Bali Body Review – Is it pale girl approved?

If you’re a pale girl like me, the thought of fake tan might make you feel a little nervous. Flashbacks to secondary school fake tan mishaps may plague your mind when you think of fake tan, but is that all in the past now? Is there a fake tan that does perform well for pale girls like us?

Bali Body kindly sent over their Self Tanning Mousse and Mitt for me to review. Let me start by saying I am extremely pale. I am that one friend that everyone compares their tans to knowing that they’ll look super brown next to me. I don’t tan naturally because my skin burns really easily, so when Bali Body approached me about their Self Tanning Mousse, I was so game for trying it!

img_6373_facetune_10-02-2019-17-46-31-1The brand

Bali Body is an Australian tanning brand whose products are made in their hometown of Melbourne. Their products are vegan friendly, formulated using natural and naturally derived ingredients and only tested on ‘Bali Babes’.

Application

I was actually really nervous to apply this the first time because I’ve never used self tanning products that require a mitt before. The mousse is very light and airy and the mitt is very soft and velvety. The mousse is slightly scented, but it’s not like traditional fake tan that you can smell as soon as you open the bottle. I applied two pumps straight onto the mitt and started at my ankles and did long sweeping motions upwards. The mitt ensures that the application is streakless and consistent over the whole body. I did two pumps for each side of my leg. To give me the best idea of the colour, I decided to only tan one leg (it’s winter, I can get away with it!) The instructions on the bottle were super clear, which made it really easy for a self tan virgin like me to have some tanning success! The instructions say to wait until you’re fully dry before getting dressed so I was prepared to be stood around naked for 30 minutes. However, it dried really quickly – not too quickly that it was drying as you were still applying, but within 5 minutes of finishing you are totally dry. Because it dried so fast, it meant that the application was really quick and there was no mess. Any issues that I had with the application was 100% down to me being a first time mitt tanner (I somehow managed to miss my entire bum, but my legs looked banging).

The second time I applied it I decided to apply it to my entire body (including my face). I had to borrow my boyfriend to make sure that I had got everywhere and hadn’t missed a chunk like last time (I somehow managed to managed to miss my entire bum cheek lol). There was absolutely no patchiness or streakiness and while you could tell that I was tanned, it didn’t look unnatural at all. I applied one coat one night, and another the following day, leaving it on for about 4 hours each time. The colour layered really well! The only areas where I looked a bit orange were on my feet, ankles and on my wrists. The colour on my face, which I was a bit worried about, looked fab!

The colour

Bali Body says that the base colour of this product is green, which at first sight sounds quite terrifying and like you might emerge as Princess Fiona. HOWEVER, they go on to explain that as it has a green base, it means that it colour corrects pink toned skin and will work well on fair skin. It’s absolutely true that most people with fair skin have cool undertones and have a lot of redness to their skin and traditional fake tan can just look orange. The colour is absolutely brilliant for fair skin – it gives you a golden glow that does indeed correct any redness.

L: Tan after 2 hours, R: Tan after 5 hours (just before I showered it off)

As you can see, the colour looks pretty natural in both (disregard the dark patch on my knee, you can see I have redness on my other knee too). I left it on for quite a long time but I think the colour in both looks great! While there is a clear difference in colour to my non-tanned leg, it doesn’t look very false. The colour correcting aspect of this mousse is DEFINITELY there and I love it! I have a lot of texture on my legs (I have Keratosis Pilaris on my arms and legs) and with that comes a fair amount of redness that caused me a lot of embarrassment when I was younger. However, this totally corrected it and gave me such confidence.

Durability

For starters, the tan didn’t come off on bed sheets (which I was worried about) or on my clothes/towels. It stayed exactly the same colour for daaaays, even when I was trying to exfoliate it away. It did start to fade around the 5 day mark, but I was exfoliating so I could prep my skin for another clean application. It also didn’t develop a smell like most fake tans do after 8 hours or so.

How is it different to other fake tans I’ve tried?

  • No obvious smell after
  • Very quick drying
  • Not orange (!!!!!!)
  • This one shade is suitable for all skin tones
  • Long lasting
  • Natural looking

Is it pale girl friendly?

100% yes. I was a bit doubtful that it would be at first, but I will give this the pale gal approval. Because you have to wash it off in the shower, you can control how dark you’d like it to go. On the bottle it also says that if you’d like a deeper colour that you can reapply once the first layer has dried down. If you are extremely pale or would just like a very subtle tan, you could leave this on for an hour or two and still have a healthy glow. I left mine on for five hours (sort of by accident, curry was calling my name) and the tan was still very realistic on me. While I like being pale, there was something about being so tanned that gave me a real confidence. I’ve been strutting around the house showing off my tan to my boyfriend like 24/7! Bali Body’s social media may be full of very deeply bronzed girls, but rest assured it works beautifully on pale skin too.

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OverallΒ 

As someone who burns like a crisp whenever I go into the sun, Bali Body Self Tanning Mousse is definitely something that I will be using again – especially during summer or for a special event. I always feel a bit more confident when I’m tanned, maybe just because it’s a bit of a different look for me, and to be able to replicate it artificially without any damage to my skin is a major plus. The tanning process was so much more painless than I had imagined, the colour is perfect and it’s really boosted my confidence!

Xo

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DISCOUNTS:

Get 20% off at BYBI.com with code HANNAH20

Get Β£10 off Β£40 at Space NK!

Get your first month of Beauty Pie for free!Β 

Shop ILIA Beauty! (affiliate)Β 

Pampered skin routine

After a long hard day of smashing life, every so often I like to come home and really go to town on my skincare routine as a treat. This usually happens over the weekend and is one of my favourite ways to unwind and prep my skin for the week ahead.

Here is my step-by-step routine for perfectly pampered skin:

Cleanse

If I have makeup on then I’ll double cleanse, otherwise I’ll just use my second cleanser. For a more luxurious first cleanse I love using the Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm. It’s a super rich texture that feels beautiful when massaging into the skin to break down your makeup. It feels super smooth and washes off really easily.

To carry on the facial massage, I love using the Pretty Athletic Cool Down Cleanser. It is a gel cleanser that cools down the skin and feels amazing. You’re supposed to massage it in for 30 seconds before rinsing off. Because of the soft gel consistency and the cooling sensation, it feels so luxurious and leaves my skin completely clean and my mind relaxed.

Exfoliation

I always see exfoliation as a treat to myself. My favourite at the moment is the Fresh Sugar Face Polish. Made with brown sugar and strawberry seeds, it’s strong enough to exfoliate away any dead skin cells but gentle enough to not feel like the exfoliants are ripping into your skin. As it’s made of sugar, the grainy particles will eventually exfoliate away into the skin, leaving you with baby smooth skin. There’s something super relaxing about not only massaging the face but feeling the grains dissipate away to nothing…

Mask

My favourite mask to use is hands down the Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask. This brand is all over Instagram and is a firm favourite of influencers because it is the ultimate multi-tasker mask. I use this mask mostly to calm my skin and to make it smoother. I usually keep this on for an hour at least (if I can) and my skin emerges smooth as anything and feeling really rejuvenated. If I’m feeling really boujee then sometimes I will double mask and use something like the Farmacy Honey Potion Mask before the Happy Honey Mask (Clearly there’s something about honey that I like!)

Essence

This might not be an essential product for everyone, but it’s become a step in my evening routine that I don’t like to go without. Essences prepare the skin for the next products you apply to your skin and helps them absorb more easily. I find that it is just a good base to have that makes my skin feel more hydrated and makes it easier to spread other product out across my skin. I use the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence.

Serum

If I’m treating myself, I will always use my Kiehls Re-Texturising Hydro Plumping Serum. This is very gel like in consistency and makes my skin feel unbelievably smooth and as though I’ve had a big glass of water.

Moisturiser

This one is a bit of a tricky step. If I weren’t to apply an oil after the moisturiser, I would hands down use Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream because it is the most beautiful, thick moisturiser. I love thick moisturisers because I have fairly dry skin and I don’t find that the thinner moisturisers give me any long lasting moisture. The only problem with this one is that it pills sooooooo badly. One I have been enjoying recently before I apply the oils is the new Dermalogica Intense Moisture Balance. It’s quite a thin moisturiser, but still is thick enough to really back a moisturising punch and more importantly doesn’t pill when I put oils on top of it.

Oils

Because I’m extra, I really like to apply two oils. The first is The Ordinary Rosehip Oil and the second is Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I ran out of the rosehip oil recently and noticed that my skin was not as soft as before, so quickly repurchased it. I probably saw the biggest change in the texture and feel of my skin with the Kiehls oil, so I’ve never turned away from this product. It makes me feel so relaxed to massage this oil over my face (it’s a very smooth oil, the rosehip oil is a little thicker and sits a little heavier on the skin) and I like to hold my hands over my nose for a few seconds and breathe the lavender scent it. Lavender aids with sleep so this is always my last step before turning in for the night.

To add to the pampering mood, I love to burn candles. My favourites are super budget friendly – they’re from Home Bargains and cost just Β£2.99 for a massive one! They do various different scents, but my favourite hands down is the Gingerbread one. It makes me feel all cosy and ready to relax.

I hope you found my pampering routine useful. Let me know how you wind down and treat yourself!

Xo

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Beauty Pie Plantastic review

I recently bought the Plantastic collection from Beauty Pie, which is fast becoming my favourite beauty retailer. In case you are unfamiliar with Beauty Pie, they’re a subscription makeup and skincare brand that sells luxury skincare at drugstore prices. You can find my review on Beauty Pie here.

In the Plantastic collection there is a cleansing balm, moisturiser, hand cream and micropeeling drops. I’ve had them all for quite a while now, so here are my thoughts on each product!

***See the end of the article to get your first month of Beauty Pie free!***

Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm – Β£13.68

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I absolutely LOVE this product! This was actually a repurchase for me, because I’d already gone through a whole other jar. This is the nicest cleansing balm I have ever used and easily trumps the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and the Clinique Take the Day Off. The texture is absolutely out of this world. It is much softer than the Take the Day Off balm, and much smoother than the Moringa Cleansing Balm. A little goes a long way and it effortlessly melts off every spec of makeup. This works to remove stubborn eye makeup easily and doesn’t make your eyes sting or water like some others do (*cough* Emma Hardie). The texture is very rich and nourishing which would be perfect for dry skin, but may not be for you if you have active acne. It’s got a very light apricot scent that honestly isn’t a big deal. You can tell from the formula and the packaging that this is a high end product, despite the Β£13.68 price tag. FYI you get the same amount of product as the Emma Hardie Moringa balm but for Β£33.32 less… and it doesn’t burn your eyes. For anyone that is a cleanser addict or just looking to save some money, this is a MUST try.

Plantastic Nourishing Shea Butter Hand Cream – Β£5.17

I suffer from chronically dry hands and no hand cream ever seems to be able to completely remedy them. When I first opened this hand cream, I was a little bit disappointed by how thin the cream was. I tend to prefer a more heavy duty hand cream (because I associate thick creams with being more moisturising) and this one was a lot thinner than others I’ve used (Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve). It has a very herby scent, which does smell a bit like I’m spreading mixed herbs over my hands? The cream goes on easily and soaks into the skin very quickly. Even though I often think that I should apply more because the consistency is so thin, I am always surprised by how moisturised my skin feels afterwards. Also, as it sinks in so quickly, I’m not left with the greasy residue on my hands that you often get with thicker creams. It leaves my skin feeling considerably smoother and my dry patches much more nourished than before. It doesn’t completely remedy my dry patches, but does improve them.

Plantastic Deep Nourishing Moisture Balm – Β£9.98

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Of all the Beauty Pie moisturisers I’ve tried, this is probably the worst one. For reference, the other two moisturisers I own are the Jeju Overnight Moisture Superinfusion and the Japanfusion Supreme Cream. The texture of this is really beautiful and I’d say it’s closer to the texture of the Japanfusion (a bit more gel-cream to a balm). The main issue I have with this is that when I put it on, within a minute or two my skin feels really thirsty again. Like dyyyyyying for more moisture. Even when I layer other products on top, there is still a lingering feeling of dryness and tightness that I really don’t enjoy. I’ve tried to revive it by spraying facial mists or other moisturisers on afterwards but I can’t seem to make it work. The other Beauty Pie moisturisers are such winners for me, but this one just missed the mark a little. It may be that this better for those with oily/combination skin, but for us normal-dry skin gals, it’s just not it.

Plantastic Micropeeling Super Drops – Β£7.62

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These was the product that I was most excited to try out in the Plantastic range. This product is to enhance the brightness of your skin, fight against breakouts, refine your pores and even out your skintone. I was a little nervous to use these because they’re not really like anything else I’ve ever used in my skincare routine and I didn’t know when to use them. I’m going to hold my hands up and say the first time I tested it out I think I used it too frequently. I have normal-dry skin and I was using it everyday – which is not recommended for my skin type. Only oily/problem skin are advised to use it everyday. I started to break out on my forehead, chin and towards my ear on my cheek and I think it was because I was using too much, too often. I’ve been quite apprehensive to use them since. I think it’s important to remember that not all products will suit your skin and that even though you may really want to try them, they just won’t work for you. I think you could make these work for drier skin types, but you just have to be more gentle. So many people love these drops, but I’ve not quite seen the light yet. I do however think these would be fab for oilier skin types and combination skinΒ  and with a price tag of Β£7.62, they’re well worth a try.

I hope my overview of the Plantastic range has been useful! I absolutely love Beauty Pie and even though not all of these products worked for me, I still truly believe in the brand and love everything they do. Just a quick disclaimer, the prices that I’ve included are the prices if you have the membership with them. Memberships start from as little as Β£5 a month (which is the one I currently have) and give you a monthly allocation to spend. You can still buy the products without the membership but they are WAY more expensive. Check them out if you’re interested and if you have anymore questions on the products, let me know!

Xo

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DISCOUNTS:

Get Β£10 off Β£40 at Space NK – https://referme.to/Tbbrb1o

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Save 20% off at bybi.com with code HANNAH20!

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Why it’s totally fine for you to be a feminist and enjoy beauty products

I recently read an article on The Independent called ‘Come on feminists: do the radical thing and ditch your makeup bag‘ and every part of this article has left me feeling annoyed. If you’d prefer not to open the article and give it more views, I’ll give you a quick run down. The author goes majorly off topic from her headline to moan about women that wear makeup, while oddly commenting on the number of ‘poisonous’ ingredients that are ‘well documented’ in makeup. She drops in that the average makeup wearer wastes 9 days a year applying makeup and lauds herself for spending that time ‘campaigning against sexist stereotypes’. Let’s all do an epic eye roll together.

Let’s start by saying that any reference to the toxicity of makeup is completely irrelevant to any ‘feminist argument’ here – It was included without any real explanation and it’s just fearmongering and spreading misinformation. It’s baffling that people genuinely believe that brands would be allowed to sell products with harmful ingredients and ‘poisonous effects’. Join us back in the 21st century. EU regulations are so strict for cosmetics these days that this is just an off topic remark used to further discreditΒ makeup wearers.

You’ll very often hear feminists who, through their own ignorance and archaic thinking, cannot understand how a modern feminist can be concerned with her looks. I shouldn’t have to tell you that being a powerful, confident woman and wearing makeup are not mutually exclusive… but indulge me a little.

The modern feminist does not have one singular image. To be singling out feminists as having a certain appearance surely is the opposite of what feminism is all about? Feminism is about equality and having the choice to do as you please. Whether that be to pursue a career in a male dominated industry or to wear a full face of makeup and blue lipstick. Someone that is ‘campaigning against sexist stereotypes’ should be seeking to dispel assumptions that all feminists are bra burning rebels and welcome all feminists into the fold – men or women – rather than encouraging the reinforcement of a singular image.

To suggest that a woman cannot be concerned with her appearance while supporting equality goes on to imply that women in fact cannot have it all, WHEN WE CAN. Stop trying to pigeon-hole women.Β Women are powerful beings, regardless of our appearance. We wear makeup because we want to and choose to, not because we feel pressured. When I don’t wear makeup, it’s because I don’t feel like it that day and not because I have no one to impress. I feel good about myself with and without makeup. Makeup is a major creative outlet for many people, so one day we’ll do a natural look, and the following morning do a dark red smokey eye. We have nothing to hide by applying makeup, but even if we did, it’s OUR choice. It is no one else’s business what we choose to do with our face or how we choose to spend our time. If you believe makeup is ‘hideous gunk’, have your opinion and have it quietly. If you’ve never worn a drop of makeup in your life – good for you and that’s your choice – but there is no need to shame other women who enjoy wearing it. You can bitch about makeup wearers all you like, but it’s never going to stop us wearing it – if anything, it will make us wear it more.

For so many of us, makeup and skincare is about self-care and taking time for yourself. Often the only time that a lot of women have to spend on themselves is in the morning when they apply their makeup or at night when they do their skincare routine. We live busy lives and are always expected to put everyone before ourselves, but this is the one thing that we hold sacred. Many people rely on their daily skincare routine to keep any skinΒ problems they have at bay, and without it their skin runs wild. Many women rely on makeup to inflate their confidence when they’re suffering from issues such as acne and it can be the only thing that can get them out of the house. It is imperative for people’s emotional wellbeing! If you were ill, you would take medicine. That’s exactly what skincare and makeup are. And for those who have good skin and wish to maintain it, it’s like taking multi vitamins. Do NOT let anyone – man or woman – make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself and your self-confidence.

