A few of my Summer Favourites 2018 | secondblonde

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Happy Sunday Everyone! it’s been another scorcher today and is currently 26 degrees while I type away in my garden at 19:44. For a small garden we have a lot of wildlife action. At the moment a pigeon is eating berries from one tree and a parakeet is pecking at a pear from another. It’s like feeding time at the Zoo.

Here’s a few of my summer favourites and why I like them…

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Warm Pale Yellow £40 – This brand probably doesn’t need any intro, it’s the gold standard in highlighting powders. So soft, light, blurring, natural without turning you into metal mickey (gotta be a kid of the 80’s to know what I’m talking about)

Diptyque Do Son Eua de Parfum £115 – Another brand that probably doesn’t need any intro. The tuberose is enduring. It’s scent brings to mind the sundown hour, when the white flowers stand out in the darkness of the wooden pagoda. I’ve been told it really suits me, perfect for a summer’s night.

Figs & Rouge Soft Focus Primer £35 – A goody that arrived via my Glossybox subscription. A UK brand that’s new to me. It’s a weightless, matte Serum helps minimise the appearance of pores & create a sheer complexion. HD+ complex, diminishes shine & delivers a micro-fine, soft focus effect.

Ciate London Nail Seas The Day Gelology mini  £6 – Another that arrived via my monthly Glossybox subscription. a full-coverage bold turquoise that screams tropical islands and will make a statement on the dreariest of days. I get so many compliments if I wear this. The longevity and shine is impressive and as a bonus it’s also paraben free and vegan friendly.

Steve Laurant Beauty Precision Tip Liner $24 – This eyeliner has a very thin nib which works well if you want a very thin line or wing and is completely smudge proof – so if precision is your thing than this is perfect for summer.

Laqa & Co Cloud Lips in Daydream £13 – A matte Lipstick delivers full coverage colour for a pillow-soft pout. Formulated to last all day without feeling stiff thanks to avocado oil. This colour is very pretty and wearable perfect for summer daytime and a welcomed change to my bold signature red.

Evil Eye London Hamsa Hand Bracelet £18 – A dainty bracelet that’s rose gold plated on top of sterling silver, the hand is lined with real turquoise stones. It’s so pretty that people always compliment it. Evil Eye London is a small start-up that imports hand picked pieces direct from a family run jewellers in Instanbul Turkey. Check out their shop on Instagram here

So that’s my little Summer Favourites round up, hope you enjoyed it.

P.s the pigeon and parakeet have now flown off and it’s just me and Tan chilling in the garden tapping away on our laptops (i’m sipping wine of course lol)

Secondblonde x

May 2018 Favourites | secondblonde

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How is it June already? Doesn’t feel like Summer has properly started yet – yes we’ve had the occasional hot day here and there but we are half way to Christmas! Rant over – here’s a few products I’ve been enjoying using in May.  No new releases but some are new to me.

QMS Medicosmetics Night Collagen – works overnight with the skins repair process. A concentrated collagen serum that helps to reduce the signs of aging in the skin. No gimmicks here – just high quality scientific cosmetic products that work!

Weleda Skin food – Is a deep-penetrating replenishing skin repair cream for dry patches of skin containing extracts of soothing chamomile, calendula, wild pansy and a blend of enriching oils and waxes to provide a fine protective barrier. This multi-purpose skin cream is anti-inflammatory, circulation boosting and deeply moisturising. So lovely such a calming experience.

Sanctuary Spa Thermal Detox Mask – A self-heating mask uses warmth to help open up pores so charcoal & kaolin clay can help draw out impurities from deep within the skin. Containing soothing & calming myrrh essential oils it helps to remove excess oil to leave skin feeling purified, cleansed & silky-soft. It really heats up – feels like it’s doing what it should be doing.

Frezyderm Sun Screen Second Skin SPF 50 A transparent face sunscreen with unique cosmetic behavior that spreads evenly with one touch, leaves a velvety feel on the skin, stays matte for hours! Absorbs sebum and softens the appearance of wrinkles. Best face sun screen with so much more product I’ve tried EVER!

de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm –  A wonderful honey-lemon scent- it’s exquisitely soft and silky. A myriad of skin-perfecting and mood enhancing ingredients get to work as you massage the balm into your skin. Anti-oxidant rich Kukui Nut butter, Calendula, Camellia and Moringa oils deep-cleanse the complexion, leaving it satin-soft, glowing and calm. This is not only very effective it takes me to another place!

