Current Skincare Favourites

ruth crilly skincare favourites

Blimey, I desperately needed a break from talking about Christmas and Christmassy things! Can someone please remind me, next year, to keep my Gift Guides neatly contained within a single week – perhaps the last week of November? – and not a single utterance of the words “gift”, “festive” or “stocking filler” thereafter? Thank you.

And moving swiftly on to skincare: some bits and pieces that have really impressed me over the past month or so. A few serums, the world’s best lip balm (possibly) and a couple of new or yet-to-be-released face bases. Which, strictly speaking, are makeup products but the Effaclar BB Blur (see here) has oil-absorbing properties and the Armani Maestro Glow (released February) is just brilliant for dry skin.

Watch the video to hear all about my latest finds – I’ll be doing more in-depth reviews here on A Model Recommends, but probably not until after Christmas as I’m planning to shut down for my “holidays” in a few days’ time. Lots of the products shown have quite good offers on at the moment – the individual links are all below the video screen. Enjoy!

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The Perfect Goddess Legs Selfie

model recommends venus olay sugarberry

Summer is here and – if you’re anything like me – you’re frantically hunting for your foot file and your gradual tanner to get your legs and feet into some kind of presentable condition. There’s a post coming up with some of my most-used foot products, but what about the legs? My routine has been the same for over a decade: scrub with a body scrub, shave with a razor and then, an hour or so after my bath or shower (I wait until the pores on my legs aren’t so open) I moisturise and/or use a gradual tanner, depending on the occasion. Oh – I sometimes body brush before the bath or shower, too, but since moving house and losing my body brushes (along with a suitcase filled with summer clothes and a box of foundations!) I make do with an extra-thorough scrub.

I’ve been using Gillette razors for as long as I’ve been shaving my legs, which is why I’m very happy to be involved in the competition that Gillette Venus are running in association with ASOS. The competition is the #GoddessLegs selfie competition – yes, as the name suggests, it’s all about LEG selfies. To celebrate beautiful legs and the new Venus Olay Sugarberry razor, Venus and ASOS will be giving away loads of weekly prizes including goody bags with razors and £50 ASOS vouchers. I have tried the new Olay Sugarberry razor and it is quite the timesaver – no shaving gel or foam needed, it just glides straight over the skin. Handy when you’re in a shower that’s as small as the one in my new house – I hardly even have room to move my arms to wash my hair, let alone do complicated leg-soaping positions!

All you have to do be in with the chance of winning one of the prizes is tweet your leg selfie to @GilletteVenusUK using the hashtag #GoddessLegs. Don’t let your phone correct that to #GodlessLegs, as mine did – nobody will see your entry and it will mean something quite different.

Venus asked me to give my top five tips for taking a “leg selfie” and I have to admit, it wasn’t easy. Taking leg selfies isn’t easy! You just have to do as best you can and try not to dislocate your shoulder as you attempt to hold your iPhone in increasingly awkward and improbable positions. (Me.)

Top #GoddessLegs Tips

Prep Your Pins: The Smooth, Shiny Leg Maketh the Selfie. Make sure yours are shaved and slathered in something moisturising. There’s nothing worse than some eagle-eyed Instagram Troll screen-grabbing your picture, zooming in and pointing out that your legs are both hairy and scaly!

Find a Good Angle: This may take some time. Legs are notoriously weird to photograph (see next tip) and it doesn’t help that they’re so long and far away from your eyes.

goddesslegs selfie

In the ideal world, you’d always shoot your legs from below – like a photographer would – to make them look elongated, but unless you’re able to detach your arms, you’ll have to just get by as best you can. I tend to prefer the “aerial view” of my outstretched legs.

Crop Wisely: There are a tremendous number of very strange leg selfies trotting about the internet. The weirdest is possibly the one where people shoot their legs from thigh to knee (see photo below) as they lie on their sun lounger, creating the illusion of hotdogs. Bizarre. Avoid cropping too tightly to help maintain length and avoid making your legs look detached from your body.

venus olay asos competition

 Add Shoes: There’s nothing a fine shoe can’t do for a leg selfie. The more bold or colourful the better. I also think that it’s nice to reference the fact that you might be on holiday or on your way to a glamorous event, even if you’re not! If you can’t fire up a bit of pure jealousy then you’re not doing things right. Anything that screams “I’m not working!” will do the trick.

 Utilize your Smartphone: You have an infinite number of chances to take your perfect selfie. Just keep deleting the bad photographs and clicking away. Don’t forget to harness the power of the Photo Filter. One of the greatest inventions of the new millennium, the Photo Filter (like the ones on Instagram or photo editing apps) can transform any picture into something that looks as though it belongs on a billboard. There are plenty of filter options to achieve faux-bronzed, defined legs and you can then up the contrast, saturation and “warmth” in the settings. Have fun.

To learn more about Venus’ competition with ASOS and to view the entries, visit the Goddess Legs website here

This feature has been sponsored by Gillette Venus as part of their #GoddessLegs campaign

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Tanya Burr Lip Glosses

When the Tanya Burr Lip Glosses launched, I have to hold my hands up and admit that I assumed that they’d be gimmicky but after trying my very first shade; Champagne Toast, I was really blown away by their quality and have since amassed a fair few of the shades. There are twenty shades in total, and each costs £6.99 although Fragrance Direct are now selling them for only £1.99 each which is insane considering how nice they are. The Tanya Burr Lip Glosses come in a range of shades and in either a creme or shimmer finish.

