. 

Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. This has been my go-to concealer for about three years and I love it. There will always be days where your skin needs extra coverage somewhere, whether it’s dark circles or a pesky blemish, and this concealer gets rid of them seamlessly.

Anti-shine: DHC Blotting Papers. In the winter I would happily dust powder over my foundation to set it and prevent oiliness from sneaking through. But in the summer that just seems too much! So instead I use blotting papers whenever I need to. These from DHC are wonderful – they’re pretty cheap, and don’t smudge your makeup at all. I use them after I’ve applied my makeup to make sure there’s nothing residual, and then whenever I notice some shine during the day.

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever find a blusher I like more than this, and since I’ve owned this one for about two and a half years now (and it’s been my regular everyday blusher for that entire time) I can’t see myself every using a different one for any reason! I piled it on a bit in the photo below, but it wasn’t showing up in the photo so I went overboard.

Setting spray: Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist. Is there a better, nicer to use or more refreshing setting spray out there? I think not. This mist has the most beautiful fragrance of green tea and rose, and it really helps to set your makeup for the day ahead. One thing I love about it is that the spray is quite heavy – your face is completely drenched after you use it, but within seconds it’s dry and your skin feels refreshed and ready for the day. I always use this and then apply my mascara while it dries, and my face is completely dry by the time I’m done. It’s the perfect way to wake your skin up after a sticky summer night.

Mascara: Fairydrops Waterproof Scandal Queen. I LOVE this mascara, and what I love more than anything is that even though it doesn’t budge when you drench your skin in a face mist, or you’re sweating on the tube, it still comes off super easily (although that might be because I use the greatest makeup remover of all time, I dunno). It doesn’t flake, and its really buildable. You can get a very light layer indeed (way lighter than the photo) or you can get a proper night time look. It’s not a mega volume or curl mascara, it just enhances your natural eyelashes perfectly.

Lip product: Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss. I’m not sure how many more times I can bang on about how much I adore this product, but here I go again. This is honestly the best lip product I have ever used, in the most flattering shade of all time. I cannot think of a single person who wouldn’t look amazing wearing it. It’s beautiful. It moisturises the lips SO well, and leaves them looking super plump even though it doesn’t actually plump them. It lasts for a long time even though it’s a gloss, but the application is seamless too so you can easily reapply in seconds. Crucially, for a summer beauty product, it isn’t sticky at all, instead it just feels super smooth on the lips!

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So those are the products I’ve been using when the weather is hot. However, it’s equally as important to make sure your skincare fits the season, and if possible, helps you to achieve skin that you’re comfortable showing off under lighter coverage makeup. I’ve already written another post about skincare must haves for the summer, check it out here!

Homemade face masks with Latin Honey

Honey has been a beauty product pretty much since humans first learned how to harvest it. It’s anti-bacterial properties are well known, and is the reason that raw honey never actually goes off. This means it helps to reduce blemishes by eliminating bacteria, and it also helps to soothe irritation in some people because it purifies the skin without stripping it of natural oils. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, and as if that wasn’t enough, honey is also moisturising, which makes it great for both the skin and hair.

I’ve never actually tried using honey in skincare so when Latin Honey invited me to try out their honey with a beauty perspective I was intrigued. Their honey is raw, organic, single origin South American honey and let me tell you before we begin that it is the best tasting honey I have ever tried. Raw honey is far more nutritious than pasturised honey as it contains enzymes that are apparently good for digestion, as well as some antioxidants.

But what does it do for the skin?

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My partner and I have very different skin types so we both had a go. Firstly I tried the Riviera Gum Honey* as a hair mask. I mixed it with shea butter and coconut oil, and applied it all over the front section of my hair. This part is very brittle, so it dries out and frizzes up much quicker than the rest of my hair. After I applied this mask and left it on for half an hour, it definitely felt different. The honey created a barrier to hydrate and to keep the oils in, and I’m absolutely certain that this mask repaired damage to my hair. It was very sticky and took a while to wash out, but my hair has been softer ever since.

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Then we tried the Volcano Sunflower Honey* as plain face masks – and this was amazing for me. After leaving it on for 10 minutes and rinsing with warm water my skin was so soft and smooth, with no sign of irritation or redness. In fact, some of the redness I already had was reduced, thanks to those anti-inflammatory properties! Some blemishes I had very quickly reduced afterwards too. I was really impressed that my sensitive skin looked so calm after using honey on it. I will definitely continue to use the honey this way, as I can’t quite believe how soft my skin was! It’s also worth nothing that because they’re raw, these honeys can be used to exfoliate thanks to the slight crystalisation that naturally happens in storage. I felt the granules when I was washing it off and it was very gentle, but definitely contributed to the smooth feeling.

