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.

Glossybox Daydreamer – May 2018 Box Reveal | secondblonde

IMG_6391The May Glossybox has arrived! It’s always exciting to receive my monthly subscription beauty box. It’s like a little present to myself each month. This months box is a dream taking you to a world of pampering and Bliss – say hello to the Daydreamer Box.

It includes cruelty free products and some of them vegan which seems to be all the rage right now – I’m all for it but being honest won’t be a deciding factor when I’m buying new beauty. So onto the box, here’s my first look impressions of this edit of goodies to help you relax and forget about your worries as you float away…

IMG_6397Trifle Cosmetics – Praline Palette £15.55 The packaging is very cute. It’s in a box which isn’t really necessary but the attention to detail is impressive. It’s 100% cruelty free and vegan.  The colours are intense I’m Keen to try the neutral bronze and are said to have a velvety smooth texture.

IMG_6395Gelspa – Just For Feet Luxury Jelly Foo soak £4.99 Well this looks like fun. A powder vegan-friendly foot soak which turns the water to a gel to pamper your tired feet. I stand all day at work so I really need this. It’s a two step and the second part of the treatment turns the gel back to a water. This includes a sachet of each for one use. I think the gel colour is purple…now where’s my foot bath?

IMG_6396Maria Nila – True Soft Shampoo/Conditioner £3.98/£4.99 Free from all the nasties and vegan this Swedish brand are certainly on-trend. The pastel colour packaging is pleasent not and the product info clearly labeled. It claims to soften, moisturise and strengthen –  also adds shine and fights frizz, what more does a girl want from her hair care products? Sounds like a perfect holiday hair care duo. Looking forward to trying these out, plus they smell gorgeous.

img_6393.pngKueshi – Facial Makeup Remover £10.50 A makeup remover for eyes and other sensitive areas. A double effect solution rich in oils. Curious to use this to compare it to my trusty Nivea double effect eye makeup remover seeing as the price point of this is considerably more. Will keep you updated…

IMG_6394We Are Tea – Earl Grey Supreme Black Tea (sample) A London based each company. A relaxing tea. A delicate aroma of bergamont fruit and sprinkling of cornflowers. Sounds so refreshing.

IMG_6392So there you go, my first look at May 2018 Daydreamer box. Keep an eye on my Instagram account for mini reviews once I start trying them all out…Exciting!

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*

Ciaté London Creme Nail Polish in shade Fade to Greige | secondblonde

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Fade to Greige by Ciaté London is a colour that I wouldn’t normally go for, it arrived in my September Glossy Box. That’s one of the reasons I love a beauty box as it introduces me to new colours/ways of beauty – seeing as I’m a creature of habit it’s easy for me to stay in my comfort zone.

Ciaté London is a luxury make-up brand that’s won an impressive 24 awards, I best know them for their pretty looking polishes however this is the first time I’ve tried one.

The bottle is a flat shape which is really comfortable to hold (or if like me hold between your knees on your lap while painting your nails in from of the TV) It’s also very pretty looking with their trademark black bow. I love that it’s really instagramable and practical at the same time. The lid is nice and long providing a great tool for effortless easy strokes every time. The brush bristles are flat which I found very easy to use and hands down the quickest application ever! I’m very impressed!!

The formula is a great consistency gliding on evenly it’s so pigmented I was almost tempted to do just one coat. I ended up doing two for perfection. The colour is hard to capture in a photo as it looks so different in different lighting. The best way to describe it is a violet greyish/brown nude. It’s very flattering on my skin tone I should imagine it will suit all. It’s long wearing as it lasted for 6 full days without wearing off or chipping, only on day 7 it started to wear off the tips.

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Ok my paint job isn’t the best I know but I’m giving this polish a big thumbs up and the colour is a great addition to my nail polish collection. You can check out Ciaté London here this full size nail polish is £9 from the creme collection.

Secondblonde x