Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Monday 30 June 2014

Mani Monday: Avon Gel Finish Wine and Dine Me

Avon Gel Finish Nail Enamel Wine and Dine Me

Choosing my colour for Mani Monday on Saturday in the rain, I wasn't feeling too summery and opted for quite a wintery shade. But I do like to occasionally veer away from the neons and pastels in the summer months, so that I don't get bored of them. So I've opted for Wine and Dine me from Avon in their Gel Finish collection. Its code is P815 - as the name isn't on the bottle which is a bit of a shame, but this dark brown-red is a classic and stylish shade. The gel finish makes it sooo shiny and completely opaque in two coats. I found the brush easy to use, which made my application really precise. I can't wait to try some of the other shades in the 20 shade collection. Normally priced at £7 - the polished are currently half price on the Avon website.

Avon Gel Finish Nail Enamel Wine and Dine Me

Avon Gel Finish Nail Enamel Wine and Dine Me


Sunday 29 June 2014

What's in my bathroom: Hair Care

Fushi Argan and amalaki shampoo and conditioner Dove intensive repair mask

To continue my What's in my bathroom series of posts, today I'm sharing with you what I've currently been using on my hair. A while ago I was sent Fushi Argan & Amalaki shampoo (£9.99/250ml) and conditioner (311.95/250ml) which I've only recently got around to trying. Although Argan is now a hair care ingredient that seems to be in everything now, I hadn't heard of Amalaki, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is traditionally, is believed to nourish the hair and scalp and prevent premature greys. I really like the fragrance of the herbs in both of the products, which is really strong, however, I found that despite the shampoo promising to revive damaged hair, it made mine feel really dry and tangled in the shower. The conditioner does help to reverse some of this dryness, but doesn't make my hair as soft as other conditioners I've used recently.  I have persevered and used the combo three times, but I think I maybe moving on soon.

To try and keep the hydration in my hair, I've used Dove Damage Solutions Intensive Repair Regenerating Mask (£4.59/200ml) on a weekly basis. This thick cream should be applied after shampooing and left for 3-5 minutes, which is totally doable within shower-time, compared to other masks which often require 10 minutes plus. Containing Keratin Repair Actives it helps to repair the proteins in your hair, making it stronger and smoother. It has the Dove, clean, but not luxurious classic fragrance and has made my hair tangle free and soft and smooth once dried. This hair care item will be staying in my shower.

Fushi Argan and amalaki shampoo and conditioner Dove intensive repair mask


Thursday 26 June 2014

Paul & Joe Eyes and Lips

Paul and Joe eyes colour trio and glossy lip colour

After my Mani Monday on Paul & Joe I thought I'd share some other goodies I've recently discovered. 
Sat towards the back of a Paul & Joe bloggers event the other week, international makeup artists Craig-Ryan French was waxing lyrically about how gorgeous his celebrity clients find the packaging of Paul & Joe. Being a newbie to this brand I didn't pay too much attention until these beauties were passed around. The detail is stunning. All of the pieces go beyond the norm and look so cute on my dressing table. 
I have been lucky enough to try out the  eye colour trio (£23) which you then choose a cute case to put it in (£7) I love the coral kitten one I have! Each of the eight trios included one highly iridescent shade, one matte and the third somewhere in between I have been trying out shade 06 Paris in April, which includes an iridescent blue, but it isn't very blue at all, more of a shimmer, a pretty creamy-nude-pink and chocolate brown, which looks sophisticated for a subtle eye look. 

Loving bold lip shades in summer, I am adoring the orange Tunisia of the glossy lip colours. The two sides applicator has a smooth spatula inner curved side and the outer edge is flocked to even the coverage. This coral shade would look sensational with a tan - roll on high summer!

