Beauty

Trying out a Charcoal Tooth Powder

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A little while back I mentioned that I bought the Morphe Bronzed Mocha Palette from BeautyBay and obviously I couldn’t just buy one item! The Pro Teeth Whitening Co. Active Charcoal Tooth Powder had been on my wish list for a while and I decided it was time to try something new. I’ve never had a Tooth Powder before as I’ve been using the Oral B whitening range, but it seems like my teeth are getting used to it so I wanted to experiment with a new brand.

I have seen lots of videos on Instagram of Charcoal Whitening products, so I expected the powder to be jet black in colour. To my surprise it’s actually a blue/grey colour, almost like a clay face mask! The directions say to wet your toothbrush and dip into the powder before brushing for 1-2 minutes, twice a day. The powder is a little messy and I find that I need quite a lot of water to stop it just clumping at the top of my gums, but once I got used to using a powder it became easy enough to work with.

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The taste isn’t amazing, but I actually prefer it to regular toothpaste as I feel like the mint flavour is always overbearing and burns my tongue! Once I’ve brushed, I rinse out my mouth to get rid of the grey colour and it feels good not to have a gritty toothpaste feeling on my teeth. I didn’t have high expectations for the Charcoal Tooth Powder, but I have to say I’m pretty much converted as it seems a lot softer than toothpaste, but still gives me a clean, white smile.

Have you tried any Charcoal Tooth Powders? What did you think? Next time I think I want to try something that it still a paste rather than a powder, but for now I’m definitely happy with this little guy.

hannahessonx

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Lifestyle

Aberdeen Eats | Revolucion de Cuba

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Last Saturday, I was meant to attend CheeseFest Aberdeen with my mum. A couple of days before it came to light that there had been a lot of complaints about the CheeseFest in other cities and it was obvious from their twitter that they were struggling to find companies to work with. We decided we would just meet up for lunch instead to avoid disappointment and headed to Revolucion de Cuba. It was just gone noon and the restaurant was pretty quiet, with only one other party when we arrived.

We were slightly disappointed as we were sat in pretty standard chairs instead of any of the nice comfy chairs that we could see were unoccupied, but that was soon forgotten as our waitress Frances brought over tortilla chips and a jug of water. Frances was amazing and definitely made a big impact on our experience. She gave recommendations on how many tapas to have if we were having mains, which dishes were popular and pointed out that we could mix up the fries with our main. All the food sounded good and it was hard to choose, especially with the tapas.

As I’m sure you are well aware, I’m not at all a food blogger, so I didn’t get great photos of our meals! For starters we chose to go for 3 tapas to share, choosing Chicken and Lime Skewers (for mum), Cajun Cream Mushrooms and Nachos De Sol. The best of these was definitely the Cajun Cream Mushrooms, which were rich and full of flavour.

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A reindeer-inspired blend of Bacardi Carta Fuego rum and amaretto shaken with sweet almond, vanilla, raspberry, lemon and pineapple. Pays homage to Rudolph himself… Can you spot the resemblance?

Whilst waiting on our mains, we decided to give the christmas cocktails a try. I was between Sleigh Puller and an Eggnog Colada, but as we were having a meal I decided that Sleigh Puller was probably the more sensible choice. My mum opted for The North Star – A seriously seasonal mix of Santa Teresa Gran Reserva rum, Aperol and vermouth with caramel liqueur and orange bitters. Finished with a gorgeous orange and star anise garnish for even more Christmas flavour. Both drinks were pretty strong, which is why Rev de Cuba is one of my favourite cocktail bars!

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For the main meals, I chose the Halloumi Wrap and my mum went for the Cuban Cheeseburger. We both chose to have Cheesy Cuban fries, which was definitely a great shout, as I’m sure you can tell from the photos! We could barely finish our mains as they tapas was so generous, which is never a bad thing in my opinion.

I think we made a good choice skipping the CheeseFest and going to Revolucion de Cuba instead, with our meal choices we pretty much had our own little cheese festival! Have you been to Revolucion de Cuba before? What did you have? I’ve been slowly working my way through all the cocktails and I definitely want to try out more of the food!

hannahessonx

Beauty

Winter Skincare

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The weather in Aberdeen seems to have changed rather suddenly from a crisp autumn to a frosty winter. I’ve been wearing gloves and a scarf almost every day for the past few weeks and need to invest in a new bobble hat to go with my cosy jacket.

