La Mer: Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream review

product review

La Mer is one of those luxury brands that I have forever admired from afar. One of the main reasons being that it’s pricey, the skincare range starts from £100+. I have always wondered whether the prices were justified, if you spend £220 on a cream does it make you look 10 years younger? Glow like a unicorn? Or just fit into a certain societal stereotype?

I’m a huge fan of budget skincare and make-up. Who doesn’t want a product that performs as well as a high end one for half the price? It’s just logic. But recently I’ve started to delve deeper, and it’s not always that simple. I started to compare ingredients used within skincare. And you will notice that high end products use the same ingredients as budget ones. Let’s use Vitamin C as an example, two products can contain the Vitamin. However, is there a difference in potency? The way the ingredients are formulated could differentiate? These are the questions we should be asking when buying skincare.

My best advice when purchasing skincare is to research ingredients. If you know what ingredients do for your skin, you are then making more informed choices when choosing skincare. In turn, your skin should reward you.

Crème De La Mer Moisturising Cream, £120 for 30ml – Review

When we read skincare reviews, it’s often important to remember that everyone has a different skin type. What works for one person, doesn’t always work for everyone. Crème De La Mer is a heavy Moisturising cream that is aimed at those with dry skin. It claims to minimise pores, reduce fine lines and give a natural glow.

In terms of ingredients, these aren’t mentioned explicitly on the La Mer website. I found this odd, as high end face creams often boast about their natural ingredients. I did some online searching and I found that the cream does contain some natural products; Seaweed Extract, Eucalyptus Leaf Oil, Mineral Oil & Sesame Seed Oil. All of these ingredients are known for their hydrating properties to skin. But, disappointingly the cream also contains Linalool (for Fragrance), preservatives and Alcohol – all of these ingredients aren’t great for those with sensitive skin, or or allergies (Quora, 2018).

I have only been using the cream for a few days but I do notice a huge difference. I have stubborn dry patches that are often irritated by creams, this one soothes it. As soon as you apply Crème De La Mer, your entire complexion is lit up. It’s like putting on a spotlight in a dark room. I can visually see from the difference in my own skin, why this has become a cult cream for many woman.

It’s very rich in texture and thick. You don’t need a lot of it. Before you apply to your face, you must rub it in your hands to warm the cream. As it becomes translucent you rub onto your skin. This is brilliant for those who want bare faced beauty, and a natural glow.

Worth £120 for 30ml?

I’d say this really comes down to personal preference. In a sense, yes it is worth it. Simply because it is a heavy cream, you only need apply a small amount. It will last you at least 6 months. It performs as it claims. It just comes down to how much you are willing to or can afford to invest in your skin!

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Rodin Luxury Lip Wardrobe Lipsticks review & swatches

product review

From the luxury brand that brought us their infamous Jasmine and Neroli Facial Oil, which became a beauty cult product. Rodin Olio Lusso has now branched out their range of skincare to bold lipsticks. The lipsticks are an extensive of their skincare range, and they feature the same plant based ingredients. The luxury lip wardrobe lipsticks are the same high end, luxuriant quality that has come to epitomise the Rodin brand as a whole.

Lip Wardrobe Lipsticks review

Long before I had even tried these lipsticks on, the clear cases were a game changer for me. The translucent lipstick cases are so elegant, and make the lipsticks stand out.  Taking stunning images of these lipsticks was not difficult.

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And not just a pretty face the luxury lipsticks are great as an all-rounder because there is an ample range of colours to suit not only avid lipstick fans, but the lipstick prudes too. They have a matte-creamy finish which is ultra-nourishing. Featuring Vitamin A and E, Argan Oil, and their infamous Jasmine and Neroli Oil; all these ingredients provide moisture. They are by far the least drying lipstick I have ever worn. The texture of the lipsticks is smooth, and they feel very comfortable on the lips.

All of the shades in the range are perfect for spring. A tasteful mix of nudes and bold colours makes for a really classy range. The lipstick colours appear on your lips just as bold as they look in their cases – the pigmentation is wonderful. So wonderful, in fact that the swatches I did would not wash off my arm! This does prove, however, that they are long lasting.

