Beauty Tips For Bad Days

We all have days where we feel (and look) a little bit below par. Even the most naturally beautiful women. Days where we wish we could just hide away and not have to grace anyone with our spotty, tired looking face. Unless you’re like me and work from home, this is however not an option for the majority of people. Not to worry though. There are some ways we can cheat the appearance of looking good on a bad day, even if we woke up this morning looking far from our best. 

Add some colour – The appearance of sallow looking skin can be improved by adding a hint of colour. Try using a tinted moisturiser, BB creambronzer or self tanner to add a hint of colour to a pale complexion. Finish with a hint of blusher. Don’t go too heavy though! Try to make your skin look natural with your colouring. For example I’m a redhead and naturally have pale skin and eyes. If I use bronzer, my skin just looks dirty! Tailor your makeup to your natural colouring. 

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Add a touch of Bronzer to add some colour to your face

Concealer – Concealer is the ultimate weapon in your beauty arsenal. Blemishes, bruises, dark under eye circles, redness, scars and spots can all be covered using a good quality concealer. Dark under eye circles in particular can make a face appear tired looking. Concealer will help to lift and brighten your face. I recommend Younique’s Touch Mineral Skin Perfecting Concealer. It’s an amazing concealer that works so well, it even covers tattoos! 

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Using Younique’s Touch Mineral Skin Perfecting Concealer to cover a tattoo 

Lip colour – Lip colour can draw attention away from tired looking eyes and brighten up your look. 

Moisturise – Those of you who are regulars of this blog know how much I stress the importance of looking after your skin. When your skin is dehydrated your skin can look dull and appear older. Make sure that you moisturise your skin in the mornings and ensure that you are drinking enough water to keep your skin and the rest of your body healthy and hydrated. A good quality moisturiser is one of the best beauty investments you will make. 

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Make moisturising a daily habit 

Sunburn – My nemesis. After sun exposure, if you’re suffering from sunburn take a cool shower or bath and apply a cold compress to help cool the skin. Younique’s Rosewater Toning Spritz is a soothing natural toner that works well on sunburn. It’s non-irritating, helps to reduce redness and encourages your skin to heal itself. If your skin is still red, applying a light tinted moisturiser can help to disguise it. 

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Younique’s Refreshed Rosewater is a multi-purpose natural toner that works well on sunburnt skin 

Tired Eyes – You really shouldn’t get in the habit of depriving yourself of sleep. However if you’re sleep deprived and have tired looking eyes, there are a couple of tricks you can use. As I mentioned before, concealer is amazing for giving tired eyes a lift. Also try curling your lashes to open up your eyes and look a bit more awake (even if you’re not!) Dark eyeliners and eyeshadows can make you appear even more tired than you already are so stick to lighter colours on those days. If all else fails – put your sunglasses on! 

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My husband looked good, I was having a bad day so hid behind the glasses! 

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

 

Younique Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palettes

When I began my Younique makeup business, I was sent a makeup kit for new Presenters. Inside it is a huge array of samples and full sized products including the amazing 3D Fiber Lashes which Younique are best known for. But another product which I’m a big fan of which is included in the New Presenters Kit is the Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette. If you’re a fan of the Naked Palette by Urban Decay, you will love this… 

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The Younique Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette

Younique is still a very new and relatively unknown makeup brand. Those who have heard of it usually think of the 3D Fiber Lashes but they also offer a comprehensive collection of high quality makeup and cosmetics, of which it’s possible to build an entire makeup kit. Younique currently offer three different Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palettes – numbers 1, 2 and 3. Palette 1 contains warm, neutral tones, Palette 2 contains cool tones with black and silver shades and Palette 3 contains cool tones with pink and purple shades. The palette which I own and am reviewing today is Palette 1.

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There are three different palettes available

As I’ve come to expect with Younique products, the packaging for the Addiction Shadow Palette is lovely. It comes in a high quality box with a magnetic closing lid that contains a large mirror. Like the 3D Fiber Lashes, this product would make a beautiful gift. There are seven different shades, all with fun ‘mood’ names like ‘Elated’, ‘Chipper’ and ‘Zealous’. The shadows are pressed and contain a large amount of product. Due to the amount of product the palette contains and the large mirror, the palette is slightly larger than some other palettes I have come across but is still small enough to be able to store comfortably in a makeup bag or drawer. 

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The palette has a magnetic lid containing a good sized mirror and seven warm, neutral shades of matte, semi-matte, pearly satin and metallic shadows

The colours in this palette are warm, neutral tones which would compliment any eye colour. Younique themselves say that the colours in all three palettes are inspired by the desert sky. The finishes are matte, semi-matte, pearly satin and metallic so there are colours suitable for both day and evening wear. All of the different colours coordinate and compliment each other really well so you can have fun and experiment with different looks. I have very light blue eyes and I love the way darker tones of chocolate and taupe contrast with them. There are lighter highlighting and transition colours and darker colours to create a beautiful smokey eye look. Whether you use a brush or an eyeshadow applicator, the shadows go on to your eyelids velvety smooth and are really easy to blend. Some cheaper, lower quality pressed eyeshadows that I have tried have a tendency to drop flakes down your cheek as you apply them but that certainly isn’t the case with the shadows in this palette. The colours are buildable and can be applied dry for highlighting and shading or you can add a drop of water to make them more intense for outlining and contouring eyes. 

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A fellow Younique Presenter wearing colours from Palette 1 

I applied eyeshadow from this palette first thing in the morning along with my other makeup. I usually apply some translucent face powder to my eyelids before applying eyeshadow to prevent creasing but for the purposes of this review, I left them bare. Although the shadows are solid and can be built and shaded as such, they go on with a creamy smooth texture like a cream shadow. Twelve hours later, the colour hadn’t creased or faded at all and still looked as fresh as when I first put it on. In actual fact, I fell asleep wearing it and it still looked good the next morning! So it’s really long-wearing! Like all Younique products, the shadows are hypoallergenic and made from natural, mineral ingredients that are gluten, paraben and carcinogen free. Younique products are also cruelty free. 

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Colours from Palette 1 – Elated, Sincere, Brassy, Chipper, Swanky, Forthright, Zealous

This palette is a luxurious, premium product and is not a cheap purchase. However, as a makeup investment it is definitely worth it. The packaging is gorgeous, the colours are beautiful and long wearing and there is a good amount of product so it will last you a long time. Younique are an online only brand available from authorised Younique Presenters only. If you would like to treat yourself (or a friend) to this beautiful palette, please click here (currency can be changed in the top right corner). 

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes

In my last post, I talked about the natural based, American makeup brand Younique and how I’d been so impressed with the company and it’s products. To follow on from that, as promised, I’d like to introduce you to their best selling product – the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. This is the first Younique product that really took off and the one which most people think of when they think of Younique. It is also the first product I was introduced to in the Younique range. The UK newspaper The Sunday Times declared it ‘The World’s Best Mascara’ and it’s even been given away in goodie bags at the Golden Globe awards. Here’s what I think of it…

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Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. My first experience with Younique products

Younique is an American online only brand whose products are available to purchase from the website of independent representatives known as ‘Presenters’ so this is not a brand you will find on your local high street. As part of their agreement to represent the brand, Presenters are also not allowed to sell on other websites such as ebay so if you’re tempted to purchase from there – beware, your product is highly likely to be counterfeit… 

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The product is beautifully packaged in a gift-like box

Like many people, when I was first introduced to the 3D Fiber Lashes, I’d never actually heard of Younique so had no idea what to expect. I’ve never been someone who is loyal to one or two brands so I tried it with an open mind. The product has patents pending and claimed to boost the thickness and volume of your lashes by up to 400%. Not so great if you like ‘natural’ looking lashes but if like me you love the look of false lashes or lash extensions, this sounds fantastic! 

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The patent pending formula can boost lash volume by up to 400% (and more if you add more layers!) 

Your first impression of this product is the packaging. It comes in a lovely box – almost like a gift box (it would make a great last minute gift or stocking filler), within which you will find a handy travel sized pouch containing the product itself. Another thing that I like about the packaging are the clear viewing panes along the side of the tubes so you can see how much product you actually have left. I’ve never come across a mascara with this before so it’s a neat touch. 

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Not false lashes – 3D Fiber Lashes

Many people refer to this product as a mascara (which given that you apply it like mascara is an accurate description) but I would say that it is more of a ‘false lash effect system’. The product consists of two ‘mascara’ tubes – one containing transplanting gel and the other containing the dry 3D fibres (the product is ophthalmologically approved so don’t worry, they are safe and are suitable for contact lens wearers). The only difference to applying this mascara is there are three steps involved.

