Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Space NK Apothecary

Having said in a previous post that I wanted a Sephora near to my front door, I realised how lucky us Brits are to have Space NK. Even if we are nowhere near a store, their website is thoroughly stocked and even though there are many expensive products listed, there are some great deals and products. Brands such as Emma Hardie – that you assume would cost the earth – are actually pretty reasonably priced.

Now, in times of tightening our financial belts, I love the fact that I can pop to Boots and buy a makeup remover for £2.99 but it is nice to have a fancier option, without the feeling that you are being pressurised to buy the whole shop.

The employees are very knowledgeable about the products and seem to have a genuine interest in skincare and beauty. I don't know how, but I almost feel like it's a calming experience! Maybe it's the decor and the presentation of the products, and, as I tend to go in at non peak times, the lack of people helps too.

My favourite store is the Covent Garden one, which is located in Shelton Street. The lady that tends to help me never pushes any of the products but instead, really listens to the type of product that I am after. She also gives out really good samples, which I nearly always return to buy. Smart move Space NK! 

My favourite Space NK products/brands include: 

1. Colbert MD Ilłumino Facial Oil (I reviewed this last week and having recommended it to friends and family, they have echoed my praise for this product)
2. Kevyn Aucoin makeup range/ Nars range
3. Ren 
4. Eve Lom/Emma Hardie (see review
5. By Terry 
6. Caudalie 
7. Glam Glow (see review
8. Beauty Blender
9. Diptyque candles (to me, they are just the kings of candles)
10. Algenist

I could go on but the point is, when you are in the mood to buy something that is a bit more than the basic product, you get lovely service whilst being given specific information about the product, that up until now has never been wrong. I have never regretted purchase from here and, shamefully, I shop here more than I go food shopping! Cooking just isn't my forte.... Luckily, for Space NK, skincare and beauty are! 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Christian Louboutin Rouge Nail Polish

Is this is weapon of some kind? Well, actually yes. It's a nail varnish weapon. The rouge colour is the most popular Louboutin nail polish and its classic red shade (which is deeper than the iconic red sole) makes it wearable and classy.

Yes it's expensive. It is £36.00 per bottle but it's Christian Louboutin and it's good. I am currently on day five of wearing it and it hasn't chipped. Admittedly, I am also wearing a base and top coat but even so, that is good. The only thing is the colour has faded from the top of the nail but only very slightly.

I have bought one for a friend's 30th birthday because, not only is the product amazing and long lasting but the bottle looks so impressive. It's a dressing table accessory as well as a nail varnish. I mean, who doesn't love painting their nails with a giant spike?!

You can find Christian Louboutin Beauty at

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser

This was a bit of an impulse buy whilst browsing in The Body Shop. My beloved Clinique moisturiser had almost run out and I thought I would try something new – especially as this particular product is targeted at 'dull, tired, grumpy skin'! My skin has been looking a little dull lately for the usual reasons (I still don't understand why my vitamin-packed diet doesn't completely counteract the effects of too much alcohol or not enough sleep but there you go...)

According to the Body Shop this mosturiser takes a three-pronged approach to improving your skin:
Boost glow: Skin is clarified, revealing your natural healthy-looking glow.
Energise: Fresh, lightweight formula fights signs of fatigue, with an invigorating fragrance. 
Hydrate: Infuses skin with moisture.

It is a gel like consistency that is very light-weight as promised. It absorbs quickly and has a cooling effect (possibly one of those products that would be particularly effective stored in the fridge, although I haven't tried that yet). The scent is really nice and 'orangey' without being too overpowering. The only downside is that it comes in a pot and, like many of you, I find a pump to be a more hygienic option.

I had high hopes for this moisturiser. The Body Shop has a good reputation for using great ingredients and at £16 it is on the pricier end of high street moisturisers, so I assumed I would notice a dramatic difference. (By comparison Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion is £18 for the same amount of product.)

Although it is a nice refreshing moisturiser I can't say I have noticed any real difference in my skin in terms of 'glow'. As it absorbs quickly it is a great pre-make up moisturiser first thing in the morning, but as we move into autumn/winter I prefer a cream to a gel and will be looking for something that is nourishing as well as hydrating.

