Bloom Remedies Anti Cellulite Oil and Massager review

Bloom Remedies is an organic skincare brand that make their range of aromatherapy products in small batches, by hand. 

All of the products are  free from parabens, mineral oil, urea and synthetic fragrances and colours, instead using high quality essential oil, flower waters and herbal extracts.

Bloom Remedies anti-cellulite oil and body massager

I've been testing out their Anti-Cellulite Oil* and body massager* (sold separately) which are designed to help tone the skin and combat cellulite in problem areas.

The Anti-Cellulite Oil contains organic sesame and safflower oils to stimulate, antioxidant Sea buckthorn and Juniper, Grapefruit, Cypress and Cinnamon essential oils which all work with the body to help remove toxins and water retention from the body.

You use the oil by applying a small amount to the areas you want to target (bum and tops of thighs in my case), and then massage in vigorously either using your hands or the massager. The oil is really quick to sink in, and doesn't leave you feeling at all greasy, which is great if like me, you are often in a rush to get ready in the mornings! 

I love the fresh smell of the oil, and it's really uplifting. I wouldn't recommend using it too close to bed as some of the essential oils do have quite refreshing properties, but it's perfect first thing or when you aren't running straight off to bed after a bath/pamper session.

As with all cellulite treatments, you do need to use the oil daily to see the best effects and combining it with the massager will work even better. I started to notice that the tone of my skin looked a bit firmer after a few days and after a month there was a definite improvement in my much hated orange peel. 

What I like about Bloom is that they offer two different sizes of this product, perfect if you want to test it out before comitting to the larger size. 50ml costs £6.99 and 100ml is £10.99, both of which I think are very good value. If you fancy buying the massager too, this sells for £5.99. 

I would definitely repurchase another bottle of the oil - I think it's a very good value product and I've seen positive results!

Have you tried anything from Bloom Remedies before?

*PR sample


TRESemme Oil Elixir review

TRESemme make really good value hair products, so when they mentioned they were bringing out a new, more premium oil for hair, I was really intrigued to see what this would be like.

The new Oil Elixir* is a dry oil, and can be used on damp hair for extra moisture pre-styling, or on dry hair for a smoothing effect post styling. There are two formulations - one designed for coloured hair and the other for uncoloured hair.

I've been testing out the formula for uncoloured hair which contains Macadamia oil and Babassu oil and it smells divine! I usually apply 2-3 pumps to towel dry hair and then style my hair as usual. It leaves hair with a really glossy finish, but doesn't make it greasy at all, A bonus for someone like me with fine hair which is easily weighed down The packaging feels really luxurious and the oil comes in a 100ml glass bottle. Surpisingly though, Oil Elixir will only set you back £9.99, which is very good value! You will need to use a good clarifying shampoo if you use the oil on a regular basis as like a lot of these products it does contain silicone.

I was lucky enough to ask TRESemme's lead stylist Matthew Curtis a few questions about his top tips for using the oil and the hair trends for the upcoming season.

Kat: What are your favourite ways to use the new TRESemme oil? 
Matthew: 'The new TRESemme Oil Elixir is great as it’s so light it means it’s a really versatile product to use on different looks. If you’re creating a sleek on trend pony tail, you can apply the oil to the ends to give a glossy expensive finish. An amazing tip is to add the oil to the hair as a finishing touch to loose tumbling curls for extra shine.'

Kat: What are your top tips for keeping hair in great condition?
Matthew: 'You wouldn't go out with dirty clothes, or make up you have slept in the night before, so why would you go out with your hair looking anything other than amazing. Keeping your skin in good condition involves a lot of rituals and routines twice a day and can be a hassle, where as to keep you hair in good condition it’s so simple. A good hair mask once a week, such as TRESemme Keratin Smooth Masque, which you can leave in whilst doing your house is sometimes all you need to do to make your hair instantly feel healthier. This along with having regular visits to the hair dressers using a good heat protect spray such as TRESemme Heat Protection Spray should keep your hair feeling amazing for longer.'

Kat: Are there any hair trends for AW13 we should keep an eye out for? 
Matthew: 'This A/W you will see all those soft, loose Grecian inspired updos from last season, have transformed into strong bold statements shaped with pony tails and buns, perfect for lasting all night straight into the evening. It may only be the brave who go that step further and match this with the on trend wet look, using TRESemme 24hour Body Amplifying Mousse, but it still works well to keep it slightly softer if you’re not feeling so brave.'

TRESemme Oil Elixir will be hitting the shelves in the next few weeks - will you be trying it out?

*PR sample


A cheeky Westfield haul

This weekend I had a day out to Westfield Stratford with my fabulous friend Grace. Both being beauty bloggers, we had a list of places we wanted to go, and top of mine was the Model's Own Bottleshop.

The new Fireworks and Velvet Goth nail polishes were released earlier in the week and I bought 3 from each collection. I chose Absinthe, Valerian, Amethyst, Banger, Roman Candle and Catherine Wheel. Model's Own had a special offer on where you got 6 polishes for £20, so considering these are normally £5 each this was a bit of a bargain.

Models Own Velvet Goth and Fireworks collections

Forever 21 jewellery haul

Kiko haul

Dior cream blush Capri

We also hit Kiko (one of Grace's favourites) where we had a good look over the new Dark Heroine collection, I bought two of the new smudgy eye shadow sticks, one in gold (01) and the other in a soft taupe (03), both which will work really well together, I also chose two nail polishes from one of their other collections that are designed to have a mirror metallic effect and were on offer for £2.50 each.

Next stop was Boots where I had finally accrued enough Boots points to get one of the much coveted Dior Cream blushes. I went for the Capri shade, which is a soft pink and looks really natural on my pale complexion. Free Dior is the best kind of Dior, so thank you Boots points!

