Just Charlie G

If you’re looking for Christmas Gifts that look beautiful, smell beautiful and don’t cost the world, then look no further than the beautiful gifts available from Yardley London.

The packaging for all of the gifts is sublime, I am in love with the artwork! And for such a quality brand, the prices are incredible for Crackers with a little Hand Cream in them for £4, up to about £20, none of the gifts on offer are going to break the bank.

This gift, the Mixed Body Spray Collection is my favourite and has my favourite packaging and retails at £9 for four 75ml Body Sprays.

Yardley GiftsIncluded in this set are English Lavender, English Rose, Lily of the Valley and English Bluebell Body Sprays, each beautifully designed and they’d look absolutely beautiful in a shabby chic bedroom!

This English Lavender Talc and Soap set costs just £9 and will make a beautiful gift, again, that packaging!

Yardley GiftThe English Lavender scent isn’t just a straight up Lavender, but rather it’s blended with bergamot, clary sage, wood, vanilla, patchouli amongst other beautiful scents such as violet and jasmine.  The result is a fresh light scent with a warm heart.

Finally the English Lavender Eau de Toilette & Body Lotion set costs a very reasonable £15, which considering the size of the products, is a great deal!

Yardley Gift

Yardley London have been in existence since 1770 and are still going strong and that is testament to the quality and popularity. English Lavender is the signature scent and it’s not hard to see why, it’s lovely, but its April Violets that’s calling my name, I absolutely LOVE the scent of violets!

If you’re still Christmas shopping, or having started yet, then do head over to Yardley London, there’s much more on offer than these three beautiful gifts, you’re sure to find something for someone!

*Products received free of charge for review purposes.

In true British style we all start to dress like there is a tropical heatwave the minute the sun makes an appearance.  We cast our winter-wear to the back of the wardrobe and have more skin on show.  In fact research from Boots UK shows that over half of women (53 per cent*) admit that once their winter tights and footwear are off, they stay off for the summer season – whatever the weather!

So whether rain, wind, sun or hail is around the corner, here is the Boots lowdown on how you can flash your summer-worthy skin with weather-proof confidence.

Summer Ready with Boots

Here are some tips from No7 Advisor Samantha Greaves:

 

  1. Brush off that winter skin….

41 per cent of women say that prepping their body by exfoliating, waxing and moisturising gives them the boost to take that leap into summer.  But don’t worry, getting your body ready for summer doesn’t mean hours of prep as simple tweaks will help you whizz through your routine and get even better results:

No7 Advisor Samantha Greaves explains:  “Contrary to what most people think, pores do not actually open and close – they do not have any muscles!  So to unclog them and get your skin beautifully buffed and glowing, ensure your skin is warm when you exfoliate (just after a bath or shower is perfect) as this helps to loosen up underlying dead skin and daily dirt.  It is also important to rinse your skin with the coldest water you can stand after you exfoliate to re-tighten the skin.”

Try rubbing Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Body Scrub, £4.99*, into any areas that are oilier such as your back to avoid congestions as these can lead to breakouts.  For spot prone skin try finding a shower gel that contains Glycolic acid and salicylic acid to help remove any dead skin cells and regulate sebum production.

Summer Ready with Boots (2)I’ve been using this for a couple of weeks now and its been really great, I’ve got a spotty area, and I won’t tell you where, and this has been working well to clear that up. I love the fresh clean smell. It’s worth mentioning that usually Tea Tree Oil and I don’t usually get on, but I’ve got on well with this, so go figure. Also my keratosis pilaris on my upper arms, is looking pretty good right now. A definite recommendation.

 

  1. Massage your way to a trim tum

“My top tip on firming up your tummy is rubbing a rich body butter into your skin for a few minutes every day in the run up to your holiday.  This helps to stimulate circulation and keeps your skin looking even and toned.”

Try Botanics Rehydrating Body Butter, £8.00*, this indulgently rich body butter melts into the skin to soften, smooth and provide a long-lasting moisture boost.  Including shea, cocoa butter and coconut oil it intensively hydrates and conditions for ultimate moisturisation.

Summer Ready with Boots Summer Ready with BootsOh my gosh, this is amazing! The smell is incredible and I think you can see in the photos that the texture is rich and moisturising. A really good one if your skin is in special need of moisture as this is so moisturising and not too greasy, it feels very high quality, a very luxe product at a great price.