Maria Nila True Soft Shampoo & Conditioner – Perfect for dry hair that softens, moisturises and stengthens the structure of the hair. Smoothing Argan oil reduces frizz and fights static electricity. Colour Guard Complex protects hair and reduces the loss of colour associated with washing, heat styling, UV rays! What more do you need! Smells so good and my hair loves it!

That’s my round up of my May favourites, what have you been using lately?

Secondblonde x

 

Glossybox Daydreamer – May 2018 Box Reveal | secondblonde

IMG_6391The May Glossybox has arrived! It’s always exciting to receive my monthly subscription beauty box. It’s like a little present to myself each month. This months box is a dream taking you to a world of pampering and Bliss – say hello to the Daydreamer Box.

It includes cruelty free products and some of them vegan which seems to be all the rage right now – I’m all for it but being honest won’t be a deciding factor when I’m buying new beauty. So onto the box, here’s my first look impressions of this edit of goodies to help you relax and forget about your worries as you float away…

IMG_6397Trifle Cosmetics – Praline Palette £15.55 The packaging is very cute. It’s in a box which isn’t really necessary but the attention to detail is impressive. It’s 100% cruelty free and vegan.  The colours are intense I’m Keen to try the neutral bronze and are said to have a velvety smooth texture.

IMG_6395Gelspa – Just For Feet Luxury Jelly Foo soak £4.99 Well this looks like fun. A powder vegan-friendly foot soak which turns the water to a gel to pamper your tired feet. I stand all day at work so I really need this. It’s a two step and the second part of the treatment turns the gel back to a water. This includes a sachet of each for one use. I think the gel colour is purple…now where’s my foot bath?

IMG_6396Maria Nila – True Soft Shampoo/Conditioner £3.98/£4.99 Free from all the nasties and vegan this Swedish brand are certainly on-trend. The pastel colour packaging is pleasent not and the product info clearly labeled. It claims to soften, moisturise and strengthen –  also adds shine and fights frizz, what more does a girl want from her hair care products? Sounds like a perfect holiday hair care duo. Looking forward to trying these out, plus they smell gorgeous.

img_6393.pngKueshi – Facial Makeup Remover £10.50 A makeup remover for eyes and other sensitive areas. A double effect solution rich in oils. Curious to use this to compare it to my trusty Nivea double effect eye makeup remover seeing as the price point of this is considerably more. Will keep you updated…

IMG_6394We Are Tea – Earl Grey Supreme Black Tea (sample) A London based each company. A relaxing tea. A delicate aroma of bergamont fruit and sprinkling of cornflowers. Sounds so refreshing.

IMG_6392So there you go, my first look at May 2018 Daydreamer box. Keep an eye on my Instagram account for mini reviews once I start trying them all out…Exciting!

Secondblonde x

NEW Beauty LAUNCH: Karl Lagerfeld+ModelCo Baked Blush – in light beige | secondblonde

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I’m absolutely in love with this new Highlighter. A new collaboration between cult award winning Australian beauty brand ModelCo and (the) KARL LAGERFELD…one of the world’s most renowned and iconic names in design.  It arrived in my April GLOSSYBOX beauty subscription.

The range will include a fun collectible collection combing high-quality formulas and innovative, packaged with KARL LAGERFELD’s unmistakable artistic aesthetic that’s sophisticated, modern and cool. It will channel the theme of “Illuminated Beauty” with smart, modern, iconic beauty products. I can’t wait to see more of this range as I’m so impressed with this little pot.

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The packaging is adorable, it’s the perfect size to carry around in your makeup bag as it’s about the same size as a single eye shadow and it’s very lightweight. I love the iconic Karl silhouette printed on the clear lid.

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The colour I have (light beige) is perfect for my skin tone it also comes in another shade. I’ve layered it up on my hand so you can see it in the photo. For my face I sweep a fine layer (or two) with a brush onto high points of my face, such as cheekbones and brow bones. I kinda do a letter C around from my outer brown to my check bone. It can also be applied on top of blushes for a metallic finish or on your eyelids which I quite like.

