Life Lately

Hello ladies & gents!

You might have noticed that I haven’t been posting as regular as I would have hoped to, which majorly sucks. I really enjoy blogging but it’s having to take a bit of a back seat at the moment.

If you follow me on Twitter then you’ll know that last year I moved from Manchester to South Wales, originally for University but that didn’t go to plan. I took a full time job as a Mental Health Support Worker, a similar job to what I was doing before hand but a change up with the type of clients I support. After absolutely loving it I applied for senior position and got it, woo!

So after being settled in my job I’ve taken the plunge to begin my Masters in Forensic Psychology at The Open University which is amazing if you have work and home life to juggle. It’s a 2 year course but it’ll hopefully get me on the path to becoming a Forensic Psychologist.. eek.

On top of all of that, not that I don’t have enough on my plate already but I’ve started my driving lessons which was much needed.

So life is pretty hectic lately.

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The Ordinary | High Coverage Foundation

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Good afternoon ladies & gents, it’s been quite a while since my last post. Life has been pretty hectic this last month or so and blogging has taken a back seat unfortunately but here we are with a new post. Heeeeeellllooo, how are you all!?

You will have probably heard of the brand The Abnormal Beauty Company/ DECIEM by now if you are active in the beauty world but just incase you have no idea what I’m talking about then they are a “humble and happy umbrella of good beauty brands” which owns and operates more than 10 different brands such as NIOD, Hylamide, The Chemistry Brand & The Ordinary.

A few of months ago I grabbed a couple of The Ordinary’s skincare items from Asos and I was over the moon with the results so when they announced that they were bringing a high coverage foundation out I HAD to own it!

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The foundation is available in 21 different shades which are then divided into four categories 1 for fair to lighter tones, 2 for medium tones and 3 for darker tones. To give even more variety there are then a second digit ranging from 0 to 3 which indicates the depth. Lastly the foundation has a letter which indicates shade for the undertone you need, P for pink, R for red, N for neutral and Y for yellow.

Hats off to them, I love how much variety there is for their foundation. It is literally super easy to choose your foundation and get it right.

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I headed over to Victoria Health to purchase my foundation, there was about a month  wait due to being in such high demand. I grabbed the shade 1.0N (£5.90) which is fair to light and neutral undertones.

The packaging is minimalistic but yet elegant, the foundation comes in a plastic frosted container again with simplistic design and a pump yay which makes dispensing mess free! The foundation is 30ml which is your standard size but the packaging makes it the perfect size for your handbag with the added benefit of a twist lock for added reassurance.

The Ordinary claim “when applied, the formulations blend in effortlessly with your natural tones and your skin glows. These foundations contain higher pigment levels than the Serum Foundations but still offer a smooth finish that avoids the heavy makeup look that can make skin appear more aged. The texture is that of a lightweight, non-oily cream.”

The picture below is of my skin before the foundation is applied. The current state of my skin is very poor with a bad outbreak on my cheeks and chin.  *sad face*.

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I applied The Ordinary’s High Spreadability Fluid Primer using a single pump of the foundation onto the back of my hand and proceeded to use the ‘Real Techniques Buffing Brush’ to apply it in a circular motion working outwards from the midpoint of my face.

The 1.0N shade is the PERFECT match for my skin as usually with other I have found that I have blend it further down my neck in order not to get a line of colour between the applied area and my regular skin. This foundation claims to be high coverage but once applied i’d say it’s around medium, there are still some red areas around my breakouts but nothing a little concealer won’t fix. This foundation blends really well into my skin and leaves a subtle glow which is much needed right now.

The downside I have found with this particular foundation is that it seems to layer up around my problem areas such as my chin and my nose resulting in a ‘cakey’ heavily applied look. This could be due to the current condition of my skin so I look forward to putting it through it’s paces once my skin is back up to scratch.

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Taking the previous points into account I am overly impressed with this range of shades and how perfect the colour matches my skin. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that has the struggles of finding a foundation to match their skin tone and with absolute steal of a price (£5.90) you have no reason not to go for it, after all it’s cheaper than most of the drug store brands!

Have you tried this foundation ? I would love to hear what you think below or maybe tweet me @beautyandlittle

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Afternoon Baking | 6 Tier Rainbow Cake

If you’ve been following my blog in the last couple of months then you will have noticed that i’ve been doing the odd afternoon baking post. I LOVE cake and just can’t get enough of it.. I literally have a second stomach for it, oh wait that might just be my little cake shelf *hides*.