For my partner, who has very oily, blemish prone and congested skin, we tried something a little more intense, and squeezed half a lemon into the honey before he applied it. The effect was amazing. His skin was much more radiant, mattified and super soft without being oily at all when he washed it off.

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We were so impressed by the honey’s effectiveness on its own. But of course we had to experiment, and we also discovered the best beard scrub of all time: mix a tablespoon or two of honey into roughly blended oats, and massage into the beard. This not only purifies the skin underneath facial hair by eliminating bacteria lurking there, it also softens the skin and hair, AND gets rid of dead skin buildup, allowing the hair to grow healthily. I think this could also be used as a really luxurious body scrub too, but I have so many scrubs to use up I haven’t gotten around to trying that yet!

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I am amazed by the quality of Latin Honey, they taste incredible, and the effect on my skin and hair is really impressive. By using a raw, organic honey as a face or hair mask, whether combined with ingredients or not, you’re also benefitting from using simple, pure skincare that you know is safe enough to eat – and when those kinds of products are actually effective, it’s definitely a good idea to give it a whirl! Latin Honey have a selection of four honeys which all look amazing, but here are the two that I’ve tried:

Volcano Sunflower Honey from Mexico: Tastes fruity and floral – this is amazing on toast. This is the honey I’ve used for face masks, which have left both my and my partner’s skin smooth, radiant and purified.

Rivera Gum Honey from Uruguay: Tastes buttery and toffee-like. I love eating this on porridge. It’s also apparently good for dandruff so this is the one I used this on my hair, and was very impressed with how soft my hair ended up.

Have you used honey in your beauty routine before?

Reviewing my entire lip collection

I own a lot of lip products, and when I thought about reviewing them all I had to roll my eyes. There’s only so much you can say about a lipstick, so I thought, why not just review all of them at the same time?! I’ll be honest, this is a long one. But if you like your lipsticks I hope you’ll enjoy reading about what I think of all mine! I’ve separated this into matte lips, lipsticks (+ lip stains) and glosses. Just an FYI, my ultimate favourite is the very last one 😉 enjoy!

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Matte Lips

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Lolita (£17)*

I like the way this looks on my lips and it goes on really easily, but I have to say I don’t find that it lasts very long. It comes off the second I take a bite of food or drink anything. The colour is amazing and it’s not as drying as some liquid lipsticks, but I don’t think it deserves cult status when it comes off so easily.

Would I buy it if I hadn’t been gifted it? Maybe, but I would try a different colour – despite being the ‘cult’ shade I don’t 100% love Lolita.

Sleek Matte Me Lip Cream – Bittersweet (£4.99)

So insanely, unbearably drying. I cannot stand this stuff. It looks amazing when I first apply it but in a few minutes my lips are sticky, wrinkled and so tight they practically itch. Unsurprisingly, it has great staying power, but it feels like wearing PVA glue with some pigment in it.

Would I buy it again? No. It’s too drying and very uncomfortable, and makes my lips extremely wrinkly.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream – Ibiza (£6)

The formula of this is amazing, super pigmented and goes on really smooth, but I don’t really like this colour – too vibrant for me, as I spend all my time at work! I bought this one thinking it was a pretty pink but wasn’t too bright, but on the lips it’s very intense. It’s really hydrating and long lasting, so it’s a shame I bought the wrong colour.

Would I buy it again? Yes, but in a more natural looking colour.

Collection Velvet Kiss – Cotton Candy (£2.99)*

I am absolutely in love with this stuff! This is the prettiest shade and my absolute favourite matte lip. It’s gorgeous, lasts for AGES and is really hydrating too! It’s really easy to apply as well, which a matte lip ought to be if it possibly can. It’s the cheapest product I think I’ve ever tried but oh my god it’s so good. This shade is perfect for my skin tone, however, I don’t think the other shades are as good, they can get a little streaky.

Would I buy it if I hadn’t been gifted it? Definitely, I will repurchase this forever.

Lord & Berry 20100 Maxi Matte Crayon Lipstick – Intimacy (£12)

I like this one, it’s a sample size so is very portable. The colour is lovely, it’s not very drying and it goes on easily. It’s not very hydrating but in comparison to liquid matte lips there’s nothing to complain about. However, it doesn’t really blow me away and I prefer the formula of the next one…

Would I buy it? Probably not, see below.

No7 Matte Lip Crayon – Raspberry Wine (£9)

This was a gift with purchase from Boots. We went out one day and I absentmindedly put this on. When we got back I looked in the mirror and was like ‘damn I look goooood’ and realised that this lip crayon had not only stayed on all day, it had kept my lips hydrated whilst still looking matte. It’s easier to apply than the Lord & Berry stuff and it’s really affordable, and very comfortable.

Would I buy it? Yes! I really like this stuff.