Tanya Burr Lip GlossesTanya Burr Lip Glosses

Each of the Tanya Burr Lip Glosses have a clear tube so you can easily tell the shades apart if you happen to own multiple shades. The glosses all have a typical doe-foot applicator, and they all smell incredible, with a Cherry Drops or blackcurrant Chewits scent which I absolutely love. The opacity of the glosses differs from shade to shade, but generally speaking the shimmer shades are sheerer than those with a creme finish, and all of the shades are comfortable on the lips and aren’t at all sticky. Lipgloss is such a marmite beauty product, but I prefer lipgloss to lipstick as I find gloss to have a lot less maintenance and you don’t have to prep your lips prior to application.

First Date: a pastel bubblegum pink with a creme finish.

Chic: a brown toned nude with a creme finish.

Picnic in the Park: a bright pink with a creme finish.

Just Peachy: a pale peach creme.

Daydream: a sheer pale nude with gold shimmer particles.

Lunch Date: a beigey pink toned nude with subtle shimmer particles.

I Found Nemo: a bright coral with a creme finish.

I think all of these shades are gorgeous, although when on the lips, I can’t tell Chic and Daydream apart so I don’t think you need to own both shades are so similar. It’s such a bold statement, but I really do think that the Tanya Burr Lip Glosses have my favourite drugstore lipgloss formula as they’re so comfortable on the lips, and they even leave my lips feeling soft as they contain Beeswax, Castor Seed Oil and Shea Nut Butter. I think it’s insane that Fragrance Direct are selling these glosses for £1.99 each, so if you’ve been wanting to try them out for yourself, I’d recommend ordering from there as a £5 saving per gloss is amazing.

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Natural Beauty Christmas Gift Guide.



Another year, another gift guide! My little selection this year is pretty darn good if I do say so myself, with a nice mix of skin, makeup and body – though no haircare I’ve just realised, but I guess that’s okay.

Makeup & Nails.

ILIA Mini Trio of Lip Conditioners – I picked this actual set up in America, but can’t seem to find it online without the rose gold purse so I had to link to that. However, I do suppose the purse with the dinky adorable lipsticks makes an even better gift! (Remember to take 15% off with the code ‘Annabel15’ at Alyaka). The set contains Blossom Lady (nude pink) Bang Bang (red) and Arabian Knights (My fave deep berry red).

RMS Beauty Vixen Nail Polish Set – One of my favourite launches of the year – RMS’s polishes – come in a pretty cute set for Christmas! And nothing says Christmas like red and silver nails tbh.

Jane Iredale Champagne On Ice Set – It’s true that miniature makeup is pretty much always better than full-size makeup, and this Jane Iredale lip gloss kit is another cutie! Perfect for anyone who’s a fan of a little shimmer. It comes with a glittering sheer gold, clear iridescent and shimmering fuschia red.

Skincare.

Hayo’u Jade Gua Sha Tool – For the beauty addict that’s got every product going – they probably don’t have one of these! This incredible tool takes facial massage to a whole new level. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and have been amazed with the results!

Deliciously Ella x Neals Yard Cleanser & Moisturiser – For any Ella fans, or healthy foodies that are difficult to buy for. This collaboration was spot on and doesn’t disappoint, designed for all skin types for an annoyingly healthy yoga-and-all-the-acai-bowls glow.

Pai Instant Radiance Collection – I love that Pai consistently release killer gift sets every year, and they also release fab mini sets for getting a good feel of something you may not have tried yet. This beyond adorable little duo of their best-selling rosehip oil and exfoliator is a perfect last minute gift for anyone you may have forgotten about, or as another affordable little stocking filler.

Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare – Something a little more luxurious with a gorgeous face oil. This is a new brand to me that I haven’t fully explored yet, but I’m definitely interested in learning more about Ayurveda in skincare as I keep seeing it pop up with new brands more and more! Samaya have a nifty test you can take to determine your dosha and find the right products for you, too! I got a pretty even balance between Kapha and Vata, with just a tiny bit of Pitta in the mix.

Bath, Body & Other!

Pinch Provisions Mini Emergency Kit – I picked this up in a Sephora when in America as a cute extra for my little Sister for Christmas. I hadn’t heard of Pinch Provisions before but this adorable tiny bag contains 17 items for any occasion; from plasters, safety pins and clear nail varnish, to bobby pins, earring backs and pain killers. I think they make a pretty cool stocking filler.

Botanicals Bath Salts – You can’t go wrong with bath salts, everyone likes a soak in the tub every now and again. The Botanicals bath salts use Pink Himalayan salts and organic essential oils for an other-worldly bath experience.

Hayo-u De-Stress Shower Minerals – Lastly we have this unique number from Hayo-u. These Shower Minerals appear at first glance to be a fancy body wash, but oh no, they’re designed to be used before the shower on dry skin as part a full body massage (preferably with a larger sized gua sha tool). Packed full of pink salt and magnesium to draw out tension and a blend of exotic essentials oils to lift the spirit and calm. This seems to be another unique gift for the beauty addict who’s tried it all!

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Grow Gorgeous Hair Mask

Grow Gorgeous

Deciem are quick to put their spin on the current trend for sleeping masks – their first overnight mask is for hair with Overnight To Gorgeous, with some absolutely beautiful detailing on the packaging. There are very few hair masks on the market that you apply to dry hair. I hate washing my hair – if there is one beauty chore that I’d happily ditch, it’s that. It’s not so much the washing, it’s more the drying, so if you add in a mask after shampooing, 99 times out of 100, the instructions are that you have leave it for twenty minutes or so before having to get back into the shower you’ve just left to rinse it off. I object to getting back in! That’s another shivery dry to do when I didn’t even want to do the first one. I know, I’m making a fuss.. but it is my beauty bug-bear. So the good thing about the Grow Gorgeous Hair Mask is that you apply it to dry hair. Whew! Then the very most you have to do is sleep before washing and rinsing in the morning. The mask formula is very light so you’re not lying with a… Read More

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