Wishtrend Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash Review

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Having thoroughly enjoyed discovering some new Korean skincare products courtesy of Wishtrend, I was of course eager to say yes to reviewing another new launch! This time, the product in question is Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash*, a cleanser from Wishtrend's own line.

The concept of a powder based cleanser (you mix it with water in your hands to create an emulsion) isn't something that I've seen around too much, although as a long term fan of  Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, I was familiar with it, and I was really curious to see how this compared to something that's been a tried and tested favourite of mine for so long.

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The key ingredient of the Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash is - you'll never guess - green tea, which as everyone knows is packed full of health benefits when taken in its usual form. Applied to the skin, you should still reap the results of its impressive anti-oxidant powers and Vitamins A, C and E. Effective at both calming and purifying, it should help clear the complexion without being too harsh for sensitive skin types. The Powder Wash also contains Papain, which helps to dissolve and eliminate skin waste and old keratin, baking soda to deeply penetrate and cleanse and amino acid surfactants, derived from coconut, to moisturise.

The packaging is simple and practical, and very lightweight. As soon as you flip up the little plastic lid to dispense the powder, you can smell the green tea, albeit subtly. This took me by surprise at first, but I've very quickly grown to love it. 

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The texture of the powder is slightly grittier than both Dermalogica Microfoliant and DHC Face Wash Powder, which are the only two similar products I've tried, although it does become smoother the more water you add to it. My skin feels really clean after using this, and for those occasions when I feel the need of a deeper cleanse than usual, it is lovely to use. I wouldn't use it every day as I think that it would be too harsh, even for my combination skin, as it does leave my face feeling slightly tight after use. For me, it's great as a twice weekly exfoliator, or perhaps a little more if my skin is having a bit of a tantrum and going through an oily phase, as it can do from time to time. Wishtrend recommend that those with sensitive skin restrict use to once or twice a week, and my skin can be sensitive, so I would say this is good advice. They also recommend not to use other exfoliants alongside this product, so anything containing retinol, AHA/BHA or high concentration Vitamin C, for example. Essentially, this provides you with a really deep cleanse, and it's not necessarily something that you need every day, even if you have an oilier skin type. However, it definitely has a place in my overall skincare routine.

Have you tried powder cleansers? Are you a fan? Oh, and if you fancy reading some more Korean skincare reviews, you can check out what I thought of Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask and Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion

Kate x

*Gifted item. Some links may be affiliate links. This poses no extra cost to you, the customer. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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5 Ideas For Your Next "Treat Yo Self" Day

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We all need a "Treat Yo Self" day every now and then, am I right? Or even just a "Treat Yo Self" moment! We all lead busy lives, and as winter approaches and thoughts of Christmas begin to enter our heads, life seems to be more hectic than ever. I don't know about you, but the shorter days and darker evenings seem to zap my energy, so it's around this time of year that I really feel the need of a few extra little treats to perk me up. (I know, any excuse, right?!) So, without further ado, here are 5 of my favourite ways to spoil myself rotten. Feel free to pinch any of these ideas for your next "Treat Yo Self" day!

1. Spritz On Your Favorite Perfume

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Fun fact - I wear perfume every single day. There's just something about covering myself with an exquisite fragrance, even handling the beautiful glass bottle, that makes me feel luxurious. I also love that there's always time for a quick spritz of scent, even on the busiest of days. Recently, I was sent a couple of samples from Clive Christian's new Addictive Arts Perfume* range. Described as "an enthralling expression of our tendency to excess", everything about these perfumes is opulent and gloriously self-indulgent - perfect for a "Treat Yo Self" day! My favourite is Ecstatic, a white rose floral perfume with hints of mandarin and jasmine and a gorgeous amber base. It's absolutely stunning, and I'm going to be quite sad when I've used up my little sample. Beautiful perfume really is one of my all time favourite indulgences! 

2. Go On A Shopping Spree 

Is there any better way to perk yourself up than by treating yourself to a couple of shiny new things? Whether I've had a full on spree to replace half my wardrobe, or I've just picked up a new lipstick, shopping never fails to put a smile on my face. Yes, I'm a little bit materialistic, I admit! That said, I often find that a trip to the shops makes me feel good even if I'm not buying anything. Being around the hustle and bustle of the city centre, stopping for a coffee and a chat with a friend and of course having a good old browse at all the new clothes in my favourite stores is a great way to indulge in a little "me time", even if I come home empty handed.

3. Get Dressed Up And Have A Date Night

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My husband and I aren't big party animals, but we do love a nice meal in a restaurant with a good bottle of wine. One of our favourite things to do on a Friday or Saturday night is to have a date night. We'll book a table - either a place we already love or maybe somewhere new - get a little dressed up and spend the evening with a delicious meal and each other's company. And if we can't go out, we'll often cook something nice at home. While I'm not really someone who loves to cook all the time, I do enjoy it when we're having a kind of "non date night date night" and making an occasion of it, and it's particularly nice during the cold, dark nights of winter, when you don't always feel like going out.  My favourite meals to cook are the kind where everything gets thrown together in one big dish, like this lemon and oregano chicken tray bake. Minimal effort and maximum flavour! Basically, whether it's a nice night out or a nice night in, with your husband, friends, family or whoever, it's another lovely way to spoil yourself a little bit - and the people you're with!

4. Binge Watch Your Favourite Box Set

Sometimes, you want to treat yourself without any effort whatsoever. When I feel like that, there's only one thing that will do - a few episodes of a really good box set, watched on my laptop while tucked up in bed with a bar of chocolate. Over the last few months I've been addicted to quite a few shows: Game Of Thrones (obviously), Westworld, I Know Who You Are (A Spanish crime drama shown on BBC 4 - so gripping!) and The Tunnel (A British/French detective series Based on Swedish show The Bridge).

5. Have A Pamper Night

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I think we all know by now that I love a good pamper night. In fact, I wrote a whole post recently about my pamper night essentials, which you might want to check out if you are on the lookout for some new products to try. There are few things I find more relaxing than a hot bath, and there's definitely something about the act of applying my favourite lotions and potions that makes me feel indulgent and just generally great about myself. Sometimes, I'll make a real night of it, applying face masks, doing my nails, etc, but even if I only have time for a ten minute soak in a beautifully scented bubble bath, it still does the trick.

So there you have it - my 5 ideas for a fabulous "Treat Yo Self" day! What are some of yours?

Kate x

*This post was in collaboration with Clive Christian. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara Review

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Like a lot of people, I spend my fair share of time scrolling through gorgeous images on Instagram. Over the past few months, I happened to notice that a lot of bloggers I know were posting on their feeds about products they had been sent to review from Influenster.com. I'd never heard of the site before, but when I checked it out, I discovered that it's a product review site that anyone can sign up for. I decided I might as well create an account, and then promptly forgot all about it. Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks later, I received an email from them to tell me I'd been selected to review Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara*. Not bad, eh?!

I've lusted after quite a few Marc Jacobs beauty bits for some time now, so I was thrilled to receive this. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous, simple but effective, and I'm a big fan of the hexagonal shape. I like the brush too - it has natural bristles and is thin and quite long, so it does an amazing job of grabbing and coating every lash.

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According to Marc Jacobs, the formula is designed to give a false lash effect with just three strokes of the wand, or even less. The pigment is an intense black, and promises to deliver both length and "1800% more volume".

I can confess to being pretty fickle when it comes to mascara. Every time I write a monthly favourites post, I seem to have a new one to add to the list. And I have to say, Velvet Noir is no exception. The formula is a little wet on first application, but it doesn't bother me too much - it just means I need to be a bit careful when putting it on. The claim that you don't need many coats is definitely one I have found to be true - you get a pretty much instant impact with this. As for the results, to me this is a "best of both worlds" mascara. Usually, you have to choose between length and volume, but Velvet Noir delivers both very effectively.
 
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Apparently, Marc Jacobs was inspired to create this mascara by memories of watching his mother getting ready to go out. She would shave fibres from a piece of black velvet and stick them to her lashes between layers of mascara in order to create a more dramatic look. As much as I admire the woman for her dedication, ain't nobody got time for that, so I'm very pleased that her son came up with a mascara that would deliver the goods on its own! I should also point out that it achieves this incredible volume without clumping - it just beautifully thickens each lash.

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Velvet Noir isn't cheap, but if you're after a mascara that gives you a dramatic false lash effect and don't want to compromise on either volume or length, I think you will love it.

Have you tried this mascara?
Kate x

*I received this product complimentary from Influenster for review purposes. Some links may be affiliate links. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Infinite By Forever Skincare Review

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I'm always up for discovering a new skincare range. And getting to discover one over a delicious breakfast at The Ivy Chelsea Garden is even better! I was thrilled when I was invited to this lovely event back in September by Forever Living, and even though I hadn't heard of the brand before, a little research quickly made it clear that their new Infinite range was one I really wanted to try out and review.

The setting for my introduction to the range could not have been nicer.

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Over a delicious breakfast, a group of us were introduced to the brand and their new range. Forever Living is a US based company and the largest grower, manufacturer and distributor of aloe vera products in the world. Established for nearly 40 years, they pride themselves on sourcing - in an environmentally responsible way - the highest quality natural products to create both skincare and supplements.

The Infinite range comprises a hydrating cleanser, a firming serum and a restoring creme, as well as a firming complex dietary supplement, designed to compliment the skincare and to be used alongside it.

With Forever's signature aloe vera as a main ingredient, this range has been designed to restore the skin's moisture balance, encourage healthy levels of collagen and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A combination of peptides, natural minerals and botanicals and the latest skin science all work together to increase the effectiveness of the aloe vera.

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The cleanser* contains apple extract, sunflower oil and Vitamin E which draw out dirt from the skin and help to break it down while also offering hydration. Hypoallergenic and non-irritating, it is suitable for delicate skin types and promises to effectively cleanse without leaving skin feeling stripped and dry.

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The firming serum* aids the appearance of firmness and softens lines and wrinkles thanks to its three-amino acid peptide. Yeast extract supports collagen synthesis and reduces the appearance of uneven skin tone while whey protein improves firmness and smoothness. While this product targets ageing from the outside in, the firming complex supplements* work from the inside out. Containing marine collagen, Vitamin C and phytoceramides, they reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve skin hydration and plumpness.

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Finally, the restoring creme* combines aloe with acai and pomegranate to smooth and hydrate, together with Vitamin B3 and beetroot to even out tone and texture.

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I was intrigued by the sound of the whole range, in particular, the additional boost the supplements might give, as I hadn't really tried anything like that before. Multi vitamins were about as far as I had gone!

We were told that the skincare and supplements are most effective when all used together, so I waited until I was in a position to test out everything together, which I've been doing now for around a month.

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I find the cleanser really pleasant to use. It's a light but creamy consistency, which is perfect for me to use as a second cleanse after removing my makeup in the evenings, or on its own in the mornings. My combination skin really seems to like it - it feels lovely and balanced, neither too dry nor too oily.

It's the same story with both the serum and the restoring creme. I usually use separate products in the morning and the evening, but these feel rich enough to wear at night (boosted by a hydrating mask once or twice a week) and yet light enough to apply before makeup in the mornings too.

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Initially, although I was curious to try the supplements, I wasn't sure how I'd get on with them, as I'm not the greatest at taking tablets. Fortunately, they're quite small and I've found it no problem to take two each morning as per the instructions. Which is great, because together with the other products, they've made a huge difference to my skin. It looks clear and radiant, plumped and even in tone, and feels soft. I often make a disclaimer when I review skincare products, to the effect that I'm always trying to do what's best for my skin and big differences aren't always going to be observed with each new set of products. However, my skin has genuinely never looked better than it has since using the Infinite range, to the point that it actually surprises me when I look in the mirror each morning. I'm seriously impressed and will definitely continue to use them.

Have you tried any products from Forever? And what are your thoughts on taking skincare supplements?

Kate x

*Gifted item. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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Why TK Maxx Is Your One Stop Shop For Partywear This Season

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Christmas party season is right around the corner, and I for one am pretty excited about it! I've probably made it quite clear on the blog by now that I love a good excuse to get glammed up, so when TK Maxx invited me to work with them on a partywear collaboration, I jumped at the chance. Now, I might get invited to the occasional glamorous event, especially around Christmas time, but I have a pretty average life. I'm not out at champagne receptions all the time (a girl can dream!) and my festive party season will probably involve more family dinners than fancy soirees. But I'm of the opinion that family dinners are as good an excuse to dress up as anything else, and as soon as I started looking at what TK Maxx had on offer, I knew that I'd find plenty to suit all kinds of different occasions. Their pieces are so varied that it really doesn't matter where on the glamour spectrum your festive events may fall. No matter how relaxed or formal your parties might be, you'll find the perfect outfit here, and at great prices too. TK Maxx really is your one stop shop for this season's partywear, in all its different forms.

My day with TK Maxx was great fun. Together with my photographer (and husband!) Mike, I took a trip to one of my local branches at the Birstall retail park near Leeds. Once there, I was invited to choose a selection of partywear from the store for my very own rail, for local customers to shop from.

It all began fairly sedately...

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And then I found more, and more, and more things I liked.

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After an hour or so, I had something of a manic glint in my eye and basically had to be restrained.

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I was so impressed with the choice of womenswear. From cocktail dresses for those "out out" occasions to cute tops you could throw on with jeans for a casual drink with the girls, there was everything you could want to suit your every festive season need. I've mentioned before that it pays to employ slightly different tactics in TK Maxx - you need to work your way around the store to make sure you don't miss anything amazing. Do that, and you're pretty much guaranteed to find something you love. I found plenty! You'll also find a wide variety of well-known high end labels, as well as some more unusual brands and pieces that are a little bit different to what everyone else has. As for the 60% less than RRP, well, they make the treasure hunt experience even more rewarding and will definitely bring a smile to your face. For example, you can pick up this gorgeous velvet and lace dress for £29.99, which is a huge saving on the the Recommended Retail Price of £99.99, and complete the look with these silver and floral print heels for £59.99, down from the RRP of £145. You'll head off on your night out feeling like a million dollars, and with plenty of cash left over to put towards the evening's entertainment. Pretty good, don't you think?!

Getting back to my rail, I added a selection of menswear, with Mike's help, and some very cute miniature partywear for little ones. A few armfuls of droolworthy bags and shoes completed the edit, and before I knew it, everything had come together beautifully.

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I've shared a few of my favourite picks from my rail below. Head into store now, and you'll be able to pick up similar pieces.

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (RRP £85, TK Maxx price £39.99), 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 (RRP £100, TK Maxx price £27.99), 13, 14 (RRP £84, TK Maxx price £49.99), 1516, 17, 18

As well as putting together my partywear rail, I chose an outfit for myself. I found some real gems, so needless to say, I was feeling quite pleased with myself when I left the store.

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And here's the outfit I chose, which I thoroughly enjoyed wearing for a nice meal out with my husband last weekend, and which I'm sure I'll wear again more than once throughout the festive season.

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Dress* (similar), Jacket* (similar), Shoes* (similar) - TK Maxx, Bag, Choker - My own

The dress was a great price at £29.99, while the coat is beautiful quality and incredibly warm, and feels so much more expensive than its £34.99 price tag. As for the sparkly sandals, the TK Maxx price of £39.99 is a fabulous 50% saving on the £80 RRP. Where else could you find a whole outfit for just over £100, especially of this kind of quality?

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The little black dress is simple and effortless, and will work just as well with thick tights and flat boots as it does all glammed up. I love pieces like this because they're so versatile.

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My favourite piece from the look is probably this beautiful faux fur coat. Despite not wearing very much underneath it, it kept me warm and cosy while taking these photos. It's perfect for wintry evenings out, when it's cold outside but you're wearing skimpy dresses or tops! I also think it would work beautifully with jeans and jumpers during the daytime.

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Sparkly gold sandals are perfect for evening occasions all year round, but especially nice at Christmas time. They'll go with party dresses, jeans and cute tops and everything in between. They're pretty comfortable too, thanks to the block heel.

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I couldn't be happier with either my partywear rail at the Birstall store or my own outfit, so I'm really grateful to TK Maxx for working with me on this. As you can see, there are some great pieces to be had at fantastic prices, but stock moves quickly, so if you like anything you see, don't delay and head into store or check out the website straight away!

Will you be stocking up on new partywear this season?

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Kate x

*Gifted item.

This post was sponsored by TK Maxx. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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AW17 Trend Focus - Dazzle - How To Get The Look On The High Street

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Recently, I wrote a post about AW17's Red to Toe trend. I loved putting it together, and you guys seemed to enjoy it, so I thought I'd add a second to the series. This time, I just had to go for the "Dazzle" trend. I'm not afraid to admit that I enjoy a bit of bling, so I'm thrilled that all things metallic and sparkly are so hot right now! I've had a good old browse through some of my favourite high street stores, and put together some pieces I love to help you get the look without breaking the bank. Hope you enjoy!

Dresses



Is it too early to start talking about Christmas Party Season? Because it's hard not to think about it while looking at these beauties! The dazzle trend is all about embracing full on glitz and a return to dressing up, and what better way to do that than by wearing all over sequins on your next night out? I love the idea of the H&M dress with opaque black tights and sky high heels, but I think my favourite of the four is the Miss Selfridge dress. I love the soft fabric and the way it drapes, and I imagine it would look wonderful catching the light as you move. You wouldn't need much to go with it, either, just a simple pair of heels.

Tops



There's something wonderfully eighties about this Boohoo body, don't you think?! I think it would look amazing with a black pencil skirt, or perhaps some wide leg trousers. The Miss Selfridge top is really versatile and I love its subtle sheen  - it's definitely a more toned down take on the trend, although you could also dress it up beautifully with an embellished mini skirt. The River Island top is pretty daring, and I for one would want something super high-waisted to pair it with, but I love the feminine shape of it.

Skirts and Trousers



Miss Selfridge really are nailing this trend! This stunning sequinned skirt is available in three different colourways and guaranteed to turn heads wherever you wear it. But if there's one thing I love more than the skirt, it's those gold cigarette pants. So elegant! For something a little more low key, the glittery River Island jeans are perfect, while the pleated skirt from Boohoo would make a great wardrobe staple. Pair it with a turtle neck and boots for the daytime and a silky vest top and strappy sandals at night.

Accessories



Sparkly accessories are always a good idea in my book! These River Island shoes would look amazing with an all black outfit, while the necklace would look just as good over a high necked blouse as it does with a plunging neckline. I loved the pretty Zara hairband so much that I just had to include it, even though I never seem to be able to make things like this work for me. The earrings, on the other hand, I would definitely wear - I am such a fan of the statement earring trend!

Will you be embracing the bling this season? And which is your favourite piece from my picks?

Kate x

All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.
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