Monday, 28 July 2014

Manic.Monday: A glitter girl's little helper - IsaDora Peel Off base

For nail polish lovers and magpies alike there are a lot of amazing sparkling, glittering gem like effects to create these days, all equally eye catching in their own ways. Every time I show a glitter or shimmer polish on the blog, I often hear: "Looks great but is probably really difficult to remove", and it's a very fair and expected comment since a lot of these types of nail polishes often are a complete nightmare to remove, and it'll take nothing less than industrial strength poison to make your nails nice and clean of them. At least that is up until now, Glitter lovers over the world rejoice - we now have peel off base coats to the rescue! The idea behind these base coats which are specifically intended for textured and glitter looks, although you could of course use it for standard nail polishes too, is that when the time comes to change your color you simply lift up the polish along the edge and then peel it off in one go. The first peel off base I heard off was IsaDora's Peel Off Base and since the concept seemed far too good to be true, I obviously had to see for myself if it really could be as easy as this.
In the bottle the formula looks milky white and thick, actually almost gloopy as if you were going to paint your nails with glue, however as you apply it you'll find that the consistency is actually quite thin and easy to spread over the nail. Because of the thin consistency and the wonderful wide brush, you only need a tiny drop for each nail, otherwise you'll notice white build ups along the cuticles as it dries. After about 30 secs the peel off base sets into a finish that is silky smooth to the touch and the fairly opaque white color dries into a much more transparent shade on the nail, which works even under sheer pastel colors. Now your nails are prepped and ready for whichever bejewelled, glittery polish you have in store, and as I tested this base I chose one of my most glittery holographic polishes (that I'll review separately in a few weeks) that looked as if it could be a real challenge to remove.

Since I wanted to see if the peel off element would impact the wear, I didn't use a top coat and on me the holographic effect lasted about 3 days which is pretty normal wear, however I must say that it did feel as if the finish was a little bit more sensitive to everyday wear, and it probably could start to come loose at the edges even sooner than that. When the edges start to come off a little from the nail, you can without any effort at all, simply peel the polish off using your fingers and it'll release from the nail in one big flake, without leaving anything at all on the nail.
As you can see in the photos, the polish has come clean off so need to go back in with another remover to do any corrections and it really couldn't be any easier than this. I am so impressed with how well this works, and even though the peel off base might make the polish a little bit less long wearing - a reason perhaps for not using it under normal nail polishes, it's definitely not a concern for me since it makes removing effect polishes a 1 second job. It can unfortunately be very difficult to get hold of IsaDora in the UK (please, please, PLEASE IsaDora, come to the UK market soon!!!), but there are other brands that do a similar peel off base, e.g. OPI (£11.95), although I personally haven't tried that one yet. If you have tried the OPI version, please let me know what you think about it and if it's as incredible as the one from IsaDora, which should be every glitter girl's little helper. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Out and about: Dipley Mill, a garden lover's dream

Last week we had a royal visit from Sweden, well almost.. - my parents came to visit for a few days which was so lovely since I unfortunately don't get to see them more than a few times a year so I like to treat them as royalty when they are here. We were extremely lucky with the weather, basking in almost 30C and since we wanted to do as much as possible outdoors we ended up going on a few mini trips to see our surroundings, and on one of the days we went to the incredible Dipley Mills, to have a look at the famous gardens. I come from a long line of gardeners with fingers greener than that of the Green Giant and my family can look at a plant and all of a sudden it bursts into bloom. Somehow mysteriously I have none of those genes and with me it's quite the opposite - I can merely glance at a plastic flower and it withers and dies...  but I still certainly appreciate beautiful gardens and it's always an opportunity for Happy Snapper, so I hope you'll enjoy these pictures from our visit.


Dipley Mills is one of the beautiful places that you can visit as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) and I would recommend that you keep an eye out for the next open day, since it's a stunning and inspiring place even for those of us that don't exactly have green fingers.  

