Monday 26 September 2011

Win a Skin Wisdom/Day Spa Pamper Basket - NOW CLOSED


If you enjoy pampering yourself then you will want to read on!

The lovely people at Tesco Beauty have got in touch and would like to treat one lucky follower of to a pamper basket full of goodies from the Day Spa and Skin Wisdom ranges.

Below is a taste of what it will include:

Day Spa Pure De-Stress Rose & Geranium Bath & Body Oil - £6.00
Day Spa Truly Relaxing Warm Cinnamon & Fig body butter - £5.00
Day Spa Very Enriched Vanilla & Neroli Wash ‘n’ Scrub - £4.00
Skin Wisdom Instant Benefits Line Eraser - £5.00
Skin Wisdom Instant Benefits Derma Polish - £6.00
Skin Wisdom Ultimate Life Serum - £7.00
Skin Wisdom Age Delay Deep Wrinkle Concentrate - £5.00
Skin Wisdom Skin Essentials Detox Thermal Mask - £1.00

To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, leave a comment below telling me why you deserve a little 'me time'.
The winner will be chosen by me as the person I deem is the most deserving.

Make sure you say how you follow me - along with your twitter / facebook / blogger ID so that I can get in touch if you are the winner.

The giveaway closes at 23:59 on Friday the 30th September and is open to United Kingdom residents only.


Oral B Pro Expert Toothpaste - The Verdict

A little while ago I told you about Oral B Pro-Expert Toothpaste and promised a review once I had trialled it for at least a couple of weeks. I have been using Pro Expert for a few months now and am ready to give you my verdict...

The claims - With regular brushing, Oral-B Pro-Expert helps:

• Prevent Cavities
• Prevent Plaque
• Prevent Gum Problems
• Build increasing protection against painful sensitivity
• Prevent Tartar
• Whiten teeth by removing surface stains
• Prevent Enamel Erosion
• Freshen Breath

I was given Oral B Pro-Expert Touthpaste in Clean Mint to try out. 

The Taste - When I smelt this in the tube I was a little concerned. I love brushing my teeth and I am a little addicted to that minty taste that most toothpaste's have..but Clean Mint smells like the coloured water you swirl around after a dental check up or filling. However, once I got over the disappointment and actually brushed my teeth with the paste I found that actually I really liked it. It tastes quite sweet, a bit like cinnamon.

'Active Clean Crystals' - The crystals provide a crunchy sensation when first in the mouth, but they quickly disperse. Again this doesn't bother me at all as they are quite fine.. in fact I was expecting coarser crystals so was pleasantly surprised.

Consistency - Pro Expert is not a cream toothpaste but more like a gel. 

Verdict - After use my teeth feel ultra clean, the kind and smoothness you feel when you pass your  tongue over your teeth after a really good brush. (I hope you know what I mean!) I do think my teeth are ever so slightly whiter looking. My teeth still get a bit sensitive when I have ice cold food/drink. All in all, I like using this toothpaste and will continue to do so.

Have you tried Pro Expert yet?

Friday 23 September 2011

A Couple of Winter Skincare Essentials That Are Under £5!

As Summer has faded and Autumn has approached I have found myself reaching out for a couple of my skincare winter favourites. I buy these products year after year as they are cheap and they work.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (Concentrated) - Retails for around £3.59 for 50ml

A little goes a long way with this glycerin enriched formula, you only need a tiny amount to get super soft hands.  I love the scent, which I find strangely comforting but if you are not a fan of scents, it disappears soon after application. The cream comes out clear and has a thick gel consistency but pleasingly it is non greasy. One of my favourite hand creams and now one of my husband's too. My husband has terribly dry, sore, chapped hands in winter and this works instantly for him, as the packaging is of a smart design he doesn't mind using it....

Vaseline Lip Therapy Original - Retails for under £2

I apply this every night on my lips as soon as the weather starts to get chilly and I wake up with beautifully soft, smooth lips. It comes in a 20g tin and it lasts ages. I have used Vaseline (petroleum jelly) for years and I don't think I will ever stop having a tin in the house. It really is a household essential.

Last year I discovered the wonders of Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa which is lovely and I alternate this with the original version. On my to buy list this year is the Rosy Lips version, apparently it tints the lips as well as providing the usual moisture.

