The Body Shop Spa of the World

Monday, 31 August 2015

My favourite place to shop for bath and body products is definitely The Body Shop, I love having a browse whenever I'm in need of a little pick me up and fancy some pampering treats without spending a fortune (you have to admit, their sales are pretty amazing!) Their newest collection features a range of spa inspired products from across the globe, allowing you to pamper yourself in luxury from the comfort of your own home. I'm a huge fan of indulgent products like this that really allow you to relax- as quite a stressy person in general I find that being able to unwind and relax is paramount to my wellbeing, and what better way to do that than to indulge in beautifully created products. This entire range looks truly stunning and there's not one thing here that I wouldn't want to try, however these are the three things that caught my eye most and that I've been trialling over the last couple of weeks. 

Africa: African Ximenia Scrub
Ximenia oil comes from the seeds of the ximenia fruit, grown in Namibia in Africa; the luxuriously rich oil is traditionally used by African women to moisturise their hair and skin, as well as a massage oil. The tree from which the fruit grows is referred to as the ‘Tree of Life’ which gives an indication to the amazing properties of what it yields! The Body Shop have incorporated this powerful ingredient into their African Ximenia Scrub which is the most beautifully rich and creamy exfoliator I've ever used. I think exfoliators are one product that many companies struggle to get right- they're often either too harsh, not harsh enough or too watery making them difficult to use. However The Body Shop have got this just right, it's beautifully creamy and works so well without leaving you red raw.

Lemongrass is widely used in Thailand; the fragrant tropical grass is often used in cooking as well as in tea, medicine and even as a preservative. For centuries it has been cherished in traditional Thai massage for its revitalising effect on body and mind, with its invigorating scent being known to boost vitality and awaken senses. As an aromatherapy oil, lemongrass is useful for treating headaches and improves circulation- an all round perfect ingredient for a pampering massage oil. Massage oils typically use quite calming and relaxing scents such as lavender, but I love how this a stark contrast and is instead really rejuvenating.  I absolutely love the smell of lemongrass; it's extremely aromatic and has fresh, uplifting scent that has a zingy almost spicy note to it. If you feel as though you wouldn't get much use from just a massage oil you're in luck, as it can be used as a regular beauty oil for skin and hair too. 

Charcoal powder is an ancient Asian beauty secret, with lots of known benefits. First of all it's highly absorbent, which draws dirt, debris, toxins, and free radicals from the pores making it a powerful skin cleanser. It has detoxifying properties, helps to clear up skin conditions such as acne and can even kill viruses, bacteria and fungus on contact! This is the product that I was most intrigued to try, I love charcoal face masks and find the thought of the charcoal literally drawing out the nasties from the pores both disgusting yet extremely satisfying. I have to admit it feels a bit strange slathering your body in what looks like an opaque grey face mask, but the effects are just fantastic and leave the skin feeling SO soft. Plus it was also nice to try something completely different, and makes for a great addition to a pamper evening.

Have you tried anything from this range?

Cute, Quirky Homeware: Teapot Lamp by Iconic Lights

Sunday, 30 August 2015

I know lamps aren't typically used in kitchens very much, but after a huge re-organise of mine recently I was in the market for one and on the lookout for something cute. For some reason the light switch in my kitchen is in completely the wrong place, and means you have to walk through from the door to the other side to actually get to it- not helpful when it's pitch black at 3am and you've come downstairs for a glass of water! So I knew a little lamp close to the door would be a good idea, it's quicker to get to and is much easier on the old eyeballs than a huge overhead light when you're downstairs in the evening. And I couldn't have possibly come across a more perfect little lamp- how adorable is this teapot? 

Made of ceramic, the lid is removable and it's the exact size and shape of a regular teapot. In the daytime it literally just looks like a teapot on the shelf, ideal if you need an additional lighting source but don't want to go down the 'typical lamp' route- which I definitely didn't want to do. I think a regular table lamp would just look a bit odd in a kitchen, and would have taken up much more room than I had to spare anyway. This not only fits perfectly within a kitchen setting but is nice and compact too, which is an added bonus if you have a small kitchen like me. One of the best things about this is the surprise element once you switch it on, because you'd never guess it was a lamp it looks really unusual and unique when it's lit up I absolutely love it. It takes an odd little 'g9' bulb which I've not actually seen before, however they're really cheap on ebay I bought mine here. While it's not quite as bright as a standard lamp (so probably not ideal as a task light for things like crafts or reading) it still gives off a good amount of light and brings a nice soft ambience to a room.

With it being a teapot shape it's great for places like the kitchen and dining room, although it would make a fun quirky accessory in any room really. I also think this would be the best little homeware gift for a tea lover! If you've ever considered a lamp for your kitchen but decided against it on the grounds that it wouldn't look right, this is the answer to your problems.

What's the most unusual lamp you have in your home?

Smooth, Sleek Holiday Hair With Nicky Clarke Diamond Shine Straighteners

Thursday, 20 August 2015

What do you do with your hair when you're away on holiday? It's a bit of a difficult one really, because although you want to be comfortable and relaxed you still want to look nice. Spending hours in front of the mirror styling your hair is definitely off the agenda while you're away, and so it's all about looks which are quick to do but still look pretty. Being on holiday is a good chance to embrace your natural hair texture, and for many that involves a quick scrunch through with some salt spray to achieve gorgeous beachy waves. However if you're straight haired like me, that just isn't an option (anyone that's ever attempted using mousse or salt spray on straight hair will be well aware that you get much more 'hobo' than 'boho') quite frankly, it doesn't work. And so embracing your natural straight hair texture can be a quick run through with straighteners instead, just to make it look a bit more smooth and glossy. I've been testing out this beautiful new straightener from Nicky Clarke's Diamond Shine range; whether you're looking to give a quick boost to straight hair or completely straighten waves or curls, this thing is incredible. Here are some of the reasons it should be in your holiday suitcase this year!

