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

6 Ways to Keep Your Collagen & Skin Young

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Collagen is a protein that our skin cells produce to “hold” our skin together keeping it’s firmness and elasticity. Young skin is plump and smooth because it constantly naturally re-generates itself. As we age our collagen production slows down, from 25yrs collagen slowly decreases and by 45yrs it’s 30% less meaning your skin can get damaged due to sun exposure or bad habits and result in wrinkles and sagging skin.

Sun damage made simple – UVB Rays are the rays that burn our skin, UVA Rays are the rays that age our skin. So UVA Rays break down fibres and elasticity in our skin creating wrinkles. So here’s what you can do to help boost your collagen preventing ageing skin:

1.Up Your Vitamin C Intake Vitamin C is crucial to the formulation of collagen and it’s difficult for our bodies to restore vitamin C so the more you can get the better. Also add Vitamin C to your daily skin care routine like these Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream from Dr Sebagh available at Liberty Beauty Hall to reactivate your collagen levels.

 

 

2.Cut Down Your Sugar Habits Eating too many sugary foods can be a beauty disaster! It causes premature ageing by a process called glycation (the cellular level of the skins structure resulting in wrinkling and loss of elasticity)

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3.Use an SPF SPF’s protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Use an SPF 15 – 30, there are lot’s of skin creams and tinted moisturisers with added SPF’s. Add a shield of protection under your make-up like this Dermalogica product available at Liberty Beauty HallIMG_3457

 

4.Exfoliate This seems like an obvious one but I’m always surprised how many people skip this part of their weekly routine relying purely on their magic lotions and potions to do the trick. I advise both! Removing the top layer of dead skin helps speed up the natural process of skin and collagen renewal. You can also use Acid Peels or Glycolic Overnight Peels in addition to a good old fashioned exfoliation – use gentle products that aren’t too harsh for the face. I like to use just a face flannel to gently exfoliate my skin with after cleansing.

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5.Add Antioxidants To Your Routine Adding antioxidants to your skincare and your diet can do wonders for your skin keeping you looking young. Sip on green tea (I do struggle with green tea so opt for a green tea infused with peppermint to hide the taste) Also use creams and active serums containing antioxidants like this Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator available at Liberty Beauty Hall 

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6.Massage Your Skin Massaging your face daily will help boost the production  of collagen giving skin a plump appearance for smoother younger looking skin. Massage also stimulates the lymph glands to promote clearer skin, massage with a collagen boosting face oil. I massage my skin for a minute in the morning while applying face serum before my moisturiser. (when you have more time and not rushing out the door you should massage your face for at least 5 mins)

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Oh one last thing, always treat your skin to a face mask once a week, choose a day and stick to it so you get into a routine. The best day is on a Sunday or on your day off so you’ve got at least 15mins to relax and for the mask to do it’s job well.

What anti-ageing skin care advice do you have? I’d love to hear your tips and ticks.

Secondblonde x

Review: Noble Isle Willow Song Bath & Shower Gel

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I discovered Noble Isle as it’s one of our luxurious bath and body brands we house at work. It’s a new brand established in 2011 made in the UK. They are still adding to their already amazing offering from hand wash, bath & shower gel, body lotion, hand lotion, room diffusers and candles.

The scents (think there’s 8 in total) are all inspired by the British Isle’s the logo is very endearing with a bath tub full of flowers representing each place: Rose-Wales, Daffodil-England, Thistle-Scotland and the Four Leaf Clover-Ireland.

I love the idea of having bath products and room scents all in the same fragrance, it’s feels so pampering and luxurious – perfect for some me time.

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Bath & Shower Gel in Willow Song 

The design is sleek and modern and on first glance if I’m totally honest looks a little basic, but how wrong you can be!! Once you pick up this product and look at it properly you notice the amazing attention to detail and thought which has gone into the design and the high quality. The more you look the prettier they become, the clear bottles with the delicately coloured liquids all look like precious jewels on the shelf, it’s so hard to choose just one!

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The shape of the bottle is easy to use in the shower and is very solid and not flimsy. The pump dispenser is matte black which looks quite chic on your shelf and appeals to both men and women so will make great gifts. It has the logo embossed on the top of the pump and around the top of the bottle near the neck is embossed “Noble Isle EST. 2011

On to the product… I’ve been using this shower gel for just over a week and I’m really enjoying using it. The scent is so refreshing and calming it’s a smell I’ve not experienced before, my husband is enjoying using it too! (poor thing normally has to put up with really girly pink kinda shower gels/creams)

My skin feels clean and hydrated, the scent makes me feel fresh and positive in a romantic kind of way and what’s really nice is that the scent lingers on your skin for a few hours after.

It’s not cheap at £20 available at Liberty London but Noble Isle Shower Gels will now be firmly on my wish list when someone wants an idea of a gift. Here’s the description on the back of the bottle:

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Next I will be reviewing the Willow Song Candle and trying out the Rhubarb Rhubarb Hand Wash which is  big hit with lot’s of fans already including a few beauty journalist’s.

