Beauty Christmas Gifts Ideas 2017 | secondblonde

Christmas is just weeks away so time to start thinking about gifts. Luxury beauty gifts are always a good idea. Here’s my top 4 picks for skincare, body care, hair care and perfume and candles ranging from £6 – £105 to suit every budget.

FullSizeRender (43)Sarah Chapman Skinesis Multi Award wining products. Sarah is an A list celebrity facialist with her state of art chic clinic based in Pavilion Road Chelsea. OVERNIGHT FACIAL 15ml £49.00 Transforming night-time serum/oil for lifting and firming – wake up to plumper, smoother rejuvenated skin. INTENSE HYDRATING BOOSTER 30ml £59 Lightweight silky formula comforts dehydrated, stressed, parched unbalanced skin. Say hello to dewy refreshed cushioned skin with fewer fine lines. Shop here

FullSizeRender (44)Charles Worthington EVERYDAY GENTLE MICELLAR SHAMPOO 250ml £5.99 & WEIGHTLESS CONDITIONER 250ml £5.99 Perfect for fine hair for everyday washing without stripping or causing colour fade. Contains a micellar cleansing system fragranceLock technology for long-lasting all day fragrance, not to mention silicone & sulphate free. Shop here

FullSizeRender (41)Sanctuary Spa BODY WASH 250ml £6.00 Awaken your senses with a burst of sumptuously aromatic cleansing. Infused with essential oils and jojoba beads (microbead free) Leaves your skin feeling moisturised. WET SKIN MIRACLE 200ml £8.00 A unique and time saving way to moisturise applied to wet skin to lock in hydration. Ultra light and non-greasy infused with apricot and avocado oil. Keeps you moisturised all day. Both products have long-lasting fragrance technology and are Vegan Friendly. Shop here

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Diptyque Anything form this French perfume house established in 1961 is a winner! TUBEREUSE SCENTED CANDLE 70g £24.00 Creates a sensual luscious fragrance with white flower and tubereuse. Burns evenly, you can up cycle the beautiful glass jar. DO SON EAU de PARFUM 75ml £105 It’s Divinely mysterious unveils it’s powers of seduction – Tuberose, orange leaves, pink peppercorns and musk. Shop here

So that’s it my Beauty Christmas Gift Idea’s for 2017 indulgence for your face, body, hair and seductive perfume for your senses. Happy Shopping everyone! 

*all images are my own – no affiliate links included – some products are PR samples.

FrezyDerm Moisturizing Rich Cream | secondblonde

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I've fallen in love with the FrezyDerm brand lately, after loving the velvet technology second skin sun screen I couldn't wait to try one of the face creams. This is moisturiser is age specific for over 45's (i'm not quite there yet) or for very dry or dehydrated skin.

The packaging is the same as the sun screen I reviewed read it here if you missed it. I really like it. I use the cream in the morning, you can use it morning and night however I prefer to use face oils at night. I've been applying this cream in the morning after cleansing and applying my face serum but before my tinted moisturiser.

I only need a couple of pumps, it'a a pump dispenser which is lockable by twisting the lid. The cream is white and of a medium texture. It smells really nice – like a traditional face cream (takes me back to smelling the lotions/potions my glamorous Nanny Gladys would apply) It moves around my face with ease and is very quickly absorbed. My skin is instantly hydrated without looking or feeling greasy.

It contains 2 types of hyaluronic acid | Normal moisturizing factors (NMF) | Fish collagen: Prolonged hydration Tetrapeptide – 9 | Isoflavones: Anti-ageing treatment | Improvement of post-menopausal skin Avocado oil | Crambe Abyssinica Oil |  Emollient esters: Enhancement of the hydrolipid film

It's recommended as best for dry and dehydrated skin/mature skin 45+/post-menopause skin. Although I'm 42 I think my skin needs are dry/dehydrated.

I am really happy with this moisturiser, my skin really likes it and it's great 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, It promises over time to increase firmness and density, skin repairing, anti-wrinkle effect and I have no doubt that it will deliver on all of these promises.

It's reasonably priced at £19.99 for 50ml for more details go here I will definitely re-purchase this face cream, it's a great edition to my skin care routine.

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream | secondblonde

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I’ve been using this Reviving Eye Cream by Omorovicza for a few months now and as far as eye creams go, I’m really really happy with the results.

The Ormorovicza story is a beautiful one as the founders Stephen and Margaret found the Budapest ancient spa’s Moor Mud as well as Love – read their story here. Margaret is such a lovely woman beautiful on the inside and outside – I was lucky enough to meet and chat with her and tell her how much I loved her cleansing balm while I worked in Liberty Beauty. She was so inspiring.

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Being a luxurious brand it comes boxed – the detail of the inside of the box is cute. The bottle is frosted glass with the description and logo in silver. The pump applicator perfectly dispenses the correct amount of product which you can twist shut. It feels very comfortable in my hand to use, the size is 15ml which I’ve been using every morning for a few months and only used a quarter of the product.

On to the product itself, it’s a very light cream which absorbs into the skin really quickly. Great for me as I use it every morning so I’m often rushing. I use two pumps which I divide between both under eye area’s tapping in from corner to corner – any excess I tap it over my eyelids.

It smells of fresh cucumbers – don’t let that put you off as it’s very subtle and natural with no synthetic ingredients. It contains Vitamin K which reduces dark circles, arnica to reduce puffiness. Hazelnut peptides for a plumping effect and firmer skin. It’s powered by a potent blend of Hungary’s mineral-rich healing waters and their patented Hydro Mineral Transference™ delivery system. This is combined with the finest vitamins, essential oils and natural ingredients sourced from across the globe.

The results are amazing. It wakes up my tired eye’s in the morning in particular when I have puffy hay fever eyes. Although it is very light it 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!

I would highly recommend this eye cream, it is quite pricey so it will be a beauty splurge buy but in my opinion worth every penny. Actually when you breakdown the cost daily it’s about 28p per application which now no longer sounds pricey at all!

Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream 15ml £80 here

Secondblonde x

Bath & Unwind Mayday 10% off first order | secondblonde

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What better way to start your May Bank Holiday with some online retail therapy. Bath & Unwind have so many fabulous luxury beauty brands from body, hair, skincare to makeup. They carry so many of my favourites.

Use a new discount code click here to receive 10% off your first order, just type in discount code MAYDAY at checkout. Plus free delivery over £40.

The only problem you have now is deciding what you are going to treat yourself to.

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

Review | Magnitone London Barefaced! Vibra-Sonic Daily Cleansing Brush

Facial cleansing brushes seem to get good and bad press. This will be the first I’ve tried so I don’t have a comparison. I guess they are a bit like marmite, you either love them or hate them. One brand that seems to get a lot of attention in the beauty blogging world is MAGN!TONE LONDON will I be a barefaced Vibra-Sonic cleansing convert? Here’s my review of the Limited Edition “Precious Collection” brush in glittery gold.

The instructions upon opening the box are very easy to follow and clearly labeled on the packaging of what does what. Inside the box you receive:

  • Magnitone Barefaced Vibra-Sonic Face Brush
  • Active Clean Brush Head
  • Wireless USB Charger (clever magnetic charger looks like a pebble)
  • Splash Proof Travel Bag
  • 12-month Warranty
  • MyMagnitone Membership Card

It’s 100% waterproof so I can use in the shower which is really convenient. I use it with a wash off cleanser (you can use an oil however it’s then harder to clean the brush after use) You wet the brush, apply your cleanser to your face or brush – I prefer applying to my face. Press the button once for a daily cleanse, press twice for PulseLift toning.

This clever device times 1 minute so you will not use for longer than your skin requires. All you need to do is gently glide the brush over your face with no pressure and let the brush do all the work. The PulseLift is like a mini workout leaving your skin plumped like you’ve had a facial massage. Then rinse dry your face as usual.

My skin feels super clean, looks brighter and a little plumper after using this brush, my pores even look less visible after a few uses. so it does deliver on its promises. Although you can use daily I prefer to use a few times a week. My skin can be sensitive in particular in winter months. This brush is however super soft and not scratchy at all and feels really nice on my skin, you can buy additional brushes they do do a sensitive one too which I may need to invest in.

All in all, I think that this is a nice addition to my cleansing routine and would recommend this brand to anyone considering purchasing a facial cleansing brush.

So the answer is yes! I am a barefaced Vibra-Sonic daily cleansing brush convert.

Secondblonde x