30 July 2012

Instagram 009

Enjoying the sunshine/Mint ice cream yumminess/Love this Elemis gift set

Christmas Steamcream tins/Starbucks with Zoe/Elemis advent calendar

Lusting after studded boots/Sushi/Metres away from the Olympic torch!

Olympic opening ceremony/Burger & Lobster/Out and about in London

Follow me - @peonieslilies

What have you been up to this week? Who are you supporting in the Olympics?

28 July 2012

Giveaway - Saturday night out kit

It's been a while since I last did a make up giveaway, but seeing as it's the weekend, I thought I'd put together a 'Saturday night out kit' to giveaway:

Famous Zebra complete make up palette, Tommy Guns smooth & finish creme, The Body Shop born lippy satsuma shimmer lip balm, Collection 2000 cream puff moisturising lip cream in fairy cake, Sanctuary spa 5 minute thermal detox mask, Giveaway, Free make up, Saturday night out kit, Peonies and lilies
Famous Zebra complete make up palette
Tommy Guns smooth & finish creme
The Body Shop born lippy satsuma shimmer lip balm
Collection 2000 cream puff moisturising lip cream in fairy cake
Sanctuary spa 5 minute thermal detox mask

For you chance to win:
- Be a GFC follower of Peonies and lilies
- Leave a comment below telling me what you are most looking forward to this summer
- For 2 extra entries each, simply like my facebook page, or tweet about this giveaway.

This giveaway will be open to both UK and international readers,
and will close at 11:59pm on 4th August 2012.

Good luck!

27 July 2012

MUA undressed and Sleek Glory eyeshadow palettes

Since discovering the joys of taupes and browns, my eyeshdaow collection has grown considerably, and today I've got 2 lovely new palettes to show you:

Mua undressed eyeshadow palette, MUA superdrug, MUA undressed palette review, MUA undressed palette swatch, Urban decay Naked palette, Urban decay naked eyeshadow dupeWidely hailed as a dupe for the Urban Decay naked palette, this MUA undressed eyeshadow palette (RRP £4 from Superdrug) has 12 shades to choose from, and includes a good mix of mattes and shimmers.

Considering the £4 price tag, the eyeshadows are surprisingly pigmented, and on a day to day basis, I've been getting a lot of use out of shades 1, 2, 4 and 10. For nights out, I've been loving shades 11 and 12, with shade 2 as a highlight colour.

Sleek make up, Sleek idivine, Sleek idivine Glory eyeshadow palette, Sleek olympic palette, Sleek london underground tube palette, Sleek glory eyeshadow palette review, Sleek glory eyeshadow palette swatchFor me, this Sleek makeup iDivine in Glory (RRP £6.99 from Superdrug) is more of a collector's palette, and as a Londoner, I love how each shade has been inspired by colours of the underground. As always, the colours are nicely pigmented, although there are only 2 matte shades in this palette.

Being a neutral's girl, I doubt I'll get much use out of the bottow row, but I do like the fact that the top row contains a good mix of creams, browns and smokey greys.

Do you own either of these 2 palettes? What are you favourite Olympic inspired beauty products?

25 July 2012

Crabtree and Evelyn Wisteria

For the last few weeks, I've been testing out 2 products from the new Crabtree & Evelyn Wisteria line.

I'll forever associate the word Wisteria with Desperate housewives, but this range is inspired by the blue blossoms of the English Wisteria plant. The flower is then blended with the subtle scent of gardenia, ylang ylang, mandarin, nashi pear and musk.

Crabtree and evelyn, Crabtree and evelyn wisteria, Crabtree and evelyn wisteria shower gel, Crabtree and evelyn wisteria shower gel review, Crabtree and evelyn wisteria body cream, crabtree and evelyn wisteria body cream review, peonies and liliesCrabtree & Evelyn, available from FeelUnique.com and LookFantastic.com

As you can imagine, both products smell really floral and fresh, and everytime I use the body cream, I feel like I'm being transported to a blossoming English garden.

The bath & shower gel foams up nicely and is very refreshing, but it's not the most moisturising, so I would recommend following it up with a body lotion.

The body cream on the other hand is absolutely lovely. Despite being rich and creamy, it's quick absorbing, not at all greasy, and has a lovely velvety texture when applied to the skin.

Both products come beautifully decorated, and the chic glass bottle of the body cream in particular means that it would make for a lovely present.

Have you tried anything from this range? What are you favourite Crabtree and Evelyn products?

