Beauty Tips for taking care of the eyes

I am sure everyone will agree with me that the eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in the body. They are so delicate yet strong and can withstand a lot of external and internal stress. Both of my parents wear glasses so it was no surprise that I needed to wear prescription glasses when I was about 14 years old. I hated wearing glasses and I never wore them regularly until I got to University. Even then, I was wearing it off and only when I was in lectures. I switched from glasses to contact lenses over five years ago and now I wear them almost everyday (disposable ones). It is quite expensive but it is so essential to me. I just wear my glasses at night or during the weekends when I want to give my eyes a break. You can imagine how important it is for me to take care of my eyes as they are quite sensitive. I always ensure that I read the ingredients of eye makeup products to ensure that they have been ophthalmologically tested for sensitive eyes. Apart from regular/genetic eyesight issues, a good number of people have additional eye problems as a result of spending too much time on computers (at work and at home), mobile phones and various screens including TVs. All these devices add an extra strain to the eye and when you factor in little sleep and stress, the result is quite frustrating. I am going to share some tips on how I take care of my eyes however,  please note that I am no Optometrist, Optician or Ophthalmologist so these tips are just from a regular beauty lover. Right let's dive in...

1. Getting Enough Sleep
I actually feel like quite the hypocrite even typing this up because I am a perpetual late night sleeper. I just come alive at night and that's when I love to read, study, jot down ideas, etc. The funny thing is I sleep so easily that I am literally fighting off sleep. My loved ones always tease me that the entire house can be stripped clean of all valuables while I am asleep because I sleep so easily and deeply. Once my head touches the pillow, I am gone. However, I still find myself trying not to sleep (if that makes any sense) because I want to finish everything on my list which is really silly. This means I end up sleeping late (we are talking around 1am or sometimes later) and I wake up feeling tired the next morning because I am not a morning person at all (no surprises there!!). This whole cycle is very unhealthy and it tells on my eyes and my entire body. My eyes feel tired and I can sometimes see tiny bags forming underneath which is so annoying. If you find yourself in this cycle, my tip will be to be very disciplined with your routine. If you are a list control freak like me, try and do as much as you can during the day and set an alarm for evening tasks. For example, if I am going to study, I will set my alarm for a study time of 2 hours or so. That way, I am in check and I feel like I am effectively managing my time. I also try to have a realistic to-do list because if it is filled with tasks I can't complete, I am definitely going to be sleeping late.

If you are struggling with being disciplined about going to bed early  or you generally struggle with sleeping, you may want to consider some extra help. I've always heard good things about the This Works Deep Sleep range but I thought I won't really need it since I fall asleep easily. Well, I was curious and purchased two products from the range and believe me, they work so well. I use them on nights when I know I won't be disciplined with going to bed early. I have absolutely enjoyed them and they have helped me reset my sleep cycle. They make me so sleepy that I have no will power left to fight off sleep and I am forced to go to bed. I have the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and the Deep Sleep Roll On and they work so well. They have a really spa-like calming smell and I know the lavender in them helps with this calming effect. If you have not tried them and you struggle with sleeping, I will suggest giving them a try.

2. Break the Computer/Phone/Tablet /iPad Addiction:
If you can be caught lying under your duvet with your phone scrolling through Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest (and any other social media), raise your hands. (*guiltily raises both hands*). That is the story of my life and I know they are all time wasters. The truth is I do them when I am trying to procrastinate from doing an important task which is ridiculous. I don't know about you but my eyesight seems to have worsened in the past 3 years when I was working on a desk job facing my computer for the most part of the day and sometimes continuing at home. One of the changes I have found is that my eyes feel less strained when I reduce the time I spend on screens especially from my laptop. I only use my laptop if I really need to at night and prefer to use it during the day as there is natural daylight to compensate. I still have not found any other tip to break free from my iPad and iPhone apart from being strict with myself and leaving them alone. It's difficult to leave my phone alone but I've started switching off my attention from my phone at least 30 minutes before bed and it really helps. I just pamper myself, my eyes or just do my skincare and any other tasks. That way, I give my eyes a rest and then go to bed in good time. I am looking to increase this to an hour if possible and I know my eyes will thank me for these adjustments now and in the future.

