The New Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels

The New Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels Review

Do you like speed reviews? Great because I have been using the new Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gel for a good few days now and I have a few thoughts on it – mainly you should treat yourself immediately – but not quite enough pleasantries for a lengthy and typical of me blog post.

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I’ll be entirely honest, I am a fairly new recruit to the world of Jo Malone bath and body products; typically when I splurge in one of their luxurious boutiques, I leave with a cologne…or two and yet the new Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gel has me hooked. A shower gel, really? Yes and I beg that you hear me out.

The Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels aren’t your bog standard shower gel – they are an experience. As to be expected the first thing that will lure you in, is the heavenly aroma and familiar notes of Jo Malone fragrance, with three scents to choose from, I can safely assume that there will be something for everyone. This is my first dip into the iconic fragrance that is Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin, and let’s just say I finally understand the fuss: a bright, bold yet never overwhelming, sophisticated fruity concoction that is perfect for a refreshing morning shower.

What sets the Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gels aside from the rest is that they both cleanse and of course, gently exfoliate the skin using Jojoba beads and Orange peel. Now I’ll be the first to admit that this light body scrub won’t be enough to remove layers of self tanner but it is more than sufficient

for a quick daily polish, that will in turn result in continuously soft and supple skin.

It’s not everyday that I will rave, let alone write about a shower gel but then again it is not everyday that Jo Malone launch a new body treat.

Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gel £30 via John Lewis – link.

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Bilou! Fun & Foamy Vegan Body Care For Your Sweet Tooth

That moment stood under the hot water of your morning shower can make or break a day. Get it right and you’re invigorated, energised and ready to face the world; but get it wrong and you can be left feeling dreary, lethargic and in need of a double espresso. We totally underestimate the power of that morning cleanse and the product we use to set us up to win, but the scents and textures that greet us first thing could be the secret to a day-long smile! I’m always one to embrace new textures and uplifting scents in the bathroom (hello chocolate hand wash and strawberry bubble bath,) but with Bilou my sweet tooth has gone into overdrive: this new brand to hit UK shores is completely vegan and full of sugary sweetness to kick off your day in the right way, whatever your age.

Created by German blogger Bibi of Bibi’s Beauty Palace, Bilou is a capsule range of foaming shower gels and body creams (as well as a couple of body sprays which are too young and sweet for my personal tastes – think Body Secrets x Impulse) that takes sweet treats to a whole new level. Available in Pink Melon, Tasty Donut, Fizzy Berry, Cotton Candy and Coco Cocktail, they smell exactly how you’d anticipate – apart from the donut variety which is more pink icing than anything else. The foaming textures are incredibly lightweight and a pleasure to use, creating something a little different in your morning shower; I remember when shower foams first became a thing and I’ve never tired of the format, even if they don’t seem to be as popular as they once were.

The shower foam cleanses gently but effectively, without irritating or overwhelming the senses, leaving skin feeling supple and delicately scented; I adore the creamy texture and the way it envelops my limbs for those few morning moments! Additionally the body cream is lightly moisturising without causing stickiness (it absorbs within a matter of seconds,) which makes these a real treat for only £3.99 a pop. It’s no hardworking body cream, but it is a simple and effective way to add a quick hit of hydration first thing. I love everything about Bilou… They could’ve easily gone down the sickly sweet teen route and ended up with something OTT and quickly naff, but instead the whole range is elegant and simple while keeping things fun.

Now available in Superdrug, I’ve no doubt these will be incredibly popular with their customers – and even drive some new ones into store!

Which flavour are you tempted by?

The entire Bilou range (including shower foam, body cream and fragrance spritz) is available from Superdrug, priced £3.99. Five scents are available, although not all scents are available in all variants. More info on their website.

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Eight Of The Podcasts I’m Obsessed With (Plus Your Chance To WIN A Radio To Listen To Them On!)

I’ve started to wonder what I actually did before I discovered podcasts; they now accompany me to the gym, on the tube, in the bath and even in my office while I’m snapping away or planning content. They provide such a great way to discover stories, learn, indulge your passions or even just have a giggle – so it’s no surprise they’re seeing a resurgence in popularity and are undoubtedly the hottest form of media right now. Since I got my Hepburn MK II VQ radio I’ve probably listened to more podcasts than is probably healthy, but it definitely beats listening to the same Spotify playlist on repeat or the drivel that happens to be on the radio past about midday. One of the main topics of conversation with my mates is now which podcasts we’ve been listening to or what recommendations we’ve got for each other, which sure beats chat about Big Brother or Love Island in my opinion! If you’ve yet to discover the amazing world of podcasts, then pop over here and read my info for beginners, and then pop back and take note of the eight shows I think you need to know about right now… Headphones at the ready.

Talking Crime: A True Crime Podcast
This started life as a narrative to the Jonbenet Ramsay documentary that was on in the States last year (if you haven’t watched it, google it – it’s one of the best things I’ve ever watched,) and as someone that’s been obsessed with the case since I was a little girl it was the perfect intro. The two friends that host this podcast basically watch true crime documentaries and in the ad breaks discuss what they’ve just seen, their own theories and how their viewpoints evolve. They’ve watched everything from the Amanda Knox Netflix doc, to The Staircase which features the Kathleen Peterson case (more on that below) and O.J Simpson; it’s the best way to pass an hour in the evening. I love how you have to watch the programmes yourself and then listen to their thoughts, bridging a very clever gap between telly and podcasts. They’re very funny, making something that could’ve been heavy into one of my fave podcasts of the moment.

Stuff You Should Know
Quite hard going and not one I binge listen to, Stuff You Should Know covers some really interesting topics and makes them far easier to understand – even if the hosts are a tad annoying. They’ve covered everything from clowns, spiders, tea, Stonehenge, perfume, colour, oceans, passports, police dogs, alcoholism and dreams; with over 200 episodes to choose from there’s sure to be something to tickle your fancy. I’ve taken to listening to episodes of this in the car when I know I can’t be distracted by my phone or making cups of tea, and although they’re not exactly easy listening I do learn a lot more about stuff I would’ve never bothered to research!

Buffering The Vampire Slayer
I grew up on Buffy and can probably attribute 50% off my kick-ass attitude to watching her beat the crap out of every demon that came at her, without barely breaking a sweat. She’s a feminist icon of a generation and I hope the love for Sunnydale never wanes. Buffering The Vampire Slayer is for hardcore fans of the show, as the two hosts dissect each episode in turn and discuss the funny anecdotes and odd characters – as well as pointing out elements that will become more important as the series continues. It’s a great way to revisit the show and it instantly brings back memories of those key moments that left you weeping, laughing or hiding behind the sofa. A must-listen for any Buffy fans, or those that want to discover this iconic teen show.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt
I’d heard about the Michael and Kathleen Peterson case on another podcast, which focused on ‘Owl Theory’ and the fact that Michael was wrongly accused of his wife’s murder when in fact an owl was responsible for attacking her. This BBC Radio Five Live production is fast paced and thorough, taking you through the details of the relatively unknown case (which involves Kathleen being found at the bottom of a staircase) and presenting the facts for you to make up your own mind; it speaks to many of the key people and delves into elements that aren’t covered by other productions, giving you short and snappy episodes which leave me wanting more. A great intro if you’re new to podcasts too.

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I fully accredit this discovery to Kirsty from Fashion For Lunch who kept encouraging me to listen to their wild and wacky stories; it’s now something that I always turn to when I need a podcast hit and I don’t know what I fancy. Although stories of the internet underpin every episode, the hosts cover everything from medical mysteries and dating dilemmas, to internet scams and current affairs. One of their most recent double episode stories that started off as an Indian call centre scam evolved into a tense mystery that my fiance and I listened to in tandem in the gym so we could discuss immediately together afterwards; if that’s not podcast gold then I don’t know what is!

Someone Knows Something
I’d definitely recommend skipping season one of this and delving straight into season two, which covers the disappearance of Sheryl Sheppard after her New Years Eve engagement which was broadcast on television in 1997. Her body was never found, but there’s one very clear suspect that is incriminated by basically everyone that knew him – even if the police couldn’t prove it. This addictive show looks back at the case and analyses the television footage, partnering up with her mother in an attempt to resolve it once and for all; after you’ve become so immersed in the story, they even manage to speak to the main suspect to keep you on the edge of your metaphorical seat. I actually started to go to the gym more regularly so I could listen to this uninterrupted, which is podcast commitment at the highest level.

Let’s Discuss
Hosted by Ella from Coco’s Tea Party and Monica from The Elgin Avenue, Let’s Discuss is basically two friends chatting about issues that impact women in their twenties and beyond: money, heartbreak, organisation, travel, comparison, social media and much more. It’s really easy listening and essentially blog posts in audio form; they give some really useful tips and tidbits of advice, even if they do come across like two of the most perfect creatures to ever grace this earth. (Ella says her idea of relaxation is organising her closet!) If you love their blogs you’ll love their podcast, but even if they’re new to you it’s worth listening to for a sprinkling of inspo and a touch of motivation.

Made Online
I couldn’t cover off my favourite podcasts without including my own! When I started Made Online I had no idea what to expect and if it would be any good, but thankfully the response has been incredible and I’m overwhelmed with the support I’ve been shown. The overarching idea is that I speak to those that have made their life changing career, moment or business online and get them to share their story (and secrets.) So far I’ve spoken with Sara Tasker from Me & Orla, Jane Cunningham from British Beauty Blogger, Millie Kendall from BeautyMart, the founders of Spectrum Collections, the women who grew Harrods’ Instagram to one million followers, authors Grace Victory and Emily Clarkson, as well as some incredible bloggers. Right now there are ten episodes to enjoy and I have some amazing guests lined up in the coming months, so make sure you subscribe to listen first!

If you want to immerse yourself in the world of podcasts, then have I got a treat for you… I’ve teamed up with VQ (who make some incredible Bluetooth enabled radios) to offer one reader their very own choice of VQ radio, so they can listen to some of my podcast recommendations in the comfort of their own home. Whether you choose to do so in the bath, while doing the washing up or cosy in bed is up to you! All you have to do is enter via the widget below. Good luck and happy listening!

(PS: Got any other awesome podcast recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!)

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Five Great Budget Beauty Buys To Pick Up This Week

All I want to do right now is cuddle up in a blanket with an endless supply of tea; I feel like I’ve hit a major road block in my mind and all the inspo has evaporated along with the new launches and beauty goodness I’m used to seeing land on my desk. This time of year is tricky, as we all seem to get lethargic and struggle to find the motivation to keep going, not helped by it being the quietest period in the fashion and beauty calendar and the fact that most are sunning themselves somewhere altogether more exotic. But alas, I’ve managed to pull myself together for long enough to bring you a small edit of five fab budget beauty buys I can’t recommend enough – and I know you’ll just want to rush out and buy this weekend. You’re welcome. (PS: send more tea.)

MUA ‘Fire Vixen’ Eyeshadow Palette (£5.00)
Can you believe there’s an Urban Decay Naked Heat dupe already? (Read my full review and feature on it here if you fancy.) It was only a matter of time, but I’m surprised its come from MUA rather than another of our fave budget brands – they’ve lost their crown over the years, but perhaps this is the first of many more interesting things to come? The ‘Fire Vixen’ palette contains many of the warm red tones seen in Naked Heat, alongside some beaut nudes and metallics, but the price tag means many more of you will be tempted I’m sure to give them a go; one of the main pieces of feedback I’ve heard is that £39.50 is a lot if you’re not sure you’ll wear the shades, so a fiver seems like pocket change in comparison. You’ll be surprised at how much red tones suit every skin tone, so give it a go!

NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade (£6.00)
I’m all about a power brow, but it’s hard to find a decent brow cream that doesn’t cost a fortune; step in the Tame & Frame Pomade that’s richly pigmented and easy to apply, creating clean lines and filling in gaps with ease. I’ve been applying with an angled brush and creating a strong arch without a problem, but you can also dab on with a rounder brush if you’re lucky enough to have a fuller brow than me. You do need to layer it if you like a striking finish, but it’s comparable to similar products that are twice the price and also available in five shades.

Botanics Organic Super Balm (£7.99)
My favourite find from the last few weeks, this 93% organic multi-purpose balm contains olive fruit oil, sweet almond oil, beeswax, shea butter and jojoba seed oil for a super nourishing and natural hit of goodness. It’s non-greasy and lightweight, making it great for use as a lip balm or brow tamer, as well as helping to soothe away dry patches of skin; I’m also loving it on the top of cheekbones and under the brow arch for a little subtle radiance too. It can be so tricky to find a decent balm on the high street (they’re good for so many things!) but I think Botanics have solved my balm dilemmas for the foreseeable!

The Ordinary Serum Foundation (£5.70)
One of the most hyped up launches of the last few months, this vegan oil-free formula is available in 21 shades with a huge range of undertones to ensure you get the perfect match. The texture is incredibly runny and lightweight, but when applied the strong pigment provides a decent amount of coverage while keeping the skin radiant. I can’t believe how great it is for the price, and this comes from a major foundation snob whose current faves include Giorgio Armarni and YSL! I also love the heavier ‘Coverage Foundation’ for days when I need or want a harder working base, but this is a winner for the price.

Rimmel London Radiance Brick (£5.99)
You can’t beat a little Rimmel, especially during holiday season when you’re more likely to smash your powder based products in your case or hand luggage! This brick brings together three individual shades for a glowing finish and a subtle shimmer, which looks fab when buffed into skin using a fluffy brush. It’s such a little gem that adds a multi-tonal warmth to skin, without the orange undertones or harsh lines that some bronzers can leave behind. Stock up while you can and use all year long to add warmth to your sun-parched skin.

Have you tried any of these budget beauty buys? Which will you be rushing out to buy this weekend?

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