Monday, 29 February 2016

I cannot believe that it is the last day of February, this is crazy. March marks the start of Spring and it's an exciting time in the beauty industry. It feels like forever ago that I sat down and wrote my last set of favourites, this year is rapidly flying by! Lets just crack on with these, there is no time like the present!



Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara by Marc Jacobs Beauty
I picked this mascara up on a whim when I was in Sephora in January and I instantly fell in love with it. The Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara is designed to give you epic lashes; it is very volumising and it gives you instant dimension. In just one quick coat you get thick lashes that almost look fake, the brush lets you reach every lash, springing them into action and giving maximum volume. 

As soon as I saw the Ombre Iridescent eyeshadows I knew I had to have one! There are four shades and I knew the purple one was the one I needed. The colours are brought to life with a shot of silver iridescence, so they have a really lovely shine. This has a cream-to powder formulation, which applies like a dream but also holds on your eyelids all day long. The colour is really pigmented, I load it on to my eyelids, I then take a MAC 217 and blend out the edges. What I love is that this honestly creates the most effortless smokey eye, without any hard edges and it only takes thirty seconds.

By Terry Ombre Blackstar Cream Eyeshadow in Misty Rock
When I haven't been wearing the Ombre Iridescent eyeshadows, 'Misty Rock' By Terry has been my eyeshadow of choice. This is a stunning 'everyday' shade, which isn't just a classic neutral colour.  Misty Rock is a gorgeous smokey mauve shade, which is buildable too. It looks beautiful underneath the Clarins eyeshadow but also gorgeous on it's own. It's been perfect whilst I've been traveling as it stays in place all day and looks good no matter what time it is!

A whole host of Real Techniques brushes recently joined my collection. Is there anything better than new brushes? I don't think so! Two of my favourites have to be the Multi Task Brush, which I actually already owned, but I love using it for blush, bronzer and powder. My other favourite is the Angled Highlighter Brush, which is a lovely shape and size for applying highlighter in lots of different areas.

This top coat is something completely different but I love it! It's a formula that is the ultimate product to stop your nails from chipping. You only need one quick coat to lock in your colour and keep your manicure looking good for days. I've been impressed by the lasting power this has and it smells like coconut! The formula dries glossy, but I'd definitely prefer it to be a bit more dramatic - so I put a coat of Seche Vite on the top.

What were your favourite products in February? Have you tried any of these? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Barry M always seem to have something exciting going on and their Spring collection is no exception. Barry M's Spring collection is literally bursting at the seams, you certainly won't be stuck for choice when you head to a Barry M stand this season. Whether you're looking for a new mascara, a fabulous contouring kit, or killer brows, they have you covered. On top of that, they've recently announced that Lucy Mecklenburgh, is joining them as the 2016 face of Barry M.

I can never resist picking up a new Barry M nail polish when I head into Boots or Superdrug. So I'm super excited to have four of the latest shades from the Spring nail new range. There are twelve new polishes in total, plus four new nail care products. 




First of all lets talk about the new Speedy Dry Polishes, which are without a doubt some of my favourite polishes in all of the nail industry. The Speedy Dry polishes are designed for girls on the go, boasting a gorgeous formula that is slick and dries incredibly quick. The polishes follow a racing theme, so each polish features a checkered flag as the lid and the names of the polishes also follow the racing theme. Inside they have a flat control-flow brush, which is designed to distribute the perfect amount of colour onto the nails. Meaning you get a lovely opaque coat, which looks shiny and lasts beautifully. The two shades I have here are Freestyle* which is a pretty pink (the top swatch) and Personal Best* which is pretty purple (the second swatch). 

The Gelly Nail Paints range has also been expanded, with four new spring shades. This range offers really high-pigmentation, a super glossy shine and formula that does not budge. Inside they have the same flat brush which makes application a dream and the colours are very rich and creamy. The two shades I have here are Pink Lemonade* which is a neutral pink (the third swatch) and Butterscotch Sundae* which is another neutral shade but with a yellow tone running through it (the last swatch).

All in all I think the Spring range from Barry M is beautiful, next on my hit list is the stunning Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit and the nail care range. 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Mothering Sunday is fast approaching here in the UK, in fact it’s now only one week away! As always I’ve put together a list of my favourite gifts, so that you don’t have to spend hours searching the internet! If you’re struggling with what to buy this year, here are some of best gifts out there. I have pampering gifts, chocolate gifts, jewellery, candles and even some makeup, from some of my favourite brands.




Home fragrance gifts
Another great present idea is home fragrance and I have two fabulous suggestions. The first is the Happiness Candle from Neom(£30 here), which is part of a full “Scent To Make You Happy” range. Neom believe that happiness starts with a positive state of mind. The Happiness fragrance is a blend of 7 of the purest possible essential oils. They have been used since the 17th century to balance emotions and shed unnecessary worries. The candle is a blend of Neroli, Mimosa, Lemon and Peppermint which all work to lift your mood.

