Tuesday, 20 December 2016

How to piss off a Hairstylist

Hairstylists spend a large number of hours in the salon and on their feet, working hard to help make their clients look and feel their best. They politely listen as clients ramble on and on about their lives and they proudly do it with a smile on their face. You’d think that there’s nothing that can get to these selfless hair magicians, but that notion is actually far from true.

To find out what truly irks them, Rosy Salon Software surveyed busy salon professionals and asked them to come up with their worst client offenses. Read on to find out if you are guilty of any of these cringe-worthy salon no-nos.

Late to the Party
The most common issue with surveyed salon pros involves clients who are always late. We’re not talking a single unavoidable situation but the habitually late-every-time person who is oblivious to the issue. That 10-minute tardiness in the beginning of the day can easily turn into being an hour or more behind by the end of the day.

Taking Their Time
One salon pro explained that they have a few clients who think it’s acceptable to wander in 10-20 minutes late for their appointment. Or have ones who take their time as they wander over to the salon chair, which delays the stylist from getting started on their hair. What’s worse is when they get upset when the service can’t be finished in what they feel is a timely manner.

The worst possible offense is to book an appointment and not show up, or to call last minute to cancel. It can be considered insulting to the stylist and is likely a financial burden to the salon owner. Most salons schedule their clients based on specific increments of time and a cancellation or no-show means that they now have unbookable spots and lost revenue.

Personally Speaking
Clients can sometimes get a little too personal with their conversations while sitting in the chair. Many have admitted to torrid affairs, some asked for dates and /or made unwanted advances toward their stylists, while a few actually wanted to spark up a fling, despite the fact that their wives were also clients.

Rude ‘Tude
There’s always that one client who feels that the world revolves around them. They talk too loudly, push their beliefs and opinions on others, and don’t care if they offend anyone else in the salon. Don’t be THAT person! The entire salon thanks you!

Get to the Point
While over-explaining what you want can be unnerving, arriving to your appointment unprepared or having stacks of opposing hairstyle photos may make your hairstylist’s head explode. Instead, go for a quick, to-the-point description and just a few photos.

Expect Much?
Some clients can be very unrealistic with their hair expectations. everybody wants to look like their favorite celebrities but coming in with overly retouched pictures of thick, perfectly-placed tresses does not mean that your thin strands can or will look just like the picture.

In other cases, clients want to remove years of dark hair color and take their saturated strands to a pure platinum. What’s worse is that they expect to do it in one sitting with no yellow, or breakage! Oh my!

One stylist explained that a client was upset when they realized that root had to be touched up every several weeks and that the touch up service is not free!

One salon scenario involves a client coming in with a sample of hair for the stylist to use to color match, a common practice for color services. When asked where the clippings in the baggie came from, the client promptly pointed to her nether regions.

Oh My!
Taking pleasure from a great scalp massage at the shampoo bowl is one thing but moaning like a porn star is a definite no-no. It makes the situation very uncomfortable for anyone in earshot.

Overt Control
If you really want to piss off a seasoned hair pro, tell them how to do their jobs. Things like what tools to use, how to use them, how to layer hair or cut wispy fringe, etc. Oh, they so love that!

Expressive Encounters
Bouncing like a bobble-head doll or chattering away on your cell phone while sitting in the salon chair can really irk a hairstylist. When they are working on your hair, they need for you to remain somewhat still, otherwise your cut, color, eyebrows, or whatever, may not turn out quite the way you wanted. Nobody wants that!

No Thanks
Hairstylists thrive on positive feedback and hope that happy clients will express their satisfaction. Unfortunately, far too many stay silent or don’t leave a decent tip, or one at all. Just keep in mind that a hairstylist won’t be too eager to take another booking for you if you don’t at least say thanks.

Guest Post

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Hollywood Browzer

When I first read about the Hollywood Browzer I felt a bit intrigued and a little hesitant. Intrigued because, as a woman I've never had any kind of shaver near my face and afraid because it essentially looks like a Sweeney Todd-style cut throat razor. 

