Monday, 30 September 2013

Share The Love September

Good Evening All
Once again, I'm back to let you know which blogs I've been loving this month.  There's a few regulars in there and an extra special one from a newbie to my blog, Felicity- who is absolutely fabulous.  She's actually designing my blog for me which is so exciting!

Hi ladies!  My name is Felicity and I am a full time blogger and custom blog designer from Queensland, Australia. :)  Aside from sharing my latest blog designs and the occasional design freebie, I also love to blog about clean eating (I share a new healthy recipe every week), health and fitness, hair and beauty, and my miniature dachshund and maltese terrier furbabies Phoebe and Joey. :D  If you're interested in any of these things (who doesn't love ogling over cute photos of sausage dogs?) or are in need of a new blog design, feel free to pop over and check out my blog or my design services page via the links listed above.

Hey everyone, I'm Jess, a recently graduated twenty-something from Manchester. Being a trainee solicitor, I don't usually get the chance to talk about things I have been literally obsessed with since I was old enough to point; fashion and beauty. That's where The Crown Wings has come in, allowing my to ramble to my hearts content about pigmentation and playsuits. Never in my wildest dreams did I think people would read, and dare I say it return to hear my endless chit-chat, but they have and I love sharing my life and loves with this community. Now taking a picture of a product before using it and searching the high street for the best new trends has become second nature and I hope it stays that way for a very long time. I've met some amazingly sweet and lovely people through blogging, and hopefully if you pop by my blog, relax and have a read, I'll meet even more! Fingers crossed I'll speak to you all soon. Bye xoxo
Links: Blog // Bloglovin // Twitter // Instagram

Hello everyone! I’m Cole, a 22 year old blogger and vlogger. I write a blog called and have a corresponding YouTube channel which involves everything to do with Beauty and Fashion. I often post tutorials as I’m a professional makeup, hair and nail artist but I also write product reviews, DIY posts, monthly favourites and lots more! If you like beauty and fashion it’d be worth having a read of my blog! Hope you enjoy!

Links: Blog // Bloglovin // Youtube // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Hello everyone, my name is Zoe and I write a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog called Mammaful Zo, I also have a You tube channel of the same name. I post lots of different things from reviews and wish lists to favourites and fashion with some lifestyle posts in between. I'm a self confessed chatterbox with an online shopping addiction. If you love beauty, fashion, shopping and having a good old girlie chat, come and say hello.
Links: Blog // Bloglovin // YouTube // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Let me know what you think about these gorgeous bloggers- who is your favourite?
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Tashin Off

This year, I bit the awkward blogger moment bullet and talked about hair removal before moving onto facial hair bleaching.  Whilst the former post was enjoyed by many of you, the latter even more so as hair removal and bleaching is a little bit of a taboo subject on beauty blogs.  Today, I'm chomping at the bit again and this time, it is with a post all about facial hair removal.  Most specifically, taking off that tash.
Nair Facial Brush-On*
Facial hair removal has never been something I'd considered in the past for fear of it being very apparent to others and stubbly when growing back through.  Up until a few months ago, I'd been using the Jolen Facial Hair Bleaching Kit to lighten the hair on my upper lip and whilst it does lighten the hair in this area successfully, I found that I was still presented with the same problem when applying make up in that it would cling to my upper lip, making the hair either more apparent or I would need to avoid that area entirely when applying make up which would mean that the difference in skin tone and texture could potentially be seen, both of which made me feel very self conscious and a little silly.  Albeit, this was to a much lesser extent than without bleaching at all.  Since I had seen really positive results with the bleaching kit, in that my skin wasn't damaged or burnt and I felt lots more confident and happy after using the product, I felt much more confident in trying out the Nair Facial Brush-On when it landed on my doorstep.

I consulted a friend who doesn't seem to have an unwanted hair on her body and she said that she used a hair removal cream to take her upper lip hair off and coupled with the fact that the product was by Nair, a brand that have restored my faith in hair removal cream following a series of disastrous attempts with Veet, I knew that trying out this product on my face would be a pretty safe bet.

Nair Facial Brush-On*
The Nair Facial Brush-On is a hair removal cream that is designed to remove unwanted hair from the face, like the upper lip, eyebrows and those baby hairs many have around their cheeks and forehead.  Its gentle formula is also effective at removing hair from the underarms and bikini line too.  The removal is intended to be below the surface of the skin so it should leave the skin silky smooth, also thanks to the moisturising Ylang Ylang, and soft for up to 7 days.  I've used it three times since I got it so I've got plenty to tell you about it.