My second home fragrance gift suggestion is the MONUSpa Reed Diffusers, which come in three different scents. MONUSpa say that these are the perfect way to add ambience to your home. They come packaged in a very chic and simple bottle, so they will not look out of place in whatever room you choose! I have the Rejuvenating Reed Diffuser* (£19.99 here), which is very pretty.

Bath and body beauty gifts
When it comes to naming favourite brands, Roger & Gallet would be high up the list. Every product I've ever tried I've fallen instantly in love with and my ultimate favourite line is the Fleur de Figuier range. The scent is a blend of figs, grapefruit and mandarin blended with musk and fig wood; it's heavenly! The Fleur de Figuier Fragrant Water Spray* (£32 here) is a gorgeous fragranced water, it's so light and delicate to wear! I love spritzing this for work or for special nights out. It's the perfect scent and it's fairly cheap when it comes to perfume. The Roger & Gallet Perfumed Soaps are an amazing multi-purpose product. They come in a beautiful gift box and inside you get three 100g soaps. Each is elegantly finished with pink pleated silk paper and a pretty sticker. The soaps are created in special packaging, which allows you to use them in your drawers and wardrobe. The scent infuses your clothes and linens with a really subtle scent of summer, which is gorgeous! 

As always the M&S Beauty Halls are stacked full of fabulous beauty gifts. They have an array of pampering and indulgent beauty gifts to delight your loved one this Mothers Day. I personally love the L’Occitane Pretty en Provence Gift Set (£20 here). The set includes the Lavender Foaming Bath, Cherry Blossom Eau de Toilette, Bone Mere Soap Lavender, Verbena Shower Gel & Body Lotion and the Cherry Blossom Hand Cream, all packaged in a pretty makeup bag.



Skincare gifts
NIVEA have a range of pampering products, which would be lovely presents without breaking the bank. The NIVEA Q10 Plus Firming Body Oil* (£6.99 here) is fresh, lightweight and highly moisturising. It’s a body oil which is the perfect skin treat; it improves firmess and it is also suitable for massaging stretchmarks. The NIVEA Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Energising Face Cream* (£9.99 here) is a formula packed with powerful active ingredients to boost the skin’s radiance and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Last but not least we have the NIVEA Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Serum Pearls (£13.99 here), which look very impressive in their tube. This is proven to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but also helps to prevent the formation of new ones.





Makeup gifts

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for an eyeshadow obsessive, I have just the thing. The Truffles Collection from Laura Geller* (£33 here) is a collection of four miniature palettes, packaged up like a box of chocolates. The mini palettes are designed to suit your every mood. In each of the four mini palettes, there are three complementary baked eyeshadows and a double-ended brush, making the perfect addition to your travel makeup bag. I’m utterly obsessed with these! 

I love the new duo sets from Ciate London (£17 here), each set comes with a nail polish and one of Ciate’s Lip Chalk pencils. They come in five different colour combinations, so there’s bound to be one that your Mum would love. The duos cost £17 each and they are worth over £20.

If my recent blog post wasn’t a huge give away, I’m a huge fan of ESPA. All year round they have a website stacked full of beautiful beauty gifts. I’m really fond of their “Little Luxuries” section, which is a selection of gifts that do not break the bank. One of my favourites is the Love Your Lips Collection (£24 here). Inside the box you get three limited edition sheer lip balms, which protect your lips whilst providing a little bit of colour. If you missed my recent blog post on ESPA, you can click here to catch up.


Lifestyle gifts
Whilst I’m obviously a huge beauty fan, I think sometimes it’s lovely to give something you can keep forever. Sass & Belle have some lovely signs and trinkets, which are really pretty and very cheap too! I love their ‘Mum You Are Amazing’ Enamel Mug (£6.50 here) and the Always My Mother Plaque (£3.50 here) will look lovely in any room of the house. As always, Beaverbrooks have a wide array of Jewellery suggestions, this Mother’s Day they are celebrating the release of their brand new Morganite collection. There are three items in the collection, my favourite piece are the Stud Earrings (£60 here), but you can actually get the whole collection in a handy set (£140 here).

I'm currently obsessed with kikki.K stationery (I have a huge haul going live on Tuesday). The DIY Sticker Book in the Inspiration theme is a stunning sticker book, which is full of pretty stickers, finished with pictures, quotes and gold detailing. They'd be fabulous for anyone who is a scrapbooker or just loves customising things. My other favourite item is the pack of Quote Cards in the Be Brave. These are stunning little motivational cards, finished in beautiful gold typography. They come packaged in a beautiful box and they even come with a wooden stand so you put your favourite on display. 


