Wednesday, 31 October 2012

October Empties

It's empties time! Here is what I've been using up this month:

Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator 15ml - received this a while back in a Latest in Beauty Box.  I initially really liked it but then found it stung my skin a little so gave up using it.

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner Mini pot - love this gorgeous rose scented product.  I reviewed it here.

Noble Isle Summer Rising Bath & Shower Gel 30ml - love the gooseberry, orange blossom, moss and fresh cut grass scent of this.  I'll pick up a full size at some point though it is quite expensive.

A'kin Rose de Mai Day Cream 1.5ml sachet - tiny sachet but loved the scent and feel of this on my skin.  Would love to buy full size.

Dr Bronner's Citrus Orange Castile Soap pillow - nice and enjoyed using it but slightly prefer the peppermint scented one.

Matis Response Corps Miceur 5ml - this smelt lovely and I liked the gel like texture.  Too small a sample though.

Freyaluna Regain your Balance Facial Tonic 100ml - I loved this rose scented toner when I received it in my Freyaluna Selection Box.  I felt the full size just wasn't the same as the sample size.  I found it too heavily scented and couldn't actually finish the product.

Lolita Lempicka L'Eau en Blanc sample vial - didn't really like this scent it was too powdery for me so wouldn't buy it.  The first empty in my perfume sample challenge.

L'Occitane Divine Cream - small pot - love this cream but don't love the scent of it.  Probably wouldn't buy.

Suti Fabulous Foot Balm - small sample pot - love this.  You can see my review here.

STEAMCREAM 75g pot - this came in a Carmine box - I don't really know what all the fuss is about this cream! I quite liked it but wouldn't purchase.  Like the cute tin though!

Bamford Botanic Geranium Bath Oil 30ml - one of my favourite bath oils.  I will get round to buying the full size at some point.

Philosophy Miracle Worker Anti-Age Concentrate 29.6ml - this was a Beauty Bible testing product.  Nice to use but probably wouldn't buy.

Clinique Turnaround Overnight 7ml - a magazine freebie.  Really like this would consider buying.

Sk:n Hand Cream 3ml sachet - would consider buying this as I thought it was a brilliant hand cream.

Ole Henriksen sachets - Invigorating Night Gel, Sheer Transformation and Truth Serum Collagen Booster - didn't like the scent of these so would not purchase.

Dr Brandt Lineless Lines no more sachet - didn't see any difference in my skin.  Wouldn't purchase.

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Conditioner 70ml - loved this.  Will definitely purchase full size at some point.

Giorgio Armani Regenessence Eye Serum 15ml - this was a nice eye serum and I liked the cooling tip to apply but didn't really see any major improvement in the eye area apart from hydrating.  Wouldn't re-purchase.

Mythic Oil vial - really like this, will purchase at some point but I've got loads of hair oils to use up.

Vichy Idealia/Idealia Pro both 3ml - liked the Idealia.  Will purchase at some point.  You can see my review here.

Comoshambhala Invigorate Shower Gel 50ml - love this eucalyptus scented shower gel.  Have a few to use still from swaps.

Rodial Glamtox Active Daily Moisturiser 2ml sachet - really liked this.  Would like to try more Rodial products.

Hyaluronan Hydrating Sheet Mask - love sheet masks and this one was especially moisturising.

Vaseline Essential Moisture Clean Feeling Lotion 50ml - nice to use but probably wouldn't buy as I've got so many body lotions to use.

Origins Ginger Burst Body Wash 100ml - this was a present last Christmas!  Love the Ginger range and this is a really nice body wash.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum 2ml - love Caudalie products and this was nice to use.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil 20ml - this was in the Selfridges Advent Calendar last Christmas. I found it a bit greasy on my skin and it contains mineral oil.

TRESemme Split Remedy Sachets 3 x 10ml - shampoo, conditioner, leave in treatment - I liked the shampoo and conditioner and would maybe purchase.  The treatment didn't suit my hair type.

Ancienne Ambiance Bath Salts in Amundula, Jasminum and Rosa.  You can read my post about the salts here.  I'd purchase the Rosa ones as they were my favourite.

Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Exfoliator 4ml - loved this gentle exfoliator would purchase.

Caudalie Vinexpert Eyes & Lip Serum 1.5ml - love this would perhaps purchase.

