How on earth it’s the end of September, I have no idea. Time seems to be whizzing by at a rate I simply can’t keep up with – and while I’m secretly super glad we’re edging closer to Christmas (largely so I can watch Elf and drink mulled wine without feeling too guilty), I’m also slightly taken aback at how quickly the world seems to pass by. I’ve been having a bit of a ‘pamper’ month this month (I’ll probably talk about why in another post), as my main focus has been mindfulness – so naturally, the beauty items I’ve been trialling have pretty much followed suit.
Ark Skincare | link
I’m pretty sure I’ve spoken about Ark Skincare as a brand before on my blog, as they have some really great products for sensitive and dry skin types. I love the chic grey and white minimalist feel to the products (they look very pretty on the bathroom shelf) and what’s inside, certainly doesn’t disappoint. This month I’ve been testing out two of their age protect products, which are essentially especially formulated for those in their twenties – featuring all of the skin goodness (technical term, definitely) suited to your skin’s age-related needs. The main ingredients include Avocado and Peach lipids for balancing moisture and then Vitamin E, which helps strengthen skin and soothe any redness.
They’re both fab at this time of the year when you’ve had potentially a little too much sun and need to replenish and hydrate your skin cells – ready for the dryness that A/W can bring with it. The Skin Vitality Moisturiser is really lightweight and non-greasy, yet it sinks into your skin and immediately provides a splash of moisture. It smells really fresh – and when you team it with the Skin Clear Cleanser, you get this lovely silky softness – a perfect morning base for your make-up! If you (like me) need something a little extra to recover your skin and not realise halfway through the day that you’ve got dry patches, their Hydration Injection Masque is amazing at keeping flakiness at bay!
Montibello Hair | link
I had to have quite a bit of length cut off my hair recently, as my trips to Thailand, Mykonos and Spain and then a hair styling photo-shoot (in short succession) had largely taken it’s toll on the ends. I’m always a bit sad to see the inches chopped off (I’m one of those) but having blunt ends is far more manageable and it looks SO much healthier too, so it’s totally worth it! To avoid having the same amount off next time, I’ve vowed to take a bit more care of my hair – starting with injecting a bit more moisture back in.
The Montibello range was one I discovered about a month ago – offering luxury salon products that are super easy to use at home. I think the bonus of having the delicious smelling Argan Oil as part of their range tempted me further to try it out – and honestly, I’m so glad I did! The Amber & Argan Mask is incredible for taming fly aways and re-creating that soft, silky and manageable finish – especially if you’re blow drying it later. I’ve even found myself applying this to both the roots and the ends – and it doesn’t make it greasy or sticky in the slightest, so it’s one of the best products I’ve found as of late for getting that quick moisture fix. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes for optimum results!
I attended the rather exciting launch for the Mark Hill Pick N Mix range a few months back and was so excited to see fellow bloggers fronting the campaign adverts! I always think it’s lovely when a brand recognises the value bloggers can bring to a brand – especially as they add a ‘real’ aspect to a product or collection. It shows they’re not afraid to have it tested and tried out – rather than simply shown off in front of a camera!
Anyway, so the launch event was all in aid of their new interchangeable styling tool (here’s where the ‘pick and mix’ aspect ties in), offering you a range of 5 different looks to try – depending on whether you want corkscrew curls, beauty waves or tousled ‘bed head’ locks. Rather than fiddling about with several different styling tools, this encompasses everything in one. I was lucky enough to get a styler in my goody bag, along with the ‘Cork Screw’ super thin barrel wand – which as the same suggests, creates really tight curls.
I did initially want to have this style done at the event – as I saw the lovely Callie Thorpe having hers curled to perfection – however after realising she’d been in the chair almost half an hour, with two hair stylists working on either side – I realised I’d probably have to spare the busy stylist the work and have a go myself at home. I’m pleased to report – I have tried this out and it’s FAB! It’s super easy to use and my hair looked incredible, if I may say so myself. I did spend the first half an hour laughing at myself in the mirror, because I’d never seen so much volume in my hair before – but other than that, my only issue is that I wish I had the time to do this more often!
I’ve only recently started incorporating oils into my skincare regime, but honestly – I’ve seen such a vast improvement in the texture and tone that this month, I thought I’d get a little braver. Manuka Doctor as a brand is one I’ve heard so many amazing things about – and so when the Drops of Crystal range popped through my letterbox, I couldn’t wait to give them a go myself. Featuring a collection of premium oil based treatments, the products claim to leave your skin feeling luxuriously restored and silky soft, with youth-activating crystal tears (a precious oil collected from the Pistacia Lentiscus tree).
Of course, then this is all mixed into their staple Manuka Honey and Purified Bee Venom. It all sounds very magical (and a bit like a Harry Potter potion) but I suppose what you really want to know is, does it actually work? Well, yes – in a nutshell. The Bi-Phase Oil is amazing for removing make-up or just cleaning out your pores before bed, followed by a dollop (elegant reference to the application process – I know) of the Cashmere Touch Cream. I’ve used this on a number of occasions before bed and have woken up still with the same silky softness – so whatever it’s magic is, I’ll let it do its thing!
Bronnley Cosmic Bloom | link
I must have picked this up at a press day months ago – and yet it’s taken me until this month to properly sample it. I do slightly wish I’d done this sooner – as it’s the perfect light, summery, feminine fragrance – perfect for spritzing on in the morning and taking you through the day. I’ll be honestly, I wouldn’t automatically think to turn to Bronnley as a brand – but it actually has some amazing bath & body products, as well as a number of exceptionally pretty eau de toilette’s – especially if you love sweet blooms and floaty florals. Cosmic Bloom is quite tropical, with a citrus base and notes of musk, vanilla and sandalwood. It’s quite glamorous and young, but at the same time makes you feel rather grown up and ready to take on the day! It’s the perfect balance of the two – and definitely one to try if you like quite exotic, musky scents.
