Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Hold Me (Baby)

Back in 2011 I introduced you to my absolute favourite makeup organiser/ travel bag. If you missed my initial review you can check it out here. This year the Hold Me Company have launched a new 'baby bag', the smaller scale version of the original Hold Me Bag.

The Baby Bag is the perfect fit for the makeup minimalist featuring the same easy organisation and brush protection. With an impressive capacity for its size, it holds a basic brush collection, several palettes, and cosmetics and tools of various shapes and sizes. So it's great to tuck in your handbag for touch ups or pack for an overnight trip or that special night out!

The new Baby Bag is handmade in the USA and is priced at $55, compared to $85 for the larger version, though the design below is currently on sale on the website for just $69 (Beauty Stars) .

I can honestly say that I have been using my Hold Me Bag exclusively for each and every trip I have made in the last 2 years and am still super pleased with it! It protects all my cosmetics, while organising my brushes and keeping everything neat and hygienic.

How do you organise your cosmetics for travel? Have ever tried the Hold Me bags?

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Meeeeerrrrryyyyyyy Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the little monster and me :)!

I hope you all have a wonderful day with your loved ones! xxx

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Oral-B Pink 600 Electric Toothbrush Gift Set

I think we can all agree that brushing our teeth is not the most exciting part of our beauty routine, but it is nevertheless one of the most important. Your smile is one of your best assets, so to make sure it is clean and healthy it's worth investing in an electric toothbrush. Since I purchased my Oral-B brush many years ago I have never gone back as it definitely makes a difference, especilly as an electric toothbrush can remover 100% more plaque than a manual!

The only disadvantage is that the fiance has also noticed the superiority of this brush and is constantly stealing it. Just to clarify before I get any outcries we are not sharing a toothbrush (Yuck! We are not Marshall and Lily from How I Met Your Mother). He has his own toothbrush head, but is constantly stealing the base and 'forgetting' to recharge it. Finally, I am feeling rather smug to have found the solution to this problem...
The new limited edition Oral-B Precision Clean brush has just been launched in pink! The girliest pink will not only brighten up my otherwise unisex bathroom, but I am hopeful will also ensure that it remains firmly on my side of the sink. I am tempted to wrap up my old one and give it to him for Christmas, just to make my point ;).

The new Oral-B Precision Clean 600 Electric Toothbrush Gift Set is exclusive to Boots and is available here for just £25.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Small Wonders

If you are struggling for a last minute gift or have forgotten that office Secret Santa present why not try your luck in Boots? They always have fun gift sets around Christmas and this Soap & Glory Small Wonders mini hat box is no exception.
With 5 mini products for just £10 it makes a great stocking filler too. Plus it contains some of my all time favourites from the Soap & Glory range:-
  • Clean On Me
  • Hand Food (great size for your bag)
  • The Righteous Butter
  • Scrub of Your Life
  • Shower Puff
Or if, like me, you are far too greedy to give it away the minis are super useful for travel too. I have safely hidden mine away for my holiday in January! Yay! xxx

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Garnier No Streaks Bronzer

Over the last few days I, along with most of the nation, have been preparing for a host of festive parties. However, after being wrapped in layers for months my skin needed a little extra help to get into the holiday spirit, courtesy of Ganier's No Streaks Bronzer (in light here).

To see how to properly apply the bronzing mist you can check out the video below:


Will you be dusting off the fake tan this Christmas?

*This is a sponsored post*

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Organic Surge Nature's Winter Wonders Bundle

I am quite knew to the British brand Organic Surge so I was excited to try out their latest bundle of products designed especially for pampering your skin this season. The Organic Surge Nature’s Winter Wonders Bundle is the perfect gift for top-to-toe natural nourishment, wrapping your skin and hair in nurturing moisture to protect from the effects of cold weather and central heating.

This Gift Set contains:
  • Organic Surge Moisture Boost Shampoo to boost moisture retention in hair
  • Organic Surge Moisture Boost Conditioner to protect the hair’s natural oils
  • Organic Surge Super-Intensive Daily Moisturiser to nourish, condition and rehydrate skin
  • Organic Surge Spiced Lily Bath Foam to de-stress and revive the body and mind
  • Organic Surge Sugared Almond Shower Gel to moisturise and nourish the body (my favourite)
  • Organic Surge Gentle Meadow Body Lotion to leave skin soft, smooth and moisturised
…All packaged in an Organic Surge gift bag

At £29.95 for 6 products this bundle makes a lovely gift, as well as a great introduction to a natural brand free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate and artificial fragrances and colourants.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

REN

As you may have heard me complain at length recently my skin has really been misbehaving. Although I haven't been plagued with more than my usual share of breakouts it has become very sensitised, which has led me to reconsider my skincare routine, ensuring all products are suitable for super sensitive skin in the hope that with gentle care I can nurse it back to health.

REN’s philosophy of Clean Skincare can be summed up in three words: Performance, Purity and Pleasure. REN is designed to give you effective product formulation, the latest hi-tech actives, rigorous product testing and clinically proven results. REN also uses only 100% plant and mineral derived actives and is free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients such as synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, synthetic colours, parabens and a whole host of other potential irritants.
My favourite product from the range so far has been their ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser (£18). This cleanser is so gentle on the skin and yet it really cleans deep down and works hard to prevent blemishes. It helps to regulate sebum production and I have definitely noticed an improvement in my complexion since I started using it. This cleanser contains actives such as French clay to absorb excess oil and purify, zinc to reduce production of sebum, salicilin to provide mild exfoliation, mayblossom to tone enlarged pores and manuka extract to soothe and nourish. The hermetic packaging also helps to keep everything sterile and bacteria free.

Another product that I have really enjoyed using is REN's much acclaimed Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (£30). This potent bioactive peel mask is designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone.

I am really excited about this brand and can't wait to try more of their products. If you are also interested in trying out some REN skincare to see what all the fuss is about I would recommend starting with one of their Starter Kits (£12-£15), which are arranged by skin type. With specially designed gift sets for sensitive, normal, combination and blemish prone skin there is something for everyone.
If you are stuck on a present for a picky friend, or would like to pamper yourself (after all you deserve it!) I would very much recommend the REN Rose Experience Gift (£32), which includes the beautifully scented Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream, Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil and the Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil, which is my personal favourite.

Have you tried any products from REN? Do you have any recommendations? xxx

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Neom Scent With Love: Home Scenting Gift Set

Have you ever bought a present for someone, but couldn't quite make yourself part with it? Well greedy guts over here has, and from discussions around my office it seems to be a common trait. Though the gift set below has been compiled as such, I think it would also make a lovely treat for you. After all you deserve it!
The Neom Scent With Love Home Scentig Gift Set comes in a beautiful, weighty box that bursts with fragrance even before you lift the lid. It contains a perfect mini reed diffuser in the scent Happiness (White Neroli, Mimosa and Lemon), a Complete Bliss (Moroccan Blush Rose) scented travel candle and a Pillow Mist in send-you-to-sleep Tranquillity (English Lavender, Sweet Basil and Jasmine).
With a beautiful mix of the most popular Neom scents this gift is a great introduction to the brand, letting you try out three of their most popular fragrances.

The Neom Scent With Love gift set can be purchased for £50 here.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

How To Hair: 60's and Faux Bob

My two absolute favourite looks for hair are unashamedly decadent volume and a sophisticated, shapely bob! I was therefore super excited when Babyliss asked me to be in a video showing how to create these looks using just heated rollers!
The first look is big 60's volume and soft curls. I love the minimal use of products to create this style. I can't believe all that volume just came from a bit of back combing. Move over Cheryl Cole!



The second look is a fun, faux bob. I have always wondered what I would look like with short hair and was so excited to try out this style. I have to admit that I absolutely love it! It's so different from my usual look, but with none of the commitment of having to cut my hair. 
I am really happy with the looks created and will definitely be trying them out for a special occassion soon. I hope you guys enjoy the video! Let me know what you think! xxx

Friday, 14 December 2012

Timothy Dunn Arabian Fig

Christmas is all about setting the scene, and my favourite way of doing this is with scent. We all deserve a little luxury and my indulgences often include candles. The latest candle I have been sampling is Timothy Dunn's Arabian Fig, which I think is the perfect scent for the festive period.
The candle comes in leather look packaging, which contains a beautiful burgundy hand-blown glass holder with a classic silver lid.
The look of this candle is incredibly sophisticated and makes a proud addition to my coffee table. I think it would make a wonderful Christmas gift as it evokes luxury and smells absolutely amazing.
The inspiration behind this candle is the sophistication of ancient Constantinople – the largest and wealthiest city of the Middle Ages.  With notes of fig, basil and clove enhanced by frankincense, cassis, rose and jasmine, as well as rich sandalwood, cedarwood and musk this candle creates a festive aroma that warms the room. Plus with a burning time of 60 hours it will ensure the atmosphere lasts for weeks!

The Timothy Dunn Arabian Fig Candle can be found for £45 here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

L'Occitane Loves

While browsing the internet in search of amazing Christmas gifts to share with you all one particular brand has really stood out to me this year, which is L'Occitane. It is already a given that I love their products, but their gift sets offer such great value that I thought they deserved a post of their very own!

My pick of L'Occitane Gifts:

I am a huge fan of the Almond Shower Oil and its many uses in the shower, bath and even as a shaving oil. It works like magic - cleansing while moisturising and leaving behind a delicate almond scent. This is a product that is adored by all (my mother and the fiance are even united in their love for this oil). This set comes with a very generous 500ml shower oil (usually £16.50 for 250ml), as well as Almond Milk Concentrate, Almond Delicious Paste (exfoliator), two almond soaps and a tube of Smooth Hands hand cream.

This set really has it all and is the perfect gift for a mother, or even to impress a tricky mother in-law (to be). With a fabulous selection of seven body and skin care items it's certain to impress and cover all bases. This set includes the amazing Almond Shower Oil, the fragrant Cherry Blossom Shower Gel, Almond Milk Concentrate, Lavender Foaming Bath, Shea Butter Hand Cream, Shea Butter Foot Cream and (my mother's personal favourite) Verbena Eau de Toilette.

Having had the chance to sample a few products from the Immortelle range, as well as having discussed it with my fellow beauty bloggers who were equally impressed, I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone. This award winning anti-ageing line works wonderfully on sensitive skin and really infuses soothing moisture into stressed skin. The set includes Immortelle Brightening Cleansing Foam, Immortelle Essential Face Water, Immortelle Precious Cream (my personal favourite), Immortelle Precious Night Cream and Immortelle Precious Eye Balm (which is on my purchase list).

 
For the budget conscious this cute hand cream trio would make a lovely gift or stocking filler. L’Occitane's international best-selling Shea Butter Hand Cream is accompanied by two exclusive seasonal fragrances (Marvellous Flowers and Magic Leaves) in a gorgeous limited edition box.

Plus when you spend £35 you can purchase the Enchanting Winter Collection (originally priced £25) for just £14 in store, or by entering XPWP at the checkout on the website!
This set contains the Bonne Mere Honey Soap, Lavender Foaming Bath, Pivoine Flora Shower Gel, Verbena Shower Gel, Immortelle Essential Water for the Face and Shea Butter Hand Cream all in a handy Travel Bag. 

Will you be purchasing any L'Occitane gift sets for your loved ones this Christmas? xxx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Gift Edit: The Body Shop

The Body Shop have brought out a fantastic selection of Christmas gifts this year! From stocking fillers to luxurious sets all encased in adorable packaging there really is something for everyone! Plus with 40% OFF their entire website with the code SANTA for 10 days it's definitely worth a look!

Apart from the amazing packaging this set is also great value as it contains five juicy, moisturising lip balms in a selection of flavours including strawberry, raspberry, satsuma, watermelon and passionberry.

This selection of scrumptious body butters features the nutty scents of shea and cocoa butter as well as delicious chocolate and coconut. Beautifully packaged in a reusable aluminium tin this makes a great present that doesn't even need wrapping.
 
This festive cranberry selection is not only great value, but smells absolutely delicious. The set contains Cranberry Joy Shower Gel, Body Butter, Soap and Scrub.

This limited edition tub of shimmering copper and gold beads gives an irresistible dazzle to cheeks, temples and décolletage. It's great to use as a bronzer to lift the skin and add some subtle glow.
The Slanted Kabuki is made with soft, fluffy synthetic hairs designed to sweep a fine, even dusting of powder onto face and body. Its unique slanted design makes sculpting, layering and contouring a cinch.
 
