Monday, 23 November 2020

Soin des lèvres au Lait de Jument de Camargue

RRP: 8€

--What does the promo say?—

"Moisturisation and protection guaranteed with our SOIN DES LEVRES! This lip balm is so rich that it will quickly repair and protect your lips from the effects of the cold and the sun. Good for cracked and sore lips, it is rich in moisturising ingredients such as shea butter and beeswax, which reinforce the qualities of Camargue mare’s milk. It nourishes, softens and protects your lips to the maximum. It does not contain a UV filter and is a natural product containing no chemical ingredients. (Any conservation agents used have been approved by Ecocert.) Suitable for daily use."


--Ingredients--

Shea butter, grapeseed oil, beeswax, aloe vera, jojoba oil, argan oil, lemon essential oil. 


--Packaging--

The SOIN DES LEVRES comes in a standard lipstick format. It has a paper wrap- around label with discreet logo of a horse’s head, the Camargue cross, the name of the product in black and green lettering and an attractive picture of mares in the Camargue.


--Application--

Apply like a lipstick, to top and bottom lip, and rub lips together to smooth the product in thoroughly.


--Appearance--

The SOIN DES LEVRES is a solid creamy-yellow stick.


--Scent—

The scent on this is very faint indeed, which I prefer to other lip balms I have used. You are not left with a strong taste on your lips. It feels completely natural.


--Texture and consistency--

The texture is quite solid and hard. I have a feeling that it will last longer than most sticks of this type because it doesn’t ‘melt away’ or wear down quickly as some do.


--Effects on the lips —

My lips feel instantly hydrated and the effect lasts a long time. A bonus: I also apply it around the contours of my lips to reduce the fine lines and it works a treat. Used before going to bed, it keeps my lips moisturised all through the night.


--Value for money--

Very good value for the quality of the product and the fact that it will last a long time.


perfect partners

CRÈME DE SOIN VISAGE (Face cream) 30€

LAIT DEMAQUILLANT (Make-up remover), from €9

CRÈME PEAU SECHE ET SENSIBLE (Cream for dry and sensitive skin), from €9

SAVON AU LAIT DE JUMENT NATUREL ET HYDRATANT (Natural moisturising mare’s milk soap), from €2

CRÈME POUR LES MAINS (Hand cream), 11.90€ 

CRÈME POUR LES PIEDS (Foot cream), 11.90€

COMPLEMENTS ALIMENTAIRES (dietary supplement capsules), 29.90€ 

https://laitdejumentdecamargue.fr/

Lee Stafford Coco Loco with Agave Blow and Go 11-in-1 Lotion


 RRP: £6.99

--What does the promo say?--

"This moisturising Genius Lotion is packed full of coconutty goodness. And now blended with Agave Essence for added moisture, movement and shine. The tropical tube does at least 11 things including helping to repair damaged hair and strengthen it.

  • Conditions, Nourishes & Smooths
  • Protects from heat styling
  • Shields against humidity and protects against colour fade
  • Improves combability
  • Softens and enhances shine
  • New tropical Coconut and Agave fragrance"

--Packaging--
The light pink colour scheme clearly identifies this product as part of the Coco Loco range and gives an elegant and feminine impression, accentuated by the gold lettering. The coconut imagery makes the main ingredient central and the 11 benefits are identified concisely on the packaging as well. The flip-top tube makes for practical use on a day-to-day basis.

--Application--
Smooth liberally over towel-dried hair, then dry and style as normal.

--Appearance--
A bright white lotion which leaves no visible residue on the skin or hair.

--Scent--
Beautifully coconutty, but perhaps not terribly nuanced.

--Texture and consistency--
Incredibly smooth and combs through hair easily.

--Effects on the hair--
Hair feels volumised and smoothed, with frizz being minimised. The conditioning effects are immediately apparent and over time hair is undoubtedly strengthened. Blonde hair also appears more luminous and wavy hair is tamed sufficiently between washes without having to fight to brush it.

