Sunday, 31 May 2015

Magicstripes Lifting Collagen Mask

I've reviewed the Magicstripes eye strips recently and now I've had the opportunity to try another one of a kind beauty innovation from the brand - the Lifting Collagen Mask.

 As you can see, this is a very unique face mask! The Magicstripes Lifting Collagen Mask is a cloth 'hydrogel' mask that you wear on your jaw like a sling (as you would if you had somehow broken your chin) so it can get to work targeting the jawline.

The mask is infused with a cocktail of collagen, caffeine, Vitamins C and E, Macadamia Nut Oil and water and aims to define the facial contours, lift and streamline the area and provide a boost of nourishment.
Collagen - forms a moisturising film on the skin, 'filling up' fine lines
Caffeine - stimulates and promotes blood circulation.
Vitamin C- supports the development of collagen. An effective anti-oxidant that neutralises free radicals.
Vitamin E - Protects against premature ageing and combats harmful environmental influences.
Macadamia Nut Oil - Smooths and regenerates the skin.

The actual shape of the mask plays a part in the lifting and firming as it literally 'lifts' the skin while the formula gets to work.
To use the mask, you hook it over your ears and across your chin, sit back for around an hour and pray with everything you have that the doorbell doesn't ring. By the way, if you follow me on Instagram, you can see me doing just that.

Before now, I'd never tried a face mask quite like this (though this one comes close) and initially found the whole chin-sling-thing quite bizarre. After putting it on though, I can't deny that it feels fantastic on the skin. The mask has a refreshing, cooling effect that is particularly welcome now that the sun is starting to show his big, fiery face and has a very subtle, clean and fresh scent.

It's worth noting that only one side of the cloth mask is 'wet' - once you've pulled it out of its sachet, the mask is peeled off a backing and the moist side is applied to your face.
While the Lifting Collagen Mask felt nice and cooling, I did find it a little uncomfortable around my ears (though not so uncomfortable that I took it off before one hour) as it sort of tugged on them.I do have a fairly giant head though so you probably won't have this problem!

Once removed, the skin around my chin and jawline felt smooth and soft, possibly even a little 'tighter' though I'm not particularly saggy around this area anyway. Yet.

All in all, the MagicStripes Lifting Collagen Mask is a definite 'treat' beauty item that should be pulled out before a special occasion for a little more lift and definition. Besides the obvious funny appearance of the mask, the fact that it isn't gooey or sticky means you go about your other beauty business without fear of getting product on your clothes/ towels/ walls.

The MagicStripes Lifting Collagen Mask is available from Harvey Nichols, www.beautyworkswest.com and My Showcase for £39 for a pack of 5.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Fresh Beauty in London + Wishlist

Fresh is such a covetable beauty brand and for very good reason! For years I've been so keen to get my hands on one of the iconic original lip balms but didn't want to pay through the nose to have one shipped from the U.S. You can imagine my delight then when I came across a blog post detailing the fact that a Fresh store had opened right here in London, meaning all I had to do was jump on the underground and make my way to Baker Street to finally call one of these luscious lip balms my own!

Located on Marlybone High Street, the Fresh store is small yet absolutely packed full of products and smells of zesty warm sugar.  In other words, it's bliss.
The shop has a real apothecary vibe with attentive, knowledgeable staff who seemed to really know their stuff. 
There were many, many lip balms to choose from but I went for the original and it's now taken pride of place in my jacket pocket. That's where my favourite lip balms live you see... 
I also picked up a travel sized Soy Face Cleanser which will be getting its own review soon. 
There were so many scrumptious smelling skincare and body care products on show, just willing me to buy them, but I exercised great restraint! To get my Fresh fix I thought I'd make a little wish list of some bits I'd like to pick up next time I'm near Marlybone High St. (You can't yet order Fresh online in the UK just yet).

1. Sugar Lip Polish
2. Sugar Ultra-Nourishing Body Oil
3.Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask
4.Rose Face Mask
5. Fig Apricot Ea de Parfum (fig!!!)
6. Sugar Face Polish

This is a very edited wishlist. Truth be told, if I could I would gladly have one of everything. It's just that kind of shop, ok?
It's worth mentioning that a few weeks after I'd visited the Fresh store I received a lovely card from the staff, just saying that they hoped I enjoyed my visit! How sweet is that, seriously?

If you live in or around London you can find Fresh at 92 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London, W1U 4RD and they are open from 10am - 7pm Monday to Saturday and 11am - 5pm Sundays.
P.S - Images used in wishlist taken from the US Fresh site here. 


