A caffeine (beauty) hit

Coffee addiction: who’s guilty?

To fuel my daily fix, Hello Jo, a British born – Korean developed brand, brings caffeine as an active ingredient to my beauty regime. And I love it.

We know (some better than others) how great a stimulant caffeine in, so it sounds quite sensible to harvest its benefits in beauty. I also love the look of the branding and packaging!

Hard to pick a favourite from the products I tried. I’ll start with the amazing Bright Eyes Jelly Masks (£20). What’s amazing about them? Glad you asked.

First, it comes in a pot with 30 pairs. Yes, you heard it right: 30 pearlescent pink pairs swimming lovingly in an amazing caffeine, aloe vera and pomegranate serum which stimulates skin in the area to reduce puffiness, brighten dark circles, re-energise and revitalise. It also contains Acmella oleracea (toothache plant) to help soften lines. 

It is cooling, soothing and super moisturising. The 15 minute-ritual is even more delightful if you keep the jar in the fridge.

I’ll move on to hair as I absolutely love the Stay Strong Volumising Caffeinated shampoo (RRP £12.50/200ml), which on top of caffeine, also contains walnut seed extract for growth stimulation and coix seed for scalp exfoliation.

The shampoo is so fresh and slightly tingly on application (which I love), foams well and leaves hair feeling squeaky clean and soft. Maybe the jar is come from needs to be made of slightly softer plastic and be more squeezable.

Follow up with the Stay Strong Volumising Caffeinated Conditioner (£12.50/200ml), with hydrating coconut oil to ensure smoothness. The conditioner is light but effective, making hair feel soft on application and after rinse, with no weight.

A new way of using hair masks was presented to me: a practical wrap for the length. This ensure the hair mask goes where it is needed and not on the roots, where it can actually cause damage.

The Pack of Power Hair Mask (£15 for 3) has active caffeine, of course, as well as argan, olive and moringa oils. Just make a ponytail and pop it in the mask bag for half an hour or even overnight for added support to hair growth and reduced damage, as well hydration and nourishment. So soft. 

Moving on to lips. Kissable, right? No? No problem! The Speak Up Bubble Lip Mask (£12.50/30ml) is full of fruit enzymes and caffeine for super exfoliation.

Rub the gel formula, which also has vitamins A and C, on lips and watch it bubble up into foam to help remove dead skin to reveal smoother, more plumped and nourished lips. Really fun and quick to use! 

All products are free of parabens and never tested on animals.

Hello Jo ethos is set on women supporting women, seen mainly through their partnership with Rosa, the UK-wide Fund for Women and Girls, where they donate 50p from each product to help the fund’s mission to mobilise resources for women equality.

Rosa does that by raising money and investing in grassroots women’s movements by offering grants, mentor-matching, training and networking. Makes me love them even more. 

Hello Jo is available exclusively at FeelUnique – get in there! 

written by Dani

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

Strong is beautiful!

One of the best things about being a blogger is discovering brands you’d probably never come across weren’t for the blog. And Reina Rebelde is one of them.

Not long ago FeelUnique invited me to an indi brand event, ahead of the IndiBeauty Expo. Don’t get me wrong – I am a lover of all types of beauty brands, big or small – but there is something special about independent brands and the individual(s) who managed to instill they point of view, passion and dreams, onto the brands. It is a very personal outcome a lot of the times.

When I looked at Reina Rebelde, I knew the brand would resonate with my personality. Latin connections aside, the aesthetic and range of products are really “my thing”. And it does help they are great products too!

The Bold Lip Color Stick in Brava could not be more “made for me”. A bold neutral classic red compliments many a complexions and I am sold. Durability is great, pigmentation fantastic and application good – you do need a lip liner for a sharper finish. Obviously very elegant but fierce, as all good reds.

My daily eye makeup is made of neutrals. And the 4 Play Wet Dry Color palette in Azteca hits the spot. The quad has chocolate, rose gold, metallic gold and bronze hues for sophisticated day and night looks. I think it could do with a lighter gold for highlight, but overall, this palette is super versatile.

Pigmentation is fantastic, they eyeshadows are buttery soft and super blendable with great durability. And it takes you from desk to dancefloor effortlessly.

Finally, a the Rebel Eye Definer Liquid in Zapatista is a fine jet back liquid eyeliner. Now, you will now liquid is not my favourite type of eyeliner as I can make a huge mess but the a hard tip fine applicator makes the job easy and precise.

It dries super black with a slight gloss finish and durability is exceptional. It does not budge once dry.

I don’t often go on about the brand itself, but I feel I have to on this one. Products are made in the U.S. (proudly as they state!) and are cruelty free. They endeavour to use vegan ingredients; however, products are not created in a vegan-only facility, and some products (not the ones reviewed here) may contain trace amounts of carmine.

“For today’s mujer” (woman) is their motto and I feel they meet that – beauty that is, well, beautiful, but edgy, a bit tough and a slight retro touch. It is a mix of a woman mixed background that makes her so special and unique – it talks from experience and I really like that.

Dani Dutra wears Reina Rebelde lipstick in Brava, eyeliner in Zapatista and eye shadow quad in Azteca

Reina Rebelde lipstick in Brava, eyeliner in Zapatista and eye shadow quad in Azteca

Regina Merson, the founder, grew up in Mexico and got inspired by a telenovela “Rosa Salvaje” (which also made it Brazil) and her mum’s makeup rituals. The brand embodies that heritage as well as an American existence. Being from Brazil and living in the UK, I totally understand the beautiful, and sometimes conflicted balance of not losing where you came from, but at the same time shaping the person you are based on your environment.

Currently you cannot get products individually in the UK but you can get gorgeous kits from FeelUnique.

written by Dani

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

The make up of dreams: it’s a Winky World of wonder!

Makeup is certainly one of the keys to my heart, up there with food and shoes. As a lover of all things pretty, I would obviously fall head over heels for Winky Lux, a gorgeous free from parabens, sulfates, gluten, phthalates, animal testing and any cruelty brand from NY, that lives up to their “addictive beauty” strapline.

I went to their magical event that gave me not only unicorn lattes, flower explosion and cuddles with their mascot, but also (and best part) exposure to their fabulously extensive range of downright pretty and excellent makeup.

It is hard to pick my favourite from the items I brought home, but I will start with one of their best sellers, the only one on this post that is not a launch: the Flower Balm, which is clear on the bullet, and works with your won pH levels to create the perfect-for-you lip stain.

To top off the prettiness, there is a real chrysanthemum inside, in different colours, and coconut scent. No wonder I love it! It’s so lovely to wear and gives lips that very healthy colour and a boost of

Brand new is the Watermelon Jelly Balm, a pretty translucent pink bullet and pretty watermelon seed packaging. Smells and tastes watermelon, so a delight for the summer.

And, as the Flower Balm, it is pH activated, so it creates the perfect pink for you.

My love of glitter is never ending, so I was happy to see the Disco Gloss (£13) in my little bag. I got the Foxy shade which leans towards orange-gold iridescent glitter.

Winky Lux Flower Balm, Watermelon Balm and Disco Gloss in Foxy tested However, as another pH activated product, the base turns into a darker shade of pink just like that. And it not sticky or gritty! I was very surprised at how much I love this gloss!

Another launch is the Matcha Lip Treatment (£13), with real green tea powder and food grade vanilla, as well as coconut and avocado oils, vitamin C and caffeine.

It is clear and works to soften, repair and protect lips. Smells good enough to eat and applies so well, giving the lips a very soft sheen.

The Pucker Up lip plumper in lemon cake (£17) is a very light gloss that delivers a light pink sheen and slight tingle for that extra plumping.

Finally, a non-lip product, equally pretty: the White Tea Tinted Veil (RRP £19). A very light tinted moisturiser, it is infused with calming white tea and contains pomegranate extract and vitamins A and E which together help protect and nourish skin.

And the best thing about it: it has that very important SPF 30. A downside is that it’s only available in 5 shades. I have medium-deep which is ok for me when tanned, but I suspect usually I’d be bang in the middle medium.

Also, if you are not a fan of scented makeup products, this might not be for you. As for me, I love the delicious smell. Texture is light, it applies very well and sits nicely on the skin, with average durability if not set with a powder.

For a light coverage product, I feel it offers decent evening out of colour and cover, especially bearing in mind I am a full coverage foundation person. Thumbs up!

Winky Lux Flower Balm, Watermelon Balm, and Disco Gloss in FoxyI need to point out that packaging is absolute stunning – I live the lip balm/lipstick bullets, and the outer packaging is a work of art in every product.

A must see is their eye palettes and powders – I cannot wait to get my hands on them! And it does not stop there; for example, their Steal My Heart lipstick pills and highlighters are gorgeous. This selection is such a tiny dent in the Winky World of Wonders!

I love that they are trendy and indulgent, but use luxurious, interesting ingredients, the design across every single product is fabulous and the price point, in my view, fair. I am now a confessed Winky Lux fan – it does seem It’s a Winky World indeed!

And you can get Winky Lux products at Boots (including in-stores), FeelUnique, ASOS and Harvey Nichols. Also worth checking their website to see how much amazing stuff they have!

written by Dani

 

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.

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.