My Favorite Night Balm – C.O Bigelow 8 hour overnight recovery lip treatment | secondblonde

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This overnight treatment by C.O Bigelow NY is my lips new best friend and my favourite lip balm. I discovered this amazing lip balm a few months ago and recommend it to anyone looking for a new lip balm or anyone that suffers from dry lips. It’s a non-sticky lip treatment that stays put on your lips for 8 hours…yes it really does!

It contains shea butter and has a very slight vanilla scent, the texture is nice and thick but never gloopy. I normally apply it to my lips before bed and wake up to nourished smooth plumped lips. What I really love about it is that even after 8 hours it is still fresh on your lips as if you’ve just applied it. I also find that my lipstick goes on better and stays put longer after using this balm.

If you are looking for a new lip balm you must try this one or any of the other C.O Bigelow balms available at Liberty Beauty Hall. I also have the Mentha Lip Shine/Breath Freshener that contains 100% natural mint and the Mentha Lip Balm Stick that’s a matte finish with an spf  all of which I use on different occasions because they do what they say they will do…honest | genuine | trustworthy Apothecaries.

C.O. Bigelow was established in New York in 1838 providing healing remedies. As the oldest surviving apothecary in America, today the brand fuses a wealth of experience with the best in modern technology to create authentic herbal skin care, lip balms, hair care, body and bath products.  

Secondblonde x

Find Out Why Davines Aftersun SU/Hair Mask will see me into the winter months | secondblonde

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Summer may be well and truly over. British Summer Time has officially come to an end with the clocks going back yesterday giving us an extra hour in bed! However this SU/Hair Mask by Davines just keeps on giving…

It’s an aftersun mask that doubles up as an anti-ageing treatment for all hair types, win win. It replaces moisture and leaves your hair soft and shiny. The smell is a floral, fruity, woody fragrance which is very lovely – to me it smells like sweets. Apply to your hair after shampooing, it’s light enough to use from roots to tips if you wish. It will do it’s stuff between 5-15 minutes depending on your hair needs. I pretty much use mine on a regular basis and only need to leave it on 5 mins in the shower while I cleanse my face and wash my body.

SU/hair mask contain natural active ingredients: Chinotto (from Savona) anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory action and Shea Butter for a nourishing effect.

You may be wondering what anti-ageing has got to do with hair care? Well when your hair is longer it means it’s older hair, so most of us that have medium or long hair have hair that’s a few years old – therefore it needs a lot more nourishment to keep it manageable and healthy looking just like skin does.

Summary I love this mask as it’s quick and easy to use in the toothpaste style packaging, it’s very nourishing but also very light so it  doesn’t weigh down my fine hair yet moisturising enough to prevent my hair getting static and flyaway. I started using it at the end of August and still have loads left. It’s a great product that will probably see me through to the end of the year and really good value at £19.30 for 150ml here

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

Secondblonde x

 

 

Bamford Botanic Nurture Balm | secondblonde

 

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Whenever my skin needs a little TLC I reach for my little pot of Botanic Nurture Balm. If you aren’t familiar with this brand read my review here of their body wash/cream which includes a quick background on this English heritage brand.

This beautiful pot of botanical balm is a nourishing Shea Butter containing healing arnica with omega-rich rosehip oil. It’s a nutrient – intense balm great for dry skin/patches. It’s ingredients is 100% organic and is scented with notes of chamomile, lavender (not strong) and tea tree oil.  Key Ingredients Shea butter . sunflower oil . jojoba oil . rosehip oil . olive oil . lavender oil . geranium oil . chamomile oil . tea tree oil . arnica Montana extract.

Summary I tend to use mine in the winter months when my skin plays up due to colder air outside and central heating inside. I like to apply it to spot area’s such as my heels/ankles, elbows, knees and any other small rough patches.

The texture is much what you’d expect from a solid balm, once warmed in your palms it softens and sinks into your skin quickly. It does leave a balmy residue as expected however it’s not overly greasy. The smell is wonderfully delicate as it’s all natural and organic.

