Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Happy Holidays!

I hope you lovely guys and gals are enjoying your holidays. I am up, up and away on vaycay with limited internet connection, this will be my view over NYE. Have a wonderful time and I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful 2012.xxx

Friday, 23 December 2011

No place like Rome

I'm really excited about this new Roman inspired Bath and Lifestyle brand, Palatium. The brand uses high-grade Organic Tuscan Olive Oil and has worked with New York-based artisanal perfumer Rayda Vega on the fragrances for the collection.
The launch scents specifically are Fico Speziato (Spiced Fig), Arancia Dolce (Sweet Orange), and Mare Myrteus (Sea of Myrtle), scents designed to recall the Mediterranean region.
You can order online (and they ship to the UK) at www.thepalatium.com

Thursday, 22 December 2011

New Loves

Just a quickie on some new loves in my life;

1. The Tangle Teezer (why did I delay buying this for so long?!!!)
2. Garnier's BB Cream ( errr, same as above...this is on offer at Boots 2 for £15)
3. Liz Earle's Skin Tint (actually in LOVE with this tinted moisturiser)
4. Agent Provocateur's Maitresse Purse Spray
5. King & Queen's Body Milk in Nefertiti Honey (smells like real honey)
6. Nicoletta's Marshmallow Blends Amaretto Sugar Scrub Cubes (OMG, I want to eat them, they smell so good and one cube is enough for your whole body).
7. Jemma Kidd Lipgloss
8. Trish McEvoy's Fan Brush

What are your new loves? Tomorrow I'll post my Old Flames.. ooh la la.

Over and out.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Keeping it real with Jane Scrivner

A month ago, I attended a spa conference at Center Parcs. I met some wonderful people and the inspirational and talented Jane Scrivner was one of them. I remember my friend Pippa telling me about Jane Scrivner's cleansing balm last year and she really raved on about it, at that time, I had two 200ml pots of Eve Lom to get through (which cost me a bomb) so I didn't need to buy another cleanser.

Anyway, I got speaking to Jane who was showcasing some genius spa appliances and her product range. 

Jane Scrivner has been working in the beauty industry for 18 years and has written many books which include books on detox (I desperately need a detox), as well as having her own range of organic skincare (she's even been to the Kneipp School of Thermo therapy - I LOVE Kneipp).

Jane very generously sent me sample of her nourishing organic cleanser, which deep cleans without dehydration by melting make up, dissolving dirt and purging pores.

This natural cleanser is made from certified Organic Jojoba Oil and Beeswax, with the skin loving essential oils of Sandalwood, Sweet Orange, Frankincense and Myrrh.

The extra fluffy mitt is essential (like Eve Lom/muslin cloth), it helps remove the cleanser properly along with impurities and make up grime. I also love how Jane's cleanser comes with the hygienic spatula.

The cleanser smells like Jojoba and I find that it makes me feel relaxed as I'm massaging into my skin, which is what I need lately as I'm having problems sleeping.

Now for the review...

I have been using this cleanser for a full 4 weeks, it will go into my hero products list for sure! It's organic, deep cleansing, non-drying, pore-minimising, British made and.....SO AFFORDABLE! So, there is no excuse for all the girls who want luxury glowing skin without having to pay luxury brand prices.

I choked when I went on the website to have a look at the price, I was AMAZED and HAPPY to discover that a 120ml pot costs £33 which includes a fluffy mitt and a spatula. I am not even half way through my pot yet after 4 weeks.

I have had no breakouts as I have had when using other deep cleansing balms for the first time and all my make up is removed, leaving my skin feeling clean and looking dewy.

I will continue to use Jane's cleanser, it works for me, the price point is amazing! There's no fuss, Jane is just keeping it real! Simple!

Check out Jane's website for more info here.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Gaia Raw Night Cream

Back in October, I entered fellow blogger Nicoletta's charity raffle prize to help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness.

I  never win anything! So, I was ecstatic to find out I had won the handmade organic night cream by British brand, GAIA Creams.

Look at how the cream is wrappped, with so much effort and thought...
This is MY cream, specially made for me, with my name on it. LOVE this element of the brand, the personalisation.

GAIA Creams state that they are 101% Organic, I didn't understand this, so I contacted the founder, who is the most lovely, honest woman she said this;

"My creams are 101% organic because one of my aims is to make people aware that there are no national nor EU regulations for natural and organic cosmetics and this means that cosmetic companies take advantage of this by putting sometimes as little as 1% of organic ingredients in their products.

101% means that my creams are truly pure and consist of only organic butters and oils of the highest quality.

"Organic" is not a trendy slogan to me. It's me and my life-style."

I didn't know that there are no EU regulations for organic cosmetics, so I wanted to share this with other beauty lovers.

As well as being Organic, GAIA Creams are also;

* Raw
* Fair Trade
* Vegan
* Hand Crafted
* Only made to order

My review

I ran out of my beloved Bioeffect serum a week after receiving my custom made Raw Night Cream, as soon as I dipped my spatula into the pot, I knew I would love this! I LOVE rich, buttery products (KORRES body butters, comfort zone D-age cream et al). It smells lovely and a little goes a long way. So, use it sparingly. If it didn't have a use by date, this pot would last me a year!

I have been applying this to my face (including eye area) and neck every night (apart from the odd one or two late nights) and my skin feels extra smooth and looks plump and clear in the morning, great base to apply my make up. I was so impressed that I recommended it to my sister, she has oily skin and wasn't convinced it would work for her...I WISH I had taken before and after pics, because she bought some on my recommendation and her skin is so clear! Even our laser lady commented on how clear Amina's skin looks and she is now also going to order some!

I love the story behind this brand, a woman's passion for perfect skin without intoxicating yourself and harming the environment!

Magic Night Cream costs;

£16 for a 30ml pot
£25 for a 50ml pot

Full list of ingredients;











Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Illamasqua aims to fight prejudice

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation aims to Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere [take a look at the Facebook page which will tell you more] .
In honour of Sophie's birthday and to mark their support for the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, Illamasqua are hosting an internationally open competition to win a selection of cult pieces from the Illamasqua collection, including Medium Pencil in Sophie, Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist, Nail Varnish in Unnatural, Intense Lipgloss in Repulse, False Eye Lashes in no.21 and a S.O.P.H.I.E wristband.

And best of all, there will be FIVE winners! The competition is open until Midnight GMT Sunday 27th November [T&C's can be found here).
The aims and objectives of the Charity are as follows:

* To create a lasting legacy to Sophie.

* To provide educational group-works that will challenge the prejudice and intolerance towards people from alternative subcultures.

* To campaign to have the UK Hate Crime legislation extended to include people from “alternative subcultures” or “Lifestyle and Dress”

* To work in conjunction with politicians and police forces to ensure individuals who are part of subcultures are protected by the law.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Turn the lights down Lowe

Everyone who comes to my home, always comments on the number of candles I have (and how many I  get through). I admire how candles can completely transform the mood of a room and create a warm, cosy atmosphere.

I love the strength of scent of a good quality candle and candlelight is so ambient, relaxing and romantic. There are a few candle brands I regularly buy and love, such as Diptique, Jo Malone, Miller Harris, Max Benjamin, Neom and LUX Massage Candles. Now, I have a new range to add to my list, which are limited edition!

British designer Pearl Lowe, (former party scene IT girl, mother of Daisy Lowe) has collaborated with the DP London (the luxury eco-organic range).

The fragrance I have is Spiced Punch, which is PERFECT for this time of year to get you in the Christmas spirit. This scent is truly unique, it contains a creative combination of Organic Madagascar Clove Leaf Oil, Organic Sweet Brazillian Orange Oil, Organic Cinammon Leaf Oil and Organic Nutmeg Oil. I would love this fragrance as a perfume or room spray.

All candles are made purely from 100% natural wax, containing sustainable beeswax and EcoSoya. This range contains NO Palm Oil; a product that contributes to the deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia and South America. They also DO NOT contain Paraffin; the mining of which is unsustainable.

The collectors' edition candles are available in 2 other iconic fragrances;

* White Flowers - the heavenly smell of exotic Jasmine, the purest Moroccan roses and sweet Orange Blossom in bloom.

* Citrus Fruit - A warm citrus blend of sicillian lemon peel, juicy orange combined with green citrus notes of Italin bergamot and a spicy mouth-watering twist of root ginger. 

The stunning candles are presented in re-usable packaging in the form of a bespoke, handmade Japanese porcelain container.

The candle melts like butter and when put out, doesn't leave an awful trail of black smoke.

No smoke

I am going to buy the Candle Trio Set for my mum, which is only £30 for 3 x 50g candles!

Each 190g candle costs £30.

The metal candle lid to prevent dust from gathering in your beautiful candle costs £8.

All available from Selfridges, ASOS and http://www.dplondon.com./

Hurry before they're all sold out.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Get your tints out - featuring Carmex Moisture Plus

I have waited SOOOOOOOOO long to blog about Carmex Moisture Plus, I've had this product before it even launched in the UK and I have been getting through the pink tint like water ever since! Truth is, I'm ADDICTED!

I first discovered Carmex (the iconic yellow pot and tubes) around 11 years ago, I always had a pot or tube in my make up kit (which was guaranteed to go missing at the end of a shoot).

Over the years, Carmex has launched several flavours including Cherry and Strawberry and I used to wonder when they would launch something different.

Well, the Moisture Plus Lip Tints were worth the wait! and they have launched at just the right time where us gals now want more than just moisturised lips, we want a hint of colour.

Carmex Moisture Plus is available in two colours, pink and peach as well as a clear (which I use as a base before applying lipstick/gloss).

I am besotted with pink, it suits my naturally pink/red pigmented lips, (peach doesn't look good on me).

I have shown the colour of the pink lip tint on my fingertip because the fleshy colour of your fingertip resembles your lip more than being swatched on the back of your hand/forearm where the skin colour is completely different. This is also a good way to test lip colours in department stores.

I love these tints because they contain SPF, aloe and shea butter..and also because lately I have been so busy I keep forgetting to apply lipstick throughout the day and the pink tint has replaced my usual lipsticks, it's quick, easy, the perfect pink AND so cheap! I have 5 in different places!

Available from Boots.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Get your tint out - featuring clarins lip perfector

At the moment, there is a massive lip tint trend going on and I've gotta admit, I am loving it! This hybrid product is moisturising and protective like a good lip balm with added colour, it's win-win!

So many brands are doing lip tints, Revlon, Lipstick Queen, Topshop, Revlon, Clinique, YSL et al. I haven't tried them all, but the two I am loving are from Clarins and Carmex (Moisture Plus review coming up in the next post).

The Clarins Natural Lip Perfector is a soft textured lip gel with a sugary sweet scent (mmmmm and tastes good too, oops). It is sheer but can definitely be worn with lipstick or alone. 

I have been using it without lipstick, I have nude which is a peachy-beige. I love the sponge applicator which makes it glide on nicely.

The Clarins Natural Lip Perfector costs £15.00 and is available from loads of stores such as Boots, Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Send eye bags packing with BeautyLab

Eyes are usually the first place to show signs of ageing and I ALWAYS forget to use an eye cream, it seems like such an effort after cleansing all my make up off and then using a night serum (Bioeffect/Gaia raw night cream) to THEN have to use an eye product.

But,  there is one lesson I'm beginning to implement in my life and that is that prevention is better than cure. So, for the last few weeks I have been using Instant Renewal Eye Complex by Beautylab, I was sent this along with a BRILLIANT Microdermabrasion polish (which is so good, my ma has borrowed it and has no intention of giving it back, separate post coming soon).

I haven't noticed a major difference in my LV luggage under my eyes yet, but I have been using it inconsistently for a few weeks, however, the skin under my eyes is smoother and my concealer glides on nice and smooth.

The Instant Renewal Eye Complex claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with instant light diffusing properties.

Other benefits include anti-ageing (prevention) and hydration (just what my crepe paper under eyes need during the Winter).

I have been using the size of a grain of rice of this product under each eye, the pump on this product is not the best, it pumps out way to much product, so you may want to share any excess with your family.

The Beautylab site is brilliant and really easy to navigate, you can buy the Instant Renewal Eye Complex here for £27.50.

I will do an update post in 4 weeks time to give an update on how I'm getting on with the heavy duty luggage....yikes!

Heaven Sent Winter Scent

During Spring/Summer I always wear fresh, floral, sweet scents such as Creed Spring Flower, Creed Aqua Fiorentina and KORRES Vanilla and Amber Pear.

For the winter, I like something warmer and richer. I used to wear the original Angel during the Winter from 2001 - 2004 and then switched to Prada until 2009. I have been in search of a warm musky Winter fragrance and I was generously sent a bottle of the latest Angel refillable EDT.

It's unmistakebly still Angel (which I am pleased about) with more of a fruity smell with chocolate caramel and toffee notes (yummy for us chocaholics).

This will make a wonderful present for Christmas. It's such a happy smell and lasts ages considering it's an EDT. 

Angel is definitely one of my hero fragrances, it's elegant and of course a classic! 

There are two sizes (which are refillable);

40ml Angel EDT - £46
80ml Angel EDT - £65

Red or Dead's Debut Fragrance 'Release Me'

I remember the days when there was a Red or Dead shop in Birmingham on Cannon Street (which is now MAC), me and my college girlfriends would go in there when the sales were on (part time job budget back then) and I have often wondered "whatever happened to that cool eccentric brand?".

Well, Red or Dead have entered the fragrance market with their first ever fragrance called 'Release Me'. My wonderful friend sent me a bottle of Release Me (which my little sister has nicked because she likes the packaging, which she says 'inspires' her when writing..strange girl).

The fragrance is soft and fruity (right up my street) and on my skin, the tuberose is the main base note, which is also one of my most favourite smells (my Diptyque candles and room sprays are all Tuberose).

The packaging is stunning, a heavy brushed silber birdcage, presented in a tin box (classic British style).

Release Me is out now.

50ml EDT - £25.00
100ml EDT - £35.00

Avaiable online from the perfume shop.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Pick'n'Mix with ORLY

ORLY will be making a debut appearance at the Clothes Show Live at the NEC, Birmingham from 2nd - 7th December. 

ONE lucky gal (or guy) will win 50 ORLY polishes of their choice! That's a lot of polish...but hey who's complaining? 

Pomegranate the Superfruit

I don't personally have oily skin (I wish I did), however my sister does and she has been testing out KORRES Pomegranate Tonic Lotion.

Pomegranates are rich in Potassium, Folic Acid, Vitamins and Antioxidants (three times more than red wine or green tea) hence being hailed the superfruit.

KORRES Pomegranate Tonic Lotion tightens the pores and rejuvenates the skin. Alpine Willowherb regulates sebum production and gives a matte finish.

My sister who suffers with extremely oily skin has experienced brilliant results using this with her Gaia Raw Night Cream.

The large bottle is also great value (along with all of KORRES wonderful natural and beautifully smelling products) and costs £14.00.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The c-word.....

The c word is a swear word for me because I HATE IT. Here are some clues as to what I am talking about...

IT looks grosse...IT is lumpy, bumpy, it doesn't matter if you're thin or plump...celebs are victims to it...yes, it's CELLULITE!!!

Now what were you thinking? Tut tut....

I have tried so many products which all claim to 'reduce' this and that or promise smoother skin.

The fact is that cellulite is generally the result of hormonal or dietary imbalance within the fat tissues, which results in more fat formation than fat breakdown. When this balance is upset, the fat cells swell and store fat. At the same time, their ability to uptake sugar is increased and the excess glucose causes a hardening of the collagen fibres which normally ensure the skin's elasticity. Around 90% of women over the age of 20 are affected by cellulite (so we're not alone).

So, now what?

Well, it depends on the stage of cellulite one may have.

Stage 1 - edematous cellulite

Skin may appear slightly swollen and soft like jelly and dimpling is only apparent when the skin is pinched together.

Stage 2 - orange peel cellulite

Fat cells increase in volume and capillaries are weakened which restricts fluid drainage and circulation. This stage is clear, you'll be able to to see the appearance of 'orange peel'. The deterioration of circulation also means the skin can feel cold to touch.

Stage 3 - adipose cellulite

Lymphatic fluids builds up and circulation is reduced further making the skin cold to touch, metabolism in the cells slows down. Legs can feel swollen, heavy and fatigued.


Well, I haven't had the luxury or time to have any spa or salon treatments but if any fellow bloggers have and they would like to write about them for me, please let me know. Are there any salon treatments you recommend or that have worked for you?

I'm between stage 1 and 2 and the products I have experienced visible results with (in order from best being 1) are;

1. [comfort zone] Body Strategist Remodeller - this gives a wonderful warm sensation and feels like it's really kicking some life into my circulation. Using this for a month left my 'C' much less visible, I'd say around 80% less and skin on my thighs was super smooth.

2. Shiseido Aromatic Sculpting Gel - I am in LOVE with this product, shame it's rather pricey to buy every month. This has the best smell ever for a cellulite product, you could use this all over but I used mine sparingly, see my full post here. I noticed an improvement within 2 weeks with this product!

3. Beautylab Body Sculpt Gel - I bought this on offer for a £1 from Zest magazine and I'm really glad I did. The packaging I had is old, new one is much better looking. It's like a cream-gel and smells fruity and fresh. A little goes a long way and after using it for a month, I definitely felt a difference in my thighs, they weren't as cold and it didn't warm up like the [comfort zone] cream. So, this is perfect for someone who wants results like the [comfort zone] cream without the hot sensation (which I LOVE). I'd say my C was less visible by 50%.

4. Liz Earle's Energising Hip & Thigh Gel with Energising Body Scrub - absolutely BRILLIANT products, they are affordable, smell wonderful and when used everyday together, you will feel better pyschologically (not just physically), the smell has some sort of positive mood effect on me. I have been through so much of these two products and you don't have to worry about using them sparingly. Which reminds me, I must buy more! Full post here.

What products or treatments do you recommend for cellulite?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Leather Satchel Co

I have been meaning to write about my second satchel bag from leather satchel co. for MONTHS! This bag is special to me because I had it customised..yes, you too can customise yours, no need to pay ridic prices for a standard satchel from High St stores.

I am so in love with this bag that I did a shoot with it..and my beautiful dogs (see me with Sky below). Everywhere I go I get compliments on my bag and then they realise I have my initials embossed in gold leaf, he he.

It is perfect for work and meetings, I can fit my folders/books etc and I have the choice of using the briefcase handle or my detachable strap (see pics below).

Obviously these extras cost a little bit to add on but they are so worth it!

My bag came to £111.50 (BARGAIN!!!)

The spec;

14" Autumn Tan £81
Briefcase handle and detachable shoulder strap £12
Embossing £5 per letter

I also ordered a shoulder pad but I think they forgot to send it, didn't really need it to be honest. The strap is comfortable and strong.

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