Best of beauty this April – Spring picks

product review

Despite the extremely bi-polar weather that we are currently experiencing, it is officially Spring. Spring is often associated with new, fresh beginnings. This means we often switch up our make up too. Fresh, lighter make up, and a perfect excuse to refresh our product stock. (I’m using the word stock purposely, because I own so many products I could indefinitely open a shop).

Here are my favourite picks of what I’ve been loving this April;

1. Malin + Goetz Cilantro Conditioner, £20 for 236ml

Although this seems rather pricey for a conditioner, this 236ml size would last me years as I have been co-washing my hair recently. However, when I dye my roots every 6-8 weeks consequently I have to wash my hair (annoyingly as it’s so much commitment); and have fallen in love with this conditioner. It smells like a spa treatment, a natural relaxing scent. And it contains absorbent fatty acids, which are brilliant for over processed hair such as mine. It doesn’t weigh my hair down like some conditioners do, but leaves hair feeling revitalised and healthy.

2. Rodial Clear Brazilian Tanning Gel, £35 for 150ml

This is an amazing product for busy individuals wanting a natural looking tan. Again, it’s quite pricey but you can use it sparingly.

The formulation is super lightweight, meaning you can apply the gel like a normal moisturiser and gain a light, even tan.

3. Reb’l Fleur Body Must by Rihanna, reduced to £5 at Boots

Found this complete bargain whilst picking up all my beauty essentials on a recent trip to Boots. I don’t usually buy celebrity perfumes, which is probably not the wisest of choices from an economical point of view. I’ve realised they are usually cheaper than their designer counterparts, and can become some of your favourite scents. This Rihanna body mist smells gorgeous, it’s a girly scent perfect for Spring. Plus the 236ml bottle means that even wasteful individuals like myself won’t have to worry about using it up too quickly.

4. NYX Lid Lingerie Eyeshadow Palette, £9

This is £9 very well spent. Consisting of 6 basic looking colours, this palette has taken me from Winter to Spring effortlessly. With a beautiful combination of natural nude shades and bright colours. You can create an array of looks by experimenting.

(As pictured) You can create natural, pretty looks with the nude shades. You can easily convert these into more dramatic looks by adding in the brights; or alternatively by building the colour up.

How to get more beauty bang for your buck

On another note I wanted to talk about one of my personal goals for Spring, that I think may help everyone. I’ve been really disciplined in saving money this year, and yes that includes spending on beauty products (waaaah *sadface*).

As I’ve mentioned I took a trip to my local Boots last week to stock up on some essentials; and I managed to get all the products in this picture for £25!

I would like to share my tips on how to get the best beauty bang for your buck. Here are my top tips;

1. Special Offers

Of course when shopping everybody keeps their eye out for special offers, but you can be smart with offers. By stocking up on products that you don’t need immediately but in future, you will save yourself some serious money. For example, on my shopping trip I didn’t need two bottles of dry shampoo but seeing as they were half price, I got one for future use.

Building up a useful stock of products helps you not to buy needlessly. I’ve made a pact this year to use a product up fully before buying another similar product.

2. Clearance

Again, always check the reduced items on sale. I picked up this lovely Rihanna body mist for £5, which doubles as a perfume for me. I didn’t need it right now, but I was aware that my current perfume is running out; and £5 is much cheaper than any perfume I would have picked out in Boots. You will save a lot of money buying in advance.

3. Don’t double up

Another important fact to remember about beauty products, is that they do in fact have expiration dates. So we may think having 10 moisturisers in our drawer is a good idea – but actually you only use one at a time, and by the time you come to use the other 9, they may not be fit for purpose. Consumer wastage is a huge part of our capitalist culture, but it needn’t be. We can avoid endlessly throwing away products by sensibly buying what we need. Unless, as stated above it’s a product that you are aware you use everyday, and gets used up fairly quickly.

Ultimately, what we need to do is shop with a clarity. Instead of being blinded by pretty marketing campaigns, think about what you actually need and actually use.

4. Don’t be blinded by names

There are also certain products whereby you needn’t buy a known name brand. For example, I needed hay fever tablets. Instead of opting for Piriton allergy tablets which were around the £4 mark. I got an unbranded packet of allergy tablets for 85p, and generally when you cross check the ingredients in both branded and non branded – you find they are scarily similar. Naturally, this won’t be applicable for every product. But where you can, I would advise sticking to non branded as you will save a bundle of cash.

Happy saving!

Advertisements

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!

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.

