Review – Microcell Nail Care

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One of the best parts of being a beauty blogger is getting to find out about new brands that you’ve not heard of before. So when I was asked if I would like try some nail products from Microcell I jumped at the chance.

This brand is very popular in Germany but is only just being introduced to the UK. It offers nail repair products that are calcium and seaweed infused along with acetone-free removers, professional and safe files, at-home gel polishes (no lamp needed) and the first nail colours to repair your nails as you wear them.

I tried the products out on my very poorly nails. (They’ve suffered from the cold weather and my being a bit run down after a bout of flu.) I started with the Mineral Nail File. I didn’t really understand the value of using this type of file before but I read that “Micro fine minerals fill the tiniest cracks on nails and seal rough, brittle nail edges. This prevents moisture from penetrating them, stops further damage to the nails, and even allows rough varnished nails to be smoothed without damaging the varnish near the edges.” All that benefit just from the nail file. This was beginning to look interesting!

Next I used the Nail Repair as a base coat. This promises beautiful strong nails in 2-3 weeks. It strengthens nails and protects the tips against tearing and splintering.Microcell1

Then I applied the fun bit which was the gorgeous Colour Repair polish. It went on smoothly and was opaque in one coat. I put on two coats out of habit. This unique nail beauty solution is the first quick-drying varnish which also strengthens the nails. It’s enriched with silicon, calcium, green alga and a unique Diamond-Gloss.

I finished off with a top coat of Nail Wonder. What’s wondrous about it? Here’s what they say:

  • Used as a quick-drying product Nail Wonder dries nails at lightning speed
  • As a top coat sealant Nail Wonder increases the shine of varnished nails and extends the durability of freshly varnished nails
  • As a colour freshener Nail Wonder leaves your nails looking freshly varnished again
  • As a groove & ridge filler Nail Wonder fills out to smooth the nail plate
  • As clear varnish Nail Wonder protects against aggressive external influences and gives the nails a brilliant shine.

What did I think. Well I’m pretty rubbish at applying nail products but this range made it easy. It dried to a great shine and guess what I wore it for 5 days before it chipped! I can’t say that about any product I’ve used before.

Just love it! Would like to see a bigger colour range but I’m sure they’re working on that.

Hazel

These products were gifted to me for review  but the opinions are my own and were not prescribed.

Product Launches – La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL & Skinchecker Campaign

PicMonkey CollageIt’s always a treat to be invited to La Roche-Posay events. But this one was special because along with the drinks, food, bloggers and beauty products there was an important message to share and an invitation to become a Skinchecker.

I wanted to share the message with you and encourage you to take better care of your skin and to actively monitor your and your loved ones moles. This video is one of the cutest I’ve seen and I make no apologies for sharing it. Enjoy!

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So, onto the amazing La Roche-Posay products that all of us bloggers love! The Anthelios XL range is very high protection and is specifically designed for sensitive skin. I was really interested to learn about the products as I burn easily and I need to find suitable skin care for my  trip to Marrakech

We heard that LaRoche-Posay have added three new products to the range this season. These are Anthelios Comfort Cream SPF30 and the Anthelios BB Tinted Comfort Cream SPF50 with the key ingredient Baicalin. The Comfort Cream provides moisture and the BB Tinted Comfort Cream is specifically developed for sensitive skin to moisturise, soothe, illuminate and unify.

For new family members they have introduced Anthelios Dermo Paediatric – a baby lotion with SPF 50+.

It’s fair to say that I won’t have the opportunity to try out many of the products that I was generously gifted until the sun comes out – and in London I could be waiting some time.  But I promise to hit you with some reviews as soon as I get the chance.

Oh and you may have seen a glimpse of the super balloons that were tied to each goodie bag. They were dalmatians and when a stream of bloggers left the event along Oxford Street it was quite a sight to see so many of them bobbing along to kick off the Skinchecker campaign!

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links.

Product Launches – Dermalogica Power Bright & Redness Relief Primer

PicMonkey CollageThe first thing that impressed me when I went to Dermalogica at One New Change this week was the poster that said “This is not a beauty product. This is an investment in your skin”. I think that this is what’s different about Dermalogica.  Their products aren’t the kind you buy because you just have to add them to your beauty “collection”. You buy them because they provide real solutions to skin concerns.

I was treated to a skin analysis session and got recommendations for my skin, had lots of prosecco and even had my tarot cards read but the star of the show was the new Power Bright TRx range.

This is a concise range of three leave on treatment products to work on brown spots, discolouration and uneven skin tone. Power Bright TRx contains powerful ingredients such as Oligopepetides, Niacinamide and Zinc Glycinate to help control melanin formation and hyperpigmentation and exfoliating agents such as Pumpkin enzyme to smooth skin, enhance skin tone and eliminate dark spots. Natural plant spheres filled with sunscreens allow for increased SPF performance to help protect against future hyperpigmentation.

The range consists of C-12 Pure Bright Serum, Pure Light SPF 50  and Pure Night. I’ve just tried the 3 products for the first time and  last night, I touched my face and was really surprised at how velvety soft it felt! So that’s just the start. I’ll review the products for a week or two and then let you have my thoughts on the longer term effects.

The other product launched at the event was the Redness Relief Primer. The Redness Relief Primer is an SPF 20 primer that also provides relief for sensitive skin. It counteracts signs of redness, smooths skin and shields it from UV rays.

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Now I do have a  tendency for redness (especially after a glass or two of wine) so I was interested to see how this green tinted product would work. I’ve tried it a couple of times so far but I’ll give a full review along with my reviews of the Power Bright products.

So that’s it for now. Look out for my reviews and do let me know if you try the products yourself!

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links. The products were gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own and are not prescribed.

Scents for Summer

Summer Show 5This week has been a complete whirlwind for me. It all started last Saturday with the news that I need to move house after more than 20 years living in the same place.  That sent me into a spin with flat hunting and work taking up most of the week. Throwing three beauty events into the mix set me a few challenges but I’ve survived it through and having put in an offer on a new place to live I’ve found a bit of head space to sit down to tell you a bit about the first event I attended this week which was the KGA Summer Show.

KGA are PR for some of the most amazing brands and so expectations were high as I arrived at the Ice Tank, the event space that was to be the venue for the show. There was a warm welcome as always as well as an open fire for us to gather round. The mantelpiece was the place where all the home fragrances, candles and oils were displayed.

PicMonkey Collage

We were treated to a run through and some history behind all the summer fragrances and I was in heaven. As I was talked through fragrances from Bulgari to Terry de Gunzberg and from Issey Miyake to Jimmy Choo I found some of the scents were already familiar to me like the stunning Elie Saab Resort Collection  that looks like a glimpse of the Amalfi coast and the opulent Van Cleef & Arpels Aqua Oriens which I’ve reviewed here.

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Others were tantalising and new and sometimes surprising. Each new scent was introduced to me with a potted history of the creator or designer and the concept behind it. It was a little bit like being in a lab with a great story-teller. The haunting story of the man who is Serge Lutens and his Black Collection Religieuse will stay with me for a long time. Think dark tales with a hint of  incense.

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I’m such a sucker for beautiful packaging that I fell for the story and concept behind Bulgari Aqua Divina even before I smelled the truly divine Bulgari Aqua DivinaThe jewel bottle pays tribute to Boticelli’s Venus with the bottle cap shaped to be the perfect shell. The fragrance has salty bergamot and pink ginger, magnolia and solar quince with bees-wax and amber to give a heady scent reminiscent of sea, sun and summer.

 bulgariI was given a beautiful notebook fto use during the event and found myself scribbling down the names of every new and exciting scent I tried. In addition to Bulgari Aqua Divina my list looked like this:

  • Van Cleef and Arpels Reve Enchante – a version of the original aimed at a younger audience with a sweet candy-like edge.
  • Agent Provocateur Fatal Intense an intense, seductive and sensual red version of the black original with liquorice, spicy chillies, lotus and blossom, with black leather, vanilla and amber – a potent mix.
  • Annick Goutal L’Ile Au The – the quirky smelling elegantly presented delight from Annick Goutal that contains mandarin, green tea, osmanthus and white musk. I have to say it smelt like a cup of green tea!

