A vitamin C boost to tackle dull skin

Valo [Light] Glow Boost EssenceWho’s with me in no longer bearing the winter? Thought so. I had enough. London is so miserable in the winter so I cannot wait for those longer, brighter days.

While those don’t come, my skin keeps suffering with the brutal wind and heating. Dullness ensues.

A while back, at my favourite place, Liberty, I came across Lumene, a gorgeous Finnish brand and its equally gorgeous Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence.

Now, we all love a bit of glow and we know highlighter can only do so much. I only “discovered” some glow in my skin in the last few years, so I am doing everything I can to retain even if a tiny bit of it.

Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence

This light serum is loaded with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, which makes it the perfect hydration and glow potion to fight the winter effects on the skin.

Its consistency very fluid, colourless and feels so smooth on the skin, which drinks up very quickly. I use about 3-5 drops for my face and it is suitable for all skin types.

I do feel it helps reset my complexion, especially when used at night. It also helps maintain the plumpness and hydration which my skin tends to lose in the course of the day, when I apply in the morning.

Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence

Apart from brightening vitamin C and moisture preserving hyaluronic acid, The Valo Glow Boost Essence contains Arctic cloudberry extract a and pure Arctic spring water.

Altogether, they works to help achieve plumper, smoother and more radiant skin, which subsequently appears more youthful.

I use it mainly at night, at times combined with other serums and oils and at times with some other vitamin C products on top. I sometimes add it in the morning too, with some more vitamin C products on top, because you know, bitch gotta glow.

You can get this the Lumene Valo [Light] Glow Boost Essence from Liberty (always worth a trip over). It costs £29.90 for 30ml and you can also get it from feelunique.

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.

Flawless cover for problem skin

Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h A good coverage is very important to me when settling for a face makeup product. At the same time, caring for my problematic skin is also a concern.

The Vichy Dermablend has quite a feel solutions to tackle both problems with one smooth sweep. The Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h is not different from the Vichy Dermablend 3D Correction, which I tried before – it also does not disappoint in terms of coverage. Even though it’s super buildable, it does not look cakey.

Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h The power powder

The powder comes in a little compact with mirror and a handy sponge for application, which is great on the go.

The texture is velvety and the finish matte but fresh, and not a lot of product is needed to achieve a really good coverage – trust me when I say it, I rarely settle for sheer.

Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h Is it just make up?

No way! It is non-comedogenic, paraben free, hypoallergenic and 100% mineral pigment. Its non-greasy, oil control and shine-fighting formula contains active dermatological ingredients including sebum-regulating zinc gluconate and anti-imperfection salicylic acid and vitamin E.

I know some will shoot me for saying this, but for me, it makes for the perfect coverage for the gym because the durability is so good – up to 12h.

It also took me through my post-laser treatment, where I could (and needed, not to scare the passers-by) wear very light makeup. The fact very little is needed to achieve good coverage made it ideal that situation.

The Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation 12h, as well as the other Vicky Dermablend products, is available from retailers nationwide, comes in 5 shades and costs £20.

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.

written by Dani

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.

A special gift for the beauty lover in your life

The clue is really in the name when it comes to feelunique – their personalisation services really are a fabulous special touch to make that gift – or that treat to yourself – truly unique.

Now, I’m a sucker for personalisation: love a bit of Dani here, a little D here and a huge D there… you know, to feed my *slightly* narcissistic nature. Personalisation lures me in. Fact.

Egocentric reasons aside, it can transform a simpler gift into something rather special for a loved one. Engraving can be done in glass and metal, so think perfume bottles and make up compacts customised specially for you or your loved ones.

Swarovski crystal application is also a thing with the sparkly folks at feelunique: add you initials or a little star to a huge variety of products, including lipsticks!

Personalisation costs an affordable £4.95 and can be either 1-3 Swarovski crystals depending on the product and up to 12 characters (in English) for engraving.

The items that can be customised will be marked on the site. For engraving, you can just click on the + next to the word “Engraving” to add your text – you can read all on the feelunique website.

A truly thoughtful gift that is convenient and needn’t cost the earth!

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.

A blemish rescue oil. Yes, really

Votary Blemish Rescue OilThis year you haven’t heard it: oh how I love a facial oil. And this is a gem from a brand I got to know quite recently: Votary, which makes this post that little bit more exciting.

Now, my personal battle navigating between aggressive, drying blemish fighting and hydrating, nourishing age fighting products is known to an extent here (and I’ll publish a full piece on it soon), but this little hero addresses just that. Tamanu oil and salicylic acid, make it nourishing with blemish fighting properties.

Votary Blemish Rescue Oil’s 2% salicylic acid goes down deep in the pores dissolving dead skin cells and exfoliating all the way to the surface. This helps with the congestion that usually brings spots about.