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Inside the box is a handy travel pouch for keeping the tubes together in your makeup bag

Firstly, make sure your eyelashes are completely clean and free of any residue from any other mascara or cosmetic products you have been using (this is important to get the best out of this product as any grease and grime left over on your lashes mean that the product won’t adhere as well – or look as good). Apply a few coats of the transplanting gel first for the fibres to adhere to. Then apply the fibres over the top which will grab on to the transplanting gel and build volume and add length. Finally finish off with more coats of the transplanting gel to seal the fibres. So it’s actually very easy apply and not a great deal different from applying regular mascara. Keep going until you have created your desired look. You control how much or how little you apply and where which is why you see a variety of results in photos. Depending on how heavily you use it and how many coats you apply, it will typically last 12-18 weeks. Another option is to apply 3D Fiber Lashes over your regular mascara. This helps to build volume and is a great way to transform your look from day to night. 

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Loving my 3D Fiber Lashes. You can build layers until you have created your desired look 

As I mentioned earlier, both parts are applied just like mascara so it’s really easy to do. A good tip is to make sure you only work on one eye at a time and don’t start your other eye until you have finished the first. Once you have finished, the difference is remarkable and your lashes look long, volumised and dramatic. Once applied, it is very long lasting (the above photo was taken 14 hours after I first applied it) with no flaking or residue. The ‘mascara’ is really easily removed with soap and water or a good quality makeup remover (Younique recommend using their Shine Makeup Remover Cloths). I have been really pleased with the results of this product and now use it as my regular mascara. I’ve tried other volumising mascaras such as Too Faced’s ‘Better Than Sex’ and Urban Decay’s ‘Perversion’ and this product beats it hands down. 

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The tubes contain viewing panes so you can see how much product you have left

One of the main selling points of Younique makeup is that it’s hypoallergenic, mineral based and uses natural ingredients. It’s also cruelty free and gluten free. Unlike many other mascaras, 3D Fiber Lashes is free of fragrance, dyes, parabens, latex, sulfates, PABA, BPA and nano-particles. There is also a 14 day money back guarantee if you don’t like the product – not many brands offer this! The mascara contains collagen which is used to boost the appearance of the length and volume of lashes. It also contains other natural ingredients such as beeswax (which is good for holding an eyelash curl and makes mascara formulas last longer), carnauba wax (which has water resistant properties) and 100% natural green tea fibres. This is great as so many other mascaras and eye makeup products contain harmful carcinogenic ingredients which are absorbed into your body (eek!). It also contains Younique’s ‘Uplift Serum’ to help nourish and condition your eyelashes and promote healthy lash growth and doesn’t damage your eyelashes unlike falsies. 

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3D Fiber Lashes allow you to easily recreate the effect of false lashes and extensions

As a natural redhead, I have light blonde eyelashes so mascara is probably the most important makeup product I wear and the only one which I refuse to leave the house without (I look like I have no eyelashes without it!) so the fact that this ‘mascara’ is water resistant is great. I can go swimming, exercise or go to the beach without having to take it off! If you like the false lash look then you are going to love this product. It’s beautifully packaged, contains quality, natural ingredients and really frames your eyes and makes them stand out. And it is so much easier (and cheaper) than applying good quality false lashes or extensions. As I mentioned earlier in this review, Younique are an online only brand available from authorised Younique Presenters only. If you would like to try the Moostruck 3D Fiber Lashes for yourself, please click here (currency can be changed in the top right corner). 

Until next time, stay beautiful x

Starting My Own Makeup Business

I’ve been a little bit quiet on my blog recently and not posting quite as often as I usually do. But I’ve had a very good reason for not doing so – I’ve recently started my own makeup business! A friend of mine and fellow beauty blogger recently introduced me to an American makeup and skincare brand called Younique. I’d never heard of it before, probably because it has only been in my native UK for less than two years (the company itself is only four years old) so I didn’t know what to expect. Like other direct sales cosmetic companies such as Avon and Mary Kay, Younique is sold entirely through independent distributors known as ‘Presenters’. 

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Me! 

Some people are completely loyal to one or two makeup brands and some are ‘brand snobs’. Me? I am a total makeup junkie and am open to trying products from any brand! So with an open mind, I tried Younique’s best selling product – the 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. And wow! I was totally blown away by how amazing my lashes looked after applying it. If you love the false lash look (which I do), you will love this product! I will definitely write a product review and tell you more about it in a future post… 

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The incredible 3D Fiber Lash Mascara was my first introduction to Younique

As I was so impressed with the mascara, I also decided to try the Touch Liquid Foundation and also treated myself to an Addiction Eyeshadow Palette. I was equally impressed with the performance of these products too. As the brand was completely unknown to me before, I decided to find out a little bit more about them…

They are a premium brand (many customers liken their products in quality and performance to MAC but with the ethics of Bareminerals) and they use all natural ingredients and minerals in their products. Although products are natural, they are innovative too. They are cruelty free (currently in the process of receiving Leaping Bunny Certification) and products are hypoallergenic and suitable for women of all ages, colours and skin types. Their products are also free of talc, paraben, carcinogen and other nasties often found in cosmetics. Many products are also gluten free and vegan friendly. As I said before, they sell their products through independent Presenters so they also offer a business opportunity for women with a love of makeup (like me!)

