April 2020 ‎| Birchbox Beauty Box Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

It’s been so long since I last reviewed a beauty box. I still subscribe every now and then but either I have been too lazy/busy/not great enough to publish a review or I just lost interest in writing it. However since the lockdown, I have had more time to myself and able to show some love on the blog again… especially now that I have had a big influx of people passing by since quarantine, it’s nice to keep busy whilst I’m off work. I also purchased March’s Birchbox which you can read here.

April’s Birchbox Review

First of all, I have to give a huge kudos points for Birchbox’s packaging for April’s box. It’s stunning. Photos actually do not do it any justice, it’s really amazing. This May’s box packaging is also fantastic and totally unique so check that out too.

The design was created in collaboration with Anthropologie – a lifestyle-fashion brand that sells everything from clothing and jewellery to homeware, beauty and gifts. Their designs are funky, unique and fun. I’m a big fan of their homeware and gifts section, I really like their fun and colourful prints. It’s one of the reasons why I really wanted to try out this April’s box.

Can I just say… I am really excited to try all of the products in this box! Apart from This Works and Percy & Reed, I’ve not heard of the other brands before. It might just be because I’ve been away from beauty boxes for a while but it’s a nice treat for me.

whats-in-your-box-2

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review
Birchbox X Anthropologie
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review
Lots of fab goodies to try!

So what’s inside…

  • KNDR Mood Balm in Positivity Pink
  • Huygens Infusion Blanche Purifying Face Wash
  • Brushworks Silicone Cleansing Pad (Birchbox exclusive!)
  • This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
  • Percy & Reed Eau My Goodness No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo

KNDR Mood Balm
I received this lip balm in Positivity Pink which is actually a bright purple colour. Once you apply the lip balm, the colour changes according to your lip’s natural pH level and adjusts to your very own tone of pink. Mine came out a light, bright pink. When Little Miss put hers on more, she came out with a subtle fuchsia colour. Very pretty and fun to use. It glides on smoothly and left my lips feeling soft. It’s also very hydrating, I got a few hour’s wear out of it before needing to re-apply.

 

 

I really love the packaging of the mood balm – the feminine design is super cute! The outer packaging is made from card and the inside packaging is card with a plastic applicator. It seems like a good idea but if water gets onto the balm, I’m not sure it’ll last! I’m also not the neatest with lip colours and you can see from the image, I already smudged the colour onto the white bit of the packaging already! I also chipped the top of the lip balm but let’s pretend you don’t see that. 🙂

Huygens Infusion Blanche Purifying Face Wash

During summer my skin tends to produce a little more oil than normal so I usually swap out my creamy cleanser for a gel cleanser or wash. I will be trying this one out and let you know how it goes. The face wash states that cleanses effectively without stripping essential moisture from the skin and is suitable for all skin types. Containing a blend of tea-tree (anti-bacterial), aloe vera (skin repairing) and glycerine (hydrating), this purifying face wash looks like it will re-balance skin types and leaves skin cleansed and clear. It does remove makeup but I’m not sure if it’s suitable for eyes.

Brushworks Silicone Cleansing Pad
This is a Birchbox exclusive product and one of the products I was really looking forward to use. Made from ultra-hygienic, flexible silicone with tiny bristles, it’s designed to lift away impurities and makeup whilst gently exfoliate the skin. Definitely gentle enough to use every day. Again, another product great for all skin types especially dull and dehydrated skin. I’ll be using this in conjunction with my Huygens face wash but also with my Aromatherapy Associations creamy rose cleanser.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
This stuff smells super calming. The relaxing scent of lavender, chamomile and vetivert will definitely help to soothe your senses. It’s also been clinically proven to help you sleep quicker than usual and wake up feeling more refreshed. I’ll try it and let you know as I already have a product which I use when I’m feeling restless (Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax roller ball). It’s the sedative aroma of vetivert that sends you off to sleep and it’ll take a lot to sway me from my AA roller ball, however I will say that a spray is definitely easier to dispense.

Percy & Reed Eau My Goodness No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo
This product is not CG-friendly as it contains alcohol denat but I might give it a try near to the next time I’m doing a clarifying wash just to see how it works on my hair. I’m not usually a fan of dry shampoo but they do come in handy if you’re spending a night out or away from home ie on a city break, camping, glamping or on a trip where you aren’t able to take all your haircare with you.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

So.. yay or nay?

Definitely YAY! I am so glad that Birchbox’s April beauty box was a hit with me. I remember a time when I loved beauty boxes so much but then what happens is the products start accumulating and I also end up receiving a lot of doubles from the boxes.

I love the fact that with the beauty boxes you can subscribe and un-subscribe whenever you want. There’s no contract to tie you down and if you want to save even more on your boxes, you can choose to pay for 3, 6 or 12 boxes in advance. If you’ve never given Birchbox a try but have tried other brands, let me know what you think of the box. Would you ever give it a try or do you think they’re all too samey-samey?

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you’d like to see more please do leave me a comment or click the like button if you’re also on WordPress! 🙂

_
Want to give Birchbox a try?
You can subscribe online or find out more here: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/subscribe

p i n  t h i s  p o s t

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

March 2020 ‎| Birchbox Beauty Box Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

Hey beauties!

Since London went into lockdown, a lot of us have been able to slow down in our busy lives and take things at a slower pace. For me that means being able to jump back onto this blog and show it some good love! I’ve missed writing and it has been a while since I could sit down and type it all out, especially where we’ve been needing the PC for Little Man to do his home school work.

I’ve been able to FINALLY review my Birchbox boxes for March and April 2020. You can find a link to the April box review at the end of this post. March’s beauty box design was inspired by International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th this year. Women around the world celebrated, empowered and paid homage to each other.

img_4238
International Women’s Day

This was my first re-subscribed box of 2020 and the main reason why I had to get it was because of the cute packaging AND the beautiful Elizabeth Scarlett palm beauty bag. It was too beautiful to be without it.

The box packaging is super sweet! I love the diversity of women on the cover – a perfect theme for IWD; it encompasses all ages, ethnicity, hair type and even fashion styles. My Birchbox arrived on time as it was slightly just before COVID-19 had everything on lockdown. My April box was late and I’m sure subsequent boxes will also be slightly delayed as the BB team are hard at work making sure that all boxes are packed safely and arrive to us safely.

So without further ado…

whats-in-your-box-2

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Birchbox Beauty Box Review

What’s inside…

  • Forgive Me Suzie liquid eyeshadow in Fairy Dust
  • The Beauty Crop Wing Woman liquid eyeliner
  • Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum
  • Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Soap Sponge Charcoal 
  • BOD Everyday Body Boosting Sorbet Petite
  • Elizabeth Scarlett Palmier make-up bag (BONUS gift!)

Forgive Me Suzie Liquid Eyeshadow **fave product**
This creamy, lightweight eyeshadow out easily with a brush or fingers (I use fingers!) and stays put without creasing or smudging. I got the shade ‘Fairy Dust’ which is a bright colour colour that looks fabulous on my skin tone, which is light olive/medium colour. In the summer I usually get a bit of a glow and I’m sure I’ll still be able to carry this colour off well on tanned skin. It’s a beautiful matte-shimmer tone. With a dewy makeup face, this eyeshadow will stand out nicely.

Balance Me Vitamin C Repair Serum **fave product**
Brighten up your beauty routine with a daily dose of vitamin C in the form of this innovative serum. Vitamin C helps to combat signs of ageing and minimise fine lines. My skin feels super hydrated after using this, thanks to the hyaluronic acid ingredient. I love layering my skincare and after cleansing, I’ll always use a toner, serum and moisturiser, oil (sometimes both if skin is really dry) on top. Eye cream is an added step I sometimes do if I’m bothered as I don’t really have bags, dark circles or puffiness. The serum sinks in fast and has a refreshing citrus smell – like orange zest. The serum leaves my skin so smooth I can go without moisturiser or oil on top but because my skin is quite dehydrated I always make sure I layer-up.

