Vanilla Crush

A Beauty, Lifestyle and Travel blog.

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?

Kourtney Kardashians Favourite Serum from Manuka Doctor


Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming Serum
Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming Serum

Manuka Doctor recently announced Kourtney Kardashian as their new Global Brand Ambassador. It was soon revealed that her favourite serum is the Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming Serum* and I can see why. The serum contains hero ingredients Purified Bee Venom and Manuka Honey, along with plant extracts, which work together to help diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles, as well as regulate discolouration. The Colloidal gold helps to lock in moisture and stimulate cell generation, and the light reflecting particles help illuminate your skin.

Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming SerumThe serum has a very delicate perfume scent and feels very light on the skin. Once applied it drys a little tacky and you can feel your skin begin to tighten slighty due to the bee venom. Once settled my skin is left feeling smooth and hydrated. On first glance, the gold dust appears very glittery, however on your skin it produces a beautiful soft healthy glow that is a great base for your makeup. When using this my makeup applies so much better, and the finish is just the look I am after. After a short period of time I have begun to see a visible difference in my skin, it definitely feels more firm and hydrated and I can see why this is a favourite with Kourtney.

The Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Gold Dust Firming Serum is available online for £29.99 for 30ml.

What is your favourite Manuka Doctor product?

Seventeen Gel Colour in Hurricane


Hurricane nail polish seventeen gel colour

When it comes to nail polish I generally stick to safe colours - pinks, reds and soft muted colours. Today I decided to go for something a bit different, Hurricane - a beautiful, bright, cobalt blue and surprisingly I absolutely love it. It is so out of my comfort zone and yet I have had more compliments than any other colour.

The brush is wide and flat, making it a breeze to apply and you only need two thin coats to achieve an opaque colour. As it is a gel polish, a top coat is not required to achieve a shiny finish, however I still like to have that extra protection just in case. Unfortunately I found the polish to chip quite easily, but I am still a big fan of the colour!

Seventeen Gel Nail Colour is available from all boots stores for just £3.99, along with many other colours.

What do you think of blue nail polish?

The Perfect Travel Accessories from Aspinal of London


The Aspinal of London Travel Collection is the best way to travel in style. Hand crafted from the finest Italian leather and lined in a beautiful cream suede, this travel collection comprises of a classic travel wallet, a passport cover and two luggage labels (one large and one small). All are of the highest quality and very durable, meaning they will last for many many years.

Previously when traveling I would keep all my important documents in a clear plastic wallet that was rather quite ugly to be honest. Instead, the Aspinal Travel Wallet is not only stylish but also very practical.  It features one large gusseted compartment for currency, four tabbed sections for safe storage of all your documents, a zipped compartment for coins and an open pocket for boarding passes. The passport section can just about fit a passport with a cover, however it is a bit of a squeeze.

The passport cover comes embossed with PASSPORT on the front and has reinforced corners to ensure it holds up well through travels. Inside it has a pocket, which is great for your boarding pass if you are in a rush and it is finished with a grosgrain ribbon marker which I use to find my photo page much quicker.

Lastly, the luggage tags come in two sizes, one for hand luggage and one for hold luggage. I have never really used luggage tags before, however now I will not go without. It really stands out against my black suitcase making it very easy to spot on the carousel. They both come with a gold foil Aspinal signature address card, with flaps to cover your personal information.

This would make a great gift as not only is there the option to customise the collection with your initials, making them that little bit more special, they also come beautifully packed in a gift box, wrapped with a ribbon. 

The Deluxe Travel Set comes in at £165, and is available in 14 different colours. Purchased separately these would cost you £205 - a total saving of £40.

The Giorgio Armani Si Perfume Range



There is something very special about perfume. In just one spray you can be transported back to a period or event in your life, evoking some very happy (or sad) memories. It this reason that I will happily invest a bit more into perfume. The Si range from Giorgio Armani was first released in 2013 as a tribute to modern femininity. There are three versions of the scent ranging from light and delicate to intense and sexy. These high end perfumes cost more than your average perfume, but produce the most beautiful long wearing scents. The luxurious bottles are classic and elegant, and will stand out from the rest on your dressing table.

The lightest fragrance of them all is the Eau de Toilette*. This is your every day scent, with notes of pear, freesia and amber wood, and a musky vanilla base. It is much more subtle than the other two, with the perfect balance of fruity and floral scents. I wear this scent the most our of the three as it is very soft and feminine. The Eau de Parfum* is more of an evening perfume due to its heavier scent. When first sprayed it is warm yet woody, then it softens to a floral yet sweet scent. It has notes of mandarin, rose and jasmin with a base of patchouli and vanilla. Lastly, the strongest of them all is Eau de Parfum Intense*. This is the darker, more sultry scent that is very intense when first applied. I much prefer this scent once it has settled down, otherwise it can be a little over powering.

Definitely try all three before you buy as they although they have the same underlying scent, there are subtle differences. Prices range from £54 to £72 for 50ml but can also be purchased in 30ml or 100ml. 

What is your favourite high end perfume?
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