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.

Overnight hand care

If like me you’re obsessed with hand creams, keep reading. Crabtree & Evelyn, which has the best hand cream in town, has an overnight hand therapy cream and I am sold.

I do have the habit of moisturing my hands before going to bed anyway and lately I have been doing with a product made exactly for that.

But Dani, how is it different from a normal hand cream, you ask? Well.. of course, the trick in on the concentration. This rich cream contains a concentrated complex of vitamins and amino acids, including arginine.

It is formulated especially to protect, by enhancing the skin’s natural barrier, maintain the natural moisture level, help skin recovery and soothe any dryness.

As any Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy creams, it is easily and totally absorbed by the skin leaving no trace, but a long-lasting moisturisation. Applied at night, this cream works its wonder so I have been waking up with soft and nourished hands.

The classic La Source – a crisp, clean scent of refreshing aquatic notes, musk, and gentle shoreline breeze – is the version I’ve been using, but the overnight hand therapy is also available in three other amazing scents.

I’ve talked a lot about the hand therapy creams (which is always in my bag) and the amazing 60 second fix for hands (which I use about twice a week) and now the overnight hand cream is yet another Crabtree & Evelyn product that has a firm place in my life.

The overnight hand therapy costs £19 for 75ml and you can get online from the Crabtree & Evelyn website or in their ever so tempting shops!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.

Handy and affordable sunscreens to take anywhere

SPF is very important in our lives. Regardless of being gloomy in London or scorching in the Caribbean, winter or summer, we know sun protection should always be in our minds – and most importantly, in our skins!

It is great to find sunscreens that take little space and you can take away with you on a daily basis, for all those important and often neglected top ups.

As the sun is gracing my balcony today, I felt inspired to put together a small selection of sun creams I have been wearing that offer a great protection and can be carried around for all day long wear. And they are pretty affordable too!

I fell in love with the Bioderma Photoderm Max Aquafluide SPF 50+ during my last holiday. What a delight to apply; its fluid water-like texture is great. It dries quickly and matte, is water resistant and behaves very well under makeup.

Plus, apart from high UVA/UVB protection, it has the patented Cellular Bioprotection which activates the skin’s natural defences at cellular levels, protecting our cells and combating premature skin ageing.

And probably the best thing? Extremely well priced at around £13 for 40ml.

Moving on to one from my favourite sunscreen brands, very affordable and easy to find, the Nivea Sun Caring Roll-on SPF 30 is super easy to apply, it is water resistant, protects agains UVA and UVB rays and offers long lasting moisturisation too.

The formula is great, dries quickly and is non-sticky, the smell so familiar and lovely, and the price is also extremely friendly at around £7 for 50ml.

I raved soooo much about the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Face Mist SPF 50 when it launched and after almost using it all since, I will maintain my review: it is the most practical SPF around and perfect for us city folks as it can be applied on top of makeup.

For me, that is priceless but you can get it for an affordable £10. And I just found for £6 at Boots. Going to stock up.

Finally, a  little gem from Eucerin, the Tinted Sun Creme SPF 50+. Ideal for those who wear little or no makeup but want a natural flash of colour, it is oil-free, non-comedogenic with UVA and UVB protection. It costs £16 for 50ml.

These are the little heroes keeping me safe all year round!

What are you favourite “portable and affordable” SPF?

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.

Work that eyeliner flick!

Those who know me can confirm the fact that if I have make up on, I have eyeliner. The flick has been with me for ages now and I (almost) cannot leave the house without it.

When a new eyeliner comes along, I’m filled with excitement, especially when it is a pen, my favourite medium. So of course the Lord & Berry Shodō eyeliner ticked all the boxes.

Perfecting the eyeliner application is really down to exhaustive practice, and even after many years of daily doings, there are some days my eyeliner hates me. A lot.

Shodō is a form of artistic writing of the Japanese language and this eyeliner doesn’t let us down. The tapered brush is made of soft bristles that retain their form, thus being firm enough for precise thick and thin lines.

The formula is super black, rather glossy, extra pigmented and smooth. Upon drying, which happens quickly, it sits film-like on the skin.

It is water and sweat proof and does not budge, but can be removed with warm water and flakes off with little effort.

My only recommendation is that an eyelid primer or powder shadow is used prior to application, as the film didn’t particularly love my oily bare eyelids!

Shodō has been upgraded to my everyday eye make drawer to stay.

The Shodō Stylograpic Eyeliner costs a reasonable £16 and you can get it from the Lord & Berry website and other online retailers, such as Look Fantastic.

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.</h6

Are your nails in need of some TLC?

Nails nail nails. I went from a through and through red nail polish gal who could never picture a nude on her nails to a lover of all colours, shades, finishes and art.

Thrilled is not enough to describe me when I opened the box with these gorgeous essie TLC nail polishes.

Treat, Love and Color is a lovely range that requires nothing but itself for a great natural manicure. Its advanced formula with collagen and camellia helps cares for the nail, brightening and working on strength, brittleness and dryness in the long term.

And you apply directly on to the nail, no need for base coat. I tried three beautiful sheer pearlised shades: tonal taupe, is a gorgeous taupe with gold shimmer; see the light, is a classic pearlised light beige and good as nude, is a pretty warm toasted beige with gold shimmer.

The formula is great, which is expected we from essie, and application easy because of their fab brush. For sheer shades, I noticed a good colour and pigmentation pay off with 2-3 coats.

I didn’t miss a base coat but I always think a topcoat is a good idea and even though I didn’t use one to try this, I probably will normally. I’m sits well on the bare nail and mine were rather happy with the product!

Durability with no base coat is decent; a few days of mani totally in place then it stares to nick in places.

You can get the essie TLC range at Boots and Superdrug and they cost £8.99 each.

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.

Fruit power for the skin

Oh, how much do we love affordable skincare that does its job and on top of it looks great? The answer is an awful lot.

Meet Formula 10.0.6 skincare. A traditional brand created by chemists in 1933, they have an affordable range that promotes clear, healthy young skin (but works wonders for older skin too, if you’re not specifically looking for strong anti-ageing solution).

For me, it really acts as a “maintenance” range, so it’s always by the sink. The fact if has some cute names, simple and bright packaging with effective products within certainly help.

My favourite from the selection I tried was the Pores Be Pure Skin Clarifying Mud Mask. This light mud mask feels very purifying and is quite gentle on the skin.

It contains strawberry, yarrow and rosemary. It dries but doesn’t crack on the skin, sucking impurities for a clear, less congested complexion.

Taking about clearing, the Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser is exactly that: a fabulous, gentle everyday gel foamy cleanser that leaves skin feeling super clean and fresh.

It contains oiliness reducing passion fruit, soothing and exfoliating green tea and calming chamomile.

Now, who doesn’t love an exfoliating scrub? The One Smooth Operator Pore Clearing Face Scrub purifies, gently exfoliates with pumice from volcanic rock.

It also contains purifying zinc and soothing oat. Feels comfortable to apply and leaves skin feeling soft.

Finally, the P.M. Perfector Overnight Hydrating Cream with black currant and liquorice for a long radiance, soothing and nourishing overnight skin workout. It’s light and absorbs very well.

Best of all, you can get Formula 10.0.6 products from Boots in the UK, and it’s great value for money – each one costs £8.99!

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.

The B. is back!

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that I used B. Makeup products quite often.

Then they fell off the radar for a while, but for a good reason: to revamp and relaunch the brand.

B. Makeup has a strong focus on their vegan nature, and the revamp of their extensive range has really made it stand out across the products of similar price point.

Not only they have a plethora of pretty makeup but they also have skincare and male grooming ranges.

I tried a few products and have to say I am very impressed with the Defining Duo Liner eyeliner (£6.99). A pen, my favourite type of eyeliner, with a liquid finish and two nibs, what I consider a medium one and a super fine precision application.

It delivers fierce flicks, it’s super black, easy to use and the durability is great, drying super quickly and lasting all day.

I talked about B lipsticks before so no surprise I am quite fond of the Luminous Silk Lipstick in Suis Moi (£6.99).

A lovely darker pink nude with jojoba seed oil, creamy on application with a smooth satin finish.

A bit of a different product, the lip and cheek tint (£6.99) has a creamy texture and is one of those great multitasking products I love. Sadly this not quite my thing, and I cannot wear cream colours on my face – it doesn’t quite work for me.

I know however, I am an exception and with six shades, you’re sure to find one to suit you. Th finish is matte and the colour is buildable. I love the looks of Just a Kiss.

Now the Matte Liquid Lip lipstick (£6.99) in Ravenous, on the other hand, is very much my thing. It’s smooth and super pigmented; it doesn’t however dry totally, so there’s a little bit of transfer. Durability is decent though.

Now, their vegan brushes are pretty great too and have a new look, at an amazing starting price of £5.99. I tried the shadow blender which is tapered, duo-fibre and very soft on the skin. It is not super firm, so perfect for blending the crease up for a natural smokey finish.

The relaunch also sees the Cassie Lomas, the brand’s makeup ambassador, launch her own collection with gorgeous pigments, liquid lipsticks, bronzer and highlighter. I did try them at the launch event and they are truly lovely, still vegan, cruelty free and still very well priced!

B. Makeup is available exclusively at Superdrug and a fab brand with a great range at very affordable prices, especially if you are vegan, as there’s a lot of choice at reasonable prices.

As for me, the eyeliner has graduated from trial and is firmly in my makeup bag!

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.

Gel finish, without the hassle

My love for was proclaimed a few time before (see here, here, here), but I had never tried their Gel Couture nail polishes. I have to say the love just grows.

So much, I made a short video. Yes, you get to see me talking.

They deliver a fabulous gel-like finish without the hassle. Just apply two coats of the polish and the topcoat to seal and get glossy, durable polish in fantastic, fashion inspired and trendy colours.

And they all come with the same amazing essie brush that delivers superb (and easy) application.

It does not chip, and retains the finish for more than a week (I don’t often have the same colour for long than that, but I have a feeling it would’ve held).

Essie Gel Couture is just celebrating their first anniversary and the latest collection,,Gala Bold, has five summery shades.

Very pink and coral, with the most amazing front page-worthy, a metallic royal blue thrown in, which I am wearing on the video.

The new shades are inside scoop, a pretty sheer tea rose pink with a slight blue undertone, v.i.please, a deep, berry violet hinted with red, style stunner, a super bright orange with an underlying red, sizzling hot, an opaque saturated hibiscus red with a pink undertone and finally, my eye-catch shade, front page-worthy, a dark royal blue with a pearl overcast.

Also, those bottles? How prettily twisted are they? ❤

You can get all the info and see all the colours on the essie website and get them, including the new five, at retailers nationwide, such as Boots, Superdrug, LookFantastic and many others!

And here are front page worthy and style stunner in action!

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.

Beauty treasure trove

I must start this post with the admission that I fell out of love with beauty boxes a while ago but the March Glossybox really made me see the excitement with these monthly beauty delights.
The March edition came brimming with some of my favourite brands and two full size products I truly love (and *may* even have graced the blog before!).
I have said before that their hand cream are second to none, so it is only fair that I start with the superb Crabtree & Evelyn Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy Cream.
Of course, the formula is the amazing one we know and the Somerset Meadow fragrance is light and fresh: a sunny summer morning in green fields in a tube. And in its 25g, it is the right size for your handbag.
Then, comes the Sleek Eye & Cheek palette which I raved about before. It has everything for the flawless transition from day to night in a compact form for the makeup bag. I got probably the more party-like of the lot, slightly more tricky to use (but with a killer gold shadow and blushers).
The other three versions are much more neutral and I have the Midsummer’s Dream one and I am seeing the pan on most shades.  Amazing pigmentation and price. What’s not to love?
Now, I am a huge fan of this works. I don’t think there is a single product they do that doesn’t work for me (because, well, this works!) and I do have the full size of the versatile in transit camera close-up primer, moisturiser and mask.
It is reportedly a must have on Mrs Beckham’s travel bag so if it is good for her, well, I am in. That aside, it is a great product; a fantastic moisturising base for makeup which I use quite often, so glad to have a travel size.
Another brand I like a lot, Schwarzkopf is present in the form of the BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Brazilnut Oil Pulp Treatment, a rich hair mask to restore shine and nourishment.
To be used twice a week for 5-10 minutes for manageable, shiny hair.
Finally, a brand that is new to me (shock, horror): Oolution. The eye love is 100% natural and 65% organic.
It contains antioxidants and it is very hydrating to help banish puffiness and dark circles, morning or night! Behaves well under makeup and you just need a little bit.
Glossybox is available through monthly subscription for £10/month (+ P&P). Always five products, at least a full size one and they always bring special editions that sell out pretty fast!
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.

Nails returning to retro

essie-retro-revival-2017-nail-polish-review-1First of all, I feel I have to explain the month long absence: I have moved houses. Bought a flat and been like a maniac between closing the deal, moving and furnishing and now I’m starting to settle. Although I have no wifi yet, tethering to my mobile has been useful. And the means to this post!

essie-retro-revival-2017-nail-polish-review-2Second, I cannot see a better way of going to back to blogging than essie‘s retro revival 2nd edition limited collection nail polishes. The six shades embody the flawless chic vibe from the beginning of the brand in 1981 Las Vegas – in fact the caps have the original Stardust Casino gold star sign.

It is mainly nudes, pinks and reds, making it extremely feminine, perfect to let out all side of my personality – from naughty to nice!

essie-retro-revival-2017-nail-polish-review-3My favourite has to be the stunning sweet tart (oh how appropriate!) a pearlescent nude with mauve undertones. Just gorgeous.

My surprise shade was prima bella – a shimmery bubblegum pink. It looks great on.

essie-retro-revival-2017-nail-polish-review-4That doesn’t mean I am not in love with the other shades: pure chiffon is the perfect warm beige which will suit most skin tones; flawless is a delicate pink that feels quite neutral; chastity is a lively cherry blossom pink and bold beauty is a fabulous and seductive mid-century deep red. All sorts of love for this collection.

essie-retro-revival-2017-nail-polish-review-6Apart from the neutrals and a killer red, that never goes out of fashion, pinks were all over the catwalk for the new season.

The shades in this collection are so grown up and sophisticated that it totally removes pink out of the girly bedroom!essie-retro-revival-2017-nail-polish-review-5

If you want to get your claws on them, be quick: they are available until 7th March at Superdrug and 14th March at Boots and the RRP is £7.99 per bottle. Hurry!

signature1

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