That festive smell

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-1For me, Crabtree & Evelyn have the best hand creams in the market. Undisputed. When they add a festive spin to the scents, they become unbeatable.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-4This season sees the rise of Rose Pineapple, a gorgeous scent that combines the classic delicate and subtle rose with the tropical, sweet zing of pineapple. It’s like something you never smelt before.

I wouldn’t need to say much more apart from the name of this scent: Festive Fig. I love figs, especially festive ones! This scent is warm, combining ripe fig, damson plum, black pepper, resinous wood and winter flowers.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-3Having loved the two fragrances about, I must confess my biggest surprise was the gorgeous Spiced Earl Grey fragrance. It’s got a sweet spice scent with a hint of lemon that is totally intoxicating and soothing.

On those three fantastic scents I got to try the hand therapy, which comes as the Festive Hand Therapy Trio that at a reasonable £15, comes with one 25g cream of each scent.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-2I also have the fabulous Christmas cracker, which also comes with the three seasonal hand therapy creams in a handy 10g.

Worth pointing out you can get the 100ml Hand Therapy Cream in each one of the festive scents (and the packaging is lovely!) separately, for £16.

However fabulous the hand therapy creams are, the star of my festive Crabtree & Evelyn collection has to be, doubtless, this amazing three tier candle.

crabtree-evelyn-rose-pineapple-review-5Prettily set on frosted glass rectangles and stackable, they deliver a durable punch of the fabulous festive scents to really set the mood and create that seasonal ambiance.

The Triple Scented Candle costs £45 and together burns for around 6 hours per candle. Best thing? You get it free when you spend £100. Deliveries are free on purchases over £50.

And if you think that’s all for Crabtree & Evelyn Christmas love, you’re very wrong! From home scents to foods, the selection is just wonderful – their Christmas shop is a must visit!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Capturing the essence of water

jurlique-activating-water-essence-review-1Water. More than half of our bodies is made of it. We all love it and know how important it is in our lives and beauty regimes.

Jurlique, a brand I’ve been quite close to for quite sometime, has capture the essence of this wonderful ingredient into their newest product, the Activating Water Essence.

Basically, it is a fresh water to be applied on the skin after toning but before moisturisers or serums. You may think this extra step is too much to add to ay routine but you’d be surprised how much its worth.

jurlique-activating-water-essence-review-2To start with, the essence is very fresh; in the morning it does help you wake you up. The Activating Water Essence basically prepares the skin to receive and better absorb the care; it feels soft and revitalised after application.

Think of it as a booster to your skincare products properties.

It is hydrating, conditioning and revitalising; rich in marshmallow root, a darling product amongst natural skincare creators for its properties to attract and retain moisture, preventing its loss.

As all Jurlique products, it is lovingly made with natural ingredients grown in their farm in Adelaide Hills, Australia.

jurlique-activating-water-essence-review-3The lovely Jurlique Activating Water Essence costs £40 for 150ml (which goes a very long way) is available to buy online and beauty retailers nationwide.

Now you can also get it from their gorgeous flagship store at 486 Oxford Street, London.

And let me tell you a secret: they also have a fabulous treatment room, where you can have their signature facials.  A true calmness haven nested in the hustle and bustle of the capital’s shopping hub.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

Wearing my Subversion and Perversion a little bit everyday

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-1Never thought I’d openly talk about wearing my subversions and perversions, but hey, here we are.

No, you dirty, dirty person… I don’t mean THOSE!

I’m taking about the Urban Decay eyelash primer Subversion and their mascara Perversion, which together give you the most decadent lashes.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-3Subversion is a classic eyelash primer, white in colour to coat all lashes previous to receiving the mascara. The formula is creamy and the brush is a medium size, with bristles the pick all lashes.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-4Perversion is the ultra black mascara with a large brush. Despite the fact the brush is almost on the too large side for my taste, it does work very well. The formula is creamy and thick, and it gives decent separation and superb volume, lacking a bit in lengthening.

Together, they super charge the lashes, creating a good fan effect. Deviant thumbs up.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-5I got those (plus my all time favourite Eyeshadow Potion Primer) at the launch of the new Urban Decay shop at Carnaby Street, London.  The European flagship store in split in two floors of all UD colourful fabulousness.

Upstairs, the whole range in full glory, including UD Pro. Downstairs, a lounge with light ring, GIF “photobooth” with light ring (for FLAWLESS selfies), phone chargers and refreshments bars, a true beauty hangout with its own hashtag: #UDCARNABY.

The VIP launch was a star studded event with the likes of Denise Van Outen, Laura Whitmore, Josh Cuthbert, among others. We sipped on mini Moët champagne bottles and had the chance to have makeovers and take home some precious UD advice.

urban-decay-carnaby-street-store-2And I hear Urban Decays is opening three more stores in the UK by the end of the year: London King’s Cross (24 Nov), Nottingham (1 Dec) and Liverpool (9 Dec).

Oh, the black lippy, you ask? More Perversion – how not to love UD’s perverted ways?

Of course, you can get you Subversion and Perversion on at the Carnaby Street flagship store, but also at other Urban Decay shops as well online and stores like Debenhams, House of Fraser and Fabled.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

No weight, hydrate!

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-1Fine hair in desperate need of hydration, but worried about heavier products? Try the new Andrew Barton No Weight, Hydrate coconut hair range.

Especially designed for hair with oily roots and dry ends, the shampoo, conditioner, shine spray and treatment mask do a fabulous job of keeping the hair clean and soft. And with a delicious coconut smell that lingers in your locks.

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-5The Shampoo lathers well and leaves hair feeling pretty clean. The Conditioner feels a bit too light for me as I just use conditioner on the ends of my hair, but after rinsing hair feels soft and brushes well.

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-4Combined with the Shine Spray, it delivers a great finish to hair dried naturally or blow-dried.

Once or twice a week, the Treatment Mask is a fabulous treat. it is rich and hydrating, but again, not heavy and  hair feels soft and nourished after use.

andrew-barton-no-weight-hydrate-haircare-review-3As the lovely Andrew Barton (I mean, he is too lovely and fun!) explained, the whole range has Moroccan argan oil as well as coconut milk in a light balancing formula to deliver hydration to dry ends and purification to oily scalps.

The Andrew Barton No Weight Hydrate range is available from Asda exclusively, so you can count on the super affordable price: each item costs only £3.20 each.

And at the moment, you can get 2 for £4, which means you can get the whole treatment range for under £10. Now, that’s a deal!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

You, Rockstar

sleek-rockstars-collection-review-2Sleek is bringing the sparkle back. And they don’t it by halves: living proof is their new Rockstars collection, just launched.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-14Perfect for Christmas and by that I mean all the parties soon to commence, the Rockstars collection has two sides.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-5On the lighter side, Diamonds in the Rough with a lot of rose, golds, champagnes and peach in their eyeshadow palette, with two rich cream shades; the golden one makes the best highlighter!sleek-rockstars-collection-review-6All metallic and beautiful, including the gorgeous Scandalous lipstick, a metallic deep red and a highlighting soufflé in pretty shimmery peachy pink, called Pink Opal.

The darker side has jewel tones. Highly pigmented and glistening metallic, the appropriately named Hidden Gems palette has eyeshadows ranging from silver to royal purple.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-10The Superstar lipstick is a metallic shade of deep warm purple with iridescent particles, also present on Scandalous.sleek-rockstars-collection-review-7The highlighting soufflé here is Smoky Quartz, a gorgeous slightly glittery light gold, perfect for cheekbones but even better for finishing the eyes with an intense shimmer on top of colour.

sleek-rockstars-collection-review-13The bullet on the lipsticks deserves a chapter to itself: faceted, they have a sculpted shape, cut as the jewels they are.

Now the prices? You know Sleek has a fantastic value in all their collections and this is no different.

The Diamonds in the Rough and the Hidden Gems eyeshadow palettes cost £7.49 each, the Scandalous and Superstar Lip VIP lipsticks, £5.50 each and the Pink Opal and Smoking Quartz highlighting soufflés, £7 each.

You can get the whole Rockstars Collection at the Sleek website or at Superdrug.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

 

M&S does it again: THE beauty advent calendar to have

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-1Who remembers last year’s furore about the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar? At a very affordable £35, when you spend £35 on non-food items, the 2015 calendar delivered great value.

