And… breathe

Anxiety is something I have carried with me for a long time. Although rather manageable most of the time, there are periods that it still gets the best of me, no matter how many defense mechanisms I have against it.

The first time I came across aromatherapy breathing roll ons was after the this works energy bank launch event. I loved the range, but was really intrigued by that little roll on.

Fast forward a bit a few have come into my life. I feel the different scents do evoke feelings of calmness, energy, relaxation but for me, the most important thing is the time you take to breathe.

Sounds weird but most of us do not find time in our days to breathe mindfully. We our always on the go, with our heads on the schedule ahead, with a million thoughts overlapping. And if you are an anxious person, multiply that by 100, on a good day.

For me, the simple reminder of that little fragrant tube begs me to stop (hammer time! Not really), take some time out, breathe deeply a few times and think of nothing. And resume.

At the moment I have a few on the go, with a heavy bias towards the this works breathe ins, which have a natural blend of super oils. I apply them on my wrist, rub against the other and breathe away.

The energy bank fragrance is brilliantly awakening, with soothing orange oil, mood-boosting rosemary and energising geranium.

It is really an awakening fragrance, a fab post-lunch pick-me-up and costs £18 for 8ml.

The deep sleep stress less breathe in shown was reformulated and renamed as stress check and is now part of the fantastic stress check range.

It is calming, refreshing and really opens the airways for even deeper breaths, formulated with eucalyptus, frankincense and lavender oil . The packaging is now white for all this works breathe in roll ons, and they are very affordable at £16 each.

Bamford’s Padmasanainspired by the yoga pose of the same name, is a 100% organic blend of rosemary, ginger and basil oils, for concentration as it helps to restore mental strength and clear the mind.

It is quite fragrant, quite smoky to start with and then quite herbal.

Finally, a little spray from Evolve Organic Beauty, the Tranquility Essence with lavender, bergamot and cedarwood.

Although it contains alcohol in its formula, I really love this spray. It is not overpowering, quite citrus and you can really get the lavender at the end.

This is little helping hand is very useful if, like me, you struggle to naturally take a little time to breathe.

What’s your go to method to get your daily dose of mindfulness?

written by Dani

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.

When dermatologists do skincare

My skin has always been a constant issue for me. Being far from perfect, more often than not it has caused me more pain than joy.

Acne that plagued my younger years never ceased to returned, and the that meant my skin was always dry, flaky and dull from the many aggressive treatments I subjected it to. I spoke openly about how acne made me feel and only from a few years ago I started to love my skin and give it some chance to thrive.

ZENii London skincare has a great ethos – and mind – behind it. Dr. Johanna Ward, award winning skin doctor, has developed ZENii for her clients, and the brand looks as skin health holistically, inside and out.

I’ve been using the regime for about a month now, almost exclusively and have to say my skin has never looked better – move radiant, more even in texture and tone, less blemishes and no breakouts, not even around my period. That’s huge.

My favourite has to be the fantastic Antioxidant Power Serum (£85, 30ml) with L ascorbic acid, niacinamide, vitamin e, ferulic acid and panthotenic acid. Full of antioxidants, it’s like a vitamin shot for the skin, it supports collagen production and has anti-ageing and pigmentation repair properties.

It’s a delight to apply and I know you’re gonna call bullsh*t, but I can, in a way, feel it working in my skin.

The Micronutrient Night Repair Cream (£75, 50ml) is another delight. For a night Cream, is rich but very light thus being perfect for my skin, which just drinks it. I must point out that the dispenser is great, a push downso your product in the pot never gets in touch with air thus not oxidising!

It contains pro-vitamin B5, vitamins E and C, jojoba oil, coral seaweed, retinyl palmitate and sodium hyalunorate so it helps restore, repair and rehydrate skin overnight by working on the fight against free radicals and supporting the skin natural night healing and repair process.

With an SPF 50, the mighty Moisturising Sun Protection (£50, 100ml) has quickly became a favourite of mine. Vitamins B5 and aloe vera add hydration to the broad spectrum sun protection.

It’s super light, behaves well under makeup, and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive.

A good cleanser is also essential in any skincare regime and the Papaya and Chamomile Cleanser (£35, 100ml) does not disappoint. Enriched with vitamin E and orange oils, it is super gentle removing debris and makeup efficiently and not drying the skin!

Finally, tying the regime together is the Antioxidant Q10 Toner (£35, 120ml). Very mild but potent, it has coenzyme Q10, hyaluronic acid, aloe Vera and botânica extracts, this toner adds to the moisturisation and skin support as well as refreshing and improving radiance.

