Beauty Counter x Beauty Heroes

It’s that time again! I am still so excited to receive my Beauty Heroes box each month, this is without a doubt the best subscription box I’ve ever tried, there’s nothing I’ve received so far that’s going unloved or unused and February’s box is no exception, introducing me to a new brand, one that’s impossible to get in Europe & the UK, for an incredible price.

This month’s box contains two full-size products from the brand Beauty Counter, the hero of the month being the beautiful Rose & Neroli Body Oil ($73) whilst the sidekick/extra item included is a Lip Sheer in the shade Petal ($30).

Haven’t heard of Beauty Counter? Let me fill you in…

If you are completely unfamiliar with the brand a quick way to describe it would be like an all-natural Avon in America. With over 11,000 consultants in their three year life span I’m curious as to why I don’t hear more about the brand. The packaging is sleek (I mean. just look at that gold lipstick, it’s now the prettiest one I own) and their commitment to safer beauty is commendable.

The USA is highly different from Europe and has next to no laws in place for ingredient safety, Beauty Counter founder Gregg Renfrew spends much of her time working to try and update these laws and has funded partnerships with universities to test and screen chemicals (never on animals obviously) to better understand them and their effects on our health. Beauty Counter have an extensive ‘never list’ of ingredients we won’t find in their products and the ingredients that do are all listed in their ingredient glossary so you can understand what they do if you’re unfamiliar.

Petal Lip Sheer.

As well as always getting a full-size product, Beauty Heroes like to include the hero’s sidekick too, because who’s Batman without Robin? This month our sidekick just happens to be a full-size product to, aaaaand it just might be my favourite of the two.
The Petal Lip Sheer is worth $30 and very nearly pays for the cost of the box itself ($39). Housed in luxe gold packaging, it’s easy to see why this is a Beauty Counter best seller, the formula is silky smooth and glides onto lips like lip balm, but leaves a wash of colour that’s universally flattering. I’m normally wary of pale shades + pale skin, but this suits me just fine for a hint of pink.

Makeup is a tricky one to get right in a beauty box, but I think Beauty Heroes have nailed this one with such a perfect colour, pink on some, nude on others, sheer enough to suit all. Beauty Heroes have listened to their subscribers wishes to include makeup, but also won’t have more than two boxes a year with it in, so you don’t need to worry about filling up your makeup bag with unsuitable products.

Rose Neroli Body Oil.

The star of the show is the deliciously scented Rose Neroli Body Oil. I slathered this on after my shower last night and I love that the scent is actually quite delicate and not at all overpowering and sickly like it’s so easy to do with floral scents. It smells exactly like you would imagine a rose & neroli blend to smell, mostly neroli, a little rosy, floral and sweet.
The oil is made up of a blend of 11 skin loving oils including jojoba, argan, marula, rosehip, seabuckthorn and grapeseed. The texture is light enough to be applied to dry skin and have it sink in without any greasy residue, but moisturising enough with the nutrient rich oils to soothe the driest skin. It’s recommended to apply to damp skin and massage in but I just applied a pump to the back of my hands so I could describe the scent and feel and it has sunk in beautifully. I love it. This may actually be a body product that I remember to use!

All about the box.

$103 worth of product for $39. It’s a no-brainer. EU pals, shipping is extra but as always totally worth it. The box costs me about £35 and usually it makes it through customs without a charge (I suppose it just depends who is processing your parcel that day as I know one or two that have had to pay the royal mail fee). You have until the 20th of this month to sign up and get this box, any after that date will get the March box (It’s skincare next month and o.m.g. it’s going to be awesome).
For a brand that I would never normally get to try, I’m pretty pleased with this month’s box, what about you?
Sign up to Beauty Heroes here.

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Sunday Tittle Tattle: Hotel Awards and Sleeping Pets

best hotel awards

1) If you fancy being in with a chance of winning a five night stay in an incredible hotel, get voting for your favourite places to stay in the Smith Hotel Awards 2014. I book most of my trips through Mr & Mrs Smith and pretty much everywhere I’ve stayed has been amazing, so I’m finding it quite difficult to decide. Which is a slight problem, considering I’m one of the judges… (I’m doing the Spa Hotel category so do cast your votes in that department, you all seem to have such impeccable taste when you leave comments on my travel posts.) Here’s the voting page: The Smith Hotel Awards. The prize hotel will be the one that comes out as the overall winner, so not to be sniffed at!

