Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Power of 3 | Hawaiian Tropic Fragrance Mist

Hawaiian Tropic Fragrance Mist

Did you know I have triplet aunties? Rather great especially if I tell you one is married to a twin but as fabulous as this little bit of trivia about me is it does prove problematic because come Christmas or Birthdays everything seems to be done in threes. Of course they are well of the age when quarrels wouldn't occur if one got something the other wanted but still, sticking with something of a theme always helps.

Of course I love 3 for 2 offers but also giftsets also come in handy as often I can split the products between my aunts (or indeed any family and friends celebrating) and maximise the gift budget for them, such is the case with the Hawaiian Tropic Fragrance Miss Giftset* I received this week.

Whilst I know the leaves are turning brown and falling from the trees and if we were all playing drinking games every time someone mentioned how 'Autumnal' they were feeling or that they'd just picked up a Pumpkin Spiced Latte we'd all be needing a detox clinic but I'm still not quite ready thanks to my trip to Florida next month and as such loved receiving the 'scents of summer'.

I will admit I wouldn't necessarily head to the shops and think 'oh I need to buy a fragrance mist' or body spray as I have a healthy perfume collection and that ticks the box for me, but thanks to press samples I receive as a blogger (which this is) I do find I often have a body spray of some description lurking around which I reach for on weekends when lazing around in pyjamas or of an evening post bath when I climb into bed so maybe in the future it is something I would seek out.

The Hawaiian Tropic collection of fragrance mists are indeed all pleasant to use and then scents do provide, depending on your preference for the fragrances, a significant wear time with a smell that isn't too synthetic or heady.

Golden Paradise* is perhaps my favourite but I think it is very much due to the 'creamy coconut' scent that will instantly transport you to any Summer holiday you've had. Sunkissed Dreams* fggg feels like your more traditional perfume thanks to lotus flower and sheer musts and Summer Dreams* will be one favoured by those who love scents of passion flower and mango.

As I've said these aren't products I would typically reach for or indeed the type of scent I favour in a perfume spray or mist but they are quite enjoyable and I will definitely be ensuring I keep one for myself for those lazy days when I need to perk myself up.

Hawaiian Tropic FChristmas

Are you a fragrance mist user?

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Aldi Candles | A Jo Malone Dupe?

Aldi Jo Malone Candle Review

It's quite likely if our paths have crossed recently that you would have heard me wax lyrical about the joys of Aldi and indeed noticed a smattering of Aldi products starting to appear on these pages.

Whilst my Aldi love is in full force in recent months I was only dabbling at the beginning of the year and as such the realise of the candles being hailed in the press as dupes for Jo Malone had escaped. Luckily for me Aldi heard pleas from their customers and have now made them part of their standard range so I was able to pick them up for myself to try and see if indeed they were worthy of their dupe status.

On first impression you can't argue where their 'inspiration' has come from and indeed the fragrances are matched with Jo Malone offerings. Of course the biggest difference is the price tag. I've never treated myself to a Jo Malone candle - I'm prone to burning money at whim but the price of Jo Malone candles makes even me bulk. At just £3.99 I was happy to experiment with Aldi's offering.

I picked up each of the scents, Lime Basil and Mandarin, Blackberry Bay and Pomegranate Noir and started with the latter being my favourite scent from Jo Malone. On initial sniff the candle did indeed have that familiar scent but it wasn't as strong as I'd expected. When I use just a capful of the Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil my whole flat literally fills with the scent like no other product I've used before so I expected, even if not as strong it would still have some power behind it.

I lit the candle and nothing and I was disappointed. I belong to an Aldi group on Facebook and as with anything of it's type opinions were divided between those stating the candles had no scent, certainly in comparison to the first release which created such hype (and inflated prices on eBay) and others stating how fabulous they were. As I say for me there was nothing.

Now I am a smoker so I appreciate that any scented candle is fighting with cigarette smoke so I thought it could indeed be my 'testing conditions' but having conversations with friends and family who also tried them out they too fell the same.

I even added a dash of my Jo Malone Shower Gel to the wax to add a little punch and it did help but defeats the object somewhat.

I have since burnt the additional two scents and they were perhaps 'even worse' than Pomegranate Noir as I can smell nothing as they burn which is a shame. Even last week I saw someone shopping in Aldi with a friend, picking up a candle and declaring 'you need this in your life' so I presume she has a much better experience than I.

They have since released reed diffusers and in recent months I've had more positive effects from them in my home so I'm looking forward to trying those and hopefully finding a much better result but I will keep you posted.

Scent qualities aside as a candle they really to burn cleanly so it's just a shame they let down on scent. I will make do with stocking up on Bath and Bodyworks Mahogany Teakwood candles when I'm in the US next month - now that is a strong candle that works a treat for me.

Have you tried the Aldi candles? I'd love to hear if you had better success than I did.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New In Beauty | October 2017


As I mentioned in Monday’s post whilst things have been quiet on these pages I have been behind the scenes putting some new and old products through their paces and two old favourites are Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser in Aloe Sooth* and The Breath Co Toothpaste

The former is the perfect for lazy girls like me those in a hurry who don’t enjoy the laborious process of applying body lotion but still want to feel the effects of using one. I can leap from the shower, running late for me train and still find time to literally ‘spray & go’. Whilst I can forgive a sticky body lotion if I have time on my hands or indeed am simply climbing into bed, when I’m pulling on a pair of tights I do not want a battle on my hands so I’m grateful that Vaseline Aloe Fresh is not sticky at all and does dry quickly without making skin feel drying. Again often spray bottles struggle when manipulated, or just simply upside down but again, I have no battles on my hands and whenever I use this bottle I question why I bother with anything else. 
Recently I decided it was wholly unnecessary to have numerous small tubes of toothpaste sitting in my travel sized stash so decided to use those I had up (leaving one to be used and replaced as needed). I wish I could not appear so sad to ‘miss’ a toothpaste but I did notice the absence of The Breath Co. Toothpaste which I have used and repurchased many times since I was first introduced to it. £9 is ridiculously extortionate and I always look out for it when it is on offer and at a reduced price because love can only go so far. 
I’m a big fan of citrus scents but sadly in the form of Aqua Citra Perfume* it wasn’t for me. This is not through fault of the perfume itself, I’m neither a fan of Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin as I prefer something a little more woody, musky and even manly. If you are fan of this type of scent then I’m sure will like this as did a friend who was able to benefit from my passing over this fragrance which has enjoyed wearing and smells delightful on her. 



As I’ve said when I’ve previously mentioned this is the least ‘toothpaste-y’ toothpaste I’ve used and not one that offends the taste of the first drink you have post brushing yet as a smoker I find it tackles all the things it needs to for my filthy habits. 

Superdrug Natural Radiant Glycolic Toner* has caused something of stir recently as it's been hailed as yet debated as impossible to be a dupe of the blogger favourite Pixi Glow Tonic. Obviously the biggest draw is the more affordable price tag (currently only £2.95 at Superdrug) but is it any good? 

I will not claim to be a skincare guru but thanks to my experiences with testing various products for my blog I do have some amateur knowledge and have found that glycolic acid is a saviour for me, especially as someone that can be slack with their skincare regime, particularly at times when I should be more diligent. 

Simply put glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator that can be used on a daily basis depending on your skins tolerances and needs and will help any dullness to the skin for a more radiant appearance. I have dehydrated skin and throw in a hangover or two and my skin can become almost snakelike but the morning or even a day or two later a sweep of glycolic acid can start to repair the damage I have caused.

I find that 'at my age' and due to my skins tolerance I can and do prefer more hardy glycolics but that is not any way a critism for Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Toner which is a comfortable dose for daily use and still performs to a high standard. In fact, before I layer on serums and moisturisers using the glycolic toner immediately shows a positive change in my skin - and I'm all about immediate gratification. 

If you're new to glycolic toners and chemical exfoliation then this is a great way to test the waters for only a few pound. 

It was only yesterday a friend at work and I were commenting how we will push our beauty treatments to the extreme; hair should be cut in six weeks, oh I'll give it eight. Such was the case recently when my balagye was taking on a brassier colour and dry as a bone and I was debating on which hairdresser to visit. Luckily I received Lee Stafford Coco Loco Hair Oil* to help me push my hair to its limit.

Despite my balayge making my hair dryer I am still somewhat reluctant with oil so I ensure to concentrate on on the ends. Coco Loco Hair Oil is fabulous both for its size, scent and pump applicator. It isn't messy and I don't find myself wiping my hands after I've run it through my hair.

The old greasy haired brunette I once was still worries about using an oil in my hair but the difference it made to the appearance, sleek and shiny and almost like I just stepped out of a salon. Having since had my dye job refreshed I reach for the oil sporadically when I feel like things need an extra hand although I find the oil lighter enough I could reach for it ever day and not overload my hair. 

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links


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Monday, October 9, 2017

MONTHLY BEAUTY FAVOURITES | September 2017


It feels longer than the couple of months its been since I last hit publish on a blog post and despite the impromptu break I have still been photographing and testing products 'behind the scenes' so I have plenty to hit publish on over the coming weeks. A good place to start is always by sharing my recent favourites and the first is a welcome return to reading. 

During my redundancy period reading certainly fell to the wayside without a regular commute and any journeys I did make were typically spent on my phone scrolling through social media or indeed preparing for job interviews. As the commute is now once again part of my daily routine books are making a reappearance although it's been a slow start with a couple of books that I just couldn't find myself reaching for until I picked up Beauty by Louise Mensch who you may know as Louise Bagshawe. The story of Dina Kane and her rise to power, dragging herself up from poverty and battling old adversaries. This is simply chick lit with a darker edge, enough to keep me interested rather than a basic boy meets girl tale and the story of Dina making her way in the beauty industry was enjoyable and I was keen to keep turning the pages despite knowing how it was likely to end. As a read to remind me of the enjoyment reading brings me this was it and my only criticism was the somewhat eye rolling description of Dina being such beauty and therefore allowing her such success or opportunity which added less weight to the additional struggle and hard work she was shown as putting in to build her success. 

Along with reading I've slipped back into old skincare habits but a few gems from Aldi are helping me get back on track and the Lacura Caviar 3 Minute Mask is one that also works to combat my excuse of not having enough time. I don't particularly enjoy the process of face masks despite acknowledging the benefits. Clay masks are great for congested skin but so messy and sheet masks similarly so whilst requiring a stance to ensure the mask doesn't slip and so on the excuses continues. The Caviar range from Aldi has already made waves over the years for it's comparisons to the uber expensive and luxurious La Prairie range and whilst I can fully understand the realities of skincare product duping is not really possible in the same way make up can be I do find that I can get on very well with some budget alternatives. For £6.99 the Lacura Caviar 3 Minute Mask is formulated to remove dead skin cells with caviar extract to moisturise your skin. If I've been slack with my regime, perhaps from one too many late nights a quick boost from the mask does the trick and even if your skin is tip top then using this before nights out and applying layers of make up ensures that you're looking your best.

I was very excited to receive a bottle of Joan Collins Timeless Beauty Foundation* although you would think that for my years of blogging and the beauty products that have passed through my hands I would be less prone to making assumptions or judgements about products before I have so much as swatched on my hand, let alone tried on my skin. I presumed that this foundation would be heavy but it is anything but. As it's blurb will tell you on the website it is a 'youth promoting skincare and foundation in one' and Joan Collins is known for looking fabulous as a mature woman so clearly paid great attention to working on a foundation that fellow older ladies would enjoy. 

Containing hyaluronic acid to moisturise your skin and ensure that it aids the base in which you're applying the foundation I found the finish quite flawless and radiant as it suggests. I would refer to this as a medium coverage foundation but you could easily build it up should you require although I prefer the coverage it provides as often the heavier coverage I reach for the more suffocated my skin feels and makes my fine lines more evident. It is very similar in formula to Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation.  

I must also give top marks to the Joan Collins Timeless Beauty website for assisting with the shade of foundation you will need. I was able to pick, nervously, the shade I thought would suit for me based on their recommendations and it was perfect for me. They give guidance on your undertones and the like rather than simple listing shade numbers or names - we all know how those shade names can vary brand to brand.

To prep my skin for the aforementioned foundation I have been loving GOSH Primer Plus+ Skin Adaptor* which is sold as a primer which will enhance any skin tone. Before I continue I did see this in action an event with GOSH and some of the women of colour commented that it was a little ashy so that's something to bear in mind although for my pink undertoned skin I have been able to work well with it. It's quite different to other primers I've used as it doesn't have that silicone feel to it when applied, nor does it feel fluid and hydrating as it's quite a dry formula. That said on the days when I lean towards oilier skin but it does even my skintone out and create a smoother appearing canvas for me to layer make up on. 

Finally has been to remove that wonderful foundation I've been using Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil. I had this travel sized bottle in my ready to go bag of travel minis but as I continue to work through my stash I decided to dig this out and try out and very pleased I have. It's a beautifully smelling thick cleansing oil which melts away make up without leaving my skin crying out for moisture. I don't wear particularly heavy make up and will remove the bulk of any eye make up with a micellar water before I use the cleansing oil as my first cleanse but I find there is no leftover dirt and it is all removed with this first cleanse. I've mentioned how I can be lax with my skincare regime but using this product gives me an extra incentive to head to the bathroom sink and kick things off.

What products have you been enjoying recently?

*this post contains press samples and affiliate links

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