Introducing: Lozano Skincare Skintea Active Renewal Masque review

Monday, 24 June 2019

Lozano Skincare Skintea Active Renewal Masque review
New cruelty-free, British skincare brands are popping up right, left and centre at the moment! The latest to hit my inbox is Lozano Skincare with their exciting launch of the Skintea Active Renewal Masque.

Many new skincare brands often go down the route of launching a series of basics first such as cleansers and moisturisers, but Lozano Skincare is a little different in the respect that they want their products to complement your existing daily skincare routine. This shifts the focus to products that will 'boost' your skin by giving it that extra va-va-voom for the best possible results.  

Although I'm a self-proclaimed skincare junkie, I know that my skin will generally behave much better when my routine is kept fairly simple (cleanse, tone moisturise) with just one or two additional products like a good serum, exfoliating toner or a face mask thrown in for good measure, so Lozano instantly appealed to me. I'm also a fan of using acids such as Hyaluronic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid in my skincare, and as Lozano's first luxury product contains all three of these, I couldn't wait to test it out.

What Is It and What Does It Do?
Lozano's Skintea Active Renewal Masque is an exfoliating treatment that helps to remove dull, dead skin cells and impurities, unclogs pores and brightens your complexion. It also boosts cell turnover and increases collagen production, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and keeps the skin hydrated, so it's what I would call an excellent 'all-rounder' to add to your routine.

Who Can Use It?
Although Lozano suggests that all skin types can use this, I would recommend doing a patch test on sensitive skin first as I know some sensitive skin types can't/won't tolerate certain acids such as Glycolic. I think it would be great for most others though, especially dry, dull, dehydrated, mature and oily/combination.

What's In It and What Isn't?
Key active ingredients in this masque include 3% Glycolic Acid, 3% Hyaluronic Acid, 1% Lactic Acid and 5% Camellia Sinensis. It's free from Alcohol, Silicones, Sulphates and Parabens, and is safe for nut allergy sufferers to use. Full INCI is listed on their website here

How Do I Use It and How Often?
After cleansing, apply 3-5 pumps to damp skin, gently smoothing it on (don't rub or massage it in) and avoiding the eye area. Leave on for around 15 minutes and then remove with water and a flannel. Pat skin dry and follow up with your usual moisturiser or face oil. Can be used 2-3 times a week.

Overall Thoughts?
I love non-manual exfoliators like this which use fruit-based acids and enzymes to shift those dull, dead skin cells as I find they are much more effective and non-abrasive than the 'scrubby' equivalents. Lozano's Skintea Active Renewal Masque is no exception and it's been brilliant for helping to brighten and clear up my skin. I've been using it only once a week for the past month but that's been enough for me to notice a difference, and I'd say that it's in a similar league to REN's popular Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask which I've been using on and off for years. Definitely worth a try if you're after a new exfoliating masque treatment that has additional hydrating and anti-ageing benefits.

Lozano Skintea Active Renewal Masque* (50ml, £32) is available direct from lozanoskincare.com / Use code LAUNCH10 for 10% off!

Are you a fan of exfoliating treatments like this?

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Foodie Friday: Strawberry Shortcake (Vegetarian recipe)

Friday, 21 June 2019

Strawberry Shortcake (Vegetarian recipe)
What's the first ingredient that you think of when someone says 'Birthday cake'? Chocolate? Vanilla? Salted Caramel? Nope, this year I decided to celebrate with something completely different; a Strawberry Shortcake

It might seem like an odd choice but the main ingredient that I wanted to include was fresh Strawberries, and bizarrely, I didn't fancy making a chocolate cake (although I assure you, I'll be eating some chocolate in its classic bar form later this evening!). Instead, I opted for something seasonal, fresh, with all the indulgence of an English Afternoon Tea, and thus this delicious Strawberry Shortcake was made from scratch in my kitchen earlier today.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out as I ended up tweaking the recipe from a couple that I found on Pinterest to suit what I had in my cupboards. This cake is like a giant scone that's both dense and fluffy inside, topped with an overly generous amount of whipped organic Ricotta. To finish it off, I've added fresh Strawberries that have been lightly cooked in a zingy Orange syrup to bring out all of their juicy flavours. 

Heaven in every mouthful!

