Coffee Skincare | botanicES Caffeine Skincare Review

I love coffee. I love the taste of it, I love a caffeine buzz, I love the smell – basically a warm flat white in a takeout cup is like a giant hug for me. So when I received a package from botanicES Natural Caffeine Skincare range, I was so excited I bounded to my Nespresso machine and popped a Kazaar in like a boss.

Anyway, what I received was three 15ml bottles, one face cream, one eye cream and one body cream. They have pumpy lids which I LOVE, as my last eye cream was a tiny pot from benefit and I spent 90% of the time I used it scraping excess cream out of my baby finger nail. So yeah I eventually concluded I’d rather have wrinkles.

But the botanicES eye cream was super easy to apply, and was really light and not at all ‘claggy’. I’m actually really keen to use eye creams regularly as looking after your skin from a young age is totes important, and ya know I’m staring down the barrel of 25 in one month’s time, so I really need to up my game.

I’ve had pretty good skin all my life, so I can’t comment on how the creams react to problem skin, but if anything mines a little dry, and it definitely helped give me a more hydrated, plump look. When I asked my boyfriend if I looked younger he said ‘yeah you looked like 19 the other day’. So you know, there’s a credential if ever you’ve heard one.

After applying the face cream and eye cream morning and night, and the body cream to my legs because, ya know, chlorine legs ain’t cute, my skin defo feels softer, and maybe this is weird but it feels like my foundation sits better and has better staying power. botanicES has given me a great even base to build on, without overpowering skin that’s genuinely just ‘normal’.

PLUS, the small bottles still last ages, and they’re perfect for traveling.

Only downside, they didn’t smell like coffee as I expected, but they do have a light, non-synethetic smell which probably comes from the olive and coconut oils in the base. It’s really nice to see coffee skincare in a form other than a scrub. I love love love coffee scrubs, yes you Frank, and you Lush Cup o’ Coffee, but these serum like skincare babes are the perfect addition to my collection.

Off to fire up the ol’ aeroccino for a foamy Voluto.

Ciao xx

Thank you botanicES for the products and Shopping Links for the collab. 

botanicES Eye Creme

TOMB BRAIDER

Like the Lara Croft pun? Thought you might. To clarify, today I’m waffling on about BRAIDS! You remember, they frequented your dreams when you were counting down the sleeps until your holiday to Costa del Sol in the 90s, and were all you wanted for from your parents for the entire week (or ten days if you were an utterly posh and loaded middle class fuck).

You’d tire over deciding what colours would most impress your fellow year four groovy chicks, and which would most complement your Tammy Girl dress for the Valentines disco (where you were so totally going to dance to Titanic with your ‘crush’. – which obviously meant standing on the opposite side of the room to all the boys for the entire duration of the disco until your friends mum picked you up at the scandalous hour of 8.15pm).

You MIGHT have even been lucky enough to own one of these BAD BOYS:

Babyliss CrazyBraid

YES FOLKS THATS THE BABYLISS CRAZYBRAID – which didn’t produce the results quite as promised but you could usually manage to rustle up a half arsed plait with a few beads on the end to match your stick on earrings and body glitter, so all’s cool. Usually I’d link you to a purchase site, but unsurprisingly Amazon have dubbed it ‘currently unavailable’, which loosely translates as ‘caught up in a timewarp waiting for the world to be ready again’.

Anyway, if you’re nodding your head and snorting laughter at any of this (who am I kidding, I’m not THAT funny), you’ll be over the moon to hear that BRAIDS ARE BACK. Yes that’s right. Tommy Hilfiger is bringing sassy back with the hair braid – which is ironic really as Tommy Girl was likely the fragrance that you would spray on to complete your ‘stick-on-earringed-body-glittered-sass-pot’ look (if it wasn’t of course Glow by J-Lo, though that was mostly because of the totes gorge and classy necklace that came free).

