Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Heat Wave Heroes

It's been a long time coming but finally summer has arrived with an almighty burst of heat. As soon as those golden rays hit the country there was only one thing to do, find the nearest patch of open space and get some UVA - not too much mind. It may have cooled down slightly but we still have the whole of August to go and where there is some sun there is bound to be more (well that's what I am telling myself anyhow). To keep yourself cool and beautiful in the heat, whether you are staying in the UK or off on holiday, I have a few heat wave heroes to keep you cool and looking your best.

One of the downsides of the heat is that unfortunately you sweat more and lets face it, no-one likes to look sweaty. Handily Sure have released their best ever protect in a compressed can (£2.19) now only 75ml but with the same lasting power as the bigger can so it's small enough to fit in to the smallest of  handbags but powerful enough to take on any heatwave the sun can throw at you. It's even the right size to pop into your hand luggage if you are lucky enough to be off on holiday.  Providing 48 hour protect and motion sense system that is trigger by movement, if you move about quite a bit then the more it works but if you are mostly stationary, just dozing in the sun, then it will still keep you fresh and dry. With a range of different scents it really should be mandatory for everyone traveling on the tube. Now all you have to worry about is not getting sunburn.

In the sunshine nothing beats a cooling ice-lolly but realistically you can only manage one or two in a day, so how do you get that burst of coolness without the calories? Vichy Eau Thermale (£7). Pop this can of thermal water, rich with 15 mineral salts to help soothe sensitive skin (great if you have had too much sun) into the fridge overnight and whenever the mood takes you spray a little on your face for a burst of coolness. If you have a long car journey and no air-conditioning this will be a lifesaver in keeping you cool while Sure keeps you fresh.

In the hot weather I find that my eye-makeup is much more likely to run and after a few hours I end up with black smudges under my eyes no matter which mascara I use. My eyes get irritated but suncream and start to tears up, making my mascara run. I would love to be able to forgo the makeup completely but I have my fathers eyes (small and with bad vision) so I don't feel right without a few coats of the black stuff. Now when I go out I take a couple of Swab Plus Eye Makeup Remover and Corrector buds (£3.99) in my bag for touch up emergencies. These liquid filled cotton buds contain aloe vera and vitamin E to quickly remove any smudges or mistakes.

Finally after a day in the sun your skin is going to need an extra moisture boost and what better way than to turn to a well loved favorite, Vaseline Essential Moisture Rich Body Butter with pure cocoa butter (£4.69). Full of conditioning moisturisers to leave even the driest skin healthy and glowing and the heavenly sweet smell of cocoa butter, its an absolute joy to use. It melts into the skin so you don't need to rub very hard to make it soak in, great if your skin is a little red and sore, and will leave your skin looking and feeling great. If like me you still haven't worked out your skins tolerance to the sun and have caught a little too much sun pop this in the fridge for an hour or so to cool down and it will feel like your hot skin is being kissed by angels.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Sure Maximum Protection £5.30

The last two weeks have been quite a journey for me and my other half and saying I needed maximum protection would be an understatement. It all started a few months ago when we decided to move from Leeds to the South East. We have been in Leeds for nine years and leaving it behind was a really tough decision so before we even moved I was nervous about what was in store for us. Fast forward a few months and in some of the hottest days of July it was time to pack up and clean our house, not an easy feat and one that resulted in several bruises and swear words. Getting all the stuff we had collected over the years into the back of a van was another exercise in patience and furniture Jenga. So waving goodbye to the place we had called home for the past years we started the near 300 mile trip to our new home, me in our little car and my other half in a huge rented van.

We stopped halfway down the M1 to meet for a spot of well needed restorative fast food and noticed that we were getting a few odd looks in our direction. Hugging my other half I realised what people were noticing, or should I say smelling. I hadn't let him shower since the day before as I had meticulously cleaned the bathroom (knowing how landlords love to take money off deposits for the smallest of things) and he did not smell good at all. I went to the toilets to do that thing we all do but none of us are proud of and smelt my t-shirt to see if I smelled at all and found myself surprised as I smelt, well nothing. I was wearing a grey t-shirt - normally a bad mistake as it shows up even the tiniest grain of sweat, but no embarrassing pit stains to be seen.

So why the huge difference between myself and my partner? Well yes he may have lifted a few more heavy boxes than I did, but we both burned off about the same amount of calories as I reckon you would do in an iron man. I however had been using Sure Maximum Protection Everyday Fresh day and night for the past few days in preparation. It claims to give you twice the normal protection against sweat than other antiperspirants, whether that's heat or stress and believe me I had been experiencing both in the extreme.

Of course once we had finished our journey that was only half the battle as we still had to move everything out of the van and into our new home, again on another really hot day. Thankfully we had some family members come and help us and unlike my Mr I didn't have to apologise for the smell when giving them a hug or not lift my arms beyond my waist in case I had sweat marks. After a shower and quick trip to a chemist to get the Mr the male version of Maximum Protect life is beginning to return to normality with both of us sweat free and sweet smelling. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Tattoo Secrets Kit £27.50

Now don't get me wrong I love my tattoos, yes they may not be the most original and they definitely show I was a teenager in the late 90's but they remind me of a time when I was carefree and could never imagine growing old. Having worked very briefly in a tattoo parlor I know I got of very luckily with my unimaginative symbols and dare I say it tramp stamp. I'm quite envious of people who just go all out and get full sleeves, neck pieces and generally go to town with the ink. If the body is a temple, why not decorate it. 

As much as I love tattoos some of my family don't and can't quite get their heads around why anybody would like them. Some companies also hold the view that tattoos are akin to a jail sentence or something so wouldn't think of employing someone with visible tattoos. I once had a boss who told me they thought they were tacky, I said the same thing about personalised number plates knowing full well he had paid quite a bit for his. Whatever the reason, sometimes you might need to cover them up and failing a full body suit that's not always possible. Lucky then that Tattoo Secrets has created a handy travel kit containing all you need to hide your ink. 

 Now you see it

There are two pots of neutralising concealer in Apricot and Ivory that you build up in layers to block the tattoo out. I needed to mix the colours together to get the right shade, which also helps warm the mixture to the right consistency to brush over the area you are working on. Once the tattoo has been obscured you dust it with a little finishing powder and leave to dry for a while. I was only able to let it dry for 10 mins but I think the longer the better. The next step is to find a shade that most matches your natural skin tone out of the three pots of finishing colours. Again I needed to mix up the colours to get the right shade and as I have had an attempt at getting a tan saw that I would need different shades for different tattoos. The one I have pictured is on my arm and has probably had the most sun in the last few weeks. To blend the colours you do need to warm them up on the back of your hand with the spatula provided and get them really creamy to brush on with the brush in the pack. After every few coats of colour you have to gently roll on the powder with the puff in the case and you alos get a little brush to dust off any excess.

The reason I needed to cover my tattoo was because of a family wedding. My father still thinks they only last 4 - 5 years (it's been way longer than that) and rather than have the same conversation again I thought it would be best to cover the one showing and talk about something else for once, surely there must be a cousin or someone who could take the heat for one family gathering. I had slightly rushed to get ready in the morning (no surprise there) but was really pleased with the results and not one person could tell that I had covered it up. My sister was the only person who realised it wasn't there any more and thought I had had it removed. It lasted all day on what turned out to be a really hot day, I was slightly worried that it would rub off or transfer onto someones suit jacket or worse onto the brides dress when it came time for dancing. By the end of the night though it was still completely covered, in fact when I woke up the next morning having not washed it off before I went to bed you still couldn't see the tattoo beneath.

Now you don't

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Beyond Organic Rescue Salve £24.50

Recently my skin has flared up so I have made the decision to move over to totally organic and natural products so there are some big changes on my blog and my beauty routine. I needed to get the redness and soreness on my face under control and looked to beyond organic and the healing properties of calendula and camomile in their rescue salve.

It's certainly an apt name as my skin has been in need of some serious tender loving care. I suppose I only have myself to blame as over the last few years I have been writing this blog I must have tried 100's of different products on my face and finally my skin has had enough.

The rescue salve has won a host of awards and it is easy to see why. It may be only a small pot but it packs a powerful punch thanks to its host of lovely natural ingredients including sea buckthorn oil, nettle and chickweed. It can be used on burns, eczema, spots, dermatitis, itches and bites so a real multi-tasker. As it's at the higher price point it's great that it has so many uses, something to put in your makeup bag for holidays and festivals.

After a week of use the redness on my skin is dying down and the dryness almost completely gone. You only need to use a small amount so it looks like it will last a long time. My poor mum suffers really bad from psoriasis so next time I go and visit her I am going to take it to her to see if it provides any relief. She has had psoriasis all her life over most of her body and finding anything to treat it has proved quite tricky, I think I may have found a product that is going to really help, I will report back once I have seen her and she has tried it out.