Ok, if I think back a few months I do recall seeing something on Huda Beauty's Instagram about a razor for women to use on their peach fuzz. You know that invisible hair that makes itself known only when you've just carefully applied a layer of foundation? That. I didn't think that as a female i could actually use a blade to get rid of anything more than the peach fuzz - after all, doesn't shaving make the hair grow back about a trillion times thicker? My mustache is already darker and more pronounced than I would like it so I'll be damned if I'm going to make that situation any worse! 
The Hollywood Browzer, however, is currently trying to convince me that razoring off my facial fuzz is not going to result in a full, Shoreditch-style beard. 
This nifty little gadget may look a little like a somewhat deadly cut throat, but in reality it's much less intimidating. The foldable device flips open to reveal a stainless steel-waffle coated blade with safety guards on each side. This design ensures that it doesn't cut or irritate the skin so you can go about your grooming business without fear of nicking your skin/lopping off any of your facial extremities.
After taking it out of the packet and staring at it for a bit, I decided to give it a go on my upper lip. To use the Hollywood Browzer, you hold it at the non-bladed end (obviously) at a 45 degree-ish angle and gently swipe across the hair. After doing this on my mustache I noticed two things:
  1. My upper lip suddenly felt and looked as smooth as after I've waxed the hell out of it.
  2. It's actually weirdly satisfying and quite fun to see all the little hairs on the blade.
After I'd de-stached I had a go on the peach fuzz (fun), sideburns (really fun) and, as the finale I gave my brows a little tidy up (instant gratification). It's really quite a brilliant little tool!
As an upper lip-waxer, I've become accustomed to expecting redness for a good few hours after the deed is done, so it felt like an actual treat to remove the hair and not have the irritation afterwards.
The Hollywood Browzer is not just for the face, you can use it to tidy up the back of a hairy neck as well as the stomach and bikini line. Though to be honest I think I'd need an industrial-sized one for that.
The Hollywood Browzer is £15 (for two razors and a travel pouch) and you can find it at hollywoodbrowzer.com 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Rodin Olio Lusso Lavender Absolute Body Oil

The Lavender body oil from Rodin is one of those beauty products that's almost too luxurious to use. Perfect for gifting, the yellow oil comes in a weighty 120ml glass bottle adorned with a pale purple label and packaged in a matching lavender tinted box. We all know it's what's inside that really counts though and this body oil manages to tick all the right boxes.

You know how lavender is one of those scents that can smell vastly different depending on the circumstances? Sometimes it smells fresh and earthy, sometimes it's distinctly floral and then occasionally you'll come across a lavender product that just smells a bit like disinfectant?

Well, I can confirm that Rodin's interpretation is pretty much spot on when it comes to what I think makes a great lavender scented beauty product- rich, natural and real. Rodin have blended their offering to perfection by combining warm and rich French Lavender Absolute with slightly herbaceous Bulgarian Lavender and mixing it seamlessly with Evening Primrose, Rosehip, Calendula Flower, Argan, Sunflower, Apricot, Sweet Almond and Jojoba oils.

The result? A luxurious, calming and altogether beautiful treat for the body. Applied to slightly wet skin after a bath or shower, this oil is like cocooning myself in a comforting blanket and has become a favourite pre-bedtime ritual that almost forces me to relax.
The Lavender Absolute Body Oil leaves the skin delicately scented - at first, the oil smells quite heady and earthy but the scent does dissipate a little to leave me (and my pyjamas) subtly scented.
Perfect for this time of year when I rather enjoy slathering my limbs (and growing bump) in rich creams and oils, this is also a perfectly trans-seasonal product that could add easily be used to add a little moisturising sheen to bare arms and legs come next June.

Rodin Olio Lusso Lavender Absolute Body Oil is £80 for 120ml at Panache Cosmetics.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Quick Black Friday Beauty Deals Round Up

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


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

Look Fantastic

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

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

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

Cult Beauty

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


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

Beauty Bay

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

Latest in Beauty

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

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

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

Post contains some affiliate links. It's cool if you don't want to click them :).

Monday, 14 November 2016

Secret Santa Gift Idea: Bobbi Brown Mini Mask Trio

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

bobbi brown mini mask trio

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

You can find the full size masks and Mini Mask Trio at John Lewis and Bobbi Brown online.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

EKIA // Organic Skincare with a Difference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post contains samples

Thursday, 3 November 2016

A'Kin Brightening Rosehip Oil with Vitamin C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post contains sample

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Intraceuticals Rejuvenation Infusion Facial at Lazeo Notting Hill

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

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

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

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

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

I was kindly offered this treatment for consideration

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Fragrance: Michael Buble - By Invitation

Ever since J-LO Glow took pride of place on every 18 year old girl's dresser in 2002, celebrity fragrances have scared me a little bit. I remember (to me) 'Glow' smelled quite a lot like cheap soap and I always felt like it got stuck in the back of my throat. *shudder*.
With this in mind, when I was very generously offered the chance to try a brand new celeb fragrance, I thought I knew what to expect. But do you know what? They say to expect the unexpected and the debut fragrance from Michael Buble is a prime example of this - after all, this is Michael Buble we're talking about here!

Let's start with the bottle - it's really lovely! The smooth, clean lines of the bottle are not unlike the designs of some of the seriously upmarket fragrance brands and the pull-off cap is a cute nod to traditional atomiser bottles. This is certainly one of those perfume bottles that deserves to be proudly displayed among your loveliest bits and pieces.
Michael Buble By Invitation

Now the most important bit - the fragrance itself.  The result of Michael Buble's collaboration with leading French perfumer Karine Dubreuil-Sereni, By Invitation is filed under the 'Floral Oriental' category and described as both modern and timeless - just like Buble's music. At first spritz it's quite fruity and sweet (a combination that I don't love, to be honest) but it then settles into a warm and comforting base of sandalwood-musk and vanilla - a blend of scents that I have always loved. So even though at first I find the scent a little sickly, once it's settled onto the skin after a few minutes, it's definitely my kind of fragrance.

The official notes:

Top Notes: Bergamot, Red Fruits, Italian Lemon
Heart Notes: Lily of the Valley, Rose, Peony, Wild Jasmine
Base: Patchouli, Cedar Wood, Vanilla & Praline, White Amber & Musk

Michael Buble's By Invitaion Eau De Parfum has taught me a thing or two about preconceptions and assumptions. That is, celebrity perfumes don't always smell cheap and tacky - they can actually rival well known designer scents. I know that scent is such a personal, subjective thing but to me, By Invitation is reminiscent of Giorgio Armani's Si and Lancome La Vie Est Belle - sweet and sultry with a sophisticated edge.
By Invitation by Michael Buble is £55 for a 100ml Eau de Parfum spray and is available at michaelbubleperfume.com.

Post contains sample

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Join the Hero Project and WIN a Bottle of VITC30 Serum

I've teamed up with The Hero Project to let them know my Big Beauty Discovery at 30. Because I'm a total skincare junkie, my big beauty discovery is pretty simple - that is that basically now I have the perfect excuse to invest in good quality, effective skincare. Speaking of which, The Hero Project have just released a brand spanking new product - VITC30, which is a powerful Vitamin C serum ideal for complexions that are 30+. To be in with a chance to win a bottle of VITC30 for yourself, just watch me being awkward below then make a video of your own and send it through to big30@theproject.co.uk. To find out more about The Hero Project's latest Beauty on a Mission, search the hashtags #BeautyOnAMission #TheHeroProject #Big30 :D

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Monday, 29 August 2016

Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap

When I went to the Love Natural Love You exhibition at Olympia London in July, I spent quite a bit of time hovering around the Aviela stand. I'd heard of the brand before and loved the backstory - founder Patricia Monney used unrefined shea butter to heal her two year old daughter's ankle problems (yes, really) and so began a journey of discovery of the wonders of this multi tasking ingredient.
Though I didn't purchase from Aviela at Olympia (their stand was pretty busy!), fate seemed to intervene when Aviela got in touch a few weeks later to ask if I'd be keen to try their Shea Butter Black Soap. Spooky.
Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap Review
The first thing I noticed about the black soap is that it's not actually soap at all. In fact, it is distinctly soap-less. Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap contains; Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera Juice, Palm Kernel Oil, Baobab Leaf Extract, Neem Leaf Extract, Water and Cocoa Pod Ash.
100% natural, black soap was traditionally used in Africa to gently wash babies and I totally get why. While it's mild, the black soap leaves skin feeling perfectly clean yet nicely moisturised and it really doesn't smell of very much at all. The soap is a multipurpose cleanser so I used  it all over. I liked it on my body and loved it on my hair but I have to say I didn't enjoy washing my face with it at all. I tried using it as a facial cleanser twice and both times it felt a bit tight and uncomfortable. My face is sensitive  to the most random things at random times so I will give it another go and see what happens. I've not written you off yet, black soap.

The soap can definitely be used in place of shampoo too. I've washed my hair with it a few times and loved the way it added a bit of volume and shine - some people might enjoy the fact that it's virtually scentless too, especially if you don't like your hair to smell like flowers/ coconuts/ unicorn tears etc.
I also really like the look of the shea butter black soap - it's like molten gold so it feels quite luxurious to use, which is always a bonus in my book.
Aviela Shea Butter Black Soap is £14 for 250ml from Aviela, Superdrug and LoveLula.

Post contains sample.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Isla Apothecary Refine + Radiate Mask

isla apothecary face mask

Coconut milk plus turmeric does not always equal curry. Small batch skincare brand Isla Apothecary demonstrates that beautifully with their Refine + Radiate Mask - a blend of red sandalwood, turmeric and coconut powders. The just-add-water dry mask formula is designed to soothe, nurture and restore moisture to the skin in one fell swoop while managing to smell very, very tasty indeed. 

I have a real thing for dry face masks and cleansers that you hydrate yourself, it just makes the whole ritual that little bit more special. Like other dry formulas I've tried, this one can be mixed with water, honey or floral water/hydrosol to create your own bespoke experience. So far I've only tried it with water but I'll be mixing it with honey next time because I pretty much love putting honey on my face.

To use, you blend a teaspoon or so with the liquid of your choice then apply to the face and leave it be for up to 15 minutes. It does dry in this time but to me it didn't feel uncomfortable in the slightest. The mask is removed using warm water and circular movements, which adds a lovely element of gentle exfoliation. While my skin felt incredibly soft and happy after I'd removed the mask, I did have a slightly jaundiced tinge to my skin, which is not unexpected when applying  bright yellow turmeric powder to one's face. The yellow removed really easily with a swipe of toner-soaked cotton wool but would have come off in the shower just as easily if I'd used a flannel on my face after I'd removed the mask. Scent wise, the Beautifying Mask smells deliciously coconutty - a smell that doesn't dissipate as you wear it, which to me just adds to the joy. The Isla Apothecary Refine + Radiate Beautifying Face Mask is a gorgeous little facial treat that I think any natural beauty enthusiast will absolutely love.
The mask is £22 for a 120g jar at Isla Apothecary and you can find out more about the brand and ingredients here.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Why I Deleted Crowdfire

Now I usually steer well clear of writing about anything 'blog related' here. That's because this is a blog predominantly about beauty. I created it for people in general, not just specifically for other bloggers and definitely not for people looking for any kind of advice that isn't in some way related to stuff you put on your face. I'm not particularly tech savvy, I'm not even very good at SEO (in fact I don't pay nearly attention to it when it comes to the blog). That said, I do like to explore various apps that are supposed to help me do this whole thing a little better. Social Media is such a big deal and we already know how important it is (and if done badly how detrimental it can be) for businesses and blogs alike so I didn't really surprise myself when I gave into the temptation to try something that could, in theory, grow my 'following' on social media. I've always felt kind of grossed out by the terms 'following' and 'followers'- it implies there is some kind of leadership involved when in reality I usually feel I go about my bloggy business rather unnoticed - far from being a leader of any sort!
This uneasy feeling I have about the whole following/followers thing is probably why my trial of using a third party to 'grow' and gain more exposure for my site was not an enjoyable experience. I first noticed Crowdfire on Twitter a while back- I started to see automated tweets from fellow bloggers that said things like 'I just found the x amount of people who unfollowed me via @crowdfireapp, seeya!' or 'x amount of tweeps followed me today, welcome!'. As much as automated tweets make me want to scream profanities, the concept intrigued me. I thought this could be a really great way to determine what kind of people like what kind of content, what is a turn off/turn on to which kind of general demographic etc. So, I signed up (for free) and downloaded the app. Now, Crowdfire is legitimate. It's not about buying fake people to pretend to like your stuff or that sort of nonsense, it just pretty much tells you who has followed and unfollowed you across social media platforms you link to it as well as inactive accounts you might be following. I'm sure a lot of people get a lot of use out of it and find it to be a handy little tool, but for me? It was a mistake to even go there.

Crowdfire shows you who has recently followed and unfollowed you across you social media as well as those who do and don't follow you back. I had it linked to both Twitter and Instagram and started off opening up the app every now and then, you know, just for some 'insight'. I'm slightly ashamed to say that what began as curiosity soon became a bit of an obsession, for lack of a better word. As well as notifying me of the obvious - those accounts that stick out like a sore thumb as being complete popularity-chasers had hit 'unfollow' almost as soon as they had followed- this thing told me on more than a few occasions that bloggers and accounts who had been 'following' me and interacting with me for years had dropped me, and it hurt my feelings. It really upset me, which is rather irrational, to say the least.  Equally, I felt hurt when large, influential skincare or beauty Instagram pages would follow me, I'd hit follow back because I've thought 'oooh, I like this brand!' and felt flattered they were interested in me, only to find they too would drop me (one within minutes) as soon as they had a new follower ticked off their list. I have always despised the whole 'follow for follow' culture on social media because I really feel it achieves nothing genuine, but when I signed up to Crowdfire, that was almost what it became about. I found myself becoming a bit bitter too - some accounts I was really, genuinely interest in weren't following me back and I unfollowed quite a few, all because I was butthurt. All that achieved was me missing out on great content and beautiful images because I felt bitter! How sad is that?

I decided pretty early on that my very brief fling with Crowdfire was never going to be a full blown serious relationship so it was best to just call it a day. It was making me feel like my online presence had become too far removed from the kind of person I really am and I didn't want my social accounts to become like one of the many, many disingenuous ones out there. My blog is precious to me and so are my Twitter and Instagram accounts. They are small and their success reflects the effort I put into them, which at times is very little, so why shouldn't my 'numbers' reflect that too? I have gone back to following Instagram and Twitter accounts simply because I enjoy them and I just don't care whether or not they follow me too. It sounds ridiculous but I feel weirdly liberated having deleted the Crowdfire app from my phone. Plus, now I have more storage space available for stuff that really matters.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Leahlani Skincare Bless Beauty Balm

