Beauty

Summer Beauty Saviours*

Posted on 4 min read

 

Did you survive the heatwave? Yes? Good. It’s hard work dealing with temperatures past a certain point isn’t it – especially when that point is sitting out in the garden at 10pm because the brisk of air is cooler than your front room with all the windows open and a house representing Bug’s Life. When it’s hot in Britain, it’s hard to handle so imagine how parched your skin gets in its daily exposure to sun (okay, what I really mean is when you’re on holiday or enjoying the three days of warm weather at home).

 

I find there’s various problems your beauty regime and your prized skin are faced with in the summer time. There’s the sweating off of makeup when you’re trying to look your best, the battle of burn turned bronze, sunscreen breaking us out, damage, dryness, peeling, increased oils, and a general yucky feeling which is why it’s important to not only stock up on the essentials that will ensure our skin stays safe, soft and smooth but that will carry us appropriately through the season. With so much on the market it’s hard to know where to start but today’s (very late I’m sorry) Wednesday Saturday wishlist hopefully narrows the sections. I’m starting with the L’Occitane sun care range, a luxe collection that is specifically designed to protect your face and body against the sun’s unfortunate harmful rays. The light cream with an ultra light formula does the complete job of protecting, hydrating, firming, softening and straightening without any extra effort and their choice of lip balms – tinted or transparent – are a must have when your pout is lacking moisture and in need of enrichment.

 

I find a high performance sunscreen is a problem solved with one application, especially when the UV protection is nourishing, absorbed quickly, waterproof and powerful – Shiseido’s anti ageing protection lotion is a great pick. A multi usage dry oil is another staple product that keeps your skin velvety soft and healthy, I love the glistening glow oil provides as it volumises tan instead of drowning it. It’s always handy to have a calming cosmetic nearby too for when your skin turns troublesome, the intensive Heal Gel  is an ideal multi purpose skin rescue which would be the perfect barrier for irritation. Lush’s Breath of Fresh Air is exactly that, there’s nothing like a refreshing spritz of a toner to cool you down and provide a welcoming sensation to dehydrated skin. There’s no denying The Body Shop is my go to place for anything sun related, their Vitamin C range is potent for that vibrancy and one I always find myself going back to when I want to stock up on holiday toiletries – the polish would be a classic duo that cleanses and exfoliates in one step! TBS releases continue to improve and this time round I’m eager to get my hands on their new Skin Defence serum; with an SPF of 50, strong antioxidants and ingredients that help protect against aggressors and combat any dullness effects of a summer well spent, it’s an integral extra.

 

Moving on to makeup, it’s difficult to find the right balance. I know for me personally I end up quitting completely and risking the bare face but then I’m disappointed because it’s my mission to find both a base and its accompanied highlights that allow me to shine (but not literally, as my over oily skin would definitely win the battle). Starting with a lightweight finish with a correcting and brightening function is the motto to consider – Clarin’s Instant Light would be perfect as it naturally radiates and hydrates your complexion without that heavy feeling. Blotting powder is also crucial for soaking up any unwanted and the description of Becca’s Blotting Powder Perfector – phenomenally oil absorbent and pore minimising with a tendency to blur imperfections and provide a beautiful soft focus without drying, caking or collecting in creases – sounds like my dream saviour. To inject some colour into your cheeks either as a bronzer or a full face, Stila’s Stay All Day 10-in-1 Bronzing Balm is a good place to begin. It has SPF, helps to banish blemishes and is subtle in leaving a golden glow. Finalising with a floral, sun kissed fragrance like Jo Malone’s White Jasmine & Mint allows you to set yourself up for the day ahead and put the exploring plans in action.

 

What are your summer skincare and makeup holy grails? Do you have anything on your list?

 

Bridie x

 

*parts of this post are in collaboration

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Instant Effects: The Lip, Eyes and Lash Review

Posted on 5 min read

 

In this day and age, the beauty industry is widening to the extremes. Gone is the acceptance of our not so perfectly rounded features and a three pound lip-gloss from a magazine doing the trick in your daily makeup routine, and hello are the following of trends, constantly wanting to evolve and enhance our natural elements with expensive cosmetics and sometimes, even surgical procedures. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I say go ahead and make yourself feel amazing if you have the funds and really do want to make a change to small part of you that will expand your confidence positively. I, personally, however, would be an absolute wuss and I’d chicken out purely at thought of it going horribly wrong and ending up resembling Pete Burns meets Chewbacca. This is where Instant Effects comes into the equation. When I received an email informing me of the range of products that deliver targeted treatments without the need for any extensive add ons, I jumped at the chance. I was kindly sent the trio but in no way was I obliged to promote – I’ve just loved using them so much that I had to share my views on this breakthrough phenomenon!

