24 September 2020

Beauty Pie Review

I talk about my love for Beauty Pie over on Instagram all the time. So I thought I should write one big heafty, overdue blog post detailing exactly how Beauty Pie works and my favourite products.

Beauty Pie Review

So here's how Beauty Pie works, because I know some people find it a bit confusing. 

Beauty Pie basically source all of their products from the same luxury labs as the big beauty brands, ranging from fragrance, makeup and skincare. They then sell these products to the customer at the cheap as chips factory cost price and a lot of these products have the exact the same ingredients as products from huge, pricey brands, saving you up to 80% vs the typical luxury price tag.

The way Beauty Pie does this is they don't pay for the fancy packaging, huge marketing campaigns etc, which normally hike up the RRP. The way they make their money is by charging the customer a subscription fee, which can be as little as £5 a month and then you pay the members price tag for each item, which can be as little as £10 for a luxury moisturiser. 

On each product they show the members price, e.g. what you will pay and then the typical price, which would be the cost of the product if you bought it from somewhere like Selfridges. Get it?

USE THE CODE 'GEMMASENTME' FOR AN EXTRA £50 SPENDING ALLOWANCE

Beauty Pie Review

So how does the membership work?

This is what I struggled to get for a little while, so let me explain. 

If you pay £5 a month you get a spending allowance of £50, but that £50 is the total value of the products you're buying, e.g the typical price not the price you will pay. So it adds up the typical price of all the products you buy and takes that from your allowance but you'll actually pay a fraction of that cost. 

It's actually so satisfying to see how much you should have paid for an order.

If I look at a previous order of mine, I paid £34 but the typical price of that order should have been £220!


Beauty Pie Review

What are the different memberships?

There are a 4 different memberships to choose from:

£5 per month gives you £50 spending limit/month - for beginners 
£10 per month gives you £100 spending limit/month - this is the one I have
£20 per month gives you £200 spending limit/month - this is for the real skincare/make up junkies
Or you can pay £99 annual fee and get £100 spending limit/month and save 17%

You also get an additional spending limit bonus of up to £200 when you join.

And any spending limit you don't use one month is rolled over into the next month.

USE THE CODE 'GEMMASENTME' FOR AN EXTRA £50 SPENDING ALLOWANCE

Beauty Pie Review

The Products

So now you know how it works, here are the products & ranges I love.

In terms of skincare, I haven't actually tried anything I don't like, and I've tried a lot from them.

Moisturisers 

I adore their Japanfusion Power Elixir moisturiser, it's a really light, gel like texture but super hydrating. 

The Superdose Vitamin C Oxygen Boosting moisturiser is also lovely, and this was perfect during the summer as it's very lightweight. 

The Superdose Vitamin C Oxygen Boosting Moisturiser should be £50 but members pay £11.84!

I also have the Super Healthy Skin Ultimate Anti-Aging moisturiser, which is so thick and nourishing and will be perfect for the winter months. 

Super Healthy Skin Ultralight UVA/UVB SPF 25, is a bloody lovely SPF. Sinks into the skin, doesn't smell funny or leave any white marks. When I bought this the SPF50 hadn't yet launched so I would recommend that one instead as we could all do with a bit more SPF in our lives.


Beauty Pie Review

Cleansers

The Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Butter is absolutely divine. It smells heavenly and is so thick that it makes removing your make up feel like a treat. I've just run out of this and will 100% be repurchasing.
This should be £50 but you pay £13.89.

I've also tried the JuJu Daily AM/PM Multiphasing Cleansing Milk, which is a lovely light cleansing milk. If you do a double cleanse this would be your second cleanse as I wouldn't say it would be great at removing the first layer of make up. 

Treatments & Masks

I swear by the Superactive Capsules Pure Double Vitamin C and E Serum. This is my second pot and I love them. I had some pigmentation from pregnancy and these basically got rid of all of that. Would 100% repurchase (and have done). Members pay £10.81 but RRP is £50.

I'm also currently using the new Superdose Vitamin C Freeze Dried Ampoules, I've only completed 2 weeks of the 4 week kit but so far my skin looks brighter and ore even toned.

Dr Glycolic Multi-Active Micropeeling Pads are great. Super easy to use, you swipe one cotton pad over your face for a quick buff of dead skin cells. These are great because you would normal pay upwards of £25 for these but on Beauty Pie they're £9.34.

USE THE CODE 'GEMMASENTME' FOR AN EXTRA £50 SPENDING ALLOWANCE

Beauty Pie Review

Serums

Juju Daily Stem Cell Shot Serum - this is a really great, hydrating serum. I really enjoyed using this. 

Plantastic Micropeeling Super Drops, this contains salicylic acid to refine pores and smooth out the skin. I love these because you literally need the smallest amount to cover the area of concern. 

Super Healthy Skin Vitamin C Serum, I really loved this. It's great at fighting the ageing effects from free radicals, it contains vitamin C so it's brightening and generally calms your complexion. Would repurchase. Typical price £80 but members pay £12.12.

Candles

I recently bought the Leather, Violet leaves and labdanum candle and my god, it's divine. So smokey, earthy and musky. It's going to be absolutely perfect for those cosy Autumnal nights. I've also heard amazing things about their Bahia De Meil candle.

Eye Cream, Eyebrow Pencil

Uber Youth Super Eye Energy Peptide Infusion Cream is a really lovely eye cream, it's great at hydrating and getting rid of puffiness. Typical price £65, members pay £8.54

Superbrow Luxe Precision Pencil - let me tell you, this brow pencil is bloody amazing. I use the shade perfect brown, cool and it's the perfect shade for mousey brown hair. It's got a super fine nib so you can draw on individual hairs and then theres a small brush on the other side to brush out any harsh lines. I've just run out of my second one of these and have already ordered my 3rd. 10/10.
Typical price £20, members pay £5.44.

Beauty Pie Review

So there's my round up of Beauty Pie, how it works, how much it costs and my favourite products. Do let me know if you have any other questions and I'd love to help.

*Affiliate partner
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10 September 2020

The Autumnal Cardigan Edit

 


We are officially entering knitwear season, well, after a few more days of hot weather. But we're on the countdown to cosy evenings, cold crisp air, candles, cashmere and crunchy autumnal leaves. I adore Autumn, I love wrapping up in all the layers but still being able to wear floaty skirts and bare legs and generally just getting cosy.

I love cardigans in particular for layering and they're perfect with a midi skirt and either a t-shirt underneath or a pretty floaty blouse. I've popped a couple of dreamy knits below that I've fallen in love with on the internet recently.

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3 September 2020

Products For Glowing Skin

 

Whenever I speak to friends about skincare we all say that we want products that give us glowing skin, and I think really that's what most women want. 

Out of all the products I try and test, ones that make my skin glowing are my absolute favourite and what I always look, for so I thought I'd share some of my favourites.


The Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules are amazing. They're a little dose of Vitamin C and E, and each capsule contains the perfect amount of serum for one application. I notice a huge difference in my skin when I use these, it looks generally brighter and more even. This is my second bottle and with the first I noticed it got rid a lot of the pigmentation that came out post-pregnancy.

Sticking with the vitamin C theme I wanted the mention the This Work Morning Serum Hyaluronic Acid (and vitamin C). Anything with hyaluronic acid in it is a winner for me as it's amazing for hydration, and when combined with vitamin C is just the perfect concoction. I like to use this in the morning before putting my make up on.



Another way to add some glow into your skincare routine is with your cleanser. The Elemis Superfood AHA Glow Cleansing Butter is great because it feels like a normal cleansing balm but actually eats away at dead skin, leaving you with a glowing base. I also love the Beauty Pie Dr Glycolic Multi-Acid Micropeeling Pads because they're so quick and easy to use. You simply swipe one pad over your face and the multi-acids eat away at dead skin.

On the topic of Beauty Pie, if you use the code GEMMASENTME at checkout you get an extra £50 spending added to your allowance.


Moving onto masks, I've used the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask for years. It's a super quick mask, you pop it on for 10 minutes then rinse off, so even the busiest of gals could squeeze it in. 

A similar mask is the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel. Again you pop it on for 10 minutes and it eats away at dead skin leaving you with buffed, glowing skin.


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Finally, the Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum. This tackles damage from pollution and UV rays, so it's great for pigmentation and contains glycolic acid to yep, you guessed it, buff away at dead skin. So not only does this give you glow but it also helps to treat any dark marks and pigmentation. 


I hope you found this post helpful and you've picked up some recommendations to perk your skin up and inject a little bit of glow, which lets face it we're all going to need some extra glow with winter around the corner!



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21 August 2020

Everyday Mum Make-Up

Over the past year I've really nailed down my go to quick mum make-up for when you have a toddler crawling all over you or just 5 minutes to spare.

I very rarely wear foundation any more and I've found my skin has absolutely loved me for it. Instead I use a combination of highlight, some gel bronzer and concealer under my eyes and this gives me enough coverage. The products I use for this are the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter (shade fair), which gives a really amazing natural glow, the new Elemis Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser also gives similar results. I then use a couple of dabs of Decleor Green Mandarin Sun-Kissed Cream, which is a gel based bronze product and as the name suggests gives a sun-kissed look to the skin. I kind of blend these two together all over the face and then add two swipes of concealer under my eyes, blend that under my eyes and then go over the rest of my face with the brush to add a little bit of coverage with any left over product. The concealer I've been loving recently is the Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer (shade light).


I then set all of this with the Charlotte Tilbury Genius Magic Powder. For a little extra bronze I use the Benefit Hoola Bronzer, my all time favourite bronzer. For cheeks I love the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge's (shade Powder Pink) as they're super quick to apply and the cream texture gives you a bit of extra glow. If you can't tell, my main aim is to look like a bronzed, glowing goddess to offset the lack of sleep look. 


Moving onto brows I can't recommend the Beauty Pie Superbrow Luxe Precision Pencil (shade Perfect Brown 'Cool') enough, it has a super fine nib so you can draw on individual hairs, and it has a spooley on the end to brush through the product and tame your hairs.

Lastly, I'll add a quick swipe of mascara and my go to is the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara and then I'm good to go. 

I can generally do this make up really quickly as I blend all the base products together and then pop on some bronzer and blush. If I have some extra time, sometimes I will add a little bit of eyeshadow. My favourites are the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks as these are so quick to swipe over the lids then blend in with your fingers and they come in a million colours. 

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5 May 2020

My Ultimate Skincare Guide

I often receive messages on Instagram asking for advice on skincare, whether it be one particular product or asking what I would recommend for someone starting from scratch with their skincare routine. I've been using skincare religiously for 8 years and over that time I've developed some firm favourites that I've gone back to time and time again and also learnt which products really work for me. With this in mind, I thought I'd put together my ultimate skincare guide so that if someone said they were starting from scratch I could provide them with this list and it will have everything they need for every concern.

Guide to Skincare

Guide to Skincare

I want to highlight that my skin is combination but more on the dry side. I often get dry patches on my cheeks, and I have congestion around my nose and chin. I don't tend to have any issues with oil so I can't advise on products that help with really oily skin.

Right, let's get into it:

Oils
My go to oil for years is Rosehip Oil, it's absolutely incredible for dry skin. Whenever I have an outbreak of dry skin patches, normally when the weather changes, I use this, morning and night and it clears within a few days. It's quite a heavy oil so I use it lightly in the day so that my make up doesn't slip all over the place and then before bed I lather a nice thick layer on. The one I've used for years is the Triology 100% Natural Certified Rosehip Oil. 

It's also great for scaring, pigmentation and anti-ageing. Generally just a great all rounder.

The other oil that I love is the Clarins Blue Orchid Oil. Just a gorgeous, gorgeous oil. Amazing for hydrating the skin and leaves you with a really radiant complexion. Over the years, I've probably been through about 2 or 3 bottles of the stuff.

Serums
If I could only use one serum it would be Hyaluronic Acid. I started using it pretty religiously around 8 years ago and noticed the biggest difference in my skin, it's like an instant hit of hydration. Your skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid but as we age we produce less and are able to hold onto less. It's also great at stimulating collagen, works as an antioxidant and prevents the loss of elasticity. The one I'm using at the moment is from The Organic Pharmacy and it's lovely,
Guide to Skincare
My next go to serum is La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +. I blogged about in in 2014 (!!!), you can read that here, and it's been in my skincare stash and in my rotation ever since. The reason I love it so much is because it's incredible at reducing spot redness and stopping spots from getting out of hand. It also helps prevent scaring.


Another must have serum for me is anything with Vitamin C in it. After pregnancy I have quite a bit of pigmentation on my face and Caroline Hirons told me years ago that the best thing for any kind of pigmentation is Vitamin C. I love the Superactive Vitamin C Capsules from Beauty Pie, I started using them religiously when Matilda was around 5 months old and a large pigmentation spot on the side of my face completely faded. I've also used the Clinique Freshly Pressed Daily Booster with Vitamin C before and really loved that too.


Moisturisers
As my skin is more on the dry side I tend to always opt for quite rich moisturisers that leave my skin feeling hydrated, but not too overwhelmed. I especially don't want anything too heavy for the day as I don't want my make-up to slip around everywhere. Over the years I've learnt which products work for me and these are my favourites:
Guide to Skincare
Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base - This is a really lovely thick and hydrating moisturiser but sits really well under make-up. I use it both AM and PM.

Beauty Pie Japanfusion Supreme Cream- I recently finished my first pot of this and really enjoyed it. It has an almost jelly like consistency, which I don't usually like but didn't mind it with this product. I found it to be really hydrating and great for days when my skin felt dry. I'd definitely repurchase, especially as it's a fraction of the price of other skincare brands.

Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream - I adore Clarins moisturisers, I've had countless pots over the years as they're such incredible quality. I love the Multi-Active day cream because it's rich, hydrating and sinks into the skin easily.

La Roche Posay Toleraine Ultra Fluid - La Roche Posay is my go to brand for so many products and I used their Toleraine Ultra Fluid moisturier religiously when I was pregnant as I knew it didn't contain anything that I couldn't use. If I'm having a little crazy moment with my skin this is my go to product as it's super gentle.


Masks

It's no secret that I love a mask, whether it's for a pamper night, an overnight boost or a quick 5 minutes. I think taking time for yourself and your skin is so important and over the years I've tried many, many masks and the below are my absolute favourite:

I have been using Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask for about 6 years, and if I could only have one mask it would be this. It's like a huge drink for you skin as it gives a huge injection of moisture. The best thing is that you can wear it to bed so you don't have to worry about finding time in the day, which I know is difficult for us mamas. It contains avocado and glacia water for a huge boost of hydration. I use this mask when I have dry patches of skin or generally just need a little pick me up and I always wake up with better skin.

I also love the Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask, because it clears the pores but isn't too striping on the skin.

Guide to Skincare
The Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask is another favourite, it's great because it's moisturising whilst also tightening pores and clearing imperfections. As my skin is more on the dry side I often find harsh masks are too much to handle, so this mask is great because along with getting rid of the crap from my skin it also hydrates.

Cleansers
I love balm cleansers because they're hydrating, melt away make up really easily and feel amazing on the skin. My two favourite are below:

Clinique Take The Day Off Balm - a lovely balm cleanser that turns to oil on the skin and completely melts away all make-up even eye make up. It's fragrance free so perfect if you have super sensitive skin.

Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm is absolutely divine. It smells heavenly of apricots and because it's a thick balm it feels lovely and luxurious on the skin. Like the Clinique one it also completely melts away any make up and is perfect if you have slightly drier skin as it doesn't strip the skin.
Guide to Skincare
Toners
I only tend to use hydrating toners and the one I've repurchased a number of times is the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Toner. As the name suggests it's lovely and hydrating but also refines pores and I really find that it prevents my pores from getting blocked. It also contains real rose petals in the bottle so smells so beautiful.

I alternate between the Fresh toner and also the Soothing Apricot Toner from Elemis, which is also super gentle.

Treatments
I love glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid, whether it be in a liquid form or on pre-soaked cotton pads. I use these to gently get rid of any dead skin cells as they gently resurface the skin. I don't use retinol as you can't use it whilst pregnant or breastfeeding and prior to that I didn't do enough research to know how to use it.

I love the REN Ready, Steady, Glow AHA Tonic as you just pop the liquid on a cotton pad on swipe it over your face. Contains lactic acid for gentle exfoliation.

I also love the Beauty Pie Plantastic Micropeeling Super Drops, which contain salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the face. These come in a bottle with a dropper and you only need a teeny amount to cover your face.

Lastly I love the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads, which are pre soaked cotton pads, which work to smooth the skin and leave a radiant complexion.
Guide to Skincare

And there we have it. My absolute ultimate guide to skincare all wrapped up in one blog post. 

I'd love to hear if you already use these products or if you have any recommendations.








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16 March 2020

Ad: Our Feeding Journey with Aptamil Follow On Milk with Pronutra-ADVANCE









I've spoken previously on Instagram about Matilda and I's feeding journey and mentioned that we have always had some level of combination feeding as that was what worked best for our family. Our daily routine has somewhat changed dramatically, like everyone else's has, but one thing that's remained the same is our feeding routine.

When Matilda turned 6 months old we moved onto the Aptamil Follow On Milk with Pronutra-ADVANCE.

The reason we chose Aptamil Follow On Milk is because we felt so reassured by the research and expertise that has gone into developing the formula. They have over 40 years of breastmilk research, which they have developed with a team of 500 scientists and experts and this has enabled them to develop a formulation that is specifically tailored to support babies nutritional needs from 6-12 months. Knowing this made the decision to choose Aptamil Follow On Milk really easy.

It was so important to me when starting to introduce Aptamil Follow On Milk that Matilda continued to receive the right level of nutrients to support her development. Knowing that it contained a formulation of Vitamin A, C and D and Iron made me feel so reassured as vitamin D is important for supporting the normal function of the immune system and iron supports normal cognitive development. 

As we're still currently combination feeding we tend to give Aptamil Follow On Milk before Matilda's afternoon nap and then before bedtime. It's so easy and quick to make and once I've made up the feed I then take Matilda into her nursery, place her in her sleeping bag and snuggle up to feed. I love the closeness of this moment because often she's starting to get sleepy and will be holding my hand that holds the bottle or stroking her hair. As soon as I bring the bottle to her mouth to feed she grabs it and pushes it in her mouth, and she always finishes the full feed.

I've always found the Aptamil Follow On Milk easy to make up, and I especially love their pre-made bottles which you can just throw into the changing bag. I tend to try and plan our daily walk around our feeding schedule but for times when we're out and Matilda needs a feed the pre-made bottles are so perfect. Something I'm very excited about is that Aptamil Follow On Milk have just launched pre measured sachets, which I think is so genius because often when we go out I have to measure out the powder into a little tupperware pot which is often quite bulky, so the fact that these are so small and light makes life so much easier!

As you can probably tell, we're big fans of Aptamil Follow On Milk in our house as Matilda took to the formulation really well and I always recommend the brand to my friends as I know that with all the years of research I can trust them.

*Disclaimer from Aptamil Follow On Milk: Important Notice: Breastfeeding
is best for babies. Follow On Milk should only be used as part of a mixed diet and not as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. Use on the advice of your healthcare professional

*I have been compensated for my time in writing it but this is an honest Aptamil Follow On Milk review and all content and opinions are my own. 

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24 January 2020

The Elvie Breast Pump Review / AD

I've spoken on Instagram before about my breastfeeding journey and raved about how much of a huge part the Elvie Breast Pump played in this so I thought it was about time that I actually sat down and gave a full review of the pump.

The reason why I was drawn to the Elvie Breast pump when I was pregnant was because it looked so discrete and compact compared to all the other pumps on the market. I loved that there were no wires to make you feel like a cow being milked and that it was almost silent when on. In the early days when visitors came round to see Matilda, I sat pumping with the Elvie pump in my bra, under my top and people had no idea what I was doing. My sister in law was sat right next to me once whilst I pumped and said she had no clue I was sat there pumping.

The Elvie Pump Review

Just after Matilda was born the Elvie pump really saved my breastfeeding journey as she was born with jaundice which meant that from the very start she was often too sleepy to feed off me. I therefore started pumping using the Elvie pump as soon as my milk came in so that I was able to feed her from the bottle. I truly believe that this saved our breastfeeding journey as without being able to pump I wouldn't have been able to feed Matilda and it's likely that my milk would have dried up. Pumping also helped enormously with the day 3 engorgement which for me was absolute agony as Matilda was barely feeding off me. I remember ringing my mum in tears because I was in so much pain and she said I should have a hot shower and then try to pump. I did this and it immediately helped so much.

The Elvie Pump Review

I've since used the Elvie pump everywhere: in the hairdressers, in the car (as a passenger) and whilst I potter around the house or play on the floor with Matilda. I love that it's hands free so I literally can pump everywhere and anywhere.

Now that we've spoken about why I chose and love the Elvie breast pump lets talk about specifics. Along with being super compact it's also so easy to use. There's a simple 'On' button in the middle and a 'Start/Pause' button at the top, which I use if I'm in the middle of doing something or if I need to reposition it because I placed it on my boob at an odd angle. Either side of the 'Start/Pause' button are the 'L' and 'R' buttons which allow you to switch between boobs when you're pumping. The reason for these is if you move from one boob to another the pump then changes the rhythm of pumping to mimic how a baby sucks at the start of a feeding session. Then finally there is a button which allows you to change up the intensity of the pumping, which is great if you want to do a quick pump.

The Elvie Pump Review

When you order the Elvie Breast Pump you are sent two breast guards which hopefully means that the pump should fit perfectly to your breast. If the two sizes included in the box don't fit you then there is also a third size which is available on the Elvie website, which I didn't need but it's great there are multiple options to give you a custom fit. There are excellent instructions on how to check if the guard fits to you breast in the information booklet to help ensure that it's fitted correctly to your boob.

The Elvie Pump Review

Also included in the box are two reusable 150ml BPA free bottles, which come with lids so once you're done pumping you can pop the milk straight into the fridge.

In terms of battery life, I would say that it lasts for around 3 long pumping sessions before it needs recharging but it takes no time at all to charge, which is one of the features I love the most about it. Another feature I love is that it comes with an app which you can link up your pump to. This tells you how much milk is in the bottle during a pumping session, battery level and a bunch of other features.

I get asked online and in person all the time if I would recommend the Elvie pump and I whole heartedly say yes every single time. It's really saved me on a number of occasions like at the very start of my breast feeding journey and on the odd occasion when I'm away from Matilda for more than 3 hours and need to pump. It's small enough to fit into my handbag, which I just think is so incredible, and you really can use it without anyone knowing what you're doing.

I appreciate that the price tag is quite expensive but for something that has been so vital to my breastfeeding journey I think it's totally worth it. I had a friend who recently gave birth and had a standard pump with all the wires and loud suction noises and she found that it effected her mental health too much to use it and so stopped. I have never had that experience with the Elvie, if anything, every time I use it I just think about how easy it is.

Even 6 months into breastfeeding I still use the pump and imagine I will continue to use it until we stop feeding.

So there we have it, my honest and long overdue thoughts for my Elvie breast pump review. As you can tell it's been a big hit for me and my feeding journey. I've linked to the Elvie website here, which gives lots more information that I may have missed off and some really helpful videos.


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