All dolled up and nowhere to go (for now)

I don’t know about you, but in the current situation, dressing up, putting shoes and make up on have been really helping to keep me sane.

And Doll 10 really brought a big smile to my indoor face when they sent their latest and lovely makeup launches over.

The Doll Skin 6 piece perfecting collection, available at QVC, contains foundation, concealer, lipstick, mascara and a blusher which create a beautifully polished makeup look.

Their Hydragel Lipstick in Throwing Kisses is my perfect nude – simple as that.

It has a lustrous finish and is light, hydrating with good pigmentation, feeling super comfortable on the lips.

Wearing the foundation while in quarantine has become such a treat and luxury, and the Doll Skin Anti-Stress Skin Perfector foundation really fits the bill.

Its medium-high coverage helps smooth and even out skin texture, and covers a multitude of sins (not that anyone is looking!). It applies and blends very well, has a decent durability and polished finish.

Comes in six shades and I am wearing Medium, which is a good match for my skin tone, but needs a little bit of bronzer as I am (still) hanging on to a little bit of tan from Brazil.

Even though I should, I don’t often use concealer but the T.C.E This Covers Everything has put it back into my routine.

This heavy weight concealer indeed covers everything and it is great for under the eye. With a blend of silk pigments, it also helps leave the super delicate area with an awake look – and we all need that!

Although it has full coverage it is super light, applying and absorbing well, really adding to the foundation to more polished look.

It does not crease, I love the metal tip and comes in six shades and I am wearing Medium.

Surprise number one: a creamy blusher that suits my skin. The Dream Whip Multitasking Blush & Highlight Soufflé in You’re Making Me Blush is really a dream.

The super light gel formula blends really well and it does not sink on my scars, which is usually the problem with non-powder blushers.

The pigmentation is superb and this shade, a pearly pink-ish bronze, is really pretty, delivering a healthy flish to the cheeks.

Second surprise: a plastic bristle mascara that works for me. The Efforltlash XL mascara’s formula is jet black and shiny, delivering well pigmented separation to lashes.

I do struggle a bit with plastic bristles, but this delivered a decent finish, with good durability.

Finally, we all love a good brush. The No. 9 Eraser Buffing Brush is densely packed with super soft synthetic bristles to seamlessly buff creams and powders into its place.

The whole collection works together wonderfully, creating a great look, but every single piece is also very versatile in any make up bag. Also, how gorgeous is the packaging in blush pink and rose gold?

You can get the Doll 10 Doll Skin 6-piece Perfecting Collection gorgeous set from QVC. It costs £65 (plus £2.95pp) which is great value for six quality full size products at just over £10 each!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Vitamin C, never too much

Many a times I have said I love vitamin C on my skincare so seeing the Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Brighten range really gave me heart eyes and I could not wait to try them all.

Most of us will know that vitamin C is fabulous to boost complexion glow and brightness and fight dullness – I find that great for this time of the year where seasons are changing. Also, in times like this, it might seem silly but little treats at home that make you feel better are more than welcome.

I’ll start with my favourite: the Gentle Daily Micro Polish Wash (£9.99). This medium granule gentle scrub clean so deep and skin certainly feels like that after use.

The gel wash has micro biodegradable beads that polish dead cells and impurities away and added Ferulic acid, vitamin C and E to help achieve brighter skin. I am a huge fan.

I’ll follow up with one of my favourite skincare product: eye cream (£12.99). Their Dark Circles Eye Cream contains vitamin C, caffein and a peptide to brighten, stimulate and help reduce dark circles and fine lines.

It is ever so light in texture and applies really well, even for day use under makeup.

A really cool product is the Brighten Booster Serum: magical 1% vitamin C drops you can add to any moisturiser to give it added glow and brightening properties.

The naturally derived pro-collagen vitamin C active and allantoin act as glow getters and the serum is very light and easy to blend withe creams.

Not gonna lie, I have applied it with a gentle massage neat to certain areas of my face.

