The White Company Launch A Capsule Skincare Collection (But Is It Worth The Price Tag?)

Overpriced pillowcases, fluffy socks and candles are my guilty pleasure – and there’s no better place to seek them out than The White Company. It’s become a destination in its own right because of the purity of the colour scheme and the quality of the items within, but until now they’ve kept their focus very much to homewares. I was surprised to find out that the founder of The White Company was originally a beauty journalist and therefore incredibly passionate about skincare, so it makes complete sense that this year the brand are trying their hand at launching a capsule range of beauty products that very much fit within their ethos of minimalistic and aspirational shopping. Rather interestingly they’ve partnered with Deciem (who really know their stuff – they’re the people behind The Ordinary, Niod, Hylamide, Fountain and Hand Chemistry) to bring this collection to life; if you want the industry to stand up and take notice, then these are undoubtedly the guys you’d turn to for help. Using their expertise to develop a collection that consists of a cleansing balm, night oil, moisturiser, concentrated serum and eye treatment, the result is a five piece line-up that provides a great basis for any skincare regime. But is it worth the hype, and more importantly the price?

The stripped back approach to skincare they’ve developed matches the brand aesthetic completely, remaining in-keeping with their approach to everything from candles to bed throws. There’s no fluff or faff, just a range of easy-to-use and incredibly beautiful formulas that will undoubtedly appeal to The White Company customers old and new; even the packaging is simple, elegant and timeless – ensuring that this appeals as much to a 25 year old as a 65 year old. Although the capsule collection is somewhat refreshing, it does mean if you want a more bespoke skincare regime or have specific needs that you’ll need to look elsewhere – or at least add in a product or two from perhaps the standalone Deciem ranges. Let’s take a closer look at each in turn…

SUPER SERUM £40.00
Featuring a blend of grape vine stem cells, protein-rich amino acids, green-tea and marine extracts, this intelligent serum offers protection against UV damage and ageing while also helping it to look plumper, smoother and more even. This is probably my favourite from the range, as it’s incredibly light and more like an oil than a serum; my skin soaks it up within a few seconds, leaving a pretty radiant complexion behind that’s ready for my moisturiser. It’s a great all-rounder for all ages, but you will need a touch more punch if you’re wanting to tackle any bigger issues than ‘I just want to look after my skin.’

ADVANCED HYDRATION £30.00
Blended with an advanced form of hyaluronic acid, nourishing Amazonian oils and soothing aloe-vera butter, this lightweight moisturiser is non-greasy and absorbs quickly to leave skin feeling hydrated and comfortable. It’s delicately scented with lavender, rose and orange essential oils to make the experience evocative (although the lavender puts me to sleep a little!) and luxurious, but despite that it’s a relatively standard moisturiser. In my opinion the price is a little steep considering the amount of product you get, and the downside is that I’m a little disappointed there’s no dressing-table appropriate pot.

EYE REVIVE £20.00
This ultra-light gel formula claims to diminish the appearance of dark circles, visibly reduce puffiness and helps to lift the upper eyelids. It’s definitely cooling and pleasurable to apply, and thanks to a blend of Persian silk tree, oxygen-boosting actives and probiotic technology there’s the possibility that it could actually brighten over time too – but again, it doesn’t provide the immediate difference I look for and it’s not amazing enough for me to stick with over a longer period of time.

SUPER BALM £25.00
A cleansing balm that’s designed to deeply, yet gently, cleanse and dissolve all traces of make-up while instantly boosting hydration, this is a great staple for anyone that needs a good cleanser at the end of a long day. It starts as a cream, melts into a lightweight balm upon contact with the skin, and then emulsifies when mixed with water to leave a creamy cleanse behind. You get a lot of product for your money too, making this a relatively affordable and effective option that I wouldn’t think twice about recommending.

NIGHT OIL £30.00
Formulated with an enriching blend of Amazonian oils, anti-oxidants and poppy-flower extract to ensure that you’ll awake with deeply nourished, super soft and firmer-looking skin, this night oil smells delicious and is a great texture for those nervous about applying oils. Although it’s certainly pleasurable, I don’t think there’s anything groundbreaking going on here so you’ll definitely be investing in more of a sensorial experience rather than hardcore skincare – but if that’s your bag, you’ll love it.

