Stuff In My Bathroom I’m Loving Right Now (Eight Of My Fave Pampering Treats With The Best Fragrances!)

Although I wanted to spend my summer sat outside sipping on glasses of pink tinted wine, the severe lack of sun and abundance of rain has meant you’re more likely to find me soaking in a bath with a good book. I can only but hope the weather perks up towards the end of the summer (hello October wedding!) but in the meantime my priority is definitely a little pampering in my newly decorated bathroom. There may not be a huge number of new products landing in stores, but there are some great firm favourites and recent discoveries that have left my home filled with beautiful scents and my body buffed and pampered. If you need a little TLC or just an excuse to pick up some new treats, here’s all the stuff I’m loving right now and are firm faves on my bathroom shelf.

Clarins SOS Comfort Nourishing Balm Mask (£26.40)
This really rich creamy balm is infused with essential fatty acids, alongside a blend of mango oil and kernel butter to plump and moisturise your skin. Applied all over the face and left for around ten minutes, it’s a great treat when you want your skin to look and feel fab ahead of a big day or night out; I adore the texture and the delicate scent, as well as the fact it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight. I’ve been using it as a morning pick-me-up when I know I’m tired and it’s showing on my skin, and even as a pre-wedding treatment when I need my skin to stay hydrated and radiant all day long. I’m not normally down with masks that you use in the morning, but this is an absolute gem that I’m using up far too quickly.

Ren Anti-Fatigue Kelp & Magnesium Salt Body Scrub (£26.00)
Oh Ren, you know how to keep a girl feeling fabulous. I adore the Ren skincare products, but I’ve not really dabbled much in their body care until this amazing new range landed on my desk. Not only do they have this super rich and hardworking salt scrub to buff away dryness and leave skin smoothly polished, but there’s a bath oil, body wash and body cream too. All the formulas are enriched with Atlantic Kelp Extract and Microalgae Oil to help replenish skin with moisture and essential minerals, as well as being infused with REN’s Anti-Fatigue blend of essential oils to refresh and de-stress body and mind. This is great to use on legs after a long day walking around the city, letting the scrub fall into the water to surround you with the relaxing scent too.

Being by Sanctuary Spa Cloudberry & Lychee Blossom Body Wash (£6.00)
Our bathroom is usually stocked high with bottles of Dove (or whatever lands on my desk!) but sometimes you need to keep your morning shower a little bit out of the ordinary. This new brand from Sanctuary is pushing the limits of the industry and celebrating all forms of beauty, while adding a touch of sass to their products – this is no different. I love the funny little fruity face on the bottle, but the scent inside is all kinds of juicy and delicious; there’s nothing spectacular about this body wash, but sometimes it just needs to be tasty and fun.

Ecoya Guava & Lychee Sorbet Candle (£39.00)
Possibly the most beautifully scented candle I’ve ever had the pleasure of breathing in, this smells like summer in the most tropical way. With layers of delicious guava nectar interwoven with sweet lychee and underpinned by berries, this soy hand poured candle is utterly stunning – even before it’s been lit. It’s the perfect bathroom scent if you want something uplifting and energizing, while the natural waxes and lead-free cotton wicks ensure a healthy approach to home scent. It’s really good value too, considering the 80 hour burn time (up to double what you’d usually get,) and there’s even a mini version if you want to take it away with you.

Decleor Micellar Oil Cleanser (£26.00)
Since I’ve moved I’ve discovered some real gems lurking in the back of my bathroom cabinet, and this is one of them. Decleor isn’t a brand I’ve really had much time for over the last few years, feeling like it was a little outdated and not really for me, but this has broken down that barrier and left me wanting more. The combination of oil and water in this cleanser work deep into pores to dissolve and disperse dirt and impurities; with only a few pumps massaged onto dry skin, makeup is broken down and easily washed away with a damp warm flannel. Ingredients include Sweet Almond Oil Vegetal Squalene (derived from Olive Oil), rich in essential fatty acids to help strengthen and soothe the skin while maintaining optimal hydration levels. It isn’t greasy and doesn’t leave any residue, nor does it irritate or sting around the eyes – it smells really fresh and leaves my skin super clean.

