Wednesday 23 December 2015

Christmas Wishes

The Holidays are here! Well ok one more night until Christmas eve. I love this time of year, probably the only reason I even like winter just a tiny bit. I will be following the example of the Bodhi & Birch Rosa Rosa toner and enjoying a few festive cocktails while loosing badly at board games.

I hope you all have a fabulous time, find some lovely treats under the tree, and snog your heart out under the mistletoe. The blog will be back in the New Year on the 4th of January, I will have a lovely treat for you guys so make sure to check in.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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Friday 18 December 2015

Winter fashion wishlist | People tree

 Winter is in full swing and it is not long until the holidays are upon us. While shopping for Christmas pressies for others, I couldn't help but make a little wishlist for myself. I am trying to be much more conscious about clothing purchases, not only getting fewer things that I really love but also being a lot more fussy about their ethical and eco credentials. After spending some time on the People Tree website I have noticed that there were a couple of things that kept catching my eye.

Anya Evening dress. The floor length jersey dress looks effortlessly elegant and the twist belt makes me  think it would be really flattering on. I can just see it paired up with simple earrings, a hot pink clutch and of course a swipe of my favourite bright lipstick to match. I like the idea of something that not only looks good but is also comfortable. This is the sort of thing I would wear to see a ballet in the Royal Opera house, or to a cocktail evening. 

Katia Fleece coat & May turtle neck. We have been having a pretty mild winter (wait did I just jinx it?!), and a fleece coat would work really well. I absolutely love the cut and I find that grey works with about 70% of my wardrobe. Absolutely love the idea of paring it up with a simple black turtle neck, a classic, and throwing in some bright colours like a sunshine yellow scarf and some blue boots. The best thing is that it doesn't appear to be bulky (granted I'm judging from photos here), I really can't stand winter clothing that restricts your movement to the point that you look like you are doing a robot dance.

As it is so close to Christmas People Tree are doing 3 for 2 on their gifting ideas, which includes the Naked Fashion book (previously reviewed), super cute owl ring, awesome bangle, and a fab handmade notebook amongst other lovely things.

Don't forget if you decide to get something full price you can use my 10% discount code RF10 which is valid until 23 of December. They do have other offers if you are spending above a certain amount: £30 OFF when you spend £100with code NOEL30, 60 OFF when you spend £200 with code NOEL60, £90 OFF when you spend £300 with code NOEL90.

 What do you guys think of my choices? Anything make it to your wishlist?

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Axiology lipstick review

Have you guys noticed that I have a bit of a lipstick obsession? Hm OK never mind. This past year I have significantly reduced my overall makeup stash, I still love it but I just don't feel like I need thousands of eye shadows and a million bronzers (seriously I am not a makeup artist, I don't need that much variety, only have the one face). Yet somehow none of this sensibility seems to apply when I am faced with a tube of lipstick.  Even when travelling I can't just bring one colour, I need one for every occasion and something to go with my mood. I do have my favourites of course, but I am always excited for new discoveries.

Axiology lipsticks are one of those products that are sure to inspire some serious bathroom envy. You know what I'm talking about, when you take your lippie out for a quick touch up, and all the girls in front of the mirror next to you are craning their necks to figure out what it is you are using. The gold tubes are not only very eye catching, they are really well made, luxury is the first thing that comes to mind when looking at them. There is something ridiculously satisfying about the click mechanism that opens these babies up, and after all this time I'm still loving it. The texture of these lipsticks is very smooth, they glide on really easily, I would say they feel a little more waxy than creamy. It is like they are coating my lips a little rather than sinking in into the skin, creating a sort of barrier from the elements. All the colours that I have create a little bit of a sheen, a slight metallic look but it is more glossy rather than frosty.

Intrinsic is a bronze gold nude, it is not very intense just offers a touch of the metallic sheen to your lips, the natural colour of your kissers still peeks through. Because it is so sheer it is really flattering, works amazingly well with smoky eyes or a paired down bronze look. If you like the idea of beige nude lips, but never found anything that looks flattering, this colour is made for you.

Philosophy* is another nude but this one is a very light soft pink. Not normally something that works with my slightly olive skin tone, but the warmth in this colour makes it absolutely perfect. A very pretty, easy to wear everyday colour. You really don't need to work hard to make it work, leave your face completely bare and a coat of Philosophy on your lips, it will still look good.

Noble is moving into the coral territory. It is a bit brighter than the other colours, but I would still consider it a daytime lipstick. On my lips it is more of a pink coral, a little different to the peachy corals that I tend to like most. It is undeniably flattering and out of all the colours it has become my favourite, it is a very sensual colour without being shouty.

Virtue* is a a cantaloupe orange. I absolutely love this colour, however out of all the colours this seems to be the only one that has a tendency to settle in the lip lines. I do make sure to have plenty of lip balm underneath and it does the trick, but I don't need to do the prep with the other colours. I do use a bit of dark brown eyeliner and plenty of mascara when using Virtue, it creates more of a look, I don't think that this colour works on me stand alone.

Lasting power will depend on what you are doing, this lipstick comes off when you wipe it off, so yes if you are not drinking out of a straw and not careful when you eat it will be gone. Otherwise it just keeps on going, so I would reapply after a meal but that is the only time when you would need to do that. Keep in mind that all of these colours are light, the darker ones in the range may leave more of a tint behind, but I won't know for sure until I try them.

What I really love about Axiology is the fact that their upmarket approach to the product did not compromise on the ethical side. The outer boxes are handmade out of recycled paper, reducing the rubbish lying around Bali, and giving work to local craftsmen. The base oils and butters are organic, and the overall formula is vegan. You really get the best of everything from this brand, an incredible luxe lipstick that not only looks gorgeous from packaging to colour choices, but also has an environmental conscience. I was going through a bit of a nude faze when exploring Axiology, but now I have my eye on some brighter colour, Attitude and Fundamental.

Have you guys tried axiology? Anything catch your eye? Let me know in the comments.

*Two colours were sent to me as PR samples, the other two I purchased myself. As always opinions are honest and based on my experience with the products.

Friday 11 December 2015

Christmas gift ideas

I honestly can not believe how quickly this year has gone by, and Christmas is just around the corner. My gift guide is rather late simply because I completely lost track of time. If you are still looking for inspiration, you have come to the right place. Just like last year's post these bundles are themed to fit a personality (so nothing here screams Christmas but rather showcases the way I approach gift giving in general).

For the Artist.

As you probably guessed this is for someone who either is a professional artist or does it as hobby, in a traditional medium (so anyone who still uses paper and paint).

Green guide for artists is a great source of information for those who want to take a more considerate approach with their creations, it explores the toxicity of pigments and even has recipes for making your own glue.

Derwent eco sketching pencils are of the highest quality, but have a lighter foot print. Many artists prefer traditional wood cased pencils because they give a greater variation of lines than a mechanical one. As far as I am concerned you can never have too many pencils so I always love getting them as presents (means I am not going to run out).

Dr Bronner's soap is perfect to clean brushes, I have rose scented one pictured here but the best one would be the baby formula. Brushes are likely to be a fairly expensive investment for most artists and you want them to last a long time, cleaning them properly goes a long way and this soap does a fab job.

For the Traveller.

If you know someone who is on a mission to visit all the corners of the world this gift is for them, 

The Luckies of London travelogue has two sides, one side contains the scratch off map of all the continents and the other side has a diary style notebook. Perfect for keeping track of all of their adventures.

When travelling a lot keeping liquids to a minimum is really helpful, pure chimp solid shampoo bar is a favourite and it can double up as a body soap. Smells like ripe bananas, a big plus in my book.

Radius is the best travel container for soap I have come across and it is made from recycled milk bottles, it comes in a variety of colours.

Badger balm muscle rub is always useful and doesn't take up much space.

For  the classy dame.

This gift is for the lady who appreciates the finer things and likes the outside of her products to reflect the inside.

Bath brew is basically a giant tea bag, you guessed it, for your bath. Since its all inside the bag that means there is no mess to clear up, and once you enjoyed your bathing experience you can use the insides as an exfoliator too.

Axiology are the ultimate when it comes to luxury lipsticks. The clever popping mechanism is just one of the things that makes them so special. The whole experience of using them feels incredibly decadent and the colours are gorgeous. In the picture above are philosophy and noble. 

Audrey Hepburn pop art mugs are a little bit different, when they are filled with hot liquid they change colour. Just bringing a little something different to the table.

For the uber dude.

We all know the one, who doesn't get the point of face cream and only wears sunscreen if you put it on him yourself.

For this guy you won't go wrong with an organic cotton T-shirt, I love browsing people tree sale section to see what they have on offer.

If the guy in question uses a razor weleda shaving cream is absolutely amazing (tried and Mr RF approved, the only natural alternative that did not irritate his sensitive skin). You can change this for a beard oil if your gentleman doesn't shave.

Bodhi and Birch pep noir will be something he won't see coming, it is not just another shower gel, it is aromatherapy in a bottle. Don't be surprised you find that your manly man is suddenly indulging in bubble baths, as this product can be used both ways.

I hope you feel inspired and good luck with the rest of your Christmas shopping.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

On trial | Josh Rosebrook

You can not underestimate the power of a good clear out. Ever since I saw Josh Rosebrook's products on the 'a beautiful world' they have been on my wish list, yet I have not tried anything. I was waiting to finish up some products before taking the plunge (well since I seem to accumulate new beauty goodies at the speed of light, and finish them at a tortoise pace, I never get to the desired level). After Konmariing my home it turned out that I already had quiet a collection of Josh Rosebrook's samples and travel sizes, how was I not aware of this?! To make sure I wouldn't forget again, I put them all in a prominent position on my bedside table and started testing them one by one.

Deep Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. The very first thing that I noticed about this duo was the gorgeous scent. It was like being transported into the orange groves of Seville. The deep nourishing shampoo does not foam a lot, and you need to apply it in a particular way. Dividing your scalp into four sections, top, sides and back, apply a little bit of shampoo to each area, give yourself a head massage and leave it on for 1 to 2 minutes before washing out. Hair is left clean but not stripped. After washing it off follow with the tiniest amount of conditioner on the ends, or from mid length if hair is very long or dry. Josh's approach is that you need to wash your hair every day. Indeed if I did that I think this duo would work very well, but since I don't use styling products daily and my hair is so long this is just not something that would work for me personally. I find that my hair is at its best when I wash it twice a week, but these products were just too rich. The conditioner is super concentrated and I do need only the tiniest amount, I found that it doubles up as a deep conditioning mask making it amazing value for money. Surprisingly the shampoo is also very concentrated, and lasted almost double the amount of time I was expecting it (took me almost two months to finish the travel sized bottle). It was growing on me at the end, but it just isn't the best fit. I do have the full sizes of newly released balancing duo, which I am hoping will be more suited.

Deep hydrating serum. This was love at first sniff. It smells like a delicious sorbet with a hint of vanilla. I had a couple of these pots, so I was using this serum for just over a week. I did see almost immediate results straight after applying it in terms of texture and my skin looked nicely hydrated. I would be very tempted to see what the results would look like after the full month. While I don't feel like the time I used it was sufficient enough for me to makeup my mind, I think this serum is very well worth a second look.

Nutrient day cream. Let's be frank, I was not expecting great things from this product. My skin generally doesn't get along with creams and I have given up, I never even bother requesting samples of them. Of course I still get them as presents, or samples with purchase, but I never go looking for them. Imagine my utter shock when this cream has become not only my favourite from this lineup but I am also determined to get myself a bottle in the new year. I just know if I get it now I'm never even going to attempt to use up some of the products that are approaching their sell by dates, so end of January should be a safe time to get it. The scent is sort of herby, mild and very pleasant. Texture is so light and it absorbs like a dream. My skin looks absolutely amazing after, all calm and even toned, it just suits it perfectly. The product is again really concentrated and I did not  need to use much at all, so I know the bottle will last a decent amount of time and it will be worth every penny.

Cacao antioxidant mask. I was expecting it to be a powder mask, but it isn't. It has a thick consistency, like chocolate icing, and you need to apply it pretty fast to your skin or it will just stay on your fingers. The scent is a little odd, a hint of chocolate but other fragrances in the product just smell strange to me. You keep it on for up to 45 minutes and than rinse it off. The very first time I applied it, I wasn't quiet fast enough. Half of my face had an even layer but the other half made me look like an extra from Mad Max. Despite this I really liked the results, this mask has a really good balance of thoroughly cleansing yet without taking any moisture from the skin. I love how you can use it and not worry about it making your skin overly dry or too oily, it just gives you the best version of your skin.

Overall I have been very impressed with Josh Rosebrook's line, I found that the products work with the skin and not against it. If I could choose only one product it would be the Nutrient day cream. I have never come across a cream that worked this well, and the fact that it has SPF30 is just icing on the cake. I also tried layering it with an oil underneath on the really cold days, and the results are fantastic. Probably one of my favourite skincare finds of 2015.

Have you guys tried anything from Josh Rosebrook? What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments.