Blogmas – The Nail Polish Edit…My Favourite Festive Reds

If you saw day 10 of Blogmas you will have seen that I suggested the Mani & Lola subscription box as the perfect give for a nailcare lover and it got me thinking…I love it when my hands and nails are looking their best but these days it’s not something I’m finding it easy to keep on top of. I’m still enjoying my fortnightly application of gel nail polish but in short, it knackers your nails so I’m having a self-enforced two-week hiatus to try and regain a bit of condition before the obligatory pre-Christmas mani. However, If you read my introductory post (20 facts about me), you will know that I have a small aversion to decking my digits in sparkles and shimmer and that I like to keep my nails short, neat and (preferably) on the dark side. So if like me, you aren’t so keen on the long, daggers dipped in glitter look, here are my picks of suitably subtle yet festive Christmas reds.Nail Polish Edit - Top Festive Reds

Smith & Cult – Kundalini Hustle

This is a true red. Pillar box, London bus, whatever you want to call it, if you want a full-on,  shiny, opaque red nail polish then this is the one for you. The Smith & Cult bottles are a thing of beauty and don’t worry – you don’t have to wrestle with that giant gold nugget of a lid – it simply pops off to reveal a small ribbed top with a wide easy to use brush.

Smith & Cult Kundalini Hustle

Chanel – Rouge Noir

If I could wear only one nail colour for the rest of my life this would be it! Rouge Noir was made famous by Uma Thurman’s ‘Mia Wallace’ in the cult 90s film Pulp Fiction and has remained a best seller ever since. It’s dark, it’s seductive and it’s ever so chic! Why would you want glitter when you could have a bottle of Rouge Noir?

Chanel Rouge Noir

OPI- Got The Blues For Red

The picture does not do this one justice (in fact it looks nothing like the picture)! It’s the perfect every day bluey-red and my winter staple! OPI is always a bit of a no-brainer. The polishes glide on beautifully, they have great coverage and the oh my word the names!!! Some of my all-time favourites…’Vampire State Building’ ‘Shangri La La Lilac and the ubiquitous ‘I’m Not Really A Waitress’…

OPI Got The Blues For Red

OPI – I’m Not Really A Waitress

This is about as sparkly as I get. Do not be fooled by the picture (i’m not really sure why it’s coming up pink) – this is a definite ruby red shot through with shimmer! This is a hot contender for my Christmas nails…watch this space!

OPI Im Not Really A Waitress

CND Vinylux – Bloodline 

I would call this a bit of a dupe for Rouge Noir – a great everyday choice without the Chanel pricetag

CND Vinylux Bloodline

Seche Vite Top Coat

I know there’s a trend for matt nails at the moment but for me, I like my nails to look like they’ve just come out of a car showroom – gloss all the way baby! A quick coat of Seche Vite and your nails will dry to a glass-like shine in mere minutes!

Seche Vite Top Coat

What is your go-to nail polish colour for the festive season? Are you a fan of the glitter?

Elf On The Shelf – The Adventures Of Tuukka Tuukka DAY11

elf eating sweeties

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Glossier UK…The Review

You would have to have been living on another planet not to notice the hype surrounding the launch of Glossier UK! It’s been built up, blogged about, reviewed and Instagrammed for months and, being the easily led beauty junkie I am, I was first in line when it finally launched at the beginning of October. Here are five picks from the most hotly anticipated launch of the year…

The Best of Glossier UK

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

If you’ve read my previous skincare posts then you’ll know that I’m pretty pedantic when it comes to cleansing so the Milky Jelly Cleanser was on my hit list from the get-go. The texture is most definitely a gel (i’m not entirely sure where the milk comes in) and I must say it does a lovely job of leaving the skin clean and soft. I love the packaging – a pump action is always super handy in the bathroom and this one is particularly ‘workable’ if you know what I mean? No, ok then. Umm, what I mean is that this seems unlikely to clog up (where you end up having to stick a pin down the nozzle) or shoot product out at such an alarming rate that it takes your eye out! What I didn’t care for was the fact that:

  1. It’s not heavy duty enough to get rid of makeup or SPF
  2. It feels a little on the claggy, verging on the sticky side and if I don’t get my follow up products on straight away it also feels a little drying.
  3. It’s just a bit joyless. My absolute favourite cleanser in the whole wide world is Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel (which smells like sweeties and just melts into your skin like a dream). In my mind, there’s just no comparison and I would be much more likely to repurchase the Oskia over the Glossier (which given that its significantly more expensive, pretty much says it all).

Milky Jelly Cleanser

GLOSSIER UK MILKY JELLY CLEANSER

Glossier Boy Brow

I know eyebrows are big news at the moment but bloomin heck when did they get so scary? I sat next to two girls in Pizza Express a few days ago who couldn’t have been more than fifteen and yet had beetle brows to rival Eugene Levy (the dad in American Pie for those of you not familiar). I myself am partial to more of a natural (but still groomed) “boy brow” but am completely and utterly crap with an eye pencil so products like this are the dream – the lazy girl’s brow buddy if you will. The formula is waxy enough to hold everything in place and fill in any gaps without that nasty, crunchy finish and the brush is teeny tiny so you can really get in there and be quite precise. Overall this is very similar to Benefit’s “Gimme Brow” which has been a staple in my makeup bag for quite a while now but I think that”Boy Brow” may just pip it to the post.

GLOSSIER UK BOY BROW

Cloud Paint

Once again, I’m going to start with the packaging. How could you not love these super cute paint tubes – what a delicious play on words! The formula is light and dewy but I’ve also found it to be quite buildable should you want a little more than a delicate flush of colour. Following the advice of Emily Weiss (oh that rhymed) – Glossier’s founder, I picked up the shades Dusk and Beam. Both colours are lovely in their own right, but mixed together make the prettiest peachy pink – perfect for no-makeup makeup days when you just want to look fresh-faced and well, pretty! The only downsides that I can see aren’t really downsides as such. The colours aren’t highly pigmented but then again they aren’t designed to be and, as I’ve said, they are quite buildable. Another potential con could be the small selection of colours but again, mixing the colours is a super easy way of achieving your preferred shade.

Glossier Cloud Paint

GLOSSIER UK CLOUD PAINT

Balm Dot Com

Balm dot com is essentially a moisturising lip balm (although you certainly could use it on your cuticles or other dry patches). Now, I don’t think I’m the biggest fan of lip balm (I know, I know I can almost hear you all screaming at me). I just find it really irritating. As soon as I get it on my lips that’s all I can think about and I just want to get it off! The same goes for lipstick, to be honest, so I’m probably not the best person to give you advice in this area but I’ll give it my best shot. O.k the pros…firstly, it’s not sticky…that would just about send me over the edge and secondly, it really is very moisturising and leaves lips looking lovely and plumptious! The big con for me (apart from my general dislike of lip balms) is that the flavour is so subtle (I went for coconut) that I found myself licking my lips in desperate search of the juicy tropical taste I was hoping for. So many people recommended the coconut that I was really quite disappointed that the flavour just didn’t come through for me.

Balm Dot Com

GLOSSIER UK BALM DOT COM

Glossier Generation G Lipstick

Everything in the Glossier range is quite sheer and geared towards a natural – you but better – vibe. The Generation G lipstick is no different, offering a sheer matt wash of colour to give a simple and polished look. At the moment, I’m not getting on that well with the lipstick. The colour (I went for Cake) is so subtle it’s close to non-existent so I’m really hoping that with a little perseverance it will start offering a little more oomph as I really love the light texture. In its defence, I’m aware that I’ve chosen a very subtle shade in what is also a very subtle formula so I am tempted to try some of the darker, more berry shades which look like they will be perfect for the Autumn season.

Glossier UK Generation G Lipstick

GLOSSIER UK GENERATION G LIPSTICKS

The Pink Pouch

I couldn’t do a Glossier review without mentioning the infamous pink pouches! If you’re not in the know, all Glossier orders come in a pink bubble wrap zip lock bag which sounds distinctly, meh, but in reality is just the BEST THING EVER! Don’t ask me why but there is something incredibly satisfying about these little pouches almost to the point that I would place an order just for the bag! They are super handy, super cool and yeah, just super pleasing!

Have you tried Glossier UK yet? Do you have any must-haves that should be on my next shopping list?

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Makeup Junkies Rejoice! It’s The Hundred Pound Haul (Maquillage Edit)

Spectrum Collections, Makeup Brushes, Spectrum Makeup BrushesMakeup Junkies of the world rejoice! It’s been a little while since our last hundred pound haul but, fear not…this ones a goodie! Giving a girl a one hundred pound budget and letting her loose in a beauty hall is a bit like letting a bunch of 30 something females loose at a Tom Hardy convention (or is that just me?)…the excitement is palpable! This one really has been a lot of fun so, without further ado, here’s how we got on in this special installment of the hundred pound haul…

MY PICKS

1. Spectrum Brushes

Slightly off brief but still within the ‘makeup genre’ this set of brushes, complete with travel pouch are the stuff a makeup junkies dreams are made of. The perfect shade of ‘millennial pink’ with rose gold ferrules and super-soft pink ombre heads, these make makeup application a dream (despite my current dressing table situation – don’t worry an overhaul is most definitely on the cards). I’ve only recently discovered ‘Spectrum Collections’ (an independent brand started by two sisters from their garage in Wales) through the podcast ‘Made Online’. (If you’re into Podcasts go check it out – the brainchild of Hayley – London Beauty Queen -the interviews are so interesting and I nearly always come away feeling super motivated!). The brand cropped up again on twitter when I came across a post on their blog entitled Lessons Learned The Hard Way and I just thought wow these girls have been through the mill. They’ve powered on through and have come out all the stronger for it. I found their story to be incredibly inspiring and that in turn made me want to find out more about the product. I hadn’t really paid all that much attention to this new breed of makeup brush but after all my research I wasn’t in the least surprised that Spectrum Collections had been the originals. They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery yet business is business and I always like to champion independent brands and original ideas. Aside from being a joy to behold the brushes are super soft (honestly its like been stroked by a kittens paw) and beautifully packaged (think seashell pouches and clam clasped rolls in shimmering metallics).

