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.


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


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:


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

Secondblonde x


Review: original source raspberry and cocoa shower 

Do you remember when Original Source first hit our shelves with their Mint, Lemon or Lime shower gels? I was a teenager back then and thought they were the best thing ever!

Today it’s not my usual choice to shower with but this caught my eye on the supermarket shelf, one sniff and it was in my trolley! 


The packaging is pretty much the same clean lines, clear labeling with a funky edge. So let’s get to the most important the scent… It smells of just what it says if does: raspberry and chocolate, mmmm smells good enough to eat! 

The gel is a bright raspberry colour on your skin which in my opinion isn’t the most attractive looking. When I squeeze out a swirl on my sponge it reminds me of a Swiss roll cake! 

The formular is vegan and does it’s job of cleansing your skin really well with lots of foam leaving your skin squeaky clean and fresh. I prefer a luxurious feeling creamy cleanser with less foam that leaves your skin feeling hydrated.

The scent of this sweet seductive shower gel is most definitely it’s selling point. It’s tempting to try out all others in the range specially with such a low price point however, I’ve decided that it doesn’t really suit my skins needs. 

I picked mine up with my weekly food shop, they are always on offer in supermarkets or drugstores. You can purchase here

Have you tried any of the intense new versions? I’ve just read that they have a new all-in-one moisturising shower gel on offer.

Secondblonde x  

6 Minute Daily Face 

Your morning face routine should be just that, a routine like brushing your teeth! We all tend to think “I don’t have time” well make the time. I’m talking about 6 mins of fuss free care that will make a BIG difference to your skins appearance and feel now and long term.

1. Cleanse with a “non-foaming” cleanser. Any good quality cleanser will do the job. The crucial part is using the hot cloth method (not cotton wool) Use an old fashioned face flannel drenched in warm/hot water. Use circular movements to remove your cleanser, the flannel will also give you a light exfoliation. 

2. Apply a facial serum, preferably one with hyaluronic acid if you can. *I love Dr Sebagh Serum Repair, get your from Liberty Beauty Hall London here £69

3. Moisturise with a CC or BB cream in your exact skin tone or slightly darker it must have an SPF, the tint will even your skin and illuminate for a glow. *I love Nivea BB 5 in 1 Beautifying Moisturiser Light get yours from Boots here £5.99

4. If needed dot on concealer under eyes and on any blemishes.

5. Finish with a nice even glossy coat of black mascara on your lashes, fill in sparse areas of your brows with gel/powder and complete with your favourite lipstick or lipgloss. 

Ta dah! You’re good to go! 

Secondblonde x 

My Signature Treatment Facial by Face Place at The Rosewood London

 I was very lucky to be invited to enjoy a treatment at Face Place L.A’s most sought after facial which has just landed in London at The Rosewood Hotel Sense Spa. I arrived on a Monday morning in May (not my typical start to the week) meeting a friend there who’s slot was booked in just before mine.
  On arrival I was shown to the relaxing Sense Spa which is a zen like theme all cosy with dim lighting, bamboo walls, luxurious loungers with fluffy white towels and blankets, a reading light, soft relaxing background music (not elevator like at all) ample magazines and jugs of cucumber infused water. A real getaway from London life. Once I slipped off my shoes and relaxed back into the bed while I awaited my appointment I knew I was in for a treat…
  My friend appeared shortly post her treatment looking somewhat warm and fuzzy, relaxed with glowy skin! 

Now it was my turn, my therapist Rowan come to collect me. She’s very warm and welcoming, very knowledgable and I know how this sounds – she’s great with her hands!

She explained what the signature facial is and how it works and asked me some questions about my current skin care, tucking me in to some luxurious silky covers she got to work!

The facial lasts for 1hour 15mins, a warm towel was placed behind my neck, cleansing begins and a little hoover that sucks all the dead skin cells, and then the extractions!!! Wow she is good and it’s all painlessly performed to perfection. Rowan explained she was layering Yukka Root infused warm cloths and applies a face mask, when I say mask I don’t mean a cream I mean a leather cone which acts like a mini sauna for 10 mins. Followed by some misting and luxurious face creams then more layering of warm cloths which makes you feel a bit mummified but getting you ready for the galvanic current treatment.

Another mask is placed round your head, this time it’s “the” Galvanic Mask it looks a little strange, it’s brown leather with wires hanging from it, however Rowan gently talks you through each step. The mask is on for about 15mins to let the galvanic current do it’s thing, Rowan changed the bed position so your legs are elevated to ensure blood flow to your head. I relax close my eyes and enjoy while Rowan gave me an arm and hand massage, this is bliss! After removing the mask and wraps Rowan finishes with some more creams and on-going advice with a skin care prescription.
  The results…when I sat up and Rowan handed me the mirror and I cannot believe the results, I actually say out loud oh wow! Firstly I look about 12! So young fresh faced, plump, bright and glowy and in no hurry to apply make up! Rowan is really pleased with the results too and cannot believe I’m turning 40 this month.

I cannot recommend this treatment enough, it’s a “it really works” and you see instant results experience.

Face Place Signature Treatment delivers on it’s promise and in my case resulting in younger looking skin, tighter pores, this collagen boosting treatment worked for me. Apparently it gets even better each time you visit.

I really enjoyed every moment and in such a beautiful location it felt extra special. We finished off our session with a delicious light brunch at the hotels Holborn Delicatessen before heading off home to get on with my Monday day off housework tasks! Oh well it was good while it lasted.
 To book your Face Place Signature Treatment and find out more info here £130

Has anyone else experienced this amazing facial?

Secondblonde x

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


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!

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

Perricone MD Chloro Plasma Face Mask

One of the perks of working in the hair/beauty industry is at times I get to try out samples/testers of products. I was given this 12ml tester of Perricone’s Chloro Plasma Mask long before Christmas but only just round to using it. Why did I wait so long….

I LOVE it!

IMG_8325.JPGThe packaging is simple (which I like) the mask itself comes in a frosted glass jar with a matte black lid, it’s in a box which displays the usual “how to use” the ingredients and the benefits.

The promise….
Instant tightening of pores, smoothing of wrinkles and softening of skin texture. Intensely illuminating and revitalizing for a healthy glow and flawless complexion. Deeply purifying and detoxifying for an immediate improvement in skin’s suppleness and smoothness.

IMG_8353.PNGHere’s the science bit…
Chloro Plasma is an anti-aging treatment mask formulated with Plasma technology and Phytonutrient-enriched Microcapsules/Blue Green Algae and Watercress. Abundant in Chlorophyll, these Phytonutrients deliver deep detoxification and purification benefits.
IMG_8336.JPGThe application was a really pleasant experience, I could move it around my face with ease and as I massaged in gently in circular movement the gel to clay texture changes colour to a richer green releasing bursts of Chlorophyll. As it dried it turned to a clay texture but did not feel tight or dry. I would actually say it is the most comfortable mask I’ve ever tried. It doesn’t have a strong smell either.

After 10mins I rinsed off with warm water and a face cloth. My cheeks looked a little pink when I removed the mask but not in a irritated kind of way but in a healthy glowing way.

IMG_8351.JPGThe results…
I’m blown away! This mask is quite pricey however it HAS delivered on ALL of it’s promises. My skin is very smooth and so illuminated it’s almost like glass. My pores are definitely less visible, the wrinkles around my eye area (yes I know well I am turning 40 this year) are smoother and my skin feels so soft and looks flawless. What more do you need from a mask?
This is a winner and I will be using every last scrap of my sample pot. Will I re-purchase?
If I wasn’t on a budget then my answer is a big fat YES!
Purchase Perricone MD Chloro Plasma here £67

It’s a Miracle! SOAP AND GLORY 5-in-1 Micellar Cleansing Water – DRAMA CLEAN™

Dubbed “miracle water” I needed a new cleanser and as I like the freshness of a toner thought I’d give this a try. It claims to remove ALL make-up including the most stubborn mascara in one “no rubbing required” swish of a well saturated cotton wool ball.

IMG_6567.JPGIt also removes dirt and impurities in one clean sweep. There is no-need-to-rinse, it’s oil-free and non-drying, a complete face and eye-makeup-removing marvel is surely the smart-girl’s way to get skin super clean.

Here’s the science bit
(what’s in it that makes it work)
D.CLOG™ WATER – micellar cleansing technology swiftly ‘magnetises’ make-up, dirt and dead cells away.
GO-JUICE™ – with vitamins A and C rich peach and goji berry extracts to help soften skin.
Cool cucumber waterjuice – refreshes and revitalises.
Botanical cornflower extract – calms the delicate eye area.
Aloe vera leaf juice – marvellously soothing and moisturising.
Paraben free
Soap alcohol free
For all skin types

IMG_2798.JPGI’ve been using this for four weeks and have been impressed with its performance. It removes every last scrap of make up without giving me panda eyes, leaving my skin feeling clean, non oily, fresh and does not dry out my skin. I always use this after I’ve washed my face, I use Soap and Glory’s Face Soap & Clarity which I posted about back in 2011 read here.

IMG_2799.JPGThe flip lid is easy to use when you are in a rush, quickly snapping it shut to prevent any spillage, and just the right amount can be applied to your cotton wool ball/pad without it flooding out. The liquid is clear but looks oh so pretty on my dressing table in it’s pink tinted container keeping in line with Soap & Glorys design. The smell I wasn’t too keen on, I love the freshness of cucumber and the sweetness of ripe peach but together!?! At least it’s very subtle and not over powering so I’ve gotten used to it and actually don’t mind it now.

IMG_2797.JPGMy conclusion is that I’m enjoying this product, it does what it claims to do, I haven’t suffered any dry or oily patches while using it and it leaves my skin feeling smooth. At £6 for 200ml I’m quite likely to re-purchase when it’s finished.

Check out Soap and Glory here.

Omega-3 Beauty Benefits

The best kept beauty secrets (though there are many magical potions) may not only be found at the cosmetic counter.

When it comes to healthy hair and skin, you should also be perusing the supermarket and supplement aisles.

IMG_2618.JPGOily fish, nuts and leafy green vegetables are high in fatty acids and protein, both crucial nutrients needed to help stimulate the production of healthy skin.

IMG_2619.JPGWe have all heard about good and healthy fats these days such as good olive oil, avocados and foods rich in omega-3s top the list as “good” fats that we should be incorporating into our daily diets. The foods we put into our body are as vital as the beauty products we put on it, it’s no wonder our friends in the Mediterranean always look so young and healthy!


IMG_2615.JPGOmega-3s benefits include heart health, eye health and joint health, DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function and vision.

What is less well known is the role these essential fatty acids play on hair and skin;

1. Healthy, shiny, lustrous hair: we all lust after shiny hair don’t we? To get your hair in optimum condition you need proper nutrition. Omega-3 fatty acids nourish your hair follicles for stronger, shinier hair.

IMG_2617.JPG2. Glowing, hydrated skin: everyone wants healthy looking skin. Omega-3s support a healthy skin inflammatory response which is greatly a positive aspect for clearer skin. Fatty acids can act as natural moisturisers that revitalise dry skin from the inside out.

IMG_2616.JPGIf you’d like to reap the benefits of fish oil but don’t fancy incorporating oily fish into your diet twice a week you can take them in supplement form – like Omega-3 fish oil supplement in capsules from most health food shops.

IMG_2613.JPGOr choose fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as some of the following:
• Sardines
• Anchovies
• Albacore tuna
• Wild caught Salmon

Avoid eating the larger species of fish, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish, as these varieties are very high in mercury.

Try to eat mostly those fish that are lower in mercury, such as those listed above, and eat a wide variety of fish to make sure you’re getting proper nutrition.

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!

20140813-102500-37500316.jpg(photo by Kelly Çakar location Olüdeniz beach Turkey)

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.

20140813-110301-39781692.jpg (photo by Kelly Çakar location Olüdeniz beach Turkey)

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