My final purchases of the day were from Forever 21, where along with a leather look dress (perfect for autumn), I also found some really cute jewellery. I love the little & symbol ring which was only £1.65, and the 'love' necklace reminds me a little of Love Heart sweets.

So those are my latest purchases. Which one's your favourite?



LOreal AW13 glitter polish collection

I love nail polish. I love glitter nail polish even more. So my excitement levels when I saw the 4 new polishes* from LOreal got a little bit much.

The new collection features four glitter polishes, two which are better suited as topcoats and two which have a bit of colour in the base.

LOreal glitter nail polishes
L-R .Scarlett Tinsel, Bling Bling Bang, Black Diamond, Sequin Explosion

LOreal glitter nail polish swatches
1 coat each

LOreal colour riche polishes
Sequin Explosion in action!
Sequin Explosion - a clear base with multi coloured flecks of glitter in a variety of sizes, this is the star of the collection in my eyes. It works well over pretty much any colour polish and can be applied in multiple coats for a hardcore glitter finish.

Bling Bling Bang - firstly, what an awesome name! Bling Bling Bang is a blue glitter, suspended in a deep blue base. It can be used as a topcoat, but will work really well layered up as an opaque polish for a subtle, but bling effect.

Scarlet Tinsel - this screams Christmas nails to me. This is a clear base packed full of small red glitter that will layer easily to a full on glitter finish.

Black Diamond - my second favourite behind Sequin Explosion, this is almost the opposite of it. Full of fine black glitter with hints of silver, I think this will look perfect for a more subtle look. It's also completely opaque in two coats.

All of the polishes do dry to a matte finish and feel slightly rough to the touch so you will want to use a topcoat if you prefer a smooth glossy finish. Wear time is pretty good - around 3 days on me before any chips (and I am the chip queen). They are also not too bad to remove. You will need acetone and a bit of patience, but they remove easier than some other glitter polishes I've tried.

Each bottle is the standard 5ml size of the Colour Riche line, which is great for polish addicts like me who never reach the end of a bottle. They're £4.99 each and I have a feeling they're going to be very popular as the seasons move into autumn. I predict Sequin Explosion might even become the next speckled polish, and become a tricky one to track down!

Which one of these is your favourite?

*PR sample


Guest post - Lisa's skincare favourites

I'm a bit of a skincare obsessive (ok, a total obsessive) and think that a good skincare regime can rescue you from a lot of makeup hassles. Today the lovely Lisa from Lisahh-Jayne is sharing her skincare favourites. Over to you Lisa...

Skin care used to be something that never really bothered me. I always thought if I was unhappy with how my skin looked then I could just cover it up with more make up, never really thinking about solving the issues I had with my skin.

Skincare favourites

Then one day I realised that I should be looking after my skin now, so that one day when I’m much older, my skin can look its best. This then started a new obsession with skin care and all sorts of different products. Through my obsession I've been exploring all sorts of different products and wanted to share some favourites I’ve stumbled upon.

I tend to start off my skin care routine with the Origins Never a Dull Moment Cleanser, which was the first product I'd used from Origins, and since discovering this I've never looked back. This is a favourite to me for many reasons. It's helped my skin clear up from my never ending greasy teenage phase, and it's helped my skin change from looking dull and 'meh', to looking glowing and radiant. And just to add to the reasons why I love this, it smells amazing, which to me is always nice with a skin care product.

When it comes to exfoliators my current favourite is the Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator. Liz Earle is famous for their cleanse and polish, and to me this is a great follow up product. It has the perfect balance between exfoliating your face without aggravating it, but making you feel like the product is really working. I personally love it because it really helps to bring back some radiance to your skin, especially if you’re finding it to look a little dull.

No skin care routine is complete without a good cleanser and toner, and two of my favourites are from the L’Oreal Skin Perfection range. I always think that it is really important to find a decent cleanser and toner to finish off your skin care routine with. Not only does it help improve the look of your skin, but it also gives you a sort of ‘second chance’ in case you haven’t completely taken off all of your make up properly. These L’Oreal ones are a favourite of mine as they really help to remove any last traces of make up, and they leave my skin feeling really soft and super clean. I’ve heard good things about the micellar water in this range, which has been on my wish list for sometime now.

I like to treat my skin to a face mask every week, and one of my all-time favourites is The Body Shops Honey & Oat 3-In-1 Scrub mask. I prefer exfoliating scrubs as I suffer with dry skin, so I like to make sure that all the dead skin is removed helping to make my skin softer and more radiant. This works really well with dry skin, and I find it to be really moisturising, leaving my skin feeling smooth once it’s removed.

When it comes to moisturising my favourite moisturiser is the Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion. I've tried out other moisturisers, and while they might be good, I always find myself coming back to this one. This moisturiser does something to my skin that other moisturisers can't do. Having dry sensitive skin, especially on my face, this helps me to get the hydration my skin needs, and doesn't leave it feeling greasy making it easy to apply make up after.

Now that I have a basic skin care routine I can definitely see the benefits. Gone are the majority of my skin care problems, and I don’t feel the need to cover up my face with make up all the time. I would definitely recommend trying out some of my skin care favourites as none of these products have let me down!

What's your favourite skincare product?


Dior Fusion Mono Shadow review

A couple of weeks ago on a trip to Selfridges, I spent some quality time perving over the new AW13 collection at the Dior makeup counter. Just out, they'd released the new Fusion Mono cream shadows that looked to die for - shimmery, pigmented, and in totally wearable shades.

