Wednesday, 26 February 2014

New In / REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser

Creamy Hot Cloth cleansers are my favourite type of cleansers and an unmissable step in my evening routine; I have tried many - of course some I like less, some I like more - and the new REN Rosa Centifolia Hot Cloth Cleanser* is already part of the latter. It ticks so many boxes!
First of all, it does NOT contain parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic fragrance, synthetic colours, silicones and other nasty chemicals - in line with the brand ethos.

I found many cleansers to be way too thick, like a paste, but the REN one is very creamy and light, easy to spread and suitable to use on eyes too; it's a pleasure to massage onto the face and the soothing herbal scent is also relaxing for the mind.

You massage the product onto dry skin to help loosen dead skin cells and make up; then, it's recommended to wet the cloth with warm water and to place it on the face to open up the pores; finally, use the cloth to remove the cleanser and polish the skin.
It doesn't leave any oily residue and, at the same time, my skin feels nourished and not tight at all. 
It comes in a handy pump bottle that cleverly allows to see how much product is left and a stay-warm cloth. 

I got to say that I'm so glad to see REN adding another great product to their already successful skincare range.
This cleanser is now part of my evening rotation... and it's here to stay!

 I first saw a sneak peek of the REN V-Cense Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial on Instagram back in November and I can't tell you how excited I'm to finally try this product.
Sad news is that it's not going to be released until the autumn :( ...but I simply couldn't wait to share it with you guys.

The mask is a green balm with a sweet citrusy marzipan/almond scent.
First, you massage the mask into the skin and then add a bit of water, to activate the powerful Vitamin C exfoliant; it suddenly starts to tingle and you leave it on pose for only 60 seconds.
Once removed, the skin felt smooth and soft to the touch, it looked plumped up and rosy.
In the short term, I'm definitely impressed and I can't wait to get my hands on a full size bottle since it promises to help with UV damage and uneven skin tone too, in the long term.

Do you use hot cloth cleansers? Have you tried REN products before? 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Haul / Philosophy

A couple of months ago, I received a discount code in the post from Philosophy; it was for £15 off on £60 spending, which I thought was very generous and silly not taking advantage of.
So this is what I ordered:

Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash
I had recently finished  a sample of this wash (link) and I loved it so much that I decided to buy the full size bottle. The consistency is perfection: the micro scrubbing particles are very effective but, because of the gel consistency, is also gentle at the same time. 

Philosophy The Great Mystery One-Minute Daily Facial
I also picked up this mask to try… sounded pretty intriguing.
When you massage it in, it foams up on the skin and you can feel it fizz actually; it's kinda of weird and worrying at first but, when you see that no damage is done to your face, it becomes a pleasant experience.
Plus, acts in 1 minute and it's delicate enough that could be used every day; again, a great purifying product: leaves my skin super-clean! 

Philosophy Senorita Margarita Shampoo Shower Gel & Bubble Bath
Loved the idea of a margarita scented shower gel (plus, I had to reach the minimum spending for the offer) but again not impressed with this Philosophy body washes. It's my own fault: I have already been disappointed before in the formula (link) and the smell just doesn't last out of the bottle. :(

Have you tried Philosophy yet? Which are your must-have products?

Sunday, 23 February 2014

New In / Kiko Make Up Milano Bad Girl? Collection

Kiko Bad Girl? - the new Limited Edition Collection - takes inspiration from iconic personalities from contemporary rap music scene, where the artists express their strong statements with fashion and make up too.
Center of attention are the eyes with piercing, magnetic looks and graphic lines, yet with a feminine element.

There are 4 Colour Fever Eyeshadow Palettes in the collection, all aiming at enhancing every eye colour. 
The shades in 101 Coral Burgundy* range from a luminous peachy champagne to a deep vibrant purple and they complement each other perfectly. They are extremely versatile and let you create a soft romantic eye, or a more edgy and intense look.
They have the texture of smooth baked shadows and the colour pay-off is excellent, even when applied dry; they come in a compact and sturdy case with a very good size mirror, too.
The quality of these eyeshadows is truly outstanding… but I'll let the swatches speak for themselves :)

Kiko Daring Look Eye Marker* also doesn't disappoint... and it actually left me very impressed!
I don't normally wear eyeliner on a daily basis since I'm always pretty tight for time in the morning; however, with this pen is so incredibly quick to create a fluid, precise line (even with my not-so-steady hand) that it's a skipped step no more.
The tip doesn't drag, it's easy to control and the delivery of the ink is even so no need to go over and over the line to intensify the colour; the finish is kinda of matte and very dark once dry and smudge-proof, too. 
Then teamed with the purplish eyeshadows of the palette - Well, they are just made for each other and you can achieve a very striking combo with just few simple steps!

