Beauty Kitchen The Protector hair primer review

product review

So you’ve heard of a primer for your skin right? Smoothing it on like filler, prepping your skin before make up application. It has become a staple in our modern make up routines. What about a primer for your hair?

I was lucky enough to be sent a box of free goodies from Triyit; a company that launches social media campaigns to raise the profile of new and upcoming products. By sending out these products (completely free of charge!) to a matching demographic, and offering prizes for pics – the profile of these products and brands gets consequently raised.

In the most recent campaign, amongst the goodies we received was a Karine Jackson & Beauty Kitchen The Protector Multi purpose primer for hair. I was instantly drawn to its packaging, it has a somewhat environmental yet modern feel. The mantra behind the product adheres to this image. The primer is formulated by 100% natural ingredients, which in turn shields hair from brush and heat damage, protects from UV Rays and pollution.

Karine Jackson is actually a global pioneer for natural, ethically sourced & vegan hair care. The entire range she’s collaborated with The Beauty Kirchen to create is 100% natural and 100% vegan.

I think it’s really important that beauty products are embracing the need to protect against pollution. I’ve seen pollution protection in skincare in recent years – but overjoyed to now see this progression appearing in hair care products. External, environmental factors like pollutants in the atmosphere and weather conditions can cause lacklustre, flat, dried out hair.

What did I think of the primer?

I love applying this type of priming product to my hair after towel drying it. I’m very careful to only apply to the ends, as my hair can get greasy super fast.

Using this felt like a spa treatment, it has a really herbal, Ayurvedic smell that reminds me of Camden market in a reminiscent way. After blow drying my hair, it was super super soft – I could feel the difference from the wash before without using the primer.

As mentioned above, I think with a product like this that has been produced with morality in mind for a millennial market. It’s also about conscience. Not just a product that looks aesthetically fabulous and makes your hair soft. In all honesty any decent hair care product can do that. But actually buying into a brand and product that believes in the power of nature. The necessity of protection from environmental element exposure to hair and skin. A guilt free product.

Probably the best beauty quote I’ve ever heard in passing is the following: ‘You shouldn’t apply anything to your hair and skin that you wouldn’t eat.’

It’s metaphorical, obviously don’t go swallowing your Body Shop Vitamin E moisturiser. The point is to apply non chemical, non damaging products to your skin and hair.

Power to the primer! And pow to the power of nature ☄️

Karine Jackson’s The Protector Multi-Purpose Primer is £14 for 50ml, and available here

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Why millennials are struggling with mental health issues

opinion piece

In a world where we compete to look like we are living our best life on social media, how many of us can honestly say we are truly happy?

Putting on a false smile in front of the camera, teeth gleaming, hair blowing in the wind – all whilst having a panic attack, intense palpitations, sweats of bead building on your palms. Look at you. You’re a walking contradiction. Your 10k followers on Instagram believe you lead the perfect life, but behind closed doors you often have dark intrusive thoughts. Penetrating thoughts that lead you to believe that you are worthless, lazy and a failure.

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Whilst social media may heighten the pressure young people feel to portray a perfect life style, it is far from the only issue contributing to mental health declination. Just imagine being trapped at your parental home until the ripe age of at least 28, working the most tedious job because employers won’t employ you in the sector you desire to work in; due to lack of ‘’experience’’- yet no one will give you a chance to gain experience. £40,000 worth of debt just to educate yourself, which in turn seems pointless as no one will give you a break? Brexit talks heighten the air of uncertainty. Political misdemeanour’s (corporate manslaughter at Grenfell Tower) and austerity push everyone to the limit both financially and socially. Young males being stabbed all around you on a daily basis. This is just the tip of the iceberg, I could go on.

Would you want to live like this? Choosing between having children or a stable career? Working full time and still not being able to afford decent food?

Sounds like a really messed up Hollywood film right? Because this is the reality of how most millennials are living right now.

I believe that our generation are struggling. It is not entirely impossible to succeed in the current climate; it just takes a lot of determination and discipline. But naturally we mustn’t forget that all these factors can contribute to a person’s mental state and well-being.  Life in your twenties is naturally a time of self-discovery, finding yourself and who you truly want to be. With these added societal pressures, both off-line and online, it can become overwhelmingly destructive for some people. Individuals will always have personal issues, and these need to be reviewed individually. However, at a time in your life where you yearn to progress and the system keeps beating you down, it is completely de-motivating for young people.

Unfortunately we cannot change politics, or at least the negative trickling effects it can have on us. But what we can change is our attitudes towards mental health. If you see someone updating a Facebook status stating how depressed they are, instead of calling them an attention seeker learn to see it as a cry for help. There have already been so many suicides this year committed by young people. Simple gestures and listening can have the power to help mental health sufferers. We have to keep pushing for change, more recognition, more funding for mental health services.

As fucked up as this system is, it is never going to beat me.  

Yours Sincerely,

Michelle (A struggling journalist pushing for a break)

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The definitive list of Skincare Ingredients

skincare, top tips

Suffering from a myriad of skincare ailments during my 25 years of life thus far has given me a natural interest in skincare, and ingredients used within skincare products.

Over the years I have experimentally tried various homemade concoctions and shop bought products in the search for perfect skin; ranging from grinding green tea leaves with Manuka honey and smothering the sticky mixture onto my face in a clumpy manner, all the way to using a £130 Chanel face cream, and actually being naïve enough to believe it would make me look ten years younger. I believe I have researched, reviewed, tried and tested so many skincare products that I have now become somewhat of a skincare connoisseur. What I have reluctantly realised is that informing yourself on ingredients is paramount to choosing the right skincare for your skins needs. Below I have compiled a list of what I have found to be the most popular and effective ingredients presently being used in skincare.

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A – Amino Acids – Formed to build Creatine, Amino Acids will support natural skin functions. Cells are stimulated to produce more collagen and elastin. This helps to maintain younger looking skin.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

Vitamin A – Topical Vitamin A used in creams and serums is proven by dermatologists as anti-aging. UV Exposure and other environmental factors cause the production of collagen to slow down, consequently causing early signs of ageing. Vitamin A (and Retinol / Retinoid which are derivatives of Vitamin A) ‘’turn on cells’’ that are responsible for producing new collagen, actively fighting signs of ageing and blitzing fine lines (Canyon Ranch, 2018).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types – Vitamin A can be drying, use sparingly on sensitive & dry skin types]

B – BHA – BHA is an acronym for Beta Hydroxy Acid. This is the structural name for Salicylic acid that can be used to fight signs of acne. Salicylic Acid gets through oil and helps to normalize pores, reducing the production of blackheads and spots. Don’t let the word ‘’acid’’ put you off (skincare acids are not the type that burn through your skin, thank goodness because that would be worrying!), BHA contains naturally calming and exfoliating properties, giving skin a rejuvenating glow.

[Recommended for Oily skin & Acne sufferers]

C – Caffeine – Being a stimulant, caffeine can offer anti-oxidant benefits to skin. It penetrates skin and is ultra-soothing.

[Recommended for those with non-sensitive skin as Caffeine can potentially be an irritant]

Collagen – Perhaps one of the ingredients we are more familiar with, but what does Collagen actually do for our skin? Collagen is a protein found throughout our body. It is produced naturally within our skin, and one of its fundamental functions is to provide elasticity. However, with factors such as stress, ageing, pollutants and UV damage affecting skin over time – collagen production can slow down. Using skincare products with added collagen will help to maintain the skins elasticity and firmness that we associate with youthful skin.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

D – Vitamin D – When we talk about Vitamin D we generally think about UV Rays, However, Vitamin D oils and serums can be hugely beneficial to skin. Vitamin D helps to minimise acne, retain skins elasticity and lessen fine lines. UV Rays from the sun help the body to naturally produce Vitamin D; moreover if you live in a northern climate it is possible to develop a deficiency. You can orally take Vitamin D supplements, or search for skincare that contains Vitamin D.

[Recommended for Oily / Combination skin]

G – Glycolic Acid – Glycolic Acid exfoliates the skin, it is often used in toners / toning solutions. It helps to shed dead skin, giving a natural glow and radiance.

[Recommended for Oily / Combination skin]

H – Hyaluronic Acid – Ah yes the wonder ingredient that is absolutely everywhere at the moment! Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it is a moisture binding ingredient. It helps to keep skin plump, firm and younger looking. FYI – it is a naturally found compound in the body, which is also used (completely safely may I add) in lip fillers, hence the ‘’plumping’’ affect.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

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M – Marula Oil – Marula Oil is essentially made up of many fatty acids. Because of this it has the potential to deeply hydrate skin, healing skin and improving elasticity. If used regularly it can improve skin softness.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types / Particularly Dry Skin]

P – Peptides – When collagen breaks down, short segments of amino acids are formed. These are the tiny proteins and active molecules known as peptides. Peptides in skin care can provide significant anti-aging benefits (Mango Madness Skincare, 2018).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

