Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Active Honey Co. - healing honey in a tube!

Now here's a little tube that packs a potent punch ... The Active Honey Co. Antiseptic Honey 20+. It's a 100 per cent natural healing honey which gets to work on a range of everyday skin problems, from spots and pimples, rashes and eczema to minor burns, sunburn, cuts and grazes. Definitely one for the holiday first aid bag!

I think most of us beauty buffs have heard of Manuka honey before and its antiseptic properties, but research shows this honey (gathered from hives in the forests of southern Chile) outperforms Manuka honey in its curative powers. 

I've often wondered how honey works on healing. Apparently it has a natural drawing action on the skin to remove moisture from wounds which makes it difficult for microbes to survive and inhibits the growth of bacteria.

This honey also releases its powers over a sustained period, so skin is receiving its antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic powers long after its applied. Good to know if you're applying to a stubborn spot before bedtime as you can relax safe in the knowledge it'll keep on fighting the problem during the night!

So what did I think? To begin with, having read that it can be used to 'moisturse and nourish dry skin,' I slathered it on to my dry and sun-parched lower legs, only to find it a bit sticky ... it reminded me of the sugaring paste you can get for sugaring your legs! So I abandoned that idea and used it instead, (probably more as the manufacturers intended) on a smaller area of stubborn spots on my cheek area.

Three weeks in, I'm really impressed. It's gentle and soothing on the skin yet still gets deep down to the root of the problem to draw out and dry out the spots. The honey didn't dry my skin out at all whereas a traditional spot cream containing Benzoyl peroxide probably would. The area is calmer and clearer and I noticed it took the redness down instantly which is a huge plus. Personally, I don't think it's a product you can wear under make-up (it's a bit too sticky!) but it's brilliant as part of a nightly skin care routine and gives us natural product lovers a refreshing alternative to tea tree oil!

The Active Honey Co. Antiseptic Honey 20+ is available from Boots, Morrisons and pharmacies and independent health food stores nationwide, priced £7 for 30g. Or buy online at

Friday, 22 July 2011

A tropical treasure - Connock London's Kukui Oil Comforting Body Wash

When I say 'tropical treasure,' I don't mean sickly-sweet coconut, pineapples and dancing hula hula girls! Quite the opposite. The understated yet expensive-smelling fragrance of Connock London's Kukui Oil Comforting Body Wash transported me to an exclusive Hawaiian spa retreat, where luxury reigns and skilled therapists work their magic under the shade of the palm trees. It's the kind of product I could imagine using post-massage in a secluded lava shower, surrounded by tropical island blossoms at an elegant island hideway.

As a child, founder of Connock London, Amanda Connock, says it was her father - a supplier of speciality ingredients to perfumers and the cosmetics industry - who first ignited her passion for the beauty industry. When she wasn't making her own perfumes from rose and cherry blossoms in the garden, she'd be blending scents in her father's office and listening to his stories of the exotic ingredients he'd unearthed in far flung corners of the world. It's this life-long passion which I believe really shines through to make this range truly special.

Kukui oil has been used by Hawaiians for centuries and traditionally newborn babies were bathed in the oil to protect them from sun, wind and harsh salt water. The body wash (a lovely moisture-rich gel in a pump-action dispenser) left my skin feeling extraordinarily silky soft, thanks to the papaya extract which really did dissolve dead skin cells. It was really soothing on my sensitive skin too, aided by the addition of the Aloe Vera, and Vitamin E.

The delicious scent lingers on the skin for hours afterwards, and I found the Body Wash made either a refreshing shower or a relaxing exotic soak at the end of a busy day. For a truly indulgent bath time, there's also an exquisite body oil in a beautiful glass decanter which turns the bath water milky soft, as well as a nourishing body lotion, creamy soaps, an exotically-scented candle and a multi-tasking Wonder Balm. 

A stunningly well thought out range which delivers on style, efficacy and quality of ingredients. Highly recommended.

Connock London Kukui Oil Comforting Body Wash, £22.50 for 300ml. Prices range from £18.50 for the Wonder Balm to £42.90 for the Soothing Bath Oil.

Visit to purchase or to find out more.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Kings & Queens Body Butter - Sultan of Granada Lemon Flower

I'll admit it was the description that first drew me to this seriously indulgent Kings and Queens Body Butter! 

I quote: 'During the long lasting dynasty of the Nasrid Sultans, the Spanish city of Granada was famous, among others, for its magnificent gardens. Every spring and summer, the blooming lemon trees sent over walls and into the palaces, the smell of Paradise.'

So, it is with this romantic vision in mind that this huge chunky tube of delights has been my body moisturising product of choice for a few months now, it's absolutely divine! It's thick and creamy and delicately scented with a soft flowery almost powdery lemon smell (rather than the usual uplifting zingy fresh lemon scent), so it doesn't over power any other fragrances you're wearing.

All the products in the Kings & Queens range have ingredients fit for a, err, King/Queen, such as pomegranate (notice how the top of a pomegranate is shaped rather regally like a crown!), Blue Egyptian Lotus and Malachite extracts. All are free from mineral oils and parabens too.

I've found it particularly good when lavished onto dry feet before bed (with socks over the top), and I also like applying a thick layer under washing up gloves and then letting the heat of the water melt the thick nourshing cream into the skin while I'm washing up.

There are also shower gels, body milks, soaps and deodorants in the range, all exquistely packaged and very attractively priced. All of which adds up to a big thumbs up from me!