Now I love gifting a physical present, but one of my favourite things to gift is an experience. I think the idea of gifting memories is so wonderful! One great idea is the ‘Perfect Gift for Her – Smartbox by Buyagift*’ (£49.99 here). This gift box is great if you’re not sure what gift to give, as it allows her to pick her favourite activity from over 1000 different ideas. There are Afternoon Teas, Spa Days and even Adrenaline Adventures for her to choose from! However, if you know she’s a spa fan the Champneys Luxury Spa Day (£135 here) is fabulous! It includes breakfast, lunch and a 25-minute treatment in a lovely tranquil atmosphere.


If you’re looking for something a bit different IWOOT have launched the Mystery Gift Box (£24.99 here). They can’t tell you what is inside, but they say that they sourced the best beauty products, stationery, quirky gifts and more. Each box will have a minimum of 6 perfect gifts, will be worth over £50 and will arrive expertly packaged in a sleek, black gift box.

Chocolate themed gifts
An obvious gift for anyone on Mothers Day is chocolate! I think these Personalised Thorntons Chocolates (£20 here) are really sweet, there are 33 delicious truffles in each box and they can be personalised with a message of your choice. Of course, there is also the option of guilt-free chocolate gifts. A favourite of mine is the NIVEA In Shower Body Moisturiser in the Cocoa scent (£5 here). It is designed to be a guilt free treat chocolate treat for your body, it includes a lovely cocoa scent and it helps to nourish and moisturise the skin. Another great range is the Cocoa range from The Body Shop (prices start at £4 here). They have everything you could ever dream of; body butters, hair oils, shower gels, body scrub and lip products. 

What are you buying for the mother figure in your life? I’d love to hear some of your ideas in the comments below!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Back in 2013, right here on Hope, Freedom, Love I ran a four-part series, which covered my favourite products from the British beauty industry. Three years later, I’m back with a new and improved British Beauty Series. This week I’m bringing you FIVE amazing British brands and sharing with you why I love them so much. I have some fabulous new products and I even have two exclusive interviews with the ladies behind some of the brands. For my last blog post I wanted to talk about a nail brand and of course, it had to be Nails Inc.

Nails Inc first launched in the UK 15 years ago and it was the brain child of Thea Green, a young entrepreneur. Thea had spent some time working in the US as a Fashion Editor for Tatler and she spotted a gap in the market. On the streets of New York City she saw a wealth of nail bars and noticed that it was something the UK really lacked. She saw an opening in the UK market for a high quality manicures, made for the woman who didn't have much time.

In 1999, Nails Inc opened up their first Nail Bar in the West End of London on South Molton Street. After expanding to three stores, in 2000 Nails Inc decided to open department store concessions which in 2016 includes; Harvey Nichols,Selfridges, Fenwick, House of Fraser, and DebenhamsNails Inc is now the UK's largest nail bar chain, serving on average 10,000 customers per week through 60 locations. The company is based all over the world, including stores in the UK, USA, France, Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong.




There is absolutely no doubt that Nails Inc is one of the biggest innovators in the nail industry. They pride themselves on bringing famous colours, formulations and special effects to the masses. They often dabble with huge fashion collaborations and A-list celebrities, with Victoria Beckham, Alexa Chung, Poppy Delevingne as part of their modern line-up. Today Nails Inc have more than 150 colours and special effects, which include everything from classic nudes such as Porchester Square, to their brand new 'Spray Can Nail Polish'. They are continuously pushing the boundaries and bringing new shades to the high street. 

Nails Inc are actually a brand that I rarely buy myself, I find them a little too pricey for a treat to myself. However, their products and gift sets are always at the top of my birthday and Christmas wish lists. There is something about their products that I just love, the formulas are beautiful and ever since they switched to the square bottle shape, I've been utterly obsessed. 

I'm always drawn to their special effect polishes as I feel like they often have they little bit extra to offer. Some of my favourite shades have to be the Gel Effect Manicure polishes as they offer me a thick, glossy manicure that lasts and lasts. However, my prized possessions have the be the glitter shades which add the dazzle to each and every manicure. I'd love to hear about your favourite shades from Nails Inc, let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Back in 2013, right here on Hope, Freedom, Love I ran a four-part series, which covered my favourite products from the British beauty industry. Three years later, I’m back with a new and improved British Beauty Series. This week I’m bringing you FIVE amazing British brands and sharing with you why I love them so much. I have some fabulous new products and I even have two exclusive interviews with the ladies behind some of the brands. Today I'm bringing you an interview with Dionne, the Managing Director of British brand Bronnley England.

Bronnley was one of the original creators of fine fragrance in the UK, created by James Bronnley. James had been studying the art of perfumery in France in the early 1880s and returned to the UK. In the 1880's most of the popular fragrances were imported into the UK from France. He had a vision and a dream to make homemade English fragrances right here in the UK.  He borrowed £300 from a friend and set up his business in a small shed, little did he know that by 1904, his business would be so big that he would need his own factory. Later James decided to add soaps and toiletries to his collection, he even added products that were quite innovative for the time, such as dry shampoo and luxury hand creams. Bronnley just kept growing and by the early 1900's, Bronnley had earned quite the reputation. He regularly sold products to Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Masons, as well as Macys.

What is most exciting to me, is that James Bronnley had strong and long lasting principles for the brand, which still are alive today. Quality always comes first and their dedication to quality earned them a Royal Warrant, which they've held since 1943. I couldn't resist asking Dionne, the Managing Director of British brand Bronnley England a few questions. I wanted to know her thoughts about the brand and what the future holds.



Tell us a bit about Bronnley as a brand and its USP?
Bronnley is a British brand steeped in history. We have been creating beautiful perfumes, soaps, bath & body products since 1884, which makes us one of the oldest perfumery brands in the UK. Our heart is in perfumery and whenever we create a perfume we ensure we use the finest ingredients. We also pride ourselves in taking our stunning scents into luxury soap, bath & body products.

What makes Bronnley special?
Bronnley was founded with such strong and deep foundations; these have enabled the brand to exist for over 130 years. Bronnley is quintessentially British, with an outstanding heritage and a founder that was incredibly pioneering.

How does Bronnley’s British roots show in the brand and how to you propose to retain the brand heritage?
The British heritage of Bronnley is reinforced by our Royal Warrant, which we have proudly held since 1943.  Today all of our products are still made in the UK. 

What is your personal favourite product from Bronnley?
I love our new Zealous Flower Eau de Toilette, the signature fragrance of our Eclectic Elements collection.  It is a stunning scent that competes with any fine fragrance, perfect for those day’s I want to make a statement.

What does the future hold for Bronnley?
The future for Bronnley is exciting, our newEclectic Elementperfume collection was introduced last year and later this year we launch our extensive indulgence body collection. This shows our continued passion for perfumery and luxury bath & body products. We are looking forward to exhibiting our new collections to a global audience at Cosmoprof in March 16.

Thanks so much to Dionne for taking the time to answer my questions, I've really loved hearing more about Bronnley. I really hope you all found it interesting, Bronnley have such an extraordinary story! Why not head to the Bronnley website and discover more about the products on offer. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Back in 2013, right here on Hope, Freedom, Love I ran a four-part series, which covered my favourite products from the British beauty industry. Three years later, I’m back with a new and improved British Beauty Series. This week I’m bringing you FIVE amazing British brands and sharing with you why I love them so much. I have some fabulous new products and I even have two exclusive interviews with the ladies behind some of the brands. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite products from Soap & Glory.

Soap & Glory is the fabulous British brand which has been stacked on the shelves at Boots since 2006. The Soap & Glory aim was to create fun products with award-winning world-class formulations. Their mission was to give every lady the "the best bang for her beauty budget". Within weeks of their first launch they were winning awards all over Britain and the bar was set high. Since 2006 the brand has become a worldwide name, sharing their products with countries all over the world. 





Soap & Glory now have a huge range of products covering everything from bodycare to skincare and makeup. My favourite products from the whole range are the pressed powder products. I have three of the powder products and I'm not ashamed to say that I want to have the whole collection. These have actually been repackaged recently from paper compacts to plastic compacts, so I cannot wait to upgrade my collection!  My favourite of the three has to be 'Glow All Out', which is a stunning highlighter which you can use just on our cheekbones, or all over the face for a dewy finish. I use 'Solar Powder' practically everyday as it's a great contouring/bronzing powder which is very easy to use. The last powder in my collection is 'Love At First Blush' which is a sparkly rose coloured blusher brick. 

I also have a few favourite body products from Soap & Glory, which I keep in my bathroom. 'Heel Genius' is a foot cream which is good to use overnight, as it's very thick and greasy. I just slather it on and pop on a pair of socks for the perfect overnight treat for my feet! 'Hand Food' is actually very similar to Heel Genius, as it's quite a thick, greasy hand cream. It's beautiful to apply and it absorbs pretty quickly, leaving a little protective barrier on your hands. It's great for people who need that intense cream to protect their hands all day long. Last but not least we have the 'Sugar Crush Body Buttercream'. I pack these little pots when I travel as my skin can really suffer from the air-conditioning on the plane. It has a beautiful citrus scent and it's loaded with shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil and coconut oil.

I'd love to hear about your favourite products from this fabulous British brand, leave your suggestions in the comments below! 

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Back in 2013, right here on Hope, Freedom, Love I ran a four-part series, which covered my favourite products from the British beauty industry. Three years later, I’m back with a new and improved British Beauty Series. This week I’m bringing you FIVE amazing British brands and sharing with you why I love them so much. I have some fabulous new products and I even have exclusive interviews with the ladies behind some of the brands.

