All hail retinol

Right, retinol. What is not to like. Ladies (and gents) of a certain age (cough), hang on to it. If you are not with it, get with it.

And the NIP+FAB Retinol Fix range can meet all your retinol needs and some.

From the vitamin A family, the ingredient is used to fight pigmentation and age spots plus fine lines and wrinkles; it exfoliates skin and helps speeds cell turnover, also helping to boost collagen production. So overall a good egg.

I have been using the retinol fix range for over six weeks now and can confidently say that my skin is more even and I haven’t yet presented my dreaded seasonal melasma, even though sun exposure (with plenty of SPF, of course) has been high (weather has been glorious).

I find every item in this range a great addition to any routine for a retinol introduction of boost.

These have been my night time heroes.

My favourite has to be the Retinol Fix Booster Extreme (£10 on sale now) as it is so versatile – you can put under your routine for an overnight refresh once or twice a week.

Apart from 0.3% retinol, it contains aloe vera for soothing and the NIP+FAB special skin replenishing complex.

My love for eye creams continues here – the Retinol Fix Eye Treatment (£19.95) is a gem.

Light on the eye area, it contains 0.1% retinol, a blend of butter for conditioning and moisturising and anti-puffing, dark circle fighting ingredients.

Sheet masks (£5 on sale): I have all the time for you. And this is no different: feels so supple, loaded with a low concentration retinol, coconut water and edelweiss flower extract, an antioxidant.

Skin feels refreshed and calm after use.

Also big props to the Retinol Fix Overnight treatment (£29.95), which has sold out but worth mentioning. A rich (but not cloggy) cream that applies and absorbs like a dream, really overhauling skin at night.

It contains 0.1% retinol, matrixyl 300 to estimulate collagen production and hyaluronic acid, the sweetheart ingredient for hydration.

And the pump packaging is great!!!

The Serum Extreme (£15, on sale) and the Glow Tonic Extreme (£10, on sale) have also been permanent features.

I usually use the serum a couple days a week, in between the Booster usages and not gonna lie I’ve been a little bit addicted to the toner!!! The really boost any routine.

Also, the whole range smells amazing and I love packaging on these.

When using retinol products, make sure you listen to your skin. It is an exfoliant after all, so wear sunscreen (you should anyway) and interrupt use if redness and flakiness become irritable or persistent.

My skin is resilient and I had some lip dryness after constant use, so gave it some days break and all was back to normal and I am back reaping the benefits of this lovely range.

You can get all from the NIP+FAB website – some of the items are in for £10!!! Bargain of the year!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Mask it up

Last week I talked about how I am only just managing to keep my head above water when it comes to COVID-19 and my mental health. And face masks came in as one of the little things I have been doing to help me to find some headspace – and get bettr skin as a bonus.

Bubu skincare has a great selection of face masks to work their magic.

My favourite is hands down the #tspot Blemish busting sheet mask, and not only because it is glittery and so cool, but because it is hard to find masks to tackle blemishes and acne.

Especially now. I’ve been under a lot of stress mainly brought my anxiety and my hormones are all over the place. Result: my already problematic skin is suffering.

This glittery thermo sensitive hydrogel sheet mask contains niacinamide, vitamin B5, natural actives ingredients (including many algae extracts) and their potent secret serum.

It feels great on the skin and I particularly like the 2 part mask. The serum is well absorbed on the skin and it feels nice after. I did notice my breakouts started to calm down a few days after use and felt more settled.

I also tried the exfoliating sheet mask, #stripitoff and we all know I love an exfoliation – be it chemical or physical.

This fibrous mask base has charcoal, kaolin clay and AHA to buff away dead skin cells and purify.

Now, this is a more traditional sheet mask but I must confess I just LOVED the thick layer of clay this mask comes with.

Skin fells clean and clear after – this was also a delight to use, very different from the blemish mask, but I could not put one as better than the other: they both fulfil their brief so well.

Wearing a sheet mask is usually a mindfulness ritual for me. I usually read or have it when I am having a bath, resting on my bath pillow with plenty of salts to soothe my tired muscles.

Who can resist a lip mask? Exactly? My lips are always sooo dry that the #youpucker lip plumping mask was a god send!

Pretty in lip shape and shimmery, this lip mask contains botox (yes, that botox), which is as a topical ingredient, exclusive to Bubu, and hyaluronic acid.

It does tingle you plump and hydrated. Lips feel supple asoft after use. Love it!

Overall I was impressed with the quality of the Bubu masks and at £7 each for the face masks and £5 for the lip mask is great value for money. Plus they are cruelty free and environmentally friendly – even the sparkles.

