ASOS August Beauty Box collab with Ouai

The ASOS x Ouai collab box £12

As we enter August during these pandemic time’s one thing remains…. and that’s a monthly beauty box update from ASOS! There was much talk that the boxes were going to be taking a break last month but it seems like that’s not the case and they remain one of my fave purchases each month.

This month the box is a collaborative one with the hair, body and fragrance brand Ouai. Ouai is founded by celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin, who clients include Khloe Kardashian, Katy Perry and Jessica Alba. There are six items in the box and they are a good mix of all the different items the brand has. This box cost £12 and as I have Premier Delivery with ASOS I don’t pay for shipping.

Scalp and body scrub £32 for 250g , this is the sample size which makes it £3.84 in value

First up is the scalp and body scrub, this is one I’ve tried before and absolutely love. As many of you know I suffer with psoriasis and one of the places this affects me is my scalp. I don’t profess to know what wonder this does but this helps my scalp massively in improving the feel and making it less itchy. It’s a sugar based scrub and it has probiotics to help boost skins natural defence. It’s a little weird using a scrub on your scalp at first but it has definite benefits for me so I really like it. You can also use this on the body and it’s a fab exfoliator.

Ouai Body Creme £32 for 212g this is sample size and is worth £4.52

To rehydrate your skin they’ve included their body Creme which has ingredients like coconut oil, cupuacu butter and squalene. It’s a lightly scented creme and a very light texture which soaks into your skin. The full size of this is £32 which is quite a lot for a body creme but if you wanted something indulgent I would recommend.

Deluxe mini size Wave Spray £10 for 50ml

The wave spray is one I’ve had in a beauty box before and something that I really like. It’s perfect for giving a beachy wave to your hair but doesn’t make it feel crunchy like other sprays for waves do. This has rice protein to give the hold.

My hair using the wave spray
Texturising Hairspray Mini £10 for 40g

The texturizing hair spray is designed to add volume and absorb oil to refresh your hair without that flatness that dry shampoo sometimes gives. I really like this and have used it mainly on my roots and mid length just to make my hair feel less flat.

The final two items are samples of their perfumes North Bondi and Melrose Place, I love the names! My favourite of these is North Bondi which is a really light and more floral fragrance. North Bondi, as stated in the description card, has notes of blackberry, amber, patchouli and lily. Melrose Place is a little heavier and would be nice for an evening perfume as it’s more musk based with bergamot and cedar-wood. This is not the type of perfume I usually go for so it’s not for me.

In total the value of the box is £31.12. One of the things I love about collaboration boxes is being able to try a few things from the same range and knowing how much I enjoyed the wave spray and scalp scrub I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed! Everything in this box is a mini size, no full size ones this time but it’s a good chance to try everything out and still great value with the hair care products alone being more than worth the cost of the box at just £12.

Would love to know your thoughts and whether you’ve tried anything from the Ouai range ! Please do check out my Instagram page if you haven’t already by searching for @vanessakay84 for regular content and day to day going’s on!

Love the skin you’re in

It’s ok to love your body just the way it is.

Sounds simple right? But it’s something I’ve struggled with pretty much since being a teenager. Over the last few years I’ve been on a mission to accept myself flaws and all, not always an easy thing especially when you are dealing with psoriasis and all of the perils of autoimmune disease. After all Psoriasis is so much more than just what you see.

I’ve become braver in speaking out about my psoriasis, something I was so ashamed of and never liked to draw attention to. But slowly I’ve become a little more confident, and unashamed to wear a T-shirt and bear my flared skin or wear a skirt without also thinking I have to wear thick tights to cover up. I’ve seen days in the height of summer when I’d wear a cardigan just so people wouldn’t see my skin.

Seems crazy when I think about it now but it took a long time for me to accept that I was never going to be “cured” and this was a condition I’d just learn to manage.

There’s no miracle cream that’s going to make it go away. There’s no tablet or injection that makes the fatigue and joint pain disappear, you just get good at managing with a combination of all of the above treatments. And a lot of family support. 💜

The difference within months can be dramatic at times

I am delighted to be part of the @_restingitchface #FlawedButBeautiful project encouraging people with long term conditions to know their worth and accept themselves. Because we all deserve to be happy.

There’s some amazing stories and people over on Instagram as part of the project so please do check them out. Psoriasis Association has lots of resources for anyone needing support.

I rarely discuss my specific treatment as I believe it’s important to work with a dermatologist but I do share moisturising creams and alternative therapies which have worked for me.

If you’re struggling with diagnosis or just want some perspective from someone who’s been through most of the treatments available via the NHS do get in touch.

Asos Hydration Station Beauty Box

A little later than normal as I’ve been juggling lots with trying to homeschool as are a lot of people! If you’ve not had an ASOS Face + Beauty Box they are released at the beginning of each month, no subscription, just £12 per box. The boxes have a general theme each month, for April, it was all about hydration and refreshing your skin for Spring!

With a great range of products from serums, cleanser, eye masks and moisturiser I’m looking forward to trying the products and seeing what they can do for my skin.

First we have the STYLPRO Hydrating Jelly Cleanser, a vegan product, to remove makeup and keep your skin moisturised. This even came with a fab washcloth. I really like this and the washcloth is so soft, works brilliantly and my skin feels great. This is £9.95 to purchase.

Elemis is a fantastic skincare brand but not one I often buy as it can be quite expensive so it felt quite luxe to get this eye mask set. Perfect for a pamper night these were really lovely, I get really dry skin around my eyes and I could really feel the difference with these. These are £52 (!) for a pack of 6. So that makes this pair roughly £17!

Indeed Hydration Booster is £16 from most beauty websites online and is a serum type product for skin that is really dehydrated. You can use this as a stand alone or you can pop a few drops into your usual moisturiser for an extra boost! This is a really lovely product and full size making the box really great value based on this product alone. I preferred using it as a serum at night as that seems to work better for me but it’s really improved the texture of my skin for sure.

Inkey hyaluronic acid Serum is £5.99 and this is designed to be used AM and PM as your first serum following your cleansing routine. The hyaluronic acid acts as an aid to support your other moisturisers to make sure you get maximum benefit from your routine. Another really nice product that I’ve definitely felt the benefit from. My skin has changed quite a bit as I’ve gotten older and because of my psoriasis. So finding a good skincare routine has always been important to me.

The final product in the box was Caudalies Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, in a mini size, 15ml which is worth about £8. This is intended to soothe and calm irritated skin with a gel formula and lots of skin soothers like chamomile. I’ve not tried this one yet apart from a quick test patch but it does feel really nice on the skin. It’s intended to be used like a serum.

All in all the April ASOS box was definitely a really great mix of products for anyone looking for a hydration boost. My standout picks from the box would be the cleanser and cloth, Indeed booster and the Inkey serum which I think have made the most difference to my skin.

The box cost £12 and in total the products were worth £56.94 ! Definitely a box worth grabbing and probably the reason it sold out so quickly!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of the products and your views on them

Holiday essentials

Bring on the good times!

As summer has come to a close and we start into the autumn, it felt like a great time to share some of my summer faves. I actually got away abroad this year for the first time in 3 years so it was great fun thinking of cute outfits and things to take away.

My versatile little bag from River Island

This cute little bag from River Island has served me well over the summer. The perfect size to fit the essentials and casual enough for day but dressy enough for evening. I love the hot pink colour which seemed to be a theme for me this summer!

Loved these earrings that I picked up on sale in Boots for £3!

I love a statement earring and a hoop, so this summer I made the best of both! A pop of neon colour made these the perfect go to for a relaxed look. Plus they were on sale in Boots, not somewhere I usually shop for earrings.

Hask Hair masks have been my saviour!

My hair always gets really dry and frizzy in the summer so it’s so important to me to keep it well conditioned. I love these Hask hair masks, I took 3 away on holiday to counteract the sun and chlorine and they kept my hair feeling soft and my hair colour shiny.

Loving the peachy coral tones this summer
I love peach and orange tones for summer, especially when you have a tan! NYX butter gloss is great for hot days when you need some moisture but also want a good coverage lip colour. Of course my summer essentials wouldn’t be complete without a good bronzer and TooFaced Sweetie Pie is still my number one. It’s a perfect mix of colour and shimmer without an excess of glitter like some bronzers do.

Staying peachy with TooFaced

Finally a good primer is one of my essentials to make sure my face stays in place! I am currently using Obsession Makeup’s mattifying primer which is a silicone based primer. I find these work well for my skin type and it gives a wonderfully matte finish for your foundation to work on.

Primer to keep my face in place

Do you have any great summer essentials to share?

A new addition, meet Chip!

Chip at 8 weeks old!

So it’s been a busy time in our house. The end of the school holidays, an adventure to Crete and now a new addition to the house, Chip the cockapoo!

We fell in love with him way back in July and it seems like it’s been ages to wait for him to be ready to come home!

He’s a chocolate brown cockapoo and growing all the time, chewing everything in sight and generally being cute!

He came home with us a week ago now and honestly it’s like he has always been here, settled in brilliantly and starting to master toilet training like a pro!