And the blend of natural plant oils including rice, oat, tamanu and rosemary essential oil aids quicker recovery and promotes  balance.

Votary Blemish Rescue OilIt’s a great targeted, non-aggressive solution which is a bliss to use: it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy, and even though it’s for use on the spot, I feel it works wonders on the whole face or areas, like the chin, to help prevent breakouts.

And for that, I really want to get the Votary Clarifying Facial Oil, as I think it would be a very powerful duo for problematic skin.

The Votary Blemish Rescue Oil costs £35 for 15ml (it goes a looooong way!) and you can find the gorgeous Votary products at Liberty – I mean, any excuse for a trip over there – or online on their site.

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.

Six weeks of festive nails

essie nail polishes suit & tied, ring in the bling, new year, new hue, be cherry!, on your mistletoes and social-lights

suit & tied, ring in the bling, new year, new hue, be cherry!, on your mistletoes and social-lights (L-R)

With everything so festive around us, nails have to follow suit. And of course, essie has the perfect collection to make sure your talons are ready to join the party.

essie nail polishes

For the first week of December, start light: suit & tied is a warm sand beige, almost toasted, that is neutral but at the same time interesting enough to keep my unusual nail polish taste satisfied. Great for those who like nudes, but with a little difference.

The second week welcomes be cherry!, a bright crimson red with a hint of pink to brighten up the darkest of days. It is a versatile and fun red, slightly different from the ones I usually go for and yes, it is rather cheerful.

essie nail polishesAs Christmas approaches, and the parties are in full swing, why not go for on your mistletoes, a dense oxford blue with a hint of green – looking like a dark, funky teal to the untrained eye.

I’m a fan of all shades of blue on my nails and this blue-green is super festive and a little bit edgy.

essie nail polishesSo it’s Christmas! Yay! For the oh-so-festive fourth week, ring in the bling: a gorgeous metallic ruby red, tinged with a little bit of cobalt making it magically hot, cold and pearly.

It is red, it shines and will look amazing under the tree.

essie nail polishesMy favourite will have to see the new year in. The fifth week begs for social-lights, a fabulous pearl slate grey with a subtle, glistening amber warmth.

I adore a colour shifting nail polish and this is the deal. It looks strong on the bottle but a bit more subdued on the nails. And apart from the warm hints, it also produces some great blue-ish sheen on movement. Great colour depth for new year’s eve!

essie nail polishes in be cherry!, ring in the bling, on your mistletoes and social-lights

essie be cherry!, ring in the bling, on your mistletoes and social-lights

And to kick off January, the sixth week begs for a very wintery, and appropriately named new year, new hue. Write those resolutions with this luscious magenta purple on your fierce claws.

essie nail polishes in new year, new hue and suit & tied

essie new year, new hue and suit & tied

So, what’s your favourite? How would you spread the shades over the six weeks?

You can buy the essie nail polishes from major retailers nationwide, including Superdrug and Boots, for £7.99 each. Remember, it is limited edition, so hurry up! 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.

When one scent is not enough…

Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal from scentaddict by the Fragrance ShopUntil a few years ago, I stuck to the same fragrance. It was my thing, my signature.

Then, something happened. Maybe I started realising I was one and many a person… maybe I just got lured by the many scents on the market, bombarding my senses. Who knows?

Enter scentaddict by the Fragrance Shop celebrates the need to change fragrances ever so often, with little guilt. In fact, it lets you “date” it for a while, before deciding if you want to commit.

I don’t know about you, but usually the very base notes on fragrances are the one I do not like, do to know I really like a perfume, I need to wear it for a while, see how it develops on my skin and how it lasts throughout the day.

The deal

atomiser - scentaddict by the Fragrance Shop

With scentaddict you can do just that. For a monthly subscription of £12 you get 30 days (8ml) of your chosen fragrance, including luxurious, expensive ones, to try in a lovely refillable atomiser.

To start with, you add up to 12 fragrances to your account and the first one will be with you in about 2 weeks. You can choose to receive the another fragrance you selected the following month or the same one.

Should you really fall in love with a scent and decide that’s the one for you (you know, it an happen), you can redeem the£12 towards the cost of a full bottle.

As it’s a subscription service you can pick a different scent every month until you find the one! It’s a really a discovery service and you can stop at any time.

The one for me 

I got Scandal, a delicious John Paul Gaultier fragrance which has the most relatable pin-up legs up – if you cannot make up the relation to me, have a scroll through my Instagram. It might become apparent.

Jean Paul Gaultier Scandal from scentaddict by the Fragrance ShopThe top notes are citric (blood orange and grapefruit), and I am not a citrus fragrance person. Having said that, the opening is rather sweet and crisp.

