Sunday, 31 May 2015

May Books

The Half Truth - Sue Fortin* - I received this copy from NetGalley. Having thoroughly enjoyed Sue's first novel I was keen to read this. It had me hooked from the first page.

Tina Bolotnikov's husband Sasha was killed in a car crash five years ago leaving her to bring up their son. She relocates back to her hometown from London.

DS John Nightingale's partner was killed in the line of duty and John cannot rest until those responsible are brought to justice. Reports come through that Pavel, Sasha's brother is back in the UK and we find Tina has connections to crimes she knew nothing about as well as finding out some secrets too. Fast paced with many twists and turns, I was at the edge of my seat at times! A great read.

Love & Justice - Diana Morgan Hill - A simply un-put-downable and sometimes horrifying read by a very courageous lady. Age 29, Diana fell under a London train and lost both her legs. While traumatised and trying to come to terms with what happened to her British Rail decided to prosecute "The Fall Girl" as the newspapers called her. They believed she had boarded a moving train and trespassed on the railway line!  

Her fight for justice took five years all the while coming to terms with being a young woman with a disability. An honest account of her life before, during and after, her boyfriends, finding love and having her daughter Lara. An inspirational read. Would recommend.

Charlie and Pearl by Tammy Robinson Charlie has lived in the small New Zealand coastal town all his life and lives with his mum. Since the age of 13 he's worked on and off at Pete's bookshop. Pete's health is failing and Charlie is worried about him. One day he meets Pearl who is fast asleep in the office of the bookshop and instantly falls in love with her.

Pearl having been through a breakup and trying to come to terms with her life moves into her Grandmother's beach house to think things through. I guessed there was something bothering Pearl which was more than a breakup with a boyfriend quite early on.

Charlie just adores Pearl and wants to spend all his time with her. They date and work together in the bookshop although she insists they must just be friends. Their relationship develops and Pearl admits she has feelings for Charlie.

With a bittersweet ending which left me dazed. I just didn't see it coming. Go read this amazing book.

The Confectioner's Tale - Laura Madeleine* - I received this copy from NetGalley.  The story jumps from Paris in the 1900s to England 1988. Guillermere du Frere arrives in Paris with his friend from Bordeaux to work on the railways. On arriving he stumbles and falls into a beautiful young woman with ice blue eyes and feels a connection to her. Petra in 1980s England discovers a photograph of her grandfather with two others taken in Paris. On the back is written the words "forgive me" and Clermont. Petra is meant to be studying for her PhD thesis but can't stop thinking about her grandfather and sets out to find more.

Gui goes with his workmates for a night out and wakes up in the gutter alone, his pockets emptied and no idea where he is. He comes across a patisserie which is taking a delivery of goods and finds that the girl from the station is monitoring the deliveries. She asks him to help out the next again weekend at Patisserie Clermont and slowly their love affair begins.

Historian Simon Hall is also looking into the background of J Stevenson, Petra's grandfather and is keen to find anything scandalous in his past. The race is on for Petra to discover the truth before he does.

An absolute stunning debut novel with an incredible ending. I loved how the descriptive narrative flowed and how easy it was to become involved with all the characters. Unputdownable!

The Silent Hours - Cesca Major* - I received this book from BritMums Book Club for review - thanks so much for the copy.

The story follows three people whose lives are intertwined in wartime France. We meet Adeline, a mute who takes refuge in a convent in South-West in the early 1950s. She is haunted by her past and we hear her story through her thoughts. Sebastian is a young Jewish banker who lives at home. He meets Isabelle and falls head over heels in love which will change his life forever. Isabelle writes to her brother Paul who is first is fighting in the war and then a prisoner of war. They share their lives and their innermost fears. Tristian, a 9 year old boy moves from Paris with his family to a small village which seems untouched by war. All their stories are weaved together in such an incredible way which made me cry, feel hurt, sad as well as happiness too for the characters. The book is based on a true story. A simply amazing book. One of my favourite reads this year.

The Broken - Tamar Cohen - Best friends Sasha & Dan and Hannah & Josh both have daughters of similar ages and hang out together a lot. Dan tells Josh he's leaving Sasha and Dan & Hannah find themselves stuck in the middle of a sometimes acrimonious separation. It turns out Dan has met a young model called Sienna, who he is head over heels in love with. An intriguing story with twists and turns which is compelling and un-put-downable. A story runs alongside about a young girl which I wondered about until I reached the surprise ending. A must read.

How I Lost You - Jenny Blackhurst - "they told her she killed her son. She served her time but what if they lied".

Susan Webster was told she killed her three month old son Dylan and was sent to the Oakdale Psychiatric Institute to serve her sentence. She's released on parole with a new name (Emma Cartwright) and identity. Her friend she made inside Cassie has also been released and they are helping and supporting each other.

Susan receives a photograph of a young boy with the name Dylan on the back. What if her son is alive? Journalist Nick and Cassie decide to help her find out the truth. A brilliant fast paced story which I loved.

The Bones of You - Debbie Howells* - A young girl goes missing in a quiet village. Everyone especially Kate who was friendly with her mother is stunned. Jo and her TV star husband had the perfect family. Rosie was the same age as Kate's daughter Grace although they weren't friends. Rosie sometimes helped Kate out with her horses. After a few days Rosie is found in the woods stabbed and badly beaten. Anonymous notes arrive and Kate takes it upon herself to try an unravel the mystery behind Rosie's death. I did suspect who the killer was but not until a bit further on in the book. Would recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.

Letters to the Lost - Iona Grey - the story is set in 1943 and 2011. In the present day Dan writes to Stella asking her to get in touch. Jess who broke into the derelict cottage opens the letter on the mat and decides that despite her own problems she's going to help Dan find Stella.

Stella Thorne met American Bomber Pilot Dan Rosinski by accident in 1943 and fall in love. She is married to the Vicar at St Crispin's Church and they have a loveless marriage. Stella catches moments of happiness with Dan in the little house he buys and they plan to be together after the war. Stella finds herself pregnant with the vicar's child and he forces her to chose between Dan or her daughter...

Will Holt is trying to find out about Nancy, the last owner of the little house in the lane and discovers Jess. Together they set about finding Stella for Dan..

An absolute treasure of a book and again one of my favourite reads this year (and one I'll definitely read again!)

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins - Rachel takes the same train to London every day. The train stops at the same signal and Rachel sees a couple which seem perfect which she names Jess and Jason. One day she sees something happen and feels she needs to go to the police. Will she do more harm than good? The story is told by the three main female characters - Rachel, the girl on the train, Anna who is now married to Rachel's ex husband and Megan a neighbour of Anna and Tom's. All have their own problems and secrets... 

I didn't like any of the characters and I found the first half of the book a bit slow but found it picked up in the second half and I was racing to finish the book as I was desperate to know the ending (which I think is the sign of a good read!)

What have you been reading this month?

*complimentary - sent for review

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Hartpury Soap Company: Lavender & Lime Soap

Hartpury Soap Company very kindly sent me a bar of their Lavender & Lime (100g - £5.50) Handmade Artisan Soap* to try.  The soaps are made using the traditional cold process method and are made with 100% natural butters and oils along with pure essential oils.  

They are 100% Palm Oil free and contain no parabens, SLS or phthalates.  The soaps are cut, finished, decorated and wrapped by hand by Kim who launched the company after finding out friends and family loved her products. There are a wide range to chose from including bath melts, foot scrubs, soaps, bath salts etc. See the whole range HERE.

The soap has a gentle lather and has a citrus/floral scent. I love the lavender topping! I've been really impressed with the quality, scent, packaging in fact everything about this soap! I'll definitely be picking up some more.  I fancy trying Patchouli & Geranium (which is topped with a cute rosebud) and Vetivert & Lavender next.

Have you tried any Hartpury soaps?

*sent for review

Friday, 29 May 2015

Skin & Tonic Travel Set

I knew I wouldn't be able to resist Skin & Tonic's Travel Set when Naturisimo were offering 15% discount over the recent Bank Holiday weekend.  It's been on my wishlist for a while since trying Skin & Tonic's fabulous STEAM CLEAN.

The travel set (£45) comes boxed and tied with Skin & Tonic ribbon. Included is an Organic Cotton Wash Bag and Organic Cotton Face Cloth.  Inside are 5 travel sized products. The only one I've tried and loved before is STEAM CLEAN, a minty deep cleansing balm.