Chip at 12 weeks

Now he’s settling nicely we can’t wait to start walking him properly once he has his last set of vaccinations. We got him lots of chew toys and different softer toys too but I think he really is ready for a few walks now.

So I’m after any puppy or dog tips you might have, please leave a comment or email if you have any special things you did with your pet!

Quick makeup, it’s all about the base

IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC Cream in Fair

You know what it’s like, sometimes you just need to put on a quick face to do the school run or pop out for a few errands. As much as I love applying my makeup sometimes you just want a more natural look that’s easy to apply.

For a quick makeup day I love this IT Cosmetics, Your Skin But Better CC Cream for my base.

I got a sample of this a few weeks ago and I am loving it. At first I thought the shade, I’m using the Fair shade, was too light and would wash me out. However on applying it truly is as it says, “your skin but better!” giving a good coverage and evening out skin tone.

It’s also got factor 50 SPF so no worries about forgetting that in the warmer weather as the summer goes on.

If you are suffering with facial psoriasis as I do from time to time, it’s very good at covering red patches without drying out my face so ideal if a full coverage foundation makes your skin feel dry. It really does have a hydrating feel which I’ve never had with any foundation.

My go to Primer from Makeup Obsession

Hot 🥵 sticky summer days call for a primer that’s got your base covered! I love this Obsession Makeup primer for a non sticky matte finish which keeps my makeup in place all day. I’m usually busy with appointments and work so I need a good base to get me through and keep everything in place. I don’t want to be reapplying!

My other fave is Obsessions Mega Conceal and Baking Powder. I use shade 4 in the concealer and it’s perfect for dark under eyes, something i always struggle with. The formula is so creamy and gives great coverage thanks to the unique applicator.

The translucent powder is so fine, I like to apply mine with a Real Techniques contour brush to give some control over where I apply. It really helps set my concealer in place and areas where I might normally get shiny.

One of my favourite blush palettes is this Pinky Promise one from, you guessed it, Makeup Obsession! I just love their products right now! A great range of shades depending on your mood.

Finished off with a good mascara and I’m good to go.

I’m currently working through a few mascaras at the moment so will give full verdicts on that in another post.

Getting the basics right for a quick base has been my saviour for feeling my best when I leave the house.

Let me know some of your favourites for a basic makeup look.

Spice up your life

Why is the world going crazy for the Spice Girls?

Don’t worry this isn’t a negative post – I was front and centre at the show a few weeks ago in Sunderland, singing along at the top of my voice!

Spice World 2019 at Sunderland Stadium of Light

It’s amazing to me that a girl group who last toured back in 2007 still holds such a dear place in the hearts of us 30 somethings that grew up with their music.

The Spice Girls were built around Girl Power and friendship, two decades on from their debut in 1996 and its still the core of their performances.

Theres been much debate over whether Posh was a spoil sport not joining them on this tour, and as much as I missed her ( yes I am a massive VB fan) I understand her reasons. However it certainly doesn’t spoil the show and I loved seeing all the old footage of SpiceWorld and photos from the height of their fame with Victoria still featured.

Geri was so emotional at the Wembley show given that last time the girls were there she missed it due to having left mid way through their world tour. Even resulting in an apology for leaving the first time around. It really highlighted that friendships, especially ones that have been as long as theirs, have ups and downs but a simple apology is sometimes all you need to weather the storm.

I was about 13 when the Spice Girls burst into the music scene, and I think they were probably one of the first experiences I had of feminism.

I know there will be many people who don’t view the Spice Girls as feminist and to that I say there’s no one way to be a feminist.

The Spice Girls pioneered a movement in the Nineties which reintroduced and created a modern form of feminism. One which emphasised that being a feminist was to be worn as a badge of honour.

The Spice Girls represent to me a time when you were proud to stand up and be a girl, unafraid to be yourself. In those five characters they created we all saw ourselves and were one or a mix of a few, you didn’t need to be perfect you just needed to be you. Bringing a generation of girls (me included) into their world and believing we could achieve anything we wanted to put our minds to.

They spread the word that women are strong and confident; that women are stronger together and friendship and love are key to your life, something we should all hold dear .

So there will always be comments like, they can’t sing, they’re too brash, loud, annoying but for me the Spice girls will always be my first real experience of feminism.

Something I think in the modern world we forget, real women fix each other’s crowns.

And friendship really can last forever

Viva Forever 🦋

A few of my favourite pictures from the Sunderland concert!

Sporty and Ginger

Rainbow 🌈 confetti

Girl Power!