Happy 8th Birthday secondblonde

Happy 8th Birthday to me. How has my little blog turned 8. Where has all that time gone!

I still enjoy creating posts for my readers and I’m thankful to have an audience (small yet supportive)

A big thank you to you all for reading my posts. I love creating content, taking images and writing honest reviews about products I’ve been using. Here’s to many more in 2019.

With Love

Secondblonde x

A few of my Summer Favourites 2018 | secondblonde

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Happy Sunday Everyone! it’s been another scorcher today and is currently 26 degrees while I type away in my garden at 19:44. For a small garden we have a lot of wildlife action. At the moment a pigeon is eating berries from one tree and a parakeet is pecking at a pear from another. It’s like feeding time at the Zoo.

Here’s a few of my summer favourites and why I like them…

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Warm Pale Yellow £40 – This brand probably doesn’t need any intro, it’s the gold standard in highlighting powders. So soft, light, blurring, natural without turning you into metal mickey (gotta be a kid of the 80’s to know what I’m talking about)

Diptyque Do Son Eua de Parfum £115 – Another brand that probably doesn’t need any intro. The tuberose is enduring. It’s scent brings to mind the sundown hour, when the white flowers stand out in the darkness of the wooden pagoda. I’ve been told it really suits me, perfect for a summer’s night.

Figs & Rouge Soft Focus Primer £35 – A goody that arrived via my Glossybox subscription. A UK brand that’s new to me. It’s a weightless, matte Serum helps minimise the appearance of pores & create a sheer complexion. HD+ complex, diminishes shine & delivers a micro-fine, soft focus effect.

Ciate London Nail Seas The Day Gelology mini  £6 – Another that arrived via my monthly Glossybox subscription. a full-coverage bold turquoise that screams tropical islands and will make a statement on the dreariest of days. I get so many compliments if I wear this. The longevity and shine is impressive and as a bonus it’s also paraben free and vegan friendly.

Steve Laurant Beauty Precision Tip Liner $24 – This eyeliner has a very thin nib which works well if you want a very thin line or wing and is completely smudge proof – so if precision is your thing than this is perfect for summer.

Laqa & Co Cloud Lips in Daydream £13 – A matte Lipstick delivers full coverage colour for a pillow-soft pout. Formulated to last all day without feeling stiff thanks to avocado oil. This colour is very pretty and wearable perfect for summer daytime and a welcomed change to my bold signature red.

Evil Eye London Hamsa Hand Bracelet £18 – A dainty bracelet that’s rose gold plated on top of sterling silver, the hand is lined with real turquoise stones. It’s so pretty that people always compliment it. Evil Eye London is a small start-up that imports hand picked pieces direct from a family run jewellers in Instanbul Turkey. Check out their shop on Instagram here

So that’s my little Summer Favourites round up, hope you enjoyed it.

P.s the pigeon and parakeet have now flown off and it’s just me and Tan chilling in the garden tapping away on our laptops (i’m sipping wine of course lol)

Secondblonde x

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*

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

5 Drugstore Must Haves all for a tenner | secondblonde

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I recently popped into Superdrug to pick up some cotton wool and picked up a few beauty budget must have’s. The best part is that all these 5 items came in at just shy of a tenner, what a bargin!

Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water 125ml £1.00 – I use this after my cleansing routine if needed to remove any last traces of make-up. It’s also a great product for a naughty lazy evening cleanse once in a while. Think it’s normally £2 but it was on deal when I got it.

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Nail Paint – Pit Stop £2.99 – This is a really nice soft grey almost like a nude, a great alternative to beige nudes for summer. There’s nearly always an offer on these like buy any 3 for 2. Barry M is my preferred drugstore nail brand as they have a great colour selection and I find them to last without chipping easily.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick – Asia 77 £4.99 – was on offer so I paid less. I’m a bit of a lipstick snob, daily I wear a bold red matte lip, when buying reds I always opt for brands such as Mac and NARS and recently been introduced to Surratt and Hourglass lip colours.

I fancied a cheap and cheerful soft wearable pink and opted for this one from Rimmel. I’m not a total convert but happy with the results of this lipstick for it’s price point. The colour stays on hours and is very comfortable to wear although smells like haribo sweets! I prefer it when the creamy look wears off and it looks more matte – but that’s just my personal preference.

Cushioned Nail File & Cotton Wool – I can’t remember the price of these, just thought I’d mention them as they make up my five items. The nail file isn’t great so I won’t be buying that again – unfortunately in some cases you do only get what you pay for!

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

New Monday + New Week = New Goals | secondblonde

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I try to start each week with new goals and I don’t mean bigger picture life changing goals I just mean I try and start each week with a fresh focus no matter how big or small the goal is. Although working in retail your days/weeks can get a bit jumbled I still stick to Monday as the best day to set myself a personal or professional target.

