Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

Know Cosmetics recently launched in the UK and whilst you might not have heard of them, across the pond they’re one of Sephora’s best sellers. They describe themselves as the ‘Fixer Brand’ as their range promises to tackle everyday makeup and beauty problems by providing quick and easy solutions. I was kindly sent some products to try out so I thought I’d do a quick review to share my experiences with you!

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

No Bleeding Lips | Know Cosmetics

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

‘No Bleeding Lips’ is designed to stop your lipstick bleeding or feathering, something that I don’t actually suffer from since I don’t tend to wear particularly strong lip colours! However I decided to try it anyway and quickly discovered another use for it which I’m sharing in case it comes in handy for any of you too!

One side of my top lip is naturally higher than the other. As a result I tend to shy away from bright or bold lipsticks as no matter how carefully I apply them, I only ever tend to accentuate the difference rather than conceal it, even when using lip liners too.

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

The ‘No Bleeding Lips’ product is applied like a traditional lip pencil but goes on clear, meaning that I can use it to create an invisible base for my lipstick or gloss to stick to without having to worry too much about making a mistake.

I take it slightly above my natural lip line on the side that is naturally lower, then I gradually apply my lipstick up to this new line in stages, so that if I’ve taken the liner too high it doesn’t matter, I can just build up the shape gradually until I’m happy with it.

So not so much ‘No Bleeding Lips’ as ‘No Wonky Lips’ for me then!

No Bare Brows | Know Cosmetics

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

This is my favourite product and the one I’ve used most regularly. It’s a 4 in 1 eyebrow shaping kit with brow colour at one end, an invisible taming wax at the other, plus two caps containing a pencil sharpener and a brush that slip onto the ends.

I was initially sceptical of using a universal brow shade as I find it difficult enough finding a shade that suits me when I have a range to choose from. However this one blended really well with my brows and was the right shade for my skin tone. I have no idea whether it would work as well for blondes or redheads, but as a pale, cool toned brunette, I found it an unexpected success.

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

The pencil has a soft almost crayon like consistency so I found that I needed to be gentle when applying it so as not to transfer too much product onto my brow, but once I’d gotten used to this I found it a really quick and easy product to use. The invisible taming wax is a nice touch to help set any wayward strands in place, then I use the brush to shape my brows and make sure that they look nice and natural.

When I’ve got more time to spend on my makeup I still prefer using a firmer pencil to get a really precise defined shape, but as part of my everyday 10 minute makeup routine this is a really handy tool to have for an instant brow transformation.

No Thin Lips | Know Cosmetics

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

This goes on like a gloss and temporarilly gives your lips a subtle boost of volume. I read a review online where someone had said that she gets asked if she’s had lip injections when she wears this product. The results were a lot more subtle on me thankfully. I don’t think anyone would even notice I had used it, but hopefully I just look like my best self when I wear it, if that makes sense?

I’ve tried some lip plumpers in the past which stung like hell and made me feel uncomfortable but this one just has a mild tingle upon first application which soon fades. It contains vitamin E and aloe oil which makes my lips feel smooth and moisturised, plus they give my lips a nice glossy finish.

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

I wouldn’t wear this everyday, but for an extra little boost if I’m going out somewhere I think it’s a nice final touch.

Everyday Makeup Problem Solvers from Know Cosmetics Beauty Review

Thanks go to Know Cosmetics for helping me to fix some everyday beauty problems! You can find the range online here and in store at Lloyds Pharmacy, where they usually cost £12.50 each but are currently on sale for £7.50.

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: The products in this post were sent to me for review.

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Green People | Vegan Beauty Review

When I made the pledge to take part in Veganuary my aim was simply to adopt a vegan diet, which I have since committed to carrying on permanently. For February I decided to take the next step, to begin educating myself on the processes and ingredients that go into the beauty products that I own so as to make it easier for me to make good, ethical decisions on my future purchases.

Whilst it’s fairly straightforward to work out whether the food you’re eating contains animal derived ingredients or not, in the beauty world things are far more complex. For example, did you know that just because something has the Leaping Bunny logo (shown below) and is labelled cruelty free, that doesn’t neccessarily make it 100% vegan? That’s because whilst it may not have been tested on animals, its ingredients still might contain them.

