A couple of months ago I shared some of the beauty products that I’ve been using loads and enjoying recently, In my Beauty Favourites – Part One post. I thought it was high time that I do an update, with some new editions to my list of favourites. I’m still using all the products that I included last time and I’ve also revisited some old beauty favourites.

Skincare:

Beauty Favourites Liz EarleFirst up are some old favourites. I’ve been using Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish for a long time now, I reviewed it on the blog a few years ago. I’ve also got through a few bottles of the lovely Instant Boost Skin Tonic as well. At the end of last year I ran out of both and didn’t get round to repurchasing. I ended up using lots of other products instead.

A few weeks ago my skin was feeling a little sad, so I decided to repurchase my old favourites. When I looked on the John Lewis website, I saw that I could get both products in a Liz Earle Essentials Kit with the Gentle Face Exfoliator and the Skin Repair Moisturiser for just £50. I thought this was amazing value, so I sipped up the lot. They have a great selection of different kits for different skincare needs. My face is definitely happier for going back to a brand that I know works well for me. I absolutely adore the exfoliator and moisturiser so have added two new products to my long term favourites.

Elemis:

Beauty Favourites | Elemis Pro- Radiance Illuminating Flash BalmAnother product that I’ve loved for a long time and recently revisited is Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm. When my skin is a bit tired I love to use this as a primer under my make-up to give my skin a bit more glow. This is a brilliant all round product thats super handy for lots of skincare needs. I got this sample size with some other Elemis products, but I’m planning to re-purchase the full size when my budget allows.

Beauty Favourites | Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss CapsulesAnother product that I’ve had stashed away for a while, after getting it in a set, is the Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules. I started using these little capsules of joy recently and I absolutely love them. The pink capsules are for use in the morning and the green ones for night. They are great for when your skin needs a little love and not only are they packed with goodness they also smell amazing. These contain essential oils and they do really work on my skin. They are pricey though, so I’m using them sparingly and won’t rebut until I can afford them, or if I see them as part of a set again.

The Ordinary:

Beauty Favourites | The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5My favourite discovery of this month was The Ordinary. I mentioned that I love their foundation in my last beauty post. I had picked up a few of their skincare products a few months ago, but hadn’t got round to trying them properly. Their products can be a little confusing. I spend an evening reading up on their products and how to use them and in what order. It was so helpful. I’ve picked out two that have literally worked miracles on my skin. I’ve been using a few drops of Hyaluronic Acid each night followed by some Squalane.

Beauty Favourites | The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived SqualaneOnce you’ve got the products figured out, the simplicity of The Ordinary products is so refreshing. The quality that you get for their very low prices is amazing too. I saw instant results with these products and I’m completely hooked on them now. I’ve seen a few more formulas I’d like tom try’s so look out for an update in my next beauty post.

Hands and Nails:

Beauty Favourites | O.P.I Hand CreamI recently went to a screening on Grease at Soho House to celebrate the films 40s anniversary. O.P.I have also released a range of Grease inspired nail polishes to coincide with the film rerelease into cinemas. As well as nail polish I was gifted this lovely hand cream. The Protective Hand Nail and Cuticle Cream, is one of the best hand creams I’ve used in a while. I am constantly cleaning and washing and my hands really bare the brunt of it. So I’m always on the lookout for good products to give my hands and helping hand. This one is fab.

Beauty Favourites | O.P.I Grease Collection Nail Lacquer | Pink Ladies Rule The SchoolThe nail polish colour I chose was Pink Ladies Rule The School. I chose it because I loved the name and the colour is just gorgeous for Spring. Also I loved the name and how well it goes with the movie, which I’ll be writing more about soon. I think The polish collection comes out in May, so keep a look out as there are a lot of lovely colours.

Beauty Favourites | O.P.I Grease Collection Nail Lacquer | Pink Ladies Rule The School

Bath and Body:

Beauty Favourites | Ritual of HammamNo beauty favourites list from me would be complete without something from Rituals. I have a lot of their bath products as well as a few tubs of their sugar scrubs and body butters. As I’ve been going to the gym a lot recently, I thought it would be  nice to treat myself to a few products to use in the showers after working out.

I picked up a gift set with some mini of my favourite products and It’s been a lovely treat to myself. Their foaming shower gels are amazing and I think I’ve got through one of every fragrance! One of my favourite ever Rituals products would have to be the Purifying Body Mud. It is a gorgeous exfoliating mud, which leaves your skin feeling all tingly and very smooth. I use the shower gel and black soup first, before using the mud and finishing with the body butter.

Beauty Favourites | April 2018Thats it for now.  But I’ll be sure to do another beauty favourites post if I find any other products to recommend. If you’d like more detailed reviews of any of the products mentioned, let me know. Do you have any products you’d like to recomend  to me?


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Last week on a snowy day in London, I headed to London hairdresser Blue Tit salon in Dalston to have my hair styled. Unlike my usual vintage curls or messy mum hair we were going for something a little different. Inspired by the Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition at The National Gallery, we were creating a Pre-Raphaelite inspired look.

William Holman Hunt, Il Dolce Far Niente, 1866, Oil on canvas, Private collection © Photo courtesy of the owner

William Holman Hunt, Il Dolce Far Niente, 1866, Oil on canvas, Private collection © Photo courtesy of the owner

The exhibition itself is incredible and of course one of the things that really stands out in Pre-Raphaelite art is the beautiful romantic hair. Blue Tit London recently collaborated with the gallery to create a photo shoot which pays homage to the beautiful paintings on display within the exhibition.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

The one advantage to how long and thick my hair is at the moment, is that it was perfect for creating this kind of look. When I arrived at the gorgeous salon, I was greeted by Declan who would be styling my hair. We discussed some ideas and decided to go for some big curls. He wanted to create something that was wearable with some Pre-Raphaelite inspiration.

It took a couple of hours to curl all my hair – there really is a lot of it! The end result was amazing.

Here we fluffed the hair up a bit more for a slightly more Pre-Raphaelite take on the look. It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon and I absolutely loved the salon. Declan was amazing and really took his time to create a look that we both loved. It’s definitely made me want to go back and get a cut and colour done very soon!

William Holman HuntThe Lady of Shalott, about 1886-1905© Manchester City Galleries/Bridgeman ImagesThe salon is absolutely gorgeous and every time I’ve walked past it, I’ve admired the decor. As well as the Dalston branch they have salons in quite a few locations across London. I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures on the wall. It was such a nice environment to sit for a couple of hours and relax, while Declan worked on my hair.

Here’s my resident art historian Matthew, with a little bit more information about the exhibition – The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed in 1848 when a group of young artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt, were looking for a new and fresh inspiration for their art. Instead of looking to the 16th-century Renaissance artist Raphael, who was held up as the ideal model for artists to follow, they were inspired by older medieval and early Renaissance art. This exhibition puts one of their favourite old paintings, Jan van Eyck’s 1434 ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ in the centre, and shows how it influenced the ambitious young Pre-Raphaelite artists.

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his Wife and ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ , 1434, National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his Wife and ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ , 1434, National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

It’s brilliant to see one of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings surrounded by the Pre-Raphaelite’s works. You can see how they loved the Arnolfini Portrait’s beautiful colours and perfect attention to detail. A painting that was hundreds of years old inspired these Victorian artists to create art that was bold and revolutionary. They loved features like its mysterious round mirror and even had replicas of it in their homes. Van Eyck’s serious portrait was the inspiration for the Pre-Raphaelite’s beautiful women from medieval legend.

Today, the Pre-Raphaelite paintings themselves are now all more than a century old, but they are still beautiful, vivid and fascinating. Just as the Pre-Raphaelites were inspired by Van Eyck, we can be inspired by them for our art, our homes and our style.

Hurry along to catch this exhibition before it closes on 2nd April, and see what inspiration you can find.

Find out more about the exhibition on the National Gallery website

Find out more about Blue Tit London on their website

Thank you to Matthew Storey for contributing to this post. Matthew is a curator and art historian with a specialism in historic art and decorative art. You can read a couple of other posts by him here and here


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I’m a big fan of subscription boxes. It’s always nice to get a little surprise in the post each month and it’s also a great way to discover new products. Last month I was asked if I wanted to review the February Glossybox and of course I jumped at the chance.

Like most subscription boxes, Glossybox arrives monthly and is packed full of high-end beauty surprises. I usually like it when I get a mixture of make up, skincare and hair products. I take all my miniatures to the gym with me as their the perfect size to fit in my bag.

I also really love a pretty box. I use them to store my vintage jewellery in. This one is really cute, as it was Valentines day this one is all about having fun on the town with a friend or the one you love.