Disclosure - PR sample

24 July 2012

A GOSH Spot on! Pink NOTD

A few weeks ago, I popped along to the GOSH Autumn/Winter 2012 event, and whilst there, I couldn't help but fall in love with this gorgeous Spot on! Pink nail lacquer:


As you can see, it's a gorgeous coral pink shade, which is bright enough to be eyecatching, but still pretty enough to be worn everyday (especially now that we're finally getting some sun!).

The above photo shows just 1 coat and the polish is quick drying, making it the perfect choice for a speedy manicure.


At the event, we were also introduced to their range of nail glitters, and I thought it would be really fun to use Topaz lavender as an accent nail. To cover the entire nail, I simply applied 1 coat of nail varnish, then sprinkled glitter over the nail before tapping off the excess.

Admittedly, it was a little messy, but worth it for the effect. If you'd prefer glitter nails without the mess, then I'd recommend just doing the nail tip, as you can easily dip it into the pot, and still end up with super sparkly nails without getting glitter everywhere!

Are you a fan of bright colours during the summer? Will you be giving nail glitters a go?

23 July 2012

Origins A perfect world tinted moisturizer/BB cream review

BB creams have been my go to base for quite some time now, and when I heard that Origins (one of my favourite skincare brands) was bringing out their own version, I couldn't wait to try it out:

RRP £27, available from Boots and House of Fraser

Judging by the packaging, I'd say this was originally designed to be a tinted moisturiser rather than a BB cream, and indeed it has a lighter texture and isn't as thick when compared to some of my other BB creams.

Like all the other products in the 'A perfect world' range, it contains anti-oxidant white tea as well as SPF 15, and comes with a choice of 6 shades. I was given 02-light/medium which is just a tad too dark for my NC25 skintone, but because it's sheer, it blends in well and gives a very subtle bronzed look to my face.

Coverage wise, it's definitely on the lighter side and you'll still need to use concealer. However come summer time, I prefer a lighter base anyway, and this is great for adding a hint of colour and helps to even out my skintone.

I always wear this over my usual moisturiser (my skin tends to react to spf), but it's hydrating enough to be worn by itself, and gives a nice dewy look to the skin. It has a light refreshing scent, and lasts relatively well throughout the day, although I would recommend touching up with powder if you have combination skin like myself.

Have you tried this BB cream/tinted moisturizer? What's your go to base during the summer?

22 July 2012

Instagram 008

New Stila fragrance/Cute cup of hot chocolate/Summery GOSH nails

Japanese beef & rice/New bracelet/Roadtrip to France!

Amiens/Floating gardens/Trio of coffee and desserts

Mont St Michel/French crepes with chocolate/Stocking up on French skincare

Last meal in France/BBQ burgers/Spending the day at Kew Gardens


It's been a while since I've done an Instagram weekly round up, so I've picked my favourite photos from the last fortnight or so.

The highlight of last week was definitely my roadtrip to France. We set off on Sunday, and spent 5 days exploring various small villages and towns along the North coast of France. As you can see, there were some beautiful sights, not to mention all the delicious food and quality time with old friends.

Beauty wise, there have been quite a few launch events for the new Autumn 2012 and Christmas collections, and I can't wait to show you all the lovely make up and toiletries that will be in stores in the coming months!

Have you ever been on a roadtrip? What have you been up to this last fortnight?

13 July 2012

Calling all holographic fans!

Remember the infamous (but sadly discontinued) GOSH holographic nail polish, well the good new is that they've listened to customer feedback, and it's now back by popular demand!


It turns out there were too many complaints about the old polish chipping too quickly, so they've now released it as a special edition one night wear only polish. I love the fact that they openly state it's not long lasting and I'm sure it'll be just as popular as before.

I need to double check the exact launch date (and will update as soon as I find out), but it's part of their Autumn 2012 collection, so should hopefully be in stores very soon!

ETA: It should be in stores by 1st August.

Are you a fan of holographic nail colours? Will you be buying this when it launches in store?

12 July 2012

Summer ready: skincare

We've not had much of a summer this year, but as I'm off to France next week, I thought I'd show you what products I've been using in an attempt to get myself summer ready:

As much as I hate doing it, summer prep always starts off with hair removal. This year, I've been a big fan of the Gilette Venus moisturerich razors. It comes with 2 bars of soap already attached, which means there's no need to faff around with shaving/shower gel. It took a few minutes to get the pressure right, but once I did, it gave a close shave, was non drying and left my skin completely hair free.

After showering, I like to slather my skin with Cowshed slender cow extra firming body butter. This is rich and creamy, but non greasy and has the most amazing herbal aromatherapy scent. Personally I use this as a moisturiser, but it has some impressive statistics and I figured any toning or firming that it does will be a nice bonus.

Finally, the day after I like to add some colour with my favourite He shi dark foaming mousse. Click here to read my full review.

On holiday, Piz Buin is my brand of choice for sun protection. I used them last year in Australia, and never once got sunburn (apart from the time I forgot to apply!). This year my products of choice are the new tan and protect sun lotion and oil spray.

The lotion is light and quick absorbing, and the spray will be great for topping up during the day. Both take about a minute or so to fully sink in, but once it does, it's non greasy and leaves my skin with a nice sheen. I also like the fact that they both have a subtle sunscreen scent, something I'll always associate with being on holiday.

Will you be travelling anywhere this summer? What are your favourite summer skincare products?

11 July 2012

Olympic beauty with Maxfactor and Caroline Barnes

Caroline Barnes is one of my favourite make up artists, and I love the make up look she has created for staff at the upcoming Olympic victory ceremonies:

Bearing in mind the mix of different ethnicities and make up skills, she has created a really easy to wear neutral look, with just a hint of colour in the form of purple eyeliner.

Max effect trio eyeshadow in Coco crazy
Miracle touch creamy blush in soft copper
Liquid effect pencil in violet voltage
False lash effect gold mascara
Professional loose powder in translucent
Masterpiece colour precision eyeshadow in pearl beige
Max colour effect lip gloss in romantic
(all available from Boots and Superdrug)

The purple eyeliner was inspired by the official uniform, and the rest of the make up centres around a subtle but defined eye, naturally flushed cheeks and pink glossy lips, all finished off with a light dusting of loose powder to keep shininess at bay.

At the event, we were given the opportunity to recreate the look on ourselves, and as as someone who isn't very good at eye make up, I can personally vouch for how easily it is to recreate. The purple eyeliner was suprisingly easy to wear, although I didn't apply it as heavily as it was on the model. On the whole, I thought it was a really polished but subtle look, and one that I've since worn on a regular basis.

What do you think about the official Olympic look? Will you be recreating something similar?

10 July 2012

Seascape island apothecary

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to Seascape, a beauty company from Jersey who prides itself on sourcing locally produced ingredients, as well as being completely paraben, silicone, petroleum and SLS free.

There are 7 different ranges to choose from, each with a different blend of essential oils and natural extracts:

The unwind bath foam contains a relaxing blend of lavender and ylang ylang. I've never been much of a bath person, so instead I've been putting this to good use as a shower gel. Being SLS free, it doesn't foam up as much, but it is non drying and great for relaxing at the end of a long day.

The peppermint lip balm is a lovely blend of beeswax, honey and jojoba seed oil, and it is currently my go to lip balm. Click here to read my full review.

Last but not least is the refresh hand & nail cream. It has a light, almost mousse like texture, is quick absorbing, moisturising and non greasy. Best of all, the mix of lavender, lemongrass, geranium, beeswax and shea butter is very uplifting and makes for a perfect mid afternoon pick me up.

Have you tried anything from Seascape? What are your favourite aromatherapy inspired products?

PR sample

9 July 2012

Accessorize beauty and fragrance

High street make up seems to be going from strength to strength at the moment, and the latest piece to catch my eye comes from none other than Accessorize, one of my favourite places to shop for jewellery and handbags.

Normally I'd shy away from anything 'bright', but the eyeshadows in this You are everything palette are surprisingly wearable. As you can see, it includes a good number of neutrals and smokey shades, and I can even see myself occassionaly wearing a few of the brighter colours.

Like all high street palettes, there is some variation in quality, with the shimmery shades being more pigmented than the mattes. That said, I still think it's good value and I love the union jack inspired packaging.

Above are some of the other products in their make up collection. The Green Lagoon nail polish is a similar shade to Tiffany jewellery boxes, and looks very pretty on the nails. I also like the lipgloss, although it does have a very sickly sweet scent.

Finally, there are also several perfumes to choose from. This Charm EDT is perfect for carrying in my handbag, and contains a lovely mix of floral notes and hot amber oil.

Available now from Accessorize and Superdrug stores.