Murad Professional Eye Lift Firming Treatment review

product review

There is a certain element of trust when it comes to purchasing anti ageing skincare products. Naturally, you will not be able to view any results immediately. We place an immense amount of trust into products and brands, believing their creams and potions will be the fountain of youth.

Although I am only 25 (and I feel 19 let me tell you), I feel this is the appropriate age to start taking care of my skin. Beginning to ward off wrinkles.

My under eye area has always been a concern for me. I have severe dark circles, and so when applying make up I tend to over conceal them. I am aware that dragging this sensitive area may cause premature wrinkles. Furthermore, overloading the concealer draws attention to fine lines. I am caught in this vicious cycle of attempting to cover the dark circles; whilst potentially causing further damage and premature wrinkles. I have been scouring the shelves for a beauty product which can renew my under eye area.

And to my utter amazement, I have found an eye firming treatment that actually works.

Performance

Okay so the Murad Professional Eye Firming Treatment is not cheap, at £55 per 30ml – you may already be reconsidering.

However the results should convince you otherwise. The products works with the pads which are included with the treatment cream (as pictured).

You firstly apply a generous amount of the cream to your under eye area. Next you apply the pad which sticks to the cream, and pat on in a massaging motion. You leave the pad under your eyes for around 10-15 minutes.

The results are instantaneous. The under eye area feels tight and taut. I believe the effects of this cream are comparable to salon treatments and aesthetics that you would pay considerably more for.

Overall

The entire experience of using this product is enjoyable. It forces you to make time for yourself. To sit down, forget the world and focus on yourself. Whether it’s only 10 minutes or 20, setting time aside for yourself can be so beneficial to your overall happiness and mood.

In a world where social media rules, in a society where depression and anxiety is rife, it is mandatory to self heal. The Firming Eye treatment gives you a personalised spa treatment in the comfort of your home; the after results are amazing, so amazing you’ll forget that you are spending over £50! Do you need any more reasons to invest?!

November beauty heroes 

product review

The past month has been crazy busy; and what has been a flurry of beauty reviews, starting a new job and alcohol fuelled event launches has just flown by. Having a superabundance of products to try is certainly nothing to complain about, but it does however making choosing the best of the bunch a hard job. 

Here is what I’ve loved this month and why: 

1. Protect the skin your in 

What skin needs, Skin balm, £9.99 

Forever fighting a battle against my skin, I’m always on the lookout for ‘miracle’ products to surpress my ever growing list of skin concerns. This skin balm works at reducing several types of irritations, including eczema, dry skin, acne and sunburn. It is made in Australia, and derived from a Phyto Activated plant extract. From the first night I used it, I saw a visible difference to my skin condition. An absolute steal at £9.99. 
2. Perfect for Christmas, perfect for you 

Ghost sweetheart gift set, £38 

This gift set is amazing value for £38. It contains a 50ml version of the Ghost Sweetheart perfume (which is absolutely enchanting, without being overpowering), two nail varnishes, a candle, a make up bag and body butter. Everything smells divine, everything has rose gold on it. It’s a beauty bloggers dream. This would make a perfect Christmas gift for a loved one, or why not for yourself!? 

3. Sometimes natural 
Kiss Lash Couture Eyelashes in Little Black Dress, £5.32 

As a serial lash wearer (I feel terribly bald without them), it’s difficult to find daily lashes. The trouble of searching for a glamorous false lash that isn’t totally ridiculous in the workplace. I think I have finally found a feasible solution! Kiss’ latest Lash Couture range uses faux mink lashes, which are soft and easy to use but give a good length. They look really pretty on, a lovely flirty natural lash. 

Kiss Lash Couture Lashes in ‘Little Black Dress’

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 

Beauty Blog Collective: an intro 

Events & launches

As some of you may or may not know (I have mentioned briefly in the past), I used to write and review beauty products for Really Ree. However, a couple of weeks ago myself and the other contributors were sent a message explaining that Ree no longer wanted us to write for her. She was changing the direction of the website, and wanted to focus solely on her reviews. 

We had a fantastic time reviewing products for the site; receiving some amazing products and receiving exposure from one of the biggest beauty blogs in the UK! A truly great experience. 

After some consideration, we decided that we weren’t done with it. It wasn’t the end for us, seven of us decided to create our own beauty blog. Beauty Blog Collective is now up and running, at its humble beginnings just yet…but we’ve got amazing plans on the horizon. 

It’s really inspiring to work amongst such hard working women. We’re all extremely, terribly busy people – but we all seem to manage to find time to do what we love. Beauty is a passion that we share, and we’re all normal women. That is exactly what we aim to represent, different types of women who have a passion for beauty. 

Here’s to the future! 🥂