More shower time bliss

Oh, shower products. 2017 is seeing a fab influx of great shower products: inventive formulations, better skincare and different textures. I love it.

Nivea, another brand very close to my heart, has some amazing brand new products to elevate the shower bliss: the Nivea Care Shower Milk Mousse (RRP £2.99) and the Nivea Shower Creme & Oil Pearls (RRP £2.39).

The Shower Silk Mousse contains silk extract, essential oils plus almond oil and is amazingly foamy. The soft lather applies heavenly on the skin, cleansing and leaving it extra soft.

It comes in three gorgeous fragrances: Creme Care, Creme Soft and Creme Smooth, and I love it has a scratch and sniff sticker on the lid, so you know what it smells without needing to open it.

The Shower Creme & Oil Pearls is a rich cream with Argan oil and vitamin E enriched oil golden pearls, providing intensive skincare and moisturisation.

Comes in Cherry Blossom, Ylan Ylang and Lotus, fragrances to relax you mind while looking after you body, for a luxurious showering experience at home.

It does lather very little as it is a créme. It does, however, feel amazing, during and after use.

You can also see the golden pearls that burst their goodness as soon as you massage into the skin. The fragrances really provide a bit of oomph.

Both the Nivea Shower Creme & Oil Pearls and the Shower Silk Mousse and their lovely variations are available from retailers nationwide.

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.

Beauty treasure trove

I must start this post with the admission that I fell out of love with beauty boxes a while ago but the March Glossybox really made me see the excitement with these monthly beauty delights.
The March edition came brimming with some of my favourite brands and two full size products I truly love (and *may* even have graced the blog before!).
I have said before that their hand cream are second to none, so it is only fair that I start with the superb Crabtree & Evelyn Somerset Meadow Hand Therapy Cream.
Of course, the formula is the amazing one we know and the Somerset Meadow fragrance is light and fresh: a sunny summer morning in green fields in a tube. And in its 25g, it is the right size for your handbag.
Then, comes the Sleek Eye & Cheek palette which I raved about before. It has everything for the flawless transition from day to night in a compact form for the makeup bag. I got probably the more party-like of the lot, slightly more tricky to use (but with a killer gold shadow and blushers).
The other three versions are much more neutral and I have the Midsummer’s Dream one and I am seeing the pan on most shades.  Amazing pigmentation and price. What’s not to love?
Now, I am a huge fan of this works. I don’t think there is a single product they do that doesn’t work for me (because, well, this works!) and I do have the full size of the versatile in transit camera close-up primer, moisturiser and mask.
It is reportedly a must have on Mrs Beckham’s travel bag so if it is good for her, well, I am in. That aside, it is a great product; a fantastic moisturising base for makeup which I use quite often, so glad to have a travel size.
Another brand I like a lot, Schwarzkopf is present in the form of the BC Bonacure Oil Miracle Brazilnut Oil Pulp Treatment, a rich hair mask to restore shine and nourishment.
To be used twice a week for 5-10 minutes for manageable, shiny hair.
Finally, a brand that is new to me (shock, horror): Oolution. The eye love is 100% natural and 65% organic.
It contains antioxidants and it is very hydrating to help banish puffiness and dark circles, morning or night! Behaves well under makeup and you just need a little bit.
Glossybox is available through monthly subscription for £10/month (+ P&P). Always five products, at least a full size one and they always bring special editions that sell out pretty fast!
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.

Skincare, for all pockets

nspa-skincare-review-4Be honest: would you say, by looking at the gorgeous nspa skincare products, that they carry a tiny price tag? I don’t think so.

Nspa is a brand created by spa experts in the UK, exclusively for Asda. Yes, you heard right. Asda.

In fact, Asda beauty has a great range of products, including nspa, whose products are benchmarked against big brands in the market.

I tried some of their Beauty Rituals Ever Youthful anti-ageing products, which are all enriched with a hyaluronic acid and tetrapeptide complex.

The whole Beauty Rituals line carries four steps of skincare: cleanse, exfoliate, treat and moisturise. All products are dermatologically approved and free of parabens.

nspa-skincare-review-3As I love a serum, I’m going to start with that. The Ever Youthful Double Action Serum, which costs £6.40 (no, you didn’t read it wrong), contains ginseng and and anti-oxidant rich Vitamin A, E and Pro-Vitamin B5 complex.

The serum is light and sinks in the skin very well. Skin feels soft , nourished and moisturised after use. It is also vegan friendly.

