Monday 15 June 2015

Nature's Life Beauty Elixir

Nature's Life Beauty Elixir* - £79.99

When it comes to skincare I consider health supplements to be just as important as any topical product. In my experience there is a definite link between what you put in your body & what shows on the outside. I've suffered with eczema as a result of food intolerances & cystic acne due to hormonal imbalances. By changing my diet & regularly taking a variety of supplements I've managed to keep both of these skin ailments in check. However there's always room for improvement & as I've gotten older a whole new set of skin concerns has been raised. Holding onto your youthful looks is a priority for many people. I always say that prevention is better than cure & as someone in their mid-twenties I've recently started taking anti-ageing products a lot more seriously. I never leave the house without sun protection even in the middle of Winter & I love retinol as an anti-wrinkle/anti-blemish solution. A few months ago I also welcomed an anti-ageing supplement into my roster - Nature's Life Beauty Elixir. Despite my devout belief in the power of supplements I did wonder whether a pill could actually help to combat the signs of ageing. I decided to give it a go & the results were pleasantly surprising.

One of the key ingredients in the Beauty Elixir supplement is Resveratrol. This is a natural antioxidant found in things like red wine, cocoa & Japanese knotweed. You might have noticed many companies capitalising on it's current popularity but it does have scientifically proven anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer & life-prolonging effects. Resveratrol is something of a miracle molecule & it's effects reach far beyond skin health. The pill also features Peptan Collagen from fish which helps to boost the hydration, structure & appearance of your skin. Natural collagen production decreases as you get older but this substance is needed to make your skin elastic, firm & supple. AHAs like lactic & glycolic acid can help with collagen production but absorbing a collagen supplement internally is even more effective. The other ingredient that really piqued my interest in this product is the NutraFood Blend which is comprised of wheatgrass, barleygrass, maca & spirulina. I try to include as many superfoods in my diet as possible but they are often expensive & have an unpleasant taste. This is a much more convenient way of getting all that natural goodness in your system. There's also alpha lipoic acid, hyaluronic acid, kelp & biotin which are all commonly found in other hair, skin & nail type supplements. Plus it boasts a whole host of essential vitamins which can help to improve & maintain general skin health.

Each bottle contains 60 pills & you're supposed to take 1-3 capsules per day with a meal. The pills are a good size & easy to swallow. They don't taste of anything but they have a bit of a grassy herbal scent which is probably due to the NutraFood Blend. When I was trialling this product I took one a day for two months. Whilst taking the pills I did notice a visible difference to my skin & some of the effects have endured since finishing the bottle. My skin had fewer blemishes along with less redness & more radiance. It felt softer & plumper too. The main thing that I noticed was the sudden disappearance of the fine lines that had started cropping up on my forehead. This means that it really did visibly plump up my skin enough to get rid of those lines. At my age botox is something I would never consider. I might change my tune by the time I get to 60 but for now knowing that I can reduce fine lines through supplements & skincare products is good enough for me. I honestly didn't expect the anti-ageing element of this pill to work so well! Even though the Beauty Elixir supplement is incredibly pricey I still didn't think that it would actually be this effective. Just like with skincare products I think it's very important to invest in supplements. They can provide so many benefits that are simply unobtainable through a healthy diet. If I ever notice any fine lines again I wouldn't hesitate to repurchase this product.

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Sunday 14 June 2015

Lyla Loves Jewellery

Pink Cord & Chain Bracelet* / Pink Enamel Elephant Pendant*

I'm forever on the lookout for cute new accessories & I recently got sent a couple of pieces from Lyla Loves' latest collection. Lyla Loves has an amazing range of jewellery and fashion accessories including bags, phone cases & scarves. It's a great site to check out if you're looking for something a bit quirky & unique as they're constantly adding new stock to the shop. I love dainty jewellery & I fell in love straight away with so many different pieces! There are also plenty of statement accessories available if that's what you're into. Pink & gold are my two favourite colours so I picked out this really sweet bracelet & this adorable pink elephant necklace.

I prefer pieces of jewellery that feel light & comfortable to wear. Otherwise I just get irritated by them & end up taking them off after a couple of hours. I'm not a huge fan of bangles because I feel like they always get in the way. This lovely bracelet is exactly the kind of thing I like as you can't really tell it's there but it looks so pretty when you glance down. I adore the little gem on it as it ties the two strands together nicely. It would look fab layered with lots of other arm candy. The elephant pendant has an origami style to it which I think makes it look even cuter! The pink enamel detail really makes it stand out. I've had loads of compliments on this necklace so I'll definitely be ordering a few more things. What really took me by surprise about Lyla Loves was just how affordable all the items were. Both the necklace & the bracelet cost just £3 each! If you're in need of a little pick-me-up treat but are a bit low on funds then Lyla Loves would be a fantastic place to shop.

