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

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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

Reviewed: Nivea Express Hydration Primer

I’ve tried a few primers since the phenomenon broke out, and haven’t yet settled on one that I like. Some I have found look great under makeup and have great staying power, but really don’t feel good on my skin and just make me feel like i’m clogging it up (yes you GOSH primer), so when I saw that Nivea had brought one out, I thought why not give it a go. Now, I’m not usually one for high street skin care, but I do find that Nivea are quite plain and simple with their products, and they do do exactly what it says on the tin. (FYI, the new in shower body moisturiser is fabulous – a real time saver!) I picked up the primer for £3.30 in Tesco (its usually £4.00, but there was some sort of discount). I have used it twice and am so far impressed. It feels really refreshing when applied to cleansed skin, and makes a nice base to apply makeup. Two people said my skin was looking really healthy while I was wearing it too, which is a bonus!

I do think, also, that people sometimes expect primers to work miracles. You can’t simply apply a primer and then expect your £5 foundation to stay on all day and night. You do need to keep up the good work and treat your skin to a decent foundation. I applied the primer, followed by Chanel Perfection Lumiere liquid foundation, and dusted NARS bronzer in Irrisestiblement across my cheek bones with my Real Techniques brush. Working as a waitress I really do put my products to the test, particularly with regards to staying power, and the primer held my makeup on really well all day and evening, so I am really impressed. It felt lightweight and I didn’t feel like I was degreasing my oven when I cleansed before bed. I wouldn’t say its the absolute best on the market, but for £4, its a great little pot to have on hand.

Have you tried it? What did you think? Let me know!

Coco xx

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August Glossy Box

So, following on from my recent post on Glossy Box, its time to unpack another box. The theme this month was high flyers, and each product was from a different country. Here’s what I received this month….

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EMITE EYELASH CURLER – Sweden

This retails at £20, so I was thrilled to see it had been packed into the baby pink and black box this month. Unfortunately I wear permanent lash extensions, so I wont actually use it (until I have weened myself off the addiction to having my lashes done every month), but I might pass it on to a friend to get a full review. Top lash curling tip – gently heat the curler using your hair dryer before you use it. The heat fixes the curl in place all day!

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URBAN VEDA DAILY RADIANCE FACE WASH – India

Urban Veda is a brand new skincare range, and focuses on living a natural and balanced holistic lifestyle. The range is designed to naturally combat pollution, protecting skin from environmental damages (excellent for city dwellers like myself). . I haven’t yet tried it as I am often sceptical about interferring with my strict Elemis regime, but I am going to give it a go tonight. Its a bargain to buy the full size products too – the washes are from £7.99, toners from £8.99 and and day and night creams from £12.99. If you’re looking for a new skin care thats a bit more premium than what you’ll find in Boots, but you don’t want to break the bank, give this a go. Start off with a three step, cleanse, tone and moisturise, and then try the polishes, scrubs and lotions. That’s always my approach to trying new skincare. The four categories are Purifying – this detoxes and reduces excess sebum; Radiance – this hydrates and boosts dull and tired skin; Relieving – this restores and rejuvenates skin using clarifying flower waters; and Soothing – this is an uplifting and fortifying range to balance skin.

Psssst – Entering code GlossyB gets you 20% off until 1st December 2013!

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TRESEMME KERATIN SMOOTH CONCENTRATED TREATMENT SHOT – America

I absolutely LOVE the hair revolution that is Keratin. It makes my hair feel so smooth and shiny, and this concentrated shot is brilliant for a quick fix. You can pick these up for £1.49 in most high street cosmetics stores or supermarkets – great to pack for holiday or before a night out.

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JELLY PONG PONG EYE LINER – United Kingdom

I am a bit bemused by this product. As much as I love a chunky eye liner, especially when it retails at £10.50, but it claims it is a shadow as well as a liner. So there I am, looking for some sort of double-ended function to what looks like a reincarnation of the Benefit Bad Gal crayon, but no. There isnt one. I just thinks it can be, and I quote, “a perfectly blended shadow”. Well, how, I do not know. But as its a brilliant eyeliner I will let it off, but please don’t go thinking this is a 2-in-1, because I really don’t think it is. Granted, I did get the black one – perhaps other colours are better, but I would not use this for an eyeshadow unless it was halloween! The other products by this brand look really cool, too, so check them out here.

