Wednesday, 31 July 2013

July Books

This month I've read three books -

The Innocents by Francesca Segal - childhood sweethearts Adam and Rachel are getting married. Rachel's wild cousin Ellie returns and Adam wonders if he is missing out. I found the Jewish way of life interesting to read about. It was a bit slow in places but an enjoyable read.

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain - this centres around Tara and Emerson's friendship with Noelle, a midwife. Noelle commits suicide and the friends find out they didn't really know Noelle after all. A really great read with twists and turns I didn't see coming. I've enjoyed every Diane Chamberlain book I've read.

The Villa by Rosanna Ley - Tess receives a Solicitor's letter informing her she's been left a villa in Sicily.  Her link to Italy is her mother Flavia who left Italy many years before, cutting all contact with her family.  The story jumps between Tess in Italy, her mother telling her story of why she left Italy and Ginny, Tess's teenage daughter. A really easy read which I really enjoyed. Be a great beach read.

What have you been reading this month?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Oh! Organics Rose Moisturiser

I reviewed samples sizes from the Oh! Organics range a while back - see here. Michele asked if I would try a full size pot of Rose Moisturiser* (60ml) and write a post detailing my thoughts when I'd finished it.  She also sent me Rose Facial Serum* (30ml) to try (review to follow).  Presentation is pretty - the moisturiser comes packaged in a box and a pink organza bag.

The Rose Moisturiser retails at £24 for a 60ml pot.

A rich and luxurious cream which smells of roses.  The cream is made with infusions and decoctions of rose petals and rose infused Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Rosehip Seed Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Gold of Pleasance Oil, Lupin Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and essential oils of Frankincense, Rose, Geranium and Neroli.  

To use: apply a small amount to face and neck - it sinks into the skin instantly - no need to wait to apply your make up.

I've really enjoyed using this cream - it's plumped my skin up, made it look radiant and deeply moisturises as well as smelling gorgeous!  I will definitely consider purchasing it once I've reduced my current stash!

See the website here
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INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Prunus Amygdalus dulcis oil, Mangifera Indica seed butter, Theobroma cacao seed butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cetyl alcohol, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Rosa Rubiginosa seed oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rosa damascena flower extract, Hydrolyzed Lupine protein, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil, Borago officinalis Seed Oil, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Farnesol, Geraniol, Citral, Citronellol

*Sent for review

Monday, 29 July 2013

July: Lately I've been Loving

Here's what I've been loving in July.

Home grown lettuce - simply delicious!

Staying on the gardening theme - this gorgeous gardening caddy hubby bought me for Christmas from The Handpicked Collection - I simply love it - so useful for storing all my gardening bits.

My morning skinny latte in my favourite mug - a great start to the day.

The most delicious jam ever! 

My beautiful Rosslyn Candle Company tea cup candle - I did a mini review on the previous version here although I much prefer the design of this one.

SKINVELOP The Cleanser - simply love this very effective cleanser. Need to stock up on more soon.  See my mini review here.

My beautiful SewLomax make up pouch*. Simply gorgeous.  See my review here.

We had a trip down to North Berwick this month and visited The Lobster Shack which is down by the harbour for some lobster and coley and chips. Delicious!

What have you been loving this month?

*PR sample

Sunday, 28 July 2013

July Empties

I'm not going to use anything else up - so here's what I've used this month:

Lancome Nutrix Royal Mains Hand Cream 100ml - simply adore this mega rich hand cream.  I always seem to have one on the go. I tend to pick them up when there are GWP deals on.

Mama Mio Skin Tight Toning Serum 30ml - this came in the WIMH trio. I'd say I liked this product the least out the three.  Didn't see any signs of toning although it was nice enough to use.  You may see a difference with a full size product.  I personally Wouldn't buy.

balance Me Skin Bright Hydrating Mist 60ml* - simply love this and I'll be buying it when my stash reduces.  The best toning and refreshing mist I have ever used.

Seascape Island Apothecary Uplift Body Wash* 300ml - an uplifting scent - great for morning showers.  See my review here

Creme de La Mer The Moisturizing Lotion 3ml - simply love this moisturiser and want to buy the full size at some point.  It just works!

Alison Claire So Remarkable Mango Body Butter 50ml - a lovely mango scented body butter.  See my review here. I'll maybe pick this up again when my stash goes down.

Gielly Green Classic Shampoo 50ml - I'm a huge Gielly Green fan although I think I maybe only slightly prefer their repair shampoo.  Lovely to use though with a great scent.

Dr Bronner's 18-in-1 Peppermint Castile Soap 59ml - simply love this for cleaning my make up brushes (or the bath).  Peppermint's my favourite scent. Have a couple to use but will stock up when they are finished.

Creme de La Mer The Moisturising Soft Cream 5ml - loved this.  See my mini review here

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Moisturising Cleanser 100ml - loved this cleanser. See my review here. I'd maybe buy it again.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil Anti-Oxidant+ 2.5ml - one of my favourite face oils. I've got a little stash of these mini ones (thanks Julie!)

Jo Hansford Intensive Masque 40ml - this came from the Latest in Beauty Advent Calendar - loved it - see my review here.

Phyto Phytobaume Express Conditioner 20ml - this came from a Feel Unique box many moons ago! I miss the Feel Unique Beauty Boxes! I quite liked this and I'd maybe re-purchase.

Kai Perfume Oil - a teeny tiny roll on bottle in one of my favourite exotic floral scents.  Will pick it up again after I've used up some that are in my stash (only downside is it's expensive)  You can buy it at Cult Beauty see here.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Make Up - in shade 4 - simply love this light and easy to blend foundation. It's not cheap but it does last quite a while.  Will definitely buy again.

Gielly Green Classic Conditioner 50ml - nice to use but I prefer the repair option so probably wouldn't buy this.

Abahna Frangipani & Orange Blossom Bath Oil 100ml* - simply love this beautifully scented bath oil.  It featured in my 5 Bath Oils post - see here

Botanicals Hand & Nail Serum 10g - loved this fennel scented oil. Will definitely buy again at some point.  See my review here.

L'Occitane Gel Douche Universel Shower Gel 50ml - loved this citrussy shower gel. It's been lovely to use in this hot weather.  Will maybe pick up full size soon.

Jo Loves Pomelo 2ml vial - this came in the British Beauty Blogger Edit Box - simply loved it and saving up for full size (and some of the other scents).

Bloom Remedies Sleep Easy Bath Oil 50ml - love this orange scented relaxing oil. Will buy again.

Melvita Apicosma Ultra Nourishing Body Balm 15ml - this also came in the BBB Edit box. Loved this rich sweet smelling balm and will definitely pick up full size soon.

Dr Hauschka Almond Soothing Body Wash 10ml - this came in a gift set. Love the light almond scent. Definitely want to pick up full size soon.

What have you been using up this month?

*PR samples

Saturday, 27 July 2013

SkinLikes Natural Deodorant

SkinLikes Natural Deodorant (70ml - £3.50)* is the creation of Jim & Sheila Steele who run a Bowen Therapy Clinic and online shop from Troon in Ayrshire.

SkinLikes Natural Deodorant* featured in my recent Shopping My Stash post - see here.  

The roll on deodorant is 100% natural. Testing is done at Glasgow Caledonian University which confirms that the product is safe to use.  It contains Bicarbonate of Soda, Xanthan Gum and Plant Based Therapeutic Essential Oils including Jasmine.

There is no sting after shaving, it leaves no white marks on clothes, is suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans and is free from Alcohol, Parabens and Aluminium Chlorohydrate.

A portion of profits are given to Rainbow Valley Charity which helps those living or affected by Cancer.

I love the light floral scent of the deodorant and the fact it keeps me fresh all day long.  I've found it lasts 3 months so find it cost effective.

