Inexpensive Beauty Find: Coconut Exfoliating Bar by Wembe

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 6 - 2011

Well, crack one open (between my thighs) and send me to the tropics because I think I might need today’s inexpensive beauty find in my life.

Wembe is an organic soap company hailing from Brooklyn and the brand have just launched into the UK market!

I love the sound of their Coconut Exfoliating Bar which promises to combine gentle exfoliation from two types of coconut pulp, whilst leaving your skin soft and supple thanks to a blend of rich essential oils and moisturising butters.

Ingredients: Cupassu butter (Theobroma grandiflorum), Sodium Salts from Vegetable Oils, Coconut oil (Cocus nucifera), Coconut Pulp ( Cocus nucifera)

Priced reasonably at £5.85 ensures that this Vegan body treat stays on my radar for a little while longer.


NEW Elemis Sp@home and a tantalising offer from TimeToSpa!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 12 - 2011

Elemis have recently introduced a new bodycare concept to the brand’s repertoire with Sp@home, a range designed to turn the mundane into something a little more indulgent, helping you to create your very own Elemis spa, at home!

Based around FIVE main categories, the Sp@home range includes everything you need to recreate a more therapeutic experience in your own bathroom.  From bath elixirs to hand lotions, hard-working body oils to temple balms for instant relaxation.  They’ve even developed a new room mist to help create the perfect atmosphere.

Infact, the room mist has become a surprising favourite for me.  I was worried it might be a little bit overpowering, like walking into a very alternative crack den!  My (slightly mental) fears were misguided because the Quiet Mind Room Mist* is gorgeous and for something that I considered a bit ‘unecessary’, I’m going through my bottle at a rate of knots.  Infact, it hasn’t even made it back onto my dressing table because I keep it on the floor by my bed so I can spritz my pillow before I climb in!

The Tranquil Touch range is destined for best-seller status with some of the best patchouli-based aromatics I’ve had the pleasure of sniffing.  Warming, woody and creamy with great depth and complexity that you wouldn’t expect to find in a range of bodycare products.

Prices start from around £14.00 but there’s a rather decent offer on at TimeToSpa.co.uk for the whole of August…

If you spend over £50 on the website, you can choose a full size Sp@home shower gel worth up to £20.50.  And let’s face up to it, it’s not exactly difficult to spend £50 on Elemis now is it?

Do you make attempts at recreating the spa experience in your own home?  What’s your favourite product to get you in the mood for a bit of pampering?

* press sample

Jainnisa: Simple, Luxurious and Divine

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 22 - 2011

Earlier this month I attended the launch of a new beauty brand that prides itself on fusing ancient traditions and ingredients from the East with Western (right here in the UK!) formulating and manufacturing.

Jainnisa blends carefully selected natural plant and marine ingredients from Thailand to create the range which includes over 20 different products spanning two distinct collections colour-coded blue and red.  The first is the (blue) Calming and Relaxing selection, containing fragrant delights such as Ylang Ylang and Jasmine to instill a sense of tranquility at the end of a long day.

The second collection, the (red) Stimulating and Invigorating range employs more uplifting scents including lime, grapefruit and sweet mandarin to give you a physical and mental boost that ensures you begin your day hitting all the right notes.  Both ranges benefit from Blue Lotus, White Champaca and Frangipani to leave you in no doubt of the brand’s exotic origins.

My top pick from the brand is the Sumptuous Bath Elixir*, packed with Blue Lotus, Frangipani, Ylang Ylang, Tuberose, Mimosa and Jasmine.  It’s patented formula includes a combination of minerals that are activated when they come into contact with water, not only releasing antioxidant properties but also transforming your bath water a spell-binding cerulean blue!

From the careful selection and inclusion of such well-blended essential oils to the exquisite packaging and lovely formulations, Jainnisa is unmistakably engaging the luxe-market but you may be keen to discover that prices will start from £14.95 placing it firmly in line with other ‘spa’ brands in the UK market.  The website is due to go live very soon at www.jainnisa.com – watch this space!

