The Marc Jacobs Splashes are Back!

Marc Jacobs Splashes Review 2017

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the soft and ever coveted, light fragrances that are Marc Jacobs Splashes are back once again, and I for one couldn’t be more excited.

Marc Jacobs Splashes Review 2017

Hear me out: I live in Scotland, a place not exactly renowned for its tropical climate and as such, I do associate wet weather with the Spring months – we don’t have the term April showers floating around for no good reason but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes dear readers, I enjoy the rain, especially when the showers are light and leave the air smelling fresh with an earthy combination of wet soil and surrounding greenery. It’s a sensation and scent explosion that I find difficult to mimic, well that was until I tested out the Marc Jacobs Splashes for myself. Four, beautifully created scents that evoke the newness of the season in numerous aspects, and offer new yet non-fussy insights into refreshingly (they aren’t called Splashes for no reason), clean ready-to-wear fragrances.

Marc Jacobs Splashes Review 2017

The Marc Jacob Splashes are technically Eau de Toilettes but are intended to be worn fairly generously – think of them as a mature, incarnation of a body mist – spray on generously and enjoy the uplifting, refreshing tonic. As all four options are delicate, you don’t run the risk of ever overdoing it (or suffocating all that is near to you), yet they have the prolonged wear time, that so many of us crave. I deem these to be casual fragrance options: a wardrobe of four softened splashes of notes, that are effortlessly cool and ready for the day – be that work, play or brunch.

What I personally enjoy about the Marc Jacobs Splashes is that each fusion, captures a different aspect of Spring: Cotton – like freshly washed, air dried linen with notes of jasmine, cotton flower, musk and bergamot. For a non- fruity yet bright, sensory choice we have Cucumber – which of course contains a strong presence of cucumber combined with Freesia and musk. The fruity creation of this collection is Pear: bright, bold and not at all tart with hints of Pear, gin and woody accords. Last but not least we have the aquatic yet light, scent of Rain: with freshly cut grass and tropical rain accords, whatever they might be.

Marc Jacobs Splashes Review 2017
This is an old photo from last year, of my first two bottles – they are in storage and I’m not currently able to get to them so please excuse the sudden and dramatic photo quality change.

The wonderful aspect of this small curation of scents is that they are truly adaptable: each can be worn alone, layered with other options within the collection (Cotton and Rain particularly fuse well together) or combined with your current favourite fragrance. Although perhaps not to everyone’s taste (then again what is), I would say that the four Marc Jacobs Splashes are entirely universal (the bottles have been so well designed in this aspect) and are as at home on a female as they are male; Rain in particular has a fairly masculine presence and does happen to be my personal favourite.

At the moment, I can not say with absolute certainty if the Marc Jacobs Splashes are limited edition or are gearing towards a permanent position but they are currently available online in various locations which may suggest the latter?

In the U.K you can find the Marc Jacobs Splashes via Superdrug £38/100ml – link

In the U.S you can find the Marc Jacobs Splashes via Sephora $62/100ml – link

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Seven Korean Beauty Trends I Wish Would Come To The UK

This year I’ve really been struggling to get excited about the beauty industry. Although there are more launches than I know what to do with, the majority are either extensions or reinventions of something that already exists, or drill down to essentially ‘just another face cream’. After so many years of continual innovation and more trends than you could shake a stick at, it’s a hard situation to get your head around – especially when it’s your job to write about beauty. I’ve just been writing an article for Cosmetics Business (a trade magazine) about my beauty lethargy, and as part of my research I was looking at what was going on in other parts of the world that was so much more exciting than what was happening on UK shores. We may have been adopting Korean ideas and big trends over the last couple of years, but they extend to the rather safe and relatively dull products by Korean standards; why aren’t we getting the cool and exciting stuff?! After perusing the sites (and to be honest the English articles I can actually read,) I’ve found seven trends and innovations I would love to see on UK shores… Come on Big Beauty Brand, sort it out!

BUBBLE MASKS
These lightweight face masks utilise the power of ‘reactive technology’ to bubble up when applied to the face, infusing the skin with oxygen for an immediate hit of radiance. Essentially the ingredients react to the natural oils or heat of the skin, causing a bubbling reaction that not only feels super tingly and a touch pleasant, but looks cool too. Bubble masks would definitely inject some much needed fun into the face mask market, and encourage consumers young and old to get on board with the benefits of a great treatment. I’ve tried one before and loved every minute; it’s a regime we’d all embrace wholeheartedly – because skincare can be fun too!
In the meantime, try: PoreTox Fruit Soda Bubble Mask £4.00

CUSHION BLUSHERS
Half cream half gel, these blushers help to create a super natural and long-lasting colour result on the cheeks. The formulas tend to be incredibly blendable and much more flattering than a harsh powder or stain, making them perfect for ‘no makeup makeup’ looks. Models Own launched their own version via a limited edition collection last year (read my feature here,) but I’ve yet to see them anywhere else. Come on Makeup Revolution, you know you want to…
In the meantime, try: Much Real My Cushion Blusher £11.40

EGG WHITE SKINCARE
You’ve heard the old wives tale that says applying egg whites to your face brings out your inner glow? Well the Koreans have taken that one step further by infusing whole skincare lines with the benefits of egg – and not even in a novelty way. From moisturisers and masks, to treatments and mousse-like concoctions, they’ve got it all covered. Could this be the hot skincare ingredient of 2018? You heard it here first…
In the meantime, try: Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream £22.80

SPLASH MASKS
A mega trend in Asia thanks to their time saving abilities, ‘splash masks’ are essentially a fluid that can be mixed with warm water and splashed onto a clean complexion and then patted to aid absorption. It turns a fifteen minute ritual into a quick ten second job, infusing skin with goodness without overloading. Perfect for those with more sensitive skins (you don’t get the dry feeling or crunchy texture that’s hard to clean off,) I can see these taking off if enough brands get behind them like they did sheet masks.
In the meantime, try: Blithe Soothing & Healing Green Tea Splash Mask £43.00

FACE BLURRERS
A combination of a moisturiser, SPF and primer, these also provide a ‘blurring’ effect on the skin that conceals imperfections and ensures a flawless finish. I’m all over one-step skincare products and feel like this could be big news if it launched in the UK. BB Creams became popular because they were so easy and face blurrers offer the same benefit: wack it on and you’re done. A handful of Western brands have tried similar things, but nobody has yet to corner this market and launch something that’s truly as ingenious.
In the meantime, try: Etitude House Face $18.00

COMPACT SUNBLOCKS
So many of us apply sunscreen in the morning underneath makeup, but then actually need a top-up throughout the day. It’s impossible to do so without removing your makeup or, worse, messing it up by trying to apply over the top; although spray SPFs have had limited success in the UK, they’ve not really garnered the attention they perhaps should’ve. The Asian market is far more concerned with sun protection than us, so it’s unsuprising to see that they’ve created something to get around this – a compact sunblock that looks, feels and applies like a compact powder. So when you say you’re off to ‘powder your nose’ you can also be topping up your sunscreen.
In the meantime, try: Hera UV Mist Cushion $45.00

EXFOLIATING WATER GEL
With one bottle of the leading brand sold every 12 seconds in Japan, water exfoliators are big news for a reason. They apply just like a melting gel to skin, gently stripping away the bad but leaving all the good, meaning they’re suitable for even the most sensitive of skins. Traditional exfoliators can be harsh and cause irritation (while gentle acids aren’t always suitable for those with sensitive or eczema/rosacea/psorasis,) but this seems to be the solution for everything. I want some. I need some. Somebody get on this stat?
In the meantime, try: Cure Natural Aqua Gel £24.29

Which of the seven big Korean trends would you love to see over here? Have you discovered any others that you wish were available on our high streets?

PS: Because these products aren’t really available in the UK yet I can’t take any photos of them. So enjoy a picture of my face instead. Lolz.

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

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I Spent £100 on Candles I’ll Never Burn

Le Labo Candles New York Review

I know, I know you think I’m an idiot and to be fair you aren’t far off but in this instance, it is not a moment of idiocy to blame, rather it all comes down to me being a nostalgic fool. As a little ‘un (well little-r, I never quite grew over the 5ft mark) whenever I went on holiday, I’d send home a postcard and bring home a suitcase of mementos for my scrapbook. I’ve long since given up on scrapbooking but still enjoy nothing more than a forever token reminder, of my time spent in a new place; unfortunately for me this has now morphed into pricey Le Labo candle habit.

Le Labo Candles New York Review

A Le Labo candle may seem like an odd choice to commemorate any event, let alone a short trip abroad but let me explain my reasoning: first of all, you don’t need me to tell you that the complex yet divine fragrances of the Le Labo house are forever appealing – special occasion or not – but did you know that Le Labo offer custom labels? No me neither, well until July of last year that is. Essentially any Le Labo cologne or candle, can be decorated with a small and perhaps meaningful message of your own; I choose to go with the address I stayed at both times I stayed in NYC in 2016. Two different locations, two luxurious scents and two very contrasting set of memories, each of which come alive when I open the box containing said candle. Yes I know life is for living and if you pay £50 for a luxury candle, you should damn well light it and enjoy it; one day I will, perhaps when I have a place of my own to decorate.

Le Labo Candles New York Review
Le Labo Candles New York Review

At the moment I have Le Labo Cedre 11 which is a smoky but sweet woody scent – if Le Labo could perhaps consider launching this as a cologne, I’d wear nothing else for the rest of my life. My other addition is Le Labo Cologne 17 which is a crisp, clean and almost aquatic scent that does have a certain masculine quality. I’ll be the first to admit that Le Labo is not cheap and as such I don’t recommend purchasing blindly – that and denying yourself the entire Le Labo experience should be considered sinful.

Le Labo Candles New York Review

As someone fairly new to the Le Labo world of fragrance there are a few additions yet to be added to my shelf. When I go back to NYC I plan on purchasing Le Labo Tubereuse as it I exclusive to the city – there are 8 other location based exclusive scents across the world that I slowly but surely plan on collecting, one by one.

Some people collect stamps, I collect beautifully scented jars and bottles – that maybe, just maybe one day I’ll finally give into temptation and burn. Maybe.

In the U.K you can find Le Labo online via Liberty – link
In the U.S you can find Le Labo online via Barneys – link
and for worldwide shipping Net-a-Porter – link

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The £3 Hair Mask That Stopped My Hair From Breaking Off

L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque Review

Nope not a click bait title but rather a true (hair) tail of woe and negligence.

Nearly a year ago I had one of the worst hair experiences of my life, to this day I’m not entirely sure what went wrong other than neglect on the salons part; they used a really high volume of bleach, left it on too long and really didn’t care that they snapped off around 30% of my hair in the process. Cool. I’m still utterly wary of hairdressers; for the record I know so many are talented beyond belief, and truly take care of their client from start to finish but, every now and then something like this happens and on the most part it will – and did – leave anyone’s faith in hair salons a little shaken.

L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque Review

I’m the past I wasn’t that precious about my hair (its long, thick and can typically take a “beating”) but washing it, for the first time after that fateful day and having masses of it snap off in my hands, I will never take me tresses for granted. However it is not all bad, two life-slash-hair lessons have since come into play…every cloud and all that.

1, Please speak up: if you ever feel uncomfortable in the salon chair be it with what is happening and/or if you feel physical pain please, please for the love of god tell someone. It will save you heartbreak and most likely your hair – remember you are paying for the treatment, therefore you are welcome to voice your thoughts and feelings.

2, You can not beat a word of mouth recommendation from someone you know and trust; online reviews can be manipulated (not that any reputable salon would as much as consider doing this, nor is this something I have personally encountered but worth noting all the same). Just because one salon and/or hairdresser has their own techniques and ways which might not necessarily for you or your needs.

L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque Review
L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque Review

If you do find yourself in a similar state of disarray – although not comforting in the midst of the chaos – do remind yourself that hair does grow and there are some great and often affordable deep conditioners out there that can help to repair the damage, none more highly recommended nor reached for by my chubby paw, than L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque.

I’ll level with you, my local 24-hour supermarket is skimpy on haircare and this was the only masque type product they sold on that fateful night my snapped off hair began to clog the shower drain – fate, a mere confidence or sheer luck, however you see it my hair has never need happier post-bleach trauma.

L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque Review
L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque Review

The great things (yes plural) about the L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque is that it is cheap (never more than £5 but forever on offer somewhere), readily available and it works. Man does it work. This is not your everyday conditioner, it is thick, intense, of salon standard and really should only be used on dry and/or damaged hair to prevent normal or fine hair from becoming overwhelmed and weighed down – bleach woes aside this would also work a treat on hair that has perhaps seen a little too much sun?

As with most L’Oréal hair products this does smell great but as I said the real magic of this product is that it works. The intense nature of L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque, instantly smooths, hydrates and instantly nourishes the hair making it feel at least ten times better to the touch and imparting a gentle sheen to the hair that is not damaged in my case. It also helps to easily de-tangle and eradicate frizz in one quick application, with continued use, I have noticed that it is slowly butt surely nursing my hair back to good health: it contains cicamide (a restoring complex that penetrates the hair and fills it with micro fibres to build stronger hair) and pro-keratin (strengthens weakened hair.

If ever there is a hope for damaged beyond repair hair it is this masque.Stash one in your bathroom cupboard and you’ll be forever grateful that you did.
Find L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Cica-Masque via Boots £3/300ml – link

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Stop Telling Us To Get Off Our Phones

How many of us will ever be able to recall a time without mobile phones? They’ve become such a scarily integrated part of our lives that I think we’d collectively struggle to go about our daily business without one. My first mobile phone was about the size of a house brick and by a brand I don’t even think still exists; it weighed about as much as a small child and could do little other than make and receive calls to the few people that also had a mobile phone (namely my mum.) When I discovered it could actually send text messages (even though they were only twenty characters long and took about ten minutes to write,) it was a revolution! Within a few years mobiles had evolved, the prices had reduced and Nokia realised there was potential to turn this new gadget into a fashion accessory: I think I spent more money on new fascias than I did outfits back then. Not only could we spend hours playing Snake, but we wasted away our evenings texting our mates about all the things we could’ve probably just waited to chat about the next morning. That was, until we ran out of credit and had to buy a phone card on the way into school.

