Friday, 24 August 2012

Review - The Sanctuary 30 Day Thermal Transformation

After doing a post about the science of parabens, I thought I would tell you my thoughts on a few of the paraben free products I have been trying up.  First up we have The Sanctuary's Active Reverse Facial 30 Day Thermal Transformation ... wow, what a mouthful of a name!

A 1 day treatment from the 30 day transformation!
I received this as a sample in a Debenham's order, and I was really looking forward to trying it out. It's a specifically designed two step mask where you first out on the Peptide Transformation Serum, followed by the Thermal Rose Clay Mask.

I really enjoyed using the serum, it was a white cream type texture and the sample provided was adequate to cover my face and neck. It smelled nice, a bit lavendery I thought, and didn't irritate my skin in anyway.

The two step process!
The clay based mask is a rather fetching salmon pink colour, and boy does it get hot when you apply it to the skin, leave on for fifteen minutes and wipe away with a muslin cloth. Due to putting this on my face whilst having a bath, on a summer's day, my face was uncomfortably warm, maybe one to try in the coming colder months then.

The mask did not dry quickly like other clay based masks, and was actually easily removed with the use of a muslin cloth and warm water.

The Sanctuary say in one application my skin will look brighter and tauter. I couldn't say I saw these results, my skin did feel smoother and I didn't get the tight feeling in my skin that I often get after clay based masks. However, I did notice my dry patches around my nose and mouth were more pronounced after use of the product, and there was some patchy redness throughout my face, after using the product for the recommended time.

I did like the mask, but without testing for the full thirty days using every other day I can't comment on the full results. Compared to something like Alpha H Liquid Gold which also acts to boost radiance, by removing the top layer of skin cells, I find this mask much more time consuming and messy, as not all nights can be pamper nights, and turn into more wash and go events, a product like the Alpha H suits my unpredictable lifestyle much more.

I think this may suit those with slightly oilier skin than mine, and probably more mature skin to see the full results. I would give a cautious recommendation of this product for those with sensitive skin, due to the redness that I saw after application. If you have dry skin I'd definitely be applying your normal moisturing cream after using this mask. For the full effects to be seen, you really have to be committed to use the product three times a week, and not on consecutive days.

Please note, due to the mask's action of removing the top layer of skin cells to achieve the radiant effect, always apply a product containing SPF after using this mask.

The product is available here on the Boots website for £27.50.

I don't think this is a rebuy for me at £27.50, but I will certainly be looking into The Sanctuary's serums.


Laura X

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Parabens - The Science Simplified

I don't know about you, but I keep hearing a lot about parabens. Every other product I buy has claims about it being paraben free; but what are they, and why do they matter?

Parabens are...

In simple terms parabens are preservatives which prevent your beauty products from turning bad. They have the power to kill bacteria and fungi. They've been used for years, and there's no hard evidence that they've ever caused any problems before.

What Are They Found In?

Well quite a lot, from your standard cosmetics including lipsticks, your moisturisers, make up removers, sunscreen and shampoo. Without knowing it, you're probably eating parabens too they're in soft drinks, baked goods and salad dressings.

Parabens also occur naturally, one of the main players - methylparaben, can be found in the humble blueberry. I was surprised that this contains parabens, considering it's a superfruit, which is meant to be amazing for the skin due to its high levels of antioxidants.

Why All The Fuss?

There was a recent study by PhD student Phillipa Darbre, who looked at paraben content in breast cancer tumours. She found 18 out of 20 tumours contained parabens, at an average level of 20 nanograms per gram of tissue. So parabens = cancer, right?

Well, not necessarily so, this is a very small study, only twenty tumours, out of the thousands of people that get breast cancer in the UK every year. It is true that the rates of breast cancer have increased over the past hundred years, but more likely due to an ageing population and not due to the introduction of parabens, although we can't rule this out just yet. In reality hundreds and thousands of tissue samples need to be obtained, from all over the world, and not just one hospital, for this study to carry more weight.

Neither did this study show, whether cancer free women had parabens in their breast tissue. To prove a link between parabens and cancer, healthy tissue should have been compared, and it wasn't in this study.

