Thursday, 23 March 2017

Silvan Skincare: Skin Therapy Face Oil

Silvan Skincare is based on the Welsh Borders and hand make their gorgeous products which include face and body oils, bath salts, face creams and balms in small batches using the highest quality ingredients. All products are free from parabens, mineral oils, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, SLS, colourings and silicones.

Skin Therapy* (50ml - £19) is a new product to the range and is beautiful. It's a blend of organic oils including apricot kernal oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, evening primrose oil, kiwi seed oil and rosehip seed oil which are rich in skin loving ingredients.  

The essential oils in the blend include chamomile which calms and balances, bergamot helps with problem skin conditions, neroli is good for mature skins and stress. Everlasting flower helps with irritated skin conditions and lavender calms.

To use: massage a small amount onto the skin after cleansing

This is a beautiful oil (and very reasonably priced) which leaves the skin feeling nurtured and cared for. There is also an unscented version available. I've been really impressed with it and I'm now off to check out the rest of the range.

Have you used any Silvan Skincare products?


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Shopping My Stash #85

Here's what I've been reaching for lately:

Trevarno's Rose & Jojoba Soap* which is gorgeous! It has a beautiful rose scent (which I love) and scrubby bits of ground rosehip which gently exfoliates the skin while you wash. See my review HERE.

I'm a huge fan of Carina Organics which you can buy at Live in the Light in the UK. See my review of the deliciously scented Sweet Pea Leave-in Conditioner* HERE.

MuLondon recently sent me a pot of their luxurious White Chocolate Truffle Moisturiser* which I'd used in the past (and yes, it smells good enough to eat!) You can use it on your face, hands and body - I so LOVE a multi-purpose product and I'll enjoy using it once again.

Also, from Live in the Light is Pure Anada mascara* which is paraben, gluten and mercury free. It volumises and lengthens and is one of the best more natural mascaras I've used.

I received the little sample of Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Botanical Cream Deodorant when I bought Imelda's (Content Beauty & Wellbeing) book (they offered a sample set if you pre-ordered). It's one of the best natural deodorants I've ever used and full size is on the wishlist.

From new brand Herbal Forest I've been loving their Chai Spice Lip Balm* (it really smells like chai tea!). It deeply nourishes the lips leaving them feeling moisturised and sweetly scented.

What have you been reaching for lately?

*complimentary - my post contains two affiliate links

Monday, 20 March 2017

Tropic Skincare: Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum

I've been testing out Tropic Skincare's gorgeous Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum (£42 - 30ml)* and like the rest of the range is absolutely fantastic.

See my review of their Super Greens Nutrient Boost Serum* HERE.

Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum* is a deliciously fruity scented serum which resurfaces the top layer of the skin revealing a brighter, radiant and a more youthful face overnight.

Formulated with lime pearl extract, glycolic acid and willow bark BHA which evens out skin tone leaving the skin feeling softer and smooth. Papaya enzymes and AHA fruit complexes refine and tighten while concentrated hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps.

To use: After cleansing apply to the skin 1-3 times a week. You should also use sunscreen during the day while using this AHA product as the skin will be more sensitive to UV rays.

I'm a huge fan! My skin looks better and the product is nice to use. The oil free serum sinks easily into the skin, hydrating and refining. The next morning my skin is awakened - it looks brighter with fine lines smoothed and plumped.

Have you used any skincare products from Tropic Skincare?


Saturday, 18 March 2017

Giveaway: Signed Copy: The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis

I've got a really fab giveaway for you. You can win a signed paperback copy of the brilliant The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis which is March's Scottish Book of the month at Waterstones. Mary has also slipped in a hand written card for the winner! I reviewed the book in my September round-up.

The giveaway is open worldwide. Good luck!

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Love Lula March 2017 Beauty Box

My March Love Lula Beauty Box* arrived yesterday and this month it's worth £40! (UK subscription is £12.50 a month) making it great value for money. Sign up HERE (you also get a code for 20% off the brands in March's box).