Now it’s back and if you think last year’s was good, wait until you see this: the 2016 M&S Beauty Advent Calendar comes with 25 amazing surprises; a mix of well know brands classics and plenty to discover.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-4And the “Christmas tree of love” (ok, I made it up) shape? How amazing will that look in your home in the run up to Christmas?

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-1-1Now, the deal is the same. You get over £250 worth of beauty products, covering skincare, makeup, hair, body and nails for £35 when you spend £35 in non-food items.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-2-1What my favourites are, you ask? Well… I have to say it is hard to pick… My top three are (drumroll)..

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-3-1Eyeko Skinny liner – a fabulous pen eyeliner that changed my life and ignited my love of pen eyeliner. It’s super black, precise and durable. Enough said.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-3-1Alpha H Liquid Gold – a resurfacing “all-in-one” product dubbed the overnight facial is a quick fix for skin. I love Alpha H, so was very happy to see this in the calendar. The miracle product for the party season (I may have put it back on the calendar on day 1, maybe).

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-2-1Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse – a multi-use oil for face, body and hair, it is a blend of six precious oils. Delicious! And fab for winter skin.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-5I can’t leave out the M&S Autograph nail polish in Cranberry, which is super festive and fabulous, exclusive for the calendar.

On the other 21 expect a fantastic selection to help you get through the party season!

Here are the brands waiting for you: Alpha H, Autograph, Eyeko, Nuxe, Leighton Denny, Look Good Feel Better, Percy & Reed, Philip Kingsley, Shay & Blue, Josh Wood, Ultrasun, Pür, Filorga, Burts Bees, Pixi, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rodial, Nails Inc, Rosie for Autograph, Rituals, Emma Hardie, Ren, Skyn Iceland, Formula Absolute and Studio 10.

The fantastic M&S Beauty Advent Calendar goes on sale on the 11th November; hurry, even thought this year the calendar is bigger and better (and many more are available), it is bound to sell out!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

The torment of makeup brush cleaning

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-1Cleaning my makeup brushes has always been torture to me. So much time is spent, it is a dull task that not even the feeling of a squeaky clean brush on your face is able to numb the pain.

Add to that the fact I am a bit lazy busy and it is really the thing nightmares are made of. Did I mention I am a bit dramatic? No? Ok.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-3When I first saw videos of the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer, I knew that at some point I would get one, it was just a matter of time.

Fast forward to Olympia Beauty, the fabulous  yearly beauty trade show and there it was, staring me in the face and asking to come home with me.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-2Although there was no discount on the £49.99 retail price, I got a bottle of their fab brush cleaner thrown in as a gift, which is a saving of £14.99.

The device, another brainchild of the amazing (and lovely) inventor Tom Pellereau (from The Apprentice/Stylfile fame) is quite small and sleek.

stylpro-makeup-brush-cleaner-dryer-review-4The different sizes brush holders will cater for most brands (I have many and there was one for every single brush I cleaned). Attaching is easy and quick, just what you want when changing between brushes.

After swirling the brush around, rise it up a bit and let spin for a bit longer. This will fan the brush (which is what happens when it’s being cleaned anyway) and air it to dry, so not only your brush comes out clean, it’s also dry, pretty much ready to use again.

Sometimes, as the brush fans out in the cleaning motion, which thoroughly cleans the inside bristles, it is difficult to clean the bottom of outside ones, which forms the outside of the brush; a bit of swirling around proves useful to get those parts clean.

The only thing for me is that is only seems to work perfectly and quickly with the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleanser Solution, which is rather fabulous but at £15 a pop, quite steep.

Overall, a lovely gadget for those looking to make their lives easier (me!) and make such a dull task a little bit of fun.

You can buy the StylPro Makeup Brush Cleaner and Dryer from the Stylfile website, and it costs £49.99. And it will be available at 180 bigger Boots stores from the end of November!

Mind you, the device is so popular that at the moment, you can pre-order for delivery which will start shipping in a few days time – that’s a common occurrence as this always sells out!

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Hands, oh so smooth

crabtree-evelyn-hand-therapy-review-2Pretty sure I raved about how amazing the Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy creams are (), but it’s never too much in my view.

The Pomegranate, Argan and Grapeseed Hand Therapy is, as the other hand therapy fragrances, a bliss to use.

This hand cream is conditioning and softening, containing shea butter, macadamia, pomegranate, grapeseed and argan oils for deep moisturising and soothing and myrrh to help condition cuticles. The fragrance is tart, with some subtle citrus.

crabtree-evelyn-hand-therapy-review-1The cream applies well, absorbing in seconds – no sticky hands. Because it sinks deep, its long lasting and your hands feel moisturised and protected for a long time.

I am a huge fan and pomegranate has just joined rose and avocado as one my favourite fragrances of this absolutely indispensable classic.

crabtree-evelyn-hand-therapy-review-3The Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy hand cream is available in various sizes, from the travel-friendly 25g (£6), a handbag size 50g (£10) and the bedside table essential 100g (£16) and many fabulous fragrances, including Pomegranate and some very special seasonal ones.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Feeling illuminated

mua-art-of-illumination-review-2The art of illumination – how to say no to an event titled like that?

For AW16 MUA, or Makeup Academy, has brought out, as part of their Luxe collection, a trio of highlighters that will really make you glow.

Before I tell you how lovely they are, let’s take a moment to check out the gilded Art Deco influenced packaging. Thank you.

mua-art-of-illumination-review-4Cushion makeup is all the rage at the moment and MUA has had its say on it, in the shape of gorgeous MUA LUXE Glow Beam Liquid Highlight Cushion.

This little pot of shine used alone delivers a soft, natural radiance from its lightly shimmery peachy gold liquid. A press of the cushion with the round sponge is enough to deliver for both cheeks, nose and Cupid bow. I actually go again for extra radiance.

mua-art-of-illumination-review-5I apply this after powdering my face, let it dry while I do my eye makeup and apply highlight powder on top for that extra pow!

Which takes me to the LUXE Glow Beam Highlighting Powder, a light gold dust that reflects the light beautifully.

The packaging actually mills the block of powder on demand and this is as good for the face as it is for the body. This product is highly recommended to turn the glam up!

mua-art-of-illumination-review-3Finally, the MUA LUXE Radiant Illumination kit, a more everyday product that doubles up quite nicely as eyeshadow.

Those with oilier skins that worry about adding more shine to the complexion, fear not. Without the shimmery elements of most highlighters, the six matte shades are perfect for a fresh, natural and non-shiny look.

Personally, I like to go all shimmer, but this palette is perfect for those who are a bit more discreet or those dabbing in/starting highlighting.

mua-art-of-illumination-review-6Now, we must talk about the price. Nice packaging? Check. Quality product? Check. Great finish? Check. Tiny price tag? Check. What? Yes, that’s right.

The MUA LUXE Glow Beam Highlighting Powder and the MUA LUXE Glow Beam Liquid Highlight Cushion cost only £5 each and the MUA LUXE Radiant Illumination kit only £6!

You can buy them at the MUA website and at Superdrug, currently as part of their 3 for 2 across all cosmetics and beauty accessories.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

What’s your letter?

alexi-london-initial-necklace-review-5Another obsession: anything with my initials. Just throwing it out there.

There was no surprise that when I saw the gorgeous Alexi London initial necklaces I just had to have one.

alexi-london-initial-necklace-review-1And being the lucky thing I am, the lovely ones from Alexi London sent me a lovely “d” to hang from my neck.

This necklace is really delicate and stylish. And lower case, contemporary font initials have a ribbed effect for a bit of texture.

alexi-london-initial-necklace-review-4The chain (16″, goes to 18″) is also very delicate, with flat rings. The clasp is great, super secure and modern, and the overall finish is of fantastic quality.

The letter (12.5mm x 9mm) itself has a good weight so stays in place, and because it is great quality sterling silver, I don’t have to ever take it off! It’s been on my neck since I got it.

I love mixing it with chokers and layering with other dainty necklaces. This necklace makes a lovely, thoughtful Christmas gift and also comes in gold-plated finish.

Alexi London is a company that believes in everyday luxury, laid back but with high quality and ranging from classics to contemporary. They have the prettiest selection in jewellery – necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets… name it!

Everything super wearable and affordable. Indeed they make jewellery I do want to wear!

The pretty Alexi London initial necklace costs £45 and is available, well, in all letters of the Latin alphabet and you can get it from the Alexi London website.

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.