Creating a natural glow

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This week it has been sunny and warm, yes it is true that even up North you do not need your ‘big coat’ all of the time 🙂

I took one look at my legs, arms and face in the bright sunlight and let out a slow screech, my skin looks sallow, pale and uneven.

I am not a fan of ‘tanning’ via natural sunlight and I like to apply sunscreen daily to the face all year round and to the body during warmer months to protect my skin.  I truly believe that in conjunction with a simple skin care routine protecting your skin from the sun is one of the most beneficial things you can do to prevent premature ageing, protect your skin from sunburn and any harmful changes that may result due to sun exposure. I am all for having a dose of sun on bare skin for a few minutes per day to top up vitamin D levels as I do think that it has a positive health effect and it certainly makes me feel brighter and happier when I do it but I also eat well and enjoy oily fish and eggs so I am sure I am getting some vitamin D generation from those foods too.

I like to have a soft, natural, golden glow. Not an old leather handbag look nor do I want to look like a tangerine!

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite products that are tried and tested by me and that I always go back to each year to prepare for and then create a lovely natural glow that I feel looks expensive on the skin, does not result in any breakouts (from my experience) and leaves skin well-nourished and luminous.

Declèor 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator

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This product is delicious to prepare your body for tanning or to even up skin tone. It has the texture of a marmalade gel and it smells of soft grapefruit. Yum.

The product contains grapefruit essential oil, pearl sugar, argan shell and orange peel with fruit acids of grape, pineapple and passion fruit in conjunction with sweet almond oil and sunflower oil. I love this combination of ingredients because I appreciate the fruit acids and how soft they leave your skin due to gentle alpha hydroxy acid effect coupled with the scrubby particles – juicy!

I apply the product to dry skin initially, massaging in all over the body. It has 3 sizes of grains to buff your skin and turns from a gel to an oil as you massage it in, a small amount goes a very long way and it spreads beautifully.

It is extremely ‘scrubby’ and satisfying but not rough at all and it doesn’t tear your skin. It is so disappointing when you buy a body scrub and there are hardly any exfoliating grains in it, similarly there is nothing worse than a scrub that is too rough on the body. This exfoliator is so soft and gentle but extremely effective. The magic happens when you jump into the shower and add water as the oil turns into a body milk which means that it rinses off easily leaving no residue at all.

My skin is left looking brighter, gently polished and plump with moisture after use. I also feel that after exfoliating skin looks more even in texture irrespective of whether you go on to apply a tanning product or not, I think pale even textured and well cared for skin is beautiful, similarly with darker skins this product will renew the skin and improve tone leaving a gentle gleam which is so stunning.

Declèor Aroma Confort Gradual Glow Hydrating Body Milk

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This product claims to give skin a natural glow after the first application and I can vouch for the fact that this claim is true! I love this product. It has a light texture and it is very hydrating (just like all products in the Declèor Aroma Confort range). It contains extract of vanilla from Tahiti and magnolia essential oil so it smells delectable.

What I enjoy is how easy it is to slot this product into my routine as I only need to use it twice a week to get the colour I like on my skin leaving two to three days in between applications (in between time I use an array of other body moisturisers and body oils) and it really is effortless.  You do not need to exfoliate to use this product, but I like to use the 1000 grain exfoliator when I have time for a pamper. I apply the body milk in long strokes to the body by hand and wash my hands thoroughly after use as you would with any tanning product, you could use a mitt if you would like to but it isn’t necessary.  I don’t use any technique at all and apply it like I would any daily body moisturiser.

The result is so natural looking and it is one of the most even gradual tanning moisturisers I have ever used considering the low effort needed to apply it. I have never had streaks. A little goes a long way and more importantly it does not dry out your skin. When it does start to wear off it wears evenly and does not break up on the skin. Skin looks better and more even after one application, after two applications you look naturally golden, after three days of continuous application you have a Mediterranean glow like you have been on holiday for a week. The effect minimises any blotchiness and evens up skin tone and is also perfect for evening up the body if your arms tan but your legs don’t or vice versa.

There is a slight fake tan smell but it is nowhere near as strong as some other brands and it wears of quickly. The colour generally develops within four hours. There is no guide colour to rub off on bed sheets or clothes.  Skin is left looking natural with an expensive moisturised sheen and a beautiful golden glow.

Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Moisturiser for Face 

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My face never matches my body and is always paler in colour. I enjoy using Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Moisturiser for the face to even things up. This is a gradual tan facial moisturiser.

This product is marketed as a day cream but I use it mostly on an evening after cleansing. The downside of using this as a day cream if you chose to do that is that it has no sunscreen thus offers no protection against the effects of sun exposure so if you use it in the day you need a good dose of sunscreen in addition before venturing outside. The moisturiser contains Vegetan, which is naturally derived from wheat to colour the skin. There are extracts of green tea, ginger water, light rice bran oil with a very subtle fragrance of peach, bergamot, orange oil, rose and ylang ylang.

