Abahna White Grapefruit & May Chang shower gel


My daily shower routine has been transformed since my introduction to Abahna - a new brand to me and one I’ll be happy to spend lots more time with.  The White Grapefruit and May Chang shower gel is just one of a range of luxury fragranced products for the body and home.


Just look at how it arrives for starters – I don’t think I’ve ever received such a beautifully presented product – and I have to admit, when I was invited to try a new shower gel, this is not what I was expecting. I’d be more than happy to hand this over at Christmas.


Bit nicer than my usual shower gel purchases, swinging in a flimsy Tesco bag alongside the washing up liquid! (I’ll tell you about the product in a moment… bear with me, these things are important!)


Is it just me who finds it hard to chuck pretty boxes like this into the recycling?


The luxe, square shaped bottle is so pretty I even cleaned the shower before granting it permission it to enter.

‘A daily bathing ceremony is one of life’s simplest luxuries. Abahna transforms an ordinary routine into an exquisitely fragranced, multi-sensory ritual.’

This shower gel contains essential oils and organic extracts to refresh and energise.  White grapefruit is uplifting and detoxing, while  May Chang - a Chinese oil – has a sweet lemony note to help stimulate the mind.

Admittedly my morning shower tends to be more mad dash before the school run than multi-sensory ritual, but uplifting, detoxing and mind stimulation? Yes please!


While the ingredients list may not be 100% organic, this product contains no SLS, SLEs, parabens, petrochemicals or artificial colour and Abahna is against animal testing.


I love the Amber colour – and as you can see, it’s a huge 250ml bottle. The pump mechanism is another plus for me – hygenic and quick to use – and a little of this product really does go a long way.


Despite the gel formulation it feels thick, rich and creamy on the skin.  It feels nourishing and smells beautiful – simultaneously fresh and spicy – perfect for cold winter mornings.

This showergel costs £17 for 250ml, which is pricey for everyday use, but you can try a ‘mini’ bath & showergel at £5 for 100ml.  I have my eye on the Mandarin & Sicilian Bergamot to try next! You can see the full range of products at Abahna.co.uk – including home fragrances and a full set of skincare and perfume.


25 ways to wear a scarf in 4.5 minutes

I love scarves, especially at this time of year, and own a ridiculous number of them… they are my biggest weakness when it comes to accessories. So when I saw this video on India Knight’s blog I was so blown away by it I just had to share.

I hope you love it as much as I do – it’s mesmerising, clever and more than a little inspiring!


Watch and learn girls!


What’s your favourite scarf and how do you wear yours?!


Transformulas Lip Volume ~ Results 30 days later


Transformulas’ award-winning LipVolume formula claims to lock in moisture and boost natural collagen without the use of needles, ‘clinically proven to increase lip size by up to 40%’.  The product should be applied 3 times a day for the first 30 days for maximum results. I started using this product a month ago, when I introduced it with this post – and promised you an update on my progress.


‘Transformulas LipVolume starts working immediately, producing semi-permanent results, so you don’t need to worry about the effects fading away. Discover the fresh breath sensation for your lips and the secret for fuller, plumper lips, less fine lines, and a more contoured, defined and sensual lip line.’


The matt silver tube contains a doe shaped wand applicator – and as I said before, I love to apply this product as the peppermint freshness and subtle tingle are really pleasant. I often apply it over lipstick with my finger as it adds a lovely non sticky shine and makes otherwise ordinary lipstick look a bit more special.

Here are the results – the first two pictures are from my original post, before use and immediately after the first application, when I did notice an immediate smoothness and slightly plumper effect.


And one month later…


At first I thought there was no difference, but when I looked closely at the two bare lipped pics, my lips do seem to look smoother now. I definitely notice a difference in the texture, more than the size, so while they may not necessary look bigger, the smoothness does seem to give a plumper effect. The contour of my upper lip seems slightly smoother – look at the fine lines at the top left of pic 1, (which have bugged me for a while) – I did make an effort to apply the product over these each time.


As you know, I was cynical about the potential of this product, but am actually quite pleased and would definitely consider buying a new tube of this when the first one runs out.  I’m actually more interested in what you think – do you see a difference and is this something you would consider using?