At New York Fashion Week this week, Tommy Hilfiger hit the runway with its SS 2016 collection, rife with Caribbean colours and elaborate bikinis. But wait, wait, WHAT IS THAT WE SEE. Yes that’s right, hair braids. BRAIDS. THE MODELS ARE WEARING BRAIDS IN THEIR HAIR.

Tommy Hilfiger SS16 Braids. Credit Grazia UK

Image credit @GraziaUK on Instagram.

Life complete. The accessories have properly come full circle, what with flares and platforms being fully acceptable. By this logic, it’s basically 100% fine to wear that ever gorge skirt-over-trousers combo. Just sayin’, it’s sure worth a try.

Anyway, given Tommy boy’s permish, I’m off to find any random lady on the street with all colours of thread from god-knows-where and pay a moderately reasonable fee her to pull my hair – what has to be an unhealthy amount – and wrap as many colours round it as possible.

I’m pretty sure that BRAIDS is all you really need to know about the SS16 collection, but if for any reason you’re keen to see the rest of the show, head to Hollywood Life (as they have an awesome 43 image strong gallery of the all the looks).

Love always,

Coco xxx

The BEST Mascara I’ve Ever Had – Topshop DOE EYED LASHES

Hi all. Big news in the world of Coco. I recently gave up my eyelash extensions. *cry* After eighteen months of waking up and not applying any eye makeup, of having random strangers ask me how I got my lashes so perfect, of managing to avoid the dead eyes look on a hangover, I had to accept the harsh reality that it was also eighteen months of bleeding my bank account dry over a simple beauty non necessity. Something had to give, and sadly, it was the lashes. I let them all fall out, and began my hunt for a mascara to fill the void. My faith in mascaras is generally pretty low, but it seems after eighteen months away, things have actually improved!

I have always really liked Topshop’s makeup range, and find it is actually miles ahead of some premium brands in the beauty aisle, considering its a brand extension of a fashion retailer, and the prices are pretty reasonable. I had their original mascara, back in the day, but since then they’ve released a few. I really feel like I’ve missed some serious developments in my time away in lash land! I went for the DOE Eyed Lashes mascara, purely based on my usual investigation of how appealing the brushes look in the testers. It was £10, so a real bargain, and its really fantastic. I’m so glad that the first one I tried was perfect, and really works with my lashes. I always find that my lashes really struggle to stay curled up and voluminous all day. They can look great as I leave the house, but two hours later they’re flat and straight, and it looks like I’m barely wearing any at all. But two coats of this mascara holds me for several hours. Sometimes I touch up in the afternoon, but its not always necessary. It doesn’t smudge, but still comes off with wipes really easily. Overall, a 10/10 from me! I would definitely recommend it!

Here’s some photos of how well it worked for me. Give it a try for yourself!

First thing in the morning after two coats:

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At the end of a busy day:

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Homemade Hair Mask!

So, while I adore summer and have, in recent years, gone from ms slim shady (a shade fanatic) to a complete sun worshipper, my pet hate is the condition the sun leaves my hair in!!! This week, we popped down to my hometown in Bournemouth for some time on the beach and to visit my parents (yes, a meet the parents visit for poor boyfriend. Luckily my ex-cop father was too busy to meet. I definitely felt him breathe a sigh of relief at the news!). Anyway, upon returning to the big smoke, my hair positively resembled the cuisine of a fine donkey. Yes. Hay. Wirey HAY. The birds nest on my head carried more salt than my local chip shop, and my sand laden strands made me look like I had somersaulted through the Sahara. This, combined with a week in Lanzarote where while avoiding the sand attack thanks to the lack of beaches, I didn’t use conditioner on my hair at all, had left me in a knotty mess. I thought about dashing to Boots and buying a hair mask for some deep conditioning, but I find they rarely do more than my normal conditioner, so I turned my investigations to natural hair masks made from things I probably had in the cupboard at home.

After some google searches and a fridge and back-of-cupboard audit, I chose an amalgamation of honey, egg yolk, olive oil and avocado, which was great timing as I had half left from my lunch and was quite frankly panicking about what to do with the other half as I was on the clock before the inevitable browning commenced. So, as they say, two birds.