 

 

Instant Effects aims to produce clinically proven immediate results with an improved and static build up as you begin to apply regularly. The range is a combination of three products suited purely for the facial structure to highlight those most noticeable at first glance. 1. An eye cream which helps banish wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness in under fifteen minutes. 2. A lash volumiser which thickens, plumps and enhances eyelashes and 3. A lip plump which gives you voluminous lips without any sting or aggravation in two minutes. This was the order I decided to trial and test, starting with the eye cream because the delicate area of my eyes often feels the wrath of my poor sleeping pattern and those dark circles haunt me forever. I can’t speak for the ageing side as I’m still gladly living in my youth but I was still able to reel in the benefits of the super serum.

 

The application was strange (at first) and it took me a good few dumbfounded minutes to realise you don’t pump, you tap the top delicately onto the area and leave to work its cooling magic once it settles. I was pleasantly surprised by the prompt difference; my eye area felt and looked brighter, smoother and more awakened and any darkened puffiness had visibly reduced within a good 10-15 minutes – the effects becoming more prominent as the hours passed. The soothing, rich balm is brilliant for a quick fix – a put in my handbag and whip out when I had a rough night so nobody can comment on my tired appearance sort of saviour. I’ve been adapting this into my routine for a couple of months now and can really speak for the significant long-term firmness it reveals. The more you use, the greater it acts, and the more it diminishes. It makes a great solid base for makeup to glide on and glow around the often tricky eye area and with the targeting of reducing the depth and size of the dreaded fine lines, and wrinkles and increasing of elasticity, it will be ideal for those future years of depletion. Word up to the middle agers hating on their crows feet!

 

I swear every time I review a lash based product I have to mention that I’m already blessed with thick, curled and lengthy lashes so I tend to already have a head start and never really notice much of a difference. This, however, was an exception and I certainly did observe a slight change in the way my lashes formed and finished. I set myself a challenge to use for the recommended 2 weeks and after time was up I was doubling the fluttering. The innovative formula and unique wand brush captures every hair from the root to lift the definition and add to the fullness and can easily be finished with mascara either immediately or the day after the night before you applied depending on how you choose to use it (truthfully I prefer to use it on an evening as it gives the oil a chance to soak in the moisture). My lashes were perfectly in place, resembling that of falsies and it made my eyes stand out further. I was that impressed with the boost it gave my natural lashes, so much so that I’m even considering transferring the clear like gel as a setting, multipurpose stimulation for my brows! Bigger, bolder, amplified is the new signed, sealed, delivered.

 

Saving the best till last, I’m super excited to rave about the lip plumper – a soft brush stroke of a sticky, glossy texture that locks in the strength and moisture within a couple of fast pacing minutes. I’m not particularly unhappy with my lips but I’m always up for making them more Kylie Jenner without the painful injections, damage to my lips and without going too over the top with a mega fish pout. I can 100% say this does the job to my fastidious standards, it’s a fabulous alternate to the hardcore stuff! Once applied, I can feel the tingling (although not as intense as usual lip boosting products) and the stiffness of my lips minimally inflating into action. Whether it’s my imagination or placebo effect kinda thing I don’t know but it’s as though my lips naturally form into a subtle, smoother and more youthful pout without the creases and the dryness. You get two for one with this product; it’s not just an enhancer, it also provides long lasting lustre shine. The shine dies down after the day is over but the fullness is still present a while after. It really allows your followed lipstick choice to accentuate, as you can see with my insta demonstration. By means it’s not an act of wizardry but is well worth the try.

 

I totally should have included some before and after pictures for all three products because although I did notice a distinctive adjustment myself, it was a mistake not to show the reflective image off to the world. I am up for doing the rounds again if anybody is interested in seeing so let me know!

 

Retailing at just £24.99 each, you can gather a collection of products that will work knowingly without committing to any kind of man handling. 

