My relationship with Bioderma started just like everyone else’s…Sensibio( CALLED CREALINE EARLIER) Crealine Micellar water was smuggled by a good friend ( she paid for it don’t worry- just stating how it felt like a covert operation) from France. And the bottle felt both foreign and the better for it. Plus who had heard of Micellar water before Bioderma entered the scene? NOT MOI. But if it was good for the catwalk gurus then it was good enough for me. But then slowly Crealine became Sensabio and Bioderma arrived in the UK and we learnt a tad more about the brand. Especially when thanks to online store like NAOS amongst other retailers. Wait they did skincare other than Micellar water?

For me this realisation that they did other beautiful products came to me due to an underachieving thyroid gland. One of the biggest side effect of hypothyroidism is dry scaly skin. So my shower routine had to be spot on. Apart from the supplements to my veggie diet like fish liver oil and selenium, I had to take a good hard look at my bathing products and skincare. I still enjoy a lovely fragranced bath product from time to time don’t get me wrong. But I pray the price for it. There are more than the five ranges that I’m talking about today. But these ranges are the ones I feel have helped my dry, dehydrated and at one point, troubled skin tremendously so…


SENSIBIO – Sensitive to redness-prone skin 

ATODERM – Normal, dry to atopic skin

PHOTODERM – Sensitive skin exposed to the sun

HYDRABIO – Dehydrated skin

CICABIO – Damaged and irritated skin

PIGMENTBIO – Hyperpigmented skin


Symptoms of sensitive skin include tingling, overheating, tightness, feelings of discomfort, and diffuse or localised redness. 

Bioderma’s solution: Sensibio, a range dedicated to sensitive skin. In addition to the iconic Créaline/Sensibio H2O micellar water, the cleanser and make-up remover for sensitive skin, the range includes cleansing and skincare care products that are recommended by dermatologists: face care products for sensitive skin, anti-redness products (available as a cream or BB cream), and more. Choose the suitable routine for your skin. This foaming gel cleanser for example is one of the rare foaming gels I use, and is surprisingly gentle.


All skin types (dry, oily, combination) can have problems with dehydration. This lack of water makes skin tight and the complexion becomes dull. 

My review: Bioderma’s solution: Hydrabio, a range dedicated to dehydrated skin with a complete routine from cleansing to skincare products. Specific cleanser for dehydrated skin (micellar water), moisture-generating serums, skin perfector, rich cream and soothing mist… I fell for the Hydrabio mask. It is great for when your skin is dry, tight, for when flying resumes and for overnight masks , or using over a tretinoin routine (watch out for this post)


Dry skin is characterised by tightness and a lack of suppleness that are sometimes combined with itching and patches.

Bioderma’s solution: Atoderm, a full range of cleansing and skincare products for the face and body tailored to dry, very dry or atopic skin to be used daily as well as alongside treatments for eczema or itching… all the essential products for soft, comfortable skin! Say goodbye to tight, itchy skin after showering! The Shower oil is ½ the price of the other ones out there, and 200 times more effective.


Bioderma’s solution: Photoderm, a full range of suncare products for all types of skin and sensitivity to the sun. Prevention of skin reactions including allergies to the sun or chemical filters, sun protection for sensitive skin, sunscreen for children or babies, specific sun protection for oily to acne-prone skin, dry skin or hyperpigmented skin…

Photoderm is a range that is so vast that it feels limitless

My review: Sunscreen is the best thing to use if you’re looking for an anti ager. Ideally one should use sunscreen from birth, don’t take my words for it- the doyenne of skincare Caroline Hirons says this if it herself. But any baby 6 months and above should be slathered in the stuff. The Photoderm range is amazing- they have every age, skin type and concern with multiple permutations and combinations of them. Not to mention product choices in terms of delivery- Cream? check, Gel?, check, Mousse? lotion….spray you get the drift. Ive written about sunscreen here previously too and I really hope you read it.


Bioderma’s solution: Cicabio offers a full range of products to promote skin repair on the face or body: repair creams (with or without SPF), ointment.Choose the one that is best for you to soothe and repair your weakened skin. Cica has been getting a lot of press lately. And rightly so, simple put it’s a skin healing ingredient. But Bioderma have been using Cica for a long time!

Cicabio Spf is great for irritated skins

My review: I have cicacbio to thank for when I I active adult acne a few years ago. It’s comes out a shade of pistachio green which cancels out the red, so it’s actually playing two roles- a colour corrector and your main sun protector. Cicacbio is a great range for irritated skin. There’s a few in the range. The SPF especially was my lifeline.

Bioderma was my gateway to taking care of my skin which needed care not a ten step routine with 10555 serums. It is in this simplicity that I found my skin’s happy place. And a a happy skin microbiome* is always a clear and glowing one.

I would like to add that Bioderma has a vast range of products right from skincare for babies and their latest Pigmentbio range which I’m really keen to try as with age comes the dreaded age spots. (sigh)

PS: Ignore what I said in my title and please try their amazing Micellar water as it will literally change your life. Alternatively you could try winning it( read below)…

I would love to know if you’ve tried Bioderma and if you have, what’s your fave product? If you haven’t – why not or what would you like to try? One lucky commenter will get a bottle of my fave Bioderma Product. “The Sensibio Micellar water”. All you have to do is comment below, and like and subscribe to my Instagram and like, comment and save my Bioderma Posts. This offer ends on 30th April. Good Luck~~ Lav xx

Disclosure Information- Please see my disclosure and PR policy here. * Paid advertorial with brand. ** Press samples with no obligation to review. There are no affiliate links in this post.All opinions are my own. I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and most of the products on here( full sizes ) have been purchased by me. If some samples are kindly gifted by a company, I will declare this. But this does not affect my opinion, nor sway it . I AM NOT MEDICALLY TRAINED AND THEREFORE PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR GP IF YOU’RE SUFFERING WITH HYPOTHYROIDISM OR ANY OTHER HEALTH CONDITIONS. THESE ARE JUST WHAT WORK FOR ME Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. Please know that allergies can happen suddenly, even with known products. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

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The Ultimate Beauty Gift Compilation to show you care…

Ah it feels like Christmas was only yesterday( which in my blogosphere it was apologies) Lockdown 3.0 has been going on forever but the end is sight. I had my covid jab the other day (because NHS) and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I promise not to go all maudlin on you- but if there’s anything 2020 taught me, it’s to rediscover the joy of celebrating the little things. A few years ago I would have have turned my nose up at Valentine’s/GALENTINE’S Day celebrations and perhaps would have said that its too choosy for me. This year- knowing and seeing how precious life is- I am going in full force- hearts, balloons, choccies, the lot. So obviously can a beauty gift be far behind?

This is the Ultimate Gift compilation for all those in your life.

Temple Spa Spa Retreat kit £40

Temple Spa needs to introduction. It is luxe and one of the most sensorial range of skincare products out there. This is a top-to-toe skincare kit with their spa favourites to help you create a spa wherever you are. Including our favourite cleanses, masks, exfoliators and more award-winning exceptional skincare. The best way to discover TEMPLE SPA

Alterna Hair love is in the Hair set ( sadly sold out but individually available here)

The ALTERNA Caviar hair products are super luxurious and made from premium formulas enhanced by the best that nature has to offer. The formulas are based upon the science of skincare and unlock the rejuvenating potential of haircare. All products are chemical free and the range includes products for restructuring bond repair,  replenishing moisture, smoothing anti-frizz and multiplying volume to name a few. With a wide range of products to address all hair concerns, Caviar offers sophisticated indulgent rituals for hair that is a beautiful expression of you. The Caviar experience creates sensorial rituals that indulge your senses while deeply rejuvenating your hair to reflect your timeless essence.  You can read more about the range and the brand at the following link: https://alternahaircare.com/caviar  **

Products in the Love Is In The Hair Box include:

Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti Frizz Shampoo – A frizz-controlling shampoo that gently cleanses while controlling the level of humidity in the hair . 

Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti Frizz Conditioner – A frizz-controlling conditioner that nourishes, conditions and helps block humidity. 

Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti Frizz Blowout Butter – This melting cream-to-oil formula tames frizz while protecting hair from heat-styling and humidity. Product also improves shine, softness, texture and manageability and reduces blow-dry time by 40% vs. untreated hair. 

All products are perfect for straight, wavy, curly, coiled and tightly coiled hair.**

OWOW KIT at home smoothing treatment kit £49.45 on AllBeauty Here

Insanely silky smooth hair with only one easy application at home – rivalling expensive salon keratin treatments. The formaldehyde-free formula is packed with natural ingredients. Includes salon-quality shampoo and conditioner for after treatment care

Set Includes:
– O’wow Smoothing Treatment Spray 100ml
– O’wow Sulfate-Free Shampoo 100ml
– O’wow Sulfate-Free Conditioner 100ml

Who is it for?
It is ideal for anyone looking to smoothen unmanageable, dry and frizzy hair and for those who are tired of styling the hair every morning and do not want to overpay for expensive salon treatments. If you want to wake up every morning having shiny smooth hair and head straight into the day with hair that won’t be unnoticed, this treatment is for you.

The treatment is suitable for all hair types. It is safe to use on colour and/or chemically treated hair.

The tutorial here is even easier than colouring one’s hair with a box dye if I’m honest.

Roccabox beauty box subscription from £10 here

This is not the actual content of the February Box

Roccabox all started with their founder, Tia. After countless trips to the beauty counter ending in expensive purchases that weren’t suitable for her skin type, she decided it was time for a change. So, in 2017 Roccabox was born! After all, who doesn’t love a box of surprise beauty goodies delivered to your doorstep each month?Tia wanted to create a purse friendly way of allowing women to try before they buy, find out what’s new in the world of beauty, and, most importantly – treat themselves every once in a while. That’s why every box they send out is packed full of their favourite beauty and wellness goodies, designed to help our Roccababes feel just as good as they look.

