Beauty Essentials when moving house!

I’ve been a bit quiet the last few weeks and this is due to moving house.  Lots to pack up and that meant living out of a suitcase for a few days with regards to my clothing and beauty choices.

So what does one choose to use on their skin for a week to 10 days you ask?  Well after agonisinly boxing up 99% of my bathroom one opted to keep a mix of products that needed using up as well as things I can’t do without.  Below are the ones that made the cut.

Elemis Superfood wash

Step 1 Cleanse:

Every good routine needs a good cleanser.  The Superfood Facial Wash by Elemis is nice, though I openly admit I don’t love the smell so it wouldn’t be a repurchase item for me so I used this as an opportunity to force myself to use it up.  As far as cleansers go, this one does a great job at leaving the skin feeling fresh without draining it, it has a lot of green veggies in it to benefit your skin(hence the Superfood name) but you can really smell the greens in the product when using it which is what I didn’t enjoy.  I am however pleased to say I did use the whole tube up and it can now join my June empties, yeay!

Dermalogica toner

Step 2 Tone:

My Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner hadn’t been seeing as much use recently and so I put it into my bag as another to get used up.  I actually really love the smell of this product when using it.  It feels kind of bubbly when you first spray it on the skin and does a lovely job of making the skin feel refreshed and hydrated when you remove it.


Step 3 Moisturise:

I always like Enzymion when my skin feels oily.  It’s nice and light to put on and it keeps the skin matte to an extent too due to the fruit enzymes in it.  Perfect for when the sun is out and my skin feels a little more on the shiney side than normal.  As we were due for a mini heatwave, it seemed a great option to go for.

Ultrasun face

Step 4 SPF:

I’m in my 30’s, so let’s get real.  My skin is starting to show more signs of aging as time goes on and sun damage plays a big part in how our skin ages.  Ultrasun is something I will 100% never go without.  No moisturiser or foundation with SPF included will ever convince me I don’t need this stuff.  The best thing is, the Ultrasun Facial SPF drys matte meaning I can apply my makeup without any worries of the combination making me feel oily.

Keep smelling good:

I am in love with the Evolve Cotton Fresh Deodorant which I was gifted in The Cruelty Free Beauty Box earlier this year.  Its not so much a cream as a butter that melts onto your skin with heat.  I take a bit out and massage between my fingers before applying to my underarms.  I’ve been using this jar daily for about 3 months and it is still going strong.  A definite repurchase item for me.  Kinder to my body, kinder to the environment and it smells lovely.

Have you ever had to stop using a perfume when you realised it wasn’t cruelty free?  Well miss those fragrances no more because Eden perfume from Brighton are the answer to your prayers.  These guys do amazing dupes for well known fragrances.  The one I was using this week was a copy of La Vie Est Belle by Lancome which is one of my favorite perfumes of all time.  If you live in London they also have a couple of stores there and do refills if you bring back an old bottle!

Pixi fixing mist

The last thing in my toiletry bag was my Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist.  Great for warmer weather to make sure my face stays put.  Again with the sunshine out while we were sorting out the move, it was a great call keeping it out to use.

But what did I forget?

Well I missed not having face masks to use when I felt like it and I was a bit of a wally forgetting to keep an exfoliator out.

So now you know what my picks where to survive on when moving house, what would be the items you couldn’t do without for a coupe of weeks?


My visit to Professional Beauty Belfast

On Sunday I attended Pro Beauty in Belfast.  It was the first time I had been to the Belfast one but having been to the Dublin one before I was confident it would be worth a visit.

Upon arrival I quickly noticed how small the venue was inside.  Not a patch on the size of the Dublin show.  Next I noticed a serious lack in number of Pro Brands.  Don’t get me wrong brands like Neils Yard, Tropic and DoTerra have a place in the beauty market but not at one that should be a show filled with professional brands.

I headed for the main stage and was pleased to see they had talks on both Vegan Make-up and Green Beauty.

The first talk I sat through was a demo with BPerfect cosmetics.  They were showing off their 10 second tan and the LMD Master Palette.  They were very interactive and happily inviting members of the audience up to see and try the products on their skin.  They were also showing a back mitt, much like the one below, for tan application.  Clever idea really!


I was however confused if BPerfect were cruelty free.  I asked and the answer I got from the stage was a bit wishy washy and involved talking about China – however the wonderful Brendan from BPerfect seen my story mode post on Instagram pondering their ethics and got in touch to assure me they are 100% cruelty free!  With that in mind, the 10 second tan and LMD Master Palette are on my soon to buy list because they really did look fabulous from the demos (and perhaps the beautiful Carnival Palette too saying as I’ve been browsing their site and love the colours in it!).


Next I sat down for the Green Beauty talk.  This one was led by a Tropic Ambassador.  She made some great points and included great facts regarding sun screen and the coral reef.  However she did start talking about the Talk Dirty app which was when she lost me.  I really do not recommend this app at all.  Just because a product contains chemicals does not mean that all chemicals are bad and you should avoid these products.  Lets be honest, everything is made up of chemicals including YOU.


She redeemed herself however when talking about spending your money with the brands whose ethics you believe in.  I 100% agreed with what she was saying and I am sure you as a lover of cruelty free cosmetics understand exactly why it is important to buy only cruelty free cosmetics, leaving those companies still testing on animals to catch onto the fact we wont be shopping with them.

After the Green Beauty talk I went for another look around and spotted a small stand for Lovegrove Essentials.  I’d never heard of the brand so stopped to take a look.  Run by a mother and daughter (who also happen to be a yoga instructor and a beauty therapist) the products are based around essential oils and their effects on the body and mind.  They are also cruelty free and had the most beautiful info books.


Other brands flying the cruelty free flag included:




HD Brows


Overall I would say the show was lacking in a lot of the major brands and it really does need some major improvement for the future.  If you only had the time to go to one show, I would say do Dublin because Belfast is currently a poor imitation.

Roll on October!


Fake it don’t bake it | The best spray tans to get you bronzed this summer!

I rattle on about the importance of sunscreen a fair amount but let’s face it, most of us don’t want to embrace our paleness in the height of summer.  If you are joining the ranks of those who want to avoid sun damage then you will need to figure out how to fake that sun kissed glow for any festivals or weddings you are attending this year.  There are plenty of great brands out there offering cruelty free spray tans so let’s see some of the best available options.

Sienna X  – voted best Chemical Free Spray Tan

Sienna X was recently voted the best “Chemical Free Spray Tan” by Zest Magazine and their whole range is vegan friendly.

SIenna XThe brand offers a range of shades in their spray tans and also retail a whole host of at home options to keep your spray tan topped up for the rest of the summer.  If you need convincing that this tan is amazing then check out the tans on Michelle Keegan, Jessie J and Emma Willis who all use this tan to get their beautiful glow.

Vita Liberata – best for an even fade

The Northern Irish brand Vita Liberata was the first completely non-toxic tanning brand, with a collection of odourless products free from parabens, perfume and alcohol.

Vita Liberata 2

This promotional image uses a model to show you the color variation that can be achieved and it looks great.  Vita Liberata tan will dry in seconds and they also boast a “flawless fade” which is an added bonus as nobody likes a patchy fade from their spray tan. Perfect for people who want a no fuss tan!

This range is all suitable for vegetarians and many are vegan friendly.  Check before using.

St Tropez – best for a streak free finish

“With one St.Tropez spray tan performed every minute and one product sold every fifteen seconds, St.Tropez is proud to be the leading tanning brand chosen globally by professionals, celebrities and beauty editors alike.”


I love St.Tropez myself and it really is hard to go wrong with their products as they are streak free including their spray tans.  If I was going for a spray tan and this was an option locally then I would likely go for it and while I’m not a big fan of Kate Moss for her fur wearing antics, there is no doubting that her skin looks flawless in St.Tropez!

He-Shi – best for a quick drying tan

You can tell the Irish are sick of being pale because this is another brand from Northern Ireland and another one for the vegan friendly list.

He-Shi tan

This was one of the brands I used to use when I worked in a salon and I always liked the colour it gave me.  They now boast an ultra quick drying formula meaning once you have had your spray tan there is no waiting around, you can just get dressed and ready to leave the salon.  It also contains a signature fragrance of White Nectarine and Pear to detract from the smell of the DHA.

Nouvatan – best for colour range

You won’t find this brand on the highstreet as they retail to professionals only.  Their products are cruelty free, paraben, alcohol free and suitable for vegans which is an impressive amount of box ticking.


I love this image I found of 3 different people all sprayed with their 6% tan.  This would be quite a light shade from their range and I would expect great results from a guide colour like this.

They have 7 shades to choose from all made with natural ingredients giving you a great range to pick your own perfect shade.

Things to remember when going for a spray tan:

  • Exfoliate the day before you go for your spray tan to buff away any dry skin.  This will help prolong your tan.
  • Moisturise generously the day before your tan.  Do not apply any body lotions on the day of your tan.
  • If you need to shave, do so 24 hours or more before your tan appointment, waxing should be 48 hours before your tan.
  • Shower on the day before you go for your tan because any deodorant, perfume or makeup will affect spray tan application and may cause green patches.
  • Wear loose dark clothing and flip flops rather than anything tight fitting that may rub at your tan.
  • If this is your first spray tan, remember you will need a patch test 24 hours before your appointment.

Beauty Review | The Body Shop, Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask

The Body Shop are champions against testing and I love that it is easy to walk in and pick anything up to try without having to check if the product is suitable for veggies and cruelty free.

For the last couple of months I have been using the Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask on and off and feel it’s time to offer you a proper review.

It comes in this pretty simple but elegant box and they do a matching eye mask in the same kind of box if you wish to be super dedicated to your night routine.  I have chosen to use this 2 or 3 times a week and love that the inside of the box offers advice on how to apply the mask and massage it into the skin for anyone feeling uncertain.


The mask itself has a jelly like consistency which might look a little strange first time you try it.  Fear not though, it melts onto your skin as soon as you start to massage it in.  I do find it leaves a tacky feeling on my skin until it has been given plenty of time to dry.

Ingredient wise it contains Organic Babassu Oil which is rich in vitamin E, fatty acids and antioxidants, making it great as an anti-aging ingredient.  It also has Edelweiss again high in antioxidants to reverse the signs of aging.

So the big question is, does it really work?  Well, I will say that on the mornings after I have used it my skin DOES look smoother and more plump.  Is this a short term illusion or is it preventing aging long term? Who knows.  Downside is I do get the odd break out if I use it too often.  I actually acquired 2 extra jars of the mask because 2 co-workers had the same problem with break outs (great for me but not so much for them as it costs £25 a pot).

The Body Shop do offer samples so if you are unsure if you want to commit to this product, call in and get a small amount to try and if you find you enjoy the effects as much as I do, I am sure you will be running back to give them your money.

Mask and box

This product is vegan friendly and costs £25 from The Body Shop and don’t forget to use their Love Your Body card to earn reward points!




Review | Which facial spritz should you buy this summer?

I am loving the warmer weather.  Not needing a coat and winter boots every day is such a pleasant change from the last 6 months of winter we have been having.

When the sun is out we all reach for sunscreen, which I applaud (please do check out my blog post on the best Sunscreen options for this summer) but how many of us also reach for a facial spritz to keep in our bags to cool and hydrate our skin on the go?

If it isn’t something you already use then I suggest giving them a try because I love spritzing my face on a warm day for a bit of instant cooling relief from the heat.  I have compiled a list of my top 4, let’s get started with the lowest priced option.


The Body Shop Coco Calming Face Mist:

Body Shop Coco Calming

This was an impulse purchase but it certainly has that holiday feel when you spritz it due to the coconut fragrance that instantly hits you.

The product contains Aloe Vera to soothe the skin and coconut juice to soften.  It is listed as make-up friendly so you can feel free to spritz away over your perfectly blended make-up.

They have a full range of Face Mists in different fragrances to serve different purposes so do check in store or online for which one suits your lifestyle best.

£6 from The Body Shop \ Vegan Friendly


B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Facial Spritz:

B Hyaluronic

This one is light enough to spray regularly on the skin and has a pleasant scent.  It contains hyaluronic to help keep the skin plump and hydrated as well as witch hazel to calm and act as an astringent.  The mist itself is fairly fine and it is great for the price.

£7.99 from Superdrug currently on BOGOF \ Vegan Friendly


Pixi Skintreats Vitamin Wakeup Mist:

Pixi mist

This mist has a lovely orange bloosom scent and contains lots of ingredients to soften and tone. You can use this spray during your cleansing routine as a toner or as a spritzer to cool and refresh your skin during the day and is suitable to use over your makeup.

The mist itself is quite full on, it isn’t so much a fine mist, more of a fine splat of product across the skin.  The product really could benefit from changing the nozzle but if you want a duel function product, this one could be for you.

£16 from M&S, currently OOS online \ Vegan Friendly


Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Tonic:

Rodial Dragons Blood

This is my favorite of the lot.  My current one was a gift from Sprucefield Marks and Spencers but I have happily bought this product before with my own money.  The mist is really fine which is what I love so much about it, I’m not a fan of heavy products on the skin.  Again this one has hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump the skin teamed with rose water to soothe.  They call it an instant skin reviver on the Rodial Website and I am inclined to agree.

The best way to try this right now is to get the discovery kit at a reduced price on the Rodial Website for £24.50 containing a 50ml bottle or it is £38 for 100ml in Space NK \ Vegan Friendly


What do you like to spritz in the summer to keep your skin feeling cool and hydrated?




May TILI box | Review of the Cruelty Free Beauty Contents

I was browsing the QVC website and spotted the TILI (Try it love it) box for £20 with free delivery.  I quickly scanned the contents to check what was and wasn’t cruelty free and was over the moon that only one sample size eye cream wasn’t cruelty free.  As the item that wasn’t cruelty free was a sample size that I am sure the company gave to the box for free, I decided to buy the box and give the product away much the same way as I would with a sample in a magazine that I won’t use.

So let’s start with the full size –

Percy & Reed Dry Instant Volumising Spray:


I hadn’t actually realised Percy and Reed were cruelty free until I double checked before ordering.  Spray it into the roots of dry hair and work it in to give your hair volume without any stickiness.  It would be great for anyone with flat hair or thinning hair.  I imagine I would have loved this after having the kids because my hair always got very thin after giving birth.

£12 retail price


Nails Inc in Duke Street:


I LOVE Nails Inc.  It’s a brand I go to again and again and I have a good lot of nail polish in my stash by them.  This is a full size standard polish in their old packaging (I believe all bottles are now a curved rectangular rather than circular shape) in a grey purple shade.  Their polish always wears well and so I was well chuffed to have this in the box even if it is in the old packaging.

£15 retail price in new packaging


Magn!tone London, Wipe Out:


I’m torn on this one.  Its a pretty effective product, it feels like a fleecy face cloth and it will remove makeup without water.  Personally I do 100% rather using a cleanser to feel clean. I appreciate that this cloth will negate the need for using makeup wipes or cotton wool rounds which is great for the environment but as they are made of microfibre they still release microplastics when washed which is where I feel conflicted.  I avoid beauty products with microplastics in them so feel this may fall into the same category?

£7.49 retail price


Elemis, Superfood Facial Wash and Pixi, Rose Tonic –


These were the 2 items I was most looking forward to trying out.  I generally enjoy these brands and wanted to try these products to see what I thought.

The Pixi Rose Tonic is lovely to use in the mornings, I have used it for the last few days and found it super gentle on the skin.  This is a 40ml sample size but I can easily see myself buying the full size bottle when it is done.

I have also been using the Elemis Superfood Facial Wash for the last few days morning and night, again a sample size of 30ml.  It has a lovely consistency and works into the skin really easily, leaving my face feeling fresh and clean.  However, the smell is an acquired taste. The best way to describe it is that it smells green?  It has a lot of green contents such as kale and broccoli so I guess this is what gives it that particular fragrance

I’m sure I’ve heard Caroline Hiron say to buy cleansers you like the smell of because then you know you will use them.  While I don’t think you need to love the smell of your cleanser, you for sure have to not hate it and on those grounds this would not be something I would buy again.

Pixi Rose Tonic, £10 for 100ml.  Elemis Superfood Facial Wash, £25 for 150ml


Molton Brown Purifying Shampoo and Conditioner:


Again I wasn’t aware Molton Brown were cruelty free until a few months ago so it has been a long time from I have used any of their products.  I normally swear by Lush hair products in the shower and was really surprised at how much I enjoyed using these.  While not that easy to get the product out of the mini bottles, they smelt amazing when I was using them!  My hair felt as soft and clean as I would expect and I enjoyed the products.  Definitely feel encouraged to try more of their hair care range in the future.

£18 each for a 300ml bottle


Vitamin Zooki and Vita Liberata Body Blur:

I have tried the Vita Libarata Body Blur on my arm and the colour does blend in really easily without any biscuity smells.  I feel confident enough in its ease of application that I will give it a go on my face and update you on how well that works out.

The vitamin zooki I can’t say anything good about other than I guess it’s a way to increase your vitamin intake?  It was syrup like and tastes pretty grim.  If you really feel the need to increase your vitamin intake without a change in diet then go for the Boots or Sainsbury own brand versions of Berocca, much tastier.


So there you have it, was it value for money?  Well, for £20 I would say that yes it was worth it and it was fun to try out all the new products and find some new products I will happily continue to use.  You can still purchase the May box on the QVC website here

Seasonal Beauty

Lush Fathers Day Products 2018 Review

It’s that time of year again when the sun starts to peep out and we all get our thinking caps on for what to buy our dad or partners for Fathers Day.


Lush have a whole range of products coming out on Friday 11th May and if I’m honest I really do love a lot of this years choices.  It’s also worth noting the whole range is naked and so great choices for the environmentally conscious dad looking to avoid excess packaging.

If you have a fan of the Dirty fragrance in your house then you are in such good luck because not only do they have the naked shower gel in but also Dirty scented soap!

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the Dirty naked shower gel at the September showcase in 2017.  I make no secret of the fact I love the naked shower gels!  To give you an idea of how long they last,I’m still using a Twilight one I bought on November 1st last year!  Okay it’s rather small now but I for sure will get another month out of it and I shower every other day.  I love the fact it saves plastic from landfill.

The soap can be used to make a face but only if you buy 3 bits.  While I know the smell is loved in my house I will not be buying 3 bits just for the sake of letting the kids make a face for 5 minutes.


The Superdad bath bomb makes a return, sharing a beautiful sandalwood fragrance with anyone who comes into contact with it.  I love sandalwood, it’s a really comforting happy smell for me so I also love the smell of this little guy.


The Modfather is also back.  I’m not a lover of citrus smells and don’t find the fragrance of this one great so it won’t be on my “to buy” list but worth a sniff if you enjoy a citrus fragrance.


Fun For All The Family is the final offering for the Fathers day bath range.  Shaped like a Sheriff badge, this reusable bubble spinner will offer enough baths for all the family if dad will share.


The solid beard oil “No Trouble” also smells amazing.  It’s made with softening jojoba oil and has a lovely woody fragrance that brings joy to my heart.  Good to keep beards in a soft and healthy condition while making them smell amazing.

You can of course still get your dad his favouites from the Lush all year round range as the store is 100% cruelty free and all products are clearly marked for what is vegan and vegetarian, sharing that cruelty free love 💕