PRODUCT REVIEW: RACINNE OPTIMAL FORTIFYING EMULSION




I picked this hydrating moisturiser up at a beauty sale when I was working for a well known monthly magazine last year as I'd heard great things about the brand and was intrigued to try out their products.

I didn't really have many expectations for the product as I just quickly grabbed and paid for it. Those of you who have been lucky enough to attend a few beauty sales will know how extreme they are. There's not a second to spare as the moment you pause to contemplate a product will cost you the product, you just have to grab what you can and hope for the best.

From Racinne's Ultra Hyra Perfection range, the Optimal Fortifying Emulsion is enriched with grape extracts (known for their antioxidant effects), sea plant extracts (to increase firmness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles) as well as multivitamins creating a hydrating concentrate which renews and nourishes skin. The light formula is crammed full of supercharged skincare ingredients which protect against harsh climates and everyday pollution. The concentate also contains amino acids to promote healthy cell growth and protect collagen, is paraben free AND isn't tested on animals: it pretty much ticks every box in my skincare wish list.

I've been using two pumps of the clear concentrate every morning after cleansing for just over three months and have noticed a real difference in how my skin looks and feels. Upon application my skin feels hydrated, replenished and tighter. My Mum's been using it too and her skin has a visible glow, which she's super happy with. Although I didn't pay the full price for this I'd definitely purchase it again.

The only UK stockist (I've found) is Fenwicks, I'd really recommend popping in and asking for a sample if you're close to one. Racinne's Ultra Hydra Perfection range is suitable for all skin types and is definitely worth trying if you're looking to rehydrate your skin.

ZARA SALE:

Photos by Sarah Holliday

Coat, top and skirt : Zara; necklace: Topshop, bag: Kate Spade, shoes: Asos

A couple of weeks ago I accidentally stumbled upon the Zara website and a lot of lovely things consequently fell into my basket.

The Zara sale is not one to miss. Not only are the reductions insanely tempting they always have such a vast array of well made, staple pieces. I picked up: a coat (pictured and reduced from £150 to £49.99), two skirts (a cute blue one and the one pictured: both reduced from £25.99 to £7.99 ), this plain black tee (£5.99 from £18.99) and a lovely black top with sheer lace panelling down the sides (£4.99 from £25.99). I love a good bargain and was really pleased with these pieces, especially as I picked them up so close to the end of the sale.

With the horrible cold and wet weather we've had throughout February/March I've practically lived in the tartan oversized boyfriend coat. I have a major penchant for coats, as I think they can totally change an outfit, dressing looks up or down with ease as well as providing loveworn pieces a new lease of life.

Have you picked up any pieces in the sale recently? As I type this I'm sat in a beautiful light-blue coat I stumbled upon in the Miss Selfridge sale yesterday…yeah, I definitely have a coat problem.

PRODUCT REVIEW: YU-BE MOISTURISING SKIN CREAM

Yu-Be Moisturising cream, tub: £19.50; tube: £13.50
I'm a huge fan of do-it-all balms. I don't leave the house without either a tube of Elizabeth Arden's trusty eight hour cream or Japan's bestselling take on it, safely tucked away in my bag.
The 'Do-It-All' balm caters for every possible eventuality you encounter throughout the day: it's perfect for tending to chapped lips, dry skin and a huge list of first aid functions (including frostbite) to name just a few of its many, many uses. 
Yu-Be's Moisturising Skin Cream has been around since the late 1950's, it was created by a pharmacist, Yoshikiyo Nowatari, as an alternative to the many petroleum based-moisturisers available. Through a secret manufacturing process he created a highly concentrated Glycerin-based cream which replenishes lost moisture from the skin whilst eradicating excess grease: a common issue with petroleum-based products. Packed with vitamins E and B2, the bright yellow product, has a strong camphor scent which does linger upon application, something which can be quite off-putting for anyone with a sensitive nose. However it is a miracle product which works just as well on your face as it does your fingers and feet. 
I've introduced so many of mine and my Mum's friends to Yu-Be's wonderful balm, and I'd definitely recommend sniffing it out, if you struggle with the majorly menthol scent it's worth persevering as the results are worth the whiff.

PRODUCT REVIEW: LIZ EARLE - BOTANICAL SHINE NOURISHING HAIR OIL


I’ve previously posted about my love of oils, I think they're so beneficial in lots of different ways: I incorporate quite a few into my daily and weekly beauty routines and this is one of my all time favourite hair oil.

First, let me say that this product smells just INCREDIBLE. I can't even describe it properly, it's just very yummy and fruity and almost good enough to eat (although I definitely wouldn't advise consuming it). It's lightweight and feels quite luxurious: made from naturally active ingredients including radish seed oil and Kenyan yangu oil it conditions and smooths hair for a luminous shine whilst also protecting against heat damage. 

This product is also alleged to reduce blow-dry time, something that I've sadly not experienced. My hair's grown a considerable amount over the past year and blow-drying time is consequently getting longer and longer so I'm always eager to try things that claim to shorten it as I get quite impatient.

I've had bleached blonde hair since I was 15 and worry an awful lot about it's condition as it often gets very dry and tangly. I've been using this oil after almost every wash: towel drying my hair then applying 3-5 pumps and running it through the ends of my hair up to around four inches from my roots before combing it through and blowdrying as usual. I've been so impressed with the results, my hair doesn't feel sticky or greasy at all (which is always a worry with oils) just smooth and frizz free. After over four months use I've worked my way though just over a quarter of the 50ml product: which is pretty good value, especially for such great results. At half the price of the cult Moroccan Oil and has transformed the texture of my hair in the same way, so if you're looking for an oil which really works I can't recommend this enough - especially if you've got hair like mine.

PRODUCT REVIEW: ÚNA BRENNAN - ROSE HYDRATE RADIANCE DAY CREAM



I was looking for a new day-cream at Christmas and stumbled across this range whilst shopping in my local Boots. Formulated by celebrity facialist Úna Brennan, this day cream is part of her Rose range, which seems to be exclusively available through Boots, it aims to hydrate, moisturise and protect you skin. With SPF15 it's a perfect everyday base, offering UV protection throughout the day.

I've been applying this most mornings for the last three months, alternating between it and my fave Origins Make a Difference + cream, as a primer and I've been so impressed with the results. The combination of natural soothers, Cucumber oil and Marshmallow extract replenish and rehydrate, which left my skin feeling really fresh. I'm particular fussy with what I use on my skin and often look for products which are suitable for sensitive skin as I find I'm more trusting towards them and prefer the results. 

The Super Facialist range is a very well priced range and is often available in Boots' very appealing 3 for 2 offer. Whilst I don't mind investing in great skincare I love drugstore gems and this is definitely one of my best finds: I'm looking forward to trying out more products in the range and have started saving for a facial with Úna herself.

Have you used any of Úna's Super Facialist range? What're your recommendations?

PRODUCT REVIEW: BIODERMA - SÉBIUM PURIFYING CLEANSING FOAMING GEL


I picked up this cleansing gel at a beauty sale when I was working at Hearst last summer. I've always been a huge fan of Bioderma - I don't go anywhere without my trusty Bioderma Crealine TS H2O Micelle Solution - and I'd heard great things about this purifying cleanser. However I also picked up a lot of other beauty bits so until last month his bottle had been totally neglected in a box crammed full of products I'm slowly working my way through.

I've been using it daily for the last month and have been really impressed with the results.I'm a huge fan of double cleansing and have been using this after my trusty Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser: both products compliment each other well and I've been really impressed with the results. 

I have combination skin and normally suffer from dryness after using gel cleansers, however this foaming product leaves my skin nice and clean without drying it out. The patented Fluidactiv® sebum-correcting formula reduces sebum which helps prevent break-outs: the gentle, soap-free formula can also be used on other problem areas on the body (ie. chest and back). I'd really recommend it.


Have you tried this purifying cleanser, if so what did you think?

ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR PINK:


Top, skirt and shoes: Asos, Bag: The Leather Satchel Co, Necklace: Laura Gravestock, Bracelets: gifts.

I am head-over-heels with this co-ordinating combo. It had been sat in my shopping basket for a whole half a day before I took the plunge and purchased it - I have absolutely no self-control. The contrasting textured-knit is adorably named the "fluffy eyelash," with playful neon-pink trims accentuating the split, dipped hem detail on the top. 

I purchased this look back in January and teamed it with a white shirt and my Kate Spade bag for an interview I had at a tv network as I felt it conveyed just the right creative-yet-professional vibe. 

I love how well both pieces work separately too: the high-waisted pencil skirt looks great with an oversized white tee and converse. After a long winter full of tartan and living in Primark's iconic super-cosy tights, I'm really looking forward to wearing some bright styles this summer.

PRODUCT REVIEW: DR. NICK LOWE - DARK CIRCLES CORRECTING CREAM



If you're a night owl like me this stuff is essential in order to look half alive the next day. All of my best ideas tend to come just as I should be falling asleep so I religiously apply this Anti Dark Circles Complex to counteract and disguise any damage. 

I've always had a complex about baggy eyes and dark circles, when I was 17 I used to have a three hour nap before I went out every weekend to ensure that I never looked too saggy. Now I'm 22 and have reluctantly accepted that I'm never going to be able to fully eradicate my dark circles, caused more by late nights than age. This isn't a new find, I've heard people raving about Dr Nick Lowe (he's an internationally renowned Consultant Dematologist) since I was in 6th form but after having a stressful few days (I took and passed my driving test on Friday) my dark circles and I headed into Boots and hoped for a miracle.

