Monthly Archives: August 2017

Interiors: Gucci Launches New Homeware Line – Gucci Décor

Posted on August 29, 2017

Hi Guys!

Though my wallet doesn’t allow it, I’m still a massive fan of high end fashion, especially accessories such as shoes and bags which I can’t get enough of when window shopping – if only I had the money my wardrobe would be full of so many wonderful brands! One of the designers that has caught my eye recently is Gucci, their latest collections are just so amazingly colourful, fun and eclectic, with endless amounts of contrasting prints and colours. The phrase ‘more is more’ definitely applies here.

So when I heard Gucci were unveiling their debut homeware line, Gucci Decor, I couldn’t wait to see what they’d come up with. Described as “an eclectic collection of items with which customers can dress their own spaces.” this collection is everything I’d imagined and more!

I was excited to find out that the designs are inspired by Gucci’s current fashion collections – there’s clashing colours, bold prints, and animal head motifs a-plenty. Gucci Decor’s initial launch includes a wide range of home accessories – there are practical and functional items such as chairs, tables and screens, as well as smaller home accessories including candles, cushions and trays.

As I’m sure you can imagine, these products won’t come cheap – starting from the bottom end of the scale, a candle will cost £150, up to an eye-watering £23,000 for a printed silk screen, gulp! In all seriousness though, I think these prices are pretty much to be expected, as with any high fashion house that offers home decor, you’re paying for the design, quality of materials and of course the name.

Gucci have also created four new scents for their candles and incense products –

  • Inventum – a delicate note of ancient damask rose, blended with voluptuous and distinctive Taif rose.
  • Fumus – the dark and intense scent of birch, mingled with orange leaves and beeswax.
  • Herbosum – the fresh, intense scents of tomato leaves and aromatic plants, mixed with the fragrance of long grass peppered with basil and lemongrass.
  • Esotericum – the bitter aroma of Seville oranges, intricately intertwined with notes of jasmine, leather and salt.

I’m really into scents with orange notes at the moment, so I’m loving the sound of Fumus and Esotericum especially. Hopefully I’ll get to give these a sniff when the range has launched in store.

So what do you think? Will you be treating yourself to anything from the Gucci Decor collection? At the moment I’ll just be lusting after the candles and cushions 🙂

The Gucci Decor collection will be available from September online and in selected stores.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

Fragrance: Discovering Shay & Blue Boutique Perfumery

Posted on August 25, 2017

Hi Guys!

I was recently introduced to Shay & blue – a cruelty free, award winning boutique perfumery established in 2012. I visited their flagship store in Marleybone, London, to experience their fragrance range first hand, and hear more about the brand.

Very much in the same vein as Jo Malone, Shay & Blue offer an antidote to the mass produced ‘off the shelf’ fragrances we are all overly familiar with. Shay & Blue founders Dom De Vetta and Julie Massé joined forces and combined their talents to create a brand that offers richly decadent fragrances which convey their personal passion, as well as attention to detail where it comes to boutique perfumery.

Shay & Blue tick all the boxes when it comes to packaging too; their bottles all follow a classic style that is nether too feminine or masculine. Their striking sky blue packaging is instantly recognisable, and all purchases are carefully boxed, detailed with an individual bow, and packaged in Shay & Blue bags. I know packaging is just packaging, but these extra touches really do make the buying experience that much more enjoyable.

I was invited to try out Shay & Blue’s extensive range of 20 perfumes, and to select my two favourites. The first scent I was instantly attracted to was Blood Oranges EDP – Blood Oranges is just the most mouth wateringly juicy scent I’ve ever come across. I’m a big fan of any fragrance with orange notes anyway, but Blood Oranges really is something else. Handcrafted with real flowers, fruits and spices, I was amazed to find out this perfume contains three pounds of real fruits!

Blood Oranges opens with quite an unexpected intense and juicy hit of Blood Orange segments at the top – I say unexpected because this is a very different orange scent to anything I’ve tried before. This bright and refreshing opening soon develops into a heart of sensual and intense Nappa Leather, which is then rounded off perfectly with a base of sultry and passionate Musk blended with charred Woods and Amber.

This is such an unusual scent, refreshing and mouth-wateringly delicious, then within a matter of hours, warm and sensual – it’s definitely a must try. 

  • Top Note – Blood Orange.
  • Heart Note – Napa leather.
  • Base Note – Musk, Woods and Amber.

The second scent I chose was Salt Caramel EDP – this is basically an indulgent dessert for your nose, I honestly can’t describe it better, it actually smelled good enough to eat (and I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!)

Ok so Salt Caramel is obviously a fragrance for those with a sweet tooth – it was inspired by Charbonnel et Walker’s luxury Sea Salt Caramel Truffles after all! It’s an amazingly rich and multi-faceted scent opening with top notes of gooey liquid Caramel offset with Sea Salt, to give a fantastic olfactory contrast. The smooth heart of Tonka Bean then leads to a base of refined Bourbon Vanilla with Sandalwood as a woodsy counterpoint to the sweetness.

Salt Caramel is a simply irresistible fragrance – indulgent and rich, a naughty dessert that you just have to have.

  • Top Notes – Caramel and Sea Salt.
  • Heart Note – Tonka Bean.
  • Base Notes – Bourbon Vanilla and Sandalwood.

If you’re a fan of fine fragrances and you’re yet to try Shay & Blue, you’re definitely missing out, I really can’t recommend these scents enough. Shay & Blue fragrances are vey reasonably priced at £55.00 for 100ml and £30.00 for 30ml, and are available now at Shay & Blue, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Beauty: New Dior Products at Feelunique

Posted on August 22, 2017

Hi Guys!

I have the pleasure today of trying out, and sharing with you a few exciting new products from Dior Beauty at Feelunique. I have a gorgeous eyeshadow palette, a new lip tint, and a cushion foundation, as well as a couple of new fragrances – lets get stuck in!

Starting with the Dior Addict Lip Tattoo (£25.00) – described as the first long wear lip tint by Dior, the Lip Tattoo promises 10-hour hold with a comfortable, weightless formula, as well as a no transfer finish.

Though it looks like a normal lipstick, the Lip Tattoo is far from what you’d expect from a traditional liquid lipstick – the Lip Tattoo has a light liquid texture that feels barely there on the lips, and it applies with a sheer finish that gives lips a light flush of colour while boosting their natural tone. I have shade Natural Rosewood 491 which is a pretty muted rose shade that’s subtle in terms of colour and slightly deepens the shade of my natural lips – it’s the perfect lip stain for the coming Autumn.

I also have one of the many 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes (£45.00) – this gorgeous palette is in option 767 Inflame, and it contains five beautiful eyeshadows in both matte and satin finishes. I’m beyond impressed with both the pigmentation and the texture of these eyeshadows – they’re buttery soft and really do blend like a dream. I particularly love the middle shade which is a pretty matte coral pink, and the bottom left shade which is a deeper rose toned pink with a lovely shimmer finish.

And lastly for makeup, the Diorskin Forever Cushion Foundation (£35.00) – promising a perfect complexion for up to 16hrs, the Diorskin Forever Cushion Foundation contains fine mattifying powders to instantly create the perfect luminous matte finish, as well as a combination of two Wear-Lock polymers which adorn the skin in a stretchy veil to set the texture and pigments.

I have the lightest shade available, 011 Cream. Initially I thought this may be slightly on the yellow side, but on application it actually suited my neutral skin tone well. It was also lighter coverage that what I was expecting, which is fine but personally I like a little more coverage than what this foundation offers. The finish however, was really nice. It was definitely matte, yet velvety rather than an intense matte, and it also gave my complexion a slight luminosity which I loved. This is definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a base with a light, natural matte finish.

On to fragrance now, I have the beautiful Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming EDP (from £49.50 for 30ml) – Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming is the new olfactory variation of Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, and it’s a wonderfully joyful floral scent that’s easy to wear every day –

The fragrance opens with tangy and striking top notes of Red Berry Accord, with Raspberry, Pomegranate and Blackcurrant Accord heightened by the spicy teasing tingle of Pink Peppercorn. At the heart the magnificent Grasse Rose Absolute unfurls in perfect harmony with the beautifully spirited Rosa Damascena, while the exquisite May Rose embraces a radiant Peony Accord. The base of White Musk notes envelops the entire composition to leave you with a fresh and rounded finish.

  • Top Notes: Raspberry, Pomegranate, Blackcurrant and Pink Peppercorn.
  • Heart Notes: Grasse Rose Absolute, Rosa Damascena, May Rose and Peony Accord.
  • Base Notes: White Musks.

And lastly J’Adore In Joy EDT (from £59.00 for 50ml) – whenever I see a J’Adore fragrance bottle, I always imagine Charlize Theron strutting towards the camera whilst ripping off her jewellery fin the iconic TV advert… anyway, J’Adore In Joy is the latest fragrance in the J’Adore family.

For this scent, Dior perfumers have created an original note – Fleur de Sel that seems to sit on the tip of your tongue. Described as both joyful and fresh, this note is instantly charming and equally compelling. At the heart shines tropical and solar Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine Sambac, leading to a base of a fruity, juicy Peach note, giving the fragrance velvety softness that renders the composition even more delicious.

  • Top Notes: Fleur de sel.
  • Heart Notes: Ylang Ylang and Jasmine Sambac.
  • Base Notes: Peach.

All the above products and more are available now at Feelunique.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Paithani EDP

Posted on August 21, 2017

Hi Guys!

I have one of the latest fragrance launches from Penhaligon’s to share with you today – if you’re familiar with the brand, you may already be aware of their Trade Routes collection, to which Penhaligon’s have just added two captivating new scents: Paithani and Agarbathi

Housed in a classic Penhaligon’s fragrance bottle, with a bow adorning the lid, Paithani is a fragrance designed to capture the essence of India – with its opulent palaces, spiced hot tea and rich flora and fauna, it aims to transport the wearer on an unforgettable journey.

Paithani has been named after a variety of sari, the beautifully patterned coloured cloth traditionally worn by Indian women, and the fragrance itself is wonderfully evocative, reflecting memories of a visit to india –

Our mountain train’s arrival into Bombay was greeted by an explosion of sound that dazzled our reverie and shook us awake. Vivid colourful saris, Paithani, swirl all around, and to complete the sensory overload, before long there is the welcoming smell of spicy hot tea! Added to it, as tradition dictates, an agreeable explosion of spice (cardamom, nutmeg and pepper – the fragrant holy trinity). The soothing aspect of a silky, milky rose, serves as a rousing caress. Soon there is the famed cedar from Himachal Pradesh that blends with the smell of leather trunks. Because travel has always been the greatest feat of independence. And to best capture the feeling of our faithful companion, the sun – bountiful, low and full – rich amber infuses and illuminates the end of the day.

When first spraying the scent, it immediately makes me think of chai tea – it opens up with spicy top notes of Cardamom, Nutmeg Essence and Black Pepper sweetly softened by a mild heart of Rose and Milk Accord, leading to a warm earthy base of Cedar Essence, Labdanum Resin, Leather, and Amber Wood. The scent is alluring, spicy and rich – contrasting with its partner Agarbathi which has more of a floral aroma inspired by Indian incense.

I have to say I’ve completely fallen in love with Paithani – it’s heavy and opulent, alluring and spicy – just perfect for a summers evening.

  • Top Notes: Cardamom & Black Pepper Pure J.Ess™, Nutmeg Essence
  • Heart Notes: Milk Accord, Rose, Maté Absolute
  • Base Notes: Cedar Essence, Labdanum Resin, Leather, Amber Wood.

Paithani EDP is £164 for 100ml and available now at Penhaligon”s and Selfridges.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples

Food & Drink: Adding A Twist To Classic Cocktails With Thebar.com

Posted on August 15, 2017

Hi Guys!

thebar.com recently got in touch and asked me to share my favourite classic cocktail recipe from their site, but with an added personal twist – and hopefully this will inspire you to make your own cocktails at home this summer!

I’m a big fan of cocktails, and love anything that’s particularly sweet in flavour. On the odd occasion where I do get to try a cocktail, I would usually go for a vodka or gin base, with sweet, fruity juices and flavourings. After looking at all the cocktail recipes on thebar.com, I actually found it quite hard to whittle it down to just one to try out! It was a close call between the classic Pimms and Lemonade, and the gin based English Garden cocktail. In the end, English Garden just won by a hair as I thought this was the one I’d be able to have the most fun experimenting with.

The English Garden cocktail, in case you’re not familiar with it, of course contains gin as I’ve just mentioned, as well as sweet juices, sugar syrup, mint and cucumber, combined together to make the perfect summer patio drink. I’ve been thinking how I can add my own twist to this – after trying out the original cocktail (which I love) it was quite hard to think how I could make it any better! After racking my brains thinking what I could possibly add to this that would ‘go’ with the current ingredients and also (hopefully) taste nice. I came up with a few ideas –

  • Elderflower
  • Blood orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Blackberries
  • Lemon
  • Pineapple juice
  • Edible flowers (for decoration)

So armed with my list, I took to the shops to pick up all the ingredients – I couldn’t wait to start experimenting! First of all, I couldn’t find any blood oranges, so I had to cross this off. I could have gone with normal oranges instead but I didn’t feel they were quite fancy enough so I decided to just pick up the other ingredients.

Next up was grapefruit – I’m not the biggest fan of grapefruit on it’s own, but I have had it in both cocktails and soft drinks and I’ve really enjoyed it in the past. Now this is my second fail, where you’ll be able to tell that I’m really not used to making cocktails – so I bought an actual grapefruit. Not grapefruit juice, a whole massive grapefruit. I’m not sure what was going through my head when I was in the supermarket, but I just saw it, though ‘ah I need grapefruit’ and off I went on my merry way. Once I was home and realised my error, I thought I might as well use it, so I tried mushing it up. Well as you can imagine this didn’t work out, and let’s just say the whole thing was a disaster!

So, on to the rest of the ingredients… after adding pineapple juice to the cocktail (nope this just wasn’t right) and then a splash of lemon juice (this wasn’t too bad, but just felt neither here nor there really) it just seemed like nothing was really working so far – until I tried the elderflower…

I love Elderflower cordial any way, and it just seemed like the right type of flavour to go with a gin cocktail – plus at this point I was really running low on options – so luckily, after trying a few different combinations, the obvious winner was Elderflower. I used about 20ml of my other half’s extremely tasty handmade elderflower cordial that he made a few months ago (you can pick this up cheaply at most supermarkets too) I know this isn’t the most ‘out there’ twist I could have gone with for this cocktail, but it really did taste great so I was more than happy with the outcome. I also added a sprinkle of flowers from the garden, including jasmine and daisies to really make the drink look special!

I had so much fun experimenting this weekend! If you’re a fan of cocktails yourself, definitely check out the large selection of recipes available at thebar.com for some fab summer cocktail inspiration. I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post is sponsored by thebar.com

Beauty: Real Techniques Powder Bleu Brush Collection #PowderBleu

Posted on August 1, 2017

Hi Guys!

It seems like a really long time since I’ve mentioned Real Techniques on the blog – as in years. Even though I actually use their standard brushes quite frequently, it’s been a while since they’ve launched any products that have caught my eye – so I was really excited when I heard about their brand new Powder Bleu collection…

The Powder Bleu range of brushes have been specifically designed by Real Techniques to apply, blend, buff and set powders without disturbing the make-up underneath. They have the signature Real Techniques long sleek handles, similar to the Bold Metals range, but this time the colour-way is navy blue, bleeding into black for an ombre effect on the brush handles.

You probably wouldn’t have guessed, but this brush collection is in fact based on blue squirrel hair, which is known for its fine filaments, luxurious softness, and flawless powder application. It’s said to be quite rare, and used in only the most expensive makeup brushes. Real Techniques have re-created their own synthetic version of blue squirrel hair with their new FauxBleu™ Technology – they promise their synthetic bristles perform just as well as the real thing.

Starting with the B05 Soft Kabuki Brush (£25.00) – This super large kabuki brush has been designed to buff and blend powders into the skin, anywhere on the face and body. The handle is solid and easy to hold, and the bristles are super soft. Personally for me I find this a little too large for use on the face, but it’s perfect for buffing in both bronzer and highlighter on the neck, chest and shoulders.

Next the Plush Powder Puff (£12.00) – This soft, velvety powder puff has been designed to help tap on just the right amount of powder to set any makeup look. Again this is pretty large, but it’s also flexible so I don’t mind the size. The finish is amazingly soft, almost like velvet, and it does a great job of pressing loose powder into the skin for both baking and setting your makeup.

And now on to the brushes, from left to right above starting with the B03 Soft Complexion Brush (£22.00) – this brush has a domed, soft yet dense head that has been designed specifically to blend and buff powder foundation into skin for buildable, customizable shine-free coverage.

Next the B01 Soft Powder Brush (£22.00) has has a large tapered head and is perfect for applying powder bronzers and highlighters, as well as loose powder foundations and finishing powders. Again as this is quite a large brush, it will work really well on both the face and body.

The B04 Soft Shadow Brush (£15.00) is the only eyeshadow brush in the collection. This is perfect for layering and blending out powder eye shadows. The long soft bristles help to gently spread powder eyeshadow while blending it into the skin for a naturally diffused look. You can also use this brush for applying more detailed powder highlighter to smaller areas of the face such as the brow bone, tip of the nose, or chin.

And lastly the B02 Soft Finishing Brush (£22.00) – this is very much like a mini version of the B01 Soft Powder Brush, but this time with a small tapered head. This brush is perfect for sweeping on powder blush or highlighter without upsetting any product underneath. This brush is just the right size to apply a light cheek contour too.

The Real Techniques Powder Bleu Collection is available now exclusively at Boots.

I hope you enjoyed my post xxx

This post contains press samples