Tried & Tested: Autumn/Winter Beauty and Skincare Favourites

Hi all,  

Following on from my Pumpkin facemask review a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d do a round up of all the beauty and skincare items I’ve been loving these last couple of months. Now some of these products I’ve used many times over the years, and others I’ve only had for a couple of months, but they’re all well used, well tested, and I can say I genuinely enjoy using them all! 

First up is one of the newer products I’ve tried – the Garnier Ultimate Blends Maple Healer Shampoo and Conditioner. This has castor oil and maple sap for a truly nourishing experience, and the fragrance is gorgeous to boot. I have long hair, and it can be hard keeping in tip top condition, but this really has cared for my hair, and despite containing castor oil, does not leave hair looking greasy or feeling heavy at all.  

Another more recent hair discovery is the Schwarzkopf got2b Oil-licious Styling Oil, with Argan Oil. I’ve been using this one for around four months now, and actually purchased it when I was looking for a cheaper alternative to the Macadamia oil I’ve used for years. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the quality, and will definitely use the whole bottle. It might not be as magical as the more expensive brand, but you can use it liberally (important when you have long, thick hair) and it never makes your hair look greasy. It looks after my split ends between haircuts, and gives my hair that little extra tlc.  

When I purchased the got2b oil from Superdrug, the items were on a 2-for deal at the time, so I picked up the Rise ‘n Shine Hairspray. It was the only hairspray with overwhelmingly positive reviews (I checked online) and they were not wrong! I’ve been an avid Elnett user for years, but thought I’d give this one a go because of the reviews, and it is now my favourite hairspray. I even used it for my wedding hair, so you know I really like it. Will definitely repurchase this once I run out.

Moving on to skincare now, and a firm favourite for years has been the Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant. With pure cocoa butter, I actually prefer this to the Palmer’s moisturiser, as I feel it soaks into skin easier, and throughout Summer I love the Vaseline aloe vera version, it’s light, it’s refreshing, it’s soothing and perfect for Summer skin. But come Autumn and Winter, I need something thicker, something more nourishing, and this cocoa butter version is wonderful.  

For the face, a pricier product, but I adore the Korres Black Pine Antiwrinkle & Firming Day Cream. I love the lightly herbal scent, and it is so thick, and so moisturising, I love the feel of it on my skin. It is quite expensive, but it really does work, and it’s nice to have such a thick moisturising formula that doesn’t block pores and cause pimples, which I find a lot of more nourishing products do. Yes, love this! 

A bargain little product for the face though, is the Superdrug Chocolate Orange Self-Heating Mask. At just 99p (and they’re almost always on a 3 for 2 offer), this is such a little treat! Its smells divine, and gently warms your skin on application. It says it deeply purifies and hydrates skin. I’m not sure if my skin feels more purified, but I would agree it does feel more hydrated and I generally feel so relaxed when I use this particular mask. It smells so good!  

For lips, I do have a few regular favourites, Burt’s Bees has been in my handbag all year in various flavours, and Carmex is always a winner. But for a change, I went for this Nivea Peach Shine lipbalm recently, and really fell in love with it. It isn’t as thick feeling as the other two I mentioned, and really glides on the lips, which when you’re applying very often during cold, wind-chapping days, is ideal. I might not purchase this again straight away, but for now I’m really enjoying the variety.  

Because I do adore Burt’s Bees though, another of their products has sneaked into my Wintery faves. Their hand salve is perfect when you have been out walking for hours in freezing cold weather and it soothes and restores them back to their former glory! It is a very thick, kind of waxy, oily formula and it’s nice to pop a generous amount on and then some cotton gloves and chill out for half an hour or so for really moisturised hands. Lovely! 

Something else I’ve been loving is this Christian Lacroix fragrance in Ambre. It is the perfect Autumnal scent, and I first purchased this a couple of years ago from Avon. With it’s creamy, caramelly amber notes, a hint of mandarin citrus and a heart of jasmine and rosewood, it is the perfect scent for this time of year. It’s fairly light, but lasts long enough on skin, and especially on clothes (ideal to spray on a scarf etc.). I had to go to eBay to find a bottle this time round, but would do so again.  

