Total ♡ for The Body Shop

I have legit always been a fan of The Body Shop – ever since my first purchases of the cucumber cleanser and the banana shampoo! (I swear that every teen growing up in the 00s had these two products!)

But seriously, over the past year or so The Body Shop has got it so right. I feel like it’s the perfect high street go to for all skincare and beauty products – from shampoo, to body scrub to liquid lipsticks.

Lately I have been purchasing quite a few bits, and have also received plenty from work friends as birthday presents etc. – guess the bottle of body mist on my desk and my constant spraying of it was kind of a hint that I ♡ the stuff!

My definite favourites have to be the Fuji Green Tea fresh body sorbet – this stuff is such a dream, it’s pretty moisturising but is non-greasy and literally sinks straight in. I am also a big fan of their tea tree skin range – the …wash is amazing and I genuinely find that it seems to last for ages. Polynesian Island Tiare fragrance mist has to be one of my most loved scents from The Body Shop, it kinda reminds me of being on holiday and I have a soft spot for fragrances that smell of being in the sun! Their Rainforest shampoo and conditioner range has left my hair smelling amazing – I’ve even had others comment on it, and I totally love that it has no sulphates in sight. And finally, who cannot love The Body Shop lip balms, they are a staple lip product that I can’t help but pick up everytime I’m in there!

Share your favourites/recommendations below! xx

Lip Product Must Haves

I am soooo sooo happy with my two latest lip product purchases at the moment that it was a no brainer that I share them on the Balm & Blyss blog!

Both were kind of impulse purchases – I wasn’t really on the lookout for new lip products…I already have too many to count!

The lip liner is Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pilowtalk. It’s such a smooth consistency and genuinely the only lip liner that I have ever used where I can over-line my lips and it look completely natural. The colour is perfect and works well as a base under most lipstick colours.

The NYX product is one of their soft matte lip creams in the colour Toulouse. I actually bought this as part of a set where there were 3 lip creams in total, although in all honesty I only bought the set for this one colour which wasn’t sold on it’s own! This is the first time I have ever use one of NYX’s lip creams and I am so in love with the consistency, pigment and staying power. Like the lip liner, you can get away with over-lining/colouring your lips with this product without it being super obvious.

I also have a lip product that I am dying to test out that I bought when I was in Krakow from Sephora which I will review in an upcoming blog post!

Share any of your lip product/faves/must haves below!

xx

 

Mini Make-Up Haul

makeup-haul

Cool make up that’s reasonably priced AND available in the UK?

Hello to KIKO make up.

I actually first discovered them like 3 years ago when travelling to Madrid and purchased the perfect peachy nude creamy lipstick, and after to a recent trip to their London store I have a few other products to add to my collection!

I have never done a make up haul on Balm & Blyss despite the number of beauty posts that I do! (Check them out under the Balm & Blyss Beauty category)

But my recent visit to KIKO and a quick lil visit to the Nyx counter at Selfridges and I feel that it is totally necessary to share what I bought with you!

makeup-haul-2

makeup-haul-1

Weirdly most of my products from KIKO don’t appear to be named/numbered on their colour, however the eyeshadow is in 203and is this amazingly deep maroon/purple colour.

The nail polishes are surprising one of my faves (a steal at only £1 each!) and have a real nice consistency and seem to wear pretty well.

The gel eye liner is a re-purchase, however I can vouch that is THE best gel eyeliner I have come across. Super pigmented and wears literally all day.

And the NYX liptstick is a matt grey colour in no.34 which I have been after for forever – would you believe how hard it is to source a grey lipstick?!

Let me know what your favourite beauty finds are this month – do you change your makeup to match the seasons?

xx

 

Why You Need A Wooden Hair Brush

Wood for Good

Who doesn’t want healthy hair? And I bet that most of us want longer hair too right?!

You have the perfect hair oil that I mentioned in my previous post, so why stop there on your journey to the perfect hair?

It’s time to put down that tangle teezer and check out why you need a wooden hair brush in your life.

Here’s why…

☽  So a wooden hairbrush helps to absorb your natural hair oils which means when you brush through your hair it helps to distribute these oils evenly that help to keep it conditioned

☽ Helps to reduce static and breakage

☽ Provides a scalp massage particularly along the acupressure points – promoting good circulation and healthy hair growth

☽ If looked after, a wooden hairbrush will literally last you years & years – a definite worthwhile investment!

Tek Hairbrush 1

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush]

Tek Hairbrush 2

[Tek Wooden Hairbrush – Handmade in Italy]

I bought my wooden hairbrush a couple of years ago and honestly love it. It doesn’t drag like plastic bristle brushes tend to, it somehow doesn’t seem to get that unclean/messy, and it genuinely feels almost therapeutic when using it!

The brand I purchased is Tek which is an Italian brand where they hand-make their brushes. Did I mention that they are also FSC certified which means your hairbrush uses responsibly sourced wood. They are kinda pricey if buying direct through their website, however definitely check out your local TK Maxx as I grabbed mine there for a fraction of the price!

Let me know if you guys prefer plastic/wooden/any other type of hair brushes! Also if you have heard of or had any experience of the hair ‘inversion’ method I would absolutely love to know (blog post coming soon!)

xx

The hair oil you need in your life

 

Hair Oil

This shit is real…milk_shake glistening argan oil is legit the real deal.

Let’s backtrack sayyy 5-6 years when I was at University and first discovered argan oil.

I fell in love.

Hair dried quicker – check.

Smoother hair – check.

Hair feeling generally healthier – check.

So yep – I have pretty much used argan oil on my hair ever since.

I haven’t been particularly brand loyal, I’ve gone from using high street brands to the holy grail Moroccan Oil.

But there’s a new player in town, and if you haven’t heard of milk_shake haircare products already then check them out!

Long story short, my hairdresser recommended milk_shake glistening argan oil and that it’s seriously the best hair oil she has used. (She also used it on my hair and it felt aaamazinggg).

So me being me I kept putting off buying it and wanted to wait until I had used up the argan oil I was currently using. Anyway – cue me researching it online for weeks, checking where had it for the best price etc. until I found it on Beauty Bay.

Basically, they had it at the best price then something INSANE happened. I checked beauty bay on Tuesday and…the hair oil had been reduced to £3. Let’s take that in for a moment – this hair oil retails for £20!!

I ordered 5 bottles (they’re 50ml each) and it’s like the best decision I’ve ever made.

Milkshake hair oil 1 Milkshake hair oil 2 Milkshake hair oil 3

And I’m not sponsored or being paid for this post – I seriously sent an email around friends telling them as I feel that I should share this amazing find!

Let me know if you order any – I’m contemplating ordering more (I seriously have like FOMO in a shopping sense!) or what your favourite hair oil is!

xx

Why I Have Down-Graded My Skincare

Skincare Update

– ‘Down-graded’ in the sense of trying to get back to basics and simplicity in skincare.

At 24 there is something I have realised – I no longer want to use harsh/unknown/animal-tested products in my life anymore. You would think this would have clicked a lot sooner having being vegetarian/vegan on/off for years, but somehow the whole skincare part slipped my mind. I guess in an ideal world, wouldn’t everyone love to use all natural skincare – so we truly know what we are using?

Okay so I’m not quite there yet – but lately I have definitely been making a more conscious decision to change to products that are at least cruelty free where I can, and not so full of ingredients that I’m unaware of. But it’s also kinda a brand vs quality thing too, I have worked for a skincare/cosmetic brand and throughout that time heavily used higher end products in my routine…butttttt I have since found some great products that are just as good if not better at doing the same job and have not regretted the switch!

Sooooo here are some of the products I have switched to recently

New Skincare Staples

Going in order from L-R…

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Garnier Micellar Water

So I want to say first that I’m pretty sure Garnier does involve animal testing so I feel kinda guilty for using this product but I am looking out for alternatives! Aside from that it does do a pretty good job at cleansing and removing makeup. I have an oily skin type so I hate makeup removers that are oily/greasy on the skin. This literally feels so fresh on my skin and removes all my eye makeup.

Simply Pure Light Moisturiser Sensitive Skin (Superdrug)

Simply Pure Moisturiser

Kinda in love with Superdrug’s own brand products as they aren’t tested on animals/cruelty free! And I wanted a very light moisturiser that sinks in to the skin pronto and this lil one happened to also be on offer! It’s 75ml size too and usually the more high-end moisturisers that I have used before are 30-50ml so it’s definitely a mega bargain!!

Bare Minerals Firming Eye Treatment

Bare minerals eye cream

I have always been a bit of a stickler for eye cream, I have no real concern for the skin around my eyes (yet!) but just the fact that is so much more delicate then the skin on the rest of our face (50% thinner to be exact) makes me want to pay it some tlc. Bare Minerals also states that it does not test on animals – yey! It’s a really nice consistency – not too light or too heavy, and blends in really nicely. Its a 15ml tube and seriously last me f-o-r-everrrr!!

Deep Action Deep Cleansing Lotion (Superdrug)

Deep Action witch hazel

So I use this bad boy as a toner (so after cleansing and before moisturising) and it makes my skin feel uber clean. It has salicylic acid and witch hazel to help clean and tighten pores and eliminate excess shine – phew!! Again its not tested on animals/cruelty free, it’s inexpensive and honestly lasts me forever (I know I’m saying this about every product but I swear it’s true!!)

Okay so this next thing might have you a little bit like WTH but after reading Fashion Lush’s blog post on it I have been kinda hooked on this ever since…

Jade Face Roller

Jade Face Roller

Okay so basically you use this roller to help massage your mositurising products in to your skin – the smaller end for the eye area and around the nose, the larger end for the rest of the face and neck area. It’s freakishly amazing and literally feels as though it has been stored in a fridge – the jade feels super cooling on your skin which really seems to help perk my skin up in the morning. Totally swear by it! Fyi – I googled jade face rollers and bought this one from a website and it cost me about £3 total!!

…Annnddd finally the no.1 most useful, cruelty free skincare product that you NEED to have is…

Coconut Oil!!

I use it on my hair as a deep conditioning mask the night before washing, I use it to oil pull (post coming soon) to whiten my teeth, as a lip balm and on areas of dry skin! You can also use it as a cleanser/makeup remover if you maybe have drier skin or prefer an oily consistency to remove makeup!

So there it is! I did do a skincare routine post back when I was living in Australia which hasn’t changed too much apart from I have substituted or ‘downgraded’ some of the higher end products for the ones you see here. For me it wasn’t an issue with the price of skincare – as I do believe in investing in taking care of your skin, but the fact that there are a lot of similar products with very similar standards of quality and that aren’t tested on animals so it has just been a natural move which I am still continuing to do!

What skincare switches have you made? What are your favourite products? I would love to know!

Happy Hump Day!

Top 5 Love Your Hair Tips

Processed with Moldiv

Eek yes that is my hair in the pic above!! Anyway so most of us are never completely satisfied with what our parents/genes/god gave us and that is especially true when it comes to our hair! And I am definitely someone who is never completely satisfied with my own – it never grows long enough, it gets dry and/or oily, it’s not as thick as I want it. Everything bar the colour (loving how my hairdresser colours it!) is always kinda in between – I’m talking a barnett with a mind of it’s own…who else is with me here?! So I have decided to narrow down my top 5 most important and crucial haircare tips that you can follow too to help rule reign over your do..

Haircare Collage

1. Use sulfate free shampoos – all those nasties essentially damage your hair as they are only in there to create a lather. Also avoid silicones if possible in your shampoos too.

2. Wash your hair less – Kim K only does it once every 5 days and so should you.

3. Use a hair oil – my favourite is the original Moroccan Oil. It helps soothe and smoothe, nourish and protect, my hair always feels a million times better when I pop some on freshly washed just-towel-dried hair.

4. Use less heat – banish those styling tools! Okay that’s a bit drastic but you should definitely limit them. Try let your hair air-dry or if you need to blow dry it, skip the straighteners.

5. Use gentle hair accessories – lover of a pony-tail or hair bun? Harsh elastics/bobbles break off your hair so opt for more hair friendly alternatives. Think alligator clips and invisbobble style bobbles – seriously they are the best thing since sliced bread..they even keep hair in place when working out!!

Oh and did I mention I am a serious lover of the sleep bun a la Lauryn Evarts on The Skinny Confidential? Yep the sleep bun means serious business and a must for that perfect next day hair with zero effort!!

What are your top haircare tips? Please Share!

Also check out my post here on the best dry shampoo I’ve found on the high street that only costs £1!

GlowBites x My Favourite Blogs

TGD 17

It feels like forever since my last GlowBites post! Sometimes it feels as though every other post is a GlowBites one so I wanted to throw in a few other posts and then of course return to my weekly thaaaang (LOL) And seen as I am loving blogging/reading blogs at the moment (btw…how well are bloggers doing at the moment?!) I thought I would dedicate this weeks GlowBites to the blogs that I without fail check daily, and help to inspire me as a blogger – plus a lil rundown of what to expect from each one if you didn’t already know!!

TGD Fave Blogs

The Skinny Confidential (Of Course)

>>Lifestyle/fashion/beauty/home/DIY<<

Milk Bubble Tea

>>Cute lifestyle bits<<

Zoe London

>>Quirky/edgy lifestyle and makeup bits<<

Cupcakes and Cashmere

>>Amazing home style/DIY bits/Advice<<

BLAWNDE

>>Fashion/Food&Health/Spiritual<<

Western Wild

>>Lifestyle/Advice/Fashion<<

Fashion Lush

>>Fashion/DIY<<

Queen of Jetlags

>>Travel/Fashion/Blog Tips<<

The Sunday Chapter

>>Lifestyle/Recipes/Blog Tips<<


 I love finding new blogs! I have actually written all of these down because my list is getting longer and longer and harder to remember to make sure I check them all! I’m currently loving The Sunday Chapter – she’s an Australian Blogger and I love that her blog is really simple, easy to read but has so much interesting and useful content – a definite recommendation, check her out now!!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far – nearly the weekend woo! What are your favourite blogs?

TheGlowDown Daily Top 10

Daily Habits

Here is my second weekly installment of a how to/DIY/to-do list style blog post and what better way to start your week and your month with making some new and positive changes to you day-to-day schedule!! So I have created my ultimate beauty/mind/health daily to-do list which I intend on doing for at least the rest of this month to help maintain a positive and balanced me! Plus…read on to find out my top secret #1 skincare tip!

 TGD daily To Do

Keep tuned in the next couple of weeks as I totally need to do a couple of posts on oil pulling (which I love) and jade face rolling – bye bye puffiness!

Andddd…here is my #1 to skincare tip (it’s so simple it’s silly)

Pat in your facial skincare products! That’s right – eye creams, serums and moisturisers! Don’t rub them in and drag your skin about, pat them in! They absorb better this way and I always feel as though my skin looks really fresh after doing it! Use your ring finger for around your eye, and the length of your fingers for the rest of your face and pat gently all over (inc your neck) until it is practically absorbed and you’re ready to go!

This week I’m keeping it short n sweet with my top 10 list! What are your daily to-dos for a better you?

Plump Your Pout

Plump Your Pout

So I am not naturally blessed with the plumpest of pouts, in fact circa 2003 (secondary school/high school years) I developed a slight complex over it as one boy told me that I had a ‘small mouth!!’ (Mega LOL) Anyway so jokes aside I think most girls have  sought after ways to plump up our lips and make the most of them. I am guilty of neglecting my lips when it comes to makeup at times but I definitely believe it should be at the top of our priorities to keep them healthy and moisturised >> a moisturised pout = halfway there to lips a la Angelina Jolie!!

Whilst I was having lunch and catching up with a couple of girlfriends we got on to the subject of fuller lips as I had just received my CityLips lip plumping gloss. And this is when one of my friends (who happens to be a beautician fyi) mentioned that she had heard of a method that plumps your lips without using any kind of beauty product!! She told us how if you create a suction around the lips, whilst the lips themselves are being sucked in to what is almost like a ‘vacuum’ then it draws blood to the surface and makes your lips swell/grow. Now the kinda things she had used were the necks of water bottles and it had worked for her. There is actually a brand that creates lip plumpers that mimics this exact suction/vacuum effect that you can watch here and buy here.

Now before you all think WTH and is she crazy I googled this craze and look a little more in to it and actually found endless posts and tutorials on how to use this method at home with simply using products you would already have around the house. So I decided to test out a couple of the methods and decided of a firm winner…the bottle cap.

So bear with me here…

 Yes it is just a regular bottle cap from any kind of drinking bottle – they are all pretty a standard size/depth. The technique with the bought version is exactly the same as with your DIY home alternative. Now I apologize as I won’t be creating or uploading a video on how to do this anytime soon (you look kinda crazy doing it!) But I will describe how it’s done.

Firstly, it is your choice whether you want to start with product free lips or to coat them first with a little lipbalm – either works just fine. Secondly you wana take your bottle cap (make sure it is CLEAN) and hold it over your lips >> smaller pouts will find if they pout they can pretty much cover most of their lips >> plumper pouts you may find you want to do this step in 2 parts. Once your pout is covered you want to suck until the bottle cap is suctioned in place and it holds in place on its own – no hands. You will then start to feel a strange pulling sensation as your lips start to plump – you then have to continue the sucking motion so the bottle cap stays in place – do this for about 15 secs then release. Repeat this process up to 6 times.

Lips Before

Before..

Lips After

…After!! So I changed in to a different top here just to clarify! And you can definitely notice that my top lip looks fuller, especially at the outer corners! They look lightly more pink/red as the blood has been drawn to the surface. This was with 4 lots of about 15secs – so you can definitely plump them more!

TIP: You can help plump and accentuate the outer corners of your lips or the top of your lip by moving and placing the bottle cap – you can allow the bottle cap to simply cover just the top lip, or move the cap to the left/right. This works best too if you have already naturally fuller lips.

And don’t worry..there will be some redness/marks from the bottle cap around your mouth area but these die down pretty quickly. Just don’t over-do it with the suction – I have read some people have caused themselves to bruise from being a little over enthusiastic!! Your plump pout won’t last forever unfortunately, fullness can last for 2-6 hours depending on your natural lips and how many times you repeat the steps. Although I have to say I feel as though gradually my lips seem to have become fuller – maybe it’s psychological?!

I hope you enjoy my weird trick to help plump your pout…I would love to hear of any strange and wonderful beauty tips/tricks you guys have to share! Also why not pair your new plump bout with some Kylie Jenner style lip colour and see how I re-create her look here!