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Lipsticks and Lip Stains

Burt’s Bees Lipstick – Blush (£9.99)

Ohhhh I love this so much. Like, SO much. It’s the prettiest colour, so hydrating, natural and long lasting. It goes on smooth, the blush pink suits me perfectly and I cannot get enough of it. I wear it so often and feel like it makes my face look brighter and more awake.

Would I buy it? God yes, I will definitely be getting this one when it runs out.

Benefit Benetint, Posietint, Benebalm and Posiebalm (£24.50 & £15.50)

I got all these in a gift set together which was great, because I had been wanting to try the Benetint and Posiebalm (wasn’t too bothered about the Benebalm or Posietint but it worked out as half of it being free so…). I really like the Posiebalm, it gives a cute, subtle colour and is very moisturising. The pigment has a tendency to flake a bit when you wear and reapply all day, which is annoying, but I think that only happens when my lips are super dry. The Posietint is a waste of time for me, but my lips are very dark – I should try it as a blush but I really don’t trust cheek stains because I do my makeup in the morning with about three minutes to spare and I always think that stains are a risk when you don’t have a margin for error. I really like the Benetint, it’s subtle but very pretty, and I was surprised by how much I liked the Benebalm too – together, they look really lovely. I think you need to use the Benefit tints with a balm, because they leave my lips feeling very strange if I don’t apply something over the top.

Would I buy it again? I think I would buy the Posietint again, but I’m not 100% obsessed with it.

Tony Moly Delight Tony Tint – 02 (£8.80)

I bought this to try the really cute ‘ombre lip’ trend from Korea, and thought a lip tint from there would be the perfect product. Unfortunately it doesn’t really work for that as it goes super patchy, but when used all over the lips it’s a really striking colour. Like, really striking, I think I could use it in a vampire costume!

Would I buy it again? I don’t have much call to use it because it’s soooo bright, so I don’t really think I’ll need to repurchase any time soon!

Benefit They’re Real Double The Lip – Lusty Rose (£16.50)

The idea of this product is that it lines your lips and colours them in at the same time, making them look really full. Perhaps I got the wrong shade for my lips because I look like a flight attendant from the 90’s wearing this, the contrast is so stark between the two colours. It actually looks like I’m only wearing lipliner. I smudge it up and it and it looks better like that, but what’s the point in buying a whole product for that? It goes on very easily and the line is super even (which never happens for me when I try real lip liner!). I have super full lips anyway so I have no idea if I don’t like it because I don’t actually need it.

Would I buy it? No, but if you’re someone who likes to line their lips a different colour to make them look bigger, this would save you a lot of time in the mornings.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lipstick – Rose (£21)

My boyfriend got this for free along with a load of other bits when he bought a tonne of Elizabeth Arden Cleansers for himself, so naturally I got the pile of free stuff. This formula is amazing, it’s SO hydrating and nourishing. It feels like a rich lipbalm but is intensely pigmented and doesn’t run. The only issue is the shade – it’s a very old-fashioned plum colour but with family large glitter particles in it. I simply can’t wear it which is such a shame because my lips love it!

Would I buy it? Definitely, but in a different shade.

Lipstick Queen – Frog Prince (£22)

One of my favourite lip products, I love the natural tint it gives and it’s always fun to put on a green lipstick. I also find it very moisturising. I think this lipstick is universally flattering too, which is a definite bonus, and it goes with every makeup look imaginable, because it just gives your lips a full, subtly glossy ‘just bitten’ look.

Would I buy again? Hell yeah, I love love love this stuff.

Lipstick Queen – Hello Sailor (£22)

The weirder sister of Frog Prince, this is a blue lipstick that goes on as a ‘berry’ shade. I like the colour, but you have to be careful to blend it in because otherwise you end up with blue smears on your lips. When you successfully apply it, you get a subtle dark tint, and again, this is nice and moisturising.

Would I buy again? No, because there are other dark berry/moody lip colours to try and I don’t think it’s that special. I still enjoy using it though, definitely not a purchase I regret.

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Glosses

Lancome Juicy Shaker – Meli Melon (£19.50)

Bleurghhhhhh this is horrible. It smells of that watermelon fragrance that was in everything in the 90s, but I mean exactly like that, not a modern, bearable reinterpretation. It doesn’t give much hydration, the colour doesn’t show but the sheen is quite pretty. To be honest, I get exactly the same sheen from my coconut oil lip balm which costs £4, actually moisturises and smells bearable.

Would I buy it? Absolutely not, you couldn’t pay me to use this again.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre – Blondie (£16.50)*

This is a golden gloss that gives a classic shimmer. It reminds me a lot of the glosses you would get in the 90’s, but it’s very pleasant to use and I actually think it’s really pretty and surprisingly modern (despite my concerns, it doesn’t actually look like you fished an old glitter gloss from when you were 9 out the back of a drawer in your childhood bedroom). I find myself wearing it more often than I thought I would, and it hydrates my lips fairly well (though considering it’s a gloss, it could be better).

Would I buy it if I hadn’t been gifted it? Probably not, I only wear it because I have it and I don’t think I’ll miss it.

NYX Intense Butter Gloss – Peaches and Cream (£6)*

I have two of these, one bright red and this candy pink colour. The bright red one is quite easy to apply and gives very nice colour although it’s just way too bright for me to wear, and the pink one has a very streaky formula that just won’t apply evenly on my lips, so I can’t wear it at all! They are very hydrating and extremely glossy, but they’re just too much for me.

Would I buy it if I hadn’t been gifted it? Probably not, I am not bold enough.

Zoeva Pure Laquer Lips – Strong Career (£9.99)*

This is quite an incredible product – it’s as highly pigmented as Sleek Matte Me but GLOSSY AF. It’s actually too pigmented I think, because the formula doesn’t dry or set, it transfers way too easily. If you’re not careful it can literally smudge over everything so you really have to be careful not to let your lips touch a thing. However, for a selfie session, it’s great fun and I love this brown shade.

Would I buy it if I hadn’t been gifted it? No, but I actually really like it, it’s just not practical for me.

Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss (£25)*

I saved the best ’til last here folks. This is possibly my favourite lip product of all time. It feels GORGEOUS. It looks INCREDIBLE. My lips stay soft all day. It lasts for at least half the day which is insane for a gloss. It applies perfectly, the pigmentation and colour are absolutely beautiful and it doesn’t transfer.

Would I buy it if I hadn’t been gifted it? YES. FOREVER AND EVER. I don’t care that this stuff it stupidly expensive, it’s the nicest lip product ever.

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Collection Velvet Kiss – Cotton Candy (£2.99), No7 Matte Lip Crayon – Raspberry Wine (£9), Burt’s Bees Lipstick – Blush (£9.99)Lipstick Queen – Frog Prince (£22), Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss (£25)

Here’s a final picture just to recap my favourites! I hope you enjoyed this post. It’s interesting to see how many misses there have been, but I really do love putting some of these products on in the morning Let me know your favourite (or least favourite!) lip products in your collection!

Collection Velvet Kiss Moisturising Lip Creams

Watching people apply liquid lipsticks on Instagram is one of my favourite ways to spend a bleary-eyed morning or long train journey – there’s something so satisfying about watching people perfectly swipe these gorgeous pigments onto their lips! But I was always dubious about doing it myself because I have full lips, a very feathery lip line and they aren’t symmetrical, so I always feel like highly pigmented products look like I put them on in the dark. That was, until I was given Collection’s Velvet Kiss Moisturising Lip Creams* to try…

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The first thing to note about these Lip Creams is that they are sooooo cheap. At £2.99 each there’s no reason not to try a couple! Not only are they the perfect choice if you’re on a budget, they’re also brilliant for trying out a risky shade, or like me, working out if liquid lipsticks are for you.

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I’m wearing the shade ‘Cotton Candy’ in this photo, and I have to say that it’s become my my favourite lip colour, ever. It’s SO pretty! But let me show you the rest of the shades before I talk more about that…

Mango

Vibrant but not quite neon orange shade – perfect for anyone who wants to try an orange lip without going too bold.

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Rosie

Looks much darker in the tube – a gorgeous muted red with and amazingly consistent pigmentation and smooth texture. My second favourite shade.

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Mulberry

Beautiful purple shade with brown undertones, doesn’t apply as smoothly as Rosie but still pretty great. Make sure you exfoliate and moisturise your lips first because this one clings.

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Blackberry

Cool purple shade – the hardest to apply in terms of consistency but a really awesome colour. Definitely need more than one coat, as you’ll see in the swatch at the end.

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Cotton Candy

Requires no effort with application, smooth, thick formula that spreads perfectly and lasts all day. I love this shade.

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Here are all the shades together in the same order as above so you can compare. I did double layer Blackberry here and the coverage is much more consistent.

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In terms of the formula, I can confirm that these lip creams are really moisturising – I’ve worn them all day and my lips haven’t flaked AT ALL, unlike other matte lipsticks I’ve used that make my lips so tight, flaky and itchy that all I can think about it getting it off at the end of the day! They also don’t make my lips sticky, which I have found the some other brands to be really bad for. And while they’re long lasting, a quick swipe with micellar water and they’re gone. I absolutely love these lip creams, and really recommend that you give at least one a try sometime! There is one other shade called Caramel, but there was no way that one was gonna suit me so I didn’t bother with it. They’re available from Boots and Superdrug, whichever you prefer – have fun!