Friday, 25 July 2014

On Cloud Nine with fabulous looking hair

I am the first to admit that I have spent a LOT of money on beauty products throughout the years, and most of it quite happily, but there are things that I probably shouldn't have bought and the biggest black hole for me is definitely the one for hair styling tools - if you've read any of my previous hair styling posts you may remember that I refer to my pile of tools as Mount Remington, the place where all my unused styling gizmos go to die. I have forever been pursuing the dream of the perfect curl, but after meeting Gladys the BaByliss Pro Perfect Curl that hunt is well and truly over, so instead I turned my hair obsessive eye onto the search for the one and only hair straightener... I know I've gone from curls to straight - it is a contradiction, but a girl is allowed to change her mind, in fact it's all part of the allure - at least that's what I keep telling Him Indoors! For years I've had a bog standard straightener that I have made work very hard to get poker straight glossy locks, and to be more than fair - it's certainly done what I asked of it, but like most of us I'm a busy girl and definitely don't have time to spend 30 mins in the morning straightening my fairly long hair. So after a few seconds of deliberation I decided to invest in a quality award winning wide straightener, and now I'm very happy to introduce to you to my latest hair styling friend, perfect for long and thick hair - Cloud Nine's The Wide Iron (£101.36), affectionately known in our household these days as Nino.
Nino has lots of excellent qualities that I think would make him endearing to most of us; first of all unlike many styling products he has an on/off button and then a separate temperature gauge so you can easily set and control the temperature as you wish in a range from under 100 to over 250, and with the clear LED display it's easy to read which heat setting you're using. The iron heats up to the desired temperature faster than you can say hair straighteners and it also switches itself off if you haven't used it for 30 mins, a nice safety feature for the forgetful among us. The main thing that attracted me to this straightener in the first place is that the plates are extra wide, smooth and glossy which means that it's quicker and easier to either straighten or curl my mane of hair. What would usually take me 30-40 mins mins, now only takes 10 mins which is a massive time saver for me and let's face it, who doesn't want to sleep an extra half hour in the morning? As an extra bonus the plates contain a "mysterious ingredient" (according to Cloud Nine) that adds shine to your hair as you it, but if I'm completely honest I can't say that I've noticed any extra shine although the smoothness of the plates do mean that that I've noticed very few frizzy or broken strands of hair after I've used it and the overall finish is very sleek and silky soft.

When I bought Nino from my local salon (the amazing Guillaume Vappereau Salon) I also got a complimentary Cloud 9 Magical Potion (£16.16) a great heat protectant spray which contains UV filter and a nourishing leave-in conditioner element. Not only does the spray protect and soften your hair, it also contains quick dry properties that will reduce the drying time with as much as up to 50%, which if you have long hair like me is quite a lot. Before you spray it all over your hair, shake the bottle properly to mix the ingredients and you'll find that the clear liquid that you can see in the photo will turn milky looking. The consistency is lovely and soft, a bit like a dry oil - silky on the surface but without any greasiness and it'll absorb into your hair very quickly without leaving any residue. It has a very subtle scent that reminds me of warm clean cotton but it's so faint that it's barely noticeable and it doesn't linger on your hair either. After you've combed the potion through your hair, style as usual and personally I also find that it somehow helps to keep my hair straight longer, which is always great when you've spent time on straightening it in the first place and on me the finish lasts about 3 days (without having to use John Frieda's Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight Spray £6.99), even after working out which is AMAZING! So what does the end result look like I hear you say? - well, since you ask let me show you...
There's no denying that professional styling tools like my little Nino from Cloud Nine are expensive and perhaps not something you would splurge out on every day, but before you go for 2nd or even 3rd best keep in mind that that these irons can be used not only for straightening, but curling and waving too, the smoothness of the quality plates makes a difference to the finish and the health of our hair as we're torturing our locks with heat styling, and the results last a long time. I am extremely happy with the Cloud Nine Wide Iron and would thoroughly recommend it for a quick and sleek trip to hair heaven.    

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Fave 5 Clarins products

I still remember the first time I tried a Clarins product many moons ago; ahhhhh, it was in the infancy of my beauty addiction and I still get nostalgic thinking about it, because it wasn't only the first time I tried Clarins, it was also my very first premium beauty product EVER - a momentous occasion! After a scare with an eye infection potentially caused by a cheapy mascara I decided to invest in a mascara that was both dermatologically and ophthamologically tested and that was the beginning of my wonderful friendship with Clarins. The brand was founded in 1954 and has ever since the start had a very clear emphasis on pure and clean plant based products, many of them traditional medicinal plants combined with a strong eco- and fair trade responsible ethics, which you today can enjoy in local spas all over the world, a real treat! I haven't yet been so lucky to go to one of the spas but today I've got 5 of my favorite Clarins products that I simply can't be without to recreate that spa feeling at home.

