One Little Vice

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May 04, 2015

A Much Needed Beauty Pamper

one little vice beauty blog: luxury beauty products from Caudalie, Nourish, Organic Surge, Bee Good and Botanicals

I've had a seriously relaxing bank holiday weekend and it's left me feeling incredibly refreshed - and also really motivated to make the most of the week ahead. One thing that I really enjoyed about this weekend is that I took the time to really look after myself, and I mean this in so many different ways. One of them was by indulging in some old, and some new, beauty favourites, reaching for a few seriously luxe skin treats as well as continuing the mission to nourish my ever-parched hands. If you're looking to try some new beauty products then I can seriously recommend everything mentioned in this blog post. Read on to discover why exactly these are the beauty bits that I think are worth investing in.

one little vice beauty blog: natural and organic chemical exfoliating cleanser

I've only been using this cleanser for approximately a week - so this isn't a "proper" review - but it was, absolutely and completely, love at first application. The cleanser is entirely cruelty free, 81% certified organic and contains pomegranate enzymes that gently exfoliate your skin to leave it looking smoother and healthier, whilst kale extracts help to increase the suppleness of your skin. I often find that chemical exfoliating cleansers or masks can be a bit harsh on my skin but Nourish have struck the perfect balance. Although it's called a cleanser the product can actually be applied in three different ways - as a cleanser, an exfoliating mask or a revitalizing weekly facial. If you use it as a cleanser then you apply the product onto wet skin, whereas if you want to use it as a mask or facial then you apply it onto dry skin and leave it on for longer. I find that this makes the cleanser much more suitable for a range of skin-types, and it allows me to tailor my use of the product to my exact needs. This is all wonderful, but the best part is the fact that it gives instant results. Honestly, my skin hasn't been this smooth and glow-y in so, so long and I really do think that this cleanser is the reason why. I reached for this at the very beginning of my pamper routine to get rid of all my dead skin and to set the scene so my other skincare products can really get to work. 

one little vice beauty blog: natural creamy clay based mask for combination blemish prone skin

Caudalie Purifying Mask* | rrp £22.00

 Caudalie's Purifying Mask is another relatively new addition to my skincare arsenal, and it's another winner. I've become so used to cleansing masks being very heavily clay based, difficult to remove and harsh on the skin, but Caudalie's Purifying Mask is a whole different ball game. Although it contains  white clays (bentonin and kaolin) it's a very smooth and creamy mask with a 94% natural formula that works to balance the skin - clarifying and deeply cleansing without drying it out. I find that it's so much more gentle than my other masks, and it's really easy to remove too, so I've been reaching for it over pretty much every other mask I own. Another reason why I like reaching for it is because it's specifically designed for blemish prone skin and it's definitely made a difference to my complexion. It's been a great introduction to Caudalie's skincare range and I just know that I'll be reaching for this mask a lot from now on.

one little vice beauty blog: luxury natural argan facial oil

Organic Surge consistently impress me - and this facial oil is no exception. It's cruelty free, certified natural and organic (55% of the ingredients come from organic farming) and it's made up of a mixture of argan oil, yarrow oil and essential oils. Together, they form a really luxurious facial oil that's very hydrating but also has a very light consistency that absorbs incredibly quickly into the skin. Organic Surge's Replenishing Facial Oil is designed for dry or mature skin, but I think that it would suit many skin types as you can easily adjust how much oil you apply each time - either applying it straight onto your skin (which is what I prefer) or mixing it with your moisturiser. I particularly like applying this facial oil after I've used face masks as I find that it instantly works to restore and hydrate my skin, leaving it looking really fresh and supple.

one little vice beauty blog: natural and organic hand cream and body scrub review

When it comes to looking after my hands I really do swear by exfoliation. If you struggle with dry skin then exfoliating before you apply your mosituriser can make a wolrd of difference! I've tried my fair share of exfoliaters and although I've only tried a sample size of Botanicals' Lemongrass and Ginger Body Polish it's finally replaced & Other Stories' Body Scrubs as my new favourite body exfoliater. The body polish has a gorgeous consistency, and it certainly doesn't hurt that it's also 100% natural and 82% organic It's essentially a very high quality sugar scrub made up of raw cane sugar, shea butter, lemongrass (for toning), mandarin (for balancing) and ginger (for detoxifying) essential oils. You mix a small amount of the scrub with warm water before using it to exfoliate your skin. A little goes a very long way and you can alter the ratio of water to body polish to create your perfect level of exfoliation. Although this works really well on the body, I've particulalry enjoyed using it to gently exfoliate my hands before applying my moisturiser. I find that this helps my mosituriser really get to work which gives me longer lasting results. I'd absolutely, without any question, like to purchase the full-size body polish now that I've had the chance to try this sample size out for myself. It's been a superb introduction to the brand and I'm now really keen to try out more of their extensive beauty range.

