Monday, 29 May 2017

Adding aromatherapy to my life with Decléor's new London boutique

About two weeks ago i was invited to the opening of the new Decléor boutique and day spa in Westbourne grove, somewhere with all the indulgence of a spa break but with some treatments taking as little as 15 minutes. 

Decléor boutique westbourne grove notting hill

Can we talk about how beautiful the exterior is? Honestly i've never seen such a beautiful shop front, you can already tell from the exterior that this is going to be a haven away from the streets of London. So beautiful in fact, i came back a few days after the opening to take this photo, it was raining on the day of the event so i couldn't get a good photo - now that's what i call blog dedication. 

When i think of a spa i usually think of weekend retreats and getaways, which are great but aren't always realistic for a time schedule or on your wallet. Decléor's new day spa is bridging the gap between wanting to indulge in a treatment, without breaking the bank or having to pack a weekend bag. 

Decléor boutique westbourne grove notting hill

The downstairs of the boutique offers an extensive range of face and body spa treatments, it's a one stop shop for your beauty and relaxation needs, whether that's a massage or a necessary leg wax.
If you're pushed for time you can stop by the shop floor Sensorial Spa Bar, where you can experience a treatment from the face shot menu, with treatments costing only £15 and taking 15 minutes, i don't know about you but i've never heard of a spa treatment from a luxury brand costing £15. Also the really cool thing about the face shot menu is that they film the treatment using a digital mirror, so you can be sent the video and recreate the treatment at home, and there's nothing better than being able to recreate professional skincare in your own bathroom. Or you can recharge literally for 30-40 minutes in the recharge hub with the choice of 7 multisensory facials, sit back and the ceiling will change in front of your eyes. 

As this is a Decléor boutique all of the treatments use products from the various Decléor face and body ranges, some of which i've been using for the last two weeks and my skin has been thanking me.  You can also pop into the Decléor boutique to stock up on skincare, these are the products i've been loving lately: 

Decléor boutique westbourne grove notting hill

They were engraving mini Aromessence Oil Serum's at the event which makes my bottle even more special to use, anything personalised has my vote. If you're a regular here you'll know i've been expanding my facial oil collection lately and this has been a welcomed addition to the collection for day time use. This is 100% natural like many of Decléor's products and a true aromatherapy experience, using this at home will leave you with glowing hydrated skin - just like you've finished a treatment in the day spa. 

Decléor boutique westbourne grove notting hill

Cleansing is my favourite beauty ritual and these Decléor additions have been making me enjoy the process even more. 
Micellar water has to be one of my favourite makeup removal methods, the Aroma Cleanse micellar water leaves my skin refreshed and clean without feeling stripped or dry ready for a second cleanse. 
Even though the Aroma Cleanse cleansing milk can remove makeup, i've been using it as my second step or morning cleanser for a really gentle cleanse. I can't believe how soft this leaves my skin, i hate feeling like a cleanser has just sucked the life out of me but this leaves my face feeling perfectly clean while keeping it hydrated. 
Pink is my favourite colour so naturally the Aroma Cleanse Essential Tonifying Lotion was the product i reached for first, out of all of the cleansing products this has to be my favourite, it's so hard to get toner right but this manages it. Toners can be really harsh but this is clarifying yet gentle and has the most amazing smell, my skin can react badly to a lot of toners but this didn't bring out any redness or sensitivity so it's a winner for me. 

Decléor boutique westbourne grove notting hill

Thanks to my incredibly dry hands i like to think of myself as a bit of a hand cream connoisseur, at night i like to use really thick hand creams but i was yet to find one suitable for my handbag that i could apply during the day and actually still use my hands while wearing. (Most left me unable to pick things up with the greasiness.) This Decléor hand cream however has changed the game, it's an incredibly light texture that is deceptively hydrating without leaving my hands slippery, the tiniest amount goes a long way and i can now successfully hydrate during the day and still use my hands bonus.

Decléor boutique westbourne grove notting hill

Shop the post:

Have you tried Decléor before? - Maria x


Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples.

Friday, 26 May 2017

I tried false lashes for the first time

Yes i know, i'm late to the party.. i mean what blogger hasn't worn falsies at least once? Me, up until last week.

Trying false fake lashes for the first time kiss lash couture faux mink lashes

I feel like false lashes used to have a really bad rep; they were heavy, thick, "plasticy" and just didn't look that great, i was put off to say the least. In recent years however, falsies have become the finishing point of almost every makeup tutorial and graced the eyes of many a blogger friend, so i decided to give them a go. I marched off to my local superdrug to pick up the infamous Ardell Demi Wispies. 
I ended up picking up two paris of Ardell Lashes, the Demi wispies like i planned and also the Baby wispies - because i was pretty scared that the Demi wispies were going to be too much so i wanted a back up just in case. 

I held my breath, waved each eyelash on the end of a tweezer and with the words of every youtuber i've ever come across going through my mind, i applied my first ever eyelash. To my surprise, i hadn't stuck my eye together and i didn't look like i had just sashayed away from RuPaul. I loved it, i knew from that moment i was a changed woman and you would never see me on an evening out without these bad boys ever again, even my mum looked at me and said she wanted to try them.

Trying false fake lashes for the first time ardell demi wispies review

Like i said earlier i picked up two sets of lashes, the Ardell Demi Wispies and the Ardell Baby wispies. Originally i thought the baby wispies would be the best for me, because i didn't want to look too dramatic but i actually found them incredibly natural; the baby wispies were basically the same as my lashes with mascara on so i have to admit they didn't make much of a difference to my eyes. I feel like these would be great for people with very short eyelashes, who still wanted a natural look without looking like they're wearing lashes at all. 
The Demi wispies are much more noticeable, they give a really fanned out effect and have that signature fluttery look. Although i really like these i feel like they are slightly too long for me, so i'm now searching for a happy medium between the two but i can really see why these are a cult favourite.

Shop the post:

I'm pleasantly surprised my first experience with fake eyelashes went pretty well, I'm a falsies convert, do you wear them? - Maria x


Disclaimer: The picture at the top contains PR samples but the products i've written about were bought with my own money, i thought i better just put that in anyway because ya know.. also this contains affiliate links. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Dewy in a drop

It's here ..kind of ..summer time. The one word printed in magazine articles and in the title of many a summer makeup tutorial is "dewy", matte lips and skin are out and everyones trying to nail the healthy glow ready for the sun to kick in. Forget the multiple highlighters, there's only one product i'm using this summer to get a glow and it's skincare rather than makeup. Get your sunglasses out, we're glowing. 

Glowbiotics probiotic hydraglow cream oil review

Friday, 19 May 2017

Subscription box beauty: Roccabox

Lately i've been warming to the idea of Subscription boxes, the image i had of over priced sample sachets is long gone, and affordable high value options have placed themselves at the forefront of my mind. Over the last week or so i've been testing out May's Roccabox, to see what this £10 box has to offer. 

Roccabox review may 2017

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My makeup pulls an All Nighter

I used to think setting sprays were a bit of a fad, a modern invention that i wouldn't add to my daily routine, that was until i got to try the iconic Urban Decay All Nighter .. I mean if anyone is going to convince me it'll probably be Urban Decay right?

Urban Decay all nighter setting spray review 2017 bloggers blog post best setting spray mariajblogs


Monday, 15 May 2017

Bloggers IRL, living the stereotype and loving it

Think brunch and a tube ride to Holland Park just for the outfit photos. 

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

I'm not even sure where i "met" Lauren, in blogging terms we go way back, i looked back on my first ever blog instagram photos the other day and there was Lauren, the only blogger in my 12 likes. Although she's practically my first port of call when i want some blogging help; (she's the only reason i have a domain if I'm honest) unfortunately she lives in Scotland and i live in London. Meaning opportunities to have a bloggers day out are few and far between. That was until Lauren came to London last week and we found ourselves on a photo taking, brunch eating, bloggers bonanza.  

We took loads of photos, mostly of each other and although these will be all over my Instagram, i thought it would be a sin to not include them in some type of blog post. So although i'm a fan of detailed posts that help people in some type of way, here's one from a day where i just wanted to share the photos, because why not. 

We're bloggers, we didn't have lunch we specifically met at 11 so we could make it for a brunch menu, obviously. We brunched at Daylesford in Marylebone, which is like a cross between an organic farm shop and a restaurant - i like it because it makes me feel like everything i'm eating is healthy, regardless as to whether it actually is or not. I had two poached eggs with a side of smoked salmon, probably one of my favourite combinations other than eggs and avocado of course..

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

At one point the waitress came over to ask how our food was, and she realised we hadn't even started it yet because we were taking too many photos.. bloggers.. 

After brunch we jumped on the tube to Holland Park because there's no better place for some stereotypical outfit shots, also everywhere else in London is always busy, but Holland Park streets are suspiciously quiet which means you get far fewer weird looks. 

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

Props to Lauren for making me look half decent, and insuring that i'll have some photos for my Instagram that aren't just of lipsticks for the next 3 weeks. I really wanted to get a photo to illustrate how beautiful my new phone case is from Richmond and Finch, they sent me this tropical leaves case and honestly I'm obsessed - you've probably seen it in the background of many an instagram already. This is the highest quality case i've ever owned and the prettiest, also can we talk about how the branding on the bottom is in rose gold to match my phone?

If you want to get your own hands on a Richmond and Finch case you can get 20% off using the code Mariajblogs20. Also i feel like i need to point out i'm not being paid to say that, are disclaimers for things that aren't an ad but sound like one a thing now? Idk man i just really like my phone case.. 

My look:

I also took some photos of Lauren and she looks gorgeous so i couldn't not include them right?? 

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

I got on the floor for this one, i'll go to all lengths for an instagram even if it isn't my own.. 

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

Lauren literally looks like a professional model and i'm pretty pleased that i took these photos, it's funny what can come out of "idk look like you're walking" "ooo i don't know this photo is being taken, give me candid, wow". Honestly anyone who walked past must've been so confused but we got some serious #ootd looks, we did it for the gram. 

Lauren's look: 

Richmond and finch phone cases blogger photographers mariajblogs mariajcouk

I'm pretty stuck in my ways when it comes to photos on my blog, iPhone photos don't usually make the cut, but we finished the day with a selfie so i had to include it.

The most stereotypical bloggers day out? Check! I had such a lovely day with Lauren and i always find it the most motivating thing to spend time with other bloggers.
Who needs a professional photographer when you have blogger friends? - Maria x



Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links. Like i said earlier this post isn't sponsored either, i know you're checking!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Why every blogger should read #GIRLBOSS

Even if it is just for reassurance that people don't go to university and still come out alive..

#girlboss Sophia Amoruso review bloggers

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Beauty bits i've been loving lately

I used to be pretty good with monthly favourites, but in the last few months i found i would try to jot down a few favourites and would realise i hadn't really changed up what i was using. So i put "favourites culture" on hold, until some new products firmly made their way into my daily routine.

April 2017 favourites beauty bits i've been loving sunday riley UFO review no7 airbrush away finishing powder essie fiji kiko less is better collection eyeshadow stick


Monday, 8 May 2017

Peeking into A/W17 with Boohoo

Even though we are in May, if someone mentions autumn winter I'm all for it. It's my favourite time of the year and that's partly because of the fashion..i mean that's obvious isn't it? ..It certainly isn't because of the drizzle and dark evenings.. 
Boohoo invited me along to their A/W press day to take a peek into the colder months, and see what was going to be on offer from Boohoo for the most fashionable season of the year. 

boohoo press day a/w17 autumn winter 2017 fashion trends


Friday, 5 May 2017

A UFO flew in and took away my acne

Well ..kinda .. i mean not completely but it is pretty damn good. 

Sunday Riley UFO oil review

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Subscription box beauty : Dollibox

Usually I'm not one for expensive subscription boxes, but when Dollibox offered to send me their affordable beauty subscription service, i thought it was worth putting a £10 subscription box through it's paces - especially when they boast full size products and some seriously big name brands. 

Dollibox subscription box april review

When the box arrived i was really surprised just how much was inside the little box and that all of the products were a full size; i know usually a lot of boxes can be padded up with sample sizes and sachets, so I'm glad to see you actually get some value with this one. The variation in the box is what also caught my eye, it wasn't just beauty products included - this months box also housed a makeup sponge and a hair band. 

Dollibox subscription box april review

One of the standout products for me was this saturated colour lipstick (RRP £7), i had heard of the brand before so i was really excited to get it out of the packaging and get swatching and i was not disappointed. As the name suggests this lipstick is packed with pigment and lasting power, it actually stained my arm after swatching, but i don't mind because think of how that translates into lasting power! When you look at the RRP of £7 thats nearly the total price of the box, which is especially appealing as someone who has spent £25 on a lipsticks in the past..

Dollibox subscription box april review

Also included was a Schwarzkopf fibre force conditioner, i'm a sucker for an essential so when i see something i know I'm going to use and have a genuine need for I'm all the more enthusiastic. This would've definitely been something that i would've picked up, so it makes the box even more worth it, with an RRP of £9.70. This to me feels like a step up from my usual conditioner, i'm very happy to be adding it to my routine.

We all know I'm a big fan of bath bombs so to get a bath bomb in here as well was a huge bonus, especially when that bath bomb is named pink lemonade no less. Even though i love bath bombs I'm always a little bit worried about their ingredients, so it was good to read that these Skinjam cosmetics bathbombs are all natural and handmade in Yorkshire. RRP £2.50 or 4 for £10, meaning they work out cheaper than most!

Dollibox subscription box april review

i've been really into nails recently so this summery shade really stood out to me, and because i'm newly growing them out anything that helps to strengthen them is seriously appealing. I feel like i've become a bit of a nail polish connoisseur recently so i can actually judge how good a nail polish is .. and this is really good. If you were in a rush you could've gotten away with just one coat but two means complete opaque coverage and great lasting power, usually i wear £7.99 nail polish but this is only £4.50 and the quality is the exact same - if not a little more pigmented. 

Dollibox subscription box april review

When i opened the box and found a Babi bear makeup sponge inside i have to admit initially i didn't know what it was! (i thought it was a nail buffer to be honest) It turns out this makeup sponge can either be used for foundation or powder, at the minute i've been using this for powder because i love really patting powder in, but i might get more adventurous and use it for foundation at some point. It was really nice to get something i had never heard of, i feel like the market is pretty cornered by real techniques and beauty blender so it was interesting to be introduced to a new sponge and a really cute one at that. 

Like i said at the beginning I'm not one for expensive subscription boxes but i think at £10 a month this is great if you want a monthly treat for yourself, it won't break the bank but it'll give you an array of new treats to try out without just receiving a load of sample sizes. I also didn't realise you aren't tied down to a contract so you can decide whether or not you want to get a box month by month. Overall this box works out really great value or money (and we all know I'm about that), the total value of the box is £30.65 so considering you can pay as little as £8.50 a month you're getting a lot for your pounds. 
If you're looking for a subscription service that won't cost as much as your phone bill then look no further. 

What do you think about subscription boxes? - Maria x

Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples. 


Monday, 1 May 2017

The affordable skincare starter kit

Skincare is a big deal now, from 10 step Korean beauty routines to the multitude of ways to remove your foundation, it's a lot more complicated than the old "cleanse, tone, moisturise". Like many, i have my fair share of high end skincare; but the bargain hunter inside of me wanted to outline the basics and best brands to reach for when you're on a budget, but still want results. Although it's possible to have a really minimal skincare routine for a few pounds, I'm more angling at those who want a complete routine but are still looking to save the pennies.

affordable cheap skincare cleansing routine makeup removal products oily acne dry skin

Makeup removal:

Most of the time when people are looking to scrimp and save when it comes to skincare they immediately result to makeup wipes, in reality these are pricy, ineffective and my #1 enemy. My favourite method for affordable makeup removal is micellar water, i buy the 700ml bottles of Garnier micellar water when it's on offer and i usually end up paying 80p per 100ml. Although micellar water won't take off long wear formulas perfectly, it will remove the majority or normal foundations before your second cleanse.

Even though many products claim to also remove eye makeup, i still believe in using a separate eye makeup remover to get the job done, again I'm a big fan of Garnier products and usually buy the eye makeup remover when its half price at around £1.60 ish. I don't see much point in skipping eye makeup remover and using micellar water, it won't do as good of a job and you'll just end up using more product.

Also quick tip, if you're looking for cheap cotton pads get them at Primark! The standard size are 50p and the larger ones are 90p, i actually prefer these ones to the more expensive brands.

affordable cheap skincare cleansing routine makeup removal products oily acne dry skin

Double cleanse & tone: 

When it comes to high quality cleansers and toners on a budget i always head to the body shop, i find a lot of drugstore cleansers and toners can be very drying or harsh but these are far from it. Each cleanser or toner is around the £6-£7 mark, they have a range devoted to every skin type or condition so there will be something for everyone and they're alcohol free too.

