Friday, 29 January 2016

5 Lip Products for Winter (and all year round)

winter lip care products

It's almost a fact - winter wreaks havoc on our lips. Cold winds, indoor heating and lack of moisture in the air all contribute to drying out lips, often leaving them cracked, flaky or just a bit on the rough side. Like a lot of women (and men) I have lip products on my desk, next to the bed and at the bottom of my handbag so I can get a bit of moisture into my lips whenever I feel the need. Here, I've picked five lip products I have on rotation lately that are perfect for winter and all year round.

By Terry Baume de Rose
Baume de Rose must be one of the most ridiculously indulgent lip balms on the market today. And at £39 a pot, it's one of the most ridiculously priced ones too. The thing about Baume de Rose is that it's Just. So. Good. From the gorgeous rose scent to the thick, creamy formula and nourishing feel on the lips, Baume de Rose has got it going on. It doubles as a cuticle treatment too, which might help you justify the price, should you need to. It's at Cult Beauty.

Fresh Sugar Lip Serum
I've written about this little beauty before (which is here if you're interested) and I still love it a little bit. Designed to be applied both day and night, the serum contains sugar to moisturise and soothe, Acmella flowe extract which has apparently been proven to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and Kigelia Africana fruit extract to improve elasticity. You only need to use a tiny amount of this at a time because it spreads so easily, so it's lasted me ages. It feels lovely on and does have a sort of 'instant volumising' effect, which is something I'll take any day. Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy is £30 at Fresh.

C.O Bigelow Rose Salve
This amazingly scented balm was in one of the drawers of the Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar and currently lives next to my bed. Strictly speaking, you can use the salve on any dry bits but I only really use it on my lips. It has a really delicious turkish delight/ true rose scent that I can't really get enough of. C.O Bigelow Rose Salve is at Liberty for £8.50.

Yves Rocher Shea Lip Balm
The Yves Rocher Lip Balm is pretty basic but equally as brilliant at protecting lips in dry, windy weather. It has an inoffensive 'lip balmy' scent and no colour, making it perfectly unisex. I bought this last time I went to Paris and I can't remember how much it cost me then but you can find it online at Yves Rocher.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil
Available in two shades-Honey and Raspberry- the lip oil was one of the most popular beauty releases of 2015. I have the raspberry variation of the lip oil and though I've not had it for long, I'm already a bit obsessed with the feeling of the formula on my lips and the sweet scent. The raspberry shade gives the slightest wash of colour to the lips so it's a good one to keep in your handbag and apply sans-mirror. The formula is silky and oily (go figure) but doesn't feel particularly sticky and is infused with Mirabelle oil for comfort and nourishment. Boots is out of stock online but you can find it at Escentual.

Monday, 25 January 2016

RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream

RMS Coconut Cream

The thing about RMS Raw Coconut Cream is that's it's just solidified coconut oil. Another thing about RMS Raw Coconut Cream is that it's pretty wonderful to use as a cleanser. Now, one could argue that you could just pop down to Tesco (or Waitrose if you want to get fancy) and pick up a tub of coconut oil and start smothering it all over your face, so I've made it my mission to find out what makes the RMS version any different. Also, what about it warrants a £12.50 price tag?
The major difference between this and just any old coconut oil is that it's yielded using a special heat-free and chemical-free extraction method that doesn't disturb the natural presence of Lauric Acid. If, like me, you are wondering what the heck Lauric Acid is, it's essentially a fatty acid that is said to reduce inflammation. In other words, it's a good acid to have in your skincare products. The Coconut Cream can be used as a cleanser or moisturiser but I've been using it as a cleanser. Smoothed over a full face of makeup, this stuff removes every trace, including Maybelline Lasting Drama Black Shock Gel Liner, which is pretty much like permanent marker in that it does not budge easily. The Coconut Cream leaves my skin feeling wonderfully soft when removed with a flannel and doesn't leave an oily film, which I certainly expected it to. When I use it, I usually just double cleanse with the Coconut Cream and I'm happy, or I follow it up with something like Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser if I want a more 'intense' cleanse.
RMS Coconut Cream

RMS Coconut Cream is in a solid form and melts on contact with your skin, though it will turn into a liquid in summer/warm climates. I bought my pot from Cult Beauty for £12.50 here.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Lush Jersey Bounce Shampoo Review

Lush Jersey Bounce Shampoo

I'd already tried (and loved) Lush's Big Sea Salt Shampoo, so it was only natural that I was going to be giving its salty sister, Jersey Bounce a round in the shower. I like Jersey Bounce, I really do. I just don't love it and would take Big over this any day. Here's the low down.

Jersey Bounce is a lemony-yellow sea salt based shampoo infused with honey and linseed that promises big, bountiful locks. The addition of fresh organic lemon juice gives the shampoo a tart citrus scent and Fair Trade olive oil brings the shine. 
The sea salt shampoo also contains a bit of free range egg. When I was buying it the other week I asked one of the staff whether I should expect scrambled eggs in my hair. They laughed and said no one's ever asked that before but I thought it was a perfectly reasonable question - hot water plus raw egg usually results in a cooked egg situation, doesn't it? Anyway, I don't really know how but Jersey Bounce does not scramble in your hair, so you can rest easy.

The salt granules in this shampoo are a little finer than the ones in Big and the formula in general is 'wetter'. It does lather up well and a little scoop goes a long way and does the job on my below-shoulder length hair.
Jersey Bounce also does give the hair body, volume and shine- just not quite as much as Big. It's a nice shampoo and I'm sure many people prefer it over Big but the scent of Big makes it the clear winner for me.
Jersey Bounce Sea Salt Shampoo is available from Lush in 3 different sizes, the cheapest being £6.75 for 130g.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Mac Dita Von Teese Lipstick

MAC Dita Von Teese Lipstick

MAC released the Dita Von Teese Lipstick last month to celebrate the launch of the Burlesque beauty's new book - Your Beauty Mark. I quite like Dita Von Teese and I really like MAC lipsticks so I accidentally ordered it just before Christmas in an eggnog-induced moment of compulsion.

The lipstick is a vivid, bold, beautiful red that pretty much screams Pin-Up Girl and is basically a lot of fun to wear. A matte formula, the lipstick stays on and lasts pretty well - though not as well as my beloved Ruby Woo for some reason. That stuff just does not budge.
I wore Von Teese to a wedding on New Years Eve and it made it through numerous glasses of bubbly, three courses, two gin and tonics and a coffee. It wasn't until the late night coronation chicken sandwiches that I felt the need to reapply. In other words, it has pretty good staying power.
MAC Dita Von Teese Lipstick

The MAC Dita Von Teese lipstick is that little bit more special than your average lippy thanks to the addition of Dita's signature debossed on the bullet and printed on the tube.
The lipstick is sold out but is probably floating around on ebay somewhere at a much dearer price than the original £17.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm Review

Sunday Riley Tranquillity Cleansing Balm

I love a balm cleanser and I love Sunday Riley so I knew that a balm cleanser by Sunday Riley was going to be something that needed to get on my face. To me, the blue balm was probably one of the most exciting beauty launches of 2015 and I know it's already gained quite a few fans since it hit the shelves back in October.
The first thing that really grabbed my attention when I saw it in in person was the sheer size of the product - the 100g of balm is served up in a rather generous round tub made from resilient plastic. I like how big it is and to be honest I was actually expecting a lot less, despite the high end price tag.
The tub may be big but it's still quite dainty and minimalist in a way and something that could proudly be displayed in your bathroom.
Blue Moon Cleansing Balm is quite a solid balm and has a Cocoa Butter and Moringa Butter base so it essentially melts down to an oil when worked between the finger tips or on your face.
Sunday Riley Tranquillity Cleansing Balm
Essential oils in the balm include Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Vanilla and Sweet Orange, which results in a rather subtle, relaxing scent. I kid you not - this cleansing balm is an absolute joy to use and it smells delicious. Besides the fact that everything about Blue Moon is luxurious, the thing that really sets it apart from a lot of cleansing balms on the market is that it rinses away with very little effort. The balm turns into a sort of milk when you add warm water, making it very easy to remove. I use it with a flannel or a muslin cloth but you could get away with just rinsing it off if you're not into the whole wet-washcloth thing. The cleanser removes make up quite well but I find that eye make up (especially waterproof eyeliner!) requires a quick swipe of micellar water/ make up remover beforehand.
The cleanser can also be used as a mask (as I'm sure pretty much any good quality balm cleanser could be) by leaving it on for about 20 mins for a moisturising boost. I have been known to smother it on before doing the washing up but I recommend you do something more relaxing, like soaking in the bath.
I love this stuff and I think it's going to last quite a few months before I need to restock or try something new. Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquillity Cleansing Balm is available at Cult Beauty for £46. You can find it here.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Giveaway | Win a £30 Cult Beauty E-Gift Card

Want £30 to spend at Cult Beauty? Thought so! To welcome the new year, I'm giving away one £30 e-gift card for Cult Beauty - one of the BEST online beauty destinations here in the UK. All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is enter the sweepstakes via the rafflecopter widget below. The prize is an E-Gift Card which will be emailed to the winner. Thanks and good luck! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • One person will win 1 x £30 E-Gift Card for Cult Beauty
  • Open internationally - Cult Beauty are based in the UK but they do ship internationally to most countries. If in doubt, please refer to the Cult Beauty website here
  • This sweepstakes is not in collaboration with Cult Beauty. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Fern Skin Clinic

I love discovering beauty destinations and I really love indulging in a good facial treatment or massage so Fern Skin Clinic has piqued my interest. Located in Belsize Park, North West London, Fern Skin Clinic offer a range of treatments to suit pretty much everyone.

Fern Skin Clinic was founded just over 10 years ago by friends Lisa Collins and Nicki Giles - two women who share an extreme passion for all things skincare. Together, they have created a beauty destination that is not only beautifully relaxing and pampering, but results-driven and effective. The clinic has also been recently renovated to make it an even more appealing escape from urban life.

Treatments at the clinic combine state of the art aesthetic technology with traditional techniques to create a bespoke experience that's quickly earning Fern Skin Clinic a very good reputation.
Highlights include Facials, Tui Na Massage, Acupuncture, Waxing (apparently they do a fantastic Brazilian!) and Glycolic Peels.

The Acupuncture on offer at Fern Skin Clinic is performed by Jurgita Misiute - a fully qualified and registered member of the British Acupuncture Council. Jurgita offers both traditional acupuncture for wellbeing and contemporary beauty-led facial acupuncture. The facial beauty acupuncture works by using tiny strategically placed needles to increase blood circulation, detox and promote lymphatic drainage. Jurgita also practices Cupping and Tui Na Massage - an ancient Chinese technique to rebalance the body and treat chronic pain.

The latest addition to the menu at the clinic is the revolutionary ALMA Harmony system. This is a technology that combines fractional non-ablative laser and infrared to treat a range of skincare concerns. ALMA helps to clear acne, rectify textural issues and pigmentation problems as well as reduce lines and wrinkles. This is a system I'm definitely keen to at least look at - it sounds like a seriously hardcore piece of technology!

Fern Skin Clinic isn't just about acupuncture and lasers though - they offer customised facials using products from SkinCeuticals, Suti and Glo-Therapeautics - three brands I am yet to try myself but I have heard great things.

If I visit Fern Skin Clinic in the near future I'll obviously be writing about it here - I have high hopes for great things so we'll see!

You can find out more about Fernskinclinic by visiting them here.

Fern Skin Clinic is located at 18 Englands Lane, London, NW3 4TG.

*I was not compensated in any way for this blog post

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Fresh Cocoa Exfoliating Body Soap

Christmas may be over but now that I'm a proud owner of a bar of Fresh Cocoa Exfoliating Soap, the chocolate party needn't stop just yet. If you know my blog you'll probably be aware of my love for gourmand-inspired body products, so this bar of chocolatey cleansing and exfoliating goodness is right up my (quality) street.

The triple milled soap contains Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Cocoa Seed Butter to cleanse and moisturise and Coconut and Cocoa Shell Powder to provide the exfoliating effect.
For me, the biggest selling point of this soap is that is smells delicious. The scent is decidedly chocolatey without being false, sickly or overly sweet, so even people who usually aren't overly keen on dessert inspired body products will probably enjoy using it.
In terms of it's exfoliating effect, it's what you would expect from a lathery bar of soap with bits in it - there is a definite feeling of dead skin being buffed away but it's still definitely gentle enough for use every day. In other words, if you're preparing to get your fake tan on, opt for a more traditional body scrub or polish because this soap might not quite do the trick.
However, for cleansing and leaving your skin smelling sweet and almost lickable, this is pretty much a revelation. Get thee to Fresh.

A 200g bar of this decadent soap is £13 in Fresh stores and online here.