On being a WOMAN

There was a time when I was faithful to one fragrance. As I got older and embraced the multitude of facets of my personality and moods, I started wearing perfumes to suit – and depict – them.

A very personal choice, it is always a delight when I come across a fragrance I can add to my “mood portfolio” and WOMAN by Ralph Lauren fits right in.

And what mood is that? The strong, yet feminine woman. The one to wear when I want to lead like a woman (say, like everyday, right?)

Matching Ralph Lauren’s concept of designing womenswear with menswear sensibility, the perfume comes in a hip flask shaped bottle and is the perfect shape to carry on the go.

For me, it’s a great fragrance to wear day or night with its contrasting bold florals and rich woods, with top notes of blackcurrant, pear and rhubarb, then tuberose, orange blossom and Turkish rose at its heart, and a base of sandalwood, hazelnut and woods.

Alluring, strong and deep, it has a great staying power, especially on the hair.; its modern femininity concoction of notes crafted by Master Perfumer Anne Flipo.

WOMAN also introduces Lead Like A Woman, an initiative to spark dialogue around closing the leadership gap between women and men.

There are three short films produced by an all-female cast and crew and starring Jessica Chastain, in partnership with Women in Film (to which the brand also donated to) to support its cause – use the power of media to advocate parity.

We all have inspirational leading women in our lives – right, left and centre – and we should always strive to support other women to reach their full potential. Quoting Nadine Baggott, who, at the launch event quoted Madeline Albright, I wholeheartedly agree that “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women“.

So many women throughout history and today have sacrificed so much to fight for rights we have now, I cannot quite believe when women, who know how hard it still is to be a woman, want to take their peers down. So ladies, look out for each other: support, encourage and compliment honestly. Individually we are much stronger than we think, but together, we are invincible.

And all the love and recognition to my mum, a very young mother who raised me to be my own person, always supportive, loving and a real example. Thank you.

WOMAN is available exclusively at Boots until the 11th September, then nationwide at major retailers and sells for £49 (30ml), £69 (50ml, seen here) and £89 (100ml), all RRP.

To find out more about Ralph Lauren fragrances, visit their site. And of course, check out the Lead Like a Woman initiative.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say again: this post contains a GIFTED PR sample. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them. Laters!

A shift on my skincare routine

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsFrom time to time I like shifting my skincare routine and over a month ago I introduced five Image Skincare products to it. I had never heard of the brand, so was very excited to see that they are paraben free and have an extensive range catering for all different skin concerns.

After describing my skin, I was sent a mix of products from a few ranges, including the gorgeous the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum, the Ageless Total Eye Lift Cream, the Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser, the fabulous ClearCell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser and the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Masque.

I used them almost exclusively for over 4 weeks and here’s what I found…

The serum

Because I am a sucker for serums, that’s where I’m gonna start: the Vital C Hydrating Anti Ageing Serum (£72) is fluid and spreads very well on the skin, sinking quickly. I felt it gives my skin radiance; and that seem to be persisting throughout the day and not only in the morning.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsThe hydrating serum has oil-soluble Vitamin C which helps soothe the visible effects of environmentally damaged skin. Vitamins A, E and highly potent anti-oxidants help on the nourishment front, for that youthful glow.

Keep it clean!

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsOne product I am in love with is the Clearcell Salicylic Clarifying Gel Cleanser (£28). Foamy and with a light scent, this cleanser makes skin feel super clean and not a tiny bit dry.

I feel it’s been a god send on these hot days where you sweat a lot at night. It contains a 5% blend of salicylic acid, neem leaf extract and granactive acne, and does a decent job of removing makeup, even eye. It has anti-inflammatory properties and gives skin a gentle exfoliation, so perfect for blemish and acne prone skin.

The eyes (always) have it

Now, eye creams are amongst my favourite type of skincare and the Ageless Total Eye Lift Creme (£48) delivers extreme hydration and nutrition to the area. I use at night as it has a richer consistency, but it applies super well and absorbs super quickly, not upsetting my sensitive eyes.

It contains a retinol-derivative glycolic blend  to help tighten the skin, chamomile, green tea and coneflower soothe and a peptide blend to reduce inflammatory processes, as well as potent antioxidants.

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsDaily protection

I was looking for a multitasking face moisturiser and that’s exactly what I found on the oil-free Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser (£46).

With a microsponge technology that absorb surface oils to mattify and leave skin shine-free, a blend of anti-oxidants that scavenge free-radical, and broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 32+, it helps reduce the damage caused by the sun and environmental exposures, so it’s the perfect shield for everyday.

As all other creams from the brand, it applies well, absorbs great and sits amazingly well under makeup. All points!

The treat

Image skincare - So Many Lovely ThingsAnd because everyone loves a sheet face mask, I also tried the Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Mask (£9), which is laden with concentrated ultra-hydrating ingredients: amino acid Complex, Jeju volcanic oxygen water, Onsen-Sui mineral charged water, hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica extract, portulaca, oleracea extract, green tea, ginseng and beta glucan.

Skin feel plumped and hydrated after use; a real treat (and treatment!) suitable for all skin types.

Overall, a great brand discovery with products that kept my skin in check. And they have so many more exciting products I think would work for me!

You can browse their range on the Image Skincare website.

Also, I tried to take pics where the products live, my bathroom. Needless to say I won’t be doing that again, so the conclusion is the products are WAY better than my photography in this instance…

written by Dani

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

Makeup brushes with a soul

Kohl Kreatives brush review How great is it to come across a brand that is pretty cool, created by a lovely young woman and does some charity work?

That’s how I felt when I met Kohl Kreatives founder Trishna Daswaney. And I could not wait to try.

Kohl Kreatives brush review I got The 3ss3ntials set, part of the Shapes collection, with three standing brushes that include possibly my favourite foundation brush: the big circle.

It applies foundation smoothly and evenly with only a few sweeps. I noticed I even use less foundation!

It’s packed with vegan bristles that are ever so soft and feel great against skin. The ergonomic shape means it is easy to hold and manoeuvre and they are very pretty in white and rose gold.

Kohl Kreatives brush review The square is great for concealer and the rectangle great for lining – eyes and lips!

Now, Kohl Kreatives really got to my heart with their charity Kohl Kares #MyArmour campaign, which looks to help men and women recreate their features with makeup, including transgender individuals transitioning, cancer patients, sufferers of skin conditions and people with scars that resulted from severe accidents.

Kohl Kreatives brush review Proceeds from every sale goes towards the Kohl Kares charity which runs free workshops and are generally very open to help if you reach out to them!

Kohl Kreatives brush review In all honesty, a huge pleasure, and honour to have been exposed to something like this – that marries a passion, a taltented female and the will to help others – and be able to share the news!

You can get the lovely Shapes Collection now on the Kohl Kreatives website, from £15.99 an individual brush. The 3ss3ntials set costs £34.99.

Launching soon is their Flex Collection, where the brushes have a flexible head, making application even easier. Pre order now: £35, for five lovely brushes.

written by Dani

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

The make up of dreams: it’s a Winky World of wonder!

Makeup is certainly one of the keys to my heart, up there with food and shoes. As a lover of all things pretty, I would obviously fall head over heels for Winky Lux, a gorgeous free from parabens, sulfates, gluten, phthalates, animal testing and any cruelty brand from NY, that lives up to their “addictive beauty” strapline.

I went to their magical event that gave me not only unicorn lattes, flower explosion and cuddles with their mascot, but also (and best part) exposure to their fabulously extensive range of downright pretty and excellent makeup.

It is hard to pick my favourite from the items I brought home, but I will start with one of their best sellers, the only one on this post that is not a launch: the Flower Balm, which is clear on the bullet, and works with your won pH levels to create the perfect-for-you lip stain.

To top off the prettiness, there is a real chrysanthemum inside, in different colours, and coconut scent. No wonder I love it! It’s so lovely to wear and gives lips that very healthy colour and a boost of

Brand new is the Watermelon Jelly Balm, a pretty translucent pink bullet and pretty watermelon seed packaging. Smells and tastes watermelon, so a delight for the summer.

And, as the Flower Balm, it is pH activated, so it creates the perfect pink for you.

My love of glitter is never ending, so I was happy to see the Disco Gloss (£13) in my little bag. I got the Foxy shade which leans towards orange-gold iridescent glitter.

Winky Lux Flower Balm, Watermelon Balm and Disco Gloss in Foxy tested However, as another pH activated product, the base turns into a darker shade of pink just like that. And it not sticky or gritty! I was very surprised at how much I love this gloss!

