You don’t always need to spend the big bucks when it comes to skincare. There are plenty of options out there that won’t make you wince when you hand over your credit card. Personally I love trying out new skincare, I’m a self confessed skincare addict so I was really excited to try out the Nivea Q10 plus C range.

I’ve tried Nivea creams lots of times over the years, I remember being a little girl and seeing the iconic blue Nivea tub on my mums dressing table.

The main thing that tempted me to buy these was not only the price, but the fact it advertised for ‘tired skin’. I’ll give anything a go that says it can fix my tired skin. I picked these two up in Boots when they were on offer for 2 for £14 a couple of months ago, so considering they are usually £12.99 each I thought that was a pretty good deal.

NIVEA Q10 plus Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Face Cream SPF 15

This day cream promotes to visibly reduce signs of fatigue by alleviating first wrinkles and fine lines, and to give fresh and energised looking skin. Now I’m probably well past the ‘first signs of fine lines’ stage in my life so I didn’t expect miracles with that side of things, but it certainly is a nice cream to apply. My make up went on well and it has a pleasant smell to it, which I think is important within a product. It also has an SPF15 which is adequate for me this time of year, I’ve mentioned this before but I tend not to use a face cream if there isn’t any SPF in it.

NIVEA Q10 plus Vitamin C Sleep Face Cream, Anti-Wrinkle + Energy

I loved the packaging on this one, I know it shouldn’t matter but I’m a sucker to a product when I like how it looks! This one promised to awaken the skin, and boy do I need that (thanks kids!). I also like that it has Vitamin C in which is a great antioxidant for boosting Collagen and brightening skin.

Overall both nice smelling products, didn’t mess with my skin or cause breakouts, plus with both products under £15 in Boots you can’t really go wrong.

 

 

Nivea Q10 Plus C Eye CreamNivea Q10 Plus C Sleep CreamNivea Q10 plus C Day Cream

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these past few years you will probably have heard the hype around Pixi’s amazing Glow Tonic. It retails at £18 for 250ml, (you can pick up a smaller 100ml travel size bottle for £10) and has won numerous awards earning it cult status in the beauty world.

I first picked this up around 2 years ago to add into my skincare routine instead of my usual toner. Now I had previously used other exfoliating toner products, so my skin was used to a bit of glycolic acid but I needn’t have worried as this really is a gentle product, suitable for most skin types. I love the fact that this is alcohol free too.

Glow tonic has a 5% acid formula which helps to exfoliate and purify the skin, meaning healthy new skin cells can come to the forefront. The ginseng improves circulation within the skin and then Aloe Vera to help soothe any irritation and hydrate.

I’ve been using this for a long time now, both morning and evening after cleansing. It’s such an easy way of performing an affordable at home treatment for skin resurfacing, gentle enough to use everyday. Simply apply on a cotton pad and sweep across your face area and down onto your décolletage, avoiding the eye area.

A glycolic acid really does make a difference to your skincare routine, I notice it more so when I’m not using it. My skin just doesn’t feel as ‘clean’ or ‘new’. Something I have been really keen on trying alongside this is Pixi’s new Retinol Tonic. It retails at the same price as the Glow Tonic and contains a unique time release Retinol. I have only used this for a few weeks in my evening routine so it’s still early days, but already I can tell I love it.

As with the glow tonic, it’s a really gentle formula but still packing a punch with powerful ingredients to help rejuvenate the skin and smooth the complexion, this time with jasmine flower to help heal and balance.

I’ve always been a fan of Pixi and my skin reacts well to any products I tend to try from them, I’m a big fan of the double cleanse and I think next on the list to try will be masks. What’s your favourite Pixi product? Let me know in the comments.

 

Pixi & Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse
Pixi Retinol Tonic 100ml
Pixi Retinol Tonic
Pixi Glow Tonic 100ml
Pixi Glow Tonic
Pixi & Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse
Pixi Retinol Tonic 100ml
Pixi Retinol Tonic
Pixi Glow Tonic 100ml
Pixi Glow Tonic
Pixi & Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse
Pixi Retinol Tonic 100ml
Pixi Retinol Tonic
Pixi Glow Tonic 100ml
Pixi Glow Tonic

When it comes to packing for holiday, much to my families annoyance I usually pack ALOT of stuff. Probably the thing I’m most guilty of packing is hoards of skincare and beauty products, so many vanity bags that they need their own suitcase… So on our recent holiday, although I just couldn’t bring myself to limit my skincare, I challenged myself to a more minimal make up routine and allowed myself just 5 products.

 

Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow

Wonder Glow has been a staple in my make up bag for the last year so I couldn’t leave it out. Its great for putting under foundation but seeing as I wasn’t taking any base products I thought this would be perfect to give my face a bit of a glow on its own. As soon as you apply it you get an instant lift, a bit of radiance to brighten up the skin. I did apply a small amount of fake tan (Bondi Sands encase you’re interested) before my holiday seeing as I wasn’t planning on using any foundation.

 

Loreal Glam Bronze Cushion De Soleil

Cushion De Soleil is a lovely creamy, almost wet feel bronzer that gives the skin a gorgeous sun kissed glow. It’s a great product if you need something to apply quickly (think getting ready in 4 minutes with 2 kids running around waiting to go out!) to give you a bit of a bronze look, easily built the more you tap on. It comes with an applicator sponge but I prefer to apply mine with either a large bronzer brush or a Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

 

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks

Pot Rouge is a bit of a cheat product as it’s great to use for both lips and cheeks. A multi-tasking cream that gives a lovely little pop of colour wherever you need it. The colour I use is called ‘Calypso Coral’ and it gives a really lovely blush. I dab a little on my cheeks and some onto my lips for a natural make up look.

 

Le Volume De Chanel Mascara

I must have used this Chanel Mascara for about 10 years now, I just can’t find one that gives as much volume and thickness to the lashes as this, without giving that clogged up look. If you find one then let me know! One thing I really can’t do without in a make up routine, no matter how natural is a lick of Mascara on my lashes so this was always going to be included in my minimal make up bag.

 

Benefit Ka Brow Eyebrow Cream Gel Colour

One thing that always ‘finishes’ off your make up look for me, is nice eyebrows. Benefit Ka Brow is perfect for building up the colour so you can either go for a more natural look during the daytime or build to a more dramatic look in the evening. It comes with an angled brush to apply and lasts pretty much all day.

So there we have it, I passed the test, I lasted a weeks holiday with very minimal products. My make up took literally minutes to apply and overall I was pretty happy with the result. I can say if I had to add in another product for next time it would be a concealer, I didn’t plan for the dark circles that appeared from a small child sleeping with me ( I say sleeping, I mean kicking).

What are the essential make up products you’d take on holiday with you? I’d love to know…

 

Benefit Ka Brow Eyebrow Gel
Le Volume De Chanel Mascara
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge
Loreal Glam Bronze Cushion De Soleil
Charlotte Tilbury WonderGlow
Benefit Ka Brow Eyebrow Gel
Le Volume De Chanel Mascara
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge
Loreal Glam Bronze Cushion De Soleil
Charlotte Tilbury WonderGlow
Benefit Ka Brow Eyebrow Gel
Le Volume De Chanel Mascara
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge
Loreal Glam Bronze Cushion De Soleil
Charlotte Tilbury WonderGlow

 

Most of the time if I imagine Summer, I think about lying on warm sandy beaches, Pina Colada in hand watching the waves roll in. I’m a huge fan of the beach and I like to go prepared, usually weighed down with far too much.

For me, once I have a holiday booked the first thing I think of purchasing is a new beach bag. I tend to look for something inexpensive, so I don’t have to be too precious about suncream getting spilt all over it or sand getting everywhere. One I’ve had my eye on recently would be this straw chevron bag from Accessorize. If I had more of a budget and was visting somewhere a little more special I would certainly go for a monogrammed one from Raefeather.

So whether you’re planning to hit the pool or the beach, here’s a little guide of what’s in my beach bag, hope you find it helpful.

 

DOCK AND BAY Quick Dry Cabana Beach Towel – This brand is a new find for me but I love these lightweight beach towels. They are super thin and light and promise to dry you 3 times faster than a normal cotton beach towel. Plus sand won’t stick to it which was a huge seller to me! And I’m loving this cute rainbow design.

RAY BAN Erika Sunglasses – You can’t beat a pair of Ray Bans for the beach, always stylish and I love anything that comes in the tortoiseshell design.

BY ELOISE LONDON Pineapple Hairband – I found these little hairbands that double up as a wristband in a farm shop near me, I’ve bought a couple now in different designs. I think they look so much prettier on my wrist than my usual black hair elastic!

APPLE iPhone 7 Plus Rose Gold – My phone is always on hand to take any photos as I don’t tend to take any bigger cameras with me when I’m at the beach.

OLIVER BONUS Hip Pink Water Bottle – Always a good idea to keep hydrated in-between the cocktails and I love this funky glass water bottle from Oliver Bonus.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT is completely fine – I love getting into a good book, but nothing too heavy on holiday for me. It’s sadly one of the rare times I get to read a book & although I quite often read from a kindle, I find it best to take a paperback to the beach.

AVENE Eau Thermal Water Spray – I always take one of these in a mini size, not just in my beach bag but on a day to day basis too. Perfect for fitting in your bag and cooling down your skin on a hot day. It works really well on irritated and sun intolerant skin.

BOBBI BROWN Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks – This is a fabulous multi-tasking product for lips and cheeks. Great little product for when you’ve got no make up beach days planned, just a little of this brightens up my face. It also has a handy compact mirror inside!

LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS SPF Spray – A firm favourite in my beach bag. I recently did a post here about my favourite SPF products and we always tend to reach for this. Ideal for the whole family and especially for sun sensitive skin. If you struggle with any sun allergies, redness, prickly heat then this is the one for you!

LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS Invisible Face Mist – This makes reapplying SPF to the face so incredibly easy. It can be used on bare skin or over make up, the invisible spray is easily absorbed and leaves no greasy effect as I find some other face SPF’s can.

PAMPELONE Bardot Dress – I always pack a beach dress or kaftan in my bag, perfect for throwing on over a bikini. I just love this one from Pampelone which would look great on the beach and not out of place if you fancy popping out for a bit of lunch straight after.

 

So that’s the essentials you’ll find in my beach bag (obviously amongst the kids footballs and spades, lets not pretend I get the bag to myself!) I’d love to know what your essential things are for the beach!

Since we seem to be having the most beautiful summer I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about my favourite SPF products. I can’t believe the younger (late teens) me would lay in the sun with barely above a factor 8 to protect my skin. The thought makes me shudder now, it wasn’t until I got into my 20’s that I realised just how important it is to take care of your skin with a suitable sun care product.

My main issue with sun care products is finding one that doesn’t resemble a thick oily lotion that just sits on top of my skin. Your usual suntan lotions which you pick up in the local supermarket often leave my skin feeling oily and spotty and clogging up my pores.

I love finding products which don’t make my skin resemble a greasy mess, a product that is nice and light and will let my make up sit well when applied on top. Here’s my top 5 favourites I’ve found myself reaching for recently.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Sun Cream Fluid SPF 50

I love this stuff! It’s always been a firm favourite in my bathroom cabinet, of all the different face products I try I always revert back to this one. Probably best for normal/oily skin types, it’s super light and is pretty invisible after application. The high SPF 50 is great for protecting your face against sun damage, I don’t personally drop below SPF 50 if I need something for a particularly sunny day. My skin is also quite prone to spots and can be a little intolerant of the sun so this has been perfect.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Sun Defense for Face SPF 50

I’ve always been a fan of the Eight Hour Range from Elizabeth Arden so when I spied the sun care in the airport one holiday I couldn’t wait to try it. Its slightly thicker than others I’ve tried but is still described as a lightweight formula, however I don’t find I have any issues with clogging or greasiness when using. It also helps shield your skin from UVA/UVB rays that can cause skin cell damage and signs of ageing.

Avene Hydrance Optimale UV Light SPF 20

This has been my choice of everyday face sun care throughout the colder months or rainy days (yes I really do wear an SPF all year round!) SPF 20 wouldn’t be enough for me if wearing during a particularly sunny or hot day, but this a perfect choice for an everyday SPF. I tend to lean towards French skincare brands for a lot of my products so I think this echoes in my choices of sun care also. The Hydrance Optimale is a lovely light formula, quite magnifying and perfect for most skin types. It sits really well under make up and absorbs easily.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sun Cream SPF 30

This is a perfect high SPF sun cream for the body, and great for the whole family. We tend to use the SPF 30 when we’re in England and switch the the SPF 50 version if travelling abroad. For a family that’s all pretty sun-intolerant this is a great product to protect a sensitive skin. Its hypo-allergenic, no parabans, no colourants or lanolin and contains SPF/UVA/UVB protection, pretty much everything you could need in a sun care product. The consistency is very light and sinks in easily to the skin, we all know theres nothing worse than dressing a child with thick oily sun tan lotion all over them.

Vichy Ideal Soleil Hydrating Sun Protection Water SPF 30

This is a new addition to the collection for me. I’ve used Vichy Sun care products before but it was the addition of hyaluronic acid that got me excited about this one. It starts off as a clear oil/water which you then have to shake to turn into a milky colour before applying. When I first used this it felt a little oily so I thought it might not suit my skin, but it soon sinks in and even make up sits pretty well on top of it. It’s suitable for sensitive skin types and keeps the skin hydrated (due to the hyaluronic acid) at the same time as protecting it. What I like about it is that it’s so easy to apply and comes out in a fine mist (I’m a bit of a sucker for a mist), perfect for topping up your sun care during the day.

So that’s a little round up of my favourites for this year, let me know if there’s any others I could try, especially if this sunny weather is here to stay!

 

SPF Favourites

VICHY IDEAL SOLEIL HYDRATING SUN PROTECTION WATER SPF 30
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS SUN CREAM SPF 30
AVENE HYDRANCE OPTIMALE UV LIGHT SPF 20
ELIZABETH ARDEN EIGHT HOUR SUN DEFENSE FOR FACE SPF 50
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS ULTRA-LIGHT SUN CREAM FLUID SPF 50
VICHY IDEAL SOLEIL HYDRATING SUN PROTECTION WATER SPF 30
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS SUN CREAM SPF 30
AVENE HYDRANCE OPTIMALE UV LIGHT SPF 20
ELIZABETH ARDEN EIGHT HOUR SUN DEFENSE FOR FACE SPF 50
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS ULTRA-LIGHT SUN CREAM FLUID SPF 50
VICHY IDEAL SOLEIL HYDRATING SUN PROTECTION WATER SPF 30
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS SUN CREAM SPF 30
AVENE HYDRANCE OPTIMALE UV LIGHT SPF 20
ELIZABETH ARDEN EIGHT HOUR SUN DEFENSE FOR FACE SPF 50
LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS ULTRA-LIGHT SUN CREAM FLUID SPF 50