I've heard a lot of good things about Bee Good's British bodycare but this hand cream was my first foray into their range. Packed full of beeswax, honey, crambe oil and borage oil, this hand cream is quite nourishing whilst still being very easily absorbed into the skin. It has a light floral scent (reminiscent of lily of the valley) with just an undertone of honey, and all-in-all I'm rather enamoured with it! The cream itself doesn't have the thickest or richest consistency - especially for incredibly dry hands - but I love the formula. It absorbs so quickly and leaves behind a very pleasant matte coating on your hands that I'm convinced keeps them feeling softer for longer. I think that it would be a great product to use on-the-go, but you'll still find me using this at home as I just can't get enough. 

one little vice beauty blog: spring nail polish from essie and orly

While I was getting my hands looking their best I thought I would do a quick switch-a-roo on the nail polish front. I opted for one of my new Essie polishes in the shade Geranium, a simply gorgeous orange toned red. It took two to three coats to get an even opaque finish and then I topped it off with a  coat of Orly's Nail Lacquer in the shade Clear which has a wonderfully glossy finish. It's not a typical spring nail polish shade but it's a very pretty shade that's bright enough to make a statement but still easy to wear. 

one little vice beauty blog: luxury candles home fragrance

If you're anything like me then when you go to have a bit of a pamper you'll love to set the mood. I like to do that with a good playlist and an even better candle. La Montaña recently sent me one of their candles in the fragrance 'First Light' which has a gorgeous floral/herbal scent that does as good a job as it possibly could to mentally transport you away from home and out into a hillside meadow. I think that the aroma of this candle is incredibly well balanced and sophisticated, and the scent is strong even when the candle isn't lit. Personally, I love that it has a strong aroma as it means that even when the candle isn't lit it can help scent a room, and when it is lit the aroma can quickly fill up the entire room. If you're tired of scented candles that smell fake, or that don't actually fragrance your home, then you'd really appreciate the quality of this candle. Plus, because these candles are made with high quality wax they supposedly offer a forty hour burn time - which is enough to fragrance your home for many, many happy days. This is my first time trying La Montaña's candles but it's been such a positive experience and I now associate them with very high quality fragrances. They're the perfect backdrop for some quality me-time.

All in all, this line-up of beauty products worked perfectly to give me the perfect mix of pampering and relaxation that I wanted from a chilled bank holiday night-in. Have you indulged in a bit of a beauty pamper this weekend? What products or brands do you usually reach for when you want to spoil yourself?

May 03, 2015

A Tea-riffic Taste Test

one little vice uk lifestyle blog: natural organic tea reviews

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Natural and Organic Products Show - a big trade show where natural and organic beauty, food and lifestyle brands showcased their products. Personally, I found it to be quite an eye opening experience as I'd never really understood just how many incredible vegan, cruelty-free and organic brands there are to choose between. Seeing them all together in one place really encouraged me to make better decisions about what I buy - not just for my own benefit but for the planet's too. Obviously it isn't an overnight sort of change, but I am going to try to be more mindful in my purchasing and consumption decisions. And one big change has been ditching Diet Coke...  or at least seriously reducing my consumptiom. In it's place, I've started to drink far more natural and organic herbal teas. I've found that this simple swap has improved the way I feel - both physically and mentally. Today I'm going to be talking you through the four new teas I've been drinking over the last month - hopefully you might some find tea inspiration of your own!

one little vice lifestyle blog: organic and natural tea reviews

Higher Living Green Tea with Lemon* | rrp £4.79 for 15 tea bags

Higher Living is an independent, family-owned, British company who produce their 100% natural teas in rural Gloucestershire. Although their teas are relatively pricey I do quite like supporting British companies, plus, I do thnk that if you're not usually a fan of Green Tea then this particular variety might just change your mind. The subtle addition of lemon really alters the flavour without completely overpowering the Green Tea, and overall it's an incredibly rereshing option. I think that this tea would lend itself particularly well to being chilled and drunk ice-cold. All you have to do is pop a jug of tea in the fridge, add some ice and maybe a little squeeze of fresh lemon and hey presto you've got yourself a wonderfully refreshing beverage. I fell in love with home-made chilled teas last summer so I'll definitely be making up some more this year, they just make the perfect change from traditional soft drinks and juice. All in all, I think this is a particulalry good Green Tea and the flavourings are perfectly balanced - I'd definitely go out and buy this again!