Another launch is the Matcha Lip Treatment (£13), with real green tea powder and food grade vanilla, as well as coconut and avocado oils, vitamin C and caffeine.

It is clear and works to soften, repair and protect lips. Smells good enough to eat and applies so well, giving the lips a very soft sheen.

The Pucker Up lip plumper in lemon cake (£17) is a very light gloss that delivers a light pink sheen and slight tingle for that extra plumping.

Finally, a non-lip product, equally pretty: the White Tea Tinted Veil (RRP £19). A very light tinted moisturiser, it is infused with calming white tea and contains pomegranate extract and vitamins A and E which together help protect and nourish skin.

And the best thing about it: it has that very important SPF 30. A downside is that it’s only available in 5 shades. I have medium-deep which is ok for me when tanned, but I suspect usually I’d be bang in the middle medium.

Also, if you are not a fan of scented makeup products, this might not be for you. As for me, I love the delicious smell. Texture is light, it applies very well and sits nicely on the skin, with average durability if not set with a powder.

For a light coverage product, I feel it offers decent evening out of colour and cover, especially bearing in mind I am a full coverage foundation person. Thumbs up!

Winky Lux Flower Balm, Watermelon Balm, and Disco Gloss in FoxyI need to point out that packaging is absolute stunning – I live the lip balm/lipstick bullets, and the outer packaging is a work of art in every product.

A must see is their eye palettes and powders – I cannot wait to get my hands on them! And it does not stop there; for example, their Steal My Heart lipstick pills and highlighters are gorgeous. This selection is such a tiny dent in the Winky World of Wonders!

I love that they are trendy and indulgent, but use luxurious, interesting ingredients, the design across every single product is fabulous and the price point, in my view, fair. I am now a confessed Winky Lux fan – it does seem It’s a Winky World indeed!

And you can get Winky Lux products at Boots (including in-stores), FeelUnique, ASOS and Harvey Nichols. Also worth checking their website to see how much amazing stuff they have!

written by Dani

 

Happy feet

Summer. I do not use this word lightly. Being from Brazil, I am a summer person and this year, my home, the UK has given me the first real summer I’ve seen in many years: days in and out of great weather. Weekends and bank holidays too – how crazy is that?

I usually say I rarely wear sandals, even in the summer here, but this year has been different. And when it’s this frequent, just manicured toes won’t cut it.

Because my workouts usually take place bare feet, I feel my soles as not as delicate as I would like. I am a huge fan of filing it with the MicroPedi Nano, which is so practical for frequent use, and I found on the Masque Bar  Intensive Moisturizing Foot Mask the perfect ally to my gadget.

Masque Bar’s range is so amazing, and they have a mask for every need. This is no joke. And the feet ones, which contain shea butter, apple extract and peppermint, is not different.

The pack comes with 2 pairs of little “socks” brimming with a serum that helps smooth, soften and moisturise the suffering skin from feet, especially the heels.

Just open the foil, open each “sock” and stick your foot inside. In 25 minutes, my feet were rested and very soft! It’s like they were new!

I loved using it after filing the skin, I feel the effect is even better as product seems to sink better.

So I could walk around, I tied up the top with elastic bands!

The Masque Bar Intensive Moisturizing Foot Mask costs £9.99 and you can get it from major retailers, like Boots (at the moment buy 1 get one 1/2 price!) and FeelUnique.

You can take a look at their insane mask range on the Masque Bar website.

written by Dani

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

 

No white marks and a delicious floral touch

No news I am a huge fan of Dove deodorants and every time I think I found my fragrance (yes, don’t you know they work with real perfumiers de develop the fragrances?!), a new one comes along to rock the boat.

Here’s Dove Invisible Care Floral Touch: add a gorgeous floral scent to the amazing Dove Invisible Care – you know, that one that does not leave marks in 100 colours – and I think it’s a winner.

The scent is quite similar to one of my faves Soft Feel, a tad less powdery, with a delicate and feminine flowery smell. The fact it leaves no marks is a great, especially in the summer when we (well, I) abuse of colourful outfits.

This little gem gives you that reassurance that your underarms are fresh and cared for, let’s remember Dove’s formula cares for the underarm skin, leaving it hydrated and soft, but also that your outfit is safe too, regardless of its colour.

I quickly became a fan and notice straight away when I reach for a deodorant that is not specific for not leaving marks – is there anything more annoying then having to wipe your clothes with a damp towel just before you leave the house?

I also love that Dove Invisible Care invites people to be confident on wearing colour as the effects it has on people’s mood is amazing!

Dove Invisible Care Floral Touch is available as spray (150ml and 250ml), stick (40ml) and roll on (50ml), with prices from £2.49 RRP and it’s available from retailers nationwide.

Keep your eyes peeled as there are always amazing promos on Dove deodorants and every time I see one, I stock up on my faves with that extra value for money!

written by Dani

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

Mask it up!

How amazing is to treat yourself with a gorgeous face mask? I have to say it is one of my favourite things.

And that’s not only for my skin but also for my mental health; I do take those 15-20 minutes to unwind and create some headspace, which I usually find quite challenging.

Starskin has a fabulous range of amazing masks to cater for all your skin needs. I am very impressed at the list of ingredients on each product and how much of the serums are actually present on each mask.

Their new Diamond Mask VIP Illuminating mask (£12.50) is a luxury bio cellulose second skin mask, which feels comfortable and supple on your face.

The bio cellulose is made of naturally fermented coconut juice and is safe for all skin types, as it offers non sticky adherence.

It is nourishing, brightening, refining and enhances elasticity, thanks to its long list ingredients. Are you ready? It does feel like I am in a jewellers…diamond dust, emerald, tournaline, coconut, evening primrose, olive oils, purslane, adenosine, antarcticine, white mulberry bark and tripeptide-t. Phew.

The mask comes between two layers of protective mesh and infused with 30ml of serum. Personally, I found a bit fiddly to unravel and apply, but nothing I could not overcome in a few seconds. Once applied, the mask feels so comfortable and refreshing.

After 20 minutes, I easily removed it – it slips off effortlessly and massaged the leftover product on my face, letting it absorb naturally, which took a few minutes.

My skin felt fresh and radiant, and makeup applied later that day sat extremely well.

Before applying my mask, I cleaned my face with the Detoxing Sea Kelp Leaf cleansing foam (£20).

This rich lather is created from only a pea size amount of the product and a drop of water, applied to face and neck. It feels very cleansing on the skin and does a decent job of removing eye makeup (although I did use a proper remover afterwards).

Kelp, glacier water, clay, spirulina, green caviar, sea cucumber, hiziki, jelly fish, sea fern, peony and licorice roots come together to promote detoxing, cleansing, smoothing and balancing.

Also on my Starskin book, is the Foaming Peeling Perfection Puff (£8.50). Now, I love this things as one puff can be used up to 3 times.

Pop the foil open, add a few drops of water, squeeze the puff a couple times inside the packet and then use it to scrub the whole face for about 2-3 minutes.

I could really feel the exfoliating power of the puff. Skin was smoother and brighter after, drinking products very well!

It brings exfoliation, smoothing, skin tone and radiance improvements, as well as deep cleansing thanks to (a salad) carrot, tomato, turnip, broccoli, cabbage, olive leaf, rice, plus aloe vera, lactic acid and arginine.

Another product that made me very excited was the Plumping & Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Lip Masks (£8.50).

Made of the same coconut bio-cellullose as the VIP mask, this was a saviour to my lips that suffer an awful lot with dryness. Also, it’s a pretty shape 🙂

5 ml of a serum formulated with sea fern, mango, flaxseed, chia seeds, coconut oil, honey, collagen, jojoba oils, hyaluronic acid, beta glucan and pomegranate infuse every lip mask for plumping, softening, smoothing and hydrating effect.

There are 2 masks per pack, which is nice!

You can get Starskin products at major retailers: think FeelUnique, Debenhams, ASOS, Selfridges, House of Fraser, LookFantastic and many more.

A hydration boost for skin

We know that having hydrated skin is important for all aspect of skin health – be it fighting ageing or achieving radiance.

So the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range has all these water gel products with hyaluronic gel matrix to not only lock moisture but also release it throughout the day, helping to ensure constant hydration levels.

All products are oil free and super light on the skin and absorb pretty well, making it for perfect day, under makeup wear.

My favourite has to be the capsule-in-serum supercharged booster. The serum itself is infused with purified hyaluronic acid, which works as a self-hydrating system for skin: we know hyaluronic acid holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so the hydration is release constantly throughout the day.

