For Strange Women Natural Perfume Oil & Solid Perfume Samples
Scent is something that I’ve been growing more and more obsessed with lately, from perfumes to candles and aromatherapy room fragrances. I’ve gone from having one real signature scent to a whole collection that I can choose from depending on my mood. As I’ve been growing my collection I also started to seek out more independents in these areas, and there are so many wonderful ones out there. I think especially with something as personal as this it’s nice to have something more unique and special, that you’ll find far less people wearing.
For Strange Women has been on my radar for a little while now, I’d been meaning to order some samples to test out for the longest time but the problem was every single one sounded so good that I just couldn’t decide which to choose! I eventually emailed creator Jill asking for her advice to help my indecisive mind. I told her the types of scents I love (gourmand, woody florals, spicy, warm and unisex) and those I dislike (overly citrusy or clean), and asked her if she could choose me a selection she thought I’d like. She was so helpful and got it absolutely spot on too, I loved them all and each one is gorgeous in its own right. All of For Strange Women’s perfumes are also handmade made from only natural ingredients, using the finest quality botanical essences, they are ethically sourced and cruelty free too.
The thing I love most about these perfumes is that they are so much more than just a fragrance. As I opened each one up they evoked memories of seaside walks, crunching through leaves in damp autumn forests and winters by the fire. Scent is such a powerful tool for unlocking past memories and with many of these I felt transported, as if I was right back there at an oddly specific point in my past for a brief instant. The sounds, the sights and the conversations had, like I could almost taste the piping hot tea I was sipping back then and feel the salty sea wind and raindrops on my skin.
I wanted to test each of these out a few times to really see which ones I enjoyed most. As with good perfumes, each melds with your own body chemistry and so evolves into a fragrance that is truly unique to you as you wear it. My initial favourites were Coyote, Fossil and Astral Projection (I’ve been using this one to help me fall asleep as it’s so incredibly relaxing and it seems to give me highly vivid dreams too) but as I’ve worn each, Winter Kitty and November In The Temperate Deciduous Forest have become firm favourites too. Jill does a wonderful job of describing the scent of each, much better than I ever could, so check them out if you’re curious. Now I just need to decide which of those to buy first.
Laboratory Perfumes ‘Tonka’ Limited Edition EDT via Tessuti *
I’ve become really fond of unisex scents recently, there’s just something a little more intriguing and unusual about them. They’re the ones that have people stopping me in the street asking to know what I’m wearing and the wonderful mixes of masculine and feminine notes are definitely something which appeals and I feel fits me quite well.
Laboratory Perfumes craft unique, unisex fragrances, scientifically formulated to react to the wearer and evolve over the day. Inspired by the flora of the British coasts and countryside these fragrances aim to conjure up a strong sense of place, whilst acknowledging traditional perfumery techniques, echoed in their glass bottles etched with measures recalling the origins of the traditional perfumier’s laboratory.
Tonka is their first scent which draws it’s inspirations from a little further afield – pink peppercorns, mandarin, woodland aromatics and tonka bean are blended together creating a distinctive and exotic fragrance. It’s a beautiful scent, complexly layered, clean and elegant at first, with a hint of spice and becoming warmer, richer and more earthy. Most fragrances do smell slightly differently on different people, thanks to everyones unique body chemistry, but I wanted to test out the claims of reacting to the wearer so I asked my family to test it out too. On me I noticed the citrus notes most clearly, it smelt fresh and a little peppery, on my Mum it smelled similar but with a stronger floral hit, but on my Dad it smelled much spicier, with more depth and warmth and I think it actually suited him the best. Tonka is limited to a 1000 bottles, each hand numbered, thankfully it’s a very generous size but I shall still be using it sparingly to make sure it lasts me a good while yet.
Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base Swatch / Kisses Sheer Lipstick in Nude Beige and First Kiss Lipgloss in Soft Peach Swatches
Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base ‘No. 01 Nude Radiance’ / Fresh Glow B.B. Cream ‘No. 02 Medium’ / First Kiss Lip Gloss Balm ‘No. 01 Soft Peach’ /
Kisses Sheer Lipstick ‘No. 201 Nude Beige’ / Effortless Kohl Eyeliner ‘No. 02 Chestnut Brown’
A few weeks ago I was feeling completely run down, all curled up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself when this little package of goodies dropped through my letterbox and instantly brightened my day. I had never tried any of the Burberry beauty products until now, as I don’t have any stockists near me and I actually had no idea that they had such a large range of products either. I’ve discovered a few new favourites, and now I’ve seen the beautiful quality (and packaging!) I have a list of others I’m dying to try out next time I’m near a counter too.
The standout amongst these for me is the Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base. I’m a little obsessed with primers and especially ones that promise to give skin a radiant glow, as pale skin can often look dull and grey, and this has quickly replaced my old staple one as my new favourite. It gives an absolutely beautiful healthy golden sheen to the skin and the water based formula is instantly hydrating too, making skin look glowy, plump and well rested. It’s a subtle effect though, it’s not obvious or shimmery on the skin when blended out like some of these types of primers can be, it’s barely detectable but it gives this very soft, lit from within kind of look that makes people want to tell you that you ‘look well today’. I’ve become more drawn to a light, natural looking base lately and this is one of those products that is perfect for faking naturally great skin, especially when paired with a dewy BB cream like this Fresh Glow one which gives just the right amount of coverage to blend in minor imperfections and even skin tone for that no-makeup, my skin but better look. It’s a good multitasker too, I have been using this under makeup as a primer as well as dabbing lightly over makeup as a highlighter on cheekbones, brow bones and nose for extra glow.
Another close favourite is the Kisses Sheer Lipstick in Nude Beige. I’m not a big lipstick wearer normally, I tend to save it more for special occasions but I have really fallen in love with this fuss free formula for everyday wear. It’s a sheer, balmy lipstick that feels incredibly moisturising when applied and it’s just the most perfect peachy nude too, like a more flawless version of my natural lips. I’ve been enjoying layering it under the First Kiss Lip Gloss, which has a very slight tint (you can barely see it in the swatch above), when I want to feel a little more polished during the day.
Emma Brown Hair / Clarendon Park Road, Leicester
Last week I paid a visit to the lovely Emma at Emma Brown Hair for a long overdue tidy up of my hair. I am notoriously bad at keeping up with getting my hair cut, because it’s long, wavy and I wear it kinda scruffy, I never notice it needs cutting until it’s super overgrown and then I always feel a bit guilty admitting it’s been probably 6 months or more since it was last cut! Emma was lovely about it though and instantly knew how to freshen it up and give it a new lease of life.
The salon is situated on Clarendon Park Road, an area I don’t often find myself venturing over to but it has such a nice selection of shops and a real community spirit, perfect for a wander down if you’re in the area. Emma was telling me she actually grew up here, lots of her family are still nearby and she had always known this is where she’d want her salon. It’s the perfect place for it and the striking grey front really stands out amongst the other businesses. Stepping inside, the salon is beautifully decorated, it feels modern but relaxed and I loved the bright pink and purple accents. It is also one of only a few salons in the city that stocks the wonderful range of products from Aussie brand KEVIN.MURPHY, who take a skincare approach to haircare using the highest quality natural, organic ingredients to weightlessly deliver performance, strength and longevity. They are also all sulphate free, paraben free and cruelty free too. I have become a bit addicted to their ANGEL.WASH & ANGEL.RINSE since trying them out, it leaves my hair feeling so beautifully soft and nourished.
After talking, Emma decided to cut a good few inches off my hair to tidy it up and add in some really blended shorter layers to give it a bit more shape and body to stop it from looking so weighed down. My hair is actually wavy, but with how long it had grown if I left it to dry naturally it was virtually straight from the weight, now with the shorter layers it dries much beachier looking if I just leave it, which I love. As far as I’m concerned, the less time I have to spend styling it the better, so that’s a big plus! It also feels much healthier and in great shape too, which you’ll see when I get some outfit photos up soon. I’d definitely recommend booking an appointment if you’re in the area, your hair will be in great hands with Emma.
Lush Cup O’ Coffee Exfoliating Face & Body Mask / Lush Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub
As I mentioned in my post from the Lush Summer Sneak Peek evening earlier this week, I discovered a few new favourites to add to my skincare collection thanks to recommendations from the Lush girls & the generous selection of products in our goodie bags for us to try too. I don’t post an awful lot of beauty reviews here, but when I come across products I truly love & that do exactly what they claim like these, I do like to shout about them and share them with you guys.
I’m a bit of a face mask addict (and also a coffee one too!) so as soon as Becca introduced me to their new Cup O’ Coffee mask & the intoxicating coffee scent hit me, I knew I had to try it out. Clay masks are my favourite kind for my combination skin, and this one is packed with kaolin but also agave syrup and oils for added moisturising, so it’s not drying on my less oily areas like some masks can be. It’s pleasantly thick and the strong scent really lingers whilst it’s on, it’s enough alone to give you a wake up kick in the morning! After applying to skin and leaving for 5-10 minutes, you wet your hands and gently scrub before rinsing. The coffee grounds are quite a strong exfoliator, perfect if you like a real good scrub, but I already use AHA’s at night so I just gave it a light massage. Afterwards my skin was noticeably perkier, brighter and incredibly soft too. I guess caffeine is as good at waking up my skin as it is my brain! This comes in two sizes, I went with the smaller one to test it first, but with such instant results it has already become part of my weekly skincare routine and I will absolutely be going back for the full sized one soon so I can try it out on my body too.
The Ocean Salt Scrub I’ve been using mainly as a body scrub as it’s a little too gritty for me to want to use on my face along with my other exfoliators. A combination of sea salt, grapefruit, fresh limes steeped in vodka plus avocado butter, coconut oil and seaweed to condition and soften. This has been a real treat to use on dry areas like my shins, knees and elbows, leaving them soft and free of scaly, dry skin. I love the citrus scent of this in the mornings too, it’s fresh and invigorating and perfect for helping me to wake up on early mornings.