As I spend at least 30 minutes a day going on walks with Walter and try my best to walk to work/college, the cold weather is wreaking havoc on my skin. I’ve been waking up most days with visible dry patches around my cheeks, temples and on my nose so I’ve really been ramping up the skincare regime.

Sidenote: All of my facial skincare is from MAC, as when I made the switch from The Body Shop to MAC my skin was so thankful – after only a few weeks of switching I had people commenting on how much my skin had improved. Three years on and I still don’t think I’ll be changing any time soon! I start off my morning and evening skincare routine with Lightful C Cream Cleanser. As it’s a cream it feels luxurious and doesn’t dry out the skin as it cleanses. I use a muslin cloth from The Body Shop to rinse off the cleanser and normally follow up with Softening Lotion (not pictured as I’ve run out sadly!) which works wonders on redness and uneven skin tone. Since running out I’ve noticed my redness coming back, so I will definitely be repurchasing! If my skin isn’t too bad I’ll pop on a couple of pumps of Moisture Infusion Serum and leave my skin at that, but if needed (which is most days right now) I finish up with Mineralize Moisture Gel. I don’t like anything that I can feel on my face so a gel is great as it sinks right in.

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As I’ve mentioned previously, the GlamGlow ThirstyMud is worth splashing out on. I love that I can wear it as a leave on mask, or use a thin layer as a moisturiser. It always leaves my skin feeling super plumped and I’ve barley reached for an exfoliator since I started using ThirstyMud regularly!

Although I now seldom wear make up, there are a few extra steps I take when I do. I start of my makeup routine with a light spritz of MAC Fix+ – which is NOT a fixing spray, might I add – for a little extra hydration before I start. I also use Fix+ after I apply all my powder products, as it helps to take away the matte, powdery look. Then, I apply some Paw Paw to my lips to soothe any cracked skin on my lips. I think chapped lips is my biggest winter bugbear, so I have many different lip balms scattered about in different jackets and bags!

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I tend to mix MAC Strobe Cream into whichever foundation I use to make it more hydrating. This works particularly well with matte foundations as they are more prone to drying the skin out due to usually having oil controlling properties. I switch to MAC Mineralize concealer instead of my beloved Collection 2000 as when my skin is dry Collection 2000 highlights the dryness and makes my under eyes look scaly – not a good look!

And last, but not least – it’s not just the skin on your face that needs looking after! As I mentioned I don’t like anything that I can feel on my skin so body butters and lotions are out of the question. Thankfully, I discovered Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser. I’m slightly disappointed that this product isn’t just a case of spray and go, but it takes minutes to apply and rub in and I don’t feel the need to wait before I put clothing on, so I can forgive!

What are your winter skin saviours? Let me know in the comments below!

hannahessonx

Beauty

Primark Beauty Haul

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WARNING: This is going to be a long ass post. I thought of splitting it into a few posts but I already plan to do separate in depth posts for some of the products and figured it would get pretty boring for you guys to see post after post about Primark!

As you can all probably tell, I have a bit of a Primark addiction. I think in the past three months I’ve spent over £200 in Primark, which is a bit absurd! I’m pinning the blame on Primark’s utterly amazing Instagram account – I constantly watch their stories and check what they’ve posted as their pictures are so pretty! The last time I was in it was because I had seen their radiance drops on Instagram and wanted to give them a try, but there are so many new bits of makeup that I ended up walking away with a lot more than I had bargained for.

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The first thing I spotted was the Pure Glow and Lunar Glow (possibly also known as Metal Angels looking at the website??) highlighter palettes, which look a lot like ABH Glow Kits. Primark never fail to amaze me when they create a product that is clearly modelled on another brand, they are bold as brass when it comes to creating similar designs! After an inspection of the testers Pure Glow was already in my hands – I’ve never owned an ABH Glow Kit before but I’ve lusted after the Sugar Glow Kit for ages and Pure Glow looks like mix of the Sugar and That Glow. The pigmentation is a lot better than I anticipated and although a little bit of pressure is needed to get a good amount on the brush I won’t complain as the price tag is a mere £5. Lunar Glow took a bit of deliberation, but the colours looked fun and I ended up caving. I’m not blown away as the colours look kind of samey on the skin, but maybe with a spritz of setting spray I can spruce them up!

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On the same stand there were also some eyeshadow palettes that looked like dupes of MAC and Urban Decay. Again, I deliberated whether I should pick one up and eventually told myself I was doing it for all you readers searching for reviews. Not all hero’s wear capes, y’know. It looks to me like the Nudes palette is made with Naked 2 and 3 in mind but I never took to the Naked Palettes as I worked in MAC for three years (surprise, I don’t think I ever told you guys that) and could create my own neutral palette much cheaper. I didn’t have high hopes for this palette but when worn under my usual primers the colours blend smoothly and stay all day, apart from the black which is to be expected as black eyeshadows rarely blend nicely. Sidenote: I have it on good authority that the eyeshadow pans for the create your own palette in Primark are pretty good too (thanks Lucy!)

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Next, I grabbed the two products I had gone to Primark for. I can never have enough lightening drops for foundation as I love NARS Sheer Glow and MAC Prolongwear foundations, but both are too dark when I don’t have any tan on. I’m hoping to do a comparison of a few different brands so I won’t go into too much detail, but it’s a good dupe for The Body Shop’s version (review here.) For some reason the Liquid Light was on a different stand and I almost missed it as I expected all the similar looking bottles to be next to each other, but I picked it up without trying the tester as I’ve seen videos on Instagram of how pigmented it is.

Now is probably a good time to mention my main issue with the make up I bought – it all smells pretty nasty. Remember the nail polish that came with the Sabrina’s Secrets magazine? It has that strong, cheap smell and the radiance drops are by far the worst offender! Luckily, the smell fades away after applied, but when you open the products it’s hard to miss.

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I thought I was pretty much good to go at this point as my hands were getting incredibly full, but as I rounded the corner I spotted cute packaged nude lipsticks. (I’ve just noticed as I proofread that I don’t actually have any good photos of the lipsticks in their boxes, so I’ll got on this asap!) The lipsticks themselves have tacky tubes that I definitely wouldn’t have been attracted too, but the nude packaging made me wonder if they were potential dupes for MAC colours. Sure enough, after a looong search through the scattered testers, I chose what I thought are dupes for Really Me, Velvet Teddy and Whirl (this I’m not convinced on but I wanted to get three.) I haven’t tested these out yet as I want to do a separate post comparing them side to side to the MAC colours to see if I’m right, but I don’t have high hopes as MAC lipsticks are my holy grail product and what made me a faithful MAC fan when I was a teen.

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I decided at this point to make my way to the till before I ended up going too mental, but couldn’t resist a peep and the Christmas stuff. Luckily, as my hands were full I avoided going down that rabbit hole and only picked up one item; this incredibly juvenile, sweet smelling perfume. There’s a lot of toffee and not a lot of apple in the scent and although it kind of reminds me of the So…? range I loved as a young teen, I couldn’t resist!

I think I’ve done enough talking and done enough Primark shopping for the week! What are your favourite Primark finds? I’ve seen a few products that aren’t in my local store, such as some amazing looking brushes that darlingjordan posted on her Instagram! Let me know your best bits in the comments below:

hannahessonx

Beauty

The £5 Brow Pomade That Make Up Artists Love

Freedom Brow Gel

I posted a little while back about the Freedom Pro HD Brow Palette – which is a perfect dupe for the ABH Pro Brow Palette, at a fraction of the price. Today, I’ve finally written a follow-up post about the Freedom Pro Brow Pomade. I’ve used these for a while but I wanted to get fresh pots to take photos of!

I can’t remember if I bought these on a whim of if I had heard they were good before, but shortly after I purchased my first colours a few of my make up artist friends went to a masterclass and said that it was these gels that were used in the demos. Needless to say, we now all have a few in our kits!

