Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Review: The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique

Last year the team behind the fabulous The Chelsea Day Spa on the King’s Road opened their sister spa The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique on Hollywood Road, SW10. The new salon is smaller and more intimate, but still offers a great range of face, body and nail treatments in its three cosy treatment rooms and nail bar.
The spa’s team of highly qualified therapists are trained in Darphin and HydroPeptide luxury facials, plus personalised Aromatherapy, Swedish, Hot Stone and Deep Tissue massages. The salon also offers basic personal grooming and express treatments for both men and women, which includes waxing with Perron Rigot, eye lash and brow tinting, plus express manicures/pedicures and ‘everlasting’ gels with Jessica.
I was kindly invited to The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique to experience one of Darphin's signature facials, which are priced at £85 for 60 minutes.

On arrival I was offered some lemon water while I filled out the usual forms relating to any allergies or medications. I was then taken to my treatment room, which was cosy, but quite small. After I had made myself comfortable the therapist  performed what she called 'a welcome ritual', which is a light foot massage to begin the relaxation process. She then analysed my skin and noticed that it was looking rather oily in the t-zone, with some slight dehydration in the cheeks and around the eyes. My appointment was at 7pm, so after being on the go all day I was definitely looking very shiny! As I had expressed some concerns about a few developing blemishes my therapist recommended The Lemon & Lavender Deep Cleansing Treatment, which is described as a deep purifying and detoxifying treatment for all skin types that refines pores and leaves complexion refreshed, sparkling clean, clear and bright.
She began by thoroughly removing all makeup and then cleansing the face, neck and chest twice with Darphin's Purifying Foam Gel (£17.10). This felt very light and cooling on the skin, leaving it feeling fresh and clean. She then followed with an exfoliator and Darphin's Mild Aroma Peeling (£24.30) to gently remove impurities. While the mask was doing its magic I was given a head massage, which felt wonderfully relaxing. After this she applied the Soothing Eye Contour Mask (£31.50) and performed two types of facial massage (lymph drainage) with Darphin's Niaouli Aromatic Care Elixir, which smells absolutely amazing. To balance the oil in my skin, while making sure it remains hydrated, she also used the Skin Mat Balancing Serum (£40.50) and Matifying Lotion (£34.20).
The whole treatment lasted just over an hour and I left feeling very relaxed, while my skin looked clear and fresh. I could feel that the products really saturated and plumped my skin, yet it didn't feel greasy or look shiny in the slightest. After five hours I can see that my skin still looks on the healthy side of matte, with a subtle glow void of any oiliness.

The The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique is a lovely little salon, and given that it is practically on my doorstep I will definitely be visiting again. It provides a great selection of treatments at comparatively reasonable prices using an impeccable range of products. Plus, it is open till 8pm Mon-Thurs, which makes it a perfect evening antidote to a hectic week! While looking through their website I stumbled upon their Daily Deals page and found that they often offer discounts on their treatments. Their current deal is TWO 60 minute Rejuvenating Facials for £85 (originally priced at £170), but I think this may change daily to give you lots of options!


Have you ever visited the The Chelsea Day Spa or The Chelsea Day Spa Boutique? Do you treat yourself to regular facials? Are you a fan of Darphin products? Which are your favourites? xxx

Monday, 26 March 2012

Origins Earth Month + Freebies!

This month Origins will be doing their bit in supporting Earth Month - raising awareness by enticing their customers to try some of their best selling products for free!

Global ReLeaf - For every product purchased within the A Perfect World franchise between 15th – 28th April, Origins will plant a tree to help restore areas damaged by wildfire and help clean our air and water on the customer’s behalf.
Trade-In Day is 21st April – Bring in any empty skincare product (from any brand) and trade it in for a complimentary full size of either Starting Over Age-erasing Moisturizer with Mimosa (£36.00/€50.00) or A Perfect World SPF25 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea (£32.00/€45.00).
 