Have you tried anything from Accessorize beauty? What's your favourite item?

Recently...

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts, so instead of my usual 'week in Instagram' photos, I thought I'd show you some of my highlights from the last months or so:

Yummy new GBK burgers/Love this eyeshadow palette/Sushi

Pretty new ring/18th floor view of Canary Wharf/Christmas in July press day

Summer BBQ/Blogger's event at Vanilla/Dim sum with a friend

Love these Mavala sets/Canal side Mojitos/Spending the weekend in Birmingham

If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, my username is 'Peonieslilies'

Have you been up to much recently recently? What's your favourite meal/cocktail?

6 July 2012

Montagne Jeunesse facemasks

Montagne Jeunesse face masks have always reminded me of my teenage years, and although I'm now in my twenties, my skin still suffers from the same complaints, so it seemed as good a time as any to test out their new skin heroes range:

The range includes 4 facemasks and 1 set of nose strips, each designed to tackle problems such as excessive shine, breakouts, dry skin and blackheads.

With the exception of the nose strips, they all came with a matching moisturiser. I personally wasn't too keen on the moisturiser, and would have preferred a full satchet of facemask instead.

Of the 5, my favourite was the Break out mask, closely followed by the T-zone peel off. The breakout mask was clay based, and contained extracts of tea tree and witch hazel. It had a light tingly sensation, and rinsed off to leave my skin feeling deep cleansed and refreshed. The T-zone peel off was particularly fun to use. It has light gel texture and I loved peeling it all off once it was dry. It's also gently exfoliating and left my skin softer and smoother.

Overall, I thought the facemasks were fun to use, and gave immediate results. I doubt they have any long term benefits, but at £1.49 each, they're a quick and easy way to treat your skin.

Have you tried any of the Montagne Jeunesse facemasks? What's your biggest skin complaint?

Disclosure- PR samples

5 July 2012

Orly Preamp NOTD

It's been a while since I've done a nail of the day, but this beautiful bubblegum pink shade is just perfect for the summer months:


Released as part of Orly's new Electronica collection, Preamp is a beautiful blue toned pink with tiny flecks of golden shimmer. I love how the shimmer particles catch the light, and the Barbie pink shade is great for brightening up a plain outfit.

Like most of my Orly polishes, Preamp was opaque in 2 coats, and despite the shimmer particles, it was still smooth and glossy enough that I didn't need an additional top coat.

Have you tried this nail colour? What's your favourite polish from the new Electronica collection?

PR sample

4 July 2012

AKA cosmetics

A few weeks ago, I received a rather intriguing invite for the launch of a brand new make up range. The launch was held at Vanilla (one of my favourite venues), and being the beauty addict that I am, I couldn't wait to see what the make up would be like:

Well I'm pleased to say it doesn't disappoint. The range was designed to create 3 contrasting looks: Demure (pretty & classic), Smokey (sexy & sultry) and Carnival (outrageous & fierce), and features a range of products for the eyes, lips, cheeks and nails.

Packaging wise, they remind me of ELF cosmetics, and quality wise, they are very much on par with other high street brands. My personal favourite was the lipgloss. It was almost like a stain, and I found it to be non sticky and pigmented, although perhaps a touch too shimmery for daytime wear. I also liked their powder blusher, and the Heavens cloud nail polish (pictured above) is great for adding a touch of sparkle to a plain nail colour.

What do you think about this new make up range? Have you tried any of their products?

2 July 2012

Sk:n hand cream and intense spot lotion review

Up till a few weeks ago, I had no idea sk:n even did their own beauty products, but having tried 2 of the products, they are now an essential part of my everyday routine:


Throughout the day, I like to regularly moisturise my hands, and their anti-ageing hand cream does the job perfectly. It has a rich creme gel texture, contains vitamins C & E, as well as jojoba oil to keep dryness at bay. Some hand creams merely create a barrier, but this really sinks in and nourishes my skin. Best of all, it's non greasy, and the 50ml tube is perfect for carrying in my handbag.

From time to time, I get the odd blemish, and when I do, I now find myself turning to their anti- blemish intense spot lotion. Having tried out different formulas, I've come to prefer gels, as they are less runny and can be easily applied to just the spot. It contains salicylic acid, and although it won't get rid of the spot overnight, it will help to reduce inflammation and speed up it's removal.

Have you tried anything from sk:n? What do you use to keep spots at bay?

Disclosure- PR samples
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