Monday, 22 April 2019

One month using Drunk Elephant only

Drunk Elephant
I'm addicted to anything miniature that is practical to take away on a long weekend. For me they are the perfect introduction to a brand; you can test out all the essentials in one go and see if you want to purchase the full size. This is a great way to avoid any disappointments that may result from shelling out a small fortune for the full-size product without testing it first. 

Unless you've been hiding under a rock you will probably have heard all the hype going around the beauty industry about Drunk Elephant. It's probably one of the most wanted skin care brands of the moment. There is something intriguing about Drunk Elephant, who have stayed and excelled well beyond the hype. 

Tiffany the brands' founder had all sorts of skin issues herself and believed that much of her problems were rooted in 6 suspicious ingredients (essential oils, fragrance/dyes, silicones, sodium lauryl sulphate, drying alcohols and chemical screens). Drunk Elephant prides itself on being a clean clinical brand that has removed these ingredients from all of its products.  

Before splurging out on any full-size products, I settled on trying out The Littles a set of seven miniatures (£71), the perfect introduction to the brand. 
Drunk Elephant
The brand is built on an ethical ethos which is an important must, but I personally found the excessive packaging of cardboard sleeve and plastic wash bag was a strange juxtaposition to this. 

But that said I love the brightly coloured packaging, its so pretty and the small sizes make them perfect for grabbing and taking on any adventure. The best bit is the products can be mixed together and they have specifically been developed to balance and reset your skin. 

I've been using the Drunk Elephant miniatures for just over a month and I can honestly say that for the most part, I am underwhelmed. Whilst I have noticed a difference when using some of the products with better moisture in my skin and a noticeable soothing of the redness on my cheeks; too many of the miniatures left me wanting. Read on to find out which products are a firm favourite and those that just didn't make the cut.    

Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser:
Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser
Let us start with the positives: I loved the jelly like consistency; it lathers well and the fact that it's fragrance free is nice. It easily manages to get rid of makeup especially mascara. But the big downside for me was that it dried out my skin and was very stripping of nourishment. However, if you have oily skin this would be a perfect compliment. For those of you with a drier complexion Drug Elephant have better alternatives; the Pekee Bar would definitely be one of them.

Drunk Elephant has recently changed the formula of the jelly cleanser which is now meant to be more moisturising, but at £27 for the full-size product, I am not sure I would take the risk on purchasing. 

C-Firma Day Serum
C-Firma Day Serum
Having used this for a month I have learnt some tricks on how to get the most out of this little beauty. Less is most definitely more. I was massively overzealous with how much I used the first few times. It is wise to store this in the fridge which helps with oxidisation, but also makes for a cold and refreshing morning pick me up to your skin. 

I have dry and dehydrated skin and I found that the formula managed to even out my skin tone and remove the dead skin around my jawline and cheeks. The product does have a strange almost alcohol smell and leaves a sticky feeling initially, so if this would annoy you then this is probably not the product for you. 

The full-size product costs £67. Given the results, I have seen and that the product can be placed under makeup to work its magic, I would purchase this as a full-size product.

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum:
B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
I found that the serum absorbed quickly and continued to hydrate my skin as the day went on. But for what it is and the £44 price tag, there are better products to be had and I definitely won't be buying a full size of this product. 

T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
Drunk Elephant T.L.C Franmboos Glycolic Night Serum
The first Glycolic I ever used was Sunday Riley Good Genes which I absolutely love. So when I saw Drunk Elephant did a Glycolic Night Serum I was excited to try it out. Initially, I didn't really see any difference, but over time it definitely reduced the spots on my chin and evened out the texture of my skin and complexion. But this came at a price to my dry skin, which ended up being incredibly dehydrated due to the use of this product. If you have oily skin, acne or hormonal spots this product would be great for you but if your skin is sensitive or dry I am not sure this product would suit your skin type. 

The Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum costs £76, which is £9 cheaper than the Sunday Riley Good Genes. Given that I prefer the texture, consistency and results from the Sunday Reilly Good Genes, I personally would be willing to pay that bit more for better results and for a product that was more favourable to my skin type.  

Shaba Complex Eye Serum
Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum
After years of no sleep, I have the worst dark circles under my eyes. In reality, no beauty product is going to get rid of this but my hope in an eye serum is it might help to reduce them. 

