Friday 26 May 2017

Buying Chanel in Paris and Chanel Quilted Purse Review

I've wanted to own something from Chanel since I was a little girl. I've had to feed the addiction with small beauty items like nail polish and lipstick from the brand.

Back in January, I visited Paris with my boyfriend Alex, and on the last day, I knew I couldn't leave the beautiful city without something from Chanel. We were wandering around Galleries la Fayette, which is the French equivalent of Selfridges or Harrods, and I popped into the Chanel concession.

I would describe the whole buying experience very surreal. I had to wait to be invited into the concession, as all the sales ladies were busy with customers. Once I was inside, a lady offered to help me with my choice. I knew I wanted a quilted purse and had checked rough prices online beforehand to save the embarrassment of asking the price.

The sales assistant pulled out a display box of purses, which I looked through. I was torn between two black options, one which mirrored the Classic Flap design and one that matched the Chanel Boy Bag. I ended up choosing the classic quilted design, as this was a little bigger.

The purse was slotted into its dusk bag and then placed in a black Chanel embossed box and neatly wrapped with a logo ribbon. I put the purse back in these after use to keep it from being damaged.

I did have to show my passport as ID to register the purchase, so bear this in mind if you plan to shop. I found that the purse was around £100 cheaper in Paris with the exchange rate but this can vary from week to week, so convert prices on the day to find out any savings.

Chanel classic small lamskin wallet, photos and review

My Chanel purse has the lambskin leather on the outside, this is well known to be more durable than the calf leather they use on some other designs. It has a softer, smooth leather in a burgundy shade in the middle.

6 card slots are in the middle as well as a note compartment behind those and a zipped coin section on the very back of the purse.  The hardware is gold, of course, the classic interlocking double C's embellish the front of the wallet. I'm very happy with my choice, I decided on a timeless and durable style.

Inside of the Chanel classic small lamskin wallet, photos and review
Chanel classic small lamskin wallet, photos and review

I've waited until I'd used this purse a few times to write up a review as I wanted to see how well it fared over a few months. It normally comes out of the box and dust bag for special occasions like meals out or events. This purse isn't intended to be used every day.

The card slots were a little stiff at first and it was a little difficult to get your cards in and out. The leather has relaxed a small amount now, so it's become easier.

I adore the size of this purse, it can even fit into my smaller clutch bags. As long as I don't bring every card I have, I can fit all the necessary ones in with ease.

I am 100% with my purchase, it was a little treat which came out of my bonus at work. I'm sure it will stay in my collection for many years to come. Now to save up for the Classic Flap handbag to match!

Wednesday 24 May 2017

The Missing Skincare Step?

Toner it seems to be the easiest step to skip in a skincare routine, I mean does it even do anything?! At my recent skincare consultation with Elemis, I found out an interesting fact about pH balance, it takes the skin around 8-10 hours after cleansing to return to its normal level if the toner is not used.
After hearing that I dug out all my toners, as well as chemical exfoliators as these would be used similarly. Here are my thoughts on the ones in my stash.

Skincare products lined up

This provides a light spritz, which is very refreshing on the skin. It doesn’t have any other use than balancing the skin and keeping it moisturised. I think there are more affordable options on the high street so you don't have to splash out on this one if you need to save pennies.

I bought this when I was struggling with oily skin. It’s a clarifying toner, which works to balance the skin so it doesn’t produce excess oil. I enjoyed using it but I don’t recommend it to anyone with dry/normal skin as it would be quiet stripping.

This is a good all-rounder to have in your skincare stash. Its ingredients are anti-bacterial, which is amazing if you have a breakout. It produces an extra fine mist too.

Dermalogica is well known in the skincare world, they have a medical feel to their products so the packing isn't the prettiest. This one helps the skin get ready for moisture absorption. It’s a simple product that can be used by all.

This orange bottled liquid seems to have a cult following and for good reason. It’s a chemical exfoliator which contains glycolic acid, this ingredient gets rid of dead skin cells, leaving the skin looking glowy. Worth the hype!

