Father’s Day Fragrance Picks (and treats for Mum too!)

Father’s Day is mostly a non-event for me, as there are no Dads in my close family. But I know that a lot of you have a special someone to spoil and that’s why I’ve picked out a couple of gorgeous fragrances to give on Father’s Day on Sunday 21 June (in the UK that is).

My first pick is one that I spotted way back in March at the KGA Summer ShowIt’s Montblanc Emblem Intense. I was so impressed how it looks and feels first of all. It’s heavy metallic and so so classy. This is a real grown up fragrance for a confident and self-assured man. Stunning!

Mont Blanc Emblem Intense

They say:

“From the world-renowned luxury brand comes a fragrance for a man who is elegant, refined and determinedly independent.

A woody, oriental, spicy fragrance, EMBLEM INTENSE opens with explosive notes of grapefruit, sage and cardamom. Violet leaves and nutmeg form the intense and graceful heart, while precious woods and tonka beans unveil an exquisitely masculine drydown. The bottle’s rich metallic coating and star detail echo the extraordinary craftsmanship of every Montblanc creation and encapsulate the cool masculinity of the fragrance within.

  • Top notes: Coriander, Clary sage, Grapefruit, Cardamom
  • Middle notes: Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Rose, Apple, Violet leaf
  • Base notes: Suede, Tonka bean, Patchouli, Woody notes”

It currently retails from around £45 here

My alternative choice is a fresher, lighter fragrance but still very masculine. It’s L’Eau D’Issey Pour HommeAgain a classic presentation that echoes the conical shape of the women’s fragrance.

Issey Miyake Homme7They say:

L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme by Issey Miyake is a fresh, vibrant and elegantly timeless fragrance with a very masculine signature.

This innovative spicy and woody citrus fragrance has earned a faithful following. Its success is attributable to its freshness, along with a very masculine signature and affirmed character. It has made a name for itself as a unique and elegant reference in the world of men’s fragrance. With its power and delicate balance, this wonderful scent goes straight to the essentials.

  • Top notes: Yuzu, tarragon, mandarin orange, cypress, coriander, calone, lemon, bergamot, sage, lemon verbena
  • Heart notes: Saffron, bourbon geranium, ceylon cinnamon, mignonette, blue lotus, lily-of-the-valley
  • Base notes: Amber, cedar, sandalwood, musk, Tahitian vetiver, tobacco”

This one currently retails at around £39.oo here.

But ladies, when you’re treating your man it would be a shame not to treat yourself too wouldn’t it! So I’ve got in mind a couple of treats that might just hit the spot for you. First up is Van Cleef & Arpels Reve Enchante – it’s so pretty feminine and dreamy. It’s a class act for sure! And that beautiful butterfly brooch in the picture is a broVancleef Reve Enchanteeoch by Van Cleef & Arpels too. That’s of course if you have serious ££££ to spend!

They say:

“A poetic reinterpretation of the original Rêve fragrance, Rêve Enchanté is an invitation to take a dawn stroll through the most luscious garden imaginable.

Luminous top notes of pear and neroli give way to a sparkling heart of velvety peach blossom and water jasmine in this floral, fruity eau de parfum. The fragrance is inspired by the wind blowing through a blossoming cherry tree, scattering a shower of petals to the ground.

  • Key notes: pear, neroli, peach blossom and water jasmine”

Magical. It retails from £50 here.

And finally also on the jewellery inspired note I’ve chosen Boucheron QuatreI’ve got a travel size version (pictured) and even that is so carefully crafted just like the jewels (you’ll see that the cap is designed to look like a pair of rings) and the scent is divine.

Boucheron Quatre2

They say:

“Elegant yet daring, the Boucheron Quatre Eau de Parfum is an ode to unique and masterful design.

The fragrance for women is an olfactory tribute to one of Boucheron’s most iconic pieces of jewellery, the Quatre ring, which perfectly captures the duality of modernity and heritage of Maison Boucheron. The result is an aroma of brilliance, revealing the strength of character of those who wear it.

Quatre opens with a smooth and chic medley of bitter orange and green tangerine. In the heart, a floral rendition of jasmine, rose and petalia is enlivened with the juice of wild strawberry, before a sublimated base of golden woods, cashmeran and musk envelops skin in warmth.

Top Notes: Bitter Orange, Red Currant, Green Tangerine

Heart Notes: Wild Strawberry, Jasmine, Rose, Petalia

Base Notes: Golden Woods, Cedar, Cashmeran, Musk”

It retails from £39.00 here.

I hope that you’ve been inspired either to buy that Father’s Day gift or to treat yourself, or maybe a Mum that does the job of Mum and Dad and deserves a treat!

