M&S does it again: THE beauty advent calendar to have

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-1Who remembers last year’s furore about the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar? At a very affordable £35, when you spend £35 on non-food items, the 2015 calendar delivered great value.

Now it’s back and if you think last year’s was good, wait until you see this: the 2016 M&S Beauty Advent Calendar comes with 25 amazing surprises; a mix of well know brands classics and plenty to discover.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-4And the “Christmas tree of love” (ok, I made it up) shape? How amazing will that look in your home in the run up to Christmas?

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-1-1Now, the deal is the same. You get over £250 worth of beauty products, covering skincare, makeup, hair, body and nails for £35 when you spend £35 in non-food items.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-2-1What my favourites are, you ask? Well… I have to say it is hard to pick… My top three are (drumroll)..

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-3-1Eyeko Skinny liner – a fabulous pen eyeliner that changed my life and ignited my love of pen eyeliner. It’s super black, precise and durable. Enough said.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-3-1Alpha H Liquid Gold – a resurfacing “all-in-one” product dubbed the overnight facial is a quick fix for skin. I love Alpha H, so was very happy to see this in the calendar. The miracle product for the party season (I may have put it back on the calendar on day 1, maybe).

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-2-1Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse – a multi-use oil for face, body and hair, it is a blend of six precious oils. Delicious! And fab for winter skin.

mands-beauty-advent-calendar-review-5I can’t leave out the M&S Autograph nail polish in Cranberry, which is super festive and fabulous, exclusive for the calendar.

On the other 21 expect a fantastic selection to help you get through the party season!

Here are the brands waiting for you: Alpha H, Autograph, Eyeko, Nuxe, Leighton Denny, Look Good Feel Better, Percy & Reed, Philip Kingsley, Shay & Blue, Josh Wood, Ultrasun, Pür, Filorga, Burts Bees, Pixi, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rodial, Nails Inc, Rosie for Autograph, Rituals, Emma Hardie, Ren, Skyn Iceland, Formula Absolute and Studio 10.

The fantastic M&S Beauty Advent Calendar goes on sale on the 11th November; hurry, even thought this year the calendar is bigger and better (and many more are available), it is bound to sell out!

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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.

Organic Beauty Week is coming!

soil-association-organic-beauty-week-hero-products - 1As a beauty lover, I am looking out for the best for my skin. And organic is proven to be better for the skin, and the environment, so I was really happy to get involved with the UK’s leading organic certifier, Soil Association, to promote their “Look for the Logo” campaign, as part of Organic Beauty Week, starting on the 19th September.

The biggest and best organic beauty brands and experts will be together to increase awareness of the segment and products available, as well as some of the ground work these companies are involved with.

The only way to be certain a product is certified organic is to look out for the logo. When you see the Soil Association logo in there, you know that product is truly organic, free from synthetics, sustainable for the communities and very importantly, kinder to the skin.

And to illustrate the depth and breadth of the organic beauty offering available, they picked a few hero products I am absolutely in love with.

I think what really comes across here, apart from the superb quality, is that organic beauty products can be much more than affordable than what we think and it is well worth exploring the possibilities and giving new brands a chance (which is my favourite thing to do!).

soil-association-organic-beauty-week-hero-products - 2I featured the Herbfarmacy before and of course, they have heroes here too. The gorgeous Mallow Beauty Balm is a multitasking product fit for many beauty needs – moisturising, nourishing and radiance-boosting, it can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser or deep skin repairer. Costs £18 for 30ml.

Skin & Tonic is a company I’ve been following at a distance and finally got to try one of their products: it was everything I was hoping for. The Naked Beauty Oil feels amazing on the skin and helps heal, refine, hydrate and soothe. It sells for an amazing £25 for 30ml.

Love at first sight was with Made for Life by Spiezia Organics. Not only they have soul mending products, but their ethos is fantastic. This little box of calm, energy and focus really makes a difference in busy lives. Costs £25 for 3x 10ml.

Plus, at the launch event, I got to meet the founder, the beautiful Amanda Barlow (also entitled Queen of Hugs) and that hug I received from her filled me with joy and hope, and still keeps me going just by thinking about it.

Most people are familiar with Neal’s Yard Remedies and their products never disappoint. The gorgeous Oil Free Hydrating Serum is a bliss for hydration boost in the daytime. Costs £30 for 30ml.

soil-association-organic-beauty-week-hero-products - 3Therapi is another beautiful company that has honey based products. Their Lemons Myrtle Honey Gel Cleanser is gorgeous on the skin and the

Pai is also known brand from the organic world and their Treatment Masks are great. Loaded with nutrients, they are gentle and effective. Costs £30 per 75ml.

A body oil also features amongst the horoes: Voya Nourishing Body Oil is super-hydrating and has citrus and sea fragrances, as well as added rosehip. Costs £32 for 100ml.

Organic face wipes? Natracare has it. Made of organic cotton, 99% biodegradable, they are infused with oils and SLS and parabens free. They are gentle an affective. Costs £3.99 per pack.

Bamford is a massive authority in organics and their Hand and Body Wash and Lotion Duo are gentle and plant based, to clean, nourish, protect and hydrate the skin. Costs £22 for 250ml.

Finally, Terri Verde FranChouliPom Facial Serum has frankincense, patchouli an pomegranate oils, as well as argan to boost skin suppleness and nourishment. Costs £27 for 30ml.

Organic Beauty Week also aims to clarify what organic certification means with events, shopping discounts, panel discussions, Twitter Q&As and much more.

Get involved – check the Soil Association website to find out how to get into a whole month or organic awareness and discovery.signature1

This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.