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I must say after using these, they have fast become my favourite lipstick. I suffer with dry lips, and having a prolonged winter has not helped one bit. To be able to wear a highly pigmented lipstick that also nourishes lips is a dream for me. Mac used to be my go-to for lipsticks, but I’m so cheating on Mac with Rodin Olio Lusso.

The Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Lip Wardrobe Lipsticks are £28 each, available from Liberty London and Space NK.

How to stay motivated as a freelancer

opinion piece, top tips

It’s that question that we all dread at family functions; if you’ve studied a subject and are now working a ‘normal’ job until you are able to get into what you want. Then you’ll fully understand.

‘So what’s your new job then?’

‘It’s an admin job. ‘

It’s at that point they stare at you with both confusion and dismay. But you studied journalism, aren’t you working for the BBC?

Anyone who studies / studied any of the subjects that come under the diverse umbrella of ‘creative industries’ will understand my struggle. Creative industries are highly competitive – and experience based. Meaning, if you are not funded by financially supportive parents it can be very difficult to enter such an industry. Often, journalists are expected to complete several unpaid internships before being able to compete for an entry level job.

Sometimes I feel real low about this. I feel like a failure because I’m not where I want to be. But it takes time. I write, I write as much as I possibly can. On top of my blog that you are reading right now, I’m also doing a freelance internship at The Beauty Guild Gazette (pictured the latest Easter issue).

Which is the most read beauty trade magazine in the industry. But when the stresses of life and your day to day admin job hit you – it can be difficult to keep your sights on how well you are doing and how far you’ve come.

Here are my top tips for any freelancers in any of the creative industries:

1. Networking is key

Networking is going to be your best friend. If you are socially inept now is the time to re think your strategy. Most of my best opportunities to write have come from chance meetings at blogging events. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to meet the right people who can help you. Remember, social media is great – but maintaining and creating a real life connection with someone is sometimes priceless.

2. Don’t lose focus & keep practicing

Set yourself a goal to keep yourself in check. For example ‘I’m going to publish at least one blog post per month’. This helps you stay on the right path, and will keep your focus in the forefront of your subconscious mind. Otherwise, when you are juggling a normal job and a freelance career – it’s easy to get comfortable in the normal job as it becomes a routine. Writing, as with most other creative practices are talents that need to be practiced in order to be maintained. Every single time I write my passion is reignited.

3. Lower your standards

I mean this in the sense of, not expecting to graduate become to editor of Vogue magazine. Of course, we can set our sights and visions high and this is a positive attribute. However we must also be realistic, or we set ourselves up for failure. Have the highest standard of goals, but by realistic of when you can achieve them. You’ll find by comparing yourself to others or setting unrealistic goals only makes you less motivated. Think about your goals and focuses with a logical mind. As previously mentioned, you’ll also need to be willing to do a lot of work for free.

Never give up on your dream.

Rodin Geranium and Orange Blossom Facial Oil Review

product review

Rodin is a brand which epitomises luxury; established back in 2007 after launching their first skin elixir derived from essential oils, the brand has gone on to expand their range to cosmetics, candles, and even hair products. Perhaps arguably their most notorious product, the Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Facial Oil – has been launched again with a new scent, geranium and orange blossom. In spite of it’s renowned reputation, is it worth the £105 price tag attached to it?

When it comes to skincare and make-up I am an advocate for budget products. Finding a bargain or a dupe is a real thrill – to obtain excellent quality at a slashed price can only be a positive thing. However, I do believe even as a cheapskate myself, that there are cult timeless products that are worthy of larger investments. This facial oil is just that.

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Performance

Facial oils are great at replenishing skin – especially when left on overnight. The Rodin facial oil is extremely moisturising. I was ever so satisfied at how it sat on my skin, and gave an instant glow. It’s nourishing yet light, as opposed to other oils which can feel greasy and heavy.

The scent is absolutely divine, and adds to the entire experience. Strong notes of geranium soothe the skin and relax the mind, whilst tones of orange blossom bring a sense of timeless luxury. The smell is intense but not overpowering.

