I’ve been back for NYC a while but haven’t posted too much from it as I’m still a little unsure what/how I want to post about. That said I did take some photos of my beauty products which I want to share and keep an eye out for what’s in my long haul travel case next week. We’re skipping makeup and just concentrating on toiletries as I don’t typically do my makeup in the bathroom but do let me know if that’s something you’d like to see too.

We’ll start with the essential although not terribly exciting- deodorant…

I took two with me, as I hadn’t tried the Bioderma Sensibio Freshness before, and because I typically like to have both a spray and a roll on. I like a roll on as my go-to morning deodorant and the Bioderma Sensibio Freshness Deodorant is great, it’s designed for sensitive skin therefore isn’t too scented which I like. I’ve been using it for a few months and it’s great but if you are particularly sweaty I think it might be best to opt for something different. I bought the Mitchum Aero Advance Deodorant at the airport as it’s a great one for the boyfriend and I to share, as naturally he had forgotten his. Mitchum is a brand I really trust and I find the mini size great to throw in my handbag in case I want to freshen up whilst exploring the city.

Another must is sun cream, I decided recently to start wearing suncream daily (more on that soon) and for New York I opted for Ultrasun SPF 30 Family as I had a small tube, perfect to travel with.  This particular suncream isn’t specifically designed for the face but it is for sensitive skin so I didn’t have any issues with it on my face, especially as I ensure I cleanse properly in the evening. For me it was light weight enough for under my makeup and I had no issues even on days we were out all day. Ultrasun is a brand I trust when it comes to skincare and I might even pick up some more for the summer!

For facial moisturisers I took quite a few as my skin does get a little dehydrated when traveling but I must admit I was missing a oil and serum in this routine. I took with me the Elemis Pro Collagen Cream which is my go-to everyday face cream as it’s hydrating but not too heavy. I took Weleda Skin Food as I like it for very dry patches both on the face and body, and also to highlight my face/limbs. Finally, I grabbed Embryolisse Lait-Creme, it’s a great moisturiser to have as I can use it even if my skin is feeling little more sensitive- although I didn’t end up really needing it.

As my cleanser I took the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm– I love a balm cleanser, especially when I’m traveling and this one is one of my favourites! I find balms do a great job of removing all of my makeup without stripping my skin and I find a balm to be a great luxurious-feeling way to remove my makeup and get ready for bed, especially after a long day. I also have a small version of the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Balm which I kept in the shower for my morning cleanse. Oskia is one of my favourite skincare brands but I don’t fully understand the hype around this cleanser, it’s nice but I simply prefer a balm. I did also take a mini Bioderma Micellar water which was great for removing any makeup from my under eyes but which I kept in my makeup bag for makeup removal on the go.

I always like to travel with a few face masks and treatments such as the Oskia Citylife Detox Mask which is great for getting some life back into my skin after days on the subway and in the big smoke. I love how easy this is to travel with, although it’s a little tricky to mix and I also had some other sachet sheet masks beside my bed, perfect to help hydrate my skin. My go-to over night product was the REN Wake Wonderful Night-Time Facial, as my skin is quite dry I love the exfoliating nature of this. As it uses AHAs I wake up with a more radiant skin, which is exactly what I look for!

My other overnight product to add a glow would be the James Read Gradual Tan drops. Not everyone loves fake tan on their face but I personally think a few drops in with my moisturiser can make a huge difference and making me feel instantly more confident.

Honestly, I don’t always cream my body (although I am making a special effort and getting much better) but I took the Byredo Body Lotion away with me, I think I brought it home from a hotel a while back but it smells great!

In terms of fragrance I did take the Glossier fragrance but ended up only reaching for Maison Margiela Replica Whispers in Library. This arrived days before I went away which is probably part of the reason I reached for it but I love this fragrance. It’s a unisex fragrance which my boyfriend could wear if he wanted and it just looks so chic. It’s quite easy to wear, quite light with notes of cedar and vanilla which I love.

