Vanilla Crush

A Beauty, Lifestyle and Travel blog.

3 Simple Tricks to drink more water



You've heard it before, and you'll hear it again - drinking water has many health and skin benefits. When you haven't had enough water, you become dehydrated and you may begin to experience dry skin, headaches, a dry mouth and worst of all, tiredness. So why do we not drink more water? I for one used to struggle to drink the recommended 2-3 litres a day, until I started tricking myself into drinking more. Here are some tips that will hopefully encourage you to try and drink some more water throughout the day.

This is a more recent discovery, but one that I would highly recommend. Hydratem8* is a water bottle with a difference. The markings on the water bottle remind you to keep drinking every hour, motivating you to reach that 2 litre mark. It has a flip straw which means it is very easy to use on the move, it is BPA free and can hold 900ml of liquid. Since using this water bottle I am definitely drinking a lot more. I am always checking that I have reached the recommended amount, and if not, I drink up. They come in a variety of colours and cost £13.99 each. For every purchase made they also donate £1 to Pump Aid, a charity who help provide safe water to those who need it the most.


If you struggle to drink a lot of water because you find it quite simply boring, add some fruit, vegetables or herbs. Not only do you get the benefits of the water, but you get added benefits from the fruit and vegetables. Here are my top three infusions:
> Raspberry and Mint - This has wonderful antioxidant properties from the raspberries, and the mint helps to aid your digestion.
> Blueberry and Oranges - This also has antioxidant properties from the blueberries and toxin flushing properties from the oranges.
> Lemons, Mint and Cucumber - Otherwise known as sassy water. This is a well known detox water that has been shown to help people lose weight.
Lastly, make drinking water a habit. Many people simply forget to drink water, however, adding it to your daily routine will mean that you are prompted to drink. This could be every time you pop to the bathroom you drink a glass of water, or when you go to sleep/wake up you drink a glass of water. Make it a ritual and every time you do said activity you will be reminded to drink some water. This is an easy way to add a few more glasses to your routine each day.

What are your tips for drinking more water?

DHC Rich Eye Zone Care Pack


Every time I have my skin analysed I am told that my undereyes are dehydrated, so I am always on the look out for hydrating treatments.  I currently use the Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado every evening, but sometimes I am in need of a little extra boost of hydration. Eye Masks are not that easy to come by in the UK, however DHC have just released the Rich Eye Zone Care Pack*. This deeply hydrating eye mask contains moisturising ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and elastin, which help to protect the skins natural moisture barrier and olive fruit oil to deeply hydrate.

There are 6 applications in the pack, and they are stored inside a plastic container. The right and left eye masks are paired together, and when you peel them apart you reveal the creamy formula. After cleansing and toning, you apply the mask to your eye area, leave for 10 minutes then masage any remaining cream into your skin. It is suggested to use this mask once or twice a week, so you can get up to 6 weeks worth of treatments in one pack.

The first time I used the mask, I found it quite hard to apply in a place that was comfortable. Little did I know that I had put them on the wrong way round! When applied the correct way, it is still a little uncomfortable, perhaps I have a large eye area? Once I removed the mask, I could instantly see a difference - my eyes looked bright and more awake. My under eyes looked much more hydrated and I could still feel the moisture is there hours later. I like that it works on both the under eye and on the upper lid, something that would be very beneficial to older skin.

The DHC Rich Eye Zone Care pack is now available online at for £15 (£2.50 per treatment).

How and why you should be Double Cleansing?


Double Cleanse

Every day your skin is ageing, and ensuring your face is thoroughly cleansed will allow your skin to work on preventing those ageing signs from appearing. The skin repairs itself overnight, and so, if you leave make-up on your face, or do not remove it properly, you will clog your pores, dehydrate your skin and it will really suffer.

Why Should I Double Cleanse? 
Double cleansing ensures that your skin is as clean as it can be. The first cleanse removes your make-up and any build up of dirt throughout the day, and the second cleanse provides a deeper cleanse. This will ensure that any products that you apply to your skin afterwards are as effective as possible.

Double Cleanse

The products you should use depend on your skin type, and what works best for your skin. If you have dry skin, cleansing oil and balms are best to remove your makeup. They are very nourishing and will not dry out your dry skin even more. If you have oily skin then you can still use an oil or balm if it does not break you out, otherwise stick to a cleansing milk. Use a muslin cloth to ensure all makeup is removed before moving onto your second cleanse. The second wash should be using a cleanser. If you have dry skin you may wish to use a moisturising cleanser, whereas if you have oily skin then a clay based cleanser will help soak up any excess oil.

Double Cleanse

Do I need to double cleanse morning and night?
No, you should only double cleanse at night. However, ensure that you wash your face again in the morning to remove any excess sebum and oil that has built up overnight. It is important that you use a cleanser, not just water, to remove any toxins that the skin has eliminated over night.

Over time you will begin to see a difference in your skin, your pores should appear smaller because they are now getting a much more thorough clean, and your serums and oils will be much more beneficial. 

Do you double cleanse?

The New Pixi by Petra AW16 Collection


Pixi by Petra multibalm LipLift Max Endless Silky Eye Pen

Last week I was invited to the Pixi Flagship Store to have a sneak peak at the new AW16 Collection. There are a total of eight new products in the collection; three new skincare items and five new makeup items. If you are a fan of the Glow Tonic, look out for the new portable pads infused with the cult-classic called Glow Tonic To-Go (£20). There is also a Best of Bright Kit which gives you brighter clearer skin in just 3 quick steps (including a Glow Mud Mask which sounds fabulous). Lastly in Skincare they have the Lash Nourish Makeup Remover Pads (£10) which deeply condition your lashes and nourish the under eye area while effectively removing all your makeup.