I am a huge fan of Origins and can personally recommned the APW moisturiser. It works amazingly well to hydrate and soothe the skin without feeling heavy. It also smells delicious! So what do you have to lose? Just pop down to your local Origins counter with an empty container and receive one of Origins' amazing full size products! xxx

Origins products are formulated WITHOUT:

Parabens ● Phthalates ● Propylene Glycol ● Mineral Oil ● PABA ● Petrolatum
Paraffin ● DEA ● Animal Ingredients (except cruelty-free honey and beeswax)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

STEAMCREAM: Love for Japan

STEAMCREAM is a cult, award winning product that can be found in many a celebrity makeup artist's kit. Made with fresh, natural ingredients fused with a shot of steam it is a multi-purpose cream that can be used to soften and moisturise the face and body. With an impressive list of ingredients including orange blossom water, almond oil, cocoa butter, lavender essential oil, rose absolute and neroli essential oil it is suitable for all skin types.

Holding a strong tie to their origins this Anglo-­Japanese brand launched the LOVE FOR JAPAN project on the 11th of March, exactly a year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. The project will be an on­‐going fund raising initiative to provide sustainable and committed support to the people of Japan. It will donate 100% of the funds raised through the sale of the red LOVE FOR JAPAN tin to help the people still coping with the awful effects of this tragedy.
If you have wanted to try STEAMCREAM and see it's benefits for yourself then now is the perfect time! The special LOVE FOR JAPAN tins are £12.95 and available exclusively here.

Have you ever tried STEAMCREAM? Are you tempted to pick up a tin for a good cause? xxx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

butter London S/S 2012

When the new butter London collection images dropped into my inbox this month I had to stop myself from letting out a squeal. I am sure my colleagues at work would not have shared my excitement! The colours in this collection are absolutely stunning and there is definitely something for everyone.

I was lucky enough to receive two shades from the range, including the one I was desperately hoping for - the beautiful, shimmery, multi-faceted and rather originally named 'Knackered' and the vivid, creamy teal 'Slapper'.
All the butter polishes are 3 free with no Formaldehyde, Toluene or DBP and are priced at £12 each here.

Knackered is described on the website as a sheer, twinkling oyster shade flecked with micro glitter particles. This polish is a true duochrome, with facets of lilac, silver and minty green infused with a rainbow of glitter.
With flash.
Without flash.

I was so excited to try this polish (even though I had just had my gels done at the salon so couldn't apply it to my own nails) that I commandeered a very reluctant hand model. If he ever sees this he will be very unimpressed... No nasty comments about the man fingers please, it was either these or Maxie's claws. I was desperate! :P
As mentioned the polish is quite sheer, so to build up the intensity I applied four coats. Once opaque you can see the range of colours light up at different angles, and the glitter really dances in the light! Stunning!
I can't wait to try this polish on top of some darker colours to see what kind of effect it can create as a topcoat!

Have you tried butter London polishes? What do you think of their latest colour palette? Are you a little bit obsessed with the glittery beauty of Knackered? Lots of love for my hand model in the comments please! xxx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

L'Oreal Lumi Magique

After reading the breakdown of the products used in LFW I noticed that L'Oreal's new Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation was all over the catwalks. I was particularly lusting after the milky, natural skin seen in the Mulberry show, which used both the LM primer and foundation. 
I therefore jumped at the chance to try the collection which includes a trio of luminising products - Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation, Lumi Magique Touch of Light Highlighting Pen and Lumi Magique Pure Light Primer.
I don't want to make this review too long, so let's concentrate on the foundation first. The Lumi Magique foundation is designed to illuminate and revitalise the look of dull skin with instant radiance. It claims to provide 24 hour hydration and 14 hour luminosity (not sure how this is measured?), while being oil free and non-comedogenic.
I was sent C1 Rose Pearl, which is the lightest in the selection of 6 shades. It is a real shame that there is a limited range to choose from, but I have found that to be the case in all too many a drugstore foundation (this topic really deserves a post of its own). 
The foundation itself has a light consistency, and as you can see from the above is pretty thin and runny. This makes it super easy to blend into the skin and it looks very natural once applied and feels light and fresh. It has a light/ medium coverage and evens the skin beautifully, while adding that illusive glow.
The photo above is unedited (other than cropping) and shows two pumps of foundation applied with a large flat topped brush. The coverage isn't heavy, letting the skin show through and giving it a clean, dewy and natural finish. As I have some larger pores around my nose I was worried that it could highlight these, but luckily it sits on the skin very evenly, without highlighting flaws. It offers just that little bit more coverage than a tinted moisturiser so I did find that I needed to add concealer on any blemishes and redness. Plus, as my skin can get quite oily in the t-zone throughout the day I like to set it with a powder, so after this photo was taken I applied my usual makeup.
The foundation still looked quite glowy, even when set with powder and definitely gave my skin that extra bit of life! Throughout the day I did notice that my forehead, nose and chin did become shiny, but that was easily fixed with some blotting or extra powder. Lumi Magique isn't particularly long lasting, especially on oily skin, but I would recommend it for those with dry skin as it is very smooth and feels hydrating.

