The Cult Beauty Box by Vivianna & Lily

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It’s a little less than two weeks until my birthday, which means I’m looking for any excuse to treat myself. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start taking better care of my skin – I’m officially past the mid-twenties bit of my life and a quick dash with a cleansing wipe at the end of the day just isn’t cutting it anymore.

So I chose to treat myself with the Cult Beauty box collaboration with Anna of ViviannaDoesMakeup + Lily of LilyPebbles. It’s been a while since I’ve tried a beauty box, and this one really appealed to me. There’s definitely a focus on skincare, which was perfect for me considering that’s my new obsession!

The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is a big blogger favourite, and I can see why. The gel turns to oil on the skin, which feels gorgeously hydrating and leaves your skin feeling completely clean but with a good layer of moisture. I normally use the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser as my usual cleanser, but I think Oskia may replace this as my daily cleanser of choice.

I’m also loving the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist. As a last step before applying primer this has totally changed my base game. My skin is usually pretty well behaved but adding this to my routine has meant that my foundation goes on even more smoothly and sits better on the skin. It’s also really refreshing on hot days so I can see this being a staple over summer.

Another product that has also been incredible to trial was the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil. I’ve seen this featured in Harvey Nichols and Space NK a lot recently but the price tag (an eye watering £85 for 30ml) has put me off. It does come in a slightly unnerving shade of blue which means massage is required to really let it sink into the skin, but the fragrance and texture of the oil is just lovely. As a final step before bed it really relaxes you and I’ve seen a huge improvement in the texture of my skin since I’ve started using it.

Finally, a bit of a wildcard but I really loved the addition of the Jade Facial Roller. Keeping this in the fridge has meant puffy morning skin is a thing of the past.

And, ahem, it’s incredibly soothing on your temples if you have a morning-after-the-night-before headache… #JustSaying

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My Little Black Book of Beauty…

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I’ve written loads about where I go to get my hair done in previous posts (see here, and here), but I realized I’ve never shared where I go for the beauty side of things.

I’ve known Christina ‘Kiki’ Moscu since I was sixteen, and I’ve been a loyal client of hers ever since. She’s the only person I will ever let touch my eyebrows now – I moved away from her gorgeous boutique salon in South London for two brief years and I’m still paying for the consequences of not seeing her during that time! Never trust a £3 eyebrow wax people.

Since coming back to the fold of South London three years ago (YAY), she’s patiently helped me re-grow my eyebrows back. They’re still a long way off perfect but her advice (castor oil every night, sit in the sunshine with it on to help growth) has really worked. She’s also the fastest, and therefore least painful, waxer in the west. TMI maybe, but any girl knows a fast waxer is like gold dust.

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I actually met Kiki first through my mum. My mum is blessed with great skin genes, which I’m hoping I’ve inherited, but she’s not one to get complacent. My mum always taught me that a facial is a one of those necessary indulgences that act as great insurance (skin-surance?) for the future. A facial with Kiki is a heavenly hour or so where she takes a long look at your skin and prescribes the perfect facial to match. I always walk out of her Herne Hill salon glowing and feeling completely relaxed.

I’m probably going to regret telling the Internet when I can’t get an appointment with her, but Kiki is really just too good not to shout about.

You can find her salon just a 10 minute walk away from Herne Hill station here:

Kiki Hair & Beauty Salon

274 Rosendale Road

London,

SE21 9DL

www.kikihairandbeauty.co.uk 

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#BigHairDo with Myla & Davis

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Last Thursday I was invited down to the East Dulwich branch of Myla & Davis for their version of the #BigHairDo event. In association with LayeredOnline, 100 salons around the country took part in an evening of celebrating all things hair.

You know I’m already a Myla & Davis fan, having written about my journey from brown to blonde with them here, and I was really looking forward to see what they had planned for the evening.

With a Smashbox make-up artist on hand to offer make-overs, and hair stylists fresh off the London Fashion Week circuit demonstrating styles, the salon was absolutely buzzing with bloggers, regular customers, and a photographer getting suitably snap happy.

After enjoying the sushi canapes and a glass of raspberry studded prosecco, I chatted with Ellie as she deftly twisted my hair into a gorgeous milkmaid braid style. She even gave me some tips on how to recreate this at home – although as she quickly saw, I’m all fingers and thumbs when it comes to braiding so think this may just be a salon only style for now…

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I then enjoyed a Smashbox smoky eye make-over, courtesy of the lovely make-up artist. She gave me an amazing tip for adding definition to a smoky eye: after priming your eyelid with a primer and a neutral base, dust a little matt bronzer in the crease of your eye socket to add definition before following on with your smoky tones. I honestly saw a big difference to the finish of the make-up, and it made my eyes really stand out.

The Myla & Davis team put on an amazing night, and even gave away a lovely Bumble & Bumble giftbag with minis of some of my favourite products including the Thickening spray and the Don’t Blow It product.

Such a great way to spend a Thursday evening, and the Myla & Davis team were all lovely as ever. Definitely a fun reminder that I need to pop back soon to sort out my roots (any old excuse…)!

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Haircare hero: Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Hair Healer Leave in Conditioner

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My hair has been through a lot this past year. My flirtation with ombre back in January led me to go full on blonde for my birthday in May, which I’ve kept up with a half head of highlights ever since. I’m now thinking of going back to ombre, with a root stretch and a slightly darker blonde on my ends to keep it a bit more manageable for winter. With all these color changes it’s especially important to take care of my hair – particularly now as I’m growing out my lob (long bob Mum).

So, enter my new favourite addition to my daily hair care routine, and it’s a drugstore dream. It’s from the Moisture Seal range by Charles Worthington – I also purchased the shampoo but that’s nothing to write home about – and the Hair Healer leave in conditioner is just perfect if you have bleached or damaged hair. I found it detangles my hair post-shower perfectly, and I’ve really noticed a big improvement in how soft my hair feels.

The consistency is a little odd though. Halfway between a cream and a gel, it feels a little bit strange on your fingers but disappears really well into the hair once it’s been applied. I find it also helps with frizz if the weather outside is, well, typical English weather…

I like to apply it after shampooing my hair and conditioning as usual. I use quite a lightweight conditioner anyway so if I’m looking to give my hair extra protection from heat or the elements I opt for this as an extra step. It works best on towel-dried or damp hair, and I usually take a 10p sized piece of the product and work it into the lengths of my hair. Then carry on and style your hair as you would normally – the product should disappear into your hair without leaving any sticky bits behind.

You can grab this and the rest of the Charles Worthington range in Boots – like I said, the shampoo was nothing to write home about personally, but the entire range is really affordable so if you’re looking to give your hair a little bit of extra TLC I think it’s well worth it.

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Going from Brown to Blonde…

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As a child I had dark blonde hair that went a sandy blonde in summer, but which then darkened to a murky brown as soon as I hit my teens. Since then, I’ve had my hair a glossy chestnut brown, a very dark brown/bordering on black, dodgy stripy highlights and have even toyed with red, which was inspired by a break up that resulted in the slightly cliched and tearful “Just make me look different” plea to my poor hairdresser. I’ve actually changed my hair so much now that, at the grand old age of 25, I wasn’t quite sure what my natural hair colour was.

I have pale skin, brown eyes and very dark eyelashes. I look very, very much like my mum who when she was my age had naturally dark hair (almost black), so I just assumed I was naturally very dark as well. So, imagine my surprise when earlier in the year when I first tentatively went lighter, my hairdresser remarked that in actual fact my roots were a dark blonde.

I have Myla and Davis to thank for my colour change this year. I first started out with ombre, being wary of that very obvious home dip dye that so many girls had been rocking and so headed to their Herne Hill salon in an attempt to have proper, grown up colour. I quickly became hooked on being blonde, and went back to take the colour up to my roots.

