Four beautiful colours in this collection that were inspired by the famous Italian Amalfi Coast. As I love Italy (although never been - yet), this collection was a must for me to see and sample in person. The collection makes me think of the colourful homes you may see by the beaches & gelato duhh!.

• Resort Romanza – bright optimistic red.
• Strike a Positano- calm aqua blue.
• Ciao Effect - lavender purple with pretty blue undertones.
• Sorrento Yourself - neutral earthy brown with hints of red.

As I applied these on the nail wheel, each of these needed two coats but deciding to try ‘Strike a Positano’ on the nails. I don’t have many minty blue shades & I was drawn to this one as soon as I opened the box. I found the formula a little thick so I went in with one thin coat before going in with a thin second and third which sealed the deal and gave me an even opaque coat.

These LE shades are available until July 4th RRP £7.99, keep an eye out on Boots where they've got stock coming in soon!!

What's your favourite shade?


Samples.

Essie Resort 2017 Collection.

*inhales* As I smell my wrist, I can’t help but say omg & inhale with such passion. What makes this this fragrance feel sexier is the fact it is a unisex fragrance. It’s an oriental – floral scented perfume.

"Flamenco is an intense and passionate art ... it's a unique mental state."
Let me focus on the design, it reminds of a zippo lighter. It comes in this deep red bottle, with a gold design around the rim of the bottle and lid, all onto the nozzle head. The cap has a ridged black design with the Ramon Monegal logo on the top, the Logo and perfume name is displayed in gold on the front.

Top notes: Orange Blossom, Rose and Bulgarian Rose
Heart notes: Jasmine, Rose, Iris and Violet
Base notes: Cedar, Amber, Pine tree and Cypress.

Opens with orange blossom right into the Spanish and Bulgarian rose, sensual Jasmine leads the way for violet. What I find that really explodes for me is Raspberry before it settles into a woody - musk blend but I can still smell a slight hint of Raspberry. Which is included alongside Strawberry juxtaposed with Ramon’s unique ‘hormonal attraction of must and a gourmand note – hint of candyfloss and fudge.
Looking back on all these components it’s insane how beautifully they work for both sexes. I’ve never tried a unisex blend before but after this I’m never opposed to see how this work with others body chemistry and what notes are brought out.

The sillage for this on me surprisingly doesn’t fade for hours, it keeps from 'in the morning until the evening'. One spritz on my wrist is enough to share on both and bring up but I do like to hit the key points. Being that for me this is very high end, it’s a special occasion fragrance, one that I’d wear to make an impression on someone else.

Places to get immediate effect for your fragrances
• Hair
• Behind the Ears
• Collar Bone
• Inside Elbows
• Wrists
• Belly Button (I got this tip from Liv Tyler)
• Down Your Back
• Behind Knees
• Ankles

Have you tried Ramon Monegal fragrances before? What are you loving to wear at the moment?


Purchase: Flamenco by Ramon Monegal
£180 for 50ml. Will be exclusively available at Harrods, Summer 2017


Sample.

Ramon Monegal - Flamenco EDP

For those who have followed me for many years, you'll know I love a red lipstick. There's something bold, powerful, attractive, animalistic, daring and classic beauty about the shade red.

Many of us can put our make-up on & go about our daily doings, but for others it's our mask. You've got up, done your hair and make-up, ready to slay and take on the world...so it seems. We appear fine, yeah everything is okay! I look well put together to the outside world - but inside - I wish I felt as beautiful as my red vibrant lips. I wish I stood and could be everything that this bold red lip says to others. Somedays I can be, others day it's the biggest struggle I face that day, just to push on. Even though I'm a talker when it comes to things I face, I'm often told sometimes to just put my face on and I will feel better - to a degree, it gives me something to do and if I'm lucky I don't feel as bad as I did but there's still pain. Pain that makeup cannot take away or anyone else. It does start from us working from within.

