A Few Summer Beauty Essentials

IMG_2248

The summer holidays are just around the corner (or for some of us, they’re in full swing – woohoo!), and it’s about this time of year we look for something a bit different from our makeup bags and bathroom shelves. Different in what way? Well, we tend to look for products that are going to work a little harder for us in the warmer weather, that won’t just help us to look and feel amazing, but will do a job for us too! I recently chatted about packing for a getaway, but I didn’t go into too much detail about the beauty side of things because I felt like it was a separate (though kinda related!) topic. A topic for today!

Whether you’re jetting off somewhere fabulous or having a staycation in the sun, I’d love to share a few of my summer beauty essentials that are as practical as they are pretty…

The Multi-tasking Make Up

A lot of us wear (and pack!) less make up in the warmer weather, but we still want to look our best. Urban Decay have been knocking it out of the park for ages now with products that can be used in endless ways, but the Naked Basics palette is one that makes it into my travel bag again and again. This small, yet beautifully formed range of neutral shades can be used as a complete eye kit, even though its primary use is an eye shadow collection. Tip: I use mine also for my brows and as an eye liner, meaning that if I only pack this little baby, my eyes are still good to go wherever I am.

This season, Urban Decay have just released the Naked Skin One & Done which is a hard-working complexion perfector, acting firstly as a sheer foundation with buildable coverage, but over time also helps to enhance skin. My favourite part about this one is that it lasts all-day wear, making it ideal for summer daytrips with no need for touch-ups!

IMG_2249

The Hair Saviour 

Hot weather & thick hair often equals frizz city. Not on my watch! Or, I should say, not on Lush’s watch! Sunny Day anti-static spray is just the thing to keep unruly hair in check when the temperature starts creeping up. Even though my hair doesn’t go too frizzy in the summer, my locks are still very thick and heavy and can go a little bit dry so this spray helps to keep things smooth and super glossy. Did I mention it smells like violets too? Dreamy.

The SPF BFF

I’m pretty sure I start lecturing people at this time every year BUT at the risk of sounding like a broken record, let’s just take a moment so I can bang on about sunscreen again, OK? You don’t need me to tell you how important protecting your skin against the sun and environmental damage is – and it’s something we should all be incorporating into our skincare regardless of where we are. I’ve recently started using Daily Light Guard by Aveda which is SPF 30 and provides UVA and UBV protection. I love the weightless, non-greasy feel of it on my skin, making it an easy step to add into my morning routine. If I was travelling somewhere very sunny, I would up my facial SPF level to a minimum of 50 (you’ve seen my ghostly complexion, so that’s a no-brainer!), but for summers at home and day-to-day use, this is my current go-to product.

The Cool Down Spritz 

It doesn’t really matter if you’re lying in a hammock somewhere exotic being fed grapes (WELL…) or have just come home from a sweaty commute – sometimes your skin just needs to be refreshed! I like to keep a facial mist around when I need to cool down or if my face needs some extra hydration. This white tea spritz by Neal’s Yard Remedies is pretty great at soothing my skin and it’s really gentle too. Organic aloe vera and antioxidant white tea help to calm redness and the fragrance is really faint (who wants to feel like they’re spraying perfume onto their face?) so it works well with my sensitive skin. When it’s really hot outside I keep it in the fridge!

I’ll be reaching for these summer beauty essentials over the coming weeks, but what about you? Do you switch up your products on holiday? And what are your favourite lotions and potions at this time of year?

Here’s to sunshine and feeling good all summer long…

Signature

 

Beauty Hit List: January & February 2016

IMG_9541

I’m kicking off the week with a shiny new feature! Here’s why: I love playing around with products, whether they are permanent residents of my bathroom shelf or sneaky peeks at brand new releases, and spend a good chunk of my time (offline) chatting excitedly about them too. It recently occurred to me that I don’t really have a consistent way of sharing my current beauty obsessions here with you guys (other than the odd one-off post here and there), so I’ve decided to switch things up a bit and add a little round-up, starting today.

In my new bi-monthly beauty hit list, you’ll find me talking all about the lotions, potions, make up (and more!) that have me hooked. To start off, we have a hair hero, a bathing beauty, a sassy skin toner, a brow bad boy and a nail ninja who have all helped me get through the murky dark months of January and February…

Color Conserve Daily Colour Protect leave-in treatment by Aveda

As someone who has been dying their hair since their teens, I’m always looking for new ways to keep my colour looking fresh. This leave in treatment from Aveda has been created as part of a 4-step system, but still works well when used on its own. I usually work it into damp hair after I shower, and let the natural ingredients like green tea, Larch Tree and cinnamon oil do their thing, locking in colour and protecting my hair against UVA/UBA rays and other environmental stressors. Sidenote: I also used it when I ran out of conditioner once and it worked really well (though there IS a Color Conserve conditioner available for that!). My hair feels nice and looks glossy after using this as a stand-alone treatment, and I’ll be keeping some handy to keep that just-coloured look going for as long as possible.

Unicorn Horn bubble bar by Lush 

If we put aside the fact that this is a MAGICAL UNICORN HORN, and that it’s oh-so-pretty, and even that it’s cruelty-free, this is still up there with some of my all-time favourite Lush creations. The Unicorn Horn returned after almost making Instagram implode upon itself last year, hitting the shelves at Lush stores last month just in time for Valentine’s Day, yay! The psychedelic combination of colours and shimmer makes it a joy to look at, but this bubble bar is more than just a cute design – when softly crumbled under running water it creates the most frothy bubbles and the light scent of lavender makes it the perfect pre-bedtime bath treat. Fingers crossed it comes back again next year!

IMG_9542

Gentle Exfoliating Toner by Merumaya

Since last year, I’ve been trying to up my game when it comes to having a facial skincare regime (which wouldn’t be hard considering I didn’t really have one to start with!), and during the darker months, I find that a little extra work is required to help keep my skin feeling bright and clean. I was a little sceptical of trying a toner, especially since my face can be sensitive at the best of times – but I found this one by Merumaya to be much kinder on my skin. It exfoliates gently while hydrating, leaving my skin feeling soft and clean, without that dry, tight feeling some toners can give.

The Archery Brow Putty by Soap & Glory 

A fresh set of brows is a must-have when you’re rocking a micro fringe on the regular, so I always like to keep a brow product handy! This new release from Soap & Glory is a double-ended brow tool, with a soft angled brush at one end, and a dipping pot filled with the smudge-proof putty at the other. Using the precision of the small brush, it’s easy to lightly tint my brows, or if I really need to whip them into shape (AKA: disguise dodgy grow out!), I can use it to thicken as well. The Archery Brow Putty has quickly earned a spot in my make up bag for keeping my brows in check in the last few weeks.

Nailkale Superfood Base Coat by Nails Inc

When I want to give my paws some TLC, part of my routine always involves this Nailkale Superfood nail treatment. I’ve recently picked up my second bottle of the stuff because I love the way it strengthens my nails between manicures. As well as being enriched with kale, it also contains other superfood extracts such as lemon, ginseng, aloe vera, pomegranate and grape – sounds pretty yummy, eh? It can be used on its own (which is how I like to use it) or as a starting point for a manicure – either way, you can be sure that your fingers will be in superfood heaven!

So this is my current beauty hit list, but what about you? Any goodies that you think I should try soon?

With love, wicked brows and magical baths,

Signature

 

Friday Hi-Fives: Daytrips, Dinner Dates and David Bowie

IMG_4229

Happy Friday, you gorgeous beings! Are you excited for the weekend?

Even though I don’t really feature this kind of news much, I don’t think I could round up my week without at least mentioning the sad loss of David Bowie. I found out early on Monday, being told in passing by someone I barely know. My immediate reaction was still, you’re wrong – as Bowie has featured in the soundtrack of my life since I was little (thanks to my dad, who has passed his love of music on to me), I refused to believe it was true at first. As you guys will know by now, I do always try to look for the positives where I can, and one thing that really stood out to me after such a shock was the overwhelming celebration of Bowie’s life and work that followed in the days afterwards. Seeing so many tributes, re-runs and memories shared has been really amazing – making this a bittersweet week for a lot of us.

If you caught my last post, you’ll know we spent a day adventuring in Edinburgh recently,and later on this week we enjoyed seeing The Hateful Eight at Glasgow Film Theatre on a little dinner-and-a-movie date. I also had a lovely time catching up with my gal Lori over apple and mint faux-hitos on Cresswell Lane during the week, and spent some time learning about nutritional health at Napiers in the West End (more on that coming soon!).

After recording a new podcast episode last night (hitting iTunes and Soundcloud this coming Monday, y’all!), the week has now come to an end (seriously, where does the time go?!) so it’s time to let the good vibes flow!

This week, I’m hi-fiving because…

…I got a kickass manicure at Swoon Nails today and when I have glitter on my fingers, all is right in my world!

…Gary and I are hatching our next fun interiors project. It’s gonna be a biggie, and I’m SO excited.

…Lush have brought back their Unicorn Horn for a limited time and you know what that means: magical bath times ahoy!

…Sometimes all you need is a big squishy hug. Like this one!

…Snail mail is awesome. FACT.

OK, your turn! How has your week been? And what makes you wanna hi-five?

Hi-five homework: pay someone you don’t know a compliment this week!

With dreams of Stardust,

Signature