Paul and Joe eyes colour trio and glossy lip golour

Paul and Joe eyes colour trio and glossy lip golour


Wednesday 25 June 2014

Whats in my bathroom: bodycare

Simply beautiful shower gel Ritual Magic Touch Melvita l'or bio oil

I've had a total change of skincare recently and haven't told you too much about it, so I thought over the next week or so I'd do a group of 'What's in my Bathroom?' posts on body products my morning and evening skincare routine and current hair-care.

Simply beautiful shower gel Ritual Magic Touch Melvita l'or bio oil

I love a luxurious shower gel, the thickness of the texture and fragrance makes me feel special and pampered in the morning, which tends to get my day off to a good start. SBC (Simply Beautiful Skincare) Vitamin ACE shower gel fits the bill and contains little bubbles which burst as you lather into the skin.. Its really refreshing and leaves my skin feeling moisturised but still with that squeaky clean feeling (£18.50/500ml from QVC).

I'm then alternating my body moisturiser between Rituals Magic Touch (£17/200ml) which is an amazingly thick whipped body cream which smells beautiful - due to the ingredients of rice milk and cherry. Don't be put off, I wouldn't have listed either of these as my fav fragrances, but they just work. The cream contains antioxidants, Vitamin E and the ingredient Centella Asiatica, a skin strengthener, my skin is left feeling oh-so-soft and supple.

I am also going through a body-oil-obsession-phase and Melvita's L'Ore Bio (£27.50/100ml) is my current fav non-shimmery oil - and one of Melvita's best sellers. Again the fragrance is gorgeous, containing a blend of bergamot, lemon, orange, jasmine, fig and vanilla. It smells like summer. The mixture of oils sink into your skin quickly (dry oils don't leave you feeling greasy at all) and any dry or tight skin is banished. and it adds a glow to your limbs, perfect to team with a sundress.

Simply beautiful shower gel vitamin ACE

Ritual Magic Touch body cream

Melvita l'or bio body oil


Tuesday 24 June 2014

Good Things Manuka Honey Skincare

Good things manuka honey skincare

Manuka honey is labelled as a miracle cure for many ailments and beauty issues; skincare benefits include promotion of cell growth, pH balancing, antioxidant and promotion of collagen production. No wonder, therefore, skincare brand Good Things launched a range using Manuka honey as it key ingredient back in April this year. In the last few weeks I have added the Refining Scrub (£4.99/150ml) and Radiance Face Mask (£5.99/100ml) as a step in my weekly skincare routine and I'm really enjoying it.The scrub contains oatmeal, which adds to the fragrance and it is really creamy and gentle on the skin. When I first used it I wasn't sure it was going to have any effect, as normally I like a scrub where you can feel it working away all the dead cells. However, I was really impressed when I used hot cloth to remove the product, as I found my skin feeling super soft and really plump. I have then followed with the face mask, which also contains white clay and beeswax. After leaving for the recommended 10 minutes and removing again with a hot cloth (always a fav) again my skin has felt really moisturised and well nourished. Both goodies being free from nasties such as parabens, mineral oils, and sodium laureth sulphate, you can tell that you are popping something natural onto your skin. I think this duo will be remaining in my weekly routine for some while.

Good things manuka honey skincare

Good things manuka honey skincare


Monday 23 June 2014

Mani Monday: Paul and Joe Mata Hari

Paul and Joe Mata Hari

Coral is always my fav summer nail polish, I think it looks fab when you have a little more colour in your skin and even better when the sun is shining. Paul & Joe have just brought out a range of 25 nail shades and I am loving this peachy-coral called Mata Hari (which was the stage name of an an exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy and executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I - thanks Wikipedia!). After having Model's Own Shades on my nails this weekend to attend a friends wedding, I am enjoying the rest from neon nails. The bottle is just too cute, inspired by vintage perfume bottles, it it too pretty to be stored away. I did need to use three coats, and even then you can slightly see where my nail beds finish. At £12 a polish, they aren't the cheapest, but a gorgeous colour and packaging. 

Paul and Joe Mata Hari

Paul & Joe Nail Enamels are available from ASOS, Harrods, Selfridges and


Friday 20 June 2014

Soft & Gentle Pink Orange Blossom and Grapfruit

soft and gentle pink grapefruit

Obviously the most important trait in antiperspirant is that is work, otherwise why bother? However the next thing I look for is the fragrance and I tend to opt for the fruity varieties, which make me feel fresh and clean. Soft & Gentle's new Orange Blossom and Grapefruit fragrance ticks both of these boxes and is my current deodorant choice. I tend to get through deodorant at a fast rate as I always over-spray, so the large 250 ml bottle (£2.75 - but currently half price at Boots) will keep me going for a while, there is also a roll-on if that's more your style (£1).

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Elemis Fresh Skin

Elemis Fresh skin

Back in my teens and early twenties, my skin was lucky to have a face wipe dragged across it to remove my makeup and maybe a little of the cheapest moisturiser popped on. I have now swung to the opposite extreme, becoming a little obsessed with skincare and can use up to 5 products in my evening routine... However, I totally recommend that you should stat using skincare products early, to keep your skin hydrated and fabulous - which then needs little if any make up. Elemis have the Fresh Skin collection, designed for this age group and I've been trying some of the products out for you.

Tired Eyes (£16/15ml) is a cooling and hydrating eye gel, which perks up and brightens eyes tired from loads of studying and too little sleep. Its a gel, so feels really fresh and the hard working ingredients help to reduce puffiness. I've also really liked the skin clear serum (£19/30ml) which I've been popping under my moisturiser at night and I found that it helped reduce inflammation and reness around blemishes quicker than usual. The first few times I used it I did seem to get a few tiny little spots, which may have either been my skin getting used to a new product, or the serum helping to declogg my pores and remove the impurities.

Although I liked using the products, and would recommend to younger girls, I think my skin needs products with more anti-aging ingredients.


Monday 16 June 2014

Mani Monday: Model's Own Polish for Tans Collection

As it is getting sunnier, I find myself reaching for my nail polishes which show off the little sun tan I have gained. Brights and corals generally are the colours I pick, but this assurance has been compounded by Model's Own launching their Polishes for Tan range (£5 each) which feature neons ans fun pink shades. When they popped through my door, I went straight for 'Beach Bag' as coral is always my go-to summer colour. However, after trying out all of the colours, the super bright pink - 'Sun Hat' was my fav - which is currently donning both my hand and toes nails. Yesterday, in a desperate bid to swatch all of the colours for you, I ended up with the green (Flip Flop) and the yellow (bikini) on each hand - not a good look, but I found that I surprisingly love the neon green. Although all of the pink colours only needed two coats for full, non chip coverage, the yellow and green, both needed three and a top coat to prevent them looking too matte. These colors are totally going to be my summer go-to palette.



Sunday 15 June 2014

L'Occitane au Brazil Limited Collection

I'm not a massive footie fan, and thankfully Mr BMB isn't either, so the World Cup would probably just pass me by if it wasn't for all the beauty brands launching fabulous Brazil themed collections. I wrote a post about Clarins Colours of Brazil collection a few weeks back (link) and as yesterday was England's first match I thought it would be a good day to tell you about L'Occitane's Limited Collection that launched at the beginning of this month.
The collection is made in Brazil and designed around two native plants, The Jenipapo cirus tree and Vitoria Regia, a water lily, which blooms at dawn and dusk - which L'Occitane have used to inspire a day flower and night flower fragrance. L'Occitane have also collaborated with Brazilian artists to design the packaging of the products, so this collection is pretty different to the usual ranges from this French brand.

My favorite of the three fragrances is the Jenipapo, which I think L'Occitance likes most too,as it has the larges range of products and suncare. The citrus fruity fragrances combined with frangipani and sandalwood give a warm, sensual fragrance. I love the oils in this collection, the perfume oil roll on has been in my handbag no-stop and I love the shower oil (£14/250ml). In contact with water becomes a creamy lather, leaving your skin feeling soft and supple, with the fragrance lingering on your skin. Their is also a matching body lotion (£20/250ml) which the fragrance seems much more dilute and is of a thinner consistency than I was expecting. The range also includes suncare, with the cute round face protector SPF 30 (£26/25ml) looking really cute and tactile.

