Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Desert Island Picks

Suspend all logic and indulge me with this one. Imagine you’re stranded on a desert island and you can only take five products. Forgoing any thoughts of survival, protection or rescue (I'm not taking torches and toothbrushes) and imagine it’s a beautiful island with some handsome island folk and you only take FIVE products – What would they be? Tough isn’t it? Well these are my top 5, can’t-be-withouts.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir  £11.50 Feel Unique

Packed with vitamins, minerals and serums designed to smooth features, tighten pores and give complexion a burst of radiance, Beauty Elixir  is my secret weapon. A spritz of this stuff and I’m fresh as a daisy. Use to moisturise the skin, set makeup or any time you need a little pick me up!

MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter Light Boost £18.50 Debenhams

I would hate to be without my trusted pen. It conceals, highlights, brightens. It’s one of my most used, most repurchased products. The yellow toned shade counteracts blue/purple coloured eye bags and the brightened, creamy formula blends seamlessly into my skin. I use it around the eyes, cupids bow, brow bone, middle of the forehead, bridge of the nose… basically anywhere you want to highlight.

Coconut Oil From £6.99 Holland & Barrett

The Queen of multi-taskers. Use it on your face, body, hair… you can even eat it! It was a close call between this and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, which is also a wonderful desert island pic, but you can’t use it on your hair. Coconut Oil is an amazing moisturiser for skin, conditioner for hair and mix with a little island sand and you’ve got an amazing body scrub! Please note the one in the picture isn’t cooking grade… so don’t eat it. I’ll make sure I take one that is.

Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade £15 BeautyBay

Because even on a remote island, brow game MUST be strong! The ultimate chouse for perfectly precise brows. So easy to use, although I will need a brush and technically that would make 6 products? I’ll smuggle one in. Plus it lasts all day and won’t melt in the sun’s heat. 

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish £15.50 John Lewis

C’mon you knew I was going nowhere without Liz! My ultimate in skincare – it cleans, it cleanses, it calms and soothes. It’s rich, yet gentle and delivers instantly visible results It’s my little at home /on island facial.

What would you take? 


Friday, 20 March 2015

Nails Inc Swan Street - Future Cult Classic

I predict a future cult classic. Move over Mint Candy Apple, there's a new kid in town..

We all know that watching QVC is bad for the wallet. Had I not watched QVC Beauty this week, I wouldn't have discovered the Nails inc NEW WHITES collection and I wouldn't have been compelled to go out and splurge £14 on a nail polish, oh and an extra tenner on a manicure (oops). But then I wouldn't have discovered my new favourite shade and my nails wouldn't look this good...

Swan Street is a brightened iced mint. One fourth of the New Whites collection - white based polishes with a cool colour twist. Frankly they're all gorgeous and yes, I WANT THEM ALL, but for me, Swan Street is the stand out shade. It's white without looking like a tip-ex nail with a very subtle, yet very striking minty blue shade running through it. It has a real illuminating effect, we're talking complete stand out nails and even though I'm a bit pasty right now, it hasn't washed me out... But I can only imagine how much better it will look partnered with a tan. I love the new bottles and with the new bottles comes a new and improved flattened brush that makes application fool-proof... or so the manicurist tells me. A Nails Inc manicure costs £18, but if you buy any polish you get the manicure for £10, so I decided to treat myself. I'm a tough customer because I'm pretty good at doing my own nails but she did a fabulous job and encouraged me to go square, which i haven't done for ages but completely LOVE. It suits the shade too - cool, funky, fresh. I was surprised that the shade was completely opaque after two coats and streak free. £14 might be a bit pricey for one nail polish, but this one's worth it. Swan Street's going to be my go-to for the summer and beyond.

I love this polish, I can't stop staring at my nails! What do you think - dare to go white?