The reason, the paraben breast cancer link was made in the first place was due to the fact that parabens slightly mimic oestrogen, and greater exposure to oestrogen has been proven by various studies to increase the risk of breast cancer. However, the effect that parabens have is so small, it is not likely to increase your risk in breast cancer.

A systematic review has been performed, this means a person or group of people looked at a lot of studies about the same thing, and tried to see if there was a link and if so how strong. This was done relating to parabens and cancer, and no direct link could be found.

Are There Alternatives?

Many brands are paraben free, so there must be an alternative right? Either we face a shorter shelf life on our products, or we could try a natural alternative. One of these natural preservative alternatives is grapefruit seed extract does itself contain methylparaben!

My Thoughts

As I see no link between parabens and cancer, I'm happy to carry on using products that contain parabens. I  do agree there is no harm in showing a little caution to what the study found above, that is why all of my product reviews that are paraben free will be tagged as that, you can make an informed decision about what you choose to put on your body.

I hope this was useful to some of you, who were possibly curious about the fuss about parabens.

In the coming days I will also be releasing a list of companies that are paraben-free to help with your purchases.


Laura X

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bargain Alert - Superdrug!

Popped into Superdrug in Newcastle earlier today to pick up some bits. I'd heard about a Vitamin E skincare offer doing the rounds on money saving blogs and to my surprise it was still on!

Man, I love a bargain!
Normally a Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser will cost £5.99 for one 200 ml tube, however the whole range is on offer at any two items for £3.99. So, when buying two I saved £7.99, that's what 66%! All of this, and it comes in a nice presentation box with a muslin cloth included. Excellent!

All of this with a load of naturally derived Vitamin E and horse chestnut extract, supposedly good for dry skin. I've never tried horse chestnut extract, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.

I must admit I've not tried this product, but the box is promising me 100% happiness guaranteed. According to the box this cleanser could lift all our moods, even in this turbulent economic climate. Two for £3.99 is certainly cheaper than any prescription I've paid for recently. When I do, I may even do a little versus , my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish.

On the box this does say suitable for normal to dry skin. I also did check and this product contains four different parabens which I do try and avoid. If you're veggie/ vegan this product is good to go, and all you fellow bunny lovers will be pleased to hear Superdrug don't test on animals!

If you'd like a couple of these beauties pop down to Superdrug quick, before the offer runs out, as they've already sold out online.

Would love to hear your thoughts if you've tried this product? Are there any other good Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser alternatives?


Laura X

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Review - Original Source British Strawberry Shower Gel

Anyone else on a massive Olympics downer? Well, I am and still picking up a load of items that are covered in the Union Jack. On of these was the Original Source's British Strawberry Shower Gel.

Some crazy pop art for you all just because it's Tuesday and I liked it!

This is one of Original Source's special seasonal editions and is great for summer. From the bottle it smells like those giant strawberry sweets that you used to get in Woolie's Pick 'n' Mix (probably showing my age here - 22 for the record). On the skin it does this slightly strange thing and smells sweeter, more like strawberry mixed with desiccated coconut.

As usual with Original Source the gel quality is good with a decent lather, and lasting price at good value. You just have to do a scour of supermarkets and chemists to find the range on offer for a £1 for 250 ml.

For a £1 I really like this shower gel and Original Source, considering they're an everyday brand. To pay a pound, and get a product made in the UK, vegan and scented with natural fragrances. I don't think they can be beat.

Here's what it actually looks like, wouldn't want you to miss it on the supermarket shelves.
If you're a sweet strawberry fan and want to try a decent shower gel on a budget I highly recommend Original Source. Just a shame they don't have body lotions to layer scents with. Good job The Body Shop has an excellent Strawberry Body Butter then!


Laura X

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bargains Galore #1

Who doesn't love a good bargain, I've scoured the internet high and low to try and provide you with some of the deals out there, that you may not have heard about! 

Recently I posted about how I bagged a free Lush bath bomb - fancy finding about some other deals this month.... 

Counting the pennies with Piggy!


There are some great deals around at the moment, here are two that caught my eye... 