Thalgo Thalgomince Cream 5ml - from Latest in Beauty box.  Quite nice probably wouldn't purchase.

Melvita Fresh Micellar Water 35ml - this came from Latest in Beauty as a luxury sample.  Quite effective at removing make up would perhaps re-purchase.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair 1.5ml - like this product, have bought in the past.  Would maybe buy again.

Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint sample vial - love this scent and will buy full size in the future.

Alqvimia Rosewater Facial Tonic 6ml - a lovely toner scented lightly with roses.  Would maybe purchase as it was refreshing on the skin.

What have you been using up this month?  Have you used any of these products?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

October Book

Another month I've only managed to read one book - I must do better next month!  I love the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith.  Sunshine on Scotland Street is the latest edition and a fab read.  It is about the characters who live at 44 Scotland Street and round about.  It follows Angus's and Domenica's marriage, Angus's dog Cyril, Matthew who meets a Danish documentary maker and introduces him to Big Lou, Bertie (who never grows old - he remains age 6 in all the books) has to cope with the demands of his pushy mother and narcissist Bruce meets his match.  A really fab series can't recommend it highly enough.  An easy and entertaining read.  If you haven't read any of the books before you should start with 44 Scotland Street.

What have you been reading this month?

October Wants

I finished my Prada Candy EDP recently and I am missing it.  I'm dropping hints to Santa.

I got a sample vial of this perfume recently and I loved it.  Tempted as Liz Earle are offering free P&P until 31st October and if you spend £70 you get a free gift set.

Liz Earle Advent Calendar with 24 mini gifts. It's super fabulous but at £100 it will just be a want.  I'm hoping to pick up the Latest in Beauty Advent Calendar which goes live next Sunday 4th November.  If you buy on the 4th they are offering free P&P.

I got one of these hand creams recently in Harper's Bazaar magazine.  It's one of the best I've ever used.  Wish I'd bought a few then as this retails at £20 for 75ml.

What products are you lusting after this month?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Milla Maddern Natural Skincare

Jane Maddern set up her soap making company in 1997 (she had previously made soaps as a hobby).  She recently launched a new company with her stepdaughter Camilla called Milla Maddern.

Products are made by hand in farm buildings in the Mendip hills in Somerset using ethically sourced ingredients.  No artificial colours or fragrances are used, no parabens, SLS and no animal testing.  Ingredients used are manuka honey, goat's milk, essential oils, aloe vera, plant extracts and butters.

There are four collections - Harmony, Tranquility, Vitality and Sensuality.  Products available in each range are Bodycream, Bodywash, Handcream, Hand made soap and Liquid Hand Wash.

I was sent Tranquility Body Wash*, Sensuality Liquid Soap*, Harmony Hand Cream* and Hand made soap* and Vitality Body Cream*.  They all smell amazing and the combination of essential oils each contain work well together.  The products are packaged in recyclable bottles and the labels are really pretty (they look good sitting at the sink and beside the bath).

Tranquility Body Wash 100ml 
Scented with essential oils of lavender, geranium and mandarin.  A soothing blend and great to de-stress.  This wash makes a good lather and I just loved the scent.  Left skin feeling clean, refreshed and lightly fragranced.  

Vitality Body Cream 100ml
Scented with juniper, bergamot and jasmine.  I just adore this fruity floral scent. This delicious cream featured in my October Favourites recently.  It's a lovely rich cream and absorbs easily into the skin.  A product I always want to have.

Sensuality Liquid Hand Wash 100ml
Scented with jasmine, rosewood, vetivert and geranium which is a heady mix!  Gives a good lather and is non-drying on the hands.  Leaves hands smelling lovely.

Harmony Hand Cream 250ml
Scented with sandalwood, frankincense and neroli.  A rich cream which is easily absorbed into the hands, it is non greasy and leaves the hands super moisturised.  Love the rich woody scent.

Harmony Handmade soap 90g
Containing goat's milk, organic shea butter and jojoba oil along with essential oils of sandalwood, frankincense and neroli. It's wrapped in material which is an unusual but nice touch.  Would make a great gift.

The products retail at:

Handmade Soap 90g - £6
Hand Wash 250ml - £12
Hand Cream 250ml - £14
Body Wash 250ml - £12
Body Cream 250ml - £16

There are also gift sets available and you can see these here.


