Thursday, 31 January 2013

InStyle Magazine - March issue

uh oh I have had broken my spending ban a little bit! (£3.80).  I always get InStyle magazine when they have their Best Beauty Buys supplement - gives me hours and hours of reading!  There is also a free 3.5ml sachet of L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil.

Marie Claire magazine this month (I've got a subscription) are offering readers a free Shiseido Lipstick - you have to go instore with your coupon from the magazine to pick it up - while stocks last. Next month (out beginning of March) they are offering a free Neal's Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream worth £10!  I've also heard Glamour's April edition has a free Percy & Reed product attached - shampoo, conditioner, treatment mask, oil.

Shopping My Stash - Spending Ban Week 2

I must admit I am quite enjoying shopping my stash.  I am re-discovering lots of products I forgot I had.

Gielly Green Classic Shampoo & Conditioner (both 50ml) - these came in the last Amarya box.  I've tried the repair shampoo and repair mask - both of which I loved - you can see my review here.  These are both lovely to use too and are scented with grapefruit and cassis.  The conditioner is almost like a detangler - very light but conditions really well.  A lovely duo - would recommend.

Philip B Styling Gel 15ml - I received this in a blog sale.  I like using it for smoothing frizzy hair or on wet hair which I then blow dry to create a sleek and smooth look.

Bodhi Jasmine Falls Relaxing Bath & Shower Therapy 50ml and Bodhi Jasmine Falls Relaxing Body Moisturiser 40ml - simply love these products.  I love their heady scent and normally use them them to relax before bed.  You can see my review here.

The Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company - The Queen Bee Luxury Body Bar - St Clements - Sweet Orange, Lemongrass, Lime and Honey - this is simply divine!  Presented in a tin making it easy to use for travel or shoving in your handbag for everyday use.  I met Tommy who makes the products at Pout Edinburgh and you can see this post here.

Lush Ocean Salt Facial Scrub 120g - love this gritty, sea salty and lime facial scrub.  Usually use it in my morning shower for a wake-up call!

How is your spending ban going?  Are you enjoying shopping your stash?

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Perricone MD Formula 15

I was recently sent Perricone MD Formula 15* to review.  I am already a fan of Nutritive CleanserAdvanced Face Firming Activator and Face Finishing Moisturiser.  I have been using Formula 15 for a few weeks now.  

"A treatment that corrects skin's surface imperfections for smoother, more youthful, radiant skin".

Formula 15 is "scientifically formulated to minimise the width, length and depth of a wrinkle".  It contains Alpha Lipoic Acid to repair the depth of a wrinkle, DMAE tackles the length & width of a wrinkle and NTP complex drives the actives into the skin".

This product comes onto the market 15 years after Advanced Face Firming Activator - which is a best selling product.  Formula 15 is an advanced, professional-grade formulation of Advanced Face Firming Activator.

Presented in a apothecary style pump bottle (59ml - £99).  I have found you only need a small amount of the lightweight cream, smoothing it onto the face after cleansing and then follow with moisturiser.  It has a light scent and is easily absorbed.  Although expensive this bottle will last for ages as you only need a small amount each time.

I don't have a lot of wrinkles (yet!) but I've found Formula 15 leaves skin plump and radiant, smoothing and tightening fine lines and wrinkles.  I love it!

Have you used this product before?  What are your thoughts on anti-ageing products?

*PR Sample

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Spending Ban - Update 2

I am actually finding the spending ban not too bad although in week 2 I found  I was tempted by things..  Grace's Blog Sale caught my eye and I especially wanted the Aromatherapy Associates Rose Exfoliating Cleanser and the Nourish Toner grrr...

Here is how my week has been...mid-week is definitely snacking day!

I am really making lots of use of my beautiful paperblanks* journal.  So handy for jotting down my spending/wants.

Here are my wants for week 2 -

Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint minis - I read about these on The Sunday Girl blog and they sound amazing!

Jimmy Choo Flash EDP - absolutely hate the name but know I will love this scent because I adore tuberose & gardenia notes.

Nourish Radiance Body Treats Set - I've not tried any nourish products yet but this body set appeals - shower gel, flannel, hand lotion and body butter.

Melvita Rose Nectar Milky Cleansing Oil - just read about this recently and so want to try!  Generally love Melvita products (and rose scents).

The Alpha-H set from WIMH was an absolute killer - so wanted to buy it - but restrained! It is now sold out!

Not beauty but a book I really want to read by Maggie O'Farrell is out in February (fingers crossed for amazon vouchers at my birthday!). I've read her other books and they are all amazing!