Swan Street RRP £14 Nails Inc | QVC | Debenhams


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Liz Earle Deeeeeeeeep Cleansing Mask

You might recognise this from the Beauty Junkie’s Wishlist. What can I say, I’m weak! But lately my skin’s been a but bleurgh (very technical term for dull, crap, patchy, tired). To Liz I looked for help…

Deep Cleansing Mask* from £6.00 is a good ol’ clay mask that draws out impurities, clears out pores and gets deep, deep down for good and proper cleanse. There’s something very satisfying about a clay mask. I’ve got no time for transparent masks, I like to see exactly where I’m putting it and I like the way it dries. Packed with active ingredients including green clay, manuka honey, propolis and rose-scented geranium, it’s reassuringly and naturally scented and kind to skin. Using it after cleansing, I whack on a generous layer, allow ten minutes for it to do its magic, then wipe away with a dampened sponge. Argh, the sponges, I must admit it was the sponges that sold it to me in the first place. I fancied seeing how they compare to the hot cloths? I can tell you they’re really satisfying! They have a slight exfoliating effect and a pleasurable sensation on the skin. I’ve used them to remove my cleanser too… love, love, LOVE!    

The results? My pores look so much smaller, actually, they’re invisible!  My face feels squeaky clean, visibly brighter and tighter and less oily. I also noticed it gives me a much smoother canvas for apply make up. It does for skin, what clarifying/detox shampoos do for hair… build up be gone!

Deep Cleansing Mask from £6.00 Liz Earle | JohnLewis | Boots  


Saturday, 14 March 2015

Fabulous French Pharmacy Finds

Bonjour! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I squeezed in a gorgeous little trip to Paris last weekend. J’Adore the Parisian beauty ethos – it’s all about being a better version of yourself! Skincare is such a big deal and there really are pharmacies on every corner, but the top destination for beauty junkies is City Pharma. It’s the stack em high, sell em cheap kinda pharmacy, I wrote about it last year. It’s not for the faint hearted but this time round I went prepared with an alphabetised list. Although you can buy most Parisian brands over here now, Escentual has a fantastic range of French Beauty and for the month of March is offering up to 1/3 off, but there’s nothing like shopping in Pareeee plus with the strong pound it’s so much cheaper.

Bioderma Crealine H2O Micelle Solution 8.90 Euros/500ml (£10.29/250ml Escentual)

The Rolls Royce of cleansing waters! Although you can buy Bioderma in the UK now, it's still loads cheaper in France. I stocked up with two big bottles and a cute dinky bottle for travelling.

Bioderma Crealine H2O Face and Eye Wipes 4.99 Euros (Not available in the UK)

Luxuriously thick wipes, powerful enough to remove eye makeup yet gentle enough not to irritate the skin, also reassuringly moist.... and as far as I can tell, not available in the UK.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Hand Cream 5.78 Euros for 2X50ml (£4.50 Boots)

City Pharma was stacked with cheap hand creams so I picked up three!  This one promised daily care for dry, very dry chapped hands.

Avene Hand Cream With Cold Cream 3.90 Euros/50ml (£6.50 Escentual)

Skin is instantly relieved and hydrated thanks to intensely nourishing White Beeswax, and is soothed with the healing capabilities of Avène Thermale Spa Water.

Bioderma Atoderm Hand Cream 1.50 Euros/50ml (£6.50 Amazon)

An intensely nourishing treatment for damaged hands.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting €37.90/30ml (£45 Lookfantastic)

After receiving a sample in my Birchbox I had to have this amazing radiance serum but I didn’t fancy paying £45. Thanks to the exchange rate this one set me back around £26 - I can live with that.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir €7.99/30ml (£11.50 Feel Unique)

My holy grail! How I love this aromatic mist. Moisture in a spray and radiance every time. I have a large one on my dressing table but picked up this mini one for on-the-go.

Klorane Floral water eye makeup remover €4.50/100 (£6 Feel Unique)

When I saw this on Lisa Eldridge's list of French beauty buys, on my list it went. Enriched with soothing and decongesting cornflower, it effectively removes all traces of panda eyes and helps prevent the puff.