When it comes to straighteners GHDs tend to be the benchmark or point of reference, however there's one major downfall with them- there's no way to adjust the temperature. For those with thicker hair this might not be too much of a problem, however for me it's a dealbreaker. Having fine hair that's easy to sizzle I like to keep the temperature as low as possible when I use any heat styling tool, this is especially important when you're on holiday as it's already prone to dryness because of the warmer weather. With five heat settings there's something for all hair types on this one, and taking only fifteen seconds to be fired up and ready to go there's no messing around waiting for them to heat up. There's something about sleek white appliances like this that I love, the white with rose gold accents is a match made in heaven and they're so much prettier than regular old black straighteners. They have the diamante on the handle to represent the diamond dust that's finely ground and mixed with the tourmaline plates, this  is no gimmick as it has the benefit of providing a super hard smooth surface which in turn prevents the hair from tearing or snagging. The surface of the heating components of this range are something else, they're so incredibly smooth that they literally glide through the hair I've never come across anything else like it. Another huge selling point for me is the automatic safety shut off feature, these switch off automatically after one hour. No matter how careful I am or how deliberately I turn off my straightners in the morning, there's always that small niggling worry of 'did I turn them off' that creeps into my head a few hours later. I love that this gives you peace of mind, and you can get on with your day without the worry of accidently burning your room down!

Not only do they look pretty and have the added benefit of containing real diamond dust in the plates, but they really do work incredibly well too. They leave hair looking so smooth and sleek with very little effort, and without having to crank up the heat to the maximum setting. Admittedly my hair is easy to straighten as I don't have to deal with frizz or flatten down any curls, however I've used loads of straighteners over the years and the overall performance of these has got to be the best. Whether you're looking for an easy way to style your hair while you're away on holiday or are just in the market for a pair of new straighteners, this pair are well worth the investment.

Have you tried any of Nicky Clarke's heat styling tools?

Sweet Memories! Retro Sweets From AQuarterOf (+Giveaway)

Friday, 7 August 2015

What are some of the things you remember most from your childhood? If you're a 90's kid like me, it probably involves things like practicing your best yoyo tricks (and nearly having someone's eye/ front teeth out in the process) swapping Pokemon cards and being a slush puppy connoisseur with your Mr Frosty machine. On the weekends I'd skip down to the shop to buy a '50p mix', a magical selection of things like Black Jacks, Fruit Salads, aniseed balls and foam shrimps. I have to admit I thought these things were gone forever, I've had pick and mix a few times in the last couple of years but it's never the same and you can rarely find the old classics. However I was recently introduced to AQuarterOf, a traditional sweet shop selling all of the childhood favourites I can remember so well. I have to admit I'm hugely excited about this, what better way to take a trip down memory lane?! 

As well as big boxes of your favourite childhood goodies, they also have filters which allow you to choose sugar free, gelatine free and gluten free sweets from their huge selection. One of my favourite parts of the site is the sweet hampers section, next time I'm stuck wondering what to buy for someone this will be my first port of call- who wouldn't love a selection of retro sweets? Everything is really nicely packaged, and there's something for all budgets and occasions. 

AQuarterOf have generously offered this amazing hamper for one of my readers to win, and so if you fancy revisiting some of your favourite childhood sweets get your entries in below! Good luck everyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kandlewick Spiced Apple Luxury Candle Review

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Being something of a candle addict, I've tried out a lot of candles over the years and have discovered what it is that makes a good one. For me, it's a candle that smells nice before being lit, smells equally as good once you burn it and throws off enough scent to fill a room so that you're not having to sit right next to it to be able to smell the fragrance. It can't be too smokey and has to burn nice and evenly- I know you need to burn candles properly in order to stop the wax from tunnelling but in all honesty there are ones I've had in the past that do this no matter how careful you are. And on top of that I like candles that look nice, I like to have them displayed around my house and so looking pretty is a must! Many candles fail on one (or multiple) areas of my little checklist, however this beauty from Kandlewick has really impressed me; I love everything about it and can't fault it even a little bit. 

Spiced Apple is usually more of a warm autumn/ winter type of scent, however this is more fresh than spicy making it a good choice for all year round. The main scent I can detect is the apples which give it an amazing fruity scent, with the warmer underlying sweet spices being a bit more subtle. For me this would be perfect for any downstairs living space; living room, dining room or kitchen as it's a nice clean scent which is ideal for freshening up a room. Kandlewick candles are made from soy wax meaning they're soot free, burn more cleanly and hold fragrance well; soy wax is also kind on the environment and is a renewable, sustainable source. Finally I love how this looks and how it's packaged, the glass pillar packaging comes complete with a lid and has a really nice sophisticated look to it. I think these would make great gifts too because they're a good size and are nicely presented- definitely one that any candle lover would appreciate!

Kandlewick have a range of ten different fragrances, which isn't the hugest selection but there are some really beautiful sounding ones there and something to pretty much cover all bases. Along with their candles they also do tea lights, reed diffusers, room sprays and various sizes of candles in both glass jars and tin packaging in the same scents. I really like this idea as I bet you could get your room smelling incredible with a mixture of different formats in the same scent. 

Whats your favourite candle brand?

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