The target could be a mundane one such as a household task like clearing out/tidying up an area of the house you’ve been putting off, which when it’s done is satisfyingly rewarding. It may be a personal  goal like setting more time aside for yourself or to start a new hobby or catch up with family or a friend you’ve been meaning to make time for. Or it could be dealing with your finances and searching for better deals saving you money annually that can go towards another goal! You get the picture. Whatever you decide to do set yourself a realistic goal. Plan it, write it down and stick to it! It doesn’t have to be complicated just a simple list will do and tick it off as you achieve it…seeing the results can be quite rewarding and give a sense if achievement with a positive impact to do more.

This week my focus is my beauty blog and social media platforms I manage- I’ve been so busy with “life” I’ve somehow neglected my passion but now I’ve set myself some goals my blogging mojo is back!

What are your personal goals this week?

Secondblonde x

I’m Cheating on MAC Ruby Woo with NARS Mysterious Red | secondblonde

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If you know me or read my posts you know I wear a matte red lip on a daily basis and have been wearing Ruby Woo by Mac for at least 5 years, it’s kinda become my signature colour. The beauty hall I work in is full of fabulous brands so recently I decided it was time to explore new alternatives to my beloved Ruby Woo. With my loyalty voucher to redeem my first stop is the NARS counter…I decided to go for one of their new (well new to me) Velvet Matte Lip Pencil’s.

The Promise The idea of this product is that you still get the application of a lipstick but with the convenience of a pencil in a jumbo crayon design. The colour is very pigmented, the texture is a  velvety matte finish. It’s formula promises a creamy texture as it has unique silicones which ensure long lasting colour and it’s enriched with vitamin E.

Results I’ve been wearing this lip colour for about four weeks, I love the colour it’s a retro kind of red just how I like it. The fact it’s a jumbo pencil is really easy to use, I do still use a lip liner otherwise I find it bleeds a little (but hey that may just be my age) The colour is really intense and stays put all day with a top after eating. The creamy texture feels great on my lips and they certainly look more hydrated while being matte. The only downside in my opinion is that I think this will not last as long as a traditional lipstick as I need to sharpen it quite often.

Summary I’m definitely a convert…sorry Ruby Woo! I will be re-purchasing. Check out NARS here £20

What NARS lip products have you tried? would love to hear your experiences.

Secondblonde x

 

Color Wow Kale Cocktail bionic tonic 200ml | secondblonde

I was so happy to have been sent these new Color Wow products thanks to Imagination PR which I’ve been playing around with and finally got round to share my thoughts with you guys. These new hair cocktails are such a fun way to apply a “bond reinforcing” product to your hair.

You may have already watched me talk about these fantastic new colour wow products on my YouTube Channel

The whole range of cocktails are leave-in bond building supplements formulated for colour treated hair. Depending on which one you use they either strengthen, thicken, renew elasticity, retain suppleness, protect and prevent further damage. You can even mix them together like you would a cocktail for what your hair needs. I’ve been using the Kale Cocktail for my processed fine/prone to breakage hair for a few weeks and I absolutely LOVE it!

The Proudct The Kale cocktail is a bionic tonic which contains sulphur rich sea kale known to help reinforce hair vital bonds. It also contains protein building amino acid and vitamin B which works in one single application. The Kale cocktail can be mixed with the coconut or the carb cocktail for when your hair may need an extra hydrating or body building boost! You must shake before use and for best results the product is accelerated and enhanced when heat is applied.

The Promise The kale Cocktail promises to reinforce hair bonds and strengthen each strand. Detangle hair, help reduce further breakage and help guard against UV ray’s.

My Verdict I’ve been applying a small amount (of shaken not stirred product) to towel dried hair mid lengths to ends combed through then styled as normal with my hair dryer. On work day’s I do apply hair irons too to smooth out my crash helmet kinks. The consistency is light and milky and easy to apply, it’s not sticky and smells really fresh and pleasant to use. When my hair is dry/styled it doesn’t feel like I have any product in it (which is a good thing) however there is a noticeable difference in how my hair hairs/looks/feels. It instantly looks healthier, feels stronger and is soft and smooth to touch without being fluffy.

Summary I love this product so much and have already recommended it to a few friends. My husband who’s a hair colourist – you can check him out here has also started using it on some of his clients post colouring services. I will definitely re-purchase this product however in the meantime I will experiment with the coconut and carb cocktails too!

You can pick them up at a John Frieda hair salon or online here £22 Have you tried these or any other products from the Color Wow range?

Secondblonde x

Empties July 2016|secondblonde

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Watch my vlog here to find out what I’ve been loving so much that they are empty! In this vlog I mention the following hair and skin care:

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cherry 200ml £2.99 here

Davines Melu Hair Shield Heat Spray 250ml £22.80 here

Dr Sebagh High Maintenance Cream 65ml £95 here

Ren ROSA CENTIFOLIA 3-IN-1 CLEANSING WATER 200ML£13 here

Hope you enjoyed this vlog, if you have any questions or wish to share your experiences or tips I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Have a great evenig and I will see you in my next vlog!
Kelly x