Klorane Nettle shampoo oily hair €5.95/200ml (£7 Escentual)

In my first French haul I picked up the Klorane dry shampoo, decent enough, but it didn’t surpass the power house that is Batiste so this time I thought I’d try a wash-in shampoo. I’m all over anything that offers to combat greasy roots. I’ve used this twice this week and I’m very impressed. Seems to really give my hair a good clean without weighing it down.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar duo plus – spot treatment €8.78/40ml (£15.50 Escentual)

This appears on everyone’s French beauty wish list so I had to see what all the fuss was about. A targeted treatment for oily, blemish prone skin.

NUXE Reve de Miel Baume – 6.90 euros/15ml (£9.50 Escentual)

The ultimate lip balm! It has a natural matte finish, lasts for hours and smells like lemon curd... yum! Already kicking myself for not buying more!

And finally, I picked up these completely unnecessary but extremely cute bamboo cotton buds €1.30, simply because I knew they'd look the part on my dressing table.

Total Spend €104 = £77

City Pharma 26 Rue du Four, 75006 Paris (St-Germain Quarter)


Thursday, 12 March 2015

EASY Home Made Granola with ZERO Sugar

Something a little different on Beauty & le Chic this morning... We all know that beauty starts from within, and what I put into my body is just as important as what I put onto my body (and you know how much of a skincare junkie I am). I try to eat well. I thought I was eating well ditching the bacon baps and crunching on granola for breakfast – then I discovered there’s about 30 grams of the sugar in one measly bowl! Deliciously Ella I aint, but knocking up your own granola is ridiculously easy and, it turns out delicious, and that’s why I had to share...


3 cups of Oats
1 cup nuts (I used flaked almonds, brazil, hazelnuts)
1 cup mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower and sesame)
1 cup sultanas
3 tablespoons Chia Seeds (amazing for digestion)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey


Pre heat oven to around 180
Take a large mixing bowl and add the oats
If you’re using full size nuts, whizz them up in a food processor first. If you don’t have a food processor, throw them in a food bag, place on a copping board and whack   with a rolling pin – take that you little nuts.
Add all the nuts and seeds to the bowl and stir.
In a pan, melt the coconut oil and honey before adding to the mixture. This helps bind the ingredients and make a sticky mess.
Now transfer to a baking stray and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.
Stir occasionally to ensure the top does burn and add the sultanas 10 minutes before the end – this avoids them going too crispy.

And voila healthy, tasty, easy and completely sugar free granola!

You can totally play about with the recipe too. Swap honey for maple syrup if you’d prefer it sweeter or try different dried fruits. Serve it, however the hell you like – I like almond milk and berries. Try it hot with some frozen yogurt or ice cream, it’s like a guilt free fruit crumble!


Tuesday, 10 March 2015


Birchbox collaborating with homeware store Habitat? Interested, yes. Intrigued, definitely! Will I find a cool wire basket or a dressing table inside? Some minimal lighting and a book shelf? Of course not, but the "Do Try This at Home" stripy box is super stylish and there’s a 20% discount code inside.


This month Birchbox rather kindly gave its subscribers the choice of three mini Benefit Mascaras – Bad Gal, They’re Real and Roller Lash. I reviewed this here and loved it so I’m chuffed to have another sample. At this rate I won’t need to buy the full size.


I don’t know how I’ve managed to avoid this for so long. It’s always popping up in beauty boxes and gift sets, but somehow this is my first Elasticizer and I’m thrilled to see what all the fuss is about. Supple, bouncing hair, here we come.


A playful yet sophisticated fragrance with citrus top notes and a fruity twist. Some people feel cheated when they receive a fragrance sample as one of their products, me on the other hand... love them!!! Great way to sample new fragrances, obvs, and perfect for handbags and travel bags!


Argan Oil mixed with walnut shell for a gentle exfoliating experience.


Tiny weeny but hella good. Slapped this straight on – it’s a very creamy, highly pigmented khol, perfect for a smudged out smokey eye. Thumbs.Up.


So there we go, not a natural hook up, I will admit, but another very good box. Bravo Birchbox.  There's still time to order this month's box and choose your very own Benefit Mascara, find out more here.

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