Here's what's inside:

STEAM CLEAN 15ml - a rich balm made with British Thistle, Eucalyptus and Spearmint oils which gently lifts make up and daily grime leaving the skin clean and refreshed. You can also use it for dry skin patches and lips. LOVE!

CALM BALM 15ml - this multi-purpose balm is made with Roman Chamomile, English Lavender and Welsh Calendula oils. It calms the skin and mind in moments of stress.  Massage onto temples and wrists breathing in deeply to calm your mood.  Use before yoga/exercise on muscles to deepen your practice or massage into palms and breathe in before bed.  Looking forward to testing this one out!

GENTLE SCRUB 30g - this product smells simply divine! It is scented with Geranium essential oil - one of my favourites! Love that you can either use it as a mask or a scrub. I'll be trying it out..and soon!

BRIT BEAUTY OIL 10ml - this oil is made with Omega rich oils distilled in the UK - Borage, Thistle, Chia Seed and Marshmallow Root Oil which help to minimise fine lines, reduce pores and encourage cellular function. Neroli oil helps with skin regeneration and lifts the spirits.  Apply as it is, add a couple of drops to your daily moisturiser or for an uplifting pick me up massage a drop in your palms, cup over your nose and breathe deeply.

NAKED LIP BALM - a luscious natural balm which deeply nourishes the lips and made with just 3 ingredients - Fair Trade Shea Butter, Beeswax and Raw Coconut Oil.  Handy size to pop in your pocket or bag.

Have you tried anything from Skin & Tonic?

Thursday, 28 May 2015

May Empties

I'm not going to use up anything else this month so here goes...

Therapie Himalayan Detox Salts 100g - these are a staple for me and I have more in my stash. Edit: they are always in my stash. If I could only ever use one bath product again it would be these salts.

Aromatherapy Associates Lavender & Ylang Ylang Body Wash 50ml - this was a hotel freebie and nice to use.

ila Bath Soak for Pure Relaxation 50ml* - loved this. Full size is on the wishlist. No bubbles but nice and relaxing.

lj's Organic Purity Rose Body Oil 50ml - adore this. Got another in my stash. See my review here. It's super lush and I love it!

Skin Blossom Facial Toner 150ml - this was really nice to use. I'd maybe buy again but I prefer spray on toners.

TEWC Virgin Coconut & Lime Body Butter 40g - I loved this lush butter. One I'll definitely pick up again. See my review here.

Rose & Co Sugar Rose Hand Cream 40ml - I loved this sugar sweet hand cream. Already picked up another!

Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil 7.5ml - my favourite Aromatherapy Associates scent. Sure to buy full size at some point. See my review here

OLE HENRIKSEN Pure Truth Melting Cleanser 15ml - I simply loved this. Will pick up full size at some point.

Neom Sensuous Reed Diffuser Refill - huge fan of these Neom oils. Only bug-bear is they don't last long enough but I think the reeds are the cause, not the oil.

Mauli Rituals Sacred Union Scent & Dry Oil sample - really loved this. See my review here. Full size is on the wishlist.

Bodhi & Birch Jasmine Falls Relaxing Bath & Shower Therapy 200ml - love this. One of my favourite scents from Bodhi & Birch.  Will buy again.

L'Occitane Relaxing Bath Salts 300g - My second pot. See my review here. Would maybe re-purchase but there are other bath salts to try first!

de Mamiel Spring Face Oil 20ml - I just adored this! After payday I'm buying the Summer seasonal oil.  See my review here. I can quite honestly say this oil No.1 in my top 3. Can't wait to try Summer!

What have you been using up this month?

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Pai Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask

I've been testing Pai's Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask (75ml - £30)* which comes boxed and includes a muslin cloth for the last few weeks and I can honestly say it's one of the best masks I've ever used.

100% natural and Vegan the mask is free from parabens, PEG, phthalates, perfumes and synthetic colours and is made in the UK.  There is no animal testing and the product is cruelty free. Packaging is recyclable and products are Soil Association certified.

"internationally adored line of luxury skincare products" says The Observer. 
I agree!

To use: apply to clean dry skin avoiding eye/lip area 1-2 times a week or as an occasional pick me up.  Leave on for 8-10 minutes and remove with a damp warmed muslin cloth and finish by splashing the skin with cool water.

