Autumn/Winter Budget Beauty 

I did a post like this for summer, so I thought it was only right to do something similar for winter! I’ve chosen nine products that are great budget items to see you through the winter season in style, so enjoy…

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1. Revlon Nail Polish in Vixen, £6.49

This nail varnish is probably my all time favourite ‘drug store’ purchase. Firstly, I absolutely love the colour. It’s a gorgeous autumnal plum which is perfect to take you from daytime and into the evening! I also think the quality of Revlon nail polishes is great. The consistency is always really smooth and lasts a good few days (with a top and base coat) before starting to chip. If you want something to ‘autumn’ up your beauty routine this is my top recommendation!

2. The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream, £12.00

Our skin always need a little TLC during the colder months, and layering up your moisturiser is the easiest and most affordable way to do this. I love this Body Shop vitamin E cream, firstly because it suits all skin types. Secondly, vitamin E is an antioxidant for the skin (so really helps to protect and repair), which also helps to slow the ageing process! Alongside this, the shea butter and aloe vera also combines to make it a really soothing cream on the skin. Whilst this is one of the higher priced products here, the good quality ingredients included really do make this great value for  money. Plus, all Body Shop products are vegan, natural and cruelty-free which makes investing in this brand even more worthwhile!

3. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in Pomegranate, £3.69

This lip balm was featured in my summer beauty bargains as well because it’s just so great! In my opinion it’s the best lip balm out there. It’s super nourishing, has a gorgeous pink tint to it and most importantly, is friendly on the bank balance! This is the perfect accompaniment to your make up bag especially during the winter months when heating and cold weather causes your lips to dry up.

4. St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub, £4.00

This was the first face scrub I ever used and it still maintains it’s superpower status in my eyes. It’s gentle on sensitive skin yet really penetrates to uplift dead skin and remove impurities and at £4.00 it’s a steal. It’s oil free and has 100% natural exfoliants which is why it’s so amazing for your skin. Use this once a week, or twice if you feel your skin needs it, to help fight the combination of heating and cold air, and, those winter nights where you cake your face in make up to hide the fading tan!

5. The Body Shop Down To Earth Eye Shadow Quad in 54588, £15 (trust me, it’s worth that little bit more!)

My first ever eye shadow set was from The Body Shop. Does anyone remember when they came in a clear box with four small cubes? This blue colour palette is a winner for me because it compliments my skin tone (and makes my blue eyes pop), and is perfect for those Autumn nights out! You can build as dramatic a look as you wish for the nighttime with the darker colours or opt for a subtle shimmer during the day with the silver. The colours are really pigmented (especially when wetting the brush), and although this is the steepest product here, I really do think this is great value for money, as it will easily carry you into next year.

6. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Starry Eyed, £4.99 

If you know me, you’ll know I love a plum lip, so I have hunted high and low for both budget and items to splurge on, and this Rimmel number has come top of my list for the budget end! I firstly absolutely love the colour (I compared it to a Burberry colour last year) because whilst it’s dark, it has a gorgeous warm undertone that makes it perfect for taking you from daytime to nighttime. As well as this, the quality is great. It’s nourishing, long lasting and doesn’t dry out my lips which is impressive even for an expensive lipstick! A big thumbs up all round for this product.

7. Rimmel Glitter Bomb Nail Polish in Mistletoe Mischief, £3.99

Everyone needs a bit of glitter in the build up to Christmas and this nail varnish is the perfect fit – it’s called Mistletoe Mischief which just says it all! I love a glitter polish because you can either use alone or over another colour; and, my personal favourite, I love to apply messily at the top of my nail to give an edge to the normal  all over glitter nail.

8. Superdrug Dead Sea Purifying Clay Mask, 99p

With the temperature dropping and heating being blasted out it’s no shock that our skin can tend to get a little clogged up with make up and sweat. This face mask is one of MY FAVOURITE cheaper alternatives to use to help unclog the pores (I’d say it’s the budget version of the Kiehls face mask which I’ve reviewed here). The clay helps to really dig deep and draw out those impurities, whilst the cool eucalyptus helps to soothe and nourish skin. My skin always feels refreshed after using this mask, and at £0.99 per packet, i think it’s a fantastic bargain buy.