Pixi by Petra multibalm LipLift Max Endless Silky Eye Pen

From the make-up launches, I got to try three products. The Lip Lift Max in Sheer Rose* (£14) is a peptide infused lip plumper that nourishes as it enhances. Initially I thought Sheer Rose would be too dark for me, but once applied it is the most beautiful rose colour that enhances the colour of your lips. The added peptides hydrate, firm and plump lips without it being too glossy and sticky. It also contains aloe, jojoba and chamomile which heals, moisturises and soothes your lips. I am pleasantly surprised with the gloss and although my lips do not look much different, there is certainly some plumping going on.

Pixi by Petra multibalm LipLift Max Endless Silky Eye Pen

They have also added two new colours to the Endless Silky Eye Pens* (£12) collection. As I am quite fair, black eyeliner can often look too harsh on me, so Graphic Greige is the perfect softer alternative. This long wearing, waterproof eyeliner is super soft and gentle on the eye. Once set it does not budge, therefore you have to be quick to blend. It stays on all day and I am in love with the colour - definitely recommended if you want something a bit different to black.

Pixi by Petra multibalm LipLift Max

Lastly, one of my favourite new releases in the Multibalm in Wild Rose* (£12). This multi use balm can be used on both your lips and cheeks, but I personally prefer this colour on my cheeks. It is infused with aloe vera, Shea butter and rose hip oil, so it is super moisturising. I blend this in with a brush on my cheeks and it gives you a beautiful flush of colour.

Along with these products, they are also releasing a lower lash mascara (£11) which has a super slim brush and short bristles to effortlessly cost lower lashes, and a deep brown ink liner, called Lash Line Ink in Velvet (£12).

The AW16 collection launches late July and is available online and in store.

My Invisalign Journey: How I Clean my Aligners


Keeping your aligners clean is imperative to keeping your breath fresh. On a day to day basis I clean my aligners with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Once I have finished cleaning my teeth, I use the left over residue to clean my aligners gently, or add some more toothpaste if there is not much left. Although this does a good job of freshening them up a little, after a few days you will notice your aligners are not as bright, and to be quite frank, they begin to smell.

Therefore, once or twice a week, I like to use denture cleaners. Now, Invisalign do not recommend this, therefore do so at your own risk. However I have done this since the beginning and have had absolutely no issues in doing so. I have been using Steradent, which is available to buy from all supermarkets, including Boots and Superdrug, for around £1. It is very simple to use, just put one tablet into a tumbler, add your aligners and some warm water. Do NOT use hot water, as you do not want your aligners to warp - I just run the hot tap, and add the water whilst its warm. Leave for 10-15 minutes, rinse with cold water and you are done. It kills 99.9% of bacteria, leaving your aligners nice, clean and fresh.

If you have any tips, please do let me know!

The Lipstick that Doesn't Budge | Lord & Berry Lipsticks


Italian Fashion house, Lord & Berry, are not your typical Make-up brand. They describe makeup as a fashion accessory,just like a handbag, aiming to blur the lines between fashion and makeup. Their main focus is on lip and eye makeup, and judging by the lip products I have been testing - they have nailed it.

The Lord & Berry Timeless Kissproof Lipstick* is the lipstick to go to if you want perfect lips all day long and I mean ALL day long. Once set it really does not budge. Perfect nude is exactly what it says - the perfect nude. In just one stroke it achieves the most beautiful matt pigmented finish. It is lightweight and moisturising due to the neem oil, sesame oil and frankincense oil, therefore not drying at all. At £14 it is more on the expensive side, but not having to reapply every few hours makes it worth it.

However, if you like something a little less matt then the Lord & Berry 20100 Lipsticks Crayons* are perfect. I have both Scarlett, a bright true red, and Intimacy, a beautiful pinky nude. Both are of a lovely creamy consistency, which applies smoothly, and are highly pigmented. Again, they are very moisturising and feel very much like a balm on the lips. You will need to line your lips when using Scarlett as it is not very easy to get a nice clean line. These do not last as long as the kissproof lipstick, nor do they claim too, however they do still last around 4 or 5 hours. The lipstick Crayons are usually £10 however at the time of this post they are currently on offer for just £5 from Boots!

What is your go to lipstick?

The Easier Way to Clean your Makeup Brushes


Until recently, brush cleansing palettes were only really available in the USA, so when the Pixiwoo sisters released the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette I couldn't wait to try it out. The palette is palm sized and measures roughly 5 inches by 2 inches. It is soft, and therefore easy to bend and it has a little strap on the back for your hand, making the tray easy to hold. There are three different textures on the palette, one for large brushes, one for medium and one for small brushes. It also comes with two free trials of the Real Techniques brush cleansing gel, enough for a few cleanses per sachet.

To clean a brush I apply a small amount of gel to the palette, add some water and then swirl the brush across all three textures to give it a thorough clean. After a while I then rinse the brush under the tap and go back to the Palette to clean it some more. I find that once I rinse the brush I do need to add some more cleansing gel as the brush tends to soak up most of the gel and so it gets washed away. Once done, you can lay the brush across the top of the palette to dry, however I clean my brushes in batches so rarely use this feature.

All in all, I do like this palette however I wouldn't say it is a necessity to have in your collection. I like the control that the hand strap gives you and the palette is a good size, not too big and not too small. The three different textures do come in handy, and they are great at cleaning your brushes. I much prefer this technique to my usual of placing some soap in the palm of my hand and rubbing the brush until they are very sore! However, I felt like I was using a lot more cleansing gel than usual, which seemed a bit of a waste.  I also wasn't really a fan of the RT cleansing gel, I much prefer the Dr. Bronners magic soap, which I spoke about in this post.

The Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette is available now for £12.99.

What do you use to clean your makeup brushes?
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