Today I'm sharing with you my first interview and it's with no other that Maleka, the genius behind British skincare brand MERUMAYA. Here are the five burning questions I had for Maleka and her unedited responses. I'm sure you'll find Maleka's story as inspiring as I do and I hope that you learn about a product you need in your life!





What was your inspiration for starting MERUMAYA?
I always wanted to have my own business and Skincare & Beauty is where I have about 34 years experience.  That experience (along with my own aging process) gave me an excellent insight into what women (and men) actually want. Not only from their skincare products but also, how they want to be participative and interact with the brand and owner, to feel that what they want is absolutely central to the ​brand, to know that they are getting performing products at a fair price and that the pleasure enhancing, sensorial elements are included.. 

In addition and very important to me, is that we offer products that help you look and feel youthful, without guilt or pressure to look 'young'.  I promote the hashtag #beautyhasnoage not because I am a clever marketer but because I truly believe it. Finally, I decided that my British brand would be Made in Britain so that it contributes to our economy and jobs - I think we have a huge opportunity in Britain to support and champion British brands as the Americans and French support their home market brands. 

As for the name, it is made up (so pronounce it any way you like)​ ​of the first two letters of my Father, Mother, Me, Sisters (and now daughters) names.  It was my way of making my Fathers unfulfilled dream to own his own business come true, at the same time as fulfilling my dream. Had he ever had his business, he would have called it MERUMAYA as it represented his family unit. Thankfully, my parents are still alive to see a bit of his dream come true. Aaaah!​

What makes MERUMAYA special?
​First it is a skincare brand that has been created by someone who has spent 3 decades in the beauty business rather than one that was created by a celebrity or someone who decided they wanted a beauty brand.  I spent a ton of time at point of sale talking directly to women just like you to get a deep understanding of what women really want. Generally it is honesty, products that work and are priced fairly and that they are genuinely valued as a customer.

MERUMAYA is an evidence-based skincare range that primarily addresses all signs of skin ageing and for those that need, it is high performance that wont exacerbate acne-prone of sensitive skins. ​The entire brand including every single product is created with these seven pillars in mind;
  • Prevent & Perfect (undo) Skin Ageing - integrative, concept
  • Performance - use high numbers of robustly clinically tested actives and at the same concentrations as they were tested. We load the formula's with anti-inflammatories so that even acne prone and sensitive skins can enjoy the benefits of high performance skincare without those issues being exacerbated.
  • Pleasure - over decades we got very pious about skincare. I want to delight your senses and the Signature Essence Blend contains nature identical molecules of scents that were used in times gone by to raise confidence and attraction. It is unique, it makes you feel fabulous and definitely a step away from the somewhat boring and safe 'citrus' that is used as a standard because it is inoffensive. Also, the textures of the products are sensual, velvety and silky. Sensorial products that engage and delight your senses
  • Practicality - we all want to look youthful for longer but there is no need to spend more of your precious time doing it. I wanted to save you time and make it super easy for your to take care of your skin. An example is our Melting Cleansing Balm: in a tube, no 'warming' required, melts, milks, easy to remove and saves you at least 45 seconds on each cleanse. The Bi-Phase Plus Eye Make Up Remover has a flip top lid so that you cannot drop it (and then have to chase all over the floor to pick it up!)
  • Price - I was determined to bring to market products that can rival any of those in the luxury sector but at a price that meant customers can afford to use them all the time and not just when times are good. It has been the hardest because I refused to compromise on ingredients and formula. So, I put the money into the product and not packaging or advertising and I am prepared to take a much lower margin for myself, in the hopes that this will grow to be the next big British brand...spread the word please!
  • Patriorism - this is a British brand that is Made in GREAT Britain. I am a London girl and it is important that we all do our bit to support our own economy and jobs. For me it is spending my money on British businesses that make and supply my products and for all of us, we can at least give British brands a try and, if they stand up to the test, continue to buy them.
  • Personal - we genuinely encourage customers to be engaged and participate in the evolution of MERUMAYA.  Every product is road tested by customers (announced via email so, sign up if you have not already) before we ever confirm a formula. We want to know that we are creating products that truly answer what you need and have relevance to your changing lives. We encourage the personal interaction and endeavour to take customer care beyond your expectations.

How do MERUMAYA's British roots show in the brand?
​I am a London girl, born in Whittington Hospital and I wanted to ensure that the vast amount of money I put in, to creating this brand, went to British businesses and in our small way (hopefully a big way in the near future) we help to support the British economy and save/create jobs.  Therefore, we use British contract manufacturers and buy our packaging from UK companies. 

Also, the tone of the brand is very personal and our Britishness is illustrated in the language we use and that we tend towards a mantra of 'under promise and over deliver' rather than making sensational claims.

