The face mask of dreams…

Not the first time I go crazy on praise for a face mask, but the thing with O’o Hawaii Birds + Roses Rose Quartz Hydrating + Firming Mask goes a bit beyond that.

Another fabulous discovery from FeelUnique and IndieBeauty Expo, this mask is true luxury in a pot. First, how it feels on the skin: amazing. This antique rose coloured mask has a creamy consistency that spreads like a dream on the face. Immediately skin is coated in a comforting layer. It is suitable for all skin types as it is so mild.

After 10 minutes on, it dries slightly, but comfortably and it easy to remove with lukewarm water. Skin feels so soft, plumped, calm and replenished. Really a bliss.

The red rose and pink geranium scent is subtle but ever present, even after you remove the mask. I can definitely smell the honey.

But let’s talk richness of natural ingredients. Sodium hyaluronate and squalane deliver plumpness and help stimulate cell growth; “snow mushrooms” helps draw moisture to the skin’ giant kelp, baobab, babassu and tamanu oils deliver antioxidant properties and sea buckthorn, rose and jasmine extracts, golden bee nectar and rose quartz crystals promote healing and circulation.

It also contains milk thistle, Hawaiian kukui nut oil, manuka honey, gotu kola and Hawaiian superfood blends coffeeberry extract, red algae (astaxanthin), strawberry guava and Hawaiian noni fruit extract.

Can you believe there is so much goodness packed in this pretty 150ml pot? Yes, it is highly concentrated, with no fillers – so we get no chemicals, no artificial colours or fragrance. It is also vegetarian, cruelty free, biodegradable and does not contain phtalates, sodium lauryl,/laureth sulfates, genetically modified ingredients, wheat, gluten, palm or soy.

I had the pleasure to briefly meet founder Holly Harding, AADP, INHC who is highly sought out holistic health and nutrition coach and food for beauty expert, well known for her mind/body transformation program, The H Lyfe Method®.

She believes beauty starts from within with a diet of nutrient rich, unprocessed and unrefined foods from nature so O’o Hawaii came about as as a way to accomplish beautiful, glowing, ageless skin through a combination of diet, supplementation and highly functional skincare.

Her love for Hawaii and an ocean lifestyle permeates the brand, especially when it comes to ingredients.

You can get the O’o Hawaii Birds + Roses Rose Quartz Hydrating + Firming Mask from FeelUnique. Price is on the dear side: £145 for 150ml, but  when you think about the pure ingredients, many organic, the sum does make sense. Also, a small amount goes a long way so you get a lot of wear out of the pot.

They have such a fabulous range (also, packaging is GORGEOUS!), I feel I have to try more! Plenty available in the UK at 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.

A breathe of fresh… skin?

Being hung up on my skin general condition is not even harder when it is far from perfect. I am always on the lookout for new ways of trying to improve and recently started using the Trophy Skin MiniMD, a portable home microdermabrasion device, once a week.

In the past I used a microdermabrasion device at home and was quite happy with the overall results until I got my hands on this baby.

When they say “discover you best skin” they are not lying as microdermabrasion is literally using physical abrasive agents to remove the top layer of the skin and promote regeneration revealing new, radiant skin.

If you’ve done professional microdermabrasion before you will be familiar with the “suction and scraping” combination: the device sucks the skin while you physically rub the diamond tip to buff the surface. The MiniMD has two suction levels to cater for more sensitive skin types.

Although it seems quite harsh, the whole treatment is painless and does not take more than five minutes. At the end, my skin is a little bit red, but not uncomfortable in any way. Make sure skin is clean prior to treatment.

After buffing the whole face (avoiding the eye area), I have been using the gorgeous (and recently launched) Jurlique Herbal Recovery Signature Serum, which contains viola, yarrow flower and red clover extracts for replenishing, firming and radiance, together with the Herbal Recovery Signature Mist, which is packed with antioxidants and has revitalising properties, as well as being refreshing – a much need property after microdermabrasion!