One last note… here’s the inspiration behind the beautiful Willow Song Scent:

Britain in a Bottle Noble Isle sources water lily and willow from the medieval town of Lavenham: willow bark from the Lavenham Woodland Project, a planting initiative located by the famous Lavenham Walk, a two-mile promenade through green and pleasant English countryside; and water lilies plucked from the 600-year-old spring-fed lake at Lavenham Hall, which has been given new life as the focal point of Kate Denton’s Sculpture Garden.

Have you tried any Noble Isle products or room scent’s I’d love to hear about them?

Review: bamford rose,camomile,lemon hand and body wash 200ml and body cream 200ml

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For those who haven’t heard of Bamford let me introduce you…

In 2006 Lady Bamford began a clothing and beauty company called Bamford, Bamford is a way of life. The quiet luxury of the Bamford range includes natural bath, body, baby and home products. Bamford is an effortless brand of quality and their beauty products boast a high percentage of organic ingredients, 72% for the body wash and 95% for the body cream. They are Certified by the Soil Association, the highest standard of Organic.

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Rose, Camomile, Lemon Hand and Body Wash 25oml

The packaging is a plastic recyclable bottle in their signature green colour. It has a delicate fragrance which is surprisingly uplifting and invigorating. As you massage you get to experience all the different layers of this beautifuly soft scent. I can smell the moroccan rose, the camomile, the ylang ylang the blackcurrent and the subtle twist of lemon.

As it’s sulphate/parabens free it doesn’t bubble up like a foam party but give’s a luxurious lather which is just enough to satisfy our obsession with our need for foam to feel clean! (which we all know isn’t true, extra ingredients are added to most drugstore cleansers to give the “foam” effect we all crave)

It leaves my skin feeling fresh, very clean and awake, in fact my skin feels great! It feels soft to touch and slightly scented however, it does feel like it needs a moisturiser.

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Rose, Camomile, Lemon Body Cream 200ml

The packaging is a glass recyclable jar in the same green colour which I really like. The texture is deliciously thick like a butter without feeling heavy or greasy. It contains botanical butters and oils such as jojoba, cocoa, shea butter and protective honey.

As I apply it absorbs fairly quickly, it smells the same as the body wash with all the delicate layers of each scent, after a while I feel like I can smell the camomile and subtle lemon the most.

My skin feels so soft and really hydrated with a healthy sheen yet not greasy residue. It feels like I’ve enveloped my skin in pure luxury! And indeed it is, I haven’t used any other body creams which are 95% organic with no artificial colours or fragrance. My skin was hydrated for endless hours. The subtle scent is so nice and has a calming effect on my mind, I can’t get enough of it! I absolutely adore these products and can’t wait to try some of the other’s in the range. I fancy trying the Geranium, Lavender, Peppermint next and the Botanic Sugar Polish.

You can purchase Bamford at Liberty of London Body and Hand Wash £22, Body Cream £35.

Have you tried any of the products from the Bamford range? I would love to hear about them.

Secondblonde x

Review: Rimmel london, Brow This Way! (brow sculpting kit)

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I’ve noticed lately that there are lot’s of brow kits available on the high street within budget beauty brands. Having been a loyal fan of Benefit’s brow kits for years and  more recently trying out Barry M’s version, I decided to test Rimmel’s “cheap as chips” offering.

The Promise : Sculpt the perfect photo-ready, high impact brow! Long lasting formula feels lightweight and comfortable all day long, 2 easy steps – apply wax to shape & fix, then layer powder to set.

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I alway’s opt for a dark brown as although my hair is coloured blonde my eyebrows are naturally dark, it is available in a medium brown shade too.

The wax is a good texture and easy to apply (other budget brands have a hard wax making it very difficult to use) The colour of the wax and powder are a perfect match. My brows look defined and it stay’s put for a whole day even through a busy shift at work, I do tend to do a little touch up at lunchtime but that’s just me! I’m really happy with the quality of the wax and powder considering it’s only £3.99

The brush is ok, the slanted end is great for creating a shape and definition with. The longevity of the brush is what I’m not that happy with. Unfortunately it loses it’s shape once you get about half way through the product, it’s bristles start sticking out like an old toothbrush which becomes impossible to create fine natural strokes.

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My Verdict: All in all I’m really happy with this product for the price point, I’m still using it daily so that say’s a lot! I would consider purchasing this again however, I just wish you can buy additional brushes, pretty please Rimmel London??

Have you tried this brow kit from Rimmel? or perhaps another high street brand that you think I’d like, would love to hear from you.

Secondbonde x

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Review: Kiehl’s Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser

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I was on the hunt for a new gentle cleanser as in the colder months my skin is prone to feeling sensitive with the occasional itchy red flare up. After my shift at work I pop to the Kiehl’s counter in our Beauty Hall to get some expert advice.

Following an informal skin consultation with a very knowledgeable cool looking dude (great hair) I was recommended to use the Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser. So straight to the till I go with my £5 beauty loyalty voucher excited to try it out later that night.

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It’s very light weight and free of all nasties and of course soap free/alcohol-free, it’s perfect for sensitive skin as it’s comforting and gentle leaving your skin moisturised.

