Skincare is definitely something that interests me and I absolutely love trying new products and learning about different brands in particular learning about how different ingredients can affect the skin.
My skin suffers from irritation and is normally quite dehydrated so I was excited to try a product that claims to give 200% more hydration than other collagen-based moisturising and provides deep skin hydration.
After cleansing my skin I began to take the mask out of the packet, I'm used to standard cream based masks and have previously used sheet masks (Shu Uemura being a firm favourite) so I found the application of this particular mask to be slightly tricky. I guess because I wasn't used to a gel based mask. But once it was on, it took less than a minute to settle in place and I was able to relax for around 30 minutes (they recommend a max. of 40 mins) The only side note I can make is that I have a relatively small face and found the mask to be quite large in comparison (I guess that's great if you have a slightly larger head, but did mean I had to fold the mask around the edges)
After half an hour I really didn't want to take the mask off, my skin felt so comfortable and hydrated. A feeling when you suffer from dehydration is rare. I was excited to see the results, unlike a conventional mask it was easy to remove, and dispose of. Sometimes I get so frustrated attempting to remove a mask I avoid doing them, but I found the WOW mask to be simple.
Once removed my skin felt great! Really hydrated, blemishes & redness seemed to have calmed down, and my face felt super smooth. I was really impressed with the results.
I would say this mask would be perfect for women / men who are concerned with ageing, as it certainly helps to plump and smooth any fine dry lines in the skin. I can imagine if used regularly would really benefit the skin. Of course the price tag is steep, and in comparison to others I have tried I feel I had similar instant results. It may be that this particular mask is great for the long term benefits. I would definitely love to use these masks again, because they really do feel luxurious.
Have you tried WOW Masks before? What are you favourite face masks?
About a month or so ago I took a trip to my local Lush store (Cardiff Queen Street to be precise), I originally went in on the hunt for a product similar to my beloved Baby face, for those of you who have read my blog / watched my YouTube videos from the early days will know I used to be obsessed with Lush' baby face cleanser. It was a hard round soap that was just beautiful. But like all good products it was discontinued. Oh the shame.
I spoke to a very lovely girl called Anna, who although was not aware of baby face, ensured she got to grips with what it was like, which made me extremely happy. She spoke to her colleague who suggested I tried Ultrabland. A cleanser which is ultra bland. See what I did there. Anna took me upstairs to what I believe is the skin care section of the store, she sat me down and talked me through the products, and explained why it would work for me. She also asked about the rest of my routine and really understood my love for baby face, mainly because of the texture, it was almost oily and melted between your palms similar to their massage bars. So Anna suggested Full of Grace. Full of Grace is a blend of oils, which really does melt into the skin. I also added in Cinders bath bomb into my basket, and it is most definitely my favourite of their christmas scents. It's so warm & lovely.
So what are my thoughts ...
I've been using the Cleanser & Serum for well over a month now, and I absolutely love them both.
Firstly the Ultrabland cleanser is perfect, it removes all of my make up and leaves my skin feeling incredibly fresh and nourished. It's really gentle and a product I've really enjoyed using, so much so I've already repurchased another.
The Full of Grace Serum is beautiful, a really indulgent treat for night time, it really warms to the skin, and calms down any irritation that I may have.
Cinders bath bomb is my go to relaxing bath treat, I love it so much I've stocked up on a couple more, just because I know soon it will be no more as we move away from the festive season. But I love it, it makes me feel like I'm sat next to an open fire, and as the popping candy pops away it reminds me of a crackling fire. Absolutely love!
I must also say the girls at Lush in Cardiff are absolutely wonderful, whenever I pop in whether it's for myself or for a gift they are all so extremely helpful & knowledgable it really makes a big difference to my shopping experience, so thank you guys!
A few weekends ago I was invited to an event held by Currys called #coffeewithcurrys. It was held at one of the most beautiful tea rooms in Cardiff - Waterloo Tea (all the staff were really hot cool & friendly) and definitely a place I would recommend visiting, especially if you are a big tea drinker ... but I went to drink coffee, and that we did ...
The event itself was split into various stations, and each station taught us something new about coffee. When we arrived we were given a coffee mocktail prepared by James which we would later learn how to make ourselves ...
Station 1 - 'Cupping' Coffee
So station #1 was with Nick, and it was all about blind tasting coffee, it involved a lot of slurping and black coffee. But the aim was to see if we could taste different blends & flavours. Nick chose me to compete in the final 'cupping' competition, I still giggle at this as I was honestly awful at it, but I must've been good at slurping ha!
Station 2 - Alcohol!
Station #2 was about cocktails, something I absolutely adore drinking & making. James was previously a cocktail barman in Oxford and even made cocktails for Lady Gaga, but he now manages Waterloo Tea. He showed us various tips & techniques and made several different cocktails, including an Orange coffee martini, toblerone cocktail and a Raspberry Iced mocha mocktail.
Station 3 - Coffee Machines
Station #3 was all about Nespresso and their different types of coffee machines & coffee. We were lucky to meet Freddie, Sonya & Alisha from Nespresso who were all so lovely and helpful. They spoke to us about the coffee beans used in their capsules, it takes 60 coffee beans to make one capsule. They explained to us how each capsule is 100% aluminium which make them 100% recyclable, and nespresso will even send you a recycling bag and collect your recycling for you.
The coffee itself is from 8 different countries and throughout the year they bring out different flavours, the flavours themselves are all natural, and they're an added aroma, which creates a subtle hint of flavour.
The level of service from Nespresso is impeccable, as soon as you own a machine you are eligible to join their members club, where you can call to order 24/7 even 2am on christmas day apparently.
My favourite product from the range was the Aeroccino, I have always dreamed of having frothy milk at home for coffee, hot chocolates and milkshakes, just imagine! And now you can with one of these, they work to create both hot & cold milk. I honestly haven't stopped talking about it to my boyfriend, I've even added it to my christmas list! Ha! (pretty please)
Station 4 - Food / Station 5 - Latte Art
Station #4 was a food break, it was all so yummy and I wish I had taken photos but I was so hungry I needed to soak up all the alcohol coffee. I would definitely recommend heading to Waterloo tea for breakfast/brunch/lunch/afternoon tea.
Station #5 was the one station I was most excited about, latte art! I've always wanted to be a pro at this, and have definitely envisaged owning my own coffee shop at some point. But I think that dreams out the window when you see my result! However Waterloo tea also do latte art courses, perhaps another christmas present option?
I just want to say a big thank you to Shaun from Joe's blog and of course Nespresso (link) & Curry's (link) and of course everyone from Waterloo Tea. I had such a lovely day, and enjoyed meeting all of the lovely bloggers!
(Sorry for the photo quality I had forgotten to charge my SLR (silly) so iPhone it was )
From L-R - The apartment was beautifully decorated with roses, a MUA just can't help herself, beautiful products, Sian - a Neal's Yard Consultant demonstrating a facial and all of the beautiful products, coffee table with lots of wonderful Neal's Yard Products, SNEAK PEEK ... squeal.
So last Thursday I headed on the train to Bristol after a busy day at work to Cleyro Apartments (link) in Temple, Bristol. Now if I was flat hunting in Bristol I would definitely consider relocating here, even if it was just for the beautiful eye candy rowing on the river. The location was different to other events I have attended but was perfect for creating a very 'homely' feel, especially the added touch of fresh roses in the classic blue Neal's Yard bottles. The whole apartment was filled with the scent of essential oils, and all together was just beautiful.
Now Neals Yard has always been a brand I've been aware of, ever since I was younger. The factory is just down the road from where I grew up, and the brand was always one I had admired, and always found myself fascinated by. A friend of mine recently became a consultant for the brand and we are due for a catch up soon to talk all things NYR, I hope she will be excited to hear about this event.
We were greeted by Jess (PR coordinator) & Jane (Head of PR) from Neal's Yard, Sian (Consultant for NYR) and Emma & Hayley from the Soil Association. I was amongst some other very lovely bloggers, and it was really lovely to meet everyone, so after a little mingling and chatting about make up, beauty, cameras and rowing we all took a seat, ready for the pamper party to begin.
After a welcoming introduction Hayley & Emma from the Soil Association spoke to us about what it really means for products to be 'certified' including both beauty and food products. This was something I found fascinating, and something I feel deserves a more in-depth post. Let me know if you would like to read more regarding this. I will explain briefly Soil Association's role in certifying beauty products, now what they do is they make sure all products which are claimed as organic are in fact organic. Now legally there is actually no legal requirement for beauty products to be certified, hence why some brands may claim they are 'organic' but really 1% of their ingredients may be organic and the other 99% well that could be just about anything, yet the company can claim that they are organic. If that makes sense? But like I said I feel this needs more of a thorough post, especially as of Monday it's Organic Beauty week ...
The next part of the evening was the pamper part, Sian who is a NYR independent consultant gave us a brief history into the brand, talking about Peter Kindersley, owner and family man who for the last 30 years has been a massive part of showing how powerful taking products directly to people can be. Peter is a Gentleman I have fortunately met on several occasions when I used to work in hospitality, and I can honestly say he is the loveliest man.
Sian began with a quick test to awaken our noses to the power of scents. Demonstrating the power of essential oils and the effect they have on your body, especially how they make you feel. We were handed different oils on a piece of card and asked how they made us feel. The three oils were as follows -
Lemon - which I found incredibly energising.
Rose - I got this completely wrong as I felt it reminded me of winter evenings, and was surprised to hear it was rose.
And finally Lavender - which for me personally I find extremely calming.
The amazing power of these oils and as Sian demonstrated is your body knows the oils you need, for example if you're stressed you will be drawn to the oils that will calm you.
The next part was the facial, Sian showed us a step - by - step guide an ideal skin care routine.
Starting with a Cleanse, using a cream cleanser, Sian explained how important it is to use circular motions which will bring impurities to the surface of the skin, and it will also help boost circulation.
The second stage was Tone - this starts the process of rehydration.
The Third Stage was Serum - a really important stage of skin care which many skip. It's a stage of my skin care routine I recently started using, and the one step I feel has made the most difference. Serums aim to work really deep down in the skin, they moisturise and nourish new cells which are formed in the deeper layers, and once they reach the surface the skin will look plumped and nourished.
The final stage was Moisturiser, both under the eye and on the face. The under eye area is very delicate in comparison to the rest of the face and are unable to cope with normal moisturisers. The final moisturiser was for the rest of the face, this will help to balance the moisture levels in the skin. Which is particularly important if you have extra dry or oily skin.
The rest of the evening consisted of playing with the make up, and asking lots of questions. The make up is something I want to test out, and potentially start using in my professional kit. Sian kindly let me demonstrate a simple eye look, and the eyeshadows blended beautifully. And close up the foundation was almost invisible on the skin, but gave a beautiful glowing appearance, definitely a product I think I need in my life.
Thank you so much Jane & Jessica for the invite, I really appreciated it! And I can't wait to try out more Neals Yard Products.