Bath & Body Works PocketBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel

30 Oct 2014

Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizers were high on my list when I visited New York earlier this year. As previously mentioned I bought the Mahogany Teakwood candle (which I absolutely love) and I also picked up 5 hand sanitizers after hearing nothing but good things. After picking out the candle I had to pick not 1, not 2, but 5 hand gels as it was 5 for $5 (and at $1.75 each this was an offer I couldn't say no to). This was not easy an easy task.

So, I started to smell each one and they quickly merged into one scent - alcohol, and I couldn't tell the difference. (I have since learnt that it is best to try them out on your hands as you can smell the product best this way). So, I based my decision on the names and went for Pacific Cool Breeze (fresh and manly), Stress Relief (eucalyptus spearmint), Caribbean Escape (coconut), Island Nectar (sweet, mandarin) and Aqua Blossom (clean and fresh). I have yet to get through them all, but my favourites so far are definitely Island Nectar and Aqua Blossom <3. They contain 68% alcohol and Tahitian palm milk which helps to keep your hands nice and soft and are therefore not drying in the slightest.

Although they are small, they do last you a long time as you only need a small amount. If you are not able to visit the US, there are some sellers on E-bay that stock them. You seem to pay around £2.30 which I don't think is too bad if you are desperate to get your hands on some!

What is your favourite hand sanitizer?

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Currently Reading : The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

27 Oct 2014

I recently started reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, a book which I had heard a lot about but never really knew what it was about. This book is not like anything I have read before and although it took me a little while to get into, I am thoroughly enjoying it now.

Christopher is an intelligent young boy who is living with Asperger's Syndrome. The book begins with Christopher stepping out at night to find his neighbours dog dead.  He is accused of killing the dog and so he decides to embark on a journey to find out who the real killer. Christopher decides to record all of the details in a book and during the journey, he discovers something that will change his life forever.
"Sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don't know why we are sad, so we say we aren't sad but we really are."
This book gives you a first person view of the mental processes of living with Asperger's Syndrome, something which is not very easy to achieve. The topic of each chapter varies, not following on from one another, and there are various illustrations throughout which make this an easy yet emotive read. It is a relatively short read, and although I would say the actual story line is not something to write home about, the meaning behind the story definitely makes it worth a read.

What are you currently reading?

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My Favourite at Home Manicure; KISS Nail Treatments

23 Oct 2014

If you asked me a few months ago what my nail care routine was like, my answer would have been “what nail routine?”. My nails were weak and brittle, and consequently I would often bite them (nasty habit!). However, more recently I have really taken more of an interest in caring for my nails and this is evident in the condition of my nails. They are a lot stronger, they do not bend and my cuticles are looking a lot healthier. I can honestly say this is down to two new nail treatments from Kiss - the Cuticle Care and Strengthening kits.

To prep my nails I have been using the Kiss Cuticle Care Daily Maintenance System. In this pack you receive cuticle remover, cuticle oil and a nail balm. I have never used anything like the cuticle remover before so I was amazed the first time I used it. It contains potassium hydroxide which breaks down and loosens excess cuticles, sounds painful but it’s not. In fact, it doesn’t even sting and it makes for a much cleaner manicure. The cuticle oil smells delightful, a bit like marzipan, and contains Jojoba and Almond oil which hydrates and revitalizes your nails. A little of this goes a long way therefore be careful not to apply too much. Finished off with the nail balm, which heals dry cuticles and promotes healthy nail growth, you are ready to paint.

On the days where I want to give my nails a break to breathe, I apply the Kiss Strengthening Manicure System which includes a base coat, a nail tint and the top coat. They are specially formulated with keratin-pro complex to strengthen your nails and allow your nails to breathe. The nail tint provides your nails with a light colour to enhance your nails, with the top coat providing that extra protection.

Pairing these two kits together has been a godsend for me. A few months ago my nails were peeling, soft and generally in poor condition, but after using this for the past few weeks they have improved immensely. This really is a rave review and I would recommend these kits to anyone. They are very affordable at £7.99 each and can be found in your local Superdrug.

What nail treatments do you like to use?

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Snowflake Cookie Yankee Candle

20 Oct 2014

Last year Yankee Candle added a new candle to their Christmas collection called Snowflake Cookie. During the Christmas period I typically reach for spicy scented candles, and this expands into the Autumn and Winter months. I therefore thought I would give Snowflake Cookie a try as it is a little different for this time of the year! This vanilla sugar based scent is described as:
A new Christmas tradition that is sure to charm: perfectly pretty holiday cookies, deliciously decorated with sugary pink icing.
As you would expect from the description, this is a very sweet scented candle, mimicking cookies topped with icing. It is very similar to Vanilla Cupcake, but sweeter. On first sniffs it is a bit too sweet and over powering for my liking. However, once lit it is not quite so strong and the room fills with a lovely light baking smell. The packaging is not particularly Christmasy and therefore can easily be burnt all year round without it looking out of place. If you do not like sweet scents, this is not for you, but if you like your house smelling like cookies this is the one.