When you press the pump, little suspended pearls – anti-oxidant capsules – boost the serum with vitamin E, which is kept protect up to the time of use, increasing the ingredient efficiency. Clever, eh?

It can be added to any routine, day or night, or even mixed to your favourite product.

Following closely is the city shield hydrating lotion with SPF 25 (£12.99). It is soooo light and fresh, and I love it delivers decent sun protection.

Of course, hyaluronic acid is responsible for hydration, but this product also helps strengthen the skin protection barrier against pollution. Honest, a joy to use.

As you know, I love an eye cream, and the eye awakening gel cream (£12.99) does not disappoint. It applies well and is a treat for the delicate round the eye skin.

I use it during the day as it is super light ad behaves well under makeup.

I opted for the gel cream moisturiser (£12.99). It is soooo light that is perfect to be used at night with serums or oils.  There is also a water gel moisturiser, which is (ever so) slightly heavier.

Finally, some cleansing goodness with the geleé milk cleanser (£7.99). Quite a different product, it does not need water or rinsing. It is an efficient cleanser and leaves skin feeling hydrated.

Even though I am funny with no foam, no rinse cleansing products, I got on alright with this one. I don’t use it all the time, but it’s my go to for lazy, but thorough cleansing, especially on late nights!

You can get the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range from major retailers and supermarkets nationwide.

More info on the range, including more products (such as wipes, micellar water and more) can be found on the Neutrogena website.

written by Dani

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

 

Ayurvedic botanicals for your skin

A while ago, I got my hands on the Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Kapha Anti-ageing Treatment Oil, but it took me a while to fall for it.

The weather was warmer and being the rich oil it is, it didn’t quite work for my skin. However, when the winter came I decided to give it another go, and I now understand why this oil has rave reviews.

All natural, its main ingredients are fine high-performance Ayurvedic infusions such as ashwagandha root extract, sandalwood, vetivert and frankincense oils which have anti-ageing properties as well as a calming and soothing scent, helping bring tranquility.

It also contains high quality almond, turmeric root, apricot kernel and got kola oils, paracress flower extract, so overall a mix of antiflammatory, healing, balancing, cleansing, antioxidant properties to pamper the skin.

And the senses! As it is based on Ayrvedic principles, it helps restore balance – the brand name combines two Sanskrit words: sama, ‘balance’ and alaya, ‘place’ to create a ‘place of balance.

I felt my skin calmer, especially on the breakout front. It also felt nourished and replenished in the morning (I only use it at night, alone).

In the summer, I am going to mix a drop or two with a moisturiser at night, and see how it works for me, as I really loved using it.

It does retail for £79 for 30ml, but I can assure a little goes a reaaaally long way.

You can get the Samaya Ayurvedic Skincare Kapha Anti-ageing Treatment Oil from the Samaya website and also selected retailers such a Whole Foods and Fenwick.

You can also browse all the range, including the other doshas Vata and Pita – you can even do a test on their site to discover which one is your dominant!

written by Dani

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

A luscious shower mousse from Dove

Who shaves in the shower?

I’ve always shaved my legs in the shower, but never used shaving foam. The fact Dove has brought out a gorgeous range of shower mousses has changed my life a bit!

The Dove shower mousse is infused with essential oils and delivers 24 hour softness. It has three variations – argan, rose and coconut oils.

It is creamy and produces instant foam instantly, which then glides onto the skin, cleansing and leaving it soft with a fabulous scent – all three of them!

Of course, not only it is a shower foam to clean skin, but it is also suitable for shaving.

The razor glides amazingly on the mousse that does not disintegrate quickly and the essential oils help skin feel soft after; because it is so gentle and the foam is so rich, it helps prevent irritation.

Worth remembering they are also sulphate free!

The rose oil variation comes in the prettiest pink packaging, but the smell on the coconut oil one is definitely my favourite – although all three smell amazing and leave a subtle scent on the skin after use.

I also love that they have a “scratch and sniff” label on the lid, so you know exactly what the product smells like  before buying.

The pump is smooth to operate in the shower and it delivers a great amount – a little does go a long way!

Since they came into my life, I cannot imagine washing my body with a traditional soap, shower gel or cream again. It feels quite indulgent, but an affordable indulgence, at £3.99 for 200ml.

You can get the scrumptious new Dove Shower Mousse from major retailers, such as Superdrug and Boots, and supermarkets country-wide.

You’ll get addicted, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

written by Dani

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