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jess psaila

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French Christmas Beauty Gifts

Is it me or has there been a real surge in French beauty brands lately, they seem to be having a bit of a moment in the industry which makes me very happy indeed as I’ve always been a french beauty brand lover! Whenever I visit France the first thing I do (immediately after chomping down a freshly basked croissant- obvs) is find the nearest pharmacy, everyone knows that French pharmacies always have the most incredible range of beauty brands – I love picking new french beauty products I haven’t tried before and this is one of my favourite ways to do it!

I’m obsessed with Avenu for their micellar water and La Roche-Posay for their Cicaplast Baume B5 healing cream but my go-to French brand of all time has to be L’Occitane. There are too many products to list my faves but I especially love the relaxing pillow mist (smells divine and is the perfect remedy for a great nights sleep) and I’ve always used the Shea Butter hand cream keeps hands so nourished and soft- my mum has always told me to apply hand cream as much as possible as aged hands are the biggest age giveaway!

I’ve recently started putting my christmas gift list together and wanted to share a beauty gift box by L’Occitane perfect for your best friend, work colleague or even makes a lovely little Christmas gifts for mums. 

There are so many lovely beauty gift boxes available on the site and in-store too but my fave is definitely the Almond body products gift box including the shower oil, milk concentrate, soap and hand cream- I love the way the products when used together make my skin feel. All of the products are natural and feel so luxurious on the skin.

Its the best gift to give your favourite person the perfect excuse to pamper themselves- especially if they love the nourishing gorgeous feel of almond. Also the packaging is gorgeous too!! So no need to worry about wrapping it up.

GLOSSIER YOU

Rosie has been absolutely RAVING about this scent ever since she received a sample of it in her first Glossier order and ordered a full sized bottle immediately!! I knew even without smelling it that I would like it – Rosie’s excitement over this scent meant it was a dead cert that I would feel the same about it as we have similar taste! (I like to call this level of in-syncness a Gloss + Glow thing- happens all the time!)

Ok, so Glossier is now in the UK old news I know, but now the thrill of boy brow has finally calmed down (review to follow) and has very quickly earned its beauty cult status in record time, its only natural that we need a new kind of Glossier obsession- so with this in mind I introduce to you… GLOSSIER YOU the smell that suits everyone and the scent that everyone needs to add to their christmas wish list!

‘The Ultimate Personal Fragrance’ is the powerful tag line for this newly launched scent and is one thats hard to believe to be true- how can a fragrance be personal to everyone?! OK Molecule have already done this and it definitely worked (its all i wore for a long time) but this is a different type of smell and composition of notes and although I love wearing it for the compliments alone (ha) I can’t actually smell it very strongly on myself, whereas when I wear this one (Glossier You) I really enjoy the smell of myself haha if that even makes sense I love the occasional whiff I get and it genuinely makes me happy wearing it, and from the feedback I’ve had from James and random people who have commented on it- sounds like it makes them happy too!

How to describe GY…so this unique perfume is incredibly warm and homely yet seductive, fresh and feminine- it just works, you know? Hard to put into words in a review but easy to fall in love with on first smell. This sounds like I’m on some kind of commission to sell it (if only this were true, would be the easiest challenge) but being the fragrance obsessive I am, this very reasonably priced (and gorgeously packaged (if you know about the pink packaging you KNOW) really does stand out to me- so there you have it the glossy girls scent of choice – you will smell Rosie and I a mile off for all the right reasons.

NOTES

 *please be advised that the formula comes incomplete; You are the first ingredient*

– ambrette: comfy, warm
– ambrox: smooth, salty, animalistic
– musk: long- lasting, addictive

– iris root: earthy, green, woody
– pink pepper: spice, sparkling

Buy it here – Eau De Parfum £45 50ml

SACHAJUAN HAIRCARE – BRAND REPORT

Now this is a brand i’ve been dying to try for such a long time now! So happy I’ve finally got round to trying the products on my hit list including the Intensive Repair shampoo and conditioner and the Overnight Hair Oil. 

THE STORY

The brand started with the opening of the Sachajuan salon in Stokholm in 1997 by Sacha Mitic and Juan Rosenlind- two high profile and globally recognised hairdressers, these guys were a freaking big deal in the fashion and beauty industry bursting with creativity and knowledge which led them to opening their salon and naturally launching their haircare line…

This brand has been everywhere and is loved by some of the biggest names in the industry, so obvs I had to give it a go and see what the products are like on my own hair. 

The founders vision was to make their haircare line uncomplicated. Simple to use and understand – taking the complexity out of haircare but delivering reliable results. Everything about Sachajuan is simplistic, the packaging and branding, the website (loving the use of capital letters and easy navigation / images- my only criticism would be that the wording next to the images in the shop are slightly too small to read- maybe i just need to wear my reading glasses though!) but other than that the website is sleek and simple AF. 

The design of the bottles came from the traditional brown glass medicine bottles merged together with the white simplicity and elegancy inspired by the salon- super insta-worthy thats for sure. 

Since launching the brand has doubled its product sales each year – this is undeniably impressive, especially in an oversaturated market that is hair! 

So, my thoughts and feedback on the products….

INTENSIVE REPAIR SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

PERFECT FOR: DAMAGED, POROUS, DRY OR SUN EXPOSED HAIR 

I naturally picked the Intensive Repair Shampoo as I believe that anyone who colours their hair are exposing it to damage of some degree (even Olaplex obsessives like me) so any repair in the form of shampoo and conditioner is very much welcomed into my hair regime! 

These products are created with ocean silk technology combined with UV protectants that penetrate the follicle and stay there even after rinsing, to provide maximum protection and intensive care to damaged hair……

FEEDBACK: My hair felt properly nourished and hydrated after using the shampoo and looked noticeably shiny- also really like the smell. However, I had to rinse it a few times to make sure all of the product was out of my hair as the first time I used it I felt some residue still left in my hair making it feel a tad greasy. Glad I tried again though as this didn’t happen on my second hair wash attempt. 

OVER NIGHT HAIR REPAIR 

This over night repair treatment oil is designed to build elasticity and to strengthen your hair whilst you sleep and give you fabulous shine as a result. Interestingly it has the highest concentration of ocean silk technology of all of the Sachajuan haircare range and contains the algae’s of Rhodophycea (this penetrates and streengthens) and Chondrus Crispus (this adds moist and shine)

CONSISTENCY: Gel formula based on water, very light and watery 

FEEDBACK: Easy to use and super deceiving (i think maybe due to the watery consistency) – at first you sort of feel like it wont do anything but don’t be put off- you will wake up with amazingly silky soft and nourished hair! I’m obsessed and vow to do this at least once a week along with my monthly Olaplex in-salon treatments. 

TIP: I use this on damp hair for better results than using on dry hair! Best to sleep with this product in your hair to give it long enough to work its magic on your locks!

NOTE: No need to wash the product out in the morning, the formula doesn’t weigh the hair down so can be left in without hair looking greasy like most oils and hair repair treatments – huge bonus points for this as it encourages you to apply more frequently. 

Intensive Repair Shampoo £20

Intensive Repair Conditioner £22

Over Night Repair Oil £35

NEW! Pore Extractor Pomegrante Mask

Great things come in pink pots! This little pot of sweet smelling skin stuff smells good enough to eat- I was actually quite tempted but resisted and instead slapped it on my dreaded blackheads instead.

This mask is a great solution for those who suffer from enlarged pores and god forbidden blackheads- I don’t know many people who don’t suffer from one or the other, or both most commonly! I mean, I’m not someone who suffers from overly enlarged pores but I do most definitely suffer from blackheads on my nose and chin area and it drives me CRAZY!

This mask launch has come at a good time as I’m focusing on my wedding skin prep- no-one wants gross blackheads or visible pores on their wedding day!

Simply apply to areas on enlarged pore areas on your face and leave for 10 min and then add some warm water and gently massage to exfoliate the area- rinse off and pat dry – simple! Murad recommends doing this 2-3 times per week – I’ve applied this twice now and my skin has responded well to it and my blackhead prone areas do look slightly clearer- woo!

The mask works because the polylactic acid polishing beads lift and exfoliate dead skin cells, the volcanic clay acts almost like a magnet to help extract skin impurities and grime from deep within pores and the gorge pomegranate extracts help promote glowing skin for visibly refined pores, and cleaner, smoother skin.

As my pores aren’t overly large I can’t see a huge difference but its made a slight difference to their appearance and definitely to my blackheads so I’d buy it just for that alone! I can imagine if you have very large pores this would be a vital step in your skincare regime to introduce. I’m a huge fan of masks in general and feel that this is a great skin boosting mask anyway as my skin felt tight and glowy after using it. Also I know I said this in the beginning of this post but it literally smells unreal!!!

Murad Pore Extractor Pomegranate Mask £30

AUTUMN SMELLS- BYREDO D’AFRIQUE

I’ve been on a scent hunt for the last few months in a bid to find a perfect new smell to wear in Autumn and Winter. I always really enjoy buying a new fragrance for each new season as I like it to represent that particular time in my life. My summer scent was Guerlain Mon and I bought it at the airport on route to Italy for our wedding research trip….now whenever i smell it it literally takes me back to that amazing holiday, it was certainly a trip I’ll never forget, everything was just so perfect and lovely and the scent represents all of that- the taste of the pizza at the little restaurant we went to in Positano overlooking the insane views, the wine during our tasting at our wedding venue, the smell of the sun lotion on my skin and the sea breeze whilst we sailed around Capri…Its like I’m instantly transported to such vivid memories and experiences – I love it more than anything!

So, back to current times…Hello Autumn 2017. I wanted a scent to represent this time in my life as its a transitional time in more ways than one for me and for us as a couple. We’re in the middle of moving houses and living with a friend until the house we’re buying completes in Dec so everything about my life seems to have done a 360 almost- not in a negative way, just so different and i although I literally cannot wait to move into our little nest in time for Christmas (fingers crossed) I don’t want to forget this time either for lots of reasons. I want a fragrance to warm me up and make me feel grounded and secure, something a bit sexy and mysterious and it has to be slightly unusual…i don’t ask for much do I?! With this brief in mind my fragrance connoisseur friend Lauren (and Beauty / fragrance PR Guru) took me to Liberty to get smelling and I came away with my perfect scent….

I’ve heard (and seen) so much of Byredo that I kind of didn’t want to give into the whole Gypsy Water- insta craze- I mean I love it, it smells gorgeous and I will probably buy it at some point but there was another fragrance that really struck a cord and that I ended up going for. Its not even a best seller (Black Saffron and Gypsy Water are best sellers according to the sales advisor at Liberty) but theres something about Bal D’Afrique that I instantly fell in love with, when you know you know! This perfume is warm and romantic but intense and deep at the same time. Its inspired by Paris in the late 20’s and its infatuation with African culture, art, music and dance.

I can’t stop wearing it and I know that in seasons to come when we’re settled into our new little abode snuggled on the sofa hopefully with our new puppy Jeffery that one smell of this will take me back to this very time in my life.

NOTES

TOP: African Marigold, Bergamot, Bucchu, Lemon, Neroli

HEART: Cyclamen, Jasmine Petals, Violet 

BASE: Black Amber, Moroccan Cedarwood, Musk, V

Byredo Bal D’Afrique £142 100ml 

NEW! Rodial Banana Lowlighter

The name of this product is intriguing enough to make you want to run to the nearest Space NK and get it under your eye bags in an instant! Promising to create a ‘lit from within glow’ this sheer fluid lowlighter pen works to enhance the under eye area making the area look fresh, glowing and bright in a very natural way. Coming from a girl who suffers with puffy, dark under eyes (I’m a night owl and early riser, the two do not equal fresh faced mornings!) I honestly couldn’t wait to try this product and guess what, I was not disappointed! I really believe that when your under eyes aren’t noticeable (they’re only really noticeable when they’re dark and puffy) and look fresh and bright your entire face looks SO much better and more ‘done’ as a result. 

The coverage is light but actually the perfect amount of coverage when applying on top of, or underneath foundation to conceal and brighten the cheekbones, bridge of nose and under eye / corners of the eyes. I’ve also tried applying it very lightly underneath my brow arches to give them a subtle highlight and a little dab on my cupids bow. 

I’m a huge fan of the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Concealer for covering up blemishes and using under my eyes when they’re really dark but this Rodial Banana Lowlighter is a great option for brightening, and refreshing rather than just plain ‘hiding’ the darkness, which I think has made an improvement on my complexion as a result.

To summarise, I would invest in this product for an all-rounder concealer and highlighter as it achieves that ‘done’ radiant look without horrible shimmery pigment that so many highlighters on the market do – just a naturally beautiful glow- who doesn’t need that in their life?

£38 Buy it at Rodial.co.uk