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Saturday 13 June 2015

Wrap.Me Personalised Wrapping Paper

Personalised gifts are always a great idea if you have no idea what to buy for someone. They're a really thoughtful way of showing that you care & you can be sure that they won't already own anything like it. To make your present even more special & unique, why not also package it in something personalised like this brilliant wrapping paper from Wrap.Me. There's been a glut of companies bringing out products with Instagram images on them lately but this is certainly one of the most innovative ways I've seen of using your own photos. It's not limited to Instagram either, you can use pictures from Facebook or uploaded directly from your desktop as well. Each sheet can feature up to 30 different photographs & although the design sticks to the same grid format, you can resize the size of the squares as you wish. You can also choose to have no spaces between the images or give them a white/black border.

Wrap.Me recently sent me a lovely little gift presented within some of their wrapping paper. I'm a huge stationery geek & will never say no to a new notebook! They also included an extra sheet of gift wrap so that I can actually use it myself. I think I'm going to use it for my mum's birthday present as she loves anything to do with pictures of me & Chloe. The paper has a good weight to it & the images look high quality. The grid pattern makes it easier to cut in straight lines too. By using your own pictures to create wrapping paper you can tailor it to fit with the sender, the recipient or the occasion. It'd also be great for small businesses as you could have your logo or some product shots printed on the paper. You can order a single sheet (65cm x 46cm) for £4.99 but the most cost effective way of using the service would be to buy a large roll (50cm x 3.6m) for £14.99. It's not cheap but I'd say it's worth it for a really special gift or project. Delivery is free within the UK. I think this wrapping paper is such a cute idea & you can have a lot of fun trying out different designs. Check out their website & have a go for yourself!

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Friday 12 June 2015

ghd White Eclipse Styler

ghd White Eclipse Styler* - £145

One of my first major beauty purchases was a pair of ghd hair straighteners. Back in the early 2000s all of my school friends were completely obsessed with them & I remember how excited I was to finally be getting some of my very own. At the time they were life changing. I used to have really frizzy brown hair & being able to sort out my messy barnet within a matter of minutes was a huge confidence booster. I've always thought that ghds were well worth the money because they just do their job so incredibly well & last for years. In fact my old ones are still going strong today! However technology has improved so much since then & ghd have certainly upped their game over the years. I was pleased as punch to receive one of their newer creations - the Eclipse styler.

This styler is a massive upgrade compared to the huge black & yellow straighteners that I used to have. First of all it looks infinitely better! This white version looks modern, sleek & stylish but the difference between the Eclipse & other hair straighteners is not merely aesthetic. The body feels cooler to the touch & the styler feels more comfortable to hold as there is aerogel insulation in the casing. ghd's patented tri-zone technology enables these straighteners to transform even the most unruly hair into soft, smooth locks. It features six quick-thinking sensors (three on each plate) to ensure that no heat is lost during styling & the temperature remains constant at 185°C. According to ghd this is the optimum temperature for styling hair & produces the longest lasting results.

Personally I tend to prefer straighteners with a temperature dial because I'm very wary of frying my hair. However these work so well that I only have to pass them through once for a perfect style. The plates are super smooth & totally snag free. They perform better than ever & heat up faster than ever. When I first turned them on I was amazed at how quickly they were ready to use. It literally only takes a couple of seconds! They even light up & make a sound to let you know that they're ready to go. We're living in the future people! They also come with a heat-resistant plate guard so they can cool down safely after use & they will automatically turn off if left unattended for 30 minutes. Not having to worry about burning your house down can only be a good thing!

I always blow dry my hair straight using a rounded brush so I hardly ever use straighteners to actually straighten my hair. Instead I use them to curl & style my hair. Fine straight hair can look a little flat so adding a few curls with your hair straighteners can really pump up the volume & make your hair look much thicker. I often use them in a zig-zag pattern to create grungy waves but those are easy to do with any old straighteners. I wanted to put the ghd Eclipse's curl creating ability to the test as this straightener supposedly provides shinier, smoother, longer lasting styles in just one stroke. Before using the styler on my hair I make sure to generously spritz through some of the ghd Heat Protect Spray*. I couldn't live without Kerastase Ciment Thermique but it's always a good idea to protect your hair further with a heat protection spray immediately before styling.

