High Tech Suncream

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Hello from sunny Spain! I'm currently in Mallorca, staying at a favourite spot I've visited many times before. (I wrote a post about it last year, and you can read it here if you're interested.)

It might be September, but the sun is still strong here, and it's important to wear a good suncream. I was given this one (in factor 30) by a brand called Ladival at the Pegasus Beauty Showcase a couple of weeks ago, so this holiday is the perfect opportunity to test it out.

Ladival suncream

What makes Ladival different from other suncream brands is the fact that it protects against Infrared-A rays as well as the usual UV-A and UV-B rays. Infrared-A rays penetrate the deepest layers of skin and can cause the formation of aggressive free radicals, which contribute to accelerated skin ageing as well as the usual health risks associated with the sun and skin. Most suncreams work by blocking UV rays at the skin's surface. Ladival, on the other hand, uses "galenic technology" (don't ask me what that is) to deliver protection directly into the skin cell, thus helping to neutralise the harmful effects of Infrared-A rays as well.

Ladival suncream

Now I don't have a crystal ball. I can't look into the future to tell you if this suncream is really going to be better at protecting the health and youthfulness of my skin than any other brand, no matter how convincing the science sounds. What I can do, however, is tell you what it feels like to use, which is very nice indeed.

It's a thick lotion which sinks in effortlessly and really lives up to its claim of being non-greasy. This is a big plus in my book because I hate the feeling of being, as my sister and I call it, "slick with suncream". This one sinks in so well that it really doesn't feel like you're wearing it at all.

Usually, I like to buy a moisturising suncream when I go on holiday, to save on packing a separate body cream. While this one doesn't claim to have hydrating properties, my skin certainly doesn't feel dry, despite this being the only thing I'm using at the moment. It's gentle in formulation, free from parabens and perfumes, and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive, oily and acne-prone. If you suffer from prickly heat, this will actually help to prevent it, which I think is brilliant. (I've had this in the past and it's not at all pleasant!)

Ladival suncream

Ladival is available from Boots and comes in a spray as well as a lotion. You can choose from SPF 15, 30 and 50 and there's also a kids' version. For me, a moisturising suncream and perhaps one formulated especially for use on the face would make this range pretty much perfect. But then I do ask for a lot. ;-)

All in all I'm impressed with Ladival and will definitely use it again. Have you heard of this suncream? Have you heard of Infrared-A rays? Because I certainly hadn't! I'd love to know if anyone else has used this product, and if so, what do you think of it?

Kate x
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Making a Statement

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I hope you like a good backstory behind an outfit, because that's what you're about to get!

A little while ago, I was contacted by Happiness Boutique, who wanted to know if I'd like to review one of their necklaces. I knew straight away the sort of thing I wanted. I already have delicate pieces and heavier, statement ones, but for a while now I've been noticing a different kind of statement necklace about. Less chunky, more intricate, and absolutely gorgeous when worn with a little black dress with a plunging neckline. I've seen looks like this on TV/social media fairly recently, and they've stuck in my head. In fact, I wanted to wear something similar for my sister's hen party, but I didn't manage to find quite the right dress on time.

As far as the necklace goes, however, I found exactly what I was looking for on Happiness Boutique's website - this little stunner.

Statement necklace from Happiness Boutique

It arrived promptly, and I absolutely loved how beautifully and thoughtfully it was packaged.

Statement necklace from Happiness Boutique

Statement necklace from Happiness Boutique

Statement necklace from Happiness Boutique

They even included this little bookmark. I love this Anne Frank quote. Couldn't agree more.

Statement necklace from Happiness Boutique

One of the many things I love about blogging is discovering brands I've never heard of before. Sometimes you wonder "who the heck is this contacting me" and sometimes you find an absolute gem, and Happiness Boutique definitely falls into the latter category. The detail of this necklace is exquisite and in my opinion the quality far surpasses the £13.15 price tag. They have a huge selection, and I think it's fairly safe to say that I'll be visiting their site again next time I'm in the market for a nice piece of costume jewellery.

Now all I needed was the perfect dress to pair it with. After quite a bit of searching, I finally found it, and it's probably one of my favourite dresses I've ever owned.

#OOTN featuring Goldie black dress, Topshop shoes and necklace from Happiness Boutique

Dress - Goldie, Shoes - Topshop, Necklace - Happiness Boutique, Bag - Zara

Now I'd love to tell you that I found this dress all by myself, but I didn't. And at the risk getting boring by going on about a favourite blogger (Rosie from The Londoner) yet again, I want to give credit where it's due. Have you ever checked out the shop section of Rosie's blog before? Well, if like me you're a fan of her style, you definitely should. There's a lot of gorgeous designer labels to drool over, not to mention dozens of more affordable pieces stocked by the likes of Asos, such as this dress. Asos is a real treasure trove, but it can be overwhelming to browse there due to the sheer quantities of their stock. Rosie's shop seems to take all the hard work out of finding the best pieces, and to let you into a little secret, this wasn't the only dress I bought! Maybe you'll see the other one in another post soon.

This one is fairly "dressy", but I'd definitely wear it for a party or even just a really nice restaurant. (Any excuse to get glammed up!) The fabric is heavy and substantial, which gives it a lovely, luxurious feel. Add the necklace and you've definitely got some wow-factor going on.

#OOTN featuring Goldie black dress, Topshop shoes and necklace from Happiness Boutique

#OOTN featuring Goldie black dress, Topshop shoes and necklace from Happiness Boutique

Then, of course, there's the fringing, which just makes you want to swish. 

#OOTN featuring Goldie black dress, Topshop shoes and necklace from Happiness Boutique

And swish.

#OOTN featuring Goldie black dress, Topshop shoes and necklace from Happiness Boutique

And swish a little bit more.

#OOTN featuring Goldie black dress, Topshop shoes and necklace from Happiness Boutique

#OOTN featuring Goldie black dress, Topshop shoes and necklace from Happiness Boutique

Yep, this outfit definitely makes me happy enough to make others happy!

Oh, and before I forget, you might be interested to know that Happiness Boutique offer free shipping worldwide, not to mention a Customer Reward Programme. You can find all the details via the link, but to summarise, you can collect points by making purchases, writing reviews and sharing photos on social media. Points can be saved up to receive free gifts. Yet more reason to be happy!

Do you prefer statement or delicate jewellery, or a mix of both? What's your favourite piece?

Kate x
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Pegasus Beauty Showcase

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Last Tuesday I went on a whirlwind trip down to London to attend the Pegasus Beauty Showcase. The Tuesday before that, I'd never heard of Pegasus, but when the invitation landed in my inbox the following day, I quickly learnt that they represent many well known healthcare and natural beauty brands, and that the showcase would be an opportunity to find out about lots of new product launches. It sounded too good to miss, so I booked myself a train ticket and cobbled together an outfit, including this new bag and pair of shoes from Zara.

#OOTD featuring Zara, Topshop and River Island

Bag (I can only find it in navy or red now), shoes and coat - Zara, jeans - Topshop, blouse - River Island

I have finally jumped on the pointy lace-up bandwagon and I'm loving it. This was the first time I'd worn these shoes. and they did start to rub a little by the end of the day. I'm hoping it's one of those things that will disappear once they've been broken in, because other than that they felt nice and comfortable to wear. The bag, as much as I love the look of it, is totally impractical. I picked it because I needed something that would carry the kitchen sink (i.e. my camera) and figured this was large enough to fit the bill. I also thought it would make a useful travel/beach bag for my upcoming holiday in Mallorca. The problem is that Zara keep creating these big open bags with a detachable zip-up pouch inside, and you end up cramming everything into the pouch because otherwise things are going to fall out/get stolen. The result is that you are constantly scrambling around for things in a very undignified manner.

Perhaps - (gulp) - it's time to branch out from the Zara bags??? Thoughts below!

Anyway, I arrived at King's Cross in good time and made my way to the venue in Tavistock Place. I almost missed it, but this little sign outside caught my eye.

