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

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

#LashTag!

Happy humpday, everybody! Its Wednesday, and for those of you in the 9-5 world, its all downhill from here! Though I must address my dislike of this saying. It is richly marinated in ambiguity. I always thought it meant it was downhill from here, as in, downhill, getting worse. But as it turns out, it means the uphill struggle that kicked off 60 hours ago on the devil’s waiting room we call Monday, is over.

Anyway, today’s post is about EYELASHES, more specifically, lash extensions. I find this a topic open to great ridicule. You’ve got your haters (those who have either tried and hated, or who are repulsed by any word that is succeeded by ‘extensions’ – hair, nails, and so on), your veterans (like myself, who had them put on, took to them like a duck to water, and have never looked back), and the observers (those who either are oblivious to the fact that they exist – my dad, and every other male on the planet, really – or those who are fascinated by them but don’t know whether to join the craze).

I have to say, personally, they have changed my life! I first had a full set put on about a year ago, and have fallen completely in love with my natural looking, long lashes. Without sounding immodest, I get compliments on them all the time, and its a real time saver in the morning. I’ve been subject to extensive ridicule as to how much I pay for them, but I opted to go for Lash Perfect ones, which are quite pricey (£85 for the first set, and infills at £25-29, depending on therapist, every 3-4 weeks), but I love them. They work for me, and I loved my salon I got them done at, which, for the record, is Aphrodite in Westbourne, Bournemouth (just in case there are any South Coast readers out there!). I’ve seen both success stories and horrific failures of people who get other brands done elsewhere much cheaper, but I would love to hear about any lash extension experiences you have, and I will tell you why just now.

As you know I recently moved back to London, and I used the Lash Perfect salon finder to find somewhere in my local area to continue the upkeep of my pride and joy lashes. I found a lovely salon, who listed “Top Ups” as £22, so I thought I had hit the jackpot, and had found them cheaper in London of all places. Well. Take note. I’ve no idea what top ups refers to, but it does not mean monthly infills. Turns out they booked me in for a half set, which was £55!!! I must admit they were done beautifully, but £55 every three weeks is a complete joke, when I was getting the exact same lashes put on for less than half the price back home. I’m not usually one to succumb to the naivety that comes with London pricing, but really. Over double the price?! No siree!

Has anybody tried any other lash brands that are good?! Here are pictures of my lashes at the moment (this is about 10 days after infills, so they aren’t at their absolute optimum, but they’re okay). I need to find somewhere new, either for Lash Perfect, or for a new brand that still gives the natural look of these ones, instead of the tacky, fake, strip lash look that some give!

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Share your lash extension experiences in the comment box, or with me on Twitter @Scrambled_Emma!

(My twitter name isn’t doing a great job of protecting my blog alias, but its so much hassle changing it! My arrival on the bandwagon of OOTD hasn’t done the mystery any favours either though, )

Lots of love

the ever inconspicuous, Coco

This or That!

I was recently tagged by Golden and Sheen for the this or that tag, so here we go!

Make Up
Blusher or Bronzer:
Bronzer, definitely. It warms up any look, and there are so many different types to choose from. NARS Irrisistiblement is my fave!
Lipgloss or Lipstick:
Hands down, lipstick. I wear it almost every day without fail, and I think if you carry only one makeup item, it should be a lipstick. It completely transforms your face and can brighten you up any time.
Liner or Mascara:
It would have to be liner, as I don’t wear mascara because I have lash extensions!
Foundation or Concealer:
Without wanting to sound immodest, I’ve never really been cursed with too many blemishes, so I’m not really an expert on concealers. A good foundation sorts out my uneven skin tone, which is my biggest problem. I’m currently using Dior Airflash Spray On Foundation in shade 201. Its fantastic.
Neutral Eyeshadow or Colour Eyeshadow:
Neutral. I used to wear colours when I was younger but now they just cringe me out! I love earthy palettes like Urban Decay Naked.
Pressed or Loose Eyeshadow:
Pressed. Definitely. The inevitable face sprinkle that comes with loose powder is enough to put me off!
Nails

