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So let’s talk Salcura. Since my return from the Alps I’ve been really hitting the skincare game hard, inside and out.  I’m eating a lot more Eczema friendly foods, exercising more, drinking a tonne of water and doing all I can I to make my skin a little more silk than bark.

In a previous post I mentioned I’ve been using the Salcura two step system for the last few months and I have to say I’m hooked.  I have Atpoic Eczema, so I’m allergic to pretty much everything and sometimes it feels like even air irritates my skin!

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For me one of the worst things of having sensitive skin is the itching.  The first part of the Salcura system is the Bioskin DermaSpray (£16.99).  This nourishing little bottle feels like you’re spraying a protective barrier on your skin and the first time I used it it really did relieve any irritating itchiness on my skin.  The spray contains Almond oil, to moitsurise, and it packed full of nutrients, helping to relieve itching, nourish skin cells, and support the skin barrier.

I REALLY like the spray. Normally anything created for dry/sensitive skin comes in some sort of heavy gloop form that takes an eternity to rub in and leaves you coated in that much grease you could fry enough eggs to provide breakfast for every trucker in the UK.  This is different, and it works. Did I mention that already?

You can spray it everywhere easily, all those hard to reach places and then parade around your room naked feeling on top of the world.  My only concern is that I will become immune to this.  I’ve read lots of reviews saying people found it worked and then it either stopped working second time round or became less effective.  I think I’m going to try and only use it when I feel my skin is getting worse but then you do kinda need to use it regularly to provide a barrier.

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 The spray is followed up by the GORGEOUS smelling Bioskin Zeoderm repair moisturiser (£9.99).  This is a thick, luxurious feeling almost ointment-cream hybrid.  It contains Linseed to help fight any redness and inflammation in your skin.  I found it sinks in quickly and works wonders on any dry, cracked or sore skin.  You can use it everywhere- body, feet, face, elbows, the lot!   I applied this almost straight after the spray.  I’ve also been using this as a hand cream too, it’s one of the best body moisturisers I’ve used in ages.  I’m hooked.

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Despite it’s recommendations I haven’t been using it on my face, however I have been trying out the Salcura Bioskin cleanser (£12.99) and the Dermaserum (£11.99).  The cleanser reminded me of my Elemis cleansing balm in consistency and the Weleda Buckthorn body wash in smell.  It’s gorgeous, and way more purse friendly than Elemis.  It’s quite thick for a cleanser and wasn’t amazing at getting rid of all my mascara residue but my skin didn’t break out, even after the first time I used it, and it’s definitely helped with my wintery dry skin.

I’ve been using the serum at night after cleansing and as an extra to my normal moisturiser (which I will blog about in another post as I’ve discovered another new gem recently- and it’s only January!!!)  My skin feel so smooth when I use the serum and all the dry patches near my eyes have gone.

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In the mornings I always have a quick shower before work to wake me up, I’m normally in a rush if I’ve been for a run or over slept and I hate the way most shower gels/creams leave my skin feeling dry and even after using moisturiser my skin feels tight and stripped of any natural oils.  Not with this bad boy though! The Bioskin Body Cleanser (£12.99) It smells
pretty damn good too, packed with lemongrass, white willow bark and star flower.  It keeps break outs at bay too, so a winner all round.  It also last aaaaaggggeeeess.

 There’s three things I love most about Salcura:

One- the price.   Anyone who invests heavily in skincare knows this comes at a cost and everything I wanted from the range was less than twenty quid!

Second- There are no harsh ingredients in the products.  They feel gentle, and smell good.  Free from steroids, Parabens, SLS, Phthalates, antibiotics and paraffin.

Three- They work.  ‘Nuff said.

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If you suffer from dry skin, sensitive skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis or just generally want to look after your skin with some natural, non-perfumed goodness then this is the range for you!  If you’re a little sceptical just read the reviews on their website, obviously I doubt they’d add any negative ones but it’s interesting seeing what people say about their products and there’s plenty of other information out there too.  Anything I can spritz, slather or spray onto myself which makes my skin feel and look better is worth investing in, in my opinion and I’ve no doubt I’ll be Dermaspraying myself for many months ahead!

J xx

Here’s my skin progress after using Bioskin after 10 days: (the photos aren’t the best as they were taken on my phone but you get the idea- a lot less irritation, better skin condition, a reduction in redness and healed splits.

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I am so unlucky to have really crap skin but I’m super lucky to have amazing friends and literally before I could even recover from the Christmas day food slump I had packed my bags, boarded a flight and arrived in the Alps with my trusty Wolfpack.

 

Girls on tour…

I LOVE being in the Alps. I came to Morzine for the first time last year and it was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.  The air is so fresh and you pretty much shower in Evian every day.  It’s impossible to be miserable here.  The sense of freedom, nature and peace hits you as soon as you arrive and I’m so grateful I have incredible, generous friends to come away with.

Going on any holiday normally really sorts my skin out.  My eczema has been particularly bad before Christmas and I’m hoping my time whizzing down the slopes and consuming a mountain of fresh water will sort me right out. I’m also in FULL on chill mode. Being with such relaxed friends is awesome, there’s no pressure just fun times and happiness.  No work, no rushing around, good food, the occasional Gin (obvs) and some much needed exercise after all those pigs in blankets!  My body is LOVING me right now!

Being away has also given me the chance to try out some of the skincare products I got for Christmas as well as putting my old faithful’s to the test.  Being in colder climates can be really harsh on any skin, let alone sensitive skin, so it’s important to come armed and ready!

As you know I’m a massive Elemis advocate so of course my day and night collagen cream had to come with me.  My skin has been really tired looking and worn out recently so to supplement these I’ve been using the Kiehl’s Midnight recovery concentrate.  This feels so luxurious on your skin and my skin is always baby soft the next day. I’ve been using it straight after cleansing at night. If you have sore or particularly sensitive skin I would definitely patch test first.  The first time I ever used this my skin was really dry and sensitive and it didn’t feel great, however the skin on my face isn’t too bad at the moment and I’ve not had any problems with it.  If you have oily/occasionally dry skin I think this is a fabulous product but I think if you are really suffering and need a good overnight boost for sensitive skin then the ElemisPro-Collagen Super Elixr is much better.  However this comes with a very hefty price tag, but god it’s worth it! I’d definitely recommend trying Kiehl’s products, in fact another little gem I brought with me is their Daily Reviving Concentrate.  I have been using this in the mornings on a cleansed face as I haven’t really been wearing any makeup during the day so it’s given my skin a good rest and some much needed R&R.  You only need a teeny tiny amount and although it’s an oil it doesn’t feel greasy and really absorbs well into the skin.  I’m not sure I will be replacing this when it runs out but my skin definitely feels more hydrated and smooth.

 

I’m going to do another blog post on these products but I’m mid- way through a solid first time run using the Salcura Bioderm Two step system for sensitive skin and eczema. I’ve brought with me their Zeoderm Extra face and body and their Face Cleanser.  I’ve been using the Zeoderm for daily hand cream too and it’s SO good! I love Salcura products so much.  I tried Salcura years ago but my lovely friend re-introduced me to their brand recently so I’ll let you know how I get on.  Their products really suit my skin and although my Eczema didn’t suddenly vanish when I started using them I really feel like my overall skin condition has improved.  Their cleanser is so gentle but goes on really thick.  It’s never brought me out in spots or left me red-faced and sore.  I’m cross with myself for forgetting the spray for step one of their system but I’ll blog about this another time.  If you need a great moisturiser for dry and sensitive skin that won’t break the bank, and is free from the bad stuff and full of the good stuff then this is the product for you!  I wouldn’t use the Zeoderm on my face, even though it says you can, as for me it’s far too thick and feels like it sticks on the surface of my skin, If that makes sense!