Kings and Queens Body Butter Sultan of Granada Lemon Flower, £8, and an array of other products from the range, are available from

NEW Define & Line Liquid Eyeliner by Miners!

I'm not the world's best with a liquid eyeliner, in fact I'm a bit of a cack-handed novice, but these brand new dinky Define & Line Liquid Eyeliners from Miners make the task so much easier!


I started off with the brown, less dramatic than black and therefore more forgiving if I made a mistake! I loved the nib, it's so precise, and once the product's on, that's it, it didn't budge or smudge until I removed it with eye make-up remover. There's a cute blue shade too which is also easy to apply and looks great right next to the upper lash line.

I'll be using mine with my Miners Dip & Define eye shadows and maybe by Christmas, if I keep practising with the black, I'll be sporting that much-dreamed of, never yet achieved, classic feline flick at all the festive bashes!

Miners Define & Line Liquid Eyeliners cost £2.99 each and are available from or leading pharmacies.

Got bed head? Get a SilkPerfect luxury silk pillowcase ... and wake up looking younger too!

A top hairdresser once told me the secret to waking up with silky smooth locks without a trace of bed head was to wrap my pillow in a silk scarf and go to sleep on that. It's a tip I've been meaning to try but never have, until now!
In fact, I've discovered something better than a silk scarf (which would probably slip off the bed and end up on the floor!) it's a silk pillow by Silk Perfect, a 100% pure silk luxury pillowcase that I can't help but notice the beauty experts are raving about.

But it's not just hair the pillowcase helps with, I was shocked to read that after sun damage, one of the biggest causes of skin ageing comes from sleeping on traditional cotton, linen or polyester pillowcases! Apparently such materials wick moisture away from our skin, leaving us with drier skin prone to ageing. Shockingly, the rougher surface of fabrics like cotton and linen can apparently contribute to the formation of lines and wrinkles!

So even if we're slathering on quality skincare products before bed, if our pillow is sub-standard, we're simply unravelling all of our hard work. Switch to silk and skin retains moisture and the softer nature of the fibres are kinder to the skin. Sleeping on silk is also said to be beneficial to asthma sufferers as the naturally hypoallergenic material makes the pillow slips repellent to the housemites that often live in bedding.

So what did I think of it? Well with my hair freshly-washed, blow dried and straightened on Sunday night in preparation for an early Monday morning drive to work, I went to bed in anticipation of waking up looking pretty much the same. And I wasn't disappointed. It still looked smooth, unruffled, sleek and ready to go.

They wash perfectly in the washing machine too. I put mine in on a 30 degree wash with the rest of my white bedding and hung it out to dry. No need to handwash, unless you particularly want to!

The jury is still out for me on the anti-ageing properties of sleeping on silk, but I'm happy to keep laying my head in complete luxury to keep working on it!

SilkPerfect pillowcases start at £22 (look out for the buy one get one free offers!) and are available from

Laid Bare - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow!

Here's an interesting eco-chic brand with multi-tasking products that all come in at under a tenner. I've been testing out the Laidbare Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! hair minimising moisturiser over the past month, £6.99.

For me, this refreshing gel came into its own after hair removal as it cools the skin after both waxing and shaving magnificently without causing irritation. It's a really effective anti-inflammatory too and brings down any redness, lumps and bumps. The consistency is quite runny which adds to the refreshing feel on the skin but I'm not sure I'd use it for its moisturising properties alone.

If you are going to use it after hair removal, always do a patch test first to avoid any skin sensitivity.

So what's in it? Well it's enriched with liquorice extract, caffeine and horse chestnut seed extract, a combination of natural active ingredients which is said to slow down hair growth by inhibiting hair cells. 

Has is worked? Well I've been slathering it on for a month now to give it a fair test and even though it is early days, I'd say I think I can see a slight reduction in hair growth. I'd say it's well worth buying as an effective post-hair removal gel alone, or if you suffer from ingrowing hairs, then if you do get the added benefit of less hair too, it's happy days!

Laidbare Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! is available from and on the high street at Holland and Barrett, RRP £6.99.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Lavera Natural Liquid Foundation - my new go-to foundation!

I so wish I'd discovered the gorgeous mineral Natural Liquid Foundation by Lavera ten years ago for my wedding day! It gives skin that fresh, dewy radiance that every bride dreams of. It's not too matte or too shiny, and looks sheer and subtle yet miraculously blends away blemishes. Just genius.

This perfect foundation is another find which was recommended by my favourite make-up artist Lisa Eldridge on her blog. It's a mineral make-up which contains only 100% natural ingredients. It's packed with delicious organic oils, such as argan oil and organic blossom butter and enriched with vitamins A, C and E to keep skin healthy and nourished. In short, it's just a total delight to use!

I've found you have to be pretty quick to blend it on to the skin but once it's on it looks totally even and flawless. It's not often I find a foundation that I know I'll try again (nine times out of ten I'm really disappointed!) but this is one I'll definitely buy. I also like using it with a dusting of Bare Minerals foundation over the top, but Lavera also does a Fine Loose Mineral Powder which I am confident would also give a beautiful finish.

I'm really excited by the pure and natural Lavera range which spans everything from skin and body care to hair care and sun protection, plus a range for men and also for babies.

Lavera Natural Liquid Foundation, 30ml, is available in four shades: No 1 Porcelain; No 2 Ivory; No 3 Honey and No 4 Almond, and costs a very reasonable £11.90.

For more information visit: