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.

Leathery nails

There was a time in my life I was all about the nail art. Not elaborate drawings, but details and ombrés were my favourites.

Fast forward and I am now all about the plain colours and when they come with a differential, I’m all for it.

Meet the essie leathers collection, created by their colour designer Rebecca Minkoff, and inspired by her best selling leather handbag colours.

There are six amazing shades and they come in two sets of minis: one with very autumnal, deep colours and one with winter bright pastels, all reworked.

The finish is not glossy, but not totally matte, with a discreet metallic sheen. Some shades even have a slight texture that can barely be seen.

My favourite has to be the super pale grey lilac Push The Envelope. It’s super versatile, so close to white with a silver glimmer but not harsh. And easy to apply. Love.

The greens are divine – be it minty turquoise Bucket List or viridian Back in the Saddle.

Then there is the lavender shining mauve Cross-Body Heat, blood red Tote-ally In Love and indigo blue In Hot Purse-uit.

I used them without a topcoat (not to spoil the finish) and durability was way better than I expected – a week, no chips.

You will all know how much I love essie nail polishes: the formula, the fabulous brush, the great colours, limited edition collections and even the quirky names, so no surprise I have used each polish for a whole week!

They are available only until the 24th October at Boots for £12.99 a set (3x5ml), so hurry if you fancy a bit of leathery love on your talons!

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.

You actually scrub up well…

You know when your skin feels a bit congested, and no amount of a good cleanser seems to actually make it feel clean?

Enter facial scrubs. I am a huge fan since my skin, with all its issues, seem to demand that, from time to time, a use something less gentle to keep it under control.

And because I like variety and rotate skin products, I decided to share the scrubs that have been keeping my skin in check:

The Alpha H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub (£35.95 for 100ml) has been a favourite for ages. Alpha H has some lovely products all with my dear glycolic acid, which here is at 12%. The formula also contains eco-friendly jojoba beads, caffeine and peppermint, for renewed and refreshed skin.

It’s a fine but tough scrub; it does have at-home microdermabrasion properties and I leave on my face for a few minutes so the glycolic acid can work on the skin.

The Botanics Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish (£9.99 for 125ml) is one of the finest I’ve ever encountered and I love it! So effective yet gentle, it is infused with extracts from the leaves of the Gingko plant and polishes away dead skin to reveal smoother radiance.

In fact, Botanics, which you can get from Boots UK, was one of my biggest budget skincare discoveries this year and I will be soon talking about more products, the company, their love of natural ingredients and how they work with Kew Gardens to deliver the best plant power to our skin!

The gorgeous dermalogica daily microfoliant (£48 for 75g) that has been with me forever! I love this dry rice powder product that releases papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes when wet.

Can be mixed with water but my best tip is to mix with your favourite foamy face wash. Works a treat for gentle exfoliation and can be used more frequently so super soft skin.

And talking about powders in a tub, meet the Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub (around £7.99 for 125g), which is Bioré‘s answer to the bad boys microbeads.

Activated by mixing with water, it fizzes up for cleansing and gentle exfoliating – and you can make is thicker or thinner, depending on how much exfoliation is required. The fact is completely dissolves helps avoid over-scrubbing.

Of course, scrubbing should be done lightly, in upwards circular movements to also help boost circulation on the skin. Never over-scrub as this can hurt the skin and in case of spots, make them worse!

It is also very important to pick a scrub for your skin type. Sensitive skins will not like it very much and maybe you should opt for a gentle chemical exfoliator instead.

Still, I find the act of using a facial scrub extremely satisfying! Am I alone on that?

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.

A facial hero

I first came across Voya last year, at Organic Beauty Week. In the goodie bag, came a body oil I used to the very last drop, but somehow failed to post about.

Fast forward a year and there they are at Organic Beauty and Wellness Week 2017 and in the bag, the gorgeous My Little Hero Facial Serum.

This organic seaweed face serum is made of a blend of organic oils to boost and protect skin.

Full of antioxidants, it nourishes and improves radiance. I cannot stress enough that oils are suitable to most skins, even the more troublesome ones, like mine.

Oils from sunflower, camelina, coriander, grape, pumpkin, pomegranate and jojoba seed, wheatgerm, geranium, lavender, ylang ylang, palmarosa,  rosehip, vetivert root, bergamot, clove, almond, and avocado are joined by seaweed, green algae, vanilla extracts to form this extremely rich 98% organic oil that sinks deep and very well into the skin.

Because it’s so rich, my skin can only take it at night, and sometimes it’s all it needs. Skin wakes up plump and happy.

Admittedly, it is on the expensive side at £53 for 30ml but we are talking high quality organic skincare that goes a long way.

On the fabulous Angelicus Serratus Nourishing Body Oil (£34 for 100ml) which I used up a while ago, only great notes: very rich but quickly absorbed, perfect for after the shower, leaving skin soft and nourished for ages.

It contains a very pleasant and distinctive smell with citrus and the seaweeds focus and angelicus serratus, which work on elasticity, suppleness and cleansing.

A real delight to apply all over the body, it is full of antioxidant rosehip, sunflower and evening primrose oils, vitamin E, revitalizing lime and rejuvenating mandarin. I was really sad to see the empty bottle, I tell you!

You can get the My Little Hero Facial Serum and the Angelicus Serratus Nourishing Body Oil from the Voya website. Products and treatments can be found at 37 luxury locations, including hotels, worldwide like the Mandarin Oriental in London and the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, for example. 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.

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.