New In This Week: Ten Beauty Treats That I’m Loving For Stepping Into Spring

Over the last couple of weeks my ‘new in’ box has been spilling over, as everyone starts to roll out their new season launches. This is always my favourite time of year, as things start to hot up (literally and metaphorically) and we’re no longer just chatting about high coverage foundation and hard working body cream. We’ve got new makeup brands, seasonal collections, innovative technology and scents to perk us up when we need it most – as well as some shower gel that’s possibly the most advanced you’ll have ever experienced. I’ve picked out ten pieces that have got me excited and think you’ll be interested to discover too, all which provide a great way to transition into spring. Enjoy.

Erborian Glow Creme (£37.00)
This little pricey tube contains a beautiful opalescent and almost holographic lightweight cream that’s a combination of makeup and skincare. When used underneath or mixed with your foundation it helps to create a luminous base that’s naturally radiant, or when applied to bare skin it catches the light to ensure your complexion oozes health. It also offers a blurring effect alongside hydration, so although it won’t inject a tonne of goodness into your skin it’s a great little saviour for when you want to step away from the super heavy foundation.

Radox Scent Touch Shower Gel (£2.99)
I had a preview of these revolutionary shower gels towards the end of 2016, and for a bubbly body wash they’re really quite exciting. Infused with laundry detergent technology (you know, the stuff that keeps your bedsheets smelling fresh for days,) the idea is that the formula deposits tiny fragrance particles onto the skin that can be activated with touch throughout the day; it means that you can smell subtly delicious without even spritzing a perfume. The scents aren’t at all overwhelming (in fact, I’d go as far as saying only you will be able to sniff them when up seriously close,) but it’s a cool idea!

Primark Insta Girl Perfecting Stick (£1.00)
Part of a whole ‘Insta Girl’ range that I showcased on my Instagram here, this stick helps to glide over pores and minimise shine so that our selfies are even more perfected. It’s not anything new or revolutionary, but it’s good to see Primark start to diversify away from just lipsticks and accessories into something a little more interesting. Considering it’s only a quid, I wasn’t expecting much; the texture is quite nice and I’m sure if you’re a teen with perfect skin anyway then this will be right up your street when you’re stocking up on socks – but for me, I’m sticking with my existing primers!

Bioderma Sebum Global Cover (£15.00)

Although this isn’t suited to my personal needs so I haven’t been able to try it, it’s an interesting innovation from Bioderma that aims to treat and cover breakouts simultaneously. In the lid is a little pot of green makeup to help counteract redness, while the tube contains a lightweight but high coverage base to even out the overall look of the complexion. The formula contains AHA esters and salicylic acid to clear pores and smooth skin texture, enoloxone to soothe skin and reduce redness, as well as zinc gluconate to purify the epidermis and regulate shine – so theoretically any breakouts shouldn’t be exacerbated. This launches imminently so I can’t find a place to yet buy online, but the Bioderma has plenty of info if you’re interested in finding out more.

Infuse My Colour Shampoo (£13.95)
Seeing as a bright red bottle of this landed on my desk and I have brunette hair, I haven’t been able to try it – but it did peak my interest as colour reviving shampoos are normally super safe and super dull. I really like the branding and positioning of this, as a more modern and vibrant alternative, for those wanting to perk up their colour without resorting to a whole box of dye. The shampoo itself looks incredibly pigmented (bonus), is free from sulphates, silicones and parabens, plus it’s 100% vegan. With all those boxes ticked it stood out to me as something I wanted to go out and buy so I could try it for myself – and that doesn’t happen very often.

Nip & Fab Makeup Palette (£15.00)
The little sister of celebrity favourite Rodial, Nip & Fab have just announced the release of their debut makeup line – which includes colour palettes, lip gloss, foundation, colour correction and much more besides. A much more affordable option, thanks to the more ‘high street’ packaging, from what I can tell the formulas themselves are incredibly similar to Rodial (if not entirely the same.) The texture of this is super silky and it provides a good payoff, so considering you get six shades for £15.00 you can’t really go wrong. One to watch, but don’t fall over backwards to try it unless you’re already a big fan of Rodial makeup.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation (£30.00)
Although this isn’t new, Lancome are celebrating an extension to their colour range now the best selling formula is available in 40 different tones. That’s a lot of foundation and a celebration of all ethnicities, which can only be applauded. (About time!) I’ve only tried this once and I did enjoy the finish it provided (high coverage and long lasting without weighing my skin down,) but I’ll have to report back on how I get on with it in the long term. I guess it’s a best seller for a reason and it definitely did provide me with a luxurious application experience (the glass bottle helps with that!)