R – Retinol – Retinol is essentially a large dose of Vitamin A, used for anti-aging in skincare. Retinol, like Vitamin A, will boost collagen production – banishing fine lines and wrinkles. It is important to remember to only use one Retinol treatment at a time, and to use sun protection – Retinol can thin the skin layers by gently scrubbing away at dead skin cells. This can leave skin open to sun damage if you use Retinol daily for longer durations.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types – Vitamin A can be drying, use sparingly on sensitive & dry skin types /Also recommended for Acne & Hyperpigmentation]

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S – Squalane – Often named as the replacement for Argan and Coconut oil, Squalane oil offers many benefits for skin. It is derived from plants, and the same oil is naturally produced in our bodies. Using it topically helps to main Squalane oil levels as we age. It is also noncomedegenic, which means it is one of the oils least likely to clog pores (Popsugar, 2017).

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types]

V – Vitamin C – We all aware of the health benefits of Vitamin C, as it is often recommended to fight to common cold. But did you know this Vitamin is also a powerhouse for skincare? Due to its anti-oxidant properties Vitamin C helps skin to fight off any oxidative stress. Results show that over time Vitamin C will help your skin to enhance its natural defence system.  Vitamin C is also great for anti-aging.

[Recommended for Anti-Aging / All Skin Types] 

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Rodin Mermaid Collection Luxury Lip Oil review

product review

What could be more enchanting than an entire beauty collection dedicated to a mythical creature? Linda Rodin (creator of Rodin Olio Lusso), always felt she was a mermaid in a previous life. She enlisted the help of her artist friend Donald Robertson to collaborate and design this simply magical mermaid collection. Donald’s artwork on the packaging of the entire collection makes the ever classy Rodin products even more alluring.

I have been reviewing the Mermaid Luxury Lip Oil. The mermaid collection has a running theme of illumination and fantasy. Each product designed to shine and glow gloriously. The Luxury lip oil is a gold based lip oil that universally suits all. It provides an incandescent shine reminiscent of, well, mermaids.

How does the Luxury Lip Oil perform?

Once you have got over the sheer excitement of the packaging and concept of potentially looking like a mermaid; using the product gives the exact same feeling!

The Luxury Lip Oil glides seamlessly onto bare lips, or alternatively on top of lipstick. Glossy, but not sticky, metallic lips are the outcome. What I really love is the lip oil not only looks aesthetically fantastic, it contains an array of nourishing ingredients including Vitamin E, Sunflower Oil and Olive Fruit Oil. These moisturising ingredients are particularly helpful at protecting sensitive lips, and even more relevant in the recent blistering heat we’ve been experiencing the UK. Excessive heat and sun ray exposure not only dries skin, but lips too.

A lip oil is one of those products that you wouldn’t necessarily fall into a shop rushing to buy, but once you have it you cannot imagine life without it. I believe this lip oil is great for summer, to enhance a naturally radiant look.

I think this product could be used to create an eye catching lip look, that can be worn both casually or dressed up. I’m excited to attempt to create some stunning looks with this by the time I jet off this year so stay tuned!

Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my make up looks; @versaceblonde

Rodin Olio Lusso’s Mermaid Collection is available at Liberty London. The Mermaid Luxury Lip Oil retails at £25 and is available here.

T3 Cura New Hairdryer Launch

Events & launches

T3 is a prime example of a brand that exhibits a beauty meets tech mantra. Launched in the sunny, glamorous and health conscious LA, T3 have pioneered luxury hair tools that incorporate uses of innovative technologies.

The launch of their new Cura hairdryers conforms to this. The hairdryers use negative Ion technology in order to dry hair efficiently and without frizz, maintaining shine.

I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the new Cura hairdryers. And what a launch it was! I must say it was one of the best events I’ve been to in the industry.

The service from the hosts was impeccable, there was enough champagne and canapés to fill a 10 acre field, and I thought the concepts behind the brand were amazing.

It was almost as if whoever had organised this event had thought of every aspect. There was a popcorn machine, chilled bottles of Diet Coke in ice buckets, customised T3 cakes (with real cute miniature USA flags), a photo booth with professional lighting and air to flick your hair; plus professional stylists on hand to style attendees hair with the T3 tools. What more could you want from an event?!

So what makes the T3 Cura hairdryers so special?

Precise digitally controlled heat gives a personalised experience. The Cura has 3 heat settings, 2 speed settings, and a lock-in cool shot.