For Scarlett’s first birthday my husband baked her a 6 tier rainbow cake and it was INCREDIBLE, my baking skills are somewhat poor with my cakes tending to be hit and miss so I set myself a challenge to make my own rainbow cake and it was an absolute success! So here is the recipe I used so you can bake your own.

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For the cake

350g self raising flour

3tsp baking powder

350g soft soft unsalted butter

350g caster sugar

6 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

splash of milk

For the frosting

100g unsalted butter, soft

250g cream cheese, at room temperature

600g icing sugar, sifted

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 and begin prepping your cake tins, for this I just grabbed mine from Poundland and some pre cut circle baking sheets which work a treat in them, saves a lot of fuss.
  2. Cream your butter and sugar together using an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Once your butter is light and fluffy add your eggs in one at a time.
  4. Begin to add your flour a little bit at a time with your hand mixer on slow, then add your baking powder and vanilla extract.
  5. Depending on how thick your mixture is add a splash of milk so it’s the correct consistency.
  6. Divide your cake mixture into six bowls, I did mine a heaped table spoon at a time to each bowl.
  7. Add your food colouring to each of the separated cake mixtures, for this I used Sugarflare gels they work wonders.
  8. Once your colours are mixed add them into your cake tins.
  9. Now it’s time to bake your cakes, I do mine 3 at a time for 15-20 minutes, prick your cakes with a cocktail stick to make sure they are fully baked, if there is mixture sticking to the stick then pop them back in for a couple more minutes.
  10. Once all baked leave them to fully cool down before frosting.
  11. Whilst your cakes are cooling now it’s time to make up your frosting, add your butter and cream cheese together combining it, once that’s done your can add your icing sugar in a little bit at the time until you get a thick consistency. Add it to the fridge to chill.
  12. Once all the cakes have cooled it’s time to assemble, add a small blob onto the centre of your cakes spreading it thinly and add your next layer, repeat this until your cakes are assembled.
  13. Crumb coat your cakes by applying a layer of frosting around the sides of your cakes which will fill any gaps. Chill for a hour after this.
  14. Apply a thick coat of frosting to your cake and using a side scraper even it out.

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What’s your favourite type of cake?

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Kat Von D | Beauty Haul & Giveaway

Since watching LA & Miami Ink I have forever been obsessed with Kat Von D, who isn’t?! So when I saw that she was bringing her own beauty range out I was so excited BUT there as a down side, I would have to order from America which comes with customs fees so when Debenhams announced last year that they would have Kat Von D’s range online exclusive to them my dreams had come true.

With my birthday approaching next weekend my husband said that he would get me a couple of bits from Kat Von D *dances* I was over the moon. Scrolling through Debenhams website again for the millionth time after previously eyeing up what I wanted I grabbed the Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette £37, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick £17 and Lock It Foundation £27.

Being pale is always a problem when your looking for foundations on the high street as most of them for me are warmer tones so they have an orange tone to them, I tend to have to lighten them or look for high end makeup brands. With that in mind I picked up the Lock It Tattoo foundation in the shade 41 neutral, which is her lightest shade and looked like the colour would match my skin tone online.

I was so excited to try this out as i’ve heard great things about it especially after reading Caitlin’s post ‘The Base That Will Not Budge’ over at Through The Mirror, Kat claims that “Lock-It’ foundation is the only long-wear liquid formula we can count on to create a perfect canvas. With one pump it will even out discolouration, stop shine and hide blemishes, offering amazing coverage that’s so long-wear you can go a full 24 hours without re-applying.” sounds like the perfect foundation right?!

I blended the foundation onto my skin using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush and honestly it’s practically a shade from white, the foundation is incredibly pale and far too pale for me which NEVER happens! I looked drained and ghostly. Once fully blended into my skin after 1 pump the coverage was about medium I would say, even though it claims to be full coverage, I could still see redness from spots so a second coat might be better. The foundation sank into my pours clogging them rather than covering over them and didn’t really live up to my expectations, which I was gutted about, I don’t think it was the right foundation for me. On a positive note though I do absolutely love her packaging, the plastic container is a nice touch making it handbag friendly!

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Another absolutely beautifully packaged item from the Kat Von D beauty range I picked up was the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Exorcism which is a beautiful deep purple. I absolutely adore my dark lipsticks, it’s pretty much all I wear now a days, so this was definitely a must into my basket. The lipstick glides across my lips with a doe foot applicator without any pulling, the formula is really creamy drying matte in seconds! What I love most about this liquid lipstick is that it is SUPER pigmented, only one swipe is needed across your lips for an intense colour which last all day long without highlighting any dry patches. I definitely need to get my hands on more shades, especially the shade Woolfe.