The hair removal cream comes in a little pot with a screw top lid to which a plastic brush is attached.  The bristles, whilst small, are hard and not flexible which doesn't make this quite so easy to apply very precisely as I found that the hair removal cream wasn't distributed quite so evenly.  This was very easily rectified by quickly applying it to the general area using the brush and then taking a cotton bud to further distribute the cream to areas that needed a little bit of a more precise touch, or that needed to have the cream evened out over the hair.  I'd suggest applying a fairly thick, even layer, free from any larger lumps as this does tend to fall off the upper lip if there is too much product on there, across the upper lip and down the sides of the mouth.  Nair also suggest soaking the hair with warm water and patting dry prior to application if the hair that you are choosing to remove is particularly stubborn.  I found that this wasn't necessary for my hair but it is definitely something to bare in mind, just in case.
Each time I have applied the hair removal cream, I have left it on for 5 minutes which is the maximum suggested time for application.  Half way through, I always take my cotton bud and remove a little of the cream, just to ensure that it is working effectively and then I smooth the cream back down onto my lip.  I found that the cream doesn't burn during the application and it doesn't feel uncomfortable at all.  It did feel ever so slightly tingly around the corners of my smile but it wasn't painful in the slightest, more like the feeling you get from a lip plumping lipgloss, only on a smaller scale.

Removal of the cream was easy- I took a cotton bud to remove the bulk of the cream and hair then used a face cloth that had been soaked under some warm water to remove the rest and to clean up the area.
The feeling of having a hairless lip is a strange one at first.  It feels a little exposed, a little cool and bare.  To the touch, it is silky smooth and soft and this is a feeling that lasts for a long time.  It looks fantastic- completely hair free without any redness, inflammation, spots, ingrown hairs or blotches.  I'd also totally disagree with Nair when they suggest that this keeps your skin smooth and hair free for up to 7 days as I actually found that it feels smooth and hair free for much longer, which is amazing.  I only need to use this once per month and my hair grows back feeling very soft and fine, without and stubbly hairs.  I genuinely couldn't believe it when I used it for the first time- amazed is not the word to describe how I was feeling and I felt very proud and confident of my hairless upper lip... Oh yes, I really have just said that but if you felt the way I did about facial hair prior to using this, then you would feel the same!

I liked facial hair bleaching when I tried it, yes, and I would recommend facial hair bleaching however the Nair Facial Brush-On hair removal cream I love and I would recommend it to anyone because it is so effective, much more so than bleaching.  The confidence it has given me is amazing and the way that it enables my make up to look is stunning because it provides a super smooth surface on which to apply my foundation and powder.  Another thing I've noticed is how even my false tan looks after I've used this- gone are the days where my tan would cling to my upper lip, giving me a muddy looking tash; now my tan applies super smoothly.  I've been telling all of my friends to get on board and give it a go as I cannot recommend it enough!

You can pick up a 50ml pot from Boots and Superdrug for £4.89.  Both shops often have special offers and deals on- at the time of writing, Boots is doing a great offer on Nair products where you can save one third off the cost of the products so I'd recommend checking out both sites prior to ordering to make sure you're getting the best deal.  The Nair website is also available to read up on some of their other hair removal products.

Incidentally, I'd like to raise a point with regards to the title of this post- 'tashin' off'.  This hasn't, isn't and will never be a phrase that we commonly use in Newcastle, no matter what you hear on Geordie Shore!  Not everything you hear on TV is true...

What is your experience with facial hair removal creams?  How do you remove unwanted hair?

Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Inflight Hydration Essentials

Today I thought I'd share with you a few products that I think are absolute essentials to take with you when you're going on a flight, whether it be a long or short haul journey.
When going on an aeroplane, it's all about hydration, hydration, hydration.  Keeping your skin moisturised is absolutely key when you're sitting on a flight being battered with the air conditioning which makes the skin so dry.  To combat this, I'd recommend a concentrating on four areas; the face, eyes, lips and hands.


For the face, there is one cream that I would absolutely suggest taking with you and that's Steamcream.  I love multi use products and this unique cream can be used all over the face, hands and body so it is perfect for when you're travelling.  You might remember me creating my own body scrub in this post as I used Steamcream as the base for it so it is not just multi use in the sense that it can be used on multiple areas of the body but it can also be used for different purposes.
Steamcream is handmade in the UK and in Japan using traceable, vegan approved ingredients that are fused together with a shot of steam creating a light weight and quick to use product.  For a cream this feels very light and quite slippy.  It isn't one of those creams that is hard to work into the skin and a little goes a long way.  This cream is fast to absorb and it feels really moisturising on the skin.  I wouldn't say that it is great for applying make up after use as it does leave a sheen on the skin but it is great for hydrating the skin whilst travelling or for use over night as it keeps the skin continually soft and moisturised and will therefore help to keep the skin hydrated throughout the whole flight.  I think this is a great product to take with you when travelling to use on your face while on the plane and then for on your body whilst away as well as using it as a night cream.
Steamcream comes in 75g eco friendly tins that are often limited edition and designed exclusively by Steamcream.  You can pick up a tin for £12.95 from the Steamcream website or from Selfridges.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream*
Whilst Steamcream is perfectly safe to be applied around the eyes, I'd take it one step further and use a cream that is specifically targeted for use around the eye.  This is because it will be extra gentle on the thin skin around the eye area.  My choice is the Wonder Eye Cream from Balance Me which is of 99% natural origin.  It is a three in one cream that aims to revitalise weary looking eyes, smooth away the appearance of dark shadows and fine lines and brighten the eye area.

I've been using this for the last month now and I've really seen a difference with the skin around my eyes.  I apply this morning and night to the skin around my eyes using my ring fingers.  I pat the product into the skin rather than rub and find that this distributes the product evenly, enabling the cream to be absorbed quickly, without tugging at the skin.  The cream feels rich, slightly tacky when it comes into contact with the skin but not too heavy and it doesn't leave a film or residue behind.  You can feel the cream on your eyes after application though but this isn't in an uncomfortable way- I love the way that it makes my eyes feel, it is quite tightening and really feels like it is working.  I don't have much by way of severe dark circles or fine lines but this does make the skin around my eyes look brighter and perfected, which is exactly what you need when you step off a long flight.

It contains a blend of natural ingredients that are chosen because of their ability to help brighten and smooth the delicate and often sensitive area around the eyes; Roman chamomile, lemon to brighten the skin, cucumber oil, witch hazel spruce knot which is an anti oxidant and virgin coconut, rosehip and carrot oils which soften and smooth the skin, are only some of the most notable ingredients which also give the cream a light, floral scent.  The most exciting ingredient for me is the hyaluronic acid that this contains as it really helps to make the eye area feel moisturised and hydrated.  It is a deep hydration that lasts all day too.  It really feels as though this is doing my skin some lasting good, rather than just an artificial hydration that goes as quickly as it is applied.  This makes it a great option for an inflight eye cream as it will really work hard to battle against the drying air conditioning.

The 10ml tube is £14 and the 15ml pump bottle is £20 from the Balance Me website.  Balance Me is now also available in selected stores and online on the Debenhams website.
At this point I think it's important to mention that if you're someone who wears contact lenses then I'd really recommend taking some spare pairs with you along with a mini sized solution and some eye drops as the air conditioning on flights doesn't just dry out your skin but it can cause your eyes to feel really dry too.  My dad orders his online in advance of any trips from Optical Express to make sure that he has enough to take with him just in case as having back ups of his essential eye care products ensures that he will have a safe and comfortable flight and crystal clear vision as he disembarks.

Blistex Moisture Max Lip Balm
Another area that I find gets really dry when I'm on an aeroplane is my lips and for long haul flights, I pull out the big guns- the Blistex Moisture Max lip balm.  This is a really super moisturising lip balm that both Mr WLL and I use whenever we travel.  It contains soft little moisturising beads that have Shea Butter and Aloe Vera in them that are really hydrating and soothing and they make my lips feel so soft and smooth.  I tend to find that the air con on flights makes my lips feel dry and cracked but this really helps to combat that feeling, plus it contains SPF 15 so you can use it to protect your lips once you get to your holiday destination in the sun too.

For a purse friendly £2.49 from Boots, this is one product you can't get on a plane without.

Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream*
Finally, whilst I wouldn't crack out the body moisturiser on a long haul flight, I do think that it is important to pay careful attention to the hands whilst travelling.  This is especially important to me as I have psoriasis and if I don't keep my hands moisturised the I really notice the different in my skin which has been known to dry out so much that it cracks or bubbles and peels.  The Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream is a great option for keeping your hands feeling soft and supple whilst travelling and it is brilliant on the cuticles too.

Being of 98.8% natural origin and free from parabens, sulphates and mineral oils, this hand cream is a nourishing and natural treat for your hands.  This hand cream has won so many awards so I was really excited to try it and I can report back that I absolutely love it, even its floral scent.  The biggest reason, and perhaps the most important reason, as to why I love this hand cream is because of its moisturising qualities.  I apply this to my hands and elbows and it instantly makes them feel softer and more supple.  It contains shea butter and sweet almond oil which are packed full of fatty acids and vitamins, benzoin and yarrow which are therapeutic skin conditioners, patchouli which is a calming essential oil, carrageenan gum which helps to smooth the texture of the skin and kukui nut oil which is designed to make even the most problematic of skins more supple.  Wow, what a mix and it certainly works.  With continued use, I can really feel my hands maintaining their softness and ultimately, their youth through using this.  It is great to massage into the hands throughout any flight as it is quick to absorb but leaves a soft, slightly oily feeling on the hands which keeps them feeling moisturised for a long time.  I'd really recommend it.

It comes in three travel friendly sizes- a 100ml tube for £14.50, 50ml for £10 and a 30ml for £7.50, all from the Balance Me website and also on the Debenhams website as well as in selected stores.