--Value for money--
One tube provides many uses, and the effect of just one use is confidence-boosting and stress-reducing. Hair has volume and shine without frizz, and this effect lasts for days to tame and straighten hair. While I was sent mine for free by Lee Stafford's PR, I would shell out my hard-earned on this without a shadow of a doubt. An indulgent treat that makes managing your hair easier.

perfect partners

Shampoo, £1.99-£10.99 (50ml, 250ml, 600ml)

Conditioner, £1.99-£10.99 (50ml, 250ml, 600ml)

Hairspray, £5.99 (250ml)

Mousse, £5.99 (200ml)

Moisture Mist, £6.99 (150ml)

Dry Shampoo, £4.99 (200ml)

Heat Protection Mist, £5.99 (150ml)

Blow & Go 11-in-1 Lotion, £6.99 (100ml)

Colour & Damage Defender, £4.99 (100ml)

Mask, from £1.99 (20ml)

Monday, 16 November 2020

Crème de soin visage au Lait de Jument de Camargue

by Sarah CROSS

RRP: 30€

--What does the promo say?—

“Let nature take care of you thanks to the legendary qualities of Camargue mare’s milk. The magical effect of mare’s milk remains an enigma for scientists; however its healing properties are indeed real. It has been shown in the past that drinking mare’s milk cured certain illnesses and that the face and skin looked younger and more beautiful as a result. This discovery led to the development of cosmetics using mare’s milk as it seemed clear that external application would also have a beneficial effect on the skin. Mare’s milk in the form of creams and soaps is therefore particularly suited to problem skin and helps to make it look more beautiful. All our beauty products are natural and handmade. This product is more like a beauty serum than a face cream as it is made from 40% mare’s milk (the highest percentage in our range of products). It leaves your skin feeling sensationally soft and provides all-day protection. It’s non-allergenic and kind to the skin. Its neutral pH means that it is suitable for all skin types: dry, sensitive, greasy or combination skin. Mare’s milk also helps combat skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, allergies and itchy skin.

--Ingredients-- 

Mare’s milk, hordeum vulgare, calendula officinalis, chamomilla recutita and rosa centifolia plant extracts, organic lavender essential oil, organic geranium essential oil

--Packaging--

The CRÈME DE SOIN VISAGE comes in an opaque white pump-action dispenser. It has a paper wrap-around label with discreet logo of a horse’s head, the Camargue cross, the name of the product in black and green lettering and an attractive picture of mares in the Camargue. It looks clean and minimalist. The sealed container keeps the product inside clean and stops it from drying out.

--Application--

Simply press down the pump once and the nozzle dispenses a small dose of cream to massage into your face. A little goes a long way. I find that two squirts, one in each hand, do my entire face and neck. The cream is easily absorbed into the skin without leaving any oil or residue behind.

--Appearance--

CRÈME DE SOIN VISAGE is an opaque, liquid moisturising serum and is milky white.

--Scent—

Sold as ‘natural’, the cream has no distinct or over-powering scent but smells clean, sweet and vaguely floral. It is a pleasant smell to have close to your nostrils and all over your face.

--Texture and consistency--

The texture is that of a serum, a thickish liquid that comes out of the dispenser easily.

--Effects on the skin—

I have quite dry skin so I really appreciated the consistency of this serum. Once applied, it was quickly absorbed and left no oily or greasy traces. My skin just seemed to drink it in. The appearance of fine lines was reduced and my skin looked glowing and healthy.

--Value for money--

Initially I thought the container quite small for 30 euros; however, I was quite astonished at how long it lasted. Applied both morning and night, the tube lasted ten whole weeks! I am really enjoying using these products and, since I live near the Camargue, I am very happy to be supporting a small local business that has a love and passion for animals and for creating natural beauty products. Have a feeling I will be using these products for some time to come. Watch this space for more reviews.

perfect partners

LAIT DEMAQUILLANT (Make-up remover), from €9

CRÈME PEAU SECHE ET SENSIBLE (Cream for dry and sensitive skin), from €9

SAVON AU LAIT DE JUMENT NATUREL ET HYDRATANT (Natural moisturising mare’s milk soap), from €2

SOIN DES LÈVRES, €8

CRÈME POUR LES MAINS (Hand cream), 11.90€ 

CRÈME POUR LES PIEDS (Foot cream), 11.90€

COMPLEMENTS ALIMENTAIRES (dietary supplement capsules), 29.90€ 


https://laitdejumentdecamargue.fr/

Thursday, 1 October 2020

You'd better check yourself: Estée Lauder Breast Cancer Campaign 2020

Perhaps unsurprisingly, thanks to Covid, comes the alarming news that not only is the winter set to bring a perfect storm in terms of mental health, but just as seriously, nearly half of women in the UK are now less likely to share their breast cancer concerns.