* press sample

Scrub This! Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose & Geranium Body Polish

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 18 - 2011

When it comes to exfoliation, I’m an advocate of all things gentle for your fizzog but I reckon you can get a bit tougher on those crepe-y elbows and knobbly knees.  I like salt scrubs, sugar scrubs and all manner of granular things!  In a pinch, I’ll make do with an industrial sander for my heels.  Put simply, I like to feel a good body scrub working.  I am…when all is said and done, a bit of a scrubber.

Which is just as well, ‘cos Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose & Geranium Body Polish is one hell of a scrub.

I once had a scented geranium plant in a pot next to my desk, it was lush… all lemony and I used to accidentally-on-purpose brush into it when walking past just so that it would release some of that aroma into the air.  This scrub takes me right back to those days but without the endless watering and tiny cobwebs.

The “scrubby” bits are comprised of exfoliating argan shell and rice powders, both providing a decent amount of exfoliation, this is definitely on the ‘I can feel it working’ end of the spectrum.  The particles are suspended in a creamy shea-butter base that doesn’t collapse under a splash of water like some.  Basically, you’re looking at the Ross Kemp of body scrubs.  It’s tough but with the potential to be a bit girly on the inside.

Being Neal’s Yard it obviously contains no nasties, is bunny-approved and suitable for vegans.  A 150g tube will set you back £16.35, placing it at the higher end of what I’d usually pay for bodycare type things but that familiar scent ensnared me and I can’t say I’ve been disappointed.  It leaves my skin so baby-smooth that I can see the jealousy in Leila’s eyes.

You can purchase Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose & Geranium Body Polish instore or online at www.nealsyardremedies.com

How do you like your scrubs?  Scrubby scrub or gently does it?

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 1 - 2011

There’s a new toothpaste in town. It’s lean, mean and err not very minty as it happens.  Featuring the revolutionary bacteria-busting ingredient Stabilised Stannous Flouride, this supposed super-paste claims to be all you need to target the oral issues that affect us daily.

It’s taken 15 years of development and 70 scientific studies ahead of today’s launch because this volatile active ingredient has proven difficult to present in a stable, usable form.  That sounds like me before my morning cuppa.

Finally, the bods at Oral-B reckon they’ve nailed it in the form of the new Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste which goes on general sale today.  There’s more sciencey stuff behind it about how they managed to stabilise and tame this chemical but seeing as it involves words like polyphosphate, you will excuse me if I skim over those finer details this early in the morning?

The bottom line is that Oral-B Pro-Expert is proclaimed to be the toothpaste to put an end to forced compromises.  Oral-B say that you really can have your whitening, cavity protection, plaque reduction, tartar control, enamel strengthening, sensitivity repair, gum improving and breath freshening all in one tube.  Phew!

I used it for the first time last night and it’s really a little strange!  It feels slightly gritty on the teeth (although I have been promised that it’s 100% non-abrasive) and the taste!  Oh the taste!  It is EXACTLY like the rinse you get at the dentist.  It’s not bad, I actually really like it… but don’t expect that minty zing because this is something altogether quite different!

Oral-B Pro-Expert goes on sale today priced at £3.49 for 75ml

Subliminal Massages…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 6 - 2011

I first fell in love with Tisserand’s Muscle Ease Bath Oil nearly two years ago and it’s been a continual repurchase ever since.

As far as I’m concerned, the Muscle Ease Bath Oil is the ultimate for the price.  In the past, I’ve paid nearly 4x that for half the quantity and although not disappointed with my purchase, it wasn’t 4x as gorgeous… a simple example of not being able to ignore the economics.

I knew they’d be nothing to dislike about the Muscle Ease Body Massage Oil… I mean, a). it’s an oil and b). it’s in one of my favourite spicy scents ever… what’s not to like?  I was right and it is indeed awesome.

Energy Revive is also amazingly potent but I’m not a fan of the scent blend which I find a little too ‘kitchen fresh’ if that makes sense… I like citrus but this doesn’t hit the right notes for my taste.

Also, I’ve not been using these as massage oils… which is a bit naughty because I was sent these to review and if I don’t use them as massage oils, how can I review them as such?  Well… I can’t.  Because Mr. L attempted a massage on me and I wanted to divorce him before 5 minutes had passed.  Irritating, diggy knuckles, wouldn’tstoptalking.

No body product (even when it’s gratis) is worth 7 years of marriage, 11 years of dating and a heartbroken 2 year old, sorry Tisserand.

I have however been using these as body oils both before and after showering.  I slather on some of the Muscle Ease one before jumping in the shower and get a blast of intoxicating ginger, lemongrass and other lovely stuff as the room fills with steam.  Once the taps are off, I spread a little more onto my wet skin to lock in the moisture and spend the rest of the day wanting to lick myself.

So there we have it, a ginormous thumbs up for the Muscle Ease Body Massage Oil, a Jif lemon thrown at the Energy Revive one and a kick up the bum for Mr. L for being a crap masseur.

Tisserand Body Massage Oils are priced at £8.10 each and are available to purchase from some of those funny independent pharmacies, Whole Foods or online at Tisserand.com

* pr sample

… from ME!

I came across the Korres-owned line of body products whilst surfing the Zuneta site late the other evening.  I was taking advantage of the free delivery code before it ran out and stumbled over this intriguing range of well-priced, temptingly-flavoured goodies!

I’m a sucker for warm scents and tobacco is one of my favourites.  The For Kings & Queen’s version doesn’t disappoint… it’s sweet without being sickly and intoxicating without being heady.  To my nose, I can detect a hint of juiciness that’s sharp enough to gently cut through the warmer base and keep things a little lighter.  It’s simply a beautiful unisex scent and Mr. L has already made one hell of a dent in our bottle.

The formula is runny and toned brown… so beware any spillages!  Another point to note is just how much lather the formula produces… just a tiny drop combined with a mesh bath puff will create miles of bubbles, ensuring excellent value for money!

The scent sadly doesn’t linger on my skin once I’ve left the bathroom, a real shame as I imagine this would make the most perfect layering foundation for some of my warm, amber-based fragrances.  Still, at £5.00 for 300ml I can’t expect the world and I’m very happy with what I get for my money.

Rather dangerously, there’s a particularly collectible element to the line up.  The For Kings & Queens range link their scents to specific royal persons, hence the “Tsar Peter” in this shower gel who was known to enjoy the flavours of aromatic pipe tobacco so much that during times of severe laws against tobacco smoking he extended this pleasure to his people allowing them to smoke freely. It’s like the pokemon of shower gels… gotta catch ’em all!

I’m fascinated by the Korres-owned range which I believe has been around for some time now (how did I not know!) and already have a few more earmarked for future purchase.

For Kings & Queens are available to buy online from Zuneta & ThePowderRooms (where the range is currently on sale) – also check out the brand’s website which has all the historical tidbits about the various royal references!

Have you tried the Kings & Queens range?  Any favourites?

Hands up if you want soft mitts for Summer?

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 11 - 2011

We don’t like it but we can at last be excused a bit of roughness in the Winter as the harsh weather takes its toll on our poor extremities.  Our hands are usually the first to succumb to the Gods of dry skin and those rough bits that catch on your sleeves *ouch!*

In the Summer though, there really is no excuses for general skin dryness… so give yourself a helping hand and check out some of the hand creams below for a sure-fire way to get some silky softness back in your life!

Woods of Windsor True Rose Conditioning Hand and Nail Cream 125ml (£7.75)*

A lighter option for those who dislike the heavy feeling of cream on their hands.  This Woods of Windsor lotion absorbs quickly and efficiently whilst leaving behind a delicate rose scent.  I recommend keeping this one nearby though as you’ll need to top up regularly to ensure long-lasting softness.

Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream 75ml (£18.40)

I picked this up in Debenhams a little while ago and true to its name, the Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream delivers a welcome boost of moisturisation which means I can apply at night before bed and wake up in the morning with noticeably smoother digits.  A good choice to stash in the bedside table but perhaps not for you if you dislike the feeling of a rich cream on your hands.

Liz Earle Hand Repair 150ml (£19.65)*

If greasy residues are your main concern, the Liz Earle Hand Repair is the product you need!  The larger sizes come with a convenient pump dispenser which releases a rich, awesome smelling (as you’d expect) hand cream.  It absorbs with blistering speed, leaving my hands feeling silky to the touch.  Not as heavy duty in the moisturisation department as some, I’d recommend this for those with normal/dry skin concerns.

All for Eve Hand Cream 100ml (£7.50)

My top pick for Summer hand creams is the All for Eve offering I bought last month.  I keep this at my computer and would recommend this as the perfect every day hand cream.  It smells delicious, leans toward a lighter, more easily absorbed formula and at under £8 for a generous 100ml, it’s a bargain!  And don’t forget that all proceeds from ‘all for eve’ products go towards ‘The Eve Appeal’ fund.

Heathcote & Ivory Vintage Mimosa Mini Hand Creams 30ml (£4.00 for 3)*

Super cute mini hand cream that’s perfectly sized for some handbag toteing!  This Heathcote & Ivory Vintage Hand Cream is surprisingly potent for the money.  Again, more suited to normal/dry skin than those in need of severe replenishment, I particularly love the Shea Butter based formula which spreads itself thinly without taking all day to sink in!

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If you’re in particular need for something a little more intense, you might also be interested in taking a look at my review of the Lanolips Rose Balm Intense.

Are you getting your skin in shape for Summer?  What are your favourite hand creams at the moment?

* Denotes PR Sample

Gielly Green gives more than just good hair!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 2 - 2011

I’ve written previously about my love for Gielly Green’s Argan Rescue Oil that I use a few times a week to perk up my over-processed hair.  I recently took delivery of a couple of samples from the Gielly Green body range which included a hand & body lotion and a hand & body wash.

At 300ml a-piece, these understated but elegant bottles will last a fair length of time which is reassuring when you take into account that the ‘wash’ and ‘lotion’ are priced at £12 and £18 respectively.  These are luxury prices for products squarely aimed at the luxury market.

Now, whilst I don’t bat an eyelid at paying nearly £20 for a hair treatment, lipstick or facial moisturiser… I get more frugalistic stirrings when it comes to the kind of purchase that generally needs to be replaced more frequently.  This would include hand washes.

Having said that… I can’t actually fault the deliciousness of these products.  The Lemon and Muguet (Lily of the Valley) scent is fresh and airy.  It delivers a sparkling citrusy zing without skimping on a more grounding floral that lingers for a few hours after application and the scent conveys an overall carefree lightness without being too ‘young’, fruity or sweet.

The formula of the hand and body lotion is blissfully light, not great for those requiring more intense moisturisation but I’ve been using this on my hands (and lower arms) after washing and whilst not moisturising enough to keep my cuticles in check, it’s doing a sterling job on the rest, including my rough elbows!

The hand and body wash smells a little zestier than the lotion and delivers a non-drying formula thanks to the addition of Argan Oil (not too far down the ingredients list either!) and a welcome lack of SLS and alcohol in the formulation.

Overall, if your purse can stomach the price tag – you could do far worse than treating yourself to these bathroom gems.  Gielly Green have delivered a perfect pair of body essentials that bring a touch of luxury to a normally mundane task.

Gielly Green Hand & Body Wash and Hand & Body Lotion in Lemon & Muguet are available to buy online from the Gielly Green website.

Despite her tender age, Leila is becoming quite the discerning shopper.  Not that she has access to my debit cards or Paypal account you understand… but she does have access to the three bottom drawers of my Ikea Helmer (when I’m not looking).

It was here that she discovered my Lanolips Rose Balm Intense a very short while after I’d opened it…

…and now she won’t give it back.

It’s the sheep you see… Lady Lamb has captured her imagination and her heart, everytime I try to steal a squeeze… my attempts are met with tears.