The formula contains:  Aloe Vera – to soften and smooth.  Chamomile to comfort and soothe.  Centella Asiatica (Tiger Herb) for antibacterial and anti-psoriatic effects. *In the wild tigers with wounds rub against this plant for it’s healing properties.

After just one use my skin feels calm, moisturised and very clean without feeling tight. (I use this as my first step in a double cleanse) The formula is that of a creamy translucent gel with no scent, you can use on dry skin and cotton off or damp skin and flannel off. I always flannel off to double up as a gentle exfoliation. It’s non-sticky and non-foaming so my skin absolutely loves it, I am happy to say that this is my perfect winter facial cleanser, so the guy (who I must go back and thank) on the Kiehl’s counter was spot on! You can get yours from Liberty here.

Have you tried any of Kiehl’s facial cleansers? I would love to hear about them.

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Pay Day Wish List at Liberty Beauty Hall November 2015

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The Liberty Beauty Buying Team are always on top of their game selecting special products for their beautiful Beauty Hall and Bath House Edit’s. Here are a few of my favourite picks to add to my November pay day wish list.

All of these products are available to buy in store at Liberty (free gift wrapping) or purchase online where you can use your Liberty Loyalty Card to gain valuable points that turn into reward vouchers. I’ve included links to each product so you can read about them in detail, I’d love to hear from you if you already love these products or if they are on your beauty wish list too!

  1. AESOP REVERENCE AROMATIQUE HAND BALM 75ML £19 view here
  2. JIN SOON TULLE NAIL POLISH £15 view here
  3. HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING EDIT PALETTE £65 view here
  4. KORRES ALMOND AND LINSEED SHAMPOO 250ML £10 view here
  5. EMMA HARDIE AMAZING FACE CLEANSING BALM 100ML £38 view here
  6. DE MAMIEL ROSEY LIP BALM 10ML £13 view here

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Review: Pureology Hydrate Hydra Whip Masque 150ml

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My hair is starting to feel dry which is normal at this time of year as the air gets cooler outside and the central heating get’s cranked up inside, also due to using hair irons when l’m at work (it’s the only way to quickly remove all my helmet hair kinks)

I’ve started using this hydrating masque as a daily conditioner after shampooing leaving it in my hair (mid-lengths and ends) for 2 minutes before rinsing out.

This masque has been formulated for hydration and helps to keep coloured hair vibrant due to the clever anti-fade technology. It helps restore suppleness however I use Philip Kingsley Elasticizer to restore suppleness and elasticity about 2-3 times a month as a treatment.

Hydra Whip is great for adding moisture to your hair without weighing it down and keeping it looking shiny and bright. The texture of this masque feels different like it’s been whipped, it’s all kinda light and airy as you massage into your lengths, it feels good. The smell is nice, to me it’s fruity/floral scent which doesn’t linger in your hair after drying.

I really like this masque as a moisture boost when my hair needs it and I’m sure it will make it on my empties list, it’s half empty already.

It costs around £25 in most salon’s, however, you can find good deals on-line like Look Fantastic £18.85

Have you tried any of pureology’s shampoo’s/conditioner’s or masque’s? I’d love to hear your experiences.

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Review: QMS Medicosmetics – Hand Care

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This hand cream is one of the best I’ve ever tried. If you haven’t heard of this brand they have 600 spa locations worldwide, originating in Germany. London locations include the iconic Liberty London store and the luxury lifestyle club Grace Belgravia in Knightsbridge.

The founder Dr. Schulte pioneered a new generation of skincare (founded in 1986) he combines his passion for science with his experience whilst working as a surgeon in the fields of trauma like burns and cosmetic surgery to develope a skin care range that is highly effective.

This hand care cream is anti-ageing and so highly moisturising you need to try it to believe it!! It’s non-greasy leaving an invisible protective barrier which even lasts through a few hand washes (originally created for surgeons)

This product is unique and does exactly what it say’s it does, I love it…it does cost a pretty penny but worth the splurge QMS Medicosmetics £20

What moisturising hand cream(s) do you have on your wish list for winter?

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End of month Pay Day Wish List September 2015

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I got paid today, hurray!! Here’s a few of my beauty and fashion wish list. A fashion staple bomber jacket with faux fur lining from Topshop to keep you warm. (may just go and get this today) A magic in a bottle primer from the amazing hourglass makeup brand. A new semi matte lipstick from Nars, a change from my Mac. A new fragrance in the house with Diptyque keeping those summer nights in Turkey alive. A cute index finger ring (it’s very dainty) Cool fashion forward platform boots to dress up or dress down by Acne Studios. Some of these are within my reach and some may have to just stay on my lust list for now.

I’ve added some links for more info and where you can buy, from left to right:

Topshop Faux Fur Lined MA1 Bomber Jacket £65 here.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer £52 here.

Nars Jungle Red Lipsick £20 here.

Tai Jewelry Rose Gold Evil Eye Ring £28 here.

Diptyque Jasmine Scented Candle £40 here.

Acne Studios Elongated Platform Boot Orbit Black £440 here.

What’s on your pay day wish or lust list this month?

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