Beauty Aware

Written by a fortysomething redhead, a blog about Beauty and Life and a lot of musings about lipstick ...

PHB Brightening Eye Gel Eyebright & Neroli

I got this eye cream in the January Love Lula beauty box.  Love Lula is my latest beauty box addition, purchased for me for six months by my lovely mother-in-law (love you, Carol) as a Christmas present.  What I love about beauty boxes is that you get to try lovely products that you maybe wouldn't have come across otherwise.

Eye Cream

I don't really like eye cream.  I've never put it on correctly, I always feel like it's too much or not enough, the skin under our eyes is really thin and I'm always afraid I'll pull it or something.  Once, I had a facial, and the beautician told me that if you put too much eye cream on, the skin can get overloaded because it's so thin and products just can't sink in, so they sit just under the first layer of skin and it can make your eyes look puffy.  All in all, I generally don't 'high five' eye creams.

However, this one from PHB is a bit different.  It's organic and free from nasties such as parabens, silicone and perfume, it's also vegan and not tested on animals.

It's a gel not a cream, and to me that makes a huge difference as it sinks in straight away and doesn't feel like it's sitting on the skin.  As usual, ring finger application is advised, it's clearly the softest finger or something so you won't drag your eye skin.


The best thing about this eye gel is that it is so cooling, it feels lovely on tired, puffy eyes and because it's organic there is absolutely nothing in it that will irritate the sensitive eye area.  I could feel it tightening the skin.   It is not in the least bit greasy which is great and only a small amount is required so it should last a while.  The price is £16.95 so I was pleased I got it in the Love Lula box!  However, like all my products I don't mind what I pay as long as I rate the product and I do rate this so I would buy this again when it runs out.

I've had a look at the PHB website, well worth a perusal in your coffee break, I'll definitely be having a look and trying some more of their products.

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Kiko Eye Base Primer πŸ’‹
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Healthier and fitter in 2018

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"A healthier and fitter me in 2018".

This is the first year that I've said that and really meant it.  And I don't mean going on a diet either, intact it's the first year for a while that I haven't started a diet on January 1st.  

I'm so tired of starting January diets, 'cheating' about two weeks in then feeling guilty, begrudgingly getting back on the waggon then falling off completely by Valentine's Day.  Don't get me wrong, diets do work for some people, hell they've worked for me before I used to swear by WeightWatchers points, count those points and the pounds just fall away.  But WeightWatchers no longer seems to work, I am older, more tired and actually really I'm not too fussed about what I weigh or even what size dress I wear anymore.  What I do want is to feel better in my clothes, feel more energised and feel good.  

So, this year is the year of No Dieting, Be Nice To Your Body.

This is the year of Exercise and Feeling Good, Incorporating Techniques to Combat Stress and Thus Aid Restful Sleep.

Because goodness knows I need to address the stress and sleep thing far more than I need to count my calories or deny myself a digestive biscuit or two.  Plus everything I'm reading is saying that lack of sleep and stress (i.e. raised cortisol levels) messes with your hormones and helps keep weight on so I could be fighting a losing battle with that one.

 I took these photos at the beginning of January when I knew I was going to write this post, since then my legs are definitely more toned and my abs are as well.  I've been perfecting the art of the Plank, it's an absolute ab killer, I hate it but it really works.  My pilates teacher makes us do them as well (raised eyebrow emoji!).  

Anyway I'm actually feeling really good and energised as over the past few weeks I've managed to get quite a few gym sessions in plus my pilates and kept an eye on my steps via my FitBit which works now that I've found the charger for it (always helps).

My aim is to continue this throughout the year, I don't really have a goal as such, no target weight or size but as I've said, I want to feel generally fitter and I do feel that this is good way of doing it.

Let's see how it goes, I'll check in with updates throughout the year.  I'll be back soon with a proper beauty post (I've got a great long list of things to write about).


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Eyelash Primers - are they worth it?

Today I thought I'd chat about eyelash primers.  I first discovered eyelash primer when I got one as part of my August Glossybox subscription last year, it was from Manna Kadar.  Prior to that I'd not really heard of eyelash primer, though to be fair there does seem to be a primer for everything else so why not eyelashes too?

Manna Kadar Eyelash Primer

I'll admit, I was dubious as to whether eyelash primers were really necessary.  Sometimes I feel there are a lot of products on the market that perhaps we don't actually really need, but that's the beauty industry I guess.  It seemed to me that eyelash primer was just another thing to put on and remember and if you've not got much time in the mornings then it's a bit of a pain in the neck. 

That said, I was pleased with the Manna eyelash primer.  It lengthened my lashes and was the perfect undercoat for mascara, (reviewed last year in Why A Glossybox Subscription is a Good Idea)   I started to use it regularly though and I thought I would try another brand to see if it was the same.  On an online trip to I found one from blinc, a brand I'd heard of but never used.  Their lash primer was on sale so it seemed that it was meant to be.

Unfortunately the blinc primer was not as good as the Manna one, it was gloopy (see photo) and made my eyelashes feel heavy, and the brush was bigger and didn't suit my lashes, I didn't rate it at all.  I went back to the Manna one which by this time was nearly all gone as I'd used it so much.  I did debate whether to replace it, I even went onto the Manna website to check it out then decided that I would give it a miss.  I think eyelash primers are a good idea, I like the thought of them nourishing and strengthening my eyelashes and they do give a lengthening appearance once mascara is applied.

That said, I've decided they aren't on my list of "must have" products, not like say, a face primer would be and therefore it's better to save my money and buy a product that I really like and know I will use rather than have one that I don't use much and then have it go off. 

Any thoughts on eyelash primers?

Maria xx

Want to read more?
Here's the link to another Chatting About post ... Chatting about Eco Tools Make Up Brushes

Manna Kadar and blinc

Manna Kadar and blinc (quite gloopy)

Happy Christmas and New Year

So it's the week before Christmas and we are now on the home stretch - I've just been informed by my youngest that it's '6 more days'.  We're still at school until Friday though, which is good as I am nowhere near ready for Christmas despite actually starting off quite well, I fell into a lull and now I'm running to catch up, typical.  I'm really hoping that Amazon Prime means 'Prime' - I need this stuff asap now!

My last blog post was the end of September which was absolutely ages ago and quite a lot has happened in that time.  Life-wise, I've been to New York for my 10 year anniversary, been to many, many school events, ferried children to and from places after school and on weekends, got a new car, had several family birthdays, had two colds (one ok, one bad), dosed up the entire family with various medicines when they got the dreaded cold, and been to see Bananarama at the Hammersmith Apollo.

I've got so many beauty things bubbling round in my head that I'm desperate to write about but I think it's safe to say that it's not going to happen before Christmas, therefore this will probably be my final post of 2017 (though I might do another, you never know) so Happy Christmas and best of everything for 2018.   I'll still be around on Instagram and FB though and over Christmas I'm going to plan my posts for next year, including some posts I'm going to write about make up when you're past 35, I've had to change my make up recently as it started not to suit me and it got me thinking about how skin changes as we age and how make up routines need to change with them.

I'm ending this post with a photo of my beautiful pup, his birthday is on Boxing Day he'll be 7.  

Peace and love to everyone who reads this.


Boxing Day birthday dog

Looking for a concealer? These are my five current favourites

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I absolutely cannot live without concealer.  It's one of my 'essential' products.  Even on a rare no make up day I do sling a dot of concealer here and there to disguise blemishes that I want to forget are there so I don't shock myself when I glance in the mirror.  You know, like the odd spot, stuff like that.

When I was thinking about writing this post I thought about all the concealers I've ever used.  In my (much) younger days before I was a full on foundation person, I just used to use a little foundation as a concealer.  Gradually, I needed more and more concealer and I found the perfect one from Witch Hazel, it doubled as an antiseptic/healing stick as well as a cover up.  I used that literally for years and years until quite recently when I realised that they had discontinued my colour (pale) and gone over to just one colour which was just a shade too dark for my skin so I stopped using it and invested in a proper concealer, or two, or three ...

I find that not all concealers are the same and not all concealers are for the same place on your face.  That's why I seem to have so many now.  I've got different ones for spots, blemishes, non-spot blemishes, dark under-eye circles, dry skin patches and cold sores (yes I know you're not supposed to cover them up but I just can't NOT cover them up a bit).

So I am sharing my favourites.  Of course I'm always on the look out for the holy grail so no doubt there will be more to come but these few are the ones I'm using at the moment.

Hard Candy - Sheer Envy
Something I found in the States, I think you can get Hard Candy over here in the UK but it's not widely available.  This one is great for under eyes because the brush is very thin and the colour is almost an exact match for me (fluke!).  It lasts for ages, I never notice that it's come off during the day.

Avon Extra Lasting
Anything with the words Extra Lasting in the title has got to be a winner, right?  Right.  But not for under eyes, or at least not my eyes, far too heavy and matte.  Brilliant for spots and blemishes.  It doesn't budge and you can pop bit of powder over the top and there you go, spots all gone.  Avon do a few shades in this, I think this is the fairest one.

Physicians Formula - Youthful Wear Spotless
Spotless - that's what we all to want to be, right?  It took me a while to get to grips with this because this is actually a concealer in a roller ball pen style with liquid and I found it difficult to get the right amount on my face.  It's much better if there's a larger area to cover because you can sort of scribble it all over your face and make up sponge it from there.  Not great for individual spots but super for a larger area.  I think (not sure) it might also have something in it that helps spots to heal so win-win there.

I'm not sure what this one is called, I only know that it's from Neutrogena and I love it and I'll be upset when it runs out.  This, alongside my beloved Hard Candy is the one I wear under my eyes.  You literally cannot see it once it's blended in, it's amazing it looks so natural.  Neutrogena is kind to the skin as well so no allergy flare ups or anything.  I haven't tried using this on blemishes as I don't want to waste it on those when I need it for my eyes!  I bought this in the States as well, it's on my list to replace next time I go.

Physicians Formula Super CC
Another Physicians Formula (and yet another brand that you can't get in the UK - flipping heck sake!) the super CC concealer is a mixture of everything you need to sort your skin out, whether it's covering redness, or grey under eyes or whatever.  It's a brush and you twist the end of the pen to get the liquid to come through, it takes a while at first and then whooshes out all in one go.  It's great for precision 'painting' if you've got a very specific and small area to put it on and I have also used it for under eyes but it's slightly more matte than the Neutrogena and Hard Candy so better for blemishes I think.

Love, Maria

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