Strawberry Shortcake (Vegetarian recipe)
Ingredients (makes 1 large cake)

For the cake:-
  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 organic, free-range Egg
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 50g organic Butter (cold & cubed)
  • 80ml Almond or Soy Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt

For the topping:-
  • 250g organic Ricotta
  • 250g fresh Strawberries
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Star Anise

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 220C / Gas Mark 7 and line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large bowl, add the Flour, Baking Powder, Sugar and Salt and mix well. Add the Butter and mix into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it resembles something that looks like fine sand and then make a well in the centre.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the Egg, Milk and Vanilla Extract.
  • Pour this into the well and gently stir everything together. Once you are near a dough like consistency, use your hands to give the mixture a light knead so that everything is fully combined.
  • Place into the lined cake tin and gently press the mixture down. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until the top is a light golden brown and a skewer in the middle comes out clean.

  • Whilst the cake is baking make fruit topping by adding the chopped fresh Strawberries to a small saucepan with all the other ingredients, except the Ricotta. Simmer for 3-4 minutes to allow the Strawberries to soften slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • When the cake is done, take it out of the oven and allow to cool fully before adding the topping otherwise everything will run off!
  • First, place the Ricotta in a bowl and with a fork, lightly whisk it to a whipped consistency. Spread over the cake and finish with the Strawberries and a generous drizzle of the Orange syrup from the saucepan. 
  • Cut into slices and enjoy!

Storage tip: Enjoy this cake ASAP and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 48 hours.


Strawberry Shortcake (Vegetarian recipe)
P.S: Thank you everyone for the Birthday wishes on social! :)

Home Style: 5 Easy Ways To Add Colour To Your Home Without Redecorating

Thursday, 20 June 2019



Add some colour to your home with a few tips and tricks, and you can update your favourite rooms in no time at all without ever needing to redecorate or paint another wall! Here are my top five snippets of home style advice:-

(1) Choose A Statement Piece Of Artwork
If you have a plain wall in your living room or bedroom that looks too bland and boring for your liking, hanging a large piece of artwork on a canvas can instantly add colour and it's an easy way to express your personal tastes and show off a beautiful piece of art at the same time. Measure the space first and then choose a piece accordingly, or opt for several smaller canvasses and create a bespoke rainbow of art along the wall instead.

(2) Tell The Time With a Colourful Clock
Clocks are a fun way to present colour in any room and depending on which shade you go for, they can perfectly complement any existing colour scheme that you already have. For example, if you have an on-trend grey kitchen, adding an eggshell blue coloured clock will liven up a wall, or choose a vintage-esque, deep red clock to fit a warmer colour palette in the lounge like this one from Roger Lascelles which is on sale via Lionshome.


(3) Add Colour To The Sofa Or Bed
Many of us have sofas, beds and chairs in plain neutral shades, so feel free to add pops of colours with soft furnishings such as cushions and throws. These are easy to add throughout the home and are a brilliant budget-friendly way to update your living arrangements. You can even change them to reflect the seasons if you wish; pick light pastels for Spring, bright corals and pinks for Summer, rustic oranges and reds for Autumn and metallic golds and deep navy blues for Winter.

(4) Think Small
Decorate and jazz up shelves, coffee tables and any other surface areas with small colourful accessories like vases, mini glass cups and jugs, plant pots and ornaments. This option is ideal for those who don't want to be overwhelmed by big blocks of colours in their home, but still crave some beautiful colourful items to breathe life in certain rooms. Adding small accessories works particularly well in the bedroom, lounge and also in the kitchen where you can make themed and curated shelves of your favourite kitchenalia. I found some stylish and affordable pieces on Lionshome.


(5) You Don't Have To Go Too Bright
A lot of people are wary about including bright colours in their home, so you can opt for more subtle shades from the pastel family instead - think baby pinks, light blues, pale mint greens, and even more subtle shades of yellow, or choose darker hues such as navy blues, deep purples, emerald greens and burgundy reds. They can look just as eye-catching as brighter colours and you can seamlessly style them to fit within and enhance your existing colour schemes. 

*This post has been written by me, in collaboration with Lionshome.co.uk

What ways do you like to add colour to your home?

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New In Beauty: Creating My Perfect Colour Palette with Tropic

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Tropic Colour Palette review
Hands up if you love the convenience of makeup palettes, but find that there's always at least one or two shades that you just never reach for? Say farewell to those unloved pans of product and build your own perfect makeup palette with the latest launch from Tropic.

There's no point denying it; there's a massive amount of waste in the beauty industry and as consumers, much of the problem lies directly with us and the frightening number of products that we throw away unused every year. Not only is this terrible for our bank balances, but it's not good for the Environment either, with many of our plastic toiletries and makeup bottles ending up in the oceans or adding to the landfill problem if they're not properly recycled. 