When I came across the email from Jenny, there was this wave of familiarity. The topic being depression but what hit harder was Jenny told me how her daughter Lucy, committed suicide on 5th May 2012 at the age of 22. Unfortunately the family didn't know about her depression, which of course left them even more devastated. Although when it comes to depression & anxiety for many it's not easy to speak upon. I understand not everyone is like me when it comes to those subjects but I speak to encourage others like Lucy who feel they can't speak about it to be able to confide. In the wake of Lucy's passing her mother started the Lucy Rayner Foundation in October 2012 and it gained charity status in 2013. The main objective of the charity is to give a voice to every person within the UK who is suffering with a mental health issue & to raise awareness of the mental and physical suffering from depression in particularly but not exclusively young people.

There are so many reasons as to why, people aged between 20 - 34 are on the rise with taking their own lives. Social media can be a powerful but damaging tool. With the social pressures we face as young adults, there's also other traumatic events that can occur that can lead to people feeling less than and worthless. Even as I write this I daily fight and face my own demons. It's not easy but speaking about it can help some - I'm proof of that. Sometimes life can feel as though it's a heavy burden due to personal problems but just like the quote says 'Life is what you make it!' - this is true. We all have choices and whatever choices we make, we shouldn't feel alone in them. Lucy loved to wear red lipstick and that's why I've mentioned a little regarding the shade in the post. It was too, her signature lip colour and baby girl, it suited you perfectly.

“Lucy had a vibrant personality and loved wearing red lipstick. She was always on Facebook, so it seemed appropriate to combine these two things to create a fun, lighthearted campaign, but with an underlying serious and important message. All donations raised will go towards setting up more coffee shops Nationwide providing a relaxed and welcoming place for people to talk about their feelings.”

Here's how you can get involved:

KISS OFF DEPRESSION is a Facebook campaign which leverages the popularity of social media to drive awareness of mental health, eradicate the stigma surrounding it and get people talking more about their mental health and feelings.

1. Put your red lipstick on
2. Take a selfie and post it on your Facebook page
3. Donate £2 to the Lucy Rayner Foundation by texting KISS05 to 70070
4 Nominate your friends to do the same.
5. Video and Do the KISS OFF DEPRESSION gesture

Join in the campaign on social media with the hashtag: #kissoffdepression


Top Tips to help someone with depression

Top tips from Jenny Rayner, mum to Lucy and Founder of the Lucy Rayner Foundation on what to do if you worried that a friend or loved one may be suffering from depression:
▶ Let them know that they are not alone
▶ Invite them for a coffee and catch up
▶ Ask open questions like ‘How are you feeling today? What can I do to help?
▶ If they don’t want to talk, let them know that you are always there when they do
▶ Share information about yourself and what you have been up to
▶ Offer to go with them to the doctors if that is appropriate
▶ Follow up with regular calls and meet ups
▶ Let them know you love them

#KISSOFFDEPRESSION

“Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin' with no make-up on!” Sometimes it’s so nice to be able to take all the fuss out of what to wear today. Tracksuits, do that without a doubt. Already got your two piece on. The one I’m sporting is from SimplyBe’s sportswear section, now in my youth, tracksuits and me were like bread + cheese. It wasn’t hard to spot this beautiful funnel necked Nike pebble rose gold logo accent with matching sweatpants and automatically want it.

SimplyBe are a brand known for fashion for women of a plus sized body. They do now stock from a size 12 – 32 meaning no woman with curves is feeling they have to compromise their fashion wants. During my adulthood, I’ve been a 12 – 16, but I mostly sit in between at a 14 but for comfort with some items I will choose a 16. When looking at the sizes for the tracksuit, I felt it was sized so weird for what I was use too, 12-14, 16-18 20-22 – I mean for me that was odd and I was confused on where I would sit with the size, I decided as it was a tracksuit, it doesn’t matter if it’s baggy but I didn’t want it to be too loose anyways I went for 16 – 18 and anticipated its arrival.
Surprisingly, the 16 – 18 fit well besides the arms, I found the way the jumper is cut at the armhole, it’s a little strange. When you look at it, you’d feel you’d get more room because it goes diagonally onto the chest instead of cut around the armhole. Except it was pretty tight on my upper arms. I stretched out the upper arms for a couple days and found it helped to loosen the fabric slightly but it’s best to push up the sleeves from the wrist to get comfortability. Inside both items it’s a fleece fabric so it keeps you warm regardless of the weather, no matter how much I wash it, that fleece is unforgiving with its shedding – but if that’s all I’ve got a problem with it’s not even an issue. What also drew me to the item was the funnel neck hood, I’ve never had a tracksuit with that before and I love it, it’s different and snug.



Samples.

Simply Nike.

A few months ago I featured a brand called SAMAYA while trying out their pitta cleanser which you can read more about here but to give you a brief rundown on the brand they're an all-natural skincare brand that are based on Ayurvedic principles, one I have taken up in some aspects of my health. By giving us clinically proven active ingredients and anti-ageing compounds that they marry to bring us effective skincare that are relaxing and beneficial.

With key ingredients, as beautiful as these; Jasmine Flower Extract, Neem Oil, Saffron Extract, Lotus Seed Extract, Shatavari Extract, Turmeric Root Oil, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Gotu Kola Oil, Feverfew Extract. It’s hard to not see why this gives benefifts over time.

The Benefits.

Jasmine Flower Extract; mood boosting, improves energy, reduces anxiety and stress. While helping to balance moisture levels and increase the skin’s elasticity. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help protect skin.

Neem Oil; promotes skin healing, reduces itching and roughness while purifying the skin and neutralising damaging free radicals to give the skin a radiant glow.

Saffron Extract; skin toning abilities, helps natural radiance as it helps to reduce pigmentation. Mood enhancing properties, an aphrodisiac that is used often to improve general health.

Lotus Seed Extract; anti-inflammatory that contains zinc and anti-ageing enzymes that can repair damaged or sensitive skin while soothing and calming the mind. Very beneficial for blemish-prone skin.

Shatavari Extract; In Ayurvedic tradition to be the female equivalent to Ashwagandha, Shatavari’s name in Sanskrit translates as ‘she who possesses one hundred husbands.’ It has been used as a tonic for female health concerns and as a means of reducing stress and tension. There’s rejuvenative properties for skin, helping towards a renewed, youthful appearance.

Turmeric Root Oil; Powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, heals skin barrier while protection it from free radical damage and also great for hyperpigmentation.

Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract; considers nature’s botox. It’s an anti-inflammatory, natural, edible botanical extract, that helps to instantly relax facial stress and tension while reducing the appearance of winkles, UV damage and blemishes. Helps restore skin firmness, leading to a younger-looking revived appearance.

Gotu Kola Oil; anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing herb, helps fight chronic skin conditions by repairing damage done to the skin, stimulates collagen production in the skin.

Feverfew Extract; Chrysanthemum parthenium and Midsummer Daisy is also what this ingredient is known by. It’s a good cooling and anti-inflammatory herb, known historically as a relaxant with soothing properties.
I am in love with oils for my skin already so once again - it's more than welcome. Even though anti-ageing isn't something I've thought about, I do like to keep my skin, plump & bright. With everything being so pure, it's more comforting for me. The oil doesn't sit on my skin or block my pores. I apply this after or without moisturiser but I make sure to apply it morning & night - especially at night alongside my humidifier as I find my skin enjoys all the moisture being given and retained. I use it under my eyes too with no problem, I had a little dry area under my eye which didn't look great when applying makeup but since using this, it's helped cure that problem.

Purchase: Pitta Anti-Ageing Treatment Oil £79.00


Sample.

SAMAYA - Pitta Anti-Ageing Treatment Oil

With the insufferable weather that the UK can bring, finding a boost in complexion can be null + void. Time Bomb Cosmetics have created Holiday in a Bottle that is aimed to give an instant, healthy-looking sun tanned boost for pale, ashen “indoor” complexions. Okay I’m pale for being bi-racial and definitely need help in the complexion boosting department.

I’ve been using the shade ‘Suntanned’, described to give a translucent, sunny bronze it comes in a 30ml pump bottle, the cream at first looks slightly grey/lilac shade but develops on contact with the skin into a more natural brown appearance as it adjusts with your own complexion so it doesn’t look crazy. It washes off just like tinted moisturiser so keep in mind, it’s not a self-tanner, foundation or stain. I’ve used this a handful of times now and I apply it before my foundation (like a primer) although I have used this alone when I just want to go without makeup and want some colour, so I don't scare people. I’d reach for Holiday in a Bottle. I make sure to blend it all over the face down onto the neck. I don’t use more than 1 – 2 pumps but that is personal preference.
All in all it’s a hit for me, without a doubt. Anything that can boost my complexion and not turn me orange / red – thumbs up. I think it works better more so alone than with foundation for me as the foundation plays down the complexion boost.

It’s also available in Sunkissed for lighter, honeyed sunny glow.

Purchase:Holiday in a Bottle £30


Sample.

Holiday in A Bottle

Browsing Holland and Barrett, I come across this face mask. I've wanted to try the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask but decided grabbing this one would be quicker.

With Pumpkin, Aloe Vera, Sunflower Oil & Manuka Honey being the top 4 ingredients and glycolic acid being 8th on the list, I have a feeling it's not going to be very strong in strength to make a difference from what I've read the acid needs to be around 6 to 10% in concentration for it to be effective, therefore with it being so low down on the list, I don't think it'll be the main effective ingredient.

Key Ingredients:
- Vitamin C: dramatically improves surface pigmentation, uneven tone, and dark spots caused by sun damage and over-stimulation of melanin. Invigorates dermal circulation and cell turnover, boosts collagen and elastin, and fortifies skin's immunity to defend against free-radicals that can age skin prematurely.
- Pumpkin Puree: natural enzymes remove dehydrated cells to brighten and smooth
- Manuka Honey: soothes and heals to clarify and restore balance
- Glycolic Acid: AHA gently dissolves intra-cellular glue to exfoliate dead cells and impurities.

What is great about this is the fact it's got Manuka Honey within the ingredients which is good for it's anti-inflammatory, antibacterial & antioxidant benefits. For this to be of any benefit the Manuka Honey must be 15 and above for this to be active. As there's not indication of that on the website / ingredients, I don't know how beneficial that ingredient is.

Applying the puree consistency onto my entire face, keeping away from my eye area and I allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. Upon application there was a lot of tingling sensations happening, nothing unbearable but I did worry if there would be any irritation once I'd rinsed it off, there is a slight pumpkin scent to this mask. Rinsing off after 15 minutes, my skin has no irritation but it certainly looked brighter, felt a touch smoother. I probably wouldn't use this all the time as I do use a lot of AHAs / BHAs so I wouldn't go OTT but this is certainly one for when I've maybe not done so in a few days or a week and the skins looking dull for a boost. Would I repurchase, maybe so. It's not bad I'd just like to know more about what the ingredients are delivering in terms of percentage etc.

Have you tried this glycolic mask before?

Purchase: Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

This year I was introduced to Skin Design London. It's without a doubt a luxury skincare brand but you get what you pay for in most cases, this is one of those cases. Because I'm always targeting hyperpigmentation whether it's visible or not - I know it's an inevitable problem in my life. Therefore I always aim to get products that either target that or both the spots and hyperpigmentation. I decided to trial the Retexturing Serum and Designer Balm.

Retexturing Serum £105.00

"Resurface skin using this advanced Retinol, lactic acid and sea algae skin renewing daily serum. Retinol encourages cellular turnover revealing younger looking skin with diminished signs of ageing. Formulated with a gradual release system to minimise irritation and with arnica to help reduce inflammatory responses."

Retexturing Serum Ingredients
- Lactic acid increases skin’s hydration, pliability and flexibility, excellent for more sensitive skin, dark or hyperpigmented skin.

- Cylasphere retinol encapsulated retinol offers gradual release and enhanced efficacy. Helps stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Minimises the appearance of large pores while addressing blemishes and blotchiness often associated with problematic, acneic or mature skin.

- Tegostemlastin (algaeextract) naturally derived marine algae rich in mineral nutrients, amino acids and polyphenols plus gaba (gamma amino butryric acid). Stimulates epidermal stem cells and dermal fibroblasts. Significantly supports the maintenance of epidermal stem cell activity encouraging skin rejuvenation.

- Olive squalane plant source alternative to human sebum to lubricate and protect skin.

- Arnica montana flower extract capable of reducing skin puffiness and inflammation. Also limits alpha hydroxy acid irritation and skin redness.

- Darkout tm (caesalpinia spinosa gum, hypoxis rooperi rhizome extract) evens out skin color, helping to create a brighter, more radiant complexion. Improves overall skin colour, reducing age spots, freckles and hyper-pigmentation.

- Bisabolol accelerates the healing process and protects skin from daily environmental stress with anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties. Natural anti­bacterial and anti-fungal. Enhances the penetration of other ingredients.

- Niacinamide potent cell-communicating ingredient with multiple benefits for aging skin. Improves skin’s elasticity, dramatically enhances its barrier function, help erase discolorations, and revive skin’s healthy tone and texture.

Increases ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, preventing water loss and stimulating microcirculation in the dermis.

Experience
The ingredients really made me confident to give this serum a try, I love acids, lactic acid I'm very familiar with and daily I use Niacinamide to help my skin. All these key ingredients aim to help my only skin concerns, occasional spots (inflammation) - hyperpigmentation. The serum has a nice texture, not too runny and I quite like the scent. It absorbs nicely onto the skin, no sticky residue and I can go in with my moisturiser pretty quickly after application.

Designer Balm £85.00

"Transformative at-home treatment to peel, plump, smooth and hydrate with 4 key ingredients for glowing skin in 15 minutes. Maximum concentration Retinol targets multiple skin conditions. Suitable for sensitive skin."

Designer Balm Ingredients
- Retinol anti-aging cell regenerator smooths skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

- Hyaluronic acid boosts moisturisation, plumping and hydrating skin for a youthful appearance.

- Soy protein locks moisture on the skin’s surface for a smoothing effect.

- Rosehip oil high fatty acid content protects against premature ageing and delivers intense hydration.

No parabens.
Experience
I always forget that face masks can be more like balms. I think at times I prefer a good 'balm mask'. There's no overdoing it with this mask, swiping around with my fingers on the surface and applying and the only residue I notice is the sheen to my face that this leaves.  Because it's so lightweight I often forget that I've got it on - even popping to the shops lol - it's only needed to be on for 15 minutes for a glowing boost to the skin. I will use it approx 3x a week

Purchase: Retexturing Serum // Designer Balm

Samples.

Skin Design London

Got glow within the word, I'm paying attention. I strive to at least have a glow. When I saw The Hero Project Glow Drops in my inbox - all I had to see was glow. It's also said to be friendly for vegetarians & vegans & non-comedogenic, free from parabens, sulphates, alcohol and mineral oil. The non-comedogenic I was happy to see because I can't use coconut oil for that reason now.

After Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride which is an ingredient derived from coconut oil and glycerin but the second ingredient is cannabis sativa hemp seed oil. It helps premature aging and moisture balance within the skin but it also is great for helping acne, eczema and psoriasis. With essential fatty acids it's made up of omega-3 & omega-6 which are needed for healthy skin production and because of the gamma-linolenic acid that hemp seed oil is rich in, the anti-inflammatory properties. One thing I found out it has high levels of Vitamin A, C, and E, is rich in amino acids, and is an antioxidant. Also with lemon, grapefruit and orange peel there's a lot of vitamin C within that and Carrot seed oil will help to give you a natural and gradual glow.

Ingredients:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides (Vetivert) Root Oil, Origanum Majorana (Marjoram) Leaf Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Linalool, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Geraniol, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Limonene, Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, Citronellol, Citral.

The packaging is interesting, it comes with a slim pipette and a yellow button on top of the cap that is pressed a few times to get the oil into the pipette. As soon as I lift it to place into my palm the oil already drops out. I apply roughly 3-4 drops and massage it into my skin from my decolletage upwards.

Let's talk about the drops...it's described as a dry oil - first point I like, because it's easy if I wanted to apply makeup afterwards due to the fact it's not sliding around on my face because let's be frank, I'm pretty liberal with an oil. I don't have any fine lines or wrinkles so I can't say it smoothes over those but it does give my complexion a slight boost of health. I was surprised that this oil is clear as most have a tinted colour to them. After application it doesn't sit on the skin and absorbs quickly, the hydration last about 7 hours (without makeup) & then my face starts to get a little dry but I don't expect the oil to give me 12 hour moisturising properties. I'd be interested in trying more from the brand such as The Hero Project Vit C-30 Ultra Brightening Serum

Purchase: The Hero Project Glow Drops Dry Touch Facial Oil + Vitamin C
Sample.

The Hero Project Glow Drops.