New Additions to my Essence Collection

I wasn’t expecting anything to drop through my door this Valentines Day so when a red shiny package turned up I was a little bit excited. Excited with good reason as the envelope was home to some new goodies from Essence- and we all know by now just how much love I have for the bargain beauty brand.
A couple of the products were brand new to me so I thought I’d pop up some mini reviews of them. Whilst you’ll find Essence products everywhere in countries such as Spain and Holland they are much harder to come across in the UK but you’ll find them stocked in your local Wilko store or on the Wilko website so if you haven’t already then I strongly suggest you get acquainted with the brand.
I’ve tried many of Essence’s range of mascaras now and they have never failed to impress me. The Forbidden Volume mascara* is no exception- it promises dramatic volume with no clumping and it certainly delivers. One coat of this is enough for a wide eyed day-time look, a second coat is perfect for a more glammed up vibe without a clump in sight. All for £3- I don’t know how Essence do it but if you’re looking for a budget mascara to try then I strongly recommend their range.
Lip products are another area in which I think Essence excel and I really rate their long lasting lipsticks*. You really do get a good few hours wear out of these, far more than you’d expect from a lipstick costing £2.30. This time I tried shade 21 (très chic) which is a beautiful berry red.
Wearing one coat of forbidden volume mascara and long lasting lipstick in shade 21.
I love the Essence gel nail polish range- at just £1.60 per product they are the most purse friendly way to keep your nails on trend. This one is shade 14 “do you speak love?”* and is a berry toned red which I found really flattering against my ghostly pale hands (and yet forgot to photograph before I chipped my nails a few days later).
The 2in1 eyeliner pen* (£2.50) is a great idea. One end has a super fine tip and the other has one designed for a much more dramatic look. I was slightly disappointed by this as after the first couple of uses the fine liner end lost it’s colour intensity and came out more grey than black. The thick end is still going strong though and you really can’t complain at what you’re getting for the price- and actually I’m quite liking the less intense colour for more subtle day time approach when I want to wear liner but not necessarily something bold and in your face.
Have you tried any of these products or found any new favourites from the Essence brand? They have new products coming out on a regular basis and on the strength of these and the ones I have previously featured I am excited to see what’s next.

(Oh, and my unicorn tea light holder was a recent Primark find incase anyone was wondering!)

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Re-discovering Debenhams*

During a shopping trip in to Broadmead with my mum recently we were musing over how before Cabot Circus was opened nine years ago the highlight of any retail therapy spree was undoubtedly Debenhams. Back then it was this huge, glamorous department store that we could spend hours in. We often did actually, starting with the beauty counters at the bottom and working our way up to the children’s department at the top, along with a pit stop in the restaurant. These days we often neglect to pay it a visit, tending to stick to the Cabot Circus end of the shopping area but every now and again we venture in- lured by a window display or special offer and wonder why we don’t make our visits more regular.

Not only does Debenhams stock it’s own in house brands (Red Herring was a frequent label seen in my adolescent wardrobe) there are also concessions galore- the likes of Oasis, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins. Add in to this the many designer collaborations such as H! by Henry Holland and the well stocked beauty hall with all of our favourite brands under one roof as well as the extensive range of homewares (again in-house brands, designers and well known brands alike) and you realise you really do have it all in one place.

Of course then there are the promotions, regular discount events in store and online (and often discount codes on top of that such as those found at https://www.discountpromocodes.co.uk/debenhams). I really do need to stop neglecting the shop so much and make a conscious effort to give it more custom. It’s one of the longer surviving shops on the Great British High Street, so with it fresh in my mind I’ve popped together a wish list or two to remind myself- and my readers what there is on offer.

Beauty wise I could have gone on forever as there are so many amazing looking products out there at the moment. The Urban Decay Moondust palette is a long standing fixture on my wish list, joined now by these two sets from the KVD x Toofaced sets that I’ve seen popping up on beauty blogs lately and am totally smitten with. It’s been a while since I fancied a new perfume and whilst I have no idea what it smells like (a reason to visit Debenhams next time I’m passing) I love the bottle for Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Kiss- he always produces the most beautiful packaging.
Fashion wise I am diggin’ the embroidery trend right now so this dress by Red Herring and the trainers from the Nine by Savannah Miller collection were both immediate additions to my wish list. I’m also having a backpack revival right now and this H! By Henry Holland metallic number caught my eye instantly. Lastly I’ve already made mention of my desire for a leather jacket and whilst my budget definitely doesn’t stretch to the real deal this Miss Selfridge biker style jacket is currently 30% off and a steal at just £34.30.
Whilst I was browsing I couldn’t resist putting together a little homewares wish list too (I’m seeing it as a mood board of sorts for when I move out again). It’s unashamedly girly and had to feature my dream kitchen gadget on there even if I might not get to own one for a good few years- or decades yet.
I’m feeling some serious love and a sense of nostalgia for Debenhams right now, do any shops provoke that kind of reaction for you?

Dear Debenhams, humble department store and icon of my youth, I do promise to stop neglecting you from here on out…am I forgiven?

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Rose Quartz Brightening and Lifting Serum from SkinChemists (and whopping discount!)

If you read my blog in the run up to Christmas (which now feels like a lifetime ago) then you’ll recall how impressed I was with the luxury skincare I reviewed from skinChemists. The three products I was sent then have become daily staples so I was delighted when the brand got back in touch asking if I’d like to work with them again.

This time I was sent the Rose Quartz Brightening and Lifting Serum* which promises to lift, smooth and illuminate your skin- the three things my face is in dire need of right now! With Rose Quartz as the active ingredient to buff away dead skin cells and unveil the fresh- and hopefully still youthful skin underneath, it also contains Vitamin C to stimulate collagen production and skin tightener ST (a blend of marine and plant ingredients associated with having an instant lifting effect).

It’s certainly a very pretty product- it literally shimmers in it’s sleek looking pump dispenser. As far as serums go this has a very light formulation and doesn’t smell overly rose-y which is fantastic for me as I do find the scent can be quite overpowering. I’ve been using this daily before popping on my makeup and by the second day my skin already looked a lot brighter and a week or so on and the difference is noticeable not just to me. It’s so nice to have a bit of a natural glow about me which never happens during the winter months as central heating just sucks the life out of my already dry skin. I’m noticing my fine lines less and less as well and all round I’m just much happier with how I’m looking minus my usual war paint.

This isn’t a cheap serum- it is in fact incredibly expensive at £109 for 30ml which is way out of my usual price range. I wouldn’t usually feature such an expensive beauty product on the blog, I like to keep things realistic around here BUT

For the month of February skinChemists have reduced the price of this product (and all of the Rose Quartz range in the name of valentines and romance) to a much more affordable £29.99. If this wasn’t enough then you can also get an additional 20% off of this already generous reduction (making each product £24) if you use my code DAISYBLOG when you check out.

If you’re looking for a real boost for your skin then I really cannot recommend this enough. I know I was sent the product for blog consideration but I was under no obligation to give it anything but a passing mention and if it hadn’t have genuinely impressed me I wouldn’t have wasted my time writing the last 400-odd words about it.

Let me know if you do decide to treat yourself- it would also make the perfect valentines alternative to a bunch of roses…probably cheaper than a dozen red ones and it’ll last longer too!

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Nail SOS with Essence

My nails aren’t one of my strongest features. I’ve always envied anyone that can grow their nails or who have nails that hold their shape once filed. Mine seem to last less than a day after a manicure and break once they get to a certain length. They also are generally dry and ridged and if I had it my way I’d have a constant shellac manicure to cover them up!

My high-street hero makeup brand Essence have launched a range of products to care for and repair your natural nails- from hardeners and strengtheners to nourishing cuticle oils…and nothing costs more than £2!

They kindly sent over a selection of the products for me to try out and I had high hopes having yet to be failed by any Essence product…could they live up to the hype once more?
The first product I tried was the SOS Nail Detox* (£2) which is a water based polished/base coat infused with algae extract and vitamin B5. It actually has quite an aquatic scent to it and with regular use I can definitely see and feel an improvement in the hydration of my nails. It also gives natural nails a lovely glossy shine when worn as a clear polish so I’m planning on stocking up.

The second product was one of the colour & care strengthening nail polishes* in the shade “I care for you” which is a gorgeous pastel pink. These polishes come in 5 pretty shades (£2 each) and are enriched with natural ingredients to do good whilst looking good.

My nails are feeling so much stronger from using these products and at these prices I really do recommend hot footing it down to your local Wilko if you’re in need of a bit of a nail detox after the festive season. I’m also really liking the 4 in 1 nail file* (£2) which is perfect for essential maintenance on the go.

Have you tried any of these products? Or do you have any nail care top tips to share? Leave them in the comments below…

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Detoxing my skin with Sukin Super Greens

Detox is a bit of a buzz word for January. With people everywhere looking to undo the indulgences of the festive season it’s hard to avoid the mention of super-foods, giving up alcohol/sugar/fun and getting up at the crack of dawn to go to the gym.

None of that’s for me though, I’d sooner eat a bag of kale straight up than down a green juice and telling myself I’m doing “dry January” would only leave me wanting to neck a bottle of gin every night. Nope, the only detoxing I’m doing this month is for my skin thanks to a range of products from natural skin care brand Sukin- hopefully getting rid of the evidence of sleeping in my makeup, not getting enough day light and neglecting to stay hydrated during the month of December.

I was sent a couple of products from the range- the super greens detoxifying clay masque* (£11.95 for 100ml) which contains kale, spirulina, chlorella, parsley and baobab and promises to restore a glowing complexion. I’m not the biggest lover of face masks, generally I find them a bit claustrophobic and time consuming but lured in by the promise of glowing skin I’ve slapped this on a couple of times now and I’ll admit it’s almost enough to convert me to regular mask application. After 15 minutes and removal with warm water (bonus points for being really easy to remove) my skin certainly felt cleaner and dare I say more radiant? I think overall it’s too soon to tell if my radiance is restored as I’ve only used this twice but regardless of whether it is or not this is a lovely product and will feature regularly in my new found enjoyment of self-care and pamper time.

The second product I was sent was the nourishing chia seed oil* (£14.95 for 25ml). Chia seeds are one thing I actively avoid in my diet, the texture sends a shiver down my spine although I wish I did like them as the health benefits are well reputed. As well as the chia seeds this oil contains hemp seed oil and baobab oil which with daily use supplies your skin with a good dose of those essential omega fatty acids that chia seeds are so well known and loved for. This oil does have a slight hemp smell about it which in my eyes isn’t a bad thing as I quite like it. I’ve been using it every day at night after taking my makeup off and whilst I’m still not overly sold on the concept of oil as skincare again I have to admit it works and my skin feels amazingly soft and my fine lines are definitely less noticeable (oh the joys of approaching 30!) I’m not a fan of the feeling of oil on my skin and I never have been but with modest use and application of this product I’ve found a level I can tolerate and it’s now an established part of my daily routine.

You can buy Sukin products from lookfantastic.com, FeelUnique and Holland & Barrett among other retailers and there are several more products in the super greens range including a scrub that I plan on treating myself to soon- if anything is going to get my glow back it’ll be exfoliating with a blend of super green ingredients!

How do you repair the excesses of Christmas? Have you tried any of the Sukin products?

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