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The Serums You Need To Know About From Freshly Cosmetics

Around this time of year my skin needs something a little richer over night and I’ll usually add a facial oil into my evening skincare routine. I don’t know about you but I always find massaging an oil into my skin at the end of the day incredibly relaxing as well as keeping my skin hydrated. Going from a warm, centrally heated house to the cold air outside can play havoc with my skin and make it feel drier than normal.

I featured My 3 Winter Beauty Essentials from Freshly Cosmetics last year on my blog, so I was over the moon when they contacted me again to ask if I’d like to try out some more products. Freshly Cosmetics is a much sought after beauty brand who make skin, body and hair care which is 100% natural, suitable for vegans and gentle enough for sensitive skin. As well as making sure your skin looks healthy, the people at Freshly Cosmetics also care about the environment by using sustainable packaging which is all recyclable.

I chose two products from their best selling range and here’s how I got on after trying them both for a few weeks.

Red Velvet Oil Serum

I love the rich velvety texture of this facial serum, it feels incredibly luxurious. It’s both an oil and a serum and it gets deep into your skin to really soften and hydrate. It contains a blend of natural oils and active ingredients including Evening Primrose, Rosehip, Chia, Virgin Marula and Meadowfoam Oils, all having excellent skincare benefits.

I’ve been using it as the final step in my skincare routine for about two weeks now and I must say I’m pretty impressed. The applicator makes it simple to use and a little goes a long way, I apply a couple of drops to my palms and gently pat it all over my face. It has a warm fruity fragrance which doesn’t linger around too long and even though it’s a rich luxurious oil, it absorbs quickly without sitting too heavy on your skin.

The following morning my skin looked glowing and radiant, the oil had helped reduce any redness that usually appears on the tops of my cheeks. The photo below was taken after I’d been using the Red Velvet Oil after a week, I’m not wearing any makeup and I’ve not used a filter. My skin just looks so healthy, I’m literally obsessed with this oil.

It’s perfect for this time of year when my skin needs a little more nourishment and hydration. The wonderful blend of natural ingredients help to reduce signs of aging, inflammation, redness, spots and scars, and leaves your skin with a soft, velvety texture. Adding this into my skincare feels like a real pampering moment, it leaves my skin looking radiant all day just as if I’d had a facial that morning. It has all the benefits from the oils which truly nourish your skin, yet it has the feeling of a lightweight serum. This is definitely a beauty product that needs to be in my collection from now on.

Hyper-Concentrate Eye Contour Serum

The Eye Contour Serum comes in a tiny bottle, again with a dropper for easy application. I use the eye serum at the start of my skincare routine and gently dab one drop under and around each eye using my ring finger. It has a very thin consistency but feels silky on the skin and dries really quickly. I love the cooling sensation which helped reduce the slight puffiness under my eyes caused by a few late nights. I was amazed at how my dark circles had disappeared after only a week of using the eye contour serum. The delicate skin around my eyes also feels extremely soft and thoroughly hydrated, I love how bright my eye area looks. I find that makeup goes on much easier and I only need the slightest amount.

This eye contour serum includes 9 natural technologies to help fight the signs of aging around the eyes and natural active ingredients to treat dark circles, help to firm eyelids and minimise expression lines. It also fights the loss of elasticity, puffiness, uneven pigmentation and dark spots.

I absolutely love the eye serum, especially during my morning skincare routine as it makes me look as though I’ve actually had a full 8 hours sleep. This may only be a small bottle but it will last a while as you only need one drop each time. I shall definitely make sure I’m topped up with another one for when this bottle runs out.

Overall, I’m super impressed with both these serums and the differences they’ve made to my skin’s appearance. I’m so glad I discovered Freshly Cosmetics and have loved all the products I’ve used so far. I’m heading over to their website to see what other skin, hair and body treats they have and I recommend you do too.

Have you tried anything from Freshly Cosmetics before? Do you use an oil or serum during your evening skincare routine?

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My Guide To Buying Secondhand Clothing

You can pick up some absolute gems when searching through racks of pre-loved clothes, all it takes is a little patience. I’ve been doing it for years and love creating outfits with beautiful pieces I’ve bought either on Depop, in a charity shop or vintage store. There’s something to suit everyone’s style. Here are my top tips for buying secondhand clothing for this seasons wardrobe.

Forget Any Preconceived Ideas

Charity shops have come a long way over the years and aren’t full of stained or moth eaten clothing that no one would ever dream of wearing. The stores are stocked with carefully chosen pieces that have already been washed and everywhere is laid out in sections, either by colour or style. The staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, just as you’d find in a high street store.

Minor Problems Can Be Fixed

You can easily sew on a button or put on a complete new set to jazz up a blazer or coat. Broken zip, no worries, a new zip can simply be sewn in, either by you or anyone you know with a sewing machine. A hem can be taken up to make a skirt or dress just the perfect length and if a top or dress is slightly too low cut across the bust, a few stitches are all it takes to protect your modesty. If there does happen to be a slight mark it can easily be removed by one of the many fabric cleaners on the market. Failing that take it along to a local dry cleaners, which is well worth doing for a one off vintage or designer garment.

Always Try It On

Clothes may look fabulous on a hanger but can look absolutely hideous the minute you try on what you thought was the perfect looking dress. The same rule applies the other way round, it could hang like a sack on the hanger but once you slip it on the dress could give you the most stunning shape and drape beautifully across the body.

Always Check The Returns Policy

This is definitely worth checking if you’re buying on Depop, Ebay or Oxfam On Line. Imagine how heartbroken you’d be after ordering a stunning piece of clothing only for it to arrive and it didn’t fit. Or there was a hole in the garment that wasn’t shown in the photo and the seller wouldn’t give you a refund.

Trust Your Instinct

If you know an item will go with at least 3 outfits in your wardrobe and you know you’ll get lots of wear from that piece then it’s worth having. Does it suit your personal style or are you buying it just because it’s something that’s on trend? Also don’t be a label snob, if you think you will wear the item then buy it.

Don’t Rule Out Accessories

Hats, jewellery and bags all add those perfect finishing touches to any outfit. You may stumble across a 1950s bag that looks brand new and you’re unlikely to see one of your friends with the same one. If you can’t quite stretch to a full price designer handbag, then buying secondhand is the best way to go, especially if it’s a classic design that’s never going to go out of style.

Have you found a great secondhand bargain?

You may also like to read My Autumn Charity and Vintage Shop Haul

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Faking Winter Bronze Skin With Norvell Tanning

We may have had a few days with glorious sunshine but it’s hardly the kind where you’d go rushing down to the beach to top up a tan. We are in the middle of November, after all, and it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be jetting off abroad any time soon. So when I was asked to try out the Boost Color Building Tan Extender from Norvell Tanning, I jumped at the chance. I’ve used their products before and have been extremely happy with the results.

I know this is technically the time of year when I’m hidden under a zillion layers of clothing but with the party season coming up I still wanted bronzed skin when wearing my sparkly dresses. The Boost Color Building Tan Extender seemed the perfect option as it not only tans but it has the wonderful skincare benefits of a CC cream to help dry, dull winter skin. If you’ve had a spray tan, this multi-tasking lotion also helps to make the colour last longer. The Boost Color Building Tan Extender is infused with natural oils and vitamins which help to brighten, moisturize and firm your skin.

I loved the sound of an anti aging, skin softening CC Cream that gradually bronzed your body as well. So here’s how I got on.

Firstly, I have to mention the smell. It’s said to be a vanilla fragrance, but it actually reminded me of a sweet chocolate scented candle. It wasn’t unpleasant or over powering and faded after a while.

On the first night I carefully squeezed a small amount onto a tanning mitt just as I would with any tanning product. I then dotted the lotion along a section of my body at a time, massaging it in using circular motions with the mitt. I find this is the best way to get my tan looking even and avoiding my palms getting brown.

It takes around 2 to 3 hours for it to develop so I applied it during the evening and waited to see the results. After around 3 hours my skin had a hint of colour, which is what I’d expect from a gradual tanner. On the second evening I left it to develop over night while I slept. The next day my skin looked slightly more golden and I wasn’t left with any streaks. I’ve been repeating the same process every evening before bed and I’m extremely happy with the beautiful, bronzed tan I now have. It didn’t dry out my skin like other tanning products have done. I’ve also noticed that the stretch marks at the top of my thighs are less visible thanks to the skincare benefits of the vitamins and natural oils. Over all, this a fabulous gradual tanning lotion which I can’t recommend enough.

The Boost Colour Building Tan Extender is a moisturizing tanning lotion and is designed for every day use. I find it easier to apply just before bed and luckily it didn’t transfer all over the sheets. It costs £29.99 for a 250ml bottle, so you’ll have plenty to keep you looking bronzed throughout the winter months.

*This item has kindly been gifted in return for a review.

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Kathleen Collagen Mask

Kathleen has been a favourite skincare brand of mine for a couple of years and I already use a number of their products. I got rather excited when I heard they were launching a range of face masks and couldn’t wait to try one for myself. The range includes a Collagen Mask, Bright Mask, Dead Sea Mud Clay Mask and Deep Pore Treatment Mask, all having different benefits depending on your skin type.

I’ve recently got into the habit of popping on a sheet mask in the morning. I’d much rather be relaxing with a gorgeous smelling face mask working it’s magic while indulging in a luxurious bath. With the stresses of daily life I’m making a conscious effort to look after myself better and Kathleen’s Collagen Mask is the perfect addition to my pamper routine.

Kathleen is a premium natural skincare brand and based in the UK. Their products aren’t tested on animals and completely natural and free from Parabens, Alcohol and other nasty toxins.

I had no doubts as to which of the four new delicious face masks I would try and opted for the Collagen Mask* because, you know, being a 30 plus blogger I need all the help I can get. It’s suitable for sensitive skin with large pores and signs of aging, so at first glance, it ticked all the boxes. Before I’d put the mask anywhere near my face I noticed the most amazing smell coming from the jar thanks to the mix of Bergamot, Frankincense, and Geranium Essential Oils. They not only have wonderful skincare benefits but the aromatherapy oils also help calm and relax your mood.

About The Mask

  • It’s infused with Retinol, which helps to stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of existing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protects against future signs of aging as Retinol tells your skin cells to behave like healthy, younger cells
  • Deeply nourishing, plant-based collagen treatment is formulated with essential oils, antioxidants, and vitamins to restore hydration and suppleness while reducing visible signs of aging.
  • Vitamin E, Calendula and Blueberries create an antioxidant cocktail that treats skin damage, leaving you with beautiful, healthy-looking skin.
  • Purifies skin and firms skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines
  • Also contains Shea Butter, Rose Water and Sunflower Oil

How To Use

First I cleansed my skin and applied a thin layer of the Collagen Mask. The instructions say to leave it on for between 10 and 15 minutes, which I think is a good length of time to relax with a face mask. Inhaling the dreamy aromatherapy fragrance was a wonderful experience while I lay soaking in the bath. After 15 minutes I gently removed the mask using a damp muslin cloth and rinsed my face thoroughly to ensure their wasn’t any residue left on my skin.

My Thoughts

I really LOVE this face mask from Kathleen. The texture is lightweight and feels soothing on my skin, you do only need a light layer as little goes a long way. I’ve applied it twice since it arrived about a week ago, I have sensitive skin and I’m pleased to say there wasn’t any irritation after I’d used it. The mask definitely leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and my complexion looking brighter. During the colder months my skin can look a bit dull but this mask certainly gave it a boost. The fine lines around my chin and around eyes were less visible, which I’m so happy about. Some masks have left my skin feeling tight after use but with this one my skin felt nourished and hydrated.

Would I purchase the Kathleen Collagen Face Mask in the future? Yes absolutely, without a doubt, possibly trying the Bright Mask. I love that I really noticed a difference straight away in my skins appearance compared to other face masks I’ve used. It costs £28 for a 60ml jar, you only need a tiny amount so it will last quite a while. I wasn’t only left with healthy, firmer looking skin, I felt totally relaxed thanks to the divine fragrance of essential oils.

If you would like to find out which of the four new face masks from Kathleen is best for your skin type, head over to their website for more information.

You may also be interested in my review of Kathleen Tranquil Fields Body Care Duo*, which I also use as part of my self care routine.

*Products have been kindly sent by Kathleen in return for a review.

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October Round Up: What I’ve Been Up To This Month

I say this every time, but what the heck happened to October? I seemed to have been catapulted forward in time from the end of September. I feel like the days have wizzed past so quick, I’ve hardly had time to catch my breath. To be fair, I’ve had loads of fun this month which you’ll see later on in this post. The clocks went back, which always seems strange for the first week. The nights are getting darker, yes the candles have been lit and fairy lights are now on, I don’t need an excuse. We’ve been doing plenty of seasonal baking in our house, cakes and cookies as well as casseroles and pasta dishes, so the house smells divine. I finally went to the cinema to watch Downton Abbey and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve got every episode on box set and couldn’t wait to watch the film.

 As we’d had such a great day at Hitchin Lavender in the summer, we decided to go back again for a spot of pumpkin picking. I hadn’t realised they’d even got a pumpkin field until I saw a few photos on my friend’s Facebook page and couldn’t wait to go along to see for myself. Adrian had to lift on the straw bale and I chose that very moment to get the fit giggles. We took along a flask of tea and packet of biscuits to share, which was most welcome. There’s also a very rare sight in this photo…..I’m wearing jean’s.

As if I didn’t think this year could get any worse. On 8th October my sweet little Pepper said goodnight for the very last time. She was 22 years old and we’d had her for 11 of those years after adopting her from our neighbours. My heart was literally broken. Her funny little ways have given us so much joy over the years. I’ll miss the cuddles she gave when I’d been poorly, her cute furry face and soggy pink nose staring over me first thing in the morning and the way she’d snuggle up to any of my clothes or in the washing basket. I’ll miss the look of excitement when she’d hear the sound of her favourite packet of treats and her sweet little meow when she’d want my attention.

We’ve planted a chrysanthemum bush on her grave, so every October it will flower as beautiful as she was. Sleep tight sweet Pepper, Nan will look after you now.

I thought I’d share a few snaps from some of our Autumnal walks. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, cold but sunny, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to get out and explore. We didn’t have to go far to find some beautiful woodland walks and the crisp air certainly blew the cobwebs away. I love seeing all the beautiful colours around this time of year and of course had to collect all things Autumnal.

Speaking of the countryside, while we were out and about in the villages we came across a bus shelter that’s being used as a library where people donate books. What a fab idea, I know where to take my unused books now. Luckily I was able to pick up some inspiration for an Autumn baking session from The Great British Bake Off.

When our friend Andrew invites us to his party, Adrian and I are usually first through the door. Not because I’m eager to tuck into the amazing buffet he’d prepared or anything like that, no I love just love a good party. It was lovely to see our other friends there too, we all lead pretty different lives and don’t get to catch up with each other as often as we’d like to. We all had a wonderful everything, paying silly games, dancing to the music and chatting until the wee small hours.

On the 18th October we took a walk into town to visit a French Market. I tried delicious delicacies, chatted to stall holders and danced along to music being played. I came home with a beautiful blanket scarf for when the weather turns colder and some tasty fruit tartlets. It certainly was a fantastic few hours, plus it was a great excuse to wear the new coat I’d featured in my latest fashion post 8 Autumn Pieces To Wear Everyday.

I couldn’t finish this post without a mention of Halloween. There was a time when I wouldn’t have stepped foot near anything spooky, so to attend a themed party for the third year in a row is such an achievement for me. I chose to dress up as a Grave Yard Bride and oh my word did we have an absolute ball. I’ll leave a link here if you’d like to see a few more photos. I’d love to say that I baked these Halloween cookies but sadly not, they were in the window of a local bakers and I thought they looked delicious. And a great photo to complete my October round up with.

What have you been up to this month? Have you been celebrating Halloween?

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