The mask is suitable for oily, combination and blemish prone skin types and combines fruit acids with anti-blemish actives for a deep cleansing but gentle detox.  It clears the skin of congestion, refining pores, rebalances, calms and brightens and has a delicious fruity scent. It is a real treat for the skin and I highly recommend it.

*PR sample

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

May: Lately I've Been Loving

My beautiful Owl & the Pussycat bracelet* from Snapdragon Designs. See my review here.

Cesca Major's fabulous debut novel The Silent Hours*. Highly recommend. It's one of my favourite reads this year.  See my review nearer to the end of the month.

THATS HATS knitwear - Michelle makes some cute baby hats and other items. Check out her Facebook page.

Pinnies & Poppy Seeds Artisan Shortbread - truly yummy! I chose my favourite Cinnamon Sugar and Cranachan. Handy to my work too for a midweek fix!

Maple Holistics Silk 18 Conditioner ($12.97 - from Amazon)* - this luxe conditioner contains 18 different silk amino acids along with shea butter, sea buckthorn, pomegranate, argan oil, aloe vera, jojoba oil, green tea, hibiscus and botanical keratin. Products are free from parabens, sulphates and silicones. The conditioner is suitable for all hair types and has a delicious vanilla scent. It leaves the hair smooth, silky and nourished.

de Mamiel Spring Face Oil (£67 for 20ml) I've just finished this amazing facial oil. I can't rate it highly enough. See my review here. The summer oil will be mine after payday!  See more information about the seasonal oils here.

And...I nearly forgot I ate a trio of Strawberries dessert at House for an Art Lover Cafe at the weekend. Truly yummy.

What have you been loving this month?

*pr samples

Monday, 25 May 2015

Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Scrub with Pumice & an Allotment update

I spend a sunny Bank Holiday Monday morning at my new allotment. There is lots to do! Planning as well as weeding and planting although I'm trying to not do it all at once! The previous owner left me two stawberry patches, a plum tree, rhubarb, raspberries and brambles. (my half is the side going down towards the shed). I was also excited to become a shed owner!

I've found the perfect gardening companion in Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardeners Hand Scrub with Pumice (£13 - 195g)* which is perfect for use after a few hours down the plot.

With a delicious scent (green clover, lavender, sage, rosemary and thyme) this gentle scrub gets rid of gardening dirt and grime leaving the hands smooth, nourished and clean. Two sizes of ultra-fine pumice work to lift soil from hands and nails.  It's one of the best I've used and non-gardeners can also enjoy this effective and pleasant to use scrub.

See the rest of the products available in the range HERE.

*PR sample

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Cult Beauty: Leonor Greyl Masque Fleurs De Jasmin

I'm always tempted by the offers at Cult Beauty and a recent one was a 5 piece sample kit with any Leonor Greyl purchase. I previously tried a sample (link) of the very fabulous Masque Fleurs de Jasmin (£35 - 200ml). The rich cream smells delicious and I'm looking forward to trying it out again!  

The free gift contains:
L'Huile de Leonor Greyl 25ml
Styling Cream 2ml
Masque Fleurs de Jasmin 16ml (popping this in my holiday bag)
Shampoo Reviviscence 16ml
Shampoo Volumateur 16ml

What's your favourite Leonor Greyl product?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Snapdragon Designs: Owl & the Pussycat Bracelet Set

Husband and wife team, Shelley and John met at Art College and gained degrees in Graphic Design. Shelley is a professional bookbinder (do check out the gorgeous range of books available here). 

Together they design and make a range of unique and quirky acrylic jewellery which are influenced by fairy tales and storybooks as well the books mentioned above and laser cut cards.

John gained access to a laser cutter and he made Shelley a cat ring. They decided to create a range of jewellery using 3 items in symbol form to tell a story.

I couldn't resist the Owl & the Pussycat Bracelet Set (£14)* as it was one of my favourite rhymes as a child.  All I can say is WOW such a beautiful statement piece.

This bracelet was designed by Shelley and John in Maidstone in 2013 and features a black cat, a gold owl and a beautiful pea-green boat! You can wear each bracelet alone or together for a statement piece of jewellery.

See the website HERE
Follow on Twitter @snapdragondes

*sent for review

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Balance Me Revitalising Hand & Body Wash

My pal Julie gave me balance me's Revitalising Hand & Body Wash (100ml) for my birthday. I believe it was a special size she received in a beauty box and very kindly gave it to me as she knows I love balance me.