Are you on the spending ban? How are you doing?  What things are you "wanting" this week?

*complimentary sample

Monday, 28 January 2013

January 2013 Books

I didn't manage my promised four books a month in January - oops not starting well!  You can see my challenge here.  I did read three books though.

Forgive me by Lesley Pearse - You can see my review here.

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood -Twenty-five years ago two little girls were imprisoned for murder.  Journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of attacks on young women at a small seaside town.  Her investigation leads her to Amber Gordon who works at the fair ground - its the first time either of them have seen each other since that day.  They have new identities and will do everything to keep their secret hidden.  I found the characters of Kirsty and Amber interesting and was keen to see what happened to them. I didn't quite see the ending coming.  A first novel, can't wait for Alex's next.

The Burning Air by Erin Kelly - The MacBride family have recently lost Lydia the matriarch of the family and they are all feeling her loss in different ways. Every year they gather for Ten Barrels bonfire night and fair and they stay at the barn, the family holiday home in Devon.

Felix brings his new girlfriend Kerry, she seems quiet but is kind to Edie, Sophie's youngest child.  She babysits while the rest of them go to the bonfire night and fair.  When they return Kerry and Edie are gone.

A great read which is full of suspense and twists and turns.  The family eventually realise a person connected to their past is involved.

I really enjoyed all three books.  What have you been reading this month?

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Caroline at Musings of a Beauty Addict Mum who won my 100,000 page views giveaway!  I'll get in touch with Laura at Rosslyn Candle Company later to get your prize sent off.  Hope you like it!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

January Empties

John Frieda Full Repair Full Body Shampoo & Conditioner - both 250ml.  You can see my review here.  These lasted for ages and I'd maybe buy them in future.

Abahna Lilac Rose & Geranium Bath & Shower Gel 50ml - nice light flowery scent with a strong hint of lilac - lovely.  Would buy again.

Korres Mango Shower Gel 250ml - simply love this super fruity shower gel.  I used this in my morning shower for a great wake up call.  Will re-purchase.

Bodhi Bath & Shower Therapy in Rosemary and Mint Thé both 50ml - love both of these although Mint Thé has the edge!  You can read my review here.

Pure Fiji  Coconut Nourishing Exotic Oil 90ml plus mini trial size - first received this in Joliebox.  One of my favourite body oils.  Will definitely re-purchase after the spending ban!

Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Honey Bath 150ml - simply delicious! Smells gorgeous and creates loads of bubbles.  One I'd definitely buy again.

Neom Sensuous Body Wash & Body Lotion both 50ml - this came in the Scent with Love Gift set and are gorgeous products. They smell amazing - scented with ylang ylang, frankincense and patchouli.  Real luxury pampering products.  I'd buy again.

Aveda Caribbean Therapy Body Cleanser 40ml - this came in the Latest in Beauty Editor's Picks Box.  A really lovely product and one I'd perhaps re-purchase in the future.

The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream 60ml - received this at Christmas in a mini set from Jo.  Was really nice and super moisturising. I'd buy this.

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil 30ml & 10ml - one of my favourite bath oils ever.  I'll definitely be buying it again.  See my review here.

Balm Balm Relax Bath & Shower Oil 5ml - see my review here.  This bath oil was lovely and I'd buy it again.

Bodhi Jasmine Falls Relaxing Body Moisturiser 40ml - love this.  You can see my review here.  Would buy again.

Lucy Annabella Body Moisturiser Geranium & Frankincense 15ml - this sample cost £5.95 from Naturisimo.  I didn't like the scent of this so wouldn't buy.  Expensive sample.

Temple Spa Skin Truffle 15ml - simply love this luxe face cream.  You can see my review here.  I'd definitely buy this (got another 15ml to use).

Caudalie Vinexpert Night Infusion Cream 10ml - this came in a Latest in Beauty box.  Lovely would buy.

Lulu Time Bomb Trouble Shooter Neck, Jaw & Chest Cream 15ml - a rich cream scented with lavender.  Liked using it but didn't adore the scent.  Probably wouldn't buy.

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel 7ml - this came in the advent calendar.  Enjoyed using it but got loads of cleansers to use so probably wouldn't purchase.

LP Skin Therapy Overnight Replenish Cream 15ml - this also came in the Latest in Beauty Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible Box.  Loved this.  Would buy.

ESPA Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum 3ml - I found this too highly scented which put me off a bit.  Seemed a nice product but wouldn't buy.  The Super Active Lift & Firm Moisturiser which came with it in the advent calendar I had to throw out as the scent gave me a headache!  I've used other products from ESPA which I loved.  

