Friday, 25 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #25

Diptyque Tuberose Candle
Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays etc etc ;) On Christmas Day the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar has given us a 70g Diptyque Tubereuse Candle. I think there were two different fragrances available but I'm happy with this - though to be honest I would be happy with any of Diptyque's fragrances. The scent throw of these candles and clever fragrance blends really make them stand out. This one is worth around £20 and you can find the 190g version of it at Liberty.
Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #24

Eve Lom Cleanser
Drawer number 24 holds a fabulous gift for Christmas Eve - a pot of the iconic Eve Lom Cleanser.
This is actually the first balm cleanser I ever tried nearly ten years ago and I remember how much I loved the ritual of following the little instruction sheet that came with it and massaging the balm in using the different techniques and then wiping it away with the warm damp cloth. It does contain mineral oil, but this balm doesn't cause me any issues whatsoever. It's quite nice to be reunited with a first love on Christmas Eve.
It's £55 for 100ml at Liberty here.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #23

Une Nuit a Bali Dry Shampoo
Drawer number 23 reveals Une Nuit a Bali Dry Shampoo. The dry shampoo is a 100% natural formula that you shake onto the hair rather than spray. The base of the dry shampoo is Rice Powder and the added fragrance is Ylang Ylang essential oil and Jasmine Absolute.
Naturally, I can not spot this on the Liberty site but it retails for 25 euro on the Une Nuit a Bali site here.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #22

Day 22 brings us a bar of soap. OK, so it's not just any old bar of soap, this is Liberty of London Soap. In other words, one of the fanciest bars of soaps you can possibly get your hands on. This particular soap is lavender and wild chamomile scented all wrapped up in Hera Liberty print paper. I knew the soap was somewhere in the calendar and I was considering popping it in somebody else's stocking but now that I've smelled it, I've decided to keep it for myself because I rather like washing with bars of soap (I'm old fashioned that way) and I fancy smelling like lavender and chamomile. I can't actually find this soap on the Liberty site but I think it retails for around £5.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #21

Surratt Lipslique in Hevyn

Monday the 21st of December reveals a tube of Surratt Lipslique in shade Hevyn. I may have already dug this out when the calendar first arrived because I was absolutely desperate to try it. It's unlike any lipstick I've tried before - it feels smooth and hydrating but it's impressively long lasting. Hevyn is a soft rose nude shade, a perfect colour choice to include in the advent calendar. The Lipslique is £22 at Liberty.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Christmas 2015 with Therapie Roques Oneil

Therapie by Roques Oneil is a brand that I have a lot of time for. From the uplifting and mentally stimulating effects of the Restore Aura Spray to the cult favourite Himalayan Detox Salts, Therapie is one of those suits-all brands with products that boast universal appeal. It's for this reason that Therapie products make fantastic stocking fillers and gorgeous presents that I for one would be more than happy to find under the tree on the 25th. For Christmas this year, Therapie have a beautiful collection of ready made gifts including the Love Me Kit, the Discover Me Kit and the Value Duo.

The Love Me Kit includes Joie Uplifting Bath Infusion, limited edition Love Candle, Cherish Skin Repair Serum and Awaken Skin Rehab Scrub. I have tried both the Cherish serum and Joie bath infusion and can report that both products are soothing, relaxing and undeniably luxurious. The Love Me Kit is £140.
Therapie Love Me Kit
Therapie Love Me Kit
The Discover Me Kit (not pictured) is £38 and features Boost Hair and Body Wash, Himalayan Detox Salts, Cherish Skin Repair Serum, Restore Aura Spray and Equilibrium Bath & Shower Essence. This little kit with 5 favourite products is a brilliant introduction to the brand.

The Value Duo includes a 100ml bottle of Restore Aura Spray and a generous 500g pouch of the coveted Bath Salts. The duo is £48 but worth £63.

Therapie Value Duo
Therapie Value Duo
Therapie also have a selection of minis at very reasonable price points that make great stocking fillers or secret Santa gifts (or a little something for yourself, obviously). I've had the chance to try a few of the minis including the Restore Aura Spray and they are such a great way to try out some products before investing in the full sizes. At the moment, Therapie have a special promotion in which they are offering a free 100g sachet of Himalayan Bath Salts with the purchase of 3 minis, so now is the perfect time to discover the brand.
You can find out more about the glorious brand that is Therapie Roques Oneil and shop the brand here.

Post contains samples.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #20

Dr Sebagh Serum Repair

I'm not going to lie- when I found out that the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar featured a bottle of Dr Sebagh Serum Repair, I did go through a few drawers to track it down. Once I knew it was in drawer 20, I was secretly applying it now and then. I'm glad I can now enjoy using it without any guilt!

This is the full sized 20ml bottle - you can find it at Liberty for £69 here.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #19

Omorovicza Facial Polisher
Today on Saturday the 19th we've got a tube of Facial Refining Polisher from Hungarian skincare brand Omorovicza. Containing natural pumice, the granular exfoliator is enriched with Marine Micro Algae, Hungarian Moor Mud and Fruit Acids. I'm looking forward to having a good scrub with this.
The full sized 100ml tube is £65 at Liberty.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #18

Drawer number 18 of the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar reveals a travel sized bottle of Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturiser. Suitable for all skins, the facial moisturiser contains Vitamin E, Chamomile, B5 and Fatty Acids and is supposed to be particularly good as a pre-makeup primer. The full sized 118ml version of Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturiser is £37 at Liberty.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #17

Today's beauty treat is a mini tube of Nars Audacious Mascara. Retailing at £21 for the full size, the wet formula and inky black shade create a dramatic look while the special lash-catching brush separates lashes. I have tried a sample of this before and while I think it's a decent mascara, I don't completely love it- I just find the formula to be a little wet and doesn't dry as quickly as I'd like. I love the pop of vivid red on the end of the tube and on the brush and the velvety feel of the tube though. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #16

Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo

Drawer number 16 reveals a cute travel sized bottle of Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo.
I have tried this particular shampoo before and I have to say I'm rather fond of its scrummy coconut scent and shine-imparting properties. Enriched with wheat proteins and wheat starch, the shampoo includes coconut oil and amino acids and is suitable for all hair types. If you like your hair to smell all tropical and coconut-ty, you'll want to try this one.
It's £16 for 250ml at Liberty.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal #15

Espa Pro Cleanser

Today in drawer number 15 we have a tube of Espa Optimal Skin ProCleanser. Espa is another brand I am yet to discover so the cleanser could be a brilliant introduction to the brand. The Optimal Skin ProCleanser contains Moringa Seed Extract, Jojoba Spheres and Pumpkin Enzymes to cleanse and exfoliant. It can be rinsed away or removed with a cloth/flannel or left on for 15 minutes as a mask. Really looking forward to trying this one. The full sized 100ml cleanser retails for £30 though I can't seem to spot it on Liberty online - here's a link the ProCleanser on the Espa site.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal Day #14

Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift

Today's surprise in drawer number 14 is a perfect Monday morning treat.Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift is an oil free under eye concealer and line filler that brightens and gently fills fine lines. I think this is a deluxe sample size rather than full size but I'm not 100% sure. I've tried a little bit on the back of my hand this morning and it blends away easily leaving a smooth, seamless finish. The Instant Eye Lift has rave reviews online so I'm looking forward to giving it a go under my actual eyes!
Retailing for £31, the full sized version of this is at Liberty.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal Day #13

Decleor Aroma Cleanse Tonifying Lotion

Today on Sunday the 13th, the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar treat is a bottle of Declèor Aroma Cleanse Essential Tonifying Lotion. I am not overly familiar with Declèor products so I'm glad to find the Tonifying Lotion in drawer 13 today. The paraben free lotion contains Neroli Essential Oil and Green Tea to protect and repair dehydrated and stressed out skin. I haven't used it yet but it smells beautiful.
This is a travel sized 50ml bottle but you can find the full sized 200ml bottle of the Tonifying Lotion at Liberty for £20. (Update: No longer available online at Liberty - Visit Decleor online instead)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #12

Kai Body Lotion

Today, in drawer number 12, there's a 50ml bottle of Kai Body Lotion. Not bad Liberty, not bad at all. I am familiar with Kai and first tried it about seven years ago when I was still in Australia so the exotic fragrance evokes all kinds of memories for me, like taking my dog to the beach and being with my friends in sunnier climes. It's nice then, to open up this little bottle of body lotion and have those memories come flooding back to me. Excuse me while I go and have a little happy cry. I have blogged about Kai roll on fragrance and Body Glow (my fave for summer - must remember to get some next year) which you can find here. Beware - the post is fairly ancient.
The Body Lotion is obviously scented with the stunning Kai fragrance and contains Shea Butter, Safflower Seed Oil and Apricot Kernal Oil and Fruit Extract.
The full sized version of Kai Body Lotion is £34 for 235ml at Liberty and you can find the 50ml size as part of the travel kit.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #11

Davines Hair Oil

On the 11th of December we've got a gorgeous hair oil from Italian brand Davines.
I like this oil for three reasons:
1. It smells delicious
2. It feel great
3. It's called a potion
That's right, a potion. Because I'm exceptionally immature, if a beauty product is labelled as a potion, I'm pretty much instantly sold.
Davines Ol Absolute Beautifying Potion is designed for 'all kinds of hair' (their words, not mine) and is essentially a fantastically scented hair oil with added silicones.
The calendar contains a 30ml travel size of the potion that features a Roucou Oil (rich in beta-carotene) base and can be used on both damp or dry hair. This will come in very handy for me because I like my hair to smell nice (and this stuff smells amazing) and I often go without conditioner, so a couple of little pumps of this through my lengths and ends will suffice I think.
The Absolute Beautifying Potion is part of Davines' Ol range which also includes a Shampoo, Conditioner, All in One Milk, Body Wash and Hand Balm.
Frustratingly I can't actually find this on the Liberty Website but I have found the full sized 135ml version on various sites for around £30 and the travel sized 50ml bottle for £18.15 from Fruugo.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

May Lindstrom Sample Box

May Lindstrom Sample Box

For me, the downside about being into skincare is that a lot of the products I'm interested in are a world away from what I can realistically afford. Yes, I am naughty sometimes and I do occasionally buy things I probably shouldn't and then justify it in my head with thoughts like 'I'm hormonal - it's cool' . In general though, there are usually more important things than my face that need funding.
May Lindstrom is one of those pricey but devastatingly covetable skincare brands that falls into the must-try-everything category but doing that is going to cost almost £600, so...nah. I have, however found a way that I can try everything from May Lindstrom that doesn't involve robbing a bank, selling a kidney or obtaining a new identity to evade debt collectors.
Enter the Alyaka May Lindstrom Sample Kit.

