Thursday, 19 November 2015

Christmas | Last Minute Advent Calendars

beauty advent calendars 2015 
I feel like there are 2 kinds of people when it comes to Christmas. The super organised type who've probably finished their Christmas shopping before December even begins and people like me who tend to leave everything until the last minute and thank the lucky stars for Amazon Prime. If you're like myself then it'll probably come as quite a shock when I tell you that we're only11 days away from the start of December! Uh oh...

If you haven't picked up an advent calendar yet then I've carefully selected the best of the beauty calendars (and a couple of miscellaneous ones) you can still get your hands on. It feels like everybody has released a calendar this year so thankfully there are still plenty to choose from. Starting with the most expensive, my beauty over £60 picks are as follows:

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Lush | Love Lettuce Face Mask

Fresh Face Mask 

I've went from being completely new to world of Lush Fresh Face Masks to being utterly smitten with them in the time it takes to use up of one tub of Love Lettuce. After spending a good ten minutes or so 'umming' and 'ahhing' in the Newcastle store a little while ago I finally settled on Love Lettuce as my first face mask and I couldn't be happier with my choice. Seeking something that could calm down my oily skin and give me a brighter complexion Love Lettuce seemed to be the perfect fit. Targeted as an 'effective, exfoliating face mask' for normal to oily skin this mask promises to balance skin and provide a radiant glow with the help of ingredients such as Lavender Oil and Fullers Earth and I have to admit, it does do an amazing job.

The Lavender Oil in Love Lettuce targets oil in the skin and aims to reduce sebum production whilst calming the appearance of any redness. Sometimes I apply a very light layer of this mask to quickly balance out my skin if I'm having a particularly oily day and it's the perfect pick me up! Love Lettuce also contains Kaolin Clay and Fullers Earth to absorb oil and deeply cleanse and I adore the way the two types of clay dry on the skin and have a tightening effect. It definitely makes you feel like some serious cleansing is happening. To prevent the skin from drying out the clever people at Lush also added Honey, one of my favourite natural ingredients, and Almond Oil to Love Lettuce so even after all that exfoliating (thanks to the Ground Almond Shells) my skin still remains hydrated.
Fresh Face Mask 
Okay, so maybe Love Lettuce isn't the most attractive face mask out there! 
No other beauty product makes me feel as pampered as a face mask and after wearing Love Lettuce for 10 minutes (or maybe 20 if I'm taking a relaxing bath!) I honestly feel like I have brand new skin. I apply this onto freshly cleansed skin and remove with warm water, scrubbing in circular motions to fully feel the exfoliating effect of the ground almond shells. Love Lettuce does, however, provide a rather intense exfoliation as the almond shells are quite hard so if you have sensitive skin I'd be careful when you're scrubbing! My T-Zone feels balanced and my entire face feels ridiculously soft and my skin certainly looks much more radiant for days afterward.

Due to the fresh ingredients in Lush's Fresh Face Masks you do need to keep them in the fridge and they apparently expire after approximately 3-4 weeks. Honestly though, I was using mine after my recommended expiration date (found on the back of the tub) and I had no issues. These dates are just estimations after all. As long as it looks and smells the same and there's no pesky mold to be found (gross - I know) I usually continue to use it until I've finished the pot. I managed to get 10 face masks out of Love Lettuce - some masks were applied rather thickly and others thinly -  so when you do the math it's pretty good value for money. For 75g each Lush Fresh Face Mask costs £6.75 and when you break it down 68p per application really isn't bad at all!

I adore Love Lettuce. I really think I might have picked the perfect Lush Face Mask for my skin first time around but of course I'm addicted now and I can't wait to try more. I'm thinking about picking up another pot Love Lettuce because I can't imagine life without it now as well as a mask without exfoliating properties so I can alternate between the two. I have my eye on Cranberry (simply because it's nearly Christmas!) and Ayesha - a mask with honey, asparagus and kiwi!