This is a perfectly nice moisturiser and I really don't have anything bad to say about it. However, as the main claim is 'glow boosting' and I haven't seen any evidence of this I don't think I would buy it again. There are high street moisturisers that are far better value and high-end ones that might cost a little more, but that are truly worth it for the benefits that you see.

£16 for 50ml,

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Diptyque Bougie Parfumee

I love a good candle. Actually, I love buying home bits in general but I am a total sucker for a candle. I had heard that Diptyque was worth a look, with excellent reviews about their longevity (because nobody wants a candle to last a week before it's burnt through), the fragrance and the history behind the company.

The company was established in Paris, France in 1963 and the candles continue to be hand made, containing 8-12% fragrance concentration. This may not seem much but trust me and my nose when I say these candles pack a punch. I had to put mine in a drawer when I first bought it because it was more of an autumn scent and, as I bought it in July, I wanted to save it. However, you could still smell it in its package, with the plastic still on! 

It's not really a surprise when you have a look at the process used to make it. From choosing the right wick, to protecting the scent by filling the glasses to the right amount and temperature, there seems to be a step by step process for it all and, quite frankly, you can tell. A beautiful scent is currently wafting across my livingroom and the candle isn't even lit! That being said, when it is, it promises 60 hours of burning time, which will last through the autumn and be fair, probably until next winter. 

The scent that I chose was Pomander, which to me smells like fruity pumpkin! It's described as 'Christmas joy in a jar' because of its spicy notes, including cinnamon, cloves and orange. 

   £40 for 6.5oz. 

Cost wise, it is on par with Jo Malone scents and actually, scents such as Vanilla and Mimosa come in different sizes and start at £20. As Jen and I often say, you get what you pay for. This doesn't always apply but in this case, it 100% does. 

This was worth every penny and I look forward to the many burning hours of filling my house with this yummy warm, comforting scent. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Kay's Skincare Routine – September 2015

For the last few months, I have been looking for products that do not have parabens or ingredients that the skin doesn't need and that actually work! Jen and I have always said that balance is the key. We are certainly not the ingredients police, it's just a preference and, equally, sometimes you can't have it all! So, after some searching, I have a new skin care routine that I am very happy with:

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm – It hydrates the skin, removes waterproof makeup, lasts a long old time and leaves skin feeling clean but not dry.
£38 for 100ml

I'm not using anything at the moment but I am about to try Naobay Calming Face Toner as good old Glossybox sent a full sized through. Talking of Naobay.... 
£10.50 for 200ml

Naobay Moisturizing Peeling exfoliator is natural and organic, with fine particles that gently exfoliate the skin. I use this every morning.
£13.50 for 100ml

Instead of serum, I have been using two face oils. The first, Colbert MD Illumino Face Oil, is super expensive but it really works. Massage a drop of the oil into damp skin. It gets five stars on the Space NK website and rightly so. My wrinkles appeared reduced with one use! Safe to say that I love this product.
$140 for 30ml 
The second oil is the Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil. This is hydrating and although it's an oil, I can wear it underneath makeup and it doesn't make my skin oily and the makeup slip off! This is also my day moisturiser.
$79 for 30ml

Aveda Botanicals Kinetics – This has helped to smooth fine lines and is easily absorbed.
£28 for 15ml

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Oil Balm – This is incredibly hydrating, not greasy, and easily absorbed.
$35 for 1.4oz

GlamGlow Flashmud Brightening Treatment – This was my first time using a GlamGlow product and I am totally sold. The mask leaves the skin looking luminous and with an equal skin tone. It has birch leaf in it, which confused me on my first try! However, the leaf releases a natural acid, which balances the skin. What I love most are the exfoliating particles. As you apply the mask to the skin, you start with an exfoliation, then spend 20 minutes or so with a citrus smelling mask on your chops and you are left with radiant looking skin! Marvellous.
$69 for 1.7oz

To read my 2014 skincare routine click here
To read Jen's 2014 skincare routine click here

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Urban Decay Vice 4 palette on its way!

Great news for all fans of Urban Decay eye shadows... the Vice 4 palette is being released as part of their holiday collection! It contains 20 shadows in a fantastic range of bright and neutral colours, and it is perfect if you are a little bored of the many neutral palettes currently on the market. It immediately caught my eye because when I do opt for colour it tends to be turquoise or purple, and this palette has some beautiful options for both. I'm also a big fan of the packaging.

Urban Decay founder Wende Zomnir recently shared a sneak peak of the palette on Instagram and it has since been shared with selected 'YouTubers' for review, such as Tati Westbrook who gave her opinion in the video below. Well worth checking out if you want a detailed look at each shade and how well they wear.

Available 12th September,
Images © Wende Zomnir

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Sephora Shopping!

I'm always hoping that Sephora will come to the UK. I mean, it's in Europe, so surely it's only a matter of time before we can parade the London streets with stripey black and white bags. However, saying that, I also quite like the fact that it's a holiday treat. I like planning my Sephora list at the airport and stocking up on products that are Sephora exclusives or far more cost effective with the exchange rate. It's part of the holiday shopping process, especially when I go to the U.S.

So here is my Sephora shop from my recent trip to America: 

Glam Glow Flashmud Brightening Treatment – $69.00 for 50g
I have always wanted to try a Glam Glow product and this seemed a better mask for my skin than others. The price suggests that it should be good...hopefully.

Marc Jacobs High Shine Lip Lacquer in Hot, Hot, Hot – $28.00 for 5.0ml
This is going to be a present and I am sure the hot pink colour will be stunning on my friend.

Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil – $79.00 for 30ml
Formulated with Microalgae Oil and brown algae, which although sounds like your splashing on pond water, it is light, absorbs easily, doesn't smell weird, does not contain parabens, dermatologist tested and genuinely has improved the elasticity of my skin. Hurrah.

Ole Henriksen Brightening The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths (travel pack) – $8.00

Anasastasia Beverley Hills Duo Brow Eyeliner Brush #12 (spoolie and angled brush) – $18.00

Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup in Light Beige – $60.00 for 30ml
Paraben free, collagen boosting, skin tightening, long lasting foundation, SPF 15
Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup in Honey – $60.00 for 30ml
Paraben free, collagen boosting, skin tightening, long lasting foundation)

Above - Honey; Top - Light Beige

La Vanilla Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla x 8 – $8.00 each
All natural ingredients, no harsh chemicals, no parabens or any other nasty preservatives. Why did I buy 8? Because they work and cost a fortune in the UK!

Beauty Blender (enough said) – $20.00

Formula X The System To Go – $16.00 4 x 3ml
Travel sized, basic nails set. Includes Nail Cleanser (no idea what that is!), Base Coat, Top Coat and a nude coloured varnish.

Velour Lashes (100% real silk lashes) – $23.00

Hourglass Film Noir Mascara – $28.00 for 0.35oz
I love Hourglass products. They are beautiful products and are also mindful that consumers are more concerned with parabens, sulfates and other harsh chemicals.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer$52 for 30ml
Paraben free, collagen boosting, skin tightening, long lasting foundation, SPF 15.

Dr. Jart + Ceramidin Oil Balm – $35.00 for 10oz
Comes with a spatula, so fingers don't have to go into the pot! The product transforms from balm to oil but is not greasy and absorbs easily. It is designed for dry skin and has refreshed my aeroplane dry skin! Cruelty free, dermatologist tested, paraben free and can be used on face, skin, cuticles and ends of the hair.

Hourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner – $16.00 for 0.002 oz
Ultra-black gel liner in a pencil. I'm going to appreciate the lack of cleaning a brush everyday!)
Formula X The Match – $16.00 4 x 3m
Travel sized polishes; red, pink, nude and turquoise.

Anastasia Beverley Hills DipBrow Pomade in Ash Brown – $18.00 for 0.14 oz
I'm so excited to try this out. It is a brow product, ideal for sculpting and defining brows. It is waterproof and humidity proof!