3. Hydration
Our bodies are essentially made up of at least 70% of water so water is very important to us. I actually enjoy drinking water and I definitely consume more than 2 litres of water in a day. I never leave the house without my water bottle; that's how essential it is to me. Our eyes require a lot of water to keep them moist and in the best condition. When I work in an air conditioned office, my eyes get dry so I always increase my water intake. The same goes for when I am working on my screen for a long time. I personally prefer drinking water to using eye drops for dry eyes however, I still use some eye drops for dry eyes mainly because I wear contact lenses. My contact lenses are actually really good and rarely get dry so whenever they do, I know that I need to increase my water intake. If you invest in a nice water bottle, you will find it easier to increase your water intake. If you struggle with drinking plain water, you can always add fruits or anything you fancy to improve the taste. I don't mind drinking plain water in fact, that's my preference. I personally feel it does not matter however way like your water, the important thing is keeping hydrated.

4. Invest in Opthalmologically tested Eye Makeup Products
I try to ensure that any eye makeup which will be going close to my eyes are non-irritant ones.  I've had quite a few bad experiences in the past. However, I have come across so many incredible brands that make amazing products for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Some of these brands include Nude by Nature, La Roche Posay and YSL Beauty. There are many more brands out there but these are my favourite ones. The Nude by Nature Eye Natural Wonder Eye Palette* (review)  and Alluring Eye Liner/Mascara* (review) are amazing and they are suitable for people with sensitive eyes. The YSL Couture Brow* (review) range is also suitable for sensitive eyes and I believe the Eyebrow Pencil (Dessin Des Sourcils)* is also ophthalmologically tested. My all time favourite will have to the La Roche Posay Respectissime*(review) range which is one of the best eye makeup removers I have ever tried. The Respectissime Mascara* and Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover* are what dreams are made of and they never irritate my eyes. If you have sensitive eyes and/or wear glasses or contact lenses, I will highly recommend trying them out.

I also have some other favourite eye makeup removers which do not irritate my eyes at all. One of them is the Liz Earle Eye Bright Eye Makeup Remover which is so gentle and helps my eyes feel soothed and relaxed. I also love the Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover, L'Oreal Gentle Eye Makeup Remover and the Lancome BiFacil Eye Makeup Remover. I think it is really important to invest in a good eye makeup remover especially if you wear eyeshadows or eye makeup.

5. Beauty Products for the Eyes
It goes without saying that investing in good quality eye creams or serums will go a long way in helping the skin around the eye. I am not sure of anything that can permanently erase dark circles because I believe genetics sometimes play a large role in dark circles. However, I have tried and enjoyed some products that have reduced the appearances of some under eye issues like fine lines. I think I have only tried 3 Eye Creams and/or Serums that have completely wowed me and the Vichy Slow Age for Eyes*//Link  is one of them. I have been using it for a really long while now and I have thoroughly enjoyed using it. It is part of the Vichy Slow Age range which was launched earlier this year and I love that range. If you fancy a review of the Vichy Slow Age Lotion*, head on over to this post. I will be sharing a mini review of it in another post. I just love how hydrating it is and I have definitely noticed a difference in my fine lines. I know this because I get less creasing when I use my concealer and set it with a powder so I am very impressed with it. I am also currently using the CULT 51 Immediate Effect Serum*//Link which can be used under the eyes and I am absolutely loving it. I will be sharing all my thoughts on the range in another post.

6. Treat yourself to an Eye Beauty Device (FOREO IRIS Eye Massager* //Link //£119)
Now I have to put it out there and say this is not a must but it is an amazing treat that keeps giving. It is none other than the FOREO IRIS Eye Massager* which I have been using for almost two years now. I was incredibly lucky to be gifted the FOREO IRIS and it has been a game changer for me. I have a full review here of the device so I won't go too much into the specs. It is definitely better than using my fingers to massage my under eye area and it helps all my eye creams or serums absorb better results.  The finger-like motion is very soothing and gentle so it does not irritate my eye area. It glides on so smoothly and I sometimes use it on my forehead when I have a headache. I cannot even tell you how useful it has been to me; I absolutely love it.