Because my skin is looking better, makeup looks great. Having said all that, I feel a pang of sadness given the, in my view fair price for such superior products, but still above my budget.

Although after using it a month continuously, it does feel like they go a long way so once I’m finished, I’ll workout the cost per month and am sure it will end up being worth investing in my next lot!

I feel a lot of confidence on the company and the wonderful Dr. Ward, whom I met at the range launch over a fabulous breakfast at Sky Garden. She exudes the confidence, expertise – not to mention glorious skin- and care I would trust my problematic skin to.

And ZENii does not do only skincare as Dr Ward, a cosmetic dermatologist, believes in inside and ou, holistic beauty and wellbeing, so there’s a fantastic line of supplements for various skin concerns and relaxing home fragrances.

Visit the ZENii website to soak in all the greatness and purchase all the products I’ve been using.

written by Dani

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.

Get that bounce back

Probably the most know and widely used Philip Kingsley product, the fabulous Elasticizer has received the special edition treatment and is now available in Coconut Breeze.

The Elasticizer is a pre-wash treatment suitable for all hair types that adds manageability, elasticity, bounce and shine.

The formula remains the same but infused with notes of coconut, jasmine, almond and vanilla, it seems to become more luxurious. It is really a delight to use.

It contains hydrolized elastin, which works on body and elasticity. It improves the tensile strength and moisture retention on strands; castor oil, which helps lock in moisture, vitamin E rich olive oil and glycerin.

As it is a pre-wash treatment, it should be applied generously to damp hair and left to work for 10-20 minutes, covered with a plastic cap (one comes in the box) or a towel.

You then shampoo and condition as normal. I had it on for the whole night and when I washed my hair in the morning, it was soft and dried beautifully; it had some extra weight to it without being heavy.

Also, I lost a fair amount of hair a while back and have tons of baby hairs that have reached a very unmanageable length and I feel the treatment also helps manage the frizz.

The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Coconut Breeze costs £33 (150ml) and is available online on the Philip Kingsley website, M&S, QVC. You can buy the smaller 75ml version for £19.

written by Dani

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

You actually scrub up well…

You know when your skin feels a bit congested, and no amount of a good cleanser seems to actually make it feel clean?

Enter facial scrubs. I am a huge fan since my skin, with all its issues, seem to demand that, from time to time, a use something less gentle to keep it under control.

And because I like variety and rotate skin products, I decided to share the scrubs that have been keeping my skin in check:

The Alpha H Micro Cleanse Super Scrub (£35.95 for 100ml) has been a favourite for ages. Alpha H has some lovely products all with my dear glycolic acid, which here is at 12%. The formula also contains eco-friendly jojoba beads, caffeine and peppermint, for renewed and refreshed skin.

It’s a fine but tough scrub; it does have at-home microdermabrasion properties and I leave on my face for a few minutes so the glycolic acid can work on the skin.

The Botanics Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish (£9.99 for 125ml) is one of the finest I’ve ever encountered and I love it! So effective yet gentle, it is infused with extracts from the leaves of the Gingko plant and polishes away dead skin to reveal smoother radiance.

In fact, Botanics, which you can get from Boots UK, was one of my biggest budget skincare discoveries this year and I will be soon talking about more products, the company, their love of natural ingredients and how they work with Kew Gardens to deliver the best plant power to our skin!

The gorgeous dermalogica daily microfoliant (£48 for 75g) that has been with me forever! I love this dry rice powder product that releases papain, salicylic acid and rice enzymes when wet.

Can be mixed with water but my best tip is to mix with your favourite foamy face wash. Works a treat for gentle exfoliation and can be used more frequently so super soft skin.

And talking about powders in a tub, meet the Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub (around £7.99 for 125g), which is Bioré‘s answer to the bad boys microbeads.

Activated by mixing with water, it fizzes up for cleansing and gentle exfoliating – and you can make is thicker or thinner, depending on how much exfoliation is required. The fact is completely dissolves helps avoid over-scrubbing.

Of course, scrubbing should be done lightly, in upwards circular movements to also help boost circulation on the skin. Never over-scrub as this can hurt the skin and in case of spots, make them worse!

It is also very important to pick a scrub for your skin type. Sensitive skins will not like it very much and maybe you should opt for a gentle chemical exfoliator instead.

