28 May 2016

Spring Fragrances

Spring Fragrances

Fragrances are one of the most personal beauty products out there in my opinion. There are so many to choose from these days that it can often be somewhat overwhelming when looking for a new one to purchase. Gone are the days when I would walk around my local department store spritzing bottle after bottle. My senses cannot take that these days as by the third option I am left feeling overpowered by all the different scents. 

Over the last few weeks I have run out of three of my most used fragrances, Flora by Gucci pictured above is just one of those. This is why I now find myself on the hunt for something new, Jo Malone is quite certainly appealing to me at the moment, although I am most certainly open to some new recommendations if you have them. 

Generally speaking, I am not one to typically fall into the stereotype of using specific makeup for the season we are in, however where fragrances are concerned I can be a bit more precise. Whilst having a clear out of beauty products in general last month I decided that I would like to feature three of my favourite spring fragrances.

Gorgeous Gardenia has been in possession for a long time now and I miss it quite a lot since using it a few weeks ago. This was a present from my dad for one of my birthday's so it is also quite sentimental to me. Out of all three I would say that it is probably the strongest as I find the other two to be much lighter, that being said I think it is a lovely option for this time of year. 

Top notes: red berries, pear
Heart notes: white gardenia, frangipani flower
Base notes: patchouli, brown sugar accord

A fragrance which is instantly recognizable for its unique design, I find Daisy Eau So Fresh to be equally recognizable in terms of scent. In fact, just yesterday at work one of my colleagues instantly knew what I was wearing; if that doesn't sing the praise of this cult fragrance I don't know what will. Whilst the larger versions of this can be initially quite expensive, I highly recommend snapping them up within the gift sets each year as you can make quite a saving, especially if you can grab one in the sale just a day later. 

Top Notes: ruby red grapefruit, raspberry, green leaves, pear
Heart Notes: violet, wild rose, apple blossom, lychee, jasmine petals
Base Notes: musks, plum, cedarwood

Elie Saab from what I understand has a somewhat limited range of fragrances. To date I have only tried this alongside a quick spritz of Rose Couture one day whilst in Boots. Unlike Daisy which I find to be a typical day perfume, I would happily wear this for not just the day but also for an evening out. It is slightly stronger in scent, although not by much, however in my opinion it is just that bit more sophisticated.

Top notes: Mandarin Blossom
Middle notes: Gardenia, Orange Blossom, Jasmine
Base notes: Vetiver, Rose Honey

In all honesty, this post has been a long time coming as I wasn't very happy with the picture, however due to the fact that the Gucci bottle is probably lying in a local recycling facility somewhere (long since recycled), I thought I might as well use it as I wasn't able to re-take the photograph. 
What are your favourite scents for Spring?

Don't forget to enter my John Frieda Giveaway


24 May 2016

John Frieda Luxurious Volume and Giveaway

John Frieda Luxurious Volume
Achieving volume when your hair is notorious for falling flat can be no mean feat. In the past I have tried an abundance of hair care products, with very few of them ever really fulfilling their promise. Overall there is one brand which I have generally always had a positive experience with, that is John Frieda. The brand has an extensive range of hair care products which spans across frizzy hair, blonde hair, brunette hair and more. Generally speaking I find John Frieda products to be relatively affordable, they're always on offer in my local Boots and Superdrug and you can often find them whilst doing your weekly shop too. 

Out of all the ranges I have tried I have two favourites by far, those being the Full Repair range and the Luxurious Volume range. The Full Repair range has always left my hair feeling really soft and hydrated, especially seeing as it is colour treated. In fact, I very rarely find myself without a tube of that shampoo because I know it works so well for me. 

That being said, when it comes to wanting to add a little more oomph to my hair I typically reach for the Luxurious Volume range. There are a number of products within this category, some of which I haven't yet tried for myself, however those that I have tried are pretty good in my opinion. The Shampoo and Conditioner, like all John Frieda hair care products leave my hair feeling hydrated and super soft with the added element of bounce once I have blow dried it. 

Generally speaking if I know I am going out and I wish to maintain that volume for a longer period of time then the Fine to Full Blow Out Spray most certainly comes in handy. This is a heat activated spray which you use on damp hair. Once heated up from the heat from your hair dryer it helps to amplify hair at the roots creating instant lift and volume.

The results from using these products have always left me feeling pretty impressed. Therefore it makes me really happy to be able to say that through the courtesy of John Frieda I am able to offer one of you the chance to win a selection of hair care products from the John Frieda Luxurious Volume range. If you fancy trying out the range for yourself then all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win.

The giveaway, courtesy of John Frieda will run for two weeks, ending on the 6th June. This will be open to the UK only. Please ensure that an email address is provided so that John Frieda are able to make contact with the winner once the giveaway has ended.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway *John Frieda have kindly provided the products for this giveaway which will be sent directly to the winner from the John Frieda team.


22 May 2016

The Harrods Beauty Gift With Purchase

A gift with purchase is nothing new to the world of beauty. In fact, over the last couple of years I have seen many of my favourite beauty based websites launching these promotions, they have all, from what I remember, been pretty impressive. Therefore it comes as to no surprise that the gift with purchase* which recently launched at Harrods is of no exception. 

Within the gift with purchase there is quite the array of generous sample sizes of luxury beauty products from some of the industries leading brands. At a price worth just over £250, it is an added treat to your Harrods beauty basket. 

Harrods 2

Brands ranging from By Terry, Diptyque, Decleor, Marc Jacobs and Shiseido are all to be found within the gift with purchase which I find to be really quite exciting, as they're all rather luxurious and of course pretty expensive. In order to qualify for this, you need to spend £250 online at Harrods Beauty, which whilst this may initially seem quite a lot you are getting an extra special gift free which is worth the same amount. 

Harrods 3

Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo - 30ml*
Diptyque Travel size Candles Tubereuse - 70g*
By Terry Baume de Rose Protection Intense - 2.3ml*
Revive Intense Volumising Eye Serum - 3ml*
Givenchy Rouge Interdit vinyl Miniture*
Beauty Blender Blotterazzi - 1*
Huda Beauty Samantha Lashes - 1*

Harrods 4

Decleor 1000 Grains Body Exfoliator - 50ml*
Shiseido - Intensive Anti-Spot Serum - 9ml*
Marc Jacobs Mascara - 5g*
SKII Facial Treatment Essence - 30ml*
Natura Bisse Essential Shock Intense Hand Cream - 10ml*
Sensai Cellular Performance Day Cream - 8ml*
Sisley Ecological Compound - 10ml*
Rodial Pink Diamond Serum - 5ml*
Eve Lom Cleanser - 30ml*

The Harrods gift with purchase launched on the 10th May and will be running for the next three to four weeks, therefore if you have been saving up for some luxury beauty treats it is worth while checking out the brands they stock, as you may just be able to bag yourself, quite literally, some extra special treats. 

This post contains PR samples, for more please read my disclaimer. 


17 May 2016

Mandara Spa | The Exotic Escape

Mandara Spa

Despite being an avid beauty enthusiast, it isn't all too often that I will sit down and write a dedicated post all about body care. Of course it goes without saying that moisturisers for the body are just as important as skincare for your face, yet for some reason they just never seem as interesting. Perhaps this is because most of the time our bodies are relatively covered up, whereas our faces are there for everybody to see which means we pay attention to that more, however as I have got older I have come to really appreciate looking after my whole body and not just what is visible. 

Late last year I was kindly sent a couple of products to try from the Mandara Spa Bali Santi range. This is a lovely collection of affordable body and shower products which feel much more luxurious than their price tag. 

Mandara Spa

There is quite a variety within the range, of which I have tried out three thus far. All three products have been a delight to use, the only thing I wish is that they were more accessible to me as so far I can only find them online and at Sainsbury's, of which there are no stores local to me.

Mandara Spa Bali Santi Coconut Glow Smoothing Body Polish*

Generally speaking, I like my body scrubs to be quite coarse as I like to feel as though I have really buffed away all of the dead skin cells, especially during the colder months when I have been living in jeans and tights. That being said, this offering from Mandara Spa has made a nice change as it has been really gentle on my skin, although for a scrub I do think that it lacks a bit of oomph as it were. 

Mandara Spa Bali Santi Nurturing Body Milk*

This is probably my favourite product as it has a really light texture which sinks into the skin beautifully. It does not take forever to sink in either which is exactly what I am looking for. I like to be showered and back into my clothes as quickly as possible, it's not nice pulling on your pyjamas when your legs are still tacky from moisturiser. When I use this my skin is instantly smoother and hydrated, this lasts for a good few days too, even after showering. 

