Monday 29 December 2014

My Top Five Products Of 2014

As the year is almost at an end I thought now would be a good time to take the opportunity to share my favourite products of this year. is more than just a beauty review site, inside these pages I share not only my favourite skincare and beauty items and afternoon tea events but also fabulous food and drink finds (usually of a healthy nature but also to satisfy that ever present sweet craving) and of course absolutely anything else that grabs my interest and consequently my awards reflect this.

So without further ado here are my top 5 favourite products of 2014 - 

5. ScentChips from Holland and Barrett 

These are a recent revelation to me but already I am hooked on these deliciously scented wax melts. They are colourful, come in a leaf shape and print and quite simply smell utterly amazing. Used in conjunction with a burner the wax melts to emit the most wonderful aromas that literally fill the entire house. They last for absolutely ages too.

They come in ready made scent packs or you can mix and match your melts to create many scent variations..

Home Fragrance at its best.

4. Linwoods Milled Flaxseed Sunflower Pumpkin Sesame seeds and Goji Berries

Another product from Holland and Barrett, LINWOODS do a wide range of milled seeds and nuts combinations. I loved this particular one so much I have gone on to buy it multiple times, I still want to try some others in the range which I plan to do soon. I love the fact that this is healthy, nutritional and being milled easier to digest. I have this on my porridge every day and if I have run out of porridge it is just as tasty on plain yoghurt with fresh blueberries as an alternative breakfast.

You can read my original review here

3. Rimmel London BB Cream Matte Light 

I am all about the base. I truly believe that if you get that right the rest just follows naturally. In the past I have tended towards high end bases because you are usually given a wider choice of shades for more of a perfect colour match and I have just found them better suited to my skin... I still do get excited, very excited when a new foundation/BB Cream/CC Cream is released and it is probably the one beauty product that will never fail to ignite my passion in beauty. When this little sample was included in a GlossyBox I didn't think much about it... until I tried it and was blown away. A perfect base product for an absolute bargain budget price of just £6.99.

It covers everything and although it says Matte I don't find it that matte at all, just that it leaves me great looking skin that lasts all day. The only downside is that it comes in just two shades.

You can read my original review here

2. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Nude Kate

I am always drawn to nude shades of lipstick and gloss and forever on the look out for a my lips but better perfect shade and this year I found it in Nude Kate - the nude shade from Charlotte Tilbury's K.I.S.S.I.N.G range of lipsticks.

Luxurious packaging, a beautifully creamy and moisturising formula makes this one of my all time favourite lipsticks.

For my mini review and swatches click here

1. Dior Diorskin Star Foundation 

As I mentioned above I am all about the base so naturally my number one product would be a base product. This year the accolade without a doubt goes to Dior with its spectacular Dior Star Studio MakeUp.

I only tried a sachet sample of the foundation but I managed to use it on five separate occasions and fell in love with the instantaneously fabulous results. Skin looks smooth, flawless and radiant.

When I finish one of my current foundations I will be purchasing this foundation without a doubt.

To see my full review and to see me wearing it, click here

A true winner I am sure you will agree.

What products did you love this year?

Wednesday 17 December 2014

The Gift Of Perfect Hair From Paul Mitchell This Christmas

Everyone loves to have good hair and these Fashionable Trios Christmas Gift Sets from Paul Mitchell costing £27 are simply the best. The generously sized products come in a delightful reusable gift bag each with a gorgeous hand drawn fashion print decorated by Australian fashion illustrator Sarah Hankinson, I have to say I adore the packaging and think these would make a fabulous gift that will last for ages. (I am already using my wipe clean bag to home my makeup brushes!)

The Art of Blonde


Forever Blonde Shampoo 250ml
Forever Blonde Conditioner 200ml
Forever Blonde Dramatic Repair 25ml

The Art of Volume 


Extra-Body Daily Shampoo 300ml
Extra-Body Daily Rinse 300ml
Extra-Body Daily Boost 250ml

The Art of Curls 


Spring Loaded Frizz-Fighting Shampoo 250ml
Full Circle Leave-In Treatment 200ml
Ultimate Wave 150ml

Also available are 'Classic and Style' gift sets. 

The Art of Sleek

I have been using 'The Art of Sleek' set and have been really impressed with the super sleek, frizz free hair that it gives me. The products also cut down drying time which is an absolute godsend for me.


