Currently coveting

24 Oct 2015

The Art of Sleeping

For many, sleeping is no easy feat and does not come as naturally as we'd all hope. I first had trouble sleeping when I moved out to university and the new surroundings contributed to developing quite an erratic and unsettled sleeping pattern. A restless slumber became an ingrained habit and I have been trying to shake it off since. I am far from an expert but stress and anxiousness have proved to not help the matter, and all of this combined is not a pretty mix. 
I was long convinced of the notion that it was all in the mind - and I still think this is true, but I have found that external factors can make a significant difference. I saw consistent, great reviews of the highly acclaimed this works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray online and wanted to try it out for myself. It's formula is infused with lavender, wild chamomile and vetivert oils that creates a dreamy, typically relaxing and soothing scent that sprays onto your pillow just before you hit the hay, claiming to relieve bodily tension and insomnia. The statistics on the side of the box are hard to believe, stating that 89% of people had fallen asleep faster than usual after using the spray, as well as feeling more refreshed the following day. It's hard to know whether a busier lifestyle (hence increased tiredness) has contributed to the results, but since I have used the spray I have fallen asleep pretty much as soon as my head touches the pillow; the mornings have been a lot easier to wake up and I am generally not waking much through the night. I have used it every night since I first tried it and I would recommend it to anyone that struggles with sleep. 

The Deep Sleep Dream Cream is another staple of the this works sleep range, acting as a means of soothing hands and feet to encourage a deep nights sleep with the aromatherapy oils it contains. It smells slightly more medicinal than the pillow spray and is really moisturising. I can imagine if you've spent the day on your feet, a cream like this would be ideal after a relaxing bath pre-bedtime. It also contains organic crambe oil which acts to repair dry or damaged skin, as well as Omega 3 rich camelina which improves skins elasticity.

 Another addition to my bedtime routine comes in beverage form, as I've introduced an evening-orientated tea an hour or so before I go to sleep. The Pukka Night Time Tea is a blend of oat flower, lavender and limeflower that creates a soothing taste that will relax you into sleep-mode. It is quite a subtle taste and has a calming aroma, creating a perfect way to end the day. 

I also end the day with a night cream to soothe and refresh my skin whilst I sleep. The Una Brennan Superfacialist Probiotic Overnight Skin Recovery Cream is the perfect mask for overnight care, its ingredients formulated to promote skin cell renewal, as well as rejuvinating and moisturising the appearance of skin. I am a big fan of the Superfacialist range so I was instantly drawn to this product. 

An old habit that should help you drift off is reading. Whether it be the latest Man Booker Prize winner or an old Glamour magazine, drawing yourself away from the digital age of boxsets, series links and YouTube can be significantly effective in helping your brain wind down and prepare for bed. I'm currently working my way through the latest Richard and Judy book club choices, having just finished The Minaturist which I adored, and now onto Chanter's The Well, a dark and intriguing novel narrated by a women under house-arrest. It is different from anything I've read for a long time and has a can't-stop-reading quality about it. The short chapters make it ideal pre-bedtime material as even if my eyes are barely still open I can face reading at least one or a couple. 

Ambient lighting is also a dreamy mood-setter whilst you're becoming sleepy over the pages of a novel, and the trendy Moroccan-style ball string lights which are everywhere at the moment are ideal in fulfilling this setting. 

this works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray | Feel Unique £16.00 for 75ml

this works Deep Sleep Dream Cream | Feel Unique £18.00 for 75ml

Pukka Night Time Tea | Ocado for £2.39

Moroccan 20LED Shining Ball Metal String Lights | eBay for £4.99 

The Well by Catherine Chanter | Amazon for £3.85

Superfacialist by Una Brennan Probiotic Overnight Skin Recovery Cream | Boots for £15.99

17 Oct 2015

Birthday Beauty Haul

Having turned twenty-two a few weeks back, I have been relishing in the shiny new goodies that I acquired, not coming as a surprise that most of my gifts were beauty-based. Here is an array of a few favourites...

Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick in Spicy Cinnamon | Debenhams

I saw this lipstick recommended on a beauty segment of a TV show a few weeks ago, described as 'brick red' which I thought sounded really interesting and different from the reds I usually go for. The Joli Rouge range from Clarins is so popular at the moment and I couldn't resist getting this with some birthday money. It is especially expensive for a lipstick, hence the special occasion purchase, but I think I will get my money out of it, having already worn it about 10 times since buying. 

Neom Feel Refreshed Travel Candle 75g | John Lewis

I knew I would be obsessed with this candle even under layers of wrapping paper and firmly seated within it's box, I could smell the scent already. It is scented with sicilian lemon and fresh basil which creates a fruity, fresh fragrance that does exactly what it promises. The Neom packaging is my all-time favourite in terms of candles, the beautifully subtle water-colour stained box has a firm place on my dressing table. I can't fault it and I now have my eye on the Neom diffuser for my Christmas list..

Clinique Finishing Powder | House of Fraser

One of my best friends gave me this as part of a Clinique set containing a finishing powder and primer. Having bought quite a lot of make-up lately replacing everything that typically ran out all at once, it is quite difficult to find anything new to replace my make-up staples but this set was a stroke of luck and turned out to be the missing parts of my routine. I have never used a finishing powder before and was slightly clueless as to how to use it or why, for that matter. It comes with a brush and the powder itself is suitable for all skin tones. It works perfectly with liquid foundation, creating a lightly matte finish and is really long-lasting. It holds make-up in place and works to prevent any shiny-forehead pictures. 

Caudalie Premier Cru The Elixir 29ml | Look Fantastic

This wasn't technically a present, but came as a free gift to a yearly Vogue subscription that my parents kindly bought me. It isn't something I'd ever buy myself given the hefty price tag but I love how luxurious it feels and looks. It is half-oil and half-serum which absorbs quickly into your skin to reveal a smoother, more radiant glow that fights against early signs of ageing, dark spots and increases firmness of skin. 

Urban Outfitters Matte Nail Polish in Green Tea | Urban Outfitters

I am obsessed with the packaging of the Urban Outfitters nail varnishes and this was given to me by my friends, fueling the overflowing desk-draw that is my collection of polishes. The colour is gorgeous and the matte effect gives a muted look to the shade, deviating from the summery, bright pastels meaning its suitable for the colder months. I find the Urban Outfitter's polishes last a long time without chipping too much, and matched with the scented top coat I picked up lately this is the dream team.


16 Oct 2015

Simple: Kind to Skin Illuminating Radiance Cream

Whether I have been in a supermarket, watching daytime TV or browsing the internet, everywhere I look lately I seem to find this product. It may have something to do with the fact that the 'radiance' and 'illumination' that the formula promises are tightly bound synonyms of this seasons buzzword glow, or it could be that this cream gives its high-end counterparts a run for their money.Who knows, but Simple's Kind to Skin Illuminating Radiance Cream is everywhere, and I have been desperate to try it out for myself. 

After sadly finding it's dedicated slot on Superdrug's shelf empty, I managed to pick it up in my local Waitrose (who knew they sold skincare?) for the bargain price of £6 (it's actually half price at £3 at the moment online). It comes in a smart little box but it's actually very decently sized at 50ml, so you really feel as though you're getting your moneys worth. It has a pump dispenser meaning it is really easy to use and measure the amount you need without wasting a lot. It definitely has an illuminating effect, creating a subtle dewy sheen to your skin. It feels moisturising which is ideal for my dry skin and the smell is fresh and unoffensive.  My only qualm is the shimmery, borderline glitteryness of the product which makes me conscious that I'm now sporting an Edward-from-Twilight visage from day to day ('s really not that noticeable after you've applied foundation, concealer etc etc.) 

The formula is light and really easy to apply which gives a lovely smooth base to apply make-up after use. It also has SPF15 in the formula as an added bonus and it's jam-packed with vitamins, 'skin loving' ingredients and light reflecting minerals that all combine to create the radiant glow that is much desired at the moment. In the past, I have used quite a few different products as primer substitutes, and this works just as well as other things I've tried in that respect. For just over a fiver, it's worth giving a go. 


11 Oct 2015

September Favourites

September has gone by in a blur, involving a busy and somewhat stressful time transitioning from being a student to being firmly emerged in the world of work. Along with this, I haven't had a lot of time to try out lots of new things this month, and instead relying heavily on my go-to make-up and skincare staples is how I've been getting by. Here's a sample of a few things I've been enjoying using this month.. 

Diptyque Scented Candle in Roses | Space NK £20 - £40

Slightly diverging from the beauty theme that these posts usually adhere to, I couldn't not include the newest addition to my growing collection of candles. Diptyque has been a brand I have lusted after ever since it's beautiful creations started appearing on the dressing tables of Pinterest, and being slightly steep in price range I have been reluctant in purchasing until now. It is an extremely luxurious and indulgent buy, ideal for a special occasion (who wouldn't love one of these as a present) and as you'd expect from the brand, it smells amazing. I fear it is going to be one of those purchases that I use infrequently on purpose to avoid it running out too fast, but at the same time I am looking forward to using the pot as make-up brush storage..

Avene Cleanance Expert | Boots 40ml £15.00

I bought this as bit of an impulse buy about a month ago, thinking it would act similarly to the tea-tree oil sticks I used to buy in secondary school as a desperate attempt to calm down occasional breakouts that accompany stress, hormones and not-so-healthy eating. Within the first few weeks of using it, I was not that enthused and thought it was a bit of a con as it didn't do much to even reduce the redness. But I persevered to at least get my money out of it, and about 3-4 weeks in I noticed a dramatic difference in the appearance of my skin. I only really use it on problem areas like T-zone and chin which have both become a lot clearer and any blemishes I do get don't hang around too long. It is not a miracle worker and it does take some time to kick in, but the eventual effects are amazing and if you're stuck hunting for a product to clear up breakouts then I'd give this a try. I have rarely found skincare that has had this effect on my skin's appearance - I can really only compare it to the YesTo Grapefruit Uneven Skin Tone Facial Scrub, which similarly made a visual difference. I use the Cleanance Expert alongside the Avene Hydrance Serum - a match made in heaven.

L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara in Black | Superdrug £10.99

I have already raved about this mascara in the past, perhaps on more than one occasion, but as it is such a staple in my routine I think it's apt to include it this month as I've been using it religiously. The brush is really delicate making application so much easier than thick brushes in avoiding clumpy and undefined lashes, it lasts all day and the packaging is very classic and attractive. I can't fault this mascara - I am completely converted and I think it gives the high-end mascaras pushing £30 onwards a run for their money. The brand is also usually on offer in Superdrug so give it a go if you are on the hunt for a new mascara.

Rituals Rice Scrub | Rituals 150ml £10

This is one of those products that has been in my shower for months, which I reach for on a daily basis and have become accustomed to using it all the time, but has slipped through making it onto my favourites until now. It is a simple, fresh-smelling (it is infused with Cherry Blossom), light exfoliator that I acquired as a free gift when buying one of Rituals other products. The 70ml size is quite small in comparison to other body exfoliators but some how it has lasted me months and I still have a lot left, so the full size version is sure to last a long time. You don't need much and it is really effective in making my skin smoother and more radiant. I also like that you can use it on your face and body. 

Crabtree + Evelyn Nail Polish in Petal Pink | Crabtree + Evelyn £6

I wanted to make use of the latest Crabtree + Evelyn deal that meant if you handed in any nail varnish, new or used, they would give you a fresh, new polish for free in any colour. Granted, when I got there they only had about five shades left (including a very bold fuchsia and a shimmery gold - not exactly autumnal..) so I didn't exactly have the pick of the crop due to it's evident popularity. However, this shade was left over and my self-obsessed nude nail addiction couldn't resist picking it up. It is an extremely subtle pink so I use it as a base coat or when I am sporting the 'au naturel' manicure. Working long days means I don't have copious amounts of time to maintain non-chipped nails in the week so sometimes this is an ideal alternative. They have 21 colours to choose from in total, and they are free from the toxic chemicals that many varnishes contain and promises to have a lasting effect (its hard to comment on the longevity of an almost-clear colour..). Also, at £6 they are amazing value for such a reputable brand. 

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