 

  1. Get that summer glow….

“Having a bit of colour on your skin can really help you feel more confident when it comes to flashing your flesh” explains No7 Advisor Samantha Greaves. “Try applying a gradual tan which not only gives skin a youthful glow but can also help it to appear smoother on the surface.  For even more definition try brushing a layer of instant tan on to your inner thighs to create contour effect.  If you’re not a fan of fake tan then try an aftersun with tan maintainer like Boots Soltan Aftersun Lotion with Tan Prolonger, £4.00 – this helps to build a beautifully natural tan whilst hydrating your skin.”

No7 Naturally Sun Kissed Gradual Body Tan, £9.95, is perfect for a beautiful light tan.  This gradual  tan deeply smoothes and moisturises skin optimising its condition for exposure to the sun whilst its gentle self-tanning ingredients leave behind a hint of beautiful colour that builds day by day into a natural looking year round glow.  It moisturises for up to 12 hours and contains a unique antioxidant complex to prepare skin for exposure to the sun.

To keep your tan and stay safe in the sun, why not try Boots Soltan Protect & Tan Ultra-Light Texture Suncare Spray, £7.  An SPF30 formulation with an innovative ingredient that helps stimulate your body’s natural tanning production whilst protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays.  This light-feeling spray disappears into your skin instantly leaving no sticky residue.  It provides continuous moisturisation for silky-soft skin, helping to prevent peeling.

*Products received Free of Charge for Review purposes.

Treaclemoon make beautiful bath and products at incredible prices with a range of delicious, scrummy scents.

I’m a regular buyer actually, the kids and I can’t get enough of the scents, the husband has even been known to have a go too.

What I didn’t know though was that Treaclemoon is a brand with a heart. They are officially partnered with Bulliesout, a charity that provides help and information to individuals, schools, workplaces and communities to work against bullying and encourage young people to recognise their self-worth and potential. Treaclemoon make monthly donations and have pledged to help raise further funds. A great cause I’m sure you’ll agree.

Treaclemoon kindly sent us a couple of bottles of their Bath & Shower Gel* to try out.

TreaclemoonIced Strawberry Dream is a gorgeous strawberries and cream scent, almost like ice cream and is hands down the kids favourite, but I absolutely adore Sugared Almond Tart, which smells exactly as it sounds, sweet and almondy.

It’s hard to believe but these large 500ml bottles are a brilliant £2.99 each and they last for absolutely ages. We don’t tend to use them as bubble bath, but we all use them to wash with and they are gorgeously foamy and smell incredible. You just can’t lose with these, they seem considerably more expensive than they actually are. Great products and there are lots more products in the line available, from body butters, to hand creams, be sure to check them out.

Available in Tesco Stores and Waitrose, or you can purchase online and find out more information on the Treaclemoon website.

*Items received free of charge for review purposes.

When it comes to branding and packaging, I’m an absolute sucker and here’s a new brand who I think are getting it absolutely spot on.

This fantastic little suitcase turned up on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago.

Professor Scrubbingtons Emporium of Clean (1)Those fantastic stickers were dotted all over the case, its very appealing and not just to me, Chloe and Lola were keen to know what was inside too. Fortunately for them the products contained within were from the fabulous Professor Scrubbington’s Emporium of Clean*.

Professor Scrubbingtons Emporium of Clean (2)A small but comprehensive range was contained within, with absolutely gorgeous packaging. The complete range, as shown, includes a Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair and Body Wash, Hand and Face Wash as well as a roll on Deodorant. I really love how some of the products have a little tale on them…

Professor Scrubbingtons Emporium of Clean (3)The entire range, with the exception of the deodorant, is based on foam. The principle being that foams are easy to apply, economical and they don’t slip and slide out of small hands when in the bath tub, they stay there until applied to the body or hair.

To activate the Magically Foaming Formulas, you simply pull down the tip of the “lid” firmly (which can then remain permanently open as it won’t leak) and squeeze the bottle.

Professor Scrubbingtons Emporium of Clean Professor Scrubbingtons Emporium of CleanWe found the mechanics a little hit and miss to start with, but once we got going the products worked well.

Being for young folk dear old Professor Scrubbington opted to keep things as natural as possible, so the products are Paraben and SLS free and the scent is gorgeous and used throughout the range. The scent itself can best be described as fresh and clean, and importantly unisex.

I pondered what to do with the deodorant, with 5 and 8 year olds it wasn’t something I’d thought about giving the kids yet, but as its not an antiperspirant I gave it to Chloe. At age 8 I don’t think using a product under her arms daily is a bad habit to get into at all, she loves the smell and loves using it.

Both of the kids are really enjoying using the products and I’m enjoying having fragrant kids. They’ve always loved bath time but they are loving it even more at the moment, there’s something really fun and novel about using foam for them, but its not just a novelty, its practical too. Washing with foam uses around two thirds less product as a liquid soap, and less water too!!

Professor Scrubbingtons Emporium of CleanIt is worth adding also that Chloe has really quite bad eczema and these products have not aggravated it in anyway. Probably due to the lack of nasties in the formulas. I hear there are plans for Professor Scrubbinton to add new products to his range of concoctions and we are excited to see what they may be!

Prices start at £5 per product, but you can buy the whole range for £20 with free postage on the Scrubbington’s Website which is a great deal and I think I’ll go and order it myself in a moment because we’re definitely going to be needing backups of all these.

 

*Products received free of charge for review purposes

 

 

You may remember my blog post not too long ago about the Fortune Cookie Soap (FCS) Spring subscription box, with a Wonderland theme. The whole point of the quarterly subscription boxes are to give you a taste of the major collections, so you can make informed choices when shopping the full line when it’s released. Of course, its a treat in itself, so if you are able to exercise good will power, maybe you can stop with just the box, but that’s just not my style. You may also remember my blog post about some purchases I made from the Game of Thrones themed collection, Winter Has Come. Well some of those items I adored so much I had to stock up, and some I was still keen to try, so I added a few to my order as well. So here’s what I ordered from the Fortune Cookie Soap Wonderland & winter Has come collections.

Fortune Cookie Soap Winter Has COme Wonderland

 

So I’ll give you a run down first of all of the Wonderland Items I ordered.

It is a huge collection with multiple scents, and for each scent there were multiple products. I was unable to order a fraction of what I would have liked, so chose to pick one scent and get a few products, and then perfume oils from the other scents.

Based on all the things I smelled and used from the Spring Box, I opted to buy Twisted Tea Party products, as it was my favourite scent. Green tea, sweet herbs, vanilla bean, cucumber, golden amber, neroli, geranium and spearmint.  Its unusual, it’s fresh and perfect for Spring, its just amazing. Here’s what I got:

Twisted Tea Party Body Wash ($10.99)

Fortune Cookie Soap twisted Tea party Body WashThe FCS Body Washes are brilliant, heavily scented and they lather a huge amount so you don’t need to use a lot of product.

Twisted Tea Party Whipped Cream ($10.99)

Fortune Cookie Soap Twisted Tea Party Whipped Cream

FCS Whipped Creams are pretty much a hero product, light and fluffy, heavily moisturising but without being greasy. In the relatively short time I’ve been buying FCS products, these have quickly become a favourite.

Twisted Tea Party Cuticle Butter ($8.95)

Fortune Cookie Soap Twisted tea Party Cuticle ButterFortune Cookie Soap Twisted tea Party Cuticle Butter 2 This isn’t my first Cuticle butter, I have one from the Christmas collection, they work incredibly well on my parched fingers. They are essentially a blend of beautiful butters, shea and mango, as well as some gorgeous oils, sweet almond, olive, coconut, avocado, amongst others. It feels really greasy as you apply but absorbs really fast, I don’t know how they do it but its a great product.

Finally I bought the Twisted Tea Party Perfume Oil, along with a few more….($5.99 for 1 dram, each).

Fortune Cookie Soap Perfume OilsThe Perfume Oils are my absolute favourite Fortune Cookie Soap product. Being oils, you need very little, just a dab, and the smell is both strong and long lasting. As well as the Twisted Tea Party scent I also bought Keep it in the Family from the Winter has Come collection (Burgundy roses, carnations, and white florals with nuances of burgundy wine, sandalwood, and a hint of musk). I already own this one but the collection is soon to be discontinued to make way for new collections and I adore this so I needed a back up, I also added It’s Only a Dream, Almost Alice and Who Are You? from the Wonderland collection, they are all very different, and they are not just different from each other, but they are not the sorts of scents you’ll find sold anywhere else, they are beautiful and unusual. It’s Only a Dream is Verbena, lemongrass, calla lily, citrus, leafy greens, ylang-ylang, rosewood, ozone and hints of rose and soft musk, Almost Alice is Fresh green snap peas, juicy pears, sweet pea flowers, freesia and ripe berries. Really fresh and floral, and finally, Who Are You? is Crisp ripe pear, limes, vanilla orchid and raw cane sugar. I’d very much like to get the Body Wash and Whipped Cream in the latter scent.

That was all I could manage to afford from the Wonderland collection at the time of ordering but I added these to my order from the Winter Has Come, Game of Thrones themed collection:

Unsullied Shower Oil ($12.99)

Fortune Cookie Soap Unsullied Shower oilA warm arid blend of patchouli, sandalwood, and citrus with juicy notes of white peach and red mango. You may have spotted I already own this. It’s now sold out and unlikely to be restocked. A crying shame, its the best body product I have ever tried in my life. The scent is to die for, it lasts on my skin for hours and hours, its quick and easy to use and moisturising without being greasy (once soaked in which happens quickly). A glorious product.

No Middle Ground Hydrate Me ($9.99)

Fortune Cookie Soap no Middle Ground Hydrate me

Hydrate Me’s are essentially solid, in-shower, moisturisers. I really like them, so easy to use, while you are still in the shower, under running water, before you get out, rub this all over (careful, you don’t need much and if you use it in a hot shower it will melt away quickly), massage in, and leave to sink into your skin as you dry. These do feel heavy on the skin until they are absorbed. I find it takes about ten minutes, as such these are deeply moisturising and amazing for dry skin. The scent of this bergamot, intoxicating gardenia, fresh eucalyptus leaves and lavender flowers wrapped in neroli, and tea leaves and I love it!

Needle Sugar Scrub ($13.99)

Fortune Cookie Soap Needle Sugar ScrubHerbaceous cilantro, tart lemons, and lush green base notes of fresh grass and green tea leaves. This smells DIVINE! FCS scrubs almost feel moussey, they are so light and fluffy, but they have a really good amount of scrub to them. I can’t bear scrubs that don’t leave me feelings scrubbed, you know the sort, a thick cream with a few jojoba beads dotted through it, this is full of sugar, moisturising oils and is gorgeous.

I also got a few freebies in my box, three 1oz Whipped Creams to try, from their Christmas collection. I feel very lucky 🙂

Fortune Cookie Soap Whipped Cream

Some of these products shown are now no longer available, but most things still are, but probably not for long as the Spring Collections are retired to make way for Summer, so if you’ve seen anything you fancy, don’t wait long!

Shipping to the UK is not cheap, not at all, but for a treat, I would highly recommend, the products are beautiful, original and feel very treat-like.

All the products above, except the three samples at the end were purchased myself from Fortune Cookie Soap.

Until the press release landed in my inbox, I’d never heard of the Italian brand, L’Erbolario. This plant-based brand has actually been around since 1978 and having a look at their website I can see the range is not only extensive, but highly covetable. There are facial skincare products as well as a great range of bath and body products in a variety of beautiful sounding scents.  Top of my list are the beautiful sounding Aromatic Toning Waters, all of the Chinchona range (red chinchona bark, rhubarb and black mulberry) as well as the beautiful sounding Meharee’s range, (date and myrrh).

New from the brand for Spring however is the Narciso Sublime range based of course on the flower we know as Narcissus.  The packaging is, both exterior and otherwise is beautiful. The scent is sublime, floral and green, but also exotic, it just smells… expensive.

P1160931 P1160934The range includes an Eau de Parfum,  a Bath Foam, a Body Cream, a Smoothing Body Oil a Cream Talc, Perfumed Soap and a Perfumed Candle.

I was lucky enough to receive the Smoothing Body Oil* and the Body Cream* to try out.

P1160937 The Smoothing Body Oil (£19) comes in a glass bottle with a spray making it a breeze to use. It’s not greasy at all and absorbs quickly into the skin keeping skin supple. It also offers toning benefits while nourishing. I can’t tell you how gorgeous to use this is, its just really lovely.

P1160939The Body Cream (£24.50) is again beautiful. The texture is one of the nicest I have ever tried, it feels rich, but its not greasy or heavy, but it seems to do the same amount of work and moisturising as much heavier body creams I’ve tried. The ingredients are beautiful, including sweet almond oil, olive oil, oat milk, honey extract and Vitamin E.

With both products, I found the scent lingered on my skin for hours after application which for me is a huge selling point, its so disappointing when you try products that smell beautiful but you can’t smell them for long.

With this combination my winter skin has been very quickly banished. The range is so beautiful it is my full intention to put a few more bits on my birthday wishlist to try out and I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to try them, as I say, I’d never heard of L’Erbolario before, consider me converted! I would highly recommend, based on the extremely high quality of the products tried, they would make beautiful gifts.

Products are available from either theL’Erbolario store at 106A Upper Street, London, N1 or visit www.erbolario.co.uk

Edit: I forgot to mention, in each product you get samples to try of other products, which I think is a fantastic touch!

P1160936

*Products received free of charge for review purposes

I’ve had a few days hiatus, life’s been a bit busy (even though the girls have been away for a couple of days), but anyway, here I am back again with another Fortune Cookie Soap post. I only did my last one last week I think but I had my soap box arrive this morning and I couldn’t wait to blog about it!

