Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

Over the years I’ve been offered all sorts of new and exciting skincare products to try. My skin is in pretty good nick as a result despite a love for wine and a tendency towards less than 6 hours sleep on any given night.

I did go through a period of not wanting to try anything new because I thought it was probably best just to stick with tried and tested favourites and not muck about too much with my skin too much. Recently though, I’ve decided that there’s nothing wrong with switching things up and trying something new every so often. After all, quite often in doing so I discover something that ups the stakes and makes my skin look or feel better than I thought possible.

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

That’s why I’m glad I decided to try the Vine[Activ] range from Caudalie. I was quite happy with my old skin care routine but the temptation to try a range designed to fight the premature ageing signs associated to a modern day active lifestyle was too great to resist.

I received four Vine[Activ] products* from the lovely team at Caudalie: an eye cream, daytime moisturiser (which I’m saving for the colder months so haven’t mentioned below!), a serum and a night oil. All use formulations which help to create a barrier against pollution, boost the skin’s hydration and promote a smoother, healthier complexion over time.

Here’s how I got on:

Vine[Activ] Energising and Smoothing Eye Cream | £27.50

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

I’ll be honest and say that I used to use eye creams religiously and then got a bit fed up of putting in the effort without seeing much reward. I decided to give this one a go however and it does definitely leave my eyes feeling more refreshed. I haven’t noticed any improvement to the appearance of my laughter lines or dark circles (although I may have stopped using it too soon, it’s hard to tell!) so although I had a positive experience with it I probably wouldn’t repurchase it.

I tell you what I would repurchase though!

Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum | £36

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

The Glow Activating Serum is my ‘must buy again’ pick. It’s got a beautifully light, almost milky consistency that sinks in well, smells fresh and instantly makes my skin feel brighter and luxuriated. I’m not big on using face creams during the day but as this one is so light I’ve been using it to pep up my tired face in the mornings.  My fella tried it and has since become a big fan too. I’m really glad that he’s enjoying it, but bloody hell it does mean you get through the bottle at an alarming rate!

Actually though I shouldn’t complain as it was nice to get his opinion on it too. He explained that he’s prone to getting little bumps under his skin but has noticed a marked reduction since using the serum regularly.

Vine[Activ] Overnight Detox Oil | £30

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

The Overnight Detox Oil is my other top pick. As the name suggests it does it’s work whilst I’m fast asleep! I apply a couple of drops to my face at bedtime and when I wake up it has all absorbed into my skin. I have never noticed any residue on my pillows (something I always worry about when using facial oils) and after use my skin feels smooth and healthy.

More than anything else, I’ve really noticed a difference on the occasions when I’ve skipped a night as my skin seems to miss it now! Luckily a little goes a long way with this one so the bottle is lasting ages…

…despite a certain someone having taken a shine to this one as well!

Caudalie Vine[Activ] Skincare Range

So there you have it. Not every product I try is so amazing that I’m willing to fork out for it time after time but every so often I discover something that I’d be hard pressed to live without!

Have you tried any skincare from Caudalie? What are your ‘can’t live without’ skincare essentials?

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: The skincare items in this review are PR Samples but as always they’ve been through rigorous testing by yours truly and I’ve provided my honest opinions.

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Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

Last month The Good Spa Guide invited me to a girls day out at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest. As a regular visitor to the Aqua Sana at Elveden Forest in Suffolk, I was excited to be able to go check out their newest and largest spa.

Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

The Aqua Sana spa is located in the heart of the forest which is the just the perfect setting for a pampering retreat. I arrived feeling tense from driving for an hour and a half in rush hour traffic but the combination of the fresh air and sound of the trees gently rustling in the wind had a wonderfully calming effect on me – instant stress relief!

Usually on a spa day I’d spend the majority of my time steaming my face off in the treatment rooms or curling up with a good book, but this trip was a little bit different. The spa were hosting a pop up by top skincare brand Comfort Zone so I donned my swimsuit and a big fluffy towelling robe and flip flopped my way over to see what it was all about.

Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

The pop up is one of three that Aqua Sana Woburn Forest are hosting over the summer. Each one runs for a month and features a brand that is well regarded by spa professionals but is perhaps not so well known outside of the industry. With complimentary workshops, one to one consultations and extra treatments on offer it’s a really good way to discover top class skincare products and treatments that you might not otherwise ever get to hear about.

Comfort Zone is a professional range of spa treatments and home care products with a concept that I can truly buy in to: skincare science with a soul!

Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

Basically what this means is that whilst they offer advanced science based skincare solutions, they also actively promote holistic, healthy lifestyles and are an eco conscious brand. They use renewable energy sources during manufacturing, natural, sustainable ingredients which are free from parabens and silicone and are strictly against animal testing. It just goes to show that it’s possible to produce world class beauty products without compromising on ethics!

The discovery session with Comfort Zone turned out to be an incredibly relaxing way to spend half an hour. Our Comfort Zone therapist let us try out cleansers, toners, serums and masks from across the ranges to come up with our own individually tailored skincare routine, then talked us through some simple ways to reduce anxiety and stress and help us to improve our wellbeing.

My favourite product discovery was the Hydra Memory Mask which left my skin feeling wonderfully soft and supple. The therapist referred to it as ‘water for the skin’ and it certainly felt like I’d been treated to an instant moisture boost.

Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

Afterwards I headed to the Comfort Zone stand in the retail area for a one to one skin analysis and treatment consultation. The therapist used a handheld device to measure my skin’s hydration, elasticity and health. It only takes 5 seconds to get each reading and is all very clever, although admittedly it was a little bit scary seeing my skin magnified to a cellular level!

My skin turned out to be in reasonable shape but the deep tissue scan identified some signs of ageing damage beginning to appear so I was advised to use anti-ageing products that stimulate cell regeneration and hydrate the skin. You can’t stop the ageing process, but you can help to slow it down so I found it really helpful to know what areas to concentrate on!

This sort of skincare analysis can also be of use to people suffering from skin complaints as it helps to pinpoint exactly where the issues lie so that you can then identify the best ways to treat them.

Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

Hands down though my favourite part of the day was going up to the treatment room for a Sublime Skin Lifting Facial Massage. I spent a heavenly 60 minutes being pampered from head to toe with products from the Comfort Zone Sublime Skin range. The anti-ageing treatment mainly focused on applying various luxurious treatments to my face to help lift, tone and firm the skin but I also get treated to a hand, arm, decolletage and foot massage too!

By the time it ended I was so sleepy that I could hardly walk and when I rejoined the girls for a spot of lunch they commented that I was glowing. I’ll take that!

Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

Having thoroughly enjoyed the pop up I then had the rest of the day free to explore Aqua Sana. Within the site there are actually six spa areas to visit, each offering it’s own unique experience. The Blossom and Herbal Spas focus on aromatic scents to stimulate your senses, whilst the Salt Spa is great for a body detox.

Comfort Zone Pop Up Spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest

The Fire and Ice Spa, based upon the concept of using a combination of hot and cold treatments to soothe and invigorate was the one I spent most time in. I made a beeline for the Lava-Volcano Sauna as I was suffering from a cold that day and the intense dry heat did wonders to help my breathing and clear my head. Afterwards I went into the ice room and rubbed handfuls of the stuff onto my skin which I wasn’t sure I’d like, but it felt weirdly refreshing so I was glad I dared to try it!

Ooh actually I’ve just remembered another favourite part of the day; how could I forget the outdoor balcony area with heated water beds and cushions?! There is nothing more relaxing than curling up under a faux fur throw, listening to the sounds of the forest. I fell asleep for half an hour… no regrets!

I thoroughly enjoyed my spa day and would highly recommend that you go and try it out for yourself. The next pop up is by ESPA and runs from 19th May through to 15th June offering complimentary 10 minute treats and workshops ranging from ‘Mindfulness & Breathing’ to ‘Body Cleanse & Revitalise’ so it’s a great time to plan a visit!

