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 thing 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!

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.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Live in the Light: PureAnada Skincare

Prior to Christmas, Sue at Live in the Light sent me over some samples from PureAnada, a natural cosmetic line made in Canada. The range is new to me and is free from artificial fragrances, colours and preservatives.

I've been testing out two skincare items (and I used some of the make up items over the party season!)

The Cucumber & Aloe Eye Make Up Remover* (60ml - £17.50) gently removes all eye make up including stubborn waterproof mascara. The formula is non-greasy (so there's no film left over the eye area after use) and the light lotion is unscented.

To use: massage onto the eye area before swiping over with a cotton wool pad.

Their Revive Moisturizing Serum Co-Enzyme Q10 & Hyaluronic Acid* (60ml - £29.50) is my favourite from the duo. It absorbs instantly and has a pleasant lemon scent. Skin is rejuvenated, firmed and plumped. This serum is perfect for Mature and Dehydrated Skin types.

To use: apply AM/PM to the face and neck. Can be used alone or as a treatment after moisturising.

See the whole range available HERE - Also available to purchase on the website is the AnnMarieGianni range - which I reviewed HERE and HERE.


Monday, 2 January 2017

Soapsmith Chunky Handmade Soap Gift Set

During Black Friday I was tempted into a special deal at Soapsmith - I did manage to pick up a Christmas present but I also treated myself to their Chunky Handmade Soap Gift Set (£24 - 8 x 75g soaps) (whoops). As a #BlackFriday special (as well as money off & free postage) I also got a free full size bar of soap (which I gifted) and a little sample soap.

The soaps come in a beautiful branded box and there they are nestled inside. It would have made a nice gift...but I couldn't resist holding onto it!

Soapsmith was founded by Londoner, Samantha Jameson, a "self-confessed fragrance junkie" in 2012. She and her team have perfected traditional handcrafted soap-making, blending ingredients with natural oils, butters and "evocative" scents.

The bars of soap are named after real places in London and the range now contains body butter melts, lotions, bath soaks and body washes.

See the range of soaps HERE. I've only tried one so far - Baker Street which is a deliciously spicy cinnamon spiked bar with honey, oats, almonds and goat's milk which is reminiscent of freshly baked cakes. LOVE this one!

What's your favourite from the range?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New 2017!

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is a brilliant year for you!

I'm not making any New Year Resolutions this year (whew that's a weight off my mind!) With regards to the blog I've been posting nearly every day - which while working the day job I've found it can be quite stressful. I'm planning posts 4-5 days a week going forward.

Here are some of the products I'll be reviewing soon:

I'm also trying to spend less in January - I'll keep the couple of subscription boxes I currently subscribe to but buy no extras. I'm also doing the Good Reads Challenge again but aiming for 80 books (instead of 100).

Are you making any resolutions or setting any goals this year?

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Favourite Books 2016: July to December

Continuing with my favourite books of 2016 (you can see my picks for January to June HERE). 

In July, I read five books (link) and my favourites were:

In August, I read nine books (review) and these were my top picks:

In September, I read six books (link) and my top reads are:

Coming into October I read only four books! (link). My top read was:

In November, I read five books (link) and my top reads were:

In December, I read eleven books (link) and my favourites were:

What have been your favourite books this year?

*images from Good Reads

Friday, 30 December 2016

December Books

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

While you were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft - Tara Logan's husband is out of town and she has an innocent glass of wine or two with her neighbour, Lee. She wakes up naked in bed next to Lee who has been stabbed. She cant remember what happened the night before and dashes away from the house..

She decides not to tell anyone - her husband and family or the police. As they investigate her daughter Rosie is accused of the crime... I wanted to like this book as I've loved Kathryn's other books but I found it fairly far fetched and wasn't keen on a lot of the characters.

House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey - Madeleine Frost's relationship with controlling and creepy partner Liam is wearing her and her daughter Poppy down. She has to leave him and she ends up going to her estranged father who runs a hotel at beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. 

She meets an ex-marine, Bandit who works at the Hall and they slowly become friends. Maddie discovers a diary and they immerse themselves in the history of the house and it's inhabitants.

Liam however refuses to let her go and tragedies unfold which could only be his doing..  I loved the characters and storylines. A great read.

Slade House by David Mitchell - Slade House is down the road from a pub, down an alley and if "conditions are exactly right you'll find the entrance. A stranger will greet you by your name and invite you inside". "At first you won't want to leave, later you'll find you can't".

