Monday, 31 December 2012

Review: Santhilea Magnetic Lash Mascara

I was lucky enough to win one of the Santhilea 1-2-1 Lash Extension System sets through a competition a few months ago, and although I've tried it a few times since, I've never gotten around to blogging about it. A few of the reviews I've read have not been too positive which has prompted me to finally share my results. (Better late than never eh?!)

So, what are you getting for your money?

You get two tubes in the system. 1 containing the magnetic lash builder mascara and 1 containing the brush on velvet fibres.

How does it work?

Apply a light coat of the buildable mascara and allow to dry for a few seconds. Next, brush on the velvet fibres (I find doing it slowly and in a continuous stroke avoids any clumping.). Allow a few seconds drying time and follow with a second coat of the mascara.

Less is more so keep the coats light and even - it's a buildable product so no need to lay it on thick and fast.

Here are a few quick demo pics I did last night:

 1. Before application - My lashes aren't short or thin but being naturally blonde, they are quite pale and therefore lack definition.

Normally I'd use a lash curler first, my preferred look being a heavy, smokey eye.

These pics are going straight onto my bare skin fairly late at night so excuse the lack of base makeup!

 2. Coat 1 of the magnetic mascara.

Remeber to allow a few seconds drying time before moving on - if you want to speed things up a little, try gently fanning your lashes with your hand.

NB. The product is not oil based - an added bonus which helps it stay put and not bleed down onto my cheeks like some products do. 

 3 - Add fibres.

Brush gently and evenly. Try to avoid going over your lashes - remember, it's buildable. you can always repeat this step again if desired and it'll help reduce the chance of clumping.

You can already see how much volume and definition it's added - Imagine how good it looks with a liner and shadow!

4. Second coat of mascara.

Ok, so now you can really see how much longer and thicker my lashes are looking and altough there's a little clumping, as I said earlier, remember this was done very quickly just to give you an idea of the look you can achieve.

I've never repeated the fibre/mascara step again as find that the two coats mascara/one coat fibres is enough to give me the look I want.

 I love this mascara as it's so lightweight and long-lasting. It's also very quick and easy to remove. For someone like me who doesn't use falsh lashes but wants the volumised look, I'd recommend giving it a try.

For further information or to purchase the product, here's a link to the website: where the product retails for £24.99. There's also a competition running at present on the home page where you could get lucky enough to win one of 50 of the lash building systems, and it's free to enter.

Feel free to add a comment and let me know if you've tried this or similar products and what you thought.



Saturday, 29 December 2012

Haul: Christmas sale bargain buys

I'm determined to try to stop my excessive spending on beauty and skincare items in 2013 and as a result, I've tried to stay away from the sales following the mantra 'I don't really need stuff, I just want stuff'.

Well, I managed until today, but with some vouchers burning a hole in my pocket, I just had to go shopping! Armed with a £50 Debenhams card, £15 on my Beauty Club Card, 2 x £3 vouchers for The Body Shop (thanks to Company magazine), a £15 Monsoon reward voucher and a few ££££s in my purse, my aim was to spend as little cash as possible and try to get items I'd actually use and not hoard away.

So, here's my rather conservative haul.....

First stop - The Body Shop:

As the vouchers could only be used against full priced items only, I opted for a Coconut Shower Cream (£4) which smells yummy, and the Big Nail Filer and Nail Buffer (£2 each).  I had to make seperate purchases and noticed on my receipts there are coupons for £10 off a £30 spend between 8th-31st Jan - worth keeping hold of - just in case (I tell myself this as a means to justify a potential spend again in a few weeks time!)

So, £2 well spent so far.

Next, I decided to pop into Lush to see if anything remained of the christmas range as I've heard so many people rave about the Snow Fairy and Ponche Shower Gels. There was little in the window display and no sale signage up around the store - bad sign. Thank goodness I walked in though as they had just put out the last of the two products and I was able to snap up two of each:

Cost - £10.48 for the four. They smell lovely so I can't wait to start using these. They also had a few of the seasonal bath bombs but my new found conservative head took over and I decided to leave it at just the gels.

Ok, so next stop - Debenhams. It's always worth a nose around the store during sale periods as I managed to get some great bargains here which were either out of stock online or not advertised. I picked up a Lancome Ombre Absolue Eyeshadow in G60 - Strass Black for £8.50 and an Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter for £11.50 (both half price):

A Moisture Must-Haves Trio of Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase (15ml each) for £20 (RRP £60 based on price per ml), and Eyebrow Pencil for £16. This meant I could take advantage of an in-store promotion where you could select 3 products with any two purchases. My choices - Extra Firming Night Cream 30ml, Multi-Active Day Cream 30ml and Gentle Foaming Cleanser 75ml.

I also managed to snag a bargain on the Yankee Candle section. The whole christmas range was selling at 50% off! I got the last of the jars and a selection of the wax melts in Sparkling Cinnamon, Happy Christmas, Christmas Cookie, Christmas Cupcake and Sparkling Snow. (I wish I'd bought more now I'm home but again, that conservative head said - stop there!!) Cost = £13.54

At Monsoon the majority of stock on display was 'sale' merchandise, so seeing as my £15 voucher was due to expire on 31.12, I picked up this cute little bird trinket holder for free:

It'll look great on my shelf and help me to keep track of my studs which are forever going missing!

Last stop - Boots. I had a good look around at the sale stock and whilst I was tempted with a few items, I walked away with just wrapping paper for next year costing me £6.75 and giving me a voucher for money off No.7 skincare and make-up.

So, overall, a conservative haul. Having used my vouchers and loyalty card I've spent just over £20 and am happy that I'll use all of these items without that dreaded guilty feeling I normally have after a shopping trip!




Confession time! I popped back on New Year's Eve to see what else I could grab (and to pick up some more Yankee Candles for a fellow Beauty Box Swapper who just loves them and needs to replenish her supplies, so really I had to go, right?!)

I popped back to Lush but the sale stock was practically non existant - I ended up with another Ponche, a Bubblebeard Bubble Bar and a fresh face mask in Cosmetic Warrior.

I popped into Boots as Debenhams no longer had any of the Lancome bargains. I really  wasn't expecting to see anything along the same lines there but managed to find these two varnishes at half price.

Le Vernis Matt 012 Pure Gold and the one I'm most excited about - Flirty Red from the 2012 holiday collection. (I already own the Ginger Swing and love that but the Red had been out of stock when I tried to order pre-christmas.)

Of course, I went in to Debenhams again and came out with over £24 worth of Yankee Tarts, the bulk of these are being sent on tho as I got enough to last me a while on my first trip.

I also popped to TKMaxx which usually has some great skincare/cosmetic items to be had. This time however, I left with empty hands.... probably a good thing really as in hindsight, and with me now purging my stash of products, I'd never have gotten around to using anything this side of 2014! 

Monday, 12 November 2012

More from Marshmallow Blends

I recently did a post about my first order from the wonderful Nicoletta at Marshmallow Blends. I fell in love with these home made products, and, as a result, have placed a further two orders since. (Yep, they are that good!)

Here's an overview of some of the items....

The first one I want to show is a limited item available in just a small quantity via the facebook page, from time to time Nicoletta offers 'mystery boxes' or deals in very limited numbers (it's worth popping onto the page from time to time in case you get lucky enough to bag one):

This gorgeous little red box with ribbon was being offered at £5.99. It contains 3 miniture fragranced soaps wrapped in red tissue paper with a little description card.

The fragrances are: Merry Berry Xmas, Gingerbread and Santas Cookies. Sounds scrummy eh?

These mini soaps are going to make a fantastic present, although having opened the box to take the pics, it'll be hard to part with them!

I've tried a sample of the soaps which I received with one of the orders and wanted to add a picture to show you how creamy they are when lathered (see below).

It doesn't leave your skin feeling tight or dry like some soaps can and is great to use as an alternative to shaving foam! This little sample has lasted a good few uses, and now that I've tried it, I'm confident that whoever I gift the mini soaps to will love them.


Next up, bath bombs! I love using them and the selection available on the site sound so tasty! You can find them in the 'Tub Treats' section of the website here:  I opted for the Baileys Milk Bomber (£2.75 each) and the Love Bomb Suprise (£2.75 each).

I've already used the Baileys Milk Bomber which smelt quite subtle. True to its description, it leaves the bath water looking milky and your skin feeling soft with no powdery residue. The product disintegrated slowly and there were no chalky bits left at the base of the tub at the end. 
Here are a few pics of the product before use and whilst fizzing away in the water.....

I'm really looking forward to trying the Love Bomb Suprise - the description sounds just too good!

I also wanted to try the Honey, Vanilla & Cinnamon Truffles. Priced at £4.99 for four:  I've tried one already and what these lack in size they make up for in fragrance. The predominant scent is Cinnamon but it's perfect for a long hot soak on a cold wintery evening. Leaving the door closed means the room is filled with the warming scent.  

Next up, are some of the body butters. I've never really been a fan of body lotions or butters. But, having had a small sample of the cupcake butter in my previous order, I was hooked.
The scent on these items just linger for hours and make your skin feel sooo good! They soak in gradually and make your skin feel soft and supple. It turns from cream to an oily consistency quickly on impact with the heat of your skin and is easy to work in - a little definitely goes a long way!
I've opted for the Creme Brulee and the Cupcake fragrances and these are priced at £5.99 each.
Believe me, once you've opened the tub you just can't stop wanting to sniff them again they really do smell that good!

The Cupcake one is going in my little sister's christmas gift box along with a Creme Brulee body scrub (£4.99). 

She's also asked to try the Mocha Shower Fluff (£5.99) which has a sweet coffee-like fragrance - great for a morning wake up!

I also received a sample of this (Nicoletta adds a few samples to her orders and if there's something you really want to try, she'll do her best to include a small amount if she's got it available).  

If you love the look of these products and want to find out more, pop over to the facebook page and let Nicoletta know you've read my post.

Have you tried any of the products? What are your favourites?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Marshamallow Blends = Bathing Bliss!

Marshmallow Blends = Bathing Bliss!

I came across the site on Facebook where the group is growing in number and glowing reviews. I tried to resist but the beautiful pictures and mouth watering products made it just too difficult.

Hence, I placed my first order with Marshmallow Blends just a few short weeks ago, and promised the owner I'd write a blog to share my purchase and thoughts with you all so here it is...

The home page on the site (linked above) states:

'Marshmallow Blends was created for all those sweet toothed ladies like myself who crave delicious scented body products with a twist.

Our Luxurious skin care products are packed full of gorgeous skin nuturing ingredients which will leave your skin feeling soft as marshmallows and smelling sweet.

Our mission is to make every single product deliciously perfect . Each and every item is made up in small fresh batches to ensure you get a quality product which is hand crafted with Love and finished with a sprinkling of fairy dust.'

A mission I can vouch for when I tell you that the products are just divine! All of the sweetness with none of the calories!

Ok, so , onto my purchases....

I opted for two cold process soap slices in Pumpkin Cream and Raspberry and White Chocolate (£3.99 each) and two soft brown sugar body scrubs in Caramel Cupcake and Rustic Gingerbread (£4.99 each). On the day of the order, there was an offer where a Creme Brulee body scrub sample were included with all orders......and to my delight I also got some sample pots of Vanilla Lip Butter and Cupcake Body Butter.

Now, the soaps were meant to be gifts for my family for christmas......

Now, I tried to resist opening the lovely packaging (hence the delay in blogging) but alas, with some persuasion from the company via Facebook (yep, I'm blaming you Marshmallow Blends!) I opened them......

 Raspberry and Chocolate Slice

'This beautiful soap smells amazing. Sweet creamy white chocolate with crisp juicy raspberries. a real bath time treat. Made with added silk and kaolin for a creamy silky texture.'

Oh my days! How delicious does this look? and the smell is all the description leads you to hope for and more...yummy!!!

The detail is fab, from the glittery sprinkles, raspberries and cream on top to the marbled base. I pm'd to make sure I couldn't eat them..... the reply .....they are for external indulgeance only! Oh well!


Pumpkin Cream slice

'Creamy coconut milk and silk have been added to this pumpkin scented cold process soap. Made with shea butter, palm oil, coconut oil, almond oil, castor and olive oils. Packed with moisture.'

Soft and sparkly and such a wonderful product - just right with Halloween around the corner!

You can feel how packed with moisturising goodness these products are just by handling them. I can't wait to get stuck in...... looks like I'll have to get some more in for the family now!

Onto the tubs...

Caramel Cupcake Scrub
'This body scrub has a delicious bakery cupcake scent and is loaded with soft brown sugar to gently buff away dry skin and leave it looking healthy and feeling amazingly soft. Each jar contains at least 140g of body scrub and contains shea butter, grapeseed oil and vitamin e.'
Rustic Gingerbread Scrub
'A gorgeous soft brown sugar scrub scented with warm gingerbread. A true bakery scent with ginger and sweet cinnamon. Rinses off to leave skin glowing and soft.'

Again, the scent on the products are just too good to be true! I've opened the tubs at least a dozen times and it just makes me wanna eat cake!!!

I've already used half the sample tub of Creme Brulee (as you can probably tell from the pic) and being a huge scrub fan, have to say it was excellent! It was easy to use, only needing a little to slough my arms free of any bumps and dead skin. The sugary scrub also melts away making it really easy to rinse off and leaving no sand-like residue at the bottom of the tub. Result!

(Not the best of lighting but you can see how gritty and easy to apply it appears)

I've also tried the lip butter and body butter on the back of my hand. The lip butter is really smooth and easy to apply. The body butter literally melts into your skin and leaves it scented for ages afterwards.


All in all, I've nothing but good things to say about these products. My only possible opoint for criticism is the postage - £3.99 regardless of the order size - great if you are buying in bulk, not so cost effective if you just want a single item so bear this in mind.

Why not visit the site and add yourself to the facebook group..... tell them you heard about them through me and let me know what you think of the products too.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Review: Paris City Break (March 2012)

This year I've taken two short breaks to Paris - firstly in March for my birthday, and again in September. As we enjoyed our time there so much, I thought I'd do a blog post and share my experiences with you all.

For our first trip we stayed at The Waldorf Trocadero.
The hotel is close to a number of attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomphe. I booked through's top secret hotel option - you select which area you want to be in and which star rating and then get given the full hotel details once your booking is confirmed. We were so happy with the allocation as I'd researched a few hotels near the Eiffel Tower, this being one of them, and managed a saving of over £100 on the normal cost of the room using this option.

As it was my birthday during our trip, we ordered breakfast in bed. Loads of yummy croissants, tea, coffee and my brekkie favourite - pains au chocolate! mmmmmmm!!

Eiffel Tower

For our first day in Paris, I'd booked a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower through Viator ( linked here ). The weather was so crisp and clear but bitingly cold - well worth taking some layers if your planning a trip around this time of year.

Our guide for the tour was brilliant. She was informative, energetic, patient and friendly. Being Canadian she was easy to understand and follow as she led us up and around the tower. We learnt some interesting facts about how and why it was constructed, and about events that have taken place both on and around the structure throughout history.

From the top of the tower, the views are amazing! There was something to pick out at every turn - so many Parisian landmarks dotted below us. Here are a couple of the pics we took to give you an idea of what you can see.

Notre Dame.

Sacre Couer.

There are souvenier shops, a restaurant and a museum within the levels of the tower. Our guide shared some useful info on travelling around Paris using the Metro system - a very cheap and effective way of packing in as much sight-seeing as possible - and details on additional tours run by the company.

Following our tour, we walked through the Esplanade du Trocadero - you'll be bombarded by street sellers offering cheap keepsakes and souveneirs here, stop still and they swarm around you - be firm in your refusals and be mindful to watch your valuables.

A few minutes walk away was the Cafe du Trocadero where we decided to lunch and watch the people bustling by. We both had the French Onion Soup and Raviolli with a bottle of white for me and red for the Mr. It was quite pricey but mainly due to the wine - the food was lovely and the atmosphere too.



My other half is an avid fan of The Doors music. As a result, he really wanted to go to Pere-Lachaise to see the grave of Jim Morrison.

The cemetery is the final resting place of many, many well known people. We totally underestimated the size of the graveyard! It took us more than two hrs wandering through the many streets and paths of this spectacular place before we found it! Should you want to visit, it's well worth investing in a map or doing your research first. Here's a link to the virtual guide.

It was an amazing place. So peaceful and beautiful. There were graves which were simple and undecorated, and there were tombs which were so ornate and detailed - a contrast you have to experience to appreciate. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of the intricate structures you can see.


O Chateau

We booked a two hour wine tasting with O Chateau mainly due to the fact we love wine! Me white, the Mr red. You can book the tours at this beautiful wine bar direct with the company here. The atmosphere was great and the small group size made it feel more intimate and private. We got to try a champagne as well as arange of white and red wines. 

The session was really relaxed. We learned about the different wine regions in France and how the bottles are labelled. We were shown how to determine whether a wine is sweet or dry, and how to detect the acidity using swirling and tasting techniques.

You can also purchase bottles to take away (which we took advantage of!) and were given a handy reference sheet to remind you how to continue enjoying wine and using the skills you picked up on during the tasting. We stayed at the wine bar for a few hrs after and tried a few more flights having spent some time talking with one of the bartenders.

It was a wonderful experience and one we would definitely recommend. 


Moulin Rouge

It was my birthday whilst in Paris so we booked the dinner and show package at the Moulin Rouge (again via Viator). The food was really good and included a half bottle of wine. The show was full of glitz and sparkle and although there was a lot of flesh being shaken and shimmied, it wasn't smutty. The dances were structured around the songs and told the story well. In between there were a few addtional extras - a huge water tank with snakes inside, into which one of the girls dived and weaved in and out of the serpents!! The wine menu was super expensive which was the only down-side. Be prepared to take a lot of cash or a credit card!

Sadly you aren't allowed to take pictures whilst the show takes place so I can't give you any sneak peeks on this one.


Notre Dame

An unmistakeable landmark. Amazing detail on the stonework surrounding the doors. The gargoyles featured on the sides of the building are quite intimidating as they stare down on you - eyes seeming to follow you as you pass. Considering how many people were outside, once you enter the cathedral, it's just so peaceful and quiet. We didn't take a guided tour of the building but it's definitely something I'd want to do in the future as it's such a well-known historical building it'd be great to get to know more about it.  

I'll add a few pics but say no more:


We also took a stroll down the Champs Elysees via the Arc De Triomph

(Crazy taxi has nothing on the driving there!), passed St Sulpice,

the outside of the Louvre, and ate a beautiful meal - tournados rossini - at Gaspard, a kosher, family run restaurant just opposite our hotel. There was just too much to pack into one visit to enjoy it all in one trip!

So, as you can see, there's plenty of things to see and do in Paris - it's a beautiful city and although some activities are expensive, getting around is cheap if using the Metro system (listen out for the buskers on board who go from carriage to carriage and watch your belongings!) or good old fashioned walking, and there are plenty of sites you can visit for free. You really do need to plan your trip to make the most of the time you spend in the city.

We had such an enjoyable time that on our return, I booked another trip for September which has noww been and gone - I'll blog about that one asap too.


I hope you've found my post interesting. I'd be keen to hear what places in Paris you've visited and would recommend.