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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Do you ever, like me, go into TK MAXX and feel like a kid in a sweet shop, not knowing where to look?
That happens in most locations, but I always managed to find what I need: be my most convenient, London Stratford or my closest to work, Bank, but their new Oxford Street location just took that feeling to a whole new level, where big brands at small prices are spread across four floors.
Modern, spacious, organised, friendly and full of cute corners, with a killer stock!
You can find their usual accessories, beauty, shoes, women, children, toys and men sections, together with the coveted Gold Label, jewellery and also Pre-Loved, a small super luxury section where you can find big ticket second hand designer accessories.
Think original dream handbags, procured and authenticated. How great is that?
The beauty section is always fun for me – so many fabulous brands I love and worked with in the past and you can truly find some gems.
It is also a great place to discover new brands and products!
Now, the home section has my heart – so much that at my visit to the new shop I ended up getting most of my little visit haul from there, including a set of four beautiful iridescent glasses for £7.99 and a 15oz candle for the same price.
Where can you find great glassware at such good price? Cushions as fas as the eye can see? Towels so soft and so affordable? Kitchen utensils staples but also some you didn’t even know you needed?
Candles, for example, I will never pay through my nose for that again; they have so may options of excellent quality!
Not going to lie, I got this very seasonal Sea Salt Pumpkin (yum) there the last time, but I have at least two of the same brand, with more classic fragrances I like for my home, purchased a while back, stocked up and ready to go.
And the shoes? Have you ever paid attention to the calibre of the designers at the Gold Label section? It is INSANE. And the savings you get?
Add that to the rows and rows of the non- gold label footwear at even better value.
Talking about Gold Label, the same goes for clothes. Some gorgeous stock going.
I went a bit more modest and got this fabulous pink coat at a very affordable £39.99 that is going to see me through the autumn very well. I love a pop of colour, especially in the colder months where everything is so grey!
I have, apart from the goodies I got in this shopping trip, many a gems from TK MAXX.
My kitchen is full of amazing accessories from known brands which were purchased there for a fraction of the price.
Who remembers my gorgeous silver holographic glitter boots that look a million dollars but was purchased for £17 a few months back?
And who hasn’t got the heartache of not having bought something, just to go back a few days later to get it and not find? A black leather handbag, circa 2010, Clapham. My heart.
TK MAXX works with many designer brands – big and small – and are always procuring the latest in fashion.
You may think most of it stock is past season, but the vast majority comes from current season overproduced, overbuys from stores, and some especially manufactured stock for TK MAXX which negotiates volume and good prices, which are passed on to us, consumers!
Great for the pocket and also a good chance for surplus stock to actually get sold and used. Oh, and it does not hurt they look sooooo good!
Oh, and they have plenty of Halloween stuff at the moment!
TK MAXX has many stores across the UK, Europe and Australia – so easy to find one near you. Visit the new one at 203-207 Oxford Street, just a few minutes from the tube station.
Oh, and don’t forget they also put some of their stock online, so visit their website – you can use gift cards and even click and collect at the shop!
Please note that this was a PR offered opportunity. I was invited to visit their new shop and given a gift card to buy some tempting items, but the above is based on my experience on the day and general, asa customer, with TK MAXX.
My first electric toothbrush was purchased less than a year ago but I feel like I will never be able to live without it. In fact, how did I?
When Oral-B invited me to the launch of their new brush, I was dead excited and thought: can this get any better? Spoiler: yes, it can.
The Genius X 20000 relies on AI to help you achieve the best brushing possible.
AI? Really? Yes. Using artificial intelligence means that your brush learnt from thousands of brushing styles and it can map where exactly you are brushing, if you brushed enough and if you are putting too much pressure on your teeth.
As research shows, 80% of people do miss some areas when brushing, so Genius X makes sure you get in every bit and helps you improve.
The brush looks amazing and I went for the sleek shiny black which looks fabulous in my bathroom. The light ring can be customised in many colours and all Oral B heads will fit – of course a shiny black Crossaction one will look better on mine.
It has six cleaning modes: normal, deep clean, sensitive, whitening, massage and tongue, as well as a battery life of up to two weeks and gum pressure control.
Linked up to the app, you can see exactly where and how you’re brushing, and progress is tracked. The brush stores up to 30 sessions if you cannot use the app, and it’ll sync once you connect via Bluetooth.
On top of that, the app offers tips, reminders and different programmes to improve your oral hygiene, such as tongue brushing, flossing and rinsing prompts, and whitening, fresher breath and gum health settings you can follow for a number of weeks – all customisable.
Sometimes the app does not record if you change the setting at the and of the brushing (as I do to brush my tongue) and occasionally starts mapping a different part from that you’re brushing, but overall it works great and I find a great aid in actually getting the right time and thorough brushing.
Plus, it gives that amazingly squeaky clean feeling after! I am 100% sold and won’t, more than ever, look back.
It also comes in a pretty rose gold colour and costs from £169.98 and it comes with a gorgeous rechargeable travel case (which doubles up as a power bank I hear).
You can get all the info on the Genius X at the Oral B website, where you can also see which retailers nationwide you can buy from, including Amazon and Boots.
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.