Once again, Kiko hit it out of th park with this collection which definitely deserves your love and attention!
Bad Girl? is out now and you can check out the products on

Friday, 21 February 2014

Shopping My Stash / #12

I haven’t really been bothered to play with make up lately or browse through my collection; I’ve been lazy and simply reaching for simple, natural colours to slap on quickly in the morning. I blame the weather!
Urban Decay Shattered Face Case palette has been perfect for my current mood. The shades are neutral, effortless to apply and blend super easily. I also added a bit of colour with Neve Cosmetics Pastello Eye Pencil in Petrolio which works well both with the browns and purples of the eyeshadows. Finished off the eyes with a coat of Benefit They’re Real mascara… which I’m trying to finish because I really don’t like it - It makes my lashes too crispy!

On the face, I’ve been using Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation in Honey; I’m actually really liking this foundation because it doesn’t accentuate the dry patches that winter brought with it. :(
This foundation is already pretty good in keeping me shine-free, but I also added a dust of Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder in Brightening Nudes to make it lasts all day.

On the cheeks and lips, I used the blushes (Overexposed, Temper), highlighter (Glint) and Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Lovechild from the face case, which complement the eyes and each other beautifully; I have also been enjoying topping up the lippie during the day. J

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

New In / La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+]

Today’s review is of the new launch from La Roche-Posay for 2014: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+]*.
My skin has changed quite a lot in recent months: it used to be normal/combination with very few blemishes, but now it seems to have become dryer and I regularly suffer from spots and micro-cysts. You can imagine how annoying and upsetting it is, especially since many of the blemish-prone products on the market are for young skin and far too drying for my needs; it’s also frustrating because I feel like I have just finished dealing with a blemish, that I can already feel a new one ready to make an appearance.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo has been particularly formulated for women aged 18-35, but still providing the same soothing benefits – especially for sensitive skin - that La Roche-Posay is famous for.

The revolutionary formulation acts on every stage of the imperfection: starting from the initial inflammation, that produces an excess amount of sebum that blocks the pores; that way the sebum cannot surface, creating blackheads and the dreaded red painful blemishes. It is really a chain reaction because at this stage the surrounding cells, triggered by stress messages, release an abnormal amount of melatonin that leads to hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, when melatonin builds up it is very difficult to eliminate and that’s why we are left with the red and brown marks, even months after the spot is actually gone.

Effaclar Duo aims at addressing all these issues and you got to love a multitasking cream because you definitely don’t want to pile  layers of products on already problematic skin. I think this cream will be a game changer for many women - It has certainly improved my skin and my daily routine!
The key ingredient is PROCERAD, a powerful patented ceramide that acts like an anti-inflammatory on the first phase, anti-pigmentary on the second and lastly preventing new spots and marks from developing.

I’ve been testing out this product for a month or so now and - although I’m not that perceptive to notice results withing 24hrs, myself  -  I did see a fading of red blemish marks in a matter of days; I also noticed a general improvement of the skin texture, pores look clearer and consequently a reduction on bumps and spots. One morning I woke up and BAM, my skin looked pretty good in the mirror – miles better than it had been in a while!
I also love the silky consistency - the skin feels smooth to the touch, making it a perfect base for make up too; it is also mattifying and hydrating throughout the day, so it can substitute your regular moisturizer.

Have you heard of this product yet? Looking forward to try it? Remember you can now find La Roche-Posay products in larger Boots stores nationwide, on and
Best discovery of 2014 so far!!!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Empties / January 2014

Di Palomo Moisturizing Liquid Soap: I have totally fallen for this brand and with this hand wash, in particular. It leaves my hands soft, not dry and beautifully scented. You just need a drop and it cuts through grease (like foundation) easily, so it lasted a decent time too.
Repurchase: yes.
Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream: the Reve de Miel range is a favourite of mine, since it came out and this hand cream is as lovely as the much-hyped lipbalm. I like how quickly it absorbs and doesn't leave any greasy residue on the skin; it's quite heavily scented so you may want to be aware of that, if this fragrance is not your cup of tea. It does not bother me.
Repurchase: yep!
Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control: this is another great body cream from Clarins (like this one!). I had a dozen of these samples and I can say that, with regular use, I could definitely see an improvement on the skin on my legs and bum. It's pricey but it delivers and it feels like a real luxury treat.
Repurchase: maybe.

Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash: I really didn't care for this cleanser. The glue-ish consistency made it awkward to work into the skin and wasteful; it is also not 'powerful' enough to remove make-up so I have only been using it on make-up free days. I guess it could be a nice cleanser for the morning routine but I'm happy with my cleansing milk, in the mornings.
Repurchase: no.
Alpha H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask: this is a great purifying mask and gentle, at the same time. It says it contains lavender but doesn't have the scent. It feels very much like a mud mask but doesn't dry the skin as much.
Repurchase: yes.
Lavera Eyegel: unfortunately - although their products are lovely - I just don't agree with the smell of Lavera creams; the handcream was also a fail for me.
The consistency of the eyegel is balmy and silky, it felt really nice on the skin... I just don't see the need of such an overpowering scent in an eyecream!
Repuchase: nope! 

*** Sorry if this post is coming pretty late but I'm having issues with the broadband at home... fingers crossed, it will be sorted by the end of the week! ;) ***

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

New In / L'Occitane Ultra Soft Cream in Zesty Lime

L'Occitane is releasing a new generation of body creams. L'Occitane Ultra Soft Body Creams come in 3 teasing scents to awake the senses, whilst waiting for Spring; the bright neon tins complement the fragrances inside and they are sure to brighten any dressing table. 
 You can choose from sophisticated Vanilla Bouquet, romantic Rose Heart and the young & refreshing Zesty Lime*

Personally, I'm a fan of citrusy smells, but I know that my mum would love the classic and warm notes of the vanilla version, instead.
Zesty Lime has the perfect harmony between the sharpness of the lime and the deepness of the shea butter. 
These creams contains 10% Shea Butter - hence the ultra soft 'title' - and they are the ideal transition into Spring because they still provide hydration and protection from the harsh weather, but without coating the skin with a thick layer of lotion.

As you can see in the picture below, I made a comparison with L'Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream that contains 25% Shea Butter; the new product feels more like a (thickish) lotion - melts into the skin, leaving the skin silky to the touch..  

l: ultra rich cream / r: ultra soft cream

L'Occitane Ultra Soft tins launch on the 15th February - which colour will you be picking up?

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Haul / Handbags

I keep saying no more bags, because I objectively have too many and I'm running out of storage space… but then I inevitably manage to find a good excuse for a new love.
I got these for a discounted price - that's my excuse… ;)

Aubrey Anglesea Metallic Cross Body Bag 
I never heard of this brand - Aubrey - before but Asos seems to stock a good selection of their bags. I fell in love with the gold colour and the black contrast strap. I think the texturised finish and the gold details with the bunny badge make it look quite expensive; well, they are not cheap bags - I got this for less than half price at £22.50
It has a magnetic fastening and it's pretty roomy, considering the size.

Fiorelli Tango In The Night Medium Satchel Bag
I like Fiorelli bags - I think they manage to release contemporary pieces, but still remaining classy. I have a few and they also stand the test of time because they are all still in very good conditions. 
I saw this bag in Debenhams before Christmas, but I waited for the sales to bag myself a bargain.
I like the contrast colour blocking of the neutral shades that gives it a retro feel; I also love the details, like the central turnlock - specially made for this 25th Anniversary Collection.
I just wish the shoulder strap was removable, in case you wanna use it as grab bag.

Fiorelli Tango In The Night Medium Zip Around Purse
I could have gotten the purse to match the bag, but I decided to get the dusky pink/coral version instead. I preferred this colour combo better on the wallet.
I like flat wallets because  they have plenty of slots for (loyalty) cards, but still room for cash and coins; they also don't take must space in your bag.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Review / Noble Isle Willow Song Bath & Shower Gel

Noble Isle is a british luxury bath/body and home fragrance brand; they take inspiration from the beautiful nature of the british isles, like misty moorland, Highland distilleries and English orchards and use only the finest ingredients to evoke these gorgeous and mystic lands.
If you recall from my previous post (link) - Noble Isle Fireside is more of a unisex scent, whilst Noble Isle Willow Song* has definitely a feminine twist.

It's sweet - thanks to watermelon and rose petals - but not in a sickening way because the base notes of cedarwood and musk create a perfect balance between florals and mellow woods.
Willow bark and water lily extract, sourced from the medieval town of Lavenham (hence the name), have soothing properties and these romantic notes make it the ideal gift to spoil your Valentine!
The range includes bath & shower gel, a luxurious whipped body cream for your bathtime routine and weighty glass candle or an elegant black reed diffuser.

 Also, if you're looking for the male counterpart, you can bet on Noble Isle Lightning Oak line that, with its smoky woods and peppery notes, is also a favourite of Brad Pitt… doesn't get more handsomely manly than that! ;)

Have you tried Noble Isle yet?

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