I love doing it at night, a couple of hours before bed, so I put the serum and mist on, as well as my usual night time skincare routine just before bed. Skin wakes up plumped, smoother and more even in tone and texture. But the real difference is noted two to three days after use – there’s definitely a great glow on top of the textural improvements. A true glow-getter!

For me, it is a great addition to the routine as my skin tends to get congested often, especially at this time of the year when the weather changes. With regular use, the MiniMD deeply exfoliates, invigorates the complexion, smoothes and soften, polishes and revitalises skin by buffing away dull and rough patches, as well as improving radiance. These are claims I can attest to, as I have been loving using it and seeing a positive change.

Make up sits better and I have been using less of it. I feel weekly is the best frequency for me, due to my skin condition, but it can be used up to three times a week.

It comes with a bunch of filters (which trap the dead skin – quite gross but you can actually see what it does!), which need to be replaced regularly. The diamond tip last up to six months, if used around 3 times a week, so if you use less, it will definitely last up to a year!

Super light and portable, although it needs to be plugged into the mains while in use, it is so pretty in rose gold – definitely one for display in the bathroom!

This device costs £85, which, if you had microdermabrasion professionally like I did in the past, you will know is not much more than one single salon session. And honestly, the results are pretty close!

You can get the Trophy Skin MiniMD from the Current Body website. You can also buy the accessories: filters are £12 for a pack of 100 and a replacement diamond tip costs £25.

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.

 

A shift on my skincare routine

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsFrom time to time I like shifting my skincare routine and over a month ago I introduced five Image Skincare products to it. I had never heard of the brand, so was very excited to see that they are paraben free and have an extensive range catering for all different skin concerns.

After describing my skin, I was sent a mix of products from a few ranges, including the gorgeous the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum, the Ageless Total Eye Lift Cream, the Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser, the fabulous ClearCell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser and the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Masque.

I used them almost exclusively for over 4 weeks and here’s what I found…

The serum

Because I am a sucker for serums, that’s where I’m gonna start: the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum (£72) is fluid and spreads very well on the skin, sinking quickly. I felt it gives my skin radiance; and that seem to be persisting throughout the day and not only in the morning.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsThe hydrating serum has oil-soluble Vitamin C which helps soothe the visible effects of environmentally damaged skin. Vitamins A, E and highly potent anti-oxidants help on the nourishment front, for that youthful glow.

Keep it clean!

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsOne product I am in love with is the Clearcell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser (£28). Foamy and with a light scent, this cleanser makes skin feel super clean and not a tiny bit dry.

I feel it’s been a god send on these hot days where you sweat a lot at night. It contains a 5% blend of salicylic acid, neem leaf extract and granactive acne, and does a decent job of removing makeup, even eye. It has anti-inflammatory properties and gives skin a gentle exfoliation, so perfect for blemish and acne prone skin.

The eyes (always) have it

Now, eye creams are amongst my favourite type of skincare and the Ageless Total Eye Lift Creme (£48) delivers extreme hydration and nutrition to the area. I use at night as it has a richer consistency, but it applies super well and absorbs super quickly, not upsetting my sensitive eyes.

It contains a retinol-derivative glycolic blend  to help tighten the skin, chamomile, green tea and coneflower soothe and a peptide blend to reduce inflammatory processes, as well as potent antioxidants.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsDaily protection

I was looking for a multitasking face moisturiser and that’s exactly what I found on the oil-free Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser (£46).

With a microsponge technology that absorb surface oils to mattify and leave skin shine-free, a blend of anti-oxidants that scavenge free-radical, and broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 32+, it helps reduce the damage caused by the sun and environmental exposures, so it’s the perfect shield for everyday.

As all other creams from the brand, it applies well, absorbs great and sits amazingly well under makeup. All points!

The treat

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsAnd because everyone loves a sheet face mask, I also tried the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Mask (£9), which is laden with concentrated ultra-hydrating ingredients: amino acid Complex, Jeju volcanic oxygen water, Onsen-Sui mineral charged water, hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica extract, portulaca, oleracea extract, green tea, ginseng and beta glucan.

Skin feel plumped and hydrated after use; a real treat (and treatment!) suitable for all skin types.

