YouTube Videos Catch Up

I recently got back into YouTube videos and I have been absolutely enjoying the creative process. Of course, a few things have changed but I am catching up and loving it. I realised I have not been sharing some of my videos on the blog. I usually share a video when I have a related blog post but I don't have one for these videos. Instead,  I will leave links to the videos below and hope you enjoy it. I would also greatly appreciate it if you could subscribe to my channel here. Thank you.

Hope you enjoy these videos and thanks for watching.

Ion-Sei Electric Toothbrush Review

I was very kindly sent the Ion-Sei Electric Toothbrush* back in April and I was excited to try it out because I had heard many good things about it. I already owned another electric toothbrush which I loved so was keen to see if a new one will win my heart or make a difference to my oral hygiene. Right, let's get started....

Brand Overview
Ion-Sei is a Japanese- German brand who have developed the Ion-Sei Electric Toothbrush drawing inspiration for the design from Japanese Culture and Organic Lines. Ion-Sei describes their electric toothbrush as one which uses a patented technology which controls plaque and bacteria from forming in the mouth. This is achieved by utilising the electric brush's integrated UV (Ultraviolet) LED light and Titanium Dioxide bar which basically repels the bacteria and plaque from sticking to the teeth and gum. I was very interested in this description and was very keen to try it out myself. They claim you can use this toothbrush without toothpaste but I always prefer to use toothpaste for cleaning my teeth.

Pat McGrath Eye Ecstasy Eyeshadow Palette Review + Swatches

I recently wrote about the Pat McGrath Mini Lip Fetish Lip Balm Trio (review here) and I mentioned I also purchased the Eye Ecstasy Palettes during the sale. I actually purchased the Sublime palette in a previous sale and then got the Subversive palette in this recent sale. I also filmed a YouTube video so you can see the eyeshadow palettes clearer. You can watch the video above or here. It would also mean a lot if you subscribed to my channel here.  Right, let's just jump into the review.

Urban Decay Naked Ultraviolet Palette Review + Swatches

I am such a big fan of Urban Decay Naked Palettes (well, almost all of them) and I remember longing for and eventually purchasing the Naked 3 Palette. Since then, I have purchased Naked Heat (my absolute favourite palette), Naked Cherry and Naked Honey. When I saw that they had launched the Naked Ultraviolet Palette I was excited because I love purple so much but I was apprehensive about some shades in the palette which I thought won't suit my complexion. I watched quite a few reviews , checked out swatches and I knew I wanted it. I was emailed a 15% discount code from Cult Beauty  and the rest is history. I also filmed a First Impression + Swatch video on YouTube which you can watch here. I will be filming a tutorial using this eyeshadow palette soon. It will mean a lot to me if you subscribed to my channel here. 

Pat McGrath Mini Lip Fetish Lip Balm Trio Review

I usually prefer moisturising lipsticks and sometimes good quality matte lipsticks compared to lip glosses or lip balms. With lip balms, I look for lip balms that are pigmented enough to show on my lips and non-greasy formulas. When I saw that the Pat McGrath Mini Lip Fetish Lip Balm Trio (super long name) was on sale, I popped onto the website to purchase this set. They are still on sale at the time of publishing this post.  I am so glad I did because I was on there to purchase the Ecstasy Eyeshadow Palette (which I also got) but the lip balms drew me in as well.

Exfoliating Cleansers I Love

I am a big fan of Exfoliating cleansers because I like the feeling of a smooth skin. Gone are the days when anyone ever used the St Ives Apricot Scrub on the face as people are now more aware of what's best for their skin and I think social media may be a part of that awareness. When it comes to exfoliating cleansers,  I look for products that contain ingredients  that work well for exfoliating the skin which are not abrasive and drying. I have three exfoliating cleansers that are on rotation and I have enjoyed using them. They are gentle on my skin and my skin feels smooth after each use. Some of these exfoliating cleansers can be used everyday because they are gentle but it's always best to do what works for your skin.

June 2020 Beauty Favourites

Do people even still do monthly favourites? I absolutely love reading monthly favourites and tend to click on them on YouTube. This is my first favourites for this year and to be fair, I think these products can stand for a half- year favourites.

Biore Agave and Baking Soda Anti-Blemish Cleansing Foam // Link //£5.99: This is a favourite that I would say grew on me. I was out  shopping in Sainsbury's just before lock down and I remembered I had run out of my usual Neutrogena Cleansers. I spotted this cleanser and I am not sure what made me pick it up but I did. I usually steer clear from foaming cleansers because they don't agree with my combination-oily skin and tend to leave my sin feeling a bit dry. This Biore Cleanser claims to cleanse the skin and get rid of blemishes without leaving the skin to dry. Its star ingredients are Salicylic Acid and Sodium Bicarbonate. I love that it has a pump which makes it easy and hygienic to use when I am in a hurry. I have to say it does do a great job in leaving my skin blemish free. The few times I have broken out and used it, I have noticed that it really helped my skin get better. My skin still feels dry after using it but not as dry as I have experienced with other foaming cleansers so I guess it is a small price to pay since it does what it promises.

CULT 51 Day Cream//£100 (Link) and Night Cream //£125 (Link): This is a slightly expensive brand but it is such a great one and well worth the price tag in my opinion. I was initially sent products from the brand to trial out and I have gone on to repurchase which is a true testament to how much I enjoy using them. The Day Cream has the right texture for every season of the year and helps my skin adapt to any changes. The Night Cream feels slightly richer but it works so well with my skin. They both keep my skin hydrated and moisturised and I never really have to use other skincare products when I use them (although I still do) because I love skin care. I would say if you are in your 30's and want a great skincare brand that works well for all skin types, I will recommend checking the CULT 51 range out.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA // Link //£7.00: This serum has been a firm favourite for years and I tend to use it a lot all through the year. I have gone through several bottles and have stopped counting because it will always be a product I reach for. I use it mainly to help with my hyper pigmentation and I have to say I have seen sustained improvements. I know it may not work for everyone and if it has not worked for you, I suggest trying out other The Ordinary Serums or Creams including Niacinamide, Azeliac Acid, Mandelic Acid, etc as they also help with hyper pigmentation. I use this straight after my exfoliating toner (usually a Glyoclic Acid based one) and let it sink in before I go in with my moisturiser. It gets absorbed easily and I use it day and night. It does not feel drying because it also has Hyaluronic Acid in it so it balances out.

LA Pro Girl Matte HD Long Wear Foundation // Link // £9.95: If ever there's an award for the makeup product I have repurchased the most, it will go straight to this foundation. It is one foundation that has not let me down except that it is not easily accessible. I have always purchased it online from JustmyLook and I remember the first time I was purchasing it, I was scared because I had read quite a few not-so-great reviews of the website. Thankfully, I have not experienced any bad service and I hope it remains that way. If you have combination oily skin like me and prefer matte foundations that will last through the working day, I will highly suggest checking this foundation out. It is easy to apply, blends in well and sits matte all through the day. I use a primer before using it and set it with a powder and it gets me through the day. Unless it is a ridiculously hot day and I have been very active, I usually don't need to touch up with a blotting paper or powder. It is affordable at under £10 and the shade range is not the best but they are making an effort.

L'Oreal Infallible 24hr Matte Cover Foundation// Link //£9.99: I had run out of my LA Girl Pro Matte Foundation and was going away so had to pick this up from Boots and I am glad I did. I was drawn to this foundation because it reminded me of on old favourite L'Oreal Foundation (Pro Matte) as well which was amazing but not sold in the UK (my husband usually purchased them for me whenever he went to the US). This foundation is probably very similar to the US version but I don't think the shade range is as great or maybe Boots chose to stock only the shades they wanted. I purchased the shade 330 Hazelnut/Noisette  and it is a good match for my complexion (could be better but it works well). It is a good matte formula and lasts all day. I particularly like the slim packaging and tiny tip which prevents wastage. I now alternate between the LA Girl Pro Mate Foundation and this one and they both have worked well. I use a primer underneath this foundation and a powder to set it. I have to say it may be slightly more matte than the LA Girl one however the LA Girl is a better match to my complexion.

L'Oreal Skinny Definer Brow Artist // Link // £7.99: I had finally ran out of my entire stash of the Soap and Glory Brow Filling Pencil in Dark Chocolate and I had no idea they had changed the formulation. I don't even know exactly what they have done but it is not longer the same and it still remains difficult to find in the drug store. I decided it was time to try something new and I was in such a fix so I checked out the L'Oreal stand and picked up the Skinny Definer Brow Artist. I got the shade Ebony 109 and it has been perfect for my brows. True to its name, it is really skinny so it gets into the little corners of my brows and it allows me customize my brows. I tend to use it to outline my brows and fill in with a powder product but it can be used to outline and fill in if you prefer.  It has a really good spoolie at the end and I am so glad that it does not break easily. I have enjoyed using it and I am hoping it is here to stay.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Refill (Round Pans Discontinued): I purchased these Makeup Geek Powder Eyeshadows a little while ago and I tend to use them every now and again. Recently I popped them into an empty MAC Quad Palette and they have been so handy. I think I have used the eyeshadows in this quad for such a long time and I now need to repurchase more MUG eyeshadows. I believe they may have changed these eyeshadow refills to square pans and have discontinued the round pans (I am heartbroken but I may try out the square pans soon). It's a shame Beauty Bay no longer carry this brand as I am finding it difficult repurchasing it. Anyway, the eyeshadows in my quad include Vanilla Bean, Cocoa Bear, Morocco and Glamourous. I have other shades but I will talk about them later. I love how pigmented they are and they last all day (I use an eyeshadow primer though but I feel they would work well without a primer). I use them almost everyday even when I use other eyeshadow palettes, I still find myself reaching out for at least one or two eyeshadows from my MUG stash. If anyone knows where I can still buy the round pans in the UK at a sensible price, please leave a link or comment below.

I have to say June was a very minimalist month but I absolutely enjoyed using the above products and to be fair, these products have been favourites for quite a few months. I hope everyone is keeping well in the current pandemic that we are facing. Have you used any of the products in this post?
*Gifted PR Sample, read my full disclaimer here.

Another Fresh Start....

I feel like an absolute stranger on my blog because I have not been on here for so long but I am not going to dwell on that. Instead, I choose to be glad that I am finally back. Last year, I only published 3 posts because I was incredibly busy with so much stuff going on. I was developing my career, adjusting to very busy working conditions, started a new course (2 courses combined in one), changed jobs and moved houses from one country (Scotland) to another (England). When we moved back to England, my initial job was in London which I absolutely adored but it meant I was commuting for more than 4 hours everyday which was not sustainable long term. In the end, I had to find another job more local to me and it has been for the best.

The good news is everything feels quite settled now, not completely, but definitely better than it was towards the end of last year and beginning of this year. The best thing which has availed me the time to come back into blogging is that I have finally completed my two postgraduate courses in Pharmacy including one which has enabled me to become a Pharmacist Independent Prescriber. I feel very grateful to God because it has been quite a journey.

In the past few months (and hopefully it continues), there has been a strong awakening to the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement and I am so proud of how many people responded to it and how people are open to learning. I am learning too everyday and I will forever and will always support #BLM as a black woman. I have always supported black owned brands but will even more consciously do that even outside of beauty. If you know of any black owned beauty brand (not just in the UK but globally), do drop a line in the comment section. I have compiled a list and will be adding a page on my website soon for these brands.

Now onto beauty, I have so many amazing products that I have accumulated over this period. I have shared some of these products on Instagram or Twitter . I look forward to just enjoying myself on this blog as I always have done. I hope you get to enjoy my posts as well as we navigate the beauty world together. I have decided to write up a couple of posts and schedule them because I don't want to say I am back and end up not being "fully back" because that has happened (in the past). I am even thinking of going back to filming YouTube videos, so please subscribe to my channel as well (haha, who do I think I am??). I actually filmed one and have updated this post.  I don't have much else to ramble on about but I hope everyone is doing fine and staying safe in this horrific pandemic.

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