2) I am so sorry, Max Factor lipstick winners; things have just been hectic and I keep forgetting to put your prizes in the postbox! I have them right here on my desk staring at me forlornly, so I will post them tomorrow morning. Again, please accept my apologies!

sleeping cockapoo cute

3) Sleeping pet pics. If these don’t make you feel snoozy then nothing will. Time for a little Sunday nap, I think… Above we have Dexter the Cockapoo and below, Mr Bear the British Shorthair. You can find more photos of them on Instagram here.

mr bear british shorthair cat

Have a wonderful Sunday and a restful start to the new week!

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Kukui: Luxury Twigs and Easy Home Fragrancing

warm winter fragrances

I’ve just been trawling my website archives for mentions of Connock London and their beautiful body range: I can hardly find a thing! A brief candle appearance in a video that has mysteriously disappeared (I think it may have been one of the Christmas Gift Guides that I used the Home Alone soundtrack for, in one of my more naive moments) and then a fragrance review earlier on this year. But the scent of Connock’s products is one of my all-time favourite things! I’m positive that I wrote about the body wash, and the fact that my builder kept using it up?

connock london reed diffuser

Well anyway: Kukui is just the most beautiful fragrance. I find it to be quite masculine, in some ways – very warm and woody – but with this exotic, heady edge. It’s the perfect scent for a luxury body range – it lends itself so well to those sumptuous oils and rich, unctuous balms. They are the type of products that you end up guarding, fiercely, because you don’t want anyone else to use them – I hide my shower oil behind the sink! – and even the soaps and the simple body wash are a total treat. When the perfumes start filling the room you’re instantly transported to somewhere far away, somewhere relaxing and hot and beachy – this is home-spa-ing at its very best!

Read more fragrance reviews…

The latest addition to the Kukui range is a fragrance diffuser. I love these little jars of twigs. I’ve praised reed diffusers many times before (try here for a start), but allow me to recap the benefits: you don’t have to light them, you don’t have to remember to blow them out, they won’t burn your house down if you accidentally forget to blow them out, they are always “on” and working. All you need to do, with jars of twigs, is now and again take out the bunch of reeds and turn it upside down, jamming the dry ends into the liquid and allowing the wet ends to waft about in the air. Can home fragrance get any easier? My house just permanently smells like some kind of expensive beach hotel.

In terms of longevity, the Connock jar of twigs seems to be doing pretty well – let’s see if it beats my Jo Malone Red Roses diffuser, which carried on scenting my hallway for about six months even after all the oils in the jar had evaporated!

You can find Connock here – I want to try the bath and the body oil next, so I’ll let you know how I get on. The fragrance diffuser is £38, the body range starts at £18.50.

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Weekly Window Shop: Instagrammable Chairs

instagram office chairs

I’ve been searching high and low for a new office chair. Depending on when this post goes up, you will or won’t know that I had a complete change of heart with my office decor and decided to go very light and airy rather than dark and Tom Ford-y. My whole house is dark and Tom Ford-y, with its rich woods and grey slate and green-gold carpets, so I thought that the office space, which is at the end of the garden, should be feminine and bright. It’s still rather retro in feel, but with pale wood and white detailing – not a spec of rosewood in sight!

So chairs. I’m saying goodbye to my beloved Herman Miller Sayl Chair and its exemplary back-supporting properties (Mr AMR is adopting it for his office, lucky him!) and going pale and interesting – whites, greys, perhaps some chrome. Chairs that you’d see in those lovely bright Instagram pictures – you know, the ones where they have a cactus and then three white books leaning up against some sort of fancy lamp.

I’ll warn you in advance; I’m a bit of a furniture freak so most of my chair picks will be on the pricier side. I appreciate a classic design that will last for decades and I find that in the long run the top quality pieces are actually better value for money – our De Sede sofa was made in the late sixties and, though a little “vintaged” in places, is still an incredibly good-looking piece.

The chairs, then…

Kartell Ero/S

Instagrammable Chairs

A Philippe Starck design, I love the feminine egg-shaped seat and the contrast with the hard chrome legs. This is actually very similar to the chair that I ended up buying, which you’ll have to read until the end of the post to find out about! The Ero/S is £287 at Amara and comes in quite a few different colours as well as the classic, easy-on-the-eye white.

