Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Beauty Basket - Skincare

I keep most of my mountain of beauty products in two sets of clear plastic drawers split into skincare, haircare, body, make up etc! However to make it easy for me to quickly grab everything I need and remember to use my new products I keep my 'products of the moment' in a white wicker basket by my mirror and the insy items in a little dish next to it. I usually keep my basket on my lingerie chest but for photography purposes I put it on my window-sill so it would photograph better. I thought this would be an interesting post as it will give you a quick overview of all my go-to products at the moment. I have two baskets, one for body and haircare and one for skincare. This post is going to focus on my skincare basket otherwise it will be a long, long list, if it goes down well I will do another one on my body/haircare basket. I haven't done a review on each product, but you can assume that as it has risen to the ranks of the white basket, I like it! In the brackets next to the item name I've included a quick description of what I use this product for. If you would like a more in-depth review on any of the products please let me know in the comments below.

Side note - my cleanser (Origins Zero Oil) and my AM (Origins Rejuvenating Treatment +) and PM (Origins Night-A-Mins) moisturisers and lip treatment (Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream) are missing as I keep my cleanser in the bathroom and moisturisers and lip treatment by my bed! I will be doing a full review on these products soon though!

1.) Origins GinZing Eye Cream (AM Eye Cream)
2.) Clarisonic Mia (Cleansing Tool)
3.) Evening Primrose Oil Capsules (Supplement)
4.) No.7 Cleansing Water for Oily/Combination Skin (Make Up Remover)
5.) Caudalie Beauty Elixir (Spray Toner)
6.) REN ClearCalm Clarity Restoring Mask (Anti-Blemish Mask)
7.) Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum (Morning Serum)
8.) Estee Lauder Adavanced Night Repair (Evening Serum)
9.) Alpha H Liquid Gold (Chemical Exfoliant)
10.) No 7. Anti-Dark Spot Facial Sun Protection
11.) Garnier Moisture Match Oily/Combination Skin (Pre-Make Up Moisturiser)
12.) Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner (AM/PM Toner)
13.) La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (Daily Spot Prevention Treatment)
14.) Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel Mask (Anti-Dull Skin Mask)
15.) Nivea Daily Essentials Regenerating Night Cream (Neck Cream)

16.) Lancome Primordiale Skin Recharge Eye Cream (PM Eye Cream)
17.) Maybelline Baby Lips (Lip Balm)
18.) Origins Spot Remover (Spot Treatment)
17.) Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate (PM Eye Cream) 

If you use any of these products please let me know below what you think of them! Or if there is anything you think I should add to my basket of goodies let me know too!


Sunday, 21 July 2013

HUGE Collective Beauty & Fashion Haul - Video

I've been doing a little bit of shopping recently, so check out the video below to see what I have picked up over the last month! It contains skincare, make up, jewellery, clothes, the whole shabbang!!

If you enjoy it please SUBSCRIBE for more videos and while you're at it, give it a cheeky THUMBS UP!!

Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thankful Thursdays # 2

What I Am Thankful For on Thursday 18th July 2013:  

1.) Sunshine ☼ - We are in the middle of an absolutely gorgeous heatwave in the UK at the moment. I think we are day 12 in of continuous sunshine (no rain - say waaaaa?!?!) and it is set to last for another month! I have said before that I think England is the most beautiful place in the sunshine, and I'll say it again! I've been enjoying lots of lovely long walks with my dog, Oscar, picnics in the park, and copious amounts of Pimms on sun-filled roof terraces. The sun just makes everyone happier and I think it allows us to make the most of our days. Chilling in a pub garden with my gorgeous gang till 10pm on a work night? What a fabulous idea.

2.) Quality time with my Grandmas - Since arriving back from travelling I've had a few weeks off before started my new job. I've mainly split this between spending time with my friends down in London and my family up Norf'. It has been really lovely spending time with my much missed Grandmas since I got back. I spent today taking my Grandma to her doctor's appointment, making her lunch and watering her vegetable patch whilst she sat in the sun and nattered away to me. These little tasks are so easy for me to do, and I really enjoy doing them, but what makes them even more worth while is knowing how happy it makes my Grandma. I'm trying to make the most of this time, before I jet back to the big smoke and visits won't be as easy. If you are lucky enough to have Grandparents around, take some time out to spend some quality time with them. It doesn't have to be any grand gesture, but I'm sure some company and help round the house would make his/her day!

