Saturday, 29 August 2015

NEW LAUNCH | The Common Scents Co.

If you love smelling good and pampering yourself then you're going to love the products that I've got to share with you from the Common Scents Co.

The Common Scents Co. are new brand, started by Dhrutee from Leicester, who makes gorgeous smelling products from candles to bath bombs and soaps.  I love supporting small businesses with handmade products so when she asked if she could send me some of her goodies to try out, I of course said yes.

My favourite products from The Common Scents Co. are definitely their bath bombs.  I received the Strawberry Pavlova Bath Bomb and the Coconut Dream Bath Bomb which both smell delicious!  The scents aren't complex, they very much smell how you would expect them to from their name which I think makes it easier to shop online.  They're both natural smelling, not synthetic at all and when you drop it into the water, they make your bath water smell lovely as they fizz away!

The bath bombs come wrapped in a sort of cling film which I absolutely love. One of the things that really bugs me about Lush is that their bath ballistics just come in their paper bags which is kind to the environment but not kind to my bath.  It means that I cant keep them on the side of my bath, looking pretty because when they get splashed, the water goes through the paper and spoils the product whereas this doesn't happen with The Common Scents Co. bath bombs because they're wrapped in a little plastic.  Plus, I feel like I can't keep all of my Lush bath products out on display together out of the packaging because they all end up smelling of one another whereas this doesn't happen with The Common Scents Co. bath bombs because they're wrapped up.  The packaging might seem like a simple, small thing to comment on but it really makes all the difference.

I also received two soaps, Pink Champagne and Banana and Coconut Smoothie which have been taking pride of place by the sink in a couple of our bathrooms.  These soaps smell absolutely delicious, again very authentic, and the scent lingers on the skin after you've used them.  I feel as though they're cleaning my skin really well and they lather up nicely.

Although appearances aren't everything, I do think that these soaps in particular would make a great gift for someone as they're presented to nicely.  Their designs are so cute and fun and look great on the side of the wash basin, especially Pink Champagne.  They're definitely something that I would give a friend as a gift, perhaps wrapped up in a box with a hand towel, some manicure tools and a couple of nail polishes.

I'd love it if you could go over and check out The Common Scents Co.  Its so great when someone decides to start their own business and I really think that Dhrutee is onto a winner here with her affordable bath products!

The Common Scents Co. are currently offering free shipping on all orders over £20.  You can shop here.

You can follow them on Twitter @commonscentsuk too!

What are your favourite scents of bath products?

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Dirtea Chai and Coconut Scrub

Today I've got a review of a new discovery for me from a new brand of scrub called Dirtea.

Dirtea are a collection of high performance, completely organic, fully loaded, antioxidant scrubs for the face and body.  There are three topical treatment scrubs available which each combine freshly ground organic tea with specific essential oils, minerals and vitamins to work wonders on your skin and to treat specific skin conditions.

They launched earlier this year in America and have already had so much success with celebrities, bloggers, press and customers loving their products.  Their products are now available world wide so that everyone can enjoy them.

When Dirtea got in touch with me and asked if they could send me a sample of their Chai and Coconut Scrub to try, I jumped at the chance as the concept sounded so fun.

So lets get down to the nitty gritty...

The Dirtea Chai and Coconut is a scrub that can be used on both the face and the body.  It is designed to help to naturally clear stretch marks and cellulite and to reveal healthy, radiant skin.  It is ideal for anyone, from those who just want to take care of their skin to those who are concerned about stretch marks or those who have just had a baby or are expecting.

This tea contains Organic Black Tea Powder which helps to deeply nourish and exfoliate the skin.  It has a high caffeine content which helps to tighten the skin and make it firmer.  Not only that but Black Tea also helps to reduce wrinkles and prevent pimples so it will help to keep the skin looking youthful and blemish free.

The scent of this scrub is beautiful, it has a very summery, slightly spicy fragrance that can be smelt lightly on the skin for hours after use.  As soon as I opened the package, I could smell how delicious the scrub was.

