Monday, 3 March 2014

Giant Cushions for Luxe Bedroom Appeal





I'd had my eye on these giant White Company cushions for ages and finally bit the bullet during the January sale. £50 for two cushion covers and two feather inners isn't bad. They are muted grey/taupe cotton velvet on one side, with linen on the back. I bought them to add a bit of luxury and texture to our bedroom. Have you ever noticed how many different layers of linen and quilts and cushions are used to create the abundant, cosy feel in stylised bedroom images? I'm working on it! The latest versions are a slightly different colour but just as pretty. You can find them here. Mine are the 65x65 cm size. Anyone else addicted to The White Company? Make sure you sign up for their emails: hello discount codes!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Posh Tights? Falke Pure Matt 100 Review


 
I have long been aware of Falke as the brand the fashion girls wear. We've all read those features: 'It's chilly so I broke out my fresh stack of Falke/Wolford tights. They're pricy but worth the money!' Besides getting distracted at the idea of buying a 'stack' of £20+ tights at the beginning of each winter, I have always wondered if they really were a worthy investment. Time to find out! 


First impressions were good as I opened the packaging, although the tights looked a little long in the leg. (I'm 5'7" and ordered the M/L but I am definitely comprised of more 'body' than 'leg'.) I compared them to a pair of M&S opaques and they were significantly longer. However, once on they felt almost perfect. Perhaps still a fraction long but no bunching at the crotch or ankle. In fact they looked so sleek and snug I ran around in just my bra for a while and was even tempted to snap a picture for you. Very soft, very comfy and not in the least bit shiny. This is key! I am often horrified at the amount of sheen reflected off an otherwise smart pair of opaques. Not a problem with my new Pure Matts. They were also perfectly black and not remotely see-through. I wore the tights all day on a trip to London and late into the evening. They never rode down, snagged or sagged. And, luckily for me (judging by the pics of my shockingly short dress*), they do not have a 'brief' section of reinforced fabric that shows once your skirt rides up. 

I washed the tights in with my woollens on a cold wash and air dried them. On inspection, the tights have developed some fluffy felt-like patches under where my feet go, perhaps from my boots rubbing on them. The rest of the material is still in good shape. I like the fact they have a proper label in the back of the tights so that I know which way round to put them on. And more importantly, to aid if I'm in a hurry and want to grab my 'posh' tights from the tangled mass in my undies drawer. 

At £22.95 they are expensive for a pair of opaque tights, but for the quality, comfort and longevity I anticipate them offering, I would definitely buy them myself. I have read that the navy blue pair are the perfect shade; bloody impossible to find on the high street. I'd also like to try Falke's wool offerings as I usually find wool tights impossibly itchy! Are you tempted to invest in some posh tights? Where do you buy your opaques? 

Black Falke Pure Matt 100 tights available at mytights.com

*Product supplied for review. 
*The dress is from Cos and it has shrunk in the wash. It has! 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Nivea In-Shower Moisturiser and Suti Rejuvenate Face Oil


A friend of mine insists she moisturises her entire body every day. Clearly her bedroom is a lot warmer than mine and/or her shower doesn't make a sound similar to an elastic band flicking when it is about to initiate a minute-long cold water torture session. During winter, my shivering limbs are much more likely to see an application of sheepskin slippers and cashmere joggers than body lotion. Here are a couple of products to soothe weather-chapped skin with minimum effort and no après-shower naked time necessary.

Lazy-person lifesaver! You apply this cream after your soap or shower gel and then rinse off. It takes seconds and leaves a nourishing film of almond oil that means you can forgo that chilly moisturiser application. Cheap as chips too.

Suti Rejuvenate Organic Face Oil*
Citrus-smelling heavenly syrup to nourish and rejuvenate dehydrated winter skin and sooth away post-blemish marks and scars. Apply alone in the evening or under moisturiser in the morning.

*Product supplied for review.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Baby Bikinis are Weird and Wrong




I'm not sure if this is a 'celebrity' thing, an American thing or just a weird... thing. Kourtney Kardashian's baby girl Penelope is wearing a triangle bikini. Baby girl nips are no different than baby boy nips and do not necessitate covering merely because of their potential to eventually become breasts. Is this because those are Kardashian baby girl nips and therefore 'famous' nips? Are they being guarded to preserve the fee for their first appearance in Hello! magazine? Or is this about paedophiles? In my mind, to cover something implies there is something to cover and therefore adds an element of sexualisation where there was none.

Perhaps it's just a fashion choice; Kourtney dressing her daughter like herself. In Europe half the adult women don't bother with bikini tops on the beach and babies and little girls commonly wear nappies, nothing, bikini bottoms, swimsuits or those funny little sun protection outfits.

Please tell me your thoughts on baby bikinis. Am I the only one who finds them strange and creepy?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Pai Moisturisers - Repackaged and Resized



It's not often that a brand listens to the feedback of its customers and actually makes a tangible effort to remedy issues. However, British skincare brand, Pai, has done just this.

If you read my review of their Chamomile and Rosehip Calming Day Cream* you'll remember the only black mark against the product was the frustrating bottle that wouldn't relinquish its contents.

Thankfully for my newly-crisped winter skin, Pai contacted me to share the news that they have repackaged all of their moisturisers in frosted glass containers with airless pumps and increased the sizes from 30 ml to 50 ml. They are also fully recyclable.

The result is altogether more weighty and luxe, and the new design means the precious ingredients are protected from degrading. I'm impressed with Pai for listening to what their customers want. If you appreciate quality British-made products from an independent company using superior ingredients and clear labelling, I suggest you check them out.

The new style moisturisers are available on paiskincare.com and cost £32. (Previously £24 for 30ml.)

*Product supplied for review.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hint of Christmas – Best Buys


Forget the season of good will; Christmas is a divider. Most people either love it or hate it. I don't advocate decorating the house on November 1st, buying 'hilarious' Christmas jumpers and spray-snowing your windows, but a few subtly seasonal purchases can help set the mood for winter. Anything that perks up six months of cold weather is a bonus in my book. With this in mind, I've put together a bit of wintery inspiration for those who feel the festive spirit but fear the associated onslaught of tat. From the perfect Mac Lady Danger dupe to a stripy dish for your christmas crisps.

Bagsy the reindeer leggings.




Topshop lipstick in Rio Rio £8 | Asos sequin check clutch £21 | Asos bobble hat £14 | Oasis fairisle jumper £45 | H&M check cotton dressing gown £14.99 | H&M stripe ceramic bowl £3.99 | Diptyque winter candle trio £60 | Topshop reindeer knitted leggings £25Topshop SNO mittens £14 | Liberty glittering ivy wreath £24.95

Pssst! If you spend £150 on Space NK today and enter the code BAG20 you will receive a jam-packed goodie bag and a £50 voucher to spend on yet more products (while stocks last.)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Review: French Pharmacy Sunscreen & After-Sun



After a spectacularly hot summer in the UK, plus two weeks in Spain for weddings in Ibiza and Barcelona, I've had the opportunity to road test a selection of sun-related products. Read on for the good, the bad and the greasy...

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Invisible Nutritive Oil SPF50+

Sun oils have never been on my radar due to the fact they usually offer, at best, SPF 6, and, for me, that equates to around six minutes in the sun without burning. This product offers a high SPF and is a good option for those who like oil-based sunscreen. I used it in full Ibiza sun for a couple of hours at a time and didn't burn. 

I took this on holiday to trial but intended to use Piz Buin 1 Day Long as my main sunscreen. However, I had a reaction to it and came out in a rash (apparently this is common: if you google it, a lot of people have had issues.) So I switched to the La Roche-Posay but didn't have much success with this either. I found the mineral-oil heavy formula very greasy and difficult to tolerate. It was impossible to wash off my hands after rubbing it in and it left my body so oily I was like a piece of fly paper on the beach, with sand stuck all over me! Using it by the pool was a lot more successful but I still disliked the formulation, the feel and the thought of my body in the heat covered with impermeable mineral oil.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Fluide Extreme

This is an old favourite of mine; a very reliable, hard-working product that I use on my face most summers. It doesn't have any artificial fragrance added, which is good and bad. Good for those with sensitive skin but I do find the chemical smell a little off-putting. However, it quickly fades on application. Not too shiny and provides a good base for makeup or worn alone during holidays. Doesn't break me out – just make sure you double cleanse with a balm in the evening to remove it. 

Bioderma Photoderm Après-soleil Face and Body

This fruity-smelling cream provided much-needed moisture after sunbathing and took the edge off any over-cooked areas of skin. Again, I was put off by mineral oil as a key ingredient, as I wanted my skin to be able to breathe after being covered in sun cream all day. I didn't use it on my face. 

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Melt-in Cream

My first time trying this tinted version of another La Roche-Posay gem and I was intrigued by the concept of SPF plus colour. I found the formula to be more akin to foundation than the sheer tint I had envisaged. It was a little dark for my skin and I felt that I wasn't able to get a natural look with it while also using enough product for it to act as sunscreen. Instead I had to first apply sunscreen and then use a little of this to add colour and provide light coverage. I don't understand how this could be rubbed all over the face without ending up with foundation-like product clogged in hair and eyebrows. Unfortunately not a concept that worked for me.

Suncream choice is a very subjective issue so please test these products out yourself to see if you like them. I'm enjoying the intermittent Indian summer we've been having and find myself craving a few more days in the sun.


What are you favourite SPF products?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Diptyque Philosykos Eau de Parfum


When I lived within walking distance of Space NK I used to pop in all the time and have a little spray of Philosykos and sniff all the candles. The staff probably thought I was a shoplifter with excellent taste.

This heady fig scent grew on me gradually until I fell completely in love with it. I conducted a little test to see how the eau de toilette compared to the eau de parfum and there was no contest in terms of longevity. I baulked at the price of the parfum though, only available in the hefty 100 ml bottle. Luckily after my mother point-blank refused to spend that much on perfume, my lovely boyfriend bought it for me for Christmas instead.

I'm a real sucker for beautiful packaging but I don't usually allow myself to hang on to empty cardboard and suchlike; that's how one ends up on Channel 4 programmes about hoarders. However, when it comes to Diptyque I cannot help but squirrel away the pretty boxes. If you buy one of their eye-wateringly expensive scented candles, the packaging retains the smell and does a pretty good job of adding perfume to a room by itself.

My perfume came with a lovely cotton pouch and gift box – both of which I will find a use for. If you love fig scents you have to try Philosykos. It's deep, fruity and addictive. I can't wait for summer when it will really sing.


This post is not sponsored. 
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