22 April 2015

Sponsored video - Nivea 3 in 1 micellar cleansing water

Remember back to a few years ago when micellar waters were just launching in the UK and we were all going crazy for Bioderma? These days it's now a staple in my skincare routine and thankfully the high street has caught on, making some great formulas which are not only cheaper but also easier to get hold off without having to cross the Channel. Nivea recently invited some bloggers to try out their new 3 in 1 micellar cleansing water and you can see their thoughts in the video below: 

The other day I was reading an article about how cleansing is the most important step in our skincare routine and the great thing about micelllar waters is that they remove all traces of make up without irritating or inflamming the skin. Apparently it's all to do with the formation of the micellar particles - one end essentially acts like a magnet lifting away dirt and oil, whilst the other remains firmly attached to the cotton pad, thus leaving behind no residue on the skin. 

Nivea's 3 in 1 micellar cleansing water also contains Provitamin B5 and natural grape seed oil to help to retain moisture and reduce that dry tight sensation you sometimes get after cleansing. I like to use mine as a first cleanse, dissolving away any heavy eye make up but because of the watery formula, it works really well as a make up corrector too, especially if I've been too heavy handed with eyeliner or need to clear up any mascara smudges before leaving the house. 

Are you also a fan of micellar waters? Have you tried the new Nivea offering?

*Post sponsored by Nivea

20 April 2015

Pretty in pink with Zelens and Bourjois

Having been stuck using the same products day in day out it was time for a much needed make up update and seeing as the weather has been so warm and sunny recently, it seemed like the perfect excuse to introduce some pretty pinks into my make up routine. Enter Zelens the blush and Bourjois rouge edition aqua laques:

 Pretty in pink with Zelens and Bourjois

As I've gotten older and more sleep deprived I've come to appreciate the power of a good blush and being Zelens it comes with a whole host of skincare benefits too. There's baobab to increase moisture as well as antioxidants to help protect against environmental damage. The blush itself is the most gorgeous rose pink shade and swept onto the cheeks it gives a lovely pop of colour with just a hint of shimmer to help brighten and awaken the whole complexion. The packaging is gorgeous too, silver throughout with a mirror and magnetic clasp which closes with a satisfying click. Definitely a luxury purchase but one that is a joy to use and will fit in with any make up routine. 

Following on from the original velvets Bourjois have recently launched their new Rouge edition aqua laques and although I liked the original these are so more up my street. Pigmented and glossy the gel formula applies to give a beautiful shine on the lips. Lasting power is about 2 hours but as the gloss fades it leaves behind a longer lasting stain so you still have some colour throughout the day. I always look for a moisturising formula and thanks to the high water content the new aqua laques don't disappoint. Of the 3 that I own 01 Appechissant is my favourite (and the most versatile) but for a night out 07 Fuchsia perche is lovely too.

Have you tried either of the products above? What are your favourite Spring colours?

14 April 2015

Recent empties

Oops, a little apologie to start off with as life (and work!) seem to have to have gotten the better of me recently. Add in a touch of blogger's block and before I knew it it'd been 2 weeks since I last posted on Peonies and lilies. Thankfully things seems to have calmed down a little and I'm hoping to get back into a regular routine again. Starting today with a quick round up of some recent empties and favourites:

Recent empties

This month it's been a real mix of daily essentials with a make up item thrown in too, which I'm really pleased about. Whilst I liked Maybelline dream touch mousse blush it had completely dried out and was definitely ready for the bin. I've been trying to switch up my daily routine and this has given me the perfect excuse to try a new colour for Spring!

Other favourites include the Bumble and Bumble let it shine shampoo and Dove oxygen moisture hair mask. Bumble and Bumble never disappoints and although their Sunday shampoo remains my all time favourite, let it shine was better suited for everyday use. Dove hair mask on the hand was moisturising and nourishing without weighing down my hair and used together they made for the perfect little duo.

I've managed to finish another tube of The Body Shop hemp hand protector too. I'm still not a fan of the metal packaging but formula wise no other hand cream comes close. It's thick, creamy and super moisturising - no matter how dry my hands are, come morning they'll always be soft and smooth. Surprisingly there's not a single disappointing product this month. I guess as I've gotten older I know what suits me more and as I've been on a real mission to declutter I've given away a lot of products for friends and family to try too.

How did you get on throughout March/April? What were your favourites?

31 March 2015

March beauty favourites

Another month over and although it's scary how quickly March went by, I'm so glad that Winter is now finally over. The sun makes everything seem so much better and I can't wait for longer days, warmer weather and of course all the exciting new Spring/Summer beauty launches. But for now, a look back at my March favourites: 

March favourites 

I'm so glad that micellar waters are now easily available on the high street. Of the ones I've tried Simple micellar water seems to be the closest dupe for Bioderma. There's absolutely no scent or colour, it removes all traces of eye make up and feels gentle and soothing on the skin. It's designed to leave no residue so I've been using this as a toner too on days when I've been wearing particularly heavy make up. 

Spring may be officially here but my skin is still going through its dry patch. Having tried various lotions and potions, S5 replenish serum seems to be the most effective. It's a light serum oil which you use before moisturiser and it instantly calms and nourishes the skin. I'm not a big fan of the scent, but it soon disappears and the results are worth it for me. In fact on a recent trip I forgot to pack this and even though I was only away for one night my skin was visibly red and sensitive the next day. Well worth a look if you also have dry/dehydrated skin. 

For haircare I've been using Swell advanced volumising shampoo and conditioner. A range specfically designed for fine flat hair without the usual chemicals (eg. SLS and parabens). The shampoo is gentle yet clarifying and the conditioner nourishing without weighing down my hair. I wouldn't say there's a big increase in volume but as a gentle everyday duo I'd definitely recommend. 

I'm still loving my scented candles although with the warmer weather I've been gravitating towards Flamingo candle in raspberry and salted caramel, not to mention the fact that its bright pink! For me the scent is more zesty and sherbet like initially, with the fruitier caramel notes coming through as you burn the candle. It's certainly very refreshing and perfect as a transitional scent going into Spring/Summer. 

Finally as I've been on annual leave last week I've been embracing the new Bourjois so lacque nail enamels. Think high gloss, creamy and pigmented -in fact they look almost gel like on the nails. Chair et tendre is a beautiful pinky nude and Flambant rose an eye catching coral that I've had so many compliments on. 

Have you tried any of the products above? What were your March favourites? 

26 March 2015

Lunch at Sky Garden, Walkie Talkie building

It occurred to me the other day that I've been living in London for 8 years. Despite this I don't explore the city enough and with it being ever changing there's always somewhere new to try. The latest addition to London's skyline is 20 Fenchurch street (aka Walkie Talkie) and hidden away at the top is Sky Garden - 2 floors of observational decks, bars and restaurants:

Sky Garden lounge and bar - the 35th floor feels airy and spacious, with an 
observation deck outside and greenhouse 'gardens' either side leading up to the restaurants. 

Celebrating with drinks at the Darwin Brasserie restaurant

 For starters we shared a Goats cheese and onion tart tatin and Pork terrine 
with sourdough and piccalilli. The terrine was rather average but the tart tatin 
was delicious. The combination of sweet onion, salty cheese and sharp vinaigrette
 was so good and I could have easily polished off the whole tart myself.
 The restaurant is located even higher on the 36th floor overlooking Sky
 lounge. It has a cosy modern minimalistic feel and although it's very much 
a City crowd during the week the ambiance was relaxed and friendly.

The menu focuses on modern British classic and I enjoyed my Braised ox cheeks 
 with mashed potatoes and root veg whereas R went for Steak and chips. The ox cheeks 
were beautifully tender although a little on the rich side. Luckily my cocktail had grapefruit 
in it and it was the perfect accompaniment for such a dish. The steak was cooked medium 
rare and with a side of crispy chips and salty Bearnaise sauce, you really can't go wrong.

Beautiful views of the Shard, Cheese grater and Gerkin - the sun 
came out just in time for us to capture these photos of the London skyline. 

I've always enjoyed exploring cities from above and the Walkie Talkie building didn't disappoint. It was just warm enough to go outside this week but the combination of airport like security, sunshine and tourists made it feel like we were on holiday. Come summer I can see it bring really popular and seeing as you can book free tickets for Sky Garden I'll definitely be returning for a drink later in the year. It's also made me want to try out other new places and so far I've already got Shard, Sushisamba and Oxo Tower on my list of London buildings to dine in! 

Have you ever been to Sky Garden/Walkie Talkie building? Where are your favourite places to visit? 
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