What are your favourite products from MERUMAYA? Why should people try them?
​Iconic Youth Serum is where it all began and it is the heartbeat of the brand.  I say to everyone, if you only use one product, it should be this. Melting Cleansing Balm because it truly re-defined the cleansing balm category and it does take the chore out of cleansing and puts some pleasure back in.  Intensely Youthful Eye Cream - is truly the best I have ever used, for instant and long-term results. It does not contain our signtaure essence blend so you may smell the earthiness of the Echium Oil but it is worth getting over that.  Skin Brightening Exfoliating Peel because I think pretty much every skin benefits from exfoliation, if it is the right product. The combination of acids and enzymes is unique and the thick gel formula ensures you get even exfolation over the entire surface of the skin and, no scratching!​

What does the future hold for MERUMAYA?
​I plan for MERUMAYA to be in the Top 10 skincare brand in the next 10 years.  We need your help and the help of every single person out there to help us spread the word, to give MERUMAYA a try and to participate in the journey to create another British global success that we can export and all be proud of​.

I have to extend my gratitude and thanks, once again to Maleka for taking the time to answer these questions. I really hope that you all enjoyed hearing Maleka's story straight from her and that it has inspired you to add something new to your skincare routine. I for one have my eye on the Iconic Youth Serum, I feel like it's something I need to experience! Make sure you checkout the MERUMAYA website and give Maleka a follow on Twitter here.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Back in 2013, right here on Hope, Freedom, Love I ran a four-part series, which covered my favourite products from the British beauty industry. Three years later, I’m back with a new and improved British Beauty Series. This week I’m bringing you FIVE amazing British brands and sharing with you why I love them so much. I have some fabulous new products and I even have two exclusive interviews with the ladies behind some of the brands. 

I’m kicking things off with a look at ESPA, an award-winning spa company that has been rocking the beauty industry for over 20 years. They cover five continents, sharing their innovative collection of natural spa products and treatments. They are leading the way in the modern spa industry, installing their British heritage in their offices across the world.

So ESPA help some of the world’s finest hotels helping them create spas of true distinction, but they also have a broad range of products, which get rave reviews from bloggers worldwide.  All their products are make their manufacturing facility here in the UK. Headed by a specialist formulations team and tested by therapists worldwide; so you can guarantee you’re getting a great product.




Their latest launch is something ESPA are incredibly excited about as they are entering the hair care industry. ESPA say that ‘Shampoo’ and ‘Conditioner’ are two of the most searched terms on their website and they were the most requested products over social media last year. So they are pretty sure that beauty enthusiasts and ESPA fans are going to be thrilled by the news. Their Purifying Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner are made without Silicone, SLS and SLES. The range is designed to be a high-performance haircare collection, using the very ingredients to deeply cleanse and intensely rejuvenate all hair types.

The Purifying Shampoo has been made with honey, jojoba and olive oil, plus natural plant cleansers. The ingredients create a creamy, rich lather, which gently cleanses your hair and removes product build up. It’s very gentle, so it’s designed for even the most sensitive scalps, cleansing without irritation. The Nourishing Conditioner has been made with Protein-rich Soy, Wheat and Corn Extracts, ProVitamin B5, Coconut oil, Jojoba oil and Olive Oil. The formula imitates the natural amino acids found in our hair; which helps the hair absorb and retain moisture. The conditioner hydrates, soothes and strengthens, leaving hair looking rejuvenated and healthy.

If haircare isn’t your thing, I’ve got several other favourites from the brand. My ultimate favourite is the ESPA Naturally Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. I’ve spoken about this Tinted Moisturiser from ESPA on my blog before and I’m a huge fan of it. Before trying this product from ESPA I never understood Tinted Moisturiser, as they were always the wrong colour, rubbish coverage and oily formulas. This product literally changed my life! You have to spend a while blending it into your skin, but afterwards it gives you a completely even skintone. It’s buildable, so you can keep adding extra coverage and then I just add a little concealer over blemishes. The best thing is that really leaves your skin GLOWING, it’s beautiful.

Another favourite of mine is the ESPA Refining Skin Polish, which is a exfoliator that aims to deeply cleanse and renew. The formula itself is a cream, which has little exfoliating beads inside of it. It's got quite a rough texture to it when you touch it but it feels nice on the skin. To use the polish you make your skin damn and apply the cream to your skin. You then massage it around your face in circular motions. You then have to rinse it off thoroughly, really throughly! Otherwise you apply your foundation and you end up finding little beads. When I use this once a week on a Sunday, I see a good difference in my skin. It definitely leaves my skin feeling brighter and it gives my skin more of an even texture. 

I'd love to know what you think of ESPA in the comments below. Have you tried any of their products? If so, which is your favourite?

Sunday, 21 February 2016

I always tell myself that if I'm being forced half way round the world on business, the least I can do is pop into Sephora and treat myself to some new goodies. The problem is that I travel the USA quite a lot, so I dangerously close to entering into 'VIB' territory last year. Whilst I do see that as a bit of an achievement, being reminded that you've spent nearly $350 on makeup, in just one of the many shops I use, is a bit of worry. All that being said, I was in Las Vegas and the Sephora stores there are pretty swish. I wanted to pick up my Birthday gift and spend some of my points - so I figured I could spare $35 on a few goodies. 



Although I was there on January 5th, I was a bit late for the bulk of the Christmas Sales, but there were a few things lingering on the shelves. So the first thing that I popped into my basket was the 'All Access Glam Palette' by Sephora. Inside this gorgeous box there is eight eyeshadows, four blushers and a highlighter powder. I actually picked up a Sephora palette last year and I was really impressed with the quality, so I thought I'd give this one a go. It seems like it will be a good travel companion and I'm pretty sure it only cost me $7, which is a bargain!

I was full of good intentions of having a bit of a pamper evening whilst I was away. So the next thing I picked up where these Sephora Sleeping Masks, in two different formulas. The first one I picked up was Pomegranate, which is for Anti-fatigue & Energizing. The second one was the Rose variation, which is for Moisturising and Brightening. The masks are a rich cream-gel texture and they are designed to be used whilst you sleep. They all have different active ingredients which penetrate the skin overnight. They are only $4 each, so I figured the would be fun to try.

The last thing I bought was the Makeup Eraser, which has had some crazy reviews recently, so as soon as I saw it, it went straight in my basket. The Makeup Eraser is a reusable makeup removing cloth which takes off your makeup with only warm water. So you don't need to use a cleanser, or a pre-cleanser, just the cloth and some water. They say that it removes waterproof makeup (and mascara) with ease! I cannot wait to give this a go!

For my Birthday gift I opted for the Soy Skincare Set from Fresh, it has a mini bottle of the Soy Cleanser and a mini tub of the Soy Face Mask. I then also opted to spend some of my Sephora points, so I picked up the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara and the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, each for 100 points each. 

When you consider that I only spent £25 here, I'm pretty impressed with my basket full of goodies. I'd love to know what you think of my purchases and I'd love to hear your recommendations for my next trip...

Saturday, 20 February 2016

If you’ve not heard of DECIEM, you have some serious catching up to do! I've not hidden my love with DECIEM, an umbrella beauty brand, who own a whole suite of impressive companies. Whether you want haircare, skincare, supplements or even hair removal products; they have you covered.

One of the brands I’ve raved about time and time again is Hand Chemistry. They create a whole range of products for our hands (and heels) and every single time I’ve tried something, I’ve always been amazed. Today I have some good news for YOU – my lovely readers, as DECIEM are kitting you out with the ultimate duo to get your skin ready for Spring.




In my book, hand creams tend to fit into categories. They are either a faff, leaving your skin feeling greasy and yucky – or – they are really gorgeous products. For me Hand Chemistry is in the 'gorgeous' category! You'll be pleased to know that the good goes much further than the pretty packaging (the clean simple box with the bright colours have me sold). 

The first prize that the winner will receive is the Intense Youth Complex, which is actually the #1 selling hand cream in Boots and everyone who uses it gives it a great review. It fights six signs of hand ageing, which is really important, because as we get older they are a real giveaway to your age. The formula is a thick white cream, which soaks straight into the skin, it has a lovely fruity scent too (I'm talking peaches). For women wanting the anti-ageing properties Hand Chemistry promise results in 11 days (applying morning and night), which is just incredible.

The second half of the duo prize is the Hand Chemistry Heel Hydration Complex. It's not quite warm enough quite yet but it's getting close to sandals weather! In order to prepare for sandal season, I always use Heel Hydration Complex! It's unlike any foot cream I've used in the past, because it's not a super thick formula. Instead it's a lovely lightweight texture which soaks straight into the skin, but still makes a big impact with moisture.

I'm a big fan of this range and I cannot wait for the winner to receive this fabulous duo! Make sure you enter to win using Rafflecopter below and head to the Hand Chemistry website here to read more about the range.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS & CONDITIONS! The giveaway will be running for three weeks until March 9th 2016 and you can enter using the Rafflecopter widget above. To be eligible to win you must be following my blog via Bloglovin and you must follow DECIEM on Twitter. The giveaway is open worldwide on this occasion. The giveaway prize consists of  Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex, 100ml RRP £18.99 and Hand Chemistry Heel Hydration Complex, 100ml RRP £15.00. The prize has been donated by the fabulous team at DECIEM. 

Friday, 19 February 2016

The latest series on Hope, Freedom, Love is ‘Inside My Sample Drawer’. It’s dedicated to providing mini reviews on the samples that have been clogging up my makeup stash. So once a week, I'll be sharing a cute miniature fresh from my sample drawer and sharing my first impressions of the product. Today I'm talking about the Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara by Marc Jacobs Beauty.

Whilst I love researching before buying something new, there’s nothing better than finding a product that blows me away when I least expect it. Which is exactly what happened when I picked up the Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara at Sephora. It was one the 100-point perks and it just seemed like a good thing to try. 



The Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara is designed to give you epic lashes. It has an ultra-volumising formula that aims to give you instant dimension. Well, let me just say that delivers all of this and more! In just one quick coat you get thick lashes that almost look fake! The mascara has a curvy brush, which is designed to catch your hard-to-reach lashes. It lets you reach every lash, springing them into action and giving maximum volume. The brush also creates little mess, it’s incredibly easy to use and I don’t end up with mascara on my eyelids or my cheeks. It’s also a formula that lasts and it doesn’t smudge or run – even when the wind is howling here in the UK.

It is made without Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates, retailing at $26 here.  If you’re looking for a high-end mascara that delivers jet black lashes, huge volume and a formula that lasts; this might be the one for you! 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

'Thursday Tittle Tattle', is a Hope, Freedom, Love blog series which has quickly become home to some of my popular posts. The series is dedicated to breaking news of the beauty world. From time-to-time, Thursday’s blog post will be dedicated to news featuring; beauty and lifestyle news, events, discounts, and even a bit of fashion news thrown in too! This is my favourite time of year in the beauty world, with Christmas officially done and dusted, the focus in the beauty world has moved to Spring. We're talking pretty pastels and swoon-worthy tools! Keep reading for the latest beauty news that has caught my eye this week.



Balmi announce 'Baby Balmi'
If you love Balmi but find the products a little too big for your handbag, I have good news for you! The lip balm brand has announced the launch of Baby Balmi, a smaller version of the original lip balm. It's been made in two scents (Fresh Mint and Summer Berries), it will cost £2 and it will be exclusively available from Primark stores nationwide from 21 February.

Feel Unique launch tool collection

Feel Unique have officially entered the whole of creating their own beauty products. They announced last week that they are launching their own tool collection. The collection includes; Perfecting Complexion Blending Sponge, Luxe Brush Set and the Essential Eye Brush Capsule Collection. You can shop all three products now!

KIKO announces ‘The Artist’ collection

KIKO’s new range is definitely an explosion of colour! There are a huge range of products which are all complemented by bright hues. There’s a revitalizing serum, foundation and powder to create a radiant canvas. There’s a highlighting twist-up pen for all your strobing needs. There’s a whole range of eye products including Eye Pencils, Eyeliners and Eyeshadows.  There’s a fabulous make-up pouch and three professional make-up brushes for applying the various products. It’s a stunning collection!

Bioderma set to release makeup wipes
The world of makeup wipes is changing and Bioderma are leading the way with their Bioderma Sensibio H20 Wipes. These have been designed to gently remove all of the day’s impurities with efficient makeup removal. The wipes are super-gentle and ideal for all skin types, as they are infused with micellar solution. They are so gentle that you use them twice a day, seven days a week, without irritation. These will be exclusive to Escentual so pre-order them now!

Free delivery at Escentual (ends tonight)!

Escentual are offering everyone free delivery when you spend £15, it’s time to get shopping if you’ve had your eye on something! Click here to shop!

New Airbrush Make-Up from Rodial

At the weekend I reviewed the stunning new blushers from Rodial (read here) and I'm excited to say they have more new products on the way. Airbrush Make-Up is a brand new full-coverage matte foundation paste. It aims to camouflages and smoothes over imperfections and dark circles seamlessly while delivering a satin-luminous airbrush finish. It's coming later this month and will be available in four shades, priced at £35.

Spring collection from Kure BAZAAR

We've still got plenty of Spring launches being announced and this week Kure BAZAAR have revealed their new spring collection. The collection launches on March 1st and there are three new luxury nail polishes in the collection. The shades include; VINYLE, a hot orange-red; TATOO, a vibrant deep purple; and GREEN LOVE, a teal green.

Grab a free Pure Radiance Mask from MERUMAYA

For one week only, 15-21 March inclusive, MERUMAYA are giving you a full size Pure Radiance Mask with any purchase over £25. And don't forget, if you are registered with an account, you earn Merumaya Money to redeem on future purchases and if your order is over £40, you will get free standard shipping in the UK. Just at the mask to your basket and the price will be discounted from the total at the checkout. Shop here.

A new Marc Jacobs fragrance is coming..

Daisy Dream Blush is launching very soon and it looks gorgeous. The fragrance has notes of violet leaves, rose and lily of the valley, Freesia, Vetiver and Clean Musks. It comes packaged in the most stunning pink bottle, covered in the signature Daisy Dream pink flowers. Grab yourself a bottle at Escentual now here!
 
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