The ingredients apparently serve these functions, as far as my investigations have lead me:

Eggs – Use the yolk for dry hair, and the whites for oily hair, or the entire egg for normal or combination hair. I used the yolk for my haystack.

Honey – Honey is a natural humectant, so it traps and locks moisture, so its a great lift for sun damaged hair.

Avocado – The oils in avocado resemble the natural oils in our skin and scalp much more than any chemical packed product you’ll find in the store. Its perfect for taming and smoothing hair. I will tell you though, it is a real challenge to get out of your hair if there are ANY lumps in your mixture. Mine was quite lumpy, and I was picking the lumps out in the shower during my rinse. For the least hassle at rinsing, try and smooth the avocado as much as possible, into a paste.

Olive Oil – As you probably guessed, this one moisturises your hair and scalp a treat, though go easy if you have an oily scalp already.

Its as easy as that! Some mixtures I looked at used specific quantities, but I opted for a ‘squeeze of this and dollop of that’ method, and it worked fine! A splash of oil, a squeeze of honey, half an avocado, and one egg yolk. Mix everything into a bowl, smooth together, and apply to your hair right from root to end, and massage into the scalp, and leave for around 15 minutes, or as long as you can, and rinse. Its best to rinse with lukewarm or cold water, especially if you’ve used eggs, as the heat in hot water will cause them to cook, and you’ll have scrambled eggs forming in your hair. While it sounds hilarious, I can’t imagine its funny if it happens to you!

My hair felt instantly softer as I was rinsing, its been seriously tamed down and is much more manageable. I’m going to try and do one of these once a fortnight to keep it moisturised during the heatwave!

Have a good week ahead!

Ciao

Coco xx

Abs-olutely Fabulous! 30 Day Abs Challenge!

Happy Wednesday, blogosphere. Its an overcast day in London and I’m having a mini panic attack that the British Summer has actually been and gone already. But, with the weather, I am ever the optimist. It will be back!

Anyway, on Monday I stumbled across a little event page on Facebook called 30 Day Abs Challenge. Some of you may remember the 30 Day Squat Challenge that went viral a couple of years ago, but I’m not too ashamed to admit that after day 4, I struggled to sit down on my desk chair without wincing in pain, so, I gave up, and concluded I would continue exercising my leg muscles by running down the four flights of stairs in my building to greet the pizza guy. Or China man….or any other food bearing guest, for that matter. To anyone who succeeded, I salute you. The Abs Challenge works in a similar way, by starting very very small, to the point that even I can just about muster the energy to get through the first few days, but gradually builds up, so that by the end you are in triple figures of each of the exercises.

The Facebook event is set to start on June 1st, so we can all do it together, and be bikini ready by July, but I have started a tiny bit early, as the bf gets back in to London on July 1st, so I hardly want to be bed-ridden with muscle aches, being put to shame by a 90 year old’s fitness level as I crawl around my flat. Starting now will give me a few days to recover! That is, if I actually make it to the end, and without being negative, if the Squat Challenge is anything to go by, I’ll be sprawled out on the sofa eating a cheeseburger before week 1 is out. But, its worth a shot. And I want you all to do it with me!

Here’s how it works:

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I’ll be posting regular updates on how I’m coping! Day 1 was yesterday, and it was fine, but I am not being naiive. I’m anticipating suicidal thoughts will commence around day 7, when the plank reaches 30 seconds. It will be interesting to see how gradually increasing the targets helps you improve though. My plank currently resembles an elephant trying to sit down. You know, that bit before they collapse in a heap, when they’re sort of teetering on the edge of sitting/standing… that part, thats me!

I’m commencing day 2’s exercises shortly…wish me luck!