People often question why women continue to keep up their appearance once they have a partner, because apparently we’re expected to stop showering, wear rags and completely abandon our appearance? Who knew? The expectation that we’re supposed to forgo our appearance once we find a partner is probably even worse than the idea that we only dress ourselves up for men. It might shock you to learn that men are not at the epicenter of a woman’s world and actually our own self confidence comes first. Women’s love of beauty goes so much deeper than how it makes us look, but also how it makes us feel. When men put on a suit to feel powerful, we put on red lipstick. And yet we are expected to justify ourselves? Absolutely not acceptable!

It’s painfully apparent that this article has absolutely nothing to do with feminism, but rather is just a massive dig at the makeup wearing population under the cloak ofΒ ‘feminism’. You are not a feminist if you are bringing down other women. You are not a feminist for attacking other people’s appearance while stating that you don’t enjoy having yours attacked.Β Patriarchy does not dictate my beauty routine and feminists shouldn’t either.Β I would think that a woman who has been a feminist since the 70’s should know better than anyone that to criticize other women for their appearance is entirely unfeminist and ignorant. Your appearance and your political stance are not interconnected. As a makeup wearer you have already chosen to take your appearance and your identity in your own hands and do something for yourself. Keep doing it.

Xo

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5 easy ways to curb your beauty spending in January

If like me you went in a little too hard in 2018 and need to watch your bank balance a little better in 2019, then I have a few pieces of advice that will have you covered!

1. Don’t buy it, because you are literally broke af

Do you really need that new highligher? That new palette? Probably not. But more than that, you really don’t have the money to buy it. January is a suuuuper long month as it is, don’t make your survival any more difficult or your overdraft any worse than it needs to be. Beauty is great and everything, but so are food and savings (to add to, not to spend on beauty).

2. If you wanted it, you’d already have itΒ 

If you really wanted it, you would have: a) asked for it for Christmas or b) bought it in some sort of Black Friday/early Christmas sale. Aaaaaand you didn’t. So you don’t need it. Anything that launches in January can 100% wait until February to get (YOU DO NOT NEED FENTY’S CONCEALER NOW).

3. Think about whether you genuinely want it

Do you actually want this product? Or do you only want it because your friend/mum/favourite influencer/entire Instagram feed have it and you don’t? Before you buy anything, evaluate whether you actually need it. If you’ve tried a sample, done your research and it suits your skin then just save it for next month – YOU DON’T NEED IT THIS INSTANT. If you haven’t completed the above, then sorry but you’re just not that into it. If it is not absolutely crucial to your existence (don’t be over dramatic, I know what us beauty types are like), then it’s off the table (not into your bag, off the table as in you aren’t getting it).

4. You probably already have at least 3 other products in your collection that do the same thing

You do not need a fourth second cleanser. Yeah everyone might be talking about it, and your blogging nemesis may have been sent it by the brand, but who cares? Work through what you have already have and forget everyone else. This leads me on nicely to…

5. Start your own Project Pan

If you have never heard of Project Pan, it’s a movement in the beauty community to actually use the products you buy. You commit to using up existing products and only once it’s all gone can you purchase a new product from that same category (moisturiser, cleanser etc.) It’s a great way to actually use the massive stash of beauty products you have before they go off, but it can also remind you why you really liked the product (or why you hated it).

I hope you find these tips useful (and funny) and come back soon!

Xo

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My 2018 beauty favourites

2018 was the year that my skincare and makeup addiction was reignited, so I’ve tried a lot of new products this year. Here are my highlights across beauty for 2018! ** I will only be including new products that I’ve tried this year (sorry Midnight Recovery Concentrate).

Skincare

Cleansers

My amazing discovery this year has been Beauty Pie, and the best product that I’ve tried is without a doubt their Plantastic Cleansing Balm. It is a really smooth, gentle balm that removes all your makeup in one. I can even open my eyes with this on and it doesn’t get in them and sting them at all. The texture is thick and rich and feels much more high end than the price. I’ve already repurchased this because it’s my go-to balm!

Moisturiser

I finally had the chance to buy the Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream when I went to Sephora in Italy this summer and certainly haven’t regretted it! I have actually repurchased this twice already! This is a really thick moisturiser that is perfect for dry skin. It leaves the skin feeling really nourished and replenished of moisture. It is the moisturiser I rely on if my skin is needing a little extra TLC.

Mask

I’ve tried so many new masks this year, and I’ve got to say I don’t find that many masks do much for my skin. However, the Sjo Skin Happy Honey Mask is absolutely brill! Sjo Skin has been really big on Instagram and just seem like a lovely brand that are encouraging kindness and interaction in the beauty community. I have seen this mask on almost everyone’s feed, and finally bit the bullet on Black Friday. It is really soothing, smoothing and nourishing for the skin and leaves it feeling like it’s just gone to the spa, been drinking a glass of wine and come back relaxed af.

SPF

I have tried a number of new SPFs this year and I have one firm favourite – the Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Ultralight UVA/UVB SP25. This is a beautiful formula that does not have the typical SPF feeling but instead just feels like a normal face cream. It sinks into the skin very quickly and doesn’t leave a silicone-y feeling on the skin. The only downside to this SPF is that it is only SPF 25 and ideally I would my SPF to be 50. An honourable mention should go to the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+. I wore this during my holiday in Italy over the summer when I was walking around in the scorching heat and my face was totally protected. I did not get sunburnt in the slightest and I have very fair skin that burns easily.

Oils

I’ve recently discovered Squalane and I’m absolutely loving it! I’m using the One Skin Squalene oil and it’s a really beautiful oil. Before I started using it, I had stopped having the beautiful silky smooth feeling to my skin when I woke up in the morning, but using this brought it back. It’s not too thin (so that it sinks in immediately) or too thick (where it just never sinks in) and sits pretty comfortably on the face. I’ll give an honourable mention to the Herbivore Phoenix oil and the Mauli Supreme Skin Face Serum which are great for those who have drier skin.

Makeup

Foundation

Two foundations this year have really caught my eye and captured my heart – the Beauty Pie Everyday Great Skin foundation and the Hourglass Vanish stick foundation. I stumbled across them both completely by accident and they have both become go-tos for me! I had been interested in Beauty Pie’s makeup line since I fell in love so hard with the skincare range, so thought I would try out their foundation. It is a medium buildable coverage which has the prettiest dewy finish. It is really well pigmented and a little goes quite a long way with this (in that it allows you a nice natural looking base, that still looks like your skin but better). The Hourglass one took me 6 months to work out how to make this formula work on my skin as it’s quite dry. BUT I stuck with it, and am now nearly out of my mists, but it’s just gorgeous. It is THE ultimate ‘your skin but better’ and it is hands down the best shade match that I have ever found in my life. This one I prefer to wear more on the lighter/more natural side, but it is definitely buildable.

Highlighter

Two new highlighters have literally stolen my heart this year – the Hourglass Vanish stick highlighter in Gold Flash and the By Terry Gem Glow Trio Compact. I like to use the Hourglass one underneath my foundation to give me that really natural glow from within. Once I’ve applied foundation, I like to take this on my fingers and tap it onto the high points of my cheeks to really add the glow. The By Terry highlighter is a really new one to me (I only got my hands on it last week), but I’m totally in love with it. I’ve had my eye on it for months and months and it’s been so worth the wait. It is the most INCREDIBLE highlighter that is just so blinding and flattering. This really suits my pale skin, but I can also imagine it suiting people much darker than me too.

I am not lucky enough to have reviewing makeup and skincare as my full time job and even though I try a lot of new products out of interest, there are a lot of products in my routine that have stayed the same or just didn’t wow me enough.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what your top products for 2018 were!

Xo

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Christmas gift guides – the skincare fanatic

Following on from my previous gift guide post, this one is for the skincare fanatic. I’ve created this one so that there are options for all budgets because hyped up skincare can often fall in the premium budget category, and frankly that isn’t accessible to everyone. So here’s a mix of my high and low skincare suggestions suitable for a mixture of skin types!

REN – Stop Being So Sensitive kit – Β£22 (Cult Beauty, Fabled, Selfridges, Naturisimo)

I’ve tried a few things from the REN EverCalm range now, and it’s all amazing. It’s so nourishing for the skin and is amazing quality. In the UK, REN is not an overly expensive brand, and this little kit gives you a great introduction to the brand. The EverCalm range is their line that targets sensitive skin, but anyone with normal-dry skin can also use it and love it. The day cream will become your new favourite, and their cleansers look absolutely beautiful. I’m pretty convinced that after trying something from this line, you will repurchase the full size.

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Emma Hardie Skin Cleansing Kit – Β£30 (Cult Beauty, ASOS, Marks & Spencer)

If you have never tried the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm and have always wanted to, this is a great way to test the product out without shelling out for the Β£50 full size. Not only do you get the cleansing balm and a super soft cloth (which will change your life), but you also get the Rosehip exfoliating seeds that even out texture and tone the skin.

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Fresh Beauty – Masks for Miles – Β£69 (fresh.com/UK)

If you are a mask obsessive, you will love this gift set by Fresh. This set includes the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask, the Lotus Rescue Mask, the Rose Face Mask and the Sugar Face Polish. These are the mini size products that are 30ml each, and if you were to purchase these individually, it would come to Β£92 (Β£21 each for Lotus, Rose and Sugar Polish, Β£29 for Black Tea). So you get a massive saving of Β£23! You basically get a mask for free which is fab!

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Yu Ling – Jade Facial Rollers – Β£12 (Cult Beauty)

I have been wanting one of these for ages! Rollers have loads of uses, from helping to boost circulation and de-puff the eye areas to eliminating toxins and relieving stubborn headaches. I’ve seen a lot of people use these rollers over sheet masks to work the essence a little deeper into the skin and to add to the self care element and give yourself a little massage – joining skincare and self-care!Yu Ling Rollers Jade Facial Roller (Small)OMOROVICZA – Christmas Intro Set – Β£65 (Cult Beauty, Space NK, Lookfantastic)

Omorovicza is a super high end Hungarian skincare brand that looks absolutely beautiful, but lets face it, is not accessible to everyone. BUT, this minis set lets you try out a lot of their products and get a good feel for the brand without going bankrupt! In this set, you get the Thermal Cleansing Balm, Deep Cleansing Mask, Cleansing Foam, Elemental Emulsion and the famous Queen of Hungary Mist. The set is valued at Β£112, so it’s pretty good value! If you are someone that likes to dabble in high end skincare but have always been priced out, then here is your opportunity to give it a go!

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Sjo Skin – Happy Honey Mask – Β£42 (Sjoskin.com)

If you spend any time at all on the gram, you will 100% recognise this mask. Beauty addicts across Instagram and the world swear by this and herald it as the best mask out there. This Swedish brand really encourages love and positivity in the beauty community and is one of the nicest, socially aware brands on Instagram at the moment. This is definitely one on my wish list!natural skincareOskia – Deluxe Travel Collection – Β£55 (Spacenk.com)

Oskia is another one of those brands that look gorgeous and are faves for people in the beauty industry… and they have the price tag to match! I love gift sets for trying out more high end brands as it gives you a great chance to try more products for a really good price. I really want to pick this one up for myself! This set contains Nutri-Active Day Cream, Renaissance Cleansing Gel, Micro Exfoliating Balm, Renaissance Mask and Super 16 Pro Collagen Serum, all in travel size and it comes in a really lovely bag.