Overall Thoughts
That's pretty much all my tips and I hope they have been useful. I will be more than delighted to read about any other tips you may have/ It's been a moment since I blogged and I will address that in a separate post so please bear with me. I have missed my blog so much and I am glad I am able to blog again. Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far. What's your favourite tip for taking care of your eyes?
*PR Samples + Affiliate Links used, read my full disclaimer here.

Cult 51 Revolutionary 3D Day Cream Review

I love trying out skincare products and I am so grateful that this blog provides me ample opportunity to try really amazing brands. I came across Cult 51 some time last year and I was well intrigued. I think the name really stood out to me. I was really pleased when I was asked to try out their Revolutionary 3D Day Cream*. Of course, I said yes and I briefly mentioned it in my Mother's Day Gift Guide post. Since then, I have incorporated it in my skincare routine and I am so happy to finally share my thoughts.
Spoiler Alert- I absolutely love it and I'd tell you why, so keep on reading.

Brief Overview of Cult 51 Revolutionary Day Cream
Cult 51 was founded by Richard Mears who is a renowned Chemist with over 20 years experience in developing beauty products. He has formulated beauty products for some of the world's highly esteemed skincare brands. He decided to develop a "one-cream skincare regime" that will cater to all areas of the face without compromising on quality and viola!! Cult 51 was born. You can read more about the brand here. I feel inspired by his story (love when skincare products are developed by scientists who understand the skin). There are only 3 skincare products in the brand which include the Night Cream, Immediate Effect Serum and the Revolutionary 3D Day Cream*. Cult 51 also stocks Candles and Eau de Parfums. I hear that these skincare products are highly sought after by many beauty lovers including celebrities and I can understand why it is called "Cult 51" (totally cult status skincare). The Cult 51 Revolutionary 3D Day Cream* was launched in March and it is the third product (and I believe the latest addition) to the Revolutionary range. It is designed to tackle the usual skin concerns that we tend to be exposed to in the current climate including UV induced pigmentation, pollution, redness, free radicals and dehydration which could all lead to premature ageing.

There's no way I am skipping over any packaging that is purple because I love purple (it's one of my favourite colours). Apart from my love for purple, the Cult 51 Revolutionary 3D Day Cream packaging is gorgeous in its own right. It comes in a glass tub with a lovely silver lid. There are two sizes- 20 ml and 50 ml and I have the 20 ml which is a perfect size especially for travelling. Although it is a glass tub, I find it quite easy to travel with mainly because of its cute size. I am really surprised that my tub has lasted me for almost two months as I thought it will be gone within a month. I think it's great that they have a smaller size so people can try out the brand without necessarily breaking the bank. It fits well into my travel skincare bag and I have actually travelled with it twice with no problems at all. I also love the outer packaging which looks so elegant. I am really impressed that the inscriptions on the tub has not wiped off, despite the humid weather and travelling with it and this goes to show that it is well made. As it's a tub, it means you have to dip your fingers in it which may not be the best but I do ensure my hands are clean before use. I now own a spatula which makes using skincare products in a tub really easy (I also rinse it after every use). 

The Revolutionary 3D Day Cream has an impressive list of ingredients including Tyrosinase (which helps tackle hyper pigmentation), Antioxidants (which tackle the free radicals and protect the skin), Hyaluronic Acid (to maintain and maximise moisture and hydration levels) and SPF15 (to protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays). There's a link to the full ingredient list of you want to check it out here. I was more than willing to try this Day Cream because it had ingredients that I know work well for some of my skin concerns.