First up among my Clarins favorites is the Liquid Bronze Self Tanning (£19) that I also reviewed in another post in mid April but this product is so excellent that it definitely deserves another mention. I'm far from an expert at self tanning so any products that I go for and even end up using repeatedly, simply has to be fool proof and the Liquid Bronze is just that. The consistency is a colorless, thin lotion that you apply by wiping a cotton pad with the product over your face as many times as you like to get the shade you're after. When it comes to self tan products for me this is a one of a kind - it dries very quickly on the skin, it has a soft and subtle scent - far from the burned biscuit smell that we all know, and it doesn't transfer onto clothes, another one of my pet peeves. It feels cooling and light on the skin and after you've applied it, the skin feels moisturised and nourished and a few hrs later you'll have a gorgeous bronzed glow and most importantly the color is perfectly EVEN and streak free. The shade will last 3-4 days before you need to top it up, which I think is fairly good but even if it had been less than that I wouldn't have mind since it's so easy to apply and get a great results - a real gem of sun in a bottle!

In this world, there are hand creams and then there are HAND CREAMS - the princess products that make you feel invincible and gorgeous, and the Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment (£18.90) definitely falls into that category. Let me just acknowledge straight away that there are fore sure more budget friendly and perfectly good hand creams out there, but this pampering moisturising cream with extracts of Sesame, Japanese Mulberry and Myrrh which all soften and protect the skin is worth every single tiny penny. The formula is luxurious and creamy without being oily and it absorbs straight into the skin without leaving any greasiness, making even very rough areas of your hands as soft as a peach, at the same time as it nourishes and strengthens the nails and cuticles. It has an addictive invigorating and subtle whipped citrus scent that lingers for a while which always lifts my mood and makes me feel refreshed. Ever since I first tried this amazing treatment a few years ago, it's been a staple item in my overstocked bathroom cabinet, and I still keep buying it in great value duo packs at the duty free, a testament to how good the cream is from someone who can't even commit to the same color of nail polish for a whole week!
One thing that Clarins does REALLY well is facial oils. Regardless of what your individual needs are, Clarins has a wonderful, luxurious oil to meet them and at one point or another I have been lucky enough to try them all. As my skin tends to be dehydrated or dry, the oil that suits me the best is the incredible Santal Face Treatment Oil (£32). It comes in a lovely glass bottle with a pipette, which is so handy to make it easier to get just the right amount of oil that you need. The Santal Oil is very rich and heavy and as much as I love it I wouldn't wear it during the way since it definitely leaves a bit of a shine on the skin, but for night time it's a wonderful treatment either replacing a serum or mixing a couple of drops with a mask for a really intense over night hydration boost, and in the morning your skin is plump and smooth. It's a very luxurious oil with an amazing warm and slightly oriental scent of aromatic cardamom, and it has such a soothing effect on me that I always bring it with me when I fly, to make me feel relaxed and settled. I adore this oil and since you only need so little of it, it'll last you a very long time so look at it as a long term investment.

I'm the first to admit that micellar solutions are so handy for cleansing your skin especially when you're in a hurry, or too tired to do a full cleansing routine but at the same time there are very few micellar solutions that will give me that incredibly clean sensation that you get from using a separate cleanser, followed up by a toner and my absolute favorite toner is the Clarins Toning Lotion for Dry/Normal Skin (£17.10) It's an alcohol free gentle lotion that is perfect for finishing of a deep cleanse, ensuring all cleanser is removed without leaving the skin feeling stripped of moisture or with dry patches. It contains ingredients that are all frequently used in products for sensitive skin since they eliminate itchiness and redness; camomille, linden and alpine herbs, and it has a wonderful ever so slightly green, peppery scent that feels very refreshing and luxurious on the skin. Using a toner might seem old fashioned to some, but for me it definitely works and you won't get a better or more comforting one than this!

