Tuesday, 31 January 2017

January Books

Here's what I've been reading in January:

Lie in Wait by G J Minett* - I found the story a little hard to get into (after having loved The Hidden Legacy) but about 20% in I started to love it and couldn't put it the book down and when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it which is always the sign of a good read. 

The story surround a murder and each chapter is narrated by a different character on a different timeframe (there are loads of characters and I initially struggled to keep track of them) but they all have their part to play.

Owen is a loner, a wee bit different, with a stammer and was bullied at school by Abi's husband, Callum and is a whizz with numbers. As the story goes along we are introduced to a whole cast of believable characters. You are just never quite aware who you can trust, who's up to no good and for what reason. A fast paced read with many twists and turns as the police try to find the killer. A gripping read.

The Devil's Work by Mark Edwards* - Sophie Greenwood returns to work after a four year break when her daughter, Daisy starts school. She was headhunted and is starting work at Jackdaw Publishing, a company she's idolised for years. It really is her dream job.

From the very first day things start to go wrong for her. A colleague is undermining her authority, her husband supposedly sends a tweet which goes viral for all the wrong reasons and is suspended from his job. Sophie feels unable to trust anyone at work especially when strange things start happening...I was on the absolute edge of my seat and decided along with Sophie who exactly was behind it all...wrongly I may add!

Running alongside are stories from Sophie's University years with her best friend Jasmine and her boyfriend Liam which made interesting reading and gave more body to the story. An absolutely gripping fast paced read which I read in two sittings!

Mary's the Name by Ross Sayers* - this is Ross's debut novel and is absolutely fantastic. The book was published yesterday and you can read my review on 6th February when I'm on the blog tour.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave - I came across this book via Anne when she was reviewing her best books of 2016. The story is set in 1939-42 and it's mainly set in London but also in Malta.

When war was declared Mary North upped and left her "finishing school" and instantly signed up for war work.  She hoped to get into espionage and was disappointed when she was given a teaching job. However she loves her pupils and teaching. She meets Tom who falls for her instantly and his friend Alistair who she can't imagine life without.  Her friend Hilda is always in her shadow but shows herself to be a true friend.

A stunning novel which depicts daily life, love, friendship and survival throughout the war years. 

Don't look Behind You (Detective Eden Berrisford #2) by Mel Sherratt** - this is the second novel in the Detective Eden Berrisford series which keeps getting better and better. Roll on book #3! This is launch day too for the book - it's a cracker Mel!

The story is set in the small town of Stockleigh. Three women are brutally attacked within days of each other and Detective Eden Berrisford and her team try to find out if the women are connected in any way.

Carla, who works at the refuge is trying to re-build her life but feels like she is forever looking over her shoulder. Her abusive ex-husband has done his time and she knows he'll be out to get her. Eden's own past is catching up with her also... A fast paced and creepy read which I recommend.

Secrets we Keep by Faith Hogan* - I absolutely devoured this book - it's just so good! Highflying Lawyer Kate Hunt comes to Ballytokeep to visit her estranged Aunt Iris whom she met at Kate's grandmother's funeral.

She falls in love with Ballytokeep and her Aunt and Uncle and decides to give up city live and start afresh running the old bathhouse as a cafe with the help her her new friend Rita.  She finally feels happy in herself and that her broken heart can mend.

The story is told in the past and the present and we find out about young Iris, her past, her hopes, dreams and heartache she has suffered. Archie has always loved her despite knowing her secret all these years. Kate is there to help when Archie shows the first signs of dementia and Kate finds herself unexpectedly falling in love again.

It's a story of love, loss, friendship, second chances and happiness and I absolutely loved it (and it's published tomorrow!)

*copy from Netgalley
**copy from the author

Monday, 30 January 2017

January: Lately I've been Loving

Seems a while since I've done a Lately post. Here's what I've been loving in January:

I received this Votary Rose Maroc & Sandalwood Facial Oil which retails at £65 in my Liberty Advent Calendar. It's my favourite thing from the calendar. Expect a full review soon.

We started off on a dry January but after 7 days just had to have a taste of January's Gin from the Craft Gin Club. Remember you can get a tenner off your first box with code BEAUTYBALM. Both the gin and tonic are great.

I was feeling the January blues and after a tough week at work my mum and dad sent me flowers from our local shop - they are simply stunning and a great cheer me up!

I've been testing out some gorgeous products* from Make Skincare which are amazing. Expect a review shortly. Look at that packaging! Simply stunning.

I read the fantastic Mary's the Name by debut author Ross Sayers which is published today. It's a heartwarming read and I highly recommend! I'm taking part in the blog tour (my 1st! on 6 February).

This Rosewater Mist from Red Ruby Rouge is just fantastic! Aster & Bay have relocated from the States to Edinburgh (link). Again, expect a review soon!

What have you been loving in January?


Saturday, 28 January 2017

AA Skincare: Cedarwood & Peppermint Shower & Bath Gel

I've been testing out AA Skincare's latest launch - Shower & Bath Gel in Cedarwood & Peppermint scent (250ml - £5.94)*. The whole range is really affordable even if you are on a budget.

The blend is very minty with a touch of woods and is refreshing and invigorating making it great for a wake up call in your morning shower or equally good for a bubble bath after sport or sunbathing.

Containing nourishing ingredients such as brazil nut oil, Eucalyptus and Murumuru Seed Butter which gently cleanses the skin. The gel is suitable for all skin types and is Vegan friendly.

See my other AA Skincare reviews: Frankincense & Rose Toner* and Natural Haircare Shampoo*.

*complimentary - sent for review

Friday, 27 January 2017

January Empties

Well this post has come round quick! Here's what I've been using up in January:

Dafna's Beyond Skin Deep Moisture Light 2ml sachet* - this was a great moisturiser which would be good to use in summer as it lightly moisturises and refreshes the skin.

Lola's Apothecary Sweet Lullaby Soothing Bath & Shower Oil 10ml - this was lovely and made for a relaxing bath. Will buy full size when I use up some of my stash.

Balm Balm Indulge All Over Balm 30ml** - I love these Balm Balm balms. See my review HERE. I'd happily use this again.

Kneipp Sweet Dreams Herbal Bath with Valerian and Hops 100ml - this makes for a restful night's sleep (although it smells a bit pungent). I've just opened another bottle.

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil 110ml - one of my favourite bath oils. If you like rose scents you'll love this. Just opened a new bottle.

AA Skincare Frankincense and Rose Facial Toner 150ml* - this was lovely to use. See my review HERE. I'd definitely buy once my stash reduces.

Yogandha Detox Organic Lemongrass & Juniperberry Body Oil 125ml - I adore this uplifting body oil and buy it again and again.

Bodhi & Birch Sicilian Rose Body Oil 15ml - I adore this body oil which also found a place in my top products last year. See my review HERE. I'm going to buy this again after payday!

Miller Harris Vetiver Insolent EdP sample - one of my favourite perfumes - I have a rapidly reducing full size bottle of this which will be replenished!

Miller Harris Cassis en Feuille EdP sample - this is nice and fruity and I enjoyed trying it but wouldn't buy full size.

Skin & Tonic Steam Clean - adore this beautiful minty scented cleanser. Already treated myself to another.

RMS 'un powder' - this is as staple for me. So will be replenished soon!

Nishane Boszporusz EdP sample - I just adored this floral sea shore inspired scent. Full size is on the wishlist. See my thoughts HERE.

Evolve Organic Beauty Liquid Crystal Micellic Cleanser 30ml* - this too was one of my top products in 2016. See my review HERE. Sure to buy when my stash reduces a bit.

Indie Lee C0Q10 Toner 10ml sample - just gorgeous and from a fab brand. Would buy this full size.

**sent to me as part of the LLABP

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bloom Perfumery: Yearly Sample Pack: January 2017: Exploring Resins

My January Bloom Perfumery Sample Pack arrived on Saturday. This month we are exploring more exotic and rare resins - elemi, Peru and tolu balms.

"Elemi comes from a tree native to the Philippines and smells somewhere between cedarwood and frankincense with a lot of citrus nuance. Peru balsam is much smokier, boozy and vanillic and comes from South America, so does tolu which smells sweet and reminiscent of old library ambiance. All these materials offer perfumers a choice of intense shades of smokey, sweet, spicy or crisp woods depending on what the resins are combined with".