OPI or China Glaze:
I haven’t used China Glaze….I’m actually sinking in my seat as I am going to admit I haven’t heard of it. And here I am calling myself a nail expert. Oh the shame!
Long or Short Nails:
Short! Long nails break and snag my favourite clothes!
Acrylic or Natural:
Natural
Bright or Dark:
I like a bit of both really. I often do dark colour on four nails and a bright accent on the fourth finger.
Flower or No Flower:
No flower.
Body
Perfume or Body Spray:
Perfume. My designer faves are
Calvin Klein – Euphoria
Calvin Klein – Downtown
Marc Jacobs – Honey
Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle
But i’ve recently discovered high street perfumes that are really nice, too. Next’s £8 MILAN fragrance is gorgeous, as is Zara’s £12.99 range.
Lotion or Body Butter:
Lotion. Butters are too heavy for me.
Body Wash or Soap:
Body Wash. I love the body shop pink grapefruit range. Its so refreshing.
Lush or Other Bath Companies:
I’m kind of over Lush. I was obsessed with it in my teens but then I realised I was collecting an embarrassingly large collection of good-enough-to-eat bath bombs, and never actually using them. I think its one of those things. Its a good idea for gifts and first time buyers, but not a brand I would stick with.
Fashion:
Jeans or Sweat Pants:
Jeans!! Topshop Leigh and Joni are my saviours.
Long Sleeves or Short Sleeves:
I don’t like my arms much, so long sleeves. I think there’s something really elegant about a long sleeved dress or blouse, too.
Dresses or Skirts:
Dresses
Stripes or Plaid
Plaid, definitely. Stripes look great on some people, but not me.
Flip Flops or Sandals:
Sandals, mainly. Flip flops are for pool runs on holiday and thats it! Sandals are much prettier for every day wear.
Scarves or Hats:
I love hats but don’t have the confidence to wear them.
Studs or Dangly Earrings:
For some reason dangling earrings make me look chavvy! Seriously. They do. People laugh at me when I say it, and I’ve been branded ridiculous on several occasions, but if you could see me in them, you’d know what I mean.
Necklace’s or Bracelets
Necklaces. I always lose bracelets and they aren’t on show as much as necklaces. Statement ones can transform something plain.
Heels or Flats:
I would have to say heels, though I loathe wearing them really. I am 5’8″ anyway, so even with smallish heels I’m not far short of 6 feet tall! Hardly ladylike!
Jackets or Hoodies:
Jackets
Hair
Curly or Straight:
I alternate. I love straight hair, but mine is naturally wavy, so its my effortless style.
Bun or Ponytail:
A bun
Bobby Pins or Bufferfly Clips:
Bobby Pins
Hair Spray or Gel:
Hair Spray
Long or Short:
Long, definitely. I’d love to have really long, thick natural hair, but until then, I’ve surrendered to extensions!
Light or Dark:
I’d love to be blonde, but I’m going to rep the brunettes and say dark!
Side Sweep or Full Bangs (Fringe):
Full fringe!
Up or Down:
Down.
Random
 
Rain or Shine:
Shine
Summer or Winter:
Summer
Autumn or Spring:
Autumn
Chocolate or Vanilla:
Vanilla
I’ve tagged:
Tammy at Cheap Vogue
Bethany Jade at Birds Words
Sophie at Sophie Etc
Coco xx

AWOL again, back again!

Hello there!!!! No, I haven’t evaporated! I’m still very much here. And ‘here’ is now a different ‘here’ to before. Yep, that’s right. I have returned to the best city in the world, our very own London. And yes, in case you’re wondering, London really is my favourite city in the world. While my love affair with New York and Barcelona lives on, I really just love British culture, and you just don’t get that anywhere else!

