Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Bath and Body : Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Set

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Set

I have amassed a large collection of bath products which is certainly going to last at least half a year! I have divided the collection in to two sections. Most things in my bathroom cupboard is for daily us and I've got some special, luxurious treats stored away for a ~proper~ serious, no-messing-about bath times. 

My sister and brother-in-law knew how much I loved the Laura Mercier Golden Honey Musk bath set that she bought me for Christmas, so she got me some full sized products for my birthday. It was a nice surprise because I didn't ask for anything in particular and the two presents are certainly really special!

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut honey bath

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Honey Bath

The Almond Coconut Milk Honey Bath smells SO good, although don't hold it up too close to your nose because it is a really strongly scented! It actually smells a lot like Amaretto but both the sweet almond and coconut milk are prominent in equal measures, with notes of vanilla, musk and shea butter coming through. 

Laura Mercier's Honey Baths come with a wooden dipper so you can swirl the honey out of the glass jar and run it under the tap to create the bubbles. Swirling around the honey is weirdly satisfying. You need about three scoops to get a nice amount of bubbles but as I said in my previous Laura Mercier review, I tend to use one or two swirls of the honey bath and then add a small chunk of a LUSH bubble bar.

As it contains shea butter, rice, oat proteins and Pro-Vitamin B-5, it should leave your skin feeling soft and pampered! The honey bath's are a must-try for anyone who loves having bubble baths! Or if you're ever stuck on a present to buy for someone, I highly recommend this!

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut sugar scrub

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Sugar Scrub

This scrub reminds me of a Chinese dessert which is made of almond milk! The sugar scrub is thick and creamy, it smells and looks good enough to eat! It is a gooey consistency containing plenty of natural sugar crystals, almond and coconut shell, and coconut pulp to buff and polish your skin for a brighter, more radiant glow. 

It is a rich, moisturising formula so you'll only need to use a bit each time. It comes with a plastic scoop so no worries on the hygiene front. One scoopful is more than enough to polish all over your body, paying particular attention to elbows, knees and heels.

The scent from this scrub lasts on your skin for hours so if you're not too keen on sweet scented body products, this one is not for you. However, if you want to smell like a lovely bunch of coconuts, give this gorgeous, indulgent sugar scrub a go! I'll be using this to help prep and smooth my skin for Summer!

Have you tried anything from the Laura Mercier bath and body range? If so, what's your favourite product and what scent do you recommend I try next?


Monday, 2 March 2015

The Fear Of Turning 30...

rainbow cake,

February was a really funny one for me. It didn't really go very well but I've plodded on the best that I can! The highlights included meeting up with a uni friend and we went back to Newcastle for the day where we both spent four years as students. For my birthday, we went to see Dirty Dancing at the theatre for my birthday (it was amazing!!) but in general, it was a slow month that seemed to drag on! I sure am glad it's March now!

February was a bit of a struggle! The short version is that February is my birthday month and I had been stressing out about turning 30 for ages. I have found it quite difficult. You know, that dreaded feeling of it creeping up, and it makes you reflect on how quickly life has gone so far, and suddenly feel that time was ticking and it will soon run out.

In the lead up of my birthday, the anxiety got the best of me! I wondered why I wasn't at the same stage as all of my friends are at (getting married, having children, buying a house - the usual expectation from "society") and I felt like a big fat failure for not having those boxes ticked by now. It's not like I even want those things right now, why was it even bothering me?!
audrey hepburn illustration, audrey hepburn, ohgoshcindy

In my head, turning 30 is a big frickin' deal, especially when you don't feel like you've got things figured out yet and you feel a real sense of pressure. And I've come to realise that that's totally normal. It's ok - take a deep breath. There's nothing wrong with you. 

I suddenly began to notice all the articles about turning 30 crop up on my blogger dashboard, Twitter and Facebook. After having a think, I have realised that there's more to life than ticking boxes. We can break the rules and colour outside the lines. Those are the people I am most inspired by and I need to hold on to that.

