Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Champneys Energising Lime launch

I do love a luxury spa brand and Champneys Citrus Blush has always been one of my favs. So I was really excited for the recent launch of their new collection, Energizing Lime. The fragrance is a blend of lime (of course!) with mint and orange which gives a refreshing and invigorating aroma, perfect for the morning.

This new collection includes Body Wash (£8),  Bath & Shower Oil (£8), Body Soufflé (£10), Hydrating Gel (£8) and Foaming Body Scrub (£10).

I've tried out the Body Wash which is jammed packed full of Vitamin E Jojoba Beads which as well as making the product look really pretty are great for hydrating your skin. The gel is also really thick and feels really luxurious. The Foaming Body Scrub is also really lovely to use as a weekly treatment to buff away dead skin cells and aid toxin removal. Whilst at the event I was treated to a mani  (which I featured on Monday) where the therapist gave me a hand and arm massage with the Body Soufflé which contains Sweet Almond Oil, Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter to give some serious moisture to parched skin. My arms felt soft and supple and smelt gorgeous all day.


Tuesday 30 July 2013

Elkin Jewellery Pop Up Shop

Shopping on the internet can be hazardous, want looks fabulous on the website's photos graphs in reality can be nasty in reality. Therefore I love it when a small brand has a pop up shop where you get to see the products in the flesh to decide on your purchase.

Renowned for skull designs, Elkin is running a pop up shop near London's Oxford street this week, so yesterday I popped in for a peak at their new collections from designer Eloise Mekin.

One of my favourite pieces is the turquoise 'Straight to the heart' necklace £75, which would add a striking addition to your outfit.
I also loved the 'Creepy kind of love' bracelet at £69 which has 3 different coloured metal bugs creeping around your wrist. 

To view the entire collection visit the Elkin pop up shop this week at 1.16 Kingley Court W1B 5PT or have a peak at their website.


Concoctions Hair Care Launch Selfridges

We can now buy hair products filled with ingredients to help with colour, style and heat protection. However, you only tend to get one of your needs met in each product. New brand Concoction has totally solved this problem - you are ale to customise your own shampoo!

This brand launch on Thursday at Selfridges where I made my bespoke shampoo. It works by choosing your base fragrance, I went for Black Pepper and Citrus, but also fell in love with Lemon and Verbena. They all smell so luxurious! Next is the super fun part, as you choose two 'shots' to make your shampoo bespoke. Options include shots for different hair colours, volumising and moisturising. 

I opted for 'Back to your roots' which really cleanses your locks, removing build up of styling products and 'Thermostraight' to protect my tresses from heat styling equipment that I use too regularly. Then you give the bottle a good shake, like a cocktail, and you are good to go! The conditioner that also launched on Thursday doesn't have any shots to add, but maybe this will change in the future, such a fun idea. Here is a little video of my mixologists at Selfriges making up my Concoction:

The products are really gorgeous and I've really enjoyed using them, as I mentioned the fragrances are amazing and the high-end products mean you need only a small amount to get a good lather going! The shampoo is priced at £14 and conditioner £16 available online or at Selfridges and come in this fab little box.


Monday 29 July 2013

Mani Monday: Champneys Teal

Who knew that super spa brand Champneys did nail varnish? Well I certainly didn't until last Thursday when I attended a launch event for their new range - more on that to come - where one of the lovely therapists treated me to a manicure in this amazing teal shade. This nail colour has received so many complements, a gorgeous bright shade without being too in your face. 

I was also surprised how reasonable the polished are priced, only £5 a bottle, I'll be treating myself to a few more of their shades...

Saturday 27 July 2013

Ascot fashion

Yesterday the girls and I headed off to Ascot to picnic, sip bubbles, watch the horse racing, and most importantly, pick out of favourite outfits. The weather man had promised thunder storms, so I had really struggled with my outfit choice, but as the skies remained generally blue, summer frocks, neon brights and fabulous accessories ruled the day. So here are the girls that I picked out as 'best in show' to share their look with us.

Gemma looked super chic in Ted Baker talouring and oversized patent clutch.

Mei demonstrated effortless style by teaming a powder pink ASOS skirt, topshop cami and Zara statament necklace.

Julia nailed this seasons neon trend in this dress by River Island, whereas Anna opted for a girlie floral frock from Zara that looked fabulous against her honey skin and locks.