Personally I think one of the main reasons the Cura hairdryers are so successful is that they allow you to use heat responsibly. In the sense that you can dry your hair quickly with minimal damage. In fact, after testing the Cura myself I can confirm it left my hair feeling very soft and shiny.

Personally having over processed hair I try to avoid using heat on my hair. So when I am able to find tools and products that can accommodate my high maintenance hair – I’m over the moon about it.

After all, healthy hair is beautiful!

Primark PS My Perfect Colour liquid concealer review

product review

I have generally been really impressed with any of the make up / skincare items I have ever purchased from Primark. What could be better than saving money and still maintaining high quality products? Being part of a millennial generation that are forcibly living with parents until they are 30, saving money is mandatory for us. I love beauty, I love writing about beauty – but I also love finding a beauty bargain.

In recent years Primark have been ahead of their beauty game. They have launched cult glitter eyeshadow palettes. Cult pigmented highlighters. Amazing false lashes for £1. So the liquid concealer I have purchased for £2, has impeccably high standards to meet.

My Perfect Colour Liquid Concealer (Shade Ivory) review

The simple packaging and branding on the tube makes the concealer appear to be a more expensive high street brand. Looking at this product you would never guess that it costs £2. It doesn’t look cheap, and I like that.

How does it perform?

Fundamentally for me concealer needs to hide my horrific dark circles. If it can’t do that, for me it’s useless. Luckily, after suffering with acne for little over ten years I don’t have much scarring or any blemishes. I’ve cut down on wearing foundation too – but concealer is needed for the delicate under eye area.

The Primark PS liquid concealer has a soft brush which is great for the under eye area. I like to apply my concealer with the brush that comes with the product – and further blend in with a Real Techniques brush.

The consistency of this concealer when applied is a little powdery. Instead of a silky flawless finish, it provides only medium coverage with a powder finish. This wouldn’t be ideal if you are looking for a heavy full coverage.

However, I still believe this is a great product for 2 pounds. It’s buildable, it looks natural and it comes in an array of colours. Another thing which we demand as millennials is diversity. Whenever I purchase a concealer I make an observation of the range of colours available. I think it’s important that the beauty industry loses its air of exclusivity and embraces diversity.

Overall I think this concealer is good. It’s not a game changer, but for the small price it costs it’s great for covering small blemishes or to use for contouring. It would be perfect for contouring. And who doesn’t love a cheeky bit of contouring!?

(Pictured above a glowy look created on me using the said concealer)

Delune Bitter Orange & Neroli Facial Mist review

product review

Delune Paris is a London based brand that believes in the power of nature. The founder and creator Luigi Masi believes that skincare should be as organic as possible, and skincare ingredients should be as ethically sourced as possible. These were the driving forces that pushed him to create Delune Paris.

Both of these aforementioned issues in the skincare industry are issues that I feel need to be discussed. In particular the subject of skincare ingredients. Millennials have caused a shift in the way brands market their skincare and talk about ingredients – we are demanding. We want vegan friendly, cruelty free, ethically sourced and natural ingredients. As opposed to harsh chemicals that can accentuate skin conditions, or even cause them.

The more we educate ourselves about what we apply to our skin; the more the industry will be forced to change. That’s why I love innovative new brands like Delune Paris, they produce products that smell natural, feel natural and have natural derivatives. All the while, producing skincare that does not have a derogatory effect on the environment or other humans.

Delune Paris Bitter Neroli and Orange Facial Mist Review

I have been lucky enough to be sent this facial mist from Delune Paris; and I love it.

In my skincare routine I use a facial mist after cleansing to give a boost to skin. To give some gentle hydration that feels refreshing. The Bitter Neroli and Orange facial mist provides just that. Neroli is an antioxidant, providing the skin with a radiance boost. Orange adds Vitamin C to the mist which aids the skin against ageing.

It smells immense. The Orange provides a citrus undertone, whilst the Bitter Neroli smells holistic and healing. A real organic smell that relaxes the skin and the mind.

Hydration is especially important during the summer months. Skin can become lacklustre and dry due to sun exposure, and pollutants in the atmosphere. This facial mist can be carried in your handbag to provide an instant boost whenever it is necessary. I would highly recommend this to skin care enthusiasts everywhere. The brand ethics are enough to convince anyone to purchase – and the products live up to the reputation!

Delune Paris Bitter Neroli and Orange Facial Mist (100 ml) can be purchased online here, for £18. The facial mist comes in an array of various scents; each bottle is fresh and hand made to order.