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.

Kiko Milano: brand overview & mini haul

make-up hauls, product review

Kiko Milano is a brand that I adore, and the reason why is very simple: great quality for affordable prices. I’ve decided that 2018 for me, is about sacrifice. I’m saving up which in turn means that I am constantly bargain hunting. But what it doesn’t mean is that I’m willing to skimp on quality when it comes to make up or skincare.

On a recent trip to Covent Garden I happened to ‘accidentally on purpose’ fall into their Kiko Milano store. (I only went in for a liquid eyeliner). However I could not resist the alluring charm of their pretty, budget make up. Aside from the three items above I also purchased a Kiko Milano by Isa Arfen Holographic Eyeshadow Palette, (as pictured below). Heres my thoughts so far on the four items I purchased;

1. Fall 2.0 Eyeliner in 04 (grey metallic), £4.40

This metallic liquid eyeliner is great for experimenting with the metallic look within your make up. The brush is thin enough for a precise line, and the range of metallic colours available is grand. Highly recommend for summer nights.

2. Love me lots Lipstick in 05, £4.20

The limited edition love me lots collection is stunning; and this nude lipstick ticks all the boxes. I, personally, live for nude lipsticks. I’m going to be nude for life.

3. Kiko Milano by Isa Arfen Asian Touch Holographic Eyeshadow Palette, £5.90

Another limited edition capsule collection, which was featured in Vogue magazine. It’s eastern inspired beauty, and in this palette that is portrayed by the bow in the middle of the eyeshadow pods, reminiscent of the bow seen on a kimono. I love the style of this collection, it’s simplicity and hyper femininity is lovely. This Eyeshadow Palette is cute and practical. Plus the Holographic element is as pigmented as can be. Brilliant buy.

4. Kiko Milano by Isa Arfen Asian Touch blush in 01, £3.90

For a while now I’ve been a bigger fan of liquid blush in comparison to powder. I love having the freedom to blot it across my face, the experience feels more intimate and personalised. You also have greater control on how pigmented you’d like it to be. Highly recommend!

Missguided Boss Babe & Babe Dreams perfume launch & review

Events & launches, product review

I’ve been writing for The Guild Gazette which is part of an editorial internship I am completing. I won’t lie, it’s a bit strange doing an internship at 25 years old, it almost feels like everybody around you is progressing and leaving you behind – however, sometimes the best things in life simply take time.

I enjoy every minute of it, writing is my passion and it never feels like work. Another aspect which I love is that I get much more scope when writing articles; The Guild Gazette is a beauty trade magazine. So the articles I write are less fluffy than consumer driven articles, they are more in depth, technical and aimed at a professional audience.

This week I attended Missguided’s new perfume launch on behalf of The Guild, along with Marketing & Editorial Executive Pippa Ward and the Editor of the magazine Rebecca Archer. It was an amazing experience all round. The girls are lovely (most of my writing is done remotely so actually being in their presence was a novelty!) and the launch was uplifting.

Missguided is known for being a sassy brand and their first perfume ‘Babe Power’ was the fastest selling perfume of summer 2017; I was wondering how they could possibly outdo this? The entire night was very pink, blurry (perhaps a few too many cocktails) and confident – words that epitomise the brand as a whole.

I know that Missguided actively promote positivity, this can be seen all over their social media and products alike. It can even come across rather cliche at times, they have really latched onto an array of millennial phrases that exert positivity.

However, I was very pleased to notice diversity at the perfume launch. It was at that point I realised this is a brand that sticks to their word. They talk about positivity, but they also substantiate that with action.

In terms of bloggers attending events and launches, I have personally noticed that unfortunately with some brands, you do not get a diverse range of ethnicities who are invited or attend. I’m glad that Missguided are not part of this. It made me have a new found respect for the brand. Diversity within the fashion and beauty industry needs to be celebrated and promoted as much as possible.

The Perfumes

The new perfumes are called ‘Babe Oud’, ‘Babe Dreams’ and ‘Boss Babe’.

Babe Oud – I smelt this briefly at the launch but didn’t get one to take home. It was a strong, musky scent. Perfect for evening wear and suitable for winter.

Boss Babe – This is my favourite of the three scents and has become my daily fragrance. A musky scent that is lighter than Babe Oud, with undertones of vanilla I love the juxtaposed sweetness with heavy musk. A heavier scent that manages to also be light enough for everyday use.

Babe Dreams – The sweetest of the three fragrances. This one is floral and dreamy, as the name suggests.

All the fragrances come in 80ml atomisers and will be available for purchase soon (dates not released yet!). Eek, exciting.