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

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Alterna Caviar Anti-Ageing Seasilk Color Hold Moisture Conditioner 40ml

I received this Alterna Seasilk Moisture Conditioner (40ml) in the Latest in Beauty - Pampering Stocking Filler Box.  Full size of 250ml retails around about £21.49.

It is simply gorgeous - a rich, beautifully fresh scented cream which leave hair soft, shiny. brightened and silky. Free from parabens, sulphates and other additives.  Suitable for mature, coloured and dry hair.

After washing your hair towel dry and massage into your hair and scalp.  Rinse.  I've found it a real luxury item to add to my hair care routine.  Have you used this or any other Alterna product?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday's Makes, Bakes & Learns #14

This is my great, great grandmother's recipe (sorry it's in Imperial measurements!).  When I lived at home I always asked for this cake on my birthday.  It's yummy.

Praline Cake

4oz castor sugar
4oz soft margarine
2oz self raising flour
1 small tsp baking powder
2oz coconut
2oz grated chocolate or milk flake
2 eggs

Chocolate Fudge icing

1oz butter
2tbsp milk
few drops vanilla essence
1tbsp cocoa
4 oz icing sugar


(sorry I forgot to take a picture before the mixture was in the pan!)

Cream the margarine and sugar in a bowl (I used the mixer), beat in the eggs and then stir in all the dry ingredients until well mixed.  Pour into a greased baking tin and cook for 40 minutes in a moderate oven.

To make the icing melt the butter in a pan with the milk, stir in the essence and cocoa.  Mix well and gradually beat in the sugar.  Cool until thick beating from time to time (about 20 minutes) to thicken.

Brew a coffee or tea and cut yourself a slice!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Shopping My Stash - Spending Ban Week 1

sorry the pic is a little dark - I need to try and remember to take my photos in daylight!

I'm actually really enjoying shopping my stash as I'm finding loads of things I forgot I love!

I'm a huge fan of Noble Isle's Summer Rising Cornish Hedgerows Bath & Shower Gel (250ml) since getting a few in swaps and buying a couple trial sizes on ebay.  I love the goosberry, elderberry, moss, cut grass and orange blossom scent.  Great for use in the bath or shower and definitely a unisex scent.

Balance Me Cleanse & Smooth Face Balm 125ml - my favourite balm cleanser. You can read my review here.

Butter London Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil 17ml - want to try and get my nails nice for summer.  Love this coconut and pineapple scented oil which reminds me of holidays.

Moroccanoil Light 100ml - I've had this for absolutely ages.  Love the way it makes my hair look and feel and it is not at all heavy.  Use it on towel dried hair or dry to tame the frizz.

Illamasqua Freak EDP 30ml - I got this in my recent Harrods Haul and simply love it.  It has notes of black davana, opium flower, bella donna, poison hemlock, datura, queen of the night blossoms, frankincense, oud and myrrh.  I find it fairly strong to begin with and then it mellows out to a smokey, sweet floral - wearing it every day at the moment!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain - in shade 16.  Love the colour and length of time this stays in place.  My favourite lip product this week.

Have you used any of these products?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

American Goodies

Caroline from Musings of a Beauty Addict Mum was in America over Christmas and brought me back some lovely surprises.  Thanks Caroline!

My first eos lip balm in Summer Fruits - I've been wanting to try eos for quite some time so super happy.  The flavour is summer fruits which is yummy.

100% natural and 95% organic and packed full of shea butter, jojoba oil and Vitamin E.  Paraben and petroleum free.  This has gone straight into my handbag!

Wet n Wild Eyeshadow palette in 738 - Comfort Zone.  Super pigmented and in shades I love!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Spending Ban - Update 1

A whole week has passed since I started my 100 Day Spending Ban and I've only been tempted by the Abahna Sale but I managed to resist.

paperblanks* sent me this beautiful journal to record my spending - at the front I'm recording my spending and at the back writing down my current  "wants".  The journal is from the Silver Filigree Collection - Shadow Classic Mini.

"The filigree pattern adorning the cover was originally designed and handcrafted in Germany circa 1800.  The art of filigree is a moving testament to the human drive to ornament in order to delight the eye and the spirit".

I only spent £15.40 in week 1 - and it was mainly bus fares apart from mid week when I needed chocolate and crisps!  I think I need to start walking to work (well maybe home from work!)

These are the products I'm lusting after this week:

Roques O'Neil Discover Me Set - a beautiful little set with a selection of pamper products.

Robert Piguet Blossom EDP 100ml - this scent sounds gorgeous with notes of orange blossom and neroli - a great spring/summer scent.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Honey Bath - I've just finished a mini of the creme brulee one and it was gorgeous.  I read an amazing review of this product on Thom's blog.