The first perfume which I totally fell for is Angela Ciampagna's Aer EdP (100ml - £160, 50ml - £95, 1ml - £5) which focuses on the citrus green aspect of elemi. It opens with mint, grapefruit and lemon with juniper in it's heart. With top notes of grapefruit, lemon, mint and pink pepper, a heart of jasmine, juniper and magnolia with a base of cashmeran, elemi and patchouli. Love this!

From Parfumerie Generale we have Long-Courrier EdP (100ml - £116, 50ml - £80, 1ml - £2) which is a salty vanilla. It's part of the PG's Cruise Collection which is about travel to remote exotic locations. With notes of cedarwood, cocoa, elemi, musk, orange and salt.  

Meanwhile, PG26 Isparta (100ml - £117.50, 50ml - £81.50, 1ml - £2) is summer roses with a dark side. With top notes of candied fruit and oud, a heart of Isparta (Turkish) rose and patchouli with base notes of ambroxan, benzoin, calamu, frankincense and Peru balsam. We also received this in July's pack.

PG10.1 Bouquet Massai EdP (100ml - £117.50, 50ml - £81.50, 2ml - £2) which we received in November's pack (there has been a few repeats now over the 2 year subscription). Tolu is paired with coffee. It has notes of cashmeran, coffee, karo karounde, magnolia, peach, peony, raindrops, sandalwood and tolu.

From Huitème Art Parfums there is Poudre de Riz EdP (100ml - £115, 50ml - £88, 1ml - £2) which is a floral with powdery sweet notes. With notes of benzoin, cedarwood, coconut, iris, syrupy rose, tiare, sandalwood, tolu, tonka and vanilla.

The final scent this month is New In: From Angela Ciampagna Fauni Extrait de Parfum (100ml - £245, 1ml - £7) which is a leathery gardenia (and is lush!). With top notes of green leaves, a heart of frankincense, gardenia and ylang ylang with base notes of amber, benzoin, musk and tolu.

I've been really enjoying this month's picks, even with the two repeat perfumes. What are your thoughts on the selection?

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Letterbox Gifts:Pamper Gift Set

I adore Letterbox Gifts. The boxes are always just right - perfect combinations of gorgeous gifts which are sure to raise a smile and a warm glow that someone is thinking of you (if you are a lucky recipient that is!) Packaging is exquisite and I love that you can select the ideal date for delivery making present buying a breeze.

Their latest box is the very lovely Pamper Gift Set (£27.95). Shall we see what's inside?

oh WOW the contents make my heart sing!

Amelia Rope Chocolate - Pale Honeycomb & Sea Salt

Sheffield Skincare - Moisturising Bath Truffles x 3 (which come in a sweet drawstring bag)

Sheffield Skincare - Soothing Bath Oil with Lavender & Chamomile

Natalie Bond Organics - Himalayan Pink Salts

The Natural Candle Company - Relaxation Organic Plant Wax candles

I'm so looking forward to a pamper! What do you think of the contents? Would you like to receive this as a gift?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Revisiting: Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie

It is a real pleasure to try the beautiful award winning aromatherapy products by Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie again (I've used the bath oils previously before I blogged). The products are exquisite and an absolute delight.

Micheline Arcier trained with Marguerite Maury, an Aromatherapy pioneer and Biochemist as well as establishing a working relationship with Dr Jean Valnet who used essential oils for the treatment of medical conditions. She was an early advocate of holistic wellbeing and developed a private practice and clinic as well as formulating an exclusive range of products.

In 2012, Germaine Rich and Catherine Milne took ownership of the company. Both have a background in Aromatherapy with Germaine having been trained by Madame Arcier herself. The formulations are exactly the same so Micheline Arcier's legacy lives on.

I've been trying out two bathing products - Enchantement Aromatherapie Bath Oil (60ml - £45)* and the matching Bath & Shower Crystals (200g - £26)*.

The bath oil* is a formulation of rose, geranium & ylang ylang blended with suitable vegetable carrier oils which nourish, tone and balance both the body and the mind.  The blend is quite potent so all you need to add to your bath is one capful. Soak for 10-15 minutes inhaling the delicious aromas. The oil will calm both the mind and the body. Pat skin dry so a film of scent is left on the skin.

The Bath & Shower Crystals* are a blend of the most popular fragrances with fine Himalayan Crystals for exfoliating, showering and bathing. The crystals can be used to exfoliate the body or as a bath soak and are super luxe and a real pick-me-up.

I've also been trying their Tonique Aromatherapie Body Oil (100ml - £40) which I received in my Pure Natural Box - January Detox Edition which energises, stimulates and detoxes and is scented with Rosemary, Lavender and Sage. It's good for sluggish skin, cellulite and if you are feeling tired and run-down.

I've been so impressed with these lovely products. They are a must-have for anyone who gets stressed for a moment of calm and tranquility. 

Have you used any Micheline Arcier products? If so, what are your favourite scents?

*complimentary - sent for review

Monday, 23 January 2017

S5 Skincare Renew Serum

I've been testing out S5 Renew Serum (£52)* over the last few weeks. The serum is 99% natural, Vegan, free from parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, silicones, synthetic dyes and artificial fragrance. The range is certified by EcoCert and made in the UK.

The serum packaged in a recyclable glass bottle with a pipette. As the serum is quite thick the pipette is useless after a few uses meaning you have to pour it out of the bottle onto your palm so I don't think the current packaging really works. I think I'd prefer if it was packaged in a airless pump.

The S5 Skincare range is designed to solve skin problems naturally using the strength of ingredients found in the most extreme parts of the planet such as Antarctica, the Wadi Desert in Egypt and the mountains of Tibet. The bioactives used in the products help to to mimimise pollution, UV, chemical irritation and environmental damage.

There are 5 treatment serums in the range which help to treat blemishes, sensitivity, dryness, hyperpigmentation and premature ageing. The serums are designed to be mixed and matched to deal with how your skin feels at that particular moment.

The S5 Renew Serum* has been formulated to target fine lines and wrinkles smoothing, plumping and firming the skin. Antarctic glycoproteins help to reduce wrinkle depth and increase collagen production. Alpine stem cells contain high levels of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. Botanical peptides firm and smooth.

To use: blend a few drops into your moisturiser before applying to a cleansed face and neck. The serum can also be applied as a separate layer.

I've found the serum easy to apply as it absorbs quickly and it has an instantly firming effect on application (which I like!) It plumps out fine lines and wrinkles making them look softer.  The scent of the serum is slightly floral and very pleasant. Despite the packaging this one's a keeper!

I now want to try more from the range so will pick up a few sample sizes to try.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Mauli Rituals: Reawaken Hand & Body Wash

I've got a lot of love for beautiful brand Mauli Rituals, having first tried their discovery set back in 2015 (link). I've also tried their gorgeous body oils* (link) and love their life affirming Himalayan Healing Salts.

I've been testing out latest launch Reawaken Hand & Body Wash (250ml - £25)* which is exquisite. It gently cleanses the hands and body leaving them feeling clean while the essential oils used reawaken the skin and senses.

The Hand and Body wash contains 80% organic ingredients and the purest therapeutic essential oils - uplifting lime, skin firming blood orange and grapefruit, immunity boosting frankincense, tissue healing sandalwood and soothing rose and jasmine. It really has a beautiful uplifting scent.

Massage onto wet hands and skin. The wash lathers up gently and leaves the skin feeling clean and smelling gorgeous!

Have you used any products from Mauli Rituals? If so, what's your favourites?


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Red Ruby Rouge: Treasure Trove Beauty

I first discovered Red Ruby Rouge when I was searching for a UK stockist of Herbivore, the Seattle based niche brand. Red Ruby Rouge are based in Northern Ireland and sell beautiful hard to find beauty brands, jewellery, gifts, bags and clothes. Shipping to the UK is free and if you sign up to the newsletter you get money off voucher codes periodically.

I reviewed Herbivore's gorgeous Coco Rose Lip Polish (£17) HERE.

For Christmas I received their Coco Rose Body Polish (£24) - expect a review of this soon!

Another exciting find is Aster & Bay, who have now actually located to Edinburgh from USA. They are a natural unisex skincare company (and been on the wishlist for ages...) High quality plant ingredients are used and everything is handmade by Erin and Glen in small batches. All product are vegetarian with no preservatives, sls, parabens and phthalates, ingredients are ethically sourced and many are sourced in the UK.

I couldn't resist the very lovely Rosewater Mist (£25 - 100ml) (I had a voucher for 25% off as a newsletter subscriber last weekend - a great chase away the January blues offer!) and I can honestly say it's one of the nicest products I've ever tried! As well as smelling heavenly it is multi-tasking - use it as a toning mist, mist it through your hair for beachy rose scented waves, spray over your body (soothes sunburn) and you can also mix a small amount with facial serum for a light hydrating treatment.  I definitely want to try more from this brand!!

Have you used anything from these brands? Are you now tempted?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Love Lula: Beauty Brews: Poise - Strawberry & Ginger Organic Tea

Nestling inside my December Love Lula Beauty Box* was a canister of new to me tea Beauty Brews in Poise - Strawberry & Ginger Organic Tea (50g - £11.50)*.

The teas come in a range of delicious blends (link) each with a specific taste which helps you to "enjoy moments of harmony, peace and beauty that help bring mind, body and soul into natural balance".

Poise is a rooibos based tea which contains ginger, apple, cinnamon, raspberry leaves, fennel, camomile and cornflower blossoms, orange peel, cloves, black pepper, cardamon and strawberry pieces. It's free from caffeine, low in tannins, stimulates the metabolism and refreshes the palate.

I brewed mine in a teapot (5 minutes or so) before straining it using a mini sieve. The tea is delicious, fruity, spicy and slightly floral (it also scents the room you are drinking it in!) I totally love it and can't wait to try more from the range.

Have you tried Beauty Brews? If so, what's your favourite flavour?

*I received this tea in my December Love Lula Beauty Box* which I received as being a member of the LLABP. All thoughts are genuine (I love this tea!) My post contains two affiliate links.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tropic Skincare: Super Greens Nutrient Boost Serum

I've been trying Tropic's fabulous Super Greens Nutrient Boost Serum (30ml - current sale price £31.50)* and all I can say is try it! It's one of the nicest products I've used recently (along with their Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum*). (I've tried various small samples from the brand in the past but nothing recently).

The range, as you'll probably know is created by Susan Ma who appeared on The Apprentice in 2011. Alan Sugar was so impressed with the range and Susan's passion that he became a 50/50 partner.

A social selling platform was developed which allows women to have their own beauty business on their terms. There are over 5k Ambassadors and 70 products - some of which have become award winners (22 beauty awards).

The range is natural with honest labelling - no animal testing, no lanolin, no beeswax, no honey, no parabens, no SLS, no unsustainable palm oil, no formaldehydes, no phthalates, no alcohol, no petrochemicals, no mineral oils, no gluten, no triclosan, no harsh preservatives and no microbeads.

The Super Greens serum* is just great! It is packed full of good things for the skin including chlorophyll, kale and maca root extracts which deliver a powerful blend of essential vitamins to the skin. It's lightweight and absorbs quickly and has a green, earthy herbal scent. Marula and Kendi oils calm while Green Coffee and Tamanu oils accelerate skin regeneration and repair.

To use: massage a few drops onto the face massaging in upward motions. The skin is left visibly brighter and glowy.

I'm just so impressed with how lovely and effective this product is. Have you tried this or any other products from the range? 


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Love Lula: REN Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish & Rose Gold Glow Perfect Dry Oil

I'm a huge fan of the delicious REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil (review). The Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish* (330ml - £32) has been on the wishlist a while and is absolute perfection. I also chose newish launch Moroccan Rose Gold Glow Perfect Dry Oil* (100ml - £26) to use afterwards.

The products come beautifully boxed so make a great gift - if you can bear to give them away!

The products have been the perfect January treat making life "a little sweeter". The Body Polish* is so luxurious. It gently buffs and smoothes the skin leaving it smelling of roses - what's not to love!

To use: massage onto dry skin before jumping in the shower. It can also be used before bathing and rinse.

I've found it to be scrubby enough for my liking and it's a real luxe treat. I'll be doing a comparison with a cheaper scrub in another post but if you fancy a treat this is the one to go for!

Moroccan Rose Gold Glow Perfect Dry Oil* is very lightweight and it absorbs quickly, hydrating the skin and leaving it with a subtle glow and the skin smells lightly of roses.  The oil is a blend of Argan and Rose Damascena Oil.

To use: apply after showering. Can be used on the hair also to smooth and nourish. 

This oil is a real treat and my dry winter skin is loving it.  Are you a fan of the Moroccan Rose Otto range?

*sent to me as part of the LLABP. As the cost of these two items is over the allowance given I added £8 to be able to review them together.  My post contains 1 affiliate link. All thoughts are genuine - I just love this range.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Sujet de Vert: £30 e-voucher Giveaway - it's Over!

I've got a lovely giveaway for you courtesy of Sujet de Vert Organic Beauty Online Shop which is based in Marylebone, London.

One of my UK readers can win a £30 e-voucher to spend on whatever they choose - see the range of brands HERE.


The prize will be emailed directly from Sujet de Vert within 24 hours to the winning contestant.

UK entries only

Purchases made with the gift voucher can only be shipped within the UK

No change will be given if the full amount is not spent

e-voucher expires 30.4.17

Family of Sujet de Vert employees are not eligible for entry

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Ogario London: Styling Mist for Natural Hold & Volume

I'm a huge fan of Ogario London's beautiful and effective hair products. See my reviews - Restore & Shine Hair Masque*Hydrate & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner* and Revive & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner*.

I've been testing out their latest product - Styling Mist for Natural Hold & Volume with Lemon Zest, Oats and Honey* (60ml - £16).

The styling mist is salon developed and suitable for all hair types and contains MICROKERA which utilises microcapsules of keratin and Argan oil which seals split ends as well as caring for damaged hair.

Lemon Zest, Oats and Honey help to strengthen, add shine, boost volume and hydrate the hair. ProVitamin B5 strengthens and Vitamin E has antioxidant properties.

To use: wash and condition the hair before towel drying. Shake the bottle and mist over the hair before styling.

I've found my hair to be in better condition, softer and with way more volume. Highly recommend!

You can buy Ogario Direct or from places like Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Love Lula.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Shopping my Stash #84

It's January so it's got to be Shopping my Stash time! Here's what I've been reaching for:

Indie Lee COQ 10 Toner sample - I received this in my recent ABW A/W '16 Sampler Box. It's a product I'd used before and loved. Will be adding full size to the wishlist as it deeply refreshes and tones the skin.

From Cult Beauty's recent goody bag I received a full size Jouer Cosmetics Long Wear Lip Creme Liquid Lipstick in Lychee which is a really pretty longlasting shade.

I got the Pureology Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner minis via my YOU Beauty Box in December. I absolutely love them. They make my hair look and feel amazing. Definitely want full size soon!

Diptyque's Eau Rose roll on I've had for ages. It has a deep rosey scent and I love it. See my review HERE.

I'm a huge fan of Schmidt's Natural Deodorants (review). My favourite being Bergamot+Lime. Naturisimo have introduced a new one - Rose+Vanilla - and it's gorgeous! You can pick up a sample size or full size HERE.

What have you been reaching for lately?

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Love Lula: Alchemy Oils: Grapefruit Hair Remedy

I picked this Alchemy Oils Grapefruit Hair Remedy* (30ml - £8) as part of the beauty box I created (link) in December. I've been enjoying all my picks very much. See my review of the Rio Rosa Mosqueta Discovery Set* HERE.

I'd heard of Alchemy Oils previously but not had the pleasure of trying either of the oils before. Inspired by the age old Ayurvedic practice of hair oiling the Hair Remedy deeply conditions and smells mouthwatering.  It smoothes flyaways, adds shine, nourishes, strengthens and leaves this hair looking frizz free and healthy.

The blend is made of 5 oils which nourish and care for the scalp and hair:

Coconut Oil helps to prevent breakages, split ends and promotes scalp health while Avocado Oil helps with brittle and damaged hair. Castor Oil thickens, is anti-bacterial and full of good things for the hair like Vitamins, Minerals and Omegas 6 & 9. Sweet Almond Oil nourishes, softens and conditions while citrus scented Grapefruit Oil helps to fight dandruff, is a natural cleanser and has an uplifting scent.

The range is 100% natural and free from any artificial chemicals or preservatives.

To use: 2-3 times a week either when your hair is dry - massage in root to tip, leave on for 20 minutes or so or overnight for an intensive treat. The oil can also be used on damp hair before styling or for smoothing down flyaways.