Daily Concepts Multi-Functional Soap Sponge Charcoal
This 2-in-1 soap-sponge-hybrid tool combines detoxifying charcoal body wash with a mild, exfoliating scrubber to really cleanse your skin. Slough off those dead skin cells and leave your skin looking brighter and more radiant. The charcoal soap is sooo gorgeous – somewhat reminds me of the African black soap smell which is really nice. This soap does contain SLES but not SLS so not great for really sensitive or very dry skin. I was using it regularly but then stopped as my skin’s a little drier than normal now. You can’t see it in my photo above as I’ve been using it and it’s been well used haha! You can check it out here: https://www.birchbox.co.uk/product/24117/daily-concept-charcoal-soap-sponge

BOD Everyday Body Boosting Sorbet Petite
This hydrating body lotion contains moisturising ingredients such as sweet almond oil and shea butter. It melts into skin quickly and delivers intense hydration. It’s said to have a tightening effect on the body (formulated with natural sugars) but I’m not convinced with the whole skin-tightening effect from a bottle… no matter how great the marketing is. Sure it can ‘feel’ tighter and toned but that feeling is gone once it wears off or you wash it off. IMO, the best way to a tighter and toned body? Exercise, plenty of water and healthy eating.

The Beauty Crop Wing Woman Liquid Eyeliner
No matter the look you’re going for, “the deep black formula will help you define your eyes without flaking or smudging”. I am a big fan of liquid eyeliner since my early twenties and I have not gone back to kohl pencil since. As much as I love the colour intensity of kohl pencils, I could never get the lines neat however I would still prefer to use pencil on my lower eyeline and if I wanted to do smokey eye but for an everyday look, I choose liquid liner all the time. This Beauty Crop one lasts well on my eyes and is easy to use. It’s a medium-thickness brush, not too fat nor thin.

BONUS GIFT: Elizabeth Scarlett Palmier make-up bag **fave product**
I LOVE LOVE this bonus gift from Birchbox. It’s sooo beautiful the photos do not do it any justice. The pink velvet is super soft and a pretty shade of pink. The cute palm tree print is embroidered and finished with glitter-gold thread to make it look really magical. I’d never heard of Elizabeth Scarlett before so it’s really nice to be introduced to a new brand. All of her designs are just as gorgeous as each other, with prices starting from £14 you can treat yourself to a bit of affordable luxury. 🙂

Check them out here: https://elizabethscarlett.com/collections/all

_
Other beauty posts you might like:

p i n  t h i s  p o s t

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

My Top 5 natural facial cleansers for all skin types

Cleansing your face should be one of the first and most important step in your skincare routine. It preps the skin for the next steps in your routine and is a must for those who don’t have a routine in place. With slightly more time on our side now, kick-starting your skincare routine might be a good idea plus it allows you to have more self-care time. 🙂

Why use a facial cleanser?

Cleansing helps to remove dirt and debris sitting on the skin – this goes for men and women. Think of it like washing your hands. Most cleansers will removes face makeup effectively but not all of them will remove eye-makeup or waterproof mascara so read the labels carefully. If the cleanser doesn’t state it removes eye-makeup then it won’t be gentle enough to use on eyes or take it off effectively. Micellar water is usually your best option for eye makeup removal and they’re usually a 3-in-1 (makeup remover, cleanser, toner) which means you can use it all over the face with no need to rinse off.

skin-care-concept-with-beautiful-woman_23-2148131152

Skin types can be broken down into the following categories: 

  • Dehydrated – skin that lacks water; parched skin can feel tight, it can look dull and sallow, uneven skin tone/texture, can also become red, sensitive, congested 
  • Combination – a combination of two or more skin types, generally combination skin is oily and dehydrated
  • Dry or Ageing – skin that lacks oil; rough texture, looks dry and flaky look, can be itchy, dry skin is more prone to ageing ie. visible lines and wrinkles are more prominent
  • Oily – skin texture may be thick and consistently shiny, may also be congested and/or acne-prone, if acne is active the skin can become red and sensitive
  • Sensitive – skin that suffers from redness, feels sore or irritated, affected by the environment (sun, heat, cold), may suffer from rosacea, reactive to ingredients in products, medication or diet, may also become prone to breakouts

I’ve not listed ‘normal’ skin types as even this skin type can become dehydrated so if you have normal skin, look for products that can improve dehydration and/or radiance.

The different types of facial cleansers out there:

  • Balmrich texture that is nourishing and comforting
  • Creammedium-rich texture that is heavier than gels or oils but lighter than balms,  moisturising and hydrating
  • Gel – lightweight texture that usually foams, leaves skin feeling refreshed and/or slightly astringent
  • Oillightweight to medium-rich texture that glides on the skin smoothly, usually great at removing all types of makeup including waterproof eye makeup
  • Micellar watervery lightweight, used on the face to remove makeup usually including eyes, cleanses and tones the skin without the need to rinse off

There are other types which include foaming washes, cleansing milk, 2-in-1 cleansers, solid bars, and cleansers that emulsify to a ‘milk’ before washing off.

Everyone’s skin type is a little different and can change depending on climate, weather and even the environment. Check out how your skin looks and feels regularly and if needed, switch up your cleanser but no more than twice a year (cold and hot seasons). I live in London, UK which is usually cold but I can tell that in ‘summer’ months, my skin is a little more dewy and hydrated so I’ll switch to a lighter cream cleanser or gel/foaming wash cleanser.

flatlay-spa-beauty-products_53876-47069

My top natural skincare cleansers for your skin type

As a natural skincare junkie (and spa therapist) I’ve come across quite a few skincare cleansers. Some I love, some others love and some that are questionable. All of the cleansers I’ve listed below are labelled as suitable for all skin types but I’ve included my recommendations for which skin type I think is would get the best results from them. Ingredients like rose, aloe vera and glycerin are great for hydrating the skin – something which all skin types can benefit from.

None of these cleansers do not contain sulfates, parabens or silicones. As good practice, I’d advise you to always check the full ingredients list just in case. A cleanser might market itself as sulfate-free but could still contain parabens or silicones.

I’ve included the full list for you below too… you’re welcome! 🙂

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Renewing Rose Cleanser

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

This light but creamy cleanser smells gorgeous and feels so smooth on the skin. We use the AA brand at the spa – this natural brand that really does its job. As the cream is lightweight, it really is suitable for all skin types especially normal/dehydrated, sensitive and combination skin types. This is one of the few cleansers that can be used directly on the eyes to remove eye makeup and doesn’t sting the eyes.

Apply on with clean hands using circular motion and rinse off with water. As an extra step I like to rinse then use my wet face cloth to buff the skin so I’m getting a deeper cleanse and a little exfoliation. It’s really easy to use.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Water, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Linalool*.]
*Natural Essential Oil Contents.

I’d highly recommend this for: dehydrated skin, dry/ageing skin, combination skin, sensitive skin


Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Best Natural Skincare Cleansers

The Pro-Collagen range from Elemis has been their bestselling collections for over 5 years. I used Elemis during my training days and it’s a wonderful brand; it smells divine and products incorporate a lot of science to deliver on results. It’s much more science-y than Aromatherapy Associates and so they used to contain more chemical nasties however their new formulations now are more gentle and they’ve cut out a lot of those chemicals. This product doesn’t state it can be used on eyes to remove eye makeup so I wouldn’t suggest it. If you do, then do it with caution at your own risk.

It’s only rich once you put it on but that’ll change. Massage the cleansing balm into the skin using circular upward motions to work it into the skin to loosen up the makeup and dirt. Add a little water (emulsify) to get it going, this will allow the makeup to lift off the skin. Once it turns into a milk you wash it off and pat dry, leaving you with baby soft skin.

[Full Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Silica, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera (Wax), Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Cera (Wax), Rosa Multiflora (Rose) Flower Cera (Wax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Mint) Leaf Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Linalool, Geraniol, Eugenol, Citronellol, Limonene]

I’d highly recommend this for: dry/ageing skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin


Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

This cleanser was one of the first natural products I tried and I do love it still. The smell of the cocoa butter with the menthol aroma of eucalyptus reminds me of chocolate-minty goodness. It can be used over the eyes to remove makeup but the menthol might sting a little if you have sensitive eyes.

This rich cleanser needs to be applied similar to the Elemis cleanser, dispense 1-2 pump(s) into your hands and massage onto your face and eyelids. Make sure you massage all of the cleanser in then rinse the cloth in hot (but not boiling) water and wring out excess water. Use circular motions to remove the cleanser off.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (water), Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl esters, Cera alba (beeswax), Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan stearate, Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Humulus lupulus (hops) extract, Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, Propylene glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid, Sorbitol, Limonene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Citric acid, Sodium hydroxide.]

I’d highly recommend this for: oily/congested skin, combination skin, dehydrated skin


A’kin Cleansing Micellar Water

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

Micellar water is actually one of my favourite beauty bag staples. Simply because you can take it with you anywhere, use it to remove makeup or even just freshening up your skin when out and about. A’kin’s micellar water is super gentle and can be used on all skin types. It’s cooling on the skin and removes eye makeup pretty well. It has a really fresh cucumber scent (one of its main ingredients) so if you’re not a fan of cucumbers, this may not be one for you. This micellar water is totally water-based however you can find some other micellar water includes oils.

Can be used to remove eye makeup. Simply use with cotton pads and wipe over eyes, face and neck area. No need to rinse off.

[Full ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water *+, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea)*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice*+, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract*, Glycerin*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Heptyl Glucoside*, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate*, Sodium Levulinate*, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid*, Linalool^.]
+Certified organic.  *Botanical source.  ^From essential oil.

I’d highly recommend this for: sensitive skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin


REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty: Natural Facial Cleansers of 2020

I’m not a massive fan of gel cleansers however they are slightly better for my dehydrated skin in the summer than full-on foaming wash cleansers. Gel cleansers are super lightweight but will contain some lightweight oils to keep skin moisturised and balanced. I find gel cleansers also work best on combination and oily/congested skin types but ideally could be used for all types. Dry/ageing skin types might find that gel cleansers do not provide enough moisture or hydration and will probably do better with a creamier cleanser.

Apply onto skin with wet hands or emulsify gradually with water to cleanse the skin, avoiding the eyes. Rinse off with water and pat dry.

[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Coco Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Parfum* (Fragrance), Rosa Damascena Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Lactic Acid, Citronellol, Geraniol]
*100% Natural Fragrance – Parfum 100% Naturel

I’d highly recommend this for: combination skin, oily/congested skin, dehydrated skin, sensitive skin

There you go!
It’s not a comprehensive list but enough to get you looking around and get you started this Spring on your skincare journey. Do you have a favourite cleanser? Let me know in the comments section what you think of these recommendations and whether you agree. x

Happy #WellnessWednesday


NB. this post contains affiliate links

Look Fantastic Black Friday beauty box review 2019

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review

With the lead-up to Christmas, I always end up taking forever to write up my Black Friday beauty box. You may remember a few years ago I finally wrote my 2016 Black Friday box review… a year later! LOL It’s a mix between procrastination, being busy with family and the children (I had Little Miss in April 2016) and then being sleep-deprived meant that anything I did, I took like a million years to do so. I’m a little faster this year, only a month out! Haha! 🙂

The Black Friday Edit box: first impressions…

On first impressions, the box looks pretty fancy!

I really like the black and gold marble design and the gold text ‘The Black Friday Edit‘ adds modernity to the box. I can’t seem to find the 2017 design however the ‘Back for Black’ 2018 was super sleek and was actually my favourite design but I never bought the box.

I’m happy with the design of this year’s box and the products look really good. I can see one repeat product (the eyeliner) from last year but the others are new. I think for 2020 I would love to see a new design however something similar to this year’s or last year’s would be fantastic. Now let’s get on to the products…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review
The Black Friday Edit: I love the fancy black and gold design

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty Box Review

What’s in the box?

Here are the products I got in my Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 box:

  • Luxie 504 Large Angled Brush*
  • Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturiser
  • Eve Lom Cleanser including facial cloth
  • Ciaté London Glow-To Highlighter*
  • We Are Paradoxx Hangover Hair Elixir
  • Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (Scarlet Sorbet)*
  • Eyeko Eye Do Mini Liner
  • Seoulista Beauty Charcoal Mask
  • Naobay Radiance Body Lotion*
  • Crystal Clear 10-minute Glow mask

The majority of the items are full-sized products. I’ve added a star (*) next to my favourite products which I am still using now. I’ll write a little more below about why I love them so much…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday 2019 Beauty Box review
Inside this year’s box / Photo Credit: Look Fantastic

Luxie 504 Large Angled Brush * (my fave!)

I absolutely ADORE this brush! I’m not sure if it’s because of the pretty pink handle or the softness of the synthetic bristles, but I do know it’s a really good brush. One of my favourite angled brushes and currently my go-to for when I need to apply my bronzer or highlighter across cheeks and hollow for contouring. It’s super soft and so easy to use whether you have powder or cream textures.

I can’t seem to find the brush for sale on the LF website, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s because it’s sold out. There is the Luxie 741 angled contour brush which would be a good alternative.

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturiser

For a long time I really thought I had combination skin with an oily t-zone. Turned out that my skin isn’t actually oily but dehydrated. When the skin is severely dehydrated (lacking in water, tight-feeling skin) it will start producing excess sebum. To re-balance the skin, I introduced serums and facial oils into my skincare routine which has helped a lot.

Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta exfoliating moisturiser is a product that really works. The ingredients list checks out and even though this product does contain silicones (dimethicone! there are other cones too) which I am not keen on but it’s near the end of the ingredients list which is a little more forgiving. The creamy texture is lightweight but hydrating and once applied, my skin feels super smooth and matte soft.

Packed with a cocktail alpha-beta acids and fruit actives, this moisturiser not only hydrates and brightens the skin, it also improves radiance (ginger) and re-balances the sebum production (lavender). When using this moisturiser, I avoid using my usual peeling exfoliator (The Ordinary AHA/BHA peeling solution) on the same day. I’d use my facial oil and day cream in the morning then use the peel in the evening before my night routine. Remember to use a sunscreen during the day when using skincare products with AHA acids (Alpha Hydroxyl Acids; Glycloic, Lactic, Tartaric and Citric).

Also be aware that excessive exfoliation can over-stimulate the skin which can cause uneven skin tone, hyper-pigmentation, sensitivity and redness. So use with caution – you’re using two or more exfoliating products daily or regularly, you could be over-exfoliating.

Eve Lom Cleanser

I’ve heard so much about this Eve Lom cleanser. It’s a trending product and so many beauty magazines rave about it so I was very intrigued to see it in my box. I haven’t tried it out because when I look at the ingredients, the first ingredient is Paraffinum Liquidum… also known as Mineral Oil – same stuff baby oil is made from. Not bad, but it doesn’t scream out luxury to me like how the brand markets itself. They also use lanolin which is a great emollient for dry skin (it’s used in nipple creams) but again, I expect more from Eve Lom. Where’s the high quality oils like rosehip oil, jojoba oil or evening primrose? There’s none.

I’m not impressed… and the 8ml sample size pot is even more laughable.

If you love rich balm cleansers, you’d be better off with the Elemis Pro-Collagen cleansing balm which is only £43.00 for 5g/5ml more (1ml = 1g) and contains skin nourishing oils however you can’t use this product to remove eye makeup. Another great value-for-money alternative is the Trilogy Makeup Be Gone cleansing balm 80ml for £20.50 (more than half the Eve Lom price!) which is on my to-buy list and can be used for both face and eyes. Winner!

Ciaté London Glow-To Highlighter (shade: Celestial) * (my fave!)

The packaging of this highlighter is so pretty. The Ciaté Glow-To highlighter is a powder texture, almost baked-like. The Celestial shade is beautiful (an iridescent peach/gold shade) and perfect for my medium olive skin tone. Little Miss likes putting this stuff on herself too and it also looks beautiful on her caramel complexion. The shimmer is very strong so you really only need a light sweep and you’ll be good to go!

I liked brushing it over the top of my nose, under the brow bone and lightly dab over cheekbones. The little mirror is really helpful and a useful tool for anyone who likes doing their makeup/touch-ups as they go. Be careful as it does crumble easily, well… mine did anyway.

We Are Paradoxx Hangover Hair Elixir
Free from parabens, PEGs, sulphates, perfume, mineral oil and toxins.

I’ve not used this leave-in hair treatment just yet but will get round to trying it once I’ve washed my hair. I’m glad that Look Fantastic are including more vegan-friendly products in their beauty boxes. The We Are Paradoxx hair elixir contains silica and alcohol which is also why I am a little hesitant to try out the product. It does says that the alcohol content comes from the Irish whiskey and the silica (natural quartz, absorbs moisture) – which is different from silicone (a synthetic plastic). The hair elixir isn’t exactly CG-friendly but if you decide to give it a go, see how your hair reacts then make sure you give your hair a good cleanse the next wash day with a low-poo cleanser or an ACV (apple cider vinegar) or rice water rinse.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday Box review
Inside this year’s LF Black Friday Box

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm (shade: Scarlet Sorbet) * (my fave!)

Infused with shea butter, this Pixi lip balm keeps my lips soft and hydrated throughout the day. I do find that I have to re-apply but no more than my usual lip balm. The Scarlet Sorbet is really pretty like a bitten lip red colour but because it’s a lip balm, it’s more of a subtle tint than full on pigment.

It’s one of my favourite product because it’s something I can use daily and it does the job very well at keeping my lips moist. I also like using it in-between top-ups with my Doucce liquid lipstick (fave shades are rusty red and red velvet). It’s one of the best tinted lip balms that I’ve tried and is a staple item in my beauty bag.

Eyeko Eye Do Mini Liner

So this eyeliner is the only product that made it into both last year and this year’s box. Perhaps people just really love the Eyeko Eye Do eyeliner! I think I had this product from another beauty box before and did enjoy using it. I never got the chance to use it this time round as Little Miss got her hands on my box when I was at work one day and decided to use it like a marker pen… then left the lid off. Yep, it died that same day which is sad times as it seems like a really good eyeliner.

I love pens as they give the user much more control when drawing the line. Liquid brushes create the best thin lines but are so tricky to get right and when you’re short on time, it’s way to fiddly. If you like doing your makeup on the go, I’d recommend using a pen like this one by Eyeko.

Seoulista Beauty Charcoal Mask
Free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil and artificial colours.

Seoulista is a Korean skincare brand and everybody knows how amazing Korean skincare is so what’s not to love about this natural purifying face mask? Get a thorough deep-cleanse without stripping the skin thanks to the charcoal and volcanic ash extract. Unfortunately my skin is too dehydrated to use this mask so I’ve given it a miss.

Seoulista offer a few other types: super-hydration (hydration) version as well as a gold glow (anti-ageing) and brightening (radiance) so I’ll have to get my hands on one of these instead!

Naobay Radiance Body Lotion * (my fave!)

I love this body lotion so much. It’s lightweight but totally hydrating on the skin… no wonder why it’s completely sold out on Look Fantastic! Hopefully they will restock this item soon as I’m sure many people will be chomping at the ankles for this.

Naobay is a natural skincare and body care brand hailing from Australia. I do love my Aussie natural skincare brands! Enriched with olive oil, shea butter and avocado oil, Naobay’s radiance body lotion is going to leave your body feeling super soft and nourished. The soothing aloe vera extract helps to calm and protect the skin, this lotion would be gorgeous in the summer.. better stock up now!

Crystal Clear 10 Minute Glow

Another sold out product on Look Fantastic! This peel-off mask is said to work its magic on your skin in just 10 minutes, leaving you with a radiant glow. Again, it’s another deep cleansing product so a pass from me but lots of people seem to love it. You can choose to apply this Crystal Clear 10mins glow mask over the whole face or just on targeted areas ie nose, forehead, chin.

With alcohol denat present, I would assume that this product will leave your skin feeling ‘squeaky clean’ and matte soft. Just be careful if you have skin that’s a little on the dehydrated side as it will make it drier.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday beauty box review

…and that’s a wrap!

I hope you enjoyed this beauty unboxed review – I really love reviewing beauty boxes but I get so lazy to write it all up! I guess one of my new year’s resolution can be to make sure I always review my unboxing. I need to find a better way putting up the content because I can never get those beautifully curated shots like other beauty bloggers. When you have two messy-wild kids to manage, the house is always a state and I’d be lucky to find a corner of peace where I can shoot from… however, there is a little co-working space next door to me so I might have to take a look and see what they can offer. 🙂

Happy Holidays!


P I N  T H I S  P O S T!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Look Fantastic Black Friday Box Review

My Christmas Hair & Beauty Wish List 2018

The Greenwich Mummy Blog

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

With less than a week to go until C-day, what better way to celebrate than to let you guys know what’s on my Christmas wish list for my favourite hair and beauty products! 🙂

Some of these brands I’ve discovered through my new workplace (I’m working in a spa again, yay!) and from recommendations by other hair and beauty bloggers. I always find the blogging community a great place for finding new products because the reviews are great and I trust the reviews. Being a blogger myself and writing brand collaboration reviews, I always write from the heart and it’s always based on my own opinions.

If I really unlike the product/service I reviewed, I would usually not post the review because if I do have to post it, it wouldn’t be a totally positive one.

For my wish list, there’s 10 things I’d absolutely LOVE to receive this year. There’s actually loads of products I’d love to get my hands on but these ten things are my ultimate must-haves this Christmas…

MY HAIR & BEAUTY WISHLIST

1. Book my appt with Lashes by Linda

This is probably number 1 on my beauty wish list – to get my lashes redone and ditch the eye makeup! I love a natural look and nothing beats a set of individual lashes by my family friend and fellow beauty professional, Lashes by Linda. She is amazing and a master at her craft! If you live in London, she offers appointments at her home otherwise you can find her at the nail salon in Sittingbourne where she can also do your nails too!

You can choose from a classic full set (light and natural look) or a Russian full set (volume and dramatic look) – I’ve tried both and personally prefer the classic, natural look. I have decided that I love the C and D curl and alternate between the two but I keep my lengths short because I wear glasses. If you don’t wear glasses or are a contact lens wearer, go for your maximum length to really get that beautiful fluttery look. Linda also does LVL treatments which is popular and really helps to lift the lashes. I had this treatment once before and it looked good but my lashes are quite short so I do prefer having the lash extensions.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Christmas Beauty Wishlist
I really love my lashes thanks to Lashes by Linda!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
No need for eye makeup when I have my Lashes by Linda!

2. Cinq Mondes dry body oil

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Cinq Mondes Ayurvedic dry body oil

Cinq Mondes is a popular French brand that smells great and feels fab on the skin. I am super in love with their hair & body mist, especially the Eau de Siam which smells absolutely amazing! That combined with the Cinq Mondes Universal Ayurvedic dry body oil is totally amazing! The dry oil is great for all skin types especially oily skin as it sinks in immediately and doesn’t leave a greasy film. For dry/mature skins, use when skin is slightly wet and combine with a moisturising cream.

3. Noughty intensive hair mask

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Noughty Haircare
Noughty To The Rescue Intensive Hair Mask

There’s a lot of Noughty haircare products that I love but my ultimate fave is the Noughty To The Rescue intensive moisture hair treatment. This mask will give you heavenly soft hair that you won’t be able to resist touching. I love using it as a deep conditioner and especially after a clarifying cleanse, this moisture mask puts back all the needed moisture into my hair. There’s no protein ingredient in this hair mask so if your hair needs protein, you’ll need to alternate with another product.

4. Aveda Shampure comp oil & hand serum

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
AVEDA Shampure – made from 25 pure flower & plant essences

Two products that I absolutely adore from the Aveda range is the Aveda Shampure composition oil and Aveda Hand Relief Renewal Serum.

The Shampure aroma is made up of 25 pure flower and plant essences and smells absolutely divine! I love using the composition oil on wet skin just after a bath or shower. It’s a great multi-functional oil that you can use on hair, body and oils. The hand relief serum smells less of the Shampure aroma and a bit more orange which is nice and refreshing.

5. Boucleme hydrating cleanser (low-poo)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser for wavy hair

I first saw this brand at Stylist Live 2017 and didn’t really know much about the brand. However since my wavy hair journey I’ve been discovering it more and more. It’s a UK brand made for wavy and curly hair that’s free from chemical nasties, silicones, sulfates and parabens. I would love to try the Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser (blue packaging) which is made for wavy hair. Their original conditioning cleanser (green packaging) for curly hair has had nothing but positive reviews from curly bloggers.

I’ve tried the US’s popular Devacurl and found that I only really like their hair styling whip, Wavemaker. Their ‘Delight’ range for wavy hair hadn’t really impressed me as the hype did, which is a shame because I wanted to love it. Boucleme also offer a 30-day money back guarantee (UK only) if you purchase directly from their website and are not satisfied with the product.

6. Birchbox’s December edition

The Greenwich Mummy | Christmas beauty wishlist
Birchbox December edition

I want to get my hands on the Birchbox December edition because it looks great and I am really in love with the box itself! It looks really Christmassy and the products seem like all new products I haven’t received before from past boxes.

Get 20% off gift subscriptions using code SANTA at Birchbox

I’ve actually already ordered the box so it’s on its way to me as you read this so I’ll get the review out for it by Christmas. The subscription boxes are usually sent out the beginning of the month but if you’re new and have just subscribed for the first time you’ll receive your box a week from your order date. You can read my past Birchbox reviews here.

7. Spa day gift voucher

Ahhhh a spa day with a facial!! My fave wishlist item

This month I started my new job as a spa therapist! I’m so glad to be back in spa therapies again but I’m not going to lie, it’s taking its toll on my body and I’m only working part-time on the weekends! People don’t realise that spa therapies can be strenuous/exhaustive work. A spa looks glamorous but there is a lot going on to make it look like that (think of duck gliding along the water but its feet paddling like crazy to keep it looking effortless). If I could, I would love to be treated to a spa day complete with treatments – lunch included would also be fab!

Travelzoo currently have some good offers on and I found two I love. One is a trip to North Wales for a spa day with a facial, body massage and lunch for only £55, or stay local in London and visit The Athenaeum Spa for treatments and a glass of bubbly with a friend (or Daddy P) for £135 which is dirt-cheap for this luxury hotel spa (that works out to £67,50 each!)

8. OPI nail polish collection

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
OPI Nails – 6 Piece Winter Collection

I LOVE the OPI brand – the polishes are super glossy, the colours are opaque and beautiful and the names are quirky! I came across this beautiful OPI 6 piece winter collection on the QVC and fell in love straight away. It has one of my favourite dark purple shade called “Lincoln Park After Dark” which is what caught my attention. A collection set is always cheaper to buy that individual ones as OPI polishes are around £15 a bottle. Best thing about QVC is the instalment payment plan – that’s really helpful at this time of year to be able to split the cost over a period of time to make the cost more affordable.

9. Packs of Flexi-rods

These cheap and cheerful styling tools are a wavy (and curly!) girl’s best friend when you want a really defined curly look minus the damage. As the CG method doesn’t allow for heat styling, flexi-rods allow you to create curvy or wavy styles easily without heat. They have always worked for me and I can get several different curly styles from them.

Got these curls by using my flexi-rods

I would love to do a really tighter ringlet style like in the photo below but need a lot more rods to achieve the look as I’ll need to create the curls with thinner strands. Chunkier strands create more wave and body, thinner strands create more curl and definition. There’s so many ways to use the flexi-rods – they really are a curly or wavy girl’s best friend! Natural hair Youtuber, Actually Ashly (@actually_ashly) does an amazing tutorial on how to style/set your hair with the flexi-rods as below. Defo check it out her vids if you’re looking for some curly hair inspo!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Watch Actually Ashly’s video for creating this beautiful curly style! / credit: @actually_ashly

10. Swiss Clinic Derma Roller

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My Christmas Beauty Wish List
Swiss Clinic Skin Renewal kit

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and I would really love to get my hands on a derma roller. It’s a small beauty tool that has lots of tiny needles which pricks the surface of the skin to encourage collagen production and helps increase skin cell regeneration. It’s also a tool that can help push in your skincare products deeper into the skin’s layers. It’s supposed to be fab for acne scarring especially ice-pick scars which I actually have quite a few of. I’ve enquired about the derma-pen treatment at SK:N Clinics but the price is around £300 per session which is not cheap and more painful than the at-home versions.

The derma roller I have my eyes on is the Swiss Clinic skin renewal kit for £89. It features a 0.2mm microneedle derma roller, a storage box to keep the derma roller in and a rejuvenating serum to use with the roller. The Swiss Clinic website has a little online quiz you can complete to see which product is best for you as a guideline on what to purchase if you’re also interested in purchasing one.

Don’t be tempted to buy cheap ones – sometimes if it’s too good to be true, it really is. I know Amazon has some great reviews on their £20 roller but it’s a little risk to take. The price is amazing but maybe the roller would need replacing more frequently hence the lower price. I won’t use mine frequently but at least once a month so I’d like to have one that lasts a little longer.


NB. This post contains affiliate links

Beauty: May BirchBox Review

So it’s been a long while since I last did a Birchbox review on my blog and when I saw the May 2018 edition, I couldn’t resist but to order it… the decadent palm print was calling me!

I was pleasantly surprised with the products I received in this box and THANK THE LORD there were no samples I’d previously received before. This was one of the reason why I stopped subscribing as I had so many products in the end and a lot of them were doubles of what I’d had before.

IMG_1150
I really love the tropical packaging of this box!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beauty Box Review

The products I got in my May Birchbox 2018 were:

  • Doucce luscious lip stain in steaming red
  • Greenfrog Botanic geranium and peppermint body wash *fave product*
  • Native Unearthed activated charcoal natural deodorant balm *fave product*
  • Marcelle new age precision 8-1 power serum
  • Eyeko skinny liquid eyeliner in black
  • Smith & Cult the shining lip lacquer (EXTRA bonus gift!)

 

 

My views on the products…

Smith & Cult
Baby Girl Ams and I really enjoyed playing about with the lip gloss, we also had a go at the lip stain but it wasn’t as fun. The glossy look on Ams looked very natural and I quite liked the glossy effect on my lips too. It’s been donkeys years since I’ve worn lip gloss so wasn’t too sure of what to make of it. The Smith & Cult lip gloss smelt really nice and sweet but was quite thick to spread across the lip but as much as I hated the heavy feeling, it definitely made my then-dry lips look more moisturised and hydrated. It’s also a full size product and the packaging is gorgeous so it was a really nice free gift.

Native Unearthed
My ultimate favourite product from this box has to be 100% the Native Unearthed natural deodorant balm! It’s a really amazing product and I can tell you for a fact, IT REALLY WORKS! I am not normally a stinker but every now and then I would notice that occasionally one underarm tends to whiff a little more than the other… but since using this deodorant balm – nothing! I’m definitely a convert and natural deo balms have now changed my life. I really don’t think I’ll ever go back to using standard roll-ons and definitely not sprays. Apparently the toxin-slaying activated charcoal combined with the sweat-absorbing arrowroot and antibacterial coconut oil and lavender oil makes this deo-balm the s**t! 🙂 A little really goes a long way with this product.

Greenfrog Botanic
I’ve been looking for a “grown-up” botanic body wash other than the lovely Liz Earle range and this one by Greenfrog Botanic wash seems to have done the trick. To me, the scent is amazing!! It smells so fresh and natural but that’s really appealing to me. You can really smell the geranium and a bit of the peppermint in this wash, mind you though – it’s not really a lathering type so if you love your bubbles this one will have to be a miss.

The body wash is also vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and free from all those chemical nasties so it’s a major winner for me.

Doucce 
I really like this lip stain. It definitely stayed on well for a couple of hours but once I started eating and wiped my lips with a tissue (I forgot I had lip colour on) the lip stain was near enough gone. A little disappointing as some other high street brands would have better staying power. The colour is gorgeous though but I wouldn’t really call it a red. The steaming red shade which I had was more of a “natural lip” pinkish red colour. The matte effect was lovely and I would continue using it but I wouldn’t decide to repurchase once it’s all used up.

Marcelle
Unfortunately I stayed away from this serum, it looks great and all but it has some silicones in it and my skin doesn’t agree with silicones. I’m sure the cones would really help to create a brilliant base like a primer but I’ve used skincare products with silicones before and I am not a big fan. I’ll be adding this product to my box of unused/unwanted products which I will be giving away so keep your eyes peeled! 🙂

Eyeko
I’m a big fan of eyeliner but not yet had the chance to try this one out simply because I have so many eyeliners already on the go and they’re nowhere near finished so once again I will have to pass on this product. It’s said to be very easy to use and the fine tip means you can really get more precise lines with this skinny liquid eyeliner. It’s also fade resistant so you should be able to wear it all day without needing a top-up.

IMG_1148
A good range of products – one of my fave boxes so far!

_
*NB. This post contains affiliate links

GlossyBox UK January review

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family & Lifestyle Blog

I’ve not been a GlossyBox subscriber in a little while so last month I decided to give it a try again and have fallen in love with the beauty box once again. The December box was fantastic and had a different packaging from its standard pretty pink shade.

There was also a promo on for December; two boxes for the price of one so of course I couldn’t miss out on subscribing! I really need to write a review for those boxes too so will post those up soon. Blogging has become a little tricky again with everything else going on in life but I guess that is life – it doesn’t always run as smoothly as you want it to.

I really felt like GlossyBox UK have stepped up their game in these past couple of months. The products in December’s box were fantastic and the same with January’s box too.

Here’s what I got in mine:

  • Evelyn Iona Cosmetics green tea primer
  • Dr. Botanicals Moroccan rose superfood facial oil (my fave product)
  • Nail Medic nail and cuticle energizer
  • Apicia cream blush
  • Boots beauty beneath supplements (60 capsules)

My favourite product out of all these has to be the Dr. Botanicals Moroccan rose facial oil followed closely by the Evelyn Iona cosmetics primer.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Glossybox January 2018 Review
Photo Credit: Glossybox

The facial oil is nothing like I’ve used before – it’s really light and more of a liquid texture and consistency than oil. This superfood product is packed with vitamins and minerals including vitamin C (helps to make the skin look more radiant), vitamin A (an antioxidant that helps reduce the signs of ageing) and almond oil (nourishing to the skin).

I think this facial oil would suit combination to oily skin types a little more than other skin types as it’s so light. My skin type is combination and dehydrated and I found the product went on really well and felt very nice on the skin. It also left my skin feeling hydrated for the rest of the day. It smells absolutely gorgeous too. Like almond sweets. 🙂 I did think that if my skin was more drier like it usually is during the colder seasons, this product probably wouldn’t be able to provide me with enough moisture to be used alone without moisturiser on top.

I used the Evelyn green tea primer on top of the facial oil and my skin felt really soft, moisturised and oh so smooth. The primer has a lot of natural ingredients which is a bonus for me as I am really loving the natural/organic/free-from-chemicals hair and beauty products that are on the market. They always smell amazing and feel amazing on the skin! So back to the primer, it’s paraben-free and also contains aloe vera, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil – all of which are nourishing for the skin.

However, I did notice something naughty at the top of their ingredients list… dimethicone. A well-known silicone that’s neither natural, organic nor good for our skin. According to the brand’s website, Evelyn Iona states that they will be removing this ‘cone from their formulas in “early 2018″… we’ll see if they stick to their word. Ever since embarking on my natural hair journey I’ve been more conscious about checking the labels to see what goes into my skincare products.

The cuticle oil energizer was really nice to use and also smelled like sweets. It sinked into my cuticles fast and didn’t leave any oily residue behind. The cream blusher was nice to use but I’m not a big fan of blusher so not used it apart from testing it once and therefore can’t really comment on it. The food supplement I’ve not used at all so can’t comment on that either.

Beauty box giveaway?
I’ve also realised that I’ve accumulated a LOT of samples over the year – there’s so many  that haven’t been opened. Once I even ordered a box by mistake and ended up with two! So I decided I will be giving away some of these products – either as a giveaway or something… any ideas?

Have a lovely week! x


*this post contains affiliate links

 

Health & Fitness: 10 ways on how to beat the January blues

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle in London

Everybody knows that January is the most depressive month of the year. As soon as the festivities and long weekends are over, the harsh realities of life sink back in; new working deadlines, more colds and flus going around the office, fewer days of annual leave left as you took them all in December and the lack of sunshine can make us feel a bit shitty to be frank.

If you started a new year’s resolution to become more fit and healthy, you may find that your blue mood will make it really hard for you to stay on track. Well, fear not as there are a few ways to help you make it through the month and I’ve got 10 of them for you to try…

1. Try mindful meditation

It’s just like traditional meditation but a bit more modern and doesn’t involve you sitting in silence for hours cross-legged. There’s loads of books and apps out there that can help you. Even just 5 minutes a day of mindful meditation can help lift your mood.

My favourite mindful meditation techniques are body scans and breath counts. Simple yet extremely effective and you can do them anywhere, anytime of the day.

2. Add yoga to your fitness routine

I’m a big advocate of yoga but not just for the fancy shapes. Yoga is a fabulous exercise that not only strengthens the body, it also helps to calm the mind and helps you to refocus your energy on you. I love sweaty yoga flows as they really help to get the blood circulating, leaving you feeling re-energised, refreshed and like you’ve actually had a workout. I always leave yoga classes feeling much more calm and less stressed too.

If you’ve done yoga before and it’s in your practice, try doing headstands (sirsasana). Going upside down with inversions increases the blood flow to the head which actually helps relieve stress and a bunch of other things. You can find a list of headstand benefits in this article here

3. Go for a walk, jog or run

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home

Increased blood flow results in increased serotonin. This article from Psychology Today mentions that there are four ways to increase serotonin; sunlight, exercise, massage, and remembering happy thoughts – most of which I’ve mentioned in this blog post. 🙂

If you’re finding it hard to stay motivated to your NY fitness resolutions, a simple walk can help lift your mood. Why not grab a friend and a coffee if you fancy some company and a good chat. A walk can clock up some good mileage and burn off a lot of calories too. Walking is also considered as an anaerobic exercise so depending on how long you’ve walked for, you may be able to still burn extra calories long after you’ve stopped walking.

4. Give compliments

New research from Superdrug has revealed that for 6 out of 10 Brits a simple compliment in January is the way to stay motivated with New Year goals, with 88% believing more compliments need to be given in January than any other month to encourage, inspire and motivate during the bleak cold winter.

Dr Becky Spelman, Registered Practitioner Psychologist & member of BABCP backs the findings, saying, “When it comes to getting fit, losing weight, or focusing on our health, positive acknowledgement is very useful. Hearing that we are looking good from people, and that the time and effort we have invested in our health are bearing fruit, actually spurs us on to do even more.”

So why not give your fitness friend some friendly words of encouragement and pay them a compliment or two? Sometimes it can take another person to tell you that you look amazing before you can actually believe it yourself.

5. Get a workout buddy

Two heads are better than one… know that saying? Well it applies in the world of fitness especially if you’re finding that the lack of motivation is creeping in. Having a workout buddy not only pushes you to do better, it also pushes them so you’re both mutually benefitting from it. Empowerment is the way to go so don’t forget to pay your workout buddy a compliment too – they should return it to you if they’re a good partner and you may find it’ll also help you to refocus on your fitness goals.

6. Eat well

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family & Lifestyle Blog

This is the time when a lot of people tend to start fad diets in a bid to shift all the extra calories they’d put on over the holidays but it’s really not the way to go if you’re trying to get fit and healthy for the long-term. Yes, you can change your diet but you do it through eating well and eating healthy. You’ll feel loads better on the inside and outside.

Think about your macro-nutrients – eat plenty of protein, opt for complex carbs over simple ones, increase your fibre intake (fruit and veg), cut down on refined sugars and processed foods, and drink more water. If you’re aiming to lose weight, do the above and make sure you’re a caloric deficit (your calorie intake needs to be less than your calorie expenditure) and weight loss and fat loss will occur.

I’m currently enjoying Superdrug’s new health and wellness range, Some Body. They have protein supplements, snacks, and drinks and I’ve been able to try their chocolate protein powder, choc-orange snack bar and pancake mix. Out of the three the snack bar was my fave – nothing beats a chocolate and orange combo! The protein powder was my second fave – it tasted like a melted Mars bar but had 19g of protein and no more than 4g of carbs which is a winner as I like to get my carbs from actual food sources instead of a supplement.

IMG_0495.JPG

I always mix my protein powder with water and a little bit of nut milk. It wasn’t of a thick milkshake consistency which is just how I like it, if you prefer thick just bulk it up with some oats, banana, chia seeds, natural yoghurt or even ice cream. The pancake mix was easy to use and mixed well – I had mine with a small swig of maple flavoured syrup which was divine.

7. Laugh more

Laughter is the cure for everything – legit. If you’re having a rough day, it only takes a good laugh to lift your spirits a little. Stop the January blues from getting you down by visiting friends, work mates or family members and have a good laugh with them. If that’s not possible, why not try out laughing yoga or laughing classes.

Laughing is contagious and I’m sure these classes will leave you with an aching belly and a happier mind.

8. Catch some sun

A lot of us Brits are affected by the weather. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can really leave us feeling low during these darker days. Why not try one of those SAD reducing lights, apparently they do help. Or if you’ve got a little more cash to splash, book yourself a mini-break to a sunnier location. A bit of sunshine will boost your serotonin levels, up your happy hormones and leave you feeling happier and less stressed. I enjoyed a fabulous 5 nights in Ibiza by myself – no kids and no boyfriend and I just lazed around beaches for the entire holiday. I never felt better. I came back a little more calm and a lot more happy.

9. Treat yourself

Spa LONDON Wimbledon Review | The Greenwich Mummy

Whether it’s a spa day, a retail therapy trip to Westfield shopping centre or a night out on the town, do something that makes you happy. Self-care is extremely important for maintaining your wellbeing and keeping you healthy so don’t be afraid to look after yourself first.

For me, I would love a spa day treat or a Drum & Box fitness class at Sweaty Betty’s flagship store, No. 1 Carnaby SB – they have the best classes and their boxing class always leaves me feeling pumped and high on happiness. Their upstairs Farm Girl cafe also offers a range of fabulous hot drinks including a latte black (activated charcoal latte, great for detoxing) and a butterfly matcha latte (no butterflies, just a beautiful blue-hued matcha latte)

10. Change up your workouts

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Lifestyle Blog

Keeping a fitness diary and/or food diary is one of the best things you can do to keep track of your fitness progress. To keep the blues at bay and motivate yourself to keep fit, plan out your fitness routine for that week. For example, if you wanted to focus on cardio that week, add some new exercises that you’ve not done before to change things up and keep you on your toes.

For me, hitting the gym regularly this month became a chore for me so I didn’t go as much as I usually do but I didn’t beat myself up about it too much. I texted my gym buddy and the next week we were back in there, training as hard as we could. We did our usual routine but added in a few new moves which kept it interesting. Post-workout I felt so good and wondered why I was even hesitant to go and have got my gym spark back again.

I hope these 10 ways to help beat the January blues will come in handy for you. I know it’s verging near the end of the month but that’s not to say you can’t apply them to next month too.

Happy January!


NB. I received a sample of Superdrug’s Some Body products in exchange for this review post. All words are my own and are a true reflection of my personal opinion. The stock photos used have been sourced from Unsplash.

The good, the bad and the ugly: Stylist Live 2017 Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Stylist Live 2017 Review

Three days filled with fashion, style, beauty, hair, food, drink, talks, workshops, pink gin and fun, the Stylist Live 2017 event was bigger and badder than ever before! It was my first time attending and all I can say is… it did not disappoint!

I will be back next year for sure. 🙂

I won Bronze tickets to Stylist Live via an Instagram giveaway hosted by aromatherapy products company, Scentered (@iamscentered) – thanks guys! Be sure to check them out as their products are amazing and I will be purchasing their Escape Therapy Balm which smelt amazing. That’s my fave but I also like the rose-scented Love balm and the minty Be Happy balm. As it’s a therapy balm is in a stick form, it just needs to be rubbed onto pulse points so it should last a while.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Stylist Live 2017 Review
Source: The Standard

So here’s my review of Stylist Live 2017 at Olympia (I visited on Saturday and had the Bronze entry ticket)…

THE GOOD

What I liked..

The atmosphere
even though it was really busy it still felt spacious enough to move around most of the time. The only time it felt a little cramped was between the aisles of stands – if there was a big crowd of people it was a little hard to navigate through. The event was indeed family friendly but not buggy friendly. There are lifts and stuff but the place gets so packed bringing a pram would be chaotic. I think bringing older children is fine but leave the little ones at home for this event… plus, you don’t want your bubba(s) to spoil your kiddy-free time do you?

The talks/workshops
There were 4 stages with funky, empowering names (GROW, LEAD, SPARK, THRIVE) and sessions scheduled throughout the day. Most of the good talks were in the morning but as I got there in the afternoon, I missed most of the ones I wanted to watch.

However I managed to catch the 4.30pm workshop/talk with speakers, Clara Amfo and Reni Eddo-Lodge on “How to be Brave: Speaking up against racism”. As the mother of mixed-heritage children, I know that my bubbas might experience some form of racism in their years growing up. Learning how to address it, handle it and rise above it is extremely important. Reni made a remark that left me thinking hard “if you’re not white, you can’t afford to be colour blind”. I wasn’t sure what to make of it – whether or not I agreed with her statement but deep down something told me she was 100% spot on. As a woman of colour myself, you can’t be ignorant and believe that racism doesn’t exist because it does. Sometimes in the mildest, tolerable form but it is still there. It was definitely a ‘food for thought’ kind of talk and I loved it.

The brands
There were sooo many brands to see and a lot of them were offering freebies. Gordon’s Gin gave everyone a free drink upon arrival. Diet Coke was handed out quicker than you could say low-calorie and sugar-free. Babyliss and Remmington were doing free hair styling. There were loads of brands; from natural food brands like Hippea to stylish lifestyle brands like Ella Iconic, and of course plenty hair and beauty brands.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Stylist Live 2017 Review
One of the best workshops at Stylist Live 2017 / Source: Stylist Live

The Bad

What I didn’t like…

The crowds
I know I shouldn’t really complain about crowds and to be fair, the event was managed really well however sometimes I couldn’t help but feel claustrophobic. Especially when I was down the shopping stands, those aisles felt tiny and I’m a petite girl!

The queues
This is another to be expected but still… I am buggered that I wasn’t able to get the chance to have my hair styled. Booo! There was around 4-5 different hair brands that were providing styling services but the queues were so long, it was crazy.

No goody bags (for bronze ticket holders)
I know it’s good to be exclusive but only allowing VIP ticket holders to purchase goody bags is a downer. I really wanted one and have the goody bags available as an add-on option would’ve been amazeballs as I really wanted one.

The Ugly

What I thought needs improving for next year…

The food choices
The food was yummy but there wasn’t enough choice to pick from – there was a few cafe bars on the ground floor and upstairs there were a few more eateries however it would’ve have been nice to have a dedicated food area for eating and getting refreshments. I love matcha lattes and not one food place in there served it, for a food-conscious I did expect more healthy food brands to be there. If Farm Girl could be there next year, I would like a little kid on a sugar rush – I love them!

Better microphones for talks
For most of the workshops, I was able to hear the host(s) clearly however I remember there was a workshop I attended and couldn’t hear a word the host and her guests were saying which was disappointing. I wasn’t even that far away and I think a few other people also had trouble hearing. Because of the bad sound quality, I gave up with listening and wandered off in search of other things – and I’m sure some others did the same.

Give us cheapies a goody bag!
Yep, I’ve included this one here because I really feel like everyone should’ve been entitled to the chance to upgrade their tickets with add-ons like a goody bag. It was possible to upgrade my bronze ticket with a manicure so why not a goody bag? Even if it was just a simple one, it would be nice to have the chance to buy one.

And that’s it!

I really enjoyed Stylist Live 2017 and will definitely be making my way back to Olympia for it next year. I hope they can out-do themselves too because this year was really spectacular! If you attended this year, let me know what your thoughts were below… I leave you with our cool Google Pixel 2 photo we took at the event. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Stylist Live 2017 review
Having fun at the Google Pixel stand at Stylist Live 2017

You can check out @StylistLive on Instagram here

My Look Fantastic Black Friday Bumper Beauty Box 2016 Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LF Black Friday Beauty Box Review

Firstly, I am so sorry that it’s taken me a whole year to finally publish this Beauty Box review! I hadn’t realised that it was never published and thought what better day than today to post it up. My apologies guys but at least you’ll be able to compare your box this year with my last year’s contents!

Okay, as you know Black Friday has become a MASSIVE thing in recent years. It’s one day (apart from Cyber Monday and New Years sales) when people go crazy and splash out the cash on everything from food to football shorts. For me, I decided to indulge myself and my debit card in purchasing a lovely beauty box.

The Look Fantastic team created a luxury bumper box for Black Friday which was priced at £20.00. It contained no less than 10 samples and I’m going to go through what I got in my box and give you my thoughts on each product and the overall beauty box.

So here’s what I got in my box…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: Look Fantastic Beauty Box Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LF Black Friday Beauty Box Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LF Black Friday Beauty Box Review

First Impressions

There’s a LOT of products but a lot of products I’ve actually had before!

Now, my main reason why I desperately wanted to buy this bumper box was because I saw their launch post which showed a list of ‘promised’ brands that would be in the box. These included my faves – Rituals, BareMinerals and Benefit… I really wanted to get at least one of these.  Even the image they used to promote the bumper box which you can see on my Black Friday Promo post had an Elemis product in it but apparently the image is for “display purposes only”… I didn’t get any of the brands I wanted but I did get two of the ‘promised’ brands, Nuxe and Caudalie.