I’m not a fan of subscription boxes. Never have been, I think a box full of samples I don’t want is totally unappealing (although once or twice there have been exceptions), until I learned about the Fortune Cookie Soap (FCS) Box Subscription. As you may already know FCS are based in the states, and regularly release new themed bath and body collections, but four (I think?) times a year they release big seasonal collections. The Box subscription allows you to get a box of 8 samples (decent sized ones at that) from the main collections, before the collection is released, so you can plan your orders and get a good first look. As well as a generous amount of samples, you also get a $10 (£6.52) voucher for your next order. Each box costs $34 including shipping which works out at £22.17. I’d say it’s well worth it. Its a real treat.

Soooo, I got my Spring Soap Box this morning and the theme is Wonderland. I imagine its a theme that will appeal to many.

Fortune Cookie Soap WonderlandP1160521I’d be surprised if you’ve seen a nicer looking subscription beauty box!

So lets take a closer look at what’s inside!

First of all, this little cutie, its a sweet touch.

P1160525Onto the products.

Starting with the Almost Alice Fortune Cookie Soap

P1160532Fresh green snap peas, juicy pears, sweet pea flowers, freesia and ripe berries. Really fresh and floral.

Twisted Tea Party Bath Tea

P1160530 This is incredible, I’m just gutted I don’t enjoy baths. I think what FCS excel at is innovative fun products and this fits the bill. It’s a tea bag for your bath. Green tea, sweet herbs, vanilla bean, cucumber, golden amber, neroli, geranium and spearmint. Just toss it in your bath and infuse!

Who Are You? Incense Cones

P1160528 P1160529Crisp ripe pear, limes, vanilla orchid and raw cane sugar, these are fabulous. Pop one on a non-flammable surface, light the tip and let it burn for 10 seconds, then extinguish. The scented smoke will fill your room. if thats not your thing, pop the sachet in your undies drawer for perfectly scented pants 🙂

It’s Only a Dream Whipped Cream

WhippedcreamThe Whipped Creams are one of my favourite FCS products. Light and fluffy but deeply moisturising. The scents have really great staying power on your skin and this pale pink beauty is gorgeous. Verbena, lemongrass, calla lily, citrus, leafy greens, ylang-ylang, rosewood, ozone and hints of rose and soft musk. It’s Spring in a jar. Gorgeous.

Off With Their Heads Bath Bomb

P1160531The classic bath bomb in mini version, this sweet little heart is covered in dried rose petals. The scent is Meyer lemons, oranges, wild roses, violets, star jasmine, bergamot and egyptian musk. Again I’m sorry I dislike baths so much, it smells beautiful.

Futterwacken Body Wash

P1160524Sun warmed lilies with grapefruit and fresh air. A beautiful spring, morning wash. The body washes are all excellent.

Eat Me Perfume Oil

P1160535My absolute favourite FCS products, the perfume oils are amazing blends of amazing ingredients. Eat Me is yellow cake with vanilla frosting, pineapple and cilantro (coriander). The coriander makes this really interesting. It’s not your average foodie scent. I applied at 10am, I can still smell it now. Beautiful.

Finally, We’re All Mad Here OCD

OCDI love the OCD’s. In fact I have far too many to get through. Bascially handbag sized hand sanitizers, these are heavily scented and not at all drying (well not if you don’t use them too much – I’ve not experienced any dryness). I have one on my desk, one in my handbag, one on my bedside table, one in the kitchen, one in my car and a few more in storage and I’m not particularly OCD about cleanliness! This pink beauty has a hint of shimmer and is mint water, rich cedarwood and leafy greens. Super clean and very Spring-like!

All in all, a very impressive box. A couple of products I won’t use because I shower rather than bathe, but I’ve already got swaps lined up for those.

I’d highly recommend the FCS Soap Box for anyone, they are beautiful, unusual and smell glorious. You can’t sign up for this box as they are all sold (but the Wonderland collection launches very soon), but you can sign up for the Summer box now. All the info you need is HERE.

If you love the warm, spicy smell of gingerbread, this collection from The Body Shop is perfection! Containing Ginger Sparkle Shower Gel, Ginger Sparkle Body Butter, Ginger Sparkle Body Polish and Ginger Sparkle Soap, it comes in Christmas’s happiest tin (great for nail polish storage!).

At £15, I think it is extremely good value – it looks much more expensive. The scent is light and sparkly – a little bit sweet but not overwhelming and the Body Butter and the ‘sparkle’ element describes the fragrance as there is no actual glitter that I could find in any of the products – whew!

Find it HERE

*Regular readers of LadyoftheLane.com will know that Charlie is on a little break to recover from an operation so this post is brought to you by Jane at Britishbeautyblogger.