Happy 6th Birthday to my blog | secondblonde

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Happy 6th Birthday to my little beauty blog! It’s been a fantastic year for my blog which continues to grow in hits and followers. I also launched my secondblonde channel on youtube back in April which I hope to grow next year.

My claim to fame of the beauty world this year was being introduced to Caroline Hirons by Gloria (Liberty Beauty) and Caroline giving me a big warm hug.

A huge thank you to my readers for your support, it often feels like it’s just my Mum that reads my post’s until people tell me in “real life” how much they like my blog or strangers approaching me when I worked in Liberty London as they recognised me from my instagram posts! … Here’s to a fabulous 2017!

Secondblonde x

Christmas Beauty Stocking Fillers 2016 | secondblonde

Christmas is just around the corner with only 6 shopping days left to grab those last minute stocking fillers, so here’s just a few of my picks that won’t break the bank…

img_9296C.O Bigelow is always a winner – based in NY the oldest apothecary in America, this brand has a no-nonsense approach with quality ingredients who pride themselves on being honest, genuine and trustworthy since 1838. I’ve opted for some of their new skincare, perfect for the man who doesn’t have a skincare routine I have boxed together this Deluxe Facial Moisturizer $28 here and Sugar Crystal Face Polish $32 here or available in-store at Liberty London Beauty Hall.

img_9309Cowshed products are plant based luxury products, developed from the original Cowshed Spa at Babington House. The brand has a loyal following, and if you stay at any of the Soho House group’s your bathroom is filled with Cowshed bath & body products. I’ve selected the Cowshed Wreath Cracker which is excellent value and lot’s of fun containing a Cow Slip Hand Cream and a Lippy Cow Lip Balm £10 here

fullsizerender-43Maybelline – Merry Little Mani the perfect trio of seasonal colours from their Color Show collection including: Downtown Red, Watery Waste and Black Magic. Pick it up at any drugstore, I got this one from boots £7.50 here the colours are all really wearable, I’d opt to paint mine all in the dark red and do one nail in the metal or glitter colour.

img_9316Stop The water While Using Me!  An eco friendly brand which encourage people to save water, with a range of bathroom products – just remember to STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME! Perfect gift for those who like natural luxury products and are mindful of our environment, recycling and waste. I’ve selected the fresh All Natural Cucumber Lime Soap (liquid) £20 and All Natural Cucumber Lime Hand Balm £15 here

So there you have it, my beauty stocking filler picks, hope I’ve inspired you to dd some beauty to your gift list!

Secondblonde x

 Gel Lab Pro | AW16 “Wild Thing” | Deborah Lippmann

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I fancied a change to my usual choice of colour and opted for a deep sea green/blue colour by Deborah Lippmann. It’s called Wild Thing and is from the new AW16 collection of the Gel Lab Pro range.

My first choice of winter nails will always be a berry/wine shade – much like the iconic shade of Rouge Noir by Chanel, Famously worn by Uma Thurman in the cult film Pulp fiction (which happens to be one of my all time favs) Anyway I’m rambling, back to the current…

The formula of DL Gel Lab Pro polish is perfect, the colour is very pigmented, the application brush is a flat one which I don’t love as I find it to be quite wide making it difficult to get close to the nail bed and sides. I prefer a round brush. The colour is nice and dark after two coats I really love it! It’s much darker than how it looks in the bottle and that’s a good thing.

The finish is high shine and the icing on the cake is that it’s free from 7 nasties. In fact here is a list of all the good ingredients to deliver health, wear and shine:

Health – biotin, keratin, aucoumea, rice protein, evening primrose, green tea extract

Wear – bamboo, nonychosine f

Shine – nylon, carnauba wax

My Verdict This luxury nail product lives up to it’s expectations. I used the DL Hard Rock nail strengthener base and top coat. Just one of my nails had a very slight chip after 3 days wear (which I patched up) however the rest of my nails continued to look good and chip free for 6 days. Today is day 7 and they have started wearing off on the tips and I have a nail bed regrowth as my nails grow pretty quick.

I really like this nail polish, check it out online here and use code DAZZLE and get 15% off your order.

Secondblonde x

 

NEW | Espa Tri-Active Advanced Instant Facial


I’m always up for trying out a new facial serum and this Espa Instant Facial ticks all the boxes of what my skin needs…

It’s a 3-in-1 treatment that promises to leave skin instantly replenished, smooth and luminous, then with continual use  will be firmer and brighter.

For anyone unsure of when to apply an active serum, always on cleansed dry skin to the areas you wish to treat – I always apply to my cheeks, nose and then massage in spreading up to my forehead and tapping around my under eye area. (eye creams really aren’t necessary) Then once absorbed apply your moisturiser/facial oil as usual.

*Top Tip – never wipe off any excess from your fingers – instead use it for your neck up to your jawline using upwards stroking movements. 

The Key Ingredients | Macroalgae Cell Extract | Winged Kelp Extract | White Truffle Extract | Vitamin C Encapsulated Oils |

My Verdict I’ve used this a few times, the first time I applied it I wasn’t expecting the product to have a slight fishy smell….I know, I know this shouldn’t matter whatsoever as it’s all about the ingredients and the results – I just wasn’t ready for it as the smell from the bottle is a pleasant orange kind of smell, probably didn’t help that I had massaged it in around my nose and pretty much up my nostrils!! NOT DOING THAT AGAIN!

The packaging is nice, it’s a glass frosted bottle and the pump works well dispensing a good amount of the cream textured serum. You only need 1 or 2 pumps as it seems to go a long way.

My skin did look instantly smooth and really fresh and hydrated and my tinted moisturiser went on really nicely and I’m now used to the smell which does disappear. My skin also felt nourished which is perfect for the winter months as I’m prone to dry patches.

It is a great skin booster and I’m looking forward to seeing the full effects after longer use.

Check it out here Espa £58

Secondblonde x

Back to black – still time to save 15% on beauty products

I’m not really big into this black Friday malarky – but I am big into saving money on a purchase you already planned to buy.

Use this special Discount Code HERE for Feel Unique valid until 28th Nov 2016. Go’on treat yourself to that beauty product on your wish list that everyone’s been raving about!

Happy Cyber Weekend!

Secondblonde x

 

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm | secondblonde

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This award-winning cleansing balm is a firm favourite of mine and it’s worth all the hype! If you haven’t indulged in it yet I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Emma Hardie is a leading UK therapist (Emma used to attend to client’s based in MichaelJohn salon Mayfair, my husband used to work there) Her products are all made in England and she is a pioneer in natural healing and skin rejuvenation.

I use this cleansing balm for both morning and night. As you massage in the balm melts turning into a lovely oil that feels amazing on your skin, you only need a pea size as a little goes a long way. It breaks down all makeup including mascara and the smell (you know how much I like smells) well let’s just say it’s amazing! The Essential oils of Orange, Neroli and Mandarin are so beautiful and calming.

To remove I always use a clean warm damp flannel. The balm comes with a cleansing cloth which is like a microfibre texture and helps remove dirt from pores. My skin is always very clean and hydrated and very soft after using it.

  • Moringa Cleansing Balm is a balanced daily cleanser that thoroughly cleanse deep in the pores, moisturises and calms all skin types
  • Grape Seed Oil and Sweet Almond Oil rich in essential fatty acids help to plump and soften
  • Moringa seed extract, Wild Sea Fennel and Vitamin E balance, purify and help to minimise the appearance of open pores
  • Essential oils of Orange, Neroli and Mandarin rejuvenate and revitalise the skin whilst calming the senses
  • Jasmine and Rose help to recondition dull, dry, dehydrated and mature skins
  • Removes all traces of face and eye make-up 

This cleansing balm delivers on every promise, my skin is always nourished, plump and the appearance of my pores have improved and my skin is much calmer.

What I also really like about this product is that it is muli-use it is so pure it doubles as a soothing and hydrating mask if left on the skin for ten minutes, or you can apply a thin layer to clean skin before bed as an overnight treatment. It also works as a spot treatment as the moringa is a natural antibacterial.

I’m looking forward to using the Brilliance Face Oil sample and the other samples I have to try out. I’ve just discovered that she does a candle too if it’a the same signature smell then I want one!

My Favorite Night Balm – C.O Bigelow 8 hour overnight recovery lip treatment | secondblonde

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This overnight treatment by C.O Bigelow NY is my lips new best friend and my favourite lip balm. I discovered this amazing lip balm a few months ago and recommend it to anyone looking for a new lip balm or anyone that suffers from dry lips. It’s a non-sticky lip treatment that stays put on your lips for 8 hours…yes it really does!

It contains shea butter and has a very slight vanilla scent, the texture is nice and thick but never gloopy. I normally apply it to my lips before bed and wake up to nourished smooth plumped lips. What I really love about it is that even after 8 hours it is still fresh on your lips as if you’ve just applied it. I also find that my lipstick goes on better and stays put longer after using this balm.

If you are looking for a new lip balm you must try this one or any of the other C.O Bigelow balms available at Liberty Beauty Hall. I also have the Mentha Lip Shine/Breath Freshener that contains 100% natural mint and the Mentha Lip Balm Stick that’s a matte finish with an spf  all of which I use on different occasions because they do what they say they will do…honest | genuine | trustworthy Apothecaries.

C.O. Bigelow was established in New York in 1838 providing healing remedies. As the oldest surviving apothecary in America, today the brand fuses a wealth of experience with the best in modern technology to create authentic herbal skin care, lip balms, hair care, body and bath products.  

Secondblonde x

NEW: Recovery Treatment Oil – Malin+Goetz | secondblonde

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I was so lucky to have been given this beautiful face oil treatment to try out which recently launched. One sniff and I couldn’t wait to get it home and on my face!

New to the Malin+Goetz face range this luxurious skin treatment not only smells absolutely gorgeous it combines nine natural oils which help protect, repair and renew damaged skin.

The packaging and bottle is what you’d expect sleek, minimal and pharmaceutical like design. I love the blue protective glass which is in their brand colour for skin care…it makes a refredhing change to dark coloured glass in brown/green.

The Combined Oils and their Properties:

  • 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.

 The first time I used this oil I massaged it into my skin after cleansing, it was a Sunday and I wasn’t going out anywhere special but having a relaxing day. This oil gave my skin a suprisingly nice glow and seemed to even out my skin tone! If you know me you will know I rarely leave the house to even go to the local shops without tinted moisturiser however on this day I did!

I tend to apply this when I have a day at home or before bed if my skin looks or feels partically dyhdrated or lack lusture. It’s easy to use, a little goes a long way and the smell…well you just have to try it out for yourself. Pop in to Liberty Beauty Hall and meet Arti, Malin + Goetz skin ambassador she’s knowledgable, honest, friendly and she’s got great skin!

secondblonde x

Find Out Why Davines Aftersun SU/Hair Mask will see me into the winter months | secondblonde

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Summer may be well and truly over. British Summer Time has officially come to an end with the clocks going back yesterday giving us an extra hour in bed! However this SU/Hair Mask by Davines just keeps on giving…

It’s an aftersun mask that doubles up as an anti-ageing treatment for all hair types, win win. It replaces moisture and leaves your hair soft and shiny. The smell is a floral, fruity, woody fragrance which is very lovely – to me it smells like sweets. Apply to your hair after shampooing, it’s light enough to use from roots to tips if you wish. It will do it’s stuff between 5-15 minutes depending on your hair needs. I pretty much use mine on a regular basis and only need to leave it on 5 mins in the shower while I cleanse my face and wash my body.

SU/hair mask contain natural active ingredients: Chinotto (from Savona) anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory action and Shea Butter for a nourishing effect.

You may be wondering what anti-ageing has got to do with hair care? Well when your hair is longer it means it’s older hair, so most of us that have medium or long hair have hair that’s a few years old – therefore it needs a lot more nourishment to keep it manageable and healthy looking just like skin does.

Summary I love this mask as it’s quick and easy to use in the toothpaste style packaging, it’s very nourishing but also very light so it  doesn’t weigh down my fine hair yet moisturising enough to prevent my hair getting static and flyaway. I started using it at the end of August and still have loads left. It’s a great product that will probably see me through to the end of the year and really good value at £19.30 for 150ml here

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

Secondblonde x

 

 

Bamford Botanic Nurture Balm | secondblonde

 

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Whenever my skin needs a little TLC I reach for my little pot of Botanic Nurture Balm. If you aren’t familiar with this brand read my review here of their body wash/cream which includes a quick background on this English heritage brand.

This beautiful pot of botanical balm is a nourishing Shea Butter containing healing arnica with omega-rich rosehip oil. It’s a nutrient – intense balm great for dry skin/patches. It’s ingredients is 100% organic and is scented with notes of chamomile, lavender (not strong) and tea tree oil.  Key Ingredients Shea butter . sunflower oil . jojoba oil . rosehip oil . olive oil . lavender oil . geranium oil . chamomile oil . tea tree oil . arnica Montana extract.

Summary I tend to use mine in the winter months when my skin plays up due to colder air outside and central heating inside. I like to apply it to spot area’s such as my heels/ankles, elbows, knees and any other small rough patches.

The texture is much what you’d expect from a solid balm, once warmed in your palms it softens and sinks into your skin quickly. It does leave a balmy residue as expected however it’s not overly greasy. The smell is wonderfully delicate as it’s all natural and organic.

I can really smell the geranium and chamomile above all the other ingredients and find it really soothing and moisturising  on my skin and also really calming and relaxing for my mind. It’s a little moment of calm while you are massaging it in. I like to massage it into my cuticles then cup my hands over my nose and breathe in for a few seconds to inhale the aromas…..ah bliss! I also use mine to heal and calm skin problems like little patches of eczema.

*Top Tip it’s also great for your hair to calm flyaway’s  – after use  on your skin smooth the remains on your palms over your hair, particularly the ends.

This is certainly a luxury product at £22  for 60ml however as a little goes a long way, mine seems to be lasting forever.

Secondblonde x