Eye creams are also a little vice of mine and the Ever Youthful Eye Cream (£5) is very good. Light upon application and quickly absorbed, it does not irritate my sensitive eyes.

Can be used overnight and also during the day under makeup; it behaves very well.

nspa-skincare-review-2It helps support the delicate round the eye skin, plumping and nourishing, working against crows feet and fine lines.

They also have a day and night cream: the recharging and restorative Ever Youthful Bouncy Night Cream (£6.40), which is admittedly is a bit rich my my skin type, but has real bouncy texture and does feel nice on the skin once applied.

The Ever Youthful Day Cream, £6.40,  (obvs!) with protecting SPF 15 and is possibly thicker than I would like, close to the night one, but absorbs well and feels lovely on the skin. The smell is very nice too – in fact, all products have a lovely smell.

Not pictured, because it lives in my bathroom, is probably my favourite product from the range, the Deep Cleansing Face Wash (£4.50). Its pump delivers a rich foam that cleanses without stripping the skin and does a very good job of even removing eye makeup.

The nspa Ever Youthful range is really goo, especially when you think about the price point – the most expensive products cost £6.40 and at the moment they have a 2 for £8 deal on.

Plus, you can get it while grocery shopping at Asda, in-store and online.

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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.

Beauty reimagined: Fabled by Marie Claire

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-1Imagine a gorgeous place where your favourite beauty brands come together. That would be enough, right?

Add some beauty experts edits and opinions, from a leading magazine, to make your life easier when choosing the best products for you.

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-2Then, top it off with a real shop full of friendly and approachable professionals in the counters.

Enough? Thought so, but there’s more: online shop with the superb Ocado delivery service, within a chosen 1 hour time slot.

Too good to be true? Maybe, but it’s real. All this is Fabled by Marie Claire.

And you can experience it right now as I have an exclusive 15% discount code for you, lovely readers, to start shopping online right now: VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October 2016. 

To me, the concept is genius: an online shop tons of amazing beauty brands covering makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance, supported by the magazine expert edits, reviews and trend watching.

Beauty lovers that might be short for time, or are not sure about what red lipstick to go for, now have a haven to make their lives easier and help them nail they beauty needs.

And The Fabled Shop in London’s Tottenham Court Road? Dreamy!

fabled-marie-claireI was about to place my order at fabled.com and decided I needed a new foundation. Took the opportunity to try the new Urban Decay All Nighter foundation.

So I went to the shop for a colour match, as I work nearby. Even though I told the lovely makeup artist on the UD counter I was not buying, she was lovely, helpful and super friendly.

I also wanted to get myself a new eyeliner – I went for Estée Lauder Little Black Liner. Obviously both will be reviewed soon!

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-3Now to the order. The site is clean, well categorised, so it is easy to use and find what you’re looking for. You can also look for specific brands, skin concerns, the Marie Claire edit and specific filtering within categories.

They have an online chat to help you in those decisive hours and placing the order is very quick and painless, with Ocado delivery (free over £15, £3.90 otherwise) slots from 5:30 am to 11:3pm.

And you can attach it to your grocery shopping. Now, that’s as exciting as it is dangerous!

Remember, you can get 15% off right now with my code VOU039323938, valid until the 26th October.

fabled-by-marie-claire-review-4At fabled.com and at their fabulous The Fabled Shop at 21 Tottenham Court Road, London, you can find Aveda, Aromatherapy Associates, Balance Me, Bobbi Brown, Benefit, bkr, Burberry, Clinique, Caudalie, Crabtree & Evelyn, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Essie, Eyeko, Estée Lauder, Eylure, ghd, Giorgio Armani, Gucci,  Hugo Boss, He-Shi, Lancôme, Lipstick Queen, L’Oréal Paris, Marc Jacobs, Maybelline, Nails Inc, NARS, OPI, REN, Rimmel, Seche, St. Tropez, Skin & Tonic, T3, This Works, The Balm, Tom For, Urban Decay, Zelens (breathe) and much more.

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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.

All natural, Naked Beauty (oil)

skin-tonic-naked-beauty-oil-review-1Now, I’ve had my eyes on Skin & Tonic London for a while and was thrilled to try their new product: the Naked Beauty Oil.

Yes, it’s an oil (although they call it a serum), so it’s more than halfway to winning my heart. More than that, its British produced, organic and from a company well worth knowing, they are really good people.

Starting with the deep reddish orange colour, this luscious oil applies and sinks well on the skin.

