Monday 25 May 2015

The Library Of Fragrance: Mountain Air

The Library Of Fragrance Mountain Air Cologne Spray* - £15

The Library Of Fragrance has fast become one of my favourite perfume brands. The unique range of scents they have available is unrivalled & there really is something for everyone. They launched in the UK last year with a whopping 101 single note perfumes on their website plus 28 of their most popular scents stocked exclusively in Boots. More recently they have expanded on their original lineup & one of their newest additions is Mountain Air which I was kindly sent to try out. What I think is truly special about The Library Of Fragrance is that what you see is what you get. If the bottle says Cucumber, you know it's gonna smell like cucumber. I've previously reviewed Pistachio Ice Cream and have since purchased their Jasmine & Sex On The Beach perfumes. Again they all smell exactly like you would imagine (gorgeous!) & the scents are very true to life. However Mountain Air is definitely more complex than most of their other fragrances & that's down to all the different elements that you would find in nature.

This cologne was inspired by a trip that the CEO of the company, Mark Crames, took to Alaska last year. Scent is strongly linked to memory & he wanted to create something that would capture his memories of that trip forever. I'm not really one for hiking up mountains & so I was very curious as to what Mountain Air would actually smell like. It's a wonderfully fresh scent that is crisp, clean & cool. It encapsulates the wild outdoors with light hints of flowers, trees, grass, snow & crystal clear water. Mountain Air evokes the feeling of being up a mountain & lets you imagine that you're on top of the world. It's as invigorating as a breath of fresh air & hits your nostrils just like the cold air at the top of a mountain would. I was really surprised by how much I like this scent as I tend to go for intensely sweet or floral perfumes whereas Mountain Air is the complete opposite. This cologne will be especially appealing to those outdoorsy types & it works extremely well as a unisex fragrance. It's perfect for the Springtime & is a great refresher if you live in a congested city.

I'm very much into aromatherapy and I believe that scents can have a powerful impact on the way you feel. As someone who suffers from anxiety I often do deep breathing exercises to calm myself down. I can get a bit claustrophobic & like to go on long walks to relax. Mountain Air instantly transports me to another place & gives me that inner peace that comes from being outside in nature. It also encourages me to breathe deeply as I love to savour it's pure exhilarating scent. I think the price of these perfumes is excellent as you can get one for £15 or two for £25 in Boots. The longevity isn't that great as they're only colognes but at least it gives you an excuse to keep on misting yourself & your surroundings with the stuff. If you want something that smells really clean & fresh then I would highly recommend picking up a bottle of Mountain Air from The Library Of Fragrance. I'm very fond of this scent & I think a lot of other people will be too.

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Thursday 21 May 2015

DIY Nails Candy Nailcals

DIY Nails Candy Nailcals* - £6

DIY Nails have had a bit of a makeover since I last featured them on here and their range of water-activated nail decals just keeps on getting better & better. As well as their super cute nailcals, they now have some amazing foil designs for ultra-profesh nail art that you can do at home. You can even put them on your skin as temporary tattoos! If you've never tried nail decals before then you're really missing out. Although hand-painted nail art can look stunning, it's really difficult to do it on yourself. I consider just painting my nails with my non-dominant hand to be a struggle so there's no way that I could ever manage any kind of intricate design on them! With these decals you can have something unique & creative on your nails without any of the technical skills.

I was recently sent a set of the adorable Candy Nailcals which features a colourful array of tumblr-esque candy hearts, smiley faces, wifi symbols, icing & sprinkles. To complement all the pretty pastel colours, I decided to paint my nails using Model's Own Lemon Meringue. Decals tend to work best with lighter colours of nail polish & I think that this set looks fab against the yellow. Application is incredibly simple. All you need are some scissors, a bowl of water & a clear top coat. After cutting out your chosen designs, pop them in the bowl of water for about 10-20 seconds, then they'll slide off the backing paper & onto your nails. I always place the transfer at the base of my nail as I find it easiest to slide them upwards into position. Gently pat your nail dry with some kitchen roll & apply your clear top coat. The top coat stage is key because it makes the decals look seamless on your nails & seals them into place. Be very careful with the polish brush though because it can sometimes tear the decal if you press down too hard. My green 'internet princess' love heart got a little bit damaged this way!

My favourite design in this pack has to be the dripping pink icing with sprinkles that I have on my thumbs. I was worried that they would be fiddlier to apply than the smaller decals but I actually found them a lot easier to put on. Next time I think I'll do my whole manicure with them. That's one of the best things about these decals - even though I've put loads of them on my nails, I can still get many mores uses out of this one sheet. I've had so many compliments on my nails this week! Everywhere I go I keep getting people asking me for a closer look & marvelling at these amazing little illustrations. Pop over to the DIY Nails website & your nails need never look boring again!

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Thursday 7 May 2015

An Adorable Bunch

During the Spring & Summer I love filling my home with fresh bunches of beautiful flowers. They're such a simple way of brightening up your abode & they instantly make me feel a bit happier. I was overjoyed when Debenhams Flowers offered to send me a bouquet of my choice from their Spring flowers collection. I chose the Adorable bouquet which is a delicate arrangement of Pink Akito Rose & White Narcissus. I think it looks really sweet & the bouquet has a wonderful scent. I absolutely love the colours & these flowers make such a cute combo. I'm definitely no expert when it comes to arranging flowers but I still find it very enjoyable & almost therapeutic. After trimming the stems I popped the flowers into my lovely green jug from M&S which complements the colours in the bouquet perfectly. I've placed them on my desk next to my laptop & they have certainly made my home look more Springlike. They make me smile every time I look at them & I keep finding myself getting distracted by how pretty they are!

I have to acknowledge the brilliant service I received from Debenhams Flowers. My mum always sends me flowers on special occasions & I've had some pretty bad experiences in the past. Some couriers have managed to completely wreck my flowers or have just dumped them by the bins & hoped that I knew they were there. Debenhams Flowers get a great big tick in my book because they used DPD who are amazing! Their GPS tracking system is outstanding & I wish it would become the standard amongst other couriers. Basically if you order next day flowers from them, you know for sure that they will arrive the next day. You can easily check on the driver's location & make sure that the recipient of the flowers has actually received them. Plus they come very well packaged in a neat box. The flowers had even been tied into the packaging so that they wouldn't leak everywhere. Last time I had flowers delivered, they had leaked all over the box of chocolates next to them & nobody wants wet chocolate!

Debenhams Flowers have very kindly given me a discount code to share with all of you. If you fancy having your very own flower delivery or just want to treat someone, simply use the code DFBLOG25 at the checkout to get a whopping 25% off! The only bouquets exempt from the discount are those in the Flowers By Post range.

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Monday 4 May 2015

Daily Makeup #3

In celebration of finally finding a drugstore foundation that not only matches my skin tone but actually looks good on me, I decided to do a makeup look using mainly drugstore products. I say mainly because I had to cheat with my powder but everything else I used can be found in Boots or Superdrug & is very affordable. The foundation I'm referring to is none other than the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation which really illuminates the skin whilst giving medium coverage. I use the shade 010 Light Porcelain which is very pale & pink toned. I applied it using an Illamasqua Highlighter Brush which can make any foundation look amazing. For concealer I went with an old favourite, the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. This product works brilliantly both under the eyes & on blemishes so it has earned a permanent place in my makeup bag. To set my base I used Illamasqua Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Obviously it's not a drugstore item but for the price you get a ton of product & it gives you a flawless matte finish. I can't really wear the Rimmel foundation without powder because the staying power isn't that great & it transfers like hell!

Sleek do the best drugstore cheek products in my opinion. I used their Face Contour Kit in Light to add some definition to my cheekbones & highlight the high points of my face. I don't really like the highlighter that much because it's practically invisible on the skin but the contour shade is fab. I also used their Rose Gold Blush which is a beautiful peachy pink with golden shimmer. It's basically the same colour as NARS Orgasm. The pigmentation isn't as good but that often works out well for me because I tend to be quite heavy handed with my blusher. Next I moved onto my eye makeup & I started by using the SEVENTEEN Trio Eyeshadow in Enraged. These colours are a lot warmer than they look in the pan so I don't like them as much as I thought I would. The gold works nicely as a pop colour in the middle of the eye but I'll definitely be avoiding the peachy shade in future. I applied a couple of coats of the L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara to my top & bottom lashes before lining them with the Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner Pen. I use those two on a regular basis & I think they make a great combo. It feels weird now to use anything other than Anastasia DipBrow Pomade on my eyebrows but I filled them in with the Collection Eyebrow Kit. These powders are really good quality & can be mixed to create your own custom brow shade.

The bright red lips are the focal point of this look & I thought I would try one of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks. This is the shade 03 Hot Pepper which is a vibrant orangey red. I've heard so many good things about these matte finish liquid lipsticks so I wanted to see if they lived up to the hype. I love the colour but the formula, not so much. Sure it lasts for hours without requiring reapplication but it was a bit of a faff to apply in the first place. I thought it would be opaque in one swipe but I had to keep layering it up which meant it took forever to dry down. It still feels slightly tacky hours later & transfers if you eat something or kiss someone. I think I just need to be patient & wait for Jeffree Star's Velour Liquid Lipsticks to be restocked. They're completely kissproof & come in some even prettier colours! I do appreciate how long lasting this Bourjois one is though & it's rare for such a bright lipstick to not end up all over my wonky teeth! Are you a fan of any of the products I used?

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Sunday 3 May 2015

Arran Aromatics Just Grapefruit Reed Diffuser & Scented Candle

Arran Aromatics Just Grapefruit Reed Diffuser* / Arran Aromatics Just Grapefruit Scented Candle*

I've been doing lots of Spring cleaning lately in an attempt to clear out all the masses of junk around my house. 'Tidy house, tidy mind' and all that! Things are looking a lot better now but I've been after a fresh new scent to fragrance my home with as a nice finishing touch. Citrus scents are my absolute fave & Arran Aromatics must know me down to a T because they recently sent me some of their Perfumer Just Grapefruit products. The Perfumer range is formulated using the highest quality ingredients & the packaging is inspired by contemporary Scottish design. Just Grapefruit is a beautiful zingy fragrance made from a blend of pink grapefruit oil. The fruity fresh scent is incredibly uplifting & makes me feel more energised. It is sweet yet tangy & instantly brightens up the atmosphere of any room.