I love being a blonde – suddenly I don’t have to wear quite so much make up in an attempt to make my skin look less ghostly. I have been blonde before, but I unwisely had an all-over bleach which looked a bit (as my gran kept saying) cheap. That, and the fact that my roots took just a week before making their presence known.

I’ve had my colour done by Elle who has been just brilliant. She gave me very fine highlights which meant re-growth has been incredibly subtle. And because of this, it means I can go a good 6-8 weeks without needing to return and my hair is in surprisingly good condition. I’m approaching the nine week mark right now so my roots are loud and proud, but I’m getting my hair extended at the weekend (!) so I’ve been trying to wait as long as possible before going back so my colour will be good for the number of social events I’ve got coming up.

Lifesaver products you should probably invest in as a blonde: purple or silver shampoo (Bleach London do a great one), a serious leave-in conditioner, and preferably a hardcore conditioning treatment. I’ve been a Phillip Kingsley fan since I was thirteen and had a traumatic hair experience after having encephalitis. His products quite simply brought my hair back to life so I will always be a lifelong advocate of his. Elasticizer is pricy, but seriously worth it. Make it a twice monthly treatment and your hair will thank you.

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Ace of Base: Laura Mercier Silk Cream Moisturising Photo Edition Review

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As I’ve mentioned before in my Eyeko product review post, I work right next to Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. Around lunch time, the siren call of the Beauty department hits me and before I can even consider my actions, I’ve dropped some dough on something a little more luxe than my usual Boots haul.

I’ve been having a bit of a thing for foundations recently, since running out of my usual Bobbi Brown foundation I’ve had flings with L’Oreal Infallible 24-Hour Matte foundation, Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen foundation and So when I saw that an old favourite, the Laura Mercier Silk Cream foundation, had been reformulated and released as the Laura Mercier Silk Cream Moisturising Photo Edition I whipped my debit card out so fast the poor counter girl wasn’t quite sure what was happening. Now, a bit of background – I have combination skin which usually behaves itself pretty well but in the past I’ve opted for the oil-free versions of the LM Silk Cream which does have a slight tendency to cake.

This time, I went for the full-fat version (so to speak), and I’ve found the texture to be so much better for my skin. There’s a gorgeous dewiness to the skin that this formula provides, and the colour match has been great. It seems like there’s a slight yellow undertone to the foundation as well, which really suits my newly blonde locks (pink and yellow really don’t go).

This does have a bit of a tendency to make me ever so shiny around the mid-afternoon mark, however with a good primer and a finely milled setting powder this helps keep the shine at bay. I usually touch up my make up after lunch anyway so it’s not such an issue for me.

Overall, a complete thumbs up from me. Right, so I’ve got my eyes and base sorted, what should I go after next?…

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What a Week! Ft. Tulse Hill Hotel & Balayage Salon…

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last round up and the weather certainly hasn’t got any better. As I type it’s humid and grey outside – hardly the stunning sunny weather you’d expect in mid-June… It’s looking increasingly likely our expected sunny summer may not kick in for a while….

So, with this in mind, my other half and I have decided to head to the Amalfi coast in early September, with three nights in Sorrento, one night in Naples (for the pizza…) and three nights in Rome at a hotel with a rooftop pool. I can hardly wait. 

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To celebrate booking our hotels and flights this weekend, we headed to our local the Tulse Hill Hotel for a white Negroni for me and a regular Negroni for the boy to celebrate World Gin Day.

I also signed up to Pilates this week and have been twice so far. I’m lucky enough to live a stone’s throw away from a fab yoga studio, the Shala, and have been trying out Beginner Pilates. Gentle enough to not feel really like exercise, yet strong enough so I definitely felt the burn after the second session. My abs were not happy with me yesterday! Still, I really enjoyed it and have already signed up to go back twice this week.

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Finally, I headed to Balayage salon in East Dulwich yesterday for their grand opening and brought my grandmother and mum along to see if for themselves. They both had their hair done and were so impressed. The team there were lovely as always, and if you haven’t read my post about them if before, check it out here.

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