This Reindeer Washball is so completely adorable I am very tempted to order one for myself! At just £3 it makes the perfect, fun stocking filler.
This gorgeous palette features four on-trend eyeshadows in cool shades of moonstone and espresso, a mini eyeshadow brush and mini eyeliner brush so you can touch up on the go. I love the colours in this palette as they would suit any skin tone and can be layered for a gorgeous smokey eye, or worn alone for a sweep of shimmering colour.

This cute coconut body butter and lip butter duo comes packaged in an ornamental bauble, perfect for any tree or stocking.


I have also heard that The Body Shop will be the official headline sponsors of the Teenage Cancer Trust concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2013! The line up includes fantastic acts such as Kasabian, Russell Brand, Noell Gallagher, Rizzle Kicks and Labrinth. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.
Have you purchased any gifts from The Body Shop this Christmas? Do let me know your favourite! xxx

Monday, 10 December 2012

*Christmas Giveaway!*

With just two weeks left before Christmas I thought I would do a little festive geveaway featuring some gorgeous beauty products from Boots! If you haven't seen the Boots Christmas advert yet, then you can check it out below. I really do see you guys as an extension of my friends and family so wanted to spread a little love and joy to my beautiful readers!

I will be giving away three gorgeous prizes:

All you have to do to enter is follow this blog and leave a comment below with your choice of gift set and your e-mail address. The competition will be open for a week!


If you want to check out the selection of gifts on the Boots website you can see their recommendations here.

Good luck my lovelies and I hope you are all having a wonderful festive season! xxx


Sunday, 9 December 2012

La Roche-Posay Toleriane


A lethal combination of travelling, a horrendous cold and extreme temperatures have really played havoc with my skin over the last few weeks. Therefore, I shall continue my theme from my earlier post about protecting your skin this winter. I feel that a lot more time and energy is spent on the skin in the summer months, between the exfoliating, moisturizing, SPF and fake tanning, but in the winter most of us tend to neglect our largest organ.The colder months can really dehydrate and test the skin, so it’s really important to protect it, and not just for the sake of that Christmas party! 

If, like me, you find that your skin hates you and becomes super sensitive and generally quite sore at certain times (now being one of them), do not panic. I am pretty confident that La Roche-Posay has the answer.
I had heard a great deal about this brand, namely that it was preservative, fragrance and paraben free, but only recently have I had the chance to sample their products. As a sensitive soul (sensitive skinned soul?) I am really thrilled that I did! The product I want to talk about today is their Toleriane Ultra, which is a Godsend for those who have allergies or any skin conditions that make their skin intolerant.  
This cream is sealed in hermetic packaging (as can be seen above) to ensure that it remains totally hygienic and sterile. Used daily it provides superior hydration, as well as comfort and intense soothing care. The reinforced formula contains a unique combination of Neurosensine, a strong calming agent that targets the signs of skin irritation and La Roche-Posay calming thermal spring water, which is naturally soothing.

While my nose has been leaking uncontrollably, causing the skin to crack and become incredibly sore and inflamed (I will spare you the photos), this is the only product that I could use on the area. Every other cream I tried made the area even more irritated and caused it to sting and burn. The Toleriane not only gave the skin an injection of much needed moisture, but also soothed it without leaving a greasy residue on the skin. I have been using it day and night for over a week and it has really helped to calm the redness and generally make the area less sensitive and painful.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra is available for £11 here.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Gorgeous Ted Baker Gift!

I just spotted this beautiful Ted Baker gift set on the Boots website and had to share it with you as I think it makes such a lovely gift. Plus at a fantastic price of £22 (down from £45) it really is a savvy purchase!
The Ted Baker set includes:
  • Body Wash
  • Bath Foam
  • Body Scrub
  • Body Souffle
  • Body Lotion
  • Hand Cream
  • Purple Vanity Case lined with ballet shoe pattern, built-in mirror and jewel fastening.


I absolutely adore this Ted Baker gift set, and am pretty tempted to pick one up for myself, if only for the gorgeous travel case! xxx

Friday, 7 December 2012

Yon-Ka Skincare


With the weather becoming ever colder I have noticed that my skin has started reacting to the disparity between inside (tropical, especially on the train where I am currently typing this) and the outside (Arctic). If you have been noticing a few dry patches creeping in, despite maintaining your normal routine, now is the time to inject some serious moisture into your skin and make sure that it’s barrier function is not compromised by all the hazards that lie in store for us this winter!

A new skincare brand I have recently been trying out is Yon-Ka, a natural collection that aims to capture the greatest benefits of plants, fruits and aromatherapy. They have an impressive range that is suitable for any skin type, even the most sensitive!

Even though my skin is oily around the T-zone I prefer using cream cleansers (especially during the colder months) to ensure that while my skin is thoroughly cleansed it is no way stripped of its natural moisture. The Yon-Ka Nettoyant Cleansing Cream does this beautifully as it effortlessly dissolves any impurities (be it makeup or city air pollutants) while being easy to rinse off with tepid water, leaving behind no residue; simply skin that feels soft and comfortable. The extracts of peppermint also help to make this cream feel refreshing on sensitized skin, so you can easily use it both day and night.
As one very wise woman said (CarolineHirons is my oracle when it comes to skincare) during the winter months you need to layer your skin with moisture until it can’t absorb any more. If, like me, this doesn’t sound feasible as you know that your skin will start to look greasy the trick is to use creams that are hydrating, but not necessarily oily, such as the Yon-Ka Crème 93 for combination skin. This cream is rich enough to provide your skin with the injection of moisture that it craves, but still leaves a relatively matte finish on the skin. It’s a great base for makeup too!

You can shop Yon-KA products in the UK here

Have you ever tried Yon-KA skincare? What products are you currently using to soothe winter skin? 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Win NARS Andy Warhol Collection!


As a special Christmas treat NARS is hosting a giveaway every day up till December the 18th. For 15 minutes each day starting at 12pm EST NARS will post an Andy Warhol-inspired question on their Facebook wall here. The most sprited answer posted within 15 minutes will win all three of their gorgeous limited edition gift sets!



This is definitely a competition worth setting a daily reminder for! xxx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Gillette Venus Naked Skin

Hair removal is a topic that has come up on this blog many times. So many people ask me questions about the latest methods and tools and how well they work, so I am always keen to try out different products. My latest escapade is the Gillette Venus Naked Skin designed by Braun. This is an at-home IPL hair removal system that uses a unique, professionally-derived Square Wave technology to emit controlled, consistent light energy to effectively treat unwanted hair. 
The benefits should become clear in six treatments (one treatment recommended every 2 weeks), but with continued periodic use Venus Naked Skin promises to help break the cycle of hair re-growth leaving you with continuously smooth, continuously beautiful skin.
The system comes with the specially formulated V Activating Gel that enables the light to transfer to the hair root helping to put it to sleep. The system is suitable fo use only on lighter skin tones and on areas including the face and below the neckline, such as your legs, underarm, bikini line, arms, back and stomach.
Having used a number of at home IPL systems I found this incredibly easy to use on my first attempt. There may be a slight stinging sensation during the flash, but this is momentary and is nowhere near as unpleasant as waxing. The system has to be plugged in while in use, but the cord is long enough so that this isn't an issue. The area of contact is larger than many comparable IPL systems, which is great as it means the whole process (especially when using it on the legs) doesn't take too long. Though the gel can be a little messy it does help to show which areas you have treated and ensure that you are getting the best levels of light penetration.

If you want to see how the Gilette Venus Naked Skin system works please do check out the video below. 

The Gillete Naked Skin can be purchased for £359.99 (saving £50) for a limited time using the code EB10 at checkout here.

I shall be updating you all with my progress soon so stay tuned to see the results! xxx

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lacoste Girls Night In Gift Set

The Lacoste Girls Night In Gift Set is a great present for the girlie girl. It contains all the tools you need for an evening of pampering, as well as the Lacoste Touch of Pink fragrance.
The Gift Set Contains: Eau de Toilette 50ml, body lotion, shower gel, toe dividers, cosmetic pouch, slippers, cotton headband and two nail files.
The Lacoste Touch of Pink perfume is a fruity-floral which captures the essence of a woman full of youthful sensuality. This is a really fun and wearable fragrance that is a modern take on a classically feminine, floral palette of jasmin, violet, musk, vanilla and orange.

This set usually retails at £60, but is currently on sale in Superdrug for just £29.50 here.

*Sponsored Post*