SPECTRUM 12 PIECE BOMBSHELL SET & OYSTER ROLL

Spectrum Brushes

Spectrum Siren Collection

Makeup Junkies Rejoice

2. Kevin Aucoin Eyelash Curlers

These are the Rolls Royce of Eyelash Curlers. Tried. Tested. Loved! I always think of curling my eyelashes as a necessary step in my makeup routine and am amazed at how many girls don’t use them! I quite literally wouldn’t dream of applying mascara without first curling my lashes. Maybe it’s a use thing – once you’ve used a good pair (and I say good as there’s a lotta shit out there), you never go back. Shu Uemura was always the Holy Grail but since the brand has pulled out of the UK market I’ve found these to be exceptional! This pair comes with a spare red rubber pad (amazing – you can actually see any lashes you may have missed) which should be changed every three months – as all makeup junkies know, changing your eyelash curlers is a bi-annual event!

KEVIN AUCOIN EYELASH CURLERS

Kevin Aucoin Eyelash Curlers

3. BECCA Backlight Primer

This has been on my shopping list since I trialed it in one of the first Tili Beauty Boxes. It gives the most gorgeous ‘lit from within glow’ and I receive a compliment every single time I wear it (especially when mixed in with My Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation – the dream). I debated between this and the Iconic London Illuminator which is having a bit of a moment but BECCA are so good at ‘giving glow’ without that ‘dipped in chip fat’ effect, that it was really a bit of a no-brainer!

BECCA BACKLIGHT PRIMING FILTER

Becca Backlight Priming Filterr

 

Highly Commended

Christian Louboutin Les Yeux Noirs Lash Amplifying Lacquer – this mascara is almost offensively expensive and yet I am assured (twice over actually – this was a popular choice), that it is worth every penny and both testers said they would happily repurchase! There are many amazing mascaras on the market for half the price and less so really I think this one is reserved for only the most die-hard makeup junkies!

Christian Louboutin Mascara

Disappointing 

Bobbi Brown Eye Gloss  – this was purchased on the assurance that it wouldn’t be like wearing lipgloss on your eyelids but I’m told that in actual fact that’s exactly what it’s like. The tester was told that her eyes looked ‘wet’ which I’m pretty sure was not the vibe she was going for!

Bobbi Brown Eye Gloss

Mixed Reviews

BY TERRY Cellularose Brightening CC Serum – A blurring and brightening serum designed to be worn alone or underneath foundation. One tester loved it, the other is having an issue with it blocking her pores (yep it’s another double purchase) so I would say that this is definitely down to your particular skin type. Test in store if you can as all the BY TERRY products seem to have the most beautiful formulations and smell divine

By Terry CC Serum Sunny Flash

Best Of The Rest

  1. YSL VOLUPTE TINT-IN-BALM (TEMPT ME PINK)
  2. CHARLOTTE TILBURY UNISEX HEALTHY GLOW
  3. BY TERRY COMPACT-EXPERT DUAL POWDER
  1. GLAMGLOW GLOWSETTER MAKEUP SETTING SPRAY
  2. MAC FLUIDLINE, BLACKTRACK
  3. CHARLOTTE TILBURY MINI MIRICLE EYE WAND

Right, makeup junkies, I hope you’ve found this useful and that it’s perhaps put a few new brands or products on your radar! I’m a bit gutted that Glossier UK hadn’t launched in time for this haul but I’ll definitely be sharing my findings when I receive the (ahem, rather large) order I’ve just placed…oops! What are your makeup must-haves? Anything amazing I should know about?