This nifty little kit from Alyaka features little decanted samples of the seven May Lindstrom products presented in a cute bright pink box. Products include:

  • May Lindstrom The good stuff - radiance oil 2ml
  • May Lindstrom The youth dew - hydrating facial serum 1ml
  • May Lindstrom The problem solver - correcting masque 3ml
  • May Lindstrom The clean dirt - cleansing clay  3ml
  • May Lindstrom The honey mud - gentle cleansing silk 2ml
  • May Lindstrom The blue cocoon - beauty balm concentrate 1ml
  • May Lindstrom The jasmine garden - botanical mist 2ml
May Lindstrom Sample Box
May Lindstrom Sample Box

So these samples are teeny tiny and obviously won't last you long but I think it's a brilliant way to really discover a brand and decide if you'd invest in the full sized products. The box costs £22 with free delivery - this may seem a lot but it's a heck of a lot cheaper than dishing out the big bucks for a product you've never tried and may not actually like all that much. The real kicker with this sample kit is that you receive a code with it that essentially refunds you if you choose to buy something from the brand. So, for example if I wanted to go ahead and purchase The Blue Cocoon (which is currently being all lovely and melty on my face as I type), I would get £22 off. Not a bad deal if you ask me.
I received the box today and have so far tried out The Problem Solver mask (which used up the whole pot), The Good Stuff Radiance Oil, The Jasmine Garden Mist (still a good couple of uses left in it) and The Blue Cocoon, which I think has two or three more uses left in it. So I've had a nice little pamper and don't fill sick for spending a lot of money, because I haven't.
Alyaka also do sample boxes of a range of other brands but you can find the May Lindstrom one here. *Edit- Nov '16: I'm not sure Alyaka are still stocking May Lindstrom though it could be temporary/ they've run out of stock.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #10

Deborah Lippmann Stronger

Today's Liberty beauty treat is a fantastically sparkly nail polish by Deborah Lippmann.
Retailing at £18, the nail polish in shade 'Stronger' is infused with green tea and biotin and is pretty much an instant disco for your nails. Created in collaboration with Kelly Clarkson (hence the name), Stronger looks high in glitter density, which is just what I want - if you're gonna go glittery, you may as well go full-on glittery, right? Perfect for New Years Eve or whenever you're feeling fancy. Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Stronger is at Liberty here.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo

Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo

I don't always wash my hair with a pot of salty mush, but when I do, I use Big shampoo by Lush.
I love an accidental rhyming opening sentence almost as much as I enjoy using this shampoo.
Sure, it feels kind of strange to lather up my hair with something grainy, but like most things in life, after you've done it the first time, it gets easier.

Lush Big Shampoo is created with a Seaweed Infusion (Toothed Wrack to be exact), Organic Lemon, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Lime Juice, Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute, Orange Flower Absolute, Limonene and a fair amount of Coarse Sea Salt. It also contains Mandarin and Neroli oils and a couple of synthetic ingredients including Sodium Laureth Sulfate (for the suds), Lauryl Betaine, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone and Perfume.

The volumising shampoo actually does volumise - mainly down to the huge amount of sea salt and makes my hair feel soft and lovely and not greasy in the slightest, which surprised me because of the addition of coconut oil.
To use the shampoo, you just scoop some out (you don't need much) and rub it onto your scalp and hair to get a nice frothy lather going. This part can be a bit perilous because some of the shampoo is definitely going to end up in your bath/ down the plughole before it has a chance to do anything. It's OK though, there are worse things that can end up in your bath.
Rinsing the shampoo out is easier than expected (for me anyway) and it takes virtually the same amount of rinsing time as a more traditional shampoo.
The shampoo smells absolutely beautiful - the vanilla absolute stands out the most to me - and the scent lingers in my hair for a good day or so after I've used it.
The only downside of Big Sea Salt shampoo for me is the price point, but this is Lush we're talking about here and we all know their products aren't exactly cheap and cheerful. Cheerful? Yes. But cheap? Naaaah.
I have the medium sized pot of Big which is £12.75 for 330g but you can buy 100g for £6.75 or a bumper 600g for £21.50.
You can find out more about Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo here.

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #9

Margaret Dabbs Nail and Cuticle Serum

Award-winning foot specialist Margaret Dabbs has her Sole Spa on the lower ground floor of Liberty. Today on the 9th I get to try out one of her products in the comfort of my own home in the form of this - Margaret Dabbs Nail and Cuticle Serum.
Designed to strengthen, protect and hydrate nails and cuticles, the serum contains Emu Oil and Tea Tree Oil that work to help prevent common nail and cuticle infections.
The formula is supposed to be perfect for weak, damaged or flaky nails as it helps to repair and 're-adhere' nails back onto the nail bed.
I'm pleased to find this in drawer number 9 today because I've recently started growing my fingernails again and need all the help I can get!
Inside the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar is the full sized 15ml Margaret Dabbs Nail and Cuticle Serum - you can find it at Liberty for £12 here and find out more about the Sole Spa here.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

L'Occitane Christmas Gifts - My Picks

L'occitane is one of my favourite brands all year round, but at Christmas they really up their game and release gift sets that are both beautifully presented and exceptionally good value.
There is such a huge range of gifts to choose from this year so instead of listing them all here, I've picked my top five favourites that I'd love to give (or find under the tree) on the 25th.

Delicious Almond Collection £49
L'Occitane 'do' almond so well don't they? Not too sweet or sickly, just nutty and delicious. This set features one of my favourite L'Occitane products of all time - Almond Shower Oil, as well as the Almond Milk Concentrate, Almond Delicious Soap, Almond Delicious Hands and a little bottle of Almond Supple Skin Oil - something I am very, very interested to try (just in case you're reading this, Rich). All these almond goodies come packaged in a L'Occitane gift box, ready to take pride of place under the tree.

Pamplemousse Rhubarbe Tantalising Collection £55
I haven't actually tried anything from the relatively new Pamplemousse Rhubarbe range but I like the name of it and I like rhubarb, so that's a start. Featuring a Pamplemousse Rhubarbe Eau de Toilette, Body Milk, Shower Gel and Scented Soap, this collection would be a great introduction to this grapefruit and rhubarb scented range.

Cade Grooming Collection £52
For the man in your life (or for yourself, if you happen to be a man), this beautifully presented gift contains the brand's best selling male scent. As well as a 100ml bottle of Cade Eau de Toilette, the ready-made present features a Shower Gel for Body and Hair, Shaving Gel and After Shave Balm.
Sweet Honey Bath £9.50
The perfect gift for a Secret Santa and equally as good for stuffing stockings, the Sweet Honey Bath gift features a 100g Honey Bonne Mere Soap (best scent) and a gorgeous porcelain soap holder.

Sweet Candied Fruit Home Duo
The scent of dried fruit, honey, caramel and vanilla make this a very festive little gift set. Containing a tinned candle (which boasts outstanding scent-throw by the way) and a room spray, this duo will make a gourmand scent lover very happy indeed.

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Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #8

Aurelia Miracle Cleanser
In the 8th drawer, we've got a pretty little travel sized tube of Aurelia probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser and a bamboo muslin cloth. Designed to be applied to a dry face, the cream formula contains Baobab (rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9), Hibiscus, Kigelia Africana - a tree that grows fruit that looks like sausages but have antibacterial properties - and a unique blend of oils.
Oils include Chamomile, Bergamot, Rosemary and Eucalyptus, with the Eucalyptus scent being the most noticeable to me. Featuring a Glycerin, Shea Butter and Cocoa Seed Butter base, the cleanser feels nourishing on the skin and removes easily with a warm, damp muslin cloth.
A full sized 120ml pot of the Miracle Cleanser with a bamboo muslin cloth is £34 at Liberty here.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #7

c.o. bigelow rose salve

Happy Monday! Hiding away in draw number 7 of this glorious advent calendar is the C.O Bigelow Rose Salve. The full sized tin houses the rosiest, loveliest salve that can be used on everything from your lips to your toes. Patrolatum (like Vaseline) and Lanolin based, the salve contains '9% Rose Extract' and has  a proper, true rose scent, which I personally like quite a lot. The C.O Bigelow Rose Salve is £8.50 at Liberty and shall be spending the winter at my bedside and in my coat pocket.

The Hottest Fashion Trends of 2016

Guest Post by Kelly Dunning from TRULY Experiences
The Hottest Fashion Trends of 2016

Fashion changes quickly and the most passionate trend setters are always on the cutting edge, seeking out the newest and hottest looks of the season. In this ever changing world, what are the most exciting styles that will be in vogue this coming year? TRULY Experiences take a look at some of the hottest fashion trends of 2016:

70s Style Suede
There has been a passionate look back to the 70s recently and a lot of love on the runways for retro inspired looks. Some of the hottest designers, including Olivier Rouesteing, Rebecca Minkoff and Alberta Ferretti have been sending beautiful suede pieces down the runway this year. Suede is a gorgeous fabric with a lovely touchable texture and a great look.

Lightweight Denim
How about some light denim for 2016 for a polished yet casual spring look? There have been a lot of lightweight denim pieces in the clothing collections for spring 2016. Take a look at the stylish and trendy pieces that are featured in the collections of Jil Sander Navy, Opening Ceremony, Gabriela Hearst, Suno and others. You’ll look right on trend in 2016 with lightweight denim skirts, shirts, jean dresses and much more.

Victorian Inspired Clothing

In 2016 you might notice that a lot of visual details from the Victorian era are coming into vogue, from puffy sleeves to high collar necklines to ruffles and much more. Don’t worry, full petticoats are not coming into fashion - but there will be sweet and classy Victorian details incorporated into modern fashions for an elegant and romantic look.

The Flat Mule
When it comes to shoe trends, one of the hottest trends at the moment is the flat mule. Thank goodness, as these beautiful yet cosy shoes are so much more comfortable to wear than spiky stiletto heels! Mules of this type have been seen on the runway in a range of different colours, fabrics and designs.

When you take a look at the fashions for 2016 you’ll see plenty of netting material, from net shirts to skirts to dresses and much more. Whether it is a fine mesh or a larger netting pattern, this material is often layered over other fabrics but can also be worn on its own for a sexy see through look.

Lingerie Inspired Fashions
Sexy lingerie inspired pieces such as silk nightgowns, lacy teddies and corsets that are usually seen in the bedroom are getting their day in the sun. These sultry and sensual pieces have been seen in the collections of Calvin Klein, Wes Gordon and Alexander Wang.

These are just a few of the hottest trends that you will see in fashion in the coming year. Embrace them, add them to your wardrobe and experiment with wearing them in new and stylish ways. Fashion is always changing, so be at the cutting edge and wear the hottest trends.

Kelly Dunning is a fashion expert at TRULY Experiences, who provide unique presents for women, and luxury gift experiences for him.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #6

Today's Liberty treat is a 40ml tube of Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel. I've tried various bath oils from Aromatherapy Associates before but never a muscle gel and never this blend.
The gel is a soothing concoction of Rosemary, Ginger and Black Pepper pure essential oils and 'aromatic waters'.
Easily absorbed, the gel is designed to be massaged into tired muscles or joints and provides fast, effective relief. Sorry I just sounded a bit like a painkiller advertisement, but I digress.
To me, the scent of lavender is the strongest (it contains lavender water) and it could easily be marketed as a lavender product. The gel is ideal for rubbing into your legs after strenuous activity (such as braving Oxford St at this time of the year) as well as massaging into shoulders and neck after staring at a computer screen all day. Overall a nice little product that feels cooling and warming all at once, if that's possible. The full size version of Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Gel is £24 for 150ml here.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #5

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I love a powdered exfoliant so I was pretty happy to find Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant hiding away in the 5th drawer of the calendar.
Dermalogica are just a good, reliable brand aren't they? Not a lot of faff and nonsense going on, just great, trusted products that have been around and raved about for years.
I think I last tried the Microfoliant during a Dermalogica facial many, many years ago back in Australia, so I'm pleased to have my own little container of it now.
Free from any artificial colours or fragrances, the Microfoliant contains Salicylic Acid, Rice Enzymes and Papain (papaya enzyme) to exfoliate and brighten.
To use the exfoliator, you just dispense about half a teaspoonful into wet palms to make a creamy paste and then apply to a clean face with gentle circular motions before rinsing away.
It's marketed as being gentle enough to use every day but I think this would really depend on how sensitive your skin is.
The calendar contains generous travel sized bottle of Daily Microfoliant and the full sized 75ml bottle is £42 at Liberty.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #4

Hourglass Film Noir Mascara

Today's surprise is a sample sized Hourglass Film Noir Mascara in shade Onyx. 
I'm yet to actually try the mascara, but I have much love for the Ambient Lighting Palette from Hourglass so I'm hoping this will be impressive too.
The Film Noir Mascara features a triple-cut 'hourglass' shaped brush (I see what they did there) and a richly pigmented formula with Pro-Vitamin B5 and polymers. The formula is also gluten free, if that's important to you.

I like the sleek packaging of the Hourglass Film Noir Mascara and I'm interested to see how it will fare against my current go-to mascara; Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme.
The full sized version of this decadent looking little mascara is £25 from Liberty here.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal- Day #3

The 3rd of December reveals a very unique fragrance from Escentric Molecules. The fragrance is (fittingly) Molecule 03 and is fresh, earthy and unlike anything I've sniffed before.
It's also the complete opposite of the girly, gourmand fragrances I usually gravitate toward.
A unisex scent, Molecule 03 is based around the green, woody fragrance of vetiver. It's pretty intense, packs a decent punch and is very sexy indeed.
I've not tried the previous two fragrances from Escentric Molecules but I'm keen to give them a spritz after smelling the grassy goodness of this one.
Drawer number 3 of the calendar features a 30ml travel sized bottle of Molecule 03 and the full sized 100ml bottle is £69.50 at Liberty here.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #2

Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash

For December 2nd we've got a travel sized Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash.
The Moroccan Rose range is probably Ren's most well known (and well loved) bath and body collection - with good reason. Like the other products in the Moroccan Rose range, the shower gel has a beautiful true-rose scent and contains palmarosa oil, geranium oil and of course rose otto oil. The body wash has won InStyle's Best Body Wash 10 years in a row, so that's some indication about how brilliant it is.
The Calendar contains a 50ml bottle but the full sized 200ml version is a reasonable £18, considering it is a luxury product. You can find Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash here.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar Reveal - Day #1

Happy December 1st! Because I was very kindly given the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar this year, I thought I'd try to post a reveal every day leading up to Christmas, to show which goodies are hiding in the lovely Liberty print drawers. I'm doing this as if you hadn't googled the contents in a frenzy when it was first released.

This is, without a doubt, the most impressive (and largest) advent calendar I've ever owned and it's brimming with all kinds of miniature and full sized beauty bits.

I'm not going to pretend I haven't had a sneaky look inside (all of) the drawers but now that it's December, I can open a drawer a day and actually use the products completely guilt free and without the fear of being caught by my boyfriend.
Byredo Blanch Hand Cream

Today's Liberty gift is a 30ml tube of Byredo Parfums hand cream. Worth an impressive £23, the shea butter based hand cream is thick, luxurious and very heavily scented. I received the 'Blanche' fragrance, but I have seen that people had all kinds of different fragrances in their calendars.
Blanche is a pretty gorgeous scent so I'm very happy it was hiding in my advent calendar.
Blanch has top notes of White Rose, Pink Pepper and Aldehyde, Violet, Neroli and Peony at the heart and base notes of Sandalwood, Blonde Woods and Musk.
It's a clean, pretty scent and the hand cream's formula is thick yet non greasy.
You can find Byredo Parfums hand creams at Liberty here.

Monday, 30 November 2015

May Lindstrom - The Honey Mud Cleansing Silk

may lindstrom honey mud cleansing silk

I often write about wanting to eat beauty products but this one takes the cake. See what I did there? Food. May Lindstrom The Honey Mud Cleansing Silk is quite simply the most scrumptiously scented cleanser or mask I have ever had the pleasure of sniffing. Fact.
Not only does it smell like an indulgent chocolatey-caramel pudding, but it looks like one too. You know those wobbly, calorific treats cleverly disguised as 'yoghurts' that you find in the dairy aisle? The Honey Mud Cleansing Silk is pretty much one of those. Except it's packed full of ingredients designed to feed your skin rather than your belly box.

The Cleansing Silk contains raw honey, white clay, plant oils and butters that combine to create a luxurious cleanse that exfoliates, decongests and nourishes. In case you were wondering (which I was), the difference between 'raw' honey and normal honey is that raw honey still has all of its natural enzymes, nutrients and anti-fungal properties intact. This is because raw honey still contains pollen, whereas more often than not, your average store bought honey has had the pollen filtered out. Every day's a school day...

The Cleansing Silk is designed to be used as either a cleanser or a mask - because it's clay based, the formula dries if you apply a thin layer and leave it for five minutes or so.
As a cleanser, I feel that it does a pretty decent job and it feels very, very nice on the skin. To use, you just scoop out a little dollop with your finger tip, spread over your face (wet or dry - I prefer it on dry skin), work it in gently using circular motions and then rinse. Now, while this cleanser does rinse away easily, I have trouble just rinsing it off of my face because I am such a cloth cleanser type, so I use a flannel or a muslin cloth afterwards to remove any traces that might be left behind.

I need to mention the consistency of the honey mud cleanser because it's just so weird. Weird in a good way of course. It's deceptively thick, almost like smooth peanut butter and has an almost putty-like quality. By this I mean, when you scoop some out, what's left in the jar 'self smoothes' and the surface evens itself out again. If that makes sense.

Holy mackerel I love this stuff.
May Lindstrom The Honey Mud Cleansing Silk is £64 for 100ml from Cult Beauty. The pot you see in my picture is a much smaller sample size.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

L'Occitane Black Soap

It's not often that I feel like blogging about soap (unless it comes from Lush, obviously) but this one is a little bit different. L'Occitane Black Soap has been available for a good few months now and it's proved to be a very popular addition to the Aromachologie range.
loccitane black soap review

I love balm- type products so I knew when I first saw the black soap in a L'Occitane store it would only be a matter of time before it took pride of place in my bathroom.
Because I'm a bit impulsive (just a tad), I took this home without even looking inside the tin so it really was a complete surprise once I opened it up and was met with the sight of semi-transparent black balmy sludge stuff and the scent of eucalyptus.

The black soap is essentially an olive oil based paste ('paste' sounds marginally more pleasant than 'sludge') with the addition of eucalyptus essential oil and is part of the L'Occitane 'Rebalancing' collection. The Rebalancing collection also includes a massage cream, exfoliating shower gel, bath infusion and a face mask but there's just something a bit extra special about the soap that got a lot of people interested.

Because of the consistency of the soap, it took me a while to figure out the best way to use it. I realise how ridiculous this sounds. My fail safe method is just to scoop a little bit out with my finger and spread it over wet skin before going to town with the loofah and getting all sudsy. It leaves me feeling clean but maybe wanting a little more in terms of fragrance? It just smells like eucaplyptus really, which is lovely of course but the scent doesn't tend to linger on my skin once I've rinsed the soap off. I suppose the fact that the scent doesn't stick around makes it suitable for pretty much everyone, after all, eucalyptus is quite a medicinal scent and might not be the kind of thing you want to walk around smelling of (especially for those of us who grew up in Australia with parents who used eucalyptus oil to remove ticks from the dogs). That said, if you're feeling a bit under the weather or as if you're coming down with a case of the winter lurgies, the eucalyptus in the black soap should help you breathe a little easier, which is never a bad thing.

Overall, I do enjoy using the L'Occitane soap. It is quite refreshing and sort of fun to use and has garnered a load of positive feedback on the L'Occitane website. As an end note - L'Occitane advise that you use the soap once or twice a week as a treatment, which I don't really adhere to. To me, it's just soap - and a pretty good one at that.

L'Occitane Black Soap is £16 in store and online.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Champneys Cracker Collection

champneys christmas crackers review

Christmas crackers are such a pretty way to present gifts aren't they? You can just pop them under the tree as ready wrapped presents or add them to your Christmas table setting for an extra special touch. Over the years we've seen quite a few brands get on board with this festive concept but what really stood out to me with this Champneys offering is the value, quality and affordable price point.

The Champneys Cracker Collection is only £10 and includes four large crackers in a pastel colour scheme, each containing a 50ml product - perfect for splitting up and using as stocking fillers or secret santa gifts or of course just keeping the packaging intact and gifting the whole thing.

This set was actually my first taste of what Champneys have to offer and the rich scents and perfectly pampering feel of the products have now made me understand why this is such a well loved and respected brand.
champneys christmas crackers review

Inside the crackers:
Heavenly Day Relaxing Shower Cream
A calming shower cream infused with the relaxing scents of geranium, lavender and chamomile.
Summer Dream Rewarding Shower Gel
A rich shower gel with summer fruit fragrances Grapefruit, Orange and Lemon Peel oils combine with Peach, Mango and Passionfruit scents rounded off with a touch of Sandalwood. Zingy and refreshing, especially for this time of year!
Citrus Blush Enlivening Shower Gel
A zesty shower gel with Mandarin, Lemon Oil and Cardamom.
Citrus Blush Enlivening Body Lotion
A refreshing blend of Mandarin, Lemon Oil and Cardamom with a Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E base.
champneys crackers

Champneys have also created a range of gift sets and hampers to suit virtually any budget this Christmas including:  The Bag of Delights (£12) which features three body butters and a body soufflé. Bubble Heaven (£16) that includes three delicious Bath Soaks. The Relaxation Hamper that's brimming with bath and body goodies and a candle and socks! (£60)  - and the Bath Basket Collection (£30) that includes a Bubble Heaven, Shower Cream, Body Lotion, Face Cloth and Towel.
Personally I have my eye on this Luxury Throw (£25), probably because it looks so warm and fluffy and it's freakishly freezing right now.
champneys luxury throw

The Champneys Cracker Collection and all of their other gifts are available at Boots in store and online.

