Glow tools

Happy birthday! 2017 marks 10 years of EcoTools and as I mentioned before, the brand has revamped their winning collection and added some pretty (and do-good) surprises to celebrate.

And the official celebration piece is the Limited Edition Anniversary Collection that comes in a gorgeous (and very handy) rose gold circular tin.

There are six brushes to help you create an illuminating glow:

Airbrushed finish: duo fibre that works well with powder, creams and liquid foundation, to buff that base right in. Personally, I think this one could be a bit firmer but does a great job creating that foundation for the makeup.

Controlled setting: tapered for precise highlighting and setting on cheekbones and brow arches.

Angled crease: great for smoking, in any proportion; just to create a bit of definition and dimension of smoke away.

Flat eyeliner: a hero for upper or lower lining that works a treat with powder, liquid and gel.

Eye/Lip blur: so soft to diffuse shadows and liners. Great to blend harsh lines on eyeshadow, eye or lip liners.

Spoolie: great brow and lash combing.

The sturdy canister is great to protect brushes while in transit. And looks great on a dressing table.

All brushes are super soft on the skin and have a bamboo handle with recycled aluminium ferrules and cruelty free bristles.

This lovely EcoTools Limited Edition Anniversary Collection is available at Boots (with a buy 1 get 2nd half price on EcoTools*) and Superdrug (at the moment with a 3 for 2 on EcoTools*) for £19.99.

And hurry because it’s limited edition, so be speedy!

written by Dani

*Information correct at the time of publishing (21 May 2017).

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

More good from the grape

No, it is not champagne! It’s Caudalie, of course, silly!

When the weather changes, my skin tends to suffer. I did talk about it a while back, but twice a year history repeats itself so I’m always on the lookout for new products to restore the glow through the transition phase and if they have pollution protection, even better.

Enter Caudalie Vine[Active], a collection of four products designed to support the skin and help prevent cell burn-out, which accelerates close to out mid-thirties.

The Anti-Cell Burnout Complex has vitamins E and C, stabilised grape seed polyphenol, and spruce extract to, respectively, maintain radiance, boost collagen and maintain melanin productions, preserve collagen and natural hyaluronic acid and stimulate cellular defense and, protect skin against oxidation.

Obviously I’ll start with the oil. The Overnight Detox Oil (£36) is 100% natural with omega 6, vitamin E and six essential oils (carrot, grapeseed, lavender, white sandalwood, sweet almond, rose, musk and neroli).

It’s a luscious oil that sinks well on the skin; which wakes up plump and healed. I love the distinctive herbal smell this oil has.

The VineActive Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum (£36) is another favourite. So light in contrast with the oil, it is great for wearing under makeup.

It has the Anti-Cell Burnout Complex together with hyaluronic acid in low molecular weight. It helps with skin ageing prevention and pigmentation.

Again, I use it in combination with the oil, at night and the VineActive 3-in-1 moisturiser (£32) during the day, which contains the same ingredients of the serum, for added plumping, plus anti-pollution polysaccharides and soft focus mattifying powders making it a great day cream, nourishing and creating that protection barrier. An SPF wouldn’t go amiss!

Finally, another obsession of mine: eye creams. The VineActive Energizing and Smoothing Eye Cream (£27.50) also carries the anti Burnout complex together with peptides, fern and liquorice extracts and horse chestnut to lift, combat puffiness and dark circles.

Very light and quickly absorbed, I feel this eye cream is suitable for day or night. It also doesn’t upset my sensitive eye, which is a bonus!

The range is available from the Caudalie website and shops, as well as selected retailers.

And there’s also the purifying VineActive Facial Treatment available at the Caudalie spas, which deep cleanses and detoxifies. It includes thorough cleansing, deep exfoliation, detoxifying mask and moisturising, with a lymph and blood circulation activating facial massage.

Happening now: Organic Beauty and Wellbeing week

If you follow me on Instagram and saw my stories (if not, @dani_dutra, I talk non-stop), you know I went a bit crazy after coming back from the first day of the Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week, currently happening at Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2, until the 21st March.

I attended the press event last year and in 2017 they are back, bigger and better, to also include wellbeing, which is a great advantage of organic cosmetics. Don’t you know, they have high concentration of pure ingredients which can actually get properly absorbed by your body and bring other effects apart from the cosmetic ones!

