Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm | secondblonde

With all this extra hand-washing and anti-bac hand gels we are all using regularly there’s now even more reason to use a good quality hand cream. I’m currently using this hand balm from Aesop (which for good reason is one of their hero products) This is my “little moment” hand treatment. It’s so much more than a hand balm. The aromas seem to calm my mind making me feel relaxed.

It’s a beautiful blend of fragrant botanicals and skin-softening emollients that delivers rich hydration to your hands and cuticles. It’s non-greasy formula will make you want to keep re-applying! It’s so seductive I love it and cannot stop smelling the back of my hands when I’m using it. It’s a citrus woody scent. What’s more it can be massage into your feet at night.

The consistency is a medium thickness – I love the aluminium tooth paste style tube making application easy. It absorbs instantly leaving your skin supple and smooth improving the appearance of parched skin. It transforms my 45 year old hands when I use it.

This balm is an investment as it is pricy £21 for 75ml (they do larger sizes) however in my opinion it’s worth every penny.

Here’s the Full Ingredients (the packaging is also 100% recyclable)

Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Beta-Carotene, d-Limonene, Linalool. Contains nut derivatives.

Thanks for reading Beauties!

Secondblonde x

21 Skincare Rules | secondblonde

Skincare Jargon broken down…

Skincare can be a mind field especially for beginners. The industry can be totally overwhelming with weekly product launches and the latest “must have” ingredient – do you really need it or is it just a trend. I’m going to help by breaking down a few basic skincare rules which will have you on your way to healthier, brighter more youthful skin!

  1. Skin Type – It’s really important to understand your skin type. Using products for the wrong skin type can cause irritation or breakouts. The most common types are oily, acne-prone, combination, dry skin. Be careful not to confuse dehydrated skin with dry skin (that’s a whole new post)
  2. Routine – You must have a routine and stick to it! It’s all about consistency starting with cleansing, when asked about skincare I always say “how do you cleanse” cleansing your face correctly is the foundation to great skin.
  3. Double Cleansing – Is a must! The first cleanse will remove all the dirt/pollution and make-up is removed, the second cleanse is when you are cleaning your skin. You can use any cleansing gel/cream/balm which ever suits you (I like balms/creams) however you must always removed with a warm flannel or wash cloth. This gives your skin a light daily exfoliation and ensures all the product is removed.
  4. Product Layering – You may have 3 steps or 6 steps just make sure you are layering them in the correct order to benefit the most. A rule of thumb when applying multiple active serums/cream is choosing the lightest consistency first to the thickest last. The steps of a regular routine look like this: Cleanse, tone (optional) active serum, eye cream (optional) face cream, sunscreen.
  5. Don’t Apply Too Much Product – In skincare more is not more. This can cause pilling or even block your pores. What’s more it’s a waste of product and money.
  6. Patch Test – Okay I’m guilty I don’t often do this one as I’m so excited to start using a new product. However it is a good habit to get into, perhaps when using new active serums/acids/retinols. The best way is to apply some to the inside of your arm for a few hours to see how your skin reacts to it.
  7. Expired Products – All products have a little symbol stating their shelf life once opened. It’s best not to use products beyond this date as it may well be harbouring bacteria which you do not want on your face! If you can’t remember roughly when you got it then it’s probably best to bin it.
  8. Expensive vs Budget – It doesn’t have to be expensive to be good – just because it cost an arm and a leg doesn’t always mean the ingredients are better quality or higher potency! (you may be just footing the bill of the luxury packaging and pricey PR with that celebrity “face of”) There are so many amazing high street brands or indie brands these days with amazing formulas that work at reasonable price points.
  9. Sunscreen – Is everything! I’m guilty of not wearing one all year round, sun damage is one of the most effect ways to speed up ageing. There are some really nice ones for the face that aren’t white and feel like you aren’t wearing one.
  10. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate – An essential step to good skincare, but I’m not talking harsh grainy exfoliators we might of used in the 80’s or even 90’s (no st.ives apricot scrub over here!) I’m talking modern chemical exfoliators AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acid) or BHA’s (beta hydroxy acid) they do a deep cleanse dissolving dead skin cells which in turn promotes new skin regeneration. You can do this 2-3 times a week. Once a week is a good place to start.
  11. Vitamin C – In skin care (not supplements) is a strong antioxidant. It will help protect your skin and slow down the ageing process. Over time it noticeably brightens your completion and your skin will be glowing.
  12. Hydration is Key – Every skin type (including oily) NEEDS hydration. This is your first step after cleansing in the form of a good hyaluronic acid (again doesn’t need to be pricey) We aren’t talking thick heavy creams we are talking serums with slip factor. Key ingredients to look out for Hyaluronic, glycerin, peptides and ceramides.
  13. Masking – Face masks should be part of your weekly routine. There are so many different masks available (sheet mask, cream mask, charcoal, peeling, clay, gel etc) You can do a mini hydration mask for 10mins each morning – pop it on before you jump in the shower. This will hydrate and smooth your skin.
  14. Sleep Masks – Pop a face mask on before bed. I’s the best way to get maximum results. Some masks have such amazing ingredients why wouldn’t you want it in your skin longer! You do not need to buy a product that specifies it’s a “sleep mask” you can use any mask. Best masks to for are hydrating ones overnight (not a clearing mask like a clay mask) containing anti-ageing ingredients to wake up to fresh plumped skin.
  15. Retinols – I’m a newbie and need to step up to this game changer. Retinols improve the appearance of fine lines and help even out skin tone. Retinol is a form of vitamin A. They are only to be used at night and introduced slowly starting with over the counter retinols at a low percentage. I’ve recently started using The Inkey List Retinol 1% in a slow release formula. (you must always wear a sunscreen the day after)
  16. Product Sizing – How much product you really need, I think you will be surprised at the amount required to do it’s job well. Cleanser – 1 grape, Toner/Acid Toner – 2/3 cotton pad, Eye Cream – 2 pine nuts, Serum – 20p piece, Moisturiser – 20p piece, Face Mask – 1strawberry.
  17. Skin Reactions – Your skin may “purge” from time to time (a reaction to a product) or an imbalance of the skin. You may have upset your skins barrier function. Don’t panic stop using the product immediately and go back to basics! Use a gentle cleanser and keep your skin hydrated.
  18. Seasonal Skincare – You should switch up your routine throughout the year. The winter months your skin is battling a combination of cold temperatures outside and increased central heating inside. Which will dry out your skin so needs to be treated that way. In summer your skin is dealing with humidity and sun exposure so you need to treat your skin for it’s needs.
  19. Skin Type Will Change As You Get Older – Apart from seasonal changes your skin care needs will change throughout the decades. As we grow old the levels of collagen decline leading to fine lines and wrinkles and pigmentation may start showing. It’s best to see a dermatologist for any serious concerns.
  20. Neck/Bust Creams? – No no no you do not need to invest in these products they are just a marketers dream. Instead use your face serums/creams. When you are applying your face serums pull them down to your neck – you may need to go for a second pump.
  21. Golden Skincare Rules All ages – Get to know your skin type – learn how to layer – wear SPF daily!

Thanks for reading – happy skincare!

