July favourites/summer essentials

After months of cold weather and rain, we were finally treated to a heatwave in July. So not surprisingly, this month's favourites has turned into a bit of a summer essentials post:

July favourites

Starting off with a daily essential, and this month it's all about Jurlique citrus shower gel. With a creamy citrus scent, moisturising ingredients and the ability to foam up lots, it really does tick all the boxes. Plus it comes with a handy plastic pump, which means no more struggling in the shower with difficult lids!

He shi dark foaming mousse is an old favourite, but with the recent heatwave, it's been a welcome rediscovery. The fake tan is tinted so you can see exactly where it's been applied, and I like the fact that you don't have to moisturise beforehand. Like most fake tans, it's got that biscuity smell, but it always washes off to reveal a long lasting natural looking tan.

With more skin on show this month, I've been making a real effort to moisturise more. And at the moment I'm loving Soap and glory the firminator. Having only used it for a few weeks, it's too soon to judge it's firming effects. However what I can say is that it's a great moisturiser, smells amazing, and thanks to the peppermint and citrus extracts, nice and cooling on the skin too.

Skincare wise, I've swapped my usual day cream for Elemental herbalolgy cell food radiance and vitality serum. Not only is it free from chemical nasties, it's also got a whole host of natural plant extracts and anti-oxidants. The serum is especially designed for dull/stressed out skin, and since using it I've noticed a real difference in skin tone and radiance. My skin feels a lot more nourished and less sensitive too.

Ps. You can see my summer make up favourites here.

Have you tried any of the products above? What are your favourites this month?

An introduction to Soap and Glory skincare

About a month ago, I was introduced to the newly repackaged and reformulated Soap and glory skincare range. Previously I'd only ever tried a face exfoliator, but having had a good play with some of the products, I wanted to share with you my top 3 picks:

Soap and glory skincare, Soap and glory the ultimelt hot cloth cleanser, Soap and glory the fab pore 2 in 1 purifying mask and peel, Soap and glory puffy eye attack hydrogel
Soap and glory the ultimelt hot cloth cleanser
Soap and glory the fab pore 2 in 1 pore purifying mask & peel
Soap and glory puffy eye attack turbo boost hydrogel

Make up removal is such an important step for me, and The ultimelt hot cloth cleanser makes it quick and easy. As the name suggests, it goes on nice and creamy, and I like the fact that it's enriched with provitamin B5, sweet almond, orange and lavender oil. I still love my rich cleansing balms, but at £10 I think it's a good high street alternative, especially if you want something a bit lighter during the hot summer months.

The fab pore has quite minty toothpaste smell, but don't let that put you off. It's got tiny green beads, which gently exfoliates and dissolves as you rub it in. What I really like is though that you can leave it on for anytime between 5-15 minutes. Quite often I'll just use this as a quick exfoliator/treatment mask whilst I'm in the shower. It's got kaolin clay and salicyclic acid in it too, both of which help to detoxify and deep cleanse the skin.

Finally, the Puffy eye attack eye gel, which has been an absolute must have in recent weeks. Because it's so light, I find it to be very refreshing, and as I'm often so sleep deprived, it's cooling sensation is most welcome in the mornings. If you've got particularly dry skin then this won't be enough, but for my combination-oily skin, it provides just the right amount of hydration without overloading my skin or making it too oily for eye make up.

Have you tried any Soap and Glory skincare? What are your favourite products?

Summer make up essentials

The last few days have been so hot in the UK, and as temperatures have risen, I've found myself reaching for a whole new set of products. Here's are my summer essentials:

 Origins smarty plants CC cream, The body shop bronzing powder, Bourjois color boost lip crayons
 Origins smarty plants CC cream
The body shop bronzing powder
Bourjois color boost lip crayons

I have a love hate relationship with foundation, but in the summer, it's all about BB/CC creams. The new Origins smarty plants CC cream offers a hint of colour, plus spf 20 and antioxidant protection. It's been designed to release stimuli triggered bursts of antioxidant protection, but from a consumer point of view I've noticed a big difference in skin tone and radiance since I started using it as part of my morning routine. Despite the fact that there are only 2 shades, 01 (light to medium) is a good match for my NC25 skintone and I like the fact that it gives a glowy but non shiny finish.

Because the Origins CC cream is non shiny, I've been forgoing face powder in exchange for The body shop bronzing powder. It offers just the right amount colour without looking too tanned or muddy. I've gone for shade 03 medium matte, which  works well both as a contour shade or lightly dusted all over as a subtle tan. The finely milled powder blends in really easily, and the compact mirror means it's perfect for on the go applications too.

Finally, for a pop of colour I've been reaching for the new Bourjois color boost lip crayons. I like the fact that it doubles up as a lip balm and most importantly for summer, it contains spf 15 too. Formula wise, I found them to be nicely pigmented, non sticky and long lasting on the lips . Red sunrise has hints of raspberry whereas Fuschia libre is more of a hot pink, but with blue undertones to help enhance the whiteness of your teeth.

Do you also switch products in the summer? What are your summer make up essentials?

Clinique pop up bar - Selfridges London

Back in April, skincare brand Clinique ventured into the world of nail varnishes, and today I wanted to let you all know about their free shape and polish promotion in store at Selfridges London:

Clinique pop up nail bar, Selfridges London, Free manicure, Clinique a different nail enamel for sensitive skins
Free shape and polish at the Selfridges London Clinique pop up nail bar

To take advantage, all you have to do is pop into Selfridges and purchase any one of their 11 permanent shades or 9 limited editon summer colours. You can also call ahead and pre book on 020 7318 3704.

I'd recommend 06 happy, a bright coral which would look great with a summer tan. You'll have to be quick though as the promotion ends Wednesday 24th July!

Have you tried the new Clinique nail varnishes? What's your favourite summer nail colour?

Beauty boxes unwrapped - July 2013

There's nothing like a July beauty box to remind you just how fast the year is going! This month Glossybox have for a limited edition summer theme, whereas BeauteCo have focused more on haircare and make up:

Glossybox July 2013, Glossybox seaside splash

Glossybox July 2013, Glossybox seaside splash, Ciate paint pot, Infecto pure coconut refreshing dry shampoo, Ila spa face oil
Ila spa face oil for glowing radiance
Ciate paint pot in mistress
Infecto pure coconut refreshing dry shampoo
Alterna haircare bamboo style boho waves tousled texture mist
Coola organic face spf20 unscented mineral sunscreen

Over the years, Glossybox have become well known for their limited edition boxes, and this month they couldn't have picked a better theme. I love the turquoise summer seaside design, and product wise, there's a really good variety too. The sunscreen and dry shampoo in particular will come in handy over the next week or so, and the red Ciate nail varnish will look great with a tan and some summer sandals.

BeauteCo july 2013, Neal & wolf intensive care treatment, Neal & wolf volumising lotion, Artdeco eyeshadow base, Artdeco soft kajal liner
Neal & Wolf harmony intensive care treatment
ArtDeco eyeshadow base
Pukka radiance serum
ArtDeco soft kajal liner
Neal & Wolf elevate volumising lotion

BeautyCo on the other hand have gone for more of a quantity over variety approach. There are only 3 brands in this month's box, but with 4 full sized products it's undeniably good value for money. The Neal & wolf intensive hair treatment was an old favourite of mine, and I'm excited to try the Artdeco eyeshadow base too. I don't usually bother with a primer, but in this heat, anything that makes my make up last longer will be a welcome little addition!

Are you a beauty box subscriber? What was your favourite box this month?

Money supermarket's big night in

As much as I love eating out and exploring new bars, sometimes it can get a bit much and its nice to have a quiet night in instead. So when Moneysupermarket offered me £50, it seemed to perfect excuse to invite some friends over for dinner and a movie:

 Prior to the guests arriving, I stocked up on rose wine, rented 
a few movies and picked out some of our favourite chocolates

Whilst watching Mama mia, we snacked on homemade sushi...

 and pizza!

 Before raiding my beauty stash and pampering 
ourselves with face masks and manicures

Do you prefer to stay in or go out? What are your must haves for a girly night in?

Royal Albert afternoon tea tour today at Spitalfields

Just a quick post to say that if you're around East London today (5th July), then be sure to pop by Spitalfields for some free afternoon tea, cupcakes and macaroons:

Royal Albert afternoon tea tour

 Royal Albert afternoon tea tour

Me and Bettina went last year and we both really enjoyed it. This year they'll also be doing vintage hair styling, as well as raising  money for Breast Cancer Care. The weather's set to be warm and sunny too, so it should be a lovely afternoon all round.

For more information check out the official web page here.

Ps. How pretty is that afternoon tea set? Am now lusting after the entire New country roses and Polka blue collection!
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