Who likes a pre cleanse? I do and the Skin Renew Cleansing Oil (£5.50 100ml/ £10.99 200ml) is a bliss, with vitamin C and olive oil for refreshing cleansing. The very light oil turns milky in contact with water and leaves skin fresh and comfortable after use.

Last, but not least, the Glow Boost Skin Serum (£16.99) delivers vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and a lightening algae extract to replenish, boost collagen synthesis and enhance the appearance of skin. I really like its very light texture and been using as an add on to my night cream.

I’ve been using the range for over 8 weeks now and must say that, some unrelated, hormonal blemishes aside, skin is looking very bright and ready for the summer.

In times we are not even sure we will able to fully enjoy our summer, and how things will be, being happy with my skin does make a difference to my mood.

I must point out what a great price point and value for money Super Facialist products are. You can get the Super Facialist Vitamin C+ range from their website and also Boots, Sainbury’s and Amazon, safely delivered to you!

They have a great range of products addressing dryness, ageing, blemishes, dullness (this one), firmness and sensitivity to cater for varied skin concerns – you can mix and match (I do have their blemish face mask and it is great!)

Super Facialist also have a lovely travel collection, with minis in a pouch, great for when we can travel again or to sample the range before committing to a selection of full size products in the brighten (£20) and hydrate (£16) lines.

And please – stay home, look after yourself and loved ones. And remember the impact your actions can have on others around you.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

A delicious way to say no to waste

Chocolate is good right? Yes. Can it be better? Yes! Montezuma’s has a little surprise in Covent Garden on the 13 and 14 March – the “Waste not, want not recyclable shop” where you can take your empty food containers for recycling and swap for a taste of one of their wonderful, exclusive chocolate creations – FREE!

The tailor-made treats look like our lunchtime favourites ad are made of their signature white chocolate and truffle filling.

There is also a 3D artwork which is fully edible, to highlight the not recycled waste that ends up in landfills, hopefully to inspire more sustainable choices.

All that to celebrate the launch of their new packaging which is 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable: a first for a British chocolate company.

The installation also tells the journey to get to sustainable packaging .

Montezuma has a fabulous and extensive range of chocolates, from milk to 100% dark, white, milk free and vegan too, and amazing concoctions; my faves being Salty Dog (lime, sea salt dark choc) and Black Forest (cherry in dark). Their truffles are fab too; try American Idol or Tiger Tiger. Yum.

Their commitment to sustainability goes beyond the packaging, of course: they use best ingredients and ethically sourced cocoa.

If you are around in London’s Covent Garden for a quick lunch, pop over with your empties and get to taste one of their creations. Waste not, want not is open from 10-6 on Saturday 14 March at 67 Neal Street.

A delicious pit stop, I assure you!

Check Montezuma’s out and discover their tasty range.

written by Dani

I was invited to the preview and stuffed my face with sample chocolate. And I liked it. That’s all.

December in style

It has been a while since I wrote a style post. Let’s face it, losing a boyfriend wasn’t the hardest part of the break up – losing a begrudging photographer was. Now I annoy friends to take shots. And pay them in plus 1 to events. Nice eh? 

When I first heard of Femme Luxe Finery, I was a bit dubious – the clothes look amazing but at that price, can the quality be good? 
I am impressed. Not only the quality is ace, but also the cut and fit are great. 

My favourite piece has to be the Oxford blood faux leather set. The beautiful Amy corset top (£14.99 with 50% off) hugs in the right places and is very comfortable to wear. The Mimi trousers (£13.99 with 56% off) are super high wasted and have a great fit. And it’s sexy AF – not gonna lie, I felt like a hot assassin from an action movie the first time wore it! Versatile, it is great to mix and match.

I chose to wear with heavier boots and belt for a more rebellious look. Together or separately, these became keys pieces in my autumn/winter wardrobe. 

I’m a sucker for a jumpsuit so no surprise I picked the Evelyn (£14.99 with 56% off) up. This gorgeous wide leg, one shoulder, long sleeve number is perfect for this time of the year. 

Throw in some sparkly heels and belt, and you’re party ready. Wear with boots and it’s dinner and/or date sorted. Again, the figure hugging fit is fantastic as it really enhances the body and because the fabric is of good quality, it really hugs you in. Plus it comes in many colours – the croc is looking fab!

Finally, a frilly number. The Hattie bodysuit (£11.99 with 58% off) is amazing. Super sexy in sheer mesh, it has frills in a V at the front and back. The back is covered and the front plunges.

However, I prefer to wear it back to front as the naked V at the back looks stunning and I find the more covered front prettier on my body shape. Did I say versatile?

And Femme Luxe Finery has a fabulous selection for the festive season – think sparkle so you shine at any occasion. Check their website for amazing coords (I adore a two-piece), a fabulous selection of on trend PU clothing and gorgeous bodysuits and dresses

At the moment they have a huge promo with up to 75% off so hurry! The value for money is UNREAL!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post was written in collaboration with Femme Luxe Finery and it contains GIFTED products, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

A little bit of makeup

How exciting is it to discover a new makeup brand? Well, let me tell you: very! Being round quite a few brands truly spoils me and there isn’t much I ah e t seen, but Catrice came about as a very pleasant surprise with some items added to my essentials kit straight away. 

From those, the HD Active Performance Primer (£4.99, currently on Black Friday for £4.24) is probably the top: a milky formula that turns velvety on application. It’s great for aid application, smoothing skin for a more even spread of product and also good helping lengthen staying  power. Oh, and it has SPF 30.

The Clean ID Mineral Bronzer (£4.99, currently on Black Friday for £4.24) has many good things to shout about. The share is neutral, giving a healthy matte glow, its impact and does not flake on application and it blends really well. It is part of their Clean ID range, made with 84% natural ingredients, talc-free, with a SPF 15 and vegan.

Moving on to the One Drop Coverage Weightless concealer (£4.95, currently on Black Friday for £3.82), which does exactly what it says – a small amount provides light, medium coverage. The extremely light liquid formula spreads and blends well, under or over powder.

The Brow Colorist (£3.79, currently on Black Friday for £3.22) is a nifty “mascara” that gives your brow a great tint. The formula is a fluid gel and it is semi-permanent, meaning durability is great. Really worth mentioning the flexible brush which is a delight to use and gets in all hairs for great coverage. It isone of their most popular products!

Catrice is a cosmetics brand well established in Europe and only recently came to the UK. I am really impressed with them as a brand: they are super trend aware (they update 25% of their products twice a year!), but also have high quality at the top of their agenda. Plus, they don’t test on animals – nor their suppliers; their price is exceptional value for money and they have a huge range of products for your beauty needs.

In the UK, you can get Catrice from justmylook – at the moment they have a 15% off offer on all products because, well, Black Friday! Hurry!

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

Arctic skincare goodness

You know that brand that comes from something quite exciting and you think, wow? That’s Polaar, with a lovely family history of Arctic exploration and fascination, it brings the purest ingredients from the cold to help us achieve better skin. 

I am, as I said many times, a huge sucker for a great eye cream and their bestseller Polaar Icymagic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser (£29.50 for 10ml) is just that: a light gel formula delivered by a lovely metal sphere to massage and soothe the delicate area. 

It contains tonic Siberian ginseng to help revitalise, anti-oxidant tetrapeptides to work on reducing dark circles and fine lines, an advanced blend of peptides and provitamins are there for the helping lashes grow thicker and also to reduced hair loss.

Not only you get great eye skincare but also a little bit of a lash serum in one product.

It feels very light comfortable on the eye and the pump means you can control how much is delivered by the roller, meaning there’s no waste. It absorbs quickly and it makes for a fantastic day eye cream, not interfering with makeup and keeping the area moisturised. 

Another find are the Polaar Icymagic Eye Contour Multi Energiser Patches (£22.50 for 4 pairs) – basically little under the eye masks.

Infused with ginseng and tetrapeptides, they deliver that boost to tired eyes, helping revive, hydrate and nourish – a great treat not only for the skin for the mind when you take that time to pamper!