Freedom Brow Pomade

I currently have four shades – Blonde, Auburn, Medium Brown and Chocolate. Blonde is my most used shade, as it matches myself perfectly for natural make up and it’s great for clients who don’t want their brows too heavy, but want more definition. Auburn I use on myself for glam make up – being a redhead I can happily say it’s the perfect mixture of brown and red, rather than the awful orange shades I’ve seen in other brands! Chocolate is one of the darkest shades, but has a slight warmth which I think makes the colour come out a lot more natural looking on dark brows. Medium Brown I ended up buying as there was a 3 for 2 offer on in Superdrug, so I haven’t actually used it yet!

The pomade is a gel formula so it glides on with ease and lasts all day. With the Blonde shade I feel like I need to load my brush a little more, but the other colours are so opaque that a little definitely goes a long way – I never really need to dip back in a second time when filling in a brow! I use a slanted brush with a super thin tip (here) for precise application, then use the concealer palette from Freedom Makeup to sharpen up the edges and highlight the brow bone.

With high-end versions being around £15-£20, Freedom Pro Brow Pomade is definitely one of my greatest finds. I would never splash out on a day and night colour from a high-end brand as I couldn’t justify the price, but for £5 each it’s not breaking the bank to have a few!

Have you tried the Freedom Pro Brow Pomade? What shades do you use? Let me know in the comments below!

hannahessonx

Beauty

Better than Biore?

Blackhead MaskSuction Black Mask

I know blackhead masks have been a massive trend in the beauty community for the past year or so, but I’ve always been a lover of Biore Nose Pore Strips. The only mask I ever found to be better was Blackhead Killer, which is pretty impossible to come by now! But, when I saw an offer Amazon for a suction mask – down from £49.99 to £7.59 – I couldn’t help but take a look. Now, I am in no way fooled into thinking this mask is worth anywhere near £49.99, but it did have 443 reviews averaging 4.4 stars and costs the same as a pack of 8 Biore Nose Pore Stips. I decided to try out the mask and count how many applications I could get out of a tube.

Amazon Blackhead Mask

As soon as the mask arrived I was eager to try it out. I always try to exfoliate my face in the shower before I apply masks to ensure that my pores are opened, so I went straight to work. I only apply the mask where needed, which is my nose, chin and occasionally between my eyebrows (weird, I know!) The hole in the tube is big and a lot of product gloops out at once, so I use an old brush to make the application as easy as possible. I try to get the edges an even thickness to make peeling easier and go about my business. It does take a long time for the mask to dry – the instructions say to leave it for 20 minutes, but I find my nose can take up to an hour at times!

Once the mask has dried, I peel the sections off from bottom to top. I don’t really know why I do this, it’s just how it always seems to be done on the tutorials I see! As the mask is a lot flimsier than a pore strip it is a bit hard to see all the grossness, but it’s definitely visible! I’ve now lost count of how many times I’ve used the mask, but it’s more than enough to make it better value for money than a pack of Biore Pore Strips!

Have you tried any blackhead removing masks? Do you think they work? Let me know in the comments below!

hannahessonx

Beauty

Morphe | Bronzed Mocha Palette

Morphe 25A 25B

After buying the Morphe Copper Spice Palette, I have to say I’m absolutely besotted! I had never owned a Morphe palette before, but since buying the Copper Spice I’ve found myself reaching for it for almost all of my clients. As the Bronzed Mocha is also limited edition I just couldn’t say no – the deep purple has always caught my eye and for £19.50 it’s such great value for money!

I’d say the Bronzed Mocha Palette is better for softer looks as all the colours are so earthy and a lot more neutral than the Copper Spice. The mix of neutral and plum hues are exactly what I’m looking for this autumn! I like to use one or two shadows from the top row to create a transition in the crease, before darkening the colours with the two purples. Then, any of the foil finish colours work beautifully patted on the lid to make the eye pop. I wouldn’t usually wear a lot of colour underneath my eyes but again the purple has won me over. I use a black kohl liner in my waterline and smoke it out with the purple for the perfect sultry smoke!

Morphe Bronzed Mocha

One of my favourite things about the palette is the design. The square pans make it easy to pick up colour on my brushes without creating a heap of dust and the palette is super thin and lightweight. As a make up artist, this is an absolute dream!

Do you own any Morphe palettes? Which are your favourites and why? Let me know in the comments below!

hannahessonx