Final few items in my shower…

Sol De Janeiro Shower Gel, honestly this just smells amazing and makes me happy. In terms of shampoo, conditioner and hair mask I opted for Philip Kingly, a brand I love and trust! The Elasticizer is one of my favourite masks as I colour my hair and my hair is quite fine, it adds life back into my hair without weighing it down. Plus, these three products come in a little Jet Set set which is perfect for a few days away.

What are your must have products when you’re away?

lvl-lashes brunette
So I thought today I’d tell you about two treatments I had done recently.

The first I’ve had done before but Toni & Guy done such a good job that I thought we’d talk about it a little. I wanted something a little different for winter but went in without much of a plan. I went in to see An who is a colourist and stylist at Toni & Guy North Audley Street. We decided to go a little darker but keep a hint of the balayage towards the tips and just tidy the shape up a little. I wasn’t too happy with my previous cut and colour (which I had done elsewhere) but I love the current colour and shape. An also applied Olaplex, which if you haven’t tried, I honestly think it’s amazing and a must for coloured hair!

It’s also worth noting that they have a Fashion Fix Menu in-salon which is perfect for all your festive hair needs. You can choose from 24 key Blow Dry styles to statement up-do’s, all done within 30minutes.

Onto Nouveau Lashes LVL treatment…

I’ve had Nouveau Lash Extensions before and I liked them but felt that they were a little too much work for me but LVL, that I can get behind! It’s a semi-permanent treatment which straightens your natural lashes at the root (lifting them up, similar to curling your lashes with a lash curler), making them look longer and thicker. They also tint the lashes which creates a mascara-style look.

I went in for my treatment on Harley Street and was made to feel super comfortable. The beautician and I spoke through the treatment and decided to start with the medium size curl as some of my lashes are quite straight and they’re quite long so could end up printing onto my brow bone. It’s ever so slightly uncomfortable but pain-free and only took 45minutes which is much quicker than lash extensions.

The reason why I prefer it to lash extensions is because it requires less maintenance and only needs to be topped up every six or so weeks, the treatment is shorter and you’re free to use whatever products you want on your lashes after. Plus, I like that no one can say they’re fake as they’re completely real just enhanced. If you want the super thick effect lash extensions give you then these aren’t for you but if you want enhanced lashes that don’t require too much work I can’t recommend LVL enough! I’ll write a bit of an update after I’ve tried it a few more times to share my thoughts about how it wears and the effect on my lashes.

new beauty productsOrigins Warm Down Lava Scrub
I’ll admit that I think this is a little bit gimmicky, I don’t know if you really need a body scrub designed especially for post gym but I have been using this one for a few weeks and have been loving it. This is the first body warming body scrub I have ever used and the shower-activated Volcanic Ash which warms on contact with water is suppose to help ease muscle tension as well as purify. I’m not too sure if it really does that but it’s a beautifully gentle scrub which I find to be super luxurious and relaxing because of the warming sensation. It’s a little more than I usually spend on a scrub but it’s the perfect pamper product and I really look forward to using it.

Goldwell Kerasilk Repower Volume Blow Dry Spray
I have been loving salon designed hair products recently and my most recent discovery is the Goldwell Kerasilk Repower range. My favourite product is this Volume Blow Dry spray as it has heat protection but also adds volume to my hair without being sticky and difficult to work in.

SinfulColors X Kylie Jenner
If you’re a Kylie Jenner fan and want to buy something from her beauty empire but don’t fancy paying the custom charges for a lip kit than you’ll be happy hear that her collaboration with SinfulColors is available for just £3 from Superdrug. I went for the colour Miss Chief which is a dusty lavender/pink shade with tiny specs of silver shimmer which is luckily barely noticeable on the nail and is just a typical me colour.

Jo Malone London Carrot Blossom & Fennel
This might be a big statement but I think this might be my favourite Jo Malone scent ever and it’s really really grown on my since the first time I tried it. It’s light and summery with (as you’d imagine) hints of carrot and fennel as well as apricot and white musk. It’s a great travel friendly size which I think might make it my summer holiday scent.

Soft & Gentle 2 in 1 Shower and Shave mousse
Not the most glamorous product but essential and it’s been living in my shower for the last couple of weeks. It’s designed for intimate skin and pH balanced but have been using it even to shave my legs and found it to work really well without irritating my skin. If you ever have issues with irritation shaving the bikini line (although it’s probably worth switching to waxing if you do) then this is a great product to try as it’s the only shaving cream I’ve seen designed with this area in mind.

hair careI’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about my hair and hair care, it’s often something that’s a little neglected here on ALO as I don’t have the greatest hair but since you’ve got to work with what you’ve got I thought I would share the bits I have been loving.

Shampoo is something that just doesn’t excite me, their either average or bad but rarely do I fall in love but the Davines Prep shampoo and conditioner really took me by surprise. The packaging is pretty which is great as it looks nice on the bathroom shelf but more than that my hair loved this shampoo! The Davines Prep Shampoo is for ‘all hair types’ and the Prep Mild Cream Conditioner is for ‘fine to medium’ so since I have fine hair I wasn’t sure if it was going to do a lot for my hair but I found that it was great for rebalancing my hair. I usually have quite dry ends and greasy roots but I found that this kept my ends hydrated and my roots cleared for longer than any other shampoo. Day two hair is rare for me as my hair is usually super greasy by then, but with this I didn’t even need dry shampoo day two. It is quite expensive but I think really worth the money as I had to spend less time washing my hair! I’m currently trailing a different shampoo but will probably be putting in a little Cult Beauty order for some more Davines products soon!

I was also recently send the Kardashian Beauty hair range which I thought might be a bit gimmicky but I actually have fallen in love with the Volume Foam in particular, it isn’t too heavy or sticky but still adds a great amount of volume and hold to the hair. I have been using the Blow Dry Cream too, which adds a bit of shine to the hair and more importantly has heat protection.

In terms of tools theres nothing new really; I love my ghd blow dryer which is definitely worth the investment, I use to go for a blow dryer every few months but this one has lasted ages and dries my hair quickly. I rarely straighten my hair but I do always have a ghd styler too just in case, I currently have the new one from the Azores collection which is beautiful. I curl my hair quite often and for that I love the Babyliss Boutique Soft Waves, I find it to be the perfect size and my curls last all day with it too.

I also just wanted to mention that I did used Olaplex last time I had my hair coloured and I think that it helped my hair massively. I don’t know too much about Olaplex but the next time I get my hair coloured I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.

What hair products have you been loving?

hair 3 hair 1I was actually growing my hair until last Friday and I know I have had lots of comments recently from people who think my hair would look nicer longer but sometime you just need a good chop and last Friday was that day.

I had my hair done at Daniel Galvin in Kensington which such a beautiful salon! I went in for a bit of a trim and a colour refresh but after discussing the (not so good) condition of my hair we decided to take a little off the length too. Colour wise nothing has changed to much; my roots are slightly darker and although I kept the balayage, it’s a little softer. I absolutely love the colour, and although I probably will be going a little lighter in a few months, it is perfect, low maintenance and has that perfect sun-kissed look to it.

On to the cut…

As I mentioned I only went in for a trim but the truth is that my hair was pretty dry and I’m not too precious with the length of my hair. I was initially a little shocked I think but I actually love it! Although it’s short I can still tie it up if I need to and it’s surprisingly low maintenance. My hair wasn’t long to begin with but taking off just a inch or two really changed the whole overall look. I haven’t worn it straight yet but I love how easy it is to just rough dry and then add a few lose curls for an effortlessly chic look (kind of).

Although Daniel Galvin is quite a pricey salon I do think you get what you pay for and I am in love with my new hair and would highly recommend booking in for your next hair appointment.

A huge thanks to Cheryl and Sarah for the perfect cut and colour!