I use this sparingly for a hint of colour. You can use this on alternate days if you like. Skin is left smooth and toned, there is no sticky residue as the texture is silky and I find that if my face has a little glow I use much less make-up.

The colour is natural and not streaky, I start to notice the colour developing within a couple of hours. There is a faint self tan smell as the colour develops. It is very toning and firming and leaves the skin with a great luminosity and radiance in addition to the subtle colour which I really enjoy, I am not one to powder/dull down any glow and like my face to have a sheen. I am prone to breakouts on my skin but this formulation does not break me out at all which is a huge plus for me. I have used Elemis products for years and Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream is one of my favourites and this moisturiser is beautiful quality and a divine texture as you would come to expect with this brand as beautiful absorbing textures is an area where they excel.

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I hope you have enjoyed reading about a few of my favourites to prepare skin and to get a lovely glow.

Do you use any of these products or do you have any favourite recommendations? I would love to hear from you.

The Digital Magazine Revolution


I adore magazines, I get so much inspiration from the images and the beautifully written and often thought-provoking articles – fashion, beauty, accessories, travel, delicious recipes, world issues, local issues – the list is endless.

The problem I have with magazines is that they are expensive and they tend to accumulate and multiply, how does that happen!? ..before you know it you have a pile the size of a small coffee table and they are everywhere (or is that just me?).

I buy weekly and monthly editions and have some real favourites. They are costly, some magazines are up to £4.00 each and on average I can easily spend around £25.00 each month on my little obsession for ‘input’ and inspiration.

I recently subscribed to the Readly app after hearing about it through a friend and so far so good, I really like it.

I had a trial initially and paid £1.00 for one month of access before committing to a full subscription that I can cancel any-time as there is no Contract.

I can read every magazine I love each week and month, zoom into the details on-screen to the minutiae if I would like to (I read on my iPad but the app is compatible with a number of devices) and there are quite a few pros for me:-

1) The cost. After your trial expires a subscription is currently £7.99 a month in the UK. When compared with the £25.00 on average I was spending each month then win, win! Now I am aware that not all people will ‘consume’ magazines in the volume that I do but even if you only purchased a couple of weeklies then the cost still works out and there are savings to be had reading your favourites and so much more through Readly.

2) I no longer accumulate huge piles of paper and huge volumes of recycling and my home is more orderly. I won’t get into the arguments about whether going digital is better for the environment or not –  paper manufacturing can be sustainable and the manufacture of electronic products leaves a carbon footprint. I don’t see it as an ‘either OR situation’ more so a choice.

3) The back catalogue is extensive and I can access so much more than I would ever dream possible as there are over 1,500 magazines available which is significantly more than even I would ever purchase on an individual basis 😉 I have enjoyed reading different titles and looking at the past three months worth of my favourite monthlies for seasonal inspiration (or more if you would like to go even further into the extensive back catalogue). I have created a library of twenty magazines I enjoy reading regularly including Red, InStyle, Elle, Porter, Grazia, Look and Harper’s Bazaar to name a few. I get notifications when a new ‘favourite’ hits my library.

4) You can have up to five separate profiles for one subscription payment meaning in a household you can potentially cater for your whole family or friends.

5) The sheer portability factor – perfect for travel, holidays, the daily commute and so on.

As with anything there are some cons for me personally.

I really do feel like there is nothing like holding a physical magazine in your hand, turning the pages, the way a magazine smells and a physical magazine reading session is more fulfilling overall as you tend to cherish the moment, take time out away from computers/laptops and other electronic devices and take a moment for yourself to relax and escape.

Using the app on a mobile telephone would result in difficulty in reading the text in my opinion as it would just be too small and frustrating having to zoom in all the time.

Additionally, a lot of magazines offer some great freebies and as with any subscription service you will miss out on those. Now as an avid consumer of all things beauty related the opportunity to try new products on a monthly basis is a real plus when you can do that through a magazine purchase and it is often amazing value.

For my global Instagram and website friends then the coverage of the application is not worldwide yet as far as I can tell – please check the global Readly page to see if your country is included. I hope they will extend coverage in time.

In terms of my conclusions I think I feel the same way about Readly as I do about my Kindle –  it is convenient, great for travel and such very good value for money but I think for my favourite magazine I may still purchase the odd one from time to time. Similarly if there is a particular beauty freebie I want to try I will also indulge,  just like for certain special books I would buy a hardback to keep and treasure rather than do a Kindle download. I think there is so much potential in the future for the Readly content to be more than just a ‘picture on a screen’/PDF and for interaction, accessing links, downloading recipes and so on like a lot of the e-magazine options already available on the market. How this may impact on the subscription price is an unknown at this stage.

I think the subscription is a great idea and it suits me and my lifestyle so I thought I would share it with you all just in case you hadn’t heard of it and so you can explore it for yourself through the trial and see if it suits your needs and has the publications you like to read too. Who knows, if you are a magazine fiend like me you may save some money (only to spend it elsewhere on some beauty products for sure….) –  enjoy.

  • Prices correct at the time of publishing this article.