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Mario Badescu – The Brightening Kit – Β£34.50 (Beauty Bay)

Mario Badescu is a really great brand for people with acne prone skin and loved by loads of celebrities. When I had acne, their Glycolic Foaming Cleanser was my go-to product to keep my acne in check and I would always notice it worsen when I didn’t use it. I chose this kit specifically because it had the glycolic cleanser, also because it’s a brand that I had so much faith in when my skin wasn’t at its best. The products in this kit can be used by any skin type, especially the glycolic products and the vitamin C serum.Mario Badescu The Brightening Kit

Kiehls – Holiday Skincare Set – Β£47.50 (Kiehls.co.uk, Selfridges, Feelunique)

If you’re a newbie to Kiehls, or are a harcore lover (like me), this is a great gift set for you, your mum, your auntie, your hairdresser, ANYONE. It contains loads of amazing minis to try, including my faaaavourite product ever (Midnight Recovery Oil) which you definitely need in your life. Kiehls’ products are so beautiful and high quality, and if you have never tried them before, they are GREAT with samples if you order from them directly. There are a few other sets on the websites for your body and hands, so pick the one that’s best for you!

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Dr Jart+ – Ceramidin range – Β£5.50 – Β£35 (Selfridges, ASOS)

If you are a dry skin babe, then Dr Jart’s Ceramidin range is perfect for you. It has been developed for extremely dry skin and whenever you apply anything from them, it feels like your skin is saying ‘aaaaaah’ with a cocktail in a bathrobe. If you are on a bit of a tighter budget, then the Dr Jart Ceramidin face mask is only Β£5.50 and will give your skin an instant moisture boost. Alternatively, if you’re after a great, fairly thick moisturiser, then the Ceramidin Cream is your gal.

Beauty Pie (beautypie.com)

I know the idea of a subscription service can leave some people cold, but Beauty Pie is exceptional. If you are a self-proclaimed skincare addict, this is definitely something you want to try out. You can cancel your subscription for free after 3 months and you get access to an amazing range of top quality products. The Japanfusion line is heralded as the best one (which I’ve tried and it is good), but my absolute favourite is the Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm.

BEAUTYPIE_Plantastic_Apricot_Butter_Cleansing_Balm_968500_460_1I hope this guide has been useful for all you skincare fanatics out there! Maybe don’t buy anything until Black Friday now, because I’m sure you can get a better deal then! Let me know which skincare bits and pieces you’ll be picking up this Christmas!

Xo

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Was Drunk Elephant’s UK launch a flop?

If you spend a lot of time on social media, or are remotely interested in beauty then you’ll have heard of Drunk Elephant. Their colourful packaging make them a beauty blogger favourite, and you’ll often find entire accounts dedicated to their products. Drunk Elephant has only been available in America since its launch in 2014 and has been the object of envy for a whole world of bloggers and beauty aficionados. As a UK based beauty blogger, I have always wanted to be able to get my hands on anything DE. So now it has come to the UK through Cultbeauty and Space NK, I’m left feeling a little cold – and I think a lot of other people are too.

But doesn’t Drunk Elephant have it all? The brand is adored by beauty bloggers around the world, wanted by every skincare addict, has formulas that are lauded by beauty experts and has easily the most instagrammable packaging around. So what is it exactly that has left beauty lovers cold? Well that’s easy – the price.

Even in the states, Drunk Elephant is pricey. The TLC Framboos Glycolic Serum is $90 alone, and DE suggests mixing it with B-Hydra, which is a further $52. That in itself doesn’t sit right with me, as I believe a product should work well on its own and shouldn’t require the consumer to purchase additional product to boost the results or make it softer on the skin. If that’s the case then it should be included from the get go. That’s a whole other story. What has angered beauty lovers in the UK and across Europe is the fact that the prices in dollars are exactly the same as in pounds. So the $90 serum is retailing for Β£90. Let’s reverse that a second. If this were to be converted back into dollars, that means that this serum is selling at $116 (accurate as of 3/10/18 based on the current market). That is an enormous difference of $26. Where is the justice in this!? My assumption was that prices would come down and not go up once the brand finally arrived in the UK, so imagine my (and the rest of Europe’s) disappointment when they saw the prices on CultBeauty and Space NK’s website. The response has been significant, or rather it hasn’t. All the products are still in stock on both company’s websites (as of midday UK time 3/10/18 when the products launched at 7pm UK time 2/10/18). Even the Littles, which allows you to try the most products for the least amount of money, is still available on both websites. To put it bluntly, they’ve really messed up here.

My own views on Drunk Elephant products are that they aren’t anything special. Since the launch last night (and the horror at the pricing), I have seen more people than ever before labelling the brand as β€˜meh’ and not worth the price or the effort to purchase it – and I have to say that I agree.

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Above: UK Littles, Below: US Littles

I always felt like I was missing out on the good stuff, so when a work colleague offered to bring me anything back from the US, I asked for the Littles. The Littles is a travel sized kit of 8 DE products – the Beste No. 9 Cleanser, C-Firma, B-Hydra, Virgin Marula oil, Lala Retro Whipped Cream, Shaba Eye Cream and Umbra Sheer Daily Defence. None of the products wow-ed me from the start, and even though I persisted with them, they just didn’t deliver any noticeable results. I was annoyed that I was expected to mix B-Hydra with both C-Firma and TLC Framboos Serum for them to be less harsh on the skin, and yet B-Hydra was not larger in size given how much they expected you to use. The night serum (and B-Hydra) did make my skin feel smooth, but I feel like my Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturising Serum does the job just as well, if not better and it’s only Β£41. Equally, my Kiehl’s Midnight Concentrate makes my skin feel much more plump and soft over the Marula Oil. The Lala Retro Whipped Cream is a lovely moisturiser… but it stripped the dye from my eyebrows and left me with brown smudges on my face. I have NO idea what on earth is in it to make it do that, but it is the only product to ever do it. The cleanser is pretty nice, but certainly not Β£34 worth of nice. The Shaba Eye Cream left a massive white cast under my eyes that made me look crazy when I woke up the next morning and the SPF is not worth mentioning. It IS however worth mentioning that the SPF is only included in the Littles for the US, but not for the UK… and yet the kit is still priced at Β£90. When prices for skincare are so high, people do just naturally expect more because they are paying a premium. However, I honestly don’t believe that the products offer premium results.