As you may know I'm a big fan of using night creams and last among my fave 5 today is the Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Comfort Cream (£44) a great, intense cream for those who are not too keen on the very rich, thick consistency that a lot of night creams usually have. Although it is thicker than moisturisers for day wear, the formula is surprisingly light and it has an amazing fresh herbal scent to it. It's packed with ingredients to help the cells renew and repair over night - the best time for intense treatments, e.g. kiwi, Imudilin, carob extracts and shea butter, well known for it's softening qualities. Gently massage a pea sized drop of this night cream all over your face and in the morning you'll wake up to soft, radiant and restored skin. As I have dry skin I must admit that I feel as if I have to use quite a lot of product to get good coverage and a sense of deep hydration, however my beauty therapist keeps telling me that you can actually apply too much, and in doing so clog up the pores and a small amount of this contains enough nutrients to comfort and replenish the skin. That's my list of current Clarins favorites, and if you haven't tried any of the wonderful products from Clarins range yet I would highly recommend that you give at least one or two of these a go, and I'm sure that like me you'll form a very long lasting friendship with this fabulous brand!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Manic.Monday: She paints seashells on the seashore

Summer time is sunny time is beach time - warm golden soft sands, cooling turquoise blue waters, wispy palm trees swaying in the wind and beautiful unusual seashells waiting to be collected as a memento from the holiday. Somehow everything is better at the beach; even the most minimal tan looks gorgeously bronzed, wavy boho hair comes without having to use lots of hair products and bizarre looking styling tools and natural sunkissed skin smells lovelier than some of the most prestigious perfumes in the world. Now you can have that relaxed beach feeling everyday with the help of the latest of Ciaté's innovative textured manis; it's Ciaté's Shell Manicure (£20) so forget your pastels, forget your neons - this summer the coolest nails are covered with crushed seashells!
 
This latest ingenious look from Ciaté comes in sets of three different colors with one base shade and one bottle of shell fragments in a matching color; pink (She Sells Seashells), white (Wish Upon A Starfish) and this gorgeous muted lilac called Mermaid You Look. The base shade in this kit is Pillow Fight (£9), a lovely muted thistle color for a subtle and sophisticated look and although the formula is perhaps a tiny bit more fluid than your average nail polish, the consistency is still easy to work with for an even finish and it's also very quick drying, always a plus when you want to build a nice opaque finish. The pigmentation is nice and strong even with a softer shade like Pillow Fight, although for me personally one coat only is on the sheer side so as usual I prefer to apply two coats for some solid color blocking, especially to off set an effect finish like these seashells. On me two coats under a top coat lasts about four days, which is a bit longer than average in my opinion and it's still very easy to remove using a standard nail polish remover.

Now on to the fun bit - the seashells! As with all these manicure kits you can be as creative as you like and wear the textured effect on as many nails as you wish, but for me less is more and one or two nails creates just the right impact. I love the untamed, natural and ever so slightly rough look and feel of the crushed seashells. The color of the shells is a gorgeous pearlescent lilac and mauve with a silver shine to it, perfect with a tan for a mermaid inspired look. Pour a generous amount of the fragments over a nail that has just been painted, then tap the shards gently into place and repeat a few times until there's an even coarse and fairly dense coating of seashells. Once you've applied as much as you want, you could finish with a topcoat to seal in the fragments, and make the finish potentially last longer but personally I think it ruins the relaxed but interesting and eye catching effect. As unusual and unique as this look is, it does require some patience from the wearer since it's far from practical. Because of the rough edges and the different shaped fragments some of them will stick out more than others, resulting in a lot of things getting caught on them - hair, lace, linen anything really that has a slightly uneven surface, which also means that the look won't remain pristine and perfect for long.
Without a top coat the effect lasts about two days before the first flakes start to come off, although you'll still get at least two more days wear out of it, and it is very easy to cover up any areas with more seashells as needed. Not unsurprisingly this textured finish takes a bit of work to remove, but in my opinion it's well worth the effort for a one of a kind, remarkable finish. If the choice is between this and some of the other seasonal colors, I know which one I'd rather shell out on - bring on the seaside look, and embrace your inner mermaid.  


