Saturday, 29 July 2017

july faves

It’s been a while…!

…since I did a monthly favourites blog post, but there is so much stuff I've been so happy with this month that I thought I'd put them all together to share with you guys! There's a mix of everything - beauty, skincare, haircare and more! Make sure to let me know in the comments if we have any matching July favourites!

Sukin Purifying Body Scrub

I was sent this a while back, and was so excited to see just how natural it was. As some of you might know, I’m on a bit of a missions to over haul my skin care and beauty regime to kick out as many nasties as possible - and this fits the bill perfectly!
It has tiny, tiny particles of bamboo and walnut shell to gentle exfoliate your skin, with calming and moisturising from the chamomile & rose hip! It’s been a god-send for preparing my skin before self-tanning!


Skinny Dip Makeup Brushes

The Skinny Dip team sent these about 5 weeks ago now, and I havne;t stopped using them ever since! All four of them just feel like the perfect fit for the contours of my face, so much that all my other base and contour brushes have been pushed to the side for now! I think my fave is the ‘Flat-Out Fabulous’ flat kabuki brush. It applies my foundation perfectly - I’m in love!
Also in the set are:
Fleek Bones - For precise cheekbone application.
Call My Buff - Blends product over the cheeks.
Blend The Rules - A powder cheek brush.




Eve Lom Illuminating Concealer (Alabaster)

I bought this in the Space NK sale a few weeks ago, and have been using it on the daily to make myself look a little more awake during the work week, without making my eyes look dry-as-hell! It’s a super-light formula that is absolutely magic at brightening my undereyes. But don’t put it anywhere near spots - it’s basically the equivalent of pointing directly at them! I’ve also noticed it doing absolute wonders for my fine lines!
It’s full of luxe ingredients, as you would expect from Eve Lom – including: fruit stem cell extracts, vitamins, minerals, caffeine, white tea and essential oils.


Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Mask

I always have a bit of a nightmare with dry skin patches on my face in the Summer, so I was chuffed to receive this mask from Burts Bees to try out - and Hallelujah, it works wonders for me! I saw a notable difference by the second use, and have been wearing it for 15 minutes before bed every other night for the last fortnight!
This is another no-nasties brand that has been a favourite of mine for years, and this mask in particular is 99% natural and plant based – music to my ears!


Abercrombie & Fitch - First Instinct Perfume

As any regular readers might remember me saying, my sense of smell is awful - almost non-existent! So whenever I receive a perfume to try, I always like to judge them by the amount of comments and compliments I receive while I’m wearing them… and I’m not exaggerating when I say I can’t wear this a day without everyone mentioning how good it smells! My colleagues tell me it’s really fresh and fruity, and really uplifting! One of them even went out to buy it the first day I wore it!
A&F describe this perfume as: “A sweet composition is led by juicy notes of passion fruit and grapefruit zest, stirred with the citrus-floral character of magnolia flower. In the heart, a sunny blend of orange flower.” Sounds like the perfect Summer fragrance to me!



Leather & Thread Purse

Basically, this is the snazziest, most chic thing I own and I'm forever showing it off to family and friends! L&T were recently appealing for bloggers to review their personalised leather products earlier this year, so I jumped at the chance to give them a try!
The Signo Purse is a single pocket handmade leather purse with my initials on the back. It holds my daily cards and change perfectly, and I can’t wait to take it on my up-coming jollies! L&T have lots of gorgeous leather products on their online store – go take a look!



The Body Shop Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate

I’ve been a huge fan of The Body Shop for YEARS (I mean, who hasn’t) and was really happy to try out some new products by them this month. The Drops of Youth eye concentrate is unlike anything I’ve tried before - I was blown away with how quickly and effectively it reduced the morning puffiness and helped massively with my dry under-eyes!
Another product full of natural, good quality ingredients (like Edelweiss plant stem cells) and amazing metal roller-ball, pump applicator that is SO soothing and cooling for the under-eye area. It’s literally the most relaxing feeling! I can’t go a day without it at the moment – I’m obsessed!