9. Soap and Glory Hand Food, £6.00

This hand cream has featured in one of my reviews before, but I can’t leave it out! It’s the perfect formula for dry, neglected hands as the shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow extract (yum!) combine to create a lovely, nourishing formula that delves deep to soothe the skin. It also absorbs really well into the skin, so you don’t need to use much to see it working its magic!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and found some of these suggestions useful! I would actually recommend these products whether you’re on a budget or not, so let me know if you test any out!

Thanks for reading X

Elemis Biotic Mini Facial

So this evening I headed to the Elemis counter at John Lewis where I was treated to a lovely mini facial using products from the Biotec range. The brand have been really trying to promote this range, as the therapist told me that not a lot of people firstly understand what it is, and secondly how it actually works. So, they’ve been offering a host of these treatments to allow customers to experience the products and thus go on to spread the word! And here I am doing exactly that…

I was firstly sat down and then dressed as a hospital patient (see dashing image below). I was aware of the busy shoppers around me but actually, as soon as I closed my eyes and my lovely therapist started to take my makeup off I did not care one bit! I even found the sound of the man outside playing drums rather therapeutic.

She firstly started by cleansing my face of make up and she then used the biotec skin energising cleanser facial which you’re supposed to use on freshly cleaned skin. You basically apply on dry skin and then wash off using water (it reminded me of the Liz Earle cleanse and polish). This has a trio of acids sat in an electrolyte solution which means the product works really deep to help remove oil and impurities by resurfacing the skin. She then used the papaya enzyme facial scrub which is one of my absolute favourite products! If you’re looking for a gentle exfoliator this is AMAZING. Next, came my favourite part: the sheet mask. It was oh so cooling and has really left my skin feeling super soft and hydrated, plus it smells gorgeous! I’m sat on the tube writing this and rather than getting the usual odour of sweat or McDonald’s a delightful orchid sense is filling my senses. This was left on for around five minutes during which, I had a lovely hand and arm massage. After taking off the mask the residue was massaged in. I finally had the Biotic skin energising night cream applied, which is a mixture of two consistencies, and then I was ready to face the world!

Would I buy these products myself? Absolutely, I love Elemis products for the science behind them as well as being long lasting! But at £38 for the cleanser and £85 for the night cream, these products are something that will be going on my Christmas list.
As a brand, Elemis is also great to invest in. The therapists are so knowledgable and being offered the opportunity for a free facial is reflective of their customer loyalty. If I could, I would buy a lot of my skincare from there! So it was a pretty good introduction to the Biotec range. The products felt amazing against my skin, and I came home feeling refreshed which is a novelty after being on the tube! If you’ve tried any of the products before I’d love to hear what you think!
X

This Week’s Tried and Tested 

Each week I’ve decided that I’ll try a selection of some of the endless testers I seem to have accumulated on my travels firstly to clear some space in my room. And, of course for you lovely lot!

 

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Hand Cream 

This is undoubtedly one of the best hand creams I’ve tried – and I don’t throw those words around often! It is so intensely moisturising that my hands have the loveliest, dewy effect. They weren’t particularly dry before, however after being in constant 30 degree sun for a week they needed a little extra TLC. The formula absorbs so easily into the skin and doesn’t leave any kind of sticky residue; plus, as it says on the tin it really does give your hands moisture lasting 8 hours and over! I also love this for moisturising my cuticles and keeping my nails extra healthy. I can’t fault this hand cream so it’s a 5/5 from me!

 

REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist
This mist is a hard one to review as I haven’t got round to inventing my time machine, so I can’t tell you the long term benefits. However, what I will base it on is how my skin and make up felt after using. I have to say my make up stayed looking fresher for a lot longer than usual, and I didn’t get the usual oiliness that I would around 3pm when my body kicks into its sleep mode at work. Also, it’s a great spray for giving you an extra dewy look or simply to freshen up your skin throughout the day! I guess with this one you just have to trust that the experts know their stuff about protecting your skin from polluting agents and go with it. If anything it’ll give you great skin for perfecting those selfies! I would rate this product 4/5

 

Percy & Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm
I always feel like I’m cheating on my favourite products if I swap, so I felt that testing this was bitter sweet because of my love affair with the OGX coconut milk serum. But, I must admit that I actually quite liked this! It’s not the best hair product I’ve used but it certainly helped condition my hair and helped nourish my damaged ends. I used a small amount on towel dried hair all over, focusing especially on my ends which gave it an overall healthier look and softer feel when blow drying compared to not using any product. My first criticism of this product is that it felt quite heavy when styling. I don’t like the feeling of having product in my hair so I struggled to get to grips with this. I kept touching my hair as it felt quite unnatural! Also, because of this I was dubious to put much on my roots, so it didn’t help to control my frizz. I will use up the rest of this tester but I’m afraid I probably won’t invest in this again, so it’s a 3/5 for this product.

Sneak Peak into Good Ship Benefit

I have been wanting to go to this for AGES and yesterday I finally clambered aboard the Good Ship Benefit moored on the Thames. If you like make up and wine and cocktails and food then you’ll probably manage to keep yourself occupied. Wandering down the walkway I found myself thrown into a pink world filled with plush sofas, a brow bar and even pink gin – it’s what dreams are made of! 


There’s a mini Benefit shop on board, the opportunity to have your brows waxed (although if you get sea sick like me I would not recommend doing that!) as well as a restaurant and bar with seating on the deck where you watch life go by whilst admiring the London Eye. Dreamy…. 


The ship has been hosting a range of events throughout the summer from pop up events to films to yoga classes to bottomless brunches which is the perfect after school activity for any Benebabe! Sadly there weren’t any events when I popped by, but I took a few sneaky pictures so take a look and enjoy…. 

Best of British Look Fantastic Beauty Box

I finally did it. I subscribed to a beauty box! If you follow me or in fact I follow you, you’ve probably seen me comment about desperately wanting to try out a beauty box but being unsure whether to. I was ordering another product from Look Fantastic, and the subscription box popped up just as I was about to check out, so I went for it! Yes, I’m your typical easy sales customer.

I have to say, I am so glad I did because I really was like a child on Christmas when it arrived. The box itself firstly is beautiful and what’s inside… well that’s just as beautiful! Not only did it come with six miniature products to test out (eek), it also came with a September issue of Elle (which annoyingly I’d bought that day…). It also comes with a short booklet giving you a little more information about the products included as well as some other interesting beauty bits. I opted for the 12 month subscription, and honestly, a year of receiving these little boxes of heaven really is going to make me one happy customer.

So what’s inside….

  • Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist – the beauty world is buzzing over the word ‘anti-pollution’ so I’m really excited to try out a product that is aimed at protecting your skin from the stress of harsh environments. I work on one of the most congested streets in London so I will really put this to the test!
  • Renu Lip and Eye Active Lift – As you may know, I love a good eye cream so throw one my way and I’m yours. I haven’t used this brand before so I’m intrigued to see how I get on with it.
  • Bloom and Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz – I have two 8 hour flights coming up soon and I know this will be amazing at hydrating my skin whilst helping to keep me look slightly more normal. It’s also perfect timing for the (supposed) heat wave we’ll be having here in the UK!
  • Percy & Reed Wonder Balm – My prayers have been answered. After a week in the sun the ends of my hair are feeling very sorry for themselves, so a treatment like this is sure to work wonders!
  • Balance Me Congested Skin Serum – I recently tried a serum that my skin hasn’t taken to too well, so although I’m nervous, it will be interesting to see how I get on with this…
  • Bee Good Vanilla and Honey Lip Balm – I can’t count how many lip balms I own on about five pairs of hands, so I’m giddy to try one I don’t already own!

As I only received this today I haven’t had time to properly test and trial these products, but I will most certainly keep you up to date with them in future posts.

Would love to hear recommendations of any other great beauty boxes. But please be gentle. I think I’m addicted….

x

 

DIY: Squeezing a Spot

Hello you lovely lot! I feel like this is quite a simple post but we are all definitely guilty of attacking our faces, so the better we can look after ourselves when doing it, the better our skin will look in turn!
So yes, this is a DIY on how to ‘properly’ squeeze a spot. I use the term properly loosely because I have no professional knowledge in this (if there can be such a thing), but after years of suffering with unpleasant and unsightly blemishes I’d like to think I have somewhat mastered the art. 
1. Wash your hands. 

This is so important, but actually can often completely forgotten about. If you really think back to every surface your hands have touched today (EW), there definitely will be a build up of bacteria. And if you’re trying to rid your face of bacteria, why would you touch it with even more! 
2. Clean the area around the blemish. Generally I will only squeeze a spot in the evening when my skin has plenty of time to heal itself (and so that I don’t have to walk around all day with a red face). I’ll make sure to properly cleanse my skin first to ensure there are no impurities lurking that could congest the healing. 
3. Rip a tissue in half. 

I wrap both halves around each of my index fingers so that the tips are completely covered, and then I squeeze the spot. 
4. Stop if you see blood. 

You should never squeeze a spot to the point that it bleeds, as this is what causes scarring. As tempting as it is to attack what feels like a mountainous growth on your face, it’s so important to wait until a white head appears. It’s taken me a while to realise the importance of this but do not try and squeeze a bump!! 
5. Once you have squeezed all of the dirt out I like to place a hot face cloth over my entire face to really help draw out any impurities.
6. Treatment.

I finally apply a spot targeted treatment, to really help speed up the healing process. I will usually apply this for a few days until the blemish has massively reduced in size and redness. 
Whilst like I said I’m not claiming to be a spot doctor, although what a great job…! I have had years and years and years of personal practice with this, so for me this is the most effective method to safely and effectively get rid of a spot. 
Would love to hear if you have any other top tips!

Xxx

Happy Birthday to Me & Vogue!

Happy Sunday everyone!

I’ve just received a notification from WordPress saying ‘Happy One Year Anniversary’ which has shocked and quite frankly scared me! I really cannot believe where that year has gone….

Another big birthday I’m sure a lot of you will be aware of (and that possibly out does my blog’s first birthday) is the big 100 for Vogue which is extremely exciting. London is awash with past Vogue covers, with everyone from retailers to restaurants to arcades celebrating this momentous occasion with gorgeous displays. Amongst some of the celebrations there was the Vogue 100 exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery which was fantastic but has sadly closed now! And over this weekend, the Vogue Festival is taking place; which, I was lucky enough to attend yesterday!

When you imagine a tent in the middle of a park, scarring memories of a damp-ridden, cold Glastonbury tent come streaming back; but oh no, not at Vogue! Nestled within Kensington Gardens is the most beautifully white structured tent that is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. Upon entering, you’re welcomed by a hallway of past Vogue covers where it was selfies galore! The hall itself was a gorgeously bright, open plan room, where the clear roof gave a lovely natural quality to the space. Within it, there was a space where style and beauty talks took place; an extremely popular pop-up shop where exclusive items were being sold alongside a counter for book signings and t.shirt personalisations. I knew I was in a Vogue wonderland when the portaloos were constructed of a beautiful wood laden with Elemis products to cleanse and moisturise your hands before stepping out back into the madness!

Walking through, I then entered my heaven – the beauty hall. If you read my blog regularly you’ll have seen when I visited the Glamour Beauty Awards, and it was reminiscent of that. The stands you were able to pamper and preen yourself to perfection at were: Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford alongside a Kerastase braid bar and a nails bar which sadly my shellac meant I couldn’t visit! I took full advantage of the offering visiting all (bar the nails bar) and had a great time! I even got to have a one to one with Bobbi Brown make up artist Hannah Martin which was so exciting where she shared some great tips and tricks of the trade!

I then signed up to a beauty masterclass of ‘How To Launch Your Beauty Idea’ with leading industry experts which was so much more interesting and useful than I had imagined! I scribbled note after note whilst listing to Annalise Fard, Director of Home & Beauty at Harrods. Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss & Soap & Glory amongst other things! Kathy Phillips, founder of This Works. Anna-Marie Solowij, founder of Beauty Mart and Vogue Beauty Director, Nicola Moulton. There were other talks throughout the day which involved the likes of Kim Kardashian (amazing!), Charlotte Tilbury, Lisa Eldridge, Alexa Chung and many more!

It really was a great day where not only did I get to pamper myself, but I really did learn a lot that I hope will stand my in good stead for where I hope to be in the beauty industry! If any of you lovely lot were there I’d love to know what you thought!

Thanks for reading! X