I love using oils overnight, and with this my skin wakes up plump and radiant.

With rosehip, apricot, pumpkin and raspberry oils, all containing vitamins A, C & E and omegas 3 & 6, this oil has healing, refining, soothing and hydrating properties for dry skin.

skin-tonic-naked-beauty-oil-review-2It is perfect for the colder season just coming in and at £25 for 30ml, it is a real bargain.

The Skin & Tonic London Naked Beauty Oil is available from their website and from shops like Selfridges, Anthropologie, Whole Foods Market and Fabled by Marie Claire. It is certified organic (99%), 100% natural, unscented, suitable for vegans and , non GMO and not tested on animals, so it’s all round goodness for you and your skin.

Remember when I said they are really good people? Skin & Tonic London use a maximum of 7 ingredients and they are organically certified.

Their small batches are hand crafted and they support small, local producers in the UK and France, as well as fair trade cooperatives in Ghana and Sri Lanka, and give 10% of their profits to charity:water.

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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.

Gimme (more) oil!

dermalogica-phyto-replenish-oil-review-1Here I go say it again: I love oils. I know I keep going on about it but there are so many amazing products now on the market I cannot help but rave about it.

Dermalogica is a brand I am very close to and they have added yet another product to my love list: the phyto replenish oil.

What I like the most about this, apart from its amazing properties, is the fact is mixed well with other products, even makeup. No surprise as dermalogica was the first in the market to come up with the concept of skincare layering.

I’ve been adding a drop of it to my foundation before applying on my skin for that extra glow – after all, it is a luminous treatment oil!

Of course, that means the skin protection barrier reinforcement treatment is working thought the day, even if in a small dosage.

dermalogica-phyto-replenish-oil-review-2The best thing is that is does not compromise the foundation finish (except for a subtle added glow) and durability. Skin does not feel greasy, heavy or as if it is about to melt.

Alone, it is a fabulous replenishing oil with a great texture that sinks beautifully in the skin, which is left free from shine, but with enhanced luminosity.

It contains antioxidants camellia japonica, that helps reinforce the skin natural barrier and eating later collagen, tamanu oil, which combats free radicals, chia seed oil delivering fatty acids, balancing orchid flower extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid, sunflower seed oil and vitamin rich rice bran oil.

The dermalogica phyto replenish oil sells for £56.20 (30ml) and a tiny bit goes a very long way with amazing results.

You can get it from the dermalogica website or over their fabulous shops and counters nationwide.

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

Love for your body and mind: find your Inner Strength

aromatherapy-associates-inner-strength-review - 2In modern society we many times concentrate on the physical and end up forgetting about our minds.

Aromatherapy Associates is here to help us to take some time to look after our skin as well as our minds, and maybe indulge a little bit on their fabulous products.

Inner Strength is an all over mind and body range that counts with the usual fabulous bath and shower oils, but also skincare to help rebuild our natural strength and protect our skin from the effects of environmental and emotional stress, designed for sensitive skin.

It contains camomile essential oil, calming for the mind and soothing of the skin, plant-based probiotics to rebuild and protect skin’s natural defence, cotton thistle flower, which restores skin layers and helps the regenerative process and arnica flower, a great anti inflammatory.

aromatherapy-associates-inner-strength-review - 1The Inner Strength Skin Recovery Moisturiser is a protective moisturiser that calms an soothes, helps build the skin protective barrier and helps restore the skin healthy aspect.

The moisturiser is light, applies and absorbs well and behaves under makeup. The scent is pleasant and reassuring.

It is perfect combined with the Soothing Facial Oil, which feels very luscious and replenishing on the skin, at night.

The Inner Strength Soothing Repair Mask is a bliss to use. I’m a big facial mask fan and this feels like a thicker cream.

The scent is reassuring, slightly more intense than the moisturiser; I like rubbing the Inner Strength Bath and Shower oil on my hands, then on my chest to inhale, while using the mask before the shower.

aromatherapy-associates-inner-strength-review - 3Skin, as well as the mind, feels revitalised. It’s moisturising, plumping, strengthening and soothing.

This mask contains, sodium hyaluronate from soy, camomile as plant based probiotics.

The full range, already available to buy contains, apart from the Skin Recovery Moisturiser and the Soothing Repair Mask, the Soothing Cleansing Balm, Soothing Serum and Soothing Facial Oil, which joined the already existent Inner Strength Body Oil, Bath & Shower Oil and Candle, which you can buy here.

