Saturday, 4 July 2015

Luxury Beauty Products You Can Afford To Take On Holiday

birchbox travel beauty

In the lead up to Birchbox July edition which I’ll no doubt be blogging about very soon, I was asked to pick a couple of beauty products that would be suitable for travelling (there's the clue as to what the theme of Birchbox July is going to be!)

Immediately, Summer holiday popped into my mind. I browsed through the Birchbox shop and looked for something that would suitable.

birchbox travel beauty

With that in mind, I picked a travel set from Janjira and the miracle worker that is Philip Kingsly Elastisizer. The luxurious 5-piece Thai Lime and Ginger travel set (£30, shop link) contains a body lotion, shower gel, massage oil, sugar milky body scrub, body butter and a wash bag to store it all in. The Thai Lime and Ginger fragrance has a refreshing smell, it’s really lovely and exotic. The ginger notes really come through to give the scent it's warmth.

The thing that drew me to this set was small pot of body scrub. It has a milky, gooey texture and it makes your skin feel polished and smooth. The products would be perfect for a 1 or 2 weeks holiday - apart from the shower gel. Although the shower gel lathers up very nicely, a little goes a long way and it will last 7 days - but just about. you’re probably going to have to pack a full size bottle if your holiday lasts for longer than a week.

philip kingsley elastisizer

The second item I chose was the Philip Kingsley Elastisizer (£27, shop link). There are always Philip Kingsley samples included in these beauty boxes, and thanks to Birchbox, I’ve been able to try out a few but my favourite is the Elastisizer which comes in different sizes and different price points. They do a few 3-piece sample kits for £6 which is a bargain! 

philip kingsley elastisizer

The Elastisizer is a pre-shampoo conditioner that helps treat the hair and protect it from heat damage (including sun exposure). It will also help replenish your hair whilst your on holiday after spending hours in the sun frolicking in the salty sea or a pool full of chlorine. When you use the Elastisizer, it gives your the permission to use heat appliances and give you the peace of mind that your hair is going to be somewhat protected from further damage.

I always forget that you can buy beauty products from the Birchbox shop, and there are a lot of convenient travel sets available at the moment! As well as that, there are some fab products from niche brands that's worth a look! 

If you’re thinking of signing up to Birchbox, here is a discount code for £5 OFF your first box: SUMMERTS 

Enter the code upon checkout and £5 will be deducted. The discount offer is valid from 1st July until 31st July. If you’d like to see what Birchbox is like, please check out my unboxing blogposts. There has been some fabulous collaborations lately and I wonder what the next box is like!


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Friday, 3 July 2015

My First Impressions Of VICHY Skincare

vichy skincare

Vichy is a brand that I never took an interest in until now. Probably because I I used to think it was a brand that was more suited to an older, more mature skin. You know, a bit fuddy duddy like Olay or something, a brand that focuses on fighting the signs of ageing. But I couldn’t be more wrong. 

When I took the product out of the cardboard packaging, I was surprised to see how beautiful they look. In my mind, I expected it to be quite boring and clinical. The packaging design is lovely which makes me want to use the products even more! I know, how fickle am I?!

vichy skincare

Pretty packaging aside, I’m actually impressed with how the products work. Vichy caters their skincare to help you solve problems, so it’s not all anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle. I’ve been trying a few things from their Purete Thermale and Idealia range.

Purete Thermale is a range of cleansers and make-up removers that are suitable for sensitive skin. Music to my ears! I do love a good cleanser!! Enriched with Vichy Thermal Spa Water, it’s a hydrating range that comforts the skin. 

Idealia is a great range for ladies my age (30’s) because it’s formulated to target wrinkles, dark spots, lack of radiance and more importantly, visibly smooth the appearance of the first signs of ageing. It re-awakens for the skin’s natural radiance to brighten and freshen it’s complexion. 

purete thermal vichy range

Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel, £12
Is there any cleanser out there that would prise me away from my fave Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish? I am often on a look out for a cleanser that works just as well because my skin needs something different from time to time. I was a bit apprehensive about Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel, like I am with most gel based cleansers, especially if it foams up. This did in fact foam up quite a lot, but it actually moisturised my skin and kept to it's promise of boosting hydration. 

