Summer essential: that magic mist

Hands up if you’re guilty of, at some point in your life, not re-applying SPF as often as you should not to ruin your makeup? o/

Unfortunately, this is the reality: women fail to re-apply, or even apply in the first place (1 in 5 never do when in the UK), SPF because of its inconvenience. Stickiness, heaviness and interference with a flawless makeup are the main reasons.

And this is damaging our skin. I am often quite careful, and still, my analysis showed my skin is 4 years older than my actual age. Yikes!

So we get it: sunscreen is very important. Even in the city, and all year around.

As only it could be practical…. Fear not. With the sun coming out to play in London and all of us wanting to flock to the parks ray-seeking, Garnier gives us a godsend: the Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Mist with SPF 50 that can go over makeup, no problems.

It is light and efficient. It dries instantly and not a hint of heaviness, greasiness or stickiness in sight. Its 75ml tube means that it’s perfect for the handbag.

Its cutting edge technology means, on top of the expected  UVA and UVB protection, it also has  long UVA and infrared protection, as well as anti-oxidants Baicaine and vitamin E, and hydrating vegetal glycerin.

Of course it is safe for your eyes (which should be closed when applying anyway), as well as your skin!

It also creates an anti-pollution barrier that can be reinforced throughout the day, effortlessly.

I became a huge fan instantly. It is a practical product that encourages us to use full sun protection day after day. It does not make it a burden, it is not restrictive and does not take time.

And for only £10, what is not to love? Plus, when it’s warmer, it’s a lovely breath of freshness on your face!

You can get the Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Protecting and Hydrating Mist now (in time for tomorrow’s picnic) from Boots (in-store and online). No excuses

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

Ready, steady, summer?

Here we are again at that time of the year when I can no longer look at my coats, when all I want is to ditch them and the 85 layers (including the fat ones amassed over the winter) and see the sun shining in the sky.

It’s officially spring and even though the sun keeps teasing us, it is only making brief appearances and bringing a super cold wind. All I can say is that my head is already in the feeling of the fairer seasons.

While the wait might not quite be over, I am already preparing for the time my pins will be out. Basically, fake it till you make it!

The Wilkinson Sword has repackaged and changed the colours on their razors and the Intuition Sensitive 3-in-1 razor now comes in pretty pastel green.

The Intuition razor basically has a slab of soap below the blade which will lather at the same time it shaves, so no need to apply soap or shaving cream before. All you need to do is to add water. Super handy to take on holidays!

It has four blades and pivoting head for a close shave that follows the contours of the body. It also contains pro-vitamin B5, aloe and vitamin E.

As everyday gradual tanning moisturisers go, the Dove DermaSpa Summer Revived is fabulous: good colour, easy application and decent smell. And now they are launching a fabulous Shimmer version. Drool!

It creates a natural looking tan gradually, has intensive skincare moisturising property and deliver a fabulous shimmery glow.

In its formula, intensive skincare delivered by Cell-Moisturisers tech and glycerin. And the smell is pretty awesome (for a self-tanning product, that is, let’s face it).

What’s not to love?

Top it off with the Aveeno daily moisturising after shower mist for a quick but effective moisturisation an voilá: smooth, tanned pins to go!

It contains colloidal oatmeal, it’s quick absorbing, easy to apply, non-greasy and offers up to 48 hours moisture!

Legs aside, all-over-the-body suncream is a skincare necessity, all year round, but in the summer, we amp up the SPF numbers to make sure we are not damaging out skin.

This Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF50 Sensitive advanced/expert + for face is just the thing to wear this summer. Perfect for oily and acne prone skins, it has anti-shine and anti-imperfection action, salycilic acid and ginger root.

With strong protection, great gel texture that absorbs quickly and fragrance free, it offers protection against UVB, UVA and long UVA (who knew!).

Of course, the Garnier Ambre Solaire range is super extensive and can cater for all your sun protection needs! Don’t forget arms, neck, décoletté and legs when out and about!

Happy summer!

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

Repairing comfort for hair: Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-1At this time of the year my hair (and skin) are very tired: the wind is brutal, central heating has been acting on it for months… what better than some natural healing power to help restore my locks?