3.) Pimms - I've already referred to it once in this post, but Pimms is my absolute favourite summer drink. I love putting mint, strawberries, and slices of lemon, orange and cucumber in it to make it even more delish. It always looks so pretty, tastes amazing and is really drinkable. If you are over the legal drinking age, have a Pimms on me, you are sure to love it!

4.)  New pyjamas - I did a huge clear out of all my old pjs that were knocking round my airing cupboard last week, most of which had seen better days! So I took it upon myself to head down to Primark this weekend and re-stock - yay! Primark always has a really broad range of the cutest pyjamas. They aren't the best quality but at £4 a pair who can say no to some little frilled shorties covered in ice lollies! One of my favourite little treats is putting fresh, clean sheets on my bed and getting into a new pair of pjs to snuggle up in.

Please comment below what you are thankful for this week!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Laura Mercier Soufflé Body Crème Sampler Review

I purchased this Laura Mercier Soufflé Body Crème Sampler set online in the Harrods sale a few weeks ago. This luxurious quartet consists of four 100g jars of Laura Mercier's cult Soufflé Body Crèmes in Crème Brûlée, Crème de Pistache, Almond Cocount Milk and Fresh Fig. I had heard so much about these body creams on various beauty blogs and vlogs and really wanted to find out what all the hype was about. As I was ordering online and not able to smell the creams in real life, I thought that ordering the sampler set would be the perfect idea. As it would allow me to try them all out before choosing (if I liked any of them) my favourite scent to purchase in full size. Of course, the 50% discount also helped nudge me over the edge too.

The set comes in a elegant ivory, square box with silver edging and the usual modern Laura Mercier type face. Inside are the four body creams, they each come in a clear plastic jar, allowing you to see the different colours of the cream and the plastic makes it easier for travel than a glass jar. They have a contemporary silver, plastic, screw-top lid and the whole visual is very attractive. The size and weight of each jar, makes them the perfect holiday purchase and I think due to the luxurious nature of the product they would be a great honeymoon buy or gift!

 Now on to the product itself. With regards to the different scents, for my personal taste I would rank them in the following order; Fresh Fig, Crème Brûlée, Crème de Pistache and finally Almond Coconut Milk. I think scent preference is really personal and know that a lot of people love the nuttier scents, but they just aren't for me. They also have good longevity and the smell lingers on your skin for some time after application. The texture of the creme fits its name well and is definitely a light, whipped, souffle texture. They are light enough to absorb quickly in to the skin, but they do leave a slight residue on the surface, which I quite like as you know it is really pumping some moisture into the skin.  The moisture whack comes from the addition of shea butter and macademia oil to condition the skin, while vitamins A, E & F help your skin look glowing and healthy.
These creams are definitely a luxury purchase, but if you can find them in the sale, like I did,  I believe they are good value for money. as the quality of the product is fantastic. I think these also make a really lovely (and generous) gift for someone special.

Please comment below if you have you tried any of the Laura Mercier body creams before. Which scent is your favourite?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thankful Thursdays # 1

Firstly can I say that I got the inspiration for this post from Lisette Loves, who kindly gave me permission to use this title for my posts, please go check her out.

 I had been wanted to write something like this on a regular basis for a while, and feel like putting a day of the week in the title will mean that I will stick to it and write down what I am thankful for every week. I have always liked the idea of Thanksgiving, which we don't celebrate in the UK, and have already decided that when I'm older my family will celebrate this too, and only partially because of the delicious looking food. After travelling through some poverty-stricken countries over the last 6 months and witnessing some terrible suffering (amongst a lot more happiness), it has made me so much more appreciative of all that I have. I am a very very luck girl. It is so important to remember this, as sometimes one can get dragged down by all the little upsets in life, when if you look at the bigger picture life is really good.

Bit of a personal one, and probably very opinionated, but here we go.

What I Am Thankful For on Thursday 11th July 2013:

1.) I was born in England - this may sound ridiculous, but I have realised this during my travels. In my opinion there is waaaay too much England bashing going around. I know our weather is generally appalling, and we are in a recession and there are tax increases and spending cuts and ra ra ra. I'm a Politics and Economics grad, I know this shiz. But us British citizens are all SO FORTUNATE. We live in a democracy, that is fair and equal. If I have an opinion, I can voice it, and no one will harm me, nor my family. If due to illness, redundancy or whatever reason one cannot make ends meet, we have a welfare state who will support us, we won't starve. If we fall ill,  we have free healthcare, we won't die of treatable diseases, or watch our families die. We have the means to a fantastic education, if we so wish to take advantage of it. If we go to the police station, we are in safe hands, no bribing, no corruption. And finally on a lighter note, ENGLAND IS BLOODY BEAUTIFUL. Especially at the moment - I have seen some amazing places during my travels and I still think that there is nowhere more beautiful than the English countryside on a sunshiney day.