It has a happy and sunny zesty scent and is a great wake up call in my morning shower. It contains essential oils of mandarin, grapefruit, bergamot and sweet orange with a hint of mint. The scent calms, revives, balances and rejuvenates.

Natural surfactants give it a luxe foam without stripping or drying out the skin. I think it's also great you can use it as a hand wash making it an excellent travelling companion.

Buy full size 300ml for £12.50 HERE.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Tabitha James Kraan Organic Haircare

I received two trial sizes from Tabitha James Kraan in my recent Petit Vour box. Tabitha has been an Organic hairdresser for almost two decades and has a eco friendly salon in the Cotswolds.

Inside my box were trial sizes of Golden Citrus Organic Hair Cleanser and Organic 4 in 1 Conditioner Golden Citrus both of which smell amazing!

The products use gentle formulas which are made with soapbark and contain the signature blend hair oil. They are free from chemicals and give the hair natural shine, body and manageability.

Golden Citrus Hair Cleanser (full size 150ml - £22.50) - this gentle cleanser is scented with Neroli, Tangerine, Lavender, Myrrh, Bergamot and Tea Tree and makes my morning hair washing a delight! It doesn't have much of a lather but cleans and nourishes leaving the hair feeling soft and clean.

Organic 4-in-1 Conditioner Golden Citrus (full size 150ml - £22.50) - a lovely multi-use conditioner which infuses the hair with Vitamins, Minerals and Proteins. Again it smells fantastic and is a joy to use. It leaves the hair looking glossy and smooth.  Use as a traditional wash out conditioner, a leave in conditioner, as a scalp moisturiser or for texture/curl when styling.

I've been really impressed with their performance and I'll definitely buy full sizes. I also want to try Amber Rose Organic Hair Cleanser and Scented Organic Hair Oil.

Have you used any Tabitha James Kraan products before?

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Lyonsleaf Natural Skincare Samples

I just love a company which offers samples to try before you buy at a nominal cost.  Lyonsleaf have just launched three best-sellers in 10ml sample tins which cost £1.99 each with second class UK post costing only 95p!

They are great for try me sizes or holidays. I'm already a fan of all three! The products are water free and a little goes a long way.

You can see my review of the Beauty Balm and the Body Butter HERE*. Find out more details about the Calendula Cream HERE

Are you a fan of trial sized products? Do you think these are something you'd pick up?

*Lyonsleaf sent me full sizes to review previously

Monday, 18 May 2015

Little Treats #8

Here's some mini products I've been enjoying lately.

Green People Fruit Scrub Exfoliator* - this facial scrub is just fantastic! It has a delicious uplifting citrus scent (contains essential oils of Bergamot & Mandarin) and gently removes dead skin cells while brightening and balancing the skin. Love! To use: Apply to clean dry skin in circular motions removing with a warm damp muslin cloth.  I've also been enjoying Green People's Vita Min Fix 24-Hour Cream* which deeply moisturises and soothes the skin and is stuffed full of Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants.  To use: apply AM/PM after cleansing.

LJ's Natural Solutions Cucumber and Watermelon Eye Serum - this serum is one of my favourites. It has a gel like texture the sort I love and easily absorbs into the eye area helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. To use: massage a small amount around the eye area.

Beatitude Skin Salvation sample* - this is a gorgeous face oil made with Rosehip, Oat, Evening Primrose, Squalene, Black Cumin Seed Oils and Vitamin E. It also contains essential oils of Rose, Neroli and Immortelle. It rejuvenates and nourishes.  To use: warm a few drops in the palm of your hands before massaging onto the face and neck in upward movements.

Rachel's Plan Bee Bee Cream sample* - I received this little pot with my order a while back. Rich and comforting it is perfect to use on cuticles, hands and feet and any dry areas on the body. It smells delicious too!  To use: apply a pea size amount where needed.

*PR samples

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Galvanina Party

I was recently sent some delicious Italian Galvanina 100% natural fruit drinks* which are made from organic fruit juices and sparkling spring water from Come Round.