Coco xx

 

That Weirdo With Five Colours In Her Hair

Oh hey! Hope everyone has survived the random storm that hit the UK earlier this afternoon! In classic British style we have gone from waking up in muggy, greenhouse-like conditions, to welcoming a thick black cloud of doom, which soon erupted in some of the most violent thunder, lightening and hailstones I have seen in quite some time. Now, like I said, we did this in our classic British way, so you can imagine what the weather is doing now two hours later? Yep, you got it. Glorious sunshine. What are you gonna do! Its a nightmare for fashion, this weather, I tell you. I left for work yesterday at 4pm, in a tshirt, jeans and runners. After a gruelling 7 hours I emerged just before midnight to be greeted by what first appeared to be the Grand Canyon. But it was in fact, Oxford Street after a rain storm. Considering my options on how to get home, canoe being a legitimate contender, I opted to paddle to the tube, my white tshirt now soaked through, and I looked like I belonged on Daytona Beach partaking in the yank tradition of “Spring Break woohoo”. Anyway, the point of that was just a weather moan. Its so temperamental this time of year!

But hey, enough of that. We have certainly had a very decent chunk of sun so far this year, so I really shouldn’t be complaining. It has prompted the high street to stack its shelves high with floral headbands and adorable accessories. I went into Topshop yesterday (though I had my head firmly in a no-spending mood, as my finances are still dealing with the post-Australia hangover), and came across their range of amazing flower garlands. You know the ones, that sort of sit on your head so you have to not move too much when wearing one. I tried one on, with a very sheepish look on my face as I felt I was being judged by onlookers (I have a confidence complex with things like that. I don’t dare to be daring all that often!), but I actually fell in love with it! Now, i’m not saying they’re ideal for every day wear, but with a maxi dress, or loose tee and denim hot pants on the beach or on holiday, they’re amazing! Yes, they’re hideously over the top, and probably too big for some people’s liking, but I’m seriously hoping these take off in the fashion stakes, and I want one BADLY! My birthday is coming up so, fingers crossed! (yes, my TWENTY THIRD birthday. Don’t. Just. Don’t.)

Here are some of my favourites!

1. Rose and Lily Garland, £16

2. Lilac Garland, £16

3. Daisy Garland, £14

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I’m hoping I don’t get weird looks when I step out wearing mine! Reactions to follow 😉

Ciao

Coco xx

 

Bond Girl

Hey guys, hope everybody is enjoying the sunshine as much as I am! Life is just that little bit brighter when the sun is shining. The endless summer evenings make the days seem far longer, rather than waking up in darkness and leaving work in darkness, trudging home losing yourself in the sofa cushions until the end of time, aka the British winter.

Today I am hounding you with yet another plug of an Aussie brand that I fell in love with, called BONDS (and I expect you’re now nodding your head as you now understand the pun embedded in the title of this post). I was introduced to it for the first time when I saw the name sprawled across the waistline of my boyfriend’s boxers, and concluded that it was the laid back, Aussie surfer equivalent of having Calvin Klein peeping out the back of your jeans, rather than an advert for Australia’s investment yield prospects (the finance geeks reading this will appreciate). This was until my visit to Australia, when I spotted an entire store filled with underwear, sleepwear and sportswear, for men AND women. It has a Nike/Sweaty Betty/Victoria’s Secret Sports feel to it, and has uplifting summer prints and bright colours available, as well as more plain options. Cool workout gear is hot for 2014, and this brand is packed with ideas. I grabbed a bra (with the bonds logo not-so-subtly plastered around the underbust, an adorable palm print bandeau also sporting the logo, and some grey sweatpants that are so comfy I have had to actually talk myself into letting them go in the wash as I’ve been living in them. I’m already having withdrawals.

Anyway, as always, I’ve chosen some of my favourite bits from the site, and even better, they now deliver to the UK, AND its free deliver over $100AUD (thats only about £50, so go nuts!).

1. Wide waistband jungle line print briefs, $17.95AUD

2. Low rise shorts, $16.95AUD

3. Logo Sweatpants, $49.95AUD

4. Active leggings, $49.95AUD (I wanted these SO badly to wear with my pink Nike Free Runs…cry!)

5. Tube Bra, $39.95AUD

6. Neon print g-string, $14.95AUD

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Enjoy, Bond Girls!

As always,

Coco xx