Monday, June 30, 2014

The Health Series: Savse Smoothies

I try to drink smoothies as often as I can, as I think they are a great way or cramming extra fruit and vegetables into my diet - especially on day when perhaps I'm a bit too busy to ensure that I get enough portions from my meals. Pre-bottled drinks are just so easy to sling in my bag as I rush out the door to work, and I'll often have one at my desk, but recently I found myself frustrated at the lack of options in my local supermarkets. There are plenty of fruity options, but when you really look, those containing vegetables are few and far between - something which surprises me, considering the popularity of green juices and smoothies in recent years. So, it was a case of making them myself, which although better in the health department is extremely time-consuming, not to mention messy.

I was delighted when Savse got in touch to tell me all about their range of bottled, fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, and couldn't wait to give them a go. I was sent five delicious flavours to try ( I naughtily managed to drink my favourite one before i was able to photograph it!):

1. Super Green* (broccoli, pear, spinach & kale with kiwi, lemon & banana)
2. Super Antioxidants* ( blueberry, kale,  beetroot, spinach, blackberry & apple)
3. Antioxidant* (beetroot, apple, avocado, lime with mango & lemon)
4. Vitamin C* (strawberry, broccoli, celery, kale, orange & spinach)
5. Super Yellow* (mango, carrot, passion fruit, pineapple & Yoghurt)

The smoothies are cold-pressed, which means no heat is applied as in common preparation methods. This means that the majority of vitamins and minerals are preserved, meaning greater health benefits and more value for money.

I loved Super Green the best - not only did it taste incredible, but there is something about green drinks that makes me feel really positive throughout the day. It makes me happy knowing that I'm getting an extra hit of vitamins and minerals, and you can never have too many green vegetables in your diet. For those of you who aren't keen on veggie juices, worry not - the fruit content means it tastes delicious and is sweet enough to mask any savoury flavours - although personally, I enjoy them either way.

The Super Antioxidant and Antioxidant juices were a close second. I am a huge fan of juices based around beetroot, and the addition of ingredients such as blueberries, avocado (my favourite!), spinach, kale and apple makes for a really enjoyable combination. Again, these are pleasantly sweet - but not overly so, as some smoothies and juices can be at times.

I thoroughly enjoyed sampling all of the juices, and will be looking for ways to stock up - as yet, they aren't available in my area, but check out the Savse website to find out if they are near you.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Daily Face

Well, it's been a while since I've done a 'Daily Face' post, and I thought it was about time I brought you bang up to date on which products have been making it into my daily routine of late. It's likely that they are quite different from the items I was using the last time I did a round-up, but I'm sure you will have seen a few of these pop up in The Weekly Selection weekly favourites posts or reviews at some point over the past couple of months.

Starting with my base of choice, it's undoubtedly the Laura Mercier Silk Cream foundation. Mine is in Porcelain Ivory, a shade which is sadly that little bit too pale for me at the moment, but I've been mixing it with a little bit of my Rimmel Wake Me Up in a darker shade for the perfect combination. Silk Cream is just fantastic, transforming the skin so that it glows with a natural radiance. I apply it over a base of the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in 'Luminizing' for the perfect pairing, and it's safe to say that dull skin has become a thing of the past.

Brow-wise. the latest addition to my collection of products is the fabulous Benefit Gimme Brow. This is essentially a tinted brow gel, which is combed through to shape and fill, all in one go. I love this concept, as it saves on having to use too many different products to achieve the same effect. That said, I do still follow up with my MUA Pro Brow Kit, as I find I need to fill in the straggly ends a bit more. Obviously where the hairs are lacking, you can't really add much with Gimme Brow - and if you try, be prepared to get it smudged and smeared on your skin!

The L'oreal Superliner Blackbuster makes lining the eyes so much easier. It's a chunky felt tip type pen as opposed to a flimsy brush. My only gripe with this is that it isn't quite black enough and tends to fade a little too quickly for my liking. Until I find a suitable replacement, however, this is going to be staying in my makeup bag for convenience as much as anything else. It's a shame I am yet to perfect the winged liner look!
O'll generally apply this after a basic  nude or taupe eyeshadow, but I'm chopping and changing so much at the moment that I didn't have a particular one to share.

I finish off my eye makeup with Benefit They're Real mascara. I love this mascara, as it's so incredibly lengthening and gives my lashes oodles of volume.

A slick of Hourglass Rouge Opaque Liquid Lipstick in Riviera is what it's all about lip-wise at the moment. It's such a vibrant shade of orange, and just the sort of shade I go for at this time of year. It has excellent staying power, too, which is excellent if you're lazy at reapplying, like I am!

I finish my look with a light dusting of By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder to blur any imperfections and perfect my look. This stuff doesn't come cheap, so I don't necessarily use it every day - but I do reach for it on a fairly regular basis. You need to be sure to buff it into the skin to avoid it leaving a white caste on the skin, but if I ever get compliments on my skin, it's when I've been using this.

Do you have any every-day makeup essentials?


Friday, June 27, 2014

Makeup Essentials for Glowing Summer Skin

Some products are notoriously difficult to photograph, aren't they!? Kevyn Aucoin's offerings definitely take the biscuit on that score - reflective casing and cameras do not mix!

That aside...

Glowing skin is an absolute must for me in summer, and I am forever hunting down the best beauty products to help me achieve that. Just the right shade of bronzer to give me that sun-kissed look without going overboard, the perfect peach or coral blush, a subtle highlighter that won't make me look like a glitterball in the sun, and something to sculpt my cheeks for that chiselled effect.

This summer, it seems I have found all four.

This particular Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo consists of two of his most iconic products - the Sculpting Powder and The Celestial Powder in Candlelight - but in cream formula. When I first ordered this compact, I wasn't sure what to expect, and it's fair to say that the size when it arrived on my doorstep was initially a little bit disappointing - but then again, for the price, and compared to the full-size items, it certainly isn't bad. Thankfully, the products themselves are entirely redeeming. The sculpting powder is just perfect for the purpose, a taupe shade without too many red or orange tones and leaning ever so slightly grey. I dot onto the hollows of my cheeks and then blend using my Real Techniques Stippling Brush for perfectly sculpted cheekbones, and I have to say, although subtle, it somehow makes all the difference, creating that perfectly natural shadow. I tend to keep it for special occasions and evenings out, as while I'd like to use it daily, I like to keep something back, a secret weapon for when I really need it. Plus I'm scared I'll run out!

For a healthy, golden glow all over, I dust some Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Bronzing Veil lightly over my cheekbones, down my nose and across my forehead and chin. Again, it is subtle, but adds so much warmth to my face. I no longer look pale, but nor do I look 'overdone' -  it appears completely natural on the skin, and would suit the majority of tones. I wear Tropical Days, but you can always go for Tropical Nights if you are that bit darker.

As I mentioned before, it's a good blush that I feel makes any look, particularly at this time of year, and for me, Benefit Rockateur* (now available from QVC as well as all the usual haunts) more than ticks all the right boxes. It's a rose gold powder, reminiscent of Nars Orgasm and Sleek Rose Gold, but in my eyes it manages to top both. A light dusting on the apples of the cheeks provides a sheer but buildable wash of colour, once again incredibly natural-looking but with added sheen. Rockateur blends fantastically and has great staying power - not much more I could ask for in a cheek product.

To finish, I sway between Kevyn Aucoin's Candlelight cream and  the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 01. I find that the perfect combination is a dusting of  the Baked Powder across the tops of my cheekbones, and a smidgen of the Candlelight cream blended down the centre of my nose, beneath the eyebrows and just on top of the cupid's bow.

Between the four of them, they've got all my summer skin makeup needs covered, and I can see myself reaching for them time and again across the coming months (fingers crossed the sunshine lasts!).

Which products do you rely on to give you that summer glow?


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Giveaway: Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Candle

Just a quick reminder for you today that my Jo Malone candle giveaway is still running. I've got a full-size candle up for grabs in the gorgeously fresh, summery scent of Lime Basil & Mandarin, and with thee being worth £40 to buy, it's a great chance to get your hands on one without breaking the bank.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Health Series: Fruitbroo Juicy Iced Teas

Fruitbroo Iced Teas in Lime & Elderflower and Peach, Pear & Honey

I am a huge fan of teas. Green tea, peppermint tea, detox tea, and of course, good old English tea - you name it, I'm probably drinking it. But during summer, hot drinks just aren't my, well, cup of tea - and I often find myself yearning for something altogether more refreshing. Cold drinks are what it's all about when the office is hot and stuffy, so I was more than happy when these two new varieties of 
Fruitbroo Iced Teaarrived on my doorstep.

100% natural, with no caffeine, gluten or dairy, the Fruitbroo teas come as a sort of cordial. Mix two teaspoons with a glass of water, and away you go. I had the chance to try out Elderflower & Lime flavour, as well as Peach, Pear & Honey, and I have to say, they are a really tasty alternative to water, without the calories of your standard soft drink. At just 15 calories per cup, they are great if you're like me and prefer not to drink your calories.

Bith flavours are delicious and really refreshing, although personally I tend to mix even less than advised with my water in order to make it less sweet. I was one of those kids who had really weak orange squash, as I found it far more thirst-quenching, and sure enough, the same applies to these.

Fruitbroo also has a range of hot teas available, some of which I must admit sound absolutely delicious. Liquid 'Skinny' Rhubarb Crumble and Warm Apple Pie sound amazing. 

If refreshing, fruity drinks are your thing then I'd definitely give the iced teas a go - they are great for summer barbecues when you find yourself the unfortunate designated driver!

What are your favourite cool drinks in the summer?


Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Giveaway: Win a Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Scented Candle

Hi everyone!  No one likes a Monday, especially when it means going to work on a blazing hot summer's day when you could be on the beach, so today seems like as good a day as any to share a little summer giveaway with you.

Up for grabs, and just because I feel like it, is a full-size Jo Malone scented candle in the fresh and summery fragrance, Lime Basil and Mandarin, worth £40. These don't come cheap, so if you've been looking to get your hands on one for a while but just couldn't justify the price-tag, then now is your chance!

Just pop your details into the Rafflecopter form below and keep your fingers crossed. The giveaway will run until the end of the month, and if you happen to be under 16 then  make sure you have permission from your parents to enter.

I think that's about it - best of luck to you all and have a great week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Summer Series: Review: Label M Texturising Volume Spray

I am constantly on the lookout for products which will help me achieve lasting volume and texture in my hair, and come the summer months, there is nothing I like more than milking the 'undone' look. Hair that is too styled in the warmer weather just doesn't last, as the heat tends to play havoc with any sprays, powders or mousses used, leaving me with a lacklustre and oily-looking mess. It's not oily, of course - the products just seem to melt, and styles flop. I really heavily on dry shampoo for a bit of a boost, never replacing actual hairwashes but using it to soak up any excess oil in between, but I often find it doesn't plump up my hair to the level I'd like, and it certainly doesn't provide much hold.

Enter, Label M Texturising Volume Spray*. This stuff is designed to inject volume and texture into the hair, providing an instant back-combed effect. It's a non-sticky, dry mist spray, boasting the texture of dry shampoo with the hold of a good hairspray.
Sprayed liberally into the roots of the hair and then (for want of a better expression) mussed up with hands to further boost volume, this gives my hair some nice lift. Backcomb it yourself for added and longer-lasting volume, and you've got even bigger hair. Sadly, my hair doesn't ever want to stay put, and often loses its volume before long. While this was still the case, the Label M Texturising Volume Spray certainly out-performs other sprays I've tried, and I have found that it works well in helping me achieve that toussled look on curled or wavy hair.
I'd be careful spraying it through the lengths of your hair, as it can make it difficult to brush through afterwards - if you're wanting to do this then make sure you've styled your hair as you want it beforehand.

In conclusion, I really like this spray, and have often found myself reaching for it to inject some life into second-day hair. Having experimented a fair bit, I don't tend to use much of it on freshly-washed hair - mainly for the sake of convenience, as it does tend to mean I have to wash my hair again the next day. I'm not a fan of the feeling you get when you brush out a hairstyle, as I find my hair does, at that point, begin to feel a bit sticky - not something related to this product in particular, but any and all.

Saying that, I do tend to spray in a minimal amount into just-washed hair on occasion, as I do find that this is when my hair is at its flattest. When it's soft, shiny and slippery it is reluctant to hold a style, so a quick and sparing spritz can definitely help with this. I save going wild for day number two, which is usually when you'll catch me with the biggest bed-head!

I'll definitely be repurchasing as this is a great multi-tasker and a good secret weapon to keep on hand for those lacklustre hair days.

Do you have any favourite sprays or powders for adding interest to boring hair styles?
What do you use to gain that bit of added volume or texture?


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil

Facial oils are a key player when it comes to soft, bright and radiant skin, and  I've become accustomed to using them in my evening skincare routine in place of a night cream or other moisturiser. The latest addition to my routine is the Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil*, the first product I've managed to get my hands on from the much-coveted brand, which has only recently become available in the UK via QVC.

Maracuja - or passion fruit - is packed with vitamin C and essential fatty acids, which are vital for healthy skin cells and something which the body cannot produce on its own. Without them, skin can appear dry and age prematurely, so it's really no laughing matter.

Known as "The Pure Miracle", this rare Amazonian fruit is delicately and sustainably harvested, piece by piece. The nutrient-rich, seeded pulp is extracted from each individual fruit, then hand-pressed without heat, in order to preserve the nutritious vitamins and essential fatty acids, ensuring that the maximum possible make it into the end product.

The Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil* is exactly as it says on the tin - 100% pure, with no parabens, sulphates or other chemical nasties to contend with. A potent anti-ageing elixir, this little gem will infuse life back into your skin, however sorry a state it is in.

The oil comes with a user-friendly glass dropper, eliminating any worries about unnecessarily wasting product. A couple of drops on the finger tips will suffice - I usually press the oil into my skin with my fingertips, massaging in any residue.

The oil aims to infuse thirsty and dehydrated skin with a shot of much-needed moisture,  delivering harmony and resulting in firmer, smoother and brighter looking skin. The essential fatty acids recharge and replenish, rejuvenating skin and resulting in a more even-toned appearance.

My skin certainly does feel soft and hydrated the morning after use, and I'm more than satisfied with the radiant glow that comes with it. Unfortunately for me, despite oils being of great benefit to all skin types, I have always found that no matter what kind of oil I'm using, I always come out in a spot or two after a few days' use, and this is no exception. 

I haven't let it put me off, however. 

The answer? I reserve it for bi-weekly use. Applied this way, my skin seems to reap the benefits, and is bright, plump and smooth.

If you're a fan of facial oils, then this one is a must-try. It's definitely up there with the best of them, and has to be my favourite oil to date. 

If you've yet to take the plunge, then I urge you to do so. Don't shy away if your skin is already bordering on oil-slick territory, as the right oils can have a balancing effect. Often, those with oily skin will reach for gels and foaming products, but actually, these can have a detrimental effect, stripping your skin of every last bit of moisture. The result? Over-compensation - or, in other words, over-production of sebum. Nourish and hydrate your skin with the right oils, and this will no longer be such an issue.

Do you use facial oils? What is your favourite?

If not, why not?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Scents: Yankee Candle Fruit-a-licious Collection

I'm a sucker for a scented candle, especially throughout the winter months, but often, when it comes to the warmer I forget all about them, what with spending less and less time indoors, and more and more out in the sunshine.
This time around, however, I've found myself pining for some deliciously summery scents to fragrance my house with - fruity or floral offerings to target the senses and lift the spirits.

Of course, Yankee Candle rarely fail to disappoint on any score, so I was excited to try out these three little treats from the Yankee Candle Fruit-a-licious Collection. I was kindly sent Black Plum Blossom*, 
Orange Splash* and Sweet Apple* to put through their paces, and boy did they hit the spot. My favourite scent  is definitely Black Plum Blossom, but sadly, the one I received arrived without a wick! I must admit, it's quite the tease having it sitting there on my mantlepiece and not being able to light it.
Orange Splash and Sweet Apple are both as deliciously juicy as you might expect, and at times I almost feel as if I'm relaxing in an orchard rather than on the sofa.

What I really love about Yankees is the way that they give off a rich  aroma, without being too overpowering. Where some candles might be that bit too pungent and bring on a headache, or leave you feeling somewhat nauseous, these get it just right, every single time.

Priced at £7.99 each for an impressive 25-40 hours' burn time, the smaller jars are a great way to try out a selection of fragrances in one go, and if you're more of a floral fan then the new Beautiful Blooms collection sounds right up your street.

Do you have a favourite home fragrance for summer? Which candles are you currently burning?


Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Health Series: Beauty 'In Beauty Drink

With summer just around the corner, and having put off the usual new year gym and diet regime for as long as possible, over the past few weeks I have finally found the motivation. I've been eating better going to bootcamp, and doing gym classes, and while I've had more than my fair share of weak moments, I'm generally feeling all the better for it.
I'm the sort of person who naturally enjoys healthier options, so it's not something that is a problem for me, but over the winter, I seemed to have developed a bit too much of a soft spot for comforting foods, and along with them, a complete lack of willpower. I'll always choose brown rice or bread over white, and whenever I cook, my plate is guaranteed to be crammed with colourful vegetables. But that doesn't mean that I don't have a major weakness for chocolate, takeaways and the like. So, in order to facilitate my new healthier lifestyle (because let's face it, who was really that eager to go to the gym in the winter?), I've been surrounding myself with a plethora of foods and drinks that will help me along the way.

The first of these is Beauty 'In's Beauty Drink*, a new generation of natural and refreshing beverages which contain nutrients which enhance brain function, lessen the effects of cortisol stressors and increase serotonin production, inducing a feeling of wellbeing - and goodness knows, being the often-stressed type, these are all things I would happily accept into my life.

With various options containing  vitamins A, C, E, B2 and B6, the drinks come in a variety of flavours, and I was very kindly sent both the Acai, Grape and Hibiscus - which also contains skin-plumping hydrolised collagen - and Raspberry, Blueberry and Acai, with folic acid, calcium and collagen.
The drinks come in your standard plastic bottle with a handy pull-up cap, but if you look a little closer, there is a difference. All the vitamins and minerals the drink boasts are in fact contained in a separate section, so after removing the lid, you push down the dosing cap, releasing them into the water. Shake well, and your Beauty Drink is ready to go.

The drinks themselves taste very much like any normal fruit-flavoured still spring water, so are very pleasant to sip on. There are lots of other options to choose from, with eight in total, and as well as the drinks, Beauty In also offer Beauty Bars - organic cereal cubes with added vitamins, collagen and golden linseed - and Beauty Candy, which are sweets, again containing added health benefits.

The drinks are a welcome addition to my routine, and I like to keep one on my desk at work for a mid-afternoon boost. They aren't the sort of things you will drink and see a noticeable difference, but anything that promotes serotonin production and helps combat stress has got to be worth a pop in my book. I'm constantly trying to boost my daily water intake, and these are a great way to do so. Similarly, the Beauty Bars make a great healthy snack, and if over time they can benefit my health in other ways, as well as fortifying skin and nails and aiding hangover recovery, then I'm happy to indulge.

All products are scientifically proven to enhance the appearance of your skin, and are part of a new category of beauty and health products known as 'Alimetics' - a fusion of 'food', 'vitamins' and 'cosmetics'.
If you'd like to give the range a go, then check out Harvey Nicholls,Selfridges, Revital and and Amazon.

Have you tried any other health and beauty-enhancing foods or drinks?
If so then let me know in the comments and I will see if I can track them down.


Please leave a comment, I read every last word and love hearing your views! It really brightens up my day.

For all PR enquiries, please contact me at: