Sunday, 20 September 2015

East Meets West: Asian Beauty | Guest Post by Luxamundi

Today we have Elina from Luxamundi guest posting and the topic is Asian beauty. Elina is a freshfaced beauty blogging new to the blogosphere so lets welcome her with open arms! I for one am excited to learn something new :)

I wanted to say a big thank you to the lovely Tamsyn for asking me to guest post on her blog, I feel really honoured to be featuring here!
Anyway, I wanted to talk about a beauty topic that is close to my heart, which is Asian beauty, specifically products and trends that come to us from Korea and Japan. As someone who comes from a Chinese background, Asian trends have always been interesting to me but it’s only as I’ve gotten older that beauty has come to the fore and I’ve been paying attention.

I’m not the only one though who notices. Brands across the west sit up, make notes and produce their own versions that are more catered to the Western sensibilities.

I am really happy that the attitude towards skincare from Asia has come across here. There still is a difference in the way we approach makeup, but the importance of good skin has translated across the cultural divide. Double cleansing, oils, and sheet masks, these things which we now factor more regularly into our routines, have been a standard in Korea and Japan for years. Since these things are a norm there, more advanced technology, new ingredients and delivery systems have been introduced. Oils? They’ve moved onto jelly oils and mist oils. Spritzing toners? That’s your pre-moisturising; you need to get yourself an essence for after you spritz. Asian beauty is never ready to sit on its laurels; there’s always time and constant strive to create the next best thing. Over here, we have to sit tight and wait until someone makes a version for us, or try our darned best to get our hands of the good stuff.

So, which brands and things should we be trying to get? Well we’re not completely ‘dry’ over here. We do have access to some brands, but more from the premium side of things. I remember celebrating when Cult Beauty started stocking Mizon. We just don’t have access to the other budget brands that compete with the top-end in Korea and Japan (makes me wish there was a ‘Koreatown’ in London!), which is a shame because products from the lower end are just as high-tech. Of the brands that have got physical store presence here, you should take a look at the following:
Suqqu: if you’ve watched Lisa Eldridge, you’ll have heard of Suqqu. You will then have looked at how much their brushes are, and had a mini heart attack. Save your money, because….

RMK: Their brushes are amazing. If you don’t want to hand over £100 for a Suqqu brush, then head here. When I was in Selfridges and bought their blush brush, they asked if the Suqqu counter had directed me there. Apparently, if Suqqu is out of stock, they send you to RMK, so make of that what you will. Their brushes are softer than soft, and with good care, will last you years.

Shu Uemura: everyone (but me) swears by their eyelash curlers but you’ll be surprised by how good their foundations are, and their skincare isn’t to be sniffed at.

Now for brands I think you should be looking at, but are much harder, if nigh impossible to find in the UK. If you someone you know is going to that part of the world, then beg or bribe them to pick some stuff up for you! Also, across the pond in the US, they have a lot more access to J and K Beauty, so hit up some of the stores there if you can; buying from the source is cheaper, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
Missha: Their Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence is a beauty staple for me. It’s often compared to the SKII Facial Treatment Essence that Cate Blanchett swears by, but at a fraction of the price. They also do some ampoules (more concentrated versions of serums), all at fantastic value.

Heroine Make by Isehan: Yes it’s an odd name, but their mascaras are simply amazing. You’ll have seen raves of the Fairy Drops Scandal Queen, which I actually don’t like that much. Instead, I swear by the Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, and the Make Volume and Curl. These are super waterproof. I’ve bawled my eyes out to films in this, sobbed my way through onion cutting, and they do not move whatsoever, and keep my lashes gravity-defiant. They’re lightweight and not as thickening, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a more reliable mascara. I paid £12 for each from Japan, and frankly, they outclass all other high-end mascaras I’ve ever used.

Other Brands: All of them? Joking, there’s too many. Ones I think you should try are Laneige, Etude House, and the Ceramidin line of Dr Jart, which is brilliant for winter months. There are plenty more, but these are the ones that pop to mind.

