Miracle product: Body Shop Body Butter!

Body Shop Body Butter is officially the best moisturiser I have ever used! Its been around for a while but this is the first time I’ve owned any. I remember a friend in school who used to apply it religiously and she had the softest skin. Now I own some for myself, I feel like I’m finally in on the secret.

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I put it on last night after my bath, and this morning my skin feels like it did 5 minutes after applying it! My skin still smells like coconut, its ridiculously soft, and my feet still have that gooey post-pedicure feeling. My hands are softer than they’ve been in months, and I apply hand cream regularly. Normally 5 minutes after moisturising, all traces of moisturiser are gone. But 12 hours after using this product and my skin still has that luxury goddess feeling you get after a hot bath and good moisturiser.

There are so many flavours (scents) that there is bound to be the perfect one for you amongst their vast range. In this house we are coconut heads. We have coconut shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap…and in the kitchen cupboard theres coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream. But if coconut isn’t your jam theres shea butter, cocoa butter, mango, satsuma, strawberry, hemp (!?), olive, honey, pink grapefruit and many more.

If this is already your staple moisturiser, well done. If not, don’t waste any more time! This really is a miracle moisturiser.

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Back to school/Off to uni

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A new school year, or a brand new university, is the perfect opportunity for a beauty makeover. My school was incredibly strict and we weren’t allowed to wear makeup, dye our hair, or even fake tan. We also had to keep our hair tied back. The rules relaxed a little in 6th form, but my first chance for a real beauty makeover was university. So whether you are just being released from the tight grip of school rules, or you go to a school where you are allowed to express yourself through your appearance, here are some great tips for becoming the new You 2.0. 

Tan

Not everyone looks best with a tan, there are some lucky people who really pull off the alabaster skin look. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. When my tan fades I just look like a jaundiced Lord Voldemort. So having a tan is a great confidence booster for me and a great way to start the school or uni year looking healthy and glowing, like you spent the summer on a yacht instead of watching hundreds of hours of netflix (which is what I actually did). 

If you are not a fan of actual tanning, why not fake it with something that comes pretty close to the real thing. 

My favourite fake tan is Xen-Tan 

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This Dark Lotion Absolute Luxe is currently £25.24 in the feelunique.com sale and it is the one I use. It’s the darkest they do, but they also have a medium and fair range to suit all skin types. What I love about this tan is it has olive undertones, instead of orange. Like, for real, it comes out green. You apply the guide colour onto freshly exfoliated skin and leave it overnight. Wash off in the morning and you are left with the perfect tan.

If this isn’t dark enough, you can top it up with something cheaper, like St Moritz (£4.49 on feelunique.com)

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Yes, it’s very cheap so it doesn’t have great lasting power, it’s more of a wash off tan. But it goes on super dark and I used to apply this just minutes before going out, on top of my original tan. Even though it is cheap it is not orange. It comes out as a mahogany brown foam, and it stays mahogany brown on your skin.

TIP: to make your tan last longer, moisturise. Do not moisturise before applying your tan or it won’t absorb as well, but moisturising is crucial for retaining a tan, real or fake. 

Hair

Heat stimulates hair growth, which is why your hair grows more over summer. The sun also can lighten your hair. I am naturally brunette, but I died my hair blonde for uni, and kept it up until about a year ago. I loved being blonde but it killed my hair. But a few highlights are always flattering. Dark hair doesn’t suit me, and when I first started highlighting my hair I got so many more compliments. So why not try some honey or caramel toned highlights?

For light hair:

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For dark hair:

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Nails

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I would never have been allowed any kind of nails when I was at school. Neither was I allowed when I was nursing. It was so liberating when I stopped nursing just to be able to have the longest, most ratchet nails possible. I love a stiletto nail, a squareletto nail or even a simple square. So if your school allows nails, or if you are headed to the freedom of uni, why not treat yourself to a manicure before you go. You could stick with your natural nails with a cute gel polish, alla Kardashian

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Or go more gangsta with it, like Lil Debbie

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or Kylie Jenner:

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Whatever you choose, you will feel pretty much ready for anything with your new look. Good luck in the new school/uni year!

Miracle Product of the Month: May

I know it’s a bit late but it’s still may so without any more delays, here is my miracle product of the month:

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My mum got this as a present for her birthday earlier this month from (shoutout) Sophie Stephenson. It is the nicest smelling hand cream you will ever come across, fact! I first started using it all the time because I loved the smell, and then I realised that my usually dry, painful hands were no longer dry and painful. Even the dry bits between my fingers were gone. 

I consider myself a bit of a hand cream connoisseur, because when I was nursing I had the worlds driest hands due to washing them every 5 minutes and using alcohol gel every 2 minutes. I’ve tried a lot of different hand creams since then and this is my favourite. So get yourself to Neal’s Yard and try it. I came for the smell, I stayed for the softness. 

Smells like Summer

I love perfumes and I believe that a scent that makes you think of summer can do wonders for your mood. I sometimes smell my summer moisturiser during the winter just to be instantly transported back to long summer days of sunbathing and instagramming my feet by a pool. 

I am really excited about my list of this years best summer perfumes, so here they are. My scents of the summer. 

First up, the Miss Dior Originale Eau de Toilette 

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There are a few different versions of the classic Miss Dior but this is my favourite for summer. It is lighter than the others and less imposing, if those are legit words for describing perfume…

It combines Jasmine, Patchouli and Galbanum  which is a plant that grows in Iran and Afghanistan which is what gives the perfume it’s ‘green notes’

Next is L’Eau de Chloe:

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If in doubt, perfumes that are green in colour tend to be summery ones. This is a gorgeous fresh smell. It has light notes of freesia, peony, litchi and lily of the valley over a base that includes cedarwood and amber. This also makes it a good perfume for an evening.

This next one is my favourite of the three. It is the Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh:

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This youthful fragrance combines all the connotations of summer in a cute bottle. It’s top notes include grapefruit, pear and raspberry which explains why I love it so much because I absolutely love any beauty product that is grapefuit scented. It’s sweet, but with an edge. I am definitely adding this to my ‘to buy’ list.

My last scent isn’t a perfume, it is a moisturiser that I thought was discontinued but it was actually only repackaged!

It is the Victoria’s Secret Pink Sun Kissed range:

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This body butter btw is to die. It has really tiny bits of glitter so it gives you a gorgeous golden glow.

It used to be this:

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It was pure chance that I managed to find it. I was just smelling all the different moisturisers in the shop and I instantly recognised this one as the beloved moisturiser I had 3 years ago. This coconutty goo makes me so happy I am thrilled to be reunited with it ❤

Those are my favourite scents for the summer. To me, they smell like tan lines and Wimbledon. 

Miracle Product of the Month: April

My miracle product this month is MUCH cheaper than last months and is perfect for getting your skin ready to bare. 

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It is the Frozen Verbena Body Scrub from & Other Stories (£7)

& Other Stories is a store that is the child of H&M and sister to Cos, it is located on Regent Street. Not only does this store sell amazing clothes, jewellery, lingerie and shoes, but it also has a huge beauty section full of it’s own brand makeup and beauty products, and other great brands such as This Works. Their own brand has tons of different scents, and each scent has it’s own line of products such as lotions, hand creams, soaps, cleansers etc. My favourite of these is the Frozen Verbena. It is a gorgeous and fresh citrus smell with a hint of mint. Moroccan Tea is also another favourite of mine, but it makes me thirsty. The store has a huge sink with each of the body scrubs of all the different scents open next to it ready to try. You rub some on the back of your hand, wash it off in the sink using one of the posh soaps, then moisturise with their selection of lotions ready to try and you will leave with brand new hands. This makes your skin so soft, you have to try it to believe it. 

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A little goes a long way so one tub will last you a while, and when it’s finished just return the packaging to the shop and get 10% off your next beauty purchase. And go now, because they are giving away free Easter gifts with every purchase! This is not just a great exfoliating product, it also moisturises and leaves your skin smelling amazing till you next get in the shower. So for £7 it’s a no-brainer. 

No Girls Allowed: Men’s Skincare 101

This post is just for the boys. Since Joe Biden revealed the secret to his gorgeous skin (Clinique for Men) it’s got me thinking about whether this is a subject boys would appreciate some direction in. Biden claimed he just uses what his wife tells him to, but I think you guys are capable of making your own decisions on your skincare, there just aren’t many beauty blogs that focus on men so it is hard to know where to start. 

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Joe Biden revealed to Rachael Ray the secret to his glowing skin is Clinique. As if I could love him any more. Clinique is an absolute classic in skin care for men and women. Clinique have a line designed especially for men, the standard moisturiser costs £23. This is just a simple moisturiser with SPF so if you find all the specific treatments a bit intimidating, this is a great place to start. 

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If you are already comfortable with moisturisers and want to target more specific problems, Clinique for Men also has creams for dark spot correcting, blemishes, fatigue and anti-ageing. 

If you want a product that will impress whoever is going through your medicine cabinet, Tom Ford has a men’s skincare range. It is pricey but if I saw them in a boy’s bathroom I would be very impressed/jealous. Their daily moisturiser is £75 (eek!) so this is really top end of the budget. They also do a concealer for £32 and is designed especially for men to help cover up blemishes, redness or razor cuts. 

You don’t need to spend a lot, however, for a good basic moisturiser. Nivea for Men have a re-hydrating moisturiser for £6.95 which, as the name implies, is good for dehydrated skin as well as dry skin. Dehydrated is an often overlooked skin care issue. Nivea also have a wide range of products to ease shaving and to cool the skin afterwards. Another cheap but effective moisturiser is Vaseline Men Extra Strength Body and Face Lotion (£3.73) (As seen in Esquire). Apply this at night to make the morning shave more comfortable and less irritating. 

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Another popular brand among men’s skincare is Kiehls. Their Facial Fuel range is incredibly popular and their “caffeine and vitamin non oily formula” claims to “energize the skin and control shine” so this is one for those of you who have trouble getting to bed on time (Facial Fuel Energizing Moisturiser £21). This range also includes cleansers, exfoliating scrubs and eye creams. All of which are products which everyone should be using, regardless of gender. 

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I hope this helped some boys out there decide which direction to go in when entering the confusing world of skin care. For those who are already experienced in this area, I know this post is very basic but it is mainly aimed at those who are completely new to skin care. Any requests or questions, feel free to comment. 

Ditch the tights: Get your skin ready for Spring!

Spring time is upon us, and even though the weather is still fluctuating, there are some days (like today) where you feel like it’s just about acceptable to start baring your legs. But after a long British winter, our skin is left feeling dry, pale and dull. Hopefully this post will help prepare you, and your skin, for long sunny days to come and help you to look and feel your best.

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I am a self confessed goo hoarder. So I have tried to narrow this list down to just one of each different type of goo…there may be a couple of overlaps..

The first thing you will want to do to get your skin ready for show is moisturise it. If you are anything like me, you haven’t moisturised much over the whole winter period because who is going to see your skin in winter? This is where the overlap occurs because there are three different moisturises pictured above if you exclude the coconut oil and aloe vera. Which can also be used. But they all have their different times and places. First of all, the Bathina Body Oil by Benefit (£26.50). This came out at the end of last summer so I haven’t had many opportunities to use it, but when I am having a pamper evening, I’ll apply this all over after a nice long bath just to feel soft and smell nice, winter be damned. You spray it directly onto the skin so you don’t have to get your hands oily if you just want to spray it on your legs and chest before you leave the house.

The Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Oil is, yes, another oil but it is much cheaper (£4-ish). I love cocoa butter so much, it is a classic and it smells like chocolate so why would anyone not love it? I use this oil in tanning. Moisture is essential in maintaining a tan – natural or fake. So in the summer I apply this every morning and evening to make my tan last longer.

Then there’s the Agent Provocateur L’Agent Silk Body Elixir (£30). This exact product is now discontinued which is a huge shame because it is an exact smell-a-like to Chanel No.5. And it leaves the skin unbelievably soft and silky. You can still get the Body Elixirs but with different perfumes. I use it very sparingly so I don’t run out. Basically only on special occasions, like those parties where even your skin needs to dress up.

So that’s moisturisers. Now for those of you who need a bit of help with your tan or who don’t like to damage your skin, Xen-Tan is my all time favourite fake tan. And believe me, when it comes to tanning I know my stuff. I was bleach blonde and caramel tanned from the ages of 18-20 and over that time I tried all the different fake tans, but this one is the best for your money. These days I sun bed (it is my only vice) so I don’t really use fake tan but I still keep a bottle for emergencies. I have a tanning mitt but because Xen-Tan goes on with a guide colour it is easy to wash it off your hands after application, just use a bar of soap and hot water. Once you wash the guide colour off it is streak free and because the undertones are green, it is olive toned, not orange.

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See how tanned! I miss those days 😦

For those of you who are sun worshipers like me, I love to use Aloe Vera gel as an after sun because it has an instant cooling effect and works really well on burns. Aloe Vera can also be used as a moisturiser AND as a hair treatment, but read my post about hair porosity because if you have low porosity hair, this will dry it out. Another sun essential is SPF for the face. I have to admit I don’t really use sun cream (which I don’t condone, unless you are a naturally dark skin type like I am and don’t burn) but I do apply factor 15 to my face on holidays and because recently I have been doing lots of acid peels on my skin, I have to use factor 30 even in England to protect the lower layers of skin that are now exposed. In general using an SPF on your face daily is a great way to protect your skin from ageing.

Finally, Coconut Oil. This has so many uses, it would need to do another post just to list them, but the one I recommend it for in this article is shaving. I know it sounds weird but it has to be tried to be believed. You can use coconut oil for shaving and because it leaves a residue on your legs, you don’t even have to moisturise afterwards. I would just advise rinsing the bath out thoroughly afterwards so it’s not slippy. Or keep it au naturel and don’t shave at all. Whatever you prefer, both are good.

And the most important rule to look amazing for spring…smile! The sun’s out! 🙂