I keep all of my inflight hydration essentials in clear zipped bag that I can simply whip out when I'm going through airport security.  All of these are in handy travel sizes as they're under 100ml so they can be passed through without any troubles and they're usually large enough to last me through the course of a 2 week holiday too.
What are you inflight essentials?
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Monday, 23 September 2013

Fake Bake 60 Minutes Self Tan Review

When it comes to looking bronzed and sun kissed, I like to have a year round tan but unfortunately, my lifestyle doesn't allow me to spend 52 weeks of the year lying around a pool in the sunshine as unfortunately, I spend the majority of my day at work in rainy Britain.  So for the most part, I turn to false tan in order to get my golden glow.  I've spoken at length about my two favourite fake tan brands on my blog- Xen Tan and Fake Bake but after trying the tan below, the latter pips the former to the post.
Fake Bake 60 Minutes Self Tan Liquid*
 Fake Bake have developed a false tan that will completely revolutionise fake tanning.  Their 60 Minutes Self Tan enables you to get ready for a night out at record speed, at the drop of a hat and still leave the house looking golden brown.  It is a liquid tan that you mist onto the skin and leave to develop for an hour before washing it off to reveal a gorgeous tan that looks just as good as a tan that you've left to develop overnight for six to eight hours.  Which is great as it allows you to say 'yes' to that last minute night out with your friends.

I've tried this out several times, both when I've had all the time in the world to get ready and when I've been in a mad dash and I have to say, I am super impressed.
Inside the box you get an easy to follow instruction booklet, an excellent mitt, a set of gloves, a spray pump and of course, the bottle of self tanning liquid.

Preparation for applying this tan is the same with any false tan- shave and exfoliate at least 24 hours before application and apply an oil free moisturisers to especially dry areas before use.  This may seem as though it defeats the purpose of the last minute getting ready dash but the way I like to look at it, is if I keep up with my hair removal and exfoliating throughout the week whenever I'm in the bath or shower then I'll always be ready to pop my tan on for a last minute night out.  I've actually tried applying this tan and then quickly running over my legs with a razor as I wash it off and, surprisingly, my tan still came out looking flawless and streak free.  This method is not usually recommended as it can end up giving you stripy looking legs but that didn't happen with this tan.
To get started, simply unscrew the lid off the tanning liquid, peel away the foil and screw on the spray pump.  You could keep the screw cap but the pump is very secure and has its own lid which doesn't leak so I don't find this necessary.
The spray bottle pump is really easy to use and comfortable to hold in my hand.  It can be sprayed from almost any angle although I find spraying it upside down a little tricky and instead prefer to spray the tan onto the mitt first and then rub the mitt onto my skin.
The kit comes with everything that you need in order to apply the tan so after you've affixed the spray pump to the bottle of tan, pop on your reusable gloves.  These are great as they're quite thick so they're great quality and they're an accurate fit for the female hand.  I'm used to using Mr WLL latex gloves that he buys for work and they're always so baggy on my hands where as these fit just right.

On top of the latex gloves, I wear the reusable Fake Bake Tanning Mitt to apply my tan as this ensures that the tan is distributed evenly across my skin, allowing for a natural tanned look.  For years I've been very loyal to my St. Tropez Buffing Mitt (buy here) to apply my tan and stayed away from mitts such as this one as I couldn't find one that applied my tan quite as flawlessly as the St Tropez mitt.  However now that I have used the Fake Bake triple use mitt, I like it just as much as the St Tropez one.

It is called the triple use mitt as it can be used to exfoliate the skin, apply the self tan and buff the skin.  It has two different sides to it.  The white sponge side can be used with an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells on the face and body to create an even surface on the skin prior to the application of the self tan.  It can then be used to apply the false tan.  The soft cotton pink side can then be used when the skin is dry to gently buff away any excess false tan from the skin to ensure you get a streak free finish.

The great thing about this tan is that it develops in only one hour to create a gorgeous golden bronzed tan.  However it can actually be left on the skin for up to three hours, depending on how deep you would like the tan to be.  I find that one hour is more than enough to create a beautifully deep but natural look.  You can see me wearing the tan after I've washed it off in these posts here, here and here.

The spray bottle dispenses just the right amount of product.  For a spray it isn't too messy either.  I pop a towel down just in case and here I've actually applied this in a bathroom that we're in the middle of decorating at the moment... behind me is a wall with all of the tiles pulled off and half of the other wall is missing- perhaps I'll do a bathroom tour when it's all completed.
The Fake Bake 60 Minutes Self Tan has a lovely brown colour that shows you exactly where the product is going on your skin.  The colour that it leaves, as can be seen below, is very close to the colour that the tan actually develops into when left on the skin for an hour.

The tan applies really evenly and it feels so light on the skin which is great as it dries quickly without leaving you feeling sticky or tacky... which avoids the awkward fake tan poses that I often have to pull while I wait for it to dry.  I also love that this tan can be used all over the body and the face without clogging my pores and giving me spots.  This is great as it can often be a bit of a hassle having to use a separate facial tanner, plus this runs the risk of the two tans being different shades.  I also found that the tan didn't really cling to dry areas of my body like my wrists where I have psoriasis which is great as tans that cling are a giveaway that my glow is faux!
One thing that I really love about this tan is that it doesn't transfer onto my clothes or bed sheets.  The first time I used the tan, I popped some loose fitting PJ's on after I'd taken my photos of the tan on my skin and I just sat in bed reading and the tan didn't transfer onto my PJs, even on the waist band, nor did it mark my sheets which is pretty rare for a false tan.  For subsequent uses, when I've used this when I've been in a rush to get ready, I've just thrown my robe on as I pop my rollers on and things and again, I've had no trouble with it staining anything.  You can do more or less anything while this tan is developing, I've even popped to the shops with it on, it looks that natural.

