Estee Lauder’s Mad Men Collection

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I do love Estee Lauder – it’s old school in the best possible way – all gold and glamour; and I love their special collections even more. Their 2009 Michael Kors range holds a dear place in my heart – think perfect nude lips and healthy blushes, and four years later they have succeeded in bringing out a lust-worthy selection of goodies.

I can channel my inner Betty Draper with this collection of perfect pinks. I love the lady like varnish and ever-so-chic compact. The retro packaging is perfect, and I can’t wait to collect a couple of pieces!

Nude ProGenius Treatment Oil*

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With Spring Break 3 1/2 weeks away (can you tell I’m excited?) I’m in major maintenance mode so my skin and hair are in as good a condition possible. Every couple of nights I have supplemented my regime with a couple of drops of Nude’s Treatment Oil.

Thick in consistency, the oil is filled with Omega 3,6,7, and 9 meaning my skin drinks it up. It smells a little peppery at first, but the scent doesn’t last, what does stick around however, is the healthy glow the next morning. Since the oil is rich I don’t need to slather on a lot every night, but a couple of drops every so often is perfect, balancing everything out nicely.

What I love nearly as much as the results the oil gives, is its packaging. The silver lid holds a snazzy dropper with a button on top which sucks up the oil, and allows me to use it wherever its needed. The product as a whole is really well thought out, and since I only need a little at a time, I will be reaching for it for a while.

Nude ProGenius Treatment oil is priced at £58.00

Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate*

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A quick flick through my previous posts would indicate that I’m pretty big on skincare. Lines scare me. Seriously, the way skin goes all dry and crepe-ey just freaks me out. So, at the ripe age of 23, I have quite the collection of anti-aging solutions.

Kiehl’s offering is a thick white liquid, which contains high percentages of pure Vitamin C, meaning that when I apply, my skin tone, texture and radiance should all benefit, at the same time as preventing those pesky crinkles.

I pat the serum on after cleansing and before moisturizing, giving it a couple of minutes to skin in and start working. Does it work? In a word – yes. I know I don’t have wrinkles to fill, but my skin definitely benefits from the extra step. My skin tone has evened out, meaning I need less coverage in my base, and I really have noticed a healthy glow.

The little bottle means that the product sits neatly in my skincare box, and I love the pump dispenser means the product stays hygienic and tidy, not to mention preventing me from using too much!

The concentrate is priced at £49.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil*

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Lying in the bath is one of my little luxuries – a couple of candles, a book and an hour or two can normally sort me out, but when I need a little extra help getting to my happy place, I turn to Aromatherapy Associates De-Stree Mind Bath and Shower Oil.

A mix of the finest frankincense, rosemary, and wild chamomile oils means a capful turns a regular bath time routine into a mini spa. Yes, the oils lack the fun of bubbles, but the smell is heavenly – fresh, relaxing, and not too strong. Once a capful of the bath oil has been added, I can feel any sort of care or worry melting away.

Not only do I love the oil and the effects which it has, but the glass bottle it comes in is really beautiful. It looks elegant in the bathroom, and allows me to monitor my usage. Since I only use the recommended capful per bath, I have a feeling I will be enjoying this oil for a while.

The oil is priced at £37.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Balm*

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I’m a sucker for a good balm, and the multipurpose nature of The Organic Pharmacy’s offering boasts over twenty uses. A mix of rose, argan, pomegranate, rose hip and calendula oils, the balm boasts some real heavy hitters for both moisturizing and healing.

Packaged into an easily portable tub, the balm is a little thinner in consistency than I was expecting – when you swirl your finger you get more of an oil than a balm, but it glides on easily and soaks in quickly. The scent is undoubtedly rose, although there is a faint fruity trace, which I’m guessing is thanks to the pomegranate. This means it lacks the old-lady element which you find with some rose fragrances.

I have primarily been using the balm as a lip product, although it also works nicely on cuticles and on any little bits of dry skin which appear. When I travel my skin tends to seize up, so I can’t wait to pop this in my carry-on!

Rose Balm is priced at £25.00

Clarins Gloss Prodige*

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I sometimes feel that when brands launch special collections, whether it is for Spring, Summer, or a celebrity endorsement, that the colours can be somewhat unwearable, or are just boring. With their Spring 2013 collection, Clarins could not be further from this idea. I have previously reviewed the supremely wearable eye quad from the collection, and here is one of two lipglosses which is included in the collection.

Water Lily 09 is a pretty, sheer pink, which feels like a thick balm when applied. There is none of the stickiness of other brands, and the colour subtly enhances your natural lip colour. Like Clarins other glosses, it smells glorious – all sweet and fruity, I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. The gloss wears well – around 4 hours on me, and left my lips feeling moisturized. Because of the flattering shade and the lovely texture, the gloss has a permanent place in my handbag!

The Gloss Prodige is priced at £15.50

The Old Course Hotel Caramelt Me Away Treatment*

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When I was invited to try one of The Old Course Hotel’s seasonal treatments, I jumped at the chance. In a town like St Andrews, where not too much happens, the hotel is a great place to spend time relaxing and enjoying yourself.

The Kohler Water Spa is the only one outside of the US, and comprises of a gym, swimming pool, water spa area, relaxation area, outdoor hot tub, and of course, the spa, and when booking a treatment, you can enjoy all of these facilities for as long as you wish. When I arrived I was greeted by the lovely receptionists, and taken care of by the wonderful Nadine, who could not have been more helpful. I was talked through my treatment, and allowed to unwind before it started.

So before I start on the treatment, I should confess, I am an exfoliation junkie – the thought of dead skin makes me nauseous, so the prospect of over an hour of getting scrubbed and buffed could not have made me happier. Ok – so back to the spa – I was led into a beautiful, and huge treatment room, and invited to hop up onto the biggest, coziest treatment bed ever. Seriously, this room felt bigger than my first apartment, and the heated massage table was a perfect touch. Shelly, my therapist, then explained the treatment process again, making sure everything from the temperature to the music was to my liking. This was a lovely touch, and it allowed me to fully switch off.

 

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First, a heavenly Farm House Fresh sugar scrub was massaged in; the product is American, and unfortunately not available for purchase in the UK, but I will be looking out for it on my travels. It had a wonderful thick consistency, and with Shelly’s expertise, I was well looked after. This was followed by being drizzled with a luxuriously thick moisturizing oil which smelt equally delicious. I was a little scared that all the smells of dessert would be a little much, but none of the products were overpowering, and instead I just felt supremely relaxed. To allow for all the product to soak in, I was then wrapped up in the heated blankets and enjoyed a mini facial. Using Carita products which are available for purchase at the spa, my skin was cleansed and exfoliated, and I enjoyed a scalp massage and eye treatment.

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After this, I was given time to shower (there is one in the treatment room) whilst the sheets on the table were changed, and allowed to hop back up. At this point I was treated to having a moisturizing caramel body milk massaged on. When the 80 minutes were up I was in heaven. My skin felt soft and smooth, and my face was glowing. To allow the relaxation to continue, I was led into a beautiful relaxation area which is away from the main reception. Filled with teas, water and dried fruit, you can sit and flip through magazines and put off re-entering the real world for a little bit longer.

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Once I had dragged myself back to the changing rooms, and changed I was invited to a lovely light spa lunch. From the menu, I chose some grilled shrimp with an oriental salad and spicy dipping sauce. It was a tasty way to end a lovely spa day, which left me silky smooth and super relaxed!

The Caramelt Me Away Treatment is available until 30th April and is priced at £82 and can be booked through The Old Course Hotel and Spa.

Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Face Oil*

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Aromatherapy Associates is a brand which has been on my radar for a while, and I have just been dying to try out some of the brand’s numerous offerings. With all of the crazy-bad weather we’ve been having my skin has become a little dry, and  since it’s sensitive at the best of times, I have to be super careful about what I can use.

Aromatherapy Associates’ facial oil is a great way to combat this quandary. The oil is thick and rich, and surprisingly yellow in colour – but don’t let this put you off! This little bottle is filled with a miracle product. A couple of pumps of the oil left my face and neck feeling nourished without any grease, and the scent is heavenly – a light floral courtesy of the evening primrose oil.

I woke up in the morning with skin which felt nicely moisturized and I had a nice glow. The oil feels super luxurious, and is a lovely way to keep my skin in tact throughout the winter months

Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Face Oil is priced at £39.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Clarins Eye Quartet – Iris Blossom*

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My first review was about Clarins, where I mentioned that the brand had previously been pretty low on my radar, but I was not-so-slowly becoming one of their biggest fans. Well, the Spring 2013 offerings are no less impressive.

This eye shadow quad is a thing of beauty. A classy gold compact opens into four beautiful shades which can be worn wet or dry dependent on your preferred intensity. The colours aren’t the usual spring pastels, but a beautiful taupe, an inky black, a stunning iris purple and sheer glittery white.

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My love for taupe eye shadow is well documented, and this one is perfection. Sheer enough for day, I love a wash of this lined with the purple at my lashes, then amped for evening with the addition of the black as a liner and white highlighter.

The compact is really a thing of beauty – and is destined to sit pride of place on my dressing table. The shadows are decorated with an imprinted iris, which makes them almost too good to use. Almost. The colours are just too pretty not to wear!

The quad is priced £30

Eve Lom Eye Cream*

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For the past year I have noticed my interest in eye creams has increased dramatically. Yes I am in my early twenties, but I have noticed that a couple of friends (who will forever remain nameless) have been sporting the beginnings of crows feet.

I am not keen to sport similar markings, so believing in preventative measures, I sought out Eve Lom’s offering. A beautiful glass jar holds a wonderfully thick, moisturizing eye cream. It has no scent, and initially I worried that it would be a little rich, but, not to worry. It sunk in in seconds, moisturizing the area around my eyes.

You only need a teeny-tiny bit, and the results are impressibly visible: zero puffiness, and I suddenly look wide awake thanks to the elimination of circles. The cream feels wonderfully luxurious, and I find myself reaching for it morning and night!

Eye cream is priced at £48.00 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Pink to make the boys …

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Yes it’s a cliche, but come on, who doesn’t need a pop of pink during Valentines week?