As I said a few posts ago, I want to do a lot more favourites posts this year. I’ve already done a post of my favourite teas and favourite cups and mugs. It’s high time I shared my most recent Beaty favourites. My last beauty favourites post, was all the way back in February last year! I’ve tried lots of products this year and have found some fabulous ones which I’ve really enjoyed using.

Skincare

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh CosmeticsLike a good bestie, when Fay went to America last year she brought me back a few goodies from Sephora for my birthday. One of them was this lovely set of products from Fresh. I’ve read great things about this lovely range of skincare and all of the products have been amazing. You can buy Fresh products in the UK from John Lewis.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face CreamThe Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is a light but powerful face cream. I’ve been using this after going to the gym to put some life back into my skin. I’ve found that swimming has been drying my skin out and this fresh and light formula feels super smoothing and hydrating on my skin. I love how brightening this is and it definitely gives my skin a radiant glow.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Soy Face CleanserI’ve been cleansing my skin with this lovely cleanser a lot recently. The Soy Face Cleanser from Fresh, has a lovely fragrance that smells a bit like fresh cucumber. I usually use this one after taking off my makeup for a thorough wash that leaves my skin squeaky clean. The formula is a but like a face wash and is slightly foaming. A little goes a very long way with this one, so my small tube has lasted me absolutely ages.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Vitamin Nectar Face MaskMy favourite of the three products is this brilliant face mask. It smells and feels like a pot of marmalade, which I absolutely love. The Vitamin Nectar face mask is packed with fruity goodness which makes my skin feel absolutely amazing.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Fresh Vitamin Nectar Face MaskThis product is perfect for a home pampering session and leaves my skin feeling smooth happy and ready for anything. If you can get your hands on a pot, I’d highly recommend it.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals The Wonder MaskThe Wonder Mask from Rituals is a product I’ve been using for absolutely ages. As you can see from my last Beauty Favourites post, I’m already a big fan of Rituals and use a lot of their products. I always enjoy visiting my local store in Kingston, as the staff are so lovely and very helpful. They always recommend products that I end up loving.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals Wonder MaskFay was already using this mask and loving it, so when I went to an event at the Rituals shop I had to give it a try. They mixed it with a drop of their face oil, which I’ve mentioned further down this post. The set comes with a generous pot of charcoal and black mud powder which you simply add water to. The set comes with a little bowl and a super soft brush to apply the mask.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals Wonder MaskOnce applied to your skin, this dries into the perfect clay mask. It sucks all the dirt and impurities out of my skin. I use this once of twice a week and my skin is very happy for it.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night CreamThe Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream is probably my favourite skincare product ever! I first tried it as part of an Elemis gift set I had bought myself. I’d bought the set for a different product, but thought I’d try this night cream. I instantly fell in love. This is like a good nights sleep in a pot. I apply it before bed and wake up with very happy skin. As a tired mum, who does too much, I need all the help I can get! The only problem is that this a VERY expensive product.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night CreamOnce my 30ml sample size had been used up I couldn’t afford to get more. Knowing how much I loved it, when Fay received this pot in a gift set from her mum she passed it on to me. I have the best bestie ever! If your skin needs a little love and you can afford a pot, this one really is FABULOUS!

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Rituals Pure Face OilAnother product that has been making my skin very happy is the Rituals Pure Face Oil. I’ve always really liked face oils and have tried quite a few different ones. This one from Rituals is a new favourite. A couple of tiny drops are enough to completely moisturise my skin. As I mentioned above I also like to add a couple of drops to my clay face mask.

Candles

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Miller Harris Citron Citron CandleI’ve been enjoying lots of different candles recently. I always have a few on the go and light them every evening. There’s two that have really stood out to me and these citrus delights smell even better when burned together. I got the Lemon Leaf and Sage candle from Home Sense for £10. It’s absolutely huge and the smell is incredible. I love Miller Harris fragrances a lot, and knowing this Fay got me this gorgeous candle for Christmas. Both candles let off a lot of fragrance and I’d definitely recommend them both.

Hair

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Asda Andrew Barton SOS Hair RepairMy hair has got super long recently. This wasn’t really intentional, but I hate going to the hair dressers and have been putting it off for ages. To keep it feeling healthy I’ve been using this SOS Hair Repair Oil  from Andrew Barton, which is available in Asda. Out of all the hair oils I’ve tried this is my all time favourite. It smells beautiful and makes my hair look glossy and healthy without being too heavy. Rob has also been using this one on his beard and loves it too.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Primark PS Hydrate and Restore Hair MaskAnother product thats been making my hair happy, is this hair mask from Primark. A few months ago I popped in to buy some bargain products so I could have a little pamper session. I thought this looked good and was worth a try. For a product that only cost £2, I was really impressed with how this left my hair. It added lots of moisture and gloss and I will definitely be re-purchasing.

Make-up

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | The ordinary Coverage FoundationIt’s very rare that I try a new foundation, it’s one of those things that once I find a product I love I stick to it for years. But when I recently picked up some skincare products from The Ordinary I thought I’d try one of their foundations too. The Coverage Foundation comes in a huge selection of colours and is perfect if you’re on a budget. I am so glad I tried this, the coverage is incredible. I don’t wear foundation every day, but I’ve worn this for photographs and after the gym when I look a little red. It covers everything and stays put all day. A really amazing addition to my make-up bag.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red and Too Faced Peach Kiss in Muy CalienteThis post should really be about how much I love Fay, as it’s full of nice things from her! She knows how much I love a good lipstick and bought me two absolutely gorgeous ones for Christmas. I have to confess that I’ve not used them yet as they’re so perfect and new, but now I’ve taken some photos I’ll give them a go. They both have absolutely gorgeous packing and the colours are divine.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | Too Faced Peach Kiss Lipstick in Muy CalienteThe two red shades are Muy Caliente from Too Faced and Underage Red by Kat Von D. I have a lot of Too Faced products that I absolutely adore, but I’ve never tried Kat Von D, so I can’t wait to give it a go. I’ll report back on these soon.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | NYX Shadow Palette I’ve been really enjoying looking at other people’s super colourful make-up looks. I wanted a really vibrant orange shade and came across this gorgeous palette from NYX. I’ve always been impressed with their products and this set looks absolutely amazing.

February 2018 Beauty Favourites | NYX Shadow Palette I’ve had this for a couple of months now and have tried quite a few of the colours. They have an amazing pigment and this is a great all round colour addition to my make-up bag. I’ll try to take some pictures with these soon.

February 2018 Beauty FavouritesHave you tried any of the products I’ve included? Do you have any recommendations you think I’d enjoy? Would you like to see more beauty favourites posts in the future?

For more beauty related post check out my Beauty section.


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It feels like forever since I did a Birchbox review! I still get my box every month, but I’ve been nowhere near organised enough to take pics and review the contents. One of my aims this year was to go back to some of my older blog posts for inspiration. One thing I want to do more of again is beauty reviews and going back to regularly reviewing my Birchbox seems like a great place to start.

Birchbox Review January 2018Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription box, packed with high-end surprise beauty products which arrive at your door once a month. I’ve been subscribed for a few years now and always love getting my surprise package through the post.

Birchbox Review January 2018There are always a few products that I love in each Birchbox, but often a couple that I know I won’t really use. This months box is a perfect one for me, as I was pretty impressed with all the products. The box itself is also really pretty. I like to reuse them to store my vintage jewellery in, so a lovely looking box is always a bonus.

Birchbox Review January 2018This month’s box was a collaboration with cute lifestyle brand Ohh Deer, who sell quirky stationary, homewares and clothing with lovely graphics.

Birchbox Review January 2018 The box included a lovely set of Ohh Deer stickers. There was also a 20% discount code to use on the website, which is awesome.

Birchbox Review January 2018The first product I tried was the Paul and Joe Beauty Moisturising Foundation PrimerI’ve admired the gorgeous packaging from this beauty range for years. I love the vintage look and think it would look amazing on a vintage dressing table. Somehow I’ve managed to never have tried any of the products though. I had high hopes for this one and it didn’t disappoint. This lovely primer makes a perfect base for under makeup. It’s super moisturising and very smoothing. It has a slight shimmer which makes my skin look fresh and glowing. The full sized version of this costs £24.

Birchbox Review January 2018Next I tried the Lord and Berry Blusher Crayon in the shade Camelia. I’ve never used a blusher crayon before, so I was intrigued to see how well it worked. I love other make up in crayon form, I have lots of eye, lip and highlighting products that come as crayons. This one was pretty good. It was easy to apply and blended well. The colour was surprisingly subtle, but is quite buildable. The RRP for this is £15.

Birchbox Review January 2018Probably my favourite product from the box is the Thermaliv Night Creammostly because I’m a big skincare geek. I’m always on the lookout for good night creams to try. This one is packed with awesome ingredients and made my skin feel really good. It’s surprisingly light for a night cream, but sits nicely on the skin. If I wasn’t completely loyal to my Elemis night cream, this is definitely one I’d consider purchasing. It’s also far more affordable at just £15.75 for the full sized product, so I may repurchase when I need a budget friendly product.

Birchbox Review January 2018Next up was the Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in the shade Charcoal. Recently I’ve been wearing less liquid liner and going for more subtle make-up for everyday. This is a nice addition to my make-up bag and something I will definitely get a lot of use out of. This eyeliner is super soft and glides on effortlessly. It’s also waterproof and stays put all day. The colour is really nice and a softer alternative to black. The RRP for this is £10.99.

Birchbox Review January 2018The last product is one I’ve not heard of before. Afterspa is a special magic cloth, designed to take off all your make up without using any products. It lasts up to 1000 washes. I tested this on all kinds of make up, including lipstick foundation, mascara and eyeliner. The only one it struggled with was my liquid liner, which is pretty hard to take off anyway. On the whole this works really well and feels really nice to use. Its very handy to have in my gym bag for quickly taking my make-up off before I work out. I was happily surprised by how good this one was. These usually cost £5.50.

Birchbox Review January 2018What did you think of the contents of this months box?

If you’d like to receive a monthly Birchbox too, I have a refer a friend link which gives you your first box half price.

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I’ve been meaning to write about my hair for a really long time. Ever since last year when I had it bobbed and created lots of fabulous vintage style sets. Now my hair is a bit longer and its not that easy to create a classic vintage look, I’ve kind of been doing my own thing a bit. I have really thick hair, so it can be quite tricky styling it, especially when its longer. So if I find a style I like, I’ll usually do it a lot.

One of my favourite styles for my long and very thick hair is to create curls with Scunci soft curlers. I usually then use a flower garland to get my hair off my face. I really like this more relaxed style, which works well with looks from any era. Its also quite a manageable style when you have very thick hair like mine. Last time I did this style I decided to take some pictures of each step so I could show you how I do it.

  1. I start off with very slightly damp freshly washed hair. Because my hair is so thick, it would never dry if I did this while it was too wet.
  2. Next I brush it through with a detangling brush, to make sure its really smooth and that there are no knots.
  3. I use a styling oil to smoothen my hair before I start curling.
  4. I run a generous amount through the lengths of my hair, using my hands.
  5. I then run a firm hold mousse through the lengths of my hair.
  6. It’s now time to start rolling, I use a sectioning brush to divide up my hair.

  1. I section off my hair and roll upwards from underneath my hair.
  2. I brush each section to get it as smooth as possible between each roll.
  3. It takes my around 30 soft curlers to put all of my hair up. For a tighter curl I use more.

To keep the rollers in place over night I cover them with a hair net and then tie a silk scarf over the top. Luckily the cushions in the rollers make them really comfortable and easy to sleep in.

  1. In the morning I carefully take out all the curls.
  2. Before brushing I give the curls a light spray with hairspray.
  3. Now for the scary part! I give all the curls a good brush until they go a bit frizzy.
  4. At this point I usually wonder whether I should just give up and do an up-do!
  5. I then use a little more of the styling oil to smoothen the frizz.
  6. At this stage I smoothen the curls with a brush, using my hand to gently guide them into the shape I want.

  1. I keep brushing until the curls are quite defined and the hair is smooth. (If you’re going for more of a sleek vintage look, keep going until it’s perfectly uniform and use lots of hairspray. You’ll also need to add a bit more volume in the front with some back combing.)
  2. I pop my hair garland over the top of my hair and secure it with a couple of grips at the back.
  3. I twist the front of the hair over the sides of the garland and pin them at the back of my head.
  4. Finish with lots of hair spray to keep the curls in place.

I find it usually takes about an hour for my hair to drop a little and sit perfectly once I’m done. I really like this style for chilled out mummy days, as its not too over the top, but still reflects my style. This set usually lasts me about 3 days after initially curling it. Here’s some snaps of the next few days.

Products Used:

Tangle Angel BrushStyling OilBackcomb BrushMousseSoft CurlersHairspray

I’m hoping to share some of the other methods I use on my hair in the coming months, so watch this space!

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Last month I wrote a review of my stay at Champneys spa. I mentioned that I’d done a bit of beauty shopping while I was there. I’m a big skin care addict and I love a good pamper, so it was really fun picking out some new products to enjoy as well as stocking up on a couple of old favourites.

The shopping at Champneys is pretty good. They have their own dedicated store, filled with their normal product range as well as a selection of gifts and fitness clothing. They also had a little Elemis shop, which has their full range of luxury skincare. As a couple of months have passed since I made my purchases I thought it was high time, I let you know what I think of them.

They had a special offer in the shop, where you got a discount if you bought the Good as New Hip and Thigh Firming Gel, Skin Firming Shower Scrub and the Exfoliating Mitt together.

The shower scrub is now one of my favourite products, mostly because I love the smell. It’s a really nice product to use and my skin feels great afterwards.

I’ve only used the firming gel a few times, mainly because it’s quite long-winded. The tube comes with a massage applicator, with little roller balls to work the gel into the skin. It feels amazing and really does firm up my skin, but it takes a while and I certainly don’t have time to do it the recommended twice a day! When I do use it though, I’m really happy with the results.

The exfoliating mitt, is super scratchy and great when you want to completely remove all your dead skin. As a massive exfoliator addict, who loves super scrubby products, its unusual for me to find something too coarse, but this really is a bit much. So once a week is just fine for me.

I bought the Detox Hip and Thigh Firming Mud, mostly because I liked the look of it. Plus I’ve always been a fan of mud based products. This is perfect if you want to create a home spa environment and have a proper pamper.

My only misgiving with this is that you have to leave it on for 10-20 and that can get a bit messy! But otherwise I love everything about this. It softens the skin while making it feel firm, it smells lovely and rinses off really easily. My skins feels lovely for days after using this, so I’d definitely recommend it.

I also picked up this Champneys yoga sweater. I love finding stuff I can wear to exercise that appeals to my vintage side. There were a few choices of picture and I absolutely loved this one. The jumper is nice and loose and adds a warmer layer, when working out.

I’ve always really liked Elemis skincare, it works really well with my skin and I like products which lots of natural extracts and ingredients. I’ve used their Papaya Enzyme Peel loads of times, its one of my all time favourite products. I knew I needed to get one of them and when I saw I could get it as part of a set and I saved loads of money I was delighted.

One of the products that was new to me was the Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser. I’ve been using this most days since I’ve got it. I find it quite similar to my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. It works really well as a hot cloth cleanser and not only melts away make-up effortlessly, it also leaves my skin feeling fabulous.

Another product that I had tried previously is the Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash balm, This lovely cream, gives tired skin the boost it needs. I use this occasionally on tired skin days and find it really soothing and brightening.

I haven’t really got round to using the Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, but they look really good, so I’m sure I will soon. It’s always quite fun getting sets like this as it give you the chance to try new products, that you wouldn’t otherwise have tried.

Not only was the Elemis concession packed with lovely products, but the lady who worked there was also fantastic. We had a lot of questions about the products and she answered all of them and was able to help with recommendations.

I was after a really good eye product, to help with fine lines and dark circles and all the other things that tired mums in their 30s get! She recommended the Absolute Eye Mask, which is a super potent eye mask. I absolutely love this product and use it a couple of times a week. You can really see and feel the difference with this one.

I also picked up a pack of cleansing cloths. I always need these, as I use wash off cleansers and use a clean cloth every time I cleanse. These are super soft and have washed brilliantly.

As I’d spent over £80 I got this free gift, which was a lovely little extra. I’ve used all of the miniature products in here and they’re all very good. I particularly like the Sweet orchid Bodycream which smells lovely. Although I liked the other products in the gift, I probably wouldn’t repurchase as I already have products I love.

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Back in March, I had a lovely few days of well earned relaxation, at Champneys Spa Forest Mere. I went for a lovely break with Fay, her mum and a few of her mums friends. It was second visit to the spa as I had visited a few years ago for a day trip. There is nothing nicer than driving into the countryside and just switching off from the daily grind.

I’m going to do a couple of posts about our trip, but today I thought I’d share a review of our experiences and share my thoughts on what to expect when you visit. I’ve broken it down into sections as its a bit of a mixed bag.

Location:

The location just can’t be beaten. About an hour away from London, the resort is situated near Liphook, in the Hampshire countryside. The beautiful building is reached up a winding path through woodland and farmland. The grounds are simply stunning. The main building over looks a tranquil lake and beyond the sprawling lawns you are surrounded by trees. The fresh air is simply wonderful and the gorgeous view fills you with a sensation of instant calm. The surroundings really give you that sense of getting away from it all and it really is the perfect place to relax.

The Hotel and Spa

The building is attractive, very clean and the decoration is comfortable and cosy. There are lots of little rooms to escape to with a book and it was lovely to just sit in a chair with my book or laptop and take in the gorgeous view through the windows. (photos above and below by Fay)

The spa and swimming pool area are fantastic, there are plenty of chairs and beds to put your feet up and relax and recharge. We spent a lot of our time just lying on the heated water beds in the quiet room, reading and napping. This was my favourite part of the stay, as a very busy person, I found doing absolutely nothing to be the most luxurious part.

There are also jacuzzis, hot rooms, steam rooms a refreshing ice room and rain showers to enjoy. We made full use of these and it made us feel great.

There are also plenty of gym, facilities and fitness classes if that’s your thing, for me the trip was all about relaxing and being lazy, so I didn’t actually give these a try.

Rooms:

Our room was everything we could want and need. It was a reasonably good size, with a nice big TV, lots of mirrors and storage and an en suite bathroom with a fabulous shower with some serious water pressure! It had French doors which opened up onto a little patio with seating, this is something I’d definitely make use of in the summer. My only complaint about the room, would be how hard the beds were, those mattresses were beyond firm and would benefit from mattress covers for sure!

When we arrived the wardrobes contained our robes and flip-flops for our stray, we were provided with a very small size and after a quick call to reception we were brought a larger size with no hassle.

The rooms were kept immaculate by the cleaning staff throughout the stay. The housekeeping team were absolutely fantastic and so friendly, they do such a good job. We were sure to leave them a tip and a thank you note at the end of our stay to show our appreciation.

Treatments:

This is the area in which our stay fell short and was a big disappointment. Not long after arriving we headed to the treatment reception to book ourselves in for a massage and facial.Unfortunately we were informed that for the whole 3 day duration of our stay, no treatments were available. We were told that to ensure being seen we should have booked in advance. Unfortunately this was the first we’d heard of it and we were so disappointed. It would have been slightly better if the staff had been at all apologetic, but we actually felt that they were a bit rude and unpleasant. We tried really hard to not let it put a dampener on our break, but unfortunately it did a bit.

Food:

Being a spa and health resort, everything on the menu is super healthy. All our meals were included with our stay. Our first meal was dinner, which is served from an extensive menu, which includes a starter, main and dessert. Breakfast and lunch were both served at buffets, with absolutely loads of choice, we took full advantage and tried absolutely everything! There are a few options which incur a small extra charge. I took lots of pictures of my food on my phone.

Shopping:

If you want to take the pamper experience home with you, there is a fabulous Champneys shop on site, selling clothing, accessories and beauty products as well as a Decleor and Elemis concessions.

Having not spent any money on treatments, I had a little spare cash to treat myself to a few goodies in the shops. The staff were really helpful, especially in Elemis. We asked the assistant lots of questions about our skincare needs and she was just fantastic and really knew her products. I’m going to do a separate post with my haul in the next few weeks.

Overall Experience:

Although the trip wasn’t perfect, it was still a great experience. Much of this was the surroundings and the company. Going to a spa with lovely people is what really makes it perfect. Me and Fay had lots of giggles and it was just so nice to have a little getaway. I will absolutely be back and I will be sure to book my treatments beforehand.

I’m going to write a little guide on what to pack for a spa break and some other useful information, so if you have any questions or anything you’d like to know, please post in the comments and I’ll try to cover everything for you.

Lastly I’d like to say such a big thank you to Fay and her mum for taking this tired mummy somewhere beautiful and for being fabulous company!

Find out more about the spa on the Champneys website.

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