LovedByLaura

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, however my trip to the spa and treatments whilst on site were complimentary so I must say a big thanks to The Good Spa Guide, Aqua Sana and Comfort Zone for their wonderful hospitality.

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How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle

Last weekend the sun finally awoke from it’s Winter hibernation and dazzled the UK with it’s warmth for two glorious days. I was delighted to be able to ditch my black tights and slip on my favourite pair of platform sandals for the first time this year, but not so enthusiatic about all the pale dry skin on show!

My skin gets rather parched over Winter and I’m prone to scaly patches on my legs, knees and elbows which are easy to ignore when you can cover them in 3 layers every day, but become a big flashing red light to me as the temperatures slowly begin to creep into double figures.

I know it isn’t summer quite yet but I think that this is the perfect time of year to start prepping our skin so that next time the sun decides to show itself we’re ready for it.

Here’s how I’m getting my skin Summer ready using products from one of my all time favourite skincare brands, the one and only Liz Earle!

How I’m Getting My Skin Summer Ready

Exfoliation

If you don’t currently exfoliate here are 4 reasons why it’s a good idea to start:

  1. Exfoliation helps to gently slough away dead layers leaving behind smoother, healthier skin.
  2. It helps to prevent ingrown hairs (something you might get if you shave, wax or epilate regularly).
  3. Your skin is more receptive to moisturisers after exfoliation.
  4. Exfoliation boosts circulation which leaves your skin glowing and helps to combat cellulite.

I exfoliate twice a week using Liz Earle’s Energising Body Scrub. I used to use a dry sugar scrub but fell in love with this one because of it’s gel formulation.

How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle

It’s really gentle on my sensitive skin and so easy to apply as the buffing olive stones are contained within the gel. All you need to do is squeeze out a blob and massage it in circular motions into the skin and the stones will work their magic.

The sweet orange oil gives it a fresh, invigorating scent which provides a lovely boost in the morning.

Moisturising Body Oils

I don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the mornings so the Superskin Dry Oil from Liz Earle is a godsend. It comes in a spray bottle which means that I can spritz it on and be out the door within minutes! The oil is non greasy and absorbs super fast, leaving behind a beautiful healthy sheen on my skin.

How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle
How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle
How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle

As with all Liz Earle products this one is made with natural botanical ingredients, in this case Rosehip, Cranberry and Borage oils, which combine to leave a lingering aromatic scent which will help keep you calm and focused during a stressful day!

At night I have a bit more time on my hands so I use the richer Superskin Treatment for Body. This is the big sister to the facial oil which I raved about here and smells just as good! It feels a bit greasy when first applied but this soon soaks in and quenches your skin’s thirst.

How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle

If you apply it 30 minutes before bed time you won’t have to worry about your sheets, but I’d recommend slathering it on and then slipping into some luxurious silk pyjamas for a truly pampering treat (or, let’s be real, in my case a pair of Primark’s cotton finest!). That way you can allow it to soak in gradually overnight and wake up to even silkier hydrated skin in the morning.

Overnight Mask Magic

It’s not just my body that’s been feeling dehydrated from a long Winter and I’m ever conscious of signs of ageing creeping onto my face. Whilst I know that it’s impossible to turn back time, I am determined to do my best to slow down the clock as much as possible and the Superskin Overnight Mask has become my new best friend.

How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle

This mask is designed to nourish the skin and lock in moisture with a supercharged cocktail of natural ingredients including Persian silk tree, pomegranate flower, buriti, borage and rosehip.

I’ve been using the mask twice a week and I like to make a big pampering deal of it with a facial massage. First I use my fingers to press it into my cheeks, across my forehead and around my jawline, then I gently work it into the skin using upward circular motions. NEVER rub or drag the skin on your face, especially around your eyes so as to keep the delicate skin in it’s best shape.

How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle

Then I leave it on overnight – easy peasy! In the morning I use a hot cloth cleanser to remove it whilst I’m in the shower. My skin feels fresh and taut afterwards but in a good plump way rather than any feeling of tightness. In short, it feels like my skin but better…if I could get away with using it every day I would!

Then I’m free to face the day come rain or shine! (Or erm… go back to bed with a good book!)

How I'm Getting My Skin Summer Ready ft Liz Earle

So that’s how I’m getting my skin summer ready. Are you thinking ahead to the Summer season yet?

LovedByLaura

*DISCLAIMER: I was very kindly gifted a selection of Liz Earle products by the wonderful team at my local John Lewis in Peterborough Queensgate Shopping Centre and can’t thank them enough for once again allowing me to try out the latest and greatest from the ever expanding range. Rest assured thought that this review is not sponsored and as per usual, nothing gets the Loved By Laura stamp of approval unless I truly love it myself.

P.s. Did I mention that all Liz Earle products are 100% cruelty free? Well that makes me even more of a happy bunny!

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Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Liz Earle PerfumeI always have a kind of inner struggle as to whether to write posts on my favourite purchases or brand discoveries, simply because I don’t want to constantly encourage you all to spend money! However, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t get excited by new shiny pretty things and the simple pleasures that they can bring, so here are a few of the different products this month that I really got to know and love.

…because if you ARE going to spend money, let me help you make sure it’s on something that will make you feel good and pop a smile on your face!

February Feel Good Home and Beauty Favourites

Etta French Jewellery Candle

Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Liz Earle PerfumeMy sister lives hundreds of miles away and we can go for long periods of time without more than a little chat on Whatsapp, so it never fails to amaze me that she still always picks out the perfect present for me.

The latest was this beautifully packaged, incredible smelling candle from a company called Etta French. The rich spicy fusion of nutmeg and cinnamon and warm flickering glow has been helping to keep my home snug and cosy on the coldest February days and nights.

Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Liz Earle Perfume

…but that isn’t even the best bit, because there’s a hidden surprise inside too!

As it melts you start to see a little packet emerge and eventually you can pull it free with a pair of tweezers. Folded up inside is a beautiful necklace, but you won’t know which one until you open it!

Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Liz Earle Perfume

I wasn’t really sure what to expect quality wise but the necklace is really beautiful and I’ve not taken it off since. I’ve even had several friends ask me where it’s from. I think this is a really lovely feel good present idea – maybe one to consider for Mother’s Day!

Rosie for Autograph Lip Glossy – Shade Super Model Smile

Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Liz Earle PerfumeThis lip gloss was one of the items featured in the Marks and Spencers Beauty Advent Calendar last Christmas. I’m so glad it was in there because I’d never really consider M&S for my makeup, but now that I’ve tried it it’s become a real favourite and I use it most days now!

Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Liz Earle Perfume

It hasn’t got that horrible sticky feel that I usually associate with glosses, instead the formula is buttery smooth. It’s a beautifully flattering dusky nude pink shade too which enhances rather than covers my natural lip colour.

Liz Earle Perfume – Botanical Essence No.9*

Oh my word the Liz Earle perfume bottles and packaging are just so pretty! SO. PRETTY. Yes I know that I should be starting this by talking about the scent but I mean come on, look at how gorgeous it is!

Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Liz Earle Perfume

Ahem. I’d better actually talk about the scent hadn’t I?!

I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I like my fragrances bold and seductive and tend to go for the ones that are described as evening fragrances or ‘intense’ versions. Spicy, woody and fruity notes are my favourites.

Winter Home and Beauty Favourites Feel Good Liz Earle Perfume

Botanical Essence No.9, however, suits my signature scent style down to the ground. It mixes fruity top notes of Blackcurrant Bud, Bergamot and Red Ginger with a heart of exotic Damask Rose and Osmanthus and then a woody base of Oakmoss and Haitian Vevetier to form a rich spicy, evocative scent.

Although I do sometimes wear night time fragrances during the day I think this one is much better kept for evening wear. It’s perfect for date night as it will basically make you feel 100% more delicious!

Thank you to the Liz Earle team in John Lewis, Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough for helping me find my perfect match!