March's box contains 4 full size items and a sachet sample. So what's inside:

Seascape Island Apothecary Unwind Body Wash 300ml (£16) with Eucalyptus, Lime and Lavender (smells great!) I've used this brand before and this product and you can see my review HERE. I'm looking forward to trying it again as I remember especially loving it. 

PHB Ethical Beauty's Brightening Hand Cream with Neroli & Ylang Ylang 50ml (£10.95) smells incredible! It's rich, nourishing and absorbs quickly leaving the hands beautifully scented. I'm a HUGE fan of this lovely brand and I'm looking forward to testing this product out. Expect a full review shortly.

I absolutely adore Laidbare's Butter Me Up Body Butter (review) so I'm always keen to try more from the brand. This month we've got For Richer For Porer Pore Minimiser Facial Mask for Oily/Combo Skins 50ml (£7.99). I have combination skin so I'm looking forward to trying.

The final full size items is a Hurraw! Lip Balm (which is new in) in Papaya & Pineapple 4.3g (£4.99) and which smells totally tropical as well as being deeply nourishing. (I can never have enough hand creams or lip balms).

I'm a huge fan of Kimberley Sayer and love her Ultra Light Facial Moisturizer SPF30 (1.5ml). I collect sachets for weekends away and holidays and they are also great try-me's.

A great box this month. What are your thoughts?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. All my thoughts are genuine and my post contains one affiliate link.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

YOU Beauty Box: March 2017: Best of British

I've not been a YOU Beauty Box Member for a couple of months now but after spying new brand Awake Organics as a pick I just couldn't resist signing up again.

This month the choices are "Best of British" beautiful brands homegrown in the UK. As ever I picked 2 products for £6.95 (you can have 3 for £8.95 and 4 for £10.95).

The extras this month:

Skinade Drink Travel Sachet
35% off Gift Card at bagsy

Onto my picks:

Aura Clean Deodorant 10g (21 uses) from new to me brand Awake Organics. Inside this little pot of wonder is a 100% non-toxic and aluminum free natural deodorant which helps you stay fresh all day long. It's scented with Lavender, Rosemary, Lemongrass and Peppermint and contains British clay, arrowroot and sodium bicarbonate to help you stay feeling fresh and odour free. Looking forward to testing this out.  The packaging is super cute too.

My second pick is also a new to me brand The Hero Project, which has been on my radar for a while now. In the selection this month is their Vit C-30 Ultra Brightening Serum 8ml which I'm also excited to try. 

What did you pick this month?

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Antonia Burrell: Bright+Light Eye Cream

I've been testing out Antonia Burrell's fabulous latest launch Bright+Light Eye Cream (£39 - 15ml)*.

The eye cream was 5 years in the making and is a beautiful formulation which brightens and lightens the eye area. Natural actives are combined with proven technologies resulting in "skincare heroes that produce effective and long lasting results".

It contains Meadowfoam extract which softens and nourishes, Oat oil which is rich in Vitamin E and Omegas 6 and 9, White Bird of Paradise, a rare ingredient which brightens, illuminates and evens, Pomegranate & Orange peptides lifts and firms while Beetroot extract deeply hydrates.

To use: push the applicator down and the cream will dispense through the rollerball (see above).  Apply to the under eye area, circling around the eye with the cooling rollerball from the outer to the inner corners of the eyes, along the orbital bone and up over the upper eyelid. Pat any remaining cream around the eyes.

My thoughts? I absolutely love it! The rollerball makes applying eye cream into a pleasing ritual.  Eyes are lifted and dark circles lessened, with puffiness diminished and wrinkles plumped and smoothed.

See my other Antonia Burrell reviews:


Monday, 13 March 2017

Cult Beauty Spring 2017 Goody Bag

As ever Cult Beauty's Spring 2017 Goody Bag, which was worth over £210 and free with a £110 spend sold out in record time. I picked up pressies and two things for me. The goody bag is so good and I'm looking forward to testing everything out.

The two things that I bought:

I needed new tweezers and I'd heard lots of good things about these ones by Swiss Brand, Rubis. At goody bag time I always stock up on my favourite Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts - I've been using these since 2013 and if I could only use one bath product - it would be these! See my review HERE.

And now for a closer look at the goody bag:

The BrowGal Eyebrow Gel (Full size) £17
Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey (sample size)
Sigma Mini Blending Brush E25 (as you'll see I've already used it!)
Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in Versailles (Full size) £16 - Cult Beauty say this is "mauve pink" but it's brown on my lips. Not in love with the colour but love the staying power - will look at other colours for sure.

Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask (Cucumber Deep Moisture) x 1 £8
Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm 15ml (already a fan)
Hannes Dottir Seamasque 10ml (looking forward to trying)
Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser 15ml
Odacite Pimple Serum Concentrate 5ml (full size) £27.50

Verso Super Facial Serum 10ml 
SkynIceland Plumping Lip Gel x 1 use
Alpha H Liquid Gold 24 hr Moisture Repair Cream 15ml
BECCA First Light Priming Filter 6ml
Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Night Moisturiser 20ml

OUAI Haircare Wave Spray 30ml
Sachajuan Hair Repair 100ml (worth £12)

Did you pick up the Spring Goody Bag? 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Optiat: The Hungover Coffee Scrub Potent Peppermint

I received Optiat's The Hungover Coffee Scrub in Potent Peppermint (90g - worth £6.99) as a Latest in Beauty pick in my Beauty Guru monthly subscription box (9 items for £18 including P&P). The range available is fantastic and a new item is added everyday. Check them out HERE.

Optiat hand source Arabica coffee grounds from London bars, cafes and restaurants. Founder, William Brightman received a cafetiere one Christmas and thought what a waste it was to chuck out the freshly brewed grounds and he decided to turn them into gorgeous scented scrubs which naturally exfoliate, nourish, smell amazing and gently buff up the skin.

The Hungover Coffee scrub is just gorgeous (I've since picked up another!) The delicious aroma of coffee with refreshing mint (just works somehow) makes my morning shower a delight!

To use: apply to damp skin in circular motions before rinsing. Can be used on the body and the face.

Have you tried any of Optiat's scrubs?

Friday, 10 March 2017

The Perfume Society: Modern Classics Discovery Box

My The Perfume Society VIP subscription kicked in again in January (when you re-subscribe you are given a £10 credit). I hadn't got round to buying a box in January or February but I couldn't resist current box Modern Classics (subscriber price £12.50/non-subscriber £17.50 plus P&P) as I adore Angela Flanders Columbia Rose EdP (having first tried it on a visit to London when we stumbled upon the shop) (with the other two in the trilogy). It's still love (it was the reason I wanted the box) and the trilogy is still on the wishlist!

L'Occitane Terre de Lumiere EdP (5ml) which is a delicious gourmand scent with top notes of bergamot, ambrette seed and pink pepper with a heart of lavender honey and base notes of acacia flower, bitter almond essence, tonka bean and white musk. This is almost edible and I'm looking forward to wearing it.

Illuminum White Gardenia Petals (2ml) which is famed by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton wearing it on her wedding day. It's a beautiful and heady floral scent with top notes of bergamot and cassis, a heart of jasmine, muguet, white gardenia, ylang ylang with a base of amber and woods. It's a very feminine scent.

I haven't worn Narciso Rodriguez for Her EdP (0.8ml) for years. It used to be a favourite so it'll be nice to revisit. It has top notes of peach and rose, a heart of amber and musk with base notes of sandalwood and patchouli.

I was surprised to learn that Marc Jacob's Daisy EdT (1.2ml) is 10 years old this year! Doesn't time fly.  It has top notes of stawberry and violet leaves, with a heart of violet petals and jasmine bouquet with a base of musk and vanilla infusion.

Cartier's Basier Fou EdP (1.5ml) translates to "crazy kiss" and is a soliflore; a fragrance created to evoke a single note - in this case the exotic orchid. It has quite a tropical scent, with powdery and white chocolate notes. 

Yardley London English Freesia EdT (1ml) is a gentle but pretty floral. With top notes of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, freesia, cypress and lavender with a base of sandalwood, musk, olibanum and amber crystals.

Flower by Kenzo EdP (1ml) I've never really been a fan of this one but it's growing on me! With top notes of pink pepper essence and blackcurrant, a heart of Bulgarian rose essence and parma violet and a base of white musk and vanilla.

The extras this month are:

Philosophy Hope Renewed in a Jar Eye 7ml - a decent sized tube of eye cream which is "a beauty classic in it's own right".

A voucher code for £10 off when you purchase any full size fragrance at L'OCCITANE (valid until 31 May 2017).

Minnie's Literally Love It Shimmering Body Lotion sachet which I'll pass onto someone who will love this!

What do you think of the Modern Classics Discovery Box?

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Love Lula: Humble Natural Beauty: Sweet Pea & Verbena Hand Cream

I've been meaning to write this review for ages. I love hand creams and this one by Humble Natural Beauty is just divine! (it appeared in my November Love Lula Beauty Box*). 

It has the perfect scent for coming into Spring & Summer (and is also great to chase away the winter blues). It sits beside my bed and will be be replenished for sure! It's also great value at £8 for 75ml (lasts ages).

I've also reviewed some of the other products from the range - see HERE*.

With simple but super pretty packaging this hand cream is the ideal treat/small present.

It contains natural, biodegradable ingredients and contains no parabens of SLS. The cream absorbs instantly and deeply nourishes the hands and nails and leaves them smelling of sweet peas and summertime!

Have you used anything from Humble Natural Beauty? If you have what's your favourite product?

*I received this hand cream in November's Love Lula box which I receive as part of the accredited blogger program. All thoughts are genuine - I love this brand. Some of my links are affiliate links.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Live in the Light: Carina Organics

Sue at Live in the Light recently got in touch to ask if I'd like to try Carina Organics, a brand which is handmade on the North Shore of Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Products are free from cortisone, steroids, DEA, sulfates, sodium chloride, propylene glycol, aluminium, synthetic fragrances and dyes. Instead, products are made using natural and organic extracts, essences and oils and are Certified Organic. Organic Palm Kernel extract and Coconut create rich and creamy foams which clean and nourish the hair.

Packaging is simple but pretty and recyclable.  Here's what I've been trying:

Citrus Extra-Gentle Shampoo 360ml (£13.50)* this shampoo is suitable for dry or chemically treated hair (making it ideal for my coloured, slightly dry hair). It smells glorious - fruity and citrus. The shampoo gently cleanses the hair without stripping the colour. It leaves the hair feeling clean and nourished. To use: wet hair before massaging a small amount of shampoo into the hair and scalp. Rinse.

Also from the Citrus family is the Moisturising Body Wash 360ml (£13.50)* which cleanses the skin leaving it feeling clean and comfortable. I like using the wash in my morning shower for a refreshing wake-up call! To use: apply a small amount onto your palm or sponge before lathering up and applying to your body. Rinse.  

Sweet Pea Leave-in Conditioner 250ml (£13.50)* comes in a pump action spray. It detangles and lightly conditions the hair and the scent just like sweet peas - sweet and floral. It's also great to use before blow drying or styling the hair. To use: spray onto damp hair before combing through and styling.

Sweet Pea Deep Treatment Conditioner 250ml (£13.50)* this treatment conditioner helps to repair dry and damaged hair types. Hair is softer, shinier and healthy looking. To use: massage evenly into damp hair, leave for 2 minutes before rinsing.