 

Let’s all take a minute to appreciate how CUTE my little makeup bag is!  I’ve wanted one of these for AGES and my amazing friend Gemma, who knows me SO well, bought me this for Christmas.  Such a lovely, thoughtful gift and it was such a great present as even though I’ve been looking at these I’d have never treated myself to one.  My little bag is by Tillyanna from Not on the High Street. They make such cute gifts and I’m going to be taking mine everywhere with me.  Right now there’s 20% off too!

Being on holiday with beauty Youtubers is great for discovering new products and brands.  I always think I’ve found an amazing product and then they recommend something that wipes the floor with the one I’ve been in love with.  When I’m anxious or stressed out I have this disgusting habit of biting my bottom lip and my lips have been really sore this winter.  This week I’ve been saved by the luxurious Nuxe ultra-nourishing lip balm. I’ll confess right now I’ve never used Nuxe before but they sell their products in the pharmacy here in Morzine, and I’ve learned from my many trips to France that ‘la pharmacie’ always stock quality products.  I really love French beauty brands, they always seem to get the blend between science and nature just right and I’ll definitely be purchasing more, so big thanks to TalkBeckyTalk for starting my new Nuxe love affair!

 

As it’s pretty much been a makeup-free holiday I’ve been using the Caudalie Beauty Elixr to pick me up and give my face a shot of essential oils.  It’s basically an Espresso shot for your face.  Oh Caudalie, let me count the ways in which I love thee… I am in LOVE with Caudalie!  Again another amazing French company, I think there’s a theme developing here…  I have been using Caudalie since I mistakenly bought a cleanser from Space NK almost ten years ago thinking it was another brand and what a wonderful mistake that was. I’ve read a few blog posts last year saying some people with sensitive skin had reacted to their products but I’ve never had any problems.  I think it all depends on several factors- what’s in the product, if you react to natural ingredients and essential oils, and what state your skin is in.  If my Eczema is really bad I’m obviously not going to be slathering much on there, but if my skin is being kind then I like to treat it to the good stuff and Caudalie loves me right back.  I also purchased the Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator  while I’ve been out in France, yep- from the trusty pharmacy, and it’s been sloughing away at my face leaving it nice and smooth.  All their products smell so good without having that OTT scream of ‘I’M MADE FROM NATURAL SHIT’ after you’ve applied them. Definitely a range I’ll be continuing to use throughout 2016.  Their products feel so luxurious and despite my Eczema and sensitive skin my skin has never reacted at all.  Go send them some love!

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year and have been smiling and loving life as much as I have,

Here’s to discovering more amazing products for our sensitive shells in 2016,

J xx

I’m trying to avoid New Year resolutions this year.  I normally make a whole heap of unattainable goals for the forthcoming year.  They start off with a determined confidence­­­­­­­­ that I’ll see them through right to the end of the year then they fizzle out like a tired sparkler by about March.  Instead I’ve decided that to make some more achievable goals for 2016 that are less chore-like and more about loving life!  Making the mother of all lists of things you want to change is never going to be productive.  It’ll just get you down thinking of all the negative things.  Change rarely happens overnight so there’s no point trying to become a professional scuba diver, learn to drive a tank, lose a stone, quit eating crisps, stop biting your nails, and have an allotment all in one go. It’ll just blow your mind and you’ll feel like a failure when it doesn’t
happen.

Wanting to make your life better, happier, fuller, easier and more enjoyable can only be a good thing but just little steps towards each goal can make such a difference.

2015 was quite a year for me.  When people ask me what I’ve been up to I normally reply with ‘not much’ but when I think about it I have actually done loads this year.  I ran the London marathon, got a boyfriend, went travelling, swapped snowboarding for skiing for the first time, and my job moved to an entirely new city!  Life is for living and although I could do with winning the lottery to actually do everything and go to all the places I’d love to it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to feel like you’re actually living life to it’s fullest.

I don’t really want to make any resolutions, just build on the things that will bring happiness, health and fun into my life.