I'll admit that when this little glass pot of pink balm arrived all the way from Kauai I wasn't 100% sure what to do with it. I had been obsessively researching products that contain Blue Tansy when I happened across the Leahlani Skincare Bless Beauty Balm and sort of purchased it 'just because'. As the formula sounded so rich I didn't think I'd use it as a facial moisturiser so figured it would be perfect as an extra special treat for my hands/cuticles and any dry patches that appeared (I bought this when things were still pretty Wintery). However, as the months have passed I've found myself reaching for it as both an occasional cleanser and a facial oil/moisturiser and have basically fallen pretty hard for it.
Leahlani Skincare Bless Beauty Balm Review

As a cleanser, I use it like any other balm or oil formula, that is, massage it in and then remove with a warm damp muslin cloth or flannel.  As a moisturiser/face oil/facial balm, I use a pea sized amount of the Bless Balm warmed between my finger tips and pressed onto my face. It's particularly gorgeous after toning too because it's so calming and comforting.
As mentioned before, I really thought this was going to be too rich and thick for my face but it actually absorbs beautifully leaving a subtle dewy sheen rather than sitting on the skin like an oil slick. And the scent? Oh my goodness. It's a bit floral, a bit tropical and entirely addictive. Officially, the scent is orange blossom and blue tansy but to me it just smells like unicorns and dreams. 

The ingredients: 
Organic cold pressed argan oil (Argania spinosa), organic cold pressed camellia seed oil (Camellia oleifera), organic Shea butter (Butyrospermum Parkii), organic cocoa butter (Theobroma Cacao), organic cold pressed maracuja passionflower oil (Passiflora Incarnata), organic cold pressed moringa oil (Moringa Oleifera), organic cold pressed marula oil (Sclerocarya Birrea ), cymbidium grandiflorum orchid extract, wildcrafted blue tansy oil (Tanacetum annuum), neroli oil (Aurantium Dulcis), organic rosehip fruit (Rosa Moschata), rose clay and LOVE.

I love that LOVE is listed as the last ingredient! The founder of Leahlani, Leah, comes across as genuine and passionate about her products (of which there are many more) and each and every one is created by Leah herself in micro batches in a small studio in Kauai. Doesn't that just make it seem that little bit more special? What began as a brand on Etsy has now spawned quite a cult following- you just need to search Instagram or Twitter for #leahlaniskincare or #mermaidmaskmonday to see what I mean. It's no surprise that the brand is so popular really - each and every one of the products sound utterly delicious - Kokoleka Ritual Dessert Detox Mask for example. Yes please.

I bought the Bless Beauty Balm from Leahlani Skincare directly and it took about two weeks to get all the way from Kauai to London, which is pretty standard. I also had to pay a ransom of around £18 in customs charges, which was annoying but it's always a gamble ordering products from the states! Edit: Leahlani is now available in the UK from Cult Beauty .The balm is £46 so is not particularly cheap, but to me it's worth every penny.

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Monday, 30 May 2016

3 Shampoos for Oily Hair Tested - which one was best?

I haven't really had greasy hair since I was a teenager so it's sort of taken me by surprise that my hair's started playing up again. Lately I've found I can't go more than two days before things start really oiling up and I don't know if it's the change in weather, something funky going on with my hormones or another explanation but I do know that it makes me feel pretty gross. I like to have fresh, swishy, yummy smelling hair as much as the next girl so for the past few weeks I've made it my mission to track down an affordable shampoo that would banish the grease, not irritate my scalp and keep my hair looking nice. That's not too much to ask for now, is it?
Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

Neutrogena T/Gel Shampoo - Greasy Hair

At £6.99 I had high hopes for this one. I know that T Gel is an incredibly popular shampoo for people with dandruff and itchy, irritated scalps and while I don't really have dandruff, I thought I'd give the Greasy Hair formula a go. This one contains Salicylic Acid, Tar and Zink that work to essentially exfoliate the scalp, removing excess sebum and breaking down dandruff. This stuff doesn't smell great (but obvs better than oily hair) and reminds me of the old school coal tar soap that my Dad has used for as long as I can remember.
Did it Work?
Heck yes it did. I like the dual function of the product - tackling greasy hair and dandruff all at once. By day two my hair was still looking pretty fresh, so it definitely does the trick. The downside? Well it doesn't smell very excellent and it's pretty expensive at £6.99.

L'Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

(Currently on offer at Boots for £1.99) I'll admit I blundered when I bought this. I thought I was buying the Rebalancing version but neglected to actually read the label so I ended up with the anti-dandruff variation. I digress, this shampoo is still primarily designed for people with oily roots and dry ends with the added bonus of treating dandruff too. The addition of 'clay' in this formula is what really piqued my attention - after all, clay face masks are brilliant for oily skin so I figured popping it on my head would mop up the grease in a similar fashion. I also bought the matching hair mask, which thus far have found to be more effective than the shampoo in terms of banishing oil.
Did it Work? Yes and no. The immediate effect is brilliant - volumised, bouncy, fresh smelling hair that appears lifted at the roots. Unfortunately for me, the freshness and volume just didn't last that long. In fact, my hair only really felt and looked nice and clean the day after (I tend to wash my hair in the evening). It does smell nice though and I'm not going to completely write it off as a decent product - I'll just make sure I buy the rebalancing version next time and see if it has a better effect.

Alberto Balsam Juicy Green Apple Shampoo 

I'll admit I usually don't give Alberto Balsam shampoo and conditioner a second glance when I'm browsing in Boots. I'll put this down to some kind of shampoo snobbery that I didn't realise I was actually suffering from until now. That said, I decided to buy the budget bottle of green shampoo after extensively googling phrases like 'best shampoo for oily hair' and 'greasy hair shampoo' and finally accepting that Alberto Balsam was probably appearing in all the searches for a reason. This shampoo is only £1 so I thought there was every possibility that budget product equals budget result.
Does it Work? Oh how wrong I was to doubt this. Like the previous two shampoo's, this one is by no means natural and contains a fair whack of SLS but I personally have no problem with that because I don't have a sensitive scalp and I've never had a reaction to suds on my head. When it comes to shampoo, so long as it does the job I'm happy and this one ticks all of the boxes. Not only does it smell fresh and delicious (like apples, go figure) but it keeps the oil at bay for the longest out of the three shampoo's I've tested. This shampoo also makes my hair feel soft and swishy and just generally good - the clear winner for me with the added bonus of being £1.

Even though Alberto Balsam Juicy Green Apple Shampoo won this round, honourable mention needs to be given to Lush Big Sea Salt Shampoo which is utterly lovely and a joy to use!

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

JOIK Lemon and Vanilla Body Scrub

I've written about a product from Estonian brand JOIK before - a delicious powdered chocolate face mask you can read about here- so I already had a pretty good idea that I'd enjoy more of their creations. Because I'm a fake tanner and I enjoy a general pamper, I like to have a decent body exfoliator on hand  but it's important to me that scrubs meet three important criteria: They need to smell great. They need to actually exfoliate effectively and they absolutely need to be free from microbeads - because, you know, I care about the environment a bit.
Joik Lemon and Vanilla Body Scrub

JOIK Lemon and Vanilla Body Scrub covers all of this criteria and then some. I have used the scrub once, just now actually, and not only is my skin beautifully scented, but it's as smooth and soft as a baby seal's bottom. If you know what I mean. 
This body scrub is a proper scrub. By that I mean it's not a liquid or gel with some granules floating around in it, in fact it's almost solid in the jar. The lemon and vanilla scrub is sugar and seasalt based and spreads really easily on damp skin. I was worried at first when I scooped a little out that it wasn't going to spread at all but it really does do the job rather well.
The key ingredients in the body scrub are:

  • Seasalt and Sugar - to exfoliate
  • Shea and Cocoa Butters - to smooth and moisturise
  • Olive Oil - to nurture
  • Sea Buckthorn Oil - to stimulate the natural cell renewal of the skin. Sea Buckthorn Oil contains Vitami A, E and C

The body scrub gets it's delectable scent from lemon and vanilla essential oils resulting in a fresh and comforting fragrance that lingers on the skin a little once you're all rinsed and toweled off. In terms of 'scrub performance', this one kicks all kinds of goals and did a magnificent job of annihilating some old fake tan from my stomach with very little effort on my part. When it comes time to rinse, the scrub emulsifies and transforms into a milky sort of substance that's easily washed away and doesn't leave a greasy feeling like many oil based products. 
All in all, a great, sweetly scented scrub that I would repurchase and think would make a lovely gift. JOIK create a variety of other scrubs too, including a coffee scrub and a shimmering raspberry scrub which I'm sure are equally as delish.

I bought the JOIK Lemon and Vanilla Body Scrub from Love Lula for £14.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

UltraSun High 30 SPF Tinted Face

Like pretty much anyone who grew up in Australia, I had it drummed into me from a young age- sunscreen is important. If you don't wear it, you're going to get burnt and that's going to really hurt. If you don't wear it, you'll end up looking like an old leather handbag by the time you're 50. If you don't wear it, you could end up with a skin cancer and that could actually kill you. Sorry to be grim but it's true.
A few weeks ago I attended a lovely breakfast hosted by Ultrasun UK and listened to MD Abi Cleeve chat about all things Ultrasun. As well as introducing us to a fantastic range of products, Abi also revealed a number of sun-related facts and figures.

I'm big on skincare and taking care of my face in general so one of the products that really caught my eye was the Ultrasun High 30 SPF Tinted Face. SPF is an important step in your skincare routine if you're going outside anyway but it's SO IMPORTANT if you are an avid user of acids and acid toning. Because acid toning exfoliates the skin deeply, the 'new' skin is more sensitive and therefore more susceptible to sun damage, so you really do need to keep an eye on the products you're using from day to day. As a person who uses an acid toner of some sort most nights, I have become super diligent about using an SPF when I venture out into the sun so I was really keen to put Ultrasun's tinted offering to the test. I wore this on my face during that super hot weekend we had recently and it certainly served its purpose.

The tinted formula is ultra lightweight (which is unexpected since it is a suncream) and can be used in place of your daily moisturiser. Think of a sheer tinted moisturiser and add a hefty dose of protection from UVA and UVB and that's pretty much it. The sunscreen contains the anti-aging enzyme 'Ectoin' which is ideal for sensitive skin and protects against cell damage caused by UVA. The sunscreen also contains Vitamin E and Superoxide Dismutase (amusingly abbreviated as SOD) which is another enzyme that neutralises free radical activity stimulated by sun exposure. Rounding things off nicely, the tint in the formula is complemented by light reflecting particles which work to create a healthy looking lightly bronzed glow while protecting your face.

As I mentioned earlier, I used this over that crazy hot weekend we had over here a few weeks ago which also happened to be one of the most active weekends I've had in a while. By active I mean I cycled quite a bit, walked quite a bit and was generally outside quite a lot, and you know what? I didn't burn. Applied once in the morning each day, this stuff stayed on my face, did what it was supposed to do and made my complexion look pretty good at the same time. You can't really ask for much more than that.

I was kindly given the Ultrasun High 30 SPF Tinted Face at the breakfast event but you can find it at a range of retailers including QVC for £26. More information about this product and the rest of the Ultrasun range can be found here.

Post contains sample

Sunday, 24 April 2016

111Skin Meso Infusion Micro Mask Review

111Skin is a brand I am very new to. Founded by Harley Street Plastic Surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides, 111Skin was developed in collaboration with two space Scientists who worked on the Soviet Space Program (!). These scientists had retained a patented formula they had supplied to Astronauts to protect their skin while they were in orbit - apparently the combination of zero gravity, exposure to radiation and varying temperature wreaks habit on one's skin!

111Skin boasts an impressive collection of products - from the Lift Off Exfoliating Cleanser to the Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil, the brand has every step in the skincare routine covered, and then some. Actually, and then a lot more.
While extensive research, exclusive ingredients and space-age technologies have been poured into each and every one of 111Skin's products, one of their latest products really stands out for one very good reason; there is simply nothing else on the market quite like it.

The Meso Infusion Micro Mask really is unlike anything I've seen before. Yes, the concept of targeted mask treatments is nothing new, but the technology behind the Meso Mask is truly ground breaking. I realise that I might sound a bit like I am writing a press release here but I really have been doing a little excited dance in my head ever since I read about this mask because it's just so different.
The Meso Infusion Micro Mask is touted as the closest you can get to an authentic Mesotherapy treatment in the comfort of your own home. Don't know what Mesotherapy is? Neither did I, until I found about these masks. It's a non-surgical cosmetic treatment that involves administering substances such as Hyaluronic Acid directly into the skin via a series of tiny injections. Sounds like it has the potential to be a bit painful but from what I've read, it's not particularly uncomfortable. How can a mask possibly mimic this treatment? Well, this is the fun bit.

The Meso Infusion Micro Mask consists of four sachets. In each sachet are two mask patches, with an adhesive border to ensure the masks stay in place while the formula does its thing. The masks feature self dissolving micro structure technology. The micro structures are made up of 94.5% Hyaluronic Acid to plump up fine lines and diminish wrinkles and 4.5% Vitamin C to tackle pigmentation and discolouration. These micro structures - there are 150 on each mask - administer the ingredients by penetrating deep into the skin. The micro structures are basically teeny tiny, very fine 'spikes' that literally prick the skin, delivering the Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C directly into the targeted area. After around 40 minutes, the micro structures dissolve completely, leaving you free to remove the patch, though you can leave the patch on overnight for a really intensive treatment.

The patches can be used pretty much anywhere and so far I have used them on my eyes, to plump out my crows feet. I know I am 30 and I am still relatively wrinkle-free but I grew up in sunny Queensland and you're unlikely to find an Aussie my age who doesn't have any tell tale signs of years of squinting in the sun!
111Skin Meso Infusion Micro Mask
111Skin Meso Infusion Micro Mask

Around my eyes, the masks didn't feel unpleasant but they did feel active- as if they were really doing something. I did press down gently on the masks a few times in an effort to send the micro structures further into the skin (which I'm not sure is advised!) and still it was not a painful experience. I removed the masks after a couple of hours and had a bit of redness where they were placed (and also probably as a result of me applying pressure). The redness subsided very quickly and I was left with smooth, plumped-up skin where my wrinkles once were. OK, the wrinkles were still there BUT the lines were much, much softer and less noticeable to my toughest critic - myself.
As I've only just used the masks today, I can't comment on how long this effect lasts but I will say that before a special occasion or on days when you just want a boost, these are a fantastic treat. Besides the fact that I have genuinely noticed a difference, I think the Meso Mask is a brilliant product because it feels like a proper treatment and is in a whole other league to the usual pre-special occasion prep of applying a more traditional mask.