Post contains sample

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Kahina Fez Perfume and Body Serum

I'm a mega fan of the Kahina Giving Beauty brand. I was first introduced to the natural brand via their iconic Argan Oil back in 2012 (which was actually the first oil I ever intentionally put on my face!), then I sampled Kahina Prickly Pear Seed Oil and now I've had the pleasure of experiencing the Fez Body Serum and Fez Perfume Oil.
Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum

The Body Serum was recently featured in a Vogue edit of Top 10 Body Oils and now that I've tried it myself, I totally get it. Fez Body Serum is a clever concoction of skin nourishing goodness with an aroma-therapeutic edge that is equal parts unusual and beautiful.  The serum features key moisturising ingredient Argan Oil combined with Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil and Watermelon Seed Oil for an exceptional dose of hydration.
Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Body Serum

The formula is finished off with a blend of steam distilled essential oils to calm, relieve stress and stimulate circulation.
Oils include:
Vetiver Root, Clove, Rosemary, Cumin, Geranium, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Pink Grapefruit, Neroli, Lemon Myrtle and Rose.

The oils combined create an exotic, spicy and sort of smoky aroma to evoke the Moroccan city of Fez. Think earthy and smoked with a hint of sweetness and a touch of citrus and you're half way to knowing what I'm trying to describe here. I admit, when I first tried a little of the Fez Serum on my hand I was a bit confused about the scent. I didn't know how I felt about it, simply because I'd never smelled a body product quite like it. However, after smoothing it over still damp skin after an evening shower, it was a whole different experience altogether and I now love the depth, complexity and comfort of the aroma.

Fez Perfume Oil was created after the serum (because feedback on the fragrance of the serum was so good!) and features the same smoky, mysterious scent as its predecessor. Featuring a certified organic Jojoba Seed Oil base, the perfume is presented in a weighty 15ml recyclable violet glass bottle with a rollerball applicator, making it conveniently handbag/ clutch/ pocket friendly. Inspired by Moroccan tiles, the outer packaging was designed by Amira Marion of Brooklyn based textile company Archive New York, for an extra special touch.
Kahina Giving Beauty Fez Perfume Oil

The perfume oil is a concentrated blend of the steam distilled oils found in the Fez Body Serum and has rather exceptional staying power. It just lasts and lasts and then lasts some more really. To me, this is a real cold weather fragrance. It's earthy and cosy and sexy and comforting all at the same time. I don't know how that's possible but it is. One of the reviews on the Kahina website had me giggling and agreeing at the same time- "It's not 'pretty' or 'floral' - rather it's spicy and earthy with a side of 'let's make out.'

Yep. That pretty much sums up Kahina Fez.
The Fez Body Serum is £85 for 200ml (the one I have is a travel sized 30ml bottle) and the Fez Perfume Oil is £67 for 15ml which I can see lasting me a good while.
You can find Kahina Giving Beauty at

Post contains samples

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Dr PawPaw Balms

Dr PawPaw Balms

If you grew up in Australia, it's almost a given that you used pawpaw ointment at some point. My mum and every other mum I knew used it on our mosquito bites, knee scrapes and pretty much everything else until we grew up and found other, more fun uses for the ointment. PawPaw balm is one of those things I always had in my glovebox, first aid kit and handbag and used it for everything from a lip balm, to a cracked heels treatment and as a quick eye brow tamer.
PawPaw is making quite an impression on the UK market these days too, most notably in the form of Dr PawPaw.

Dr PawPaw was co founded by an Aussie here in the UK with the intention of making PawPaw ointments more readily available over here and so Dr PawPaw was born! Dr PawPaw balms are created and distributed in the UK but still retain the same qualities of their Australian counterparts - packed with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
The base of the unscented balm is, you guessed it - PawPaw. A nutrient rich fruit, PawPaw contains a load of vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which aid in skin repair (hence their inclusion in first aid kits). These ingredients also add moisture and have a smoothing and tightening effect on the skin.
Dr PawPaw balms also contain Olive Oil, which is anti-inflammatory and moisturising and Aloe Leaf Juice which retains and restores moisture, promotes cell regeneration, can minimise the appearance of pores and is cleansing and toning. Phew.

Like the balms I grew up with, Dr PawPaw formulas also contain medicinal grade Petrolatum and Potassium Sorbate as a preservative.

The real kicker with Dr PawPaw balms and what I think really sets them apart, is the fact that they have two tinted balms available, so you can have a kick of colour and still enjoy the benefits of the balm. Its a little bit innovative really!

I have the original balm, which is good for putting pretty much anywhere and is particularly handy as our extremities start to dry out and go a little nuts as we get closer to Christmas and the two tinted versions - Peach Pink and Ultimate Red.
Dr PawPaw Review

Both balms provide a nice wash of colour and I was surprised by how densely pigmented they are. Ultimate Red reminds me a little bit of Benefit's Benebalm/ Benetint in terms of colour and the pink is very pretty and feminine. I think the pink might be my favourite which is odd for me as I'm such a red lipstick girl but I'm fond of this shade and think it would look pretty great against tanned skin.
The tinted balms can be used on the cheeks too (or anywhere really) for a quick pop of subtle colour.

You can find Dr PawPaw Original and Tinted Balms here for £6.95 each.

Post contains sample

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

4 Ways to Feel a Little Bit Better this Winter

Autumn is well and truly here in the UK and soon it will give way to winter. Personally, these two seasons are my favourite and cold weather is still a bit of a novelty to me- after all I did grow up in Queensland, which is warm for 98% of the year! The distinct lack of sunshine lately can be a bit of a downer though can't it?
Since I moved to London nearly 6 years ago I've gradually devised my own plan of attack to make myself feel just a little bit more human when the days start getting shorter and the temperature starts falling to single digits. They're probably very obvious tips, but I digress...

Run a Bath
And stay in it. For as long as it takes. Cold weather is the best excuse to laze about in a deep, bubbly bath. Adding an uplifting bath oil, such as Aromatherapy Associates' Revive Morning Bath and Shower Oil gives you a little bit of a mental boost while you soak. Otherwise, add your favourite Lush bath bomb (go for an amazing colourful one for added happiness) and watch it fizz and bubble. I like to apply a face mask while I'm in the bath too. If I'm feeling a bit bleugh I reach for something exfoliating for a bit of glow, like Nude Skincare Miracle Mask.

Get Outside
Even if it's snowing or blowing a gale. Going outside usually makes me feel better and it's especially important if you work from home. It may sound silly but I actually quite enjoy getting caught in a sudden downpour - it sort of awakens my senses and refreshes me, even if it does ruin my hair and destroy my makeup. Just take yourself on a little walk to the shops or to the park if you're lucky enough to live close enough to one. If you have a dog, that's even better, you can take him/ her along too. If you don't have a dog (but you like dogs, obviously) borrow one from a friend. If you have no friends (which I'm almost certain you do) or your friends don't have dogs, try a pet-lending scheme like Borrow My Doggy. I've heard great things about it.

Make your Bedroom your Sanctuary
Turn your bedroom into the cosiest nesting place possible. We like our beds the most when it's cold so put in a little extra effort to make it your own personal kingdom of snoozery. Get yourself a lovely room spray or pillow mist for extra comforting goodness. I've tried everything from Boots own brand to Neom and all have given me the same warm and fuzzy feeling. Try a lovely aromatherapy candle for your bedroom too - even if it just sits on your bedside table unlit, if it's a good one you should still be able to smell it slightly as you drift off.  As a side note, try to separate where you sleep from where you stress as much as possible. I'm not going to say anyone should eliminate all technology from their bedrooms - I know I can't get to sleep unless I've got Law and Order on (shhh)- but just say no to things like bills and work emails. That kind of junk has no right to be in your place of sleep.

Invest in a SAD Lamp
Lamps and lights to relieve the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are increasingly popular and now that I actually have one of my own, I can understand why. They come in all different sizes and strengths and I've come across a variety to suit pretty much any budget. The theory is that the white or blue light emitted by the lamps improves well being, especially when there is such a distinct lack of natural light. I have a small one from Tesco that I tend to turn on at about 3pm when it starts to get dark and so far it has reduced eye strain and generally kept me awake so I can finish work! So not a bad thing by any means. I've read that people use SAD lights in the morning when they're eating breakfast to give themselves a boost first thing while others just keep theirs on all day while they go about their business. Tesco seem to have sold out of the SAD lamp that I have, but you can find it here.

How do you stay happy and positive in Autumn/ Winter? Tips welcome :)

Monday, 9 November 2015

Lush Yog Nog Soap

You know those rare occasions when your soap or shower gel is so moisturising that you can forgo moisturiser altogether once you're out of the shower? Lush Yog Nog is pretty much that. And a whole lot more.
Lush Yog Nog Soap

Now I know that Yog Nog is not a new Christmas release but I only tried it for the first time last night. Late to the party? Yes. Disappointed in myself for not trying it when it was released last Christmas? Bitterly disappointed. Bitterly.

Lush describe Yog Nog as: A creamy Christmas tipple of a soap made with moisturising soya yoghurt and a dash of spicy clove bud. Indulge your senses in a fudgy lather with ylang ylang, moisturising Fair Trade cocoa butter and stimulating nutmeg. Dusted with a generous amount of aromatic fair trade cocoa powder, after one wash you’ll be ready to don your best Christmas knitwear.

As is always the case with Lush, this description is pretty much spot on.
The creamy soya yoghurt base of the soap combined with nutmeg, clove and cocoa butter do all kinds of glorious things to my nostrils and evoke everything I love about Autumn/Winter and the festive season. The scent reminds me of spiced chai, crunchy leaves, Starbucks Eggnog Lattes with a hefty dollop of cream and all the Yankee Candles that smell like they're freshly baked and ready to eat. The scent lingers  for a while afterwards, so the party continues for a few hours after I've lathered up with it.
The consistency is just what you'd expect from a Lush soap- creamier and more melty than your average- I can almost feel my skin drinking it in. 
Also, just look at the design. LOOK.
lush yog nog soap

So festive. I think it's safe to say that Yog Nog has replaced Snow Fairy as my top Christmas product from Lush. Now I just need to get my hands on the bath bomb.
As a final note, Lush, if you are reading this (which you are almost certainly not) please make a Yog Nog body cream so I can smell like Christmas whenever I like. Thank you.