Not being funny but what disappointed me about this box  was that it was so many products were repeats from previous boxes. At least include more different products that customers wouldn’t have gotten before in your limited edition boxes! As an LF affiliate I really do love their stuff and adore their beauty boxes but this Black Friday box slightly let me down. I felt like I could’ve put that £20 to better use like buying a REN skincare kit from their site which is even cheaper (£15!)

Moving on, let me show you what else I got…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LF Black Friday Beauty Box Review
Tan Organic Self-Tan oil, Cowshed moisturising hand cream, This Works In Transit 3 in 1 moisturiser (primer/mask/moisturiser).

Tan Organic Self Tan Oil

I do like this tanning oil – it’s super easy to apply and goes on quite evenly, no streaks. I do like the citrus scent of this oil, it’s fresh and different from the usual biscuit-like smell. For me personally, I am a big St. Tropez and Bondi Sands fan, their colour pigment just seems to work better on my skin and gives me a lovely golden glow in one application. This tanning oil is better for fair to light/medium skin otherwise you’ll have to top it up every few days to get it to darken.

Cowshed hand cream

The Cowshed moisturising hand cream was a surprise for me as I didn’t think I would get something from this brand in the box so it was a nice surprise. I do like Cowshed and never used any of their stuff before and quite liked their hanf cream. It’s not too heavy in terms of texture and sinks into the skin well.

This Works 3-in-1 moisturise

Okay so this product… when I first tried it I completely hated it. I thought it was heavy and did nothing but sit on my skin but oh how wrong was I?! It’s now one of my skincare staples. I already got one in a previous box which I’m currently using so I am glad to see this repeated product in this box.

Yes the 3-in-1 moisturiser is slightly heavier than what I’m used to but what do you expect? It’s a primer…  and a mask… and a moisturiser, of course it’s going to be heavier than a lightweight moisturiser.

I think if you have very oily skin you might want to just use this product as a mask or just as a night cream. For all other skin types including combination it’s great for any one of its purposes. I’ve got combination skin; hydrated/normal and oily t-zone, cheeks and chin. It’s got shea butter, argan oil, borage oil and aloe vera in it which will give your skin just enough moisture without leaving it feeling heavy. Once it’s completely sunken into the skin after application (which takes about a minute) it’s semi-matte to the touch which is probably why it makes a great primer. My makeup did last a little longer with this on underneath. Absolutely amazing stuff and I definitely recommend it!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LF Black Friday Beauty Box Review
Mr. Blanc teeth whitening strips, MiTi hair bobbles, Kebelo Silk anti-frizz hair cream, Nuxe Huile Prodiguese shimmering dry body oil, Bella Pierre lip & cheek cream stain.

Mr. Blanc teeth whitening strips

Okay this product I didn’t use at all. I am not a fan of teeth whitening strips as my teeth are quite sensitive so didn’t try them out even though I do need them for all the large amounts of tea I drink!

They’re still sitting there in the box and to be honest I thought it was a random addition to the box. So sorry guys but I can’t comment on this product. Maybe they’re great but you’ll have to look for another review on these.

MiTi hair bobbles

I am in love with these anti-snag hair bobbles. When I first heard about them I refused to get them but after trying them in a previous beauty box I actually fell in love. I have completely swapped all of my hair bands for these now and haven’t gone back since. Okay, maybe for an intense cardio or kettlebell workout I might switch to a normal hairband as I need a seriously tight grip on my thick hair but for 99% of the time these bobbles do the trick. They do end up stretching but I find when you leave them alone for a little while they shrink back. A friend of mine told me you can place them in hot water to shrink them back if they don’t go back naturally. I’ve not tried it yet but will do if it gets to that stage. Luckily my hair bobbles have always regained shape albeit being a little stretched out than before.

They don’t leave a dent in your hair unless you wear them tight or wear them for a long time. I wear them to bed and can’t feel them at all. I don’t wake up with head tension like I used to with standard hair bands either. They’ve actually been a life-changer. They also make a great teething ‘toy’ for babies lol.. well my little girl loves to snatch them from me to chew… then she snapped one with her sharp growing tooth so now I hide them from her.

Kebelo Silk hair cream

One of my local salon raves about this product. I do like this lightweight yet moisturising hair cream and found it really helped my frizz. I’ve just found out I have wavy hair (will post about this soon) and have embarked on my Curly Girl Method journey so won’t be able to use this product anymore (it’s not silicone-free!) and will need to find a good alternative. I definitely would recommend it to people who need help with taming the frizz or flyaways. A little goes a long way so use sparingly and apply to towel-dried or slightly wet air-dried hair. Also, the cream smells absolutely divine!

Nuxe multi-purpose dry oil
I love the Huile Prodiguese range. It smells amazing and this multi-purpose dry oil makes it great for everyone. My favourite time to use the dry oil is in the evening after a relaxing bath. I put it all over my face and body. I don’t use it in my hair but you can do (the beauty of a multi-purpose oil!) Going to sleep smelling of this stuff makes me feel like a million dollars haha!

Sad I know but seriously. this. stuff. smells. good.

Okay so the reason why I am not a massive fan of the golden shimmer version is because I am quite light in complexion so I personally don’t like shimmery products unless I’ve got a bit of a tan and I’m not going to tan myself just to use the shimmering dry oil. I also hate seeing the shimmer on my hands after application which means I’d have to wash my hands and that defeats the purpose f moisturising my hands with the oil. It is a lovely product and I highly recommend it but if you’re not into a shimmer finish, definitely go for the original!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LF Black Friday Beauty Box Review
Caudalie, Magik, Korres, Naobay, Lancer exfoliating cleanser

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: LF Black Friday Beauty Box Review

And there you have it!
I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Let me know what you guys got in your 2017 Black Friday bumper box… I’m intrigued! 🙂


NB. This post contains affiliate links

How to clean your beauty tools

Your beauty tools’ job is to make you look beautiful, but they are very prone to getting dirty. Skin, hair, grime, bacteria and other nasties will all cling to your brushes, tweezers and clippers if you don’t look after them. That means making sure you regularly clean everything so that when it’s time for them to be put to use, you won’t be smearing all that gunk on your face, body and hair. Clogged up beauty tools won’t perform as well either, so that’s another good reason to make sure that they’re free of dirt. So, let’s check out how to keep some of your favourite beauty tools sparkly clean.

Nail tools

Whether it’s on your hands or feet there’s plenty of bad stuff lurking under the nails, so you need to make sure that all your manicure and pedicure tools are clean. Get rid of any single use tools like cotton buds or sticks, and scrub regularly under your clippers with soap and an old toothbrush to remove the grime.

Hair brushes

Your brush is going to collect a lot of hair! It’s also going to gather oil, dead skin and other daily gunk, so cleaning it regularly is imperative. When it comes to knowing how to clean a hairbrush the first step is removing the hair frequently. Then shampoo, yes that’s shampoo, then brush and rinse. Grab your old toothbrush to get rid of anything that’s left and you’re good to go again.

Hair styling tools

With all that heat it’s easy for rogue strands of hair and styling products to cling onto your tongs and curlers, and that’s not going to get the best out of them. To clean, make sure they are unplugged and completely cool. Then, take your time using cotton pads to wipe over the irons, making sure you remove everything. It might take a few times so be patient, but if something isn’t shifting you can try mixing baking soda with water to create a lightly abrasive paste – that should do it.

Make up brushes

You can leave your make up brushes for a little while but if they get really clogged with old make up it’s going to take much longer when you do get round to cleaning them and your skin won’t like it either. The best way to clean is to wet with cold water and then rub a little shampoo or detergent through the brush. Rinse thoroughly and then gently squeeze the water out. Finally, lay them flat on a towel to dry.

Tweezers

The tool that everyone has and one that arguably gets the most use, doing a multitude of jobs. With that brings a lot of dirt, skin and grime too, so tweezers definitely require regular cleaning. Scrub with warm water or just leave them soaking in boiling water for five minutes to get rid of the muck.

Cleaning your beauty tools can be a bit fiddly, but do it often and you’ll reap the rewards. You won’t be smearing grime back onto your face and the tool will probably last longer. So now that you know how to clean a hairbrush, tweezers and more, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the best out of your beauty routine.


A contribution post by freelance writer, Joana Teixeira at cleanipedia.com