It costs £29 and if you do decide to try a tube, snap it up quickly as this month’s purchases of LipVolume at Transformulas will help support The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal.


Penhaglion’s Juniper Sling ~ Perfume Review


I was blown away the first time I tried Penhaglion’s Juniper Sling.  It’s one of the most intoxicating perfumes I’ve tried in quite some time. It’s a long time since I tried a Penhaglion’s fragrance, but I have a lasting memory of the mesmerising experience of visiting one of their boutiques years ago (sadly there isn’t one where I live).


Juniper Sling, inspired by London Dry Gin, was created for Penhaligon’s by Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp and described as ‘a playful homage to the Bright Young Things of London’s roaring twenties.’  I was sent the 4ml Travel Atomiser, which comes in a pretty sage, gilt edged box.


‘For enigmatic boys and girls, Juniper Sling is a crisp cocktail shot of gin with the freshness of juniper, cool measures of angelica and brandy and a beating libertine heart of black pepper, cardamom, soft leather and orris. A gourmand base of brown sugar, black cherry and amber add sensuality to the scent.’


I’d describe this perfume as warm, spicy and sensual. And unusually for me, I find it truly unisex.  Perhaps sharing it with my husband would justify the price, though it might be a little strange to smell the same!  (Has anyone actually done this?) 


I get a fresh gin ‘zing’ the second I spritz Juniper Sling, but this quickly evaporates. Black peppery cinnamon, leather and amber are the most distinctive notes for me. I was a little giddy when I first tried this – as someone who struggles to find a fragrance I truly love, it’s very exciting when I do!  I find the smell really quite heady – and just want to climb inside it and wallow every time I spray it on my skin. 

It lasts reasonably well on me throughout the day, but I definitely need to reapply for evening. I don’t mind this too much as I’m a little bit hooked on the first spritz. I’d mind less if I had a full sized bottle, though sadly the price bracket does not match my purse, especially for an EDT.  I would love this bow clad bottle on my dressing table. In fact I’d happily clear the dressing table and let it have it all to itself.

I realise that gin is most often regarded as a refreshing sunny day drink, but that’s not the sense I personally get from this perfume. To me it’s a perfect winter warmer.


The Notes

Head: Cinnamon, Orange Brandy, Angelica, Juniper Berry
Heart: Cardamom, Leather, Black Pepper, Orris Wood
Base: Brown Sugar, Black Cherry, Vetiver, Ambrox


Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling Eau de Toilette 50ml £78
Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling Eau de Toilette 100ml £110

You can read more about Juniper Sling, or even treat yourself at Penhaglion’s


Neom Luxury Organic Treatment Candles ~ Restore



Neom candles are a relatively new discovery for me, which I decided to explore after hearing others rave about them.  The company creates a variety of beauty and home treatments, which have become beauty editor favourites. 

Their biggest selling point for me was that they won’t just make my home smell good - important as this is to me - but they are actual treatments: they will also make me feel good!  The various candles are made with only a blend of vegetable wax and pure essential oils, designed to relax, revive or pamper.  I opted for restore, which speaks volumes about how I was feeling that day!

Restore contains jasmine, ginger and sandalwood – a winning combination for me. It smells truly gorgeous, a warm, soothing fragrance. Not sleep-inducing soothing, just feel-good soothing.  It has gentle spice and woodiness (perfect for this time of year!) and fills the room with fragrance very quickly, but is not intrusive.  I try and force myself to blow it out after about half an hour and just light an ordinary candle so that it will last a bit longer!


This is how it arrived, peeping out of the box at me…

‘Restore is the perfect feel-good fragrance, gently soothing away stress and fatigue.  Also perfect for mental fatigue and nausea.’


The gold-embossed glossy white presentation box is really pretty and would make a lovely gift.


Mine is the travel size - I’ve cropped this ^ pic as close as I can to the actual size, to try and give you an idea of how big it is, though the most important thing is how long it burns for: up to 20 hours! 

I’ve just realised that the outer circle of the Neom Promise is the exact circumference of the base!

‘Our dream was to create products that were as organic as they were effective, as gorgeous and pampering as they smelt divine and perhaps most importantly, as effective as their synthetic counterparts.’

Neom Travel Candles cost £13, which I think is fairly reasonable as a gift for yourself or someone else. The standard size is £37.50 for a 3 wick candle that burns up to 55 hrs.

The full Neom Home fragrance range is available here. I’d like to try the Inspiration candle next! Have you tried these – and if so, which would you recommend?


Skin Oils ~ All for Eve + Alpha-H, Kneipp, Bettyhula



This time last week I was wearing a t-shirt and flip flops. Today I’m in a big snuggly cardi, scarf and sheepskin slippers. The central heating is on; the wind has an icy edge and my skin doesn’t like it.

In the past I’ve been timid about using oils on my skin, but the more I learn about the benefits, the more I want to explore.  Oils can be used on any skin type – dry, normal, combination and even oily (yes really).  I’m lucky to have reasonably normal skin, but in cold weather it is prone to dry patches and the skin on my body, especially my legs, can get very dry.  The oil formulas available are so sophisticated they sink in immediately – and while they may leave a lovely sheen, they really don’t leave you looking like an oil slick. Skin accepts oil very readily and at this time of year I find mine drinks it up. 

Here are a few of the oils that my skin has been loving lately…

All for Eve Age Delay Facial Oil, by Alpha-H


This 50ml Special Edition was created by Alpha-H in support of ‘The Eve Appeal’ Gynaecology Cancer Research Fund.

‘A luxurious 100% botanical essential blend which soothes, calms and rehydrates dry, sensitive and delicate skin. Contains nine of nature’s finest oils; rich in essential fatty acids and skin preserving vitamins, including aromatic Frankincense, Patchouli and Rosehip to help soften, comfort and revitalise fragile and ageing skin.’


I always imagine that Nigella would describe this as golden nectar! It’s very bright in colour and has a pleasant herbal-floral fragrance.  It can be used neat in small amounts for small patches of very dry skin, but the recommended use is to blend 2 to 3 drops into your preferred day or night cream to boost moisture levels.  It can also be mixed into cleansers and masks, added to body lotions and creams or blended with a carrier oil for face and body massage.

Honestly girls (and boys!) this stuff feels like little drops of golden heaven on my skin. I have added it to moisturiser, serum and body lotion – and it transforms the ordinary to the extraordinary!  Now it does look a bit odd when mixed in… like egg yolk! But it feels so amazing on the skin that this isn’t off-putting at all.

‘Contains no synthetics, no silicones, no parabens, no artificial fragrances, preservatives or colours’


This is the rather amazing ingredients list.  I have to be honest… in the past I have paid little attention to ingredients lists, but am becoming more and more aware of them – and while I’m a sucker for anti-ageing wonders, I do prefer to go as natural as possible these days.

I don’t use this oil every day, just when my skin feels it needs a little extra oomphf – and when I use it I really do feel like I’m nourishing my skin. It leaves no oily residue at all and doesn’t make my skin oily.

All for Eve Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil is available at Beautique.com at £44 for 50ml. This includes an exclusive offer of Alpha-H Ultra Protector SPF 30+ Daily Moisturiser worth £30.00 for free! (I’ve heard this moisturiser is amazing, so to get both for £44 is a brilliant offer.)


Kneipp NatuRenew Organic Body Oil


Kneipp was a new discovery for me, despite being an age-old, truly organic brand made with certified organic ingredients.

‘An organic intense body oil to help improve skin’s appearance and elasticity. It’s multifunctional purpose improves everyday skin conditions, such as scars, stretch marks, mature ageing skin and dry patches.  Emollient, natural oils richly moisturise and firm the skin.’


While the ingredients list is quite citrus based, this oil has a distinct herbal smell to me. It’s not unpleasant, but I wouldn’t want to smell of it all day, so I use this at night. 


I mainly use Kneipp on my lower legs as I find this is where my skin becomes the most dry – and it really does feel nourishing. Ordinary body lotion or fragranced oil will still moisturise my skin, but this feels very nutritious and almost healing. It leaves more of a sheen on the skin than the All for Eve oil, but I don’t mind that on my body – I just wouldn’t want it on my face.

The best price I found for Kneipp was £8.06 for 100ml at Essentials London. Also available at Victoria Health


I’ve wanted to try the Bettyhula range for some time, so was delighted to receive a little sample of ‘The Secret’ Anti ageing oil to try.  This oil can be used on the face, body or in the bath.  I particularly love it on my face or in the bath – it feels like such a treat to use!


Completely transparent, it smells absolutely divine and I sometimes just apply a little to the backs of my hands just so that I can sniff at it!  The scent is quite sweet, but not sickly so – rose stands out the most for me.  The ingredients are Grapeseed Oil, Apricot Kemel, Avocado Oil, Hemp Oil, Vitamin E, Rose Absolute, Jojoba Oil.

‘Our unique production process takes natures finest ingredients … all fairly traded and taken from renewable sources. All are carefully chosen in line with their benefits for your skin and wellbeing… to help repair damaged and tired cells, combat dryness and reduce wrinkles to reveal your most radiant, youthful self.’

A range of Bettyhula products are now available at Sainsbury’s and Secret Oil has been nominated for a Sainsbury's Beauty Award in the 'Best Premium Bathing Product' Category – if you’ve tried it and are already a fan, please click Here to add your vote!

Bettyhula Anti Ageing Secret Oil costs £15.99 at Bettyhula.co.uk

The only product I have yet to find is the perfect oil for my hair – I know they’re becoming very popular, so any recommendations are very welcome!

Do you like skin oils and have you tried any of these products? Please leave a comment below – I love to hear your thoughts. X



Essie Power Clutch – Fall Mini Collection 2011


Last but most definitely not least in my Essie Fall series comes Power Clutch.  Much as I love Very Structured, Lady Like and Carry On, I think this one just might be my favourite of the Autumn Mini Collection as it’s unlike any colour I’ve worn before…


Like the other shades, Power Clutch changes quite a lot according to the lighting.  Most of the time it looks dark blue toned green, with a slight duskiness – as in the first pic above.  Sometimes it looks welly boot green, with an almost greyish tinge – as in the 2nd ^ and 3rd pics.


Believe it or not I only applied one coat for these pics.  Partly out of sheer laziness as I redid the photographs (the first set looked a bit untidy) and partly to illustrate the amazing opacity of this polish.


These last two pics were taken away from direct light, yet you can still see how glossy the colour looks.  I love that this colour is a little bit different… still rich and glamorous but with a little more edge. And a refreshing change from the blues and navys I’ve seen a lot of this season.



A quick round up of the Essie Fall Minis….


L to R: Very Structured, Power Clutch (above), Lady Like, Carry On (LINKS TO SWATCHES)











Power Clutch is available as part of Essie’s Fall Mini Collection 2011 (4 x 5ml) at Beauty Bay for £11.95 inc UK p&p.

What’s your favourite?


Essie Carry On ~ Fall Mini Collection 2011


‘Carry On’ is the third in my series featuring the four shades in Essie’s Fall Mini Collection 2011. Incase you missed them, the first was Very Structured and the second, Lady Like.  Carry On is a blackened burgundy plum, which I adore.  It’s darker than I expected… in the bottle I didn’t expect it to be that much darker than Essie Angora Cardi (I’ll do a comparative post some time) but there’s a world of difference.


Like the first two shades I swatched, Carry On is much deeper in tone than it appears in the bottle.


This shot ^ was taken by the window (and highlights the less than perfection application, sorry about that!) but you can see that it’s a definite plum. 


Move away from the window just one metre ^ – and already it looks darker.


In the shade, above and below, it’s almost black, (looks the same in evening light) but I know it’s not – and I love it! To me this colour looks rich and glamorous and is 100% perfect for AW.  It’s also wonderful as an accent with any of the other shades and I know I’ll wear it a lot.


I try not to wear this on days when I visit my mum… to her, it would be black and she would thoroughly disapprove!  (She offered to buy me new jeans last week when I wore a distressed pair *sigh* bless her!).

Carry On is available as part of Essie’s Fall Mini Collection 2011 (4 x 5ml) at Beauty Bay for £11.95 inc UK p&p.

Any of you tempted to Carry On?

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