Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Omorovicza Luxury Samples: Thermal Cleansing Balm, Deep Cleansing Mask & Intensive Hydra-Lifting Cream

I was recently sent some Omorovicza Luxury samples* to try and review. You can see my review of the Gold Hydrating Hydralift Mask here.

Thermal Cleansing Balm 5ml* (£46 for 50ml) - I've used this deliciously scented cleansing balm before and loved it. A black balm which you massage into the entire face and neck before removing with a damp warmed muslin cloth. Removes all make up and impurities leaving the skin clean and refreshed.  Suitable for all skin types.

Deep Cleansing Mask 5ml* (£57 for 50ml) - this mask clears congested areas and deep cleanses the skin.  It is suitable for dry, oily and combination skin types. I've been using it on my T-Zone and have found it to brighten and clear my skin.  Apply onto required areas of face and neck, leave on for 15-20 minutes and remove with a warmed damp muslin cloth. It can also be used as a overnight spot treatment. I loved this mask.

Intensive Hydra-Lifting Cream 5ml* (£130 for 50ml) - a super luxe cream which is easily absorbed and as you apply it you can feel it lifting the skin! It plumps, firms and lifts leaving the skin feeling hydrated and comfortable. Suitable for all skin types. Apply to face and neck. Can be used daily.

Omorovicza have offered my readers a very special treat!

Get 20% off until the end of April

Use code 'beautybalm' at checkout

See the website here

*PR samples

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Little Treats #2

I've been enjoying using samples and trial sizes lately - you can see Little Treats #1 - here.

Trilogy Everything Balm 5ml -  this rich and aromatic multi-purpose balm is great for everything! You can use it on dry skin patches, to tame flyaway hair, on hands and cuticles, elbows, knees, feet, lips and as a natural skin care balm for baby.  Stuffed full of good things for the skin - Certified Organic Marula Oil and Rosehip Oil, Jojoba, Olive, Honey & Vitamin E.  Great for travel too as it does "everything"!

Melvita Apicosma Repairing Lip Balm 5g - a rich and softening lip balm which is enriched with Argan Oil, Shea Butter and Beeswax. It nourishes, repairs and protects dry lips.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Souffle Body Creme 25g - I received this from my friend Julie in our Birthday swap (blog post on it coming soon - she spoiled me rotten!). This seriously smells good enough to eat! It envelopes the body in a rich and creamy vanilla scent.  Pure luxury!

de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm sample - this came from Content's excellent sample service - see more details here and here.  A deliciously rich balm which removes all make up and daily grime easily.  It contains Manuka, Kukui, Calendula and Moringa oils which nourish and deep cleanse with a scent of Honey Myrtle, Fragonia, Chamomile and Rose Geranium.  You've guessed it full size is now firmly planted on my wishlist!

Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil sample - one of the most gorgeous face oils I've ever used!  An intensive overnight treatment which smells simply heavenly. Contains BioOrganic 100% pure botanicals which absorb instantly to hydrate and regenerate the skin.  Scented with Neroli, Lavender, Rose and Mandarin. Awaken in the morning with dewy and radiant skin.

Have you used any of these?

Monday, 14 April 2014

Organic Surge Extra Care Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser

This is the first product in Organic Surge's Extra-Care Anti-Ageing range and I can quite honestly say it is fabulous!  The whole range will be launched in May.

A rich cream scented with roses (it contains orange peel oil, geranium flower oil, star anise oil, damask rose oil, aloe vera juice, shea and cocoa butters).

Apply to dry skin (1-2 pumps will easily do the face and neck) and massage into skin to loosen and dissolve daily grime and make up.  Remove with a warm damp cloth. The skin is left clean, refreshed and radiant.

This is one of my favourite hot cloth cleansers - it has a real feel good scent and it is very effective at removing make up and grime and leaving the skin clean and feeling moisturised, never tight.  It also retails for the very cost conscious price of £12.50 for 150ml.

Free from parabens, SLS and synthetic colours and fragrance.

Have you tried this cleanser? Pick it up here.

*PR sample

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Lunch at Castle Terrace Restaurant, Edinburgh

On Thursday, me and hubby went for my birthday lunch to Castle Terrace Restaurant which is run by Chef Patron, Dominic Jack.

Dominic trained at Telford College in Edinburgh and his first job was at Gleneagles Hotel where he met fellow chef and friend, Tom Kitchin.  His career has taken him all over the world to many Michelin starred restaurants. He returned to Edinburgh in 2008, to work with Tom Kitchin at The Kitchin and in July 2010 Dominic became Chef Patron of Castle Terrace which was awarded a Michelin Star in October 2011.

We started with delicious canapes - salt cod barbajuan, caper & cumin burger and caesar salad (which was a lettuce flavoured sphere filled with caesar dressing which exploded with flavour in the mouth). Some of the best and most interesting canapes I've ever tasted.

An amuse bouche followed, of Baked Potato and cheese soup, which tasted exactly like a baked potato!

The bread came in it's own tartan cozy and was warm from the oven and tasted delicious (as well as being very moreish).

As it was my birthday, Chef surprised us with an additional course. Such a treat!  I had Newhaven Crab served with apple and hazelnut with an apple foam which was fresh, sweet and delicious and David had Salmon Tartare served sushi style.

Our starters were - for me, Gurnard tartare with Asian salad which was very fresh tasting and light (and a bit out of my comfort zone - but I loved it!) David had Lamb which was barbequed and braised served with chick pea, coriander and red pepper.

Just before our main course we were invited to sit at Chef's table in the kitchen which was such a surprise and a fascinating experience! It was great to watch the buzz and theatre of the kitchen. We were treated to Chicken starter which contained free range Cornfed chicken with a light curry Castle Terrace Style.

We both chose main course of pork - a fillet of Ayrshire pork with braised fennel, smoked aubergine puree and basil gnocchi.  It was one of the best main courses I've ever eaten.

Dessert was Rum Baba with passionfruit and citrus for David and I had Vanilla Creme Brulee which was smooth, creamy and studded with vanilla pod.

I also was surprised with cake!

Petit Fours (truly stuffed by this point but couldn't resist) - mini coconut macarons, salted carmel chocolate eggs and mini carrot cakes.

We were shown the bar menu with coffee and David decided he must have a Half Pint Flip - made with Chocolate Stout, Bourbon, Cherry Marnier, Maple syrup, whole egg and Walnut bitters.  He was also pleased to learn that it's possible just to turn up and have a drink at the bar too.

Staff were attentive and friendly and we had a really great dining experience - one of the best ones we've ever had. Can't wait to go back!

Three course at lunchtime is £28.50
Three matching wines £24.50

See the website here
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Saturday, 12 April 2014

A Closer Look: Hand Creams

I simply love hand creams and currently have a pretty healthy stash!  You can see what I had in my stash previously here.  I can honestly say it has just over doubled! Oops.

Lancome Nutrix Royal Mains Intense Nourishing & Restoring Hand Cream 100ml - a super rich and luxe cream which smells gorgeous and leaves the hands feeling deeply moisturised.

Barefoot Botanicals Rosa Fina anti-ageing Hand and Nail Cream 50ml - I reviewed this hand cream here. This product has been discontinued and the brand has been re-launched as Barefoot SOS. The hand cream can still be purchased on Amazon or Feel Unique.

Chandler Farm Lavender Hand Creme 88.7ml* - this came in the Vegan Cuts box I reviewed recently see here. A rich cream scented with lavender. I like to use this just before bed.

sk:n Anti-Ageing Hand Cream 50ml - a nice cream which moisturises the hands and nails leaving them with a light floral scent.

Neal's Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Hand Cream 50ml - this was a magazine freebie a while back. A great hand cream scented with orange which helps save the bees. 

Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand & Nail Cream 75ml - smells of honey and deeply moisturises the hands and nails. One of my all time favourites.

Mavala Hand Cream 30ml - this came in a gift pack. Deeply moisturises hands and nails.

Lj's Natural Solutions Soothing Organic Handbag Hand Lotion 60ml - a lotion scented with Lavender, Rosewood and Ylang Ylang essential oils.  See my review here.

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Hand Creme 30g - this one smells lush! I keep this one in my handbag for moisturising on the go!

Neom Inspiration Violet, Chamomile & Cedarwood Organic Hand Cream 50ml & Neom Complete Bliss Moroccan Blush Rose Organic Hand Cream 50ml - love both these. My all time favourite hand cream.  See my review of Complete Bliss here.

Conscious Skincare Soothing Hand Cream for Hard Working Hands 50ml* - a deliciously rich cream which is perfect for use after gardening.  See my review here.

Living Nature Nourishing Hand Cream 50ml* - one of my current favourite hand creams. One I'll definitely purchase when I reduce my stash.  See my review here.

Dr Organic Rose Otto Hand & Nail Cream 125ml - love everything I've tried from this cost conscious organic brand. Smells gorgeous and is lovely to use. Another one I'll definitely re-purchase.

Apivita Moisturising Hand Cream with Aloe & Honey 50ml* - this has a light texture and smells gorgeous.  See my mini review here.

Have you used any of these?  What's your favourite hand creams?  Do you have an addiction to hand creams like me?

*PR samples

Friday, 11 April 2014

Content Limited Edition Love Collection

Since trying a sample of De Mamiel Rosey Lip Balm it's been on my ever expanding wishlist. Hubby bought me this little set from Content Beauty & Wellbeing for part of my birthday and I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing while unwrapping!  A great little set.  Pick it up here.

It contains:

De Mamiel Rosey Lip Balm (full size) - a rich and deliciously scented lip balm which moisturises the lips leaving them smelling of roses. I'm so pleased to now have this little beauty in my stash!

Therapie Roques O'Neill Cherish Skin Repair Body Serum (30ml) - I'm already a huge fan of this skin nourishing serum. It leaves the body and mind feeling cherished! The aromatics used make the serum smell gorgeous but they also heal, regenerate, tone and moisturise.

Lotus Wei Infinite Love Energy Mist (mini) - contains therapeutic essential oils and flower remedies which helps you feel love. Excited to try as I've wanted to try something from this brand for a while. You can mist it over your face, shoulders, your sheets, your room and it can help during stressful times.

Content Love Letter Tea (10g - enough for 8 cups of tea) - this tea comes in a cute little vintage style envelope and is a blend of rose petals, bilberry fruit, linden flower and lemon verbena.

One Love Organics a Little Love Pack (contains 5 samples) - I've tried these before and enjoyed them. Will pack them away for an overnight trip.

Tata Harper Love Potion Organic Perfume (sample) - I'm a huge Tata Harper fan. This scent is 100% natural and contains ten of the world's most potent aphrodisiac essential oils.  It boosts your sense of self, is anxiety reducing and mood boosting.

Sacred Chocolate Raw Cacao Heart - raw chocolate which is hand poured and wrapped with love and gratitude.  This one includes medicinal mushrooms and has a woody and earthy flavour - I'll let you know what I think once I try it!

I also received a couple of sachet samples and a 10% off card.

Have you shopped at Content Beauty & Wellbeing before?  Have you used any of these products?

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Day Off: It's my Birthday

I'm having a wee day off blogging today as it's my birthday :)

I may be having a few of these today!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Emily Faulkner Greeting Cards

I recently picked up some Emily Faulkner Greetings Cards (blank for your own message). Aren't they so pretty.  See Emily's shop here.

As well as cards Emily sells prints, typography, watercolour and sketched map images and is available for portraiture and wedding photography.

She is based in County Durham and recently set up her business selling her gorgeous photographs of nature and nature walks.  You can see the full range here.

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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Margaret's Blanket Aromatherapy Travel Candle: Geranium & Rosewood

I added this candle to my ever expanding wishlist way back in #NoBuyJanuary - see here

Scented with Geranium and Rosewood essential oils - it smells gorgeous! I'm a huge fan of geranium which is good for calming and relaxing.  The candles are made with vegetable wax, beeswax and pure Essential Oils. 

The candle costs £10.50 for 120ml with free UK P&P. I love the simple, chic and stylish packaging and think it would make a great gift.  The candle is also available in Frankincense. Mags also makes pretty and useful relaxing eye pillows. There are more product in the pipeline too!

Margaret's Blanket was set up by Mags Brennan at her dairy farm in County Antrim in Northern Ireland.  Products are hand made in small batches using the very best natural and sustainable raw materials.  Mags also writes a fab blog which you can see here.

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Monday, 7 April 2014


Thanks to everyone for their kind words when our dog Bess was put to sleep last month.  I wanted to share some of my favourite photos of her - some are just snaps we'd taken but others which were taken by Cheryl at Edinburgh Dog Photography last April.

Bess was our loyal and faithful friend who we so dearly miss.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lina Hanson Global Body Serum

After my January spending ban I treated myself to Lina Hanson's Global Body Serum (100ml - £50).  See my post here.

100% natural the serum is made using the highest quality natural and organic ingredients and is hand blended in small batches. The scent is uplifting making it perfect to use after your morning shower. The serum helps to relieve dry skin, improve elasticity and circulation.  It contains 10 of the world's most powerful and exotic superoils.

To use: shake the bottle before applying to damp or dry skin. Non-greasy it absorbs quickly leaving the body super moisturised and lightly scented.

It's one of the most luxurious products I've ever used and I'd highly recommend it. It smells divine and deeply moisturises the skin.  It's one of my favourite products so far this year.

It contains Marula, Baobab, Camellia Seed, Argan, Brazil Nut, Pumpkin Seed, Rice Bran, Apricot Kernal, Yuzu and Avocado Oils which nourish, protect, hydrate and are rich in anti-oxidants.  Scented with Mandarin, Neroli, Frankincense, Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla and Pink Grapefruit. These essential oils rejuvenate, balance, moisturise, help with cellulite and heal.

The essential oils are sourced in Morocco, South Africa, India, Tunisia, Japan and Peru.  

There is no animal testing, parabens, artificial fragrances, silicones and petrochemicals used in the products.  

Lina Hanson is a celebrity make up artist born and raised in Sweden where eco-conscious living is a way of life. She moved to New York to train as a make up artist and is now one of Hollywood's top make up artists and a natural beauty expert.  Her first product is Global Face Serum.

Have you used either of Lina's products?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A Closer Look: Body Butters

Here is my collection of body butters:

Bare Innocence Jasmine & Orange Cocoa & Shea Butter 100ml* - a rich and supermoisturising butter which smells gorgeous. Great for dry skin.  See my review here.

raw gaia Coconut Body Butter 90g - simply love this rich coconut scented body butter.  See my review here.

Melvita APICOSMA Body Ultra Nourishing Body Balm 150ml - a rich balm which is scented with honey and packed full of nourishing butters and oils. First tried it in the British Beauty Blogger Edit Box and loved it!

Just Be Nourished Body Butter 200ml - a delicious rich butter scented with Rose and Frankincense.  See my review here.

Blipster Magic Peppermint Bark Whipped Body Butter* - a minty butter handmade by Amy. See my review here.

Kris D'Amour Rejuvenating Body Treatment Butter 100ml* - a lovely butter which melts into the skin leaving it soft and lightly scented.  See my review here.

Laidbare Butter Me Up 250ml - a rich cream rather than a butter heavenly scented with Jasmine.  See my review here.

Wellgreen Lewes Rose Body Butter 70g - one of the most decadent body butters I've ever used.  See my review here.

Lyonsleaf Natural Body Butter 120ml* - a rich and 100% natural body butter which super moisturises the skin.  See my review here.

Carishea Shea Scot Whipped Body Balm 100ml* - a gorgeous rich butter scented with Lavender and Honey. See my review here.

Have you used any of these?  What's your favourite body butter?

*PR samples

Friday, 4 April 2014

Cult Beauty Purchases: Kai, rms beauty & Astalift

Cult Beauty just last weekend offered an amazing gift with purchase.  I had the products in my shopping cart then out my shopping cart and then in again and so I ended up breaking my spending ban big style!

My parcel arrived yesterday and I am delighted with it. It felt so good getting some new beauty bits.  Back on the ban now (apart from a few birthday buys) and a wee re-sub to Souk Souk (my favourite beauty box)

I picked up my favourite Kai roll-on which is expensive but I love it.  I've mentioned it a few times on the blog and it featured in my March empties. So an essential purchase.

I tried the rms beauty 'un' cover up via a sample from Content Beauty & Wellbeing - see here.  Loved it so much I bought the full size.

To bring my order up to the required spend for the free gift I chose a single use Intense Replumping Moisture Mask from Astalift. The packaging is gorgeous and it would make a great gift or stocking filler.

With all orders of £40 you can choose three free samples. I only chose two as there wasn't a huge choice left - Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint (Glow) and Embryolisse Nourishing Moisturiser.

Onto the gift! It's an absolutely fab collection of goodies.

mio Workout Wonder - invigorating muscle motivating gel 30ml

Eve Lom Age-Defying Smoothing Treatment x 4 single doses

Erno Laszlo phelityl pre-cleansing oil 15ml

Aestelance Mud Mask 5ml

d.j.v. Beautenizer Volume Lash 8.2ml 

Therapie Joie Uplifting Bath Infusion 60g - (can't wait to try)

Le Soft Perfume Zazou Solid Perfume Stick 5g - full size

Cute Lipstick Queen branded cosmetic bag

Zelens 3t Complex Essential Anti-Ageing Cream 10ml

Collin Resultime Smoothing Resurfacing Mask 5ml

Alpha H Balancing & Pore Refining Mask with Jojoba 30ml

So you can see why my spending ban went off the rails! Super excited to try everything. Did you pick up the offer?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Little Treats #1

I've been enjoying trying out trial sizes, smaller sized products and samples lately and have found some I love!

Pulpe de Vie Lumiere Gourmande Moisturising Shimmering Body Milk 2 x 8ml sachets* - this is a pearly, shimmery body milk which is scented with fresh pink grapefruit.  It also contains olive phyto-squalane, yoghurt protein and skin nourishing oils.  This would be just perfect with a suntan and it smells superfruity, is moisturising and nice to use.

Neom Tranquility Bath Foam 50ml - makes for the most perfect relaxing bath scented with English Lavender, Sweet Basil and Jasmine.  Makes lots of foamy bubbles and is great to use as a pre-bed treat.

Miller Harris La Fumee & Fleur Oriential EDP both 1.6ml - La Fumee is my favourite! It smells of incense, woods and smokiness. I simply love it! Full size is going on my ever-expanding wishlist!  Fleur Oriential is headier and contains amber, vanilla, musk, orange blossom, carnation and Turkish Rose.  I found this one just a bit powdery on my skin and didn't like it as much as La Fumee.

Chain Bridge Honey Farm Tangerine Lip Balm 12g - Ana, from Ana Goes Green sent me this lip balm with a lovely wee note when we lost Bess our dog. Thanks Ana it really cheered me up and was so kind.  The lip balm is made with honey, beeswax, Almond oil, Honey oat oil, Vitamin E and Tangerine Essential oil and is 100% natural.  I'm a huge lip balm fan and this one is gorgeous! Chain Bridge Honey Farm sell lots of lovely goodies from honey to candles to beauty.  See the website here.

Have you tried any of these?

*PR sample