Friday, 31 October 2014

Murad Christmas Collections.

The Christmas gift sets are coming! I'm such a sucker for them because I usually end up buying them for myself rather than others - whoops! The latest ones to catch my eye are these three sets from Murad.

Get Rich Quick - for a holiday hydration boost. £59.50
This set contains Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (50ml), which locks in hydration for 8 hours, and Rapid Collagen Infusion (30ml), which promotes healthy collagen and hydration levels to plump skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (30ml), to polish away dullness revealing smoother, brighter skin, and Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture for eyes (3.5ml), which supercharges and awakens the delicate eye area.
The contents are worth £160.40 but this is less than half price at £59.50

Radiance in a Rush - for bright and radiant skin. £59.50
This set contains Essential-C Cleanser (45ml), which cleanses and energises skin, and Advanced Active Radiance Serum (30ml), which boosts radiance while protecting skin from environmental aggressors. It also contains the Intensive-C Radiance Peel (50ml), a once-weekly intense treatment. I have reviewed this and the Essential-C Cleanser here. Set contents worth £156.65.

Fantastic Firming - for a youthful complexion. £59.50

This set contains Renewing Cleansing Cream (45ml), which gently cleanses and exfoliates, Age-Diffusing Firming Mask (50ml), a luxurious treatment which instantly firms and deeply hydrates skin, and Age-Diffusing Serum (10ml), which lists, hydrates and exfoliates for firmer skin. The set also contains Renewing Eye Cream (15ml), which treats puffiness, dark circles and crows feet in one. Set contents worth £155.48!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Winter Skincare Favourites

Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream. This creamy cleanser is designed for skin effected by a polluted/urban environment, but is also perfect for protecting skin from the effects of cold weather. It contains moringa, mango and shea butter to restore skin's purity, radiance and moisture. I like to use this to remove my make-up then follow it up with another face wash, or use it in the mornings before a shower to start the day.

The directions are a little different to how I'd usually use a warm up a couple of drops between your hands then apply it to your face without pressing down. Then you use your hands to create fast suction-like movements by quickly pressing down and removing your hands. This method - the "Clarins touch" - helps the cleanser thicken and produce a suction effect that draws out impurities. Slightly odd, but it works!

Paul & Joe Moisturising Facial Mask. When you're in need of an instant hydration boost this is the perfect product. It contains Orange water and oil so it has a lovely citrus smell. It's recommended to use a coin-size amount on the face and blot off with tissue after between 3-5 minutes. I do this evenings or leave it on overnight if my skin is especially dry. I am a huge fan of Paul & Joe beauty products and the packaging is divine.

Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask.  I recently featured this in my favourite face masks post. It warms up on contact with the skin which is a lovely treat in cold weather! Although my skin is quite dry and sensitive I do get regular break-outs so this is perfect for keeping my skin in balance.

What are your Winter skincare essentials? Have you tried any of these products?

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

My Interview with Jacqueline Wilson

One of the perks of my job is getting to meet and speak to so many different people every day. I have been a journalist for just over a year now and recently I was lucky enough to meet Jacqueline Wilson . Jacqueline was my favourite author as a child and I have read most of her books so I was incredibly excited to meet her.

I interviewed Jacqueline at Guildford Book Festival before she gave her talk on her 100th book, Opal Plumstead, which was published this month. She is such a sweet woman and is incredibly passionate about her work - she was so chatty about her books in the interview and I could have listened to her for days!

 Jacqueline has been writing for nearly 50 years and has already got started on book 101 to get past the milestone! You can see my interview with her on the Get Surrey website here.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Inject some Vitamin C into your skincare regime with Murad

Vitamin C is key to the production of collagen and gives your skin its firmness and strength. As Winter draws in many people will be turning to Vitamin C-rich products to keep their skin smooth and help fight dullness. I too am relying on Vitamin C products to keep my skin bright and healthy during the Winter months. Two products that I picked up recently are the Murad Essential-C Cleanser and Intensive-C Radiance Peel.

The Essential-C Cleanser (£34) removes impurities and irritants, restoring the moisture to skin. It contains an Environmental Shield to protect skin from environmental factors such as wind and cold. Anyone that lives or works in the city will feel the effects of pollution on their skin and this cleanser is just what you need to defend your skin from damage. It leaves my skin feeling fresh, bright and healthy!

The Intensive-C Radiance Peel (£49.50) is an at-home peel treatment for extra radiance. It targets hyper-pigmentation to improve skin tone and clarity. It contains Glycolic Acid which naturally exfoliates skin without being harsh. This removes dead skin cells and improves texture. I use this every fortnight and leave it on for around ten minutes. You can feel it tingle on your skin when you apply it which shows it's working! For anyone that has tried the Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask this is very similar but I think it is even more effective!

These products can be bought individually or they are also part of Murad's Radiance in a Rush Christmas Collection (£59.50).

Have you tried any Murad products before? Do you use Vitamin C in your skincare?

Monday, 27 October 2014

Autumn/Winter Lingerie from By Caprice

During the summer I got a bikini from the By Caprice collection for my holiday to Turkey. After being very impressed with the brand I was so excited when the Autumn/Winter lingerie collection landed. I recently picked up the "Love Blossom" set - a gorgeous bright raspberry and ivory lace set. 

I am quite small-busted so the extra padding in this bra was very welcomed! It is a plunge bra so helps to add shape without being too over the top. The satin material is very comfortable but the lace detailing can be quite noticeable under clothes so it's best not to wear it with anything too clingy! It fits me perfectly although I have read some other reviews and seen that people with bigger boobs have struggled with it a bit! I was also surprised at how well the knickers fit me - I'm usually a medium/size 10 but I got the knickers in a small and they were a perfect fit and so comfortable. I wore this all day and didn't have any problems with the bra rising up or needing any adjusting!

I love the bright colour and it felt so luxurious on. Love Blossom is by far the brightest set in the Autumn/Winter range, the other underwear sets are mainly purple and black so have more of a Winter feel but I love that this will still be suitable for summer too.

By Caprice underwear can be bought online from various retailers so it's worth having a search on the internet when purchasing. I personally prefer to buy from ASOS and Figleaves but it can also be bought from Very, Littlewoods and Isme.

Have you tried anything from By Caprice before? What do you think of this set?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Oxygenetix Breathable Foundation

We all know foundation isn't great for our skin and we should cut back on it and embrace make-up free days. But for many, including myself, that isn't an option. I like to have some coverage and often can't go without foundation. Good news as I recently tried Oxygenetix oxygenating foundation - a breathable foundation that keeps skin healthy while still providing complete coverage.

Oxygenetix Foundation was originally developed to heal and conceal skin after cosmetic procedures - such as laser and peels. It aims to promote the healing process of skin conditions. It contains Ceravitae - an oxygen complex that promotes collagen cell production and tissue growth in ageing skin. It is gel-based and also provides anti-bacterial qualities.

The foundation comes in 14 shades - seven yellow-based and seven blue-based - I recently tried out the shade 'Ivory' which suited me well. I was very impressed with this foundation! It felt very fresh and light when I was applying it and it didn't feel cakey or like it was clogging up my skin at all - it was more like a second skin! The thing I liked most is that it lasted all day and I didn't need to touch up my skin with powder throughout the day.

Image from Oxygenetix
I'd say this foundation is perfect for every-day wear or for anyone that suffers with oily/congested skin or breakouts. It is a little pricey at £37.50 a bottle but worth the splurge! This foundation is available from Beauty is Skin Deep.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

My Favourite Facial Tanning Products

I regularly fake tan but I find that as soon as I take my make-up off in the evenings, the fake tan disappears with it my face ends up being three shades lighter than my body. Recently I have taken to topping up my tan on my face with these products...

Xen-Tan Face Tanner Luxe is a fake tan designed specifically for the face. It is lighter than some other fake tans and contains Vitamin E to help nourish skin. It is gentle enough to be used daily but I prefer to use this once or twice a week to help achieve a glow. It is tinted a light caramel colour so you can see exactly where you are applying it.

Once my face is tanned I maintain the colour with Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanner. It is a milky texture and is very light and gentle on the skin. It is un-tinted but once applied a colour develops within a couple of hours. It is recommended that you apply this to clean skin by pouring a little liquid onto a cotton pad and sweeping it over skin. You can then apply your moisturiser and make-up over the top as normal. I prefer to apply it with my hands as you can see the results more quickly. This is definitely my favourite face tanning product and it makes my skin look really radiant and healthy.

To build a natural, gradual tan I use Olay Complete Care Everyday Sunshine. This is a daily moisturiser that contains fake tan to create a sun-kissed glow while still fighting the effects of ageing. The effects aren't as instant as the other products so you have to use this every day to notice a tan building but it is perfect for those that want more of a natural effect.

Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster is a whole new level of facial tanning.  It is a teeny little 15ml bottle of oil/serum that you add a drop or two of to your moisturiser to add radiance to your skin. Used daily, it will build up more colour and leave you with a nice healthy looking tan. It isn't too orange or overpowering, just a little pop of colour that is suited to your skin tone. It is such a clever idea and I find just using a little in the mornings with my moisturiser immediately perks up my skin! It is completely customisable as you choose the level of tan you want and is really simple to use.

Have you tried any of these face-tanners before? Which is your favourite?

Friday, 24 October 2014

No7 Beauty Advent Calendar

We're a little spoilt for choice this year for beauty Advent Calendars and I tend not to do too many Christmas product previews on my blog but I couldn't resist this one! The Body Shop, Benefit, Yankee Candle, Ciate and Selfridges are yearly attenders to the beauty calendar scene but Boots No 7 have launched a brand new calendar this year.

The calendar contains 25 cosmetic and beauty must haves for the festive season including the Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream, Youthful Eye Serum, Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator and the Stay Perfect Duo Nail Colour.

Plus there's plenty of party make-up essentials including a mini Intense Volume Mascara, Lip Colour Brush and Stay Perfect Metallic Eye Pencil.

The new No7 Beauty Calendar is available from 29th October and costs £35. It is available in Boots stores and online at

Will you be buying any beauty advent calendars this year? Which ones have caught your eye?

My Favourite Facemasks

Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask. When my skin is in need of a good deep cleanse or is getting congested this is my go-to product. This is a warming charcoal treatment that warms up on your skin then cools down naturally after about five minutes. By warming up it helps to open up pores to draw out impurities and help purify the skin.

Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel. My skin can often get quite dull after long weeks and lack of sleep but some exfoliating treatments can be too harsh on my skin. This Murad mask aims to reverse ageing caused by environmental factors such as sun and stress. Don't be put off by the name - despite being a "peel" it is very light on the skin. It contains Glycolic Acid to remove dullness and help skin glow.

Quick Fix Calming Clay Mask. When it all gets a bit too much this is a quick and simple mask to use for sensitive skin. It contains Aloe Vera and chamomile to reduce inflammation and provide moisture. It isn't effective as some other masks I have tried but it leaves my skin soft and more moisturised.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask. This works as both a deep cleansing and exfoliating mask in one. It's consistency is more like a face wash so you can either use it as a scrub or leave it on your face for around five minutes before rinsing away. It contains all natural ingredients, such as walnut, rosemary, lavender and chamomile, so it is soothing on the skin while still buffing away dead skin cells.

Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask. Unlike the four other face masks I have mentioned, this one actually dries on the skin. I don't know why, but that's something I really like about face masks - guess it's all part of the fun! This Good Things mask contains white clay and beeswax as well as manuka honey, which are all super moisturising ingredients. It helps to nourish the skin and boost radiance. I like to use it weekly to keep my skin soft.
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