The end of the month is upon us and what an amazing four weeks it has been. I spent the early part in Thailand (so many of the below products have been road tested in the sun) before heading back to begin blogging full time. In among keeping busy, I’ve managed to try my fair share of beauty products and so without further ado, let’s get to it…
I feel a bit jammy including this within my July favourites list, because technically it’s not out in stores until September but I’ve been spritzing this so much over the last couple of weeks, that I couldn’t not include it. The renowned fragrance brand’s latest launch is a fresh, playful and refreshing scent which really embodies the city of London – quintessentially british, playful and full of adventure. Basil sounds like a bit of an odd addition to a fragrance but personally, I think this works really well as an everyday fragrance because it’s very subtle with a base of white musk, but has that bit of something extra with the floral neroli. If you’re a Jo Malone fan, this is definitely one to try when it launches in September. I’ll have probably finished this bottle by then, so I’ll join you!
Since getting back from Thailand at the beginning of the month, I’ve embarked on some sort of journey to restore life and silkiness to my hair. I’m not sure whether it was the dipping in and out of the sea, or scraping it into a high bun every hour so it wouldn’t get into a sticky mess (but then did inevitably anyway) but 16 days in the sun really took it’s toll and my locks look rather sad and lifeless.
When you’re in the heat, you tend to wash your hair more often than when you’re at home and I don’t think this has helped necessarily – as I’ve seen a big product build up. So, some cheerful little helpers have been my Bed Head Tigi range, especially their cleansing jelly shampoo and after-sun conditioner. Don’t ask me how but they’ve injected back some softness into my frazzled hair and it just feels lighter and more moisturised. The Mellow After-Sun Conditioner is a fabulous product to take abroad with you – just make sure you leave it in for 3-5 minutes before rinsing. The longer you wait, the better!
Phyto Plage | link
And talking of hair, if you don’t want to get your locks into the state mine are now in, I’d definitely recommend investing in some protecting oils to spritz in before you head out onto the sun lounger. The Phyto Plage range have a number of natural hydrating ingredients (olive wax, shea butter and sunflower extract) as well as some sun protectants and essentially, they form a seal over your hair follicles to protect against the damage that exposure to UV rays, chlorine and salt can do. In an easy to use spray format, they all rather handily preserve colour radiance and stop your scalp from dehydrating. If you’d rather not have a flaky dry scalp, these are your go-to’s. And despite it not being a necessarily ‘glamorous’ product, I love how the packaging makes it fun and pretty!
Technically I’ve not been using this product in the way it was intended to, as it’s actually a heat protectant (and protects up to 220 degrees!) however I’ve been spritzing it on as a makeshift leave-in conditioner after everything else ran out. The latter parts of the month have been far too hot and humid for me to even consider getting the hairdryer out and so I’ve taken to spraying this into my locks before leaving it to dry naturally. Somehow, it works some kind of miracle – because what would usually be very frizzy, matted looking hair actually dries into soft, shiny waves. And it smells really great too – with a fresh, floral scent. I haven’t officially tried it out when blow drying or straightening, but if it helps my hair to dry smooth naturally, I can only imagine what it can do with heat treatment. Definitely worth a try!
Not necessarily a beauty product – but a staple in your bathroom cupboard nevertheless is the 2 pin plug in for biting insects over the summer months. It’s built for EU plugs, so it’s great for taking away on holiday and amazingly, it lasts unto 45 nights. It’s completely odourless, so you won’t know it’s there but it will save you having to cover yourself in smelly mosquito spray before bed – and honestly, it works wonders. I am usually bitten from head to toe on holiday and with this, I had maybe one or two bites (teamed with their spray during the day). I’ve even been using it plugged into a UK adapter as I’ve got a loft room (which heats up and basically cooks whoever is inside), so I have to have the windows open, which of course invites in unwanted visitors. Not glamorous, I know – but it’s worth looking into if you’re fed up of mosquitos and midges. Insect bites are definitely not the accessories I want to be sporting this summer – usually the site of the bite swells up on me as I have some sort of allergic reaction – joy!
Face Matters showcased at my #BloggersBall last month and were graciously received. Even my mum is hooked on their products – and personally, I couldn’t wait to try more of their products out. One in particular that I’ve been loving is the Morning Moisture lotion which is fantastic for reviving skin that has had a bit too much sun and needs some hydration. My skin is pretty dry all year round, but I’ve been yet to come across a product that is both soothing and light. Usually I have to use very heavy products in order to guarantee that my skin won’t dry up by 2pm. This lotion looks as though it’s going to be quite thick and heavy, because the consistency points to that assumption – however in reality, it takes seconds to soak in – making for the perfect under make-up solution. Ingredient wise, there’s a few collagen boosting bits in there, as well as natural seed butter, bran oil and jasmine. Oh and the scent? It’s so unbelievably fresh you’ll feel just that little bit more ready for the day after applying.
Benefit had their very exciting brow collection launch late last month and of course, it’s had a fabulous reception. I was invited to the official (and very magical) launch event quite awhile back – where I was able to try each of the products out for myself, as well as enjoy a few whimsical cocktails. Hosted on GoodShip Benefit (their very own ship on the Thames, decked out in all things pink, of course) it was a very entertaining evening, with some very talented magicians and a whole host of wonderful treats. I left with VERY hilarious eyebrows, because I’d been trying out every single new product, layering them each on top of the other rather than wiping off in between. However, now they’ve arrived and I’ve had a good month or so to test them out, I thought I’d give you my verdict on my favourites.
In case you’re not familiar with the new Benefit Brow Collection, I’ll give you a little run down of the new (and some not so new, but improved) products available. You’ve got the brow zings and the gimme brow – both of which were existing products re-vamped to be even better, and then following this, you also have ka-BROW!, high brow and high brow glow, ready, set, BROW!, 3D BROWtones, goof proof brow pencil, BROWVO! conditioning primer and then an assortment of tweezers, angled brushes and sharpeners. Phew! They’ve been quite busy!
The gimme brow product is by far my favourite, simply because it has the most natural results which are most suited to everyday wear. Award winning for a reason, the tiny brush is coated in the gel solution, which when applied to your brows, gently coats the hairs with tiny fibres to thicken up the appearance. It’s so quick and simple to use (a bit like a mini mascara for your brows) and instantly, you’ll see the difference. It comes in three shades and I’d always advise to go for one lighter than you think you’ll need, because they always come out a little darker when applying. It’s totally foolproof (honestly, if I can use it, anyone can) and can be built up depending on the thickness you’d like to go for.
Usually, I use this in conjunction with the goof proof brow pencil which quickly fills and shapes your brows to achieve that more defined look that we all like to go for on a night out or special occasion. It creates a much more flawless finished appearance and is great if you have a little bit more time to play around with, as although it doesn’t take long – if you do have five minutes, you can create the most amazing arched brows. And best of all, they look totally natural.
If you were a little tweezer happy in your teens, then you’ll want to try the BROWVO! Conditioning Primer. It’s a clear gel that you can apply daily, under make-up, and eventually the keratin rich formula will encourage growth for a fuller, healthier overall look. My brows are ridiculously unruly and grow too fast, so I can’t claim this has worked for me but I know others have raved about it – especially after trying it for such a short amount of time.
If you are looking into any of their brow products, I’d definitely recommend popping into your local Benefit in your first instance because they will colour match you to a number that is universal across the range – ensuring you won’t leave with a very dark and perhaps scouse-esque brow if that wasn’t your intended outcome.
Well known for their lip balms, rather naively, I didn’t actually know that Vaseline did other products until earlier this month – when I was introduced to their healing serum. Returning from a sun-soaked holiday is always a good tester of my favourite moisturisers and yet this one has come out on top. Whereas my other body moisturisers would curb the dryness for a few hours, this lasts into the next day and melts into your skin super quickly, so there’s no waiting around frantically waving your arms before getting dressed. The addition of cocoa butter makes it smell amazing (I’m sure you can imagine) and yet the thinner consistency makes it much lighter to wear than other similar products, perfect for both holiday and everyday use!
Renowned for their beautiful bags and purses, you’d be forgiven for missing the memo that Michael Kors has a fragrance line – in fact I only recently discovered their Coral fragrance, which I absolutely adore. However once you find it, you certainly won’t forget it again. Their latest addition is Midnight Summer, which admittedly looks a little festive in its design but it’s the most gorgeous almost tropical scent which is amazing for holidays and evenings out. I’m quite fussy when it comes to perfume, because I don’t like anything too strong or overpowering, but I still want it to linger there after a few hours or wear (or ideally, longer). This lasts A LONG time. A full day of wear and I was still getting comments about my perfume. The main notes that come through are jasmine, sweet vanilla (which is a staple in all of my favourite perfumes) and a soft, fresh musk. I’m not particularly great at describing perfumes (or what all those fragrances come together to create), but in a nutshell it’s a really light, feminine fragrance with a glamorous touch. There, I tried! I know talking about the packaging is a bit superficial, but when it looks this pretty – I can hardly ignore it. With a shiny gold top and a sleek black and gold glitter bottle, it certainly makes an impact on your dressing table and is fantastic for gifting to family and friends.
The importance of keeping your skin protected during the summer months is reiterated in the press time and time again. But when I finally took notice and decided to see which of my daily moisturisers actually contained an SPF, I was pretty surprised to find that only two did. I often find my skin feels too heavy with both a moisturiser and sun cream on, which is why it’s so handy to have the in-built factors. And yet hardly any of mine actually did. This little dilemma was how I came to find The Body Shop’s Multi-Protection Essence with SPF 50 and Vitamin C, the latter of which means it’s super hydrating and brightens up any dullness. It’s a milk-to-water formula (and melts to invisibility within seconds), so very lightweight and yet it really protects your skin as much as a product possibly can. It’s now something I use on a daily basis, under my make-up. I do top it up with regular moisturiser simply because I have such dry skin but it never feels too heavy to wear both, in fact – once it’s melted in, you won’t ever remember it’s there! An essential for all of us, men and women!