Dior Fusion Mono shadow Millenium

Dior Fusion Mono shadow Millenium

Dior Fusion Mono shadow Millenium

Dior Fusion Mono shadow Millenium swatch

Before I knew it, I'd handed over my card and walked away with the shade Millenium. A soft, taupey-grey, it looked perfect for both daytime and evening wear and had an amazing shimmery finish. The formula is similar to their new blushers - not quite a cream, but almost a slightly spongy texture. It comes with a little sponge applicator, which is meant to be used in a gentle patting motion (although I have also just slapped it on with my usual eye brush too and this works pretty much the same).

I've been using the new shadow for just over a week, and I'm really sad to say I'm a little bit disappointed. The colour is lovely, and the texture is great, but that highly shimmery finish just isn't there. It's almost as if it needed the intense lights of the beauty counter to make the most of it.

It's a totally wearable eye shadow and blends beautifully. The wear time is also good and lasts about 8 hours without a primer before any fading happens. It also doesn't crease, which is great for these types of products.

I'm not sad that I bought this as I know the colour is something I will wear regularly, but I am a bit sad that it doesn't quite live up to the shimmery loveliness that I saw in store.

There are 5 different shades in the new collection and each one costs £23.50. I'll be going back for one of the amazing cream blushers, but Dior hasn't quite won me over with the Fusion Monos.



Choosing the right swimwear for your body shape

No matter what your shape or size, choosing a bikini or swimming costume can be a nightmare. The fluorescent lights of fitting rooms aren't exactly the most flattering and there's nothing more depressing than trying on swim wear that just doesn't look quite 'right'.

I've put together some tips with the help of swimwear specialists Beach Cafe, to help you choose the right swim wear for your body shape.
Images c/o Beach Cafe 
Being a pear myself (slimmer on top, heavier on the bottom), I've learnt a few tricks to help draw attention away from a slightly larger bum! Try styles with a plain bottom, but with an eye-catching top to help draw eyes upwards. Also, high rise bottoms can help to lengthen legs, and actually make a fuller bottom look a little bit smaller, so try styles with tie sides for maximum impact. Boy shorts are not your friend. Try this Knotted Pistachio Bikini.

Apples tend to store most of their weight in their middle section, with slimmer arms and legs. Make the most of these with a higher cut bottom to make them look super long. A retro 50s style bikini or a swimsuit with a sweetheart style neckline will both help to accentuate your waist, and there are also some great styles with in built sculpting panels if you're keen to shape the area more. Try this Indigo Goddess Swimsuit.

A boyish figure can wear pretty much any style, but if you're looking to help create some curves, try ruffles, frills or small prints as these will help draw the eye. Triangle bikinis and bandeau styles will look fab on you, and small details near the bust can help accentuate a cleavage. Try this Seafolly Empire Bandeau Bikini.

Bigger bust:
More and more brands are offering bra size bikinis and swimsuits which can help you make the most of your assets. Underwire is your friend here, so get fitted if you can - it's worth approaching a bikini/swimsuit in the same way you would a bra, so buying in store may work best for you. Try this Seafolly Harlow Swimsuit.

What type of style do you usually go for?

*Sponsored post


Beauty news in brief #4

This week's beauty news focuses on in store launches and events.

Jurlique counter
One of the new Jurlique counters in M&S
Jurlique to launch in Marks and Spencer - Australian skincare brand Jurlique have launched into 14 M&S beauty stores across the UK. Jurlique make a fab range of skincare, and to celebrate the launch are releasing an exclusive, 200ml luxury version of their Balancing Rosewater Mist. Jurlique stands will be going into Argyll Street Glasgow, Bluewater, Cheshire Oaks, Cribbs Causeway Bristol, Camberly, Cheshunt, Chester, Hedge End Southhampton, Kingston, Meadowhall Sheffield, Manchester, Marble Arch London, Metro Centre Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Pudsey, Stratford and Thurrock.

Free hair styling from TRESemme - To celebrate their partnership with Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model, TRESemme are running a series of in store events at Superdrug. You can get your hair styled by their top UK stylist (who's also head stylist on BINTM) Matthew Curtis or one of his team for free by just popping down to one of selected stores. Choose from either a loose up do, soft glamourous waves or a side plait. The team will be at: Bluewater Kent 24th August, Brighton Churchill Square 31st August, Trafford Centre Manchester 7th September, Bullring Birmingham 14th September and Liverpool Parker Street 21st September.

Balance Me launches in Debenhams - Balance Me has launched its complete line online at Debenhams this week. They are also going to launch into 20 of their premium stores before Christmas. There will be a big debut at London's Oxford Street store on 23rd September, when their revamped Beauty Hall re-opens.

DHC to launch in Selfridges - Cult Japanese brand DHC are launching a selected range of products into Selfridges London and Selfridges online. Included in the edit are their infamous cleansing oil, olive virgin oil swabs, silky cotton pads, blotting papers and makeup off sheets. Available now, I'll race you there!



Concoction customisable hair care

Concoction are the new kid on the hair care market. For a long time we've been able to get tailored skincare products, but hair care has always been a bit limited. You could get something for curly hair, but what if you had coloured, curly hair? Or bleached blonde, fine hair?

Concotion customisable shampoo

This is where Concoction comes in. A customisable shampoo service with hundreds of possible combinations, you choose a base shampoo, and then two Super Serum shots. Once at home, simply snap the end off of the Super Serum ampules, add them to your chosen shampoo, shake well to blend and you're good to go!

There are 4 different scented base blend shampoos and 8 Super Serums. The Super Serums include options for blondes, brunettes and redheads, curly hair, moisture, volume and more. It's up to you if you want to choose two different Super Serums if you have more than one issue (for example, my hair is lacking volume, but also gets a lot of heat styling) or you can choose two of the same for a double dose.

All of the base shampoos contain silk amino acids and essential oils and will help to nourish and protect your hair no matter which blend you choose. 

You get 250ml of shampoo for £14, which may seem pricey, but when you consider the fact you can get a tailor made shampoo for your specific needs, I think it's pretty good. 

At the moment Concoction only offer 1 conditioner - 'Creme de Concoction' which will help moisturise hair and tame frizz, and is infused with orange, patchouli and lemongrass essential oils. I think it would be nice if they expanded this line a little, as not all conditioners work for all hair types. 250ml will set you back £16.

You can buy Concoction online, or visit them in their pop up shop in Selfridges London. I think this is a great concept and can see it being really popular.

What do you think of being able to customise your shampoo? 

*PR sample


Mascaras I'm glad I bought

After last week's post on mascaras I wish I hadn't bought, I thought it was time to balance things up and share some of the good ones with you!

good mascaras

YSL False Lash effect - yes, this is expensive, but it does everything I want it to. It gives great volume and length, can be built up for a subtle or dramatic look and it doesn't flake, smudge or melt. My holy grail mascara, marred only by the fact that it seems to dry out pretty quickly. £23.50

Lord and Berry Scuba Extreme* - If I need a waterproof mascara, this is always the one I reach for. It gives excellent length, some good volume and really doesn't budge. It removes quite easily for a waterproof mascara, but don't let that fool you, it won't let you down! £12

GOSH Growth mascara* - GOSH mascaras seem to be pretty good all round, but this one goes to the top of my list as it contains a serum that actually encourages your lashes to grow while you wear it. It is a little wet for the first week or so, but after that, two coats will give nice volume without a clumpy result.

Max Factor Masterpiece Max - I used this for a long time before making the jump to the YSL mascara and found it offered excellent lash definition, a little volume and no clumping. The waterproof version is also pretty good, but did have a tendency to be a tiny bit smudgy. £9.99

Bare Minerals Lash Domination* - Bare Minerals was never a brand I though of for mascara, but I've been really impressed by this. It gives good volume to lashes in two coats, and doesn't clump. I like the definition it gives my lashes, and is long wearing. The only downside I've found is a tiny bit of smudging when applying, but nothing more throughout the day. £16

What's your top mascara choice?

*PR sample



Skin care series - why should I use eye cream?

There's so much skincare on the market it can sometimes be a bit confusing about what you need and how to use it most effectively. I've planned a small series of posts to look at what I like to think of as the 'skincare extras'. First off I'm taking a look at eye creams.

selection of eye creams

What is an eye cream?

Eye creams are lotions that are specially designed to help hydrate your eye area, similar to a moisturiser that you'd use on the rest of your face. They come in several different formats - the most common are lighter, gel type lotions or slightly heavier creams.

Why should I use one?

The skin around your eyes is much thinner than on the rest of your face. Using your regular moisturiser under your eye area can clog the area, causing puffiness and even an increase in eye bags, so it's best to use a specially tailored eye cream. Different eye creams promise different effects - some offer hydration, others help with puffiness/dark circles or even all three!

How do I use it effectively?

To apply eye cream effectively, use about a rice grain size amount of product, split evenly between your two eyes, and using your ring fingers, tap very lightly into the area around your eye socket. Don't go too close to the actual under eye, the product will make its way there naturally. Focus on the area around your orbital bone for the best result.

Which ones should I buy?

Budget: Try either Green People (under £10), or Wrinkle Stop from Aldi's own brand Lacura (under £5). Both offer good hydration, and Wrinkle Stop even offers proven anti-ageing results.

Mid-price: Dr Renaud Apple anti-tiredness eye care (£25) - this is a lighter, gel textured product that helps give a refreshed look to your under eyes. Great for the mornings when you haven't had enough sleep!

More expensive: Neo Stem Eye Contour Care (£39) - hailing from France, this cream contains anti-ageing ingredients to help with fine lines.

Do you use an eye cream?


The face mask awards

I love a face mask. They're an effective way to tackle skin issues and also pamper yourself at the same time. These all take top spot in my eyes for the different concerns they aim to treat.

Best hydrating mask: Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Cream Mask*

This mask is great for dry or dehydrated skin, giving an intensive moisture boost. You can leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash off, or as I prefer to do, leave on overnight for a deeper effect. You'll wake up with baby soft, plump skin. £32.50 100ml

Best exfoliation: REN Glycolactic mask

There's a reason this mask has a cult following. It gets rid of dead skin cells effectively using natural fruit acids, leaving you with a fresh-faced complexion and with no need for face scrubs. It's sticky, smells like oranges and can be used 1-2 times per week. Expect a slight tingle when using it. I have reasonably sensitive skin and I'm fine with this, but do a patch test first. £30 50ml

Best clarifying mask: Amie Spring Clean Clay Mask*

Who doesn't love a good clay mask (I love them, especially for making funny faces in the mirror when they start to dry out)! Amie's offering is great for oilier skin, or just for skin in need of a bit of decongesting. I like to use it once a week for a deep clean, and often follow up with the Jurlique Rose Moisturing Cream Mask. It's budget friendly at just £4.99 a tube, but can also be bought in sachets if you fancy trying first.

Best for variety: Apivita 

With over 10 types of masks for all skin concerns Apivita have something for everyone they also come in handy sachet sizes as well as full size tubes so you can try out the range without spending a fortune. My favourites are the Aloe Mask*, which hydrates and soothes and the Honey Mask for nourishment. £3 for 2 x 8ml sachets

What would you give a face mask award to?

*PR sample


Mascaras I wish I hadn't bought

I have wasted a LOT of money on mascaras that haven't done what I wanted them to do. If it were possible to return them, I would have. So I've decided it's time to share these with you. I'll explain why I don't like them - who knows, this might make it your perfect one!

For reference, my lashes are totally blonde, so the first coat just colours them in. I always do 2 coats (or more), expect a bit of length and lots of volume without crispy lashes or '4 lash syndrome'.