Another thing that is important to note is that this false tan doesn't have that signature fake tan smell of biscuits mixed with sugar puffs.  It smells mildly fruity upon application and after it has dried down it doesn't really have a scent, even as it develops.  I tend to find with false tans that the longer they're on my skin, the stronger their scent as the tan develops but this tan isn't on the skin long enough in order to develop a strong scent.
After an hour passes, I wash off the tan in the shower and my skin is left with a super natural, deeply bronzed glow.  It is an olive brown colour rather than an orange tan so the colour looks very natural.
I start to exfoliate the tan after the third day of wear, as I do with all false tans and I moisturise with the Fake Bake Skin Smoothie Oil (buy here) that I've used for years and find that my tan easily lasts for 5 days and, more importantly, it wears evenly on my skin.
I'm absolutely over the moon with this tan.  Why apply a tan, sleep in it, staining my sheets then washing it off in the morning before a night out, only to wash again before I get ready when I can just apply it an hour before I need to do my hair and make up?!  This has revolutionised the way I tan and saved me SO much time when getting ready to go out, I can't recommend it enough.
You can buy the Fake Bake 60 Minutes Self Tan direct from the Fake Bake website for £24.95 here, or from Feel Unique for a little cheaper.
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Continuing Your Spa Day at Home

Ever since my mid teens, I've been going for spa days about once every six months to a quarter with my friends.  It's our way of escaping everyday life, which of course has changed over the years from GCSE's to college to university and now the stresses of work.  I love relaxing in the sauna, going for a swim and indulging in a treatment or two.  My favourite treatments are a full body scrub, back and shoulder massage and an exfoliating facial.

Post Spa Day Products
My friends and I often get each other spa mini breaks for our birthdays.  We bundle our comfortable clothes and cutest swimsuit into a tote along with our Kindle and leave our noisy electronics at home so that we can truly escape from the world and chill out.  The thing that I love the most about going to a spa is the feeling of escape and total relaxation that I get but unfortunately that feeling doesn't last for too long when I get home.  I always try to keep the relaxed feeling of tranquility going for as long as possible so today I thought I'd share with you the products that I use to help that along.

Miaroma Essential Oils
Aromatherapy essential oils can be a powerful addition to your beauty regime and your quest to maintain that spa feeling at home as they are heavily used during spa routines both within the products and in the room fragrances.  Aromatherapy is basically the practice of using essential oils through a variety of methods like massage, inhalation, bath oils and home diffusers to promote physical and psychological well being.

There are so many out there to choose from depending on what area it is that you're looking to target and there are plenty of places to buy them from pretty cheaply too.  Whenever I'm looking for something pure and au naturale, I head to Holland and Barrett as I find that they have a huge selection and a varied range, even in their smaller stores and their staff are particularly knowledgable, not to mention the fact that I can collect points on my Holland and Barrett card- score.

The brand of essential oils that I've tried the most of is Miaroma.  Earlier this year, I wrote a post about sleeping yourself beautiful (see here) and I wrote about how their Lavender soothing essential oil (buy here) was great as an evening addition to a nice hot bath as it helps to aid a restful nights sleep.  This is something that I really think we all need after we've been to a spa.  Theres been so many times that I've nearly fallen asleep on a massage table because I'm that relaxed and I always feel really rejuvenated afterwards and that feeling is, of course, something that I like to be able to maintain.  Lavender also helps if you've had a really stressful day and you just want to unwind and feel sleepy as it makes you feel soothed and comforted.  The great thing about the Miaroma lavender oil is that you can use it on its on by adding a few drops to your pillow or in your bath, or you can combine it with other essential oils to create your own bespoke mix.

Another essential oil that has soothing and comforting effects is Patchouli (buy here) which I can't stand the scent of as it is far too rich and earthy smelling for my nose but I love the soothing effect it has on my body and mind when diluted in my bathtub.  Another essential oil that I really like to use when I'm looking to feel comforted is Rosewood (buy here) which also has an uplifting effect so I like to use this one when I really want to feel revived yet at ease.  This one smells a little sweeter and more fruity floral which I really love.  It brings back memories of going to a spa in Mexico while on holiday with Mr WLL as they used a lot of Rosewood in the products that they used on us.

The Miaroma oils are safe to be applied topically but for that spa effect at home I'd suggest either adding a few drops to your running bath water or by adding a few drops to a base oil like the Grapeseed Massage and Skin Care Oil (buy here).  This can be used on its own as a face or body oil or you can use it with the essential oils as a massage oil over the whole body like they would in a full body massage at the spa or a particular area as a targeted treatment.  If theres a particular area you want to focus on you can always look up massage techniques online too.

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Monoi Moisture Melt Body Oil
If essential oils aren't your thing then another great product to use on your body is the Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Monoi Moisture Melt Body Oil by Dr Organic, which is available at Holland and Barrett (buy here).  This is a really luxurious and pampering treat that you can use all over your body, nails and hair as a moisturiser, nourishing treatment or as a massage oil.  It combines Coconut Oil with Gardenia Flowers, Papaya Seed Oil, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter Lemon Peel Oil and Vitamin E to create a pretty intense formula.  I tend to use this once a week after I've had a pampering bath.  When I first opened the bottle I was like, 'what am I supposed to do with this?!'  as the product is actually solid all the way to the top but then I discovered that if you keep the lid on and put the bottle in your bath tub while you soak then the hot water melts the product into an oil so that when you get out of the bath and dry yourself off, you can then dispense the oil and massage it all over your body.

It doesn't leave your body feeling greasy and it doesn't sit on top of the skin- it sinks in pretty quickly and leaves your body with a gorgeous sheen so if you're going out that night, it is perfect to use before hand.  It smells quite tropical too but very natural and that scent does stay faintly on your skin which I really like.  After using this product, your skin is left feeling so soothed, nourished and hydrated and the coconut oil really seals the moisture into the skin so it is great to use after you've had a fully body scrub at a spa or used your own one at home.  If you'd like so see how I made my very own body scrub then check out this post. Oh and I love how exclusive the glass bottle looks sat on my bathroom counter.

Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask
While I'm in the bath soaking away in my essential oils while my body oil melts in it's glass bottle cocoon, I like to give myself a bit of a facial.  Sometimes I'll use a face scrub first but if I hadn't been to a spa that long ago then I'll just pop on a face mask as I don't want to over exfoliate my skin and do more harm than good.  When I'm looking for a nourishing and restoring effect on my skin, nine times out of ten I'll opt for the Manuka Doctor Apinourish Rejuvenating Face Mask (buy here) that I've talked about in great length here and here.  I simply smooth an even layer of the creamy mask over my skin and lie back and relax while I can feel it tightening my skin.  After removing the mask with a muslin cloth, my skin is left looking and feeling bright, tight and revived.
Denman Shower Brush
When I go to a spa for a facial, the therapist often gives me a head massage at while the products sink into my face.  You can get the feeling of an invigorating head massage at home by using the Denman Shower Brush (buy here), also known as the D6 Bright Detangling Brush, on your scalp as you shampoo and condition your hair.

Simply slip the brush over your hand and the soft bristles will help to massage your scalp whilst evenly distributing the product through your hair.  Head massages increase the blood flow to your scalp which can stimulate hair growth and I'm all for growing my locks!

Denman Shower Brush

Of course a lot of these products are things that you would perhaps use once a week but you can create a spa feeling everyday by using a great quality moisturiser as not only will this help to keep your skin looking fantastic but it will also give you that feeling of being pampered and taking good care of yourself.  My moisturiser of choice is the Gatineau Age Benefit Integral Regenerating Cream (buy from The Hut or Look Fantastic) which is a very luxurious cream intended for dry skin types for using morning and night on the face and neck.  I have very oily skin so I find that this is too intense for daytime use and instead, I use it at night as the last step in my beauty routine.

Gatineau Age Benefit Integral Regenerating Cream
The Gatineau Age Benefit cream is incredibly hydrating and has a gorgeous, light soft scent that makes me feel pampered and looked after when I use it.  After application, it doesn't sit on my skin or leave a greasy film.  It sinks in fairly quickly and leaves my skin feeling instantly hydrated.  Fast forward to eight hours later when my alarm clock sounds and my skin is feeling nourished, smooth and moisturised.  It gives my skin a radiant, lit from within glow and it looks plumped up as though it is firmer and in great condition.  I really love the bright appearance that this gives my skin, even on the skin around my eyes that usually looks a little darker than the rest of the skin on my face.

Gatineau Age Benefit Cream
The Age Benefit line is intended for more mature skin types than my own.  It is a 'cellular communication re-programmer' as it contains two avant-garde active ingredients that compliment each other to delay the visible signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles and to boost the skins regeneration.  The Integral Regenerating Cream intends to regenerate the skin to correct wrinkles, improve the skins firmness and elasticity, strengthen the skin to make it more resistant to ageing and the elements and repair the skin barrier and to illuminate the skin by smoothing the texture, giving a rosy complexion and correcting brown spots.  I would definitely say that the cream lives up to its claims because of the benefits I have seen on my skin after only one month of use and I'm looking forward to seeing how it improves my skin further with continued use.

There are so many other products that I could mention to make you feel pampered after going to a spa but I hope that these give you some food for thought.  Of course it all starts with the spa day itself, so whether you're a seasoned spa goer, or if it is your first trip or if you haven't been in a long while then I'd really suggest having a look out for spas in your local area as they're a great way to chill out.  If you're wanting a little refresh on the do's and don'ts for a spa then check out this funny little video below that I found from which is all about spa etiquette.
Many thanks to Spa Breaks for letting me use their video!

