Sunday, 30 June 2013

June Books

Here's what I've been reading in June -

Tideline by Penny Hancock follows the story of Sonia, a wife and mother.  One afternoon she opens her door to Jez, a fifteen year old who is a nephew of her friend and who wants to borrow some music.  Sonia decides she's going to hold him against his will in her house.  She becomes obsessed with Jez and wants to keep him safe within her home - The River House - on the Thames which was where she grew up which holds memories of her childhood and her first love. A real spooky read. 

My second book is Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington. This story is told through 14 year old Alice's eyes.  Her father goes off to war and she finds herself having to grow up overnight.  Alice finds herself lost without her father - they did a lot together and she is determined to keep the veggie plot flourishing and do other things her dad did.  When he is reported missing in action the family have to face up to the fact that he may never return.  A gem of a book and a coming of age for Alice.

My third book is Dear Lupin...Letters to a Wayward Son - an absolute fab book. Roger Mortimer wrote letters to his son Charlie when at school and beyond. Funny, entertaining and heart warming the correspondence spanned nearly 25 years. With interesting stories and characters as well highlighting every scrape Charlie got himself into (there are many).  Really unique and a great read! Next on my list is Dear Lumpy letters Roger wrote to Charlie's sister Louise.

What have you been reading this month?

June Empties

Here's what I've been using up in June -

Pure Fiji Nourishing Coconut Exotic Oil 90ml - simply love this coconut scented oil although I found it didn't all melt this time and was a bit gritty towards the end.  Will probably pick it up again at some point though.

Elemis Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir 300ml - I received this in a QVC TSV a while back.  Nice to use but probably wouldn't re-purchase as I prefer bath oils to bubble baths these days.

Jo Malone Lime, Basil & Mandarin Bath Oil 30ml - received this for my birthday (I got two!) One of my favourite Jo Malone scents.  A real luxury.  Gorgeous!

Perricone MD Nutritive Cleanser 59ml - this came as a freebie a while back.  Really nice. Would consider purchasing it when I use up my stash!

Louise Galvin Sacred Locks Conditioner for Fine Hair 100ml - this came in a Latest in Beauty Box.  Loved it and the shampoo would re-purchase.  See my review here.

Green People Moisturising Shower Gel 30ml - this came in last month's Souk Souk box.  Loved it and would buy again.

Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo 50ml - this came in the Aveda Latest in Beauty box a while back.  See here.  This was nice enough but I didn't like it enough to buy it again - great box though!

Essential Care Lemon & Tea Tree Facial Wash 30ml - this came in a Souk Souk box.  Really lovely to use and one I'd consider buying again.

Stila Glowing Reviews Gentle Skin Renewal Scrub 10ml - this came in a WIMH set.  Loved its gentle scrub and minty scent.  Would perhaps purchase.

The London Oil Company Morning Glory Body Oil 50ml - simply love this lemongrass scented body oil - a great wake up in the morning.  See my reviews here and here.  Will definitely repurchase once I use up some of my stash!  

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist 15ml - adore this rose scented toner.  See my review here.  I'll definitely buy it again.

The Little Skincare Shop English Rose Floral Water 60ml - this was lovely to use and I'll maybe re-purchase in future once I use up my current stash.

Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream 15ml - this came in a Latest in Beauty duo. Absolutely loved it but doubt I'll be purchasing it as it costs round about £83.

Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum 2.5ml - nice to use - it came in a mini set I reviewed here.  Unlikely to buy it full size as it's quite expensive.

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip & Cheek Stain mini - this came in a Joliebox - simply loved it. Changes shade depending on your mood - mainly this is pink on my lips but it has been dark pink and a reddish shade too! Luckily I have another mini to use. I'll definitely buy full size soon.

Natural Wisdom Rosehip & Pomegranate Facial Cream Cleanser 100ml - I chose the Rose Floral Essential Oil Blend - a simply gorgeous cleanser and one I'll definitely buy again when my stash lowers a bit.  Featured in shopping my stash in week 6.

MOSSGROVE Deodorant for women 70ml - one of my favourite natural deodorants.  Will definitely buy again.

Saaf Pure Face Cleanser sample - see my review here. I'll maybe buy full size when I use up other cleansers in my stash.

Madara Refreshing Soap 250ml - this came in an Amarya box. I simply loved it.  See my review here.  I've already re-purchased this.

REN Photoactive Sun Veil SPF15 3ml - I liked this, it was easy to blend into the skin. I'd maybe buy full size.