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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Roger & Gallet Hand & Nail Balms

My oh my, these little hand and nail balms from renowned French brand Roger & Gallet are nothing short of scrummy.

I have the two new scents - Bienfaits and Fleur de Figuer and they are both bursting with delicious spring-perfect fragrance. They really couldn't have come at a better time as I'm off the falsies and growing my natural nails again (they're actually at record length!) so I welcome all the extra nourishment my hands and nails can get right now.

I like that these are called hand and nail balms rather than creams- there's just something a little more decadent about a 'balm' isn't there?  The formula is thicker than the existing Roger & Gallet Hand Creams thanks to the addition of extra glycerin that hydrates beautifully and absorbs like a dream.

The newest members of the Roger & Gallet hand and nail collection (there are three existing hand creams), these hand and nail balms are packed full of nourishing Shea Butter, Glycerin, Aloe Vera and Apricot and really do disappear into the skin despite the plethora of moisturising ingredients.

Bienfaits has the addition of five antioxidant rich berries- blueberries, pomegranates, cranberries, blackcurrants and cherries and smells utterly divine.

I am really into fig scents at the moment (why has it taken me so long to truly appreciate this fresh fruity fragrance?) so I am absolutely loving the Fleur de Figuier hand balm which is enriched with actual fig extract. It smells of sugared figs and has left me pining over the matching Eau de Parfum!

Delicious fragrance aside, these hand balms are a really lovely texture that sinks in to leave a matte finish. Perfect for spring and very handbag (and purse) friendly at £6 for a cute 30ml tube.
The Roger & Gallet Hand and Nail Balms are available from Escentual.com and Feelunique.com.

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Monday, 18 May 2015

What's on my Face - BareMinerals Edition

I am utterly obsessed with BareMinerals' face base game changer Complexion Rescue and rather fond of other bits and pieces by the iconic brand. The BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara and Marvellous Moxie Lipglosses are other firm favourites and I've recently gotten my hands on a blush and concealer so I thought I'd make up my face to create a very natural BareMinerals look.






 What's on my face then?
Have I mentioned that Complexion Rescue is my favourite bit of make up at the moment? Well here it is, in all its glory in shade Buttercream. Smooth, dewy and deliciously light. I love it. Have I said that already? More about Complexion Rescue here.

Under the eyes I've got a dab of concealer in Light 1. To use this I just warmed a little bit between fingertips and touched it on lightly. I found it didn't cake under my eyes as the day went on, which is always a welcome bonus.

On the apples of the cheeks is this little beauty - BareMinerals blush in, incidentally, the shade Beauty - a suit everyone blushed pink that looks much scarier in the pot than it does on the skin.

One of the most crucial elements - mascara! I tell no lies, the Flawless Definition Mascara is nothing short of brilliant. I was surprised by how 'light' it felt on the lashes and my mother in law actually asked if my lashes were real. Result.

 The finishing touch - Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss in Trail Blazer - a nude gold shade. I love the gorgeous texture and minty fragrance/taste of the Marvellous Moxie glosses and this one is a really wearable, no-mirror-required shade.
All in all, I really enjoyed using all of these products and they've made me eager to try more products and shades from BareMinerals.
Are you a fan of BareMinerals? Have you tried Complexion Rescue yet? Let me know! :)

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sjal Bio-Regeneratif Serum Review

I've been lucky enough to try some products from Sjal before but their latest skincare offering could easily be described as the mother of all serums. Designed for all skin types, the Bio-Regeneratif Serum focuses on cellular regeneration and features targeted peptide complexes to lift the skin and smooth wrinkles.

Serums are everywhere at the moment and they're probably one of my favourite steps in my skincare routine, but what exactly sets the Sjal serum apart from the other anti aging and lifting serums on the market today?
Well, for a start the Bio-Regeneratif Serum is packed full of gemstones and minerals - a blend that Sjal has become renowned for in the world of skincare.
The serum features Malachite Complex which is derived from actual Malachite stones and promotes tissue regeneration (and gives the serum its blue/ green colour) and Sjal's signature Gemstone Blend.
The Gemstone Blend is a fusion of Sapphire, Amethyst, Tourmaline, Diamond and Ruby. Sjal claim that this blend of actual, real life gemstones 'act as subtle energy amplifiers, helping to raise vibrational energy levels of cells, allowing for optimized cellular metabolism, while supporting clarity and microcirculation'.
Whether or not you're convinced by the vibrational, energising properties of the above stones, there's no denying that the addition of diamonds, rubies and sapphires makes for a seriously luxurious piece of skincare.
The formula is non-greasy and absorbs beautifully for an instantly smoothing effect. It feels seriously beautiful on the skin and in my opinion is ideal for this time of year in the UK as it's so lightweight.
I have used the Bio-Regenetif Serum on and off since I received it around a month ago and can happily report that I do feel that it improves tone and overall appearance of my skin and leaves it with a lovely glow immediately after use.

Before I'd even read the box/ leaflet I put in on my face and could immediately feel that this is an 'active' serum.
By active, I mean you can sort of feel it working and it produced a slight tingling effect that subsided after a minute or so - I think this feeling is down to the addition of an advanced form of Vitamin C.

Sjal recommend that the serum is used twice daily on cleansed, toned skin for maximum benefits but I haven't done this religiously as I'm rather petrified of it running out. Here's why. The Sjal Bio-Regeneratif Serum comes with the pretty serious price tag of £205. Yes you read that correctly. Bearing in mind that Sjal is classed as a luxury skincare brand, the price point is not unexpected. Sjal Bio-Regeneratif Serum is available from Look Fantastic and Space NK.



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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Willow Organic Beauty- a Brand you need to know about

As a skincare obsessive and bath time enthusiast, I'm always glad to discover a brand that pretty much nails both of these areas.
Willow Organic Beauty is a British brand specializing in, you guessed it, organic beauty and from what I've tried from them so far, they seem to be masters at creating natural, effective and above all beautiful products to cleanse, hydrate and pamper to perfection. 
I was so excited to try two pieces from Willow Organic and thought I'd better get a move on in photographing them before I use them all up. That would just be awkward.

First up, the Willow Organic Beauty Pink Himalayan Body Scrub*, part of the special edition Butterfly Range. A delicate, detoxifying scrub that removes dead skin cells and promotes circulation, this is something you absolutely need to try if you enjoy a good old scrub that leaves you smelling scrumptious. Upon opening the jar the first thing I noticed was the gorgeous scent - the scrub contains Sweet Orange Oil, Almond Oil and Barbary Fig as well as various flower extracts and oils so of course it's going to smell lovely.


As you probably gathered from the name, the scrub is Pink Himalayan Salt based, which is very good at exfoliating and renowned for its detoxifying properties. The Pink Himalayan Body Scrub would be great to use a few days before fake tanning but not the day of as it does leave the skin really soft and nourished and I can still feel the oils on my skin once I've rinsed, so fake tan won't take to the skin. This effect is pretty handy really as it makes the scrub almost a two in one product in that it scrubs and hydrates at the same time, meaning I can skip the body moisturiser. Bodycare win.

The Willow Organic Beauty Hydrating Super Mask* is unlike any mask I've tried before really. The incredibly moisturising mask contains an impressive 96.82% organic ingredients and is ideal for sensitive, dry or 'normal' skins.The gel mask is packed full of marshmallow root, orange and rose extracts to soothe and replenish and contains the Miracle Oil Barbary Fig.




The gel mask is applied in upward strokes after cleansing and toning/ exfoliating and left to get to work for ten minutes before rinsing off gently. Just like the scrub, this mask smells amazing and feels quite cooling on the skin, which is obviously wonderful considering the weather is warming up a little.
Once I rinse this off, my face feels smooth, soft and refreshed. I've been using it in the evening but feel it would also be a great 'pick me up' during the day for an extra dose of hydration.

A Note on Barbary Fig
Willow Organic Beauty is the only UK skincare company to use Eco Cert cold pressed organic Barbary Fig Oil in their products. Barbary Fig is also known as Prickly Pear (which I have written about before here) and is exceptionally rich in Vitamin E, fatty acids and antioxidants.
The Wllow Organic Beauty Barbary Fig Range was developed over two years by an expert collective of cosmetic chemists, scientists, herbalists and aroma therapists and is touted as the most advanced organic skincare regime on the market today.

The Willow Organic Pink Himalayan Body Scrub retails at £34 for a 250gms jar and the Hydrating Super Mask  is £48 for 50ml of skin loving goodness.
I am so, so impressed with these two products from Willow Organic Beauty and can only dream of having my bathroom and dressing table decked out in all of their products! If you're yet to try anything from this beautiful organic brand, get involved - they have a range of reasonably priced gift sets and travel sets to get yourself acquainted with the products too. Have you tried anything from Willow Organic Beauty?


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