I like that it is very shimmery but not too glittery and the fact that you can go for a barely there subtle look to a you can see me from space look if that’s your thing! I prefer to keep mine natural looking creating a warm glow to brighten and highlight my complexion.

The formula contains clever micronized colour pigments, so combined with the luxurious pressed powder it delivers a sheer, natural radiance that really does last all day.

I’ve been wearing mine daily for a week now, the first day I wore it I got so many compliments about how well I looked! This one is defo a keeper – well done Glossybox it’s a great find.

Secondblonde x

Weleda Skin Food – The Magic Little Green Tube | secondblonde

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This ultimate natural skin moisturiser celebrated it’s 90th birthday in 2006. I first discovered this amazing skin saviour at BeautyMart about 4 yrs ago. Then a couple of years later I was lucky enough to work alongside the brand as Skin Food was one of the “Must Haves” edit when I worked at Liberty Beauty Hall. I’ve recently re-purchased this magical little green tube and wanted to share with you why…

About Weleda: If you are not familiar with Weleda they are one of the original Eco brands based in Germany founded in 1921 and now in over 50 Countries. Weleda produces hundreds of natural cosmetics and thousands of pharmaceuticals, still partly produced from medicinal plants grown in their own gardens. The plant ingredients are picked at certain times of the day of when the plant is at it’s best.

What is Skin Food? It is a deep-penetrating replenishing skin repair cream for dry patches of skin containing extracts of soothing chamomile, calendula, wild pansy and a blend of enriching oils and waxes to provide a fine protective barrier which is amazingly good in winter. This multi-purpose skin cream is anti-inflammatory, circulation boosting and deeply moisturising.

Even before the addition of the plant extracts and essential oils the base itself is food for dry skin. Lanolin, Almond oil and Peanut oil are three of the main ingredients of the base. Lanolin, chemically, is almost identical to sebum, the natural oil produced by the skin. It is therefore an ideal substance to ‘feed’ to dry skin. Both Almond and Peanut oil soften and soothe the skin and also assist in the penetration of other soothing, rejuvenating ingredients.

How Can You Use Skin Food: Weleda Skin Food can be used as a nourishing day and night cream. It is good for rough, dry skin anywhere on the body; face, hands, elbows, knees etc. It can be used as a protective cream in harsh weather and is excellent for anyone regularly out of doors.

How I Use Skin Food: I gently warm it in between my fingertips (this is needed because of the natural beeswax it gently warms and softens) then gently press into area’s on my skin I wish to treat. It’s great on all the areas I’ve mentioned. I use it on my face when my skin feels like it needs a reboot. And the smell…oh my it’s simply beautiful – all those plant extracts. It’s a really calming experience and one of my all-time favourite smelling natural beauty product.

It has become a cult hero product and has won multiple awards with a celebrity fan base, but what’s really attractive about it is it’s heritage, philosophy and holistic approach to skin care.

The Weleda team frequent London Fashion Week back stage offering the models facial massage replenishing their skin with Skin Food. After doing so many shows with make-up on and off day in day out their skin needs a re-set and boost of moisture.

Here’s a few other way’s you can use Skin Food.

  1. Makeup Primer
  2. Soothing Eye Cream
  3. Lip Balm
  4. Cuticle Cream
  5. Barrier Cream (when fake tanning)
  6. Highlighter (cheek bones)
  7. Face Mask
  8. Hair Serum
  9. Foot Cream
  10. Cracked Skin Treatment

Go get one, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Secondblonde x

Glossybox into Nostalgia – April 2018 Box Reveal | secondblonde

image1Whoop whoop! The April Glossybox has dropped and what a fabulous box it is this month with a nod to nostalgia from the 50’s Bridget Bardot cat eye, the 80’s blush with a modern spin to the 90’s bold lip look. This month’s box has got it all and what’s even better is that ALL 5 products are full sized and one is a new pre-launch!

So what’s in the box…image2.jpegAs in every box you receive a magazine style card telling you a little bit about each product (boxes vary so it also shows you what products other people got depending on your skin type/colour and hair type/colour etc etc) It also highlight’s what’s in next months with a little sneak peek of one of the main products that it will include. Anyway back to the current box…

MDMflow Liquid Matte in shade Retro £19 – on first look the packaging has a  luxurious look and feels weighty. The colour looks like the perfect pink nude for me and reminds me of a S&G gloss I used to wear and get some many compliments. I’ve worn it for a full day and eaten lunch with it on and impressed with it’s staying power. So far so good, although I will add it felt slightly sticky after I topped it up – but that could be the beeswax and vitamin E to prevent your lips drying out.img_5770.png

Eyeko FAT Liquid Eyeliner in Black £16 – I haven’t tried it yet, it’s a chunky pen with a precision nib that looks easy to use. It’s smudge proof – when I swatched it on the back of my hand it felt like it glided on smoothly, so should give a nice fluid finish on the lids. Now I just need to practice my Bardot cat eye.IMG_5772

Botanics All Bright Micellar Cleansing Solution £5.49 – This looks lovely, I don’t rely on micellar Waters as part of cleansing routine however, they are handy to have for emergency make-up fixes or if on a one off you are feeling lazy and use it before bed to remove makeup. My tip would be to not let it dry on your skin but to pat your skin dry before you add a serum, and oil or a moisturiser. img_5771.png

MODELco x Karl Lagerfeld Baked Blush in Light Beige £tbc – This looks exciting, I’m loving the Karl Lagerfeld silhouette on the packaging. It’s not been released yet so it’s a pre-launch for Glossybox. The colour looks great and very wearable. I’m looking forward to trying it for a sheer natural radiant glow.IMG_5774

Affect Cosmetics Matt Transparent Loose Rice Powder £9.35 – The perfect makeup setter absorbing oil and setting foundation without looking cakey. It’s the new Banana Powder. I don’t normally use this kind of product but use a more traditional pressed powder to set my base. I’m hoping this changes everything and transforms my makeup (pic is the bottom of the pot)IMG_5773

So there you are, a little box reveal from me. I Love Love Love this April Glossybox!

Secondblonde x

Does What It Says On The Tin – Cleansing Balms | secondblonde

Cleansing balms are part of my daily skincare routine. I absolutely love them for lot’s of reasons but most of all their effectiveness. I have some special ones (Annee de Mamiel, Omorovicza, Emma Hardie ) that I use as a treat when I have more time to perform a little ritual of massage and really enjoy the product and then I have one’s that I use everyday. I really like to mix it up according to what my skin needs and what mood I’m in.

These two are my go to morning and night cleanser’s at the moment. Neither of them are new products and have both been around a while, but are new to my routine.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm 125ml £23 A solid fragrance free balm similar to the texture of raw solid coconut oil. Scoop out a small amount and massage into dry skin. It immediately turns into an oil which cuts through all makeup and dirt. It can be rinsed off however I like to flannel off. Leaves my skin clean, feeling nourished with no greasy residue…perfect! It’s good for all skin types. Try it you will love it.

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter 90ml £10 A solid balm which has the texture of solidified butter. It has a light fresh floral fragrance, you only need a small amount massaged into dry skin. It turns into a silky milky oil that’s easy to move around your face and removes everything! The fragrance is pleasant, I remove mine with a flannel. It leaves my skin feeling the same as the Clinique one, clean, nourished without any greasy residue and baby soft. What’s more is that it’s recommended for sensitive skin, camomile has been proven to be highly effective for soothing sensitive skin with its anti-irritant properties.

Both balms are amazing for daily use, I highly recommend both of them and can’t believe I’ve only just started using these beauty gems.

What are your go to daily Cleansing balms?

Secondblonde x

Glossybox into Spring – March Glossybox 2018 Reveal | secondblonde

IMG_5479March is almost coming to an end – Spring has finally sprung so it’s a good excuse to change up your skin care and make way for new. The clocks have gone forward so it feels like a gloriously wonderful long day coming out of the winter months with the sun not setting until 7pm.

Onto the box, it’s had very mixed reviews on social media. I am very happy with my little pink box. I do get it when subscribers moan about receiving similar products to previous boxes or some items being quite small. They are of course forgetting the whole point of this brilliant little edit of beauty goodies each month…a little treat and a taster of new products from New and established luxury brands. That’s also amazing value for money.