Klorane Soothing & Anti-Irritating Peony Shampoo / Conditioner (£10.00)
Peonies aren’t just for Instagram shots and flatlays you know – they’re also a great ingredient in beauty products, thanks to their soothing and anti-irritating qualities. Klorane is a French pharmacy hair care brand that I’m utterly in love with (try their dry shampoo, it’s the best ever!) and this is their latest addition. Specifically formulated for sensitive scalps and dandruff, the Peony shampoo and conditioner claims to bring instant comfort to scalps that are feeling tight and itchy. The super lightweight gel-like formula helps to maintain an optimal scalp balance and 24-hour comfort, as well as hair that’s soft and tangle free. Although I don’t have an irritated scalp, I love the scent and the soothing properties it offers – as well as the super light gel conditioner formula that doesn’t weigh my hair down.

Miss Patisserie Mango Bath Slab (£5.00)
This vegan brand are shaking up beauty just a little bit, adding in super cool scents and interesting textures – and this Mango Bath Slab is the perfect example of what they have to offer. Although it doesn’t smell overtly sweet like you may expect, the brightly coloured bricks can be broken off and dropped into your bath for a little somethin somethin. The only issue becomes how to store it until next bath time…!

Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil (£58.00)
Sometimes the classics are the best. I’ve got so many gorgeous Jo Malone bath oils (I’m not sure if its the bottle or the scent I love more to be honest,) but recently I’ve been opting for the classic rich and elegant fragrance that is Pomegranate Noir. If you’re not familiar with it, then Jo Malone describe it as: “Ruby-rich juices of Pomegranate, Raspberry and Plum are spiked with Pink Pepper and laced with Casablanca Lily and Spicy Woods.” Sounds dreamy right? I love adding a few drops of this to a steaming bath and breathing in the aroma – because we all need a touch of luxury every now and then.

Which would you love to have in your bathroom this summer?

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L’Oreal The Brush Contest

Loreal Brush

So, this is an interesting competition for beauty bloggers and vloggers. L’Oreal The Brush Contest is an international competition to find the next L’Oreal make up artist from a social media source. The winner gets a trip to Cannes to design red carpet looks, and also a one year paid contract. The winner of L’Oreal The Brush Contest will work with L’Oréal to create looks at shoots and beauty tutorials while also working with product development and representing the brand in press interviews. To enter, upload a 3 minute video creating a look on yourself or someone else and bear in mind that key to this is that L’Oreal are looking for ways to make high end make up looks accessible and wearable for anyone. I know perfectly well that loads of hugely talented bloggers and vloggers will instantly think, “oh, I’m not good enough, I can’t win that!” but remember, someone has to win it, so don’t do the typical Brit thing of thinking you can’t. You can. I’d love to see a UK winner on this one because I know we have an incredible amount of talent behind those cameras… if you can’t do it for yourself, do… Read More

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Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Swatches

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction

I now have swatches of the Urban Decay Pulp Fiction collection – they’re every bit as good as I hoped they’d be. Pulp Fiction aside, it’s a fabulous capsule collection that I really hope they’ll do more of. It’s great when brands launch new products but when they come in a massive swathe it can be quite daunting, so a tightly edited collection gives us a chance to really focus on the products properly.

Mrs Mia Wallace Palette

As usual, it’s one swipe with the brush – I don’t usually build up colours but these are all the pigment, smoothness and buildability that you’d expect from Urban Decay. Amazing textures that went on like a dream – there is just nothing not to like here. The Urban Decay Pulp Fiction palette – if you removed the Pulp Fiction references – would stand entirely on its own two feet as a brilliant, nude based, smokey eye palette. At £17.50 I think it’s a steal. Shades from bottom to top are: Righteous, Tyranny, Vengeance, Furious and Anger.

Mrs Mia Wallace Lipstick

IMG_6325

For lips, the Mrs Mia Wallace lipstick is a danger-red – a lot of depth to this red that’s coming out rather pink on the swatch – if you love a dramatic lip, it’s this. The lipstick is £15 and the liner £13.

This is literally one swipe – no going back and forth – so you can see it’s a lot of colour all at once. Not sure I’m brave enough for it but oh my, I really wish I was!

Gunmetal Glitter Liner

Gunmetal Glitter Liner

Gunmetal Glitter Liner has well defined colours – it’s not just a hotchpotch of glittery bits – and it’s made up of black and a very twinkly silver/gunmetal. It’s £14.