Back then a mobile phone was seen as a luxury, not a necessity, and you could easily leave it in your bag for the entirety of a day without even glancing at it. Now, it’s slightly different; our phones have become the modern Filofax, hosting everything about our lives we need to manage them effectively (calendars, contact details, emails, banking) alongside every app imaginable to keep us occupied (games, mindfulness, shopping, podcasts.) Chuck in a few social networks into the mix and it’s no wonder we’ll be the first generation to get turkey neck and arthritis in our fingers from overuse of an iPhone. Since they were launched back in the 1980’s, there’s been a total revolution in the way we use our devices. No longer are they a way of maintaining communication, but a way of helping to run our lives; in a modern world smartphones allow us to answer an email on the go or get a head-start on that presentation, as much as they allow us to share what we’re having for dinner. Personally speaking, my phone is my life; as a self-employed businesswoman it allows me to work wherever and whenever I need to, while maintaining essential social connections that (quite simply) stop me from cracking up. So why are we so unfairly judged by others for using one?

Let me tell you a story… A couple of months ago my Nan was about to undergo a much needed hip replacement. My mum lives a few hours away and my aunt is a carer who works long shifts, so it fell to me to ensure she attended her pre-op appointments and got to hospital when she needed to be there. While she was having her bloods taken I was in the waiting room catching up on emails and monitoring my social media accounts, when two other visitors started a rather rude conversation in front of (and obviously directed at) me about the fact that ‘the younger generation’ didn’t know how to talk to people because they were so engrossed in their phones. What I wanted to say, but refrained from doing so, was this: “I’m self employed and I’m currently managing my business from this device. An iPhone is not the devil; it allows me to accompany my grandmother during an anxious time, without having to jeopordise my income. It allows me to be with her over the next week so she’s never alone, continuing to maintain relationships that are essential to my career, but also ensures I can update loved ones as to her condition and progress. Stop judging what you don’t understand, because I don’t judge you for your inability to be open-minded.”

Over the last week or two I’ve seen increasing amounts of conversation from my peers around the judgement they’ve received for being on their phones in public. Danielle Peazer recently tweeted: “Sat waiting for a train and a man literally just interrupted my day to ask ‘why would you do without your phone’ because I was using it.” She went on to say: “Well sir I happen to run 90% of my business from my phone. I may not be wearing a suit or sat at a desk, but I’m working fucking hard.” Kellie from Big Fashionista continued: “I get this on the school run. The LOLLIPOP MAN, was going, You are always on your phone. I replied, I’ve been up since 6am working on this phone and it means I CAN walk my child to school, I’m lucky.” Our smartphones are devices that, yes, can be irritating when your dinner date refuses to stop checking Facebook or snapchatting their coffee, but they are also essential part of a whole generation’s working life.

My phone is my business; if I’m on it I’m either replying to emails, updating my social media accounts, checking my calendar or actually attempting to manage a conversation with loved ones. I’m neither playing Candy Crush, stalking people on Facebook or reading The Lad Bible. (Much anyway.) My income relies on the fact I can work whenever and wherever I need to, and also includes sharing snippets of my life to those of you that are interested; it would be impossible to do that without my phone. So many media stories focus on the damaging effects of smartphone useage (sleep deprivation, back and neck pain, anxiety, hand cramp, concentration issues,) but none of them focus upon the freedom and flexibility they have brought those of us that need to work from them. When sitting on the train or waiting in the Starbucks queue I do feel guilty for being on my phone and am very aware of those eyes looking at me, more so from much older generations than my peers, which makes me anxious about doing so in public. That’s not ok.

Smartphones allow working mothers to put their children to bed before getting back to emails; they allow digital influencers to make a living from creating content and doing what they love; they allow us the freedom to take a few days out of the office without losing track of a big project; they allow us to manage our lives effectively and efficiently while experiencing new things; they allow us to connect with those that are precious to us in an instant, sharing news or just saying hello when that’s needed most. When has that ever been a bad thing? So, dude on the train, in the hospital or Kellie’s lollipop man: don’t judge what you don’t understand and don’t make us feel bad for simply trying to make a living. We’re all just grafting, but in different ways.

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

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