Friday, 25 November 2016

Quick Black Friday Beauty Deals Round Up

Black Friday sales have become an increasingly big deal in the UK in recent years. No longer reserved for our friends across the pond, grabbing a pre-Christmas bargain on the day after Thanksgiving is perfectly acceptable here and more and more retailers are getting on board and grabbing a piece of the (pumpkin) pie. Here's my short and sweet round up of the beauty retailers and brands offering deals this Black Friday:

Deciem

The Deciem Black Friday Promo popped up on Facebook and it's pretty impressive! The sale includes different kits from the Deciem brands at heavily discounted prices. My pick - the Masque Set which contains Sanskrit Saponins 90ml, Myrrh Clay 50ml and Mastic Must 90ml for £30 instead of £76. A pretty sweet deal.
Niod Masque Set. Image Credit: Deciem


Look Fantastic

There are deals-a-plenty to be had at Look Fantastic from brands including FOREO, ghd and Eve Lom as well as 20% off a selection of premium beauty offerings with code PREM20.
There is also a 25% off declining discount site wide (Some exclusions) with code LFBLACK.

Look Fantastic Black Friday Beauty Box Special
Image Credit: Look Fantastic

Look Fantastic have created an exclusive Beauty Box especially for Black Friday. The box contains at least 10 products and is valued at over £100. It's only £20 and I'm scared I'm going to buy one myself. I think beauty boxes also make lovely Christmas presents, so could be an idea for that friend or family member who has everything. It's available here (note: no longer available).

Cult Beauty

My favourite online destination for weird and wonderful and high end beauty finds is getting in on the Black Friday action today with 3 different discount offers: Save £5 off a £15 spend with code BLACK5, £15 off a £100 spend with code BLACK15 and £30 off a £150 spend with code BLACK30. These sort of discounts are never a bad thing, especially if you were planning on doing some serious spending today and stocking up on presents for loved ones and/or yourself anyway. Cult Beauty have some great new stuff in at the moment too including the Pixi Best of Bright Kit which at £20 is a very reasonably priced way to try out 3 bestsellers from the brand (though won't take you to the first discount threshold obviously). I'm a bit taken with the Bella Freud Fairytale of New York candle - in fact I don't really care what it smells like (blood orange, mimosa, myrrh, oud, patchouli, musk, amber, tobacco flower) because Pogues. The other new bits that have got my attention (and will qualify for a discount) are the Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic Kit which contains five 50ml masks including the blogger-famous Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and an applicator/removal tool and The Intent Observer collection from Aesop featuring four parsley seed products.
Image Credit: Cult Beauty


Superdrug

At the somewhat more affordable end of the price spectrum, Superdrug have some very decent Black Friday deals, with many giftsets and bits and pieces at 50% off (or more). If you're after stocking fillers, there are plenty of bargains to be had from Patisserie de Bain including the English Tea Duo Tartlettes which are strawberry and lemon meringue scented and are on sale for £3.99 instead of £6.99. Makeup Revolution fan? The 12 Days of Christmas Storage Chest is now £25 instead of £50 so it's a perfect opportunity to grab it as a present or treat yourself to some goodies.
Image credit: Superdrug

Beauty Bay

Beauty Bay are offering up to 30% off selected lines including fantastic skincare brands such as Alpha H, Oskia, Antipodes and Pai and haircare and makeup brands like Philip B, Gerard Cosmetics, Anna Sui and Fairydrops. No code needed, the discounts are already applied.

Latest in Beauty

Latest in Beauty are getting well and truly into the spirit of things and offering 30% off everything until Tuesday 29th November. By everything, they really mean everything - whether it's a collection box, build your own or your first subscription box, get 30% off with code CYBER. If you haven't got your hands on a beauty advent calendar yet, you can get hold of the Latest in Beauty 2016 offering for just under £53 (including delivery) instead of £73.90. That's justifiable, right?
Image credit: Latest in Beauty

Other deals worth mentioning - TanOrganic are offering 30% off  with code BlackFridayGlow16 - the tanning oil is particularly enjoyable to apply at this time of year (you can read my review here if you fancy). Boots have predictably got a whole load of decent deals going on including the SensatioNail Limited Edition Ultimate Gel Starter Kit which has everything you need to do the whole gel nail thing at home and is £35 instead of £80! As a Real Techniques fan, the Mega Set which features 12 brushes and sponges is exceptionally appealing at £40 reduced down from £100 and would obviously make a fantastic gift for make up addicts and subscribers of Nic and Sam. Boots also have a huge range of discounted fragrances and fragrance sets so follow your nose over to the website if you're keen to sniff out a bargain ;)

This is obviously a very edited selection of the beauty retailers welcoming Black Friday to our fair shores this year - have you found any Black Friday bargains today? Please let me know!

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Monday, 14 November 2016

Secret Santa Gift Idea: Bobbi Brown Mini Mask Trio

I know the Bobbi Brown Mini Mask Trio was released a little while ago but I spied it in John Lewis on the weekend and thought it's exactly the kind of Secret Santa gift/ stocking filler that I would like to receive! Bobbi Brown isn't exactly a cheap and cheerful brand so the fact that this little pack of three face masks is only £10 further sweetens the deal.
The trio includes cute 7ml tubes of Radiance Boost, Instant Detox and Skin Nourish masks so it's a great little kit for multi-masking or sampling Bobbi's masks before committing to the full sizes (the full sized 75ml tubes are £33 each).

bobbi brown mini mask trio

The Radiance Boost Mask is an exfoliating mask that contains fine walnut grains for a physical exfoliation action. It also contains Orange Oil and is designed to instantly pep up the complexion and get things glowing.
The Instant Detox Mask is a clay mask that features an Amazonian White Clay base and is formulated with Hawaiian Sea Water. This is a pore-unclogging, clarifying mask which is a bit different to your standard clay mask in that you just leave it on for three minutes rather than wait for it to go all dry and crackly.
Finally, the Nourish Mask is a tissue-off formula that features Coral Grass and Green Algae. Similar in consistency to a face cream, I feel like this soothing mask would be particularly nice in the autumn/ winter months. In other words, perfect for now.

You can find the full size masks and Mini Mask Trio at John Lewis and Bobbi Brown online.
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Sunday, 13 November 2016

EKIA // Organic Skincare with a Difference

For the past year of so I've been particularly interested in natural and organic skincare. There's just something so intriguing about the science behind a lot of natural products that don't rely on fillers or fragrance to give them appeal. One brand that I have recently discovered is EKIA - a certified organic range from France. EKIA is unique in that the products are designed to complement three different mature skin types. In other words, it's not a 'one size fits all' anti aging range and regimes are 'prescribed' according to each individual's needs. The creator of EKIA, Carine Mudry worked with Dermatologists and conducted a clinical study to find the ideal natural anti-aging ingredient.
Carine has this to say about her brand: “We designed Ekia to give women looking for organic skincare products an alternative to the heavy textured, poorly fragranced and unproven formulations dominating the market at the time.”
Carine's work led to the discovery of the brand's signature active ingredient- Sangre Del Drago Sap, also known more simply as Dragon's Blood Sap. Incredibly, this deep red sap comes from the Croton Lechleri Tree which grows in the Amazon Rainforest and has been used for thousands of years by local tribes for its healing properties. That's saying something now isn't it?

Intrigued by the inclusion of this interesting-sounding, almost mystical sap I was keen to try some bits from EKIA and received a skincare prescription of my very own so I could do just that.

Creme Originelle Preventative Face Cream
From the moment I first put this on my face, I knew I was onto a winner. This cream is thick and buttery, which is just what I want at the moment, and feels lovely and rich on the skin. The cream is designed to reduce the first signs of ageing and is made up of 99.2% of  ingredients from natural origin. Ingredients include the Dragon's Blood Sap, Maca Root, Cork Oak, Paracress, Pracaxi Oil, Marine Microorganisms(!), Baikal Skullcap, Bearberry and Green Caviar. Nope, I hadn't heard of most of these before either. You'd think all of these ingredients would produce a most interesting scent but in reality, Creme Originelle does not smell of much at all. The scent is subtle with almost a hint of almond. This cream seems to instantly have an effect on my skin - it makes things plumper and brighter and leaves my face feeling unbelievably hydrated and cared for. RRP £43 for 50ml.