Do you have a favourite Lush Face Mask? 
I'd love to hear your recommendations! 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Exploring French Skincare with Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré

Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré Review
Apart from dabbling a little with a few La Roche Posay products the realm of French Skincare is still rather strange to me. Of course, we've all heard the rave reviews by now from bloggers and glossy magazines alike about how the French simply cannot be beaten when it comes to skincare products so naturally I've been rather curious to try out more from different brands. But sometimes it's a little difficult to decide where to start. So, when I was offered the opportunity to try out Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré* I excitedly jumped at the chance. I've heard so much about this product and I couldn't wait to see if this little tube lived up to all of that hype for myself. But hey, if it's good enough for Elle Macpherson then it must certainly be doing something right. My jaw dropped when I recently found out she was 51!

A favourite among makeup artists for its versatility, this simple cream has many uses, ranging from a moisturiser, a primer, an after-shave balm and a makeup remover.  Personally, I only tend to use this regularly as a moisturiser but I've been investigating this cream as much as possible and I can vouch that it removes eye make-up really well without causing any irritation. I just prefer to stick to my usual routine (Simple Wipes followed by Garnier's Micellar Water) but if I ever need to pack light for a trip away this cream always comes with me. As for its uses as a primer, I tend to need a little extra help around my T-Zone if I'm going to be wearing makeup all day. If I'm only pottering around and intending on removing my makeup by 6 o'clock then my combination skin seems to be able to keep the oil at bay but I wouldn't ever say that the Lait-Crème Concentré would replace primer in my routine completely. As a primer I think it's a nice alternative to use on a more relaxed makeup day: it hydrates, smooths the skin for an easier makeup application and it does help to control oil to a certain extent without mattifying the skin.

Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré is probably best known as a moisturiser and for my skin it provides just the right amount of hydration for daily use. The cream itself is rather rich but it has quite a thin consistency once applied. When warmed up between the palms a little really does go a long way and I usually only need a pea-sized amount to cover my entire face. It leaves quite a glowing (not greasy!) finish and overall my skin looks much healthier since I've been using this. I've found it to be a truly gentle cream that hasn't caused any irritation and when I was suffering from dry, flaky skin around my nose - thanks to a horrible cold - this was the only cream I found that didn't sting when applied it onto my poor, sore nose. I've even used it on my hands and irritated areas of my legs post-shaving and it has worked wonderfully!

I think the hype around this cream really stems from the simplicity of Lait-Crème Concentré: it's a no fuss cream that gets the job done. It's gentle, has a very mild fragrance and feels lightweight on the skin. I have a feeling that you might not be impressed with this cream if you're on either end of the skin spectrum (with either very dry or very oily skin) but if you're looking for a gentle, hydrating multi-purpose product that doesn't cost a fortune I can't recommend Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré enough! Of course, all skincare is subjective and what works for me might not work for you but for £13 for 30ml it's worth giving it a go just to see if you agree with the hype or not! I certainly do and if you've tried it already I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

You can purchase Embryolisse's Lait-Crème Concentré from Boots or online at Feel Unique and Cult Beauty.
*This post contains a Press Sample sent for review.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

A Belated Birthday Dinner at Rossopomodoro!

I absolutely adore going out for dinner and it's a huge part of my life even though it's something I never document here on my blog.  I can't think of anything better than sitting down for a meal with friends and having a wonderful catch up and this Thursday I did exactly that with the lovely Julie-Ann: one of my best friends and the writer of Our Dreams Of Fashion. We enjoyed some very belated birthday celebrations for my 22nd birthday at the new Italian restaurant in John Lewis called Rossopomodoro and they were actually kind enough to provide Julie-Ann and I with a complimentary 3 course meal for our visit. 

You'll find Rossopomodoro located on the first floor of John Lewis, nicely situated on a balcony overlooking the rest of Eldon Square. It's a lovely way to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping centre without straying too far away from the shops and I have to say it looks particularly beautiful at this time of year with all the twinkling Christmas lights overhead. The restaurant itself is rather modern with quirky little features adorning the walls including cute little phrases like 'Get A Pizza This', pictures on the ceilings and the most amazing glittering gold oven which wouldn't look out of place on Pinterest.
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