Monday, 31 July 2017

Pixi Double Cleanse

Pixi Double Cleanse
Last year the UK Beauty Industry was worth a whopping £4 billion in sales. In a crowded market place it can be difficult to know what's worth the hype and what's not. I'm really selective with my skincare purchases, opting to shell out more for a few outstanding products rather than filling up the bathroom cabinet with stuff I will most likely never use. 

As we all know I don't have much time for a skincare regime. I've got better as I've got older, in part for fear that my face will collapse outwards and start resembling the wrinkles of a Pug. But that said my skincare routine still leaves a lot to be desired. 

I've tried and really liked a few Pixi Beauty products over the years.
They first featured on my blog last year (you can check out the post here). If you haven't heard the hype about the partnership between Pixi and beauty guru Caroline Hirons (Facialist, Skincare Expert and Blogger) collaborating on the Double Cleanse (£23) then you must have been living in a cave.
Pixi Beauty
On a personal side note I really love Caroline because of her no nonsense attitude to skincare. She tells it like it is and if anything is recommended by her you know it is based on years worth of experience in the beauty industry. So with that said I had high expectations and hopes for Double Cleanse. 

The concept of having two cleansers in one product seemed great.
Pixi Beauty
The first step to using the product is taking a coined sized portion of the solid cleansing oil and rubbing onto a dry face. I found that the product was brilliant for taking off my makeup. The product has no scent so great for sensitive skin. 

Once the product is rubbed in, use a damp facecloth to take it off. I personally prefer using a muslin to take the cleanser off. The feel of the product is remarkably similar in consistency to the Clinique - Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (£24).  

The second step is using a coin size of the cleansing cream, massaging thoroughly in and again removing with a damp cloth. 

So what did I think...

The Pros:
I like that it is easy to use and that you have a clear stepped process to cleansing.

The cleansing cream is incredibly lite which for me I loved, but for some people I imagine this will not be what you expect and some might want something thicker. 

The ingredients are 100% cruelty free; this product also uses wonderfully moisturising Avocado, Macadamia and Evening Primrose oil. 

I loved how my face felt thoroughly cleaned after using the double cleanse. After a few weeks of use I noticed the difference in my skin which looked brighter, with less spots and wasn't dehydrated. 

I absolutely hate the packaging which is bulky, ridiculous for travelling as the cleansing cream spills onto the top of the lid and into the cleansing oil. This is definitely style over the considered use for the product. 

If like me you don't use makeup everyday you will find you go through the cleansing cream quicker. I am now left with a third of the solid cleansing oil which is slightly frustrating. I hope that they will consider releasing the two products separately at some point.

For those amongst us who worry about bacteria, I would have liked a spatula in the product to decant. But I guess given that your using it daily, the product will be gone in just over a month therefore not a deal breaker. 

In conclusion I would definitely buy this product again; it's reasonably priced and makes double cleansing an easy joy. I do however have the Emma Hardy Amazing Face (£39) on the wish list, so who knows if it will survive in my must haves. I will let you know in a few months when purchased and reviewed.

Any good suggestions for cleansers or beauty products I need to add to my shortlist?


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Friday, 14 July 2017

The Modern Pantry

The Modern Pantry
Finding time to go out for meals with friends and a toddler in tow is a challenge; a lot harder than I had appreciated. When Noah was first born he would happily sleep or coo through an entire meal. However, as soon as he reached seven months he was on the go all the time needing constant entertaining and as such eating and enjoying it became a very different story; even stressful at times if he hadn't slept. 

So when friends suggested a catch up over breakfast without Noah, I had one thought in mind; wherever we went it had to be good. I've spent a large amount of time recently thinking about food and a relaxing meal out. I've even been salivating at cookery programmes on television.

The Modern Pantry just off Finsbury Square has been on the foodie list for a while, as it combines two loves of mine, food and beautiful architecture. 
The Modern Pantry
The Modern Pantry is set in the beautiful Art Deco grade II listed Alphabeta Building. The historic exterior hides a modern architectural delight which has just recently undergone a huge reinvestment. Its updated atrium and the first ever ride in cycle ramp are two such changes. I Imagine that you could in theory cycle almost to your desk, should you wish too that is. It even houses a basket ball court and terrace offering amazing views of London's sky line. 

The design of the The Modern Pantry is in contrast to the office space next door, with the restaurant opting for crisp white lines, high ceilings that any interior designer would be envious of, beautiful Walnut tables and orbed lights. 
The Modern Pantry
The Modern Pantry
Their breakfast and brunch menu (7.30-11.30 am) offers lots of choice from fresh fruits, muesli, pancakes, omelettes and cooked breakfasts.

My friend like me has been dreaming about her breakfast long before we step inside, in fact she had studied the menu before coming. She chooses scrambled eggs, toast with; crispy halloumi, buttered spinach, lemongrass roast vine ripened tomatoes (£10.50). 
The Modern Pantry
I'm reliably informed that it was delicious. Especially the scrambled eggs which were perfectly cooked moist and creamy. 

I opt for grilled smoked streaky bacon, coconut & soy braised Portobello mushrooms, lemongrass roast vine ripened tomatoes (£10.50). 
The Modern Pantry
It does come with two eggs and I ask if I can substitute them out, to which I'm quickly advised they don't do substitutions. So I choose halloumi cheese (£2.50) instead to go with my breakfast. 
The Modern Pantry
The final choice on the table is two soft boiled eggs, buttered Vegemite soldiers (£6.00). With an addition of hot smoked scotch salmon (£4.50). 
The Modern Pantry
The Modern Pantry
I had really high expectation for The Modern Pantry but the service for my taste was a little too relaxed. With only six tables occupied, the restaurant was nearly half empty, the service was underwhelming and nearly non existent. The food whilst lovely and fresh was small and considerably overpriced for what you get. I did however love the ambience, the environment is spacious with wonderful lighting and a lovely place for a catch up.

So if you want a very relaxed breakfast in the heart of the City in a beautiful environment, can over look the price, then The Modern Pantry is a good offering.

Do you have any good breakfast or brunch suggestions for me?

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Friday, 30 June 2017

A weekend in Lewes

Well eighteen months of little to no sleep has finally started to take its toll and I've really started to look like the proverbial. 

So when the other half suggested we go away for the weekend I jumped at the prospect of different scenery. 

We rented a little house in Lewes a quaint British town in East Sussex. For the historians amongst us you may well remember learning about the battle of Lewes (1264) but more on the landmark castle later. 
Lewes Castle
Lewes is a sweet little town with plenty of pubs, restaurants and cafes. The perfect place for a foodie, to spend the weekend happily eating. 

Harvey's the Sussex brewers is right in the centre of town with a brewery shop and John Harvey tavern, were you can have a nice cool pint. They have a great selection of Ales and Bitter. 
You can build up an appetite wandering its antique and charity shops. 
We opted to have lunch in The Real Eating Company, an independent restaurant which uses good quality locally sourced produce. 

We quickly decided on a sharing platter of flat bread, meatballs, chicken and fried cheese, chips and local drinks. 
The Real Eating Company
The Real Eating Company
Just off the high street and hidden down a lane is Lewes castle. Now whilst the castle site is small we really enjoyed looking round.
The base of the castle offers a beautiful garden with wonderful flowers and shrubs. 
A steep climb up the stone stairs offers a great way to stretch your legs, where you are rewarded with stunning views of the beautiful town upon reaching the top. 
Noah very much enjoyed exploring the castle he even turned his hands to putting himself in the stocks. 
We completed the day at Bills restaurant, a favourite of ours and this one is special as it's their very first restaurant. 

Despite the weather outside being over ninety, I chose Thai Green Chicken Curry (£13.25). 
Bill's Lewes
Green curry is a favourite but be warned this is really spicy, with a wonderful coconut broth, sugar snap peas, courgettes, lemongrass, ginger and coconut rice. 

The other half sensibly opted for the salmon salad (£14.50) with the addition of chicken skewers. 
Bill's Restaurant
Bill's offers some wonderful desserts and picking is always incredibly difficult. We settle on Melting Chocolate Bombe (£6.95) and Strawberry and Mango Eton Mess (£5.95). 
Bill's Lewes
We absolutely loved Lewes and will definitely be back it was the perfect weekend get away and certainly helped to recharge the batteries.

Do you have any recommendations for weekend getaways? 

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Beauty on a budget

Beauty on a budget
If you've been reading this blog for a while you will know that whilst I love luxury beauty products, I also love a bargain. Elf is one such beauty brand, and today i'm sharing some of their latest new offerings. 

Elf Skincare Hydrating Serum
I've been using this serum for a number of months in the morning, the Green Tea scent does wonders to wake me up. I love the consistency too, it goes on smoothly, feels silky and is easy to rub in. The vitamin E and Aloe Vera is lovely and soothing. It's perfect for applying before makeup. 

The packaging and product feels considerably more expensive than its under £15 price tag. 
Elf skincare hydrating serum
The only thing I wish was that the packaging was transparent so you could easily see how much of the product is remaining. But that is a small negative and I would definitely repurchase this. 

Elf Nourishing Night Cream
The first thing to say about this, is that a little bit goes a long way. The consistency of the cream is thick and incredibly moisturising with vitamin E, Jojoba, cucumber and Shea Butter. The smell may put some people off. But for the price and the fact that similar products from Clinique and Clarins would be treble the price, it gets a huge thumbs up from me. 

Elf Hydrating Gel Mask
I have some brilliant face masks that have done absolute wonders for my skin but these are expensive and have to be left on for a considerable amount of time. This mask is ready to go and gets working straight away. The consistency is not a gel though, definitely more like a cream. 

I have really dry skin and this mask is perfect, it is wonderfully moisturising with the addition of coconut and Aloe Vera. My skin after using it felt really soft and nourished. I would definitely repurchase this and I hope that they will bring it to the UK soon, as it is currently only available in the States online from the Elf store.

So if your looking for luxurious beauty at an affordable price, Elf is well worth giving a try. You can buy online and at Superdrug stores. 

What beauty products on a budget do you rate?

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