My first CBD face moisturiser

Dermavive CBD moisturiser

In the last year or so, CBD skincare has been all the rage. Initially only from small boutique brands, we now see mainstream giants launching CBD based lines.

Dermavive Ultra Cream from Nutrivive was the very first one I tried, and I have to say I won’t be looking back.

I am already a big fan of CBD balm and muscle rubs as they give my sore and tired muscles and joints great natural pain relief and inflammation reduction, especially for my lower back and thumbs, which are plagued by ongoing niggles.

After using the Dermavive Ultra cream as my only night cream for over 3 weeks, my skin feels calm, pre-menstrual breakouts seems less angry and overall texture and tone is great.

Moisturiser texture is firm and quite rich but it absorbs well and quickly upon application. It smells rather nice – a mix of deep herbal and sweet jasmine which is prominent but not intrusive.

On top of the great concentration of 1000mg cannabidiol (CBD) it contains the goodness of well known ingredients like unrefined avocado oil, sunflower, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, shea butter, tea plant and oat extract and meadowfoam seed oil, lemon peel oil, jasmine, sandalwood oil.

It is manufactured in the UK and they disclose the origin of their ingredients.

Dermavive CBD moisturiser

Cannabidiol is not psychoactive, non-toxic and it has many properties such as helping pain relief, anti-inflammatory, aiding reduce anxiety and depression and it is known to help alleviate cancer-related symptoms.

Nutivive is working to be a carbon neutral business by 2022 and is part of the One Tree Initiative meaning that for every product sold, one tree is planted.

The moisturiser is cruelty free, 100% organic and suitable for vegans. The Dermavive Ultra CBD cream costs £39.99 for 50ml; a little goes a long way here! You can get it from the Nutrivive website, where you can also get various concentrations CBD pure oil and blends.

written by Dani

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

Maskne. Are you serious?

Think about my sheer terror when I first heard the word maskne. 20+ years (no, I won’t disclose how many over 20. Rude!) suffering from acne and now you’re telling me the sensible way to help protect myself and other in the middle of a pandemic is actually causing, lo and behold: ACNE. 

Jokes, right? No, it is true. The coined term #maskne the beauty industry has been throwing right left and centre refers to acne related by the use of face masks.

I mean, everyone and their dog is talking about maskne. Even the BBC talked about it and given my 20+ years experience in acne (and 10 at the BBC, ok?), I thought I’d share my afflictions and my (trial) solutions. Ok, mainly my afflictions. 

Apparently our lovely mask also “suffocates” our skin a bit – think a little greenhouse of oil and sweat, plus the areas of contact which also contribute to contact acne, on top of the gross sebum ones. You’re welcome.

All avenues had been exhausted as the obvious (for me) is already part of my routine (and then some): wash face regularly with a gentle cleanser, use a clean mask every time, stop touching your face (good advice for COVID-19 and breakouts).

Side note: I actually wear reusable face coverings with a cotton layer inside (that sometimes I sew an extra in for added protection). I wash at 40 degrees with detergent at every wear. I don’t have to reuse a mask even if it was worn for a 10 minutes run to the shops and having a selection means I am never caught short, and I always carry extra ones and filters.

Masks in all the colours and shine of the rainbow (is that a thing?)

My usual routine (morning wash, toner, SPF, vitamin C booster, moisturiser + eye cream, eve: wash, toner, moisturise, serum/oil, eye cream) plus my medication, Spironolactone, that helps keep skin in check didn’t seem to be doing their trick so I went on the search of an efficient and pocket friendly option to help me tackle it. 

When I noticed little spots and serious congestion around my chin and jawline, as well as around my nose, I had enough. How dare you, acne. 

I changed my night toner to a blemish prone skin specific, reduced the use of more aggressive retinols and glycolic acids and added a (not so) secret weapon: salicylic acid. 

I got this one from Superdrug and it is extremely affordable. The Me+ Salicylic Acid + Cica booster cost me £6.99 and I have to say, is working well so far. 

I’ve been using twice a day and also on the chin and around the nose area under light make up when I go out and know I will be wearing my mask for a longer period of time. 

Salicylic acid was probably the very first ingredient I tried when I started to have acne in my teenage years. Due to the severity at that time, it did very little to keep it at bay, but being reunited with this old friend was a surprise with pleasant results. 

However, it’s main property is to get into the pores and breaks down dead skin cells and oils, help prevent them to clog. This also contains centella asiatica, which is calming and soothing, so for me it has been working a treat!

Benzoyl peroxide is also highly recommended and available over the counter – I’ve been using that for years and it is a great way to prevent, less to rid of, blemishes. A thin layer daily on the affected area is also known to help.

Spots come and go, it’s been like that all my life. Am I ok with them? NO. However, for the safety of those around me, I’ll just grin, and bear it – behind my mask of course.

Have you noticed maskne? How are you tackling it?

written by Dani

For the sake of skin condition disclaimer, I didn’t edit the pics and had minimal makeup on: light under eye concealer, mascara and sheer lipstick. On the rest of my face, only moisturiser, SPF, vitamin C serum and salicylic acid on the chin+jawline area. Face pics taken with iPhone.

Hair detox

PR samples

From all the detoxes, I think a hair one is probably one I could take and for two weeks I went organic with Innersense. I used their shampoo, hair mask, styling spray and dry shampoo and nothing else on my hair.

I really like that every instruction for use comes with a calming ritual – seemed a bit odd when I first read, but actually makes the simple act of caring for your hair a little self care, self-centering routine, and I am there for it.

The most used product was the shampoo which is probably my favourite. The Color Awakening Hairbath (£26/ smells fresh, lathers well and leaves hair feeling clean and fresh.

It contains coconut and rice bran, shea butter, pumpkin seed oil and rooibos tea extract for that extra antioxidant punch and a little goes a long way.

Sadly I didn’t get a conditioner so ended up treating myself to using the Hydrating Hair Masque (£28) as one to really get into those drier ends. And I very much enjoyed it.

The mask delivers a great hydration, hair feels soft and nourised – not a surprise when it packs flaxseed, shea butter, monoi coconut and tamanu oils, as well as quinoa and sage + vanilla essential oils.

The Refresh Dry Shampoo (£22) is – lo and behold – not dry. It has a foam consistency that

During lockdown I’ve been washing my hair less and have really tested this one, mainly for those last minute video calls (or that time I had space buns and had to get my hair into profesh mode to interview someone).

I used a couple pumps massaged to roots, then let it dry and brushed. I found that it really refreshes hair and makes it look presentable but it doesn’t quite soak up all the grease, like powder ones, as expected.

However, that also means there is no horrible scalp build up, so I find an ok trade, especially if you don’t have oily hair. Oh, and it does not have that “odour neutralising” small that most powder sprays do – if you know what I mean (or is it just me?).

I rarely style my hair – when I do, it is mermaid waves with little or most of the times no product. I did get the I Create Finish hair spray (£24) and found it, overall, a good hair spray. Now, I don’t use hair sprays in general (more a mousse person for extra flexible waves) but can say the hold was better than I though, although I did find it a bit crunchy.

If hair sprays are your thing, this contains aloe vera, rooibos, honey and lavender. It smells lovely!

At the end of the two weeks my hair felt strong, shiny, overall quite happy, pretty much as their 14-day detox tells you it should, restored from artificial build ups.

I’ll definitely put the shampoo on the rotation, keep using the mask once a week on rotation too and use the dry shampoo to refresh maybe a day old hair, but not longer – I know I should really wash 3 times a week at least as my hair is fine and prone to oily roots.

Oh, and btw, that in the pic is my real hair – no extensions shown: a first for this blog!

You can get Innersense on their website and various retailers like Naturismo and Selfridges.

They have a great range that cater for other hair types with a good selection of shampoos, conditioners, leave-in conditioners and styling products, including curly hair.

And while you’re at it, it’s also worth reading about their ethos and passion for clean, pure beauty products and living.

written by Dani

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

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.