Wednesday 30 March 2011

Mother's Day Gift Inspiration

Mothering Sunday - Mother's Day is this weekend (3rd April 2011) and if you haven't already bought your mum a gift I thought I would share with you my ideas...

Unless your mum has hay-fever the chances are that she will be pleased to receive a pretty bunch of flowers. My  mum adores roses and lilies so this bouquet would be perfect

Super Rose and Lily Bouquet- £40 from

I think mums would really enjoy being treated to Afternoon Tea. 

If you are looking for inspiration on which venue to choose why not read my Afternoon Tea reviews section here . Most venues are probably booked now for the actual Sunday but it will be something nice for her to look forward to.

If your budget won't stretch that far.. How about treating your mum to afternoon tea at your home? She will love the fact that she doesn't have to cook on the day and you can really personalise it. Bring out the best China and if you have a tiered cake stand it will look doubly impressive. I suggest some finger sandwiches, scones, cream and jam and some cute miniature cakes either bought in or better still home-made!

If your mum loves pampering herself and you want to treat her my favourite high street pampering ranges are either Champneys or The Sanctuary products. The ultimate pampering bath oil in my opinion is from Connock London if you really want to spoil her :-)

Alternatively, why not buy her a voucher/book a beauty treatment like a massage or facial. If you are in London I can recommend West One Beauty salon.

Perfume is another gift wonderful gift to give to your mum, I know it is quite a personal thing but I think my mum would adore some Chanel. Contained in a beautifully presented bottle, Coco Mademoiselle is a truly stunning scent and will evoke memories of you every time she wears it.

Calvin Klein's Beauty is a gorgeous, fresh scent. Available from John Lewis and other fragrance stockists.

Lastly, a lipstick always has the ability to refresh a makeup wardrobe and make you feel great. I suggest one of the new Pure Colour long lasting lipsticks from Estee Lauder. With a huge range of shades from the collection to choose from, one will be sure to suit your mum. I love the luxurious packaging and they literally glide on. Simply beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed this gift inspiration post. What will you be buying or hoping to receive this year ?

I always forget I am a mummy now too  - I wonder what I will be given?

Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel

This is the newest cleanser from Elemis with the wonderful name of Melting Cleansing Gel. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types.

It contains the following active ingredients (information provides by Elemis)

Argan Oil – rich source of minerals to ensure maximum skin function. This golden, light in texture oil gives a tensor effect on the skin that supports the skin’s fibre networks.
Rice Silk – eliminates shine or moisture droplets appearing throughout day due to a challenged or stressed skin.
Assai Fruit – a source of lipids to respect skin. This rich anti-oxidant super berry protects the skin’s lipid barrier to avoid it getting dry or being over stimulated.
Rosemary Leaf – powerful anti-oxidant, stabilises oil flow and sebaceous gland.

It of course comes with the Elemis promise of no parabens,  SLS, SLES, DEA, mineral oils, artificial colours & silicones.

It says a lot about this product that I have been using it every day since I received it (a few weeks ago) and it now looks like this

This is truly a brilliant cleanser, it has to be the NICEST scented cleanser I have ever used. It smells of orange peel. It comes out of the tube as a gloopy gel which you massage into your skin. This leaves it all sticky and greasy looking, then you apply warm water from your fingertips and it transforms into a milky texture (think skimmed milk) which you wash either by rinsing off or by using a muslin cloth.

It leaves my face feeling refreshed, clean and extremely soft to the touch. I have also noticed that my skin looks brighter, appears to develop less shine on my T zone and overall looks great. I am also far more confident to the extent that I have been using a tinted moisturiser instead of my usual foundation.

There are a few of downsides.. It won't remove your eye make up - well it does but it stings like mad, it does say do not get product in eyes. If you have a lot of make up on you will need to double cleanse to remove it all. There is wastage of product as when you shut the cap it oozes out but just wipe it on your skin and use.

Overall Elemis Cleansing Gel receives a huge thumbs up from me. I love using it and will continue using this until it is finished. I do get to try a lot of cleansers and it is rare that I will finish any so that is an accolade in itself.

Elemis Cleansing Gel costs £19.40 for 125ml and is available from your usual Elemis stockist.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Result Of Product Trial - Bliss Fat Girl Slim

28 days ago I started using Fat Girl Slim from Bliss - The original post can be found here 

28 days later..

I have read the effects of Caffeine on cellulite, and I am pretty sure it was Cindy Crawford that famously said that she rubbed coffee granules into her skin so this attracted me to the product.

In my original post I did say that I wasn't keen on the name and it still hasn't grown on me. It suggests that a fat girl can become slim by using the cream which we know is just not true.

Scent - I like the smell, I find it strangely appealing. Readers of the blog know that smell is very important to me and whether I will like a product and continue to use it.

Texture - This is described as a cream but I find that it is a lot more watery and more of a gel consistency. Quite a few times I had to pick it up from the floor as it had slid off my hands. I once sent off for a lotion advertised on a Special K packet that was designed to reduce cellulite (wracking my brains to remember which company it was from) that was of an identical texture

Amount - This is an issue I have with most products like this - the results that are cited in  my original post do not mention how much of the product was used and nowhere on the packaging or instructions does it say how much to use either, so I guessed. I have almost finished my tub.

Frequency - I must admit most body moisturisers I own last forever as I find it quite monotonous to apply... The instructions say to rub this cream in twice a day to the problem area for 20-30 seconds  which I made sure I did.

I chose to apply to my back upper thigh area. The area feels lovely and smooth and has done so pretty much after a few days of usage, to the extent that it feels significantly different to the rest of my leg! The cream has a lovely cooling sensation when applied and once it has been rubbed in for 30 seconds it has dried.

I took before and after photos so I could see the difference for myself. It has reduced the appearance of the cellulite quite significantly. Although, perhaps I was expecting miracles and for it to have disappeared!. However, I personally feel £25 a month does seem quite a lot to maintain this appearance, particularly as I chose to apply it to a small area!

Will you be trying this cellulite cream ?

Fat girl slim costs £25

Monday 28 March 2011

Face Of The Day - FOTD

20 years ago we were heading out to visit some family friends when my dad (a keen photographer) noticed the gorgeous blossom on one of our trees and stood me in front of it for a photograph. He loved that photo of me, aged 13, so much that he had it enlarged and it has been on display ever since.

Yesterday, I had a phone call from my dad asking me to come over, the tree looked similar to that day 20 years before and he wanted to take another photograph of me standing in front of it.

Now aged 33 I am looking forward to comparing the two pictures :-)

As a 13 year old I was fresh faced with not an ounce of make up on,  a major difference will be that yesterday's photograph will have me wearing it...

Here is a picture of me as I left my house. At the moment I am really loving strong lip colours.

With flash 

Unfortunately my hay-fever has set in and I think I have rubbed my eyes a little too much (evidence is the bags under my eyes)

What I am wearing - 

Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup
FYF Cheeky Blush in Country Fresh
Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Apricot Sun
No7 Intense Volume Waterproof Mascara in black
L'Oreal Paris Colour Appeal Eye Shadow  in Smoky Beige  - This is by far my favourite taupe base colour ever - sadly my dad got this for me when he was in America :-(
L'Oreal Paris Chrome Intensity Eye Shadow in Cacao Mania 
Clinique Cream Shaper Eye Liner in Chocolate Lustre

Sunday 27 March 2011

NOTD - Models Own Pro Yas-Mint

It has been so sunny this week that it has put me in a great mood,  to celebrate I opened my bottle of Yas-Mint today from the Models Own Pro range that I featured here.

I used 2 coats for good, even coverage. I think Yas-Mint would look so great in summer with a tan. This is a fabulous pick me up shade, what I love about this polish is that it doesn't have the usual polish scent, in fact when wet and dry it smells like coconut ice candy!

Hope you like it!

Thursday 24 March 2011

Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley (Fashionista Tea) - Review

I booked The Berkeley's famous 'Fashionista Tea' for my Birthday last year (2010). I booked it for the end of June little knowing at that time what an important date it would turn out to be..

It was the Football World Cup that year and as the date neared and England were doing well it became apparent that the weekend of the afternoon tea was going to be monumental... Unfortunately England failed to top their qualifying group which meant that a crucial game was going to be played on the Sunday of the afternoon tea - England v Germany.. Bad planning ?