Some of the fragrances are yet to launch and one was even embargoed! I hope that I haven’t captured it in my photos of the show or I’ll be in trouble!

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It was such a lovely evening with such delightful discoveries set amid a wonderland of blossom and butterflies – that was the KGA Summer Show!

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Hope you liked this little glimpse into what I selected as my favourites and apologies if I’ve missed any of your favourite perfumiers. I’m sure that I’ll cover them in the future!

What fragrances are you most excited about trying? I’d love to hear.

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links.

Review – Narciso Rodriguez – For Her

Narciso

Narciso Rodriguez is a brand that has only just come on to my radar recently with the launch of Narciso – I know, I’m a bad blogger, well maybe not bad but just imperfect.

So when I was lucky enough to receive this little bundle of goodies in the post as a mother’s day treat I was so happy. It all looks so chic and feminine even though the bottle for the Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau De Toilette is black. I think that the combination of the delicate pink box with black is really chic.

They say:

Narcisco Rodruiguez For Her eau de toilette. An elegant, sensual, mysterious and delicate fragrance. Three notes enhance the heart of musk: floral, amber and woody notes. A bottle with a black interior is set off by clean, pure lines. A soft-pink box. ”

For me, in addition to the chic classic look, I found the fragrance to be feminine, delicate, a little candy like but not too sweet. I think it’s the perfect fragrance for me to wear today on as I celebrate being a Mum – I mean what greater symbol of femininity is there than being a Mum. I love it and the cute pink candle is set to be lit for dinner. Perfect.

If you would like to try this gorgeous fragrance or buy it for someone special in your life then the Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau De Toilette costs £51 here and the  Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau De Parfum is £58 here.

Did you receive any fragrances or give any for Mother’s Day? Which did you choose?

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links

Face Oil Review Series – Decleor Aromessence Iris Rejuvenating Serum

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So this is the third in my series about facial oils and the last one, for now at least. You may have read my previous posts about Trilogy and Manuka Doctor which I’ve been trying recently. But this Decleor Aromessence Iris Rejuvenating Serum had me really excited from the off. Let me explain why, I’d heard a lot about the brand before I started blogging but hadn’t seen the products on the high street so didn’t pay too much attention. Then I went to the Professional Beauty Show just over a year ago and watched a Decleor demonstration and was really impressed by the brand and found out a lot more about the its origins.

Strangely enough though I still haven’t tried a single thing from Decleor despite having been very tempted several times by QVC offers!

So I think that I set the bar rather high and was expecting a lot. They say:

“Decléor Aromessence Iris Concentrate is an elixir of 100% pure and natural essential oils specially formulated for the daily care of mature skin. Thanks to its natural affinity with the skin, this unique skin care product penetrates upon application to tone and energise your skin. It also redefines the facial contours and softens the signs of aging. Aromessence Iris Concentrate is the quickest and most direct beauty routine available to offer daily protection against the undesirable signs of ageing.”

How was it for me? Well, as I’ve said before, I try not to read the claims of the brand’s marketing blurb before I try the product. So I started off with a clean slate to form an opinion. The first application of the serum was so lovely because the smell is amazing! This is something that was missing from the other two oils that I tried. The oil sinks in quickly and I applied it night and day without getting any feeling of greasiness.

I suppose that it’s hard to give a definitive view of how a product  improves or affects your skin when over a long period of time you use a number of different products combined to work on your skin t make it the best it can be – and this is particularly true for bloggers who find favourite products every other day. But what I can say is that when I looked in the bathroom mirror last night, when all my make-up and products had been removed I did thought straight away that my skin was looking fresh and quite toned. So I’m pretty impressed with it.

If you’d like to immerse your senses in the wonderful scent and feel of Decleor Aromessence Iris Rejuvenating Serum then you’ll find it here priced £55.00.

Have your tied any of the oils I’ve reviewed? Or any other facial oils? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links. The products were gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own and are not prescribed.

SkinPep® Eye Lift Growth Factor Serum

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Over the last 10 days I’ve been trialling SkinPep® Eye Lift Growth Factor Serum. You’ll know from past posts that this is a brand that I really rate on results. (You can read them here and here).

This product is for day and night application and they say:

SkinPep® Eye Lift Serum may support collagen and elastin in skin cells to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the delicate eye area.

  • COMBATS DARK CIRCLES AND PUFFINESS*
    Improved cosmetic appearance of the skin around the eyes.
  • MAXIMUM ANTIOXIDANT PROTECTION*
    With Vitamins; A (Retinol), C, E and Botanical Extracts.
  • REDUCE APPEARANCE OF WRINKLES
    Improved cosmetic appearance of skin.
  • OPTIMISED SKIN FIRMNESS
    May support the natural process of collagen synthesis. May support skin texture and elasticity. May support skin smoothness and tightness. 

I kind of like the way they talk. They don’t make rash claims they can’t keep. They don’t promise over night miracles. The consistency of this serum is really light. It’s not at all greasy and is quite watery (in a good way) and sinks in fast. I can’t see an instant lift as I have with some eye products but I don’t think that this is what we’re looking for here. I think it’s hard to assess improvement over such a short time but will keep using it till it’s done, because it feels like it’s doing good. Is that enough to make me repurchase? I’m not sure but watch this space.

If you’d like to try it in the meantime then you can buy it here  7ml tube : £14.99 15ml bottle : £24.99

Hazel

This product was gifted to me for review but the opinions are my own and not prescribed.

(More) Holiday Planning

So now I’ve actually booked my holiday. I did it via Expedia – brilliant service – nothing too much trouble. And I’m going to Marrakech. So now I’m starting to get more of a feel for the things that I might need. The kind of clothes, what kind of temperatures and weather I’m dealing with etc.

So I got to thinking about the effects of swimming and the sun on my hair and remembered this amazing shampoo and conditioner that I’ve tried before. To be honest I’ve not found any hair products that live up to these since. What am I talking about? Well it’s the Phytoplage Rehydrating Shampoo (£13.50) and the Phytoplage After Sun Recovery Mask (£16.00). I’ve reviewed them both here.

Phytoplage prize (2)

In fact, the whole range is worth a try. Although it’s not cheap it’s money well spent if it saves your hair from damage.

Thinking about make-up on holiday I’m always torn between the bare face look and wanting to look human. That reminded me of the BB Cream that I wore a lot last summer which is the Balance Me Skin Perfector BB Cream SPF25. It costs £26.00 so it’s not cheap but it’s 99% natural and among other things contains abyssinian and rosehip oils, blackberry leaf extract,  hyaluronic acid, spruce knot, lotus flower and violet seed extracts.

Balance Me BB Natural Perfection SPF25 - NaturalYou’ll find a full review here - I think that this is definitely something I’ll take along for the ride.

What makes me worry about packing now that I’ve got a make-up obsession is how am I possibly going to take everything I need. That got me thinking about if there is a palette that would be suitable. That’s led me to take a long hard look at the Urban Decay Naked On The Run travel ready kit. Now, I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t own anything by Urban Decay, apart from the odd sample. But this little kit seems to cover almost everything I need.

On the run

What You Get:

Eyeshadow: Dive (metallic rose w/golden micro-shimmer), Fix (soft taupe matte), Resist (medium metallic taupe), Dare (medium brown matte), Stun (metallic bronze w/light gold micro-shimmer) and 5050 (cool bisque satin). Bronzer: medium bronze matte. Blush: vibrant pink w/light shimmer. Perversion Mascara: blackest black. 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil: Stag (deep brown satin). Naked Lipgloss: Sesso (rose w/pink shimmer).

Now this isn’t cheap but we know it’s good – at least that’s what all you fellow bloggers tell me! It costs £37.00 here.

I’ve been giving some thought to clothing too. And you’ll know from my recent post on fragrance (here) that I’m loving the concept of mediterranean blue seas. I had a dress years ago that I loved which was kind of ombre with shades of blue that I’d love to buy again. I don’t find shopping too easy being plus size but that doesn’t stop me liking stuff that won’t fit either my size or my age. Still, I had to just add in this Agate Placement Skirt that I saw in Jigsaw on the Kings Road this week. It’s totally inappropriate for the holiday and out of my budget as well as not being in my size but I love it!

Buy Jigsaw Agate Placement Skirt, Teal Online at johnlewis.com

They say:

“Distinctive skirt beautifully crafted in pure silk with exclusive-to-Jigsaw Agate print. Overstated inverted-front pleat detail, midi length and concealed zip closure. We’re in awe of this artistic print which was hand-painted in-house by our design team.”

If it up you street you can buy it here for £159.

So, I guess I’ve got a little further with my planning, Not much further though – it’s a good job there’s plenty of time before I go. I may actually get a little more organised with a check list that I could share with you. Or maybe you have one that you could share?

Hope to hear your thoughts on holiday planning soon.

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links.

Review – L’Erbolario Narciso Sublime Bath Foam

Just at the end of 2014 I introduced you to the Italian brand L’Erbolario. Well now that spring is in the air I’ve been taking a look at their Narciso Sublime range.

The range has a fresh floral and dark green fragrance. I was lucky enough to try out the  Bath Foam (£12.50).150107 Narciso

They say:

“The spring-like notes of Narcissus are released by this bath foam which gently cleanses even the most sensitive skin. It contains toning and softening extracts of Narcissus flowers and Narcissus distilled water, combined with almond oil surfactants and oat amino acids.”

For me the fragrance was an indefinable “spring” smell that was subtle and fresh. It foamed nicely and left my skin feeling soft. Of course, frequent readers will know that packaging is one of my favourite aspects of beauty products and I’m not disappointed. How stunning is that box?

The range is understated and elegant and also includes:

  • Eau de Parfum – £27.50
  • Body Cream – £24.50
  • Smoothing Body Oil – £19.00
  • Cream Talc – £15.50
  • Perfumed Soap – £5.00
  • Perfumed Candle – £13.00

All or any of these will make a perfect Mother’s Day gift. They are available at L’Erbolario store at 106A Upper Street, London, N1 or visit www.erbolario.co.uk

Face Oil Review Series – Manuka Doctor Replenishing Face Oil

Manuka Doctor

So this is the second of my reviews on face oils. The first was on the Trilogy Rosehip Oil which I loved.

This week I’ve been trialling Manuka Doctor Replenishing Face OilThis award-winning oil is from a brand that I’ve heard a lot about and never tried until now. I mean Manuka is that honey that costs a fortune right? Well that’s about all I knew till now.

They say:

“A replenishing facial oil rich in powerful plant extracts designed to visibly revitalise and restore radiance. Omega rich oils help regain suppleness and elasticity by protecting moisture levels of the skin to help prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Skin feels silky smooth and appears more moisturised and luminous.”

I’ve found that this oil is easily absorbed into my skin. It’s slightly more dense than the Trilogy one but I wouldn’t describe it as at all heavy. My skin feels taut and dewy and not greasy. I did have a couple of small breakouts around my nose during the week but they came and went within the space of a day so I don’t think I can attribute them to Manuka Doctor and it may even be the reason that they went away so quickly!

If you would like to try out this brand the Manuka Doctor Replenishing Face Oil is just £15.99 at present (a saving of £4 on the RRP).

So what do you think so far? Are you tempted to try any facial oils? I’ve just started the Decleor trial today. So watch out for the third in my series very soon.

Hazel

This post contains affiliate links. The product was gifted to me for review. The opinions are my own and weren’t prescribed.