Sunday, 8 July 2018

Summer Morning Skincare









I've been using the products in my Summer morning skincare routine for 3-6 months... (I try to protect against sun damage all year around). If your skin is in need of some serious rehydration, you're in the right place, as most of these products are hyaluronic based to boost moisture levels dramatically.

We have just moved house (hence disappearing 5 minutes after my return... sorry about that)... I always forget how all-consuming a house move is, but it's been well worth the late nights, hang nails and back ache! As I shared on Instagram on our first morning, I couldn't find my underwear or hairbrush but could put my hand on all of the above within seconds... I think that says it all!


While I enjoy using all six products in this line up, the stand outs for me are the cleanser, facial mist and SPF. 


Trish McEvoy Cleansing Balm has a gel to balm texture reminiscent of Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (minus the rose scent)... it emulsifies really nicely and leaves my skin feeling completely clean and comfortable. I'll often use this as a second cleanse in the evening and it also doubles up as a vitamin-rich, leave-on mask. 


Emma Hardie Hydrating Facial Mist is a superfine spritz that's packed with hyaluronic and actually hydrates... it blows every other luxury spritz out of the water in my opinion and the lightweight tube makes it perfect for travel. I do use others but this one is a real treat. We will never be parted. 


Emma Hardie Amazing Face Protect & Prime has a lightweight silky texture that sinks in quickly, feels much more like skincare than SPF, and leaves a glowy, diffused finish on skin. If I was on holiday or outdoors a lot, I'd use a dedicated SPF, but as the last step of my routine pre-makeup, this works beautifully for me. 



I love a hyaluronic based serum and have been enjoying Skinceuticals HA Intensifier. This goes on straight after the facial mist to double up on hydration, while helping to tone and tighten skin. It sinks in quickly and I don't hang around before adding L'Occitane Aqua Ultra Thirst Quenching Cream. This deeply nourishing moisturiser is rich and hydrating without the usual heaviness of a cream... also available as a gel for oily to combination skins, it feels cooling on warm Summer mornings and sits well under makeup.


Speaking of cooling, Lancome Advanced Genefique Yeux Light Pearl has a really effective tear drop shaped metal applicator for applying the product in a 360 motion around the orbital bone... it feels super soothing on puffy eyes while addressing the whole shebang... from darkness to fine lines.

Do you switch up your skincare with the seasons?







Products featured on Strawberry Blonde Beauty include press samples & purchases and some links are affiliate. See my full disclaimer here.


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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Charlotte Tilbury At Your Lip Service Lipstick Trio


Charlotte Tilbury At Your Lip Service is a glamorous, limited edition lipstick trio, with two mattes and one cream shade to suit any occasion. From the old Hollywood-esque fluted gold packaging to squared off bullets and lasting formula, I'm a big fan of Charlotte's lipsticks - for me, her stand out product.


I'm all over the design of this little presentation box, which I think would make the perfect gift.


These golden cases bring a smile to my face every time I see one of them swirling around my handbag. My lipsticks are almost permanently divided between my handbags... never in my makeup bag or any one place. Just me?

On the left is The Duchess, from the super creamy, moisturising K.I.S.S.I.N.G range. The Queen (centre) and Legendary Queen (right) are both in the Matte Revolution formula, the most comfortable, velvety mattes I've come across. They look matte without feeling overly dry and while they don't set completely, I find they have very little movement or transfer and good lasting power.


(Heavy) swatches, from the top:

1. Matte Revolution in Legendary Queen - a brick red russet that works really well on redheads. I absolutely love this shade when I'm looking for long lasting drama... great for evenings out when I don't want to constantly reapply. This wears off nicely too, leaving a lasting stain.

2. Matte Revolution in The Queen - on me, this is a slightly 80s reddish bright pink, inspired by the Queen herself and not to be taken lightly. Everything else needs to be on point for me to pull this off - and for this reason, it's the one I reach for the least. A touch more pink and cooler in tone than it looks here.

3. K.I.S.S.I.N.G in The Duchess - this peachy pink nude is great for daytime, a fraction too pale for my skin tone when worn alone, but perfect when paired with the more mauve toned Lip Cheat liner in Pillow Talk (this liner is totally worth the hype). Like most moisturising formulas, this lipstick needs touched up more often than a matte, which hasn't stopped it becoming a regular everyday staple. Also lovely for evening with a slick of gloss and a smokey eye, it is soft and neutral, yet not too pale. 



Charlotte Tilbury At Your Lip Service is a limited edition set available at charlottetilbury.com (works out £12 less than buying the shades individually.) If you're only after one lipstick, I'd choose Matte Revolution in Legendary Queen, K.I.S.S.I.N.G in The Duchess or my all time favourite CT shade, the pinky coral Amazing Grace.





This post includes a press sample and affiliate links. 
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Friday, 18 May 2018

Hello, I've missed you!



When you've been offline for a while it's a little overwhelming coming back - and I feel it's only polite to explain my absence rather than just bursting into the room, raving about lipstick. 

This blog has never been about me, per se - and purposely so - I live in a small place; I have kids; am naturally quite shy and talking about myself just isn't my thing, but sometimes it's good to open up a little... 

Initially I took a step back from blogging for health reasons - acute back and neck issues which meant I couldn't sit at a desk or hold a camera (now under control if I'm careful). From the sidelines, I noticed the world of blogging and instagram become increasingly clouded with a negativity that I didn't want to be a part of - fakery, over-commercialisation, drama and airbrushing of photos, lives and truths. 

It's been good to get some perspective and in retrospect, I realise it's more important to remain grounded and true to ourselves than to walk away. Most people are hungry for authenticity and an impartial voice that they can trust; the essence of blogging when I began 7 years ago. This doesn't have to change... there are many incredible bloggers out there who continue to inspire me every day.


On a more personal note, I spent a lot of time with my mum in recent months, while her health declined rapidly. After many hours of hand holding by hospital beds, we lost her in April... something I'm still coming to terms with, one day at a time. I probably seem quite normal on the surface, but it's never far away. 

There has been a whole lot of happiness too... great times with family and friends, meeting the love of my life (it's never too late!)qualifying as a make up artist, going to amazing gigs, and realising that I function best in a creative environment with a good dose of fresh sea air and sunshine. Really good coffee, chocolate and Prosecco all help too, obvs. 

There are loads of things I can't wait to blog about, but wanted to share all of this first. I haven't stopped writing about beauty (for magazines like Estila and The Wonderful World of Dance) but am committing to blog again regularly because I'm still so passionate about it! 

I'm excited to share my beauty finds with you... from firm favourites to shiny new releases - and a few tricks I've picked up along the way. I also want to feature beauty tips for those of us who are no longer 21 (or 31... or 41 in my case), which I hope some of you will find helpful. If there's anything else you'd like to see, I'm all ears. 

If you're still reading, thank you for being here - I've genuinely missed it and it's good to be back!
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