Beauty Review – Summer Refreshers

As summer draws towards its close, with one final attempt at a heatwave, I thought it would be a good time to share some beauty products that have earned their place in my collection. I’m hard to please, and reluctant to buy, so these items have had to prove their worth:

Vichy Dermablend 

This summer I’ve had an increasing desire for a confidence boosting armour. A slightly heavier coverage foundation, and the ability to minimise under eye circles and shine. I realise most people have this as standard but I’ve spent years trying to keep my products as minimal as possible. I follow a loyal and simple skincare, SPF and CC cream routine (described here). I can get away with minimal make-up: I work from home and part of getting a handle on my Rosacea was allowing people to see imperfections. I haven’t owned concealer for years. So, why increase the coverage now? Well, this summer has brought a couple of weddings – the kind where I know I’ll be looking at the pictures in 20 years time. I’m also throwing myself out of my comfort zone – pursuing new career angles, job interviews, classes, etc. I’ve got enough going on, I don’t want to have to worry about red cheeks and nose sheen.

After a bit of research, I decided to invest in Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid foundation, SOS Cover Stick concealer and Setting Powder. I’m hyper aware of my sensitive skin, so I introduced these new elements gradually – patch testing, wearing it  on my face for a day, having a few weeks off to see any effects, trying again. I had no flare ups, and my skin looked great at the wedding. The Corrective Fluid is a good option for those with sensitive skin who don’t wear foundation regularly – if you’re a seasoned foundation user, I think you might find it’s blend and coverage a bit underwhelming. But it gave me what I wanted: medium cover, a light feel, and a good skin match. The concealer is designed for blemishes, so it’s great for patches of concern but I’m going to look for a different solution for my under eye circles (I’m going to try Nyx Dark Circle concealer). The Setting Powder is the winning addition to my routine. I now also use it over my CC cream for more active days. You apply it with the powder puff enclosed, leave it for a few minutes, then use a foundation or powder brush to remove any excess. If (like me) you’re always a bit shiny, this will give you a bit longer before you need to get your powder compact out of your handbag. I now can’t imagine not owning these, which is as good a review as you can get!

Dove 0% Aluminium Deodorant

It’s the summer. It’s sometimes hot. So let’s talk under arm odour and sweat. Surely, all we want is a reliable and subtly scented product that doesn’t block our sweat glands with metal, pure alcohol or other harsh ingredients? Is that too much to ask? And while we’re on the subject, why are the deodorant aisles of supermarkets and chain chemists so gendered? Women must smell of fruit or flowers, men of black pepper or ice. There are so many issues to get into here but let’s refocus…

Basically, I’ve been searching for the right deodorant for a while. I’ve tried Bionsen (like the scent but needs a few top ups during the day), Close to Nature (the pomegranate version is lovely but it stings after shaving the pits, oh and also the brand is seemingly discontinued) and few other options. My most recent trial has been Dove’s version. It’s ok. You get to smell of green tea and cucumber (like a vegan afternoon tea). I don’t particularly like how its smell blends with mine after an hour or two. I think the deodorant’s smell and your’s should sit harmoniously like a good perfume. But clearly I’m fussy. So this will do in the meantime but the hunt continues – if you have any recommendations, please let me know!

Sebastian Whipped Crème

I have the kind of relationship with my hairdresser where if she told me to massage my hair with actual whipped cream, I’d probably do it. She’s brilliant – I love how she cuts it and all her tips have been golden. At my last appointment she used Sebastian Whipped Crème – not actual cream and not a sticky, tacky moose either. Designed for thick hair with a curl, this creates sleek definition. And you only need a small amount at a time! It looks more expensive than it is (around £15) and you can get it from various online retailers, including Amazon.

BECO Soap Bar – Wild Berries

I’ve written before about my obsession with soaps rather than shower gel – I’ve loved unwrapping a new bar of soap ever since I was a five year old in a hotel bathroom. My most recent purchase has been this Wild Berries bar from BECO. Their products are, to quote the packaging ‘97% organic and 100% eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty free and hypoallergenic, every bar is readily biodegradable on the inside and recyclable on the outside in FSC certified recyclable packaging’. Added to this, each bar is ‘made, hand cut and hand wrapped by a workforce of whom 80% are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged’. So why wouldn’t you support their work?! The products also happen to smell delicious – I’m not normally one for berry scents (I’d think: cough medicine) but this has converted me. They also have Honey Blossom and Spring Meadow bars. I picked this up in my local supermarket and I’m so looking forward to trying the other scents.

Feather & Down – Sweet Dreams Sleep Salts

Since we’re nearing the end of summer, it’s only logical for me to give you a tip for Christmas. This is one of the most successful presents I’ve ever got for my dad (it went down so well, I gave him more for Father’s Day!).

My dad is a bath soul, like me. He loves a soak. Occasionally, he’s been known to splash in some Badedas but on the whole, he’s not a products guy. He’s a former civil servant, rugby/cricket player, avid sports watcher and writer. His luxury treat is going to the local beauticians every month for a massage but self care isn’t really his thing. I bought him the Feather & Down Sweet Dreams Sleep Salts for Christmas as something a bit left field – to enhance his post-gardening bath and help improve his sleep. He now uses it religiously. It’s also extended into a relaxing gift for my mum – filling the house with a post-bath lavender aromatherapy. Marital bliss ensues. As a present to others – or yourself – I can’t recommend it enough!

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