Saturday, May 28

Champneys Detox Range

Champney's are one of the best spas around and even if you haven't tried any of their products I am sure you have heard about their incredible spa breaks and treatments. Recently they launched their detox range which includes some of their spa firming favourites designed to leave skin feeling firmer and smoother. The products themselves are infused with seaweed and mineral sea salt which revitalise the skin whilst cleansing, toning, moisturising and repairing. I picked up the Detox in a Box which contains 3 of their spa favourites and a massager which when used altogether create the perfect at home spa experience. 

Alongside the massager you get a Hip & Thigh Firming Mud, Skin Firming Shower Scrub and Skin Firming Body Butter. The firming mud is my favourite product because its so luxurious and really does feel like a spa treatment in the comfort of your own home. Its a thick black mud which you apply to the body, focusing on the hip and thigh area and leave for about 20 minutes to allow the skin to fully absorb. Then you rinse off in a warm shower to leave the skin noticeably firmer and toned and improving the look of cellulite. The shower scrub is designed to remove surface impurities and tightening the skin. It contains small beads which lightly exfoliate to leave the skin feeling soft and supple. Finally the body butter which absorbs into the skin so quickly and leaves the skin feeling moisturised right the way through into the morning. The cream itself is rich but not too thick and easily applies all over the body. 

Each product carries the most incredible, relaxing scent which just adds to the luxury of the products themselves. If your in the need of a bit of TLC and can't just pop off to a spa for a day, I would highly recommend this range which is so reasonably priced and feels so luxurious and expensive. Boots have a fantastic offer on the detox in a box at the moment where you can pick one up for only £13.33!! You would be a fool to miss out. 


Tuesday, May 24

My Sun Holiday Essentials

The start of Summer means one thing for season! Although at the moment I've only got Berlin booked in, I've got a list as long as my arm and a couple of girls holidays on the horizon. I am am yet to master the skill of packing lightly but I tend to downsize my makeup bag into one handy wash bag and this Alphabet bag is the perfect size to cram in all my beauty essentials. 

On my face I prefer a lighter base and I've found the Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream creates a flawless complexion and leaves the skin with a radiant glow. It evens out the skin tone and also contains SPF 15 which is perfect to wear whilst your sunning away. I don't tend to wear powder or anything on top as I prefer much more of a dewy finish so I just add a bit of blusher. At the moment I've gone back to my Nars Orgasm which is pretty much a ride or die product for me. I steer away from fancy eye make-up in the warm weather and tend to just chuck on a quick coat of mascara and be done with it. The Rimmel Wonderlash waterproof mascara gives my lashes that extra volume and definition every girl desires plus its infused with Argan oil which creates fuller looking lashes whilst nourishing them at the same time. 

Highlighter is every girl's best friend and I've recently been loving the Sleek highlighting kits. Each kit contains three cream formulas and one powder, which you can use on the body or the face and compliment all skin tones. They give the skin a gorgeous radiant glow which enhances the complexion with the perfect amount of shimmer. Finally I finish the look with one of the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors which are a gel formula which leave the lips looking shiny and plump with just a hint of colour. 

When it comes to removing make-up I like a pretty basic routine so I tend to take everything off with the Garnier Micellar water and then cleanse with the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel.  I love this cleanser because it removes all traces of make-up and leaves the skin blemish free and luminous. I'm not really big on styling my hair in the heat as I tend to just tie it up most of the the time. But saying that I do add a smidgen of the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 styling treatment which provides volume, smoothness, conditioning, strength and polish all at once. 

I love using rollerballs when I travel as it means I don't have to carry any massive bulky bottles around and risk them getting damaged. At the moment I am loving Estee Lauder's Pleasures which is fresh yet softly sensual and lasts all day with its white lily and violet notes really coming out. To add a bit of glamour I am obsessed with temporary tattoos and this metallic Egyptian themed selection from Azzy London really compliment my skintone and look incredible with a tan. 

Finally a tan boosting moisturiser - because lets be honest, nothing is more upsetting that sunbathing for days on end only for you tan to fade as soon as you get home. The Tanworx Tan Maintainer is infused with carrot oil, coconut oil and sunshine oil which moisturise the skin and works to maintain your tan for longer. 

What are you holiday essentials?

Friday, May 20

Afternoon Tea | Grand Cafe

[photo credit = Rachel]

[photo credit = Rachel]

Back over the bank holiday myself and some of my favourite ladies ventured to Grand Cafe in Southampton to celebrate Jess's 21st birthday. We decided to surprise the birthday princess with a fabulous afternoon tea at the luxurious venue with the most to die for interiors, mismatched crockery and stunning fibre optic lighting. The afternoon tea costs £17.50 per person and you can add a chilled glass of champagne for an extra £7. 

We took our seats around the gigantic table lusting over the divine crockery and gorgeous design before deciding on our unlimited tea choices for the afternoon. I opted for English breakfast tea as I am not very adventurous and prefer a simple and understated tea as opposed to a fruity one. Then our glorious stands of food arrived with three layers of finger sandwiches, scones and the petit fours of the day. The sandwiches were egg mayonnaise and cress, poached chicken with lemon and thyme mayonnaise, smoked salmon with beetroot creme fraiche and Wiltshire ham with wholegrain mustard. Most of us weren't blown away by the sandwich flavours but the cakes made up for this. 

Next layer up was filled with a selection of scones with the mandatory clotted cream and preserves which were divine and a strong favourite among the group. Finally the petit fours which were my personal favourite - a selection including shortbread, strawberry cupcakes, lemon drizzle cake a chocolate and coffee cake. All the cakes and sandwiches are made fresh on the day so you get a different variety each time which I think is quite refreshing. 

If you celebrating anything special or just fancy a treat I would highly recommend this opulent venue which really boasts the best decor I have seen for a very long time. With reasonable prices and friendly, relaxed staff I look forward to returning in the evening for some cocktails with the girls. 


Monday, May 16

Barry M Coconut Infusion

Barry M have recently released a new collection of nail polishes which feature a blend of Coconut water and Coconut oil which gently hydrate the nails whilst nourishing at the same time. You only need to use two coats to create a silky, smooth and glossy finish - the ultimate manicure perfect for Summer. The polish's themselves are enriched with strengthening benefits which mean the colours are long lasting with fluid coverage and a healthier looking finish. 

There are 9 shades in the range including a range of nudes, a vivid orange, a vibrant pink and a pastel lilac. Although I love the bright shades I am not too keen on the browns. I find they are all quite similar so I would have much preferred more of a variety in these colours. The formula of the polishes is one of the best I have tried! You do not need to use a base or a top coat as the polishes themselves help to infuse and hydrate the nails and the glossy finish means no top coat is needed. They dry super speedily- literally 2 minutes and it was bone dry which was quite amazing after two coats. I had these on my nails for five days during my holiday and I barely had to reapply as this didn't chip too easily either. 

Overall I am very impressed with this collection and although I can't measure the hydrating qualities contained within the formula, I have noticed my nails have become more nourished and are in better condition so I only have Barry M to thank for that. You can pick the range up from Boots or Superdrug for £4.99 each. 


Thursday, May 12

My Top Lush Bath Products

If you have followed my blog for a while you will know that a have a huge teeny tiny obsession with Lush. I'm pretty sure I have well over 50 bath bombs (that's not even an over exaggeration)! So today I thought I would talk you through some of my absolute favourite bath products.

The Comforter bubble bar is one of my all time favourites as I find the scent both comforting and calming. The bergamot oil and cassis absolute combine to make a bubblegum like scent which lingers on the skin. I find you can break this up and use stretch its life due to its size. Ultraviolet is another bubble bar-this time from their 2015 Mother's Day collection. The bar features a combination of Ylang Ylang oil, Violet Leaf, Jasmine Absolute and Rosewood creating a very natural, floral scent. I find this to be so uplifting and relaxing and I am absolutely heartbroken I have no more.. *sobs*. Maybe Lush will bring it back next year!!

Next up are a bath bomb and a bubble bar from their 2015 Valentines range. It was love at first use with the Floating Flower bath bomb... so much so I ran out and purchased about 10 of these before the collection was discontinued! The bomb itself has a heavy Jasmine aroma and it looks stunning as it floats around the surface of your bath in a swirl of pinks, blues, yellows and greens. The scent lasts the entire time and your skin feels incredibly nourished and soft afterwards. Unicorn Horn is on everyone's favourites list I am sure because of its aesthetically pleasing appearance. The bar has a subtle Lavender scent which is not overpowering in the slightest and it works wonders on your body and mind creating a calming and soothing experience. 

Butterbear Ballistic is from their Christmas collection and has a rich vanilla scent with a slight hint of chocolate. Although this bomb is one of the smaller one's lush have released, it is designed to add extra essential oils and butter to the skin to provide deep moisture. The cocoa butter softens the water leaving your skin super nourished for such an affordable price. Candy Mountain has a gorgeous vanilla, candy-floss like scent which perfectly satisfies my sweet tooth. The scent lingers on the skin for hours and the melt turns your bath into a pink princess bath filled to the brim with soft, fluffy bubbles. I love how cleansed and silky soft my skin feels afterwards...its just a shame this is only available for such a short amount of time each year.  

Finally my last favourite is the old school Granny Takes a Dip ballistic before it was changed into a bubble bar. I love the vivid layers of colour and the unique peppery, lemon scent which reminds me slightly of sherbet. This bomb is so dramatic to watch-swirling around creating a vivid rainbow of pattern and foam with it lasting around ten minutes before completely fizzing out. 

It upsets me that most of my favourite bath products are now discontinued or only around for a few weeks a year. But, once I have used up my mammoth sized collection, I am excited to try out some new pieces and discover some new favourites which are easier to get hold of. 

Sunday, May 8

Rosie for Autograph Makeup

2016 see's my rose gold obsession deepen. January saw Rosie Huntington Whiteley launch her full make-up collection for Autograph cosmetics I just knew I had to get my hands on some bits and pieces. The collection is designed to be easy to use, modern make-up classics with the seal of approval from the supermodel and goddess herself. There is a focus upon more neutral hues with the collection consisting mainly of pinks, browns, creams and soft metallics. I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable the range is...and with so much to choose from Rosie has made sure there is something for everyone.  Plus the gorgeous engraved, rose gold packaging, makes for the most instagrammable make up collection ever. 

After using a lot of self-restraint not to buy the whole collection, I managed to decide upon three everyday staples; a cream blush in the shade Camisole, a eyeshadow palette in the shade Copper Gold Rush and a lipstick in the shade Silk Rose. The blush is a cream to powder formula which is perfect for leaving a dewy finish on the skin. I prefer more of a natural colour to my cheeks so I picked up one of the more neutral shades. This blends beautifully leaving a gorgeous natural glow which is fairly longlasting.

The eyeshadow palette contains four shades: a matt medium grey brown which I use to define my crease; a burgundy red with hints of brown in a pearl finish (my favourite of the four); a dark brown shade perfect for smoking up the eye, again in a pearl finish, and finally a light gold shimmer perfect for highlighting the inner corners. The shadows themselves aren't as pigmented as I would have liked but I've found with a good primer there is little fall out and the shadows are very blendable and creamy with buildable application. I absolutely love the vintage feel to this palette. The engraved rose combined with the sleek and slimline packaging is irresistible. I am currently so obsessed the with burgundy red and can't stop wearing it. 

The final, and my favourite piece of the three is one of the lipsticks. The range consists of pinky nudes, deep rosy shades and classic reds. The shade I picked out being more of a dark nude which is perfect for my skin tone. Each lipstick is infused with argan oil meaning they are incredibly comfortable to wear leaving the lips feeling soft and smooth. The cream formula wears off evenly however, I am pleasantly surprised at the longevity and colour payout of this formula. I barely had to re-apply this all day (which is a first!). Plus the magnetic close is super luxurious and ensures no messy marks all over your make up bag!

Overall, I am so impressed with the pieces I picked up and so surprised at how versatile and accommodating the entire collection is. It's amazing to see a collaboration which accommodates for all ages and skin types, with a focus on exceptional quality without a extravagant price tag to match. Plus everything in the range is cruelty free, hypoallergenic and suitable for vegetarians - incredible! You can check out the whole 51 piece range online at Marks and Spencer here or some of my absolute must-haves below. 


Wednesday, May 4

7th Heaven Peel Off Masks

7th Heaven or as previously known Montagne Jeunesse are the ultimate girls night in essential. You can pick them up from Boots, Superdrug, Primark and most supermarkets for about £1 a pack and they have a range of different types available. I have to say I'm not the biggest fan of sheet masks as I find them too oversized for my face and quite gloopy and messy. Recently, however, I have really been enjoying their range of peel off masks.

The concept is pretty simple; you apply an even layer of the light cooling gel all over your face, grab a cuppa, and plonk yourself in front of youtube for about 20 minutes or until the mask has dried completely. Then gently tease up the mask from the jawline and peel upwards - this takes approximately a minute providing the mask is completely dry and is both mess and pain free. Peel off masks are a gentler way of removing dead skin cells rather than using harsh and abrasive scrubs. After using these masks your skin is so, so, so soft and pure, you can really feel the difference in your skin and you can see the dead skin cells on the mask afterwards. Plus with the added bonus of the subtle fruity smell there really isn't a bad word to say about these masks.
If you`re in need of a deep cleanse and don't like the mess mud masks make I would highly recommend this as for only £1 you really cannot go wrong at all. There are seven different types available on their website including some of my favourites - Black Seaweed, Green Tea and Passion. Make sure you check them out below and let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 1

Starskin Foaming Peel Perfection Puff

Starskin® is not a brand I had ever heard of before. That is, until I received two products in the Selfridges Summer beauty box last year. After a little research I discovered they are a skincare brand originating from the Netherlands and specialising in bio-cellulose sheet masks and nourishing body treatments. The foaming peel perfection puff is part of their soft peeling program which actually won the 2016 Beauty Shortlist Awards for best exfoliant. I have found that most exfoliating scrubs and peels I have tried are far too harsh on my skin and often leave it feeling red raw, dehydrated and irritated. This AHA infused puff is a real game changer and exactly what I have been looking for.

The puff comes sealed in a metallic packet which you rip open, add a splash of water and lather up before using on the face. The puff itself is infused with carrot, broccoli, turnip and tomato extracts which gently buff away dead skin cells leaving a glowing complexion. After a couple of seconds a rich lather is created which helps to gently slough away dead skin and impurities leaving an even, brighter skin tone. The sponge is not rough or abrasive at all and although you can feel that it is doing something, it is not painful or irritating. The sponge is actually designed for three uses - although you could probably stretch it for a few more. For hygiene reasons alone replaced mine after the recommended three uses. 

You can pick these up from Selfridges or ASOS and they are so affordable at only £7, plus they keep pretty well so you don't have to worry about using them within a few days. I use this puff about once a week to really clear my pores out and even up my skin tone and afterwards it feels like I've had a facial from the comfort of my own home. Starskin have a variety of different products in the range including a foot mask, hand masks and eye masks. I will definitely be picking some of these up with my next order. Have you tried any of the glowstar range?
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