Customisable makeup palettes are nothing new, many brands have been offering them for years, but I think what has changed is the consumer mindset towards products that are more eco-friendly, sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free. For these reasons, there couldn't be a better time to streamline your makeup collection, and this is why Tropic's new Colour Palette has attracted so much attention recently.

With 50 product options and a mind-boggling 734 million combinations, Tropic has launched a refillable makeup system that allows you to create your bespoke dream palette - the one that you'll use every day and take everywhere with you. When you've used up a certain shade, you can simply recycle the aluminium pan and purchase a refill, or try a completely new product in its place. All of Tropic's makeup is proudly made in Britain, certified vegan and cruelty-free, and they are a carbon neutral and Good Shopping Guide Ethical Company to boot.

Tropic Colour Palette review
Where To Start?
First, pick your Tropic Colour Palette* (£16 or free if you purchase your makeup products at the same time). There are four different configurations of the palettes available, so have a good think about the products that you'll use the most often. I chose Combination C which features two small trays, two medium trays and one large tray, and this is perfect for me.

The palette itself is smaller than most smartphones these days (for reference, it's slightly smaller than an iPhone 7 and about the same width) which makes it compact for travelling, but still large enough to use on a daily basis. It's made from smooth white plastic with recyclable aluminium trays and a large mirror in the reverse of the lid. I think it's very chic!

Tropic Colour Palette review
Building My Perfect Colour Palette
Now comes the fun part! Once you've decided which combination of palette to go for, you can then choose all of the products to fill it with. For the small pans, there are two types of brow products (a pomade and a powder), and two eye products (pressed shadows and wax liners). The medium pan has a wider choice with a mix of creams and powders (concealers, blushers, bronzers, contours and highlighters), and finally, the large pan can hold cream blush or concealer, powder blush or bronzer, or a setting powder.

For my palette, I chose the following:-

[Small pan] Brow Boss Defining Powder in Carob* (1.5g, £8): Available in three shades, this pigmented powder makes it easy to define your brows and contains Coconut Oil to condition them. Also doubles up as an eyeliner and eyeshadow.

[Small pan] Eyes On You Pressed Shadow in Pebble* (1.5g, £8): With thirteen shade of eyeshadow to choose from, I ended up picking Pebble which is a beautiful light shimmery taupe with brown and purple undertones. 

[Medium pan] Way To Glow Pressed Highlighter in Rose Gold* (3g, £16): I knew that I wanted a blush shade in the palette, but when I saw Rose Gold from the Pressed Highlighters range, I decided to opt for the best of both worlds as this colour can be used to create such a pretty pinky, shimmery glow to the cheeks. I love it!

[Medium pan] Jet Set Pressed Bronzer in Bali Bronze* (3g, £16): No palette could be complete for me without a bronzer and there are three shades that Tropic offers. I picked Bali Bronze which looks like the lightest colour and it delivers a stunning sunkissed finish.

[Large pan] Make It Matte Setting Powder* (5g, £20): As I have a notoriously oily T-Zone, a matte setting powder was a must and I've been enjoying using this translucent finely milled pressed powder to keep my makeup looking its best for longer.

Tropic Colour Palette review
My Perfect Tropic Colour Palette

I'm absolutely smitten with my Tropic Colour Palette and love everything about it, from the high-performance results and colour payoff of the products themselves, to the beautiful design of the palette and how easy it fits into my handbag, it's just perfect! The magnetic pans make it super easy to mix and match products so that you can swap them in and out as often as you please. It's incredibly versatile and I know that I'll be still using this palette for many years to come!

I was also treated to some of Tropic's new makeup brushes which I highly recommend picking up:-

Tropic Eco Artist Precision Face Brush
Tropic Eco Artist Precision Face Brush* (£18)

Dual-ended makeup brushes are fantastic for travelling with and they make the ideal accompaniments to a palette like this. The Eco Artist Precision Face Brush features a pointed head which can be used to apply contour and highlighter, and a rounded, domed head to blend foundation and base products. Both ends are made from silky soft, synthetic fibres that are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, and they can be used with any kind of cream, liquid and powder makeup.

Tropic Eco Artist 3-in-1 Eye Brush
Tropic Eco Artist 3-in-1 Eye Brush(£16)

Staying with the overall theme of streamlining and travelling, Tropic also has a clever 3-in-1 Eye Brush up its sleeve! Made from the same soft synthetic fibres as the Precision Face Brush above, this multi-use brush boasts an angled end for applying eyeliner, a small and fluffy head for blending eyeshadow which you can them slip off to reveal a hidden inner spoolie for tidying up your brows. How neat is that?!

Would you like to make your own makeup palette like this?

Special thanks to Tropic for letting me create my perfect Colour Palette* with them! Create your own perfect makeup palette at tropicskincare.com

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Introducing: a.po.the:ca Skincare - Rosewater Face Mist & Nourishing Face Oil review

Monday, 17 June 2019

a.po.the.ca Skincare - Rosewater Face Mist & Nourishing Face Oil review
Instagram is a great place to discover independent green beauty brands and my latest find is called a.pothe:ca who are based in London. 

Apotheca specialises in natural and organic skincare which is as clean, eco-friendly and effective as they come. Everything is produced in small batches, and all of the ingredients used are sustainably sourced and certified COSMOS Organic by the Soil Association. Naturally, all of the products are also free from ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, silicones, mineral oils, synthetic fragrance and ETDA, and Apotheca's commitment to the Environment ensures that all of their packaging is recyclable (both of the products featured below are in glass bottles and there's no outer cardboard box packaging to cut down on waste)

In a busy consumer market that's full of shady greenwashing, it always feels like such a breath of fresh air to come across such a pure and natural brand like this who are 100% transparent with their ingredients so do feel free to check out their website for yourself. Apotheca currently only stock three products, but there are more coming out soon. About a month ago, their Rosewater Face Mist and Nourishing Face Oil, arrived at my door and I've had them both on rotation in my skincare routine for the past few weeks. 

a.po.the.ca Skincare - Rosewater Face Mist & Nourishing Face Oil review
Apotheca Rosewater Face Mist* (100ml, £20, link)
I always have a Rosewater toner in my skincare stash, especially during the Summer months because they're one of the best natural products to use to instantly soothe, hydrate and calm the skin. Apotheca's Rosewater Face Mist is no exception as it feels wonderfully revitalising whenever I spritz it on and it can be used to set makeup, as well as being a handy little pick-me-up refresher to use during the day if you're feeling tired or stressed. Made from 100% natural/96% organic ingredients, it's a lovely facial mist if you're in the market for a new one.

Apotheca Nourishing Face Oil* (30ml, £25, link)
A real treat that most skin types will also enjoy is the Nourishing Face Oil which is composed of several skin-loving, plant-based ingredients such as Rosehip Oil, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Frankincense, Sweet Orange Peel, Ylang Ylang, Neroli and Vitamin E. Despite its rich profile, the oil sinks into the skin well, and it's perfect to use with your favourite Gu Sha tools for a deep and invigorating facial massage to try at home. This Face Oil smells beautiful and 2-3 drops are all that's needed to leave your skin silky soft and glowy. It's 100% natural and 99% organic.

Discover more at apothecalondon.com

Have you found any new beauty brands through Instagram lately?

Health & Lifestyle: Cocobaci 15 Day Oil Pulling Programme review

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Cocobaci 15 Day Oil Pulling Programme review
Based on an ancient Ayurvedic method for promoting and maintaining good oral health, Oil Pulling has been a growing wellness trend in the West now for the past couple of years, so it's no surprise to see more brands bringing out their own kits that are focused on this healthy technique. One such brand is Cocobaci and I've been putting their 15 Day Oil Pulling Programme to the test.

What exactly is Oil Pulling?
Oil Pulling is based on the Ayurvedic tradition of using an oil (most commonly Sesame or Coconut Oil) to 'pull' out toxins and pathogens as the oil binds to these, making them easier to remove from the mouth and body, thus leaving your mouth, teeth and gums cleaner overall.

What are the benefits of Oil Pulling?
Whilst more scientific studies are needed, Oil Pulling has grown in popularity as people claim it helps to naturally whiten teeth, lessen the sensitivity of teeth and gums, removes plaque and bacteria, combats bad breath, prevents cavities, reduces inflammation and helps to keep the mouth free from harmful bacteria after oral surgeries which reduces the risk of infections. My NHS dentist recommended it when I had a wisdom tooth removed a few years ago, and I've been doing Oil Pulling on and off ever since.

Cocobaci 15 Day Oil Pulling Programme review
Tried & Tested: Cocobaci 15 Day Oil Pulling Programme
For many in the West, the allure of naturally whiter teeth is what attracts them the most to Oil Pulling in the first place but the oral health benefits are not to be missed! If you've never tried Oil Pulling before, Cocobaci's 15 Day Oil Pulling Programme contains 15 single-use packets for ultra convenience so that you can easily add it to your morning routine with minimal fuss. It's available in a range of different flavours which each have their own unique benefits, and I opted to try out the Cool Mint kit.

