Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Preparing to get my Body back; Plans for Fitness post baby!

*This post contains PR samples gifted to me for review*

Over the last couple of months my fitness has really taken a knock; obviously I have a pretty good reason for this and it's not just because I'm being lazy, but sometimes it still does really get to me that my body isn't how it used to be. Being a first time pregnant lady has really taken it's toll on my body and my mental health surrounding the way I look and although being pregnant is one of the best things to ever happen to me (no matter how shitty it's been) I still long for the days of wearing size 8 clothes and feeling good in my own skin again.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Primark PINK; Their most Aesthetically pleasing range to date, but do they work?

As you can all imagine I got pretty damn excited when this package from Primark arrived in the post for me. A Pink makeup range like this is surely enough to get any beauty bloggers hearts racing?! Being an extremely affordable range the PS Pink range at Primark is one that many of us have been wanting to try out for a while and especially for me, I've wanted to know just how good it really is. 

If you've read some of my recent posts, you'll know that the Primark Bronze Eyeshadow Palette compared to the Urban Decay Naked Palette really well for  me; I was super impressed and loved the pigmentation and buttery feel to the shadows, however unfortunately I can't quite hype up the Primak Eye Candy palette quite as much. Having tried this a couple of times since receiving this I have to say I just haven't been that impressed. The shades are gorgeous and with a little setting spray really do stay put on your lids all day, but in terms of the initial application and the shadows themselves, I'm just not a happy bunny. It really pains me to say this as I loved loved loved the Bronze Palette so much and was really impressed with the formulation but for this Pink range, it's just not up to scratch.  The shades are absolutely beautiful but the pigmentation really isn't there with these ones. As you can tell from the images above, the palette is pretty pastel but unfortunately the colour just doesn't come through when brushed onto the eyes. One in particular that I was the most disappointed in was the deep purple on the bottom right as this took quite a lot of build up to even get near the shade showed in the pan. Although disappointing as dry shadows I have to say a little spritz of water on the brush and these do apply a lot better wet and obviously then produce a lot less kick back than they do as powders. It's not all doom and gloom for the rest of the Ps Pink range though as if you read on you'll see how I've been loving lots more of the collection!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

How I'm Preventing Stretch-Marks with Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Range

Getting pregnant is such an amazing thing. Who knew our bodies could handle so much and create such a beautiful thing so naturally? Pregnancy is such an incredible journey for you and your body  but it's also a bloody difficult one and for your body to go through so many changes in such a short period of time (although it feels like you're pregnant for around ten years) sometimes it does just need a little TLC. Throughout my pregnancy there have been quite a lot of products that I've been religiously using to combat some of the slightly more horrid side effects that my body's been throwing my way (you can find the majority of these in my Pregnancy Essentials blog post) but more recently I've been trying out a couple of other products to try and fight against one of the most common side effects of growing a baby.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Skincare Review

*This post contains PR samples gifted to me for review*

We all know that skincare is something I'm passionate about. I mean, give me a good facial scrub, cleanser or moisturiser any day of the week and it's likely we'll be best friends forever. Skincare is something that I'll never skimp on and being a beauty blogger, I love the fact that I get the opportunity to try out so many new and amazing products (and some not so great ones, but we'll try not to dwell on those). As a blogger and skincare enthusiast, my skincare collection (believe it or not) is quite sizeable and recently it's been added to yet again. This month I've been trying out some of the Vitamin C+ Brighten range from Skin Facialist by Una Brennan, a brand I'd not really heard too much about before now but have definitely started to see cropping up everywhere over the gram (you can follow me here). 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Nesting made easy; Why Milton have it sussed for Mum's to be!

There are so many things to think about as a new Mum and every time you think you've got it sussed and got everything ready for the arrival of your baby someone else pipes up with something you haven't thought of. Honestly, the amount of times in the last month alone that I've sat and thought about how bad a Mum I'm going to be just because I haven't thought of buying a baby thermometer or I haven't bought any sleeping bags for her is just ridiculous (FYI I now have both). I think when it comes to having a baby for the first time you really do go in blind; no matter how many people tell you what to get, what not to get and try and force advice upon you, you really just don't know what you're going to need and what you're going to be like as parents until it actually happens. This whole time I've thought I'm as prepared as I can be for our little girl making her appearance and until she's here and crying through the night and needing her nappy changed, I don't think I'll ever actually be ready. 

One thing I definitely didn't think of when it came to preparing myself for our baby was sterilising. Like, what the hell is sterilising when it comes to a baby?! Naïve little Beky over here literally didn't have a clue. I think it was actually through Mrs Meldrum or Kate Murnane that I first realised sterilising ready for your baby was a thing. Obviously (kind of) I knew that when it came to having a baby everything had to be cleaned thoroughly and clothes had to be washed on a certain, more gentle setting with detergent that wasn't going to aggravate her skin, but as far as actual sterilising was concerned for bottles and breast pumps and surfaces baby would be touching, I didn't know the first thing. 

Milton has been a leading name in baby sterilising equipment at home for around 70 years now and as I've been well and truly settling into my 'nesting' period (the period where us new mamas just want to frantically clean and prepare everything), they're the brand I've turned to for all of my baby preparing needs. Trusted by Mums, Milton have got everything covered when it comes to hygiene for our little ones and ensuring that surfaces and feeding equipment are sterilised ready for use. When I first did a bit of research on how and what to sterilise I was quite amazed by how easy Milton have made it for us; something that sounds so daunting when you first hear about it and is so important to your baby's health and immune system is definitely not as complicated as it seems at all. Obviously I haven't had much experience with sterilising with a baby just yet as my baby girl still has a couple more weeks of cooking to do, but just by reading the Milton website and watching their step-by-step videos on how to properly sterilise your baby's bottles and toys I already feel like I'm an expert and will be ready to go when it comes to sterilising everything for it's first use.

One set of products I have been using religiously as I get bubba's room ready though have been from the Milton hygiene range. Their 3-in-1 Anti-bacterial Surface Spray and Anti-bacterial Surface Wipes have been all I've been using to ensure everything in her room is baby ready before the big day. As part of the Milton family, the 3-in-1 Antibacterial Surface Spray still cleans, disinfects and freshens the surfaces it comes into contact with but without being full of the harsh chemicals that other cleaning sprays are. With it containing no bleach or alcohol, I feel really safe using this and have been using it on every surface available in her room and will be using it on every other surface I can think of when she finally arrives. I love how easy it is to just spray on and wipe over with a damp cloth and can definitely see this becoming a staple in our household for everyday cleaning when baby is here. Items like her bath support, high chair (when she's old enough) and changing table can easily be cleaned with this with no extra fuss and I know it'll leave everything safe for her to use straight away. 

The other product I've been loving lately and can honestly see me carrying around with me everywhere are the Antibacterial Surface Wipes from Milton. An easy compact pack of antibacterial wipes perfect for keeping everywhere for a quick clean up solution. Again these are bleach and alcohol free, so perfectly safe for baby and just like the surface spray, these kill up to 99.9% of germs.  Easy and mess free with no need for water and a cloth, these wipes are going to be perfect for having in my changing bag to clean up any messes, for a quick clean of any toys or dummy's or wiping over changing surfaces when we're on the go. I don't know about you, but the idea of changing my baby's bare bum on one of those communal changing tables in public toilets has my skin crawling and so a pack of these Milton Antibacterial wipes are definitely going to be a must for carrying around with me. These are also going to be great for at home, having a pack next to our changing table will be a must and especially in the kitchen for a quick clean of the high chair before meals; they're already so handy and I can see us buying pack after pack of these when bubba is here! 

Milton really do seem to have it sussed when it comes to cleaning and sterilising and as the day of our little girl arriving comes closer and closer (just under 4 weeks now) I'm finding myself reading more and more on the different methods and how-to's for preparing everything for her. Milton products will 100% be replacing the usual surface wipes and sprays we use in our house to make sure we're baby safe and not using chemicals that are too harsh for her skin. I can't wait to get my hands on some of the sterilising products and getting all of her bottles etc ready for use over the next few weeks before she arrives! 

What are your baby sterilising tips and tricks? I'd love to get as much advice as I can in the comments from some of you mamas out there! 

This is not a paid for advertorial however I was kindly gifted the products to review. 

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)

Monday, 31 July 2017

Clarins SOS Face Masks Review; The best Clay Mask ever?!

Face masks are always hit or miss for me; I am obsessed with the idea of popping a mask on twice a week and letting all of the masky goodness sort my face out but in reality the time I actually spend with a face mask on is barely anything at all. I don't know if it's just me, but the idea of sitting and putting a face mask on really excites me but also really wares me down, questions like 'do I have enough time?' or 'Can I actually be bothered?' cross my mind and I never end up doing one until my face is in desperate need. The idea of face masks being quick and easy is not cemented in my head and yet that's exactly what they are. 10 minutes on and a quick wash off and you're good to go; so why don't I do one more often? I guess the answer to that is that I haven't really found one that wows me with it's instant results. Leaving a clay mask on for ten minutes is great in reality but when you break out in spots the next day it all seems like it was for nothing. In actual fact that's the complete opposite response you should be having because a good clear out of your skin is why the mask was a good idea and kept to a regular masking routine, you shouldn't have the breakouts. The new Clarins' SOS face mask range is the perfect example of that. For the past few weeks I've been having a play around with the new Clarins SOS face masks and have come to the conclusion that I'm just lazy! With three different kinds of face masks for your different facial needs Clarins have really hit the nail on the head with these because they have cleared up my skin and made it appear more glowy and hydrated with just three simple steps.

 First up I wanted to talk to you about my personal favourite of the three; SOS Pure. SOS Pure is a green clay mask with alpine willow herb extract designed to leave your skin velvety soft after sorting your skins imperfections. Perfect for combination to oily skin (hiya) this rebalancing mask works to purify the skin without drying like other clay masks do. I've popped this mask on with a face mask brush (as to minimise product waste) for around the last two weeks every couple of days and have really liked the results. Of course, having not religiously masked for the past couple of months (if not longer) I had an initial break out of a couple of spots around my chin and nose area but after cleansing with my usual skincare routine and applying this mask again every couple of days the breakouts became less and less. Almost three weeks in my skin is now pretty clear and although a hormonal spot might appear every now and again (I am growing a human after all) I'm pretty chuffed with the results. SOS Pure has a really gorgeous fresh scent to it which instantly makes me feel calm and with it being so easy to apply and rinse off with cool water I genuinely think I've found my new favourite clay mask. I know you probably think this is me just babbling on but compared to my other fave clay masks that I continuously repurchase and apply every now and again (Origins Charocal Mask being one of them), I am obsessed with the fact that this one doesn't dry onto my skin. Don't get me wrong, I love a good skin-cracking drying clay mask as they really feel like they're doing wonders, but one of the reasons I don't reach for them too often is because they take a while to scrub off; this Clarins SOS Pure face mask is completely different to other clay masks I've tried and with a little cool water is so easily removed. It feels cool and light on my skin and the results really prove how much of a good job it does without having to pull my face apart by drying. It's one I've reached for every single time I've wanted to mask over the past few weeks and I can guarantee it'll be the one I keep reaching for too. 

Clarins SOS Hydra is the next mask that's recently been released and is 100% not the kind of face mask I'd usually go for. Being a mask-when-I-feel-like-it kinda gal, the masks I only every tend to reach for are clay masks that I really feel are grabbing the dirt from within. Hydrating and moisturising masks are really only something I'd choose to use if I'm having an especially dry skin day and even then I'd probably pick up a heavy duty moisturisers instead. The SOS Hydra refreshing mask is a mask designed for all skin types to re-boost the skins moisture with leaf of life extract and a hyaluronic acid complex. This mask has a cream/gel formula and smooths over the skin really easily to instantly hydrate your skin from the get-go. Once again, as with all of Clarins' new face masks this one stays on your skin for ten minutes before you can wipe it off, but what I especially like about this one (and the SOS Comfort, which I'll talk about in a second) is that you don't remove it with water! I know, say what?! The SOS Hydra face mask is to be removed with a cotton pad and lotion and being me, I'm not entirely sure what is meant by lotion but I've been removing mine with a cotton pad and some of my favourite toner. It leaves my skin feeling super bouncy and hydrated and I don't feel like I've washed away any of the goodness. I've been using this face mask after I've been using the SOS Pure clay mask either on the same day or on the day after, just to re-introduce the moisture into my skin and my skin has definitely been loving me for it! 

Last but by no means least in the trio of new Clarins SOS face masks is the SOS Comfort Nourishing balm mask which is designed for dry skin. As many misconceive, there is definitely a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin and this mask is one for those who have dry and tight skin. Having never really tried a mask that is more of a balm than anything else, I was pretty excited to try this one out. Although my skin is combination most of the time I do get pretty dry skin more often than I'd like; using a lot of spot-banishing cleansers and skincare bits really does strip my skin of a lot of it's natural moisture and so I usually have to slather my skin in moisturiser to try and get it back to life. That isn't always that great of a solution though as it can take a lot of moisturiser to sort out my face and so an intensive balm mask to re-nourish my skin was exactly what I needed! I'd say of all three masks this would be the one I use the least as more of a treat for my skin as with using the SOS Hydra mask once a week and how my skin usually is, I wouldn't really need to re-nourish it quite that often, but from using it so far, I can tell it's the perfect mask for my skin on those really dry days! Again I removed this mask with a couple of cotton pads semi-soaked in toner and the feel of my face after was just gorgeous. It made it feel so much bouncier and full of life and definitely not dry which is a really great result for having it on for such a short period of time. My skin 100% felt more nourished and healthier and I really could feel the difference compared to the SOS Hydra mask. This one really does make your skin more comfortable and less dried out whereas the Hydra mask really gives your skin the extra re-hydration that it needs to keep it looking bouncy and healthy on a daily basis! 

At £30 for a 75ml tube, I'd say these masks are really well priced; They're absolutely gorgeous and perfect for an array of different skin types and skin issues and last forever with how little you need each use. My skin has well and truly loved being pampered by these three and I will definitely repurchase any of them in a heart beat when I run out - especially the SOS Pure and Comfort. 

These are available now from Clarins. Will you be trying any of them?

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)


Friday, 28 July 2017

My current Haircare Favourites Part 1: Palmer's Olive Oil Formula

Palmer's Olive Oil Formula

I have to be honest with you; haircare isn't one of my main priorities in life. Don't get me wrong, I love my hair looking sleek and smooth but compared to my extensive skincare routine, my haircare shelf is really lacking in substance. Not being all that talented when it comes to my hair and the styles I can produce, the extent to which I actually bother with it is pretty minimal. I wash my hair around every three or so days (let's be serious here, it's usually a lot longer) and in terms of styling, it's either in a pony tail or up in a bun - not very imaginative at all! I'd absolutely love to be a whizz kid with my styling tools and be able to do a plethora of braids and fancy up do's, but sadly that's just not me and even though I have been trying to teach myself a couple of different styles (I've been semi-successful with a french braid) for the majority of the time, my hair is just something that gets a little bit left behind. I don't bother with my hair that often and so the products I use are pretty minimal, but I do have a couple of favourites that I keep going back to time and time again and a couple of new bits that I've recently been introduced to that I can't imagine not using in the future. For this post, I wanted to talk about the new products that I've been loving recently for keeping my hair in tip-top condition from a brand that I didn't even know did haircare, but keep your eyes peeled soon for part 2 where I talk all about my favourite John Frieda products also!

Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Palmer's Olive Oil Formula

Palmer's are a brand that I have been intrigued by for a very long time; having not really used many of their products due to the fact that I'm majorly lazy and barely ever moisturise, when I found out they made hair care products I was almost literally bowled over. If you've recently read my Pregnancy Essentials blog post, then you'll know that I've recently been loving their Stretch Mark cream and being the naïve little blogger that I am, I had no idea their range really expanded any further than just body care products. I do have a separate post coming soon on some more of their bump/pregnancy range so make sure you keep an eye out for that by following BekyLou.com but for now I wanted to talk to you about their amazing Olive Oil Formula range for hair! 

The first product I need you to know about (yes you read that right; you need to know about this product) is the Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Cleansing Conditioner Co-Wash. When I opened up the PR package and saw this I was honestly confused; so it's a conditioner but also a shampoo alternative? I have to admit that for probably the first time in my life I actually sat and read the directions on this before using it - let's be honest, how many times have you grabbed a new product and just gone in guns blazing without actually reading the instructions? I'm so glad that I did though because I would have definitely got this one wrong had I just stormed ahead. This Cleansing Conditioner Co-Wash is a non-lathering shampoo and conditioner concoction that you massage into your scalp and lengths of your hair and leave for the majority of your shower before rinsing out. There's no need for any other shampoos or conditioners to support it and although it is a little bit of a strange concept, I really loved it. I used around 30 pumps for my hair when around 20 is recommended for short hair and between 20-40 for longer hair and massaged this into my scalp and ends. After leaving for the remainder of my shower (which was about 5 minutes) I rinsed it out and then towel dried my hair like normal and my godddd my hair has been loving me ever since! I decided to not blow dry the first time I used this as I wanted to see how my hair reacted to it naturally and I swear to God this left my hair leaving incredibly soft. It felt like my hair had been to rehab and I've been very very impressed! As it is quite a scalp heavy, oil based product I won't be using this every time I wash my hair, but in the past two weeks I've used it twice (washing my hair roughly every three days as I've been swimming more) and my hair just feels so so nourished and healthy and right now I couldn't recommend this more!

Next up is the Olive Oil Leave in Conditioner and before I even start talking about this I have to say I've never really been a massive fan of these kinds of products. Leave in conditioners scare me a little as I absolutely hate the feel of too many products in my hair and I always feel like they weigh my hair down quite a bit; it's never been a product I've ever purchased or reached for out of choice, but I was really looking forward to giving this a go to see if it could change my mind! To start off with, I spritzed in two to three sprays of this into my dry & frizzy hair (thank you swimming with my hair in a bun) and brushed it through after around a minute. Now, after doing this I realised that you're meant to spray it in to slightly damp hair so not the best of starts (see what I mean about rushing in and getting things wrong?) but it still had a pretty nice effect on my hair and didn't leave it feeling too heavy like others have done in the past. It definitely looked and felt a lot healthier and gave my hair a really nice shine too. Having made my mistake though, the next time I used it I sprayed it into my damp  / roughly towel dried hair two to three times and let it settle before brushing it through and this made a great difference. The ends of my hair appeared healthier and where my hair before looked a little frizzy and on the verge of splitting, this just gave it a new lease of life and gave it a much softer touch and less frizzy appearance. Having read the back of the bottle this time around I noticed that it was also perfect to use as a heat protectant with styling and is good for preventing split ends which was something I didn't think a leave in conditioner would do. I have to say, this product has definitely changed my mind on these products, and I will definitely be picking this up more often for an in-between wash hair pick-me-up!

Last but not least has been the Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Dry Oil Mist which again is a product that I wouldn't normally pick up as I hate having my hair feeling weighty or too oily but I've been really impressed with this! One or two sprays through the lengths of my hair is definitely enough for me and   makes it feel so alive and makes it look so much healthier and like a freshly washed barnet compared to a three day old mop (which lets be honest it almost always will be). All three Olive Oil Formula products I've tried have left my hair smelling absolutely incredible too, but for some reason this one has to be my favourite so far! This Palmer's Dry Oil seems so light weight too which is a nice change to other dry oil's I've tried in the past; I also haven't found it to make my hair too oily which for an olive oil based dry oil I find quite impressive and I've actually really been liking this. My hair often gets quite dry and brittle because of how much I'm throwing it up in a bun and am in the pool and having a product like this that I can just throw in my swim bag and refresh my hair with after is perfect!

I really haven't had the best experience with these kind of products previously and was quite nervous to try these out before I started testing (I'm literally so ridiculous) but having these products all impress me so much has been great. Like I've mentioned above I'll definitely be keeping the Conditioning Co-Wash in my haircare routine from now on and the other two bits are perfect for the in-between days or when I'm having a swim. It's so nice to find products that suit my lifestyle and that are great for the hair too! All three of these products are free of sulphates and parabens too which makes me even more inclined to use them on my hair! Have you tried any of Palmer's Olive Oil range before? What do you make of them or would these be something you're likely to pick up and try?

BekyLou, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog based in the South West and London.
(*this post may contain items gifted to me for PR purposes*)


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Shopping Beauty with Ideal World TV

Shopping online for beauty bits is always easy for me; I usually head to the same websites that I know and love and normally always have something in mind before I go to purchase. I never really stray from the brands that I'm used to and don't really buy a product if I can't try them before I buy (or at least read a couple of pretty fabulous reviews) especially when it comes to slightly pricier products.  When it comes to makeup and skincare I usually know what I like and so to part with my cash on a brand I've never heard of is an almost impossible feat. When I was approached by Ideal World to receive one of their bloggers boxes though I was pretty excited, having never shopped with them before or tried some of the products they have to offer, I was like a kid in a sweet shop and couldn't wait to get my hands on them. Being set in my ways, buying from a website like Ideal World had never really occurred to me before and so I felt extremely lucky to be sent a box of goodies to try out and review. For this blog post I've picked out all of the beauty bits that were very generously sent across to me; the box was packed to the brim full of incredible products and I can't wait to get trying them all, but for now I wanted to showcase some of the stand outs! Keep your eyes peeled over the coming weeks for more reviews, specifically skincare related.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Tan-Luxe Illuminating Self Tanning Facial Drops

Applying fake tan is always such a ball ache. I'm not going to beat around the bush here, applying fake tan is probably one of the least enjoyable moments in life and I definitely see it as more of a chore than a beauty task I love doing weekly. Every tan I've ever tried has always had some kind of issue with it; I mean it could be the most perfect tan and after waiting a couple of hours before washing it off it could give the most perfect glow, but there's still the fact of having to wait to wash it off. If there's one thing we all know over here on BekyLou.com it's that I'm incredibly impatient and for me that usually means tanning on the weekly is a no go. One product that I've recently been trying  out however is one that I think I can get on board with.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Magnitone Go Bare Lady Shaver Review

As a lady with hair and a lady who's hair (like all of us) grows wherever the hell it likes on her body, an easy to use shaver is a must-have. I've struggled for years to get my shaving down to a 'T' and even now at the age of 22, I still don't like my routine. However, I was recently kindly sent a new product from Magnitone (you know, the guys who make my favourite facial cleansing brush?) and the days of crappy razors are now behind me. Since receiving this beautiful shell shaped shaver in the post, I haven't used anything else. The Magnitone Go Bare is a 2 in 1 Trimmer + Shaver specifically designed for us ladies to help us with our intimate shaving; it's clever design boasts a two sided shaving head for a closer and more intimate shave and can be used wet or dry. The Go Bare is also 'handbag sized' according to the packaging, but honestly it's so much smaller than you'd think; I'm able to easily hold this in the palm of one hand, which makes it absolutely perfect for taking on the go with you. It even has a special travel safety feature, which means it's a great tool for travelling and you won't have those awkward moments where it's magically turned itself on during your journeys! 

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