Head to the end of the post to enter the giveaway to win your own Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in your choice of shade!

Lastly I picked up the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette which i’ve been lusting over forever and possibly the main reason for the order. The palette is a hard cardboard base as opposed to the usual hard plastic containers eyeshadows are usually in, I was quite worried as I thought it would get ruined but the case is super sturdy and has a magnetic lid protecting those beautiful eyeshadows.  The palette consists of twelve matte shades which include neutral, warm and cool shades split into three quads consisting of base, contour, define and highlight shades.

Neutral Shades: Laetus, Samael, Solas and Lucious

Cool Shades: Lazarus, Saleos, Shax and Liberatus

Warm Shades: Ludwin, Succubus, Sytry and Latinus

The palette comes with a little leaflet on how you could transfer your eyes through the art of contouring which I find super handy because i’m absolutely useless when it comes to using eyeshadows, so it’s a great palette for beginners.

Each of the twelve shades allow you to create both day and night looks in one palette *dances* with each blending beautifully with their buttery formula and super pigmented powder giving you those dramatic eyes you’ve been lusting over. I would definitely recommend this palette to all you beauty addicts, it’s a must have in my eyes.

As a huge thank you for reaching 1k followers over on my Twitter I am hosting a giveaway that you can enter below to win your own Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick of choice! 

Terms & Conditions:

Entrants under 18 please seek permission from parents

Giveaway ends 25/05/2017 00:00, winner will be announced and have 48 hours to respond otherwise a new winner will be picked. Item will be shipped once giveaway has ended & winner has picked shade.

ALL entries will be checked and verified, with any incomplete, false or duplicate entries being removed.

International giveaway

GIVEAWAY ENDED

What’s on your Kat Von D wish list?

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Mental Health | Self Care

Mental Health is such an important topic that needs to be more widely discussed but unfortunately there is still so much stigma surrounding it. I’ve recently covered mental health on my blog with posts on my own mental health story and MQ Mental Health Charity so that’s where this post comes in, what can you do to help manage your mental health with self care.

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When struggling with your mental health sometimes even the basic daily routines become a problem such as taking a shower, socialising with friends, attending appointments, not being able to get out of bed, that might seem unrealistic to those who haven’t had a mental illness or not know much about it but when you’ve got a mental illness such as depression these simple daily tasks become unmanageable and less important. Practicing self care techniques may help manage or prevent symptoms from developing but this is not always the case for everyone, some might require the use of medication and/or therapy, everyone is individual and unique, what works for me might not work for you.

If you’ve read my post on my own mental health journey you’ll notice that my mental health is a lot better than what it was, it’s a lot more manageable, it’s not totally gone as I do go through periods where I am pretty low in mood but nothing that requires the use of medication just a little self care when I finally force myself to do it, I am a little stubborn and i’ll keep telling myself and my husband i’m fine.

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With working full time which involves 12 hour shifts 3 times a week and being a mum to a 3 year old life is pretty hectic, it’s really important for me to set a side at least a hour for some self care whether it would be binge watching Netflix, going to the gym or a pamper evening, just that little bit of time for myself. Usually my self care routine involves me running a bubble bath, lighting tonnes of candles, grabbing my favourite face mask out of the drawer which is currently Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal  Purifying Glow Mask (£16), caking my ever so dead hair in a Argan oil mask and catching up on my current favourite shows which are Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy and The 100. Sounds perfect right?! it is, it really does the trick with helping me relax which in turn washes away half of the problems that which when you step back and look at the bigger picture, shouldn’t be an issue.

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There are so many different types of self care that you could try such as meditation, starting a blog/journal, declutter, wear your favourite perfume, spend time with your loved ones or go to an exercise class.

Your mental health is important, it doesn’t matter if you feel it’s the smallest thing in comparison to others it still matters.  If you are suffering from any form of mental health speak to someone, a friend, a family member, a charity, your GP, it is really important that you don’t let it take over your life. I’d like to think that I will always make time for anyone that wants a chat if they’re feeling low.

Do you have your own mental health story? I would to hear how you coped with it in the comments below!

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Nip + Fab | New Beauty Range

If you have never heard of Nip + Fab before then they are a skincare company that are well known for their cutting edge ingredients in their skincare ranges, I personally have never tried their range before but have always read fantastic things about them. Nip + Fab have recently released their own make up range about a month ago which I was pretty excited about especially after seeing it all over their Instagram, at the moment you can only buy it off their website directly or Superdrug‘s website.

“Discover our range of makeup staples that will guarantee you #Nofilter status in no time. From easy-to-use contouring palettes to create those killer cheekbones, an eyeshadow palette for mesmerising eye definition through to flawless foundation shades that you can custom-make, heads will turn at your #Makeupgame.”

