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

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

 

 

 

Common Labs vitamin B and Vitamin C Real Jel Mask | secondblonde

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I was contacted by B2link to become a creative partner. It's a young beauty start up focusing on incubating multiple Korean beauty brands with outlets and online channels such as Sephora, ULTA, Taobao and Amazon. I was delighted to receive these sheet face masks for sampling as I've never tried a sheet mask before – I always do cream based masks.

The masks are by a company called common labs. On first look I love the packaging and it has very clear instructions. It feels like there is so much gel inside the packet probably enough for more than one use.  Today I'm trying out the Vitamin B Real Jel Mask. It's a 2 step treatment.

Step 1 first you remove the finger pad which is in the top of the packet in the blue section. It's very moist and contains glycolic acid and salicylic acid this prepares your skin and does a light peel. The pad is very soft and not scratchy. Glide over your cleansed face in light stroking movements – no need to rub hard the product will do the exfoliating.

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Step 2 remove the sheet mask, just a warning that it's a bit of a surprise to how much jel is inside that it's a bit tricky at first to unfold the sheet mask but once you get going it opens up easily. The jel contains Vitamin B to calm sensitive skin and give a hydration boost. It also contains glycerin, honey extract, castor oil and various flower extracts. The smell is very fresh it reminds me of the smell of a lotus flower, I love it. My mask was at room temp however I imagine on a hot day it would be really nice if cooled in the fridge first.

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Apply the mask to your whole face I found it easier to look in the mirror and hold it in front of my face and gently pat it on starting from my forehead gently pushing into place ensuring the mask is going on correctly with the eye/nose/mouth cut-outs in the right position. Once on you can see how much of the hydrating gel is on the sheet – I moved it around the mask evenly and pulled some excess down onto my neck.

Now the best bit, lay down and relax for at least 10 – 20 mins. I closed my eyes let my body relax and concentrated on my breathing. The mask feels very soothing and relaxing and feels like I'm having a little beauty ritual rather than just a treatment.  Warning: scary sheet mask selfie alert! Ha ha…

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After 20 mins I removed the mask which left behind lot's of the glorious thick jel which I patted into my skin and used the excess on my neck/chest. The texture is a little sticky at first (guess it's the honey) however when it dries down it doesn't feel sticky a all.

The end result is fresh, clean, smooth hydrated skin – like my skin has just had a big drink of water. My skin looks plump and I feel revived. I've really enjoyed this experience thank you again to Daniella of B2link for inviting me to join her creator program.

I would definitely re-purchase this product and can't wait to try the Vitamin C one for when my skin texture needs improving and brightening – will be a good one after a night out! These common labs real jel masks are reasonably priced at $27.99 for a pack of 10 order your's online here at their Amazon store.

*Top Tip – there's an excess of jel in the packet after one use so pop the mask back in the sachet and into the fridge for a second use.

secondblonde x

 

NEW Bourjois Rouge Velvet-The Lipstick | Secondblonde

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I am so happy to have discovered these NEW Velvet matte lipsticks from Bourjois. They were sent to me complimentary via Influenster for testing.

The packaging is gorgeous and feels quite weighty, when you pull the lid off it reveals the clever shape of the lipstick bullet itself. It’s a slimline stick in the shape of a teardrop and curved to snuggly fit the shape of your lip. It’s genius! It makes for an easy and even application, I really like it. The Miraculous Contour universal lip liner + primer helps extend the wear and most importantly prevents my lipstick feathering (well I am over 40 and need all the help I can get)

For a matte finish this lipstick has a creamy formula and is pretty much the most comfortable matte lipstick I’ve ever used. It glides on even and looks smooth on my lips without drying them out. My lips feel hydrated all day without stickiness. It doesn’t have any particular smell – to me it’s like a faint crayon smell which disappears as soon as it’s on your lips.

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The colour choice is amazing with 12 shades to choose from they’ve covered everything from deep berry shades to bright corals and hot pinks to rose shades and nudes. They are insanely pigmented – literally one coat is all you need, however I build mine up for real impact. The staying power is impressive too I think their claim of lasting up to 24 hours is an accurate one – as these little gems do not budge!

From left to right here are the names of my colour swatches:

12 Brunette

11 Berry Formidable

10 Magni-fig

09 Fuchsia botte

08 Rubi’s cute

07 Joli carmin’ois

06 Abrico’dabra!

05 Brique-a-brac

04 Hip hop pink

03 Hyppink chic

02 Flaming’ rose

01 Hey nude!

These lipstick are my new favourite find, if you like a matte lip you will absolutely love these, the only downside will be choosing which colour(s) They are £8.99 each, however I noticed FeelUnique are doing a 3 for 2 right now here what are you waiting for!

Second blonde x

 

7 Overnight Luxury Mini Essentials | SECONDBLONDE

FullSizeRender (25)When it comes to packing an overnight bag size and weight are always a priority however I do always like to take a little luxury with me. That’s when I delve through my mini shopping basket (from Flying Tiger Stores) which houses all the samples I’ve collected. Sadly most are un-used due to some of the iconic products looking too damn cute to use! (well that’s just me being silly)

On a recent trip to the coast to see my parents these are what I choose to take along in addition to my usual make-up bag and face cleanser – bath & hair products all supplied by mum. In no particular order here’s an overview of what’s in my bag:

Aurelia Botanical Cream Deodorant – A natural cream to powder formula that’s fragrance is Tea Tree, Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus. I’m not totally sold but like the idea of a totally natural alternative. It smells fantastic fresh and feels dry.

Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Recovery Moisturiser – A soothing and calming light cream perfect for sensitive skin and great under tinted moisturiser. It smells like you’ve just walked into a relaxing spa.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint – Perfect tinted moisturiser that has great coverage and keeps me shine free all day! And it has an SPF 30

Benefit High Beam – An oldie but a goldie, my go-to luminescent complex enhancer that I dot on my high check bones and blend up and outwards. Also great to blend a dot on either side of the bridge of your nose in the inner corner of your eye to brighten and look less tired.

Dr Sebagh Rose de Vie – You know how much I love Dr Sebagh serums/creams. This is perfect before bed, it’s very calming and smells devine. It’s like giving yourself a mini facial. I always wake up with replenished plumped up looking skin after using this.

Aurelia Aromatic Repair & Brighten Hand Cream – You may already know how much I love this luxury anti-ageing hand cream. If you missed it you can read my write up on it here.

Plum by Mary Greenwell – This perfume has recently been discontinued which is such a shame. Hence why I decided to purchase a couple of full size bottles which were delivered with a few samples – very handy. It’s a classic chypre with a modern twist, uncomplicated chic, sensual and warm. Perfect from day to evening.

There you go my 7 little luxuries that made it into my overnight bag.

Secondblonde x

Barry M Matte Me Up Liquid Lip Paints | secondblonde

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All the drugstore brands seem to be launching new liquid matte lipsticks theses days, being a bit of a lipstick snob (normally wear MAC, NARS, Hourglass) I’ve been very curious about these Barry M liquid lip paints.

My first purchase was the one of the three lip kits (a lip paint and lip liners that comes in a cute box) in a nude colour called “go to” I then got the bug and purchased two more of the single lip paints in shades Paparazzi (red) and Minima list (pink nude)

I have to say I am very impressed with these little gems, their performance is incredible compared to the price point. The lip liner is a dream to use it’s soft and creamy and easy to glide over your lips without feeling waxy.

The lip paint is a very thin texture that is very easy to apply, great if you want to do a bit of over-drawing to enlarge your lips. It’s highly pigmented giving a seamless opaque coverage – no streaks here! It dries in seconds which is a big thumbs up and stays put for hours and hours – all day in fact. They last through eating too – depending on what it is I am eating of course, anything oily is of course gonna shift any lipstick however this one really does stay put – with only needing to touch up in the centre of my lips.

It’s good to prep your lips before applying (to rid of any dry/flaky skin and add some balm then tissue off) as they are so matte that the formula will sink into your lips and show up any imperfections so start with a smooth base.

  • “Go To” beige nude colour doesn’t suit my skin tone, I wanted to try it as I don’t own such a colour – now I know why!
  • “Minimalist” pink nude is wearable on me, I just need to get used to wearing an understated colour.
  • “paparazzi” bright orange/red is different to my usual blue tone red but looks great on and is more of what I’d call a fun pop of colour.

I am totally in love with these lips paints, the kits come in 3 different shades, the single paints come in 5 different shades. They’ve also added 3 new metallic shades in the kits:

Matte Me Up Matte Liquid Lip Kit’s £6.99 here

Single Matte Me Up Liquid Lip Paint £4.99 here

Hope you enjoyed this review. I’m so happy with them – go try them if you are looking for a drugstore matte finish lipstick you will love them.

Secondblonde x