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After leaving the oil on my face overnight, I woke up to my skin feeling super silky. There was an overall glow to my skin, the texture felt smooth and I could observe that my stubborn patch of dry skin had been soothed.

If there is one product you want to invest in this winter, make it this one. You only need a few drops for your face, so this product will last you. You deserve it, and of course your skin deserves it.

Rodin Geranium and Orange Blossom Facial Oil is available at Space NK Apothecary London, for £105.

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January beauty favourites

make-up hauls, product review

I’ve really started to dislike January with a passion. Financially crippled from Christmas, depressive grey weather (even snow in some parts), bitterly winds and de-motivational feelings – it’s certainly not the jolliest of months. However, it’s the start to a new year and with new beginnings brings new chances, new opportunities – and yes, you guessed it, new make up.

Just like every other beauty enthusiast I received some goodies for Christmas (I’m sure no-one buys me anything other than beauty products); and so I have been sampling them all through January. Here’s my favourites so far;

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1. Zoeva Eyeshadow Fix in Pearl, £8

I used to be one of those people who didn’t ”believe” in eye shadow primer. I thought it was merely a gimmick produced by the beauty industry to encourage us to consume more goods. Turns out I was terribly false, and actually, eye shadow primer is a must. It helps your eye shadow to appear more pigmented and gives staying power. I got this primer in Pearl, mainly because the retail assistant in Douglas in Berlin sold it to me; but also because I generally wear metallic shades of shadow. However, there is also a matte version available, if you feel that would suit you better.

2.Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara in Black, £22

This mascara has progressively grown on me. It gives amazing volume in no time at all, the brush is thick and long, long lashes cab be achieved in just a few swipes. No doubt you can replicate a similar effect with cheaper alternatives, but sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to a bit of high end luxury.

3. Barry M Flawless Setting Spray, £4.99 

Brilliant value for money. I had Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray previously – and I am adamant that this performs just as well. Preserves make-up to within an inch of its life.

4. Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops in ‘At First Light’, £6.99

This has fast become my daily highlighter, it gives a natural yet pearlescent glow. Because it’s in liquid drop form, it’s easier to work with. You can apply and work into your cheekbones gradually. Add to foundation for an all over glow. Real-life mermaid vibes here.

5. Urban Decay Moondust Glitter Eyeshadow in ‘Space Cowboy’, £15.50 

I know it’s expensive for a single eye shadow, but it is so worth it. This glitter eye shadow is buildable, and the pigmentation is out of this world. You can wear it both casually or going out out. I’ve come to rely on it, whenever I want to add a dazzle to my make-up, oh and FYI it lasts AGES.

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5 signs you are in a toxic friendship 

opinion piece

There are numerous songs written about the pains of heart break. Losing the one you love, the emotional and physical side affects of people’s worlds seemingly falling apart. However when it comes to friendships, we have more pride. When you break up with a good friend, you act as if you don’t care. When really, it can be just as painful as any relationship break up. We’ve all been there, having had a best friend that you thought would be around forever. Things change and people move on. But how do you arm yourself from falling victim to a fake friend in the future? 

There is no sure fire way to tell a friends intentions, especially at the beginning of friendships. Naturally over time peoples true colours will shine through, until then keep your guard up and your observation on point. 

Over the years I’ve come across many friends and acquaintances; a diverse range of people. It’s difficult to correlate any similarities in my individual friendships with these people and why they turned out to be so fake. It’s hard to pin point. Moreover, there are some similarities that I have noticed. If only I had been warned in hindsight I may not have wasted my time with such individuals. Below are my 5 main signs that your friendship is not as rosy as you anticipated. 

1. It’s always on you 

This is one of the more obvious signs, but it doesn’t always show in long term friendships, as people can get complacent and comfortable. If you feel within your friendship that the effort is one way – maybe it’s time to stop trying. Frankly, if someone who is part of a generation of people who walk around with their phones glued to their hands (sorry to stereotype millenials) can’t find 30 seconds in their day to message you; Perhaps, really you ought to accept that they don’t care as much as you do. 

Wasting your time chasing someone who isn’t interested in spending their time with you can be draining, and demoralising. The only way to stop this is to either approach your friend and discuss how you feel, or simply to stop making the effort. The way in which your friend reacts can often be a sign of how they view / value / don’t value your relationship. 

2. They are severely selfish 

Don’t get me wrong, your twenties are the perfect time to be utterly and completely selfish. And I get that. There’s levels to selfishness though – the trick is to tell who is around because you are of beneficial use to them? And who is around you because they genuinely enjoy your company? 

The reasons why your friends want to meet up, why they want to see you. Will often be a huge giveaway if their subconscious intentions are pejorative. For example: if a friend only contacts you when they need something from you, this pattern will emerge with clarity after the passing of time – try to nip it in the bud to avoid further hurt. 

3. Going with the flow 

If one of your friends seems passive in conversation, they could just be genuinely shy, or they could secretly hate you but despise confrontation? Alarm bells should start ringing in your mind if this person who is supposedly close to you, cannot express an opinion when they conversate with you. That portrays that they either don’t agree with something about you, they are secretly jealous or they talk about you to others. Of course, we can’t spend our lives being massively paranoid – we wouldn’t trust our own mothers. But if your friend exhibits a few of these traits, there could be some underlying reasons why. 

4. Misery needs company 

Good friends will contact you whenever they can, within reason. If you only hear from a friend when they are down, it could be that they just want you as a shoulder to temporarily cry on. This is fine as friends will help each other through tough times, the problem arises when this particular friend no longer has an interest in you when circumstances in their life become happier. This is pretentiousness. This is an example of narcissism. They need you to stroke their ego when things are not going smoothly, when all is well you get dashed to the side like an unwanted child’s toy. 

5. Enjoy the party 

We all go through chronological phases in our lives. The entirety of life is a learning curve. Most people at some stage have a phase of partying in their life – no matter how regularly they go out or how wild they are they enjoy the party scene. The party scene is great for temporary thrills. Sometimes it’s difficult to see amidst the alcohol fuelled nights out and drug binges who your true friends are. Stop partying and see who’s still around? Who wants to actually know you as a person when you become ‘boring’? 

Friends should be around regardless. Regardless if you want to get smashed everyday or you chose to read a book in the library. Why should it even matter? You accept diversity within people, and you accept them for who they are. 

If you have a friend who exhibits more than one of these traits towards you, then you need to seriously reconsider your friendship. It can be difficult and awkward to confront these things, but, as with most things in life – honesty is the best policy. Talk through how you feel and how it can be resolved. Otherwise just leave. Go and get yourself a better, loyal friend who’s there for life. Not just the parties or the good times. Forever friends. 

Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara: Influenster Vox Box review 

product review

I’ll be totally honest here, I have no clue how to use Influenster. Perhaps I’m just getting old (25, quarter of a century I’ll have you know), some of this technical social media online stuff I just have no clue about. I had been playing around with it, posting random reviews of cleaning products (how glamorous) and make up I had used many moons ago. But didn’t think much of it, however last week I received my first Vox Box from Influenster. 


Amazingly, my first box *which was received for complimentary purposes* was from Marc Jacobs Beauty. It certainly looked the part. It was their new Velvet Noir Mascara. It appeared luxuriant, with it’s classy monochrome design.  

Does it perform as well as it looks? 

The mascara has a rather large brush, and in this case size does matter. The width of the brush allows you to apply the mascara efficiently and equally.

The mascara ensures that lashes look naturally long, and are far from clumpy. There is one criticism – I did notice that it’s difficult to build up the layers, whereas with similar high end mascaras you can build layers for more volume quite easily. Is it worth the £22 price tag? I’d say, if you don’t own any other high end mascaras then invest in this one. If you do, then it isn’t really worth it; it’s not particularly special for the price. I believe you can get better. But it isn’t half bad either! And it’s a lovely producy aesthetically, it will look great on your dressing table. 

Overall : 8/10