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 Skincare Serums

Tropic Glow Berry Brightening Serum

Tropic Skincare Serums

*Gifted. Tropic Skincare seems to be one of the best kept secrets in the beauty world, they’re a cruelty free all natural, British beauty brand that produce products of incredible quality and that actually give effective results. I have tried a few of their skincare, body care and makeup releases, and they always exceed expectations. I find myself recommending them to friends and family of all ages, it is skincare that you can really rely on.

So I have been trying out two of their serums, Glow Berry & Rainforest Dew. They’ve been helping hydrate and give my skin back it’s natural healthy glow.

Tropic Skincare Glow Berry Brightening Serum*

I’d say my number one skin concern is dull skin, not all year round, but certainly over the darker, colder months. So having this brightening serum in my skincare routine these past few weeks has been wonderful for combating dark spots, uneven skin tone and giving my skin back its natural glow. This serum has a very fluid consistency, I apply it as part of my evening skincare routine and I keep it in the fridge as instructed by tropic as it keeps the active ingredients at their best.

Vitamin C – Which we all know is a fantastic ingredient in brightening skincare, it helps with pigmentation,  boosts collagen production, protects against free radical damage and helps give your skin a natural radiant glow.

Kangaroo Paw Flower Extract – This plant is endemic to Australia and is fantastic at nourishing the skin, tightens and firms skin (which helps to minimise your fine lines) as well as targets the visible signs of ageing. So your skin will look and feel smooth and lifted.

Superberries – A powerful blend of antioxidant-rich strawberry, muntries, riberry (endemic to Australia) and Tasmanian pepperberry extracts give complexions a boost of radiance, help reduce hyperpigmentation and UV related sun damage. Boosting your skins radiance and healthy glow.

Tropic Rainforest Dew Hydrating Serum

This is a really lovely nourishing, hydrating and soothing serum, I have found applying this as part of my morning skincare routine works well for me. It helps my skin retain moisture so it stays hydrated and soft throughout the day. I love the dewy effect it gives, it is great under makeup and the dewiness makes my makeup sit so well and look healthy all day long.  Again it is very lightweight, similar in consistency to the Berry Glow serum, 3 drops is usually enough for my face. As with all Tropic products it is packed full of incredible natural skin loving ingredients,

Plant Peptides – encourage cell renewal, encourage collagen production and improve skins elasticity and plumpness.

Evergreen Fern Extract – This is a soothing ingredient, great for calming and reducing redness.

Hyaluronic Acid – This has become such a popular ingredient in skincare over the past few years, it helps skin retain moisture which keeps it plump, hydrated and replenishes tired looking skin.

Matcha Tea Extract -Wonderful at protecting and reducing the effects of free radicals on your skin. As well as being soothing and anti-inflammatory, so this combined with the evergreen fern extract really help calm and sooth.

So if your skin is in need of a serious moisture boost, especially over the Winter months then I highly recommend this Rainforest Dew Serum.

Tropic Glow Berry Brightening Serum

If you’re looking to include or add a new serum to your skincare routine these two options are pretty amazing. Glow Berry is ideal if you want to target more dull, fatigued skin and even out skin tone and the Rainforest Dew is for anyone that is suffering with dry skin or just loves that fresh, glowing look.

*Products in this post were gifted as PR samples but the review is 100% my own

TJ Hughes Christmas Gift Guide 2019

(gifted) TJ Hughes is such a staple shop on our high street, and one of the original big brands for less (discount) style department stores. If you’re from Merseyside then you will we very familiar with TJ Hughes as their first store opened there back in 1925 and over the years have expanded to become a national brand with 20 stores across the UK. They offer quality brands at huge discounts, often up to 70% RRP, everything from home and fashion to technology and beauty.

I have picked out some of my favourite beauty products and designer fragrances from their wonderful selection to give you a little inspiration for your Christmas shopping. TJ Hughes have a really extensive selection of makeup, fragrance and beauty products, including many top brands (like Vera Wang, Clinique, Elizabeth Arden and so many more).

NUXE Merveillance Expert Lift and Firm Cream 50ml

NUXE is one of my favourite and also one of France’s best-selling beauty brands, their products are award-winning, high performing and incredible quality. Anyone who loves skincare would be excited to have some NUXE skincare to unwrap on Christmas morning. This NUXE face cream is perfect for soothing, hydrating and reducing the appearance of fine lines. It would make a really nice gift for any lady in your life who likes to take care of their skin and enjoys a nice pamper.

Ted Baker Mia Sweet Treat Gift Set

Ted Baker is such a popular brand, instantly recognisable with its timeless logo and signature pink branding. TJ Hughes have some lovely Ted Baker Fragrance Gift Sets which make perfect stocking fillers, these sets are inexpensive & also look stylish and luxurious. They come with a 10ml EDT and a beautiful compact Mirror (ideal for travel or to pop into your handbag).

Agent Provocateur Fatale Pink & Fatal Intense Perfume

Agent Provocateur are a brand synonymous with luxury lingerie, and their fragrances are just as luxurious, sophisticated and romantic. TJ Hughes have quite a few Agent Provocateur scents to pick from, I opted for two of their EDP,  both perfumes come in beautiful, classic bottles and the outer cardboard packaging is timeless, classic and has a textured finish.

Fatale Pink: which is very fresh, zesty with a romantic twist of musk. It has notes of tangerine, pear blossom and yuzu whipped cream. With heart notes of pink lotus, camellia and datura. With rich base notes of musk, bamboo and saffron.

Fatale Intense:  which is more exotic, sexy and rich. It has notes of wild Dewberries, Black Licorice and Spiced Chilli. Heart notes Lotus Blossom, Champaca Flower and Baiser Rose with Base notes of Noir Leather, Luxe Amber and Tahitian Vanilla.

Baylis & Harding Gift Set

I don’t think there has been a Christmas where I haven’t given a lovely Baylis & Harding gift to at least one member of my family. I mean they come beautiful boxed, they have so many incredible sets to pick from, and their entire range is so affordable, whats not to love! Oh and they have gifts for him & her so no one is left out. This Limited Edition Midnight Plum & Wild Blackberry Gift Set comes with 5 of Baylis & Harding’s most popular pampering products. You get,

  • 300ml Luxury Shower Crème
  • 300ml Refreshing Crème Body Wash
  • 130ml Moisturising Hand Cream
  • 150g Cleansing Soap
  • 1 x Body Polisher

TJ Hughes is a great place to start your Christmas shopping, you will find so many big brand, designer and quality brands you recognise. Many up to 70% off the rrp. You can find the closest store to you via their store locator or head online to www.tjhughes.co.uk and shop from the comfort of your home. So don’t let the thought of shopping for your Xmas Pressies stress you out this year, head over to TJ Hughes and see what gifts you can pick up for amazing prices.

*Products in this post have been gifted.

Antipodes Skincare Review

{The products in this post have been gifted} Antipodes are a lovely brand who are very focused on the environment and harnessing the power of organic plants and natural ingredients. The entire product range which hails from New Zealand uses sustainably sourced, fresh ingredients and combines their incredible ingredients with extensive scientific research to create effective results orientated skincare. Their entire range is organic and many products are Vegan friendly.

I have previously tried the Blessing Oil (which is a fantastic oil for combating and protecting skin from the effects of pollution) and the Avocado Pear Night Cream (which is incredibly hydrating, soothing and helps to keep skin blemish free) but the other products are brand new in my collection, and I thought I’d let you know how I’ve been getting on with them.

Antipodes Devine Face Oil (vegan)

A wonderful oil for reducing the visible appearance of fine lines, sun damage and uneven skin tones. It is jam packed with so many incredible ingredients, including Avocado Oil helps, Rosehip Oil and Macadamia nut oil. This trio of oils are known to boost collagen and help keep skin looking youthful, refreshed and glowing. A really nice product to add to your Autumn Winter skincare regime as it will help combat the dry weather with its nutrient rich ingredients (packed full of antioxidants) and stop your skin looking dull and tired.

It has a lovely lucid, oil consistency, it is so easy to massage into your skin and it feels so luxurious and instantly nourishing. It has a beautiful floral/botanical scent, which is the Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Sweet Orange, they are a nice combination and I find it quite an uplifting and soothing scent. If you’re looking for quite a rich face oil to use over the colder, dry months then this could be just what you need.

Antipodes Rejoice Day Cream (vegan)

A lovely lightweight, non oily day cream for anyone that has sensitive skin. The gentle formula will not irritate but sooth and enhance skins natural hydration whilst protecting, healing and nourishing. It is a cream with quite a few benefits, thanks to the nutrient rich, skin loving ingredients. Avocado Oil will hydrate, plump and rejuvenate skin to reduce those fine lines and refresh tired looking skin. Whilst Manuka Flower Oil has anti bacterial benefits that will protect and soothe skin and help keep it blemish free. This is a great cream to wear under makeup (as it’s an non oily formula) and even though it is lightweight it is still very effective and you will physically feel your skin is softer, smoother and it will also look visibly vibrant and healthy.

Antipodes Worship Face Oil

This face oil is designed to combat the effects of free radicals, environmental damage and stress on your skin. It is a great oil if you live/work in a city or are worried about the early signs of ageing, this product will help protect and defend skin with its wonderful combination of New Zealand grown superfruits. The include Boysenberry, blackcurrant, kiwifruit, Vinanza grape extract, açai and coffee cherry.  So this lightweight, water based serum is going to rejuvenate, protect, nourish and give your skin that daily does of healthy antioxidants. It is easily absorbed and gives your skin a protective barrier against harmful pollution and it is also great at brightening your complexion and combating dryness.

Consumers are becoming more aware of how they impact the environment (I know I am) and we are seeing more brands offering vegan products and becoming more sustainable, organic and carbon neutral. I think It is such a positive step & Antipodes are a world leader in this, with over 10 years experience.

Antipodes is one of the few fully certified organic skincare producers in the world, making them a green beauty brand you can genuinely trust. You can browse their collection on Feel Unique or at Antipodes

*This post contains PR samples