Protect, Brighten and Bronze: My Approach To Spring Skin

In the UK, the weather has been optimistically sunny. And while it’s only a matter of time until the spring showers arrive (Brits aren't as optimistic), it’s time to recalibrate my skincare wardrobe. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a creature of habit, so I don’t tend to change much up. But my capsule spring skincare arsenal must do the following: protect, brighten, and bronze. It’s simple, streamlined, and, most importantly, effective.

Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35, £20

I usually can’t bear an extra step of applying sunscreen. But it’s non-negotiable. Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen is an SPF but not as we know it. Its serum-like consistency is unrecognisable from your traditionally thick, chalky sunscreen. It’s really light, fresh, and it doesn’t interfere with whatever I apply on top. My only gripe is it’s £20 for 30ml - but can you put a price on protection? When things heat up, I’ll switch to a higher dose of SPF. 

Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum, £60

I’m obsessed with Kora Organics Noni Bright Vitamin C Serum, it’s the best. Not only do I appreciate its formulation of 12% ascorbyl glucoside (the most stable and water-soluble derivative of vitamin C), which is scientifically proven to block free radicals and pollution, its texture is loveable and lightweight, too. I’ve used every last drop of SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, which is hailed as the gold standard of vitamin C serums, but Noni Bright is better. Big claims, I know. But my skin is brighter, smoother, firmer, and more even, all without irritation. And unlike SkinCeuticals, it doesn’t smell like hot dogs, rather a glass of fizzy orange. It’s satisfying to use and half the price. 

Oskia Nutri-Bronze Adaptive Sheer Tinted Serum, £58

If you like to look like you have perfectly even and sunkissed skin without wearing an ounce of makeup, this is a must-have. The Oskia Nutri-Bronze Adaptive Sheer Tinted Serum takes the edge off of any redness and under-eye bags and makes my skin look like it has nothing on it at all. It’s also enriched with a whole host of ingredients from hyaluronic acid and pro-vitamin B5 to plump and hydrate, to bakuchiol the natural alternative to retinol. I use one to two drops, applied directly to my skin to minimise waste by way of my hands.
What skincare products are you wearing for spring?


Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Silk | Review & Swatches

The Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Silk* will indulge your bronze-toned cravings. Satisfyingly small, the new eyeshadow palette houses a quad of neutral shimmers from light champagne to a true bronze for gilded eyes. 

My eye makeup has been pretty matte in recent years, a new eyeshadow palette will hit my desk brimming with exhilarating shades, and I’ll only dip my brush into the warm matte browns. I’m a creature of habit. A quick (and failsafe) sweep across the lids, and I’m good to go. But the Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Silk, which costs £48, is seasonally appropriate, and my matte eyeshadow collection is practically begging for it. Plus, who doesn’t love something shiny, shimmering, and new? 
Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Silk | Review & Swatches
Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Silk | Review & Swatches
Victoria Beckham Beauty Smoky Eye Brick in Silk | Review & Swatches

With four easily wearable shades and minimal, plastic-free packaging, you won’t find yourself getting lost amongst shades, and it won’t clutter your vanity. The lighter tones Linen and Sunbeam aren’t as pigmented as the second half of the palette, but they’re buildable and look beautiful on the eye. For more pigment, you can use your fingers, or press your brush into the palette followed by a quick sprtiz of water or makeup setting spray before applying to the lids. I found this worked best. It packed on the pigment delivering a more intense, opaque, smooth colour finish, which is more to my liking. Once it dries, it then makes it easier to buff into the skin without any telltale lines or edges. And if the top of your eyeshadow hardens by wet application, take a clean spoolie brush and gently exfoliate the pan. 

The shades

Linen is a light champagne
Sunbeam is a true yellow gold
Sandal is a deep red-brown
Copper is a true bronze
Plus, for a limited time, Victoria Beckham Beauty is donating 20% of its net sales to Feeding America and the Trussel Trust in the UK in support of their COVID-19 relief efforts.

Are you a fan of Victoria’s pocket-sized palettes?

Favourite Products: March 2020 (& A Note From Me)

In these strange and uncertain times, there’s no better opportunity to learn a new skill or revisit past hobbies. I am currently taking two approaches to keeping sane while social distancing. The first being setting a routine, as I lack creativity and sense of purpose lounging around in my pajamas, eating, and watching Disney+. As much as I enjoy devouring a packet of biscuits, I need order. Secondly, it’s an unexpected opportunity to reignite old passions. Before I shifted into journalism, blogging had provided me with an outlet for escape. So here I am, kickstarting my blogging re-set. Let’s face it, I have a lot of time on my hands. Without further ado, I thought now would be the time to discuss a few beauty favourites. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara, £26*

I jump around with mascaras, it’s where I tend to experiment. Sometimes it’s Maybelline, sometimes it’s Glossier, but my current mascara of choice is Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara. The hourglass wand boasts short, densely-packed bristles - you know the kind of brush that will make your eyelids messy if you apply haphazardly. Its formulation is creamy, ultra-black, and, unlike wine, it doesn’t get better with age. It’s best on opening, which is a rarity. Most importantly, it gives me full fluffy lashes fast. 
Finally, a dewy and hydrating foundation that’s relatively long-lasting. Make Up For Ever Reboot Foundation brightens, smooths out parched patches, and offers light to medium coverage with a fresh, natural finish. It doesn’t dry down, so a dusting of powder is required. And it wears how I want it to until I arrive home in the late afternoon with the slickest, shiniest forehead and nose.
I recently visited Ada Ooi, facialist and founder of 001Skincare, who post-treatment delighted me with the news my skin was ‘wonderfully hydrated’. While I took great pleasure in this compliment, it isn’t because I drink adequate amounts of water, it’s thanks to the fact I slather my skin in Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream. Containing a heavy dose of hyaluronic acid, the slush-puppie-like moisturiser delivers a burst of long-lasting hydration and instantly calms my reactive skin on application. It’s just like you’ve downed a day’s worth of water in an instant - just what dehydrated and stressed skin types are yearning for. 
Eyeshadow has come a long way in the past decade, it has never been easier to get good quality eyeshadow at a reasonable price. Glossier Skywash falls into that bracket with its fool-proof formulation and offering of people-pleasing shades for £15. I like to take the shade Valley (a warm matte peach) all over my lids then blend with a brush. The doe-foot applicator eyeshadows are ideal for those with a relatively uncomplicated makeup routine seeking a wash of colour.
When I want to dim down some gleam, I press Urban Decay Stay Naked Powder Fix over my freshly made-up face with a Morphe Y11 Deluxe Pointed Contour brush. The silky powder offers additional coverage, blurs imperfections, and will make whatever makeup I’m wearing last that bit longer and suck up some oil in the process. 

What products are getting you through this period of isolation? Sending lots of positive vibes your way.

Shop The Post

Popular with cyclists, walkers and locals, The Cowper Arms pub and restaurant in Cole Green Hertfordshire, has all the charm of a traditional English pub with filling food and a warming atmosphere.

The pub, which sits beside a disused railway line that passes through Hertingfordbury, Letty Green and Welwyn Garden City, isn't unfamiliar to me. In fact, over the summer, Ben and myself often found ourselves sat outside in the beer garden, catching the last of the afternoon sun on many occasion while digging into our favourite dishes. 

Speaking of favourite dishes, I was initially concerned The Cowper Arms would have scrapped my go-to main of battered halloumi with twice-cooked chunky chips (£11.75), following a week-long refurbishment earlier this month. But despite the sleek makeover, the menu is relatively the same and, I'm pleased to say the battered halloumi is here to stay.

Yet the entrance, dining room, bar and toilets have had a stylish revamp. And I was all for it. From the pendent ceiling lights, subway tiles, marble countertops, copper accents and mix of leather and velvet studded chairs, they got it right. The venue now boasts a whole new contemporary look.

Whether you want fine dining, or classic pub food, The Cowper Arms offer a selection of great food that comes well portioned and presented. Including hand stretched pizzas (from £10.95), chicken and leek pie (£14.50), home-made British beef burgers (£12.95) and 9oz rib-eye steak (£20.95), which Ben described as 'beautiful', yes really. And if you're feeling bougie, you can add on lobster too and with a much more palatable price tag (£8.95). And I want to put great emphasis on the quality of its food, as whatever you order it's always really tasty.
And if like me you like a good ol' gin and tonic, they've got a vast line-up of floral, fruity and dry gin. Want an interesting gin to order at the bar? Try a raspberry gin and ginger ale - it's surprisingly good. 

London has an abundance of pubs with good grub, but when it comes to cosy pubs, you can't beat the countryside. So if you're passing through Hertfordshire, or fancy visiting, be sure to book and order the sticky toffee pudding (£6.50), as its mouth-wateringly delicious.

Station Road, Cole Green, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 2NL

What's your go-to pub dish?

*This post was in collaboration with The Cowper Arms. 
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