REN Citrus Limonum Prebiotic Hand Cream - I read a review on The Beauty Shortlist which made me want to try this.

Temple Spa Body Truffle - I absolutely adore the Skin Truffle so was super excited to hear about the launch of Body Truffle.

So that's my wants for this week.  At the end of my spending ban I'll do a round up of which products I'm going to buy.  Are you doing the spending ban?

*free sample

Monday, 21 January 2013

100,000 page views giveaway!

I just noticed last night that I'd hit 100,000 page views! To celebrate I'm doing a giveaway.  What you can win is this gorgeous tea cup and saucer candle from the Rosslyn Candle Company. The candle is scented with wild poppies, cut grasses and purple heather - I can vouch that it's gorgeous - as I own one.  The giveaway is open worldwide.  Please leave me your email address in the comments box. Good luck and thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 20 January 2013

January Favourites

These are the products I've been using most this January:

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick - I bought this in one of my last hauls before my spending ban kicked in.  You can see that post here.  I got the shade plum jam and it is gorgeous for a subtle plummy wash of glossy colour with a vanilla scent.  Definitely want to pick up the other two shades after my spending ban! 

From the same haul I got two Super Facialist products which are amazing! Rose Hydrate Miracle Makeover Facial Oil which is a pre-cleansing oil.  It removes all make up, even waterproof mascara with ease.  A full review will follow.  At the same time I bought the Rose Hydrate Calming Creamy Cleanser which you use after the facial oil.  Leaves skin super clean and hydrated and scented with roses.

OV Naturals Rosy Glow Luxury Organic Moisturiser* 15ml - Lucy sent me this and a 10ml tester bottle of Firm Friends* Face & Neck Oil just before Christmas.  The moisturiser is gorgeous, lightly scented with Damask Rose Otto.  A full review of both will follow.

Abahna Frangipani & Orange Blossom EDP 10ml - this came a beautiful gift box of minis I treated myself to.  It's in my favourite scent from Abahna and I love the fact that the atomiser is refillable.  Refills are £15 for 50ml.

What are your favourites this month?


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Skinetica - Anti-Blemish Skincare Treatment

I was sent a bottle of Skinetica* to review recently.  I don't get spots a lot but I do get occasional breakouts.

Apply twice a day to the affected area allowing the product to dry before using moisturiser and/or makeup.  It is suggest to cleanse skin before applying Skinetica.

I've found it a great product for clearing up spots and fast acting and I noticed a difference to my skin within a few days.  It is also good for removing whiteheads and blackheads.

It has a light floral scent and is a clear liquid - a bit like toner.  It does contain alcohol though and I did find it a little drying on my skin.

To use - soak a cotton pad and apply to skin (for me chin, forehead and nose).

An effective product which I'm happy to add to my "now and again" skincare routine.

Retails at £9.99 for 100ml.  You can pick up a free 15ml sample from the website here.  Have you used Skinetica before?  What are your thoughts?

*PR Sample

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday's Makes, Bakes & Learns #13

Every January I try to make two batches of marmalade - which last all year for ourselves and to give to friends and family.  It is a very time consuming thing to make but yummy.

I use Pam Corbin's recipe (River Cottage) and it always turns out perfect.  It does take 2 days to make as you need to soak the peel in the liquid for 24 hours - so I'll update this post when the marmalade is made.

Recipe from Preserves by Pam Corbin -

Makes 5-6 x 450g jars

1kg Seville oranges
75ml lemon juice
2kg demerara sugar

Scrub the oranges, removing any buttons at the top of the fruit then cut in half.  Squeeze out the juice and keep to one side (I use a juicer). Cut the peel up into thin, medium or chunky pieces.  Put the peel in a bowl with the orange juice and cover with 2.5 litres of water.  Leave to soak overnight or up to 24 hours.

I now have to leave this until tomorrow when I'll update this post.

Following on from yesterday..

Put the mixture in a preserving pan, bring to the boil and simmer slowly covered until the peel is tender - approx 2 hours.  The contents of the pan should have reduced by a third.

(To sterilise your jars - wash in hot soapy water and rinse and then put in a low oven).  

Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.  Bring to the boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Boil rapidly until setting point is reached (I use a jam thermometer). This should take 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the heat, cool for 8-10 minutes, stir and then pour into your jars.  Seal immediately and use within 2 years.

A time consuming preserve to make but very yummy.  I like my marmalade with chunky peel but hubby prefers fine - so if I make a second batch I'll get him to chop the peel!