In all honesty, you’ll be hard-pressed to find bad products, they’re all great quality and suited to different budgets. If you have any suggestions, or just want to talk Asian beauty, then please do drop me a line, I’m always more than happy to chat about it anytime!

Thank you once again to Tamsyn for letting me guest post here, hope I’ve converted you to Asian beauty if you hadn’t already!

A big thank you to Elina for contributing to this weeks guest post. It was great reading about Asian beauty brands. What did you think, could you be converted to Asian Beauty brands?
If you aren't following Elina, head over to her blog now and make sure you're up to date with her Twitter and Instagram!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Frank Coconut and Grapeseed Coffee Scrub Review | Guest post by Sweet Style of Mine

Today we have Guest post is by Charlotte Hutton from Sweet Style of Mine
Charlotte is a beauty and lifestyle blogger with a passion for food and DIY! Today she's sharing her thoughts on the Frank Coconut and Grapeseed Coffee Scrub. Over to you Charlotte...
 I have always had a love/hate relationship with body scrubs. Since a baby I have always suffered with sensitive skin, and over the years I have suffered with bouts of eczema and hypersensitive skin so scrubs that have ANY chemicals in usually ends up with me looking like a plucked pimpled chicken. Because of this I usually keep my skin routine simple and play it safe with brands I know suit my skin condition. I then recently came across Frank Body products, I decided I need to be a little more adventurous and trusting of my skin!

The Vegan Australian Company specialises in natural shower and body lotion products, straight away I was sold! Who doesn’t want to look like an Aussie beach babe, this must be their secret to their enviable bods right!?
The coconut and grapeseed scrub is designed to help get rid of any dry flakey skin with natural ingredients that don’t leave your skin feeling sore (or burnt is usually how mine ends up feeling!) but instead leaving your feel soft and smooth with their blend of Robusta coffee and coconut oil.
A Few pros and cons to consider after using this product:

1. Don’t eat it: If you are a coffee addict like me this is like a drug fix! Upon opening the bag and rubbing on my skin, the combination of the hot shower and steam in my bathroom, caused the room to instantly smell like a coffee shop, the smell was amazing! I had to stop myself from eating the blend (which I am sure would not have tasted great either!)

2. Coffee granules spread EVERYWHERE: If you also suffer with OCD like cleaning issues, I would advise against this product, it took me a good 10 minutes to get rid of the coffee out of my shower, it ended up on everything! I also knocked the bag over outside my shower which meant I had to wash my bath mat and mop the floor. I still see a rogue granule every so often lurking in the corner of my bathroom!

3. It is also hard to spread around: once wet it literally stuck to my hands like cake mix, I really struggled to scrub my face and my fingers resembled more and more like Edward scissor hands the more I tried to scrub!
After rinsing my skin did feel really soft like I had rubbed cocoa butter over myself, which was a lot more pleasant than the sore burnt feeling other sugar scrubs usually make my skin feel! I would definitely recommend it to those who also suffer with sensitive skin, the natural ingredients really seem to work well together.
This product is great as a ‘treat yourself’ but I would not recommend as an everyday shower essential, unless you are a lady of leisure and do not suffer from OCD cleaning like myself! You can find more info on the full frank body products range here

Have you tried the Frank coffee scrub? Is a coffee scrub something you'd like to try? We'd love to know your thoughts!

If you're not already, head over to Charlottes blog now at Sweet Style of Mine and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Five Minute Makeup | Guest Post by MissCosmeticBlogger

As some of you may know I am in Florida for two weeks and I've asked for some fabulous bloggers to share some topics with you until I'm back. Kicking off the series of guest posts is Beth from MissCosmeticBlogger.
 So it's back to school already but lucky old Tamsyn gets to go away on holiday so I am lucky enough to be guest posting on her blog. I usually blog over at MissCosmeticBlogger but love to guest post every now and then! Because it's back to school I thought I would do a Five Minute Face post for those days you need to rush out of the door. I've chosen a couple of products which help to add radiance to the face to try and stop the tiredness showing, from all the late night studying, (or more likely online window shopping and procrastinating.)
To start that awake, radiant look you're going to need an illuminating primer, one of my favourites is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique. It's a lightweight light reflecting with a consistency similar to moisturiser. If you don't want quite such a luminous primer you should try Benefit's That Gal, it's more expensive but not quite as illuminating. The great thing about Lumi Magique is that it is multipurpose, you can also use it as a highlighter, just apply over your foundation on the high points of your face.

Foundation wise I would use the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation, a firm favourite of mine. This has a very nice coverage with light reflecting particles giving you a 'radiant glow.' The application of foundation is probably the most time consuming, I prefer to use the RealTecnhiques sponge as it gives an airbrushed finish, though depending on the coverage you want will depend how you apply.
This is another multipurpose product for both eyes and brows: the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner in the shade Taupe. I love using Taupe over the lid and smudging it for the minimal effort eye makeup look, it's quite grungy and effortless. For those with dark blonde to light brown hair this also works as an excellent brown pencil. Its waxy but soft texture allows you to define the brows with ease making sure you get the look you desire.
My must have for any look is a good mascara, my favourite being Benefit's They're Real. If you're looking for a good drugstore mascara I recommend the SEVENTEEN Doll'd Up mascara which is so good for the price, Mascara opens up the eyes giving a more awake look to your face, which you need if you've had a late night.
Finally to add a bit of colour to your face try a tinted lip balm such as the Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch. Not only will it keep your lips in tip top condition you also get a gentle swipe of colour added into your makeup.

This makeup look in total took me just under five minutes to apply. You could even skip a few steps if need be, for example foundation if you're having a good skin day or smudging the liner to create eyeshadow, it's up to you what you do but ultimately this is my quickest makeup routine!

I hope you enjoyed my post, if you'd like to read more posts like this hop on over to MissCosmeticBlogger, I must thank Tamsyn for letting me contribute to her blog and I hope she has a great holiday!

What are your quick makeup tips for students and workers in a hurry? We'd love to know so why not leave a comment!

Be sure to check out Beths blog at the link above and keep up to date with her posts with Twitter and Instagram :)

Monday, 31 August 2015

Looking Back On August | Life

This month seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. So we say goodbye to August on this glorious day that is oh-so typically Summer. Ahem, it's been chucking it down all day. Happy Bank Holiday guys :'D
It was an average month, mainly full of rain (shock horror) and a hell of alot of work but we had some good times. I felt the pressure at work over August, I'm not sure if it was the sheer busy periods as it's still the school holidays or if it's holiday mode coming to show making me not want to work at all. I tried so hard to save all the money I possibly could for Florida which also proved really difficult with all the Summer clothes I need to take :p I stepped up my exercising game, opting for plenty of home workouts and I prepped so many meals for work, no more nasty takeaways and fastfood.
So let me reflect over the past 31 days and share some gems with you all...
The real countdown to Florida began... as soon as the tickets arrived, that was it. The annoying countdown on every bit of social media that everyone absolutely hates but god forbid if they told me to shut the fuck up ;) I've spent the last few weeks making restaurant reservations, booking FastPasses for rides and character meets and filling out 'The DIBB' holiday planner. I am so ready!

I got a new camera lens... A 50mm to be precise. After much thought, plenty of research and lots of recommendations from fellow bloggers during a chat one evening. I decided to take the plunge and order a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens from Amazon for a bargain price of £69.00! I haven't had much time to play around with it but the time I have, it's been amazing! I can't wait to experiment some more with it.

I got to hang out with some awesome friends and more importantly got to catch up with one of my very old and dearest friends. I'm a bit of a social hermit with my social anxiety still rearing it's ugly head but when I feel the pang of confidence I really look forward to seeing friends. There's something really nice about catching up with old friends and this was a long time coming!

I ate beetroot... and I liked it! This is a massive thing for me. All my life I have absolutely hated beetroot. I would often try it, masking it in a dressing sauce or with fish or meat and I still hated it. However, I'm going through some serious changes to my food habits to ease my IBS. I walked into Marks and Spencer during my lunch break and picked up a box of beetroots in balsamic and red wine vinegar. And they were so delicious. Since then I've been back and got myself 3 more boxes. SO SO GOOD. Eat more beetroot.

I fell in love with Lush Shampoo and Conditioner bars. I've been trying really hard to switch to more natural products. Since starting to use the Lush Shampoo and Conditioner bars, my favourite being Brazilliant Shampoo Bar and Jungle Solid Conditioner. I have noticed an improvement in the condition and overall cleanliness of my hair. Not to mention the smell of them is just incredible! Full post and review coming soon.

As you can see I really struggled with this one. August wasn't as great as I thought when I looked back on it. I have so many thing planned for September so here's to hoping September is better!

What was the highlight of your month? Do you have anything planned for September?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Ahava Time To Hydrate Skincare Review | Beauty

If there's one skincare problem that sticks out to me most, it's my dry skin. Honestly, I can cope with all the odd 'time of the month' breakout and diet related blemishes. But no matter what I use; how much I use; how expensive and raved about the product is, my dry skin is never fully replenished. It has in most recent situations really knocked my confidence. My dry skin stops me from wearing makeup because I am wary that foundation sticks to dry skin and sadly draws more attention to it. This is where Ahava Skincare saves the day...
Ahava is a natural skincare company based in Israel on the shores of the Dead Sea. Founded in 1988, Ahava have been researching the beneficial properties of the Dead Sea and producing products for all skin types containing dead sea mineral, Osmoter. Osmoter promises to replenish and rehydrate skin. All of Ahavas products are natural, paraben SLS/SLES free. Aswell as allergy tested for sensitive skin and free from animal testing.
Ahava Time to Hydrate Hydration Cream Mask* is a thick and creamy face mask to be used just 1-2 times per week. I like to apply this to very dry areas of my face and neck and soaking in the bath letting the mask do it's magic for 20-30 minutes. It can also be used as an overnight treatment. However as a restless sleeper I found this to be a little messy.
So far I've only used 3-4 times, however I've noticed such a difference to the most dry areas of my face. Prior to this trial I had been suffering from dry flaky skin around my nose and upper lip. No idea where it came from, but it was itchy and not so attractive. Using the Hydration Cream Mask has really helped soothe that area and smooth the skin right out.
Ahava Skincare Time to Hydrate Active Moisture Gel Cream
Along with the Hydration Cream Mask I have been trialing the Ahava Time to Hydrate Active Moisture Gel Cream*. It's a really nice consistency, between a gel and cream moisturiser. It's doesn't hold a heavy scent which is nice as I do hate moisturisers that linger with unpleasant smells.
I use this twice daily in the morning and evening. It soaks into my skin well prior to applying makeup, which is something I look for as I'm always in a hurry to get ready for work. I've also noticed red blemishes to my skin, especially cheeks have also reduced drastically. A bonus!
I'll admit, I've never purchased a cream specifically used for eyes. I know, I know. I am bad. So I was totally up for trying Ahava Time to Hydrate Gentle Eye Cream*. Eyes are such a delicate area that they do need a treatment especially for them. I noticed recently that my eyes are getting quite dry, in my brow arch and the outer corners of my eyes. I like to use the gentle eye cream before bed. Gently dabbing on the eyelids and under eyes. This gives a nice cool feeling and soothes the bits of skin that are dry.

Overall I really love these three products from Ahava Skincare. They provide soothing relief from dry irritating skin. If your pain skin concern is lack of hydration, then Ahavas Time to Hydrate range is for you!

Ahava skincare can be purchased on eBay via the Ahava store. They stock a wide range of skincare solutions for every skin concern plus bath, massage, hand and nail products. You can also save up to 50% on every purchase, bargain! There's also a range of start skincare kits, which these three products are included in. The Ahava Skincare Time to Hydrate Kit* which retails at £86.00 and also includes free shipping!

Have you tried Ahava Skincare before? Are Dead Sea Mineral skincare products something that appeal to you?

*this is a sponsored post. However, all views and opinions are my own

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