Bodhi Neroli Lucé Revitalising Face Oil 5ml - simply love this lightly scented face oil which makes my skin radiant and renewed and is perfect for the summer months.  Have since bought full size.

Have you used any of these products?

Saturday, 29 June 2013

June: Lately I've been Loving

Here are the things that are making me happy right now -

I'm a huge Crème de la Mer fan although the only thing I've ever bought is the The Lip Balm which was gorgeous! I've managed to pick up a few samples before and these ones came from the new counter at Harvey Nichols Edinburgh. Suzanne, the manager was really friendly as well as being very enthusiastic about the brand.  She gave me 3ml samples of - The Moisturizing Lotion and The Eye Balm Intense.  Super pleased!

I can't get enough of the beautiful juicy and sweet home grown strawberries which are in the shops right now - yum!

I came across this delicious Belvoir Elderflower & Rose Presse at my local Earthy Store.  See my mini review about the store here.  This is simply delicious served chilled.

I adore nice notebooks and when I saw this teNeues Hanna Werning design I just had to have it! I've been using it for blog notes and drafting posts.

This is the book I've just finished. It was a great read. A review will follow in my monthly book review.

I'm a huge tea fan and these are a few of my favourites.

I'm addicted to hearts!  This quirky one was picked up at a local shop - I'm a huge Tunnocks Teacake fan too.

I came across Wellgreen Lewes on Twitter and recently bought a lovely basked of rose scented products.  This body butter is simply divine! Lightly scented with rose and really rich. It's packed full of shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, Vitamin E and rose essential oil. It's the most luxurious butter I've ever used. A full review will follow.

And finally, our dog Bess who I love all of the time!  I thought this was such a cute wee picture - isn't she a beauty.

What have you been loving lately?

Friday, 28 June 2013

Viridian Ultimate Beauty Skin Repair Topical Oil & SPF Skin Pro-Factors

I was recently sent Viridian Ultimate Beauty Skin Repair Topical Oil* (100ml - £15.16) and S.P.F. Pro-Factors* (30 caps - £15.65) to review.  I'm a huge lover of the Viridan brand and you can see my reviews of the Viridian Beauty Oil & Beauty Complex here.

The Skin Repair Oil is packed full of Organic Oils (Sunflower Seed, Rosehip Fruit, Jojoba Seed, Borage Seed, Wheatgerm, Calendula Flower and Vitamin E) which nourish the skin and it helps with scarring, uneven skin tone, stretch marks and dry skin.  Delicately scented with Lavender it is an easily absorbed light oil which leaves the skin feeling soft and moisturised.  I'm a huge fan of body oils and like to use this just before bed.

S.P.F. Skin Pro-Factors capsules should be taken from April until the end of summer.  These help protect the skin from sun damage (make sure to still use your sunscreen). Take 1-2 tablets daily. It is recommended to begin taking the tablets at least 14 days prior to sun exposure and to maintain throughout.

The tablets contain - Astaxanthin which is derived from plant algae which is an excellent skin protector against harmful UV and UVB rays, GliSODin which is good for protecting fair skin from any sun damage, Grapeseed Extract which helps to keep wrinkles and premature ageing at bay and Beta Carotene which converts in the body to Vitamin A which is the skin vitamin which gives protection against sunburn.  I'll definitely try these capsules again before going on a holiday abroad.

Have you used any of these products before?  

See the website here for more information.
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*PR samples

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Shopping my Stash #22

This week I've been loving -

Therapie Boost Hair & Body Wash 250ml - simply love this invigorating body wash.  Great to use in the morning to wake you up! Smells beautiful. Gorgeous to use as a shampoo too.  See my review here.

Mama Mio OMega Super-Rich Body Cream 50ml - I got this recently in a WIMH gift set.  It is gorgeous! Packed full of moisturising shea butter and aloe vera as well as loads of oils.  It leaves the skin super soft and hydrated.  I'll definitely be picking this up full size.

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil 30ml - simply adore this REN scent and this body oil is gorgeous. Moisturises the skin and leaves it delicately scented with rose.

Suti Fabulous Organic Foot Balm 50ml - a rich balm which melts on contact with the skin.  I reviewed it here.

Dr Bronner's 18-in-1 Peppermint Pure Castile Soap 59ml - this is my favourite Dr Bronner's scent.  I use to to clean my make up brushes, see here.  I also regularly use it to clean the bath - it makes light work of stubborn stains but I draw a line at cleaning my teeth with it!  

Pure Thoughts Strawberry & Pink Clay Natural Face Mask 30g - this is lovely you mix it in a bowl with some water before applying to the skin.  See my initial post about it here.   You can read more about it here.

Have you used any of these products?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Melvita Lavender Floral Water

To celebrate Melvita's 30th Anniversary the floral waters collection has been updated (launch date August 2013).  These floral waters were first launched in 1984.

I was sent Lavender Floral Water* (200ml - £15) to review.  Packaged in a blue plastic spray bottle it is easy to spritz onto the skin after cleansing.  Suitable for normal/oily/combination skin types.

It does have quite a strong herby lavender scent so this floral water wouldn't suit everyone.  The other floral waters in the collection are:

Damask Rose (200ml - £16) - to hydrate, firm, plump and regenerate.  Orange Blossom (200ml - £16) - for dry & delicate skin types it calms and refreshes the skin.  Roman Chamomile (200ml - £14.50) - soothing for sensitive skins. Witch Hazel (200ml - £15) - soothing and energises. Field Cornflower (200ml - £16.50) - soothes tired puffy eyes apply with cotton wool pad.

I've been enjoying using the Lavender Floral Water* after I got used to the scent. It feels refreshing and balances my combination skin.

Follow Melvita on Twitter 
See the website here

*PR sample

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

thisworks in transit no traces

in transit is a new collection from thisworks - a range for the traveller (although you can use the products anytime).  I'm a closet facial wipes fan (bad I know though I usually only use them after a night out) so I was keen to try in transit no traces - rosewater and water mint infused pads which cleanse the skin (£17 for 60 pads)

I picked them up at Naturisimo and they arrived within a couple of days.  There are 60 pads in each tub and you can use them all over your face.  They remove all make up - even waterproof mascara and are gentle (even suitable for sensitive skin) and leave the skin clean and refreshed.

A blend of Bio Boost (a blend of repairing plant oils) and Rosewater they remove impurities and make up and inject moisture into the skin.

I'm really enjoying using them and have found one pad to be enough to do my whole face - although I've only used them on days I've worn light make up so far.

You can see the full in transit range here

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Monday, 24 June 2013

Cupcakes & Beauty

Sarah & Emma friends on Facebook sent me some lovely things through the post which arrived at the weekend.

Sarah, has a cake making business (she does this in her spare time).  See her Facebook page here.  You can also follow her on Twitter . She sent me some yummy cupcakes topped with rosewater icing nom nom! All the way from Hampshire (as well as a huge pile of beauty products).

Emma, who blogs at Em's Mixed Bag sent me gorgeous Anne Semonin goodies which included two masks, shampoo and bath & shower gel. Thanks Emma! Follow Emma on Twitter .

I'll be doing reviews on the beauty products once I've tried them out.  

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Bathing Beauty

I first came across Bathing Beauty via Sugarpuffish (due to all her allergies she finds really interesting and unusual small companies).

Bathing Beauty is a lovingly hand made range of beauty products which are made by George a former model who worked in Milan and Paris for 8 years.  She is now a wife, a mother and an Osteopath and is co-owner of Well Street Clinic in North Wales, a Complementary Health Clinic - see here.

George says "my range is made with thought and care.  I start with a problem, then I research the ingredients I feel would bring the most relief to that condition. I wild harvest, grow or buy from Fairtrade producers, the ingredients I need. This ensures the potency and purity of all ingredients. My recipes are my own and are certified and insured".

Products are handmade in small batches at her workshop in Ruthin, North Wales. Her cold process soaps take 4-5 weeks to cure.  No water or cheap oils are used in production so there is no need to add any preservatives.  Many of her items are vegan and all are free from animal testing.

I bought Super Luxe Rose & Shea Butter Soap (90g £4.50) - which is simply gorgeous! Smells divine and is so pretty and GLOVE Cuticle & Hand Conditioner (30ml £8.95).  

George added two products for me to try and review POP Fabulous effervescent foot reviving tablet* (£2.40 per tablet) and SOCK Fabulous Foot Salve* (30ml £8.95) - I love the quirky names of the products.

The Super Luxe Rose & Shea Butter Soap is simply gorgeous! Scented with rose geranium essential oil and enriched with Shea Butter.  This soap takes 5 weeks to make!  Each bar is topped with 10 pink rosebuds.

GLOVE Cuticle & Hand Conditioner is a blend of Fair Trade Shea Butter, Organic Avocado Oil and Blackcurrant Seed Oil.  Great to deeply moisture your hands and cuticles.  It featured in Shopping my Stash this week.