Head down to Savers, (you can't buy online) you can pick up 50 ml of a Prada fragrance, Prada - L'eau Ambree for £24.99! I'd normally expect to pay in the region of twice this for a Prada fragrance. Prada always make great quality fragrances. Grab it while you can! 

When I was younger my first ever fragrance was Tommy Hilfiger's Tommy Girl, and it always has a special place in my heart. There latest summer reincarnation is Eau de Prep and it's half price or more (depending on what size you buy) at The Perfume Shop


Clinique have an amazing gift with purchase running at Boots at the moment, but only until the 18/08/2012. Buy two items to receive a cute tin with six mini Clinique products to try out!

Another great gift with purchase offer is from Liz Earle and is only around until the 5th of September. Pick up this trio of items including cult skincare products in the form of their Hot Cloth Cleanser and Instant Boost Skin Tonic, and a free Liz Earle skin tint worth £21 is included (pick from 4 shades). You can also pick the type of moisturizer you receive in this offer to suit your skin type. Oh, and postage is free, what's not to love! This is currently on my shopping list.

Pai Skincare this company specializes in sensitive skin ... HOORAY! Spend £20 on their website here for a free Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser with muslin cloth worth £19, ends at midnight on the 17/08/2012. All you need to do is quote 'BESTSELLER' at checkout. Go, go , go!

Now to my favourite website for beauty offers, Salon Skincare, this website do some incredible deals with free UK delivery, here are my favourite two of right now.

Alpha H Discovery Kit - 5 mini Alpha H products for £25.00 including 50 ml of Alpha H Liquid Gold to try out. 

Elemis Revitalising Skincare Anniversary Edition - This includes a full size Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel in limited edition packaging and a full size cleanser and toner to boot. It's £45 but worth over £80, but limited stock, so run quick, not sure which I want more - this or the Liz Earle.


Quick candles heads up - Yankee Candle is the pick of the day today 15/08/2012, you can choose from fresh floral or fresh fruits. These are currently US exclusives and would cost over £50 to buy separately. QVC have a lot of wax love for £29.84.

For any London lovelies out there!

Head to Urban Oasis in Broadgate EC2 from today until Friday 24th August there's free yoga, followed up with a herbal tea, and Rituals shower gel (not sure what size). Yoga classes can easily cost £10 in London so this is a great deal if you work in The City. Here's the TimeOut London link to find out more.

So there's a quick round up of offers that aren't magazine freebies, hopefully some offers you haven't seen before. Get them before they're gone!


Laura X

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Review - Soap and Glory, Catch A Wrinkle In Time

What is it?

Soap and Glory's answer to a day moisturiser with "skin re-energizing tri-peptides and wrinkle repair youth boosters."

I should point out that Soap and Glory have recently updated the packaging of this product.

Over the past six months, this has been a bit of a love/hate product for me. I originally found that this really irritated my skin, and resulted in breakouts. However, since I got rid of my old Elemis, cleansing and toning system, (they're in my empties here), my skin has been liking this product.

The Good

Well, it's Soap and Glory so obviously this is going to come with killer packaging, and witty comments in spades. No disappointments there then. It's in one of those standard 50 ml squeezy tubes, nice and simple. I like this style of packaging for hygiene and travel reasons, even if I will have to cut it open to get the last bit out.

The skin re-energizing tri-peptides have definitely been doing something. My mother asked only the other day if I was wearing make up, I was in fact only using this moisturiser. (Although I'd like to point out I don't currently wear foundation or tinted moisturiser as I prefer to let my skin breathe. It does give a slightly shiny look to the skin, which I don't mind but oilier skins may prefer to skip.

Although the consistency is quite light and easy to rub in, in my opinion a good formula for day wear. 

I also have to mention this moisturiser smells incredible, I prefer it to the Original Pink scent. If you've ever had Orange Matchmakers, they come out around Christmas time, it's just like that, or a more orangey Terry's chocolate orange.

The Bad

This still does irritate my skin slightly, and I have now tried it with a few other cleansers. It could well be both the aroma and the parfum that has been added to this product.

Topping up on my slightly drier areas around the tip of my nose and mouth with a slightly heavier product was also essential as this areas did seem to be left quite dry. 

I also have fine lines, and have been using this constantly for about a month, I can sadly say I've seen no improvements from the "wrinkle repair youth boosters."I did get the radiance going on though, I'll take 50% of a products claims on this occasiom.

The Damn Right Ugly

I always think it's important to mention whether a product is paraben free, as many are trying to avoid, if you don't want parabens this baby has them.

Another bug bear I'm sorry, but this is a pet peeve when products do this, but in the words of Soap and Glory (in bold):

  • Don't smoke - NO I agree this is bad for your skin.
  • Don't drink - I'm going to presume this refers to alcohol and not water, fair alcohol dehydrates your skin.
  • Don't sleep deprive it - Not always easy Soap and Glory, but yes that helps, agreed.
  • Don't sun it to death - Okay, Soap and Glory we all need a bit of sun, got to get some Vitamin D, fair, but if you don't want us to get sun damaged, why can't we get some SPF in our moisturisers. Busy lifestyles mean I only want to use one cream on my face in the morning before I rush out of the door. If Johnson and Johnson can include SPF 15 in a day cream that's around £4, I don't see why this one couldn't, I'd even pay a pound or two more for the privilege.
Sorry, rant over, I don't mind advice, I'd just like it if the company would help us all a little in this quest.


I'm still enjoying using this and would probably have repurchased if it had SPF. If this doesn't bother you and you have normal to combination (but not too oily) I'd recommend this for you. For those who are sensitive the fragrances do aggravate my skin a little, and I don't have the most sensitive of skin by any stretch.

I think you could do a lot worse for £11 for a day cream and is now in all new packaging, and even when it was causing me breakouts it made a lovely hand cream, if an expensive one.

Find it here at  Boots online.

I'd definitely be interested in picking up some more Soap and Glory skincare, The Fab Pore is on my list, but I'm definitely welcome to other suggestions.


Laura X

Thursday, 9 August 2012

So I don't like Jack Wills, but....

I may have bought a couple of things......

So, if I'm honest I'm a little surprised to be writing this post. I'm not really a Jack Wills girl. My name is neither Jack nor Wills so I don't see the need to have it on my jumpers, swimming caps or condoms. Yes Jack Wills do make all of these products?!?! I would actually love to know how many they actually sell.

It was actually my friend who wanted to go into the store, and she ended up talking to someone else she knew from way back when. This left me to browse Jack Wills, alone and there was a sale on. Now, usually I wouldn't be bothered, but there were some pretty hefty reductions up to 70%, so of course I had to pick up some bits.

New mug and travel card holder!

  • A Union Jack & Stars and Stripes mug - reduced from £12.50 to £5. I have loads of mugs and cups, so I don't really need this one, but it goes with my room. Does anyone else buy odd knick knacks like this to go with their room? Probably just me. These mugs may still be in Jack Wills stores, if not is online with I might add a nice selection of other mugs and bits here.
  • Floral Travel Card Holder - I can sadly no longer find this online, but I picked it up in-store reduced from £6.50 to £3. It contains some of my favourite colours and was so summery, it instantly brought a smile to my face. I don't need one of these either I have a Penguin books one for my Oyster and railcard. My slightly backward reasoning was to use on a night out. Made with laminated cotton, so can survive the odd drink spillage! I normally use these for ID, student card, Oyster if needed, and an emergency £20 taxi money. If you really like the pattern, which I do the passport cover is still available online here for £6.

Do you like Jack Wills? I'm coming around to their homeware and accessories section, ignoring swim hats etc. Let me know if you pick up any other steals this summer I'd love to read about them.


Laura X

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

July Empties 2012!

I know this will be later than other empties posts, but I managed to wait until I moved out before writing this post. 
Here they all are ready to be recycled!

July has been a month of skincare and finally leaving some bits behind that I haven't been using for at least 6 months.

