New Skin Care| secondblonde

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If you follow my Instagram TV Channel you will already know that I’ve recently been gifted these amazing products via a well known Beauty Journalist/skin care expert. She was clearing out her office and text me ahead of her hair appointment asking me if I’d like anything…Wow! how lucky am I. I haven’t gotten round to using them all yet however for the last 3 weeks I’ve been using the IT cosmetics cleanser daily:

IT Cosmetics Confidence In A Cleanser £24 – It’s great for a morning cleanse leaving my skin clean and soft however, I wouldn’t use it as my evening cleanse to remove make-up/dirt. It’s soap free and has a slight lather as you massage in on damp skin for 30 seconds, I flannel mine off – you can rise off. The smell reminds me of neroli which I like. It’s loaded with peptides, collagen, hyaluronic acid and antioxidants which in a cleanser I’m not sure if they will do anything as it’s only on your skin for seconds but i’m up for layering and hopefully this sets a good foundation to build on.

Here’s my first look on the rest…

ENVIRON Youth EssentiA Toner – A concentrated toner with a combination of peptides known to work together to help smooth the appearance of wrinkles. Antioxidants for firmer looking skin, together this will help uneven skin tones and a healthy glow. DR DES FERNANDES is the founder and creator of Environ Skincare company and Nadine Baggott is a big fan of his – watch her interview him here part 1 such a good watch if you are serious about skin care.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm £43 – A deep cleansing balm that promises to dissolve make-up, daily grime and pollutants. Leaving skin intensely cleansed, nourished and renewed for a glowing complexion. I do love a cleansing balm and this one looks right up my street! It contains 9 essential oil so the smell is also like you’ve just stepped into a beautiful tranquil spa!

The Ordinary Resveratol 3% Ferulic Acid 3% £5.50 – This will be the first of The Ordinary products I will try. I’ve been curious about this range for some time, I’ve already got some Niod and Hylamide products that I’ve liked (if you don’t know these brands are all under the DECIEM brand that focuses on advanced functional beauty without all the bullshit) The founder Brandon Truaxe is a bit of a loose canon but in my opinion a complete genius!

I will let you guys know how I get on with this antioxidant serum.

Rodial Vit C Brightening Cleansing Pads £45 – Formulated with a fusion of pure Vitamin C, 0.5% salicylic acid and 1% fruit acid complex to re-texturise the complexion. I’ve never introduced this step to my routine before, I’ve dabbled with exfoliating tonics and I do occasionally use an exfoliating fluid at night. You can sweep these pads over your skin after cleansing – here’s what the ingredients promise to do…

  • Vitamin C: brightens and evens skin tone
  • 1% Fruit AHAs: boosts moisture levels in the skin and gently exfoliates
  • Glycolic and Lactic Acid: retextures and renews skin
  • 0.5% Salicylic Acid: refines pores to reduce and prevent blemishes

I’m gonna give them a go!

Seoulista Beauty Gold Glow Instant Facial Sheet Mask £14 – Created by dermatologists, the Gold Glow Instant Facial™ is a natural coconut, gel-like mask infused with a high-tech formula. Contains a powerful cocktail of over 7 botanical ingredients which work together to cleanse, brighten, and firm the skin.

After 20mins it’s promise is that skin appears firmer while wrinkles appear reduced, revealing a more rejuvenated and youthful-looking complexion. I’m all for sheet masks and quite up for trying out korean skincare, you could even go to bed with a sheet mask on (just pre-warn your other half!)

So that’s it, all my new beauty products to try – let me know if you’ve used any of these ranges I’d love to hear about your experiences. All of the products I have mentioned are all suitable for sensitive skin and concerns with anti-ageing.

Secondblonde x

May 2018 Favourites | secondblonde

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How is it June already? Doesn’t feel like Summer has properly started yet – yes we’ve had the occasional hot day here and there but we are half way to Christmas! Rant over – here’s a few products I’ve been enjoying using in May.  No new releases but some are new to me.

QMS Medicosmetics Night Collagen – works overnight with the skins repair process. A concentrated collagen serum that helps to reduce the signs of aging in the skin. No gimmicks here – just high quality scientific cosmetic products that work!

Weleda Skin food – Is a deep-penetrating replenishing skin repair cream for dry patches of skin containing extracts of soothing chamomile, calendula, wild pansy and a blend of enriching oils and waxes to provide a fine protective barrier. This multi-purpose skin cream is anti-inflammatory, circulation boosting and deeply moisturising. So lovely such a calming experience.

Sanctuary Spa Thermal Detox Mask – A self-heating mask uses warmth to help open up pores so charcoal & kaolin clay can help draw out impurities from deep within the skin. Containing soothing & calming myrrh essential oils it helps to remove excess oil to leave skin feeling purified, cleansed & silky-soft. It really heats up – feels like it’s doing what it should be doing.

Frezyderm Sun Screen Second Skin SPF 50 A transparent face sunscreen with unique cosmetic behavior that spreads evenly with one touch, leaves a velvety feel on the skin, stays matte for hours! Absorbs sebum and softens the appearance of wrinkles. Best face sun screen with so much more product I’ve tried EVER!

de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm –  A wonderful honey-lemon scent- it’s exquisitely soft and silky. A myriad of skin-perfecting and mood enhancing ingredients get to work as you massage the balm into your skin. Anti-oxidant rich Kukui Nut butter, Calendula, Camellia and Moringa oils deep-cleanse the complexion, leaving it satin-soft, glowing and calm. This is not only very effective it takes me to another place!

Maria Nila True Soft Shampoo & Conditioner – Perfect for dry hair that softens, moisturises and stengthens the structure of the hair. Smoothing Argan oil reduces frizz and fights static electricity. Colour Guard Complex protects hair and reduces the loss of colour associated with washing, heat styling, UV rays! What more do you need! Smells so good and my hair loves it!

That’s my round up of my May favourites, what have you been using lately?

Secondblonde x

 

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

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

 

 

 

My Top 3 Beauty Influencers | SECONDBLONDE

Having worked in the hair industry for over two decades I've always been interested in beauty. I've been fortunate to come into contact with beauty journalists throughout my career that have been clients of salons I've worked also while I worked in Liberty. I started to become interested in serious skincare about 6 years ago when I first discovered Caroline Hirons and her extremely knowledgeable blog posts and vlogs. They are equally as entertaining as they are educational. I learn't so much about skincare (double cleansing for one) and how to use products and all from a person I could actually relate to, not a twenty something girl who has different needs to me.

This was a time when there were fewer "bloggers" on the scene than there are today. Caroline's blog inspired me to start sharing my own experiences so I created SECONDBLONDE

HERE'S MY TOP 3 BEAUTY INFLUENCERS AND WHY…     

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  1. Caroline Hirons  48 – A third generation skin care expert who's worked her way up from starting as a Saturday girl on counter for Aveda. Transforming her career from retail to the beauty industry. The list of her achievements in the industry is impressive she keeps going from strength to strength. Known for her skin care cheat sheets – check them out here and her brilliantly straight talking detailed reviews and vlogs which will also have you in fits of laughter. Followers/subscribers have even created a #carolinehironsmademedoit hashtag. She has recently launched her own products in collaboration with Pixie Beauty *fun fact – I was introduced to Caroline via a work college at Liberty Beauty Hall (Glroia Lomo) I can't really remember exactly what I said but I do remember Caroline giving me a very welcoming hug. img_0773
  2. Sali Hughes 42 A journalist/writer/broadcaster who started out as a successful makeup artist who then moved into journalism writing features for all the glossy magazines to then become The Guardian's weekend beauty columnist which propelled her following. This was around the time I discovered her vlogs and was instantly compelled to watch – relating to her dry sense of humour. She is known for her brilliant "In the bathroom with" vlogs which are filmed in two parts –  featuring fellow industry infuencers being filmed in their bathrooms while Sali rakes through their cupboards. Most of the time sitting on their toilet seat. It's genius!! a must watch here and of course known for her straight talking honest beauty advice. Then as if it couldn't get any better Sali has written two books, Pretty Honest – the straight talking beauty companion (my beauty bible) launched in 2014 and Pretty Iconic – a personal look at the beauty products that changed the world launched in 2016. I think she is writing a third… I haven't met Sali but have seen her on few occasions while I worked in Liberty Beauty Hall when she has attended events with brands like Surratt. img_0774
  3. Nadine Baggott  54 – A celebrity beauty editor, journalist, and TV presenter. Nadine's hugely successful career is far too long for me to mention everything here. A familiar face on our screens over the years on daytime TV and adverts, also a regular columnist for glossy magazines. Nadine is extremely knowledgeable in her field and has decades of experience in what works. She lights up the room and has a wicked sense of humour. She recently started her own vlogs called "The Beauty Know it All" which are informative, packed full of insider tips and fun to watch. She is brilliant at sourcing/recommending  products for all budgets and answers every single question she receives. She is a true pro – when I watch her vlogs it feels like she is only talking to me. I've met Nadine on a few occasions at the salon and she is an absolute pleasure to be around and is always up for talking beauty! Go watch her now here You will never believe she is 54!

So there you have it my top 3 Beauty Infuencers, I could ramble on forever but that would make this post far too long. (p.s they all love cats)

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

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

 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