Speaking of relaxation, Brighthouse have recently come up with the concept of the Perfect Armchair using design inspiration from the responses of 5000 people to a survey on their Facebook page.  Now you all know how much I love a bit of audience participation so when I heard about this, I had to give it a closer look.

The concept of the Perfect Armchair would be to help you to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life which I'm sure we have all felt from time to time!

This chair sounds like it would be the perfect way to relax and continue that spa calm feeling as it has a built in massage feature as well as a built in aromatherapy feature and the ability to recline!  You can read more about the concept here but just imagine relaxing into that after a hard day at work!  I wish they would actually make one of these as it would be perfect for me.
What products do you like to use after you've been to a spa?  What are your recommendations for spa etiquette?  What would your perfect armchair be like?
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //

Sunday, 15 September 2013

WhatLauraWore: Golden 85

I've been really looking forward to sharing this outfit post with you all because as soon as I put it on I instantly felt girlie, cute and confident and I think that comes across in the photographs as I'm dancing about on my doorstep.  It's a completely different look to what I would usually go for- an oversized tee, skater skirt and trainers... a far cry from my cute summer dresses!

The t-shirt I'm wearing here is the 85 Number Oversized Tee from AX Paris and I'm absolutely IN LOVE with it from the fit to the feel of the material and the design, it is perfect.  When I say oversized it truly is oversized.  I ordered my usual size and it came up as a big fit which you would want, obviously.  I even thought about wearing this as a dress but I'll save that for another WhatLauraWore outfit post...

The design of the top is lush because the colour is true black and the gold is super bright and shiny, it really is an eye catcher.  You all know me, I hardly ever wear t shirts so it must take something pretty special for me to love something THAT much.  I like the way that it feels too- for the £23 price tag, it is ridiculously soft and feels really gentle and comfortable on the skin.  In a nutshell- I love it, go buy it!

Another reason as to why I love this top is that I have finally found something I can wear my ridiculously tacky gold glitter lace ups with and I think that it looks so cute teamed with my black skater skirt.  If you like the top but you're not a fan of the gold, there are two other options available on the website- black with white numbering and grey with black numbering and they've just gone in the sale for £12.99.

85 Number Oversized Tee from AX Paris
Black jersey skater skirt from ASOS
Gold glitter trainers from Primark
How would you style this tee?
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //


Saturday, 14 September 2013

An Introduction to Burts Bees

Burts Bees are a brand I've admired from afar.  One that I'd heard a little bit about but I'd heard more about their reputation for creating much loved products.  It wasn't until I got chatting to the lovely Nicola from Burts Bees at an event that I discovered just why their products are loved so much.

You can read all about the history of Burts Bees on their website but what I found the most interesting about them is very much in the here and now.  Burts Bees are a natural brand, an honest brand and a brand with standards.  Their products aim to give you the goodness and nutrients that your skin needs and none of the chemical nasty's you don't.  What sets Burts Bees apart from other brands is that they display the exact percentage of each products natural ingredients on their own Nature Bar on the front of their packaging.  This isn't something that Burt's Bees has to do- there aren't any laws governing the percentage of natural ingredients a product needs to have in order to be able to advertise it as being natural which is quite frightening as there are so many products that we buy thinking they're natural and when you actually look at the ingredients, they're far from wholesome.  That's what I love about Burts Bees.  On average, their products truly are 99% natural with over half being 100% natural... now there's not many companies who can live up to those claims now is there?

Burts Bees Deep Pore Scrub*, Beeswax and Banana Hand Cream* and Beeswax Lip Balm*
Over the last month I've been trying out three of these natural beauties from Burt's Bees with the aim of seeing how they would benefit my skin and giving you a review of them.  This is very much an introduction to Burts Bees for me as it is for my blog and hopefully some of my readers who, like me haven't tried anything from the brand before.

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Perhaps the most famous, signature product from Burt's Bees is their Beeswax Lip Balm which is 100% natural.  It contains the super nourishing vitamin E and peppermint oil... and boy can you smell the peppermint.  It really makes me feel fresh when I've applied it and it gives a cooling sensation on the lips, a tingle that is actually quite awakening, particularly if you use it first thing on a morning.  Other notable ingredients are coconut and sunflower oils which are known for their conditioning and softening properties as well as essential fatty acids and lanolin.  I've always been interested in trying a lip product containing lanolin, notably the Lanolips lip balm that I've heard raved about countless times

The main ingredient in this lip balm is beeswax so when you first apply it is seems a little hard in the tube, that's because it needs a little warming up on the lips to become more slippy.  It isn't like other lip balms though in that it doesn't feel like plastic or too thick and unnatural on the lips instead it really instantly nourishes the lips and makes them feel soft and whilst you can feel the lip balm on the lips it is in a softening way as the Beeswax seals in the hydration for a lasting softness, a bit like when you've washed your hair and used conditioner, rather than something that is just sitting on your lips and could easily be wiped off.  In a nut shell,  you can really tell that this lip balm is working.  I apply it last thing at night and I wake up with really soft lips that are chap free.  I then apply it just after I've brushed my teeth and let it sink in a bit while I do my make up before I apply my lipstick.

This one comes in a recycled plastic tube but it is also available in an old-fashioned yellow tin so ditch the tins of Vaseline that you may have lying around that make your lips more dry than they do good and add a Burt's Bees lip balm to your handbag.  For around £3.69, they wont break the bank and you'll have super soft lips all year round.

Burt's Bees Beeswax and Banana Hand Cream

My favourite product out of the three I've been testing out is the Burt's Bees Beeswax and Banana Hand Cream which smells incredible.  If you've ever used the banana shampoo and conditioner from The Body Shop, had a foam banana from the pick and mix or been given the banana flavoured antibiotics as a child then you'll be able to imagine just how delicious this smells.

When I say hand cream, I don't mean in the traditional sense- this isn't a lightly whipped cream, it has a ridiculously thick, waxy, indulgent texture in the pot and on contact with skin it warms up and become almost like an oil.  On first application, it sits with a slight sheen on the skin before quickly sinking in and leaving the skin oh so soft.  Again, this one is 100% natural with the beeswax base being enriched with aloe vera to moisturise and reduces redness and vitamin E to moisturise the skin as well.

Now Burt's Bees can't claim that this is good for skin conditions because it hasn't been medically tested... but I can.  I suffer with psoriasis as does my daddy who has it much worse that I do and this has worked wonders for our skin.  Psoriasis makes the skin really dry and cracked so keeping it moist is really important as the drier it is, the more cracked the skin becomes and it can bleed and be very painful.  This hand cream keeps the skin moist and hydrated for a long time without being greasy, which is something that I find is very common with thick hand creams.  The beeswax in this hand cream helps to seal and shield the skin so it keeps the moisture in and the elements out. So if you have psoriasis or even eczema then I'd really suggest giving it a go, even if you just pop into Debenhams when you're out shopping, apply a little from a tester pot then go about your day, you'll see just how good it is.  I keep this in my bag and pop a little on whenever I feel that my hands need it.  It is particularly nourishing on the nails when massaged into the cuticles too.

Whilst it is primarily intended for the hands, don't let that stop you from applying it to other areas of the body.  I've used it on my elbows and feet where I have patches of psoriasis and also on my inner thigh where I had an area of dry skin.

The Beeswax and Banana Hand Cream retails for around £9.99 which I think is an amazing price for such a high quality product were a little bit really goes a very long way.  Although the initial outlay may seem pricey compared to some other hand creams on the market, this one is incredibly high performing and will last for a very long time. 

Burts's Bees Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub

The Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub is another 100% natural product from Burt's Bees that is also sulphate free.  It has a pretty, light peach scent that doesn't irritate the skin and I'd say it is more than gentle enough to use two to three times per week because of the amount of exfoliating pieces it contains.

I'm a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to facial scrubs having been using them in my skincare routine since I can remember.  The scrubs I like the most are those that are packed full of very finely ground exfoliating particles so that they give a microdermabrasion effect on the skin and those that I like the least are the ones with very large particles like the Dr Organic Manuka Honey Face Scrub (review here) as I find that they're ineffective at removing dead skin cells and instead they scratch the skin as they're just too harsh.  The Burt's Bees Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub lies somewhere in the middle of these two formulas of scrubs in that whilst it isn't exceptionally well ground, it does have a pretty fine formula and it sits in a very creamy solution so when used on damp skin, away from the direct flow of water, it can be a nice and gritty.  This isn't a scrub that you could use once and see an immediate, refining effect but
after a few uses, you can definitely see a difference.

The exfoliating pieces are the result of ground up peach stone and other notable ingredients include willow bark and golden seal extracts which have astringent properties as well as ginger and sea algae extracts that help to revitalise the skin and replenish essential minerals.  It works a bit like an exfoliating cleanser as I find that it really cleans my skin as well as lightly exfoliating it and with continuous use, I found that it left my skin looking clean and really bright.  I have oily skin and find that whilst it removes dirt and dead skin cells that can dull my skin, it also removes excess oil that clogs my pores so it has a lasting clearing impact on my skin.  It doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped and squeaky clean, instead my skin is actually left feeling soft, smooth and nourished.  Since the cleanser is really creamy, this would be ideal for dry skin types too as it is very nourishing and doesn't dry out the skin.

For an introduction to Burt's Bees I really feel like I've tried some great products and they've really given me a fantastic opinion on the brand.  My particular favourite is the hand cream but I'd definitely repurchase all of the products I've used.  I'm excited to try more from Burt's Bees so if you have any recommendations then do let me know.

Burt's Bees products are available direct from the Burt's Bees website, The Hut and Look Fantastic.
Where to find me
// Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin // Pinterest // Youtube //
© What Laura Loves. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig