Common Labs vitamin B and Vitamin C Real Jel Mask | secondblonde

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I was contacted by B2link to become a creative partner. It's a young beauty start up focusing on incubating multiple Korean beauty brands with outlets and online channels such as Sephora, ULTA, Taobao and Amazon. I was delighted to receive these sheet face masks for sampling as I've never tried a sheet mask before – I always do cream based masks.

The masks are by a company called common labs. On first look I love the packaging and it has very clear instructions. It feels like there is so much gel inside the packet probably enough for more than one use.  Today I'm trying out the Vitamin B Real Jel Mask. It's a 2 step treatment.

Step 1 first you remove the finger pad which is in the top of the packet in the blue section. It's very moist and contains glycolic acid and salicylic acid this prepares your skin and does a light peel. The pad is very soft and not scratchy. Glide over your cleansed face in light stroking movements – no need to rub hard the product will do the exfoliating.

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Step 2 remove the sheet mask, just a warning that it's a bit of a surprise to how much jel is inside that it's a bit tricky at first to unfold the sheet mask but once you get going it opens up easily. The jel contains Vitamin B to calm sensitive skin and give a hydration boost. It also contains glycerin, honey extract, castor oil and various flower extracts. The smell is very fresh it reminds me of the smell of a lotus flower, I love it. My mask was at room temp however I imagine on a hot day it would be really nice if cooled in the fridge first.

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Apply the mask to your whole face I found it easier to look in the mirror and hold it in front of my face and gently pat it on starting from my forehead gently pushing into place ensuring the mask is going on correctly with the eye/nose/mouth cut-outs in the right position. Once on you can see how much of the hydrating gel is on the sheet – I moved it around the mask evenly and pulled some excess down onto my neck.

Now the best bit, lay down and relax for at least 10 – 20 mins. I closed my eyes let my body relax and concentrated on my breathing. The mask feels very soothing and relaxing and feels like I'm having a little beauty ritual rather than just a treatment.  Warning: scary sheet mask selfie alert! Ha ha…

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After 20 mins I removed the mask which left behind lot's of the glorious thick jel which I patted into my skin and used the excess on my neck/chest. The texture is a little sticky at first (guess it's the honey) however when it dries down it doesn't feel sticky a all.

The end result is fresh, clean, smooth hydrated skin – like my skin has just had a big drink of water. My skin looks plump and I feel revived. I've really enjoyed this experience thank you again to Daniella of B2link for inviting me to join her creator program.

I would definitely re-purchase this product and can't wait to try the Vitamin C one for when my skin texture needs improving and brightening – will be a good one after a night out! These common labs real jel masks are reasonably priced at $27.99 for a pack of 10 order your's online here at their Amazon store.

*Top Tip – there's an excess of jel in the packet after one use so pop the mask back in the sachet and into the fridge for a second use.

secondblonde x

 

NEW | Espa Tri-Active Advanced Instant Facial


I’m always up for trying out a new facial serum and this Espa Instant Facial ticks all the boxes of what my skin needs…

It’s a 3-in-1 treatment that promises to leave skin instantly replenished, smooth and luminous, then with continual use  will be firmer and brighter.

For anyone unsure of when to apply an active serum, always on cleansed dry skin to the areas you wish to treat – I always apply to my cheeks, nose and then massage in spreading up to my forehead and tapping around my under eye area. (eye creams really aren’t necessary) Then once absorbed apply your moisturiser/facial oil as usual.

*Top Tip – never wipe off any excess from your fingers – instead use it for your neck up to your jawline using upwards stroking movements. 

The Key Ingredients | Macroalgae Cell Extract | Winged Kelp Extract | White Truffle Extract | Vitamin C Encapsulated Oils |

My Verdict I’ve used this a few times, the first time I applied it I wasn’t expecting the product to have a slight fishy smell….I know, I know this shouldn’t matter whatsoever as it’s all about the ingredients and the results – I just wasn’t ready for it as the smell from the bottle is a pleasant orange kind of smell, probably didn’t help that I had massaged it in around my nose and pretty much up my nostrils!! NOT DOING THAT AGAIN!

The packaging is nice, it’s a glass frosted bottle and the pump works well dispensing a good amount of the cream textured serum. You only need 1 or 2 pumps as it seems to go a long way.

My skin did look instantly smooth and really fresh and hydrated and my tinted moisturiser went on really nicely and I’m now used to the smell which does disappear. My skin also felt nourished which is perfect for the winter months as I’m prone to dry patches.

It is a great skin booster and I’m looking forward to seeing the full effects after longer use.

Check it out here Espa £58

Secondblonde x

Power of The Baobab: My Review of Aduna Baobab Superfruit Powder| secondblonde

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You may of heard me raving about this superfruit powder on my YouTube Channel I’m not really one for jumping on the band wagon of the latest health foods. A few of my friends at work were already taking it regular and said it was really good so I took the plunge and gave it a go.

The Product The baobab fruit is the only fruit that dries naturally on the branch. Aduna work with small scale producers in rural Africa to harvest, remove seeds and sieve to produce a raw wholefood powder. It’s rich in Vitamin C (single dose provides 33% of your daily requirement and 50% fibre) Baobab fruit contains the highest antioxidant level. It’s 100% natural and organic so therefore absorbs into your body with no preservatives or additives, Suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is kosher certified.

The Promise To bring out your natural vibrancy making you look good and feel good by promoting good skin health and giving energy release and support immune functions.

My Verdict The first time I tried this I added two teaspoons to my porridge with almond milk before popping it in the microwave. It did give my porridge a slightly bitter taste but it was still enjoyable. I was on an early shift at work so was up at the crack of dawn. Normally by 11:30/12:00ish I have a bit of a slump feeling tired, sluggish and a bit blah! Basically like I need a coffee or food. However…after taking this “magic” powder I had so much energy and was literally dancing around the room! I felt really energised the whole day and ready to face anything.

As not to change the taste of my breakfast I sometimes put 2 teaspoons in a cup, add a little water to mix into a paste – then add two tablespoons of natural yoghurt and stir until blended. Then eat it on it’s own, I prefer the taste this way. It’s kind of like a sour citrus. I don’t love it but it’s ok. Aduna have won “great taste awards”.

To see the skin benefits by supporting collagen formation to get the baobab glow you need to take daily, I haven’t been taking it daily yet and only been taking on days I feel I need it.

Summary This is a fantastic food supplement what does exactly what it promises to do and I really like the ethos of the brand. Aduna have other health powders and energy bars in their range. I will definitely re-purchase the Baobab Superfruit Powder when mine is finished. Maybe I should start taking daily and come back to you with results of my skin.

Take a look at the Baobab Superfruit Powder here £14 170g

Let me know if you’ve tried any superfood supplements that you got results from, I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Secondblonde x

6 Ways to Keep Your Collagen & Skin Young

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Collagen is a protein that our skin cells produce to “hold” our skin together keeping it’s firmness and elasticity. Young skin is plump and smooth because it constantly naturally re-generates itself. As we age our collagen production slows down, from 25yrs collagen slowly decreases and by 45yrs it’s 30% less meaning your skin can get damaged due to sun exposure or bad habits and result in wrinkles and sagging skin.

Sun damage made simple – UVB Rays are the rays that burn our skin, UVA Rays are the rays that age our skin. So UVA Rays break down fibres and elasticity in our skin creating wrinkles. So here’s what you can do to help boost your collagen preventing ageing skin:

1.Up Your Vitamin C Intake Vitamin C is crucial to the formulation of collagen and it’s difficult for our bodies to restore vitamin C so the more you can get the better. Also add Vitamin C to your daily skin care routine like these Pure Vitamin C Powder Cream from Dr Sebagh available at Liberty Beauty Hall to reactivate your collagen levels.

 

 

2.Cut Down Your Sugar Habits Eating too many sugary foods can be a beauty disaster! It causes premature ageing by a process called glycation (the cellular level of the skins structure resulting in wrinkling and loss of elasticity)

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3.Use an SPF SPF’s protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Use an SPF 15 – 30, there are lot’s of skin creams and tinted moisturisers with added SPF’s. Add a shield of protection under your make-up like this Dermalogica product available at Liberty Beauty HallIMG_3457

 

4.Exfoliate This seems like an obvious one but I’m always surprised how many people skip this part of their weekly routine relying purely on their magic lotions and potions to do the trick. I advise both! Removing the top layer of dead skin helps speed up the natural process of skin and collagen renewal. You can also use Acid Peels or Glycolic Overnight Peels in addition to a good old fashioned exfoliation – use gentle products that aren’t too harsh for the face. I like to use just a face flannel to gently exfoliate my skin with after cleansing.

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5.Add Antioxidants To Your Routine Adding antioxidants to your skincare and your diet can do wonders for your skin keeping you looking young. Sip on green tea (I do struggle with green tea so opt for a green tea infused with peppermint to hide the taste) Also use creams and active serums containing antioxidants like this Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrator available at Liberty Beauty Hall 

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6.Massage Your Skin Massaging your face daily will help boost the production  of collagen giving skin a plump appearance for smoother younger looking skin. Massage also stimulates the lymph glands to promote clearer skin, massage with a collagen boosting face oil. I massage my skin for a minute in the morning while applying face serum before my moisturiser. (when you have more time and not rushing out the door you should massage your face for at least 5 mins)

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Oh one last thing, always treat your skin to a face mask once a week, choose a day and stick to it so you get into a routine. The best day is on a Sunday or on your day off so you’ve got at least 15mins to relax and for the mask to do it’s job well.

What anti-ageing skin care advice do you have? I’d love to hear your tips and ticks.

Secondblonde x

Anti-Ageing Foods You Need To Add To Your Shopping Trolley!

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*2 Minutes

So we all know that eating a balanced diet of healthy foods including “good fats” is the way forward. Did you know that there are 9 foods that you should be eating on a weekly basis to aid younger brighter skin and slow down premature ageing and here’s why!

1.Avocado (the king of instagram #foodporn) High in Vitamin E which is a skin saviour. A healthy fat that lowers cholestrol and great for keeping your joints supple. Helps to prevent premature ageing of your skin and damage to your DNA.

2.Fruit (avoid sugar loaded tropical fruits) High in Vitamin C to promote a healthy glow, our bodies do not store Vitamin C so the more you can eat the better.

3.Berries Bursting with Antioxidants which have a positive effect on slowing down your skins ageing process supporting collagen formation keeping your skin nice and plump.

4.Dark Chocolate (85% cocoa) Cocoa is very high in oxidants helping to protect skin from harmful UV effects, eat moderately and always choose organic.

5.Tomatoes Contain lycopene which has been proven to be anti-ageing to the skin.

6.Fish Fresh Oily cold water fish is the best source of omega-3 a fatty acid which supports healthy skin and immune function.

7.Coconut (the dharling of instagram) The health benefits are endless (another blog post right there) however when talking of the benefits on your skin for eating coconut this medium chain fatty acid has been shown to significantly increase skin elasticity and decreased wrinkling of the skin.

8.Green Tea An antioxidant which has anti-cancer properties and aids weight loss, highly effective on our skins complexion and overall good health.

9.Leafy Green Veg Acting like an edible elixir of youth! Benefits to our skin colouration in a way that others find attractive, also another anti-cancer ingredient. Two great reasons to pile your plate high with spinach, broccoli or kale.

What are you going to add to your weekly shop this week?

Secondblonde x

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*Approx 2 minutes to read this post

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

bliss® triple oxygen instant energizing eye gel

This cooling, hydrating gel formula breathes new life into eyes to deflate puff instantly and fade the appearance of fine lines with spherical soft focus powders.

20130818-213410.jpg I apply it in the mornings patting it around my eye area under my tinted moisturiser. It’s gel formula is easily absorbed and cooling which I like, especially on mornings I am suffering with puffiness due to hay fever. It doesn’t have any perfume which is good. It de-puffs and softens my fine lines, instantly looking like I’ve had 10 hours sleep!

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20130818-214208.jpgSo here comes the science bit:

Caffeine: Detoxifies tissue, reducing the appearance of fat deposits and excess fluid that contributes to puffy eyes.

Soft Focus Powders: Blurs skin imperfections by filling in wrinkles and fine lines. Leaves a subtle glow.

Oat Kernel Extract: Immediately firms undereye area and adheres to the skin to continually tense and smooth skin.

Beech Shoot: Preserves elasticity of the skin, hydrates and improves tissue oxygenation and helps prevent wrinkles.

Vitamin C: Fights the aging process by brightening skin discolorations and stimulating collagen.

Regenerative Soy Plant Actives: Boosts oxygen levels to skin, nourishes skin with mineral salts, amino acids and peptides to support natural cell metabolism.

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The 15ml bottle costs £42 and should last 3 months or more. It’s not cheap but it does wake up tired eyes!
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bliss triple oxygen + c energizing cream

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This light weight gel moisturiser inject’s life into my “London” underground commuting, traffic polluted skin! Use morning and night and simply massage in for 30 seconds. Mornings I layer with my usual tinted moisturiser. It’ makes a great base as it’s light weight.

20130317-143634.jpgIt’s quite pricey at £46 so watch out as it is easy to use too much due to it’s runny consistency, but worth the fresh glowy out if the shower result!
Oh and it has a subtle orange aroma while you gently work it into your skin.
Available on line at Bliss Spa

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