*PR Samples

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Samples #5

These are my samples for week 5 and my thoughts are below.  My little sample box is very slowly going down.

Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator 3ml sachet - have used this before and love this very gentle rose scented scrub.  It's one I'd purchase again.

Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation in Wheat 1.5ml sachet - loved this, the texture, smell, coverage and feel on my skin.  The colour suited me too.  I'd definitely consider purchasing it.

Sanctuary 30 Day Thermal Transformation - two sachets - Peptide Transformation Serum 1.5ml and Thermal Rose Clay Mask 7ml - put the serum on your face and neck and then massage on the mask - which gives a warming sensation - its fab! I'd definitely think about buying this but at the moment got loads of masks to use up.

TRESemme Split Remedy 3 x 10ml sachets - shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment - loved the shampoo and conditioner.  Found the treatment a bit heavy for my hair.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum 2ml - love Caudalie products.  This was nice to use but as such a small sample hard to see if it had made a difference.

Sk:n Moisturising Cream SPF 30 3ml sachet - loved this.  Definitely want to look more into the sk:n range.

Thalgo Thalgomince Cream 5ml sachet - this came from the recent Latest in Beauty Box.  Seemed nice enough but too small a sachet to really test the product.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair 1.5ml sachet - again small sachet but I've bought this product before and really like it.

Caudalie Vinexpert Eye & Lip Serum 1.5ml - really liked this serum would perhaps purchase.

Here are my samples for week #6:

Murad Intensive Wrinkle Reducer 7ml
REN Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel 5ml
Sebastian Volupt Volume Boosting Shampoo 10ml 
Sebastian Hydre Deep Moisturising Treatment 10ml
Sebastian Potion 9 10ml 
Abahna Body Lotion 3 x 5ml - Mandarin & Sicilian Bergamot, White Grapefruit & May Chang and Lilac Rose & Geranium
Madara Deep Balance Toner 5ml
Avon Anew Clinical Eye Lift Pro
I love....Coconut Face Mask 15ml

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Louise Galvin Sacred Locks Shampoo & Conditioner for Fine Hair

I got Louise Galvin Sacred Locks Shampoo in my first Latest in Beauty Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible Box (I loved it so much I bought another!)  In my second box I received the matching conditioner.

The products are absolutely fantastic!  I love that there is no animal testing involved in their production and that they are free from parabens, sulphates, silicones, petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances and polymers.  They are scented with mandarin and contain Yuzu oil to add shine and vitality.

I've found that my highlights are brighter and my hair feel great - clean, shiny, healthy and moisturised.  I also like that the shampoo produces a good lather even thought it is a more natural product.

The shampoo retails at £22 for 300ml (100ml in the Latest in Beauty box).  It is a clarifying shampoo with mild cleansing agents which helps maintain colour for longer.  The conditioner retails at £24 for 300ml (100ml in LIB box).  It is a light but rich conditioner which hydrates the hair.  It leaves hair full of body (after blow drying), smooth and shiny.

Any greenhouse gases that are produced in the manufacture of the products are off set by investment in the Carbon Neutral Company.  The products are made with naturally derived ingredients such as essential oils, natural extracts and vegetable derived moisturising and conditioning ingredients.

Have you tried any products from this brand?

Friday, 26 October 2012

Friday's Makes, Bakes & Learns #3

Today I've made a really easy body scrub which is kind to the skin and makes a great gift.  I got the recipe from Ideal Home's Complete Guide to Christmas.  There are also some nice foodie gift recipes and lots of other Christmassy things inside.  I love Christmas magazines.

All you need is a kilner or other jar, 150g Granulated Sugar, 125ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Essential Oils - I used geranium and lavender (10 drops in total), some lavender buds, a ribbon and a label.

In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, oil, essential oils and lavender buds.  Mix well and spoon into the jar.  

Decorate with the ribbon and label.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Palm & Soul Three Rose Deep Balm for Face & Neck

I've been wanting to try this richly scented balm made with Moroccan, Damascan & Bulgarian roses for ages.  I decided to treat myself and it arrived on Monday.  Three Rose Deep Balm for Face & Neck is simply gorgeous! I chose the Handcrafted round box option which comes with a 25ml glass beaker and a handcrafted maple wooden spoon.  Would make such an amazing gift.

Retailing at £30 for the option I chose.  You can also buy on its own for £27 or in a plusher black gift box with ribbon for £32.  Postage in the UK is free for orders placed up until the end of December.

I placed my order and received an email stating that my balm would be freshly made and I was given an estimated despatch time - a nice touch I thought.  On despatch I received another email (Friday) and I picked it up from the Post Office on Monday before work.

Look how gorgeous it all is!  The balm and accessories come in a mini round wooden box, with crinkled black paper and rose petals.  You also receive a mini how to use leaflet.

Kathy who creates the Palm & Soul range is a holistic & clinical aromatherapist and complimentary therapist and has specialised in women's health & beauty over the last decade.  Palm & Soul products are made with rich raw plant oils, butters, Vitamin E and essential oils which are carefully hand blended.

The ranges available are - Three Rose, Sparkling (Melissa, Bergamot & Rosemary), Grounding (Frankincense, Patchouli & Ginger), Levelling (Neroli, Grapefruit & Rosemary) and Nurturing (Palmarosa, Pure Norfolk & Swedish Beeswax).  The range includes balm, solid oil moisturiser travel companion, facial oil and body oil).  You can see the full range here.

The solid oil moisturiser travel companion in Three Rose is coming soon!

All products are made using certified organic products where possible and there are no chemicals used.  All packaging is kept minimal and all is recyclable.

You can use the Three Rose Deep Balm for Face & Neck in three ways (as you know I so love a multi-purpose product!)

One: As it is - to nourish and protect dry skin - using circular movements apply a little balm to face and neck last thing at night.  Apply daily to dry patches.  Can also be applied to clean dry feet last thing at night to balance hormones.

Two: As a Warming Balm - for an intense face and neck treatment - place a small amount of balm in the beaker using the wooden spoon and place in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water.  The balm will melt slightly and turn into a thick liquid.  Stir with the spoon.  Massage the balm with your fingertips onto your face and neck.  Massaging balm behind your neck can help ease tense muscles.

Three: As a Cooling Balm - use your spoon to place a small amount of balm into your glass beaker.  Put beaker into the fridge for 15 minutes.  Massage balm into your temples.  Placing cooling balm on the back of your neck can also ease headaches.

My thoughts?  I love this product, it smells of roses, one of my most favourite scents. It is rich and nourishing on the skin and is a real pampering "spa" type product.  I love that you can use it warm (pure bliss), as it is, or cool (which really helps with headaches/stressful and (probably summer) times.  I love that you can use it on dry patches on the body and also your feet.  I find, as recommended "dabbing a little under your nose to to help re-balance your mood and ease stress" a fantastic remedy to stressful moments!  One of these products I always want to have.

Have you used this or any other Palm & Soul products?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Fresh Sugar Addictions Mini Lip Collection

A friend at work was recently on holiday in Las Vegas and I asked if she could pick me up Fresh's Sugar Addictions Mini Lip Collection (each 0.08oz - tiny!) I'd been lusting after for a while.  Imagine my delight when on Monday I got my mitts on this gorgeous little set.

Retailing at $48 plus taxes which worked out at £33.26.  If you buy in Fresh's London store in Marylebone High Street the same set retails at £49 (ouch!) and add P&P if you live outside London (£6) makes it an expensive want.

For tinted lip balms they are quite pigmented and are super moisturising on the lips as well as having a lemony scent.

From my wrist up - Sugar Rose - a pale rose tint, Sugar Honey - a warm nude, Sugar Coral - a juicy coral, Sugar Berry - rich berry tint, Sugar Passion - a sheer rouge.  The final one is Sugar Lip Treatment which is clear.  They all have an added SPF15 and are enriched with nourishing anti-ageing vitamins.

Fresh are famous for their Oval Soap Collection which you can see here.  The founders, Lev Glazman & Alina Roytberg launched the company in 1991 and the first product they created was an artisan soap.  The soaps are infused with shea butter and essential oils.  They are wrapped in colourful paper and make great gifts.

Products are sold all around the world and the range includes - fragrance, skincare, body care, make up, hair care and a home range.

Do you think you will buy the mini lip collection or have you already?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Sleepover Essentials

On Saturday we went to visit my folks and stay over.  Here's the beauty products I took with me.

My new favourite body care line - Abahna - you can read my haul post here and see my monthly favourites post here.  I'm currently loving these luxury skincare products.  I'll definitely be repurchasing the Frangipani & Orange Blossom Bath & Shower Gel and Body Lotion (also fancying the bath oil, hand cream and candle!)

Melvita Fresh Micellar Water 35ml - received this one as a Latest in Beauty Luxury Sample - really nice for nights you can't be bothered with a full cleanse.  Smells nice too.  Currently available for £3 on the Latest in Beauty site.

Natural Wisdom Rose & Pomegranate Anti-Oxidant Hydrating Toner 50ml - absolutely adore this beautiful toner.  You can read my review here.

Louise Galvin Sacred Locks Shampoo & Conditioner for fine hair.  These feature in my October Favourites.  My current favourite shampoo and conditioner.  Full review to follow.

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash 50ml - this was a Glamour magazine freebie.  Love this - scented with grapefruit, petigrain, ylang ylang and frankincense essential oils - really uplifting in my morning shower.  One of my favourite Balance Me products.

Elemis Pro-Intense Eye & Lip Contour Cream 15ml - just started using this again. A nice product also like to use it on lip contour.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Lifting Treatment for Face and Neck 15ml - another lovely product which I tend to pick up in gifts with purchase.

Moroccanoil Treatment 10ml - a handy size for travelling.  Love the Moroccanoil range.

Temple Spa Skin Truffle 15ml - absolutely adore this cream I got in my recent Latest in Beauty Anti-Ageing Box - an amazing cream.  Review to follow.

Likewise, review to follow on LP Skin Therapy Overnight Replenish Cream 15ml which also came in the Latest in Beauty box.  A really lovely cream - keen to look into other products in the range.

MossGrove Natural Deodorant for women - this deodorant contains no chemical nasties and is scented with jasmine - gorgeous!

We went for lunch again to House for an Art Lover Cafe and I had this delicious pudding - double chocolate puff pastry stack with passionfruit granita and coconut marshmallows - it was amazing!

What are your favourite products to take for weekend's away?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Schwarzkopf OSiS+ Flatliner Iron Serum 200ml is one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products from top brands.

I was sent OSiS Flatliner Iron Serum* to review.  It is packaged in a silver steel container with a fine spray nozzle attachment which ensures even distribution. The nozzle can be locked to prevent spillage which is handy when travelling.  Retailing at £10.11 for 200ml on Hairtrade's website.

I've been using this serum for the last week or so and it has made a huge difference to the look and feel of my hair.  It protects the hair from heat damage from straighteners (which I use everyday) with 200 degrees heat protecting ingredients as well as hydrolysed silk and wheat proteins which make the hair silky smooth, straight and static free.  It is quite a light spray so doesn't weigh the hair down at all.  

It has a salon type hairspray scent which doesn't linger in the hair.

To use - on dry hair - spray over individual sections prior to the use of hot irons.

My thoughts - a really great product which smooths, leaves hair frizz free and my hair stays in style throughout the whole day!  I'd definitely buy this product.  You can see the online shop here.  Have you used this product before?

*PR Sample

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Estee Lauder Private Collection - Tuberose Gardenia EDP

I picked up this perfume recently in the Harvey Nichols GWP offer.  You can see my post here.

I've owned this perfume once before - I bought it in Harrods (on a rare trip to London) before it was available nationwide.

It retails at £59 for 30ml and £90 for 75ml.

It is simply exquisite - with top notes of neroli, lilac and rosewood, middle notes of Tuberose Natural Intact, Gardenia, Orange Flower Natural Intact, Jasmine and White Lily, with base notes of Carnation and Vanilla Bourbon (Nature Intact - special technology is used to make this true to the natural flower scent).  As the scent develops you can smell all the notes.

Aerin Lauder originally created this perfume for herself and her closest friends.

The cap (hammered gold texture) is inspired by a neckace Aerin inherited from her grandmother, Estee Lauder.

It is a gorgeous and special scent.  There is also a body creme available at £55 for 200ml.  Have you tried this scent before?  There are also two other Private Collection scents available - Amber Ylang Ylang and Jasmine White Moss.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

October Favourites

These are my October favourites - 

Skinvelop - The Cleanser - an absolutely amazing cleanser - you can read my review here.  A brilliant product at a great price and really lovely to use.

