Monday, 2 March 2015

Clarins Garden Escape Eye Palette

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Wearing Benefit's Roller Lash mascara (boy, this stuff is good!) and Tom Ford's Vanilla Suede lipstick

Well hello March! Where did those last few months go? It feels like only yesterday I was counting down the days until Christmas and we were enjoying cosy nights in by the fire and long, wintery walks. Now everything is feeling fresher, lighter and more Spring-like. This is one of my favourite times of the years, firstly because of the shift of seasons and secondly because of all the Spring-Summer beauty collections that start to launch. I always look forward to seeing what Clarins bring out for their Summer release as you can always guarantee a pretty range of lip colours and a beautiful, soft eyeshadow palette and I am happy to report that this year they haven't disappointed.

The Garden Escape Spring 6-colour Eye Palette* (£32) is a limited edition palette inspired by the colours of a radiant garden and the scent of unique flowers. It reflects blossoming, luscious greens, petal pinks, snowdrop whites and woody browns. All the shadow shades are fresh and luminous and work in perfect harmony to brighten and complement a delicate complexion. This 6 shade palette, decorated with floral designs, has a mixture of smooth satin and pearly-shimmer powders giving you the option to wear the day or night with a varying intensity. The colours are so sophisticated and pretty and even the pink shades, which seemed a little daunting to begin with, are so lovely to place all over the lid to brighten the eyes and give a natural look. The powders can be used dry for a soft, subtle finish or slightly dampened for a more intense flash of colour for a night out maybe. I used the lighter pink and white shades all over my lids and in the corners before blending in the gorgeous taupe shadow through the crease. I lined my lower lash line with both leafy green hues layered on top of each other and finished with lashings of my favourite mascara at the moment!

Has the new Clarins Summer launch given you a spring in your step? Do you love the look of this eye palette as much as I do?
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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Philosophy Fresh Cream Range

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If sweet, saccharine scents are your cup of tea then this new Fresh Cream Collection from Philosophy will give you all the enjoyment of a freshly whipped dessert without the guilty calories. The Fresh Cream range has expanded and has welcomed an indulgent shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath all-in-one product as well as a spray fragrance housed in a delicate glass bottle to delight your senses.

The unique 3-in-1 formula of the shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath* (£19.50) provides a rich, foaming lather to cleanse and condition skin and hair leaving everything feeling silky smooth and soft with the whiff of creamy vanilla. I am not such a fan of this as a shampoo (I am quite fussy when it comes to my haircare) but as a special bath time treat poured under the running water it is a wonderful addition especially if you chuck in a lush bath bomb as well. As a shower gel it is really lovely too and lathers up a treat leaving your skin feeling and smelly sweet and beautifully conditioned.

The Fresh Cream spray fragrance* (£34) is a scent laced with all the essence of whipped cream enhanced by soft floral notes of almond blossom and vanilla milk to keep it from being too sickly sweet. It is delicate and lightly scents the skin without being too overwhelming but you do really have to like creamy sweet scents in order to get on with this one. I always love the clean simple packaging of Philosophy and love having this bottle sitting prettily on my dressing table.

The Fresh Cream Range is out now and is available from John Lewis. Will you be giving it a spritz and a sniff?
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Saturday, 28 February 2015

The La Roche-Posay Face Sprays

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Isn't funny how quickly a fairly unknown French brand here in the UK can quickly become a household name and something that swiftly moves up to poll position on many beauty bloggers' wish list. La Roche-Posay has always been accessible from a few stores, namely Boots, and online but a certain few products, (cough...Serozinc...cough) have kept us UK beauty lovers' channel-hopping over to La Pharmacies of Paris to stock up on this cult skincare spray. Well we can now pack our passports away as January this year we were blessed with the news that a UK beauty site would be selling Serozinc so we could now shop and spray until our heart's content! So thank you and merci beaucoup Escentual.

So what is all the fuss about? Well I first purchased and tried Serozinc a year or so ago when I visited Paris and can completely see why it has become such a staple in many people's skincare routine. It is basically a Zinc Sulphate toning mist that can be applied directly from the can or onto a cotton pad to be swiped over the face following your morning or evening cleanse. It is designed to help soothe and repair slow-healing skin. You know those annoying red patches and spots left behind from a bout of acne or skin irritation? Well a few sprays of this will help settle the irritated areas and generally give your complexion a fresh, comfortable feel whilst reducing marks, redness and excess oiliness. The formula is perfect to use everyday as a toner in-between your cleanser and serum/moisturiser or can be spritz on any time of the day to give your skin a refreshing treat to tighten up the appearance of pores and prevent excess shine. It is ideal for all skin types and for only £7.20, it really is a step I wouldn't skip now from my skincare regime.

Having got the La Roche-Posay spray-in-a-can bug I was also excited to try one of their newer products to launch - the Thermal Spring Water Spray* (£7) also available from Escentual. This light mist is the perfect antidote to hot, stressed or sensitive skin particularly in the Summer time when you just need to refresh and hydrate. Suitable for all skin types, even if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, burns, scars, acne or rosacea, the unique blend of mineral salts and trace elements including Selenium  makes this spray the ultimate soothing and softening fix. The micro-droplets penetrate the skin immediately for instant relief by decongesting, soothing and preventing skin ageing. It is an absolute must-have to pop in your bag if commuting, city-trotting, festival-going or air-travelling this Summer and with the dinky 50ml version available, it will still leave you with plenty of room for all your other essentials!

Are you a fan of the La Roche-Posay Facial Mists?
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Friday, 27 February 2015

Jo Malone Rock The Ages Collection

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Jo Malone has always been a wonderfully-distinguished British brand which is one of the reasons why I love their timeless branding and inventive scents. Every new collection they bring out seems to surpass its preceding launch and their classic fragrances will forever adorn my dressing table. Jo Malone's latest, limited edition collection is a proud celebration of everything British and everything it stands for - a nation rich in history and completely renowned for illustrious eras in time.

Jo Malone's Rock The Ages Collection* (available from Jo Malone online) is a range of five unique and limited edition dinky fragrances to encapsulate all the unique and iconic moments of British history - five beautifully-packaged scents to arouse the emotions and experiences of eras gone by from the fifteenth century to present day. Die hard patriots and lovers of the romantic eras can unite and find their perfect perfume here from the Rock The Ages collection - whether you enjoy something spicy, rich and decadent or clean, ethereal and individual.

Firstly we have Tudor Rose & Amber which is inspired by Tudor Britain and is a spicy mix of clove, opulent rose and amber. Next along the timeline is Lily of the Valley & Ivy which embodies Georgian Britain. Its initial note of captivating green ivy is complemented by a lavish heart of delicate lily of the valley. Fast forward a few years and we have Pomegranate Noir which captures Victorian Britain by layering the luscious pomegranate with heady Casablanca lily and guaiacwood for a dramatic and intense scent. Entering the 1900s and we are met with Geranium & Verbena which epitomises the Edwardian era. The aromatic verbena is blended with refined and crisp geranium for a clean, herbaceous finish. Finally the collection finishes with a salute to 2015, Britain today. Birch & Black Pepper is a scent of contrasts - the cool spiciness of black pepper and cardamon is layered with smoky birch and the smooth warmth of gurjum for a surprisingly sensual yet audacious scent.

Which British-inspired scent do you like the sound of? Which iconic era will you bring to life again at home?
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Aveda Beautifying Creme Cleansing Oil

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When it comes to Aveda hair products I always have a host of bottles on the go in my shower and bathroom and think their Damage Repair range may be one of my favourite shampoos and conditioners to use when I am after an indulgent treat. I love the smell and aromatic experience that Aveda products instantly bring and it really does feel like you are pampering yourself in your very own spa, at home! Recently Aveda have released a new body care range to give our bodies an uplifting experience at the end of a long day or in preparation for a new one. One of the new products to launch is their Beautifying Creme Cleansing Oil which is a gentle body cleanser enriched with a nourishing plant oil blend that soothingly washes away impurities. It is truly divine.

Aveda's new Beautifying Creme Cleansing Oil* (£22) available from Aveda is a rich cream which softly lathers up on the skin whilst filling your bathroom with the aromatic scent of rosemary, lavender and bergamot. The smell is so lovely and relaxing. The creme cleansing oil is so delicate and conditioning on the skin it feels like you are cleaning and moisturising your body all at the same time - in fact I sometimes step out the shower and feel that I don't need to apply my moisturiser at all as my skin feels so smooth and nourished. The blend of certified organic Safflower and Olive oils work at cleansing and maintaining the skin's moisture barrier whilst the plant oil replenishes the skin leaving it soft and beautiful. I adore using this creme cleansing oil and am excited to try some more bits from the Aveda body care range which will happily join my line up haircare products I'm sure.

Are you a fan of Aveda? Have you tried anything from their body care range before?
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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Benefit Brow

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When it comes to achieving the perfect brows, Benefit Cosmetics know what they are doing! I am not sure quite when my brow routine became more involved and extensive that my average base and contouring regime put together but it is easy to whittle away a good ten minutes shaping, enhancing, highlighting, filing, combing, tinting and taming those brows to perfection. The journey to shapely brows starts for me at my local Benefit Brow Bar in Debenhams which I have been going to for the past few years. It is ever so convenient for me to pop in on my lunch break and get my brows tinted, waxed and finished in a swift fifteen minutes and they last a good three to four weeks until I need to attend to those stray hairs again. Following my monthly maintenance at the Brow Bar I like to keep my brows in check with a plethora of different products and when it comes to choice, Benefit has a whole host of pencils, brushes, waxes, powders, highlighting crayons and tinting brushes to shape and shade, fill and define your brows beautifully.

The first, and possibly one of their more iconic brow products, is Benefit's Brow Zings* (£24.50) available in a light, medium and deep version. I remember this was one of those products I saved and saved for when I first discovered the importance of a strong brow game when I was 15 or so. It is a great little brow kit containing all the tools you will need for perfecting great brows on the go. There is a pigmented wax for shaping, natural shaded powder for setting as well as some tweezers, an angled brush, a blending brush and mirror all enclosed in a pocket-sized palette with a full step-by-step guide. If more natural, softly-defined eyebrows are your thing then Benefit's Instant Brow Pencil* (£15.50) is lovely and subtle and available in three shades to complement your colouring perfectly. The texture is soft and long lasting and glides on easily leaving a powder-like finish. It is ideal for when you need to add shape, definition or fill in any gaps and the spoolie tip on the opposite end is perfect for taming any unruly hairs.

Then we have our dinky brow brushes to comb, tint and set your brows - Benefit's Speed Brow* (£13) and Gimme Brow* (£17.50). Speed Brow is a brush-on gel that dries quickly to help set and tame eyebrows with a subtle colour. This is best used alone for a quick tidy up of your brows or over the top of Instant Brow Pencil to set the colour and help give your brows an instant arched shape by combing the brush in light, upward strokes. As for Gimme Brow you can read all about Benefit's newest of brow products here and see the results. I love this!

Finally it is time to give those brows a lift with Benefit's highlighting and enhancing pencils - High Brow* (£15.50) and High Brow Glow* (£15.50) which both give brows that wow factor with a soft, creamy consistency and illuminating finish. High Brow is pearly, pinky-toned highlighter that instantly adds a lifted look to the whole eye area. Best applied just under your arch or in the inner corner of your eye. the pencil glides over the skin and then can be lightly patted in with your fingertips. It has a fairly matte finish and is slightly shimmery but not at all glittery or sparkly so keeps your brows looking naturally fabulous! The High Brow Glow does exactly the same job but gives you a warmer, champagne-toned sheen which might suit darker skin tones more than High Brow or perfect for when you have that just-back-from-holiday glow. I love both but prefer the satin-pink lustre of High Brow for an every day, natural finish.

So there we have it, Benefit brows sorted with a host of their popular products. Whether you are after brows that are defined, dramatic and perfectly arched or something a little softer, subtle and more natural in shape and finish, there is powder, pencil or mini comb for everyone. My personal picks for natural, delicately highlighted and softly defined brows are Brow Zings (just the wax part), a quick slick of Gimme Brow and then High Brow to finish the look off with a pretty, pearly sheen. What about you?
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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Dkny Delicious Delights Fragrances

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The DKNY limited edition Delicious Delights collection is a trio of fragrances inspired by sweet sorbet treats. Picture whipped frozen treats, sweet sprinkled toppings, refreshing flavours bursting with juicy, fruity scents with cute ice-cream-inspired names to match. I think it is so fun how DKNY have continued to change and reinvent the classic and the original Be Delicious Green Apple fragrance and this newest transformation they have served up is truly delightful.

Housed in frosted glass bottles in a rainbow of sherbet-sweet shades, these Delicious Delights perfumes are light, fresh and fruity and look picture-perfect placed on your dressing table. They are a joyful addition to your perfume collection to help you skip into Spring with a cocktail of notes including pistachio, vanilla, raspberry and mandarin. The green bottle (Cool Swirl) is a tropical blend of blackcurrant, violet leaves and coconut water which will delight your senses. The blooming magnolia and jasmine notes enwrap themselves with an exquisite mixture of pistachio sorbet for a heavenly escape which takes you to a beachfront resort with a cocktail in hand.

The orange bottle (Dreamsicle) gives you a sweet, scintillating splash of femininity with a mixture of juicy mandarin and lush raspberries blended harmoniously with accents of peach nectar and apricot sorbet. It is finished with a rich swirl of creamy sandalwood and vanilla scents which create an undeniably blissful aroma just like you have just stepped into a ice cream parlour.

Finally the purple bottle (Fruity Rooty) is a tempting, creamy fragrance with decadent notes of vanilla and musk infused with the freshness of blackberry, blackcurrant and juicy mandarin. It charms with indulgent candied apple sorbet dipped in an aura of rose petals and violet flower. It is seriously gorgeous and leaves you wanting just one more spritz every time!

This sweet new collection from DKNY will be available nationwide from March 2015 for £37 each. Will you be going for one, two or all three scoops of these sorbet-inspired scents?
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