Gel II Reaction Colours Gel Polish

I don’t normally go for gimmicky make-up, and when I was first offered a Gel II™ manicure at the marvellous Hairven hair and beauty emporium in Nottingham, I wasn’t especially convinced. Colour changing nail polish? How very 90s!

Anyway, with a couple of events coming up I was after a colour that would complement both my outfits so I decided on blue – the shade name is Rip Tide R124.

The first thing that’s different about Gel II™ in comparison to other gel polish systems is that it requires no base coat; simply apply two coats of Gel II™ gel polish, cure for 60 seconds between coats, and apply Gel II™ top coat for shine.

According to their website, it is non-solvent and free of harmful elements, and was created for people who are allergic and sensitive to gels and polishes that have base coats and primers.

Reaction gel polish transforms with your body heat; to see the colours change, run hands under cold and/or warm water. When Rip Tide is first applied it’s a mid-blue, when hands are cold it changes to dark blue, when hands are warm to hot it’s sky blue.

Anything in-between and you get a cool tie-die or French manicure effect (bottom pic) which I tried to photograph whenever it happened!

And what about longevity? Absolutely no chipping or lifting for three weeks plus. I have to admit it is very clever, and I am now quite sold – see for yourself:




Since writing the majority of this blog post I have had the gel removed professionally and it took forever to soak off, in fact even when we thought it had all gone, traces of the colour could still be seen on my nails when my hands were cold.

So I guess the trade off for the staying power of Gel II™ is that it may be a pain to remove – although if you’re using the brand’s own soak off and not other brands like me, it may be quicker.

By Terry Rouge Expert Click Stick

Iconic make-up artist Francois Nars once said that make-up is something you have to hold in your hand to fall in love with. I think many of you will agree with that, and if I were to ever design the ultimate lipstick,  it would look something like the new By Terry Rouge Expert Click Sticks, £24.50.

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Yes, the clever Terry de Gunzberg has nailed it again. The texture is a dream, the colour pay off awesome, and the formulation is creamy and silky so lips never feel overly parched. And perhaps most importantly – they last.

The press blurb states it is a 3 in 1 hybrid lipstick: ‘rich like a balm, precise like a pencil and intense like a premium pigment.’ It gives lips a velvety finish so make sure your lips are well hydrated and free of flakes before you apply.

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There are 25 shades in the range, spanning nude to intense. My favourite so far is 2 Bloom Nude, a pinky nude that is great for blondes. Swatched above from top to bottom is 2 Bloom Nude/ 22 Play Plum/ 3 Bare Me/ 16 Rouge Initiation.

Available now!

*PR samples



Kat Von D Beauty

Every now and again I like to unleash my inner rock chick, so when an invite to the UK and Ireland press launch of Kat Von D Beauty arrived, I cleared a space in my diary to be there.

And what a stunning event! From the choice of venue with its gothic vibe, to the plinths of jaw-droppingly beautiful red roses that I couldn’t take my eyes off, every last detail had been thought of (and every last penny in the budget spent too, I’m sure).

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The celebrated tattoo artist and musician was at the launch with her team, and I have to say I’m loving the cruelty-free collection – the packaging is perfection, the pigments unbeatable and I can see it being a big hit with the cool girls who love music, festivals, a well-crafted cat eye flick and make-up that lasts from dusk till dawn.

The two Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks swatched below are Lolita (dusky pink) and Outlaw (red). Just look at the intensity of that red! They’re not called everlasting for nothing, they simply do not budge.

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Also pictured is the Shade & Light Contour Palette, the lipstick collection which includes Studded Kiss Lipsticks and those pigment-rich Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, and the best-selling Tattoo Waterproof Liquid Liner in Trooper, which again is loved for its staying power and has gone straight into my make-up bag.

Kat Von D Beauty will be available exclusively online at and from September and at Debenhams Oxford Street, London from October.


By Terry Light Expert Click Brush

I’ve never tried By Terry make-up before, but I’m completely in love with this natural finish foundation, which I discovered at one of the brand’s recent press events.

Light Expert Click Brush Illuminating Flawless Foundation Brush, £48, claims to sculpt, smooth and offer a natural finish with buildable coverage. Containing correcting light prisms and camouflage micro-pigments, the shade adjusts to suit your skin tone, while the kabuki brush ensures an even application.


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I adore the packaging which is great for touch ups on the go, and it’s quick and simple to use – simply click the silver end of the tube to dispense the foundation onto the brush, then apply onto skin. This is the perfect amount for one application, and I like to apply it, then blend with my fingers instead of using the brush itself.

The texture is marvellous – the way it melts into and appears to airbrush the skin is very impressive and one of the big selling points. It doesn’t settle into fine lines or pores, accentuate dry areas or ‘pill’.

