When the box of Scentered products popped through my door, I really didn’t take all that much notice of them – in fact, the tins made me think they were ‘speciality teas’ which I’m not a fan of (just give me a cup of Tetley and I’m happy). So, when I got round to looking properly at them, I was genuinely delighted to find that each tin contains a little aromatherapy balm to address several different stress situations.

There are five varieties, and I’ll briefly run though them with key oils used:

Stress Less: for every day tensions containing Chamomile, Neroli and Mandarin.

Sleep Well: self explanatory with Palmarosa, Lavender and Ylang Ylang.

Focus: for days when your mind is swimmy with too much stuff, containing Rosemary, Peppermint and Clary Sage.

Love: for stress or grief, containing Cedarwood, Rose and Patchouli.

Escape: for a battery recharge, containing Oud, Frankincense and Sandalwood.


I know that aromatherapy can do astounding things for the senses; I’m a different person after an Aromatherapy Associates bath, but I like the Scentered Balms more for making you stop and assess your mood. I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t have some stress points during the day – the simple act of stopping, applying the balm and inhaling the theraputic grade aromatherapy oils in itself will give you reason to check yourself and your mindset. The one that’s of most use to me is Focus, although what I’d really like to do is cover my whole body in Stress Less and go back to bed!

Scandalous Beauty

Like everyone else in America, we’re obsessing over our favorite fall TV shows, so when we got the opportunity to get some MAJOR benetips from the beauty team behind the non-stop fab look of Washington DC’s fave fixers, we totally freaked. With the long hours of a TV crew, these ladies have secrets with some serious staying power. If it keeps their cast looking fine for the HD cameras all day long, it should have us looking bright and shiny, even after long days at the office, amirite?


Our first pro-tip is to use majorette to add color to a tired face & always look alive, no matter how rough your day has been. Our beauty experts tell us that, “Majorette is a must have. All you need is a touch for a day look, and then add more for an all-out fashionista blush moment later.” And who doesn’t love an all-out fashionista moment!? To boost your glow-factor even more, they suggest hoola to bronze and contour the cheek and chin area. Insider info: they love to use hoola on the men! (Hello, Mr. President!)

Obviously, with the crazy-long hours, seriously strong concealer is a must-have. Our pros recommend mixing erase paste with foundation to blast tough under eye circles. They also love the broad color range and blending capabilities of boi-ing for getting rid of anything from blemishes to dark circles.


Stay don’t stray is another one of their top benefaves. It’s a must to keep eyeshadow on throughout all the scandalous happenings on set, so they rely on stay don’t stray to give it ultimate holding power.

And, of course, would we be talking Benefit if we didn’t talk brows? The team’s newest obsession is gimme brow. Full, gorgeous brows couldn’t be more in right now, and these scandalous beauties tell us that gimme brow is a “brow-saver and life-changer!”

A final bonus tip: for a simple daytime look, all you need is benebalm and a quick coat of they’re real! mascara, and you’re ready to breeze right out the door! So tell us, do you plan on using these scandalous tips in your routine?

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The Mellow, Jazz Club, Ready-to-Chill Candle…

best luxury candles

I have been busy shooting the annual Christmas Candle Video (out on Monday) and, once again, the Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle from This Works has emerged as one of my favourites. It has the most incredible scent – lavender, but not as you know it, more a dark and sexed-up version with quite a masculine edge. This isn’t “frolicking in a field in Provence” lavender; this lavender has been hanging out at some seedy jazz club in Soho and has rolled back in at four in the morning. Mellow, lipstick on its collar, ready to chill.

(What an earth? Someone please put a stop to my weird fragrance imaginings!)

The Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle is simply one of the best luxury home fragrancing options out there – truly effective in the “relax and sleep” department, an absolutely knockout scent and it doesn’t cost the earth. In fact, at £25 for 220g, it’s almost half the price of Diptyque. It’s sold out in most places (surely another great sign!) but you can still get it at This Works online. If you felt like properly splashing out then it’s part of the amazing Perchance to Dream gift set, which includes pillow spray, Dream Cream and  bath soak as well as the candle. That costs £65 here.

Browse the Christmas Gift Guides…

The post The Mellow, Jazz Club, Ready-to-Chill Candle… appeared first on A Model Recommends.

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Is it time to Swap, Rather Than Shop?

Beauty Swap Shop

Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are you are concerned by the current state of the environment and more than likely want to do your part in helping preserve the planet we have. As a beauty blogger, I have grown conscious of a), the amount of plastic within the industry and b), perhaps more concerning, just how much waste there is. Yes, becoming more environmentally sound is a serious issue but that doesn’t mean we can’t think of a few novel and fun ideas to do our part all the while looking and feeling great.

On the topic of waste, perhaps the best idea that came from a few glasses of wine shared with some close friends was holding a beauty swap shop. The idea being that we’d all gather together or unused beauty products that we had no need or use for and swap them amongst ourselves – saving money and of course preventing items ending up on landfill. The beauty of this concept is that it can be as grand or as small as you’d like, initially we settled on just the four of us but as word spread it is looking like the next event of this nature will be closer to 25 people and as such we’ve decided to make it more into a party. As my friend is moving down south in a few months and wanted to book events in Cheshire (her new hometown) to mark the occasion, one as such being a night on the tiles alongside a make-up swap shop. In the end, we have booked Mottram Hall and will be trading lipstick, gossip and moreover a ladies lunch but of course, you can do the exact same thing in the comfort of your lounge.

Other ways you can do your bit within the beauty industry is to look for recycling programmes; two of the best happen to be MAC and Lush. With MAC, if you round up six of your empty MAC products and return them, they will give you a free lipstick of your choice – it really doesn’t get much better than that. Lush have a similar policy with their plastic tubs that often contain body scrubs, lotions and of course masks. Again collect 6 empty pots, return them to your local store and you will receive a free face mask of your choice.

Admittedly the area I am struggling to get to grips with the most is shopping locally; home fragrances has been a fairly easy switch thanks to Shearer Candles (a Scottish business with plenty of shops dotted around Glasgow) and for my bath and body needs, there is the Scottish Soap Company, but beauty brands tend to be few and far between. So far, I have found Sara Hill which is nothing short of excellent but otherwise, offerings tend to be scant.

I’m open to all suggestions big and small to play my part so please feel free to leave any ideas below and let me know if you are open to a beauty event like “Swap and Shop” on a larger scale?

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The Budget Face Masks I Forgot to Post…

the affordable skincare routine

Brain like a sieve: I forgot to put the budget face masks in the Affordable Skincare Routine post and also, more importantly, I completely omitted to tell you that I had made a video to go alongside it!

If you read the main post, you’ll see that I’m doing a huge clearout in my beauty room, ready for house renovations to begin (*weeps*) and I am trying to film little videos along the way. There are boxes with notes taped to them dated from 2013, 2012 – even 2011! – with video ideas and lists of products to be included. Shameful. Some of the stuff (especially the more natural and organic) had mould growing inside. Some stuff smelt of old wee. I have chucked those things, obviously, but where they received a glowing report on my list, I have made an effort to replenish stocks so that I can finally get the filming done. So, plenty more vids to come, and not just skincare.

So here are the masks that I picked out from my box of budget beauty finds. If the photo above looks familiar, it’s because I did an almost identical post last year and have only just realised. At least I’m consistent! Here’s the older post:

affordable deep cleansing face masks

Affordable Face Masks for Deep Cleansing Your Skin. 

Oh dear. Rather than repeat myself, I think it’s best if you click the link above to read about the Visibly Clear 2-in-1, the 5 Minute Thermal Detox and the Liz Earle mask, but I do have a new addition to the mix, which is the Bioderma Hydrabio Moisturising Mask (£14.50 here). It’s a gentle, creamy mask that feels soothing and gives a bit of an extra moisture boost. I’ve been applying it in quite a thick layer, and then tissuing it off after about half an hour. Which is probably against all of the rules on the box, but I didn’t read the instructions and then the dog ate the packaging! I must say that I find it difficult to gauge results with moisturising masks; with a deep cleanse or renewing mask you can see a visible difference and feel a new smoothness or freshness but with hydration it’s hard to tell whether or not you’re any better off than just slathering on a good moisturiser! I must do more research on them, now that my skin seems to be getting drier and drier (hello new phase of pregnancy skin!) – there’s a new one from Suqqu that’s absolutely bloody AMAZING, but definitely not in the affordable category. Watch this space.

*Update: I almost forgot to put the video in, AGAIN! Here it is – for all of the product details, remember to click back to the main Affordable Skin Care post.

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