Overall, a great brand discovery with products that kept my skin in check. And they have so many more exciting products I think would work for me!

You can browse their range on the Image Skincare website.

Also, I tried to take pics where the products live, my bathroom. Needless to say I won’t be doing that again, so the conclusion is the products are WAY better than my photography in this instance…

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.

Mask it up!

How amazing is to treat yourself with a gorgeous face mask? I have to say it is one of my favourite things.

And that’s not only for my skin but also for my mental health; I do take those 15-20 minutes to unwind and create some headspace, which I usually find quite challenging.

Starskin has a fabulous range of amazing masks to cater for all your skin needs. I am very impressed at the list of ingredients on each product and how much of the serums are actually present on each mask.

Their new Diamond Mask VIP Illuminating mask (£12.50) is a luxury bio cellulose second skin mask, which feels comfortable and supple on your face.

The bio cellulose is made of naturally fermented coconut juice and is safe for all skin types, as it offers non sticky adherence.

It is nourishing, brightening, refining and enhances elasticity, thanks to its long list ingredients. Are you ready? It does feel like I am in a jewellers…diamond dust, emerald, tournaline, coconut, evening primrose, olive oils, purslane, adenosine, antarcticine, white mulberry bark and tripeptide-t. Phew.

The mask comes between two layers of protective mesh and infused with 30ml of serum. Personally, I found a bit fiddly to unravel and apply, but nothing I could not overcome in a few seconds. Once applied, the mask feels so comfortable and refreshing.

After 20 minutes, I easily removed it – it slips off effortlessly and massaged the leftover product on my face, letting it absorb naturally, which took a few minutes.

My skin felt fresh and radiant, and makeup applied later that day sat extremely well.

Before applying my mask, I cleaned my face with the Detoxing Sea Kelp Leaf cleansing foam (£20).

This rich lather is created from only a pea size amount of the product and a drop of water, applied to face and neck. It feels very cleansing on the skin and does a decent job of removing eye makeup (although I did use a proper remover afterwards).

Kelp, glacier water, clay, spirulina, green caviar, sea cucumber, hiziki, jelly fish, sea fern, peony and licorice roots come together to promote detoxing, cleansing, smoothing and balancing.

Also on my Starskin book, is the Foaming Peeling Perfection Puff (£8.50). Now, I love this things as one puff can be used up to 3 times.

Pop the foil open, add a few drops of water, squeeze the puff a couple times inside the packet and then use it to scrub the whole face for about 2-3 minutes.

I could really feel the exfoliating power of the puff. Skin was smoother and brighter after, drinking products very well!

It brings exfoliation, smoothing, skin tone and radiance improvements, as well as deep cleansing thanks to (a salad) carrot, tomato, turnip, broccoli, cabbage, olive leaf, rice, plus aloe vera, lactic acid and arginine.

Another product that made me very excited was the Plumping & Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Lip Masks (£8.50).

Made of the same coconut bio-cellullose as the VIP mask, this was a saviour to my lips that suffer an awful lot with dryness. Also, it’s a pretty shape 🙂

5 ml of a serum formulated with sea fern, mango, flaxseed, chia seeds, coconut oil, honey, collagen, jojoba oils, hyaluronic acid, beta glucan and pomegranate infuse every lip mask for plumping, softening, smoothing and hydrating effect.

There are 2 masks per pack, which is nice!

You can get Starskin products at major retailers: think FeelUnique, Debenhams, ASOS, Selfridges, House of Fraser, LookFantastic and many more.

A hydration boost for skin

We know that having hydrated skin is important for all aspect of skin health – be it fighting ageing or achieving radiance.

So the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range has all these water gel products with hyaluronic gel matrix to not only lock moisture but also release it throughout the day, helping to ensure constant hydration levels.

All products are oil free and super light on the skin and absorb pretty well, making it for perfect day, under makeup wear.

My favourite has to be the capsule-in-serum supercharged booster. The serum itself is infused with purified hyaluronic acid, which works as a self-hydrating system for skin: we know hyaluronic acid holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so the hydration is release constantly throughout the day.

