Project bathroom update January 2012

It's now my 4th year of doing Project bathroom, and I'm pleased to say 2012 has started off really well. Since my last update, I've finished a grand total of 14 full sized items. My beauty collection still seems to be ever growing, but I do love that sense of satisfaction every time I finish a product. Fingers crossed next month will be just as successful!

Batiste tropical dry shampoo
The Body Shop hemp hand protector
Liz Earle energising body lotion
All for Eve hand cream
Liz Earle skin repair moisturiser
Aussie aussome volume conditioner
Liz Earle botanical shine shampoo
Lush the olive branch shower gel
Lush happy hippy hair and body gel
Madara sunflower tinting fluid
Urban Decay razor sharp high definition powder
Nivea rich nourishing body lotion
No 7 lash adapt mascara
Avon supershock max mascara

How are you getting on with Project bathroom? Do you also have an ever growing collection of beauty products?

Glossybox - The Valentine's edition

Following on from the success of December's red box, January's Glossbox also has it's own limited edition packaging. The hot pink colour fits in perfectly with the theme of Valentine's day and I love that even the stuffing inside is pink!

There's a good variety of products in this month's box. Of the 5, I'm most excited about trying the Fab gentle body wash. It would have been nice to get a Clarins sample, but I love the red Orly polish and the 2 in 1 cleanser and toner will come in handy for travelling.

Make up wise, I tend to go for quite neutral colours, so won't get much use out of the eyeliner, but I do like the sound of the primer, especially as promises to give a radiant glow and is oil free.

RRP £10 (plus P&P), available from

Are you subscriber to Glossybox? What do you think about this month's box?

*affiliate link

Baglioni Spa Algae detox wrap

Located near Hyde Park, Baglioni hotel looks quiet and unassuming, but hidden towards the back is a luxury SPC spa, which feels like a serene and tranquil haven the minute you step inside.

As it was January, I was offered the Algae detox wrap. Given the name, I was expecting to be wrapped in cling film, then left to detox, but as it's an SPC treatment, it turned out to be so much more.

The 85minute treatment started off with some deep breathing, followed by a soothing foot massage and all over body brushing to get rid of any dead skin cells. After this the wrap was applied. It turns out the wrap was a clay and peppermint based mask without any cling film involved.

Prior to application, the mask was heated up, so it felt nice and relaxing. As it cooled down, the peppermint oil really started to take effect, leaving my skin feeling tingly and stimulated. The wrap was left on for quite some time, and during this I was given a lovely scalp massage. It was then time to jump into the shower to rinse off the mask.

The final stages of the treatment involved a full body moisturisation, a detoxing abdominal massage and another foot massage. My therapist gave me a mini massage as she rubbed in the citrus body moisturiser, finishing off with a circular abdominal massage which is designed to stimulate the digestive system to get rid off any toxins.

After the treatment, I felt deep cleansed, as well as thoroughly relaxed and pampered. I really appreciated the fact that I wasn't rushed out. Instead, I was taken to a quiet room where there was plenty of drinks to choose from, as well as a foot spa with body scrub and moisturiser on offer.

Overall, I was really impressed with the spa. Despite being on a busy road in Central London, it couldn't have felt more relaxing or luxurious and I would happily return for another treatment next time I'm in need of some pampering.

If you'd also like to try the Algae detox wrap, then
simply quote FDetox12
for 40% off the treatment price.

Have you ever been to an SPC spa? What's your favourite spa treatment?

Disclosure- Complimentary treatment

An introduction to New CID Cosmetics and SS12

Last week I was invited down to the New CID cosmetics studio to meet brand owner Kelly Colman, find out more about the brand and have a play with their new SS12 products.

We were first introduced to the lip products. They already have a range of light up i-pout lipsticks and i-gloss lipglosses, but for SS12 they are expanding the range of lipsticks as well as bringing out a new i-shine lipgloss.

Now I love my lipglosses, so couldn't resist trying one out. I went for Coral candy, a beautiful pinky orange shade which really suited my skintone, felt very moisturising and was relatively longlasting.

Lip gloss aside, another product that caught my eye was their new light up nail varnish. There will be a choice of 24 shades, each named after a different desserts.

Finally we were shown their range of face products. As I didn't have any foundation on, I was chosen to demonstrate the new i-perfection colour adjust foundation. I'm not much of a foundation wearer, so wouldn't use this everyday, but it did feel weightless on my skin and gave a medium coverage. I was however impressed with their i-prime and i-powder, which kept my skin shine free all evening.

Have you tried anything from New CID cosmetics? Did any of the new products catch your eye?

Benefit they're real! mascara review

First thing to say is that I love the packaging of this mascara. The metallic silver tube looks fun yet expensive, and stands out from all the other mascaras in my collection.

The rubber brush has some flexibility and consists of short uniform bristles along the length of the brush as well as the tip.

Pigment wise, this is one of the darkest mascaras I've come across. Usually I need 2 coats for depth of colour but with this one coat was enough. The downside is that it is prone to smudging mid afternoon and it takes a little longer to remove.

As you can see from the photo, it does lengthen my lashes a little, but it does a better job of separating and volumising my lashes. It is also very good at holding a curl and helps to lift my outer lashes.

At £18.50, it is one of the more expensive mascaras in my collection, but also one of the best. I just hope they'll bring out a waterproof version soon!

Have you tried this mascara? What's your favourite Benefit product?

Disclosure- PR sample

Australia highlights - part 1

Towards the end of last year, I spent 2 months in Australia, travelling down the East coast, exploring the country and taking in all the beautiful sights.

I had hoped to post a travel diary, but without a laptop it was impossible and I've only just got round to sorting through my 2725 photos!

I've already posted some of my favourite shots, but here are some more photos and highlights of my time there:

Making new friends and taking roadtrips.

Visiting a koala sanctuary

Seeing penguins at Philip island (photo of a poster as cameras were prohibited)

The food- there were so many great restaurants and cafes in Melbourne.

From Melbourne, we travelled up to Cairns, Port Douglas and Airlie beach:

Snorkelling in the Great barrier reef

Sailing around the turquoise waters of the Whitsunday islands

Spending the day on Whitehaven beach- aka paradise!

Have you ever been to Australia? Where's your favourite holiday destination?

Ojon full detox dry cleansing spray review

Dry shampoo is an absolute must have for me, and the latest one in my bathroom is this Full detox dry cleansing spray from luxury haircare brand Ojon.

Like other dry shampoos, you simply spray over the roots, then rub into your hair and brush as usual. This particular one came out as a fine mist, and I found it best to apply a little bit several times rather then apply lots all in one go.

It contains extracts of Soap bark tree and Ojon oil, which made it smell like herbal medicine. The scent almost disappears afterwards, but it is very strong during application.

The product helped to soak up any grease and freshen my hair in between washes. Compared to other brands, this has finer particles and didn't leave my hair feeling as chalky.

On the whole, not a bad dry shampoo, as long as you don't mind the strong herbal medicine smell during application.

Do you also rely on dry shampoo to freshen up between washes? Have you tried any Ojon haircare?

Disclosure- PR sample

Look beauty review and swatches

Created by the girls from Look magazine, this 100+ collection is exclusive to Superdrug and includes everything from foundation to nail varnish, as well as a few make up kits:

'Standout eyes' single eyeshadow in Lame, Cashmere and Cami
Unfortunately Cashmere smashed in transit but the eyeshadows themselves are smooth, pigmented and apply with minimal fallout. I do wish they came in the same packaging as the blusher though. The plastic case is sturdy and functional, but difficult to open and not as sleek as the silver compact.

'Make me blush' blusher in Rosy
This is gorgeous. It's a shimmery pink shade which as the name suggests, gives a nice rosy glow to the cheeks. Of all the products, this has the best packaging. The silver compact is sleek, sturdy and comes with a mirror inside.

'Lip slick' lipgloss in Peaches
This looks scarily opaque, but the colour is actually very wearable. It's sheer but buildable so can be applied lightly for a 'my lips but better look' or layered for a stronger colour. It's very moisturising and gives a glossy sheen to the lips. One of my favourite products from the range.

'Nail pop' polish in Dusky and Prom
I was also sent 2 nail pops to try out. Prom is a bright pink shade and Dusky a shimmery lilac. Both polishes were easy to apply and dried to a glossy finish. The above photo shows one coat of prom and two coats of dusky.

On the whole, I was impressed with this range. The products are nicely pigmented, come in a wide range of colours and are reasonably priced for the high street. The stand out products for me are the lipgloss and blusher, but I would happily recommend all 4 products.

Have you tried anything from this range? What's your favourite make up item?

Stila make up amnesty- free lipgloss!

On Thursday 19th January, Stila will be opening a new counter in Harvey Nichols London and to celebrate they are giving away a free lipgloss worth £15!

The lipgloss will be in the shade Kitten, and all you have to do is bring in an old lipgloss to trade in from 10am onwards.

Also Manchester girls, keep an eye on your Harvey Nichols. Stila will be opening a counter there at the start of February and there will also be a make up amnesty day.

Have you tried anything from Stila? Will you be taking advantage of this great offer?

My weekend in photos

Visiting M&M's world and taking lots of photos

Walking to Chinatown

Enjoying my favourite meal - dim sum

Shopping in Boots and admiring Lancome's pretty new collection

Eating Christmas chocolate and discovering that I love salted caramel.

What did you get up to this weekend? What's your favourite food?

Ps. I'd love it if you could 'like' Peonies and lilies' new Facebook page :)

L'occitane hand cream in hibiscus flower

Inspired by the scents and colours of Africa, L'occitane have brought out 3 limited edition hand creams and for the last few weeks, I've been putting the hibiscus flower one to the test.

The hand cream is thick, but non greasy and absorbs quickly into the skin to leave my hands feeling soft and moisturised.

The hand cream contains extracts of hibiscus, sunflower seed, rosemary, rapeseed and coconut. Scentwise, it's creamy, but at the same time floral and sweet.

I always thought L'occitane hand creams came in metal tubes (which I don't like) but the actual packaging feels almost plastic and is more flexible than it looks, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to finish the hand cream without it cracking and leaking out.

Overall, a rich but easily absorbed hand cream, and one that I would recommend if you suffer from dry skin or need to repeatedly wash your hands throughout the day.

RRP £8 from L'occitane

Have you tried any of the L'occitane hand creams? What's your favourite heavy duty hand cream?

Disclosure - PR sample

No 7 beautiful skin BB cream review

BB creams have been one of the most talked about products in recent months, and as No7 are well known for their skincare, I had high expectations of their BB cream:

One of the main selling points for me was that it offers both UVA and UVB protection. After years of experience, I know my skin tends to react with SPF, so I've been wearing this on top of my moisturiser.

The formula is thick, but blends easily into the skin. Coverage wise, it's about that of a tinted moisturiser. I tend to go for sheer products anyway and this has been my go to base for the last few weeks.

The BB cream comes in 2 shades and I was sent the fair shade to try out. It can sometimes look grey when first applied, but within 5 minutes, it warms up and is then a good match for my NC25-30skintone.

I find that I need to blot and repowder during the day (something I do anyway) but when this tube runs out, I'll be repurchasing it in the normal/oily version.

On the whole, one of the best BB creams that I've tried. Thanks to the UVA and UVB protection, I've been using it in place of my usual sunscreen and I love that it offers me coverage without the need to add an extra step to my skincare. Definitely one to repurchase when this tube runs out.

Have you tried any BB creams? Which is your favourite one?

Make up storage idea - Ikea Moppe drawers

On the lookout for some make up storage ideas? Then you may be interested to hear that Ikea have decided to bring back their much loved wooden drawers.

At £16.99 it's only a few pounds more than the cardboard ones, but a lot stronger and longer lasting.