One in five women have deprioritised their breast health; this rises to 1 in 4 for those under the age of 45. GP surgery closures during the pandemic have already made it more difficult to visit a doctor; this is despite the fact that a fifth of under-45s are unlikely to visit, even if they have noticed a change in their breasts.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made two-thirds of women feel less connected and more isolated. But the good news is that the vast majority want to unite in the face of breast cancer.

A step towards this can be taken by saving a date in your diary: on Wednesday 21st October, 2020 at 7pm UK time, The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland are looking to host the largest ever self-check via Zoom with special guests including Global Ambassador Elizabeth Hurley and Dr Zoe Williams. This has been organised in the hope of bringing people together and encouraging everyone to be breast aware.

If you can't make the self-check, you can also support the campaign by buying classic beauty products - purchases of the following products in October result in a donation to help fight breast cancer:



• AVEDA – Hand Relief Moisturising Creme with Cherry Almond Aroma ($5 per purchase) 

• BOBBI BROWN – Luxe Matt Lip Color Duo (100% RRP minus VAT)

• DARPHIN – INTRAL Redness Relief Soothing Serum (20% RRP minus VAT)

• ESTÉE LAUDER – Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex (20% of RRP minus VAT)

• GLAMGLOW – Bubblesheet Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Mask (20% of RRP minus VAT)

• JO MALONE – Peony & Blush Suede 100ml Cologne (£20 per purchase in the UK and €25 per purchase in Ireland)

• LA MER – Crème de la Mer Moisturising Cream 15ml (50% of RRP minus VAT)

• ORIGINS – Blooming Lip Duo (100% of RRP)

Details of how you can support the campaign this year, download our self-check leaflet and access the live self-check are at https://www.elcompanies.co.uk/en-GB/our-commitments/the-breast-cancer-campaign

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Lee Stafford Coco Loco with Agave Shine Mask

 

RRP: £7.99 for 200ml (20ml travel version £1.99)

--What does the promo say?--

"An Intensive Treatment designed to bring hair back to life. This moisturising Coconut Mask with Hydrolyzed Milk Protein and Agave essence, works to reduce protein loss, strengthen hair and prevent breakage. Moisturising, strengthening, smoothing. Enhances shine. New tropical Coconut and Agave fragrance."

--Packaging--

Mine arrived from Lee Stafford's PR in a neat little 20ml sachet, which is perfect for travel. For at home use, you can buy a whole pot of the stuff with a practical screw-top lid. Both capitalise on the range's pale pink colour scheme and position images of the product's key ingredients prominently. The "Coco Loco" element of the logo is embossed onto the packaging in shiny gold letters, adding a further luxurious feel.

--Application--

Smooth through wet hair after shampooing. Use around 20mls-worth through your entire head of hair, smoothing it through to the end. Leave in for 5 minutes and then rinse thoroughly; you can also follow up with conditioner if you like, but I didn't find it was necessary.

--Appearance--

A pale pink lotion which leaves no visible residue on the hair.

--Scent--

As promised, very coconutty, and as such immediately evocative of summer holidays, without going full suntan lotion on you.

--Texture and consistency--

Sumptuously thick without being lumpy, and smooths through hair easily, without sliding out during the treatment time. Conversely, when you want to wash it out, this is not tricky at all, with no sticky residue.

--Effects on the hair--

Hair definitely felt softer and fluffier, and visibly voluminised and shinier. Does everything it promises! I also found I could go longer between hair washes (always a blessing when you have longer hair) when using this product.

--Value for money--

The large pot of this contains 200ml, or approximately 10 uses. This comes to 79p a use - definitely worth your dosh. While the single-use sachets are more expensive than this, they're great for pimping your hairdo while travelling, and I would still thoroughly recommend them as an affordable treat that has the desired effect. Lee Stafford...the boy done good.

perfect partners*

Shampoo, £1.99-£10.99 (50ml, 250ml, 600ml)

Conditioner, £1.99-£10.99 (50ml, 250ml, 600ml)

Hairspray, £5.99 (250ml)

Mousse, £5.99 (200ml)

Moisture Mist, £6.99 (150ml)

Dry Shampoo, £4.99 (200ml)

Heat Protection Mist, £5.99 (150ml)

Blow & Go 11-in-1 Lotion, £6.99 (100ml)

Colour & Damage Defender, £4.99 (100ml)

*at the time of writing, use code NATIONALHAIRDAY at www.leestafford.com to get 15% off!

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Mooncup celebrates real users



I have no shame in saying that I am a complete Mooncup evangelist - so am more than happy to shout its name from the rooftops as it turns 18 and launches its #RealMooncupUser campaign.

In its virtual ‘word of mouth’ campaign, hundreds of real Mooncup users have come forward with their diverse stories, celebrating 18 years of the Mooncup menstrual cup, and its impact in smashing menstrual taboos. These stories have been compiled into a series of videos to showcase women's real experiences.

I started using a menstrual cup myself a few years ago now - definitely for a few years already before having my son in 2018. As such, I've used it both before and after vaginal birth, and can recommend it in both cases. Convenient, comfortable, lower cost, better for the environment, no dryness, no risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome), and a chance to know your own body better. What is there to lose?

I can't deny I had anxiety about using a Mooncup before actually starting to do so. I had heard horror stories about people being unable to remove them. And just what do you do when you're out and about, in a toilet without a sink? Happily, these concerns are all completely surmountable or even just completely unfounded.

Mooncup Director Kath Clements said; “We’ve had an overwhelming response to our shout out to our community to share their experiences as part of the #RealMooncupUser campaign. It’s been such a privilege to hear from so many, telling it like it is, without shame. The success of the Mooncup® has always been driven by word of mouth recommendations, and these days even more are choosing to take control of their bodies and make the switch to a positive, ethical one-off purchase. Many have told us that it feels empowering, all the more so with growing awareness of the environment, and our social and cultural structures.”

You can watch all the stories on the Mooncup blogwhere the 6 women talk about first periods, menstrual cup folds, first Mooncup impressions, and what they love about the Mooncup. You can also catch them on Youtube.

I'm a huge advocate of being more open about bodily processes and how we handle them. I guess being a huge proponent of hypnobirthing - as well as having taught sex education to teenagers - made me a fairly ideal candidate for Mooncup use. But ultimately if we overcome our traditional British reticence and talk more about our bodies, our overall health will improve - and I think Mooncup users have experienced this first-hand, and so naturally want to share their stories so you can find out more too.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Review: Aromatherapy Associates 1-2-1 Consultation


After a long hiatus (where theoretically I should have had more time for blogging thanks to lockdown...), Bianca's Beauty Blog is BACK, and it's all thanks to Aromatherapy Associates.

The salon I normally go to for manicures and pedicures uses their oils for massage and other therapies. As a result, my husband bought me one of the full-size bath oils for Christmas. It's so incredibly aromatic, moisturising and a joy to use, but I still wasn't sure if I was using it properly or to its fullest (I am quite new to aromatherapy, having only really become interested in it when preparing for the birth of my son in 2018).

So now that salons and spas are closed thanks to lockdowns around the world, wellness and self-care brands like Aromatherapy Associates have drawn upon the valuable resource of their education staff - who would normally do workshops in spas - to carry out group and one-to-one consultations online. Amazingly, these are all free and easy to book online via their website. 

In preparation for mine, I purchased the kit pictured above - the Discovery Bath and Shower Oil Collection*. It contains 10 dinky bottles covering the brand's mainstays, including the Revive oil whose full-size version I'm currently using in the bath. At £28 - already reduced from £40 - it's a really good value set, and if you can get your mitts on a discount code, so much the better (10% and 15% off coupons are readily available online). You don't have to buy any Aromatherapy Associates products in advance of your consultation, but I found it was helpful to have the oils alongside me so I could smell them as we were talking about them.

