Timeless Truth Bee Venom &Royal Jelly Miracle Mask

A few weeks ago I saw a company that I follow on social media, Beauty Belle were looking for bloggers over the age of 35 who were concerned about aging to review a course of one of their anti aging sheet masks. I contacted them and they thought that I would be a good fit so they sent me out three of the Bio Cellulose Bee Venom & Royal Jelly Miracle Masks to try. I was to use one a week for three weeks and report back after the course had finished.

The details of the company I worked with Beauty Belle

If I’m 100% honest I was a little bit nervous trying these masks out at first as they aren’t suitable for anybody who is allergic to bee stings and even though I was sure I was stung by a bee as a child I kept fretting in case I was wrong (mind you it didn’t stop me going ahead!!) 
Apparently Bee Venom is now hailed as “Nature’s alternative to Botox” which I didn’t know and coupled with Royal Jelly they help to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which help the skin to become plumper and less saggy.

Now I have used sheet masks in the past but when I opened this one for the first time I immediately noticed a few differences.  Firstly this one was a lot wetter than any other sheet mask I had ever used before and secondly it was protected with gauze on both sides which threw me a little at first trying to figure out what way to actually put it on!! The second I applied it to my face though any niggling worries that I had about it being harsh went straight out the window. In fact it turned out to be quite the opposite, my skin felt instantly cooled and soothed. I found the mask itself a lot easier to apply to the skin than others I’ve tried and most importantly once you applied it it stayed adhered to the face, there was no fiddling around with it.

The mask in action

After the 20 minutes were up I removed the mask and rubbed the excess product into my face and neck area and went to have a look in the mirror. I was so pleasantly surprised that I could actually see a visible difference. My skin looked really refreshed and less red than it did, in fact I think my after picture looks like I’ve had a full nights peaceful sleep instead of 20 minutes with a face mask on. I was genuinely impressed. I had used the mask “live” on my Snapchat that day and showed the viewers step by step what I had been doing and I got several messages afterwards from followers saying how much they thought it had improved the overall look of my skin.

The before and after

After using it twice more since I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a really ideal mask to use if you have an event or a special occasion coming up. It really lifts and brightens the skin, I would even go so far as to say that you should do it the morning of an event (once you had already tried it and had no adverse effects) because your skin will be glowing and radiant and will be a perfect base for any make up that you put on it.
All in all I’ve had a really positive experience with this mask and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who is concerned about dullness or slackness in their skin or if your skin is tired looking and in need of a pick me up. You can purchase them singly or in a box of 5 and are available on the Beauty Belle website here.

Have you tried sheet masks before? What are your thoughts?

 

These products were sent to me to try but all opinions are my own.

 

 

Advertisements

Ruth’s Natural Skincare- Lip Balms 

As we head into October our thoughts turn to how we’re going to protect our skin during the cold weather. Personally one of the biggest challenges I encounter every year is trying to keep my lips hydrated. They get incredibly dry during the cold weather, they get so sore and chapped and I cannot seem to keep product on them as it keeps soaking in. 
A few weeks ago I received an email from Ruth asking me if I would be interested in trying some of her gorgeous products and to be honest I jumped at the opportunity.  I’m such a big fan of any natural beauty products and all of Ruth’s products contain no parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, synthetic colour or fragrance. They also contain no palm oil which means they are environmentally friendly, rainforest friendly and orangutan friendly, which I think is just fantastic!!! 

So Ruth very kindly sent me a selection of her beautiful lip balms to try, five different types, Original, Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender and Patchouli Mint. They come in a tube so they’re extremely handy for your handbag with no mess and no fuss.

Having tried them all now I have to say categorically that the Peppermint is my favourite, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Although it does make your lips tingle when you use it it’s not in an overpowering, uncomfortable way. I love how moisturised my lips feel when it’s on and I’ve also been using it over Matte lipsticks topping them up when I get that overly dry feeling and that works a treat, injecting moisture into my lips without affecting the colour.  

My least favourite I think is the Patchouli Mint I find the scent just too overpowering but all of the others are beautiful. These products are going to be a handbag staple for me from now on. I normally don’t go anywhere without a tub of Vaseline with me but with that you could be applying and re-applying until the cows come home, I didn’t find that with Ruth’s lip balm at all. Once you had it on it stayed on and kept your lips really well moisturised for longer. 

Ruth also has shower gels and soaps within her range and I have to say that having tried the lip balms I can’t wait to try those especially her Lavender range. 

Ruth has a list of stockists available on her website most of which have online stores and her products are also available online from Ethical Souls boutique, I will leave all of the links below. 

Natural, handmade beauty products really are the way of the future. To me it’s a no brainer, you get a beautiful product with the guilt of wondering how ethically it was made. What’s not to love about that? 

https://www.ruthsnaturalskincare.com

https://www.ethicalsoulsboutique.com

My Birchbox experience

Ok so back at the end of July after weeks of going back and forth about signing up to a Beauty Subscription Box I decided to sign up to Birchbox. To be honest their page kept coming up on my Facebook suggestions so when I saw they were doing a 2 for 1 deal on their boxes to celebrate Birchbox now being available to Irish customers I felt it was a sign!! (Any excuse lol!!)

The deal they were offering at the time was if you signed up before the end of July you got June and July’s box for the price of one month, happy days especially because firstly, they were doing a collaboration with Millie Mackintosh in July’s box and you got an exclusive colour Ultra Gloss Lip Pencil by LOC and secondly you got to choose a full size John Frieda product of your choice too which was pretty much worth the price of one months subscription alone. In retrospect it all did seem to be too good to be true and turns out I wasn’t wrong!!

My first issue with them is communication, there just isn’t any, you sign up and you hear nothing and as a consumer I find that incredibly annoying. After hearing absolutely nothing for nearly a week I sent them an email just to make sure that my order had been successful and that I would indeed be getting both June and July’s box as per the deal, 5 DAYS LATER I got a response and what was even worse than having to wait that long was the fact that the response told me that there had been a delay and my AUGUST box had been sent out the day before and should be with me shortly……..Actual facepalm!! I waited for five days to get a response to a question I didn’t ask, awesome!!

On the 11th of August my August Birchbox arrived which I suppose was at least acknowledgement that I was an actual customer of theirs. The contents of the bag were decent enough, I was impressed with the sizes of some of the products included and I felt that I would use most of them. I particularly liked the “Marcelle” Mulberry eyeliner that came in the bag, it is such a beautiful colour.

August Birchbox

In the meantime I had responded to the very “helpful” first email to ask for an answer to my actual question and again was hearing nothing back. I tried contacting Birchbox via Twitter and Facebook Messenger too to try and get a response. Twitter didn’t work but I did however get a response through Facebook Messenger but unfortunately I had messaged the wrong account a got through to Birchbox US instead of UK. This was to be the only time that I experienced efficient customer orientated service from Birchbox. I dealt with Brent who was so helpful who actually reached out to the UK team on my behalf to try and get somebody to return my email. I was incredibly grateful to him for his help as almost immediately after he contacted them I finally got a response back to say the other two boxes were on their way.

Fast forward maybe four days and there they were, finally my two boxes from Birchbox, I was so excited, finally I was going to get what I ordered….WRONG!!! I opened the package and inside was March and July’s Birchboxes. You can imagine my frustration by now, I couldn’t believe that after all of the hassle I had already been through now my order was wrong. I was even more frustrated when I opened the March box, it was actually a disgrace that they sent the contents of that box to anybody, I was fuming!!

The horror that was March’s Birchbox, check out the hair bobbles

The only bit of light at the end of the tunnel was the fact that July’s box was every bit as good as I had hoped it would be and I got my full size John Frieda 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment too. I instantly contacted Birchbox on Twitter again, numerous times and I sent another email too but I obviously knew at that point what was going to be ahead of me trying to get somebody to contact me back.

At least July’s box was fab!!

Three days and several tweets later I finally got a response to my email to say there must have been a mistake (really!!?!?) and they’d send a June box out to me that day. At no point during this entire experience did anybody offer any apology for the ridiculously poor customer service I received, nobody seemed to be interested to be honest other than that lovely guy in Birchbox US who helped me out. 

Happy with the June box when it finally arrived!!

It was at that point I decided to cancel my subscription with immediate effect. What bothered me most of all is that I had shared this “deal” with my blog readers via my Facebook page and I knew for a fact that some of them had signed up for the subscription too. This made me feel so awful if they had experienced something similar,  I felt like it was my fault. 

I’m hoping somebody at Birchbox might actually read this and put something in place so nobody else has to deal with such overwhelmingly bad customer service in future. Have you tried Birchbox or any other beauty subscription boxes? How has your experience been? I’d really love to hear!! 

 

High End V’s High Street 

Ok so the word “Dupe” is one you’ll hear bandied around the place constantly at the moment and although it’s great to think of yourself practically getting the same product for a mere fraction of the price, often times this really isn’t the case. What I aim to do here is point out some of my favourite products from the high-end bracket and tell you about their high street counterparts. Personally I love to splash out sometimes on a “high end” treat but at the same time I’m a sucker for a bargain, I’m an equal opportunities consumer especially when it comes to beauty products. So let’s take a look at what I’ve found!!

Primers

High End- My favourite primer of all time is Prime Time by Bare Minerals. I love it so much, it makes your skin feel so smooth and soft when you use it and I think it’s phenomenal at keeping makeup on. It’s suitable for all skin types and what I love about it is how little of it you have to use so I think that helps to justify the €26 price tag. Just pop a little on over your moisturiser and under your foundation and watch how quickly the longevity of your make up changes!!

High Street- Very recently I discovered Coverall Primer from Wet n Wild and I must say I’m very impressed with this one too. Although I do feel it’s probably less suitable for anyone who has very dry skin but for those with a more combination/oily skin type it’s impressive. Now Wet n Wild is a brand that I’ve built a little love affair with over the past while ever since I discovered their Coverall Foundation (more about that in a minute), it’s an incredibly well priced brand and the quality of any of the products I’ve tried has been incredibly good. Now I bought the primer in a set including a colour correcting concealer palette in Penneys for €6.50 which was a complete bargain but I don’t think the primer is going to set you back any more than that on its own and that’s for a 25ml tube.

Eyeshadow Primers

While we’re on the subject of primers I’m going to tell you about my two favourite eyeshadow primers. Why do you need an eyeshadow primer I hear you ask..well imagine spending all that time creating a gorgeous masterpiece on your eyelids only for it to melt off two hours later, all because you didn’t take that extra second to add this step to your regime…Criminal!!

High End- My high-end choice here is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Now I’m going to specify that it is the original one that I’m talking about as I have used the anti-aging version and I don’t find it as good at all. For me this is a must have product because I do a lot of strong smokey eye looks so I wouldn’t be without it in my make up bag. It’s simple to apply and leaves the eyelids so smooth and ready for the application of your eyeshadow. I find my eyeshadow always blends so much easier when I use it and it doesn’t budge. I have had eye makeup looks last for 16 hours + without having to touch it up after using this product, it is truly incredible. It comes in two different sizes, the 5ml travel size which is €11 and a great way to try the product to see what you think and the 10ml size which is €21. Again a little of this product goes a long way so well worth the money in my opinion.

High Street- My high street option here is I 💙 Stage from Essence. What a find, I would never have known about this little gem if it hadn’t been for Jen from Too Dolly Makeup. I saw her use it and rave about it so I thought I’d give it a go myself. It’s just a brilliant product considering the price of it which is €3.09 for 4ml. Now I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s an exact dupe for the Urban Decay one because it isn’t but what a great alternative to use during the week at work so you can hold on to your more expensive product for nights out or days when you want your eyes to be beyond flawless. Another must have in my opinion , I picked mine up in Penneys but it will be available nationwide on any Essence stand.

Concealer

High End- Now I’m a massive Urban Decay fan, anybody who knows me or reads my blog will know this about me so generally speaking if I’m looking for a new high-end beauty product then the Urban Decay counter is usually my first port of call. That’s exactly how I ended up using Naked Skin Concealer for the first time. Unsurprisingly I love it, I wanted to use it specifically for highlighting under my eyes, just to lighten up the area and add a contrast to my contouring. I love the texture of it, it covers exceptionally well without being thick, it adds a lovely brightness to my undereye and most importantly it doesn’t sit in your under eye wrinkles which to be fair is the Holy Grail of under eye concealing!!

Priced at €22 for 5mls, it comes in 11 different shades so there’s bound to be one to suit everybody.

High Street- My pick for best high street brand is Seventeen Wow Skin Concealer. You need to buy this product, honestly it is ridiculously good considering the price point!! To be honest Seventeen aren’t a brand I’d gravitate towards normally but I had started to hear great things about this concealer a number of weeks ago online and in magazines so I thought I’d chance it myself,  I’m so glad I did. It comes in a pen style so application couldn’t be simpler and it’s so illuminating I couldn’t have imagined how much brighter it made my skin look. In fact since I’ve discovered this product I’ve used it instead of my Naked Skin concealer every day which trust me is high praise coming from me. The only issue might be the lack of colour options as it only comes in two shades, Light and Medium. Hopefully if it turns out to be as big of a success as it deserves to be then more colours might be introduced.  Currently retailing in Boots for €6.99 for 2.5mls but keep your eyes peeled for special offers.

Foundation

And finally the most difficult product everybody finds to get right…Foundation. I shudder to think about how much I’ve spent over the years trying to find “the perfect” foundation and I suppose what I deem to be perfect for me may not be the same for others but I judge “perfect” to be , the foundation with the best coverage.

High End- With this is mind, the best high-end foundation I’ve used thus far is Inglot HD Perfect Coverup Foundation. This is a product I’ve only started using recently and I have to admit I’ve been blown away by it. The coverage is incredible, I mean incredible but without making you look like you’re wearing a mask. It doesn’t feel heavy in the slightest, it just makes your skin look flawless. I always get compliments about my skin when I wear this foundation and even in photographs your complexion looks brighter and honestly what’s not to love about that? Don’t laugh but I keep it as my “good foundation”, so I only take it out for special occasions, nights out etc because it’s a little bit pricey at €35 for 35mls but boy is it worth it!!

High Street- For my high street choice I give you the aforementioned Coverall Foundation from Wet n Wild. It was a complete stroke of luck that I found this foundation to be honest, to be blunt it was the name attracted me to it, I’m all about coverage when it comes to foundation so when I saw the name Coverall I felt it was worth a shot! Although it’s not a complete coverage foundation it is totally buildable and is absolutely perfect as a day-to-day foundation for work if you don’t want to be forking out loads of money. It claims to be suitable for all skin types but because it has a satin finish I would advise those with a oilier skin type to avoid it because I really don’t think the finish wouldn’t suit. An absolute bargain at €4.69 for 29.6mls, so for that price I really can’t see you regretting trying it.

So those are some of my favourite High End and High Street products. I hope you’ve seen something in there that you haven’t tried before but interests you now. I think it’s important to never rule any brand out based on price, especially if you think something is “too cheap”, you never know you might just find one of your new favourites. Same for the high-end products, if you’re investing a big sum of money in a product then do your research, ask for samples or ask to try the product on on counter before you go straight into buying.

We all deserve a treat every now and then xx