I was recently given the opportunity, by Lookfantastic, to review a product from the Elemis range – their Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. Elemis is a brand that I constantly hear a lot of positive things about, but before this I had never used any of their products, so I was keen to give it a go, and I wasn’t disappointed.
When I first received the cleansing balm, I was immediately impressed by the generous size of the product. The pot is very large, and contains 105g of balm, and comes with a delicately soft cleansing cloth. I can’t say the packaging is anything special, but its simplicity is bang on trend.
According to the Lookfantastic website, Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm is meant to ‘dissolve make up, dirt and oil from your skin’, as well as ‘deeply cleanse, smooth and hydrate your skin, leaving you with a glowing complexion’. The balm has a brilliant yellow colour to it, and is made up of a mixture of active natural oils, including starflower, elderberry and optimega, as well as rose and mimosa waxes. On top of this, the balm is scented with calming lavender and chamomile, and it really does smell absolutely beautiful.
The key ingredients work as follows…
- Padina Pavonica: A powerful anti-ageing active.
- Elderberry Oil: Firms and plumps your skin.
- Starflower Oil: Maintains the skin’s moisture levels.
- Optimega Oil: Improves skin hydration.
- Mimosa and Rose Flower Waxes: Softens and comforts your skin.
The balm also has an incredible texture which is soft and waxy, and is an absolute pleasure to use as it feels so luxurious. It glides onto the skin effortlessly and massages in well, and as you rub the wax warms gently for an intense cleansing experience. It’s easy to use too – all you do is massage a generous amount of balm into your face, neck and chest, with moist fingertips. You can then leave it on for a few minutes for deeper relaxation (this would be lovely during a pamper session in the bath), or wash it straight off using the cloth provided. I find it’s best to use the cloth when warm and damp, not soaking wet, as it makes it easier to remove the balm without making a drippy mess.
After use, I found that my skin felt slightly tight which worried me a little, but after a few minutes the tightness faded and my skin felt gorgeously soft, clean and refreshed, and looked far less dull. I have sensitive combination skin on my face (oily T-zone and dry cheeks), and the balm seemed to balance my skin, hydrating the dry areas whilst lessening the oil, and it didn’t cause any irritation at all, so it’s ideal for all skin types.
Overall, Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm gives a wonderful cleansing experience and feels like a real treat every time. The huge pot means it will last for ages too, so the £39.50 pricetag is worth every penny. If you’d like to try it yourself, it is available here from Lookfantastic, and postage is FREE on all orders, worldwide.
*This Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm was sent to me by The Hut Group/Lookfantastic for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I recently came across a great little interior design company called Pebble Grey, who specialise in contemporary mirrors and modern bathroom accessories, and they kindly sent me one of their newest products to review – an LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror.
When I first received the mirror, I was instantly struck by how beautiful its packaging is. The mirror comes presented in a sleek, dark grey presentation box which feels lovely to the touch, and comes with a velvet black pouch to store it in when you’re out and about, to prevent any scratches or scuffs. It’s obvious that a lot of care and thought has been put in to the packaging, and it gives the product a luxury edge that would make it perfect as a gift idea for a loved one, or even as a treat for yourself.
The mirror itself is matte grey in colour, and is adorned with the Pebble Grey logo on the front, and a feminine, swirly pattern on the back. It is elegantly slim, but very well made with a strong hinge, and feels very sturdy, so it won’t break easily like some cheaper pocket mirrors do.
Inside the compact are two mirrors with 2x magnification, one of which is studded with six powerful LED lights. The lights are very useful and make for effortless make up application, as they highlight the areas of your face that are often in shadow, meaning you can blend your make up perfectly with no unevenness. They’re also bright enough so that you can check your face in darker areas with no trouble. My favourite use for the mirror, however, is for plucking my eyebrows, as the magnification and LED lights make it easy to see any small, stray hairs.
Pebble Grey’s Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror comes everywhere with me, and is extremely handy, and several people have asked me where they can get one. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high quality, versatile mirror. The mirror usually retails for £14.99, but is currently on offer for £9.99 on the Pebble Grey website, so grab yourself a bargain whilst you still can!
*This LED Illuminated Cosmetic Mirror was sent to me be Pebble Grey for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
On 27th of April I brought home a couple of new additions to the family – two baby rats who I have named Miggley and Mog! At the time they were just 7 weeks old, very small and very shy, but in just over a week I managed to gain their trust (which took a lot of patience!), and they are now happy, lively, very quick and very lovely. And here they are…
Aren’t they gorgeous? We used to keep a lot of rats as a family when I was younger, but these two are all mine and it amazes me just how much of a bond I have with them already. They love to sit in the bonding pouch that my mum made for me to carry them in, and they’re currently getting used to playing in the play pen pictured above. Ratties need free range time!
