Our Creative Beauty Director, Gemma Rimmington caught up with Wellness Therapist Julie Phillips to discuss wellness for post lockdown.
How we venture back out into the world with self-confidence...
We remember who we are – humans
Woman Interrupted – is it time for a re-set?
Does the past year feel like your life has been on pause, but the stress increased? Although lockdown has given us an opportunity to stop and smell the roses, for many women, it has increased our mental load, shattered our inner confidence, and created real anxieties about how we will cope once things start to ease. Our lives have been interrupted. As a therapist, I hear this so often from my clients, especially women, who tell me they often feel anxious about going back into society again after such a long time away. No surprise then that a recent Mori Poll showed that 67% women polled said they felt less comfortable than men in returning socialise in restaurants and bars once full lockdown is lifted*
Then there are other concerns. After a year in lockdown, I describe my current hairstyle as ‘sea-witch’ couture crossed with an ancient badger. With no access to professional grooming over a long dark winter in the hinterlands of North Yorkshire, my skin has the colour and texture of cold porridge, my wayward eyebrows would frighten a small child and I have developed the profile of a well stuffed pillow. Whilst physically, I know I can sort some of this (maybe not the stuffed pillow look straight away) mentally, I have used therapeutic techniques to help me change my mindset, build my own emotional resilience, and help my clients. Here are some top tips my clients have found helpful as they return to life out of lockdown.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the thought of socialising after a year of ‘life on pause’, you’re not alone. My best advice to clients is to go at your own pace; do not be rushed into someone else’s social agenda. Of course some people will be super keen to get back out and party whilst some of us may need a little longer to get used to the idea and that’s fine – we can’t all go from cocoon to social butterfly overnight!
Time for compassion
Be compassionate to yourself. Over the last year we have received daily messages that socialising is an unsafe activity, we may fear social situations and need more reassurance. We can’t just flip a mental switch and reverse what we have experienced over the last year. It takes time to adjust; we need to be more understanding of our own needs and treat ourselves kindly.
How are you feeling today?
Check in with yourself daily – ask yourself how you are feeling and take small steps to help yourself navigate difficult days. Sometimes we just need to accept that some days are more difficult than others. In my therapy practice, I call this ‘big waves, little waves’. Emotions can feel like big waves coming to sweep us away – other times we can manage those waves as they lap at our feet. Being in the moment and mindful of the fact that we may need to rest or take time away from others is fine. Just because we can socialise, does not mean we have to.
Is your mind and body connected?
Some days we spend so much time lost within our own mind, we forget there’s a body attached! Find small ways to reconnect mind with body is helpful for balance – I call this Grounding. Going outside with bare feet into a garden can be a great way for grounding to the earth. Find a tree to hug (trust me it works!) If you live near a beach, bare feet on the sand can feel wonderful. Being mindful in the moment and deliberately focussing on the present is a quick way of quieting a busy brain. Mind body connection, being in nature and slow focussed breathing can reduce anxiety in minutes.
Is it time to press the reset button?
The past year has been focussed on health but not always about wellbeing. As things open again, consider what you can do to look after your own personal needs. Long walks with the dog, quiet time meditating or a long bath & an early night are all beneficial to our wellbeing. Equally, booking a beauty treatment for yourself can help boost inner confidence. Doing something just for you is a key decision which says you are worth the investment – after the last year of life on pause, perhaps when we are ready, we can press the reset button!
All Images: Dawn Macnamara Photography
By Stephen Chapman Artistic Director, Contemporary Harrogate.
We are bracing ourselves for striding into Spring with overgrown roots and split ends due to not being able to have our maintenance hair appointments over the last few months. But don't panic, we are all in the same boat. Our hair is desperate for a trim, a colour and let's face it, we just want a good natter with our favourite hairstylists.
If your hair is desperately needing some TLC and you are on a waiting list for a much anticipated hair appointment, Stephen Chapman, Artistic Director at Contemporary Harrogate caught up with our Creative Beauty Director, Gemma Rimmington with his top tips for maintenance and beautifully conditioned hair.
I recommend you use a root touch up spray to mask those unwanted roots. We use root touch up by L'Oréal professional, it comes in a range of colours. It's a semi permanent solution so it will need to be reapplied regularly, but if you're nipping to the shops for milk, or socially distanced meet ups, your hair can always look it's best. Or using a dry shampoo on lighter hair will soften the regrowth line and also make your hair last longer between washes. A fantastic solution for all hair types to keep your hair looking it's best too.
Since the first lockdown I either encouraged my clients to grow their hair into a style that can withhold time or go extra short. My objective to deliver a low maintenance look. I worked with their natural movement to create fuss free hair that can still feel and look good on a daily basis. I talked to my short and medium hair clients about creating different looks as their hair grows eg tucking those outgrown sides behind the ear to create a better shape. For my longer hair clients a decent ponytail or quick hair up can hide a thousand sins.
Now would be the perfect time to really care for your hair as we start this new phase and potentially work through waiting lists to see clients. Using the correct products to improve the condition and make your hair feel luxurious. Simply ask your stylist for tips on the best products you should be using. I recommend Serie Expert or treat your hair to Kerastase both by L'Oréal. This is what we use in our Contemporary salons to help us create beautiful hair on a daily basis. Treat your hair to a treatment to strengthen, add moisture, give volume, thicken, their is something for every hair type in the L'Oréal range.
As we move through seasons, it’s a really great opportunity to de-clutter your beauty product shelf and consider tweaking your skincare routine and makeup styling.
The change between sunny days to staying indoors more and cranking up the central heating can play havoc with skin. The change in environmental conditions can cause breakouts, dryness and dehydration and that’s not even factoring in the new ultimate fashion accessory of 2020 - the face covering. Hello “maskne”…
The upside to seasonal changes is the fun you can have with fashion and makeup. The comfort of the chunky knit and the sass of a rich plum lip screams autumn babe. I am ready to embrace the exchange of a sunny day for crispy leafy walks in the park and the milky hot chocolate to warm up on an evening.
So, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my autumn beauty and self care favourites with you. With lockdown 2.0 now in commencement, you shouldn’t feel bad about indulging in some treats to cheer yourself up. Infact, I firmly believe it’s a necessity… now more than ever we need to feel good during these challenging times and if that means buying a gorgeous new lip to wear on your trip to buy the food shopping or buying a fabulously fragranced luxury candle to burn while you curl up and read your book just go for it!
Pat McGrath - The Celestial Divinity Collection
Ok, let’s start with some serious glamour and luxe beauty… the MTHRSHP MEGA: Celestial Divinity Palette is a makeup lover’s delight. Let me tell you, this is a purchase you will not regret - the application from brush to skin is a dream. This palette has 18 highly pigmented eyeshadows, including several stunning jewel-toned and rich dark colours perfect for this time of year - mixed with either a glitter, matte, shimmer or irridescent finish. I promise the price tag is worth the depleted bank balance if you are a makeup junkie.
Available from www.patmcgrath.com - £74.00
Filorga - Global Repair Essence
The Global Repair range targets and improves all of the visible signs of ageing. Jam packed with ingredients such as super nutrients, meso-factors and cellular boosters all working to restore skin suppleness, revitalise skin, boost skin defences from environmental nasties, plump and replace volume and brighten uneven skin tone. After clinical trials, women observed dramatic skin improvements 93% saying their skin felt instantly nourished. This is a great product to boost your skin while it’s battling against the central heating, weather changes and face coverings!
Available from www.lookfantastic.com and www.feelunique.com - £60.00
Too Faced - Melted Matte Pumpkin Spice Liquid Lipstick
This super cute liquid lipstick is a rich formula which applies like a gloss but dries to a matte finish. Unlike some longwear liquid lipsticks, this doesn’t crack or dry the lips out after application which is definitely a huge selling point if you are specifically looking for a long lasting application. It contains avocado oil and vitamin E which are very nourishing for the skin and hyaluronic filling spheres which provide a non-stinging plumping effect… and best of all, it actually smells like pumpkin spice!
Available from www.selfridges.com, www.debenhams.com
and www.toofaced.com - £20.00
MOR Correspondence - Kashmir Petals Body Cream
Replenishing the skin with moisture after a hot bath or shower is super important but it can feel like a chore when you just want to throw your clean clothes back on. I recommend buying yourself a luxurious cream with a fragrance you love - you will be more tempted to take an extra 5 minutes to drench your skin in a nourishing cream before getting dressed again. This body cream is contains lots of gorgeous hydration ingredients such as Rosehip, Coconut Oils, Rooibos, Pomegranate and Camomile. Rich in vitamin E, this cream will really treat your skin to a little TLC as well as smelling delicious.
Available from www.waitrose.com - £14.00 350ml
ESPA - Winter Spice Deluxe Candle
There is nothing better than lighting your favourite fragranced candle and grabbing a book on a gloomy evening. This luxurious candle is hand poured and has a seriously inviting aroma created from sweet orange, cinnamon, ginger and clove. This distinctive winter fragrance will fill your home with a real luxury vibe and your guests will never want to leave.
Available from www.espaskincare.com - £55.00 410g
If you are still looking for inspiration, here are some other autumn hero product recommendations from beauty professionals from around the UK…
Natalie Willingham, Makeup Artist, Yorkshire loves Dr Lipp - Original Nipple Balm
“The only thing that soothes and nourishes sore, dry lips. Versatile little wonder product that can be used anywhere, to moisturise, plump and shine."
Available from www.lookfantastic.com - £12.00
Lauren Garfitt, Hair and Makeup Artist, London loves Arbonne - Pollution Defense CC Cream
“This is my favourite product right now. It is really hydrating and gives a lovely medium coverage. It also has Broad Spectrum SPF 30.”
Available from www.arbonne.com - £34.00
Laura Porter, Makeup Artist, Aberdeen loves ICONIC - London Prep Set Glow
“This product is my personal favourite in my kit and in my own personal makeup bag all year round. My not-so secret weapon as I tell everyone about this illuminating spray. It adds that perfect “glow from within” look and it smells absolutely amazing.”
Available from www.iconiclondoninc.com - £22.00
Grace Lydia Muir, Hair and Makeup Artist, North Yorkshire loves Weleda - Skin Food
“It is cruelty-free, vegan and organic and adds instant hydration and nourishment to very dry skin. It’s natural so perfect for sensitive skin and amazing for chapped lips. There is also a light version for those with very oily skin.”
Available from www.hollandandbarrett.com - £12.50
Yvonne Aucott, Makeup Artist, Leicestershire loves Daniel Sandler - Watercolour Blush
“While my skin is dry and adjusting to the cold, harsh weather outside and the dry central heating inside, the Watercolour Blush gives a healthy glow that brings back instant summer radiance. It’s so versatile, comes in lots of colours (so I can use for eyes and highlight or just change up depending on mood/outfit) and I’m just in love with how easy it is to use.”
Available from www.danielsandler.com - £29.00
Theres no denying that a fragrance can transport you immediately back to a time or place - to a familiar feeling. A happy memory that triggers a smile or a sad time of your life that tugs at your emotions. So when it comes to picking your own signature fragrance to wear, it is a very personal decision.
Sometimes we pick a fragrance we love and it becomes a staple - day or night - its like marking our territory. It is a reflection of our personality, a personal trademark.
Some of you might choose a few fragrances - something casual, something for evenings and something for very special occasions.
There are so many options to choose from when deciding on your personal fragrance - from earthy, woody scents to fruity and floral and fresh and sporty.
Recently, whilst I was researching the different options for interesting beauty box subscriptions on the market I discovered The Perfume Society.
The Perfume Society offers an amazing way for you to sample lots of different fragrances ranging from designers through to independent artisans. There are boxes available for both men and women and if you are a product junkie or you just want to experiment with finding your unique scent, The Discovery Box is the perfect option for you.
It boasts a combination of various types of stand-out fragrances - there is literally something for everyone in this box. From sample sizes through to full size and they also include a cute bonus beauty product. With around 15 options of scents to try, you are inevitably only a spritz away from finding your new favourite - or maybe even a few.
These boxes make an ideal gift for that special person in your life but hey, everyone deserves to feel amazing so add one to your basket for yourself without guilt because the price tag definitely will not break the bank.
A Box of Treats Discovery Box - £23.00 or VIP price £19.00
Whats in the box right now?
Banana Republic Peony & Peppercorn 1.5ml eau de parfum
Escentric Molecules Escentric 04 30ml eau de toilette
Floral Street Arizona Bloom 1.5ml eau de parfum
Kenzo Flowers by Kenzo 1ml eau de parfum
Jovoy Remember Me 2ml eau de parfum
Parterre The Hour of Dusk & Gold 2ml eau de parfum
Perris Monte Carlo Ylang Ylang Nosy Be 2ml eau de parfum
Shay & Blue 88 Pineapples 2ml eau de toilette
Yardley Decadent Mimosa 1.5ml eau de toilette
Yardley Elegant Iris 1.5ml eau de toilette
Yardley London Exquisite Peony 1.5ml eau de toilette
Yardley Luxe Gardenia 1.5ml eau de toilette
Yardley London Opulent Rose 1.5ml eau de toilette
Malin & Goetz - Bergamot Deodorant
Body Guard - Fragranced Hand Sanitiser Citrus
The Everyman Discovery Box - £19.00 or VIP price £15.00
Whats in the box right now?
Atelier Des Ors Cuir Sacré 2.5ml eau de parfum
Banana Republic 17 Oud Mosaic 1.5ml eau de parfum
Eight & Bob Original 2ml eau de parfum
Goldfield & Banks Pacific Rock Moss 2ml eau de parfum
Jimmy Choo Urban Hero 1.2ml eau de parfum
JUSBOX Beat Cafe 1.5ml eau de parfum
Kierin Santal Sky 1.5ml eau de parfum
Lalique L’Insoumis Ma Force 1.8ml eau de toilette
Montblanc Explorer 2ml eau de parfum
Salvatore Ferragamo Ferragamo 1.5ml eau de toilette
Yardley London Gentleman 18ml Urbane pocket spray
Super Facialist for Men Vitamin B3 Deep Cleanse Face Mask full size
Fish Original Fish Shape Texturising Cream full size
There is a VIP Club membership available for £25.00 per year. The benefits of joining will mean you will be eligible for discounts on Perfume Society Discovery boxes, you will receive 6 downloadable editions of The Scented Letter through the year and you will receive an amazing Discovery Box of samples, available in either female or male fragrances.
There is a great tool on the website which even suggests fragrances you might like based on the scent you already wear. It’s really quick and easy to use! The website is packed with lots of useful and interesting information around how to pick your fragrance, new launches and the stories behind some of the perfume houses…
So if you are looking for a unique gift idea or simply wanting to indulge yourself check out The Perfume Society for all the delicious nose-tickling inspiration you will ever need.
One of the most common questions I get asked is...
"How can I stop my mascara from smudging underneath my eyes?"
There are several reasons why this might be occurring - and primarily the root of the cause will be if you are wearing a non-waterproof mascara. Having oily skin, applying a face oil under your foundation and not setting your makeup properly can all contribute to the dreaded panda eyes.
The easiest way to combat this is to use a good quality waterproof mascara. To be honest, I always wear waterproof - then I don't need to worry about getting caught in the rain, a sneaky bout of hay fever or watching a sad movie (I'm not crying, you are).
Personally, I have tried so many mascaras over the years. We all have a favourite foundation, a must-have powder or go-to lipstick but I have found finding my holy grail mascara such a challenge! I have worked my work through clumpy applications, so-called volumising formulas and flaky fibres to bring you my top recommendations for fabulous fluttery lashes that won't transfer on to your skin.
DIEGO DALLA PALMA SEMI PERMANENT TECHNICAL WATER RESISTANT MASCARA
Available in several shades, this mascara enhances your lashes with a unique temporary lightweight lash dye formula. It provides great definition and is infused with natural oils to keep lashes protected from environmental damage from wind, sun etc.
BAD GAL VOLUMISING MASCARA
If you love volume, you will adore Bad Gal. With staying power of 36 hours, it really is one of the best waterproof mascaras I have tried. The brush also reaches root to tip with ease, making for a full and easy application.
Tom Ford exudes luxury so for those who want to splurge on some gratuitous self-indulgence, this mascara is for you. The creamy deep black formula will add the perfect amount of drama to your lashes to really intensify your look.
BETTER THAN SEX MASCARA
This iconic mascara is now waterproof and contains porcelain flower extract to nourish the lashes. It thickens and lengthens the lashes and the deep black shade is the perfect way to add enviable definition.
LASH SENSATIONAL WATERPROOF MASCARA
Enhance and plump up the volume with this purse -friendly mascara. This is such a great product for the price and does not compromise on quality. The wand is curved for easy application and helps to reach even the tiniest of lashes and coats them in a bold, clump-free formula.
It’s August, it’s sunny and we’re clinging on to every drop of summer feels we can during Covid-19.
As the weather heats up, you might want to consider changing your makeup products - cutting out some of the heavier coverage products and swapping for a beautiful fresh dewy look. Dewy, glossy makeup is the secret to “glowing” your way through those hot, sticky days and it can look super sexy.
SPF is your BFF so this is always your first step before applying your makeup. There are so many amazing products now to apply under your base and even spray over the top of your makeup application to top up your protection from the harmful rays! SPF protects your skin against premature ageing as well as helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer - so it is a beauty product that needs to become part of your daily skin care routine.
Teaming up a sheer coverage - allowing those youthful freckles to peep through with a glossy lip is my absolute go-to look for this time of year and you can even add a pop of colour for a more statement look.
Bright coloured eyeshadows and eyeliners have really surged in popularity recently. As with all trends, they come and go and blue eyeshadow has long been considered a faux-pax which belonged to the 1980s. However, you can modernise a bright eye with a simple wash of colour, a bright eyeliner in the waterline or go full on colour if you are brimming with sass! So don’t fear the colour - just choose how you choose to wear it for your own comfort level and rock it!
