Tried and Tested: Elemis Illuminating Flash Balm

Happy Monday, everyone!

I am back with another beauty review! This time, its `the new wonder cream from Elemis. I spotted it on the shelf of my regular beauty salon and knew I would be purchasing it straight after my treatments! The Illuminating Flash Balm is an energising, skin radiance balm, that gives you a healthy, dewey glow, while deeply moisturising your skin and preventing premature ageing!

It glides on smoothly and weightlessly, and gives you an instant skin pick me up! I managed to score some free minis with my purchase (one of Elemis’s fave promotions), and the mini bottle is great to carry around in your handbag for those bad skin days we all have. You know the ones. You’re casually perusing Topshop and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and almost mistake yourself for Voldermort. Nodding your head right now? Then this is for you!

It contains a vitamin complex that encourages moisture retention, and purple orchid, noni and acai are the clever little cookies that stop our skin sagging. Now, we’re all familiar with the phrase “for best results, use with (insert brand name) shampoo/conditioner/cleanser/toner/facial wash, and yes, often its basically a marketing ploy to get you to buy the full set, and despite having just finished my marketing degree, I am a complete sucker for it all. However, I have really found that Elemis is one of those products that does its best work when surrounded by its fellow brand buddies. I switched to Elemis skincare at the end of 2012, after being a dedicated Clinique follower for about 3 years. Now, I wont lie to you, the first month of using it my skin felt really bumpy and horrible. It didnt look it (thank god), but it didnt feel right at all, but as I knew I had been with the same brand for so long, and that our skin renews in one month cycles, I persisted with it. It cleared up really quickly, and while it was annoying, it is actually a good sign as it shows that the change in skin care is actually doing something to your skin, and not just fluffing about on the surface. Its common to take time to adjust to a new skin care, and providing you’re not being mistaken for a shingles patient (i.e. all red and blotchy), its usually just adjusting and it will be fine, so don’t give up too quickly.

Treat your skin and invest in one of their cleansers, toners and moisturisers (if you’re budgeting, the flash balm can be used a daily moisturiser too, so you don’t have to buy both all at once). They have a range, but one of the best things about premium skin care is that you can go and talk to a skin care expert at their concessions, instead of just being left to your own devices on the shelves of Boots.

Here are some of my faves:Image

Left to right:

Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser, £21.00

Rehydrating Ginseng Toner, £21.00

Maximum Moisture Day Cream, £38.00

Papaya Enzyme Peel (exfoliator), £29.50

Skin Buff, £26.00

Over and out,

Coco x

Kiss Me, Down By The Broken Tree House…

Well well well, here we are. I never thought I would see the day, but here I am, blogging as a GRADUATE (subject to passing the exams, but sssh). Yes, that’s right, my moaning about revision, dissertation and portfolio is over, I am a free agent. Which means….I get to spend more time working on my blog! Well, and sunbathing, as it doesn’t look like there is a Coco vacation on the horizon any time soon, unfortunately.

Just quickly, I don’t know if I mentioned, but I am also writing for a site called Fashion’s On Vacation. We write about looking fashionable while travelling, and its great for style and beauty tips, as well as destination reviews and inspiration for getaways. So please check it out, follow it (its also hosted by WordPress, bonus), and follow on twitter @fashionsonvacay.

Anyway, blog plug over! Today’s topic of convo is…….LIPSTICK.

Oh yes, lipstick. Until recently I admit, I was a hater. I thought it belonged on Pat Butcher, prostitutes, and Barbie. But how wrong was I. I will hold my hands up, I was a particularly late adopter of this trend (anyone on my Uni course reading this you may recognise ‘late adopters’ from the ILM exam….lets just not speak about it shall we!), but has actually revolutionised my makeup bag, and I never knew how much versatility you can get from being armed with a few different shades though.

Through my discovery of lipsticks, I have encountered some really good ones along the way, that will stay in my staple makeup set for life, but I have also, shall we say, kissed some frogs along the way – and these are the ones you’ll want to give a miss.

Now, the staying power of the lipstick can depend on the colour. I just think some colours let you get away with using a high street beauty brand like 17 or L’Oreal, but some shades to command the need to visit my favourite luxury beauty store, Space NK, for something a little more upmarket.


Red is one I have found is okay in the cheaper brands, providing you finish with a layer of Lipcote lipstick sealer, which is available from Boots for £3.69. It tingles a bit when you apply but it’ll keep your colour for hours. Rimmel’s Kate Moss shade 022 is lovely, and Topshop do a gorgeous shade of coral red, Satorial.


Pink, on the other hand, I have had trouble with. After being blown away by Topshop’s lippy range, I dashed in to pick up a dusty pink, Secret Admirer. To my disappointment, the pink crumbled off my lips in a trashy manor shortly after applying. I was unsure about it even when I first slicked it on, as it didn’t seem dense or matte enough to stay put. L’Oreal’s Caresse lipsticks, endorsed by the beautiful Emma Stone, are slightly better. Shade 03 Lovely Rose is a pretty one, but the moisture shine element does take away from of the colour brightness. Still, a worthwhile purchase for a daytime splash of cute. Barry M’s lip colours are actually quite good too, but again, be weary that just because one is good doesn’t mean all of them are. I had a similar problem with their pinks. For a pink that will still be pucker ready hours later, Nars is certainly a safer choice. Funny Face and Pago Pago are great shades, and while they will set you back £18, its worth it. (Students, try and snap these up when Asos are doing a 25% off promo!).


Dark lippies are slightly harder to track down in high street brands, and there often isnt much choice. If you find one, it can sometimes be a case of acceptable only for halloween and no other occasion, so these ones you will have to search further afield. Lots of us think a deep purple lippy won’t look good on us, but with subtle smokey eyes and an LBD, it can actually be a winner. DON’T overdo the eye makeup though! (You know the rules!). I managed to snap up a Jemma Kidd double ended colour balm lipstick from the Space NK sale (a must-visit, by the way. Make sure you sign up for alerts!) in shade 03 Boudicea. Its a really nice deep colour, and has a balm on one end, to keep your lips hydrated.


A nude shade can give you that perfectly prim and polished look, without looking too dressy. You might think its an easy one, but be careful – pick the wrong shade and you can end up looking like you have no lips at all, if it blends into your skin tone! I recently tried the Rimmel Apocolips Lip Laquer in Nude Eclipse, but wasn’t too impressed. While its super cool that its a lip stick and lip gloss all in one, you really want a more matte effect for this. By all means add a gloss later, but these combined ones are a bit too much, and don’t sit very well. Again, give NARS a try, or Smashbox have some great shades and are known to be good (I am yet to try these ones, but their highlighter is good).

I hope my guide has helped, and reminded you to be careful when selecting lip colour! Its one of the toughest items to find the perfect one for you, so take your time and don’t be afraid to experiment!