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The Body Shop Wild Argan oil Miracle solid oil

When I first saw the Wild Argan oil range there was a couple of products I knew I definitely wanted to try, namely the Radiant oil and the Miracle solid oil. In store I discovered you can't actually use any discounts on the range at the moment and I didn't really want to spend £14 on the Radiant oil (this is the most expensive product in the range) so I just picked up the solid oil, which is much cheaper at £8.

The Body Shop Wild Argan oil Miracle solid oil
The Body Shop Wild Argan oil Miracle solid oil
In the winter I get patches of very dry skin and although I do like dry body oils I'm not keen on how messy they can be to apply, with the bottle getting all oily while you handle it. So I wanted to try out a solid oil to see if this is a little less messy to apply.

The Miracle solid oil comes in a compact slim tin that contains 50g of product. Although the lid does spin round it is securely held in place and I don't think there's any risk of this popping off if you want to keep it in your bag. Inside you'll find a caramel coloured solid (hence the name!) block of oil. At first I wasn't sure about the Argan oil fragrance but it is starting to grow on me now. Although for me with this product I'm more concerned about how moisturising it is than the fragrance.

I was a little disappointed to see that argan oil is the 9th ingredient out of 14, but coconut oil is the top ingredient and it also contains vegetable oil, beeswax and shea butter, all of which are in there in larger quantities than the argan oil.

So far I've only really been using this as a cuticle oil to keep the skin around my nails soft and moisturised and it works really well. I do love Essie's Apricot oil, but as a tradition liquid oil this can get a little messy to use, especially when I will insist on carrying on typing while I'm letting it sink in. For my cuticles I just rub my thumb on the surface of the oil in small circles for a couple of seconds to melt the oil down a little and then spend a couple of minutes on each nail massaging it in. It's actually very relaxing to do and you can do it while watching TV in the evening.

As well as a cuticle oil this can also be used on elbows, heels or anywhere you may suffer from dry patches and can even be used on your hair. It's the perfect multitasking product that's quick and simple to use and can easily be carried around with you. The Miracle solid oil is £8 and is available from The Body Shop.

Have you tried anything for the new Wild Argan oil range?

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YSL Fusion Ink foundation

I'm not really one for getting excited about new foundation launches, especially if it's from a high-end brand as it will probably be a little out of my price range. But if a brand is offering samples of their new launch then I'll more than likely give it a try. I was a little intrigued by Yves Saint Laurent's new Fusion Ink foundation so I popped along to a counter to be colour matched for a 7 day sample. Lets just say I fell in love and I couldn't resist buying a bottle last week.

YSL Fusion Foundation
YSL Fusion Foundation
YSL Fusion Foundation
YSL Fusion Foundation

YSL Fusion Foundation

I was a little concerned when I went to be colour matched as the lady on the counter did this over the top of the foundation I had on. I've never actually been colour matched before (gasp!) so I don't know if this is normal or not. Also instead of telling me which shade was the best match she just gave me a mirror and asked me which one I thought was best. But anyway I went for BR20 (rosy beige) and this appears to be a perfect match for me.

This comes in YSL's typical gold box and inside you'll find a rectangular bottle that I believe is made from glass. Although the bottle has a black design to it I'm glad to see they've left see through panels all around the bottle so you can see how much is left. The gold top pulls off to reveal a smaller black lid, very similar to what you'd find on a nail varnish bottle. This then unscrews and allows you to pull out YSL's first quill applicator. 

The little sample pot I had also came with a smaller version of this quill applicator and I have to admit at first I was really confused as to how to use it. I tried dabbing it on the back of my hand and then using my brush to pick some up to apply to my face, but I found that this did waste product as there was always a little left behind on my hand that I had to wipe away. So I've now moved onto to applying this straight to my face, which appears to be the method recommended by YSL. In the little booklet that comes in the box there's a diagram with directions for the perfect dose. YSL recommend that you 'drop the applicator', which I assume means dip it in the foundation, and apply two stripes to your forehead and one on the bridge of your nose. You should then drop/dip the applicator again and apply one stripe each to the upper cheeks, one stripe each to the lower cheeks and one on the chin (although in the booklet they have shin!). You then buff in with a brush or use your fingers if you prefer. They also recommend using the side of the applicator for areas like around the nose. 

I'm not sure what level of coverage this is supposed to provide but I would say it's medium build-able and it contains SPF18. I know there's some fancy NASA related technology behind this foundation but I'm afraid I don't really know anything about this. I think it's something to do with making it very light but so it stays in place without the need for primer or powder. This definitely is very light, almost more like a BB cream than a foundation, but yet it has great coverage. It buffs in beautifully with my Real Techniques Expert face brush and is pretty much undetectable, it looks like my skin but so much better. I love that it does well in covering the bits that you want covered but yet still lets your skin shine through. I do use concealer with this because I do have a lot to cover, including dark circles, redness and scaring, and anything short of full coverage needs a helping hand. It leaves a soft matte finish but I find it also still has a slight glow to it. I do use a primer and powder with this and it stays put all day. I haven't tried applying it without primer or powder but I think you could definitely get away without at least powder, especially if you have dry skin like me, but I'm not sure about if your skin is particularly oily. My chin does like to get oily when I wear foundation and although this holds off the oil for a lot longer than normal I do still sometimes have to use a blotting sheet later in the day.

This really is a beautiful foundation and I think it's probably the best one I've ever tried. It is a little pricey at £30.50, but I would say it is most definitely worth it. You can find the YSL Fusion Ink foundation on the YSL website and on counters in Boots and department stores.  

Have you tried the Fusion Ink foundation?

 
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Nail art - Japanese cherry blossom

I'm suffering from a bit of bloggers block at the moment so there was only one post last week, but I attempted some nail art a couple of nights ago that I'm really pleased with so I thought I'd do a post for it. I'm really particular about the nail art that makes it onto my blog and recently all of my attempts haven't been good enough, so this is my first nail art post since June! 



My inspiration for this nail art came from some false nails from Primark that I posted on Instagram. I don't bother with false nails as one always pings off pretty much straight away and then I just pull the others off.  I love Japanese cherry blossom designs though, so I thought I'd give this a try as nail art when I got home.

I started off with a new base coat (Nails Inc Hyde Park) that I won in Fiona's giveaway over on girl, with lipstick. I then used Barry M's Silk nail varnish in Meadow as a base colour as this is probably the closest colour I have to the base colour on the false nails. I then drew on the branches using a brown Sharpie. I've recently bought a big pack of Sharpie's in various different colours that will be really useful for nail art. I then used a dotting tool with Sinful Colors Snow me white for the white flowers and Models Own Neon in Bubblegum for the centre of each flower. I then left this for a while before applying the top coat as Sharpie's can smudge if you're not careful. Unfortunately the little finger did smudge, either because that was the last nail I did or I went over it a few too many times with the brush.

Please excuse my short and slightly funny shaped middle nail, it snapped off on my car boot earlier in the day and I don't want to cut my other nails down to the same length. The design also doesn't look as good in the photo as it does on my nails, for some reason it looks a little sparse.

What do you think of Japanese cherry blossom nails?

 
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Ciate Haute House

If you follow me on Twitter (@lilblogofbeauty) you may have noticed that recently I've been desperate to start painting my nails with dark shades, the darker the better. When I was having a wander round Selfridges before the beauty blogger discovery evening (post here) I came across Ciate's new Haute House collection and I instantly fell in love. I really wanted to buy the set, which isn't that expensive at £22 for five mini nail varnishes, but at that time I couldn't afford it so I dragged myself away with a heavy heart.

I don't go to TK Maxx very often but I do nip in occasionally to see if there's any bargains to be had. I was having a nosey round the nail varnishes, making sure to avoid any that looked particularly dodgy, when I spotted some box sets. I picked up one Ciate set, which I believe was the Dolls house one that contains pastel shades, but as I said my craving is currently for darker than dark shades. It was then that I spotted them, two darker boxes that made my heart flutter as soon as I saw them. Yes, in TK Maxx they had two boxes of the brand new, just released in September, Haute House collection. I'm pretty sure TK Maxx is all about past seasons stock, so I'm not sure why they were there, but was I going to complain? Obviously not! I turned the box over to find that magical price sticker which said RRP £25 (close, it's actually £22) our price £6.99. Yes, just £6.99! So of course this little beauty came home with me.

Ciate Haute House

Ciate Haute House

Ciate Haute House
Ciate Haute House


The Haute House collection contains five mini nails varnishes which have what Ciate have described as a rich ink formula. All five are deep, dark shades and contain shimmer. Ciate say:

'Ciate's Haute House collection brings you a seductive set of one-stroke shades to unleach your inner sex kitten. Inspired by luxe lingerie labels, these colours are perfect for pairing with lace and with lashings of gloss and lustrous shimmer making them a must-have date night mani. With high pigment one stroke colour, this is one satisfying quickie!'

Oh Ciate, aren't you naughty! I love the 'house' style packaging that Ciate's themed sets come in and this one features lovely deep autumn/winter appropriate colours that match the shades inside. The front of the house features a magnetic flap (you can see the magnet taped inside the box!) that opens to give you a better view of the nail varnishes inside. I just know that this is packaging I'm going to struggle to part with so I think I might just keep the nail varnish inside it.

Due to the shades being very dark, bad lighting and my camera not being that good I did struggle to try and get good pictures of the shades, the bottom picture is the best. I'm sorry there's only four there, the fifth one just did not want to play ball! But take my word for it they are amazing winter shades. Can can is a deep purplish-red Clarat colour, For the thrill of it a bronze with flashes of yellow/green in the shimmer, Sass pot a deep Caburys purple, Knee highs a deep inky blue, and Tickle my fancy a petrol blue/green.

I was quite surprised to find that they don't all apply the same. Can can, Knee highs and Tickle my fancy all apply really well and you could easily get away with just one coat. For the thrill of it is actually very thin and the first coat looked very watery, but three coats gives a good coverage that is on par with one coats of the other shades. I'm not quite sure yet if there may be something wrong with my Sass pot as the first coat applied very watery and a strange kind of dark grey colour. I gave the bottle a really good shake and on the second coat I did start to see signs of purple. I went for three coats of this one and it's very dark, almost black, but I'm not sure if this is because I started off with the strange watery grey 'base'. I will try this one again and see if it comes out better next time.

So far I've only actually worn Knee highs briefly on my nails (I wanted to get this post up ASAP so you can check your local TK Maxx if you want!) but after just over a day it hadn't chipped at all (doesn't sound much but is good for me) and it looks amazing on the nails. While writing this post I've applied Can can and oh my it's such a gorgeous shade. I'm so happy with this and would happily have paid £22 for it, but obviously I didn't have to!

Will you be picking up the Haute House collection?

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The 'Hello autumn' lip

I think weather wise things are a little confused in the UK at the moment. We're now approaching the half-way point of September, so we're moving into autumn and the leaves are falling from the trees at a rate of knots. Despite this the weather is staying warm and the weather people have predicted that we're going to have an Indian summer. I wasn't actually sure what an 'Indian summer' means, but after consulting my friend Google I've discovered this means a heat wave that occurs in autumn, so that makes perfect sense! In fact, they've said it will actually stay warm until November. I'm kinda hoping this won't be the case as I don't fancy watching fireworks in just a jacket, it's just not right!

Even if it's going to stay warm for another month and a half this hasn't stopped me being desperate to start painting my nails dark autumnal shades and I'm now also starting to crave darker lip shades as well. This weekend I decided to go through my lip stash in search of suitable shades. I thought I only had one or two darker shades but I actually have quite a few. This isn't quite all of them, I do have a few more, but I didn't want to include them all so I've picked a selection that I'll be embracing over the next few weeks.



I'd previously avoided matte lip products as my lips are naturally dry, but I decided to try the Revlon Colorburst Matte balm in Standout after reading reviews that said the formula was really easy to use and not at all drying. This is a deep red that is really soft to apply and has a minty scent that I know some people aren't keen on but I quite like it.

Next is one of my favourite lip products for this time of year and that's the Lord & Berry lipstick crayon in Plum. The name kind of says it all in terms of the shade of this one, as is the case with several of the products I've included. I've spoken about this recently so I won't say much here apart from that I love this crayon.

Next is a lipstick that I'm actually not very keen on and that's the Bourjois Rouge Edition lipstick in Violine Strass. This is quite a light plum shade, not quite as sheer as it appears in the swatch, but I'm not keen on this lipstick containing glitter and I also find the formula a little dry, although it's not a matte product. 

The Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Black Cherry looks really dark in the bullet but isn't quite as dark when applied to the lips. I'm not entirely sure where this one came from (I think it may have been a Facebook competition) and I haven't actually tried it yet but I will be giving it a try very soon. 

The MAC Viva Glam l was a blog giveaway prize. I decided to try a MAC matte formula and unfortunately it is a little too dry for my lips. What I do to try and make this a little more comfortable to wear is a little balm underneath and then I apply Revlon Super Lustrous gloss in Berry Allure over the top. That's the only reason why I've included this gloss in my line-up as I'm not a gloss person and don't tend to wear them. 

Next up is another lipstick I haven't actually worn yet and that's the Sleek True Colour lipstick in Cherry. This lipstick is super soft to apply but my concern is that it might be too dark for pale complexion, although this is lighter than Revlon's Black Cherry, so that one may well be too dark for me as well. 

Finally I have the Maybelline Color Drama crayons in Berry Much and Red Essential. Again I haven't tried these yet but that's because I've only had them for about three days now. These are brand new out and as they're just £4.99 each I thought I'd give a couple a try and picked what I thought would be my two perfect autumn lip shades. Obviously I'll pop a review up after I've had a chance to give these a try.

What are your favourite lip shades for autumn/winter?

 
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Brands - How not to behave on Twitter

I fancied a slightly different post today! I'm by no means a social media expert, but there are certain things that people do on Twitter that annoy me. It's bad enough when just regular Twitter users do really annoying things, but when it's a brand, they should really know better! So these are a few of the things that some brands do on Twitter that drive me mad.


Don't retweet every single tweet that you're tagged in

Every single tweet may be a slight exaggeration, but sometimes it does feel like it! There's nothing worse (I may be slightly exaggerating again here!) than clicking on the 'view 25 new tweets' bit and discovering that the majority, if not every single one is a retweet from the same brand. Often they're not even useful tweets they're just somebody saying something along the lines of 'I love @brand'. I don't mind brands retweeting but please only retweet the ones that might actually interest or be of use to your followers, such as a bloggers post on one of your products, or a competition that involves one or more of your products. Excessive retweets are of no value to you as a brand and will just annoy your followers.

Actually check your mentions

I guess this could kind of be the flip side of not retweeting every tweet you're mentioned in.  I know that some brands rarely retweet or acknowledge tweets that they're mentioned (including reviews of their products) but please at least make it somebody's job to regularly check tweets for genuine queries. I recently tweeted a large popular brand with a query regarding a gift voucher and I never received a response. I've been meaning to email them instead to hopefully get a response but haven't got round to finding the email address yet and it's just so much quicker and easier to tweet them isn't it?

Don't unfollow if the account doesn't follow you back

I think this one only applies to smaller brands, I'd be very disappointed if a large brand did this.  I've had a few brands do this to me and I find it hugely unprofessional and it's unlikely that I'll pay attention to a brand in the future if they have done this to me.  If you're going to do it at least give it a few days so it might not be as obvious, if by the time the person gets the notification that you've followed you've already unfollowed this does not look good.

Don't mass tweet/spam bloggers/celebrities

Again I think this one is probably for smaller brands and in particular ones that are just starting out.  I've followed new brands, either because they've followed me and I've liked the look of them or I've stumbled across them somewhere, but then have unfollowed when they've started mass tweeting people directly. I don't want to see my feed clogged up with exactly the same tweet tweeted to Lilly Pebbles, ZOE LDN, Cheryl Cole, Millie Mackintosh etc. 

Make sure you behave professionally

Some of you may know what brand I'm talking about for this one but I'm not actually going to name the brand.  Last year I unfollowed a brand on Twitter and actually decided not to buy any of their products based on couple of reasons, but mainly because of how they conducted themselves on Twitter. The brand launched a sale on their website that was so popular the site just couldn't cope with the volume of traffic. How did the brand try and deal with this? By taking to their Twitter and Facebook accounts and asking people to 'get off the website'! Yes they actually were pretty much that rude! Updates were along the lines of 'we asked you all not to go on the website all at once, please get off the website so we can fix it'. On another occasion a well-known makeup artist left the company and although I don't know the full ins and outs of what happened and who was in the wrong it was incredibly unprofessional for the brand to write a public Facebook update basically slagging off the makeup artist in question.  That was the final straw for me and I unfollowed them.

Have I missed any? What annoys you about brands (or anybody) on Twitter?

 
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The Body Shop mini Coconut hand cream

I really don't need any more hand creams at the moment, but when I discovered on my last trip to The Body Shop that it was my fourth visit using my Love your body card and that I was entitled to a free gift worth up to £5, I knew I wanted to try one of these. As it happened this was on a buy one get one half price offer with one of the other items I bought and so instead of the already bargainous (I do realise that's not actually a word!) £3.50 this usually costs I got it for just £1.75.

The Body Shop mini Coconut hand cream
These are available in a massive eight fragrances (Shea, Coconut, Honeymania, Mango, Moringa, Satsuma, Pink grapefruit and Strawberry) and at first I really couldn't decide what to try before I settled on one of my all time favourite fragrances, Coconut. 

Of course, being an impatient beauty blogger I couldn't leave trying this until I'd at least used up the two hand creams I currently have on the go, I had to try it straight away and I think this may now be my new favourite hand cream. 

This does contain Community Fairtrade Coconut oil from Samoa with the Coconut oil being listed about half way through the list of ingredients. Half way through the ingredients list isn't too bad, it means there's more than just a minuscule amount in there, but for me in terms of this sort of product (meaning a hand cream) it's more about it smelling of Coconut than it actually containing any. Although obviously if it's called Coconut it's nice to see at least some Coconut in there! It also contains Sweet almond oil (which is the highest placed oil ingredient on the list), Soybean oil and Shea butter.

When I first squeezed some of this out onto my hand I was surprised by how soft it was, I'm not sure why but for some reason I was expecting it to be a thicker cream. It absorbs really quickly, within a couple of minutes there's no trace of it left on the skin, and it leaves skin feeling soft and moisturised. One of the things I love most about this is that the scent really does linger on your hands. I'm a 'at least one hand under the pillow' or a t least near my face kind of sleeper and I've found that I can smell this lingering on my hands as I'm falling asleep. I actually find it quite comforting falling asleep while I can smell one of my favourite scents. Maybe if you have trouble falling asleep you could try one in your favourite scent to see if this might help you relax and drift off. 

For £3.50 this little hand cream is an absolute bargain and as you probably know you rarely have to pay full price for a The Body Shop product anyway because of their amazing offers. I'd definitely recommend grabbing a few of these and popping one in your hand bag, one on your bedside table, one on your desk...you get the idea!

You can find The Body Shop mini Coconut hand cream on The Body Shop website here. Are you a fan of The Body Shop hand creams?

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Selfridges beauty blogger discovery evening

On 28th August Selfridges Birmingham held their first beauty blogger discovery evening and I was delighted to be invited along by Rose from Mixed Gems, who is the beauty personal shopper for the Birmingham store. I previously met Rose when I went over to experience the beauty personal shopper service (you can find my post on that here) and we ended up doing a lot more chatting then personal shopping, so I was looking forward to seeing Rose again. The evening also meant I would get to have a little nosey at some new and existing products from some brands that I haven't actually tried before.






As if it isn't amazing enough to walk into a room filled with beauty and discover that there's a raspberry glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut waiting for you, each doughnut had been iced with the name of a blogger attending the event (and mine was very very tasty). The brands involved in the evening were Estee Lauder, Creme de la Mer, GHD, Shu Uemura, Charlotte Tilbury, Nars and Kiehl's and although I own a pair (of now very old) GHD's and have tried a couple of samples, in general I haven't actually tried any of these brands.

If you read my Nars wish list post a few weeks ago you'll know that I do have a wish list as long as my arm so I was eager to head over to the Nars table and take a look at some products. I'd already swatched a few of the new Dual intensity eye shadows down in the beauty hall while waiting for the event to start and oh my they are beautiful. I sat down and was offered a manicure (just the painting bit) with one of their 40 news shades that also have a new formula. I went for a lilac shade that I believe may have been Kalymnos; it was only after the lady made a start that I then spotted Night Breed (a black with silver glitter) that definitely called to my need to start wearing black nail varnish, so I definitely have my eye on this. The very best part was that when my nails were finished I was then handed a mini blusher in Deep Throat to take away with me. My very first nars product! I don't think I can put into words how excited I was to accept that super cute little box! 

At the Creme de la Mer table the lovely lady told me how the brand started out. Dr Max Huber suffered burns to his face in an accident in the laboratory so he set out to develop something that would repair his skin. 12 years and 6000 experiments later he perfected the nutrient-rich Miracle Broth, which forms the base of their products. Creme de la Mer don't have day creams, night creams, intense creams etc but just have one moisturising cream that comes in different textures depending on what you prefer to use. I was given a sample of the standard moisturising cream and also my personal choice of the gel cream. I was also told how to use the standard cream correctly as you're not supposed to just slap it on (a very technical beauty term there!). As this is quite a tough cream you're supposed to warm this between your fingers first to break it down and soften it and then apply it to your face. I'm enjoying using my gel sample but unfortunately I'm not currently in a position to be able to afford the full size at £105 for 30ml and £200 for 60ml (inserts wide eyed shocked looking emoji). Just to make your eyes water a little more the standard cream goes up to £1340 for 500ml.

On the Charlotte Tilbury table there were several different cards showing different makeup looks, from subtle and pretty looks to more bronzed or rock chick type looks. You'll also find these looks displayed on Charlotte Tilbury counters. On the back of the card that accompanies each look you'll find the products that were used to create the look. If you buy the complete set of products (prices varying depending on the set) you get a complementary makeup bag (shown in the photo) worth £15. If you'd like to take a look you can find each of these 10 signature looks on the Charlotte Tilbury website.

At the Estee Lauder table I had a three minute makeup look which involved brightening my eyes using the C technique, a small c on the inside of the eye on the side of the nose and a large C round the outside of the eye. The lovely Erin (who I thought was the spitting image of Alice from Super Gorgeous) then offered to apply one of their new lipsticks for me. I was wearing the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Ole Flamingo so Erin handed me a cotton pad with some cleanser on and could I get it off? No! So Erin applied the closest colour Estee Lauder offered over the top of my very stubborn lipstick and it actually created a lovely look. Rose later asked me what lipstick I was wearing and I had to explain it was a hybrid of Bourjois and Estee Lauder!

The lady on the Kiehl's table I'd met before and had chatted with during my personal shopping experience with Rose. She asked me what I thought of the sample of Kiehl's Midnight recovery concentrate that she'd given me previously but unfortunately after checking the ingredients I'd discovered this contained lavender, so I couldn't use it. I told her that I'd recently had a problem with dry skin on my eye lids and was really unsure if I could use anything to try and help. She applied some of Kiehl's Creamy avocado eye treatment for me which doesn't migrate into the eyes and it really cleared up any remaining dry skin I had. I've made a note of this for if my dry eyelids return again but am thinking of picking it up earlier to try and help ease my dark circles.

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get round to the GHD and Tom Ford tables and there wasn't a staff member available for Shu Uemura but I did have a little nosey through the products that had been left for us to look at and I have actually had my makeup done on a Shu Uemura counter before.

I really enjoyed the evening and hope Selfridges hold similar events in the future, and that I'm lucky enough to be invited along of course. I even really enjoyed jumping on the train to head over there for a change rather than driving. One thing I'm curious about though, does anybody know why there was a giant paint brush and dripping paint on the roof The Bullring? I couldn't find any signs or anything to let me know what that was all about!

Have you ever had a wander round a Selfridges beauty hall?

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Alexi Mini heart rose gold earrings

Although I'm a fan of quirky and unusual jewellery I also like more traditional dainty silver or gold pieces. When I spotted a new jewellery brand on Twitter that I liked the look of I eagerly waited for their website to be launched so I could take a look at the sort of jewellery they would have on offer. The Alexi website was launched a couple of weeks ago and they kindly sent me a pair of their Mini heart earrings* in rose gold.



I haven't focused on the packaging that the earrings came in because when I received these they hadn't yet received the packaging they'll be using in the future, but if you'd like to take a look at it you can find a picture over on their Instagram

Most of Alexi's pieces are available in sterling silver, gold or rose gold finishes and although I'm usually either a sterling silver or white gold person the rose gold earrings really caught my eye. The Mini heart earrings are part of Alexi's first Signature collection. At the moment there is just one other collection on the website called Brooke, but further collections will be released before the end of the year.

These are sterling silver with rose gold plating and they contain cubic zirconia stones that are pave set. They measure 10 x 7 mm and on me they fit perfectly on my ear lobes. They have good sized butterflies on the back that also have a grip around the edge, so they're good if you find the tiny little butterflies some earrings come with a bit fiddly. I thought these might be a little too big for me to sleep in, as usually anything larger than a small stud I'll take out before going to bed, but actually I've found these really comfortable when sleeping so I tend to just leave them in.

After having had a little look around the website my other picks would definitely be the Mini star ring from the Signature collection which is just £19 and the Freya round pendant from the Brooke collection which is £33.

The Mini heart earrings are £46 however Alexi are currently offering 20% off your first order with the code WELCOME2. You can find the brand new Alexi website here.

What sort of jewellery do you like to wear?

*PR sample

 
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Lush Spa experience - Lush Meadowhall

Throughout September Lush Meadowhall are offering a number of invitation only Luxury Spa experience evenings for VIP customers and on Sunday I was invited along to a blogger preview. When we arrived we found the store closed and in darkness and for a second or two we thought we'd got the wrong store or the wrong day, but then we spotted candles flickering away inside. The shutter was lifted and we were greeted by relaxing music and the store gently lit by several tea lights dotted around. Because the store was dark this means some of my pictures are a little dark but it provided an amazing atmosphere that I think does come across in the pictures.







When we went in we were offered a choice of lovely fruit infused waters made by one of our hosts for the night (yet again I've completely forgotten names, start making notes Becky!) with our options being orange and raspberry or lime and cucumber. There were little cakes instructing us to eat them, which obviously we did, and some Jammy Dodgers on a record cake stand.

There were three treatments available for us to try on the night including the Validation Facial, The Spell and The Comforter.

Validation Facial

A natural facial that will make your skin feel beautiful, while offering a touch of the supernatural to change the way you feel from the inside (60 mins £75)

The Spell

The Spell is a magical treatment; let your worries vanish right before your eyes. Releasing body tensions and calming the mind by stimulating reflex points through the feet, The Spell helps you to stand in truth with courage (60 mins £55)

The Comforter

Dive into a world of pure imagination with a hot chocolate body scrub followed by a rose massage that will leave you feeling uplifted and your skin gently nourished (60 mins £75)

Despite currently sporting an under the skin spot that is comparable in size to Mount Everest I decided to let my makeup come off and I tried the Validation Facial*. The full facial may include more products (or just more time spent on each stage) but mine included a cleanser (9 to 5) toner water (Breathe of fresh air), serum (Full of grace), face mask (Oatifix), moisturiser (oops I can't remember!), lip scrub (Mint julips) and lip balm (Whipstick). The specific products used in each facial will depend on your skin type and any skin concerns you may have such as redness. In the full Validation Facial the face mask would be removed with a hot flannel but as this wasn't possible in store mine was removed with toner water. After the facial I was then given a brief massage that involved kind of tapping the base of my neck and shoulders to make them relax. I have to say I did feel really relaxed afterwards and my skin felt (and smelled) lovely.

I actually took five empty Lush pots along with me that I exchanged for an Oatifix face mask, which was the one that was used in my facial. I can't wait to give it a try at home, it smells like flapjacks! I did a post a few days ago on how to recycle your Lush packaging, if you'd like to take a look you can find that post here.  

The Spell involves a bath for your feet using one of their bath bombs, which I believe was Big Blue, followed by a foot massage and stimulation of reflex points on the feet. I wasn't sure about having this one as I have really tickly feet and wasn't sure if I'd be able to stop myself pulling them away. If my boyfriend even slightly touches my feet it usually results in him being kicked! As I didn't have this treatment myself I can't confirm exactly what was included, but one of the ladies who had the The Spell commented that at times during the treatment her feet kind of felt like they were numb as they were so relaxed and Rosie commented that afterwards it felt like she was walking on air. Sian and Jemma both had The Comforter and although again I can't confirm exactly what this included as I didn't have this treatment I know that it does include a body scrub, followed by a massage using one of their massage bars and that this leaves you with soft, smooth, beautifully smelling skin.

Although the Meadowhall store isn't actually a spa store the Leeds store is so there is one close by if you're based near Meadowhall. Other spa stores include Edinburgh, Liverpool, Poole, Kingston, Kings Road (London) and the good news is more spas will be opening soon. If you'd like to book a treatment you'll need to call your spa of choice and all contact numbers can be found on the Lush website.

Would you visit a Lush spa?

*PR sample - This was a complementary treatment

 
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