Tuesday, 9 July 2019

#GatwickSummerFestival - What I picked up!

Gatwick Summer Festival - 2019 

*Disclaimer - This was a press trip organised by World Duty Free - all opinions are honest and my own*

Apologies for the late post, technical issues and wanting to trial the products first meant that this was a lot later than expected. This year, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Gatwick Summer Festival - fresh after a week in beautiful Corfu, I couldn't wait to be back even if this time I wasn't travelling! 

Gatwick is one of the busiest airports in the UK with a massive 15.3 million passengers expected to travel through over the summer, therefore it was the perfect time to host an event. Many of the premium brands offered complementary makeovers, as well as the launch of two new and exclusive flavours of Edinburgh Gin - Rhubarb and Ginger and Watermelon and Lime - both a perfect addition to any summer cocktail.

The girls at World Duty Free always look after their guests, kindly booking us in to the BLOC hotel and buying us dinner at The Nicholas Culpeper (they brew their own GIN!) Upon arrival I was greeted by a HUGE pink inflatable flamingo along with many other summer treats which really helped to set the vibe for the evening. When we arrived in the terminal we were kindly provided vouchers which we were able to spend within the store, I thought this post would be the perfect opportunity to show you what I picked up and my initial thoughts on it all.

1. Chanel 'Les Beiges' Bronzer: So after seeing this EVERYWHERE, I treated myself to the beautiful new bronzer, the packaging has such a classic, refined feel and really stands out amongst the other products in Chanel's offering - there was the choice of three shades all equally beautiful and I am so pleased with the one I picked up.

2. By Terry 'Baume De Rose' Lip Gloss: Now this is a product I cannot live without - I picked this up in a travel size as its perfect to throw in an everyday bag or in your pocket. It's one of the only lip glosses' that actually hydrates your lips and smells gorgeous - it's definitely one I would recommend to all my friends.

3. Eve Lom Cream Cleanser: This product had so much hype, I still am not completely on the formula but it does work and leaves my skin feeling so clean. I typically don't use balm cleansers so this did take some getting used to, it comes with a muslin cloth which is a lovely touch and it's the perfect size for travelling.

4. Kiehls Nourishing Dry Body Oil: Kiehls is one of my all time favourite brands, this was one of the only products I hadn't tried - the product is amazing, as someone with naturally dry skin this really helps to lock in moisture and improve the overall texture and appearance.. I will definitely be repurchasing this!

5. Flowerbomb Midnight by Viktor and Rolf: This fragrance is a dream, I didn't think you could beat the original but the midnight edition is stronger - its feminine but with an edge. I've worn this non-stop since purchase and can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

6. YSL Touche Eclat 'Radiant Touch': This was another product with a BIG reputation, I chose to go for a light shade to highlight my under eyes and fix any discolouration. The formula is so much lighter than my concealer but blends really well with my foundation/powder - the packaging is beautiful which definitely helps.

I hope you enjoyed this little round-up, I'm always looking for new products to try, so do send any recommendations my way!


Wednesday, 8 May 2019

review: Reminiscing Rome by Haute Florist

*disclaimer - I was kindly gifted the bouquet in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, statements and ramblings are honest and my own*

I was kindly given the opportunity to choose a bouquet from the beautiful Haute Florist online store - there was so many to choose from and all looked equally as gorgeous! Not only do Haute Florist sell bouquets but also Hat Box flowers which I definitely have my eye on for another time. 

The bouquet I eventually chose was called 'Reminiscing Rome' it's a beautiful cream and green arrangement  made up of Avalanche Roses, Calla Lilies, Lisianthus, Eucalyptus and Eryngium. What drew me to this luxury arrangement was the Eucalyptus and Roses - they really are the perfect pair!

What I like about the brand is how you can start with a standard bouquet and choose to add additional stems, therefore increasing the size of the finished product. I think this is a really lovely touch when gifting as it allows you to personalise the gift - there is also the option to add extras such as chocolates, cards, candles or a vase. 

I couldn't fault the delivery, it arrived so quickly and in perfect condition (the first bouquet actually got lost in transit but the team are so lovely they quickly sent out another, very impressed - its good to see that the customer really does come first) I loved the packaging too... if you watch my stories you would have seen the huge black box that turned up on my doorstep - it's the little details that really help to make this brand stand out. 

The blooms were beautiful, I placed them in a tall thin vase, so that they could splay nicely out the top - I wanted to create a full effect and the greenery really helped me achieve this. The flowers lasted two weeks, which is what I would usually expect from an online retailer - food was included along with instructions on how to get the best out of the bouquet. 

Honestly, I really would use the brand again, in hindsight I really do wish I'd gone for a more colourful and bright bouquet as although I love my images - I really don't think they do the flowers justice. There really is so much variety and will definitely be considering Haute Florist again in the future.


Monday, 29 April 2019

new discoveries - Maya Rey

After what feels like forever, I'm sat in bed writing a blog post all about my latest discovery - Maya Rey - *Disclaimer* I was kindly sent a selection of products in exchange for a review, all opinions are honest and my own - Anyway, now that's cleared up I'll tell you a little bit more about the brand..

Maya Rey is a beautiful company founded by husband and wife, James & Caroline. The brand seeks to enhance the bathing experience, encouraging us to slow down and practice self-care whilst enjoying all the dreamy benefits of a long hot soak. For me, bubble baths are the  perfect and most indulgent activity for practising self-care, so I was delighted to be introduced to the brand and able to sample a selection of products.

If you follow me on Instagram (@Megancolly) you will notice that many of my pictures centre around the bath.. running a hot bath is honestly one of my favourite things, it's the perfect way to unwind and take time out. I like to lay out a selection of items on my bath rack, this usually includes a couple of skincare products, my choice of bath product, a candle and usually whatever book I'm reading at the time - my aim is to make it as dreamy as possible, and distance myself from any electronic devices.

I was sent three products from Maya Rey, the new and exclusive Liquid Hand Soap in Lime, Basil and Mandarin, the Balancer bar and finally the Romancer bath bomb. My first impression of the brand was, oh wow this branding is good - not only did the products arrive with beautiful polaroid style images but they were also beautifully wrapped in tissue paper, an ideal present. 

So the first product, I want to talk about is the Lime, Basil and Mandarin Hand Wash - this gives me major Jo Malone vibes. I am so impressed with the scent, typically hand washes can smell quite generic with a soapy and weak scent but this one really does last. It's a lovely formula too, not too drying or sticky and lathers really nicely under the tap. The liquid hand soap is a new product from Maya Rey - launching earlier this month, it's available in two sizes in the following scents: Rock Salt & Driftwood, and Cassis & Fig.

Next up we have the Balancer Bar, this soothing soap is designed to fight acne and blackheads by re-balancing the skin's natural properties. The red clay and olive oil moisturise the skin and provide a natural layer of protection to prevent breakouts. As someone who doesn't typically suffer with problem skin I didn't notice a huge difference, but as artisan soaps go I was impressed and it smells lovely!

Finally we have the Romancer Bath Bomb, so I'll admit I am not a bath bomb fan.. I find them to be extremely drying and a little bit itchy, so I usually opt for a bubble bath, bath oil or salt. However, I was so surprised by this product, not only did my bath turn a very vibrant hot pink (it was very magical!) but also it didn't dry out my skin or cause any redness - I'd definitely use this again.

I hope I've been able to introduce you to a new brand, I think it's so important to support up and coming businesses (especially ones with branding as beautiful as this!) If you have any recommendations of other products to try please do let me know.


Sunday, 27 January 2019

new discoveries - calissa

AD - all of the products mentioned in this post were gifts from Calissa. I was under no obligation to post about any of the products and have chosen to do so of my own accord. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own. 

Before Christmas I received a package from a gorgeous brand called Calissa. Calissa is an independent beauty retailer who stock a selection of unique brands. Based in the UK I was surprised I hadn't heard of the brand before.. I shop around a lot and this one had never appeared on my radar so I was really intrigued when they reached out. 

I was treated to an amazing selection of products including, make-up, skincare, a luxury soap and beautiful hand cream as you can see from the photos on this post - it was really was a lovely surprise.  What really stood out to me about Calissa was the selection of brands on offer, it's allowed me to try brands I wouldn't have picked out for myself. After looking online, I've already found a couple of additional items I cannot wait to try.

From the beautiful french skincare brand Caudalie I received a beauty elixir, a facial mist with a refreshing minty scent - and I think a hint of something citrusy. I use the mist in the mornings as I find the fresh mint aroma helps to wake me up. As it's a spritz you don't need a lot and it goes a long way. I follow this up with the vinosource moisturising sorbet which is packaged in a pretty pink tube. The formula is light but hydrating, as I cream I had heard so much about I'm grateful I was able to try it for myself.

Delilah was a brand I had never heard of before but am so impressed with, the packaging is just stunning it's understated but luxury reminding me slightly of Nude by Nature or Charlotte Tilbury. I received the Volumising and Defining mascara and the Sunset Matte Bronzer. The mascara is truly amazing, definitely one to try if you have long lashes but want additional volume. 

Included in the parcel was the MOR Marshmallow triple-milled soap, it's a dream. It took me a few weeks to use this for the first time as I was so scared about ruining the beautiful design. I hadn't used a hard soap for a long time opting for the convenient liquid alternatives, but I love the way this lathers up quickly. It's such a pretty scent and perfect for the early morning shower.

The Compagnie De Provence hand cream in sweet almond is a treat! I received a very generous sized tube which is perfect for putting in my bag for when my hands needs a boost during this cold winter weather. Usually I discard hand creams or forget about them but I really like this one.

I also received Dr Jackson's every day oil, it's not pictured as it's the one product I haven't got around to testing yet. I'm planning to use this once my existing body oil runs out and will keep you posted with my thoughts!

I really hope you enjoyed this little product round-up and encourage you to have a look at the online store - they stock some beautiful products at a really generous price point. 


Sunday, 20 January 2019

three things I'm changing about my skincare routine in 2019

As the new year approaches a lot of us tend to reflect on the things we considered successes or disappointments of the previous year.. this is what helps us to make goals for the next one.  A few weeks ago I wrote a post on the things I wanted to change or continue for the new year which you can read here! 

This post is slightly different from the norm, this post will share the three things I'm changing in my 2019 skincare routine. Skincare is a love of mine, always has been - one of the huge misconceptions around my own personal routine is that people assume because I accumulate a lot of products that I have a very complex and product-heavy regime -
wrong. I love to collect products don't get me wrong, but I keep my routine very simple: cleanse, tone, moisturise in the morning... and cleanse, moisturise, serum in the evening - occasionally I use a face-mask but not every single day! 

1 - As I've said many times before I will always choose wash-off cleansers over micellar waters or cleansing oils. I find the only way to make sure the skin is truly 'cleansed' is by using a product that is followed up with warm water. A few of my favourites include: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. This year, I'm going to try to ditch the micellar water completely and make sure that no matter how tired I may feel - I make time to cleanse properly.

2 - I regularly use toner, but only in the morning. I recently experienced a facial at my local Elemis counter and after looking in detail at my skin through a selection of photographic images it was clear that some areas of my skin were dehydrated. I went home and had a look at the toner's I had been using to find a couple contained Alcohol - since switching to an Alcohol free toner I've noticed such an improvement, my skin is definitely on the road to recovery and heading in to 2019 I'm going to make sure it stays this way. I make a conscious effort to ALWAYS check the ingredients in my products. (& if you're interested I've read a few good books which help to simplify a lot of the ingredients and fancy terms which I can recommend/share if you fancy learning a bit more too!)

3 - Facial Rollers are increasingly popular right now with many questioning if they actually 'work'. I picked up a jade roller at my local TK MAXX before christmas and started to use to roll in my overnight serum. In my experience there is definitely more to the facial roller than a pretty Instagram flatlay.. there may not be any proven health benefits yet but I do truly feel that by rolling in your serum I encourage absorption and increase blood flow (note the word encourage, this is my own personal opinion and not scientific fact!) Facial rolling is something I want to continue in 2019, I want to learn more about it and continue to monitor long-term benefits.

I hope you enjoyed this post, skincare is something I will always enjoy writing about - however everything written is from my own personal experience, there is no correct routine or way of doing things and not everything works for everyone. I would love to know about any changes your making this year to your skincare routine?


Thursday, 27 December 2018

new beginnings, good-bye 2018

A slightly different post from me, something a little bit more personal. 2018 has been a really big year for me... I had minor surgery, finished my degree, quit my job, went on an amazing holiday with my friends (my uni friends are all absolute gems, trust me I wouldn't have graduated without them) started a new job alongside making a conscious effort to get out of my comfort zone. 

Going forward in to 2019 I'm determined to make it an even better year, I always write myself a bucket list.. this year it's called '19 things for 2019' not a typical bucket list, it contains small personal goals that I feel can truly be achieved. As I feel a little bit reflective I've decided to share a couple of my goals below:

1 - think about where I want my blog to go: I have been fortunate to work with amazing brands this year, mostly through my Instagram. I love visuals so for me, Instagram has always been my main platform. I love to create content and to share my thoughts and ideas though images. I feel really happy with how my photography and 'style' has developed behind the camera but would love to work on my blog this year - I love to write, it's something I have always enjoyed but it definitely takes a backseat.. I hope to change this next year. 

2 - travel: I would love to travel more, there are so many places I would love to visit not just on a global scale but here in the UK. This year I have a steady job, regular hours and the funds to be able to explore more - this is something I'm going to take advantage of for sure.

3 - continue to practice self-love/self-care on a regular basis: I am a huge cheerleader of self-love/care and the benefits it can have on your quality of life - bold statement I know, but I truly believe there are huge positives that can come from taking time out of your week to focus on you.  There is no wrong or right way but taking some "me-time" to mentally or physically recharge really has had a positive impact on my day-to-day life.  

A slightly short but chatty post, that I really hope you enjoyed - I would love to hear your goals for the upcoming year. My inbox is always open and would love to hear about how your feeling as we transition from 2018-2019. 


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Review: Kristin Ess Hair

Review: Kristin Ess Hair

I have a very sensitive scalp, it's extremely dry and no amount of product or water intake has any improvement. This means that I don't tend to experiment with shampoo or conditioner as much as I'd like to - when you find something that works it's very easy to just stick to it (three years later I still use the same shampoo!) A few months ago my lovely friend Faye introduced me to Kristin Ess Hair, Faye recently returned from an amazing holiday in New York and brought back some really lovely haircare bits -  have a little read of her review here it's what influenced me to give the brand a try.

Kristin Ess Hair has recently become available in the UK, with a range of products now stocked on Feel Unique. I picked up a full-size shampoo in 'Extra Gentle' which kindly arrived with a travel size bottle of signature 'The One' shampoo and conditioner completely free! The packaging is beautiful, as you can see from the photos - it's such a warm aesthetically pleasing bottle with a really easy push-top. I've been using the product every other day - my hair is really long and fine so I find it does need regular washing to keep it in good condition. I did try to cut down on the amount of washes but really struggled with it so I look for gentle formula's that are sulphate-free and can be used daily.

During the wash I found that only a small amount of product is needed, the shampoo lathers up really well - it's not as heavily scented as 'The One' collection but still has a nice light fragrance that lingers on the hair. I like to spend a good 5 minutes making sure I've massaged the shampoo all over the scalp before rinsing first with warm water and a quick blast with cold at the end (I find this really helps to add shine and just feels nice!) The shampoo washes out really easily, as my hair is so thick I am always rinsing that little bit longer just to make sure it's all out.

I actually haven't used conditioner in ages.. my hair didn't seem to get on with it for a really long time, it made my hair feel really heavy which had an impact on volume. I used the occasional hair mask every month to keep my hair in good shape but it wasn't a regular part of my routine. I really like the 'the one' conditioner and it's something I will definitely be repurchasing. Yes, it is annoying as it adds an extra five minutes to an already long process (if you have long hair you'll know the struggle!) but it really has made my hair feel a lot nicer, the scent is so dreamy too!

One of the stand out features of Kristin Ess Hair is 'Zip-Up Technology' the product range aims to strengthen the hair, "zipping" up the split ends and improving the overall appearance. I have noticed that the ends of my hair are not as dry and there may be split ends but these are less obvious than previously.

It is definitely a brand I want to continue to trial, I'd love to try the hair mask or some of the styling products - If you've tried the brand please let me know of any products you think are worth a go?

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