Clinique BIY Pigment Drops (£25.00)
Customisation is the big trend of 2017, and Clinique are starting with a bang thanks to their BIY (Blend It Yourself) drops. The texture of this is incredibly runny and slightly oily, as well as being very pigmented, but the idea is that you mix a few drops with your usual moisturiser for a customisable and super natural finish. Available in thirteen shades, I really like this idea in theory – but for me it’s too much faff to be dealing with when I can just wack on some BB Cream. However, if you hate heavy coverage or struggle to get the perfect shade for your needs, this could be perfect for you. The price is reasonable too, considering how little you need for every application.

Neom Energy Burst Eau De Parfum (£49.00)
I’m such a huge fan of Neom, actually recommending it more to fragrance fans than Jo Malone or Diptyque (mainly because it’s cheaper and actually better in terms of scent pay off and longevity,) so I was really pleased to find out Neom were launching their debut fragrance. 100% natural, Energy Burst is a crisp and uplifting scent that blends fresh grapefruit with sparkling lemon and a hint of rosemary. In keeping with their brand ethos, the scent can be spritzed over the whole body to delivers a potent burst of energy ‘helping to revive the body and power your day.’ It’s incredibly vibrant and more of a quick spritz than long-lasting perfume, but I love it; it’s perfect for spring when you want to start embracing new fragrances, but is equally as amazing to leave on your desk for those moments when you need a metaphorical slap to wake you up.

Bobbi Brown Havana Brights Cheek Palette (£35.00)
I just love it when Bobbi Brown gets it right – and with this beautiful trio of cheek greatness they’ve made me a happy little beauty addict. A combination of blush, bronzer and highlighter make this the ultimate seasonal update for any makeup bag, while keeping the shades natural and universal. With a touch of shimmer and beautiful textures, you can’t go wrong if you feel the need to get spendy. The outer case is slightly off-brand for Bobbi too, featuring fluro pink that will definitely look good in your beach bag. Get it while you can though, because it’s limited edition.

Have you got your eye on any of these new bits and bobs from my top ten picks?

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

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After Reading This You Might Just Wear Aftershave

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme

So maybe you’ve got a boo (do we still say boo these days? I’ve been out the dating game so long that I’m no longer down with the kids) and you want to treat them to a new fragrance or maybe you just want to smell sexy in your own right. Both are entirely valid reasons to purchase, or in the very least try Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly do believe that 2017 in terms of fragrance trends, there will be a huge emphasis on unisex and frankly sensual scents – think notes of leather and Tonka bean for their ability to offer the closeness of a second skin. That’s not to say you’ve got to ditch your beloved floral notes or signature scent but maybe use the turning trend as an excuse to step a little or a lot out of your comfort zone. As someone who does prefer woodier fragrances, I am no stranger to the world of male cologne, splashes and aftershave but admittedly it can be a fine line to tread. I want to stand out from the crowd not spend the day reassuring both myself and those around me, that no I am not sporting my boyfriends fragrance by mistake. Subtly is what this all pars down to.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme has a strong, androgynous, buttery leather top note – one that would not be out of place within a Tom Ford Private blend and as such it sits more the comfortably on both sexes. I hate to be this person as I purchase fragrances to smell great, not to say “hey look at me, I promise I’m flush with money – I might even have a trust fund” but Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme does smell expensive. It is the sort of scent that smells like it belongs nestled upon the ever coveted and tested, but seldom purchased fragrances in a certain beauty hall and yet it is fairly easy to come by. What I’m saying with a long winded approach, is that this is not the most rugged nor obvious of male marketed fragrances.

Other notes within Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme include Woodleather™, Golden Wood™ paired with a trio of patchouli oils and vetiver: overall it is a simple in composition fragrance that is rich, very woody, soft and ever so slightly fresh at the same time. I promise if you step out of your comfort zone just this once, you shall be rewarded.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme £54/50ml via House of Fraser – link.





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The Best Person That You Are Now

If the Baby Allows

It’s Sunday and after a weekend of indulgence I’m not excatly to quote Beyonce “Feeling Myself” – it’s normal but how much of it is down to our own ingrained views of self apperance, rather than the reality that no-one else sees our minor flaws quite the way we do? Kicking off a two part series of self acceptance and realism is Kim from “If The Baby Allows“…

“Stood in front of the mirror, semi-nude (because I can’t quite stomach the full shebang this morning) I look exhausted, and to put it kindly, I’m not exactly wowed by what I see. Nauseated seems fitting.

I run through my mental checklist, Southbound appendages – check, body hair representing Chewbacca – check, skin type: grand canyon/de-hydrated/Sahara/moon crater hybrid – check, citrus fruit inspired derriere – check.

Coincidentally Mel C’s song started playing on the radio “things will never be the same again.” Its moments like this that makes me realise there is indeed no such thing as coincidence and that the universe is gently trying to nudge me towards a realistic state of awareness.

Throughout life there are events that change us, shake us to the core and we come out the other side different. Illness, lifestyle & circumstance changes etc; for me it was IVF, pregnancy, and early motherhood. I came out the other side a dishevelled, tired, bloated and saggy (how?) version of myself. Either that or I had an awesome night out…no it was definitely all of the above, I have the screaming baby in the background to prove it, plus I can clearly remember it ALL!

After my stark realisation, I quickly got dressed to hide the evidence. On went my pregnancy leggings (the ones I swore I would burn the moment after birth) brushed all three remaining post natal hairs on my head and applied a thick layer of concealer under my eyes. I was then ready for coffee guzzling, “I’m fine, I don’t know what you’re talking about” Supermum action.

My Mum often likes to smugly recite “mirror, mirror on the wall, you are your Mother after all” never Mother, never. However, we all know the truth, that we do in some way turn into our mother, but for now I am going to be part of the “not on my nelly, I’m different club” until I eventually give in and let the Mum symptoms implode on me. But up to that point, I will do my best to refrain from the Mum-sy and attempt to be a “yummy mummy” cringey I know.

This doesn’t come without its challenges: time restraints being a big factor, just try a full manicure routine with a snot filled, colic suffering, insomniac kid in your presence – go on I dare you. In case you are not feeling brave, I will summarise what happens with two words: tears and smears.

The other big challenge is comparison.

Fast forward a few years and I should be well on my way to yummy flat tummys-ville right? In fact I should’ve signed up for the Victoria’s Secret show by now. Just look at Heidi Klum, five weeks after giving birth she was back on the catwalk in a bikini, flat tummy, glowing locks, no stretchmarks perfect skin – that is exactly the standard I should be aiming for. That is what everyone is expecting of me: my children, husband, family, society, my sisters friend that I said hi to once, the woman who has twins and is coping way better than I am, the postman, the next door neighbour – everyone. Even the dog gives me a disappointed look If I attempt to head out the door with a greasy haired mop, poor effort Kim. If Heidi can do it, so can I?

NEWS FLASH – it doesn’t quite work like that. In fact it sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it? Yet most of us lay on the pressure and compare ourselves to others in some way or another, don’t we? My answer to this? Get a grip love. Okay slightly harsh but on some level I mean it. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter? Sure it’s great to make an effort but why give yourself a hard time about it? It’s all about perspective. Change your perspective and be the best person that you are now. Not what you were, or what you think you should be, but who you are now. Whoa I just came over all dizzy with that sudden rush of guru, and it has hit me that being the best you really is all you can be.

So that is exactly what I am doing, changing my perspective, and I’ve realised that as nice as it is to look good, feeling good works so much better. If painting my nails, wearing red lipstick and having pamper rituals makes me feel good then so be it. I am what I am, I will do my best (Brownies honour) and that’s it – this “radical theory” applies to everyone whatever your story.

Not comfortable with your figure? Wear what makes you feel good. Going through a bad skin phase? Decorate those beautiful eyes. Having a bad hair week day? Spend time on those talons that everyone admires. What I am trying to say is we all have areas that we don’t like, and we all have areas that we do like – and as for those “not so good” areas, well we can work on them can’t we? No harm in trying now is there.

I’m not quite in the realms of “I’m proud of my tiger stripes” I am however okay with them, they are there for good, so no point in stressing about it. The best I can do is treat them, maybe even exercise (chortle) for tightening and then get over it. Sorry not so guru there – but to some degree we do have to let it go, embrace the good and move on. ”

Kim – www.ifthebabyallows.blogspot.co.uk

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Are The GlamGlow Face Masks Really Worth The Hype?

Maybe I’m just getting old, but increasingly I seem to be wearing my cynical hat and wondering when we all got caught up in the hype of ‘wonder products’ and their extortionate price tags. Although there are some truly wonderful innovations our there that really do make a difference, a lot of the time a product can be over hyped and over praised by those that won’t even truly benefit from the ingredients it has to offer. With so many beauty editors and influencers confessing to adore everything going, it’s hard to know whether or not the excitement is justified – or if you’d be better off saving your cash for something else entirely. GlamGlow is definitely one of those brands; I remember when it first launched and every beauty enthusiast was desperate to try this ground-breaking mud mask in an effort to revolutionist their skin. At the time I tried it and thought it was pleasant, but distinctively average, but a few years later (and with many more additions to the range) it was time to put Glam’s Glow to the test once again. Can these little pots of coloured goo really give you the skin you’ve always dreamed of?

YOUTH MUD (TO SMOOTH)
Originally designed as a ten minute ‘professional facial in a jar’ for celebrities about to walk the red carper, this smoothing mask gently exfoliates the surface to leave behind a softer and more glowing complexion. It’s not exceptionally abrasive, but it does gently buff the skin to leave it feeling like its had a bit of a work out; but the key here is to use it before a big meeting or night out, rather than as a bathtime pamper. The results aren’t groundbreaking, but they are noticeable – however, they’re also achievable with your usual facial exfoliator and a good manual massage. (Just saying!)

THIRSTY MUD (TO HYDRATE)
Apparently this uses ‘the most advanced hydration active technologies’ (nope, me either!) to hydrate, restore, replenish and calm the skin. First up, it’s a lovely balm-like formula that’s a pleasure to apply (helped by the fact it smells amazing) and can be used for a 20-minute hit or even overnight for a more intense treatment (when it’s £39.00 a pot I’m totally down with not washing it down the drain.) I love a hydrating mask and this is definitely a good one, but you’d get the same impact via a hardworking moisturiser or night cream – this just makes the experience a little more pampering.

FLASH MUD (TO BRIGHTEN)
Developed to create luminous skin, this treatment contains Betulin, Betulinic Acid and Ellagic Acid to create an improved ‘colour balanced’ skin tone. It also includes three types of exfoliant to slough away dullness and drive the ingredients deeper into the skin, as well as (wait for it) diamond photoluminescence to increase the reflecting level of the skin and make it appear more radiant. When I tried this is actually made my face bright pink and slightly warm for an hour or so after – and I’m not sure that that was the look they were going for. In all honesty I didn’t see or feel much difference at all, so this one was completely lost on me.

POWER MUD (FOR A WEEKLY POWER CLEANSE)
This was the mask I was most intrigued to try, but also most confused by. Was it a cleanser, a mask, a treatment or combination of all three? Power Mud aims to remove the build-up of cleansing product and excess grime, providing a more intense weekly power cleanse to those of us that use a lot of product; particularly handy for those who suffer with breakouts and dullness, this lightweight mud turns to an oil-balm when mixed with water. You leave it on the skin for ten minutes (presumably so it can ‘suck out’ all the bits of leftover product) and then wash off; it’s a very gentle and pleasant cleanse, but it’s also impossible to know if it’s really doing anything more than my usual cleanser.

GRAVITY MUD (TO FIRM & LIFT)
Currently available in a limited edition Sonic Blue shade, this is apparently an ‘instant tightening and firming treatment that contains mega-targeted ingredients that work together to help skin’s contours feel firmer and look more defined.’ So in a nutshell it’s supposed to contour your skin, while tightening those saggy bits. The rather gloopy formula is quite tricky to apply (and gets everywhere FYI – my bathroom plughole is still blue!) but once it’s on it’s a comfortable way to pass ten or so minutes while it dries; you can either pull it off in one piece or massage away with a warm damp flannel (if you’ve a lot of facial fuzz I’d recommend the latter.) As for the results, my skin was definitely left smoother and a little plumper, but I can’t say there was any contouring or lifting going on. Because of the nature of the formula you get a lot more from this than the other masks, but I’m just not convinced this delivers on its promises.

So there you go; each one of the GlamGlow masks tried and tested for your pleasure. Although each of them are perfectly pleasant to use (and also smell amazing,) for me there wasn’t enough of a difference or immediate result to warrant the price tag. Most provide similar results to my usual facial exfoliators, night treatments and anti-ageing skincare – which probably also work out cheaper per use, knowing how much mask you need to slap on. None of them are horrendous, but none of them rock my world either. If you’re feeling the need to get spendy then by all means make a purchase, but if you’d rather invest in a great skincare regime you can enjoy every single day, then that’s probably a wise decision too.

Have you tried any of the GlamGlow masks? What did you think?

The GlamGlow masks are available online, priced £39.00 each for the 50g pot. (15g sample sizes are also available if you want to test before you invest!)


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