Brush it gently

If you have fine and/or fragile hair, you know how important it is to treat as the finest of silks, especially when brushing. 

I’ve been using brushes specific for my hair type for a while and was very happy to try the new Denman Tamer Gentle, designed especially for fine hair. 

This tug-free brush is very light and comfortable to grip, with fine bristles of varied lengths to really get into the finest of hair for gentle detangling and smoothing. 

It feels fine on the scalp and brushing, wet or dry, is a breeze. It comes in 4 different colours, and I love both I was sent – the black one now lives in my bathroom while the bright blue, pink and yellow made my bedroom its home!

Marrying the detangling power of the Tangle Tamer Ultra with the Denman soft brush technology, the Tangle Tamer Gentle has an ai-cushioned pad that rides the contours of the head and soft ball ended bristles to glide through hair gently.

And talking about the Tangle Tamer Ultra, for thicker, unruly hair, it now comes in beautiful new shades, including this gorgeous pink, plus purple and another 4. 

I gifted one to my friend Carol and she has been enjoying the brush on her (gorgeous) thick mane! I am glad it now had a good (and more appropriate) home!

Denman is a traditional British company born in 1938 from the will of a brother to help his sister style her wonderful but unruly curly hair and is a now a established worldwide company. 

The new Tangle Tamer Gentle brushes cost £11, which I find great value for money, and can be purchased at denmanbrush.com and Amazon.

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.

A bit of insolence

When I got my hands on the gorgeous Vetiver Insolent from Miller Harris, I just admit the scent was a bit wasted on me. 

Although I loved the company and the sheer craft behind their fragrances, I just thought that wasn’t one to call mine.

As I write this in the tube, I catch pleasant whiffs of Vetiver Insolent from my hair and skin and I can’t have enough of it. 

Needless to say that the staying power of this exquisite scent is great!

Strong and beautiful, Vetiver Insolent is a spicy fragrance mixing vetiver, which is theroots of a grass grown in Haiti and India.

Altough quite smokey, it is not heavy and intriguingly fresh, with the rootiness of vetiver playing nice with smoky resin of elemi, woody elements of black pepper and the brazen freshness of bergamot and cardamom.

Its top notes are of bergamot, black pepper, elemi and cardamon, while iris, lavandin abs and crisp amber are at its heart and vetiver, tonka bean and moss as base notes, making this a deliciously developing and striking fragrance.

Admittedly, a daring fragrance for day (but I don’t care and wear it anyway), which leaves a powerful trail and envelops you. 

Sometimes you mature into tastes, as I mentioned a while ago it is something that seems to be happening a fair amount of times with fragrance, and this is exactly what happened here.

Plus, how cute is my personalised bottle?

As expected from a unique, specialist blended fine fragrance, the price is premium, but not outrageous: Vetiver Insolent costs £75 for 50ml, as mine, and also available in 100ml bottles for £105.

You can also get small sample bottles of most of their perfumes for £16 for 9ml, which is a great way to trial before committing to a full sized bottle. Delivery is free in the UK when you spend over £50.

Miller Harris is a fine London perfumier with an exquisite range of fragrances, inspired by the less obvious and the streets of London. To find out more about them, visit their website.

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.

It’s all in the scent…

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

When Yes I Am Eau de Parfum from Cacharel arrived at my doorstep, even before I smelt it, I was flooded with teenage memories.

Why, you ask? Well, Lou Lou, a Cacharel late 80s/90s classic, was my staple for years. Many years.

No wonder I warmed up to Yes I Am straight away, and heart-eyes really appeared when I saw the gorgeous lipstick shaped bottle. I was in.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

The fragrance is distinctive, and as expected from the brand, it is strong and powerful. Its strong oriental notes are balanced by the fresh florals and it develops into a delightful creamy scent that I’ve been wearing almost everyday since I got it.

The top notes are mandarin, raspberry and cardamon, with ginger flowers, jasmine and gardenia at its heart (what a beautiful heart it is) and sandalwood and milk to form the base.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

A fragrance that is meant to produce the power of the perfect red lipstick, but making it clear it is NOT a lipstick – my interpretation is that it is not just how it looks on the outside, but about the woman’s inner beauty being highlighted; it speaks to daring, independent, and powerful women. When asked if you are any of the above, the answer should be: Yes I Am!