At £100 for a box of four pairs, the 111Skin Meso Infusion Micro Mask is an investment beauty buy but if you love your skincare and like trying new products and concepts, this is something to get your hands on. The 111Skin Meso Infusion Micro Mask is available at Space NK.
I'll be keeping the remaining three sets of masks stashed away for very special occasions.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Dr Do Good In-Shower Body Moisturiser Spray

Dr Do Good In-Shower Body Moisturiser Spray

I am not currently a gym person, nor do I lead a particularly hectic or time poor lifestyle, so I may not be the exact target demographic for Dr Do Good. That doesn't mean that I don't think it's a great little product though.
Dr Do Good is essentially an in-shower moisturiser designed to save time and deliver a dose of hydration to your skin whilst you are still in the shower.
Simply sprayed onto damp skin (shake it first to mix) and then rinsed off, Dr Do Good delivers a dose of long lasting hydration thanks to its unique waterproof oil based formula.
The waterproof formula essentially locks in the water on your skin and 'feeds' it with vegetable extracts including tomato, yellow pepper, carrot, aubergine and broccoli. 

Tomato Extract: An antioxidant to protect against premature ageing of the skin.
Yellow Pepper Extract: Rich in Vitamin C. Keeps skin looking firm/ youthful.
Carrot Extract: Rich in Vitamin A. Nourishes, maintains elasticity and firmness of skin.
Aubergine Extract: Aids in keeping skin looking healthy and hydrated.
Broccoli Extract: Contains Sulforaphane, which is a compound that can make skin look less dull and may stimulate skin cells.

Despite the addition of the above vegetable extracts, Dr Do Good doesn't have a complex scent- it's just got a light, fresh fragrance that makes it perfectly unisex so your other half can freely borrow out without fear of smelling like a big girl.
I've had this product for a few months now, which has given me plenty of opportunity to try it out on both winter-parched skin and my slightly happier springtime skin and I've been happy with the results every time.  It leaves the skin feeling smooth and well hydrated without that obvious feeling of product you get with standard moisturisers.
If you're time poor, frequent the gym or just don't like the feeling of moisturiser on your body, Dr Do Good is a very good option.  You can find out more about the wonders of Dr Do Good and purchase a bottle for £15 here.

Post contains sample

Thursday, 7 April 2016

L'Occitane Spring Fragrance Picks

Spring is (allegedly) upon us once more and for me that means two things: I have to start thinking seriously about leg hair removal and it's time to start the hunt for a light fragrance to see me through until October.
I'll chat body hair another day- this post is all about my L'Occitane fragrance picks to keep things fragrant throughout the season.

My Spring fragrance of choice last year was an absolute thing of beauty. I was going through a serious infatuation with fig fragrances (of which I am still not quite recovered) and found THE ONE in the form of L'Occitane Figuier & Osmanthus Eau de Toilette. I could not fault this fragrance. It was figgy and woody with a touch of blackcurrant and bergamot and I loved it so much it even came on holiday with me to Sardinia. But alas, the love affair was short lived for one reason only- it was a limited edition fragrance.
Rather than dwelling on lost love, I'm looking ahead and have a feeling L'Occitane will once again be my brand of choice for a light spring/summer fragrance this year.

Neroli & Orchide Body Oil

While this isn't strictly a fragrance, it is scented with delicious Madagascan white orchid, neroli essential oil and bitter orange blossom. The dry oil formula makes it perfect for the (hopefully) warmer months ahead as it won't leave me feeling greasy.

Vanille & Narcisse Eau de Toilette

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a complete vanilla fragrance fiend so it's a given that I add this to my list. This scent offers that sweet vanilla hit with a touch of floral fragrance thanks to the addition of narcissus absolute.

Roses et Reines Jardin Secret Perfume Gel

I first got a whiff of the Roses et Reines Jardin Secret Perfume Gel in Paris last month and to be honest I don't know why I didn't buy it there and then. The scent is obviously gorgeous - a true rose with fresh green notes - but the product itself is such a lovely idea. The perfumed gel is designed to be dabbed onto pulse points and even the ends of the hair. Great to throw in your handbag too.

Verbena Eau de Toilette

I truly love the L'Occitane verbena collection and have for years. It's such an incredibly refreshing and invigorating fragrance that is simply perfect for warmer months. The matching soap is great too (and unisex) as it somehow manages to cool the skin and leave you smelling lemony fresh.

L'Occitane have so many pretty fragrance options, I think I'll have a hard time actually choosing one for spring. If they could do me a favour and bring back Figuier & Osmanthus I'd be sorted.

Have you got a go-to warmer weather fragrance or are you still pining for a long gone limited edition scent?

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