Anyway - my panicking lead to some "long chats" about where life was going and what our end goal was. I didn't get the "everything is going to be ok" response I was expecting, but that's totally fine! If you want something to happen, you've got to do it yourself. I'm not going to lie, I did panic a little more but I quickly picked myself back up again. I'm not getting any younger, the stress is only cause my face to shrivel up and my hair to go grey!!
inspirational quote
For the past two weeks, I've been applying for jobs and I'm planning to move 270 odd miles away to London as soon as I know what I'm doing. I can't tell how scared I am, I'm absolutely petrified. Everything I've known for the past ten years is going to change soon. But things have happened very quickly as a few exciting things have cropped up and I've not had time to think. I can always go back "home" if I don't like it but I'm going to give this a try, at least (and it's only two and half hours on the train so I can come back up to see my lovely Bonnie and Oscar once a month!) It's stressful because there's so much to do and I don't feel ready to move, but to be honest, I'm never going to feel ready. I'm making a snap decision but a life-changing one, and I've just got to do it. There's no time like the present. Life is too short and I need to get shit done!!

Oh, and you know what...

Everything IS going to be ok. ❤️


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Birchbox UK : March 2015

birchbox march 2015, birchbox

Birchbox* March 2015

Birchbox are the only beauty sample box I receive now and I still find it exciting to receive them each month! Whilst a lot of them have let their quality slip, Birchbox is the one that has stayed true to the concept of offering their customers a chance to try luxury or niche brands. You can read my previous Birchbox blogposts and see for yourself!

birchbox march 2015, birchbox, birchbox and habitat

Themed boxes are always a brilliant idea to jazz things up and get customers interested again. How super gorgeous is the design of the box? In the March 2015 edition of Birchbox UK, they have partnered with Habitat. The link between the products and Habitat is not strong, but I think the fact that this isn't necessarily an obvious collaboration is what makes it so good. It's different but it totally works. But I know what you're think probably thinking, though... How does a beauty brand work alongside a homeware company? Well, it's almost that time of year to have a Spring clean and that might also mean re-arranging, re-organise or re-order your home. And that's where Habitat comes in to play! One of the best things about having a Spring clean is putting things in order and having your best products/accessories/homeware out on display. Courtesy of Birchbox, I have got a few new products to place on my dressing table!

beauty blogger uk, uk beauty blog

Philip Kingsley Smooth Cream
If you have frizzy, curly or coarse hair, you might be interested in the Philip Kingsley Smooth Cream. This styling product smooths the surface of hair and control flyaways in a similar to hairgel except this cream won't make your hair look wet, greasy or crispy. It feels really natural and you can't even tell that it's there. A lot of my hair on the top of my head has been snapping off so I'll be using this Smooth Cream to keep them down! The sample I received is a miniature tube but the full size version is £18.

Janjira Pomegranate and Acai Facial Scrub Cleanser
I've never heard of this luxury beauty brand before, but I'm always up for trying a new cleanser! Janjira Facial Scrub Cleanser contains anti-ageing inredients, fruit extracts and Vitamin E, and it has small exfoliating particles to scrub away dead skin cells which results in a brighter and cleaner complexion. I have checked out Janjira's website and I like the look of the products! The sample tube will probably has a week's worth of use but I might repurchase if I like it. (Skincare junkie alert!)

TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil
This mini bottle isn't going to be enough to go all over your body, but I might apply to my legs to test it (and if it goes wrong, I can just wear jeans or tights until it fades!). It smells very orange-y in the bottle but the smell fades once the oil has been rubbed in to skin. It's a runny, watery oil that's light and absorbs easily. I've put a few drops on to the back of my hand but I can't see much of a change (yet). 

catherine malandrino style de paris

Catherine Malandrino Style De Paris Perfume
I'm not usually a fan of the perfume samples but every now and then, a discover a new fragrance that I really like. Birchbox has done good with this one because I LOVE IT! From the packaging, the Catherine Malandrino Style De Paris perfume is totally different from what I was expecting. It's a really gorgeous, sweet citrus fragrance that reminds me of the Lady Gaga perfume. This is a Birchbox exclusive which means you can only buy it via Birchbox. 

benefit roller lash, benefit cosmetics roller lash

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara
I blogged about Benefit's Roller Lash a few weeks ago so if you'd like to know more, hop over to my review! It's such a hyped up launch and I have been interested to hear what other people think. Birchbox are actually offer new subscribers the chance to pick which Benefit mascara they'd like to try, the choices are between Roller Lash, They're Real, and BADgal. 

Bonus Items
In the March edition of Birchbox, there are two extra items which means that the box contains seven items in total. There's a stylish red notebook and a couple of chapters of a book by Penny Vincenzi, which I'm looking forward to reading! It seems like quite a random item to put in a beauty box but Birchbox promises that the story is set in the beauty industry.

To sign up for this (and to pick your Benefit Mascara sample), please visit Birchbox for more details. It cost £10 (+£2.95 for P&P) per month. I've heard through the grapevine there will be a limited edition Tatler box in April, and will include a Laura Mercier sample!


Friday, 27 February 2015

The Best Bronzers For Spring

best bronzing powders, best bronzers

Oh boy, do I need a tan! I have been relying on bronzers lately to add a bit of colour back in to my skin. I am relatively new to bronzers and have only started using them in the past twelve months, but I believe I have already found my favourites!

I feel like there's a skill to using to bronzers which I've yet to get the hang of but both Benefit's Hoola and Liz Earle Radiant Glow Bronzer are so simple to use, it easy to achieve the natural, tanned, streak-free look. I'm currently using a blush brush as I have an extra one, but it's quite tiny. I am looking to buy a proper bronzing brush as it will make things easier so if you have any recommendations, send them my way!

best bronzing powders, best bronzers

I find it difficult to find the right one because it can be too glittery, too dark, too orange, or difficult to blend. So the reason why I'm holding on to these two as my favourites is because of how natural it looks and how long it lasts. I really couldn't pick whittle is down to my ultimate favourite between Benefit's Hoola* (£23.50) and Liz Earle's Radiant Glow Bronzer* (£19.50) because both have different qualities, I'm going to so much use out of them over the Spring and Summer time!

benefit hoola bronzer, benefit bronzer, best bronzing powder

Hoola is a single tone which comes in one shade and has a matte finish. When I first opened it, I was put off by how dark it looks in the box but if you're not too heavy handed with it, it will pick up just the right amount of powder enough to give your face a lovely, even, sun-kissed look. 

There isn't a bad word to say about this bronzing powder and I can see why it is the number 1 best selling bronzer in the UK. However, the only negative thing I will say about it is that I prefer powders to be in circular packaging so it's a bit annoying that the box is square. It comes with a brush which is a rectangular shape which is great for contouring, but I can't use it properly when I'm applying the powder all over my face, it doesn't go on as evenly as I'd like. But I am really just nitpicking with these two points, it doesn't detract from the fact that this is a great bronzer! I did a full review of Hoola here.

liz earle radiant glow bronzer, liz earle bronzer, best bronzing powder

If you prefer something with a bit of shimmer, look no further! Liz Earle have created THE MOST PERFECT BRONZER! I'm someone who tends to stay away from shimmery powders but the Radiant Glow Bronzer adds a gentle highlighting effect without it being overly sparkly. I've been using this recently, just a couple of sweeps over my face to put some colour back in to it! It a silky powder which blends evenly. With four tones, this bronzer is suitable for fair skin because the overall shade is pretty well-balanced. It's a really nice, subtle powder that's also buildable and at £19.50, it's cheaper than Benefit's Hoola too. I highly recommend this to anyone, it is really lovely product!

Even though I love both of these bronzers, I would love to add a couple more to my collection so if you have any recommendations, leave them in the comment! Please also feel free to recommend a good bronzing brush too, I need one in my life!

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