Tuesday 31 July 2018

Testing Image Skincare

Image Skincare Review

Image Skincare isn't a brand I was familiar with, until I discovered it through the magic of Instagram, that is. I commented on a post by another blogger, mentioning that the moisturiser they were recommending looked interesting, and the next thing I knew, the brand in question had got in touch with me asking if I would like to try some products. Naturally, I said yes!

Image Skincare is a US based brand. Developed 14 years ago by aesthetician Janna Ronert, the products are created from smart botanicals and high percentages of safe, proven active ingredients, free from parabens and designed to deliver healthy, radiant, younger looking skin. After a brief discussion with the PR about my skin type and current concerns, I was sent over a cleanser and moisturiser to try, together with a couple of sample sized products, which was a nice surprise.

Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser*

Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser Review

I am quite picky about cleansers. As long term readers of my blog will know, I have quite temperamental combination skin, and at times it can be difficult to walk the line between getting it clean enough to avoid congestion and breakouts, and drying it out. The cleanser I always go back to - my trusted favourite for many years - is the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, and it's rare for me to find one that works as well for me as that. This one comes very close indeed, and I think that anyone with a similar skin type to me, or indeed anyone who appreciates a cleanser that's effective yet gentle at the same time, would enjoy this.

Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser Review

Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser Review

Like the Clarins product, the Ormedic cleanser is a gel consistency, perfect for using on its own as a morning cleanse and in the evenings after removing makeup with a micellar water. This is how I've been using it for the past few weeks. Containing organic chamomile, green tea and oat kernel extract, it has a beautiful, subtle fragrance and feels very pleasant to use, lathering slightly as you massage it into your skin. It leaves my face feeling clean and refreshed yet also soft, which is essentially everything I want in a cleanser.

Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme*

Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme Review

Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme Review

This beautiful moisturiser is anti-oxidant rich and contains Vitamins A, C and E to nourish the skin and provide anti-ageing benefits. I have been loving using this as my night cream for the past month or so. It's super hydrating without leaving my skin greasy in the slightest, and also smells very subtly of oranges, which I love. Best of all, my skin looks plumped and refreshed when I wake up in the morning. 

Although I've been careful to wear my SPF throughout the heatwave we've been having in the UK recently, the Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme feels very soothing to apply and is suitable for sensitive and sun burned skin, so it's a lovely one to use after a long day spent in the summer heat.

Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturiser SPF 50*

Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturiser SPF 50

Speaking of SPF, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a couple of bonus samples along with the full sized products, one of which was this Ultimate Protection Moisturiser with SPF 50. Thanks to this amazing hot weather, it was the perfect time to test it, and I can honestly say it is one of the best facial sun creams I have ever tried. It's hydrating, so there is no need for an additional moisturiser - I just used this in place of my usual day cream and then applied my makeup over the top. Despite offering such high sun protection, it behaved no differently from a normal moisturiser. It didn't feel heavy, and didn't interfere with my makeup. Like the other products, it smells beautiful - the scent of this one reminds me a little of pineapples for some reason!

Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Mask*

Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Mask Review

The second sample I was sent is part of the Vital C range and has the same delicious orange fragrance as the Hydrating Repair Creme. Like the Creme, the Enzyme Mask contains Vitamins A, C and E, and it provides the dual benefit of gently exfoliating away the build up of dull, dry skin while at the same time nourishing and hydrating the complexion. You can apply this to cleansed skin for 5 to 30 minutes, depending on what your skin needs. I found mine was drinking this up, so I left it on for the full 30 minutes. Afterwards, it was radiant and glowing. 

I've been so impressed with all the products I've tried from Image Skincare. And very thankful to Instagram for introducing me to this brand in the first place!

Have you tried anything from Image Skincare?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Thursday 19 July 2018

Date Night In Harrogate

Date Night In Harrogate

A couple of weeks ago, my husband Mike and I treated ourselves to a night out in Harrogate, one of our favourite towns in North Yorkshire. It's only about an hour's drive from us, but we decided to stay overnight just to make it that little bit more special.

I've tried to capture a little bit of the town here, (some of it through our dirty car windscreen - apologies for that!) and it is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in this part of the world. It has some lovely boutiques, art and antique shops as well as a great selection of the higher end high street stores, and loads of restaurants and cafes too. Betty's Tea Room is particularly famous, although we didn't eat there this time as we have been many times before. I also love looking at the townhouses here - they are beautiful.

Architecture and town amenities aside, this vlog also features food, (amazing pasta at Galo's Kitchen, totally recommend!) my outfits and a mini Get Ready With Me. You even get to see a tiny glimpse of Mike! 

You can watch the video on my YouTube channel or right here. If you enjoy it, I would love it if you subscribed for more vlogs as well as fashion and beauty content.

Until next time!

Kate x

Friday 13 July 2018

Dressing For The Long Hot UK Summer

Dressing For The Long Hot UK Summer

Well, this isn't a blog post title I ever thought I'd be writing! UK summers can be many things, but  long and hot? Honestly, sustained periods of properly hot, sunny weather just don't happen here. At least not since 1976, so I'm reliably informed, but I wasn't born then so it doesn't count!

So far, the summer of 2018 has been incredible, and I've been loving getting out and about and enjoying it. For someone like me, who feels cold at the faintest suggestion of a breeze in the air, it's been really refreshing to not have to think about taking some sort of cover up with me everywhere I go over these past few weeks. Dressing has felt so effortless, just like being on holiday!

Summer 2018 OOTD

That said, what I've been wearing at home is slightly different to what I would wear on holiday, even if, for once, the temperature is pretty much the same. While I might feel perfectly comfortable in denim shorts and a vest top in a beach resort, it's not something I would dream of wearing around a UK city. Perhaps it's just me, but at home, I feel much more comfortable in something a little more covered up and a little more polished.

Finding multi-tasking clothes - those that suit both a beachy holiday vibe and my usual environment - is always a bonus, and I've been lucky enough this summer to snap up a few pieces like that, such as this button down dress from Topshop and this lovely Zara Midi Dress too. However, I've also been enjoying putting together outfits for this unusual UK heat that I probably wouldn't wear on holiday. Like this one, for example.

What to wear in the UK in Summer

The Top

What can I say? It has oversized tortoiseshell buttons! I have made no secret of my love for this trend and having seen this gorgeous Topshop blouse all over Instagram I just had to have it. The asymmetric fastening adds a touch of interest to an otherwise simple piece, the relaxed fit is perfect for the warm weather and it looks just as pretty worn loose over jeans as it does tucked into a high waisted skirt. Not only that, but it washes like a dream and doesn't need ironing, which just makes me love it all the more!

The Skirt

I've had this H&M denim skirt for a while now, and it has been so incredibly useful. Just like a trusty pair of jeans, a denim skirt works with pretty much anything and they have long been a staple in my wardrobe. I still enjoy a classic denim mini on occasion, but I love the longer length of this one, which makes it that little bit more wearable on a day to day basis for me, especially here in the UK. H&M currently have this very similar skirt in stock if you fancy checking it out.

Rose Quartz And Sterling Silver Necklace

The Finishing Touches

First of all, I just have to mention this beautiful, delicate necklace* which I was very kindly sent a few weeks ago by Daisy London. I adore dainty jewellery, and this tiny rose quartz pendant on a pretty bobble chain is the perfect piece to complete any outfit and to wear every day.

Hand crafted in sterling silver, it is part of Daisy London's Healing Stones range, and, as well as looking beautiful, it carries a deeper meaning too. Rose quartz is a symbol of unconditional love, and has long been believed to promote the strengthening of bonds within relationships. How lovely is that?

Necklace from Daisy London Jewellery

Daisy London has a mouth-watering selection of Semi Precious Gemstone Jewellery to choose from, and each piece has its own particular meaning and its own positive energy to impart to the wearer. Definitely worth a look if you're in the market for new jewellery, or have a gift to buy.

In addition to the necklace, I'm wearing my Olivia Burton watch - a piece I'm still loving and which adds a touch of luxe to any look, my cream circle bag from Topshop (now sold out) - which I am sure you are all sick of seeing by now, and my H&M espadrille wedges. Again, these are old, but the same design is available in a different colour.

This outfit has had a ton of wear over the past few weeks, and I for one am hoping I'm not back in jeans and jumpers any time soon!

What have your favourite outfits been lately?

Kate x

*Gifted item. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Monday 9 July 2018

New Hydrogel Sheet Masks From Skin Republic

New Hydrogel Sheet Masks From Skin Republic

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me gleefully unboxing the subject of today's blog post a couple of weeks back. Blogger mail is always wonderful to receive, particularly when it's surprise blogger mail, and even more so when that surprise just happens to be something you really need. This was the case when Skin Republic sent me the four new sheet masks from their hydrogel range. I was just recovering from a tummy bug (or possibly food poisoning - whichever it was, my love affair with sushi has officially ended) and my skin was looking dehydrated and in serious need of some TLC. So it's fair to say I was delighted when I opened up the package and found this lovely treat inside.

Sheet masks for brightening and nourishing

Skin Republic make all kinds of sheet masks for every skin concern you can think of. They make cleansing and purifying masks, hydrating masks, lifting and toning masks, brightening masks, nourishing masks and more. They even make masks for your d├ęcolletage, hands and feet. I've tried quite a few in the past and been impressed with the vast majority of them, but this was my first time trying the hydrogel range.

Hydrogel Sheet Masks

Unlike the more traditional, paper-like sheet masks, the hydrogel masks feel more... well, gel-like, and according to Skin Republic are designed to "act like a second skin, locking in the nutrient rich serum to leave your skin hydrated and glowing." In terms of application and usage, all four of them are exactly the same. After cleansing, you remove the mask from the sachet and peel off the paper backing, apply to your face and leave for 30 to 40 minutes. Luckily, the masks stick quite well, so you can walk around and do other things during this time. When you're finished, you simply peel off the mask and pat any excess serum gently into your skin.

I found all of the masks to have a fairly light but pleasant scent, and to be slightly cold on first application, but not at all unpleasant to wear. I have the world's tiniest head, so I can often find sheet masks to be a poor fit on me, but these are split into two pieces so I was able to overlap them in the centre and create a much better fit, which was great. While all the masks are designed to give you hydration and glow, each one has its own particular ingredients and intended benefits, so below I have provided a brief summary of each one, together with my own findings after trying them.

Seaweed Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Seaweed Hydrogel Mask

Claims: - Targets the visible signs of ageing for a more youthful and luminous complexion. Seaweed is packed with anti-ageing actives which visibly enhance skin's elasticity and suppleness. Chamomile Flower and Peony soothe skin, helping to reduce redness leaving skin glowing.

I found: - My skin looked so healthy after using this mask. It was definitely radiant and glowing. This would be a lovely one to use before an event.

Green Tea Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Green Tea Hydrogel Mask

Claims: - Protects skin and prevents damage caused by environmental pollutants. Green Tea is packed with powerful antioxidants helping to fight against premature skin ageing caused by free radicals. Chamomile Flower soothes skin and helps reduce redness. Skin is left nourished and protected.

I found: - I could see that my fine lines were smoothed, and my complexion felt noticeably softer too.

Collagen Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Mask

Claims: - Instantly reveals a radiant, glowing complexion. Nutrient packed Sea Minerals nourish and hydrate. Collagen and Argan Oil help reduce the visible signs of ageing. Skin appears smooth, plump and more youthful.

I found: - Again, my fine lines looked smoothed out, probably a little more so than with the Green Tea mask. My skin also felt firmer.

Retinol Hydrogel Mask*

Skin Republic Retinol Hydrogel Sheet Mask

Claims: - With Retinol to support natural collagen, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and increase skin's elasticity. Radiance boosting Peony, Jojoba and Hyaluronic Acid replenish lost moisture and reduce the appearance of sensitivity for firmer, younger looking skin.

I found: - I definitely felt as though my complexion looked rejuvenated after using this mask. My skin looked more even in tone and nicely plumped.

Skin Republic Hydrogel Sheet Masks are £6.99 each and are available from both Superdrug and Look Fantastic. If like me you are always on the lookout for little skin boosting treats to keep in reserve for times of need, I can definitely recommend these.

What masks have you been enjoying lately?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Tuesday 3 July 2018

June Favourites

June Beauty And Fashion Favourites 2018

I could panic about it being halfway through the year, or I could just be happy about this beautiful summer weather we're enjoying in the UK right now and share my June Favourites instead!

It's mostly beauty this month, plus one fashion favourite.

Other than that I've been loving the warmth and sunshine, barbecues and a glass of wine in the garden, and - surprisingly - the World Cup! My husband is a football fan, so he loves these big tournaments. Rather than complain about there being a match on every night, I've been taking an interest, and now I'm the one telling him to hurry up and get home with the drinks and snacks in time for the game. I don't even know who I am any more.

You can watch the video on YouTube or right here if you prefer. If you like what you see, I would love it if you subscribed to my channel too. I am inching my way towards my first 100 subscribers and I would love to achieve that before the summer is over.

What have your favourites been this month?

Kate x
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