Sunday, 9 June 2013

Benefit The Bronze of Champions Kit

It's been a long time since I've bought any makeup from Benefit; quite a few years ago I used to love their products but for some reason or another I just stopped buying them and moved onto other brands.  This year however, Benefit has really piqued my interest again.  From primers to mascaras and everything in between, this brand seems to have been coming out with some great new releases and things I can really see myself using.

One of my favourite new things from Benefit these days is their all-star kits, I couldn't think of a better way to be re-introduced to a brand and so a couple of days ago I headed down to my local Benefit counter and picked up one of the latest releases, The Bronze of Champions.

Benefit The Bronze of Champions Kit
Benefit The Bronze of Champions Kit
Benefit describes The Bronze of Champions as 'a total bronze kit for eyes, lips and cheeks' and really, I couldn't have chosen a better kit to try with this beautiful weather we've been having.  Each of the six products in this little box of goodness are the perfect shades to help you achieve a lovely bronzey glow.  They area; Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bikini-Tini, Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks a Latte!, Hoola Bronzing Powder, Watt's Up! Soft Focus Highlighter, They're Real! Mascara and Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Hoola.

Benefit The Bronze of Champions Kit
Benefit The Bronze of Champions Kit
Benefit The Bronze of Champions Kit
L-R Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bikini-Tini | Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks a Latte! | Hoola Bronzing Powder | Watt's Up! Soft Focus Highlighter | Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in Hoola

So far I have a couple of definite favourites in this kit, the Hoola Bronzing Powder has been perfectly light and subtle on my NC25 skin (great for when I don't want to have a full-on makeup look) and the Watt's Up! highlighter is a beautiful champagne shade.  Despite having favourites though, there isn't a single thing in The Bronze of Champions kit that I won't use on a very regular basis, everything is so wearable.  I can see myself buying the full sizes of these products when they run out, and I now have a growing list of other Benefit products I want to try.

What are your favourite Benefit products?  Have you tried any of the new all-star kits?

Sharon x

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Melt Luxury Scented Candle

I've turned into such a scented candle fan recently; sometimes I like nothing better than getting home on an evening lighting a candle and being surrounded by a beautiful fragrance as I relax.  I have quite a selection to choose from these days too, but I've found the handmade scented candles by Melt to be a particularly welcome addition in my home.

A Melt Scented Candle, pictured against a pale background in daylight

Melt is a brand I only came across very recently; my fiance and I found them in the Yorkshire Soap Company store in York and spent an age trying to decide on our favourite scent, we must have smelled each candle about three times but never quite came to an agreement on one!  Oddly only a couple of days later I was contacted and asked if I'd like to test out a Melt candle, I jumped at the chance, and even better was sent a candle to try in the fragrance I liked the most.

The candle I've been burning is called 'Noir' it was Melt's first ever fragrance and is described as "truly oriental, as deep and dark as they come."  Straight out of the box and on its first lighting this candle filled my living room with it's aroma, a blend of bergamot, rose, clove, patchouli, sandalwood and sweet vanilla.  I'm completely in love with all of these ingredients, the resulting scent is as deep and rich as Melt describe and feels incredibly sensual.  My fiance doesn't love it quite as much as I do though, he prefers a lighter scent.

A Melt Scented Candle against a pale background at night

Not only does this candle smell amazing, but the sleek black and white packaging (with its tactile label) and comfortingly heavy glass jar exude luxury.  I particularly like the filigree type design on one side of the glass, I'll definitely keep this jar once the candle has burned completely, that may take quite some time however as the candle has a burn time of 70+ hours.  I like the care that goes into making these candles too, the ingredients are selected carefully and each of candle can take up to 36 hours to produce with the people at Melt pouring each one by hand.  That's dedication!

Whilst I'd definitely purchase a Melt candle in the 'Noir' scent for just myself, next time I might try something a little lighter and fresher that my fiance and I will enjoy equally.  There are over 30 scents to choose from (with prices ranging from £7.50 to £32.50) so I'm sure we'll find something!

You can find Melt's selection of candles here.

What's your favourite scented candle?  Have you tried anything from Melt before?

Sharon x

*PR Sample

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Early Summer Haul - Beauty etc

When I think about it, the last haul I posted really wasn't that long ago (you can read it here if you're interested) but since my 100 Day Spending Ban ended last month I've needed to stock up on a few things.  I've also been having a lot of trouble with my skin recently (very unusual for me) so have picked up a few things over the last 6 weeks or so that I hope will help…

Neal's Yard Remedies Cook, Brew and Blend Your Own Herbs - Since I'm a complete novice when it comes to growing herbs and making much use of them (apart from adding them to a nice pasta sauce!) a friend of mine recommended I buy this book to educate myself a little.  It's filled with information on what individual herbs can be used for and follows up with recipes for everything from salads, soups and teas to bath products, haircare and skincare goodies.  I've already started growing some of my own herbs in pots in my back garden and I'm looking forward to getting some use out of them.
Neal's Yard Remedies Frankincense Hydrating Cream - As I said at the beginning of this post, I've been having some issues with my skin recently (I'm pretty sure caused by one particular cleanser) so whilst I've gone almost completely back to basics with my skincare for the moment I wanted to have some more effective products ready for when my skin is feeling up to it.  I think this moisturiser from Neal's Yard Remedies will be perfect for me when my skin is better, the vitamin-rich formula is said to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, can't be bad!
Neal's Yard Remedies White Tea Facial Mist - Ok, so my skincare stash is starting to look a little bit like a mini Neal's Yard Remedies store now, I can't be blamed though when their products are as lovely as this, and all natural too!  Not only does this toning mist smell divine, but it feels really refreshing and is packed full of antioxidants.  I have no doubt I'll be repurchasing this when the time comes.

Oakwood Aromatics All Natural Soaps - This company is a new find for me, a friend at work recommended their products a while ago but I only just stumbled across them recently at a 'Made in Yorkshire' market in York city centre.  The soaps I picked up are all natural (as are all of their products) with a base including cocoa butter, aloe vera and shea butter.  The scents I chose are Healing Hippy (clary sage & patchouli), Oomilegs (lemongrass, lime, eucalyptus & black pepper and The Bee's Knees (honey, milk & lavender).
Oakwood Aromatics Peau Go Gorgeous Skin Moisturiser - I picked up this moisturiser pretty much because of the scent (the same as the Oomilegs soap).  Whilst the base ingredients for this are all natural goodness, I think the combination of lime, lemongrass and eucalyptus might be a little much for skin on my face, so I'll stick to using it on hands and body only. 

Sleek Face Form Palette - I've yet to try out this contouring palette from Sleek properly but I'm very excited to give it a go.  The bronzer is a great shade and very matte, the blush is a nice peachy colour with gold shimmer and the highlighter is not exactly subtle, but looked great when I swatched it.
Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF40 - This purchase was inspired by skincare guru Caroline Hirons (if you haven't checked out her blog, I'd highly recommend it); I'd been looking for an SPF I could wear under my makeup on sunny days and when she reviewed this one by Clinique it sounded perfect for me.  The sunscreen is both comfortingly high and mineral based (something I always look for) and it acts almost as primer under foundation (it is slightly tinted but you don't really that on the skin).  I haven't tested this out thoroughly yet but I'll be sure to post a review once I do.
The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Detangling Spray for Coloured Hair - I haven't used a lot of de-tangling sprays before, but my hair is quite long these days (I need to get it cut really) and being naturally curly, and colour treated to boot, can get a little tangled.  I've used this so little so far that I haven't really formed a verdict yet, apart from to say it smells amazing (it's packed full of yummy berries).
The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Hair Butter for Coloured Hair - I've been trying to use up a few things in my bathroom before opening any new products so this deep conditioning treatment is yet to have it's moment.  I'm hoping it will do marvelous things for my hair, but if not it still smells as good as the de-tangling spray.

Nike Dual Fusion Trainers - These rather eye-catching shoes are my absolute favourite recent purchase.  I was desperate for some new trainers for the gym as my old ones (the cheapest ones I could find at the time) were doing absolutely nothing for me.  These feel so bouncy and supportive and they add a bit of cheer to an otherwise dreary trip to the gym.

So that's it for my haul, if you made it this far I think you pretty much deserve a medal.  I've got plenty of products to play with for the moment and lots to review too so there should be some great things coming up.

What types of products have you been buying recently?

Sharon x
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