Wednesday 29 March 2017

Flash Fiction - Unbelievable

This week's 100 word story using the following picture prompt


The Detective gazed out of the Penthouse Suite, the windows wall to ceiling. 'What a view' he commented. It was a crystal clear day, the water was absurdly still. Serenity reigned supreme.

‘He entered the water there?’ Pointing directly at the centre of the Marina, he quizzed the owner of the property.

She nodded, cigarette in hand, the hand shaking violently.

‘The thing is Marion, the divers have found no evidence of a body, or the boat.’

‘5th call this week, I’ll let myself out.’

‘I know what I saw’ she muttered as she popped open another bottle of red.

Hope you enjoyed it! 
Bettina x

With thanks to the lovely Rochelle who organises this each week. If you wish to read other stories based on this prompt click here 

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Flash Fiction - The Pearly Gates

My 100 word story using this photo prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Two pert little button noses poked through the railings, one set of eyes wide with amazement.

‘Is that it?’ whispered Katie.

‘Yup, that’s it’ Tom whispered back with certainty.

Katie wrinkled her nose ‘That’s Heaven, where God lives?’ The little girl was sceptical. She ran the tips of her fingers along the rusty gates. ‘But these gates are not pearly and where are the angels?’

Tom shrugged ‘Dunno, maybe they were pearly once.’

The door opened and out scurried two cloaked figures dressed in white. An old man, bearded, with white hair waved from a window.

‘Angels, GOD’ Katie breathed.

Hope you enjoyed the story
Bettina X

If you wish to read more stories from this week's prompt - click here

Sunday 19 March 2017

The White Company New Skincare Range Reviewed

Just over three weeks ago I was sent a few items from the new Skincare Range from The White Company. Since then I have been using the items every day, trialling them out and putting them through their paces.

I have to say that I cannot pass by The White Company without popping in and especially since having children The Little White Company. I love the fresh and simple look of the products, the great home accessories and well everything really, I am a fan! So it didn't come as too much of a shock to me that they would expand into skincare, particularly as the founder is an ex beauty journalist. She has partnered with Global Skincare Experts DECIEM, who make products under the Abnormal Beauty Company.

True to The White Company branding, the packaging is white or clear, smart looking and beautifully simple. I think it has great bathroom appeal and I couldn't wait to add it to my shelf.

So what of the products

I was sent the following

Super Balm - Gentle Daily Deep Cleanser £25 for 150ml 

The White Company say 

Cleansing is an essential starting point to achieving a flawless complexion. This luxury cleansing balm is designed to deeply, yet gently, cleanse and dissolve all traces of make-up, including mascara, while instantly boosting hydration and radiance, too. Its special balm-based formula melts upon massage, giving all skin types a healthy glow and super-soft touch. Subtly scented with lemon and petitgrain essential oils and suitable for all skin types.

My thoughts 

I am going to come out and say it straight off - this was my favourite product that I tested and I would repurchase. I loved the citrus lemon scent that wasn't overpowering but hugely pleasant to use. The balm like cream comes out of the tube runny. To use you massage it into the face, it then melts into an oil and loosens up. To wash off you use a hand hot wet facial cloth, follow by rinsing with cool water.

I felt this was a really effective cleanser, I loved the way it changed from cream to oil. It removed makeup well and cleansed skin. Skin felt soft and smooth and radiant. I have noticed an improvement to my skin, absolutely. I would say this is ideal for most skin types.

Advanced Hydration Skin Perfecting Moisturiser £30 for 50ml 

The White Company say 

This clever daily moisturiser immediately nourishes and hydrates all skin types, creating a more flawless-looking complexion by helping balance your skin’s natural moisture levels. Blended with an advanced form of hyaluronic acid, nourishing Amazonian oils and soothing aloe-vera butter, radiance and hydration are visibly improved with every use. What’s more, this non-greasy formula behaves like a primer, too, creating a matte velvet-touch base that enables your make-up to stay perfectly in place for hours. Delicately scented with our exclusive blend of lavender, rose and orange essential oils, this is a gentle yet effective moisturiser with noticeable long-term results.

Advanced active ingredients:
Hyaluronic acid: instantly offers intense and long-lasting hydration to skin’s surface and epidermis
Amazonian oils: to deeply hydrate and improve the appearance of skin’s texture
Aloe-vera butter: helps to soothe sensitive skin, reduce inflammation and gently hydrate

My thoughts 

This moisturiser doesn't have much of a scent but that suits me just fine. The only thing I would like to see would be perhaps an SPF included in it. This is a great every day moisturiser (I have combination skin) and I feel I get the best results when used twice a day as recommended. Skin feels soft, hydrated and it is a nice base for makeup (funnily enough, I wrote my thoughts before seeing what The White Company say.. and they mention the fact that it behaves like a primer, good base for makeup... Good to see I agree!)

At the moment, due to hayfever, my skin feels sensitive around the nostril area and this is delicate enough to continue to use.

Night Oil Overnight Renewal Treatment £30 for 30ml

The White Company say 

Give your skin a full night of beauty sleep with this incredible facial oil. Massage a few drops of the fast-absorbing formula across the face and neck after cleansing, taking care to avoid the delicate eye area. Our enriching blend of Amazonian oils, anti-oxidants and poppy-flower extract ensure that you will wake up to deeply nourished, firmer-looking skin that feels as soft as silk and glows with health. Suitable for all skin types.

Advanced active ingredients:
Amazonian oils: to deeply hydrate and improve the appearance of skin’s texture
Anti-oxidant carotenoids: to help support firmer-looking, age-proof skin
Poppy-flower extract: to help visibly smooth skin’s surface and boost radiance

My thoughts 

This oil has a nice, pleasant scent. Calming and relaxing. Just perfect for before bed. I use one squeeze of the dropper which gives enough product to massage into my face. Strangely I don't feel it absorbing into the skin. It seems to sit atop, it must me doing something however as by morning it has disappeared and skin feels nice and soft and looks pretty good too. Personally I feel using the products together I have seen an overall improvement in my skin so I am happy. I will be using these products until they are finished.

Have you tried any products from the range?

Visit their website for more details The White Company

*PR Samples 

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream Review

Whilst the picture above is not the prettiest, what it does show is just how well used this tub of Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream has been.

I have used this moisturiser every day throughout the winter months and have been delighted with the results.

Billed as a 24-hour daily facial cream.

Kiehl's say 

Continuously replenishing moisture throughout the day, Ultra Facial Cream leaves skin feeling smooth, soft and hydrated. With a lightweight texture and easily absorbed formula, this facial cream is perfect for daily use. Our formula is made with Antarcticine - a Glycoprotein extracted from microorganisms sourced from sea glaciers and notable for an ability to protect skin from cold temperatures. Ultra Facial Cream is specially formulated with moisturising Squalane and water retaining Imperata Cylindrica to protect the skin throughout harsh weather conditions. These ingredients help your skin to stay hydrated for longer.

Our unique combination of ingredients helps reduce moisture loss while drawing and absorbing moisture from the air.  With continuous water replenishment throughout the day, skin is smooth and healthy looking. 

My thoughts 

Well my skin has gone through a lot of hormonal changes in the last year after giving birth. I have suffered the worst psoriasis I have experienced. Although it sometimes lurks at the hairline, it appeared properly on my face in dry, flaky patches. I was nervous using anything on the affected skin but I am happy to report that this light cream was ideal to use, moisturising the skin but not irritating it in any way. Scent wise, it smells just like a very delicate cream if that makes any kind of sense! Pleasant.

Overall with daily use I felt that my skin felt balanced and I didn't suffer from any dry or oily patches.It just feels lovely - soft and well hydrated. A great start for the rest of my skincare and makeup. A fabulous every day moisturiser, non greasy and fast absorbing.

Big thumbs up from me.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream 125ml costs £45 

*PR Sample

Thursday 2 March 2017

Elemis British Botanicals Shower Cream Review

Pamper time is such a rarity at the moment so I adore products that at least make me feel pampered in the short time that I have. I couldn't wait to share this review of Elemis British Botanical Shower Cream as it fulfills every criteria I look for in a skincare product.

Elemis say

Harnessing the powerhouse of ingredients grown in the idyllic British countryside, this aromatic shower cream is expertly blended with soothing Lavender, Chamomile and uplifting Geranium and Palmarosa. Omega-rich Echium oil works to hydrate and nourish the skin, whilst vitamin and mineral rich organic Oats and Rosemary gently cleanse the skin, for a truly restorative in-shower experience.

My thoughts 

To be honest I was quite surprised how much I liked this shower cream. Regular readers know that I am not a fan of Lavender scents particularly. However, although it lends itself heavily on the ingredient the end result is a far more appealing English Garden/Countryside floral scent. The cream is a runny non lathering cream that feels so gentle, non irritating and soothing on the body. The scent is calming, and actually,  I totally agree with the description from Elemis, it really does feel like it is restoring body, skin and mind. Skin is left feeling soft, silky and cleansed to perfection.

So it gets a huge thumbs up from me and a definite purchase in future.

Elemis British Botanicals Shower Cream 200ml costs £25

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Flash Fiction - The Clouds Roll In

My 100 word flash fiction story using this photo prompt

Photo credit © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Clouds Roll In 

'Mrs Jones can we PLEASE go outside. It's SUCH a beautiful day' Ayla pleaded. 

Mrs Jones peered out the window. It was a brilliant summer’s day, which, living in England was a rarity. It would indeed be a waste if they didn’t make the most of it, she conceded.

‘Okay, grab your tools, art class is al fresco’ 

The children cheered, how exciting!

With the sun blazing down, the children began to draw. Five minutes later, a shadow cast over their papers, a dark cloud blocking the sun. Plops of rain fell on their work.

‘Typical British Weather’ she tutted.

Hope you enjoyed the story 
Bettina X

If you would like to read other stories using this prompt - click here


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