The Drunk Elephant eye serum is smooth, refreshing and light in consistency when applied. I found it incredibly moisturising, but as for noticeable results in my dark circles, it made absolutely no difference.

Given that this product retails at £50 for the results this is not a product I would purchase in the larger size. 

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Oil
I should start by saying I am a convert to facial oils, having been a lover of the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Morning Facial for a number of years. 

When I saw that the Drunk Elephant Littles contained the Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil I was keen to give it a try and see if it would make me trade in my Sarah Chapman. 

The positives first; a little oil goes a very long way, it is light, absorbs quickly and most definitely improved the appearance of my skin. But sadly it just didn't match up to my love for the Sarah Chapman Skinesis and it is for this reason that I wouldn't purchase the full size. If price matters you might feel differently as there is an £18 difference, with the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil retailing for £34 and the Sarah Chapman same size equivalent £52.  

One small gripe I have for the cylindrical containers is I wish they had a window so you could see when you are near the end of the product.  

Lala Retro Whipped Cream:
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
I must admit that I was beginning to lose faith in finding a Drunk Elephant product that I would love, but the Lala Retro Whipped Cream turned it around. As you know I have very dry and dehydrated skin this product is like whipped cream that moisturised my skin long after being applied. The texture of the cream is silk, a dream to apply and my skin is wonderfully hydrated and nourished. 

The full-size product costs £50 and for me, it was worth every penny. The Lala Retro Whipped Cream will be heaven sent in winter and as such, I have already made a repurchase of this product. 

Final thoughts on Drunk Elephant
The Littles set is perfect for anyone that wants to try Drunk Elephant without forking out on lots of full-size products. I found it great for travelling as it was so easy to just pick up. Whilst the products can be used separately I personally think they work best together as a beauty routine to reset your skin.  

My overall impression of Drunk Elephant is they have some great products but for me, they don't quite meet the hype and are priced a bit too high. 

Have you used any Drunk Elephant products? What did you think, share in the comments below. 

www.drunkelephant.com


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Monday, 8 October 2018

Shangri La Hotel afternoon tea

The Shard
Some of my fondest memories of London are having afternoon tea. What better way to while away a few hours than dainty sandwiches, delicate cakes and warm scones with jam. I love afternoon teas but having had quite my fair share, one thing for sure is that they most definitely are not all equal. For me the quality of the afternoon tea and service are all very well and good, but so too is where it’s served.

London offers some of the most quintessential English afternoon teas but a highlight of them all for me has to be Ting Shanghai-La Hotel at the Shard. Set on the 35th floor, with ceiling to floor windows you are provided with a breathtaking view over London. 


We were lucky to be seated directly above Tower Bridge and the HMS Belfast.
The Shard Afternoon tea
Shard afternoon tea
To celebrate the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the hotel had created the Royal Botanical Afternoon Tea. The tea was based around the flowers grown in the royal garden. 
Ting Afternoon tea
As we sunk into the comfortable deep seats, we began our afternoon tea with a lovely glass of zesty, crisp Bollinger, La Grande AnnĂ©e, 2007. 
Bollinger
Whilst the sun raged outside we happily sat chatting in the air conditioned surroundings, sipping our chilled champagne and looking out at the spectacular view of London, a view which even now I still never tire. 

Champagne was followed with a theatrical presentation of Calamansi tea, served over dry ice.  The tea was provided to cleanse the palate and reminded me of lemon sherbet. 
Afternoon tea London
We thoroughly enjoyed the theatrical show of smoke billowing across the table. The presentation of the tea is definitely one of the more interesting ways to begin an afternoon tea. 

Ting offers an extensive tea selection and whilst staff are happy to guide you, I opted for Rose bud, a favourite with a wonderful floral aroma and a delicate rose flavour. 
Afternoon tea London
But let me get on with the main event as I am sure most of you are interested to know what came next.

The savouries offered some of the usual suspects, hot smoked salmon with cucumber and juniper cream. 
Afternoon tea London
Afternoon tea
Myrtle, roasted chicken, mustard and Tarragon. 
Afternoon tea
Heritage tomato, lemon, ricotta and walnut. 
Afternoon tea
My favourite offering had to be the Bermondsey honey, goat's curd and lavender rye, not only beautiful presented but delicious too.
Afternoon tea
Unfortunately the same could not be said for the Dorset crab, seaweed mayonnaise and pumpernickel. 
Afternoon tea
Whilst the individual ingredients were delicious the rye bread and the many layers of it simply made it too dry. The bread overpowered the ingredients of the sandwich.

