August has been another busy month of trying beauty products with a firm focus on injecting some much needed hydration back into my hair and skin. Although I haven’t been on my usual two week summer holiday, the UK weather still seems to have taken its toll on them anyway, so I was on a mission to restore both to their former glory before my #BloggersFestival event in early September. So, without further ado…
The Spectrum launch last month made waves among the blogosphere (I think I was the only person who didn’t actually go to the event) as everyone seemed to be raving about their latest brush collection. However my personal favourite as of late has been their collaboration with S Factor (Tigi Hair) which offers an exclusive gift with any purchase of two haircare products. I am a well known make-up bag hoarder and this adorable little white pom pom pouch (which may I add, is very Instagrammable) has satisfied my recent ‘pretty things’ cravings. Plus of course the ombre powder brush in Spectrum’s signature bold pink look to complete the look. Overall, it’s a fab little addition if you’re a shopper of S Factor haircare anyway – and items you’ll actually use rather than just a novelty free gift.
Products wise, my recent must-haves from the S Factor range include the Silky Smooth Moisture Serum – which is just incredible at injecting some (for me, much needed) life and hydration back into your hair, especially on the ends. You can use it on wet or dry hair, the latter of which is great if you get the dollop size right, because it softens curls and protects against humidity induced frizz. I also love the Vivacious Volume Hairspray, which offers medium hold but none of that crispiness that you usually associate with similar products. Again, it helps to protect against frizz when you’re out and about (in the ever changing weather) and it’s super lightweight – more of a soft veil than a crispy shell.
Another month, another suncream. I seem to get through bottles of the stuff like it’s going out of fashion, but hey, that’s good, right? Avon’s Sun + is a really affordable option which is kind on skin and super easy to apply. It’s quick drying, has a spray applicator so you don’t have to fiddle about with overzealous dollops of the stuff – and it’s not greasy one bit. So you can pop your slinky white dress straight over the top without any worry of stains or suspicious looking marks. The formula has got derma-UV plus technology, which is essentially the very best in the business that you can get. So it ticks all the boxes!
Talking of sun protectants, an unusual addition to my list arrives in the form of some new Kiko Milano products. Now I’m not sure about you but I regularly shop at Kiko (whenever I’m on Oxford Street, I make it my first port of call) however I must be completely one track minded when I visit (focusing purely on the lipsticks) because I’ve never once come across their skincare or sun ranges. And I’ve been missing out.
The range is absolutely incredible and offers an assortment of really effective products to keep you protected from the sun and still feeling hydrated, with soft, smooth skin. The Solar Haircare Oil is a fabulous invention, essentially a dry oil sunscreen for your scalp and hair – to ensure that you don’t leave your sunbed with a rather unsightly flaky scalp. It happens to the best of us. But it stings so much when you wash your hair! This has SPF 6 to keep the rays from being so harsh and best of it, it tames even the most unruly of hair types. I have tried and tested it on my barnet. On a bad hair day. And it actually made me feel a lot better about leaving the house. So there’s that.
Also on the favourites list is the Solar Revive Gel, which is a really soothing, cooling formula to refresh your skin – and the Solar Protect Stick which has SPF 50 and is perfect for all the sensitive bits that you find burn the most. I tend to use this on my nose, my forehead and my shoulders – anywhere that sticks out into the sun and needs a helping hand not to turn an angry shade of red. Because it’s in stick form, it’s so nice not to have to get loads of really thick factor 50 on your hands with only a towel to help you mop up. Holiday essentials!
A favourite brand of mine when it comes to lip balms, I thought I’d be adventurous this month and try out pretty much their entire body care range. Well, it does look rather enticing, I must admit! Packaged in their signature chic yellow bottles, I opted for the Coconut Foot Cream, the Peach Deep Pore Scrub, the Shea Butter & Vitamin E Body Lotion and the Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser. Quite a mix I must admit, but it was a successful one!
As odd as it sounds, my feet have never really been something I’ve taken care of. I mean sure, I get a pedicure every now and then (which is heaven until they start massaging them and then I have to stifle laughter as it tickles so much) but I don’t actually look after them myself. Not that they’re like pets or plants or anything. But they do need taking care of. Usually they’re a bit left out. The Burts Bees Coconut Foot Cream smells so incredibly good that you actually want to use it. And my feet have never felt silkier. In fact, I practically glided along the kitchen floor the other day when making my porridge.
I’m also loving the Intense Hydration Cleanser which really gets into your pores to hydrate, soften and smooth. I usually have to lather on the moisturiser after I wash my face and cleanse but with this, you’re tempted to avoid it altogether. Team it with the Peach & Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub from the same range for a super soft finish!
Another skincare range – but definitely one to try if you’re prone to a pamper day (or two). I love Sukin because they’re such luxurious products, they always smell incredible, they’re super affordable and they’re paraben free. Basically, they tick every box. My recent favourites are the Detoxifying Clay Masque – which has been infused with super foods such as kale and spirulina for a clean, healthy and glowing complexion – as well as the Renewing Body Scrub, which has really gentle jojoba beads to remove dead skin cells and cooling aloe vera, coconut oil and vitamin E to inject back plenty of moisture!
I cannot believe that I’ve only just discovered these, because they’re absolutely amazing. Perfect for achieving that highlighted, dewy summer glow (that Blake Lively pulls off so well – but I usually ended up looking greasy and shiny), if I can use them, they must be foolproof. Available in three different shades, you can build up the colour depending on the kind of effect you want. Bright Glow for example is a really illuminating pearlescent pink, Warm Glow is a lovely sun kissed bronze and Peachy Glow is a pretty dewy, flushed sort of shade.
I tend to use Warm Glow to highlight my cheekbones, before layering Bright Glow and Peachy Glow under my eyes to make the skin look healthy and fresh. I think they are intended to be more of a tinted moisturiser (which I’ve also used peachy glow for all over to bring out my holiday sun-kissed tan) as they are advertised as a CC Cream, however what I love is the versatility of each cream – since they’re also ideal for contouring, strobing and general make-up experimentation. Plus the ultimate added benefit is that they all have SPF 20 built into the formula, which takes one worry off your mind completely!
I will warn you in advance, I got a bit carried away with my fragrance testing this month and there are quite a few among my favourites – the first of which being this gorgeous fruity, girly scent from Escada. Housed in a beautiful ombre blue and yellow bottle, adorned with exotic flowers – upon initial glance, you’re already given an indication of what it’s going to smell like. It actually has quite a cocktail-esque fragrance, with zests of citrus fruits, spicy pink peppercorns and a warmer vanilla/musky cream. Then once you’ve let it warm up on your skin for a little while, notes of apricot nectar and sandalwood come through, making it a really wearable perfume for both daywear and during the night. I love how girly and feminine it is, without being overly sickly sweet. A definite holiday must-try!
We all know the feeling, a spot pops up when it’s least wanted (not that it’s ever wanted to be honest) and you’re suddenly in a mad panic about how you’re going to make it disappear before said wedding, party (or INSERT-EVENT-WHERE-YOU-SIMPLY-CANNOT-HAVE-A-SPOT-HERE). I usually whack on a load of Witch Hazel or Tea Tree before resorting to toothpaste but this little formula is tonnes better. It works pretty quick sharp to reduce redness and inflammation, as well as acting as a preventative measure for any future spots to crop up and join it’s angry friend. It’s a soothing, cooling gel with chamomile extract to help skin heal naturally. Ideal if you’re prone to blackheads, redness or blemishes!
I never really thought that metallic tattoos would be my thing, but I’ve actually been loving wearing them over the past few months. My favourites are from the Beach So Chic range because they have a whole host of wraparound designs so that it looks like you’re wearing bracelets and bangles – in addition to the motif designs like dreamcatchers and arrows. They’re super easy to apply (just cut out which one you’d like, place it onto your skin and apply water) and they last four plus days without any wear and tear. When you want to get rid of them, you can simply use an exfoliator or brush in the shower. In addition to their metallic range, they also have a limited edition henna inspired collection, so whether you’re looking for something quirky to add to your outfit for a festival or simply want something sparkly to glitz up your bikini on holiday, I’d definitely give these a try!