As for the contents, I was really impressed with this one. The box costs £10 per month plus P&P, or slightly less with other packages. It’s always good when the value of the contents is considerably more than the cost of the box. I ended up with a nice mix of products a couple of which I really love.

First up was a gorgeous mini nail polish from Ciate. I have loved their products for years, I featured the Ciate Advent Calendar on the blog a few years ago. I love their big brushes and beautiful long-lasting formula. If you’re looking for a completely cruelty free brand, then Ciate is the one for you. Their products are vegan and PETA certified.

The colour I received was Iced Frappe and it was absolutely gorgeous. A lovely pale shade, perfect for everyday wear. The coverage is excellent and in two coats, it looked perfect. The gel formula allows flexibility and prevents chipping and although I’ve not kept it on that long it can last up to 10 days. The full-sized product would normally cost £9 and the mini size would be £6.

Next up was a nude lip tint from Steve Laurant. I’m not familiar with this brand, but I’m glad to hear that they are also cruelty free. I got mine ion the colour nude pop. The colour is very subtle and perfect to use as a tinted lip balm.

I found the formula really moisturising without being too heavy. Mostly I just loved the pretty rose gold packaging. This is nice handy product to pop in your hand bag, for when your lips need a little love. The full-sized product usually costs £17.

The next product was Studio 10 beauty Makeup Mist Glow-Perfection. This is a pre make-up primer mist. It primes, refreshes and hydrates and can also be used as a setting spray. I’ve only used this a couple of times, but it seems like a great product. I don’t really get dryness on my face and don’t need much hydration, so although I really liked the product, it’s not something I would buy again. If you’re looking for a good all round product, this might work for you. The full size product costs £26 and the travel size £14.

One of the products I really liked in the box was the Skin Chemists London – Aqua repair Facial Serum. This serum works to infuse the skin with vitamins and anti oxidants to reduce redness and deeply hydrate. I loved how this felt on my skin. The formula is really soothing and just feels lovely to apply. My skin felt great after using it and as you only need a small amount this tube will last me ages, so I’m going to keep using it and see how I get on. The full-sized product costs £64.

I was really excited to see a full-sized Sleek eyeshadow palette in the box. I’ve used several of their palettes before and absolutely love their products. It’s also a real treat to have lots of new colours to play with. I got the i-Divine palette in storm, which features 12 shimmery shades including neutral beiges and vibrant shades of dark blue, green and copper. I don’t always opt for shimmery shadows and usually go for matts, so it’s nice to add something new to my makeup collection. I love how versatile the shades are. The pigmentation is really good as well and I’m really looking forward to trying some different looks with these. This palette usually costs £8.99.

All in all I’m really impressed with my first Glossybox, all the products were really good quality and the value of the items far exceeded the cost of the box. I enjoyed trying all the products and will enjoy using them all again.

You can find out more about Glossybox and subscribe on the Glossybox website.


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As I said a few posts ago, I want to do a lot more favourites posts this year. I’ve already done a post of my favourite teas and favourite cups and mugs. It’s high time I shared my most recent Beaty favourites. My last beauty favourites post, was all the way back in February last year! I’ve tried lots of products this year and have found some fabulous ones which I’ve really enjoyed using.