Summer Glamour Beauty Box £30 from here:

This is the ultimate pamper session beauty box right in time for Galentine’s Day! Scroll down for details of the fabulous beauty goodies inside the box. Use code GALPALS to get the GLAMOUR Summer Beauty Box for just £21 + free P+P (was £30). That’s a whole 30% OFF an already incredible offer on some of GLAMOUR’s all-time favourite products, worth over £112!

  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF15
  • Josh Wood Colour Everything Mask Mini
  • Hair By Sam McKnight Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist
  • Boots Ingredients Caffeine Eye Cream
  • Boots Biodegradable Micellar Cleansing Wipes
  • Boots Glow Brightening Mist
  • Lancaster Tan Maximiser After Sun Mini
  • Antipodes Worship Skin Defence Antioxidant Serum Mini
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies Natural Defence Hand Rub
  • Rimmel Super Gel Nail Polish in Ice Lolly

It’s the Thought Box £16.99 from here

I am stoked beyond belief with this local company based in Leeds. They design individual boxes- with the emphasis on time with your thoughts. Whether it is the opportunity to take time out with your OWN thoughts, or letting someone know you are THINKING of them. The lovely Georgie has created a range of vegan Beauty & Home Fragrance products for everyone to enjoy! The ‘Thoughts’ Beauty range has been designed to fit through the letterbox.  No need to sign for parcels or missed deliveries, making gifting easy! Their stunning Home Fragrance range has been made using a unique blend of essential oils & luxury vegan natural wax, creating the perfect atmosphere to match one’s thoughts. Their candles & diffusers have a wonderful positive message, which makes them perfect for gifting. All beauty & home fragrance products are made in the heart of Yorkshire.

This letterbox gift contains:

1 x No one gets us, like us wish bracelet 

1 x Thoughts Hand poured Rose Triple butter soap

1 x Thoughts coconut Lip Butter

1 x with love chocolate bar

Every Letterbox Gift comes wrapped in tissue paper, sealed with our beautiful blue branded seal, and in our gorgeous signature gift box all made and assembled lovingly in Yorkshire.

Dr Lipp Kit from£5.99 on Dr Lipp’s site

17 years ago, Dr.Lipp was founded with the ‘ORIGINAL Nipple Balm’. Yes, that’s right it was a skincare brand with just one product, one ingredient and a naughty name! People thought it was crazy but it soon became a multi-award winning best seller and the pillar of a fully-fledged ‘100% natural multi-use’ skincare brand taking on the industry with a brutally honest, brutally effective and brutally natural approach.

So the ‘Original Nipple Balm became the inspiration for a fully fledged multi-use skincare regime. Let’s face it, we don’t need a different product for every part of our body. Dr.Lipp is committed to a max 10 ingredients per product, so that each ingredient would have a definitive purpose within the formula, which helps drastically reduce their carbon footprint. At Dr.Lipp they believe the era of secret formulas are gone, and support fully transparent ingredient lists so you can decide what to put on your skin. All products are GMO Free, 100% Natural, flavour & fragrance free because they want zero-irritants and zero fluff. With their newest launch with vegetable dyes and CBD they are onto another best-seller .

Temple Spa My Essence fragrance, £45, 50ml

Temple Spa’s first ever fragrance and it smells like the Mediterranean (which sadly is still a distant dream atm) and inspired by the fragrant allure of their birthplace. MY ESSENCE opens with zesty top notes of bergamot & petitgrain, blooms with a heart of jasmine, neroli & rose absolute and rests on a base of cedarwood & amber. They also included a secret essence that cleverly adapts to release a scent that’s exclusively yours. It smells different on everyone and is delightfully unisex too!

Artistry Studio Shanghai Edition Makeup £22-£30

This entire range makes me sing with joy- just how cute and opulent do they look?The Artistry Studio™ Shanghai Edition features artist, Cui Meng, whose drawings of contemporary Chinese young women are featured on the packaging and product. “I’m proud to partner with Artistry Studio and love the way they celebrate beauty and youth through a connection with art in different cities and local cultures.”

Soft and Silky Eye & Cheek Pop Trio : You’ve never seen a product like this. Eye and cheek tones pair with puffy texture to transform from creamy to powdery. Glide on with fingertips and build the intensity from demure to daring. Each coordinated trio comes with two eye shades and a cheek color or highlighter that stays put for the long haul. Available in Shanghai Peach, Starlight, or Nude.  I have Nude and I’m not joking when I say that all I want to do is snap unsnap the magnetic packaging. I think I may have a problem ;).

Light Up Silky Matte Lip Color :It’s Valentines so- Get set to wow with four red liquid lipstick shades that are sure to flatter your unique skin tone. The fresh, liquid texture glides on like a gloss, yet delivers intense, full-color coverage like a lipstick, and dries to a modern matte finish. Long-lasting, smile-proof and (just in case) definitely kissable. Available in Cherry Red, Rose Red, Berry Red, Spice Red. Berry is my pick- its beautiful and the mirrored case doesn’t hurt.

Liquid Pen Pop Eyeliner: The silky liquid texture of these pens quickly dry to a striking matte finish. Define with a precision tip—or build impact with angles using the thicker sides of the pen. Lay down a perfectly even, skip-free line every time. Available in Silk Sapphire, Slate, and Noir. I’ve got Noir which is my perfect deep chocolate brown. Brown girl friendly.

If I’m being honest, Everything I posted in my Christmas gift guide here, here and here and even last Valentines gift list for that matter are so totally on theme and giftable ( is that a word or did I just make that up?) and I would be happy to receive any of these should the people in my life take the hint. Now, should I just send them a copy of this post as a hint? Too subtle you think?

My next post on self love is the rawest I’ve ever been. So please do keep an eye out for it. And if you liked this list- It would make my day if you shared it, commented and/or subscribed to my blog.

Till we meet soon( socially distanced and masked of course) ~~ love Lav xx

**Sustainability is also a huge thing for the brand and all products in the range are cruelty free and not tested on animals, only in salons and the brand have a Clean Philosophy, which I have left further information on below.( PS: I had to say that if I wasn’t sold before, the fact that they don’t go paraben scaring in their blurb makes me love them that much more Clean Philosophy A commitment to alternative beauty has been at the heart of the ALTERNA story since they debuted in 1997. That commitment continues to inform and inspire every product they make. They began our journey by creating innovative, luxurious haircare and styling products inspired by skincare science and formulated with pure and effective ingredients. From the beginning, they developed products that were formulated without sulfate surfactants(Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate. ), phthalates, and other harsh chemicals. Their family of mindfully formulated products is renowned for performance without compromise – clean beauty that delivers an exceptionally luxurious experience at home and proven results in the salon.  Today they continue to define the cutting edge of clean beauty with their minimalist development philosophy. Their high-performance formulas feature potent botanicals blended with high quality essential ingredients needed for superior results – a truly transformative experience without unnecessary additives. They have always believed these chemicals don’t belong in hair. Their commitment to offering clean sustainable products and sensorial experiences will progress exponentially as they lead the way forward. ALTERNA will always be committed to making their products better with each new generation and to empowering both stylists and consumers to elevate ordinary moments into self-care experiences that instantly transforms hair and senses.  
Disclosure Information- Please see my disclosure and PR policy here. * Paid advertorial with brand. ** Press samples with no obligation to review. There are no affiliate links in this post.All opinions are my own. I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and most of the products on here( full sizes ) have been purchased by me. If some samples are kindly gifted by a company, I will declare this. But this does not affect my opinion, nor sway it . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. Please know that allergies can happen suddenly, even with known products. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.


My top 5 surprisingly affordable luxe beauty gift sets you need to buy now

Ok readers I confess. I am not one of those people who buys Christmas pressies for my friends and family in January. But I’m guessing you don’t either. Or you wouldn’t be here. . Confession no 2- I believe in the concept of self giving. For years now, I have bought my own pressie. One time I even wrapped it and placed it under the tree. 😉 So if I’m buying a treat or two for myself or someone I love. I’m all for a lovely bath, body or skincare set. And at these (relatively) affordable prices you can afford to indulge in more than one set this year. So, my surprisingly affordable luxe picks are-

Murad LE Christmas sets start at £15 here ( non affiliate link)

Do the bright thing. This is their vitamin C range. The claims are that it dramatically brightens skin, reduces the look of dark spots and shield against environmental damage (£116.00 value retails at £75).

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"> 4-Piece Set inside a custom designed and recyclable gift box : Includes a <strong>full-sized Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum</strong> : which is known to Visibly and quickly minimise dark spots and is safe for sensitive skin. ( though always patch test if in doubt dears, sensitivity is a wide topic) This effectively targets signs of ageing, effective dark spot correction without hydroquinone; and thus suitable on all skin tones. This set consists of trial sized versions of their <strong>Essential C cleanser, The Essential C Broad Spectrum SPF 30,</strong> and my holy grail <strong>the Vita-C Glycolic Brightening serum</strong>. Spenny? Sure, but I am not exaggerating when I say that I've had some very good skin days lately. 4-Piece Set inside a custom designed and recyclable gift box : Includes a full-sized Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum : which is known to Visibly and quickly minimise dark spots and is safe for sensitive skin. ( though always patch test if in doubt dears, sensitivity is a wide topic) This effectively targets signs of ageing, effective dark spot correction without hydroquinone; and thus suitable on all skin tones. This set consists of trial sized versions of their Essential C cleanser, The Essential C Broad Spectrum SPF 30, and my holy grail the Vita-C Glycolic Brightening serum. Spenny? Sure, but I am not exaggerating when I say that I’ve had some very good skin days lately.

Sanctuary Spa Signature Showstopper Set £40 normally but £20 in Superdrug this is a time limited deal so HURRY! ( non affiliate link) :

Give in to your pamper cravings with their ultimate collection of top to toe treats. Relax & enjoy that well deserved me time with their most indulgent Sanctuary favourites. Also lets please talk about this cute hat box- which makes a stunning storage option. I mean I don’t have any posh hats ( sorry not today Ascot) But that has never stopped me before ( except maybe at the Ascot :)This gift contains:

  • Body Wash 250ml
  • Luxury Bath Float 250ml
  • Body Scrub 200ml
  • Salt Scrub 60g
  • Ultra Rich Wet Skin Moisture Miracle 50ml
  • Heel Balm 75ml
  • Hand Cream 75ml
  • Moisture Burst Facial Wash 30ml

Cohorted Box Subscription (Color Wow Set from £39.99 here (non affiliate link))**

Founded by John Freida’s Gail Federici, Color Wow is a staple haircare brand renowned for the best stripped back formulations to make the most out of colour treated hair. Their products are loved by many celebrity hair-stylists and are used to create looks for the likes of Kim Kardashian through to Huda Kattan. This set contains full sizes of some of their best loved products.

Now I’m being a bit of a meanie- by mentioning this glorious box and then making it impossible by saying it was a September ’20 edit. And it is Limited Edition. The purpose is to show you what kind of value you get for your subscription. i’ve been lusting after their boxes forever, so maybe this year I will take the plunge and gift myself a Cohorted Box Subscripton.

Baie Botanique gift Sets from £8 here ( Non affiliate link): **

All Baie products are created with the sole aim of providing a long-lasting difference to skin health, purely through natural ingredients and nutrition.

They produce natural and ethically responsible product that doesn’t sacrifice on quality or consistency – and whilst their philosophy is focussed on natural- there is no greenwashing^ anywhere in their mission. Their Rose Renew Line smells of rose, but not that acrid jarring pot pourri scent of yore. This is gentle and is like a freshly bloomed flower. Not your nana’s bidet.

Medik8 CSA kit from £29 here (non affiliate link) **

 In 2009, Medik8 invented the CSA Philosophy. Incredibly simple and grounded in science – it just works. This CSA method is becoming more and more mainstream by the day and its now a part of our common skincare lexicon. CSA is simple- just use a vitamin C plus sunscreen by day, vitamin A by night. That’s it! You can buy a readymade kit or use their CSA kit builder here on the site. I think this the best way of customising and choosing the best products for your skincare journey. Isn’t that really cool?

These brands are definitely known for luxe beauty- but isn’t that the point of a treat? Either for yourself or for someone you love? But at the same time- these are surprisingly affordable( all relative so please dont @ me ). This means you don’t have to kiss your bank balance goodbye just yet.

I have really enjoyed compiling this list, and I’d really love to know your thoughts, what are you buying for you and yours? Do let me know in comments- love Lav xx

Disclosure Information- Please see my disclosure and PR policy here. * Paid advertorial with brand. ** Press samples with no obligation to review. There are no affiliate links in this post.


The Only Beauty Gadget Gift List you’ll need

Hey, I am so grateful for the amount of messages I’ve been getting about my list compilations. So I thought that I should talk about my fave beauty category… Those who know me- know that whilst I’m always on the lookout for the next skincare holy grail… but a beauty gadget always excites me. Some would even call me a marketer’s dream. However- these beauty gadgets that I’m mentioning are definitely tried and tested. So if you or someone in your life are beauty tool/gadget magnets- this list contains the best, tested, tried and true tools/gadgets you need. 

  1. Duo Lab System from £159 on Duolab here ( not an affiliate link and also they have the Klarna option in case this helps)

A game-changing personalised skincare device. Think Nespresso and its capsule system, but in a skincare form. How it works: You basically take active serum capsule and a base cream capsule. Insert it into the device- shown as above. And after a few minutes- you get a freshly prepared day or night cream to use. Now they suggest using the entire amount then and there. But your girl never follows rules. So I decant it in a small opaque pot and use the same cream at night. It is far too much to use in one sitting. And I’m not one to waste expensive skincare. So whether it’s changeable weather, work schedule or hormones, you can now adapt your skincare to match your daily life. It is indeed a  revolutionary skincare system that allows you tailor your own product formulation on a daily basis.

If you buy the Discovery set- you get a machine, 14 base and active capsules to start you off. complementary Discovery capsules along with your choice of a DUOLAB Smart Skincare device for an exclusive introductory price of £159 with code code DISCOVERY at checkout. I can’t be without mine and I’ve put the travel case on my Christmas list. Hurry down the chimney!

2. Beglow Tia all in one sonic skincare system £99.50 on Be-glow here (this is a festive season discount -its usually £199 also this is not an affiliate link)

BeGlow’s Tia’ system is the first of its kind – this facial device effectively cleanses, firms and contours all at once. It generates low-to-high frequency pulsations that can be controlled depending on your preferred treatment and comes with an easy-to-clean, silicone brush head that’s entirely replaceable to avoid acne-causing bacteria from forming. Because unlike a cleansing brush- this is extremely gentle and the facial massage is glorious.

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • SkinSense Technology activates gentle yet powerful pulsations to remove dirt and grime
  • Dual-Pulse Technology triggers stronger pulsations to help refine cheekbones and improve the jaw line
  • Place in the freezer before use to enhance treatment

A single charge can last me upto 6 months! And it supercharges any cleanser and serum you use.

3. Glitztech sculpting face roller £54 on Glitztoy here (not an affiliate link)

With the K beauty wave now firmly in our skincare lexicon, A roller massage tool is now seen in practically every person’s routine. It is said to help the skin’s appearance as well drain any fluids that make your face look puffy. The diamond shaped ends will give a deep but not painful massage to face and neck in an easy and gentle way. Yes it looks a tad- erm sex toy-ey. But I think thats also part of the novelty factor here. It’s the perfect tool to finish off your at-home spa pamper day. Be aware that the capillaries on the face can break with too much heavy pressure. So be firm but gentle. ( an oxymoron I know!)

4. Liberex Water flosser £34.99 on Amazon here (not an affiliate link)

No you’re not seeing this wrong. I’ve included a dental product in a beauty list. But let’s be honest- all the sculpted jawlines and smooth skin will be nothing if you’ve got manky teeth. And flossing is often missed- due to it being uncomfortable. Bleeding gums are the No1 cause of decayed teeth. Ergo a water flosser. This is reasonably priced and is available on Amazon. You get 5 tips for all the family should you want to share- totally hygienic as it doesn’t actually come into any contact with your mouth. You can choose the different modes you want to use. These modes are varying levels of pressure. And you can see this on their OLED display. One charge lasts a good month. And just in case you went too hard, or don’t know when to stop, It has a built in 2 minute timer to shut off and prevent damage. Oh and my dentist husband totally approves of this.

5. Nomostache kits from £6.50 on Cult Beauty here (not an affliate link)

Created to help you break-up with your waxist, No Mo-Stache was founded by fashion executive Gita Vasseghi who wanted to make hair removal as easy (and ouchless!) as possible. Messless and virtually effortless, the quick, ‘pre-waxed’ strips can be warmed with the heat of your hands and then used to help neaten your brows, upper lip or bikini line. Catering for all your depilatory desires, these strips will ensure that you’re always equipped for the briefest encounter (or unforeseen clinch).

They come in cute tins and are pre cut to save time. It provides the cleanest DIY waxing I’ve ever done, and the Face Shaver is sharp but not so sharp that your face will come out looking like a war zone.

6. Blumbody Wrinkle Smoothing kits from £14.97 on Amazon here (not an affliate link)

Blumbody Face Smoothing Patches

Blumbody creates these silicone patches that can adhere to skin (no adhesive needed it works on suction) They claim to be an alternative to filler. I happen to disagree. Where I think they are a real hero is in helping you to train your face muscles to relax- like frowning or squinting at a screen, or if you generally have an expressive face. This however is a long term thing and you need to take pictures of before and after ( giving yourself a window of 3 months)

Now I don’t have any wrinkles ( I know! it sucks to be me) so I saw very minimal results. But this is not a bad thing- I’ve since bought and sent a few to a mate. She tried these and loves them. She’s a huge fan and has already reordered them twice over!

So why am I recommending them when they are not for me? Cos I have a very expressive face and so I use them as a preventative measure. Also they are really fun during Zoom calls. I have to say that you need to manage your expectations. I cannot and will not state this enough- Nothing topically applied, be it that £9 million face cream or even this can work to erase expression lines or sunken hollows like Botox and filler do. What this does do-and does very well is help relax muscles- ie forehead. And so when I’ve got this on- it stops me from frowning and interestingly that actually kills that annoyance and anger completely too. So for a calmer and smoother you- I’d say get this. Also they have a 45 day and 100% of your money back guarantee!

7. Lightstim for wrinkles from £199 from Currentbody here (not an affliate link)

LightStim delivers light energy in a similar way plants absorb light energy from the sun. Each LightStim device uses different wavelengths, or colors of light. LightStim for Wrinkles provides rejuvenating wavelengths of light energy to treat fine lines and wrinkles. Over time by using Lightstim you can help to recapture a plump, youthful appearance.

 I’ve used this for 30 days straight and then now use it twice a week. I’ve noticed a few dark spots look a bit faded. But if you have melasma I’d probably stay clear as some heat and light can also affect it.

I have really enjoyed compiling this list, and I’d really love to know your thoughts, what are you buying for you and yours? Do let me know in comments- love Lav xx

Disclosure Information- Please see my disclosure and PR policy here. * Paid advertorial with brand. ** Press samples with no obligation to review. There are no affiliate links in this post.

The Ultimate Last Minute Stocking filler gift compilation…

We are back, did you enjoy my last post on Gender Neutral gift guides?Ive had a lot of interest and emails asking for another list. Secret Santa or stocking fillers seem to stump me every time. Somehow I can manage to drum up ideas for gifts of the bigger kind. But small, cute, thoughtful pressies stump me every time. If you’re like me, you know the agony. I want my stocking filler gift idea to mean something. So whilst I tried to stick to a budget- I may have made one or two exceptions…

My top Secret Santa/ Stocking Filler Gifts for the Person in your life who:

Loves a good mani but also wants to nourish their talons: Nail Kind £9.50 here *

Nailkind grew from the founders belief that beauty goodness, high performance and affordable-for-all CAN be combined in an industry-leading natural nail colour collection . They are free of the toxins routinely found in nail polish, and are thus kinder to nails whilst also being cruelty free and vegan.

These are the definition of Scandi-Chic and do perform as beautifully as they look. At a purse friendly £9.50 and in a variety of chic colours you are spoilt for choice. Pictured here are their iconic shades – Sassy ( a deep Aubergine), French Martini ( a lovely shimmery red) and Flirt Factory ( their exclusive holiday shade a beautiful elegant rose gold) The shades are beautifully opaque with great colour pay off. Assuming you use a base coat and a top coat- you can get approx two weeks wear out of them. please do remember to apply a touch of top coat to your ends to keep them from chipping. I may have been sent these, but I’ve already got a few in my basket ready to check out.

Tween who’s into festival makeup but wants it to be eco friendly – Eco Glitter Fun Sparkle 3 pieces boxed Kit £15 here *

This Bioglitter® Sparkle Mini Box set includes; 3 x 4ml bottles of biodegradable glitter and includes aloe vera gel and an application brush. Glitter has been under fire( and rightly so) for being very harsh to aquatic life and unkind to the environment. So I present to you Glitter 2.0. It’s made from a modified regenerated cellulose film from sustainable sources it is incredibly safe, simple and easy to use.  Once in the natural environment the multicolour glitter is metabolised by the presence of micro-organisms present in soil, compost or a waste water/ocean environment.

The glitter is cosmetic grade but can also be used for arts and crafts, candle and soap making , snow globes etc. In addition to this use plastic-free recyclable materials when sending, including recycled cardboard and paper packing tape. 

My daughter tried this and it was great fun, didn’t irritate her sensitive 11 year old skin and washed off very easily. And knowing that I am able to wash it off in the sink safe in the knowledge that Nemo is not going to suffer- makes me a very happy mum indeed. It retails for £15 and can be bought here.

Your sister who loves luxe but wants to give back this Christmas – Organic Savanna here *

Organic Savanna is an impact driven skincare brand with a mission to empower people. Our story grew from the simple idea that products should not only be made well but also do good. We want to give consumers the opportunity to shop responsibly.

Soy Eucalyptus Oil Candle from Upcycled Glass (200g) £30.00

Their soy candles are made using upcycled glass bottles from Nairobi streets and nearby landfills. Each one is unique, coming in all shapes and sizes, and cut by hand for a smooth finish. Candles are individually hand-poured by our team and take up to 24 hours to set after being poured. I must say just opening the box is a sensory experience. It smells like you’ve upturned a lovely bottle of fragrance, but not too much. Just enough- so its great but not overpowering. And this is before I’ve even burnt it!

100% of profits from the sale of this product are creating jobs for Kenyan women and funding education for their children.

  • Soy wax
  • Eucalyptus oil

Handwash: African Cedar + Orange £19.00

Their invigorating & cleansing hand wash will leave hands smelling fresh with a unique combination of essential oils grown at the base of Mount Kenya. Since Covid-19 has us all soaping up more than ever – they’re offering this Orange + Cedar Handwash at a 25% discount in the chic aluminium bottle option. 


  • Orange Oil
  • Cedar Oil
  • Glycerin
  • Eucalyptus Citriodora
  • Eucalyptus Camaldulensis

Suitable for all skin types.


For Your mate who is a fan of Caroline HironsPixi Holiday Sets £20 here *

Pixi Beauty the iconic high street high end skincare brand needs no introduction. It is beauty Guru Caroline Hirons fave skincare brand. Their glow tonic is a cult product. Now ehilst that isn’t my fave Pixi product- I love the retinol tonic so much. Some of my best mates love this and will countenance no other. So for them Ive picked out either-

Pixi Beauty Let’s Glow Gift Set £20 This is a travel-friendly custom bag of Skintreats, which is comprised of four best-selling essentials! Limited edition bag contains: Glow Mud Cleanser 15ml, Glow Tonic 40ml, Glow Mud Mask 15ml and a bonus mini pack of limited edition Glow Tonic Cleansing Cloths for removing makeup.

Pixi Beauty multi toning holiday set £20 Milky Tonic soothes, Glow Tonic exfoliates and Retinol Tonic smooths. This kit contains their popular active tonics to customise for multi-toning or use alone. Also youre not limited by just these toner- there are a lot of sets in their Holiday 2020 collection from all their ranges. This way you get to try before you buy.

For your glam sister in law who’s an elegant magpie: Stila Makeup £22 here *

Stila Two Lucky Stars eye set from their holiday 2020 collection at £22 is a great introduction to Stila’s bestsellers- their glitter and glow liquid shadow in Kitten Karma one of the rare genuinely universal shades out there and their iconic storm proof smudge proof liner in stingray.

Stila Heavens Dew all over glimmer in Silverlake £22 is a fantastic otherworldly cool platinum white highlighter. Its applications are only limited by your imagination. ( not that yer dirty git)

For your hard working mum: Sanctuary Spa Pamper Cracker £10 in Sainsburys here *

The Sanctuary Spa gift collection of sumptuous shower, bath & moisture goodies will leave her wishing for a few more minutes of me time. This gift contains: Body Wash, Salt Scrub , Body Lotion, Heel Balm, Body Wash . It is so beautifully packaged and I know personally I would love receiving it. And I can’t wait to see mum’s face when she receives this!

For your Urban Fashionista BFF: Fenty Duo only £19.50 here

This needs no introduction. Fenty Beauty came in a burst and took the world by storm. And when Boots started offering us Fenty- it basically created a frenzy in most beauty lovers lives. The recent Boots black Friday event had this gorgeous set of Their mini Lip Stunna liquid lip and Mini Kilawatt cheeks

For your activist niece- Eco Warrior Essential Trio £13.50 here *

This gorgeous set is all the things good and great about eco friendly beauty. It contains 3 of their essential Eco Warrior bars, each individually boxed inside a gift box.




Made with the finest natural ingredients and totally free from detergents,SLS, sulphates, alcohol, sorbates, silicones, and synthetic preservatives. Naturally derived ingredients.

✓   Plastic Free

✓   Eco Friendly and Biodegradable (soap and packaging)

✓   89.5% Naturally Derived, Plant-Based and 100% Vegan

✓   Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free

✓   Fragranced only with Pure Essential Oil

Blends (no synthetics) so naturally antibacterial with full aromatherapy benefits

✓   Bar eliminates spillages/liquid leaks in wash bags.

And even though they are called shampoo, body etc etc, they are all suitable for face and body. Go on- Live dangerously- I’ll never tell!

I have really enjoyed compiling this list, and I’d really love to know your thoughts, what are you buying for you and yours? Do let me know in comments- love Lav xx

Disclosure Information- Please see my disclosure and PR policy here. * Press Samples with no obligations to review. There are no Affiliate code and links.


Last Minute Gender Neutral Christmas Gift Guide

Hey y’all how have you all been? It’s been a hot minute. How did we get to December 2020 so quickly? This time I felt i needed to record my thought process as I’ve had a few really lovely corkers fall into my lap. So without further ado, lockdown or no lockdown, let’s talk about Christmas.

It’s that time of the year and we are all scrambling around LAST MINUTE to get something nice, meaningful, thoughtful, and still aspirational without ripping a huge Christmas shaped hole in our budget. So then let’s talk gender neutral Christmas presents AKA Christmas pressies for everyone! .

We are in 2020- pink is not just for girls however erring on the side of caution is wise. These are perfect for those people who just refuse to be boxed in- AND TOO DAMN RIGHT TOO!

My top gender neutral picks-

Nereus Full Body and haircare set *- Ever had an item that ticked all boxes- ethical? Sustainable? Luxurious? Beautiful? Thoughtful? … you get the drift. Look no further. It was born of the need for truly luxurious sustainable beauty products. And How- with essential oils and truly thoughtful design and packaging, including black plastic free bottles, high performing natural ingredients which ethically sourced and vegan too. It contains-

Madagascan Pink Pepper body wash- This insanely divine smelling viscous body wash is especially suitbale for dry skin and makes one instantly think of tropical holidays and luxe spas.

Australian Buddha Wood and bergamot Shampoo and conditioner duo- The fragrance can instantly transport one to an italian riviera and the sunny australian outback. And in these days when travel is limited this is such a cherished experience. My dry as sahara hair feels softer and nourished and knowing that my beauty picks do not damage the precious environmemt is the icing on the cake. Or the angel on the tree!

Buy Nereus from here £75 for the full set- spenny? Sure- but I can confidently say that this is worth it if only for the smile on their face when they open their pressies under the tree.

JimBag **- I’ve got to say. they had me just at the name. I love quirky presents and the wordplay on this got my attention. Beautifully unisex and proudly made in Britain, these are sturdy and their build quality is really good. My son and daughter both fought over who wanted it the most and in the end- the husband won. 🙂

If you wish to peruse their entire catalogue ( and at prices starting at £20 you’d be daft not to!) I’ll leave a link here and I think there is one in there for every budget and taste. The barrel bag featured here is £34.99 and there are a variety of colour options. It maybe a tad too big for my teeny gymnasium lockers, but it is perfect for an overnight stay. What? Your girl likes to have options okay?

Potion Paris**- One vial, Seven perfumes. return, refill, repeat- this is Potion’s tagline. And I must say I’m here for it. It is recommended that one starts off with the Collection set. This comes in an elegant Box 7X10ml phials of their entire collection 1. And a beautiful gift display box. This would set you back by £129, but it is a one time investment. As once you figure out what you love- you can just buy refills. They also have a really cool recycling program. The Elegant perfume comes in an elegant leather case and the bottle itself looks like a Guerlain dagger shaped glass bottle. These are vegan, and made to the highest quality using classic methods employed by old world perfumers. I love the Oud and sandalwood Scent aptly called Sensations, or you could buy the starter set for £119 and pick four variations of scents to start you off. Either way- this is a really cool, stylish way of buying and choosing perfume. Don’t let me hold you back. Available via their site.

From 1st December 2020 to 20th December 2020 you can get 15% sitewide (excluding Discovery Sets so full size items only) using the code RUNNING15 ( not an affiliate code)

Oxfam Gift card– Oxfam needs no introduction and thus whether you buy a pack of super seeds (£5) to a pile of poo (£10), and even safe water for an entire community (£50), Oxfam Unwrapped is the perfect gift for those wanting to give back this festive season, and the person who has everything! Giving back is the best kind of giving this season.

Masterclass Subscription– In keeping with the times, online classes and learning portals have really boomed. Masterclass leads the way in paid learning portals with classes from world renowned educators, auteurs, thespians, artists , authors and many more.( classes on writing by Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, and chess classes by Gary Kasparov, tennis by Serena Williams! ) An annual membership sets you back by £170 but they are running a buy a membership and get one free at the moment. So by gifting a membership to someone in your life, you also get one for yourself? Where do I sign up?

I have really enjoyed compiling this list, and I’d really love to know your thoughts, what are you buying for you and yours? Do let me know in comments- love Lav xx

Disclosure Information- Please see my disclosure and PR policy here. * Paid advertorial with brand. ** Press samples with no obligation to review.


A conversation with Sali Hughes- Top tips for Beauty on the go!

Don’t press pause, don’t press reset. I have indeed attended a workshop with Sali Hughes. No I am not kidding. I was this close. THIS, CLOSE. And she said Hi. I’m not a bezzie, but she knows I exist? Okay? I learnt some top Makeup Artist ( MUA) tricks for putting on beauty products on the move. And let’s be honest, a lot of us get most our slap done sometime between leaving home and arriving to work/ wherever it is we arrive at ) A lot of us peeps rush to work in the morning and side glances aside we do our faces( beauty( on the go.( Btw if you side eye anyone who is doing their makeup on the train- shame on you. Unless they spray POISON – and I mean the actual stuff not the perfume … in your face.If I don’t look askance at you for downloading Porn, lipstick is okay too ?) Anyway rants aside.

Love me some Sali Hughes’ advice. ( if you don’t know who she is! GIYF?) Take it from a chic who is a huge fangirl, Sali has amazing skin. Now whilst her advice is tailored to her dry skin, she also mentioned how to tailor it for us combi peeps.  The only word of caution. Please do not try this in your car if you are driving that is. Follow the highway code lads.

Also Cue fangirl gush alert, Sali wasn’t given the brief about what she needed to do, and when she reached there, she was told that she had to makeover a person whilst talking us through the process; a live demo. Consummate professional that Sali is, she took this in her stride and sorted a person in the audience to be the model, and in five seconds flat, she sorted out the products needed; makeup and brushes included.

Sali Hughes top reccos:

  • Cream eyeshadow sticks are your BFF

Formula is king as the cliché goes, so is a great crease blending brush. You need a stick that will give you five seconds to line your eyes, and set with a buff brush ( using light car wiper motion movement. Do not forget to buff. Unless an eyelid glued shut is your thing. Sali reccomends Bobbi Brown taupe. The Beauty Pie sticks are very similar too. The VB pencils are great. I have the VB pencil in Bordeaux . May I suggest Kiko and NYX for affordable dupes? Don’t break your bank to get skincare/makeup guys. 

  • Don’t faff with concealer, go for a colour corrector

Colour correctors are genius. What wait? You are still in the era of Concealers? Is this the 80’s? Are you Linda Evangelista? Don’t skip this step. In fact read this. You can thank me later. This is simple genius. Bin your concealer! Ok Sali technically said choose your corrector not binning your concealer. But, hear me out. You have 8 minutes, before your stop. 2 seconds before you wake the sleepyhead nodding next to you. And you want to look alive ( corrector) not embalmed and dragged through the 90’s along with the Glamazons.( This pic by Peter Lindbergh.) Please don’t live under a rock. ( concealer) If you are guilty of red wine the night before, you’re likely to be dehydrated. Give your skin a break and go for the opposite end of the colour wheel. Light pink- caucasian, Peach- brown girls, and orange- deep toned ladies. Dab a bit. You will look insane. At first. I promise it gets better. Let it set. Then go over the entire area with your normal foundation. VOILA- Tres Magique. You will look fresher than before you started, before you can say Balwinder is your uncleji! Oh and pop some Anadin. Drink 25 litres of water… Sali reccomends Bobbi brown for matching a corrector for skins. And ill also throw in Becca . And if you’re deeper toned- try a red lipstick. ( No kidding- watch this video that will change your life!)

  • Forget a primer unless you have a lot of time, and oily skin

Sali has dry skin, no this is not a state secret. Its well documented, in her struggles as a kid ( Ichtyosis for those who need to look this up) and hates silicone primers. Not because it is bad ( Sali hates clean-washing more than anything else) but because it slips around on the face. And if you have dry skin, this is no fun. For us combination/Oily gals, this is the exact opposite. It looks like your face has been laminated. Pores appear to shrink and will give us that canvas to look polished. For dry skin girls, and if you have clear skin. ( I automatically hate you, but that’s beside’s the point) go for a primer with a bit of glow. Sali’s all time fave- is Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Filter. I would throw in a recco here- Milk’s Hydrogrip. And if you’re oily. Benefit’s porefessional is brilliant for all the reasons its terrible for drier skins. 

  • Mascara for the top and bottom lash

If you can get time for a mascara please make it one that you can do in a moving vehicle. Smaller brushes are better. You are less likely to poke your eyes out. Sali recommends : Clinique bottom lash mascara. Also read my previous post. Just been to my blog have ya? Right make a cuppa. Sit down. Read my previous posts. Love ya too. Interesting fact: Clinique bottom lash mascara is the same formula as their hero product High Impact, with a smaller brush. Save your cash. Buy only one. ALSO work from the outside of your eye…in. Also wait for the formula to dry. Give it a few seconds. And please don’t faff about with curlers. You’re in a moving PUBLIC transportation vehicle. Much as I shout about your right to makeup. I don’t intend to scare the co-passengers baby with an instrument that looks like a medieval torture device. Whilst we are here, also please don’t try putting on lashes. If it falls your fellow movers and shakers might pass out due to arachnophobia.

  • Powder is your second bff.

Many dry women make this mistake of skipping powder. They think its for the oilier amongst us. The right powder in the right places can make you look alive, and fresh. Sali reccomends Mac Mineralise SkinFinish, abd Charlotte Tilbury’s Pressed powder. I also reccomend Hourglass. Its invisible, blurring and makes you look like you’ve been sleeping 8 hours. When in reality; you’ve hit the red wine and apreś work canapes at the local pub. Don’t skip this step. Also please don’t try elaborate baking, and contouring, ie: Instaglam look. This is a throwaway tip from me. Camera makeup is strictly front of YT makeup. Don’t try this anywhere lads!

  • Blotting papers over a second coat of foundation for oily gals.

if you are dry as the desert, don’t bother to read this bit. Skip to the next step. But oily/ combo peeps- have you noticed how your skin looks orange when you repowder through the day? This is not because you are imagining it. The sebum on your skin does actually oxidise any colour on your skin. So reapplying powder or foundation or any colour product to your face will exacerbate this issue. Instead, Sali recommends to blot with a blotting paper. Also her top tip is that these should be where you save your pennies. And buy cheap. Clean n Clear do brillint ones that do the job just as well as Chanel ( black book- ridiculously expensive but oh so beautiful. ) and MAC ( I have this one, it lasts an age. But would definitely save my money not repurchasing this.) Blotting your nose and forehead and other areas will do the job better than any powder. This I’m trying.

  • Ace that base!

LISTEN to the pro okay? Full coverage is best suited to… nobody. Sali Hughes says that often young people in their 20’s are looking for a full coverage foundation. ( Armani Power Fabric; if you’re interested.) But most skins do not need to be covered up entirely. That is the job of the concealer. And/ or corrector. Find a tinted moisturiser, or stick foundation that is an exact match to your skin tone. ( Nars tinted, Bobbi Brown stick) And this is important- Undertone. I’m a neutral. Sali matched me- so I know it to be correct . Get matched. Take a sample. Make sure it’s an exact shade. If you want to warm it up, you can go for a bronzer. If you want to lighten areas- a shine free highlighter. Your base should be  the exact shade of your skin. No more, no less. ( You fellow brown girls- DO NOT GO LIGHTER, you will look ashy!)

  • A good Bronzer. 

Sali is a big believer in a multitasker. If you can fit only one- fit in a bronzer, it can be used as a blush. Not the other way round though. ( Nars- multiples and Milk sticks come to her mind) Cream over powder formulae. And figure of 3. Do not use your bronzer as a contour. ( A good rule of the thumb is- Bronzer= warm, Contour= cool) Contour is to mimic shadows( which never warm up in sunlight) and bronzer is on the highest points of the face. Where the sun naturally would warm you up. If you’re sitting in the sun, without sunscreen ( Again we need to chat. about this… have you not read my blog?) If you’re asian and darker, this would happen to you in the shade too. Also, read my post on Sunscreens. You’re welcome. If you’re oily, you might want to reapply this when you reapply your lipstick. It will have shifted a bit. But hey, you will wrinkle less okay. Its a good trade off.

You can leave your hat on, and don’t invade personal space… No’s: Anything aerosol. ( see I read Sali’s books, columns and remember her advice ) Also totally unrelated. But relatable. We got a goodie bag. This one. And it really had great goodies.

Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event
Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event

All in all, it took Sali 8 minutes on herself. Now if you don’t want to look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards, I suggest that you trial this at home. Time yourself. And remember to add 2 minutes on top of that, to stare down the lad listening to loud music on his speakers. We are a polite society, if you please!

(I’ve written a mum on the run post about beauty on the move. It does have some tips on there.)

Do you have any tips for makeup on the go? I’d love to hear from you- Until next time- Love Elle xx                                                                                                            

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post; pr samples have been kindly gifted by the company, but this has not affected my opinion, nor swayed it . And where gifted this is signposted as AD for clarity and transperancy  Please check the ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you may have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event
Goodie Bag from the Sali Hughes event





The Primer dupe that shook me!

No words really…

Smashbox photo Finish Primer Water ( 116ml for £22, 30ml for £12) vs Primark PS…Primer Water (150ml for £2)wait let me digest this, a bottle thats 5 times the size of its smallest size and is 1/11th the price of it’s biggest size?

Shade range: It’s a transparent water based spray so it’s a universal shade.

My thoughts: OMG…is this even real? The Smashbox original works as a spray, that you spray under your foundation, and also as a setting spray and a refreshing spray if you so wish. It comes in two sizes and the travel size is really handy for throwing into your purse. It says that it is silicone free, alcohol free, and oil free. The mist is an amazing idea if its hot outside and a physical primer is a layer is a step too far, or you have oily skin and you want something light…I did the heavy foundation layer test (my term for putting on my thickest and heaviest foundation; Dermacol and wore both of them for a whole day) and I’m going to be honest neither of them are long haul primers. ( but they don’t claim to be)

I got four hours wear out of both…this weekend has been one of the hottest, we’ve had and I found that after about the 4 hour mark, the foundation wore thin around my nose , corner of my mouth and chin. The jury is out if its because I’m a face toucher or they are just a good short haul primer. The Smash box primer is invisible on skin, you just need one/two good sprays from a distance of 10-15 cm from the face, wait for it to dry ( about a second or two, I tend to pat it in with my beauty blender) and then off you trot with the foundation. The spray is not a fine mist but isn’t a fire hydrant either. Though the bottle says its a good makeup setting spray and refreshing spray, I’ve found that this doesn’t cut the mustard for me on both these claims. It claims to be hydrating  but I didn’t find it to be hydrating either, however I never expect primers to be hydrating (despite their claims) that’s the job of my moisturiser.

The Primark dupe is exactly…. EXACTLY the same as the Smashbox Primer water right down to its packaging with one key difference; it is a bigger bottle so this is slightly bulkier to travel with. ( probably the only con I could find for the primer- as it’s silicone, alcohol and oil free too) On the heavy foundation layer test…it lasted exactly the same amount of time and performed in exactly the same way. No more, no less.

Cruelty free(CF)/Vegan: Smashbox isn’t CF, Primark PS Range is CF and Vegan…yay!

Ingredients: Smashbox Primer


                    Primark ps: Primer Water


*Ingredients wise: The PS Primer water wins slightly as it contains fragrance last down the list, and doesn’t contain Limonene, linalool, citral which can are common irritants.(But my position on allergies is the  word hypoallergenic is cod science…more on this on a later blog post)

Final Thoughts:

If you are in the market for a primer water spray, then I’d say head straight to your nearest Primark and buy the £2 PS: Primer Water dupe as it behaves in exactly the same way. Save your pennies for something like a serum or just save your pennies…no justification needed. 🙂

Would I repurchase?

Personally the spray didn’t behave as much as a primer as a face mist for me. So just for this reason, once I get through them both, I’ll have a think, as it does provide medium coverage priming (If that isn’t a beauty term, it should be) and so could be great in summer when you really don’t want much on your face, if I was going to go for one between the two it would be The PS: Primer Water HANDS DOWN . ~For £2 its not bank breaking and does the job very well for what it is. The Smashbox one is a definite no from me, if only because I can get something cheaper that does the same job and is CF (cruelty free) which is an added bonus…(though no judgements on this issue)

Love Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.



GUEST BLOG “Sunscreens- Where science meets skincare; (boring) STUFF that you should really know”

So… before I pass the baton onto our guest blogger, Alkistis Klapsinou who has kindly agreed to write about one of our favourite topics: Sunscreens, this apart from our mutual love of Gin and hatred of cod science really got us chatting on a forum we are both a part of…I can hand on heart tell you this- what Alkistis doesn’t know about sunscreens or skincare for that matter, really isn’t worth knowing. Firstly I’ve got to show you what she looks like, so that you can see for yourself what a consistent routine with science driven skincare and daily SPF can make you look like ( especially if you’re in you’re 40’s…ps: it’s never too late) Now I’ll shut up and let Alkistis take over…

Stunning at 40 something…

We are in the middle of July and we are enjoying a heatwave the likes of which I have not experienced before in my 23 years in the UK. Well, I say “enjoying” – what I mean is I am enjoying it, while most of my friends’ reactions vary between tolerance and suffering with a lot of whinging thrown in for good measure. I, on the other hand, sit in pub gardens every evening, G&T in hand, without needing a cardi or a denim jacket. Bliss!

What’s all this got to do with beauty, you say? It’s the rule that you can’t have a heatwave without a blogpost (or seven) about sunscreen. It is most likely that if you are reading beauty blogs you are already using sunscreen. Aside from the obvious medical reasons, i.e. cancer, most people interested in beauty know that UV irradiation is the primary environmental factor of skin ageing. UV rays, and specifically UVA rays, are responsible for oxidative damage and breaking down of collagen in the skin ie: AGEING. The bad news is that unlike UVB rays (which are mostly responsible for burning and an issue in the UK between March and October), UVA rays are present all year round and they penetrate clouds and glass. Basically, there is no escaping them.

The problem is that there are no sunscreen products, at the moment, that protect just from UVA radiation, and which could, for example, be used just in the Winter months. So, we are stuck with using the same products all year round, or at least that is what we should be doing.

Pretty Little sunscreens all in a row? Nope these are powerful weapons against ageing and skin cancer

Another issue is that unlike Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which is a standardised way of measuring protection from erythema (redness caused by UV radiation – primarily UVB), there is no universal way of measuring protection from UVA. Some cosmetic companies use stars, some use PA followed by + signs, some give a Persistent Pigment Darkening rating, and some use a circle with UVA inside it. No wonder we are all confused. All these methods allow a product to be called Broad Spectrum, which means it protects from both UVA and UVB rays, but in all cases the UVA protection is only a ratio of the SPF/UVB protection. Therefore, it stands to reason that higher SPF sunscreens with as many + signs or stars as possible are the better option.

Now that we have established that we should be using a broad spectrum high SPF product all year round, the next question we need to answer is what the active filters in our sunscreen should be. We hear about mineral/physical/inorganic and chemical/organic and we need a degree in chemistry to understand what’s what. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are mineral filters.

The list of chemical ones is much longer and includes, among others, Avobenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Octisalate, Bemotrizinol, Tinosorb M, Mexoryl SX & XL (I will not even try to write down the scientific ingredient names!)

  • Mineral filters are photo-stable (i.e. they do not degrade when exposed to sunlight) and are less likely to cause irritation or an allergic reaction, so are recommended for sensitive and spot-prone skins. Their disadvantage, however, is that they have a thicker texture and can feel thick and greasy on the skin. They also cause flashback in photos, and can leave a white cast, especially on darker skins (which is why a lot of them are tinted). In more recent years the inclusion of nano-particles of mineral filters has resulted in nicer textures, but there is a lot of ongoing research as to whether these nano-particles can cross into the bloodstream and what the effects are. I will include some links below for further reading, so please do your own research on the matter.
  • Chemical filters have the advantage of nicer textures (which is very important, because if you do not like how your sunscreen feels, you will not use it consistently or apply the recommended amount), particularly when used under make-up. However, some of them degrade in sunlight (Avobenzone and Octinoxate are particularly bad for this – links below) and while some others are used as ‘stabilisers’, this is the reason why it is recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours (and obviously after swimming, sweating, etc.).

At this point I would like to differentiate between incidental UV exposure and sunbathing or prolonged exposure when on holiday. Walking to the bus stop in the morning, going for a short walk during your lunch hour and walking back home in the early evening are all incidental exposure. Most people should be able to put their sunscreen on in the morning and, provided this sunscreen is photo-stable, still be protected in the evening. It is a completely different situation if one is on holiday and spends all day in and out of the sun. In this case they should definitely reapply every couple of hours (or more frequently depending on how pale they are) and after swimming, showering, etc.

A lot of women believe that the SPF in their skincare or make-up provides enough protection for incidental exposure. This is a complete myth for various reasons. For a start, unless one checks the ingredients list of a product very carefully, there is no guarantee that a foundation with SPF20 will provide broad spectrum protection. Most importantly though, none of us apply as much product as one needs to achieve the advertised protection. (SCIENCE ALERT :SPF is calculated based on 2 mg of product per square centimetre of skin. For most people this is between 1/4 and 1/3 of a teaspoon just for the face. This is A LOT.) If I apply 1/4 of a teaspoon of foundation on my face I will look as if I am wearing a mask. No-one applies that much which is why we need a separate dedicated sunscreen.

In the last couple of years we keep hearing about anti-oxidants and how they “boost” the effects of sunscreen. I am not sure if “boosting” is the right term. What anti-oxidants (e.g. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Resveratrol, Astaxanthin) do is prevent the oxidative damage to the skin caused by UV radiation. They work in synergy with the sunscreens. A lot of sunscreen products include anti-oxidants in their formulations, but using a separate one will do no harm and more often than not will help. I do feel this needs a separate post though, as I have waffled on enough.

As a last point, I can hear a lot of people asking “but what about Vitamin D?”. Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin via a reaction that is dependent on UVB radiation. More and more people are diagnosed as Vitamin D deficient and an increasing number of studies seem to link low Vitamin D levels with mental health problems. There is also ongoing research trying to establish Vitamin D’s role in autoimmune disorders like Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis. A healthy person needs approximately 20-30 minutes of unprotected daily exposure of their forearms to synthesise enough Vitamin D. The problem, in relation to sunscreens and beauty, is that in the UK we can only synthesise Vitamin D from late March to early October, because the rest of the year the angle of the sun in the horizon is such that UVB does not penetrate enough to trigger the aforementioned reaction in the skin. UVA, however, is present all year round. So, we get all the skin damage, without any of the benefits. It goes without saying that if you are concerned about your Vitamin D levels, you should consult your doctor.

To sum it up:

  • Use a high SPF broad-spectrum photo-stable dedicated sunscreen all year round
  • Use enough of it (2mg of product per square cm of skin)
  • Top up if you are in the sun for prolonged periods of time
  • Use an anti-oxidant alongside your sunscreen

Product recommendations(these are what I use and love – each person is different so your mileage may vary):

Lancôme UV Expert Youth Shield Aqua Gel SPF50 PA++++£38 ( Elle says: Good luck trying to find this one in the UK…only place its’s available seems to be at Duty free in the Airports)

Armani Luminessence Bright Revelator BB Fluid SPF50 PA+++ ( Elle says this is discontinued…thanks AK ❤)

Vichy Ideal Soleil SPF50 Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch ( Elle says that it’s £11.55 at the time of writing on All Beauty, and Escentual usually has year round deals)

Skinceuticals Ultra Facial UV Defense SPF50 ( Lowest price found at the time of writing is £33 from Effortless Skin)

La Roche Posay Anthelios Spray Anti-Shine SPF50 (as a top up)( Cheapest found is £9.33 from Escentual at the time of writing)

These are all from the L’Oreal/La Roche Posay group of companies, because for me and my skin Mexoryl SX and XL are the best filters and the patents are owned by L’Oreal/LRP.”

Further Reading – References:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/phpp.12112   (everyone must read this)







Written and researched by Alkistis Klapsinou

( Elle says…Alkistis to me is the last word on sunscreen, Alkistis researches this topic constantly and even discusses this topic with Doctors. I couldn’t think of a better person to write about Sun protection, so it was extremely kind of Alkistis to take the time out to research and write this for me. Thank you AK…I owe ya big time.xx)

Just an addendum with AK’s blessing, I really rate the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL fluid  version which can always be found in deals online.

Love Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.



Why the world is going ga-ga over this serum ( hint … it doesn’t break the bank :))

Name: Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Hyaluronic Acid Solution (Phew haha)

Price: Varies, depending on the seller, but its near the £12 mark on Amazon.

Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium…aka serum of dreams

Range: Ok the Hada Labo range has so many derivatives for each item ie (the serum comes in so many varieties from its white range, to the mentholatum range, the retinol this gold hydrating hyaluronic variant and a few more variants… plus every range has a lotion, moist, serum variant. Confused? Yeah so am I…

Cons:  The bottles are usually written in Japanese, so buyer beware.

Review: This out of the way… this serum has 5 different molecular weights of HA. This means that each type of HA penetrates the skin at different levels. Ensuring that your skin is hydrated from within, or if even if this is cod science( a blog post coming on this topic very soon).

I know that the minute I used this serum, it was LOVE<3 . With a capital L. This is a light transparent lotion and it has no fragrance ( to my knowledge) It sinks in easily, but expect some tackiness – this is a HA after all, and I would give it a few minutes to sink in. After this I’d follow it with a milky serum, the reason being that HA attaches itself to molecules of water, and if left too long on the skin, it can suck in atmospheric water and evaporate.( Trans-epidermal water loss… a topic which deserves a post of it’s own)

If you had to buy just one serum, or save one item of your skincare from a burning house. It would be this… BTW really…. its unfair for me to be expected to choose, I have (thirty)three on constant rotation, any I digress- I cannot recommend this highly enough. It suits just about everyone( there’s always exceptions…) This is cheaper than more expensive HA serums in the market, but it beats them out of the competition by far. IMHO. If you have oilier skin, then this one is lighter ( as it supposedly has three Hyaluronic Acid molecules as opposed to 5 in the gold version…again, I’m sceptical about the science behind how this claim makes a difference ) anyway its runnier and lighter than an already light lotion. So its worth thinking about.

Ingredients List:

Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, PPG-10 methyl glucose ether, hydroxyethyl urea, sodium acetylated hyaluronate (super hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid (nano hyaluronic acid), hydroxypropyltrimonium hyaluronate (skin absorbent type hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer (3D hyaluronic acid), aphanothece sacrum polysaccharide (sacrum), hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, glycosyl trehalose, diglycerin, sorbitol, pentylene glycol, triethyl citrate, carbomer, polyquaternium-51, PEG-32, PEG-75, ammonium acrylates crosspolymer, disodium EDTA, potassium hydroxide, diethoxyethyl succinate, disodium succinate, succinic acid, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben

Final thoughts:

Stop reading this post NOW, look for it on Amazon , your skin will you for it. You’re welcome and you can pop that cheque in the post 😉


Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.



The Happiest Foundation in the world…Meet Benefit’s Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation

Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation SPF15 in Shade 6

Price: It retails for £25.50 for 30ml  (but I’ve seen it on Allbeauty for £22.50, there’s also the cutest travel sized version which retails for £7.65 for 6ml  on Allbeauty )

Shade range:  12 shades ! Which is not very good; Benefit, we live in a post Fenty world and would love more shades so that everyone is catered to,  my summer shade is 6…I suspect that my winter shade will be between 5&6. It’s a step up for Benefit though, who only do their concealer in 3 variants . Having said this , 12 is not enough… I Hope they expand their range both ways so that everyone is covered. Literally and figuratively. So whilst it has darker shades than mine and lighter shades than mine, would I call this every girl friendly? Yes and no, with 12 shades there is a good mix from light to dark… but it’s in no way enough.

My thoughts:

Life can only get better from here right? It has manga’esque” vibes and shoot me now for admitting this, but I love it.

First lets talk about the packaging , its comes in a simple squeezy bottle with a metallic pink cap. Nothing fancy, not too many graphics which I like , I know that a lot of people say that this is taking muddying the already muddied waters of the Benefit packaging graphics. I have to admit that it doesn’t even look like a Benefit product to be honest. But, I like it. It is simple and I know ive said this before… cute.

Plus, as pathetic as the next bit will sound. It is nice to go into a store and get my shade, without a hundred million efforts at blending,  a counter assistant’s sheepish expression when it fails, and then their attention divert tactics to a completely different product to the one I came in for. Sound familiar to anyone?

This is a sheer to medium coverage foundation with SPF15 ( meant to be a dupe for the Chanel Vitalumiere aqua which only comes in an unacceptable 6 shades and has a factor 15 spf built into it )which shouldn’t really be a hassle as spf 15  is a  very low spf and will not flashback much like the Chanel Vitalumiere aqua. But I cannot say for definite as I’ve never worn the Vitalumiere Aqua( 6 shades… boo!) The Benefit website is very good with samples(to my knowledge), in fact when I first went on their website, and clicked on the Hello Happy Benefit foundation, I got the choice to order a blister pack of three samples that would be nearest to my shade range. They are pretty good on counter too.

Vegan/Cruelty free: It sells in China, and its policy is clear on the fact that they will test on animals where required by law. Which is a crying shame as my skin just loves this.



Would I repurchase?. Yes

Final Thoughts:  I wish Benefit as a brand would decide to go Cruelty Free, I’d be over the moon. I also think that it is weightless, but if you want it to last a day, you’d have to build it up with a few more layers.  And set it with powder. It is meant to look like your skin but better, and does a fantastic job of that. But long lasting is not a claim it makes, so I’d look elsewhere for that.

What it is good at is blurring your freckles slightly, still letting them show through, whilst evening out your skin tone. It really does look blur imperfections and  fine lines without appearing cakey. I do hope they realise that if they expanded their shade range , they might be onto a winner with this formula.  Happy times ahead… ❤

Love Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.



Elf Prep & Hydrate Balm… first impressions

Product name:  Elf Prep and Prime Hydrate Balm

Is it Cruelty free: Yes, and so is Milk Makeup for that matter…

Price: £8.99 is the cheapest I found in Superdrug, but watch out for deals.

Shade range: This is a clear balm, it has no tint, it’s transparent. So it’s brown girl friendly yayayy!

Elf Prep &amp; Hydrate Balm
Cooling balm in a stick? Is it a Milk dupe?

My thoughts:

My first thoughts were, though I’ve never used the Milk Makeup cooling stick this does sound like a dupe. But since, I’ve never really used the Milk Ice Stick, I can’t really do a side by side comparison .

But what I can say is that,I’ve loved using it to hydrate skin, both on top of makeup at work, instead of a mist, which don’t get me wrong- I do Love  ( but this bar smaller so fits in the handbag, especially whilst travelling.) plus a mist has a tendency to go everywhere, and some inevitably ends up on my hair. Which is fine on most days…I still love a good mist. ( I have a collection that would rival Imelda Marcos’s shoes) but for a spot application under the eyes, or a subtle daytime work appropriate sheen…I’m loving this.

Plus whilst its soft  it doesn’t shift makeup and somehow so cooling and hydrating so a great touch up under the eyes- it cools the eyes down whilst hydrating them. It says prep, but I don’t think it’s a great primer. I find it is particularly brilliant when I’m spending long days on the computer, or roasting inside my office (thanks to this glorious but, too hot for me heatwave that we are experiencing), or flying. It’s great for the latter, as its under the liquid threshold in weight, plus as it’s a solid stick…it actually doesn’t count towards your liquids allowance; unless you are flying out of Manchester Airport- who I swear are a law unto themselves!

Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Theobroma Cacoa (Coco) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

Would I repurchase?

Yes. Ive already got a backup. I live in constant fear of them being discontinued!

Final thoughts:

I’ve never tried the Milk Ice cooling stick. Is this a dupe? Can you please let me know in the comments below?

Have a great day

Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.



Marc Jacobs Gel Eye Crayons…Mini review


Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayons
The new Holy Grail for Gel Eye Pencils

Price: £20 (but now sadly discontinued in the UK, you can only buy it online off Net-a-porter )

Shade range: There are a whopping 22 shades in this range available in the UK (More Stateside). There are also 6 in the Matte Highliner range.(which I have not tested).Therefore there is one for every skin tone in the spectrum

Review: For the longest time, I have resisted buying these .Colours I have tested and loved, Blaqueur (Blackest black), Rococoa ( a limited edition glittery black liner) and Brown(out) a deep dark ever so slightly glittery brown.

I had been sitting on my hands when it came to these, for the longest time. The L-O-N-G-E-S-T time. Everyone and their Aunt Millicent has been raving about these, but let’s be honest. Its £20. Ok…so we’ve got the only painful bit about these out of the way.

They are touted as being the best in the club for tight lining( for those who don’t know- this is it is the technique of drawing eyeliner inside the lash line). And trust me as someone who’s worn kohl liners all my adult life, I have tried almost everything in the drugstore, plus a few luxury ones… I did have a previous favourite, so I was reluctant to try these.

But then something compelled me to buy them, and boy am I glad I did ! They are soft enough to tight line eyes without any struggle, and don’t chug along like wellies on a wet slide. But then they set. AND HOW! No amount of tears, rain, swimming( even hail…I promise you it’s been British weather tested) will shift it.

It does come out easily with a Bi phase makeup remover, or any oil, balm cleanser without too much trouble though.

I always feel slightly apprehensive recommending something pricey (I take my money, and definitely others’ hard earned dosh very seriously) and especially not something as subjective as tighlining.(However a lot of Holy Grail kohl liners that others swear by, have made me look panda eyed.) This one, however seems to have been loved and raved by everyone who’s used it… various ages, eye shapes and skin types.

I even love it slightly smoked out for the easiest smokey eye ever. The colour payoff is amazing. The black is a pure black, the brown is a great shade etc etc.

My current look is Brown(out) smoked out with a taupe from the Nyx warm neutrals palette and a peachy shimmer ( 3INA single is my current fave) shade for a slight pop. It is understated enough for a corporate setting, and its can be deepened for a more intense look should you wish to swing by for a sushi and some sake´ after work.

PS: and you’ll never have to hunt for a sharpener with this. It has an inbuilt one( so handy…)


Vitamin E and Rosa Canina Seed Extract: Soothe, soften, and protect the delicate skin around the eyes.
Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Isohexadecane, Isododecane, Polyethlene, Synthetic Wax, Silica, Ceresin, Polyisobutene, Methicone, Rosa Canina Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499).

Will I repurchase?

Yes. (unfortunately its online only in Net-a-Porter, so you can’t test for shades etc and it’s slightly more expensive.  You get some unfortunate person to become your makeup mule and schlep it from the EU or USA…as it’s definitely cheaper in the USA.)

Au Revoir Marc Jacobs Beauty from all of us in the UK, we hope you come back soon… 

Love Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money. If this was to change at any point, I will disclose this and it will not affect my opinion. Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.



39 thoughts at 39…


keep-calm-im-only-39-happy-birthday-to-meI’ve had a self imposed blogging break recently, I’m back and hope you’re still around, and if you’ve just come here, welcome! (I’ve got lots of product reviews, unboxing and even a few VERRRY exciting give-aways coming up! Do please follow  my account @Itsmelle on Instagram for the most up to date information.)

Anyway, Ive turned 39 today and instead of sticking to a blog post on skincare, Ive had some thoughts on life which I thought I’d share .I’ve been noting a thought a day for the last 39 days, so its kind a 39 thoughts, done over 39 days, to celebrate my 39th birthday.

I’m not a spiritual guru, nor am I a celebrity so why would the world care about what I had to say? Because of reason no 1.

  1. You have one shot at life, if you want to out your thoughts on paper, follow your passions especially hobbies…do it.
  2. Love your body. Oh it’s almost a trend now, body positivity- plus size models, disabled models, but I’m talking the average Susan she still sees retouched photos and images all around her. Your body is the only vehicle for your soul. Stop hating on it( been there done that) if you’re unhappy about your size do something about it. But, don’t turn it inward. Weight loss is not the same as winning at life. 
  3. Learn to grab opportunities just outside your comfort zone. You never know where this may lead you.
  4. Learn how to do one killer smokey eye look, perfect it. It’ll come in handy.
  5. Sometimes life will hand you lemons. You can make it into a fizzy drink or take a bite of that and complain or option c you could be the one that brings the lemons to the party – there’s always margarita.
  6. It’s never too late to make friends. Don’t think that the only mates that you are stuck with are the ones from school.
  7. Travel. Catch a flight by yourself, take a train – don’t feel shy just because you might not have a travel companion.
  8. If you have a book with you, you are never alone. Carry a book always.
  9. Taking care of yourself is not vanity. Let no one tell you it is. This having said inner beauty counts too. This last  bit is non negotiable.
  10. Always dress smart, this isn’t because you’re being judged by others, but because in an increasingly spiralling world. You’ll feel that much better pulled together.
  11. Don’t go on a diet. It’s not worth it.
  12. Memorise point 11, And always bear it in mind.
  13. Wear SPF always. It’s non negotiable at any age, but especially yours. (Also make your concealer your best friend.)
  14. This is the last time I’ll bring up age. Let no one tell you that you “must act your age” this is your roller coaster- you determine what you want to do.
  15. There’s a difference between doing things for yourself and being selfish. It’s a fine line. I hope you’ll always bear that in mind.
  16. This having said, you are now in a place where you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
  17. Nor do you ever have to chase anyone for their friendship or love. If they don’t have it for you, it was never yours to have.
  18. Be there. For those who love you.
  19. Following on from above – love freely and let those in your life know you love them
  20. Don’t forget to say something nice to everyone in your life.
  21. Don’t forget to speak up, speak out. But for Pete’s sake be polite about it.
  22. Your opinion matters. Use it and vote in your local elections
  23. You enjoy fashion. Don’t apologise for it.
  24. Always keep lipbalm. In every nook and cranny you can find, in your bag, home, workplace.
  25. Handcream too, as above.
  26. Sanitisier too.
  27. Lift weights. It’s good for you, and you love it. Yes… that means dreaded early morning wakeups.
  28. There will be people who don’t get why you don’t want to “grow old” ignore them. As you’d ignored those bullies on the playground all those years ago. Trying to change their minds is futile.
  29. People will assume that you must be unilaterally minded so hence cannot be a feminist whilst wearing a red lipstick. They cannot understand that we can do/ be both. Ignore them too.
  30. Throw parties, I know you struggle with the hassle of pre and post party prep- but you’ve always loved playing host.  Do more of what you enjoy.
  31. Write poetry, share them. Who cares if they are good/ bad. That’s subjective; but you’ll have fun?
  32. Don’t forget to have fun and seek adventure. Dance when your hear music you like. Who knows? You might start a flash mob.
  33. You love wearing heels, who cares if you touch the ceiling…wear them.
  34. Pay no mind to intellectual snobs, this is an odd one – but at 39, you don’t need to answer to anyone about your reading or life choices, this having said…your kids are watching :0
  35. Laugh…deep, belly ones. Your time is finite, pay mind to those who matter. The rest are white noise.
  36. You enjoy a filthy joke, don’t apologise for it, (refer to point 1)
  37. Be a role model to your kids by being your most authentic self. They will suss out fakery.
  38. Sometimes good enough has to be enough
  39. Wear red lipstick, when and where you can… There isn’t an occasion where a red lip would look out of place. (Perhaps a funeral, and the gym, but that’s about it!)

And one for the year ahead…

Read the above, memorise them and tear up the list. Make up the rules as you go along. Life doesn’t come with a rule book… so why should you?


Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money. If this was to change at any point, I will disclose this and it will not affect my opinion. Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I have mentioned. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

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