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The £3 Bath and Body Works Candle Dupes

Bath and Body Works is probably one of my favourite shops ever in the U.S, each time I visit I leave weighed down, with blue checked bags stuffed to the brim and a sense of satisfaction. If ever you get the chance to pop into a branch, I urge you to do so (and instagram the trip so I can look on in envy) but until then - or for those on the look out for a bargain - may I gently nudge you towards B&M? Yes really, B&M the discount shop you find in retail parks is surprisingly a mecca for candle buyers (and oddly great for Air Wick refills too) and the good news is that everything in-store is surprisingly cheap.

The £3 Bath and Body Works Candle Dupes

At first glance you'd be forgiven for assuming that the B&M Essence candle range was indeed purchased in Bath and Body Works - I mean the packaging is almost identical: from the large glass containers, to the bright labels and even the finishing of the silver leaf embossed lid/candle snuffer - it all screams Bath and Body Works. Well they are not. The Essence candles are B&M's own label and they cost a mere £2.99 each and come in a wide variety of fragrances.

The £3 Bath and Body Works Candle Dupes

I purchased two scents of the B&M Essence two wick candles as truthfully the options my store had was limited, and if I am entirely honest, not every scent is something I'd want to own - like all bargains, some elements are hint and miss. The two fragrances I can entirely recommend are: Essence Apple Orchard - a crisp, red apple and spice blend, that is not worlds away from the ever raved about Bath and Body Works Leaves scent; then there is Essence Marshmallow Fireside which is more smoky than sweet, if you like realistic fire/smoke fragrances then this is one I recommend. I do however urge you to scent test all the candles you aim to purchase in-store, as I have found that the fragrances can have discrepancies per candle; for instance some of the Marshmallow Fireside candles had more of a caramel tone than smoky/sweet fragrance. At £2.99 I can't complain but I do think it is something worth pointing out to avoid general disappointment.

The £3 Bath and Body Works Candle Dupes

As the B&M Essence candles do feature two wicks they burn evenly and dare I say quickly, it does say on the label that they should burn for up to 25 hours per candle but I do think that may be a little doubtful - if I manage to achieve 18 hours of burning time from one candle, I will be happy.

The £3 Bath and Body Works Candle Dupes

Much like the fragrances, the scent throw also varies: Apple Orchard quickly fills a room with sweet and spicy notes of Apple; Marshmallow Fireside is a little more gentle and as such not as rich nor powerful. That's not to say I don't enjoy it, I just find it better suited to a smaller room rather than relying on it to fill my entire home with a sweet and smoky aroma.

Basically I am urging you to go to B&M grab a few of their £3 candles and enjoy, because I think you'll be hard pushed to find this level of quality, for such a low price elsewhere.

What Beauty Bloggers Really Buy from eBay

Admit it, we all love eBay - I mean how can you not? A quick punch of a few key words and bam, instantly the item of your dreams flashes up on screen, and more than likely at a slashed retail price too but what do beauty bloggers truly buy?

I can tell you one thing we certainly are not buying - counterfeit make-up. I mean really, why do sellers think this is okay? Not only is it entirely illegal but completely dangerous too as there is of course no control or testing of ingredients, so you have no real idea what you are applying to your skin. My rule of thumb in regards to eBay is if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is...that or it is a counterfeit. Fun fact - or not really because dangerous beauty products aren't all that fun - Benefit is the most replicated brand within such markets; the Naked palettes are the individual products that are duplicated the most. Basically when it comes to beauty products only buy from trusted vendors, it is as simple as that.

So now we know what we don't purchase - or at least willingly- what about the products that we do?

What Beauty Bloggers Really Buy from eBay

1, Nail polish - in my opinion there is no better place to pick up both limited edition or high end polishes without a premium price tag. I also use it to purchase Sinful Color Nail Polishes which seem to all but have disappeared from the UK - well other than the Kylie Jenner shades?

For China Glaze I recommend this seller, for OPI this seller, for Sinful Colors this seller and for Essie this seller.

2, Korean beauty products - If I feature a Korean beauty product, nine times out of ten it was purchased via eBay and most likely from the seller F2plus1; not only is such store super affordable but my products always arrive in record time and without custom charges. I should also mention that they stock just about every Korean beauty brand and product you can imagine too.

3, Sheet masks - Admittedly this is a somewhat follow on from above but I do have a few other go-to eBay stores for sheet masks: for Missha I use this store, for Holika Holika here, for My Beauty Diary here and for individual Tony Moly masks here.

4, Make-Up Brushes - As much as I enjoy branded brushes, I do think there is a need for cheap and cheerful brushes especially for travel, or those just trying to find out what best works for their needs. There are plenty of budget friendly options available on eBay but I personally recommend this fairly expansive array of brushes - 10 tools for less than £4 -link. For those looking to try brushes similar to the 'Artis' tools but don't want to fork out close to £300 for a set, this nifty rose gold set looks to be a great alternative.

What Beauty Bloggers Really Buy from eBay

5, Novelty beauty products - We've all seen the fancy brush cleansing mitts (find a 99p dupe here) but decided they were more novelty than practical, and as such decided not to splash out on one. For this very reason and of course many other less-than-needed beauty products eBay is the place to head to. I also would say that if you don't mind paying a little more than average, then you can also find Bath and Body Works products on eBay such as candles and hand sanitizer.

I of course can't speak for the entire beauty community so do feel free to pass on any sellers or must try products below. There must be other hidden gems that I have missed?

Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum Review

Ariana Grande is very much having a beauty moment isn't she? From a brand new candy inspired fragrance to another collaboration with MAC, the gal is everywhere you look. I can't quite believe I am saying this but I'm kinda obsessed with her latest fragrance launch, Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum. There I said it. It's out in the open and I feel good about it.

Yes I'm more than aware that Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy is aimed at pre-teens, and generally those under the age of 20, yet there is something so wearable and dare I say addictive about this pretty fragrance launch - not to mention it is fairly affordable too.

Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum Review
Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum Review

Sure Ariana Grande's fan base may be young but the bottle design has been created to appeal to even the most mature palette, and I for one will be displaying it with pride. From the opaque, pale-pink bottle to the rose gold accents and fluffy marabou charm, Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy manages to be both cute but dare I say it, slightly provocative? I can't be the only one who could see this style of bottle very much at home in stores such as Victoria Secret or maybe even Agent Provocateur too? Basically at first glance this does not read as celebrity fragrance, which may come across as snobbish but let's face it, more often than not celebrity scent launches can veer a little on the tacky side. Sorry not sorry.

But enough chit chat about the bottle, what really matters in the grand scheme of things is a, what does Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy smell like and b, does it wear well? In my opinion, Sweet Like Candy is just that sweet and candied with notes of blackberry, vanilla, candyfloss, bergamot and a whole lot of sugar, yet it manages the impossible, - it is oddly sophisticated. This isn't your typical bubblegum and lollipop tinged teen scent, that anyone over the age of 12 would side step, rather it is very moreish and uplifting - not to mention it clings to the skin all day long.

Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum Review

I realise the problem with fragrance reviews of any type is that you can't smell the product through the screen so for that reason, I do try my very best to offer comparisons where possible. In the instance of Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum, it reminds me both of Viktor and Rolf Flower Bomb Eau de Parfum and oddly Britney Spears Fantasy Eau de Parfum. In my opinion, if those two fragrances joined forces and had a baby, it would be Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy.

If this is the future of celebrity fragrance, consider me swayed.

Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy Eau de Parfum 50ml/£30 via Boots - link.
Thierry Mugler Angel Candle Review

Arguably two of the most loved and dare I say iconic fragrances of the last decade has to be Thierry Mugler Alien Eau de Parfum and Thierry Mugler Angel Eau de Parfum. I'm sure you will be familiar with at least one, if not both, and most likely instantaneously associate a person with one of the above fragrances? I have wore Thierry Mugler Alien for the best part of ten years and continue to enjoy it's mysterious notes, where as my Mother is a huge fan of the slightly sweeter notes of Mugler's Angel; as such being able to own such cherished scents in candle form, is all but a dream come true - yes my life is just that darn exciting.

At the moment, I do just own the Thierry Mugler Angel Candle but rest assure I will be purchasing an Alien candle to nestle beside it, this coming weekend. Until then, lets focus our attention on the beautifully presented Angel version. As you can see, the candle itself is presented within a soft, lilac, glass container which of course borrows its colour palette from the instantly recognisable, star-shaped bottle which is of course treasured by many. I'm sure we can all agree the pretty splash of pastel is a fitting tribute to the scent and once lit, the semi-opaque glass glows and almost looks pearlescent - like I said pretty, very pretty indeed.

Thierry Mugler Angel Candle Review

The main selling point of the candles is the fragrance aspect - of course - and make no mistake about it, the Thierry Mugler Angel Candle more than delivers. Now forgive me for what I am about to say but typically I am not the biggest fan of Angel Eau de Parfum; I find it to be a little too sweet and as such both cloying and headache inducing and yet the candle version manages to capture the original notes but in a slightly softer manner. Now don't mistake this for a weak, expensive candle that is best placed on the mantle piece as a mere decoration - the Thierry Mugler Angel Candle gentle scents my entire home in as little as two hours. The main difference - when compared to the wearable fragrance of the same name - is that this is altogether a softer and more powdery version of Angel.

For those yet to become acquainted with Angel, let me quickly break down the notes and the general vibe of the overall scent: the main notes are sweet red fruits, heady patchouli, coupled with creamy vanilla and caramel. As you can imagine this is an almost candy like scent with a deep, powerful floral kick - if you enjoy sweeter type fragrances but with a grown up twist, this is one I can imagine you will want to try out, be that in candle form or not.

Thierry Mugler Angel Candle Review

I must warn that should you fall in love with either candle, you will have to strike quickly as both are very much limited edition.

Thierry Mugler Angel Candle £39/180g via Debenhams - link.
Thierry Mugler Alien Candle £39/180g via Debenhams - link.

Have you ever found yourself wishing that Sephora would properly come to the UK (for now you can currently order most products online via the U.S website) once again? Well if rumour is to be believed Sephora will land on British shores once again (Brent Cross I believe was the last main location, along with a few others) in a matter of weeks.

Social media is currently abuzz with the possibility - and it is just that at the moment - that Sephora will be opening its doors in Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre (London), this coming November. At long last huh?

Well kinda. I really thought that should this day ever arrive, I'd be far more overjoyed by the concept than I really am, at the moment to say I'm nonplussed is all but an understatement. Before you paint me a spoil-sport (which is a tag I'll accept in this instance) hear me out...

For me - and I do warn that the following statement is entirely selfish - Sephora was and probably always will be a brand I associate with America despite its European roots. In my mind Sephora is a "foreign luxury", a store that I save and then save some more to visit, and pre-plan just about every purchase a few months before I as much as set foot inside the now iconic stripy store fronts. If - or perhaps when - Sephora becomes a fixture on the UK high street, I worry the novelty will wear off and I'll be less inclined to visit.

Then there is product availability, with companies such as Kat Von D and Tarte having exclusivity within other stores, just how many of the brands us Brits turn to Sephora to snag, will actually be in-store? Then of course if we do get a few new beauty lines to trial and test, will we be stung with a high mark up? If that is the case you'll probably notice that there are less Sephora London "haul" posts and videos, opposed to Sephora locations elsewhere which doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing but something to maybe anticipate none the less. Perhaps what I am trying to say - and not all that eloquently - is that Sephora in the UK won't be the Sephora we know to be true within the U.S, and as such expectations may have to be lowered?

Speculation and my bellyaching aside, I will add that I do think it is clever that of the brand to re-launch in London as it will quickly become a tourist attraction, and allow those who perhaps can't, or have no interest in leaving the UK to experience Sephora for themselves. I also hope that if Sephora does indeed come to London's Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre, that it is the first of many as we don't all live in England. I guess only time will tell.

So tell me, what are your thoughts about Sephora coming to the UK ? Hopefully they are slightly less whiny than mine ha!

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum Review

We've all seen and heard about (and maybe even tried) many a so-called quick fix for hair growth, and the truth is very few work - that or we simply aren't patient enough. If this rings true and you are attempting to grow your hair out, or stuck in that dreaded won't-grow-past-a-certain-length stage, then why not try Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum?

Unlike other products of this nature this is a hair care product first and foremost, meaning it has been specifically created to care for the hair and scalp. The idea behind Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum is that the light, non-oily, serum moisturise the scalp with each application, creating the ideal environment for hair to grow and flourish within. Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum also contains protein fibres, which can help to repair and strengthen existing damage.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum Review

Lee Stafford don't indicate how frequently you should apply the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum, I would guess that it is probably best used after every hair wash. I will however warn that as this contains protein it can result in dry hair (or even breakage) if applied too frequently, so perhaps use this once or twice a week until you can gauge how your hair will react to such formula. The Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum is intended to be applied to the roots and then combed through the ends of the hair, personally I see this is a waste of time; the ends of my hair don't really require the serum so why waste product or time? Rather I have been targeting the serum directly on to my scalp and the first inch or two of root and massaging thoroughly in.

All of the above is fine and dandy but I haven't really answered does this work? Yes and no, I'm not going to pretend for one moment that a month or two of frequent use and suddenly I have sprouted 10 inches of new hair because that's just not realistic. What I can say is that Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum has truly nourished my scalp, it is no longer itchy or dry but I'm sure this is not the real reason most will seek out Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum? You want fresh hair growth, you want to see roots peeking through your freshly dyed locks and you want to view them sooner, rather than later.

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum Review

Well I'm afraid you will have to be patient, as certain as I am that this has amplified new hair growth (I'd say maybe as much as 1cm in the last month), it is by no means a miracle cure but rather something that will nourish and protect new hair (and your scalp) throughout the growth process. I personally rather like that despite being a serum it doesn't leave my hair greasy, my scalp has never felt better and any additional hair growth has got to be better than none, right?

Lee Stafford Hair Growth Scalp Serum £9.99/75ml via Boots - link.

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