Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Keys Soulcare by Alicia Keys Review

When I listen to Alicia Keys I'm transported back to when I worked in London. Her Songs in A Minor album was the soundtrack to one particular time. I was surrounded by girls way cooler than me, introducing me to new music and a way of life like no other soon followed.
Working with a group of girls who made each other feel empowered, we lifted each other up and always had each other's backs. 


I was given the chance to try a new skincare range by Alicia Keys, I'd like to say she contacted me personally but she's a busy woman! 

Alicia is all about loving yourself and taking some time out each day to reflect.   She wanted these products to give us that time back in our busy lives while we look the day off and reset our minds. I practiced this kind of thing in labour when I tried hypnobirthing and that really opened my eyes to positive affirmations and the power of your own thoughts. 

When I opened up the package that contained Keys Soulcare to try I was really interested to see what Alicia had come up with. The first thing I noticed was how gorgeous the packaging was, the deep purple glass bottles feel very luxurious and wouldn't look out of place in a spa. 

The 'Key' is to turn skincare into more than a rushed routine, to encourage us to take a few minutes alone to have a mini pamper and add uplifting mantras to take care of the mind too. 

The more you hear positive affirmations the more you are able to believe it and it becomes your natural way of thinking. Even just  focussing on the good that happened that day is a great thing to practice while you cleanse your face in the evening. Encouraging you to feel as good as you look by combining a good skincare routine and an uplifting way to be mindful each evening. This results in glowing skin and a positive outlook - two things I find are hugely important as we get older and are more aware of the stresses that life brings us. 

There is a whole range of products from masks, exfoliators, cleansers, and mists to candles and rollers. 

I have been trying three products that work really well together to tell you a little more about. 

Comforting Balm £10 for 7.5g


This is a versatile product to moisturise and nourish any dry areas. It's a generously sized balm that's easy to pop in your handbag. I've used this mostly on my lips, it has a vanilla scent is lovely which is not overpowering at all and feels so lovely and soft. It's replaced my regular lip balm and I'll definitely be repurchasing. 
It can be used on your heels, cuticles, elbows or any places where you have dry patches that need a little help. The camellia oil, avocado oil, and shea butter hydrate and revitalise, leaving you with brighter healthier skin. 

To Use: apply to areas that need relief from drtyness or dullness and massage into skin. 

The subtle gloss is great to use as a natural looking highlight when applied to your cheekbones. The recommended affirmation to work alongside the warming vanilla scent is "I surround myself with things that are good for me" which is something I really believe in and have learnt to practice over the last couple of years.

Be Luminous Exfoliator £22 for 65g


This was my first time trying a powder exfoliator and I was intrigued. 

The water activated powder contains lactic acid, a gentle and hydrating alpha hydroxy acid, gives a gentle chemical exfoliation so your skin is left clean and feeling radiant.

When the powder transforms into a foam, the Hojicha powder, fine oats and mung beans  gets to work smoothing and buffing away any dullness of the skin. 

I've used this twice a week and it's been a joy to use, especially after warmer days when my skin feels very clogged up with sweat and suncream. After rinsing off I instantly feel the difference, my skin is super smooth! I have some dry patches on my cheeks which I can always feel when removing my makeup and this always smoothed them away. 

To Use: Wet your face then add some of the powder to the palm of your wet hand. work the powder into the water and it creates a foam to apply in circles to your face. You can add more water if needed. Rinse off and pat dry.

You add the powder to wet skin, which means you can add more water for a gentler exfoliation. It's great is you have slightly more sensitive skin but still want to be able to scrub away those dead skin cells.

Skin Transformation cream £30 50g


This lovely little face cream has been the wonderful little finale to my skincare routine each night. It calms and soothes the skin while plumping hyaluronic acid and ceramides help lock in the moisture.

Containing Bakuchiol, a plant compound often compared to retinol it helps to smooth and improve texture of the skin as well as the skin tone as well as hyaluronic acid provideing long-lasting hydration. 

To Use: massage into face and neck using a circular motion. Use after cleansing in the morning and at night. 

I've enjoyed using it and taking the time to really massage it into my skin as I wind down, that little time alone in the bathroom is some well needed quiet time after long busy days. 

I've looked up some face massage techniques to really get the most out of it, focussing on my temples and forehead. Alternatively, you can also use a facial roller to really feel like you're giving yourself a mini spa experience. 


Overall, I'm really impressed with the range and I really love the thought that has gone into each product. I'll definitely be making sure I make the most of my time alone taking the day off and really focussing on being mindful too. 


*these products were kindly gifted but thoughts are my own


Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Essie Gel Couture - new shades

Essie have featured a lot in my beauty routine over recent months, their treat love and color shades have been helping me get my nails back into shape after surgery. While I've always been a big fan of Essie polishes, I've never tried their Gel Couture range before now.

This package arrived the day before I was heading into hospital - a day where I was fasting and having to strip back to basics. For me having no nail colour on was weird enough, but not being able to try these new polishes right away was torture! 
So it's only since being in recovery that I've really been able to give them a proper try - luckily they were worth the wait!


The Gel Couture range is a simple 2-Step home manicure which leaves you with a long lasting colour with an absolutely  gorgeous shine... more on that in a moment.

The bottle stands out from the regular Essie line with its twisted shape that matches the brush design. Inspired by haute couture, the bottle mimics the swirl of a dress so definitely has a sense of elegance about it. I love how they slot next to each other, it's very satisfying to line them up. 

As the brush is curved it allows perfect, even application and ensures that just the right amount of formula is applied. This great if you don't have a particularly steady hand. 

They've made it super easy for you, with no base coat needed to you can easily add 2 coats of colour and a topcoat and you're good to go. There are times when I like to be a little more thorough and also give myself a treat with a file, hand cream and use some of their gorgeous Apricot nail and cuticle oil, which I have really been loving lately. 

I have 4 of the newest shades. The first is Matter of Fiction, a pale pink which is perfect for wedding season. I used 2 coats there and it still has a slight sheerness to it. 


Next is Lace is Morea creamy white with a subtle gold shimmer. It's really pretty when the light catches it. This is great for a really fresh, everyday manicure. I've tried to capture the shimmer in the picture of the bottle. 



Lady in Red is, as the name suggests a bold classic red with a blue tone to it. You just can't go wrong with a bold red nails with a matching red lip. 


I've saved the best til last. Bodice Goddess  is my favourite and you may have seen this one on my Instagram a few times. Just look at it! You would think those nails are done at a salon, not by little old me on my sofa while watching Netflix!  It's a dusky pink, almost a mauve which really looks gorgeous with that glossy top coat. 

Now, the top coat is the secret weapon; it really just takes the manicure to another level with the shine it gives while ensuring the colour is locked in. It helps to avoid any chipping and gives you the confidence that your manicure will be looking fresh for much longer.  

What's more...
Now that's not all!
(and other infomercial type phrases), these are easy to remove. Just like your regular nail shades, they come off with nail polish remover so you can change up the colour when ever you fancy. It's the look of  gel manicure without the hassle.

I personally will definitely be trying out some more shades from the collection. 

*these were kindly gifted to me but all thoughts are my own