Overall the range is great to use and provides a simple approach to skincare, but it’s not rocking my world. I feel like you’re definitely paying a premium for it being in White Company packaging, rather than for what’s inside; my main concern with this range is the fact that partnering with Deciem means that you can get the same level of expertise and quality of ingredient from them directly – for a much cheaper price point. (The Ordinary starts at only a fiver, and if you know how to use it the range will be a life changer.) It’s the perfect addition for the usual customer that pops into The White Company for a bathrobe or Christening gift and I completely understand why they’ve made this brand extension, but for those of us that expect great things from their skincare product it may be worth investing your cash elsewhere. (Or just picking up a load of Deciem instead.)

What do you think about The White Company’s skincare range? A great addition, or a waste of money?

 

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So Sephora Isn’t Coming to the U.K After All

Sephora Isn't Coming to the U.K 2017

Late last year, the news unofficially – as in it didn’t directly come from Sephora but rather very trusted sources – broke that Sephora had plans to finally set shop up in the U.K once again; sure it would only be one location (London) but for many it was better than nothing and raised the hope of the possibility for further British branches. For weeks, it was all anyone could talk about and the announcement was received with unprecedented excitement levels, well dear reader I’m afraid Sephora is no longer arriving on the U.K shores anytime soon, if ever.

Why? From what I have gathered no one really knows. Perhaps Sephora felt it was too little, too late? Maybe they decided that that the supposed location of Westfield Strafford was not ideal as it isn’t exactly central, nor somewhere those pushed for time would venture; as a Scot that has been to London several times – with my tourist blinkers on – I would imagine that Oxford Street would be a more fitting address – central and a hotspot for both local and visiting traffic. There is also the fact that a lot of brands that Sephora stock are exclusive to other retailers within the UK – for example Kat Von D is only sold within certain branches of Debenhams and Tarte can only be found on the QVC website. Of course, this is all speculative and the real reasoning most likely will never come to light.

Sephora Isn't Coming to the U.K 2017

Although I wasn’t the hugest champion for the U.K unveiling – despite it’s European roots, I feel that the U.S is the real “home” of Sephora – I am a little sad that the expansion has not been granted the green light – the beauty industry has never been more booming and just about every blogger and YouTuber who as much as wears lipstick has undoubtedly uploaded some form off Sephora haul in their time. I am not deluded enough to as much as hint we alone keep the beauty sector afloat but all that free brand promotion certainly can’t help the brand. I have said in the past that I don’t think the U.K version of Sephora would be as impressive as those further afield but I did agree that there certainly is more than room for a one-stop cosmetic and skincare shop within the U.K – a gap said brand could more than fill.

I also assumed (foolish I know) that with a new international location that a British website wouldn’t be far behind meaning no more costly importation fees, nor lengthy waits for said delivery to arrive (well in theory – we’ve all had encounters with dodgy couriers). An online U.K based Sephora presence would also open up the brand to those who are unable to travel be it to London or elsewhere, and of course allows for those late night and often regrettable splurges. Even if said website only sold own brand products – which I would argue are as good, if not better than some high end products – it would be a start and a move very much welcomed by many.

There are rumbles that perhaps Sephora will go down the concession route within the U.K; opening up small counters in already existing department stores, something that is already in play in hundreds of J.C Penny stores within the states. Again this is better than nothing and also allows customers to see and try products before purchase, and in the long run could serve as a test to how well the company is received within a market it has neglected for so long.

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Where Did All The Opinions Go?

Back in 2010 when I started documenting my love of makeup online, bloggers were all about the opinions. We reveled in being able to share our loves and loathes, provide honest feedback on our purchases and discuss issues that were important to us; opinions were at the heart of the bloggersphere and absolutely what made it stand out amongst the run-of-the-mill and diluted glossiness of magazines. Collectively we had turned against mainstream media as we couldn’t necessarily trust the opinions and edits presented to us, especially when big brands and mega budgets were having an increasingly negative impact on the information between the covers. Bloggers were honest, transparent and not afraid to share exactly what they thought; a week didn’t go by without one of us getting a ‘cease and desist’ letter from a brand that didn’t like what we had to say, and were using their legal teams to scare us into censoring opinions. It was brilliant. It was wonderful. It was a turning point in time. Not everyone loved the same things or had the same opinions on a new launch, but that was ok – because that was a reflection of what was happening in the real world.

I like to refer to this as the ‘golden age’ of blogging: before it became as glossy, edited and mainstream as the media we were rebelling against. Over the last decade the bloggersphere has evolved (both positively and negatively) to the point that it’s almost unrecogniseable from where we started; the editorial style of writing, fashion magazine standard photography and beautifully curated social media feeds that make every 20-something look like their living the life of Gigi Hadid are just the tip of the iceberg. The big issue? As a veteran of the blogging world I’m increasingly aware and concerned about the lack of real opinion – it’s like the industry has become too scared to provide insight that’s not 100% positive, or to share thoughts that aren’t always ‘on brand’. You can find literally thousands of cookie cutter blogs out there, but very few of them offer insight or comment beyond ‘I love it!/It’s so pretty!/This is a must-have!’

With the growth of the blogging community I understand that we’re all in constant competition for the latest product sample, press trip or sponsored campaign (and that often playing it safe provides higher return in the short term.) I understand that brands want you to say nice things about their products, because their end objective is to make as many sales as possible. However, what I don’t understand is why so many within the bloggersphere are happy to ride the safe train at the expense of their reader. In the words of Caroline Hirons during a recent post: “God forbid you say you didn’t get on with something. God forbid you use your platform to give your readers genuine feedback on an experience, even when it’s done so constructively and without resorting to blanket negativity. Having an opinion does not make you a bitch, and it certainly should not make you ashamed.” Amen Hirons, amen.

The digital space has successfully evolved into something aspirational, motivational and incredibly curated, but in my opinion this has been at the expense of raw and unedited opinion – which is why we all started in the first place. We’re on very dangerous ground right now as blogs become increasingly fluffy and bland. I find myself continually fighting to be recognised as an intelligent woman with a well-rounded background and informed opinion, but when there are so many others out there focusing on the prettiness of their online space rather than what impact their words have, it becomes somewhat of a losing battle. Super styled beauty images, professionally shot outfits and hired locations that wouldn’t look out of place on the pages of Vogue are great, but it’s also important for us to use the power of the written (or spoken) word to make positive change or share valuable opinion.

As an example, recently a new beauty concept launched into the UK under the name of ‘Beauty Pie’; this subscription platform seemed great on the surface, but when you started to scratch away and look deeper there were a number of issues and problematic areas that needed addressing as part of a comprehensive review. (You can read my full feature here.) What concerned me was the number of features that praised the service as something revolutionary and overwhelmingly positive, without letting readers know about the potential pitfalls (of which there were many.) I’ve literally read hundreds of articles on the concept, but could probably count on my hands the number of sites that dared to say anything negative (or worse, even bothered to do their own research rather than just repeating what was on the press release.) Everyone is free to give their opinion and share their own thoughts (positive, negative or neutral) because that’s the whole point of the bloggersphere, but when there’s no opinion at all? That’s when it becomes worrying.

I feel incredibly uneasy about the future of blogging right now, because I think we’re in serious danger of becoming as edited and vacuous as the magazines that we’re supposed to be replacing. Too many are focused on whether everything is ‘on brand’ for them, rather than using their voice and influence to impart knowledge or advice; too many are worried about losing out on that next press trip or bundle of free lipsticks, rather than focusing on creating a strong persona that their readers can relate to. Too many of us are being shot down for having an opinion or told that we should just get back to talking about lipsticks, while the blogging elite are focused on their next big pay rather than whether they would genuinely recommend a product without it. I’ve always made it a priority to share my true thoughts and bring you an honest account of my experiences; a great brand will understand that not everyone will adore every product, and a reader won’t expect you to. Opinions are vital to the bloggersphere and how it operates, but they seem to now be as rare as a limited edition Mariah Carey lipstick. I think it’s about time we brought them back…
But you know, that’s just my opinion.

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The New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer

New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer

One of my aims for 2017 is to adopt a healthier routine and to really make the most of my mornings; that means no more sugary cereal, while plumped in front of the T.V. watching re-runs of shows I’ve seen at least twice before. I also want to make time for me, be it making a delicious breakfast juice(recipe at end of post) or sitting down and really appreciating my beauty products – rather than haphazardly slapping on some powder and lipstick via the morning commute. I find setting my alarm a little earlier, going for a brisk walk and generally enjoying the tranquillity before rush hour sets in, gears me up for the rest of the day – putting a little pep in my step and a rosy flush on my cheeks. If you are all about naturally glowing skin – and who isn’t – then may I suggest the new and improved Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer line?

I have been a fan of the original Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation for years as I can always rely on it to provide both a seamless and flawless application, complete with a beautiful, naturally radiant finish. It is the one base product I am never without, I truly believe that no other foundation, high street or otherwise can rival Healthy Mix, so you can imagine the arrival of the new and improved formula is music to my ears. The same gloriously, lightweight and glow inducing texture of Bourjois Healthy Mix but with a few new and additional bonuses. If ever there was a time to re-visit or finally try out the Bourjois Healthy Mix products for yourself, it is now.

New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer

Much like the original Bourjois Healthy Mix, the new and improved formulation features a lightweight texture that aglides and melts onto the skin (regardless of how you may apply it) providing a comfortable, transfer resistant experience for up to 16 hours. What sets Healthy Mix aside from other foundations is that not only does it deliver a glowing, radiant finish with a moderate level of coverage (I find this more than sufficient to cover my hyper pigmentation left behind from acne – image below) but it is loaded with skin boosting and protecting vitamins such as: Apricot to promote additional radiance, Melon for skin quenching hydration that lasts up to 8 hours and Apple (a known anti-oxidant) to protect the skin. Think of Bourjois Healthy Mix as the all-in-one foundation: it protects, covers and moisturises in one quick step and comes in no less than 9 shades.

That glow that you can’t quite put your finger on when wearing Bourjois Healthy Mix and the real reason no other foundation nor concealer you own, can quite come as close? Bourjois have infused their fan favourite formulation with crystalline pigments that help to even out the complexion, all the while letting in the natural light for that healthy looking glow.

New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer

In my opinion there is no better concealer that disguises a late night or two, nor generally leaves you feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed than the Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer. Again this too has underwent a make-over, with a new and easier to use doe foot applicator; this truly makes application a breeze wither it is concealing dark circles, a blemish or even using it to highlight. Much like the foundation of the same name, Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer is jam packed with natural and skin boosting vitamins: Apricot from additional radiance, Raspberry to boost micro-circulation for plumper skin and lastly Melon for additional hydration. This is one of the very few concealers that will not only brighten even the darkest of circles and tell signs of a sleepless night but also plump, moisturise and protect the delicate skin around the eyes.

New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer

I know that we are often pushed for time, so for your convenience I have swatched all 9 shades of the Healthy Mix Foundation below and all three of the new concealers too. I am currently wearing the shade Light Beige in foundation and the lightest concealer. If you have used Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation in the past, the good news is that despite the formulation improvements, the shade names have remained the same with the addition of three new options: 50 Rose Ivory, 57 Bronze and 58 Caramel, so finding your perfect fit has never been easier.

New Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Concealer

Top photo – foundation swatches, shades left to right: 50, 51. 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58,

Bottom photo – concealer swatches, shades left to right: light, medium and dark.

I’ve said it a million times before to all that will listen but there is no better foundation – budget friendly otherwise – to create glowing, healthy, radiant and flawless skin quite like Bourjois Healthy Mix.

You can find Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation via Boots for £7.99(usually £9.99) – link and Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer via Boots for £7.99 – link.

This is a sponsored post.

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