Wednesday, July 31

Liz Earle Grapefruit & Patchouli Hot Cloth Cleanser Special Edition

I was recently invited over to the Soho Hotel for dinner with the Liz Earle team to talk skincare, make up and of course, new launches. Upon arrival I was extremely excited to see a new bottle of the extremely popular Liz Earle classic, Cleanse & Polish on display and couldn't wait to hear all about it.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish has been a product that I have used on and off for the past few years, in fact once upon a time it was the only product I would use to cleanse. Previously to this Grapefruit & Patchouli Special Edition*, Liz Earle released a limited edition Cleanse & Polish in Rose & Lavender that went down an absolute treat with both Liz Earle die hard fans and people new to the brand and the Cleanse & Polish experience and I think that this is going to have a similar, if not better reaction.

Exactly the same product, though with a zesty twist, this Cleanse & Polish is suitable for every age and every skin type and works to remove make up and daily grime and leave the skin look radiant, clean and smooth. 

Available to buy on the 29th August, this 150ml Liz Earle Grapefruit & Patchouli Hot Cloth Cleanser comes with two muslin cloths and will be available to buy for £19.75 until it sells out. Having used this for the past two weeks now, I don't think it will be around for long because it's really such a dream to use, so if it sounds like it's a product for you, I would certainly recommend grabbing it whilst you can. For me, the citrusy Grapefruit and Patchouli scent adds something so lovely to what is already a fabulous product to use and feels super refreshing and energising on the skin. 

Available to buy online, on QVC and at selected counters in Boots and John Lewis, I know I'll be taking a trip to stock up. Are you a fan of Liz Earles cult product Cleanse & Polish? Does this special edition appeal to you?
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Tuesday, July 30

MAC Sweet & Sour

I was recently invited down to the launch of the MAC Pro Store in Covent Garden and whilst there was given a pretty generous discount, which of course I made use of and spent a small fortune stocking up on new MAC products. It's been a surprisingly long time since I last shared my thoughts on a MAC lipstick with you, and even though Sweet & Sour isn't easily available now, on the off chance that it will be re-released, I thought I would share my love for this Creamy Peach with you.

I had wanted to pick up a few products in the All About Orange Collection for a while but due to them being incredibly fast sell outs, I wasn't able to. Fortunately, at the new Covent Garden store,  the entire collection was fully stocked and so I was so pleased to finally pick up this MAC lipstick in Sweet & Sour after lusting after it since I had seen the promo shots pre release. 

MAC Sweet & Sour was probably the stand out shade in the collection for me; being a soft Peach Cream with a natural sheen it fits in my collection just perfectly and has become a favourite of mine to apply this Summer so far. I've never really been blown away by Cremesheen formulas, but I must say that I'm pleasantly impressed with Sweet & Sour. It appears on my lips slightly more matte, with a lot less of a glossed finish than I thought it would, but still feels pretty creamy and doesn't need too much attention at all. I really like to wear it with a Nude or Peach gloss on top, which is a new thing for me, but it looks really pretty I can't get enough.

Although this has become a current go to lipstick for me, I'm trying to hold off using it every day as like I mentioned before, it's almost impossible to get hold of now, unless you're willing to pay over the odds which I wouldn't really recommend.

 MAC lipsticks are an all time favourite of mine and costing £15 can be purchased both online and at counters in MAC stand alone stores, SelfridgesHouse of Fraser and Debenhams.

What do you think of Sweet & Sour? Did you manage to pick up anything in the All About Orange Collections?

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Visit Thailand with Malaysia Airlines (VOTE TO WIN TWO TICKETS!)

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to fulfil one of my dreams and travel to South East Asia to the visit the most incredible country I have ever set eyes on, Thailand. It's a destination that had always appealed to me and in my opinion covered all bases for a trip of a lifetime, although in hindsight it was honestly so much more than that.

Thailand is situated in South East Asia and bordered by Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia it covers 513,115 square miles that I can honestly say has offerings to suit everyone. Typically, I normally enjoy quite quiet holidays but I was desperate for an adventure and aspiring to see the culture, the areas of westernisation, the serene clean beaches and the more rural areas of Thailand, I travelled from Southern Thailand to the North to experience all of the different aspects. 

My journey took me from the wonderful city of Bangkok which if I'm honest, wasn't quite how I expected it to be in the slightest. Far from the small city I initially had pictured in my head, Bangkok is a bustling city full of sky scrapers, fantastic designer and wholesale shopping malls, fun attractions including a city zoo, more Diamonds and Tailors than you could possibly imagine, restaurants and bars to suit everyone, incredible culture and is extremely diverse in that it's home to both the wealthy and unfortunately like so many areas I saw in Thailand, more deprived areas. I took the opportunity to stay in a couple of different districts within Bangkok, to see a wider perspective and thoroughly enjoyed both aspects for completely different reasons.

 Bangkok is absolutely incredible and although unfortunately just before I had arrived in Bangkok, Thailand had been struck with the devastating Thailand floods, and so activities that I had planned to do i.e. the floating markets weren't available to do, this didn't effect the high spirits of the Thai locals in the slightest and the streets continued to bustle with manic shopping, flowing conversations beween locals and tourists, whizzing Tuk Tuks and street markets all in full swing.

Throughout the whole of Thailand and not just in Bangkok alone, culture plays a huge a part of Thai locals day to day lives and they have quite honestly, the most impressively built, beautiful Temples that are fortunately for us, open for all to view. A Tuk Tuk driver spent the whole day taking us to visit the majority of the most popular sights and Temples in Bangkok, including the Sleeping Buddha, in exchange for some fuel tokens he would collect at a couple of extra souvenir/tailor/diamond warehouse stops (this happens alot!), and whilst diamond shopping wasn't high on my backpacking agenda, I really enjoyed taking in all of their culture and felt very much at peace whilst in their highly respected, tranquil surroundings.

From Bangkok, my boyfriend and I took a quick flight and made our way down to Koh Samui, where we spent a couple of quite days in a "cheap as chips" beach bungalow close to a Fishermans village, taking some time out and relaxing from the city speed of Bangkok, before getting a ferry over to Koh Phangnan for yes, you guessed it- the famous Full Moon Party.

 We stayed local to the beach where the celebrations of the monthly Full Moon Party occur, but in a completely idyllic setting on clear Blue sea and fine White sand. Only a few minutes away from the neon lights and over flowing buckets of Vodka and Red Bull, you would have never have guessed we were on the same island and that's what I love most about Thailand; not only is there always something going on but you can be in the hustle and bustle and back to a tranquil and relaxing setting in no time at all.

I've said it to a few people and strongly feel that the activities westerners tend to want to see and do (Elephant trekking, Tiger and Monkey feeding, Treks and Beaches) are all available to experience pretty much all over Thailand, but I jumped at the opportunity to do most of them in Koh Phangnan and spent the days leading up to the Full Moon Party, which was a whole experience in itself, Elephant Trekking, feeding baby Monkeys, getting up close and personal with Tigers, searching for Crocodiles and Snakes and riding on top of a Jeep taking in the beautiful Green scenery whilst catching some extremely bright rays, throughout the high points of the Island. 

After admittedly going a little wild in Koh Phangnan and consuming one too many bucket cocktails, we hopped back aboard the ferry and headed back to Koh Samui where we stayed in yet another beach bungalow, in a slightly more built up area- Chewang Beach. Chewang Beach was homed with a strip of bars, shops, fake designer handbag stores and every food chain you could possibly imagine. We took day trips to the most beautiful of Waterfalls and beaches and saw the Big Buddah, even more Elephants, Tigers and Monkeys and a few other famous tourist attractions, including the Grandfather and Grandmother Rocks.

Continuing our tour of Thailand, we booked an internal flight and flew overland to the West, where we visited Krabi, Phi Phi and Phuket. Similarly to Bangkok, Krabi was slightly different to how I initially thought it would be too. Other than taking a visit to the Old Town, I didn't feel there was really too much to do, but it was great to use as a base to visit the most amazing islands I have ever laid eyes on; Poda Island, Tup Island and Chicken Island, which I highly recommend you visit, should you decide to visit Thailand. These are the serene postcard beaches that you see in the brochures and each offer the most picturesque, dreamy of settings. Caught at the right time, when the tide is out you can actually walk to and from a few of them and so if you're looking for quiet and beautiful White sandy beaches to occupy your time, this is where you'll most likely love the most.

Phi Phi was my personal highlight of the trip and is a beautiful island full of the most friendly of faces. One sandy beach to the beach on the opposite side of the island is a super short distance to walk, which is handy being that it is a pedestrianised island where there are no vehicles at all, which is quite honestly the most refreshing feeling. Watching fire shows whilst the sun set and laying back in a bean bag on the beach of an evening really appealed to us and we ended up staying much longer than intended but made the most of extended visit by trekking up to stunning view points, watching Thai Boxing through the nights, making friends that we are still in contact with now and using it as a base for trips to other islands such as Maya Bay, where The Beach was filmed, and Monkey Island, where many a hour was spent snorkelling and lounging around the clear Blue reefs in inflatables with a cocktail in hand.

Phuket was by far the most westernised part of Thailand we had visited and had we not known what to expect, we probably would have been a little taken-a-back. We started off our trip about twenty minutes from Patong, but with beaches that were pretty reminiscent of beaches I had seen on previous holidays with lots of families, vast amounts of tourism with endless sun loungers and water sports, we decided to move on up to Patong for a short visit before heading to the north of the country.

Patong by day and Patong by night were almost two different trips. Patong by day was the perfect destination to lay out on the beach, sipping juice from freshly cut fruit whilst catching some rays before a spot of shopping, a trip to Starbucks and in our case Go-Karting, but Patong by night was quite similar to the rest of Thailand with endless bustling street markets and bright lights and lovely Thai children approaching you for competitive games of Connect 4, though with the addition of a crazy walking strip homed in the centre of the town, full of bars and entertainment that showed a somewhat slightly more daring and out there side of Thailand, which had I not expected to see it, probably would have come as quite the surprise. 

Nearing the end of our thirty-something day trip, we headed up to Chiang Mai, which is in Northern Thailand and is almost a whole world away from the what in comparison, seemed like the chaos of the South. A lot more Green and fresh in the air, Chiang Mai was the perfect ending to our trip before heading back to the very lovely Bangkok. Whilst in Chiang Mai, we experienced what seemed a little more like "real Thailand" in some ways; we visited a fair few areas where English wasn't spoken which I loved, visited the Long Neck Tribes which was a real eye opener for me and visited more local style markets as opposed to the tourist intended markets that are vastly spread throughout Thailand. We also took the opportunity to take part in a Cooking School, which my boyfriend was ever so pleased about and shopped alongside the locals for our delicious fresh ingredients and learnt how to cook some of Thailands signature dishes in an outside kitchen with a really lovely local family.
The food in Thailand is absolutely incredible and whether it be from a street stool or a restaurant, every dish is delivered with impeccable standards and tastes divine. I'm the first to admit that I'm not usually the most adventurous when it comes to cuisine, but I tried foods so out of my comfort zone every single day and I am so pleased that I did. Thai people put so much love and passion into their foods and with the great hospitality that they continually offer, I was left amazed with so many of my dishes.

I saw a fair bit of Thailand, but I'm so, so desperate to see more. I can honestly say that I've reminisced about it every single day since visiting and have recommended it to so many people, so much so that my brother and I have booked for my parents to go in October, so they too can experience the delights that we have both been fortunate enough to see.

With the beautifully hot weather and delicious cuisine, the admirable culture and idyllic beaches, the street crepes and the Chicken Pad Thai available on every corner and the easily accessible full body massages that cost around 200baht (about £4), there is so much that Thailand has to offer and if any of those factors appeal to you, then I very highly recommend you consider a trip.

If you do fancy a trip to Thailand, Malaysia Airlines now offer double daily Airbus A380 flights in and around South East Asia and over on their Facebook page, they're giving you the chance to win two tickets. With 5 Star Service from some of the worlds best Cabin Crew (which coming from an air hostess herself is a big claim!) and with the the superb baggage allowance that they offer, you'll be sure to have the time of your life and will also be free to bring back cases full of souvenirs, market stall buys and stunning tailor-made dresses/suits.

If you fancy being in with the chance of winning two tickets to Thailand head over to their Facebook App and vote for my Thailand blog post to win (one vote accepted per category)! Each vote will be very much appreciated, good luck!

Have you visited Thailand or do you intend on doing so? I would absolutely love to hear all of your stories, experiences and thoughts. 

*This is a sponsored post
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Thursday, July 25

Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks- Streak, Native & Naked 2

I was recently invited over to the W in London to the launch of one of Urban Decays latest products, the Revolution Lipstick. Like most people, when I think of Urban Decay, I immediately think of their insanely popular eyeshadow palettes, but a product I know I have been keen for them to introduce for a while now, is a wide range of lip products and I am so pleased that finally, they have launched a range of 22 incredibly pigmented, beautiful lipsticks that each fall under the "creamy, badass luxury" category. 

Homed in a Gunmetal outer with their signature Purple interior, the Revolution lipsticks offer such amazing pigmentation, in the creamiest and hydrating of formulas. On the lips they feel quite unlike any other lipstick I have tried, they really are so super creamy and if you like to feel a lipstick coated on your lips, which I personally do, you will love these.

I was given the opportunity to pick a few of the shades to try and three that stood out to me as shades I would wear regularly were Streak*, Native* and Naked 2*. Streak is described as a Coral Pink, Native a Pale Pink and Naked 2, the second Naked in the range, described as a Medium Beige Nude. I'm really impressed with these three shades and find them all so very wearable. My favourite of the three is probably Native as I find it to be very complimentary Pink for my skin tone and absolutely perfect for Summer.

With 22 shades ranging from Deep Berries to Nude Pinks, these lipsticks are made up of Maxi Lip which helps to define, hydrate and plump up the lips as well as Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Cocoa and Shea Butter and are available to buy now alongside matching lip pencils, costing £14 in Debenhams and House of Fraser.

What do you think of the launch of the Revolution lipstick? Will you be trying any of these uber creamy shades?

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Tuesday, July 23

The Body Shop Coconut Eau de Toilette

I've recently found myself very much into fragrances and have found myself trying a fair few high and lower end brands to find the perfect Summer scents. My staple scents for summer tend to be either very fruity or scents that scream beach holidays and up there with my love for Estée Lauders Bronze Goddess is this very similar scented Coconut scented Eau de Toilette* from The Body Shop.

Last weekend, I spent three days at Wireless Festival and throughout was complimented on this travel sized fragrance that I carried with me numerous times. It was an absolute winner amongst boys and girls alike and I honestly can't get enough. 

Priced at just £8.50 for a really handy 20ml sized spray, this Coconut fragrance is perfectly creamy and and wearable and makes for the perfect handbag sized spray to freshen up throughout the day.

Available in eight different scents, I'm going to pick up a couple of these in probably Satsuma and Mango to take with me in my bag for work and highly recommend them as the product perfect for travelling.

If you fancy adding a Body Shop Miniature Eau de Toilette into your collection, they are available to buy both online and in store. 

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Monday, July 22

Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask

When it comes to skincare, I tend to rely on face masks quite a lot. I love that they are an extra part of your typical skin care regime, that for me work to fix and control any problematic areas/temporary skin conditions. My two favourite types are probably clay masks and hydrating masks, and this Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask* is a lovely addition to my collection and works perfectly to hydrate my skin.

I particularly enjoy using hydrating masks after long shifts at work; I find the air system does my skin no favours at all and tends to dehydrate my skin immensely, even after I try to fight it with litres of water. There's nothing quite as nice as getting home, taking my make up off and slathering on a this Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask for ten minutes. It skins into my skin pretty quickly and so I'm not usually left with too much excess product at all, but after wiping away any remains, my skin feels soft and moisturised with no tightness that I often feel as an effect of my tired, thirsty skin.

It's a relatively lightweight formula that includes Katafray Bark Extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Sorbier Bud Extract and feels really comfortable on the skin. So far, I've been very pleased with the results and love how it makes my skin both look and feel. I use this most of the time after long flights at work which for me can be at any time of the day, but this can be used both in the evening for a moisture boost or at the beginning of the day to help promote a fresh and radiant complexion.  

Available online and at Clarins counters in Boots, Debenhams, John Lewis and Selfridges this 75ml tube of Clarins HydraQuench costs £33.

Do you suffer with dehydrated, thirsty skin? Does this cream mask sound like something that would add a glow back into your skin? 

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Friday, July 19

Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude Collection

Bobbi Brown are continuously introducing beautiful products into their ranges, but their latest collection, the Navy & Nude Collection* is a definite stand out for me and features so many lovely new things.

With a fresh, nude face with a shot of navy liner in mind, Bobbi Brown have created a collection perfect for the less is more look, which is very much suited towards the warm weather that has finally hit the UK. Wherever you are and whatever it is you're doing, Bobbi Brown have come up with a collection of easy to wear, flattering shades and products, perfect for Summer 2013. 

The stand out product in amongst the collection is the Limited Edition Blue Tortoise Shell Navy & Nude Eye Palette*, which is home to two shelves and 8 eyeshadows. From a creamy White to a deep Navy Blue, the shades Ivory, Cement, Blazing Star Sparkle, Beige Shimmer Wash, Twilight Pink Metallic, Naked, Slate and Rich Navy sit very complimentary in the mirrored palette and will I'm sure be a dream palette, especially for the Nude look lovers out there. 

My second stand out product is the All Over Bronzing Gel with SPF 15 in the shade Joe Brown*. I haven't used a Gel Bronzer for quite a while now, but for the last few days, using this product has been lovely. It can be used with foundation, but I've been using it worn alone as I have found it to give such a natural tint of bronze to my skin and with it being oil free and including SPF, it's been great a great light product to give me a little bit of colour as well as protection out in the sun. 

In the Summer heat, I tend to be all about ease and convenience and Bobbi Browns near Long Wear Cream Shadow in the shade Suede* has been a go to eye product for me over this past week or so. It's a super natural, neutral light Brown shade described a soft matte Tan shadow and honestly it's so easy to use. It's light, velvety-smooth and blends like a dream and personally I can seeing it being a staple for me all year round.

Limited Edition blushes and powders are always generally must have products in Summer Collections and Bobbi Browns latest limited edition powder product is their Brightening Brick in the shade Pink*. Consisting of 4 pale to warm shades in one pan, this shimmering Brightening Brick provides a beautiful pearlised glow to the cheeks. I'm normally into Peaches over Pinks, but I am so pleased with how a little bit of this looks brushed over the tops of my cheeks in the sunshine.

I'm all about the lips and have mentioned a few times recently that I have become quite the gloss girl. I've recently added a fair few new glosses into my collection and the limited edition sheer gloss in Sailor* that is one of three new limited edition shades in the collection, is really such a lovely product. It is certainly not as dramatic and bright as it looks in the tube, but just sits on the lips looking really quite natural giving a fresh finish to your summer look. I'm really keen to try the shade Nougat, as it looks to be another perfect nude.

Last but by no means least, is a new shade addition to Bobbi Browns iconic Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner range. In the shade Steel Ink* , it's a Black infused Navy which carries the smallest of Silver flecks to create a more modern take on the classic Black shade. I'm not the biggest fan of Gel Eyeliner day to day, but for those of you that are, then I'm pretty sure this will be a must have in your make up bag.

Bobbi Browns Navy & Nude Collection is available now online and at Bobbi Brown counters in Debenhams, Selfridges, House of Fraser and Harrods costing; Navy & Nude Eye Palette- £48, Brightening Brick- £40, Long-Wear Cream Shadow- £18.50, Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner- £17.50, Lip Gloss- £18, All Over Bronzing Gel- £22 and I highly recommend that you go check them out, especially the limited edition products.

I wanted to share the Navy & Nude Collection with you as soon as possible as I really am impressed with it, but I will also be sure to cover individual reviews and swatches over the coming weeks. 

Do any of these products stand out to you? Will you be rocking a Navy & Nude fresh faced look?

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