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*

Forest & Shore 100% Organic Vegan Friendly Hair Oil |secondblonde

IMG_4309I was really happy to receive a new hair product to try out and review. Forest & Shore are new kids on the block with a very special 100% certified organic and vegan friendly hair oil. Who doesn’t love a new hair oil…

Hallelujah Hair Oil: On first impressions the packaging is minimal and looks great on my shelf. It comes in a box with a design of simple sketches of pretty botanicals. I love the glass bottle the oil is in and the pipette applicator. I’m a fan of the pharmaceutical style packaging and it reminds me of skin care the way you drop he oil into your palm before applying to your hair.

I used it on clean towel dried hair before I styled my hair. I used about 5 drops, warmed in my palms then applied to my mid-lengths and ends coating the hair evenly (less is more here) The smell is gorgeous I feel like I’m having a mini spa experience. I noticed that the drying time was quicker and my hair looked and felt glossy and nourished without any heaviness or oily residue. It also hung nicer (I’ve got fine flyaway prone hair) and this oil made it all swishy!

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.

The Hallelujah Hair Oil has become part of my daily haircare routine. I’m looking forward to also using it as a Intense Hair Reboot by massaging the oil into your scalp and throughout your hair from tips to ends then sleep in it and shampoo out in the morning.

You can purchase via amazon here £15.99

Kelly x

*PR sample (no affiliate links)

Get Ready With Me – My Everyday Quick Hair & Makeup Routine | secondblonde

This is what I do in the mornings daily (when tight for time) and after I’ve double cleansed and face and flanneled off in the shower. My routine takes me under 10 mins and thought you might like to see what products/tools I use.

Of course these aren’t the only products I use but pretty much what I am loving right now. I’ve included a time lapse clip of a live un-edited routine which I think turned out quite good seeing as I didn’t have a mirror and only the screen to see what I was doing!

Products used and how I use them listed in order below. I’ve added links to each brand if you want more in depth info or prices. If you do have any questions you know where to find me.

1. @tangleteezer Compact Styler – I use this to detangle my wet clean hair and brush into place, then I spritz some  @philip_kingsley Prep Perfecting Spray from mid-lengths to ends and brush through and leave to air dry for a few minutes while I do my face.

2. @nivea_uk Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover – I use this to ensure all my mascara has gone.

3. @garnieruk Micellar Cleansing Water – I gently wipe this over my whole face with a cotton wool pad but then pat my face dry as to not leave the product on my skin.

4. @omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream – I use one pump and divide between my middle finger tips and pat under each eye all around my eye socket.

5. @espaskincare Tri-Active™️Advanced Instant Facial – I use two pumps which I massage into my cheeks, nose, forehead, chin and down my neck.

6. @frezydermuk Moisturising Rich Cream – I layer this over my serum as it keeps my skin bouncy and hydrated all day.

7. @nivea_uk Tinted Moisturising Cream in Natural spf 15 – this is my final stage to add a little colour and even out my skin tone. I’m not a fan of heavy coverage I really like to see my skin.

8. @cobigelow My Favourite Night Balm – I add a thin layer to my lips to prep them for lipstick while I get to work on my hair. By the way this balm is the BEST EVER! It’s non-sticky or gloopy – it moisturises your lips for 8 hours and some. It is a night balm but I do like to use in the morning during winter months.

9. @denmanbrush to wrap dry my hair – my good old trusty Denman flat brush for a straight blow dry with a title lift at the roots and beveled under ends. I start tilting my head forwards and moving my hair in different directions around my ahead with my brush. Then I give a blast at the roots with my head upside down and then swish my head back to normal position and smooth done in 3 or 4 sections. *Top tip do not over dry your hair otherwise it will go static.

10. @barrymcosmetics Brow Kit in medium to dark – I brush my brows first then use the wax and powder to create a shape and fill in my brows. I use two different sized brush applicators (a thinner one to create the outer shape) I don’t bother with different shades however I build the colour up darker towards my nose until the arch.

11. @barrymcosmetics Take a Brow brow gel – Once I’m happy with my brow shape I comb clear brow gel through to keep unruly brows in place and set the powder. This step is worth the effort as it makes such a big difference.

12. @esteelauderuk Sumptuous Extreme Mascara (one coat for daytime) I love a volume mascara. I use one coat for daytime and build up with two if I really want a false eyelash look. I’m lucky that my lashes are naturally long.

13. @barrymcosmetics Strobe Cream in Iced Bronze – I glide this over the highest point of my cheekbones and corner of eye like a big letter C then blend with a brush. Then with the remainder on the brush I swipe it down my nose and on my chin. Give me a little natural glow.

14. @rimmellondonuk Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Peach Glow – I always use a pressed powder to set everything and keep the areas of my face that I like to have matte. I leave out the area’s I’ve just highlighted.

15. @bourjois_uk Rouge Velvet The Lipstick in 03 Hyppink Chic – I blot off the lip balm (only as this is a matte finish) and then apply this lipstick straight out of the bullet without a lip liner. Then use my finger to blot it and almost smudge the outline giving my lips a modern daytime look and the illusion of plumper lips!

Ta dah! There you have it my perfect everyday skin care and hair & makeup look in under 10 minutes!

secondblonde x

My Best 9 Beauty Products of 2017 | secondblonde

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As 2017 comes to a close I’m looking back of some of the products which had become firm favourites of mine throughout the year. None of which are new (except the lipsticks were a new launch in 2017) they are just what I’ve been enjoying and seeing great results with using pretty much on a daily basis.

