Saturday, 30 July 2022

B'KATE Vegan Brow Cosmetics

post features samples

There's been such a strong focus on eyebrows for the past decade or so in the makeup realm hasn't there? With countless brow products to choose from, it's going to take something pretty special to standout from the crowd, which is exactly what Dutch brand B'KATE intends to do.

Founded by International Brow Artist Marlies Gregorius, B'KATE is all about high performance, top quality vegan -friendly brow cosmetics, designed to inspire confidence and authenticity. I have been trying the Brow Oil, Brow Gel and Brow Pencil and can confidently report that all three are lovely products.

First things first, I love the packaging this brand uses. It's sleek and quite sophisticated; it looks like it means business, if you know what I mean! Everything I've tried feels quite sturdy too - there's nothing flimsy about these products at all. Here's a bit more about the three bits I've tried out:

B'KATE Pro Brow Powder Pencil £14

I really like the Pro Brow Powder Pencil. It's a creamy powder formula with a handy spoolie on the other end. I have the shade 'Scott' which is a soft brown but you can also choose from Tatum, a dark brown and Leo, which is blonde. It's really soft, blendable and buildable, which I appreciate in a brow product because I have a habit of being a bit heavy handed and making my brows darker than intended, which results in wiping a lot of product off. I don't seem to have that issue with this pencil and find it really easy to work with. I don't fill in the my brows much because they are quite full anyway (with more and more random, white and wirey ones appearing) but I do add some definition through the length and fill in the inner corners a bit where the hair is a bit sparse. This pencil is the first I've used in quite some time - I usually stick to tinted gels and waxes - but I find it really user friendly and the colour I have blends in with my brows quite naturally.

B'KATE Castor Roll On Brow Oil £6.95

The Castor Roll on Brow Oil is basically what it says on the tin; a rollerball of 100% pure Castor Oil especially for your brows. Castor Oil is renowned for promoting hair growth and this little rollerball is an easy way of applying it to your brows. The soothing oil can be simply rolled on before makeup or applied a little more thickly as an overnight mask. 

B'KATE Brow Gel £14

My favourite product of the three, the B'KATE Brow Gel is a clear gel with added Vitamin B5 to moisturise and add shine. This is a really nice brow grooming product - you only need a little bit to tame the brows, it doesn't feel sticky, doesn't dry stiff and I haven't noticed it flaking. I've used a swipe of this after the Pro Powder Pencil to make the hairs nice and tidy and lock the colour in place.

The products I've mentioned are really just a taster of the B'KATE brand - there are much more products to explore, including brushes, pomades and brow scissors.

 You can shop B'KATE in the UK at Everlasting Atelier

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Nourish London Summer Sun Kit

(post contains sample)

 The Summer Sun Kit from Nourish London is a dinky little skincare trio perfect for travel or just trying out the brand. Presented in a Freeset black organic cotton bag, the skincare set includes the Argan Skin Rescue (5ml), Skin Protecting Daily Moisturiser SPF25 (15ml) and the Probiotic Multi-Mineral Repair Mask (5ml).

The idea is that this kit is ideal for sunny days; prep the skin before you go out in the sun with the Argan Skin Rescue, protect and moisturise with the Skin Protecting Daily Moisturiser (you can read my post about that here) and then soothe skin at the end of the day (or overnight if you fancy it) with the Probiotic Multi-Mineral Repair Mask.

The Argan Skin Rescue is rich in Vitamin C and nourishing oils. It can really be used anytime and does feel really soothing on the skin so is a good option for post-sun treating. The inclusion of Vitamin C makes it perfect to apply in the morning though because Vitamin C is not only great for brightening, but it provides some protection against sun damage too.

I reviewed the Skin Protecting Daily Moisturiser quite recently but to recap, this is a Zinc Oxide based sunscreen with antioxidants including Camellia and Rosehip oils. The consistency is quite thick and I noticed that Nourish have added the following to the product listing on their website in case customers are confused about how best to apply it:

“Please note, the consistency of the product needs to be thicker than normal moisturisers without SPF to ensure that once applied to the skin the level of SPF is at the level stated on pack (in this case 25).  The product can thicken over time, particularly with fluctuations of temperature.  We would recommend applying a serum before hand which will prep and hydrate the skin to help the moisturiser skin into the skin more easily.  Also if you massage the product between your fingers for a few seconds to warm it up it will help loosen the product so that it will then apply more easily.

The Probiotic Mineral Mask is just gorgeous – I’ve actually got it on now as I type! It’s a thick cream mask that feels beautifully soothing and cooling. Exactly what’s needed after a hot Summer day in or out of the sun. With calming Magnesium and infused with Damask Rose and Lavender, the mask is designed to calm inflammation, boost collagen, firm and restore. You can leave the mask on for anything from 5 minutes to overnight and remove it gently with a damp cloth. Strictly speaking, it’s a single use sachet but I think you could squeeze a couple of uses out of it to be honest!

As with all Nourish London products, the serum, moisturiser and mask in this kit are 100% vegan and made with organic ingredients.

If you're interested in trying these three products for yourself, this is a great, affordable opportunity to do so. The Nourish London Summer Sun Kit is £15 at Nourish.

Monday, 6 June 2022

Croma Farewell Dry Skin Face Serum

 (post features sample)

 When I first opened the box containing the Croma FarewellDry Skin face serum, my initial thoughts were all about how exquisite the packaging is. I mean, a frosted glass dropper bottle presented atop its very own little wooden podium with the company name debossed into it is very much next-level skincare product presentation and I am completely here for it! It really is quite gorgeous and makes the product feel even more luxurious.

Croma is an Austrian brand that, quite interestingly, specialises in the industrial production of Hyaluronic Acid Syringes. It seemed like quite a natural progression then for the family owned business to start producing their own skincare ranges.

The Croma Farewell collection is a range of vegan and cruelty free serums designed to target specific skin concerns. Each of the serums contains high and low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid at the core, with other ingredients added to address particular issues/areas. The collection includes Farewell Ageing Skin, Farewell Irritated Skin, Farewell Oily Skin, Farewell Puffy Eyes and Farewell Dry Skin, which is the serum I’ve been trialling.

With Hyaluronic Acid, D-Panthenol, Aloe Vera and Niacinamide, Farewell Dry Skin delivers a hefty dose of hydration and moisture to skin that needs a little extra help. The ingredients also work to strengthen the skin’s barrier and maintain softness and elasticity. The lightweight serum is designed to be used morning and night, with the recommended dosage of 3 drops to be applied after cleansing and before any moisturiser and SPF you might like to use.

I really like the texture of this serum; it’s so light and sort of feels like thick water on the skin. It’s therefore incredibly easy to apply and spread, with my face feeling like it’s had a big drink of water almost instantly. It absorbs well too and doesn’t really leave an obvious sign that I’ve just applied anything to my skin, except that it makes me look a little more awake and healthy, but there’s no sheen or shiny finish. I do however notice an immediate difference in the feel of my skin - there is an instant softness and sort of bounciness, almost like fine lines are being plumped and everything is being rehydrated. It's a very welcome sensation!

The Farewell Dry Skin Serum also plays very well beneath other products – I absolutely detest products that ball up and pill and this is not one of them, so it gets a big tick from me in that department too.

The serum does not have a scent and feels incredibly gentle so unless you are sensitive to Niacinamide it should be suitable for virtually everyone. All in all, a lovely luxury serum that I would suggest to anyone dealing with dry skin.

Croma Farewell Dry Skin target-specific face serum for dry skin is £109 for 30ml at Croma.

Monday, 23 May 2022

YSL Lash Clash Mascara Review

(affiliate links)

 Every now and then a mascara comes along that pulls out the all the stops and gives me everything I'm looking for when it comes to my lashes. A bit of volume, a lot of length, a touch of curl, non-smudging and not-crumbly are my general criteria and YSL have hit it out of the park and then some with the new Lash Clash Mascara

Before now it had been a very long time since I treated myself to a high end mascara. My most recent 'drugstore' buy smudged horrifically, which was disappointing because it was such a hyped up product. After falling for the the fuss surrounding YSL's latest lash offering and being incredibly drawn to the very stylish packaging, I went to John Lewis and told the YSL rep I needed enabling. To be honest, the salesperson didn't need to do much selling, once I saw the tube and very generous wand up close I was already sold. 

I like a large mascara wand and Lash Clash really isn't lacking in that department, so that coupled with the formula meant I needed this mascara in my life.
Here are my lashes before Lash Clash Mascara:

And here they are with two coats of Lash Clash:

Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara is currently available in one shade (Black Noir) and features a patent-pending, double-conical brush designed to aid in creating a voluminous lash look. The formula is a unique oil in water wax that combines with black pigments and smudge-resistant 'boosters' for a thick and creamy mascara that is rather beautiful to apply.
This mascara stays put on me all day. By all day I mean at least 12 hours, with perhaps only a very occasional 'flake'.
As with most mascaras, Lash Clash is best removed with an oil based cleanser. Something like Simple Cleansing Oil does the trick beautifully.
Overall, a fantastic high end mascara that I think might just be worth the luxury price tag. It ticks every box for me!
YSL Lash Clash Mascara has an RRP of £29 but I've found it cheapest at for under £25 at Escentual.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

New! Nourish London Skin Protecting Daily Moisturiser SPF 25

 Post contains sample

 The latest launch from Nourish comes just in time for the sunnier days we've got coming. The new Skin Protecting Daily Moisturiser SPF 25 is formulated with a blend of skin-benefiting ingredients and zinc oxide - a natural mineral sun filter.

Zinc sunscreens are generally pretty good for people with sensitive eyes (and skin for that matter) and as someone who's eyes often react to sunscreens, I can attest that this doesn't irritate me in the slightest. It’s worth mentioning that this product is actually completely safe to use on babies, which is always reassuring!

While the Zinc protects against damaging UVA and UVB rays, the moisturiser is supercharged with antioxidants and anti-ageing active ingredients to nourish, protect and firm the skin.
Turmeric, Tocopherol, Rosehip Oil and Camellia protect against environmental stressors and pollutants, while good old Hyaluronic Acid and Hexapeptides hydrate.

Argan, Kale, Pumpkin Seed Oil and Rose of Jericho are rich in Ceramides, protecting the skin's lipid layer and working to protect and smooth. To round things off, soothing Aloe Vera, Borage Oil and Bisabolol calm inflammation and redness.

The Daily Moisturiser is a satisfyingly thick consistency. In fact, it sort of just looks like a lovely jar of old school zinc sunblock, though on application it does melt into the skin and blends out sheer, on me. I would be interested to see how this blends out on dark skin. It leaves a semi-matte finish and works just fine under base makeup like tinted moisturiser and foundation. I usually need a little extra hydration underneath Zinc suncreams and while I find this moisturiser quite comfortable without anything else, I do like to use the Nourish London Relax Hydrating Peptide Serum underneath. Nourish actually recommend using a serum beneath the moisturiser to make it easier to apply and spread.

The reef-safe moisturiser is 55% organic (COSMOS certified organic) and comes in at a reasonable £28 for 50ml/with a wooden spatula or just £10 for a min 15ml travel size pot. You can find it online right now at Nourish London.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Can You Cure Hair Loss?

 (Collaborative Post)

Hair loss can affect men and women and it can occur for all kinds of reasons. It may just be a sign of getting older or it could be due to stress or a condition. You can even get postpartum hair loss

Some forms of hair loss cannot be stopped. However, others can be brought to a halt or even reversed. At the very least, you should be able to slow down hair loss. And if this doesn’t work, there are many treatments you can look into to regain a full head of hair again.

Below are just a few ways to treat hair loss that could be worth looking into if you think you are starting to lose your hair. 

Try medication

Some forms of hair loss may be reversed simply by using over the counter medication like Rogaine. This typically comes in a liquid or foam form and is applied directly to the head. 

For other conditions, a doctor may be able to recommend prescribed medication. Finasteride is one of the most common drugs prescribed by doctors to treat hair loss. It comes in tablet form and sometimes needs to be taken for several months to produce any effects.

It is worth researching this medication in advance as certain types of medication can have unwanted side effects. You may also not be able to take certain medication with certain conditions. A doctor will usually be able to discuss all of this with you. 

Get a hair transplant

A hair transplant is an operation which involves taking hair follicles from another part of the body and transplanting them onto the scalp. For many people, it can be an effective way to regrow hair on balding areas.

Most hair transplants are a success, but sometimes they don’t work quite as well as hoped. Can you get a hair transplant repair? Fortunately, yes. Just be wary of the fact that both a hair transplant and a repair can be quite expensive. It’s worth taking the time to shop around for hair transplant clinics - look out for best reviews and the most affordable pricing. 

Try laser therapy

Low-level laser therapy is one of the newest ways to treat hair loss. It involves using a laser to stimulate hair follicles and encourage regrowth.

Like a hair transplant, this has to be carried out by a qualified professional and it can be quite expensive. However, it does have a fairly good success rate. Consider whether this could be a treatment option for you. 

Wear a wig

A wig is the most traditional solution to hair loss. It may only be a way of concealing the problem, but it’s a lot less expensive than many other treatments.

Wigs have come a long way in recent years. Many modern wigs look realistic while also being very comfortable to wear. There are companies that can produce custom wigs. This is the best way to guarantee the right hairstyle and the right fit.

Wigs are now very fashionable and many people without hair loss wear them. You can read more information on wearing a wig here. 

Monday, 4 April 2022

Commodity Fragrances Expressive Discovery Kit


 Affordable and niche are not usually two words that go together, but Commodity is very much a reasonably priced niche fragrance brand.

A couple of years ago I bought a few Commodity gift sets in the 'Book' fragrance for various members of my family and had great feedback, so I'm pleased to be delving into the brand myself.
Commodity Fragrances have recently introduced the Scent Space Collection. In a nutshell, this new collection means there are now three versions of the brand's signature scents, available in varying strengths to suit you. You can read more about the Scent Space concept at CommodityFragrances but I’ll try my best to explain it!

The Personal Collection: Fragrances designed to sit close to the skin, with little projection. The subtle formula is perfect if you like to keep things light and don't necessarily care if others can smell your perfume. The personal fragrances are also perfect for bed, if like me you enjoy a pre-sleep spritz, or if you prefer a ‘skin scent’ that’s mainly just for you to enjoy.
The Expressive Collection: These fragrances pack a little more punch and those around you should be able to pick up on how great you smell, though the scent won't overpower smaller spaces.
The Bold Collection: These more intense versions are all about making a statement. With exotic notes added, Bold is the collection to go for when you want to get noticed.

I have here the Expressive Discovery Kit. The Expressive collection features the original versions of the various Commodity fragrances. You can also find these discovery sets in the two other Scent Space incarnations mentioned above - Personal and Bold.

The Discovery Kits feature 6 x 2ml sample atomisers, with named cards for testing and a booklet explaining the different scents. You'll also receive a 15% off code to use on the 100ml size of your favourite scent.
The fragrances included in the kit are Paper, Milk, Gold, Velvet, Moss and Book.
They are all interesting fragrances, with something to appeal to every nose but my personal favourite has to be Gold. Gold is an amber-vanilla scent that I find pretty beautiful. It's sort of smooth and creamy, with an edible quality - there really is something distinctly 'gold' about it too! I would definitely go for a full size of this.

Here are the official notes of the Expressive fragrances in the kit:

Book: Eucalyptus, Bergamot Violet, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Amyris, Musk Amber Vetiver

Paper: Iso E Super, Sandalwood, Cedarwood

Gold: Juniper Berries, Creamy Musk, Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood, Benzoin

Velvet: White Birch, Coconut Water, Vanilla, Amber, Roasted Almonds, Rose Petals

Moss: Grapefruit, Bergamot, Petitgrain, Orange Blossom, Cedarwood, Oakmoss

Milk: Cold Milk Accord, Skin Musk, Warm Marshmallow, Mahogany Wood, Tonka Bean

Just looking at these notes makes me want to go back through and give each scent another few wears. They really are beautifully blended and made for everyone but if you’re keen to try just one scent I would go for Paper – the addition of Iso E Super means this is a fragrance that’s going to smell different, and undoubtedly fantastic, on everyone.

If you haven’t already, I would definitely check out Commodity Fragrances. As well as the Scent Space discovery kits, there is also a range of ‘Archive’ fragrances available and of course 100ml (from £95) and 10ml (from £24) sizes of the Personal, Expressive and Bold scents. The Discovery Kits start at £20 and Scent Space Trio Kits containing the three versions of the scents are £12. If you do decide to purchase something, use code Hannah10 at checkout for 10% off your order.