20 September 2013

Friday Feature | Patent Purple Life

Yayyyyy its Friday and the weekend is almost here. And of course that means Friday Feature. Yes, I am back with another great post from the lovely Jo from Patent Purple Life. Hope you enjoy the post.

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Huge thanks to Cas for agreeing to let me share her corner of cyberspace. Serenity of Beauty is a great name for a blog and when I was thinking about what makes me feel serene, one of the first things that I thought of was fragrance. I am a big candle fan, but recently I have gone a bit old school with a stoneware burner and essential oil blend from Neal's Yard.


The burner that I have is a beautiful mixture of the blue glazed bowl where you add the water and the essential oil blend and the unglazed stoneware which has a taupe/beige tone. It is quite understated so it does not clash with the decor in any room in the home. I always have a stash of tea lights in the cupboard so I have been using my burner very regularly.



The cleanse blend is a mixture of organic essential oils. The aromatherapy benefits of each of the constituent oils are:-


  • Black Pepper - energising Sage - relaxing
  • English Mint - energising
  • Palmarosa - calming
  • Lemon Peel Oil - cleansing

Blended together these oil create a fragrance that is, as Neal's Yard say cleansing. the lemon and mint are the notes that hit your senses first but the depth that the pepper and sage provide with the floral element from the Palmarosa make is a fragrance that you can burn all day. It is also quite a unisex fragrance, so after burning it all day, you will not smell like you have been running through a rose garden, but equally, does not smell like you have been cutting lemons. It is a fragrance that does not scream in the room, it is gently in the background providing a calming effect without making you sleepy.


 

It is also a great blend to do housework too. Generally, I don't feel serene when doing housework, but when this fragrance on the go, vacuuming, laundry and washing up seem to happen in double quick time!

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Hope you've enjoyed this lovely blog post. If you wish to catch up with Jo from Patent Purple Life is up, then you can find her on twitter.



15 September 2013

Dr Organic Tea Tree Face Wash

''Dr Organic Tea Tree Face Wash is a gentle yet deeply penetrating facial cleanser, formulated with a proprietary blend of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients, including pure organic Tea Tree Oil, Mandarin Oil, Lemon Oil and Witch Hazel. This mild antiseptic antibacterial cleanser leaves the skin scrumptiously clean, refreshed and perfectly balanced''.
(Dr Organic, 2013)


A few weeks ago I ran out of my Elemis Gentle Facial wash. Unable to get a replacement so easy (my local Superdrug doesn't stock Elemis, and ordering takes too long), I decided to pop into Holland and Barrett (H&B). I very rarely go into H&B as quite honestly it's expensive. However now and again H&B tend to have 'clever' marketing strategies, i.e ''Everything for 1p'', or ''Buy one item, get another 1/2 price'', which is what encouraged me to pay H&B a visit. Dr Organic is a brand I have heard about for sometime, so I am no stranger to its products. I use to use Tea Tree a lot when I was a teenager, and back then it did nothing for me, but that was 10+years ago. Now that I'm a bit older, I thought I'd give the Tea Tree another try but in the form of a facial wash. I have been trialling this product for approximately 5/6weeks, so I thought it was about time I reviewed for you all today.

 First impressions of this product it is very eye catching, with the bright green emphasizing 'organic'. The packaging has sufficient information which is great although it can be a bit overwhelming. One thing that struck an immediate chord with me was this product is SLS free, paraben free, no artificial colours, fragrances or harsh preservatives. This is something I always always check on products before purchasing; if a product is filled with such 'nonsense', it gets shoved straight back onto the shelf. The packaging/tube is of a soft material which makes it easy to dispense product, with a flip top lid which has a small nozzle.


The face wash has a reasonably thickish consistency which is clear. Upon using only a small amount is needed as it lathers very well and quite quickly. I often tend to use my face washes with a little exfoliating brush to give my skin that little bit extra deeper cleanse. In terms of smell, it's pretty pleasant, although it has a borderline scent to the disinfectant Dettol! However that scent quickly subsides, leaving the skin feeling fresh, bright, soft and smooth.

As previously stated I have been using this product for quite some time now, and although I wasn't expecting miracles, I personally haven't seen much difference in my skin. I am still getting the odd breakouts, although not as bad, and my skin and blemishes aren't that much lighter. It is a bit of a shame as you get so much product but it's not that great unfortunately. And Tea Tree and I are still not friends! . . .

Dr Organic Tea Tree Face Wash 200ml RRP £6.99, and is available from Holland and Barret.

Have you ever tried Dr Organic Tea Tree Face Wash?


9 September 2013

STEAMCREAM

A few weeks ago I received an email titled ''Steamcream Challenge''. Of course, curious to know what it was I decided to read further. A few days after reading and showing interest in what the challenge was about, a package* arrived containing a small sachet of oats, brown sugar, an empty tin container and a bottle with a pump top labelled 'TESTER STEAMCREAM'. I'm not going to lie, both my mum and I looked at each other and the ingredients and couldn't quite understand it. After some reading of the leaflet that came with the package (thank god), it became quite clear the purpose of the whole thing. Steamcream are trying to highlight that their product isn't just a moisturiser; it is a product that is versatile. Whether that be creating an invigorating sugar body scrub,  homemade BB cream or a gentle exfoliating face mask. I decided to give this a try and see how I got on.

Steamcream and Oats
The oatmeal infusion already present in Steamcream gently soothes sensitive, irritated skin and brightens skin tone whilst the added oats work to naturally remove dead skin cells leaving you with a glowing complexion.

When mixing the moisturiser and oats, I found it to be a bit of a 'faff', if I'm honest! A lot of product is needed in order to get a consistency which is able to 'hold' the oats together. An email came through a few days after the package arrived, and it was suggested to 'beat' the oats with a rolling pin to make them smaller so it would be easier to mix. My mum tried this and she agrees the rolling pin advice definitely works. The mask mum said left her skin feeling really soft and smooth, and she noticed her skin look much brighter too.


 Steamcream and brown sugar
The neroli oil within steamcream will soften dry, hard skin and leave it smooth to touch whilst the amond oil, Vitamin A and E strengthen and nourish dull skin for a naturally revived complexion. Incoportaing sugar will help to naturally remove dead skin cells, leaving it free from imperfections and soft to touch.

I am a fan of body scrubs; I do them at least once a week. Mixing together the steamcream and brown sugar, I needed a fair bit of product to get a reasonable consistency. On application to my body, I found this to be quite nice. My skin thereafter did feel smooth and smell really nice. 


Steamcream and BB cream

I opted not to do this challenge as I don't like BB creams, or the dewy finish which is what is described as the finishing look of adding steamcream to bb creams/foundation. However upon reading other reviews, this has proven to not be a fan with many either . . so I am not alone!

I had never heard of Steamcream until I read the email. Having tried the product in the various challenges, although it's great to have a product that is versatile, smells great and has a good consistency, I personally don't think I will be purchasing.

Steamcream RRP £12.95 and is available from:

www.steamcream.co.uk
Selfridges
John Lewis
Asos.com



*PR Sample

8 September 2013

Discount and Savings - September 2013



. . . It's that time of the month again (HA not that time of the month), but yep, I am back with discount codes and savings. So here goes . . .

ASOS - Extra 10% off Final Clearance  Code: WOW10  Valid until: 9th September 2013
Beauty Expert - 5% off orders  Code:  BEVC  Valid until: 30th September 2013 
Benefit - free Total Moisture Deluxe Mini with orders over £35  Code: LOVETOTAL  Valid until: 13th September 2013 
Cult Beauty - £10 off orders over £70  Code: SEPT10  Valid until: 14th September 2013
Dorothy Perkins - 15% off orders over £30  Code: DPCLOSER1  Valid until: no date specified
Fragrance Direct - 10% off Gucci orders  Code: GUCCI10  Valid until: no date specified
GAP - 25% off Full priced items  Code:  GAP25  Valid until: 9th September 2013
HQHair - 5% off orders  Code:  HQVC  Valid until: 30th September 2013
Jaeger - 25% off New Seasons Womenswear and Accessory orders  Code: GRZA25AW  Valid until: 10th September 2013
Kurt Geiger - 20% of orders  Code: KGSEPT20 Valid until: 30th September 2013
Look Fantastic - 5% off orders  Code: LFVC  Valid until: 30th September 2013
Motel - 20% off new arrival orders  Code: NEWSEPT20  Valid until: 9th September 2013
Oasis - 10% off sale items  Code: 10EXTRA  Valid until: no date specified
Selfridges - £20 off selected GHD stylers or Hairdryer  Code: GHD20  Valid until: no date specified
Spabreaks - 10% off orders  Code: SpaB10  Valid until: 31st December 2013
The Body Shop - 40% off orders  Code: 14321  Valid until: 8th September 2013
Urban Outfitters - 15% off Autumn orders  Code: AUTUMN13  Valid until: 30th September 2013

Hope you find these codes useful to you.

Happy Shopping!


6 September 2013

Friday Feature | Just Jess

Hello All 

. . . . .YAYYYYY it's Friday. . . . . .*whoop whoop* the weekend is almost here. I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to the 2 days to just chill and relax. Anyway Fridays mean one thing and one thing on on my blog at the moment . .Friday Feature, and today I have the lovely Jess from Just Jess guest blogging today. So here goes . . and I hope you enjoy the post.

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Hello, Serenity of Beauty readers! I'm Jess and I blog over at Just Jess, but today the lovely Cas is letting me take over her blog as part of her Friday Feature series. I decided to share a nail art tutorial, so here is my guide to a rose nail art look - you could do this just on one nail like I have, as a cute accent, or on all your nails for full-on floral prettiness!
 
You'll need a base and top coat, plus a base colour, a green colour for leaves, and two similar colours for the roses - one needs to be darker than the other to add detail. I've gone with pink but you could use any colour you like; red, yellow, blue...
 

As always, start by applying a base coat to protect your nails and give your polish something to adhere to - I use OPI Nail Envy, but any decent base coat is fine!. Then, apply your chosen base colour; I used two coats of ELF's 'Mint Cream', but you can use any colour as long as you have a contrasting colour for your roses. Wait for the base colour to dry before moving onto the next step.
 

Next, use the lighter of your two "rose colours" and place a few random circles of polish onto your nail; how many depends on how long/wide your nails are and how big you want your roses. I used ELF's 'Berry Pink', and the circles don't need to be neat or regular. Again, you should wait for these to dry before moving onto the next step.
 
 
Using a fine nail art brush or a small nail art tool (a hair grip or toothpick would also work!) and the darker of your "rose colours", add some curved lines to the circles, to look like petals. I used 'Pomegranate' from Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine range. Wipe your brush clean on a tissue. Finally, use your leaves colour and your brush to carefully paint on a couple of small triangle "leaves" for each rose. My "leaf colour" was 'Greenberry', also from the Gelly Hi-Shine range.
 
 
Finish the whole thing off with a coat of top coat for a smooth shiny finish and to seal your design in - I used Seche Vite as I'm impatient, but again any good top coat is fine.
 
 
 
I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial, I'd love to see how you get on if you decide to give it a go!
Jess xo
 
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Jess can be found at the following places:
 
Blog  |  Twitter
 

5 September 2013

OOTD | Lady in Red

Dress - Tesco
Ballet pumps - Next


As the majority of you know I have recently started a new job. This of course has given me the opportunity to go out and buy lots of new clothes. I will be honest I tend to buy good quality clothing which tends to have a 'hefty' price tag, however if I find something which I like I will purchase. Supermarkets (i.e. Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco) sell clothing which is very reasonable. Some of the items aren't great quality, but some are really nice, like this dress. I purchased this dress from Tesco back in August; it's bright and cheerful which I like to think echoes my personality well. I finally got the chance to wear it yesterday to work, and it certainly did grab the attention of many . . .(I am now the Lady in Red lol). I wore this dress with my white pumps; simple and easy, yet remaining comfortable throughout the day. Black shoes (pumps/heels) would work nicely with this dress as well, however I opted for white to brighten up the outfit a bit more.

 

Hope you've enjoyed this blog post.


2 September 2013

Online shopping alternatives . .





(Telegraph, 2012)


It is no surprise to see that Brits are 'thee' biggest online shoppers; with almost 2/3rds buyings goods/services online (Telegraph, 2013). That to be honest does not surprise me as the majority of things are so much cheaper online than the highstreet. I am forever online shopping; it's easier, quicker and cheaper. I find shopping online provides so much more variety than some stores on the highstreet. For example garments are a lot less 'tried' on, which I find fit a lot better (not over stretched and etc). From my experiences of shopping online, I think it's safe to say I have never had any problems which have caused me to not want to shop with a company ever again. Although I have heard of some horror stories which I personally just find appalling, i.e. customers receiving damaged/incorrect goods and companies expecting customers to 'keep' said item(s)! (Wave bye bye to customer service!!). However there are alternative companies nowadays that boast their online shopping service is exceptional, always meeting customer needs.

  • Barnes and Noble - I know Borders is an American book store, but I used their online service when I visited a family in the US. I searched the entire UK for a book my mum wanted, but it was only available in the US. I got onto the Borders website, found the book and ordered straightaway. Assuming the book would take some time to arrive, to my surprise the book arrived the next day, which I am led to believe was normal delivery! That is what I call great online service!
  • Peter Hahn - I am yet to put an order in for Peter Hahn however having read reviews the online experience has been really good. The quality in the clothing is exceptional, with a variety of brands able to offer clothing for both men and women.
  • Next - I am always ordering things from Next, why? because the quality is so good, but the customer service and online experience has been brilliant. I can order as late as 10pm, and guaranteed I will have my order the following day at lunchtime. I simply can not fault them whatsoever.


Source

Although highstreet names are dominating online shopping, smaller companies are now starting to make appearances. This in turn now gives consumers the opportunity of more choice and alternatives, with the ability to suit any budget.

Hope you've enjoyed this blog post.