Velvet Cleansing Milk for Dry or Sensitive Skin
This is a no-rinse cleanser designed to remove make up and general muck. The milk is massaged over the skin, eyelashes and eyelids (it doesn't sting) and then removed with a cotton pad. Although this cleanser does leave my skin feeling refreshed and cleansed, I have never been one to be content with not actually washing my face so to me this is a first cleanse/ make up remover. The cleansing milk is enriched with a combination of oils, butters and waters from the Amazon including Andiroba Oil (an anti-inflammatory), organic Pracaxi Oil (to moisturise) Brazil Nut Oil (to nourish and restore), Cupuacu Butter to relieve dry skin and fair trade Guarana Water which has a toning and decongesting action.The cleansing milk also features extracts of Argan, Barley and Shea Butter, Acai and Candeia extracts and the signature Dragon's Blood Sap. RRP £19 for 90ml.

Highly Active Radiance Serum for Dull Pigmented Skin
I feel like everyone needs to know about this one, especially if you're interested in brightening up your complexion. This opaque serum (I don't know why but I always assume serums are going to be clear) is packed with fruit acids and Licorice Extract to exfoliate and even out skin tone/ pigmentation then nicely rounded off with hydrating Cranberry Extract and, of course, regenerating Dragon's Blood Sap. I love an active serum and this one is no exception. I feel a very, very slight tingle on application as the Blueberry, Lemon, Orange and Sugar Cane acids do their thing then my face is left feeling and looking super smooth and happy and ready for application of Creme Originelle. RRP £56 for 30ml.

Eyelid Lifting Serum for Sagging Eyelids
This serum is one of those products that has an instant effect and works to improve things over time. At 31 I am still a bit young to have an age-related issue with my eyelids sagging, however I do have quite deep-set, hooded eyes so anything that's going to firm up the area is more than welcome round these parts. The gel-like serum has a cooling effect and is applied to cleansed upper eyelids using gentle 'smoothing' movements from the inner to outer corners of each eye. As the formula dries, you feel an instant lifting sensation - this is down to the inclusion of Carrageen Moss Extract which forms a micro mesh on the surface of the skin. While the moss extract is working on the instant results, other ingredients focus on long term effects; Hyaluronic Acid hydrates, Alpine Sea Holly extract firms and strengthens and Dragon's Blood Sap lifts and regenerates. RRP £38 for 15ml.

It's worth mentioning that EKIA products come with little leaflets that include dietary tips and step by step instructions for firming facial massage, which I think is a nice little bonus! You can find EKIA at Whole Foods stores in the beauty section, .

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Thursday, 3 November 2016

A'Kin Brightening Rosehip Oil with Vitamin C

I'm rather enjoying A'Kin Brightening Rosehip Oil for many reasons but here are my first two:
1. It's created by my fellow countrymen (as in, A'kin is an Aussie brand)
2. I really, really like Rosehip Oil anyway.

akin rosehip oil with vitamin c
akin rosehip oil with vitamin c

The newly launched Brightening Rosehip Oil with Vitamin C combines the natural powers of Rosehip Oil, Macadamia Oil and Vitamin C to create the perfect potion for post-summer skin. The reason this is an ideal addition to your Autumn/ Winter skincare stash is that it works to brighten and recondition the texture of the skin and reduce the appearance of sun damage. In other words, it gives your skin back what harsh summer sun rays may have taken away.
The organic Rosehip Oil contains high levels of nourishing essential fatty acids, which, combined with the skin-brightening and and antioxidant properties of Vitamin C and smoothing, softening effects of Macadamia Oil, make it a naturally effective force to be reckoned with.

Because Rosehip Oil is a 'dry' oil, this formula is incredibly lightweight and non-greasy and I found that it absorbs incredibly fast, leaving a subtle 'glow' rather than 'sheen'. Even though I don't mind a blatantly oiled up face in the evening when the temperature drops, it is pretty handy that this oil doesn't leave you greasy so it can be used just as freely in the daytime as it can at night.

To get all science-y for a moment, A'kin uses the Supercritical CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) method to extract the Rosehip Oil. Basically, this method uses pressurised Carbon Dioxide to 'pull' the precious oily bit away from the plant. Extracting this way preserves the purity of the oil and in turn maximises the benefits, meaning that this particular Rosehip Oil is of a very high quality! 

The addition of Macadamia Oil into the mix is for a pretty simple reason- Macadamia Oil has a very similar composition to the sebum that occurs naturally on our skin, so it helps the formula absorb even more as well as retain moisture.

For all you green beauty types, it's worth noting that the entire A'Kin range does not contain parabens, sulphates, ethoxylated and petrochemical cleansers, propylene glycol, silicones, phthalates, mineral oils, DEA and artificial colours, artificial fragrance or animal ingredients. The company is also against animal testing.

A'Kin Brightening Rosehip Oil with Vitamin C has an RRP of £24 for 20ml. You can find it online at A'Kin Beauty and in-store at Waitrose and Whole Foods.

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Intraceuticals Rejuvenation Infusion Facial at Lazeo Notting Hill

It felt like it'd been aaages since I'd had a facial so a recent invitation to indulge in one at Lazeo Clinic in Notting Hill was very welcome! If you've not been to Lazeo yet, it's tucked away on Lambton Place behind the Aesop store in Notting Hill.
I had visited Lazeo to experience the Intraceuticals Rejuvenation Infusion Facial; a treatment that thoroughly hydrates and plumps lacklustre skin.
I enjoy pampering facials and results-driven facials equally and even though this particular facial is, strictly speaking, about the end result, I found it to be an incredibly relaxing and somewhat pampering experience. It was like the best of both worlds really - I got to lay down and totally relax and ended up with a complexion that looked like something amazing had actually been done to it.

To start, I was introduced to Rachna - a brilliant Therapist who was so kind and personable and an absolute treasure trove of skincare knowledge.
I was then given some alone time to get comfy and tuck myself into the heated bed (amazing) and Rachna talked me through what she would be doing to my face- a thorough cleanse and light exfoliation followed by the infusion using Intraceuticals products.

If you're not familiar with the Intraceuticals brand, they are an Australian company (hurrah) who create professional products that intertwine medical and cosmetic sciences.
Designed to increase overall hydration and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the non invasive treatment uses the Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Serum - a concoction that contains lightweight Hyaluronic Acid and a powerful blend of vitamins and antioxidants. The infusion part of the treatment is achieved via a technique that involves the application of the Rejuvenate Serum via a device that's not unlike an airbrush make up gun. The applicator uses pressurised oxygen to penetrate the serum into the skin, giving a much deeper treatment than if it was just massaged in. The technique creates a somewhat odd, but thoroughly pleasant sensation and I was told that some clients even giggle the whole way through because they find it so ticklish! Personally, I found it really, really soothing and quite refreshing - especially while the serum was being lightly sprayed across my skin.
Every single inch of my face was worked on several times with meticulous care before the deal was sealed with a hydrating moisture barrier.
By the end of my treatment I felt like I had been lying there for several blissful hours and all but drifted off to sleep. In reality, the whole treatment takes just under an hour so if you're strapped for time, it's the perfect treat and the results make it ideal as a pre-event treatment.

Speaking of results, this treatment left me quite astonished by my own skin! Once I'd 'come to' a bit and was left to dress and compose myself, I turned up the lights in the treatment room and inspected my complexion closely. Firstly, I looked glowy (not greasy), which was nice because as an expectant mother, this is yet to occur naturally, so was good to see! Secondly, my face looked (and felt) smooth and I am willing to bet that if I had felt inclined to apply a layer of foundation at that point it would have smoothed on like a dream. Thirdly, the fine lines around my eyes had sort of plumped out, which in turn made my eyes look better overall. Essentially, I did not look at all like someone who had been nauseous and hormonal for the past few months.

The Intraceuticals Rejuvenation Infusion Facial is £135 and takes 50 minutes. Lazeo also offer other Intraceuticals Infusions for different skin types.
You can find Lazeo Clinic at 8-9 Lambton Place, London, W11 2SH and contact reception on 020 3813 7430

I was kindly offered this treatment for consideration
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