I used to be quite loyal to a fragrance, but as years gone by, not only I started to reach out to different fragrances to suit my mood (yes, I became perfume-promiscuous), but the type of fragrance I like has changed a bit too.

Cacharel Yes I Am perfume

Thought this post was quite fitting to go out this week, given the concept behind the fragrance, to follow up from my feelings about international women’s day: let’s build each other up, let’s empower each other, and be kind.

Sometimes all it takes to help unleash inner confidence (on others and ourselves), is a word, a lipstick, a shift in posture, the knowledge someone’s got your back.

Yes I am Eau de Parfum is priced from £35 (30ml; 50ml is £60 and 75ml is £78) and is available from major retailers nationwide, including Boots.

written by Dani

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

A little London haven

Agua. In my mother tongue, something I cannot live without and if I had my way, I wouldn’t go without the agua Spa, at the newly renamed Sea Containers London hotel in London.

Beside the fact it’s my favourite hotel – it has a great restaurant, an amazing growing floor bar facing the river, a cracking rooftop bar and a gorgeous cinema, the agua Spa really lives up to the rest of the family.

Delighted does not even describe when I was invite to sample one of their treatments and their delightful spa menu.

I experienced the hot oil manicure which is great to help improve the condition of nail that may have been a bit neglected.

The 55-minute treatment combines nourishing organic oils from Dr. Jackson’s which soften the cuticle and moisturise nails. Then, using Japanese techniques, nails are buffed so the nutrients go deep into the nail bed.

It is great for nails that have been damaged by gel application, polish changes, health conditions or medical treatment, as it helps restore them to health and no polish is needed for up to two weeks.

This picture was taken 5 days after the mani and it still looks perfect – shiny and pink!

The hot oil treatment is available for pedicures too (I am tempted to have one as my toe nails are indeed in need of post-winter hibernation TLC), and is priced from £50 (off peak, £55 peak).

Treatments take place at the fabulous Glamour Room within the spa, an area that can also be hired for pamper parties – birthdays, hen do and other celebrations. They offer a great range of treatments and packages.

Which leads me to the menu. What a fab food and drink menu to help take relaxation to another level!

I tried the delicious Immunity (£10) and Energy (£15) booster bowls and could not have enough of the tasty, fresh goodness in them. However, the star was the scrumptious salmon tartare, avocado mousse and oscietta canape cone (£12). The flavour was off the charts! I could’ve eaten 10.

The also have a range of snacks, fresh juices, sundaes and of course, champagne for celebration or well, just champagne. Definitely check out the impressive menu on offer.

And you can have afternoon tea there (from £38pp).

Last, but not least, the spa itself. What a gorgeous haven or tranquility. I had a terrible day that Tuesday and very quickly it all got wiped away by such a great environment and people – service was professional, attentive, personal, warm and overall lovely; the people are the real assets there!

The lounge is an (insta) dream, the steam room is superb with a great shower, and the showers are amazing. And the toiletries are Malin+Goetz, so… Love.

You can check out all the spa treatments available, including massages, facials and body, including maternity specific ones. The range of products they use is also carefully curated to offer really bespoke, quality treatments. Well worth a visit.

For more info, visit the agua Spa website.

written by Dani

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: I as invited to the spa, so 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 skin some beauty sleep

Facial oils are one of my favourite types of skincare. I find easy to use and they give my skin more than just their core function.

I mentioned in the past how discovering facial oils changed the way I care for my skin and coming across a new brand is always great, especially when it works, as the Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir does.

The elixir is 100% natural blend of 14 plant-based oils, including Caribbean coral extract, lavender herb, seabuckthorn fruit berry, geranium and neroli flowers oils, capric tryglicerid from coconut as well as oils from sandalwood nut kernel and from the seeds of camellia, chia seed, bitter cherry, strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, blueberry and cranberry. Phew! It also has a boost of vitamins, minerals and omega 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

These ingredients together work to help prevent ageing signs caused by inflammation. This process, where the protective skin barrier is compromised, happens over time usually due to skin exposure to pollution and sun, over exfoliation or simply by having the wrong skincare regime.

The Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir works to help renew and repair the skin and its barrier, overnight, while you sleep and skin is at its prime regeneration mode.

The oil itself is rich in colour but moderately rich in texture, absorbing well. For my skin type, best used in the autumn/winter and at night, applied with a lovely massage to face and neck.

It works well with other products – I’ve been using a pigmentation and and a vitamin C serum, and sometimes extra moisturisers on top of it.

It can also be used under makeup, or mixed to foundation, but that does not quite work for my skin.

After using it for a while exclusively at night for about 4 weeks, I did notice skin is suppler and overall happier and glowier, breakouts have been stable and skin condition is good.

It is suggested as a topical blemish inflammation reducing but again, for me, I felt it is not necessarily more potent as I was applying to the whole face anyway and my blemishes have been under control.

Also, a little goes a long way so the price tag of £42 (30ml) is, for me, good value for money!

The Beuti Beauty Sleep Elixir is made in the UK, with 98% organic oils can be purchased from they Beuti Skincare website and lookfantastic.com when it is in stock: it is very popular and sells out super quickly so get your hands on it whenever you can!

I am lucky to have mine!

written by Dani

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

Super (natural) stylin’

got2b oh my nude range

I am not a person who styles their hair on a daily basis, but I am a huge fan of loose waves from time to time – think events and when I am feeling mermaid-y!

For a while now Schwarzkopf got2b has been a favourite brand for all things hairstyle: their products are so good with amazing value for money.

One of their latest ranges is called #Oh My Nude and taps into the nude trend in beauty – think styling for a very natural look.

got2b oh my nude range

Design to enhance hair natural textures, the three products also create a softer finish so styling god almost unnoticed. They contain ultra-fine polymers that provide a more flexible finish and subtle texture ad won’t weigh hair down.

My absolute favourite is the Air Does it Air Dry Foam Spray (RRP £4.19). I can only describe as a spray mousse. I use it as a mousse to create natural waves, which are smooth and crinkle free, brushing really well while retaining the shape!

got2b oh my nude range

Recommended use is as a after wash product – spray on towel dried hair and let it dry naturally for a smooth and bouncy finish. It has no residue and helps with frizz.

The Oh So Flexible Hairspray (RRP £4.19) is almost an anti-hairspray as has nothing of a crinkly and sticky finish. It offers long-lasting super light definition with a super soft texture to touch. Control is light, with natural hold.

got2b oh my nude range

Finally, the Silk’ly Done Detangling Spray (RRP £4.19), amazing for long hair – or short and fine prone to tangling. It is non-sticky and has moisturising ingredients. Spritz and comb to get a more manageable mane.

I feel this is a great addition to my air routine – so easy to use and really makes a difference; hair dries naturally with a much better texture!

got2b oh my nude range

Needless to say, all the got2b products have a fabulous scent and how cute is the packaging here? Love the pastel tones with rose gold!

You can get them nationwide at major retailers in the UK. Currently, Superdrug has a 2 for £6 on selected got2b products!

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.

written by Dani

When beauty turns ugly: the importance of having reputable cosmetic medical advice

We see often in the news: people becoming deformed or losing their lives because of cosmetic procedures performed by under qualified professionals. I am grateful I have a dermatologist I can 100% trust.

According to the Guardian, in 2017, 72% of all complaints about cosmetic procedures were from patients who had found the practitioner on social media, where you can easily find offers of cheap deals luring people in. That’s insane – remember that you usually get what you pay for.

Even though my experience was even close to an extreme case, when I had an allergic reaction after a facial peel, I really started thinking about how important it was that the professional that did the procedure on me was not only qualified, but also reputable, knowledgeable and above all, caring. 

He knows my skin (and all skin, for that matter), I had done chemical peels before, I had used all the products on my after care in the past, so why oh why I ended up looking like the marshmallow man mid bonfire? 

My face swelled up to full blood moon proportions: it was big, red, hot, itchy, angry and my skin was full of bumps underneath. It was horrible. 

My dermatologist’s fast and knowledgeable action got it under control and most importantly, got me reassured – not only that it would pass but I wouldn’t get any after effects.

I got booked in swiftly (almost impossible in that busy clinic) after hours, had topical treatment and left with medication prescribed and dispensed, on top of a whole new after care routine, in case one of the products was the cause of the allergy. 

Laugh away. Here’s my best impression of the marshmallow man mid bonfire. And this wasn’t even at its worst!

But above all, I felt safe – as safe as I feel when I am having my procedures done there.

I arrived in tears after feeling like a monster on the tube, with people staring and being unable to look in the mirror. Might sound dramatic, but that’s how I felt when I didn’t know what was happening and if things would get better. 

Apparently, you can just develop an allergic reaction to anything at any time; even someone like me who’s not allergic to many things. 

After a few days on steroids, antibiotics and anti histamines, on top of some medicated creams, my face started to go back to normal. 

In the end, the peel did its business and go rid of most of the post inflammatory pigmentation I had on my face.

My doctor called me after, checked on me several times and the clinic staff, daily. 

Once again, I cannot stress how important it is to seek sound professional advice when considering a cosmetic treatment.

It’s true Dr. Haus performs miraculous aesthetic treatments but above all he is a (super) qualified dermatologist and his duty of care as a doctor is second to none. And all procedures performed by his staff are also under his care, guidance and training. 

This is peace of mind. After all, in my case, he’s looking after my face, which with I’ve always had a fragile relationship due to the acne, and trusting someone with it means a lot to me.

At Dr. Haus Dermatology, you get the latest tech in treatments – aesthetic and medical, and I love their problem centric approach where treatment is tailored to address your issue – it might be a combination of procedures, or even tweaks to existing ones, to really deliver the best results to your individual case.

Worth thinking long and hard – is it worth the extra pounds? Absolutely. 

You can get the same fabulous treatment my skin gets (and many others, cosmetic or medical) at Dr. Haus Dermatology. They are located at 140 Harley Street, London and you can contact them via phone (02079356358) or email (appointments@drhausdermatology.com) .

Highly recommend.

You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post is a result of a wonderful partnership with Dr. Haus Dermatology. The opinions, feelings, admiration and trust, however, are all my very own and honest.

Flexing those beauty muscles

Not too long ago I tried the Kohl Kreatives makeup brushes and talked a little bit about the company and how amazing it is, on top of having great products. 

Recently, I was sent their new range: the Flex Collection, on which not only do the brushes have super soft vegan bristles, easy grip and stand up, but they also have a flexible tip. 

Why, you ask? I am fortunate not to have any restrictions in the way a move, but for lots of people with motor disabilities, the fact they can be positioned in many ways can make a huge difference in every day life. 

Kohl Kreatives as a brand is always trying to empower people, regardless of gender, through makeup and this collection is a sheer reflection of that. 

I like that the shapes of the brushes in this set is a bit different – a large square, a large thin triangle, a diamond – all designed to get to places that other brushes with a stiff body may not cover. And because of the super packed soft bristles, it gives you an airbrushed finish quite easily.

Although there isn’t a guideline on how each brush is meant to be used I find that for me, the square makes for a great foundation brush, while the triangle is great for foundation and concealer and contouring.

Diamond is great for concealer and powders, such as eyeshadows, the thin triangle great for concealer, eyeliner or even lipstick and the small round is handy on powder and creamy highlighters and blushers. 

The set of five brushes costs £44.99 which is great value and every set generates proceeds to their charity, Khol Kares, which a spoke about in my previous post.

In short, they run workshops to help people recreate their features cosmetically, primarily offering transgender support and working close with cancer charities, but also working with people who suffer from conditions like alopecia and vitiligo, scarring caused by accidents. 

As I said before, a brand with a beautiful soul, led by a young woman  very passionate about the work she does. 

Check out their website to buy the Flex Collection as well as the 3ss3ntials range. 

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.

Flowers all around me

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

When I was invited for Floral Street’s scent school I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was sure excited to get to know another brand. 

Floral Street has a beautiful shop in, well, Floral Street in London Covent Garden and they are a little bit different: inspired by the streets of London and the women in it, and created to break with tradition and follow  the beauty world evolution towards a younger audience. 

I started my fragrance wardrobe with something quite different from what I go for, but that suited my mood on the day and certainly did not disappoint: ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum is magnetic; a powerful, deep and strong fragrance that’s more me than I ever thought. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

As Floral Street labels it, ylang ylang espresso is “for the spirited, fearless, mystical and audacious. For the rebels. The thinkers. And the leaders: a powerful fragrance with it’s own electric current.” And I cannot disagree one bit.

It’s so modern and different from anything I smelt before. Instead of floating to my usual lifetime favourite notes, this alluring scent pulled me in and now I cannot have enough. 

Blending traditional fresh red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine crossed with slightly less traditional coffee, cream and pepper notes, it also has Sichuan pepper, tangerine, tiramisu(!), patchouli, cocoa beans and guaicwood. In a way, it’s easy to see why I was drawn to it: jasmine, coffee, cocoa and tiramisu. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

However, it’s the rest that actually made my decision. Decision was hard and I was so close from picking wild vanilla orchid which is the day “pairing” of ylang ylang espresso. And I am so glad I did – there’s no going back from it. And it may have been highly praised by a boy.

The Scent School experience (£20) was a great help as it breaks down the notes, all over a glass or two of prosecco! 

Floral Street has 8 fabulous unisex scents, including my absolute favourite ylang ylang espresso, which retail at £55 for 50ml. You can also get a handy 10ml version for £22, and for Christmas, they also have the 10ml in “bauble” version. 

Floral Street ylang ylang espresso eau de parfum

Apart from that, Floral Street also has discovery sets and exploration kits, and a beautiful range of home fragrance with candles and diffusers, and body creams and washes. Even stationery. Needless to say, all gorgeously scented. 

The Christmas collection is beautiful, with the baubles and gifts sets of eau de parfum, candles and diffusers, well worth a look (empower set, I am looking at you). 

And the packaging is just stunning – with amazing prints and sustainable. 

For more information on Scent School, the brand and the amazing products, go to their website, their boutique in Covent Garden’s Floral Street or their pop up in Westfield London.

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.

A caffeine (beauty) hit

Coffee addiction: who’s guilty?

To fuel my daily fix, Hello Jo, a British born – Korean developed brand, brings caffeine as an active ingredient to my beauty regime. And I love it.

We know (some better than others) how great a stimulant caffeine in, so it sounds quite sensible to harvest its benefits in beauty. I also love the look of the branding and packaging!

Hard to pick a favourite from the products I tried. I’ll start with the amazing Bright Eyes Jelly Masks (£20). What’s amazing about them? Glad you asked.

First, it comes in a pot with 30 pairs. Yes, you heard it right: 30 pearlescent pink pairs swimming lovingly in an amazing caffeine, aloe vera and pomegranate serum which stimulates skin in the area to reduce puffiness, brighten dark circles, re-energise and revitalise. It also contains Acmella oleracea (toothache plant) to help soften lines. 

It is cooling, soothing and super moisturising. The 15 minute-ritual is even more delightful if you keep the jar in the fridge.

I’ll move on to hair as I absolutely love the Stay Strong Volumising Caffeinated shampoo (RRP £12.50/200ml), which on top of caffeine, also contains walnut seed extract for growth stimulation and coix seed for scalp exfoliation.

The shampoo is so fresh and slightly tingly on application (which I love), foams well and leaves hair feeling squeaky clean and soft. Maybe the jar is come from needs to be made of slightly softer plastic and be more squeezable.

Follow up with the Stay Strong Volumising Caffeinated Conditioner (£12.50/200ml), with hydrating coconut oil to ensure smoothness. The conditioner is light but effective, making hair feel soft on application and after rinse, with no weight.

A new way of using hair masks was presented to me: a practical wrap for the length. This ensure the hair mask goes where it is needed and not on the roots, where it can actually cause damage.

The Pack of Power Hair Mask (£15 for 3) has active caffeine, of course, as well as argan, olive and moringa oils. Just make a ponytail and pop it in the mask bag for half an hour or even overnight for added support to hair growth and reduced damage, as well hydration and nourishment. So soft. 

Moving on to lips. Kissable, right? No? No problem! The Speak Up Bubble Lip Mask (£12.50/30ml) is full of fruit enzymes and caffeine for super exfoliation.

Rub the gel formula, which also has vitamins A and C, on lips and watch it bubble up into foam to help remove dead skin to reveal smoother, more plumped and nourished lips. Really fun and quick to use! 

All products are free of parabens and never tested on animals.

Hello Jo ethos is set on women supporting women, seen mainly through their partnership with Rosa, the UK-wide Fund for Women and Girls, where they donate 50p from each product to help the fund’s mission to mobilise resources for women equality.

Rosa does that by raising money and investing in grassroots women’s movements by offering grants, mentor-matching, training and networking. Makes me love them even more. 

Hello Jo is available exclusively at FeelUnique – get in there! 

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.