Louise demonstrated that trousers can be just as chic at the races, and far more practical when picnic-ing. Her emerald Jäger top gave her outfit a luxe look and really popped against her white trousers from New Look. I'm also totally in love with her Mulberry.

So girls, which is your favourite? I hope this has inspired you for your next trip to the races. Thank you to all the girls for taking part in this post!

Friday 26 July 2013

GOSH CC cream and BB powder

I do love a good CC and BB cream, they make a regular foundation look lazy with all their multitasking! So when I attended a launch event for GOSH the other week I made a bee line for these new products which will be available in the autumn.

The BB powder is a really great new product, perfect for those of us who need a touch of anti-shine in their makeup as BB creams give a more dewy consistency which is great, if you don't have oily skin! I'm actually loving popping it over the top of a BB/CC cream to prevent shine and give a but extra coverage on days I need it. There will be 4 shades available priced at £9.99. 

Although GOSH have mastered the BB creams, the A/W collection sees the first CC cream to the brand, which as well as giving good coverage contains Gatuline to improve skin micro-circulation to help prevent aging. The cream also contains SPF 10 to protect against the less powerful autumn sunshine. There will be 6 shades to match to your skin tone priced at £8.99.

Left: Sand, Right: Natural
So here I am having used the CC cream topped up with some BB powder!

Both will be available from superdrug.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Schwarzkopf got2b new styling products

I love to change my look and hair styling is a really easy way to do it without too much hard work or going too bold like a make-up overall can be. Schwarzkopf  recently launched some new styling products in their got2b range that can give you two opposite looks really easily.

Last Friday when I got back from holiday I dumped my bags and headed out for a girlie drink by the river. My hair was a complete mess post sunbathing and traveling so I needed a quick fix. I liberally spritz my locks with the Beach Matt Texturizing Salt Spray (£4.05) then scrunched with my finger tips whilst waving my hairdryer over. It produced loose beachy waves that I really loved and perfected my 'just got back from hols' look. I teamed it with Avon Ultra Colour Lip Crayon in Fresh Fushsia - due to launch in August - £7.50.

Then on Monday morning I had some meetings and wanted tamer locks so after washing my hair I ran a tiny amount of Oil-Licious Styling Oil (£4.05) through the mid lengths and ends and blow-dried with a bristle brush to give a fuzz-free shiny mane that lasted all day. 

With both looks I sprayed a liberal amount of Happy Hour hairspray (£4.05) to keep my look in check - good hold and fab fragrance.

So girls, which look do you prefer?


Wednesday 24 July 2013

BMB cooks: Key Lime Pie

I love cold desserts, cheesecakes, pavlova, crème brûlée...... yum! One of my favs has to be key lime pie, named after the Florida Keys where the lovely limes are grown. It is a really easy one to recreate at home and looks impressive to boot. My lovely friends Saskia & Chris tied the knot on Saturday and I made a couple of these scrummy puds for their beautiful dessert buffet.

  • 250g digestive biscuits or ginger nuts (or a mixture of both)
  • 100g butter
  • 405g can Condensed Milk (I tened to use Carnation Light)
  • 5 limes 
  • 300ml carton double cream
Step 1
Whizz up the biscuits and melted butter in a food processor. I recommend melting the butter in a little jug in the microwave in 10 second bursts, then you can pour off the butter as it melts, avoiding bubbling over and a greasy mess to clear of the bottom of the microwave...
(In my pre-magi-mix days I just whacked the biscuits with a wooden spoon and then mixed in the melted butted in a bowl afterwards)

Step 2
I like to line my cake tin with aluminium foil to make removal super easy as you wont get any sticking. Then with your finger tips line the bottom and sides of the tin with your biscuit-butter mixture. The lining of the sides will make your define your creation as a pie rather than a cheesecake. When you are happy that the layer is nice and even, pop it in the fridge to set while you get on with the filling.

Step 3
Zest and juice your limes, trying to get the prices of zest reasonable small. You might want to strain your lime juice to make sure you have removed all the pips.
Top tip: freeze the leftover limes for a perfect G&T compnion!

Step 4
Whisk together the double cream and condensed milk then add the lime juice and zest which will cause the mixture to thicken instantly.

Step 5
Pour the lime filling into your chilled cakes and return to the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Top tip: If you want to make your pie in advance you can always pop it in the freezer at this point and defrost before serving.