I’ve been using the Lanolips 101 ointment on L since she was a tiny one to dampen the eczema on her face and because she was always swaddled at night as a babe, the thick lanolin used to work wonders at taking the edge off the itch.  Perhaps something in her subconscious recognises this lanolin-based counterpart, the only other beauty product to have awoken her magpie tendencies was a Beauty Blender – and I don’t really blame her for that one.

Still, at such a tender age (and with no offers to do the washing up on the table) she has no need for my Rose Balm Intense, which afterall.. is for very *dry* hands.  Not very *little* hands.

…nor very little teeth.  Grrr.

For the five consecutive nights that I was able to apply the handcream… I formed the opinion that it was certainly softening on my rough bits but not a product that I’d want to use during the day.  It’s heavy and sits on the skin in the way I love my Lanolips 101 to do… but I just don’t love the same feeling on my hands.

It’s strongly rose-scented and you only need the smallest amount to get good coverage.  After 4 days, it was beginning to heal my sore cuticles before it was rudely snatched from my routine.  I’d recommend it for when your usual cream isn’t cutting it.  Combined with a pair of cotton moisture gloves, I think it would make for an intense and quick-fix overnight treatment.

Or yano, a great addition to your toddler’s handbag.

Lanolips Rose Balm Intense is priced at £8.99 for 50ml and available online or instore in Boots.

Get a beautiful body with Body America!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 17 - 2011

New York Cheesecake with an Edge, Vermont Va Va Voom, Toast to the Coast and Southern Belle promise scintilating flavours that leave me unsure whether I should be slathering them on my body or on my crumpets in the morning!

I’m gonna go with ‘body’… but only ‘cos I’m on a diet.

The Body America range of products has been notoriously hard to track down until House of Fraser scooped them up as part of their new Apothecary setup.  The range claims 72% organics which are enriched with Aloe Vera juice to soothe and soften the skin.

That’s all great in theory… but how does the range really perform?

Vermont Va Va Voom Foaming Bath & Shower Wash (£7.00)

Green Apple, Maple and Blueberry… but particularly heavy on the apple.  Thankfully, although heady in combination, the scent that’s left behind on the skin is quite light and pleasantly fresh.

I’m not usually a fan of products that foam before I get them close to my body as I find I have to use a ton to get the same kind of luxurious lather as with normal soapy formulas.  This one gets a thumbs up for managing to go the distance before losing it’s fluff!

I should also note that I didn’t find this drying on my skin.

Toast to the Coast Lip Butter 8.5gms (£4.00)

All style and no substance.  It smells delicious (Ocean and Grapeseed), tastes incredible but does nothing to moisturise my lips.  It’s thin and spreads lightly which makes it a nice butter to apply under a drying lipstick but that’s about as far as my praise for this one can stretch.

New York Cheesecake Body & Face Scrub 100gms (£7.00)

My pick of the bunch and I will definitely be picking this up in the Toast to the Coast flavour.  It’s a milky thin fluid that spreads for miles and contains minute particles of ‘scrub’.  Touted as a light exfoliation, I’d say that on my skin it felt pretty full on and in my opinion, too harsh for the face.  But it’s perfect for bodycare and leaves a positively edible scent behind!

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I haven’t tried any of the body butters but they’re reportedly made by the people behind The Body Shop body butters and only £7/£8 each.  All products are available instore and online.

Have you tried the Body America range yet?

Winter Saviours…

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 22 - 2011

…a.k.a the most overdone post in the blogosphere in recent weeks.

Everyone is different… with different needs, different tastes and different budgets… so what works for me may not work for you but these are the products that have made this Winter a far more comfortable affair.

It’s probably useful to let you know the kind of issues that Winter has been dishing out to me first right?

Skin: A touch of seborrheic dermatitis that flares up with greater prominence when the seasons change and in cold weather. Dryness (with the odd patch of scaliness if left untreated for too long) around the edges of my nose, eyebrows, hairline, behind my ears (yeah, weird) and under my eyes.

Hair: Coarse, dull and kinda bushy! (just for clarification, we’re talking head hair here mmm-k?)

Nails: Where do I begin… these have suffered the most this winter and I’m starting to see the point in using acetone free nail polish removers despite still being in love with my poundland bargain purchases.  My nails have started to peel quite badly on the edges and I’m having to trim them regularly just to remedy this.  My cuticles are like elephant hide and the poor things sob everytime I approach with a new polish.

As you can see… a few issues that have needed to be kept under control.

It has literally taken me until the last week or so to pin down *which* products are having a reasonable effect on those issues and the ones I’ve shown above are the ones that I know are making a real difference.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (£28.50 – ish)* has been a gentler alternative to my usual scrubs at keeping my face free from flakes.  I’ve started trialling a Clarisonic in the past week but up ’til then, it’s been the Dermalogica sloughing my skin without causing extra dryness or irritation.  I can see why it’s so revered amongst industry experts.

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate (£37.80)* has probably been my skincare product of the year.  It’s one to avoid if you have oily skin but on my combo/dry skin – it’s a tonic and a half.  As the weeks have gotten colder I’ve upped the frequency with which I’m applying and I’m on a full pump every evening spread all over my face (except the bridge of my nose!).  It’s ‘organic’ scent takes a little getting used to and many will dislike the heavier feeling it leaves behind.  Me?  It lets me know that my skin is getting the nourishment it needs.

Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil (£4.39) The range is targeted toward the needs of Afro hair and although it’s recommended use is on the scalp, I’ve been applying this on my hair 20 minutes before jumping in the shower.  I combine this with Pantene Pro-V Colour Protect 2 Minute Damage Rescue Treatment (which I use as a conditioner rather than treatment) and have been enjoying much healthier and smoother-looking hair as a result!

Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter (£5.70 – ish) Another ‘product of the year’ is the Haus of Gloi’s pumpkin butter formula for deep and long-lasting body moisturisation.  I’m in love with the thick but absorbable creams… finding the perfect scent can be a bit like playing Russian roulette but at £5.70 for a full-size tub, it’s hardly breaking the bank.  The site’s stock of pumpkin butter moisturisers is slowly dwindling, replaced by the lighter emulsions… that makes me sad – I’m hoping I have enough stock in my own beauty cupboard to last me through ’till it really does start getting warmer.

Weleda Calendula Weather Protection Cream*(£5.50) Good enough for baby, good enough for me. It’s been my handbag staple for weeks now.  The thinner-than-Vaseline texture and gentle scent make this intensely moisturising product my pick for on-the-go moisturisation.  I apply a very small amount (half pea-sized for my entire face)… it spreads like a dream and although it’s lanolin/almond-oil based, sinks in fairly quickly without leaving me looking shiny aslong as I’m careful not to over-apply.  Also wonderful for ravaged cuticles!

CND Solar Oil – (£5.07 – ish) Whilst I’m not convinced it’s my HG for keeping my nails in good condition, it’s done a better job this Winter than my LUSH Lemony Flutter which is why I’m including it in the list.  It’s inexpensive and quick to apply before or after a manicure.  It smells divine (if you like marzipan!) and certainly goes some way to giving my poor tips a bit of respite.

HC45 Hydrocortisone Cream (£3.77) This is a ‘branded’ version of a cream that should be used very sparingly indeed!  I usually pick up a chemist-own version for a bit less than this.  It’s a steroid cream that can thin the skin with prolonged use, hence the ‘sparingly’ comment.  For me, nothing comes close at soothing my skin in an emergency.  I usually use a miniscule amount behind my ears if the skin starts to crack (nice) or if I get wind burn.  Leila also benefits from a smidge if her eczema gets out of control which thankfully this year, it hasn’t.

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So those are my winter skin saviours, it’s not the most glamourous list in the world and the price point varies wildly from a couple of quid, right up to £40 but these are the products that I haven’t been able to better.

*denotes PR samples

What are some of your winter must-haves?

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