There are thousands of new beauty launches every single year, with formulas being constantly improved and innovations calling out for us to part with money just to understand the hype for ourselves. However, often it's the understated and almost secretive products that have been on beauty shelves for decades that are really worth picking up - after all, if they've stood the test of time there must be something great about them. Corn Silk face powder has been around since the 1960's, promising women a long-lasting fresh complexion and the 'look of innocence' (whatever that may be!) Although it may be more at home in our grandmother's makeup bag, it's seen somewhat of a resurgence in recent months - now being one of the best selling beauty products on Amazon and increasingly popular in Boots; the reviews alone convince you this has huge potential. I put it to the test to see if something so vintage could really still be relevant.
One of the most iconic and recognisable images of the last century has to be from 90's film Pulp Fiction. Although (rather criminally) I've never seen it myself, I can still identify Uma Thurman's Mia Wallace laying on a bed smoking a cigarette at 100 yards. Although it was released some twenty years ago, the film is still celebrated and respected amongst millions of film buffs that have always wanted to channel their inner Mia. Now Urban Decay are releasing a Pulp Fiction makeup collection to celebrate twenty years since the film's release, they can! Consisting of an eyeshadow palette, red lip, red nail and metallic liner, the line-up is perfectly aligned to the movie whilst still being incredibly wearable. Movie fans and makeup lovers alike, rejoice!
Ten years ago I was hunting down green cans of Batiste in budget beauty shops and corner chemists, so was the secret of a dry shampoo. However, with the rise in popularity of festivals came the rise in usage and understanding the benefit such a product can bring - now dry shampoos are as much a part of all our routines as hairspray and serum. Although Batiste have cornered the market for quite some time, the white chalky residue it leaves causes almost as many problems as the product solves; there's nothing worse than white roots, talc falling from your head or turning chunks of hair an odd grey colour. The texture of Batiste can also be a little icky, so it's about time there were a few new players in the dry shampoo market to potentially claim its crown. Although more and more brands are adding a dry shampoo into their repertoire, these three new products are definitely worth a look the next time you're in Boots...
I've spoken many times about my love for candles, delicate lights taking up practically every inch of mantlepiece as soon as the sun starts to set. Although massage candles have long been a thing, they're often a bit messy and impractical - especially as it's somewhat of a challenge to get the product out of the container and onto the skin. Massage candles somehow contain magic wax that doesn't heat up to the normal temperatures you'd expect, ensuring a great burning experience paralleled with a wax that's cool enough to touch and massage between your fingers. Janjira have taken the concept a stage further by housing their candle in a ceramic pot that even features a pouring spout! It's super easy to pour a little into the palm of hands and massage onto the body, or simply use as a cuticle treatment.
Once upon a time Ilamasqua were a brand known for their revolutionary colours, boundary-pushing formulas and eccentric imagery. Although we could all coo over the collections, most of them weren't exactly wearable by the masses; I for one wished continuously for more wearable shades and universal colour palettes that would be office appropriate. This year they've certainly delivered; firstly with their Glamore lipsticks, closely followed by a selection of nudes - and now the delightfully muted 'Once' collection just in time for Autumn. Described as 'the beauty of old and new, decadent and lavish,' the collection includes three divine Vintage Metallic Eye Shadow pots, two Sheer Lipglosses and a statement green nail polish. Basically everything you need to take you into Autumn, while still feeling like a peachy pink princess.
Sunday evening always brings a moment of dread; the impending week and that Monday morning feeling is never welcomed. You may still be feeling a little worse for wear following the night before, lacking both sleep and hydration, and need a good session to ensure you wake up on Monday morning feeling fabulous. The key to a great week is preparation and a little last minute pampering, taking care of your body and mind before the working week takes it's toll once again. There are lots of little things you can do on a Sunday evening to help get you ready and minimise that Monday morning moan, and here are some of my faves.
This week I've been talking lots about looking after yourself, having some 'me time' and pampering your body as much as possible. It's so easy for the stresses and strains of daily life to get in the way of a well-balanced mind and perfectly preened body, so it's really important to give yourself a little time to have fun and pamper yourself - inside and out. Although it's easy enough to book yourself in for an expensive facial, spa weekend or full body massage, that can become incredibly expensive. It's much nicer to be able to regularly treat yourself and not worry about the cost that's associated. Therefore, I present to you my top five pampering moments that don't cost the earth!
BB Creams have been big news over the last few years, providing a great base for those of us that don't want to cake our complexions in foundation. BB Creams (Blemish or Beauty Balms, depending upon the brand and product,) aim to even out skintone and provide a super radiant finish that practically glows from within - I for one am a complete convert and am rarely seen without a BB or CC Cream on my face during the day, saving heavier foundations for the evenings. However, with the increase in popularity we've now seen BB Creams being launched for pretty much every area of the body: including the hair, feet, limbs and even lips. Now American nail brand Orly are pushing the boundaries even further with the launch of their BB Crème for nails, described as 'a unique strengthening, brightening and protective tinted moisturiser for your tips.'
Getting caught up in work, family life, online dramas and friendship groups can create not only huge amounts of stress, but a lack of focus. We're always rushing from one place to the next, trying to stay in contact with loved ones across the world while juggling our personal lives and online presence. It's no surprise that a recent study* of 100,000 working Britons found that 48% of respondents considered themselves stressed. Of this group, 28% said they had been feeling this way for more than a year, while 27% said they regularly feel "close to breaking point" - that's seriously worrying. If left unchecked for a prolonged period of time, stress can cause much more serious, long-term mental and physical illnesses that include anxiety, depression, heart disease and even obesity. Each of us will have our own coping mechanisms for day-to-day life and sometimes we need to be reminded to take that time to consider who we are, what is important in our lives and how we can move forward in a positive way. A simple fifteen minutes a day of 'me time' can offer an opportunity to relax, de-stress and re-focus the mind to ensure you're prepared for the coming hours and days: it's a time when it's all about you, a time to just sit and be with your own thoughts and feelings, establishing clarity that allows you to move ahead.
As the weather gets a little warmer, our skin soaks up the sunshine and we start to leave the jackets at home, it's important to ensure our makeup gets a shake-up just as much as our wardrobe. Colder months tend to bring a more hard-wearing and thick approach to foundation, helping to cover dull skin and conceal imperfections. However, the best thing about summer is that our skin naturally starts to look a little more glowing; we don't need heavy bases or super thick formulas to help us out, but can start to use lighter formulations which add a touch of radiance instead. BB Creams, CC Creams, light coverage foundations and even tinted moisturisers are a perfect option - but these are the three I'll be reaching for all season long.
Not all of us have been graced with the legs of Gisele or Mirander Kerr, but that doesn't mean we have to hide them away under thick tights, leggings and jeans. Although the UK's weather is temperamental, with the slightly warmer months comes the shorter and more floaty fashions that inevtiably have us showing a bit of leg. Whether that's a slip of an ankle, a calf or full-on mini skirt length exposure, it's really easy to make the most of your pins and feel utterly fabulous. I've never liked my legs and believe they're possibly my worst feature, my ballerina calf muscles and chubby knees being the buck of many jokes growing up; even though they're my biggest insecurity I've learned to make the most of what I've got and step out with confidence. Here are some of my top tips for pampering your legs and getting a summer glow, with a little help from Dove's new Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Oil - a leg lover's must-have.
I love brands that offer something a little different, have a great story and include amazing ingredients - Melvita embodies all those three things and more. Their skincare products are well-known for being effective and full of goodness, becoming almost cult-like following their under-the-radar status for nearly thirty years, so it's no surprise they've continued to capitalise on their expertise by launching their first Universal Cream. The super cute pot contains a lightweight and delicately scented cream that includes the scent of meadowsweet, elderflower and beeswax. Naturally rich in sugars, meadowsweet helps to strengthen the skin's barrier function, while beeswax helps to lock in moisture and provide a protective coating against environmental damage. Elderberry also helps to soften and soothe the skin, instantly providing a feeling of comfort, making the cream suitable for all the family.
In my house, Tuesday nights are bath nights. It's the one time I get every week when the house is empty and quiet, so I turn off my computer, put the phone to one side and slip into a warm sweet-smelling tub of water. Having that hour to myself to disconnect from all the technology and craziness that fills my life really makes a huge difference - I definitely feel it if I don't get my weekly bath session over the coming days. There are so many ways you can benefit from a soak, both physically and emotionally, and here are some of my favourites.
Makeup collections are rarely innovative or push the boundaries; we're so used to seeing the same old coral and bronze combo for summer, followed a few months later with a sultry smokey eye for Christmas. Very rarely am I instantly wowed by a concept or idea that simply hasn't been done before, but that's what happened when I opened the newest offering from Kiko Cosmetics. Their 'Daring Game' collection put a massive smile on my face and left me feeling like booking a trip to Vegas; it's fun, clever, innovative and quite simply like something I've never seen. It may include some super cute palettes, nail polish shades, eyeliners, lipstick and chunky crayons, but it's the details and sheer quality that makes it worth rushing out to by.
In a world where we're constantly attached to our smartphones, tablets and laptops, it's no surprise that our hands can often become a little overlooked. Dry skin, overgrown cuticles and flaking nails can be the result of too much abuse and not enough love when it comes to hand care. Although I love treating myself to a manicure and in-salon pamper once in a while, if I don't look after my digits at home they soon look and feel neglected. With a few pieces of affordable equipment and an hour in front of the telly, you can easily give yourself a pampering experience that will have your hands looking tip top in no time. Using the key ingredient of Dove's NEW Purely Pampering Nourishing Oil, here's my step-by-step guide to a luxurious manicure that will leave your hands feeling pampered and loved.
Although I'm sitting here with the heating on, a warm cup of coffee on the go and the rain petering down outside my window, we're still (believe it or not) in the middle of summer. It may not seem like August in the UK right now, but many of you may still be lucky enough to have a summer holiday to look forward to and need essential sun protection. It's even more important for us Brits to be prepared when it comes to sun exposure, as we see so little of it throughout the year and get overexcited when it does grace us with its presence. Although there are thousands of sunscreens and SPFs available on the high street, Lush have (in their usual quirky way) their own take on staying protected with 'The Sunblock' - a solid sunscreen wash that can be applied in the shower.
We all try to live life to the full, squeezing in multiple commitments and hobbies alongside spending time with loved ones. Add to that the demands of a full time job, looking after a home and even children, and it's no surprise we're all feeling the strains of modern life. Although we often prioritise the wellbeing of others, it's not uncommon for us to collectively neglect our own. When was the last time you took a moment just for yourself and really enjoyed it? With Dove's new Purely Pampering Nourishing Body Oils you can start having a few indulgent minutes every day, thanks to the luxurious scents and hydrating properties that the oils bring. Available in Pistachio & Magnolia and Shea Butter & Warm Vanilla variants, the body oils contain ingredients which have high levels of Linoleic Acid, Omega 6 and Vitamin E. These natural fatty acids help to maintain the quality of the skins lipid bi-layer so skin is left healthy and nourished, while looking fabulous too.