I'd like to start off by saying how impressed I am with the great value that Kromland Farm offers, this box of tea is the most affordable per cup of tea and  it's my favourite variety out of the teas I tried for this blog post.  Kromland Farm is named after the company's Rooibos farm in South Africa (which has been growing Rooibos since 1902) which is 100% organic and is noted for producing some of the highest quality Rooibos in the world. I'm not usually a fan of fruit teas as they're often too sweet or, alternatively, rather insipid. However, to my palette this Rooibos and Raspberry option struck a nice balance. I didn't find it too sweet but it still had a lovely flavour. If you're looking for natural or low calorie ways to curb sugar cravings then I'd definitely suggest reaching for fruit teas - they're becoming quite the staple in my household!

one little vice lifestyle blog: natural organic echinacea tea

Dr. Stuart's Echinacea Plus Tea* | rrp £2.29 for 20 tea bags

I've never been much of a fan of echinacea. I've generally come to associate it with being poorly, as I was always encouraged to take echniacea as a child when I wasn't well. However, I haven't really explored echinacea since then and I'm quite interested in it's natural herbal properties, many people recommend drinking echinacea when you're starting to feel sick as it's supposed to strengthened the immune system. Dr. Stuart's Echinacea Plus Tea not only contains echinacea but also hibiscus and peppermint, which are all supposed to work together to give your immune system a boost when you need it most. Dr. Stuart's teas also contain the highest essential oil content possible in packaged teas, so when you choose to drink one you know that you're getting the most goodness possible. I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised with the flavour of this tea. It was quite unlike anything I remember about echinacea - it wasn't bitter or unpleasant at all. In fact, I love the depth of flavour and it strikes the perfect balance between a herbal and a deep, rich taste. If you're after something to reach for when you're not feeling your best then I'd highly recommend this - but I'll probably drink this as and when I feel like it because I just love the taste!

one little vice uk lifestyle blog: organic natural teas review
one little vice lifestyle blog: natural green and jasmine tea review

Pukka Serene Jasmine Green Tea* | rrp £2.39 for 20 tea bags

In my opinion, Pukka is one of the most talk about tea brands and I've seen their teas cropping up everywhere on the internet - especially on some of my favourite blogs and YouTube channels. I've drunk plenty of different varieties in the past and I've always been quite happy with them. Pukka's Serene Jasmine Green is a really lovely blend of jasmine and green tea, but I think that more of the tea's flavour comes from its jasmine element. As a lover of both jasmine tea and green tea I think that this is a pretty perfect blend, and I think that if you want to start drinking more green tea but you aren't a big fan of the flavour then this blend would be a nice choice. As with most good jasmine teas, this tea has a lovely fragrant quality that really makes drinking this particular blend quite a sensual experience. I'm a big fan of this tea and I'll definitely be getting it again!

Are you a tea drinker? 
Do you have a favourite brand or variety?

May 02, 2015

Hot Hair Fairy Wrap in Butterscotch

affordable false hair piece: one little vice beauty blog

April was a particularly busy month for me beauty-wise so this blog post is a little bit late in the making! I recently attended a blog event put on by Hot Hair, a company that specialise in hair extensions and hair pieces. Hot Hair launched fifteen years ago in Selfridges London and they're now sold in Selfridges Birmingham and Manchester (which really speaks to the quality of their products), and they're also available online and in their own boutique salons across the country.

At Hot Hair's London event I was introduced to the brand and I had the opportunity to see their hair pieces in person - as well as being able to try them out for myself! I witnessed a host of bloggers having their hair completely transformed by the simple addition of wigs and hair pieces. I tried on a full wig - my first one ever - but I just couldn't get over how weird it was to see myself with radically different hair! I much preferred experimenting with smaller hair pieces which didn't radically alter the way I look. But in both instances I was surprised at how easy it was to use the artifical hair pieces - and by how high quality and natural-looking everything was.

false wrap around hair piece: one little vice beauty blog

In all of the pictures in this blog post I'm wearing one of Hot Hair's hair pieces called a Fairy Wrap* - a loop of artifical hair which you can clip around a bun or ponytail to quickly and easily add volume and drama to a hairstyle. My Fair Wrap is in the shade Butterscotch, and it has both brown and blonde shades in a mixture of tones that render it very natural looking. 

I find the Fairy Wrap incredibly easy to use - I created a small, tight bun and then I just use some hair clips (about four or five) to secure the hair piece in place. Instantly, my hair is transformed from looking sad and rather un-done into looking much more elegant and stylish. It would be perfect for use on a busy morning, after a long day at work or even after a gym session when you just don't have the time to style your hair but still need to look polished.

There are quite a few shades to pick between - from very light blonde to dark brown, and everything in between. I was matched with the shade Butterscotch which in natural light definitely looks like a good match. Under some lights the shade can look a little stark and quite unlike my natural hair colour, however, although Butterscotch is quite blonde and I have brown hair, I find that it highlights the natural blonde tones amidst my brown hair and also offers a sort of dip-dyed look that I quite like. 

one little vice beauty blog: affordable high quality false hair piece

Hot Hair's Fairy Wraps are priced at £14.00*, which given the quality of the hair piece seems very reasonable. It's nice to have such a versatile product to rely on in those moments when I'm running short on time or just can't be bothered with my hair! Hot Hair make many other types of hair pieces - including long faux-ponytails which I like the look of - as well as a whole range of full and half-head wigs.

Have you ever tried clip in hair pieces? Or even full wigs?

May 01, 2015

Murad's New Treatment Room at John Lewis Kingston

one little vice beauty blog: new murad treatment room kingston john lewis
one little vice beauty blog: new murad treatment room launch kingston john lewis
one little vice beauty blog: murad launch treatment room kingston john lewis

Last Monday I headed over to John Lewis' Kingston branch to see the newly launched Murad Treatment Room. Murad are a brand that I've become more and more invested in this year after I visited their Kingston counter in January for a mini-facial. I wrote about my experience with Murad's on-counter (which just means that they occur at the counter in the department store, rather than in a seperate room) facial treatments on my blog (link here). Although it was a very positive experience, I was really happy to hear that Murad were launching their own private treatment room in John Lewis' Kingston branch, so that facials and other treatments could occur in a more relaxing environment.

The photos featured above are all of the Murad counter in John Lewis' Kingston branch. You can see the general area that the counter takes up and that two facial consultations can occur at once, but that there's only really space for one facial treatment. The on-counter treatments tend to only be mini-treatments that last roughly 30 minutes. However, now that Murad have their own dedicated and private treatment space they can offer 60 minute facials - along with more holistic treatments such as relaxing massages.

The treatment room is tucked away just around the corner from the rest of the beauty department and outside the treatment space there's a big, comfy armchair for waiting visitors to relax in - as modelled by Ellie from Kingston First. Opposite this prive waiting area is the treatment room itself.

one little vice beauty blog: murad treatment room launch
Murad treatment room launch: one little vice beauty blog

Murad's new Treatment Room is an intimate space that completely transports visitors away from the hustle of a department store and into a relaxing spa-like environment. It's a perfect way to privately indulge in expert skincare treatments from Murad's knowledgeable and friendly in-house team. All of the Murad representatives that I've met have been incredibly helpful and kind, and they're exactly the sort of people that you'd want looking after you in both a retail and treatment setting. 

In the next month or so, Murad are also set to release new gift vouchers which will enable Murad customers to purchase products or treatments for not only themselves but also for their loved ones. I think that they'll be a fantastic gift option for those people in your life who already seems to have everything. If you'd like to make use of this treatment room then just pop by the Murad counter in Kingston's John Lewis and have a chat to one of the brand's assistants.

April 30, 2015

April Beauty Favourites

one little vice beauty blog: favourite skincare and make up products

April was a really good month for me and I discovered some amazing new products and brands. This meant that the competition was incredibly high and there were a few things that I have really enjoyed using that aren't getting a mention this month. I'm really happy with my selection of beauty favourites as they very accurately represent the products I've been reaching for a lot, as well as what I've really loved using.

one little vice beauty blog: clay face mask for sensitive skin review

I first heard about Clayspray back when the beauty YouTube community got hold of it and started praising the brand for all it was worth. I have to admit, I was so so sceptical of all the sudden attention and I assumed that they'd probably all been paid to wax lyrical about the face masks. However, it took all of one application to completely and utterly convince me that everything I'd ever heard had been entirely true. Clayspray's White Clay and Aloe Vera Treatment is almost certainly the nicest clay mask that I've ever tried. It has the most beautiful creamy consistency that I've never come across in other face masks and it glides onto your skin so comfortably. Unlike other masks I've used in the past, it doesn't dry uncomfortably tightly leaving my skin feeling tight and it's really easy to remove - especially with a facial sponge. It's an expensive skincare treatment but I think that it's justified in its price because it's just so good. Not only is the clay itself incredible quality stuff, but the packaging and patented dispensing system means that there's no product going to waste. Clayspray definitely deserves all the hype it's gotten and I'm really happy that I've been able to experience it for myself. I'd definitely repurchase it over my regularly repurchased Origins Clear Improvement Mask - there's no comparison really, especially if you have sensitive skin that needs a gentler clay formulation.

