Friday, 23 December 2011

Butterfly Boutique


If you are lucky enough to live in London then this unique beauty boutique is something you should take a look at. I asked founder Louisa Barnett to tell me a little about the idea and the philosophy behind Butterfly Boutique


Set up by Louisa Barnett two years ago after spending more than a decade in the City. She often wished that there was somewhere she could go to sort out how she looked, very quickly, before braving meetings, presentations and client events, but she didn’t want the hassle of a full on hairdresser or sitting at a public make up counter. So the idea was born, bringing the world of celeb/tv styling to the high street. A real pitstop for busy working women, based in two locations in the City of London.

One of our most recent innovations is our unique membership scheme, where clients can come in as and when they need to, all for a regular monthly fee. Just like a gym, you get a members card and it means women can look and feel fabulous every day, all at an affordable price. At Butterfly we believe that taking care of you is not just a luxury but a necessity. This is, as far as we know, the first scheme of its kind to be introduced at a beauty boutique.

As well as hair, make-up and nails, Butterfly has expanded its offering by opening up two treatment rooms in its St Paul’s boutique. Treatments include reiki, acupuncture, deep tissue massage, chiropractic services and natural face lift massage. We also offer waxing, semi permanent lashes and luxury pedicures. Everything that a woman could want (and need) for a full pampering, rejuvenating or recuperative experience.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Body Lush Leeds




If you are lucky enough to live in leeds then you may have noticed the change in The Corn Exchange in recent months. Left as an empty shell a few years ago it is now full of wonders to discover. Among them is Body Lush, an innovative way to buy luxury bath and body care products with a bespoke finish. 

All ingredients are from ethical sources, paraben free, SLES free, allergen free and not tested on animals. Focusing more on the benefits of olive oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil, all products are mild and suitable for most skin types.

What really separates this shop from others is the individuality and passion within, from the friendly service to the tailoring of products. The products are simply divine, the body lotion melts into the skin leaving it lightly scented and deeply moisturised while the bath oils are decadent with scents that leave you feeling magical. 

There are a handful of superior products on offer including body oil, hand and body lotion, bath oil, facial wash, bath salts, room diffusers and shower gel. Choose which one you want then add one of the 30 deliciously crafted fragrances. My favourites are cucumber & melon, candyfloss, coconut citrus, fig & cassis, milk & honey, vanilla and arctic. 

If you want you can also add the colour of your choice. Treat yourself or someone you love with a gift bag that’s been customized to your exact taste. Body Lush is the place to go for affordable luxury that can be as individual as you are. I hope this brand goes from strength to strength and leads the way in how we buy beauty products in the future. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Jason Shankey Expert Perfect Shave Gift Box £48


Give someone the gift of the most pleasurable shaving experience this year by gifting them this collection of premium shaving products. Jason Shankey has won countless awards for his male shaving and body products and he has used all his knowledge to craft this box of treats. Research showed that 97% of men experienced irritation and pain due to shaving so Jason produced a step by step guide that teaches you the perfect 'barber' shaving technique. The products tackles shaving irritation by including ingredients that use natural hair growth inhibitor which slows down beard growth.  

I tested this on my dear dad, who like many, has been using the same technique to shave for years. He uses the cheapest bic razor he can find and if he is feeling a like a bit of a treat might get some supermarket shaving foam. Obviously this causes shaving to be a painful nuisance so he tries to avoid it as much as possible. He does look very good for his age but I know he would feel so much better about shaving if it was a pleasurable experience and in my opinion men do look so much better clean shaven.

The set includes exfoliating face and scalp scrub, smoothing shave cream and skin soothing moisture balm. You start with the face and scalp scrub which removes dead skin cells and has an amazing scent that I can only describe as the smell of the ocean, its fresh and revitalising. Next up the shave cream smooths and softens the skin so you get a comfortable shave with no irritation. I insisted a new razor was purchased as you really do need a good quality, sharp razor, you only have one face so its best to be nice to it. After shaving the moisture balm moisturises dry skin and helps to slow down hair regrowth with a groundbreaking complex of botanical extracts and peptides. 

