The Bathory | Design Your Own Bath Soak

Monday, 25 August 2014

I love baths. I have more baths than showers and make time for them often because of the relaxing benefits both for your muscles and mind. So I also like trying out new bath products for the ultimate bubble bath.
A week ago I had the pleasure of designing my own bath soak - from the mineral salt right down to the mix of fragrant oils. The Bathory allows its customers to blend together their own bath salt jars on their easy to navigate website and then ships them right to your door in a beautiful brown paper parcel. The salts themselves are stored inside a tall violet glass jar with a screw on lid, they're all natural, organic and just my sort of thing.

I designed my own jar from the 'Soothe' range which mixes Epsom salts, oatmeal, honey and buttermilk. I then selected three of my favourite fragrances (especially for bath time) Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Eucalyptus. They have lots of scents and salts to choose from you can just hand pick what you like and leave out what you don't. The bath soak arrived in a few days after ordering. To my delight the salts are very finely ground and dissolve instantly into a hot bath and swirl around to make a nice aroma and add a silky feel to the water. The jar recommends you use 1/4 of the jar for a quick fix, half of the jar for a luxurious bath and the whole jar for the best bath of your life! I managed to get three baths from my 7oz jar and loved every one. I'm sort of glad this one jar doesn't last for months. I have so many half empty products sat around the bathroom that sometimes it's better to just use up and enjoy what you have.

I warmed to everything about this brand - their packaging was just perfect. I think these custom bath soaks would make a nice gift and the sleek dark violet glass bottle is not particularly feminine so I imagine even the manliest man would feel comfortable to personalise their own bath salts from The Bathory.

DIY Instagram Magnets for 99p

Saturday, 23 August 2014

There's nothing I like more than finding a DIY bargain. These square magnets are a great way to display your Instagram photographs and can you believe these cost just 99p! I found a pack of A4 magnetic photo paper in the art supply section of Bargain Buys. These pound shops pop up everywhere, so it's always worth checking the crafty bits in your local bargain store. I've also managed to find the same pack of magnetic printer paper on eBay for just £1.79 if you'd rather shop from the comfort of your own home.

The packs come with 2 A4 sheets, which work with your standard inkjet printer at home. It's plenty of paper to make lots of mini photo magnets but of course you could make photo magnets at any size. I selected my favourite Instagram snaps and sized them up to print at 1 inch squares - once printed and dry I cut around the images leaving a small white border - and that's it! Quick and simple to make, pop them on your fridge or wrap them up and give out as gifts. Lots of print companies offer this service but it can be expensive, so why not make your own!

Inkjet Printer
Instagram Photos

Download your instagram photos. I find Webstagram the easiest way to do this, just right-click and save. Then collage them together on Word or Photoshop leaving enough space between each one for a thin white border. Pop your magnetic photo paper into the printer (I did one sheet at a time) and hit print!

Let the photos dry for a few moments before taking sharp scissors and cutting them out. All done!

For more DIYs and Instagram Photo ideas visit the DIY tutorial archive.

What's in my Bag | Everyday Basics

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hello, you curious people! Who else loves 'what's in my bag' style posts!? I've done a few of these in the past but I thought it was about time I posted an update. I'm carrying a new bag c/o LYDC from the DSUK London range named the 'Giselle Cross Body Bag' in black and sand. It's one of those small-medium sized bags that surprisingly holds a lot of stuff. It's quite a slim design though, different to what I'm used to, so I can't carry bulky items like a dslr camera. I've had bags from LYDC before and I'm always impressed with the quality of the faux leather for the price. This Giselle bag is only £23.50.

On a everyday basis I'll be carrying just the basic items with me. My iPhone and iPad Mini for keeping up to date with Twitter and posting photos to Instagram as well as always having Game of Thrones to hand for a quick read on the train. My purse is from Osprey but via TKMaxx (always the best for a designer bargain) as is my 2014 diary. I've started relying on Google Calendar much more these days but it's always handy to have a paper diary/notebook on your person. Other items that fell out of my bag include my Ray Bans for unexpected sunny weather, a few items of makeup - nearly always lip products, a Chloe roller-ball perfume and a selection of midi rings. I swiftly removed the screwed up receipts and bits of fluff before taking these pictures.

Osprey Pink Purse / iPhone / iPad Mini with DIY Mandala iPad Sleeve / 2014 Diary / Ray-ban Sunglasses
/ Chloe Roller-ball Perfume / Mac Lipstick in 'Coral Bliss' / Carmex Lipbalm / Silver Rings


Feel free to link to me to your 'what's in my bag' blog posts in the comments section below - share the love!

Sisley Black Rose | Do Expensive Creams Actually Work?

Monday, 18 August 2014

This is the Black Rose Cream Face Mask* from the French luxury brand, Sisley. It's fairly well known for being a cult beauty product but it's also very expensive. This 60ml tube costs £95.50 from Urban Retreat - a fantastic site for luxury brands and hard-to-find items. They stock lots of products from the Sisley range and kindly asked if I would like to try out something.

I'm the sort of person who always appreciates a bargain, but I'm prepared to spend a little more when it comes to skincare and cosmetics. It was such a treat to be able to try out this product - something I'd never normally be able to afford. The cream mask is marketed as an 'Instant Youth' product. At 22 I'm not thinking about anti-ageing just yet, but it was the other promises I was interested in, 'smoothing, plumping and brightening'. Because all skin can become dull and bumpy, no matter what your age.

The face mask is a medium thickness formula, that's beautifully smooth and smells just like rose water. The smell is not overpowering, which I prefer in skincare products, it's light and fresh. The instructions state to apply a generous amount all over the face avoiding the eye area, leave for 10-15 minutes and then wipe away and excess. This is not a face mask that dries hard or requires washing off. To me it felt just like a thick moisturiser that sank slowly into the skin. After 15 minutes my skin felt quite tacky so I took a damp cotton ball and removed any extra product that had not soaked into the skin. 

After using this face mask a few times this week I can say that there is small improvement in the way my skin feels. It's softer and seems more hydrated. Using this mask also feels like a real luxury spa-treatment, so I imagine it's the perfect way to start off a relaxing weekend or to use before an important event. But overall I've not been wowed by the Black Rose Cream Mask. It's a luxurious treatment which smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling refreshed - but it hasn't changed the appearance of my skin all that much. I haven't noticed any plumping or brightening. I haven't been convinced to purchase a second tube. 

The Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask gets a 3 out of 5 from me. At a lower price tag a score of 3/5 means I would possibly re-purchase but as this mask is so expensive I can't see it popping up on my shopping list anytime soon.

This may be one of those cult products that works for women (and men) with slightly older skin. And I can see it being a savior for those with dry and flaky skin, but my skin is normal-oily. I'm going to continue to use it now and again (for special occasions) and hopefully reap the benefits with extended use. I'll get back to you on whether I see any vital improvements. Has anyone else tried the Sisley Black Rose Cream? Did it live up to it's reputation and is it really worth the money?

On a side note, Urban Retreat is new to me, their website is simply lovely. They stock all kinds of high-end brands and sell items I've only ever heard people talk about (never actually seen on the shelves) so if you're looking to treat yourself or add items to a birthday wish list, check them out.