Friday, 18 July 2014

Unapologetically gorgeous

As much as I love scorching hot summer days, they do prove a challenge from a makeup point of view especially if you're very active, or have a long commute and lately I have literally stripped everything back and my makeup bag has never looked so empty. Not wearing foundation or concealer can seem daunting and bare summer skin can be very unforgiving, but luckily my skin has been well behaved lately and I have a bit of a tan that is quickly highlighted even more with a quick sweep of a bronzer. Apply a fabulous mascara for some long fluttering lashes and the last but most important touch is a punchy, colorful lippy and the past few weeks I've been using one of the amazing Revlon ColourBurst Matte Balms (£7.99). I've mentioned before how much I love this format of lip product and after my first encounter with the beautiful matte effects from Revlon a while back, I've added new colors regularly to my collection.

I love how fuss free and practical the chubbys are with their twist up function, and unlike a lot of lipsticks that have quite a flimsy packaging it's next to impossible to break the stick as it bumps around in the handbag throughout your every day adventures. It has a lovely minty fresh scent that lasts a little while after you've applied it and despite being a matte lip balm the formula is wonderfully creamy, smooth and pleasant to wear thanks to nourishing ingredients like mango, shea and coconut butter, which is perfect for hot summer days when your lips easily get dehydrated and chapped from the sun. With such a buttery consistency you might expect that the stick would melt or break in hot weather, however the balm seems to be very resilient and I haven't noticed any difference to it's consistency even after I'd accidentally left it out in the sun for a few hrs... phew... When you first apply the ColourBurst balm you get a lovely intense and silky but matte effect that fades evenly without those despicable dry patches or contours, however at least on me it doesn't last very long. In cooler temperatures an application lasts a little bit longer than 2 hrs and during these hot summer days it's unfortunately even shorter than that. Even though for me there are lip chubbys from other brands that last much longer, Revlon has the best and most varied range of colors (10 different matte shades) and the color Unapologetic is sheer (or rather matte) perfection! It's a glorious intense sunny coral pink that will make even the palest of skin tones look glowy and radiant - a gorgeous eye catching shade for every occasion, have a look here on my Instagram for a swatch, and I make no excuses for having used it constantly for the past few weeks. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The InstaWeek that was #5

The name of this post should probably be The besquillion InstaWeeks that were, because unfortunately it has been THAT long since I published a new post. I've had so much going on the last few weeks and it's been a challenge to get even the every day stuff to come together that I was forced to take some BB time - Blogging Break time... Anyway I am now back again and as a nice gentle start I thought I would share some photos from my Instagram of things that have been going lately.

The InstaWeek that was: 
I've spent a lot of time in London the last months but with neighbors like Diptyque you won't hear me complain (and I haven't bought a single thing!) // Absolutely LOVE this latest Alien creation from Thierry Mugler, it's simply out of this world... // After long and intense days there's nothing like some pampering time at the spa // The latest stash from Ciaté  - got to love the mosaic or the crushed shell mani // Swedish Midsummer with traditional snaps, and yes we did finish them all // What to do on a scorching summer day? - Well ice climbing in Covent Garden of course... // Indulgent Sunday breakfast with raspberry croissants because raspberries are great for the skin // Loving London Summer evenings // Healthy tuna and salmon sashimi lunch to make up for the raspberry croissants

Highlights the past weeks:
- Ice climbing!!!!! Oh my goodness - such good fun and a great workout too, although I think I need a bit more training before I head to K2
- Beautiful balmy London evenings chilling out with Him Indoors

Hope you've also had a great few weeks! I'm so excited to be back in Blogiverse and don't forget to check out the new posts coming soon!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Manic.Monday: A brush with water decals

