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Beach, please.

I AM GOING ON HOLIDAY IN LESS THAN A WEEK!!!

Yeah baby! We’re getting on a plane, we’re leaving the UK and we are chasing the sun! It’s been a long time coming this holiday, The Boy has never been on a plane and GG has only got as far as Ireland on one, so to say we’re excited is a slight understatement!

The packing will commence next week, and I’ve already been stockpiling some goodies to take with me, top of that list are the proper beach things, I’m talking Designer Swimwear baby, all in one place – beach cafe –  Ta Dah!!

Beach

 

I want every.single.thing here! It’s not often I get to daydream about laying on a beach, sunglasses on, book in hand, cocktail to the side (can you picture that scene?!) but it’s in touching distance now, so to go along with my daydreams, I thought I’d do my dream beach look.

1: Seafolly Halterneck Bikini £88

2: Kabuki Bloom Triangle Bikini £83

3: Hipanemas Madness Bracelet £95

4: Taylor Morris RJ Mitchell Sunglasses £145

I’m not that brave sadly, so this really is my wish list, my “wish I was bikini brave” list! Accessories though, all over those! I’ve even got some temporary tattoos by Flash Tattoos, in gorgeous metallics that last 4-6 days, they’re not your usual temporary tats either, think geometric shapes, jewellery, stars, I will probably cover myself in them! And, no doubt the kids will be having their fair share of them too. I bet I even get one on the bloke. Did I mention we got new tattoos the other week, and now he is addicted as me and is already planning his next two or three tattoos! *HOT*

I have the MOST amazing beach bag by Lemlem that is going to be earning it’s keep and going everywhere with us. Handwoven, pink, white and blue stripes with a bright, clashing print interior. It’s got pockets on the outside for easy grabbing of the purse, suncream, glasses, whatever and it’s HUGE so the whole day can get thrown in there ready to go.

I’ve got a stack of magazines that haven’t been read, a book that I want to grab at the airport – Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer – and no other plans whatsoever! We just want to sit on the beach, play in the sea, do a bit of sightseeing and just relax the hell out for the whole 7 days. I expect there will be a lot of alcohol, some really good food and plenty of freckles!

I’m counting down the days……!

 

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October 2014 Birchbox with Coppafeel

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I love a good beauty box, ever since they first came out and I started subscribing I have been hooked. There have been, of course, a couple of not so good ones, which did put me off for a while, but the competition between them all is quite strong, so the good ones seem to up their games!

October is breast cancer awareness month, so it was really good to see a pink Birchbox land on my doorstep this weekend. There are 7 products included in the box, as well as a great leaflet on how you should check your breasts for early signs, and how often you should do it. The more it’s discussed openly and freely, the quicker it will become normal for women to check their breasts and notice anything out of the ordinary. There is also a little guide to each product and quick instructions on how to use them.

The first difference this month is the all the products are inside a cute little pink make up bag instead of Birchbox’s usual drawstring bag. I love this little pouch, it is perfect handbag size.

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Inside the bag there are some really good products, I have to admit, last months box didn’t grab my attention, but this month is so much better. The first thing I noticed was the Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm. I love Pixi products so I knew this would be good! The colour is perfect, not too bright. It’s full size and worth £8. This one is going to be kept in my bag at all times.

Next up is the KMS California Free Shape Hot Flex Creme (£15.50 for full size) it smooths curls and waves (perfect for me in this ever so slightly damp weather!) You just apply to towel dried hair and comb through before blowdrying. It smells delish!

One product I’d not heard of before is the Shaveworks The Cool Fix (£11 FS) it’s a cooling gel lotion that treats ingrown hairs, razor bumps and redness after hair removal. You apply it generously to dry, clean skin after waxing or shaving morning and evening until the irritation goes away. If this works, I am stocking up on this baby!

The Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm will probably go straight to GG. She loves Balance Me products, and I like the fact that they’re 100% natural on her skin. This is a cleanser with exfoliating oatmeal powder, for normal to dry skins. (£20 FS)

Last on the skincare list is a sample of Cindy Crawford’s Meaningful Beauty Glowing Serum (£30.95 FS) I’ve been lucky enough to try this range in the past, but it disappeared off my radar for a while, so it’s good to see it again. It’s described as a sumptuous, radiance enhancing anti ageing serum from Dr Sebagh and Cindy. You’re meant to use it in the morning before moisturiser or anytime of day for an instant pick me up. Looking at pics of Cindy at George Clooney’s wedding, you can’t argue that whatever she uses on her face is working!

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And by no means least, a funky little pink pen in the shape of a lipstick. I am hiding this baby because I know it will get ‘borrowed’ by my daughter and never be seen again! It’s going straight into my bag for me alone!

I really think the October box has been a huge success, and with the contents coming to almost £40 for a £10 subscription, you can’t really argue with the value. Even the sizes of the samples are good, the serum can fit in my make up bag alongside the lip balm and the pen.

You can subscribe to Birchbox here and find out more about Coppafeel here.

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Kahina Giving Beauty – Fez Hand & Body Balm

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I am balm obsessed. Cleansing balms obviously started the love affair off, there is something about scooping out a dollop of solid balm and massaging it in until it’s almost liquid. Maybe it’s because it feels like you’re really applying it well, who knows! I’ve been smothering the husband in coconut oil, which is almost balm like and now there is Kahina Hand & Body Balm. Inspired by the mysterious and exotic city of Fez, Morocco, it’s a nourishing and soothing balm that will instantly restore and soften severely dry, chapped skin. A rich blend of argan oil, carrot seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and mango nut butter creates a velvety base that deeply moisturises and naturally soothes irritated skin. Infused with calendula, known for its anti-inflammatory and powerful healing properties, the Fez Hand & Body Balm can be used on hands, feet, elbows and any other areas in need of softening and deep hydration. Scented with Kahina’s signature Fez fragrance, the balm leaves behind a subtle earthy, warm scent to calm the senses and ground the spirit while leaving the skin soft and radiant.

I’m really suffering with my hands (well hand) at the moment, I’ve been allergic to my wedding rings on and off for a while, but it’s gone a bit mad for some reason and I can’t even wear them for a day. It looks like I’m allergic to gold, and that’s all gold, including my gorgeous white gold engagement ring (sad, sad face) My ring finger is red raw, with horrible little pin prick blisters that are drying up (attractive no?) so I have been trying to keep it moisturised without irritating it more. The Fez hand balm has been a *lifesaver* I have it next to my mac, take a tiny blob and rub it into my finger whenever it starts to feel sore. Because I’m not smothering my whole hand in cream I’m not getting that horrible sticky feeling which I hate.

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Fez Hand & Body Balm is available from beingcontent.com for £35.00

PR Sample

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These boots were made for walking….

September 21st 2014, the last official day of summer, which means we can start getting ready for Autumn Winter. I know everyone goes on and on about summer not being long enough, hot enough, good enough, but for me, A/W are my favourite seasons. It’s time to get the boots out, the leather jacket, the big chunky scarves and all the good winter recipes on the go.

I’m always on the lookout for the perfect pair of boots, last year I found a pair in Clarks which I wore non stop but they have a slight heel to them, nothing major, but this year I wanted a pair of flat ankle boots. I’ve always loved chelsea boots, I had a pair when I was younger (before I got sucked into wearing heels!) and now they’re one of my favourite styles so when Esska offered me a pair from their new collection, I immediately fell in love with the Amy boots in bronze, they have the classic style with a little bit of an edge, which I love. They’re leather with a suedette detailing and an anti slip rubber sole.

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From its humble beginnings in June 2006, Esska has become known for its stylish designs, layered materials and exciting colour combinations. The founder and designer, Souraya Karami originally trained and worked as an architect before deciding that her future lay in shoes. Having studied and re-trained in footwear design at the renowned Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion, Souraya spent a couple of years honing her skills before starting the Esska marque out of the spare bedroom of her East London flat.

She noticed a distinct lack of footwear that is designed for confident women who place equal value on comfort and beauty (hello flats, goodbye ridiculous heels) that led her to develop Esska. With a background in architecture it is unsurprising that the designs are inspired by the urban fabric; from streets, crossings and intersections to buildings and structures. Esska has a clear handwriting: geometry, interlacing and layering. All in a very pure, clean and unique style.