The new L'Oreal Lumi Magique foundation is available for £10.99 from Boots and Superdrug.

So what do you think? Does the Lumi Magique foundation look luminous? Have you tried this new foundation? Are you tempted to pick it up? What is the most important aspect of your foundation? Is it oil control, lasting time, coverage or indeed 'luminosity'? xxx

Sunday, 18 March 2012

MaxFactor Fantasy Fire... My take!

MaxFactor's Max Colour Effect Mini Nail Polish in Fantasy Fire has been causing quite a stir on the blogosphere! Apparently the colour is a dupe of a long discontinued Clarins polish, but I'm not easily swayed by the hype and wanted to try it with no preconceptions.
Seeing this polish in real life I can assure you the photos really don't do it justice. The warm purple base is brought to life with a true rainbow of shimmer. The holographic effect is beautiful, with sparks of red, gold, blue and green lighting up the polish at different angles.
 (With and without flash) 

However, on application I did find that the polish was very sheer. I am not terribly patient when it comes to nails so a polish that dries quickly and is opaque in one or two coats is essential. Fantasy Fire needs a generous three or four coats to reveal it's beauty, and though I do love the colour and think it was worth the effort, it does require a little tenacity.
The above shows the polish after three heavy coats and as you can see the colour is still a little sheer. Luckily, the shimmer hides the majority of the nail bed, so it still looks pretty spectacular!
In addition to the polish I was sent a little nail art kit so that I could recreate Zarra Celik's Purple Leopard designs. I am no nail art maestro, but I try my best! What do you guys think of my attempt?
If you want to create your own or a similar design you can follow Zarra's tips below. It really is so much quicker and easier than I had imagined! Even the bf was impressed with my left handed efforts :P. 
Fantasy Fire is selling fast, and is already going at 3 times the price on ebay! Luckily, new stock has been added to stores and I have found it for £3.99 in Superdrug and Boots.

What do you think of my leopard design? Have you tried MaxFactor's Fantasy Fire polish? Are you tempted to try it? xxx

Friday, 16 March 2012

MeMeMe Summer Chic Mini Nails Collection

Being a nail varnish lover, so much so that I haven't seen my nails without colour or gel overlays for many years, my polish collection is always on the increase. No matter how much I may love a particular colour I very rarely manage to work my way through a full bottle before it dries out or becomes far too difficult to work with. Therefore, I think mini polishes are the way forward! Not only are they super cute, they also take up much less storage/ display space and are more affordable while being less wasteful.
The MeMeMe Summer Chic Mini Nails Collection instantly caught my eye with its gorgeous range of mouth watering pastels and nudes inspired by the S/S catwalks. The collection features six polishes:
  • Pensive - Aqueous blue (inspired by Chanel and McQueen)
  • Spirited - gorgeous milky peach (my favourite)
  • Refined - cool toned light grey
  • Lyrical - super fun soft lemon
  • Ambitious - a sophisticated dusky pink
  • Alluring - on point creamy mocha
I absolutely can't wait to try all these, and may even attempt a bit of an eclectic manicure...
Photo from here.
Though my nail painting skills certainly will not stretch to this so I may attempt one colour on each nail instead ;p.

The MeMeMe Summer Chic Mini Nails Collection retails at £11.99. It is currently available on the Argos website here and will be launched in Superdrug stores and on MeMeMe's website here later this month.  

What is your favourite colour in this collection? Are you a little obsessed with mini nail polishes? Have you tried MeMeMe's nail polish before? What colours are you wearing this Spring? xxx 

*PR Sample* 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

So...? Enticing Giveaway - Extended!

I have recently started to become increasingly interested in fragrances. So much so that I am currently reading a book about the history of fragrance entwined with fashion (review to come). Though I am no perfume snob and when I like a scent, be it Britney Spears or Tom Ford, I will purchase it and embrace it! 

So...? is a brand that most of you will probably be familiar with. It's bright packaging and variety of scents always drew me in, especially as a teenager. Their new fragrance So...? Enticing is inspired by the extension of every girl's wild alter ego.   
As always the packaging of this eau de toilette is colourful and fun loving. It may not be the most sophisticated or intricate bottle, but it's pretty functional and light. The scent itself is very sweet and fruity with top notes of peach, red fruits and pineapple, followed by a floral heart of orange flower, jasmine and rose, finishing with a creamy vanilla, sandalwood and praline base.
The same fragrance also comes in a handy 75ml body spray, which is perfect to throw in a gym or school bag. 

If you are just starting out in fragrances this would be a great one to try as it is super affordable, accessible (sold in Superdrug stores) and very easy to wear. If you fancy trying a bottle for yourself then you are in luck as I am currently giving a way a set of So...? Enticing Eau de Toilette and Body Spray for one of my lovely (UK) readers! 

To win, here’s all you need to do: 
-       Like the So..? Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/So.FragranceUK)
-       Register/ become a member of the So…? site (http://uk.sofragrance.com/register)
Please don’t forget to leave your email address in the comments so that we can contact you! The competition begins today and will finish at midnight on Friday the 13th of April. 
 Good luck my lovelies! xxx


*PR sample provided for giveaway*

Monday, 12 March 2012

Lisa Shepherd Makeover and Discount!

I was recently invited to the Lisa Shepherd salon in London for a mini-makeover. After being presented with a menu of looks, which included a 'Dynamic Dip Dye' and 'Posh Girl Pony' I decided to go for the 'Absolutely Fabulous Finish', as my hair was long overdue a little trim.

Unfortunately I don't have a before style photo taken on the evening, but here is one from the week before, which shows the full weight and length of my hair.
As ever I wasn't going for a dramatic difference, but I wanted to get rid of the dry split ends that have been creeping up on me over the last few months and also add some shape to the front. I have mentioned many times that I am fearful of hairdressers who can be overzealous with the scissors, but my stylist was very attentive and concerned with giving me what I wanted. He took a couple of inches off the length, added more layers throughout and much shorter pieces at the front. He then gave me a gorgeous blow dry with a bit of bounce and curl at the ends.
So what do you guys think? We tried a slightly different parting on the night, but as my hair naturally falls into a side parting I have maintained it that way since. The new layers and long fringe make it so easy for me to play around with different shapes and I feel that my hair is much lighter and healthier, yet still full.

Before the styling we had a little presentation from Jason Cocking, the director of Lisa Shepherd London, who showed us some of the hottest trends for the season. LS is all about working runway trends in a wearable way, making it the perfect salon for the fashion conscious. The trend they are currently concentrating on is a wearable dip dye effect. Many of the girls attending chose this option and I have to say they all looked fabulous. You can check out Lina's blog here for pictures. Jason has made the dip-dye effect more subtle, by taking various sections and blending the dye up the hair, making the transition of colour look seamless!

If you are interested in checking out the salon, or want to try out the new wearable dip dye you can get 25% off any treatment and also get a complimentary shampoo and conditioner if you mention this blog when you call to book your appointment on 0207 467 9560!! The Lisa Shepherd London salon is located at 24 Mortimer Street, London, W1T 3JP.

Are you due a little makeover? Have you been tempted to get a dip dye? What style are you currently lusting after? xxx

Sunday, 11 March 2012

OOTD: Full Circle

Full Circle is not a brand I have often purchased, but when I spotted this 50's inspired dress on Secretsales I was drawn to it straight away. You all know that I love a bit of 'Stepford Wives' chic, so I was excited to see a modern take on a classic shape.
As much as I love the fabric, the cinched waist and the detailing I have to admit that this dress can be a little unflattering. Firstly, even though the top is in the style of a shirt the draped sleeves do nothing to create structure and definitely broaden the chest. While the belted waist does add some shape, and the fabric has a lovely flow, the cotton skirt underneath is a little too thick and the large amount of fabric creates a fair amount of weight on the hips. I think it would work really well on an athletic figure, or someone with narrow hips, but if you already have an abundance of curves it gives you a lot of volume in areas that don't necessarily need enhancing.
That's the tricky bit with shopping on line though isn't it? Oh well, I'm determined to make it work next time, even if it does mean a little session with scissors (goodbye puffy underskirt) and a few stitches (hello narrow sleeves).

For those of you who do like the shape, the dress is unfortunately no longer available on the SS website, but I have found it on sale for £55 (down from £110) here. I would recommend going down a size though (mine is a 10, but perhaps would look a little less 'voluminous' in a smaller size).

I hope that you are all enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend! Have you made any unfortunate purchases recently? Any tips on how to make clothes work better for your shape? xxx

Saturday, 10 March 2012

PixiGlow

Pixi is a brand that I have occasionally dabbled in and always been inspired by so I was excited to be invited to the launch of their new PixiGlow collection. Petra, who is the brains (and beauty), behind the line aims to create products that are multi-tasking, flaw-fixing and youth enhancing, which sounds pretty perfect to me!
The new PixiGlow collection is inspired by Disney's Tinkerbell and is designed to capture her fresh faced, glowing, timeless beauty. As much as I love Disney (I was raised on the films OK?) I am always a little cautious of brands that dive into cartoon inspired makeup. Yes, the packaging will probably be adorable, but it's the products themselves that matter and the last thing any busy woman wants is glitter fall out! Luckily Pixi's take on Disney does not disappoint and blends cute, girly packaging with effective and versatile products.

First up is the star of the collection - The Tinker Bell Fairytale Palette (£32 here).
Described as a whole face in a case this palette features 5 eye colours, a 3 colour blush mosaic, 5 lip creams and a variety of applicators. The eyeshadows are shimmery and incredibly easy to wear, while the blush is quite sheer with a beautiful glow that warms and highlights the cheeks at once.

Magic Tink Tint (£12 here)
This soft and moisturizing lip balm comes in a crayon style dispenser. On fist application the balm is clear, but it quickly turns into a gorgeous blooming pink in a few fairy seconds as it reacts with the lips' natural pH levels, so you get a personalised tint. On the swatch below the pink is very light and delicate, but on my lips it develops into a richer tint.

Catching Shadows Crayon (£12 here)
This golden cream to powder eye crayon has a lovely shimmer and would be perfect to use for highlighting the lids, as well as sparingly on the brow bone and inner tear duct.

Straight On Till Morning Liner (£9.50 here)
This lovely mossy green liner has a waterproof & long-lasting formula that helps it to stay in place all day. The gel formula is really workable, which makes it perfect for creating a smokey eye with a subtle hint of sparkle.

Fairy Dust (£10 here)
This beautiful loose powder pigment is one of my favourite products from the collection. It's super versatile as it can be used as a shadow or a highlighter on the eyes and the face. It gives a lovely, soft golden glow, which would suit all skin tones.

Pirouette Pink (£8 here)
This pink and golden glimmer polish is chip-resistant and gives a high-gloss finish. The polish applies really evenly and the below swatch shows just one coat!

Have you checked out the new PixiGlow collection? Which are your favourite products? xxx