Skincare

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh CosmeticsLike a good bestie, when Fay went to America last year she brought me back a few goodies from Sephora for my birthday. One of them was this lovely set of products from Fresh. I’ve read great things about this lovely range of skincare and all of the products have been amazing. You can buy Fresh products in the UK from John Lewis.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face CreamThe Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is a light but powerful face cream. I’ve been using this after going to the gym to put some life back into my skin. I’ve found that swimming has been drying my skin out and this fresh and light formula feels super smoothing and hydrating on my skin. I love how brightening this is and it definitely gives my skin a radiant glow.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Soy Face CleanserI’ve been cleansing my skin with this lovely cleanser a lot recently. The Soy Face Cleanser from Fresh, has a lovely fragrance that smells a bit like fresh cucumber. I usually use this one after taking off my makeup for a thorough wash that leaves my skin squeaky clean. The formula is a but like a face wash and is slightly foaming. A little goes a very long way with this one, so my small tube has lasted me absolutely ages.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Vitamin Nectar Face MaskMy favourite of the three products is this brilliant face mask. It smells and feels like a pot of marmalade, which I absolutely love. The Vitamin Nectar face mask is packed with fruity goodness which makes my skin feel absolutely amazing.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Vitamin Nectar Face MaskThis product is perfect for a home pampering session and leaves my skin feeling smooth happy and ready for anything. If you can get your hands on a pot, I’d highly recommend it.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals The Wonder MaskThe Wonder Mask from Rituals is a product I’ve been using for absolutely ages. As you can see from my last Beauty Favourites post, I’m already a big fan of Rituals and use a lot of their products. I always enjoy visiting my local store in Kingston, as the staff are so lovely and very helpful. They always recommend products that I end up loving.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals Wonder MaskFay was already using this mask and loving it, so when I went to an event at the Rituals shop I had to give it a try. They mixed it with a drop of their face oil, which I’ve mentioned further down this post. The set comes with a generous pot of charcoal and black mud powder which you simply add water to. The set comes with a little bowl and a super soft brush to apply the mask.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals Wonder MaskOnce applied to your skin, this dries into the perfect clay mask. It sucks all the dirt and impurities out of my skin. I use this once of twice a week and my skin is very happy for it.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night CreamThe Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream is probably my favourite skincare product ever! I first tried it as part of an Elemis gift set I had bought myself. I’d bought the set for a different product, but thought I’d try this night cream. I instantly fell in love. This is like a good nights sleep in a pot. I apply it before bed and wake up with very happy skin. As a tired mum, who does too much, I need all the help I can get! The only problem is that this a VERY expensive product.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night CreamOnce my 30ml sample size had been used up I couldn’t afford to get more. Knowing how much I loved it, when Fay received this pot in a gift set from her mum she passed it on to me. I have the best bestie ever! If your skin needs a little love and you can afford a pot, this one really is FABULOUS!

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals Pure Face OilAnother product that has been making my skin very happy is the Rituals Pure Face Oil. I’ve always really liked face oils and have tried quite a few different ones. This one from Rituals is a new favourite. A couple of tiny drops are enough to completely moisturise my skin. As I mentioned above I also like to add a couple of drops to my clay face mask.

Candles

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Miller Harris Citron Citron CandleI’ve been enjoying lots of different candles recently. I always have a few on the go and light them every evening. There’s two that have really stood out to me and these citrus delights smell even better when burned together. I got the Lemon Leaf and Sage candle from Home Sense for £10. It’s absolutely huge and the smell is incredible. I love Miller Harris fragrances a lot, and knowing this Fay got me this gorgeous candle for Christmas. Both candles let off a lot of fragrance and I’d definitely recommend them both.

Hair

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Asda Andrew Barton SOS Hair RepairMy hair has got super long recently. This wasn’t really intentional, but I hate going to the hair dressers and have been putting it off for ages. To keep it feeling healthy I’ve been using this SOS Hair Repair Oil  from Andrew Barton, which is available in Asda. Out of all the hair oils I’ve tried this is my all time favourite. It smells beautiful and makes my hair look glossy and healthy without being too heavy. Rob has also been using this one on his beard and loves it too.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Primark PS Hydrate and Restore Hair MaskAnother product thats been making my hair happy, is this hair mask from Primark. A few months ago I popped in to buy some bargain products so I could have a little pamper session. I thought this looked good and was worth a try. For a product that only cost £2, I was really impressed with how this left my hair. It added lots of moisture and gloss and I will definitely be re-purchasing.

Make-up

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | The ordinary Coverage FoundationIt’s very rare that I try a new foundation, it’s one of those things that once I find a product I love I stick to it for years. But when I recently picked up some skincare products from The Ordinary I thought I’d try one of their foundations too. The Coverage Foundation comes in a huge selection of colours and is perfect if you’re on a budget. I am so glad I tried this, the coverage is incredible. I don’t wear foundation every day, but I’ve worn this for photographs and after the gym when I look a little red. It covers everything and stays put all day. A really amazing addition to my make-up bag.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red and Too Faced Peach Kiss in Muy CalienteThis post should really be about how much I love Fay, as it’s full of nice things from her! She knows how much I love a good lipstick and bought me two absolutely gorgeous ones for Christmas. I have to confess that I’ve not used them yet as they’re so perfect and new, but now I’ve taken some photos I’ll give them a go. They both have absolutely gorgeous packing and the colours are divine.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Too Faced Peach Kiss Lipstick in Muy CalienteThe two red shades are Muy Caliente from Too Faced and Underage Red by Kat Von D. I have a lot of Too Faced products that I absolutely adore, but I’ve never tried Kat Von D, so I can’t wait to give it a go. I’ll report back on these soon.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | NYX Shadow Palette I’ve been really enjoying looking at other people’s super colourful make-up looks. I wanted a really vibrant orange shade and came across this gorgeous palette from NYX. I’ve always been impressed with their products and this set looks absolutely amazing.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | NYX Shadow Palette I’ve had this for a couple of months now and have tried quite a few of the colours. They have an amazing pigment and this is a great all round colour addition to my make-up bag. I’ll try to take some pictures with these soon.

