Tuesday, 29 June 2010

By Popular Request: Holiday Snaps

Last week the bf and I spent an amazing week in Egypt! It was a much needed break, and a great start to the summer. Since so many of you have asked I'm going to now shower you with numerous holiday photos!

We stayed at the Amwaj all inclusive hotel in Nambq Bay in Sharm el Sheikh, which I would recommend checking out if you are looking for a romantic getaway. There were lots of things to do during the day such as activities in the hotel (water polo, yoga, aqua aerobics.. you name it), as well as a spa (which I took full advantage of) and the opportunity to take lots of trips (we went snorkelling, scuba diving and camel riding in the dessert and for tea with the bedouin).
This is the view from one of the bars in the hotel, it was lovely at night with all the pools lit up!
The same view from the patio below (beach dress from ASOS).
Since our flight was very delayed, and we lost half a day, we arrived very late at night (or early in the morning). Though it was all worth it when we woke up to the beautiful view from our balcony with the hotel on one side and the sea on the other.
One of our day trips was riding camels (mine was called whisky) out into the desert where we had tea with the bedouin. Even at 5pm it was a scorching 40oC, so my SPF 50 Ambre Solaire definitely came in handy!
You know I love my jumping shots. I think one day I will make an album of these so I can remember all the places I have been. It's kind of strange, I know, but it might catch on... you heard it here first ;).
One evening we went to see a Fakir/ Faqir show with cocktails on the beach. I still have no idea what the secret is to eating fire and walking on broken glass.. though I am not sure if I am in a hurry to find out!
Dresses from Ted Baker and ASOS.
 Unfortunately for fear of my camera meeting a premature (death by 1 sand grain as the last one) demise we only took pictures on the beach on the last day, so I can't share with you the parade of (ahem.. 9) bikinis I brought with me on holiday. I can however, show you the beautiful coral reefs and exotic fish.

I love this shot of my big water baby. You can see just how beautifully clear the sea is!

One more for the road... If you have made it this far! I hope you guys enjoyed that marathon of photos. I highly recommend Egypt if you are looking for somewhere sizzling to pump up your tan, go scuba diving or just chill out on the beach. I only wish we could have stayed for longer!

Hope you are all having a good week my lovelies! See you all soon xxx

Friday, 25 June 2010

Back with a bump!

I am back my lovelies! Egypt was perfectly hot and sunny and I wish I could have stayed for 4 weeks (maybe not forever as the food somewhat upset my 'delicate constitution', though it was to be expected).

It's been a hectic week at work catching up on all I have missed, but I have so many things I want to write about, just need to find the time. Unfortunately it is now midnight and I am falling asleep as I type, but look out for a special holiday post in the next couple of days (which will include lots of pics by popular request!).

 See you all soon xxx

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Sail away, sail away, sail away.

My lovelies, after a much delayed flight (up at 5am, flight due to leave at 9am and eventually left at 2.30pm) and a generally horrendous journey overall I am finally in Egypt.! I can see the pool from my balcony and the sea from my door so it was all worth it! Just wanted to post a quick farewell for the week.

I'll see you (force you to listen to my ramblings) in a week!!

Love xxx

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Free Moisturiser from Origins at Selfridges

Origins is opening their new flagship counter a Selfridges on the 7th of June. This new state of the art counter also sees the introduction of the new Exclusive Service Menu, which lets you explore the world of Origins, experience pampering treatments and receive expert skincare advice. The menu is made up of a choice of three 10 Minute Express treatments, a touch screen Interactive Playground and the first ever Origins sampling bar in Europe.
To celebrate this event during the month of June Origins are holding a fantastic promotion. Their 'Return to Nature Recycling Program' encourages you to bring in your current moisturiser (any brand, full or empty) to the counter and trade it in for a free Origins moisturiser best suited to your skin type. The old containers will then be sent off to Waste Care where they will be recycled, or if there are components of packaging that can’t be recycled, they will be then be used for energy recovery.  They are ensuring that no packaging is sent to landfills and Waste Care have committed to be able to recycle 96% of empty cosmetic packaging.

Doing your bit for mother nature has never been so easy, and let's face it profitable! Perhaps if I do all my laundry on a cold wash, turn off my lights more diligently and always take showers instead of baths she will also give me blemish free skin? Well there's no harm in trying!

Permanent hair removal with the E-One

Now that it is officially summer in the City the layers are starting to be peeled off and more often than should probably be allowed the world has to be subjected to my pale legs. Now pale is in itself not a crime, but pale legs that have not been properly 'mowed' are an all together more hideous concern of mine.

Let's talk hair removal ladies. Not a very sexy topic, but one I feel needs to be addressed every now and then so that no woman feels that she is alone in the fight!

I have recently started a laser hair removal course at my local salon. I was so completely fed up with my sensitive skin constantly being red and irritated after shaving, or the painful ingrown hairs from waxing/ epilating that enough was enough! I have so far had two sessions on my underarms (one every 4 weeks) and the results are noticeable (ie. 10 days after laser you can literally pull the hairs out with no pain and fingers crossed they won't come back). The treatment itself was not painful, and since I am the biggest wimp I can wholeheartedly say that all I felt was a little heat, no rubber bands snapping. So far, so good! I shall update you all in a couple of months, but I think (and pray) it is working. However, the treatments in salon are expensive (some places charge £2000 just for lower legs!) and it is quite a hassle, especially if you want to do a larger part of your body as you will be stuck with your beautician for hours. I am not even to go into the other disadvantages.. all I'm saying is that some people get hair in strange, strange places :(.

So with hairy toes on my mind I was excited to be invited to a presentation by E-Swin, the makers of a new revolutionary at home IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal system called the E-One.

The system itself is quite a beast, it is nothing like the versions available in Boots currently as it aims to be salon quality. If you think about it the heat produced is immense so it has to be large to be able to cool itself down (which makes me skeptical of the tiny Phillips version.. how could it possibly fire a laser powerful enough?).

The E-One promises to not only reduce, but permanently remove hair and after an average of 10 to 12 treatments (approx. 2 months apart), only 1 or 2 uses per year should be required to keep your skin clear and hair free.  It is also very versatile and can even be used on the face. The touch screen lets you select your skin and hair type so you can easily customise it to different parts of your body.

Now comes the big question.. does it hurt? I can honestly say after trying it on my arm a couple of times it didn't hurt at all! All you feel is a slight heating sensation which disappears in a flash (no pun intended). It didn't irritate or burn my skin and there wasn't even any visible redness afterwards. I have also been assured that this system has gone through vigorous tests, which have shown no skin irritations on 100% of users (even with 30% higher energy than required). The E-One was launched in France in 2007 and, even with a full money back guarantee not a single person returned it, which implies that it works and people are seeing results!

The only issues I have with it are that it is a little bit cumbersome as you have to hold the sides in and then push it into your skin for the flash to 'fire' and you have to wait a few seconds for it reset itself after every flash. This would not be a problem if you were doing a small area, but I can imagine the legs would take quite a long time, still I don't see this as a major concern. The real drawback for me is the price.

The smallest package is priced at £1,450 and includes
  • E-One device and preinstalled Optic' cartridge
  • 1 pair of glasses
  • 2 year guarantee
  • 1 working pen
  • 1 gel bottle
  • 1 optical spray
  • 1 guide plate
  • 1 Sticker patch (for covering moles etc.) 
Yes, it is much cheaper than a salon treatment (you could do your whole body, your friend's, your boyfriend's!), but it is a large commitment to make. I am therefore very much comforted by their 6 months money back guarantee, which lets you thoroughly test out the system for a long enough period of time to see whether it really works for you and if it doesn't you can send it back and get a refund, no questions asked. I can honestly tell you I am very tempted to start saving. Not only does it work out cheaper than waxing etc. but after the initial time and money invested you are left with real results! Just the thought of never having a rash after shaving, or never having to go through the eye watering pain of waxing makes it worth it for me.

If you are curious about the E-One you can their website here (it is full of information and testimonials and explains the technology, process of usage and expected results really well).

What do you think? Is it worth making such an investment or are you happy to pick up your weapon, (insert any torture devise applicable - razor, wax or epilator) and carry on the fight?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Easy Day to Night Makeup in 5 minutes!

We have all been there, either your boss makes you stay late (and pretends not to notice when you tell him you actually had plans this evening) or you are slumped on the sofa after a long day and would much prefer to have a hot cup of tea to standing in front of the mirror for 20 minutes before rushing out. These days I prefer to keep it simple and efficient, so here are a few of my little tips for getting ready for the evening in five minutes. I hope you find them helpful :) xxx

Products mentioned:
NARS sheer glow foundation in montblanc
MUFE full cover concealer
Besame cashmere powder compact from http://www.cocobeau.co.uk/index.php?m...
Shiseido bronzer
Too faced eye shadow duo
No7 extreme lengths mascara
Liz Earle tonic
MAC Vegas volt lippie

All products mentioned (apart from the besame powder, which was kindly sent to me for review) were bought by myself :). Hope you are all having a good week lovelies! xxx

Current Obsessions

It's been a little difficult recently to sit down and blog, but I have finally found a quiet moment to share with you all my latest obsessions. To confess I haven't been doing much shopping lately, mostly because shops are shut when I finish work and the weekends have been pretty hectic with friends/bf and trying to keep the house under control lol (ie. keep the dust/ fur bunnies that Maxie makes at bay). I have said it before, and I shall say it again, internet shopping has become my best friend!

So without any more rambling (well not quite so much), here are the products that I have been absolutely loving recently.

Cleanser: Liz Earle cleanse and polish - since first being sent a bottle to review I have returned to the Liz Earle store multiple times to stock up. This cleanser smells beautiful, is lovely and soothing to use and removes every trace of dirt without irritation. The muslin cloth also exfoliates so my skin feels extra smooth without having to scrub away :).

Toner: LUSH Tea Tree Water -  couldn't live without it (tried and it wasn't pretty). Light, refreshing and gentle this toner is absolutely perfect.

Shower Gel - The Body Shop Neroli Jasmin - Now I am not one to get overly passionate when it comes to bath products, but this one smells so delicious it makes me want to shower 10 times a day. I took advantage of the recent TBS online sale and stocked up! If you haven't tried it you must, the fragrance is beautiful - soft, sweet, refreshing and feminine. The body mist and eau de toilette are definitely on my shopping list!

Hair - Andrew Collinge Heat Defence Spray. Not something to get overly excited about, but I am really enjoying using this. I love the spray nozzle, as it creates a diffused mist that spreads evenly throughout hair, it is super light so doesn't leave that sticky residue some sprays (ahem tre semme!) do and it smells lovely.
Hair - L'Oreal Cream Casting gloss in mahogany. After dying my hair about 6 weeks ago ash brown to take away some of the warmer tones I got tired of my girl next door hair and decided to go back to my red roots (well, my roots aren't really red, but that's beside the point). I missed having auburn hair, there's just something about it that has a little more ooomph than plain chestnut. Warning: as with any non-ammonia based, non-permanent dyes this baby does leak (as I discovered in the rain post colour and in white dress!).
Body - Liz Earle Superskin Body Cream - Pricey, but worth it as a little goes a long way. This cream is rich and indulgent, the fragrance is potent, but soothing (it reminds me of spa treatments and aromatherapy oils and I find it very relaxing when used before bed). This is definitely one for night time use as it does not sink in quickly, but applied on my irritated legs (grrr tights!) I wake up with baby soft skin in the morning that feels revitalised and supple.

Makeup: NARS Sheer Glow - Though it isn't particularly glowing or indeed that sheer I can see what all the hype is about. I bought this foundation 3 weeks ago and have been wearing it every day since. It gives a beautiful, natural finish to the skin, is super easy to apply and blend with fingers (easy does it in the mornings!) and it lasts a decent amount of time on my oily skin. It is also buildable and re-touch friendly and can be reapplied in the evening without looking cakey or heavy. It seems to just sink and merge into the skin. It reminds me a little of Dior Forever foundation, but with less coverage and slightly more sheen (used very loosely here as it just looks a little more natural).

The last and biggest obsession of them all is the fact that I am off on holiday to Egypt next Monday and I couldn't be more excited!! Yay!

What are your recent obsessions? Have you been on any mad shopping sprees or are you shopping your stash like me and finding products you love? xxx

Dear FTC police, all products mentioned (except LE superskin cream) were bought with my own little salary :).
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