For being a self confessed polishaholic, I have experimented surprisingly little with nail art and the furthest I've gone into the realm of different nail art techniques is to apply gemstones (surprise, surprise...) or using self adhesive nail stickers so when I got a selection of gorgeous water decals* from Born Pretty the time had come for me to go forth and explore the wonderful world of nail art. I wanted to do something summery with fresh contrasts so as a base for the look I used Barry M nail paint (£2.99) in Matte White. Barry M is one of my go to brands and I have to say that I've got more of their nail polishes than I can count. The consistency of this particular shade is ever so slightly different than the others in that it's a tiny bit more runny which means that you only need the smallest of drops of product for it to cover your nail, which would also help to minimise any mess of excess polish on cuticles etc. Even though the formula is a bit more difficult to work with, the pigmentation is fairly strong for a light shade and far from sheer, although I would definitely recommend that you apply two coats for a nice opaque solid color, which isn't really an effort since each coat will dry quite quickly. Matte White is a lovely crisp, clean and fresh look for summer, perfect for enhancing a tan and despite being a matte finish you still get a lovely and natural shine that lasts for about 3-4 days on its own before it starts to chip.
Having let the white base dry properly I moved on to try my luck with the beautiful water decals*. I absolutely loved the abstract brushstrokes in azure blue with gold specks and I was very excited to see how they actually turned out on the nail, and if they were easy to work with. When it comes to water decals, the clue is in the name and you basically need to plunge them into water to get them pliable enough for sticking them onto the nail. According to the instructions, you should peel the film off the decal before you dip it into water, but I found it impossible to take the film off while dry, so I would recommend that you simply cut out the shape of the decal then put it in the water for up to a minute and when you take it out, it'll already have started to come away from the paper making it very easy to transfer onto the nail using a pair of tweezers. After you've placed the decal on your nail, you soak up any excess water with a cotton pad or some tissue - blast the nail under a blow dryer for about 20 secs so that the decal is completely soft and dry, and then finish off by sealing it in on the nail with a top coat. Once the decal has set on the nail, it'll last for about 4-5 days and it's also surprisingly easy to remove with a good dip and twist nail polish remover, taking no more than a few seconds to remove.
I do like the effect and having got the hang of the technique now, I think that with more practice and experimenting with different colors and also other accents, you can create some really wonderful look, however I also have to say that it is quite fiddly and a fair amount of work just to get a decal on your nail - approximately 5-6 mins for each nail that you decide to decorate. As much as I love different nail looks, personally I prefer a simple self adhesive sticker to the effort you have to put in with a water decal, but if you have some time to spare you should definitely give it a go and see how you get on with it and Born Pretty has a great selection of all kinds of nail art for next to nothing and they always have great offers on, including free worldwide delivery. To make it even more difficult to resist, you get an additional 10% off on whatever you treat yourself to when you enter the discount code CANW10, so head over to Born Pretty and embrace your creative side for some unique, eye catching nails.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Fan di Fendi? Oh yes, I'm definitely a fan!





Before we look at this gem of a scent, Fan di Fendi Eau Fraiche that I've been wearing religiously for the past week, which is a bit of a record for me I thought I would talk a little bit about today since it's one of the most important and popular holidays of the year in Sweden, it is - Midsummer's Eve! Originally it's a pagan fertility celebration of the summer solstice, but today we celebrate it more because it's the official start to summer and we have the the shortest nights of the year, where in some parts of the country you can still see the sun at midnight - an incredibly beautiful sight. At Midsummer the whole country stops, cities and towns are empty as a lot of people go to the countryside or the coast to join in the celebrations, which might seem a little bit "exotic" if you haven't seen them before - just ask Him Indoors about his first encounter with Midsummer, but to sum it up it's all about lots of food, dancing and drinking. When I was a child we would always start the day with picking wild flowers to make a wreath for my hair, and also because according to tradition girls who haven't yet found their other half, should put seven different wild flowers under their pillow, and they'll dream of their future husband - sweet isn't it, and I seem to remember ruining many pillow cases that way... There's also always the equivalent of a May pole with flowers and leaves, that we dance around and you'll see people dressed up in traditional clothing from the different Swedish counties, and this is when the infamous "frog dance" takes place. Having worked up an appetite, there's usually a feast of traditional Midsummer food; pickled herring in lots of different sauces, sour cream, chives, new potatoes, dill and strawberries. Midsummer's Eve is usually a great relaxing day with your friends and family and if I've made you curious about this well loved Swedish tradition or the "frog dance", you should have a look at this short and hilarious You Tube video.

 
 Traditional Midsummer's Eve celebrations
Midnight Sun 

A fragrance which for me perfectly captures Midsummer is the beautiful Fan Di Fendi Eau Fraiche EdT (£32.75). Before I got the Eau Fraiche I had tried many of Fendi's previous scents, but none of them were right for me, and with their spicy, balsamic wooden notes I found them quite heavy and to be honest - a bit old fashioned. But when I first tested Fan di Fendi Eau Fraiche I was totally surprised at how different it was from the others and I was immediately completely hooked. The scent comes in a stylish and minimalist chic bottle with the classic Fendi logo at the front in a light green color, hinting to its fresh and harmonious character. It's a gorgeously well balanced blend of feminine sensual white flowers including jasmine, zesty fresh citrus and bergamot, green tea, soft orange blossom, and a warm but not overwhelming hint of cardamom.  
Fan di Fendi Eau Fraiche is a gorgeously well balanced blend of feminine sensual white flowers including jasmine, zesty fresh citrus and bergamot, green tea, soft orange blossom, and a warm but not overwhelming hint of cardamom. It's a very unexpected, contemporary scent and on a hot summer day, its airy greenness is a perfect cooling and comforting scent that is also very refined and graceful. I absolutely adore this scent and am so glad that I decided to test it, despite my previous experience of Fendi fragrances and now I definitely call myself a Fan! It's not always easy to get hold of Fendi scents and I actually bought mine at duty free early this year, but you can find Fendi in Harrods and online at Allbeauty.com where they also offer free UK delivery. Although I only have a small May pole for the table and we won't actually be doing any silly dancing, I've got the food and drink all planned and smelling sweetly I'm off to start celebrating Midsummer. Have a Glad midsommar - Happy Midsummer everyone! Xx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Gel* - Skin magic from Down Under

Hello everyone and happy mid week! It's my first day back in Blogiverse after having been away for a few days and it's so nice to be back since I've really missed writing posts and of course reading all your comments, but I simply couldn't do any blogging at all while I was away. But I'm here now, at least for a few weeks before I have to go away again, and today I've got a skin care product for you that I'm really excited about for several reasons. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a long wish list of  products and brands that I want to try, and one of the brands that I've been very curious about is Jurlique. Before I started reading blogs a few years ago I had never even heard about Jurlique, but the past year I've seen Jurlique products mentioned so often that it's quickly moved higher and higher up on my wish list, so when I was sent a sample of Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Gel* by Beauty Expert I was absolutely thrilled. Jurlique is an Australian natural plant based skin care brand with products that focus on enhancing your skin's radiance and health, using only pure ingredients from its own organic farm which are free from synthetic chemicals and any nasties ending with - cides (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides etc), and the brand also has a strong commitment to sustainable environment policies and supporting education and empowerment of women globally.
Jurlique's Herbal Recovery Gel (£30) is a high performance anti-ageing serum suitable for all skin types, packed with ingredients formulated to completely restore and revitalise your skin. Ginseng root, vitamin C + E, Marshmallow and Evening Primrose help to add and retain moisture, tighten the skin, reducing the look of fine lines, protect the skin from anti-oxidants, while also boosting radiance at the same time. In short, it's the complete package! The serum comes in a lovely frosted glass bottle with a handy little pump and it has a gorgeous harmonious subtle aromatic scent of rose. Even though it's called a gel, the texture is very light and what I would consider more fluid than a gel which means that you only need one pump per application, it's completely non sticky and it quickly absorbs into the skin with some gentle pressing making the skin feeling wonderfully soft, nourished and protected. I've used the serum for more than a month now, before applying moisturiser in the morning and in the evening and already after a few days I noticed that my skin felt very toned and radiant, and after a further few weeks I definitely noticed that the serum has improved how my skin retains moistures throughout the entire day, even when I've been out in the sun and my skin hasn't been thirsty at all in the evenings.

I can't remember the last time I got all these qualities in one product with a noticeable quick improvement, so in short - the Herbal Recovery Gel is the complete product and no wonder it's a bit of a cult product with quite a following among  the rich and famous and celebrities alike. I'm so impressed with Jurlique and have quickly also bought the well known Rosewater Balancing Water, which I'm now looking forward to start testing soon. I got my Herbal Recovery Gel* from Beauty Expert - they have an amazing range of products from skin care to makeup and fragrance from all the best brands, some which can be a bit difficult to find, and they also offer free delivery world wide. If you buy two Jurlique products at the moment, you get 20% discount and a sample of Jurlique's award winning Purely Age Defying Facial Serum, a great opportunity to get to know this lovely brand from Down Under.