See the online shop HERE where you will also find some other beauty and healthcare products.

*complimentary - sent for review

Friday, 26 July 2013

Harper's Bazaar August Mag - free L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream 15ml

I was trying not to buy this mag but I do love L'Occitane face creams.  You get a free 15ml travel size with Harper's Bazaar this month (August issue). There is also a L'Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renew sachet.

Next month (September issue - out 6 August) and exclusive to Waitrose are free Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Face and Eye Serums worth £13.  Well worth a trip to Waitrose to pick this up!

Beauty Bargains : NUXE and Abahna

Grace at All that Slap posted on a beauty group on Facebook that NUXE had a summer sale on just now (30% discount with the code SUMMERSALES and for new customers an extra 10% off).  If you buy two items you receive a free beauty gift, a travel size mini and some sachets - WOW an amazing offer!

Here's what I picked up -

Totally bargainous! All for the price of £11.64! Hurry I'm sure this amazing offer won't be around for long.

Here's what I picked -

The cult Rêve de Miel® Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm 15g (like I need another lip balm!)

The Essentials Travel Kit - Micellar Cleansing Water 35ml, Nuxellence Jeunesse 15ml, Huile Prodigieuse 10ml, Hand & Nail Cream 15ml and Body Fondant Shower Gel 30ml.  

The free gift contains - Micellar Cleansing Water 35ml, Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing Cream 15ml and 24hr Moisturising Body Lotion 15ml. Also got a mini Huile Prodigieuse OR and three sachet samples.  They also offer free P&P.

The Abahna Sale is always worth a look and I picked up Sleep Aromatherapy Bath Oil for half price!   I reviewed the Sleep Aromatherapy Pillow Mist* see here. Both these products are an absolute steal at £7.50 each in the sale.

Full reviews will follow.  Have you picked up any sales bargains recently?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Shopping my Stash #26

Therapie Restore Aura Spray 100ml - this magical spray rebalances, restores calm, hydrates, helps you to re-focus, uplifts and makes you feel alive - it smells pretty good too!  Contains a blend of essential oils, crystals and uses reiki to cleanse and rebalance your energy field (aura). Every Therapie product I've tried so far I want to use always. Therapie products were first recommended to me by Fiona and Galina.  See Therapie website here.

Marlenha Hyaluronic Acid & Collagen Beads Moisturizing Face Cream 50ml* - I've been sent this moisturiser to review.  See my review of the trial size set here. My skin is loving this light gel like textured cream which smells divine.

Clinique True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer 9.6g in shade Sunkissed - I'm really enjoying using this bronzer.  It looks natural with a tiny hint of shimmer.

Sranrom Calm Down Hand Cream 30g - I received this in my Souk Souk box. Really enjoying its light calming scent and how well it moisturises the hands and nails.  Will definitely look at trying other products in the range.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Shade 9 (Nude in Private) - just love this moisturising and shiny lipstick. Such a wearable colour.

Have you used any of these products?

*PR sample

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Soleil Organique Sunblock Mist SPF45

I was recently sent some gorgeous goodies from a beautiful world. - see here.

I've been testing this amazing Soleil Organique Sunblock Mist SPF45 (120ml - £24)* out over the heatwave we've had the last few weeks. You can use this mist on your face and body.

Soleil Organique was founded by Valerie McMurray who wanted to create a natural brand which was high end and able to sit on the shelf with other luxury products in fine resorts and boutiques around the world.

The sun care products contain natural, non-penetrating 100% mineral filter, EcoSunComplex (a blend of Red Algae, Vitamin C and E, and Bisabol) which protects against UVA and UVB rays. The sunblock is water resistant and hypoallergenic. It contains the purest ingredients which are combined with advanced skincare technology. It also helps keep the skin hydrated and firm.

Also in the range is - Sunscreen Mist SPF15 (£24) and Environmental Defence Daily Moisturiser for Face SPF20 (£32).

Non-greasy, and scented with a fennel-herbal scent (I love it!) the sunblock is a light lotion which you mist onto the skin before gently rubbing it in.  It has helped me develop a safe light tan and it has helped me avoid developing prickly heat on my neck/decollete.  Apply 10 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours. I'll definitely be picking up this and the Daily Moisturiser for the Face for my next holiday abroad.

Remember you can get 20% off products at a beautiful world using code BALM20 at checkout until 31 July 2013.

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*PR sample

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Beside my Bed

I have this gorgeous little basket of goodies on the table beside my bed -

The basket came with the variation of my Sussex Rose Basket from Wellgreen Lewes- Amanda's friends make these lovely baskets with wild reed from Cyprus - isn't it gorgeous!

What's inside:

Wellgreen Lewes Rose Lip Balm 10ml - this is made for Quince, a flower & gift shop in Brighton - its packed full of nourishing oils, beeswax, runny honey and rose.  Gorgeous!

BRIXI Bee Balm - this gorgeous balm is made by Emy's mum and sold in her shop BRIXI, which is located at Brixton Village Arcade.  See my review here.

Spotner* - I suffer from age spots on the back of one of my hands (eugh). This can be caused by spending too much time in the sun over a period of time. A review (with photos!) will follow.

Badger Yoga & Meditation Balm - soothing and calming. Apply to temples or forehead. It has a nice lemony scent.

Sprout Cocoa Lip Balm - this is gorgeous! Sprout has been renamed to S W BASICS - you can buy at a beautiful world.  I reviewed it here.

Soap & Glory - A Great Kisser Lip Balm - in juicy peach - it's yummy.  See my review here.

Bee Fruitful Mandarin Lip Balm* - this is lovely with a hint of mandarin. This featured in Shopping my Stash #15.

Bathing Beauty GLOVE & SOCK* - see my review here. Gorgeous products for hands and feet.  (The super luxe rose & shea butter soap is pretty special too!)

L'Occitane Cuticle & Nail Cream 15ml - this is super-rich and I only use it at bedtime.

Mavala Cuticle Cream 15ml - received this in a nail set recently - again, a really rich product.  Great for softening and moisturising cuticles.

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF15 - simply love the Fresh minis.  My friend at work picked a set up for me in Vegas last year - see my post  here.

Bodhi Cacao Cocoon Lip Treatment Balm 15g - supermoisturising and smells gorgeous.  See my review here.

Do you use any of these products? 

*PR sample

Monday, 22 July 2013

SewLomax Embroidered Blusher Pouch

Emma contacted me via twitter to ask if I'd like to review one of her beautiful make up bags. Imagine my delight when this beauty landed last week.

Emma launched her company SewLomax in 2011 and creates beautiful, wittily stitched ethical bags created and made in the UK.  Each bag is treated with scotchguard to protect it from stains - this means you can wipe clean your bag. It features a signature bobbin zip fastner and hot pink lining.

Each piece is lovingly finished by hand which makes the owner feel very special indeed!

You can buy the bags direct from Emma see here or instore at Harvey Nichols. Follow Emma on Twitter  

*complimentary -sent for review

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Souk Souk July Box

My last Souk Souk box was in May - see here.  I wasn't wowed by the contents and cancelled my subscription.  The June box did perk my interest and when I saw the July box I was sold!

Here's the contents - 

Sranrom Spa Calm Down Hand Cream 30ml (£3.20)  - I've heard of this brand but have never used any of their products - this hand cream smells amazing! Scented with spearmint, lemongrass and kaffir limes it super moisturises the hands and nails - I love it!

VitaBella Anti-Ageing Face Cream 15ml (£9) - a brand I've not heard of before. It hydrates the skin and can be used AM and PM. Going to try it out soon.

Pure Thoughts Mint & Avocado Foot Repair Balm  10g (£7.99) - I'm a huge Pure Thoughts fan already! This minty balm is 100% natural and it softens and refreshes tired feet - just perfect for this summer weather.

Badger Organic Sleep Balm 21g (£4.50) - I'm a huge fan of Badger and looking forward to trying this out. Can be applied to pulse points, under the nose to aid sleep or be used as a calming lip balm - I do love a multi-purpose product!

Glam 3-in-1 Lip Suite in Rose Pink (£8.99) - preservative free, vegan, vegetarian and Halal approved lip balm, colour and lip gloss all in one.  Again another brand I've not heard of.

I love this month's box.  What are your thoughts?

See the website here
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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Avon Mega Effects Mascara & Super Shock Gel Eyeliner

I'm a huge fan of Avon's Super Shock Gel Eyeliner (Blackberry).  It's a good dupe for YSL Waterproof Eyeliner and a fraction of the price! I always try and pick it up when I see it - normally in the reduced mag which comes with the current brochure.  It featured in my post here.

Alice my Rep (see her Facebook page here) gave me one of the new mascaras to try out - Launching in Brochure 15.

Mega Effects Mascara* is unlike any mascara I've seen before!

The applicator can be bent to your preferred angle to reach every lash!  Brush on the mascara from root to tip. For dramatic, thick and dark lashes.  You can find better pictures by doing a google search!

It will cost £10 and in Brochure 15 comes with loads of free gifts - eyeshadow primer, concealer, eyeshadow brush with smudger and eye make up remover (altogether worth £23).  You can buy direct from Alice here (plus P&P costs).


Friday, 19 July 2013

So Pure Skincare

Geeta at So Pure Skincare contacted me to ask if I'd like to try some of her products.  They are 100% natural, cruelty free and hand made in the UK. Free from parabens, silicones, TEA, DEA, phenoxyethanol, mineral oil and all gycols.

Geeta started blending her own products when her children developed eczema. The products worked so well she began blending for friends and family.  Wanting to reach a wider market she took a diploma in Holistic Cosmetology and then began developing her range.  You can see the full range available here.

Here's what she sent me:

Anti-Ageing Serum sample* (50ml - £40) - this was my least favourite product as I didn't like the scent. It did feel nice on the skin though and is suitable for all skin types.  It is packed full of plant oils, Vitamins, Hyaluronic Acid, Omega 3 and contains essential oils of lavender, neroli and rose to regenerate.  Apply to the face and neck daily.

Anti-Ageing Nutrient Elixir sample* (10ml roll on - £18, 30ml pump bottle £45) - a luxurious face oil which contains anti-oxidants, omegas and phytonutrients. "It is like a vitamin shot for the skin". Use after the Anti-Ageing Serum or alone at night. Contains cold pressed Tomato Seed Oil which protects all skin types. Helps with cell regeneration, premature ageing, revives the complexion. Softens and hydrates the skin. Essential oils of vanilla, neroli, rose, sandalwood, jasmine and lavender rebalance, tone and regenerate.  Apply one pump to face and neck and gently massage into the skin. Again, I wasn't keen on the scent.

Rejuvenating Body Elixir sample* (100ml - £30) a sweetly scented hydrating body oil which is packed full of organic oils and scented with Tiare Flower extract, Neroli, Rose flower extract, Jasmine and Sandalwood.  Shake well before use and apply 4-5 pumps to the body concentrating on  drier areas.

Activated Charcoal Facial Detox sample* (50g - £20) - this comes as a powder you mix with water and is suitable for oily/combination skin types.  It contains activated Charcoal. Ideal for a weekly detox treatment. Helps to keep the skin blemish and shine free.  Mix a teaspoon of the powder with a few drops of water to create a paste. Apply to the skin (I've used it on my t-zone) and leave for 15 minutes or so before removing with a warmed wet cloth.

My favourites were the Rejuventating Body Elixir and the Activated Charcoal Facial Detox.  Have you tried any So Pure Skincare products?

See the website here
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*samples sent for review

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Shopping My Stash #25

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

Neal & Wolf Elevate Volumising Lotion - received this in my July Beauteco Box and it does what it says it will! Lovely product.

Melvita Eau de Fleurs d'Oranger Orange Blossom Floral Water 28ml and Melvita Apicosma Body Balm 15ml - received both of these in the British Beauty Blogger Edit Box both are absolutely lovely the floral water refreshes the skin and the body balm is rich and hydrating and has a nice sweet scent.

Herbfarmacy Lip Conditioner with Marshmallow & Vanilla 6g - a huge fan of this range.  I received this lip balm in Amarya's September box. Super moisturising and a handy size to pop in your pocket or handbag.

amie Morning Dew Matte Finish Moisturiser 100ml* - leaves skin with a matte finish and is good at controlling shine. Full review to follow.

SkinLikes Deodorant 70ml* - a 100% natural deodorant scented with natural Jasmine Oil.  It contains spring water, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum and a blend of essential oils.  This is my favourite natural deodorant - it keeps me fresh all day.  You can see the shop here.  A fuller review will follow.

Have you used any of these products?

*PR samples

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

bubb & DIMPLES Shea Butter & Travel Candle

The other week I got a surprise package through the post! Inside was a travel sized bubb & DIMPLES Nourishing Body Oil Candle* (15 hours burn time - £8) in the scent Champers Darling - fruity and sweet smelling - in fact it smells good enough to eat!  See my review of Breathe Nourishing Body Oil Candle here.  I'm going to keep this for next time I'm away from home - I'll report back once I've tried it.

I was also sent two pots of delicious Shea Butter* (a Limited Edition) in Chillax* (made with honey, oats, vanilla, shea and coco butters).  A soothing, relaxing and comforting scent.  The other butter I was sent was Champers Darling* a blend of shea and coco butters and a blend of essential oils including grapefruit and orange.  This smells sweet, fruity and mouthwatering!

A rich balm which melts on contact with the skin leaving it moisturised and lightly scented.  Perfect for knees, elbows and feet but it can be used all over the body.  Simply gorgeous!

See the website here
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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Savonnerie Gardeners Therapy - Hand Wash, Hand Lotion & Nutritive Lip Balm

I was contacted by Savonnerie London recently as they noticed I was a keen gardener and they asked if I would review their Gardeners Therapy Hand Wash* (250ml - £12.95), their Gardeners Therapy Hand Lotion* (250ml - £14.95) and their Nutritive Lip Balm* (£4.95).

Just perfect to try out after a day down the veggie plot!

my plot is the further away one in the pic - courgettes, lettuce, rocket, beetroot & carrots growing

Savonnerie was established in 1997 and it's aim was to create natural therapeutic products inspired by natures active botanical ingredients.  Products are handmade in the UK and are blended with the finest essential oils. The products are free from sulphates, parabens, artificial colours and fragrances, petrochemicals and animal ingredients. Products are suitable for vegetarians but a small number of products contain milk, beeswax or honey.

Gardeners Therapy Hand Wash* - as the bottle has a pump it's easy to get the required amount out.  It contains Bergamot & Thyme Essential oils and smells lovely.  Great at cleaning and refreshing the hands after a morning spent weeding!

Gardeners Therapy Hand Lotion* - again presented in a pump action bottle (this pair would make a great gift for a keen gardener - there is also a Gardeners Therapy Gift Set - see here).  This is scented with the same essential oils as the hand wash plus basil along with Vitamin E.  It leaves the hands soft, moisturised and delicately scented.

Nutritive Lip Balm* -  this is presented in a cute little tin making it easy to slip into a pocket or bag.  Made with Tamanu Oil, Camellia and Rosehip to keep lips soft and smooth. Flavoured with Peppermint and Vanilla extracts.  Apply to the lips as needed to keep them moisturised. I've also been using this on my cuticles!

Have you used any of these products?

See the website here (lots of lovely things to tempt!)
Follow on Twitter  

*PR Samples