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

Shay & Blue 4-Piece Fragrance Collection on QVC

{Gifted) If you’re looking to treat yourself or want to spoil someone with a gorgeous Christmas gift, then I highly recommend marking your calendar because Shay & Blue have an unmissable deal in store for us. It’s been exactly one year since Shay & Blue launched their sell-out 4 Piece QVC TSV, and they’re back for 2019 with a very special deal indeed. So set an alarm, & mark your calendars because from 9am Thursday 21st November to midnight Friday 22nd November, you will be able to get your hands on a 4 Piece Fragrance Collection worth over £112 for under £50, making a huge saving of over £60 and the most exciting part is you get to pick from 3 of their best-selling scents!

Each 4 Piece Fragrance Collection will feature one of Shay & Blue’s best-selling fragrances, you get to pick from either Atropa Belladonna, Black Tulip or Blood Orange.

Within each collection there will be a 100ml fragrance, 250ml Body & Hand Lotion, 250ml Body & Hand Wash and most excitingly there will be the addition of a 10ml not-yet-launched Blackberry Woods. Presented in Shay & Blue’s gorgeous signature blue striped gift bag these gifts will look divine under any Christmas tree!

Black Tulip is a floral gourmand of snowdrops, cyclamen, rich black tulip, juicy plum and smooth white chocolate

Atropa Belladonna is an intoxicating beauty of cassis berries, jasmine, white narcissus and patchouli

Blood Orange is a cross-breed of exotic pomelo and virginal clementine

Blackberry Woods the essence of autumn features top notes of blackberry with a heart of neroli and lemon leaves, finishing on a warm, woody cypress base

The EDP comes packaged in the most luxurious blue box with a blue and white striped ribbon which adds such a sweet touch. Inside the box, I just love how the bold blue and white strip theme carry through. The fragrance bottles are also beautiful too and the mix of blue and gold make them look sophisticated and luxurious and I think they make the most elegant and thoughtful gift (or treat for yourself).

SAVE OVER £65
Collection value: worth over £112
QVC special price: under £50
Special price available from 9am Thursday 21st Nov to midnight Friday 22nd Nov!

*This post included PR Samples

Introducing ARK Skincare

{gifted} ARK is a British Skincare company that has a refreshing, modern approach to skincare. They acknowledge that age plays a big roll in how our skin changes and so our skin concerns change alongside. They have  developed what they call ageintelligent skincare, which focuses on treating skin by age as well as concern.

You start by picking your ageintelligent range, then if you need any targeted treatments you select their skinperfectors for effective treatment (like redness, hydration and de-stress) and then their core skinessentials collection which is daily skincare to enhance your regime.

All their products are easy to understand and incorporate into your regime. They are clear, specific and fuss free.

The three ageintelligent ranges are,

  • ageprotect – for teens and 20’s
  • agedefend – for 30’s and 40’s
  • agedefy – for 50’s and over

I have been trying 2 products from the agedefend collection and 1 from the skinessentials

ARK Skincare Product Review

ARK agedefend Replenishing Moisturiser

This collection aims to boost skins collagen production, protect skin from free radicals and nourish skin to reduce the signs of ageing.  The key ingredients in this collection are,

  • Kiwi and Passion Fruit lipids – packed with Omega 3 fatty acids to boost skin’s moisture
  • Blue Lotus – a powerful antioxidant which boosts firmness and elasticity
  • Vitamin A – keeps skin strong, plump and increases collagen production

This replenishing moisturiser contains natural moisturising agents Shea Butter and Olive Oil which are rich and hydrating, leaving your skin feeling soft and velvety smooth to the touch. It is also helps skin look plump and toned, which reduces those fine lines and wrinkles.

I have been using this cream as part of my morning skincare routine and love the way it feels on my skin, not too heavy but very moisturising and my skin looks fresh and healthy after using it. I think it’s a fantastic cream to add to your routine for Autumn/Winter to keep your skin hydrated, boost elasticity and keep skin looking radiant whilst targeting the early signs of ageing with all its fantastic skin loving ingredients. Your skin is in good hands with this in your skincare arsenal.

The packaging is hygienic and feels very luxurious. The product is dispensed by pushing the lid down, I find that two pumps is enough product for your face and neck. It is a slick and easy to use, I like that you get the right amount of product, which means no waster and you don’t have to scoop out product which keeps everything clean and germ free. 

ARK Skincare Age-Defend Conditioning Cleanser

 ARK agedefend Conditioning Cleanser

This lightweight cleanser is great at keeping skin not only clean and washing away the build up of dirt, grime and impurities from the day. It also nourishes skin, protects against moisture loss and gently exfoliates helping remove dead skin cells to keep your complexion looking rejuvenated and blemish free.

  • Moringa Oil – rich in Vitamin A and C and helps skin retain essential moisture.
  • Kiwi and Passion Fruit lipids – packed with Omega 3 fatty acids to boost skin’s moisture levels
  • Blue Lotus – a powerful antioxidant which helps skin firmness and elasticity.

I use this in the morning and night, I find the botanical scent uplifting very fresh. The cleanser leaves my skin looking energised and although I do not typically remove my makeup with it, I have used it to remove a light face of makeup and found that it did it with ease. I have been very impressed with both products I have used from the agedefend range and if like me you’re in your 40’s, I think your skin would benefit from the extra boost of antioxidants, lipids, and vitamins that this collection provides. This collection helps you achieve beautiful, healthy, radiant skin.

ARK Skincare Skin Protector SPF30 Primer

Ark skin essential Skin Protector SPF30 Primer

I never leave my house without wearing a facial SPF as we are all fully aware by now, the best way to protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays (the primary cause of premature ageing) is to wear a good quality broad spectrum UVA & UVB SPF.  So when my primer contains SPF30 this makes me very excited. This lovely product has taken pride of place in my skincare line-up, I have been using it religiously for a couple of months now and LOVE it.

  • Vitamin E – antioxidant and provides photo protection
  • Shea Butter – nourishes skin and protects from free radicals
  • Sunflower – packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Hyaluronic Acid – helps skin retain moisture keeping your complexion plump, smooth and radiant

Its not as heavy as a cream but is more like a thicker serum, I like the consistency and it instantly feels refreshing on the skin.  The fact that it is lightweight is important to me especially when layering quite a few products, quite often a primer can feel slippery or tacky on the skin. I like them to be almost weightless, like they’re not even there. This is quite hard to find in skincare products that contains a high level of SPF protection, but ARK have managed to pull it off.  This primer is for me a multi tasking product, you can use it not only as a primer, your SPF too and I find it to be hydrating enough to use as my moisturiser. I do this on really warm days, where you do not want to wear a heavy cream under foundation and that works well to keep everything in place without becoming greasy. This primer can also be worn alone, it helps my skin looking very fresh, that classic healthy, natural glow. Its wonderful.

 

I have enjoyed using all three products over the past few months and although I would say the Primer is my stand out product I think they all have enhanced my skincare regime. My skin looks healthy and feels hydrated. The agedefend collection is perfect for me in my 40’s. I have my eye on a few of the oils from the skinperfector range to see how they help tackle a few more targeted skin concerns, like pigmentation and redness. Let me know if you have tried anything from ARK and if so what products would you recommend.

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.

*This post contains PR Samples