Can you really Spa at Home?

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Well all I can say is that this has been a really tough post to research............Okay, it hasn't, it has been wonderful! I don't think I have ever felt so pampered, buffed and smooth (apart from my week in a St.Lucia Spa Resort, but that is a distant memory)! I also do have a bath to die for, and if I am really honest, I have used it more in the past week than I have in a year, how bad is that?

So, to continue.  I chose four 'at home' spa products to conduct my research, and it is amazing how you can 'make' time to relax and take time out if you really want to, even with the demands of little people, work and being a domestic goddess! I would thoroughly recommend it to.

ESPA Relaxing Salt Scrub    
Here we go with this scrub number 1. I used some normal Sanex bubbles in the bath, and ensured that my legs were shaven etc so I got the best results possible (prior to this use).  The look of the sachets, which actually are quite big, are simple and clear with the ESPA branding and a delightful description on the back. Marketing speak has won me over again! Joking aside, the smell is the first thing to hit you, very heady with essential oils, wonderful.  Practically, getting the product out was a little tricky being a sachet (possibly use a pair of scissors to slice the top off) , but there is a good amount of the salts in there so I took a good helping and began. Try to cup your hand when scrubbing, as the salts will tend to fall away, but the almond oil maintains on the skin. My skin was left smooth and oily (in a good way) and relaxing in the warm water creates a real sense of relaxation along with the smell filling the bathroom.  I enjoyed the experience, and I still have a good couple of uses left, bonus!

Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil  
Giving my skin a rest from the salt scrubs, I chose this oil next. All I can say is a little oil goes a long way in use and smell! Wow, if you don't like strong aromatherapy scents then this is not a product for you. I decided to use this in the bath initially which I must say left my skin very soft and with a lasting scent. I did find it to be a little overpowering in a bath setting and so I decided to use it in the shower the next morning. This was a much better idea. I enjoyed this product so much more, using a splash here and there, having a lovely aroma mixed with the steam, it was thoroughly refreshing.  As crazy as this sounds, my jeans and jumper smelled of the oil the whole day, so it definitely worked and absorbed into my skin.

Roques ONeil Therapie Himalayan Rock Salts
Bath experience no 2 was again lovely. It is very difficult to say anything negative about these salts as the smell is divine, the after effects on my skin and well being was noticeable which is definitely what you would want from salts that are this expensive.  The description on the reverse of the salts sachet was very in depth and almost medicinal which did throw me a little. They are certainly designed to give you a full body makeover from your mind to your limbs, and providing you allow yourself to be 'enveloped by the healing properties' it can give you a sense of renewed energy. The only sensation that didn't come through was the 'warm' skin afterwards, I didn't get this.  However I did feel really chilled and slept very well.  I think the difference in having a bath just before going to bed and having a bath then continuing with watching TV or work will have an impact on the productivity of using these salts. Overall, a very pleasing outcome.

ESPA Invigorating Salt Scrub
As you can see, it has been extremely tiring for me collating enough experiences to bring you this post, but here is the last product, the last sachet of salt scrub. Now this scrub certainly packs a punch.  I was chatting with girlfriends about this today, joking about how this isn't the scrub you should use in the winter due to it's 'cooling' properties, then all the stories come out of other products that have chilled us to the bone. I thought I would use this in the shower for this trial, as previously I had used the relaxing scrub in the bath and they can be used in both. I did find that the shower tended to wash it off a lot more quickly than in the bath, obviously, so I didn't feel I got the best scrub experience.  The oil did not factor as heavily either. On reflection, this may not be the worst thing to happen, considering the menthol soon kicks in and in my opinion, it isn't the best sensation. I love the smell, menthol and lime, with the almond oil to smooth the skin, but the cooling element really spoiled it for me. I will use the remainder of course, but I wouldn't choose to buy this type again, when I feel the relaxing scrub does exactly the same.

