Skincare hero - Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil review

Monday, 20 February 2017

Today I'm bringing a post that has been on the cards for a while, it's just taken me a long bloody time to write it. I'm going to be reviewing two Sunday Riley products on my blog, but today will just be part 1 which is the Luna Oil and then my next skincare post will be on the Sunday Riley Good Genes. I purchased them together as part of the Power Couple Duo: Total Transformation Kit from Sephora but it's only available in the US, so my boyfriend kindly got this for me when he went in November. Lord knows I was not about to spend over £80 on one product but in this duo pack, I spent $85 and got to try them both and I'm so frikkin happy that I did. Within this pack you, get 15ml of the Luna Oil, the normal size is a 30ml oil which retails at £85.00.


I feel like Sunday Riley is a brand that took the online beauty world by storm but in the beginning, it was just recommended by loads of bloggers and vloggers without any actual knowledge about the product, what it does and what sort of skin type it was for. It was more 'hey, here's this really expensive oil and it's great.' So although I had my eye on it, I wasn't keen to run out and purchase it before I did some more digging. So I researched and I'm here to make this post as informative but light as possible. If you have any questions, just ask away in the comments! 

So the first thing I'll cover is what the oil actually is. Luna is marketed as a retinol product but it's actually a trans-retinol ester, which is sort of like the cousin to retinol. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, but as far as I know retinol is a prescription only product. I'm pretty sure that as a teen I was prescribed something like it for my acne because my face peeled like crazy. So that's the thing that makes Luna so appealing to the people in the UK because you don't have to go to the doctor to get it. The retinol in Luna is housed in an oil to ensure that the side effects are not as severe as an actual retinol product. The best way of understanding how Luna works is to understand how retinol works. 

Basically, retinol is one of those 'it's gotta get bad before it gets good products' it will cause your skin to become irritated, dry and flaky all whilst paving the way for lovely new fresh skin. Vitamin A/Retinol:
  • Helps to fight wrinkles 
  • Is a great anti-ageing product
  • Helps to get rid of any acne or scarring 
  • Helps to reduce the appearance of pores
  • Will leave your skin DRY
So basically pure retinol can leave your skin looking a bit worse for wear for a bit, whilst the aim of Luna is to avoid all of that by being a nourishing oil. Luna also contains Blue Tansy Oil which is what the brand says gives it that blue colour however, this has been widely debated. The benefits of Blue Tansy is that it is soothing and calming so it helps to balance the harsh effects of the retinol ester. The aim of Luna is to do all the above and work as a retinol, but like I said above, without the harsh side effects. That said it is worth noting that the retinol ester doesn't have as many research studies that retinol has, with it being a recent discovery, so it's a tiny bit of a gamble using this. Luna is meant to help reduce pore size and improve the appearance of damaged skin. Two things I struggle majorly with, hence why I decided to get this. So what were my thoughts?


My first thought on Luna was the smell, I can't even really explain it now because I am so used to it, but it smells like grass or dirt. I can't even properly remember but it smells earthy and honestly, I did not want to put it on my face. It's a blue oil and you'll need about 3-4 drops for your face and the best thing to do is to press it into your face. It sinks in within about 15minutes I'd say and usually, this is the last thing that goes on my face. As I purchased the duo it is recommended that you apply Luna first and then Good Genes, however loads of people have commented that this doesn't make sense because Good Genes will just sit on top of Luna because Luna is an oil. Nevertheless, I used it as recommended and wow, I was not prepared for how dry my skin would get! I have combination/oily skin but everywhere was parched. I actually ended up ordering Vitamin E products for my skin to combat the dryness. What this made me do was use one product or the other from the duo, until I was able to reach a good balance with my skin. After my skin settled a bit, I actually used it with Good Genes first and then Luna after. This has worked well for me and alongside the use of hydrating products, my skin isn't so dry. 

So smell and application aside, I can say that Luna performed very well. I have quite textured skin around my nose and cheeks and the oil has evened out my skin that it is noticeable to the eye! Over the past months, I have seen a huge difference and it's very promising. The removal of the top layer of skin has paved way for smooth plump skin and I couldn't be happier. I have been continuous with my use of Luna, aside from probably two weeks and a half when I stopped because I ran out of suncream and in the beginning with the aforementioned dryness. Other than that I have used Luna every other night and you need to be consistent when using Retinol and it will get bad before it gets good but after that, it evens itself out. Alongside with the Good Genes, I found that my face became more radiant, but out of the two, I feel that Luna is the most effective for me. I also barely notice my pores anymore! I use a number of products to combat this but since introducing Luna into my skincare, I've found I've had to do less work to reduce the size. With Luna helping to address two of my skincare issues, my final thought is 'GET THIS' I can genuinely say that I recommend this product 100%, except for if you have dry or sensitive skin. It's definitely going down in my skincare hero book! 

Despite my constant usage, I still have half of the product left! Although I gasped at the price tag for Luna it is well worth the money for the effects and value for money and I will definitely be purchasing the full sized bottle when I run out. I now have my eye on the UFO oil..! 


Now I'm no scientist or skin expert so I do encourage you to do your own research. To start you off I will list the really informative ladies and sources who helped me decide. Stephanie Nicole on YouTube knows her stuff and this video 'The Science Behind Face Oils' is brilliant, Pixiwoo have a chat with Sunday Riley herself. Also use Beautypedia (although they think the oil is pants), Cult Beauty reviews and The Dermatology Review (great breakdown of ingredients).


So, final recommendation? Get it, your skin will thank you for it. Also, remember to use suncream you don't want to undo all that work by damaging your skin with those pesky sun rays.


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Yoga - 3 poses to master

Monday, 30 January 2017

Last year I enrolled in two yoga classes at TriYoga, they were both so-so to me, but for some reason the second class really ignited a change in me. I’ve practiced yoga on and off for the past 4 years, but after the second class in October I was practicing at least three times a week. It began with a simple sun salutation (I) that was the homework of my class and then after that I was hooked. I’ve mentioned so many times that Sarah Beth Yoga is my go-to place for practicing on YouTube, for me personally she makes a great variety of videos that incorporate different types of yoga (Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative) and different lengths. Her teaching style is one that I can follow and I like her personality. So I began doing two 15-minute videos and then moved into 30 minute videos and then doing two 30-minute ones and soon my practice was up to an hour on the days I practiced. This month I’ve been taking part in the yoga challenge and I’ve missed about 7 days I think, but overall I’ve practiced yoga more this month than ever!

Practicing has been great and the one thing I love about yoga is that it makes me feel so graceful. I’m enjoying learning the routines and different names, but I also want to get some poses mastered by the end of this year (maybe even in the next 6 months, as I have no idea of how long it takes to master these poses). First of all because some of the poses look so cool and second because I want to see what my body can do!

Crow pose (Bakasana)



I started to work on this pose late December 2016 and it has been so awesome seeing progress! It is a hard pose that requires a lot of arm strength so really I’m working on building that and making sure my form is correct. I’m taking it all bit by bit, but being able to hold the pose for 8 seconds feels like an amazing achievement! 

Wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)




Even as a kid I’ve always thought this was an awesome move. When I first went to my TriYoga class she actually tried to teach us this, but it’s not something you master in an hour. It incorporates so much, arm strength and is also an heart opening back bend. 

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana) 



I can do warrior III on my right leg but my left leg is incredibly weak from a fracture from years ago that I cannot balance on it without support. I’m not sure how possible this is, but I would like to be able to manage this pose without support when standing on my left leg.


So that’s it for the poses I would like to focus on this year. Hopefully I can achieve some more, but I want these to be my main goals – anything else that comes along is a bonus.

Let me know if you have any fitness goals this year below in the comments.


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My current make-up routine

Monday, 23 January 2017


I tried to do this post back in 2016 but as I really wasn’t into blogging it just sat in my draft for a while (the only thing I’d written as the title). So I thought I’d give it a go again, it also made me revisit my 2015 post (My Daily Make-Up Routine + Swatches) and see what has changed and I’d say about 50% is the same. So we have progress and progress is good! As much hasn’t changed in terms of my tools, I didn’t go ahead and photograph everything, but I thought I’d share the new products that I’m now using.

Foundation


I think I’ve said this before in make-up posts, but I am far too lazy to wear foundation every day. I’d rather get 5 more minutes of sleep than apply foundation. However when I do, this is what I have been going for lately. I forgot to photograph my Becca Ever Matte Pore Perfecting Primer but this primer is magic! I picked it up when I was in NY in May and I have fallen in love with it, I do not know what is in it but I barely have to powder my face when I have it on. I’ll do a separate review on it but if you have oily skin I 100% recommend it. So on top of my primer I have been using these two. I still use my Smashbox Halo HD Foundation but I’ve given it a break for now. I have to mix my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation with this L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation because the EL is too dark for me and the L’Oreal is too light. I love the coverage of the Estee Lauder Foundation but I feel like it oxidises on me and so to prevent that I lighten to up with the True Match. I sadly picked up the L’Oreal True Match in a really light shade because for some reason I thought it was the darkest colour they had and someone was purchasing it for me America. Either way it still works out as I just mix them both together on my Beauty Blender Surface Simple and then I’m good to go. 

Eyebrows



I have used to many different products on my eyebrows but I think I have finally settled on the two products that I do like. The first is the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Espresso, before this I was using the Urban Decay Brow Beater in Neutral Brown £14/$20but I got through two of those quite quickly and figured I needed something more cost effective. So I picked up the NYX one whilst browsing the counter during my lunch hour. I purchased both the UD pencils in Sephora whilst on holiday and when I ran out I really didn’t fancy paying £14 for something that I ran out of so quickly. The NYX one is great and is a darker colour, which I like. I use the pencil to fill in all the sparse areas and draw a shape around my brows. I then use this Sleek Eyebrow Palette (before the pencils stepped in this was all I used), so to fill in any areas the pencil might have missed with the slanted edge of my EcoTools Brush to give my eyebrows a fuller look.

Eyes


Everything that I use on my eyes has changed from 2015 and this is because of new products that I found in 2016. I started to use the NYX Retractable Eye Liner instead of the Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer. There’s no real reason for this, I just fancied a change and I have a good NYX counter available to me. My mascara choices are as a result of my New York trip. I picked up the Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in a travel size when I was in NY and I loved it, so it was a no brainer to purchase the full size. The next mascara is MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash, I actually got this with a make over session that I had done with MAC whilst I was in NY. This really lengthens my lashes, so after I apply the Two Faced one for volume I layer this one on to make it look like I have lashes. Out of the two I’d definitely say the MAC one is my favourite and it’s still going strong since May! 




Finding the perfect liquid liner has been a struggle, I’m still not happy with the two I use as they can easily be removed by me accidently rubbing my eye! I use Soap and Glory Supercat Liner and the NYX Super Skinny Marker. I find the NYX one is perfect for creating the flick and then joining it up with the S&G that I will have used across my lid. The colour payoff for both is great but neither of them have the last power that I want.

Highlight
The final thing I’ll apply is highlighter and this is something new for me. I finally got my hands on the Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow Highlighting Powder and I love it. I’m still learning how to use it properly, but I love applying to the tops of my cheeks when I’m going out for drinks or dinner in the evening. The product is beautiful and feels like a real treat every time I open it up and apply it - my pictures just don't do it justice, but click the link for its beauty!

Blush & Bronzer
In terms of blusher, bronzer and lip colours I’m still pretty much using all the ones from my 2015 post, which includes the Sleep blush trio palette, ELF Baked Bronzer and the purple and plum lip colours. The only addition to my blush collection is Illamasqua’s powder blush in Thrust, which is described as a deep magenta pink. It’s gorgeous, but I do have to use a light hand to make sure I don’t go overboard.


So that’s it for my make-up! I’m happy that I’ve managed to stick with the good ones and change up some products. I’m still on the hunt for a good eyeliner, so I know I’ll be trying out some new ones this year. What are your make-up staples?

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My top 10 moments in 2016

Monday, 16 January 2017


I was originally going to talk about the things I learned in 2016, but I realised that would mean delving into some bad stuff and possibly offering advice on things I probably haven’t finished learning yet. So instead I decided to go with all the good things that happened in 2016! With it being “blue Monday” I thought it would be apt! I hope everyone is having an okay day today – personally I don’t believe in this “most depressing day of the year” crap as I guarantee you I will have more during the year!

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this month and it’s mainly because you of YOU app (I think I discovered this gem early 2016 but it's faaabulous), two of the tasks were to talk about the good things that happened in 2016 and thank 2016 – I did both and I’ve decided to share ten of them with the world wide web. Before I move on the list, I wanted to touch on gratitude lists and how great they are. It’s a wonderful exercise and you’ll be surprised at how much you’re grateful for once you start to write – all the good things just start to multiply. It’s just one of few things I’m going to do this year to be more at peace with myself and I encourage you to do it too – reading back on them is great you’ll immediately smile and it’s an exercise that only strengthens your resolve.


 Here are my top 10 moments in 2016:
  1. I visited New York! - I remember being in primary school and secondary school and watching everyone go on amazing holidays to America or other destinations and I never did because my family just didn’t have the money for any holidays. Most people I know have visited America loads and last year I was finally about to tick a state off and I loved it, not just because I can say I’ve been but because New York was an amazing city and I have so many wonderful and random memories there. My birthday night was particularly crazy but it’s what made the whole experience so great. It’s also great because so many TV shows are set there and I’ve been to Times Square guys and it was frikkin awesome. For me going there was also like yay little old me who couldn’t ever afford to do any of this can do this now 
  2. Quitting a I job, I hated & landing a job with lovely people  - There’s not much to say to this but wow, so much relief. I hated my last job and now I’m in a job (granted it’s a contract role, so it’s due to end soon – sob) that I enjoy, I have great people around me and it has introduced me to the life of contracting. Yes I took a step down for it, but it looks great on my CV and the pay is amazing and I work with really supportive people, it has been such a boost to my confidence! I was unemployed for a month whilst I quit my other job and was waiting for my checks and stuff to go through for my current role – man it was a long (and poor) month 
  3. I came off my anti-depressants! - I’m still deciding whether this is actually a great thing but the fact that I did it is a win. I’m not anti-medication but I have been on them for about 3 years and things were going pretty well for me when I decided to come off them, and I wanted to see what life was like without them. I wasn’t on a particularly high dosage or anything but the side effects were super annoying, but I’ve been off them for about 4/5 months and I don’t feel that different so yay!

  4. My third nephew was born. Thanks to my sister I am now an auntie to 3 boys – in July the youngest was born and he’s a frikkin joy. Having been around all 3 of them when they were born I can safely say number 3 is the easiest and quietest bubba ever and his smiles melt my heart. I think I’m more smitten with him because I know my sister won’t be having anymore! All my nephews mean SO much to me – just the other day the oldest said I was his best friend!
  5. I saved money! I’m aware that I’m going overboard with the exclamation marks in this post, but this year I managed to save loads and spend loads. Before I always saved and then spent it like two months later, but last year (well the second half of it anyway) I saved and didn’t fritter it away. I even opened up an ISA for the savings – hello adulthood! I even loaned money to members of my family and it felt bloody good to be able to do so and not struggle because I’d bloody saved, and my family could totally tell I’d done a 360 with money. It feels great to know that I have something stashed away in case of any emergencies 
  6. Yoga – I really got into yoga this year, before that my relationship with it had been off and on. Last year I took two classes at Triyoga (one around February, the other in October). The one in October despite me not actually enjoying the teacher that much, really ignited something in me. She taught us a sequence and had us repeat it 5 times at home and with that I was off. My favourite teach is Sarah Beth on YouTube I’ve been following her for about 3 years and did her videos on and off but since October I’ve been doing her videos nearly every day. Although I do take time off when it’s that time of the month because I PMS so bad beforehand and have zero motivation for life, let alone any type of warrior. This month I’ve been doing her 30-day yoga challenge – fab but I’ve had to push myself to do it even when I haven’t wanted too 

  7. I visited 5 new cities in Europe. I went on a 13-day trip in September and visited Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Florence and Budapest. Amsterdam, Rome and Florence were my favourites. I have a soft spot for Italy (I moved to Milan for 3 months) and Amsterdam was just so beautiful! I feel so lucky to have been able to see so many beautiful places, it was a busy but lovely break
  8. Realising I’d had enough – this one is a bit personal but at some point, in 2016 I realised I’d had enough with someone who just made me feel uneasy around them, I found I was being an edited version of myself because they put me on edge. Manging my depression and anxiety is not an easy day to day task and I didn’t need someone constantly trying to drag me into a series of negative thinking, so I had to stop being friends with that person, sadly some friendships can just be harmful 
  9. I lost some weight! Oh the struggle with weight loss, it’s forever a struggle and I’m still here eating all the veg in order to shift those pounds. But last year I managed to lose some and this year I’m putting in the work to make sure the rest of it goes! 
  10.  I finished my CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions – the finishing part isn’t so much the top moment it’s more the things my CBT made me realise. I had the best therapist and he really helped me to sift through all the thoughts I had of myself and make sense of them all and change the negative ones. The beginning of the year was exhausting for me because I was doing all these experiments we’d set out for me and dealing with what I knew would be the end of my job, but my therapist really helped me transform negatives into positives. I won’t pretend it was all so rosy, as it was fucking hard and I did just break down in tears in his office one day when I realised just how badly I’d been treating myself. But it was also hard in the sense that I was putting myself into situations that I would typically shy away from, but it helped me to grow as a person. The exercises we did together are now recorded in what I call my therapy diary and I have the skills and exercises to use in the future and I do use them, not as often as I should but I do. This by far, was one of the most important periods of 2016 for me – self-awareness is important

Recapping those moments only make me more determined to push myself a little further this year, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come but I still know that I have more in me. What were your top moments in 2016?


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