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If you ask me, the lead up to Christmas is the best part. Meeting friends for drinks after a spot of shopping when the vibe is all cozy and fun. It’s easy to go overboard on the gifting each year. I think a few special gifts here and there works best. But what to choose for those special people? Well, you have me for that! For the coming weeks I’m putting together several guides. Making the search for unique and stylish gifts that bit easier.

BELLA FREUD Scented Candle from Niche Beauty. This looks cool and smells great. The Oud and Wood fragrance is dry and warm that’s perfect for when it’s wet and cold. It sets the tone perfectly for a night at home in front of the fire.

THE WOODS Body Wash by Brooklyn Soap Company. An all-natural body washed infused with the signature fragrance from Brooklyn Soap Company. This takes a shower situation to a whole new level. It’s made for the fella’s but the girls may love this also.

NUORI Lip Treat. In an industry that’s reinvented everything a thousand times. Danish brand NUORI has changed the game with it’s fresh line of skincare. Each box displays a suggested date to start using. Allowing just enough time to finish the product before it’s freshly prepared ingredients go out of date. The lip treat is certainly that, hydrating and soothing with the softest taste of mint.

DARTMOOR FRAMES by Willems Eyewear. These timeless frames are cool and comfortable with a focus on quality craftsmanship and loving details. Perfect for guys and girls looking to embrace their inner geek chic.

Stay tunes for my the next installment of my Christmas guides. And if you haven’t already come join the party on Instagram and Twitter.

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Brooklyn Soap Company is a great brand that I have always liked. Since the launch of their first fragrance The Woods I was impressed to see that they switched up the packaging. It looked great before but we always like something new, right?! The change in packaging brought a new addition. The Woods body wash which smells bloody gorgeous. This is a modern and luxurious fragrance that happens to be right up my street. It’s masculine but not obviously masculine. Instead it’s richly intense and simply, really good. If you are looking to upgrade your body wash to something special then I urge you to have a whiff of this. It’s free from the aggressive sulfates, artificial colors and preservatives found in the luxury brands. If you are shopping for that man in your life then consider this, I have a feeling you might be looking to borrow it. What’s next from Brooklyn Soap Company? I have no idea. But if I had to guess I’d say skincare. I’m sure it would be great!

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My evening skincare routine changes throughout the week. I’m currently using these five products a couple times a week as they hydrate, moisturise, brighten and re-balance my skin. I start off with a hot cloth cleanse using CLINIQUE take the day off, cleansing balm. Before I tell you why I like this I’d like to mention that this product contains ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE. This ingredient is a PKO derivative which means it’s made from palm oil. This can be seen as controversial as it’s been widely documented that the production of palm oil causes deforestation. Estée Lauder who own CLINIQUE have addressed this issue very clearly and thoroughly, explaining how they source palm oil or it’s derivatives in a responsible and sustainable way whilst supporting local communities. Having been properly informed I’m happy to use this product and also recommend it. If you are at all concerned please check out this info from Estée Lauder.

This balm is a great first step in a double cleanse. It removes my SPF easily and gently. I find it lightweight compared with other balms and it’s fragrance free. For the second cleanse I use Marula, buchu botanical enzyme polish by AFRICAN BOTANICS. This is an incredibly nourishing face scrub that I recommending leaving of for a few minutes, allowing your skin to drink up the nutrients this product is full up with. It contains micro algae plus a multitude of balancing essential oils including bergamot, rose, green rooibos tea, aloe ferox and a little tea tree to detox. When massaged gently onto damp skin this sloughs away any dead skin leaving my skin looking bright and soft to the touch. FYI I can be sensitive to potent essential oils and with this I experience no irritation.

After rinsing I apply Hydrating B5 by SKINCEUTICALS. This is a lightweight clear serum that feels wet on the skin before absorbing entirely, without residue. This contains hyaluronic acid which is one of the most important skincare ingredients. It’s like a glass of water for your face!