What's In It?
Each sachet of Cocobaci Cool Mint contains a simple blend of natural and certified organic ingredients; Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Peppermint, Organic Spearmint and Organic Oak Bud Extract.

How Do I Use it?
Before brushing your teeth, tear open one sachet and squeeze the contents into your mouth. Depending on how cold your bathroom is, you may find that the oil is solid but don't worry, it will soon melt in your mouth as it adapts to your body temperature. Swirl the oil mixture thoroughly for 5-15 minutes, pushing it through and around the teeth and gums to make sure that every single area gets a good 'pull'. Be careful not to swallow and once you're done, spit it out into a bin and never into your sink or shower as the oil will solidify and clog up your drains.

Overall Thoughts?
If you're new to Oil-Pulling, you may find it really strange to be swirling oil around your mouth and I'd recommend starting off with 5 minutes first and then working your way up to 15 minutes (and longer if you have the time). The Cocobaci Cool Mint has a lovely refreshing flavour and it left my mouth feeling much cleaner than when I'd just used Coconut Oil on its own. I stuck with the programme for the full 15 days and afterwards, I did see a small, subtle change in the whiteness of my teeth, noticing that mostly tea and coffee stains had been removed - yes! The biggest difference for me personally was in my overall oral health, as both my teeth and gums felt stronger and less sensitive which is always a big bonus for me as I often struggle with sensitive teeth. It's certainly something that I would be happy to continue doing on a regular basis!

Cocobaci 15 Day Oil Pulling Programme in Cool Mint* (15 x 8ml sachets, £19.50) is available from makeupbox-ldn.co.uk

Have you tried Oil Pulling?

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Foodie Friday: Rustic Fruit & Nut Flapjacks (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)

Friday, 14 June 2019

Rustic Fruit & Nut Flapjacks (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
For busy mornings on the go, you can't beat a good old-fashioned flapjack to give you all the energy that you need to get your day off to a productive start. This much healthier version is refined-sugar free to ward off those sugar crashes and is packed full of tasty nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

Flapjacks are traditionally made with a lot of butter, sugar and golden syrup, but it's really easy to turn this humble oat-based snack into something that's nutritionally a lot better for you. The key to making healthier flapjacks is to ditch all of that added refined sugar and replace it with dried fruits like Dates and Raisins. There's still a lot of natural sugar present, but the fibre content of the fruit helps to lower the spike in insulin and slows down the speed at which the body digests carbs, so you shouldn't experience the fatigue that comes with a sugar crash later on as your energy levels will be more stable. Dates are also surprisingly low GI (Glycemic Index) which is why I love to use them in my recipes (plus they taste amazing!).

You'll still need to use some kind of fat to keep the flapjacks from falling apart - don't be tempted to make low-fat flapjacks because they will just crumble to pieces when you try to pick them up (trust me, I've tried!) and they'll have an awfully dry consistency and bland flavour. Instead of butter, you can simply use Coconut Oil which will work in the same manner and allows vegans to tuck into these tasty treats too!

I love making a big batch of fresh Flapjacks on a Sunday evening, ready for the week ahead. They make brilliant 'grab and go' snacks for busy commuters and families alike, and you can use any combination of your favourite nuts, seeds and fruits so have fun experimenting :)

Rustic Fruit & Nut Flapjacks (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
Ingredients (makes around 8-12 depending on how big you want them)
  • 125g Jumbo Oats
  • 80g Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 120ml Water
  • 50g Almonds (or any nut of your choice)
  • 75g Mixed Seeds (I used a combo of Linseed, Pumpkin and Sunflower)
  • 35g Raisins
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)
  • Pinch of Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Method
  • Line a baking tray or brownie tin with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180C / Gas mark 4.
  • Add the Medjool Dates and the Water to a food processor or blender and blend until they've formed a sticky paste. 
  • Scoop out the date paste and transfer it to a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the Coconut Oil and stir until combined. 
  • Next, add the melted Coconut Oil and again stir thoroughly - everything should now be coming together nicely.
  • Carefully transfer the Flapjack mixture to the lined tray and push everything down as hard as you can, using a spatula to smooth down the top. Try to get the mixture as compact into the tray or tin as possible.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top starts to turn lightly golden brown.
  • Allow to cool and then cut into slices - enjoy! 

Storage tip: Keep the Flapjacks in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Rustic Fruit & Nut Flapjacks (Dairy-Free / Vegan recipe)
Do you like healthier Flapjacks?

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New In Beauty: Lashes & Nails from Kiss and Leighton Denny - Review & Swatches

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

New In Beauty: Lashes & Nails from Kiss and Leighton Denny - Review & Swatches
June is in full swing and with it often comes numerous social events like graduations and weddings. If you have a big 'do approaching, why not treat yourself to some of the newest launches from Kiss and Leighton Denny to add some extra glam to your day?

Kiss Lash Couture Naked Drama Collection in Chiffon and Lacey
Kiss Lash Couture Naked Drama Collection in Chiffon and Lacey* (£7.99 each, link)

I love wearing false lashes for a special occasion and these newbies from Kiss are so fluttery and beautiful!  I've been a big fan of the brand for a long time and have several of their styles in my makeup drawer, but I have to say that these two designs are some of the best that I've seen them come out with. The Lash Couture Naked Drama Collection is a fantastic range to try if you want high-quality falsies that are easy to wear but still deliver that 'wow' factor (without being OTT). These lashes have been created to mimic a '3D mink effect' without the cruelty, and the softness of the synthetic fibres is really convincing.  

They feature a cushion flexi band which makes them easier than some other brands to apply so ideal for beginners to try out, plus they fit across the lashline well and feel comfortable to wear. Both of these designs have a full and fluffy element to them with lots of volume. Chiffon is a real 'princess' type of lash (wispy, elegant and fluttery), whilst Lacey is more dramatic for a bolder, but still very pretty, statement look (perfect for evenings and nights out). I love them both and they're currently on offer in Boots on a buy one, get one half price deal.

Leighton Denny Wanderlust Collection SS19 - Private Beach and I'm In VIP
Leighton Denny Wanderlust Collection SS19 - Private Beach and I'm In VIP* (12ml, £12 each, link)

For nails, you can't beat a brand new seasonal collection from one of Britain's best, Leighton Denny, of course. His latest range for SS19 is called Wanderlust and features colours that you can wear for the ultimate luxury Summer getaway. There are six new shades to pick up and my two personal favourites are shown below.

Leighton Denny Wanderlust SS19 - Private Beach swatches
 Leighton Denny Wanderlust SS19 - Private Beach

Private Beach is a sophisticated coral peach that I know I'll be wearing all Summer long. The muted pinky element also makes sure that this shade never looks too bright or cheap, and instead, it compliments a tan beautifully and goes with pretty much everything. It applied smoothly in two super easy coats and looks stunning on toes too!

Leighton Denny Wanderlust SS19 - I'm In VIP
Leighton Denny Wanderlust SS19 - I'm In VIP

Fans of clean and chic neutrals will no doubt be snapping up I'm In VIP quicker than you can say add to basket, and it's interesting to see the growing popularity of these always on-trend colours year in, year out. This soft cream nude has a subtle pink undertone which I find more flattering and easier to wear during the Summer months - just add a crisp white shirt with skinny jeans and you're good to go. It's a little tricky to apply as it needs three very thin coats to achieve full opacity, but the extra effort is definitely worth it.

What new Summer beauty products have you been picking up lately?

Currently Loving: 3 Skincare Products To Try This Summer from Wooden Spoon, Fushi & Antipodes

Monday, 10 June 2019

Currently Loving: 3 Skincare Products To Try This Summer
Many people, including myself, like to switch up a couple of their skincare products in the Summer months to accommodate the (hopefully) warmer temperatures. But if you've already added sunscreen to your daily routine, what else can you do? Here are just three skincare products that you could try for a range of different skin types and conditions.

Wooden Spoon Organic Troubled Skin Serum
Try If You Have Oily & Acne Prone Skin: Wooden Spoon Organic Troubled Skin Serum* (30ml, £19.50, link)

Whilst some find that spending extra time in the sun helps to clear up their spots, others often report the exact opposite as excess sebum and sweat production in hotter climates can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.  If your skin has a tendency to freak out when the mercury rises, there are two things which you can do to help; firstly, make sure that you're cleansing your face properly in the evening/before going to bed to remove all traces of sunscreen, makeup and daily grime, and secondly, using a dedicated blemish-fighting serum once or twice a week should make a noticeable difference.

One of the latest serums that I've been testing out recently is Wooden Spoon Troubled Skin Serum which is a brilliant product for oily and acne-prone skin types. This all-natural serum is made from 95% certified organic ingredients and features Tamanu Oil as its main superstar. Tamanu has some interesting anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-microbial and antibacterial properties, and it also helps to heal wounds and regenerate skin tissue, which makes it very useful for treating acne and its scars. 

In addition to the Tamanu Oil, there's also Marula Oil (high in Vitamin C, antioxidants and Oleic Acid), Vitamin E (an essential antioxidant for skin health), Rosemary Extract (helps to fight free radicals and promote collagen production) and Parsley Essential Oil (contains a strong antimicrobial and antiseptic agent)

This serum can be used morning or evening underneath your moisturiser or face oil to protect and treat your skin, and you can use it all over the face, but I tend to just dab a tiny bit directly onto any blemishes. Within 24 hours, it vastly reduces any irritation or redness and within a few days, most spots have been banished or have come to the surface where they are then easier to deal with. Make sure that you use less than you think as it has quite a thick serum/oil texture, so a little definitely goes a long way.

Fushi Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil
Try If You Want A Multi-Tasking Oil That All Skin Types Can Use: Fushi Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil* (50ml, £25, link)

You guys know how much I truly love a great multi-tasking product and this newbie from Fushi has been ticking all the right boxes. Their latest release is a 100% pure, virgin, organic and cold-pressed Sea Buckthorn Oil which is made from berries that have been sustainably grown in Germany. I've been a big fan of Sea Buckthorn as an ingredient in both skin and body care for a long time, and utilising this incredible natural berry is a common and popular practice throughout mainland Europe.

Sea Buckthorn Oil is one of the only plant-based sources that contains all four omegas (Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9) which makes it beneficial in skincare due to their abilities to fight free radical damage. Omega 7 (also known as Palmitoleic Acid) is particularly revered as it helps to protect and heal damaged skin, whilst other nutrients in the oil such as Carotenoids, Lycopene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E all play their part to further nourish and hydrate the skin, whilst also promoting healthy collagen production. This makes it useful for all skin types, but especially sensitive, mature, and dry complexions will certainly appreciate it.

It's not just good for your skin - it can be applied to hair and scalp to add essential moisture, preventing brittleness and thinning, and you can also take this food-grade Sea Buckthorn Oil as a liquid supplement to internally benefit from its high levels from Vitamin C and abilities to reduce inflammation, support gut health and digestion, keep your skin and eyes healthy and boost your immunity at the same time. 

For skin use, I would recommend mixing a few drops with a carrier oil like Sweet Almond Oil (it has a bright orange colour which gives a very 'tanned' look to the skin, so diluting it will avoid this) and apply it 2-4 times a week, depending on how dry your skin is. For hair, just massage in a small amount directly onto the scalp, leave it on overnight and rinse with shampoo the following morning, and to use as a supplement, simply consume 1-2 teaspoons a day with food. A true multi-tasking oil!

Antipodes Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum
Try If You Live/Work/Are Travelling In A City: Antipodes Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum* (30ml, £34.99, link)

Anti-Pollution has been a massive area of interest in skincare circles over the past couple of years, as more research is showing how pollution (such as diesel and petrol emissions from cars) accelerates the rate in which the skin ages, showing up as premature ageing that's visible through fine lines and wrinkles. So if you live or work in a city, or are planning a city break holiday, you may want to add a helping hand into your morning skincare routine.

This new product from Antipodes is called the Blessing Anti-Pollution Light Face Serum, and although it's oil-based, it has a surprisingly super lightweight texture that's more reminiscent of a regular water-based serum. Full of natural ingredients such as Kiwi Seed Oil, Vinanaza Grape, Asian Ginger, Jojoba Oil, Marshmallow Bloom, Avocado Oil and Licquorice Root, this serum packs a punch when it comes to its high antioxidant content to protect skin against the ageing effects of pollution and free radical damage. It also has a decent amount of natural Vitamin C to help brighten dull complexions which is a nice added bonus.

I would recommend applying Blessing first thing in the morning underneath your moisturiser as a protective layer against the elements of the city - it absorbs quickly, smells gorgeous and sits well underneath makeup. 100% natural and vegan-friendly, I'd say that this serum is suitable for all skin types, especially oilier skins who want something ultra-light and non-clogging.

Have you tried any of these?

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May Empties: Products I've Used Up

Monday, 3 June 2019

May Empties: Products I've Used Up
The Empties basket in my bathroom has been overflowing this past month with mainly skincare items, so it's time to dig through the trash and have a quick recap on all of these beauty products that I've recently used up! Let's get stuck in, shall we?

Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum* (reviewed here)
A solid favourite of mine for a number of years now, this is one of Antipodes' best serums which can be used by all skin types, but benefits dry and dehydrated types the most. I suffer from the latter every now and then, and Hosanna instantly gives my skin what it needs and noticeably plumps it up with each use. It's oil-free too, so great for acne and problem prone complexions to try. Repurchase? Will do once I've used up some other serums first.

Aveda Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid SPF 30* (reviewed here)
Another skin care product that I've been using for a long time is Aveda's bestselling Daily Light Guard Defense Flud SPF 30. I originally reviewed it back in 2016 and I've repurchased it every Summer since, though I do tend to use it all year round. It lasts ages and works well underneath makeup without peeling or flaking off. Repurchase? Yes.

Madara Age Defense Day Cream* (reviewed here)
A brilliant anti-ageing moisturiser for anyone who wants something lighter and easily absorbed in texture than most anti-ageing formulas (which can be on the thick and heavy side of the skincare spectrum), but still retaining its hydrating properties. I've gone through at least three tubes of this stuff! Repurchase? I'm testing out some others at the moment, but I'm sure you'll see it again in a future Empties post.

Weleda Skin Food (reviewed here)
I always have at least two or three tubes of Weleda's iconic Skin Food somewhere in my house; one's usually in the bathroom, one mini like this in my handbag, and the other is often by my bedside table. If you've yet to try it, it's an ultra thick, seriously moisturising multi-purpose product that can be applied anywhere and everywhere to deeply hydrate. Repurchase? Yes.
May Empties: Products I've Used Up
Kueshi Double Effect Makeup Remover
I can't remember where this came from, possibly a GWP or a beauty box?! Anyhow, it's a Spanish brand and I really enjoyed using it. It's one of those dual-phase, shake-them-up formulas and it removed all traces of waterproof eye makeup without any tugging or irritation. Repurchase? I haven't seen it in the UK yet but I'd definitely pick it up again in Spain!

Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream(reviewed here)
Here's another Antipodes product that I've been using for a few years now and still very much love. This Nourishing Night Cream is very hydrating and always leaves my skin so soft come the morning. One jar will last me a good couple of months as you only need to use a tiny amount. Repurchase? Yes.

DHC Cleansing Oil (reviewed here)
I promised myself that I was going to go through my minis stash and use more of those up, and then I end up with mostly full-sized empties instead - hey-ho! Well, I did finish off a travel size DHC Cleansing Oil which I used as a first cleanse to remove makeup and SPF. Brilliant stuff, it gets rid of everything and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy afterwards. Repurchase? Already have another in my stash.

True Organic Of Sweden All You Need Is Me Balm (reviewed here)
A friend bought this for me when she was in Sweden over Christmas and I've only just used it up as a tiny amount goes such a long way! I've used this before in the past and it's basically an all-natural and organic version of Vaseline, so you can use it on chapped lips and dry cuticles etc. Repurchase? I can't seem to find anywhere that stocks this in the UK sadly :(

May Empties: Products I've Used Up
Handmade Naturals Face Cleansing Lotion(reviewed here)
You can never go wrong with a good quality, affordable everyday cleansing lotion and this one from Handmade Naturals has a short but sweet ingredients list. Lovely gentle formula, it's great for removing makeup, and daily grime, as well as being a really nice morning cleanser if you prefer to use light cream formulas. Repurchase? Will do once I've used up some other cleansers first.

Phyto 9 Nourishing Hair Day Cream (reviewed here)
Finally, a haircare product! I picked this up in the Black Friday sale from a local salon, but I've used it a couple of times in the past. Again, it's another one lasts a long time and I highly recommend it as a leave-in conditioner/treatment for anyone who has very dry, damaged or fine hair because it adds moisture without weighing your tresses down. Repurchase? Yes.

Tropic Wild Mint, Lime and Pineapple Body Wash (reviewed here)
Another sale bargain that I couldn't resist picking up when I saw it on offer, Tropic's Wild Mint, Lime and Pineapple Body Wash is like a holiday cocktail that you slather on in the shower! I love the rich, creamy formula which is very similar to the ones that Weleda do, but in a different scent. Repurchase? Will definitely buy it again when it's on offer.

Rosenrot Festes Koko Shampoo
Finally, my last empty is sadly a disappointing one because I've been trying to find a solid shampoo bar that works for my hair to no avail, and this one just wasn't compatible either. My friend sent it from Germany and I'll probably use it up to clean my makeup brushes with. Repurchase? No.

What have you used up recently?

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