Which is your favourite Yankee Candle Scent?

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Vaseline Limited Edition Queen Bee

18 Oct 2014

Earlier this week, Victoria and I attended the launch of Vaseline’s fourth Limited Edition Lip Therapy - Queen Bee. This was my second event at the Ham Yard Hotel in London, and what a lovely hotel it is. Located in the Orangery room, the décor was black and gold themed with honey dotted around the room – it smelt amazing. They also had Queen Bee inspired manicures (mine were black with gold glitter on the ring finger) and a life coach you could speak to.

Now onto the Vaseline! It has a light honey scent, which I absolutely love and like all Vaselines, it will help to protect your lips through the cold winter months approaching. What really makes Queen Bee stand out is the shimmery gold and black stripes packaging, very different to the usual plain packaging.

The Limited Edition Vaseline Queen Bee is available now from Boots and Tesco for just £3.99 – but be quick as stock is limited.

Which is your favourite Vaseline?

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Max Factor Excess Shimmer Eye Shadow

15 Oct 2014

Max Factor is a brand that I particularly love, so I am always excited to hear about their new releases. Next month they shall be releasing a new range of gel eye shadows called ‘Excess Shimmer Eye shadows’. As the name would suggest, these gel based shadows contain shimmer and have a metallic finish. Pearl is a beautiful white which works great as a highlighter, Pink Opal is a pearly pink and Onyx is a shimmery black which is perfect for a smokey eye.

As a gel I was expecting the shadow to be hard to work with, when in fact the texture is surprisingly nice. They are very soft, which makes them incredibly easy to blend, and silky smooth when applied. As you can see they are highly pigmented and can be built up to produce a more intense look or blended for a softer look. Lasting power is good if used with a primer, otherwise it will crease towards the end of the day. The packaging is very secure, it has a glass base with a black screw lid and they contain 7g of product which is very generous when compared to others.

These shadows are very versatile, which is great for when you are traveling. Not only can you apply them by themselves, but you can mix the shades together to produce a new colour, apply them on top of another shadow to add some shimmer, use them as a base of another shadow, or line your eyes. Available from November for just £7.99, these are a great buy. They come in three other shades; Bronze, Copper and Crystal – of which I have my eye on them all!

Which is your favourite colour?

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Luxury Beauty Advent Calendars 2014 over £50

13 Oct 2014

Following on from last week’s post on Beauty Advent Calenders for £50 and under, here are the more luxurious calendars available this year. From £59.95 all the way up to £250 (!!) there are some seriously expensive calendars here.

Elemis 12 days of beauty // £59.50
Unlike most calendars, the Elemis includes 12 presents rather than 24. However if you were to buy the products separately it would cost you £113 so it is well worth the money! Each door contains a luxurious sample which will be sure to last you well into the New Year.
Available: Now!

Benefit – Candy Coated Countdown // £60
Benefit first introduced their advent calendar last year and it was truly very popular. Like last year, you will find 18 samples of their bestsellers and 6 surprise gifts. I am a little bit put off by the price (last year it was £50) but if you are looking to try some Benefit products it is a great way to try a large range of their products.
Available:16th October

Selfridges Enchanted Spells // £85
The Selfridges advent calendar is another popular calendar. Each year it sells out extremely quickly so if you want this – buy it now! At £85 it is very expensive, however with 24 luxurious miniature treats including brands such as Urban Decay, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl's and Lancôme, it is worth it if you fancy a splurge.
Available: Now

Liberty // £125
The is the Crème de la Crème. I would say it really is a step up from the Selfridges calendar, and if you are willing to splash the cash then this is worth the extra £40. Beautiful design, products by NARS, ESPA, Diptyque, Laura Mercier –need I say more?
Available: November

Jo Malone // £250
Styled in a Georgian townhouse, this advent calendar houses 24 colognes and body crèmes. At £250 this is a very expensive advent calendar, but if you fancy spoiling a loved one this would be perfect. Whether they love Jo Malone, or have yet to try their products I am sure anyone who receives this would be in love.
Available: 20th October

Which are you looking forward to the most?

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L.A. Colors Color Craze Nail Polish in Fuel

10 Oct 2014

Whenever I step into a Beauty Base I instantly gravitate towards their nail polishes. At £0.99 a piece, how can you not? One of my favourites that I have purchased is Fuel, a beautiful bright pink with a blue undertone. This is not your typical Autumnal colour, however it is great for when you want a pop of colour. The bottle is very similar to the OPI bottles, which makes them feel more expensive than they really are. Application of this polish is great considering the price, and it only took 2 coats to achieve this opacity. With a top coat it lasts around 4 to 5 days before I have to remove it.

Unfortunately these polishes do not appear to be very easy to get hold of unless you live in London,  however they may sell them in a local shop so do keep your eyes pealed!

Have you tried L.A. Colors before?

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Exfolia Microfibre Reusable Cloth

8 Oct 2014

Typically I use an exfoliating scrub or liquid once a week, so I was intrigued when asked if I would like to try out the Exfolia Microfibre Cloth - a new way to exfoliate your skin. When the cloth arrived I was a little underwhelmed by the packaging and the look of the product itself. It did not look like anything special, nor worth the price. But as they say, never judge a book by its cover.

The Exfolia Cloth is very simple to use - just add water and cleanser and exfoliate away, following up with a moisturiser. Do this 2-3 times a week (or once a week if you have sensitive skin) and you will begin to see a difference. The cloth is made up of small microfibres (50-100 times thinner than human hair) which penetrate the skin much deeper than your average cloth.  It works to remove 99% of impurities, helping to combat spots, wrinkles and cleaning out those pores without the use of chemicals.

I have been using this for 3 weeks now and I can certainly tell the difference. The cloth feels deceptively smooth on your skin, but after every use my face feels squeaky clean. I have honestly never used a product that does such a thorough cleanse. At £10.35 it is a lot when compared to a muslin cloth, but compared to any other exfoliator this is great value, especially when it will last 3 – 4 months and can double up on other parts of your body.

What do you think of the Exfolia Microfibre cloth?

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Beauty Advent Calendars 2014 for £50 and under

5 Oct 2014

Eeeek! You may be thinking ‘isn’t it a little early for advent calenders?’ however these sell like there is no tomorrow and like everyone else, I love love love beauty advent calendars and cannot wait to get my hands on one. There are so many new and exciting calendars this year, some are super expensive but others are very affordable. Here is a rundown of those that are available for under £50, if there is anything that you have your eye on then be quick as they always sell out!

Boots No.7 25 days of beauty secrets // £35
Starting with the cheapest one available this year, we have Boots No.7 advent calendar. This is definitely one of the more affordable calendars and inside you will find make-up and skincare products worth more than £130 in total. This one even includes a little present on Christmas day unlike most!
Available: 29th October

L’Occitane // £45
Unlike most, the L’Occitane advent calendar only contains 13 gifts. The reason behind this is that in Provence it is tradition to have 13 deserts on the table at Christmas time. As a big fan of L’Occitane this is very very tempting.
Available: 3rd November

Ciate Mini Mani Manor // £49
This is a popular one, especially for the nail polish lovers out there! Every day you will open the door to a Ciate nail polish, which could be 1 of 15 mini paint pots, 1 of 8 paint effects or 1 full size product.
Available: Now!

The Body Shop 24 days of joy // £50
As a fan of The Body Shop products, I am super excited about this one and will be looking to purchase it when it goes on sale. It saves you £33 compared to if you were to buy the products separately and with every calendar sold, you will be helping to send a child to school in conflict torn areas.
Available: 8th October

Stay tuned for next weeks post on Beauty Advent Calendars over £50!

Which calendar are you hoping to purchase?

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Giveaway : LIGHT & DARK perfume by Leighton Denny

3 Oct 2014

Leighton Denny is on a bit of a roll at the moment - he received an MBE and released his first book in June and this month he is launching his first fragrance LIGHT & DARK. At £43.50 it is more expensive than your average perfume, however 20% of all purchases go towards breast cancer care so it is for a great cause.  I was kindly offered the chance to share a bottle with one of my readers, so if you would like to be in with a chance, please enter below!
LIGHT & DARK contains a special blend of absolute oils including a fruity mixture of pepper, myrrh and incense, offers a warm welcoming unique fragrance, which can be worn day or night. With its heart of gardenia, jasmine, lily and rose, LIGHT & DARK triggers instincts of allure, attraction and desire, which is merged with top notes of mandarin, grapefruit, peach and white pepper to stimulate confidence and distinctiveness.
There are parts of your body which are more susceptible to perfume. Simply spray the perfume, but avoid rubbing the wrists together to prevent 'crushing' the scent (who knew! I always do this, so I am making a mental note not to rub my wrists together). Apply on pulse points: below earlobes, inside elbows, back of the knees, ankles, base of the neck, inside wrists. Other good places are on the shoulders and back of the neck at the hairline. Some women even apply fragrance on their inner thighs so the scent wafts up and around them!

This competition will end on the 12th October at midnight and is open to UK residents only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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