The Soil Association is behind the event to reinforce their “Look for the logo” message, which confirms the product organic certification. Natural and organic are very different things and because cosmetics are not as regulated as food when it comes to be called organic, products with very little organic content can pass for being organic, even though that is quite misleading.

With the Soil Association logo on the product, you can rest assured you are getting the real deal. Here’s a little word of advice from them on what’s NOT in products they certify. You can also check their full list of certified brands. Handy!

With an increase of 30% in sales in the last 2 years, it is important you know that you are getting what you expect from the organics beauty products.

The pop up shop is a great chance to know some brands pioneering organic beauty and looking to extend their knowledge to the consumer, so they can be confident on their purchases.

Apart from brands such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Viridian, VOYA, Bamford, Herbfarmacy, LA-EVA, Therapi, Nourish, amongst others, you can also catch some amazing talks, workshops and events. My highlights:

  • Naissance bespoke serum bar (OMG! NEED): 16/05, from 12-13:00, FREE!
  • Energising Yoga with Cristina Chandika Ma: 17/05, 8:30-10:00, for £5 which goes to charity
  • A night of food and beauty (I mean COME ON!): 18/05, 18:10-22:00, FREE!
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies Stress Less Workshop: 20/05, 14-15:00, for a £5 charity donation

To browse all events, and book your place, go to organicbeautyandwellbeingweek.eventcube.io. Some events are already sold out.

Of course, you can (and should) take a look at the brands’ stands (it’s all so pretty) and grab your favourites with discounts or deals. And have a nice chat.

If I were you, I’d keep an eye out for the Neals Yard Organic Eye Makeup Remover, Viridian brand new Organic Curcumin Latte (seriously delicious), Nourish London Illuminating Face Shimmer and the Toning Body Shimmer (in love), Yes organic intimate products(read lubricants and hygiene), anything Herbfarmacy (lookout for the marshmallow root!), Therapi toners, LA-EVA Roséum Lotion (for face, hands and body!),  VOYA body oils (OMG, can’t even), Naissance Organic Beauty box, Bamford Essential Oil blend (I am overworking the Padmasana one, which is for concentration when writing this so late!)… I cannot stop!

And that’s not even a fraction of the goodness available… plus the added bonus of all the lovely people.

So hurry, you have until the 21st of May to catch them. All information can be found on the Soil Association website.

Oh, and here’s the logo! LOOK!

If you are not in London, they put a handy list of all the discounts together, you know, because they are nice like that!

Also, a massive shout out to the lovely Nicola from Black Book Communications who pulls this all together and is always so kind to get me over! ❤

written by Dani

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

Glazed AF

Did anyone say iridescent? Well, believe your eyes, Sleek Makeup has brought out yet another killer highlighter palette, and it comes with some friends. The Distorted Dreams collection carries all the holo vibes.

The Distorted Dreams highlighting palette has five stunning shades brimming with reflective holographic pigments that can be used all over the face. It’s a combination of 3 creams and 2 powders that are gorgeous on their own but really come to life when layered.

The creams have a beautiful colour colour shift and opalescence in pink (Anodise), blue (Beam) and green (Refracted). The powders are a quite shimmery, a cool pink with some glittery particles (Blurred Lights) and a tanned gold (Sweet Delusion).

What I have been using the most is the pink cream and either one of the powders on top for face highlighting. The blue and green are great for eyes (especially as a base) and over lipstick, especially over black (both), blue and purple (blue cream).

I know for a fact these creams will form a base for my festival makeup this year!

The hashtag GlazedAF could not be more appropriate and only a cool AF brand like Sleek could put it out there.

The “glazing” is serious but not ridiculous. Although highly pigmented and very shimmery, there is no excess glitter, so basically it looks look someone planted a beam of light under your skin. It really pulls the light in.

Be mindful that if using alone, the creams and will need translucent powder to set for better durability.

The Matte Me Metallic Matte Smooth Lip Cream liquid lipsticks are quite amazing – a bit of molten metal for the lips. Sadly, alone, none do much for my complexion, but they are amazing to layer on lipstick, especially at the centre of the mouth!

They have great pigmentation and consistency and they dry Matte, but retaining that metallic, luminous finish. Durability is excellent.

And there are three shades to choose from: Roman Copper, a warm and deep rusty copper, Rusted Rose, an intense muted pink with purple undertones (Carol really likes this one) and Volcanic, my fave, with that slight beetle wing colour shift between light pink and subtle green. So pretty!

The collection is already available at Superdrug – YAY.  The Distorted Dreams Highlighting palette costs £10.99 and each of the new Matte Me Metallic Matte Smooth Lip Cream cost £4.99.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Festive, me?

2017. I am doing festivals. What?! I hear you shriek in disbelief. Really?

That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I dipped my toes for a day once, a couple of years ago, but never really got into it.

The fact that on festivals you can get away with copious amounts of glitter on your body is too big an attractive for me to pass.

But fear not, it’s still me and you won’t catch me camping anytime soon.

To open the season, I am going to ease myself with GALA, in Brockwell Park on the 28th May, bank holiday weekend, and welcome summer with Carol in a disco fashion with a very local vibe.

Of course, preparations have started – you know me, nothing happens without due preparation.

I’ve decided silver holo is the way forward for this one, because…disco ball. Stars, chunky and fine glitter are waiting to be devised into some shimmery face adornments.

As for outfit, I am keeping my options open. It’s London after all and the weather will dictate what I wear (plus I won’t tell you in advance, silly!) but expect some fun and comfortable, married with comfy footwear. I might crimp my hair. Just putting it out there.

In my bag, Dove deodorant, Gucci Guilty roll on perfume, the Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF mist, lollipops, lipstick, glitter, a fan and a power pack for the phone.

Juuuust in case it turns into an after party (or just for that post frantic dancing much needed touch up), I will have some powder, concealer, eyeliner and that e.l.f. Baked highlighter/blusher duo at hand.

Now, enough about me. Let’s dissect this. GALA will host the holy trinity of disco: Studio 54’s Nicky Siano, Paradise Garage DJs and Horse Meat Disco.

And that is not all, expect to also boogie to the sound of Late Night Tuff Guy (a Bowie tribute), Moxie, Honey Soundsystem, Afriquoi, Stevie Wonderland, Crazy P Soundsystem Live, Love Glove, Mood II Swing, Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda, Bas Ibellini, Krywald & Farrer and NixWax.

Gala 2016

What if all that dancing get you hungry? Fear not, there will be a feast of South London independent food on offer: The Joint (delish BBQ, bread from prison guys), Kriket (Indian small dishes), Bill or Beak (pulled duck? Drool. You know what I’m having).

They are joined by The Chicken Shop (succulent rotisserie chicken), Kerbisher and Malt (traditional fish and chips), Fatties Bakery (deserts. Amazing ones. Salted caramel dreams. I am not going to disagree), Made of Dough (pizza, pizza!), Killa Dilla (sexy quesadillas) and Oh My Dog (also sexy hot dogs) to make sure you’re suitably fed. Yum.

And to ensure you’re properly watered, the Soulshakers (they are bar and cocktails experts. Here’s my number), Brixton Brewery (local, independent, full of craft beer), Brick Brewery (a Peckham microbrewery) and Canopy Beer (a Herne Hill microbrewery) will be at hand for refreshments galore.

This is a bit of what went down last year!

Now, how much you ask? Tickets started at £20 but at the moment, they are on third release through good old Resident Advisor (how I love thee) for £35 plus £3.50 booking fee, which is excellent value for money.

You can also get a group ticket for £140 for 5 people or early entry (before 13:30) for £25, and the 10% booking fee also applies.

It starts at 12 and goes to 22:30, last admission at 17:00, with an after party at Jamm (£10 + £1.30 booking fee).

And you might bump into me (YAY). I’ll be the shiny disco ball-like girl bouncing around.

To get all the information go to thisisgala.co.uk.

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

Urban yoga

My body has now entered rehab mode. My gluteus tendonitis, which is an office injury, means that circus is, for now, off the table.

So I am giving my body time to heal and what better than yoga to help the process? Add all the much needed mind benefits and there I was, with a smile on my face to be invited to the launch of the Karma Sanctum Yoga brunch club.

Taking place monthly at the lovely boutique Karma Sanctum hotel in Soho, London, the experience has a whole hour Vinyasa flow yoga with Katie Silver, coconut water, Lululemon yoga mats, a goodie bag, bottomless healthy brunch at the lovely heated hotel rooftop.

Oh, and did I mention there is a hot tub you can also use after your practice? Of yeah, THAT.

Carol and I headed to the inaugural yoga session, which took place at their cinema room. I found Katie excellent; an instructor who delivered a class for all levels.

Her voice and presence are calming and soothing, her instructions paced and clear, her adjustments fair and focused on you, even on a large class. And the orange oil she used at the end was divine.

Carol also pointed out that Katie was very available (and smiley!) after the practice, talking to some attendees about their technique, how to improve postures, etc.

On the bottomless, al fresco buffet brunch menu devised by James Cathcart, coffee, rolls, pancakes, plenty of fruit, fresh juices, yoghurt, scrambled eggs and avocados (made into a delicious guacamole). Being able to mix and match is really great. The setting is calming and it was great to be outside.

Carol and I were expecting to perhaps see gluten free carbs opposed to white rolls and very healthy smoothies/green juices, but those were not available, although we were satisfied with the fresh and filling fare provided.

Then I got changed and took a dip on the fabulous hot tub, with some super relaxing jets that soothed my muscles post-practice. I left feeling light, relaxed and open. What a delightful way to reset for the new week.

Overall, I believe it is very good value for money!

If you want to snap up one of the 20 monthly spaces, go to sanctumsoho.com and get booking. Yoga sessions start at 10 and finish at 11, with brunch/hot tubbing going until 13:30 on a Sunday. The next one is on the 4th June, then 30th July and it costs £40 per session.

On the goodie bag, great brands such as Skin & Tonic (which I love!), Yogandha Body Oil, Gallinee Hand Cream, Potion London, Orelia and Hype Clothing, probably worth more than the session alone!

To find out more about Katie, visit her website.

Well oiled up

Oil on my face. That is something I never thought I’d put on deliberately. Having had problematic, blemish  skin all my life, I always struggled with the oiliness of my dry skin.

Three years ago, facial oils changed my life. And my skin. For the first time, I felt radiance coming from my acne-treatment-battered skin. And oh, boy, did I get addicted!

And now, I cannot live my life without it. For those that like me ran away from facial oils, give it a go. The reasoning behind it is that if you provide oils to the skin, it won’t produce, or produce much less of it.

On top of it, oils carry a great concentration of raw nutrients, nourishing the skin and working mainly on texture and condition.

Some nights, all I put on is face oil. I give it a lovely uplifting circular massage to my face and neck, breathe in the natural aromas and off to bed I go!

The this works stress check face oil is a bliss, I’ve been loving it recently. On top of its redness relief, calming and hydrating properties, thanks to its botanical oils, vitamin C, E and omega 3, it has the most calming neroli, patchouli, lavender, vetivert and camomile fragrance. A treat for face and mind.

Caudalie has just launched a fab facial oil, the Vine[Active] Overnight Detox Oil, perfect for city skins which are exposed to pollution and free radicals.

It is 100% natural and works towards detoxifying and regenerating stressed skin. Full review coming soon!

And while on the natural subject, other pure blend oils such as Dr Jackson’s everyday oil and the Skin & Tonic London Naked Beauty oil, a bit richer, are perfect for overnight.

I feel they work their magic getting deep in the skin, healing and supporting the skin regenerating process.

I love that Dr Jackson’s everyday oil also comes in a handy roll on, perfect for travelling, and perfect to carry on the plane. Definitely one to invest on for the holiday season, for its portability and to help sun exposed skin heal!

Super light oils like the Body Shop Oils of Life facial oil, the Eucerin Facial oil and the dermalogica phyto replenish oil are perfect to add to the foundation for extra hydration and glow.

For more specific needs, the GOSH Primer Oil Essence doubles up as a night oil that preps the skin for the next day and the Indemne Gimme Clear! oil is a helping hand for blemish prone skins.

Of course, I cannot leave out the first oil I ever put on my face: balance me radiance face oil. On the “natural, richer” category, this one really changed my skin and I owe it my absolute love (ok, obsession) with facial oils.

The market is brimming with great products, for all budgets. It is a great time for facial oils. And my skin is grateful!

What about you? Have you tried facial oils? How do they feel on your skin? Or are you like me in the beginning, scared of using them?

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Celebrating Real Beauty

This year, Dove is celebrating 60 years. A lot of those have been spent, apart from caring for our skin, supporting a healthy body image: all shapes and sizes hold #RealBeauty.

