Neal’s Yard Frankincense intense lift eye cream| secondblonde

Image-1 (3)I’ve been using this eye cream daily for about 3 weeks now and I’m really liking it. It’s an anti-ageing eye cream that hydrates and helps smooth out fine lines.

You can use it morning and night, I’ve been using it every morning as I tend to forget it before bed. It’s lovely to use – the texture is quite thick but absorbs quickly. I tap it in after my serum and before my tinted moisturiser. It’s great as not only it keeps my under eye looking hydrated and plumped it also acts a bit like a primer.

It smells gorgeous too (you know me I love smells) the frankincense is very relaxing, it’s not over powering and doesn’t last however it’s a little moment of mindfulness while your doing your routine.

Here’s the science bit – it contains a 3-peptide complex which helps skin suppleness and reduces fine lines. Gardenia stem cells and sodium hyaluronate to hydrate and enhance plumpness. Green tea caffeine extract and  argan oil to depuff and keep skin looking healthy. Frankincense helps relax your mind.

“I will continue using this over the winter months as an extra layer on top of my hyaluronic serum just because I enjoy using a cream and it gives my under eye area an extra boost helping my skin appear fresh and bouncy more youthful”

It’s £45 for 15 ml the only downside is that it’s in a jar. I love the look and idea of the ritual of scooping out cream from a little jar but it’s not very hygienic – I’m surprised they didn’t consider adding a mini spatula in the box it comes in.

To summarise I’ve seen great results from this eye cream and would recommend to anyone looking for a mid-range eye cream for the winter months.

secondblonde x

My Top 6 Beauty Advent Calendars 2018 | secondblonde

A beauty addicts dream time of the year the “beauty” advent calendars have landed. Move over chocolate these babies are getting bigger than ever! Every year with many more brands jumping on board. I personally love them (of course) it’s such a fun way to count down to Christmas and a lovely way to be introduced to new beauty products.

My heart melts whenever I see the iconic Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar. The Christmas I worked in the Liberty beauty hall (2016) on launch day we had a line of customers all around the front of the store before we opened to be the first to get their hands on one! (if I remember rightly we sold out in 2 days!) fond work memories and a magical time of year to be in store.

So I’ll stop rambling now and get on with my top 6 Advent Beauty Calendar picks. Here they are in a descending numerical order with prices starting at a luxurious splurge at £195 to a cool affordable £35…

1. Liberty The original and mother of all beauty advent calendars containing over £600 worth of products. The box itself is a keeper it’s so sturdy and beautiful. The inside features the new AW18 Juno Feather Liberty print. It’s a splurge but it’s like you are buying a little piece of history as well as luxury beauty. Liberty Advent Calendar, £195, worth £600, available 24th October. (be quick it may sell out in 1 day) 

2. L’Oréal Full of all your favourite mini L’Oréal products, this disco design advent calendar includes brands such as Kiehls, Lancôme, to Urban Decay and YSL. This is the ultimate mix of products for going out makeup, skincare, perfumes advent calendar. L’Oreal Luxe Advent Calendar, £130, available at Selfridges.

3. Lookfantastic This calendar is all your party season essentials in one box with everything you may need form hair, makeup and skincare to bath and body to wind down too. I spy some fantastic brands here – such good value! Lookfantastic advent calendar, £79, worth over £300.

4. Glossybox It’s Glossybox’s first ever Beauty Advent Calendar (whoop whoop) If you are already subscribed to their beauty box you know that they always deliver on fun and quality. This pretty advent calendar from Glossybox includes NARS, Real Techniques, bareMinerals, you name it, your favourite make-up brand is in this one. Oh, and it’s the only one you’ll find Huda Beauty in as it’s exclusive to them. Glossybox advent calendar, £75 (to subscribers) normally £99 and worth £300.

5. Birchbox This beauty claims to have sold out in less than 24 hours last year! As one of the pioneering beauty subscription boxes that launched in 2010 I can believe it! This little gem includes daily beauty treats with all your favourite brands such as OPI nail varnishes and Caudalie skincare. Birchbox Advent Calendar, £65.

6. M&S If you normally only step into M&S to buy your knickers and pick up your on-the-go lunch then think again – over the last few years their beauty halls have really stepped up! This is probably the most affordable but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not as lush. It’s full to the brim of everything you could possibly need with some brilliant brands. – bravo M&S! £250 worth of products for £35 (a no brainer) you need to spend £35 on clothing,beauty or home first)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my Beauty Advent Calendar Top 6 Picks, Now all you need to do is decide which one before they all sell out.

Secondblonde x

p.s no affiliate links are included in this post or pr samples.

Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask | secondblonde

Sisley was created in 1976 by Hubert d’Ornano and remains a family business. A worldwide success, the French face and body collection is renowned for advanced scientific formulas combining the best of technology and nature to provide outstanding results.