I'm yet to be disappointed by a body shop skincare product, so they have my vote - especially when most cheaper cleansers and toners can be so drying and have alcohol as a main ingredient. I use the tea tree skin clearing wash and seaweed oil balancing toner but if you do have a different skin type to me they'll have range perfect for you. 

affordable cheap skincare cleansing routine makeup removal products oily acne dry skin


If you're on a serious budget then it's perfectly plausible to skip face oils and eye creams (not moisturiser of course) but if you're just looking for a complete routine then it's possible to find these extras while sticking to a budget. I've already done a whole post on this Palmer's facial oil but what i will say is that it's the most effective affordable facial oil that i've tried, it's £9.99 but in facial oil terms thats nothing and it contains retinol - bargain.

Eye cream has become a necessity for me and this B. nourished one ticks all the boxes; i really like the formula of this, it's somehow really hydrating without being too thick and it sinks in really quickly. Technically this is marketed towards people in their 50s but hey, i haven't had dry eyes since!

As for moisturiser there are just so many affordable options for me to mention, i think because moisturiser has been around for a such long time the drugstore has had time to really perfect formulas. If i had to pick one i'd choose the Neutrogena visibly clear oil free moisturiser, i used this for about a year and it still remains one of my favourite affordable options, that didn't break me out but still kept me hydrated. 

affordable cheap skincare cleansing routine makeup removal products oily acne dry skin

Shop the post:

What is your favourite affordable skincare product? - Maria x


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and the Palmer's Oil was sent to me as a PR sample. 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Upping my jewellery game for S/S

A few months ago i vowed to get my hands sorted, by sorted i mean actually maintaining my nails and stop letting my hands go so dry that i looked like a 70 year old at 19. I'm pleased to report that i've actually done it, my nails are at a pretty normal length and rarely go unpainted, which means i can now wear rings and other jewellery without wanting to hide what used to be my stubby fingers.

I realised that because i used to stray away from Jewellery it meant i had very little to work with; so when Jewellery Box got in touch offering to send me some pieces, i knew i would finally be able to show off my new found "hand confidence" hand confidence a thing? It is now.

jewellery box review necklaces rings bracelets bloggers blog post


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Face masks you need to try

Nothing makes me feel more like i've got my life together than doing a face mask, there's just something about feeling like you're going the extra step with your skincare that really makes you feel good about yourself - whether that's the results of the mask or just a placebo effect. These 5 mask brands aren't just a placebo effect however, they're my 5 favourites that i reach for when my skin is looking for some help. 

face masks sheet masks dr jart tonymoly quick fix facials aztec secret indian healing clay crystal clear peel off mask review

It's important to point out that masks are quite dependant on the person using them, so something that works for me might not work for you, but it's worth a try right? Okay, on with the show..

I have a love hate relationship with sheet masks, i hate the whole concept of having something stuck on your face that literally makes you immobile for 20 minutes, but i love the effect they have on my skin so i get over it for that reason. My favourite sheet masks are by Dr Jart, i got these in Sephora while in New York and fell in love when i got back home and started using them. My favourite Dr Jart masks are the ones based around hydration, they leave my face so soft and soothed and are drenched in serum - they'll sort out the driest of skins. 

Dr Jart masks can be quite pricey in the UK, although i found these in TK Maxx for £4.99 elsewhere they're much more expensive; if you're on a budget you can also get these TonyMoly masks from TK Maxx at £1.99 each, which will give you a slice of Korean skincare on an affordable basis. 

face masks sheet masks dr jart tonymoly quick fix facials aztec secret indian healing clay crystal clear peel off mask review

If sheet masks aren't your thing and you fancy some peeling action, look no further than the crystal clear "10 minute glow" peel off mask. I love a peel off mask when i want some serious exfoliation and this leaves my skin feeling smooth, clean and more even. I used to think peel off masks being drying was an inevitable fact, but this is so comfortable to wear and it means i don't have to make the sacrifice of being left with dry skin after using it. 

The most traditional masks i use are the quick fix facials masks, they come in a tube so you can get multiple uses out of one and they're super affordable to begin with. The one in the picture is the overnight glow boost but my favourite is the anti-blemish mud mask, i always notice a reduction in blemishes when i use this and while it's powerful it isn't harsh or drying. These are seriously budget friendly, although they say you get 10 x masks out of a tube it usually lasts me around 3 months using them every week or so, so you really get your moneys worth. 

face masks sheet masks dr jart tonymoly quick fix facials aztec secret indian healing clay crystal clear peel off mask review

The last mask I'm going to talk about is probably the most unconventional formula but one of the most powerful and affordable masks there is. The aztec secret Indian healing clay mask is 100% powder clay that you mix with water and or apple cider vinegar, which you then leave on your skin and rinse off. 
This is like a normal mask in that it completely dries down but when i say it dries down it really dries down, you can feel your face pulsating with this on, which I'm not sure is a good thing or not but it's something right? This definitely won't be for everyone, it's super powerful and i can imagine a lot of people would find it drying but it works for me when i want a seriously deep clean. Be warned, this will leave your face quite red for a while after using it, it's not one i'd use before an important event but its useful every few weeks before bed to keep my skin in check. 

Shop the post:

Do you have a favourite face mask? - Maria x


This post contains a PR sample but the majority of products have been bought myself.

Monday, 24 April 2017

The spring clothing edit

A change in temperature is always an excuse to head to the shops, although with spring fashion i usually end up either sweating or freezing, the current additions to the shops have me really excited. These are my picks for the current season, basically things i just reallly realllly want. 


Friday, 21 April 2017

So...? Summer body mists giveaway

If you're a regular around here you'll know recently i did a post featuring some of the new So...? summer body mists. Seen as i loved the mists and i got some great feedback on the post So...? helped me expand my collection and asked if i wanted to host a giveaway, obviously i said yes .. 

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

The giveaway is going to contain 4 of my favourites from the new summer body mist collection, these are perfect for travelling (even with dreaded cabin baggage) and all have scents perfect for the warmer months - whether you favour a sweet scent or prefer something fresh for the summer. 
If you want to hear more about the mists in general you can check out my original review post here!

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

What is included? 

Like i said the 4 scents included are my favourites from the collection: Sparkling Tea, Iced Melon, Water Melon and Vanilla Milkshake. Even though a lot of these are sweet scents i did try to vary it a little bit, sparkling tea is definitely a fresh clean scent and while iced melon is sweet too, it is on the fresher side. Vanilla milkshake is a classic warm sweet scent and water melon is such a true to life fruity spritz for summer. 
I feel like i've covered all the bases with the scents in this spectrum, from fresh sparkling tea, clean iced melon, fruity true to life water melon all the way down to a warm vanilla - it really means theres something for everyone within the giveaway! 

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

How to enter? 

Head over to my twitter @mariajblogs and retweet my pinned tweet at the top of my profile, after that make sure you're following both my twitter and the @sofragrance twitter; both accounts will be tagged within the pinned tweet. 
It's as simple as that! Make sure you read the terms and conditions below and if you're reading this after the 29th April 2017 then sadly the giveaway has closed, but you can still shop the fragrances at the end of this post. 

So fragrances summer body mists haves giveaway mariajblogs

Terms and conditions:

1. No purchase necessary
2. The Contest is open to candidates aged thirteen years of age and over (13+) who are legal residents of the UK excluding employees of Incos Ltd. (the “Sponsor”), their affiliates, licensees, agents and members of their respective immediate families and anyone professionally associated with the administration of this promotion.

3. CONTEST PERIOD. All eligible entries have to be submitted between the 21st of April 2017 and the 28th of April 2017. Only one entry per person. Multiple entries will not be counted and will be cancelled.

4. Incos Ltd. or its distributors do not accept any responsibility for late or lost, ineligible or incomplete entries

5. WINNERS: One winner will be chosen by Maria J Blogs and contacted by @Mariajblogs by private message on Twitter within 48 hours of the contest closing.

6. PRIZE DETAILS: The winner will receive One (1) So…? Vanilla Milkshake Body Mist,(1) So...? Sparkling Tea Body Mist, (1) So...? Watermelon Body Mist, (1) So...? Iced melon Body Mist. The prize is worth a retail value of approximately £15.96.

7. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred although Incos Limited reserve the right to change the prizes in the event of unforeseen circumstances to the same value or higher. There will be no cash alternative.

8. CANCELLATION AND AMENDMENT: The Sponsor reserves the right to amend or cancel this Contest at any time.

9. SOCIAL MEDIA: The promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Twitter. By participating in this contest, you agree to a complete release of liability of Twitter, who is not affiliated with this promotion. You understand that you are providing your information to the Contest Sponsor and not to Twitter.
10. Entrants and parents and/or legal guardians of Entrants under the age of 18 years old will be deemed to have accepted the official Terms and Conditions (the “Rules”) and to agree to be bound by them.

11. The Promoter is Incos, Congress House, Lyon Road, Harrow, HA1 2EN, UK

Shop the fragrances:

Whats your favourite fragrance for summer? - Maria x


Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples and affiliate links.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Hydrated summer skin & my new favourite affordable facial oil

You know me, i'm an oily skinned person obsessed with hydration and lately my thing has been facial oils. So when Palmer's offered to send me some bits from their new skincare line, i jumped at the chance to try a more affordable facial oil, amongst some other bits.

Palmers skin perfecting oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review bloggers mariajblogs

Everyone knows Palmer's, i remember when i was about 7 my mum let me buy a Palmer's cocoa butter formula lip balm and i cherished that thing until the very end .. mostly because to a 7 year old it smelt like chocolate. Although Palmer's are really well known for their body care, i had absolutely no idea they had a range of skincare and an extensive range at that, until now. 

Palmers skin perfecting oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review

Even though i bang on about skincare a lot and i never fail to do a full skincare routine, the one thing i find myself skipping is SPF, i know i know I'm a skincare hypocrite. When I'm on holiday and my bare face is in the sun i always apply a facial SPF, but i have to admit on a daily basis i don't go out of my way to apply it, and i really should. So when i saw the new moisturising day cream had a built in SPF my lazy self was more than pleased, and i was pretty impressed with all of the claims and ingredients on the front of the bottle - Vitamin E really gets along with my skin and it's free from lots of nasties like parabens, which can be found in a lot of other skincare products.

When i first pumped this out i have to admit i panicked, when this is in it's freshly pumped out form it's thick, but as the product claims to be fast absorbing and non comedogenic it put my mind to rest. Once i rubbed this into my skin it really did absorb quickly, somehow my face felt soft (and bouncy??) but when i touched my cheek it didn't feel like it even had a heavy cream on. My skin felt so hydrated i couldn't believe what was on my face was the same product that pumped out so thick initially. This also provided a great base for my makeup - hydrated skin is always the best condition to apply makeup to and this smoothed so well it meant my foundation sat really evenly on top of my skin. 

I have oily and acne prone skin, so trying something new is always worrying for me incase the product causes a breakout, but i had no problems with this. Once rubbed in the cream was lightweight, left my skin perfectly hydrated and i haven't got to worry that the sun is reeking havoc anymore because of the built in SPF. 

Palmers skin perfecting facial oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review bloggers mariajblogs

The next product is the thing i was most excited about trying, recently i've gotten into facial oils but i've only ever tried quite pricey options; although i've been really impressed with them i was intrigued to see if a much more affordable oil would have a similar effect on my skin. Again the packaging claims of the skin perfecting oil and ingredients really impressed me, amongst other things this contains retinol, and i'm pretty sure it's quite hard to find a facial oil containing something as effective as retinol for as little as £9.99.

I love this, usually when I'm trying out products i leave my thoughts about them secret until i publish my blog post, but i couldn't control my excitement with this one i had to tweet about it, yes my life's excitement does come from beauty products.. 

Waking up the morning after using this for the first time i couldn't believe it but i actually saw a change in my skin, it's hard to explain but my skin felt calmer in a way. I suffer from redness and acne marks and both appeared reduced, although other higher end oils had helped with this too, the palmers oil made a more noticeable difference in the all round quality of my skin . The reason this makes me so exited is because i love finding affordable products, but oils are something that are hard to get right and honestly i didn't think one costing under £10 could compete with higher end alternatives, but this seriously competes. 

I don't want to go on a whole tangent on the importance of oils and moisturisers for oily skin,(because lets face it i do talk about it too much) but i will say if the idea of a facial oil scares you with oily skin, don't be alarmed! Using an oil will regulate your skins oil production thus resulting in less oily skin. 

Palmers skin perfecting oil moisturiser spa day cream cocoa butter formula review

One of the most classic Palmer's products is the Daily skin therapy, as i said before Palmer's are most well known for their body care and it's because they just get it so right; somehow the products are so affordable but so effective at the same time. My hands are my biggest problem when it comes to dry skin, but i often find hand creams leave my skin greasy, but because this is so concentrated you can get away with using the tiniest amount - fixing my dry skin without leaving my hands greasy. Also the size of this is perfect, my handbag is never without a tube of hand cream so i can carry this without adding too much extra weight to my already heavy bag. 

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Have you tried a facial oil before? - Maria x


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