We all have our curves, edges and sizes that makes us one of a kind, unique, a very limited edition. So Dove gave their classic body wash a little makeover in these six limited edition 250ml bottles, in different shapes and sizes to celebrate diversity.

Needless to say, I was so glad to receive the bottles for what they remind me of: the sometimes very hard task to love myself as I am.

And it seems I am succeeding a bit when I am thanked for being an “inspirational woman (…) helping advance the real beauty debate; using influence to help women embrace their own individuality as a source of confidence”.

I try that, not only through the way I do love my body (most of the times!) and am not scared to show my individuality out there. Of course I do also look up to other women that make me strong in my quest!

I think recently the Instagram post below says a lot about it.

The body wash is creamy and has a gentle formulation containing NutriumMoisture which delivers natural nutrients, nourishes deep and helps maintain the moisture barrier for soft, comfortable and clean skin.

The Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash is widely available (RRP £2.55) and I personally love the smell of the classic!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Adding some oh-la-la to my skincare routine

Indemne.

Eau de Génie is a multi-tasking facial toner. Organic, it is basically fruits (lemon, grapefruit, apricot and tomato) water that revitalises, tightens pores and soothes skin while also removing micelles. It is also brightening and lightly moisturising as it contains lemon peel oil.

Because it is so gentle, it is suitable for all skin types and adolescent skin. It also works really well as a refresher; it behaves well over makeup. You can even keep it in the fridge!

As a toner, apply to cleansed skin and remove it a cotton pad, without rinsing. Skin feels fresh and comfortable after use. personally, I find it great as a facial mist.

And if you suffer from breakouts like me, you might want to use, in conjunction with Eau de Génie, the Gimme Clear! lotion.

In reality, it is a light oil that smells rather herbal formulated with natural essential oils and vegetable oils, such as hazelnut, hemp seed, carrot, citrus peel, cinnamon bark and oregano flower,  to purify and help reduce sebum and shine in the skin.

It works on blemishes and spots prevention, by helping declog pores and also aids in healing existing pimples. As it is an oil, it also contributes to skin hydration and improved texture.

One pump is enough for the face; the oil is light and absorbs quickly. I personally prefer using it at night, sometimes I just rub it on the blemishes themselves instead of using on the whole face.

You can get Indemne on their website. Eau de Génie cost £15.53 (135ml) and Gimme Clear! £18.42 (50ml). They also do haircare and beauty accessories.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Women empowerment and flawless makeup

Now, in my book, makeup and women empowerment go hand in hand. Makeup makes my outside look like I feel inside and ready to take on the world.

Think what you like of that. Haters will disagree and say that too pretty cannot be powerful. Thing again. It comes from within so suck it up.

And EcoTools is not only supporting female empowerment but also enabling it via their Women’s Empowerment Collections raising awareness (and money) for women’s education.

The #MyTrueBeauty campaign continues the brand’s commitment to Global Education by supporting Glamour’s The Girl Project with a $100,000 donation and the launch of 3 limited edition makeup brush collections raising awareness to the project’s work.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Glow for it collection, which comes with all the tools to unleash your glowing true beauty.

It comes with an angled powder (great for bronzer, blusher or highlighter), eye shadow applicator, pointed concealer (for spot on application), highlighting fan (glow, glow!), eye shading brushes and a pretty mini mirror reminding you to, well, just Glow for it, girl!

The EcoTool brushes are super soft, durable and extremely efficient tools. Their light-coloured bamboo handle is comfortable and the pink ferrules make this set super sweet.

Also, they are made of renewable and recyclable materials (such as tree-free paper and RPET clamshell packaging), to help reduce the amount of waste into the environment.

See? Prettier on the outside and the inside!

Eco Tools, the gorgeous eco-minded brand, is celebrating 10 years young and has re-vamped their extensive collection. They called it New Modern Eco Collection and the brushes have been redesigned, featuring tapered light-weight handles, ombre bristles and brighter ferrules.

The limited edition Women’s Empowerment Collection is composed of three sets: Glow for it, Prepped for change and Eye am courageous, each £19.99, available at ecotools.com and selected Boots and Superdrug.

And go on, support a woman like yourself (or like one in your life), by supporting The Girl Project. Only $5 will help provide school supplies to take a small – or big – girl through education.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.