beauty

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.

mask

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!

 

 

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beauty

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?

 

 

beauty

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:

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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:

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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:

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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 –

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 💕

beauty

5 Skincare tips I wish I had known in my teens

When we are in our teens, we generally pick at any little flaw in our skin, a spot, a broken capillary, heck even the shape of our nose wasn’t right when we were teenagers right?  I believe it’s important that we learn good habits and skincare routines as teenagers to maintain for the rest of our lives, so here are the tips I would give teenage Emmy.

1 – SPF is something to wear every day in all weathers.

Ultrasun new range web

You shouldn’t keep this just for the summer season on the super hot days.  Once you have cleansed and moisturised, be sure to pop some SPF on top, or even apply on top of make-up.  Check out my recent suncare blog here for tips and brand suggestions for cruelty free SPF.  Not only will an SPF save you from burning in the hot sun but it will also stop the suns rays from aging or dehydrating your skin.

2- A good moisturiser is important, even on oily skin.

It’s such a common misconception that oily skin means you need to avoid a moisturiser.  But why do I need to moisturise when my skin is oily I hear you ask, well it’s as simple as this, moisturising is about increasing your skins water content, not sebum.  The trick is picking a moisturiser that is light and works well for you.  You can opt for an oil free moisturiser such as The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors +HA or Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturiser

3 – Learn to sleep on your back.

I mean think about the creases we wake up with on our skin every morning from sleeping with our face in our pillow.  Now imagine how many times we have woken up with those creases.  Do you think this has no effect on our skin?  Of course it does.  It’s so slight we would never even see it on a day to day basis but over time these things will start to show and by the time you are a fully fledged grown up, changing how you sleep is hard!

4 – What you drink will show on your face. 

water

By that I mean if you have too much caffeine (Think tea, coffee and fizzy drinks) then it is likely to show on your face as dehydrated skin.  Likewise if you drink too much alcohol you will likely start to see signs of dehydration and possible broken capillaries on the face.  Make sure you drink enough water, it might be an old rule but it’s stuck around because it works.

5 – Less is more.

It’s so tempting to over do it with scrubs and deep cleansing masks as a teenager when you are desperately trying to improve the condition of your skin.  I can remember using a scrubby face wash every day when I was in my late teens and early 20’s thinking that if I kept on top of exfoliation my break outs would go away.  They didn’t and the reality is we only need to exfoliate once or twice a week.  Also using really astringent toners is a bit of a bad idea too, strip away all your skins natural oil and what happens?  Your skin thinks it needs to produce more leaving you even oilier.  Go for the gentle and soothing options, ingredients that will reduce redness and swelling rather than draining the skin.  Even as adults we can overdo it with too much stimulation leading to skin irritation, so behave, use these products sparingly as intended and not daily.

beauty

Pamper session with Pixi by Petra in M&S Lisburn!

Today I was lucky enough to get a mini facial and makeup session with the Pixi girls in Marks and Spencers in Sprucefield, Lisburn.

mands insta story

The set up was gorgeous, they had an area set up to display all their products beautifully.  There were 2 director chairs for clients to sit on alongside a range of welcome drinks and snacks.  The also had a selection of arm chairs for anyone unable to get into the director chairs which made the appointments more accessible for anyone with mobility issues.  Overall it was a well thought out set up which made it feel warm and inviting despite being in the middle of a store.

What I love about Pixi is that the brand is not only Cruelty Free but they have a huge variety of Vegetarian and Vegan friendly products.  The also avoid perfumes and parabens so are great for anyone with sensitive skin. I was shocked to see how much of the make-up range they actually had in the Sprucefield store too, way more than the Newry branch so definitely call in to try some pieces next time you are going by.

I took a seat and was offered a drink and a snack while the Pixi girl got everything ready to go.  She started with a cleanse and then applied the Rose Flash Balm with some Rose Oil Blend.  These smelt incredible together, though I confess I am a huge fan of rose as a fragrance so this combo was always going to be a winner for me.

I was then matched with one of their H20 Skin Tinted Face Gels.  I was very dubious because if you know how often I try new foundations, then you may also know how badly some of them sit on my combination skin!  This stuff was lovely and dewy and I was so impressed with that I bought it afterwards and if I am honest, I am sorry I didn’t buy the 2 in 1 Multi Balm in Baby Petal too.  You know when you let somebody try a new product on you, then another and another and by the time you look you almost forget half of what they used?  I’m putting that down as the reason I didn’t buy this product today but I will 100% be going back for it as it blended in so perfectly over the h20 Skin Tinted Face Gel.

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I then had mascara, brow pencil and a lip gloss applied before a setting spray and glow mist.  I decided not to go for these make-up items as I currently have I would say about 8 mascaras in my rotation with another new Rodial one to use when the current 8 are done (wish me luck with that!), I don’t often wear lip colour and though the brow pencil was a nice shade, I am still a devout user of the Bare Minerals brow pencil.  I did however buy a setting spray and got the glow mist as a free gift.

After writing about their Pixi Sun Mist in my last blog I also asked if I could try this.  I will confirm it felt light on the skin and misted well, I’m not however convinced that it gave enough coverage on my skin to ensure I was getting the benefit of the full SPF so for now I will stick with the Ultrasun facial SPF (also available in M&S).

pixi purchases

And this, if you were wondering, is what I purchased.  Glow Tonic along with the Make-up Fixing Mist, H20 Skintint and my free Glow Mist.

I was also a very lucky girl when I was gifted a bag of goodies containing some products that they sell in store.

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Rodial is a brand which I love and already use and I was very excited to see the Dragons Blood Hyaluronic Tonic as I love it and mine had just run out about a week or so ago (hence buying the Superdrug B. range Hyaluronic facial spritz).  I haven’t however tried the Stem Cell range by Rodial so I am really looking forward to giving these a try.  While I know the Bee Venom moisturiser is highly rated (and very so thank you Marks and Spencers Sprucefield for including this) I need to do a bit more research into it to see if it is vegetarian friendly before I commit to trying it (I know it is one to avoid for the vegans).  I will get back to you on it once I’ve done the research.  The M&S Perfume range is all cruelty free (along with their whole beauty and cleaning range!) so I highly recommend trying them out when you need a new fragrance.

Overall I had a wonderful time in store and I am in love with my new purchases from the Pixi range!  Keep an eye on the M&SBeautyLisburn page for updates on future instore events with Pixi as they do apparently send a brand rep to the store each month!

 

 

Pixi after photo 2a
Excuse the messy hair – quick car selfie after leaving the store

All opinions are my own and have not been affected in any way by any free gifts received today.

beauty

Cruelty free Sunscreen for all the family

Sunscreen is one of those things we should all be using to protect our skin from damage and those pesky signs of aging.  Regularly when advising people to wear sunscreen people ask me “yeah but where can you get a cruelty free one?” and so with that in mind and the sunshine starting to peep out, I’ve thrown together a few of my favorites to set you on your way to your perfect match when it comes to cruelty free sunscreen.

Ultrasun 

Ultrasun new range web

I make it no secret that I love Ultrasun and I use their facial SPF on the daily.  It isn’t the cheapest but it does dry in with a lovely matte finish making it so easy to apply my make-up over the top.

Ultrasun provide a great range to cover all bases when it comes to SPF and even do a range of SPF with “Glimmer” for those of us who like to shine.  If you have delicate skin, I know you have to worry that little bit more about sun protection but this one is also a winner for you as they have products that are especially good for sensitive skin.  Their range has no perfumes, no preservatives and a dry touch technology to stop you feeling greasy.

You can grab the Ultrasun range in M&S via QVC or through their own website here.

(The Ultrasun range is vegan friendly with the exception of their lip products which are vegetarian)

Pixi Sun Mist

Pixi Sun Mist SPF

Pixi aren’t exactly well known for their sunscreen as the range is limited but they do have this great product for spraying under or over your make-up.

With our face being exposed to the elements more than the rest of our body I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get SPF on our faces daily.  Sometimes your make-up or moisturiser will have an SPF built in but I would rather my moisturiser do what I buy it to do – moisturise, so I put mine on as a separate stage.  I tend to give my face a few minutes for my moisturiser to sink in before adding SPF and then another minute or so to be sure it is dry before I apply makeup.

Again this is available in M&S and on their website here.

(The Pixi Sun Mist is suitable for vegans)

Solait

Superdrug Solait SPF

Let’s hear it for Superdrug!  Superdrug is a store who offer cruelty free products by the bucket load as their own brand products are all 100% cruelty free.

With Superdrug being a high street store that is accessible to most of us and with a price point that is pretty pocket friendly, I can imagine many of us will be wearing this over the summer.  I know my kids will be wearing it for sure!  My kids always seem to use so much more sunscreen than adults.  Between their sports days, playing out at nursery and those days at the beach when they are running around all day refusing to keep their sun hats on or to stay in the shade in favour of wearing nothing but their swim wear and sunscreen I end up going through loads of it on the 3 of them.

You can check out the Solait range in store or on their website here and is currently on buy one get one half price.

(The Solait range is vegan friendly)

Lacura

Lacura sun screen

Lacura is an Aldi own brand and if you weren’t aware already, 2018 became the year Aldi went all out on the cruelty free front and all of their own brand products are now leaping bunny certified.

Sadly I have no Aldi near me (honestly, it pains me as I REALLY want to try their hot cloth cleanser!) and I am unable to say if the range is suitable for vegans.  If you live near a store and do the grocery shop there then do have a look at the range when you are next in store and you can let me know if it looks like a vegan friendly range.

You can buy the Lacura range in Aldi or on the Aldi website.

Sun Smart

M&S SPF

My 5th and final suggestion for your sunscreen is the M&S own brand Sun Smart.  All these cruelty free own brands show that stores really are picking up on the fact that the cruelty free market IS important to get into.  We are an ever growing group of people demanding cruelty free products every time we vote with our money and refuse to buy from brands who are still testing on animals when it clearly isn’t needed.

As with Superdrug and Aldi, M&S own brand beauty products are all cruelty free and with them stocking so many other cruelty free brands alongside their own, it really is a haven for cruelty free shoppers to flock to.

As with the other own brands, you can pick this up in any Marks and Spencers store or on their website.  The Sun Smart range is currently 30% off so grab it quick if you’re off on an early summer holiday.

(This range is listed as suitable for vegetarians)

Have I missed any of your favorite cruelty free suncare brands?  Feel free to comment below to let us know of other suncare ranges we should be checking out.