Here are a few of my favourite pictures of the pair…
Miggley and Mog are extremely adventurous, so expect more posts in the future all about their escapades! I’m determined to teach them how to swim so we’ll see how that goes.
Would you ever have a rat as a pet?
I’m a sucker for fragrances, especially those with pretty bottles, and I take a great deal of pleasure in trying to work out the different notes and layers of scents in my rather large collection of perfumes. So, when I was given the opportunity to review Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million EDP for Fragrance Direct, I happily took up the offer as I’d been wanting to try it for a while.
The perfume comes packaged in an unusual bottle which stands out from the crowd amongst all my other perfume bottles. It’s shaped like a diamond, with a glass, classic cut bottom and eye-catching gold lid, etched with the Lady Million logo. The bottle is designed to ‘make any woman feel a million dollars’, and it definitely has the look of being expensive, but without the price tag. My only issue with the bottle is that its squat shape makes it slightly difficult to handle, but it’s worth it for such pretty packaging.
Lady Million has a very complex combination of notes that combine to create a beautifully rich, yet feminine and sweet scent, which has real power and wow-factor. According to the Fragrance Direct website, the notes are as follows…
Top notes – Raspberry, Amalfi Lemon and Neroli.
Heart notes – Gardenia, African Orange Flower and Jasmine.
Base notes – White Honey, Patchouli and Amber.
Patchouli is one of my favourite scents as it smells heady, sensual and expensive, which really sums up the diamond-inspired story of this perfume.
The real test of a good perfume is how long it lasts, and Lady Million goes all day, revealing each set of notes over the hours for effortless, long-lasting gorgeous scent. As such, it can carry you through from your working day to an evening out, making it a very versatile perfume indeed.
Overall, Lady Million’s lovely appearance and even lovelier scent makes it a wonderful addition to any scented wardrobe. If you’d like to try it for yourself, it is available online from Fragrance Direct, and costs just £28.99 for a 30ml bottle, which is a saving of more than £7.50 – bargain! Or, if you prefer a bigger size, it is available in 50ml for £39.99, which is an even bigger saving of almost £10!
Do you like the sound of Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million?
*This Paco Rabanne Lady Million Eau de Parfum was sent to me on behalf of Fragrance Direct for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
A few weeks ago I was very kindly offered a product to try from a natural skin care brand called sienna wood. The product I was sent is called Rhassoul Clay Regenerating Facial Treatment – something I wasn’t familiar with before, but I am now using on a regular basis when I want to give my skin a deep treatment.
The clay comes packaged in an uncomplicated brown paper bag which suits the natural simplicity of the clay itself, and can also be recycled, so it’s ethical too. Rhassoul Clay is a light reddish-brown, and comes in a fine powder form so it can be easily mixed with water. It is sourced in Morocco, and contains a combination of minerals, such as silicon and magnesium, which makes it perfect for making skin healthier.
Rhassoul Clay can be used as a cleanser or face mask when mixed with water, or rosewater. I initially found it really difficult to get the clay to the right consistency, but I’ve found that a little goes a long way and, as a rule, a quarter of a teaspoon mixed with a couple of teaspoons of water is ideal as a cleanser. Or, for a mask, use a full teaspoon of powder with a similar quantity of water. Once mixed, leave the paste to hydrate for a few minutes before using.
My favourite way to use sienna wood’s Rhassoul Clay is as a cleanser, as it’s fuss free but gives amazing results. All you need to do is massage the cleanser in to damp skin before rinsing off with warm water. The clay has a silky smooth texture that is a pleasure to use as it feels luxuriously lovely on the skin, and it does its job incredibly well. After use, my skin always feels really refreshed and clean, and very soft, but without the tightness I usually experience with unnatural cleansers. Furthermore, the clay has no scent and contains no nasty chemicals, so it is really gentle on my sensitive skin.
Sienna Wood Rhassoul Clay is available online and costs £3.49 for a 50g bag. Considering the small amount you need for one use, a bag will last a fairly long time (at least a few months), so it is excellent value for money. Sienna Wood also sel Argan Oil Hair Treatment and Face Treatment, both of which cost just over £5.00 each, so they’re definitely worth checking out too.
Have you ever used Rhassoul Clay? What did you think?
*I was sent this sienna wood Rhassoul Clay by sienna wood beauty for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
One of my greatest passions in life is literature. I first joined the library at the age of two, and throughout my childhood I spent most of my free time either reading a book or writing my own stories. My love for words and books has been carried with me into adulthood, and I am even studying for a postgraduate degree in Modern Literature. As I’m sure my blog reflects, another of my passions is fashion, so what could be better than a combination of both of these things?
Last week I came across a fantastic website which combines my love of literature with my passion for fashion, and it also has an ethos I can adhere to. Out of Print Clothing celebrate some of the world’s best literary works through quirky t shirts and accessories, which depict striking, and often out of print, book covers. They also state on their website that ‘Each product is treated to feel soft and worn like a well-read book’, which is such a lovely touch. Their greatness doesn’t stop there, however, as the brand are charitable too! For every product they sell, Out of Print donate a book to a community in need, through a charity called Books For Africa. I’ve always believed in the importance of spreading stories and sharing books, so donating books to those who need them is something I support completely – it’s such a beautiful idea!
There are many t shirts to choose from and I’m sure there’s something there for everybody, but here is my pick of some of my favourite Out of Print t shirts…
A Clockwork Orange – $28.00
1984 – $42.00
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – $28.00
Alice in Wonderland – $40.00
Wuthering Heights – $28.00
Out of Print Clothing are an American company, but they also ship to the UK and the rest of the world. You can view their full range online here, or alternatively, if you’d rather order straight from the UK some of their t shirts are also available from TruffleShuffle.
Which book would you like to see on a t shirt?
Last month I came across a great little website called Fragrance Direct, which sells beauty products from a wide range of well-known brands at bargain prices. There was a lot of hype on Twitter about the website as they were (and still are) selling Dainty Doll make up for just a couple of pounds each, and since I’d been eyeing the brand up for a while I took the plunge and ordered a few products. I posted about my Fragrance Direct haul at the time, and as promised here is my first review from the haul, featuring Dainty Doll lipstick in 001 Couture!
Dainty Doll is the make up brand of Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud, and was specially developed to suit those with fair skin tones. As a pale and proud girl myself, I am very pleased to have finally discovered a brand created to enhance my natural colouring, and the quality does not disappoint (I have also tried two blushers and a concealer, which I will review at a later date). All Dainty Doll products come packaged in distinctive black packaging with gold font, emblazoned with a sassy red-head, and the lipstick has a nice weight to it which makes it feel that little bit more expensive.
Couture is a dark berry red with a slight glossy finish, which has a real vintage feel to it. Berry shades were perhaps more suited to the Autumn/Winter 2012 look, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pulling out a classic red at any time of the year! This has been my go-to colour for the last few weeks, and whether with jeans and a jumper or a pretty dress, it goes with anything.
The lipstick has a creamy consistency which makes for effortless application, and it feels delicately moisturising and not at all drying. However, I do find that it shows up any imperfections on dry lips, so it’s probably best to use a lip scrub or a lip balm before applying the lipstick. Other than that, I have had no issues with Couture, and it stays put without bleeding or smudging. It also lasts well, and tends to look exactly the same after lunch as it does in the morning, which is quite impressive! It does fade a little in the afternoon though and needs touching up, but it fades evenly so at least it doesn’t look ridiculous.
Overall, this is a fab little lipstick which is versatile, great quality and downright gorgeous. Dainty Doll lipsticks have an RRP of £12.50, but Couture cost me just £1.99 which is a brilliant saving by anyone’s standards! I would happily pay a lot more than £1.99 for this, so needless to say I am very happy with his little gem. You can view Fragrance Direct’s full range of Dainty Doll products here. Their website gets restocked every few days from what I can see, so it’s best to keep checking back to see what they have!
What do you think of this shade?
I recently came across a hair care brand who attracted my attention for a very specific reason – they’re BUAV approved. I am always on the look out for cruelty free hair products as they are surprisingly difficult to find, so when biOrganics offered to send me a sample to review I was keen to try them out.
biOrganics was founded in 1991 as the first professional organic hair care brand in Europe. The brand claims that their products give salon results, and everything is made from natural and organic ingredients wherever possible, so they’re free from nasty parabens and synthetic chemicals. As mentioned earlier, biOrganics are BUAV approved, meaning they do not test on animals under any circumstance, and are also endorsed by the Vegetarian Society.
The sample I received is a 12ml bottle of biOrganics’ Salon Secret Elixir Hair Perfecting Oil. The oil itself is colourless and has a base of organic Argan Oil and Ylang Ylang, and can be used to smoothe frizz, add shine, and protect hair from heat. It is also said to strengthen and repair dry and brittle hair, and reduces blow-drying time.
My experiences with the oil so far have been mixed, but mostly good. The bottle says to ‘dispense 1-3 pumps into palms, rub hands together & apply directly to clean, towel-dried hair’, which is where I initially went wrong. Unfortunately, the sample bottle does not come with a pump spray, so I had to guess how much to use. I ended up applying a coin-sized amount to my hair (to the ends and mid-lengths as suggested), but after blow-drying my hair looked and felt greasy, and I had to wash the oil out again. It turns out I used too much oil for the length of my hair, but after being given some advice by the lovely folks at biOrganics I tried again with a smaller amount of oil (about a little fingernail amount), and it worked a LOT better. This time my hair did dry quickly, looked and felt incredibly soft, straightened easily and, most importantly, stayed straight all day! I usually end up with slightly frizzy locks a few hours after straightening, but biOrganics hair perfecting oil solves this problem. The lesson here is definitely LESS IS MORE!
I’ve also used the oil on dry hair. The bottle says to ‘Use sparingly on dry hair for extra smoothing prior to heat-straightening’, so I applied a very small amount to the dry ends of my hair. The oil seemed to create a protective layer between my hair and the heat, so rather than breaking and looking dry after straightening, my hair looked smooth and sleek.
Overall, once you learn how much oil your hair needs, this is a very good product if you want straighter, sleeker hair that lasts. The oil costs £3.99 for a sample bottle or £12.99 for a 50ml pump spray bottle, so it is very affordable, especially for a natural, cruelty free product, and I’d definitely recommend it. biOrganics Salon Secret Elixir Hair Perfecting Oil is available online here, and they also sell a range of shampoos, conditioners, brushes and other hair care products. Or, if you’d prefer to buy from a local store, you can also find your local stockist.
*This biOrganics Salon Secret Elixir Hair Perfecting Oil was sent to me on behalf of biOrganics for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and based on my own experience.*
A few weeks ago I stumbled across a fab little website via Twitter called Quintessentially Me. The website was launched in 2012 and is ‘A celebration of the artisan’, selling a selection of carefully chosen unique, handcrafted items, all of which are high quality and sourced from talented creators. They stock everything from Homeware, Gifts and Bath & Body products to Jewellery, Sleepwear and Tea, so there are many gorgeous treasures to discover.
I am always keen to try new, beautifully crafted pieces from independent artists, so when Quintessentially Me offered to send me an item to review I happily accepted. The piece I received is the Anna-Louise Grey Nightie – cute but simple sleepwear made by hand in Cape Town, South Africa.
I’m 5’10″, and the Anna-Louise nightie comes to around knee height on me, so I imagine it would be just below the knee on anyone of average height. Though it looks plain and simple, the nightie actually has a few subtle details which, as Quintessentially Me say, make it ‘perfect for this season’s easy-luxe look’. The fabric features delicate pointelle stitching, and is finished with thick cuffs on long sleeves and four press stud fastenings down the front. I find the press studs really useful as I don’t like anything too close around my neck whilst I’m sleeping, so I tend to open one or two before I go to sleep.
The quality of the fabric is obviously very high as it is made from 100% powder grey cotton, which feels incredibly soft and luxurious against the skin. The fabric is extremely comfortable as it isn’t too weighty, but at the same time it is warm and cosy enough for cold nights, whilst being light enough for warmer nights. The nightie is also machine washable, so is satisfyingly low maintenance.
In terms of size, I’m a 12 and the large fits slightly loose on me, which is ideal if you don’t like wearing tight things in bed as it doesn’t restrict movement, adding extra comfort. Unfortunately the website doesn’t list size conversions, but going by how the nightie fits on me I’d guess that the small would fit an 8-10, the medium a 10-12, the large a 12-14 and the extra-large a 14-16.
Overall, this cute and comfy nightie by Anna-Louise oozes quality, and with its soft feel and lovely fit makes for a great night’s sleep. It is available online in grey or white, and is priced at £24, which compared to similar sleepwear I’ve seen in shops and online is actually quite reasonable, but by buying this you’re also supporting an independent maker, which makes it even more worth it.
*This Anna-Louise Grey Nightie was sent to me by Quintessentially Me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*