Some of these products were sent to me, some were gifted to me and some I purchased. I’ve previously reviewed most of these so have added links if you fancy a read. So without further ado and in no particular order here are my faves…

  1. Bourjois Rouge Velvet – The Lipstick – insanely pigmented matte lipsticks in 12 shades with impressive staying power. Review Here
  2. Sarah Chapman – Skinesis Overnight Facial – Transforming night-time serum/oil for lifting and firming – wake up to plumper, smoother rejuvenated skin. Review Here
  3. Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Eau de Parfum – A modern and dynamic fragrance, the mild sweetness of rum with the rich warm undertones makes for a unique and unexpected fragrance that’s long-lasting.
  4. Skinfix Hand Repair Cream – Eczema friendly little tube of hand cream that’s fragrance free with oils and butter plus oat kernel oil to highly moisturise and restore the skin barrier.
  5. NIOD Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester – A skin cleaning system that respects dermal barriers and sebum production, cleaning the skin and removing makeup in a single step. Review Here
  6. L’oreal Extraordinary Oil Facial Cleansing Oil – It leaves my skin clean, eye makeup free, feeling fresh and nourished and not screaming out for moisturiser immediately. – Review Here
  7. Frezyderm Moisturizing Rich Cream – It’s a great moisturiser under my make up as it is non-greasy so makes for a nice base. It also keeps mys skin hydrated and plump all day long. Review Here
  8. Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream – A very light eye cream that hydrates my eye area for the whole day and creates a nice base for my tinted moisturiser. This keeps my eye’s looking youthful and fresh as it plumps up my fine lines. I also haven’t looked in the mirror lately and noticed any dark circles – so it must be working! Review Here
  9. NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex – This clever little NIOD serum intensely hydrates my skin and stimulates the production of collagen. It absorbs quickly and helps to combat imperfections and visible signs of ageing.

So there you have it, my top 9 beauty products of 2017. What were your beauty finds you couldn’t live without?

Secondblonde x

Happy 7th Birthday to my blog | secondblonde

Happy 7th Birthday to my little beauty blog.

I still enjoy every aspect of it and feel just as passionate about it now as I did from day dot. I love writing product reviews and taking images for it – especially flat lays. It’s my creative outlet and I thank you for taking the time to read my posts and respond so positively.

I always think that no-one ever actually reads my blog posts until it pops up in conversation (as it did a day ago) and someone announces “I love your blog I get so much info and tips from it” that makes me very happy.

Thank you for your continued support!

Secondblonde x

My Best 9 Instagram Posts of 2017 | secondblonde

Wow, where did 2017 go! Here’s a look back at my best nine Instagram posts. (It’s a free app you can download which chooses your most popular posts) It’s just a bit of fun and not to be taken too seriously however I think mine is pretty accurate with all my favourite things…

Family, beauty, blogging, music (blondie), work and coffee!

I wonder what your best nine will be? try it for fun. Just type “best nine” in the search box of your App Store and you will find one to use. I used Top Nine – best of 2017.

Beauty Christmas Gifts Ideas 2017 | secondblonde

Christmas is just weeks away so time to start thinking about gifts. Luxury beauty gifts are always a good idea. Here’s my top 4 picks for skincare, body care, hair care and perfume and candles ranging from £6 – £105 to suit every budget.

FullSizeRender (43)Sarah Chapman Skinesis Multi Award wining products. Sarah is an A list celebrity facialist with her state of art chic clinic based in Pavilion Road Chelsea. OVERNIGHT FACIAL 15ml £49.00 Transforming night-time serum/oil for lifting and firming – wake up to plumper, smoother rejuvenated skin. INTENSE HYDRATING BOOSTER 30ml £59 Lightweight silky formula comforts dehydrated, stressed, parched unbalanced skin. Say hello to dewy refreshed cushioned skin with fewer fine lines. Shop here

FullSizeRender (44)Charles Worthington EVERYDAY GENTLE MICELLAR SHAMPOO 250ml £5.99 & WEIGHTLESS CONDITIONER 250ml £5.99 Perfect for fine hair for everyday washing without stripping or causing colour fade. Contains a micellar cleansing system fragranceLock technology for long-lasting all day fragrance, not to mention silicone & sulphate free. Shop here

FullSizeRender (41)Sanctuary Spa BODY WASH 250ml £6.00 Awaken your senses with a burst of sumptuously aromatic cleansing. Infused with essential oils and jojoba beads (microbead free) Leaves your skin feeling moisturised. WET SKIN MIRACLE 200ml £8.00 A unique and time saving way to moisturise applied to wet skin to lock in hydration. Ultra light and non-greasy infused with apricot and avocado oil. Keeps you moisturised all day. Both products have long-lasting fragrance technology and are Vegan Friendly. Shop here

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Diptyque Anything form this French perfume house established in 1961 is a winner! TUBEREUSE SCENTED CANDLE 70g £24.00 Creates a sensual luscious fragrance with white flower and tubereuse. Burns evenly, you can up cycle the beautiful glass jar. DO SON EAU de PARFUM 75ml £105 It’s Divinely mysterious unveils it’s powers of seduction – Tuberose, orange leaves, pink peppercorns and musk. Shop here

So that’s it my Beauty Christmas Gift Idea’s for 2017 indulgence for your face, body, hair and seductive perfume for your senses. Happy Shopping everyone! 

*all images are my own – no affiliate links included – some products are PR samples.