Mandara Spa Bali Santi Firming Body Lotion*

Out of all three products this is perhaps the one which for me does not particularly deliver in terms of the product name. Marketed as a firming lotion I obviously look for improvements beyond the standard hydrating and smoothing of the skin, in which this product, much like the former delivers beyond all doubt. That being said, I can't say that I have noticed much difference in terms of the firmness of my skin where I have used it, although at the age of 26 I am probably not the most ideal candidate for this to be have tested on. 

Overall I have really quite enjoyed using these products from Mandara Spa, they are affordable and you get quite a lot for your money. They all smell lovely, what with the island theme of coconut and sweet almonds coming through naturally and not overpowering in the slightest. 

Mandara Spa products can be purchased from Time to Spa and larger Sainsbury's stores. 

Have you tried Mandara Spa?

This post contains PR samples, for more please read my disclaimer.


11 May 2016

Topshop Beauty | New In

Topshop Beauty
Having being writing about beauty now for over four years I have in that time been introduced to so many new brands; one of those brands is Topshop. Now of course I was aware of Topshop in terms of their clothes long before I started A Little Boat Sailing, however it wasn't until I stumbled into the blogging world that I discovered Topshop Beauty. 

Since then I have tried a number of their products, whereby everything thus far has left me pretty impressed. To this day I am still a huge fan of their nail polishes due to the fact that the formula is fantastic, they also have an extremely wide range of shades on offer which all are pretty affordable. Not to mention they have some of the prettiest glitter nail polishes I have ever seen.

A few weeks ago now I was kindly sent a couple of their new products to try out in order to see what I thought of them, therefore I am here today to share with you what I have thought about them so far. It goes without saying that I was quite excited to see a nail polish included due to already being a huge fan.
Topshop Beauty
The Topshop Everything Stick* in the shade Naive is an all in one product which can be used on both the cheeks and lips, it even can be used on the eyes, although I must admit I have avoided that option. This is an extremely easy product to use for both application to the cheeks and lips due to the creamy formula, this makes it very easy to blend out when using it as a blush and allows it to be comfortable to apply when used as a lip product. Naive has fantastic pigmentation and is generally a brighter shade of pink than I would typically go for, however I do think that throughout summer that this will work really well. 

Having experienced using this as both a blusher and a lipstick I must admit that I prefer to use it as a blush, I simply think it works better that way as despite the texture of this being creamy I do find that it can dry my lips out quite a bit. Please do bear in mind that I suffer from dry lips quite a lot of the time and have to ensure that I use copious amounts of lip balm. If you get on well with the Topshop lipsticks in general, then you would have no problems with this. The one criticism I would have however is that due to the shape of the actual product inside (it is quite blunt) you will struggle to get a nice precise application for your lips so you may wish to use a lip brush or simply pat it on with your fingers to add a little wash of colour. 
Topshop Beauty
My favourite new release from Topshop Beauty comes in the shape of a nail polish. This is not just any old nail polish; in fact it is just one polish from a limited edition collection of shades which have launched to go alongside the Topshop denim line. The Topshop Nail Polish* in the shade Hayden is a periwinkle blue to match up with the Hayden Boyfriend Jeans. There are six shades in total from the nail polish denim collection, in which well-known names such as the Jamie and Leigh jeans all have a corresponding nail polish to go alongside then, which all I must say look beautiful. 

The latest releases from Topshop Beauty have been a welcome addition to what I think is already a fantastic and affordable make up range on the high street. 

9 May 2016

The Cult Beauty Box by Anna and Lily

The Cult Beauty Box by Anna and Lily
Beauty boxes and I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship. Whilst nobody more than I likes to discover new brands, I also can't help but need control over what I am spending my money on. Therefore when it comes down to the element of surprise with said beauty boxes, they can often leave me feeling a bit disappointed.

When I first heard that Cult Beauty were releasing a new beauty box alongside Anna and Lily I was very excited, not just because I think they both have really similar tastes to me in terms of beauty but also because I knew what would be inside would be good; and boy oh boy was it good. Cult Beauty have produced a similar thing before with Caroline Hirons, however to be honest they have always been a bit too expensive for me. That being said, this one still does retail at £85 which is still quite expensive, however it was much more manageable for me in comparison to previous boxes.  