I used it in the bath as I could tell that it was going to be a little messy as most scrubs are, and it was!  Essentially this is a dry scrub as it is just the ground up tea with the essential oils mixed in; there is no solution or gel liquid that it is set in.  Although the contents are very different, the fact that its a dry tea reminds me of the Elemis scrub that I reviewed here.

Applying the scrub was so easy, I simply wet my body first using the shower head and then I sat in an empty bath and massaged the Dirtea Chai and Coconut scrub into my skin.  It felt so abrasive yet instantly moisturising thanks to the oils that are in the formula.  Then I lay back while I ran the water in the bath and relaxed for a good ten minutes before washing it off.  Its important to leave it on the skin so that the Black Tea Powder and all of the essential oils can work their magic on the skin.

Aside from smelling amazing, this scrub feels amazing too and it left my skin feeling so soft and supple as well as giving it a healthy, radiance.  The softness actually lasted on my skin as well, right through until the next day.  I do have quite dry skin on my body and this scrub was perfect for keeping it hydrated and moisturised as well as feeling smooth!

I haven't tried it enough to see whether it would have an impact on cellulite or stretch marks but it certainly made my skin feel great and I would absolutely buy the full size.

What I love about Dirtea as a brand is that they're a brand who care.  All of their products are organic and vegan.  They're all paraben and psosphate free, cruelty free as they do not test on animals or use animal bi-products within their formula and they're gluten and chemical free too so you know exactly what you're putting on your skin.  if that wasn't enough, they also donate a percentage of their sales to the Skin Cancer Foundation, PETA and charities.  I also love how they list the ingredients of all of their products on their website so you know exactly what you're putting on your body.

I can't wait to try out more from Dirtea.  I'll be playing an order for my birthday at the end of September which will time nicely with coming home from my holiday and needing a little exfoliation and hydration!

You can buy Dirtea for yourself here and join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GetDirtea and #Kloodos who are the UK distributors of the tea.

What are your thoughts on the Dirtea scrub?

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Top 5 Luxury Gift Ideas for Men

Mens Gift Ideas Luxury Presents Christmas Birthday Anniversary

It may only be August and while I don't want to mention the big C word just yet, so for now lets pretend that its my man's birthday soon rather than the big guy in the red suit coming down the chimney bearing gifts.  Seriously though, Christmas is coming up and it'll be here before we know it.  Some people may be in a position to just go out and buy everything at the last minute but for me and my budget, I really like to plan in advance what I'm going to be buying and then buy as I go, rather than purchase everything in one fell swoop and end up skint come 1st January.

The one thing that I always used to find difficult to buy was presents for the men in my life, namely my husband and dad.  Gift ideas for men seem to be quite slim on the ground.  Perhaps its because I'm a girl myself but I always found it be really difficult to buy for boys as for my girl friends, they can get an endless supply of makeup in an array of different colours but for guys, its a little more difficult.

In recent years, I've really find tuned my gift buying for my hubby and daddy so I wanted to share with you some gift ideas for is you have a male birthday coming up or incase you're wanting to do what I do and either save monthly or buy things early in time for St. Nic to make his appearance.

Trying to find the perfect luxury gift for the man in your life is difficult when ideas are slim on the ground.  Perhaps its because I'm a girl myself but I find men to be so difficult to buy for.  Girls can get an endless supply of lipgloss but for guys, well I think its a little more difficult.

As I've grown older, I've developed more of the mindset of buying one thing that is of superb quality that looks timeless and will last a lifetime or that will really be enjoyed than spending money on lots of cheaper things that will look like more when being opened but wont perhaps last as long.  I always get lots of filler gifts for birthdays and christmas such as shower gels and deodorant, etc and then I focus on a few of the more luxury items.

Here are my top 5 ideas for the best types of luxury gifts to receive and give.