Still, I find the act of using a facial scrub extremely satisfying! Am I alone on that?

written by Dani

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

Get your nails Dressed to the Nineties

There no secret I am a 90s person (late 90s, I’m not that old). I’m secretly unashamed of the terrible fashion sense and even worse – makeup habits I had at the time.

Also no secret I love nail polish, especially when they come from essie.

So obviously I am head over chunky heels with the essie Dressed to the Nineties Limited Edition Fall 2017 collection, hitting the shelves at the end of August 2017.

The six gorgeous shades fleet between pinks and purples with the right amount of shimmer and shifting.

My favourite, surprisingly, is silvery metallic with a light purple shine Girlie Grunge; just gorgeous and rather neutral for its shade. As they say, come as you are. Oh, and shine.

As I am a sucker for colour shifting, I could not stop myself loving Dressed to the Nineties, a very dark purple with a subtle green-blue shimmer. Gorgeous.

At the moment, I have the mega pretty As If. This powdery periwinkle is warmed up with a hint of red, and it’s the most gorgeous thing.

On my toes for weeks now is the “staple with a difference” Knee Highlife, a deep wine red with some purple undertones.

For the more discreet out there, Saved by the Belle is a lovely baby pink, creamy and a slight blue undertone and Mixtaupe is a fabulous warm ivory with a tiny dash of pink.

As you can see, pinks, reds and purples tie up the collection together, warming or cooling the tones for those exclusive shades full of cool, relaxed vibes, fit for office and party.

Of course, I cannot rave enough about the essie brush, which delivers a perfect at home mani so effortlessly. Lately, that is all you see on my nails.

Also worth remembering that the colours are curated by essie’s Global Colour Designer Rebecca Minkoff, so you know you’re gonna be up-to-date.

The collection has barely launched but being the lucky bitch I am, I was one of the first to get my talons all over it and I’ve already wore four of the six shades to near exhaustion. Nah, not really, I can’t get enough.

The too cool for school Fall 2017 collection is available from the 23rd August to the 17th October in Superdrug and 30th August to the 26 September in Boots. After that, it’s hasta la vista, baby, to all of these fabulous shades. As if! you gonna let this lot go 😀

written by Dani

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.

Celebrating timeless fashion with Nivea deodorant

How can your deodorant affect your style? Well, nothing worse than white marks in your favourite black dress to make you wish the earth would swallow you!

The Nivea Invisible for Black & White deodorant, on top of having white mark protection for black clothes, also helps prevent those horrible yellow stains on white garments.

Of course it also counts with the 48 hour anti-perspirant protection, cares for the skin and is also gentle, as it is dermatologically tested and alcohol-free. I also like the bottle has an “open-close” twist top and the classic Nivea smell is present in a softer version.

And the classic bottle now has had a stylish makeover by Matthew Williamson and enchanting design is full of gorgeous patterns, including pretty butterflies, complimenting the brand colours.

Matthew Williamson, who is passionate about designing timeless pieces, says it is important that clothes make women feel better about themselves and that he’s teamed up with Nivea “to celebrate these timeless fashion favourites that make women feel great while offering them a product that will help look after those clothes they love for the long haul.”

This Limited Edition Nivea Invisible Black & White by Matthew Williamson fashion bottle hits the shelves on the 28 August.

The loved and trusted Nivea Black & White formula, all dressed up, costs £3.29 (RRP for 250ml) and you can get it from major retailers like Boots and Superdrug.

written by Dani

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.

Take me to the beach…

Who doesn’t like mermaid hair? Somehow beach hair seems to fall beautifully into place with minimal effort.

Although it looks pretty, it’s important to pay extra attention to our hair in the summer – the salt, chlorine and exposition to the sun can cause a lot of damage to our tresses.

Umberto Giannini to the rescue! The gorgeous Beach collection was designed to care for your hair and keep it looking amazing even when subjected to external aggressors.  And the whole range is loaded with coconut oil goodness.

The Beach Wash Coconut Shine Shampoo (250ml, £6) is a delight – pearlised pink in colour (love), it smells divine with bergamot, madarin and sea spray. It lathers really well and throughly cleanses hair and scalp, leaving it squeaky clean – but not dry.

The Beach Care Coconut Shine Conditioner (250ml, £6) is also pink and smells delicious too. It does not immediately leave hair soft on application, but does after rinsing.

Hair detangles and dries amazing. It contains shea butter and the bergamot, mandarin and sea spray fragrances.

They leave a soft lingering scent on hair that feels very soft, shiny and happy!