I haven’t used any of this months products yet but on first look and a few swatches and sniffs I’m very excited to try the Sleep Repair Mask, the Soft Focus Pore Perfect HD Matte Veil and the Secret Flush blusher/lip cream. Here’s a full description list of this month’s goodies:

Mudmasky – Sleep Repair Renewal Nourishing Mask (sample size) £61 full size. An overnight mask using  fresh, raw, all natural ingredients to hydrate, soothe and smooth your skin. Scented with natural rose water which help to induce a more restful sleep after a long day. Ahhh sounds like I really need this one!

Caudalie – Moisturizing Sorbet Sensitive Skin Saviour (sample size) £23 full size. Their best-selling Moisturising Sorbet instantly cools, refreshes and hydrate the surface with it’s lightweight texture. Reduces redness and helps soothe, hydrate and strengthen the skin.

Oryza Beauty – Warm Nude Lipstick £15.95. The Velvet Ribbon range is a weightless semi-matte and satin finish. The colour looks too nude for my skin tone so I think will re-gift this one one. The quality of the formula and colour intensity looked great when I swatched it on the back of my hand.

Figs & Rouge – Soft Focus Pore Perfect HD+ £35. A weightless matte Serum to minimise the appearance of pores. Also diminishes shine and delivers a micro-fine soft focus effect. Who needs an Instagram filter?

Universal Beauty – Secret Flush £14.50. In shade 04 Nectar. A soothing cream blusher and lip stain duo which glides on like silk (it really did when I swiped it across my hand) and blends effortlessly. On first look the colour looks very wearable, it’s that kinda peachy pink. It has a subtle shimmer and in the bullet smells like sherbert.

So that’s my little round up of this month’s glossybox. Look out for single reviews once I start using these products properly.

Secondblonde x

The “Manipure” with Lanh at Salon Sloane | secondblonde

IMG_4154The “Manipure” is a 5 step purifying manicure created by our very own Lanh at Salon Sloane. It’s a great service to add while you have your tresses attended to. I know you may be thinking I’m biased (this is my place of work) but what I will share with you is that I can hold my hand on my heart and say that in all my years in the industry I’ve never come across a manicurist as skilled, attentive and as giving as Lanh.IMG_4165So what does this Manipure Service consist of I hear you ask…

  1. Detoxifying exfoliation which is gently removed with warm mitts.
  2. Purifying hand soak – you plunge your hands in a bowl of warm water with fresh cut lemon and rose petals, while your cuticle remover gets to work. (you can choose a dry manicure if you prefer)
  3. Thorough Cuticle removal and nails shaped to perfection (choose your desired shape)
  4. Hand and Arm massage (all your stresses drift away at this point if they haven’t already) don’t get me started on the fragrance of the gorgeous cream she uses, it’s heaven.
  5. Perfectly painted nails in any colour you fancy sealed with a glossy top coat that last for days and days.

IMG_4164While Lanh got to work on my nails I asked her for a few home care tips.

Lanh’s top tip is to treat your hands as you would your skincare routine. “Don’t forget to love your hands! Use a natural based sugar and honey scrub for a radiant glow and keep your hands moisturised and always use hand cream”

The Manipure with Lanh is a relaxing tailored service where you feel looked after from start to finish and leave with perfect nails that don’t look like your own (in a good way obvs)

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Ta dah! My finished result. Lanh picked this shade for me which I wouldn’t have picked out for myself however,  she has an eye for what suits your personality and skin tone and she got it spot on! I received soooo many compliments.

Find Lanh at Salon Sloane  Manicure £40 (just off of Sloane Sq in the much talked about Pavilion Rd, the hippest Street in Chelsea with artisan shops, boutiques and healthy restaurants)

Follow Lanh here

Lanh’s kit includes so many shades you are really spoilt for choice, she carries the brands Essie, OPI and Chanel. She also has OPI gels and CND Vinylux  polish for the two weeks Mani addicts.

Secondblonde x

February Favourites 2018| secondblonde

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So here we are only days away from 1st March. Spring is almost here at last however we are about to endure a cold snap and snow flurries. (actually it’s started snowing as I type, so happy it’s my day off) Here’s my quick round up of what beauty products I’ve been enjoying using this month. This isn’t absolutely everything – it’s more of an edit of some new products and some familiar favourites. So let’s get straight into it.

