Current Beauty Favourites + New In: February 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019
It's been a while since I published a favourites post but I've been sent quite a few fantastic products recently (#gifted #AD whatever we have to type in terms of a declaration now). Today's post is all about the products I've been loving recently and a selection of newly released items from the lovely people over at Bomb Cosmetics.

*Upcircle Beauty Tangerine Body Scrub (£14.99)
Let's start with one of my favourite products from todays post as not only does the packaging look amazing but it's such an effective scrub that smells amazing. The scrub contains shea butter, coconut oil, rosemary, coffee seed powder, cardamon and tangerine peel oil which combines to make such a lovely citrus, coffee scented scrub. It's such a nice scrub to use, even if it is a little messy.

Upcircle is a completely new brand to me but it's one I want to try more from as I'm really impressed, particularly with the packaging and the ethos of the brand. One of the most surprisingly things about this product in particular is that it's made from repurposed coffee grounds from London cafes! Additionally, their products are suitable for vegans, cruelty free and UK made.
*Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - Coconut Breeze (£34)
Next up is a product that smells equally as summery and that's the coconut breeze version of the traditional and world famous Philip Kingsley elasticizer. I think everyone in the beauty community has heard of, used or coveted the well loved hair treatment and while I have tried a sample of the original, that was years ago!

The 'coconut breeze' version takes the original treatment and gives it is a summery twist with tropical notes of coconut, jasmine and almond which is making me wish for spring and summer days! The scent is so lovely, it's a quick and easy treatment to use and look at that gorgeous packaging.

I used the treatment the day it arrived as I couldn't wait and it didn't disappoint. I dampened my hair, applied the treatment all over (focusing on the ends) and used the included shower cap (probably the least attractive item ever) and waited for around 15 minutes before washing it out. It left my usually dry, tangled and dull hair looking much more manageable, softer and smoother with a gorgeous non-greasy shine. As I'm writing this post (17th February), it's currently on sale on Brand Alley at £25.
*LookFantastic Rose Collection (£60)
The lovely and very generous people at LookFantastic sent me their Rose Collection which included so many wonderful rose scented products. I've been loving most of them but my favourite has to be the Caudalie Vinosource Sorbet which has become my go-to daily moisturiser. It has a lovely scent, it feels very light on the skin and it seems to have an almost whipped or airy texture which I'm loving.

*Bomb Cosmetics Grapefruit and Nectarine Scrub (£7.99)
Another scrub I've been loving is from the amazing people at Bomb Cosmetics. I'm lucky enough to be part of the Bomb Babe Squad with a group of amazing bloggers to review Bomb Cosmetics products. I received a lovely package from them last week which contained some of their older products, such as the scrub and some of their newly released items.

Along with a couple of other items in today's selection, this scrub is suitable for vegans to use which is fantastic. Not only is the packaging adorable but the scrub smells so nice, it's very effective and it leaves my skin smooth, soft and deeply cleansed. It contains essential oils, such as sweet almond oil, so it leaves my skin feeling nourished too!
*Bomb Cosmetics Love Bomb Blaster (£2.99)
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Lush (it's one of my favourite stores and will always be) but some of their bath bombs can be expensive for what they are. However, Bomb Cosmetics bath bombs not only smell incredible and last for a white in the bath but the designs are amazing and the price is fantastic, especially as the bath bombs/blasters are quite large too.

This amazing 'love bomb' design is from their valentines day range which you can still purchase on their site, along with so many amazing, cute and witty designs. Some of my favourite products from their gifts range have to include the cute bath bomb cards - what's better than receiving a bath bomb in a greetings card (apart from money that is). If you follow me on Instagram (@ofbeautyand), then you'll have seen this bath bomb in action on my stories as well as an unboxing of all these goodies in today's post.
*Ramer Sponges Cleansing Shammy (£4.99)
We all know by now how much I love all of the microfibre cleansing cloths I've tried, they are my go-to cleansing option as they remove makeup so quickly, easily and without irritating my skin; then I can go in my cleanser to remove the very last remnants of makeup. I have tried the original cloths and many dupes but I haven't tried one quite like this before.

The others I've tried have been fluffy microfibre towels but this one is more sponge like and it is just as effective. It does feel a little strange a first, probably because I'm so used to the fluffy cleansing cloths but it works just as well and it's far, far cheaper that the original 'makeup eraser' cloth. I can't recommend these cleansing cloth enough and they'd make a great addition to a Mother's Day pamper hamper as well - as would all of the other products in today's post.
*SKN-RG Evolution Alpha Serum (£65, introductory offer)
Last but not least is another wonderful vegan skincare product and it's from a brand I haven't tried until now, SKN-RG. The brand is vegan across its entire range which is amazing and they're cruelty free too. SKN-RG combines skincare, natural ingredients and science along with a little bit of music and magic to create clean beauty products that offer visible results without compromising on quality, vegan ingredients. Their products are free from plastics, parabens, unsustainable palm oil, SLS and silicones which is good news for my sensitive skin.

The serum isn't currently on their website yet but it should be soon and I've been lucky enough to test it for the past couple of weeks. It contains plant extracts, hyaluronic acid and a range of Chinese medicinal herbs. The product itself has such a fresh scent, the texture is incredibly silky smooth and it leaves my skin looking and feeling smoother, softer and hydrated while absorbing quickly into the skin leaving behind a great base for my moisturiser and makeup. I will be posting a winter skincare favourites post at the end of March so I think you'll see this serum again soon!

Have you tried any of these products? What have been your favourite beauty products recently?

*Gifted 

Wedding Guest Dresses ft. Pretty Little Thing

Friday, February 15, 2019
The weather over the past couple of days in Manchester has been pretty glorious and I'm hoping that it signifies the premature start of spring because I'm done with winter and I cannot wait for warmer days, sunshine, flowers in bloom and lighter evenings for photos! Along with Autumn, spring is one of my favourite seasons and it is also a popular wedding season. I personally never want to get married but if in a parallel universe I did, then it would either be a spring or autumn wedding.

Today's post features a selection of three wedding guest dresses and outfit ideas for any wedding you have coming up to attend, especially spring or summer wedding although all three of these dresses would be great with a leather (faux, obviously) jacket for colder days. Thanks so much to the lovely people over at Pretty Little Thing for the gifted dresses.
*Dusty Blue Lace Ruffle Dress (£45, UK 8)
Let's start with what is probably my favourite dress of the three but it is very closely followed by the one shoulder green dress (that I definitely needed to iron but I haven't had the time). If you follow me on instagram (@ofbeautyand) then you'll have seen the unboxing earlier in the week and some sneak peeks of the photographs today.

The dress size I have is a UK 8 which is the perfect size for me! In terms of the give, waist size and sleeve length, this dress couldn't have fit me any better. Although as I'm so tiny, the dress is longer on me than the model photographs online but I actually like the length overall. If you're petite as I am then you'll know how difficult it is to find more formal dresses that aren't an awkward length or that don't trail fully on the floor but this one is a great longer option. I wish more clothing stores, particularly ones that specialise in formal dresses, had a petite section!
Usually I wouldn't got for this duck egg blue shade but as always when I'm lucky enough to be gifted clothing items, I opt for something I wouldn't usually go for. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I love this dress as it features a few things I wouldn't typically like such as the colour, ruffles and the length but I love it. I'm glad that it isn't just solid blue lace, there are black sections which breaks up the pastel blue shade and makes it more wearable (for me anyway).

I think this dress is the perfect for a spring wedding as it has the general wedding outfit categories of featuring lace but it looks more modern compared to most lace dresses I've owned - let's be honest, sometimes lace dresses can look quite austere and old fashioned. I added plain black heels but I think a faux leather jacket or nude heels would be great addition instead.
*Emerald Green One Should Satin Dress (£30)
Another dress that I wouldn't normally choose (although I'm always drawn to items that are this gorgeous deep emerald green shade) and another dress that emphasises how pale I am...I think I could give Voldemort some competition on the ghostly pale front, if I'm honest! Additionally, one shoulder or asymmetric hems are unusual for me too but I think it's quite flattering!

As with the other dresses I chose a UK 8 and this one is a tiny bit tighter and more form fitting (with less give) than the other two so if you are in-between sizes then maybe size up as you can always cinch in the waist with the attached tie to make it a little more flattering and fitted.
I adore the shade of this dress and it's made me want to buy everything in this shade because it's so gorgeous and I don't think I actually own any dresses in this shade. I also love the cut of the dress with it's asymmetric hem which naturally as I'm so tiny is longer on me than it is shown on the site but again I like the length.

I've added my faux leather black jacket with the dress as it is a little big on the chest and I'll need to alter it very slightly. However, I'm very happy with this dress as I think it would make a great all round dress that would be ideal for so many occasions, from spring weddings and birthdays to a graduation party, garden party or even a fancy date night.
*Cape Detail Bodycon Dress (£18)
Last but not least is the more inexpensive dress in todays post and it's also a dress that has reminded me not to take outfit photographs while on my period...that period bloating is insane! Hopefully you can ignore that, even though I can't and focus on this cute little dress. It comes in three shade including mauve, a spring floral print or green so naturally I had to chose the gorgeous green option.

The UK 8 is a good fit, the length is perfect for my petite frame and it is a great dress if you don't love your upper arms. I used to be so self conscious of my upper arms (thankfully I'm less so now I've lost weight) but this dress would have been a miracle a couple of years ago when I could only find sleeveless or cap sleeve dresses...why are cap sleeves a thing, they aren't flattering on anyone, unless you're Kate Moss.
I may already be searching for more dresses in this colour as you're reading this post...I also want a bag in this colour so let me know in the comments below if you've spotted one recently. Overall, I'm so happy with all three of the dresses from Pretty Little Thing (thanks so much) but my favourite has to be the first dress as it's so spring-like to me; however it also ticks all of my very specific boxes when it comes to formal dresses. If you need a formal, wedding guest, prom or party dress then look no further than Pretty Little Thing!

What do you think of these dresses? Have you bought anything from Pretty Little Thing?

*gifted

Blog Tour: Enchantee by Gita Trelease

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
I haven't published a book blog tour post for a while and I think that's because I've made a decision to stop reading books that I'm not 100% sure about so that means I've had to turn down or pass on various book tours because I don't want to use my time to read books that I don't know if I'll love (but will feel obliged to finish). However, when the opportunity arose to take part in the blog tour for Enchantee, I had to take part as the premise sounds amazing!

*Enchantee by Gita Trelease (480 pages) ★★★ (3.75)
In Enchantee we follow Camille as she struggles with her violent brother and sickly sister while trying to scrape a living during the poverty stricken times in which they live, while the aristocrats are throwing lavishly banquets and parties. Before her parents died, her mother taught Camille how to use magic which she is reluctant to use but she increasingly needs to use it in order to pull herself and her family out of poverty. Camille travels to Versailles where she transforms herself using magic into an aristocratic ancestor of hers to gamble and hopefully win enough money for a better future.

There are two elements of this book that I utterly adored and those include the vivid setting and the magic. The magic is easy to understand, enchanting (hence the name) and wonderful to read. I adored the revolutionary France time period and the setting of Paris and Versailles! Despite being almost 500 pages, it was a surprisingly quick YA read with an easy writing style that made me fly through most of this book.

It started off very intriguing and became more so but I felt as though from the half way mark until the last quarter, it was quite repetitive sadly. Additionally, I found the ending to be quite convenient. However I did throughly enjoy the process of reading through Camille's story, all of the magic elements and sweet romance (thankfully the romance wasn't the entire story). If you're looking for a YA novel set during an intriguing and tumultuous time period with magical elements, hot air balloons, gambling, beautiful dresses and switching identities then you'll love Enchantee.

Will you be picking up this book when it's released? What have you been reading recently? 

*Gifted 

*Spring Homeware Wish List + Interior Design Trends

Monday, February 11, 2019
Images from Fishpools
It's starting to feel a little like spring is on it's way and it is making me long for new, fresh and spring-like changes to my home. Spring is one of my favourite seasons as it feels like starting fresh and there's nothing I like more than refreshing our home with new accessories or renovations which we've just undergone with both bathrooms.

Today's post is going to feature some of the 2019 interior design trends that I'm loving as well as a homeware and accessories wish list from FishPools. Fishpools is the South East's largest quality furniture store with such a wide range of home accessories, furniture, flooring, lighting and more, so you're bound to find something you'll love. They currently have a winter sale on but it ends this weekend so go, go go!

Feminine Tones
The first trend that I'm all onboard for is the introduction of feminine and softer tones such as blush pink, botanical greens, neutrals and natural shades - that colour palette is the epitome of spring interiors! You might not want to opt into this trend by fully redecorating a room but you don't need to worry as Fishpools have a gorgeous selection of home accessories such as throws, cushions, curtains and more to add those feminine tones into your home without breaking the bank. I have my eye on some of the super soft throws, blush toned cushions and their rugs of varying degrees of neutral shades including cream, grey, pink, silver and taupe, which start at a very reasonable £39.
Image from Fishpools

Light Wood Floors
Another trend I'm loving is for light wood flooring which we already have in the living room, dining room and kitchen. I've always been drawn to lights shades as it makes any room much brighter, lighter and fresher which is what I'm after, especially at this time of the year. From vinyl flooring and carpets to laminate and wooden flooring, Fishpools offers a great selection. They have numerous lighter toned wooden flooring options as well as light wood effect laminate and a couple of variations of lighter coloured wood effect vinyl too.

If it was possible to build my 'dream' house, it would include these three interior trends for 2019 as well as countless options from Fishpools. I think my dream home would have to be in the style of a french farmhouse (a bit cliche, I know) with a few modern twists such as cute Smeg appliances, soft tones and mostly neutral shades with bursts of feminine colour...not that I've given it much thought. I'd particularly love the Timor X Leg dining range which includes dining tables, chairs, coffee tables, cabinets and more!

90% White, 10% Colour 
The final trend I wanted to mention ties into my previous point and that's the addition of minimal (don't type the phrase 'pops of colour'...) items of colour. I've never been a fan of brighter or jewel toned shades when it comes to homeware and interiors so the 10% of colour for me would have to include pinks, neutral greens, grey and metallic shades. Check out the Fishpools site for a variety of gorgeous natural wooden furniture, wood effect flooring, stunning lighting and a selection of brighter, more colourful homeware accessories.

What do you think of these interior design trends for 2019? Will you be checking out the Fishpools sale?

*Paid partnership with Fishpools
*Images from Fishpools

Valentines Day Gifts: His + Hers

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Todays post is going to be my final valentines day gift guide for the year and it contains a variety of items that would be great for him or her. I don't want to assign a gender to gifts so I want to preface this post with a little disclaimer - I think any of these gifts would be great for men or women. I was very kindly sent a range of items from Gioteck, Red Candy, Very and Sewing Is A wish for today's post.

*Gioteck TX-40 Headphones - White (£24.99)
Let's start with the Gioteck headphones, I was lucky enough to be sent a pair for one of my Christmas gift guides last year and loved them so I'm glad that I have another pair. I do prefer this pair but that's solely based on the colour option as white/red/black is more me than bright pink, if I'm honest! The headphones have some great features which is always a plus especially for the price point. I've never been a huge fan of headphones as they remind me too much of the awful and uncomfortable headphones I had to wear in school but thankfully these are comfortable, easy to use and great for everyday use at my desk.
*Superdry Dot Aop Backpack (£40)
As we all know by now, I love to give and receive practical gifts so this backpack ticks all of my gift giving boxes as it's a great brand, the backpack looks amazing and it is a practical gift that would be suitable for so many people. The backpack features numerous pockets and compartments so it would be ideal for travelling or commuting, it isn't too bright so it pairs well with most casual outfits and it's surprisingly comfortable!
I haven't worn a backpack for so long, probably since secondary school as they were always too big and uncomfortable but even with a decent amount of *mostly unnecessary* stuff inside, it's still comfortable and a good size. I'm very petite at under 5ft and I thought this backpack might be too big but the size is great and thanks to the padded straps, it's comfortable too. I think it would be a great practical gift, from a well known and well loved brand!
*V by Very Sheepskin Slippers (£30)
Valentines or galentines day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself or someone else to a few winter essentials such as a cosy pair of slippers. I was very kindly sent a pair of real suede sheepskin slippers from the lovely people over at Very. The slippers are from the V by Very range and they come in a sleek gift box so half of the wrapping is done for you (which is great if you can't wrap gifts like me!).

The sizing ranges from small to large, rather than shoe sizes and I opted for the small size as I have teeny tiny feet and they fit perfectly! If you're thinking of buying a pair for yourself or someone else, I'd recommend sizing up. They come in a grey shade or this cute and cosy brown and cream pair which I love. I am used to my Primark slippers but these are so much better quality, far softer and they fit really well too. I cannot recommend these cosy slippers enough as a valentines or galentines day gift but you'll have to be quick if you want to receive them in time for the big day. Very has an amazing range of gifts for men or women and for any budget too!
*Iridescent Gin Glasses from Red Candy (£20)
Home and practical gifts are ideal safe gifts and these iridescent, unusual gin glasses from Red Candy. I've been lucky enough to work with Red Candy previously and I cannot recommend their site enough as they have a wonderful range of more unusual and unique homeware and gifts. They have a huge sale on at the moment so, go, go, go!

The balloon glasses have a capacity of 750ml, they have an amazing iridescent finish and golden metallic rim. They'd be ideal for valentines or galentines day cocktails and mocktails or as a gift as it comes beautifully boxed. I think the price is fantastic for such lovely glasses for yourself or as a unique gift for someone special, whether it's valentines or galentines day, birthdays or as a house warming gift.
*Sewing Is A Wish Pouch (£6)
Last but not least is an extra special item as it is a handmade pouch that would be great for makeup storage, adding to your handbag, as a coin purse or for travel tickets. I have the cute star print pouch as I love anything with a star or celestial print but there are so many designs to choose from. It's a great size as it is large enough for makeup and toiletries but small enough to easily fit inside my handbag. I personally love receiving and gifting handmade items as they're much more special and one of a kind compared to mass produced gifts. Also it's always nice to support smaller or independent businesses!

What do you think of these gift ideas? Will you be celebrating valentines or galentines day this year? 

*Gifted

LookFantastic Rose Collection Box

Friday, February 08, 2019
I've been blogging for almost six years but I still get blown away by some of the gorgeous gifted items I'm lucky enough to be sent and this gorgeous set is no different. LookFantastic is a site I've loved for years, well before I started blogging, so I'm thrilled that I am able to review their boxes. They have a beauty subscription box which I review over on All Subscription Boxes but they also release limited edition boxes such as this heart shaped box of goodies for valentines day (or galentines day as we should probably treat our lovely friends too).

*LookFantastic Rose Collection - Limited Edition (£60, worth £153)
I was very kindly sent the new and limited edition rose collection box which is priced at a reasonable £60 but the contents in total are worth over £150 so it's great value for money, as all of the LookFantastic boxes are, in my opinion. The box contains seven items, most of which are full sizes from a range of brands including: Korres, Pixi, Caudalie, Omorovicza, Elemis, Christophe Robin and Aurelia.

The box is themed around rose scented products or products that contain rose as an ingredient which I think is a great idea for the month of February. The box everything comes in is just beautiful as it's a pretty heart shaped pink box, what more could you ask for, for valentines day! It's such a beautiful and unique set so it would make a gorgeous gift this valentines, galentines or palentines day.
Omorovicza Queen Of Hungary Mist (30ml)
Let's start with one of the most beautifully packaged and designed items from the box, although they're all divine, the Omorovicza Queen Of Hungary Mist which is pretty much a cult classic product now. This famous facial mist contains a heavenly blend of rose, sage and orange blossom waters to create a refreshing and hydrating facial mist which is perfect to add some spring freshness and moisturise to your skin during the cold winter months.

I've wanted to try this mist for a while as I aways see it on slightly more higher end beauty blogs. I love the packaging, especially the pink bottle and it looks minimally luxe on my dressing table (aka. my Ikea desk...). This is the first time I've tried this mist but I love it already! I love so many facial mists as they help my skin to feel a little more comfortable and hydrated which are two states my skin is never in!
Pixi Rose Tonic (100ml)
Another product I've heard nothing but amazing things about is the collection of tonics from Pixi Beauty. Their infamous glow tonic is a blogger favourite but I haven't tried any of them so far. The rose tonic is a nutrient rich toner which soothes and hydrates. I think the reason I haven't tried any of them so far is because I have sensitive skin, however the rose tonic claims to be suitable for even the most sensitive skin types so we'll see...

Aurelia Miracle Cleanser (50ml)
Now onto a product that I already know and love, the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser which is not only one of the most beautifully and luxuriously packaged skincare brands ever but their products have been amazing on my sensitive, eczema prone skin in the past. The gentle cleanser contains a concentrated blend of nourishing botanicals including baobab, mongongo oil, hibiscus, chamomile and many others such as rosemary, bergamot and eucalyptus.

The cleanser comes with a one of their mini cleansing cloths which I already have a couple of but it's lovely to have more for travelling. It has such a rich, creamy formula that leaves my skin feeling plump, nourished and moisturised even during the chilly, snowy weather we've been having recently.
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet (40ml)
Another brand that I've loved for years is Caudalie! From their fresh fragrances to their scrubs, shower gels and skincare, I love everything and this moisturiser is no exception. Designed for sensitive and irritated skin (which sadly describes mine perfectly), this gel-cream moisturiser soothes, moisturises and calms the skin with organic grape water and chamomile. If you have sensitive skin as I do then there are a few brands I'd recommending including: Bioderma, Avene, La Roche Posay, Antipodes and of course, Caudalie.
Korres Japanese Rose Shower Gel (250ml)
Lastly, for one of my longtime favourite brands, Korres. I have purchased numerous Korres body products over the years as well as a few pieces of their makeup range but my favourite products by far are their shower gels which seem to be the most long lasting products on the market! My personal favourite is the guava scent as it reminds me of summer holidays in Italy but it's closely followed by the fig and now the Japanese rose scents too.

Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator (50ml)
Lastly for the skincare items is the Elemis Gentle Rose Exfoliator. I've tried a couple of masks from Elemis but I haven't tried much else; however I always read great things about not only their skincare but the body care ranges too. The exfoliator contains rose, cucumber and jojoba beads to refine, brighten and polish the skin leaving it smooth, soft and radiant. I cannot wait to try this product as I haven't used a physical face scrub for a while and my skin is looking more than a little dry and congested as a result.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste (250ml)
Last but not least is a haircare item from Christophe Robin which is to be used as a shampoo-like hair treatment. The treatment is quite unusual in that it transform from a thick paste to a foam which removes impurities and dirt, leaving the hair voluminous, smooth and deeply cleansed. I love the packaging and it sounds amazing but I've tried a product from this brand previously and I wasn't a fan but I'm going to put that aside and give it a fair shot.

Overall, I utterly adore how this box is packaged and presented, it would make a wonderful valentines or galentines day gift! I love all one of the items included with a few of my all time favourite brands in the box which is a bonus. My favourite items have to include the Korres shower gel, Caudalie moisturiser and the Aurelia cleanser.

What do you think of this limited edition box? Would you buy it as a gift or as a treat for yourself (because treat yo self!)? 

#gifted