Pegasus Beauty Showcase

Given that I would have to leave early to get back to Yorkshire the same night, I'd made sure to arrive near the beginning of the event and was one of the first visitors to walk through the doors. I was given a very warm welcome by the Pegasus team - including a cup of tea to sip on as I made my way around the stands, which was very much appreciated! I walked into the hall and took in the sight of all the different stands laid out with both established and new products.

Pegasus Live Beauty Showcase

Pegasus Live Beauty Showcase

Then came the fun bit - visiting each display and chatting to the experts about their products. During the couple of hours I was there I managed to take in almost all of them. When I left, I was presented with an incredibly generous goodie bag full of samples, and I will definitely post reviews on the products I like best in the coming weeks. For now, though, I will give you a brief overview of the things that most piqued my interest as I walked around the hall.

First up, Witch - a brand I've heard of that's widely available in Boots and Superdrug. They target oily or blemish prone skin and use witch hazel as a key ingredient. They're bringing out a new, improved formula of their gentle exfoliating face wash, which they claim will deep cleanse and unclog pores without drying out the skin.

Pegasus Live Beauty Showcase - Witch

Next, which I forgot to photograph, Rapid White tooth whitening strips. This product interested me because having tried tooth whitening strips in the past, (Boots own brand), I know that they work pretty well and are a fuss free, affordable alternative to professional whitening treatments. However, I also know that they can erode tooth enamel and cause sensitivity, which is definitely not good news. Rapid White's new Express 5 Minute Dissolving Tooth Whitening Strips are enamel friendly and peroxide free, so I'll definitely be interested to try them.

The Solgar supplements team without a doubt had the most bling of all the stands. I'm always a bit nervous about the idea of taking supplements, as I know that having too much of a good thing can be as harmful as not having enough. However, there is a bottle of hyaluronic acid complex tablets in the goodie bag and I must confess, I'm curious about what they might do for my skin, as I know how good it is when applied topically. Has anyone ever tried taking anything like this?

Pegasus Live Beauty Showcase - Solgar

Bio-Oil were keen to talk about their My Body Philosophy campaign to promote positive body image. Check it out before 15th September for the chance to win a prize!

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - Bio-Oil

Ladival was a sun cream brand I hadn't heard of before. Unlike other, more well-known brands, their products protect against Infrared-A rays as well as the usual UV-A and UV-B rays. Apparently, Infrared-A accounts for 30% of the sun's rays - a lot more than UV-A and UV-B - and can cause damage to the very deepest layers of skin. I'll be taking a bottle of this on holiday with me soon so I'll let you know what it's like to use!

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - Ladival

MICRO Nail Elegance showed me their electronic nail buffer, which made my bare nails look like they were coated in clear gloss in about three minutes. They have a gift set out for Christmas (Oh yes, Christmas is coming, make no mistake about it) which includes two colours and a base coat from Nails Inc.

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - MICRO Nail Elegance

Weleda have a new almond range out. We were able to test the hand cream. It felt beautiful, and has a lovely, very light scent that reminds me of marzipan or Bakewell tart. 

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - Weleda

One of the products in the goodie bag I'm most excited about trying is Trilogy's new Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm. Trilogy is one of those brands I've heard a lot about but never tried. Containing rosehip, mango and coconut, this product sounds amazing and looks like it will be a delight to use. There's even an organic cotton cloth included in the box.

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - Trilogy

I quite liked this little saying too!

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - Trilogy

Like so many others, I'm a big fan of Collection's famous Lasting Perfection concealer, yet I've tried very little else from the brand. At the last stand I visited, I was colour matched for their Illuminating Touch foundation. Claiming to produce a luminous glow, it's intended to be used with their concealer of the same name - which is apparently similar to YSL Touche Eclat - and their Speedy highlighter. Together, the three products create a "strobing" effect. I'm very excited to try this - probably more than I should be!

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - Collection

Pegasus Beauty Showcase - Collection

Finally, one of the best things about going to events is getting to meet other bloggers. This time, I met Renata from Speaking Beauty UK and Alexandra from Glam O'Clock, both of whom were absolutely lovely. Getting to have a natter with them before I left really made the afternoon for me.