I can really smell the geranium and chamomile above all the other ingredients and find it really soothing and moisturising  on my skin and also really calming and relaxing for my mind. It’s a little moment of calm while you are massaging it in. I like to massage it into my cuticles then cup my hands over my nose and breathe in for a few seconds to inhale the aromas…..ah bliss! I also use mine to heal and calm skin problems like little patches of eczema.

*Top Tip it’s also great for your hair to calm flyaway’s  – after use  on your skin smooth the remains on your palms over your hair, particularly the ends.

This is certainly a luxury product at £22  for 60ml however as a little goes a long way, mine seems to be lasting forever.

Secondblonde x

Magic Multi-Purpose Oil; Goe Oil 85g |secondblonde

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I’ve completely fallen in love with Goe Oil by Jao Brand. It’s a 100% natural semi-solid all over body oil that turns to a liquid when slightly warmed between your hands, it smells gorgeous as it is lightly scented with Monoi Tiare from Tahiti.

What’s in it? It contains 28 plant, fruit, flower oils & butters as follows…

Jojoba Butter, Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Avocado Butter, Grape Seed Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Soy Lecithin, Pumpkin Seed Butter, Mango Butter, Cupuacu Butter, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter, Hemp Seed Oil, Kukuinut Oil, Chamomile Oil, Beeswax, Calendula Oil, Essential Oils, Tocopherol, Vitamin E, Acetate, Rosemary Extra

It’s a multi-tasking product you can use from head to toe, their tagline on their packaging is “HANDS. HAIR. BODY & SOUL” which couldn’t be more true.

Verdict It keeps my skin soft and hydrated all day and is also great for spot applying on dry patches. Some use it as an intensive hair mask which I think will suit very course/curly or frizzy hair which soaks up moisture like a sponge. I tend to use a very tiny amount on dry hair to tame my fly-aways.

* Watch my YouTube review of Goe Oil here

Summary I love this product and already have my second tube ready to go. It costs £35 so it’s not cheap however well worth every penny and a very little goes a long long way, you can buy your here

A customer I recommended it to at work came back two weeks later to personally thank me as she had received so many compliments on the overall look of her skin and being asked “what are you wearing” due to the soft scent. She also has long luscious ringlet naturally curly hair and this has defined her curls making her hair look healthier and shiny. This feedback made my day!

Jao Brand have been kind enough to send me their lip-balm and skin cream to try out what a lucky girl I am! keep posted for my review of them soon.

Thank you for reading, let me know if you’ve tried this oil or any similar as I’d love to hear from you.

Secondblonde x

 

Review: Creamy Almond Body Butter 200ml

After my Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Body Butter finished review here I was on the look out for an Almond Body Butter at a lower price point. One afternoon browsing the body care shelves at Boots I stumbled across this…almond body butter
Hmmm it looked promising I immediately removed the lid to smell it and see theconsistency of the butter. It did smell good for a £6 body butter so I decided to throw it in my basket and give it a whirl.

As I applied this thick butter it felt very creamy without being greasy which is great when you are in a rush in the mornings and need to get dressed as soon as you’ve finished applying.

The smell is lovely however as soon as you’ve applied you can’t smell it anymore 😦 this I find disappointing as the Laura Mercier Body Butter last’s and last’s and I constantly get stopped at work throughout the day to be asked “what are you wearing you smell lovely” I shouldn’t compare this as the price points are completely different.

All in all this is a nice body butter that does it’s job and keeps my skin feeling hydrated throughout the day. I wouldn’t rush to re-purchase (sorry boots) however I will enjoy using it all up.

What Boots Extract Fairtrade beauty products have you tested?

Secondblonde x IMG_0122

WHIPPED CLEAN Shower gel and Body Butter all in one – smells good enough to eat! 

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This Whipped Clean Luxe Cream Wash and Shower Butter all in one does not disappoint. A shower butter that’s so thick and creamy it feels luxurious on your skin and smells oh so good!

