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 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

 

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

New Monday + New Week = New Goals | secondblonde

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I try to start each week with new goals and I don’t mean bigger picture life changing goals I just mean I try and start each week with a fresh focus no matter how big or small the goal is. Although working in retail your days/weeks can get a bit jumbled I still stick to Monday as the best day to set myself a personal or professional target.

The target could be a mundane one such as a household task like clearing out/tidying up an area of the house you’ve been putting off, which when it’s done is satisfyingly rewarding. It may be a personal  goal like setting more time aside for yourself or to start a new hobby or catch up with family or a friend you’ve been meaning to make time for. Or it could be dealing with your finances and searching for better deals saving you money annually that can go towards another goal! You get the picture. Whatever you decide to do set yourself a realistic goal. Plan it, write it down and stick to it! It doesn’t have to be complicated just a simple list will do and tick it off as you achieve it…seeing the results can be quite rewarding and give a sense if achievement with a positive impact to do more.

This week my focus is my beauty blog and social media platforms I manage- I’ve been so busy with “life” I’ve somehow neglected my passion but now I’ve set myself some goals my blogging mojo is back!

What are your personal goals this week?

Secondblonde x

I’m Cheating on MAC Ruby Woo with NARS Mysterious Red | secondblonde

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If you know me or read my posts you know I wear a matte red lip on a daily basis and have been wearing Ruby Woo by Mac for at least 5 years, it’s kinda become my signature colour. The beauty hall I work in is full of fabulous brands so recently I decided it was time to explore new alternatives to my beloved Ruby Woo. With my loyalty voucher to redeem my first stop is the NARS counter…I decided to go for one of their new (well new to me) Velvet Matte Lip Pencil’s.

The Promise The idea of this product is that you still get the application of a lipstick but with the convenience of a pencil in a jumbo crayon design. The colour is very pigmented, the texture is a  velvety matte finish. It’s formula promises a creamy texture as it has unique silicones which ensure long lasting colour and it’s enriched with vitamin E.

Results I’ve been wearing this lip colour for about four weeks, I love the colour it’s a retro kind of red just how I like it. The fact it’s a jumbo pencil is really easy to use, I do still use a lip liner otherwise I find it bleeds a little (but hey that may just be my age) The colour is really intense and stays put all day with a top after eating. The creamy texture feels great on my lips and they certainly look more hydrated while being matte. The only downside in my opinion is that I think this will not last as long as a traditional lipstick as I need to sharpen it quite often.

Summary I’m definitely a convert…sorry Ruby Woo! I will be re-purchasing. Check out NARS here £20

What NARS lip products have you tried? would love to hear your experiences.

Secondblonde x

 

6 Beauty Tips For Summer Ready Skin 2016 | secondblonde

Oh how we all long for those long summer days and nights but what about prepping your skin so it looks it’s best when you bare all after being wrapped up in winter clothes and boots. Here are my straight talking no fuss simple tips:

1) DRINK WATER yes I know you’ve heard it a million times, water keeps your skin hydrated and also helps transport necessary nutrients keeping you healthy and energised. *if like me you find it difficult to drink lots of water you will love my tip #4


2) TAKE SUPPLEMENTS in the form of organic 100% natural healthy powders. Life is busy and sometimes we aren’t eating a balanced diet, I know I don’t most of the time. These powders such as baobab, morninga and spirulina can be added to prorridge, yoghurt and smoothies. I’ve started taking a baobab powder and I instantly feel energised and don’t have a mid morning slump anymore!

3) REVAMP your make-up bag. Start with a big de-clutter, take out any impulse buys you aren’t using and keep your staples. Add a few summer essentials such as a new lip shade and a bronzer.

image: milknheels.com

4) WATERMELON if you find it difficult to drink plenty of water like I do try snaking on watermelon in the summer months to up your water intake.


5) GET SCRUBBING wake up your skin with a salt scrub to soften skin and rid of dry patches such as elbows, knees and feet. When the sun is out and so are you limbs your skin will look healthy and glowy.

Image: sproutinghealthyhabits.com

6) TREAT YOUR FEET do a DIY treatment before bed. Remove thickened skin with a foot file, apply a rich foot cream or dry oil, cover in a plastic wrap then put cotton socks on. In the morning you will have baby soft feet ready to paint your toenails. Continue this at least once a week if you can for happy sandal worthy feet!

So that’s it folks! my 6 easy beauty tips getting your skin summer ready. What do you do to prepare for summer or a beach holiday?

Secondblonde x 

Beauty Blogging Tips For Beginners | secondblonde

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FIND YOUR NICHE What is it about beauty that you you love, find your niche maybe you enjoy painting your nails and have beautiful hands-you can focus on hand/nails. Or perhaps you are passionate about skincare. I’m not saying you can only blog about one type of product,  I’m saying find your own niche so your blog can be truly you.

STYLE & IMAGERY Try to stand out! it’s ok to be inspired by other blogger’s but don’t be tempted to copy anyone. You must stay true to you, start thinking about the theme of your blog layout and the style of photo’s you will take. You can use backdrops and props but keep it simple and in keeping with your personality and why you have chosen to start blogging, then it will be unique to you.

READERS Think about who will read your blog, try to make your content specific to your audience. You may be blogging about beauty in your teens so therefore will need to write in a style that is appealing to that age group.

COMMITMENT Be prepared to put aside a lot of your spare time, blogging looks easy and very glamorous, the truth is it takes up a lot of time, passion and commitment – it’s almost like having a second part-time unpaid job!

FOLLOWERS This surely doesn’t happen overnight, trust me I’ve been blogging for 5 years years. Make sure you are in it for the long haul, after you put in the effort you will see your followers and post hits grow.

FREE STUFF If you start a blog as you think lot’s of companies or PR agency’s will contact you and send you FREE beauty products then think again! If this is the reason you are starting a blog then don’t bother. Your blog will never have the passion and therefore will not have your personality/tone of voice and not be unique.

DOMAINE NAME As a start-up theres no reason for you to spend any money, you can host your blog for free on platforms like blogger or wordpress. I started with blogger and moved to wordpress a few years later. I didn’t invest in my domaine name secondblonde.com until last year, previously I was secondblonde.wordpress.com it was kind of a milestone present to myself. I also felt ready to step it up a little and start promoting myself without feeling shy about it.

EQUIPMENT You don’t need anything fancy, I still use an iphone to take my photo’s and just started doing videos on my iphone for my new YouTube Channel subscribe here I also rely on natural daylight for my images and videos. It does determine when I can shoot however it’s the cheapest and easiest option.

HOW OFTEN SHALL I POST There’s no wrong or right answer here. It will depend on what free time you have around your job/family life etc My only advice is to keep it consistent for example if you blog once a week then stick to it, even better if you can choose the same day of the week for it to go out. Your readers will get into a pattern and check back to see what’s new. When it becomes irregular they stop bothering to come back. *TIP schedule your blog posts in advance (you can choose the date and time it goes out) if you know you will be too busy on the day they normally go out.

MONETISE YOUR BLOG There are lot’s of ways to monetise your blog like using paid adverts or being an affiliate and earning commission if someone purchases a product via your link. I suggest you don’t worry about these things yet as they only accept applicants that meet their stats requirements like number of followers/traffic etc I’m only starting to explore these avenues now and have yet to make my first penny!

NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK This should be an obvious one, make sure you are active on social media. I use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It’s advisable that you have the same name on your platforms so you are easy to find and with the same themes/logos/profile pics etc Don’t be shy to promote yourself on all of these platforms, after all if you don’t shout out about it then how will anyone read your posts! Starting off sharing it with family/friends is a good way to gain confidence and give you a boost when they have positive feedback – also they will be really honest which is always a good thing.

THERE YOU GO! GET OUT THERE, GET INSPIRED AND GET BLOGGING….

I hope you have found his post useful, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. You can also leave your links in the comments below, I always love to see new talent.

Good Luck

Secondblonde x

Beauty Trials: What I am Currently Testing

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Working in beauty I get to try/test out products. Some I have purchased, some are samples given after training sessions and some I’ve earned by winning sales incentives…lucky girl I am indeed.

Here’s a little look at some of the fantastic products I’m currently trying out, I would love to hear your feedback of these brands and products you may have tried or love. All of these are available in store where I work or online, I’ve added direct links below so you can read product overviews about them and view price points etc…

Korres Jasmine Shower Gel & Body Milk click here

Bamford Botanic Body Oil & Pebble Soap click here

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm & Balancing Moisturiser click here

de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm & Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate click here

Aveda Stress Fix Body Cream click here

Nars Blusher and Velvet Matte Skin click here

Results coming soon…

Secondblonde x

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The Day I met Votary Founder Arabella Preston

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Votary launched last September and lucky me it’s exclusive at work Liberty Beauty Hall

The range is all plant based ingredients, in addition to their performance the smell of each one plays an important part too, it’s a whole experience. The Face Oils have different qualities and effects on the skin but also can be up-lifting or calming, or you can just choose one to suit your mood! The Cleansing oil is rose, geranium and apricot, oh you have to come ad smell this beautiful range in stunning green glass bottles with their rose gold labels just to believe how special they look and feel.

If you follow Caroline Hirons  you are probably familiar with these products, Caroline added the Cleansing Oil to her “most used products of 2015” view here

I haven’t had the chance to try out this fabulous range of face oils, cleansing oil or their newest addition the toning serum yet but they are high on my WISH LIST (full review coming soon)

I did however get to spend the whole day assisting Arabella (founder) at an event at work, she’s so lovely and funny, we did have a little giggle… and of course very knowledgeable about skin care and make-up (we also know a few industry people in common) I felt completely privileged to hear all her skin/make-up tips first hand. Ever since I’m using a little trick she recommended when you “flannel off” your cleanser and I’ve started adding a little eye-liner to my upper lid water line for a subtle look to make your eye’s pop, one of Arabella’s many make-up tips. Her favourite make-up brands include Hourglass, Bobbi Brown, Nars and Mac.

Here’s a pic from Arabella’s instagram the day she was at Liberty, did I mention how pretty she is too, her legs go on for miles, she’s like a model.

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To find out more about Votary have a read here and next time you are in town pop into Liberty Beauty Hall on ground floor to check them out and get expert advice.

I’d love to hear your experience’s with Votary.

Secondblonde x

 

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy (longwear nail enamel)

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This revlon nail polish has been knocking around in my nail polish drawer for yonks! I was given it as a PR sample and as much as I appreciated it, it wasn’t my normal choice of colour as it’s a strong teal with a slight shimmer of silver gliter. I forgot about it until today…

It’s mani monday and it’s freezing cold outside, while I take off my berry coloured polish I delve around in my drawer for a colour I’ve not worn in a while when I spot this again.

It’s a longwear polish (will report back on that later in the week) which mimic’s the coverage and pigmentation of a gel polish. It’s quite thick however really easy to apply. The brush is wide and flat which I thought would be tricky to get my polish to the sides but it was actually easier. The two coats of polish went on evenly, I would even go as far to say the applicaion almost looks professional.

I’m really impressed with the results and will have a look at other shades in the range. I haven’t bought a revlon polish since the early 1990’s if I’m honest, the last one I got was Revlon Nail Enamel in Pink Nude (still available) which was the Essie Sugar Daddy of it’s time.

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It states that you do not need a base coat however I still used one because the colour of the polish is so dark. I finished with a top coat (not pictured) and massaged cuticle oil on my cuticles.

I’m surprised how much I like this colour, it suits my skin tone and is really fresh after all the christmay red shades. The subtle metallic glitter in it is also quite nice giving it added sparkle if you look really closely. I hate shimmery polishes and love glitter but find glitter polishes are a bummer to remove so this is a perfect compromise.

Have you used any of Revlon’s Colorstay Gel Envy nail polishes? I would love to hear about them and your experiences.

Secondblonde x