I headed over to Superdrug’s website and had a flick through what they had, they currently have 3 for 2 on their products so I literally wanted one of everything but I had to limit myself *sobs* so I grabbed their foundation in shade 10 (£12.95), concealer in shade 10 (£8.95) and powder blush set in blush 1 (£8.95).

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First up is the Nip + Fab foundation, not having the products in store makes it incredibly hard to buy without testing it out before hand *sad face*, I picked the foundation up in shade 10 which I believe shade 5 is the lightest, though on the website photos it looks like 10 is lighter than 5.. you see my problem here. The good thing about these Nip + Fab foundations is that they also do a lighter and darker foundations drops (£12.95) so you can just add a couple of drops in and make your own shade.. magic!

When I first applied this foundation I noticed that it has a warmer tone to it rather than the cooler tones I tend to go for but once applied it gave me that much needed vibrancy that my regular skin tone lacks. The foundation is medium coverage, it blends incredibly well and manages to cover over all my imperfections nicely without any need for a second coat leaving me with a flawless matte base.

The foundation is so lightweight I even forget i’m wearing any which is perfect for me because there is nothing worse than it sitting heavy on my face all day especially with summer coming up. I’ve found that at the end of the day i’m left without an oily t-zone and no need for a top up, a win win in my eyes! This has definitely got to be my new favourite foundation as of yet!

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I grabbed Nip + Fab’s concealer in the shade 10 but i’m in the same dilemma with that in terms of shade as again it is a warmer tone. The concealer is light weight and not heavy on the eyes but provides full coverage, it’s so great it even covers over my horrendous black eye bags.

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Lastly I grabbed Nip + Fab Blusher Palette in Blushed 1, which comes in four beautiful pink and coral shades, Flamingo, Cocktail, Whisper and Velvet. Each of the shades are buttery and beautifully pigmented leaving a soft and subtle glow to my pale skin, absolutely perfect for summer.

I would definitely recommend that you head over and treat yourself to some Nip + Fab bits, you won’t regret it!

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Revlon ColourStay Foundation | A Must Have!

When it comes around to that time to buy foundation I always dread it because I struggle buying my shade, being pale most of the lightest shades from drugstores are ivory and tend to have a slight warmer tone to them which I need more of a cooler tone so I tend to go to the more higher end foundations, the only drugstore foundation that i’ve yet got on with is the Boujour Healthy Mix.

I have used Revlon’s Colour Stay foundation in the past, the version without a pump, but it really didn’t get on with my skin, I don’t know if it was a bad batch or something but I found it impossible to blend and it was so thick. A couple of weeks ago I was wandering round Boots swatching different foundations and came across ColourStay again, I tried the pump version and this seemed better suited for me.

Revlon’s ColourStay foundation (£12.99) has 35 different shades and all suitable for all skin types covering dry/normal and combination/oily.

“ColorStay™ Makeup now with a convenient pump applicator for mess free application. Flawless, matte coverage that lasts up to 24 hours.”


I picked up combination/oily in the shade ivory, as i’ve mentioned above ivory tends to be warmer, but this is definitely toned down, it is better suited for my skin without being ghostly white. The foundation is quite thin, which one pump does my whole face sometimes less than that, it is really lightweight and provides medium coverage which is easily buildable without getting that cakey look.

I tend to have quite a bit of redness and dark circles, this foundation works wonders to even out my skin tone leaving me with a fresh and matte looking base. I can honestly vouch for the foundation being long lasting, I can apply the foundation approximately 3pm and work a 12 1/2 hour night shift and it’s still perfect in the morning without looking oily making me look better than I feel.

This honestly is my new favourite and will always have a spot in my makeup bag.

What’s your favourite drugstore foundation?

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Spooky Eyes

I was kindly accepted onto an EtailPR campaign for Spooky Eyes, which are a UK based company  who specialise in crazy, natural and Halloween cosmetic contact lenses. Spooky Eyes also stock over 500 designs for different occasions are great prices. If you have worked with EtailPR before then you know the drill that you choose 3 different samples as your first, second and third choice which I managed to get my first in this case (YAY).

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I was sent the *Spooky Eyes Black Contact Lenses (28.95$), I have always wanted to have black contact lenses so bad, every time that I have seen them in vampire or demon films I always think that they look super cool so that’s where that has sprung from.

I have actually never used contact lenses before so I was unsure how to actually put them in and was extremely thankful that my partner was to hand as he wears prescription contacts so he helped me. Putting them in was a total struggle for me, at any point that they were going anywhere near my eyeball I kept blinking which was such a pain in the arse though no fault of Spooky Eyes but down to my own inexperience. Once I had finally got the contacts in, which literally took forever I must admit that they looked awesome but it took some getting used to as my eyes are quite a light blue and something was stuck to my eyeball. The contact lenses took a few minutes to get used to especially if you have never worn them before but after those first few minutes they feel really comfortable. The only thing that I was slightly disappointed with was that I could still see my original part of my eye colour and the contact lenses were not completely blacked out however that may be because my pupils were not dilated as you can see from my photo.

Overall, I am extremely impressed with the lenses at Spooky Eyes I love that they have such a wide range of contact lenses for a number of events or just to wear, I would definitely recommend them to others.

Fancy some awesome funky eyes? Check out Spooky Eyes over on their store.

*PR SAMPLE*

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Christmas Eve box!

Hello!! I do apologise that I have not had a fresh blog post out for the past couple of weeks, we have been in the process of moving and getting the internet in the new place. I know this post features christmas but I thought it would make a lovely post and if anyone wants to take it into account for their little ones next year.

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My partner is forever online looking up things, which I guess is a great thing as he stumbled upon this christmas eve box for your little ones, generally the box contains a DVD, PJs, hot chocolate and chocolate that they can open on the night. I absolutely loved this idea and have adapted it to our little family tradition and what better to start it off as Scarlett’s first christmas!

What I added to the box:

Bambi Sleep Suit & Body Suit (RRP £8) ASDA

SMA Ready Made Milk (RRP £0.96) ASDA

Milky Way Chocolate Bar

The Snowman DVD (RRP £8) Argos

Rabbit Bear (RRP £1) Primark

She absolutely loved the box and would definitely recommend this to other parents if they are looking for new ideas for their kids.

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What’s your christmas family traditions with your kids, I would love to know!

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Glossybox | December

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For those who do not know, Glossybox is a monthly subscription costing £10 plus P&P which allows you to try out 4-6 different products (some full sized) ranging from hair to skincare. A spoiler was included in November‘s Glossybox that all subscribers would receive a Kueshi  Natural & Pleasant Cosmetics Revitalising Face Toner. To say that this box is a Christmas box I must say I am underwhelmed at the products that are included in this box, I was only really excited about the lip and cheek stain.

Anatomicals Zap! Zap! Zap! Gets That Chap. Day and Night Spot Stick (RRP £3.79)

“This double ended product is a real saviour, it has a day time formula and an evening formula to work on spots all day long”

This product could not have come at a better time, I have currently a huge breakout so I am excited to put this product to the test! I can not really comment on the outcome as of yet as I have only used it once. I absolutely adore Anatomical’s packaging, it is just super cute, whitty and eye catching!

All That Jazz Professional Nail Lacquer (RRP £9.98)

“All That Jazz UK is a brand that has a colour to suit everyone. The colours are set to fit any season or trend, they are extremely hard wearing and long lasting.”

This is definitely a nail polish for christmas! I might just have to have red and gold nails so I get a use out of it as unfortunately it’s not a colour that I would go for. Though that said I am excited to try this brand out and put their claims to the test.

Bellapierre Cosmetics Cheek and Lip Stain (RRP £12.99)

“Bellapierre Cheek and Lip Stain is super blendable, 2 in 1, handbag hero to finish off any look.”

This cheek and lip stain is the product that I have been most excited about with this box as we had a sneak peak in November’s box. I absolutely adore the coral shade, it is exactly what I love though I doubt that I would use it as a lip stain though. I have found that this product is exactly what it claims and is super easy to blend which is great as it does not look patchy.

Tresemme Nourish & Renew Tonic (RRP £5.50)

“With tea tree extract and sunflower seed oil the salon quality tonic will instantly help to nourish your scalp and renew your hair.”

I am forever on the look out for products that will help repair and maintain my hair, so this product seems a good start. I have not actually used this yet but I am excited to give it a whirl.

SkinPep Hydra Boost – Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum 15ml (70ml £24.99)

“Hydra Boost contains the clinically proven cell communicating ingredient, Hyaluronic acid, in a perfume free, alcohol free, hypo allergenic formulation that will promote a healthy new skin glow.”

I am a little unsure of this product as it does sound like it is going to take a layer off your skin with the hyaluronic acid, though I shall give anything a try if it makes my skin glow!

Overall, I am slightly disappointed at the products that are in this months box but for £10 a box I can not really complain!

Have you got this months box? What did you think?

Head over to their website to grab your subscription by clicking their logo below

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