First up are bits from Elemis:

L-R Toner, Skin Bliss Capsules and Cleanser

  • Elemis Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser and Lavender Toner - I purchased this along with the lavender toner, as it was recommended to me by a beautician. However I found both of these products didn't suit my dry skin, and I ended up with more breakouts. However I have many friends who rave about this pairing, so I think it suits more normal to combination skin. Cleanser and toner are available for £19.40 each here. I wouldn't repurchase these, but would like to try other Elemis cleansers and toners.
  • Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules - The name's a nit of a mouthful but I love these capsules I got a week's supply on a gift with purchase when I bought the cleanser and toner. Use the pink oil containing capsule in the morning, followed by the green lavender based at night, for soft and supple skin. A month's supply of 60 capsules at  is £59.30 from timetospa - I would love to repurchase but I think I'm going to need a lottery win first! Will look out for an offer on this.
More facial skincare from Lush:

Fresh Farmacy and the scrummy Oatifix

  • Fresh Farmacy - This was advised to me as I noticed that I had a change in my skin and it went oily for a short period earlier in the year. This was non-irritating but did dry me out a bit more than I wanted. I would recommend this to someone with oily/combination skin which is prone to irritation. I have since found there Angels on Dream Skin cleanser to be a great match for my skin. If you like the sound of Fresh Farmacy it's here for £4.70 for a 100g block but I won't be repurchasing.
  • Oatifix Fresh Face Mask - Oh man, I love this. It has oats, bananas and almods, it smells amazing, and rehydrates my dry and dehydrated skin a treat, even if I do look like a baby was sick on my face a few times a week. You keep it in the fridge and I get about seven masks out of this. It costs £5.95 from Lush and I find it to be surprisingly good value for money. I'm repurchasing? YEAH BUDDY!
Some candle empties:

Lily Flame Blush (go get you some!) and some Fruit Fusion action.

  • Yankee Candle Fruit Fusion - Berries and citrus, if fruity candles are your thing you will love this. Coming in at £18.99 for a large jar, grab it here I would be repurchasing if I was a fruity girl.
  • Lily Flame Blush Tin - Now we're talking this is my kind of candle - this baby pink beauty gives 30 hours of burn time, and smells like a beautiful floral perfume. Only buy this bad boy if you like super girly scents. Get them for £8.50 direct from Lily Flame. If I was to advise you to purchase one thing from this post it would be this.
To my miscellanous:

  • The Body Shop Lychee Blossom Body Butter - I don't think this is available any more I'm afraid. It's a lovely tropical fruit with a little bit of floral scent. I have few faults with the product, but I prefer other Body Shop body butters which I would repurchase ahead of this.
  • Derma Intensive Q10 Hand and Nail Cream - This was a stocking filler from my Mum, I really don't like this it left a film on my hands and didn't moisturise that well. I think this can be picked up relatively inexpensively from places like Savers and Poundland.
  • L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Dark Brown - I bought this in dark brown by mistake instead of black. Love the formula, and I have learned to love the unusually skinny brush. A firm daytime mascara favourite for me. I will definitely be repurchasing this in either dark brown or black when I've used up some other mascaras. It's currently £10.99 in Boots go get your advantage points.
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy 100 ml Eau De Toilette - Daisy is a wonderfully light and cheerful scent, perfect of summer. I'd say it smells quite grassy and meadowy (so it's not a word, but I can't think of a better one) with a little hint of fruity.  It's youthful without being childish and I received a ton of compliments when wearing this. Plus how cool is the bottle? It may be £56 for a 100ml but Boots are doing triple points on some large fragrances (online only) including this one! I have loads of other perfumes I want to try first, but may make a sneaky repurchase of this. 
Wow! A long post, well done if you made it to the end a round of applause for you. I love reading empties post, comment with your post below and I will have a good old read and may discover some new products.


Laura X

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I met the Lush Compounders

Apologies about this post being a little late I've moved back home for a month to the rainy Northern England!

On Saturday I made the TREK to Lush Regent Street, it took me over an hour to get there, but it was worth it to meet the compounders.

The compounders are the people that make the bath ballistics and the bubble bars at Lush. I always wondered what the people on the stickers that make my lip scrubs and cleansers actually look like.

Fortunately the weather in London on Saturday was positively glorious, so bath ballistics were being made outside the store. The mix of the bath bomb, so the bicarbonate, colour, scent and glitter were already pre-mixed. It's your job to mould them!

All gloved up! Must have been looking into the sun - as my eyes have gone a bit Quasimodo!

Soaking up the sun in Regents Street.

There are 3 choices that may be available on the day - 

  • Blackberry - inspired by Paris, smells of blackberry and musk.
  • Space Girl - looks like a planet, contains glitter and popping candy with a sweet citrus kick.
  • Think Pink - super girly, bright pink with a vanilla and tonka bean scent.
My chosen flowers in the mould.

Think Pink was the one available on Saturday, this meant I got to pick my three colours of flowers, I went for my favourite three blue, white and yellow. Then scoop up a large amount of pink products including heart shaped glitter and squeeze together. Best of all I got to keep my bath bomb for FREE. 

Getting stuck in - one Think Pink bath bomb produced.

I've actually never tried Think Pink and will be using it in my first bath when I'm back in London.

As I expect from Lush the compounders and staff at Lush Regent Street were delightful and are always enthusiastic about their products.

If you're in Central London this week you can meet the compounders on Friday 10th August at the Victoria branch, and on Saturday 11th August at Covent Garden which is my favourite branch.

If you can't get to a Lush store there products are all available online here, and if you ask nicely with a big order you may get a free sliver of soap!

Would love to hear your favourite Lush products? Is anyone else planning to meet the compounders?

And who knows maybe if I fail my degree maybe I can apply to be a Lush compounder and make bath ballistics all day.


Laura X

Sunday, 5 August 2012

A Fair Price For Beauty

Just a very quick post from me.

Supporting Australia and Illamasqua

I know this blog is not primarily about cosmetics, but I do believe in fairness. Currently the price of a $24 lipstick costs $40 in Australia. Now I am pretty jealous that I can't live in Australia, they have pretty good weather, cute koala bears and one of the greatest global soaps in Neighbours. However, do all of these great things mean that they should have to pay nearly double for the same cosmetics we use in the UK. I don't think so, and neither do Illamasqua, join the petition for a fair price for beauty, and hopefully other brands operating in Australia will get on board too. Support Illamasqua's cause and sign the petition here.

Cheeky Chanel!

Australia aren't the only company being unfairly overcharged for cosmetics. I love Chanel beauty items, and have touch wood (finds some wood to touch) never been disappointed with any of their products, however I was about disappointed after viewing this video. Have a quick look at this video, it's only four minutes, about these Chanel products sold in the UK. They may cost the same, but have a considerably reduced amount of product compared to what is being sold in the United States.

If you haven't subscribed to Wayne's videos do - they manage to strike a great balance of being short and snappy with all the information that you could need.

Finally, as I'm so obsessed with the Olympics - big congratulations to not only Andy Murray but also Laura Robson for doing British tennis so proud. However, I can't talk about Olympics tonight without mentioning how great was Usain Bolt in that 100 metre final? 


Laura X

Saturday, 4 August 2012

My Own Medal Haul

Over the past couple of weeks, I managed to pick up some great internet deals during my exams, but also braved Westfield Stratford during the Olympics. Without realising it I have come back with a list of products with a bronze, silver and gold theme. Some Olympic treats which don't involve me running the 10,000 metres, swimming in Hyde Park or getting back on a bicycle in any form.

Bronze goes to Alpha H
Silver to Rodial


Confusingly packaged in a fetching bronze package is the Alpha H Liquid Gold. This has been raved about by a couple of my favourite beauty bloggers Ruth from A Model Recommends and Cami from camiloveskiwi. It is a glycolic acid based solution which is gentle enough for my sensitive skin, although I get a small amount of tingling. The idea is it removes the top layer of dead skin cells and leaves you with fresh, soft skin the next morning. I accidently spilled a little bit on the back of my hand last night and I can confirm that the back of my left hand feels smoother than the back of my right. When I start using this fully I'm going to do some before and after pictures, to see not only if this makes a differences to how my skin feels but how it appears.

I got mine on an offer from QVC but the supersize 200 ml bottle is still available for £36.76 plus P&P here. Pricey I know, but I am really treating this as an investment in my skin.


You may have seen the sneaky £10.00 label on the side of one of my Rodial candles. I couldn't resist these bad boys from the Debenham's sale reduced from £45 to £10 - that's more than a 75% reduction, and they're still available at that price! I actually have three but one has already moved to my new house. All come in a chic silver container, which I can't do justice but the Debenham's website can. I bought all three scents in:

  • Lounge - a pale yellow wax, this one is scented with honeycomb and vanilla. Out of the three it's probably my least favourite. I'd recommend for sweet and creamy lovers. Buy Lounge here.
  • Rehab -  a pale green candle, scented with the aromas of roasted almond and honey milk. This is very nutty, and I think it would smell fantastic in the coming colder months. Buy Rehab here.
  • Socialite - this pale pink beauty surprised me in being my favourite of the three.The scent is pink champagne and cassis, this isn't the type of scent I normally go for, in fact I don't even like champagne! I'm usually a vanilla or citrus girl, but this is so well blended and smells, well expensive. If you see this in store I'd recommend having a quick smell. Buy Socialite here.
Looking at the size of these candles which are 210 g in weight I'd expect to get 40-50 hours burn time from these, making them cheaper gram for gram than other mid-priced candles including Yankee Candle and Lily Flame.

All of these scents are also used in Rodial's body range if you want to smell like honeycomb or pink champagne. I'd really like to try Socialite in body butter form. Scrummy!

Gold to Nuxe, Nuxe and Nuxe!


Clearing out my room ahead of my big move I found an old Marks and Spencers gift card I took it along to the M&S in Stratford to my delight I had £25 which I of course had to spend! From left to right I picked up:

  • The cult Huile Prodiguese in the 50 ml bottle and costs £17.50. This luxurious gold liquid is made from 98.8% natural ingredients and contains 6 precious oils plus vitamin E. The multi-purpose oil is designed to be used on face, hair and body. It has a very light scent and is non-greasy - I'm really looking forward to using it.  Nuxe also does the same oil with little gold bits in for £25 for a 50 ml bottle, I'm sure it would look great with a tan, however I'm not doing a beach holiday this year, so plumped for the original oil.
  • The Nuxe My Beuaty Kit cost me a grand 1 English penny at the till, apparently as I was buying two Nuxe items. It contains 15 ml of the Reve de Miel face and body ultra rich cleansing gel, a mini 10 ml Huile Prodigeuse and a 15 ml 24 hour moisturizing body lotion. I'm looking forward to taking a couple of these when I go to Budapest in September.
  •  The Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm - This beeswax based lip balm as been doing the rounds of various beauty blogs, and I only paid £9.50 for a lip balm because I was paying by voucher. I will admit to have giving this a trial run as my before bed lip treatment. It is quite a thick formula but feels light on the lips, my lips felt fairly moisturised when I woke up this morning, although I'm not convinced that this may be better than my Vaseline. We'll see after prolonged use. I also think it smells deliciousy of honey and lemon, which always seems to remind me of a less medicinal version of Lockets!
The whole Nuxe range at Marks and Spencers is available to buy here.

I definitely recommend checking out the Marks and Spencer's beauty halls which are now all systems go at their stores in Bond Street and Westfield Stratford City. I've been to both and they have great selection of products that are hard to get hold of in some stores in the UK including not only Nuxe, Philip Kingsley hair, Diego Della Parma make-up and Comptoir Sud Pacifque perfumes. If nothing else you need to smell those perfumes! 

I don't live in London? Don't worry you can buy all the products online.from the M&S website.

There you go, my first haul! I hope you enjoyed it, I would love to hear some more Marks and Spencer's beauty hall recommendations in the comments.