Secondblonde x

Home Tip; how to organise the cupboard under your kitchen sink | secondblonde

While we’ve been in Lockdown in the UK my husband and I have been getting stuff done around the house. Mostly taking on DIY jobs ourselves giving area’s of our home a much needed face lift and always keeping within a budget. We recently changed our Kitchen Sink (yes I got a new kitchen sink in lockdown haha) we opted for a white ceramic sink and gold taps to replace our tired cheap 11 yr old stainless steel sink and chrome taps. Here’s the finished result – I’m so so happy with it – Well done Tan for fitting it and plumbing in the taps, here it is…632B00B2-2132-4E8E-8E89-36C582B7565ESo on to the under sink cupboards – if you are anything like me your cupboards start off tidy and then end up a mess with random items that do not belong there. I decided to look for a solution to organise my under sink storage better and found the Addis Under Sink Storage.IMG_5018It’s an extendable shelf unit that has 10 adjustable shelves that cleverly fit around your sink waste pipes creating 2 shelves to store all your cleaning essentials. It expands to just over 81cm wide, at it’s smallest it’s just over 46cm. It’s so easy to put together *My Tip erect and screw it together around the waste. No tools needed just tighten screws/caps with your fingers. Adjust the little shelves that slide up and down or click on and off to fit perfectly around your waste.IMG_5017I also bought these little baskets from poundland to store cleaning accessories on the bottom of my cupboard:

Purple basket – micro fibre cloths

Blue basket – Brillo pads, Kettle de-scaler, Astonish Cup clean, Dr Beckmann Glowhite, scrubbing brush, shoe polish brush

Pink basket – Double sided sponges, Dishmatic sponge refills, Floor Wipes, Pledge Dusting Cloths

Then I’ve added my most used cleaning products, also out of shot is furniture polish I use all around the house like mirrors, glass, tiles, taps etc, Jiff Cream cleaner and carpet cleaner/refresh for our rug. I’ve also added a bin to the left.  It’s actually a clear 40 ltr storage box with a grey lid and fits perfectly. (sure beats the unsightly black bin liner we’ve had hanging off a door handle at the other end of the unit)

IMG_5016My fairy liquid and dishwasher detergent are at the front as they are most used. I’ve also used the little space next to them to store our dustpan and brush – for now! Just while we are in the middle of DIY projects and need it to hand. Ideally I need to find a new place for it, hanging if possible. IMG_5015

I’m really happy with it after years of having an untidy under sink cupboard I’ve finally got it organised and can see what I’ve got and use them all up.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this review and it’s inspired you to sort out your cleaning products cupboard, don’t even get me started on the kitchen junk drawer!

Secondblonde x

Hair Salons Coming Out Of Lockdown London – what to think about now! | secondblonde

While Lockdown begins to ease and non-essential retail return on 15th June here’s what returning to the salon in July may look like and what you need to consider now.

The government guidelines aren’t set in stone yet but what we are seeing as probable new protocols is social distancing for your teams and clients, and hygiene. (PPE has not been confirmed yet) however most salons are supplying their teams with masks and or face shields.

With my salon management experience here are some suggestions I think will be beneficial for you as a salon owner to look at so you can think about how you will implement these in your salon ready for 4th July 2020.

Social Distancing The government will most likely insist upon social distancing measures to be put in place. (Some salons have had screens fitted other salons have re-arranged positions to create space between each section. At the moment for retail this is 2 meters – however this is under review and may be reduced to 1 meter by early July (great news for small salons)

In the meantime this means salons will need to consider the number of clients you can safely service in your salon. Making changes to your team rotas( including assistants/foh) to work around this. Your team will also need to be able to keep a safe distance from each other too, so this is another aspect to think about.

You may want to consider the following:

• Operating extended opening hours or seven days a week to cope with demand

• Work out how many clients you can safely hold in your salon and get your stylist rotas sorted early to ensure you can operate.

• Ensure your team have or are provided with and are using the correct PPE such as gloves/masks/face shields.

• Asking clients to attend their appointments alone (as salon will have limited space and no waiting area)

Health and Hygiene Stylists and clients may feel anxious once the salon reopens. Ensure you have the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene and provide the correct PPE.

Visit the salon ahead of reopening to give the whole salon a deep clean. Promote your high standards of cleanliness both across social media and within the salon so clients and staff are reassured and know that they are in a safe and clean environment. Some other points to consider are:

• Discard all magazines

• Include your chairs and all appliances when you deep clean

• Use paper towels in toilets

• Think about disposable towels at backwash. (Be careful with cost as often up to 4 towels can be used per client) If using washable towels do not re-use any towels.

• Deep clean salon gowns, cutting collars and all tools and brushes

• Continual washing of hands after every client

• Antibacterial gel/wipes available throughout the salon for the team and clients – ask clients to use this at the reception desk as soon they enter the salon. Face masks/shields to be worn by stylist if necessary to perform services (waiting on government guidelines)

• Markings on floor to ensure clients know how to move around the salon during their visit. (We aren’t clear if a one-way system will be advised yet)

• If drinks are allowed use disposable paper cups for beverages in-salon. Better still encourage your clients to bring in their own drinks.

Services Offer your normal range of cut, colour, extensions services just bear in mind the duration of each client and manage your bookings to maximise the revenue for each chair. For e.g don’t allow a client to blow dry their own hair after a colour service as that’s taking up a chair that can be earning you revenue! Instead offer them a discounted blow dry with a stylist so the colour chair is available for another colour service

Think about charging a surcharge to cover your PPE costs – I’m sure your clients will understand if it’s a small amount and for a set period. Alternatively you can sell client packs or masks to help cover costs.

• Take card payments only, no cash if possible. Cash tips can be given straight to stylist or placed in a little envelope by the client.

• Clean the styling position fully after every client. In Denmark where salons are now open and operating, one of their guidelines is to thoroughly clean the area after every client. This of course will take a little time, so you will need to take this into consideration when booking clients in.

Coping with Demand The good news is I’m pretty sure you will be in high demand and very busy once you reopen.

I’d suggest putting a list together of your loyal and long-standing clients who visit your salon regularly to offer them priority booking slots. Also it will be good to print out your top spenders of the previous year to cross check if you missed anyone.

Send ALL your clients an sms or email to communicate to them the booking system is open and the date you plan to re-open the salon. Put a call in to your loyal and top spending clients – trust me they will be so happy to hear from you. (Check if they have already booked before you call)

Create a wait list for those that weren’t able to get booked in and monitor it. Add in their name, telephone, service, stylist and how much notice they need to arrive.

Push out communication of your opening date and how to book an appointment regularly on your social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Include links where possible to online bookings.

If you wish you can implement a “pay in advance” system for bookings (speak to your bookings system supplier to put in place) this will insure you have a lower level of “no shows” and help manage income projections.

Think about taking a deposit for all new client bookings – redeemable against their service and non-refundable if they cancel outside of your cancellation period.

Stock, Housekeeping and Services In the next week or so check you have enough stock for when you open including PPE. Contact suppliers ASAP if you need anything to open. Check colour stock (all your most used) and retail stock (top selling and of course your backwash area.

Also ahead of reopening to check the water supply is operating, the backwash boiler is working and front of house pc/internet:bookings system and phones are all working fine.

Appointments for NHS and Key Workers Some salons will want to say thank you to NHS staff and key workers by offering them a hair service complimentary. This is great if you do however think carefully about how you will accommodate NHS/key workers in your already busy schedule. It may be a good idea to put a time/day limit on the offer.

That’s all for now folks, I will be updating once we have guidelines from the government. I’m an open door so if you have any questions or want to chat about anything prior to re-opening just give me a shout.

Secondblonde aka Kelly (The Salon Manager Expert)

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser | secondblonde

There has been a lot of hype around Glossier since it’s launch about 5 years ago and with good reason. I really like this brand here’s a little overview;

Glossier is a back-to-basics, digitally native beauty brand that has built a cult following, particularly among millennials. With a narrow product range of about 40 SKUs primarily focused on skincare, with colour cosmetics and fragrance rounding out the line, Glossier celebrates its customers’ natural beauty, not the artificial, painted-on kind. Its tagline is, “Beauty products inspired by real life.”

The Glossier beauty company grew out of its millennial founder Emily Weiss’s beauty blog called “Into the Gloss.” Starting her career at Teen Vogue, then moving around other slots at Condé Nast, Weiss left in 2010 to launch her blog to share beauty tips and tricks with her online friends.

Weiss’ early engagement with other beauty aficionados revealed where traditional beauty brands were letting her and her fans down. So she created solutions with the launch in 2014 of Glossier’s initial collection of four products, including a cleanser, priming moisturiser, lip balm and a misting spray. The rest is history..

Quite a few of their products have become make-up bag staples amongst bloggers, such as Boy Brow (brow grooming pomade) Stretch concealer (undetectable flexible cover) Balm Dotcom (do everything tinted skin balm) and of course the Milky Jelly Cleanser. 

What is Milky Jelly Cleanser – It’s a gentle effective creamy gel texture face cleanser that’s suitable for all skin types. It includes skin conditioners that leave your skin feeling clean, calm and fresh without any tightness. It’s safe to use on eyes as the cleansing agents used are what are found in contact lens solution. 

When I Use It – I like to use it as a morning freshen up cleanse. It can remove makeup but due to it’s consistency and performance I prefer it as a morning or second cleanse to clean my skin – not to remove make up.

Why I Love It – I love the branding and simple packaging. The pump dispenser is perfect it pumps out little droplets of the opaque gel. I use between 3-5 pumps depending on what I need. It’s great as you never use too much or waste any product. The smell is fresh and clean (it’s un-fragranced) can’t really describe it any better than that but I love it. 

How I Use It – I can easily and evenly cleanse my whole face including my eyes with it, it stay’s the same texture so you can control it while it’s on your skin. It can be used on dry skin for a really good first cleanse (when removing makeup/dirt) or it can be used on damp skin as a lighter second cleanse or morning freshen up. 

I use it in the mornings on damp skin, it does just rinse off however I always flannel off as I like to use flannels to give my skin a light exfoliation (not a hard rub – never rub your flannel hard on your skin just light sweeping movements)

It leaves my skin clean and fresh and kinda bouncy ready to take on my active serums – always a hyaluronic as a first step.  

Would I Re-Purchase – Hell yeah! I love it and will always keep it on rotation in my little cleansing emporium. Mine was a 60ml £8 it also comes in 177ml £15

 

L’Oréal Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid | secondblonde

L’oreal Rivitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid is an intensive serum. EVERYONE needs to apply Hyaluronic as their first step after cleansing. Hyaluronic Acid is a moisture-binding ingredient capable of holding 1000 times it’s weight in water so it pulls moisture back into your skin like a big drink of water! Hyaluronic is natually found in the skin which helps your cells retain as much mositure as possible. And we all need a little extra help.

It hydrates, smooths and re-plumps your skin and helps reduce appearance of fine lines. I’ve been using a Hyaluronic Acid Serum daily for about 5 years. Once you start using one you will notice a massive improvement in the texture and overall look of your skin. It will be plumper.

The biggest bonus here is that by using a Hyaluronic Acid before applying any other active serums is that it will make those actives will work much better.

I’m currently using this one (well alternating it with my The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid) I really like it. I like the pipette as it means I can drop 2/3 drops without wasting any product. I like the glass bottle packaging. It does have a slight fragrance (which I don’t mind but not necessary) It sinks into my skin so quickly and makes it look so fresh and plumped up. It has different weight molecules so it doesn’t go sticky/tight on your skin. You can wear it on it’s own you don’t feel like you need to add a moisturiser however I always do to seal it in.


• With 1.5% pure Hyaluronic Acid, our highest ever concentration
• Featuring macro and micro hyaluronic acid molecules, for multi-layer skin boosting
• For daily use. Absorbs quickly, for use before regular day or night care regimes and make-up.
• For all skin types, feels light with a non-greasy finish

I absolutely love this serum, it delivers on all it’s claims and I’ve seen great results. I will defo re-purchase again. It’s usually around £25 but often on offer at Boots or Superdrug. Happy Days!

Secondblonde x

Lets talk Lip Gloss by FLOSS | secondblonde

I’m not a big fan of lip gloss in fact I’ve not worn lip gloss since 2005! For lot’s of reasons as makeup trends evolve and change but mainly as I hate the stickiness of it, hair getting stuck to your lips of it, and not forgetting the constantly having to re-apply it!

And then I tried “My New Favourite Gloss” by Floss. It is not glittery, not sticky! It’s hydrating, long-lasting, smooth and surprisingly comfortable to wear.

I normally use it alone for a semi-sheer wash of color that enhances my lip colour during the day. You can layer on top of a matte lipstick for added shine and va va voom!

What I’m really happy with is that I don’t need to keep topping it up. It lasts for most of the day. Plus it smells good enough to eat like vanilla ice-cream. All in all I’m impressed with this little tube of lip gloss it’s definitely converted me! A big thumbs up – it’s the perfect nude pink shade and I also love the packaging.

The biggest bonus of all is that your hair doesn’t get stuck to your lips even in the wind!

Check it out here (no affiliate links)

Secondblonde x

It’s Been A While | Secondblonde

Well how the devil have you all been? I know right… where has the time gone it’s been six months since I wrote a post and here we are in the middle of a pandemic!

I hope you are all doing well. As for me I’ve been furloughed since 20th March and my husbands business has been closed. We have our fingers crossed we can get back to work on 4th July.

So what’s new… well I’ve learnt a few things about myself since lockdown in London. More on that later but for now I’ve got some beauty reviews to catch up on and share with you. Oh and some Netflix series, home workouts and books to recommend you guys.

If you are still here thanks for reading and thanks for your support.

Secondblonde x

Rodial Vit C Brightening Cleansing Pads | Secondblonde

I’ve recently added this step to my morning routine after cleansing and before my serums. I’d like to say I use them daily but the truth is I’m probably using them 3 times a week. I sweep gently across my whole face using both sides then take it down my neck and bust. They may tingle slightly (only for a moment) if you aren’t used to the active acids. They also smell like oranges – so fresh and lovely to use.

The Key benefits:

🍊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 Loving the results so far and have had quite a few compliments that my skin is “looking amazing lately” so I’ve also started using the eye and face soufflé in the same range.

Secondblonde x

Three Hair Saviour Mini’s | secondblonde

Image-1We are in the full throws of Summer so with the extra sun rays hitting your locks it’s a good time to protect, prevent and repair. Here are a few of my fave hair mini’s that I have received (paid for not gifted) in beauty boxes.

Moroccanoil Treatment is an oil that is instantly absorbed by the hair and doesn’t leave you looking oily! It helps to increase elasticity, whilst giving locks a natural, silky finish. Argan Oil is a powerful antioxidant and UV protector rich in vitamins that help to naturally strengthen and renew the structure of the hair.

Apply to your hair after washing and style as normal. I forgot how much I love it as it makes my hair much more manageable and speeds up the drying time. I’ve recently started using it again and it smells so good.

Percy & Reed Hair Wonder Overnight Recovery is a pre-shampoo sleep in hair mask. What’s great about it is that when you apply onto dry hair it dries instantly so you don’t have to wait for it to dry in before going to bed. It contains natural protein to boost the hair’s ability to retain moisture. I do like it, it does help revive my lack lustre hair however, I do find I still need to use a conditioner after shampooing even though they recommend that you don’t. It’s not a problem but worth a mention. It does smell lovely.

Hey Holla Hair Ties fun neon brights and double up as cute wrist bands. Apart form not causing any damage to your hair they also do not leave a ‘kink’ where your ponytail has been. I love the fact that they look cute on your wrist too.

There you are, 3 summer hair gym/holiday hair saviour mini’s that will help to protect, prevent and repair your hair.

Secondblonde x