Mens Gift Ideas Luxury Presents Christmas Birthday Anniversary

1. Mens Fragrance
There are so many luxurious, pampering gifts out there for men to receive that I'm sure they'll absolutely love but the best place to start is with a fragrance.  Men love to smell good for themselves but also for others, especially the women in their life.  There's a lot that can be said for smelling good; I think that it is a great confidence booster and it can make you feel attractive, fresh and sexy.

Although scent is very personal to the individual, Cologne is one of the most foolproof gifts that you can buy a man.  The trick is to know what he already likes to wear.  Have a snoop in his stash and make a note of the aftershaves that he already has and then head to your nearest luxury fragrance counter and either buy a bottle of one that he's about to run out of or ask the advice of a sales associate for a recommendation of a fragrance with similar notes to an aftershave that he already has.

Aftershave is the ideal gift to give all year round because its something that most men wear everyday and you'll always be able to find the option of the product on its own, or alongside complimentry smelling products that you can buy the full size of individually or in deluxe sample sizes in a gift set.  Cologne gift sets usually come with the spray fragrance as well as bath products like a shower gel and an aftershave balm.  This enables the person wearing the scent to layer their fragrance which will make it last even longer on the skin.

Handy tip: If you're given some fragrance samples at the counter, pop those in with the gift when you're wrapping it up too.  It'll give him the opportunity to try out some new fragrances that he might not have tried before and if he likes the scent, it'll give you a gift idea as to what to buy him next time.  Many counters also offer complimentry gift wrap, saving you time and money wrapping.

Shop Mens Fragrances
2. Luxurious Shaving Cream Products for Men
Another pampering gift that a lot of men like to receive are luxurious shaving creams with quality razors that give a close, smooth shave and leave the skin free from irritation.  Some of the best kinds of lathering shaving creams to buy are those that are aloe based.  Aloe helps to condition and protect the skin during shaves as well as soothing the skin and reducing redness.

Even if you're not wanting to buy luxury shaving products, buying shaving cream is so useful anyway so you could always do what I like to do and bundle lots up in a package with some other toiletries.  This is great for if your husband works away from home, perhaps in the army or away on business and needs to take a few bottles with him, or for if you're due to go on holiday shortly after the event.  Packaging some of his favourite smellies up together can make a lovely gift.

Shop Shaving Cream Products
Mens Gift Ideas Luxury Presents Christmas Birthday Anniversary

3.  Mens Skincare Products
Skincare products are now not only marketed towards women as most brands have a male skincare range too.  This is great because, although they might not like to admit it, lots of men want to keep their skin looking and feeling youthful and gorgeous for as long as they can.  There are so many different male skincare products available now at lots of different price points so it really is up to you what you buy.

A good place to start is to look for products that would fit into his usual lifestyle.  If he spends lots of time in front of the mirror in the bathroom then he may appreciate different products to someone that likes to do most of their pampering inside the shower.  You can select from facial cleansers, scrubs, day moisturisers and night creams, eye creams and even male face masks.  Depending on his job and skin type, you might need to look for products that really work to draw out impurities from the skin if they're used to working in dirty environments or that soften the skin if they work outside a lot.  Suncare products or moisturisers with an SPF are a great option for builders and other men that work outside a lot as they'll protect their skin from the sun.

A lot of products can be bought as part of a gift set or individually.  If you're buying them separately, I think its best to buy a gift box with some shredded tissue paper inside to display them nicely.  Some men might want to use skincare products but may feel a little shy to ask what everything is for so you could write a little card inside to explain what each product is and how and when to apply it.  That of course depends on how clued up your man is on skincare but overall, the trick is to keep it simple.

Shop Mens Skincare
4. Bodycare Products for Men
If the man in your life loves taking care of his body then there are all kinds of body products out there that you could put together in a hamper for him.  Even if they don't like lots of lotions and potions, every man that I know uses shampoo and shower gel so thats a good place to start on even the most fuss free of guys.

Choose from shower gels, bubble bath, bath salts or bath soak and shampoo to start off with and any other products that you think he'll like to use and then package them up in a hamper wrapped in cellophane along with a nail brush, nail clippers, tweezers, hair gel or his favourite hair products, and even an electric toothbrush or beard trimmer if you wanted to spend a little more.

Shop Mens Bodycare Products
5. Mens Accessories
I tend to find that women have a lot more accessories for men as they like to have lots of different colours and styles where as men tend to stick to one or two.  With that in mind, I think that accessories are where its worth splashing out, if you can, as the vast majority of men aren't going to want ten different wallets in different colours whereas women may want ten different handbags in their collection.  Sometimes spending a little more money on a really high quality leather item can ensure it stays in your collection for years whereas cheaper fabrics may need to be replaced more frequently.

Luxury accessories that I'd recommend as gifts for men include leather wallets and bags, tie clips, socks, travel gadgets and accessories like a passport holder, ties, watches, chain necklaces and cufflinks.  If you're buying a gift during the colder months then leather gloves and a cashmere scarf or hat will go down a treat!

Shop Mens Accessories
There are so gifts out there but these are my top 5 as I think that they're the easiest to find for all budgets so hopefully with my tips, finding the perfect luxury gift for the man in your life should be a little bit easier. Remember, luxury gifts don’t just have to be pampering products; they could be accessories or gadgets for men too. For more helpful information on finding the perfect luxury gift for a particular male friend or loved one visit for more ideas!

You could also check out a couple of my male gift guides here and here for more ideas.

What are your favourite products to buy for men?

*This post was written in collaboration with Henry Tibbs, all opinions as always are honest and my own

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit Review

Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit Review

My most loved discovery over the last month has to be the Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit.
Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit Review

The Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit contains two brow shadow shades that can be worn alone or mixed together to create your own bespoke shade.  One colour is a cooler toned dark brown and the other shade is a warmer toned mid brown.  Both are very intensely pigmented and only a very small amount of product is needed.

As far as I am aware, there is only one colour way available in this kit and the shades here are quite dark so if you're very fair haired and don't like a strong, bold brow then this kit may not be for you.  However for me, the darkest shade is perfect.

The lighter brow shade is too warm toned for me but the darkest shade is perfect if I use a light hand on an angled brow brush.  The one that I've been using is the 322 Brow Line Brush from this Zoeva kit and it works superbly.  I've been wanting to go darker and more defined with my brows for ages now and this kit has given me the confidence to do it.

Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit Review

The palette has another shade which is a shimmery, light beige, champagne shade which is designed to be used as a highlighter.  This shade is absolutely stunning and I've even used it as an eyeshadow as it is that pretty.  It looks great when highlighting the brow bone and really helps to define the brows even more.

I was so happy to see that there was a brow wax in the kit which I absolutely LOVE.  I had an eyebrow kit that had a wax in it many years ago that I was obsessed with because it did such a good job of setting my brows in place, you can check out my review of it here.

The wax in this kit is very soft and it doesn't take a lot of warming up at all.  Only a very small amount of product is needed to set the brows in place.

Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit Review

The kit also comes with a little spoolie that is great for brushing through your brows if they're particularly unruly and a double ended applicator with an angled brush on one side and a sponge on the other.  I don't use this applicator as I find it to be too fiddly and I much prefer to use my own brush that I've talked about above because I find that I can get greater precision and control with it.  However for a little compact, the two brow shades, the highlight powder, wax, spoolie and applicator do make a handy little kit that would be good for travelling.

There are four different shaped stencils in the kit so if you were someone who isn't so sure on what shape to go for with their brows then they might be good for you to use.  Personally, I like to just freestyle.

Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit Review

There is also a little razor in the kit which I didn't think worked very effectively at all.  It kept trapping the hairs in my brows and tugging them which wasn't a pleasant experience at all.  I think you're better off with one of those little electric brow shavers or plucking if you wanted to get some stray hairs out yourself to be honest.

Although I wont use everything in the kit, I'm so happy with the highlight, the dark brown shadow and the wax that I would definitely repurchase the kit.

My brow routine is more of an art recently and I've really been enjoying taking my time to do them each day.  I first apply the powder, then I set my brows in place with the wax and add some highlight to the brow bone.  Its as simple as that but it creates a really gorgeous effect just by using this palette.  When I use this kit, my brows stay in place all day with the same strength of colour as when I first applied them.

Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit Review

Want brows on fleek girls?  Then this is a great kit for you!

The Kiss Beautiful Brow Kit* is available online in the US and in ASDA stores in the UK.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

Today's post is a review of the MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette.

We all need a neutral eyeshadow palette in our collections don't we girls?  Its pretty much an essential, so lets see whether this one is a good option.

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

The MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette- Classic* contains eight neutral matte and shimmer eyeshadow shades that can be worn alone or together to create a gorgeous eye makeup look.

The first shade is a shimmery highlight in a pale creamy white colour.  This makes the most gorgeous highlight shade on the brow bone and inner corner.  I love the look that this creates as it manages to really bring light to the face but it is more subtle than a lot of highlighters out there as it isn't a stark white.

The second shade in from the left is a shimmery warm taupe shade while the third shade is a soft, shimmery gold which is my favourite in the palette.  It looks gorgeous packed onto the lid.  The fourth shade along is a matte, mid tone brown which is ideal as a transition shade through the crease and up towards the brow bone.  The fifth and sixth shades are both shimmery shadows with a gold shimmer in them.  The fifth has more of a dirty gold/brown look to it whereas the sixth is more of a khaki/brown shade.

The seventh shade is grey with a silver tone to it and the eighth shade is a matte black.  These two shadows create a great smokey eye together while the matte black is idea for darkening or smoking up any makeup look.

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

All of the shades are quite pigmented but they don't match the pigmentation that you'd get from Too Faced or Urban Decay but then again, this palette is much cheaper than those brands so a decline in quality is perhaps to be expected to some extent.

The shadows are a little chalky but the shades all compliment one another very well and they blend together seamlessly.  They're very timeless and create classic eye makeup looks that are pretty wearable on most people.  I do think though that they're quite wishy washy.  The highlight shade and the gold shade are without a doubt my favourites as they're so buildable and look absolutely beautiful.  Aside from the grey and black, I think the other shades are a bit nondescript, especially shades five and six, and they don't seem to create too much definition when used together on the eyes.

The shadows don't crease on the eyes at all and they're really long lasting.  If I apply these at 8am they still look the same strength of colour at 8pm which I love!

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

The packaging is a rectangular shaped cardboard box that flips open along the longest side which has actually proven to be very robust.  Theres a large mirror inside thats perfect for if you're going to be taking the palette on holiday with you as you can use it to look into when applying your full face of makeup.  The palette comes with a double ended brush that I haven't continued to use as it feels cheap and a little scratchy.  I'm a sucker for my Zoeva makeup brushes so I prefer to stick to those!

The palette is really pretty but my issue with it is that I do think that its a little overpriced.  At £15, it certainly isn't a budget palette, especially when you can get really incredible eyeshadow palettes from the likes of Makeup Revolution and Freedom Makeup London which are leaps and bounds ahead of this MeMeMe Cosmetics palette in terms of the quality, shade range and number of shades that you get for the cost.

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette - Classics Review

This palette was given to me to review but I personally don't think that I would repurchase it with my own money.  It is a lovely palette, especially if you like to create nude, natural makeup looks but I don't think that there is anything stand out about it, especially compared to all of the other neutral eyeshadow palettes out there.

What doesn't work for me though, might work for you and this palette does have plenty of fabulous reviews online.

If it takes your fancy, you can buy the MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette- Classic here.

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