SOCK Foot Salve* is a minty balm which is enriched with Welsh Organic Calendula Oil, Fairtrade Shea Butter and Organic Avocado Oil.  Great for dry and cracked skin.  Scented with Peppermint and Tea Tree Essential Oils.  Apply a small amount to the feet before bed for smooth and nourished feet when you wake up.

POP Fabulous effervescent foot reviving tablet* - this is really lovely! I rarely take time to soak my feet but this is a great treat. With Peppermint and Tea Tree Essential Oil, with Witch Hazel to tone and Apricot Kernal oil to nourish.

Have you used any Bathing Beauty products before?

See the website here
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*complimentary - sent for review

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Macrame Bracelets

Ale at I am a weapon of massive consumption has opened an online shop selling bracelets and scarves.  See it here.  I fell completely in love with the Macrame bracelets - they are so pretty and different!  I've been wearing mine non stop since they arrived!

See Ale's blog here
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Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel & Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream

I was recently sent samples of Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel* (10g) & Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream* (8g) to review.

Janiro Ltd are the UK distributors of the Ginvera range which is a staple brand in Singapore.

Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel 10g* (10g sample - pay p&p £2, 60g £19.95)
A light gel which you apply to dry skin to remove blackheads/whiteheads. I've been using it on my t-zone a couple of times a week. The gel removes dead skin cells and exfoliates the skin eliminating blackheads and leaving the skin radiant and renewed.  To use: apply a small amount onto dry skin focussing on the t-zone.  Keep massaging until you see small flakes appearing - this is dead skin cells and dirt!  Rinse with water.  I've found my skin is less congested (I suffer from blackheads/whiteheads on my chin) and it also helps control t-zone shine. One I'll definitely pick up when I finish my sample.

Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream 8g* (8g sample - pay p&p £2, 25ml £18, 40ml £26)  "Singapore, one of the first nations to adopt the BB phenomenon this is said to be the original, authentic Asian BB cream".  This product won an award at the Pure Beauty Awards - 2012 Silver Award Best Skincare Launch.

Suitable for all skin types and tones, the cream blends in well and is enriched with Green Tea, Ginseng, Chinese Angelica and Hyaluronic Acid.  It feels light and moisturising on the skin and gives an even coverage.  Apply with fingertips for a natural look. I love this! Will definitely be purchasing the larger size.  

Have you used either of these products?  What are your thoughts?

See the website here
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*PR samples

Friday, 21 June 2013

Green & Spring Relaxing Shower & Bath Foam 50ml

I received this lovely shower & bath foam in my recent WIMH order.  I'm ashamed to say up until now I've not tried any products from the very lovely Green & Spring range.

The brand was established by Jessica & Peter Frankopan who are also founders of A Curious Group of Hotels which includes Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds - where you can find award winning Spa C-side

Products are inspired by the British countryside and are created using herbs and flowers native to the British Isles.  Products are handmade in the British countryside and are free from parabens, SLS, SLES, PEGS, glycols, petrochemicals and synthetic colours and fragrances.

Relaxing Shower & Bath Foam (300ml retails at £18) is scented with soothing chamomile, lavender and clary sage and is perfect to use in the evening before bed.  To use: pour under running water and soak or lather over the body in the shower before rinsing.

Have you used any Green & Spring products before?  What can you recommend I try next?

See the website here
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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Shopping my Stash #21

Here's what I've been reaching for this week - 

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Face Mask 50ml - I received this mask as a Red Magazine freebie in May.  A simply lovely moisturising mask which smells divine.

amie Skin Shield Daily Moisturiser SPF15* (75ml - £5.95) - I'm a huge fan of the cooling mask from this brand - see my review here.  A great value moisturiser with a plus of added SPF15.  Leaves the skin hydrated and protected.

Baldwins Harmonising Bath Oil & Body Oil (100ml/50ml - on special offer buy the bath oil receive the body oil free - for a limited time period (link).  Contains essential oils of lavender, marjoram and geranium.  Great to use at the end of the day to revive and relax.

Love Lammie Oilcloth Coin Purse* - I've been using this little purse a lot lately - it's great for nights out as it can hold a bank card as well as money.  See my review here.

Bathing Beauty GLOVE Cuticle & Hand Balm 30ml - I came across this fab brand via Sarah at Sugarpuffish.  I bought a couple of things and fuller reviews will follow.  This balm is packed full of  good things - Fair Trade Shea Butter, Organic Avocado Oil which is enriched with Premium Blackcurrant Seed Oil.  Great for dry hands and out of control cuticles.

Have you used any of these products?