Polaar have the most amazing skincare range for all different skin types and concerns, always relying on a selection of arctic ingredients. Hand creams are rich but not sticky, keeping hands soft and nourished. 

And they have some fab Christmas packs and gift sets which are great value and a way to sample a range or a variety of products offering a skin solution! 

You can buy the Polaar Icymagic Instant Eye Contour Multi Energiser and the Eye Contour Multi Energiser Patches, plus their range of fab skincare at LookFantastic and also on their website.

Polaar is a brand committed to nature – sustainable, ethically collected and carefully selected ingredients, no animal testing, at least 95% natural products, no parabens, mineral oils or alcohol – they are an all-round good company.

Also, if you do have time check out their story, it is fascinating!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. Opinions are honest and my own.

All the fun and games

I partnered up with giffgaff to get some old fashioned offline times, which is getting harder and harder to get in this digital world of ours. To be honest, it is almost like a challenge nowadays.

Having a little weird family away from my family is wonderful, but the fact we mainly socialise (maybe a little bit too much) by going out means we sometimes we can lack in real connection in down time.

So I had no excuses, giffgaff kitted me out with online tools – their awesome sim cards were used (and abused) to organise our night in, map journeys from work, order some food and cabs home; a power bank to make sure we managed to do that; camera to capture the moment (even though my friends were, surprisingly camera shy that day) and some super fun offline gift: board games.

One evening after work we chose, in between courses, glasses of wine and chats about our upcoming nights out, to play Weird Things Humans Search For and Bucket of Doom, which was the most fun – the stories started shy but quickly escalated.

We picked the phone less. We laughed more (only marginally, we are usually hilarious anyway), we were present.

After a evening of good food, friends and crying-with-laughter fun, I went to bed with my belly and heart full, thinking how lucky I am to have these weirdos around me.

Resolution: do this at least once a month. And get that missing one in the group to come next time!

I also very surprised to find out how much flexibility giffgaff gives when choosing how to use your mobile.

They offer free sim (yes, FREE) where you can either get a “goodie bag” with some great value minutes and data – or just the sim to pay as you go and SIM only monthly plans from £6!

Flexibility to suit you is key – so you can change or cancel at any time!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, in partnership with giffgaff.

Makeup to truly match my skin

Makeup is, and has been, from a young age, a staple is my life. When I was younger, I got many comments saying I was “not natural” , was “hiding” or whatever. 

The good news is that makeup has evolved and it is easier to find products that will give you coverage that is natural, accentuating your beauty and skin.

I was very excited to try EX1 as they are the first makeup brand developed exclusively for olive skin tones, which is mine.

That might explain that, so long ago, when foundation shades were very limited, why I may have looked a bit off – friendly ghost or a bit pink.

The EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation (£12.50) is light in texture with a medium coverage, which is relatively buildable. 

Their colour matching tool on the site is amazing – I used to find my shade, based on known brands colours, and it matches perfectly. Finish is very natural, not matte or with a sheen. 

I finish it with their loose powder, which is in fact a foundation, in the oilier areas. The Pure Crushed Mineral Foundation (£13) powder is also great to use over SPF or a good day moisturiser, offering a very decent and even light coverage. 

Finally, the Blusher in Peach (£9.50) is just my shade: super pigmented and blendable, with minimal dropping, it sits pretty on the cheeks for that healthy colour flush. 

EX1 Cosmetics products feature a completely unique blend of olive tones ranging from very fair to deep tan, and are designed to seamlessly micro match olive skin tones or for those who just want to make their skin glow.

It’s parabens and cruelty free and was awarded the Best Breakthrough Brand 2019 by Superdrug at the Annual Superdrug Conference 2019.

And how great value for money is it? You can get EX1 products on their website and at Supedrug – online and in selected stores country wide.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains PR samples as products were GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.

When in Covent Garden…

Covent Garden is a place close to my heart – one of my first jobs in London was walking distance from it, so many a lunch times were spent there.

And while is has all the tradition, it also has modern and luxurious options. Visiting London? A Covent Garden hotel is the perfect base to explore the area and the capital.

Theatres? It’s got it. Walking distance to many city landmarks? Check. Many restaurants, catering for all tastes and budgets? You bet!

What about cocktails? Covent Garden is a lovely place to go for drinks and some foods after work. Many places have great happy offers on drinks!

We picked the new SushiSamba, there for just a year, with a beautiful decor to match their flamboyant cuisine.

It is located at the top of the old market, with views that allow you to take in the historical surrounds of the market.

Because you are in the heart of theatreland, most restaurants will offer a fixed price menu at a pre-show time, usually until 6:30. And that was the case there too, for my surprise.

For £28 per person you get 3 courses to taste their menu – it’s great for an express lunch too, which gives you the chance to sample their Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian fusion cuisine.

I had ceviche, salmon sushi and a delightful banana cake for desert. Move to the bar after dinner, for some cocktails amongst their lush rainforest decor.

In lovely surroundings, taste cocktails, nibble on some great food and let the conversation flow. And that’s not just at this place – options are aplenty!

The atmosphere in Covent Garden is fantastic, and there are so many bars, clubs, restaurants, performances and shops to keep you amused for days, to suit all tastes and budgets.

Sip some tea with delicious macaroons at Ladurèe; grab a pint at the famous Punch & Judy pub; have some martinis at Dirty Martini, head off for some dinner at The Ivy, soak up the atmosphere of the piazza watching the street performances.

The possibilities are endless. Lucky you of you’re staying in the area.

And you can shop to your hearts content – from well know brands to small independent retailers and market stalls, you’re sure to find gifts for everyone you need to buy.

Worth noting that the festive season around Covent harden is magical. At the moment they have an autumnal display but the Christmas decor is already making its way into the pavilion – Apple Market already has the beautiful giant baubles, mistletoes and disco balls being set!

Covent Garden has so much to offer – even after 17 years in London, at every visit, I discover a new corner.

This post was created in collaboration with Hotels.com. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

All year round golden skin

Summer. Suddenly you’re gone. You’re my favourite time of the year, but in London, that dies not equal tan. 

The struggle, for bronzed pins is real, and even more so when the brief summer leaves us.

Enter the wonderful Skinny Tan Wonder Serum. Its formula is a dark pearlescent jelly fluid which is easy to apply evenly and dries very quickly, giving skin an instant make over, so you’re ready to go while the tanning agents work. 

Left overnight it develops into a gorgeous deep gold tone which lasts for a good 3-5 days. 

It contains caffeine, aloe vera, vitamin E, guarana to care for the skin. 96% of its ingredients are natural and Skinny Tan is always paraben & sulphate free, as well as vegan friendly and cruelty free.

I used their fab Dual Tanning Mitt (£5.99) in pink velvet, which makes application even and super smooth on the skin. 

Very quickly it turned into my go-to tanning product.

To complete my tanning routing, line I’ve been using their brand new Rainbow moisturising range, which consists Cleansing Moisture Wash, which a tan primer and maintaining body wash, Moisture Hit Body Lotion, a gorgeous tan maintainer super moisturiser and the rich Melting Moisture body balm which is a treat for elbows and knees especially. They costs £9.95 each.

They helps prepare the skin prior to tanning and also afterwards, as some products containing sulphites make tan fade faster. ingredients include cocoa butter, coconut oil, raspberry oil, guarana, she butter and aloe vera, for moisturisation, a hit of antioxidants and skin awakening. Plus, they smell absolutely delicious!

You can get the Skinny Tan Wonder Serum on their website – it costs £29.99 and it’s such a hit that often sells out. Skinny Tan has a great range of other tanning products and accessories.

They also have amazing bundles available on the site and currently Boots has a “buy 1 get 2nd half price” on Skinny Tan products so a great change to stock up!

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a PR sample as this product was GIFTED, with no obligation to post. This review, however, is based on my experience and reflects my honest opinion.