SHOP MY JULY FAVES HERE:

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

interiors trend - mixed textures & finishing touches

Firstly, let me say I am so excited to be writing this post! I’m becoming more and more of an interiors nut every day, and when I was asked if I’d like to do a little collaboration with one of my favourite online interiors sites, Cox & Cox… well, let’s just say I jumped at the chance!


I discovered Cox & Cox at the end of last year, as we were just on the cusp of buying our first home. I found their site through a google search initially, and then proceeded to spend hours trawling through their amazing homeware and furniture. With a mix of everything for the home, from outdoor living to vases, I’m in love with the modern luxury feel the site has - everything I saw there was bang on trend, and I’m always revisiting their site to see what’s new!


Looking through the Cox & Cox site recently, I noticed lots of beautiful mixed materials and textures, and immediately I was inspired for this post. Gone are the days, in my opinion, of one-colour themes and samey décor. I am absolutely head over heels with all the beautiful natural materials and textures that are being used in the interiors world recently; from rattan to brass, from concrete to glass. I love it all. Mixing it all together makes for a home full of interest and character…not to mention SERIOUS style!

So I thought I’d share with you all an edit of my favourite finishing touches, in all my favourite natural materials and textures! Are you on the lookout for some new homeware? Are you recently redecorating? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


Taking the Rough with the Smooth – Two-tone, Two textures


The first piece I picked with this White and Grey Dipper Vase. I’m a big fan of the simplicity of grey and white together, but with the added contrast of the rough, matte finish grey with the glossy brilliant white make this extra special. I like to style it with just one or two single Eucalyptus stems, which further sets off the simple elegance of the vase. Gorgeous, right?

I found another vase, which would offer the perfect contrast to the white and grey. This Dipped Concrete Vase has a blue gloss finish at the base, paired perfectly with the concrete finish of the top of the vase. Can you tell I love this dipped look?!



Turning Tradition on its Head - Concrete


The next pieces I chose was this totally unique Concrete Apple & Pear combo . I love the idea of taking this usually industrial material and turning it into something beautiful and almost delicate for the home! The may the perfect book ends, or shelf decorations – everyone always compliments how unique they are!

I also found this stunning Concrete and Copper Pendant, which again makes for a beautifully softened statement piece out of usually hard and cold material.


Traditional Materials, New Designs – Brass & Glass


How stunning, and bang-on-trend are these Three Hexagonal Trinket Boxes?
I feel like the brass & glass combination is something we’ve seen for decades, but as brass and gold are making a HUGE come-back in the interiors world, and the hexagonal shape of the boxes gives them a very 21st century spin! As well as being beautiful to look at and display, they are also great storage solutions! I have been keeping hairpins, jewellery & paper clips in mine, and honestly, I have never seen hairpins look so glam!

I also have my eye on these Three Delicate Brass HangingFrames, which are also a big deal in the interiors world right now. They are a beautiful way to display all kinds of things; from pressed flowers to polaroids. A great alternative to a standard photo frame!


Hardwearing & Stylish - Hardwearing Coir with a Natural-Inspired Print


The final piece I chose was this adorable Branches Doormat. When it comes décor, I like to try to give it 100%. This means even my doormat has to have a little sass and style! Made from a super-coarse, hard-wearing material, the functionality of this mat is softened beautifully with the simple but elegant print! I just love it! Again, its another thing everyone seems to comment on! 



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Friday, 21 July 2017

TRYING MORE OF Bioderma


New series ‘Trying More of…’

I know a lot of you who read my blog are bloggers yourselves (so apologies for this ‘teaching your granny how to suck eggs’ intro), but I know I also have many non-blogger readers – so this intro is for you!

Whenever I see a hyped or much talked about product release, or a cult classic raved about by my favourite bloggers, I often reach out to brands and/or their PR companies to see if they would like to collaborate with me! Often if the PR or brand agree, and send me out samples of products, they usually send me a few other things to try along with them! This is fast becoming my favourite part of product reviewing, because often I discover so many new favourites this way! To be honest, it’s usually the lesser talked about products that impress me most!


So, when this happened recently with a few products I received from Bioderma, it sparked an idea for a new blog series, ’trying more of…’, where I’ll be letting you all know the treasures and unsung heroes I discover while trying some of the more cult, well-known products from the same brand!

Let me know in the comments what you think of this idea – and if you discover any new favourites along the way!


Bioderma – A favourite for a reason!

I first discovered Bioderma about 4 years ago when I first started watching YouTube & quickly became obsessed with absorbing all the knowledge and recommendations from skin & make up guru of gurus, Lisa Eldridge! She absolutely raved about this brand and always recommended their Micelle solution as a gentle but reliable way to remove makeup and day-today grime!

Having been using the solution on and off ever since then, you can imagine my delight when I received some of the Micelle Solution on the post, along with two other Bioderma goodies! I have been trialing them all collectively for about 14 days now, and it’s safe to say I am a fully-fledged Bioderma covert all over again! 

Here’s why…


Sensibio Tolerance+ Skin Care for NeutralisingHypersensitivity (Moisturiser)


‘Fragrance free formula. Paraben free. Preservative free. Hypoallergenic. Non comedogenic’ - Music to my ears!

Firstly, although this is a specialised moisturiser formulated for sensitive skin, I think this a perfect, nasties-free moisturiser for all skin types! There is nothing about it that is particularly unsuitable for anyone – it’s super light, not at all sticky, quickly absorbed and really long lasting. I was also so, so impressed with how it helped the application of my foundation! I’m really trying to focus on implementing paraben & sulphate free products into my skincare and beauty routines lately, so this fits in perfectly!

I wouldn’t normally paste in a brands claims into my review, but in this case I strongly agree that this product has achieved each one, even in the short time I’ve been using it;

Raises the skin's tolerance threshold.
Normally when I;m wearing a lot of makeup throughout the day and come to remove it all at night, my skin can feel really tight and sometime a little blotchy, no matter what cleanser I use. Since trying this moisturiser, that has noticeably diminished, and I’m really impressed by this!

The sensations of tightness and discomfort are immediately soothed. Day after day, the skin regains its original comfort.
I can fully vouch for this. Like I mentioned earlier, my foundation felt a lot more comfortable than normal because my freshly cleaned faced hasn’t been feeling tight or dry at all!

Intensely moisturises.
Honestly, it really does. My skin feels plump and fresh for hours afterwards!




Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution


‘A soothing non-rinse cleanser & make-up remover. Fragrance-free.’

Like I mentioned earlier, this is the product that first introduced me to the Bioderma brand (as per Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation!). It’s the first micellar water I heard of, and paved the way for many other brands who now offer a similar solution. This stuff is 100% perfect for makeup removal, and always gets rid of even the most stubborn mascara at the end of the day!

It’s fragrance free, which is a massive perk for me, as the older I get the more irritated my skin becomes with fragranced cleansing products! I’ve never felt any tightness or experienced any redness after using it, no matter how hard I’ve scrubbed! I would highly recommend banishing the make-up wipes (that drag and age your skin prematurely), and try this option if you haven’t already! It’s no-rinse, which means all it takes a little on a cotton pad swept around the face, and voila – you’re good to go!

Heaven knows there are night when we come home from work or a night out, and we can NOT be bothered with a full routine. This solution is the most gentle and simple way get that rubbish off our faces ASAP! Add a little night cream afterwards, and you’re donezo!


Sensibio Eye Contour Gel


‘Offers daily, protective, decongesting, soothing and hydrating care for the eye contour area.’

As I’m getting older (I’m 30 in a few months – eeek!) I’m definitely appreciating the value of looking after my skin. As the skin around your eyes is massively sensitive and fine, I’m increasingly finding it to be the area I concentrate on most.

Again by Lisa Eldridge’s recommendation, I love to massage my face when I’m giving myself a little facial pamper! It improves the circulation in your face and when massaging gently around the eyes, can help drain the lymph nodes and reduce dark circles and puffiness in the morning or after a long day at work! It makes a HUGE difference for me, but I always have to remember not to even attempt a facial massage unless I’m using a product slippy enough that I’m not dragging my skin around and ruining my good work!

This eye contour gel is the perfect product for this! I find that although it’s not as thick and oily as a cream, the gel really allows me to give myself a through massage to the area around my eyes, and always noticeably reduces any puffiness I have! I also find my under-eye concealer sits beautifully and does not crease all day when I’ve used this! It’s freakin’ magic, I tell you!

I’m definitely starting to develop dryer skin under my eyes as I age, but this gel is doing a fab job of mositurising, and I’m honestly so excited to see the more longer term results of using it!



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Monday, 17 July 2017

disappointing products

I've been contemplating this post for weeks, and wondering whether it's a good idea or not to be writing specifically about products I have hated. It's not something I see a lot from other bloggers, but for me I want to be as honest as I can with my readers, which ultimately means there are going to be some things I try and absolutely hate, and I want to be able to share them with you all, along side everything I love!


Elf -  the whole range...


Although I only bought 3 products, I was really underwhelmed by the whole Elf range. The packaging was so cheap and flimsy, but I was more than willing to forgive that if the products were impressive - which unfortunately, they weren’t. I haven’t worn any of the products outside of my house as they weren’t suitable, but I did thoroughly swatch them all on my arm and even tried applying them to my face (to then take it off fairly soon after…) to make sure I gave them a fair shot. I honestly hate to give such an overwhelmingly bad review, but after all the hype over Elf being available in the UK, I was so disappointed when I actually got my hands on it…


Contouring Clay Eyeshadow Palette

This was really chalky with barely any pigment, even in the darker shades. Each swatch brushed off my hand with very little effort, and all of them were overly patchy. The bronze-y colour was okay, but bronzes are the easiest shades to make apparently. It didn't go at all with the rest of the palette though. The bronze with the pink and purple shades made for the perfect 'black eye' look - if that's what you;re going for...


HD Lifting Concealer

I got the lightest shade, but it was nowhere near light enough for me. It was very thick and very …orange – not at all what I expected. If Collection can make an amazing concealer for £4, how come other brands can’t do the same?!

Instant Lift Brow Pencil

This was just way too waxy, and slipped off my brow almost immediately – there was no staying power in it at all. When I swatched it on my hand the application was uneven and not very controllable. The actual colour was too warm to be an eyebrow shade, and I couldn’t look past the consistency enough to ever consider wearing this in public…
Although it;s more expensive, Anastasia Beverly Hills dip brow is 10000000% better than this...


Sleek - Highlighting Palette


I bought both of these when everyone was going crazy for them, and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed from the get go L It’s a beautiful looking palette, but I can’t say either the powder or the cream highlighters are particularly good. I found the powders to be chalky and quite coarsely milled, giving it a quite ‘chucky’ look on the face. The powder doesn’t look too bad as a little inner-corner finisher, but that’s not really what I bought it for. The creams are a really weird consistency, feeling a bit greasy, and just generally ‘cheap’ to the touch. Also, and I might just be being an old fart here, but I am in no way interested in a purple highlight...I mean, just why?! I know so many people love these palettes, but for me it was all Hype and no substance! 


Ouai – Volume Shampoo

During the first three or four washes this stuff was great, although I was always a little more impressed with the conditioner that I bought with it.  
But the more I washed my hair with it, the more I felt like my hair was becoming really dry and was getting greasy at the roots so quickly – before the end of the first day usually! It doesn’t take an expert to be able to see that it was stripping my hair way too much. I wanted it as an every-wash product, to allow me to have consistently clean hair, but this is now something I can only use to wash a hair masque out, otherwise I’m left looking and feeling like a scarecrow with straw for hair…

Jeffree Star Lip Ammunition Lipstick in Ex-Supermodel

I got this last Christmas as a gift from my sister (sorry Ash...). and I was so excited just to own it! At the time I was a fan of Jeffree's (I'm not now, but that's for another day!) and loved the thought of what he described as a 'highly pigmented, opaque matte lipstick'.
It is definitely opaque, I'll give him that, but it is by far THE single most uncomfortable thing I have ever worn on my lips! I don't know mine was just a dud, but it was full of a strange grainy substance that felt absolutely vile when I applied the lipstick. I've tried it multiple times just to make sure it wasn't the top layer, but no - it's still absolutely effing gross... I don't think you can really pick it up in the swatch below, but honestly, whatever that granule-y  it was minging!
Also, the colour is a lot more 'Barbie-pink' that it looks in the swatch. It honestly looked and felt like cheap kiddie makeup.
To top it off the packaging felt cheap and nasty too! I was so, so disappointed in this lipstick!



So that's enough of my product-bashing for one day - glad I got it out of my system! Have you tried any of the products I mentioned? I'd love to hear what you're thoughts are on them - whether you agree or disagree!

Lx

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

interiors trend - all things blush & beautiful

I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone to hear this, but I am a MASSIVE fan of all things ‘blush’! Over the last few years, this perfect balance of peach-pink has gotten a lot of attention in the interiors world, and has definitely lost the overly girly, almost tacky reputation that it has had in years gone by. ‘Rose Quartz’, (a beautiful, slightly pinker blush,) was even Pantone’s colour of the year in 2016!

Pink and copper make excellent bedfellows. Their flattering warm tones are just what’s needed for the bedroom environment, while a flash of metallic will lend a luxe, grown-up feel to proceedings, so there’s no danger of Disney princess territory
Image from IKEA.com
Since we moved home at the beginning of this year, I have had to hold myself back from choosing all our home-ware in ‘blush’! I’m not sure I can really put my finger on why I love it so much, but I know since I started watching Kate La Vie on YouTube a few years ago, my blush obsession has definitely grown substantially. 

I think I've fallen in love with the colour for a few reasons, really - here are just a few;
  1. It's feminine but really classy, rather than brash...
  2. It's a completely unisex colour now - my hubby actually loves how I use it to accent in our home.
  3. It's really soft and calming - using blush  tones can really make the room feel comfy and relaxing!
ohwhatsthis|homewaremarketplace|london | Single Post
Image from ohwhatisthis.com

These 12 perfectly pink kitchens knock it out of the park. From pink cabinets, flooring, lighting, appliances and everything else you can image, they've got pink in all the right places.
Image from CoCoKelly

Below are a few blush inspired pieces I've been lusting over online recently. All links are clickable for ease! 


 
Slide View: 2: Crosley Cruiser Pebbled Pink Vinyl Record Player

Round Sheepskin Cushion
Buy Jo Malone London Peony & Blush Suede Home Candle, 200g Online at johnlewis.com 


Slide View: 1: Marble Mug


Ombre Carafe 
Metal Frame Upholstered Chair - Dusty Blush
Patterned cotton rug - Dusky pink - Home All | H&M GB
PINK EARTHENWARE TABLEWARE WITH SPIRAL DESIGN2-pack porcelain mugs - Light pink - Home All | H&M GB 1
Image 1 of the product Faded pink percale duvet cover with crochet ruffle

Let me know what you think - is blush your fave too??!

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Friday, 7 July 2017

good enough to eat - my antipodes favourites

A few weeks ago, I received a few samples from Antipodes. I already knew I love the brand from previous experiences, but the 5 products they sent over really, really impressed me!

Just a note, this post is not sponsored or even requested by Antipodes. I genuinely just wanted to share my love for the products I tried.

Antipodes is a skincare & beauty brand that pride themselves on the scientific innovation in the use of natural ingredients. It's obvious ALL of their products are made with high quality ingredients! My skin seems to absolutely love everything I use by Antipodes, so it'd be a crime not to share my experience with the brand with you all!



ANTIPODES REJOICE LIGHT FACIAL MOISTURISER


I’d seen so many of my favourite bloggers using this in the past, and I was so glad when I finally got to give it a try! It’s a great day moisturiser, that I think has been working great for me at night too! I’ve been putting on a slightly thicker layer and by morning my skin is soft and plump - My skin really seems to like it! I think what gave me the idea to try it at night was the fact that it’s anti-bacterial (like Sudocrem – anyone else still use this stuff??) and works to clear the skin and protect it from any lumps and bumps appearing!
Rich said it smelled great too, which doesn’t surprise me given that it’s packed with such great, natural ingredient. The scent is apparently vanilla and sweet almond! Yum!
(Just a reminder that I can’t smell and can’t vouch for this! Ha!)


ANTIPODES JULIET BRIGHTENING GEL CLEANSER


This came at just the right time, after I started by search for a ‘second’ cleanse to go with my Clinique Take the Day Off Balm – and it’s safe to say they work perfectly together! My face always feel a little dry after using the Clinique balm (probably because I go ham with the muslin cloth most days). I feel like because the Antipodes cleansing gel is so full of great ingredients - including Kiwi, Manuka honey and Vinanza Grape – that it puts back in a lot of the moisture and oils that my dehydrated skin is desperate for! After cleaning off the Clinique balm with a wet muslin cloth, I lather up the gel cleanser and rinse off with warm water before carrying on with the rest of my evening routine!

ANTIPODES AURA MANUKA HONEY MASK


Having tried it in the past, I was so excited to receive this from Antipodes! There’s something about it that seems to lock in moisture in my usually very dehydrated face! I use this every other night during the week, as my skin is so irritated by the air conditioning at work! I put on quite a generous layer and sit and watch TV in it for about 30 mins, before washing it off with a hot muslin cloth. The feeling of my skin afterwards is almost indescribable, actually. It’s very bouncy and plump, almost like It’s an actual sponge that has clung to every bit of moisture! Rich also said my skin smelled like oranges and vanilla ice cream after using it before bed last week – ha! If you have dry, irritated or dehydrated skin, I can’t recommend this mask enough as a massive treat for you face!


ANTIPODES LIPSTICK- South Pacific Coral & Piha Beach Tangerine


First off, I am in love with the shades of these beautiful lipsticks! I could not wait to try them!
South Pacific Coral is a gorgeous cool toned, true-coral shade, and Piha Beach Tangerine is an amazingly vibrant, cool toned orange! They both look amazing with my pale skin, and make my teeth look whiter because of the cool tones of both shades. An absolutely perfect Summer duo! The shape of the bullet is a little unusual (completely rounded off), but is surprisingly easy to use. The finish is nicely opaque, and is somewhere between matte and satin. It’s so comfortable to wear!
Secondly, and probably the thing that intrigued and impressed me the most – they are completely edible! (I know, WTF, right?)
I was reading a little more about the lipsticks, and I found out that a women can ingest up to 7lbs of lipstick in her life time, through skin absorption and also because the lipstick ends up on our food and drink as we eat. With this in mind, Antipodes created a lipstick that was completely edible, and the ingredients are actually really beneficial to your health! (honestly, I know, mind blown!) Some of the ingredients are: Avocado oil, calendula oil, evening primrose oil and argan oil!


Let me know if any of you have tried Antipodes already, or if you plan on giving this brand a whirl in the future!



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