I can’t believe we’re at the 28th of the month already! Where has time gone? I’ve been spending most of April tucked up in my room, working away on my dissertation – which is almost, nearly done. Just a few more tweaks. So because of this, I’ve probably not had as much time to test out beauty products as I normally do. However, eager not to disappoint – I have still reviewed a couple of my new favourites – which are a bit of a mix of haircare, styling tools and skincare. Here goes…
Skin Genuis | link
Aimed for people who have no experience with skincare, the Skin Genius range offers everything you could possibly need for clear skin, with no fuss. The pumps all disperse measured amounts so that you don’t have to worry about how much you’re using – and the kit even comes with a super soft (and I mean super soft) cleansing cloth. The USP is to help banish the bacteria that causes acne and spots, as well as calming and soothing inflamed skin. Although aimed predominantly at teenage skin (because it lends itself to being so simple and best for beginners) the range is suitable for skin of any age and features all natural ingredients, which for me – is very reassuring. I’ve been testing out the facial wash (step 1), clarifying lotion (step 2) and moisturising lotion (step 3) for a couple of weeks now and have been really impressed by how soothing it is, even when I’m having a bad bout with my skin.
The soothing ingredients really help with any dryness, especially the mallow and witch hazel – the latter of which usually tends to dry out spots and unclog pores, however in this instance, it provides a really refreshing, softening hydration. I know it’s not always relevant (but I’ve always got to talk about it – it’s me after all), but each of the products smells amazing too – a really fresh, awakening scent with the Witch Hazel acting as a very predominant note. I guess 2 weeks is too soon to tell whether it’s made any drastic difference, but I’ve certainly been enjoying switching things up and using it this month – so we shall see!
Hylamide Photography Foundation | link
Still on the hunt for that dewy glowy skin that Gigi Hadid seems to pull off so well? Yep, me too! Well, I think I may have found some sort of a solution. Although I’m still testing a concoction of things out. My not so secret ingredient of this experimental cocktail is the Hylamide Photography Foundation, which is essentially a translucent base. Not so dissimilar to a primer, it really helps to prepare the skin for your normal coverage – however the added bonus here is that it gets rid of any unwanted shine, leaving behind only a shimmery glow that looks fab in photos, as the name suggests.
It seems to blur out pores (I know this claim is bandied around quite a bit, but this product ACTUALLY does this) and provide a really great base for your usual coverage. For me, the best thing is that it smoothes over the texture of my skin (which is bumpy as I have hyperkeratosis – meaning I look like I have minor acne) and completely evens out redness, without the need for a rainbow assortment of concealers (if I’m not the only one who doesn’t do the whole clown face application thing – then hooray!). In other words, this is a bit of a miracle worker – and a definite staple in any make-up kit! I promise you, you won’t regret it.
Glo Minerals Elemental Eye Collection | link
There’s always space for experimentation with eye shadows, especially with summer close on the horizon. And so, to do just this – I’ve been testing about the Glo Minerals Elemental Eye Palette, which features an assortment of nude shades. Now I know – you might be thinking, ‘hold on, I thought she said experimentation – nude is boring’, but give me a chance to explain. I literally look like a child whose just discovered make-up on her 10th birthday party when I wear any sort of colour. And I wouldn’t want to inflict that upon you. Just thinking of you. Of course.
So, it’s with a good cause that I introduce to you – 8 neutral shades, a plethora of browns, beiges and nudes – for creating the perfect smokey eye. It might not be ground-breaking, but for me – it works. From left to right (top first), we have bubbly, breathless, adobe and henna – before then taking things over to the bottom row for cosmic, dusk, relic and eclipse. I’ve found the perfect combo (so far) to be a base of breathless, with bubbly to highlight the brow bone and inner corners, while then layering cosmic over the crease and a liner of eclipse. The latter of which is a game changer. A little tip – dip your angled liner brush in a drop of water, before using the shadow to create a smoked liner. #AlmostBeautyGuruRightHere. I’m kidding! Although it is tried and tested!
Aussie Beach Mate | link
Aussie have done it yet again – producing an incredible haircare range which seems to give my locks a real boost. I’ve been using the brand almost exclusively since I was around 17 and I’ve found it made such an improvement in the overall condition and look of my hair. Plus, they have the added bonus of leaving your hair smelling absolutely incredible too. Their new Beach Mate collection is an assortment of shampoos, conditioners and the famous ‘3 minute miracle’ treatment, in addition to some dry shampoo’s – which I believe is a first for the brand. Offering ‘ virtually no visible residue’ and a number of different scents including ‘Festival Fresh’ and ‘Flower Power’, the dry shampoo is much thinner than your usual – so you do have to spritz on quite a bit more to add texture or banish any greasiness. However saying that, once you’ve got to the right amount – it’s incredible how effective this product is. There’s absolutely no flakiness or tell-tale white/grey marks – which is definitely a first, as I find this is the most irritating thing about dry shampoo (regardless of all its positive points). The scents are gorgeous – and I’ve been loving having a simple solution to those in-between wash days.
The shampoo and conditioner are equally as impressive, with a really tropical, fruity scent – perfect for summer wear. I’ve already packed these away in my suitcase, ready for my first trip away in a few weeks time! There’s something very comforting about having your favourite shampoo and conditioner even if you’re thousands of miles away from home!
House of Holland by Eylure | link
When it comes to false eyelashes, my first port of call is always Eylure. They’ve served me very well during my teenage years and into my twenties – so you know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! However, I made a small exception for their new collection with House of Holland, which looked pretty incredible – from the ‘lightweight’ claim, to the fab bold packaging. Now, I will mention – that I tend to keep things very natural if I’m attempting to apply false eyelashes – because my main aim is to make it look as though they’re totally my own.
So, considering how fabulously flamboyant House of Holland can be, I was slightly concerned the designs might be slightly out of my remit. How wrong I was! The three designs – Buff, Ruffle and Luffly are all totally wearable and accessible – and I’d have a hard time choosing just the one. They’re all very light wearing (and you don’t feel as though you’re lifting weights with your eyelids, like some I’ve experienced) and super easy to apply, with an effective adhesive included. My favourite are the ‘Luffly’ pair, which are slightly feathered for a natural, but bold look – perfect for teaming with a smokey eye and red lip. However if you’re looking for a slightly more dramatic look, I’d go for Ruffle and if you’re brave enough to wear them every day, the Buff pair are very natural, for a fuller lash line but not a dramatic length difference.
Skincere | link
Now while I follow a strict dairy free diet, I’ve never even considered how my intolerances might be affected by the skincare products I use – and whether my dairy intolerance might also extend to my skin. I did a little research online and found that this is actually more common than we think – and so I began looking into ranges which offered entirely natural, completely dairy free ingredients. Skincere seemed to be a rather popular choice for those with any kind of allergies, as they’re 100% natural and preservative free, alcohol free, wheat free, soya free, dairy free, nut free and free from synthetic fragrances. Phew! Despite narrowing down the ingredients rather significantly, the products that they have are rather impressive.
My favourite, which has been a lifesaver over the past month while my skin has flared up rather massively is the Night Cream, which is super hydrating, non greasy and really helps to nourish any redness or dryness. It’s not too heavy – so you can wear it in the day, under your foundation if you have super dry areas – however I have found it is a godsend if you apply a layer about an hour before bed – meaning you’ll always be sure to wake up with soft skin. The cream cleanser is also fabulous for removing make-up and not stripping your skin of its natural moisture. It has some light exfoliation ingredients, meaning your complexion looks much brighter after using it! The only product of their that I didn’t actually LOVE was the Eye Serum, because I found it was a little too thick however I think this may have been down to my overzealous skincare portion delegation. Overall, it’s an amazing range and definitely worth trying if you have dietary intolerances and have found that your skin is still a little iffy!
Mark Hill XL Volume | link
I went to a dinner last month at the incredible Duck & Waffle (read about that here) where I somehow got chatting to the lovely Sophie about the volume (of lack of, to be more specific) in my hair. We bonded over the fact that she also struggles with flat hair days – and she recommended I tried Mark Hill’s XL Volume range, alongside their Perfect Blow Dry AC Dryer. She said she’d never looked back after using these products in tandem – and so I couldn’t wait to try it out for myself (because if you head on over to her blog, you’ll see she has FAB hair). I had a bit of a sneak preview of how these products would work on my hair during London Fashion Week, when Mark Hill were showcasing at The Apartment, so I was eager to see how I would be able to use them without a professionals help.
Used in the Mark Hill salon, the Blow Dryer is 2200W for super-fast drying and includes a Moroccan Argan Oil infused grille, so it’s very gentle on your hair – while also achieving the style you want. I was pleased to find that it was rather lightweight (as my hair takes so long to dry usually, if the dryer is heavy, I end up feeling as though I’ve done a weights session afterwards) and contained a grand total of 25 heat and speed combinations, which means that you’re totally in control. From the very first use, I was hooked as it’s so much nicer to use than anything I’ve tried before – and it doesn’t take an absolute age to go from wet to dry. I washed and conditioned with the XL Shampoo, before running a dollop of the Amplifying Serum through the roots. And the good news? It works! Although I’ve not yet mastered the blow drying technique where my blow dry rivals that of Gigi Hadid, it’s definitely more volumised at the roots and looks far less flat and limp. I’m getting there – and I’ll keep you posted!
Compeed Holly Fulton | link
And I suppose this is a bit of an odd addition to the list, as it’s not technically beauty, but I use Compeed all the time because my feet are ridiculously sensitive to shoes that aren’t 100% comfortable (but totally Instagram ready). I also worked with them last month, on a social media campaign for their Holly Fulton collaboration (the designer who put together this very funky packaging) and so I thought they deserved a little mention here. I always keep a packet of these in my bag at all times, as they’ve been an absolute life saver when heading into London and realising halfway there that my shoes are plotting to destroy me. I’ve tried other blister plasters in the past (expert blister plaster tester here) and they just peel off straight away or don’t offer much support. I’d go for these, hands down, every time!
Do you have any beauty favourites – or recommendations?