Wednesday 25 July 2012

Karin Herzog Fruit Smoothie Facial @ Alexandra House

As a full-time mummy I do find it really hard to relax. I spend all day long looking after my daughter and even when shes finally gone to bed I still have plenty of housework to do. This often leaves me feeling very stressed out and exhausted. So I was overjoyed when I was contacted by Wahanda, a website offering deals for spas, facials, manicures, tanning, exercise, hairdressers and much much more. They gifted me with a £50 voucher so I could choose any treatment I desired. With Wahanda its so easy to find whatever treatment you want in an area local to you. I live in Huddersfield so I just used their easy drop down menus to search for spa days in Yorkshire. Each business on Wahanda has got reviews from previous clients so its easy to find out what people have enjoyed or if you should generally avoid that establishment like the plague. You just choose the treatment you want, purchase the voucher and either book online or by phone. Easy peasy.

I decided I wanted to have a proper spa facial and I spotted a place called Alexandra House. This was walking distance from my house and I liked the sound of their holistic treatments so I plumped for a Karin Herzog Fruit Smoothie facial. Apparently Karin Herzog products are a fave of Kate Middleton so I figured it'd be a good one to try out. The facial lasts for one hour and is a luxurious treatment incorporating oxygen, water, vitamins and gentle but effective enzymes of orange, mandarin, grapefruit and grapes. The result is skin that stays firm, hydrated and lifted, with radiance that is both instant and long lasting. It is most suitable for normal, oily or combination skin types including those with heightened sensitivity.

The spa itself is more like a manor house. It has an amazingly calming atmosphere as soon as you step inside. The approach here is very personable and friendly which differs greatly from the more clinical spas I've visited in the past. Theres a nice waiting room which you can relax in before and after your treatments. In here there was lots of interesting things to read though including a book about dreams and a little tray filled with bits of paper with daily affirmations written onto them. I chose one saying 'I am here to be a loving presence that expresses life joyously, deeply and passionately'. I'd been feeling a bit down lately as I tend to let the little things get to me. I find that positive messages such as these really help me to feel better about myself, as silly as it sounds.

After filling in a form about my skin and lifestyle my facial began. I was told to completely relax and to focus on the peaceful music. It started with a thorough cleansing removed with a lovely hot towel. Then an exfoliating scrub was massaged onto my face using a scrublet and removed with another towel. The most interesting part was the mask. I had one layer painted onto my skin then a cloth was draped over my face before another hot mask layer was placed on top of that. After the mask had been applied I was treated to a brilliant neck and shoulder massage. Again the mask was removed with another hot towel. This was followed by the final step of the facial. Some oil was massaged into my face, head, neck and shoulders. The massage was definitely the highlight. We carry a lot of tension in these areas and my therapist really helped to lighten the load. As with most spa treatments the time absolutely whizzed by. I was left feeling so relaxed and calm. It was exactly what I needed! I walked home with super soft glowing skin and a huge smile on my face. Next time I'd love to have a full body or hot stone massage. I can tell I'll be back very soon. We all need time to relax & treat ourselves from time to time. Looking at all your local deals on Wahanda is a great place to start.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

You Don't Light Me Up Like You Used To

Leotard - New Look / Skirt - American Apparel / Belt - Primark / Hat - Topshop / Shoes - Topshop
Necklace - Lady Luck Rules OK / Bracelets - Black Tied / Rings - Regal Rose & H&M

I totally caved again. I just couldn't resist ordering these shoes from Topshop. White shoes are such a staple in my wardrobe. I think its because I wear so much black that I prefer to have something contrasting on my feet, even if they do attract more dirt. I also ordered the black canvas Vectras and this hat. I tend to shy away from hats because I end up feeling like a bit of tit in them but this one is lovely. Its a tiny bit loose but its not blown away yet so I guess its okay! Nearly every Lookbook photo I like features some kind of hat so I figured it was time to buy one. Now I seriously need to stop buying things if I'm ever gonna save up enough to order a Canon 650D with the 18-135mm STM lens for my birthday next month!

Another item that I'm loving right now is this velvet skirt from American Apparel. I've wanted to buy it for such a long time and my waiting finally paid off as they had a 50% discount on everything last month. I bought one of their tri-blend cardigans for Chloe too. Their whole kids section is so cute and if I had the money I'd buy her everything from there. I wanted to buy her the kids version of this velvet skirt too but knowing her it would last about five minutes before getting completely smothered in chocolate!