On top of the serum I add a few drops of ALEX CARRO Balancing face oil. Not only does this smell like a spa it nourishes my skin overnight as it’s full of nutrient dense oils. I posted a full review on the brand here. Make the most of your cleansing balm and face oil by giving your face a good massage. This will drain the skin of toxins and boost circulation for added glow.

Lastly I finish off with the new Radiance Renewal Mask by Paula’s Choice. I tested this out with various product combinations to see if it really does give the skin a lasting glow. And I find that it does. This is an overnight gel mask containing olive oil and many other plumping and skin softening ingredients. With all Paula’s Choice products this is fragrance free and backed up with much clinical research and trials. I apply a generous amount (almost a full pump) all over my face and around my eyes. It’s not sticky and it doesn’t dry taught on the skin. It’s to be left on overnight and that’s what I do. The next day after my morning cleanse I always find an extra sheen on my skin that lasts until the next day unless I use it again.

Disclaimer. Brands and PR agencies regularly send me products and clothes as samples. I only feature/wear/review the things that suit my personal style and that I enjoy using. What works for me may not work for you. To be on the safe side, try before you buy.

 

Kale season runs from mid-summer to December, however kale leaves grow sweeter after the frost making now the best time to eat it. Green leafy vegetables are beyond good for us, but we know this already so I won’t harp on. I will simply list 5 known benefits below to remind you why you want some kale right now. Plus a tasty recipe to inspire you with ways to eat it.

  • Kale is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. So, if you are going to eat any veg then this should be top of the list.
  • It fights cancer. High levels of glucosinolates help eliminate carcinogens from the body and stimulate the self-destruction of cancer cells.
  • Your skin loves kale! The generous amount of antioxidants make this a smart choice for everyone. Because who doesn’t want better skin?
  • Anti-inflammatory. Disease cannot survive unless there is inflammation in the body. Alkaline foods are our best friend and they also promote younger looking skin.
  • Perhaps one of the more unexpected benefits, kale is high in calcium.

GENIUS KALE SALAD RECIPE

 

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For all ingredients and a step by step for this recipe head over to one of my favourite food blogs 101 COOKBOOKS

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M.E. Skin Lab Paris is a line of skincare created by Pharmacist Ms Michèle Evrard who had over 18 years’ experience in the industry before she started the brand in 2009. Each product relies on a carefully measured blend of active natural ingredients to give the results we come to expect from premium skincare.

The brand sent me three serums and I’ve been testing them over the last couple of weeks. Complex 27 Bio-Restorative Regenerative Serum is lightweight and nutrient dense with a lovely silky texture that’s unusual for a non-synthetic product. At night I’ve been mixing one pump of this with Essence 27 Bio-Vitalizing Cell Hydration Fluid which contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin c. When combined at night I find my skin to be fresh looking, plump and even toned by morning. Whilst these are both lightweight in texture they are somewhat rich so a little goes a long way.

Huile 27 Bio-Nourishing Cell Regenerating Oil I found intensely rich. Containing Macadamia Oil, and Tiger Nut Oil this will quench the thirstiest skin. On the first use I mixed all three products together and I developed a pimple overnight which told me this combination was too rich and I stuck with the first two products. My skin leans toward the dry side and I use oils a lot so my skin is used to them. I plan to save this for January and February when my skin starts to shrivel up from the months of cold weather and central heating. Then will this product serve me and I imagine a few drops of this, either with the other serums or with some moisturiser will deeply nourish and hydrate my skin. Each serum has a very subtle fragrance which comes from the natural ingredients.

I find the monochrome packaging super slick and plan to take them on my trip to London in a couple of weeks. They also come in a box making them a great option for gifting this Christmas. There are more products in the range which you can find at Mr Porter & Colette.

Disclaimer. Brands and PR agencies regularly send me products and clothes as samples. I only feature/wear/review the things that suit my personal style and that I enjoy using. What works for me may not work for you. To be on the safe side, try before you buy.