Flexing those beauty muscles

Not too long ago I tried the Kohl Kreatives makeup brushes and talked a little bit about the company and how amazing it is, on top of having great products. 

Recently, I was sent their new range: the Flex Collection, on which not only do the brushes have super soft vegan bristles, easy grip and stand up, but they also have a flexible tip. 

Why, you ask? I am fortunate not to have any restrictions in the way a move, but for lots of people with motor disabilities, the fact they can be positioned in many ways can make a huge difference in every day life. 

Kohl Kreatives as a brand is always trying to empower people, regardless of gender, through makeup and this collection is a sheer reflection of that. 

I like that the shapes of the brushes in this set is a bit different – a large square, a large thin triangle, a diamond – all designed to get to places that other brushes with a stiff body may not cover. And because of the super packed soft bristles, it gives you an airbrushed finish quite easily.

Although there isn’t a guideline on how each brush is meant to be used I find that for me, the square makes for a great foundation brush, while the triangle is great for foundation and concealer and contouring.

Diamond is great for concealer and powders, such as eyeshadows, the thin triangle great for concealer, eyeliner or even lipstick and the small round is handy on powder and creamy highlighters and blushers. 

The set of five brushes costs £44.99 which is great value and every set generates proceeds to their charity, Khol Kares, which a spoke about in my previous post.

In short, they run workshops to help people recreate their features cosmetically, primarily offering transgender support and working close with cancer charities, but also working with people who suffer from conditions like alopecia and vitiligo, scarring caused by accidents. 

As I said before, a brand with a beautiful soul, led by a young woman  very passionate about the work she does. 

Check out their website to buy the Flex Collection as well as the 3ss3ntials range. 

written by Dani

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

Flowers all around me

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

When I was invited for Floral Street’s scent school I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was sure excited to get to know another brand. 

Floral Street has a beautiful shop in, well, Floral Street in London Covent Garden and they are a little bit different: inspired by the streets of London and the women in it, and created to break with tradition and follow  the beauty world evolution towards a younger audience. 

I started my fragrance wardrobe with something quite different from what I go for, but that suited my mood on the day and certainly did not disappoint: ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum is magnetic; a powerful, deep and strong fragrance that’s more me than I ever thought. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

As Floral Street labels it, ylang ylang espresso is “for the spirited, fearless, mystical and audacious. For the rebels. The thinkers. And the leaders: a powerful fragrance with it’s own electric current.” And I cannot disagree one bit.

It’s so modern and different from anything I smelt before. Instead of floating to my usual lifetime favourite notes, this alluring scent pulled me in and now I cannot have enough. 

Blending traditional fresh red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine crossed with slightly less traditional coffee, cream and pepper notes, it also has Sichuan pepper, tangerine, tiramisu(!), patchouli, cocoa beans and guaicwood. In a way, it’s easy to see why I was drawn to it: jasmine, coffee, cocoa and tiramisu. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

However, it’s the rest that actually made my decision. Decision was hard and I was so close from picking wild vanilla orchid which is the day “pairing” of ylang ylang espresso. And I am so glad I did – there’s no going back from it. And it may have been highly praised by a boy.

The Scent School experience (£20) was a great help as it breaks down the notes, all over a glass or two of prosecco! 

Floral Street has 8 fabulous unisex scents, including my absolute favourite ylang ylang espresso, which retail at £55 for 50ml. You can also get a handy 10ml version for £22, and for Christmas, they also have the 10ml in “bauble” version. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

Apart from that, Floral Street also has discovery sets and exploration kits, and a beautiful range of home fragrance with candles and diffusers, and body creams and washes. Even stationery. Needless to say, all gorgeously scented. 

The Christmas collection is beautiful, with the baubles and gifts sets of eau de parfum, candles and diffusers, well worth a look (empower set, I am looking at you). 

And the packaging is just stunning – with amazing prints and sustainable. 

For more information on Scent School, the brand and the amazing products, go to their website, their boutique in Covent Garden’s Floral Street or their pop up in Westfield London.

written by Dani

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

A (chocolate) pocket rocket

I heart revolution mini chocolate eyeshadow palettes

Many a times I wrote about how I like a compact makeup product and these Mini Chocolate Eye palettes from I Heart Revolution are the perfect example of on the go beauty.

I got my hands on the Nude and Rose Gold which are, like their bigger sisters, super versatile, but with an added bonus: they are so slim that they are guaranteed to become a permanent feature in any makeup bag. 

I heart revolution nudes mini chocolate eyeshadow palette

Nude is my favourite as the colours really complement my complexion.

There’s a mix of shimmery and matte, including gorgeous light gold for superior highlighting, some darker golds and coppers for mid tones and some selection of browns for shading. Many day and night looks in one tiny palette. Perfect. 

Rose Gold has a shade selection that pulls on neutrals with pink undertones. I miss a lighter highlight shade here, but the browns are super strong, and there’s a solid gold and peach shade for a pop of colour. 

I heart revolution rose gold mini chocolate eyeshadow palette

What’s really impressive if that these little palettes cost only £6 and the quality is amazing: high pigmentation, buttery soft and exceptional colour pay off and durability.

The colours are so versatile; in fact, all I Heart Revolution palettes – big or small – have a fabulous colour selections and there’s one for everyone, on a budget.

And oh, they so smell of chocolate, which is not something I find great, but a nice little touch. 

You can get the Nude and Rose Gold Mini Chocolate palettes from the Revolution Beauty website and Superdrug online and instore!

written by Dani

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

The face mask of dreams…

Not the first time I go crazy on praise for a face mask, but the thing with O’o Hawaii Birds + Roses Rose Quartz Hydrating + Firming Mask goes a bit beyond that.

Another fabulous discovery from FeelUnique and IndieBeauty Expo, this mask is true luxury in a pot. First, how it feels on the skin: amazing. This antique rose coloured mask has a creamy consistency that spreads like a dream on the face. Immediately skin is coated in a comforting layer. It is suitable for all skin types as it is so mild.

After 10 minutes on, it dries slightly, but comfortably and it easy to remove with lukewarm water. Skin feels so soft, plumped, calm and replenished. Really a bliss.

The red rose and pink geranium scent is subtle but ever present, even after you remove the mask. I can definitely smell the honey.

But let’s talk richness of natural ingredients. Sodium hyaluronate and squalane deliver plumpness and help stimulate cell growth; “snow mushrooms” helps draw moisture to the skin’ giant kelp, baobab, babassu and tamanu oils deliver antioxidant properties and sea buckthorn, rose and jasmine extracts, golden bee nectar and rose quartz crystals promote healing and circulation.

It also contains milk thistle, Hawaiian kukui nut oil, manuka honey, gotu kola and Hawaiian superfood blends coffeeberry extract, red algae (astaxanthin), strawberry guava and Hawaiian noni fruit extract.

Can you believe there is so much goodness packed in this pretty 150ml pot? Yes, it is highly concentrated, with no fillers – so we get no chemicals, no artificial colours or fragrance. It is also vegetarian, cruelty free, biodegradable and does not contain phtalates, sodium lauryl,/laureth sulfates, genetically modified ingredients, wheat, gluten, palm or soy.

I had the pleasure to briefly meet founder Holly Harding, AADP, INHC who is highly sought out holistic health and nutrition coach and food for beauty expert, well known for her mind/body transformation program, The H Lyfe Method®.

She believes beauty starts from within with a diet of nutrient rich, unprocessed and unrefined foods from nature so O’o Hawaii came about as as a way to accomplish beautiful, glowing, ageless skin through a combination of diet, supplementation and highly functional skincare.

Her love for Hawaii and an ocean lifestyle permeates the brand, especially when it comes to ingredients.

You can get the O’o Hawaii Birds + Roses Rose Quartz Hydrating + Firming Mask from FeelUnique. Price is on the dear side: £145 for 150ml, but  when you think about the pure ingredients, many organic, the sum does make sense. Also, a small amount goes a long way so you get a lot of wear out of the pot.

They have such a fabulous range (also, packaging is GORGEOUS!), I feel I have to try more! Plenty available in the UK at FeelUnique.

 

written by Dani

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

Strong is beautiful!

One of the best things about being a blogger is discovering brands you’d probably never come across weren’t for the blog. And Reina Rebelde is one of them.

Not long ago FeelUnique invited me to an indi brand event, ahead of the IndiBeauty Expo. Don’t get me wrong – I am a lover of all types of beauty brands, big or small – but there is something special about independent brands and the individual(s) who managed to instill they point of view, passion and dreams, onto the brands. It is a very personal outcome a lot of the times.

When I looked at Reina Rebelde, I knew the brand would resonate with my personality. Latin connections aside, the aesthetic and range of products are really “my thing”. And it does help they are great products too!

The Bold Lip Color Stick in Brava could not be more “made for me”. A bold neutral classic red compliments many a complexions and I am sold. Durability is great, pigmentation fantastic and application good – you do need a lip liner for a sharper finish. Obviously very elegant but fierce, as all good reds.

My daily eye makeup is made of neutrals. And the 4 Play Wet Dry Color palette in Azteca hits the spot. The quad has chocolate, rose gold, metallic gold and bronze hues for sophisticated day and night looks. I think it could do with a lighter gold for highlight, but overall, this palette is super versatile.

Pigmentation is fantastic, they eyeshadows are buttery soft and super blendable with great durability. And it takes you from desk to dancefloor effortlessly.

Finally, a the Rebel Eye Definer Liquid in Zapatista is a fine jet back liquid eyeliner. Now, you will now liquid is not my favourite type of eyeliner as I can make a huge mess but the a hard tip fine applicator makes the job easy and precise.

It dries super black with a slight gloss finish and durability is exceptional. It does not budge once dry.

I don’t often go on about the brand itself, but I feel I have to on this one. Products are made in the U.S. (proudly as they state!) and are cruelty free. They endeavour to use vegan ingredients; however, products are not created in a vegan-only facility, and some products (not the ones reviewed here) may contain trace amounts of carmine.

“For today’s mujer” (woman) is their motto and I feel they meet that – beauty that is, well, beautiful, but edgy, a bit tough and a slight retro touch. It is a mix of a woman mixed background that makes her so special and unique – it talks from experience and I really like that.

Dani Dutra wears Reina Rebelde lipstick in Brava, eyeliner in Zapatista and eye shadow quad in Azteca

Reina Rebelde lipstick in Brava, eyeliner in Zapatista and eye shadow quad in Azteca

Regina Merson, the founder, grew up in Mexico and got inspired by a telenovela “Rosa Salvaje” (which also made it Brazil) and her mum’s makeup rituals. The brand embodies that heritage as well as an American existence. Being from Brazil and living in the UK, I totally understand the beautiful, and sometimes conflicted balance of not losing where you came from, but at the same time shaping the person you are based on your environment.

Currently you cannot get products individually in the UK but you can get gorgeous kits from FeelUnique.

written by Dani

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

A breathe of fresh… skin?

Being hung up on my skin general condition is not even harder when it is far from perfect. I am always on the lookout for new ways of trying to improve and recently started using the Trophy Skin MiniMD, a portable home microdermabrasion device, once a week.

In the past I used a microdermabrasion device at home and was quite happy with the overall results until I got my hands on this baby.

When they say “discover you best skin” they are not lying as microdermabrasion is literally using physical abrasive agents to remove the top layer of the skin and promote regeneration revealing new, radiant skin.

If you’ve done professional microdermabrasion before you will be familiar with the “suction and scraping” combination: the device sucks the skin while you physically rub the diamond tip to buff the surface. The MiniMD has two suction levels to cater for more sensitive skin types.

Although it seems quite harsh, the whole treatment is painless and does not take more than five minutes. At the end, my skin is a little bit red, but not uncomfortable in any way. Make sure skin is clean prior to treatment.

After buffing the whole face (avoiding the eye area), I have been using the gorgeous (and recently launched) Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Serum, which contains viola, yarrow flower and red clover extracts for replenishing, firming and radiance, together with the Herbal Recovery Signature Mist, which is packed with antioxidants and has revitalising properties, as well as being refreshing – a much need property after microdermabrasion!

I love doing it at night, a couple of hours before bed, so I put the serum and mist on, as well as my usual night time skincare routine just before bed. Skin wakes up plumped, smoother and more even in tone and texture. But the real difference is noted two to three days after use – there’s definitely a great glow on top of the textural improvements. A true glow-getter!

For me, it is a great addition to the routine as my skin tends to get congested often, especially at this time of the year when the weather changes. With regular use, the MiniMD deeply exfoliates, invigorates the complexion, smoothes and soften, polishes and revitalises skin by buffing away dull and rough patches, as well as improving radiance. These are claims I can attest to, as I have been loving using it and seeing a positive change.

Make up sits better and I have been using less of it. I feel weekly is the best frequency for me, due to my skin condition, but it can be used up to three times a week.

It comes with a bunch of filters (which trap the dead skin – quite gross but you can actually see what it does!), which need to be replaced regularly. The diamond tip last up to six months, if used around 3 times a week, so if you use less, it will definitely last up to a year!

Super light and portable, although it needs to be plugged into the mains while in use, it is so pretty in rose gold – definitely one for display in the bathroom!

This device costs £85, which, if you had microdermabrasion professionally like I did in the past, you will know is not much more than one single salon session. And honestly, the results are pretty close!

You can get the Trophy Skin MiniMD from the Current Body website. You can also buy the accessories: filters are £12 for a pack of 100 and a replacement diamond tip costs £25.

written by Dani

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

 

Value alert: highlighter and blusher in one!

I Heart Revolution Dragon's Blood Highlighter

Isn’t it great when you discover one item of makeup that covers a couple of bases on your routine and is very light on your pocket?

Enter I Heart Revolution’s Dragon’s Heart Highlighter. Part of Dragon, one of the brand’s magical lines of products, this highlighter has superior pigmentation and great staying power.

Five intense warm shimmery, but not glittery colours stripes – the light cream, light gold, deep gold, pink and red can be used individually or all together to create a rose gold shimmer suitable for face and eyes.

I Heart Revolution Dragon's Blood Highlighter swatchesHowever, I love using the mixed golds as highlighter and the mixed pinks as a blusher. The effect is gorgeous and so practical to have such beautiful shades – in fact the perfect ones for my skin tone – together in one product.

And the best thing? The price: only £5! I mean… how could you even go wrong with that, but in all honesty, it delivers amazing value for money.

You can explore the Dragon range on the I Heart Revolution site – it includes eye palettes, lipsticks and lipglosses and is luscious with fiery shades!

I Heart Revolution Dragon's Blood Highlighter on faceAlso worth checking the other ranges: Unicorns, Mermaids and Angels, each sticking to a colour palette of beautiful magical shades and you’re certain to find a great selection that will not break the bank!

You can buy the I Heart Revolution Dragon’s Heart highlighter, which is vegan and cruelty free, directly from their site or from major retailers nationwide, like Superdrug!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains a GIFTED PR sample. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them. Laters!

A shift on my skincare routine

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsFrom time to time I like shifting my skincare routine and over a month ago I introduced five Image Skincare products to it. I had never heard of the brand, so was very excited to see that they are paraben free and have an extensive range catering for all different skin concerns.

After describing my skin, I was sent a mix of products from a few ranges, including the gorgeous the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum, the Ageless Total Eye Lift Cream, the Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser, the fabulous ClearCell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser and the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Masque.

I used them almost exclusively for over 4 weeks and here’s what I found…

The serum

Because I am a sucker for serums, that’s where I’m gonna start: the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum (£72) is fluid and spreads very well on the skin, sinking quickly. I felt it gives my skin radiance; and that seem to be persisting throughout the day and not only in the morning.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsThe hydrating serum has oil-soluble Vitamin C which helps soothe the visible effects of environmentally damaged skin. Vitamins A, E and highly potent anti-oxidants help on the nourishment front, for that youthful glow.

Keep it clean!

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsOne product I am in love with is the Clearcell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser (£28). Foamy and with a light scent, this cleanser makes skin feel super clean and not a tiny bit dry.

I feel it’s been a god send on these hot days where you sweat a lot at night. It contains a 5% blend of salicylic acid, neem leaf extract and granactive acne, and does a decent job of removing makeup, even eye. It has anti-inflammatory properties and gives skin a gentle exfoliation, so perfect for blemish and acne prone skin.

The eyes (always) have it

Now, eye creams are amongst my favourite type of skincare and the Ageless Total Eye Lift Creme (£48) delivers extreme hydration and nutrition to the area. I use at night as it has a richer consistency, but it applies super well and absorbs super quickly, not upsetting my sensitive eyes.

It contains a retinol-derivative glycolic blend  to help tighten the skin, chamomile, green tea and coneflower soothe and a peptide blend to reduce inflammatory processes, as well as potent antioxidants.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsDaily protection

I was looking for a multitasking face moisturiser and that’s exactly what I found on the oil-free Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser (£46).

With a microsponge technology that absorb surface oils to mattify and leave skin shine-free, a blend of anti-oxidants that scavenge free-radical, and broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 32+, it helps reduce the damage caused by the sun and environmental exposures, so it’s the perfect shield for everyday.

As all other creams from the brand, it applies well, absorbs great and sits amazingly well under makeup. All points!

The treat

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsAnd because everyone loves a sheet face mask, I also tried the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Mask (£9), which is laden with concentrated ultra-hydrating ingredients: amino acid Complex, Jeju volcanic oxygen water, Onsen-Sui mineral charged water, hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica extract, portulaca, oleracea extract, green tea, ginseng and beta glucan.

Skin feel plumped and hydrated after use; a real treat (and treatment!) suitable for all skin types.

Overall, a great brand discovery with products that kept my skin in check. And they have so many more exciting products I think would work for me!

You can browse their range on the Image Skincare website.

Also, I tried to take pics where the products live, my bathroom. Needless to say I won’t be doing that again, so the conclusion is the products are WAY better than my photography in this instance…

written by Dani

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

No white marks and a delicious floral touch

No news I am a huge fan of Dove deodorants and every time I think I found my fragrance (yes, don’t you know they work with real perfumiers de develop the fragrances?!), a new one comes along to rock the boat.

Here’s Dove Invisible Care Floral Touch: add a gorgeous floral scent to the amazing Dove Invisible Care – you know, that one that does not leave marks in 100 colours – and I think it’s a winner.

The scent is quite similar to one of my faves Soft Feel, a tad less powdery, with a delicate and feminine flowery smell. The fact it leaves no marks is a great, especially in the summer when we (well, I) abuse of colourful outfits.

This little gem gives you that reassurance that your underarms are fresh and cared for, let’s remember Dove’s formula cares for the underarm skin, leaving it hydrated and soft, but also that your outfit is safe too, regardless of its colour.

I quickly became a fan and notice straight away when I reach for a deodorant that is not specific for not leaving marks – is there anything more annoying then having to wipe your clothes with a damp towel just before you leave the house?

I also love that Dove Invisible Care invites people to be confident on wearing colour as the effects it has on people’s mood is amazing!

Dove Invisible Care Floral Touch is available as spray (150ml and 250ml), stick (40ml) and roll on (50ml), with prices from £2.49 RRP and it’s available from retailers nationwide.

Keep your eyes peeled as there are always amazing promos on Dove deodorants and every time I see one, I stock up on my faves with that extra value for money!

written by Dani

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

It’s always all about the red lipstick

I have a (real) thing for blacks, flirt with the purples, dab with the blues and on occasion succumb to a nude, but my lips truly belong to the reds.

There’s not a single other thing that can make me feel like myself and can pick me up when I am down (ok, maybe shoes. Or vodka).

Between blues and oranges, I lean towards the warmer as they suit me better but I feel quite lucky my olive complexion can the cooler reds rather well.

Life wasn’t always like this: I only started using red lipsticks around 12 years ago; bought an inexpensive Sleek number at Superdrug (in Clapham Junction) for fancy dress. Never looked back.

And with Valentine’s around the corner, you may want to invest on a new fiery red.

So I decided to wade through my vast collection of reds and do the most impossible: pick my best 10. Funnily enough, 5 are orange based, 1 is pretty neutral and 4 are blue-ish.

The warmer

No warm is too warm. I actually have a great selection of orange-red lipsticks I actively wear. However, the order of the day is red and I simply cannot rank them, so alphabetical order it will be…

The gorgeous Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in Rouge Feu is stunning; bright with an amazing texture that spreads well with a velvet finish. And lasts soooo well.

Two Charlotte Tilbury feature here: Tell Laura and Love Bite. Both warm and with a great formula, Tell Laura is matte and sharp, which Love Bite has a sheen to it and is less in your face.

GOSH My Valentine lip crayon has some glittery shimmer and is a lovely bright red that is practical to apply.

Finally, a lipstick that has been with me forever: MAC Lady Danger, a fierce red. Super matte, it has a harder formula with great durability.

The cooler

Charlotte Tilbury comes in again with the classic So Marilyn. A great formula, creamy with fantastic finish.

Of course, my gorgeous Christian Louboutin Beauté lipstick in Louboutin Red has to be here. So pretty, with a formula so dreamy I can’t even describe. It is creamy and velvety but settles into a beautiful matte. Durability is exceptional.

GOSH Velvet Touch matter in Classic Red is a true red – not warm, not cool, so a bit out of place in the cooler section, as it’s just in the middle. It has a harder formula, with good durability and amazing value for money.

MAC attacks again, with another shade that has been with me for a long time: Russian Red. A true matte with a hard formula (especially in the winter), it well and truly sticks to the lips.

Walk of Fame, part of Sleek‘s Lip VIP range, is described as a semi-matte. It has the pigmented finish but a smoother, slightly shinier finish.

The extra bits

A while back, I wrote a post on applying red lipstick, and I still follow that “ritual”. It is a life saver, especially in the winter. I also cannot live without a good lip liner and have a few in my collection, on rotation.

What I feel changed the way I apply lipstick is the retractable lip brush. Perfect for your bag, it is small and the fact it’s retractable means there is no mess! The MAC 318 is my go to.

What is YOUR red?written by Dani

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