The formula of the Revolutionary 3D Day Cream is what made me fall in love with it. It is incredibly silky and goes on so smoothly on my skin. It does not feel heavy at all or too light; it's one of the best consistency I have tried in a day cream. Once it gets on the skin, it gets absorbed well without me having to work it in.  The silky texture transforms to a smoothing effect once it is absorbed and whatever I put on my face afterwards glides on like a dream. I can totally see why they claim that it has priming properties. It also has a hydrating effect which I love although I do tend to use a hydrating serum first especially now that the weather is getting warmer. It has a pleasant fragrance which I really love because it reminds me of one of mum's skincare products but I can't remember which one. It's not one of those fragrances that lingers or may interfere with anything but I understand that some people may not like fragrance at all. I don't mind fragrance in skincare in fact I think fragrance makes you feel like you are using a luxurious product. I don't have extremely sensitive skin so fragrance in skincare products does not irritate my skin.

I use the Revolutionary 3D Day Cream immediately after my serum and it just makes my skin feel fantastic. I know it sounds really cliche but the smoothing effect it has on my skin is second to none. My skis is not naturally smooth because I have enlarged pores and bumps from previous acne and hyper-pigmentation/blemishes. Makeup can hide them but it does not take them away so any skincare product that helps with the texture of my skin is a welcome addition to my stash. With consistent use, I have noticed that the texture of my skin has really improved especially in the last month. Even when I had some breakouts on my cheeks, they did not leave any annoying bumps on my face and I believe this cream helped with that. Another skin benefit I noticed was how firm my skin felt. I just got into my thirties (yahh!!) and I am lucky my skin has not started showing any signs of premature ageing. My skin is still very firm but I did notice a slight extra firmness while using the 3D Revolutionary Day Cream. This firming effect goes hand in hand with its smoothing effect and I feel like anyone who is need of a firming cream will enjoy this day cream. With regards to reduction in hyper pigmentation, I won't say I have noticed a huge improvement from using it alone but my hyper pigmentation has not worsened. I will do an update on reduction in hyper pigmentation in a separate post because I don't think only one product can do the trick rather it is a combination of products.

Where to purchase //Link //£40 (20ml)
From the name of the product alone, I am sure you can already guess that it will be sold only in an exclusive choice of retailers. You can always purchase Cult 51 products directly from their website where they offer free shipping for all UK deliveries. For in-store purchases, you can find Cult 51 in Fortnum & Mason and Light Touch Clinic (Surrey). For online retailers you can find their products in Cult Beauty, Feel Unique and Look Fantastic. If you are frequent flyer, you can also purchase Cult 51 products when flying with British Airways (both short haul and long haul flights). I am guessing they may be duty free which means you can get a cheeky discount if you buy it while on board British Airways. There's a list of their stockists in other countries in the world which you can find here.

Overall Thoughts
I did not expect to love the Cult 51 Revolutionary 3D Day Cream as much as I have. It is just one of those day creams that caters to a good number of skin issues and it is not easy to find a day cream that ticks many boxes. I love how it makes my skin feel and all the improvements I have seen over consistent use. I am very impressed and I can imagine that ladies with more matured skin types will really appreciate the Cult 51 Revolutionary 3D Day Cream. Hope you enjoyed this post and have a lovely bank holiday weekend if you live in the UK. Have you tried any product from Cult 51?
*PR Sample + Affiliate links used, read my full disclaimer here

YSL Couture Brow Wardrobe Review

My brows are an important part of my makeup and I feel they set the tone for my entire look. It's no secret that brows frame the face and that's why it is so important to keep them in good condition. Using the right brow products, tools and technique is a sure way of nailing the perfect brow look. YSL Beauty Couture Brow Collection consists of various brow products and I could not resist the opportunity to try them out for myself. I was kindly sent the following products to try: the Couture Brow Palette*, Couture Eye Marker*, Dessin Des Sourcils* and the Couture Brow Mascara*. You all know I am a big fan of YSL Baby Doll Mascara and it is one of the best mascaras I have ever tried. I am on my 3rd or 4th back up and I don't think I will be stopping any time soon. Based on my amazing experience with the YSL Baby Doll Mascara (review here), I had very high hopes for their Couture Brow products. I have used them for around two weeks now and I wanted to share my thoughts on them.