Enter the brand new Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer, with conditioning Omega 6 and 9 rich castor oil and protecting maple sap. This trio will treat your hair to extreme hydration and a fabulous smell.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-4I discovered the range (and got my personalised bottle) at their fabulous The Blends’ Room pop-up in London. And if you are around Soho today and want to be amongst the first to try, pop down to 15 Bateman Street (W1D 3AQ) before 6pm to get free samples and other treats. Hurry, it’s the last day!

I am a huge fan of the Ultimate Blends from the beginning (see?) and every addition they bring out really nails it. Not only the shampoo lathers and cleans well and the conditioners really soften hair, but the added items of each line within the range do the job very well: oils, masks, sprays, treatments.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-5All addressing different hair needs and the even better, with a price tag that won’t break the bank.

The smell is amazing: sweet and maple-y without being sickly. It lingers lightly in the hair and every now and then you catch a lovely whiff of it.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-6A small amount of conditioner is very effective and the mask is thick and powerful. Hair feels clean and soft after use.

garnier-ultimate-blends-maple-healer-review-3Now, a little away from hair… the Intense Repairer body lotion is divine, perfect for winter skin. It is rich but absorbs amazingly well; my skin cannot have enough of it.

And the smell? Well, you guessed: fabulous. Sweet and maple-y, just like the hair range, which sticks to the skin but is not overpowering. My skin (apart from smelling amazing) fells nourished (winning a mid-afternoon “your skin was so soft this morning” message) and comfortable all day long.

The gorgeous Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer range is already available to buy from Boots, Superdrug and Asda. The RRP is £3.89 for the shampoo and conditioner (400ml), £4.49 for the mask (400ml) and £4.49/£5.99 for the body milk (250ml/440ml).

signature1You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

Party transformation: from desk to dance floor

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-1We’ve all been there: great party straight out of a stressful day in the office. And now with the end of year parties in full swing, it is likely you are finding yourself in that situation more often than not.

So you can shine from desk to dance floor, I put a few tips and saviour products together that at this time of the year are dead certain to give you that helping hand, especially when you keep it going a few nights in a row.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-2For skin that has been in the office (and in party mode) the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster is a god-send.

I love applying it lightly on my skin throughout the day to retain and maximise moisture; it is also great dabbed on top of make up for an extra glow and to take that powdery finish away from the skin.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-12To refresh your makeup, invest in a little multi-tasking palette which doesn’t take much space and will go a long way.

This Sleek Eye and Cheek palette fits the bill and even has a sparkly shade to build on top of the neutrals after hours and turn up the party vibe!

I also decant my foundation into small pots to carry on the go, and use small makeup brushes to apply.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-11For you lips, my newest obsession, liquid lipsticks are just perfect as they are quick to apply. At the moment, Kat Von D Vampira is my autumn go-to shade and scream edgy party look.

Taking about that, the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is great to fix your makeup in place and keep it going all night long!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-4A small deodorant goes a long way – I love the little Dove Invisible Dry that ensures your black or colourful attires are free from marks. very important in a hurry!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-8Sore feet? Carnation has a fabulous range to maximise your heel-wearing span and I love this Anti-Blister Stick, which minimises the party-busting shoe rubbing.

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-5Make sure you always carry flats; I love these Sinderella foldable pumps as they are super comfy to walk on. Perfect for moving in-between parties if your Uber budget is getting close to exhausted!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-3For extra hair oomph use a good dry shampoo. I love the Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo as it has no nasties and refreshes hair as well as giving some volume!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-6I always carry a good brush with me, and this mini Wet Brush is brilliant!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-7Has barely made it home for a shower? This tiny Gillette Venus razor is perfect for shaving on the go. Showers in the office or the gym? Done! Just make sure you rinse the floor well :)!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-8And talking about those pins, at this time of the year nothing beats a little bit of fake tan. Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer is a fine dry mist that is easy to apply and you don;t need to rub in! It’s available for face too!

desk-to-dancefloor-beauty-9Finally, to smell good, nothing better than a roller ball fragrance. The Gucci Guilty is my festive one of choice at the moment – and perfect for the handbag! Many fragrances now have a roll on version available and I just love it!

Do you have any office to party hacks? Do share. And happy celebrations!

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You know the drill, but I’ll say anyway: this post contains a mix of products I have bought myself and PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

So Many Lovely Things beauty retrospective 2015: hair and body

hair_body_somanylovelythingsToday we get to the final instalment of the So Many Lovely Things retrospective 2015. What a fantastic year it has been!
And to finish it off, see my favourite which products rocked my hair and body in 2015.

Hair

Multitasking

got2b_allstar_review - 1The Schwarzkopf Got2B All Star tends to 10 hair concerns. Although the volumising and texturising properties on this are my favourites, it delivers in all fronts.
revlon_professional_uniq_one_coconut_hair_treatment_review - 1With the coconut bonus, the Revlon Uniq One spray also delivers on its promises. Hair is soft, hydrated, easy to brush.

Serum/oil

got2b_oilicious - 4The Schwarzkopf Got2b Oil-licious styling oil is a little delight. Smells great, tames, gives shine and leaves hair feeling fantastic.
wella sp luxe oilThe Wella System Professional Luxe Oil is another little gem, with a great smell, leaving hair smooth and silky.
ultimate blends honey treasures reviewThe Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasures Strength Restorer serum is great. De-frizzes, smooths and has the most amazing smell of honey.

Shampoo and conditioner

liz earle hair careA great duo: Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo and Conditioner. Smell fresh and leaves hair super clean.
ultimate blends honey treasures reviewI am in love with the whole Garnier Ultimate Blends Honey Treasure range. It smells divine and leaves hair feeling soft and nourished. Plus, it is great value for money.
Swell is still part of my routine. It has been since before 2015, but it’s just too good to leave out!

Mask

The Taya Inner Core Hair Strong Anti-breakage mask is great. Feels supple and extra moisturising on the hair and smells delicious.

Dry shampoo

Swell Ultimate Volume Dry ShampooThis is undisputed: The Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo is the king of my tresses. All natural and with a powder spray, it is a must have. Last forever!

Styling tools

revlon_perfectionist_2in1_dryer_review - 1My styling tool discovery was the Revlon Perfectionist 2 in 1 Dryer. A hot air hair brush that works and delivers great blow dry results at home.
babyliss diamond waves wandThe Babyliss Diamond Waves Curling Wand was also well used this year. With the easy guide to creat lovely curls.
Also, a mention to my faithful GHDs, which never, ever let me down way pre 2015 to straighten, curl and wave.

Styling

Schwarzkopf got2b Mind Blowing reviewBeen totally in love with Got2b Mind Blowing Express Styling range. All products are great and speedy.
Talking about Got2b, their Rise ‘n Shine hairspray is also amazing. Styles without stiffness and smells amazing, like all other Got2b products!

Vitamins

hairfinity2Definitely Hairfinity for me. Made a massive difference to my hair, I am still using it; have it on auto-order.

Extensions

irresistible_me_hair_extensions_review - 3Of course, the fabulous Irresistible Me. Just wow. Great quality, fabulous colours, friendly service. Never been so happy and intend to purchase more.

 

Body

Moisturiser

A tough call between a few favourites…
dover_derma_spa - 1The Dove DermaSpa range is just fantastic and the DermaSpa Goodness³ Body Lotion and cream are just great!
I am a fan of Bath & Body Works; Velvet Sugar is one of my favourites scents. Sweet Pea comes a close second. Rich and yum.
coconut_products_somanylovelythings - 6The Yes to Coconut Ultra Light Spray Body Lotion was also a fave this year. I love it is a spray lotion; it feels light and nourishing. And yes, it is coconutty!

Oil

thisworks_energy_bank body makeoverThis Works Energy Bank Body Makeover oil is fabulous. Great on the skin, an awakening smell and integral part of my gym bag.
The Spa Technologies Hydrating Laminaria Oil is one I’ve been using all year and is almost over.

Scrub

fake_bake_coconut_macaroon_scrub - 1I love a good scrub, especially pre-tan. The Fake Bake Dolce Dreams Coconut Macaroon Body Scrub works a treat and smell divine.

Tan

heshi_express - 1Hands down my favourite tan, the HeShi Rapid One Hour Liquid Tan. not only delivers a great tan, but doesn’t smell and works as fast as one hour. Sold!

Hands

crabtree_evelyn_hand - 3There is no competition: the Crabtree & Evelyn  60 Second Fix for Hands. The scrub is amazing and their hand moisturiser is just the best. Take note.