Leaping Bunny Logo

If you flip it around, a product can be vegan (i.e. not contain animal derived ingredients) but may not be cruelty free as it could still have been tested on animals. To make things even more confusing, lot of brands which claim to be cruelty free on their websites aren’t really cruelty free at all because they choose to sell their products in mainland China, where it’s law that foreign manufactured cosmetics must undergo animal testing. Whilst the testing is usually carried out by the government it is agreed to and funded by the brand. Thus they are very much complicit in the practice despite their protestations to the contrary.

When it comes to buying beauty products, I definitely want to move away from supporting brands that are not cruelty free or that contain animal derivatives. Realistically though this isn’t going to happen overnight. I need to carry on with my research to work out which of my beloved, tried and tested products can stay, and which ones I need to find affordable alternatives for.

Green People | Vegan Beauty Review

Green People* have already helped me to make a few swops. They are a certified organic health and beauty brand who do not test their products on animals and who strive to make as many products in their skin, hair and makeup range as possible suitable for vegans and vegetarians. They reached out to me at the start of Veganuary to introduce themselves and offered to send me some of their hair and beauty products which are certified by the Vegan Society.

The Vegan Society logo (shown below) tells you that the product has never been tested on animals in any capacity and does not contain animal derivatives. In other words, it certifies that a product is 100% vegan and cruelty free.

Vegan Society Logo

Here’s how I got on:

Haircare

Starting with haircare, I received the Quinoa and Artichoke Shampoo and Conditioner. I wasn’t sure what to expect scent wise (quinoa and artichoke didn’t sound all that appealing to me) but they smell fresh and citrussy. The shampoo is deceptive as you don’t need much at all, a small blob works up into a really good lather. I tend to spend quite a chunk of my beauty budget on haircare and get through bottles quickly so anything that makes things more economical for me is a winner in my book.

Green People | Vegan Beauty Review

The shampoo has been somewhat of a revelation for me. It leaves my hair feeling clean and light and it has given it such a lovely shine! I’m not planning to return to my previous shampoo. In fact, I’ve already purchased another bigger bottle of this stuff to make sure I don’t run out!

The conditioner is also very lightweight and yet does a good job of sorting out my tangle prone hair. I tend to use an intensive hair mask most of the time so I’ve still got plenty of this left but I would definitely consider buying this again when it runs out to complement the shampoo.

By the way, these haircare products are also gluten free so they are suitable for those with gluten sensitivities too.

Shower Gel

The Daily Aloe Shower Gel has been another big hit with me. It doesn’t smell as strongly as the highly scented shower gels I tend to go for but it has a lovely consistency.It is really gentle and leaves my skin feeling nice and soft after use. I’ve noticed that it’s also great for those times in between my IPL treatments when I need to shave my legs in the shower, as it just glides along my skin with no bother and helps me to get a really close but comfortable shave.

Green People | Vegan Beauty Review

At £12.50 though this one is a bit out of my budget for an everyday shower gel sadly, I usually spend between £2 and £5. However I’d liken it to the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil which I’ve tried samples of in the past and costs £18.

Gentle Cleanse & Makeup Remover

I have incredibly sensitive skin around my eyes but I have used this to remove my eye makeup without any resulting stinging or puffiness. I think I react to some of the chemicals in standard creams so maybe I got on well with this because the ingredients are so natural. All I know is that it works really well, tackling my heavy eye makeup and mascara with ease. I’d consider it reasonably priced for what I usually spend on cleansers, at £19 for 150ml.

Green People | Vegan Beauty Review

This is a great alternative to the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, which is still a fantastic product that I absolutely adore but isn’t 100% vegan as it contains beeswax.

Peppermint and Aloe Organic Mint Toothpaste

Confession: I didn’t start using this until midway through Veganuary because I have really sensitive teeth and I didn’t want to switch from my normal high street one, which I know makes me a bad vegan.

Green People | Vegan Beauty Review

I wish I could tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was when I did finally try it, because obviously I want to move over to all natural products where possible, but I just couldn’t get on with it. The paste was an offputting beige colour and it didn’t taste or feel pleasant in my mouth.

My boyfriend thought I was being a bit of a wuss and tried it too, but didn’t like it either. I’m sorry The Green People, I just can’t get on board with this one despite really, REALLY wanting to!

In conclusion, it has been great to discover a company that makes it so easy to find 100% vegan products that don’t compromise on performance and still evoke a feeling of luxury. I’m so glad that they contacted me as I had not heard of the company previously, but I have a feeling I’m going to be shopping there regularly now!

If you want to know more about the topics I have discussed in todays post this article from EthicalElephant helped me to understand the different ways of classifying the ethical status of beauty products. I recommend giving it a read.

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: I was gifted the items in this post for review purposes. As always, I’ve provided my honest thoughts on them.

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Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

After what has seemed like the longest Spring in history, (Summer – where were you?!) Autumn has finally arrived and I for one couldn’t be happier about it. Admittedly it’s a bit rubbish having to get up for work in the dark and it being pot luck as to whether my freshly blowdried hair will survive more than 30 seconds outside, but that can be forgiven because it’s such a cosy, comforting, laid back season.

In Autumn it’s perfectly acceptable to put rest and relaxation first. You can go home and get straight into your comfiest, cosiest pjs if you want to and on a Tuesday if people ask if you have plans the correct answer is “Yes – Bake Off!” Here are a few more home and beauty favourites that I’ve been loving so far this season:

Scented Candles

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

I love lighting a scented candle at this time of year… or 7! I find them so calming, not just because of the smell but also the peace that comes with watching one softly flicker away in a low lit room.

Yankee Candle are my favourite for long lasting luscious scents that fill a whole living space but at the rate I burn through them it can all get rather expensive, so I’ve found Bayliss & Harding to be a more affordable supplement to my addiction. They still offer some lovely scents and pretty packaging but I find that Tesco often put them in the sale at which point I bulk buy!

Ted Baker Porcelein Rose Shower and Body Lotion*

Ted Baker kindly sent me a selection of the new releases from their latest bath and body collection Porcelain Rose which is available at Boots this Autumn, which has given me an excuse to have lots of indulgent pamper sessions recently.

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

I have been particularly loving the Body Wash and Body Lotion from the Pretty Pearl range (both retailing at £8). Both are really gentle on my sensitive skin and leave it feeling silky smooth, baby soft and smelling delicious too!

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

The Pretty Pearl scent is a delicate fruity-floral number with top notes of sweet violet, soft rose petals, patchouli and warm sandalwood and a base of musk and raspberry leaf.

The packaging is a winning combination of crisp white, rose gold and vintage floral print that goes rather beautifully in my bathroom with my new fluffy white towels. (More on those in a minute in fact!)

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

For £20 you can buy a gift set version in a matching beauty bag which contains the body wash, lotion and a matching body spray, so if you’re stuck for a present and know someone who loves a good pamper session you can’t go wrong with this in my opinion!

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

The Fluffiest of Fluffy White Towels

I recently spent a week in a gorgeous cottage in the Peak District. The bathroom had super soft bathsheets that made me realise how old and scraggy my ten year old ones were, so when I saw that The White Company had a sale on I decided it was time to treat myself to a new set.

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

When they first arrived I was a bit disappointed as straight out of the box they didn’t feel all that thick but after a couple of washes however I’m over the moon with them. They’ve fluffed up beautifully and wrapping myself in one is just the best feeling!

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

I find the bath sheets just the right size for chilly Autumn days where it’s not quite cold enough to have the heating on, but when you step out of the shower you don’t really want any inch of skin left exposed to the cold. In comparison, the jumbo sized bath towels are the perfect size for my nearly six foot fella who is rather chuffed to have a bath towel long enough that he can wrap himself up in it like a burrito!

Eve Lom Facial Cleanser

I recently ran out of the facial cleanser I normally use and thought I’d treat my skin to some proper indulgence by trying out a cult beauty product – the Eve Lom Facial Cleanser, which I’d received in a Look Fantastic Beauty Box ages and ages ago!

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

It’s got quite a buttery consistency which applies really well. I thought it might leave a greasy residue but when used with a hot cloth to gently remove the cleanser whilst buffing my skin, it feels thoroughly cleansed afterwards and super soft, as if it’s been treated to a nice drink of water. The only thing I’m not too keen on is the eucalyptus and chamomile scent.

I can see why people rave about this product but it is expensive at £55 price tag for a 100ml pot, although I would say that a little does go a long way.

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

Another fantastic cleanser that I’d recommend if you can’t stretch your budget is the The White Company’s Super Balm Gentle Daily cleanser. (Reviewed by me here.) It doesn’t exfoliate like Eve Lom’s version but still does an incredible job and is £25 for 150ml, so the daily hot cloth cleansing treatments can continue even when my pot of luxurious Eve Lom cleanser eventually runs out!

Charbonnel et Walker Champagne Truffles

I love putting together gift boxes full of things I think people will love and no matter who I’m compiling it for, I always end up including some of these truffles. They just look so pretty and special!

Autumn Home and Beauty Favourites

Sometimes you just have to indulge yourself a little bit too though don’t you? Even if my occasion was simply that it had been a long day!

Are you loving the change of season? What are your favourite ways to relax and unwind at this time of year?

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples where marked with an asterisk, all other products were purchased myself. As always no matter how I received them, all reviews, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

Earlier this year HoMedics launched the Duo Salon IPL*, their latest home hair removal device featuring some truly innovative new technology. Being that I’m already an advocate of IPL hair removal I was thrilled when HoMedics sent me one to put through it’s paces. I’ve been using the device for over six months now so I thought it was about time to tell you all about it and give a proper long term review of the IPL hair removal method.

Duo Salon IPL – How It Works

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) devices emit a gentle pulse of light which travels down the hair follicle to heat the hair at its roots. This causes the roots enter a sleeping phase, effectively stunting any hair growth and eventually the hair sheds away naturally. It works by using the hair pigment to attract the light and the skin tone to conversely not attract light, so this makes it most effective for those of us with a combination of light skin tone and dark hair colour. (Note that as a result of the science behind it, it isn’t recommended for darker skin tones, blonde or red hair colours).

Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

I found this device really easy to use. It turns on at the base, then you set it to the level of intensity you require and then place the window over the patch of skin you want to treat. The green light will stop flashing when it’s charged and ready, at which point you can press the button to emit the pulse of light. Then you just move the device to the next area to be treated and repeat the process.

Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

Does It Hurt?

So the big question is does IPL hurt? In my case, I’d have to say that yes it does a bit sometimes, but nothing worse than waxing or epilating! The pain is momentary as you press the button, a small warm zap then it’s over. Sometimes my skin feels a little bit warm for a few minutes and then calms down again, I haven’t noticed anything that lingers beyond that.

I find that there are a couple of factors that affect how much discomfort I feel:

Firstly, certain areas of my body are much more sensitive to the treatment. I hardly flinch at all when I do my underarms, bikini and lower legs but I have been known to utter some choice expletives when I treat my knees, ankles and upper thighs!

Secondly, the Duo Salon has 5 settings with 1 being the least intense and 5 being the most intense, and thus the one you’re most likely to feel. I’d recommend starting low and gradually increasing the strength to build up your tolerance.

Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

Finally, where I am in my cycle affects my sensitivity to the pulsed light – right before my period it stings like an absolute mofo, whereas the rest of the time I’d only feel a slight discomfort.

At Home Treatments In 20 Minutes

As mentioned above the Duo Salon has 5 settings. On the lowest level it emits a super fast 2 flashes per second and you don’t have to wait any length of time between pulses. This allows for incredibly speedy at home treatments that can be completed in just 20 minutes. On the lower settings the pulse is not so intense though so this does mean that you might need to go over the area a couple of times to get good results.

After experimenting with different settings, I tend to keep it set to maximum level 5 now. This means that the device needs a few extra seconds between pulses to charge up again  so the treatment time is a bit longer, but the pulse is strong enough that I only ever need to treat each area once which I prefer.

Active Cooling Technology

What I have found really special about this device (and utterly fascinating every single time I use it!) is the Active Cooling technology which is a world first for an at home IPL device. I don’t know what sorcery went into it’s creation, but basically when you press the glass to your skin to begin the treatment it feels icy cool, soothing your skin and helping to prevent skin irritation.

Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

The Duo Salon comes with an aesthetically pleasing white carry case which I keep out on display between treatments. It’s got a handle so it’s easily transportable too.

Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

I also really like that it’s got a facial attachment and technology which makes it suitable for all types of hair. The attachment is magnetic and clips straight on and off.

Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review Homedics Duo Salon IPL Review

Just make sure you read the instructions and use a low setting if you do try it on your face. Don’t use level 5. Telling you on behalf of a friend.

Treatments and Price

IPL devices don’t offer permanent hair removal so to begin with you need to repeat the treatment every two weeks, then repeat the process every 2 to 6 weeks thereafter. In my case, I can go a good 3 weeks before I notice any kind of growth at all now, sometimes up to 5 whole weeks! Even when the hair does return it’s patchy and soft, nothing like the stubble that I’d get from shaving.

The Duo Salon normally retails at £499.99 (reduced to £399.99 at the time of writing) and is available from Homedics, as well as Boots and Argos too. I guess whether it’s a worthy investment really depends upon each individuals own needs. I’ve got really sensitive skin which is easily aggravated by razors and depilatory creams, especially my underarms, so long lasting hair removal has always been something that I’ve spent money on via regular spa waxes and epilators. With IPL the results are by far the most long lasting of any at home device I’ve ever used so as with many things, I’ve found that you get what you pay for.

Have you tried IPL hair removal? Would you consider it?

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: I was gifted this device in return for an honest review. Hopefully you’ve found it helpful but do let me know if you have any questions, either in the comments below or to my Twitter @lovedbylaurac and I’ll do my best to help!

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Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

Over the years I’ve been offered all sorts of new and exciting skincare products to try. My skin is in pretty good nick as a result despite a love for wine and a tendency towards less than 6 hours sleep on any given night.

I did go through a period of not wanting to try anything new because I thought it was probably best just to stick with tried and tested favourites and not muck about too much with my skin too much. Recently though, I’ve decided that there’s nothing wrong with switching things up and trying something new every so often. After all, quite often in doing so I discover something that ups the stakes and makes my skin look or feel better than I thought possible.

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

That’s why I’m glad I decided to try the Vine[Activ] range from Caudalie. I was quite happy with my old skin care routine but the temptation to try a range designed to fight the premature ageing signs associated to a modern day active lifestyle was too great to resist.

I received four Vine[Activ] products* from the lovely team at Caudalie: an eye cream, daytime moisturiser (which I’m saving for the colder months so haven’t mentioned below!), a serum and a night oil. All use formulations which help to create a barrier against pollution, boost the skin’s hydration and promote a smoother, healthier complexion over time.

Here’s how I got on:

Vine[Activ] Energising and Smoothing Eye Cream | £27.50

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

I’ll be honest and say that I used to use eye creams religiously and then got a bit fed up of putting in the effort without seeing much reward. I decided to give this one a go however and it does definitely leave my eyes feeling more refreshed. I haven’t noticed any improvement to the appearance of my laughter lines or dark circles (although I may have stopped using it too soon, it’s hard to tell!) so although I had a positive experience with it I probably wouldn’t repurchase it.

I tell you what I would repurchase though!

Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum | £36

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

The Glow Activating Serum is my ‘must buy again’ pick. It’s got a beautifully light, almost milky consistency that sinks in well, smells fresh and instantly makes my skin feel brighter and luxuriated. I’m not big on using face creams during the day but as this one is so light I’ve been using it to pep up my tired face in the mornings.  My fella tried it and has since become a big fan too. I’m really glad that he’s enjoying it, but bloody hell it does mean you get through the bottle at an alarming rate!

Actually though I shouldn’t complain as it was nice to get his opinion on it too. He explained that he’s prone to getting little bumps under his skin but has noticed a marked reduction since using the serum regularly.

Vine[Activ] Overnight Detox Oil | £30

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

The Overnight Detox Oil is my other top pick. As the name suggests it does it’s work whilst I’m fast asleep! I apply a couple of drops to my face at bedtime and when I wake up it has all absorbed into my skin. I have never noticed any residue on my pillows (something I always worry about when using facial oils) and after use my skin feels smooth and healthy.

More than anything else, I’ve really noticed a difference on the occasions when I’ve skipped a night as my skin seems to miss it now! Luckily a little goes a long way with this one so the bottle is lasting ages…

…despite a certain someone having taken a shine to this one as well!

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

So there you have it. Not every product I try is so amazing that I’m willing to fork out for it time after time but every so often I discover something that I’d be hard pressed to live without!

Have you tried any skincare from Caudalie? What are your ‘can’t live without’ skincare essentials?

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: The skincare items in this review are PR Samples but as always they’ve been through rigorous testing by yours truly and I’ve provided my honest opinions.

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