I’ve spoken in depth and reviewed ALOT of moisturisers, but when it comes to overnight masks, I’m pretty much a novice. I’ve heard such fantastic things about them, especially if you consistently wake up with parched skin and want to make your morning routine a bit speedier. So, when I was introduced to Anew’s Hydra Recovery a couple of weeks back, I was intrigued to give it a go. The formula features lots of tiny beads, which pop onto your skin when applied for extra hydration. It feels like a very silky (but not sticky) cooling gel when applied, but slowly melts to a really soothing soft cream. Once applied, within minutes you’ll forget it’s there – so there’s no worry of it affecting any beauty sleep. After waking up, my skin felt very soft and there was no I’ve-just-got-out-of-bed dry patches, which was a huge bonus. I’m slowly getting myself into the habit of using it 2-3 times a week, which has made a massive difference and any hydration maintenance during the day is far less.
As much as I love my current bronzer, it’s nice to change things up every once in a while – to add something different to your make-up and jazz up your look. So with this in mind, I’ve been trialling a number of bronzers over the last couple of weeks, ranging from the creamy (almost liquid) variety to the bronzing pearls, to the powders. Eventually, after only a handful of disasters, I’ve settled on Avon Glow’s selection which offer a really warm, illuminating effect. The Bronzing Multi-Stick in particular is amazing at adding a shimmery glow to your cheeks – and if you’re brave, it’s also great for any contour experiences. I love how buildable it is, because often I only want a very subtle shimmer rather than full on defined cheekbones – and so this really warms up your look in an everyday-suitable manner. The Bronzing Pearls are fab for adding over the top for extra shimmer and that all important holiday-esque glow. Even if you’re yet to jet off on your summer vacation yet. There’s no harm in faking it!
I can kind of manage SPF cream for my face but when it comes to coating my whole body in protecting lotion, I will be honest and say that I tend to switch off from it. And maybe even not do it as much as I should. Oops. But after reading a rather terrifying article about how damaging the suns rays are to your skin, especially when it comes to speeding up the process of aging, I was intent on making sure I no longer avoided this very important part of my daily routine. I knew I needed something I could quickly spray on rather than fiddle about with ten pence piece sized dollops, so when I came across Babor’s sun spray, I thought it might just be the very solution I was looking for. Offering medium protection (I tend to find 15 is as high as I need to go), it soaks into your skin very quickly and doesn’t rub off onto your clothes – so it’s perfect for everyday wear. Similarly, if you’re taking it on holiday, it will last for the duration (and cover two people) as the spritzes do go a long way. It doesn’t clog your pores as it’s a pretty lightweight formula and it’s quite softening on skin. Tick, tick and tick!
Admittedly I haven’t used these yet (as you can see, as they’re still in the packaging) but I wanted to include them because Elegant Touch were the go-to brand when I dabbled in false nails (so I know they’re fab) and this new range has such a gorgeous plethora of shades that they were too pretty not to mention. Available in both the ballerina and stiletto style shape, the matte colours are perfect for summer wear – and they’re a great option if you bite your nails or simply love changing up your style more often than acrylics or gels can offer. Of course, there’s no damage at all involved with these kind of falsies – and yet the glue is great as it holds the nails in place for a good week without any pinging off. Since I last wore false nails, Elegant Touch have developed a new Super-Flex technology which has been implemented among all their products – which offers even longer wear times and means that they’re super comfortable!
I can’t say I’ve quite had the occasion to give these a go yet but they popped through my letterbox a couple of weeks ago and I loved how fun and quirky they were! Perfect for festivals, they feature just four easy steps to getting glittery lips – with a clear sticky gloss (which dries quickly) and a glitter pot. If you wanted to get creative, you could dabble making other parts of your face glittery too as the gloss seems pretty safe for use on skin (although I’d recommend a skin test beforehand just in case you have a reaction). The product claims to last 8 hours, which is pretty impressive – and the vibrancy of colours means that they’ll make quite the impact! I’ve got the Ultra Glam and Coral Reef shades but they have a huge range online!
I may have been living under a rock unbeknownst to me, because until earlier this month – I had never come across Laura Geller make-up before. And after trying three pieces from the range, I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to discover her. In beautiful rose gold and white packaging, the range has a very girly feel and a cult following online (I’ve been reading tonnes of reviews). Their bestseller is the Spackle Treatment Mattifying Primer which preps the skin for foundation application like nothing I’ve ever tried before. It minimises the look of pores, smoothes skin and prolongs your base make-up. It mattifies the skin, controls shine and prevents break-outs. Plus, the added shea butter keeps your skin hydrated, even if your moisturiser fails to do so. Laura was actually one of the first pioneers to bring primers into the mass beauty market, so the fact hers is still a bestseller totally makes sense. Whereas previously, I could take a primer or leave it, since using this I’ve seen a really noticeable difference and it’s now a part of my everyday routine.
I’ve also been loving the Baked Blush-N-Brighten Pink Buttercream – which creates really pretty flushed cheeks without looking like you’ve had make-up lessons from a clown. We’ve all been there. Well hopefully we have, so it’s not just me. The Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipstick in bleecker st peach is also a beautiful peachy pink shade, perfect for pulling a look together and making it appear just that little bit more angelic and girly.
Do you have any beauty favourites – or recommendations – this month?