Monday, December 22, 2014

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery - A Review

When my beloved Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair ran out, it was time to hunt down something new to play with. Not so beloved after all, but lets be serious, we all know that I'm a total hussy when it comes to skincare.
The next product to tick off of my beauty hit-list was the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I absolutely loved the Skin Rescuer and I was kin to try some more bits and pieces from their line.

So here's what you need to know, it's super hydrating, makes your skin plump and radiant, it's packed full of natural ingredients, it's free from chemical nasties and finally, it's one of those awesome products which does all this over night! Oh, and it's £36.00.

The natural stuff I was talking about includes Evening Primrose Oil, Fatty Acids and Essential Oils which all work together to give your skin a super hit of moisture. As I've said above it's designed to work at night leaving your skin skin hydrated and super soft, plus as it's the season for a ton of alco booze, this stuff will stop your complexion looking tired and run down. AWESOME.

I've been using a few drops of this mixed with either my moisturiser or an overnight mask and simply leaving it to work it's magic. As it's obviously more of an oil in texture as opposed to a serum, I've been making sure my hair is kept back off my face this is meant for my skin and not my hair.

By morning, everything is absorbed and my skin is looking lovely and perky.

This stuff is wonderful, does what it says on the tin, and a little goes a long way which makes me one happy bunny. Seriously, if your skin is feeling dry this might do the trick!
Here's what Kiehl's say in case the above didn't quite convince you.

Have you tried the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate?  What do you rely on if you're skin needs some extra loving?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kiko Queen of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette - 01 Essential Brown

During our trip to Rome (yes, I've been to Rome, haven't you heard?), I stumbled across a Kiko Store and dived right in. Boy, it was as busy as their Regent Street store in London so I didn't stick around for too long as me and busy places just aren't a good combination right now.

Anywho, that's by the by, the first thing which I grabbed was their Queen of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette in 01 Essential Brown. I wouldn't normally dedicate so many photos to the packaging but for £14.90, it's gorgeous.
The scoop with the Queen of Hearts Eyeshadow Palette is that it's actually available in 3 different shade selections. Each palette comes with four different shadows which can be used wet or dry to create a variety of looks.
The Essential Brown palette has three beautifully buttery shimmery shades and one matt shade all of which are super super blendable. I applied the shadows with both the sponge applicator which is included, as well as an eyeshadow brush and had no issues with either method of application.
I found the shadows to be really long lasting, and, well, they're just stunning. I honestly couldn't believe how good the formula was considering the price tag! I've kept you hanging long enough, shall we see inside?
The shadow in the bottom right of the palette is the matt which I've used as a liner shade and blended out to great effect.
The above swatches are in everyday light with the below being with natural light, i.e. I've plonked myself right by the window.
Now if only I could master the art of creating a smoky eye I would be sorted eh?

Have you tried Kiko Cosmetic before? Do any of you, my lovely readers fancy giving me a make-up lesson sometime soon?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bumble & Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Travel Set - A Review

I think that little travel collections are a great way to try a range or product without having to commit too much of your hard earned cash. I've lost count of the number of times I've splashed the cash on a product before, only to find after one or two uses, it's really not for me.
A range which I've recently been trying out is the fairly new Hairdresser's Invisible Oil range from Bumble and Bumble which you can pick up HERE for £19.50. Inside the collection you get a shampoo, conditioner and a heat/uv protection primer all of which are 60ml so more than enough for you to see if they're really for you.

If you're not familiar with the Invisible Oil range, it's basically sulfate free and infused with 6 super light oils which help to soften dry/damaged hair without weighing it down. I thought this would be an ideal range to try for my fine but colour damaged hair.

Overall my two favourite products were the shampoo and the primer. The shampoo gave my hair a thorough cleansing without leaving my scalp feeling dry and without stripping my hair. It was gentle enough to use everyday and made my fine hair feel strong and healthy. I also noticed that you didn't need a lot of product to get a really good lather so I can see the full size lasting a really long time. Did I mentioned it smells frikken awesome?

The conditioner was OK, again it smelled incredible and it was very light weight. My main issue was that when I put any leftover conditioner anywhere my roots, my hair was left looking greasy the next morning. In addition, I didn't feel it was as nourishing on my ends as some other conditions I own.

The primer was fantastic, I used this on my hair while it was still damp and then gave my hair a blast with my drier. It left my hair feeling incredibly soft and it also helped to prevent it from getting all tangled and knotty. I'm always keen to protect my hair from heat damage and this stuff really helped to protect my hair and keep it feeling strong and looking shiny. I reckon I'll be grabbing a full size of this when it's gone.

Overall the range has some real gems, what works for me may not work for you though so it's worth trying them for yourself to see. Other bloggers loved the conditioner but hated the shampoo but it's all about personal preference I suppose!

Have you tried the Hairdresser's Invisible Oil range from Bumble & Bumble? What did you think?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Festive Nails ft an Essie Top Coat

Here's a fun and easy idea to make your nails looks a little more festive this season, it's an oldie but a goodie and it involves a glitter top coat. Like, duh, could I be any more obvious?

The top coat which I'm currently head over heels in love with is Essie's Summit of Style which is a gorgeous gold glitter which has both small and bigger chunks of glitter which creates the most beautiful effect on the nails. It almost looks like fireworks which make it perfect for the party season.
I've been pairing it with my favourite deep and dark shades like the one above from Nails Inc, it's called Tower Street and it's such a dark burgundy red, it almost looks black.
Over such a dark polish the glitter looks amazing and whilst the polishes were actually pretty cheap, coming in at £7.99 for the top coat, it creates the most expensive looking effect. I can't tell you how many women stopped me and asked me where I'd had my nails done (it was four and they were all in the queue at Gap on Black Friday but that's by the by). They were all pretty shocked when I told them they were done at home and just involved an awesome top coat which I'd picked up from Boots.
The distribution of glitter is really fantastic for a high street product, there was no faffing around, literally dip the brush and swipe away. One coat was enough to get the desired effect, I did a couple of swipes on some of my nails but in all honesty one was enough to get the effect which you can see above.

So there you have it, what are you waiting for? Go and grab yourself a glittery top coat and go crazy! You don't have to use a gold, there are silvers, rose golds, subtle whites and even reds available at this time of year, make the most of it.

How do you make your nails a little more festive? Do you rate the Essie top coats?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Our Roman Holiday - Day Four

On our final day, we had to be heading to the airport by around 1:30 pm so we were tight on time. As such, one of the best areas to visit was Celio and Lateran as everything was so close together. We decided to walk from our hotel and make a detour via the Piazza Vittoria Emanuele II to see the Magic Door.
Legend has it that this was once part of an enormous villa whose owner was slightly obsessed with the occult and was set on discovering the philosophers stone. The door itself is covered with ancient symbols which are believed to hold the formulae for turning matter into gold.
From there we headed to the Chiesa di Santo Stefano which was Rome's first round church and covered in somewhat graphic frescoes which depict the torture of Christian martyrs. The picture above is probably the only one which I can pop on the blog as the rest are incredibly gruesome, so gruesome in fact that even Charles Dickens described the scenes as "a panorama of horror."
Next it was time for something a little more cheery and what better than an obelisk covered in hieroglyphs? I think I've said it once before, but it really did surprise me that both Christian and Catholic architecture was surrounding by pieces with such a strong Egyptian influence.
Perhaps one of the most surprising things I saw during my trip to Rome was the above at the Scala Santa. Your eyes do not deceive you,those are people crawling up the stairs. It is believed that these 28 steps are those which Jesus himself walked up in Jerusalem. They are considered so holy that you're not allowed to walk up them (although there's no literature which tells you how the steps were transported from Jerusalem to Rome but that's another matter altogether.) At the top of the staircase (don't worry there are separate stairs on either side) was what used to be the Pope's private chapel.
On the opposite side of the road is the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano which was the first Christian basilica to be built in Rome and until the 14th Century was apparently the Pope's main place of worship. It certainly showed that this was a highly regarded as it was incredibly vast and filled with marble statues, gilted ceilings and enormous frescoes throughout. This was probably one of the most extravagant and indulgent basilicas we saw during our time here.
After we'd finished nosing around we headed next door to the Battistero Lateranense which is an octagonal baptistery.
The final place we headed to was the Basilica di San Clemente which I sadly don't have any pictures of as we were prohibited from taking any. Now the basilica itself was really anything special, it's what's underneath the basilica which was so interesting. There's actually an underground temple to the Persian god Mithras which was really rather eerie, especially seeing all the pagan references alongside further Egyptian hieroglyphs. It seemed incredibly odd that a place of Christian worship was built on top of a place of worship for a god of an entirely different religion.
Anyway, I digress, after that it was time to grab a spot of lunch before heading back to the airport. All in all we'd had a great time and I really felt like we saw all that we needed to to. Whilst we wouldn't go back to Rome, we're very keen to explore more of Italy at some point in the future.

That's it for my Rome mini series I hope you enjoyed it! I've tried to include some handy hints and tips along the way so that if you decide to make you're own trip, it'll be that little bit easier.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Yankee Candle - Salted Caramel - A short but sweet post

One of my favourite things about Autumn/Winter is all of the wonderful home fragrance scents which are available in the stores. Warm, spicy and comforting they are great to have around the home. My home fragrance option of choice is candles. There's something about the glow of a candle which I find incredibly relaxing and calming.

Today my post is short but very sweet, well, sweet smelling at least. The biggest news is that I've finally been persuaded to make my first ever Yankee Candle jar purchase. I've had some of their melts in the past but I've never had one of their candles.
I really had some trouble taking photos but as you can see, I've plumped for the Salted Caramel large jar. I thought this may be overly sweet, but the combination of burnt sugar, sea salt and vanilla caramel just works. I do smell some slight spice but perhaps it's just my nose.
I burn my candle for around 3-4 hours a time to ensure that I get a clean and even burn. Even after I've blown the candle out, the scent lingers and lingers, I can still smell the vanilla notes from this bad boy the following day. The large jars last well over 100 hours burn time in total, I purchased this from e-bay for a paltry £15 (with free delivery I might add) which is an absolute steal given how much designer candles cost nowadays.

I've loved my first Yankee Candle purchase, the candles certainly seem to be great value for money and don't smell artificial at all. Whilst the Salted Caramel is sweet, it's not overbearing in any way, the salty notes keep things from going overboard. It smells more akin to some gorgeous home baking which is just up my street.

Have you tried Yankee Candles before? What's your favourite fragrance?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nails Inc - Heddon Street - Review

Recently I did a post highlighting my love of deep, dark autumnal nail varnish shades so this post is kinda sharing the love a little more. 

If you've been following my Rome travel series you'll have spotted a couple of photos of me donning a shade which keeps with the theme, namely Nails Inc. Heddon Street.
For my trip to Rome I wanted something which would go with most outfits and I wanted something a little more fun so a polish with hint of shimmer seemed the best option.
As you can see, Heddon Street is a deep cherry red with just such a shimmer running through. Not quite as dark as some others which I own, but I like it's simplicity. This shade is great for the impending festive season as well, it's not so glittery that you couldn't get away with wearing it every day.
I used this polish with a base coat, two coats of colour and a top coat and managed to get around 3 and a bit days of wear before major chipping started to set in. This is by no means the most long lasting polish I own, but darn it sure is pretty on the nails.

Have you used Heddon Street? What do you think?

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