one little vice beauty blog: cruelty free facial sponge review

I've been using Konjac Sponges for a long time now and they're a regularly repurchased staple in my beauty routine. They're made up of a synthetic material (so they're vegetarian friendly) that's designed to be anti-bacterial, making them more hygienic to use than regular sponges. With roughly a three month shelf-life they're an affordable addition to your beauty routine, and I find that they're fantastic when it comes to gently cleansing your skin or removing face masks or other products from your skin. Recently, I've been using the Konjac Sponge with French Pink Clay which is designed for sensitive skin types but in the past I've tried other varieties that I've really enjoyed using too. I'd definitely recommend giving them a try and I've already got my hands on another one which I'll start using towards the end of May. 

RMK Rose Cleansing Balm* | rrp £29.00

Throughout April I generally stuck with my Murad skincare regime (which has been working really well for me) but I have been using a few non-Murad skincare products and RMK's Rose Cleansing Balm has been one of them. It's the most beautiful balm cleanser, when you apply it to your skin it melts into a light oil consistency and embraces you with its incredibly delicate rose scent. It's amazing at gently cleansing the skin and it also makes removing waterproof eye makeup super quick and easy. It's definitely a luxury skincare product but I'm head over heels in love with it so I would definitely repurchase it in the future.

one little vice beauty blog: affordable eyebrow pencil

It might be slightly misleading to include this in a favourites post, but I needed to set the record straight about this little cream eyeshadow. When I first tried Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige I really didn't get along with it as I found the consistency incredibly slippy, and it transferred really easily. However, I recently started using it with my Urban Decay Primer Potion and it revolutionised my experience of using Creamy Beige. With a decent primer Creamy Beige lasts really well on me and the colour is a very wearable everyday matte brown. I've been wearing it more and more this month and I'll definitely continue using it so long as I have a good eyeshadow base at hand. 

This eyebrow pencil was definitely my makeup find of the month. Glo & Ray offer some incredibly high quality makeup at really decent prices, and at £5.50 I think that this particular product is an absolute steal. Terra Brown is a really wearable brown shade, not too dark for light brunettes and not too warm toned either. The pencil itself looks and feels very high quality and the product has the right consistency to apply easily whilst still offering a long lasting and natural looking finish. It's taken rightful place in my everyday makeup routine and it would take a seriously amazing product to know it from the top spot!

What beauty bits have you been loving this month?

April 29, 2015

April Beauty Empties

one little vice beauty blog: bodycare empties

Another month speeds by and I've got another beauty empties post to share with you. I really like writing these posts as they help me keep a tab on what I've enjoyed and what I probably wouldn't repurchase. It's also a great resource to look back on to see what products I used in the past and I often repurchase bits and pieces that I raved about. During April I finished quite a few products, mainly bodycare bits, most of which I really enjoyed using! 

one little vice beauty blog: natural body wash and black toothpaste review

Lovea Guava Body Wash | rrp £3.35

Although the scent wasn't my favourite I did really enjoy using this body wash. It came in a very generous size and the product itself lasted very well, making it great value for money. I also found that it wasn't drying or irritating to use, and I'd definitely consider repurchasing Lovea's body washes in the future.

I really enjoyed using this toothpaste as the novelty factor was pretty huge. Anytime I had a guest staying with me they would always comment on seeing the tube in the bathroom, it actually became quite the talking point among my friends too. I'm basically a sucker for a novelty product, and this black toothpaste was one of the better novelties as it also left my teeth clean and minty-fresh. I won't be rushing out to repurchase it, but if I saw it on offer I'd definitely consider repurchasing it.

I really didn't like this body scrub; it was overly harsh and the scent was very strong. If you want an incredibly scrubby body scrub then you might like it but for anyone with even remotely sensitive skin then I'd give this one a miss. 

