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.

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.

Beauty and chocolate

Chocolate. We all know how great it is. For me, the darkest, the better. But what about chocolate in beauty? Skincare almost good enough to eat, that turns the goodness of cocoa into amazing beauty products?

That’s Rabot 1745 Beauty, which is part of Hotel Chocolat. The mix of discovering a new beauty brand with such an amazing connection to a luxury food brand is too exciting for me to contain myself!

In fact, Rabot is the name of the estate in St. Lucia where Hotel Chocolat’s sustainable cocoa is grown and is not only inspired by the cacao itself but also the love for St. Lucia, its people and plants – always harnessing the properties of their high quality natural ingredients and the craft that goes into their products.

It is a beautiful story which bears gorgeous fruits. I was lucky enough to try a great selection of their range and can tell there isn’t one single thing that I do not like.

My favourite? Probably the stunning Cacao & Almond Bath and Body Oil (£18, 200ml). Cocoa seed oil is the hero throughout the range and of course, present here, blended with sweet almond oil to provide vitamins and fatty acids for great hydration.

I have been applying to damp skin after my shower and my skin has been super smooth, most times does not need extra moisturisers. The smell? Divine. It absorbs quickly and has a long lasting effect.

Then, a tough choice between two, but going for the lip butters (£8, 10ml): I have the Coconut Chocolat lip balm, with cocoa seed butter, shea butter and abyssinian seed oil and the Fruited Chocolat lip balm with cacao butter, almond oil, cacao butter and rosemary leaf extract.

They are a little delight in smell and taste, and do their job to keep lips moisturised. It comes in 7 different varieties with yummy ingredients mixes.

Not a secret I am a massive fan of body scrubs and of course I had to try one of them. Mine is the new Salt & Lemongrass Body Scrub (£16, 280ml) and it smells so fresh.

It could have a little more grit to it, but overall, this rich salt, lemongrass oil, sweet almond oil and cocoa seed butter scrub does a great job in exfoliating and also leaving skin soft and deeply moisturised. It comes in 3 other varieties (with a coffee and a sugar base) and is a best seller!

Plus, it comes in a reusable cup that , once you finish the scrub, you can clean and take to any Hotel Chocolat shop in the UK for 50p off your hot drink or a free one at the Rabot 1745 restaurant in Borough Market (London). How amazing is that?

And that’s not all; as a fan of scrubs, I am also loving the Avocado & Sour Orange hand scrub (£9.95, 60ml) which leaves hands so soft and ready so soak in the moisturiser.

Plus their Avocado & Lime Smile Reviver (£9.95, 30ml), a lip scrub with avocado oil, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin A, D, and E, gently exfoliates to leave lips soft and well, more kissable, perhaps!

Also, have you noticed how affordable the products are? Amazing value for money and great for gifting.

This is just a tiny sample of their beautiful range, which you can get the Rabot 1745 website and at Hotel Chocolat shops.

written by Dani

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

A protective kind of glow

A product that is called Flawless PhotoGlow and has a SPF30+? I am already sold.

And it lived up to its name: the Transformulas Flawless PhotoGlow moisturiser has a revolutionary skin drone technology (yes, you heard it right) which delivers the right active ingredients to the cells that need it.

It helps restore sking glow and radiance, as well as helping improve skin tone and pigmentation.

I am not gonna mince my words: I am in love with this product. It is an effective day moisturiser with a solid UVA/UVB SPF, fells super light and behaves well under makeup, really delivering on the glow/radiance/luminosity claims.

I’ve been using it daily for over a month and my skin loves it. I usually suffer from photosensitive pigmentation in the summer and this has been minimum so far – I attribute it to the consistent SPF use and the formula here.

My skin has been much clearer and hydrated, despite using some acne fighting products.

It contains a lot of tech ingredients like Illumisan (for pigmentation), Suncat MTA (pollution and sun protection), X50 PhotoGlow (the cosmetic drone I mentioned above), squalane (hydration) and LPD Multivitamin (antioxidants and vitamins A,C, D and F) to support delivery of all claims.

Honestly, a gem, definitely worth the £55 price tag (50ml). I am so sold, and dreading the end of he tube.

You can get the Transformulas Flawless PhotoGlow online. And maybe send me a few to keep ;).

written by Dani

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

Overnight recovery

At night, your skin heals. Our bodies pretty much rest themselves – that’s why sleeping well is essential for good health. 

Temple Spa is giving an extra helping hand with the Repose Aromatherapy Relaxing night cream, not only with a fabulous face cream that contains natural plant extracts and anti-oxidants to supporting that overnight replenishing process, but also a fusion of relaxing essential oils to help us achieve a good night’s sleep. 

The cream has a great, cashmere consistency and is absorbed quickly by the skin. In the morning, skin feel supple and plump. I love that this night cream is not too rich, as my skin tends to get congested after wearing those.

And when I wake up and wash my face, there are no traces of my skincare, a sign my skin really took it all in.

Now, the smell is soothing and calming and great to put your head on the pillow with, thanks to a gorgeous blend of hops, valerian, chamomile, frankincense, lavender, patchouli, geranium, bitter orange and clary essential oils which have a reputation to aid deep relaxation and bring a sense of calm, as well as a great moisturisation.

It is suitable or all skin types and does help fight fine lines and wrinkles – it really helps settles the skin.

This fabulous Repose Aromatherapy Relaxing night cream costs £40 for 50ml and a little goes a long way and you can get it online.

Temple Spa is a lovely British skincare brand founded by people who had years of experience creating business and products for others, and decide to create their own. They are stocked in Harrods and you can also find them in many spas around the UK, with amazing treatments.

written by Dani

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

Living with No B.S.

If the boys won’t let me live my life free of it, at least my skincare can now be no b.s.

Yes, you heard it: a skincare brand that says we should put up with no bullsh*t – and they live up to it in their formulations.

Retinol is one of my favourite ingredients, mainly due to my skin type and condition, and the no b.s. Retinol Night Cream is a dream. 

Because it has no nasties, it relies on the line smoothing, scar fading properties of retinol with the added benefits of moisturising hyaluronic acid, protecting vitamin E and soothing aloe vera to do its job. 

And what a job it does – from the first use, skin wakes up plumper, smoother and overall feeling great. 

Over time, the retinol gets to work its wonders, especially when pigmentation fading is concerned. 

If I weren’t before, I just became a bigger fan of no b.s. and was glad to extend the motto to another part of my life! 

No b.s. is an American company that has a simple message: say no to toxic crap. And their products, apart from the sassy name and bright packaging are leaded full of clean ingredients in potent formulas, to create a simplified routine.

They are cruelty free, free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, phtalates and sulfates; their packaging is recyclable and with exception of one product (SPF 20 moisturiser), all products are vegan.

I am really into their whole range – it’s straight forward and packed with goodness, so you can truly #LiveNoBS skincare wise (boys, help us here, it’d be great to extend that to you, just saying).

The no b.s. Retinol Night Cream costs £58 for 30ml (it goes a long way). In the UK, you can get your hands on them at FeelUnique.

written by Dani

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

ps: the butterfly was mounted by me and it is ethically sourced – it lived its full life in a sanctuary and died naturally before making its way into my wall.

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.