The Body Shop Things...

I decided to take advantage of the recent 50% off sale on the website by purchasing three favourites and a newbie.
The Coconut Body Butter is a long-time favourite. I have to check the ingredients of each one I am interested in as unfortunately quite a few contain parabens (preservatives that I try to avoid). This one however is packed full of great stuff, smells absolutely divine and moisturises beautifully. The Shea Butter one is my other favourite.

The two lip butters featured there are in coconut (surprise, surprise) and shea. These are my nighttime saviours. I tend to get horribly chapped lips in the winter, but slathering these on before bed really does the trick. One pot lasts me about a year, so they are well worth it!

The newbie is the perfume oil in Madagascan Vanilla Flower. I adore vanilla scents and thought I'd give this a try. I really adore the satsuma and coconut perfume oils, so figured hey, why not?! It is vanilla and floral (as to be expected I suppose) and I am most impressed.

Did any of you take advantage of the sale? What are your favourite Body Shop bits?

Remember your Christmas pause!

Amongst the mayhem that goes on around Christmas time, I think many of us forget to simply stop and do the fun things like construct a homemade wreath or don a Santa hat and do some baking. I made these red velvet cupcakes and loved the excitement everyone had at the sight of the edible glitter! Recipe here.
Next on the to do list... a gingerbread house! Let me know your favourite festive treat!

Favourite Origins Toners

So there's more Origins love coming at you today, in particular my love of two of their treatment lotions. These are an alternative to a traditional balancing toner in that they treat a particular concern and are often aimed more on the hydration side rather than for oil control. My two of choice are A Perfect World Age Defense Treatment Lotion with White Tea & Make A Difference Skin Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion (Phew! Longest names ever?!) Before I get into them, for those of you that don't use a toner/treatment lotion/tonic (whatever you want to call it), you really should consider it. Not only do they remove any traces of cleanser/mask/exfoliator/make-up from the skin, but the balance the pH to a happy skin level of 5.5 after disruption through cleansing.
In case you're not familiar, the A Perfect World range is once which aims to preserve the skin's youth and prevent aging through the addition of antioxidant-rich White Tea. This young bud of the tea plant has over 3x the antioxidant content of green tea, so is a fantastic ingredient for ridding the skin of cell-damaging free radicals. Oil & alcohol free, this hydrating formula helps to form a protective bubble around the skin to protect it from the harsh elements that we encounter on a daily basis. With an uplifting, wake-me-up citrusy scent, this is my choice of toner for the morning after cleansing.

The Make A Difference range is one that aims to rescue and nourish dry and dehydrated skin. The moisturisers were re-formulated this year to really tackle the root cause of dehydration in the skin and are honestly fantastic. This is a moisturising lotion that contains Rose of Jericho (resurrection plant) extract, along with trehalose (a sugar that helps with hydration) and Padina pavonica (a brown alga) to comfort dry skin. Although the formula contains alcohol denat (extracted from plants, added to toners so that they gently evaporate off the skin and don't leave the skin feeling too wet), I honestly can't say that I notice the addition; it feels very comfortable and moisturising on my skin. It smells like a fruity cup of Pimm's and I use this in my evening routine.

Now, these can be used in the traditional way of sweeping them across the skin with a cotton pad, but because of their hydrating formula they also work really well decanted into a spritzer bottle, sprayed onto the skin and gently patted in by hand - just a lil' tip for ya! At £18 each they're not the cheapest, but really feel wonderful and have fantastic ingredients for the skin.

The Body Shop 50% Off!

In case you're not aware, right now if you head over to The Body Shop you can take advantage of the incredible Christmas deal they've got going on! By purchasing 2 items you can get 30% off your order total, for 3 items 40% and for 4 items a whopping 50% off! Simply as the discount code 'GIFT' during checkout.

I'm quite picky when it comes to the body shop as some of the products aren't the most natural and unfortunately some contain parabens, but some of the body and lip butters as well as the perfume oils are fantastic, so I have taken advantage of this opportunity to stock up on some essentials as well as presents for the holiday to come soon no doubt!
The Body Shop

MAC Strobe Cream

This stuff has been around for forever, but it was not until recently that I decided to give it a go. As someone with skin on the dry/dehydrated side, anything that claims to give me a gorgeous glow instantly captivates me.

As far as MAC highlighters go, the Mineralized Skinfishes and Cream Colour Bases are wonderful, but both very much shout, 'Hey! I'm wearing a highlighter!'. That's totally fine and I wear them regularly for a gorgeous sheen on the cheeks, however there is something really nice about a subtle glow. I have been searching for the lazy mate that I can throw on when I'm having a low-maintenance day, something that hints at a highlighter and lifts the face, but without being either matte or glittery.

MAC's Strobe Cream (50ml) can be worn all over the face, under make-up, or used on top of a base at the high points of the face for a lifted effect. I either blend this onto the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, chin and forehead underneath my foundation, or on top of my Origins VitaZing if that's my choice of base for the day. It is subtle but really works and I would thoroughly recommend! In the swatch photos below I tried to capture the various stages of blending it into the skin, but photos never do these things justice!