2.) Boots - I have missed it so much travelling! Not even Australia or NZ had any kind of comparable decent drugstores. So many make-upy, skincarey, beauty delights, all in one place.

3.) Hot Beverages - or beveraaaaages as I like to say. Preferably of the tea or coffee variety. It may be hot, but I still love a good cuppa. No explanation needed.

4.) My Best Friend, Sorre - she makes me a better, funnier, kinder, happier person and I couldn't image life without her. If you have found one of these very special people, you are blessed, never let them go.

5.) Twister Ice Lollies - or any kind really, I'm not overly fussy, but Twisters are my number 1. fave. I can eat them for breakfast, whilst driving (I don't advise this), on a swing, anywhere you name it, an ice lolly will always be a good idea. It's not summer without them.

6.) The Apprentice - I love it, and it is one time that my family all get together in front of the tv and have a good debrief afterwards. Leah for the win.

7.) Mine and my loved one's health

Please comment below what you are thankful for this week, or in life generally. I would love to know. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

June Favourites 2013 - VIDEO

Hello you lovely people! I hope those of you living in England are enjoying this gorgeous heatwave!! I took full advantage of it and filmed my June Favourites outside in the sun! Take a look below and if you enjoy it, please SUBSCRIBE & THUMBS UP!!

Have a very lovely day!!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Lush Haul

Today is a very good day. Summer is here, the sun is shining and MURRAY HAS WON WIMBLEDON!!! Hurrahhh!! I thought I would make this day even brighter by writing one of my favourite posts, a Lush haul. After popping into Lush for a little *ahem browse*, I picked up a few old favourites and a couple of new purchases.

First in my basket is the Rose Jam Bubble Bar, a repeat purchase. This bar has a heavenly rose scent, identical to the Ro's Argan Body Conditioner (another repeat purchase!). To use you split the bar in two (for twice the use), and crumble it under warm, running water to produce bountiful bubbles! This turn the water a milky, baby pink and doesn't stain the bath! This contains geranium oil to balance the skin, and coconut oil and shea butter to leave your skin soft and smooth.

I also bought another bubble bar, The Comforter, which is a blackcurrant scented bright pink bar. This product is a bit of a Lush cult buy, I have heard about it on numerous blogs so decided I had to give it a go. It is double the size of a normal bubble bar, meaning you can get a double the baths out of it. The blackcurrant scent is slightly too overpowering for me, but I'm still looking forward to trying it out and having lots of bubble filled baths.

Next up is Twilight, which holds the title of my favourite bathtime Lush product. It has a lovely lavender scent,  which soothes my body and mind and always makes me feel ready for bed. Lush describe it as a "gentle, reassuring hug for the bath to transform you from worn out to warm and fuzzy"  and I think this is the perfect description. This is visually stunning, starting out with a pink and white foam, exploding out into a sunburst, before you reach the blue, glittery surprise in the middle.

I also bought another bath bomb, Tisty Tosty, which is a heart shaped delight that contains seven rosebuds. Again the overriding scent is rose, but there are also hints of geranium and jasmine. This is a very simple bubble bar, that has no colour, no fizz and the scent is subtle. This is the perfect product to use when you just want something easy and hassle free to throw in the bath and the rosebuds are a really cute touch.

Moving on to shower products, I bought the Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly. I have tried their other jelly before, Whoosh, and loved it so wanted to give this one a go. This products lives up to its name and is seriously sweet. It has a strong cherry scent and also contains coconut, vanilla, fresh strawberries and carrageen seaweed which softens the skin. These are multi-purpose products and you can use them on the body, hair and scalp, which makes them a great holiday purchase. It also contains glitter which apparently leaves a subtle hint of shimmer on the skin, perfect for summer.

On the recommendation of the shop attendant, who on a side-note are always in a delight in Lush, I got the Sultana of Soaps. So called due to the dried sultanas, cranberries and apricots it contains. I have quite dry skin on my body and this creamy, moisturising soap is supposed to be great for dry patches. The moisturising properties are from the olibanum oil, rapeseed oil and coconut oil in the soap.