The final item I was sent was deliciously scented Pink Grapefruit Hand Soap 360ml (£13.50)* which is presented in a pump action bottle. This is a natural hand wash which gently cleans the hands. To use: Apply to wet hands lather and rinse.

I've been so impressed with how effective, beautifully scented and reasonably priced the products are. Pick yours up HERE.

Have you tried any products from Carina Organics?


Monday, 6 March 2017

Giveaway: AA Skincare Hydrating & Toning Face Kit - The Perfect Mother's Day Gift - it's over!

I've been so impressed with all the AA Skincare products I've tried so far. They are effective and excellent value for money. 

Up for grabs is a Hydrating & Toning Face Kit (£21.50)* which is the perfect Mother's Day gift. The giveaway prize has very kindly been provided by AA Skincare and is UK only.

The kit comes boxed and the products are tissue wrapped. Inside is:

From the Frankincense & Rose Range:

Cleansing Face Gel 100ml - this is a gentle foaming face wash scented with the beautiful aroma of Frankincense & Rose. It's more suited to dry/mature skin types but can suit all skins too. It cleans and refreshes the skin leaving it feeling comfortable, clean and soothed.

Face Toner 150ml - which is a fantastic toner (last week it won a Beauty Shortlist award - which is very well deserved) See my review HERE

Moisturising Face Cream 50ml - a rich moisturiser which deeply nourishes and rejuvenates the skin (and smells gorgeous!)

 To get your hands on a set enter via the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Bloom Perfumery: Yearly Sample Pack: February 2017 - Vanilla Et Co

My February Bloom Perfumery sample pack arrived on Thursday and in February we were exploring Vanilla, it's alternatives and materials closely related to it.

I love that we are also sent raw material samples to be able to identify the different forms of Vanilla - Coumarin, Vanillin, Full on real Vanilla, Ethyl Maltol, Tonka Beans and Heliotropin.

There are 3 samples this month that I've had in other sample packs previously. Two which I wasn't keen on but one which I adore - TARDES by Carner EdP (£85 - 50ml) which I received in my very first sample pack in July '15 - see my thoughts on it HERE. I still love it, so it will be a purchase soon!

I like new in: Parfumerie Generale's L'Ombre Fauve EdP (£81.50 - 50ml) which is a re-introduced formula. It's an amber composition and naturally has vanilla in it. With top notes of red amber, a heart of civet chevrone with a base of precious woods. Also from the same house is PG21 Felanilla EdP (£81.50 - 50ml) which is made with two varieties of real vanilla and is absolutely beautiful. It has top notes of saffron and vanilla (Bourbon and Taihitian), a heart of hay and iris absolute with a base of amber.

The other two that have been in previous sample pack are Brocard's Modern Classic EdP which uses Ethyl maltol (£17 - 50ml) and has notes of pear, praline, blackcurrant, white musk, orange blossom, vanilla and ethyl maltol and Angela Ciampagna's Liquo EdP (£95 - 50ml) which has top notes of lavandin, violet and lemon with a heart of anise, licorice, straw and coumarin with a base of frankincense, vetiver and tonka beans.

Civet by Zoologist EdP (£125 - 60ml) is from a new brand at Bloom Perfumery. It has top notes of bergamot, black pepper, lemon, orange and tarragon with a heart of carnation, frangipani, heliotrope, hyacinth, linden, tuberose and ylang ylang with a base of civet, coffee, frankincense, labdanum, musk and vanillin.

The final perfume (there are 7 this month!) is Aphrodisia by Brocard EdP (£26 - 75ml) which has top notes of bergamot and cassis, a heart of jasmine, rosewood and ylang ylang with a base of heliotrope, heliotrophin, musk and vanilla.

What do you think of February's choices?

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Rosalena Bio-Active Skincare: Rock & Rose Face Oil

I first came across Rosalena Bio-Active Skincare when I received a 5ml trial size of their Rock & Rose Face Oil in my Le Fashion Fetish box from Latest in Beauty (I've since picked up another in my monthly beauty guru box!)

It's a totally new to me brand which was founded and created by Helena Chapman and Maja Griffith. The range of facial oils are made with bio-actives and 100% pure plant ingredients. Helena is interested in natural oils and botanicals while Maja is the nose of Rosalena. They have created gorgeous scented blends which benefit both the skin and the senses.

I love that you can buy individual samples (2ml) or a set in the shop as I love trying before buying. The little set would also be ideal for holidays. You can also buy a Goodness & Tonic Facial Mist (full size/sample size) in the shop.

Rock & Rose Face Oil (full size is 15ml - £42, mine is 5ml) is suitable for all skin types. It absorbs instantly and leaves the skin looking radiant, glowy, nourished and renewed. The face oil is scented with Rose Otto, Patchouli, Geranium, Sweet Orange and Jasmin Absolute (love).

It's packed full of good things for the skin such as Safflower Oil which nourishes and brightens, Prickly Pear Oil which encourages collagen production and improves elasticity, Evening Primrose Oil which helps with ageing and wrinkles and Grapeseed Oil which nourishes and tones leaving the skin feeling supple and hydrated. 

Natural Vitamin E fights free radical damage and helps with cell renewal while Organic Rosehip Seed CO2 Extract is high in Vitamin A and Omega 3 to nourish and firm, while Coenzyme Q10 helps to repair and regenerate.

To use: Use AM and PM after cleansing. Apply generously massaging onto the face, neck and décolletage.

My skin is loving this beautiful oil and I can't wait to try more from the range. I'm especially liking the sound of Beauty & the Beast (scented with Cape Chamomile, Cypress, Sandalwood Mysore, Sweet Orange, Neroli and a blend of skin loving oils) and Love & Me (scented with Rose Otto, Jasmin Absolute and Neroli).

Have you tried anything from Rosalena?

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Love Lula: Soaps for Hair & Body

I've been testing two soaps* from Love Lula, a shampoo bar and a body and face soap. I love beautiful soaps and these two are fast becoming favourites.

Trevarno is a brand I'm aware of but I've not really tried many of their products before. They are (like Spiezia) based in Cornwall and products are certified organic and made with pure natural ingredients.

Their soaps are gorgeous and I'm kind of lusting after this handmade soap selection! I've been trying their Rose & Jojoba soap* (£4) which is a lush blend of rose petals, geranium and palmarosa essential oil, jojoba and olive oils along with ground rosehip (this makes the soap slightly scrubby). I've been really impressed with how lovely this soap is and I'll definitely buy it again.

To use: massage over wet skin in the bath or shower before rinsing or use as a hand soap.

A totally new to me brand is GK Natural Creations, a unique range which is handmade in small batches. The products are luxurious, affordable and free from chemicals and synthetics. Packaging is recyclable as well as pretty and the products are made using sustainable vegetable oils, butters, essential oils, natural herbs, botanicals and clays.

Silky Avocado Shampoo Bar with Rhasoul Clay, Silk and Nourishing Avocado Oil* (£4.50) is just lovely! I used to be a fan of Lush's ones but much prefer this one with no SLS!

The bar is stuffed full of good things for the hair and scalp including Rhasoul Clay which cleanses and balances, Avocado oil which nourishes and Silk which gives the bar a luxurious feel. Rosemary, Lavender and Grapefruit essential oils restore, balance and refresh. 

Suitable for all hair types but specifically normal or oily fine hair. It's also great for travel.

To use: wet hair and either lather up in your palm or rub the bar over your hair before massaging it into a lather. Rinse.

What's your favourite soaps for the hair and body?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. All thoughts are genuine and my post contains some affiliate links.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February Books

Here's what I've been reading in February:

The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher* - Lara and Maggie are both second wives. Lara is married to Massimo and they have a young son, Sandro. Sandro, just wants his dad to praise him but finds him overbearing at times. Lara has a controlled life - it's very ordered and she doesn't like to lose control.

Easy going Maggie and her son from a previously relationship live with Massimo's brother Nico and her stepdaughter, Francesca. Both women find their mother-in-law hard work. Nothing is ever right or good enough for her boys. Maggie's mum is down to earth and says it like it is..

Maggie finds something in the attic which sheds a different light on Nico's perfect first wife, Caitlin.. The story is told in alternating chapters through Lara's and Maggie's eyes and it makes compelling reading. I loved it.

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin - sisters Clare and Alice were separated when they were young children when their dad took Alice off to America. Clare, a partner in a law firm has looked for her sister throughout the years and felt like a part of her was missing despite having a loving mother, husband and children.

When their father dies Alice makes contact again with her mum and returns home. Clare doesn't however feel a sisterly connection to her at all. In fact, she feels uncomfortable around her when everyone else seems to be totally smitten.

Alice manipulates the situation and Clare feels shut out. Her husband, Luke also seems to be taking Alice's side and when things start to slide she feels out of control.. She heads to America to try and find out more about her sister and whilst there finds out a lot more than she bargained for...

An absolute edge of the seat read which I devoured in two sittings. I loved it.

The Damselfly by SJI Holliday - this is the third book in the Banktoun trilogy (but it could be read as a stand-alone novel). Katie Taylor can't wait to leave Banktoun and her small town life behind and really start living. She wins some money on a scratchcard and believes this is the way out for her and Neil, her boyfriend but it's not to be for Katie as DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings are summoned to investigate her death.

Polly McAllister the new guidance teacher speaks to those pupils who may be able to help piece together Katie's last movements. A teacher also makes a startling revelation...

A Facebook group is set up and those on it decide to take matters into their own hands and mete out a punishment to someone they believe is involved. Wrongly, I may add! A fast paced and twisty story...with an ending I didn't see coming! Highly recommend.

Sealskin by Su Bristow** - Donald, a fisherman lives with his widowed mother Bridie in a croft on the West Coast of Scotland. One night he makes a terrible mistake and their lives change forever. The story is based on the legend of the selkies, seals who transform themselves into beautiful young women.

Bridie names her Mairhi and welcomes her into their home and lives. Villagers are suspicious but the children love her childlike and simple ways. Donald's aunt forms an unlikely bond with her and Bridie keeps her best interests at heart.

An absolute gem of a book. It's totally absorbing, easy to read and by far one of my favourites this year so far.

The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola - the story is set in London 1837 and the moment you start reading you are right there in Victorian London. The novel is based on a true story.

Sarah Gale, a seamstress and mother is sentenced to hang for aiding and abetting James Greenacre with the murder of Hannah Brown on the eve of her wedding. 

Sarah is sent straight to prison, a dark and terrifying place to await her fate. She pleaded for mercy and Edmund Fleetwood is appointed to investigate the case. He feels that Sarah is hiding something and he plans to find out what and why. The story has a twist which I didn't see coming! I absolutely loved this stunning debut which is totally absorbing. It has extracts from real newspapers which give the story a sense of time and place. Highly recommend.

My final read this month is a quick read. One False Move by Dreda Say Mitchell - Hayley is determined to turn her live around. She never wants to go back inside and be separated from her young daughter. She finds a job collecting cash and one night gets mugged.

Her employers are not at all understanding and with no place to turn gets back in touch with her criminal ex. He says he'll help her only if she comes back to work for him but she wants nothing to do with that life anymore. A fast paced short read which I enjoyed.

What have you been reading this month?

*copy from netgalley
**copy from the publisher, Orenda Books

Monday, 27 February 2017

February Empties

Here's what I've been using up in February:

Lavera Lavender Bath Salts (single use pack) - these make for a relaxing soak and I'd buy them again.

Bodhi & Birch Siam Ginger and Ylang Ylang Incensa Bath & Shower Therapy 200ml each - unusual to finish two of these beauties in one month! I love both these scents and will buy again.

Aromatherapy Associates Support Equilibrium and Deep Relax Bath & Shower oils - again, love both of these. Will buy again.

Therapie Himalyan Detox Salts 500g - a staple - these are always in my stash. I'll be stocking up when Cult Beauty offer their goody bag with purchase next month.

Balm Balm Balance All Over Balm 30ml - with peppermint and lavender. This was lovely and uplifting as well as deeply nourishing. Would buy again.

Balm Balm Balance Bath & Shower Oil 5ml - this lavender scented oil made for a relaxing bath. 

Bodhi & Birch Flora Paradiso De-Stress Massage & Body Oil 30ml - a beautiful oil which I'd definitely buy again. It's perfect for pampering.

Make Skincare Face Smooth 15ml* - I recently reviewed this fab moisturiser (link). I'll definitely buy when I use up some of my stash.

Isla Apothecary Blood Orange & Vanilla Sugar Scrub 220g - this scrub had the perfect scrubbiness and the scent is amazing. One I'll definitely buy next time I need a scrub. See my initial thoughts HERE.

Molton Brown Coco & Sandalwood and Rosa Absolute Bath & Shower Gel (both 30ml) - I love these scents. Sure to pick up full sizes at some point.

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo 50ml - loved this and will buy full size soon.

Cowshed Knackered Cow Shampoo & Conditioner 10ml sachets - I got two uses from each of these. Very nice. Added to the wishlist.

Redken High Rise Volume Shampoo & Conditioner 5ml sachets - nice to use but not really sure they improved volume.

Neom Daily De-Stress Burst Capsule - these are amazing! I wish they sold them in a full size jar!

What have you been using up this month?


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Naturisimo Discovery Boxes

Just recently Naturisimo have had some fab Discovery Boxes. I've managed to pick up all three! Unfortunately, they have all now sold out! Sign up to the newsletter to be one of the first to hear about these try-me boxes.

First up, is their Clean Fragrance Try Me Box which cost £12 and was worth £32. It's absolutely jam packed with perfume samples:

Inside is:

Bamford Splash One Evening 10ml
Acorelle Fragrance sachets 5 x 1.5ml (Energising Tea Garden, Balancing Silky Rose, White Orchid, Intense Cherry and Soothing Neroli)
Honore des Pres Vamp a NY 2ml
Honore des Pres Love Coconut 2ml
Tazeka Tension Tonic 2ml

The second try me set was by Weleda and cost a bargainous £6.95. Inside the cute little make up bag are 4 trial sizes:

Inside is:

Skin Food 10ml
Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil 10ml
Lavender Creamy Body Wash 20ml
Sea Buckthorn Replenishing Body Lotion 20ml

The final box I've picked up recently was the fabulous Vegan Beauty Discovery Box which cost £13.95 and was worth £68. It's absolutely jam packed:

Inside is:

Barefoot SOS Repair & Renew Daily Replenishing Cream 30ml

Madara Time Miracle Total Renew Night Cream 20ml

Evolve Lip Treat 5ml
Skin & Tonic Calm Balm 5g
Pink's Boutique Hydrating Deep Cleansing Melt 5g

Kiki Health Organic Pea Protein Powder 5g
Green People Age Defy SPF15 DD Tinted Moisturiser - Ivory 2ml
pai Head to Toe Buriti Balm 2ml
The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder 5g

The final item is a gorgeous Inika Vegan Full Sized Lipstick in Flushed, a pretty pink shade.

Did you manage to pick up any of the recent discovery boxes? Still available is their New You Health Kit which costs £29.95 (13 items - worth £60) which you can pick up here.