My dad was so impressed with the whole experience of shaving this time round, I don't think he will ever go back to his old ways. His face felt the smoothest it has ever done and by improving the quality of his skin it has taken years of him. This really a gift that shows someone you love them, they not only get to enjoy the products but in the long term they will have learnt the art of the perfect shave and loving their face. 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Betty Hula



I got some lovely little samples of Betty Hula’s scented body lotion to try and they smell lovely. Both remind me slightly of Christmas, the champagne and spice especially. The body lotion has a thick creamy texture but it’s really the scent’s that are something special. I think they would make a great gift for somebody this Christmas.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Bliss Fatgirl Treatment Kit £30



Bliss has brought out a trio of treatments and a unique ‘Fatgirlslimulator massage tool’. The idea is all about stimulating circulation around your thighs to reduce cellulite and make thighs appear firmer and softer. The first step is to use the scrub over your wobbly areas, it contains menthol and has a really intense heat / cold sensation as you apply it. It’s got the right grainy texture and combined with the heat / cold sensation instantly makes thighs feel smoother. The second step requires you to use the slimulator to vigorously work over the problem areas in circular movements. It has the same basic principle as a massage but the slimulator has been specially developed to stimulate the skin deeper with raised bumps on it. It’s not painful in the slightest and you do start to feel all your blood rushing to that area. Finally there is the choice of fatgirlslim and fatgirlsleep. Both contain active ingredients to dispeal cellulite and tighten skin, the night time cream is slightly more powerful and has a relaxing lavender scent to it. After one use my skin on my thighs and bum certainly felt a lot smoother, after using regularly for a week I was much happier with the quality of the skin, it was much softer and slightly firmer.      

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Laura Geller baked foundation



The swirling colours make this foundation easily one of the prettiest before you have even applied it. It takes a little while to get used to as you build up the product gently and can shade certain areas as you go along. It has the softest finish ever so your skin looks perfectly smooth and even. I stupidly decided to take mine out with me and halfway through the night predictably it fell out my bag and smashed everywhere. It was from quite a height so I wasn’t surprised that it burst into pieces, I was upset as it’s not cheap. I think I would probably buy this one again as I really liked the finish, I just wouldn’t take it out the house.   

Friday, 16 December 2011

TQ Manicure



One day this makeup sponge arrived on my desk, I wasn’t expecting it and it was a lovely surprise. I don’t normally use sponges for foundation, normally fingers or a brush, but I wanted to try it and see if I could get used to it. The problem I had with sponges was that they either left little streaks or I couldn’t get them to blend properly around my nose and mouth. This sponge though was great at getting into all the curves of my face and brilliant for blending. I found the sponge is the right denseness so it evenly applies foundation to your face and doesn’t just stay on the sponge. For the price I think it is a really good beauty buy and it will save you having to wash fingers after you apply foundation whilst still giving you a flawless finish.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Montagne Jeunesse



Montagne Jeunesse have been using facebook to build up a strong following by giving away facemask samples to those who like their page. They have done this a couple of times over the past few months and the other day a sample of their cucumber peel off mask fell through my door. For want of a better world it is a quite unusual feeling when you peel off the mask, not unpleasant just unusual. The cucumber gives it a lovely refreshing scent and feel and if you get a chance to try one of their masks you are bound to find one that suits you. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Benefit Powderflage £19.50



I have had this sitting in my make case for a while after my sister gave it to me. She had bought it for herself but didn’t get on with it. It comes with a tiny brush to blend the powder under your eyes but it’s all a bit fiddly. My love for Benefit still remains but on this occasion I was left feeling a little underwhelmed. I just felt it didn’t make a difference to my appearance; it wasn’t as covering as a cream concealer and not as light reflecting as a liquid concealer. The only Benefit product I wouldn’t buy again.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Jinny Lash Conditioner



Lashes have been huge this year, from glitzy false lashes to the lash extensions that are favourites of celebrities; my eyes it seems have tried all of them. All the gluing and sticking has taken a toll on my lashes. After I had lash extensions (which I naughtily pulled off myself) my lashes were significantly shorter and brittle. To get them back to their fluttering best I used Jinny Lash conditioner whilst I was wearing the extensions but also for a good six weeks afterwards. My lashes have come through all the damage I have put them through and they now look better than before with help from Jinny Lash conditioner. 