Overview of the YSL Couture Brow Wardrobe 
The word "couture" is a French word which basically means "made to measure (customised)". You probably would have heard this word used more in fashion than in beauty. However, there's no rule that says it can't be used in beauty, in fact many people are already creating "couture" or customised versions of their makeup be it by mixing foundation shades to get the perfect match or mixing brow products or even eyeshadows. I love the idea of being able to create customised makeup for myself  although I have to say I don't like mixing foundations (I just prefer to have the right shade). The concept of customising brow shades using different formulas was very interesting to me and I have enjoyed learning new ways of doing my brows.

Dessin Des Sourcil (Eyebrow Pencil)* //Link // £21
If there's one brow product that is always in my stash, it has to be a good eyebrow pencil. Before I ventured into trying other brow products, I used a brow pencil to outline and fill in my brows and it actually worked well for me. I still use a brow pencil to outline my brows (which are quite sparse and unruly) but I now use other products to fill and customise my brows. YSL describes the Dessin Des Sourcils as the ultimate eye makeup essential which is a deluxe dual ended precision pencil with a spoolie/brush. It is designed to help shape, shade and define the brows for a beautiful natural look. I love how beautiful this pencil looks and anything with hints of gold in the packaging always looks luxurious. I particularly love the spoolie end of this pencil as it firmly but gently grabs all my brow hairs and brushes them in the direction I want.

There are about 4 shades available and I was sent the shade 04 Cendre which is not a good match for my complexion. If you do have an Ash Grey/Brown brows, I think this will work well for your brows or complexion. I did try it for my brows but it did not show up on my complexion at all and looked a bit off. However, I could tell that the formula was an amazing one as it felt beautifully waxy and it did not drag across my brows at all. However, I use it to line my waterline for a subtle effect which works well for everyday wear. I find that the regular black eyeliner, especially during the day, looks a bit too intense so a brown or greyish brown eyeliner works beter if you are after a subtle look. Thankfully, it is ophthalmologically tested and suitable for sensitive eyes and/or contact lens wearers which is great because I am a contact lens wearer and also have sensitive eyes. I have read good reviews about using the Dessin Des Sourcils as a brow pencil to outline the brows so it's one I'd be looking to try at some point (in a darker shade though).

Couture Eye Marker* //Link //£22

The Couture Eye Marker part of the Couture collection although it is not a brow product. There is a Couture Brow Marker which sounds like a great product and I need to swatch it in a YSL counter soon. YSL describe the Couture Eye Marker as an easy-to-use Marker Pen (felt pen eyeliner) designed to create a bold look with a new edge of femininity. If you read my blog regularly or see me in real life, you'd know that I rarely ever do my makeup without eyeliner. It just won't look the same and my eyes look like it is missing something. I have always used felt tip liner pens especially the slim ones. However, I was excited to be trying a different chunky nib/tip for a more dramatic look. I did struggle a little in the first few days to get the hang of using the Couture Eye Marker because the nib was different but now, I feel like a pro. The good thing about the Couture Eye Marker is that the nib has a curved shape with different sides so you can still create both thin precise lines or chunky graphic ones. If you are a lover of the cat eye flick, you will adore this eyeliner because it is very precise. It is also long lasting and I think it is waterproof because it does not smudge all over my eyes even after a long humid dat. I did not know I'd be a fan of a different eyeliner nib but I am totally loving it.

Couture Brow (Brow Mascara)* //Link //£22
I have never really been a brow mascara girl because I just never found any one I liked and I thought they were a bit of an unnecessary step. I did try a couple of brow mascaras a few years ago and I never really enjoyed them so I did not bother trying to invest in a more expensive one. I just concluded they were not for me until the lovely YSL Couture Brow arrived. The first thing that caught my eye was the luxurious packaging. It just looks so gorgeous and it definitely atracted me to give it a try. According to YSL, the Couture Brow is designed to allow you fix, structure and intensify your brows. I read on the website that it is inspired by Lloyd Simmonds who is YSL 's International Creative Director of Makeup and I guess he is behind its development. Again, it is all about customising the brows so you can be as natural or as dramatic as you want with long lasting results.

There are two shades available-1 Brun Adore and 2-Blonde Couture and I chose the 1 Brun Adore which is a medium dark brown shade. I love that it has a long applicator with small bristles that fit well into my brows. It can be used alone if you fancy but I do prefer to use it to tame my brows after using the Couture Brow Palette. I use light strokes so I still maintain natural looking brows and it adds a slight hint of colour to them. The main reason why I love using it is because it keeps my brow hairs in place all day. They don't move around at all and they usually do if I use only brow powders or brow pencils. It is a light gel formula but it does not give you sticky or stiff brows and I think that's what sets this brow mascara apart from all the others I have previously tried. I can safely say that I have now been converted to a Brow Mascara fan and a massive thanks to YSL for this.

Couture Brow Palette* / Link //£35
The Couture Brow Palette has to be my favourite product from the entire collection. YSL Beauty describe it as an all-in-one kit which allows you create a couture custom brow and I absolutely agree. There's no way we are ignoring the lovely gold signature YSL packaging!! It's even more stunning in real life and an absolute joy to use. Inside the Couture Brow Palette you get the following products: a 3-Colour Brow Powder, a Mini angled brush and a Pair of tweezers complete with the YSL Beauty logo. There are two shades available-01 Light and 02 Medium/Dark and I opted for the 02 Medium Dark which is a perfect match for my brows. I have to commend YSL beauty for creating the amazing mini tools that came with this palette. Generally, I get rid of any mini tools that come with eyeshadow palettes or brow palettes because they are never good quality and this is based on my previous experiences.  However, I am so glad I did not get rid of these YSL ones and to be fair, I really wasn't going to because they looked so lush and well made. I was looking to save them for any short trips but I decided to give them a try and fell in love with them. The mini angled brush has stiff bristles which really helps with the application of the brow powders. I cannot believe how much I love this brush and I wish I could purchase a bigger size.

At first, I struggled with the size of the mini angled brow brush because my hands are used to bigger brushes. However, I got used to it withing a few days and that's all I now use with this palette. The application is superb and I have tried my other angled eyebrow brushes but they don't come close to the YSL one so it is a winner in my books. I have not yet tried the Tweezers but I am pretty sure they'd perform well based on my experience with the angled brush. The Couture Brow Palettee has three shades of brow powders which include a light brown, medium/dark brown and a very dark brown/black shade. I usually start off with the darkest shade for the middle part of my brow and fill it in until I get to the middle. Then I go in with the medium brown shade for the top of my brow. The trick to create a customised and natural looking brows is to vary the intensity or create a graduated colour. Generally, brows get darker as they move towards the tail if you want a natural and realistic brow look. I tend to ensure that the inner part of my brows are not too dark unless they end lookingquite unnatural and even borderline scary. I use the lighter brown shade as an all over eyeshadow colour for days when I want a nude shade for my lids and it works so well. I sometimes use the middle brow shade as a crease colour and believe me, it looks like I have made an effort with my eyeshadow when I really have not. The brow powders can also be mixed together to create a better matching shade for your brows.  The Couture Brow Palette is excellent for creating the custom brow look I love. I absolutely love this brow palette and I have gotten so much use form it in a short time. I can imagine it coming on a any short trips with me because it contains everything I would ever need to create the brow look I love.

Where to Buy
You can purchase the YSL Couture Brow products from the YSL website as well as other retailers who stock YSL. I know they tend to offer discounts when you sign up to their newsletters so it is worth signing up to and you can also get free samples with purchases. YSL is a luxury beauty brand so they also have a matching luxury price however they have great quality. 

Overall Thoughts
What can I say? I am so happy I got to try some products from the YSL Couture Brow Collection and I have discovered new ways to create natural looking brows. If you only wanted to purchase one product from the entire collection, I will definitely recommend the Couture Brow Palette. It is the most expensive but I feel it offers the most value and will last a pretty long time because the brow powders are well pigmented. Apart from that, it comes in such beautiful packaging, what's not to love? I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you in my next one. Have you tried any products from the YSL Couture Brow Wardrobe?
*PR Samples + Affiliate links used, read my full disclaimer here.

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