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Why I’m All About That Base – How To Create a Flawless Complexion

My skin and I have gone through some tough times. As a child, I can clearly remember my mum bribing me (with sweets, t.v…who knows?) if she could ‘just nip that blackhead’! Clearly, I was blemish prone from a very young age! I was never what you would describe as acnaic, nor was I prone to eczema or redness. But, the misery I felt when I looked in the mirror caused a very real complex that, if I’m honest, has never truly left me. My skin has always tended towards the oily and I am particularly predisposed to blackheads, milia and a general unevenness of texture. These issues have seen me sat in a doctors waiting room more times than I would like to count in furious pursuit of a flawless complexion. I have been prescribed The Pill, Zineryt (a topical antibiotic that I used for literally years without realising that antibiotics have little to no effect on skin problems) and a particularly harsh and drying Benzoyl Peroxide gel. I should at this point make clear that at no time did I have actual acne. As such, doctors didn’t seem to really know what my problem was and yes, I felt dismissed and at times was made to feel like a vain and silly little girl (one doctor (male) told me that I really should stop wearing make up if I wanted good skin…patronising much)?As I’ve gotten older, my skin has improved though it is certainly not perfect. I wage a daily battle with blackheads, milia and nowadays a few fine lines thrown into the mix! But, with age comes both wisdom and experience and so I thought today I would share my thoughts and some tips as to how to achieve a flawless complexion in real life on real skin (i.e not the unobtainable airbrushed standard we are bombarded with daily)!*

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Start with your skin

The first and biggest tip I can give you when in pursuit of a flawless complexion is to start with the health of your skin. This is the boring bit. If you aren’t already, try upping your intake of water and fruit & veg, cutting back on the booze and it should go without saying that smoking is a big no! My second tip is to visit the blog of skincare expert Caroline Hirons and read every ‘cheat sheet’ that applies to you. I discovered Caroline’s brand of no nonsense skincare advice when I was preparing for my wedding and I haven’t looked back.  Thirdly, get yourself into a good cleansing routine. If right now you are relying on face wipes or micellar waters I can guarantee you will see the biggest difference by simply taking a little extra time in the mornings and evenings to look after your skin. (And really why wouldn’t you? Your skin and your face are visible to everyone and everything 100% of the time. Isn’t it worth giving it a little love)? Finally, I  personally have seen amazing results from taking (quite large quantities of) fish oil. Yep, sounds repulsive but taken with food it really isn’t that bad and does seem to have quite a magical effect on the texture of my skin!**

Getting The Foundations Right

So, you’ve upgraded your skin care routine and overhauled your diet, whats next? I wrote about my Post Pregnancy Skincare Routine HERE where I talk about what goes into prepping my skin but I have a few stand out products that I simply adore for helping me create that flawless complexion.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

  • Hylamide Glow Radiance Booster – Since having the baby I have come to rely on this little bottle of sunshine on an almost daily basis. Hylamide is a (very watery) pre-serum serum that is essentially a fake tan (albeit a very, very, very gradual fake tan). It’s pretty much fool proof in that it gives no streaks whatsoever (it really is super subtle) but it’s the glow that’s the real selling point here. After a couple of days use, I can look in the mirror in the mornings without recoiling in abject horror – that ladies and gentlemen is a game changer in my sleep deprived mind!
  • Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme + Global Anti-Aging Wake Up Balm – This is my go to product after I complete my morning skincare routine. It’s a little bit of a skincare hybrid. Part serum, part moisturiser, part primer, part highlighter. You can absolutely use this on its own on no make up days or, as I prefer, as a bit of a pre-prime before my make up. I like to think of this as bridging the gap between the end of my skincare routine and the beginning of my make up application. Simply put, this does what it says on the tin and together with the Hylamide creates a pretty passable impression of actually having got some sleep.
  • The Body Shop Instablur – This is the only primer thus far that I have managed to get away with. I find many silicone based primers bring me out in little whiteheads but this one (miraculously) doesn’t. The visible difference in my skin from an application of this wonder product is nothing short of magic. It literally blurs and mattifies the skin creating the most immaculate base for applying make up – and make up that lasts. For a girl with oily skin tendencies, this is indeed the stuff that ‘flawless complexion’ dreams are made of!

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Getting The Right Foundation

I love a foundation. I don’t seem to hear that very often as BB, CC, DD, EE creams are all the rage these days. However, as someone with a bit of a skin complex, a full coverage foundation was always my go to. Now, that’s not to say that I want to look caked in the stuff – a great big tide mark around your jawline is so not sexy! I have three hero bases in my stash…

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

  1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Make Up SPF 10  – This is the UK’s No1 Foundation and I wholeheartedly agree with the masses! I know a lot of bloggers seem to dislike this formulation, deeming it to be too heavy and dare I say cakey? Personally, I absolutely adore this base and love how it glides on and evens out the surface of my skin. You only need a small amount and it takes a little more ‘working in’ than other bases I’ve tried but the effect is so worth the time you put into the application. The other plus for the Double Wear is that it just DOES. NOT. BUDGE! You absolutely need a good skincare routine in place with this product as it definitely requires a double cleanse to remove it in the evenings. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation is available to purchase online HERE. I wear shade Ivory Beige.
  2. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – I fell in love with this absolute beaut of a base when I was trialing products for my bridal make up look.  At the time I was reading an awful lot about certain ingredients in SPF causing ‘flashback’ in photography so I was on the hunt for a foundation without sun protection (harder than it looks believe me) that would still create a flawless complexion. This creates the softest, dewiest most ‘luminous’ (funny that) base you can imagine and together with my trusty skin prep products the final finish is just dreamy. (FYI I ended up with a mix of the Estee Lauder and the Giorgio Armani for my final bridal look – if anyone would be interested in a wedding day beauty guide then please do leave me a comment). Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is available to purchase online HERE. I wear shade 5.25.
  3. It Cosmetics Full Coverage SPF 50+ CC Cream – I know, I know I said I wasn’t into CC creams but hear me out. This does not behave like your average CC cream – the texture is reassuringly substantial and you do get an excellent yet surprisingly lightweight coverage for a product that boasts not only full coverage but also a very high factor sun protection (and we all know how claggy those can be)! Now I absolutely would not recommend this as your go to sunscreen if you are heading to the beach in the South of France. Firstly, full coverage make up on the beach? Eww, that’s just not my bag at all! Secondly, I would have to question how well this would work as a dedicated SPF. As I mentioned in my review of the Tili Beauty Box (read about that HERE) as I’ve gotten older I have become religious about protecting my skin from the sun but I really don’t enjoy the feel of an SPF on my skin on a daily basis. This is where the IT Cosmetics CC cream comes into its own. It is literally my perfect day to day base as it affords me the protection I feel I need for the British seasons (minimal) with the full coverage look I love! Like the Estee Lauder Double Wear, it takes a little extra buffing into the skin but is so worth the extra time for the final effect. It Cosmetics CC Cream is available to purchase online HERE. I wear shade MEDIUM.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Juicylicious (I don’t think this is a word but I’m going with it)

When I was a teenager sat in that doctor’s waiting room I would have laughed in your face if you had told me that one day I would be seeking ‘highlighters’ and products with ‘glow giving’ properties. “I don’t need any help in the ‘glow’ department” I would have said while pulling my powder compact out of my bag and dabbing furiously at my T zone! Aint time a funny old thing? These days while, yes I still love my powders and yes, I still seek to ‘mattify’ my skin, it’s now very much on my own terms. As you get older you realise that hey a little bit of shine might actually be o.k. Maybe I won’t end up looking like I’ve been hanging around the fryers in the local chippy. In fact, it might even (whispers it) give a more youthful finish to my look. 99% of the time I choose to mix some form of highlighter into my foundation. At the moment its Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Wonderglow’ which gives a beautiful, subtle sheen to my base. I follow this with a sheer dusting of the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder’ – super light, non-cakey and with a slightly illuminating finish that keeps the whole look fresh and dewy.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Bronze, Pop, and Highlight

Onto the final flourishes in my pursuit of a flawless complexion. I’ve prepped and plumped, juiced up my chosen base and set with a sweep of finely milled, brightening powder. At this point, I will usually bring out the bronzer. Now bronzers often get a bit of bad press. Yes it’s easy to go overboard, yes you can end up looking like your style icon is Madge from Benidorm but there is nothing like a few strokes of a carefully chosen bronzer to bring life to your epidermis. Ditto blush. I love nothing more a quick pop of blush (coral in summer, pink in winter) to take you from peaky to perky! O.k now we really are at the finish line…highlighter. Highlighter is the hero product of our time. The effect of a few dabs on your cheekbone, above your cupids bow or in the corners of your eyes can be simply mesmerising! At the moment I’m using the highlighter from the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Beauty Glow’ Face Palette which is a-maze-ing. A great highlighter, in my opinion, is an absolute must for anyone in pursuit of that flawless complexion.

Why I'm All About That Base - How To Create A Flawless Complexion | jessicarhoades.co.uk

Wow, this has turned into a bit of an essay! I hope you’ve found this look into my make up routine helpful and can see how you can maybe take inspiration to try and create your own flawless complexion. We are all different and what works for one might be a complete nightmare for the next person. It’s all about trial and error but after a lot of years hating the skin I was in, I finally feel at peace with it and importantly I feel I have learned to work with it in order to make the best of what I have. Lumps, bumps, blackheads and all. I’ve purposely omitted the concealing stage of the routine as I kind of feel that deserves a post in its own right – how to conceal the effects of one too many sleepless nights (leave me a comment if that’s something you would like to see)! What products do you use to create a flawless complexion? Are there any tricks you have learned to create that elusive perfect base? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear your tips and experiences.

 

*all observations and recommendations are based on my own skin type and my own experiences. If you are in any doubt please refer to your doctor and where possible test products before using on your skin.

**always consult a doctor before adding supplements to your diet.

*this post contains affiliate links* 

 

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My Top 5 Holiday Must-Haves

We have just returned from our first family holiday so I thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of my summer essentials. Now, I started writing this before we actually left and now I’m back I’m of the opinion that the ultimate holiday must-have (when traveling with a 10-month-old) is as many spare pairs of hands as you can possibly get…summer hols with a baby in tow is a whole different ballgame! So, here are my top 5 holiday must-haves (for those moments where you are not sat under an umbrella with Makka Pakka and Iggle Piggle)…

My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Skin Prep 

When I was a child I would turn purple in the sun. My mum and dad both tanned easily and my brother to this day has the olive complexion of dreams! I, on the other hand, would burn (in patches – I couldn’t even turn lobster pink evenly). Things slowly improved as I got older but the Tan Accelerator by Elemis was the game changer! This product works by stimulating your skin’s natural melanin production and, (shouldn’t matter but does) smells like heaven! I use this without fail before every holiday to ensure that a. I don’t burn and b. I tan safely and evenly!

I’ve mentioned before that I am now super careful when it comes to exposing my skin to the sun and am a real stickler for SPF (check out my review of the TILI Beauty Box HERE). Nothing ages your skin quite like the sun (quite aside from the obvious health implications) and I have found Decleor’s Suncare range to be really quite excellent in prepping and soothing my skin both before and after sun exposure. The ‘Aromessence Solaire Tan Activator Face Serum’ is a beautiful face oil which preps the skin in a similar fashion to the Elemis Tan Accelerator, while the balm just melts into your fingertips on application and feels sublime after a long hard day on the beach! Call it aftersun for the dedicated skincare junkie!

You can find the Decleor Aroma Sun Expert Collection HERE

Skincare Saviours | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Shades 

We all know that the shades maketh the woman. A well-chosen pair not only adds instant glamour to pretty much any outfit but also, truth be told, hides a multitude of sins. Hangover? Insomniac baby? Headache? If eyes are windows to the soul then all of the above have the power to mist things up pretty quickly! If no eye cream on earth will save those peepers then a killer pair of shades are your best friend! My sunglass collection is actually on a list of things to share with you…there are some real corkers including a very retro heart shaped pair by Chloe! My current favourites are my trusty Rayban aviators (an absolute classic-every girl should have a pair) and a perfect pair of ‘fuck off I don’t want to talk to anyone’ tortoiseshell Prada’s!

Summer Shades | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Sun Hat 

I adore Panama hats but we have a somewhat troubled relationship. I managed to lose one over the side of a cruise ship and my husband and I fell out spectacularly on arrival at our honeymoon in Mauritius when my hat emerged, let’s just say, a little worse for wear! (I blamed him obviously). That said there a few things that can take an outfit to the next level better than a well-chosen piece of millinery! This season there has been a plethora of designs to choose from. From the classic to the outrageous – I’m in love with the sequin emblazoned floppy sun hats from Lily and Bean and the pom-pom embellished straw fedoras by Yosuzi are just sensational! As I type they have 50% off at Netaporter – I’m hovering perilously close to the buy now button!

Puerto Banus | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Swag 

Make no mistake, the year of the tassel has arrived. You’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice that any fashionista worth her salt is currently to be found wandering the streets of Santorini/Marbella/Sicily (delete as appropriate) bedecked in layers of drippy beads and bangles. Tribe & Fabel make the most gorgeous pendants and the overseas market stalls are awash with brightly coloured pom-poms, tassels and shells I think the secret here is to mix it up and curate your own summer vibe. If you aren’t already then check out ‘Anna Skoog’s’ Instagram (@annamavridis) and prepare to lust after her perfect Summer Styling!

Summer Swag | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

The Sandles

What says ‘summer’ more than a set of prettily pedicured tootsies in a killer pair of strappy sandals? My nail polish of choice veers between hot pink and a juicy coral and the tan is obligatory! I have never enjoyed a pair of flat sandals as much as I enjoy my Jimmy Choo ‘Wyatt’s’! Black with the glitziest of gold hardware, these babies can take a look from boho to glamazon and are perfect when it’s just too hot for heels (and when you are attending a wedding at 7 months pregnant)!

I’m beginning to be of the opinion that if you are going to spend a lot of money on an item then it has to be both wearable and comfortable! As Coco Chanel said “Luxury must be comfortable otherwise it isn’t luxury”! There are so many gorgeous summer flats out there this season! I’m loving the Pom Pom styles by MABU By Maria BK and you just cannot go wrong with a classic espadrille (though as I said, I do like to see a flash of that summer pedi)! Slides are having something of a moment too. The eponymous Givenchy Slides are a no brainer (pretty sure they would be one of those life purchases) but Topshop have a great selection starting at just £19!

Summer Sandals | My Top 5 Holiday Must Haves | jessicarhoades.co.uk

What tops your list of summer essentials? Maybe swimwear is your thing? A prettily embellished kaftan, a straw beach bag or perhaps a fully loaded Kindle and Gin’O’Clock is your idea of heaven! As always, leave me a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

 

Try It, Love It…The Tili Beauty Box

Beauty boxes are having something of a moment and really what’s not to love? A pretty box filled with tempting treats – it’s like crack for the discerning beauty junkie! So enamoured are we with these little boxes of delights, we’ve already seen beauty eggs at Easter and Advent Calendars at Christmas (the Diptique advent calendar is truly exquisite) and my favourite beauty girls (that would be Caroline Hirons, Lily Pebbles and Anna of The Anna Edit) have all partnered with online mecca Cult Beauty to create their own edit of beauty must haves! FYI, next time you see one of these collaborations coming up, get your name on the waitlist asap as they sell out FAST!

Try It Love It – The May Edition

This is the fourth incarnation of the Tili (try it, love it) Beauty Box which always contains a really good mix of niche and premium brands for a (quite remarkable) price of £20. You don’t need to subscribe to the box and you can see exactly what’s inside before you go ahead and hit the buy now button (so no nasty surprises lurking in its depths)!

Try It, Love It...The Tili Beauty Box

What’s in the box????

  • Alpha H Liquid Gold Rose – Wahhhhh, I think would have bought the box for this alone – this is a brand new launch (so no, the box isn’t full of old or discontinued items)!
  • OPI Nail Colour (this isn’t my shade but I love a bit of OPI and again this is from the new season collection)!
  • Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish – An absolute classic. I haven’t used this in years but I’m looking forward to trying it again.
  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream – I already own and love the full size of this product. It’s an amazing full coverage CC Cream that glides on a dream and gives a gorgeous glowy finish.
  • Erno Laszlo Cleanser Travel Set – This is a new one on me and I can’t wait to give it a go (apparently Audrey Hepburn was a fan and if it’s good enough for Holly Golightly…)
  • Benefit Rollerlash Mascara – I love a travel sized mascara. I find you can really get to the root of the lashes with a smaller brush although I don’t think I’ve ever tried a benefit mascara (I’m usually a Lancome girl) so I’m intrigued to give this a go.
  • Ultrasun SPF 30 For Face – I’m a bit crazy obsessive with SPF these days – I’m definitely starting to see the effects of my sun worshipping teenage days so a good daily SPF is a must.
  • Vita Liberata 10-Minute-Tan – The Vita Liberata Mousse from a previous Tili box was a real winner so I can’t wait to take this on my hols to try out!
  • Julien Farel Vitamin Shampoo and Conditioner – I’m not going to lie, shampoo and conditioner aren’t the most thrilling items in a girl’s beauty arsenal – essential yes, exciting, not so much. On the other hand, these smell amazing and it’s always nice to have travel sized essentials!

Try It, Love It...The Tili Beauty Box

Try It, Love It...The Tili Beauty Box

5 Favourites From Previous Boxes

  1. Liquid Gold – I’ve mentioned this before in my Post Pregnancy Skincare Post but it really is one of my desert island products! (Although, obviously, if I was on a desert island, SPF would probably me the smart choice)!
  2. Vita Liberata Mousse – I hadn’t fake tanned for so long. I think I was bored of the whole sticky, smelly rigmarole and let’s be honest, it never looks that authentic. This mousse was a bit of a game changer – light, easy to use (i.e no streaks) and surprisingly convincing colour wise.
  3. Becca Illuminating Primer – I’ve used quite a few illuminating primers before but wow – this is a game changer! Every time I wear this I get ‘your make up looks amazing’ comments! Becca always make incredible ‘glow’ products (I’m lusting after their new ‘Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette’) so I’ll definitely be adding this to my shopping list.
  4. Percy & Reed Volumising Mousse – I’m not one to get excited by haircare products but this has given my heavy hair a much-needed boost not to mention its a FULL-SIZE product! (It retails at £12 on its own)!
  5. Decleor Aromessence Mandarin  – I absolutely love Decleor Facial Oils. I would usually go with Aromessence Neroli to calm my skin and give it that all important glow but the Mandarin is equally glow-inducing with the added benefit of smoothing those little lines that seem to be popping up a bit more frequently than I would like.

Try It, Love It...The Tili Beauty Box

Try It, Love It...The Tili Beauty Box

Beauty Box Losers

By losers what I really mean is that these products either just didn’t work for me or that they simply don’t do it for me. I don’t think there are many losers in boxes like this as you can always pass something on to a friend or family member if it’s just not for you.

  • Laura Gellar ‘Spackle Tinted Under Make-Up Primer’ I’ve tried other products from the ‘spackle’ family and it’s a product that just doesn’t agree with my skin. It tends to give me breakouts and leaves my skin feeling greasy.
  • Nexxus ‘Nutritive Shampoo & Conditioner’ Not really a loser just something that fails to tickle my ‘beauty junkie’ tastebuds.
  • Essie ‘Mint Candy Apple’ Nail Polish. I think we’ve discussed my limited tolerance for anything other than Uma Thurman’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ Nails. Yup, mint green nails are just not my bag!

Try It, Love It...The Tili Beauty Box

Let’s Talk About ‘Those’ Boxes…

The physical Tili Beauty Box is a JOY to behold! Each box is themed to a particular colour with a full list of product ingredients and the whole effect is always crisp, clean and just yummy to open. It really is like receiving a gift, the packaging is that pretty!

Try It, Love It...The Tili Beauty Box

I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with the Tili Beauty Box. The price point is crazy for the amount and quality of premium product and the box itself (yes we’ve established I’m a crazy box lady) makes the product as a whole look so well thought out and pretty. Great gift, great gift to self, get thee to QVC on the double!

The Tili Beauty Box is available online HERE

Post Pregnancy Skincare Routine

After the first few queasy months of pregnancy, my epidermis took on that fabled mum to be glow! I know, I lucked out and I wish I had savoured the moment as since having my baby, breastfeeding and sheer exhaustion have definitely taken their toll! However, I’ve found that by sticking to a dedicated routine and obsessively stalking skincare guru Caroline Hirons have kept things from going downhill too rapidly! (If you have any concerns regarding your skin check her out – she is the business)!

Cleanse

I am religious about cleansing my skin – it’s non-negotiable! In the evenings I ‘double cleanse’ firstly with a balm (I love Emma Hardie’s ‘Moringa Cleansing Balm’) to remove makeup or SPF. I follow that with something light and luxurious like Oskia’s ‘Renaissance Cleansing Gel’ to clean my skin. Nothing feels as good as taking the day off your face with a lovely hot flannel.

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Exfoliate

I’m not talking about ripping your face to shreds with something that started out life as an apricot (that’s one skincare ritual best left in the 80’s)! The new liquid exfoliants contain acids (not as scary as it sounds) in varying strengths that help to lower the skin’s ph. This makes everything that comes next that little bit more effective! Pixi ‘Glow Tonic’ is great in the evening to slough away those dead skin cells and Alpha Hs cult classic ‘Liquid Gold’ is my twice weekly go to for a serious freshen up. I’m addicted to that warm post exfoliation tingle!

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Spritz

This is a completely unnecessary yet hugely enjoyable step in my routine. After a quick swipe of my chosen exfoliant, I’ll always give my skin a spritz of something calming, soothing and moisturising. My all time favourite is ‘The Jasmine Garden’ by May Lindstrom (seriously, for anyone who loves jasmine as much as I do, this is utterly, utterly delightful). However, it is prohibitively expensive and so I do use it sparingly! My daily spritz of choice would probably be the Clinique ‘Moisture Surge Face Spray’ (I actually had my husband spritz me with this during labour so it definitely does the trick)!

Les Yeux

There’s a bit of a debate about the necessity of an eye cream but I love a targeted eye product. (Particularly as I now only manage, at most, 3 hours of sleep in a row – the joys of motherhood)! If money is tight then taking your serum up to the eye area is perfectly acceptable, but I personally feel that this extra step is worth the effort. Zelens ‘Triple-Action Advanced Eye Cream’ is pricey but pretty unbeatable at smoothing the whole eye area and if I’ve had a particularly hard night then the Wei ‘Correcting Eye Treatment Pads’ are like a slice of heaven!  My baby turns from the demon of the night to the angel of the morning so I can usually find ten relatively peaceful minutes to lie back and chill why these luscious little pads work their magic!

Treat

Serums seem to be the most misunderstood part of any modern skincare regime. Simply put, a serum is there to treat whatever ails you – be that, pigmentation, blemishes or fine lines and wrinkles. It can take the form of a cream, an oil, a gel, can be thick, thin, runny or gloopy.  My current favourite is the ‘Organic Skin Oil’ by La Belle Lune. It smells delicious and keeps my post pregnancy skin calm and feeling super soft even when my hormones are having a fiesta!

Hydrate 

I generally think less about my moisturiser than any other aspect of my skincare routine preferring to target my problem areas with a good facial oil or a high tech serum.I tend to favour something simple and hydrating such as the Alpha H ‘Essential Hydration Cream’ and use it to lock in everything that’s gone before it.

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Added Extras 

If I’m going out or attending an event, nine times out of ten I will begin by prepping my skin with the Charlotte Tilbury ‘Goddess Skin Clay Mask.’ For clay, it smells divine and leaves my skin plumped up, glowing and with a perfect base for applying makeup. On the other hand, if my skin is acting up and irritated, or if I’m planning on being in the house all day, ‘The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm’ by May Lindstrom is beautiful but again prohibitively expensive so do apply sparingly!

If anyone has any suggestions about how to achieve that ‘lit from within’ ‘J-Lo”  glow on minimal sleep and diet that consists mainly of tea, toast and giant chocolate buttons, then please share all! Obviously not eating said chocolate buttons and upping the water intake would help but, you know, baby steps!