Purete Thermale Perfecting Toner, £12
I don’t say this a lot about toners but… I LOVE THIS TONER! Recently, I noticed how big my pores are and I think it’s because I skip the toning step of my skincare routine. I’ve realised now how important it is to use a toner after cleansing to close the pore up, and I’ve been desperate to find one that works with my skin type. Vichy Purete Thermale Perfecting Toner contains glycerin for a moisturising effect and it does indeed leave me skin feeling soft and moisturised! I will definitely continue using this! It is formulated without alcohol. 

vichy idealia range

Idealia Life Serum, £31
If your skin is exposed to daily excesses such as stress, pollution or unbalanced diet, this is the serum for you. I’ve been using it after a cleanser and toner but before moisturising. The serum is lovely and light, and it smells kind of peachy. There’s a pearlescent finish to it that helps to brighten skin with a radiant glow. It’s suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin and is non-comedogenic (does not clog pores).

Idealia Eye Cream, £23
This targets tired-looking eyes, reducing the appearance of dark circles and fine lines. The unique silicone applicator is shaped like a small paddle is designed to help you apply the cream on with the precision of a brush. At first, the eye cream worked well. The cream absorbed quickly, and the skin around my eyes were brightened and soft, but sometimes, when the cream has dried, it would leave a residue that would roll and flake off if I rubbed my eyes. Perhaps I’m using too much and not patting it in to my skin enough. I love how it felt when I first used it so I will persevere!

None of the four products shown here contains parabens. Vichy Skincare are available from Boots.

Have you tried anything from Vichy before?


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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Festival Beauty Essentials Checklist

Some magazines get a bit carried away when it comes to festival survival kit or festival beauty essentials. I know that they have to build the feature up, but it's just too fancy schmancy. Maybe I'm just a bit of a plain jane, but glitter pots and Jo Malone Cologne (just realised that rhymes!!) isn't going to be on the top of my festival beauty essentials checklist. The reality is that part of the fun of going to a festival or camping is that you can experience the outdoor life without worrying about what you look like or having to look after expensive belongings.

If I was going festival or camping, I wouldn’t be too bothered with make-up, I'd hide behind my sunglasses the whole time. But I have to admit that I would probably struggle with not having my usual skin and body care luxuries with me. I hate it when I don't feel completely clean either, it actually stresses me out! 

festival beauty essentials

I’ve put together a festival beauty essentials checklist that is suitable for all camping occasions or any kind of event where backpack space is limited!

pump it up dry shower body wash

Dry Shower Body Wash

Here's a festival beauty essential you didn't know you needed! This is a brand new product that is absolutely ideal for festival season! Pump It Up is an innovative dry body wash that allows you to take a 'shower' on the go without needing water or a towel. It doesn't contain parabens or alcohol, it is pH Balanced and dermatologically approved to cleanse your body, kills bacteria, sanitises and eliminate odours. The pump dispenses a foam and you just apply that over your body and it dries well within a minute.

Pump It Up is available from Boots (shop link) and Claire's Accessories (shop link) and retails for £3.00 for a pretty decent sized 150ml bottle. It comes in several scents such as cucumber, raspberry, and mandarin. And for the men's, there's the option of spearmint and lime, eucalyptus and coconut. I've checked the ingredients and there is no difference to the men and women's other than the smell. The scent is very strong or long-lasting but skin does feel clean and moisturised!

festival beauty essentials

Freshen Up!

I don't care if my bag is full, there's no way I'd leave without deodorant, body spray and something to clean my face. 

NIVEA's 3-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water: This cleanses, removes make-up/dirt and tones. It's probably unnecessary to take such a big bottle for a 2 to 3 day trip so I'd decant this in a small bottle and pack some cotton pads.

Deodorant: Any will do! Preferably in a travel sized can.

Body Spray: I love the spritzers that feel cool and fresh on skin. Soap&Glory's Sugar Crush is my current fave, it smells great and feels refreshing.

Face Wipes: I probably wouldn't use these on my face if I already have Micellar Water but wipes are handy for hands, arms and legs. The NIVEA Refreshing Facial Cleansing Wipes are for sensitive skin and does not contain alcohol.