Are any of these your favourites or on your wish list? Let me know in the comments box below.


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

Discovering Zeen Luxury Beauty


I wanted to tell you about this new brand, Zeen. Their first product, Zeen Face & Body Oil, is a natural and organic argan oil from Morocco. Ah Morocco! There seems to be a bit of a theme to my life recently. I had no sooner got my holiday booked to Marrakech, than I discovered Zeen.

I have to say that although I’ve seen a lot of products that contain argan oil in some shape or form, I didn’t really know much about its beauty benefits. I’ve now learned that it contains vitamin E renowned for protecting skin against premature aging, sun damage and pollution. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants that are quickly absorbed into the skin to improve moisture, elasticity and skin firmness.

So, it seemed like something that I should be looking at more carefully and I’ve been trying it out over the last few weeks. I decided that I would try out Zeen for at least a week. Although, I was informed  that I’d need to try it out for longer to get a true understanding of all its benefits and I thought ah well, let’s see, if it’s any good I might use it for longer but I’m not making any promises.

So what did I think? The first thing I have to say is that I really love the way Zeen is presented. It’s in a heavy glass bottle and it sprays on just like a scent bottle. In fact it’s so pretty it’s sitting alongside all my favourite perfumes on display in my bedroom.


The product is marketed as being suitable for face and body but I had a target area for it which was my shins. They were dry and flaky and no matter what body lotion I tried, and believe me I’d tried a few, they just didn’t have any lasting effect. So mindful of the advice to try it for a few weeks to get the full effect, I wasn’t expecting too much. So I applied it all over after a shower but concentrated particularly on my shins. And then….well I’m just so impressed, after just one application the dry skin disappeared! And it hasn’t come back. I mean, I don’t even have to apply it every day the effect was instant and long lasting. So I have to say I didn’t need to try Zeen for a few weeks – not even one week – just one application and I was sold.

If you’d like to get your hands on this award winning product it’s currently stocked in Fortnum & Mason, and from Love Lula and directly from zeenforever.com

Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below.


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

Discovering Aesthetics – Ultherapy


My recent visit to the Four Seasons Hotel in London’s Mayfair was a triple-first for me.

The first time I’ve been to the Four Seasons Hotel:


The first time I’ve seen a rainbow over London from a 10th Floor Balcony:

london rainbow 3

And the first time I’ve attended a press event for an aesthetic procedure – Ultherapy:

ultherapy machine

I was invited to this beautiful venue to hear from Doctor Tracy Mountford who is the founder and medical director of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic. She’s a qualified doctor and the founder member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine. She spoke to us about the Ultherapy Procedure.


Here’s what I learned. Ultherapy is a non-surgical treatment that uses the body’s own regenerative response to gently lift skin on the eye-brow, under the chin and on the neck. It also smooth lines and wrinkles on the decolletage.

Ultherapy Treatment Zones

It uses ultrasound imaging to alow practitioners to see the layers of tissue that they are treating and the ultrasound energy is targeted to deliver just the right amount of energy at the right depth and temperature. The energy triggers a natural response under the skin to produce new collagen.

I discovered that  key benefits are that it’s non-invasive and takes only about 30-90 minutes to administer. You don’t need any downtime after the treatment and you can see measurable results after a single procedure. The results aren’t immediate,  as the results develop over 2-3 months. It’s not intended to replace a face lift but it can be a good alternative if you’re not ready for surgery.

Ultherapy  neck treatment - Before & after

There was a lot of discussion about what the procedure felt like and whether it was painful or not. Some of the audience had heard it was painful, whereas others who had tried it before said it was uncomfortable but not painful.

So after a look out on the balcony which began with the rainbow photo and ended with a clap of thunder which made us all run inside (and after an encounter with a man in a toilet which had a see through glass door – I’ll tell you about that another time} I was invited to test it out.  I didn’t have a full treatment, but a short session. I had some gel put on my cheek so that ultrasound imaging would show the layers of skin. (This part is the same as when you have an ultrasound scan during pregnancy.) I was told that I have a thick dermis. Apparently this is a good thing. Then I had a few “shots” of treatment. It’s hard to describe what it felt like, maybe a little like a prick with needle so it’s sharp but not long-lasting. It didn’t leave any mark or redness. Although I can imagine that with several hundred of those “shots” of energy all over your face it might feel a little more uncomfortable.

So what did I think over all – well I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t have any aesthetic treatments but the results look pretty good, not drastic but giving a fresher lifted look. Will I give it a try? I haven’t quite decided yet. So watch this space. If I do, then you’ll here about it here first.

You can read more about the procedure, and book appointments here.

What do you think about aesthetics? Have you had Ultherapy? Would you have any non-invasive or even invasive procedures? Or have you had them already? I’d love to hear all about them. I’ll respond to all your comments.


Anti-Ageing Beauty Show Olympia 2015

PicMonkey Collage

Shows at Olympia are always buzzing with stuff to try, people to see and goodies to buy. This year’s Anti-Ageing Show did not disappoint. On entering the press room I walked past a lady having her make-up touched up to talk to the Nu Skin representative and try out some of the products. Then I realised just who was sitting there – it was Glynis Barber getting ready to speak on stage about her new book and diet plan! I tried to be calm but inside I wanted to say – you were great in Dempsey & Makepeace! We listened to her speak on stage for a while and then moved on – too tempted by all the stands with glorious products to try.

I was tempted by the look of the Moyou nail art stand and couldn’t resist having my nails stamped. Such great products – I was so impressed!

I looked at so many different products but some of the products and people stood out more than others. I stopped at the Zelens stand to say hello to Jorden who I’d tweeted before but never met. Sh told me so much about Dr.Zelens and how the brand was developed. And it all looked so gorgeous especially the new make-up range. I wanted to bring it all home!

I’m a bit of a magpie and when I saw how pretty the Ginvera stand was I just had to stop by. I found out a lot about the brand and once again wanted to bring everything home with me!

I really learned and saw so much in just a couple of hours to write here and if you get a chance to go yourself next year then I would definitely recommend you go.

I was fortunate enough to be gifted some great products to try, and here are a few peeks at some of them and of course you will hear more about them in reviews on the blog in the future!

Epoch Baobab Body Butter


Ginvera BB Cream


Nuskin Day Cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream, Serum and Cleanser


ageLOC Truface Essence Ultra


I also got samples from Dr Janka and spoke to lots of other gifted and enthusiastic people. Did you go to the show? What was your favoutite find? I’d love to hear from you. Look out for my reviews of some of finds soon.


Colour Explosion Beauty Blogger Event

PicMonkey Collage

This week I was invited to a blogger event that showcased some brands that I hadn’t tried before that included Premae and MDMFlow and was hosted by make-up artist, beautician and blogger Abbie May Hopkins.

The journey to Whiteley’s where the Premae store is wasn’t great, it was pouring with rain and I was dressed for summer, with no umbrella and to top it all I got a bit lost on the way. Still I got such a warm welcome there that it made it all worth while.

I started off by being colour matched for foundation and saw that there was a really great colour range from lightest tapioca to darkest sarsaparilla.

Then I was almost tempted to take a bite from a cup cake that turned out to be a bathbomb from Stvdio 5 ! So I swiftly moved onto look at the gorgeous and very colourful lipsticks from MDMFlow.

I was very lucky to be able to meet the beauty and brains behind the brands which are as unique and special as they are. They were also very generous in letting me bring home a gorgeous goodie bag.

Here’s a glimpse of some of what was in the bag, excluding the yummy popcorn from Proper Corn and the Magnificent Mango from Urban Fruit. (You guessed it they were just too good to resist and I ate them before I had time to photograph them!)

Eye Shadow from Fashion Fair in Suede and Nude

fashion fair

MDMflow tester in Bossy


Premae Radiance Boost Cleansing Oil


Stvdio Natural Bath Bomb


You’ll get the chance to read more from me about these brand when I’ve had the chance to try them out so do look out for them. Have you tried any of these brands before? Tell me what you think in the comments box below.


Strand On Beauty’s top 10 posts from the last 30 days – April/May 2015

It’s been such a long time since I’ve done one of these posts. I always love to review my work and see what you’ve loved reading the most. It’s particularly interesting to see that it isn’t almost the most recent work that keeps you following. So here’s the countdown!


Review – Rene Furterer Lissea Hair Products



Boots No7 Beautifully Matte Make Up Base – Review

No7 Beautifully Matte Make Up Base


Review – Burberry Kisses Lip Colour

Burberry Kisses



Latest reviews – W7 makeup

W7 make up 2


April 2015 Empties

face oil2


First Thoughts – Vichy Purete Thermale Beautifying Cleansing Micellar Oil & Vichy LiftActiv Supreme


So that’s it! What kind of posts do you like to read the most? Would love to hear from you. I always reply.


This post contains affiliate links

Review – Ayo Salute the Sun Body Cleanser

Most of you probably kAyo Body Cleansernow that I spend an awful lot of time on Twitter. And I expect that many of you also get a little tired of me retweeting giveaways but now and then I win some gorgeous prizes like this Ayo Salute the Sun Body Cleanser.

I have to admit that I didn’t really read the directions about how to use this product. I thought that it was probably just shower gel and have been using it in the same way. Now that I’m writing the review I thought I’d find out a bit more about it.

Apparently I was supposed to put some of the cleanser onto a polishing cloth and starting at my feet massage it in circular movements, working my way up towards my heart. Sounds like a  bit of a faff to me! So like I said I used it like a shower gel and it was just lovely.

They say:

This luxurious lathering body cleanser nourishes and moisturises, leaving the skin hydrated and nourished as it cleanses.The beautiful formulation contains highly active and precious ingredients to soothe and condition skin, leaving it silky soft.  This gently foaming cleanser revitalises whilst Kigelia and Aloe Vera hydrates, moisturises, conditions and beautifully softens the skin”

If you’d like to try this delightfully fragranced body cleanser you can find it here priced £16.00.

Discovering Ruby Cosmetics

Ruby cosmetics

I’ve just discovered this super little brand called Ruby Cosmetics. Its based in Blackpool and was started  in 2010 by Sophie Craig. It specialises in own-brand high quality cosmetics, including eyebrow make-up, lip gloss and eye-shadows.


Their Eyebrow Make-Up, Picture Perfect Brows comes with stencils to create  perfect brows. There is a choice of colours to suit your colouring. You only need to apply Picture Perfect Brows once.  The high quality ingredients giving you up to 24 hours, wear. They are water proof, smudge proof and sweat proof.

Smokey eyeshadow kit

smoky eyes

The Shades of Perfection – Smoky Eyeshadow Kit makes it easy to create a smokey look for day or night. There are four colours, and easy to follow instructions with a double ended applicator.


The Hollywood Shimmer Lip Gloss comes in three glamorous shimmery colours. It’s easy to apply and non-sticky.

I tried the charcoal brow colour with three of the smokey eye shades. I gave the black a miss as it’s a little dark for my colouring. I finished off the Ruby look with a slick of red lip gloss. It was a lovely evening look and those brows didn’t come off until I took my face off at the end of the day.

If you want to find out more then here’s where to look – rubycosmetics.co.uk

Dermalogica & Sodastream Event – Working together to hydrate the nation

Dermalogica Sodastream

When ever I get an invite to a Dermalogica event I know I’m in for a treat. I’ve said before that I love how they think with their “this is not a beauty product, this is an investment in your skin” attitude.

So when I heard about their collaboration with Sodastream – well I just think it was – it is – inspired! We all know that the key to beauty is better hydration so what better way to achieve that than to combine two ways to hydrate – finding a fun and handy way to drink more water to hydrate from the inside and using top class skin products from Dermalogica to hydrate from the outside and keep your skin that way.

As is the norm at blogger events we had something sparkling to drink – but this time it wasn’t proscecco but refreshing sparking water courtesy of Sodastream. Then we had our faces mapped by the Dermalogica professionals to check for any problem areas. Mine was pretty good, although a little dehydrated.

Fortunately I was gifted some gorgeous hydrating products to test out:

You’ll be hearing from me on how they work in a future review as well as what I think of the Sodastream system.

The Dermalogica/Sodastream collaboration means that you’ll be able to give the whole “Carbonate, Excite, Hydrate” regime a try too.  Throughout June you will be able to purchase a Sodastream Source with a Dermalogica Hydration Skin trial set for £89.99 exclusively at www.sodastream.co.uk 

SodaStream Dermalogica

Have you tried drinking more water to improve your skin? How did you get on? I’d love to hear about it.


This post contains affiliate links.

Review – ARK Skincare

I was introducedARK Primer to ARK  Age Aware Skincare way back at the beginning of my blogging “career”. I liked it straight away but it wasn’t until I found the ARK anti-aging skin protector SPF30 primer that I truly fell in love! You can read about how I discovered it here.  Well, it was such a hit with me that I used up every drop and then as us bloggers do I moved onto the next primer on the review list. Then, just recently I was reminded what an amazing product it was and I’m back to wearing it every day.

But that’s not all from this clever brand. Along with the primer I was sent a trial size of the ARK Lounging Body Butter. This is part of the ARK Home Aromatics range. They’ve developed a range of products using pure essential oil blends that will support and nurture you throughout the day and create an uplifting ambience in your home. There are three uniquely beautiful natural body butterfragrances – Loving, Living and Lounging!

The body butter unusually comes in a tube and not a tub and I can’t lie, this is a lotion and not a butter in consistency – but as far as the effect is concerned – wow! It’s rich and nurturing and the scent is amazing! It contains Bergamot, Orange, Mandarin and Lemon which are refreshing, reviving and nurturing. Neroli, Cedarwood and Patchouli which are calming, grounding and healing and Sandalwood which is softening and anti-inflammatory. What a treat! I can’t wait to try “Living” and “Loving” now!

You can find the ARK range here. Enjoy!


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