With 25% moisture oils and butters it’s so moisturising leaving your skin hydrated and smooth with no residue but fresh clean soft skin. I do not feel the need to moisturise after cleansing with this product, it’s a great time saver for early mornings before work.

The vital ingredients include cocoa, shea butters, grapeseed, sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, oh and the added scent of pistachio, almond and sweet vanilla which is why it smells good enough to eat!

It arrived in my Soap and Glory Hattie Stewart designed Christmas Gift Box, I’ve only just gotten round to using it. A little product on a bath sponge goes a long way, it’s great value at  £8 250ml I would repurchase it, take a look here soap and glory. I do love a bit of S&G pampering, how about you?

Secondblonde x

Best Budget Cleanser – L’ORÉAL PARiS AGE PERFECT Cleansing Milk 200ml

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2015/03/img_8708.jpgAge Perfect is designed for mature skin, but don’t let that put you off as it can be used on anyone!

The Promise:
Skin is perfectly cleansed, looks clearer and feels smoother. The milk leaves your skin soft and comfortable and skin looks fresh and revitalised. Helps reduce signs of fatigue and smooths mature skin and hydrates with moisture.

The Science Bit:
Enriched with Vitamin C and Magnesium Age Perfect Cleansing Milk exfoliates, smooths and re-invigorates the skin. Deeply cleanses gently removing impurities such as pollution and makeup without drying the skin. Also contains Shea Butter.

My Verdict:
I’m not a huge fan of “milk” cleansers they remind me of products my mum would use when I was a kid like ponds cold cream (they were all the rage back then) I’ve surprised myself that I quite liked this cleanser. It smells fresh and slightly florally it glides on in one swoosh on a cotton ball and that’s it! No need to rinse off.

It does the job well removing all the impurities, I use a separate eye makeup remover for stubborn mascara or eye liner.

It leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh with absolutely no residue or oiliness, my skin feels so comfortable I could apply my moisturiser straight after. I prefer to use a toner as I like the coolness that seems to wake my skin up in the morning! (Even though I now know from Sali Hughes book Pretty Honest that toners aren’t actually doing anything to the skin, they’re just a personal choice and no more than pretty smelling water)

My skin has been quite clear while using this, it definitely feels comfortable and smooth. Does it reduce signs of fatigue? That I’m not sold on however I do overall like this cleanser and the results of it’s performance have matched up to its promise!

Summary:
I’ve really enjoyed using this product and find it to be brilliant considering it’s budget price tag! It’s always on offer too at various drugstores or supermarkets. Currently on offer for a mere £2.99 instead of £4.99 here

Heaven in a Jar! Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Soufflé Body Crème

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IMG_8833.PNGThis is most definitely heaven in a jar! On first look/smell I thought it was going to be overpowering and sickly, but I was so wrong!

The Promise:
Inspired by the comforting scent of almond and coconut, this ultra-whipped scented soufflé body crème provides luxurious all-day moisture protection without being too heavy or greasy. Vitamins A, C and E are included for nourishment and Shea Butter for moisturising. This Laura Mercier Crème gives the skin optimum moisture levels.

The Science Bit:
Grape Seed and Rice Bran Oil condition the skin while Vanilla Extract and Honey offer soothing benefits. Sweet Almond and Hydrolyzed Rice Proteins, along with Pro-Vitamin B-5 provide moisture balance and protection. For skin that deserves the ultimate luxury, indulge in this luscious Body Crème.

My Verdict:
I love the packaging, the glass jar looks great on show in my bathroom. The consistency is whipped and thick , easy to apply and absorbs into the skin really well without any heaviness or greasiness leaving my skin perfectly moisturised for the whole day.

The smell is delicious and apparently inspired by that of a French Patisserie, the sweet aroma almond and coconut are warming and lifting, it really calms my senses and puts me in a “feel good” mood.

