beauty, Skincare, anti-aging

Beauty Review | VeeBeautyLDN Skincare

You might remember that last week I posted about the VeeBeautyLDN Haircare products I had tried and said I would update you on the skincare at a later date.  Well as they say, there is no time like the present so let’s jump straight into the cleansers!


Rose Cleansing Beauty Balm – £11.95


I tried two of the VeeBeautyLDN Cleansing Beauty Balms, the first of which was the rose one.  Ingredients wise it contains Coconut oil, shea butter, Olive Oil, beeswax, vitamin E and rose geranium essential oil.  Lots of softening and gentle ingredients to stick to the grease and dirt for you to remove with a warm cloth.  Oils like this are also great to remove eye makeup. The floral scent will hit you instantly as you use this and I found it lovely to use in the morning.  My top tip is that I find it’s vital the cloth is warm otherwise you just end up pushing the oils about your face.  Use a flannel to be super gentle or a muslin for a little bit of gentle exfoliation.

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Rose Cleansing Beauty Balm

Lavender and Lemon Cleansing Beauty Balm – £11.95


Next up is the Lavender and Lemon version of the Cleansing Beauty Balm.  Again the cleansing ingredients are similar with Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Vitamin E, Lavender Oil, Lemon Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus Oil.   It looks as though this one would better suit oily or spot prone skin with the antibacterial properties of tea tree and eucalyptus as well as lemon oil to cut through any grease on the skin.  I’ve been using it in the evenings to let the lavender oil help calm my mood for sleep.  As with the last Cleansing Beauty Balm, warm water on a cloth is the best way to remove this along with your grease, dirt and make-up.

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Lavender and Lemon Cleansing Beauty Balm

Clarifying Clay Mask – £16.95


Stupidly I forgot to take a photo of this mask on to show you what it looked like but it was a dark grey clay on the skin.  The packaging said to make it up with 1 tsp mask to 2 tsp water (or other liquids such as apple cider vinegar) but I found this was quite runny and had to add a little more of the mix in to thicken it up.  I would say less is more when making it up and add more water if required.

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Clarifying Clay Mask

It’s packed with a variety of clays to make it super absorbent and also contains lots of natural exfoliants to buff the skin when washing off.  The mask made my skin feel quite tight which is pretty normal for a clay mask.  It was a bit too stimulating for me though and I wouldn’t generally consider myself to have sensitive skin.

While I have loved all the other products I tried, this wouldn’t be one I would purchase.  I didn’t enjoy the feeling of it nor the price for the effects.  If I wanted a natural face mask I could think of other brands who make them for a lower price and which feel gentler on the skin.


Rose Gold Elixer – £19.95


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Rose Gold Elixer

Last but not least is the Rose Gold Elixer .  This product has a lovely scent with the rose and citrus oils blending together.  It is packed with loads of nourishing oils to hydrate, balance the skins oil production and aid the repair of skin as well as holding back signs of ageing.  For a bit of extra added indulgence there is 24k Gold Leaf – gold is a natural antioxidant, it will also fight free radicals which cause the signs of ageing.

I’ve been using this every evening and really enjoying the feel of it.  It would be too heavy to wear during the day unless you had very dry skin but it makes a perfect overnight treatment to keep the skin in top condition.


The Conclusion!


Out of the 6 products VeeBeautyLDN gifted me, I really enjoyed all of them excluding the Clarifying Clay Mask which just really was not for my skin.  The ingredients in their products are great – clean and natural choices with them avoiding synthetics and parabens.  While I am not anti synthetics or parabens, I can’t deny it is lovely to stick to natural ingredients.  Price wise, the products are all very reasonably priced for the quality of the ingredients.

Will I buy again?  It’s very possible!  It can take me a while to repurchase things due to the amount of products I keep in my bathroom at anyone time but I can for sure see myself going back for a few products and I would definitely love to try the nail and cuticle oil and lip balms in the future.

Emmy x

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Uncategorized, beauty

Beauty Review | VeeBeautyLDN

On Sunday I attended my first ever NI Blogger Brunch in Belfast.  It’s an event which changes location and runs every couple of months to encourage bloggers to network with each other and also with some brands.  This month they had Sisterhood Gin and VeeBeautyLDN.  No need to guess which brand I was most excited to see.

VeeBeautyLDN had kindly put together goodie bags with a label telling us they provide organic beauty products that are free from parabens, SLS and very importantly for me, the products are also cruelty free.

From a marketing point of view, I loved that the label saved me having to google to find out if they were cruelty free, however the quality of the bag really made it hard to keep the bag in shape for photos when I got home.  I think it would have looked perfect in a small brown paper gift bag with a handle.  Something simple and elegant with a swing tag on raffia telling us about the brand would have made for great photos.  I felt the same of the promo booklet, poorly designed and poor photo choice.  It looked very much like something a GCSE student would design in their IT class.  It might seem silly to mention these things but for me if I had seen the marketing material but not tried the products I would have likely walked on and the reality is the marketing needs to be better because the products actually have lovely ingredients!

My goodie bag contained a generous 6 different items, 4 skincare and 2 hair.  This blog will look at the 2 hair care with a follow up later in the week on skincare.


VeeBeautyLDN Lash and Brow Serum – £14.95


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VeeBeautyLDN Lash and Brow Serum

The first product I tried was their Lash and Brow Serum.  It comes in a tube with a spooly to apply to brows and lashes.  The ingredients it contains are Castor Oil, Argan Oil, Olive Oil, Avacado Oil and Vitamin E oil.  Caster Oil is well known for improving hairgrowth as its ricinoleic acid content helps increase circulation.  Argan Oil is also known for promoting hair growth and Olive Oil improves the tensile strength of hair so all in all this product is packed with great natural ingredients.

The product is easy to apply and I love that the clear tube means I can see how much is actually in the tube.  I’m planing on using it daily for the rest of the month and taking some photos to track any improvements.  If nothing else, it will definitely keep my lashes in good condition.  It is however worth noting that none of the ingredients are listed as organic.  While I don’t actively seek organic ingredients, I did expect them when the leaflet described the company as “Natural Organic Beauty”.

 


VeeBeautyLDN Hair and Scalp Treatment – £16.95


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VeeBeautyLDN Sample size Hair and Scalp Treatment

Next on my hit list to try was the Hair and Scalp Treatment.  Upon opening the bottle I could smell the Peppermint Oil right away and looking at the ingredient list I realised I could smell the Rosemary Oil too.  The product smells fresh and reminds me of drinking peppermint tea when I was pregnant.

Look at the ingredient list and again it is pretty lovely to look at.  As with the Lash and Brow Serum it contains Castor Oil, Argan Oil and Avacado Oil.  The Rosemary, Cedarwood, Hemp and Peppermint are all great stimulants to boost the blood circulation and Peppermint is also thought to prolong the life cycle of the hair by encouraging your scalp to hold onto the hair for longer.

The product suggested it was best to sleep with it on the skin if you could and as I was washing my hair the next morning anyway, that is exactly what I did.  They suggest you patch test the product in advance (I didn’t).  The product was mildly cooling on the scalp which was fine though I did find my sleep disrupted due to the peppermint scent.

In the morning I washed my hair with my usual products, the product was very easy to wash out and I didn’t have to do anything different to my normal routine.  My scalp felt very fresh and clean and the condition of my hair felt good at the roots.

As I said above, the ingredients are great (though again not listed as organic) and I will be using this product again before future hair washes to see if it has any long term effect on my hair growth.  If you were looking to purchase a product to aid a healthy scalp and hair growth then I would for sure say this is worth a shot.  I would only suggest you exercise caution if you have a very sensitive scalp as in my experience peppermint can be very stimulating for those with delicate skin.

 

Remember to keep an eye on the blog over the next few days for a review of the skincare items.

 

Emmy x

 

 

beauty, beauty therapy

5 Things I wish I knew before I studied Beauty Therapy

It’s September and that means anyone going to college or looking to study elsewhere is likely to be chewing their nails with nerves while getting ready to start.  You needn’t chew those nails…. you will need them for manicure practice, so here are my top 5 things I wish I knew before I studied Beauty Therapy.


You will have to study at home


By study at home I don’t just mean practicing your craft on any family member willing to lay on a therapy couch while you work out if your wax pot is the right temperature or flick through notes on what massage move comes next.  I mean ACTUAL study.  You will learn lots about what makes up the skin, the hair, why contraindications are so important and good old COSHH will come into play too.  I mean if you think you can just walk in and pass the exams, then try telling me what you know about the lymphatic system and you will soon realise why study is important.  It will also benefit you in the long run in the real world.


You will have to put up with messers


I’ve told you before, when I was 16 I was cocky and sure that Beauty Therapy was only for “thick” people who couldn’t do any better.  I mean lots of us think that right?  It isn’t exactly true you will be glad to know but I won’t lie, some people who study Beauty Therapy ARE only there because they couldn’t get into any other courses and didn’t want to go get a job yet.  These people will fall by the wayside but if you are passionate and REALLY love beauty then you will find your band of merry men/women and together you will have the best time.


This course will introduce you to future employers and co-workers


Not the people who come in to do a guest lecture or talk, I mean the rest of your class.  You spend a lot of time with these people and they will be your network in the future.  As said before, find that group of students who really want to be there and try hard, these are the ones you will call for help when you can’t find a job or need advice on clients and treatments.  Even now 5 years after I first qualified in my NVQ Level 2 in Beauty Therapy and 3 years after my NVQ Level 3 in Massage I do still call or message people I met doing my course when I have questions.  I even sent one woman a photo of a lump on my foot when I was pregnant for advice on what it meant because I knew she qualified in reflexology too – clearly it takes a brave woman to be my friend lol.


Get ready to be a Beauty Guru!


Honestly, everyone you ever knew will come out of the woodwork when they know you have started to study beauty.  They will expect you to be able to advise them on products, treatments and if you’re very lucky these will be the people who will volunteer to be your model for exams.

The more you learn, the more these people will come to you for advice.  I quite like it when people trust my opinion enough to ask me for advice.  Okay, so I give skincare advice day in and day out as part of my job and you might think I would get fed up being asked for advice but I honestly love skincare and I’m happy talking about it anytime (except if you are giving me a facial! I swear, never tell a beauty student you are a qualified therapist!  They won’t stop talking and asking questions – don’t be that person.)


This course is just the beginning


You might think a year or 2 from now your course will be over and you will be done but beauty is an addictive and expansive subject.  You start with one part and then you find new areas that spark your interest and you will want to study that too.  Even if you don’t go on to study other subject areas you will have continued learning and development on the subjects you already know.  Perhaps you will have to study a new brand and all the products it offers.  Perhaps you will have to learn a new facial routine to go with that new brand.  Either way, your learning is almost guaranteed to be life long if beauty if the path you choose but I honestly don’t think you will mind one bit.  Keep learning the things you are passionate about and you always enjoy it.

 

Good luck!

Emmy xx

 

beauty

Gel nail training | What are the cruelty free options?

I really enjoy learning new stuff and though I am a qualified Beauty Therapist, I have never actually bothered learning much about gel nails because I don’t actively do nails for people (other than myself and my girls).

Shellac is the brand that most people will think of when it comes to gel nails but would you be shocked to know they aren’t a cruelty free brand?  At one point they would have been but their status is now that they don’t test unless required by law which as we all well know means they will test to go into the Chinese market.  Such a shame!

Gelish:

Gelish

Step forward Gelish, likely the second most popular gel on the market after Shellac and thankfully 100% vegan and cruelty free!  The training for Gelish can be done in Sallys, a 1 day course if you already have a mani and pedi qualifiation or a 3 day course if you have no formal qualifications.

Cost wise for the product, it’s a little on the steep side.  £150 for the “Student Kit” for your training and that doesn’t include the lamp, this will set you back another £150.

Each bottle of colour is £23.99 which again isn’t exactly cheap in comparison to other brands but with 15ml in each bottle there is an excellent amount of product for your money.  You can also purchase minis if you want to try a colour out a few times before committing to the full size bottle.  And talking of colour, I believe they have around 100 to try from so a really great variety.

Orly Gel FX:

Orly Gel fx

Orly are a long lasting and vitamin infused gel polish that is supposed to be kinder to nails.  As with Gelish, the range is vegan as well as cruelty free. Training for Orly is done in set locations and for me that would be a day trip to Dublin.  The cost of training when purchasing products/kit is however cheaper at £88, you will still require a mani and pedi qualification or else do a longer training course.

The cost of the product is pretty great, £12.95 a bottle but the volume is 8ml so almost half that of a bottle of Gelish.  For the month of August the supplier Graftons have a great offer of 3 for 2 on all purchases which is a pretty sweet deal.  Again Orly have a great volume of colour choice with 96 options.

What the reviews say:

To make my decision as to which brand would suit me best I started reading a lot of reviews and I spotted a few patterns in the comments.

  • Gelish requires buffing of the nail which some people like to avoid.
  • Orly can take a REALLY long time to remove.

Orly advertise removal time as 10 minutes, however a lot of reviews said it took up to an hour for the technician to remove the polish and this really worried me.  No matter how much money I would save in going for the Gel FX, it would be a futile spend if the product caused me problems long term in the removal process.

Buffing the nail isn’t something that bothers me, yes it adds extra time to the treatment but it is time you factor into your routine rather than an extra unknown time to add on.

And the winner is?

Gelish!  The range of colours, the fact the brand is well known and well loved were what sold it for me.  The fact the training is closer to where I live is nice but I would have traveled for training for the right brand.  I am content that this is a brand with the ethics I desire and the positive feedback of users has set my mind at ease that I will get on well with this brand.

Training will be in mid October and you can be sure I will keep you up to date on how it goes.

Emmy x

 

 

beauty, Skincare

Beauty Review | Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Mask and Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub

I always remember when I moved back home from England and we were looking for a new house.  We stayed with a family member and I had only brought a suitcase of stuff.  Of course there were many things I forgot and an exfoliator was on that list.  I will never forget the impact on my skin when I didn’t exfoliate for around 2 weeks.  My skin looked almost grey and when I bought a cheap exfoliator to use when I seen the difference I vowed never again would I neglect the need to exfoliate regularly.

Enter stage left –>

Pacifica Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub (£14.99 for 50ml)

Pacifica

 

Of course I use many acids as well as physical scrubs but the Pacifica Glow Baby Youthful Face Scrub is a good scruby scrub when I want to feel like I have exfoliated well.  Made with a natural exfoliant of ground wallnut shells, this scrub is free from micro-plastics – hurrah!  In fact, Pacifica like to avoid a whole lot of beauty badness and are made without animal testing, animal ingredients, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfates, synthetic fragrance and petroleum.

The scrub itself feels very course when using, I almost feel like I need to be cautious I don’t cut the skin with it (though let’s be honest, it’s likely there are micro tears that the naked eye can’t see).  It has a geranium scent which is lovely and I find the product great for exfoliating around the sides of the nose and crease in the chin.  Once washed off my skin feels super smooth and this is no doubt down to the plethora of oils used in the scrub along with the geranium oil to keep the skin hydrated.

It’s not always easy to find Pacifica in stores in the UK however you can order it online from Feel Unique or Baba Me who have it for a few pence cheaper at £14.94.  If you are very lucky, some large Tesco stores with a well stocked beauty section have Pacifica too.

Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Hydration Mask (£15.99 for 59ml)

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Matching nails are from the Kiss ImPress collection.

I love night masks.  It feels like the laziest way to use a mask and achieve great benefits all in one go.  Just like the scrub, this mask has a pleasant floral scent with rose and jasmine coming through.  The fragrance is very mild, making it a super easy mask to sleep with, a calming smell if you will.  It also contains aloe juice to soothe and hydrate, shea butter to soften and hyaluronic acid which helps your skin retain moisture.

I really enjoy using this mask and while it can feel heavy when you first apply it, it certainly sinks in to even my oily skin so don’t worry that it will sit there making you feel sticky all night.  By the morning my skin always feels well hydrated and like the overnight mask has done it’s job.  I tend to rotate this with my Aromatherapy Associates Sleep Mask but if you can only pick one mask and you want to go for a cost effective option that works well then you wouldn’t be going wrong with Pacifica.

As with the scrub, this product can be purchased on Feel Unique or Baba Me again have it for a few pence cheaper.

Emmy x

P.S If you’re a fan of Pacifica then be sure to check out my recent blog on their nail polish range here.

polishes

 

 

anti-aging, beauty, Skincare, Uncategorized

Beauty Haul | Marks and Spencers

I always enjoy a trip to the Sprucefield M&S because they have the best beauty selection with loads of cruelty free options.

Last month when I went in for the Studio 10 demo with Patsy Kensit the girls were kind enough to send me away with some more goodies so this haul review is 100% gifted but the opinions are my own.  I’ve had a good old month trying to make time to try all the goodies in here along with my usual stash of incoming products and the results are in!

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REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (£33 for 75ml)

First up were the samples of the REN 1 minute face mask.  This mask is activated with water after you apply it.  The purpose of this mask is to tighten the skin, fight the signs of aging and effects of pollution.  It does this with Vitamin C, Boswellic Acid and Magnesium for a boost to your skins glow.

With it only taking a minute, it really is the perfect mask for anyone short of time but in need of a mini pamper session.  I am pleased to say I did notice a positive effect on the skin using these but I wasn’t a big fan of the smell and dare I say acidic taste that was left on my lips after washing the mask off.

Rodial Stemcell Magic Gel (£55 for 50ml)

Rodial Stem Cell

I am a huge fan of Rodial as a brand and this product was a lovely one to use.  You can use the Stemcell Magic Gel as a night mask or an intensive treatment during the day.  The gel hydrates, tightens and tones the skin while also protecting against pollution (and if you weren’t aware, pollution plays a major part in our ageing).  It contains “Pronalen™ Bio-Protect complex and PhytoCellTech™ Alp Rose stem cell technology work towards maintaining the skin’s moisture balance”.  The product has a really silky feel when applied to the skin which I loved and the smell is very gentle and pleasent too.

Pure Super Grape Day Cream (£15 for 50ml)

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The Pure Super Grape Day Cream comes with an SPF 15 which is always a good bonus.  It hydrates the skin with 95% natural ingredients and avoids synthetic colours, fragrances and parabens.  It is made with a complex of echinacea, peptides and an exclusive source of resveratrol which combined help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate and protect the skin.  This product feels non greasy when I apply it to my skin and hydrates well.  Great value for the price.

Rosie for Autograph Eau de Parfum (£14 for 30ml)

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This is a really lovely fragrance if you are a fan of floral and rose scents. It is part of the exclusive range with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  The fragrance lasts well on the skin like any of the other perfumes I have tried by M&S.  I love that they have a good range of fragrances to pick from and that they are all cruelty free.  So chuffed they popped two of this into my goodie bag so I can keep one in my handbag and one in the car.

Overall this was a great goodie bag and it really highlights a small portion of the wonderful range available in Marks and Spencers.  You may not find all these products in your local store as some are only kept in larger stores with a dedicated beauty department but you can 100% order them online for free pick up in your local store.

Do you have any favorites you have spotted in M&S recently?

Emmy x

 

*Although products are gifted, all opinions are my own.

beauty, Uncategorized

Beauty | How to go cruelty free in 2018

Going cruelty free can be a challenge.  It’s tricky to know what products you can use and what you want to avoid when you first start out on your journey to change your beauty products over.  And if I am honest, companies don’t make it easy on us.  Lots of brands will happily tell you they are cruelty free when the reality is they are not.  Others will fob you off and tell you that they comply with EU guidelines and animal testing is illegal in Europe (Which it certainly is) but that doesn’t mean the products haven’t been tested.

So here is my advice on what are you looking out for when it comes to keeping your beauty routine cruelty free.

Check for the Leaping Bunny logo

You will see a lot of bunnies on your journey to cruelty free but not all are equal.  Some brands will pop a bunny on their packaging and state the product is cruelty free.  These bunnies are worthless.  You need to be looking out for the official Leaping Bunny image, this is the only logo to assure a product is 100% cruelty free.  You will still find cruelty free brands that do not pay for the Leaping Bunny (such as Lush) but it sure is a good start to help you on your journey.

mulondon-certifications-leaping-bunny

Vegan and Cruelty Free are not the same

If a product is listed as vegan, this does not mean it is cruelty free.  Companies such as Loreal have now started to offer “vegan” beauty products.  Sadly this no more makes them cruelty free than the moon is made of cheese.

vegan loreal

If a product is sold in China, then it is not cruelty free

It can be difficult to tell sometimes if a company sell in China, however if you can be sure they retail there, then you can be sure their products are tested on animals.  Sadly the Chinese government require products to be tested on animals by law before they can be sold in the country.  No matter how much care and attention a company has paid to its production of products, their efforts are undone the second they enter the Chinese market.

However do not confuse this for products made in China.  Products can be made in China and do not require any animal testing so long as they are not sold in the country.

loreal china

Google is your friend

We are blessed to be able to use our phones and laptops to check if products we wish to purchase are cruelty free.  There are so many wonderful resources out there to help you such as Logical Harmony, Ethical Elephant, Cruelty Free Kitty and Peta who all have their own lists for what brands are cruelty free.

Remember…

You are on a journey and not every choice you make will be correct but it is important to forgive yourself for any mistakes.  It isn’t your fault, if only it was easier for you to know which products fit in line with your ethics.  You have made a choice to commit to small changes to your beauty routine and that is wonderful.  My advice is if in doubt, double check and if you need a quick replacement for an old product but have no time to research then stick to safe brands that you know you can walk into a pick cruelty free products with ease from such as Lush, Marks and Spencer own brand, Superdrug own brand and Aldi own brand.

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This is actually my store where you will find me in most days of the week.  A 100% cruelty free business I am proud to work for.