Next up, nail polish. OPI has always been one of my favourite brands, and I’m a little bit of a hoarder, so some of these shades are older, but that means they are definitely tried and tested, and as I still wear them today, definitely favourites. There’s Gouda Gouda Two Shoes, a mature, dusky pink shade with the faintest gold sparkle. Taupe-less Beach, my perfect mushroomy taupe for my skintone, and It’s A Piazza Cake, the most Autumnal burnt orange you could hope for. Love, love, and love! 

And last but not least, my favourite lipstick brand and variety, in three gorgeous shades. Bourjois Rouge Edition, in 05 Brun Boheme is just gorgeous. It’s such a rich striking colour, while still subtle enough for every day. I also love 04 Rose Tweed, my perfect pinky nude. Finally, 02 Beige Trench is a similar, but cooler and less pinky version which I will play around with now and again at this time of year.  

None of these products were sent to me, nor was I asked to review any of them. They’re all products I’ve been using for a minimum of three months, that I purchased myself, and have come to really enjoy! If you’ve got any particular beauty or skincare products that you really love at this time of year, please let me know in the comments below!  

For now, with love,
Ellen  

Top Picks under £10: Hygge Christmas Styling

18 nov_mood_boardIt seems a little controversial at the moment whether hygge (pronounce it “hue-guh”) is in or out. Oh the lovely world of trends. You know I don’t stick to trend rules. But even if it is soooo last year, Scandanavian is always in, and a lot of the cute, cosy, snuggly home accessories we need come Winter and Christmas time are oh so Scandi. Think neutral, chic, modern, sleek with a hint of cosiness.  

Once again, I’ve picked out my top ten picks at £10 and under for those bargain shoppers out there like me. Style on a budget? Yes please. 

1. Reindeer Fairy Lights – Primark – £6.00
How cute are these? Fairy lights are a Christmas essential and these super cute ones are perfect to hang up almost anywhere!

2. White Pine Cone Tree Decorations – IKEA – £4.95 for a pack of 3
Scandanavian décor? IKEA, of course. And these cute pine cone are perfect, sleek, modern, minimal but perfectly wintery. 

3. White Christmas Tree Light – Primark – £8.00
Another perfect find from Primark. It’s festive and mood setting, but subtle and stylish. Love!

4. Standing Deer Decoration – The Range – £3.49
How cute is this little reindeer? The colours are perfect, and the felt trim adds just the right amount of snuggliness to the rustic styling.  

5. Rustic Glow Wooden Snowflake Bridge – Wilko – £10.00
This battery operated, white wooden bridge light is simply gorgeous. It has warm white light, and a modern, wintery style. Great reviews online too.  

6. Deer Christmas-Print Cushion Cover – H&M – £6.99
You know my Top Picks needs to have a H&M cushion cover! This deer print was perfect – it’s wintery and stylish, without being out and out festive, so you can have this in you favourite armchair for months after the Christmas decorations have come down.  

7. Kingle Candle Cozy Cabin Scented Tealights – Candles Direct – £9.49
For a super snuggly scent, Kringle combine brown sugar, vanilla bean and cinnamon, and layer it with rich woody notes and a hint of smokiness so you can turn your home into a magical wintery cabin. Time to make a hot water bottle, grab your favourite blanket and settle in for the night.  

8. Candle Star Lights – George at Asda – £8.00
Another 5 star rated product online is this beautiful battery operated faux candle decoration. Again, with warm white lights, but with a pretty wooden, star design base, this fits in just right for a Wintery scandi look.

9. Pine Cone Garland – George at Asda – £5.00
And also from George is this lovely pine cone garland. Bring the outdoors in to really create that cosy cabin vibe, with 2 metres of this beautiful garland. 

So there you have my selection for this month. There’s lots more out there in a very similar style, so shop around, use this for inspiration and see what you can come up with to create your very own hygge cabin look this Christmas.  

For now, with love,
Ellen  

 

Primark’s Exclusive Montagne Jeunesse Pumpkin Pie Facemask Review

So, before I give in to Christmas posts, I’ve a couple more wonderfully pumpkinny Autumnal posts for you. This time, a review.  

I ADORE facemasks. I love them. I really do. I’m not hugely into pampering, and although I like to look after myself, I’m not much of a girly girl. That said, if I do want to give myself a little extra love and attention, a facemask is my weapon of choice, and Montagne Jeunesse / 7th Heaven is my favourite brand. They do so many varieties, creams, gels, exfoliants, peel off’s, sheet masks, self-heating etc. and the scents and results are to die for.  

So, when I saw this exclusive Pumpkin Pie Sauna Mask in Primark a couple of weeks ago I could not say no! For a bargainous 90p too! Amazing! 

Normally it never would have lasted two weeks, but I didn’t have time to use it before going on honeymoon, and so have made the most and had a relaxing 15 minutes now I’m back. Ahhhh.  

It’s very true to its name with the smell, it is a proper pumpkin fragrance, so if you’re only into the sugar and cinnamon elements of these types of smell, this may not be for you. I LOVE it. It’s real pumpkin with just a hint of sugar and spice, and because of the warming effect it has on your skin you feel like you’re wearing a fresh baked pie! Mmmmm.  

This also has really fine exfoliating particles in it – it feels a little grainy when you put it on, though not in a bad way, and really has an effect when you rinse off, but it leaves the fresh, smooth, glowy skin we all want.  

The packaging claims it ‘Gently warms for a fresh, radiant glow’ which is exactly what my skin needs now I’ve returned to chilly old Blighty. It’s gone from sun soaked and regularly sun-creamed, to parched and chilled, so a little TLC is in Auuorder.  

It’s the usual method for the mask, thoroughly cleanse and leave the face wet, apply the mask, chill out for 10-15 minutes and rinse off. I always wait the maximum time, and usually pick a YouTube video of a similar length to veg out with, and on rinsing, I was pleasantly pleased.  

My face feels much softer and looks a lot brighter. I’m going to slather some moisturiser on, chill with another YouTube video while it sinks in, and then get ready to go out to see Murder on the Orient Express with DH tonight.  

If your local Primark still has this in store, I highly recommend you pick on up! 

For now, with love,
Ellen

DW Home Pumpkin Allspice Candle Review

So that’s it, Halloween’s been and gone. For retailers, it’s the cue for Christmas, but in reality, Autumn still has plenty of time left, and you shouldn’t be ready to swap out pumpkin for peppermint just yet.  

I didn’t get the Summer and Halloween posts up I wanted to this year, but I’m back now and still loving Autumnal scents at home. I actually just this week got back from our Honeymoon in Borneo and Kuala Lumpur, and have found cosy candles and hot water bottles a good remedy to get over missing the wildlife, the intense heat, and the fabulous food and hotel!  

It may be true that there’s no place like home, but sometimes you have to amp up the homeliness.  

This week I’ve been loving this particular DW Home candle in Pumpkin Allspice. If you’ve been reading my blog over the last couple of years, you’ll see I’ve come to really love this brand – they’ve never let me down. They burn well, the scents are amazing, and the jars are just oh-so pretty.

I purchased two small votive sized glass jars in Pumpkin Allspice and White Pumpkin. I haven’t burned White Pumpkin yet as DH isn’t a fan of the lack of sweetness and spice in it, although I adore that pure, creamy vegetable scent. The Allspice version is very close, but much more buttery-sweet and rounded off with clove and cinnamon.  

As I only have the small size, it’s a little light on scent throw, but then again, I’ve been burning it in a large room. I don’t think there’d be any problems with a more size appropriate candle/room.  

This is beautiful on it’s on, whereas to appease DH I’ll probably burn White Pumpkin alongside something fruiter and spicier – maybe Spiced Apple from Kringle.  

I have to say, I really appreciate that DW Home make smaller candles that still come in these pretty glass jars, as they look so good on the dining table and bedside, but allow me to swap out fragrances really frequently and avoid cluttering up my cupboards with half burned candles.  This deep orange toned jar is complimented with matching coloured wax and a metallic gold lid which is perfect. The White Pumpkin has cream wax and a rose gold lid. I purchased mine from TK Maxx, and you can read more about them on the DW Home website here

I’d happily give this perfect Autumn scent a 10/10.  

For now, with love,
Ellen