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

My Top 6 Beauty Advent Calendars 2018 | secondblonde

A beauty addicts dream time of the year the “beauty” advent calendars have landed. Move over chocolate these babies are getting bigger than ever! Every year with many more brands jumping on board. I personally love them (of course) it’s such a fun way to count down to Christmas and a lovely way to be introduced to new beauty products.

My heart melts whenever I see the iconic Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar. The Christmas I worked in the Liberty beauty hall (2016) on launch day we had a line of customers all around the front of the store before we opened to be the first to get their hands on one! (if I remember rightly we sold out in 2 days!) fond work memories and a magical time of year to be in store.

So I’ll stop rambling now and get on with my top 6 Advent Beauty Calendar picks. Here they are in a descending numerical order with prices starting at a luxurious splurge at £195 to a cool affordable £35…

1. Liberty The original and mother of all beauty advent calendars containing over £600 worth of products. The box itself is a keeper it’s so sturdy and beautiful. The inside features the new AW18 Juno Feather Liberty print. It’s a splurge but it’s like you are buying a little piece of history as well as luxury beauty. Liberty Advent Calendar, £195, worth £600, available 24th October. (be quick it may sell out in 1 day) 

2. L’Oréal Full of all your favourite mini L’Oréal products, this disco design advent calendar includes brands such as Kiehls, Lancôme, to Urban Decay and YSL. This is the ultimate mix of products for going out makeup, skincare, perfumes advent calendar. L’Oreal Luxe Advent Calendar, £130, available at Selfridges.

3. Lookfantastic This calendar is all your party season essentials in one box with everything you may need form hair, makeup and skincare to bath and body to wind down too. I spy some fantastic brands here – such good value! Lookfantastic advent calendar, £79, worth over £300.

4. Glossybox It’s Glossybox’s first ever Beauty Advent Calendar (whoop whoop) If you are already subscribed to their beauty box you know that they always deliver on fun and quality. This pretty advent calendar from Glossybox includes NARS, Real Techniques, bareMinerals, you name it, your favourite make-up brand is in this one. Oh, and it’s the only one you’ll find Huda Beauty in as it’s exclusive to them. Glossybox advent calendar, £75 (to subscribers) normally £99 and worth £300.

5. Birchbox This beauty claims to have sold out in less than 24 hours last year! As one of the pioneering beauty subscription boxes that launched in 2010 I can believe it! This little gem includes daily beauty treats with all your favourite brands such as OPI nail varnishes and Caudalie skincare. Birchbox Advent Calendar, £65.

6. M&S If you normally only step into M&S to buy your knickers and pick up your on-the-go lunch then think again – over the last few years their beauty halls have really stepped up! This is probably the most affordable but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not as lush. It’s full to the brim of everything you could possibly need with some brilliant brands. – bravo M&S! £250 worth of products for £35 (a no brainer) you need to spend £35 on clothing,beauty or home first)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my Beauty Advent Calendar Top 6 Picks, Now all you need to do is decide which one before they all sell out.

Secondblonde x

p.s no affiliate links are included in this post or pr samples.

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.

3 Beauty Hacks You Need To Know

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Highlighting and Strobing I’m not big into make-up. I’m more interested in great skin so this is so helpful to remind me what goes where. I don’t wear a lot of make so I often get confused. I’ve only recently got into the whole highlighter/strobing thing. This diagram is so simple to use, the visual makes it much easier for me to remember what goes where.

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Expiry Dates I am soo guilty of this one… I’ve got so many old mascara’s and other eye products – they always look like new and I forget just how long I’ve had them! tut tut. Since running a blog/instagram page it’s easier to track how long I’ve had things when I’ve photographed and posted them. I didn’t know about changing your nail file every three months! So today I purchased a new one and threw my old old one away (too embarrassed to tell you how old mine was) next up my mascara’s.

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Emergency Cover Up I’m a believer in preventing than covering up, however this clever little colour wheel explains everything going back to basics with primary colours. Now you know where you’ve been going wrong when your skin needs a little help.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these back to basics beauty hacks, I know it’s nothing new (well apart from the expiry dates) however I found them all really helpful and I hope you do too.

Secondblonde x

Drugstore Finds Under a Fiver! 3 faves you will always find in my makeup bag.

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My make-up stash is a complete mix of luxury brands and drugstore brands. I think of it as I do clothes, you don’t always have to spend a lot to look nice and sometimes there are some highstreet brands that have great results for a fraction of the cost! I do love a few litte luxuries, who doesn’t? although I’m not a brand snob and happy to use or wear any brand as long as I feel/look to my best and happy with it blah blah blah…

Barry M illuminating Strobe Cream – comes in two shades Iced Bronzed or Frosty Pink. I have both and discovered these when they were in my Christmas stocking! They are very subtle and easy to blend but are also buildable for a stronger effect. I prefer using them on my check bones and nose. It’s a bit too glittery for me to use on my cupids bow or chin. Take a look at them here  for a very reasonable £4.49 each.

Rimmel Brow This Way – This clever little palette is a wax and a shadow in a small compact size (hate really big brow kits, too bulky in my makeup bag) The brush is the best quality slanted brush I’ve tried in a drugstore kit, it’s also double ended! Plus you get a little brow spoolie! I always get the shade dark brown 003 which is hard to find as it’s constantly out of stock, it also come in two other shades. The colour is a good match and stays on all day. More info here and ONLY £3.99

COLLECTION Lasting Perfection Concealer – Recenty purchased this after the bloggers hype of a great budget dupe for Nars. I’m not a big user of concealer but like to use this in the corners of my eyes near the bridge of my nose to illuminate that area when I’m looking a bit tired. Occasionally I add a little to my eye cream and dab it under my eyes. I’ve got the lightest shade called Fair Shade 1, it actually comes is four shades here and is a steal at £4.19

Secondblonde x

Best 9 Instagram posts of 2016 | Secondblonde

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As 2016 has come to an end here according to you guy’s are my BEST NINE post’s with the most likes. Thank you so much for your continued support. In fact, 39,825 likes across 644 posts…roll on 2017!

Secondblonde x

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

 

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