Starting from the top row left to right…

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream this little tube of hand cream has done wonders for my dermatitis & eczema. It’s fragrance free with oils and butters plus oat kernel oil to highly moisturise eczema and restore the skin barrier. Meaning less itching and more healing.

Pretty Woman Nail & Cuticle Energizer  a blend of vitamins for stronger nails and smells quite fruity. Goes on like water drying instantly. Handy to have on your bedside table so you remember to apply before bedtime.

Hylamide – SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum contains 5 forms of hyaluronic compounds improving the look of lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks and can already see an improvement in my skin.

HylamideSubQ Eyes is a high strength anti-ageing Serum that works to correct under eye ageing, puffiness and dark circles with both short and long term effects. I’ve been using this along with the Serum, it’s too early to tell about dark circles – however my eye area stays plump and hydrated all day!

Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial transforming night-time serum/oil for lifting and firming – wake up to plumper, smoother rejuvenated skin. Packed with jasmine rose, frangipani and tuberose. It smells like heaven. If you indulge in one luxury skin care product then this is the one to invest in. It’s like giving yourself a mini facial and you see immediate results.

Glossybox UK beauty subscription box. Every month they deliver 5 beauty treats all packaged in a beautiful box with the contents inside wrapped in cute tissue paper, bows and a branded sticker. It’s my favourite thing! Feels like I’m receiving a little gift every month. The best part is the surprise element. It’s a great way to discover new brands and try out products you’ve not tried before. The link includes a refer a friend offer….what are you waiting for?

Sleek Makeup Vintage Romance i-Divine Eye Shadow Palette has 12 highly pigmented pearlescent shades which contain mica particles that highlight and illuminate giving you an overal radiant, wide eyed effect. Plus some matte ones too. These have been great to experiment with. The applicator that comes with it isn’t great, better to use your own brushes. I don’t wear eye shadow in the day – perhaps I should start.

Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil is a luxurious blend of nine oils: Evening primrose, argan, jojoba oils to help soften lines and strengthen moisture barrier. Grapeseed and rosehip oils to  improve elasticity and protect against free radical damage.Geranium and borage oils to reduce inflammation and normalize oil production. Avocado and camellia oils to condition and soften. Whenever I apply this oil my skin feels calm and happy and the tone is even. It also give a healthy glow and smells amazing!

Beauty Beneath Skin Nutrient Capsules to combat fine lines, wrinkles and skin texture. Contains 19 skin nutrients with a blended range of protective phyto-nutrients and skin-feeding fatty acids with marine collagen, which closely mirrors the collagen found in a healthy dermis structure, and a complex of vitamins and minerals each selected for their skin supporting qualities. I have started them but am always forgetting to take ’em regular (I’m a nightmare when it comes to taking supplements) however I strive to complete this beauty trial…and they are the prettiest little capsules I’ve ever seen! *walks to kitchen to pour a glass of water and take 2 capsules.

Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil  100% organic this is my latest hair find. I wrote about  this natural hair oil  here It’s a beautiful product that does what it say’s it will do. It contains a blend of coconut, sesame, olive, sunflower & arnica and is scented with rosemary & lavender. Forest & Shore never test on animals, all products are vegan friendly & free from all harsh chemicals including synthetic fragrances, synthetic colours, parabens, sulphates, silicones, EDTA, & mineral oils. My hair loves it!

Steve Laurent Lip Tint in shade Nude Pop. A creamy hydrating lip tint which is long lasting. Perfect for no colour colour lip days. I prefer to apply with my finger and then gently pat in to smudge he edges slightly to make my lips appear plumper. The packaging is also so cute, great for instagramming.

So there you have it my favourite 9 (ok I mean 11) beauty products this month. I’ll be back with this post again next month reviewing my March favourites. I fancy trying out some gradual tanning products for my pasty pins, I need new mascara in my life so would like to try out some new ones – anyone got any suggestions? And new spring nail colours. What’s on your wish list.

Secondblonde x

*no affiliate links, some products are PR samples*