is Here!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Natural hair wearers, sit up and take notice!

UK based, founded by sisters Aretha “Ritzy” Rutherford and Erica “Harlem” Rutherford, launched a little over a week ago, stocking a range of luxury organic, hand made natural hair products and hair accessories.

The line includes pomades, butters and oils and you can check out their informative au natural ingredients list here, which features avocado oil, organic olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.

Intrigued, I had signed up to their mailing list a few months ago, awaiting their launch and was surprised to discover I was their first website winner, bagging myself a cute silk scarf, worth £75.

The scarf I won!

Love Harlem operates a 'Go Greener' policy - their products not tested on animals and are free from petrolatum, mineral oil, propylene glycol and other synthetic additives.

Oh and you can try sample sizes for just £3.

Giveaway: Murad Celebrate You! Embrace Balance Set

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm a big lover of Murad skincare. I think it's fantastic! I'm a regular user of their AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, Time Release Blemish Cleanser and the Night Reform Glycolic Treatment (which is no longer on the site for some reason. Discontinued perhaps?), as well as treating myself to their facials  - EOS Beauty in Bromley-by-Bow, offer the cheapest prices in London, that I've found.

I have one of the three Celebrate You sets, which were released at Christmas up for grabs. This one goes by the name Embrace Balance and is for normal/combination skin and will help keep any shine at bay.

The set contains:

Pomegranate Cleanser 50ml
Pomegranate Moisturiser SPF 15 30ml
Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask x2 sachets
T Zone Pore Refining Gel 60ml 

Fancy winning this, here's all you need to do:

Be a follower of this blog. If you're not already just click the 'Join this Site' button at the top of my side bar and follow the instructions.


RT the giveaway at the bottom of the post, by pressing the 'Tweet' button.

Leave a comment at the bottom of this post saying you have done the above and would like to enter.

*This giveaway is open to UK entrants only, you must be 18 years and older to enter and it will close on 8th July 2012. Prize supplied by Murad.

Heads Up - Elemis TSV on Sunday 1st July on QVC!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Keep your eye on QVC tomorrow, where Elemis will have a very cool offer up for grabs which will save you over £100! As of midnight you can snap up the five piece Tranquil Indulgence Face and Body Collection, which comes in a dusky pink cosmetics bag for just £39.96. Not bad huh?

The kit contains FULL SIZE hero products including Tranquil Touch Indulgent Bath Elixir, Frangipani Monoi Body Oil and Pro Collagen Marine Cream!

Today's Special Value Time Slots on 1st July will be as follows:


Remember, you can purchase this set as soon as the offer goes live at midnight, where it will be available at this bargain price all day, or until it sells out - whichever comes first. Tune into QVC at the above times, if you want to see the products demonstrated, live on air!

If you're new to Elemis, want to treat yourself or someone else, this is a great offer to take advantage of.

*PR sample

Mandara Spa - Island Paradise Collection

Friday, June 29, 2012

Since being introduced to Mandara Spa, the affordable sister brand of Elemis last year, I've been a regular visitor to the toiletries aisle in Sainbury's where the range can be found.

I spoke of my love for the brand when it launched in the grocery giant last spring in a post here, so I was pleased to hear that a new spa collection - Island Paradise, had recently been launched. This follows in the footsteps of the existing collections Amber Heaven, Tropical Blooms and Honeymilk Dream.

Island Paradise, inspired by the revitalising fragrance of the Maldives has key ingredients of grapefruit and lemon which uplift and refresh, whilst white tea, kukui nut oil, ginseng, rice milk and starflower oil also feature in the new collection.

I love the scent of the bath soak, the citrus scent is fresh, invigorating yet still ideal for relaxing in, in the bath. I didn't expect too much from the wipes, but they're good for freshening up with and neither sticky or too drying. I found the scent of the cooling gel, which is to be massaged onto dry or damp skin far stronger than I'd anticipated - it firmly reminded me of Lockets (yes, the throat sweets), although the scent did lessen after 15 minutes or so. The body scrub is thorough in doing a good job of exfoliating and leaves behind a subtle scent of grapefruit and lemons on the skin.

With prices starting from £3, peaking at £12, you can treat yourself whilst doing your weekly shop without fear of burning a hole in your pocket.

The collection in full:

Pampering Bath Soak 500ml £12.00
Moisturising Bath Essence 500ml £8.00
Moisturising Shower Gel 200ml £5.00
Moisturising Body Lotion 150ml £5.00
Smoothing Shower Scrub 150ml £4.00
Intensive Body Scrub 350ml £8.00
Refreshing Cooling Gel 100ml £5.00
Cleansing Towel Wipes for Face & Body x 25 £3.00

Have you tried Mandara Spa products before? Which collections have you used?

*PR samples

Bargain Skincare Treats - Superdrug Face Masks

Thursday, June 28, 2012

As much as my taste for high end skincare and cosmetics has risen over the years, I'm not one to turn up my nose at a bargain. Whilst browsing in Superdrug last week, I came across these face masks. There were approx six different choices covering a range of skin issues, and these were the ones which appealed to me most.

I tried the Hydrating Self-Heating Mask a couple of nights ago to give my skin a boost before bedtime. Application was easy, I wet my face, gently massaged the mask over it and could feel it heat up right away. I then left the bright pink mask on for 15 mins. It didn't feel warm as it lay on my face, only when I massaged it in. I then wiped it off with a hot flannel and applied Trilogy Rosehip Oil.

My skin felt soft and 'plumped' when I woke the following morning and I was pleased with the results. Best of all, the mask only cost 99p each! Who says you need to spend loads to achieve the results you're looking for.

Review: ESPA Detoxifiying Salt Scrub

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I love a good body treatment, and who doesn't? There's nothing like winding down and pampering yourself in the comfort of your own home - if a skilled therapist isn't working their magic, in calming surroundings on you instead.

The first ESPA product I experienced was over a year ago, when took the Invigorating Body Reviver on holiday with me. I was really impressed by how well it exfoliated my skin, without the need to scrub myself red raw but my tube looked a right state by the time I was ready to blog about it! Lemongrass, Lime and Thyme kick started my day each morning in the shower. It was bliss.

The latest ESPA product I've tried is the Detoxifying Salt Scrub. Suitable for all skin types, this exfoliator containing radiance refining sea salts, smooths and softens, sloughing away dead skin cells. Uplifting grapefruit, Cypress and Eucalyptus help to stimulate circulation and eliminate toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to go.

I used this on day one of my holiday before we headed down to the beach, wanting to prep my skin for the elements and my eventual tan. I was suitably impressed by how soft my skin felt afterwards and couldn't stop harping on about it to the girls- one of which helped herself to it, the following morning and agreed that it worked fantastically well at exfoliating and softening her skin too. It also contains Sweet Almond Oil, which left my skin so hydrated that there was no need for a separate moisturiser - something which I never pass on, as part of my bodycare regime.

My only grumble is that I find the sachets quite awkward to use. It was difficult to squeeze the product out, and I ending up squeezing too much oil out, leaving plenty of granules inside, which were near impossible to get out! I didn't have any scissors to hand being on holiday and wasn't about to trek to reception to ask for some. I tried in vain over a period of three days to scoop the rest of the scrub out, before accepting defeat and throwing the sachet away.

I searched online, expecting to see it available in a larger quantity in a use-friendly tube or tub, instead finding a pack of 10 sachets being sold as an alternative. For this reason, I can't purchase it, as it will result in me wasting too much product. If they change the packaging, I'll be throwing my money at this. Until then, it's staying in my wallet.

How much is it? £7.15 for two sachets, £32 for 10 sachets
Where can I buy it from? House of Fraser, ESPA online, Liberty

*PR sample

NEW! Palmer's Stretch Mark Range

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stretchmarks, don't you just hate 'em!   As we all know, it's not just pregnancy that can cause stretch marks - they can occur if you gain a large amount of weight in a short period of time, and also during the growth spurt in teenagers (especially in girls on the breasts and thighs).

Palmers have recently launched a new range of products specifically targeting those pesky, unsightly marks. Although the packaging indicates it's aimed for pregnant women, anybody suffering from stretch marks can use these products, so don't let that put you off.

Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks £5.09 / 250ml
Palmer’s Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks is the first step to completing your every day Palmer’s pregnancy skin care regime. This lightweight non-greasy all over body lotion works to improve skin elasticity and moisture. Use three times a day in place of your regular moisturiser from the first trimester. For best results top up with intensive night-time treatment Tummy Butter For Stretch Marks or the Concentrated Massage Cream For Stretch Marks

Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks £5.35/ 150g
Palmer's Tummy Butter is an intense night treatment. The solid, concentrate dbalm helps to nourish and hydrate the skin. The use of soothing lavender helps you tor relax and sleep easily. For best results, it's recommended you use this with the Massage Lotion.

Massage Cream for Stretch Marks £5.09/ 125ml

This cream is ideal for stubborn areas such as the thighs, hips, bust and can also be used on the tummy area. The non-greasy formula helps to improve skin elasticity and moisture levels. Palmer's recommend you use this cream three times a day on affected areas. The convenient tube can be placed in a handbag and used on the go (if you can find a quiet place to reapply it!). For best results, again use this with the Massage Lotion.

I like this range, the products all absorb easily and aren't as overpowering in scent as some of the products in the Palmer's range. Realistically, I'm not expecting these products to perform miracles, but I'm happy to include them in my bodycare regime on the notion that if I do notice a difference, then that's great but if not, my skin is being well moisturised regardless!

*97% of women tested have seen an average of 59% improvement in skin's elasticity.
(35 testers)

Palmer's Stretch Mark Range is now available from  Superdrug, Boots, Tesco, Asda and

*PR samples

Practise Safe Sun - Summer Skin Protection

Monday, June 25, 2012

If my holiday to Turkey has taught me one thing, it's never to underestimate the power of the sun!  I think I got carried away with the beach environment and stupidly thought that having dark skin would give me a pass. Errrr no!

A week later and I can clearly see where I've roasted myself, on my forehead, nose, hands, feet, shins, arms and chest, despite slathering SPF on myself when I ventured outside. Not being used to all this sun lotion application malarky, I'd often forget to reapply when I came out of the pool and that's where I went wrong as I left myself exposed to the sun's rays. On my face, I used Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF35 - again, forgetting to reapply when I came out of the pool!

Remember, the more intense the sun, the greater your exposure to UV rays.The sun is typically at its strongest between 11am-4pm, so take particular care during these hours.

Below are just a few of the sun lotions we had on rotation during our week out there. We all have different skin tones, hence the varying SPF protection. I opted for SPF30-SPF15, but also used the SPF50 on occasion too.


1. Nivea Sun Moisturising Sun Spray SPF15 - available here

2. Biotherm Lait Solaire SPF30* - available here

3. Nivea Sun Invisible Protection Spray SPF50 - available here

4. Solait Tan Activating SPF15  - available here

5. Korres Walnut & Coconut Suntan Oil SPF10* - I think this may have been discontinued. Shame, as it smells amazing and makes you tan like noone's business in as little as half an hour! 

You can clearly see the difference in skin tone on my arm caused by the position of my hotel wristband, and also the last of my heat rash. I'm giving my skin a break for another week and then I'm going to have a facial and a full body scrub treatment.

Bottom line, no matter your skin tone, make sure you use adequate sun protection!

*Products marked with an * were PR samples.

GIVEAWAY: Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blushes - Winner Announced

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My latest giveaway saw two of the three shades of the new Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blushes up for grabs! I took Flushed on holiday with me and it held up well during the warm nights, without feeling greasy or heavy. They give a nice flush of colour for day wear too.

The lucky winner is AMRITA . There's an email waiting in your inbox for you!

Thank you to all who entered, these will be available in the UK next month.  In the meantime, keep an eye out for my next giveaway, which is coming up shortly.

Back to Business.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hey, hey, hey! I'm baaaaack!

I had a fab time in Bodrum with the girls. The weather was steaming hot every day, it peaked at 40 degrees at one point - luckily that was the day we were at a waterpark for most of the day! Our days consisted of lying lazily on the beach, by the pool and taking full advantage of the all-inclusive cocktails at our hotel bars! If I never have another Sex On The Beach, it'll be too soon!

We even experienced an earthquake tremor on day one - beat THAT for holiday drama! It was totally surreal. Naturally, the first thing I did once I realised it wasn't the girls messing around, making my sun lounger wobble, was turn around and make sure a flippin' tsunami wasn't about to wash us away! I've since been told what we experienced actually measured 5.7 on the Richter scale. Crazy!

We visited a traditional Turkish bath (interesting experience, blog post coming up on that soon), and the famous market. However fake Chanel and Mulberry bags and tops sporting 'Abercrumble and Fish', really aren't my thing!

We were a couple of mins away from the infamous Bar Street, a packed strip of bars and clubs which cater for those who have no intention of going to sleep at night. Trying to dodge the persistent catcalls of "Free shots! Girls! Girls, come here!" proved to be a little tedious at times, but we took it in our stride. The Turkish men we encountered were really something else. I can't even repeat half the things yelled at us!

Here are a few pics:

Dinner on the beach at sunset

I'm Outta Here!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Who knew that in June, England would be point blank refusing to conform to British Summertime?! Luckily my friends and I decided to take matters into our own hands and therefore I will be flying to Turkey for some much needed vitamin D.

I'll be swapping this weather ...

For this....

See ya in a week! ;-)

The Nails Files: Illamasqua Stagnate

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I've been delving into my nail polish stash far more frequently as of late, unearthing some gems I'd completely forgotten about. Illamasqua's Stagnate is one of them, which is from the Toxic Nature collection.

A dusky, grey mauve, this polish gives high shine and is one of the more unique polish shades I own.

I really like this polish and it applies well in two coats. I could push it to three if I wanted and it wouldn't go gloopy, but it's not really necessarily.

Stagnate can be found at Illamasqua counters and online for £13.50.

*PR sample

GIVEAWAY: Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blushes

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Seen my post on the new Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blushes? Pretty cute, aren't they? They're due out in the UK next month but one lucky reader can get their hands on them now.

To win Flushed and Coral Reef, all you have to do is answer the following question in the comments box below:

What's the name of the third Revlon PhotoReady blush?

1. Giveaway open to UK entrants only (sorry!)
2. Giveaway ends on  Sunday 17th June at 23:59 GMT
3. An extra entry can be gained, should you RT the giveaway on Twitter.
4. You do not have to be a follower of my blog, in order to enter but it would be appreciated, if you're not.

Yardley London Royal Diamond EDT

Monday, June 04, 2012

When you think of Yardley London, you can be forgiven for thinking of your grandmother or elderly next door neighbour. Established in 1770, the British soap and perfume brand have been around for yonks and have an established reputation, which has earnt them not one, but two Royal Warrants.

Just in time fot the Queen's Jubilee, Yardley London released a new fragrance - Royal Diamond. Clean and simple, its packaging is inoffensive and the fragrance bottle would blend in on any dressing table.

It contains a variety of notes including pear, bergamot, honey, lily of the valley and rounds up with a soft wood woody vanilla base (that's not all the notes either). I found it quite sharp to start off with, softening after a few minutes.

It's not to my personal taste, but is worth bearing in mind as a gift for someone who likes their scents to be on the classic side.

Yardley London Royal Diamond retails for an affordable £9.99 (50ml) and is currently on offer for £7.49 on the Yardley website You can also find Yardley products in Boots.

* PR Sample

Filthy Gorgeous Heavy Metal Magnetic Polish - Gold Digger

Monday, June 04, 2012

I've managed to resist the magnetic nail polish trend so far. When the first offerings came out, I was curious, but as I was quickly bombarded by a million swatches in the space of two minutes on my Blogger dashboard, my interest quickly waned and I didn't feel an overwhelming urge to try them out.

Well say hello to Gold Digger, a high metallic liquid gold from British beauty brand, Filthy Gorgeous. The sparkles in the bottle made me want to apply it straightaway - and so I did! I dutifully followed the instructions and waited for something amazing to happen *cue radio silence*

Gold Digger up close

Confused, and aware that my wet polish was drying quickly I frantically continued to hold the bottle cap over my nails (the magnet is concealed in the cap). Still nothing. What was I doing wrong? I scanned the instructions again, I was 'doing it right', so why wasn't it working? I wiped the polish off a couple of fingers and reapplied, again holding the cap over my nails and gently moving it from side to side in the hope of activating something. Nah, nothing happened. At all.

At this point, I was royally fed up, called it a night and this is where my dabble into the world of magnetic polish ended! I can't be bothered with it and it's a shame as it had the potential to look really good. I must have received a dodgy bottle, but in my opinion, when marketing such a unique selling point your product needs to be on the ball - especially if it costs 12 quid! There's no room for error. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think I read that the Barry M magnetic polishes were causing a few users problems too. I'll be sticking to 'normal' polish from now on.

Filthy Gorgeous also have another magnetic shade, Heart Breaker, which is described as a rich jewelled red metallic. They cost £12 and can be found in select Debenhams stores across the UK, Fenwick in Newcastle, Jarrold in Norwich or online at

*PR sample,

NEW! Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush - Flushed + Coral Reef. Pics and Swatches.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Whilst in New York, I spotted these over on Nouveau Cheap (If you're planning a trip to the states, THIS is the blog you need to bookmark, in order to plan your drugstore buys) and made a silent vow to track them down - which I did.

Part of Revlon's new summer collection, Escapism, by Gucci Westman of Revlon, the new Photoready Cream Blushes are proving to be a big hit. Available in three shades, I bought Flushed (bright fuschia) and Coral Reef. There's also Pinched, which is a neutral nude pink.

Their neat, compact packaging is very similar to the Sleek Pout Polishes, albeit slightly smaller making them easy to pop into your make up bag.

I love the consistency of these, they're super-smooth, feeling almost velvety when you rub your fingers together and blend in fairly easily. They last a few hours before fading, but that's to be expected with cream blushes and it's nothing a quick touch-up won't fix. They give a pleasant natural flush and during the warm weather we had, they were my go-to blushes for their ease of use.


© Vex in the City| Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: June 2012 All rights reserved
Design by Dolce Vanity Powered by Blogger