My skin is nourished and moisturised and give it a smooth luxurious feel. The perfume isn’t overpowering in my opinion however when I’ve applied this Crème I skip my spritz of perfume to avoid a clash!

Some save their best creams for moisturising just arms and legs and use a budget option for the rest of the body but I just can’t help applying it all over as it feels and smells so good.

Summary:
I’ve fallen in love with this ridiculously luxurious little pot Body Crème. The only downside is the price tag, it’s quite an indulgent luxury but so worth every penny!

This 150ml is part of a box set, you can purchase an individual 300ml jar at £45 purchase yours here

secondblonde x

My Favourite Sun Protection Kit – Summer 2014

Riemann P20 has been a favourite of mine since I discovered it a few years ago after finding a bottle at my parents villa, they’ve sworn by it for years, now I always pick mine up at the airport at duty free!

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I usually start with SPF 30 for the first day or two, then move down to SPF 15 for the duration for the holiday (except for the last day I switch to a low SPF bronzing oil )
Riemann P20 spray is a quick drying clear liquid with no smell and is very easy to use and does exactly what it claims to do. Once a day application, very very water resistant, no white marks and 10 hours solid protection. Perfect protection for a day of sun and swimming without the hassle of keep reapplying cream.

An oldie but goodie Ambre Solaire golden Touch Oil SPF 10 I usually buy one while on holiday as it’s quite cheap in Turkey.

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I always finish my last 2 or so days with a bronzing oil, this oil contains Shea butter for a satin touch finish to your skin, the oil helps to protect your tan whilst protecting you from UVA rays. The smell is the pleasurable monoi fragrance we all know and relate to holiday sun. The spray is easy to use and the oil soaks in well so it doesn’t leave a greasy residue. It also makes you pins look fab once tanned glistening in the sunshine!

You do need to reapply a couple of times but with the smell of this one it’s no hardship as you can’t get enough of it! I can smell it now just thinking about it, cocktail in one hand, book in the other hand……dreamy

Finally I always carry a sunblock stick, you know the kind that looks like a LipBalm, I use this on my nose, cheek bones, lips and ears. This year I picked one up at the airport in boots (I didn’t take a photo of it)
I went for the Soltan Active SPF 30 with the highest UVA protection.
It’s sweat resistant and non pore blocking, un perfumed so perfect for most skin types. It’s my secret to not looking like Rudolph the red nose reindeer in photo’s taken at night time on holiday!

Hope you enjoyed reading about my sun survival kit, what do you guys use, what are your favourite brands?

Secondblonde x

Butter me up!

A good all round Body Butter, a bit if an old classic that really works. Palmers Cocoa Butter Formular has been around since the middle of the 19th century but under its current ownership since 1971, we all seem to have memories of this cocoa Formular mainly down to it’s rich cocoa smell.

20130707-145707.jpg This concentrated Formular derived from the cocoa bean also contains Vitamin E.

20130707-145950.jpg The cream is satisfyingly thick and creamy with a rich chocolatey aroma you either Love or hate.

20130707-150214.jpg It’s easily applied and obsorbes really well with no sticky residue. Even though the level of moisture is high the finish is matt (there are glossy versions available) personally I love the smell and do not find it over powering, more comforting. If you dislike the smell Palmers have a fragrance free version and also a line of olive oil based products, a coconut oil line and a Shea butter line.

20130707-151025.jpg This handy 60g tube is great on the go in your handbag and it’s a really good after sun moisturiser, or perfect in winter for dry elbows/knees.

20130707-151325.jpg All in all I do like a bit of Palmers Cocoa Butter from time to time but have to say if I was to use it daily I fear I would get sick of the smell. I use it occasionally or use it on my knees elbows ankles and between my fingers before I apply a gradual tanning product.

Palmers have a very wide range of skin care from basic moisturisation to glistening glosses to gradual tans, and it doesn’t stop there they have a whole facial skin care range too.

Palmers are also PARABEN FREE and against Animal Testing.

Rediscover your old favorites here