Try this skin-saving cocoa and coffee mask

Beauty aficionados have been raving about the beauty benefits of cocoa and coffee lately – and when I tell you why, it’ll all make perfect sense!

When you use cocoa and coffee in combination, they brighten up your complexion, wake up tired eyes, decrease puffiness in your face, and even treat breakouts!

No matter your skin type, the cocoa and coffee mask recipe I’m sharing with you is sure to work wonders for you. I just love this mask because it’s simple to mix up, and only requires a couple of kitchen cupboard ingredients.

Cocoa and coffee are the staples of this chocolaty mask, but feel free to tailor the recipe based on your skin type and the ingredients you’ve got in your kitchen. For dry skin, add full-fat yoghurt. For oily skin, add lemon juice. Try it out!


Cocoa and coffee mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (your basic Nestle Cocoa works fine)
  • 4 tbsp finely ground coffee beans or espresso (instant coffee works too if you don’t have
  • your own grinder)
  • 8 tbsp dairy product (such as heavy cream, plain yoghurt, whole milk or nut milk)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

How to make the mask:

  1. If you’re using whole coffee beans, finely grind them in your grinder. Make sure they’re super-finely ground so that they don’t scratch your skin! If you’ve just made coffee, you can use the freshly brewed coffee grounds. They just won’t contain as much caffeine (and your skin loves caffeine!)
  2. Combine the coffee with the cocoa powder in a small bowl.
  3. Add in your dairy product of choice and stir until you form a smooth paste. For a thicker paste, use less dairy.
  4. In a separate bowl, warm up the honey in a warm water bath or in the microwave, then stir it into the concoction.

How to apply the mask:

  1. Use your fingertips to apply the mask to your clean skin. You can use it all over your face and neck.
  2. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes or until dry.
  3. Wet a facecloth and press it onto your face gently to loosen the mask, then rinse the mask off with warm water.
  4. If you’ve got sensitive skin, avoid rubbing your face – the coffee grounds could potentially get scratchy!

You can store the leftover paste in your fridge for up to three days.


Top five BB creams for summer

A darling of the beauty world, beauty balm – or BB cream for short – brings tons of skin correcting benefits. In the summer, I use this product as an all-in-one replacement for my moisturiser, face sunscreen and foundation. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, who wants to be caked up during the hot months of the year? Here are my five favourite BB creams for flawless, radiant skin that are perfect for wearing in the summertime!




#1: Revlon Photoready BB Cream (SPF 30)

If you’re looking for just the slightest amount of coverage, this BB cream is your perfect fit. The formula actually feels more like a tinted moisturiser than a BB cream, so it evens out skin tone without making your skin feel weighed down or sticky. It’s also budget-friendly!


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#2: MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact (SPF 30)

As you now know, I’m a massive BB cream fan … but some can be really messy to work with! This fabulous version by MAC comes in a super-sleek compact with an applicator sponge, so you don’t have to worry about getting product all over your fingers.


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#3: L’oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB

This BB cream packs incredible colour-matching technology! It actually pretty fascinating. The product goes on white, but then transforms to match your skin’s undertone and shade perfectly … how cool is that? If you struggle finding a BB cream to suit your skin tone, this product will save your life.


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#4: Bobbi Brown BB Cream (SPF 35)

Despite the high sun protection factor, this BB cream by well-loved brand Bobbi Brown provides totally light coverage! This range of BB cream is unfortunately only suitable for fair-skinned ladies, as it only has relatively fair shades available. It does, however, have a wider range of undertones than a lot of other brands.


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#5: Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream (SPF 35)

All BB creams blend easily to match your skin tone and lend your complexion a touch of radiance … but Shiseido’s is by far the best at it! Though it has a higher sun protection factor than most other BB creams on the market, it won’t feel heavy on your face. It’s also super-hydrating, making it the perfect choice for dry skin types.


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What’s your favourite BB cream?

Six tips to get your skin holiday-ready

So summer is here, and you’ve put away your sweaters and pulled out your shirts – but have you started paying some much-needed attention to your skin? Even if you don’t plan to strut around in a bikini this holiday, you still want your arms, shoulders, back and legs to look soft and sun-kissed, don’t you? Luckily, only a little extra TLC is required to get your skin into tip top shape. Here are my top six tips for getting your skin holiday-ready!





#1: Scrub away dull, dry skin

If you neglected to exfoliate and moisturise regularly over the course of the cold, dry winter, you’re probably suffering with parched, lacklustre skin right now. Luckily there’s a quick-fix for that, though – to get rid of dull, dry skin all over your body, simply use a salt or sugar scrub two or three times a week to gently exfoliate. I like to towel dry and then apply a moisturising body balm to my skin after exfoliating to penetrate it better after sloughing off that flaky, dead layer.

Try: LUSH Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub, made with cleansing lime, coconut and sea salt, to cleanse and refresh dry skin in an instant.




#2: Treat chest and back breakouts

Breakouts on your chest and back aren’t pretty. But because you sweat a lot more during the summer, you’re prone to such breakouts, which happen when your clothing traps sweat and oil in your pores. A body wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help kill bacteria and unclog your pores. If the redness still lingers after the bumps have gone down, try an alpha-hydroxy peel two or three nights a week until your skin clears up completely.

Try: Garnier Pure Active Daily Pore Scrub Wash Oily to Combination Skin, which is enriched with salicylic acid to fight pesky breakouts.




#3: Relieve rough feet and cracked heels

A season of stomping around in boots and skimping on pedicures can leave your soles and heels with dry, dead layers of skin that don’t look good and can feel rather painful. To help with this, apply a lightweight foot lotion every morning to help soften your feet. If your feet are extra dry, try soaking them in a foot spa with a cup of Epsom salts for ten minutes before bed. Follow up by slathering them with a thick cream and covering up with socks.

Try: The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion, which contains hydrating cocoa butter, sweet almond oil and lanolin to get your feet beach-ready in a snap.




#4: Replenish moisture in your face and body

Applying a good moisturiser to your face and body will help keep your skin happy and maintain a beautiful, healthy glow. It will also lock in moisture, which will essentially maintain your skin’s protective barrier. The best time to apply moisturiser to both your face and body is after a shower or bath, when your skin is fresh and your pores are open. I find that a lightweight day cream and a rich, thick body cream works best during the summer months.

Try: L’Oreal Even Perfect Moisturising Day Cream, formulated to give your skin a moisture boost while perfecting your skin tone, for your face, and Dermalogica Body Hydrating Cream, loaded with natural hydroxy acid extracts from sugar cane and apply to smooth and relieve dryness, for your body.






#5: Remove any unwanted hair

Because the skin on your legs doesn’t produce much oil, adding moisture rather than removing it is key to avoid irritation. This is why I opt for hair removal cream over shaving during the summer months, when I want to be feeling silky smooth all the time. Hair removal cream is easy to use and quickly dissolves hair under your arms, on your legs and on your bikini line. It also gives results that last a few days longer than shaving. Just be sure to always moisturise your legs afterwards for best results.

Try: Veet Hair Removal Cream for Dry Skin, enriched with shea butter and scented with a subtle lily fragrance, which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin.




#6: Give your skin a safe, bronzed glow

Safe, sun-kissed skin is now easier than ever thanks to all the fabulous self-tanning products on the market! Be sure to prep your skin first by exfoliating – focusing mainly on dry areas like your elbows, knees and ankles. Your skin should also be completely free of any deodorants, perfumes and lotions before you start. Then, pin your hair up in a bin and apply your self-tanner of choice. Maintain your tan by using a body oil or lotion on your entire once or twice a day.

Try: Piz Buin Bronze Tanning Spray, made with Melitan to help you achieve a natural-looking tan twice as fast, and Caribbean Tan Milk & Honey Hydrating Body Butter to maintain your gorgeous glow.





Combat acne with this honey and cinnamon face mask

Raw honey – ah, how sweet it is! Use it to sweeten a cup of tea, to bake sweet treats, or to enhance the nutty flavour of a pecan pie – it’s pretty versatile. Honey is also a natural humectant, which means it’s a fantastic moisturiser, and it also has antibacterial properties that can help you spot-treat acne.


The honey and cinnamon face mask recipe I’m about to share with you is amazing. It will brighten your complexion, soothe any irritations, and clear up acne. Please just note that cinnamon can irritate very sensitive skin, so do a patch test before applying the mask to your entire face if your skin is sensitive.


Honey pot and dipper.


Honey and cinnamon acne face mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 3 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

What to do:

  1. Mix the honey and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse your face with warm water and finish off with your daily moisturiser.

Firm and tone your skin with this rose petal face pack

Rose petals are a brilliant source of vitamin C and antioxidants, which help firm and tone your skin as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They contain an essential oil that has impressive antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is brilliant for hydrating and moisturising delicate facial skin.


The home remedy I’m about to share with you is one that I swear by. I use this face pack whenever my skin is looking puffy or flustered. The alpha hydroxy acids in rose petals help get my complexion back in tip top condition in a snap by tightening pores and calming redness. It’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin.


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How to treat your skin with a rose petal face pack

You’ll need:

  • 8 tsp fresh rose petals (or 4 tsp dried rose petals)
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tbsp raw wilk
  • 2 tbsp rose water
  • 1 orange peel, dried and crushed
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 4 tbsp whole-wheat flour

What to do:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste all over your face and neck.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Voila – refreshed, gorgeous skin!

Five natural beauty brands I’m obsessed with right now

I believe that when it comes to beauty products, sometimes less really is more. Just as interest in simpler, less-processed foods has grown, many women have also been searching for more natural, plant-based beauty products with shorter ingredient lists.


But do these natural formulas work just as well the conventional products you’ve been using? Yes, they do! Here are five fabulous plant-based beauty brands that I’m obsessed with right now.


Five natural skincare brands you need to know about

#1: S.W. Basics

Founded and manufactured in Brooklyn, New York City, this little brand is becoming a big deal very quickly. Their products are all organic, and include potent levels of the active ingredients. Turmeric, lavender and avocado oil are just a few of the wonderful ingredients you’ll find in this line, making their products perfect for sensitive skin like mine.




#2: Tata Harper

The bright green packaging says it all! This brand’s products are whipped up in small batches right on the owner’s farm in Vermont, US. So, yes, you can be sure everything is super-fresh! I love their moisturisers and eye creams, which are very soothing and hydrating for delicate, sensitive skin.




#3: RMS Beauty

This fabulous brand was founded by former make-up artist Rose-Marie Swift. It’s well-known for its popular Lip2Cheek products, which offer vibrant, long-last colours for lips and cheeks. It’s the concealers, however, that won my heart. They cover imperfections incredibly well, but look natural on your skin at the same time.


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#4: Herbivore Botanicals

True to its name, this brand is plant-based, and the products come in intoxicating scents. From face oil to body polish, the brand stocks a variety of original formulas packaged in stunning bottles you’ll want to leave on display. I especially love their Sea Mist to create beachy waves in my hair. The product contains coconut and sea salt – how divine?




#5: Cocovit

With its many uses as a natural moisturiser for skin and hair, coconut oil is having a huge beauty moment right now. Cocovit’s oil in specific is produced without heat, meaning that the finished product is 100% pure and packed with super-beneficial nutrients that can be lost when heat is used. I love using coconut oil to remove my make-up, or to hydrate my scalp when it’s feeling dry.



Ten tasty herbal teas you should have stocked in your kitchen at all times

I have a collection of herbal teas stocked in my kitchen. They help me maintain a healthy lifestyle, which is very important to me! Here’s a list of my ten favourites in my cupboard. Choose the ones most suitable for you and sip them regularly. Enjoy!




Ten amazing herbal teas

#1: Matcha green tea

Very high in antioxidants, which are mainly responsible for protecting your cells and compounds from pollutants and damages.

#2: Red clover tea

Helps reduce the symptoms and discomforts of menopause. It also helps improve sleep, strengthen bones and reduce depression.

#3: Rooibois tea

Contains polyphenols that are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and have anti-mutagenic properties. It’s also excellent for giving your immune system a boost.

#4: Cinnamon tea

Loaded with antioxidants, and is antiviral, antibacterial as well as antifungal. It’s a fantastic remedy for many ailments and can even help you manage your weight.

#5: Chamomile tea

Broadly known as “bedtime soother” because of its incredible effectiveness on insomnia. It’s also fantastic for simply calming your mind and body.

#6: Ginger tea

An amazing remedy for cold, fever, aches and pains, and sometimes the early stages of infections because of its warming and antibacterial effects.

#7: Peppermint tea

Relieves nausea and vomiting, and also helps break down fat of your digestion system by stimulating bile production in your gallbladder.

#8: Fennel tea

An excellent remedy for digestive issues like cramping and bloating. It also helps your body detox because of its impressive diuretic quality.

#9: Marigold tea

Often used to heal cuts and infection, it boasts serious antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help clean out gum and tooth infections.

#10: Dandelion root tea

Bursting with minerals and vitamins, just one cup will add a ton of healing properties to your diet chart. It also helps cleanse your liver and ensures a healthy digestion cycle.

How many of these fabulous teas do you enjoy?