Selection of mascaras

Chanel Le Volume de Chanel - I got a sample of this through a Stylist magazine offer. I'm glad I did as if I'd paid full price for it, I would be really sad. Another wet formula that goes a bit clumpy, and no big lashes, which is what I was expecting. Save your money - you can get a similar (or better) one a lot cheaper.

Benefit They're Real - this stuff is the hardest mascara I've ever tried to remove. I have specific eye makeup removers as I wear a lot of eye makeup and even they didn't shift it. It gives very good length, but maybe I apply it wrong, as I find that if you need more than 1 coat, you end up with clumpy, crispy lashes. Not cool.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam - Being a 60s lover, I got sucked in to buying this while killing some time waiting for a train at St Pancras. I'm just underwhelmed. Rimmel claim it will add volume to lashes without clumps, giving a 'fanned out' look to your lashes. I applied two coats to each eye, and definitely got some volume, but as for no clumps, I would have to disagree! The formula is quite wet, and gives me 4 lash syndrome. Boo!

17 Dolled Up - this gave nice definition to lashes, but that was about it. I liked the curved brush design, but the overall result was just a bit 'meh'. The curl effect that the brush is designed to give also didn't last very long and I noticed that my lashes started to droop throughout the day.

Max Factor False Lash Mascara - Now, when something says it promises false looking lashes, I do have quite high expectations. I quite like certain Max Factor mascaras, but this one was a big fat disappointment. The brush head is massive, and quite hard to apply the mascara without ending up with lots on your eyelid. I found building coats without it going clumpy pretty tricky too. At best, I looked like I had normal lashes. Definitely no false looking ones here!

I'm sure there are many, many more that have disappointed me over the years (I just can't remember them all!). I'll be doing a post soon on mascaras I love to help balance all this negativity, and you'll probably see some of the same brands crop up, just different types!

Do you love some of these mascaras? Am I applying them wrong?



Neo Stem skincare review

Neo Stem are a French skincare brand that have recently launched into Marks and Spencer beauty halls across the UK. Their serum is the number one selling serum in French pharmacies - a pretty good pedigree!

Proven to reduce the signs of ageing, they currently have a small range, focused on two types of serum and an eye cream.

The range was developed by a team of scientists who had been involved in research to help stop progeria; a condition which causes premature ageing in children, who often look like they are 80 when in fact they may only be 8. 

The ageing process in Progeria is caused by a toxic protein called Progerin, and the scientists found that a combination of two active ingredients helped to reduce the Progerin toxicity levels, slowing the ageing process. They have combined these in a lower percentage for the development of the Neo Stem range, and have had proven anti-ageing results.

The products use the active ingredients Omega Statine and Z-Dronate. These work together to stimulate collagen synthesis and also slow down the production of progerin, meaning that the ageing process becomes less obvious.

I've been testing out two new products: Eye Contour Care* eye cream and a new version of their serum* which is designed for drier skin types.

The eye cream has a very light texture and is absorbed quickly around the eye area.  You only need a very small amount, and apply by tapping gently around the eye socket using your ring finger. I find the eye cream very hydrating and have been using it morning and night for the past few weeks. My eye area looks very smooth and plump.

The serum that I've been testing is designed for dry skin (there is also another type for normal- combination). It feels very rich and is designed to be used only at night. I apply between two to three pumps across the entire face and neck area and this is plenty for me. As my skin is more combination during the summer, I think it's a little too rich for my skin type, and I haven't needed to apply a moisturiser over the top of it. It does leave my skin feeling very soft and hydrated, but I think I would be better suited to the original version.

Prices are reasonably high: the Eye Contour Care is £39 for 20ml and the Serums are £59 each. Both the eye cream and dry skin serum will be released in September, but for now, you can find the original serum in M&S beauty.

Do you like the sound of Neo Stem? 

*PR samples

Festival fashion through the decades

If I had to pick my favourite fashion/beauty decade of the past century, it would be the 1960's. I'm a vintage girl at heart and would love to go back in time for a little stomp around Woodstock. Every time I get the chance to get my hair put up, I practically scream 'beehive me' to the hairdresser (slightly embarrassing), so I can just imagine myself there.

Festival season is still in high swing and the people over at New Look have put together a cool infographic showing some festival fashions throughout the decades. The 60s/70s looks are my favourite, but if you could pick one era, which one would you choose?

Festival Fashion Timeline by New Look

*Sponsored post


DHC Q10 Moisture Care liquid foundation

DHC are a Japanese brand that launched in the UK earlier this year. Their liquid liner is my favourite EVER, so when I heard they were launching a new foundation, I knew I had to check it out.

The Q10 Moisture Care Liquid Foundation* offers a medium to full coverage, whilst keeping your skin moisturised. It contains coenzyme Q10 - an ingredient that helps fight free radicals in the skin, offering an anti-ageing effect.

DHC Q10 foundation
DHC Q10 foundation swatch
Swatched straight from the pump

DHC Q10 foundation swatch on face
Blended out on face
The bottle is nice and light and comes with a handy pump dispenser. The formula applies evenly and leaves skin with a slightly dewy finish, despite having quite a high coverage level. I think the coverage was a little too heavy for me who usually goes for something light-medium, but it perfect for anyone that likes something fuller.

At the moment there are 4 shades available. The swatches you can see are the lightest shade: 00. As the brand is from Asia, the pigmentation does lean towards more yellow tones and when I swatched it on my wrist I was a little concerned it wouldn't be a good match for me. On my face it looked much better, and in fact helped to disguise some of the redness in my cheeks. Wear time is good and it lasted me about 8 hours without a primer, so not bad for a liquid foundation.

While the foundation isn't quite right for me, I think it will be excellent for anyone with slightly darker skin and that likes a heavier coverage. The liquid eyeliner still holds the number 1 spot in my heart from this brand!