Included were both full (750ml - £2.87)* and small sizes (355ml - £1.59)* of the delicious drink which I drank alone and in cocktails inviting a few friends around to indulge too! Flavours in the range are: Red Grapefruit - which is slightly bitter and sweet and very thirst quenching, Sicilian Clementine - with a fresh and fruity flavour, Sicilian Lemon - bursting with citrus and sherbet notes and it's perfect with a shot of vodka and Sicilian Ruby Orange - this is zesty and perfect with a shot of Campari or Prosecco. See more details HERE. You can buy the drinks at Waitrose.

I was also sent a party pack to help my party go with a swing.

I also sent a couple of tweets see HERE and HERE and turned the pretty empty Galvanina bottle into a single flower vase.

Have you tried Galvanina yet?

*PR samples

Saturday, 16 May 2015

a beautiful world S/S '15 Sampler Box

I think I was the last person to receive their a beautiful world S/S '15 Sampler Box. Luckily for me, Liz tracked it down - thanks Liz! I picked it up at the Post Office yesterday morning.

The box costs a bargainous £20 plus P&P. I'm pretty pleased with mine. I think they sold out in 15 minutes or so! All boxes are slightly different. You can see what Ria got here and what Karen got in her box here.

I was surprised to receive a full size product of PLANT's Rosemary & Lemongrass WAKE UP Body Wash. I've tried the brand's CALM DOWN Body Wash and you can see my review HERE.

The next item to grab my attention was Olivine's Love+Salt Beach Hair & Body Mist (2oz) which smells of coconut. Love! Looking forward to testing this out. I also recently tried the brand's Love+Roses Beauty Mist see my review HERE.

There is a Schmidt's Natural Deodorant in Lavender+Sage mini pot which I've used before and loved. See my review HERE as well as new brand to me and a beautiful world (it hasn't actually launched there yet) COOLA - I received a 5ml tube of Classic Sunscreen SPF 30 - its not a huge sample but I'll give it a whirl.  I'm hoping a beautiful world will be stocking their Lotion Bars.

Huge Indie Lee fan, inside is a Brightening Cleanser sample tube which smells of strawberries. So looking forward to trying in my morning shower.

There's also a Josh Rosebrook sample size pot of his Cacao Antioxidant Mask which I can't wait to try. It brightens, detoxifies and firms the skin and smells delicious!  The final beauty item is by The Body Deli - Solar Day Cream in a mini pot which has SPF15 and protects against environmental and sun damage. Huge fan of this brand so looking forward to using.

The box also includes a cream coloured branded tote bag (always useful), a washbag size Tili bag and a cute pencil. Mine says "you are amazing" which made me smile and there is a voucher code for 20% off any future purchase.

What did you get in your box?

Friday, 15 May 2015

Love Lula Beauty Box - May 2015

I was missing my monthly boxes so...I signed back up to Love Lula after seeing the great April box on Berry's Beauty.

The first thing that jumped out at me was John Masters Organics Orange & Ginseng Exfoliating Body Bar (£7 - full size). It exfoliates as well as cleans the skin. Looking forward to trying it out in my morning shower!

Onto the rest! Figs & Rouge Rambling Rose Balm (£5 - full size) I'm always a sucker for balms and rose scents so this one's also a winner! A multi-purpose balm to use on lips, body and face (I'll also use it on flyaways).

Salcura Skin Repair Moisturiser (£9.99 50ml size) I've tried several items from this brand before and have been pleased with their performance. This cream is great to soothe dry, inflamed and irritated skin. 

REN V-Cense Youth Vitality Cream 15ml (worth £8.40) - this is a decent travel size. It helps to "banish urban grey and combat signs of fatigue". Helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

And a cute little tin of TEATOX Skinny Detox Loose Leaf Tea and a code for 20% off the brands in this month's box.

I'm know I'll use everything in the box which is the sign of a good box! Did you get it this month? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Perfume Society: Beautiful Blossoms Discovery Box

I can never resist the fab discovery boxes from The Perfume Society. The latest one, Beautiful Blossoms is stuffed full of really great samples and a 50ml tube of Elemis's British Botanical Shower Cream. The box costs £15 or £10 for members.

Ruth Mastenbroek Amorosa 1.5ml EDP
This is a beautiful scent with notes of watermelon, green leaves, violet leaf, galbanum, tuberose, white flowers, tiare flowers, jasmine, Ylang Ylang and base notes of amber, ambergris, patchouli, woody amber accord, vetivert and maltol.