Inside the box there are five full sized products and two travel sized, which, I might add are still pretty decent sizes and should give me a really good introduction to how the products will work for me over a couple of months. The box contains a nice little overhaul of some of Anna's and Lily's favourite products which span across hair care, skincare and makeup; all of which can be purchased from Cult Beauty. 

The Cult Beauty Box by Anna and Lily

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

This is a product which I have actually used before and whilst I did not fall head over heels in love with it (purely because it stung my eyes) I still enjoyed using it overall. It smells so lovely and it leaves my skin feeling super soft and hydrated. It is a shame that it does irritate my eyes a little as this was the only product which made me question about purchasing the box, however I will persevere with this a bit more because the product itself is actually really nice, it is just a shame my eyes are so sensitive.

Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist

The Pixi brand is having a bit of a moment with their skincare of late. The infamous Glow Tonic has received a lot of attention, which I think spanned the way forward for the rest of their skincare line. Having tried so very little from Pixi I am incredibly curious to see what this hydrating mist is like. What with the weather being so beautiful over the last few days, not to mention hot, I think this is the perfect time to open this in order to try it out.

Stila's Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner

If there is one thing I cannot be without these days it is liner. Whether it be pencil, gel or liquid I am rarely found without it. Over the past year I have read a number of reviews about this little product, all of which have been very, very good so again this is one which I am really looking forward to giving a try. Although having recently picked up the new liner from the latest Kiko collection, I will be waiting a few weeks before I do open this.

Becca's Backlight Priming Filter 

Quite frankly I am all about the glow these days, a healthy glow that is and not a greasy shine. In the past I have never really used a primer which aims to provide a glow alongside the typical qualities of a traditional primer. That being said I do now use the NIOD Photography Fluid which achieves glow like nothing else, therefore it will be nice to see how this compares. This will also be my first experience with Becca so I am really looking forward to trying this, especially since I already have my eyes on a couple of other products from the brand.

Sunday Riley's Luna Sleeping Night Oil

The Sunday Riley Luna Oil has been on my wish list for the past six months. Several of my friends own this and every single one of them to this day continues to tell me how incredible it is. I trust them first and foremost and generally speaking nearly every review I have read on this product says the same thing. Yes it is expensive, however judging by how long it will last you I think you can justify the price over time. The 15ml travel size within the box is actually just half the size of the full 30ml product which I think is very good indeed, this sample alone will last me such a long time.  
The Cult Beauty Box by Anna and Lily

Yu Jing's Jade Facial Roller

When I first saw this product a couple of years back I knew that one day I would buy it, I just didn't know when. First and foremost it is very aesthetically pleasing, which almost fills me with horror as one cannot simply justify spending money on something just because of that...or can they. That being said, I have used facial rollers before which have not cut the mustard, they have always either been a bit too rough or they have failed to roll properly along the face. Having tried this already I really cannot believe the quality of it in comparison to past products I have tried. it really is lovely and what with it also being made of jade it is really cool to touch which makes it extra nice to use, especially if it is kept in the fridge for half an hour before use.

Classic Wet Brush 

This is the second Wet Brush I own and I will make no secret about the fact that I am thrilled to have another as a back up. It is not often I can say that a hair brush really makes a difference to my hair care routine however having since used one of these for the first time, I no longer use any other hair brush.

Overall I think the contents of this box are fantastic, it is beautifully presented and well thought out. If you are thinking of picking up one of these then I wouldn't hang around much longer, they're of a limited quantity but can still be found over on the Cult Beauty website.


5 May 2016

Recently Recycled #8

Beauty Empties
As we said farewell to April for yet another year, I also found myself saying goodbye to a few beauty products too. Like most empties posts this is primarily skincare as I get through that much quicker than make up itself, although I did manage to finish a blusher this month which was most unexpected. 

This was a product which I won a little while back in a giveaway held by the lovely Rachel. It took me a little while to finally getting around to using it due to a rather extensive back log of cleansers, however I have finally come to the end of that in the last few days. In comparison to the No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser and the cult cleanser from Liz Earle I did find this to be heavier on my skin, that being said it still removed my make up relatively well and it did not irritate my eyes. In terms of this improving the radiance of my skin I can't say that I noticed much of a difference in that respect. Personally having now used this as well as similar products I do think that there are cheaper options out there that do a better job for a more affordable price. 

Having now used this on and off for a good year or so I can honestly say that I will miss this within my routine. Whilst I have not seen dramatic improvements in terms of the texture and appearance of my skin I do notice when I am not using this as frequently because it looks more congested. This brightening toner helps to remove deal skin cells which encourages cell renewal, I also notice that my skin is left feeling really soft and quite hydrated after using this. For those who are new to exfoliating toners then I think this is a great introduction to them as it is incredibly gentle on the skin. As I have now come to the end of this I will now be moving onto something else, therefore I am curious to see how that will work for me in comparison to this. 

This fragrance has been sitting in my collection for a while now, therefore it makes a little bit sad to be saying goodbye after so long. Gorgeous Gardenia has been a go to scent for me for a while, particularly throughout spring and summer which is why it has lasted me such a long time. It is a really light floral fragrance which I have really enjoyed wearing, although I am now rather keen to look at the new releases for this coming summer.

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Almost a year ago I dedicated an entire post to the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado because to date it is still my favourite eye cream by quite a margin. Having mentioned this more than once before I will refrain from saying more other than that I need to repurchase this as soon as possible.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blusher

If you are a long term reader of my blog then you will be aware as to just how much I have loved this product. Without a doubt I will be repurchasing this alongside a couple of other shades when the next three for two offer launches at Boots. These are very similar to the Hourglass Ambient Blushes for just a fraction of the price, if you have yet to try these then I would highly recommend checking them out. The packaging is not the most durable as after a few months use mine did crack at the join, although this was something I could put up with for just shy of £9.


3 May 2016

April Beauty Favourites

April Beauty Favourites

So the bank holiday flew by rather quickly didn't it. So much so that before I knew it, we were on May 3rd and I still had not published my April Beauty Favourites. Luckily for me I had today off work, therefore I had some spare time to take a quick snap of some of my favourite products throughout April.


Starting off this post I am kicking off with a new brand which I have not featured on here before. I Love is a brand which I had seen before but had never purchased from, yet one afternoon whilst in Superdrug I decided to pick this up in order to give it a try. Generally speaking I am not one to spend money on expensive shower gels as they are far too quickly washed down the drain, the cheaper, the better in my opinion (although of course I am partial to a bit of luxury now and then). The Peachy Passionfruit Bath and Shower creme from I Love costs just £1.50 and is, in my opinion a beauty bargain. It smells delicious and it fills the bathroom with a lovely scent long after it has been used, for the price I cannot fault it. 


The next two products come from one of my favourite brands to date, that being Clarins. In the past I have been kindly provided with products to feature on here, which in turn has led me to buying more from the brand myself; I quite simply adore Clarins and the products that they produce. One such product is the Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel which I picked up at the end of last year. Long before I purchased this I had read countless reviews as to how good this is. Due to it being a little more expensive than your average cleanser I do tend to use this as a second cleanse, that being said if you are wearing light make up then this does work relatively well; however if you have stubborn eye liner and mascara then I would advise using something else. This cleanser is incredibly gentle on my skin and it feels really lovely to apply due to the gel texture. Once activated with water this turns into a light milky consistency which is then easily rinsed away. 


Sticking with Clarins for one more moment, the Rouge Eclat Lipstick* in the shade Tawny Rose has been a favourite of mine now since I received this back in July last year. There is a much more in depth review of this within my Clarins Autumn Makup Collection post if you would like to know more. In a nut shell however the texture of these lipsticks are right up there in terms of comfort, they are incredibly easy to wear and feel really soft on the lips. Tawny Rose is a nude, albeit it being one of the darkest nudes that I own. Generally speaking it is probably a more appropriate for autumn, although I have never been one to stick to a trend.

In a bid to use lip liners a bit more I have once again pulled out an old favourite, that being MAC Soar. It goes without saying that this is a bit of a cult product these days, although I believe Whirl was somewhat more popular. 

The last item is a mascara which I note is rarely featured on here, despite mascara being one of my favourite beauty products. The Clinique High Impact Mascara has been my go to lately as I have found that it works really well on my lashes. Most people tend to aim for length when it comes to mascara, however my lashes are quite long in their own right, therefore what I like from my mascara is volume which I think this provides in abundance. The sample I have here has been a great introduction to this little product and I have thoroughly enjoyed using it. 

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