So yeah, I’m back in London. I’ve been lucky enough to land a lovely flat with my favourite housemate of all time (we lived together during first and second year of uni, and vowed we would one day be cohabs again!). Both of us are truly amazed we actually did it. Among our busy schedules, my timeline being all off due to doing a four year uni course, Sian being a year ahead of me in academic years anyway, AND the wild goose chase that is London flat hunting, we’re still reeling at the fact we actually live together again! Our pad has just the right amount of cosy-ness, but still loads of cool and modern features, so I’m super happy with it. Its a tiny bit of a trudge to the tube station, but on the bright side, my legs could benefit from some extra toning, and there is a bus that goes right by the flat, for those lazy (or rainy) days. I’m really struggling to fault anything about it, as you might be able to tell!

Anyway, I’ve had blog post ideas coming out of my ears over the past week, as I continue my ongoing battle with my Three mobile internet dongle, which somehow gave me full signal in the depths of the New Forest when I was at home, yet here I am in the busiest city in the UK, and nada! No, niente, nish. So that’s my excuse for not posting anything! I’m not going to lie to you and say I’m back on track, because unfortunately we still haven’t got our WiFi sorted, but it should be coming this week! I’m currently nabbing the connectivity in a local coffee shop – which, by the way, is amazing. Its a cute little coffee-shop-come-vintage-store, with kitsch furniture, and you’re surrounded by loads of little vintage bits that are all for sale. Just sitting here is sparking ideas for a new blog post all about it!

So, here’s the beginning of what you’ve missed! A couple of OOTDs and some new beauty bits I’m giving a go!

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I’ve been fascinated by this new phenomena of skin perfecting potions, particularly the new Lancome Dream Tone, but despite its promising reviews, the price is just too steep a risk for me unfortunately. So, I’ve opted for the L’Oreal range. There is a day cream, eye cream, serum, and a BB cream, and this ‘instant blemish blur‘ cream, which I’m going to try. It was £8 something in Boots in some sort of promotion. I think it usually retails around £12.99, but it feels really nice on the back of my hand, so I think it would make a good even out base for makeup.

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I’ve also recently finished my Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation, and was on the look out for a change. Not in any part because Chanel was anything short of divine, I just like to try new ones out, and fancied something new. I had seen the Dior Airflash Spray Foundation advertised as “new”, but I knew this was a classic brand relaunch, because I know for a fact it has definitely been released before! None the less, I was desperate to test its ‘air brushed skin’ claims, so dashed out and snapped that up for £33. I got shade 201 Linen, after being torn between the 200 and 201. The 200 seemed to have a slight pinky undertone, while the 201 was more yellow, which seemed to suit my skin slightly better. Full review to follow! Spoiler alert – ITS AMAZING!

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This MILAN perfume from NEXT was only £8 and it smells absolutely gorgeous! Its an eau de parfum as well, so you get the intensity and staying power that you lose out on with an eau de toilette, which a lot of high street fragrances are (like the Zara one I mentioned here). Its really fresh and feminine. There are others in the range, that all smell lovely as well. Definitely one for the handbag! £8 for 50ml, £12 for 100ml!

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These mint green Vans were a leaving gift from my wifey…which no, I’m not too ashamed to admit brought a tear to my eye! They were a limited edition colour that I had wanted for a while, but each store apparently only had one pair of each size, and she managed to track them down for me! I’m going to replace the laces to white, but I’m loving them with skinny jeans and a baggy tee for a relaxed style. AND they’re super comfy!

OOTDs Galore

Our new flat has a gigantic wall to ceiling mirror – AMAZING FOR OOTDs! One of these day’s I’ll learn to work self timer on my phone and not have to do the awkward selfie shots, but for now, I don’t care! It may subject me to extensive ridicule among my friends, and I’ve even been branded “selfie queen”, mainly attributed to my year long moan about people who do them! But, I admit it! I hold my Dido style white flag up in surrender, and I have jumped right on the bandwagon. Though I maintain that its okay for blogging purposes. Its when people are just attention seeking on Facebook that its a pain! At least this what I will tell myself!

Anyway, here we go: OOTD #1

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Being in London makes me want to make much more of an effort with my outfit choices. You can really turn a corner without seeing some chick you’re ridiculously jealous of, and the time I have on my hands while job hunting is certainly well spent exploring my wardrobe! Also, having moved 3 times in the space of 6 weeks has allowed me to familiarise myself with the depths of my wardrobe that don’t often get seen, so I feel like I’ve got loads of new outfits made up of forgotten treasures!

Here I’m wearing:

Chinos, £10, Zara (Sale, sold out)

I got the chinos in stone and green, the latter being an impulse purchase because they were such a bargain, but I tried them on with this outfit and actually think they’re pretty cool!

Brogues, £165, Russell and Bromley (Discontinued. Style Name: Campus)

Belt, £2, Primark

Camisole, £18, Topshop

Blazer, £32 Next

I really love this jacket from Next because it has a really structured, tailored look, but its really soft feel and comfortable. A real bargain, and it comes in other prints!

OOTD #2

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Here we have a similar outfit (making use of the chinos before winter fully sets in!)

Blouse, £8, Primark

Chinos, £10, Zara (Sale, Sold Out)

Loafers, £28, River Island

These loafers come in amazing colours as well, so I’ll definitely be investing in another pair!

Belt, £2, Primark

Watch, £28, Next

(Online it says £45, but I definitely paid £28 in store!)

OOTD #3

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Dress, £13, Primark (Selling out fast, hurry!)

Necklace, £4.99, H&M

Coat, £98, Helene Berman at Asos

Shoe Boots, £45, Asos (discontinued years ago!)

Watch, as above

I snapped up this dress after seeing it on another blog. I had to make a mad dash to Primark as I knew it would be a fast seller. I went straight to the big store on Oxford Street (which I try to avoid as its just one massive free-for-all most of the time) and it sure as hell was yesterday) But I got it didn’t I! I will tell you now though, there was only 3 left in the deep red colour. It comes in teal as well though, so now I’ve tried on the shape and size, I’ll definitely be buying both! This Helene Berman coat is a style I’ve been looking for for a while, and I love the mid thigh length of it. So many I have tried on are either too short (as I’m 5″8 which is apparently tall these days), or too long and come down to the knee, which just doesn’t suit me. Its a lovely tweedy style with green panelling at the bottom, and bright orange piping for a colour pop. Overall, very happy! It was a slight splurge, but worth it.

And finally…THE FLAT!

As I’ve mentioned, we’re in a new gaff, and I absolutely love it. I won’t upload loads of pics as I don’t want to plaster my home all over the internet! But one quick snap to mark the occasion can’t hurt! And the winner is….THE KITCHEN! The hub of all gossiping while cooking, morning coffee at the breakfast bar, and of course, chilling the vino!

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Anyway, I think that’s you all caught up!

More posts to follow! And tonight is #theSOproject night, so stay tuned!!! Its blusher week!

Toodles!

Coco x

September Glossy Box

Its that time of the month again. The time that brings Glossybox to my door, full of beauty goodies for me to try! This month’s box has by far been my absolute favourite…I can just tell I’m going to love all the products. Usually I wait until I’ve tried them to blog about them, but I have just this moment torn it open and I can’t wait any longer to share it with you!

This month was the British themed box, and lord knows I love anything and everything British. Red white and blue plastered smothered all over the box exuding patriotism as it engulfed the beauty goodies inside. Here’s a little peek…

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Clockwise from bottom:

Be a Bombshell Eyeliner Pen

Eyelure Preglued Lashes

Rimmel Blush Liquid Cheek Tint in 004 Sunkissed Cherry

Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau de Parfum 5ml

Tony and Guy Shine Gloss Serum

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Reviews to follow as and when I’ve tried them all!

Have a fab weekend xx