UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

May 30, 2014

Fresh and Fruity: Yves Rocher Moment de Bonheur

Way back in the day my perfume of choice was DKNY's Be Delicious, which many of you may well be familiar with - the strong, fruity scent of freshly pressed apples. To me, Yves Rocher's new Eau de Toilette Moment de Bonheur* smells like a sophisticated update to my familiar apple fragrance. Moment de Bonheur is based in the scent of Rose de Grasse enhanced with sweet apple, all layered over a woody base of Virginia cedar essence. Together, these different fragrances merge into something fresh and fruity that, thanks to the woody base, is rich and multi-dimensional. This is a new release from Yves Rocher and I'd definitely recommend it for the spring and summertime - you can find it on the Yves Rocher Website for £38* (link here).

What's your favourite summer scent?


May 19, 2014

Review: Marlenha Blossom Elixir (Argan Oil and Rose Hip)

Marlenha's Argan Oil and Roship infused Blossom Elixir £44.00*/ 50ml.

Marlenha is an Italian skincare brand that pride themselves on producing hand crafted skincare that isn't tested on animals and doesn't contain parabens, petroleum, paraffin  chemical preservatives, alcohol, nickel, SLS or synthetic colorants. Almost all the ingredients in their skincare products are natural or derived naturally. Marlenha is an artisan skincare boutique, offering high quality products made from high quality ingredients.

I was very kindly sent the Blossom Elixir to trial for review. I've been using it for about one month now and I have to admit that I am incredibly impressed with the formula of this moisturiser. The parcel arrived in secure packaging that would ensure the product's safe arrival. The Blossom Elixir itself came packaged in a high quality, textured cardboard box (which is recyclable, fitting the brand's ethos of using sustainable materials and ingredients) that, although simple, has an appealing minimalistic design that makes it suitable for any age and doesn't market it specifically toward either gender. The packaging of the Blossom Elixir itself is heavy glass which feels appropriate given the product's luxury price tag. On first glimpse, I think it would make a very appealing gift for anyone "into" skincare, especially those who like subtle rose scents - because this Blossom Elixir is has a gorgeous delicate rose fragrance. 

The Blossom Elixir is a real pleasure to use and I was so pleased that it didn't irritate my skin. The formula is light and gel-like in consistency which is surprising because it contains a plethora of highly nourishing ingredients - argan oil, jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil - along with rose hip which offers redness reducing properties. Despite this array of oils, the moisturiser sinks into the skin quickly leaving it visibly plump and nourished but without any residue. This makes the Blossom Elixir perfect for use in the morning as you can happily apply this before foundation with no problems. I've also used this as part of my evening routine, applying this in place of my usual facial oil/serum before then going on to apply a heavier moisturiser. Either way, I've found that it works well alone or incorporated as one step in a routine. I feel that it has made a great difference to the look and feel of my skin - I think it has been smoother, softer and more even and, overall, much more hydrated.

Marlenha make five different products with the Blossom Elixir being the most suitable skincare option for younger skin (for reference, I'm twenty-one) and for anyone interesting in a similar product that is more suitable for mature skin types or those interested in anti-ageing properties then I'd point you towards their Bloom Anti-Age or Fourish Moisturiser. Marlenha's products come with luxury price tags but I have seen first hand that the quality of their skincare is on-point making them well worth the investment. 

You can browse Marlenha's webiste here - and you can also find them on Twitter (link) and Facebook (link).

Do you know of any similar skincare products that are light in texture but really hydrate and plump skin?


May 18, 2014

Review: Baker Days Dairy Free Sponge Cake cake £14.99* available on their website

A little while ago the lovely people at Baker Days offered to send me one of their letterbox cakes to try out and review. Not one to turn down free cake, I opted for a dairy free sponge cake adorned with a topless Ryan Gosling (because if we're going to do this we should definitely do it right).

 Baker Days' letterbox cakes are small enough to fit through a post box and come in sturdy enough packaging to survive the journey - they are housed in a very cute tin which is then securely packaged in a chic white cardboard box. Inside the box there is also a card, balloons and candles, basically everything you need to celebrate a special occasion. These cakes are a fantastic option for anyone living away from family or friends - I always miss family birthdays because I'm stuck up at University and knowing I could send a personalised cake home gives me a new present option. 

There are so many different design options (take a look here) which you can further personalise, giving you the perfect choice of cake for any occasion. There are also different flavour options; sponge, dairy free sponge, gluten free sponge,  fruit cake and chocolate chip sponge. I found the dairy free sponge to be moist and the jam to be flavoursome, and the icing to cake ratio was good, any more icing and I would have found the cake sickly. 

Baker Days' letterbox cakes are quite small, especially if you're intending to share them around. They only give three reasonably sized slices. I do, however, think they are a novel idea and I love that I can send a cake to a loved one whenever and wherever I might be, without having to worry about it arriving damaged or inedible (which has happened when I've tried to post food in the past). All in all, I'd definitely choose to use Baker Days in the future and I think their letterbox cakes are worth bearing in mind!

What are your thoughts on Baker Days' "letterbox friendly" cake service? 


May 11, 2014

A Must Have: Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo

natural powder dry shampoo

I've been using Lush's No Drought Dry Shampoo for a couple of months now and I'm only about one third of the way through this bottle - which makes it fantastic value for money as I usually get through at least one 400ml aerosol bottle of dry shampoo per month. No Drought is a powder dry shampoo that has a zesty grapefruit scent. It absorbs oil better than any aerosol dry shampoo I've tried before and the results are long-lasting, fresh-looking, hair with added volume that stays looking clean and volumized. It's a really impressive product because it works so so well. The only thing that lets it down is that powder is, naturally, a little bit harder to work with than an aerosol. It is quite easy to get the white powder on your make-up or clothes which causes mess and wasted time. Practice makes perfect and the more you use it the easier it feels to use. The results are so good, and it is so much better value for money, that I won't be going back to regularly repurchasing dry shampoo from brands like Batiste. I'm sure I'll try some other dry shampoos in the future, but Lush's No Drought Dry Shampoo is going to be a mainstay product in my bathroom and I'm definitely going to be repurchasing it when I eventually work my way through this bottle! I'd highly recommend it to anyone who regularly uses dry shampoo, especially if you have thin or flat hair as No Drought offers great volume too.

Have you tried No Drought Dry Shampoo before? What's your favourite dry shampoo?


May 07, 2014

A Daytime Smokey Eye using Topshop's Magic Liner in Engraved

minimal daytime smokey eye makeup look

If you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll probably already know that I love 'minimal' make-up looks. I think that subtle changes can make all the difference and as much as I like make-up I like to use it enhance rather than try and change things. When it comes to 'everyday' make-up I usually go one of two ways - I either stay very minimal and then opt for a strong lip colour or I stay minimal and opt for eyeshadow or liner. One of my favourite looks recently has been choosing a very nude lipstick (more nude than I'd usually dare to wear) and pairing it with a wash of black liner to give my eyes a little bit of je ne said quoi...

affordable black pen liner
affordable black pen liner

Topshop's Magic Liner in the shade 'Engaved' (a true black) has been my go-to eyeliner recently. I'm usually a liquid liner girl (my most recent liquid liner favourite has been Seventeen's Tattoo Me Eyeliner) but for a softer eye-look I've been using a pen liner and wiggling it along the roots of my lashes for a soft, smudgy hint of definition. Forget 'lining' the eyes, I'm more for smoking the lashes out a little bit - making them look thicker and darker. As much as I like Topshop's Magic Liner (it offers long lasting colour that doesn't budge throughout the day) it comes in at £6.50 (you can find it on their website here) and I think Collection's Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner which costs £2.99 offers a more intense black and similar longevity. The only real difference is that Topshop's Magic Liner is better at achieving this smokey lash look because of its slightly finer nib and slightly less intense colour. What you prefer will depend on what you're looking to use the liner for!

Have you tried any Topshop make-up? Do you like my 'minimal' daytime smokey eye look?


May 05, 2014

A New Favourite: Mac Satin Lipstick in Rebel

fotd berry long lasting lip colour

Like Impassioned which I wrote about recently (link here), Rebel is another lipstick that's new to me - and I've fallen in love with it. Not only is the colour gorgeous but it is seriously long lasting and wears away evenly into a stain. This is low maintenance lip colour at its finest and I personally love pairing it with incredibly minimal makeup - foundation, concealer, a dab of cream blush and lashings of mascara. What you're left with is a bold statement look that isn't at all overdone. I've fallen in love with the Satin finish and I'm ready to give some of Mac's other shades some more attention.

Berry long lasting staining lip colour

What I'm Wearing
Dior NudeSkin BB Cream in shade 01 (applied with Real Techniques Buffing Brush)
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in Fair (applied with fingers under eyes)
Seventeen Stay Time Concealer (applied with fingers around nose and on blemishes)
L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Blush  (applied with Real Techniques Stippling Brush)
Gosh Defining Brow Gel
Yves Rocher Lash Pulp Mascara
Mac Satin Lipstick in Rebel

What do you think about 'Rebel'? Do you have a favourite Mac lipstick?


May 02, 2014

The Scent of Summer: Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier

gorgeous summer scented shower gel and perfumegorgeous summer scented perfume
Roger & Gallet's Fleur de Figuier is the scent of my summer.

I was very kindly sent the Fleur de Figuier Gentle Shower Cream* and the Fresh Fragrant Water* and it didn't take me long to fall in love with both products. The scent of the Fleur de Figuier range is remarkably fresh and fruity - a mix of fig, mandarin and grapefruit offering a complex fragrance that's very more-ish.

Roger & Gallet's Gentle Shower Cream has a beautifully rich and thick consistency that foams up very gently leaving behind a delicate scent on the skin. It is Soap, Sulphate and Paraben free so it doesn't aggravate sensitive skin but still makes every shower feel incredibly indulgent. If you're a fan of beautiful scents that smell naturally fresh and fruity, or if you're looking for something Cruelty free that's suitable for both Vegetarians and Vegans, then I'd definitely recommend the Fleur de Figuier Shower Cream. It's taken pride of place in my shower - firmly knocking my previous love, Philosophy's Pumpkin Pie shower gel, off the top spot.

Roger & Gallet's Fresh Fragrant Water is a really lovely addition to a summer routine. I love the dinky 30ml bottle, it's portable and fits perfectly in my handbag. The scent is exactly the same as the Gentle Shower Cream and leaves a long-lasting scent on your skin or clothes. If you like layering your scents then they work wonderfully when you use them together. However, I also love the Fresh Fragrant Water for 'freshening up' on hot, stuffy days when I've spent too long on trains or sat in a library and want something to cheer me up and leave me smelling gorgeous.

You can find out more about Roger & Gallet's Fleur de Figuier products on their website here, and you can purchase them online at FeelUnique and Marks and Spencers.

What scents do you love in the summertime?

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