I liked this conditioner because I do think that it worked well in conjunction with the Bit it Up Shampoo, offering flat or thin hair some added volume. However, it isn't a deeply hydrating conditioner so I did need to top-up with the odd hydrating hair mask here and there - I usually use A'kin's Gingko and Jojoba Intensive Moisture Mask*.

one little vice beauty blog: luxury body moisturiser reviews

I have been nursing the last few sprays of this body oil, it's been a favourite of mine since the moment I started using it. Not only is the scent absolutley glorious but the body oil itself has the most beautiful consistency. It absorbs quickly into skin and leaves it deeply hydrated for a long time afterwards. I'm a total Roger & Gallet convert and I'd definitely repurchase this body oil in the future, although I might be tempted to try it in a different scent next time! 

This is a seriously luxurious body oil and it offers all the great results that you could hope for. I used a 12ml sample size and it gave me roughly 3 full body applications so the full size 100ml bottle would give roughly 25 applications. 

This body oil is probably the most hydrating one that I used this month. It offers incredibly long lasting results that, to my mind, completely justifies the luxury price. The only thing that I don't love about this product is the packaging, which in my opinion just doesn't have the luxurious feel that I expect from an expensive purchase.

I can't comment on the firming abilities of this body butter but I can tell you that it really does offer a great deal of hydration. If you have dry skin then you'll really get along tremendously with this as it not only rehydrates skin but the results are really long lasting. I'd definitely like to use this again in the future!

Vinali Body Lotion | rrp £14.90

This body lotion has the weirdest texture that I've ever come across. It's oddly sticky when applied to the skin and although it absorbs quickly I do think that the texture would really put many people off using it. Personally, I think that this body lotion would be good for the summer as it's quite light and easily absorbed, but I don't think I'll be repurchasing it anytime soon.

What products have you used up this month?

April 28, 2015

Beauty Before Bed #2

one little vice beauty blog: balance me, fairsquared, steamcream, jurlique review

I've had the same evening "before bed" beauty routine for quite a while now and the same four products have been making an appearance. I wrote a beauty before bed post a little while back at the end of last year so I thought I'd do a follow-up post before I completely shake up my routine!

one little vice beauty blog: natural luxury night time evening skincare

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist 15ml* |  rrp £21.50/100ml

As much as I love toners, I do often forget to use them. My usual toner is Murad's Hydrating Toner* but this lives in my bathroom, so if I forget to use it I have my mini Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist to-hand by my bedside. I simply mist this all over my face and just leave it there, I find that it dries down relatively quickly but still leaves my skin feeling more refreshed. I haven't tried anything else from Jurlique before I do really love rosewater and the packaging - even of this mini - feels wonderfully high quality. It's definitely a brand I'd like to explore more in the future, and this little bottle of Balancing Mist will be staying on my bedside until it's all used up!

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream 10ml* | rrp £20.00/20ml

This has been my go-to evening eye cream for months and months - but sadly this is my last tube, and it's very close to empty! Balance Me's Wonder Eye Cream is light enough to not overload my skin but still does enough to keep me completely hooked. Not only does the skin around my eyes look better than it did before but it's no-longer dehydrated, which will make a difference to the appearance of my eyes in the long-term. I've also found that using an eye cream has transformed the way that makeup wears on my skin throughout the day. Under eye concealer lasts so much better on skin that's in condition, and I no-longer find that it disappears throughout the day. It's a really worthwhile part of my beauty routine and I'll definitely be repurchasing this eye cream in the future as I'm incredibly happy with it.

one little vice beauty blog: steamcream message neko tin

Steamcream "Message Neko" 75ml* | rrp £13.95

Steamcream is one of those products that just hooks you. It's a natural moisturiser with an incredibly light feel but it sinks into my skin quickly and acts as the finishing touch of my beauty routine. It really gently rehydrates my skin without feeling heavy or aggravating - it's perfect for those with sensitive skin types. I've been using Steamcream for about six weeks now and I'm about a third of my way through the tin. In my opinion, this makes the product quite good value for money as a little goes a long way. I really like that it's lightweight feel and I think it will be especially nice to use in the summertime. I don't think I'm going to continue using it all up in one go, but I will be reaching for it again in the future. And I'd definitely repurchase it for myself or even for friends and family as the tins are just so aesthetically pleasing and the product itself is a great all-rounder that would work for so many different people. It's been a real pleasure to use this moisturiser and with it's availability on sites like FeelUnique I'm surprised that more people don't snap it up!

FairSquared Almond Hand Cream 100ml | rrp £4.49

I don't think that you can go wrong with this hand cream, it's just wonderful on so many levels. Once I know I'm completely finished with my skincare routine I always like to apply a handcream before going to sleep. I have really dry skin on my hands and FairSquared's Almond Hand Cream has a gorgeously thick and nourishing texture that still absorbs quite quickly. It's the perfect thing to use if you're not really "into" hand creams but you'd still like something to keep your hands looking and feeling soft. It's always a bonus to go for a natural and sustainably sourced option, and even with it's affordable price tag  FairSquared includes Fairtrade ingredients from Chile and Pakistan. I like supporting brands like this one but I'd very happily repurchase the product for the quality of the cream alone. In my book, this makes FairSquared a winner all round. 

Have you tried any of these before?

April 27, 2015

Unusual Beauty Extras Worth Trying Out

one litlte vice beauty blog: new toothpaste, cleanser, facial oil and energy serum

One of the really exciting parts of being a beauty blogger is that I often have the opportunity to try new and interesting beauty products. Over the last couple of months I've been accumulating some unusual beauty finds and I thought that in today's post I'd share my thoughts on some of them. 

natural energy booster: one little vice beauty blog

A Natural Energy Booster

I'm going to start off by saying that I can't really tell you if this does or doesn't work. I've tried it and sometimes I'm like "YES!" and other times I just don't think it does anything... But in principle, I find the whole idea of these natural essences really interesting. The Energy Elixir contains essences of Crab Apple, Gentian, Hornbeam, Red Chestnut, Rock Rose, Walnut and Wild Rose, and you consume it by adding drops to water. I find it completely tasteless which makes it a pretty easy addition to my routine. The Energy Elixir is specifically designed for those who are "physically or mentally tired" helping you to "regain energy, vitality and enthusiasm for life". Like I said, sometimes I think that it really does make a difference - but I think that to an extent it's about your mindset, much like the "placebo" effect. 

Les Fleurs de Bach offer lots of different elixirs, helping with everything from sleeplessness to break-ups. They're all made using organic methods of product and the elixirs themselves were created by Dr. Bach, a Harley Street doctor who left his practice to explore more natural non-traditional methods of treating his patients. He identified plants that could be used to stabalize emotional imblances, and this began the slow evolution of natural elixirs bearing his name. Personally, I'm still sceptical as to the effectiveness of these elixirs, but at the same time I don't think that the entire idea is preposterous. If you have a specific health or well-being issue that you're looking into seeking help for then I wouldn't rule-out natural remedies, but I would certainly always recommend doing so in tandem with conventional medicine. But, for instance, if you're about to enter essay or exam season and you're keen to try anything that might make seemingly endless study sessions slightly more bearable then I don't see any harm in trying out a natural remedy such as Les Fleurs de Bach's Elixirs. I certainly wish I'd known about this sort of thing when I was writing my dissertation last year, I certainly could have used extra bursts of energy, even if they were sporadic!

one little vice beauty blog: fun unusual beauty products review

An unusual toothpaste

It's always nice to find ways to make everyday essential tasks a little bit more fun. Well, I've been using Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste for quite a while now and I thought it deserved a mention on my blog. I've never come across a black toothpaste before and I was genuinely excited to give it a try. It's colour comes from the inclusion of charcoal, but it still has a traditional minty taste that leaves teeth feeling lovely and clean. It's supposedly a whitening toothpaste but I can't say that I noticed any noticeable improvement in the appearance of my teeth. However, I would repurchase it and recommend it purely for the novelty factor!

One Little Vice Beauty Blog: new facial oil to try next

A New Facial Oil

I'm always on the look-out for a good facial oil so, last month, when John Paul Selects offered to send me a bottle of their fair-trade and sustainable Pure Marula Facial Oil I very kindly accepted. Marula Oil is extracted from the nuts of the Marula tree and is packed full of fatty acids and antioxidants that make it great for use on the skin. Traditionally, Marula Oil has been used by Tsonga people of South Africa and Mozambique as a body moisturiser and as a massage oil for babies. I've been really impressed with my experience with Marula Oil so far. I've found that it's very different from Rosehip Oil (which has been a long standing favourite of mine), with a lighter and thinner texture and a much more pleasant scent, and it absorbs incredibly quickly into the skin with instant results. Because Marula Oil absorbs so quickly, leaving almost a matte finish on the skin, it makes it a great product to use in both the morning and evening,  it's easy to layer other moisturising products or primers over the top of it without overloading your skin. A little goes a very long way and, like other high-performing facial oils, although it's an expensive product it's an investment that will pay dividends for months and months. During my research into Marula Oil I've discovered that although I didn't know much about it before, John Paul Selects' Pure Marula Oil is an incredibly popular product in the US - with 4034 "loves" and 190 reviews on Sephora's webiste, 146 of which are 5 star reviews (link here). Additionally, although I can't personally comment on it's effectiveness, John Paul Selects Pure Marula Oil is very highly rated as an anti-ageing skincare product - offering to reduce the appearance of fine-lines and wrinkles, for softer smoother skin. Overall, I'm really impressed with my first experience of Marula Oil - and if you're interested in trying it for yourself then it's available online from John Paul Selects as well as from Holland and Barrett. 

one little vice beauty blog: effective bi phase cleanser

A Bi-phase Cleanser or Makeup Remover

A bi-phase cleanser is a product that consists of both an oil based and a water based liquid. They appear seperatated in their container until it is shaken, at which point the two merge into a mixture that you then use to cleanse your face or remove your makeup. Due to the oil content, biphase cleanser isn't as light as a micellar water but it can be a lot more effective at removing stubborn eye makeup. I really like Sephora's Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover as it's a fantastic affordable biphase cleanser - it's incredibly effective at removing makeup and it doesn't feel too heavy on the skin. It basically speeds up makeup removal without compromising on being gentle - so bi-phase cleansers will be a great option for anyone with sensitive skin, especially around their eyes. Sephora's bi-phase makeup remover isn't easily available in the UK but I'd definitely recommend picking it up next time you're within reach of a Sephora. If you're interested in finding a bi-phase cleanser in the UK then I know that Nivea (£3.59) and Decleor (£21.00) have them in their range.

Have you tried any weird or wonderful new beauty bits recently?

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April 26, 2015

Haul: Luxury Nail Polishes at Discount Prices

So, I know what I said in my last Fragrance Direct Haul but with our brief glimpse of sunshine here in the UK I just got a hankering for some new summer nail polishes. I spotted some gorgeous Essie shades on Fragrance Direct, as well as some Orly Polishes - a brand I've wanted to try for a really long time. I also went on a bit of a mission to find a specific China Glaze Nail Polish that just screams summer, and I found it at a really good price.

beauty blog nail polish haul: discount china glaze polish haul

China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Are You Jelly?

This is the nail polish that sort of set everything off. I can't remember exactly where I first saw it but I do remember that I instantly wanted it, mainly because of its name. I ordered it from Nail Polish Direct (for the discounted price of £3.95) and expected that the shade would be purple - based on their colour guide and online swatches. However, the nail polish I recieved is a really bright - almost neon - fuchsia pink. It definitely leans slightly more purple in the bottle than when applied to your nails, so I'm not sure if I've recieved a mis-labelled bottle (as it does look a lot like the shade You Drive Me Coconuts). Regardless, I think it's a lovely colour and it's actually my first China Glaze nail polish so I'm excited to properly test it out and see if I should invest in some other shades.

beauty blog nail polish haul: discounted orly polishes

Orly Nail Lacquers (left to right): Pink Chocolate, Terra Mauve and Clear

I always spot Orly polishes on one of my favourite blogs - Rotten Otter - so when I spied them on Fragrance Direct for the low price of £1.99 (reduced from £10.95) I just couldn't help myself. I picked up three polishes, two pinks that I thought would be easy to wear throughout the spring and summer as well as a clear polish. Despite always having a pedicure, I usually don't wear coloured polish on my hands - it's just one of my quirks - but I do love a clear glossy polish. I thought it would be nice to pick up one from Orly as I know I'll get a tremendous amount of use from it. I haven't properly tested these out yet but my first impressions of them are really swayed by their incredible packaging. The rubber handle makes the bottles so easy to open - so if this is something you often struggle with then I'd highly recommend them.

beauty blog discount essie polish haul

 Essie Nail Polishes (left to right)Geranium,  Merino CoolTake it Outside and Summit of Style

Are these not some of the most chic shades you've ever seen? Fragrance Direct always stock a fantastic range of Essie shades but these four were my absolute favourites out of the shades available on their website. Geranium is a gorgeous orange toned red, Merino Cool is a beautiful dark purple-toned-grey, Take it Outside is a much cooler lighter shade and Summit of Style is the most beautiful gold glitter top coat that would look gorgeous over any of these polishes. I'm particulalry happy with these four shades, and at £2.49 each they were also a bit of a bargain!

Do you have any of these nail polish shades already? Which is your favourite shade out of the ones that I bought?