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OCEANE MAKEUP REMOVER PEN – Brazil

I feel a bit smug to have one of these pens to be honest. They aren’t even available in the UK yet! It does exactly what it says on the tin. It removes makeup in a handy, compact pen. Think back to your school days when those ink erasers came out, and you would spend your days erasing half of your friend’s work, or just drawing phallic objects across their excersize book, so it would form a perfect, and obviously hilarious, shape of something when the teacher comes to mark the work. Yeah, its just like that, but, for your face. Its perfect for those mascara faux pas when you sneeze or blink and print onto your crease, or you get caught in the rain and/or an emotional moment leaving your eyeliner streaming down your cheeks. Another fab handbag essential from GlossyBox. Highly recommended…when it hits the UK, that is!

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Im now off in hunt of afternoon cake before work. Naughty.

Have a good evening, all.

C

Birch Box vs Glossy Box

Okay, so some of you will have read my previous rave review of the monthly beauty delivery box, Birch Box. If you didn’t, select it from recent posts on the left hand panel, or its archived under beauty and reviews 😉

Anyway, yes, I raved about it. But I have since found myself in a conundrum. Which is better? Birch Box, or Glossy Box. For those of you who are new to the monthly delivery phenomenon, both boxes are £10 per month and send you four or five beauty minis every month straight to your door. After one month of Birch Box, I switched to Glossy Box to give both a try, and let you guys all know which I think is best.

So, lets first unpack this month’s Glossy Box. Now I must just say quickly, while trying to rummage around to find the items from the recent box, I have to tell you that all five of them have already taken pride of place in my handbag, on my dresser, or in the bathroom, which is certainly a sign of how good they are, without wishing to accidentally release a spoiler alert.

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PRODUCT 1. Alterna Haircare Bamboo Style Boho Waves Tousled Texture Mist £25ml

This product is really nice on your hair. It creates waves while still making your hair feel soft and smooth, unlike some of the salt sprays around at the moment. I will however admit that my review of these types of products can be a little biased, as my hair is naturally wavy, so please don’t take my word that this will transform poker straight into beach babe. The product size is really good though. A 25ml bottle is a really generous sample, especially when the full size is 125ml at £23.00.

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PRODUCT 2. Inecto Pure Coconut Dry Shampoo

Step aside Batiste. Its here. You have met your match! While everyones fave dry shampoo brand has been busy monopolising the festival/camping/travel haircare market for quite some time, Inecto have been waiting in the wings with this saviour. The generous full sized bottle included in the box is the perfect size to travel with too, and it smells gorgeous. It doesn’t give you that horrible sticky feeling the day after that some dry shampoos do, and it doesn’t give you that greyish tinge at the roots either. I cannot rave enough about this one. Will definitely be purchasing in the future, and its only £2.49!

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PRODUCT 3. Ciate Nail Paint in Speed Dial

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the signature little black bow peeping through the layers of tissue paper. I hadn’t tried Ciate before (mainly because at £13.00 a bottle its quite pricey), so I couldn’t wait. The colour is actually great, despite my initial surprise at the orange shade, and it looks super cute on my dresser. Great bonus when one product alone is worth more than the entire box!

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PRODUCT 4. Anotomicals Spray Mist for Me Facial Spritz

Now, this one I was dubious about. Its a facial spritz that cools down your face in the heat, and reduces redness and puffiness around your tired eyes. I first thought, “oh well fantastic. As if my moist sweaty face wasn’t enough of an escape route for my makeup, this will just send it on its way, leaving me washed out and smudged”. Well, no! It didnt seem to interfere with my makeup (providing you spray it far enough from your face), and is an instant cool down. Its great for when you’re rushing about and getting all hot and bothered! Also full sized included, and costs £6.00.

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PRODUCT 5. Cooola Mineral Face SPF

This bad boy cropped up in Birch Box too, so looks like their promo team have been working hard. Again, my least fave of the selection purely because its a bit boring, but still fab to have in your bag to prevent a red burnt nose that Rudolph would be proud of.

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So…THE VERDICT.

I think the sizes and brands are better in Glossybox, but Birch Box does have some more unique items that I might not have found before.

Overall, for me, Glossy Box wins, and I’ll be sticking with that! Anybody else torn? Let me know your thoughts!

Have a good week.

All my love.

Coco xx

Desperate to try….

So, every time I visit my FAVOURITE beauty store, either in store or online, my beauty wishlist just quadruples in length, and this is one product I have had my eye on a while, and its in the sale. So tempted! Its the By Terry Skin Colour Enhancer. £64 down to £32 is an absolute bargain, but I already have so many skin potions, I really can’t quite justify it without being sure!

It has subtle colour graduation and plumps the skin, refreshing it with the smooth radiance of a good night’s sleep (which is something I often need to fake these days, working late nights at the pub!). It comes in a range of colours, but I’m unsure which one to purchase, so if anyone has tried this or has any info, please do let me know! I really think it could be a winner, as lately I have looked in the mirror many times hoping to see glowing summer skin, but being greeted by a dull, tired looking complexion. Im wondering if this could be the answer to my prayers….?

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I also spotted the SKEEN Revitalizing Serum, said to have similar benefits. £72 down to £37 – another amazing saving. This one is packed with vitamins and antioxidants to promote skin renewal, so I can imagine how great it really is for your skin on the inside. Its whether this translates on the outside. Im wondering if what I want actually exists, or whether its just my face!!

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I nearly peed with excitement when I spotted the JEMMA KIDD i-Rescue Bio Correct Cover for £5, but sadly the light and medium were both out of stock (sad face). I need to invest in something for the eye area, so suggestions are welcome!!

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Birch Box

Sorry guys, boring title I know. I racked my brains for a catchy pun, but I don’t actually think there is one! Titling my posts are in fact one of the most fun parts, so I am feeling a little deflated, I won’t lie.

Anyway, what this blabbering is all leading up to is me declaring that I have finally subscribed to Birch Box. For those who don’t know, its a monthly delivery of beauty and skincare minis from brands like Molten Brown, O.P.I, Redken, Pure Fiji, Make Believe, and L’Occitane. Its fair to say im pretty excited for my first delivery. Its only £10 a month, packed with tips and tricks, and their monthly magazine too. If you’re salivating at the thought, click here to zoom straight to the subscription page! (Coco loves a click through)

Thats all for now, short and sweet for a change! Now back to work you lot! (I say this as it has come to my attention that many of my friends read my blog posts while procrastinating at their desks. I am more than happy to provide this service ;)!)

I’ll be doing a blog post on the contents of my Birch Box each month, so even if you don’t sign up, you can still enjoy my tips and reviews over your morning coffee!

Have a good week!

C xx

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Tried and Tested: Elemis Illuminating Flash Balm

Happy Monday, everyone!

I am back with another beauty review! This time, its `the new wonder cream from Elemis. I spotted it on the shelf of my regular beauty salon and knew I would be purchasing it straight after my treatments! The Illuminating Flash Balm is an energising, skin radiance balm, that gives you a healthy, dewey glow, while deeply moisturising your skin and preventing premature ageing!

It glides on smoothly and weightlessly, and gives you an instant skin pick me up! I managed to score some free minis with my purchase (one of Elemis’s fave promotions), and the mini bottle is great to carry around in your handbag for those bad skin days we all have. You know the ones. You’re casually perusing Topshop and catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and almost mistake yourself for Voldermort. Nodding your head right now? Then this is for you!

It contains a vitamin complex that encourages moisture retention, and purple orchid, noni and acai are the clever little cookies that stop our skin sagging. Now, we’re all familiar with the phrase “for best results, use with (insert brand name) shampoo/conditioner/cleanser/toner/facial wash, and yes, often its basically a marketing ploy to get you to buy the full set, and despite having just finished my marketing degree, I am a complete sucker for it all. However, I have really found that Elemis is one of those products that does its best work when surrounded by its fellow brand buddies. I switched to Elemis skincare at the end of 2012, after being a dedicated Clinique follower for about 3 years. Now, I wont lie to you, the first month of using it my skin felt really bumpy and horrible. It didnt look it (thank god), but it didnt feel right at all, but as I knew I had been with the same brand for so long, and that our skin renews in one month cycles, I persisted with it. It cleared up really quickly, and while it was annoying, it is actually a good sign as it shows that the change in skin care is actually doing something to your skin, and not just fluffing about on the surface. Its common to take time to adjust to a new skin care, and providing you’re not being mistaken for a shingles patient (i.e. all red and blotchy), its usually just adjusting and it will be fine, so don’t give up too quickly.

Treat your skin and invest in one of their cleansers, toners and moisturisers (if you’re budgeting, the flash balm can be used a daily moisturiser too, so you don’t have to buy both all at once). They have a range, but one of the best things about premium skin care is that you can go and talk to a skin care expert at their concessions, instead of just being left to your own devices on the shelves of Boots.

Here are some of my faves:Image

Left to right:

Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser, £21.00

Rehydrating Ginseng Toner, £21.00

Maximum Moisture Day Cream, £38.00

Papaya Enzyme Peel (exfoliator), £29.50

Skin Buff, £26.00

Over and out,

Coco x