Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Waitrose Delicate and Edible Flowers

My salads, superfood smoothies and bellinis are now complete! Still deciding whether to have them on toast though...

Richmond dwellers should also check out for an array of delightfully twee edible florals. I'm in love.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sunday Detox

Too much fun was had yesterday. Today, it's all about slowing down and expelling nasty toxins, starting with a very apposite cup of tea.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Green Smoothie by Mary McCartney

I am currently in training for the Brighton Marathon next year, I'm also looking to lose weight in the process. So while I am scrutinising my waste line every morning and saying no to chocolate more often than I would like, it is very important I get my diet is rich in nutrients so that I have the energy to train every evening.

I have recently been inspired by Mary McCartney who's super-charged morning pick me up looks gross but tastes fantastic! The recipe goes as follows:
 Et Voila!

Let me know if you have tried this too, or if you have any other green smoothie recipies that I could try!

Lacura Multi-Intensive Serum

 My recent trip home to see the family in Derbyshire also meant a chance to visit their nearest Aldi to see if there was any chance of getting in on the Lacura skincare bandwagon. Luckily, they had quite an impressive selection.

I think I may have bought about one of everything, and when I rang it all up at the checkout was amazed to find the bill only came to about £20. 

This particular product, the multi intensive serum is what people seen to be raving about the most so I bought two (only £3.49 each). A couple of years ago a blind test was executed on  2000 women to trial various skin products currently on the market in brand-less packaging. Surprisingly this out performed high end creams hands down in their collective opinion and naturally as soon as the results were published, products began to disappear from the shelves. 

I will be reporting on it more as my skin gets to know the product better. I'm currently mixing it in with day and night cream but only using a small amount. The Shea butter is very evident as from my first application I felt an instant injection of moisture which is a great help in this hot weather where my skin can feel quite parched. 

This serum, like everything in Lacura's range claims to be suitable for all skin types however, I am not sure how this intense moisture surge would fare if I had oily skin, but it feels gentle enough for sensitive faces.

I am interested to know what other people's thoughts or experiences are for the Lacura range so please get in touch or leave a comment give your thoughts!

Face Soap and Clarity by Soap and Glory


For long lasting, skin tightening freshness during cleansing, Face Soap and Clarity by Soap and Glory is a great buy.

You only need a grape sized portion to completely remove makeup and feel clean, it claims to foam up but I haven't been able to see that so far...I still found the gel quite effective and didn't feel like I was missing out sans-foam. I applied to a damp face and massaged for a few minutes longer than I usually would due to the 'superplum' beads so that I could give them time to burst and do their job.

I think that this would be especially good for oily, blemish prone skin. As a girl with dry skin I did find the tightness on my face slightly uncomfortable until I added moisturiser, however, it did get to work on some hormonal blemishes around my chin which was very much appreciated!

I'm now saving this wash for post workouts in the evening as I feel this is when my skin is most blocked and oily as again, the super clean feeling is very satisfying. I'm not too sure if my skin could handle this on a twice-daily basis long term, but that's just due to my skin type.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Elizabeth Taylor Brows

 For defined, strong eyebrows I have never used anything other than Benefit's Brow Zing kit for the last 8 years.

Each kit comes with a tiny pair of slanted tweezers (which I always lose immediately) and two handy application brushes (again. they don't last long before becoming lost). The real pearl in this little oyster is the brow product; a pigmented wax for shaping and a shaded powder for setting.

I apply my brows by dipping a slanted brush in water before I apply it to the pallet so that the power is slightly wet before applying to my face. I just find it a more effective method for really structured brows. The powder is also very good as a natural, smokey eyeliner (again, when applied slightly wet).

I have just taken a quick photo (above) of how my structure my brows every day; as you can probably see, I love the bold, Elizabeth Taylor look. Its perhaps the most dramatic part of my face yet takes the smallest amount of effort or maintenance to do; we're talking two minutes to apply, it lasts all day and sweeps of easily with a bit of cleanser..

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant

I was recently disciplined by a beauty therapist for using exfoliators more than twice a week (sometimes even twice a day). Sometimes, when in pursuit of trying to look after your skin to keep it fresh, clean and healthy you can do more damage than good. When I shared my routine with her and gauged her reaction, I found myself apologising for such carelessness! 

She knows a thing or two about best practise in beauty and recommended a gentle alternative to removing dead skin cells in between sessions with abrasive scrubs.

Avdea's Botanical Kintetics Exfoliant is like a magic potion; apply to skin after cleansing every evening and let the active ingredients do the work while you sleep, this product exfoliates with saltic acid rather than grainy scrubs so at no point am I tearing at my skin, in fact is has a very calming effect once applied. 

I'm getting on really well with this so far - first of all it removes any excess makeup or dirt that my cleanser may have missed, it also acts as an excellent toner, tightening pores and prepping your skin for night cream. The real results can be found the next morning where my skin is very boing boing. It's almost as if my skin knows I've been bad and is thanking me with an even, smooth complexion for taking the action to change tactic.

This bottle rings in at £17 for 150ml and you only need a small amount for it to be effective. I have been using this for just over a month now and as a test I have stayed away from any other exfoliators - I'm pleased to say that I haven't needed to so I am able to feed by exfoliation obsession while actually doing some good. 

For responsible skincare, this is a no-brainer.

Pukka Cleanse tea to purify the skin

 This week's beverage fave is Pukka's Cleanse herbal tea.

Pukka have kindly blended together an array of herbs including nettle leaf, dandelion root, peppermint leaf, fennel seed, aloe vera and licorice root. All of which boast 'fantastic purifying properties' to help maintain a glowing complexion. I guess the help maintain is the loop hole that gets them out of trouble when disgruntled drinkers try to take them to court if they don't look like Carey Mulligan after three cups, but as a girl who drinks a lot of water throughout the day it's no extra effort for me to add in some herbal qualities.

Whenever people discuss gimmicks in the health and beauty industry, herbal teas often come up as a point of reference, it's my opinion that if there is a product out there that encourages you to drink more fluids that don't contain alcohol, caffeine or sugar, surely herbal tea deserves a nod of respect.

Cleanse tea has a very smooth, gentle taste with peppermint as the most prominent flavour. Try replacing your 9-5 coffee frenzy with a few of these and make up your own mind at just £2 for a box of 20.

Tip- the flavour in each bag is strong enough for you to be able to use more than once throughout the day, so your box of 20 can go much further!  

Monday, 11 June 2012

E45 Silky Radiance Body Lotion

If you're after a bit of subtle shimmer from your body lotion, it won't hurt to give this a try.

This Silky Radiance body lotion combines the celebrated moisture surge of E45 with a very subtle, ethereal shimmer. Glitter sprays and shimmer lotions certainly have their place at parties or holidays however this really is subtle enough to wear anywhere. The shimmer is so fine that even up close, your skin gives the illusion of gleaming radiance rather than a cocktail hour skin bling.

I grew up with E45 and think everyone should always keep some handy in their cupboard. So next time you visit your local chemist to stock up - give this one a try.

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

Ah! Tom Ford... until the day comes when I can strut around London Town in your electric petrol blue dresses I will happily settle for your Black Orchid.

I have been wearing this since the summer of 2007. It ooooozes strength, power and sex yet maintains a sense of real femininity. Black Orchid is an enchanting blend of black truffle and ylang with bergamot and blackcurrant, it then unravels with notes of lotus wood, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, balsam and sandalwood.

It's deep, dark and brooding, it's Film Noir in a bottle.

Spritzing this onto my skin feels like slipping into seductive lingerie moments before being seduced and subsequently ravaged by Lord Byron. To wear this is to be desired.

LOREAL Youth Code Luminize Serum

This doesn't feel like a serum, in fact the texture is closer to a light facial lotion and since using this I have found an accompanying moisturiser is not necessary.

L'Oreal's Youth Code range is very effective. I tried the original Youth Code serum late last year and was instantly impressed with the way it evened out the texture of my forehead within the first week of application and made the rest of my face feel like a sheet of velvet. 

The original serum is extracted from a dropper and has a thinner consistency - it often felt like a primer or toner that tightened pores. The bottle eventually ran out and I went onto something else (product hussy) but it wasn't until I returned to Youth Code that I realised how great it is because within a couple of days everything shot straight back into place - velveteen, silky face with added benefits of moisture.

 Youth Code Luminize is much thicker with a pearlescent appearance and is applied using a pump. As mentioned before Luminize is creamy enough to use as a lone moisturiser. I'm currently using it every morning with a splash of facial oil.

The only drawback I can have is the size of the bottle - the last one ran out after about a month and the way I'm getting through Luminize, it is likely to follow suit in the next week or so. At £25 a bottle I don't really see this as a particularly cost effective venture if I have to replace it every 4-6 weeks, especially as there isn't an option to purchase a bigger bottle (which I would get if they offered it).

Other than that, its a great product for both immediate results and long term development.

Benefit Cha Cha Tint

If you like the dewy, doll-face look then Cha Cha Tint is worth visiting your local Benefit counter for a sample. I have been a fan of their BeneTint in the past (who hasn't?) but have never been too keen on applying a stain to my face. This is mainly because I have quite dry skin and occasionally found that by the time I have worked the tint onto my cheeks the foundation I had laid down previously has been rubbed away.

I waited hopefully for a day when Benefit would create a slightly creamer alternative and perhaps even in a squeezy tube to make it more portable but then Origins launched Pinch Your Cheeks and I converted that instead.

Cha Cha Tint has recently won me back; the product contained within their nail varnish packaging is still very fluid but much creamier and I find the shade adorable. It's the only coral with a pinky tone that I have seen on the market so far which is great for me because the colour works well with my pale complexion / dark hair. It also looks fantastic over a whisper of bronzer.

When I pair Cha Cha Tint with an orange-based red lipstick I feel like my whole face is transformed. It seems to bring out different colours in my eyes and takes on a whole glow of its own. Needless to say this is a great pick me up for tired, hungover skin.