You can get the lovely Bubu masks above on the Bubu site, together with their other products, and also on PrettyLittleThing – I say a lovely extra to any outfit!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

A little bit of makeup

How exciting is it to discover a new makeup brand? Well, let me tell you: very! Being round quite a few brands truly spoils me and there isn’t much I ah e t seen, but Catrice came about as a very pleasant surprise with some items added to my essentials kit straight away. 

From those, the HD Active Performance Primer (£4.99, currently on Black Friday for £4.24) is probably the top: a milky formula that turns velvety on application. It’s great for aid application, smoothing skin for a more even spread of product and also good helping lengthen staying  power. Oh, and it has SPF 30.

The Clean ID Mineral Bronzer (£4.99, currently on Black Friday for £4.24) has many good things to shout about. The share is neutral, giving a healthy matte glow, its impact and does not flake on application and it blends really well. It is part of their Clean ID range, made with 84% natural ingredients, talc-free, with a SPF 15 and vegan.

Moving on to the One Drop Coverage Weightless concealer (£4.95, currently on Black Friday for £3.82), which does exactly what it says – a small amount provides light, medium coverage. The extremely light liquid formula spreads and blends well, under or over powder.

The Brow Colorist (£3.79, currently on Black Friday for £3.22) is a nifty “mascara” that gives your brow a great tint. The formula is a fluid gel and it is semi-permanent, meaning durability is great. Really worth mentioning the flexible brush which is a delight to use and gets in all hairs for great coverage. It isone of their most popular products!

Catrice is a cosmetics brand well established in Europe and only recently came to the UK. I am really impressed with them as a brand: they are super trend aware (they update 25% of their products twice a year!), but also have high quality at the top of their agenda. Plus, they don’t test on animals – nor their suppliers; their price is exceptional value for money and they have a huge range of products for your beauty needs.

In the UK, you can get Catrice from justmylook – at the moment they have a 15% off offer on all products because, well, Black Friday! Hurry!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Makeup to truly match my skin

Makeup is, and has been, from a young age, a staple is my life. When I was younger, I got many comments saying I was “not natural” , was “hiding” or whatever. 

The good news is that makeup has evolved and it is easier to find products that will give you coverage that is natural, accentuating your beauty and skin.

I was very excited to try EX1 as they are the first makeup brand developed exclusively for olive skin tones, which is mine.

That might explain that, so long ago, when foundation shades were very limited, why I may have looked a bit off – friendly ghost or a bit pink.

The EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation (£12.50) is light in texture with a medium coverage, which is relatively buildable. 

Their colour matching tool on the site is amazing – I used to find my shade, based on known brands colours, and it matches perfectly. Finish is very natural, not matte or with a sheen. 

I finish it with their loose powder, which is in fact a foundation, in the oilier areas. The Pure Crushed Mineral Foundation (£13) powder is also great to use over SPF or a good day moisturiser, offering a very decent and even light coverage. 

Finally, the Blusher in Peach (£9.50) is just my shade: super pigmented and blendable, with minimal dropping, it sits pretty on the cheeks for that healthy colour flush. 

EX1 Cosmetics products feature a completely unique blend of olive tones ranging from very fair to deep tan, and are designed to seamlessly micro match olive skin tones or for those who just want to make their skin glow.

It’s parabens and cruelty free and was awarded the Best Breakthrough Brand 2019 by Superdrug at the Annual Superdrug Conference 2019.

And how great value for money is it? You can get EX1 products on their website and at Supedrug – online and in selected stores country wide.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

All year round golden skin

Summer. Suddenly you’re gone. You’re my favourite time of the year, but in London, that dies not equal tan. 

The struggle, for bronzed pins is real, and even more so when the brief summer leaves us.

Enter the wonderful Skinny Tan Wonder Serum. Its formula is a dark pearlescent jelly fluid which is easy to apply evenly and dries very quickly, giving skin an instant make over, so you’re ready to go while the tanning agents work. 

Left overnight it develops into a gorgeous deep gold tone which lasts for a good 3-5 days. 

It contains caffeine, aloe vera, vitamin E, guarana to care for the skin. 96% of its ingredients are natural and Skinny Tan is always paraben & sulphate free, as well as vegan friendly and cruelty free.

I used their fab Dual Tanning Mitt (£5.99) in pink velvet, which makes application even and super smooth on the skin. 

Very quickly it turned into my go-to tanning product.

To complete my tanning routing, line I’ve been using their brand new Rainbow moisturising range, which consists Cleansing Moisture Wash, which a tan primer and maintaining body wash, Moisture Hit Body Lotion, a gorgeous tan maintainer super moisturiser and the rich Melting Moisture body balm which is a treat for elbows and knees especially. They costs £9.95 each.

They helps prepare the skin prior to tanning and also afterwards, as some products containing sulphites make tan fade faster. ingredients include cocoa butter, coconut oil, raspberry oil, guarana, she butter and aloe vera, for moisturisation, a hit of antioxidants and skin awakening. Plus, they smell absolutely delicious!

You can get the Skinny Tan Wonder Serum on their website – it costs £29.99 and it’s such a hit that often sells out. Skinny Tan has a great range of other tanning products and accessories.

They also have amazing bundles available on the site and currently Boots has a “buy 1 get 2nd half price” on Skinny Tan products so a great change to stock up!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a PR sample as this product was GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

A bit of everything – then some more

Do you ever, like me, go into TK MAXX and feel like a kid in a sweet shop, not knowing where to look?

That happens in most locations, but I always managed to find what I need: be my most convenient, London Stratford or my closest to work, Bank, but their new Oxford Street location just took that feeling to a whole new level, where big brands at small prices are spread across four floors.

Modern, spacious, organised, friendly and full of cute corners, with a killer stock!

You can find their usual accessories, beauty, shoes, women, children, toys and men sections, together with the coveted Gold Label, jewellery and also Pre-Loved, a small super luxury section where you can find big ticket second hand designer accessories.

Think original dream handbags, procured and authenticated. How great is that?

The beauty section is always fun for me – so many fabulous brands I love and worked with in the past and you can truly find some gems.

It is also a great place to discover new brands and products!

Now, the home section has my heart – so much that at my visit to the new shop I ended up getting most of my little visit haul from there, including a set of four beautiful iridescent glasses for £7.99 and a 15oz candle for the same price.

Where can you find great glassware at such good price? Cushions as fas as the eye can see? Towels so soft and so affordable? Kitchen utensils staples but also some you didn’t even know you needed?

Candles, for example, I will never pay through my nose for that again; they have so may options of excellent quality!

Not going to lie, I got this very seasonal Sea Salt Pumpkin (yum) there the last time, but I have at least two of the same brand, with more classic fragrances I like for my home, purchased a while back, stocked up and ready to go.

And the shoes? Have you ever paid attention to the calibre of the designers at the Gold Label section? It is INSANE. And the savings you get?

Add that to the rows and rows of the non- gold label footwear at even better value.

Talking about Gold Label, the same goes for clothes. Some gorgeous stock going.

I went a bit more modest and got this fabulous pink coat at a very affordable £39.99 that is going to see me through the autumn very well. I love a pop of colour, especially in the colder months where everything is so grey!

I have, apart from the goodies I got in this shopping trip, many a gems from TK MAXX.

My kitchen is full of amazing accessories from known brands which were purchased there for a fraction of the price.

Who remembers my gorgeous silver holographic glitter boots that look a million dollars but was purchased for £17 a few months back?

And who hasn’t got the heartache of not having bought something, just to go back a few days later to get it and not find? A black leather handbag, circa 2010, Clapham. My heart.

TK MAXX works with many designer brands – big and small – and are always procuring the latest in fashion.

You may think most of it stock is past season, but the vast majority comes from current season overproduced, overbuys from stores, and some especially manufactured stock for TK MAXX which negotiates volume and good prices, which are passed on to us, consumers!

Great for the pocket and also a good chance for surplus stock to actually get sold and used. Oh, and it does not hurt they look sooooo good!

Oh, and they have plenty of Halloween stuff at the moment!

TK MAXX has many stores across the UK, Europe and Australia – so easy to find one near you. Visit the new one at 203-207 Oxford Street, just a few minutes from the tube station.

Oh, and don’t forget they also put some of their stock online, so visit their website – you can use gift cards and even click and collect at the shop!

written by Dani

Please note that this was a PR offered opportunity. I was invited to visit their new shop and given a gift card to buy some tempting items, but the above is based on my experience on the day and general, asa customer, with TK MAXX.

A protective kind of glow

A product that is called Flawless PhotoGlow and has a SPF30+? I am already sold.

And it lived up to its name: the Transformulas Flawless PhotoGlow moisturiser has a revolutionary skin drone technology (yes, you heard it right) which delivers the right active ingredients to the cells that need it.

It helps restore sking glow and radiance, as well as helping improve skin tone and pigmentation.

I am not gonna mince my words: I am in love with this product. It is an effective day moisturiser with a solid UVA/UVB SPF, fells super light and behaves well under makeup, really delivering on the glow/radiance/luminosity claims.

I’ve been using it daily for over a month and my skin loves it. I usually suffer from photosensitive pigmentation in the summer and this has been minimum so far – I attribute it to the consistent SPF use and the formula here.

My skin has been much clearer and hydrated, despite using some acne fighting products.

It contains a lot of tech ingredients like Illumisan (for pigmentation), Suncat MTA (pollution and sun protection), X50 PhotoGlow (the cosmetic drone I mentioned above), squalane (hydration) and LPD Multivitamin (antioxidants and vitamins A,C, D and F) to support delivery of all claims.

Honestly, a gem, definitely worth the £55 price tag (50ml). I am so sold, and dreading the end of he tube.

You can get the Transformulas Flawless PhotoGlow online. And maybe send me a few to keep ;).

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a PR samples and this product was GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on it.

Overnight recovery

At night, your skin heals. Our bodies pretty much rest themselves – that’s why sleeping well is essential for good health. 

Temple Spa is giving an extra helping hand with the Repose Aromatherapy Relaxing night cream, not only with a fabulous face cream that contains natural plant extracts and anti-oxidants to supporting that overnight replenishing process, but also a fusion of relaxing essential oils to help us achieve a good night’s sleep. 

The cream has a great, cashmere consistency and is absorbed quickly by the skin. In the morning, skin feel supple and plump. I love that this night cream is not too rich, as my skin tends to get congested after wearing those.

And when I wake up and wash my face, there are no traces of my skincare, a sign my skin really took it all in.

Now, the smell is soothing and calming and great to put your head on the pillow with, thanks to a gorgeous blend of hops, valerian, chamomile, frankincense, lavender, patchouli, geranium, bitter orange and clary essential oils which have a reputation to aid deep relaxation and bring a sense of calm, as well as a great moisturisation.

It is suitable or all skin types and does help fight fine lines and wrinkles – it really helps settles the skin.

This fabulous Repose Aromatherapy Relaxing night cream costs £40 for 50ml and a little goes a long way and you can get it online.

Temple Spa is a lovely British skincare brand founded by people who had years of experience creating business and products for others, and decide to create their own. They are stocked in Harrods and you can also find them in many spas around the UK, with amazing treatments.

written by Dani

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

Living with No B.S.

If the boys won’t let me live my life free of it, at least my skincare can now be no b.s.

Yes, you heard it: a skincare brand that says we should put up with no bullsh*t – and they live up to it in their formulations.

Retinol is one of my favourite ingredients, mainly due to my skin type and condition, and the no b.s. Retinol Night Cream is a dream. 

Because it has no nasties, it relies on the line smoothing, scar fading properties of retinol with the added benefits of moisturising hyaluronic acid, protecting vitamin E and soothing aloe vera to do its job. 

And what a job it does – from the first use, skin wakes up plumper, smoother and overall feeling great. 

Over time, the retinol gets to work its wonders, especially when pigmentation fading is concerned. 

If I weren’t before, I just became a bigger fan of no b.s. and was glad to extend the motto to another part of my life! 

No b.s. is an American company that has a simple message: say no to toxic crap. And their products, apart from the sassy name and bright packaging are leaded full of clean ingredients in potent formulas, to create a simplified routine.

They are cruelty free, free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, phtalates and sulfates; their packaging is recyclable and with exception of one product (SPF 20 moisturiser), all products are vegan.

I am really into their whole range – it’s straight forward and packed with goodness, so you can truly #LiveNoBS skincare wise (boys, help us here, it’d be great to extend that to you, just saying).

The no b.s. Retinol Night Cream costs £58 for 30ml (it goes a long way). In the UK, you can get your hands on them at FeelUnique.

written by Dani

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

ps: the butterfly was mounted by me and it is ethically sourced – it lived its full life in a sanctuary and died naturally before making its way into my wall.

Brush it gently

If you have fine and/or fragile hair, you know how important it is to treat as the finest of silks, especially when brushing. 

I’ve been using brushes specific for my hair type for a while and was very happy to try the new Denman Tamer Gentle, designed especially for fine hair. 

This tug-free brush is very light and comfortable to grip, with fine bristles of varied lengths to really get into the finest of hair for gentle detangling and smoothing. 

It feels fine on the scalp and brushing, wet or dry, is a breeze. It comes in 4 different colours, and I love both I was sent – the black one now lives in my bathroom while the bright blue, pink and yellow made my bedroom its home!

Marrying the detangling power of the Tangle Tamer Ultra with the Denman soft brush technology, the Tangle Tamer Gentle has an ai-cushioned pad that rides the contours of the head and soft ball ended bristles to glide through hair gently.

And talking about the Tangle Tamer Ultra, for thicker, unruly hair, it now comes in beautiful new shades, including this gorgeous pink, plus purple and another 4. 

I gifted one to my friend Carol and she has been enjoying the brush on her (gorgeous) thick mane! I am glad it now had a good (and more appropriate) home!

Denman is a traditional British company born in 1938 from the will of a brother to help his sister style her wonderful but unruly curly hair and is a now a established worldwide company. 

The new Tangle Tamer Gentle brushes cost £11, which I find great value for money, and can be purchased at denmanbrush.com and Amazon.

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.