We opted to make a day of it and booked a table at a gorgeous pub pretty much opposite Harrods. It was the Tea Clipper Pub - we missed the beginning of the match but our table was safe!

I do like to watch important matches and maybe I do allow myself to get a little too enthusiastic ...and it couldn't  have been more exciting ..for the Germans. We lost 4-1 and we left the pub feeling deflated but at least we had an afternoon tea to enjoy.

The Berkeley - Prêt-à-Portea

In case you are not aware The Berkeley's Afternoon Tea menu is slightly different from the traditional ones on offer. The Berkeley London designer afternoon tea, Prêt-à-Portea, is uniquely inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world. The menu is transformed every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion which keeps it fresh and relevant.

We feasted on fashion inspired from the Spring/Summer 2010 Collections.

Prêt-à-Portea is served in the mouthwateringly named The Caramel Room. Having been to quite a few afternoon teas in London,  I must admit I was most disappointed with the room. I found it to be small, cramped and dark. Perhaps this is meant to be atmospheric?

However, I think that I will award The Berkeley with the best afternoon tea crockery. Paul Smith designed..

We ordered our chosen teas.. and this is where The Berkeley was disappointing. We had to wait ages for the tea to arrive and I really do mean ages. All of our sandwiches had been eaten before a drop of tea had passed our lips.

We did complain to the manager at the time who was hugely apologetic and to the hotel's absolute credit we were treated exceptionally well after this.

I chose to drink 'Pear Caramel' tea and I can recommend it as a fabulous scented and delicately sweet tea, perfect for the occasion. I later switched to White Peony tea, I was not disappointed.

I enjoyed the food greatly, the sandwiches were tasty. The canapés a nice touch and well the cakes and fancies were quite simply to die for!

On The Fashion Menu -

Anya Hindmarch light apricot sponge summer 'Halen' bag wrapped in marzipan with playful bow.

Paul Smith orange, papaya and pink lavender bavarois topped with chocolate bowler hat.

Season's must have Chanel clog biscuits adorned with chocolate studs and white leather glaze (a favourite of mine).

Yves Saint Laurent soft romantic white chocolate mousse and raspberry custard finished with crunchy meringue scattered with mini strawberries (this was my absolute favourite dessert of the afternoon).

Sonia Rykel nautical vanilla and raspberry jam layered mousse topped with humorous yellow hat.

Belted Jason Wu poppy-seed cocktail dress biscuits embellished with ruffled purple icing.

Erdem dark silky chocolate cake filled with passion fruit and delicate lace.

Christopher Kane pale pink almond macaroon filled with white chocolate and elderflower ganache topped with a pink checker-board.

Jean Paul Gaultier fluorescent cheese cake on almond and oat base accessorized with a bright yellow sugar twirl.

Completely apt for fashionistas, I think you will agree!

We had a fun afternoon and left with goody bags of the biscuits we couldn't finish

Prêt-à-Portea costs £36.50 per person. For more details click here 

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Elemis launches freshskin for 16-24 year olds

It is no secret that I love Elemis as a premium skincare brand so when an invitation to their latest launch popped through my letterbox I was excited to find out more.

Mini packs for £19.90!

Elemis freshskin is aimed primarily at the 16-24 year age group. I had a sneaky peak at the range of wonderful products that are going to be available in the UK from 14th April 2011.

There are going to be 8 products in the range

Make Up Away Cleansing Wipes (25) - £8
Peachy Perfect Gentle Face Wash 100 ml - £12
Skin Glow Exfoliating Face Wash 100ml - £12
Softly Softly Daily Moisturiser 50ml - £22
Dreamy Sleep Night-Time Moisturiser 50ml - £22
Tired Eyes Soothing Eye Rescue 15ml - £15
Loving Lips Quenching Lip Balm - 10ml - £8
Face Mask Duo deep clean and magical moisturise - 6 x 7ml - £15

Each product is formulated with fab ingredients such as elderflower, rosehip seed oil, apple, blackcurrant, goji berry, geranium combined with skin kind bases specially chosen for their ability to help cleanse, exfoliate, prevent damage, moisturise and boost skin's elasticity. They also come with the Elemis promise of being free from Parabens, SLS, SLES, DES, Mineral Oils, artificial colours and silicones.

The packaging in white and hot pinky/purple looks fresh and classy. Having tried a few of the products on my skin I can confirm that they smelt gorgeous, the consistency was nice and they felt moisturising.

I have to say I am genuinely excited about these products and whilst I am a bit older than the age group this is aimed at,  I am looking forward to putting them to the test. I will also ask my sister who fits the age group perfectly to give me her thoughts on the range too.

Look out for my review on the range coming soon!

Elemis freshskin will be available from

Monday 21 March 2011

NOTD - Models Own Concrete Mixer

Models Own Concrete Mixer was my chosen Nails of The Day - love this Spring Collection Colour

This is such a gorgeous and accurate colour of cement mix!

I showed this to my sister and she nabbed it ....

I agree it is really lovely and here it is on me!

I think it suits warmer skin tones or tanned skins as otherwise it could look a little washed out.

I used 2 coats on my nails.

What do you think? Do you have this shade?

Sunday 20 March 2011

Boots No7 Spring 2011 Limited Edition Lipsticks, Brigitte and Grace

2 gorgeous Spring 2011 lipsticks from No7 developed in conjunction with Lisa Eldrige No7's make-up artist and creative director. I adore the cute packaging, yes it is cardboard but I love that it is different.

Brigitte - pale pink and glossy - would look fab with kitten eyes but sadly doesn't show up on my lips. A real shame.

My favourite is Grace. This is a warmer colour which really suits me and is perfect to take me from my No7 nude colour that I had for Winter into Spring. This is a pale glossy coral shade.

Both shades are really comfortable to wear and glide on with ease.

Grace on the lips

No7 really excel at lipsticks :-)

Saturday 19 March 2011

Eyes Of The Day - EOTD

I thought this picture was worthy of its own post although it is taken from my FOTD 

I am using Xperience Mascara from Max Factor.

As for the eyebrows... big is in this season right ?

Face Of The Day - FOTD

Face of The Day - Everything's Peachy Today!

I have peachy eye-shadow, peach blusher and peach lipstick on.

Lipstick is Smoked Peach from Revlon

I hope you like it x

Thursday 17 March 2011

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Yesterday my post was all about radiance achieved with Hocus Focus from Soap & Glory today the theme continues. If you prefer to look bright and radiant without a hint of shimmer then today's post is for you.

I absolutely love Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.This is a truly fantastic product and one that is going to be added to my Beauty Essentials page. As such an iconic product I quite simply had to try it to see what all the fuss was about. Yes, I am now a convert.

Beauty Flash Balm claims - To brighten and tighten. Suitable for ALL skin types.

To use - Apply after cleansing and toning ( you can use with a moisturiser but you don't have to) using a pea size amount apply a thin layer to your face without massaging in. Apply makeup immediately. Beauty Flash Balm can also be used as a facial mask 2 or 3 times a week.

This product comes in a squeezable tube, easy to get the right amount out.

In this picture the bottom half of my hand has Beauty Flash Balm applied

Apparently when you use this product you will literally feel it tighten your features..I am going to admit I have used this quite a few times now, with and without moisturiser to see if it makes a difference and I have yet to get that tightening feeling ..most unusual. However, my appearance does look like I have had a mini facelift, and I look wide awake, whether it is because I expect to look great I don't know, I just look in the mirror and feel that I do!

Beauty Flash Balm is considered to be an amazing primer and is used and rated by many make up artists. When I use it my skin feels silky soft on application, the effect really is instant brilliance and a more radiant appearance. It doesn't hide pores but it provides an excellent, smooth and long lasting base for makeup, keeping it in place for hours.

I wouldn't use this every day (it is quite expensive) but I used it when I was feeling under the weather recently and was complimented on how well I looked! I use this particularly when I feel like my skin is dull and I need a boost. I think Beauty Flash Balm works really well as a day product as opposed to Hocus Focus which I prefer to use in the evenings.

I cannot rave about this product enough and can definitely recommend this as a must have in your make-up bag.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - Price can vary from £20-£27 depending on outlet so it is worth shopping around.

Have you tried Beauty Flash Balm?

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Soap & Glory Hocus Focus

Soap & Glory Hocus Focus appealed to me as it is described as - An Instant Visual Flaw Softening Lotion - and a product that does that is well worth trying in my book...

The claims - An INSTANT visual flaw-softening lotion with long-wearing LIGHTSCRAMBLE™ lumisphere technology that mixes mica light-diffusing powders with high-tech encapsulated soft focus pearls and leaves the wearer looking ‘candle lit’ and ready to glow!

Its specially blended luxury skin smoothing emollient complex gives a beautiful silky sensual feel and sheer look to the skin, whilst helping to lock moisture in too. It softens, smoothes and illuminates the skin, just where you need a little soft focus.

My thoughts

I love the container that Hocus Focus comes in, a pump action bottle so not messy at all. It smells pleasant and adds extra softness to the skin. I have used it 3 ways and each way it works just great. I have used it as a highlighter on my cheek bones and I have found that it makes a superb highlighter. I have mixed it with my moisturiser for radiance and my foundation for the famous candlelit glow!

Before Hocus Focus

Hocus Focus is a nice fluid consistency, easy to blend in and pearly in colour.

Hocus Focus applied,  you can see the tiny illuminating particles.

The results are exactly what it says on the packaging - flawless, dewy, soft looking skin with a fabulous glow. I especially love to use this in the evening. I cannot get enough of it to be honest!

Just a word of warning, don't be tempted to use too much otherwise you will end up looking over illuminated!

Soap & Glory Hocus Focus costs £12.26 for 30ml.

Have you tried Hocus Focus ?

Tuesday 15 March 2011

What I use on my 'baby'

I know I have quite a few 'mummy' and mummy to be readers so today I thought I would share with you what I have used pretty much since Aaron (now almost 3) was born for his bathtimes. For the first few weeks I used nothing but time went on and bath time became more of a routine I was looking for something that smelt nice but cared for my little boy,  I spotted this in my local Waitrose store....

Yes it is quite expensive (around £7.99) compared to other products on the market, but I have always been happy to spend a little extra on my little one. He was such a sicky baby because he had Reflux that I didn't spend the pennies on his outfits!

This is my favourite wash as it smells wonderful with a light scent of sweet orange, lemon and and coconut oil and leaves his hair smelling just gorgeous and his skin super soft. It is a 2 in 1 product so cleans the hair as well as the body. Many times I have got the product in his eyes as he is such a wriggler and not once has he  cried because of it. This wash is not hugely lathering but if you rub it between your hands you can blow bubbles to entertain the little one and make them laugh.

Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo and Wash doesn't have any SLS or Parabens in it and is 98.03% natural - one of the main reasons I picked it up.

I can highly recommended this product.

Have you tried this ? What do you use on your little one(s)?

Monday 14 March 2011

A Tale Of Two Lipsticks

Once upon a time I used to be a huge fan of Estee Lauder lipsticks (I still am, I am currently coverting Bitten Fig from the new range by Tom Pecheux) and one of my favourites was a shade called Caffe Latte,a long lasting and moisturising lipstick.. as the years passed, I moved away from lipsticks and a passion for glosses ignited and I forget all about this lipstick until one day..

Last year I was invited to a press day where I was introduced to a new makeup brand in the UK, Cult GD and on a table were all the products, including lipstick.

I was drawn to a particular shade SWEET LIPS and immediately thought - oooh that looks lovely and tried it on my hand. I loved it.Once at home I tried it on and sadly found that it didn't suit me after all.

When I had a big clear out of my make-up I came across quite a few old lipsticks and picked up one from Estee Lauder - Caffe Latte, tried it on and sadly found it no longer suited me..but it did remind me of Sweet Lips

Click for a closer look

Top swatch is Sweet Lips, bottom is Caffe Latte

Both are shimmery with tiny flecks, Sweet Lips is ever so slightly pinky/peachier and more pigmented than the Caffe Latte which is slightly browner and more sheer. Actually the difference is really quite slight in real life, and when on the lips hard to tell the difference at all. I put one on my top lip and the other on the bottom and had to really get close to the mirror!

The bad news - Estee Lauder has discontinued Caffe Latte. The good news is that if you liked this shade you will probably like Cult GD's Sweet Lips as an equivalent long lasting and moisturising lipstick.

Sweet Lips from Cult GD costs £8.90


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