Next up we were served warm scones, with strawberry jam and clotted cream. The delivery of scones is something very much for me that can make or break the success of an afternoon tea. 
Afternoon tea
But I'm pleased to report that the English plain and raisin scones both lived up to my high expectations, lite and fluffy. 

Make sure though you save room for the sweets which truly are a work of art. Almost too good to eat!
Afternoon tea
My personal favourite had to be the apple tart with caramelised apple and Elderflower. The shortbread pastry had a wonderful buttery taste and the creaminess of the apple a real delight.    
Afternoon tea
Raspberry rose: lychee mousse, raspberry confit with rose. The delicate taste of raspberry with the rose was lovely and refreshing. 
Afternoon Tea
Cassis violet macaron, blackcurrant confiture and violet creme. For me this was too sweet, but I think this was more to do with what had gone before. If you weren't as greedy as me and ate it as a stand alone, I think I might have felt differently. 
Afternoon Tea
Cherry blossom roulade, chocolate vanilla and sour cherry. A perfect sized dessert, in which I enjoyed the tartness of the chocolate balanced against the sourness of cherry. 
Afternoon tea
Milk chocolate religieuse, Earl Grey tea and grapefruit compote. Wow this was an amazing dessert with so many of my favourite flavours. 
Afternoon tea 
The waiting staff never once rushed us, which I loved. The staff were attentive, with great knowledge of the available teas and treated each tea as something to savour. 

We whiled away a wonderful afternoon. Ting restaurant is definitely a perfect setting for a relaxed afternoon tea, with views to set it apart from other locations we have experienced.

After over filling our bellies how we wished we could snuggle up in the hotels wonderful rooms and slumber for a few hours. 

We will most certainly be back. 


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Monday, 7 May 2018

Peter Thomas Roth first impressions

Face Masks
Everyone's skin type is different so finding a face mask to perfect your skincare routine can be a challenge. It's taken me many years to understand that I have combination skin, my skin is mainly dry with my T zone (nose, forehead and chin) being slightly more oily. It's also prone to being sensitive.  


As a busy mum, face masks for me are a quick and easy way to pep up my skin. The Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic face masks (£72), a collection of five 150ml full sized pots in one collection represents real value for money. 
Face Masks
Blue Marine Algae (£34):This was the mask I was most looking forward to using, mainly as it states it has intensely hydrating properties, so perfect for my dry skin. 
Mask-A-Holic
Applying to the skin it is clear and has a gel like consistency which was cooling. After a while the gel tingles and gives a warming sensation on the skin. If you have sensitive skin then this face mask might not be for you. I personally didn't really like the sticky wet feeling that the Algae had and I saw absolutely no difference in the moisture of my skin post application. It's for this reason that I wouldn't repurchase. 

24K Gold Mask (£48): Probably the most intriguing and luxurious of the five masks with pure 24K gold and colloidal gold. 

Face Masks
The product looks incredibly pretty both in the pot and when applied to the skin as it gives off a wonderful shimmer. It claims to tighten the skin, lifting, firming and brightening. I can't say that my face felt lifted or firmer but it did have a smoother appearance and was refreshing. 

Cucumber Gel Mask (£28):My skin can sometimes get flushed and irritated, this cooling and hydrating face mask is perfect for refreshing the skin. With cucumber, aloe vera, papaya, pineapple and chamomile it has lots of soothing ingredients. 

I keep this face mask in the fridge so it is wonderful and cold, when applied the gel doesn't sting which makes it perfect for sensitive skin and can even be placed under the eyes. 

Face Mask
I can't say I saw any major changes in the hydration of my skin after use but I am sure it will be loved in the Summer months to sooth and calm a sun kissed face. 


Pumpkin Enzyme Mask(£42):The first thing that you notice on opening the face mask is the smell of pumpkin spice, definitely reminiscent of Christmas. 
Peter Thomas Roth
Applying the face mask you instantly notice that it has a thicker grainier consistency, you can feel it working with a tingly sensation. I have to point out at this point if you have really sensitive skin, I am not sure this is the mask for you. I personally had no problems, but it is an exfoliate so slightly stronger and will easily remove dead skin. I really loved this face mask as it evened out my complexion and my skin felt smoother.   

It can be quite a stripping face mask so I will use this once a month to pick my skin up.  

Irish Moor Mud: Unless you have been living under a rock I am sure you are all aware of the major hype there has been in the last couple of months about charcoal activated face masks. I don't know about you, but I have been taking serious pleasure in watching people on YouTube making their eyes water, pealing them off to reveal loads of rubbish and tons of blackheads. 
Face Masks
The consistency and texture of this face mask is different, it is smooth to apply remains fairly translucent and does not dry. The product has very little smell and definitely not anything reminiscent of a moor. I did find that it was slightly tingly, but I personally like this as it feels like it is doing something.

This was the only mask out of the five, that I found value in the removal tool. 
Face Masks
The tool was nifty at removing stubborn parts around the nose, eyes and hairline. This mask was by far my favourite out of the five, on removal my skin instantly looked refreshed and has worked well to remove spots around my T-zone. 

Overall the box set represents great value for money and a wonderful way to try many of the Perter Thomas Roth face masks. Out of the five I will only most likely repurchase the pumpkin enzyme mask and Irish moor mud, both of which over longer usage have done wonders for bringing a tired mothers skin back to life with little investment and time on my behalf. 

Since purchasing this box set, Peter Thomas Roth has released a smaller sample size with six travel versions (£24) which you can find here. Each tube has between two/three applications a perfect way to try them out. 

Have you tried any Peter Thomas Roth products? What are your skin care recommendations and tips? Share in the comments below. 

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Friday, 27 April 2018

Life update: Being your true happy self

Being your true self
Life over the last couple of months has been really busy with so much going on. This has meant more and more of my time is spoken for, between caring for Noah, a busy job, commuting and a rather manic life I can sometimes feel overwhelmed. 

I never really have a moment anymore just to be me and relax. In my twenties I thought nothing about sitting reading a book for a whole day. Exercise was a frequent activity and a past time I enjoyed. I loved going for long walks and enjoying the outdoors. I could regularly be found relaxing in a deep bath with a pampering face mask. 

Being your true self
If I have a moment now I'm riddled with guilt that I should be doing something else. 

I can be found doing two or three things at once on a regular basis, which means I often feel flustered that I’m not doing a good enough job in any area of my life. 


We live in a world and society that is constantly striving for perfection, encouraging us to do more and more as well as wanting everything done now. This can often lead to us overworking every area of our lives, but if we had more balance could we be more productive and happier.


Recently I have been left with the hanging questions:

“Am I applying my time and energies in the right places, to be my true happy self?”. 


"How do I take time for myself".


So I've been looking at how long I spend time on different areas of my life, looking at what I spend most of my time doing and how I can reduce the time I spend on some tasks to have more time for myself.  


Everyday I have been setting aside ten minutes to meditate, which has been a wonderful way at making me stop, take time for myself and bring about a sense of greater calmness. It has also helped to root me in the here and now. So I thought I would share some apps that I have been loving.

Being in the moment and relieving stress:

Calm: The app is free to download and has some great content that you don’t have to pay for but a paid subscription of £35.99 a year, gives you over a 100 hours of brilliant content which is constantly added too.


Calm App
I use the beginning journey to calm which is a great introduction to mediation with a seven day session. The perfect place to start with focused sessions to relieve anxiety, overcome stress and the app also has wonderful sleep stories to send you off into deep slumber. 

Headspace: I have been using this app for over a year now and love it. It is easy to navigate, with defined timings of 5,10,15 and 20 minutes to meditate, so even those with the least amount of time have no excuses. It offers short and easy to do sessions, which have helped to alleviate stress and sleep problems.

Headspace app
If you love the app and want to have access to all the content then a yearly subscription of £74.99 is needed.

Rituals have a wonderful free app with guided meditation for three areas: relaxing the mind, relaxing the body and enjoying the moment. In which you can do 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes of meditation. They also have a guided yoga follow along too.

Still not convinced that meditation could help here are some additional benefits: 

Meditation
I've personally have found the benefits of meditation to be huge. 

Do you meditate? How do you relax? Share in the comments below.  


Know someone that could benefit from this post please do share. 

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