Gift ideas: TBS Ginger sparkle shower, scrub & moisture collection

novembre 25, 2012

I said it and I did it. I bought myself an early Christmas present. Woo hoo.
Guess what, patience is not my middle name. I had to get my fill of gingerbread men as soon as the Holiday collection hit the online store and along with the full size body butter, I picked what in my opinion is the pièce de résistance of the Ginger Sparkle collection.

TheBodyShop Ginger Sparkle Shower, Scrub & Moisture Collection £15/€24
The Ginger Sparkle shower, scrub & moisture set includes a full size 250ml shower gel, a 75ml body polish, a 50ml body butter and a cute little 40g soap bar, all safely packed in a gorgeous tin box shaped like a gingerbread man cookie. To be completely honest I picked this kit instead of the individual products mainly for the reusable tin box that I plan to fill with all kind of Christmas candies and goodies and put on display on my kitchen table. I'm a sucker for cute packagings, le sigh.

The gingerbread scent is to die for, warm and refreshing at the same time, with spicy notes and a candied feeling in the background that reminds me of the happy cola gummy candies. It's the most unisex scent between the Christmas ones and a real boost of festive mood, even if it'll work well across the seasons.
The soap free shower gel is very gentle on the skin and lathers well, especially when used with a loofah; leaves a light gingerbread scent on the skin that lasts for some time without being too intrusive.
The body polish is perfect for quick everyday exfoliation: the crushed walnut shells gently scrub the skin while the gel foams a little, leaving the skin baby soft and smooth. The smell was very strong in the shower but I couldn't sense it on my skin afterwards.
The body butter is creamier and less thick than the Vineyard peach one I previously reviewed; the lighter formula will work well on all skin types, melting on the skin and keeping it deeply hydrated for 24h without greasiness. The butter has the most lingering scent, it's like walking in a candied ginger cloud all day; I love putting my lounge-around-the-house-clothes on in the morning and get a whiff of the gingerbread scent.
Finally, the soap is a nice extra treat, perfect to keep near the sink to instantly refresh the zingy ginger scent on your hands or even have a quick hand scrub thanks to the ground walnut shells.

Kits like this one are a great way to approach TBS range without breaking the bank and the tin box is simply adorable; but if you're looking for something a little cheaper, maybe for a Secret Santa gift or as stocking filler, be sure to browse the gift section on the website, cause there's something for every budget, from the butter up duos, perfect to hang on the Christmas tree, to the super cute pudding sponge or the Very merry mirror.

Will you be picking up anything from the Holiday collection?

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Review: The Body shop Honey & Oat 3-in-1 scrub mask

novembre 22, 2012

Also known as 'the impulse buy that for once turned out to be a hit'.

The Body shop Honey & Oat 3-in-1 scrub mask £10/€14
This mask reminds me of LUSH Oatfix, but with a softer, creamier texture. The smell is absolutely divine, like oatmeal and marzipan, quite strong but not overwhelming.
It spreads nicely and I only use about half a teaspoon of product for my whole face, meaning I should be able to get 30+ uses out of this 100ml tube. Definitely a great value for money.
The moist oat flakes are quite delicate but knowing how badly my skin reacts to dry scrubbing, I prefer applying to slightly damp skin. Then I gently rub in focusing on the sides of my face where I tend to get some flakiness during the colder months, and leave in for up to 15 minutes to get the most out of the moisturizing properties of this mask. It doesn't set completely so it's easy to remove with just a splash of warm water or a damp muslin cloth. It cleans the skin and leaves it baby soft and bright, without tightness or greasy residues.
The Body shop recommends it for normal to dry complexions and I couldn't agree more: while is very gentle and nourishing on my faintly dehydrated skin, it would probably be too moisturizing for oilier complexions.
Overall I really like it. It's a nice weekly treat that both cleans and moisturizes the skin, smells delicious and keeps all its promises. Huge thumbs up!

Have you tried any TBS mask?

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Quick reviews: Foundations remix

novembre 20, 2012

Hello. My name is Beatrice and I'm a foundation addict.
I probably own more than a normal person needs yet every time a new foundation hits the market I get really excited and want to try it right away.
While swatching the products  and give them quick test directly at the counter can be useful, I find the best way to see if a foundation really works for me is to try it at home, in natural light, with my usual skin prepping products and my own brushes. Not many brands understand that and sometimes the counters aren't even equipped with sample jars; that's why I took the habit to carry 3-4 samples jars in my bag all the time. Obviously not every foundation I try makes it to my to-buy list or even to an in-depth review on the blog, but I wanted to share my thoughts on some of them anyways.

foundation reviews
Bourjois Healthy mix serum // Laura Mercier Silk crème // Lacome Teint idole ultra 24h // Laura Mercier Oil-free supreme // YSL Le teint Touche eclat

On my wishlist this week #7 and some Christmas gift ideas

novembre 11, 2012

One month and a half to Christmas and I'm practically bouncing off the walls! Have you started thinking about what to buy to your loved ones yet? Hating rushed gifts and last minute purchases, I already started browsing Christmas cathalogs and the gift sections of my favorite websites to find the perfect presents for everyone. And it's not like I can't stop wanting stuff for myself as well, right? Better give Santa more options, says with a serious face.

wishlist5
Burt's bees Body nectar softening set // Diptyque candles // China Glaze Holiday joy 2012 set // The Body shop Ginger sparkle body range
001 Burt's bees is a brand I became somewhat obsessed with over the past weeks. I didn't have the chance to go shopping for it yet, but I've been browsing the internet looking for good value sets, which are always a great way to approach a new brand, especially when you don't know what to try first. This set contains foot cream, hand cream, honey lip balm and the milk & honey body lotion I already had my eyes on. A head to toes set to give a nice try to Burt's bees' line and would also make a lovely gift for a natural skin care fiend.

002 I've never been a candle person but over the last year or so I really enjoyed them: they can make the house warmer and more personal in matter of minutes. Obviously there're many cheaper options on the market, but Diptyque candles are more of a threat because of the price tag and something I'd like to receive as a gift; after all we don't often indulge in expensive buys for ourselves. They're quite popular in the UK and after smelling them the other day at the mall I can understand why: gorgeous scents, elegant packaging and different sizes for all budgets. A candle could be a nice gift for a fragrance lover and among other things definitely less risky than buying a random perfume.

003 China Glaze knows how to do glitter polishes and there's nothing better than sparkle galore and Christmas tree shades for the Holiday season. Nail polish sets are usually very good value for money and this China Glaze set looks very festive, so it'll make the perfect Christmas gift. Or, even better, you could split the nail polishes and use them as stocking fillers: you'll be making your beauty-loving friends happy while keeping secret Santa's budget low at the same time. It's a win/win solution.

004 Usually the Body shop Christmas range is by far one of the best Holiday releases and this years' collection doesn't disappoint. Along with Vanilla bliss and Cranberry joy, TBS will release in these days the Ginger sparkle body range, with cute little Gingerbread men on the packaging and extra zingy ginger scent. The moment I saw the press release I added the whole range to my to-buy list. Can't resist to cute Gingerbread men!

What kind of beauty products you'd like to get for Christmas? Or you'd rather receive a gift card to go shopping for beauty stuff on your own?

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Review: Liz Earle Cleanse & polish Lavender and rose

novembre 09, 2012

The classic Liz Earle Hot cloth Cleanse & polish has been a favorite of mine for almost a year now and a staple of my evening routine: I like to alternate it to my Clarisonic to remove my makeup and I reach for it every time my skin is a little stressed out by the all new products I'm testing and needs a little back to basics. 

Liz Earle Cleanse & polish Special edition Rose & Lavender £19.75/€24.70 - LizEarle.com
For this limited edition the already fabulous best-selling formula, made only of natural active ingredients, was enriched by rose petal and lavender essentials oils, to soothe the skin and help relaxing after a long day. In case you're not familiar with this product, one pump of the buttery texture dissolves all the makeup, the grime and the dirt that pile on the skin on daily basis, then the muslin cloth, soaked in warm water, removes the cleanser while gently lifting the dead skin cells to reveal a soft, radiant skin, ready for the next steps of your night routine.
Being a huge lavender fan, I love the deep calming scent and much prefer it to the standard herbal one. Honestly I'd love a permanent rose & lavender C&P, maybe with matching night cream and toner; the Liz Earle instant boost toner is one of my favorites - and also one of the few toners that don't dry me out - but I find the regular scent a little too refreshing to follow a relaxing facial.

Even if the special edition graphic design is gorgeous, I'm not particularly keen on the packaging: it's pretty and does its job, but you can't really tell how much product is left in the bottle until it's over; thankfully the regular C&P comes in a tube size as well.
This special edition is slightly bigger than the usual one - 150ml against the standard 100ml -, which justifies the higher price; also 2£ for each sale will be donated to the Prince's Trust, a youth charity that mentors young people either into further education or business opportunities, helping them build a solid future for themselves.

Keep in mind that it comes with two muslin clothes - at least mine did - so there's no need to buy the extra ones.
I'll be buying a couple of back-ups with my next order for sure, 'cause unfortunately once the Rose & Lavender C&P is gone, is gone for good. All good things always come to an end, after all.

Are you a fan of the regular Cleanse & polish?

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Peach-tastic: The Body shop Vineyard peach range

novembre 06, 2012

I've been a fan of The Body Shop since when I was a kid and I always look forward the end of the year because of the amazing Holiday launches of the brand. This year tho, things got exciting a little early with the Vineyard peach collection launch early last month.
At first I was a little surprised by the choice of a fruit I associate with summer for a fall collection, but the fresh yet warm fragrance of succulent late peaches goes surprisingly along with the autumn vibe.

The Body Shop Vineyard peach body butter* £13/€15 and shower gel* £4/€6
What I like the most about TBS products is the realistic scent: they don't have that synthetic and sometimes sickening smell that some food scented products have, but they smell almost like the real thing. The Vineyard peach range is no exception and smells like the sweetest ripe peaches, the ones that almost melt in your mouth at first bite and have a honey aftertaste.
The limited edition range includes shower gel, body butter, body scrub and body lotion. I had the chance to try the first two so far.
The shower gel lathers well and leaves a delicate peach scent on the skin without being drying or irritating. I find some shower gels a little too harsh as they leave my skin itchy for a while but I never had this issue with TBS products.
During the colder months I can't be lazy and I try hard to keep up with my post shower moisturizing routine and body butters from TBS are my absolute favorite thing to use. They're thick yet light on the skin and sink in quickly leaving the skin extra soft without greasiness. This one in particular was formulated for dry skins and thanks to coconut oil and karitè butter leaves the skin deeply hydrated for 24 hours straight. And the peach fragrance is quite persistent as well: I just love waking up in the morning still smelling like peaches and honey. The scent is so addicting I've been using it as a hand cream as well lately and I'm this close to spread some bread with it - clearly they had to put a 'don't eat' sign on the packaging for silly girls like me -.

The Vineyard peach collection is limited edition and you better rush, 'cause I can tell this stuff is gonna fly off the shelves. I already added a back up of the body butter and the body scrub with crushed peach stones to my to-buy list but if I could only pick one product from the range it'd be the butter for sure. It's truly ah.may.zing.

Have you tried anything from the range?
Do you have a favorite TBS line?

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Notd: China Glaze Fast track

novembre 04, 2012

China Glaze fast track £6.75/€6.50 2 coats
Fast track is a creamy toffee beige packed with gold glitter and some green and copper holographic flecks that my camera couldn’t pick out. In the bottle it looks like a mushroom-y taupe but dries slightly warmer, like pale caramel. It’s absolutely gorgeous and a nice take on the usual nude nails but with an interesting twist. The coverage is surprisingly good for a neutral and it’s completely opaque in just two coats. Application was a little tricky only because the brush tends to pick up too much product but the issue can be easily fixed with lighter and more careful strokes. Like all China glaze varnishes, Fast track has a firm but flexible rounded brush and it’s 3-free.

This nail polish is part of the Capitol Colors collection, which is inspired by the Hunger games trilogy – go read the books if you haven’t already! – and was released around March; each shade represents one of the 12 Districts of the dystopian world described in the books and Fast track is supposedly inspired by District 6 Transportation. I’m so glad I was still able to find it after all these months, because it was one of the two shades that really caught my eyes back then. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to put my hands on the extra pretty Luxe & Lush flaky top coat as well. Fingers crossed.

Did you pick anything from this collection?
Did you read the books?

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Review: Burberry Velvet foundation

novembre 02, 2012

About two weeks ago I was hanging around the mall waiting for an event to start and I took the chance to check some of the new arrivals and swatch a couple of foundations I had my eyes on. I stopped at the Burberry counter out of habit and I was pleasantly surprised to see the new fall collection on display: while the lip and eye shades we recently saw on the catwalks were definitely interesting, the one thing that really caught my eyes was the Velvet foundation, a brand new addition to the beauty range for Fall.

Burberry Velvet foundation trench n°201 £35/€43
At first I thought the name Velvet was just another way to say matte. Instead the finish of this foundation is something I've never seen before: it's silky soft to the touch, and looks like velvet on the skin, like a foundation and a setting powder all together. It's hard to nail a description here, but instead of looking matte and flat, this base looks soft and healthy, like the skin of a peach.
Since the formula is quite thick, I find the best way to apply this foundation is with a dense buffing brush to really work the pigment into the skin and pack the product only in those areas were you need a little more coverage, or with a sponge to achieve maximum coverage.

I didn't have the chance to wear it for more than 8-9 hours, but it lasted very well on me, with just a little bit of shine breaking through on the tip of the nose at the end of the day. A primer didn't make any difference in the longevity of the product and there's no need for a setting powder, even if oilier skins might need to set it.

It hydrates the skin without the typical dewy finish of moisturizing foundations, and provides medium coverage with an oil-free and long-lasting formula, which is still lightweight and very comfortable to wear. It contains wild rose extract to hydrate and shields the skin from natural elements. The faint baby powder scent is quite pleasant and this comes from a person that usually hates scented foundations.
Extra brownie points for the matte packaging with signature check on the lid that feels very elegant without being too heavy and the pump that has a lock position.

The shade match with my skin tone is so perfect I want to cry: the lady at the counter said that I have a 'very Burberry skin tone' and it's true. If you're pale and struggling to find the right foundation match maybe Burberry is the answer you were waiting for: the lightest shade, Trench 201, is perfect for me - I'm N10 for the record -, and the shade range includes other 7 shades to cover pale to medium-dark skin tones.

It's a high-end foundation and in this case you get exactly what you pay for. Even if you don't feel like splurging, the unusual finish makes it definitely worth a try at a counter.

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On my wishlist this week #6

novembre 01, 2012

Christmas is coming - Whohooo! - and it's time to start dropping gift ideas here and there for family and friends. Let's throw subtle and discrete out of the window like that, why not.
wishlist4
Clarins Odyssey face palette // NARS Luster blush // Burberry Complete eye palette // MAC Making pretty Sheer mystery powder // Ojon Rare blend oil