Alexi London Moon Cluster Ring*

Winter Home and Beauty Feel Good Favourites Liz Earle Perfume

Okay firstly, apologies for the weird ‘half on my finger picture’ – I don’t actually wear it like that but it was the only way I could get my camera to focus on it as it’s such a dainty piece! Anyhoo…

I fell in love with this moon cluster ring as soon as I saw it in the Alexi London collection. It’s a mere whisper of a sterling silver band that feels smooth and weightless on with a crescent cluster which glints as it catches the light. Sometimes I wear it on it’s own but more often than not I pair it with rings of other shapes and sizes for an eclectic look and really like how it works with them all.

Winter Home and Beauty Feel Good Favourites Liz Earle Perfume

I often buy costume jewellery bits from Primark or H&M but they do tend to leave my finger a bit green/grey after a few wears. I’ve had no such trouble with this piece so the extra bit of investment (this one is a still reasonable £25) means that I can keep on wearing it again and again!

Alexi London have also very kindly given me my own discount code to share with you all for an extra way to feel good about your purchases! If you want to treat yourself to a gorgeous bit of new jewellery just pop LOVED10 in the box for a 10% discount!

…I am now debating whether to treat myself to the matching earrings… what do you think guys should I go for it? What are your feel good favourites at the moment?

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: Items marked with an asterisk are PR samples, however I only share things that I truly love and want you all to know about!

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M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

Last month I was thrilled to receive an invitation from M∙A∙C to visit their newly opened Peterborough store in Queensgate Shopping Centre and experience their 60 minute Full Makeup Application service. I mean, what better way to experiment with a new look and learn some new techniques than to place yourself in the hands of an expert M∙A∙C artist?

It ended up being an incredibly fun and inspirational experience which I have to thank the incredible M∙A∙C artist Kelly for. We sat down at one of the makeup stations to discuss my current makeup routine, skin type and what I wanted to take from the experience. She was at once professional but also an absolute hoot and we ended up chatting and giggling our way through the appointment like a pair of friends on a sleepover!

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

I asked for a ‘date night glam’ look since I’m newly single and we decided to have a bit of fun by adding glitter into the eye shadow because it’s something that I’ve always want to try but would never have dared attempt at home on my own.

For the next hour she worked her way around my face creating a tailored look that was perfect for me whilst explaining the application techniques she was using and which brushes would work best for each task. I learned so so much!

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

A great tip that she gave me was to start off by applying eye makeup first and then to follow this up with the base and concealer. This is especially good for strong eye looks as you will often get some makeup powder fallout under your eyes which can then be easily cleaned away without having to worry about ruining your foundation. This can then be used with concealer to tidy up areas where any mishaps occurred with the end result being a flawless look.

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

I watched her expertly blend creamy and chocolatey shades on my eyes, accentuate my mouth with a gorgeous lip pencil in Dervish and a lipstick from the recently launched Viva Glam range (which is a special edition from which the full R.R.P less V.A.T goes towards helping those living with and affected by HIV/Aids).

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

Finally she added dreamy highlighting and contouring.

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

I was so pleased with the finished look that I couldn’t stop smiling and have to admit to being rather gutted when I had to take it off that night! However although I might not have a makeup artist at my disposal every day, I learned so much during those 60 minutes that I felt infinitely more confident about recreating the look at home and incorporating the techniques used into my everyday makeup application.

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

The makeup experience was also a great way to try out new makeup and get an on hand demonstration of how to use each properly. Whilst the 60 minute service costs £40 any products that you purchase at the end are fully redeemable against it, so this meant I got to take away some of my absolute ‘must buy’ products.

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

In addition I was given some free samples and a face chart so that I wouldn’t forget anything that had been used.

M∙A∙C Cosmetics Makeover _ #QBloggers

If you’re stuck in a rut with your makeup look, want to pick up some tips or even just get your make up done by a professional for a special occasion, I can thoroughly recommend M∙A∙C’s Makeup Services.

LovedByLaura

*Disclaimer: The makeup experience and products used in this post were complimentary in return for my honest review of the experience.

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