Brightening & Tightening

January – the only month where kale and juicers fly off the shelves in a mist of calorie counting cookbooks, protein shakes and suspicious coloured drinks. I’m not one for resolutions but I am for one am attempting a slightly healthier outlook on life; cutting down on processed foods (although the odd Ben’s Cookie or two still manages to find a way in) and upping my water intake (sidenote: the Clean & Lean Diet book by James Duigan is awesome for some no-fuss, no-fad common-sense cooking). To accompany this I’m whipping out the brightening and tightening edit from my beauty stash inspired by its namesake Urban Decay Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer Potion*, which I’ve dug out from its hibernation to add some oomph and appeal to my everyday makeup. Here’s what else is making a comeback…

When the words ‘brightening’ and ‘skincare’ collide, the phrase ‘AHA based facemask’ pops into my beauty busting brain so I’ve been reaching for Alpha H’s Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask* more than usual and pairing it with the eye area tightening Absolute Eye Complex*. I’ve also been testing out a product from an unturned beauty product category here at VDM, Mama Mio’s Shrink to Fit Hip & Thigh Cream*. Body-busting claims make me do a shifty eye look, but I’ve been massaging this vigorously into my derrière nightly (cor, isn’t that a mental image and a half?) and I’ll report back with results. Makeup-wise I’m embracing slight touches of shimmer with the Collection 2000 Illuminating Touch, fab for swiping under the eyes or across the cheekbones, CHANEL’s Illusion D’Ombre in Emerveillé which adds a glow to eyelids and Clarins new Gloss Prodige in Water Lily* – think the formula of their cult Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector but housed as a traditional lipgloss with a shot of shimmer. And would you believe I’ve missed the most apt product of them all out of the above selection? Clarins Beauty Flash Balm works like a souped-up primer and radiance booster combined to give you that ‘I’ve had my five a day’ look; makeup and skincare all rolled into one luminising little tube.

On a healthy eating tangent I’ve managed to cut out my ten tonnes of squash a week habit by slipping some lemon, lime and ginger slices into my daily water intake. Goodbye Robinsons Summer Fruits, and hello slightly bitter, weirdly spicey tasting water. After tentative sips to start with I’m now rather partial to this refreshing tonic and I’m ready to down a few pints, pick up some Pilates in the morning, get to work on my B&T stash and let the brightening and tightening begin…..with the odd Ben’s Cookie of course.

*PR Sample


  • zesty_flounder

    Hey Anna! I totally recommend you to look into Paula Begoun’s website on skincare. I was really blind about what essential ingredients to look for in skincare products and after reading her book and website, I’ve got the gist of seperating the ones that really work (scientifically) and ones that are just things full of crap things like alcohol, silicone etc etc. She has a really down to earth philosophy about skin brightening products and ingredients. 🙂

    • That sounds amazing – thank you for the recommendation, will definitely check that out :) 

  • Cosmetic Debris

    I’ve been trying to convince myself that I can live without Chanel’s Emerveille (my pot recently dried up) but clearly a higher power disagrees as it seems to be everywhere I turn at the minute. Your post may have just tipped me over the edge – I think a trip to Boots is in order! x Becky

    • Haha apologies for that 😉 Such a gorgeous everyday shade though (if you need more persuading!) x

  • Felicity

    Oh god, luckily there are no Ben’s Cookies near me, or I swear I’d be eating twelve white chocolate cookies a day! I’m doing the same water and diet wise – nothing too drastic though, because I’m mean when I’m hungry! x

    • Haha that’s a good thing – I have trouble passing one without grabbing one (or two!) ;) 

  • Pris Nun

    I didn’t go too extreme this time with the whole New Years dieting thing – but removing sweets is so darn difficult sometimes! I really need to try that Beauty Balm by Clarins – seems wonders. Good luck with the health kick! xx

    • Thanks hun! 🙂

  • Chloe Witty

    i’m trying on a health kick and yes the kale has been added to my diet (its just too easy too cook). and i really want to try and UD face primer, i love their eye one so much

    chloe @chlowitty blogs

    • Haha welcome to the kale crew ;) 

  • Christine

    Anna, I think this is one of your best blog posts to date. Informative, useful and damn funny….I have always very much enjoyed your blog but as of late, I feel like you have kicked it up a notch!

    • What a lovely comment, thank you – that seriously made my day 🙂 My 7am blog writing sessions are paying off ;) 

  • joysteib

    I’m quite  anxious to try UD face primer!  I think we all want to try to eat a little more healthier this New Year!!  Hope we can succeed! Thanks for a great post today!!!

    • No worries!!! Glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Helen kathleen

    Vivianna you have such a way with words! love your blog 🙂 xxxx

    • Thank you my love 🙂

  • Pippa Jones

    so true with everyone detox this month and ‘trying’ to get healthy,  Love to detox this month from all the hell ive but my skin though this year.

    Pipp xx

    • Haha I do like to have a little chuckle to myself when I walk round the supermarket and everyone’s trollies are filled with much more fruit and veg than before ;) 

  • Nelle

    I love the way you write! 🙂

    • Thank you! :) 

  • Hearts&Crosses

    Some great products here that I need to try, especially the urban decay!

    • Ah fab – the Urban Decay is a seriously good hydrating primer :) 

  • Emmacfox

    ooooooh you make me want everything! definitely gonna grab the alpha h mask, such a fan of the liquid gold, i dont think i can resist!!!

    emma xo

    • It’s wicked – super strength and you don’t need to leave it on for long but the next day your face will be glowing! :) 

  • Zoe Zoella

    Stop making me feel bad on my bad eating habits:)xx

    • Haha oh gawd I bet they’re nothing compared to mine ;) 

  • I don’t think I could ever give up my Robinsons squash. I would never drink enough if it wasn’t for a good  old glass of apple and blackcurrent. 

    • Ah apple and blackcurrant *swoon* 😉  

  • Maddycane

    The Hip and Thigh cream looks wonderful! xxx

    • I’ll let you know how it goes! :) 

  • Olivia Smith

    Really want to try the alpha h perfecting mask as I already love liquid gold x

    Olivia x

    • It’s wicked – super strength and you don’t need to leave it on for long but the next day your face will be glowing! :) 

  • Nicole

    I’ve had my eye on that Channel Emerveille, want that soo bad!

    • It’s such a pretty, sweep on everyday shade :) 

  • Amelia

    I love this edit!  I’ve been feeling a change in my skincare (and nutrition) routine coming on for a few weeks now.  Gotta try that water concoction! x

    • It’s nice! Takes a while of getting used to it but now I really enjoy sipping down :) 

  • Alice

    I loved this post 🙂 could you do an updated what’s in my ‘basket’ bag? I was reading/watching a post about that and adored it! Some things you recommend work really well for me :D 

  • I have a dark complexion and I have used many skin brightner and beatty soap but they didn’t work effectively to my skin.Now keeping my hope alive I am gonna try this.