Here are some of my favourite summer makeup products to glam your way to stunning skin and the versatile eye makeup products you absolutely need to try!
DIEGO DALLA PALMA DAILY PRIMER BASE SPF50+
This primer is a great base for underneath your makeup application - offering broad spectrum protection against UVA, UBA and infrared rays. The lightweight fluid is both illuminating (ideal for boosting radiance to the skin) and translucent in texture once applied. It contains ylang ylang and frangipani butter which add a delicious helping of hydration to the skin.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER
If you are looking to elevate your glow, look no further… This versatile complexion booster can be used as a radiant primer or can be used as a liquid highlighter for the ultimate high gloss glow. It provides a dreamy soft focus effect to the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores.
NUDESTIX TINTED COVER
I love the creamy formulations in the Nudestix products and this lightweight foundation does not disappoint either. It is hydrating, buildable and even protects skin from environmental damage which can contribute to premature skin ageing. The ingredients are packed with anti-oxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and help to tone and lift. If you think this little gem couldn’t get any better, you are wrong. It is waterproof which makes it ideal for combatting the summer sweat (or should I say “summer glow”). Free from fragrance, gluten and parabens, cruelty-free and and vegan friendly. What's not to love?
BEACHED RAYS FOR DAYS BRONZER
I absolutely love a liquid bronzer and this natural bronzing serum provides a beautiful sun kissed natural look, which you can build up to the level of intensity you want to achieve. It is super quick and easy to use which is always a bonus and the Aussie plums used in the formulation help to protect from environmental damage and reduce the signs of ageing. Who doesn’t want to look younger? I adore this little bottle of Aussie summer.
STILA EYE-SPY GLITTER AND GLOW LIQUID EYE SHADOW SET
Even if you struggle with applying your own eye makeup, this is a mega quick way to add some subtle sparkle to your eyes and the only tool you need is your pinky. A little dab on your eye lid instantly provides a pretty halo eye makeup look and they are very long wearing which is a perk on a hot day. You can wear these alone or over the top of an eyeshadow.
KAT VON D EYE CRAYONS
If you are looking to experiment with colour, these eye crayons are amazing! Very creamy in consistency and vibrantly pigmented, they glide effortlessly on the skin for ease. These eye crayons can be built up to increase colour intensity and can also be worn in the waterline for added drama. There are 3 colours in this pack - “Electric Blue”, “Bubblegum” and “Wild Orange”. For colour lovers, these are dreamy and are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
MEMI MAKEUP HIGH SHINE LIP GLOSS IN AFTER HOURS
A nude brown gloss is the must-have staple for your makeup kit in the summer and I am loving this gorgeous colour by Mimi Makeup. A nude brown is generally flattering for all skin tones and looks stunning with a subtle tan and freckles. This high shine gloss has a long-lasting, non-sticky formula. It is cruelty free and vegan friendly.
£10.00 (currently on sale for £5.00 so grab it quick!)
SPF is your skin saviour product and its not just for us beauty junkies…
It would be easy to think that living in the changeable UK climes, wearing sunscreen seems like a ridiculous suggestion. Let’s face it, we get 2 consecutive days of mildly warm weather and we gratefully accept this as our summer time, hoorah! The bbq is on, the drinks are chilled and our strappy vests and shorts are pulled from the deepest depths of our wardrobes. We sit in the garden enjoying the warmth on our skin, trying to get a sun-kissed glow. Surely we don’t need sun screen though? It’s not like we are on holiday abroad?
*Insert your own frustrated face slap emoji*
The sun is the sun, regardless of where you are and simply put, any kind of change in your skin (tan, redness or worse - a burn) is skin damage. That’s right, that gorgeous brown summery skin you are sporting is actually damaged skin. Whether you sunbathe every day on holiday, or sit in your garden for 10 minutes on a hot day, you can burn. Infact, you can burn through clouds! Crazy, isn’t it? Apparently 80% of UV rays can still cause skin damage through clouds! Lets just be blunt, burnt skin is a step closer to an unwanted cancer. So this is why you must wear SPF - and not just on the sunny days. You need to wear it every single day; for protection and yes, even for vanity if you are wanting to keep those wrinkles at bay.
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is vital for EVERYONE. Whether you have gorgeous olive skin than tans easily or pretty porcelain skin that cries as soon as you open the curtains on a sunny day, you need to protect it. SPF helps to protect against skin damage, skin cancers and premature wrinkles. The factor number is a guide to how much protection the products offer against the sun. The higher the factor, the longer you are protected without needing to reapply.
You might have seen on some beauty products that it states they offer “broad spectrum” sunscreen. UVA and UVB are 2 different types of UV lights that are harmful to your skin. A broad spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both types.
There are lots of fabulous beauty products on the market that add an SPF in to the ingredients for extra protection against harmful rays and I have selected my top 10 beauty products that contain an SPF protection.
Douvall’s Daily Argan Moisturiser with SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection
Douvall’s nourishing Argan Oil moisturiser is beautiful and light weight on the skin and drenches the skin with hydration, Vitamin E, fatty acids and anti-oxidants which help protect the skin from premature ageing. It is non-greasy and quickly absorbed in to the skin, this is the perfect primer for underneath your makeup and can be worn all over the body and face. It is beautiful on the skin for your no-makeup days. Suitable for all skin types and super gentle for use on babies.
120ml - £46.00 - Available from Douvalls
Burts Bees All Weather SPF 15 Moisturising Lip Balm
Burt's Bees All Weather lip balm provides broad spectrum protection with SPF 15 due to the zinc oxide ingredients. This handy compact lip balm feels very nourishing and non-greasy and should be applied liberally 15 minutes before exposure to the sun. It is long lasting and protects against the damaging effects of exposure to the sun. A huge benefit is that it's waterproof for around 40 minutes, which is ideal for swimming or outdoor exercise.
4.25g - £4.99 - Available from BurtsBees
Filorga UV - Bronze Mist SPF 50+
Filorga’s Bronze mist is an exciting advanced technology product providing high level protection against all of the sun's spectrum of harmful rays (UVA, UVB and IR). Activated by heat from the sun, the photo technology detoxifies the skin from free radicals and oxidative stress which stem from UVA, UVB and IR (infrared rays). This water resistant mist cools and nourishes the skin and contains highly effective anti ageing ingredients such as Vitamin H, Hyaluronic Acid and the Micro-Encapsulated Glacier Water that tones the skin.
60ml - £30.00 - Available from Debenhams Marks & Spencer Feel Unique and Look Fantastic
Soleil Toujours Extreme UV Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45
Soleil Toujoirs Extreme UV Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45 is a deliciously luxurious cream created with broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays and is ideal for using on the face. It is jam packed with anti ageing properties and antioxidants to deeply nourish and hydrate the skin. This cream will apply with a white layer initially which is a benefit as you can see where it has been applied (or missed!) and then blends in beautifully. It can be applied underneath your makeup. It is 100% coral reef safe and should be applied liberally 15 minutes before exposure to the sun.
40ml - £45.00 - Available from Space NK Net A Porter Cult Beauty Harrods Selfridges and BeautyBay
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream is a dreamy light coverage foundation which contains SPF 35 protecting against UVA and UBV rays. It can also be worn as a primer underneath your favourite foundation if you prefer to have more coverage. It is hydrating and provides a radiance to the skin as well as helping to minimising shine. Available in 5 shades.
30ml - £27.00 - Available from Smashbox
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation SPF 15
Charlotte Tilbury is an absolute staple in my personal makeup bag and my professional kit so it will come as no surprise that one of her products has made into my top 10. The Magic Foundation is a semi matte coverage which is a long-lasting formula promising to stay in place for 13 hours. As well as providing an SPF 15 protection, it also improves the appearance of those pesky wrinkles and fine lines.
30 ml - £34.00 - Available from Charlotte Tilbury
Sienna X Priming Day Cream SPF 30
Sienna X Priming Day Cream has an SPF 30 and is formulated to brighten the complexion and fight against the damaging effects of blue light and Infrared Type A due to the Marine Bamboo ingredient. This is a great cream for those with a dry skin type and can be used as a primer underneath a makeup application. It is very mild on the skin and therefore suitable for sensitive skin. Vegan Friendly.
50 ml - £39.00 - Available from Sienna-X
Kerastase Creme UV Sublime
Kerastase UV Sublime cream is a luxurious nourishing leave-in conditioner. Containing lashings of Vitamin E, it helps to prevent dry hair and can tame frizzy locks for up to 24 hours, leaving hair silky smooth and glossy.
150ml - £24.80 - Available from kerastase
Jane Iredale Hand Drink SPF 15
Our hands have taken quite a punishment over lockdown with all of the extra hand washing so replacing moisture back into the hands is even more crucial right now. The Jane Iredale Hand Drink is a super hydrating formula which also includes SPF 15 broad spectrum sunscreen and smells deliciously fresh with a hint of lemongrass. This non-greasy cream absorbs quickly into the skin and really protects and heals dry, cracked skin. The White and Green Tea together with Liposomal encapsulated Apple Extract fights against antioxidants and improves the appearance of skin tone. The hands are one of the first places to show signs of ageing and this is a great addition to keep in your hand bag.
60 ml - £19.95 - Available from Jane Iredale
MAC Cosmetics Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer
Mac Cosmetics Studio Finish concealer is a high performance longwear concealer and offers a broad spectrum of UVA/UVB SPF 35 protection. This is a really creamy consistency perfect for concealing blemishes and skin imperfections as well as offering water resistant coverage up to 12 hours. It contains antioxidants together with Vitamin A and E to nourish the skin.
7g - £17.50 - Available from Mac Cosmetics
Starting a skin care routine might seem like high maintenance, especially if you already lead a busy life. Surely washing your face and applying a moisturiser is enough? Well yes, this is better than zero routine (I have spoken to many women in particular who don’t even apply a moisturiser after cleansing) but the more we look after our skin, the more it will most certainly reward us in the future.
If you are a makeup junkie, you will already be aware that your application will be more flawless on well maintained skin.
The older I get the more obsessed I become with my own skin care routine. I am now at the top end of my 30s so my skin is showing signs of maturing and requires more TLC these days. However it is never too late to start a skin care routine.
I have previously dabbled with drinking beauty powders as part of my daily routine and to be honest I did notice an improvement in the quality of my skin but the taste of the drinks were really REALLY awful. It was just one cup of water mixed with the powder per day (and the powder used to clump so it didn’t even full dissolve) but I dreaded it so much that I couldn’t bear to carry on with the powders once they ran out.
Recently I was introduced to Truvivity by Nutrilite. This is a supplement programme which nourishes the skin from the inside, promising to add radiance to the skin as well as boosting collagen and helping to reduce fatigue. As a person who has suffered with a severely under-active thyroid for 17 years I am always open to trying new products that will boost my energy levels.
Every day for the last few weeks I have drank a Truvivity powder beauty drink and had 2 supplement tablets. I start each day with the powder drink - and I should clarify this is a very pleasant fruity drink and dissolves fully in to the water, creating a refreshing juice. It contains Vitamin C, Zinc and the patented PhytoCeramide Complex which boosts collagen and the normal function of skin.
The tablet supplements are taken twice per day (they are quite large but are swallowed very easily with water) and they contain Vitamins A, C and zinc, the patented PhytoInfuse Complex and PhytoCeramide Complex. These supplements provide relief and protection for the skin against environmental stressors and help to maintain the skin.
There are many options of nutritional supplements and skin care products available in the range and I have seen some amazing results when used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
I am often sceptical about using beauty supplements and powders. Maybe I am old fashioned in thinking good skin care comes from a healthy diet, genetics and a product routine however there is no denying that I have seen a really significant improvement in my skin since adding Truvivity to my daily routine. I have some deep lines in my forehead as a result of old sun damage and these have definitively reduced - infact the overall appearance of my fine lines has improved which delights me… Maybe I can stave off the botox for a little while longer?
If you are a bride looking to step up your skincare or simply looking to boost your health and wellbeing I can personally recommend Truvivity. You can contact brand representative Elena here for more details.
Beauty subscription boxes are becoming increasingly popular with cosmetics junkies across the globe and it is not difficult to see why. They are the perfect way to experiment and try new products, especially if you feel stuck in a routine with your beauty routine. These boxes are curated by industry experts to inspire subscribers and I have spent the last few weeks sampling so many boxes on the market and I was amazed at the diversity of box types available.
I am often asked by readers and clients if I can recommend a particular beauty box and to be honest, I only knew of the more well known boxes and I have never had personal experience with any of them. As a Beauty Editor, I sample beauty products week in week out, so I haven’t ever had a need to subscribe but I was so excited to see what was available and how they all differed to each other.
Whether you are looking for something budget friendly, cruelty free products, a slice of luscious luxury or something more niche such as a health/wellbeing version, there is a plethora of options available.
There is also something really exciting about receiving a gorgeously packaged delivery full of self indulgent goodies - a present to you, from you! Some of the boxes have been so beautifully gift wrapped I have been reluctant to even open them. With many of the boxes, there is also an option to purchase gift subscriptions so if you are looking for a present for a loved one (and there are mens boxes available) this can be a really great idea.
Here are some of my favourite boxes - all with their own unique selling points;
The “Selfie Ready” Edit
The “Selfie Ready” box is a fabulous mix of beauty products which will help you achieve everything from a fabulous feline eyeliner, nourished skin, refreshed eyes, the glossiest hair and a pout definitely worthy of a insta-selfie. The June edition contained 5 products worth over £65.
Eyeko - Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner (full size)
RRP - £16.00 Eyeko
Avant - Supreme Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Oxidising DUO Moisturiser (deluxe travel size)
RRP - £20.00 Avant-Skincare
BeautyPro - Eye Therapy Under Eye Mask
RRP - £1.95 BeautyPro
MAYY - Velvet Hydro Matte Lipstick
RRP - £25.00 Mayy Beauty
Charles Worthington - Diamond Shine Shampoo and Conditioner
RRP - £4.00 Boots
This box is a cute and budget-friendly beauty subscription box with a no-commitment sign-up. Roccabox is a really affordable way of being able to try a great range of cosmetics. The monthly subscription cost is £10.00 per month (plus £3.95 p&p) but the price reduces if you choose to pay for a 6 monthly plan (£57.00 equivalent to £9.50 per month) or 12 monthly plan (£108.00 equivalent to £9.00 per month) upfront. This is seriously good value given the brands which are included. Previous featured brands also include HUDA Beauty, St Tropez, Smash Box and Nip & Fab.
There is also an option for Gift box subscriptions.
What is my favourite selling point? Thoughtfully curated and affordable.
Available from Roccabox
The Pip Box
The “Sun Kissed Edit”
The June box was filled with 5 beauty products - perfect for seeing you through the summer days ahead. The combination of a bronzed lip gloss for puckering up at sunset, soothing skincare to hydrate and replenish moisture and a spritz of the delicious coconut fragranced hair texture spray will leave you longing for a dreamy beach holiday. You can enjoy 5 products every month with an average combined total of £55.00 + in each box - all of which are cruelty free and vegan friendly.
Umberto Giannini - Catch a Wave Coconut Beach Texture Spray
RRP - £7.00 - Umberto Giannini
Vitamasques - Black Gold Sheet Mask
RRP - £5.99 - Vitamasques
Organii - After Sun Lotion
RRP - £4.50 (full size £11.95) - Organii
MEMI - Lip Gloss in shade After Hours
RRP - £10.00 - Memi Makeup
Oolution - Feet Good Organic Foot Cream
RRP - £15.99 - Oolution
Subscriptions are non-contractual so you can cancel at anytime and you can subscribe month-to-month for £20.00 (plus £1.50 EU or £3.50 rest of the world). There are other options available to pre pay upfront and save more pennies. Save £5 for a 3 month subscription, £10 for a 6 month subscription and get a free box for a 12 month subscription - all upfront payments.
Gift boxes are available as a one-off purchase.
Sign up to their newsletter and receive 50% off your first Pip Box - bonus!
What is my favourite selling point? This box is always entirely cruelty free and vegan friendly - and they donate 10% of profits made from beauty boxes to animal friendly charities.
Available from ThePipBox
Latest in Beauty
The “Hot Right Now” Edit
I was super excited to get my Latest in Beauty box delivery - mainly because I picked the products myself! This beauty box is different to many others on the market because you create your own profile and choose your own selection of beauty products from an amazing menu of hair, skincare, makeup and body treats. The fact I could choose my own products was really appealing and I was delighted to see some little gems on the list I have been meaning to try for ages. There are various options for to choose from in terms of how many products you will receive. I sampled the Beauty Enthusiast box which includes 6 products for £15.00 per month. The other difference with this box was that most of the products in my delivery were travel-sized. When I checked through some of the other products in the menu, there were larger volumes of products to choose from but for my own selection it was difficult to work out the value of the contents based on the sizes but they were all quality brands (and the Floral Street eau de parfum set of 5 fragrances smell are absolutely divine - particularly Arizona Bloom which has a very unique, punchy fragrance - I love it!) The lipstick was full size with an RRP of £9.00 so the rest of the products combined were definitely much worth more than £6.00 which was the remaining value of the subscription price.
Weleda - Skin Food Cream - 10ml
Embryolisse - Lait-Crème Concentré - 5ml
Green People - Age Defy + Soft Buff Skin Exfoliator - 10ml
Glamglow - Super Toner Exfoliating Acid Solution - 7ml
Floral Street - Eau de Parfum 5 x 1.5ml
Top Shop - cream lipstick in shade “Ooh La La” (full size)
Other subscriptions available are the Beauty Novice box which includes 3 products for £9.00 per month or Beauty Guru which includes 9 products for £18.00. There is free delivery for all subscription boxes. You can unsubscribe at any time. A one-off box can be purchased for £25.00 (plus p&p)
What is my favourite selling point? I love the concept of choosing your own selection and the huge choice of brands and products available.
Available from Latest In Beauty
The “Show Beauty” Edit
Cohorted is currently the number 1 premium beauty box brand and is ideal for serious beauty lovers who want to immerse themselves in delicious luxury. This is the most expensive beauty subscription that I have personally tried - and I have been knee high in so many beauty boxes during lockdown working my way through lots of different brand boxes available on the market. As much as I am a fan of a bargain, I obviously love the other end of the scale too - who doesn’t love a luxury version of anything? The “Show Beauty” box arrived and it was soooo heavy! The box itself is very sexy and the products were wrapped in some delicate tissue paper. Infact, the packaging was so pretty I was reluctant to open it! This edit included all products by Tamara Ecclestone’s “Show Beauty” luxury hair care brand. The 5 products had a value of over £200 which is amazing value at £39.99 for a monthly subscription. Cohorted aim to deliver a beauty experience for premium beauty brand fans and this definitely comes across in the quality of the packaging, the product features and the overall value.
Show Beauty - Lux Volume Lotion
Show Beauty - Sublime Repair Treatment Mask
Show Beauty - Divine Thickening Mist
Show Beauty - Decadence Hair Fragrance
Show Beauty - Body Shimmer Oil
Total RRP price - £205.00
There is also a Classic beauty box option which is a one-off purchase for £50.00. If you have missed a previous subscription box or simply wanting to try before subscribing, this is for you. Also, if you simply fancy an indulgent pamper then try the Mystery beauty box. This is £59.99 with a box value of over £100.00 and filled with at least 13 premium brand products - ranging from skincare, makeup and fragrances and more.
What is my favourite selling point? It has to be the luxury factor. The beautiful packaging and the generously sized premium products.
Available from Cohorted
The “World of Beauty” Edit
The beautiful iconic pink Glossybox tied with a cute black ribbon does not disappoint when it comes to that feeling of luxurious self care. Glossybox are one of the most well-known beauty subscription boxes on the market and include some of the world’s premium beauty brands as well as sourcing amazing niche beauty products. Each edition contains 5 products worth over £50. The “World of Beauty” June edit featured products from across the globe and were all full size - yay!
Huda Beauty - Life Liner (Very Vanta)
RRP - £18.00 - Huda Beauty
The Vintage Cosmetic Company - Makeup Removing Cloths
RRP - £7.99 - The Vintage Cosmetic Company
LASplash Cosmetics - Brush Set (x2 brushes)
RRP - £15.00 - Lasplash Cosmetics
ModelCo - Liquid Metal Eyeshadow
RRP - £15.00 - ModelCo
Beautaniq Beauty - Guardian Angel Eye Mask
£5.00 - Beautaniq Beauty
Due to phenomenal demand, June and July boxes both sold out and pre-orders are now taking place for the August box - so if you want to give it a try you need to act quick! For the real beauty junkies, you can join the Glossy Community where you will receive exclusive offers, hacks and tutorials.
Subscriptions start from just £8.50 per month (plus £3.25 p&p) based on paying monthly over 12 months. You can purchase a one-off Glossybox for £10.00 (plus £3.25 p&p).
Glossybox eGift vouchers are available for a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.
What is my favourite selling point? The packaging is super pretty and feminine and all of the products in the box were full size.
Available from Glossy Box
The Perfume Society
The “Launches We Love Discovery Box” Edit
This beauty box is entirely unique in that it is filled, literally filled with fragrances. For those of you who enjoy experimenting with new fragrances this is a fabulous way to do it. Personally, I have 2 fragrances that I wear - one for work and one for occasions. I don’t really deviate however I have fallen in love with this concept and have found some new intriguing fragrances that might tempt me away from my usual. The “Launches We Love” box contains 8 sample fragrances to try including 2 large samples of the seriously seductive Escentric Molecules 05 AND a 25ml Skin Sense Anti-Aging Highly Active Day Cream (which is worth £17.00 alone).
Escentric Molecules 05 (x2)
Lalique - Les Compositions Parfumées Blue Rise
Molton Brown - Milk Musk
Abercrombie & Fitch - Authentic Woman
Kenzo - Poppy Bouquet
Olfactive O - Woody
Eight & Bob - Annicke
The Discovery Box Is £19.00 (plus p&p) unless you are a VIP Club Member and then it’s £15.00 (plus p&p). There are other boxes available and I was lucky enough to also sample the Luxury Layering box. This box is designed to layer up using different notes to create your own personalised fragrance. I absolutely adore this idea and would be perfect for brides who want to create a special unique long-lasting fragrance for the big day. The Luxury Layering box has now unfortunately sold out but I have been told that the new Niche Collection IV Discovery Box is also fabulous. I have no doubt in that - I absolutely love what the 2 boxes I have tried so far.
What is my favourite selling point? The unique concept of a dedicated fragrance box (with a cheeky bonus skin care product thrown in) and very reasonable priced. It is simply fabulous!
Available from Perfume Society
Sundays are the perfect day to relax, reflect on the week that has past and re-set for the week ahead.
Whether it has been a stressful week or you just fancy a good old pamper, there is something glorious about taking some time out on a Sunday evening to indulge yourself in some pampering. Life is always so busy - a little self care goes a long way.
Here is my guide to the ultimate guilt-free Sunday beauty session…
Start with creating a tranquil ambience. I love scrolling through Spotify looking for new “chill out” and guided meditation playlists. There are so many great podcasts to listen to as well. I really enjoy listening to inspirational business/entrepreneurial podcasts but I do try to switch off from these when I am having some quiet time. I think its important to allow your brain to dump all work related thoughts while you are enjoying some relaxation time.
Light your favourite candle. I absolutely adore the Restore Apothecary candle from Marks and Spencers. Fragrances are so important for an experiential feeling of indulgence and this candle fills the room with a blend of various essential oils such as geranium, cedar wood, eucalyptus and lavender - which will help to ease you in to a calm state of mind. It has 32 hours of burn time and is very reasonably priced.
Available from Marks & Spencer - £7.50
Start running a bath. A bath has so many benefits when it comes to our wellbeing including helping you to sleep better, relieving muscle pain, helping congestion through steam inhalation and can even reduce blood pressure.
While your bath is running, use this time to cleanse your skin.
Face cleansing is of course a daily necessity when it comes to having a skin care routine. It is vital to effectively remove all traces of makeup and impurities before applying serums and moisturisers and I have been using the Creamy Cleanser by African Extracts Rooibos - which is perfectly suited to dry and mature skin. Massage this gently in to your face and neck - it has a fresh unique fragrance. With ingredients like Vitamin C and E, Jojoba Seed Oil and of course the Bio-Active Rooibos extract which is packed with anti-oxidants to help to boost the skin’s natural defence against environmental stress, you will feel deliciously clean, healthy and hydrated.
Available from African Extracts - £10.99
Oh and I have recently been introduced to an amazing body cleanser which is massaged in to the skin pre bath or shower. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know body cleansing was a thing? Aside from using shower gels and body washes obviously. ESPA Cleansing Milk is a whole new level of luxury skin care which smells AM-AZ-ING! The light cleansing cream contains an aromatic blend of Vetiver, Sandalwood and grounding Ylang Ylang with ingredients such as Turmeric Butter, Shikakai and Opuntia Cactus which purify, soothe and lock in moisture to the skin. Once applied, immerse yourself in to the bath and allow the cleanser to melt away leaving your skin beautifully hydrated and nourished. I am obsessed with this product - the fragrance is super seductive.
Available from Espa Skincare - £38.00
Gone are the days of using Matey or Radox in my bath. My bath-game has elevated since trying more luxurious offerings over the last year or so and now there is no going back for me. I was so excited to try Liquid Yoga Bath Soak when it dropped through my letter box (the name is enticing in itself - you know you are in for a relaxing treat at the mere mention of Liquid Yoga). Running a small capful under the running tap will transform a regular bath to a deeply relaxing soak, soothing your body and calming your thoughts. Formulated with mineral salts to help soothe tired muscles, herbs and essential oils such a lavender and chamomile to nourish and hydrate your skin you will emerge feeling completely relaxed. It it a real treat…
Available from Mio Skincare - £26.00
Laying in the bath is the ideal time to pop on a face mask and Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Clay Mask is a favourite of mine. Charlotte Tilbury is one of my favourite makeup brands but her skincare formulations are also super nice! Only a thin layer is required all over the face (obviously not near the eyes) and should be left on for a minimum of 10 minutes. The mask contains super charged ingredients consisting of bionymph peptides (basically a skin plumper), Frangipani flower extract which smells delicious and has great moisturising benefits, Vitamin C to brighten the skin, Sweet Almond oil which is highly nourishing due to the Omega 3 and Rosehip Oil which improves the appearance of skin and fine lines. Once rinsed off, you will have baby soft glowing skin!
Available from Charlotte Tilbury - £38.00
Before getting out of the bath, gently scrub away any dead skin cells using Emulsion Cream Scrub Base. This unfragranced creamy texturised scrub will gently buff away rough skin to reveal brand new silky soft skin. This scrub is also gentle enough to use on the face and can be combined with your favourite Emulsion Add On. Emulsion products allow you to personalise your own blend tailored to your own skincare needs. They stock “core base” products and then scents and ingredients can be added additionally to target specific issues and requirements - these are what are know as Add Ons. Such a great concept!
Available from Emulsion - £18.00
Wrap yourself in a luxurious warm towel and pat your skin dry. Then use a body lotion to replace any moisture lost from the skin whilst soaking.
Let me introduce you to Beauty Launderette. If you haven’t already seen these products you will find them in Superdrug and they are soooo cute, budget-friendly and great quality. The packaging and branding is so fun and I absolutely love the Soft Delicates Moisturiser, which at first glance looks like a kitchen spray (but I love that!). The spray makes the application so easy and this milky moisturiser just soaks straight in the skin, no fuss, no mess and boasts 48 hours of hydration. My skin always feels really soft after use and the fact its non-greasy and super light means there’s no waiting around before getting dressed. The honeysuckle and chrysanthemum formulation means it it ideal for sensitive skin.
Before hitting the sheets, give your face and neck a boost of hydration. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Serum can be used both on a morning and evening as part of a skin care routine, This serum has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of youthful looking skin by intensely hydrating, firming and reducing pores by 39%. It also provides a bright healthy glow which as you know is always a winner for me! Just a few drops massaged in to the face and neck is the perfect ending to a self-indulgent pamper.
Available from Charlotte Tilbury - £60.00
I always like to give my hair a weekly nourishing mask so I do this as my last step before having an early night. The Grow Gorgeous Balance Shine Enhancing Overnight Hair Mask is applied to dry hair and smells divine! The key ingredients are Oat Lipids Complex which strengthens the scalps natural protective barrier and Hyaluronic Acid to inject moisture in to the hair and leave a soft, silky finish. Other ingredients include Tung Wood, Rapeseed Oil, Pataua, Acai, Sweet Almond Oil, blended Green Tea extract and fruit acid which all contribute to fighting frizz, nourishing the hair and creating luscious glossy hair. Apply generously from root to tip and leave in overnight. I apply the mask and put my hair in a bun. The mask should be washed out upon waking using shampoo and conditioner (it is recommended to use the Grow Gorgeous pH Balanced Shampoo and Conditioner).
Available from Grow Gorgeous - £25.00
Lastly, prepare for a relaxing sleep by spritzing your pillows with Neom’s Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist. This luxury mist will send you on your way to a dreamy night of tranquility thanks to the expertly blended mix of essential oils including English lavender, patchouli and chamomile.
Available from Neom Organics - £20.00
End your ultimate Sunday pamper by turning off the tv and your phone and do some deep breathing. Inhale the delicious pillow mist fragrance and allow your mind to empty… after all, its almost the start of another busy week ahead!
Always take time for yourself. A little pamper might feel unnecessarily indulgent but 1 hour a week of self care can really help to re-energise and re-set for the week ahead. So make time for it and appreciate every second.