Beauty

MY LONGEST STANDING BEAUTY FAVOURITES

I’ve been having a walk down memory lane recently, it’s been almost a year since I started taking my blog more seriously and started falling in love with blogging again. I’ve been blogging on and off for a number of years now on several different blogs, where has all the time gone, eh? Over the years I’ve tried, tested and tossed products and many have become staples in my beauty box. Here is just some products which have become long standing beauty favourites for me!

NARS Foundation: I first saw Nars in a crowded Selfridges when I was heading in to grab some pieces from Bobbi Brown, so I stumbled over and had a little induction by one of the make-up artists on hand. I loved Nars because it offer a more vibrant and fuller coverage than my Bobby Brown foundation at the time – I’ve been using this foundation for about 3/4 years now (I know I need to shake it up) but the coverage and colours are both great! So it’ll definitely be something I re-buy time and time again. The foundation leaves a glowing & looking natural. It leaves skin hydrated, more luminous, softer and smoother.

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Bobbi Brown Concealer: I often switch from the Nars liquid concealer and the Bobbi Brown cream concealer, I love the coverage and silkiness of the Bobbi Brown concealer, I suffer with dark circles and I have a little bit of pigmentation on my cheeks so this concealer is perfect for me. I love the Bobbi Brown collection as it really caters to pale and fair skin tones. Another timeless product for my beauty bag.

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Nars Blusher: Another product I adore from Nars is the blusher, I’ve literally had the Orgasm blusher for years, like the same bloody blusher (I should probably update this product). This product is really pigmented so it goes a long way and it’s has a lovely little shimmer to it and the colour is perfect for my pale skin, this product is an everyday make-up product and it’s an iconic product within the Nars collection so you can’t really go wrong.

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Real Technique Powder Brush: Ah, what is a make-up bag without a real technique brush – the brand which has changed the make-up brush game (I see you Spectrum don’t worry) it’s honestly the holy grail powder brush. Such good quality, nice bristles. Puts powder on flawlessly. What more can we ask for.

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Bobbi Brown Blusher Brush: I first got this brush in a Christmas brush set a couple of years ago (yes, I know I should probably update this), it was my first ‘high end’ make-up brush collection and I just loved every part of it. The blusher brush picks up make-up perfectly, it’s really smooth and easy to use – Bobbi Brownie points from me (I’m sorry!)

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Note: I’m trying to make my beauty bag completely cruelty free, so if you spot something which needs changing please let me know!

 

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Beauty

ADDING A SPLASH OF HYGGE

As we all know, one of the hottest trends at the moment is Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah), which is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.

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I was recently sent some bath oils called Olverum which have been described as ‘Hygge’ in a bottle, it can help aid stress, anxiety and many other things – which I have a lot of! Apparently you just put a splash of this bath oil in your bath and you’re meant to be transported to a land of rest and relaxation – sounds great right? As a bath lover and an owner of a variety of bubble baths and bath bombs I was excited to try something a little different, so I put anyway the other bath essentials and pulled out a small bottle of Olverum.

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Smelling of pine and lavender, Olverum is 48% pure essential oils and blends Siberian Fir Needle, Exotic Verbena, Rosemary, Juniper, Lemon Peel, Lavender, Lavandin, Lime, Lime, Eucalyptus and Geranium. I can honestly say it was a wonderful experience, the essential oil moisturise and leave skin soft but are also perfect for easing sore muscles.

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I would definitely recommend this product, you only need to put a dash in, no more than a capful and I can’t wait to try the oils again!

 

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Beauty

HAIRCARE HEROES

When I was younger I use to have the most beautiful shiny thick long hair, but as I’ve got older and I’ve bleached it, dyed it, cut it and caused it a lot of damage it’s started to show the signs of wear and tear! So I decided it was time to invest some well needed time and research into making sure it got the TLC it deserved. Luckily, as fate would have it I’ve recently been sent some amazing products by a number of different companies to test and review which makes a happy Sarah and even happier hair.

I’ve tried to break down the products I tried into categories in the best way possible but as this is 2017 a lot of the products cross over into other categories, but I’ve tried to cover as many points as possible! Here is my round up and thoughts for these haircare heroes!

CLEANSE

Pantene Pro V has been a brand that I’ve used for years, my mum used to buy it when I was younger and I’ve used it off and on since forever! I like to think of Pantene as I brand I trust, an old friend which I can always rely on. Pantene is now launching a new collection which includes Micellar water within the products to cleanse and nourish hair – I know we’re all use to micellar water to remove make-up and cleanse skin, but apparently it’s a jack of all trades. These products have been created to help combat the issues that daily life throws at hair such as pollution… and as I live in Manchester there is definitely a lot of that.