My consultant, Amy, was right on time for our Zoom call and was patient, professional and friendly throughout. She was telling me that thanks to the coronavirus lockdowns, people are doing a lot more self-care at home, but if they're beginners, don't necessarily know how to use the products to their best advantage and to help them with their individual needs. This explains why there's been a great uptick in demand not just for these types of wellness products but also for the consultations - which will definitely continue throughout the summer now that (sadly) spas and salons are not permitted to reopen on July 4th as they had hoped.

Those signing up for these consultations - whether beginners or old hands - will not be disappointed. I had emailed in my concerns beforehand (mainly about my migraines and insomnia - both chronic problems which come and go) so we were able to get straight to these for a focused discussion. Amy was able to recommend specific products for each concern, whether in the classic oil form or in rollerball format. The recommendations also bore in mind the type of treatment needed (though she takes care to emphasise that this is indeed not a medical consultation and should only ever be regarded as complementary therapy). Got a migraine and want to take a bath? The classic bottles of oil are for you - especially their Lavender and Peppermint Support blend. Wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep? The rollerball of their De-stress Mind or Deep Relax is best for immediate application.

Amy was able to advise me about the best way to use the bath oil to really enhance my experience. In short, rubbing it onto the chest and stomach before getting into the bath allows for longer-lasting effects than just inhalation; a little can also be sprinkled over the surface of the bath water once you have run the bath for optimal therapeutic effects (pouring it into the running water just dilutes it, apparently, making it less effective).

We were also able to discuss how the Support Breathe oil can be put into a bowl of hot water in a bedroom at night to open up the airways if you have a cold; this can even be done for babies, which is great news for me next time my son has a cold (remember that you should not apply essential oils directly to babies' skin).

Furthermore, we didn't just discuss the different types of insomnia I experience, and the types of oil that might be best for them (if thoughts are racing, De-Stress Mind will be the most effective blend, whereas if your mind is just empty apart from "I'M AWAKE", Deep Relax might be more helpful), but also the possible causes of my insomnia and migraines, and their potential links to other conditions (such as the hormonal condition polycystic ovary syndrome, and hyperhydrosis). In addition, we briefly talked about the problems that she, I and others have been experiencing during the pandemic and how this has fuelled the use of self-care products generally, with people hoping to alleviate their anxieties in this way.

All of this took place in a mere half an hour - an amazingly effective and enlightening use of time. Furthermore, it was swiftly followed up by an email from Amy with all of her recommendations in writing. These came with instructions for each ritual (e.g. "apply directly to temples/area of migraine") as well as benefits (such as "to ease migraines and cool down the body"). The email also came with a 15% discount code - a nice little bonus, I think we'll all agree!

Overall, the pandemic has made many people reassess their priorities, whether it's going back to an old hobby or trying something new, going for a complete career change, or just deciding that now's the time to take even better care of yourself. These online consultations will help so many people (including the shielding vulnerable who may not feel comfortable enough to go out even when restrictions are eased) and Aromatherapy Associates should be so proud of their innovation in this regard. My next stop in my shower? De-Stress Muscle, after my (socially-distanced) swim tomorrow. Aaaaaand relaaaaaaax.

* contains 3ml of each of the following essential oil blends: Deep Relax, Light Relax, Inner Strength, Revive Morning, Revive Evening, Support Breathe, Support Equilibrium, Support Lavender & Peppermint, De-Stress Muscle, De-Stress Mind

Friday, 27 December 2019

Cindy Joseph BOOM CALM


RRP: $44 for 4oz

--What does the promo say?—
“BOOM CALM is designed for extreme weather. It gently soothes, nourishes and restores your skin’s natural radiance after you spend time in the sun, wind or harsh temperatures. You’re left with beautifully restored, hydrated skin that feels cool (and soft) to the touch. This lightweight liquid moisturizer delivers a powerful blend of Aloe Vera Gel, essential oils and all-natural ingredients to soothe your skin from head to toe, leaving you calm and cool. Boom Calm enriches your skin with vitamins, minerals, natural enzymes, fatty acids and other nutrients to replace any dryness with beautifully soft, glowing skin."

--Packaging--
As with all BOOM products, presentation is minimalist and clean-looking, with white being the prominent colour. BOOM CALM comes in the same type of bottle as BOOM CLEAN and BOOM SCRUB with a lid that flips up to dispense the product through a small nozzle. The logo is a cool green. The bottle is opaque so you cannot see how much is left whilst using it, although the decreasing weight of the bottle gives you a fairly good idea. Remember to unscrew the lid and remove the seal before trying to squeeze the product out through the nozzle.

--Application--
Simply massage this lightweight, liquid moisturizer into any area of your skin that needs soothing. It’s quick-drying and is easily absorbed into your skin without leaving any oil or residue behind. You  can use this full-body moisturizer from head to toe to replace any dryness with beautifully hydrated, glowing skin.

--Appearance--
BOOM CALM is an opaque liquid moisturiser and is a pale yellow colour.

--Scent—
BOOM CALM smells divine. The most pervading smell is that of geranium oil, which is extremely pleasant to have close to your nostrils and all over your face. Geranium oil is well known for reducing redness and calming skin. The scent is calming in itself and feels like an aromatherapy session. Very pleasant at bedtime!

--Texture and consistency--
The texture is thinner than Boom’s other moisturisers, probably because of the addition of so many essential oils. It resembles a serum in consistency and comes out of the tube very easily.

--Effects on the skin—
For the purposes of this review I used BOOM CALM on my face only as, testing it through the autumn, this was the part of my body most exposed to weather conditions at this time of year. (South of France: sun still quite hot but often very windy.) As with all BOOM products, a little goes a long way. My BOOM CALM arrived when I had just got back from a very windy autumn walk so I decided to use it straight away…and particularly across my sensitive lips. It worked well. There is an immediate sensation of coolness on application. At this time of year, I would recommend this product especially for winter sun and skiing holidays.

--Value for money--
I was given BOOM CALM free to trial for Bianca’s Blog (Thank you, BOOM!). At $44 for 4oz, this may seem an expensive product but as so little is used it lasts ages, especially if you are only using it on your face, as I did. I am finding that the combination of BOOM products on my skin has definitely improved the texture and quality of my skin tone so I would continue to purchase this for myself. With the gradual addition of its new products, BOOM is now providing for all your make-up and cleansing/moisturising needs. Am definitely a BOOM convert. Shipping from America needs to be added to the cost, so sometimes it is worth placing a bulk order with other BOOM products to increase value for money. International flat rate shipping charge costs $30 and it takes between 7 – 15 working days to arrive. Be sure to select this flat shipping rate option, or you may be faced with additional customs charges when your package arrives. My products took eight working days to get from America to my home in the South of France.

perfect partners
BOOMSTICK GLO, $28 
BOOMSTICK COLOR, $28
BOOMSTICK GLIMMER, $28
BOOM SILK moisturiser, from $29
BOOM COTTON moisturiser, from $36
BOOM NECTAR skin serum, from $58
BOOM CLEAN, from $34
BOOM SCRUB, $48
BOOM MASK, $42
by Sarah Cross

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Lush Toothy Tabs

RRP: £6.50 for 50g (around 100 tabs)

--What does the promo say?--
"Keep your mouth in mint condition. Cleansing kaolin and a triple whammy of minty goodness ensure this solid toothpaste will freshen up your mouth and make your teeth sparkle." 

--Packaging--
These used to come in a cardboard box. Sadly now, though, they come in a plastic bottle. At least this bottle is recyclable - so you can either throw it into the recycling bin at home (unlike a normal toothpaste tube) or take it into a Lush store for recycling (recycle 5 in one shot and you get a free product). It was really this environmental factor that led me to switch from traditional toothpaste. The monochrome label is unisex and minimalist and so should appeal to all. The travel advantage is also obvious: the bottle is much smaller than any toothpaste tube and the tabs clearly don't count towards your liquid allowance when flying.

--Usage--
"For intensely icy airwaves," the website instructs, "simply nibble one between your teeth and start brushing." This really is as simple as it sounds (although I went in with some trepidation). 

--Appearance--
This depends on the flavour you choose. Limelight is green with yellow streaked through, Boom! is black, and the two I went for - Dirty and Miles Of Smiles - are white. Not feeling quite brave enough to try the former, the latter two are more like traditional toothpastes in appearance, dissolving quickly in the mouth to create a white foam.

--Scent and taste--
Miles of Smiles is a really very minty concoction whose aftertaste lasts hours. As a result, I tend to use this in the morning, switching to Dirty in the evening, which is mint and neroli flavoured, and slightly milder as a result. It's an unusual combination, but taste-wise really works for me (although I've read reviews by others who disliked it - so it's definitely personal and you should definitely have a sniff in the shop before buying). 

--Texture and consistency--
These tabs are based on kaolin (clay) and bicarbonate of soda, leading to a chalky texture. This is fine and doesn't take long to get used to: the tabs are small, so break down quickly upon chewing and with the addition of water, the chalkiness giving way to a smooth, fine foam. However, I have found that the binding elements of kaolin and bicarb do tend to gel with any excess saliva in the mouth overnight, leading to yucky strings of white gel populating in my mouth that I then have to scrape out. Yep. Lovely. BUT other reviews don't suggest that this happens to other people. So I'd recommend trying it first before discounting the possibility.

--Effects on the teeth--
Teeth feel clean after use and the flavourings make breath feel fresh for hours. 

--Value for money--
At £6.50 a pop this isn't cheap - especially if it turns out not to be for you. As for myself, I really wanted to like this product as I so loved the concept. However, the mouth residue is not something I can live with long-term, which is such a shame. Once my 2 bottles are finished, I'll be looking for other toothpaste alternatives.

perfect partner
Mouthwash Tabs, £6.50*

*available in 3 flavours: clove & mint, mint, and lemon

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

ByKathryn Padstow Rocks Perfume

RRP: £35 for 15ml

--What does the promo say?--
"PADSTOW ROCKS is our Get Out Of Town perfume: Fresh and fragrant, inspired by coastal walks, feel the stress simply melt away. And breathe! BYKATHRYN has partnered with Surfing England and some of Team England’s top female athletes as they set their sights on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics . The partnership is underlined by the fresh ocean vibes of PADSTOW ROCKS perfume. A perfect fit for the surfer girls and for the effortlessly cool, laid back woman who takes each day in her stride & goes with the flow. Designed to be carried with you PADSTOW ROCKS comes in a hand luggage sized 15ml perfume spray bottle in colourful eye catching packaging so your perfume stays fresh and uplifting."

--Packaging--
The orange box in which the perfume comes is vibrant and modern, emblazoned with the name of the perfume in bold white lettering. A beach scene is watermarked in the background, giving every impression of the sand being soaked in this scent at sunset. This colour scheme is reversed on the bottle itself, with orange lettering taking pride of place on a transparent glass spray bottle, enhanced by a gold-effect cap.

--Application--
Spray onto pulse points behind the ears, on the wrists, and at the neck. 

--Appearance--
The transparent liquid leaves no visible residue on the skin.

--Scent--
The promotional materials promise "ocean vibes" and there's a definite saltiness at the heart of this perfume that makes it truly unique. While in some ways, as with the brand's other perfume (Petrolhead), it's still more masculine than I would like (thanks to the cedarwood base), this would be my preferred choice from the brand. As someone who enjoys light, sparkly fragrances ordinarily, this fragrance is definitely lifted by the citrus head notes. Over the day it develops into a subtle yet sharp finish.

--Longevity--
A powerful perfume that lasts all day.

--Value for money--
It's actually quite unusual to find a perfume in this 15ml travel format - so to compare prices I had to look for perfumes retailing at around £70 for the more standard 30ml. This leads us to brands such as Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani, Clinique, and one of my all-time favourites: M Micallef. All of which are far more widely known than ByKathryn. But that's inevitable for a new brand and with luck will change over time. Quality-wise, what the brand offers is undisputed, and as such worth the money. What I'm mainly hoping for is that their next scent will be more in my usual territory: something light, floral, sparkly and sweet. Third time lucky?