To summarise, as long as you allow yourself time to escape from the stresses and strains of life, I do feel that you can 'Spa at home' per-say. Granted, it is not as relaxing as getting away from everything for a couple of days to a 5 star Spa retreat, but I have always felt my bath was my sanctuary, and for an hour or so I can relax, unwind and wash away thoughts of the day down the plughole! 

I hope you have enjoyed my round up of products, don't be shy, let me know your thoughts on the following:
Twitter @clarity_beauty 

Happy soaking!


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Morning and Night with Liz Earle

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You Beauty Discovery Box Month 2

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Welcome to my second installment of YouBeauty Discovery.  This month I received some 'brush on' false eyelashes from a company called Magnifibres (I'd never heard of them) and some Cream Blush from Bourjois. As normal I received some additional little samples to play with but will include them in my next empties video.  

Firstly I am going to describe my experience of the false eyelashes. This may seem hard to believe, but I have never used false eyelashes (it is the idea of sticking them near my lashes). These obviously aren't like stick on lashes and I was very intrigued to see what the result was going to be like.  
Let's discuss the look and feel of the product. Well basically, I loved it. The colours, the writing, the design it is really funky! The very confident statement on the front made me desperate to give them a go, so I took a before, during and after pic, and here they are:




So the images give you a rough idea of the process involved and yes for a good attempt at falsies the product delivers. It is such a simple application, a layer of mascara, a layer of fibres (be prepared they really are white), wait 30-60 seconds, then another layer of mascara. No mess, no fuss, and you can use your own mascara of choice. There is a definite improvement. I have not had any irritation, and the look has lasted all day, even with a brisk walk in the wind this morning.  

I really do like the idea that you will get a few applications from the product rather than one use and throw away. I really didn't pile on the fibres, but if you wanted a more dramatic look for going out, then applying more is an option. From looking at the various sites, the cost is averaging out at around £20. I really must try some real false lashes, a possible next video in the making I think!
  
This little pot of promise is my second 'gift' to myself. There are four colours available in this range, however I received the Bourjois Cream Blush in Rose Tender (3). A very fitting name really as it is a lovely blusher and feels like velvet on the skin.  It is creamy in the pot initially, but once you start applying it, it glides over the cheeks leaving a just pinched look, very nice.  

I used it on its own over my foundation, but also over my bronzer for two different looks. The first look I thought looked best, with clear lids and a healthy serving of mascara. The second look I paired with some darker eye shadow and a bold lip which looked really nice. You do not need a lot as the colour is actually quite rich and goes a long way. Easy to use little pot, a good one to pop in your handbag for a touch up in the day. Cost wise, it is very reasonable at around £8, smells nice to. 

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews, let me know what you think. See you again in my next video.     

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Battle of the Hand-creams

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So, it is official, I have the softest hands in the world after my week (and a bit) long experiment. It has been a very easy experiment for me as it involved nails, skincare and beautiful products, it's not really hard work is it?  

In a nutshell, I wanted to review four hand-creams to establish which one I thought was the best. I rated them on their aesthetics, consistency, smell and of course effectiveness (out of 5). I already had two hand-creams in my repertoire, and thanks to Crabtree & Evelyn kindly forwarding two more, I was able to bolster this up to four. So here goes my scientific breakdown, well not really but it sounds good:

Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender de Provence Hand therapy
I would rate this cream an all round 4. Aesthetically, I am not massively keen on the green packaging, but that is because it is not a favourite colour of mine. The size is very practical and can easily be popped into your handbag to apply on the move. The cream itself is a lovely consistency, not too runny and not too firm so it is absorbed into the skin effortlessly. The smell is very nice. Clean and fresh, and may I dare say, that my husband wore this and it could pass as a manly smell, so unisex wear-ability! Effectiveness, well, it was very good.  Any dry areas were dealt with, left supple and smooth and a nice barrier was left on my hands, not greasy just cared for. Price £5.00

Crabtree & Evelyn Pear and Pink Magnolia Hand therapy
After using this product for a few days, it did come through as a favourite of mine. I am not just saying that because it was given to me, it really was delightful.  I can only offer my personal opinion so here it is. Firstly I loved the high gloss packaging, it looks pretty and sophisticated, and the size is very generous for a hand-cream. I was a little dubious about the fragrance description, as I always imagined anything with Magnolia to be an older ladies scent, but no, it was beautiful. It was sweet but floral, fresh and moreish. I loved having the smell linger on my hands. The consistency was exactly the same as the latter product but with a slightly bigger opening in the tube. The effectiveness was just as good, if not better because I wanted to put more on! I would rate this as a 5. Price £13.50

Nivea Smooth Nourishing Hand cream
I used the Nivea Smooth hand cream and it was only okay. The cream looked like a Nivea branded cream, it is a recognised brand so you pretty much know what to expect. It looks very simple, clean and trustworthy. The consistency is slightly firmer than the previous two, so it took a bit more effort to work it into the skin.  This cream left a greasy residue on my hands, but after a couple of minutes this wore off. Smell wise, well it isn't amazing, as I mentioned previously, it is just the 'Nivea' smell. I love the original Nivea cream and it is always in my skincare products for those days when your skin needs some tlc. Yes, it was effective, but unfortunately, I had to remind myself to use the cream every time for the purpose of the review, not because I wanted to. I would have to rate this a 3. Price: £1.55

Caudalie Hand-Cream in PampleMousse Rose
Here is my final review. I received this hand-cream in my advent calendar last year. I just love the product packaging and the name, let's face it, any name with Pampelmousse in is just brilliant, it rolls off the tongue and stays in your mind. The silver background, with the almost Neon outline of fruits just cries out to be picked up and tried.  So I did, and I really liked it. The smell is lovely. Delicate with hints of grapefruit, again leaving a delicious scent on your fingers. Consistency wise it was very similar to the first two, if a little firmer but was quickly absorbed with little effort. The cream was effective for hand and nails, my hands were left supple and feeling (by now) exceptionally healthy! I would rate this cream a 4. Price: £6.00  

Overall, this experiment was a success. I didn't know anything about Crabtree and Evelyn hand therapy, nor about Caudalie Hand & Nail cream, but both brands have produced aesthetically pleasing packaging, with a high quality hand-cream inside. The price is not outrageous either, so I can see that they would appeal to a broad spectrum of customers. I would definitely buy these products and keep them in my hand and nail routines in the future.  
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November Empties

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November Empties Product Close-ups

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Please find below a clear image and brief description of each of the products featured in my video: 
Dove Deodorant - Original 
Lovely fresh clean scent, leaves no white marks on clothing and is very kind to skin. It is widely available at around £2.49. 

Q Fine Fragrance Body Spray in Awe 
Very classy fragrance, which leaves you feeling fresh and confident. A really different smell from other body sprays and affordable at £2.29. 

Balance Me Beauty - Rose Otto Body Wash 
Beautiful Rose scent to the body wash. Foams well in the shower/bath. Very skin friendly and lasts a good amount of time. It a little more expensive £9.00 for 200ml, but a nice little purchase as a treat! 

No7 Perfect and Protect Night Cream 
Love this night cream. Very light feel upon application, but your skin feels like it is having an overnight pamper. Very nice fragrance, not overpowering, and lasts a good amount of time. Available from Boots at around £23.00

No7 Airbrush Away Primer 30ml 

Again a nice fragrance.  The product is absorbed well into the skin and doesn't feel heavy at all. Really does make a difference to the face and appears more flawless and the foundation does grip well to it. Not a lot of the product is required at each application, so although £19.50 may seem quite pricey, it will last. 

No7 5* UVA and UVB SPF 15 Triple Protection Tinted Moisturiser - Fair/Medium 
Really enjoyed using this moisturiser, adds a surprisingly deep glow to the skin without the heaviness of a foundation. Ideal for use on a more relaxed day chilling with some bronzer. No smell to worry about and with the added benefit of a SPF 15, your skin is also protected. 

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Mist 
Lovely product to help eliminate frizz and smooth out the hair.  A non greasy, lightweight mist with a refreshing fragrance.  Average cost is around £15.
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