BLOG

I have been loving writing my little blog for the past 18 months.  It’s a really fun hobby and because I’m such an independent person it gives me time to do something for myself where I get to be creative and actually take photos that aren’t work related.  It’s also made me look after my skin a bit more and the blogging community can be so supportive.  When you have a skin condition it can feel like you’re the only person in the world suffering with it and you feel self-conscious and like a bit of an outsider. I’ve met so many people through blogging who have similar problems with Eczema as me or just sensitive skin and it’s great to be able to talk to other people, discover new products and suggest ways other people can help themselves.  In 2016 I will make a massive effort with my blog, which leads me to my next aim…

FOOD

My skin has been HORRIFIC recently.  I have yet ANOTHER dermatologist appointment in January which I doubt will make much difference.  Before Christmas I was really naughty and even though I knew what I was eating didn’t agree with me or my skin I ate it anyway.  WHY?!  It’s so stupid.   For a few minutes of taste satisfaction I’ve had weeks of skin misery.  Absolute chump.  I think half my problem has been not being prepared with meals so next year I’m going to make a conscious effort to eat more eczema-friendly foods, more organic food and try to work out exactly what it is I’m eating that’s upsetting my insides. I was diagnosed with IBS a few years ago and I know (sort of) the trigger foods for this and although it is really hard to avoid them it makes SUCH a difference.

I did a dairy exclusion diet about 6 years ago and the difference was unbelievable so I just need to be prepared with my food, take my own shizzle to work, and not get caught out with my pants down so to speak.  Preparation is key!  I can also use my blog as a sort of online diary to chart progress so that ties in my first goal of 2016 too.  Perfect Rodders!

MAKE ROOM

Before Christmas I had a builder in to do some work to my bedroom and it forced me to have a bit of a clear out with some of the random crap that I’ve collected over the years. It made me realise how much stuff I have that I don’t use or that I could donate to someone who actually needs it so I think over 2016 I will be making a massive effort to move out the old stuff so there’s room for lots of new things.

This isn’t just what I need to do with all the clothes I no longer wear (the ones I keep ‘just in case’, because let’s face it- who knows when you’ll need that ten year old My Little Pony t-shirt…) but also with my life in general.  I’m so ridiculously busy all the time, work takes at least ten hours out of my day five days a week and although I love what I do most of the time it makes it so hard to see the people I love the most or do half the things I want to do or need to do.  I feel like I’ve neglected my family and old friends a lot this year and I need to make more room for them.  I think if I can try and catch up with people I haven’t seen last year at least once this year it’ll make a big difference.  Equally this means that
toxic friendships need to go too.  People change and move apart.  Just because I don’t call every week or text back straight away or tell people EVERY detail of my life doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. Everyone who knows me knows I’m late for everything, rubbish at texting when I’m busy, double book on a regular basis, and I pack WAY too much into a day.  Life gets in the way of relationships sometimes but the people that understand you the most and care about your friendship will be the ones you see once a year but when you do meet up it’s like nothing has changed.  I have a few friends in London who I haven’t been to visit at all in 2015 but I love them so much and they haven’t held this against me.

If there’s people in your life who make you feel bad about yourself and you just can’t seem to please maybe it’s time to just give them some space.  If you know you’re rubbish at keeping in touch aim to make one last effort and if it’s still not good
enough maybe there’s a reason you’re no longer close.  We can’t be BFFs with everyone and why spend time with people that make you feel worthless when you could be with people who make you feel amazing?!

If you have a busy life but it’s full of the things you love then who cares if you’re not always free. My weekends have been manic for the last few months but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love horse riding and I love being out and about.  As long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing it doesn’t matter if you occasionally miss out on other stuff.  Equally  I know I’m not perfect and I need to make more of an effort with my family and friends, I can’t expect them to be bothered if I’m not!

EXERCISE AIMS

Running the London marathon was awesome last year. I got to do something in memory of my Mum, raise money for charity and get fit.  SOOOOO many positives from one goal.  I have really let my exercise slip since my job changed but I just need to get up earlier and move my exercise with me.  Running is free and can be done anywhere, and although nothing will compare to doing the marathon having a goal will give me something to aim towards and actually get me to move my butt!  If you feel like you’ve hit a bit of an exercise wall then maybe sign up to something with a friend or join a new club.  That way you have something to work towards or something social and fun to go to.  I have done pole dancing and yoga classes in the past and they were amazing.  Perhaps food for thought this year too.  I might try and book a yoga retreat with a chum- that way I’ll get to do something that’s good for me and be a good pal too!

ADVENTURE

I bloody love holidays! Next year I want to go to at least two countries I’ve never been before.  We’re so lucky in the UK that so many other European countries are on our doorstep, there’s also a tonne of places in the UK I’ve never been before!  This year was a good effort for someone with no time and on a budget- I managed to pack in six different countries over the year and I hope this continues into 2016.

Happy, healthy new year everyone!

J xxx

Ski-ya later 2015!!!

This morning I woke up and it was pitch black outside!  We’re well into hat and mittens season now- the heating is cranked up and the kettle is on constant boil to keep up with tea demands.

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It’s cold and grim out and I wished it looked like Lapland…

I work outside a lot and my skin is really starting to suffer.  When you have Eczema winter can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand you can hide your lizardy elephant-skin hands underneath a snazzy glove and layer yourself in tights, long sleeves and any amount of clothing!  On the other hand the winter also brings the wind and cold to attack your skin from the outside and central heating and the temptation to eat all kinds of crap from the inside.

I am trying to take action to prevent my skin from going full lizard, which has meant the VERY difficult task of shopping for some new beauty products (what a chore hey…) and also just trying to be a bit more pro-active in terms of prevention rather than cure. We do have sensitive shells, and they need all the help they can get- it’s a crazy world out there!

Here’s my six top tips!

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DRINK!

I would LOVE to be typing ‘Gin’ in this section but alas no.  In winter we tend to drink lots of hot drinks (and alcohol- especially at this time of year) and forget about hydrating our skin with water.  Ditch the coke and try and up your H2O intake.  Yes tea contains water- but it also contains caffeine, which dries your skin out.   I am guilty of not drinking enough water so each Monday I buy a few bottles to keep in my work van and try and drink two a day at least.

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EXFOLIATE

As I have sensitive skin exfoliating is often the last thing I want to do but it actually makes a difference.  Taking the time out to give your skin a little scrub really helps- as long as you moisturise straight afterwards.  All that moisturiser can’t get in if you don’t slough away dead skins cells- which all build up over winter.  Having Eczema is horrific- your followed around by a constant skin cloud (gross yes) so everything I can do to help my poor skin I will.

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I recently reviewed the TruSelf Organics face mask in this blog post and I’ve been using this once a week and it is really helping.  I’ve also invested in the Caudalie body scrub and it’s AMAZING!  It hasn’t irritated my skin at all and it smells incredible.  I love Caudalie so much.  I can’t speak highly enough of their products.  Exfoliating also means lips too! Lipstick on several layers of peeling skin has never been a good look.  Try Lush’s Bubblegum lip scrub, which is a godsend and a right bargain!

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MOISTURISE

OBVS.  I was told by a dermatologist that in winter it’s better to shower and bathe in luke warm water rather than scolding hot.  I can’t handle boiling showers and often make the mistake of not turning the temperature down after my house mate (who must have asbestos skin) has been in.  Apparently really hot water strips the skin of vital protective oils, which are needed in winter more than ever.  I really up my game with moisturiser in winter.  I swear I should be sponsored by a moisturising brand the amount I use!  I always moisturise straight after a shower. It’s better to go with oil based moisturisers rather than water based and stick to natural products rather than slathering chemicals all over yourself!  At the moment I’m using my FAVE Elemis SOS cream (You can tell how much I use it by the pic- it goes everywhere with me), Lush Dream Cream, and Salcura BioSkin Dermaspray (review to follow soon!) Don’t forget winter sun can be just as damaging as in the summer so slather on the SPF. If there was ever a reason to splash out on quality skincare the time is
now!

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DAY TO NIGHT

In summer I steer away from heavy night creams.  I bought an Elemis one this year and had to save it until last month as it brought me out in spots.  It’s my life saver now though!  A little extra help at night can really make a different.  Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate is amazing too and well worth a try.  I can also recommend for sensitive skin Decleor‘s Aroma Night Rose balm.  Smells so good and leaves your skin felling incredibly hydrated in the morning.  It also lasts AAAAGGGGESSSS!  Sensitive skin in winter is so fragile so I avoid as many chemicals as possible. Steer clear of any allergens and switch your products to really gentle, organic or chemical-free skincare.   Ben’s Rosa Centifolia No1.Purity cleansing balm is amazing as a cleanser.

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Protect your shell

Wearing a hat and gloves will keep you warm and protect your hands.  Even when I’m cuddled up to my Fjord I wear a hat in winter. Carry a good hand cream, such as the Aveeno oatmeal  version.  Mine is getting rinsed at the moment.  Hand creams are a pain if you have eczema.  They’re normally full of perfume and too thin and watery.  This is a great cheap cream to keep in your bag.  I can’t operate my camera with gloves on and my hands REALLY suffer for it, but where you can keep them wrapped up.

If you’ve got sensitive mits like me try dolloping on the hand cream last thing before you go to bed sleep in cotton gloves. Mine never stay on but they do help, although a word of warning- the temptation before you go to bed to do a Michael Jackson dance wearing just one white glove is just too much!

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EAT FOR YOUR SKIN

You are what you eat and all that… This is so true.  When I was training for the London Marathon this year I couldn’t eat burgers every night and expect to make any progress.  Equally you can’t stuff your face with selection boxes and Christmas treats you’ve actually bought for someone else and then expect your skin to be flawless (other people do this right?)  If you’re more Victoria sponge than Victoria secret model then it’s time to switch things up a bit.  Eating hydrating foods will help look after your skin- such as melons, apples, celery, cucumber, tomatoes and carrots.  Don’t forget your greens for vitamins and fish or flaxseeds for Omega 3.

Good luck out there!  Stay healthy and happy : )

J xx

Not many sleeps to go now! I LOVE Christmas so much; I love the entire build up.  The food, the shop windows, the music, the mulled wine, seeing old friends, partying into the small hours and buying something special for the people you care about the most.

I tend to do 90% of my Christmas shopping online.  Since losing my Mum Christmas shopping just isn’t the same.  To be fair when we went shopping it was more about the coffee and cake stops than the actual shopping but she was always the most excited person to be around when it came to Christmas.  Her attention to detail was second to none, as was her ability to buy really amazing gifts.  Most years Mum would buy me some sort of skincare.  She practiced aromatherapy and
was really into good quality, organic products. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in that department!

There are a bazillion beauty products and gift sets on offer at Christmas but if you’re shopping for someone with extra sensitive skin (like moi) then it’s always a bit trickier. There are so many high street store products that CLAIM to be for sensitive skin, but will rip your epidermis off faster than a bad wax.  Or those ‘natural’ products that, despite containing every plant extract found in the jungle, leave you feeling like you’re on fire.

So here’s my top ten sensitive skin festive gift sets for all budgets; and for good measure ten gorgeous Christmas decorations worthy of replacing that ten-year-old tinsel.  All links included below.

Happy shopping- don’t forget to treat yourself too ; )

J xx

Ren gift set, £34 (35% off!), ASOS

Emma Hardie Moringa Gift set, £8.90, Feel Unique

Aveda Sensitive starter pack, £15.30, Look Fantastic

Sensitive Essentials Collection, £83 (worth £127), Elemis

Sweet Cecilys skin care gift box, £25.95, Not On The High
Street

Burt’s classics pomegranate tree hanger lip set, £6.99,
Burt’s Bees

Beauty Elixir, £11.50, Caudalie

Eczmaid ointment, £15.50, Feel Unique

Moo-Zing skin
holiday gift pack, £35, MooGoo skincare

Prime and define lip collection, £25, Green People

Lily Lolo palette, £19.99, Lucy Rose Organics