Louise Galvin Sacred Locks Shampoo & Conditioner for fine hair - I received these in my Latest in Beauty Boxes (I loved the first box so much I bought another!).  These are really nice to use, have a great scent and are free from parabens, SLS etc.  They also seem to brighten up my highlights - which is nice!  A full review to follow on these.

Milla Maddern Body Cream - I have been sent a few items from this new brand to review (this will follow) but I am particularly loving this rich, beautifully scented cream.  Vitality is packed full of manuka honey, Vitamin E, Rosehip Oil, Juniper, Bergamot and Jasmine - making it a fruity floral.  It's uplifting and a joy to use! 

Abahna Frangipani & Orange Blossom Body Lotion - I am in love with the intoxicating scent of this body lotion.  You can read my post about my Abahna haul here.

Sprout Vegan Lip Balm in Cocoa - this is absolutely gorgeous, melts on contact with the skin, love the smell and feel on my lips.  An absolute winner.  You can see my post here.

Cowshed Cow Pat Moisturising Hand Cream with grapefruit and coriander - a Easy Living Magazine freebie.  Super-gorgeous!

What are you favourites this month?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Joliebox Review - October

My October Joliebox just got delivered.  The theme this month is "Pure and Natural".

Here's the contents -

Ritessens Velvet Cleansing Milk - a full size product - 125ml from a French brand I've never heard of before.  This is what I want to see in boxes - products which are new to me.  Free from parabens, SLS, artificial colours etc. It contains Argan oil and natural plant extracts.  This brand offered a choice of cleanser or exfoliant. Looking forward to trying this one out. 

Lov Organic Tea 6 muslin tea bags in Lov is Beautiful - an organic blend of white and green teas and are packed full of antioxidants and zinc which have proven skincare benefits.  Love herbal tea so looking forward to making a brew.  There are some delicious sounding blends on the website.

JASON Bee Healthier Lip Balm Stick - a full size product which retails at £1.99. It's scented with peppermint and packed with shea butter.  I love lip balms so will definitely be happy to use this.

Balance Me Balancing Face Moisturiser 10ml - just received Amarya's October Box which was a Balance Me featured box and included this cream.  I will use it (eventually!) although my heart sank a little when I saw it in Joliebox this month.

Moa The Green Balm sample pot - I don't like the scent of this one so will pass it on.

All in all I was happy with my box this month.  I love Joliemag - I find it a really informative read.  Fleur from Fleur de Force, is this month's cover star.  What are your thoughts on the box?

Friday Makes, Bakes & Learns #2

Today I'm sharing a super easy and tasty Chilli Jelly recipe which was in Easy Living Magazine a while back.  It is delicious with cheese and biscuits and would make a great gift!  It's also quite cheap to make - the chillies are from my plant on the kitchen windowsill.

Makes 750ml (I got three normal size jars and one small one)

Prep 15 mins Cooking 10 mins

4 long red chillies (I used 6 small ones)
1 red pepper seeds removed, roughly chopped
1tsp grated fresh ginger
300ml Cider Vinegar
800g sugar with pectin
Juice of 1 lemon

Whizz the chillies, red pepper and ginger in a food processor with 100ml of the vinegar.  Pulse until coarsely but evenly chopped.

Transfer the mixture to a large stainless steel saucepan.  

Add the sugar, lemon juice and the remaining vinegar.  Bring to the boil over a high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

When it first reaches boiling point some reddish scum will rise to the surface.  Scoop this out with a shallow spoon being careful not to remove too much chilli. Boil for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally making sure it doesn't boil over.  The saucepan should be only half full when all the ingredients are added as you need to allow space for the jelly to boil (it will come quite far up the sides of the pan and will bubble a lot).

Leave to cool for a few minutes and then stir well and pour into sterilised jars, seal and label.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Jo Malone

I'm a huge Jo Malone fan.  Scents-wise I love Red Roses, White Jasmine & Mint, Grapefruit, Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Pomegranate Noir and Wild Bluebell.

I love the luxury bath soaps in Lime Basil & Mandarin, all the candle scents and the Vitamin E collection is pure luxury.

Imagine my absolute delight when hubby gave me Jo Malone for Christmas last year (link) and my birthday (link).

I am absolutely loving using the Jo Malone Grapefruit Bath Oil which has notes of grapefruit, rosemary and moss with pimento and patchouli.  It scents the whole bathroom and hallway when I have a bath.  It is uplifting and refreshing and super moisturising on the skin.

Jo Malone Wild Blueberry Body Creme is sheer luxury, a rich cream, heavily scented with wild blueberry.  Presented in a heavy glass pot in chic Jo Malone style.  Scented with wild blueberry, persimmon and white musk.  Simply gorgeous!  I feel totally pampered after using these products.

What's your favourite Jo Malone product/scent?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Current Primers

I think I've got a primer problem! These are my current ones -

Lancome Effet Miracle Bare Skin Perfection Primer - 15ml (£26).  This comes in two shades I've got the 01 - Porcelain Effect (also available in 02 Healthy Glow Effect).  Inspired by Asian BB base formulas this primer illuminates the skin, makes pores less visible, wrinkles and fine lines are smoothed, helps to make skin texture more even, makes shine less visible, flaws are minimised and is quite hydrating.  This is one of my favourite primers and I'd probably purchase it again but it is pricey.

Stila One Step Correct Brightening Serum 30ml (£24) - this came in the Selfridges Beauty Box.  A really nice primer which evens out the skin tone and helps make up last longer.  It's also really hydrating.  I'd re-purchase this one.

BECCA Resurfacing Primer 15ml (40ml - £32) - I got this in a gift set.  This primer is great for unwanted shine in the T-zone.  It also helps with pores.  Fine lines are smoothed and oil absorbing polymers help to minimise shine.  Can use alone or under foundation.  Love this - just perfect for my combination skin type.

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer 15ml (full size - £28) - Again I received this as a gift with purchase.  This primer has a pearl tint which give the skin a soft glow.  Can be worn alone or under foundation.  A radiant dewy finish which minimises imperfections and fine lines.  Suitable for all skin types.

Benefit The POREfessional 22ml (£23.50) - great for minimising pores and I love using this mainly for afternoon shine over nose/cheeks.  It is expensive though (unsure if I'd buy this again full size but I did pick up a few with Glamour a few months back - link).

Benefit That Gal 7.5ml (11ml - £21.50) - another one I picked up with Glamour magazine.  I love the smell of this - its like strawberries!  I liked how this primer brightened my skin but I'd be unlikely to repurchase it due to the price.

bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer (30ml - £19) - I got this in a value try-me set.  A clear primer which is good for enlarged pores, uneven texture, dryness. Gives a good base for adding foundation - feels silky on the skin.  A nice primer.

RMK Make Up Base 15ml (30ml - £28) - this came from May's Joliebox. For normal to dry skin types so not ideal for my combination skin.  A nice product with a dewy finish but it didn't help to make my foundation last so wouldn't purchase.

Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Dewy Finish 5ml (30ml - £29) - this came in January's Glossybox.  I love this light tinted primer which gives a shine free finish and a radiant glow!  Sometimes wear it on its own too.

Giorgio Armani Fluid Master Primer 5ml (£34 full size) - makes the skin super smooth - a perfect canvas for foundation.  Leaves skin looking fresh.

What's your favourite primer?  Have you used any of these?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Veggie Growing - Update 5

My last veggie growing update was in August. You can see it here.  I've still, even now in October got loads of lettuce - it sure beats the bags of salad you get in the supermarket - it's just got a fresher taste and I love the different varieties I've been growing this year.

I'm hoping my herb bed will last the winter (at least the most hardy ones)  I've got Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Fennel and Lavender.  Next year I want to add some mint, oregano and chives.

I recently planted chard, rocket and fennel seeds - and have not had much success with them.  There are two bits of fennel and two of chard.  The rocket is beginning to come through though.

I picked the last of my beetroot on Sunday and a few courgettes.  I've planted some cabbages and baby turnips and may have some beans (if the frost doesn't get to them first).  I also sowed the wild flower seeds I got with my recent Love Lula order - so hopefully they will appear next Spring.

All in all, I've had a fairly successful first season of growing.  Here are pictures of some of the crops I've enjoyed.

I've also been growing some chillies on the kitchen windowsill. 

I'm now looking at what seeds I want to get for the next growing season.