Five Beauty Favourites 2020

Five Beauty Favourites 2020

*Gifted. It’s safe to say it’s been a dark, wet and miserable start to 2020, I don’t think we have seen the sunshine so far this year and my skin has been bearing the brunt of this. My skin has felt dry and dull, what with the effects of the central heating and lack of sunshine, I have really been relying on my skincare and makeup to help revive my complexion. I thought I would share with you a few products that have become staples in my routine which I’ve been using religiously over the past couple of months.

Five Beauty Favourites 2020

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane 30ml

I love so many products from The Ordinary Skincare but this serum is pretty epic. I have used it for over a year now and can’t imagine my skincare routine without it. Apart from the fact this brand is incredibly affordable their skincare is fantastic quality and shows real results. This didn’t irritate my skin despite it having quite a high concentration of Retinoid, it is easy to apply and doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. I apply it at night 2 – 3 times a week, as my first step after cleansing and I wake up with smooth, bright, plump skin. Over time this serum helps increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen which helps to reduce the signs of ageing, like uneven skin tone, age spots and reduces fine lines & wrinkles.

This product is a great way to achieve that youthful, healthy glow, in terms of long term use you really see your complexion improve. It is like liquid gold! Just remember Retinoids can react with more sensitive skin, so dilute at first if you are concerned (or use the 1% version) also please remember to use a high factor SPF as your skin will be more vulnerable to the damaging effects of UVA & UVB rays.

Vegan & Cruelty Free

Tropic Beauty Booster Sheer Foundation SPF35*

Although I’m someone who doesn’t like to wear much makeup on a daily basis, I still like that look of being put together and like my skin to look evened out with a little glow. This Beauty Booster from Tropic gives me just that. It is lightweight and I just apply it with my fingers on top of my moisturiser. It leaves my skin with a nice touch of colour, helping to reduce redness, uneven skin tone and gives the illusion that I haven’t seen the sun for MONTHS! The other wonderful things about this lightweight, almost tinted moisturiser (with a bit more coverage) is the fact it has UVA, UVB and HEV (artificial light) protection and SPF35, so if you do venture out you know your skin is well protected.

Antioxidant-rich resveratrol and vitamin E help to condition the skin, while building defences against daily pollution. Titanium dioxide gives a mineral SPF of 35 to shield against everyday exposure. So if you’re looking for a base that gives you an even, lightweight, natural dewy finish then this Tropic Beauty Booster is the one. I have been loving it and using it every day as my base to combat my tired, dry winter skin!

Vegan & Cruelty Free

Miller Harris Peau Santal Perfume

Miller Harris Peau Santal Perfume*

This is my happiness in a bottle, it smells beautiful and so luxurious, it makes me feel amazing whenever I wear it. The scent is uplifting and just gives me a reminder that warmer, brighter days are on the horizon (even if it is raining cats and dogs). It has such a rich, warm creamy scent but you get a hint of fresh, airy crisp notes as it settles. I am not exaggerating when I say this perfume is the most sophisticated and beautiful perfume I have ever owned, and I love quite a few Miller Harris perfumes but this one has something special.

The woody notes add a real touch of warmth and class whilst the bergamot and cashmere give it creaminess and class. The pink pepper, amber and vanilla make it modern and very sexy.

Top Notes: Bergamot, Pink Pepper and Saffron
Heart Notes: Olibanum, Violet Leaf and Papyrus
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Cashmere Woods, Crisp Amber, Vanilla CO2 Extract and Moss

This would make the most luxurious, thoughtful gift or treat to yourself, it’s a beautiful perfume and the scent lasts so long, I can smell it on my scarf/coat days after I have spritzed it. The quality is second to none. The bottle is also beautiful, the minimal dusky pink give it a subtle, classy feel and the simple gold accents on the font and the lid add a touch of luxury, the bottle is very weighty too and feels so nice in your hand and also looks great on your vanity.

Ark Skincare Firming Serum

ARK Skin Perfector Firming Serum*

I tried a few products from UK based ARK skincare last year and was very impressed with their ethos of products that target specific skin concerns depending on your age, as our skin changes so much as we get older and ARK have targeted skincare so it is easy for you to include it in your routine and see fantastic results.  This Firming Serum has been a skincare saviour for me this year as it targets your skins loss of elasticity and works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and with my skin being so dry from the weather it has helped smooth, hydrate and plump! So if like me you’re in your early 40s this is a wonderful product to use for long term results. I like to mix the serum in with my moisturiser and apply it as part of my morning skincare regime.

It is jam packed with some wonderful ingredients that help keep your skin looking fresh, smooth and healthy.

Micro Algae Extract – Highly purified microalgae extract delivers an instant and long-term tightening effects

Hyaluronic Acid – Active 100% natural Hyaluronic Acid locks moisture in the skin matrix and improves collagen synthesis. Skin appears firmer and more flexible, while fine lines are plumped and smoothed.

Biomimetic Lipopeptide Idealift – targets skin sagging and improves resistance to gravity by promoting skin’s elastic fibre architecture

ARK Skincare is proudly developed & manufactured in Britain. Cruelty Free, with many of their products being Vegan friendly. They use Bioactive, natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin but give effective results.  You can browse their entire range on their website www.arkskincare.com  and tailor your skincare for your specific skin concerns and age.

The Ordinary Retinoid SerumSkincare

Delilah Illuminating Powder in Aura

I love this compact, not only the fact that it is a beautiful rose gold & pewter but it has a good size mirror which makes it perfect for keeping in your handbag. This stunning bronzing/highlighter is also a wonderful product to add a touch of radiance to that Winter complexion without going OTT on the glow. It’s a mix of rose gold, soft peach and lavender pink and I just swirl my brush to pick up a little of all the colours and it gives my cheekbones a nice bronzy warm touch of colour. Such a beautiful product and a very luxurious and not so well known brand, their blushers are super nice too.

*Products have been provided as PR samples but reviews are 100% my own.

Tropic Makeup Range – Bases & Lips

I’m sure you have heard of Tropic, they’re one of my absolute favourite beauty brands. A few of the reasons I like them so much include their positive ethos on the environment, the ingredients they use and and the fact their entire skincare and makeup collections are natural, vegan and cruelty-free. As a brand they’re proud to use naturally derived, sustainably sourced ingredients, that are free from harmful toxic chemicals.

So your skin is in good hands.

They also use minimal packaging, and are embracing green technology. Tropic are a brand that produce quality products that deliver results, I honestly don’t think I have tried a product from Tropic that I didn’t like. Recently I’ve been lucky enough to try a few products from their revamped makeup collection.

Tropic Summer Makeup

Tropic Beauty Booster Sheer Foundation SPF35 – £22

This is my stand out product, not only does it give your skin the most radiant, healthy dewy, even coverage it also offers UVA, UVB and HEV (artificial light) protection and a high SPF. I have been testing this Beauty Booster out at the best time of year, it has been so warm, sunny and very humid in Cornwall and the last thing I have wanted was to apply a heavy foundation – or up to a point any makeup at all. This lightweight serum based foundation is like a very, very good BB cream in that you get a light-medium coverage so your skin feels like it can breathe, it is so hydrating and your freckles are still visible but it evens out your skin tone, covers redness and gives you that natural healthy glow with the added layer of UV protection.

Tropic Beauty Booster

The consistency of this sheer foundation is very silky and fluid which makes it easy to apply and blend, I just use my fingers but Tropic also have a makeup sponge if you wanted more precise, long wearing coverage. It comes in the newly revamped bright white packaging, which looks so fresh and classy. The tube is handy for travel and very light. It is the perfect product to take away with you on your travels especially if you’re trying to pack light, this is your skincare, base & SPF protection in one.

Antioxidant-rich resveratrol and vitamin E help to condition the skin, while building defences against daily pollution. Titanium dioxide gives a mineral SPF of 35 to shield against everyday exposure. So if you’re looking for a base that gives you an even, lightweight, natural dewy finish then this Tropic Beauty Booster is the one. I have been loving it and using it every day as my base, I love the coverage, glowing finish and the fact I can trust my skin is protected from harmful UV with the broad spectrum SPF35. It comes in 6 shades & I wear Warm Beige which is a perfect match for me.

Tropic Beauty Booster Shade Range

New Tropic Vegan Makeup

Tropic Mineral Foundation £24

Mineral foundation used to be a no-no, it was cakey, dusty and oxidised as the day went on, but no more! The humble mineral foundation has made such advances over the past few years every brand has one in their collection and that’s because people want their mineral makeup to be nutrient rich, beneficial for their skin, and they want a natural finish but with incredible coverage. This Mineral Foundation from Tropic ticks all the boxes, it gives medium to full coverage with a silky smooth finish that won’t look dry and heavy throughout the day. My skin looks flawless and it is so comfortable and very long wearing, if you need your makeup to last all day (and into the night) then this is ideal.

This lightweight powder applies effortlessly and is easy to blend, it gives an even medium to full coverage and looks like a second skin. The formula is enriched with active botanical extracts of olive leaf, sea buckthorn and vitamin E (which nourish the skin) whilst zinc oxide protects skin from UV rays with an SPF of 25.

Tropic are focused on their environmental impact and with that being said, the clever thing about this foundation is the fact this pot can be refilled with Tropic’s innovative compostable pouch. Simply remove the buffing plate of the pot, pour in your foundation, and pop the pouch into your compost bin – earth-friendly cosmetics couldn’t be easier. So you’re getting great looking skin and being kinder to the planet in the process.  It comes in 6 shades,

Tropic Mineral Foundation Shade Range

Tropic Mineral Foundation

Tropic Kabuki Brush £22

This flat top makeup brush is the perfect way to apply your mineral foundation. It picks up just the right amount of product and with a swirling motion you can buff it in to your skin to achieve that gorgeous even, velvety, smooth finish. Applying your foundation with a Kabuki Brush allows you to build up the coverage so you don’t apply too much product at once. This brush from tropic has a lovely white wooden handle and is made with vegan fibres, it is compact and a nice size to pop in your makeup bag for reapplying on the go.

Tropic-Kiss Me Quick Lipstick in Lush Lychee-

Tropic Kiss Me Quick Lipstick

This is the ultimate Summer lipstick, it is pigmented, hydrating and has a super glossy finish. This Kiss Me Quick Collection comes in 8 shades that range from bold to everyday elegance. I have been wearing the Lush Lychee shade and it a pretty neutral that goes with everything. It is a universal, go to lip colour that would be a winner in everyone’s makeup collection. The creamy consistency makes it effortless to apply and it looks smooth and and feels smooth on the lips. Just what I need over the warmer months, a lipstick thats hydrating nourishing and has a good amount of pigment.

The handy Lipstick Colour Cartridge means you can easily refill your favourite shade, or collect them all and switch your daily colour into your case for on-the-go application. This luxurious lipstick has been named after one of its hero ingredients, Kiss Me Quick flower extract, which gently plumps your lips over time by stimulating collagen and hyaluronic acid production. The addition of vitamin E and oils of shea, mango and jojoba give a rich, conditioning formula.

Tropic kiss me quick lipstick shade range

Tropic Beauty Booster Swatch

Skin Booster in Warm Beige / Kiss Me Quick Lipstick in Lush Lychee

Tropic Skincare are cruelty-free, vegan and 100% naturally derived.

*this post contains PR samples

Everyday Makeup Favourites 2018

Current Beauty Favourites

Over the past year, I have been working towards a more minimal lifestyle and have been trying to declutter my life. One area that really overwhelmed me was my beauty stash. So I’ve managed to reduce it quite considerably, I now only have products that I love and use regularly. I don’t hang on to things just in case I might want to use them, or make excuses to buy new products when I clearly do not need them. Today I’m sharing most of the products that are in my everyday makeup bag and I would say it is a third of the makeup I now currently own and that makes me so happy!

Urban Decay Trouble Maker Mascara

Urban Decay Trouble Maker Mascara (gifted)

I’m usually the person who has multiple mascaras on the go at once, forever on the quest for the perfect all-rounder that ticks all the boxes. Well, I am here to tell you, I have found it and it is the Urban Decay Trouble Maker Mascara (please never let them discontinue it). I only have one mascara in my collection and it is this one. It is all I need. First up the packaging is super cool and looks like an oil slick, I love it. The wand has quite short bristles that apply the perfect amount of product to each lash & make them look thick, voluminous and the formula is so black! Zero clumping, no fallout and it doesn’t transfer or smudge. It is a pain to get off but that means it has some serious staying power. This is my number 1, my holy grail the ONLY mascara I need in my life. Oh, & it is Vegan, so that is a big plus.

Rimmel Brow This Way Eyebrow Gel (gifted)

I go between this and the Essence Brow Mascara, they’re almost identical and similar in quality, the Rimmel one I think has slightly better staying power. The Essence one is Vegan and Cruelty-Free but I can only get it in Wilko and that isn’t a shop I have locally so the Rimmel version is a good back up for me. This adds a nice amount of colour and texture to your brows, I like that you can use it alone for an effortless look or on top of your powder to set your brows and add a little more colour. It gives the illusion that I spend more time on my brows that I actually do and that’s what I want. I am all about that simple makeup life.

Current Makeup Favourites 2018

Vichy Dermablend SOS Cover Stick (gifted)

This is the creamiest stick concealer I have ever used. I tend to steer clear of stick foundations & concealers as they’re usually quite dry and hard to apply but this is buttery and blends like a dream. I use it everywhere, under eye bags, blemishes, redness and it covers all my imperfections with ease without looking heavy. I would say this gives very decent medium coverage. I quite often just apply this and feel confident enough to not wear foundation. It has been a lifesaver during the crazy heatwave because its formula is sweat, water and smudge resistant!

Enriched with a careful dose of mineral pigments, beeswax, carnauba wax and a lightweight oil, the formula allows for more spreadable and waterproof coverage that blends in effortlessly. 

Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed (gifted)

I do have a couple of other bronzers but I just always go back to this Urban Decay one because it is matte and the colour is perfect for giving the skin a subtle healthy sun-kissed warmth. It is a lovely natural colour (on me) and you can easily build it up without it looking muddy or orange. It has been my goto bronzer this Summer and for £23 I think it is a Summer Holiday must have!

Soap & Glory Radiance Powders 

These two cheek products are stunning – I have used them for years, I wouldn’t be without them in my collection. I like that they both have a highlight, glow feel to them. The blush is a stunning light pink, peach on the cheeks with a gorgeous gold glow running though. It adds a healthy fresh glow to any look. The bronzer is a beautiful golden glow and I often use it as an eyeshadow and brow highlight.

soap and glory makeup

Essence Fresh & Fit Foundation

This creamy foundation gives a nice medium coverage whilst feeling lightweight on the skin, I hate it when your base feels thick and heavy. This foundation is enriched with a complex of vitamin b3, e, pro-vitamin b5 and cranberry water, it is fantastic to see a budget-friendly foundation with such fantastic skincare benefits added to their formula. These ingredients are going to help your skin glow, look refreshed and awake. I use it as my everyday foundation and quite often I don’t even feel the need to powder, it does have a nice glow to it without looking greasy or shiny. For £5 you need to try it!

w7 Mid-Summer Nights Eyeshadow Palette

I always travel with this 9 pan eyeshadow palette. It’s super compact and has 9 wearable, versatile shades. I can create a simple, smokey or even a bold eye look with this palette and it has a really nice mix of matte and shimmer finishes. For under £4 the quality is pretty damn good & I’m here to tell you that you 100% need it in your makeup bag.

W7 Mid Summer Nights Eyeshadow Palette

w7 The Naughty Nine Eyeshadow Palette

NIOD Photography Fluid Opacity 12% (gifted)

This is nothing short of liquid magic, It’s flipping amazing. This is a highlighter, primer and serum in one (love a multi-use product) it instantly blurs imperfections and gives a healthy dewy, even-toned radiance. Designed to create a photo-ready finish on all skin types, this complexion perfector creates a lit-from-within glow in seconds with a wide variety of light-refracting prisms, tone and hue correctors, and photo-finishing technologies.

So you can apply to your skin alone or wear it under your favourite foundation to add a beautiful radiance and correct discolouration. It can also be mixed with other products for subtle radiance. It’s such an easy product to incorporate into your makeup routine. I haven’t ever used a product quite like this & I just can’t get across to you just how incredible it is and how radiant and glowing my skin looks when I wear it.

Dermablend Covermatte Compact Powder Foundation (gifted)

I am a loyal user of the Vichy Dermablend 3d Liquid Foundation and I am so pleased to have discovered this high coverage compact powder option. This is a really lovely foundation that has buildable coverage. The lightweight powder sits nicely in the skin giving you a velvety matte finish and it covers imperfections with ease. I wear shade 25 Nude and it’s a good all year round shade for me. When I want to achieve that full coverage, makeup last all day look I often set my liquid foundation with this powder simply because it makes my skin look incredible (flawless) and everything is locked in place all day! It is a great foundation if you have redness, acne scarring or just want a more full coverage look without your makeup looking heavy or dusty.

Imperfections are decreased by up to 60% day after day with active dermatological ingredients including sebum-regulating zinc gluconate and anti-imperfection salicylic acid and vitamin E. The appearance of pores is reduced and skin texture looks improved.

Everyday Makeup

Charlotte Tilbury Penelope Pink Lipstick

I must confess that I rarely wear lipstick or anything on my lips for that matter. I have a very small collection of lip products now and they’re all pretty much nude shades apart from a couple of more deep Autumnal colours. I like to wear quite a basic lip colour and go bolder on my eye look and I find Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks to be some of the most comfortable and long-wearing. This pinky nude shade freshens up any makeup look as works day to night. I love it and the packaging feels super luxe and special.

What makeup is in your everyday makeup bag?

ASDA The New Destination For Beauty

Beauty Products at ASDA

Beauty Products at ASDA

As most of us know, ASDA is a very popular destination for affordable fashion. I always kick off my Summer Holiday shopping at George as they do fab bikinis & beach cover-ups. Most people are not aware that ASDA is also a great destination for all of your beauty needs. Last year saw ASDA update & revamp it’s George beauty line, introducing over 100 makeup products from Contour Kits and Eyebrow Products to Lipsticks and Eyeshadows, so ASDA really has you covered in the makeup department. Oh! and best of all is that nothing in the range costs over £6. So whilst you are shopping for your wardrobe updates you can also pick up your favourite skincare & beauty products.

They also stock one of my top skincare brands, nspa. This is a brand that offers quality products you can afford. I have tried quite a few products from their range over the years and I’ve never been disappointed. In fact, they always exceed expectations and I have my Holy Grail products that I will always repurchase. If you haven’t spent time in the beauty aisle at ASDA you’re missing out on some great brands.

Affordable Makeup Products From George at Asda

George Cosmic Baked Blush in Galaxy

I haven’t used a baked blush for so long. I remember back in 2014 when they were super popular and every brand was releasing their version. I had forgotten just how pretty this swirled formulation can be, this Cosmic offering from George is in the shade Galaxy which is a very pretty flushed pink shade and it gives just the perfect amount of colour. Enough to lift any makeup look and give it a fresh, radiant feel. I love the glow you get from a baked blush and this one is a good mix of highlight and blush, it reflects the light and leaves you looking healthy. It is a very wearable colour and it has gone straight into my everyday makeup bag & I have a feeling it is going to be my goto blush this Summer.

George Matte Lipstick in Smooch

I am so excited to see that ASDA have a range of soft matte lipsticks and there is no denying that they look stunning in their trendy rose gold packaging. You can’t go wrong with a classic pink shade and this one is a beautiful, everyday option. The formula is quite dry but that is to be expected in a matte formula it applies evenly and the colour is pigmented and so pretty on the lips. I am pleased with this shade and want to get a few more shades, I am tempted by a red.

Pretty Pink Makeup From ASDA George

nspa skincare exclusive to ASDA

nspa Expert Rejuvenating Serum

If you’re worried about the first signs of ageing or want to reduce fine lines and improve skins firmness this lightweight serum from nspa is perfect. It is fortified with:-

Crocus Chrysanthus Bulb extract, proven to help reduce the appearance of ageing skin, increase skins firmness and give the skin a smoother, more supple complexion.

Millet Seed Extract, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and rejuvenate your skin while helping to retain moisture.

It has a nice lightweight texture and it is a great step to give your skin a nice boost of hydration and a step that targets those long-term skin concerns.

Beauty Exclusive to ASDA

nspa Beauty Rituals Smoothing Eyecream

Eye cream for me is one of those products of which I’m never 100% sure that they’re totally necessary. Although I do use them religiously because I don’t want to look back in years to come and wish I’d made more effort to keep those pesky fine lines at bay! So when it comes to this step in my skincare routine I am never very loyal to one brand the only criteria I have is price, I like my eye cream to be affordable and at only £5.00 this nspa one is just that. Oh, and it does contain Hyaluronic Acid which is a cult anti ageing skin care ingredient that everyone in the beauty industry swears by, so if the experts love it I will get onboard.

It is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid & Tetrapeptide to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and crows feet. Specially selected actives help firm and plump whilst enhancing radiance for a younger, brighter looking eye area.

nspa Beauty Rituals Face Masks

nspa have released 8 masks within this range, each mask targeting a specific skin concern. They have clay, moisturising and hydrating masks which includes a sheet mask. With all 8 costing only £1.50 each, this is such an affordable way add a mask to your beauty regime and have a little pamper. I love the sheet mask best of all as it is perfect to use after a busy week it soothes and rejuvenates tired dull skin. I always have a couple of the nspa beauty rituals masks in my stash, they come in this handy pouches which make them travel-friendly and ideal to take with you on your holiday.

The nspa range is cruelty-free & available exclusively in ASDA.

Affordable Beauty Products From ASDA

I love trying out affordable beauty products because I think we all know that price doesn’t always guarantee quality, at both ends of the scale. ASDA is bringing its ‘A’ game with its own brand beauty range from George and the nspa skincare products are not to be missed. Let me know if you have tried anything from either range, I would really like to hear your recommendations.

*This post contains PR Samples