Just taking a quick scroll through the comments section on Caroline Hirons’ new video on DE tells you all you need to know. People feel betrayed by the brand and their obscene pricing and feel like they are purposely marking up the prices for British and European consumers. They had a whole host of beauty addicts in the palm of their hand, and alienating a whole continent of consumers perhaps isn’t the ticket to success. I thought this range would sell out in minutes, and yet coming up to 24 hours after launch, both CultBeauty and Space NK are still well stocked – and that in itself speaks absolute volumes. If you are lucky enough that money is no object, then by all means go wild on this one, but I know that I won’t be missing much.

Have you ever tried any Drunk Elephant products, and what do you make of them? Let me know on here or on Instagram!

Xo

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Sephora haul and testing

So this month I went on holiday to Italy… and Europe means SEPHORA! If you don’t know, the UK does not have Sephora. We used to be able to order from the US site but you now can only order from the French site, which has far fewer brands. Regardless, as soon as I found out where I was going I looked up where Sephora was…

I ended up going to 3 different Sephora’s – 2 in Venice and 1 in Verona. Here is what I got and my impressions after using them a few times:

Farmacy – Honey Potion mask

This mask is a firm cult favourite among beauty bloggers on Instagram, and this purchase was definitely a ‘Insta made me do it’. The packaging and the product itself are gorgeous! The texture is much more solid than I expected – I thought it to be goopy like honey but it’s more waxy. I didn’t realise the mask had a warming effect until I had bought it. It’s worth noting that it’s not an intense warming sensation like some cheap packet masks can be (the ones that burn your face), but it’s gentle. When you apply it, the mask is orange like it is in the pot, but you have to massage it into the skin to turn it white. It doesn’t take too long to turn the waxy orange goop into white foam. After washing it off, my skin feels super smooth. Other than the immediate feeling of smoothness, I can’t really say that I noticed much more of a difference in my skin. It did feel hydrated and not desperate for moisturiser unlike some of the other masks I’ve used (Sand and sky I’m looking at you). I’m going to keep using it and see if I can spot any improvements from sustained use.

Marc Jacobs – Dew Drops in Dew You

This was such an impulse buy! I’d seen this around and always thought it looked lovely. I was a little unsure whether the colour would be too dark for my skin tone, but after walking towards it and away from it about 5 times, I put it in my basket. The first time I tried to use it was over the top of my Hourglass stuck foundation, and rather than looking like a subtle glow it was so apparent that something was on my cheek bones. It ended up looking like a dry, dull yellow on my skin and I had to go over it. Maybe it was the stick foundation? It did the same with my Charlotte Tilbury magic foundation, and I used much less. HOWEVER, this works AMAZINGLY well underneath my Vanish foundation. I coated myself in a full pump of it, and it made the foundation look dewy (I find the formula to be very try and can really emphasise dry patches). I also really like to wear a small amount of this when I’m not wearing proper makeup for work as it gives me that healthy glow!

Sol de Janiero – Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I’ve had this before and liked it, but let’s be honest it’s the smell that brings you back for more. I do plan on doing a little science experiment with this one so stay tuned! The smell, of course, is to die for and in my experience it does deliver in removing or reducing the appearance of cellulite. I am not usually someone who bothers moisturising their entire body (because I HATE the feeling when your clothes get stuck to you) so I forget to apply this a lot.

Foreo – Luna Play

I have had my eye on Foreo’s for aaaaaages, but they’ve always been a bit out of my price range. I had never used a cleansing tool before and was a little unsure whether I’d get much use out of it, or even like it for my skin type! The difference in the smoothness of my skin is definitely noticeable – and I already have smooth skin. It doesn’t feel like it’s doing to much when you manoeuvre this around your face, but when you remove your cleanser, that’s when you really feel the difference! If you are interested in trying out this type of product, I’d definitely recommend the Luna Play because it’s much more affordable than the other versions they offer. After having had this one, I’m just going to keep changing the battery when it runs out rather than purchase a rechargeable. The battery allegedly lasts 100 uses, but I’ve probably been using it once a week? Mainly because I forget but also because I like to use this when I’ve worn quite a lot of makeup, and at the moment I’m wearing minimal makeup all the time.

Patchology – Rejuvinating Eye Gels

I have never used eye masks before, but I see so many people using them on IG. I only got the small pack where you get 5 sets, so I’m reluctant to use them even though I really want to! I liked them when I first used them but I wouldn’t say they’re revolutionary. I’d definitely be tempted to put them in the fridge before I use them again to get that cooling affect. I didn’t notice a visible difference in my under eye area, but I’m not someone who has really dark under eye.

Dr Jart+ – Vital Hydra Solution

This was actually the first thing I picked up from Dr Jart (before I went a bit crazy in Verona). I haven’t tried this yet, but have really high hopes for it. People only seem to have good things to say about Dr Jart, and I have faith that this is going to be really good.

Sephora – Cucumber Eye Mask

I went a little eye mask happy on this trip, but again I’m trying to space out when I use these. I’m expecting these to be a thinner jelly to the psychology ones, but I’m interested to see the benefits of using cucumber on the eye area!

Sephora – Shea Lip Mask

I’ve done a lip mask before (from Sephora) and as far as I can remember it wasn’t anything life changing, but I’m such a sucker for all the Sephora masks (can you tell?)

Sephora – Aloe Vera Hand MaskI’ve used the hand masks from Sephora before, and while I don’t usually notice a massive difference, they’re just fun to use My hands get dry very easily, so I think it takes something a little stronger than essence to repair my hands.

Dr Jart+ – Ceramidin Cream

OH. MY. GOSH. We have a holy grail ladies and gentlemen! When I tried this out in store, I was like yeah I think I’m gonna like this and I absolutely adore it. I somehow managed to get this for free? I accidentally picked up the tester (because it wasn’t labelled!) but it was completely full and unused! Couldn’t believe my luck! It’s a beautiful thick cream that is an amazing moisturiser. It has a really pleasant smell that isn’t over perfumed like some other brands. I really like a thick moisturiser, and this has replaced all moisturisers in my routine, morning and evening. My mum had a really sore dry patch on her finger and asked if I had a good moisturiser for it, so I put a bit of this on there and by the next morning her hand was back to normal. I think I’ve tempted her to buy it too. I stopped by Selfridges a week after I got back from Italy and SO NEARLY bought a back up of this, despite being NO. WHERE. NEAR. The end of the tube. It is going down quickly though…

Dr Jart+ – Cicapair Cream

I really like the idea of this because I have a lot of redness in my skin naturally. I had been eyeing this one up too and had been planning on buying the mini version from Selfridges. That went out the window when I spotted this in Verona and got he full sized. It is a bit of a weird consistency and I’m not sure that I’m a fan. It feels like I am pulling on my skin a lot, which I’m not in to at all. However, the result is really good. I notice a definite reduction in redness, and the green cream changes to a beige when you start to work this into the skin. I don’t know whether it matches to your skin tone somehow but it is not to dark for my very fair skin (for reference I am usually the lightest foundation in most ranges I’ve tried). I’ve been wearing this for work underneath my tinted SPF (which also seems to reduce my redness), so I have a really nice even base and even a little bit of coverage. I’ll definitely be using up the pot, but I’d consider another version from the Cicapair range instead.

Beautyblender

I absolutely love beautyblenders and wouldn’t really consider another beauty sponge. I used to use the real techniques one, but it’s so much more dense than BB and I feel like the blend is far superior with BB. The last time I bought a new beauty blender was in Rome last year, so I figured it was time for a new one!

I need more trips to Europe this year… OR SEPHORA COULD FINALLY COME TO THE UK!? Though if it did do that, I’m not sure I’d ever have any money in my bank account…

Xo

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How to get super soft skin

Ever since I got rid of my acne, I’ve found some ways to get the softest skin. Here are the my go-to tips for super soft skin:

1. Use a cleansing balm

Cleansing balms are so gentle on the skin and don’t strip it of all moisture like some other cleansing products do. Cleansing balms work essentially by melting away your make up, starting as a solid balm that quickly transforms into an oil upon application. My favourites are the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm and the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Makeup wipes are ineffective at removing all makeup and micellar waters do not work well for me — They leave my skin screaming for moisture and ready to crack. But the cleansing balms I have used have removed all my makeup, left my skin soft and feeling well moisturised.

2. Use a konjac sponge

Or a muslin cloth if it works for our skin type. When I had acne, using a muslin cloth broke me out even worse. Whereas a konjac sponge would lightly exfoliate my skin and leave it feeling really smooth (even with cystic acne). I always use a konjac sponge when I remove my cleansing balm and it gives me an even better cleanse. As well as removing all traces of makeup, Konjac sponges massages the skin to stimulate blood flow and cell turnover. They are made of plant fibres and are great if you have more sensitive skin, or even more reactive skin. I buy these in bulk and couldn’t recommend them more!

3. Don’t over do it!

Don’t feel that you need to really scrub your skin to make it soft. Chances are you’re actually doing more harm than good. Likewise, don’t use really strong, abrasive cleansers/exfoliators/face washes if they aren’t right for your skin. Even if you have acne or oily skin, you do not need to scrub and clean your skin until it squeaks for it to be clean. You’re just stripping your skin of all moisture and to combat this your skin will produce even more oil to moisturise the area. Be kind to your skin!

4. Consider using an acid

I have noticed that on my skin, it is always smoother and softer once I have used glycolic acid. I use it in a cleanser form and I always find that my skin feels beautifully soft afterwards. I used the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser when I had my cystic acne and it would leave my skin feeling tamed and smoother (if you’ve had cystic acne, you’ll know how your skin can feel soft and mountainous at the same time). I continue to use it now, but less frequently and I always notice a significant difference in the texture of my skin. Make sure you do your research on which acid suits your skin type the best, but generally speaking they offer a whole host of benefits – from smoothing out your skin’s texture (Glycolic acid); loosening dead skin cells to alleviate clogged pores and blackheads (Salicylic acid); and strengthens the skin barrier so your skin appears smoother, softer and more plump (Hyaluronic acid).

5. Use a mask

I don’t have the time to use masks that regularly, but I try and use them as often as I can – usually on a Sunday to relax before a busy week. I really love the bubble masks because I they just make my skin SO soft. The one I used recently was the Rodial Snake Oxygenating & Cleansing Bubble Mask and my skin was so smooth while I was washing it off that I thought I still had bubbles on my face. This mask removes the dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil whilst also cleansing and unclogging pores for smoother looking skin. Do some research into which mask will work best for you. I hate clay masks as they are super drying for my dry skin, but masses of people love the Sand and Sky Pink Clay mask and claim it gives miracle results (it didn’t for me unfortunately).

6. Use a serum

My skin always feels silky smooth after I use one of my serums. My go to is the Kiehl’s Hydro Plumping Re-texturising Serum, which leaves the skin feeling plump whilst smoothing our texture and fine lines. I remember being absolutely amazed how smooth my face could be after trying a sample of this… it’s safe to say I have the full size one now.

7. Try a night oil

The star of the show in my skincare arsenal is theΒ Kiehls’ Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This makes my skin so much softer and smoother than it’s ever been before. and I repurchase this as soon as I start to run low. It boasts that it will give you more toned and radiant skin as the formula works by enhancing your natural night time recovery process. By morning, my skin feels silky smooth and beautifully plump.

I hope these tips have been helpful! I have never been someone who has naturally smooth skin and always used to envy my Mum’s baby smooth skin… and now I have it too!

Xo

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