The cream has a light consistency and is very easily absorbed, making it the perfect addition to a make-up bag that's always on the move (like mine) as there's no need to wait to apply make-up. Full of light-reflecting particles it immediately appeared to brighten my dark circles, after my third day of use I even felt confident enough to leave the house without my usual concealer - yay! 

I absolutely recommend this cream to anyone looking for assistance in fading their dark circles away.

Have you tried Dr Nick Lowe's products? Do you have any recommendations?

LFW: SOPHIA WEBSTER AW14

images from Vogue.com
  "Happily Ever After Is So Once Upon A Time" 

Every LFW I look forward to Sophia Webster's presentation, her impeccable attention to detail and  inspired kaleidoscopic colour-ways ensure she's always the one to watch. This season's 'Heartbreak Hotel' themed presentation was filled with 90's references and offered a modern fairytale vibe: with models installed in powder-pink bedrooms, spiral staircases and shoe closets. The inspired set
design by David White and styling by Louby McLoughlin perfectly offset the collection, with fun fleece lined styles and grown-up jelly-esque sandals accompanied by quirky statement speech bubble bags. The girly powdered pastel palette and, brand mascot, flamingo motifs made me feel very nostalgic. I've already started saving for a pair...

REVIEW - THE BOOK THIEF:



If you haven't already read it, I implore you to do so. The Book Thief is one of my all time favourite books. Markus Zusak's beautifully written tale stays with you long after you've turned the final page: so much so that my best friend's sister named her baby boy Hans, after the heroic Hans Hubermann. 

My boyfriend surprised me with preview tickets to see the film last night and it was just wonderful: I saw and sobbed; although not as much as when I first read the tale of Liesel. Zusak commented today (via his fb page) that he sees the novel and film as two completely different things, comparing them to brothers. I agree. The subject of the book is very heavy: narrated by Death and following Liesel's journey through WWII and the solace she finds through learning to read, reading and sharing tales with others.

Whilst I loved the film with it's almost Harry Potter-esque style and near perfect casting: Sophie Nélisse and Nico Liersch as Liesel and Rudi are such a beautiful pairing: if you don't cry when they finally kiss I'd be v.suprised. Roger Allam narrating as Death just didn't work for me. As one of the main and most interesting elements of the novel it was something that wasn't capitalised upon anywhere as near as effectually as it could have been by the director. Excluding the prologue and epilogue there was, from my memory, only one interjection of narration during the film. Resulting in the narrative being quite a redundant feature, leaving viewers who've not read the novel, such as my boy, confused as to why Death is so interested in Liesel? 

Although I really loved the film, I'd recommend reading the book first and then seeing it at the cinema. As with every story that's adapted to the screen the element's that are most cherished never seem to transpire as well as you wished. 

It's released in UK cinema's from 24th February, book here.

THE LEATHER SATCHEL CO. NEON SATCHEL

The Leather Satchel Co, 11" basic neon satchel via asos

I'd been coveting this satchel for soo long when I finally took the plunge and purchased this neon beauty two Septembers ago (I really don't know why I never got round to posting these pictures that I excitedly snapped - bad, bad blogger!) It had been in my asos saved items section for far too long and I did a happy dance around my room when the postman dropped it off.

They were kinda the 'it' bag of two seasons ago now but I still regularly wear mine. The classic cut and style makes them a timeless piece to team with everyday looks. The bright neon yellow shade adds the perfect pop of colour to any outfit. I love emphasising it's bright colour either by wearing it with monochromatic looks or clashing it against bright colours in the summer. The sizing makes the bag more of an off-duty accompaniment: it's the perfect size for your phone, cards, your iPad mini and a lipstick. However if you're looking for something more substantial in size I'd personally recommend the Batchel.

Here's what I've been wearing mine with:

( L) On a night out with: Topshop: dress, boots and necklace and Zara coat; 
( R) On my Ma's hen do with Zara dress 

MY FAVOURITE LIPSTICK: CHANEL ROUGE ALLURE VELVET:



Happy Friday guys! I'm SO looking forward to this weekend, I'm back down in London assisting on a tv show which will be a ball. I've been smiling ever since I got the email and will be wearing La Favourite all weekend as it's my all time favourite shade. I usually shy away from matte lipsticks as I much prefer a lustre or something more moisturising as I find matte lipsticks extremely drying but the Allure Velvet is described as 'as moisturising as a satiny lipstick' and I have to agree. It combines the colour intensity of a matte lipstick without the annoyance of it flaking away: the lipstick dream. As a gorgeous deep yet luminous coraly-pink shade which easily transitions from day to evening make up: I love wearing it with minimal make-up (especially in summer with a dewy foundation and a tonne of bronzer) as well as with a feline eyeliner flick and lashings of mascara.

What's your favourite lipstick and what make up do you pair it with?