You can buy DHC via their website, and 40g will set you back £25.

Do you like the sound of this foundation?

 *PR sample


Oriflame Illuminating Pearls review

Oriflame are a brand I wasn't familiar with until discovering them at a recent blogger meet up. They hail from Sweden and are another catalogue brand, although you can also buy them online.

Oriflame illuminating pearls

Oriflame illuminating pearls

Oriflame illuminating pearls

They have a massive selection of make up, but what immediately caught my eye were their Illuminating Pearls*. These little pearls of joy look like a dupe for the iconic Guerlain pearls that I've lusted after for years, but without the hefty price tag.

The Oriflame Illuminating Pearls have a mix of pressed powder pearls that together give a very gentle brightening effect to skin. To use, simply swirl a blusher size brush gently across the pearls, tap your brush to remove the excess and then swirl over cheekbones, forehead or even your collarbone.

I love these - they don't look too glittery, although they do have a bit of shimmer, and I think will suit most skin tones.

The price is another plus point. Instead of the £32 that the Guerlain version will set you back, this fantastic dupe is £12.95. Not bad for glowing skin! They will also last for ages, as you only need a tiny bit each time you use them.

One thing I would recommend is to leave them at home. The pearls are quite delicate and could easily get smashed if you let them rattle around inside your bag, so I think they are better left as part of your 'home' makeup kit.

You can find the Illuminating Pearls and the rest of the Oriflame range on their website.

What do you think of this dupe?

*PR sample


Atelier Cologne Collection Metal

Atelier Cologne are a luxury French perfume house, that have created a new type of fragrance: Cologne Absolute. The brainchild of a couple who have worked for some of the largest fragrance houses around, they create their fragrances using high quality, natural oils, inspired by nature. 

Atelier Cologne Gold Leather

Atelier Cologne Gold Leather

Traditionally colognes have a strong citrus base to them, and don't contain high levels of perfume essence. This means they are often very fresh scented, but don't last long on the skin.

Atelier Cologne's Cologne Absolute uses a similar citrus base to their fragrances, but use up to 18% of the perfume essence, making them the same kind of percentage, and lasting time, as an Eau de Parfum. 

They have recently launched a new range of fragrances: the Collection Metal*. Consisting of two frgrances, the collection is held in bottles that are covered in genuine silver and gold, bringing a whole new meaning to luxury perfume! 

Silver Iris is the more traditionally feminine of the two scents (although they are designed to be unisex). It has top notes of tangerine, pink pepper and blackcurrant, mixed with violet leaves, iris, mimosa, white amber and more. It smells very fresh, but with a floral undertone to it.

Gold Leather is a really unusual fragrance. It initially smells a little like congac, and wears down to a slightly spicy, more masculine scent. It features bitter orange, Jamaican rum, plum, eucalyptus, cedarwood, leather and more. I've worn this scent and so has my male tester and it seems to work well on both sexes. 

Prices for the range are between the £100 to £200 mark. Before you faint, let me tell you what you get for your money! £200 buys you a 200ml bottle of fragrance, plus a 30ml travel bottle and a leather pouch that can be customised by colour, or have initials added. It does seem very expensive, but when you think that a 50ml bottle of Chanel No5 will set you back over £65, it doesn't seem such bad value! I think they make beautiful gifts, and also have candles and soaps to complement the perfume selection. 

Atelier Cologne can be found in Liberty London and Selfridges. As well as the Collection Metal, they also have a fantastic line of other fragrances which are definitely worth a sniff. 

Do you like the sound of Atelier Cologne? 

*PR sample



Illamasqua Sacred Hour Collection review

A new launch from makeup brand Illamasqua is always something to get excited over. The brand are highly creative, coming up with high quality, products loved by makeup artists and beauty enthusiasts alike.

The new Sacred Hour collection is a world away from the bright colours of their previous Paranormal collection. It focuses on reflection and empowerment, based on the sacred hours of daybreak and sunset.

The collection consists of a four eye shadow palette, two new velvet blushers, a lipstick and two nail polish shades, as well as some lush false lashes and the new skin base lift concealers.

All of the shades are super wearable and there was an audible ooooooh when the palette was revealed to bloggers earlier this week!

Illamasqua sacred hour collection

Illamasqua sacred hour Reflection palette
Reflection palette
Illamasqua sacred hour Reflection palette swatches
Reflection palette - Precipice, Acute, Dart, Graphite
Illamasqua sacred hour nail polishes
Hemlock and Facet nail polishes
Illamasqua sacred hour velvet blushers
Velvet blushers - Sleek and Peaked
Illamasqua sacred hour shard lipstick
Shard lipstick
Illamasqua sacred hour shard lipstick and velvet blusher swatch
Shard lipstick and Peaked velvet blush swatches
Illamasqua sacred hour skin base lift
Skin Base Lift

Reflection palette:

Featuring 4 long wearing, creamy eye shadows Reflection is the stand out piece to me. The tones are very earthy, and can be worn quite sheer or built up for a more dramatic look. It features Precipice - soft lemon, Acute - Ash Taupe, Graphica - graphite grey and Dart - toasted bronze. £34

Velvet Blushers:
This is a new type of blusher from Illamasqua. Velvet blushers are cream to powder and are designed to last longer on oilier skin than their standard cream blush range. There are currently two shades to choose from: Sleek - dusky coral and Peaked - dusky rose. The formula is highly pigmented and a little goes a long way. They blend out superbly, and can be applied with fingers or a brush. £18 each.

Shard lipstick:
Shard looks a little scary in the tube - it's berry hue is bold, and has a creamy matte finish. Somehow this shade seems to suit everyone that I've seen it on, no matter what your colouring, and I think this is the perfect autumnal lipstick. £16.50

Nail polishes:
Illamasqua have created two new shades for the Sacred Hour collection: Hemlock - a pale opal green and Facet - grey crystal. Hemlock is very sheer and can be built up to opaque with lots of layers, or worn as a topcoat over other polishes. Facet looks stunning - a grey shade shot through with tiny gold pigements and is my favourite of the two. £14.50

Lush Lash:
These new false eye lashes are super full, but have been slightly feathered at the ends to help them look more natural. Wear with a slick of black liner for a 60's inspired look. £14.50

Skin Base Lift:
A new addition to the Skin Base line, Skin Base Lift is a creamy concealer designed to brighten, illuminate and conceal. Currently available in 7 shades, they start at white and go through to 'deep 2'. I'm shade light 1 - the lightest shade up from pure white. £16

The collection is currently available exclusively to Selfridges until 19th August when it will roll out to Illamasqua counters across the country. I predict the Reflection palette to be a sell out! Will you be buying anything from this collection?


The one and only tag

I was recently tagged by Angelica from One Little Vice to take part in her fab 'the one and only' tag. It really gets to those key products you couldn't live without, but let me tell you, choosing just one for each category is hard!!

 The Question: If you could only have one ______ what would it be? And, in a few words, why?

Primer - *hangs head in shame* I very rarely ever use a primer. I know that's committing some sort of beauty blogger crime, but I just don't use them! At a push, I would probably pick Smashbox.

Base Product - Bare Minerals original foundation. This has been my faithful companion for about a year now and I can't see myself ever getting bored. It gives me the perfect light coverage I like, leaving skin looking flawless.

Concealer - Collection Illuminating Concealer. A budget dupe for YSL's famed Touche Éclat, I think I actually prefer the Collection version. I use this pretty much daily to cover up any dark circles and wouldn't be without it!

Powder - My Face powder - I was given this by Laura (tagged below) in a recent swap that we did and it hasn't left my bag since. It's very light, but gets rid of any shiny bits, and the compact has it's own built in mirror so perfect for an on the go touch up.

Blush (cream or powder) - Topshop Prime Time cream blush. Prime Time is a scary pink colour in the pot, but a tiny bit goes a long way and blends out beautifully. I use this most days, despite having far too many blushers.

Bronzer - Yet another product I fail to use. If anyone has recommendations for bronzers that won't make me look like my face fell in a mudslide, please let me know!

Highlighter - Illamasqua Gleam - I bought this in the 50% off sale Illamasqua recently had and haven't stopped using it since! Love the creamy texture and natural glow it gives.

Make-Up Brush (single) - Real Techniques Buffing brush. I use this every day with my Bare Minerals foundation. It's soft, reliable and washes up well.

Eyebrow Product - I am terrible for forgetting about filling in my brows. My most used brow product is probably my Tweezerman tweezers. I couldn't get by without them!

Eye shadow (single) - YDK by Urban Decay. I'm cheating a little as this is part of my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, but it's the shade I've hit pan on and will be going to buy a single as a replacement! The quality is amazing and just doesn't budge. Pricey, but worth it in my opinion.

Eyeliner - DHC liquid liner. By far the best felt pen liner EVER. It stays on for hours, doesn't smudge, flake or fade, even in the recent 30 degree heat.

Mascara - YSL False Lash Effect. I've tried hundreds of mascaras over the years and have finally settled on this one. It gives a big lash effect, without clumping and is always reliable.

Lipstick, Lip Gloss or Lip Stain - MAC Pink Pigeon. This is my all time favourite lipstick. The colour is hot pink, lasts for hours and doesn't make me look like a ghost. Bonus. I just wish it wasn't limited edition!

Lip Liner - I think this would have to be one of the new Urban Decay lip liners. Probably in the shade Anarchy, as this is a really good match for MAC's Pink Pigeon.

Lip Balm - EOS lip balm spheres. These are fantastic, natural lip balms hailing from the US. I love the lemon and mint flavours.

Nail Polish - I know I'm not meant to say this, but I can't just pick one. I'm a nail polish junkie and have hundreds, and picking one completely depends on my mood. My current favourite thing is my Rio Nail Art kit. It has everything in it you could ever want to do nail art with and is currently getting a lot of use!

Phew! That was not an easy post to write! Picking just one thing is tricky, but I hoped you enjoyed reading it.

I've tagged a few people to carry on the tag, but if you do it too, please share your post with me, I'd love to read it!

Laura - Laura Louise Beauty
Alice - Bright Town Girl
Sasha - Ramblings of a Beauty Bird
Rachel - Beauty Queen UK
Joanna - Mademoiselle Lala
Julie - Raining Cake


Summer heat wave saviours

I don't know about you, but whilst I love summer, the past couple of weeks working in central London in a heatwave was not pleasant! I've kept a small army of products with me to help me get through the worst of the heat.

Susan Posnick Brush on Block* - this is a really innovative facial SPF. Instead of the usual sprays and lotions, Brush on Block is a mineral powder with an SPF 30 that you can apply over your makeup. There's no more worrying about being caught out in the sun - I took mine to a recent outdoor gig and despite being in the sun all afternoon, still came back as pale as I went.  £23.

Aromatherapy Associates Rose Facial Mist* - perfect for a quick makeup refresh or for cooling you down in the heat, I've kept this in my handbag for emergencies. It's a very refreshing mist made of mostly rosewater, and the handy size makes it really portable. It does have quite a strong rose scent though, so not good if you don't like roses! £20 50ml

Percy and Reed dry shampoo - fringes and the heat aren't a great combination. A trip on the tube usually means it ends up stuck to my forehead (classy), so this mini can has been coming everywhere with me for a quick fringe refresh! It doesn't seem to leave any grey residue that dry shampoos are known for, and even this tiny can has lasted a good few weeks.