Pegasus Beauty Showcase

Alexandra, me, Renata

Later in the evening was a forum with a few industry experts giving talks, but I had to leave to get back home. So I missed that. Apparently, I also missed the cupcakes, but that's OK. I'm totally over it now. Really.

Which products do you like the sound of best?

Kate x
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Pampered Feet with Scholl

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I'm a big fan of foot care products. I hate the thought of putting on a pair of strappy sandals and displaying unsightly cracked heels to the world! Through the summer, of course, our feet are on show more than usual, and I've been doing my best to keep mine in good condition. I've seen the Scholl Express Pedi advertised a few times and was seriously considering getting one, so I jumped at the chance when I was offered one to review, along with a few other Scholl foot care goodies.

Scholl Foot Care

It was the Express Pedi I was most excited about, so I ripped that open first. 

Scholl Express Pedi

Scholl Express Pedi

This was simple to start using straight away. Batteries were included, and the rough-surfaced roller was already attached. When you switch it on, this starts rotating and you roll it gently over any rough skin on the soles of your feet to exfoliate them. 

Let me be clear from the start - I LOVE this. I've tried manual foot files and I've tried cream exfoliators, but nothing has made my feet as soft as this little gadget has. I noticed a difference from the very first use, while even a couple of more stubborn areas have all but disappeared after using it every morning for the past week or so. 

You can pick one of these up from Boots for £39.99 and if you're considering it I really do recommend getting one. It's fairly expensive for a foot care product, but totally worth the money in my opinion. You can also buy replacement rollers at £12.49 for two.

Once your feet are nicely exfoliated, it's the perfect time to use a good moisturiser on them, and I've been trying out Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream.

Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream

Scholl Dry Skin Instant Recovery Cream

I like this. It's rich and effective, though not quite as thick as you think it's going to be, if that makes sense. It's a good, no-nonsense cream that does the job and I might well repurchase in the future. I don't think that this is better than Burt's Bees foot creams or The Body Shop peppermint foot cream, but it's certainly comparable in terms of quality and at £5.99 (again from Boots) it's cheaper too.

I was also sent Scholl Fresh Step Shoe Spray. 

Scholl Fresh Step Shoe Spray

This is a clever little product for summer. Ever felt your feet getting all sweaty inside your shoes on a hot day, leaving them smelling not quite as fresh as you would like? (Obviously we haven't, because our feet smell like roses at all times, but let's just imagine for a moment what that might be like.) One quick squirt of this inside your shoes eliminates any odours and leaves behind a fresh, subtle scent. A really nice thing to have, especially if you end up living in the same pair of plimsolls all summer, like me.

Finally, I was also sent a pack of Party Feet Gel Cushions.

Scholl Party Feet

Scholl Party Feet

Scholl Party Feet

If you haven't seen these before, they're little pads you can stick inside your shoes to cushion the balls of your feet and supposedly make wearing heels that little bit more comfortable. Now these are great in theory and I know a lot of people swear by them, but I've tried them a few times in the past and unfortunately have never found them to work for me. They still don't. If anything they take up room in my shoes and make me more uncomfortable. I think it's probably one of those things that depends on the shape/sensitivity of your feet and/or the particular shoes you are wearing. Can't win them all, I guess!

All in all I'm really impressed with Scholl's foot care products and the Express Pedi is a definite game changer. Prettier packaging would be nice, but I'd rather have effective products any day of the week, and these are certainly that.

Have you tried anything from Scholl?

Kate x

P.S. You may have noticed the Cosmo Blog Awards button in my sidebar. If you enjoy my blog and feel like clicking through to nominate me, it would mean the world to me.
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Zaful.com Giveaway Winner Announced

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Striped Maxi Dress

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post today to announce the winner of the maxi dress that I posted about here.

Congratulations Coline T, the dress is yours! I'll be contacting you via Twitter shortly for delivery details.

Hope you're all having a lovely day!

Kate x
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