Most possibly the star of the range is the Pool Proof Leave-in hair Protection Cream (150ml, £8), dubbed the swim cap, it creates a barrier to protect hair against UV rays and chlorine/salt in the water.

I have to say it is pretty delightful and I love a good sun protection for hair. This one contains olive oil added to the coconut so it is also a great leave-in treatment. And you guessed: smells divine!

A good spray is a must for beach hair – the Catch a Wave Coconut Oil Beach Texture Volumising Spray (200ml, £7)is just it. Different from other sprays I used, hair does not feel stiff – some may say it is due to the coconut oil . And it also has UVA and UVB filters to help protect hair and the uplifting scent across the range.

Finally, a product that is not really my thing: the Boho Beach Jelly – a Coconut Oil Scrunching Jelly (200ml, £7), it is great to enhance natural curls, shaping them and retaining softness and bounce.

It is silicon and sulphate free, the coconut oil provides nourishment and UV filters are also in to help  protect against colour fade.

Also, let’s take a moment to admire how pretty the Beach collection is… with a very affordable price.

You can get the Umberto Giannini Beach range at their website and Boots, online and in-store.

written by Dani

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.

Overnight hand care

If like me you’re obsessed with hand creams, keep reading. Crabtree & Evelyn, which has the best hand cream in town, has an overnight hand therapy cream and I am sold.

I do have the habit of moisturing my hands before going to bed anyway and lately I have been doing with a product made exactly for that.

But Dani, how is it different from a normal hand cream, you ask? Well.. of course, the trick in on the concentration. This rich cream contains a concentrated complex of vitamins and amino acids, including arginine.

It is formulated especially to protect, by enhancing the skin’s natural barrier, maintain the natural moisture level, help skin recovery and soothe any dryness.

As any Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy creams, it is easily and totally absorbed by the skin leaving no trace, but a long-lasting moisturisation. Applied at night, this cream works its wonder so I have been waking up with soft and nourished hands.

The classic La Source – a crisp, clean scent of refreshing aquatic notes, musk, and gentle shoreline breeze – is the version I’ve been using, but the overnight hand therapy is also available in three other amazing scents.

I’ve talked a lot about the hand therapy creams (which is always in my bag) and the amazing 60 second fix for hands (which I use about twice a week) and now the overnight hand cream is yet another Crabtree & Evelyn product that has a firm place in my life.

The overnight hand therapy costs £19 for 75ml and you can get online from the Crabtree & Evelyn website or in their ever so tempting shops!written by Dani

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.

Oh. My. GOSH AW17

It’s my go-to phrase when it comes to GOSH launches but it remains the truth: every season there’s at least one item that will stay with me until the next launch – but often longer.

As I mentioned before, GOSH is a gorgeous family company from Denmark with most of its products being vegan – in fact, only their lipsticks are not as they contain beeswax.

And of course, they have an amazing, extensive range of makeup products that keeps growing and becoming more and more fabulous!

For Autumn/Winter 17, there’s plenty to love. The collection has hit the shops late last month and I cannot get enough of it.

The Chameleon Primer Plus+ Skin Adaptor Anti-Pollution (£14.99) is amazing. If you know GOSH, you know their primers are amazing and this is not different, but with a difference: apart from organic oak extract, it has micro capsules of colour that burst upon application and adapt to most skin tones.

And, as the huge trend in beauty dictates, it has all important anti-pollution agents, in the form of CityGuard, a complex of two components of marine ingredients, to help protect our city folks’ skin against pollution. A delight to use, alone or as I prefer, a makeup base that evens out skin tone.

Now, the LumiDrops (£7.99) have been a little fave of mine for quite some time and the latest shades are lush. Rose Gold and just Gold (which I purchased as soon as it launched) are gorgeous.

The liquid gold is perfect for highlighting without being too powdery and glittery, catches the light beautifully and gives that golden hour beam to the face. For me, it’s an amazing base for double highlighting, something I do often.

The Strobe’n Glow Kit (001 Highlight, £12.99) wheel is great: 4 gorgeous shades including a holographic white/purple to satisfy out unicorn dreams.

Admittedly, I’ve been using the medium gold as a highlighter (doubles up amazingly with the gold Lumidrops) and the other two gold shades as eye shadows – they are amazing; the lighter for brow bone and inner corner and the more coppery one for the lid.

Then, I add a metallic brown from the fabulous “To party in London” eyeshadow palette (£11.99).

Amazing neutrals and a couple distinct colours among the 9, in this compact and affordable palette with great pigmentation, blendability and colour pay off.

