Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Friday 29 May 2015

Soho Sanctum Bags by Dan Gold

I do love a boutique London hotel, and I'm so lucky to go to so many on press events. Last month the rock n' roll Soho Sanctum Hotel have launched a range of bags designed by tattoo artist Dan Gold, so that you can have a little of the hotel vibe with you. The rose-inspired range is perfect for a weekend away, as you can use the bags to carry your makeup in for the trip up and then use as clutch bags when you are at your destination, be it Soho or Shanghai!

My fave of the range is the Rose Slouch Travel Bag ( £26 which looks more like a clutch than a makeup bag with the folded detail. The roses on the Rose Script Cosmetic Clutch Bag (£19 John Lewis) are also really pretty and feature the name of the hotel written in script over the bag, as well as the metal logo in rose gold which is on all the bags in the range.


Thursday 28 May 2015

Orla Kiely Beauty Bergamot

Known for her homeware and fashion prints, Orla Kiely also has a beauty range including bathing goodies and home fragrances which feature her iconic prints on the packaging. I'm currently loving the Bergamot range. All the products are contain essential oils of patchouli, grapefruit, cedar wood and are scented with neroli, orange flower extract, perigrain, cardamom, aniseed, peppermint and coriander. This combination of flowers and spices create a fragrance which is uplifting in the morning due to the peppermint but the spices create a warming spa-like aroma which is relaxing in the evening too. The hand cream (£10 John Lewis) and body lotion (£12 John Lewis) both contain shea butter to leave your skin feeling super soft and the shower gel (£12 John Lewis) is also free from sulphates and other nasties - a gorgeous addition to your bathroom.


Thursday 21 May 2015

Summer Fragrance Edit

I've been trying loads of new fragrances recently and here is my take on these new scents.

Elizabeth Arden, this month, have added Untold eau fraiche to their collection, which is a really pretty spring-summer fragrance that is really bright, fresh and floral, combining scents of Sicilian Lemon, White Tea, Freesia and Cashmere Woods. The twisted cut-glass bottle is really pretty too.£45/50ml from Bentalls and Beales stores and currently on offer at

This sophisticated fragrance from Cartier, La Panthere, is a fusion between floral and musky tones but is a little heavy for me this time of year but is a classic-style fragrance that you'll either love... or not. £74/50ml John Lewis

I'm not usually a fan of celebrity-fragrances, but Cheryl's Storm Flower eau de toilette (£27/50ml Dedenhams) won me over on the pretty bottle lid alone! The sweet fragrance is girlie and playful, combining florals such as bergamot and rose with warmer cedar wood and vanilla.


Ellie Saab Resort Collection encapsulates the fragrance of the Mediterranean, diving of your private taut into the bright blue waters. The Fig and Mandarin give a fresh vibrant aroma, teamed with frangipani flower with cedar and amber to give warmer notes. (£46/50ml Feel Unique)

I was a massive fan of Narciso Rodriquez 'Narciso' last summer, but his original fragrance (see post here) is currently on my radar, which is a musky fragrance combined with floral-fruity, amber and woody notes. (£57.50/50ml Boots)

The final fragrance in my round up is a new perfume brand I've recently discovered, Valeur Absolue. I attended the launch of a couple of their new fragrances (which I'll tell you about soon) but Sensualite was my fave. (£59/45ml House of Fraser). This fragrance is inspired by the curves of a woman and combines  Rose de Mai with cedar wood, amber and musk to give a ultra feminine fragrance which I am currently loving, The mother of peals in the bottle make it super-pretty on your dressing table too.


Friday 15 May 2015

Current Skincare

I haven’t done a skin care post for a while now, so I thought I’d share what I'm currently opting for. Some products are new-iah launches and other are just goodies. 

beauty blogger skincare
My day time serum of choice is currently Indeed Labs Fillume (£29.99/30ml Boots). Last summer I was loving their Hydraluron serum which is great for hydration (read more here) but the Fillume range is designed to help plump out and volumise the skin, combating the loss of firmness that comes as your skin ages and helps to push out contours and wrinkles. As I’m now the wrong side of 30 I’m always on the look out for products to help turn back time! 

Indeed labs fillume

 I've been following this with Olay Total Effects 7in1 Day Moisturiser with SPF15(£14.99 Superdrug) which has recently been added to the Total Effects range, which has 40% more vitamins than it predecessor. Containing Vitamin B3 which has anti-ageing benefits and Vitamin B5 and E to help deliver moisture. My skin gets on really well with Olay products so is always my drug-store choice and knowing it has even better ingredients makes it even more appealing. 

 I’m terrible at remembering to put on eye cream - but when I do I’m reaching for Vichy’s Idealia Jeux Eyes (£23 Look Fantastic) which is great for dark circles. The shimmery pink colour helps minimise the dark colour and reflect light and the cream itself hydrates the eye area and improve the texture. I love the applicator (which I totally forgot to take a picture of!) which is soft silicon that you can use to apply the cream, but I do find it needs patting in with a finger after too. 
 Night time:
 Before bedtime I do like to use a facial oil, as I find them too much for the daytime and I’m currently loving ESPA Optimal Skin ProSerum (£48 Libertys) which contains a bucket load of vitamins and plant extracts to brighten and even skin tone and it smells AMAZING. 

espa optimal skin

 On top of the ESPA oil, I’ve been adding PRAI 24K Gold Wrinkle Repair Souffle (£29.50 for Duo QVC) which apparently has gold flakes in (I can’t seen any) and helps to add radiance to your complexion. But it does hydrate my skin nicely, I do love the packaging and anything fighting any future wrinkles is ok with me! 
prai 24k gold wrinkle repair souffle

 Skin Treats:
I don’t have loads of time to dedicate to sitting around with a face mask on, but I do try to pop on a mask whilst I’m having a longer shower - when thee is shaving/hair washing involved! Caudalie’s Purifying Mask (£22 Caudalie) is clay based - removing impurities and absorbing excess sebum which can lead to blocked pores. 

caudalie purifying mask

 For a quick pick-me up, I love Aurelia Refine and Polish Miracle Balm (£57 Liberty), which you op on dry skin and either wash off after massaging into your skin, or leave on as an exfoliating mask for 5 mins. The beads and fruit enzymes take away the top dead skin cells leaving a fresh, more radiant layer below. Fabulous.


Tuesday 12 May 2015

Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Collection

Clarins Aquatic Treasures

Daffodils are no longer to be found by the bucket load tempting me buy the tills every time I go to Waitrose, which can only mean one thing - summer is on the horizon. With the new season brings a whole new range on make up launches - whoop! Clarins new season launches always excites me and the Aquatic Treasures collection doesn't let me down.

Clarins Aquatic Treasures

 My ultimate favourite from the collection is the Summer Bronzing Compact (£30) which is a massive bronzer made of 4 different matte shades. I swirl by fat bronzing brush over all 4 but you could use a smaller brush and make a bespoke shade. The colour is fab for giving a sun kissed look and being matte you can crack on with now without looking too shimmery and beachy. The massive mirror in the compact is perfect for application of all my makeup on the go to.

Clarins Summer Bronzing Compact

I'm also loving the Ombré Iridescente Eye Shadow (£19) in Aquatic Rose which is pink and shimmery enough to be noticed but look subtle and summery at the same time. It is a perfect, 'I can't be bothered to do my eye makeup today' eyeshadow, as you can just sweep it across the lid and leave it at that. Being obsessed with rose-gold I'm the colour of the lid! There is also an Aquatic Grey in the collection, which you could add to line the eyes and add to the sockets for a subtle smoky look.

Clarins Ombré Iridescente Eye Shadow

Also in the makeup collection is Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base (£26) which can be used instead of, under, or mixed with your foundation to give a luminous glow. I definitely need a foundation to get the coverage I like, but when the sun shines I do opt for products with lighter coverage, so I may find myself using it solo in a few months time.

As separate Summer launches from Clarins, the annual After Sun Shimmer Oil (£32) has hit the counter again, the base of hazelnut oil enriched with Vitamin E condition sunned skin and fragranced with mandarin, grapefruit, ylang ylang and tonka bean to make it smell lovely and summery. The give shimmer is really subtle and sophisticated rather than glittery and I will be lashing this on my limbs when I get them out!
Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body

The other new summer tan product from Clarins is Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster for Body (£26). This is a body version of the bespoke face tanning product launched last year. This clever tanner is added to your regular body products, so you can still use your regular moisturiser, firming gel or cellulite cream with added tanning benefits. You just add 4-6 drops of the product to every handful of moisturiser and apply as normally build up a golden glow. I've also been using this on my face, so don't think you need the separate face version too, I just use 2 drops for my entire face. As you are only using a tiny amount each application it lasts for ages and makes the £26 price tag more palatable.

Friday 8 May 2015

OOTD Maternity Shoot

Before the arrival of baby Sophie I headed to the Kings Road in Chelsea for a Maternity Shoot with Laura Beth Photography and JoJo Maman Bebe maternity wear - which you can see here. After the Jojo clothing, I got changed into an outfit I have styled from a range of stores for some final snaps. Thought my pregnancy I haven’t bought that much maternity clothing as much of it I found really mumsy, however, from the end of my first trimeter I was living in maternity jeans and during the last month of so my stretchy tops were starting to be too tight and maternity tops were super useful I then styled with accessories to make the outfit feel more me. 

 Outfit details: 
 Hat: Last season from Dorethy Perkins, but this is similar: Dory Bow Detail Floppy Hat Misguided £15
Cardigan: Gok for Tu Wrap Cardigan £35 (no link available)

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