*PR samples

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Therapie Roques O'Neil Step into Spring

I first came across this fantastic Therapie offer via Fi at The Beauty Shortlist.  It's a great introduction to this amazing brand.  When I was doing my 100 day spending ban on my wishlist was the Discover Me kit (it still is!)

The Step into Spring set cost £36 (a Limited Edition) and includes the cult Himalayan Detox Salts (400g - £35) and Boost Hair & Body Wash (250ml - £16) as well as a packet of delicious Harmony tea and an exfoliating washcloth.  I love the luxe packaging - great for displaying in the bathroom and would make a really special gift.

Michelle Roques O'Neil, the founder of Therapie has more than 30 years experience and Vogue named her as one of the top 10 Aromatherapists in the world.  She hand blends the collection, gives aromatheraputic treatments and creates natural perfumes.  Read more about Michelle here.

Products help to balance the mind, relieve stress, tension and fatigue.  

The Himalayan Detox Salts are simply amazing - I've experienced the best night's sleep after using them before going to bed.  I awaken feeling refreshed and energised.  It is recommended to use the salts up to 3 times a week before bed.  Contains Himalayan pink mineral salts (which contain over 84 minerals) which are dusted with powdered amethyst and scented with essential oils of geranium, lemongrass, rosewood, juniper and lavender.  To use: sprinkle a handful into your bath before stepping in - soak for 10-20 minutes. 

Boost Hair & Body Wash - this is a great wake up in the morning (especially good on Mondays!).  It contains organic aloe, lemon myrtle, cardamon, caraway, may chang, mint, spearmint, rosemary and sweet basil.  Can also be used as shampoo.  It smells really beautiful - very intense and the essential oils all work well together. I love inhaling the scent before lathering it up.  Revives the body and the mind.

Also included in the set is an exfoliating wash cloth and Harmony Tea - which tastes slightly floral and is delicious.

Other items in the range include - Equilibrium Bath & Shower EssenceRestore Aura Spray (on my wish list), Cherish Skin Repair Body Serum (want to try this too), Love Natural Candle and gift sets - Discover MeBalance MeRelax Me and Pamper Me.  You can also buy the Himalayan Detox Salts in pouches of 500gm and 100gm.

Have you used any Therapie products?  What are your favourites?

See the website here
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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Elemis Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow

Bad mistake to go shopping the sales yesterday lunchtime as Elemis's Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow (Elemis's latest launch) had arrived in Harvey Nichols.  Julie, the Elemis Advisor showed me this and the Skin Nourishing Body Scrub - which was gorgeous too but I was sold as I adore the Exotic Tahitian Monoi Oil and Frangipani flowers scent.  See my mini review of the Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt here.

The salt glow retails at £36.50 for 480g and it is packed into a chunky plastic kilner type jar.

It smells absolutely gorgeous!  A mineral rich salt scrub with hibiscus and scented with frangipani monoi.  This is quite a scrubby exfoliator with large pieces of salt - the kind I like best!  It leaves the skin glowing, soft and beautifully scented.

To use: once a week using a circular motion on damp skin.  Can also be used just before bathing to create a Spa like treatment bath.  Suitable for all skin types.

See more details here
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Monday, 17 June 2013

Weekend Away

We were over in Glasgow for a wedding reception on Saturday night and decided to make a weekend of it and stay the Friday night too with my folks.  We had lunch on Friday at  House for an Art Lover Cafe - we go here quite a lot and the food is fantastic as well as great value.  In the shop I bought this cute little spoon rest which was in the sale.

On Saturday afternoon we went to Whole Foods Market Giffnock which was wonderful - we picked up some foodie bits (and I managed to buy a beauty item too!)  The beauty section is packed full of natural brands - so nice to see Antipodes, Pai, Weleda, Intelligent Nutrients and Bach perfumes to name a few - I normally just see these brands online.

My mum had got me up some lovely bits and pieces from offers in the Daily Mail newspaper - thanks mum!

Included is:

A gift set which contains - Pecksniff's Happy Hand & Body Moisturiser 250ml, Pecksniff's Alive Bath & Shower Gel 250ml, Arran Aromatics Lavender & Tea Tree Facial Gel Wash 100ml, bellapierre Volumising Black Mascara 9ml, a Calvin Klein lipstick in Flutter and a mini Nails Inc polish.  

The other two items were separate offers - PH Advantage AM Multi-Complex Moisturizer SPF 20 51ml and Essential Care Organic Hand & Body Lotion 150ml.  I'm really pleased.

Here is my overnight beauty bag - 

When coming home we stopped by Krispy Kreme for a lovely box of assorted donuts nom nom!

What did you get up to at the weekend?