I’m reviewing Sisley’s Black Rose Cream Mask. It is a pink-toned cream with the scent of rose. The black rose line is all about anti-ageing and designed to plump, brighten the skin the ingredients include black rose extracts, vitamin E, chlorella, geranium oil, shea butter and vitamin B5.

I apply to cleansed skin and like to put on a thick layer, it feels so soothing and luxurious. The scent isn’t strong it’s quite delicate. I have used it as it suggests leaving it on for 15 minutes before wiping away. However I REALLY see the benefits when I sleep in it and remove in the morning to noticeably plumped up, hydrated soften skin that looks youthful and glowy!

This luxurious mask is a massive splurge at £105 however with it’s die hard fans, proven instant results and pampering experience I think it’s worth the investment for it’s skin benefits and most of all a relaxing experience which can become a weekly ritual. It’s certainly become a new “all time” favourite of mine! Such a lucky girl to have it in my arsenal of beauty products.

Next up to review from Sisley: Black Rose Cream Skin Infusion Cream and Confort Extreme Lip Balm.

Secondblonde x

*this post includes PR samples.

New Skin Care| secondblonde

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If you follow my Instagram TV Channel you will already know that I’ve recently been gifted these amazing products via a well known Beauty Journalist/skin care expert. She was clearing out her office and text me ahead of her hair appointment asking me if I’d like anything…Wow! how lucky am I. I haven’t gotten round to using them all yet however for the last 3 weeks I’ve been using the IT cosmetics cleanser daily:

IT Cosmetics Confidence In A Cleanser £24 – It’s great for a morning cleanse leaving my skin clean and soft however, I wouldn’t use it as my evening cleanse to remove make-up/dirt. It’s soap free and has a slight lather as you massage in on damp skin for 30 seconds, I flannel mine off – you can rise off. The smell reminds me of neroli which I like. It’s loaded with peptides, collagen, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants which in a cleanser I’m not sure if they will do anything as it’s only on your skin for seconds but i’m up for layering and hopefully this sets a good foundation to build on.

Here’s my first look on the rest…

ENVIRON Youth EssentiA Toner – A concentrated toner with a combination of peptides known to work together to help smooth the appearance of wrinkles. Antioxidants for firmer looking skin, together this will help uneven skin tones and a healthy glow. DR DES FERNANDES is the founder and creator of Environ Skincare company and Nadine Baggott is a big fan of his – watch her interview him here part 1 such a good watch if you are serious about skin care.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm £43 – A deep cleansing balm that promises to dissolve make-up, daily grime and pollutants. Leaving skin intensely cleansed, nourished and renewed for a glowing complexion. I do love a cleansing balm and this one looks right up my street! It contains 9 essential oil so the smell is also like you’ve just stepped into a beautiful tranquil spa!

The Ordinary Resveratol 3% Ferulic Acid 3% £5.50 – This will be the first of The Ordinary products I will try. I’ve been curious about this range for some time, I’ve already got some Niod and Hylamide products that I’ve liked (if you don’t know these brands are all under the DECIEM brand that focuses on advanced functional beauty without all the bullshit) The founder Brandon Truaxe is a bit of a loose canon but in my opinion a complete genius!

I will let you guys know how I get on with this antioxidant serum.

Rodial Vit C Brightening Cleansing Pads £45 – Formulated with a fusion of pure Vitamin C, 0.5% salicylic acid and 1% fruit acid complex to re-texturise the complexion. I’ve never introduced this step to my routine before, I’ve dabbled with exfoliating tonics and I do occasionally use an exfoliating fluid at night. You can sweep these pads over your skin after cleansing – here’s what the ingredients promise to do…

  • Vitamin C: brightens and evens skin tone
  • 1% Fruit AHAs: boosts moisture levels in the skin and gently exfoliates
  • Glycolic and Lactic Acid: retextures and renews skin
  • 0.5% Salicylic Acid: refines pores to reduce and prevent blemishes

I’m gonna give them a go!

Seoulista Beauty Gold Glow Instant Facial Sheet Mask £14 – Created by dermatologists, the Gold Glow Instant Facial™ is a natural coconut, gel-like mask infused with a high-tech formula. Contains a powerful cocktail of over 7 botanical ingredients which work together to cleanse, brighten, and firm the skin.

After 20mins it’s promise is that skin appears firmer while wrinkles appear reduced, revealing a more rejuvenated and youthful-looking complexion. I’m all for sheet masks and quite up for trying out korean skincare, you could even go to bed with a sheet mask on (just pre-warn your other half!)

So that’s it, all my new beauty products to try – let me know if you’ve used any of these ranges I’d love to hear about your experiences. All of the products I have mentioned are all suitable for sensitive skin and concerns with anti-ageing.

Secondblonde x

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