Saturday 14 July 2012

BuyaPowa Blue Sky Co-Buys

This week BuyaPowa are running some 'Blue Sky' co-buys. All of these co-buys are for items that are considered to be Summer essentials by certain bloggers. I was recently contacted by them and was asked which Summer essentials I'd like to see as one of their co-buys. The product at the top of my wishlist was the Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF50+. After being completely floored their wonderful Liquid Gold I knew I wanted to try some more of the Alpha-H skincare range.

I currently use Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré day and night but it doesn't have any SPF in it. When it gets sunny over here or if I'm going abroad one thing I always struggle with is deciding which sunscreen to buy. Its so difficult to find one that will sit nicely under makeup and not turn your face into a giant greaseball. Its also hard to find one with a high enough SPF to stop my pasty skin from getting burnt. If like me you use products such as Liquid Gold that contain Glycolic Acid its really important to wear SPF on a daily basis as they do make your face more susceptible to sun damage. During the little heatwave we had here a couple of months ago I bought the Clarins Sun Wrinkle Control Cream For Face SPF 50 and that was pretty good but it was a bit heavy to wear on top of my normal moisturiser. So I scoured the internet for a moisturiser with SPF 50 built into it. This Alpha-H one seems like the best solution. According to every review I've read it is light yet hydrating and gives you brilliant sun protection with an almost matte finish. Perfection.

If you're interested in purchasing this product then make sure you sign up to get an email as soon as the co-buy goes live. With BuyaPowa you can get this product for as low as £22.50 which is a decent saving on the RRP of £27. Theres loads of other great products coming next week. I also have my eye on one of the Urban Decay setting sprays. With both products in hand I'm sure my face will survive the Summer... if it ever starts that is!

Thursday 12 July 2012

Company Magazine Coral Feature FOTD

Base: Estee Lauder Double Wear in Shell, Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Soft Porcelain, Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque, Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
Cheeks: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, Topshop Cream Blush in Neon Rose, Benefit Coralista
Eyes: Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara, L'Oreal Super Liner Carbon Gloss, MAC Chromagraphic Pencil in NC15/NW20, SUQQU Eyebrow Liquid Pen, MAC Clear Brow Set
Lips: Look Beauty Double Hit Lip in Citrus Kick

Earlier this week the August issue of Company Magazine hit the shelves and you might've spotted my face on one of the pages! I was asked to contribute a coral cheek look for The Fashion Five feature. Lily and Olivia covered coral lips & eyes respectively. It was such a shock to be asked & I'm so grateful for the opportunity. Its pretty damn cool to be able to flick open a magazine in Sainsburys and see your own face haha. A lot of people have contacted me to ask what makeup I was wearing that day so I figured I would put up a list of everything I used. The secret to my picture perfect skin was actually a combination of two foundations. I applied some Estee Lauder Double Wear using a Beautyblender and then finished it off by buffing in some Laura Mercier Mineral Powder using my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Now thats not something I would ever do in real life but it certainly made my skin look amazing and surprisingly it didn't look or feel like I had completely smothered my face in foundation. I wanted my eyebrows to look perfect so I used my SUQQU Eyebrow pen rather than the powder I normally opt for. It has such a precise fine tip so its ideal for creating your dream brows.

The coral cheeks were the focus of my makeup so I wanted to do something a bit special. First of all I applied a Topshop cream blush using a Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Then I built it up by blending some Benefit Coralista over my cheeks using a Real Techniques Blush Brush. Coralista is one of my favourite ever blushers and it would've been criminal to leave it out of a coral cheek look. I'm sure you all know about my slight highlighter obsession and my current fave is theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer. I swept that over the tops of my cheekbones using a Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush to blend it all together. I also used it all over my eyelids to give them a pretty sheen. So thats my coral makeup look! You might not think that coral is colour that works on you but by layering different products you can create a custom shade that will suit you no matter what your skintone is.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

June Favourites

Carmex Moisture Plus Pink
I do love a bit of Carmex and this month I've been addicted to this sheer lip tint. Like the original Carmex formula its brilliant at keeping my lips hydrated. The lovely hint of pink it imparts on my lips is great for daytime wear and it applies really well. I prefer this stick packaging to the pot or tube because its even easier to use.

Jemma Kidd I-Glamour Volume Mascara
I picked this up as freebie in Red magazine. I wasn't sure what to expect really considering it was free but Jemma Kidd products tend to have a good rep so I figured I'd check it out. It is actually a fantastic mascara. The way it separates your lashes makes them look really pretty and its so good at holding a curl. One coat alone makes my lashes look nicely thick and black without being clumpy. I'm really impressed with this mascara and if you can still track down a copy of last month's Red, you should definitely buy one.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
I first tried this about 6 years ago and absolutely loved it. I can't fathom why I haven't bothered to repurchase it until now (umm the price?!) but I'm so glad that I did. Theres loads of different formulas of this primer so theres bound to be one to suit you but I opted for the original again as my skin isn't particularly oily or anything. Its such a nice primer to use, the smell is really lovely and you only need a small blob to do your whole face. I apply this after moisturiser but you can use it right after cleansing. It doesn't make my face feel really soft like Philosophy's The Present or completely hide my pores like Benefit's The Porefessional but it does make my foundation apply super smoothly and gives it the longest staying power out of any other primer.

Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner
If I have a shower at night I've been using my gorgeous new pistachio scented Laura Mercier products to moisturise with but if I have one in the morning, I don't really have much time to faff about with moisturising properly. Thats where this body conditioner comes into play. Its like a hair conditioner but for your body in that you use it after washing yourself with shower gel. You just apply it all over your body, wash it off and dry yourself as normal. It eliminates the need to moisturise afterwards, saving time & effort. Its filled with loads of great ingredients such as argan oil, cocoa butter, almond oil & shea butter so you can imagine how moisturising this product is. The best thing about it is the smell. It leaves your body smelling like fresh roses, in a nice non-grannyish way. I've not been excited about anything from Lush in a long time but this product is just awesome.

Illamasqua Translucent Loose Powder
It's happened. I think I've finally fallen out of love with my MAC MSF Natural as a setting powder. Its still great to use dusted over my whole face with some concealer if I'm in a rush but if I want something just to set my makeup with I've been reaching for this wonderful Illamasqua powder. I was tempted to buy the Laura Mercier translucent powder but I saw Tanya Burr using this in one of her videos and figured I'd give it a go. Plus its a good £10 cheaper than the Laura Mercier one for a bit more product. I have never tried a powder as soft and as silky as this one is. It completely disappears into the skin leaving the area matte and set in place all day long. This product is a godsend if you use a thick concealer like the Bobbi Brown ones. I no longer get any under eye creasing or racooning from my mascara. I also run a small amount over my T-zone to keep shine at bay. I'm just so in love with the finish this powder gives. It comes with a large powder puff but I use this with my Real Techniques Setting Brush which is perfect for precision powdering.

Mirai Nikki
When I was about 13 I used to be totally into anime. Infact my first foray into web design was when I used to create Pokemon & Sailor Moon fansites on Geocities. My love for Japanese cartoons has been reignited ever since I found some awesome anime streaming sites. I've watched through several series in just the past few weeks. My favourite new discovery is a show called Mirai Nikki which means Future Diary. Its in the same kinda vein as Death Note but with a hint of Battle Royale/The Hunger Games in that its a fight to the death. There are 12 competitors and the last one left alive will be crowned as the new God. Each person has a mobile phone which has a future diary on it so that they can see whats going to happen to them next & if they will be the next to die. Its up to them to change what is written in their diaries in order to survive. The main character is a middle school student called Yukiteru who soon becomes the favourite to win the game & the main target of the other competitors. The pink haired girl called Yuno is quite possibly the most psychotic anime character ever created. She falls in love with Yukiteru and will do whatever it takes to make sure that he wins. The twists are really unexpected and the OST is fab too. Its definitely a show I'm going to rewatch because the story is brilliant. I totally recommend watching it if you like anime.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Rip Her To Shreds

T-Shirt - Sheinside* / Cardigan - Urban Outfitters / Jeggings - Topshop
Necklace - Kukee / Rings - ASOS & Regal Rose

I'm pretty sure that everyone in the world owns some variation of this leopard print cross t-shirt but some reason I never managed to pick one up for myself. So when Sheinside offered to send me something, I knew straight away that I wanted this t-shirt. Its really comfy and good quality too, especially since its a lot cheaper than the one from Urban Outfitters. I paired this with my Topshop jeggings and Urban Outfitters cardigan yesterday for a trip to the cinema. Its kinda ridic that this huge cardi is appropriate for July but I love it anyways. Andy and I went to see Friends With Kids which seemed like it could've been a good film considering the great cast but it was a really lame and predictable rom-com. Not my kinda thing at all, so that was bit of a waste of time & money! The highlight was probably Andy force feeding me jalapeños from his nachos haha.

I put all the entries for my Sheinside giveaway into a list and used to generate the winner. Congratulations to... Laura! Sheinside and I will be in touch very soon :)