Boots Botanics Age Defense Microdermabrasion Polish
I have included this scrub as an alternative to the chemical exfoliator. This is a very intensive scrub, I wouldn't recommend it to those with sensitive skin. I normally reach for this when I have had a week of heavy makeup wearing to really scrub away the dead skin cells and give my skin that extra clean.

Is toner the missing step in your current skincare routine? I'd love to know which toners you have tried and loved!



Sunday 21 May 2017

HUGE American Beauty Haul - Sephora, Sunday Riley, Boscia, Tarte, Physician's Formula

Okay, I went a little bit mad in Sephora and Duane Reade. I visited Sephora 3 times in the space of a week!

You might have seen on my Instagram, that I recently visited New York with my family. I’ll be writing up a review and NYC travel guide soon, but for now I wanted to show you what beauty bits I bought. Note, that most of these purchases were influenced by beauty bloggers and YouTubers!

American beauty product haul lined up

I actually headed to the minis section by the till as soon as I got into Sephora. I’m a sucker for sample sizes of products!

I’d been wanting to try more from Sunday Riley after purchasing the Luna Oil a few months ago, but there full sized products are a little pricey. The two travel sizes I picked up from the brand were the C.E.O C+ E anti Oxidant Protect +Repair Moisturiser and the Tidal Brightening EnzymeWater Cream.

I’d seen Suzie from Hello October and Alix from I Covet Thee rave about the Tidal moisturiser. It has two types of hyaluronic acid to give a boost of hydration to the skin in seconds. It also has papaya enzymes to exfoliate, leaving brightened skin behind.

Close up of Sephora Sunday Riley C.E.O and Tidal Moisturiser Samples

I picked up the C.E.O moisturiser as I’d seen a few bloggers talk about the amazing properties of Vitamin C. This product has 5% THD Ascorbate (Vitamin C), I’m not sure if this is a high amount, but I thought it was worth a try. Vitamin C helps to prevent and repair UV damage and brightens the skin leaving it looking more youthful. I’ll let you know how I get on in a few weeks time.

Next up on the skincare front is the Boscia Luminizing BlackMask.  We aren’t able to purchase Boscia in the UK, so I wanted to pick something up from America while I was there, just to see what the quality was like and to try something new.

I actually picked this face mask up because I noticed the photo of the woman on the front in a black face mask, which looked like those crazy blackhead removal ones. This mask is also peel-off like those viral ones but I’m hoping it isn’t as painful to remove. It claims to minimise the appearance of pores and remove dirt. I can’t wait to try it, I’m sure I’ll update my Instagram Stories with photos of me in the scary looking mask!

Close up of Boscia Black Peel Off Mask, Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Sephora Sheet Face Mask

The next item that went into my basket was the Brazilian BumBum Cream on Jaime Genevieve’s recommendation. Yes, this product has a hilarious name but Jaime says it actually helps to firm the skin, and smells incredible.  I can agree with her on the scent, it smells like holidays!

Lastly in the skincare section of this haul is the SephoraLotus Face Mask. I pick up these sheet masks every time I visit a Sephora. They are in single sachets making them easy to travel with. I was actually going to apply this on the flight back from America but I was so tired, I slept through most of it.

Moving on to makeup, while looking at the Sunday Riley minis, I spotted a tiny version of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in DimLight. I’ve been dying to try these but couldn’t face shelling out for the full size. I’ve heard this gives a wonderful ‘light from within’ glow to the face.

On Amelia Liana’s recommendation, I purchased the Tarte CCUndereye Corrector in Light-Medium. I have dark purple tones under my eyes so I picked this up to put to the test. I swatched this in store and it was very creamy so I’ll have to see how it lasts.

I headed the Anastasia stand in hope of falling in love with some of their eyeshadows but the ones I swatched weren’t overly impressive. Instead, I purchased her cult Brow Gel in Clear. I’m hoping this will help battle my eyebrows into shape.

I’d also heard a lot of American beauty vloggers talk about Duane Reade as a place to pick up affordable makeup. Most the stands were recognisable brands like Maybelline, Rimmel and L’Oreal but they did have an impressive E.L.F and Physician’s Formula collection in the store I visited.

I hunted through the Maybelline stand for the Instant AgeRewind Concealer in Brighten, which isn’t available in the UK. The lightest shade in this country is way too yellow for me, so I hope the brighten shade will be better for me. I already know I love the formula; it’s easy to apply and blends like a dream.

Close up of Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer

The final product in the huge haul is from Physician’s Formula; their Butter Bronzer is raved about by Tati from Glam Life Guru. From a quick swatch, I can tell why she loves it; it smells like holidays, much like the Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. It’s so buttery to the touch, hence the name. I’m sure I’m going to love the colour too, as it’s a beautiful cool shade that isn’t too orange.

It has killed me not being able to play with these items before I took a photo of them. Now, I’m going to get stuck in! I might do a whole follow up post on how I got on with these products after a few weeks of testing; let me know if you would like to see that. 


Wednesday 10 May 2017

Current Cleansers

The rise of the double cleanse trend we can thank Caroline Hirons for. I must admit that against her advice, I use makeup wipes to remove makeup. I didn’t realise how much dirt and makeup is still on your face after you use one, hence why I know double cleanse.

The cleansers I have in rotation now suit different skin issues so I can change my routine as frequently as needed.

Three skincare cleansers lined up in a white bathroom
Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
If my skin is feeling extremely dry or is in need of a treat, I’ll use this balm which is very soft and nourishing on the skin. It will remove makeup if you wanted it to but I think it’s far too nice to use for that!

Close up of the Elemis Cleansing Balm to see the texture

Elemis Rehydrating Rosepetal Cleanser
I recently review this in my ‘Elemis Skincare for Dry, Dehydrated Skin’ post if you want a more in-depth review. It’s a lightweight cream cleanser that comes in a handy pump bottle. I wouldn’t recommend this for eye makeup removal as it is scented.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser
The gel consistency of this cleanser makes it very refreshing. It does help add a touch of hydration to the skin but it’s that moisturising, I prefer the Elemis Balm for that. Neutrogena also have a gelee milk which I’m going to try after I finish this one.

I have the Pixi Double Cleanse on my cleanser wishlist. Have you guys tried it?


Friday 5 May 2017

Skin Chemists Advanced Snail Duo Moisturiser Review and Discount Code

If you’ve read my skincare reviews of Skin Chemists products, you’ll know that they have very unusual but potent ingredients.

This month’s review focuses on the Advanced Snail Duo Moisturiser and snail secretion, yes you read that correctly, snail secretion, otherwise called Poly-Helixan. This ingredient from nature is packed full of vitamins, and enzymes, these fight off free-radical sun damage, as well as giving ageing skin a helping hand. Don’t worry, this is a cruelty-free ingredient as it is collected with no harm to the animal.

Flat lay with skincare product - Skin Chemists Advanced Snail Duo Moisturiser
The Poly-Helixan is mixed with Tiare Flower Extract, Vitamin E Acetate and Creatine to create the Duo Moisturiser. The Flower Extract helps to soothe the skin, while Vitamin E protects from further sun damage, and Creatine revitalises the skin cells energy. It’s a potent mix!

Close up of the packing on the Skin Chemists Advanced Snail Duo Moisturiser

I found this easily worked into my skincare routine and was perfect for applying makeup over as it felt a slight matte feeling to the skin. I cannot comment on how it works on sun damage, as you know this invisible unless you burn yourself. However, my skin did feel more supple after use.

This £89.90 product can be hugely discounted to £19.99 if you use my code: KATHRYN1 this ends 31st of May.

You can see my other Skin Chemists reviews here, including my Bee Venom Serum. Told you they like their unusual ingredients! 
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