Friday, 27 March 2015

Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil

Until a month ago, I was yet to try a facial oil. Despite them being all over my favourite beauty blogs, I viewed them as an extra step in my skincare routine, and didn't think my normal skin type was in need of such excessive sounding hydration - surely a greasy oil was only suitable only to remedy those with really dry skin? But upon receiving a sample of Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil*, I decided I may as well give it a go and see what all the fuss what about.

Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil is a concoction of 17 different types of oils; rose hip oil, Argan oil, avocado oil and the brands signature hero ingredient, Manuka oil, to name just a few. This complex recipe is said to result in a brighter, fresher and more youthful looking complexion and to provide anti-aging properties. Without any greasy side effects. Sounds good to me. 

Dispensed from its generously sized glass jar with a pipette, a few drops applied to my skin feels velvety smooth. It's luxurious and relaxing to gently massage the oil into my skin- a lovely way to wind down before bed. 

At first I really wasn't at all a fan of the smell. I've come round to it now, but it took some getting used to considering it had replaced a beautifully rose-scented serum in my skincare routine. With all the different types of oils in there, it's quite a bizarre mix of all those ingredients, and for some reason reminded me of the smell of play-doh! It's not particularly unbearable mind you, just... odd. 

Skipping morning application (for fear of it sending my make-up slipping southwards throughout the day) I've been using the Replenishing Oil most nights for the past month. At first, as sometimes happens with new skincare, I noticed some tiny spots around my mouth (though this could have been down to feeling unwell and/or comfort eating junk food). But since they've cleared up, I've definitely noticed a more luminous natural glow, and softer skin . The sore, dry skin around my nose, the result of my cold, cleared up almost instantly and I'm left with an even complexion. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

My Spring Make-Up Bag

On my journey to work each day, I've been enjoying watching the flowers slowly rising out of the ground. Now, the bus drives alongside a verge of irises and daffodils - which can only mean that Spring has sprung. Which of course can only mean that a make-up bag revival has happened. So without further ado, here are some of my favourite cosmetics that I'll be using over the next few months. 

I'd been on the hunt for a perfect bronzer  for ages, and I've found it in Soap & Glory's Solar Powder. Two matte shades that compliment my skin tone and add a bit of colour and definition to my face. I'll often wear the bronzer alone for a healthy glow, but when I fancy a pop of colour on my cheeks I've been reaching for my old faithful Springtime blush - glo cosmetics blush in the shade Papaya*. Such a beautiful peachy coral. 

When wearing a bit of Papaya blush on my cheeks, I'll tone down on the lippy and put on my absolute new favourite Mac lipstick, Honey Love. A matte nude with a hint of peach in a gloriously velvety matte finish. But when I'm just using a touch of bronzer on my cheeks, I'll pop colour on my lips, and have been loving lip crayons. I have a few, but my absolute favourite and go-to for a splash of colour is the Revlon Colourburst Lip in 015 Cherish. It's a really pretty and feminine, yet quite bright and bold candy pink. 

I've been receiving lots of lovely comments on my brows recently (the ultimate compliment) and it's down to the Sleek Brow Perfector Gel. On first use, I hated this product - it was too bold and left my brows feeling crispy - but with practise and perservence, it's made its way into my daily routine. I'm still not keen on the feel of it on my brows, but with a light handed application it makes my brows look full and shapely, yet still very natural looking. 

On the eyes, I've been loving the Bourjois Colorband Crayons* (which I wrote about in detail here) with my ultimate holy grail mascara - Maybelline Sensational Lash. See my rave review for picture proof of how ace it is. I've quite been enjoying a fresh faced look without any eyeliner, but when a cat-flick is just necessary, the Bourjois Liner Princeau* has been my weapon of choice. It's got a slim, high precision brush which means I can keep my look minimal with a thin line tight to the lashline. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Love Me Knot... Corioliss Detangling Brush

I've been a Tangle Teezer convert for a good few years now, due to their magical ability to turn my chaotic knotted mane into smooth and shiny locks. But I've always struggled with the lack of a handle - countless times its slipped out of my hand and gone flying across the room. The solution? The Corioliss Detangle Brush. It's like a Tangle Teezer, with a handle! My prayers have been answered. 

So as you can see, the design is pretty ace. I'm a sucker for anything nautical, so this, with the nautical rope knots and navy and gold, was an instant hit with me. Much better than a boring old black hairbrush. 

But how does it perform? Well, the bristles themselves look and feel identical to those of a T.T, so expect the detangling to be quick, effective and pain-free. The Love Me Knot brush easily glides through the hair, tackling any knots and tangles as it goes, without dragging or getting stuck in the knots. 

But what has made me rank the Corioliss Detangling Brush above the trusty T.T, (aside from the pattern that I am totally smitten with) is the chunky, ergonomic handle that makes brushing even easier, and significantly reduces the risk of hairbrushes flying across the room and having to get up to fetch it (or, think "that'll do" and leaving my hair half brushed). It's also slightly cheaper in comparison, which is a bonus, and Corioliss is a Brighton born and based brand, which gets them extra brownie points from me. 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Bloggers, Bubbles & Blowdrys at Forde Hair, Brighton

When an invitation to an event named 'Bloggers, Bubbles & Blowdrys' drops into your inbox, you know it's bound to be a good one.

Brighton's most flamboyant and brightly-coloured hair salon, Forde Hair, sure know how to treat a girl! The pink prosecco was flowing, freshly baked cupcakes from my faaaavourite bakery were eaten, golden goody bags (with a unicorn on!) were given and my hair was transformed into pretty princess curls to make me look how I was made to feel - like a princess! As Forde Hair is an official salon of Corioliss electrial hair products, she created my natural-yet-glamorous curls using their titanium plate stylers (pink ones, I might add). They're totally revolutionary (compared to my 2004 ghd's anyway) and we were very generously given one in our goody bags! So, a review on those to come.

After we were all suitably glamorous, a raffle was drawn, and I only went and won a voucher for a pair of Irregular Choice shoes! I have my eye on these ones

I'll be honest - I'd shied away from Forde Hair in the past. Their bright purple and gold shop front, pink leopard print walls and baroque mirrors called out to me many a time as I passed by - but at the same time, gave me the preconception that this was a salon for those who favoured crazy hair colours and edgy cuts... not particularly the natural look I like. But, more fool me for knockin' it before I tried it. Yes, it's true that Forde is the place to go for rainbow pixie crops or purple betty bangs, but within minutes of talking to both the stylist and colourist about my style, I'd have felt confident putting my hair in their hands. I had a little consultation with the senior colourist, telling him that I want to go blonder for Spring, and he suggested I maintain the natural-looking ombre with some lighter blonde balayage around my face and mid-lengths. With a really afforable price-list, I think I'll be booking in very soon.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Mother & daughter pampering @ The Beauty Shed, Hove

My mum and I have our birthdays just three days apart, so it's really nice for us to celebrate together with some relaxing girl time. I booked us in to spend my birthday together at my all time favourite place, The Beauty Shed.

We both got pedicures, which I personally think are The Beauty Shed's speciality treatment. You soak your feet in a rustic zinc bucket filled with aromatherapy bubbles before being treated to a peppermint foot massage, cuticle work, and a file and paint. As the birthday girl, I wanted twinkle toes, and so had taken my own Essie's "A Cut Above" polish - a chunky rose gold glitter, which we layered atop an OPI rosey nude. My mum was going to break out of her red/pink/coral nail polish habit and try out a lovely duck egg blue (Essie "Parka Perfect") but then ended up copying me and going for the same! Well, she was (kinda) the birthday girl too! 

Then we stayed for a bit of lunch in The Shed's 2a Cafe, and sat out in the glorious sunshine! Hello Spring! Mum had butternut squash soup, I had a Mediterranean toastie, and then we both had a slice of delicious homemade peanut butter chocolate brownie!

Before we left, I couldn't help but pick up this adorable kitty make-up bag by Catseye from the Beauty Shed's shop. So cute! I used birthday money from my brother so cheers Sam!

It was so lovely to take some girly time out with my Mum. The Beauty Shed are going all out for Mother's Day too with special gift hampers and Mother's Day "Pamper in a Can" gift cards for your mum! (I would have sneakily bought one for my Mum, but as Mother's Day 1991 landed on the day I was born, there's no point in ever trying to outdo the gift she got that year!).

Whether you're local to The Beauty Shed or not, why not spend Mother's Day getting pampered with your Mum? We had the best time! 

Monday, 9 March 2015

MatchBags... my new pink purse

Are there many things more wonderful than the feeling of pulling a gorgeous new purse out of your handbag? It certainly cheers up the task of running to the corner shop for a pint of milk, and I’m all up for finding those little ways to make my day that bit better. 

My beautiful new purse* is from MatchBags in Brighton, the bag and shoe boutique below MatchNails that I visited a few weeks ago (see here). The quality of my purse is up there with the likes of Mulberry and Chanel (not that I have too much experience in handling such things, sadly), which is unsurprising really, as it was made in the very same factory in Florence that manufactures the world’s top 50 designer labels. It’s made from 100% genuine Italian leather, and like all of the gorgeous bags and shoes available at MatchBags, was designed and manufactured alongside some of the world’s top designer brands. But because their bags are unbranded, you’re picking up designer style, quality and craftsmanship, for just a fraction of what you’d pay for a designer label. 

This gorgeous woven design is available in a rainbow of colours, from classic black or tan to bright yellow or cobalt blue, in both matte and metallic leather options. Mine’s the metallic pink –  a beautiful, dusky rose gold. Whereas pink items can often look a bit tacky or little-girly, this shade is a grown-up take on pink – subtle and sophisticated. The purse is big enough to keep everything you’ll never need; with a zipped coin purse in the middle, nine card slots, four sections for notes/receipts etc and a extra little pocket that’s handy for keeping things like earrings or buttons safe. It’s even got room to pop your phone and a lipstick in, meaning it could double up as a clutch bag!

If you’ve been using the same old Primark purse for a while, go and treat yourself to a new one, and add a bit of cheer into your day. It'll make you feel amazing, I promise.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

She-Nail... daisy nail art

Ok, so how cute are my nails? Answer: they're super duper cute. Fellow Brightonian and mega-talented nail artist Poppie Sharman can decorate nails with just about any design your heart desiers, so to welcome in the Spring, I got daisies painted on mine. I took inspiration from my favourite perfume bottle, Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream, and I'm majorly in love with the finished results!

I must've walked past the Dental Health Spa on Queens Road a hundred times without paying it a second glance, but turns out, that it actually hides way more exciting stuff than just a dentist. It's a health and beauty hub where you'll find a hairdressers, cosmetic dentistry, tattoo removal, fitness pods and Brighton's newest nail art salon, She-Nail.

Poppie opened She-Nail just a few months ago, to bring her four years of experience as a nail artist for Wah Nails to Brighton in a more accessible and approachable kinda way. Whereas Wah Nails are very "London" with an urban, hip-hop vibe, She-Nail aims to tap into the more bohemian, cosmopolitan vibes that Poppie feels represent our lovely hometown by the sea. She rents a small room within Dental Health Spa (which is soon to be rebranded as "The Spa" to cover all the other things going on inside) which is decked out beautifully with handmade (by Poppie) garlands and vintage printing trays used to display her nail polishes. 

As well as being a nail art genius, Poppie is one of the sweetest girls I've ever met. She's ever so welcoming and friendly, and we were chatting away like we'd known each other for ages! I feel like I've made a new friend!

Check out Poppie's website and instagram to see more examples of her work and price list.