When you press the pump, little suspended pearls – anti-oxidant capsules – boost the serum with vitamin E, which is kept protect up to the time of use, increasing the ingredient efficiency. Clever, eh?

It can be added to any routine, day or night, or even mixed to your favourite product.

Following closely is the city shield hydrating lotion with SPF 25 (£12.99). It is soooo light and fresh, and I love it delivers decent sun protection.

Of course, hyaluronic acid is responsible for hydration, but this product also helps strengthen the skin protection barrier against pollution. Honest, a joy to use.

As you know, I love an eye cream, and the eye awakening gel cream (£12.99) does not disappoint. It applies well and is a treat for the delicate round the eye skin.

I use it during the day as it is super light ad behaves well under makeup.

I opted for the gel cream moisturiser (£12.99). It is soooo light that is perfect to be used at night with serums or oils.  There is also a water gel moisturiser, which is (ever so) slightly heavier.

Finally, some cleansing goodness with the geleé milk cleanser (£7.99). Quite a different product, it does not need water or rinsing. It is an efficient cleanser and leaves skin feeling hydrated.

Even though I am funny with no foam, no rinse cleansing products, I got on alright with this one. I don’t use it all the time, but it’s my go to for lazy, but thorough cleansing, especially on late nights!

You can get the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range from major retailers and supermarkets nationwide.

More info on the range, including more products (such as wipes, micellar water and more) can be found on the Neutrogena website.

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.

 

Ayurvedic botanicals for your skin

A while ago, I got my hands on the Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Kapha Anti-ageing Treatment Oil, but it took me a while to fall for it.

The weather was warmer and being the rich oil it is, it didn’t quite work for my skin. However, when the winter came I decided to give it another go, and I now understand why this oil has rave reviews.

All natural, its main ingredients are fine high-performance Ayurvedic infusions such as ashwagandha root extract, sandalwood, vetivert and frankincense oils which have anti-ageing properties as well as a calming and soothing scent, helping bring tranquility.

It also contains high quality almond, turmeric root, apricot kernel and got kola oils, paracress flower extract, so overall a mix of antiflammatory, healing, balancing, cleansing, antioxidant properties to pamper the skin.

And the senses! As it is based on Ayrvedic principles, it helps restore balance – the brand name combines two Sanskrit words: sama, ‘balance’ and alaya, ‘place’ to create a ‘place of balance.

I felt my skin calmer, especially on the breakout front. It also felt nourished and replenished in the morning (I only use it at night, alone).

In the summer, I am going to mix a drop or two with a moisturiser at night, and see how it works for me, as I really loved using it.

It does retail for £79 for 30ml, but I can assure a little goes a reaaaally long way.

You can get the Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Kapha Anti-ageing Treatment Oil from the Samaya website and also selected retailers such a Whole Foods and Fenwick.

You can also browse all the range, including the other doshas Vata and Pita – you can even do a test on their site to discover which one is your dominant!

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 luscious shower mousse from Dove

Who shaves in the shower?

I’ve always shaved my legs in the shower, but never used shaving foam. The fact Dove has brought out a gorgeous range of shower mousses has changed my life a bit!

The Dove shower mousse is infused with essential oils and delivers 24 hour softness. It has three variations – argan, rose and coconut oils.

It is creamy and produces instant foam instantly, which then glides onto the skin, cleansing and leaving it soft with a fabulous scent – all three of them!

Of course, not only it is a shower foam to clean skin, but it is also suitable for shaving.

The razor glides amazingly on the mousse that does not disintegrate quickly and the essential oils help skin feel soft after; because it is so gentle and the foam is so rich, it helps prevent irritation.

Worth remembering they are also sulphate free!

The rose oil variation comes in the prettiest pink packaging, but the smell on the coconut oil one is definitely my favourite – although all three smell amazing and leave a subtle scent on the skin after use.

I also love that they have a “scratch and sniff” label on the lid, so you know exactly what the product smells like  before buying.

The pump is smooth to operate in the shower and it delivers a great amount – a little does go a long way!

Since they came into my life, I cannot imagine washing my body with a traditional soap, shower gel or cream again. It feels quite indulgent, but an affordable indulgence, at £3.99 for 200ml.

You can get the scrumptious new Dove Shower Mousse from major retailers, such as Superdrug and Boots, and supermarkets country-wide.

You’ll get addicted, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

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.

Protected city skin

My love affair with Nivea is long standing. I think I’ve already told how I remember my mum using the classic tins when I was a little girl!

To this day, my family in Brazil uses Nivea a lot – body moisturisers and sun cream mainly, so I thought it was great to bring the brand new Nivea Urban Skin Defence & Detox range, especially designed to protect our skin against agressor found in cities – a bit like a skin superhero.

The effects of pollution are as damaging as those of the sun and deplete skin of vitamins, while fumes as highly dehydrating.

The night and day creams are packed with anti-oxidants, including bio green tea.

The Daily Essentials Urban Skin Defence Day Cream has an SPF 20 and comes in a gel like form. It applies great, absorbing well and quickly, leaving skin fresh and super moisturised.

The Daily Essentials Urban Skin Defence Night Gel Cream is super light, which I love in a night cream. It supports cell regeneration and stimulates detox overnight.

I do love the moisturisers and been using for a month now, but must admit my fave is probably the 1 Minute Urban Detox Mask + Purify, which has white clay and magnolia extract.

Created to draw out impurities, such as dirty and oil, it is the perfect quick fix for clearer feeling skin. It also has some granules so it doubles up as entre exfoliation upon application.

I do love a bit of a mask and a scrub, and my skin feels amazing after use – clearer, smoother and fresh!

It also comes in + Moisturise and + Pore Refine, so you an tailor the routine to your needs – or mix and match!

It’s a simple and quick routine to add that extra protection to skin!

And the good news? It has just launched and the prices are fab – day and night creams at around £7.99 each (50ml) and mask £6.99 (75ml), and you can get it from major retailers nationwide.

You can read more about the range on the Nivea website.

At the moment, you can save up to 1/2 price on selected Nivea Essentials at Boots so stick up!

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.

Indulge on beauty!

Beauty. Heaven. There is no other way to describe the haven that is Indulge Beauty at Westfield Stratford.

Think makeup, nails, fragrance skin, hair and body care for men and women from over 120 cult, classic and emerging brands under on roof. For all tastes, all budgets.

I was really impressed with the quality and selection of the brands present. Being a beauty blogger, obviously I knew many, but there was a lot still to discover.

Also, the dedicated male beauty area caught my eyes – a comprehensive and approachable offer even for the shyer men starting to get into skincare and grooming.

And their fine fragrance section? To die for. Got me all in love with Eight & Bob (the Original) and I shall get my claws on it at some point.

I left the shop with a gorgeous Capsule box, which only lightly touches on the breadth of the beauty offering from Indulge; from well know Urban Decay, Glam Glow and Beauty Blender, to cult Skin Laundry and classic Clarins and GHD; this just a tiny sample of what you can expect from a place which seems to have it all.

The idea behind Indulge Beauty makes me even fonder of it: a place where the real YOU is celebrated, with their mantra: Be bold, Be brave. Be you.

The best thing? At Indulge Beauty you can get a routine tailored for you – think a shampoo from one brand, conditioner from other, mask from a third; eyeliner from brand A, mascara from B; day cream from brand X, day cream from Y… you get the idea.

Most importantly, advice is neutral, focused on your needs and you can get all in one place!

What better than killer beauty to highlight that bolder and braver you?

From the guys behind The Fragrance Shop, Indulge Beauty is located at Westfield Stratford (Unit 20, The Arcade, Montfichet Road, E20 1EH), in London (soooo close to me, how lucky am I?).

I also popped in (I do all the time) yesterday and was received with friendly, but not obtrusive or pushy smiles, great advice and fun chat (I talk too much so I always initiate).

You can also shop online at indulgebeauty.com, as well as read a bit more about them and what beauty revolution they are plotting!

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 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.