Deodorant

dove soft feel deodorantThe Dove Soft Feel is the deodorant of the year on my books. It has all the quality of a Dove deodorante and the fragrance is absolutely stunning. Love.
I am going to include the Halo deodorant wipes here. Just too handy!

Body wash

dove_empower_hour - 3Again, it’s a Dove item. I love their Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash. it is very gentle, but effective. Skin is left clean and moisturised after use.

Bath Oil

An awful lot. Too much. It is soothing for the body and the mind. A true moment of calm, so needed in everyday life.

Intimate wash

sass_intimate_refreshing_mist - 2Sass was a great discovery this year. Their Refreshing Mist and Intimate Wash are just amazing. They are very mild; gentle and effective.
What worked for you in 2015? What are your favourite hair and body products this year?
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This post mentions some press samples.

My hero products of 2014

2014faves

Retrospective. Most of the times, not a good thing (as we tend to do it when something didn’t go right) but in this case, a rather fab one as I am looking back at my life-saver products of 2014.

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Product review: Garnier Ultimate Blends Marvellous Transformer range

garnier ultimate blends

Oh, the British weather. It plays havoc with our locks. My hair took a battering since moving to London many moons ago. And for ladies like me, Garnier is launching the Ultimate Blends range.

Since going to the launch event, I have been using all products of the Marvellous Transformer line, which aims to restore shine to dry, lifeless hair and contains a shampoo, conditioner, 1-minute treatment mask and hair oil.

They contain argan and camellia oils to deeply nourish and restore much needed life and glow to the tresses.

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Garnier launches: Ultimate Blends and Miracle Skin and Eye Cream

Don’t you just love beauty launches – the idea of a brand new product you never tried before is sooooo exciting!

Garnier has loads of news on that front and we were invited into their British garden – inclusive of wind, thunder and all – to get a sneaky peek at their new products hitting the shelves in the next couple of months.

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Product review – 17 BB cream

After hearing wonders about BB creams, I decided I needed to get hold of one. Who doesn’t want to sport skin as they promise? I mean, who wouldn’t kill  “to reveal the magic of flawless skin with this all-in-one foundation plus skincare wonder product”?

This cream claims to give full coverage which conceals imperfections and helps control oil;  even skins tone for a flawless finish and protect your skin with SPF 25 and hydrating formula. Great, eh? So I bought the 17 Blemish Balm, for a reasonable £5.99, on offer (normal price £6.99) from Boots.  I originally wanted the Garnier one, but the branch I visited didn’t stock it, so I decided to give this one a go.

It is worth pointing out that I have sensitive combination skin, with a sometimes oily t-zone and the eventual drier patches. I suffered from severe acne in the past and although it’s all  gone, I have breakouts from time to time. I don’t have an uneven skin tone, but have some mild acne scars on my cheeks, slightly enlarged pores (not too bad) and occasionally, some redness from irritation.

Bearing that in mind, this is my opinion and experience with the product:

The first thing I noticed was the colours limitation: two to be precise –  light and medium. Now, what do darker skins do? Not sure. I went for medium, as I have olive skin. The colour is not a good match for me, as it is medium for pink based skin tones. As I have yellow tones in my skin, none of the colours are ideal.

Second, I thought about posting a picture and decided against; there was no difference, it feels like a thin tinted moisturiser, it hid some minor blemishes, but didn’t offer good coverage. Needless to say, I am mortified to be photographed without make up, *twice* would be an insult.

Having said that, some reviews mentioned it could be ok to use as a primer, but  I don’t think it particularly fixes make up – I tried and it didn’t do it for me.

However, the absolute killer was the way the product made my skin feel very greasy, clogged, as if it couldn’t breathe. Minutes after applying, I felt I should wash my face. I had some break outs, and I am not, in any way, blaming the product for them, but now I haven’t used the product for a week or so, they have cleared – just saying.

I must mention, as explained above, that I don’t have flawless skin (if I had, I probably wouldn’t feel so tempted to buy the product in the first place), but my current foundation, which has a medium/sheer coverage, mixed with a little moisturiser offers much better coverage – without the greasy feeling.

Concluding, I can’t really see any of its magic, I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t buy it again or recommend and this is not really for me.

I do hope others had a better experience with this! Have you tried this or another BB brand? What did you think?