Spring/Summer perfumes (part two)

Following on from last week's post, here are 3 more of my favourite spring/summer perfumes:

Escada cherry in the air, Yardley polaire, Estee lauder pleasures
Escada cherry in the air/Yardley Polaire/Estee Lauder pleasures

I've always liked Escada for their limited edition summer scents, and with notes of black cherry, raspberry, mandarin, gardenia, coconut and wood, Cherry in the air is no exception. As you'd expect, it's fun, fruity and flirty, perfect with a cute summer dress or for a day out on the beach.

With it's Art Deco bottle and floral chypre notes, Yardley Polaire nods to a more glamourous era. Polaire starts off with notes of pear, freesia and rose, before revealing it's more seductive base notes of amber, pink pepper and patchouli. A mature and sophisticated fragrance, and definitely one to check out if you like Miss Dior Cherie.

Finally, there's Estée Lauder pleasures, a clean and easy to wear day time scent. With notes of lily, jasmine, peony and rose, Pleasures reminds me fresh flowers, spring showers and clean laundry. A delicate and feminine fragrance that's work appropriate, yet still comforting and romantic.

Have you tried any of these fragrances? What are you favourite spring/summer scents?

Summer holiday wishlist

Call me cliched, but the minute the temperature hits double figures and we get our first few rays of sunshine, I start dreaming about all the exotic locations I want to visit during the summer holidays. And because I've not had much time to go shopping recently, I've put together this little wish list instead:

1. It wouldn't be a summer holiday wishlist without at least one bikini. Browsing through the Styleleaves magazine, it seems one piece swim suits are making a come back, and although I love them for swimming, I couldn't help but fall in love with this tropical print 2 piece bikini. Pink and blue are 2 of my favourite colour combinations, and I love the fact that it's practical, yet still super flattering.

2. I love the idea of buying a new perfume just for your summer holiday. Perfume can bring back such strong memories, and with notes of peony, pear, strawberry and vanilla, Marc Jacobs Oh Lola sounds perfect for my summer travels. Plus just look at how pretty the bottle is!

3. Hair removal has to be the biggest pain ever, and this summer, I'd love a more long term solution. Judging by online reviews, Sk:n seems to offer the best laser hair removal, and although I had good results from an at home machine, it can be time consuming and fiddly, so I'd love to give it the professional systems a go.

4. Admittedly I've had my eye on this for a while, but just look how nice the Mulberry lily is! Considering the design, it's surprisingly spacious inside and the casual chic design would be perfect for a day of sightseeing.

5. My Nikon coolpix S570 has served me well, but since playing with my boyfriend's fancy dslr, I can't help but think it's time to upgrade. The bulky design isn't so travel friendly, but there's a noticable difference in photo quality and given that I'm obsessed with taking photos, it's only going to be a matter of time before I end up purchasing!

6. Finally, the all important sunscreen. Whilst I love Piz Buin for my body, I'll always end up coming back to Chanel UV essentiel for my face. It's light, non greasy, sits well under make up and offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. A must have for the summer months.

Are you off to anywhere exotic this summer? What's on your summer holiday wishlist?

*PR collaboration

Birchbox May 2013

The new Birchbox landed on my doorstep last week, and with the Baftas and Cannes both happening this month, Birchbox have been inspired to go for a 'red carpet ready' theme for May 2013:

Birchbox may 2013
 Birchbox May 2013*

Birchbox may 2013
 Elemental herbalogy cell plumping facial hydrator
MakeBelieve enhance sunbeam bronzer and brush
OPI mini nail lacquer
Doctor Duve anti-ageing & firming eye cream
B/Attitude body souffle
Kusmi detox tea

So as you can see, there's a good variety of products in this month's box. I found the Elemental herbalogy moisturiser to be light and refreshing, and given that I've just finished my Origins day cream, it really couldn't have come at a better time. The OPI mini nail lacquer is lovely too (a really pretty mix of dark purple and golden shimmer) although I do wish they'd labelled the sample so we don't have to guess what the name is.

As always with beauty boxes, there are 1 or 2 products that I don't like, and this month it's the B/Attitude body souffle, which was just too sweet and incense smelling for my taste. For their lifestyle element this month, they've gone for a Kusmi detox tea, which I'm really looking forward to trying, and like the February box, their monthly magazine features a good mix of beauty, fashion and travel advice.

Products aside, Birchbox are also supporting Fashion targets breast cancer this month. There's a mini TLC guide inside every box and throughout May, they'll be donating 30% of all e-sales and £5 per referal to help fund vital research into the condition. A great cause as I'm sure you'll agree and the perfect opportunity for some guilt free shopping too!

Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What do you think about this month's box?

Spring/Summer perfumes (part one)

It may still be cold and grey outside, but seeing as we are well into May, I thought it was about time I shared a few of my favourite Spring/Summer perfumes:

L'occitane spring cherry, The Body Shop pink grapefruit EDT, L'artisan Caligna

Starting with L'occitane spring cherry, and I must admit it was the pretty pink bottle which first attracted me to this perfume. Scent wise, the perfume starts off with light notes of mandarin, blackcurrent and cherry, before revealing it's smokier base notes of wood and musk. For me, this perfume brings back memories of the first few days of spring, and I think it's a good choice of you want something that's not too sweet, but still light and fresh enough for the hot summer months.

Next up is the new Pink grapefruit EDT from The body shop. Now The body shop are famous for their fruity scents and I think this perfume compliments the existing range beautifully. As you'd expect, it's very zesty and fresh, with just a touch of citrus throw in for good measure too. Being an EDT, it's not the most long lasting of perfumes, but at £8.50, I think it's a real bargain, and the small compact bottle means it's perfect for throwing into my handbag and freshing up during the day.

Finally, something a little different with L'artisan Caligna, which contains notes of sage, rose bud, mandarin tree leaves, pine needles and oak chips. Compared to the other 2 scents, it's got more of a luxe feel, and with such green notes, it really does evoke memories of countryside walks and gentle summer breezes. Definitely one to consider if you want something that's clean, fresh and easy to wear during the day.

So there you have it, 3 of my favourite Spring/Summer perfumes. Don't forget to check back for part 2, which will be up later this week.

Have you tried any of the perfumes above? What's your favourite Spring/Summer scent?

Illamasqua Paranormal collection

As a make up addict, I love seeing what Illamasqua have come up with, and season after season, they've continued to surprise and shock with their innovative new collections. For summer 2013, they've once again bucked the trend and gone for a surprisingly spooky Paranormal collection:

Illamasqua UV glow nail varnish, Illamasqua paranormal, Illamasqua geist nail varnish

Starting with my favourite products from the new collection. In the bottle, they look like any other brand of nail varnish (albeit very pretty ones), but shine a UV light on them, and they suddenly transform into super bright florescent neons. There's also a 'clear' topcoat, which when in the presence of UV light, allows you to experiment and create a whole host of nail patterns. 

Illamasqua hydra veil, Illamasqua paranormal

This definitely gets the prize for most innovative new product. It's a hybrid skincare-make up primer, which when applied, lightly hydrates the skin and smoothes over any pores, giving you a flawless base. The coolest thing though is that it self smoothes, and at the event I had no end of fun stirring it up, then watching as it seemingly magically restored itself to perfection.

Illamasqua paranormal palette

It wouldn't be an Illamasqua collection without a palette or two, and for summer 2013, they've gone for a really interesting texture. Described as a cross between a cream and a powder, the product feels almost moussy to the touch, blended really easily, and once dried, was nice and long lasting on the skin.

Illamasqua gleam supernatural, Illamasqua paranormal

Illamasqua paranormal, Illamasqua posture lipstick, Illamasqua esp lipstick,

Finally, to complete the collection, there's a golden shimmered cream highlighter, a precision gel eyeliner, as well as 2 eyecatching lipsticks. And if (like myself), purple lipstick's not for you, then check out Jayne's blog post on how it can be used as the perfect mixing medium for other lipsticks.

Illamasqua paranormal, available now instores and online at Selfridges.com

What do you think about the new Paranormal collection? Will you be treating yourself to any of the products?

Glossybox May 2013, 2nd anniversary edition

Can you believe that it's been 2 years since Glossybox first launched in the UK? It really doesn't feel like that long ago, and even now I can still remember sitting at my desk, reading that email and being super excited about the prospect of a monthly box of beauty treats being delivered straight to my front door. Here's what's inside their 2nd anniversary May 2013 box:

Glossybox may 2013
 Glossybox May 2013*

Like all new start up companies, Glossybox has had it's ups and downs, but I would say that it's now better than ever. The last few boxes have really impressed me, and even though this isn't my favourite box (that accolade goes to the November box) I do like most of the products that they've choosen.

Glossybox may 2013, Glossybox 2nd anniversary box, Caudalie divine oil, My trusty litle sunflower cream, Headline colors centerfold nail polish, Givenchy dalia noir l'eau, Glossybox nail files

I'm already a big fan of the Caudalie divine oil, and as often is the case with Glossybox samples, it'll come in so handy for weekend breaks and short trips abroad. My trusty little sunflower cream is rich and moisturising, and I'm really liking the Givenchy dahlia noir sample. There's also a bonus pack of mini Glossybox nail files.

The only product that didn't impress me was the Beautiful movements prime & create mixing balm. I don't usually bother with primer, and because it's such a small sample I doubt I'd be able to test it out properly anyway.

Overall though, there's a good mix of skincare, bodycare and make up samples. Bar the Beautiful movements primer, all 4 products were generously sized, and I thought the addition of Glossybox mini nail files was a really nice touch.

Glossybox retails for £10, plus £2.95 P&P, available online at Glossybox.co.uk

Are you a Glossybox subscriber? What do you think about the May 2013 box?

BeauteCo box, a new beauty subscription service

Love it or hate it, there's no denying that beauty boxes are here to stay, and this month sees the launch of BeauteCo, a new monthly subscription service with a difference:

 BeauteCo May 2013*

Compared to other beauty boxes, BeauteCo has more of a natural slant. To make it more environmentally friendly, there's no fancy pink box or drawstring bag, instead the products are packed straight into the delivery box. Because of what I was used to, this was quite a surprise at first. However like most people, I really don't need any more beauty boxes, and the printed design, green tissue paper and pink bow still gives it that nice girly present feel.

BeauteCo May 2013:
Anatomicals body scrub
Anatomicals hand cream
Dr Bragi age management moisturiser
Mitchell & Peach body cream
Melvita cleansing oil rose

What really sets BeauteCo apart though, is the fact that you can see before purchasing and choose from 3 boxes each month. With other subscription services, it's always a bit of a risk, but because I choose this box myself, I knew exactly what I'd be getting and it's nice to be able to use all 5 samples. So far I'm really liking the Melvita cleansing oil and Anatomicals body scrub.

Product wise, I thought the samples were all really generous, and even though Anatomicals isn't a luxury brand, it's nice that they've included one or two full sized products too. This month the boxes were fairly similar (there were one or two star items that were in every box), however I think it's great that we finally get a choice, and hopefully over time, as the company expands, the boxes will become more varied too.

BeauteCo retails for £10 plus £2.95 P&P, available from beautecobox.co.uk

What do you think about choosing your own beauty box? Will you be subscribing to this new service?
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