Sunday, 16 January 2022

5 Fragrances to Wear to Bed

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 Since I've discovered my newfound appreciation for fragrances, I've really been enjoying treating myself to a little spritz before bed.
My post-shower routine was once all about skincare but now, while rinsing out my conditioner I find myself thinking about which fragrance I'm going to choose too.
Obviously, you can wear whatever scent you like but here I'm sharing a few that make me feel comfortable and cocooned - exactly what I need to get me in the mood for sleep!

Scents to wear to bed


E. Coudray is a brand I'd not actually heard of until the December Escentual Perfume Blind Trial box. The theme was Gourmand so I knew there would be at least one winner in the box but I was not expecting the effect this fragrance has on me. The fragrance was sadly discontinued after the sample boxes were created but luckily the E Coudray Vanille et Coco Body Oil is still available at Escentual. This is the softest, most comforting powder-puff scent. It's warm and delicious and basically feels like a cuddle. I've been wearing it to bed since I bought it. Despite the name, I don't really detect the coconut in this (maybe a coconut cream rather than tropical coconut) but I'm thinking this note could come through if I were to wear it in warmer weather perhaps.

R.E.M is another Ariana Grande fragrance that has totally surprised me. I already love Cloud and the fruit-tart-esque Sweet Like Candy and now the fairly new R.E.M fragrance has me audibly sighing. If dreamy sugared lavender, salted caramel and Tonka bean sounds good, just wait until you smell this beauty. It reminds me a lot of Lush's iconic Sleepy range; Warm, comforting, sweet but never cloying. The lavender in R.E.M gives the perfume a slightly masculine edge which counteracts the sweetness and adds to the incredible cosiness of the scent. I've read that a lot of people wear this fragrance to bed and I'm now one of them. An affordable celeb scent that smells a little expensive.

Nivea eau de toilette is that iconic original Nivea cream scent, bottled. The universally loved clean, powdery scent is incredibly comforting and familiar to me. It's probably very evocative for a lot of people, as Nivea cream was (and still is) a very popular face cream, so I imagine this scent would bring back some lovely memories of parents and grandparents during simpler times! There's also a Nivea Sun version; ideal if the smell of sunscreen takes you to your happy place.

Molton Brown Milk Musk is a very aptly named fragrance, though it could have easily been called Warm Hug or Comfort Blanket. To me, Milk Musk smells like just that - milk and musk. Well, to be more specific it's like a creamy, warm cup of vanilla-spiked milk with a little whipped cream on top and comfy, cosy cashmere socks. This scent is definitely milky but not hugely sweet, with a musky, woody dry down and a touch of sugar. I find it to be very subtle and very much a skin scent. Perfect for getting snuggly.


Want to sleep like a baby? Wear baby perfume! Mustela's Musti is a light, alcohol-free fragrance water designed for kids but great for adults.
With notes of Honey, Chamomile, Rose, Lilac, Citrus and Amber, this light fragrance smells clean and fresh. I can imagine this would be particularly pleasant as a bed-scent in Summer thanks to the refreshing citrus.

So that's five scents to wear to bed, but really fragrance is such a personal thing, so I say wear whatever brings you joy! 

I'd love to know if you wear scent to bed and if so, what's your favourite?

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream Review

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 Looking for a retinol product that won't irritate but will work? Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream might be just what you're looking for.
I'm not well versed in all things Murad but I do feel like it's a brand to be trusted. I like the sort of no-thrills approach to skincare that the brand has and the fact that the products are advocated by quite a few well known skincare experts. I had heard great things about the Youth Renewal collection in particular and, always keen to trial different retinol products, went ahead and decided to try the Night Cream from the range.


The Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream promises to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, increase radiance and improve firmness all while strengthening the skin's protective barrier.
Results can be seen after as little as 4 weeks, which is pretty impressive for a retinol product.

The night cream is formulated with Retinol Tri-Active technology which involves a fast acting retinol, a time-release retinol and a retinol-booster which work together to diminish deep wrinkles and lines. Also in the mix are Niacinamide and Picolinamide to strengthen the skin's barrier.

I have been using the night cream *almost* consistently for around two months and can in fact confirm that the legends are true. This product works and it works fast.
Not only is my complexion more even with a lot less pigmentation, but my skin feels pretty great- it's smooth, firm and I swear that the lines between my outer eyes and temples are not as deep.


I use one to two pumps most nights - I say above that I've being using it almost consistently because some nights I just want something simple with ceramides and moisturising/hydrating ingredients only.
Murad say that results are optimised when using the night cream along with the Youth Renewal serum and eye cream so I'm keen to get my hands on both of those at some point. For now though, I'm pretty impressed with the results I'm seeing from using the Night Cream alone.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream retails for £70 for 50ml packaged in a hygienic airless press-pump. I got my jar from Space NK but it’s currently in stock at AllBeauty for £56.50. You can also find it at Look Fantastic, Feel Unique, Marksand Spencer and of course from the official Murad site. It’s also worth checking out the Youth Renewal kits that include all three products from the collection.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Kayali Get Rich Kit

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 Huda Kattan's fragrance line, Kayali, has a very good reputation for producing quality, expensive-smelling scents at accessible price points. I've tried Vanilla 28 previously and quite liked it, so when I saw the Get Rich Kit that features a Vanilla 28 hand cream, me and my Christmas money got in there pretty quick.


Along with the vanilla hand cream, this little kit features a dinky 10ml bottle of Invite Only Amber, which was incidentally on my ever-growing list of fragrances to sample.
Alone, these products are beautiful, but together? That's a powerhouse situation!
Vanilla and Amber are two notes that are often put together in fragrance creation anyway and layering these two products just further confirms why. The result is creamy, boozy, sweet and powerful and will almost certainly turn heads.


Vanilla 28

This may be a scented hand cream but it is rich in both formula and fragrance, so it's potent enough to act as a scent all on its own. Don't let the fact that it's a 'hand' cream put you off either; apply to tops of arms, wrists, collarbones, all over or anywhere you like! The Shea butter formula is intensely moisturising but not greasy and it smells delicious. With Madagascan Vanilla and Jasmine, Vanilla 28 is balanced with warm notes including Musk, Amber, Patchouli and Brown Sugar. To my nose, this is a sexy vanilla rather than a dessert vanilla – it’s still cosy and comforting but it has an edge to it.


Invite Only Amber

I had read a few reviews of Invite Only Amber before I bought the Get Rich Kit; mainly five star ratings raving about how the blend is reminiscent of expensive Ouds and is a major receiver of compliments. Notes of Amber Resin, Black Cherry, Madagascan Vanilla, Honey de Provence and Tobacco Leaf are complemented by Roasted Hazelnut, Benzoin, Sandalwood, Citrus, Rose and Musks to create an incredibly enticing fragrance. To me, this smells boozy and smoky in the best way – and a little like Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey when first sprayed!


The Kayali Get Rich Kit is a great way to get a taste (or whiff) of Kayali fragrances and is equally good for on-the-go and on your dresser. Worth £35, the cheapest I’ve found the Get Rich Kit is £22.50 at Feel Unique.

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Body Cream

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 I've chosen a very odd time to become a perfume obsessive, but I suppose it was going to happen sooner or later. With the continual presence of Covid and therefore constant, looming threat to my sense of smell, my subconscious could be to blame for my sudden change intense interest in fragrance. Well, my subconscious and the Escentual #EscentualScents blind trial boxes I've been enjoying every month. It's only really since I started participating in the trials that I've paid attention to fragrance notes and genres and I've become a frequent visitor to the Fragrantica website. I've literally spent hours in bed reading through reviews and becoming increasingly fascinated with other people's perfume collections (my own isn't even worth a mention - just a quarter of a bottle of Dolce and Gabbana Dolce sits on my chest of drawers at the moment).
It was Escentual Scents that introduced me to Ariana Grande Cloud which in turn introduced me to Baccarat Rouge 540, which I ordered a small sample of, fell in love with, recoiled at the price of, then received the body cream version of for Christmas.



My precious bottle of scented lotion arrived via Net a Porter so it was beautifully presented in a chic black box with ribbon and tissue, making it extra special when opening on Christmas morning.
The squared bottle has a twist function on the cap, just a small turn to the right creates an opening at the top, then you turn the bottle upside down and squeeze to dispense. Sort of like a very expensive condiment I suppose!





I've always found the lotion or hand cream version of perfumes to be just as good, if not better at lasting on the skin and the Baccarat Rouge 540 lotion performs as expected.
It's a lightweight cream which I've applied quite sparingly to my arms and collarbone and found that it absorbs so quickly that if it weren't for the scent it would almost feel like I never put it on at all. It doesn't feel greasy on the skin at all.
The body cream has a moisturising Shea butter base and smells just like the perfume; bittersweet saffron and woody cedar combined with musky Ambroxan and fresh and floral Hedione compound (a sort of jasmine and lemon-smelling synthetic note). I think it's such a weird scent but at the same time it's utterly beautiful. Weird doesn't necessarily mean bad anyway, does it?




Fragrances smell different on different people in general, but the special thing about Baccarat Rouge 540 is that the large quantities of Hedione and Ambroxan really amplify that effect. It is a scent that comes into its own on the skin and is basically unique for everyone. Some people smell something quite medicinal and clinical, others get a straight-up dose of burnt sugar, some smell barely anything at all. On me I pick up something semi-sweet and musky with more than a touch of what I'd describe as a jasmine bush after quite a lot of rain.
The only slight difference (to my nose) is that the perfume I sampled had a bit more of that sort of ozonic Ambroxan vibe than what I can detect in the body cream. Perhaps if I apply the lotion a little more generously I'd get more of an Ambroxan hit?


Either way, I'm loving the body cream incarnation of Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540.
As mentioned, mine was from Net a Porter (sold out at time of writing) but you can find it at John Lewis, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and of course Maison Francis Kurkdjian for £70 for 250ml.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Egyptian Magic - a Winter skincare must-have

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 You've probably already read your fair share of Egyptian Magic reviews, but it's something I've reached for so much recently that I thought it was time to give it a blog post.


The multipurpose cream (is it a cream or a balm?) has long been a cult beauty product thanks to its simple ingredients and impressive moisturising effect. Many makeup artists keep a tub or two in their kit and for many people across the globe it’s become a bit of a household staple. It’s been around for over 2 decades but I've only used it for the last year or so, when I ordered my partner a tub because nothing was helping his poor chapped hands.

Egyptian Magic is a blend of Olive Oil, Beeswax, Propolis, Honey, Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen and is designed to bring moisture, nourishment and relief to pretty much anywhere.

With no added fragrance or preservatives, the skin cream can be used as an everyday moisturiser, eye cream, lip balm, cleanser, hair mask, cuticle oil, hand cream and all-round moisturiser for anything.


I like to use Egyptian Magic as a lip balm (a thick, luxurious layer as a lip mask overnight too) and to put some much needed moisture back into my hands. I also have recently been enjoying it applied quite lightly to my face pre-morning school run. It feels nourishing and protective on my face, like it's stopping the harsh winter wind from getting to my skin!

I’ve also been applying it around my son’s nose and top lip because he’s at that age where he has a perpetually runny nose and the Egyptian Magic both soothes and adds a bit of a barrier to curb further irritation.


To use, Egyptian Magic recommend warming the cream between hands until it turns oily, then applying where required.

I love honey in my skincare so it was a given that I was going to appreciate Egyptian Magic. The Egyptian Magic cream is very bee-centric, with the inclusion of pollen, propolis and royal jelly as well as actual honey. It has a lovely natural honey scent too which I find incredibly comforting – it’s not sickly, just that lovely hit of sweetness you get when you open a jar of honey.

 

I absolutely love this product and if you haven’t tried it already, there’s no time like the present, so get stuck into a jar of your own! You can find small trial-sized pots or just dive in with a 118ml size from Boots or Look Fantastic where it retails for around £29 (but there's usually a special offer or discount).

Monday, 6 December 2021

Sanctuary Spa Christmas Gift Sets

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I love the smell of Sanctuary Spa's original products. That slightly sweet, sort of incense-y scent takes me back to over a decade when I first had a tester of the body lotion in Boots. I remember thinking how expensive and luxe it smelled and was surprised by how affordable to the products were! I loved that you could buy the products used in the famous Sanctuary Spa in Covent Garden, in Boots. I was still very new to London back then so it felt so special being able to try the products.

Sanctuary Spa always release lovely gift sets for the festive season and this year's offering is no exception.
I've got four gifts to show you here but there are quite a few available, ranging in size and price, so there really is something to suit everyone!

The Signature Showstopper Gift Set RRP £45



This beautiful gift is absolutely huge and contains 9 gorgeous face, bath, body and wellbeing products as well as a body puff. Packaged in a big heart shaped box, this is a generous present for anyone in your life who enjoys a pamper (and that's pretty much everyone, right?). This gift includes 2 different scrubs - the body scrub and salt scrub,a shower oil, body wash, body lotion, face wash, hand cream, heel balm and sleep mist .
In the Showstopper Gift:
Shower Oil 75ml
Body Wash 250ml
Body Scrub 200ml
Body Lotion 75ml
Salt Scrub 60g
Heel Balm 75ml
Hand Cream 75ml
Moisture Burst Face Wash 30ml
Sleep Mist 50ml
Body Puff

Available at Superdrug, Amazon and Sanctuary.com




The Cloud of Dreams is one of those 'no brainer' gifts. With a sleep mist, bath salts and a beautifully scented (and decently strong) mini candle, this little cloud would be appreciated by virtually anyone. At £20, it's nicely affordable too.
What's inside?
Sleep Mist 100ml
De-Stress Bath Salts 150g
Wellness Candle 35g

Available at Boots

The Luxe Shower Trio RRP £14



Because not everybody owns a bath but *most* have a shower, this is a pretty fail safe present! Featuring a body scrub, body wash and shower oil in the signature Sanctuary scent, this is a gift I would certainly welcome under my tree. This luxurious trio includes:
Shower Oil 75ml
Body Wash 250ml
Body Scrub 200ml


Available at Boots

The Night Time Rescue RRP £10


The perfect stocking filler or Secret Santa gift, this gift contains:
Sleep Mist 50ml
De-Stress Warming Body Balm 75ml
I already know the Sleep Mist is beautiful but I'm intrigued by the body balm. With Ginger and Rosemary oil, the balm is a warming treat I imagine would be perfect after a long (and chilly!) day.
Available at Sainsbury's and Sanctuary.com

As mentioned, this is only a handful of the Sanctuary Spa gifts available for Christmas 2021. There are plenty more so it's definitely worth having a browse.
Have you got any Sanctuary Spa goodies on your wishlist?

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Sunday Riley Juno Antioxidant + Superfood Face Oil

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 Until recently it had been a while since I had a Sunday Riley face oil in my stash. I remember absolutely loving the now discontinued Artemis facial oil and have been through a few bottles of the much-loved Luna retinol oil. But I had never got around to trying Juno before a few weeks ago.

Sunday Riley Juno Face Oil

Juno is considered a great all-rounder facial oil, suitable for virtually everyone.
A blend of organic, cold pressed 'super food' seed oils selected for their antioxidant properties, Juno is a dry oil formula that leaves the skin feeling nourished and looking dewy and glowing, without a greasy feeling. 

What are the ingredients in Juno?

The antioxidant formula includes a range of berry seed oils, specifically Blueberry, Blackberry, Cranberry and Red Raspberry, blended with Chardonnay Grape Seed Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Black Cumin, Broccoli and Meadowfoam.

The oils combine to make a formula that is rich in the aforementioned antioxidants, as well as omegas and vitamins for a healthy looking and feeling, perfectly hydrated complexion.


I love the yellow and purple layered look that the oils create in the bottle – before I gently shake the bottle to mix and apply.


Speaking of application, you can really use as many drops as you like, depending on how your skin is feeling. I tend to use a couple for daytime and a few more for night.

The oil can be used before or after moisturiser, on its own or mixed into other products. It’s also perfect for rubbing into cuticles (I just rub the excess into my fingers/backs of hands) and can be applied to the ends of hair – it’s a very versatile skincare product!

The oil feels very comforting and calming on the skin, in fact I have been loving it on my slightly scaly nostrils (sorry) that have been subjected to a lot of nose-blowing recently.

 

Juno has a sort of organic, almost hay-like smell to it, that I find quite pleasant, but it does dissipate quite quickly so if you don’t love the scent it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

 

Juno Antioxidant Superfood Face Oil is available in 15ml and 35ml glass dropper bottles for £27 and £54 respectively. I love that Sunday Riley offers smaller bottles of the oils these days – it makes the products much more financially accessible, more convenient for travel and great for trying out without potentially wasting a lot of product if it’s not for you. I bought my bottle of Juno at Space NK

 

 

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