DIY Face Mask For Dry, Sensitive Skin

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
DIY Face Mask For Dry, Sensitive Skin
It is mud pack day today so myself and VictoriaPlum.com are bringing you some DIY face mask ideas! I love a good face mask as they are quick and easy ways to unwind and treat your skin at the same time. There are pre-made masks that I love such as the Bioderma Soothing Mask and the amazing Caudalie Detox Mask but sometimes I do like to make them myself when I have more time. 

As I have dry and sensitive skin I prefer to use natural ingredients anyway so homemade masks are great and cheap! The mask I make most uses oats, bananas and honey or milk. Oats are amazing for the skin - especially sensitive skin. I find that products with oats or using oats in masks, always helps my sensitive eczema prone skin. I use a fork to mush up half a banana, a handful of oats and teaspoon of honey or milk (whichever type you want) and mix well. I find that with homemade masks, it does take a bit of trial and error to get the right consistency as you want it to be thick so it doesn't just run off your face but you don't want it to be too thick so it won't spread. I always use a large flat foundation brush to apply masks as it is quicker and less messy but if your mask is thicker or chunky then you can use your hands. 

I love to multi-mask, so I use masks with specific uses for certain areas, for example, I have a more oily t-zone so I would use a detoxing or deep cleansing mask there but I have dry and sensitive cheeks so I use a soothing, calming or hydrating mask on those areas. You can multi-mask with at home face masks or pre-made masks but remember to keep them in the fridge as they will last for multiple uses and a cool face mask is so refreshing and invigorating. 

You can add anything really to your mask such as strawberries as they help brighten the skin as naturally they contain AHA's but remember, it is not just what you put on your skin but what you eat that will help your skin look it's best. Olive oil, yoghurt and coconut oil are also great for the skin and easy to incorporate into DIY face masks. Don't forget the cucumber slices, they will cool and refresh tired eyes. 

Have you made any DIY face masks? If so what are your favourite face mask ingredients?

Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser
When it comes to skincare, I have to be a little bit cautious as I do have dry and sensitive skin which is prone to eczema. Thankfully I've found a few brands over the past couple of years of blogging that work so well with my skin such as Nivea, Bioderma, Lush skincare and Antipodes. I've reviewed a couple of Antipodes products on my blog already including the Antipodes Hosanna Serum which I adore, the Antipodes Vanilla Pod Day Cream which I use every single day and the lovely Worship serum which is one of their latest releases - all three products have featured in my monthly favourites posts. 

I have been testing the *Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser (£22.49, 75g) over the past few weeks which contains 100% natural ingredients such as Vinanza Grape, Harekeke Flax and Hibiscus Bloom. The cleansing balm/butter is suitable for all skin types but I would really only recommend this cleanser if you have combination, dry or very dry skin. 

The cleanser looks a little unusual, I don't know if you can see from the photo above but the yellow balm has small white bits in it that looks like miniature clouds - I think it's the Hibiscus Bloom. The cleanser scent is also a little unusual, it is floral and sweet but also quite earthy and natural; it might not be for some but I personally love it. 

I've tried a few cleansing balms and I love them especially at this time of the year when my skin is even drier and needs a nourishing protective layer. I use the cleansing balm on dry skin or if I have worn makeup that day then I will remove it with a micellar water first, then cleanse with this balm. The cleanser is very thick but when massaged into dry skin it almost instantly turns into a silky oil with the white particles acting as mini exfoliators - they do actually feel like they exfoliate the skin fairly well. 

It leaves my skin feeling clean but very moisturised, smooth and nourished, if that makes sense as it is like a comforting rich layer over the skin which is why I wouldn't recommend it unless you have dry skin or dry patches. The cleansing balm doesn't irritate my skin, even if I have an eczema flareup and it also doesn't make my skin feel greasy. 

Overall, I love this cleanser, as I love all of the other Antipodes products I have tried which is fantastic as I do sometimes struggle to find products that work for my temperamental skin. I love the use of all natural ingredients as well as certified organic ingredients (it is still #OrganicSeptember after all). Overall rating: ★★, 5/5. 

Have you tried any products from Antipodes? What are your favourite organic products/brands?

MBotanicals Sugar Scrub + Denim Soap

Monday, September 28, 2015
MBotanicals Sugar Scrub + Denim Soap
I am always searching for natural skincare and bodycare but most of the time it can be pretty pricey however MBotanicals is a minimalist skincare and bodycare brand that uses natural, organic and raw ingredients in their products but they are reasonably priced, in my opinion for such high quality, natural products! I was very kindly sent a couple of products and I have to say, I adore the packaging and the minimal design! 

First up, my favourite product, the *MBotanicals Uplifting Sugar Body Balm (£18) which is a sugar body scrub containing mango butter, bergamot, geranium and frankincense. The scrub smells amazing, so fresh and floral! The scrub is very thick and gritty so it is an amazing exfoliator but it isn't too abrasive. I've been loving it for my legs, feet and arms. The scrub combined with a rich lotion have got rid of most of the little bumps I had on the back of my arms - amazing! You don't need a lot of product each time but I always do as I love the feeling of super smooth and cleansed skin. It's one of the best body scrubs I've ever used! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

I also have the *MBotanicals Natural Handmade Soap in Denim (£4.50) which is actually the colour of denim jeans - such a unique soap 'scent'. The soap contains some of the following scents/ingredients: ylang flower oil, patchouli, kaolin (clay) and shea butter. As with the scrub, I love the basic and minimal packaging of the soap. The soap smells very earthy and slightly musky which are definitely the kinds of scents I love especially at this time of the year. As with all soap, I cut it into smaller blocks so that the whole bar doesn't wear away in the bathroom at once - with the smaller chunks, I can just use what I want, when I want. The soap lathers really well for being a natural product and it leaves my hands super clean but slightly dry although I do have very dry hands anyway so I just use hand cream afterwards. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5.

Overall, I LOVE the design of the products and the natural ingredients. The scrub is my favourite product and I would definitely recommend it, not just because it looks and smells amazing but it is very effective too. The soap lathers well for a natural soap and it smells great but it is a little drying. MBotanicals has a great range of products, here's my mini wish list:


Have you tried any products from MBotanicals? What are your favourite natural beauty products/brands?

House of Fraser Autumn/Winter Handbags

Sunday, September 27, 2015
House of Fraser Autumn/Winter Handbags
House of Fraser is one of my favourite places to shop, not just because of the great homeware and decor, sales and beauty products but also because of their amazing selection of handbags - there are so many to choose from! The brands range of the much coveted Michael Kors and Ted Baker to Fiorelli, Dorothy Perkins, Oasis, Aldo, Warehouse and many many more. 

As it is now autumn, which is my favourite season, I want to buy a whole new wardrobe including more tan, olive and burgundy shades as well as faux leather and faux fur. There are so many bags which fit autumn/winter trends on the House of Fraser website. I was kindly allowed to choose one and I picked the *Warehouse Relaxed Crossbody Bag (£28) which is very different to all of the other bags I own. 

I love the shape, it is more elongated than the other square and satchel style bags I own but even though it isn't the widest or largest bag, it can actually fit quite a lot in it and I always need to carry around so many 'just in case' products...that I never end up using! It fits my small umbrella, purse, iPad mini, iPhone/iPod and more which are my daily essentials. Additionally, it has a small internal pocket and a larger zipped pocket on the outside as well as an adjustable strap which I always need as I am so petite! 

Also the shade is perfect as it goes with so many outfits, particularly during autumn/winter. I've been pairing it casually with my vintage wash Topshop jeans, Asos chunky jumper and ankle boots. It would be great with dress, tights and ankle boots over the upcoming colder months. 

Overall, I think I will get so much use out of this versatile Warehouse bag over the autumn/winter months. However, there are so many other gorgeous bags at House of Fraser under £50. Here are my picks: 

House of Fraser Autumn/Winter Handbags

Do you own any bags from Warehouse? What do you think of this bag and my AW15 picks?

#OrganicSeptember Beauty Wish List

Saturday, September 26, 2015
Organic September Beauty Wish List
If you didn't know, this September has been 'organic september' and earlier in the month it was organic beauty week so I know I'm a little late with this post but here are my organic beauty wish list picks from Tisserand, Antipodes, Korres, Jason, Jurlique, Dr Bronner and Vapour. I've only tried a few organic brands such as Tisserand, Korres, Dr Organic, Jurlique, Green People and Antipodes (I think Caudalie might be organic too) and I have loved pretty much everything so I'm always on the hunt for new organic bath, beauty and cosmetic products to try!


Do you have any of the products I've featured? What are your favourite organic brands/products?

Harry Potter Merchandise at Truffle Shuffle

Friday, September 25, 2015
Harry Potter Merchandise at Truffle Shuffle

The Harry Potter books and films are a long time favourite of mine and they are really nostalgic so whenever I see Harry Potter merchandise (which isn't too often) I do squeal a little inside...and out loud...Truffle Shuffle have a great range of Harry Potter products from jewellery, clothing and accessories to stationery, games and homeware. 

I was very kindly sent the *Harry Potter Gryffindor Team Quidditch Mug (£5.99) and if you have been following my blog for a while, you may remember that I have a slightly obsession with mugs, I don't know why but I can't stop buying them!

Harry Potter Merchandise at Truffle Shuffle

I love the design, I haven't seen anything like it before and I know a lot of fellow Harry Potter fans who would love this too! It does come in a Harry Potter box too so it would make a great gift/stocking filler. The mug is microwave and dishwasher safe. 

Overall, I'm really happy with it and I think the price is fantastic! There are so many Harry Potter items on Truffle Shuffle although if you're not a fan (then leave my blog now), then no need to worry as they also stock Game of Thrones (another fave of mine), Star Wars, Where's Wally, Breaking Bad, The Simpsons and Doctor Who merchandise as well as Game of Thrones monopoly...I know, I need it! Here's my Truffle Shuffle wish list:

Harry Potter Merchandise at Truffle Shuffle

Have you bought anything from Truffle Shuffle? Are you a Harry Potter fan?

Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll On Kit

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll On Kit
Today we are talking about hair removal, yes, it's a process that most of us have to do (or want to do, depending on your views) but it is a bit of a controversial and personal topic; however I feel as though my little corner of the internet is a free space where we can all talk about anything from lipstick, how much we love autumn, outfits and of course waxing...

Veet is a brand I have grown up using, I love their mini wax strips which I have used for my brows for years and I have ventured into the scary world of waxing with their larger strips for the legs but I do always wimp out after the '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7....' but my sister is far less of a wimp when it comes to waxing pain. The Veet large wax strips are actually really quite effective. 

So myself and my guinea pig...I mean my sister, tested out the *Veet Easy Wax Natural Inspirations Electrical Roll On Kit (£29.99) which is suitable for all skin types and 90% of the wax ingredients are from natural origins. The kit comes with the self heating device and cap, the base/stand, one 50ml roll on wax refill, 12 non-woven strips, four finishing wipes, instructions and the electric cable as this device is mains operated. 

The first thing you have to do is insert the wax roll on refill into the heating device, plug it in and wait for 20 minutes for wax to heat up to the ideal temperature. In this time it would be best to wash, exfoliate and dry the area you are going to wax as it will definitely help. When the wax is heated, roll it onto the areas in the direction the hair grows; apply one non-woven strip to the skin and rub the strip in the direction of hair growth so it can adhere. Then you know the drill, hold the skin taut, deep breaths then pull the strip back on itself close to the skin. Even though there are only 12 strips in the kit, you can use them multiple times in the same waxing session (we used each strip three times). Clean excess wax away with the wipes - when I use wax I always use warm water to clean the skin afterwards and then pat dry. 

Testing the warm wax on paper first really helped to see if the wax would spread evenly. The wax stayed warm, it never felt too hot and it did spread fairly evenly on the skin. The first couple attempts on a small area didn't really remove any hairs, the third attempt did remove a small patch though. I think the device doesn't spread a thick enough layer onto the skin. The results were not amazing to  sadly as it is a fantastic concept as there is pretty much zero mess and it is easy and quick to use. 

Overall, it is a great concept and it was quick and easy to use but the results for us at least were not as amazing as I hoped. I will definitely continue to use Veet waxing products as I love the mini wax strips but this device is a miss for us - it would probably work so much better for those with finer hair and it you have more experience of using warm wax and products like this. Overall rating: ★★☆☆☆, 2.5/5. 


Have you tried this kit, if so what are your opinions? Have you tried any Veet products?


*Check out my guest post on the Oilixia blog all about my top tips on getting glowing skin*

Introducing Tisserand Candles + Bath Products

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Introducing Tisserand Bath + Body Products
Tisserand is a brand that I've seen on social media recently and their products always look great so when this package arrived I was excited to give these products a go! Tisserand use 100% pure and natural essential oils extracted from flowers, trees and fruit in their products. They have a wide range of aromatherapy products as well as a collection inspired by the National Trust. 

First up, one of my favourite product categories - candles! The *Tisserand Rose Garden Candle (£15, 140g) which is one of the products from the range inspired by the National Trust. The outer packaging is so pretty and it would make a lovely gift for candle lovers, like me! The scent is a sweet and slightly powdery rose fragrance but it isn't cloying, overpowering or headache inducing - it is a subtle floral scent that really refreshes a room. The candle burns fairly evenly, the scent throw is pretty good considering the scent is quite subtle (although still very noticeable) and I think this candle will last for a long time. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

The product I was most excited to try was the *Tisserand Sweet Dreams Bath Oil (£10.95, 100ml), not only because the packaging is gorgeous and I love bath oils but because the product contains lavender, sandalwood and jasmine which are my favourite relaxing and calming scents. The bath oil smells heavenly, it is such as relaxing and calming scent. I've used it a few times now and it definitely helps me relax and get to sleep quicker, it even produces a few bubbles which is rare for a bath oil. It leaves my skin soft and very lightly scented. I know I will be getting SO much use of it especially with autumn and winter on the horizon. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Lastly, the *Tisserand Muscle Ease Body Oil (£9.95, 100ml) which contains ginger, lemongrass and rosemary as well as nourishing vitamins and jojoba. Now, I have to be honest and say that lemongrass isn't my favourite scent however this oil does smell lovely. The oil comes with a pump dispenser, it is quick and easy to use and it leaves the skin so smooth and soft; it also seems to help tight and tired muscles. Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Overall, I'm really impressed with not only the packaging and gorgeous scents but the effectiveness of the products I've tried. The sweet dreams bath oil is heavenly and I know I will get so much use out of it as well as the candle. There are so many gorgeous products and gift sets from Tisserand that would be perfect for christmas! 


Have you tried any products from Tisserand? 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
The Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders have taken on cult status in the beauty and blogging world with everyone and their mum raving about them. I have to admit that the new palette they are bringing out for christmas (I think it will be available in Oct/Nov) is on my wish list but the price tag will probably be quite eye watering so when the opportunity arose to try out one of the single powders, I was over the moon and I may have squealed slightly...ok, a lot. 

I chose the *Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light (£38 at Urban Retreat Beautique). Each powder claims to perform a certain task, for example, Dim Light blurs imperfections and highlights a radiant complexion, Mood Light mimics soft lighting and brightens the complexion and Diffused Light conceals redness and gives skin clarity. I chose Diffused Light as I have quite a lot of redness in my skin naturally and also because of eczema flare ups. 

The packaging and compact are very luxe and fancy, it feels like it is very high quality, as you can imagine from the price. The compact is a little chunky but it isn't an issue for me and it also has a good sized mirror in the lid. The powder itself is a very pale yellow with very fine shimmer. The texture of the powder is incredibly smooth and very finely milled so it doesn't look caky or heavy on the skin. 
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
I've been using the powder all over my face, especially under my eyes to set my foundation and concealer in place. The powder takes away oily shine but it still gives the skin such a gorgeous radiant, lit from within glow that doesn't look glittery or shiny. It is translucent so it doesn't add colour or coverage but it really helps to reduce the look of redness and it gives the illusion of blurring imperfections, skin tone issues and pores like a soft focus veil over the skin. I find it doesn't emphasise dryness or settle into fine lines on me which is fantastic! 

Overall, I have been using this powder everyday I've worn makeup since I received it. I love the packaging and the powder just makes my skin look better without being obvious, heavy or glittery on the skin.  I've only tried this Diffused Light shade but I can say that it has definitely lived up to the hype, in my opinion. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

I definitely want to try out more the wide range of luxe beauty products from Urban Retreat Beautique, I love their sales and I also love that they have a 'coming soon' section! Here's my mini wish list:


Have you tried any of the Hourglass ambient lighting powders? Have you bought anything from Urban Retreat Beautique?

Natural World Chia Seed Range + Giveaway

Sunday, September 20, 2015
Natural World Chia Seed Range and Giveaway
I've tried a couple of products from Natural World before such as the Caffeine Power Hair Serum and the Macadamia Hair Treatment Oil so when these brightly coloured beauties arrived, I couldn't wait to try them out. 

The range is based around organic chia seed oil which is certified organic as well as five essential oils to effectively cleanse the hair while helping to add shine and strengthen without weighing it down. The shampoo is free from parabens, dyes, gluten and phosphates. It is suitable for all hair types, especially fine, dry or damaged hair. 

*Natural World Chia Seed Shampoo (£4.99, 500ml)

The shampoo and conditioner I have are massive 500ml bottles which is great and it's going to last for so long! The shampoo smells very subtle, unlike most shampoos I've used, it is a slight floral and sweet scent. The shampoo does lather well (it does contain SLS) and it leaves my hair feeling so smooth, soft and clean without stripping it!

*Natural World Chia Seed Conditioner (£4.99, 500ml)

The conditioner smells similar to the shampoo and the subtleness of the scent does make a nice change from the strong scented products that dominate the market. The conditioner is thick and moisturising but it doesn't weight my hair down at all or make it greasy - it leaves my hair smooth, tangle free, light and bouncy! I'd definitely recommend both the shampoo and conditioner from this range!

*Natural World Chia Seed Oil (£6.99, 100ml)

I've tried one of the Natural World hair oils before and it was great and this one is no different. The oil claims to instantly absorb, add volume and help strengthen the hair. The oil leaves my hair so smooth and soft without being very greasy or oily. It's definitely one of the better hair oils I've used. 

Now, onto the giveaway! The super lovely people at Brodie and Stone are providing the prizes including the shampoo, conditioner and hair oil from this range to one lucky winner. The giveaway is UK only! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below, good luck!


Bodhi + Birch Ylang-Ylang Incensa

Saturday, September 19, 2015
Bodhi + Birch Ylang-Ylang Incensa
Last week I published a post about the fantastic *Bodhi and Birch Mint The Temple Balm which I adore and I today have another post all about the natural, luxe brand Bodhi and Birch. I've tried a few products from them, including their lovely facial oils so when this package arrived, I was very excited! All of their products are so beautifully packaged and designed, they would make gorgeous gifts *yes, I'm thinking about christmas already*

I have the *Bodhi and Birch Ylang Ylang Insensa Body Moisturiser (£5.50, 50ml) which contains ylang ylang, neroli and pink peppercorn which combine to make the most relaxing, musky, autumnal scent possible. It is floral and sweet as well as being a warm, soothing and musky scent. When I smell the Ylang Ylang Insensa products it reminds me of cosy autumn evenings and halloween for some reason, maybe because it is so deep and musky but still feminine. Anyway, enough raving about the scent, the moisturiser itself feels like a lotion but it packs a punch of moisture like a body butter. It is perfect for the upcoming colder months or for dry skin types. I've been using it paired with the shower gel every other day as well as using it on my hands everyday. It absorbs fairly quickly and it leaves my skin very smooth, soft, moisturised and heavenly scented. If there was a fragrance/perfume of this scent, I would buy i immediately! Overall rating: ★, 5/5!

As mentioned, I also have the *Bodhi and Birch Ylang Ylang Incense Bath and Shower Therapy (£20, 200ml) which has the same notes as the gorgeous lotion. Bodhi and Birch products are cruelty free and free from parabens, sulphates, colourants, fragrances, animal ingredients, silicones and more which is fantastic. SLS or sodium laureth sulphate is a common lathering agent used in many beauty products although it can cause irritation and negative reactions, however it is the ingredient that makes your shower gels and shampoos so bubbly. This shower gel doesn't contain SLS but it lathers so well! The scent doesn't linger on the skin sadly but it is a fantastic, effective shower gel; also it doesn't dry out the skin like most shower gels. Overall rating: ★, 5/5.

Overall, I'm so impressed with both products and the scent is just heavenly and perfect for autumn! The packaging is simple but luxe. The body lotion has become a daily essential for me and I will be buying the full size when this bottle runs out. If you are looking for gorgeous, natural beauty gifts that are sure to impress or products to pamper yourself then look no further. 

Have you tried anything from Bodhi and Birch? What are your go to products/scents for autumn?

Pestle + Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum

Friday, September 18, 2015
Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum
Over the past year or so hyaluronic acid has become the 'it' skincare ingredient with numerous brands bringing out moisturising and anti-ageing skincare containing hyaluronic acid as well as including it in some foundations. Studies have demonstrated that the use of hyaluronic acid shows statistically significant effects with regards to moisturising the skin, skin texture and skin elasticity (for more information check out the study conducted by Jegasothy et al, 2014). 

I've tried a few products containing hyaluronic acid but not one like this as it is composed of sodium hyaluronate which is the salt of hyaluronic acid and is much smaller so it is able to penetrate the skin deeper than hyaluronic acid can. When the *Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum (£33, 30ml) arrived, I was excited to give it a go!  It also contains vitamin E to soften the skin as well as a form of microscopic alga to restore the efficacy of calcium metabolism - calcium is essential when it comes to epidermal functions. The Pestle and Mortar serum doesn't contain animal derived ingredients, parabens, alcohol or fragrance and it isn't tested on animals which is fantastic as I always try to use cruelty free products whenever I can. 

First up, I have to say how much I love the packaging and bottle - the design is so minimalist but luxe and I love it! I also like the pipette dispenser as I can control exactly how much product I need so there is no waste at all. The serum doesn't have a scent which is what I always prefer in my skincare. The hyaluronic serum claims to plump and hydrate the skin leaving it instantly glowing and firmer. 

The serum feels light on the skin, it absorbs quickly and leaves a smooth, moisturised base (without being greasy or oily) onto which I apply my moisturiser. The serum doesn't irritate my eczema at all and as it is so moisturising and smoothing, I don't have to use as much moisturiser. I've been using the serum for three weeks or so and it has definitely helped with my dry skin and my skin texture too - it's so much smoother!

Overall, I love the packaging and the pipette dispenser as it completely stops product waste. It doesn't irritate my skin and it leaves my skin moisturised and smooth. I do have dry skin on the whole and I know now that autumn is almost here it will be even drier so this serum will be an essential for me! I have tried the famous Hydraluron from Indeed Labs which I liked but I much prefer this serum. I would definitely recommend it if you have dry or very dry skin. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5. 

Have you tried the Pestle and Mortar Serum? Have you tried any hyaluronic acid skincare? 

House Of Fraser Clarins GWP

Thursday, September 17, 2015
House Of Fraser Clarins GWP
I've been lucky enough to try some Clarins makeup although I hadn't tried any of their much coveted bodycare range and skincare until now. The Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is trusted by makeup artists and their eye makeup remover, double serum and cleansers are always raved out. House of Fraser have a great offer on currently where if you buy two Clarins products, one to be skincare, you will receive this free gift with purchase. 

The gift with purchase includes: Tonic Body Balm (100ml), Hand and Nail Treatment (50ml) and the Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (50ml).  All of the samples in this free gift are great sizes, especially the body balm. The body balm is definitely my favourite product from the set - it is moisturising and intensely smoothing but it absorbs so quickly, I love it and I know I will be getting SO much use out of it during the upcoming colder months.

The Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is also fantastic, it is rich but quick to absorb and it doesn't irritate my skin. It is great for on the go and my mum loves it too. The cleanser is such a nice product to use as it feels nourishing and gentle on the skin but it also feels like it is cleansing the skin well without stripping it, the opposite in fact. The cleanser is really unique as it goes onto dry skin like a balm then when massaged in it turns into an oil and when rinsing it feels more like a milk - very different to any other product I've used and well worth a try. 

I would definitely recommend all of three of these products, I just adore the tonic body balm and I have been using it constantly! I think the offer is fantastic and as far as free gifts with a purchase go, this one is pretty great! 

Will you be taking advantage of this offer at House of Fraser? Have you tried any of these products from Clarins? 

Beauty Confidential: YSL Touche Eclat

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
House of Fraser: YSL Touche Eclat
The YSL Touche Eclat is such a cult product that I've wanted to try for so long, I'm sure I have the YSL Touch Eclat in the shade 2 but I have no idea as the number is so faded on mine. I think a lot of beauty obsessives (such as myself) have tried it at some point although I think there is a little confusion about what it is and how to use it. 

I have the *YSL Touch Eclat Radiant Touch (£25, in shade 1) which is a peachy pink highlighter and complexion brightener; I do think that some may mistake it for a concealer in which case the product will disappoint. Shade 1 is a perfect shade for me as the peachy pink, almost salmon tones help correct and brighten my dark circles which are very dark, thanks mum. 

I use it under my eyes in a inverted triangle shape after my concealer as well as along my brow bone, cupids bow and the top of the cheekbones to add a natural, luminous brightness to the complexion. The highlighter/brightener blends out like a dream, it takes no time at all and it doesn't look heavy, caky or glittery on the skin. The YSL Touche Eclat is the perfect product for the new highlighting and sculpting technique of strobing where light and brightness is added to the complexion instead of adding shadow and contour. 

House of Fraser have a fantastic offer on now until the 22th September (so you will have to be quick!). The Beauty Confidential offer is back so you can get £10 off one of your favourite beauty products, if you buy one of the House of Fraser picks too. There are so many products that are part of this great offer including the new and much coveted Urban Decay Naked Smokey Palette, Benefit Roller Lash Mascara (which is a fave of mine) and the Bobbi Brown Skin Serum Foundation which I definitely want to try as well as many more new and tried and trusted products! 

Have you tried the YSL Touch Eclat? Will you be taking advantage of this great offer at House of Fraser?

OOTD: Target Dry Kendal Waterproof Jacket

Monday, September 14, 2015
Hollingworth Lake OOTD Ft. Target Dry
Autumn is in touching distance and I for one cannot wait! Autumn is my favourite season and I love everything that comes with it, from chunky jumpers, crisp honey coloured leaves, darker evenings and of course gingerbread lattes. I also love autumn for layering clothing, cosy coats, snuggly snoods and boots which is my idea of fashion heaven. Certain shades, to me, are so autumnal such as rust, olive green, navy, reds and darker raspberry shades so when the lovely people at Target Dry asked if I wanted to try one of their items, I had to choose the gorgeous *Target Dry Kendal Womens Natural Cotton Waterproof Jacket (£94.50, in Rumba)
Hollingworth Lake OOTD Ft. Target Dry
Top: Forever21  -  Jeans: Topshop  -  Boots & Bag: Newlook
I love the colour of the jacket, it's gorgeous and it is quite an autumnal shade to me. The floral lining isn't something I usually go for but I quite like it with this jacket. There are two massive pockets which is great as well as a detachable hood, double zip, adjustable waist tabs, a zip on the sleeves and a zipped internal pocket which is such a useful detail. 

I have a size 8 and in jackets/coats I am usually an 8 or 10 depending on the brand. The jacket length is fantastic even though I am petite, it fits well overall but the sleeves are a little long on me. The jacket is comfortable, easy to pair with so many outfits and it does come with a cute hood with toggles details - when we took these photos, it was a gorgeous clear day with no rain which is very strange in England as it is usually pouring down especially when you want to go somewhere. 

www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk
Hollingworth Lake OOTD Ft. Target Dry
We went to Hollingworth Lake in Smithy Bridge which isn't far from Manchester and it is such a picturesque place for a walk, rowing or horse riding...or taking blog photos! We've been visiting and camping here since I was a child so it was nice to walk around again although it was a little busy when we went just over a week ago as there was a rowing competition or race on. If you live near by or are planning a visit to the North West then definitely head to Hollinworth Lake. 

Overall, I love the jacket, it is comfortable, very practical and waterproof but even so it isn't a typical waterproof jacket as most tend to be quite unflattering, unstructured and pretty ugly, if I'm honest. I am happy with the fit, style and the quality is fantastic! I will definitely be getting a lot of use out of it in the next few months (well, who am I kidding, it's England so I will need it all year round!). They have numerous styles and shades to choose from for men, women and children. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!


Have you bought anything from Target Dry? What do you think of this jacket? 

Roger + Gallet Fleur De Figuier EDP

Sunday, September 13, 2015
Roger + Gallet Fleur De Figuer EDP
Roger and Gallet have launched their latest fragrance and it's a beaut! I have the *Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Eau de Parfum (£40.50, 50ml) which consists of the following notes:

- Top notes: juicy mandarin and pink peppercorn 

- Heart notes: violet wood and fig leaves

- Base notes: patchouli and moss

Firstly, the bottle is just gorgeous; it is so simple but luxe and weighty! The bottle is so detailed too with Roger & Gallet on the gold lid and the perfume actually looks baby pink in colour. Even though the bottle is so pretty, I always keep my perfumes in a drawer rather than displayed as light can ruin the fragrance. The fragrance initially is sweet and fruity but earthy and musky, it is such a unique, interesting fragrance that is very different to all of the others in my collection. 

The fragrance develops into a warm, creamy, comforting musky perfume on me after a couple of hours, although it still retains some of the sweet floral notes. The longevity is about seven hours which is quite impressive, so there is no need to reapply throughout the day, although if you wanted to you could dispense the fragrance into an atomiser. 

I also have the *Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Hand and Nail Balm (£6, 30ml) which matches the fragrance. The hand and nail balm contains shea butter and fig extract - it smells so good! I have a patch of eczema on my hand but the hand balm doesn't irritate my skin at all. It leaves my hands so smooth, soft and moisturised without leaving a greasy or heavy residue. It feels like a mix between a hand cream and a balm, as the name would suggest, so it's very nourishing. The tube packaging means that it is so handy to carry around in my handbag. I've heard great things about the Roger & Gallet hand and nail balms and this one doesn't disappoint. 

Overall, the Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier EDP is such a lovely everyday autumnal fragrance in my opinion and I know I will be getting so much use out of it, especially with autumn fast approaching! I love the fragrance as does my mum and sister so it would be great for a range of ages.  As well as the gorgeous Eau de Parfum and lovely Hand and nail balm, there is also a shower gel, body lotion, oil, fragrance water, shower cream and soaps in this range. Overall rating: ★★, 5/5. 

Have you tried any products from Roger & Gallet? What do you think of this fragrance?

Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Range

Saturday, September 12, 2015
Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Range
Molton Brown is a brand that is synonymous with luxury and pampering, my aunties are long time fans of the brand but this is the first time I've tried anything from Molton Brown. They have recently launched their new Body Polishers collection which consists of the following four scents: Gingerlily, Pink Pepper, Eucalyptus and Ylang-Ylang.

I am very lucky to have received the *Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Comforting Body Polisher (£34, 275g) as well as the *Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Nourishing Body Lotion (£25, 300ml) and the *Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Body Wash (£18, 300ml). All of the packaging and boxes look so fancy and expensive and they would make such an indulgent treat for yourself or someone else. 

Let's start with the main product, the Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Body Polisher which comes in a large, heavy tub and it contains Madagascan black vanilla grains, ylang-ylang and cedarwood oils. The scrub smells heavenly, it is floral and slightly sweet but it mainly musky, deep and creamy - it's the best smelling scrub I've ever used! The scent to me personally is so relaxing and calming so it is perfect for a pamper night. The scrub is so effective and exfoliating without being extremely abrasive. I've been using the body scrub on my legs before shaving and it helps to get the skin as smooth as it can possibly be and it also helps with extra dry areas such as elbows, knees and especially the backs of my arms which are always slightly bumpy - this scrub evens out my skin texture, smoothes and pampers the skin. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!

Next up, the Nourishing Body Lotion which has the same scent although it's much more subtle. The lotion is clinically proven to hydrate the skin and it definitely does - the lotion feels very lightweight but it packs a punch of hydration like a thick body butter! It absorbs quickly, it doesn't irritate my skin and it leaves my skin SO velvety smooth, soft, moisturised and lightly scented. I love the pump dispenser as it is so handy and it's also easy to control just how much product you want use so there is no waste. Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5.

Lastly, the Ylang-Ylang Body Wash and again the packaging looks so fancy and the scent is divine! The body wash contains extracts of yuan zhi to cleanse the skin as well as sweet cardamon. It lathers so well therefore a little goes a long way and it feels very luxurious to use, for a body wash anyway! It doesn't strip the skin or dry it out but it leaves my skin clean and ready for lotion.  Sadly the scent does't really linger with this particular product but using all three together definitely does and I love using a matching set of products as it makes me feel far more organised and put together than I actually am! Overall rating: ★★★★☆, 4/5. 

Overall, for my first experience of Molton Brown products I can say without a doubt that it is one of the most luxurious, indulgent and decadent brands I've used. The packaging is so fancy and the products themselves not only look gorgeous but they smell gorgeous too! I adore the body polisher and the nourishing lotion, I know I will get so much use out of them during the upcoming colder months when my skin is dull and dry. The scent to me to also quite autumnal as it is musky, deep and creamy as well as having sweet feminine and floral notes. I'm going to have to keep these lovely products under lock and key as I know my friends, aunties and my mum will want to use them! I definitely recommend the Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang range for yourself or a special gift for someone else! Here's my mini Molton Brown wish list:


Molton Brown Ylang-Ylang Range


Have you tried any products from Molton Brown? What do you think of the new Body Polishers collection?

The Great Escape Crackling Candle Collection

Thursday, September 10, 2015
The Great Escape Crackling Candle Collection
When autumn rolls around I feel the need to burn ALL the candles I own, it just makes me feel so cosy and they make any room look instantly homely and inviting! When these beautifully packaged candles arrived, I almost squealed with joy as they look so unique and pinterest worthy - aesthetically it would make a special, substantial gift. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you would have already seen these pretty candles in action. 

I have *The Great Escape The Big Smoke Cracking Candle Collection (£31) which contains four smaller size 70g candles, all of which are hand poured using EcoSoya wax in the following fragrances:

- Escape To Honolulu: Pineapple & Coconut

- Escape To Jaipur: Spiced Ginger

- Escape To Mississippi: Creme Brûlée 

- Escape To Paris: Champagne & Rose 

The use of soy wax is fantastic as it gives a cleaner burn and it is better for the environment. The candles are hand crafted from start to finish which makes them quite special, in my opinion as well as a lovely treat for yourself or as a cute gift for someone else! This collection features a unique 'cracking' wick which makes a gentle cracking sound when burning which I think is such a lovely addition and it just adds to the autumnal and cosy atmosphere - think open crackling fire, blankets and a hot chocolate. 
The Great Escape Crackling Candle Collection
The first candle I wanted to try after smelling them in the gift box was the Escape To Jaipur scent which is a spiced ginger fragranced candle. The smaller 70g candles have an approximate burn time of 15 hours. The scent of this candle is so delicious, it smells like musky ginger mixed with earthy spices - for me it is a gorgeous autumnal scent.  The relaxing crackling of the wick is such a nice touch to the candles. This scent is definitely one of my favourites from this set. 

Next up the Escape To Mississippi candle which is the creme brûlée candle - it smells similar to the discontinued Yankee Candle in Danish Butter Cookie which is one of my all time favourite candles. It smells like vanilla, desserts and baking which are all such homely and calming scents to me. Although unlike the Yankee Candle scent, this one isn't headache inducing or sickly sweet; it's a lovely creamy scent that everyone who has smelt it has loved instantly! 

The next two candles are a little different, the Escape To Paris fragrance consists of Champagne and Rose notes and to me it does smell like a sweet, floral and uplifting scent - it sounds like a typical feminine fragrance but I haven't had a candle that smells quite like this before. When burning the scent is very subtle which is great for me as sometimes strong candles can give me a headache. It has a lovely light floral scent that is quite sweet, almost candy like. 

Last but not least, the Escape To Honolulu candle which is a summery pineapple and coconut scented candle. I have to be honest and say that pineapple isn't my favourite scent but this candle to me smells like delicious creamy coconut, suncream and a hint of fruity sweetness. I'm surprised at how much I love this scent and it is stronger than the previous candle but it's not overpowering or too sweet - it's the PERFECT summer candle! 

Overall, I'm so impressed with these beautiful candles, I've loved burning them and having them subtly fill the house with lovely scents - especially the Escape To Jaipur and Escape To Mississippi fragrances. All of the candles burn slowly and evenly, so there is no product waste. I adore the whole aesthetic and branding, it is so unique and high quality - even the business cards, products cards and product packaging is detailed, gorgeous and special. I cannot get enough of these candles and I would highly recommend this set!  You can buy from The Great Escape website or from their store on Not On The Highstreet. Also they don't just have gorgeous candles but they have a cuticle oil that sounds lovely as well as wide range of reasonably priced beauty treatments. Stay tuned because there might be an exciting giveaway with the super generous people at The Great Escape! Overall rating: ★★★★★, 5/5!


Have you tried any candles/products from The Great Escape? 

Bodhi + Birch The Temple Balm

Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Bodhi + Birch The Temple Balm

Bodhi and Birch is a British luxury brand, creating gorgeous natural bodycare, skincare and gifts. I've reviewed their fantastic facial oils and Rosa Rosa range on my blog so I was excited to try more from the brand as I've been so impressed by the samples I've tried. 

I have the *Bodhi and Birch Mint The Temple Balm (£15, 15g) which contains some of the following natural ingredients: eucalyptus, babassu nut oil, frankincense and white camphor oil. 

The balm claims to relieve tension headaches, travel sickness, muscular aches and due to the antiseptic properties of it's natural ingredients it can be used to alleviate minor skin irritations such as insect bites. The balm smells minty and herbal to me although it isn't too strong - it smells heavenly! I apply the balm to my wrists and initially looks greasy on the skin but after being rubbed in it doesn't look or feel greasy. 

I always have headaches, as I don't drink enough and I always have my hair tied up and this balm has been helping so much. Taking a few moments to apply and smell the balm multiple times a day helps to reduce my headaches. The scent is calming, relaxing and as it is so minty, it acts almost like Vicks as it clears the sinuses; so I think it would be great when I get a cold and on days when my hayfever is worse. The scent lasts on my skin for about two hours so I've been keeping it on my desk and next to my bed. I don't think it would be ideal for travelling as it is a heavy tub. Overall rating: ★★, 5/5. 

Have you tried the Temple Balm or anything from Bodhi and Birch?