February Favourites 2018| secondblonde

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So here we are only days away from 1st March. Spring is almost here at last however we are about to endure a cold snap and snow flurries. (actually it’s started snowing as I type, so happy it’s my day off) Here’s my quick round up of what beauty products I’ve been enjoying using this month. This isn’t absolutely everything – it’s more of an edit of some new products and some familiar favourites. So let’s get straight into it.

Starting from the top row left to right…

Skinfix Hand Repair Cream this little tube of hand cream has done wonders for my dermatitis & eczema. It’s fragrance free with oils and butters plus oat kernel oil to highly moisturise eczema and restore the skin barrier. Meaning less itching and more healing.

Pretty Woman Nail & Cuticle Energizer  a blend of vitamins for stronger nails and smells quite fruity. Goes on like water drying instantly. Handy to have on your bedside table so you remember to apply before bedtime.

Hylamide – SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum contains 5 forms of hyaluronic compounds improving the look of lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks and can already see an improvement in my skin.

HylamideSubQ Eyes is a high strength anti-ageing Serum that works to correct under eye ageing, puffiness and dark circles with both short and long term effects. I’ve been using this along with the Serum, it’s too early to tell about dark circles – however my eye area stays plump and hydrated all day!

Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial transforming night-time serum/oil for lifting and firming – wake up to plumper, smoother rejuvenated skin. Packed with jasmine rose, frangipani and tuberose. It smells like heaven. If you indulge in one luxury skin care product then this is the one to invest in. It’s like giving yourself a mini facial and you see immediate results.

Glossybox UK beauty subscription box. Every month they deliver 5 beauty treats all packaged in a beautiful box with the contents inside wrapped in cute tissue paper, bows and a branded sticker. It’s my favourite thing! Feels like I’m receiving a little gift every month. The best part is the surprise element. It’s a great way to discover new brands and try out products you’ve not tried before. The link includes a refer a friend offer….what are you waiting for?

Sleek Makeup Vintage Romance i-Divine Eye Shadow Palette has 12 highly pigmented pearlescent shades which contain mica particles that highlight and illuminate giving you an overal radiant, wide eyed effect. Plus some matte ones too. These have been great to experiment with. The applicator that comes with it isn’t great, better to use your own brushes. I don’t wear eye shadow in the day – perhaps I should start.

Malin + Goetz Recovery Treatment Oil is a luxurious blend of nine oils: Evening primrose, argan, jojoba oils to help soften lines and strengthen moisture barrier. Grapeseed and rosehip oils to  improve elasticity and protect against free radical damage.Geranium and borage oils to reduce inflammation and normalize oil production. Avocado and camellia oils to condition and soften. Whenever I apply this oil my skin feels calm and happy and the tone is even. It also give a healthy glow and smells amazing!

Beauty Beneath Skin Nutrient Capsules to combat fine lines, wrinkles and skin texture. Contains 19 skin nutrients with a blended range of protective phyto-nutrients and skin-feeding fatty acids with marine collagen, which closely mirrors the collagen found in a healthy dermis structure, and a complex of vitamins and minerals each selected for their skin supporting qualities. I have started them but am always forgetting to take ’em regular (I’m a nightmare when it comes to taking supplements) however I strive to complete this beauty trial…and they are the prettiest little capsules I’ve ever seen! *walks to kitchen to pour a glass of water and take 2 capsules.

Forest & Shore Hallelujah Hair Oil  100% organic this is my latest hair find. I wrote about  this natural hair oil  here It’s a beautiful product that does what it say’s it will do. It contains a blend of coconut, sesame, olive, sunflower & arnica and is scented with rosemary & lavender. Forest & Shore never test on animals, all products are vegan friendly & free from all harsh chemicals including synthetic fragrances, synthetic colours, parabens, sulphates, silicones, EDTA, & mineral oils. My hair loves it!

Steve Laurent Lip Tint in shade Nude Pop. A creamy hydrating lip tint which is long lasting. Perfect for no colour colour lip days. I prefer to apply with my finger and then gently pat in to smudge he edges slightly to make my lips appear plumper. The packaging is also so cute, great for instagramming.

So there you have it my favourite 9 (ok I mean 11) beauty products this month. I’ll be back with this post again next month reviewing my March favourites. I fancy trying out some gradual tanning products for my pasty pins, I need new mascara in my life so would like to try out some new ones – anyone got any suggestions? And new spring nail colours. What’s on your wish list.

Secondblonde x

*no affiliate links, some products are PR samples*

My Best 9 Beauty Products of 2017 | secondblonde

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As 2017 comes to a close I’m looking back of some of the products which had become firm favourites of mine throughout the year. None of which are new (except the lipsticks were a new launch in 2017) they are just what I’ve been enjoying and seeing great results with using pretty much on a daily basis.

Some of these products were sent to me, some were gifted to me and some I purchased. I’ve previously reviewed most of these so have added links if you fancy a read. So without further ado and in no particular order here are my faves…

  1. Bourjois Rouge Velvet – The Lipstick – insanely pigmented matte lipsticks in 12 shades with impressive staying power. Review Here
  2. Sarah Chapman – Skinesis Overnight Facial – Transforming night-time serum/oil for lifting and firming – wake up to plumper, smoother rejuvenated skin. Review Here
  3. Malin + Goetz Dark Rum Eau de Parfum – A modern and dynamic fragrance, the mild sweetness of rum with the rich warm undertones makes for a unique and unexpected fragrance that’s long-lasting.
  4. Skinfix Hand Repair Cream – Eczema friendly little tube of hand cream that’s fragrance free with oils and butter plus oat kernel oil to highly moisturise and restore the skin barrier.
  5. NIOD Low Viscosity Cleaning Ester – A skin cleaning system that respects dermal barriers and sebum production, cleaning the skin and removing makeup in a single step. Review Here
  6. L’oreal Extraordinary Oil Facial Cleansing Oil – It leaves my skin clean, eye makeup free, feeling fresh and nourished and not screaming out for moisturiser immediately. – Review Here
  7. Frezyderm Moisturizing Rich Cream – It’s a great moisturiser 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. Review Here
  8. Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream – A very light eye cream that 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! Review Here
  9. NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex – This clever little NIOD serum intensely hydrates my skin and stimulates the production of collagen. It absorbs quickly and helps to combat imperfections and visible signs of ageing.

So there you have it, my top 9 beauty products of 2017. What were your beauty finds you couldn’t live without?

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

 

Christmas Beauty Stocking Fillers 2016 | secondblonde

Christmas is just around the corner with only 6 shopping days left to grab those last minute stocking fillers, so here’s just a few of my picks that won’t break the bank…

img_9296C.O Bigelow is always a winner – based in NY the oldest apothecary in America, this brand has a no-nonsense approach with quality ingredients who pride themselves on being honest, genuine and trustworthy since 1838. I’ve opted for some of their new skincare, perfect for the man who doesn’t have a skincare routine I have boxed together this Deluxe Facial Moisturizer $28 here and Sugar Crystal Face Polish $32 here or available in-store at Liberty London Beauty Hall.

img_9309Cowshed products are plant based luxury products, developed from the original Cowshed Spa at Babington House. The brand has a loyal following, and if you stay at any of the Soho House group’s your bathroom is filled with Cowshed bath & body products. I’ve selected the Cowshed Wreath Cracker which is excellent value and lot’s of fun containing a Cow Slip Hand Cream and a Lippy Cow Lip Balm £10 here

fullsizerender-43Maybelline – Merry Little Mani the perfect trio of seasonal colours from their Color Show collection including: Downtown Red, Watery Waste and Black Magic. Pick it up at any drugstore, I got this one from boots £7.50 here the colours are all really wearable, I’d opt to paint mine all in the dark red and do one nail in the metal or glitter colour.

img_9316Stop The water While Using Me!  An eco friendly brand which encourage people to save water, with a range of bathroom products – just remember to STOP THE WATER WHILE USING ME! Perfect gift for those who like natural luxury products and are mindful of our environment, recycling and waste. I’ve selected the fresh All Natural Cucumber Lime Soap (liquid) £20 and All Natural Cucumber Lime Hand Balm £15 here

So there you have it, my beauty stocking filler picks, hope I’ve inspired you to dd some beauty to your gift list!

Secondblonde x

Review: Aurelia Aromatic Repair & Brighten Hand Cream 75ml | secondblonde


I’ve been using this NEW hand cream for one week and all I want to say is “WOW” I absolutely love it.

It promises to help deminish the signs of pigmentation and promote highly moisturised youthful looking hands and that is exactly what in my experience it delivers on.

As expected with AURELIA it does not contain any synthetic ingredients or mineral oils, free from all the usual nasties and of course not tested on animals. In line with the rest of this amazing probiotic range it includes essential oils – vetiver, ylang ylang, lavender and patchouli these come through and enlighten your senses I always feel so calm and grounded when I first apply this hand cream to my hands and elbows. When applied it does take a few minutes to absorb, at first I thought I was going to find it too greasy for my liking however, once it absorbs it’s perfect. I would also say it lasts for at least one hand wash! It’s kept my hands very hydrated, happy and youthful looking. The key ingredients benefit my skin in so many ways:

Sea Daffodile – helps to improve or prevent any pigmentation.

Cassia Senna – mimics hyaluronic acid keeping my hands hydrated for hours.

Baobab – is omega rich keeping my skin suitably nourished.

Kigelia Africana – has natural firming properties which help with the tell tell signs of ageing. 

Red Algae – protects chapped skin.

I really recommend this cream as you can also use it on dry patches such as elbows, knees etc plus you get the essential oil calming/uplifting benefits so it’s also a good multi use product to travel with.

Aurelia is available to purchase at the beautiful beauty hall at Liberty here it costs £28 so it’s not cheap but in my opinion worth every penny.

Secondblonde x

Review: Úna Brennan Rose hydrate calming creamy cleanser 

  
Having heard good things about this product line I thought I’d give this cleanser a try. I love a rose smelling product and the words calming and creamy jumped right out at me, oh it sounds and smells perfect…

The formular is deliciously rich and creamy the rose scent is not overpowering I couldn’t wait to start using it. I always use the hot cloth method when I cleanse (thanks Sali Hughes for teaching me this) annoyingly after a few days I noticed my skin around my jawline was rough and itchy and my checks were red and angry and very itchy! I do have sensitive skin so I wasn’t 100% sure this cleanser had caused it. I stopped using it immediately and switched to a basic non-perfume routine for 3 weeks. 

Last night I used this Úna Brennan cleanser again just to see and boom! today my cheeks are itchy and red with dry patches. 

To conclude this cleanser is a lovely product I wish I could use however it just doesn’t agree with my skin type.

Have any of you guys used any products from this facialist line?

Secondblonde x

  

Dr Sebagh Eye Primer Lift 15ml

IMG_8578.JPG The Promise:
To instantly lift, tighten and firm the delicate eye area giving a revitalised and noticeably youthful look.

The science bit:
It contains really advanced ingredients too complicated for me to understand (Dr Sebagh is indeed a clever man) however, I will mention it contains hyaluronic acid which will bind water to the skin and fill lines.

My Verdict:
I’ve been using this little bottle of eye contour gel for 2 weeks now. I do find it to be instantly revitalising, it wakes up my eyes prepping them for my make up in the morning. (Which goes over the top nicely without sliding off)

The consistency is gorgeous the gel is easily obsorbed and sinks into my skin after a few moments. A little amount of product seems to go a long way. It keeps my whole eye area moisturised all day and helps smooth out a few fine lines I have *cough cough!! I haven’t noticed any tightening yet but the appearance overall is that of youth! *hallelujah!!!

Summary:
This luxury eye gel is of the higher price point at £52 a pop but I think it’s worth it for it’s fine line filling abilities alone!

Purchase Dr Sebagh Eye Primer Lift here

Secondblonde x

Glam it up! with GLAMGLOW® YOUTHMUD Tinglexfoliate Treatment

I tested this back in the summer and absolutely loved the results of this high performance mud mask.

20140108-155914.jpgStraight out of Hollywood this youthmud treatment was created for Hollywood stars as an instant pick me up prior to filming. The results are noticeable immediately and last for 3 days.

20140108-160325.jpgThe impressive ingredients is different to other mud masks, thus enables the mud to treat your skin and deal with it! In other words it won’t pull everything out and leave it on the surface for you to deal with looking spotty or red and inflamed, instead you are left with smooth glowing calm youthful and pimple free skin!

Here are a few of the key ingredients:

French sea clay
Volcanic rock
Green tea leaf
Chamomile

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Apply to clean dry skin using enough for full coverage. Leave on for up to 10mins while the mud gets to work, the more your skin needs it the longer it will take for the mud to dry. The tingle is instant (that’s the mud removing all the nasty dead skin cells) The more your skin needs the bigger the tingle!

20140108-161744.jpgIt’s dark green when first applied and you can see the green tea leaves.

20140108-161917.jpgThen after 10mins of relaxation it turns to a pale green colour and has completely dried, but surprisingly doesn’t feel tight or dry and smells so clean and healthy and natural. (Ha, look at my sleepy eyes, so relaxed)

To remove you gentle massage in some water using circular movements, this product now doubles up as a gentle exfoliator! GENIUS wipe away any bits you’ve missed with a soft flannel and Ta Daa! You’ve now got smooth, glowing, fresh baby like skin that’s firmer and brighter.

20140108-162529.jpg It’s hard to justify the £49.99 price tag for the 50ml jar of mud but I think it is worth it. You will get a minimum of 7 applications from one jar, so that’s just over £7 per treatment which ain’t bad for the HOLLYWOOD Sexy Mud treatment!

*TOP TIP* Use just before a special occasion for an instant lift!