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Before and after results from the Touch Foundation

After finding out more about Younique, I was really curious about the business opportunity. My friend who is a Presenter seemed to have so much fun and had made some great friends with her ‘Y-Sisters’ (as Younique Presenters refer to each other). As a company, their mission is to ‘uplift, empower, validate and ultimately build self esteem in women around the world through high quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward’. A pretty impressive mission. The other thing that really impressed me about Younique is their Foundation which helps women who were sexually abused as children or adolescents. Younique also support, recognise and reward their Presenters and really value their contribution to the business – very rare in this day and age!

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Younique provide support to women victims of sexual abuse through The Younique Foundation

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and am always on the lookout for a good business opportunity. They are a relatively new but fast growing company with so many markets they are yet to enter, they have a fantastic range of high quality products… So I decided to become a Presenter too! I am very early on in my journey with Younique but I am already having a lot of fun sharing the wonderful products with everyone and I have also had the pleasure of being introduced to some really lovely, inspirational women who are fellow Presenters.  This is the beginning of a fantastic journey. If you are interested in coming with me on it, please head to my website to find out more. 

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I am really enjoying my Younique journey – building my business each day and meeting some really inspirational women

Until next time, stay beautiful x 

A Buyers Guide To Makeup Brushes

In my last post, I talked about how I consider makeup an art form. And when it comes to applying your makeup, like any artist, it is worth investing in good quality tools. One of the most important tools in the application of your makeup is your brushes. Good brushes can make all the difference between your makeup looking ‘good’ and ‘great’.

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Good brushes are one of the most important makeup tools you will use

Everybody wears different products and applies their makeup differently and so will require different brushes to suit their needs. The main brushes which I use on a regular basis are a brow brush, an eyeshadow brush and a face brush. These are basic brushes which are used by most of us on a daily basis and so it is worth buying the best you can afford. There are many other types of brush available for different purposes and it is up to you to decide which ones you need depending on the type of makeup you wear.

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Assess the quality of your brushes before you buy

Although there are many different styles of brush available to buy, the key points to consider when choosing your brushes are –

Bristles – The bristles on a brush will be either synthetic or natural. Synthetic bristles are stiffer and offer a more controlled, precise application. These are therefore a good choice if you are working with liquid makeup products. Natural bristles are soft and allow more scope for blending so work well with powder based products. However, bristles are obtained from animals such as squirrels and rabbits so if this is an issue for you, stick with synthetic.

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Many makeup artists such as Bobbi Brown have their own range of high quality brushes

Cruelty Free – If you do not wish to use brushes with bristles obtained from animals, there are alternatives that are soft and perform much like a natural brush. Too Faced cosmetics have a great range of high quality, soft synthetic brushes. Other companies such as Younique make brushes using animal hair that has been obtained in a cruelty free manner.

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Too Faced cosmetics have a great range of cruelty free synthetic brushes

Quality – Run your fingers through the bristles to see if there is evidence of shedding. Poorer quality brushes are much more likely to shed. Test brushes out by seeing how they feel against your skin. A good quality brush should feel comfortable to hold and easy to control.

Size – Some makeup products come with a brush included although these are usually very small and are designed to fit inside a compact and therefore are not the easiest to work with.

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Chanel Kabuki Brush

Whether you use two or three basic brushes or have an entire professional style roll, using these basic tips will help you to choose the best brushes for your needs.

Until next time, stay beautiful x

The Artistry Of Makeup

In a previous post, I talked about whether the beauty industry and the professionals that work within it were taken seriously enough. In this post, I would like to continue on that theme and talk about whether makeup should actually be considered an art form. Art elitists would probably say ‘no it isn’t’, but I beg to differ. Some consider makeup as a ‘cover up’ –  a way to fake beauty and to dupe the outside world into thinking that you are more attractive than you actually are.

