Monday, 27 February 2017

MBotanicals Rejuvenating Facial Elixir

Products that combine natural ingredients with a touch of luxury are right up my street and the Rejuvenating Facial Elixir from London brand MBotanicals is no exception.

Brimming with gorgeous skin loving oils including Prickly Pear, amino acid rich Blackseed, Rosehip and Watermelon Seed, the Elixir was designed to nourish and protect skin exposed to the pollutants and free radicals that come with living in the city. 
The prickly pear based facial oil is beautifully multifunctional and can be used as it is, under your moisturizer for an extra boost or as a luxurious night treatment. I've experimented with the Elixir in a few ways, in the methods mentioned above and also mixed in with my foundation which creates a really lovely glowing, dewy look. 
MBotanicals Rejuvenating Facial Elixir

Just worn as it is, the oil absorbs quickly and beautifully yet creates a pretty, healthy looking glow that is absolutely perfect for wintery skin that could do with a pep-up.
If you tend to judge a facial product by its scent, I imagine the Rejuvenating Facial Elixir will impress- this stuff smells utterly beautiful. To me, it smells botanical and comforting, a bit like a flower bed after it rains, if you want to get poetic. Equally, if you are a visual person, the Elixir (and the brand as a whole) will appeal as the entire MBotanicals range features beautiful apothecary-style labels and packaging that make the various lotions and potions totally worthy of taking pride of place on your dressing table.
To use the elxir/ facial oil, you just dispense a couple of drops (the bottle has a pump which is slightly more convenient than a dropper) and massage gently into your face. The result? Glowy, dewy gorgeousness that feels light and fresh rather than heavy and greasy. I like.
A couple of drops is all I need for my whole face, so the bottle should see me through the spring at least.
As well as face and body care products (including some amazing sounding French clay soaps), MBotanicals also do Soy Wax Candles in fragrances such as Vanilla Bean, Rose Oud, Citrus Basil and Gardenia. Safe to say these are going straight on my wish list.

MBotanicals Facial Rejuvenating Serum is £32 at MBotanicals.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Just another Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation Review

First things first; I have purposely avoided trying Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation for one simple reason: I was terrified I was going to like it and that would only eventuate in me shelling out to purchase it.
chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation
chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation
chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation

It's one of those foundations that's both loved and loathed- for some the coverage is too light and watery and it's been reported that the formula is prone to sticking to any flaky bits of skin, and we all know that's not the look you want to achieve with any foundation let alone a luxury one. At the other end of the scale, some say it leaves their skin dewy and luminous and the lightweight consistency makes blending a quick and easy task, leaving a fresh and natural finish. Annoyingly, I'm sitting firmly in the latter camp. I love this foundation, dammit. I love the natural yet polished finish it gives my complexion. I love the touch of luminosity it seems to add and I love the very watery, light consistency. It feels virtually weightless on the skin and I'm weirdly looking forward to wearing it during the summer- and I can't stand foundation in hot weather as a general rule. 
I find it blends really quickly and there is no need to use a beauty blender- I tried that initially and the blender just sort of sucked it up- and fingers do the job perfectly for a light to medium coverage.
Vitalumière Aqua has an SPF of 15 but I would wear a separate SPF underneath in spring/ summer. The foundation contains Hyaluronic Acid derivatives (yay) for hydration as well as 'Lotus Water' and a Brown Algae derivative to promote toning and give an energizing effect. I'm not sure how much of an effect the skincare ingredients will have long term but the addition of 'High Definition Light Pigments' provide the superficial hint of luminosity that make this a great foundation.
I have a bit of a love/hate thing going on with the packaging. Yes it's convenient and light and compact and therefore brilliantly portable (and the squeeze-ability of the tube makes it easy to dispense the right amount) but on the other hand, this is Chanel and a part of me feels a little disappointed that the bottle isn't made of thick, weighty glass, impractical as that may be. If you're going to spend on designer, you want it to sort of look designer, if you know what I mean? This is a bit like wearing a plain T Shirt that nobody would know is actually Chanel unless they looked at the label inside. 

At £34, this is not the cheapest foundation out there but it's also not the most expensive and I see it as a pre-baby treat to myself. After all, if I'm going to have baby sick in my hair at least I'll have Chanel on my face.
Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation is available at Boots (where it seems to actually be priced at £33) House of Fraser and other Chanel stockists in store and online. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Korean Beauty at Boots

The K Beauty craze has been steadily gaining momentum for the past few years. From features on the Ten Step Korean Beauty Routine (which I am still yet to try) popping up online and in magazines to an influx of Essences and Bubble Masks appearing in major retailers including TK Maxx and online at favourites such as Cult Beauty, we are waking up to the kitsch and kawaii world of Korean beauty buys. 
Boots is the most recent retailer to pick up on the trend, which is obviously an excellent thing for curious points card customers! 
Boots have stocked a range of Sheet Masks for a little while, so they'd already tapped into the K Beauty trend but now they've upped their game with the introduction of 3 major South Korean beauty brands.
Skinfood is a brand I have tried before and coincidentally, the two items I tried are from the Black Sugar range that Boots now stock. I tried both the Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Cream and the Black Sugar Honey Mask Wash Off a couple of years ago now but back then I had to order them from Yes Style and have them shipped all the way from South Korea. If I remember correctly, I enjoyed the mask the most - it's sticky and gooey and packed full of grainy sugar and smells a bit like Coca Cola. I haven't tried the Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub 2X but I just might now that it's so easy to get hold of! Skinfood products at Boots start from £16 and at the moment it looks as though they are only stocking the Black Sugar range but I imagine they will expand if the range does well.


caolion at boots
Caolion is not a brand I know much about and I'm yet to try any of their products, but it seems to be very much focused on pores! Products include the Pore Tightening Day and Night Glowing Duo (not pictured) which features a pot of day cream and a pot of sleeping mask, the Premium Hot and Cool Pore Pack Duo which includes a 'steaming pore pack' and a tightening pack, the Pore Tightening Hot and Cool Foam Cleansing Duo which is another dual system that features a pot of 'Pore Blackhead Steam Foam Cleanser' for night and a pot of 'Pore Tightening Cooling Foam Cleanser' for morning and the Pore Blackhead O2 Sparkling Soap  which could be a good place to start with the brand as it's only £4.

Oh K

Oh K at Boots

Oh K takes the cake when it comes to cuteness - their products are perfect for tweens, teens and any grown ups who enjoy a bit of kawaii in their lives. Boots stock over 30 Oh K products and you'll find everything ranging from kitsch scented brushes and panda handcreams to scented erasers and drink bottles. Personally I'm worried I'm going to buy myself the Oh K Cat Mug for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

*Images owned by Boots. 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

DHC Quick Film Smoother

I have a lot of time for slightly quirky skincare products and the DHC Quick Film Smoother is no exception. I also like the no-nonsense approach DHC took to naming this product - Quick Film Smoother. It's designed to make an instant 'improvement' to the look of your complexion, it creates a kind of film over the skin and it smooths wrinkles in one fell swoop. Pretty much does what it says on the tin then really.
DHC Quick Film Smoother

The Quick Film Smoother is a skincare and makeup product in one as it provides an immediate smoothing effect and delivers a dose of ingredients that work over time.
Particularly brilliant as a primer, Quick Film Smoother is a lightweight gel-cream formula that works instantly to smooth out wrinkles. This effect is thanks to the addition of egg shell membrane peptides that are rich in collagen- they provide the 'tighten and lift effect' that the Quick Film Smoother provides. Various derivatives of the humble egg seem to be a popular ingredient in East Asian skincare so it's not really surprising that DHC include it in this product- I myself haven't tried any skincare containing egg before (though I have had my fair share of egg on my face ha ha ha...) but trying this product has certainly piqued my interest in the power of the egg as a cosmetic ingredient. While the egg peptides provide the immediate effects, skin is nourished and moisturised by algae extract, Sodium Hyaluronate (a water-soluble salt form of Hyaluronic Acid) and soy protein.

As mentioned, this is brilliant as a primer and I'd say it would suit pretty much every ski type. It doesn't have a heavy, artificial, silicone feel on the skin and just provides a nice smooth base ready for foundation. Or it can be worn without foundation if you don't fancy getting made up but would like a little glow action.
DHC Quick Film Smoother is on special for £17.50 at DHC until February 28th. After this date it will return to its full price of £22. You can also find DHC at Escentual.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Fishtail Plait Made Simple

I love it when a fashion or hair style trend is also practical. Sometimes what is trendy is a little difficult to sustain or not really for everyday wear. However, the current trend for intricately and beautifully plaited hair is perfect for work, school or simply hanging out with friends. Once you’ve got the trick and know how to create a plait you can do it in no time. To help you get started here’s my guide to one of the hottest styles of the moment: the fishtail plait.
fishtail plait

Fishtail plait: a step by step guide
Step 1: Shampoo, condition and dry your hair thoroughly. If you usually straighten it you could do that too, but it’ll look just as good unstraightened as well.
Step 2: If you want a side-y fishtail plait comb all your hair into a side parting on one side of your head, otherwise just go to step 3.
Step 3: Split your hair in two large, equal sections.
Step 4: Take a thin piece of hair from outside one of the sections and bring it to the middle gap between the two.
Step 5: Holding that piece there, do the same with another piece of hair from the opposite section. Cross it with the original thin strand in the middle.
Step 6: Pull tightly on each section of hair to make sure it is fixed. Then take another thin strand from the opposite side of your hair, and again, cross it with the piece in the middle.
Step 7: Repeat this process, alternating each side, until all your hair is braided.
Step 8: Secure the plait with a hair tie.
Step 9: Enjoy your beautiful fishtail plait!
Here are a few additional tips for a perfect fishtail plait:
·         Don’t use elastic bands to tie your hair as this can cause breakage and damage.
·         If your hair is fine or flyaway use a bit of hairspray to keep it in place.
·         A fishtail plait is best done with well conditioned hair as softer strands move more easily. Use an intense conditioning mask before braiding, if your hair tends to be dry.
·         If you braid your hair when it’s wet it will stay wet inside the plait, so make sure to dry it thoroughly beforehand.
Fishtail plaits look great on practically everyone, and as you can see, they’re not hard to do. Give it a go with your hair and see how you get on – practice makes perfect!

*Guest Post

Monday, 6 February 2017

Peter Thomas Roth Strawberry Scrub Fruit Enzyme Polisher

You know when you're not quite sure about something and then fate intervenes and gently guides you in the right direction? That's sort of what led me to try out Peter Thomas Roth's Strawberry Scrub Fruit Enzyme Polisher. That's right, fate.
For about a year now I have very nearly purchased it on numerous occasions - after all, my inner foodie does love a gourmand style beauty product - but something has always held me back. Probably the fact that I really do not need another skincare product is what has stopped me clicking add to basket. But then TK Maxx happened a few weekends ago and I could suddenly justify it. It was the only one on the shelf and, though I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it, I do remember that it was less than half price and under a tenner.

I had previously only tried the Irish Moor Mud Mask from Peter Thomas Roth (which is tingly and deeply cleansing in the most wonderful way) so I'm glad to have further expanded my horizons and tried a more 'everyday' type product from the brand.

The Strawberry Scrub Fruit Enzyme Polisher is both a 'grainy' exfoliator and and enzyme exfoliator, so you get two types of exfoliation in one hit. Strawberry fruit enzymes do the acid exfoliating bit while finely ground almonds manually slough away dead skin cells. Even though you can definitely feel the 'scrub' with this product, it is still pretty gentle and doesn't feel like you are polishing your face off.
The scrub contains strawberry puree (the skin, pulp, juice and seeds) as well as something called Strawberry Fresh Cells which is a trademarked ingredient that has been specially extracted from strawberries and microcapsulated for 'ultimate nutrient delivery and performance'. These Strawberry Fresh Cells are designed to moisturise and tone the skin.
You use the Strawberry Scrub in much the same way you would use most grainy exfoliants - a small amount on damp skin and massage gently. Or you can leave it on your face for a few minutes while you shave/ wash your hair/ brush your teeth to give the fruit enzymes a chance to do their thing. After using this my skin feels smooth and pleasantly refreshed and doesn't leave it tight, which is always a winner.
Despite the rather generous 250ml bottle, you only need to use a very small amount of the strawberry scrub for a decent exfoliation so I imagine this is going to last me a pretty long time. The instructions for use do state that it can be used everyday but I personally don't like to use a manual exfoliation product every time I shower. It is pretty hard to resist reaching for this every day of the week though because it smells amazing - just like strawberries. Go figure.
You can find Peter Thomas Roth Strawberry Scrub Fruit Enzyme Polisher at Beauty Bay for £26 and other PTR products at Cult Beauty.