Since they arrived we’ve had nothing but pure sunshine so I haven’t had the chance to wear them at all, they’re sitting in their box waiting to be worn. I, will of course, be teaming them with my usual outfits of skinny jeans and shirts, but I can also see these boots looking great with short dresses and tights. They would probably look even better without the tights but my pasty white legs can’t pull that look off sadly!

They are so comfortable, and light as anything, I just need it to get a bit cooler so I can pack the sandals away and get on with wearing my favourite type of footwear!

The Amy Boots in Bronze cost £130 and are available from a list of stockists which can be found on the Esska website.

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Laser Treatment Clinic – Marine Skin Science

Founded in 2000 at the heart of London’s medical and cosmetic centre, and located at the most prestigious medical address in the world, The Laser Treatment Clinic was one of the first Laser skin clinics to establish itself in London. Their skin experts have sourced the very best hi-tech cutting edge laser systems and advanced high performance Marin Skin Science skincare products which work together to deliver the best results for skin.

I’ve been trialling two of their products, the Ultra-Smooth Sea Polish and the Revitalize Marine Body Serum.

The body serum is ultra rich but still very, very light to apply, which covers the skin with moisture without any hint of a sticky residue. It soaks in quickly but the moisturising effect lasts for a while, and you really feel that you’ve given your skin a drink, so to speak. The serum is designed to minimise the appearance of dull, dry skin on both the body and the hands and restores it’s appearance, leaving it feeling silky smooth and toned. It has quite a medical scent, there is no hint of florals or sweetness, which I actually really like, it almost feels like you ‘should’ be using it, rather than it being a beauty product. For the best results, it’s recommended that you exfoliate (healthy, unbroken skin) in the shower before applying, and leave it to soak in for 2 minutes to allow it to dry.

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The Sea Polish is probably one of my favourite exfoliators to date. It’s highly concentrated and ultra, ultra fine. If you looked at it in the pot you would never suspect it was an exfoliator! The marine earth skin polish targets blackheads, blocked pores, dull and uneven skin tone, leaving the skin feeling softer and smoother. You really don’t need to put much effort into using this scrub, it does all the work for you, apply a tiny amount to dry skin (it’s best to use after a hot shower so the steam can open your pores a little) and massage lightly. It says for around 5 minutes, depending on the sensitivity of your skin. I don’t have overly sensitive skin but I found 2-3 mins max was enough, anymore than that for me and it would start to feel sore and aggravated. The trick is to dampen your face each time the scrub starts to thicken up, paying particular attention to problem areas, mine being around my nose and my chin. Rinse it well using warm water and a flannel. The box suggests 1-3 times a week, but I will probably be sticking to once a week when my skin is happy, maybe once a fortnight when I go through my lovely breakout moments, as I like to scale everything back and just cover my face with gentle love when it’s like that! (Think oil, oil and more oil!) The 50ml pot will probably last a good few months as you only need such a tiny amount each time.

scrub

sea polish

Both products cost £39.00 each and are available from the Laser website here.

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Clarins #Feed10

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Sometimes you need to stop what you’re doing and realise just how lucky you really are. A lot of the time we take luxuries for granted without even a second thought to people out there who don’t have half of what we have.

Clarins are collaborating with FEED Projects to help fight the worldwide childhood hunger epidemic through the launch of the ‘Gift with Purpose’. The first ever of it’s kind, a gift with purchase with a social conscience, each FEED 10 gift funds 10 nutritious school meals for children in developing countries through the UN World Food Programme. This year they want to reach a goal of providing an additional one million meals and they need your support.

You can get this gift with purpose when you buy two Clarins products, one of them must be skincare. Included in the FEED 10 pouch are the iconic Moisture Rich Body Lotion, Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate in discovery sizes plus Gentle Refiner, Hydra Quench Cream Mask and Hand & Nail Treatment. It’s available from the 21st September until the 4th October 2014 at Clarins.

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