Finally I bought the No Drought Dry Shampoo. I am an avid user of dry shampoos, as I don't like to wash my hair every day, and am always keen to try new ones out.  I have never used a dry shampoo in powder format before, but after a little play I think I have mastered it. You can either puff this directly onto your hair or into your hands and then work through. I like to puff this directly into my hair, then run my fingers through to spread it out before brushing through the remainder of the product. Usually I don't like the scents of dry shampoos, but this has a lovely, fresh grapefruit and lime scent. With festival season coming up I think this is a must-have purchase.

What are your Lush must-haves? Please comment below if you have any recommendations!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

I Wish...


1. Bumble and Bumble Surf Shampoo and Conditioner 
2. Nike Purple 'Flex 2012' Trainers 
3. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
4. Anya Hindmarch Ipad Cover
5. Origins GinZing Moisturiser
6. Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara by Alber Elbaz 

Nailed It # 1 - You Only Live Twice

I came across this polish rifling through my friend's beauty bits. This is one of my favourite things to do as you can try out products that you don't own and it's so interesting to see what other people love! Anyway I immediately fell in love and I'm not even usually a red nail polish wearer. You Only Live Twice is from the Skyfall Collection which came out in the OPI Holiday/Winter Collection for 2012 inspired by last year's Bond film release.

You Only Live Twice is a bright magenta packed with fuchsia and gold shimmer. Even though I originally thought this shade better suited to winter, the shimmer in this varnish was so beautiful out in the sun, making it perfect for summer. The application was good, and I only needed two coats for full opacity and it dried quickly. The only downside is that, as with most glitter polishes, this was a massive pain to get off, especially as I was trying to remove it in a hurry before flying out the door!

This varnish is available online for the sale price of £8.25 at Salon Skincare - I've already placed my order! 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Boots Drugstore Haul

After 6 months away I had serious Boots cravings so I popped in a few days ago to pick up a couple of treats. After some serious self restraint this is what I walked away with.

Top of my shopping list was a new mascara and the one that caught my eye was the L'Oréal False Lash Flutter mascara. This mascara is the BOMB, capitals all round! It is thickening and lengthening and it leaves my lashes clump free. The first night I wore it I got asked which false lashes I was wearing so it definitely lives up to its name! It is definitely going to have a home in my make up bag over the next few weeks.

Next up and encouraged by the Boots buy one cosmetic get another half price offer, I bought the Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Ultra Violet. This is the first coloured eyeliner I have bought since the days of baby blue eyeshadow and bright blue liner combo - NICE. However this time I think I got it right as this looks absolutely gorgeous. The packaging is great, it comes in a dinky little pot perfect for your make up bag and the brush it comes with is surprisingly good. This colour is beautiful, I have blue eyes but I think it would look even better on dark brown eyes. Only criticism is that, even though it lasted fairly well on me for an evening, I remain sceptical on the 24hr wear claim

Ever since I got home I have been dying to get my hands on the Real Techniques expert face brush. The buffing brush and blush brush have been permanent in my make up bag over the last few months, so I had high hopes. Well I can announce that the buffing bush has been officially replaced by this little guy as my new foundation brush. Like all Real Technique brushes it is super soft and the narrow brush head means that you can easily get into all the nooks and crannies to create flawless coverage.

Finally I picked up the Garnier Moisture Match for combination to oily skin. This moisturiser claims to keep your face matte for 24hrs, which on me isn't the case and I don't have particularly oily skin. The product doesn't blow me away but it has positives in that it sinks into the skin quickly and has a pleasant fresh smell. However I think the packaging could have been improved and the texture feels slightly grainy to touch. I like the idea of the Moisture Match collection though and might try out the Radiant one next to see if that is a better match for me.


Have you been to Boots recently? Please comment below with what you picked up or what is on your wish list.

I would love it if you could follow my blog and check out my YouTube channel at DarlingZara

Monday, 1 July 2013

Honey I'm Home!!

Firstly HELLOOOOOO I am back!! Secondly, sorry I never told you I was going!! I finished work and had 3 days before I set off on my big adventure so it was all rather crazy!! I have just got back from the most incredible experience of my entire life. I spent the last 6 months travelling through Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong!! Phew!!

I am going to write a proper blog post soon about my travels (be warned it is going to be picture HEAVY)! In the mean time here are a couple of pictures to give you a little teaser!

Rocking our Non La in Hoi An, Vietnam

Magical morning strolling around Ta Prohm in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia