November in Candles: Kringle Daylights, Woodwick Hourglass Melt & DW Home

Oops, I meant to get this post up yesterday but #reallife happened. Before I join the rest of the world on everything Christmas, I’ve a final recap on the candles I was loving in November. Just a few small treats of delicious scents that kinda wrap up Autumn candles for me. From here on in, it’ll be juicy pomegranate, mulled wines and clean balsam fragrances all the way.  

Hopefully you caught my post on the DW Home Pumpkin Allspice candle. This was delicious. Loved every last moment of it. If you haven’t read the full review… go! Pumpkin spice – Autumn candle essential, really!

I also tried a few daylight candles from Kringle for the first time ever. Kringle aren’t widely available in the UK, so I purchased a bunch of daylights and melts online, and enjoyed all three of these.  

My favourite was Welcome Home. The strongest scented of these three, where “friendly spice notes, a touch of baking bread and warm hearthside aromas evoke reassurances of homecoming and sanctuary found. ” It’s not soft and sweetly spiced like a lot of creamy pumpkin Autumnal scents, but richly and actually spicily spiced. The ‘hearthside aromas’ also add to the richness, and it is indeed a comforting smell. We enjoyed this a lot.  

I also really enjoyed Apple Cider Donut which is “infused with spice-sweet cider notes and a lavish dusting of sweet cinnamon. ” It smells exactly like the name suggests, and it really is lovely, though quite subtle. These are the small daylight candles (so named as they burn for a day, up to around 12 hours), and will only fill a small room. I tend to have them where I’m working/relaxing so I can enjoy the fragrance close by, but they won’t fill a large room with scent. As opposed to the fruitier mulled cider scents of Christmas, this is baked apple goodness with just a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, and lots of sugar.

Lastly, we tried Autumn Winds. It was nice, but not my usual cup of tea for an at-home-relaxing scent. It has spicy woody notes, and whilst it does a good job of conjuring images of Autumnal walks through crunchy leaves, it doesn’t have the warmth and fruit that I usually like in Autumn candles. Still nice, but not a scent I’d repurchase in a larger format.  

Finally, we enjoyed the Woodwick Pear Cider wax melt. Aren’t cider scents just so Autumn appropriate?! This really is a juicy pear and ginger cider, with notes of clove and vanilla. It’s warm, spicy, ever so fruity and delicious. The only negative (and it’s a small one) was that the scent didn’t last long. It was amazing for around 4 or 5 hours, and then just gone. It’s suggested they last up to 10 hours, and usually, I find wax melts gradually decrease in scent power. This however, had a wonderfully strong throw and then just nothing. It doesn’t put me off buying the mini hourglass melts, but this particular scent wasn’t as good value. Still better than any scent that has a poor throw to begin with though!  

And that’s my little lot for November! Time to get into the Christmas stash now! 

For now, with love,
Ellen  

 

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  

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

COTM: April – DW Home Sun Bleached Denim

I am loving this Springtime weather! A lot of candle lovers favour Autumn and the Christmas holidays for candle scents, and if you love those rich, cozy, gourmands scents, I can agree. But Springtime scents are just so delightful! Fresh, sometimes fruity, clean and just downright pretty scents are in abundance this time of year.

My favourite this month comes from DW Home Candles again. I love the name of this one, it’s so unusual, but so perfect for the scent. It is that perfect summertime, men’s cologne scent. The notes are: Fresh hints of brushed cotton with bright bergamot, zesty lemon, and herbaceous greens over silver sage leaf, earthy patchouli, and cool woody musk.

Such a fantastic array of scent notes, and quite complex. The green and woodsy notes are very present, but not dominating, and the hint of citrus and musk really rounds it out, but it’s the cotton scent that really lends itself to the sunbleached denim name. It’s clean, fresh and cool, yet hot and sunny at the same time. Absolutely delightful.

It burned like a dream, though I tend to find these small 4oz candles from DW Home always do. And the colour! So darn pretty. It’s a pretty mid blue wax in a perfect bright blue glass jar that I will absolutely be saving and repurposing.

I would definitely repurchase, and go for a larger jar next time, so if I work through my stash quick enough I may just be grabbing more of this one. But oh, what a stash I have to work through first! Check out www.dwhome.com for all the current scents.

I’ll be back very soon with a Top Picks post for May, featuring some amazing garden products, so check back soon for that!

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: March – Wax Lyrical Amaryllis

Spring isn’t quite in full swing yet, but the weather has warmed up a little and the daffodils are popping up to say hello.

I noticed these fragranced tea lights in TK Maxx, and as a discontinued fragrance from the Wax Lyrical Royal Horticultural Society line, I knew I had to snap them up. I love Wax Lyrical candles – they are some of my favourite, and the beautifully floral and fruit scents from the RHS range are just as beautiful.

With top notes of citrus, heart notes of jasmine and base notes of musk, these are just what they say they are. Delicate, floral, slightly sweet with a hint of something else… a sharp, zesty green note. The sweetness and floral notes also make me think of sweet peas, or violets and lavender. They’re soft, garden blooms, and as per usual with Wax Lyrical, the smell is just as beautiful when burned as on cold sniff.

The pack claims up to 6 hours burn time from these tea lights – I got around 4, but I was more than happy with that and still think they’re fantastic value. Burn time can depend a lot on the holder, your room and atmosphere, so there will always be some variances there.

I have been burning three at a time, so got three uses from this pack of nine. I found that was a great amount to have in the centre of the coffee table, and offered a subtle, pretty scent. Sadly, dear Fiance wasn’t so keen – probably the sweet Jasmine note was a little too floral for him, but I have to say I really enjoyed them.

For another Wax Lyrical review, check out one of my favourite ever candle scents here, and do check www.wax-lyrical.com for their beautifully British candles. I feel like I’m spoilt for choice with candles at the moment – there are so many beautiful floral, fruity and calming clean scents out there at the moment, so don’t forget to come back to find out what will be my choice of the month for April!

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: February – DW Home Candles Peony Petals

It may still be Winter, but as soon as Valentine’s Day hits, there’s a sense that Spring is on it’s way. The daffodil and tulip bulbs I planted have started peeking out of the dirt (a little late due to the lack of sunshine on these chilly cold days) and there’s that noticeable delay in the sun setting each evening.

A short month anyway, February hasn’t seen much candle action from me. I’ve purchased a few (do I need more?!) but I have enjoyed a little of this beautiful, delicate, floral yet clean scent.

It’s Peony Petals from DW Home Candles. I purchased this one, as well as others, from TK Maxx. These small (and oh so cute) glass jars are a bargain at £2.99, and a lot of the medium jars are just £5.99, when you can get hold of them.

I love the pretty pink coating to the glass, and it coincidentally matches perfectly to my calendar this month! The scent is delicate, yet powerful enough. It’s noticeable but not overwhelming, and I find that the scent stays exactly the same throughout the whole of these smaller candles.

I haven’t even burned the whole thing… it’s been one of those months, but what I have burned has been very clean and I can’t fault it at all.

The scent is pretty – a rosy, clean flower scent, not overpowering or old fashioned but fresh and reminiscent of real blooms.

I’d definitely recommend it, and I will (and already have) purchase more from DW Home. Beautiful!

Do you like to match your scents to the time of year? Do you save particular scents for certain holidays and occasions? Or are you more of a ‘whatever I’m in the mood for’ type? Please share your thoughts in a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

For now, with love,
Ellen

COTM: January – Yankee Candle Shea Butter

How is January over?! Where did it go. Time is flying by at the moment, and with the wedding just six months to go, a little panic is beginning to set in. You might have noticed as much by the absence of me posting recently.

However, January did come (and go) and as ever, I like a new, fresher scented candle to kick off the New Year. I usually go for clean cotton type scents but a lovely friend gave me this shea butter candle on my last birthday and I felt this was the best time of year to burn it.

It’s a creamier and cozier scent than I would typically go for in January, but wonderful and clean smelling all the same.

The scent notes are:

Top: Orange, Bergamot, Mixed Berries
Mid: Vanilla Orchid, Jasmine, Shea Cream
Base: White Musk, Vanilla Sugar, Guaiacwood

And it comes with the description, “Pure contentment – indulge yourself in this creamy smooth scent with hints of beautiful fruit blossoms.”

It’s interesting because I don’t get a real sense of fruit, or citrus from this. I’m not saying it’s not there, it’s just well blended and has that complete and complex scent rather than a couple of strong, identifiable notes. Going along with the shea butter name, it has a lot of characteristics of a subtly fragranced body cream – one that doesn’t have a named fragranced as such, but just has a wonderful aroma alongside it’s moisturizing properties.

The burn time was good (these small jars suggest 25-40 hours, and I think I got around 32-ish) but the burn itself wasn’t great. I had to persuade it to burn evenly instead of tunneling, which for a candle this size was unexpected, and come the second half of the jar, it was impossible to keep it up. Towards the end, I had to tip some wax out, which obviously ended up resulting in wastage, and not much burn time left thereafter. I sill got a good length out of it however, so can’t complain. It’s a good size for me for a month-long period, as I like candles for occasional evenings and long baths, but don’t like to keep too many half burned larger jars hanging around.

yankeesheabutter

The pictures for this post are few and far between. Admist the New Year, post Christmas and new phone chaos, I managed to delete all the pictures I’d taken of the candle. Luckily, I had a little rescue from my Instagram page, where I’d posted a picture, and obviously you can see the freshly cleaned empty jar at the start of the post.
Oh well! Live and learn. And import.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Most Disappointing Autumn Candle of the Season

imag3189 I don’t like to post negative things, and so I was going to give this a miss, but then I realised that was unfair – this was such a bad experience, I’d like to advise you against the same.

Although Autumn/Fall is coming to an end, I’ll still leave my thoughts here, should you be buying out of season, or pick this post up a year from now.

So, back at the start of September, I was really ready for some Autumnal scents, and was particularly enjoying my Yankee Famer’s Market at the time, and thinking of more pumpkin noted fragrances ahead of Halloween. Cue, seeing these little lovelies from TK Maxx. The brand is Chesapeake Bay, which appears to be much more widely available in the US than here in the UK. I saw these tealight candles in ‘Creamy Pumpkin’ and the pillar in ‘Wild Pumpkin’ and knew I had to buy both.

On cold sniff, they seemed gorgeous. Not overpoweringly strong, but delightful scents. The creamy pumpkin was very much of a cream cheese and cinnamon noted, almost carrot cake vibe, whereas the wild pumpkin was much more of that Autumnal vegetable scent, but with a hint of spice. Both super lovely. I took plenty of photos assuming I’d be blogging about all their great features.

And then I burned a tealight. And another. And another. Such a huge disappointment! The smell was completely non-existent when being burned. If I got really close, I got the scent of the wick burning, and that was it. No delicate, cakey goodness, no sugar and spice, no pumpkin, no nothing. And not only that, the burn on them was terrible.

They are in plastic containers as opposed to metal, as I’ve always been used to with tealights, but they burned so unevenly, and never to the very end. Either the wick would drown and go out, or they’d burn so unevenly, the surrounding wax would melt away whilst one side was very much full. Very wasteful, and resulted in a pitifully short burn time.

I ended up returning the Wild Pumpkin pillar candle without trying it out, as I was certain it would be of similar quality and didn’t fancy wasting any more money. I paid the discounted TK Maxx prices of £4.99 for the tealights, and the pillar was £3.99. I would say that I’d use up the tealights with my melt warmers, but to be honest, the IKEA tealights I normally use burn so much better, I’m not sure I’ll even bother.

I appreciate I may just have had a single bad experience from this brand, however, it’s put me off enough that I won’t be trying them again any time soon. Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

See you soon for some more positive talk!!

For now, with love,
Ellen

Candle of the Month: October – WoodWick’s Autumn

A little later than expected (no thanks to illness, bleurgh!) but today is Halloween, and I’m getting my Candle of the Month post in just in time.

I was out browsing Autumn scented candles and wax melts after a disappointing purchase (post to follow) when I came across the WoodWick stand in one of my favourite shops to buy candles from. I’ve known about WoodWick candles for years, and yet for some reason, never tried them out. The small display I was looking at on this particular day had a very seasonal trend to it – almost everything was of a cozy, Autumnal scent, and I decided to ease myself into the brand, I’d pick up a couple of mini hourglass wax melts.

I couldn’t resist Pear Cider, as there just aren’t enough pear scented candles around, and this one also has notes of ginger, clove and vanilla – it smells delicious. And of course, I had to pick up the appropriately named Autumn. It was, after all, exactly what I’d come to buy – an Autumn scented candle.
On cold sniff, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the notes. It one hundred percent smells like the season, but I couldn’t pinpoint it. There are juicy, almost overripe apples, and something that made me think of golden crunchy leaves. It isn’t as sweet as I usually find with these fragrances.

To learn that the notes are: “Fresh apples and spices, infused with juicy currant and cranberries for a sweet and tart sensation” made a lot of sense. Although there is some sweetness from the apple, there’s also that tartness, which the berries add. I wouldn’t have guessed currant and cranberry at all, but as I sit here with it melting, I do get a strong clove scent, which is wonderful.

Overall, I am fantastically impressed. The throw is fantastic, and the scent more complex than a lot of Autumn home fragrances.

I will definitely purchase from WoodWick in the future, and look forward to trying some candles from them. If you’d like the try this scent, it’s available in the UK in an array of sizes from woodwickcandleshop.co.uk. I can’t recommend it enough.

For a candle that didn’t quite live up to it’s promise, stay tuned for a final Autumn candle post coming tomorrow, and then I will have that upcycled cushion cover tutorial I promised you up on Sunday.

For now, with love,
Ellen

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