Super Skinny Daily Shampoo 300ml
Super Skinny Daily Treatment 300ml
Super Skinny Serum 150ml

Art of Style Gift Sets are available to purchase from Salons stocking Paul Mitchell products.

Soap and Glory and Bliss Stocking Filler Gift Ideas

If you are like me and have left everything to the last week before Christmas then worry not as I have a few Christmas/Festive posts coming your way that will have you sorted.

First up are these cute ideas that will leave your lips (and hands) in tip top condition.

Soap & Glory 'MERRY KISS MUCH' Gift Bauble £5 - available from Boots stores.

The bright and fun bauble contains a full size Soap & Glory A GREAT KISSER Lip Balm in Juicy Peach.
Formulated with mango butter, apricot butter, lingonberry oil and pomegranate extract, A GREAT KISSER Lip Balm is not  at all greasy or too sticky and as lip balms go, it smells utterly delectable. 

Bliss Mistletoe Gems £13 -

I love the shiny and festive packaging of this lip and hand care duo which is ideal for the cold weather and Winter months.

It features a 30ml handbag size high intensity hand cream which has a lovely fresh scent and is really concentrated and so effective that you literally only need to use a pea sized amount each time for perfectly moisturised hands. (Contains Macadamia Oil + Grapeseed Extract)

It also contains a full size fabulips - a traditional style stick formula lip balm that has a subtle vanilla scent which does a great job of softening and conditioning lips on the go. This has already found its way into my pocket.

*PR Samples

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Paddington Afternoon Tea At The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

With the release of Paddington Bear The Movie this November The Mandarin Oriental in London presents their delightful Paddington themed Afternoon Tea. I personally loved Paddington Bear as a child so I was very excited when I heard the news about the film, now I just need to make time to see it!

However, I was lucky enough to be invited to try this special afternoon tea in the exceptionally elegant, refined and contemporary venue of The Rosebery at The Mandarin Oriental. The Mandarin Oriental is perfectly situated in the heart of Knightsbridge in close proximity to Harrods and literally opposite to Harvey Nichols. I cannot think of a better way to end a day of shopping than afternoon tea here.

The Rosebery

This outstanding menu was a masterful feast, and a feast it really was. The sandwiches were unlimited (but we didn't want to have too many and spoil the sweets!) my favourites were the festive Turkey and Sage and the Crab and Crayfish Brioche Rolls, they were exceptionally tasty. I liked the way that the sandwiches were presented in an alternative way to the usual finger shaped sandwiches.


I chose to drink the Green Tea with Custard Apple at first and then opted to change to the Afternoon Blend once I had moved on from the sandwiches to the sweets. These were great choices, both made great companions to the food and neither needed milk or sugar to enjoy them.

We also tried the fruity tasting Blend 68 which is a White Tea Blended with Tropical Fruits

The scones were the absolute perfect size and warm to the table, we had a choice of three jams to enjoy  - Strawberry & Raspberry, Lemon Curd and Rose Petal Jam and of course the essential clotted cream. We absolutely adored the Rose Jam with Clotted Cream combination the best, it tasted so, so good! The scones were incredibly light and some of the best I have ever tasted.

The pastries were incredibly cute and well thought, each one having a connection to the Paddington Bear theme. I couldn't say which was my favourite as I loved them all..oh ok, if pushed I was rather partial to the Paddington Bear Hat which under held a delicious and sweet maple choux bun.

And if that isn't enough, you are then brought even more cake! see below for more details.

What we ate -

Slow roasted Norfolk bronze turkey with sage and cranberry
Smoked salmon tartar with creme fraiche and dill
Cotswold egg and mustard cress
St Tola goats cheese, roast pumpkin, red onion confit
Portland crab and crayfish fondue on brioche
Wiltshire cured ham and air dried tomatoes

Find my Teddy brownies...
(Crunchy brownie, Banana compote, jivara milk chocolate Chantilly)
Pack your suitcase
(Caramelised cinnamon and java pepper ganache, muscovado and chocolate sable)
My favourite rolled marmalade sandwich
(Rolled sponge, orange marmalade, candy ginger chantilly)
Paddington pots
(Saffron honey brule, pear and quince compote)
Maple Hat Bun
(Choux pastry, sesame seeds crumble)

Cakes and Scones
Carrot cake
Christmas cake
Cranberry and plain scones

I loved the tweaks to a traditional afternoon tea, from the rolled sandwiches to the gorgeous and clever ornamental branch stand that held our birdcage like cake stand which meant our table was free for our plates and tea. The service was friendly and attentive, with special thanks given to our waiter (Guillaume) who was really quite exceptional and made our afternoon tea a real pleasure. The whole afternoon was spent feeling incredibly relaxed in stylish surroundings and was utterly delightful and delectable.

Would we return? Absolutely. 

Paddington Afternoon Tea at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park costs £48 per person and is available until January 15th 2015.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Soap & Glory The Next Big Thing Christmas Gift Set - Boots Star Gift

You know it's Christmas when Boots start doing their weekly Star Gift Bargains in the run up to Christmas, a time when you can bag yourself a mega bargain and you REALLY know it's Christmas when the big one from Soap & Glory comes up for sale.

I receive a lot of emails asking me when Soap & Glory are doing theirs so without further ado I can reveal that it is...

This Friday 12th December online and in Boots Stores while stocks last.

Soap & Glory's 'The Next Big Thing' will cost an extremely wallet friendly £29 (contents worth £76)

Containing everything you need for top to toe pampering and some make up favourites included too.

The hat box designs have been created in collaboration with illustrator Hattie Stewart. There is a choice of two box designs but the contents are exactly the same.

Gift Set Includes:

• HAND DREAM™ Super Cream 100ml

• ORANGEASM™ Body Wash 500ml

• BUTTER YOURSELF™ Moisture Lotion 500ml

• HEEL GENIUS™ Foot Cream 125ml

• SUGAR CRUSH™ Body Scrub 300ml

• WHIPPED CLEAN™ Shower Butter 250ml

• THE RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™ Body Butter 300ml

• OFF YOUR FACE™ 3 in 1 Daily Purifying Cloths (25 cloths)

• SEXY MOTHER PUCKER™ Lip Lacquer in Charm Offensive 7ml

• THICK & FAST™ Super Volume Mascara 10ml

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Balance Me Super Toning Body Wash & Body Oil Review

I am currently loving using this duo of natural skincare gorgeousness from Balance Me from the Super Toning collection.

The Super Toning Body Wash 200ml £9

Balance Me say 

Our invigorating super toning body wash is designed to improve skin tone, soften, smooth and encourage good circulation thanks to a unique spa-inspired blend of natural, active ingredients; juniper, bergamot, geranium and lavender. The wash’s uplifting signature blend appeals to both sexes in equal measure. This is a wonderful daily treat, ideal for frequent use thanks to its gentle, naturally foaming formulation.
My thoughts 

Wherever possible I try to avoid SLS and Parabens in my skincare and indeed one of my favourite collections contains neither so it was nice to try yet another, lovely natural collection that avoids these as well, performs well and is a decent price.

The body wash has a pleasant, delicate scent and comes out as a gel that foams ever so lightly when mixed with water. Personally I am not bothered about bubbles but I know some people are!

Skin feels clean, soft and healthy.

The Super Toning Body Oil 200ml £20

Balance Me say 

This award-winning body oil is our beauty Shangri-La, originally created by Balance Me Co-Founder Clare. This super-effective body oil will soften and smooth skin, and encourage good circulation thanks to a unique blend of active ingredients; juniper, bergamot, geranium and lavender. We added the moisturising and softening oils jojoba, macadamia, sweet almond and wheat germ for their essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and vitamins, to help keep the visible signs of ageing at bay.
My thoughts 

The body oil features the same light and pleasant scent as the body wash. The oil dries quickly on the skin to leave it super soft and feeling nourished. The effects are lasting too. Perfect for a Winter skincare treat, I will be applying this daily.

*PR Samples

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Which Benefit Highlighter Is For You?

Benefit certainly know the benefit of highlighting the face as they have no less than five highlighters for sale. As I have four of them here I thought it would be useful to do a comparison and let you see what they look like alongside each other.

Now readers of will know that I pretty much use like to use highlighters every day. I adore the radiance that it brings to my skin and now I have seen what it can do.. I don't want to live without it.

Benefit Highlighters Swatched - From L-R - Highbeam, Sunbeam, Watt's Up and Girl Meets Pearl.

Highbeam is a Benefit best seller - this liquid highlighter is described as a luminescent complexion enhancer it can be used to spot highlight or added all over for a radiant glow.

Benefit say 
Our satiny pink liquid highlighter accents cheek & brow bones for a radiant glow. Use as a spot highlighter or delicately blend all over your complexion. Looks perfectly radiant on all skintones. It's the "supermodel in a bottle"!

My thoughts 

This is a cool toned, icy highlighter that personally I would save for the evening as during the day it can look a bit unnatural. Evening time is when anything goes!

Sunbeam - This is a golden bronze toned liquid complexion highlighter. 

Benefit say

This golden bronze highlighter gives you a natural, sunkissed radiance. Dot & blend over makeup on to cheek & brow bones for a bronzed glow that complements all skintones. It’s liquid sunshine in a bottle!

My thoughts 

I think this is best used in the Summer and Autumn months when skin is naturally sunkissed, Sunbeam complements and enhances the skin with a beautiful golden, natural looking glow. I love the warmth of this shade and for me it is a summer staple. 

Watt's Up! - Described as a soft focus highlighter for face. 

Benefit say

Our soft focus highlighter turns on “watt” ya got with a delicate champagne glow that’s gorgeous. With a cream-to-powder’s a switch on “wow” for all complexions. You’ll adore the smooth applicator & luminous sheen.

My thoughts 

I love this cream to powder finish stick highlighter. It is easy to apply and work with and it blends beautifully for a really natural year round glow. Liquid highlighters I find can remove powder blushers or powder foundations but this doesn't happen with the creamy Watt's Up. The champagne shade is gorgeous for all tones as well. My favourite for every day use. 

Girl Meets Pearl - Liquid pearl for face. 

Benefit say

This soft golden-pink liquid pearl glides on for a breathtakingly luminous complexion. Twist up & pat on over makeup or wear alone for a dewy luxurious lit-from-within glow. It's pure pearly pleasure!

My thoughts 

Girl Meets Pearl is a liquid highlighter that sits between High Beam and Sunbeam and actually is very similar to Watt's Up in shade. It provides a subtle natural radiance to the skin. 

Which is your favourite?

3 Luxury Nude Lipsticks You Need In Your Handbag

Trust me when I say that a nude lip will never go out of fashion. So whether the trend is a red lip or a bright lip or a vampy dark lip...the alternative is always nude. Which is just as well for me because I adore nude shade lipsticks and glosses, I have far more than I need but I cannot resist them.

Here I have whittled it down to my three favourite luxury nude lipsticks

Swatches of YSL, Charlotte Tilbury & Burberry

1. YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Nude Beige - This is a moist looking pinky nude shade that is gorgeous with a smokey eye.

2. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Nude Kate Lipstick  - This shade is a moist nude, nude shade. A my lips but better shade that Charlotte created for Kate Moss. This is a new lipstick for me but I am already smitten by its luxe formula.

Here I am wearing it*

3. Burberry Lip Velvet in Pink Apricot - This lipstick is a pretty peachy nude in a matte formula. I love wearing this day to day as the peachy tone gives a  lovely brightness to the skin.

Which luxury nude lipsticks do you like to wear?

*If you want to see how the other two lipsticks look on me click on the titles which have links to previous reviews.

Monday 1 December 2014

L'Oreal Makeup Gift With Purchase Offer - L'Oreal Paris So Couture Gift Set

I have had my eyes on a few makeup bits from L'Oreal MakeUp for a little while now and so when I saw they had a GWP in Boots worth £30 (which incidentally came with the mascara I was wanting to try) when you spent £14.99 I had to indulge.

I bought the following items

L'Oreal Paris Color Nail Gold Leaf Top Coat
L'Oreal Paris L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick by Color Riche in Nude Vibrato and Nude Ballet

*I spent £22

and received the following 

Gift With Purchase -  L'Oreal Paris So Couture Gift Set

Containing all full size products of

L'Oreal Paris Million Lashes So Couture So Black Mascara
L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick in Scarlett Creme 
L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Nails in Exquisite Scarlet
L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Le Khol in Immaculate Snow  

I'd say that was a bargain!

Gold Leaf Top Coat Over Black Nail Polish - Party Nails!

I absolutely adore today's Nails Of The Day. I applied L'Oreal's Gold Leaf Top Coat over *Wild About Beauty's Michael Black Nail Polish. 

I needed two coats of the Nail Polish to achieve opacity or you could get away with applying one thick coat but I prefer two thinner coats.

Another fabulous Christmas party look don't you think?

*PR Sample


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