The Just Grapefruit Reed Diffuser is a fantastic product because it continually infuses your home with fragrance. Just pop the reeds into the glass jar & rotate them every few days to spread that grapefruity goodness. I've placed mine in the living room so that everyone can enjoy it's glorious aroma. It's a zesty olfactory treat that hits you whenever you re-enter the room. I find that it really helps to lift my spirits & motivates me to get on with my work. This gorgeous grapefruit scent is exactly what I've been craving & I can't get enough of it!

Equally as lovely is the Just Grapefruit Scented Candle which offers up to 35 hours of burn time. The fragrance is gentler than that of the reed diffuser but it's still very crisp & refreshing. I've mainly been burning this in the kitchen as it is best suited to smaller spaces. I like my kitchen to look & smell as clean as possible before I start making a new meal. This scented candle helps to freshen up the area and banishes old cooking smells too.

If you enjoy citrus scents as much as I do then either of these products would be the perfect way to freshen up your home this Spring. They are available for purchase directly from the Arran Aromatics website. The reed diffuser costs £22.50 & the scented candle is £20. You can also buy a small travel candle for just £5. As a grapefruit lover I can't think of anything I'd rather fragrance my living space with. Arran Aromatics really do make some of the best smelling products out there & they're luxurious yet affordable. Right I'm off to devour another one of these delicious fruits!

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Saturday 2 May 2015

April Favourites

Andrew Barton SOS Help Me! Treatment Mask
My hair is constantly in need of some moisture so I often use hair masks instead of regular conditioner. I spotted this Andrew Barton one in Asda the other week & thought I would give it a go. It only cost about £3 but it's one of the best hair masks I've ever used! The main ingredients are argan oil & shea butter which really help to moisturise & nourish the hair. It gives my hair exceptional softness & shine. Even Andy noticed how much better my hair looked after using it so it's gotta be good! The best part though is the delicious vanilla caramel scent. It smells just like birthday cake & the scent lingers in your hair all day long. I also bought the leave in conditioner spray for Chloe & she loves it too! I'm definitely gonna buy some more of this range next time we go food shopping.

Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial
Overnight Facial is such an incredible face oil. It supposedly mimics the effects of one of Sarah Chapman's signature Skinesis facials. Simply massage one pump of the oil into your face in place of your regular night cream & be prepared to wake up with younger, smoother, more radiant looking skin. It will literally transform your skin overnight. It has a lovely herbal scent & helps me to relax before bed too. What I really like about Sarah Chapman's products is that they combine scientifically proven active ingredients with natural botanical extracts. You get the best of both worlds in one product & the results are visible from the very first use. The only major downside is the price as £46 will only get you a teeny tiny 15ml of product. It's totally worth saving up for though!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation
I'm a bit late to the party on this one because everyone started raving about this foundation over three years ago! The trouble was, as with pretty much every drugstore foundation, that Rimmel didn't actually make a shade light enough for my skin. However last year they finally added 010 Light Porcelain into the mix & as a result I've finally found a drugstore foundation that I love! Wake Me Up Foundation offers medium coverage & contains illuminating particles that really perk up the skin. It has a fresh looking dewy finish that really does make you look more awake. The foundation feels hydrating on the skin & is comfortable to wear. A lovely addition to this product is vitamin C which can help to brighten your skin & ward off wrinkles. Light Porcelain is very fair in colour & has a cool pink undertone which makes a nice change to all the super yellow foundations that you normally find in Boots. The staying power isn't as quite good as my high end foundations but for £8.99 it does the job very well!

Claudia Louch Mineral Loose Powder*
I'm a huge fan of Claudia Louch's botanical skincare range so I was really pleased to find that her makeup products are just as brilliant. The Mineral Loose Powder is a skin perfecting setting powder that gives your foundation the most beautiful satin finish. It kinda reminds me of things like the MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural or the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders. It helps to set your base & airbrushes the skin at the same time. The powder is very finely milled & blends really well. It evens out my complexion & makes my pores look invisible. I love how it instantly brightens up my face & gives me that 'lit from within' look. The addition of jojoba oil also helps to keep blemishes at bay so this would be an excellent powder for anyone with intolerant skin.

Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner
When I first started wearing eyeliner I loved using gels. My MAC & Bobbi Brown ones kept drying up really quickly though so I kinda gave up on them and made the switch to liquid liner. However a few months ago I bought the Precision Gel Liner from Illamasqua & my love for gels has been rekindled. People tend to associate Illamasqua with really crazy colours but they do the basics extremely well. The formula of this gel liner is wonderfully smooth, rich & creamy. It's so pigmented & opaque plus it stays put all day long. It really glides along your lash line & feels like a dream to use. This is easily one of the best gel liners you will ever come across.

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