30 January 2015

Herbal Essences clearly naked haircare review

Browsing the aisles of Boots there'll always be certain brands which bring back nostalgic memories of being a teenager. For me one of those brands is Herbal Essences and I must have gone through countless bottles of their shampoos and conditioners back in the day. In recent years I've moved onto more natural/high end brands however their new Clearly Naked collection has got me hooked all over again and if you're looking to try hair care free from parabens, silicone and colorants then this new range is well worth a look:

The clearly naked conditioner is nice enough (fruity smelling, nourishing and light weight) but it's the two shampoos which are the star of the show for me. One of the reasons I love Herbal Essences is because their all products smell so good and this new range doesn't disappoint. The combination of grapefruit and mint is subtle but still refreshing and sweet and linger lightly in my hair after washing.

When I first saw the Herbal Essences clearly naked range I assumed that it would be sulphate free, turns out that's not the case but despite this it still feels gentle and non irritating on my scalp, even with regular almost daily use. The volume shampoo foams up easily (one of my biggest complaints about SLS free shampoo), feels clarifying and leaves my hair soft and clean without being stripped or weighed down. At £2.35 a bottle I think this is a good budget buy if you're looking for something a little more gentle on the scalp and as it's so easily available on the high street I can see myself picking up another bottle soon, especially as the boyfriend seems to enjoy using it too!

Another one of my daily essentials is dry shampoo and I have to say I'm impressed with Herbal Essences clearly naked dry shampoo. As with most budget dry shampoos there's a slight chalky after feel but it does a good job at soaking up any grease and out of all the dry shampoos I've tried this one gives the most volume. Plus it smells really fresh and I like that it comes as clear spray so there's no white cast and you don't have to spend ages rubbing it into the hair.

Herbal Essences clearly naked, from £2.35, available in store and online at Boots.com

Have you tried the new Herbal Essences clearly naked range? What are your hair care favourites?

26 January 2015

Outfit: Dinner date with friends

Is it just me or do weekends always go by far too quickly? What with blogging and a full time job there never seems to be enough time during the week I often find myself trying to cram everything into just 2 days! Usually on the Saturday I'll arrange a date night or meet up with friends and as I had a stand in photographer this weekend I thought I'd share my outfit of the night:

Deep down I'm a bit of a granny at heart and especially during winter you'll find that all my outfits centre around 2 words - comfort and warmth. My Topshop jeans are probably the most worn item of all time and to make it more dinner appropriate I've teamed it with a nautical striped jumper and black T-bars, which are surprisingly easy to walk in despite the heel.

Of course no outfit would be complete without some accessories and at the moment I'm loving this floral New Look necklace as well as my sparkly rose gold Fossil watch. Finally a spritz of Chanel perfume, my Primark muted pink clutch and I'm good to go! Although totally intentional I'm also loving the combination of pink and navy as it offers just the right amount of girlyness whilst still being semi-smart and sophisticated.

Anyone else always finding themselves short on time? Did you get up to anything nice this weekend?

22 January 2015

JewelCandle and festive giveaway winners

A big thank you to everyone who entered my Jewel candle and festive giveaways. It's always nice to give something back and I loved reading all your comments. So without further ado, here are the winners:

Giveaway winners

Girls you should have an email in your inbox very soon. If you could please let me know your address I'll arrange for the prizes to be sent out asap.

Thanks again to everyone for entering and keep an eye out for future giveaways if you didn't manage to win this time!

20 January 2015

Winter skincare additions

After the festive season my skin was in need of some care and attention and having recently finished a couple of daily staples, I've introduced 3 new products into my routine. Round about now the weather starts to get really cold, so in preparation I've been trying out 2 nourishing cleansers and as well as a toner/exfoliator to help add some radiance:

Winter skincare - Tru, S5 and Alpha H

What I like about Tru ultimate two-way deep cleanse is that although it's a cream formula, it's got a high concentration of oils so still feels nourishing on the skin. There's castor oil which is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, as well as coconut oil and vitamin E to provide long lasting moisture and antioxidant protection. I find 2 pumps is enough cleanse all over and because of the oils, there's still quite a lot of slip on the skin thus allowing me to really massage it in and help dissolve any make up. It rinses away easily with water and although it's not as rich as my usual balm cleanser it still leaves my skin feeling comfortable and hydrated.

For heavy make up days I wanted another balm cleanser so have been giving S5 nourish cleanser a try. With a rich oily texture it makes light work of make up removal, however I find the scent quite strong and although designed for use around the eye area it does sting a little so I'd recommend using a separate eye make up remover first. I like that it's an emulsifying formula though and has extracts of rosehip and argan oil to help put some moisture back into my dry winter skin. I probably won't repurchase this again as I prefer the Emma Hardie cleansing balm but it's a good everyday cleanser and I'll enjoy using the rest of this bottle.

My use of toner is sporadic at best, but during the winter I always try and make an effort as I really do notice the difference. Usually my biggest complaint is dehydration but this year possibly because of a lack of sleep, I've been struggling with radiance more. Which is where Alpha H instant facial comes in. It's an exfoliating toner which uses a blend of botanicals to gently reinvigorate the complexion, refine pores, soften winkles and mattify the t-zone to leave skin looking smoother and more radiant. As the results are similar to that of microdermabrasion it tingles a little on application, however afterwards I find that serums and moisturisers absorb so much better. My skin always looks best after exfoliating but with this I get the results everyday and used in combination with a good night cream, my skin has never looked brighter.

Have you tried any of these 3 products? What are you winter skincare staples? 

16 January 2015

A recent homeware haul

Having lived in the same flat for several years (since I was a student in fact), it was in need of an overhaul and one of my aims for 2015 was to focus on interior design and make it into more of a home. I'm not sure whether it's because of Instagram and Pinterest or whether I'm just getting older but recently I've developed a serious obsession with homeware and can spend hours browsing online and in store. Having had a declutter over the last few weeks, I figured it was time I treated myself to some nice new bits and bobs:

Homeware haul

Starting with this beautiful silver photo frame from House of Fraser. Although I take thousands of photos every year more often than not they become a forgotten memory on my hard drive. This year I'm going to make more of an effort to have them on display around the flat and I like that this has multiple slots, thus allowing for a collage effect. Plus the textured silver effect looks really cool and fits in well with the rest of my decor.

A little while ago Flamingo gifts got in touch and kindly offered to let me pick a few items from their website. They seem to have everything from the cute to quirky, but what caught my eye was this wooden chalkboard and silver jewellery tree. The chalkboard has a certain charm with it's shabby chic design and the little hearts and it's now sitting proudly in my kitchen where I regularly scribble little reminders and shopping lists for myself. The silver tree has also come in really handy as my jewellery doll was getting rather crowded. The plate at the bottom is particularly useful and it now houses my watch as well as most worn earrings and rings.

Something else I've become obsessed with is drinking tea so naturally I needed some new mugs. The boyfriend treated me to this Starbucks mug as part of my Christmas present and it couldn't be more perfect. As a Londoner I love that it's got the distinctive skyline and it's enough to hold even the biggest cup of tea. As far as I can tell they're a worldwide release and I'm thinking of starting a mini collection next time I go travelling. I also liked the look of this Royal Albert floral tea cup - it was just too pretty to resist although because of the smaller size I'll probably end up using it as decoration and storage for my blogging desk.

Anyone else finding themselves becoming more obsessed with homeware? Where are your favourite places to shop?
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