The Winter Skincare Essentials

If the news is to be believed, it seems that this winter is going to be pretty brutal weather-wise. Personally I love bitingly cold winter weather, but I come from a family of people with skin that doesn’t react well to it – think heels and knuckles so dry they crack until they bleed. Because of this, I’ve had to pick up a few habits to survive the winter, and I thought it was time to share! Plus, we all know that when it’s dark and cold our mood can suffer. Self care and little indulgent rituals become even more important at this time of the year. So I’ve put together a little guide, starting with the products you need to get you through the winter, followed by a few little hacks and tips for dealing with cold-ravaged skin!

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Skincare products for the wintertime

More than one of your favourite lip balm – Keep them everywhere, by your bed, in your bag, your coat pocket, your socks, wherever. Being without your lipbalm is just not worth the pain and suffering. I love Hurraw! Coconut Lip Balm which is raw, vegan, smells nice and melts onto the lips instantly. I cannot stand the chunky, vaseline feeling of mineral oil lipbalms and if you feel the same way, I highly recommend this one!

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A good, fast absorbing hand cream – Having a hand cream that absorbs quickly means you will be more inclined to reapply frequently. If you have to sit with sticky hands for ages after applying, you’re much less likely to break out the hand cream throughout the day, which means that your hands are going to get dry and crispy much sooner than if you had a light, pleasant hand cream to use. Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream is the fastest absorbing hand cream I have ever used, it smells amazing and it’s seriously effective too. This is one you won’t be able to stop applying!

An extremely thick balm – Of course, even if you are good at reapplying hand cream, sometimes the cold weather is going to get to your hands, or other parts of your body, and dry them out, especially if you’re outdoorsy or have naturally dry skin. When this happens it’s a good idea to have a gorgeously thick balm on hand to protect, nourish and soothe. Weleda Skin Food is the ultimate multipurpose balm if you ask me. There are other great ones, like Antipodes Saviour Balm, Trilogy Everything Balm and MOA Green Balm, but Skin Food really is the best. Apply to dry hands (and dry anything else too, even your hair and face) before bed and everything will be better by morning. A multipurpose balm also comes in handy when you get a cold or the flu – for soothing a tissue-ravaged nose!

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A facial oil – Lots of people will switch to a heavier moisturiser in the winter, but I’m not convinced that’s the best course of action. Your skin type doesn’t actually change with the weather, and for me at least, using a richer cream leads to blocked pores and spots even if it does prevent dry patches and redness initially. I prefer to ward off dryness with ‘treatment’ products rather than permanent replacements so I can use them whenever I need to. A facial oil is perfect for this – they last for a long time if stored right, and they have the added benefit of soothing the skin along with protecting, nourishing and hydrating. I absolutely love Jurlique Balancing Facial Oil (particularly amazing for sensitive skin and smells heavenly), Korres Brightening Facial Oil (really does give you a radiant complexion!) and Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil, (brightens the skin and can even be used by people with spots) which are all aimed at normal to combination skin like mine so aren’t too heavy, but are still super nourishing. If your skin is naturally on the drier side, try Trilogy Rosehip Oil + Antioxidant, or Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil, both a little rich for me but absolutely beautiful for drier skins! I also like Pure Potions Salvation Oil but I can’t find it to buy anywhere else apart from their website so there might be shipping charges there.

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A moisturising mask – Again, like with the face oil, having a moisturising mask on hand for days where your skin feels super rough and tight is a great way to nourish your skin, but also protect and soothe it from the irritation of being dry. A nourishing mask is perfect for this, and I absolutely love Caudalie Moisturising Mask which contains grape seed oil and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and nourish whilst strengthening the skin too. I wouldn’t say you definitely need both – a mask or an oil will suffice, but I wanted to add them both since they do have different qualities. You can also apply a really thin layer of this particular mask when you go outdoors to help protect your skin from chapping.

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A gentle cleanser – Over cleansing and stripping your skin of its natural oils becomes a much easier trap to fall into in the winter. If your skin gets dull, dry and rough, don’t be tempted to slough it away with a rough exfoliator or cleanser. Often, the skin can become more sensitive in the winter, so make sure you’re treating it nicely. I love Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm for removing makeup, and Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser for washing my face.

A gorgeous body oil – Just the same as for the face, except there’s even more of a self-care element to it. After you get out of your bath or shower, apply your body oil all over and snuggle into bed, preferably with some cosy jammies, a hot water bottle and a couple of extra blankets. The act of massaging the oil in, enjoying it’s gorgeous scent, and waking up with silky soft skin is one of my favourite things to do in winter. Just try to make sure you apply it in a warm room! My current favourite body oil is Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Treatment, but you can see a wider variety of my faves here too.

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A restorative bath soak – Essential for several reasons! Baths warm the heart and soul and are a perfect way to counteract a chilly day. They lift the mood, calm the mind and relax the muscles. They are also fantastic for the sinuses! I absolutely love a good bath product, I’m not so fussed about bubble baths and prefer oils, salts and soaks; they’re richer in natural plant and herbal extracts because they don’t have a a cleansing base or soap or surfactants like a bubble bath does. I always shower quickly before a bath (yes, you should do this) and wash myself, so I don’t need soap in the bath itself. My absolute  favourites at the moment are definitely Olverum Bath Oil, but it is prohibitively expensive so when I run out I will buy from the much more reasonably priced ranges of Weleda and Kneipp Bath Soaks.

Winter skincare tips and tricks

  • If you’re pushed for budget, or just don’t want to buy too much, I would suggest that instead of buying a facial oil, mask and balm, just go for Weleda Skin Food instead because not only can you can use it on your face as a night treatment, you can also use it to protect your skin from harsh weather, and it can double up as a mask!

 

  • Always exfoliate before applying your face or body oil, and never exfoliate unless you’re going to apply an oil afterwards. This will ensure you remove the rough patches of skin that can build up in the wintertime without actually making them worse by drying your skin out.

 

  • If you’re spot prone but still get winter dryness and dehydration, use a very small amount of your nourishing balm only on the dry patches (in a similar way to how you might apply an on-the-spot treatment gel for a blemish) to avoid clogging up the rest of your pores. Focus more on the hydration side of skincare too – think hydrating serums, sheet masks, moisturisers…while many people can get away with just protecting their skin with oils, you have to take the more difficult route of perfecting your skin’s hydration instead.

 

  • Avoid using mineral oil based products unless you are specifically looking to apply a thick, protective layer over your skin. Mineral oil does absolutely nothing but create a layer that prevents water and oil loss.

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  • If your forehead gets irritated by wearing a woollen hat all the time, try soothing it with a calming facial mist instead of scratching it. It might feel weird to spray a traditionally summer-time product in the middle of the winter, but you’ll feel so much relief afterwards that you won’t care! I would recommend Avene Thermal Water or Caudalie Grape Water for this, as they are the two that I personally find the most soothing, and they come in travel sizes. My absolute favourite would be Glossier Soothing Mist but that only comes in a big size!

 

  • If your body skin is getting dry, rough and itchy, try this to help relieve it. Take a square of cotton (muslin is best but you can use anything as long as it isn’t heavily dyed) and pile half a cup of oats into the centre of it. Tie it up with whatever you have, could be string, an elastic band or a hair bobble, then drop it into a warm (not hot) bath. Soak in the milky water and let it calm and soothe your skin. If you have any raw shea or cocoa butter then you can put a a teaspoon or so in the pouch as well, to nourish and hydrate the skin while you bathe.

 

I hope this helps you and your skin survive the winter! Wrap up warm! x

 

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Perricone MD No Lipstick and No Lipgloss Review

A while ago, I was lucky enough to be sent a parcel of five lipglosses to try for Stylist Magazine’s Best Beauty Awards. There were some definite misses in that selection (never talk to me about Lancome Juicy Shakers, urgh) but amongst some disappointments, there was a clear winner…. Perricone MD No LipGloss Lipgloss.

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I was completely besotted with the rich, buttery, consistency of this lipgloss, as well as the way it glided onto my lips and the stunningly perfect colour. The translucent dusty rose tint was just so unbelievably flattering, and I couldn’t stop wearing it. It isn’t sticky at all, just silky and smooth, and it’s SO nourishing. As you’ve probably guessed from the name, the point of this product is that it enhances your natural features without looking like you’re ‘wearing something’, and it really does achieve this. Plus, it left my lips soft and plumped too so I didn’t even need to use lipbalm when I was wearing it. I just LOVE the stuff. And here’s the proof…

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Not gonna lie, it’s pretty cool to be quoted in Stylist Magazine, and I really meant it. I had never used something that felt as good. And here, to drive the point home, are four photos of me wearing No Lipgloss Lipgloss. I’m aware that I’m not very photogenic, but let’s not dwell on that. Whenever I wear this lipgloss, I feel great about myself.

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And here is a mega close-up so you can really see it!

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So yeah, Perricone MD No Lipgloss Lipgloss pretty much makes it to the top of my lip-product list, but it doesn’t stop there!! Perricone MD very kindly sent me their amazing No Lipstick Lipstick* to try as well! This is very similar to the lipgloss, it’s just as nourishing and has the same scent and tint, but isn’t as glossy so it looks much more natural. Whereas with No Lipgloss, it’s obvious that you are wearing something, with No Lipstick it really does just look like your lips. The No Lipstick Lipstick was also used by Wonder Woman’s makeup artists in the new film, which is pretty cool!

Here is a comparison so you can see properly see the difference between them…

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And here’s a photo with it on – you can see how similar the colours are but just with less shine, right?!

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I find myself using the No Lipstick everyday now, because it’s such a natural colour and is so easy to reapply on the go, while now I save the No Lipgloss for special occasions or when I want to feel extra sexy. I can’t describe how impressed I am with Perricone’s Lip Products, and I should also note that I’ve been using the No Lipgloss Lipgloss regularly since very early this year and there’s still LOADS left! Check them out on Perricone MD’s website where you can also get 15% off your first order  – here’s No Lipgloss Lipgloss, and here’s No Lipstick Lipstick.

Scrub Love Body Scrubs Review

Scrub Love exploded onto the market recently and their cute packaging, 100% natural formulas and super interesting range caught my eye immediately. I’ve tried three ‘flavours’ so far, and am absolutely obsessed, so here are my thoughts!

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(Coconut Mango is the brown one on top, Original Coffee is at the bottom right and Avocado and Aloe is bottom left)

Avocado & Aloe Vera with Activated Charcoal Body Scrub – £13.95

This scrub was the first one I tried, and it was unlike anything I’d used before. It’s a completely dry powder, and when you apply it to wet skin, the charcoal powder and aloe vera juice turn into a grey paste while the coconut shell fragments deeply exfoliate the skin. I think this has got to be the most effective scrub I’ve ever used, it leaves my skin absolutely, perfectly soft and when I follow it up with a luxurious body oil…I’ve never felt anything as smooth in my life! You need to use a shower gel to get rid of the charcoal, and it doesn’t smell good in the packet, but I’m not remotely put off by either of those things because it’s SO effective. I have read some reviews of this product where people are absolutely horrified by the fact that it leaves charcoal residue on the skin, but it comes of so easily with shower gel, it’s really not an issue. I would say you don’t need to use it more once every couple of weeks because it works so well, so it’s also amazing value for money!

Original Coffee Body Scrub – £11.95

This one is totally different to the charcoal one, and uses coffee grounds and rock salt to exfoliate the skin. It is much wetter, and contains almond and orange oils to make it much more nourishing than the charcoal one – I would recommend this one for people who’s skin can get a little dry or delicate, anyone under 18 or people with sensitive skin. The smell is so strange – a combination of weak coffee and Terry’s Chocolate Orange, which isn’t unpleasant, but it definitely a bit weird. I really enjoy using this, but I love a deep, deep scrub so if I had to pick I would go for the charcoal one.

Coconut Mango Body Scrub – £12.95

Again, this one is completely different to the others. Formulated for drier skin, it’s super nourishing and rich in coconut and macadamia oils. There’s also mango fruit powder which gives it the most glorious scent EVER, and to exfoliate there’s a bit of coconut shell, coconut flour and coconut sugar. This is a really gentle, gorgeous product and I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone, but especially to people with dry or sensitive skin types.

I adore all three of these scrubs but for different reasons, and also for different uses; I’ve actually started to use the Charcoal one for my legs, feet and arms, the Coconut Mango for the softer skin of my torso, and the Coffee as an all rounder to travel with. I would recommend them all, and can’t wait to try more from this gorgeous range! You can see the full range on their website, here.

 

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.

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!