 

Bridie x

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Wednesday Wishlist: My Updated Makeup Covets

Posted on 2 min read

NARS VELVET MATTE SKIN TINT | ESSIE PEACH DAIQUIRI | CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIP LUSTRE IN SWEET STILETTO |  BOBBI BROWN SUNKISSED EYE PALETTE | BENEFIT DEW HOOLA BRONZER |  CHARLOTTE TILBURY THE RETOUCHER | DIOR BLUSH | BECCA CHAMPAGNE POP SHIMMERING SKIN PERFECTOR | MAC PRO LASH MASCARA | SLEEK SOLSTICE HIGHLIGHTER PALETTE | NYX ANGEL VEIL PRIMER | CHANEL ILLUMINATING BASE | KIKO LIMITED EDITION MIRAGE LIP STYLO

 

To say I’ve had an intensely emotional couple of days is the reserved rollercoaster way of describing it. I’ve had such an overwhelming response to me unravelling my most personal story to date and I’m still reeling on all the kind, supportive and heartfelt positivity from not only the blogging community, but the ones I’d shied away from before. Now it’s out there, it’s like a weight has been lifted and I generally feel more at ease with myself and my online residence. I’ve been so caught up in thanking everyone for their unfeigned wishes, so much so that I completely forgot May has expeditiously fizzled out to June – a cold, rainy, miserable start to my birthday month and most importantly, the month my holiday abroad begins. Now we’re officially on the 1st (pinch punch and all that), the countdown has began and the frantically ticking off of my ‘what cosmetics do I need to take away with me’ list is the replacement foundation (pun intended) in my overridden mind.

 

A holiday isn’t a holiday without new makeup, right? If I was to say I’m not constantly lusting over beauty products then I’d most certainly be lying but when guaranteed hot sunshine, relaxation and a golden tan is on the horizon, my yearning increases lavishly. When I think holidays I think light bases, a healthy glow, rosy cheeks, bright nails, natural complexions and an inharmonious choice between a nude and a bold lip. Every single feature in my list reflects my taste for the summer vibe; from the talked about NYX Angel Veil Primer, to Charlotte Tilbury’s versatile miracle workers, KIKO’s gorgeous new limited edition collection, a delve in the luxury Dior and Chanel, and that Sleek palette. I know what I’ll be spending my birthday money on…

 

What’s on your current makeup list?

 

Bridie x

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Beauty: Under Eye Corrector, I Found A Dupe!

Posted on 3 min read

Since discovering Bobbi Brown’s miracle working corrector, it’s become my holy grail product and my fragile eye area deprived of precious napping hours suffers greatly when I don’t apply it generously (in other words, I frighten the outside world with my purple coloured bags and grumpiness caused by lack of sleep). The corrector has the immediate ability to neutralise the darker hues embedded in the crease of your under eyes with its pinky peachy tones. Just one sweep of the concealer-like consistency and it brightens the entire section. Really, there are no faults; it stays put all day, works with other cosmetics applied to the face afterwards or before and doesn’t dry with a caking appearance. The only problem is, for the size, the price is a little hefty and with my growing expensive tastes in beauty, I can’t always afford to keep repurchasing after I sometimes – probably too often – overuse in attempt to drown out any signs of fatigue. It’s a vicious cycle where my best feature is concerned!

You should all know by now that if I can unearth a cheaper duplicate of a product I can’t live without and it does pretty much exactly the same job, then I’m all over it. Which is why I felt the need to express my new found love for the Max Factor CC Sticks. Unlike the Bobbi Brown Corrector which provides different shades with the same purpose (to help improve dark circles and protect the eye area), this range has five individual colour labelled products for five issues; green for reducing redness, lilac for revitalising dullness, the clear illuminate for highlighting, pink for correcting dark spots on light skin tones, and the one I’m raving about, the one almost identical to the BB Corrector – yellow for brightening and correcting under eye circles. For a starter, the packaging alone is my most favoured. With its crayon shape, I find it easier to directly work with rather than dabbing my finger into a rounded tub and the twist up pencil means I can precisely target the exact shadowed lining in the eye area. The texture is just as, if not more, creamy, lightweight and gentle and it’s smoothly blendable within seconds. The colour balance is incredible, alas you probably need an extra repeated layer compared to the Bobbi Brown Corrector but it’s well worth the secondary effort. The warm yellow undertones lighten the darkened blemishes and provide a brilliant base. In fact, I think the yellow is more effective than the peachy tinge as it adds a sheer glow you wouldn’t get otherwise. I apply before the rest of my concealer and foundation goes on top but truthfully, I think it’s powerful enough to wear alone. It doesn’t wrinkle, is long lasting and at £8.99, you get all the similar advantages for half the price!

Any sort of corrector is a great addition to your makeup routine but a bargain is always beneficial! Do you have any dupe secrets?


Bridie x

 

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Salon Success Styling Society Box: Rare Marula Oil

Posted on 4 min read

If you cast your mind back to February where I introduced the first instalment of my Styling Society box, then you’ll remember I’m lucky enough to be sent some deluxe products during a bi-monthly period, revolving around a theme and blessing me with gracious hair to be boastful about whilst doing so. This month was a completely different focus compared to February’s ‘no animal testing’ but one which I’m equally thrilled with and I was privileged enough to preview the range before it became available to the public at the beginning of April so basically, it’s an exclusive to the insiders (or at least I can keep telling myself I’m of great importance, ahem.)

Marula Oil is said to be the new and improved Argan Oil, with the higher concentrate of omegas and 50% more antioxidants benefiting both the performance of skin and hair. This high end collection from the creators of the genius John Paul Mitchell Systems is a five product system that includes a replenishing shampoo and conditioner duo, hydrating mask and two treatment oils. The oil is all natural, wild-harvested in Africa and cold pressed to preserve its superior quality meaning the potent nutrients, minerals and essential fatty acids it provides, protect your hair from the daily stress of the open air.

 

Since being introduced to Paul Mitchell, no other haircare brand has compared to the long lasting impression (and transformation) it’s made on me, and this one has doubled my ovation. Not only is the luxe black, white and gold packaging striking to my minimal loving eye but the contents inside has allowed me to tame, manage and keep the locked in hydration my thick, coarse and frizz prone hair so badly desires. I’ve been using the Marula Oil products both as a sequence and separately and have felt the rewarding results from both methods. The shampoo and conditioner have become a staple in my hair washing routine; as my hair is so long it’s hard to keep every strand at bay and free from dryness but this does a faultless job at nourishing my hair whilst still allowing me to let it dry naturally without that aftermath of heaviness and a built up residue. Both the shampoo and conditioner lather well, smell alluringly delightful, and the combination of the two sufficiently softens, gives a boost of strength and brightened lustre. When teamed with the treatment oils, my hair feels incredible and the revitalized healthy texture and shine is visible. Although my hair can be stiffened, it’s also very oily so I’m always dubious about adding extra oils. However, I don’t think there’s anything negative about this gentle, featherweight and thankfully, non greasy formula. It comes in two versions; ordinary Rare Oil Treatment and Rare Oil Treatment Light, the lighter design said to be for finer hair. Although both work on de-tangling, maintaining the smoothness, settling the flyaway annoyance and pampering to a relaxing extent, I do prefer the lighter version purely because of how subtle it breaks way into my hair. The multitasking magic of the oils means they can be applied pre-shampooing as an enriching treatment or to clean, damp hair before blow-drying. I chose the latter and found once blow dried with my Babyliss Big Hair, I had the experience of a salon swish barnet and a fuller, more lucid colour without having to move from my home comfort!

Another treatment I do tend to stay away from is any kind of hair mask but knowing how amazing Paul Mitchell products react to my hair, I was obviously gonna give the final stage of the Marula Oil a trial test and boy was I right to trust my instincts. Its intensifying compound renews the condition of my hair within just 5-10 minutes of soaking in. It’s the perfect solution for modifying limp, dull hair into voluminous, alive and powerful locks without weighing it down. If you want to make an entrance with a shed load of compliments on how luxurious your hair is appearing, the introduction to Marula Oil is all you need. Not only does it repair split ends and deliver long lasting magnetising moisture due to the fresh bursts of Marula clinging to the shafts every time you touch, style or brush your hair, I’ve also noticed how fast my hair has grown in the space of a month or so. Whether that’s my improved diet and water intake I don’t know but I definitely think the Marula Oil is a contribution!

What’s even more fabulous about Paul Mitchell’s Marula Oil is the complex and versatile ways to use. The helpful guideline booklet I was given with my box highlights the wonders of each product and supplies clear instructions on how many droplets to use depending on your hair type. It’s set in stone to make my hair flawless but I’m totally ready to switch over to the skin with the marvel treatment oils. Stay tuned and I may just report back to this post!

Have you discovered Marula Oil yet?

Bridie x

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Oil Pulling – My Minty Coco Experience*

Posted on 4 min read

*14 Day Course – C/O Minty Coco

 

I’ll be brutally honest here, I hate my teeth. I don’t want to sound like a repetitive self-loather but it’s the truth and I’ve always been conscious of them throughout my youth. You’ll rarely see me with a goofy smile, instead it will be replaced with a stern pout and my signature resting bitch face (whoops). It’s not just the fact they aren’t the straightest of sets; it’s the way my mouth awkwardly curves up in an odd shape, my chubby chipmunk cheeks come out to say hello and of course, the colouring doesn’t exactly match up to those you see on the likes of TOWIE.

 

I’m not particularly familiar with all the teeth whiteners on the market because quite frankly I’m clueless. I’ve always wanted to start somewhere but feel I need to research before I go ahead and spend money on a product that won’t make the slightest bit of difference to both my confidence and my teeth. There’s the cosmetics you can whip in your trolley at the supermarket, the pointless promisers of sparkling gnashers, reduced sensitivity and banished bacteria but I’ve tried all of them in the past and non have touched within an inch. This is where it’s time to move on up in in-demand quality, to the natural remedies on the horizon that are talked about from the latest A-Lister and beyond. There’s the famous whitening strips from various brands and then there’s oil pulling, a traditional and historic way of whitening teeth and boosting overall oral health with more benefits along the way. This is where Minty Coco falls into the equation, when the opportunity arose to trial a 2 week course of their very own creation, I jumped at the chance. The mission for teeth I can show off to the world depended on a formula of virgin coconut and peppermint oil in a convenient sachet you swish around your mouth for 5-15 minutes, so to say I was intrigued was an understatement. Much to my sadness, I’ve just finished my last one and wanted to share my views and experience in a highly praised and positive manner!

 

As a newbie to this miracle method, I made sure I read the instructions (and snapped a pre picture) before I went ahead and tested the solution out. To my thankful relief it was a pretty straight forward technique – ensure the oils are compressed enough to form a liquid, peel open the sachet, keep quiet, leave the communication behind and get that irrigated mouth into action. It took me a couple of days to get used to the strange feeling of the mushy texture and the cold sensation, at times it felt as though I just needed to take a big gulp but I persevered and it got easier – not to mention, it tastes delicious with the mix of both soft coconut and minty flavours combined. Although it can be used at any time throughout the day, I always made sure I swilled and settled before I brushed my teeth on an evening as I came to the conclusion it gave better potential to rid of all the built up residue and bad bacteria (that talking of which, should be spit out into anything but the sink as it does tend to block). Though it seemed a long duration of time, I held the oil in and around my mouth up to the full 15 minutes as I found this to be the most advantageous.

 

After only a few days of including Minty Coco into my dental routine, I certainly noticed a vast difference in the general cleanliness of my mouth, gums and breath; they felt fresher, there were no resounding nasty tastes or aftermath and it didn’t even take the full 14 days for me to compare the shiny glossiness of both the top and bottom sets of teeth. My enamel was more visible due to the erasure of plaque, especially in the fang area where yellow-hued stains were present. The colour alteration has immensely improved! I’m 100% convinced it was fully successful in combating bacteria and giving my teeth that healthy boost. I also have strong praises for the help in reducing sensitivity, I suffer with delicate teeth (hey I was even told by my dentist for some reason they’re more prone to pain and breakage) but I found within a couple of uses of the formula, brushing my teeth became more bearable!

 

As you can see from the contrast between the two photos, it’s changed the entire appearance of my teeth, they have such a glow to them now and as I’ve finished the course I’m worried they’ll go right back to normal. I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t the slightest bit sceptical because I was but I genuinely think it’s worth sticking with to produce a constant re-mineralized and antimicrobial effect. I can imagine how transformed your teeth will look a year down the line if I felt the benefits of the detox in just two weeks. On a personal level, it’s spoke volumes – I actually feel comfortable enough to grin away without worrying my teeth will look out of place and I just can’t stop running my tongue along the resurfaced smooth layer. Brighter teeth, cut out toxins, an extracted organic alternative opposed to the harsh mouthwash and chemical filled toothpaste you often find on the shelves; what more could you ask for? 14 sachets of Minty Coco retails at £23.99 and you can buy directly from their website.

 

 

Have you had any experience with oil pulling? I’d love to know if you feel as optimistic as I do!


Bridie x

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