Decléor Treats from Beauty Expert

One of the most amazing things about my job is being able to discover brands which I'd never even heard of before. Every day is a new skincare and beauty adventure, with new product releases and delving deeper in to the brands we stock to ensure we're delivering top notch content consistently throughout the online presence of the sites. If you don't know, I head up the SEO/Digital Marketing Team for the sites Beauty Expert, HQHair, Mio and Mankind - which are all such individual brands in their own rights! One site which intrigues me the most lately is Beauty Expert, as it specialises in high end brands such as Eve Lom, Jurlique, Caudalie and Decléor

Decléor is a Parisian brand, which has been around since the mid 70's! But there's certainly nothing 70's about it. The elegant packaging of the Aromessence Neroli Oil-Serum is a delicate design which looks perfect placed on night stands and dressing tables everywhere. The perfect skin treat to hydrate and soothe your complexion over night, it's taken my favourite oil formula's and made them even better by turning a traditional oil in to what seems like a more concentrated boost of excellence to your skin. 

I recently polished off my bottle of Vichy Micellar Oil  about a week ago (which is pretty rare, I hardly ever finish anything!), so the Decleor Micellar Oil is a very welcome addition to my skincare routine. After just one use it feels like my skin is equally as fresh and clean as I found it with the Vichy oil, but the Decleor oil also appears to feel like it adds a little added boost of suppleness. The scent rings true to the Decléor brand ethos, which brings an element of Aromatherapy to your at-home skincare, with a very natural yet slightly sweet scent. 

With the weather now dropping so low that we're seeing SNOW, I know I need to up my skincare game, as lately my forehead and nose have been showing signs of dryness. So much so, it's making my foundation look awful. I've no doubt that the Decléor Oil Serum will help to protect as well as hydrate my skin, but only time will tell! So far it's so good though.

You can browse more skincare and high end treats over at Beauty Expert. And don't forget, their Twitter is always on hand to help answer any skincare questions or concerns you might have! (@beautyexpertcom)

 Does Black Toothpaste Really Whiten Teeth?

The quest for white teeth has been on my agenda for many years. My teeth have always been a bit of a yellow tone, ever since I can remember really. Even as a teenager before I discovered 3 cups of coffee a day they were a slightly off shade, which always disgruntled me. I know, I'm really alluring right now aren't I?  I've tried a few things to boost the whiteness which seem to work in the short term, but what I really fall down on is maintaining the whiteness and brightness of my teeth.

Teeth Whitening Strips seem to be the best way to get that initial whiteness and up until now, I've found that the Colgate Max White One toothpaste has been the best daily one to keep the glow going. However, as soon as I stop using it, I feel like me teeth go straight back to off-white-ville pretty quickly. When the Curaprox Toothbrush and toothpaste came in to my life, I knew things would be a little different, but as you can see - this theory was all down to the black colour of the actual toothpaste. Would black toothpaste really clean my teeth? Would black toothpaste really keep them whiter for longer? 

The answer? So far, so good. I've been using Curaprox daily for around 2 weeks and it seems that this activated carbon toothpaste lives up to the claims. It's endlessly weird catching a glimpse in the mirror when your mouth is fully of greyish black foam, but as soon as you rinse, you teeth definitely appear much whiter after the first few uses. The taste is very mild, still minty and not gross, but still a definite mild mint. I do find the consistency is slightly more gritty than regular toothpaste, but this isn't anything to cause concern. You'll find the formula is quickly something you get used to and to be honest, it's not all that different than a baking soda based toothpaste in comparison texture wise. 

How does it work though? Activated Carbon (or charcoal) has been used for years to absorb impurities (this is why when you have stinky wind from your bottom, charcoal tablets from the pharmacist work so well). It absorbs odour and 'tannins'. Tannins are found in all those teeth staining foods like coffee, wine and curries apparently, and activated carbon attracts these tannins to it and that's how it whitens your teeth. It attracts the tannins and leaves the enamel. Perfect.

For £20 a tube (which does include a toothbrush) Curaprox White is Black Toothpaste is on the pricier side of the daily teeth whitening ranges, but it works. So worth a try if you're concerned about the shade of your gnashers.

It's been a very slow process of getting my house to where it is now... Which is still a bloody un-organised mess in most parts still. I've got stacks of boxes in my cubbyhole waiting to be unpacked and don't get me started on my lack of love for doing the dishes. I seem to be accumulating stuff at a much faster rate than I can sort the old stuff out and it's resulting in a very unproductive cycle of hoarding and procrastination. 

Despite the piles of belongings around me, I am taking greater pleasure than usual in the small areas of the house which I've made instagrammable, like these two snippets featuring an Orla Kiely Bird House and my new Retro Phone, both from Flamingo Gifts. When they kindly offered me some products to feature, I don't know why part of my choices consisted of things which really didn't have much use at all. My house phone has always been unplugged due to those pesky PPI calls and despite having a garden now, there's simply no way in hell this amazing bird house is going out there, I mean, look how precious it is. 

Really, I should have pushed for my back up choices of the Umbra storage. I really LOVE Umbra products and their form following function designs. I've convinced myself that THIS storage box is the new 'muji acrylic' when it comes to must-have beauty blogger organisation. Sigh. I'll scout them out for the Christmas list perhaps. But for now, I can forget about the 'what-ifs' in place of these beautiful pastel green hues. 

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Freedom Make Up Prostudio Priming Water

Freedom Make Up Prostudio Priming Water

The Freedom Make Up Prostudio Priming Water is one of the latest offerings from Freedom Make Up (which is a sister company of one of my favourite budget beauty brands Make Up Revolution), The Freedom Make Up range is a much more 'professional' product type, ranging from fancy kits, sleek brushes and products like the priming water spray.

Those with a keen eye for dupes amongst us may note that this priming water bears a striking resemblance to the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water, which retails for around £29. Freedom have developed this formula to set you back a mere £6. As this product is a little different in concept to others on the market, it's always great to find affordable dupes before you invest as you never quite know if they're going to be good or not do you?!

Although it is a primer water, I think this may give the wrong impression about what it actually does. When you use primers in your make up routine, the idea is for it to act as an 'undercoat' for your 'top coat' of foundation to stick to and last longer. The concept of the primer water is more to do with 'priming the condition' of your skin, to make sure it's hydrated and fresh to apply your make up over. You can also use sprays like this as a mist over your make up to diffuse your final look and add a soft dewy finish to your complexion - very similar to the Pixi Glow Mist or  Jurlique Rose Water Mist

I've been using this for around 2 weeks now and do really like it! Although it's not a new concept for me personally, as I've been using hydrating mists underneath and on top of my make up for a while, this sits amongst my favourites and the smell is lovely and fresh. Almost like some kind of sweets? But I can't put my finger on which ones! I think products like this are amazing for this time of year too, when the wind and wet rain can really play havock with your skin, especially when sitting in an air conditioned office all day too. 

Overall, a lovely and refreshing product for a bargain price if you're intrigued in the 'real' thing! 

At the weekend I went to the IWOOT Christmas Event at Ziferblat in Manchester, which showcased all of their exciting Christmas gifts ready to avoid the busy high street during the festive season! I can't believe how busy Manchester was on Saturday and even getting off the train I was overwhelmed by the amount of people waiting to get on. It was like the London Underground levels of people, during peak times or something. Ziferblat always seems to provide a lovely little safe haven away from the perils of Manchester shopping, and Saturday was no different, it always feels good to find somewhere to sit down and have a coffee on busy weekends in town.

I love Manchester blogger events, as they're always an excuse to meet up with some of my fave Manchester bloggers. The IWOOT event included a cute little secret Santa, where we got to choose a present for another blogger from under the tree and wrap it to pop in their goodie bags, and also Mason Jar decorating. Put me craft degree to rayt good use I did. I think DIY and crafting at blog events is the next big thing and I really hope more companies start doing it, as it's a great opportunity to get a lil' busy whilst having a chat,

Apart from the activities, there was also a lovely display of the latest Christmas Gifts from IWOOT scattered all around the room. My fave was probably the Lomography Instant Camera, but it does make me weep when I think about the price of the film for those things! I once had an instax instant camera and I ended up selling it because of the price of the film. However the Lomo version looks just as good sat dormant on your shelf, I mean, it's just so pretty. 

There's also a pretty good range of stocking fillers, which come in at the bargain price of 3 for £20, which you can see online here. Perfect for that last minute office secret Santa shopping!

Thanks for having me at your event IWOOT, here's some more pics for your viewing pleasure:

The Mustard Button Front Skirt

I've been after a A-Line Button Front Skirt for SO long. I just couldn't find any which fit my awkward hips well enough... Until now. This little number from Glamorous was purchased in the Affleck Palace branch of my favourite Manchester shop-of-kitsch, Thunderegg. I'd not been in Thunderegg for ages because every time I pop in I end up splurging needlessly. This time was no different. I casually spotted this mustard colour, cord effect, button up skirt; tried it on, parted with £24.50. 

The material is slightly stretchy, which makes it a touch more forgiving than the other, more rigid, button up skirts I've tried on. I am a bit 'aware' that the buttons are 'popper' style, much like those mint trackies you used to wear back in t'day. So I am sitting down with caution incase they decide to do a bit of a stripped move on me and reveal my pants. 

Teamed with these surprisingly good quality over the knee boots from 'Sammydress' (here) for £12 it would have been hard to complain even if they were rubbish - but they're actually really comfortable and just as good quality as my other knee high boots I got from Primark last year. Okay, maybe Primark isn't the best comparison for quality of footwear, as it can be hit and miss. But they're good quality Primark quality, you know what I mean.

Thrown on with the skirt and simple £4 top from Primark, I've got myself my new favourite outfit.

The Mustard Button Front Skirt
]The Mustard Button Front Skirt