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Day Of The Dead inspired makeup

I totally disagree with this point of view. Yes, makeup can be dramatic and over the top. You can take it further and make yourself literally look like a different person. But it can also be subtle, delicate and a way to enhance your own natural beauty. A way to accentuate and bring out your best facial features. The scale of what can be achieved by applying makeup, the scope for creating different looks and the way you can express yourself with how you look are to me, why it should be considered an art form.

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A beautiful combination of false lashes, eyeshadows and jewels

An un-madeup face is like a blank canvas. As if painting a picture, you prepare the surface you are about to work on – your skin. Then like creating any other piece of art, you can play with colour and techniques. You can coordinate your makeup with your hair and clothes. Just because the medium we are working with is our own face, it doesn’t mean that we cannot create something artistic and beautiful.

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An unusual pink inspired makeup look

I think we are beginning to see a change as to how makeup is perceived as an art form. For years, fashion design has been considered an art and we are now seeing the makeup on models at fashion shows being given almost as much attention as the clothes themselves. Like a creator of ‘fine art’, a makeup artist makes skillful use of colour, shadow and light. Anyone who has tried their hand at contouring and highlighting will tell you, it’s not an easy skill to get right!

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A striking purple makeup look

Many of the characters that we see in films – Voldemort, The Joker, Mystique…Their looks are all a result of special effects makeup artists. So why do some people judge women that wear makeup? Why are they seen as attention seeking (particularly from men) or shallow as they cover up their face with makeup? I am comfortable with or without makeup. Some days I wear very little or none at all and then other days, I will go all out and wear a full face of cosmetics. It just depends on how much time I have, what I am wearing, where I am going or how I am feeling. It doesn’t mean I am shallow, it just means I enjoy having fun with the way I look and enjoy looking different sometimes.

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A theatrical, innovative makeup look

So the next time someone tells you you’re wearing too much makeup, tell them – ‘it’s not makeup, it’s art’. 🙂

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Beautiful, bold use of black eyeliner and red lipstick

Until next time, stay beautiful x

All About Aromatherapy

To me, there are few things as relaxing as enjoying a hot bath scented with beautiful smelling oils. Lots of bathing and shower products contain essential oils which are extracted from natural sources such as flowers, fruits, leaves, bark and other plant parts. It is widely acknowledged that essential oils can benefit your mind as well as your body.

Here’s a quick rundown of some common essential oils and their benefits. Try adding these oils to your bathwater or if you can’t find the proper aromatherapy oils, look out for one of the many products that contain these ingredients. As well as in bath and body products, you can also enjoy the aroma of these oils in other products such as scented bags, candles and diffusers.

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Essential oils are available from retailers such as Neal’s Yard

Please note that some essential oils are not suitable for pregnant women and there is a lot of debate (and confusion) as to which ones are suitable and which ones aren’t. However, if you’re not pregnant, go ahead and enjoy…

Eucalyptus – Great for when you’re feeling ill. It helps to relieve joint pain and will help you to breathe easier.

Frankincense – A relaxing oil that’s good for the skin.

Lavender – A calming oil to relax the mind, soothe tired muscles and promote sleep.

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Lavender is one of the most well known oils

Lemon – Lemon can help to lift your mood and ease a sore throat.

Lemongrass – Can help to relax muscles and ease digestive discomfort.

Mandarin – A citrus oil that can help to relax and de-stress.

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Mandarin oil has a lovely, citrus scent

Neroli – A floral oil that can benefit your skin and uplift your mood.

Orange – A sweet, citrus oil that can help you breathe easier and promote a feeling of calmness.

Patchouli – A soothing oil that can help to look after your skin.

Peppermint – A cooling oil that can help with digestive discomfort and help you breathe easier when you have a cold or flu.

Pine – A fresh scented oil that can help to relax aching muscles.

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Pine oil has a lovely fresh scent and can help to relax tired, aching muscles

Rose – A sweet smelling, floral oil that benefits the skin.

Sage – A cooling oil that can help to ease joint and muscle pain.

Sandalwood – A woody, masculine oil that can help to promote relaxation.

Tea Tree – A cleansing oil that can act as a natural antiseptic.

Ylang Ylang – A calming oil that can benefit your hair.

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Ylang Ylang, a sweet smelling, exotic flower found in many bath products

These are some of the most commonly found but there are also many other oils available. Beauty is all about the mind as well as the body and it’s so beneficial to take some time out from your day to relax and unwind. I’m pretty keen on keeping fit and after a hard workout, taking a hot bath with oils such as eucalyptus and pine feels so good! Hopefully this post has taught you a little bit about the different oils so you can choose the products that will benefit you the most.

Until next time, stay beautiful x