Here one of my pie's on the naughty buffet, the mother of the bride even wanted the recipe, so it must have gone down well!

Cheat: If that sounds like too much effort, Waitrose do a fabulous version for only £3.99

Monday 22 July 2013

Dove Beauty Bar & Luxury Dressing Gown Competition

I am a big fan of Dove, their products are gorgeously simple and effective whilst still managing to give you a daily does of pampering. The Beauty Cream Bar is one of their signature products which gently cleanses the skin whilst the 1/4 moisturising cream ensures hydration.

To celebrate the simple luxury of the Dove Beauty Cream Bars, Dove have offered me a gorgeous prize of a luxury brand dressing gown and a selection of the Beauty Cream Bar range (Dove Pure & Sensitive Beauty Cream Bar, Dove go fresh Restore Blue Fig & Orange Blossom Beauty Cream Bar and Dove Original Beauty Cream Bar) to give away to one of my lovely blog readers!

 Enter using the Rafflecopter Widget below. One winner will be chosen at random on the 6th August 2013... Good luck!


Mani Monday: Butter London Westend Wonderland

Neon brights and pastel shades have been frequenting my nails recently. Today however, I decided that I fancied a metallic sparkle, opting for a shade I haven't worn since Christmas given to me by the fabulous nail art blogger Fundamentally Flawless.

Westend Wonderland (£12) is a super matte gold glitter vanish, which is fabulous for the festive season, but I'm also loving it against my tanned skin with gold chunky jewellery. Although the varnish is clear itself, the density of the multiple toned glitter particles is intense and totally glitter coverage is achieved in two coats.


Friday 19 July 2013

Pre-sun Post-sun skincare

It's Summer! The season where we wave good bye to the miserable british weather and head for warmer shores... But as the heat wave that we are currently enjoying is with us for the coming weeks we beed to be thinking about sun-care products at home as well as for out week in the sun.
A couple of products I am currently loving will help prevent any over-pinkingof your  precious complexion and soothe when you've over done it.

When the sun is super strong the SPF in your normal moisturiser/make up just doesn't cut it and to prevent ageing and damaging UV attacking your akin, you need to send in the big guns. I'm loving Piz Buin Allergy Face Cream SPF 50 (£11.99/40ml) as this advanced UVA/UVB protection for sun sensitive skin also contains the antioxidant Calmanelle which helps reinforce your cells defences against UV rays and can increase skin cell tolerance to the sun. As well as all this goodness it feels like a proper face moisturiser as well, it sinks quickly into the skin and you are left with a hydrated, soft complexion. You will also be super smug and chic when everyone around you has shiny red noses and cheeks.

Despite all my talk about ultra high SPF for my face, i do enjoy lounging around in the sun and getting bronzed. So aftercare of my skin is just as crucial. A great aftersun that locks in moisture is always on my pre-holiday list and this year I opted for Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration After Sun in Coconut and Papaya (£11.99/180ml). The smell is so tropical and yummy and the ribbons of aloe gel refresh and cool the skin whist the lotion containing sheer butter and silk protein moisturise. It also looks so pretty too!

What are your sun protection and tanning tips? Xxx


Wednesday 17 July 2013

HD Brows

Back in the late nineties we all plucked our eyebrows to the millimetres of their lives, leaving fashionable skinny arcs. However now the trend for thicker, fuller brows is with us simply not plucking wont turn back the hands of time and we chastise ourselves for not leaving them well alone.

There are now a range of products to help us achieve what the likes of Cara et al have naturally. Since the trend for more defined  brows arrived, I have generally used a pencil to give the illusion of thickness, but without careful tiny hair like strokes it can look very fake and obvious.  So when HD Brows sent me their brow palette to try I was intrigued at what the results would be.

I opted for the 'dark brown' in the Foxy palette (£19.96) for brunettes as it is very close to my natural colour, but you can blend the shades to get your perfect match. There are also palette for very dark hair and blondies. In each compact also contains a nude colour, which is great for applying under the brow line for a more defined arc.

I really love the effect, it makes my look more sleek, sexy and polished - not descriptors that I would normally use for myslef - and really easy to achieve, the powder clings to your existing brows, so thickening and darkening what you have already, whilst the non-smudge formaula keeps the particles in place for 24 hours.

For me, I don't think so would do every day, saving for nights out, or when ai want to feel more 'done', what do you think? Xxx
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