Books & Beauty: The March Round-Up

Welcome to another month of book and beauty product reviews. Still a little light in the book department this month. (I WILL read more this April!) But I have finished some of my all-time favourites on the beauty side, so I hope you enjoy hearing about some of my go-to products. Let me know your faves in the comments below.

Books:

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1.The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken by The Secret Barrister.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was one that I’d started reading on holiday last year and gave up on after a few chapters as I couldn’t get past all the legal jargon and the author’s very wordy and round-about style. I have to say I really wasn’t looking forward to picking it up again. However, this time I opted for the audio-book version, which was much more manageable.

The insights are definitely eye-opening and pretty shocking. If you can get past the long-winded point making, it absolutely makes a very persuasive case for significant investment in the UK legal system. The anonymous author drives home their point by demonstrating what COULD happen if the everyday person was unlucky enough to be caught up in a crime. I found this one really hard to rate because although I think the points raised are crucial, I’m not sure that I’d recommend it just because it’s a bit of a slog to read. I kind of wish the author had decided to do a podcast or a ted talks rather than written a book (although I guess that would somewhat blow their cover!).

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2.The Witcher: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m a little bit embraced to say how much I enjoyed this. Teen fantasy fiction isn’t exactly the most intellectual of reads. BUT this is really, really well-written teen fantasy fiction, so I’m just going to go ahead and say I LOVED THIS BOOK. I didn’t want to put it down and found myself really invested in the world Sapkowski had invented. Sapkowski mirroring of real-world concepts (such as racial discrimination) was really clever. I will definitely be reading more in the series.

Beauty:

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1.Skinesis Lash Boosting Eye Cleanse from Sarah Chapman London.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I find many cleaners (even specific eye make-up remover) make my eyes sting and water, sometimes for days after. This one was the perfect balance between being gentle on the eyes and actually removing eye make-up. However, I can’t go without mention my pet peeve of overzealous promises from beauty brands. Unfortunately, this product is no exception. As far as ‘lash boosting’ goes, I’ve been using it for about 3 months and can’t say my lashes look any different to before. Annoying as silly-false-promises-on-the-basis-of-justifying-higher-prices are, I’d still repurchase this product. It’s definitely my favourite eye make-up remover I’ve used in a long time.

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2.Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash from Aésop

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Despite the flamboyant name for something which is essentially soap, I have to say I really love this hand wash. The scent is quite strongly of Lavander and Rosemary and has back notes of Cedarwood and Orange. It’s not too abrasive on the skin, so great for all the hand washing we’re all doing at the moment. I notice a marked difference in how dry my hands feel when I use other hand washes compared to this one. I wish Aesop offered a wider range of scents because, although this smells amazing, you do go a bit nose blind to it after a while.

The bottles are also made from 99.7% of recycled plastic and are recyclable themselves. The pumps of any product are very rarely recyclable. They tend to be made of a sturdier type of plastic that isn’t recyclable. (I only know of one brand which was experimenting with pumps made from bamboo instead of plastic, but most brands will use pumps that aren’t recyclable!). However, Aesop does sell refill bottles with recyclable lids. So you can just swap the pump over rather than putting them into landfill each time. Brownie points for eco-friendly packaging for sure!

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3.Moisture Boost Vit + C Cream from Emma Hardie.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m a big fan of Emma Hardie’s Moringa Balm Cleanser, so I was excited when this little tube turned up in one of my beauty boxes, and it didn’t disappoint. Just the Orangy fresh scent had me, but this moisturiser is also super light on the skin and not greasy at all. It’s also a great travel product as Vitamin C helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. I get dark pigmentation on my upper lip when I’ve been in the sun, and this product really helped my latest bout of pigmentation go down.

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4.Miracle Recharge Shine Lightweight Conditioning Spray from Aussie.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I’ve had this in my draw since my Uni days. It usually comes out when I’m in between other products, but it has finally come to an end. It has served its purpose over the years and definitely works well for detangling. I also really like the smell, which is quite sweet and florally. However, we all know that product bought on the high street aren’t necessarily going to be the best quality. This is mainly made up of low-cost chemically derived ingredients such as parabens (preservatives), Quaternium (silicones) and Propylene Glycol (humectant). There is nothing inherently wrong with these sorts of ingredients, and they certainly won’t kill you (despite what you might read in the daily mail). However, they’re just not the best (for want of a better way of putting it). Low-quality silicones can build up in the hair over time and leave a sort of waxy film that is hard to remove. Chemical humectants may have a short-term smoothing effect but won’t do anything in the long run to benefit your hair’s health. Parabens are just chemical preservatives like the E numbers you see in cheap food.

Basically, my point is that products like these are absolutely fine for a quick fix, and this spray does the job. But if you can fork out for better quality in the long run, then absolutely DO because you will notice the difference!

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5.Y Theorem Day Cream NAC Y2 from 111 Skin.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This moisturiser feels so light on the skin, it sinks quickly without leaving any filminess. I apply my SPF straight over the top of this without my skin feeling greasy. My skin noticeably feels plump for the rest of the day. The main active ingredient is castor oil, so it also leaves the skin feeling super soft.

I really liked this product and popped it into google to look for the full-sized version. I was a bit shell shocked when I saw the price. A 50ml pot of this bad boy retails for £150! That makes this little 15ml sample tube I’ve been using worth almost £50. Had I known that, would I have used it a little more sparingly? YES, most definitely. I personally don’t think any moisturiser is worth £150 when there are so many amazing products at a much more reasonable price. But maybe this does prove something, as, in a price blind test, I would have raved about this product…

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6.Sea Lavender & Samphire Hand Cream from Elemis.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Same amenity kit freebie, different scent! I wrote a product review for the Elemis Frangipani Hand Cream last month. (As I said, I have a little stock of hand creams collected up from aeroplane amenity kits that are coming in handy with all the additional handwashing at the moment!). This one is exactly the same consistency, just with a different scent. I think this one is a bit more of a unisex smell and very summery (it reminds me a little bit of Mandarino Di Amalfi by Tom Ford).

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7. Airbrush Flawless Finish Complexion Perfecting Micro Powder from Charlotte Tilbury.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is my absolute favourite setting powder. I’ve been using it for years now and am always disappointed if I ever go back to trying out different powders. It is a bit like a blur filter but in real life. I’m terrible at blending and contouring, so I apply this over my whole face at the end just to soften everything (and basically hide my dodgy make-up application). But in all seriousness, this product is amazing. It’s super light on the skin and doesn’t feel cakey or give you crease marks halfway through the day. The only negative thing is, where Aesop won brownie points, this has to be docked a few brownie points for the very, very UN-environmentally friendly packaging. The whole compact gets thrown away every couple of months as opposed to just the internal palette. WHY they don’t just sell the refills is beyond me. BUT still, probably the only make-up product that I wouldn’t dream of swapping out!

Please note this blog is NOT sponsored. The author has not received fee’s or complementary products from any of the above stockist, suppliers or brands in exchange for this post. This post does contain affiliate links.

Published by AroundtheworldAmie | Travel Blog

29 year old, London based travel enthusiast and writer. This year, I will be taking part in 30 mini-challenges before I turn 30 in December! Follow for travel inspiration and tips, London and UK adventures, beauty and lifestyle, food, wellness and probably quite a lot of puppy pics!

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