Coverage is light to medium, but it’s not too dewy despite the fact that it seems to light up the complexion. I’d say it’s more of a satin finish. When you’re wearing it it feels like nothing, but gives just the right amount of coverage for daytime wear, erasing imperfections and any redness.

The one stumbling block is the shade range, as there’s currently just six (so far) – the darkest being Amber Brown. I was colour-matched to 5 – Peach Beige, which I initially thought may be too dark but once blended into the skin is undetectable.

In short, this is one of the best foundations I’ve ever used, and despite the price I would buy it again in a heartbeat.

*PR sample


Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield

London has been blessed with some fabulous weather this weekend, and hopefully the sun is shining on you too! But while it’s a treat to feel the warm rays on our skin, it also means that UV protection is more important than ever.

So if you like the sound of a product that not only offers broad spectrum SPF30 protection, but also acts as a primer and skin ‘blurrer’, you need to check out the award-winning Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield.

This multi-use product has a transparent gel formula which literally feels like silk on the skin. In fact it’s so silky, it almost feels unreal. I was interested to check out the ingredients, looking for some kind of silicone. And yes, the silicone oil dimethicone does happen to be the second ingredient – this gives the formula the ability to seamlessly glide over the skin, as well as giving a photoshopped appearance.

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With dimethicone so prevalent in this product, I probably wouldn’t recommend it for very dry skin as regular use could potentially make it more dehydrated, plus it does also contain alcohol (about halfway down the list). On the other hand, dimethicone is also non pore-clogging, so should be fine if you’re concerned about breakouts (everyone’s skin is different though).

I love the matte, silky texture and the way make-up applies afterwards – it’s a great primer. You don’t need to use much as a little goes a long way, and it smells good too. Try mixing one blob of Invisiblur with one blob of your favourite foundation for a natural, flawless finish – no CC cream required.

But with a tendency to dry skin, I think I will save it for when I need my skin to be protected and my make-up to look on point (wedding? outdoor event?), or summer holidays, as the level of protection is perfect and the formulation invisible on the skin.

Please note, the product in the picture does not show the full size item, but a 5ml sample size.

£55 for 30ml, available from Debenhams, and

*PR sample

Winter skincare essentials

This winter something quite interesting happened to my normally dry skin – it turned more ‘normal.’ I haven’t had the usual problem of dehydration or flakiness, struggled to apply a smooth base or make my skin look even and hydrated. And it’s not like I’ve been drinking gallons of water or avoiding centrally heated environments; I can only put it down to the products I’ve been using, so I thought I’d share my regime with you.

First up, I’ve swapped my usual cleansing milk for a cleansing balm – Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm to be precise. I once had a conversation with a therapist working for a well-known cosmeceutical brand who basically said that such brands were a waste of money, but I have to disagree. Elemis products generally seem to suit my skin and having tried this, I’m even more convinced. This cleansing balm is sooooo good, I’m a little addicted!

I swear it has made a huge difference to my skin’s hydration levels as it feels so nourished for hours after use (I almost don’t need to apply a night cream), plus it has a beautiful texture (see bottom pic) and smells gorgeous.



I was gifted PriGen Gen-Hyal Extreme Repair Serum at an event and had never come across any products from this Italian brand before. It really looks like nothing much, but the proof is in the pudding! Recommended for stressed skin showing signs of sensitivity, irritation and redness, the formulation contains high levels of hyaluronic acid and antioxidant Vitamin E.

And it seems to deliver, as I am convinced that this has made a noticeable difference to my skin – it’s smoother, more supple and calmer/less reactive. I love the fact that there are only eight ingredients in this serum so it also feels quite ‘clean.’ I  just wish it came in a slightly bigger size as I raced through it quite quickly. Find it here:

I’ve been using BRYT Night as my regular night cream for a while now. I actually do some work with this brand, but as you know I never write about anything I don’t believe in. While this isn’t the thickest of night creams, I like that, as it feels as though your skin can still breathe while you slumber. BRYT Night contains wild Australian plums with antioxidant properties five times greater than blueberries, and smells wonderfully therapeutic. It’s also very calming and my skin looks fresh and radiant in the morning. Available from

What’s your winter skincare regime and what are your favourite ‘cold weather’ products?

*PR samples


bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation & Seamless Buffing Brush

My blemish history goes something like this – as a teenager and young adult my skin was unpredictable, I didn’t have full-on acne, but my often hormonal flare-ups prompted me to seek help from my GP on more than one occasion. I was prescribed treatments including various ‘skin friendly’ contraceptive pills (too mood altering) and benzoyl peroxide (too drying).

I’m still prone to the occasional breakout – including on my chest and back – and my teenage years are now a distant memory! But while other skin stresses have been more of a focus as I age, I love mineral make-up so have been giving this a good trial and am now ready to deliver my verdict…


The formulation of Blemish Remedy (£26) seems slightly finer than bareMinerals’ Original Mineral Foundation, which is a bit surprising considering it’s meant to be aimed at blemished skin.

The Seamless Buffing Brush (£24) looks good but is a different shape to the other bareMinerals brushes; it is said to ‘effortlessly blur imperfections’ with the ‘swirl, tap, buff’ technique, but to be honest I prefer to use my old faithfuls as they seem to work better for me than this one.

To get the level of coverage I like (and to cover any larger blemishes and areas of redness), I feel as though I have to do at least two applications. But it is of course buildable, gives a natural, matte finish and staying power is good, lasting most of the day. It doesn’t dry out the skin either.

And if you’re prone to spots, the added ingredients including aspen bark, tea tree oil and salicylic acid are said to help promote clearer, healthier looking skin. Plus its non comedogenic, so won’t clog pores.

The shade I have been testing is Clearly Pearl 02, which is neutral in tone and spot on for my pale winter skin.

Have you tried this? What do you think?

*PR samples






Beauty Voyage nominated for Best Emerging Blogger at the J&J Awards 2016!

Wow! I’m still getting over being nominated for Best Emerging Blogger at the 2016 Johnson & Johnson Awards last week!


I didn’t win but just to be on the shortlist was a proud moment for me – there are so many great beauty blogs out there that it’s an honour to be recognised, and it was completely unexpected to see my name up there.

I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for reading my blog and sticking with me, I promise you more great and original content in 2016.


New Year’s Eve Eve nails

In recent tradition, I will be celebrating New Year 2015 tonight instead of tomorrow night (never one to follow the crowd, me!), so I thought I’d post my nail look for you to see as I haven’t done a nail post for a while.

It’s a pretty simple look based around colour – I was originally thinking of applying an Avon pillar box red glitter polish, but decided on a delicious electric purple to match the jacket I will be wearing.


My nail polish of choice is an oldie but an absolute star – the arresting No7 Stay Perfect Nail Colour in Vivid Violet, topped off with Guerlain’s Le Top Coat in Ultra Violet. This edgy top coat glows under UV light, just in case I encounter any on my night out!


To get the intensity I applied three coats, anything less and it doesn’t ‘pop’ quite as much. Also, with three coats you notice a shot metallic blue coming through which accentuates the shade even more.

There doesn’t seem to be many purples around quite like this (let me know if I’m wrong!), and don’t even know if you can still get it, so don’t want it to run out any time soon! All I know is that it’s the perfect party shade and ideal for seeing the New Year in.

Happy New Year Beautyvoyagers, wherever in the world you may be celebrating!






Nude by Nature: the foundation for great skin

Everyone who knows me knows I am a fan of mineral make-up, so when I heard about the UK launch event for Australian make-up/skincare brand Nude by Nature, I was all over it!

The products contain native skin beneficial ingredients such as antioxidant-rich kakadu plum and lilly pilly, leaving out potentially harmful toxins and chemicals such as parabens and phthalates – the aim is to provide everything you need to create a healthy, flawless complexion.



The line up includes three foundations (loose, pressed and liquid), a concealer, a primer, two illuminators (liquid and pressed), two setting powders (pressed and loose), two bronzers (pressed and loose) and a blush. There are also 9 high quality synthetic brushes in the range including a retractable travel brush, liquid foundation brush and kabuki brush. LOVE these!

The first impressive thing about the range is that the loose and pressed foundations come in 20 shades to suit nearly all skintones and colourings. The liquid foundation comes in 10 shades, and the concealer, 8 shades.



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So far I have tried each of the foundations and the concealer and love them. I’m yet to try the rest and I have most of the products.

One word of warning about the foundation shades – don’t assume that you will automatically be the same across the different products. At the event I was colour matched to be ‘Silky Beige,’ but when I got home the loose foundation was too dark for me and I was so excited about trying it (thinking about it, it was quite dark in the room!). But weirdly, the pressed foundation in the same shade is fine.

I love the Flawless Pressed Powder Foundation (£25) for a made-up evening look; I also use it to quickly touch up and even out my make-up during the day. Giving medium to full coverage, it doesn’t cake and applies quickly and evenly.

Despite the shade blunder, I am also a fan of the loose powder foundation; this gives buildable, sheer to medium coverage and you get 2g more than Bareminerals Original Foundation, for the same price (£25).

The concealer (£20) is thicker than many similar liquid concealers, so does a good job too.

Nude by Nature is currently available from, prices start from £16. I have no idea how you are meant to choose the correct shades for you without being able to swatch first, but do let me know how you get on!

*PR samples