I love “To be cool in Copenhagen” and still use it almost every day so having a metallic one is a dream.

And of course, nothing better to make your eyeshadow pop and stay then a good eyelid primer. This Eyeshadow Primer (£8.99) with polymer technology is a handy chunky pencil and smoker is great and really takes the eye shadows to another level to increase colour pay-off and durability.

The last mascaras GOSH brought out, I’ll admit, didn’t quite work for me but My Favourite Mascara (£8.99) is in fact on its way to be, ahem, my favourite mascara as it’s rather excellent.

With organic oak extract, its smooth formula and irregular shaped bristles catch every single lash and definition is amazing. The volume is not crazy, but length is fabulous so I am sold. And it melts in warm water!

The Brow Shape & Fill (£8.99) is a fab slanted pencil for precise brow filling. Grey Brown is the perfect shade for me and the pencil is soft, filling brows delicately.

It also has a filling powder, which is very nice, but I’d rather see a little brow brush on the other end!

A great pairing with the Lift & Highlight pencils (£9.99): double ended pencil to lift, define and highlight – and has many uses. To be applied on brow bone, inner eye corner and my favourite, the cupid bow.

So many people swear by the banana powder and GOSH now has their own. A Banana version of their fabulous Prime’n Set Primer & Mattifying Setting Powder, which I love because it is a fantastic setting/finishing powder, this one also eliminates redness and pinkness.

The Colour Corrector Kit (£11.99) is a pretty compact to cover all you concealer needs with an amazing 5 shades – neutral, yellow (for purple of blue imperfections), green (to neutralise redness), purple (to eliminate yellow undertones) and peach (for brightening the eye area and olive-skin radiance boost).

I am not massive on colour correcting but the creams are smooth and blendable!

Brow serum is a thing I struggle a lot, mainly because I forget to apply twice a day and then I remember when I am doing makeup, it doesn’t dry and I think I might go hair all over my face (yeah, crazy, I know).

Having said that, I’ve been giving the GOSH Growth Serum (£16.99), which contains SymPeptide XLASH, a (rather irregular) go. Too early to say if it really works but I’m enjoying it.

GOSH also does brushes and they are rather fab. This Mix & Fix Blender brush (£9.99) is, I found, perfect for highlighter placement. Precise, quite firm and it blends the life out of them, without killing the rest of the makeup underneath.

From this review, you can see I will have a few items accompanying me for the new season…  Which one would be rushing to get your hands on?

You can get all the GOSH goodness from Superdrug.

written by Dani

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.

Handy and affordable sunscreens to take anywhere

SPF is very important in our lives. Regardless of being gloomy in London or scorching in the Caribbean, winter or summer, we know sun protection should always be in our minds – and most importantly, in our skins!

It is great to find sunscreens that take little space and you can take away with you on a daily basis, for all those important and often neglected top ups.

As the sun is gracing my balcony today, I felt inspired to put together a small selection of sun creams I have been wearing that offer a great protection and can be carried around for all day long wear. And they are pretty affordable too!

I fell in love with the Bioderma Photoderm Max Aquafluide SPF 50+ during my last holiday. What a delight to apply; its fluid water-like texture is great. It dries quickly and matte, is water resistant and behaves very well under makeup.

Plus, apart from high UVA/UVB protection, it has the patented Cellular Bioprotection which activates the skin’s natural defences at cellular levels, protecting our cells and combating premature skin ageing.

And probably the best thing? Extremely well priced at around £13 for 40ml.

Moving on to one from my favourite sunscreen brands, very affordable and easy to find, the Nivea Sun Caring Roll-on SPF 30 is super easy to apply, it is water resistant, protects agains UVA and UVB rays and offers long lasting moisturisation too.

The formula is great, dries quickly and is non-sticky, the smell so familiar and lovely, and the price is also extremely friendly at around £7 for 50ml.

I raved soooo much about the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Face Mist SPF 50 when it launched and after almost using it all since, I will maintain my review: it is the most practical SPF around and perfect for us city folks as it can be applied on top of makeup.

For me, that is priceless but you can get it for an affordable £10. And I just found for £6 at Boots. Going to stock up.

Finally, a  little gem from Eucerin, the Tinted Sun Creme SPF 50+. Ideal for those who wear little or no makeup but want a natural flash of colour, it is oil-free, non-comedogenic with UVA and UVB protection. It costs £16 for 50ml.

These are the little heroes keeping me safe all year round!

What are you favourite “portable and affordable” SPF?

written by Dani

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.