I love these new products, they leave my hair feeling extra luxe, soft and shiny! Unlike traditional deep cleaning products, this formula lifts and captures impurities from the surface of the hair whilst maintaining the essential nutrients it needs, meaning the hair is left clean and strong. As some-one who washes their hair a few times a week, I worry I am stripping my hair of all its natural oils, but this product aims to remove styling residue, excess oils and unwanted minerals without over-cleansing and lifting nutrients that the hair actually needs.

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PROTECTS & REPAIR

I’ll admit it, I’m really bad for protecting my hair against heat – I use a hairdryer, straightener, curler and have my hair colour, therefore my hair has faced its fair share of heat so I’m always on the look out for amazing products which are quick and easy to use. The team from Andrew Collinge sent me this amazing hair moisturiser which is a great hair styling product to use for heat protection and shine and contains Argan Oils to hydrate, smooth and detangle the hair. I love using this before styling my hair as it calms down any frizziness and leaves my hair feeling healthy and shiny but doesn’t leave it feeling heavy or greasy with product. New heat protection product found – check!

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Envy Dual Fix 12 is a professional salon treatment that helps repair all hair types. Containing a perfect balance of silk proteins and keratin amino acids to target damaged areas and attract moisture to give long lasting results. 12 incredible benefits for smoother, glossier hair that’s easier to manage. This hair repair treatment is pretty much miracle in a bottle so get the instant WOW factor and get great hair in minutes. It leaves my hair feeling revived and much healthier – you can use it on dry or wet hair, I personally prefer using it on wet hair but the results are good either way – I just like to treat my hair while it’s wet for some reason – probably because I can pamper myself a little more.

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NATURAL PRODUCTS

I’ve never been a massive fan of 2 in 1 products for my hair, in the past, they leave my hair feeling lifeless and a little on the greasy side, however, the 2 in 1 shampoo and condition from Noughty leaves my hair feeling soft and looking shiny! It’s not a product I use everyday but I love popping it in my gym bag for a quick shower after my workout! The team from noughty also sent me the intense leave in condition, this is definitely one of my favourite products – I use heat products a lot such as hair dryer, straighteners and curlers and my hair can often become dry and damaged, therefore any products which can help bring back the shiny, bouncing and full of life hair I use to have I’m in!  One of my favourite things about these product is they are 97% natural meaning they have no sulphates or parabens in them – I’m really excited to keep trying these products and see the difference they make to my hair.

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MOISTURE 

One of my favourite brand Baylis & Harding stock up my wardrobe even more with some fabulous shampoo and conditions to try,

The first products from the Moisture Drench collection, the shampoo & condition are specially formulated shampoo with luxury Moroccan argan oil extract (which smells amazing and leave my hair feeling amazing). It nourishes and hydrates dry or damaged hair leaving it softer, smoother and healthier looking. The shampoo contains argan oil extract which boasts natural antioxidant and it contains pro vitamin B5 to strengthen and nourish. It is paraben free and ph balanced. It contains deep cleansing formulation and comes with natural betaine for moisturising.

I’ve also been using the Nourish & Hydrate shampoo & condition have been amazing on my dry and damaged hair, these products include coconut extract – and as we know is the magic ingredient of 2017! The products also include Vitamin E and essential fatty oils to help repair damaged hair! I love the smell of these products and they leave my hair feeling so soft and smooth – I love using the nourish and hydrate when my hair needs some extra TLC and since they are free from parabens they are much kinder to the hair.

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I’ve known the name Phil Smith for a while, whether I’ve been in a shop or salon, the packaging/nice definitely rang a bell so I knew I was in for a treat with these products! I love the formulation of both the shampoo and condition – because they include coconut water the texture is more liquid than cream, but I love this about them – it leaves the hair feeling more less weight and cleansed. I recently started to love leave in conditions, probably because I can pamper myself while being lazy (win-win). I didn’t feel that these products leave my hair as silky as some of the others, but that be because my hair was sick of being washed! However, my hair was really easy to style after using these products and my curls held all day without having to coat my hair in hairspray – my hair often loses curls quite easily so I was really happy with this. Also, the coconut smell from these products was delicious – always a nice added extra!