What are your bargain winter essentials?

Thursday 22 September 2011

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous EyeShadow Swatches

This Autumn/Winter 2011 sees the launch of some stunning eye shadows from Chanel. The new eye shadows have got the beauty world in a flutter with their gorgeousness.  So on Saturday I stopped by the Chanel counter and swatched a few of the new eye shadows to see for myself what was making everyone go crazy....

Swatches of Epatant and Mirifique

I was instantly taken by Epatant (shade 84) This is a stunning shade of silvery/green that I think really would bring out my green eyes. I wanted to buy it there and then but sadly the counter was out of stock, never mind I AM going to purchase it.

Mirifique (shade 85) is a fantastic black with lots of glitter, this is highly pigmented and if I am really honest I would never be able to wear it on my eyelids as they are just too small to do the shade justice. I could wear it as a liner but again I would have such limited use of it that on this occasion I will leave this on the counter.

The eye shadows that I swatched are incredibly pigmented and ultra soft and buttery to the touch (despite their glittery textured appearance). They are quite curious as they are a bit gel like but not wet, amazing. I found them easy to blend. They are compacted so when I lifted the pots they were packaged in and turned them upside down none fell out, a major plus point for me as I am not a fan of loose makeup and the mess that it creates!

There are 6 eye shadow shades in the Chanel Fall Collection to choose from but these were the ones that caught my eye on the day.

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous EyeShadows are £22.50 each and come with a small applicator brush

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Stephen Webster Bijoux Afternoon Tea At The Langham London

London Fashion Week attendees are ideally placed to try out the new and exclusive afternoon tea at the luxury hotel, The Langham, London. The hotel has collaborated with renowned British jewellery designer Stephen Webster who, together with The Langham’s Executive Pastry Chef Cherish Finden, has created the Stephen Webster Bijoux Afternoon Tea.

The limited edition Stephen Webster Bijoux Tea has been inspired by Stephen’s most recent jewellery collection ‘Murder She Wrote’. The ‘Murder She Wrote’ collection uses diamonds and colourful stones to create dramatic, statement pieces. Intricate cakes and sweet patisseries have been created to reflect Webster’s eclectic designs.

As the ultimate treat for a fashionista, the Stephen Webster Bijoux Afternoon Tea celebrates both British fashion and traditional afternoon tea with transgressive design and literary heritage. The edible masterpieces substitute sparkling diamonds for shimmering icing and dense gold for light cake within the decadent setting of the elegant Palm Court.

Accompanied by luxury savoury sandwiches and indulgent chocolate scones, the tea will feature unique creations based on Webster designs, including the Crystal Clear Diamond, a lightly perfumed Guinness macaroon with blackcurrant jelly, the Poison Apple, a red peppercorn and dark chocolate shortbread, and a roasted green pistachio Chantilly with airy meringue sponge inspired by Stephen Webster’s Armadillo ring. The Langham’s extensive range of teas which include classics as well as the hotel’s own blends serve as the perfect accompaniment to the Bijoux Tea Delicacies 

How exquisite do these look!
The Stephen Webster Bijoux Afternoon Tea at The Langham is priced at £49 per person, and is available from 1st September 2011.

Sunday 18 September 2011

NOTD - Butter London Wallis

Wallis instantly grabbed me when I received the Autumn/Winter 2011 collection from Butter London and on this perfect, crisp Autumn day I have made them my nails of the day.

In the bottle this is an olivey gold shade that has seemingly endless amounts of shimmery particles. On the nails this translates to an ultra glamorous metallic antique gold shade that I adore. This is a nail lacquer that is bang on trend as metallics are huge this season. This is wearable for both day and evening,  I will be wearing this lacquer a lot this Autumn, particularly with olive and black clothing.

Just like Bluey the shimmer is not glitter so it applies and dries smooth to the touch. You will need 2 coats to achieve opacity and you will need to keep shaking the bottle to ensure the shimmer particles apply evenly.

Wallis forms part of the Butter London A/W 2011 Collection

Friday 16 September 2011

Make Up For The School Run - Just 2 minutes!

My little boy has recently started nursery school, whereas before we could pretty much be anywhere at anytime we are now battling against the dreaded clock..

I like to take my time applying my makeup, nothing excessive like Joan Collins (a rumoured three hours) but around 10- 15 minutes usually and more if required.

I have quickly learnt that in order to get myself and him ready in the morning the one thing that I don't have much of is time. Most of my morning is battling with him to eat his breakfast and chasing him around the house to get ready!

I like to wear makeup and am not the kind of person that will pop to the shops without my makeup.

So I have perfected the it takes less than 2 minutes ready for the day look.. I know it takes this as I timed it!

Two minutes, four products.

Base - Liz Earle Skin Tint in shade Beige 02 
Blusher - Flawless You Forever Cheeky in Country Fresh - I love how natural this is.
Mascara - Max Factor Xperience Volumising Mascara in brown/black - My go to everyday mascara
Lipstick - Revlon Colourburst Lipstick in Raspberry 045 - An instant pop of colour is a guaranteed face brightener, I LOVE this shade.

Here you go - a picture of me on the school run

Thursday 15 September 2011

Happy Anniversary

It is my wedding anniversary today, I have been married for 5 years!

Here are a few photographs that bring back the happy memories of the day :-)

Just before leaving for the Church

My make up was all from Clinique

The roses used in my bouquet were Dolce Vita roses which translated means sweet life.

Arriving at the church in a 1950's Bentley

My beautiful bridesmaids in soft pink tea dresses

My dress in full glory

We are married!

One of my favourite unofficial shots

A shot of the flowers on the top table - the scent was incredible

The colour scheme of the wedding was gold and pink

And I leave you with a tier of the cake

Wednesday 14 September 2011

NOTD - Butter London Bluey

As there are quite a few polishes to show you from the Butter London Autumn/Winter 2011 collection I have enlisted the help of my beautiful little sister who has agreed to wear a few for me...

Today's nails of the day are Butter London Bluey.

Bluey is a sparkly shade of teal. A bright bluey-green. The collection is apparently inspired by 'dirty' jewel tones - so naturally if this would have been a 'clean' jewel it would have been a sapphire.

Butter London Bluey

This was achieved with two coats. Bluey is great as although it has a gorgeous sparkly finish the polish is smooth to the touch, not gritty like a glitter polish and consequently it is easy to remove.

I have to confess Teal is not a colour that I would personally choose. I acquired an aversion to the shade when I was pregnant with Aaron, it is quite bizarre really but the aversion has remained to this day.

What do you think ?

Bluey is part of the Butter London A/W 2011 collection

*PR sample

Monday 12 September 2011

Outfit/Face Of The Day - A Wedding Guest

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a University friend of mine.

Both the wedding and reception were held at the Sheraton Park Lane, London. This is a wonderfully grand venue, just perfect for the occasion. It was a stunning wedding, the setting, food and service were outstanding.

I don't often do an outfit post but I wanted to share the outfit that I wore for the wedding :-)

Nails - Butter London 'Toff'.
Bag - Mulberry Shoulder Bag in black leather

Dress - Coast 'Nikita' Ruched Dress in Black
Purple satin shoes purchased in Italy

Coast Nikita Ruched Dress

Nikita from Coast is a fabulous choice for a dress as it really enhanced my figure, coming in beautifully to show off the waist and sits not clings on to the hips and thighs. The scooped neckline is flattering and not low which I find with so many dresses that I like (too much on show!)

A shot from the front and back!

On my eyes I included a hint of purple eye shadow and on my lips I kept it nude topped with a gloss, on my cheeks my favourite blusher - Nars Deepthroat. The base had to be Estee Lauder's Double Wear Foundation. This really does provide THE perfect, flawless and long lasting base to work with. I love it.

What do you think?

Sunday 11 September 2011

NOTD - Butter London Toff

Nails Of The Day

I wore Butter London's Toff to my friend's wedding yesterday and have to say I love this shade. Toff is a wonderfully rich and creamy, muddy purple. The lacquer is easy to apply, fast to dry and remains glossy.

Butter London - Toff

I will definitely be wearing this alot this coming Autumn as it really is a perfect shade to take you into winter.

Toff is from the Butter London Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection. You can see the whole collection here and look out for future NOTD posts to see the rest of the collection.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Sleek Makeup Oh So Special Palette

Sleek and I did not have a great start, I bought the Sleek Avoir La Peche Paraguaya palette as I was a bit of a fan of peach and orange shades, but I was disappointed with it. I couldn't get on with the textures of the shadows, they were too waxy and hard to blend so it has not been used much if at all since the first time.

At a recent Superdrug event I met up with a Sleek representative and told her about the palette I had bought and she gave me the Oh So Special palette to see if she could change my mind about Sleek's palettes.

The first thing to note is the range of shades, they really appeal to me and I would use all of them. This is quite rare in a palette, there always tends to be one or two that I wouldn't touch, I usually prefer buying single eye shadows because of this.

Contained in nice, slim packaging with a mirror and applicators

With Flash

Swatches of Oh So Special

The shimmery ones glide on and are easy to blend and the matt ones are creamy but not waxy, perfect!

This is actually a great mix of creamy lights to browns, some plums and a bluey/grey and of course the pigment rich Noir. This palette will easily take you from day to night

I have been having a little play with these today and instantly love Glitz - a deep shiny blue.Gift Basket, Organza, Gateaux are just gorgeous. Bow makes a perfect base shade. I will be doing some eye of the day posts with this palette for sure.

The Oh So Special palette is limited edition so if you want to buy it better do it soon...

Sleek Makeup Oh So Special Palette costs £6.49

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Biba Launches Beauty Collection

Last year Biba relaunched its iconic fashion label and this year sees the launch of Biba Beauty a capsule collection of wearable makeup.

The inspiration for the makeup is from the original Biba theme of 1930's glamour and comprises of the following products.

Biba Lip Palette £24 
Luscious and indulgent lip colours in five luxurious shades.

Biba Baked Eyeshadow Palette £26 
Velvety soft mineral eye shadows in opulent shades of molten metal and precious jewels. Use a dampened
brush for intense long wearing colour.

My favourite has to be the Biba Face Palette £34  

Six luxurious eye shadows in gorgeous shades I would use, a rich oyster pearl highlighter and a dewy pink blusher.

All encased in striking Biba packaging.

Also included in the collection is a lipgloss ring, a trio of nail varnishes and false lashes!

Biba Beauty makeup is going to be available exclusively at House of Fraser stores from the 1st October 2011

Monday 5 September 2011

Myface Cosmetics Blingtones - Purple Haze Review

I have often walked past the Myface Cosmetics stand in Boots and looked at the blingtones range and intended to pick at least one up, the poster makes them look so appealing, so when I was offered some to review I jumped at the chance.

I was sent the purple haze shade of eye shadow and nail polish to review which I was delighted with to be honest as purple is one of my favourite colours and is so flattering to my green eyes.

Gorgeous aren't they?

The nail polish applies like a dream, so smooth and creamy rich in consistency. I needed two coats for this perfect look. This is a pretty metallic light purple shade. I love it, especially the way in some lights it is shot with silver.

I would recommend a top coat to make it last.

The purple haze eye shadow looks quite dramatic and gritty in the pot but I was surprised how sheer it was and how soft. I needed three layers and an eye shadow base to achieve this

This is just beautiful, it literally glistens like snow from the silver flecks contained in it. In some lights it can look more pinky/purple with frosting on top.

Look at how it accentuates the whites of my eyes and makes the greens even greener.

I really like the blingtones concept and have my eyes on gilt-y (a gold) and sp-ice-y (a rich warm brown).

Have you tried any Blingtones, what did you think?

Myface Cosmetics Blingtones in 'Purple Haze' - lil'bling polish costs £5.99 and the blingtone eye shadow costs £9.99.

* Samples provided for review purposes by the Makeup Advice Forum

Butter London A/W 2011 Collection - Nail Lacquers

It is not often that I will just post a picture of products that I have received,  but I do make an exception when the products look as good as these do. The Autumn/Winter 2011 collection from butter London look utterly gorgeous in their pots that I was itching to share them with you!

I will be doing a more in-depth review with pictures of them on the nails very soon but for now enjoy....

Do any of these instantly grab you?

Friday 2 September 2011

The Friday Column - Pine Nut Mouth

Pine Nut Mouth

The curious case of pine nut mouth.....

One Monday in May 2010 I was eating my usual breakfast cereal and with each mouthful thought it tasted decidedly odd. It had a horrible bitter taste. Drinking a cup of tea a while later the strange taste was still there and by lunchtime I could barely eat. I had a strange metallic taste in my mouth which became worse if I ate anything.

After lunch I called my husband to ask him if had noticed anything funny about the breakfast or lunch that he had eaten but he hadn't.

The thought crossed my mind that I could be pregnant as I remembered when I was pregnant with Aaron how odd a cup of tea tasted in the early days.. A couple of days later the foul metallic taste was still there and I really didn't want to eat or drink anything at all.

So I googled and found out that the cause of a bitter metallic taste in the mouth could indeed be pregnancy..but I also found out that people were suffering with it having consumed pine nuts.

Interesting...the Saturday before I had eaten a prepacked Asian style vegetable/salad combination from Marks and Spencer and it had contained pine nuts!

It all made sense now. Symptoms appear 12 - 48 hours after eating the pine nuts. The bad news was that this horrid metallic taste was going to last up to 2 weeks! The good news was that it had no lasting effects.

Every day I would hope that it would be the last, I found it so difficult to eat as nothing tasted like it should. Any enjoyment I had of food had literally been banished overnight. Eventually the taste subsided and my taste buds returned to normal.

So what causes it ?

Press reports from as early as 2009 attribute pine mouth to cheaper pine nuts exported from China as opposed to the more expensive (usually) Italian pine nuts. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have said they are not dangerous to health and have found no reason for the reaction. It could be that the oil contained in the nuts have gone rancid due to poor storage but this is just speculation. It doesn't affect everyone, some people are more susceptible to pine mouth hence the reason why my husband had eaten the same salad as me but wasn't suffering.

It has affected a significant minority, it was featured in Which magazine a few months after I had suffered with it and is still happening as it was again featured this year. Apparently Supermarkets are making more of an effort to ensure that they use suppliers who source their nuts from Europe.

So beware - if you eat pine nuts it could happen to you!

Have you suffered from Pine (nut) mouth?

Thursday 1 September 2011

Benefit Finding Mr. Bright - Review and Swatches

I am not a huge fan of makeup kits and palettes in general as I always find there are products that I don't or won't use in them. However, I think it is something that Benefit does really well. Benefit create fab little kits that make excellent gifts or tasters into their range of products.

Finding Mr. Bright is one such kit, this packaging is so bright you cannot fail to notice it on the shelves and will have no problem finding it amongst your makeup. That said the outer packaging is my least favourite thing about the product!

Finding Mr. Bright is billed as a brightening makeup manual and it contains 4 mini size Benefit products and a manual on how to use each of the products.

The four products inside are

Girl Meets Pearl - 7.5ml
Posietint - 4ml
High Beam - 2.5ml
Erase Paste 3.2g  (no2 Medium)

Inside the box
I love this kit as it contains everything I need to brighten my skin up, I would use and am using everything that is in it. As the products are minis I also find them handy to take away with me when I have the odd weekend away..

Girl Meets Pearl - This is a lovely golden pink liquid that can be blended with your foundation or used on top of make up to make you glow.

Posietint - I have tried all three tints from the Benefit range and this has to be my favourite. The bottle comes with a little brush and you just brush on three strokes and blend for a long lasting soft pink cheek tint. It can be used on the lips as well. I am wearing it here.

High Beam - This is one of Benefit's iconic highlighting products. It is excellent, a little goes a long way. This provides an instant pick me up to brighten the face. I love to use it on my cheek bones and brow bones. Once again this comes with a little brush. I used it daily on my recent weekend away to the Cotswolds and fell in love with it.

Erase Paste - This product was a slow grower on me as there is a trick to using it. You only need a tiny amount and it needs to be warmed between your fingers so that it softens to become blendable. The medium shade works really well for me and I use it to cover any dark circles I have and the odd imperfection.

Swatches of Finding Mr.Bright. From L-R Girl Meets Pearl, High Beam, Posietint and Erase Paste

I can highly recommend this brightening kit from Benefit. If you have never tried any of these products this is a great introduction to them.

What is your favourite Benefit kit?

Finding Mr.Bright costs £28.50

* PR sample


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