Monday, 23 December 2013

Xmas Ideas / Sactuary Mini Must-Haves

Last instalment of the Christmas gift guide and you can say that I have saved the best for last.
Sanctuary presents for the Holidays 2013  are a luxurious option at affordable prices, starting amazingly from under a tenner.
For example, this Sanctuary Spa Mini Must-Haves* is only £8 and contains a Body Lotion, Body Wash, Foaming Bath Soak and Spa Skin Body Polisher.

I love the sensuous and comforting fragrance of this line! You just need a drop of the foaming bath soak to wrap the whole bathroom with the scent and create a luscious bubble bath; the body wash has micro moisturising spheres - filled with jojoba oil and sesame - that leave the skin silky smooth. Finally  to complete your bathroom ritual, the light body lotion delivers 24hr moisturisation and the mix of ginger & spices also stimulates the circulation. 

What to say… They are such incredible value for money and every year I take advantage for myself and stock up on few favourites.
If you've set your heart on skincare instead - I would pick up the Sanctuary Ultimate Girls Night In (that also comes in a gorgeous purple pouch)… or if you're looking for a showstopping offering - the Sanctuary Top To Toe Glow Pamper Tin is guaranteed to impress!

Sanctuary is a brand that I'm very familiar with and I feel heartily to recommend for some last minute shopping: you can buy Sanctuary gift sets at Sanctuary Spa, on, Boots and Debenhams today!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Xmas Ideas / Liz Earle Christmas Star with Strengthening Nail Colour

The Liz Earle Christmas Star with Strengthening Nail Colour is the perfect stocking filler for a beauty enthusiast and nail obsessed… also, a pure steal at only £7.50!
You can't help but fall for the cute star - that doubles as a tree ornament but also the nail polish inside is of great quality.
There are 2 shades available: Moment In Time ( red) and Ebb Tide (taupe colour)….
but if nails are not your thing, there are also stars filled with lipsticks or the best seller Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanse to choose from.

Moment In Time* is THE perfect true red! Full stop. Surely it's ideal to create striking Christmas-themed nail arts but also an all-year-round favourite.
It has a fortifying formula, enrich with botanicals and a glossy finish; I usually applies 2 coats of nail colour but this is opaque enough with only 1 coat. It's also chip resistant and applies like a dream.

Xmas nails sorted ;)

Liz Earle pampering treats don't stop at stocking fillers; there are many irresistible gift sets, suitable for every budget - with skincare, bodycare, haircare or make up goodies.
For example, the Liz Earle Brush Collection is ideal if you wanna spoilt your mum and the Jan Constantine Stocking Collection will definitely impress the demanding sister that has all.

Have you checked a Liz Earle counter near you yet?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Xmas Ideas / Marks & Spencer Beauty Hall

The Marks & Spencer Beauty Hall has become my favourite beauty haven.
They just got it so right! They managed to find that gap in the market and stock luxurious, quality brands -  not easy to find on the high street.
And for Christmas you are spoiled for choice - my personal picks go to: Sienna X Matte Powder Bronzer, Bliss 'Merry Citrus' Gift Set and Miracle Skin Transformer Discovery Kit.

H2O Plus experts isolated the most efficient varieties of seaweeds and algae to enrich their products; these marine waters deliver an high concentration of antioxidants and minerals that support skin regeneration, strength and vitality.

The H2o+ Spa Hand and Foot Trio* comes at under 20 pounds and includes everything you need to  maintain your extremities in tip top conditions.

It contains:
- Hand and Foot Smoother
- Hand and Nail Cream
- Softening Mint Foot Rub

The Spa Hand & Foot Smoother is an intensive treatment for dry hands and feet.
To be used as a mask: you apply a thick layer and leave it to work for 20 minutes;  you can also wear cotton gloves and socks or leave it overnight, to maximise the benefits.

The Spa Hand and Nail Cream is an award-winning moisturiser that also nourishes cuticles. I've come to rely on it constantly in recent weeks because my hands have been battered from the harsh wind and pretty sore. It contains shea butter, hydrolyzed silk proteins and hydrating marine blend.
It's fabulous! I love the fresh scent, it's fast acting and leaves my hands silky.

The Softening Mint Foot Rub has a delicate minty scent, more suitable for feet; it contains hydrating marine extracts to moisturise and salicylic and lactic acids to softly exfoliate and smooth dry areas. I especially rate it after a gym session - the refreshing effect of the menthol is the perfect relief!

I have also set my eyes on the promising H2O+ Spa Sea Salt Must-Haves Set that I will try and pick up, next time I'm in town.
Have you tried H2O Plus yet? Have you got a Marks & Spencer Beauty Hall near you?

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Review / Paul & Joe Make Up

When talking about Paul & Joe make up, you can't help but thinking about their unique packaging. Every collection is beautiful in its own right and both boxes and cases are decorated with themed illustrations.
We have seen oniric unicorns and cute cats in the past and I love this chrysanthemum motif on a light blue background; the art-nouveaueque floral pattern will certainly appeal to a wider range of customers, too.
The muted shades of this collection are bang on trend for colder months and are also going to adapt to many different skin tones.

Paul & Joe Lip Pencil Duo in 02 Dual Cedar* offers two different textures in one; in fact, I was surprise to discover that the two shades have different consistency. The darker colour is your typical lipliner, matte and kind of waxy - perfect as a all-over-the-lips base that doesn't bleed in fine lines; the light shade instead, is glossy and can be used to top up the other end, add volume to the centre of the lips or on its own as a low maintenance hint of colour.

Paul & Joe Lip Gloss G  in 06 Sheer Bliss* is a gorgeous coral with gold shimmer; the lip gloss is very light on the lips, non-sticky and I was impressed with longevity (lipglosses usually don't last more than half an hour on me!). The finish is super shine and transparent; I really like the brush applicator that can pick up quite a lot of product and give a more intense pop of colour to the lips.
This shade also works really well with the nudes of the lip duo!

Paul & Joe Pencil Eye Liner WP in 05 Aubergine* - as the name says - is a deep purple with a pearl pinkish, barely there shimmer; it hasn't got any huge chunks of glitter, mind you, so it can be used on the waterline too. It's waterproof and surprisely smooth on application. I love this colour: it's not your typical  bright purple, it's quite warm too with a brownish undertone.

Paul & Joe Eyebrow Liner in 01* is your ideal ally if you do your brows on a regular basis! The product comes in a slim, retractable pencil and it has a super fine tip: it's perfect to draw every single hair and the results are very natural. I love bold, statement brows but - since I have a fringe - I don't do them daily;  even for a novice like me, I found it incredibly easy and quick to use. The colour is also a good match, not too brown with ashy, grey tones.

Have you tried Paul & Joe make up yet? xx

Friday, 13 December 2013

Xmas Ideas / Signed by Weleda

I rely on Weleda myself all-year-round, and Christmas is the perfect time to share/introduce this brand to the people in my life too.
For the Holidays 2013, they are proposing these new Mini Crackers, filled with iconic products like Skin Food and Hand Creams. My favourite is the blue one which comes with a Moisturizer for Men; it's ideal for that colleague that you don't know too well and you're stuck with for the office Secret Santa (and let's face it, it's more difficult to shop for men!). They are also perfect as stocking fillers with the cute packaging and affordable prices, starting at only £3.50.

The Weleda Christmas Duo 'Handbag' Gift Set is a luxurious present to pamper a loved one, instead. It contains a full size 200ml Creamy Body Wash and full size 200ml Body Lotion.
Again, great attention has been paid to the packaging and they come presented in an original handbag box.

Sea Buckthorn* is a new introduction for me - I can say that I have pretty much tried any other fragrance from Weleda - and it's especially recommended for dry skin. 
You can also choose from Pomegranate - for ageing skin - Wild Rose - for  normal to dry skin - and Citrus - for normal skin.

In particular, the body lotions are a new 100% natural range rich in pure oils and fatty acids to help the skin regain and maintain its natural balance.
Weleda's Sea Buckthorn berries are harvested from the Tuscany countryside and the seeds are pressed to release its replenishing oil, full of antioxidants too.
They have the same creamy consistency like the body wash, but melt into the skin without leaving any residue. 

Sea Buckthorn is a refreshing scent with citrusy tones that also invigorates the senses… A new favourite for me!
Which one would you like to see under the tree? :)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Introducing / Stila

I got my eyes on the Stila palettes for a while. There are a few different ones on the market, all based around pretty neutral shades but with few variations.
Stila In The Garden Eye Shadow Palette* also includes a couple of brighter colours and, if you're not too sure how to incorporate them, the set includes a booklet with ideas and tips.

All eyeshadows are extremely pigmented and smooth to blend together.
My personal favourite combination is with Moss & Jupiter. I use the neutral colour all over the lid and then the teal as an accent in the crease.
Rosette - the purple shade - is also fantastic with Breeze and Freesia, used as a liner.

l-r: chinois, breeze, bark, freesia, rosette

l-r: nectar, honey, sage, moss, juniper

You also get a full size of Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Moray with this set; I have used this liner before and actually managed to finish it! It's a beautiful khaki green with silver shimmer and impressive staying power.
To summarise, I'd definitely recommend this beauty if you are not looking for your typical (and maybe a bit boring) neutral palette and you're not afraid to experiment with colour shadows.

Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss are lacquer lipstick with an impressive punch of colour. I love the super shiny finish - great to add volume to fine lips, like mine - but still with the creamy texture that I prefer in lipsticks. 
They are extremely comfortable on the lips, non-sticky or drying; they are also enriched with seaweed extract and organic green coffee oil to keep the lips moisturised throughout the day.

Nude Vinyl* is a beautiful dusty rose that compliments beautifully the eyeshadows from the In The Garden palette, actually. It's still into the neutral spectrum I think, and it's the ideal finish touch to complete any look.
It's such a pretty shade and I've fallen in love with it that I can see myself rocking it well into Spring too!

So, what do you think of Stila make up? Any recommendation/must have items? :)

Monday, 9 December 2013

Xmas Ideas / Orla Kiely Mini Diffuser and Candle Set

Orla Kiely is an Irish contemporary designer renowned for her colourful and retro, distinctive prints. 
I love her creations and I've been lusting after her coats and dresses for few years but unfortunately, they are a bit out of my price range.
If like me you're on a budget, you can still treat yourself to a bit of Orla Kiely with the stunning Christmas 2013 Gift Sets. 
There is a Geranium Hand Wash and Hand Lotion and Ceramic Dish Set that - for example - is perfect for mums, or the Geranium Bath and Face Cloth Set for your best friend.

Personally, I fell in love with the Mini  Diffuser and Candle Set* that comes in 2 distinctive fragrances: Geranium & Myrrh or Basil & Mint. They have a stunning red or white trademark floral print on frosted glass and beautifully packed in a matching box.

I like to lit candles on my bedside table; I find the flickering of the flame relaxing when I read a book and cosy when I'm typing away on the laptop. The Basil and Mint scent is extremely refreshing and not your typical scent, that will please and impress the most demanding person too.

I'm actually saving the reed diffuser for Christmas day; they will be perfect in my hall to infuse the whole house with this refreshing and inviting scent and to welcome my guests.
And it's pretty stylish too, of course! ;) 

This is a very thoughtful present to gift to a special person in your life… and I hope you have some shopping money left in your pocket because you will surely want to treat yourself too!

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