Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile

4.25.2015

Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile

With Spring fully in swing I have been on the look out for a new floral fragrance or two and nothing seems to be quite as beautiful as Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile. Yes it is a rose based scent but rather than being powdery, musk based or dated this uplifting, fresh, youthful and delicate. If ever there was a fragrance to embody Spring this is it.

Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile has been created to evoke the emotions of passion, love, tenderness and joy - all the while being feminine. Best described as a complex scent, Rosa Nobile leans heavily on Italian signature notes such as bergamot and mandarin for a bright, citrus kick along with black pepper and cedar for a taste of something rather usual. To ensure it is not overwhelming nor veering on masculine along with an abundance of centifolia rose there is hints of violet, peony and lily. Combined this is not your typical rose scent,  in fact I am hard pushed to detect the rose notes. Rather it an unusual, fruity floral that wears beautifully on the skin and is perfect for the warmer weather - long wearing, noticeable but never overwhelming nor cloying.

As a side note, I found this tid bit rather interesting - "Rosa Nobile is born from the essence of the centifolia rose which is carefully grown and cultivated in a small rose garden in Piedmont, Italy. Each bud is hand-picked at dawn when they are still fresh and dressed with the morning dew, during 40 days between May and June."

I guess a rose is not just a rose by any other name after all!

Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile £72.00 - £100.00 via Space.NK - link

This post contains a press sample.

Recent Budget Finds

Recent Budget Finds

Long gone are the days in which good quality equated to a high price tag, the UK high street is bursting full of wonderful budget beauty buys. As much as I love a good snoop and splurge at a high end counter it is my budget finds that I am most proud of - everyone loves a bargain! If you are in need of some inspiration or perhaps a little enabling (wink, wink), let me share what I have been enjoying lately - no re-mortgaging or selling a kidney required...

Recent Budget Finds

Nivea Sensitive 3 in 1 Micellar Cleansing Water £2.03 via Superdrug - link - I have seen this splashed all over blogs and instagram accounts and needless to say curiosity got the better of me. At just over £2 I picked up a bottle and have to say I am suitable impressed - it cleanses well, refreshes and doesn't dry out the skin. I don't reach for it daily but will say it is one of the better Micellar waters I have used in a long while.

Colab Dry Shampoo £1.99 via Superdrug - link - Finding a great dry shampoo isn't all that easy - so many choices, so many duds! I'm a little late in trying out Colab Dry Shampoos but my am I glad I did. Unlike many others the fragrances are incredible (my personal favourite is the fruity New York scent), there is no white residue or tacky, powdery residue left in the hair and most importantly the formula does absorb grease. Next time your dry shampoo needs replenished do yourself a favour and try out Colab.

Recent Budget Finds

L'Oreal Superstar False Lash Mascara £7.99 via Superdrug - link - A good few years ago duo ended mascaras where all the range and then suddenly they were no where to be found. As someone with long but flimsy eyelashes I adored the old school approach - a quick slick of a white, volumising and lengthening base coat, followed by a black mascara. It seems L'Oreal have answered my call as the new L'Oreal Superstar False Lash Mascara is just that - a two step process, to long, fluttery eyelashes. L'Oreal Superstar False Lash Mascara delivers the longest, fluttery natural eyelashes imaginable but I must warn it is prone to smudging - other than that it has been my current go to and I would recommend.

Recent Budget Finds

Bourjois Colourband Eyeshadow & Liner in Rose Fauviste £5.99 via Superdrug - link - Given half the chance I would wear rose gold eyeshadow on my eye lids all day, every day. One of my favourite and somewhat new finds has to be Bourjois Colourband Eyeshadow & Liner in the shade Rose Fauviste. A light, somewhat peach come rose gold shade that both illuminates and adds a hint of colour - I liken it a little to MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot. It is great for a quick, all over slick colour or as a base to lay more colour on. Either way it is long lasting and can double up as sparkly almost nude eye liner. For my full review and "real" swatches please see this post.

Recent Budget Finds

Seventeen Cheek and Lip Stain £4.99 via Boots - link - Imagine Benefit Benetint in a gel formulation that is not only easier to use but also a little more subtle and you have Seventeen Cheek and Lip Stain. A bright raspberry pink stain that can be sheered out or applied in layers for a more pigmented finish. The light gel texture is not only cooling but also perfecting (it some what blurs pores) and is the ideal, long wearing formula for warm balmy days. I personally use this on my cheeks for a lightly, flushed look but it is equally as comfortable on the lips.

Recent Budget Finds

Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lip Crayon in Proudly Naked  £7.99 via Boots - link If like myself you are still a fan of deep and slightly rosy based nude shades for the lips but crave something a little on the sheer side, this is the product for you. Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lip Crayon in the shade Proudly Naked is not only a pink tinged nude, that will look natural on just about everyone but it is also lightweight, contains an SPF15 and is easy to not only line and fill the lips. From the shade to the texture to the glossy finish this has become a new handbag staple.

Recent Budget Finds

No7 Early Defence Night Cream £19.50 via Boots - link - You may have noticed the new Boots No7 skincare collection aimed at those in their 20's? Although it is only early days for me in terms of testing I can safely say I am a huge fan of No7 Early Defence Night Cream. The light texture sinks quickly into my skin, it hydrates, protects and plumps the skin. It may be my imagination but I could swear I have seen an improvement within my frown lines. I like the rest of the No7 Early Defence range but would highly recommend the night cream over all else.

Do you have any recent high street finds that I should be nudged into testing?


What are AHAs?

What are AHAs

A skin care expert I am not but I am determined to learn more about skin, and exactly what I am putting on it. I am sure others feel the same, out of such idea I have decided to debunk skin care and certain ingredients to the best of my ability. A range of posts in which hopefully we can come together and learn, lean on one and other as a community and take the mystery out of skin care. I was recently briefed in AHAs, also know as Alpha Hydroxy Acids which have become quite a common method of exfoliation over the years.

Despite the somewhat clinical name Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are a group of natural acids found within certain foods, the most common are: citric acid (derives from citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found within sugar cane), lactic acid (sour milk oddly ), malic acid ( comes from apples) and tartaric acid (found in grapes). In skin care AHAs are used as a form of exfoliation, instead of relying on grains or beads to slough off dry and dead skin they work by chemically removing the top layers of dead skin cells by dissolving them; with continued use they can also increase the thickness of deeper layers of skin, promoting overall skin firmness.

What are AHAs

The pros of AHA's:

- As with most exfoliation methods the main aim is to remove dead and dry skin with this group of acids do gently. no need to physically scrub the skin. If heavy handed like myself manual scrubs can be tricky as I tend to overdo it and end up with red, raw skin.
- With continued use you can expect softer and smoother skin, products will absorb more efficiently and make-up will look better.
- AHA's can reduce visible signs of hyper-pigmentation such as acne scarring, sun damage and general skin discolouration.
- They can also help to remove blackheads and in the case of men can help prevent ingrown hairs on the face.
- With continued use the skin can appear firmer, brightened and wrinkles/fine lines less visible.
- Widely accepted as safe and found in numerous skin care products - from budget friendly to high end formulations.

The cons of AHA's:

- The can cause photosensitivity which is a sensitivity to the sun, if you do not adequately protect your skin while using (and after for at least a week) this can result in sun damage such as sun spots. When using AHA's always protect the skin with an SPF 15 or greater.
- Along with photosensitivity general skin irritations may occur such as redness, swelling and itching. If this continues discontinue use.
- They only lightly exfoliate the skin, AHA's won't unclog pores (pore size will not appear smaller).
- Can irritate acne prone skin and may not be the best choice for teenage skin.

What are AHAs?

AHA based products you may be familiar with:

Pixi Glow Tonic - very gentle and soothing, as well as brightening the skin.
Alpha H Liquid Gold - a cult favourite, I have a bottle but have yet to try.
REN Radiance Renewal Range - The mask is a personal favourite.
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads - Budget friendly, quick and easy to use.


Over to you, do you have any recommendations or advice in regards to AHAs?

Clarins Skin Oils for Summer

4.24.2015

Clarins Skin Oils for Summer

With Summer on the way you may be on the look out for products to protect and soothe the skin. Perhaps you have a foreign trip in the works or you simply plan to soak up some rays in the comfort of your garden - either way Clarins have two new products to keep you safe in the sun.

Clarins Skin Oils for Summer

Clarins Sun Care Radiant Oil Spray High Protection UVB/UVA SPF 30 £17.15 via Escentual - link

"Clarins new sun care beauty secret: a dry oil for the body and hair with high UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection created with Clarins Laboratories' expertise. A beautifying oil enriched with a nourishing elixir, an extract from an Indonesian tree of a 'thousand virtues': it nourishes and beautifies the skin and hair, leaving them scented with a captivating exotic fragrance. A high protection, sensorial beauty protector that allows women to freely enjoy the sun."

Growing up I was lead to believe that ALL sun oils were terrible for the skin and best avoided, full stop. Clarins Sun Care Radiant Oil Spray High Protection UVB/UVA SPF 30 is the exception. It not only features a high SPF factor along with UVA and UVB protection but has been created for use on both the hair and body. Offering more hydration than your typical sunscreen, free of that horrid heavy and overly greasy oil sensation - Clarins Sun Care Radiant Oil Spray High Protection UVB/UVA SPF 30 offers the best of both worlds. Spray all over to hep enhance a tan, protect the hair and skin all the while hydrating and smoothing the body. It is waterproof, sweat proof and colourless - it may stain clothing much like any oil so that is something to bear in mind. Yes this does contain an SPF30 but as it is an oil based product it somewhat attracts the sun, encouraging it to tan. If you are particularly pale in complexion or have a tendency to burn I would avoid - better safe than sorry.

Clarins Skin Oils for Summer

Clarins After Sun Shimmer Oil £28.80 via Debenhams - link

"A fine, lightweight beauty-enhancing oil with a subtle iridescence which nourishes and illuminates the body with a soft golden shimmer. Formulated with hazelnut oil which nourishes and soothes, it protects skin from dehydration and provides comfort after sun exposure whilst beautifully enhancing a tan."

If ever there was a body oil to give you a glow, that Jennifer Lopez herself would be proud of it is this. Clarins After Sun Shimmer Oil is a shake to activate oil which contains shimmering bronze pigments to add a touch of warmth and glamour to the skin, all the while moisturising and soothing the skin much like any other after sun. Clarins After Sun Shimmer Oil enhances tanned and deep skin tones, creating a glimmering, silky sheen finish to any area it is applied to. Great for a night on the tiles to heighten an existing tan be it real or from a bottle. The oil itself is lightweight, non-oily and deeply moisturising - ideal for quenching sun parched skin. The only downside is that I don't find this to be all that cooling, so you may want to team it with another after sun to reap such reward. If you want to be a bronze, tanned and shimmering Goddess (or God) this coming Summer this is the one to splurge on.

Now all I need is for the Sun to re-appear and for some definite Summer plans to be made!

This post contains press samples.

D&G Sunset in Salina and Swimming in Lipari Fragrances

D&G Sunset in Salina and Swimming in Lipari Fragrances

Late April is the perfect time to begin day dreaming about trips to the beach isn't it? I certainly think so. If the island of Sicily, Italy has perhaps topped your wanderlust dreams lately then let one of the two new D&G Light Blue Limited Edition Fragrances take you there via your imagination.Launching on Monday (29th of April) nationwide is two new and limited edition versions of the now iconic Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue scent.

D&G Sunset in Salina and Swimming in Lipari Fragrances

First up we have Dolce & Gabbana Sunset in Salina Pour Femme Eau de Toliette which has been inspired by Sicily's largest Aeolian Island - Salina. Think beautiful coves, a sprawling marina and some of the best wine Italy has to offer, wonderful food and good company - all in a tranquil, sun soaked destination. This is exactly what Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Sunset in Salina Pour Femme Eau de Toilette portrays - a light, fresh and slightly aquatic scent that is never cloying, making it ideal for the warmer weather. Notes include fresh vine leaves and violet leaves, yellow freesia, jasmine and orange blossom with amber, cedar and white musk at the base for warmth (sunsets?) and longevity. It is not worlds apart from the original Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue fragrance, this time around it is slightly more aquatic than fruity. If you are looking for a refreshing, summer ready fragrance that will take you from the office to the beach in an instant this is one to try out.

D&G Sunset in Salina and Swimming in Lipari Fragrances

For the male counterpart we take a trip to Lipari, to go swimming no less. Lipari is a small Sicilian island that has not become commercialised. I can imagine wandering aimlessly along the coastal line or taking a dip in the water of Lipari to be what dreams are made of. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Swimming in Lipari Pour Homme Eau de Toilette has been inspired by just that and is of course an aquatic, cooling and slightly salty scent. Notes include sea salt (of course) with fresh grapefruit, mandarin, rosemary with wood and musk accords in the base. I am not familiar with the original Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue for Men but can vouch that this is light, crisp and a very clean scent - ideal for not only the warm summer weather but year round wear.

Dolce & Gabbana Sunset in Salina Pour Femme (£39-£66) and Dolce & Gabbana Swimming in Lipari Pour Homme (£38-£64) will launch this coming Monday.

This post contains press samples.

Lush Oxford Street - Lush Lessons

Lush Oxford Street Lush Lessons

Just in time to mark Lush's 20th anniversary as a brand (the first shop opened in Poole way back in 1995), Lush have opened the doors to their largest store ever in London's Oxford Street. Much like you'd imagine the new store will stock all of the Lush product line, along with new and exclusive products created just for the space. Lush Oxford Street also features a Lush Spa with four treatment rooms, along with new concepts such as: the Hair Lab, to try products out before purchasing, large fountain sinks for experiencing products first hand and a dedicated events space which will host regular expert talks, workshops and activities.

One such activity is Lush Lessons, a 30 minute master class in either hair or skin care. Living in Glasgow means I have yet to visit the store but I was invited along to a skin care master class closer to home. Lush Lessons offer customers (and staff for that matter) the chance to join together for the most immersive Lush experience around. The aim of each private lesson (small groups) is to open a window in on the somewhat private and lesser known aspects of Lush. Be it learning about the science behind your skin and hair, to the inner workings and science behind the Lush product development labs - you will come away knowledgeable.

As someone with a very limited attention span I was pleasantly surprised by just how enjoyable and how educational the Lush Lessons are, I decided to sit in on a Lush Lesson in Skin Care. I was taught how to best take care of my skin and other types too, why selected ingredients are in each Lush product, how skin works and a basic facial massage technique. I don't want to giveaway too much information from the session, I want those interested to be able to submerse within the 30 minute presentation without knowing what is coming next. What I can say is that if you get the chance to sit in one do it. I have a little booklet of handwritten notes I took during the class that I use to this day - i.e Rosehip oil is the best natural skin repairing oil out there and can help to reduce signs of ageing.

To the best of my knowledge the Lush Lessons will be weekly and free - most likely on a first come, first served basis and may well be a sign up type of programme. I'd pop in-store now that it has opened and enquire if interested but is a brilliant concept, and if I can I will attend a Lush Lesson in Hair Care in the future.

Doesn't the new Lush Oxford Street store look to be what Lush dreams are made of?
If you have been or go along in the coming days do let me know your picks and what you made of the experience.
Blog Design by The Blog Store