I think it's an absolutely fantastic product and one which I'd replenish. My only negative (and it's small) is that I'd prefer a stopper to control the oil flow from the bottle. Have you used Alchemy Oils before?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains one affiliate link. My thoughts are genuine - I truly love this product.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Bloom Perfumery: Yearly Sample Pack: December 2016: Exploring Benzoin

My December Bloom Perfumery Yearly Sample Pack arrived on Wednesday. In December, we were Exploring Benzoin.

"Benzoin is a rich gum resin obtained from the bark of a group of trees called styrax that smells sweet and smooth like vanilla. An excellent fixative, including Benzoin in a composition helps slow the dispersion of other aroma molecules and materials and as a result it's used a lot in perfumery as well as in the production of incense and medicine for its antiseptic properties".

"A material with oodles of depth, benzoin has many facets". It can smells sweet, smokey, rich, like incense, gourmand and balsamic.  Also included this month is a strip of Papier de Armenie (a strip of paper which has been soaked in benzoin resinoid). It can be burned to release it's rich aroma or used in a confined space to infuse a subtle note.  As ever, subscribers get a code for 10% off a full size bottle.

From Nishane we have Pasion Choco Extrait de Parfum (50ml - £110, 1ml - £5) (which we also received in August 2015's sample pack - this is only however the second duplicate of my subscription) - this is a gourmand scent with vanilla, chocolate and caramel. It has top notes of caramelised grapefruit, coffee and passionfruit with a heart of coriander, dark chocolate and orchid with a base of benzoin, patchouli, dark musk and vanilla. I quite like this one.

PG25: Indochine EdT (100ml - £117.50, 50ml - £81.50, 1ml - £2) the benzoin is paired with honey which brings syrupy sugar tones. Benzoin plays the spicy note. With top notes of cardamon and pepper, a heart of honey and wood apple with a base of benzoin. I love this one.

Arquiste Infanta En Flor EdP (100ml - £135, 1ml - £2) benzoin is used here to back up the flighter floral notes. With top notes of cistus essence, bergamot and immortelle with a heart of orange flower absolute, jasmine, Moroccan rose, and Spanish leather accord with a base of benzoin, cistus absolute, Venezuelan tonka bean and musk. I'm very fond of this one!

Etat Libre d'Orange Bijou Romantique EdP (100ml - £105, 50ml - £70) benzoin and patchouli work very well  together and are the backbone of this fragrance. With notes of bergamot, Italian lemon, ylang-ylang, coconut, vetiver, benzoin, vanilla and patchouli.

Grossmith Phul-Nana EdP (50ml - £145, 1ml - £5) I'm just not a fan of this brand (but I've got a friend who loves it). I find the scents too overpowering, powdery and heady. With top notes of bergamot, orange and neroli, a heart of geranium, ylang ylang and tuberose with a base of patchouli, benzoin, cedar, opoponax and tonka beans.

The final scent has Just Landed: PG27: Limanakia EdP (100ml - £117.50, 50ml - £81.50, 1ml - £2) is an animalic mineral with top notes of cumin, stone and wormwood, a heart of immortelle, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, patchouli and monoi oil with a base of cashmerewood and labdanum.

What did you think of December's sample pack?

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Love Lula: Balm Balm Petitgrain EdP 33ml

In my December Love Lula Beauty Box* (link) I received a Balm Balm Single Note EdP in Petitgrain (33ml - £22)*.

The perfumes are made with single note essential oils and pure grain alcohol and are 100% natural and organic.  Wear alone or layered with one or more of the others in the range.

Petitgrain is unlike anything else I have in my perfume collection - it's aromatic with woody, floral and citrus notes. Petitgrain Essential Oil is made from steam distilling leaves and twigs of the bitter orange tree. The blossoms and peel are turned into Neroli and Bergamot respectively.

It's an uplifting scent which balances and calms (and I love it!) It can be combined with Ylang Ylang and Bergamot for a Bold fragrance or with Bergamot and Spearmint for a more masculine edge.

What's your favourite Balm Balm scent?

*I received this perfume in the December Love Lula Beauty Box* which I received as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. All my thoughts are genuine and true. My post contains some Affiliate links.