Monday, 12 December 2011

Myface my mix foundation £12.99



I tend to change foundations every couple of months and recently I have been using Myface foundation. The texture is a lovely creamy texture which means it fills fine lines not shows them up. You can build up layers depending on what sort of coverage you are after, I tend just to use one layer which just evens up my skin tone. For the price you get a great amount of product which will last you much longer than some other brands. I also got the powder to go with it which I tend to keep in my bag for touch ups. The powder puff that comes with it is a little small for my liking but does make it perfect for keeping in your bag and it has a large mirror inside. You only need a small dusting to set the foundation perfectly for the rest of the day.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Radox Bath Smoothies



I am a great believer in the healing properties of a warm bubble bath, a philosophy which is at the heart of Radox. Rather than being content with the leading name in relaxing bath salts and foam, they have taken a further step in bathroom domination and launched a range of Bath Smoothies. I went for the spirit booster which is packed full if pomegranate and elderberries giving it a lovely sweet fruity scent. Not the bubbliest of products but a great scent and creamy texture.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Diego Dalla Palma



Its party season which means all makeup needs to have that extra staying power so that you can stay on the dance floor rather than in the bathroom reapplying makeup. Diego Dalla Palma have two products that are a must have for any beauty this season and they will last you right into the summer to.

The first up is their sensational semi-permanent mascara. I put it to the test by wearing it all day and then climbing into a steamy hot bath. Application is easy thanks to the easy grip lid and small well bristled brush. The mascara is quite thick but not gloopy at all. It did take a little longer to apply and I had to let it dry longer in-between coats. After two coats I was really happy with the length, thickness and rich black of my lashes, the magic came though when I got into the bath. Having stayed put all day I thought there was no way it was going to stay put in a bath, how wrong I was. No matter how much water I got on my face, or how much I rubbed my eyes the mascara just did not shift. The problem then came off how to get the mascara off. My usual makeup remover just didn’t seem to cut it, that’s when I realised you had to use their branded makeup remover. I eventually got the mascara off the next morning with some Pond’s Cold Cream, it’s an annoyance but shouldn’t put you off getting the mascara as it unparallel in its staying power.   

Now you have got your mascara to stay in place no matter what you get up to, you need the rest of your makeup to do the same. Step forward Diego Dalla Palma make up fixer. Think of it as a lighter and less chemically hair spray that fixes your makeup in place. One light spray of the makeup fixer will keep your makeup looking perfect all evening, leaving you to look your best.

Friday, 9 December 2011

SPC Sweet almond eye balm



Although my eyes aren’t really showing my age I have started to use eye cream in order to delay the process as long as possible. The only problem is that I can’t tell if they are having any effects so I tend to judge them on consistency and smoothness. The SPC sweet almond eye balm has a delicately light texture which gently dissolves into the skin around the eye. It has a light scent and a cooling effect as it intensely moisturises the skin.     

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Myego



Men’s cosmetics have really taken off and the time of only women caring about their skin is long gone. I have written some male skin care guides which I will be posting soon but in the mean time I have the two products men should not be without. Men’s skin has a completely different balance of oils so they need to have products specifically catered for their needs. Myego’s hydrating enhancer not only gives men’s skin a burst of hydration but will also mask imperfections and balance skin tone. For under eye bags or for areas needing more coverage, the liquid concealer is perfect. The masculine packaging is sleek with all products being labelled simply should stop any make confusion. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Chelsea Day Spa



The television is brimming with regional reality shows at the moment and certainly the poshest one around in Made in Chelsea. For weeks viewers have watched as perfectly groomed girls flirt with ridiculously wealthy men. Even if you are as posh as a pot noodle you can look as glamorous as the Made in Chelsea girls by visiting their favourite spa. The Chelsea Day Spa is located in the high of Chelsea, London’s trendiest upmarket area. Unassuming from the outside, inside lies a palace of beautification and as you walk up the steps to the reception the scent of nail varnish alerts you to what lies ahead.