Eames DAW Armchair

vitra charles eames chair

Very close indeed to the chair that I ended up buying – the Eames DAW is just a timeless piece of furniture that looks good in any interior. I have seen these in contemporary houses, old Victorian terraces and battered-up studios and they never fail to look stylish. There are many, many copies of this chair at every price-point, starting from around twenty-five quid but I have NO idea what sort of quality they’d be! The official design, reproduced by Vitra, is £412 at Heals here.

Genoa Office Chair

john lewis grey office chair

Much plainer than the Eames but this will appeal to those who like to keep things simple. I like the grey upholstery and the chrome legs look very smart. This one is £199 at John Lewis.

Panton S Chair

vitra

Oh, the Panton S Chair! Another iconic design and – like the Eames –  I have loved this for years. It’s not right for my office, but I’m wondering whether I can convince Mr AMR that a couple of them would look very sculptural and beautiful under our roof overhang that runs around the outside of the kitchen. Bit expensive for garden chairs, at £207 each (!) but they would definitely make an impact. How would they fare, do you think, being made from plastic? You can find more details here.

IKEA Fjallberget

ikea office chair

I had to check IKEA as they often do really great and inexpensive chairs – but this one isn’t at all cheap! Lovely grey upholstery (I seem to have a thing for grey) and a wooden back that looks at once modern and sort of retro. The chrome base is simple and non-officey. £150 here.

Jerry Dining Chair

habitat vitra chair

Something about this makes me think of an Eames chair, but an Eames chair looked at through one of those circus mirrors so that everything’s a bit chubbier. Or an Eames chair drawn by a seven year old. The proportions are somehow inviting and comfortable, but it’s a lot less refined. A snip, though, at £80 and there are various colours to choose from if you’re not into white. Find it here.

The Winner

eames dar chair

In case you’re intrigued to know what I actually ended up with: a chair that I would have thought was beyond my wildest dreams! The Eames DAR – which is like the DAW, pretty much, but with entirely upholstered rather than just the seat pad and the eiffel legs rather than wooden. These chairs are usually about £700 each, but I found an excellent second-hand chap who had one – with grey hopsack upholstery – for £275. All genuine, stamped, etc – it was from an office clearance (a very posh office) and in great condition. I’m over the moon with it. Now and then, good genuine ones do pop up on eBay but you have to watch like a hawk – there are hundreds and hundreds of copies.

My winner, had I not found the Eames DAR? Probably the Eames DAW, if money was no object. Not very inventive of me, but what can I say? I like a design classic!

The post Weekly Window Shop: Instagrammable Chairs appeared first on A Model Recommends.

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After Reading This You Might Just Wear Aftershave

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme

So maybe you’ve got a boo (do we still say boo these days? I’ve been out the dating game so long that I’m no longer down with the kids) and you want to treat them to a new fragrance or maybe you just want to smell sexy in your own right. Both are entirely valid reasons to purchase, or in the very least try Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly do believe that 2017 in terms of fragrance trends, there will be a huge emphasis on unisex and frankly sensual scents – think notes of leather and Tonka bean for their ability to offer the closeness of a second skin. That’s not to say you’ve got to ditch your beloved floral notes or signature scent but maybe use the turning trend as an excuse to step a little or a lot out of your comfort zone. As someone who does prefer woodier fragrances, I am no stranger to the world of male cologne, splashes and aftershave but admittedly it can be a fine line to tread. I want to stand out from the crowd not spend the day reassuring both myself and those around me, that no I am not sporting my boyfriends fragrance by mistake. Subtly is what this all pars down to.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme has a strong, androgynous, buttery leather top note – one that would not be out of place within a Tom Ford Private blend and as such it sits more the comfortably on both sexes. I hate to be this person as I purchase fragrances to smell great, not to say “hey look at me, I promise I’m flush with money – I might even have a trust fund” but Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme does smell expensive. It is the sort of scent that smells like it belongs nestled upon the ever coveted and tested, but seldom purchased fragrances in a certain beauty hall and yet it is fairly easy to come by. What I’m saying with a long winded approach, is that this is not the most rugged nor obvious of male marketed fragrances.

Other notes within Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme include Woodleather™, Golden Wood™ paired with a trio of patchouli oils and vetiver: overall it is a simple in composition fragrance that is rich, very woody, soft and ever so slightly fresh at the same time. I promise if you step out of your comfort zone just this once, you shall be rewarded.

Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme £54/50ml via House of Fraser – link.





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