However, it was the delicious heart of honey and gardenia that really hooked me in, offering a mellow, sweet smell finished with a strong patchouli base. It’s a world away from the classic JPG that is not quite my cup of tea.

Plus, those heeled legs? I mean, what’s not to love?

You can get all the info on scentaddict by the Fragrance Shop on their website, where you can subscribe and start flirting with a plethora of scents – there are more than 100 to try!

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.

Sculpted eyes

NIP+FAB is very known for they skincare range – clue is in the name and the fab products mostly containing acids are effective and affordable.

The Eye Palette Sculpted, however, was my very first contact with NIP+FAB as a makeup brand and I am not disappointed.

The NIP+FAB Eye Palette Sculpted has 9 great warm shades from light cream to dark brown, to sculpt, shade and smoke eye from day to night.

Most are matte but there are 2 gorgeous metallic shades that work well with any combination on the palette. I’ve been using it a lot, especially for day makeup.

Eye shadows are velvety and don’t drop, and I was impressed with the pigmentation and durability, as well as blendability and how well all shades combine.

I love dabbing a little bit of the stunning shimmery shades in the centre of the lid as a final touch to my eye makeup – an easy way to make a day look sparkle for the evening.

The NIP+FAB Eye Palette Sculpted is available from Superdrug and costs £12.95. You can also explore the new(ish) NIP+FAB makeup range which has everything from bases to colour.

At the moment, Superdrug has a 3 for 2 in selected cosmetics and beauty accessories (including this palette) and you get a free tassel when you buy in the promo!

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.

A beauty lift for eyes

Eye creams: I’m obsessed! No secret, I use them day and night and I juts love the feeling of applying and of course, having hydrated  round the eye area all day long.

DHC brought the Beauty Lift range out a while back and although it didn’t quite work for my skin, the Beauty Lift Eye Care Essence Roll-on is a complete different story.

Start with the three tiny metal beads that form the roll-on. They mean a more delicate and targeted multipoint gentle and cooling massage on application to ease puffiness.

Inside, a very light and fluid serum like formula containing firming and smoothing oat kernel extract, also firming mevalonolactone and ceramide 3, plus hydrating and lifting pentapeptide-18.

It’s light enough for multi-use. For the day, first thing is the morning, it’s a godsend to help with puffy and bed eyes. At night, it’s a refresher to wake up hydrated and refreshed.

I also like the click pen that delivers the exact shot for one application! No excess product or waste.

And how pretty does the pearlescent pink packaging look? Dreamy!

The DHC Beauty Lift Eye Care Essence Roll-on costs £24 for 6ml, but it’s currently on sale until 30/11/17 for £20, a real bargain! You can get it directly from the DHC website.

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.

That peeling face mask…

Oh face masks… is there anything that screams being pampered more than a lush face mask accompanied by a fluffy dressing gown?

BLAQ mask (£14) is a peel-off facial mask with activated charcoal to target toxins and draw out impurities.

I must admit I’ve been a bit scared of peel-off black face masks as so many people seem to have had some asphalt mix that set on their faces, was damn hard to peel and took a layer of their epidermis off when finally pulled out, leaving them with that newborn panda look.

But when I got my hands on this, I could not resist and I am glad I didn’t.

After cleansing and using a warm cloth to open pores, I applied an even layer of the mask avoiding hairline, eyebrows, lips and eye area.

I waited around 15 minutes and I went off to peel the shiny layer of face mask that was set like plastic on my face.

Laugh away:

I found a little spot to grab on to and started. It did come off quite easily, and although I could feel the pull, it wasn’t aggressive on the skin, but there was a little bit of redness.

After a few minutes, my skin felt super soft, clearer, calmer; blackheads were pulled out.

Together with the face mask, I also got the BLAQ Hydrogel Eye Masks (£22), which I have to say, I’ve been very excited about.

The slug like patches come in a solution and are extremely soothing and cooling upon application.

After 15 minutes they easily come off and the area felt de-puffed and had a glow, brighter and tighter. Sounds a load of rubbish, but I did noticed a visible change.

It contains glycerin, witch hazel extract, bamboo charcoal, Irish moss powder (0.1%), konjac fibre, algin and citric acid.

Finally, the BLAQ Meteor Shower scrub (£19.95). I mean, just to start with: pretty. It fells lovely on the skin, and really exfoliates, leaving it soft, shimmery and glowy. It is perfect to prep for tanning!

I find it quite sweet that you can “track” the origin of the meteorites used on your scrub. Each pack has a number, here’s mine:

It contains sea salt flakes, meteorite powder, mica, activated charcoal, soybean oil, sugar and olive fruit oil. The meteorite powder as found in the scrub is 100% biodegradable; the scrub has no preservatives or additives, and BLAQ does not test on animals!

You can get them all at blaq.co.

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.