The Over Sized Pouch – Liberty London | secondblonde 

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Back in the Summer I purchased this iconic Liberty London Iphis oversized pouch. Inspired by the much-loved Liberty Ianthe design, Iphis is a modern re-working with a fresh Art Nouveau-style finish. Paying homage to the Ianthe of Greek mythology, Iphis is named after her lover in the legend.

Team it with daytime casuals or dress it up with monochrome for an effortless finish. It’s the perfect size to fit all your essentials and more. The zip detail is pink with an enamel engraved zip pull. The interior is purple logo stamped interior logo lining with an inner zipped pocket and a leather Liberty branded label.

I got mine at a work staff sample sale raising money for charity. It already had the initials KB on it (my maiden name is Burley) so it literally had my name on it! I just had to buy it and I love it! A modern alternative to the classic clutch.

Check out the Liberty London range here

Secondblonde x

Power of The Baobab: My Review of Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder| secondblonde

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You may of heard me raving about this superfruit powder on my YouTube Channel I’m not really one for jumping on the band wagon of the latest health foods. A few of my friends at work were already taking it regular and said it was really good so I took the plunge and gave it a go.

The Product The baobab fruit is the only fruit that dries naturally on the branch. Aduna work with small scale producers in rural Africa to harvest, remove seeds and sieve to produce a raw wholefood powder. It’s rich in Vitamin C (single dose provides 33% of your daily requirement and 50% fibre) Baobab fruit contains the highest antioxidant level. It’s 100% natural and organic so therefore absorbs into your body with no preservatives or additives, Suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is kosher certified.

The Promise To bring out your natural vibrancy making you look good and feel good by promoting good skin health and giving energy release and support immune functions.

My Verdict The first time I tried this I added two teaspoons to my porridge with almond milk before popping it in the microwave. It did give my porridge a slightly bitter taste but it was still enjoyable. I was on an early shift at work so was up at the crack of dawn. Normally by 11:30/12:00ish I have a bit of a slump feeling tired, sluggish and a bit blah! Basically like I need a coffee or food. However…after taking this “magic” powder I had so much energy and was literally dancing around the room! I felt really energised the whole day and ready to face anything.

As not to change the taste of my breakfast I sometimes put 2 teaspoons in a cup, add a little water to mix into a paste – then add two tablespoons of natural yoghurt and stir until blended. Then eat it on it’s own, I prefer the taste this way. It’s kind of like a sour citrus. I don’t love it but it’s ok. Aduna have won “great taste awards”.

To see the skin benefits by supporting collagen formation to get the baobab glow you need to take daily, I haven’t been taking it daily yet and only been taking on days I feel I need it.

Summary This is a fantastic food supplement what does exactly what it promises to do and I really like the ethos of the brand. Aduna have other health powders and energy bars in their range. I will definitely re-purchase the Baobab Superfruit Powder when mine is finished. Maybe I should start taking daily and come back to you with results of my skin.

Take a look at the Baobab Superfruit Powder here £14 170g

Let me know if you’ve tried any superfood supplements that you got results from, I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Secondblonde x

Votary Cleansing Oil – Rose Geranium and Apricot 100ml | secondblonde

FullSizeRender (31)If you haven’t already heard of this brand they launched September 2015. Votary is a skin care brand using plant oils and active ingredients. The products are all 100% natural suitable for all skin types including very sensitive. The range consists of cleansing oils, facial oils, toning serums and a box set of cotton face cloths.

Arabella Preston a former make-up artist founded the brand after experimenting in her kitchen mixing oils not only for her own skin but also for her clients. Most of which are interested in nutrition and concerned these days about what they are putting on their skin too. Skin guru Caroline Hirons is also a big fan read here her review last year. She also included it in her Most Used Products of 2015.

It’s avaiable exclusively at Libery London so if you missed it here’s a little post I wrote about the first time I met Arabella read here.

On to the product It comes in a box with a cotton face flannel which I think is a nice touch. My first thoughts about using an oil to cleanse with was that I may not like the feeling on my skin, or maybe it will leave an uncomfortable residue…HOW WRONG COULD I BE! This cleansing oil is such a delight to use, the whole experience is lovely and it delivers on what it promises –

a fantastic way to cleanse your face and remove make-up. It leaves your skin feeling clean, soft and plumped” 

I’ve been using it at night as my first cleanse and in the morning as my only cleanse. For a make-up removal cleanse I need 4/5 pumps which I spread between my palms then press into my skin. I do a quick massage all over and do my eyes last as it lifts off even the most stubborn mascara so you obviously don’t want that all over your face. Then I use a hot wringed out flannel place it over my face to breathe in and enjoy the aroma of the oils. This is a really nice moment and worth doing. Then I take it off with the flannel doing a light exfoliation as I go and then pat dry with a towel.

For a morning cleanse I do the same as above but with less product, I normally only need 2/3 pumps.

Results What I really noticed immediately was how clean my face was and how nourished it felt without any oily residue…I didn’t feel like my skin desparartely needed moisture. After a few weeks I started getting comments like “oh but you’ve got lovely skin” 

Summary I definitely think this is an amazing cleanser which I will continue to use. It is luxurious therefore it’s price reflects the quality of the ingredients so at £45 100ml it’s more of an investment purchase however in my opinion it’s worth every penny and it also lasts a long time as a little goes a long way.

You can buy yours at Liberty Beauty Hall

What cleansing oils have you tried? I’d love to hear about them.

Secondblonde x

Review: Kiehl’s Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser

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I was on the hunt for a new gentle cleanser as in the colder months my skin is prone to feeling sensitive with the occasional itchy red flare up. After my shift at work I pop to the Kiehl’s counter in our Beauty Hall to get some expert advice.

Following an informal skin consultation with a very knowledgeable cool looking dude (great hair) I was recommended to use the Centella Skin-Calming Facial Cleanser. So straight to the till I go with my £5 beauty loyalty voucher excited to try it out later that night.

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It’s very light weight and free of all nasties and of course soap free/alcohol-free, it’s perfect for sensitive skin as it’s comforting and gentle leaving your skin moisturised.

The formula contains:  Aloe Vera – to soften and smooth.  Chamomile to comfort and soothe.  Centella Asiatica (Tiger Herb) for antibacterial and anti-psoriatic effects. *In the wild tigers with wounds rub against this plant for it’s healing properties.

After just one use my skin feels calm, moisturised and very clean without feeling tight. (I use this as my first step in a double cleanse) The formula is that of a creamy translucent gel with no scent, you can use on dry skin and cotton off or damp skin and flannel off. I always flannel off to double up as a gentle exfoliation. It’s non-sticky and non-foaming so my skin absolutely loves it, I am happy to say that this is my perfect winter facial cleanser, so the guy (who I must go back and thank) on the Kiehl’s counter was spot on! You can get yours from Liberty here.

Have you tried any of Kiehl’s facial cleansers? I would love to hear about them.

Secondblonde x2015/07/img_3224.jpg

Dr Sebagh Signature Facial with Super Facialist Tine Hagelquist at Liberty London

The title is a bit of a mouthful but had to get it all in! Not only did I experience a “red carpet skin ready” facial I was lucky to have their top facialist Tine Hagelquist in a private room at the iconic Liberty store…what more can a girl want!IMG_0066

I was out shopping in town when I unexpectedly bumped into Vivian and Tine from Dr Sebagh at Liberty. They mentioned that they have a facial event in store and had just had a last minute cancellation I could fill. Of course I take it, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, I had a few hours to kill prior to an evening hair event and what could be better than to show up with beautiful radiant skin…winning!

The Facial of all facials: Tine met me in the beauty hall and walked me to a private room, it’s located on the first floor with a window looking out over Carnaby Street (of course there’s a window blind) The room is fresh, clean and bright with the delicate aroma of ylang ylang, there’s no noise – it’s magical. Tine dim’s the light’s a little, ask’s me to remove my top and bra straps and lay on the bed under the silky sheet and soft red blanket, it’s so cosy I’m totally relaxed. I have had the pleasure of working with Tine before however that said she is so friendly and kind she immediately puts you at ease, she’s extremely knowledgeable with 3 decades of experience! (I know she doesn’t look old enough) she is so passionate about her work which shine’s out of her face like little sunbeams. She has good energy.

Tine start’s with a consultation asking me key questions about my skin routine and diet then get’s to work on my face. She gently removes my make-up and cleansed my skin using the Foaming Cleanser and a soft warm towel. Then applied the Deep Exfoliating Mask for 5 mins, this really gets to work on your skin it does feel very tingly and is almost like a facial peel. Next for the masks, for treating my skin type she applied the Skin Perfecting Mask on my t-zone area and Rose de Vie Hydration Mask on my cheeks for 20 mins.

While the masks do their thing on my face Tine offers a neck, shoulders, arms and hand massage using the Supreme Maintenance Body Cream. It is absolute bliss all my stress and worries are floating away as her magic hands massage me and I forget I’m in the middle of busy London.

It’s time to remove the masks with warm soft flannels then Tine performs Lymphatic Drainage using Rose de Vie Serum on my face, neck and decollete. Lymphatic Drainage is about removing waste through your lymph nodes and eyes look less puffy too.

Next is a “Facial Workout” using the Supreme Maintenance Serum, Tine’s technique is the best I’ve had, she’s brilliant! Now for my eye area Tine works on my pressure points and performs lymphatic drainage in this area using Supreme Eye Serum, the product has a ball on the end where it dispenses onto your skin and feels so cooling and refreshing.

To tighten and brighten my complexion Tine applies Serum Repair mixed with Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream, then gently applies High Maintenance Cream and Sun-City SPF 30 Protection (very important) and finishes with Supreme Neck Lift on my neck and decollete.

And the results? Oh wow my skin is radiant, healthy looking and plumped up taking a few years off me…I’m all set now to get dressed and do my hair and make-up for the hair event. By the way my make-up went on like a dream.

During the treatment Tine gently talks through each step and gives you lots of beauty tips and advice and also talks about nutrition and how  to look after the gut and eat food from the “Rainbow Diet” sharing a few quick, simple delicious recipes. She also talks about being positive and happy.

Tine has travelled the world teaching her techniques for Dr Perricone, Nubo and Ole Henriksen to name a few and has worked in the most luxurious locations and has a few celebrity client’s too (she never reveals their names) she will kill me for mentioning!!! lol

I highly recommend the Dr Sebagh Signature Facial, if you are a regular reader you will already know I’m a big fan and use Dr Sebagh products in my daily routine. You can book at Liberty London here event days are £50 redeemable against two products. Here’s a quick look at the effective products that were used in my facial:

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Have you tried any of the Dr Sebagh products or had a facial with them, I’d love to hear your experiences?

Secondblonde x

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Summer Sales Luxury Fashion Finds at High Street Prices!

I don’t normally post about fashion but since I’ve been working in fashion retail I felt I should share with you some of my experiences. Spending my summer days working in London’s iconic boutique store Liberty London has it’s perks.

Not only do I get to purchase items at sale/clearance price I’m also privileged to receive my staff discount on top! How cool is that! Here’s a little snapshot of my amazing finds…

Women’s Hide Label Suede Biker Jacket in black was £340 I paid £95!  
 
Phillip Lim black silk embellished dress cut on the bias. Was £515 I paid £48!  
Men’s Christopher Kane neon yellow hoodie was £350 I paid £27! 
 

Hope you enjoyed this post, what bargains have you found this summer?

Secondblonde x