Laura X  

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Review - Yankee Candle Island Spa

Meet Island Spa my first small Yankee Candle jar. I find this at a bargain price of £4 in Clintons during a sale instead of the usual £8 and I've thoroughly enjoyed burning it.
The wax itself is a lovely sea green like colour, which the candle retains even after burning. The green colour itself I find to be very relaxing and soothing - perfect for your own spa treatment.
The wick itself is easy to light and doesn't produce much smoke. The candle burns smoothly and evenly, and unlike many of my cheaper candles has not tunneled at all. The candle claims to last for around 25-40 hours, I burn it 2-3 hours at a time and have found it to be about two thirds of the way down after around 12 hours burn time.
Yankee Candle - Island Spa

The scent itself compromises of mandarin and lemon verbena. I love citrus and this is what originally drew me to the Island Spa range, however the citrus with the freshness of the verbena does mean it leans towards a lemon cleaning product. I really like burning this candle, particularly when I'm working, I find it a particularly calm and refreshing scent. Recommended.

Treatments to Combine This With

I think this candle would be really wonderful for a spa evening, and is definitely a bathroom scent. I'd layer this with a bath of something with a citrus or herbal vibe, or one of those evenings when you want to forget all your troubles, and the thought that you still have to hit the early morning commute at 7.30 am.

Strangely the strong herbal scent always reminds me to get my specialist skincare treatment and my Body Shop Peppermint foot range to give myself the full body overhaul.

  • Good quality wax with no tunneling.
  • Scent lasts throughout, a clean citrus that does not overpower the room.
  • Pretty and practical packaging.
  • Wick is easy to light and trim.
  • Small jars good for travel, can fit in a hand, so don't take up too much worktop space.
  • Yankee are widely available online and in stores including Debenhams.

  • May not be to everyone's tastes as the citrus is a bit 'Pledgey'.
  • Expensive, although I have yet to find a cheaper candle range that burns so evenly with good throw, so I am happy to pay more.
  • Although widely available can be hard to find a specific scent.


Laura X

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Pinch And A Punch - August

"A pinch and a punch for the first day of the month."

A Pinch And A Punch post will be happening on the first day of every month with 5 things I am looking forward to or hoping to achieve that month. I would love to hear your monthly aims and we can can find out through the process of the month how we are getting on.

Planning station!

1. Blog, Blog, Blog 

 Ok, so this may be a bit obvious but this is my first blog, and I plan to keep it up particularly in this first month. I'm very keen to interact with others in the blogging community so would love to hear about your blogs whilst I'm on holiday from uni so I have lots of time to read them.

2. August in London, an epic month for sport

 I'm listening to the coverage of the Olympics whilst writing this, and really excited to watch it with friends over the next couple of weeks. I'm also looking forward to going to Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final between Warrington and Leeds.

3. Also I plan to get a bit sporty

I have been really busy with uni exams recently, so looking forward to getting fit again. I'm going to be eating healthy along with running and swimming regularly. Maybe Ryan Lochte will be at my local pool. A girl can dream right?

4. Moving House!!!

Hence my missing camera cable, I am in the process of moving to another part of London. I'm really looking forward to it, finally kitchen with a room eat in and a lounge and STAIRS!!!!

5. August is Project Hands

After going a bit crazy with the alcohol gel recently, my hands are a little dry and neglected. So I am trying out various hand creams and moisturisers. I will let you know how I get on.

What is everyone else up to this month?


Laura X

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

I'm in hot water!

So here goes one of those awkward first posts  ... who am I?
.... and how have I found myself making the decision to start blogging tonight at 22.07 on the 31st July 2012, the night Michael Phelps won his 15th gold medal at the Olympics?

Please ignore the incredibly classy drink!

Well I'm Laura, I'm 20 and from rainy England. I'm certainly new to writing but have been reading beauty blogs for too long and wanted to add my voice to the mix.

Turns out I like a pamper, the whole relaxing evening routine - the bath, the candles, skincare, the sounds of whales as part of my special relax compilation CD. So the last bit may not be true, but I do like a good evening chill out, and I wanted to share my chilling with fellow chillers. I'm not a make up artist, and probably should look after my hair a little more than I do. For this reason, I'm focusing on what I do best, having a good old scrub in the tub and basting myself in body butter afterwards.

Over the coming weeks I'm going to be the standard reviews, favourites, routines etc with the odd lifestyle surprise thrown in.

If you also want to live life to its fullest, and love every moment of it, but appreciate an hour of me time in between hopefully parts of this blog will appeal to you.


Laura X