Thursday, 19 October 2017

Halloween Offerings at The Bentall Centre

Call me predictable but Autumn is definitely my favourite time of year. There's something so undeniably special about crisp, cool days and evenings spent snuggled up and cosy. On top of the beautiful weather, we have Halloween to look forward to and now that I'm a mum I've got a feeling I'll be getting into the spirit a little more from now on- whether I like it or not! I recently visited The Bentall Centre in Kingston to check out how the centre's various stores are marking this October 31st. Claire's is one shop that always comes through with the goods when it comes to playing dress up and their offerings this Halloween are no exception. They have many different options for kids and grownups alike; from wigs and gory or glamorous makeup to unicorn headbands, Claire's have got you covered. For a subtle touch of spook, Aussie brand Kikki K have a pair of very cute ceramic ghost ornaments available in two sizes as well as a kitsch ghostly tote bag and Halloween bunting.
Halloween Bunting from Kikki K £6.00. Image from
Ghost ornaments £4.75 each and Ghost Tote £9. Images from

If Halloween treats you can drink are more your thing, pop into Whittard of Chelsea and check out their spooky seasonal delights - the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate is SO GOOD and the Toffee Apple Fruit Infusion Tea is guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning sweet tooth.
Whittard Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate and Toffee Apple Tea. £7 each. I knew that owl wearing a witches hat would come in handy one day...

During my visit to The Bentall Centre, I inevitably ended up in the Bentall's beauty hall which is probably my favourite haunt when I'm in Kingston (see what I did there?). I spent some time with the team at NARS to find out how to get a subtly spooky, perfectly wearable Halloween look. The MUA, Vanessa, used an assortment of brown and red toned shadows on my eyes for something less predictable and softer than a classic black smoky eye. As my eyes are quite hooded, Vanessa showed me some tips to open them up (matte shades are the way to go) and I had a little bit of subtle contouring, my brows were filled and given more definition before the look was finished with a nude lip achieved with NARS' new Powermatte Lip Pigment. The formula of this felt impressively light on the lips and had enough staying power to remain intact after I scoffed a large burrito from the recently opened lunch hotspot Tortilla!

If you're after something creepy, kooky and all-together spooky, chances are you'll find it at The Bentall Centre in Kingston this Halloween. You can visit The Bentall Centre at Wood Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1TP.

I received a gift card and makeup application. Views my own.
This post contains samples unless otherwise stated. Some posts contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclaimer page for further info.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Juliette Armand Skincare

I really enjoy discovering skincare brands that were previously unfamiliar to me so when I received an email about Greek brand Juliette Armand, my interest was certainly piqued. Juliette Armand is not a new brand, in fact it was established in 1992 and has enjoyed success in the rest of Europe and South America and remained virtually unknown in the UK market - but that's about to change. The brand was created by Michalis Papaefstratiou and Loulia Armagou, two chemists who wanted to enter the beauty industry and develop new formulas while applying personal values to their laboratory work. The entire skincare range is based on quality ingredients and effective formulas and includes lines specific to conditions such as acne and sensitivity and features products focused on a range of areas such as anti-aging and oil control.
I've had three products to try from the Juliette Armand Elements range including a cleanser, hyaluronic acid serum and moisturiser so I've really been able to get stuck in and gain some good understanding of the brand's products in general.
juliette armand hydra cleansing milk

Juliette Armand Hyaluronic Serumjuliette armand moisturiser

First up, the Hydra Cleansing Milk. I've used this as a 'first cleanse'  on a few occasions to remove makeup and general griminess and found it to be perfectly effective and also impressively gentle. Recommended for combination, dry, 'normal' and sensitive skin, the mild milk contains chamomile extract and green aloe to moisturise the skin while the trademarked cleansing complex ingredient removes dirt and makeup. What exactly constitutes this mysterious trademarked cleansing component? I actually cannot for the life of me find out what it is so I think it must be a closely guarded secret! Rest assured though that this brand does not include anything that the green beauty movement might refer to as nasties (parabens, mineral oil, propylene glycol). It's worth mentioning that the Hydra Cleansing Milk effectively removed eye makeup too.
I love me a Hyaluronic Acid Serum and this one from Juliette Armand rivals some of the more expensive versions I've tried in terms of texture and how it feels on the skin. We know by now that hyaluronic acid is incredibly hydrating and is a brilliant addition to skincare regimes, especially for those with dry and dehydrated skins. The acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water and is slow release so it's a brilliant option for all day or night hydration.
The serum is beautifully lightweight, non-greasy and fast absorbing, perfectly prepping the skin for moisturiser. 
The Juliette Armand Extra Moisturising 24h Cream is designed to provide intense hydration for normal, dry and dehydrated skins. The cream features hyaluronic acid, collagen exclusively of marine origin and an ingredient called Moist 24. Moist 24  is extracted from a plant that grows in Asia and Oceania called Imperata Cylindrical. This plant grows and thrives in extremely dry weather conditions due to its ability to retain water. I for one am glad that the collagen in this is marine collagen because I really do get a bit squeamish over 'pig collagen' products! Designed to plump out fine lines and restore the skin's moisture balance, the moisturising cream is a pleasure to use as it's quite rich and creamy yet absorbs well.

After using the Juliette Armand regime, my skin feels soft and plump, which is exactly the effect I'm after really. I like how simple the products seem at face value, even though a tremendous amount of research and formulation has gone into each one. When I first started writing about these products, the word that kept coming to mind is 'inoffensive' so I'm just going to go ahead and use that word I guess! The products I tried are virtually scent free and gentle, so I imagine they'd appeal to most people. The Juliette Armand brand has a pretty extensive range of different products including a cacao peeling cream, scrub mask and colour control cream to name just a few.
You can find out more about Juliette Armand and purchase products in the UK at Naturastudios.
This post contains samples unless otherwise stated. Some posts contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclaimer page for further info.
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