Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser

(Sample/AffiliateLinks) This newly launched cleanser arrived just in time for that second heatwave we recently had and it was a very welcome addition to our bathroom!
Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser was developed for oily and combination skins and is designed to fight blemishes without drying out the skin. While my skin leans to the dry side of the spectrum and I wouldn't usually seek out a cleanser to control blemishes, I get on really well with this cleanser. Here's why.
a close up of Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser in a green tube with a white illustration of grapes
Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser
This is a refreshing gel formula with a consistency that reminds me a bit of watered down aloe vera. You know that sort of slippery, jelly-like feeling that fresh aloe vera has? It's a little like that. The gel formula of the cleanser makes it absolutely perfect for warm weather, when we naturally reach for something a bit lighter and refreshing. I've really, really enjoyed cleansing with this both in the morning to refresh and revive and in the evenings to cool my face before bed.
A full length image of Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser in a green tube with a white illustration of grapes lying on a bed of green and white leaves
Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser
Featuring a unique blend of essential oils including Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Rosemary, the gel cleanser contains antioxidant Polyphenols and Salicylic Acid which provides a gentle exfoliating action and works to gently shift any gunk stuck in pores. The cleanser is enriched with organic Grape and Rose waters to keep the formula hydrating on the skin while the essential oils and Salicylic Acid purify and clear. The gentle foaming action of the cleanser is down to Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate which is a mild surfactant derived from coconuts, so if you're sensitive to SLS, this could be a good option. In terms of scent, the Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser has a fresh, natural botanical scent, which just enhances the whole cleansing experience in my opinion.
A close up image of Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser showing a white lid and a clear gel consistency of the cleanser
Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser
Overall I think this is a great, gentle cleanser that most people would enjoy (I know my boyfriend is quite fond of it!). It's pretty affordable too at £16 for 150ml.
You can find Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser at a range of retailers or direct from Caudalie where they currently have a special offer of a free Vinopure duo with a spend of £45 or more. There are other items in the Vinopure range that I am yet to try including an award-winning toner, a serum and a mattifying moisturiser.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Nakin Skincare

(Gifted/Affiliate) Nakin is a natural beauty brand I've actually been wanting to try for ages but never quite got round to it, until now. The British brand uses key natural anti-ageing ingredients to create products that not only feel luxurious to use, but are good for your skin too. I've been incorporating a few of Nakin's gorgeous products into my skincare regime over the last few weeks so here's a bit of info on each as well as how I got on with them.
Nakin Skincare

Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Advanced Cleansing Milk (£15)

If you follow my Instagram you might have seen me compare this cleansing milk to coconut cream- it's that thick and luxurious. Designed to be removed with a cotton pad or damp cloth, this creamy cleanser contains Hyaluronic Acid, Pomegranate Extract, Seaweed Extract and olive oil unsaponifiables. The cleanser also contains Sunflower and Grape Seed oils and I've found it be effective as both a first cleanse to remove makeup/ SPF and a second cleanse to properly clean the skin as the formula combined with removal with a damp flannel encourages cell turnover and leaves a healthy looking glow. Overall this is an incredibly gentle cleansing milk that leaves the skin feeling clean and comfortable without any tightness.
Nakin Advanced Cleansing Milk

Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Purifying Face Toner (£15)
It's been approximately 100 years since I've used a toner with Witch Hazel (I think the last time was actually when I was a teen in the early noughties) so I was particularly interested to see how my skin got on with this. I've always associated Witch Hazel with being super drying but there is nothing uncomfortable about this toner. At all. It's incredibly refreshing and has been an absolute God send in this recent heat wave, waking up my skin in the mornings and giving it a nice cooling hit before bed at night. As well as astringent Witch Hazel to cleanse it contains Aloe to soothe, Hyaluronic Acid to plump and purifying, nutrient dense Seaweed Extract. I apply the toner after the cleansing milk using either a cotton pad or just sweeping it on with my hands. Lovely.
Nakin Purifying Face Toner

Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Revitalising Face Oil (£22)
I'm pretty much a facial oil veteran by now and have tried a fair few over the years so I know what I like. A good face oil should absorb well and leave you glowing, not greasy, which is exactly what this one does. Featuring a subtle natural scent, this is a blend of Peach Kernel, Sweet Almond, Grape Seed, Baobab, Argan and Jojoba oils with Olive Oil unsaponifiables and added Vitamin E. The 100% natural face oil is best used gently pressed into the skin after your serum and delivers a dose of Omega oils that are great all-rounders for keeping skin looking and feeling supple and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Nakin Revitalising Face Oil

Overall I'm really pleased with all three of the Nakin products I've tried, but my favourite has to be the cleansing milk; it's just such a joy to use and I love its thick, rich consistency. To find out more and check out these lovely natural products for yourself, click on over to www.nakinskincare.com.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Beauty Shopping in Covent Garden

This is a collaborative blog post.

Covent Garden is a pretty special corner of London; not only are there brilliant museums, incredible restaurants and great hotels in Covent Garden, but it's also a fantastic shopping destination for beauty enthusiasts such as myself. If you've not visited in recent years, you might be surprised to know that Covent Garden has emerged as one of London's favourite destinations for beauty shopping and the eclectic vibe of the area extends to the plethora of beauty stores on offer. There's a brilliant mix of designer beauty destinations, niche skincare and makeup shops and pop up stores so virtually every taste and budget is catered for.

It had been a while since I'd properly explored all that Covent Garden has to offer so I recently   ventured to the West End to have a little explore, with my mum and toddler along for the ride.

It's not often I find myself in a designer beauty boutique so the lure of Dior, Tom Ford and Chanel's dedicated beauty spaces were kind of hard to resist. To be honest, this first stop was pretty much just about immersing myself in a little luxury, plus I needed to inspect Chanel's Baume Essentiel (in Transparent) in the flesh since basically falling in love with it via a few blogger's reviews. Let's just say it didn't disappoint and may well be one for the birthday/ Christmas wish list.

Next stop was Charlotte Tilbury, which I'll start by saying is a totally different experience to visiting a CT concession in a department store. This place is called a Beauty Boudoir for a reason; it's all red velvet chairs and light-framed mirrors, very glamorous and vintage and gorgeous. A definite must-visit if you're in Covent Garden (I repurchased my beloved Hollywood Glow, one of the most impressive bits of makeup I've tried in recent years).
All this beauty browsing had us working up an appetite pretty quickly so we opted for an early lunch. There are so many places to grab a quick bite (and an array of lovely restaurants perfect for long, lazy lunches) but I've always wanted to visit the iconic Shake Shack so we indulged in a quick burger and fries. I had the mushroom burger, which was much tastier than it sounds, while mum enjoyed the chicken burger and all three of us partook in a generous portion of cheesy crinkley fries, which were particularly appreciated by my little boy.

After lunch we followed our noses to some classic fragrance retailers including Molton Brown, Floral Street and Penhaligon's (which you can smell in the air long before it comes into view!).
Africology is a brand and store I hadn't actually heard of before but the spa-like scent wafting from the shop definitely had us interested.
The small but perfectly formed shop has shelves of natural skincare, bath, body and wellness products and I felt we couldn't leave without a souvenir or two so picked up some incredibly scented bath salts and a pillow spray.
Of course our excursion to Covent Garden wouldn't be complete without visiting the amazing new Boots concept store. Opened in June this year, the revamped Boots stocks all the usual brands as well as newer offerings including Fenty and Urban Decay and has a strong focus on wellness and sustainability. The new flagship features a whole host of exciting innovations and even has a Rehydration Station to refill your water bottle. I really loved exploring in here and picked up a few bits I hadn't come across before including a shampoo bar and an eco-friendly toothbrush for my son.
Boots Covent Garden

It's worth mentioning the Boots is open until 11pm every night (except Sunday where it closes at 6pm) so most evenings you can browse till your heart's content well after the sun has gone down.
It was really lovely to spend a few hours wandering around Covent Garden and we finished our day with a caffeine fix via seriously delicious iced lattes from Abuelo, a small, hip cafe on Southampton St that serves Aussie coffee.

Even though we packed so much into the day, we only scratched the surface of all that Covent Garden has to offer- not just in terms of beauty retailers, I'm talking things to see and do too! If you are a lover of all things beauty though, it might be worth knowing that Covent Garden is hosting the first ever London Beauty Week next month. Coinciding with Fashion Week, London Beauty Week is in partnership with the British Beauty Council and will take over Covent Garden's Piazza with a variety of special events. Special events aside, my visit to Covent Garden has reminded me what a special part of London it is and I'll leave this post here with one piece of advice- if you've never been, go!

The spending money for this blog post was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views and words are my own.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Weleda Week: Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash

(affiliate link) If I had to choose one shower gel or bath salt scent for the rest of my life, lavender would be it.
Its obviously a flower (herb?) long associated with relaxation and having a calming effect, which I would certainly say is true in my case. I know some people can't stand the smell but it's definitely one of my favourites. That said, I only appreciate a proper lavender fragrance, with that beautiful true lavender scent which is exactly what you get with Weleda's Lavender Creamy Body Wash.

Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash
Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash
This is a mild body wash that gently cleanses using Coco-Glucoside and Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate (surfactants derived from coconut oil and fruit sugars) and has a silky base of organic Sesame Seed Oil and Glycerin. Lavender Essential Oil is obviously a main player in the mix, giving the creamy body wash a soft, comforting scent that soothes mind and body.

Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash
Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash
I'm not sure what more I can say about this other than that it's a really worthwhile addition to any bathroom (provided you don't detest all things lavender) and is particularly welcome during a pre-bed shower or even added to bath water to help you relax.
Weleda Lavender Creamy Body Wash is £7.95 for 200ml at Look Fantastic.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Weleda Week: Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo

I think it's important that I begin this review by saying that the Weleda Oat Shampoo smells really good. I know that fragrance is a very subjective thing and this particular one is tricky to describe but I just feel like most people will enjoy the way this smells. Also, as if you would expect an oat shampoo ( or an oat anything, let's be real) to smell fantastic! Oats are just bland, beige little fibrous things some of us like to eat for breakfast aren't they? Apparently not, if this shampoo is anything to go by.

Weleda replenishing oat shampoo
Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo 
As it turns out, the humble oat is actually really good for your hair. This is because oats absorb silica in liquid form from the soil that the crops grow from, and silica is an important mineral that promotes healthy, shiny hair.
Phosphorus and Iron are also found in oats and are beneficial to the hair as, along with the silica, they smooth the hair cuticle, therefore reducing hair breakage and split ends.
Who knew?

Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo 

The shampoo has a Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate base, which is essentially an alternative to SLS made from vegetable oils and Disodium Coco Glucoside Citrate which is a Sugar Surfactant ideal for people with sensitive skin and scalps.
Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids ( a salt made from the fatty acid Lauric Acid and amino acids from oat proteins) is 4th on the inci list. I mention it's position on the inci as the higher an ingredient is on the list, the higher the percentage (hopefully that makes sense) and it's great to see a product marketed as an oat shampoo actually have oat as a vital component. You know when you see shampoos or body products with things like 'with lemon extracts' or worse, just called 'lemon shampoo' or 'lemon body lotion' (no idea why I'm using lemons as an analogy here) and then you look at the ingredients and lemon is listed right at the bottom, as if the bottle was once just in the same room as a lemon and that's it and you feel a tiny bit ripped off? There's none of that here. This is an oat shampoo and oats play a major role!
Weleda replenishing oat shampoo
Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo 
Using this shampoo is a slightly different experience to washing your hair with a typical SLS based shampoo (I don't have a problem with SLS as a side note) and the first time I used it my hair felt a little too clarified if you know what I mean. While it was still wet it felt quite stripped but bare in mind that I rarely actually use a conditioner after I shampoo (I prefer leave in conditioners) so that could have been a factor. Once it was dry, my hair went oily quite quickly and it didn't look or feel excellent by the next day. Not one to write off a product after one use, I persevered and washed with it again and things started looking up. Now I've used the shampoo four times and I'm really pleased; my hair is shiny and healthy looking with natural volume and it smells magnificent too.
Maybe the first wash was a bit weird because the formula was getting rid of some kind of build up left behind from my previous shampoo? Maybe I didn't rinse it out properly the first time round? Who knows. Either way, I think it's a lovely shampoo that's worth a shot whether you exclusively use natural products or not.
Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo is £11.95 for 190ml at Feel Unique.