Every nine years the house's residents - a brother and sister invite specific people to join them for a party, a dinner or some other reason. The short stories in the book span five decades starting in 1979 and ending in October 2015. The stories are creepy and compelling and the characters interesting. I did enjoy this short read.

The Nature of Beauty by Imelda Burke - long awaited and brilliant read. It takes you through everything you need to know about caring for your skin and organic beauty with what ingredients to avoid, homemade skin treats, product to try, perfumes, essential oils, hair, skin and rituals. I know it's a book I'll dip in and out to. Highly recommend.

Three Men and a Maybe by Katey Lovell - which is a lighthearted short story when on New Year's Eve Cerys finds herself being proposed to by three men in her life. A short read which I found enjoyable.

You will not have my Hate by Antoine Leiris* - After the terrorist attacks in Paris which claimed many innocent lives I read about Helene Leiris (in the Sunday Times) and her death at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris on 13 November 2015. This is her husband's story of the aftermath of finding that his beloved wife and mama to their young son had died in the attacks. He posted a message on Facebook which resonated with many people around the world. His memoir tells of his deep despair and heartbreak and the need to keep going for their son, Melvil. Such as sad and poignant read.

Sand in my Shoes by Jenny Harper - this is my first read by this author and I loved the story. Will definitely search out more books by Jenny. 

Nicola Arnott has been through difficult times. She's brought up her daughter since her husband's death as well as built up a successful teaching career.

She has a health scare and decides to get away for a holiday choosing to return to the small French holiday town she stayed in as a teen. She remembers her first love Medical student, Luc and long summer days. She's surprised when she meets him and returns to an easy friendship. She does have to go back to her life and reality when the holiday is over but wouldn't have missed meeting up with Luc again for the world. A great little read with interesting characters and storylines.

The Little Pieces of You and Me by Vanessa Greene - the story follows friends Isla and Sophie. They don't see other often as Isla is pursuing her dreams abroad while Sophie is married to her ex-tutor Liam.

Isla's life changes with a medical diagnosis and Sophie is there for her. Isla wants her friend to complete the items on her bucket list.  Isla chooses not to tell her boyfriend that she's ill and breaks off their romance. Returning home to England she can see cracks appear in her friend's life. An amazing read which I loved. Highly recommend.

Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes - oh how I love this book!  It took me on a huge trip down memory lane - remember bath cubes, Hawaiian Tropic, hair scrunchies, large tubs of hair gel, Rimmel hide the blemish, Body Shop Rasberry Ripple Bathing Bubbles, Sun-In, Shaders & Toners... The book also contains lots of tips. I know I now need a new hairdryer and tweezers and have a sizeable list of wants. Great read.

The Girls Next Door by Mel Sheratt** - this is a new series featuring Detective Eden Berrisford. Sixteen year old Deanna Barker is stabbed to death. Four teenagers including Katie Trent are remanded awaiting trial.

Eden's niece Jess is kidnapped and the race is on to find her. Her teenage friends are warned not to speak out before the trial. A fast paced read which I loved. Eden is a strong likeable character. Looking forward to the second book in the series. Thanks to Mel for the copy.

Single End - A DC Daley Short Story by Denzil Meyrick - it's 1989 and DC Jim Daley and his friend and sidekick DC Brian Scott find James Machie's accountant, The Magician dead in a multi-storey car park in the City.

DC Scott is persuaded to go undercover and befriend old mates Machie and McDougall. Daley is uneasy with this and tries to help. He meets old mentor, Ian Burns and asks him to call in a few favours.  A great wee read and another slice of the history of Daley and Scott's long friendship. Roll on the next in the series.

What have you been reading this month?

*copy from Netgalley
**copy from the Author

Thursday, 29 December 2016

December Empties

I think this has been the smallest amount of empties this year!

Verso Night Cream with Retinol 8 15ml - this was nice to use. I'd maybe consider buying when my stash reduces a bit.

Weleda Arnica Muscle Soak Bath Milk 200ml - I simply love this soothing soak. See my review HERE. It's a product I pick up again and again as it simply works!

Molton Brown Frankincense & Allspice Hand Wash 100ml - I'm absolutely addicted to this beautiful spicy handwash. See my review HERE. I've got a couple of bottles stashed away!

John Masters Organics Citrus & Neroli Detangler 60ml - this is a staple. I've always got this in my stash. Leaves the hair feeling nourished and smooth. Will buy again soon!

Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Bath & Shower Gel 30ml - I'd been wanting to try this range since trying out the perfume recently. It's really lovely and smells deeply of roses.

Bloomtown Botanicals The Meadow Pink Himalayan Bath Soak 285g** - I'm a huge fan of soaks in the bath and these salts are gorgeous. See my review HERE. I'll pick these up when my stash reduces.

Balm Balm Indulge Bath & Shower Oil 5ml* - lovely and made for a great relaxing soak. Would buy.

Dr Hauschka Moor Lavender Calming Bath Essence 10ml* - this is really lovely. Perfect to use before bed. Full size is on the wishlist!

Rio Rosa Mosqueta Pure Chilean Rosehip Seed Oil 5ml* - love this! See my review HERE. Will buy full size when my stash reduces a bit.

What have you been using up this month?

*samples received as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

My Top Products of 2016

Way back in June I did a post on my top products January - June - see HERE

My favourites for July - December are:

In July, I totally fell for Kate Logan Beauty's Rose Otto Healing Balm. It's one of the most luxurious products I've used this year. See my review HERE.

August saw me love Miller Harris's Vetiver Insolent EdP. I simply adore it and it'll always be in my stash. I wear it "nearly" every day.

In September, I found myself loving Gallinée La Culture Body Milk*. See my review HERE. This brand also featured in my January-June Top Products. I also need to give Bloomtown Botanicals* a mention as I think their products are fantastic. See my review HERE.

So many loves in October (and so difficult to pin down to one!) I'll have to say my top product is Bodhi & Birch's Sicilian Rose Body Oil* as it's total perfection. See my review HERE but I also loved SAMAYA* (review) and Ishga* (review).

Coming into November my favourite product was from Evolve Organic Beauty and their latest launch Liquid Crystal 2-in-1 Micellic Cleanser*. See my review HERE. My favourite make up item was Kat Von D's Lipstick in Magick.

And finally December! Again, I tried some great skincare this month and I loved Dafna's Personal Skincare* see my review HERE. I also loved Rio Rosa Mosqueta** which I found effective and good value. See my review HERE. A special mention must go to Ancienne Ambiance's new EdP* (review) both of which are gorgeous!

These are the ones which I mention above and also deserve to be in my top products/brands of the year:

What products/brands have you loved this year?

**received as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar: Days 9-25

You can see what I received in my Liberty Advent Calendar days 1-8 HERE.

Day 9 - Davines Oi All in One Milk 50ml - which is a hair conditioning treatment (and one which I'm looking forward to trying!) It hydrates, tames, adds shine, softens, de-tangles, adds volume..the list seems endless as to what it can do!

Day 10 - Marvis Toothpaste x 2 - which are handy for travelling. I gifted on the Licorice one as I didn't fancy it.

Day 11 - Byredo Bal D'Afrique Hand Cream 1oz - which was one of the ones I was waiting for! This is gorgeous. I really like it.

Day 12 - NARS Lip Gloss in Baby Doll 4ml - which is a sweet pink shade.

Day 13 - saw us get cult product Eve Lom Cleansing Creme and cloth. I'm not a fan of this so I'll pass it on.

Day 14 - ODEJO full size bottle of perfume! Unfortunately, I'm not so keen on this one.

Day 15 - a lovely nude lipstick from Trish McEvoy - this one escaped the calendar before the 15th!

Day 16 - an oldie but a goodie! From Dermalogica there is Daily Microfoliant.

Day 17 - Votary Facial Oil with Rose Maroc & Sandalwood 30ml - this is a full size which is worth £65! I started using this the day my advent calendar arrived. Absolutely love it! Review will be up soon.

Day 18 - Blinkbrow Night Brow Balm - I've never tried a brow balm before so looking forward to trying this out.

Day 19 - Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash - again from a brand I'd not heard of before. Looking forward to testing it out.

Day 20 - Kai Body Lotion mini - I'm a huge fan of this brand. Love their perfume oil so happy to have this in my stash.

Day 21 - Dr Sebagh Serum Repair 20ml - this is another full size and worth £69! Looking forward to trying.

Day 22 - Surratt Blush in Cantelope which is another full size and worth £23! 

Day 23 - ESPA Overnight Hydration Therapy in a luxe travel size - used this before and loved it.

Day 24 - Le Labo Santal 33 Purse Spray - this was another one I couldn't wait to get. Love it.

Day 25 - Diptyque Figuier Candle 70g (worth £20) again looking forward to this one! I love the Diptyque candles.

I've loved this super luxury calendar which has been an absolute joy. Did you get one? What did you think of the contents?