Thursday, 1 October 2020

You'd better check yourself: Estée Lauder Breast Cancer Campaign 2020

Perhaps unsurprisingly, thanks to Covid, comes the alarming news that not only is the winter set to bring a perfect storm in terms of mental health, but just as seriously, nearly half of women in the UK are now less likely to share their breast cancer concerns.

One in five women have deprioritised their breast health; this rises to 1 in 4 for those under the age of 45. GP surgery closures during the pandemic have already made it more difficult to visit a doctor; this is despite the fact that a fifth of under-45s are unlikely to visit, even if they have noticed a change in their breasts.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made two-thirds of women feel less connected and more isolated. But the good news is that the vast majority want to unite in the face of breast cancer.

A step towards this can be taken by saving a date in your diary: on Wednesday 21st October, 2020 at 7pm UK time, The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland are looking to host the largest ever self-check via Zoom with special guests including Global Ambassador Elizabeth Hurley and Dr Zoe Williams. This has been organised in the hope of bringing people together and encouraging everyone to be breast aware.

If you can't make the self-check, you can also support the campaign by buying classic beauty products - purchases of the following products in October result in a donation to help fight breast cancer:

• AVEDA – Hand Relief Moisturising Creme with Cherry Almond Aroma ($5 per purchase) 

• BOBBI BROWN – Luxe Matt Lip Color Duo (100% RRP minus VAT)

• DARPHIN – INTRAL Redness Relief Soothing Serum (20% RRP minus VAT)

• ESTÉE LAUDER – Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex (20% of RRP minus VAT)

• GLAMGLOW – Bubblesheet Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Mask (20% of RRP minus VAT)

• JO MALONE – Peony & Blush Suede 100ml Cologne (£20 per purchase in the UK and €25 per purchase in Ireland)

• LA MER – Crème de la Mer Moisturising Cream 15ml (50% of RRP minus VAT)

• ORIGINS – Blooming Lip Duo (100% of RRP)

Details of how you can support the campaign this year, download our self-check leaflet and access the live self-check are at

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Lee Stafford Coco Loco with Agave Shine Mask


RRP: £7.99 for 200ml (20ml travel version £1.99)

--What does the promo say?--

"An Intensive Treatment designed to bring hair back to life. This moisturising Coconut Mask with Hydrolyzed Milk Protein and Agave essence, works to reduce protein loss, strengthen hair and prevent breakage. Moisturising, strengthening, smoothing. Enhances shine. New tropical Coconut and Agave fragrance."


Mine arrived from Lee Stafford's PR in a neat little 20ml sachet, which is perfect for travel. For at home use, you can buy a whole pot of the stuff with a practical screw-top lid. Both capitalise on the range's pale pink colour scheme and position images of the product's key ingredients prominently. The "Coco Loco" element of the logo is embossed onto the packaging in shiny gold letters, adding a further luxurious feel.


Smooth through wet hair after shampooing. Use around 20mls-worth through your entire head of hair, smoothing it through to the end. Leave in for 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly; you can also follow up with conditioner if you like, but I didn't find it was necessary.


A pale pink lotion which leaves no visible residue on the hair.


As promised, very coconutty, and as such immediately evocative of summer holidays, without going full suntan lotion on you.

--Texture and consistency--

Sumptuously thick without being lumpy, and smooths through hair easily, without sliding out during the treatment time. Conversely, when you want to wash it out, this is not tricky at all, with no sticky residue.

--Effects on the hair--

Hair definitely felt softer and fluffier, and visibly voluminised and shinier. Does everything it promises! I also found I could go longer between hair washes (always a blessing when you have longer hair) when using this product.

--Value for money--

The large pot of this contains 200ml, or approximately 10 uses. This comes to 79p a use - definitely worth your dosh. While the single-use sachets are more expensive than this, they're great for pimping your hairdo while travelling, and I would still thoroughly recommend them as an affordable treat that has the desired effect. Lee Stafford...the boy done good.

perfect partners*

Shampoo, £1.99-£10.99 (50ml, 250ml, 600ml)

Conditioner, £1.99-£10.99 (50ml, 250ml, 600ml)

Hairspray, £5.99 (250ml)

Mousse, £5.99 (200ml)

Moisture Mist, £6.99 (150ml)

Dry Shampoo, £4.99 (200ml)

Heat Protection Mist, £5.99 (150ml)

Blow & Go 11-in-1 Lotion, £6.99 (100ml)

Colour & Damage Defender, £4.99 (100ml)

*at the time of writing, use code NATIONALHAIRDAY at to get 15% off!

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Mooncup celebrates real users

I have no shame in saying that I am a complete Mooncup evangelist - so am more than happy to shout its name from the rooftops as it turns 18 and launches its #RealMooncupUser campaign.

In its virtual ‘word of mouth’ campaign, hundreds of real Mooncup users have come forward with their diverse stories, celebrating 18 years of the Mooncup menstrual cup, and its impact in smashing menstrual taboos. These stories have been compiled into a series of videos to showcase women's real experiences.

I started using a menstrual cup myself a few years ago now - definitely for a few years already before having my son in 2018. As such, I've used it both before and after vaginal birth, and can recommend it in both cases. Convenient, comfortable, lower cost, better for the environment, no dryness, no risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome), and a chance to know your own body better. What is there to lose?

I can't deny I had anxiety about using a Mooncup before actually starting to do so. I had heard horror stories about people being unable to remove them. And just what do you do when you're out and about, in a toilet without a sink? Happily, these concerns are all completely surmountable or even just completely unfounded.

Mooncup Director Kath Clements said; “We’ve had an overwhelming response to our shout out to our community to share their experiences as part of the #RealMooncupUser campaign. It’s been such a privilege to hear from so many, telling it like it is, without shame. The success of the Mooncup® has always been driven by word of mouth recommendations, and these days even more are choosing to take control of their bodies and make the switch to a positive, ethical one-off purchase. Many have told us that it feels empowering, all the more so with growing awareness of the environment, and our social and cultural structures.”

You can watch all the stories on the Mooncup blogwhere the 6 women talk about first periods, menstrual cup folds, first Mooncup impressions, and what they love about the Mooncup. You can also catch them on Youtube.

I'm a huge advocate of being more open about bodily processes and how we handle them. I guess being a huge proponent of hypnobirthing - as well as having taught sex education to teenagers - made me a fairly ideal candidate for Mooncup use. But ultimately if we overcome our traditional British reticence and talk more about our bodies, our overall health will improve - and I think Mooncup users have experienced this first-hand, and so naturally want to share their stories so you can find out more too.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Review: Aromatherapy Associates 1-2-1 Consultation

After a long hiatus (where theoretically I should have had more time for blogging thanks to lockdown...), Bianca's Beauty Blog is BACK, and it's all thanks to Aromatherapy Associates.

The salon I normally go to for manicures and pedicures uses their oils for massage and other therapies. As a result, my husband bought me one of the full-size bath oils for Christmas. It's so incredibly aromatic, moisturising and a joy to use, but I still wasn't sure if I was using it properly or to its fullest (I am quite new to aromatherapy, having only really become interested in it when preparing for the birth of my son in 2018).

So now that salons and spas are closed thanks to lockdowns around the world, wellness and self-care brands like Aromatherapy Associates have drawn upon the valuable resource of their education staff - who would normally do workshops in spas - to carry out group and one-to-one consultations online. Amazingly, these are all free and easy to book online via their website. 

In preparation for mine, I purchased the kit pictured above - the Discovery Bath and Shower Oil Collection*. It contains 10 dinky bottles covering the brand's mainstays, including the Revive oil whose full-size version I'm currently using in the bath. At £28 - already reduced from £40 - it's a really good value set, and if you can get your mitts on a discount code, so much the better (10% and 15% off coupons are readily available online). You don't have to buy any Aromatherapy Associates products in advance of your consultation, but I found it was helpful to have the oils alongside me so I could smell them as we were talking about them.

My consultant, Amy, was right on time for our Zoom call and was patient, professional and friendly throughout. She was telling me that thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns, people are doing a lot more self-care at home, but if they're beginners, don't necessarily know how to use the products to their best advantage and to help them with their individual needs. This explains why there's been a great uptick in demand not just for these types of wellness products but also for the consultations - which will definitely continue throughout the summer now that (sadly) spas and salons are not permitted to reopen on July 4th as they had hoped.

Those signing up for these consultations - whether beginners or old hands - will not be disappointed. I had emailed in my concerns beforehand (mainly about my migraines and insomnia - both chronic problems which come and go) so we were able to get straight to these for a focused discussion. Amy was able to recommend specific products for each concern, whether in the classic oil form or in rollerball format. The recommendations also bore in mind the type of treatment needed (though she takes care to emphasise that this is indeed not a medical consultation and should only ever be regarded as complementary therapy). Got a migraine and want to take a bath? The classic bottles of oil are for you - especially their Lavender and Peppermint Support blend. Wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep? The rollerball of their De-stress Mind or Deep Relax is best for immediate application.

Amy was able to advise me about the best way to use the bath oil to really enhance my experience. In short, rubbing it onto the chest and stomach before getting into the bath allows for longer-lasting effects than just inhalation; a little can also be sprinkled over the surface of the bath water once you have run the bath for optimal therapeutic effects (pouring it into the running water just dilutes it, apparently, making it less effective).

We were also able to discuss how the Support Breathe oil can be put into a bowl of hot water in a bedroom at night to open up the airways if you have a cold; this can even be done for babies, which is great news for me next time my son has a cold (remember that you should not apply essential oils directly to babies' skin).

Furthermore, we didn't just discuss the different types of insomnia I experience, and the types of oil that might be best for them (if thoughts are racing, De-Stress Mind will be the most effective blend, whereas if your mind is just empty apart from "I'M AWAKE", Deep Relax might be more helpful), but also the possible causes of my insomnia and migraines, and their potential links to other conditions (such as the hormonal condition polycystic ovary syndrome, and hyperhydrosis). In addition, we briefly talked about the problems that she, I and others have been experiencing during the pandemic and how this has fuelled the use of self-care products generally, with people hoping to alleviate their anxieties in this way.

All of this took place in a mere half an hour - an amazingly effective and enlightening use of time. Furthermore, it was swiftly followed up by an email from Amy with all of her recommendations in writing. These came with instructions for each ritual (e.g. "apply directly to temples/area of migraine") as well as benefits (such as "to ease migraines and cool down the body"). The email also came with a 15% discount code - a nice little bonus, I think we'll all agree!

Overall, the pandemic has made many people reassess their priorities, whether it's going back to an old hobby or trying something new, going for a complete career change, or just deciding that now's the time to take even better care of yourself. These online consultations will help so many people (including the shielding vulnerable who may not feel comfortable enough to go out even when restrictions are eased) and Aromatherapy Associates should be so proud of their innovation in this regard. My next stop in my shower? De-Stress Muscle, after my (socially-distanced) swim tomorrow. Aaaaaand relaaaaaaax.

* contains 3ml of each of the following essential oil blends: Deep Relax, Light Relax, Inner Strength, Revive Morning, Revive Evening, Support Breathe, Support Equilibrium, Support Lavender & Peppermint, De-Stress Muscle, De-Stress Mind

Friday, 27 December 2019

Cindy Joseph BOOM CALM

RRP: $44 for 4oz

--What does the promo say?—
“BOOM CALM is designed for extreme weather. It gently soothes, nourishes and restores your skin’s natural radiance after you spend time in the sun, wind or harsh temperatures. You’re left with beautifully restored, hydrated skin that feels cool (and soft) to the touch. This lightweight liquid moisturizer delivers a powerful blend of Aloe Vera Gel, essential oils and all-natural ingredients to soothe your skin from head to toe, leaving you calm and cool. Boom Calm enriches your skin with vitamins, minerals, natural enzymes, fatty acids and other nutrients to replace any dryness with beautifully soft, glowing skin."

As with all BOOM products, presentation is minimalist and clean-looking, with white being the prominent colour. BOOM CALM comes in the same type of bottle as BOOM CLEAN and BOOM SCRUB with a lid that flips up to dispense the product through a small nozzle. The logo is a cool green. The bottle is opaque so you cannot see how much is left whilst using it, although the decreasing weight of the bottle gives you a fairly good idea. Remember to unscrew the lid and remove the seal before trying to squeeze the product out through the nozzle.

Simply massage this lightweight, liquid moisturizer into any area of your skin that needs soothing. It’s quick-drying and is easily absorbed into your skin without leaving any oil or residue behind. You  can use this full-body moisturizer from head to toe to replace any dryness with beautifully hydrated, glowing skin.

BOOM CALM is an opaque liquid moisturiser and is a pale yellow colour.

BOOM CALM smells divine. The most pervading smell is that of geranium oil, which is extremely pleasant to have close to your nostrils and all over your face. Geranium oil is well known for reducing redness and calming skin. The scent is calming in itself and feels like an aromatherapy session. Very pleasant at bedtime!

--Texture and consistency--
The texture is thinner than Boom’s other moisturisers, probably because of the addition of so many essential oils. It resembles a serum in consistency and comes out of the tube very easily.

--Effects on the skin—
For the purposes of this review I used BOOM CALM on my face only as, testing it through the autumn, this was the part of my body most exposed to weather conditions at this time of year. (South of France: sun still quite hot but often very windy.) As with all BOOM products, a little goes a long way. My BOOM CALM arrived when I had just got back from a very windy autumn walk so I decided to use it straight away…and particularly across my sensitive lips. It worked well. There is an immediate sensation of coolness on application. At this time of year, I would recommend this product especially for winter sun and skiing holidays.

--Value for money--
I was given BOOM CALM free to trial for Bianca’s Blog (Thank you, BOOM!). At $44 for 4oz, this may seem an expensive product but as so little is used it lasts ages, especially if you are only using it on your face, as I did. I am finding that the combination of BOOM products on my skin has definitely improved the texture and quality of my skin tone so I would continue to purchase this for myself. With the gradual addition of its new products, BOOM is now providing for all your make-up and cleansing/moisturising needs. Am definitely a BOOM convert. Shipping from America needs to be added to the cost, so sometimes it is worth placing a bulk order with other BOOM products to increase value for money. International flat rate shipping charge costs $30 and it takes between 7 – 15 working days to arrive. Be sure to select this flat shipping rate option, or you may be faced with additional customs charges when your package arrives. My products took eight working days to get from America to my home in the South of France.

perfect partners
BOOM SILK moisturiser, from $29
BOOM COTTON moisturiser, from $36
BOOM NECTAR skin serum, from $58
BOOM CLEAN, from $34
by Sarah Cross

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Lush Toothy Tabs

RRP: £6.50 for 50g (around 100 tabs)

--What does the promo say?--
"Keep your mouth in mint condition. Cleansing kaolin and a triple whammy of minty goodness ensure this solid toothpaste will freshen up your mouth and make your teeth sparkle." 

These used to come in a cardboard box. Sadly now, though, they come in a plastic bottle. At least this bottle is recyclable - so you can either throw it into the recycling bin at home (unlike a normal toothpaste tube) or take it into a Lush store for recycling (recycle 5 in one shot and you get a free product). It was really this environmental factor that led me to switch from traditional toothpaste. The monochrome label is unisex and minimalist and so should appeal to all. The travel advantage is also obvious: the bottle is much smaller than any toothpaste tube and the tabs clearly don't count towards your liquid allowance when flying.

"For intensely icy airwaves," the website instructs, "simply nibble one between your teeth and start brushing." This really is as simple as it sounds (although I went in with some trepidation). 

This depends on the flavour you choose. Limelight is green with yellow streaked through, Boom! is black, and the two I went for - Dirty and Miles Of Smiles - are white. Not feeling quite brave enough to try the former, the latter two are more like traditional toothpastes in appearance, dissolving quickly in the mouth to create a white foam.

--Scent and taste--
Miles of Smiles is a really very minty concoction whose aftertaste lasts hours. As a result, I tend to use this in the morning, switching to Dirty in the evening, which is mint and neroli flavoured, and slightly milder as a result. It's an unusual combination, but taste-wise really works for me (although I've read reviews by others who disliked it - so it's definitely personal and you should definitely have a sniff in the shop before buying). 

--Texture and consistency--
These tabs are based on kaolin (clay) and bicarbonate of soda, leading to a chalky texture. This is fine and doesn't take long to get used to: the tabs are small, so break down quickly upon chewing and with the addition of water, the chalkiness giving way to a smooth, fine foam. However, I have found that the binding elements of kaolin and bicarb do tend to gel with any excess saliva in the mouth overnight, leading to yucky strings of white gel populating in my mouth that I then have to scrape out. Yep. Lovely. BUT other reviews don't suggest that this happens to other people. So I'd recommend trying it first before discounting the possibility.

--Effects on the teeth--
Teeth feel clean after use and the flavourings make breath feel fresh for hours. 

--Value for money--
At £6.50 a pop this isn't cheap - especially if it turns out not to be for you. As for myself, I really wanted to like this product as I so loved the concept. However, the mouth residue is not something I can live with long-term, which is such a shame. Once my 2 bottles are finished, I'll be looking for other toothpaste alternatives.

perfect partner
Mouthwash Tabs, £6.50*

*available in 3 flavours: clove & mint, mint, and lemon

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

ByKathryn Padstow Rocks Perfume

RRP: £35 for 15ml

--What does the promo say?--
"PADSTOW ROCKS is our Get Out Of Town perfume: Fresh and fragrant, inspired by coastal walks, feel the stress simply melt away. And breathe! BYKATHRYN has partnered with Surfing England and some of Team England’s top female athletes as they set their sights on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics . The partnership is underlined by the fresh ocean vibes of PADSTOW ROCKS perfume. A perfect fit for the surfer girls and for the effortlessly cool, laid back woman who takes each day in her stride & goes with the flow. Designed to be carried with you PADSTOW ROCKS comes in a hand luggage sized 15ml perfume spray bottle in colourful eye catching packaging so your perfume stays fresh and uplifting."

The orange box in which the perfume comes is vibrant and modern, emblazoned with the name of the perfume in bold white lettering. A beach scene is watermarked in the background, giving every impression of the sand being soaked in this scent at sunset. This colour scheme is reversed on the bottle itself, with orange lettering taking pride of place on a transparent glass spray bottle, enhanced by a gold-effect cap.

Spray onto pulse points behind the ears, on the wrists, and at the neck. 

The transparent liquid leaves no visible residue on the skin.

The promotional materials promise "ocean vibes" and there's a definite saltiness at the heart of this perfume that makes it truly unique. While in some ways, as with the brand's other perfume (Petrolhead), it's still more masculine than I would like (thanks to the cedarwood base), this would be my preferred choice from the brand. As someone who enjoys light, sparkly fragrances ordinarily, this fragrance is definitely lifted by the citrus head notes. Over the day it develops into a subtle yet sharp finish.

A powerful perfume that lasts all day.

--Value for money--
It's actually quite unusual to find a perfume in this 15ml travel format - so to compare prices I had to look for perfumes retailing at around £70 for the more standard 30ml. This leads us to brands such as Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani, Clinique, and one of my all-time favourites: M Micallef. All of which are far more widely known than ByKathryn. But that's inevitable for a new brand and with luck will change over time. Quality-wise, what the brand offers is undisputed, and as such worth the money. What I'm mainly hoping for is that their next scent will be more in my usual territory: something light, floral, sparkly and sweet. Third time lucky?

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

FutureYou Super Vitamin D with K2+

RRP: £19 for a 28-day supply

--What does the promo say?--

"Super Vitamin D with K2+ combines 25µg (micrograms) of vitamin D with 180 µg of vitamin K2 in the form of menaquinone-7 (MK-7).
The body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, hence why it is regularly referred to as the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D contributes to musculoskeletal health. It allows calcium and phosphorus to be absorbed normally, contributes to the maintenance of normal bones, and plays a role in the maintenance of normal teeth. It also contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system, maintenance of normal muscle function and contributes to normal blood calcium levels.
Vitamin K2 works together with vitamin D3 to mobilise calcium from the blood vessels into the bones, maintaining bone health. Vitamin K2 is found in particularly high concentrations in fermented foods. These include sauerkraut, hard cheese and natto, a traditional Japanese dish made with fermented soybeans.
The vitamin K2 included in Super Vitamin D with K2+ has been the subject of 19 research studies, highlighting the importance of vitamin K2 in bone and cardiovascular health."

The yoga pose on the outer cardboard box evokes both relaxation and strength, and as such, good health. 
The capsules come in traditional plastic and foil blister packaging, and the foil is clearly labelled with days of the week to help you remember to take the capsules regularly.

Take one capsule per day, swallowing it whole with liquid. I usually take mine at the start of the day with breakfast.

The capsules are an off-white colour, leaving no visible residue in the mouth.

Nothing discernible.

--Texture and consistency--
The capsule coating is thin and smooth enough so as to not be difficult to swallow, while not melting too quickly in the mouth.

While most of the benefits of vitamin K2 are not immediately visible (such as its positive impact on heart health and bone density), it's also starting to be hailed as a beauty supplement due to its healing properties. As a result, my habitually acneic skin definitely seemed clearer while I took this supplement, with the vitamin healing existing spots more quickly and preventing new ones from appearing. Skin also seemed less red and more 'glowing' - so I was definitely impressed by my 28-day supply (sent to me by FutureYou - thank you!).
It's also posited that K2 has anti-ageing properties, although of course the irony is that if this is working in this way, then nothing will happen - so in the short term, I won't be able to tell if it's really doing this.

--Value for money--
At 67p a day, it's up to you if you think this is worth it. For me, it is. The cost also goes down when you subscribe and save (£15 a month, or 53p a day) - arguably a small price to pay for both the internal and external benefits of vitamin K2.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Should teenage girls wear makeup?

I try to read a variety of media, and while the Times and Financial Times are mainstays, I also read the Guardian regularly, and from time to time reactivate a free trial of the Telegraph. In the latter, I recently read Annabel Jones' 'Should teenage girls wear makeup? I think it's fine - and here's why' - and I tend to agree with her.

I started playing with makeup in the pre-teen years: when I was 11 or 12.

Puberty is starting younger and younger - I started my periods a month after my twelfth birthday and developed acne at the age of 10. This is also now happening to even younger girls, due to environmental factors such as diet. So if you do have acne, it's natural that your self-confidence would feel dented - and even though I do see the argument of letting the skin get some air (and even as an adult ensure I have at least two makeup-free days a week), I also think a bit of concealer does more good than harm (especially if, like I was, you are also bullied). This is one of the first points made by the Telegraph's beauty editor also.

I would probably just go for a lighter mineral concealer, rather than the cheap stick foundations and concealers that I used to slather on, which were quite thick and cakey. ELF does good affordable ones that will cover blemishes while allowing skin to breathe.

I also used to love messing around with nail varnishes with my cousin, and would argue that such experiences are good for bonding - though this is also an argument for cheap clothes and nail polishes, as well as plenty of nail varnish remover, as chances are it will go everywhere! I didn't have a particular favourite brand, but used to go for the classics that pervade the aisles at Boots and Superdrug - Maybelline, 17, and so on. I was mainly about the colours, rather than brands, and especially all about the glitter, for which Barry M is a good choice. It also teaches you about science - namely, not to use nail varnish remover to clean up accidentally spilled nail polish from the top of a plastic TV casing...

Experimenting with eyeshadows - especially pink glittery ones - was another favourite pursuit, and as well as being just plain fun, helps you to see what colours suit you so that you can develop a sophisticated style long-term. I wouldn't be so keen on pink glittery eyeshadows now, but would go for dark purples, blues, browns, metallics or even greens to highlight my grey eyes.

This argument is even more persuasive when it comes to foundation. While young skin doesn't specifically need it, there are plenty of lighter foundations available, as well as tinted moisturisers, and even BB creams, which didn't exist when I was an adolescent but are a great option for teen skin, not just for breathability but also their other functions (such as SPF). I wouldn't recommend cheaper options in this case - even now, I'd say investing in the base is everything so as to not damage your skin. Furthermore, more expensive brands tend to have a wider range of shades available, meaning you have a greater chance of a good-looking result. It's perhaps more important and higher-stakes than you might think to get this right at a young-ish age - I went for my first job interview when I was 15, and who wants to go with a massive tide mark along the jaw line because the shade isn't right? It's a good lesson for young people too: if you want to wear makeup, then look professional. While quite a few of the cheaper high street brands have upped their game since I was trying out foundations for the first time, most still have their 'palest' shade pitched either too dark or too orange - so I would recommend trading up. Try Lily Lolo for mineral foundations that are kind to acneic skin.

Even though I started wearing makeup at a young age, I'm forever grateful to my (otherwise strict!) parents for their laissez-faire attitudes regarding this. Annabel Jones mentions in her article about picking your battles and not restricting the amount or type of makeup your teen wears - and I tend to agree, as doing the opposite would only breed resentment. It's something your teen has to work out for themselves - and, as I have mentioned above, in their own time (and plenty of it).

As she also mentions, good skincare routines and products are vital too. Steer clear of the cheap and artificial as far as possible - brands like Lush, Zao, Couleur Caramel, and Lamazuna are environmentally friendly too. Conversely, don't be afraid to seek prescription products if really needed for teen skin conditions.

Annabel Jones' most important comment though, is that makeup is about enhancing - not disguising - who you really are. And that, for teenage girls who may be feeling more insecure by the day, is crucial.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Yes to COCONUT Ultra-hydrating moisturising coconut oil stick

product photo
RRP: £9.99

--What does the promo say?--

“Yes to going (coco) nuts for coconut oil and this first ever, do-it-all moisturising miracle in a stick, which is a clean, easy, mess-free way to apply it. It can be used on the face, body or anywhere you need extra hydration. It has a non-greasy texture and melts on contact with the skin. Consider this your holy grail of head-to-toe hydration, especially when on-the-go.”


The product is in a wide stick dispenser, with a clear, screwtop lid and a twist-up mechanism at the bottom.  Of course, as with so many beauty products these days, it is a ‘single-use plastic’ and needs to be recycled. Attractive and eye-catching, it has a brown and white label with golden coconuts on it and a wide gold band around the lid.  Full instructions can be found on the back of the label. The advantage of a moisturiser in a stick is that no matter how much of the product is used, the stick will always stand neatly in your bathroom, unlike tubes which tend to topple over when nearly empty.  It is also a handy travel size and would fit into your handbag if you wanted to re-moisturise during the day whilst at work. As on all Yes To packaging, "Literally, front and centre on all our products you’ll find our seal showing each and every product contains at least 95% NATURAL INGREDIENTS." (See their mission statement on their website for more!)


Designed to be mess-free, this way of applying moisturiser is unique and highly successful.  You simply swipe it across the areas you wish to moisturise. I found that one swipe the length of my arm enabled me to moisturise virtually my entire arm (I do have quite thin arms though!).  The product spreads even further once you have applied it. It is definitely a clean and mess-free way to apply moisturiser as you do not have to rub it in if you do not wish to.
A thick, opaque, creamy-looking solid stick. Once on, it leaves your skin with a wonderful silky shimmer after application.  It looks great on tanned legs too. A finishing touch for going out on a summer evening.
Delicious and unmistakable.  Great if you like coconuts! Reminiscent of suntan lotion - though others may find it overpowering and sweet.
--Texture and consistency--
The texture is thick and creamy. Silky on application and non-greasy, as promised.
--Effects on the skin--
This moisturiser is a WOW for dry skin.  Lines and dryness disappear completely. Some people may find it rather too shiny and thick on the face but on the body it is just what dry skin needs.
--Value for money--
Compared to other products on the market, Yes To products are extremely well-priced.  You need to bear in mind, though, that you probably need to buy these sticks more frequently than you would buy a large tube or pot of moisturiser, especially if you are using it over your entire face and body - my satisfaction with the quality of this product has meant that I am already on my second stick.
perfect partners
Yes to Coconut 2-step lip kit, £4.99
Yes to Coconut Ultra-hydrating paper mask, £2.99
Yes to Coconut Ultra-hydrating Micellar cleansing water, £6.99
Yes to Coconut naturally smoothing lip balm, £3.79
Yes to Coconuts Coconut oil cleansing balm, £9.99
Yes to Coconuts Energising Coffee 2-in-1 scrub and cleanser stick, £9.99
Yes to Coconuts Energising Coffee super eye mask, £2.99

by Sarah Cross