Miller Harris Coeur de Jardin 2ml EDP
This is really lovely and one of my favourites in the box. With notes of bergamot, lemon, hesperidin, pear, peach, Turkish rose, jasmine, tuberose, white orris butter, amber musk, moss and patchouli. I'd buy.

Jimmy Choo Blossom 2ml EDP
I love this gorgeous floral scent. It has notes of red berries, citrus, sweet pea, rose and white musk and sandalwood. I've been wearing this since I got the box and full size is on the wishlist!

La Perla Peony Blossom 1.2ml EDT
With notes of pear, white peach, blackcurrant, orange blossom, peony, jasmine blossom, violet, patchouli, vanilla and sweet musk. A pretty floral.

Fragonard Jasmin 2ml EDT
This scent has notes of bergamot, orange leaf, Grasse Jasmine, Indian Jasmine, Egyptian Jasmine and Amber. Again I really like!

Agonist ISIS 2ml
I'd say this is my least favourite. Its a unisex fragrance but I find it smells more masculine on my skin.  It has notes of citrus, green tangerine, ylang ylang, black pepper, ginger, anise, peach, caramel, heliotrope, nutmeg, amber, musk, benzoin, vanilla absolute, labdanum and lorenox.

Philosophy Amazing Grace 1.5ml EDT
I've never really tried any of Philosophy's scents much before but this seems quite nice. With notes of bergamot, mandarin, yuzu, grapefruit, muguet blossom, rose, jasmine and musk. 

Chloe Love Story 1.2ml EDP
I love the notes this perfume contains but it smells quite powdery on my skin which I'm not keen on. It has notes of neroli, orange blossom, jasmine and cedar.

Yardley Contemporary Classics 1.5ml EDT x 4
English Lavender - with notes of bergamot, clary sage, English lavender, eucalyptus, geranium, jasmine, chamomile, violet, woods, vanilla and patchouli. English Rose - with notes of citrus, rose, tea accord, rose bud, magnolia, violet, cassis, woods, patchouli, musk.  Lily of the Valley - with notes of pear accord, lily of the valley, freesia and musk and April Violets - violet leaves, citrus, orris, mimosa, rose, white peach, sandalwood, vanilla and powdery notes.  I like all of these.

Elemis British Botanical Shower Cream 50ml
The scent of this shower cream was inspired by a traditional English garden and contains notes of lavender, chamomile, geranium, palmarosa and rosemary.

Did you pick up one of these discovery boxes?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Alteya Organics Certified Organic Hair Treatment Bulgarian Rose

I picked up this super luxe hair treatment a while ago from Love Lula (£27.60 for 50ml). It is expensive but it is really cost effective as you only need the tiniest amount.

Alteya Organics are an award winning USDA Organic Family Owned Skincare company who own an Organic Rose farm which practices strict biodynamic farming and is based in the heart of the Rose Valley in Bulgaria.  The products are EU certified organic and are 100% natural. There are no parabens, petrochemicals, GMO, no animal testing and are lanolin free.

Products are made in small batches using natural and organic ingredients. Alteya Organics provide employment and support to the local population in some of the poorest villages in the Rose Valley and the Balkan mountain region. 

The treatment is perfect for dry, damaged and colour treated hair. It's a super rich butter  which revitalises and nourishes the hair while adding incredible shine and body.

To use:

Daily - part hair into segments and apply a small amount to scalp and hair. Massage before washing and styling as normal.

Pre-Shampoo Treatment: massage a generous amount into scalp and hair. Comb through  and leave on for 15-20 minutes before shampooing.

Deep Conditioner: Apply as an overnight treatment and shampoo in the morning.

Extra Deep Conditioning: massage into hair and scalp, cover with a shower cap and add heat from a blow dryer for 10-15 minutes before shampooing.

Shine Frizz Control: add a small amount to palms and worth through dry hair.

My thoughts? A super rich, deeply nourishing and lush butter (made with Organic Rose Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Sweet Almond, Rosehip and Peppermint Oils along with Vitamin E).  I've found it works best for my hair using as an overnight deep conditioning treatment or for frizz control.  The scent is rose with a touch of peppermint.

I'd definitely like to try more from the brand. Have you used this or any other product in the range?