Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Perfect Spring Scent: Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne

I think it's safe to say that we all have a list of brands we are just desperate to try and Jo Malone was one of the brands on mine until I had the best surprise from my fiancĂ©'s Mum for Christmas; the Wild Bluebell Cologne. 

Everything about the Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne just oozes class and luxury. I love the simple but chic packaging and how the glass bottle is mounted inside. In fact I'm still keeping the bottle in the box as of this post - I just can't seem to part with it! Now onto the scent - oh my, oh my. Wild Bluebell has White Musk as the base note (powdery and clean), Persimmon as the heart (milky peach with creamy, clean undertones) and Bluebell as the top note (wild flower blended with crisp, green leaves and the balsamic sweetness of spicy clove buds). The scent is beautiful; fresh and floral with such strength and depth to it that you can really pick out all the different notes. After applying the Wild Bluebell Cologne, the delicious scent wafts around me so I can smell it as go about my day to day tasks. This fades after a few hours as expected from a cologne (due to the high concentration of essential oils, the scent naturally fades quicker in comparison to perfume), however I can actually still smell Wild Bluebell directly on my wrists after 8 hours, which I really didn't expect. I love this so much I decided to wear it on my recent wedding day, so it will always have a special place in my heart for the memories it evokes.

I can now understand why Jo Malone stands apart from the rest - how else would I get to smell like a forest of bluebells? Their range of scents can't be compared to anything else (others include Wood Sage and Sea Salt and Earl Grey and Cucumber) and the presentation makes you feel like you have something really special. I have the 30ml bottle, which costs £40.00, but it is also available in a 100ml  bottle for £82.00. I would love to try one of their candles next!

To take a look at the Wild Bluebell Cologne and to see the rest of Jo Malone's range, you can visit the website here.

Are you a fan of Jo Malone? Which scent is your favourite?

Beauty Bird xx

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Monday, 13 April 2015

The Fantastic Four: Blemish Busting Skincare

Spots and dark circles are the two beauty banes of my life. Thank goodness for makeup is all I can say! When it comes to spots I am constantly reviewing what skincare I use, because I want products that will treat them effectively without upsetting the rest of my skin. Over the years I've tried and tested so much spot fighting skincare and have four products in my current stash that I can really depend on in my hours days of need... Introducing some of my favourite blemish busters.

I've been using this for about 3 months now and although I don't think this is amazing, it's pretty darn good. I spritz it onto a cotton pad and apply all over my face after cleansing. It only contains three ingredients; healing Zinc Oxide, astringent Sodium Chloride and soothing thermal spring water. I love how it doesn't dry out my skin, yet is great at zapping bacteria - if you get any sting from applying this to an open spot or blemish (which I often do), this means it's killing the bacteria inside and therefore the spot.

This is hands down the best all over, indirect spot treatment I've tried. It can be applied as a moisturiser, but I prefer to use it underneath as a serum, as alone it's not quite hydrating enough for me. The [+] version has the added benefit of reducing scarring as well as fighting spots. I find this works more noticeably when not used every day, but overall it works brilliantly and I'm currently on my second tube.

For spot prone and oily skin, a clay based mask is a must to deep cleanse the skin, soothe breakouts and remove excess oil. Although it's not the cheapest at £28.00, the Facial Detox Mask by Elemental Herbology is an absolutely fantastic mask stuffed full of wonder ingredients as well as Kaolin (clay); for example, Manuka Honey, Calendula, Eucalyptus and Aloe. As a result it re-balances my oily skin without upsetting the combination areas and significantly reduces inflammation and redness. It works well as a direct spot treatment overnight for those angry, lumpy spots too.

When it comes to a spot treatment for smaller blemishes and whiteheads, I reach for one of nature's antiseptics; Tea Tree Oil. This rollerball also contains other anti-spot ingredients like Witch Hazel, so it isn't pure Tea Tree Oil, but  when I apply it direct, it really helps with inflammation. If I've had a moment of weakness and picked a spot (yep it does happen even though I'd always advise not to), it's brilliant to use straight after as it fights the bacteria and helps it to heal. 

Although these aren't direct blemish busters, I'd also recommend checking out the REN ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser and any kind of facial oil like the Antipodes Divine Face Oil. Both of these products are very soothing and calming on spots and are great at re-balancing oily skin. 

What are your go-to blemish busting skincare products?

Beauty Bird xx

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Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Must Have Duo for Dry, Frizzy Hair: OGX Kukui Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

The OGX Kukui Oil Shampoo and Conditioner is one of those purchases that is completely down to the blogging world - even Caroline Hirons has raved about it. I've used an OGX shampoo before (the Passionfruit Guava one), but I specifically wanted the Kukui Oil because it's targeted at dry, frizzy hair. My hair is not so much dry, but it's quite thick and gets frizzy easily; heat protection spray and hair serum just weren't cutting it and I desperately needed something extra to tame it!

The OGX Kukui Oil Shampoo and Conditioner come in large 385ml bottles and cost £6.99 each. I bought mine from Waitrose on a brilliant 2 for £10.00 offer, but you can also find them in Boots too. They are SLS free and contain Kukui (Nut) Oil, which is meant to have humidity resistant abilities and so provide a smooth, glossy finish. 

First of all, I love the shiny black packaging (even if it is a nightmare to photograph!) and the deliciously nutty but sweet scent. Although the formula of both the shampoo and conditioner is quite thick and creamy, it makes my hair unbelievably lightweight when dry. The frizz I was experiencing has almost been eliminated and I just use a drop of serum to tame the odd flyaway and my fringe (which I swear has a life of its own sometimes). Thank you OGX, because your Kukui Oil Shampoo and Conditioner has given me just what I was after - sleek and smooth tresses.

If dry and/or frizzy hair is becoming the bane of your life then this duo is a must have. I'm also planning to purchase the Hydrating Oil from the same range. Find them online at Waitrose here

Have you tried the OGX Kukui Oil Shampoo and Conditioner? What's your favourite OGX product?

Beauty Bird xx

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

March Empties #3

Every month I'm emptyin'... beauty products that is! I'm a bit late posting March's empties (I only went and got married didn't I) but better late than never. I've been pretty good at not buying new products that I already have lots of, so every month I feel like I'm denting my stash a little and boy does it feel good! Here's what I used up in March.

I'll be honest, I bought this scrub purely based on the scent and it didn't disappoint; the sweet lime scent is so invigorating and refreshing. The scrub itself is made up of brown sugar, macadamia grains and almond oil, which is a really nice formula but not quite scrubby enough for me.
Re-purchase? I'm not sure - I love the scent though, so maybe the shower gel would be a better bet.

This is one of the best natural, SLS free shampoo and conditioner duos I've tried to date and has a gorgeous, zingy scent. For normal to oily hair, these did me so well when I started extending the period between hair washes by a day, as it purified my locks without stripping them. Full review here.
Re-purchase? I would in the future, but I've bought an OGX duo to try instead. 

I have a full review coming up of this dry shampoo as I also have two of the other scents from the range. It's not the cheapest dry shampoo out there, but it's pretty darn good. Rio has a reviving, tropical scent - as you can tell from the three products so far I do love my citrus notes!
Re-purchase? Yes

Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer 30ml - £19.00
This is the second tube I've used up of the oil free version of the Laura Mercier primer. It doesn't break me out and feels just like a moisturiser; Vitamins A, C and E equal a smooth and hydrating base for my foundation and about 7-8 hours wear. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Already have!

Claudia Louch Protective Jojoba Day Moisturiser 40ml* - £52.50
I'm so sad that this has ran out, because it's one of the best moisturisers I've tried. It suited my oily/combination skin so well, keeping it re-balanced for longer and containing Jojoba Seed Oil to help with inflammation! I just wish I could afford to re-purchase it. Full review here.
Re-purchase? Sadly no.

Bee Good Honey and Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser 100ml - £11.50
If you're looking for a gentle, makeup removing cream cleanser, then this is a brilliant, purse friendly option. Containing Honey, Propolis and Beeswax, it feels soft and nourishing on the skin and smells amazing too.
Re-purchase? I'm using a Green People one at the moment, but I'd definitely buy this again.

What products have you used up this month? Are you a fan of any of the above products?

Beauty Bird xx

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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Review: Botanicals Radiance Serum

I use face serum morning and night, so I like to alternate between different serums based on what my skin needs at the time. I currently target blemishes with the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ (review) and combat dryness with the Antipodes Hosanna H20 Intensive Skin Plumping Serum (review). I've recently added a new serum to my skincare arsenal to bring some radiance to my skin when it's looking dull - the Botanicals Radiance Serum. 

The Botanicals Radiance Serum is 100% natural and 99% organic, with key ingredients such as Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Rosehip Oil and Grapeseed Oil. This blend of ingredients is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and potassium, which promotes revitalised, healthy and younger looking skin. This serum is suitable for all skintypes, costing £25.95 for a 30ml bottle. 

Although a serum, in terms of formula it looks like an oil and so comes with a pipette to dispense it; however it is much richer and thicker in consistency than any oils I've tried. For these reasons I find that it takes quite awhile to absorb, so it isn't one to use when you're in a rush and waiting to apply your moisturiser on top. I find myself reaching for it much more at night than in the morning (because I'm never on time first thing!). Botanicals advise applying the Radiance Serum to damp skin, which I recommend as it takes longer to sink in if you don't - I spritz on a toner such as the La Roche-Posay Serozinc and then massage it into my skin. It also works well mixed in with a moisturiser. The Botanicals Radiance Serum really is the perfect cold weather product; it packs a serious punch in the hydration department and turns my skin from dull and flat to glowy and plump. 

The Botanicals Radiance Serum is in the higher end of the price bracket, but considering that it contains all natural ingredients and you only need a couple of drops for each use, I think it is well worth it. It'll last for ages and your skin will love you for it. Find it online here.

Have you tried the Botanicals Radiance Serum? What serum do you use for more radiant skin?

Beauty Bird xx

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P.S. This post contains a PR sample. This does not affect my opinion of the product.