The Vitoria Regia is split into two fragrances, the morning flower, which is really fresh, including citrus and apple notes and the night flower which is a warmer fragrance with sandalwood and musk. Eau de Cologne (£39/300ml) is available in in the day and night flower, the night flower range also includes a super pretty hand soap, in the shape of the water lily (£5/100ml). The day flower range also includes hand cream (£8/30ml) which is really moisturising and non-greasy, and a shower gel and body lotion too.

So even if you're not going to be watching the football, hopefully this range will be getting you more interested!


Friday 13 June 2014

New Summer Make-Up loves

My makeup routine does change with the season, and as Summer seems to have arrived this week, I thought I'd share some of the new make-up I've been loving. I always wear primers under my make-up to help it stay put and in the summer, when your more prone to perspiring it is especially important. Max Factor's FaceFinity (£10.99) it a runny liquid which it great when it heats up, as you don't want thick greasy product clogging your pores. It feels really light and silky, but still grips on to your make-up. Its also got SPF20 in the formula, so helps protect against sun damage.
I've been following FaceFinity up with Pixi's H2O Skintint (£21) which is a really light foundation. It gives a natural coverage which feels really breathable and fresh. It doesn't cover up all my skin imperfections, so I use it on good-skin-days. It is avalible in three shades and I've got .....

Although I may go more natural on my base in Summer, I can never compromise on fabulous lashes, and I am currently loving the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde mascara (£9.99). It has a really chunky wand which manages to coat all my lashes base to tip super quick. It lengthens and volumises my lashes beautifully helping to achieve a doe-eyed look. 


Wednesday 11 June 2014

Outfit of the Day: Rainbow skirt with Dove Invisible Dry

Deodorant is not the most exciting beauty by, but a must needed essential. When it works well, you forget about it, but the when it doesn't, it totally let you down. I've lost count of the times when I have planned the perfect outfit combination, only to ruin it by getting deodorant marks over part of it when dressing. This problem doesn't just lie with dark garments, and to solve this, Dove have launched Invisible Dry, which has been tested on 100 colours - without leaving any marks.

Dove are challenging us to get colourful this summer as part of the launch, and as I love brights, I was keen to get in the mood. So this weekend when I popped out for a smoothie, I donned my rainbow skirt I bought a couple of years ago from the Bicester outlet store. I love how striking and summery it is and I always get complements when I wear it, especially on a sunny day.

Although I haven't got round to testing Invisible Dry on 100 colours myself, it hasn't transferred onto any of my garments so far. Although the range is available in a variety of sizes and applicators, I am an aerosol girl, and love the compressed versions (125ml/£3.39) the most.


Tuesday 10 June 2014

Hosting Afternoon Tea

On Sunday all of my favorite university girls came over for afternoon tea to celebrate a a birthday and the new arrival of gorgeous baby Harry. I got a little overexcited and even persuaded my mum to lend me my nanny's vintage tea set. No breakages....phew! Bubbles were definitely required for such a happy occasion, and I popped a strawberry at the bottom of the glasses for a summer feel. Like most, each of these girls is very specific about the tea they like best, so I make four different pots; English breakfast - my fav, Earl Grey, Decaf and then have a huge selection of new fruit teas from PG Tips.

The girls were so cute and all brought loads of goodies for us to nibble on, with Emily's cupcakes stealing the show. I styled the tea with a eclectic mix of accessories, with cute mini milk bottles filled with juice and paper straws, tea stands from Laura Ashley filled with sandwiches, scones and cakes and pistachio sundae dishes full of retro sweets.We totally overindulged, but well worth it. I hope I've inspired you to host your own afternoon tea party.

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