The best beauty products for our recent heatwave 

product review

I don’t know about you guys but this heat is too much for me. I feel like I am slowly melting, my inner core is melting. Everything is melting. But one thing that doesn’t need to have a meltdown is your beauty routine.

Just recently I’ve been reviewing a lot of skincare products for ReallyRee, and coincidentally many of them have been natural products. I am fast becoming an advocate for nature. So the latest is Urban Veda and I just thought this purifying skin wash and polish will be perfect in this weather. The tee tree and mint makes them ultra refreshing, and they decongest the skin.

I also love the Hawaiian tropic dry oil, it really makes me feel like it helps accelerate the tanning process (although the spf deffo isn’t high enough for this weather, I tend to layer this with sun cream). It’s so important to remember to wear protection – just because we’re in England doesn’t mean we won’t burn. This oil is relative cheap and moisturising, plus it smells like coconut & guava!

Carmex has always been one of my faves when it comes to lipcare, I suffer from chapped lips and the hot weather can make this worse. Their lip balms are so affordable and seem to last forever. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a carmex pot?

Make sure if you wear any make up or lip balms that they also contain spf. Burned swollen lips will not be attractive.**(Not a cheap alternative to lip fillers)**

Happy tanning guys!

Primark mermaid glow highlighter – a cult product for £3.50 

product review

I urge you one and all to stop wasting your money on expensive highlighters! I know the struggle; they look so attractive and shiny, but this highlighter from Primark ticks all the boxes. It ensures that you look like a real life mermaid, if ever there was one! 

Full review 

Firstly, it is only £3.50, so not really a huge investment. The highlighter also comes in other colours, should you not prefer a shiny white mermaid metallic look. 

It is ultra pigmented! In comparison to my Urban Decay highlighter (I have the powder highlighter in ‘Sin’), I can’t say there is much difference in quality. The Primark highlighter has longevity, I have been wearing it for around two weeks now; and everyday it stays put for the entire day. I know this because on my way home from work, I happened to just catch my reflection in glass and my cheeks were shining to the high heavens. Of course I smiled to myself. 

The next time you visit Primark be sure to grab one of these – if there’s any left. Sure, the packaging is rather basic maybe compared to more expensive highlighters. But you know what, I like it. It’s simplistic and it does the job, pretty darn well may I add. 

[Perhaps not the best pic to show off the highlight, but it’s there glowing away if you look close enough] 
[…Andddd swatch 😍, you can really see the high pigmentation here] 

Is affordable make up a false economy or smart shopping? 

top tips

I’m going to use Rimmels wake me up concealer as the prime example to this much needed debate. (And it is a bloody good concealer by the way, just putting it out there). 

At £5.49 it’s undeniably cheap, yet gives medium – good coverage. However what I have found in the long term is that the cheaper concealers are less thick (in the sense of giving a full coverage not a cakey texture). This means they run out twice as fast as the more expensive brands; I’d say using the Rimmel concealer on a daily basis it could last you perhaps 2-3 months. 

Naturally if you have to keep replacing the product, surely it becomes no longer quite as cheap as you anticipated? In comparison to (just for example sake), Urban Decays naked concealer – which was my previous concealer of choice. Weighing in at £19, but lasting between 7-8 months with everyday use. 

It does make you question whether actually buying cheaper make up does save you money in the long run? The quality is lesser, meaning that you use more product per application, and could potentially spend more or the same amount over longer periods? 

Here’s my advice to get the best bang for your buck; 

Take into consideration regularity of use. For example if you could manage to make the Rimmel concealer last 6 months, of course £11 a year on concealer is an absolute bargain – and cheaper than a majority of high end products. However if you know you use products quite excessively it may be worth investing in a slightly more expensive product, maybe midrange which will last you for most of the year (if you have cheaper ones laying around use them up in the meantime). 

I’m all for shopping smart and not just throwing away money. These are the questions you need to be asking yourself when make up shopping: 

 What products do I already own that are similar? 

Do I actually need this or am I buying it for the sake of it? 

Is this too expensive for what it is – am I paying for a brand name? 

Have I seen a good dupe for this product which will save me money? 

How often will I use the product / can I justify buying it? 

Just being generally more conscious of your consumption patterns and what you currently have in stock at home could help you save a lot of money! 

Happy shopping and happy saving guys 💕 

Illamasqua hydra veil, hydra money, hydra good? 

product review

Illamasqua is one of those brands which make their products just look so very appealing. Everything is so classy and monotone. I want it all 😍. 

So I was thrilled to receive their hydraveil primer / moisturiser / gel as a birthday gift, because at £32 a snap, I doubt I would be buying it myself. 

Is it worth the buck? 

The presentation of the product is beautiful. It’s in a bowl with its own spoon, this makes for an easy application. But illamasqua recommended scooping the product onto your hand first, and then putting onto your face with your fingers. 

It’s a gel as opposed to any traditional mousturisers which are creamy. I do like the gel concept, it’s different, and in this instance I do feel wonderfully luxuriant as if I’m putting fresh caviar onto my skin *flicks hair*. 

The consistency of the gel is initially a bit grainy, but once you rub into your skin it does become as smooth as honey (not so sticky, mind you). It did feel very refreshing upon application and it did make my skin soft. But I’m disappointed to say that it didn’t make a huge difference to my make up or appearance of skin. Like, for that price tag I would expect to be blown away by the difference. 

It does make you feel luxurious, but in terms of product effect – it’s a little lacklustre in my opinion. I get a better, or more noticeable result from products which are half the price. 

Sorry illamasqua, it may be hydraveil but it isn’t hydrabrilliant

Overall score 7/10 

Secluded: how to beauty shop on rural holidays 

top tips

Because no matter where you holiday this summer 2016, you will find a source to purchase cosmetics or perfume. Or even hair products. Any type of item which epitomises vanity? 

Even if you are in the middle of a jaw-droppingly beautiful Sardinian village, where the locals twist up their necks to stare at you as they must have never seen a platinum blonde girl before – and absolutely no one speaks English.  Yep, there is hidden treasures even in the most remote of places.

Here’s my top tips for rural beauty buys; 

1. Locality 

If it isn’t already blindingly obvious – find out which local produce is popular wherever you are staying. For example, last year in Crete I found olive oil products were available in almost every store – as they are locally grown and produced. Natural products are often better for the skin and hair, you are helping independant business’ and you end up with unique, quaint, raw products. 

Triple threat right there. 

2. Hidden treasure 

As well as local produce, you can also try products unique to the area you are staying. For example, I have just come back from Sardinia and I found a perfume, (infact the holy grail of all perfumes) produced and sold only in Sardinia – which I fell in love with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Chanel girl at heart – but this perfume is a strong contender in winning my affection. 

Aqua di sardegna – smeralda (Incase anyone wants to smell heaven on earth – an absolute orgasm for your nose) 

It’s well worth paying attention to brands you’ve never heard of – sometimes you find some real bargains which can grow to become some of your favourite products. 


3. Marketplace 

Any rural area will always have a flea market. The original hipster place to be seen. 

But honestly, you can find some real bargains here – again, local produce will be rife. Also hand made jewellery, handbags, purses etc will be available. 

Unique pieces aplenty. 

4. Deep

Any dedicated shopper/ shopping addict will know, sometimes the best products are in the most unlikely of shops. 

When beauty shopping on holiday, try supermarkets and pharmacies for unique products. For example in Sardinia I found a Loreal shampoo which is only sold in salons in the uk – specifically for colour damaged hair. It was great to see that top quality product in a tiny supermarket in a province of Sardinia. 

They may also sell their own branded make up which could be well worth trying. 

The local pharmacy was also a victim of my spending. They had, again, unique perfumes from the region; amazing amounts of skin care by well known and lesser known brands. A make up stand, containing cosmetics by two brands I had never heard of (but they looked top quality). 

If you look hard enough you will find something you either need – or don’t so much need, but want – because you can never have too much make up. Perfume. Hair products. Clothes. Shoes. Handbags… 

Happy hunting. 

That’s so hot: best of summer 16

product review

Even if this summer in England was a complete wash-out (quite literally); there is still an intense need to compile favourite / much needed beauty products for summer. Who even needs an excuse to buy more?

  1. Serum me up baby

Chanel -Hydra beauty serum, £78 for 50ml

Let’s be honest buying and using Chanel products can make anyone feel like Audrey Hepburn. The epitome of class; this hydrating serum is a must-have. It smells divine, and it is multi-purpose. Can be used as a primer before make-up application, as a daily moisturiser or treatment for skin. Plus it looks great on your dressing table. (Yes I am that superficial).

Quick tip: Try to buy Chanel products at the duty free section at airports, I got this serum for around £45, which is almost half price.

2. Mattify me

NYX – Matte blotting paper, £3.50 for 50 sheets

NYXX is slowly becoming my favourite beauty brand. Such good value for money – and these blotting papers are a life saver. If, like me after 3 hours your make-up looks like you’ve been dipped in a chip fat fryer; then you need these blotting papers. They soak up excess oil without spoiling your contour, and they fit in your handbag. Cuuuuute.

3. Baby,baby

Maybelline – Baby skin instant pore eraser, £7.99 for 22ml

If the blotting papers aren’t adequate defence against major grease, I would recommend this primer. The trick to achieving a matte face (espesh in summer when humidity makes your face melt off like an Ikea candle), is attacking it from all angles. Prep is the best defence, and with this primer you’ll be as matte as matte can be.

4. Good enough to eat

Hawaiian Tropic – SPF 25 lipgloss in island berry, £6 for 20ml

This does actually smell good enough to eat. And it’s brilliant because it gives a seductive glossy finish to lips, and is intensely moisturising plus has SPF 25 to protect lips from harmful UV rays. If you are going abroad this summer to a country with a hot climate – don’t leave without this sexy (practical) gloss.

5. Milky

L’Occitane – Milk veil with almond proteins, £28 for 250ml

If there’s one thing summer does do – it can seriously dehydrate your skin. This milk veil is the perfect moisturising treat for skin, apply morning and night (after bathing is the best time). This will make you smell gorgeous, and your skin will be as smooth as silk. This milkshake will bring all the boys to your yard!