It’s that time of the month again, where I chat all things beauty and attempt to justify the reasons why I’ve spent at least ten hours in April researching, trialling and purchasing a variety of different make-up items. But hey, if you manage to glean a few insights into a couple of new beauty launches, then it’s all worth it? Right?
GlossyBox always seems to feature in my beauty favourites because they offer such an incredibly successful way of introducing yourself to new products, without the need for a huge upfront cost. I can’t even begin to imagine how much I used to spend on my average trip to Boots, picking up new launches along the way to test out, before realising that the majority of them sat unused for the rest of time and I’d wasted so much money and product.
Last month’s box was a plethora of prepping and priming goodies, with three full sized items and one sample size. Unusually, I actually got on well with everything inside – which for me was a great little bonus! Up first is an Eye & Cheek Palette from Sleek Make-Up, which I’ve previously heard rave reviews about but never actually had the opportunity to try it out for myself.
With four eye shades and two cheek colours, this is an essential palette for your make-up bag, as they are all gorgeous nude shades which can be worn for both everyday and evening wear. Unlike other palettes, I’m pretty sure I’ll use everything in this one – as the tones are very subtle and universal for all occasions.
At just £10, this is a really affordable make-up staple that I know I’ll get plenty of wear from!
Next to discover was the in transit camera close-up from This Works, which is apparently one of their hero products and as I was soon to find out, rightly so. It’s a bit of a multi-functioning primer, in the sense that it acts as a hydration tool, brightener, radiance booster and pore minimiser, bringing your skin back to it’s equilibrium, all while giving it a much needed injection of luminosity.
“It is a great handbag staple, providing a boost of moisture for thirsty hands, without that greasy after-effect!”
I would recommend using a moisturiser with it if your skin is dry like mine, as it’s not quite hydrating enough to skip that vital step, however if you have normal/oily, I think this would be a great all-in-one product to try. It creates the perfect base for your foundation – or indeed is fab to wear as a standalone product on a more natural holiday look.
Crabtree & Evelyn are renowned for their fabulous hand-creams, however I’ll be totally honest here – despite owning a whopping 15 hand creams (I may be a teeny bit of a hoarder), I don’t remember the last time I used one. And yet, I definitely need to.
A last glance at my hands showed that they were dry and could definitely use some TLC. So seeing this in the Glossybox gave me a bit of a kick up the backside to start taking care of my hands. After all, I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer but they do show the first signs of ageing. And while I’ve never thought about not having ‘youthful hands’ (I’m more concerned about my sausage fingers and chipped nails), I do appreciate the need to take care of your skin.
The Somerset Meadow Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy is a great handbag staple, providing a boost of moisture for thirsty hands, without that greasy after-effect, which often leaves you feeling as though your phone might slip mysteriously from your grasp. Risky business this hand cream malarky. The scent is very subtle and refreshing, with macadamia nut oil and shea butter ingredients.
And last but certainly not least is the fabulous BLONDME Keratin Restore Bonding Shampoo by Schwarzkopf Professional. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for recently, as my hair is so dry and fragile (and I’ve been putting off getting the roots done precisely for this reason) and needs a LOT of TLC.
With bundles of keratin inside, this product creates new bonds within the hair fibre, making it stronger, smoother and less damaged. It’s especially great for blonde hair as it helps repair the damaged structures caused by bleaching and since the formula is sulphate free, this will nourish it with goodness, without fading your colour. You simply apply to wet hair, lather into a foam and then rinse.
Easy peasy! And so effective on the overall feel and condition of your hair!
One of my favourite things is discovering fabulous new skincare brands, because as you probably know by now – I have rather troublesome skin that seems to have a dislike for routine, so I often have to switch up the products I’m using in order to keep it happy.
Trilogy is my latest discovery – and a rather fab one at that. They have a powerful yet natural collection of skincare products, aimed at promoting radiance and hydration. Two qualities I could most definitely do with a little more of!
Each packed to the brim with natural ingredients, such as rosehip, kaolin, ginkgo and green tea, their ‘powerfully natural’ motto helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, acne scarring and redness, all while nourishing your skin and deeply cleansing. This month, I trialled three specific products from the range – but I’m actually looking to place an order, as there’s a few more I have my eye on. So you may see this brand cropping up a little more frequently.
My favourite so far is the Mineral Radiance Mask, which claims to energise, purify and deeply cleanse all skin types. With a natural clay base, as it dries it soaks up all the dirt and pollutants, before revealing a radiant complexion. It’s not often you see such a dramatic difference straight away – but I used this after a few days on the beach in Miami – and my skin needed a big boost, which it thankfully gave!
I also really love their Balancing Face Lotion, which is formulated for combination or oily skin, but I actually found it really beneficial while I was on holiday, as often I find that sunscreen and sweat (what a wonderful combo) can really clog up your pores, and so I need something lightly hydrating and replenishing to pop on during the day rather than my usual (quite thick) moisturiser. With rosehip oil and evening primrose, this product provides enough moisture to keep those pesky dry patches at bay, but without over-doing it on the hydration front and leaving your make-up quite practically melting off your face. It’s a holiday staple!
Mandara Spa Mango & Coconut
When it comes to beauty products, if it smells fruity or has even a hint of coconut in, I’m pretty much sold. I do love the more spa-like zen scents (for when you need to unwind and pamper yourself) but for everyday wear, my scent of choice is coconut.
There’s something so refreshing and tropical about it – and since scent has such an evocative power, wearing coconut takes me to my happy place – the beach!
So when I discovered the Mandara Spa range – with a strong tropical fragrance running throughout it’s collection, I couldn’t resist a little sniff. Sure enough, it didn’t disappoint and I’m now almost one tub of body butter down (it’s difficult to ration when it smells good enough to eat).
The formula itself is super silky, lightly hydrating and melts into your skin very quickly, so there’s no frantic running around the house waiting for your moisturiser to dry before you get dressed. No-one else do that? Nope. Okay, then!
Their rather understated packaging doesn’t reveal much of what’s on the inside, but if you do come across this brand – I’d whole heartedly recommend a little look! Their Honeymilk Dream Body Butter is one of my favourites – and the great thing is, you can stock up on the entire range to layer up your scents and have them lingering all throughout the day.
As far as I’m aware the Mandara Spa brand is one of the largest luxury spa’s in the world (with a resort at the Atlantis Bahamas) so you know you’re in very good hands with any of their products!
If it’s good enough for Emma Watson, then it’s good enough for me. The Beauty and the Beast star recently admitted that she stocks up on the Lola’s Apothecary oils, which feature tiny rose petal inserts to leave you feeling pampered and princess-like.
Their Delicate Romance Bath & Shower Oil is the only ingredient you need to creating the most romantic bath (who says you need another person to be romantic) possible. The blend of roses and spices ‘serenades the air’ as your pour it in to spice up your frothy hot water, with seed oils, vanilla and sweet orange ready to greet and hydrate your skin as your slide in.
I will readily admit here, I don’t tend to have many baths – but since I introduced the Delicate Romance Body Souffle and the Delicate Romance Bath & Shower Oil into my bathroom, they’ve been happening a lot more frequently. The latter is something that my skin practically drinks up – and I emerge from the water feeling like a glowing goddess (whether I look like one in my towel turban and fluffy dressing gown is a whole other story).
I love that Lola’s products are handmade in Britain, feature 100% natural ingredients and are cruelty free. The brand itself has such an incredibly heart-warming ethos and there is clearly an awful lot of effort that goes into the visuals of website – because it’s an Instagrammers dream!
The whipped butter like Souffle melts into your skin, layering it with such beautiful sweet scents and providing velvet softness. If you’re starting to get into mindfulness (I am, have a little look at this post) or hygge, then this is one product you should envelope yourself in and integrate into your bed-time routine. It’s perfect for both dry winter skin and as an after sun treatment!
Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield
If you, like me, find it such a hassle to have to faff around with loads of different creams, moisturisers, primers, SPFs and treatments, then you’re going to love this all-in-1 multi-purpose product that I’ve recently discovered. While I love experimenting with a variety of different beauty products, when you’re travelling or simply exhausted from the week you’ve just had, then no-one really has time for a 14-step routine. Especially when that’s not even factoring in make-up application. I mean, it’s fun and all for the first few times – and then you wonder how on earth you have become a slave to your skincare.
Anyway, on my recent trip to Miami I took just one product away with me for all my priming needs – and that was the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield. Essentially, this hard-working formula takes the place of your treatment, primer and SPF, to immediately blur and correct while protecting you against the harsh UV rays of the sun. You simply massage it evenly over your face, neck and chest, leave to dry (2 minutes) and then pop your make-up over the top.
I love the invisible SPF30 protection and the fact that it minimizes the appearance of your pores and provides that perfect holiday base, all within one simple swipe. If only conquering that Instagram algorithm was this easy!
The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey
The Body Shop never fails to delight me with their latest launches – and their Almond Milk & Honey range is no different.
Formulated for sensitive, dry skin (a category for which, I graciously fit under), the calming and caring ingredients seek to soothe irritation, calm redness and provide all over 48 hour hydration, keeping those pesky dry patches at bay.
Enriched with almond milk from Spain and Community Trade honey from Ethiopia, the collection of sweetly scented products comforts, protects and restores moisture (which after burning in Miami, was exactly what I needed!).
Of course, we can’t talk about a new Body Shop product, without discussing the scent in depth – and luckily, this beautiful combination doesn’t disappoint.
Notes of shea butter and honey are complimented by sweet almond, which gives the whole product a delicious but subtle creamy scent.
If you love vanilla based sweet and feminine scents, you won’t be disappointed by this one!
And in terms of the hydrating qualities itself, I took the tub of body butter to Miami with me and I think I actually only had to pop it on twice over 6 days, so it’s super long lasting and easy to incorporate into even the speediest of holiday pamper routines!
Artis Elite Mirror Finish Collection
So I still can’t quite believe that I actually own these gorgeous brushes! They have pretty much changed up my make-up application process and despite my initial skepticism, they are most certainly worth the hype!
The sleek and luxuriously soft bristles are entirely man-made, so they’re cruelty-free – and they also have the bonus of not shedding – ever! Which completely eliminates any risk of those pesky hairs ruining your perfectly finished foundation (we’ve all been there!).
I think the USP of these brushes is that they’re very delicate and small, so they are so much more precise than what we are used to. Plus, they don’t absorb your product, they just assist you in applying it effortlessly to your face – so no more wasting expensive foundation when it disappears into your buffer brush!
Probably their best feature, which has been a total game changer for me, is the fact that you can clean them SO easily. Gone are the days of having to rinse each one individually, foaming it with cleanser and then hoping they’ll dry overnight! The Antimicrobial Microfiber Cleaning Pad is an additional purchase, but enhances your new brushes, as you just swipe the used ones on the cloth (using back and forth motions) and it grabs all the excess make-up residue off the brushes. And then, you’re good to go! I’ve found this handy feature alone means that I no longer prolong the make-up brush cleaning process (only making the effort when I start breaking out – bad, I know) since you just do it as soon as you’re finished. Easy peasy!
Merumaya Iconic Youth Serum
Merumaya actually came along to my event in mid-March and so I had the pleasure of meeting with their beautiful founder Maleka – who is such an inspirational lady. Not only does she speak eloquently about women ageing gracefully (without all the BS we’re often given in the media) and women’s confidence but she also has developed an incredible line of skincare which truly does what it says on the tin. Or should I say, chic packaging.
One product I’ve been using ever since is the Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm, which is possibly the best addition to my bathroom in a very long time. I’m pretty lazy with my skincare, so I tend to opt for go-to products that you can grab and easily use after a long day. This product in particular is amazing because it essentially melts off all your make-up without any oily residue. I whack a dollop on about 20 minutes before bed, let in sink in and get to work melting all the various products I put on my face, and then rinse off with a soft flannel. There’s never even a teeny bit left, since it works super hard at clearing everything off, leaving you with the perfect base for a hydrating night cream.
And talking of hydrating, a new product of theirs that I’ve been trying is the Iconic Youth Serum, which I mix with my usual moisturiser to create a super radiance boosting potion that leaves my skin incredibly soft and luminous in the mornings. You only need a few tiny drops, as it’s very hydrating – but I’ve also taken to using this in the mornings too, when I need a bit of a pick-me-up before a photo-shoot! Merumaya as a brand, is definitely one to try!
BareMinerals Total Cleansing Oil
BareMinerals is a big favourite of mine – I absolutely adore their skin-loving powders, their pigmented yet beautifully hydrating lipsticks and their magical concealer. But their skincare is one I was yet to try – until earlier last month.
I’d heard lots about their Total Cleansing Oil, which seems to be a bit of a hero product in the beauty world, but I’m always a little dubious of products that claim to be ‘for all skin types’ like this one does. Surely, we all need a tailored product, right?
Well, yes – if you’re having particular problems with oily-ness or dry-ness, you’ll probably want to opt for a skin-boosting ingredient that is right for your issue. But if you’re at an equilibrium with your skin and you want a soothing treat that smells incredible, then this Total Cleansing Oil is certainly one to go for.
With delicate blends of bilberry, cucumber and sunflower oils, this is beautifully hydrating, soothing and cooling – without being greasy or OTT.
When applying to a dry face, it pretty much dissolves your make-up instantly and when massaged in with water, the oil transforms into a soft, milky emulsion that rinses everything away.
Infused with the rather uplifting scents of lavender and tangerine, you feel refreshed and very clean when using it – which I love!
Plus, there’s always something rather lovely about smelling good before you get into bed!
It’s a great one to have on the go, in between flare-ups or as an equalizer!
Now I think I’m actually going to dedicate an entire post to these gorgeous brushes, because I’ve just counted 15 in my collection in total (oops) and so I feel like that deserves a mention of it’s very own. However if you haven’t yet tried these wonderful brushes, please head to your local drugstore and pick one up, pronto!
It’s pretty much single-handily changed the condition of my hair, as I’ve noticed a drastic reduction in split and frayed ends since I introduced these into my life two years ago. You’ll probably have heard by now, that brushing through wet hair can be extremely damaging, especially as a normal brush tends to struggle through your knots, tugging at your delicate cuticles. But with hair like mine, it simply isn’t possible not to brush it. Because even after a deep condition, it looks like it’s been dragged through a hedge backwards.
This little number (or should I say, numbers) glides through your hair minus the tugging, detangling and smoothing as it goes. I think it’s telling that all of the hairdressers I’ve visited use Tangle Teezer’s themselves, so it’s a great investment for your dressing table and for your hair quality too! They’ve recently introduced a number of really cute designs, which are all super compact so great even if you’re constantly on the move. I love the fact there’s also different sized brushes depending on the type of hair you have. The ‘Thick & Curly’ brush is perfect for thick, wavy and afro hair while the longer handle hairbrush is fab for caring for bonded hair extensions and much longer locks.
I’d definitely have a little look for which one would suit your hair type best, as they’ve honestly changed my hair for the better – and they’re super affordable!
Soaper Duper Shea Body Butter
Okay so I’m not sure if it’s just me here, but whenever I come back from holiday – my skin (regardless of whether I’ve burned) seems to be ridiculously dry. To the point where it comes off on my clothes. Yes, really. Gross. Ew. But anyway, apparently it seems to be a thing now – and with three back-to-back trips in March, I needed a product that was going to minimise the dryness and really inject some much needed TLC into my skin.
Introducing the Soaper Duper Shea Body Butter, which is especially formulated for very dry skin! There’s no parabens, colours, mineral oils or usual suspects (that can actually irritate your skin, in turn creating more dry patches), just a tonne of natural shea butter, tahiti monoi, macadamia oil and pressed vanilla pods – which is whipped together to create something that both smells and resembles ice cream. Ah-mazing!
I love that this product is so cooling, affordable and effective. It’s journeyed with me to Miami, Athens and Switzerland and I’ve still only used about a quarter of a tub, mostly because I think it smells so good that I don’t want to use it up! But even so, it’s only £10 from Tesco when I do!
I think mixing luxury, high end products and high end, is the best combination – because there’s certain body butters I’m very precious about and want to really uplift me for a special day or evening, and then there’s also the every-day more affordable versions that you need to offer you hydration – but also a boost in fragrance to set you up for the day.
Just take heed of my warning, this particular body butter will leave you sniffing your hand at random intervals throughout the day – and may induce strange looks from onlookers.
I’ve been very loyal to one brand of tweezers until now, but when they recently broke on me (in a foreign country nonetheless – disaster) I went on a Googling spree to see if there were any other top contenders in the ever evolving beauty market.
And apparently Rubis, came out on top!
Made in Switzerland, Rubis offer a range of styles and a consistent high-quality precision that makes for a very quick and easy experience when plucking unwanted hairs. They are totally rustproof, antimagnetic and have tips that perfectly meet one another when closed (vital if you find the hair escapes at the last possible moment – leading to many minutes of frustration – and on one occasion, tears).
They are very easy to grip and hold – and they make epilating those stray hairs a much more pleasant experience than it has been in years. In hindsight, I probably should have upgraded sooner!
Molton Brown Comice Pear & Wild Honey
As mentioned in my recent video, we have three bathrooms in our house (although four sinks in total) and while this is a fabulous luxury, it’s also a complete pain to keep them all in pristine condition and with nice towels, soaps and lotions. For some reason, our handwashes seem to be running out left, right and centre – so I’m starting to keep the cupboard under the kitchen sink stocked up with washes so that I can simply replace them without having to go shopping.
One new addition to this ever growing (though ever depleting) collection, is Molton Brown’s new Comice Pear & Wild Honey range, which is totally up my street with a fresh, subtle, sweet honeyed scent and a luxurious foamy texture. Alongside the equally delicious hand lotion, these are treating one of my bathrooms to a more ‘hotel-like’ feel – admittedly, I did actually pop these in the guest bathroom initially, but they’ve gravitated towards the en-suite. No-one will notice!
Michael Kors Turquoise
Another new addition from Michael Kors fragrances and this time, another feminine and floral, yet day-wear suited perfume has been born.
Notes of cucumber and lime compliment the mid-scents of jasmine and wild orchid, finished off with a base of musk and cedarwood.
In translation, it’s a beautifully lightweight and refreshing concoction, perfect for the transition into spring and summer, as it reminds me a little of a more floral Pimms drink!
It’s a little bit sensual, so amazing at leaving you feeling empowered and ready to conquer the day – but it’s not so heavy that you feel it clinging to you.
And it does fade to reveal a much lighter, jovial fragrance the longer you wear it.
This is one to both gift to your best friend and stock up on an extra bottle for yourself!
“This is one to both gift to your best friend and stock up on an extra bottle for yourself!”
ColourPop X Hello Kitty
Okay, so I’m probably a tad late to the band wagon here, as I know this collection has been around for awhile but I’ve only just got my hands on a few of these products and I’m SO impressed!
The two Ultra Matte Lip colours I’ve been trialling (and genuinely wearing out) this month, have been ‘Milk Bottle’ and ‘Mimmy’ which are both gorgeous nude, fleshy pinks which apply as glosses, before drying to a matte finish.
The pigment is absolutely beautiful (though I’d expect nothing less from a ColourPop product admittedly) and they are super girly, which obviously plays into the hands of the Hello Kitty aspect.
The ‘Mama’s Apple Pie’ Super Shock Shadow Collection is a mix of four different shades ‘Rainbow, Friendship File, Small Gift and School Bus’, which are each shimmery and deeply pigmented but yet still very wearable.
The gold toned ‘Rainbow’ shade in particular is great for day-wear and perfect for layering up a smoky metallic look.
While I initially envisioned I’d have to be a fan of very garish bubblegum pink shades to actually wear this collection, I was actually very impressed by the final products.
They’re modern and feminine but totally wearable!
Aveda Sun Care Defense
When it comes to sun protection, we’re very good with our skin – and we are aware of the dangers. But rarely, do we ever consider our hair and the effects that harmful rays can have on our locks. Or maybe I’m the only one.
Following my recent trip to Miami, I returned to the UK with slightly more singed, frazzled hair than before – which confused me, since I hadn’t taken any heat treatment products out there. After chatting with a hair stylist, I realised it was probably a like-for-like of having sun burn, but for my hair. I had no idea!
And so I went on the hunt for a product I could take with me on my next few trips, so that I wouldn’t have to suffer the same kind of damage. Aveda’s Protective Hair Veil was one of the first products to come up, raved about by the beauty community as it filters UV rays and helps to protect your hair, while not leaving any greasy residue. You can spray it on either dry or damp hair for ultimate hair protection – and even if your spritz it on over a blow dry, it’s not going to ruin your style. One thing to bare in mind is that this is a mist, rather than a serum, so you don’t need to absolutely saturate your hair in it, for it to do it’s job.
While it doesn’t necessarily specify this on the packaging, I’ve also found it’s really helped to maintain my colour, rather than letting the sun wreck havoc and create unwanted brassy tones, which is a HUGE bonus! And with ingredients including organic neroli, ylang ylang, cistus and other pure flower and plant essences, it also is really helpful at keeping you both refreshed and feeling fresh – often no mean feat in blasting sun where you’re all hot and sticky!
And while you’re shopping on their fab site, Aveda’s Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid is also a fab little pocket-sized SPF30 protection sunscreen if you want something light, hydrating and pollutant shielding!
Tory Burch Love Relentlessly
Often you don’t get to hear the story behind a fragrance, but I love the tale behind this one.
In fact, Tory said:
“I’m thrilled to introduce Love Relentlessly, inspired by my parents courtship. After they met, my father wrote notes to my mother in the local newspaper – he always signed off ‘Love, Relentless’. They were the most romantic couple I have ever known. I hope this fragrance inspires you to love relentlessly. Tory xx”
Capturing the euphoric feeling of falling in love, notes of fiery pink pepper and patchouli are woven with dewy rose and amber.
It’s very feminine, very sensual – the perfect harmony of fruity and floral – and it’s all encased in a jewel-shaped bottle, like a love letter!
I’ve spritzed this on a few times over the past few weeks, while getting ready for a date night or event with David.
It’s a lovely fragrant reminder of how beautiful being in love is and how important it is to keep romance alive and interesting.
I love how fragrances evoke memories and I’m hoping to cement this one as an incentive to keep all that makes us special, at the heart of my thoughts.
To love, relentlessly…
So there we have it, my top beauty treats this month! I’d love to hear your recommendations too – or perhaps let me know what you think of the above products, should you have tried and tested them for yourselves too!
Some products in this feature may have been gifted to me, however all words and reviews are entirely my own.