04 February 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Alternative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas Whilst I am never going to turn my nose up at a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers, I have to admit that I love a special gift that is just a little bit different. I love knick knacks, beauty treats and I will always be a sucker for a good accessory. So, I thought I would gather together some of the things that I adore and think would make the most amazing gifts this Valentine's day. Go on, time to get hinting...

Treat You Self Print by Cat Coquillette 1. Treat Yo Self Print by Cat Coquillette £24.00
Parks and Rec forever. I adore Cat Coquillette's prints and this one never fails to make me smile. Her shop is full of gorgeous prints with quotes to make you happy and I reckon anyone would love to have one of these to keep.

Umbra Giraffe Ring Holder 2. Giraffe Ring Holder by Umbra £8.75
Because what girl doesn't love a trinket holder? The whole range of these sweet animal ring holders are too cute to believe and make the perfect little gift. They have elephants and bunnies too and I want them all!

The Workshop Ring Box
3. The Workshop Ring Box £95.00
I actually won this in a twitter competition and I am so impressed by it. Basically, it is everything you need to carve and shape your perfect ring out of wax. Then you send it back to The Workshop and they cast a solid silver or gold ring from your design. I absolutely cannot wait to recieve mine back and I can't image a better romantic guesture. They also do workshops you can attend if you prefer a little more guidance whilst you learn how to make your own ring. I am so in love with this whole company!

Lookfantastic #LFLOVES Beauty Box 4. The Lookfantastic Beauty Box #LFLOVES Edit £15.00
The best kind of present for a beauty fanatic. The February #LFBEAUTYBOX makes me smile every time I look at it, That box! The magazine! The contents! I think these make such a good present and this one is just too perfect for Valentine's day.

Jo Malone Bath Oil and Cologne 5. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Bath Oil and Blush Suede and Peony Cologne £54.00 and £42.00
Jo Malone will forever be my favourite. The Pomegranate Noir I wore on my wedding day and I just adore it. Whether it be a bath oil, a candle, or a cologne, nothing feels like more of a treat. Total luxury.

For the real big spenders out there, I really think that nothing is better than a gorgeous bag. Especially if it is a ridiculously cute mini cross body bag with gold hardware. I honestly love this bag far more than I should and I don't think I am the only one that would feel like that. Guaranteed to earn months and months of brownie points!

Will any of these going on your wishlist? Or are you a traditional card and flowers kind of person? Either way, I hope you have a wonderful galentine/valentine/me time day!

31 January 2016

BEAUTY // Evening Skincare Favourites

Evening skincare routine Following on from chatting about my morning routine, I thought I'd share my current evening routine too. I've been introduced to some amazing products over the last few months (perks of working for a beauty company) and I am absolutely loving my evening routine right now.
For a bit of background, my skin is a little difficult. It is quite sensitive and can go red and dry easily, but it is also very easily congested. So I need to have products which manage to clear up the blackheads without stripping, as well as products which nourish my skin without blocking it up. It's a balancing act, I tell you. But right now I'm in my sweet spot thanks to these babies:

evening make up removers and cleansers

The cleansers

I really like taking my make up off with oils and balms. I am lazy,and I like being able to remove my eye make up and my face make up in one go. The DHC Cleansing Oil is amazing at taking everything off. I used to use the Shu Uemura oil  so I am pretty happy to have found a (slightly) more affordable option. For days when my skin is extra dry, I love the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm*. It smells amazing and takes off every bit of make up. Both of these need to be applied to a dry face, and the Pixi Balm needs to be wiped off with a muslin cloth whilst the DHC Oil emulsifies with warm water.

After taking off my make up, I give my skin a proper cleanse. This has been made SO much better thanks to my FOREO Luna. Seriously, this is amazing. Normal cleansing brushes feel a bit icky to me, like they never clean out properly, but this is really hygienic and rinses totally clean every time. It is also way less harsh than the normal cleansing brushes but leaves my skin so clean. I'm currently trying out a few cleansers, but the Balance Me  Pure Skin Face Wash and the Avene Cleansing Foam are on rotation right now.

The final cleansing step is my absolute favourite: the Pixi Glow Tonic*. Total cult product and I was ridiculously happy to hear they were stocking it on HQ Hair. It really does feel as amazing as everyone says. My skin really doesn't react well to alcohol toners so this is a godsend and I want to use it forever, thank you please. Gimme the glow.

Evening skincare treatments

The treatments

The evening is when I tend to apply most of my more targeted skincare. I have already mentioned my love for the NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum*, and I use that morning and evening before anything else.

For treating any blackheads or skin problems, I have been using the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ at least a year and I actually can't do without it. I am trying out the Avene Cleanance Expert as a comparison right now and the Avene feels a little richer on the skin although it is meant to target blackheads and blemishes in a similar way to the Effaclar so I am intrigued to see how that goes. I'll have to let you know whether it can ever replace my favourite.

Finally, because I am getting over the hill, I have started using to anti-ageing night care. The NIOD Serum is designed to help longterm and the Vichy Skin Sleep gives some immediately visible effects. I definitely notice my skin looking fresher and plumper in the morning. Slather a layer on and I can pretend those early wake ups and busy days aren't taking their toll! 

What do you think of my evening skincare favourites? Any of your favourites in there?

29 January 2016

BEAUTY // My Morning Routine with Beauty Expert

Beauty Expert #BEMeTime January is always a good time to kick start some good habits and this year I received a little helping hand from Beauty Expert. They sent me a lovely bundle of beauty goodies and Mornflake breakfast cereals at the start of the month as part of their #BEMeTime. Everything was perfect for boosting my morning routine and making the start of the day that little bit easier. So now that I have settled into the swing of things, I thought I would share my morning routine.

Breakfast and Beauty Morning Skincare Routine with NIOD When it comes to my skincare, I like to keep my routine pretty similar. At the moment my skin is pretty happy- it is fairly clear and I have kept any pesky dry patches at bay all winter, so these products have been working really well for me over January

To cleanse and freshen my face in the morning, I use the Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Cleanser, before applying the NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum. I am totally obsessed with the NIOD Serum- if you follow my snapchat (@lauracandc) you might have spotted me mixing it because it arrives in a box like a little chemistry set! But as well as the novelty, it actually feels great on the skin and I have been happily using it every morning and evening since it arrived.
Finally, I apply the Decleor Aromessence Neroli oil and pat it a few drops into the skin. My main tips with using oils is to let them have a little time to sink in before you start your make up.

I wake up pretty early because I need to head out for work at about 7.30. I used to end up running out the door with toast in hand so I've been loving better breakfasts recently. I feel like my mum for saying it, but a good breakfast really does start the day off right. A bowl of porridge or granola has been a nice change. I also love taking in a little tub to work for a mid morning snack on those busy days too.

All in all, January has started pretty well with these tweaks to my morning routine! Now I just need to become super organised and become one of those people that sets out their breakfast the night before... Also, if you fancy wnning your own bundle of goodies, then enter the competition over on the Beauty Expert twitter! Then you can become obsessed with NIOD too!