IOMA Soothing Gel for Legs* - this lightweight gel is perfect for hot and bothered legs. The menthol in it helps to cool them down, and the gel also is good for reducing water retention in legs. It's currently exclusive to Harrods in the UK and is a little pricey, but very effective. £55 150ml

Popbands* - I was recently given a packet of Popbands at a press day and am now a total convert! These stretchy hair bands don't leave a dent in your hair, so you can wear one all day, shake your hair down in the evening and not have that awful hair band line in your hair. They come in all kinds of colours and a 5 pack costs £6.

What's been helping you through the hot weather?

*PR sample


Clean eating update - the day I had a cake revelation

For the past week, I've been eating a pretty good diet. I posted last week about wanting to give up the rubbish and focus on good, natural foods and with the help of my online trainer Charis (more on him later), I've been bobbing along nicely.

Until today. Today I hit the cake wall. My mind was literally consumed by cake. I had some nuts. Still thought about cake. My Tweets turned into a cake brain filled epic of dullness. In the end, after lunch, I made the trip to a local bakery, bought a brownie and enjoyed every last second of it. Did I want another one? Nope. I could barely get through the first one, and didn't even cry when I accidentally dropped a bit on the floor. It was enough. 

Charis also helped me by emailing me and reminding me that having a brownie once a week is fine. After several days of eating well, one brownie isn't going to ruin everything, and that in fact, can help me get over the cake fixation and move on.

About Charis

I enlisted the help of Charis after my clean eating post last week. He helps people achieve their goals through diet and exercise, but works remotely, mostly via email or video, providing dietary advice and fitness regimes. 

He's been amazing at steering me in the right direction of what to eat, and to get me back on the workout train. I did my first one Sunday afternoon and nearly cried at how unfit I've become, but hey, at least I'm making a start. I can email him any questions I have, and he always comes back with a completely supportive, common sense answer. 

You'll be hearing more about Charis and my healthy eating journey over the next 8 weeks, but in the meantime. if you like the idea of a remote personal trainer, check out his website or the blog he runs with girlfriend Laura

Deborah Milano Shine Creator lipstick review

Deborah Milano are Italy's number 1 makeup company, and have recently launched in the UK. They have a great range of makeup to choose from, including everything from BB creams to nail polish and a wide range of lipsticks. I've been testing out shade 10* in their Shine Creator lipstick collection.

Deborah Milano Shine Creator Lipstick shade 10

Deborah Milano Shine Creator Lipstick shade 10 swatch

The Shine Creator lipsticks are designed to be hydrating, with a glossy, almost lip gloss-like finish. The formula contains pomegrante oil, as well as vitamins A and E to help soothe, moisturise and protect the lips, as well as SPF 15.

Shade 10 is a bold looking coral pink shade in the tube, but once applied actually has quite a sheer finish. The colour is pretty buildable, but I quite like it as a daytime lipstick, leaving it as a sheer wash of colour.

There are 16 shades to choose from in the Shine Creator lipsticks and I think these would be great for when you want something more than a balm, but not a full on statement lip. The shiny finish does mean that staying power isn't wonderful, but I managed about 2 hours (including a drink) before I need a top up. 

I really like this lipstick and I'm quite tempted to order shade 9, which is described as 'Sheer Fuschia'. I have a bit of a think for hot pink lips, so this one is virtually begging to be bought! 

The range costs £8.50 each and can be bought online from Deborah Milano

Have you tried anything from Deborah Milano before? 

*PR sample



Mary Kay at Play makeup launch

Mary Kay are a brand well known in the US, but not quite as familiar in the UK. A catalogue based brand, they remind me a little of Avon, and have just released their new line: Mary Kay at Play.

Designed for a younger audience than their traditional collections, Mary Kay at Play is aimed at 16-25 year olds and offers an impressive range of on trend colour cosmetics. 

The range focuses on lips and eyes and has four main products: eye crayons, lip crayons, baked eye trios and jelly lip glosses. For the launch, there are 4 shades of each, totalling 16 pieces.

Mary Kay lip crayons and jelly lip glosses

Mary Kay lip crayons and jelly lip gloss swatches
Top: Lip Crayon swatches, bottom Jelly Lip Gloss swatches
Mary Kay eye crayons and eyeshadow trios
Mary Kay eye crayon swatches
Eye crayon swatches
Mary Kay eye trio swatches
Ocean view eye trio swatches
Mary Kay eye trio swatches
Tuxedo eye trio swatches

Lip Crayons* - these are very glossy, but well pigmented, and feel very moisturising on the lips. I've tried out Toasted, which is a neutral shade, and Perfect Pink, a soft pink shade, both of which can be worn quite sheer, or built up for a deeper colour. £7.50 each.

Jelly Lip Glosses* - Despite looking pretty bright in the tubes, the Jelly Lip Glosses do apply quite sheerly. They can be used alone, or layered over the top of one of the Lip Crayons for a high shine finish. They are quite sticky, and not my favourite items from the collection, but there is a nice range of shades. £7 each.

Baked Eye Trios* - these are my favourite items from the collection. The shadows are highly pigmented, blend easily and each shade is highly wearable. I've swatched Ocean View (the blues) and Tuxedo (grey), but there's also On The Horizon (plums) and Earth Bound (earthy tones) to choose from. £8 each.

Eye Crayons* - creamy, and easy to apply, I think the eye crayons will be very popular. The shade range is lovely and has a gold, navy, plum and green, all of which would work well together. They do come out quite sheer, but are easy to build and lasting power is pretty average. £7.50 each.

The whole Mary Kay at Play range can be found online on the Mary Kay website. Will you be ordering anything? 

*PR samples

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