Nail Polish

As you can see in the backdrop of the nail colour, there’s a card that gives you guidance on how to create the Mia look – Mrs Mia Wallace Nail Color, £10, is that deep rouge noir shade with a cut of gold shimmer – I don’t think it has as much black as Rouge Noir and even just swatching it on paper, it took three layers to get a very full depth, which it needs. It’s the only piece of the collection that I don’t think really stands out in context; it’s a gorgeous, glossy shade, but it’s likely that you probably already have a version of it in your nail stash.

The collection launches on 1st September.

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Maybelline Brow Drama vs Benefit Gimme Brow

maybelline brow drama review

After my raving review of Benefit’s Gimme Brow, many people very kindly suggested alternatives for me to try, or requested comparisons with similar products. I’ve been quite busy (!) but have managed to test out Maybelline’s Brow Drama and compare it.

I ordered the Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara from FeelUnique; £4.99, three shades (I went for the palest) and free delivery. You can’t complain about that. (Though I did have some kind of promo code for the delivery, I think it’s usually £10 minimum.) Maybelline’s Brow Mascara promises to give brows a “sleek and structured look” and yes, I think that it does add a hint of colour and it certainly helps to keep naughty hairs in place. Regardez-vous the photos below. Before:

(Fair-coloured brows, little bit messy perhaps, but to be absolutely honest I have no problems with them as they are. Yes a bit of grooming is always nice, but most days I simply can’t be bothered. Anyway…)

After! Can you see a lot of difference? A little more defined, maybe, and a hint darker? Look, there’s nothing wrong with this brow mascara whatsoever, but Gimme Brow it ain’t. For those who have singled this one out as a kind of dupe, I hate to let you down but it’s not. The Gimme Brow adds volume to each hair so that sparse bits are filled in and everything looks a bit more thick and fullsome: Brow Drama is a tinted brow gel. A nice one, but – as I said – it doesn’t have the same dramatic results, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Left eye (as you look at the screen) done, right eye natural. Now I know I’m doing a weird kind of expression, so ignore that and focus on the depth and thickness of the brow itself. Quite an amazing difference, don’t you think? There’s not actually any real comparison or competition here, because the products are almost entirely different. Like comparing a plumping, scarlet red lip gloss with a slick of lip balm. The Brow Drama grooms and holds very well (especially nice at £4.99) but for me, Benefit’s Gimme Brow reigns supreme. Please do suggest more alternatives and I’ll work my way through!

You can find Maybelline Brow Drama here – £4.99 and Benefit’s Gimme Brow here, £18.50.

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever

fragrance review daisy dream

Not having been particularly enamoured with any of the previous “Daisy” fragrances from Marc Jacobs (love the bottles, always found the scents to be a bit “young”, which I suppose is probably bang-on for the target market) I surprised myself by really liking the new one, Daisy Dream Forever. It’s warm and comforting, rich and fruity. I want to say chocolatey, but a quick glance at the fragrance notes and there’s nothing remotely chocolatey about it!

Now this is very weird: without reading any kind of blurb about this fragrance, just looking at the bottle, which reminds me of dark winter nights, cosy pyjamas and – weirdly – bonfire night, my mind told me that this was a warm and sweet perfume. It reminded me a lot of Angel – that same edible, slightly oriental kind of scent. But Angel mixes up its fruity florals with warm and spicy base notes – vanilla, amber, tonka bean, chocolate – whereas Daisy Dream Forever has nothing of the sort. It has blackberry, pear, grapefruit; it has jasmine and fresh lychee. Where the hell I get chocolate from I have no idea!

It’s a prime example, I suppose, of how your nose can be led by your mind – I took in the colours of the bottle and the name Dreams and formed my own scent conclusions before I had even properly sampled the scent. And now I can’t seem to go backwards, because no matter what you tell me about the official fragrance notes, I still think that this is warm and chocolatey – it makes me want to put on my star pyjamas and drink cocoa in bed.

Read more fragrance reviews…

Whatever; I think that it’s lovely. Rich and softly woody, like a big cashmere blanket. It’s not the most grown-up fragrance out there, but it has a certain warmth that I think will make it irresistible to many people who wouldn’t usually go for the other Marc Jacobs Daisy incarnations. It feels like a winter scent, to me, and I can imagine that it will do incredibly well this Christmas.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Forever is £59 for the 50ml Eau de Parfum, or £50.15 at Escentual.com

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