At the moment, it's only available in stores, but having just brought one, it is definitely worth a trip. Just don't make my mistake of going on a Saturday afternoon- it was so busy in there!

Will you be buying one of these? How are you currently storing your make up?

Illamasqua Freak perfume

Described as 'a concoction of dangerously exotic unconventional flowers' Illamasqua 's Freak perfume is bold, daring and designed to stand out.

Top notes: Black dawana, opium flower and Belladonna
Heart notes: Poison hemlock, Datura and Queen of the night
Base notes: Frankincense, Oud and Myrrh

Looking at the fragrance notes, there are a lot of names I don't recognise, but somehow it just blends together perfectly. It starts off quite masculine, but almost immediately the floral notes start to emerge, and it eventually settles to becomes a seductive oriential, with hints of flower, incense and wood.

The perfume is mysterious and sexy but still light enough to be worn during the day. Even the packaging has been well thought out- the slanted purple black bottle fits the perfume perfectly. Definitely one to try out next time you pass an Illamasqua counter!

Have you tried this perfume yet? What sort of fragrances do you normally go for?

December's Glossybox

Having seen all the blogposts, I was delighted to find my very own Glossybox waiting for me upon my return to London:

December saw the launch of the very first limited edition packaging and all I can say is 'Wow' they really have gone all out with this box!

As you can see, this month's goodies came in a festive red box, instead of the usual pink one. It includes 2 full sized items as well as 4 samples.

BLINK + Go hi-definition mascara
Cargo cosmetics classic lip gloss in Tokyo

Rituals Fujiyama foaming shower gel

Deborah Lippmann razzle dazzle mini nail varnish

Deborah Lippmann stripped to go sachet

Mememe seventh heaven facebase

Like a lot of people, I love trying new make up, so I was really pleased to see not 1 but 4 cosmetic items in the box. The nail varnish although sheer in formula is absolutely gorgeous and the lipgloss is perfect for a hint of daytime colour. I've yet to use the shower gel, but mandarin and mint sounds very refreshing and I can't wait to try it out once my current one finishes.

For me, this is by far the best Glossybox to date, and I can't wait to see what they've got in store for future boxes!

If you are thinking of signing up, the January box will probably be a little later than usual, but can still get your hands on this amazing December box via their website.

Are you a Glossybox subscriber? What do think about the contents of this box?

17 magnetized nail polish in Lilac

Months after the launch of magnetic polishes, I've finally got round to trying it out for myself:

This particular one is from 17 and comes with a detachable magnet included in the lid. To start off with, I just painted my nails like normal. I found that one coat wasn't quite enough, but because there was a magnet involved, I could messily dab the polish onto my nails to make it more opaque. I then quickly hovered the magnet over the wet polish. This neatens up any streaks and creates the characteristic magnetic stripes.

On the whole, the magnet was very easy to use. When I first tried it, I did accidently smudge a couple of nails, but by the end of the manicure, I'd gotten the hang of it, and the effect was quick and easy to create.

The 17 polish was quick drying, had a nice metallic finish to it, and it lasted for a good few days without chipping. Overall, a fun polish to have in my collection and one that got lots of wear over the festive period.

Are you a fan of the magnetic effect? What did you wear over the festive period?

Disclosure- PR sample

Happy New Year!

It seems like only yesterday that I was counting down to 2011 and now another year has passed!

2011 has had it's ups and downs, but on the whole, it's been a good year. The highlight has to be my 9 week trip to Australia (more on that to come), but I've also been on a lovely weekend break to Bristol and Bath, attended some amazing product launches, met some lovely bloggers, made new friends and enjoyed some amazing once in a lifetime experiences!

2012 also promises to be a big year. If all goes well, I'll finally be graduating and starting work. I'm considering a trip to Asia over the summer, and of course am very much looking forward to another year of discovering new products, meeting new people and just generally enjoying what life has to offer!

So all that's left to be said is Happy New Year! I hope 2012 will bring you lots of happiness and love!
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