When it comes to pampering, Rituals has always been a brand I’ve turned to. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at University, unhappy in my living situation and with mountains of work to do – and so I purchased a few of my favourite products for a luxurious pampering session. Immediately, it lifted my mind and made me feel more at ease! It’s funny what a bit of ‘me time’ with the right products can do. However since then (we are talking about two years ago now), I’ve now used up all my products and it was time to hunt for some new ones!
Naturally, I was drawn back to the scent I loved so much in their collection – the organic rice milk and cherry blossom, which now features in their ‘Ritual of Sakura’ range. It’s such a beautiful, light, floral scent – but it’s quite awakening too. Instantly, it transports me into spa mode – and sometimes that’s all you need. For the ultimate ‘me time’, I’d recommend running a huge warm bath – with gallons of the Heavenly Bath Foam. Indulge in their softening rice scrub before making your skin silky smooth with the caring shower oil (the latter of which is so great, you can get away without using moisturiser).
The Body Shop Masks | link
Talking of pampering, if you really want to create the ultimate relaxation session – then a good face mask is certainly in order. Some of my recent favourites are several new releases from The Body Shop, as they’re in jars rather than sachets, so you create far less mess and get more for your money! The new range features an amazing array of rather tempting concoctions however my favourites are the Himalayan Charcoal and the Ethiopian Honey varieties, which are both great for different reasons. The Himalayan Charcoal Mask has been formulated from Bamboo Charcoal and Green Tea leaves to purify your skin, so it’s amazing at unclogging pores, refining your skin and boosting that ‘inner glow’ that sometimes the cooler months can take away from us. It smells amazingly refreshing – and I’ve found it’s great to use when you’re feeling a bit sluggish, tired and need a pick me up! The Ethiopian Honey version is more nourishing, providing much needed moisture and hydration from the Honey and Marula Oil ingredients. Contrary to your possible thoughts, it’s not greasy or sticky in the slightest once you take it off – and it really restores hydration in every single area – sometimes my eyebrows get dry (odd, I know) but this has completely kept this at bay!
I’m one of those crazy people who has an entire jar of hand sanitisers in her room. It’s not that I’m obsessive about germs (although I do like to keep at least one in my handbag for a refresh) but I always find myself losing them and buying new versions, only to find the old one and end up with piles of them. Oops. Anyway, my latest additions are from Bath & Body Works, which I picked up during my GoSend haul. GoSend, if you haven’t yet heard of them (although you may have seen them at the #BloggersFestival earlier this month) are an amazing company who make it possible for us in the UK to shop and ship U.S brands for unto 80% off the usual shipping charges.
For example, I know ColourPop has only recently started shipping to the UK but everyone has been complaining about how extortionately expensive it is. With GoSend, it’s a lot, lot cheaper – and easier! Plus, those that don’t ship to the UK (like Bath & Body Works) can be picked up too. They give you a locker in the U.S, so you can have everything shipped to your U.S address – before having it delivered in one simple box back to your home! I popped these two very exciting sounding hand sanitisers into my ‘shopping concierge’ basket (another fab feature GoSend have) – and couldn’t wait to try them out! I got the Merry Cookie and Pink Champagne & Tulips versions, which as you can imagine, are rather sickly sweet – but they make your hands smell good enough to eat. Whether that’s a good thing, I’m not sure! But I love them!
I’ve fallen head over heels for Bobbi Brown in recent months, after having a make-up lesson with them earlier in the summer. Practically everything I wear on my face on a daily basis is Bobbi Brown – which is telling of how much I love their products! Anyway, so after also experimenting with their skincare range, I’ve been slowly drip feeding new products into my regime. The latest of which happens to be the Vitamin Enriched Face Base with Shea Butter and Vitamins C & E. It’s a super nourishing, rich and soothing cream that you apply before your make-up, just to make everything last that little bit longer. Although it’s fairly thick, it sinks in almost instantaneously and never feels too heavy or greasy. Put quite simply, it just creates the perfect base for foundation and I’ve pretty much swapped my regular primer for it!
Clinique Pop Matte Lipstick | link
I usually don’t have much to say about lipsticks, but this one from Clinique is too good not to share! The colour is super pigmented (I have 01 Blushing Pop) and despite it being matte, it holds its vibrant colour very well throughout the day. The built-in lip primer means that it’s really soft and easy to apply – and there’s claims it can last unto 8 hours without going dry or rubbing off. I counted 6 – but then things got a little hazy with the cocktails, so it could be true!
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder | link
Another day, another Bobbi Brown product – although this time, it’s a bronzer! I’ve been needing to update my bronzer for quite some time now – I was at the crumbly, not really worth bothering stage with my last one, so since I was all about Bobbi, I thought I’d see what she had around. This silky-smooth powder adds a little ‘sun-kissed’ glow to your look, even if your holiday was all the way back in June! It’s great for achieving that all round natural tan – especially if you (like me) hate experimenting with self tan on your face (I’ve tried it, it all went horribly wrong). I have the Golden Light shade and it’s really build able and natural looking – but there’s a range of shades to suit each skin tone!
Have you tried any great beauty products this month that you’d love to recommend?