The walls are covered in a decadent wall paper, in the small but fully stocked treatment area. I am here for a New York manicure and pedicure but they have the full range of treatments that you would expect, including a fabulous spray tan. They both involve intricate cuticle work which completely smartens up the nail area and gets rid of any stray bits of skin or nail. The bright pink varnish I opted for my toenails was applied perfectly, I can never get it that even and neat. For my hands I just went for a simple iridescent shade and squared off nails. The varnish lasted well on both my hands and feet but my nails on my hands chipped much faster than the varnish on my toes.

If you are looking for some exclusive pampering and the possibility of running into your favourite reality star then Chelsea Day Spa is the perfect place for you. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sparkle Ceramic Ionic Dryer £24.99





I have been using the same hair dyer for years. It's done me proud but I thought it was time for a new one. Along came a the PRO Beauty Tools Twilight edition ceramic Ionic dryer. It uses tourmaline ionic technology to release negative ions which help smooth the hair shaft, eliminate static, and help to lock in colour. My old hair dyer is quite noisy and frightens my cat but this one is so quiet the cats not bothered at all by it. It also dryers my hair faster and comes with a diffuser and I am quite excited to try that out on my hair.  

Monday, 5 December 2011

Philosophy


Ever since my trip to France a couple of years ago where I fell in love with mojito's I haven't been able to get enough of lime. It's such a refreshing smell and so makes a perfect scent for shower gel and bubble bath. Luscious lime £14 from philosophy is on the higher end of the price bracket but you do get plenty of uses out of it. When I use it as a bubble bath not only do I get loads of bubbles but the smell also permeates the whole bathroom so it smells lovely and fresh. 



Philosophy's be somebody daily moisture lotion is a lovely smelling, rich moisturiser and it also has a sweet quote on it: 

"You can be somebody without having wealth, fame and power. These gifts define a standard of life not our standard of virtue. You will be remembered for your virtues. The headlines you make in this life will be based on the differences you made in the lives of others. You are defined by the smiles and sweetness you leave behind. So be kind and know, in doing so, you are indeed not an anybody but a real somebody to love."  

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Red Carpet Essentials £7.95









Berkeley Square have just released their London W1 collection and I got sent the red carpet essentials box to try. The metal tin it comes in is really cute and makes it the perfect gift for someone, wrapping up boxes is by far the easiest thing to wrap. The lip balm comes in a really solid tube which is great as I have lost lip balms before as the cheap plastic tubes crack and the lids fall off. The smell is so fruity and fresh and the light purple shades is certainly different, luckily it doesn't colour your lips. The body butter has a soft shimmer to it, perfect for rubbing over your shoulders and neck before a night out. The pot is just the right size you stay in your handbag incase after work drinks are needed. When you have used the products up, which lets face it you will do quickly as they are so lovely, you have a fabulous little keepsake tin, perfect for earrings or hairbands.  

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sunnyside £3.40


As soon as I had this Sunnyside Bubble Bar in my possession I had to run a bath straight away. The gold glitter crumbled into the hot water and made it look magical. The orange and lemon scent isn't overpowering but lovely and subtle. I managed to get a decent amount of bubbles out of it but the best part is the wavy gold tiger stripes that glimmer in the water as you wash. It's not a particularly moisturising product so I when I got out the bath my skin felt a little dry. It doesn't leave an horrible residue in the bath but left my skin with a soft shimmer. You can't help but smile after you have melted one of these into your bath.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Living Nature Nourishing Hand Cream


My love of hand creams has been well documented on this blog, I am sure that when the rest of my skin looks 80 my hands will still look like a teenagers. This blog also seeks out products that use natural ingredients and Living Nature use 100% natural ingredients which come from New Zealand. Made with active manuka honey it is perfect for this time of year as it protects and repairs dry and cracked hands. The only way I can really describe the smell is of freshness, its what I imagine New Zealand to smell like, its smells of open spaces and nature. It doesn't leave my hands feeling greasy in the slightest and so its perfect for carrying in my handbag to use throughout the day. Handcream thats 100% natural, you can't get much better than that in my book.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Queens Cosmetics Eye Pencils £6.75


I really like to use eye pencils on the waterline (the bottom inside) of my eyes but as I wear contacts and have quite sensitive skin anyway, it is it often leaves me with dry, sore eyes. Queen cosmetics are the experts on creating skin and body care for those of us with sensitive skin and they have won a host of awards to prove it.

What attracted me to Queens eye pencils was not only that they were for sensitive skin but also the fabulous array of colours on offer. You can get the staple black, brown and blue but also a grey, green and violet. The grey is perfect for the day when black is too heavy or for creating a smokey eye look. The green is a favourite of mine as it brings out the green in my eyes and so does the violet, plus they both make an eye catching change to black or brown. Long lasting, super easy to blend and won't irritate your eyes in the slightest.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Aspinal of London


Aspinal of London have once again given me serious bag envy. Some people are shoe people, I am most certainly a bag person. Any type of bag as long as its well made and gorgeous gets me green but cosmetic bags I have a real weakness for. Their Barbarella Classic bag is my ultimate 'big bag' ever and the new range of Hepburn Cosmetics bag are breathtakingly stunning. As with everything Aspinal makes its all in the details and luxurious materials used. Textured ostrich print Italian calf leather and features an Aspinal signature silk mix interior lining completed with a Swiss made zip and Aspinal signature hardware. I want one badly. 

Saturday, 19 November 2011

HD Brows Palette £19.95



I think I have bored you all enough with my quest to get the perfect eyebrows so you will be pleased to know that the search is finally over. HD Brows have been building a reputation for the best brow treatment available and using the knowledge they have gained over the years created the ultimate eye and brow palette.

Eyebrows are so important in creating a polished look and it is so easy to get them wrong. Eye pencil that is too dark or too thick will look like it has been applied via a Sharpie and makes you look like a budget Barbie. 

Available in three different sets, each palette contains four shades that will define your brows and compliment your colouring. The powders are long lasting and I find a lot more natural looking than using a pencil. It is easy to build up colour on your brows and you can blend the shades to get a perfect match. Unlike a waxy pencil the colour won't melt and rub off but will stay put all night so you can get up to whatever you like without trips to the toilet to reapply makeup (something I have never been keen on). 

The amazingness doesn't just stop when it comes to your brows. Yes this will be the product that you will keep on going back to for your eyebrows but it will also become a staple in your makeup bag for its eyeshadow achievements. The four shades can be used to create a delicate daytime look and then built up to create seductive, smokey eyes. 

Friday, 18 November 2011

Models Own £5

Models Own have the most amazing arrange of nail colours and I really love how their website is set out. It may only seem like a little thing but I have been put off buying something online before because the website was too disorganised and difficult to navigate. It took me so long to decide on which colours to go for but after much careful deliberation the first one I picked was Juicy Jules.  



A clear varnish packed full of rainbow glitter the possibilities are never ending. As a polish on its own it works great to just give your nails a bit of sparkle. I don't really like varnish on my finger nails because my nails grow so fast I think they look a little fake when I apply varnish on them, especially a dark colour. Juicy Jules is perfect though as it gives them an eye-catching effect that is suitable for daytime and nighttime. the fun doesn't stop there though as you can use it over any colour to instantly it give some fun factor or get as creative as your imagination allows and use the glitter to add streaks, dots and glittery tips to your nails. 

The other colour I went for was Peacock Green. I was a little unsure about it as I recently tried a dark green colour on my toenails and someone said my feet looked cold but the colour was calling to me. I was so happy when it arrived as I had been right to take a gamble.  Its a mixture of blue and green shimmering tones which after two coats looks fabulous and luxurious. 




Thursday, 17 November 2011

Competition

The Urban Retreat Beautique have teamed up with glamorous British designer Maria Grachvogel to offer one lucky winner the ultimate, head to toe make-over prize. This incredible prize, worth up to £2,000, includes  a day of pampering at Urban Retreat’s flagship Super Salon on the fifth floor or Harrods followed by an afternoon choosing the dress of your dreams from Maria Grachvogel’s coveted collection.


The competition will run until midnight on Tuesday 20th December 2011 and all you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is answer one simple question.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Malida




Malida have brought a fabulous range of spa products from Thailand into our bathrooms and I for one am loving the results. Thailand is an excellent place to source beauty products as they have an abundance of natural resources such as flowers, fruits, herbs and plants which make this collection one to be lusted over.  


I got to try the hand cream and hand shower from the rose collection which was subtly fragranced but deeply moisturising. The aqua body oil which was an absolute revelation, it melted into my skin so quickly and afterwards I felt so smooth and nourished.  


The ginger and grapefruit body scrub is one of the fruitiest and loveliest scrubs I have ever come across. All the products are very reasonably priced so you can treat yourself to some luxury without feeling it in the purse department. 

Friday, 4 November 2011

I am really excited about the new Tesco beauty products



Along Came Betty is a glamorous range of body and skincare products, inspired by 1950s screen stars and beauty icons.
This beautifully packaged and gently scented bathing range provides the perfect pampering solution for you, as well as making great gifts for friends.
So Much Bubble Skin Softening Bath Soak 400ml, £3.99Pour this sweet scented soak into running water and sink into the cleansing, luxurious bubbles.

To the Skin and Beyond Ultra Rich Body Butter 225ml, £4.00
Apply this satiny smooth body butter to cleansed, exfoliated skin to lock in moisture and leave your skin feeling silky soft and smelling divine.


Hey Sugar Sugar Easily Spreadable Body Scrub 325ml, £5.99
Massage this super buffering scrub into damp skin, while showering or bathing to allow the oils to penetrate the skin and sugar to scrub, leaving skin clean and soft.



Clean Around the Clock Soft Skin Shower Wash 200ml, £2.99
Lather up with this creamy shower was to dissolve dirt and leave  skin feeling radiant.


Other products in the range include: It’s a Skin Thing Ultra Light Body Butter, £3.99, Say you Scrub me Scrubby Skin Polish  £ 3.99 and The Big Scrub Mitt £2.00.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Nip + Fab Sheer Make up Fix £14.95


The Nip + Fab products have been so popular they normally sell out before they have even hit the shelves. My two favourite products are scrub fix and lip + nip fix so of course I wanted to try the makeup fix when it came out. Primers have been huge this year and I have tried some really great ones so it had a lot to live up to. It doesn’t have such a velvety feel as some primers but still feels soft as you apply it. It certainly kept my makeup on for longer and I didn’t have a shiny forehead after a day’s work as usual.  

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Living Nature Gentle Makeup Remover £11.75


The older I get the more sensitive my eyes seem to get. If I have been out for a night with thick eye makeup by the time I get home my eyes are always desperate to to be cleansed of all makeup. The gentler the makeup remover the better and the one from living nature is lovely and gentle without losing its removing power. It contains witch hazel which is an anti-inflammatory, just the thing to sooth my sore eyes. It also contains a host of other lovely natural ingredients to cleanse and clean my skin of all makeup. With some eye makeup removers you have to wipe your eye several times to get all eyeliner and mascara off. With Living Natures makeup remover I only need to soak my eyes with a makeup pad with the remover on, a few gentle sweeps and my eyes are clean and fresh. As I haven't had to scrub at them they don't get irritated making my sore eyes worse. Even if you don't have really sensitive eyes you will still be impressed with how well Living Natures makeup remover cleans up your eyes at the end of the day.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Kerastase Elixir Ultime £26




I have not been looking after my hair as best I can recently and as a result it has felt quite dry and damaged. I decided it was time to give it a bit of a treat and went for Kerastase Elixir Ultime, it was the sleek packaging that got me, and it just looked really luxurious. It’s quite unusual to apply a product before you wash your hair and I thought it would just wash out without really doing anything. I was wrong though as my hair felt much more nourished and not about to break if it gets lightly tugged. As my hair is quite thin when I left it on after washing my hair as a leave in treatment I found my hair got greasier quicker. Normally I can leave my hair a day in-between washing but if I use Kerastase I have to wash my hair everyday. It has certainly made an improvement on the condition of my hair and a little goes along way which is helpful as it’s not the cheapest product.