As someone who suffers from sensitive, angry, redness prone and dry skin (what a combination eh), the Dermalogica range was practically made for me. I have tried a couple of their products in the past but I was most eager to get my hands on the UltraCalming Cleanser because it’s supposed to be amazing for cooling highly reactive skin. I’ve been using it now for the past three weeks and although my skin did react at first, it has improved massively. Especially great in hot weather, when you need a soothing gel to cool everything down – it leaves skin feeling really clean, banishing any impurities and calming down any redness. What it doesn’t do though is hydrate, as I have found it’s quite drying – so I use this in combination with a cleansing oil – just to give it an extra boost. I usually use the cleansing oil to remove any make-up, before applying this to skin in deeply and soothe. A definite must-have for anyone suffering with really angry redness.
I came across this brand last month and I love how chic everything is. Even the hand soap’s are made for those Instagram-worthy bathrooms and although I know I shouldn’t talk too much about the packaging – I love how simple and eloquent it is, without a false fancy pretence. The Meraki Silky Mist hand soap is a lovely hydrating, soft soap that smells very similar to Terry’s Chocolate Orange (but a little more subtle). It doesn’t leave your skin feeling dry after use (you could even bypass the hand cream if you’re lazy like me) and the scent lingers gently which is really lovely. I’m definitely going to be trying a few new bits for the range, especially with David’s new house to kit out!
The DKNY Be Delicious range is pretty much the best know perfume ever (and has really stood the test of time) and so it’s only fitting that they bring out limited editions to add to the collection from time to time. Some of my favourites include the blossom fragrance and the delicious pink macaroon – which are so sweet and feminine, yet retain those classy, elegant musky notes. The latest addition is ‘Be Tempted’ – housed in a metallic red apple, with an ‘Adam and Eve’ style snake weaving it’s way around the top. Launching next month, the fragrance itself is very sensual and sweet, fruity notes combined with musky vanilla. While the originals from the range retain their fresh, energetic scents, this one is more alluring, exotic and seductive. Ingredients include blackcurrant bud, lemon, orange blossom and vanilla cream. I love the musky, tropical, oriental scents – and this definitely ticks all the boxes!
Yet more skincare that I’ve trialled this month includes two beautiful products from the Derma range – the comforting gelled cleanser and the perfecting facial oil, the latter of which I’ve had the best success with. With my skin drying out pretty easily at the moment, I’ve been turning to oils more than creams to give me long lasting, sustainable hydration – and this seems to do a fabulous job at keeping the dry patches at bay. With moroccan argan oil and bioretinol ingredients, the formula improves skin tone, enhances luminosity (to help with all that highlighting) and helps combat fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a very soothing, non-greasy oil – which I really like – and it really calms my skin without clogging up pores. It’s very lightweight and thin, so you won’t even notice it’s there once it’s sunken in – and it smells like an exotic spa!
Yet another inclusion from The Body Shop, but this one is honestly too good to leave out. In my opinion, it’s the ultimate holiday fragrance because it smells like a gorgeous tropical floral island, mixed with pina coladas, sweet vanilla and Hawaiian tropic sun oil. It’s so easy to wear (and rather addictive, I must admit) and instantly submerges you into vacation mode with a few spritzes! The bottle design isn’t anything to shout about admittedly, but it fits easily into your handbag (or hand luggage) and is definitely coming with me on my next trip – to Croatia! I think I’ve spoken about it before, but I love having different perfumes for different trips or occasions, because a scent can instantly transport you back to a happy place or a lovely memory. I can’t wait to start using this more while I’m away.
So you know there was that whole thing a while ago about making yourself into a clown if you wanted to conceal and contour most effectively? Yeah, well I kind of missed the bandwagon on that. I’m not one to try anything too adventurous so I stuck to my usual normal concealer. Until now. I was having a brave moment and decided to give Avon’s Ideal Flawless CC Concealer/Corrector sticks in yellow and green a run for their money.
The green apparently neutralises any redness and yellow is great for brightening and generally improving the appearance of darker areas like the under eyes. I actually (surprisingly) really got along with the green concealer as a means of covering up my cheeks, which permanently look red and flushed because of my keratosis pilaris. Avon’s stick is very creamy and light, so it’s very easy to apply and blend in, without drying out your skin. It’s worth experimenting first before heading out (and then double checking in the light that it’s all rubbed in) but I’d definitely recommend giving these a try if you want something extra that your current concealer just isn’t providing.
Do you have any recommendations beauty wise this month? I’d love to hear about some of your favourites as I’m always looking for new ones to try!