Protect Your Skin From The Sun

I've been talking about sun protection quite a lot lately, but it is something that is super important. I wrote about Eucerin which offers a range of suncare that is tailored to your skin type, I've also touched up on premium sunscreen for quality ingredients and lightweight comfort. Now I'm featuring sun protection from one of the most well known brands, NIVEA. During this time of year, Boots often do 3 for 2 offers on these types of products so you can get a sun cream for face, sun cream for body and an after-sun

The new offering from NIVEA Sun is the Protect & Bronze which contains a natural plant extract to help the skin's own melanin production for an even and natural looking tan. These also come in a pocket sized bottles but it probably works out better to buy the big size and share amongst friends and family. Alternatively, put some in to small pots and pop it in your pocket.


Hair and Make-Up

This has 'minimal' written all over it! I've picked out all the things that are easy to carry and quick to apply! There's a bit of a running theme to the make-up I've picked here, most of them are in pen or pencil form!

Dry Shampoo, hair bobbles and bobby pins: A must-have for every day life, not just for festivals!

Dr. Paw Paw Balm: This balm can be used on lips, hands, cuticles, dry skin, hair, and face. Made of fermented papaya, this one balm is for all dry skin purposes.

Benetint: This red tint can be used on cheeks as a blush, and on lips to add a pop of colour. Add Dr. Paw Paw's balm over it and you've got yourself a lip gloss!

Benefit's High Brow: This is a multi-tasker as it can be used as a highlighter, eyeshadow and under brow bone. Talking of brows, Soap&Glory's Archery Brow Tint and Pencil is great for a natural looking brow.

Benefit's High Roller Mascara: This mascara is designed to curl your eyelashes upwards so there's no need for an eyelash curler.

Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner: Eyeliner pens are super easy to use, especially this one from Maybelline. It's quite inky so if you make a mistake, it can be wiped away with ease before it dries.

Kohl Pencil/Eyeliner Pencils: This is one of my 'desert island' items, I couldn't live without it. They take up no space at all so I'd pack a black one (for lower lash line) and also a brown one (which can double up as eyeshadow).

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Cream Gel: I'd suggest taking a base that contains SPF which this one does. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue is like a BB Cream and liquid foundation, it's really light and comfortable to wear. Perfect for Summer!

Are you going, or have you been to a festival this Summer? What beauty essentials do you pack for festival/camping?


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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

5 Nail Polish Shades That Are Perfect For Tans

models own polish for tans 2015

Models Own have launched 5 new colours to add to the existing Polish For Tans* Collection they released last Spring. So, you know when you wear neon shades with a tan, it enhances the tan? Well, Models Own Polish For Tans collection is designed to do the same thing - to compliment your sun-kissed glow.

models own polish for tans 2015

I love a neon nail polish but I thought that last year’s Polish For Tans shades was a tad too vibrant for me. This years additions are still really bright and vibrant, but they’re not as fluorescent and I really like all 5 new shades.

models own polish for tans 2015

I don’t have a tan and still think the new shades are wearable and pretty PERFECT for the Summer. They have a semi matte finish but if you like your nails shiny like I do, simply add your favourite top coat for an uber glossy finish.

Another tip to make these colours pop even more is that you can apply a base coat of white nail polish. That’s if you can be bothered, but to be honest, two or three coats of these are really bright on their own anyway! 
models own polish for tans 2015

The 5 new shades in this collection are:

Cocktail Hour is a neon coral red.

Turquoise Sea is a really pretty aqua Tiffany blue.

Malibu Pink is a cute Barbie candy pink.

Sarong Wrap is a bright, lemon-y canary yellow.

Beach Hut is a neon orange.

At the moment, my favourites are Malibu Pink and Cocktail Hour. Cocktail Hour is really bright and even though I'm not the most tanned person, it does appear to give the appearance that I've caught a bit of sun!

I’ll either be blogging about them individually soon with swatches and everything! Or I’ll be showing the swatches on my Instagram over the next 4 weeks (user name: @tempsec)

Models Own Polish For Tans is available from Boots, Superdrug and Models Own website now. They are priced £4.99 each.

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