And to see how much I love these guys, you can read my Aromatherapy Associates Clear Mind Bath and Shower Oil.

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

 

The rise of makeup and skincare hybrids

effaclar-duo-unifiant-review - 1We all love makeup. And we need (ok, we do love it too) skincare.

When 49% of men and women in the UK suffer from spots, blackheads and oily skin*, and 21% of those look for some blemish coverage, how great it is to have products that work towards beautifying skin long and short term?

Many brands now are investing in innovative products that not only prettify, but also care for the skin.

Plus, if a brand caters for problematic skin, you can guarantee I’m already half way being a fan.
And when they work… that’s how love comes about.
La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar range covers all acneic skin needs and recently they started branching out into tinted products.
effaclar-duo-unifiant-review - 2I raved about the Effaclar BB Blur, which I use quite a lot still, and now they are pulling more out of the bag.
The La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant tinted moisturiser carries the same formula as the best selling La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + cream, but has  mineral pigments to make it a tinted moisturiser.
It delivers a very sheer and glowy coverage; used alone, for my skin, only in extremely good skin days. However, I find it’s a fabulous base for makeup. It is light applies very well.

I put it on after my primer, before foundation. Of course, I’m resting assured I have treatment on my face, as well as a sheer base that surfaces a bit of glow.

It contains anti-inflammatory niacinamide, bacterial infection-fighting piroctone olamine, healing/skin renewal agent LHA, sebum-combating linoleic acid and the ceramid procerad, which fights inflammation and helps minimise hyper-pigmentation scars.
Since getting it, I’ve been using everyday.
The new La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant comes in two shades: Fair/Light and Light/Medium, costs £16.50 and can be purchased from retailers nationwide.
*Influencers and path to purchase study, 2014.
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This post contains PR samples. This review, however, is based on my experience with the product and reflects my honest opinion on them.

A fresh, hydrating breeze

avene-eau-thermale-review - 2I am a huge fan of face mists, there is no denying.

Now that the weather is slightly better, I feel I can talk about it and not feel that if I actually spray water on my face, it would freeze before reaching it. Yes, I am bitter with this lack of summer thing.

Avène Eau Thermale thermal spring water spray, however, is a bliss for any weather.

In the summer, it cools and refreshes. In the winter, it is perfect for soothing. Because the thermal water is captured straight from the source, it retains all its amazing natural soothing and anti-irritating properties.

avene-eau-thermale-review - 1All squeezed into in a handy spray. The very fine mist lands lightly and feels amazing on the skin, delivering immediate comfort. It is fabulous over makeup, to freshen up, but even better directly on the skin.

It is very pure, all it has is the purest water, and also leaves a barrier for a long-lasting effect. It is great for all skin types, but mainly irritated and sensitive skin.

I confess I am a bit addicted!

This is 50 ml (around £3.50) and the 2016 special edition of their flower girl, but you can get this size all year round in the normal packaging – perfect for handbags and flying.

The Avène Eau Thermale thermal spring water spray also comes in 150ml (£6.50) and 300ml (£10), and can be bought from big retailers, such as Boots, in-store and online.

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

Extra hydration: a touch of SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5

skinceauticals-hydrating-b5-review - 1What if you could give your skin an extra shot of hydration, with no oiliness, stickiness or that heavy feeling or layering up products?

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 fits the bill: thin, water-like fluid glides on the skin and is absorbed immediately, with quenching effects.

It can be used alone or to complement the moisturising routine. I use it both ways; I find that in the winter, it’s a lifesaver and in the summer, it helps hydrate deeper without being too much.

It is also great during the day, especially around the eye, a few dabs to break dryness caused by air conditioning.

skinceauticals-hydrating-b5-review - 2Vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid are the main ingredients, for a smoother, suppler complexion.

Because its oil free it’s doesn’t clog pores, bring ideal for acne prone skin.

The vitamin B5 aids with tissue repair and hyaluronic acid helps bind moisture to the skin, providing lasting hydration.

I am a huge fan of additional hydration products that don’t weigh in the skin; as mentioned before, mine can’t take rich creams, but still craves that deep hydration, so layering is perfect for me.

skinceauticals-hydrating-b5-review - 3This product goes really well with another SkinCeuticals favourite of mine, the SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense.

You can get the SkinCeuticauls Hydrating B5 from Dermacare Direct, and it costs £38.

Dermacare Direct also stocks a range of SkinCeuticals products and also other cosmeceuticals at great prices. They also count with handy advice to help you choose the best regime for you.

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