We bloggers are privileged to be sent a lot of products to try. These vary from vitamins and health drinks to clothes, jewellery and even mattresses. It’s usually a member of the PR or marketing team who makes first contact and offers the item in return for a review or mention on the blog or Instagram.
When I was a new blogger, I found it hard to say no. Not just because it’s lovely to receive a gift in the post, but because my natural politeness and “people-pleasing” disposition made it difficult.
I’ve been blogging for five years now though, and my blog and I have both evolved. It’s perfectly acceptable to decline an offer and I now do so frequently. If the product doesn’t fit with my style, if I don’t think I’ll use it, or if I can’t justify the time to write about it, then I say a polite thanks but no thanks.
Time is a precious commodity. None of us have it to spare, so I only take the time needed to photograph and write about something if I truly believe in it. If it’s worth it. And by that, I don’t just mean worth it from a monetary point of view. Is it worth me telling people about it? Would I tell my friend over a coffee about it?
I want everyone that reads my reviews to trust them. More importantly, I want everyone to trust me. I don’t ever want to lose my credibility or authenticity. This is the same if I’ve bought the item myself, if it was gifted, or if it’s part of a paid collaboration.
So what I’m saying, in a rather long-winded way, is that absolutely everything you read here is honest. Everything is my own opinion. And if the product is a gift, I state as such. either in the main body of text or in a disclaimer at the foot of the post. Ditto if it’s a sponsored post. (That means I’ve been paid). That way, it’s all transparent and we know where we are.
So, with all of that in mind, I would like to share a few summer beauty recommendations with you.
The Saturn Eazyfile
The Saturn Eazyfile is a patented, battery-operated electric nail file. I’m not normally one for gadgets, but I hate filing my nails- I don’t like how it feels and I rarely manage to get them all even. Therefore, when the company director offered to send me one, I was keen to give it a try.
And it’s excellent. It comes with replaceable file belts of different gradients and it works on both long and short nails. It’s easy to use and I now can’t imagine using an emery board ever again! It would be great too for little ones- I bet a lot of us have battled with infants when trying to cut their nails. It’s ideal for those at the other end of the scale too, for example, those with arthritic hands or fingers.
(Click to see my Eazyfile demonstration video)
I believe in this product so much that I made the decision to stock it in my shop. It retails at £19.99, (less than the cost of a manicure), with free UK delivery. It is available in pink, black and white.
No 7 Line Correcting Beauty Serum
I’ve lost count of how many serums I’ve tried over the last few years. Each month seems to bring a new product launch, each claiming to be better than ever at “targeting wrinkles” and “reversing the signs of ageing.” I think we all know that there really is no such thing as a miracle cure. Certainly not one that comes in a bottle anyway, but I do believe that some products do improve the tone and appearance of the skin.
Line Correcting Beauty Serum is the latest offering from No7 at Boots. It contains 7 x more Matrixyl Plus, (an anti-ageing protein), than their previously proven serums. (I wrote about that particular range of serums in this blog post). What I like about this is that the bottle looks a bit like a syringe and the product can be used directly on lines and wrinkles. I thought at first that this might be something of a gimmick. but it does enable the product to be placed exactly where it is required.
It is incredibly difficult to prove whether or not this improved my skin. My naso-labial lines have not disappeared, nor have my laughter lines, even though I targeted them with this booster serum. What I can say though is that my skin looks a little plumper there. The tone is more even and it feels softer. I have used the entire bottle and have actually requested another sample because I would like to see if there is any further improvement after using a second bottle.
3 More Inches Hair Care
The 3 More Inches hair care range was designed for leading London hairdresser Michael Van Clarke, after through years of research and testing. It is a revolutionary treatment system because unlike a lot of hair products, it doesn’t contain silicone. What it does contain is a cashmere amino acid blend, said to slow the ageing process to help hair stay naturally thicker, and grow longer faster. (Products are also paraben free and have not been tested on animals).
I wash and dry my hair every day. Some days I straighten it too. I also have the T-section highlighted about three times per year. My hair really does get put through its paces. But, I get it cut religiously every six weeks and always chose hair products carefully.
I have been using the UV Protective Shampoo and Conditioner for about a month now. It protects against environmental pollution, sun damage and colour-fade. It’s lovely to use and smells divine. Again, it’s difficult to both quantify and qualify results. What I can say though, is that when I went to my hairdresser just last week, she remarked on how well it was looking and in what good condition. She has been cutting and styling my hair for over 11 years so she knows it well. These products were gifted but I like them a lot and would definitely buy them for myself.
A Body Brush
Body-brushing is one of those things that we hear about a lot. I’ve had a long-handled wooden body brush for years and I go through phases of using it. Recently though, I decided to see if it really is as good as those in the beauty industry say it is. So, for about a month now, I’ve used my body brush every morning before my shower. I do ten long strokes up and around each arm and the same on my legs (from heel to thigh). Then I do ten clockwise circles on my tummy, and ten circles on each side of my bottom. I finish with ten strokes across the back of my shoulders and ten up and down my back (this is where the long-handle comes into its own).
It’s really quick to do and I do it while the shower reaches temperature. It’s become part of my routine and I absolutely love it. It makes my skin tingle and zing and it has made an incredible, and very quick difference to the feel and tone of my skin. All of those little bumps on my upper arms have disappeared and the skin feels super smooth and velvety. Ditto my legs, which are sometimes a little bumpy too after waxing.
Now I don’t for one minute believe that body brushing eliminates toxins or pummels cellulite into submission. But, it does make a HUGE difference to the skin. So, if you do one thing for yourself this summer, buy a £10 body brush, use it every day, (honestly, it takes less than two minutes), and I absolutely promise, you will have much smoother skin within a few days.