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COLOURED HAIR

As I mentioned I’ve coloured my hair for a number of years now, it went from a few highlights to all blonde (big mistake) and now I have a balayage, I love colouring my hair and added blonde into it but dye can be really damaging to your hair. I’ve recently been using Joico K-PAK colour therapy which is an instant shine and repair miracle for colour-treated hair that unlocks the secret to out-of-this-world vibrancy, while providing deep repair and illuminating shine treatment – from the first use my hair felt incredibly soft and hydrated – it helped bring the thickness back to my hair (well the feel of it anyway). It’s the perfect choice for all colour treated hair – from blondes to brunettes, lowlights to highlights.

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Let me know if I’ve missed any haircare heroes which you love and i’ll be sure to try them out.. once I’ve run out of these!

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Beauty

SKINCARE SOS

One thing I think is really obvious from my blog is I’m obsessed with skincare! I might not be able to contour, but if you need a girl who knows her daily cleanser from her night cream then BOOM! here I am! I’ve recently become really interested in natural skincare, especially when it comes to products which I use on my face – I’ve been investing in some bits from The Body Shop but now the lovely team at Pure potions sent me some amazing products to try and add to my overflowing skincare collection. The team sent me six products – Daily Moisturiser, Facial Oil, Lip Balm, Hand Cream, Intense Moisturiser and a Omega Cleanser.

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I was a bit worried when I first received the cleanser as it’s oil based and normally I’m not a big fan of oily products, however, it was amazing! It felt really nice on my skin without being greasy or sticky! Currently, i’ve been using the cleansing balm from The Body Shop which I still love, however, this cleanser is definitely up there in my ever-growing collection.

I also received facial oil which has to be one of my favourite products from the collection, I often get dry skin – especially after cleansing and even though I drink more water than a fish my skin can still be really dehydrated! I’ve only been using the product for a couple of days but I can already see an amazing difference in my skin. With the facial oil you only need a couple of drops which I like to add into my moisturiser rather than adding straight to my face – I’ve really enjoyed using this product at night time because it gives it the night to sink in.

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As a girl from Manchester I’m used to the cold rainy weather, however, my lips don’t take to it as well..meaning I often get Ribena lips (imagine drinking a glass of Ribena and the purple lip you get on your top lip – yeah that, but chapness.) This lip balm is really moisturising and perfect for when my lips need some serious r&r – I don’t think I would use it every day, but it’s great when my lips are suffering.

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I’ve been suffering from a little dry and dehydrated skin recently, I don’t know if it the change in my routine or I’m not getting enough water (despite drinking A LOT) but there is definitely tightness/dryness especially on my cheeks and forehead – I’ve been using the moisturiser every morning to help with this and I love it – the moisturiser is thick and creamy without being heavy – it sinks into the skin really well and leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated. I think it’s so important to moisturise your face especially before putting make-up on and after taking it off. Currently, I’ve been using one from Nip & Fab, but I definitely think I’ll be adding this one into my circulation.

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Pure potion also offer an intense moisturiser which I’ve not had a chance to use this moisturiser yet as my skin hasn’t really suffered from intense dryness – however, from the result I have seen this cream sounds amazing if you suffer from eczema or other skin conditions which causes you skin to be dry – I’m looking forward to winter coming so I can give it a go. The formula for this product is really interesting, stored in a pot the warmth of your hand turns the balm into an oil making application onto dry skin much easier and soothing.

Even though I’m pretty obsessed with skincare I serious neglect my hands, I don’t particularly have any issues with my hands and to be honest I often forget that hand cream is a thing! However, in the spirit of giving things a go I’ve popped this on my desk at work in the hopes that I’ll remember to give my hands some extra TLC – I wasn’t sure on the smell at first, I’m used to things which don’t have much of a smell but this (even though it smell amazing) definitely has a strong one, I’ve started to get used to it and the natural scents have become quite a nice part of my day.

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I believe the range is available in Boots and as mentioned before is completely natural, which I think is SO important for the environment and our bodies. If you want more information about the brand head over to their website which can be found at https://www.purepotions.co.uk/

 

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Beauty

MY MAKE-UP BAG

Growing up a tom boy I was never really into make-up – a simple clear gloss and sparkly eye-shadow was enough for me but from being 16/17 I started to love make-up! From High street to High End I was hooked and my make-up bag began to grow and grow and well.. grow! Here are a few of my favourite bits at the moment and what is currently sat at the top of my make-up bag!

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I was gifted some new brushes from Spectrum for Christmas and I absolutely love them! They are beautiful to look at and they feel really so nice on my skin – I’ve really enjoyed playing around with my eye make-up at the moment and these brushes are so fun and easy to play around with and create new looks! I also use Real Technique brushes and some Bobbi Brown brushes which I’ve had for YEARS – they are gorgeous and have lasted really well!

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For about 2 years I always used the same Bobbi Brown foundation which I loved – it always sat really nicely on my skin and gave me a really nice coverage, however, a couple of years ago I was tempted by the Nars counter and tried the ‘Sheer Glow’ foundation and I fell in love – the coverage was amazing, it sat really nicely on my skin and I loved the dewy finish the foundation gave me! I also used the Bobbi Brown cream concealer while I was using the Bobbi Brown foundation and I did love it, I’d never used a concealer which was a cream before therefore it was something new and excited in my make-up bag, however, once again I was tempted by Nars and decided to try the liquid concealer and OMG – its seriously amazing! I do notice little creasing under my eyes now therefore I’m not sure if the concealer isn’t working as well as it use to or my wrinkles are getting worse (sobs) but I’d definitely open to trying something new.

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Currently I’m using two Mascaras – The Roller Lash from Benefit and one from W7. I loved the benefit mascara but I was really upset to find out Benefit still test on animal, therefore, I’m trying to use up and replace anything I have which is Benefit. I picked up the W7 mascara after a friend recommended it to me and told me it was a cruelty free dupe for Benefit! Cheaper and just as good? Definite win-win! I’m still not crazy in love with either of these mascara therefore if anyone has a suggestion please let me know!

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As mentioned before I’ve really started to love playing around with eyeshadows recently, I think it can finish off any look and it fun working with different colours, styles, techniques etc. I’m bought a 12 shade eye shadow palette from MAC which is simply stunning – it’s one of my favourite palettes I currently own. I have blue eyes therefore the oranges, golds, coppers and warm tones work really nicely and make my eyes pop!

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You’re making me blush! Sorry – I’m currently using deep throat from Nars and I’ve just picked up this gorgeous new blush from H&M! The pigmentation is really good and the colour really sticks to my brush! I’m looking forward to using the blush more and see how it goes.

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Beauty

SKINCARE SAVIOURS

My skincare collection is constantly growing from moisturisers to serum, eye creams and exfoliators I have enough to open my own shop! I don’t buy everything on the market but I’m also interested to try different products and test them myself.

I’ve mentioned before but a couple years ago I had a massive breakout along my cheekbones and it really affected the way I treated my skin and the products which I use – I want to make sure I’m giving my skin everything it needs without using too many products. I’ve found that a lighter routine in the morning and a heavy and longer routine in the nighttime works better for me – firstly because I love to sleep and have less time in the morning but also my skincare products don’t always work well with my make-up. I’m currently using a selection of products from different brands which include Nip + Fab, The Body Shop, Emma Hardie, Flint + Flint and Elemis – I don’t use all of these products every day but I mix and match depending on what my skin needs and what skin issues I’m having at the time.

At the moment I’m currently suffering from dry skin and large pores on my nose – I’ve always suffered from blackheads and large pores on my nose from a young age but I still haven’t found the hero product which has helped me with this, so if anyone has suggestions please let me know! For my dry skin, I use The Body Shop sleep mask at night after cleansing, toning and applying a serum! From time to time I sometimes use my Nip + Fab Glycolic fix daily cleansing pads at night especially when my skin feels especially dirty in the evenings. I like this moisturiser because it feels nourishing without feeling too heavy and I can see the difference in the morning when I wake up. I also love using a serum in the morning and at night to help hydration – I’m currently using the Flint + Flint Vitamin C Serum and Nip + Fab Dragon’s blood fix pumping Serum which are both amazing and has had great results on my skin! Obviously, I try and drink as much water as possible to help hydrate my skin which is obviously benefiting all aspects of my skin.

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My hero product at the moment is the Camomile cleanser from The Body Shop, it’s literally the best thing I’ve ever use! It melts makeup off it seconds and the second is light enough to keep the product over for a couple of minutes – I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and it’s definitely something I will be buying again and again.

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Though I’m pretty happy with my skincare routine at the moment it’s far from perfect and I’m definitely still lacking in certain areas – I don’t wear any SPF throughout the day which I know is affecting my skin, I’m not sure where to start to be honest, is it worth buying a foundation with a SPF in it or is it better to by a primer and moisturiser with SPF in it? There are so many options and advice out there and it’s one I’m not really sure on, to be honest, I’ve tried all the options I’ve mentioned but one hasn’t stuck yet – if anyone has advice please let me know!

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As you can see from my pictures I’m skincare obsessed and I wish I had taken care of my skin earlier and cared more about that than make-up but it’s all about finding a balance. If you have any tips of advice let me know in the comments below!

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Thanks,
Sarah

 

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Beauty

Indulge with the Intu Beauty Hour

The Intu Trafford Centre has created a new indulgent hour in which you can create a personalised hour of pampering in a selection of the stores at the centre. Whether you’re looking for the perfect blow dry or a facial to renew and revitalise your skin there is something for everyone.

The Intu Trafford Centre houses a number of beauty brands such as Superdrug, Liz Earle, Estee Lauder, L’Occainte, Peter Marcus Hairdressing and the list goes on and as everything in under one roof (and a couple of domes) it is the perfect place to get pampered.

My personalised beauty hour consisted a skin consultation from L’Occainte, a hand and arm massage from Liz Earle and a get the glow facial from Estee Lauder but my first stop was Superdrug for a manicure.

Though I consider myself a pro when finding my way around the Intu Trafford Centre I also don’t like taking chances when I have a lot of appointments to make therefore I used the Intu App which got me from A-B without a hitch and is also free for IOS and Android.

 

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The chain store now offers a braid bar, eyebrow bar and nail bar making it the perfect one-stop for glamming up and having some ‘me’ time. While at the store I got a manicure which was very overdue, I love having beautiful nails but never have the time or don’t do the best job so this was the perfect treat. I got my nails done by a lady called Chelsea who filed, buffed, moisturised and painted my nails into perfection! The treatment lasted around 30 minutes and would be the perfect treatment at the end of your shopping trip, I had lot of colours to choose from and the nail bar also offers gel manicures which I can’t wait to try. Everyone at the store was really helpful and with the beauty bar is situated at the back of the store, it felt private/quiet enough to enjoy and relax. Also, the prices are incredibly reasonable, so if you’re pampering on a budget but still want quality I would definitely recommend heading here. I’m already planning my next trip to the store and can’t wait to try all if the treatments on offer.

The wonderful team at Superdrug also gave me an amazing goodie bag filled to the brim with makeup and skincare treats which included some amazing lipsticks/lip glosses, gold temp tattoos and so much more!

L’Occainte 

Originating in France, L’Occainte is an natual beauty company which offers a number of organic products, these include shampoo, conditioner and skincare for men and women. Over the  last year I have become really interesting in using natural and organic products therefore I was excited to learn more about this brand.

My consultant (Jo) took my hydration reading which was 41! and for those of you who don’t know, that is really low – a hydration reading show be between 40-70 so, I someone who drinks a lot of water I was surprised and clearly need to moisturise more.

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Jo showed me a selection of the store’s product which included lip balms which are be used as cream blushes and their CC cream. I’ve heard of CC creams but haven’t done much  research, so it was safe to say I was blown away when Jo demonstrated the cream on me. The cream offers light coverage and replenishes the skin! Win -win right?

Liz Earle

I’d heard a lot about Liz Earle though the grapevine and seen them featured in a number of glossy magazines however I’d never tried to the products for myself, though I’m not faithful to any skincare brand and open to trying anything I’m always careful before using products after suffering an awful breakout just over a year ago. The consultant from Liz Earle told me about the product range and what made Liz Earle unique all the while giving me an arm and hand massage.

The Liz Earle skincare range was launched 20 years ago and is going from strength to strength, my consultant told me that there will be some new launches in 2016 but when it came to exactly what these products would be here lips were sealed, so I suggest you keep your eyes peeled! The products are natural and really good for skin, unlike forming cleansing which contain alcohol, their cleanser is a cream which feels great on the skin and removes any traces of make-up or dirt.

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The generous team at Liz Earle also gave me an incredible sample of their line and as someone who is obsessed with skincare I was very excited and have already tried out a few of the product already, as I mentioned for the Superdrug treats, I will do a separate blog post reviewing these products!

Estée Lauder

My final stop of the night was at the Estée Lauder counter in John Lewis, I was excited for my treatment at Estée Lauder as I have heard A LOT about the brand but I have never had the opportunity to try the product. I opted for the ‘Get The Glow Facial’ which for someone who suffers from dark circles and dull looking skin I was excited to hear how the treatment worked.

My consultant and I discussed my current skin routine and what my current concern are for my skin. My main concerns are blemishes and pigmentation however I’m aware those issues won’t go overnight. My second concern is dull lifeless skin which can be helped and my consultant went through several products which would help me get glowing skin.

I also tried the double wear foundation which I have heard so many positive things about and the lady gave me a sample to try at home which I’m saving for the perfect occasion but I’ll probably end up investing in the product after pay day.

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