Curling your hair with a pair of ghds couldn't be simpler. Sectioning your hair will make things a little easier but as I'm growing out a weird top layer of breakage I don't really need to. Grab a small section of your hair & place the styler around it at about cheekbone level. Clamp it shut & wrap the strands all the way around it going down to the ends. After about 10 seconds release the hair & repeat with the next section. Make sure to alternate the direction of the curls to add even more movement & texture. Then just tease the curls with your fingers & voilĂ !

My hair doesn't hold a style very well so I normally have to use lots of hairspray to keep the curls in place. I decided to give it a miss this time though considering that the Eclipse claims to create long lasting shapes on it's own. I can honestly vouch for this as I still have some lovely ringlets going on a few days later. Most of it did drop by the next day but my hair still looked a lot more voluminous than usual. I love the texture that it can add to my hair & the soft curls have the most wonderful shine, all thanks to the Eclipse styler. I couldn't be any happier with these straighteners & they're an excellent choice whether you like your hair to be poker straight or perfectly curled. They look beautiful & work beautifully. Every girl needs a good pair of hair straighteners & if you're still clinging onto your old ones, I would highly recommend investing in the ghd Eclipse styler.

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Wednesday 3 June 2015

May Favourites

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil
My cuticles are one of my most neglected areas & the skin around my nails is always really dry. I can't resist peeling the skin away which in turn makes my fingertips red & sore. I've been trying to take better care of my nails lately & the condition of your cuticles makes a huge difference to the finish of your manicure. Slathering on a bit of the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil every night has really improved things & has made my fingertips look much healthier. The oil is quite light in texture so it sinks in quickly & doesn't feel too greasy. It nourishes both the skin & nails plus the lovely apricot scent makes it a pleasure to use. It comes with a nail brush applicator so it's really easy to apply & it's something you can quickly do whilst sitting in front of the telly. I'll never neglect my cuticles again, pinky promise!

Illamasqua Rosepout Lipstick
This is one of Illamasqua's newer Glamore lipsticks which have a creamy satin finish. Although I do own and love quite a few of the older Illamasqua lipsticks, they were often very dry, matte & unforgiving on the lips. The Glamore lipsticks are definitely where it's at & I would highly recommend these if you're looking for something that is colour intense, long lasting & comfortable to wear. Within the Glamore range there are seven different nude shades & they even have a guide to choosing the perfect nude lipstick for your skin tone. Rosepout is a gorgeous neutral pinky brown colour & works beautifully with my cool toned pale skin. It has a modern retro feel to it & looks amazing paired with 1960s style eye makeup.

The Library Of Fragrance Mountain Air Cologne Spray*
Having never climbed a mountain before, a perfume inspired by the smell of mountain air was very intriguing to me. It's normally quite easy to imagine what The Library Of Fragrance's fantastic range of single note colognes will actually smell like but Mountain Air is a lot more complex & very unique. This breathtaking cologne spray combines together all the different elements that you would find at the top of a mountain. It's a cool, crisp & clean concoction of snow, water, flowers, trees & soil. This wonderfully refreshing unisex scent is really something quite special.

Alterna Caviar CC Cream
Hair creams have become my weapon of choice when it comes to styling my locks. After a quick blow dry I love running a few pumps of this stuff through the lengths of my hair. It helps to smooth down any flyaways & adds just the right amount of hold. Whilst CC Creams are normally for facial colour correction, the Alterna CC Cream delivers 'complete correction' to the hair. This one product provides 10 different hair benefits which are moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, UV protection, manageability, strength, anti-breakage, heat protection & light hold. It really helps to keep my bleached hair looking healthy & it smells amazing too! The whole Alterna Caviar range is simply incredible & well worth the investment if your hair is looking a little lacklustre.

BECCA Flowerchild Mineral Blush
Peachy pink shimmery blushers are my absolute favourite & this BECCA Mineral Blush is exceptionally pretty. Flowerchild has the most gorgeous golden sheen running through it that really illuminates the cheeks & gives them a fresh Summery glow. The shimmer is extremely subtle with no chunks of glitter so it won't accentuate large pores. The texture of this blusher is silky smooth & it blends like a dream. The colour can be built up without it ever looking cakey or chalky. Flowerchild adds the loveliest flush of colour to my cheeks & really lifts my complexion. It doesn't look like much in the pan but this is a truly stunning product & it would look fabulous on many different skin tones.

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