February 2018 Beauty FavouritesHave you tried any of the products I’ve included? Do you have any recommendations you think I’d enjoy? Would you like to see more beauty favourites posts in the future?

For more beauty related post check out my Beauty section.


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It feels like forever since I did a Birchbox review! I still get my box every month, but I’ve been nowhere near organised enough to take pics and review the contents. One of my aims this year was to go back to some of my older blog posts for inspiration. One thing I want to do more of again is beauty reviews and going back to regularly reviewing my Birchbox seems like a great place to start.

Birchbox Review January 2018Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription box, packed with high-end surprise beauty products which arrive at your door once a month. I’ve been subscribed for a few years now and always love getting my surprise package through the post.

Birchbox Review January 2018There are always a few products that I love in each Birchbox, but often a couple that I know I won’t really use. This months box is a perfect one for me, as I was pretty impressed with all the products. The box itself is also really pretty. I like to reuse them to store my vintage jewellery in, so a lovely looking box is always a bonus.

Birchbox Review January 2018This month’s box was a collaboration with cute lifestyle brand Ohh Deer, who sell quirky stationary, homewares and clothing with lovely graphics.

Birchbox Review January 2018 The box included a lovely set of Ohh Deer stickers. There was also a 20% discount code to use on the website, which is awesome.

Birchbox Review January 2018The first product I tried was the Paul and Joe Beauty Moisturising Foundation PrimerI’ve admired the gorgeous packaging from this beauty range for years. I love the vintage look and think it would look amazing on a vintage dressing table. Somehow I’ve managed to never have tried any of the products though. I had high hopes for this one and it didn’t disappoint. This lovely primer makes a perfect base for under makeup. It’s super moisturising and very smoothing. It has a slight shimmer which makes my skin look fresh and glowing. The full sized version of this costs £24.

Birchbox Review January 2018Next I tried the Lord and Berry Blusher Crayon in the shade Camelia. I’ve never used a blusher crayon before, so I was intrigued to see how well it worked. I love other make up in crayon form, I have lots of eye, lip and highlighting products that come as crayons. This one was pretty good. It was easy to apply and blended well. The colour was surprisingly subtle, but is quite buildable. The RRP for this is £15.

Birchbox Review January 2018Probably my favourite product from the box is the Thermaliv Night Creammostly because I’m a big skincare geek. I’m always on the lookout for good night creams to try. This one is packed with awesome ingredients and made my skin feel really good. It’s surprisingly light for a night cream, but sits nicely on the skin. If I wasn’t completely loyal to my Elemis night cream, this is definitely one I’d consider purchasing. It’s also far more affordable at just £15.75 for the full sized product, so I may repurchase when I need a budget friendly product.

Birchbox Review January 2018Next up was the Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in the shade Charcoal. Recently I’ve been wearing less liquid liner and going for more subtle make-up for everyday. This is a nice addition to my make-up bag and something I will definitely get a lot of use out of. This eyeliner is super soft and glides on effortlessly. It’s also waterproof and stays put all day. The colour is really nice and a softer alternative to black. The RRP for this is £10.99.

Birchbox Review January 2018The last product is one I’ve not heard of before. Afterspa is a special magic cloth, designed to take off all your make up without using any products. It lasts up to 1000 washes. I tested this on all kinds of make up, including lipstick foundation, mascara and eyeliner. The only one it struggled with was my liquid liner, which is pretty hard to take off anyway. On the whole this works really well and feels really nice to use. Its very handy to have in my gym bag for quickly taking my make-up off before I work out. I was happily surprised by how good this one was. These usually cost £5.50.

Birchbox Review January 2018What did you think of the contents of this months box?

If you’d like to receive a monthly Birchbox too, I have a refer a friend link which gives you your first box half price.

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