Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Hand spa at home

A lovely, long Easter weekend! 
I had some "me" time and though to share with you my manicure routine at home. For me manicure is one of the brilliant ways to relax and de-stress.

Here are all the items I have used.

1. Large bowl with warm water and few flowers to set the mood along with few drops of Argan oil and Grapefruit essential oil. Argan oil softens skin and cuticula. The benefits of Grapefruit include healthy skin and cleansing. It is perfect to sooth and refresh the skin and I just adore the scent of grapefruit. You are welcome to add anything you like into your bowl, anything what makes you smile will do.

2. Basic manicure set. I have nail clippers, cuticle nipper, small scissors and nail file. I am using a nail polish remover to prepare my nails for a new colour.

3. Hand cream/oil. I am using the Crabtree and Evelyn Somerset Meadow hand cream for mine. Somerset Meadow is infused with Shea butter, Macadamia nut oil and has a fresh fruity-floral scent. A lovely consistency for the hand massage.

4. Nail polish. 

5. A towel.

I usually start my manicure with removing the old nail polish and washing my hands. After that I soak one hand in warm fragrant water for few minutes to soften skin and cuticle. Because I am doing my nails myself and most of the time, I am slow; I tend to re-soak my hands as I go.

After trimming and filing the nails, I like to give my hands a relaxing massage. I use either hand cream or oil for the massage.

Before applying a nail varnish, I wipe my nail tips dry with the towel to allow nail polish even and better grip. I am using my new edition Zoya Anchor Base Coat, Zoya Aubrey and Ciate Mini Paint Pot to add a bit of sparkle. Read here my review on Zoya nail polish. 

I always apply base coat before coloured nail varnish. Nothing can be worse than discoloured nails, so I prefer to stay on the safe side. 

Personally I apply only one coat of colour, if nail polish is vibrant enough. With Zoya Aubrey is the case. This is a beautiful mauve shade I am looking forward to wear this spring/summer time. To add a bit of party feel I added Ciate Mini Paint Pot on one nail tip. 

I use cotton buds to remove any mess. I just dip the cotton bud in the nail polish remover and wipe the stains away. This works well for me.

I finished my manicure with another coat of Zoya Anchor base coat. I do need to get a top coat to see, if the nail polish will last longer.

Here is the look.

What is your favourite pampering routine?

Read More:
- Tips for good nigh sleep
- Three ways to reduce stress

Thursday, 24 March 2016

A new gadget on my bathroom shelf

There is a new gadget on my bathroom shelf. I am using it for few weeks now and can't imagine how did I managed without it before. 

Ta dah...

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

MWgifts and my home

We marked our first anniversary this month since we have moved into our flat. Can't believe a year has passed! Our little family's nest is taking its shape. I always enjoyed decorating and today I would like to share a little collage of small decorative items around my home.

They are a little window in my world and you can find some of them on eBay and Amazon under MWgift(s). My project is going strong and I am expecting new and exciting stock next month. Will keep you posted with updates as usual.

Spring is the perfect time to renew and refresh your home d├ęcor and I hope this little insert will give you an idea of your own.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Zoya Aubrey and Anchor Base Coat - review and swatches

Beauty shopping started beautiful this spring with Zoya nail polish. I wanted to try it for some time now due to its ultra long wearing qualities with toxin free formula. I bought Zoya Aubrey and Zoya Anchor Base Coat as my first try and would like to share with you my first impressions and Zoya Aubrey swatch.

Zoya Aubrey has a beautiful mauve shade in cool tones. First nail polish for me to try which looks more vibrant than the bottle itself. Beautiful colour even with one coat. Nail polish has thin consistency and narrow brush. Easy to apply and I glad to report that Zoya Aubrey doesn't leave streaks. 

Here is the swatch for you to have a look. I just adore the colour.

Now about Zoya nail polish's ultra long wear. I tried it twice and both times it didn't last on my nails for more than three days. Nail polish wears slightly on the tips and due to the vibrant colour, it is very visible. It is hard for me to find a nail polish which lasts for longer due to my lifestyle and being a hands-on mom.

If I would rate it from 1 to 5 points, I would give Zoya Aubrey nail polish full 4 points for its colour, consistency, formula and the overall look. I am already checking swatches and thinking to buy few more shades to enjoy this spring/summer time.

Zoya Anchor Base Coat is a highly durable yet flexible base coat that grips your nail and holds nail polish in place for maximum wear. This base coat is lovely - clear, dries fast and leaves the nail surface ready for the nail polish. I would give Zoya Anchor Base Coat 5 points out of 5. It does its job perfectly.

I think I should to try Zoya Armor Top Coat next and see if the nail polish colour will last longer than three days.

What is your favourite Zoya Nail Polish shade?

PS: This is not an advertisement. Both products were bought with my own money. This is just my personal experience and review. Thank you!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Balcony in bloom - early spring

It's been awhile since my last balcony in bloom update, but apart of trimming and watering nothing really happened this winter. This week I had a bit of free time for my "gardening" and thought to share my early spring balcony with you.

Here is the plant corner. Mild winter this year allowed Geranium to flower through the cooler months. Plant itself looks more established and strong. I am confident it will last for many more months or even years. I have Geranium in gorgeous light and deep pink shades. Click here to read previous balcony in bloom update.

Another happy news - my last year Narcissus is back and I am looking forward to its blooms very soon. 

Sadly Lavender plant didn't do well and it is replaced by Begonia seedlings. I hope to get flowers closer to summer time. My succulents aren't well either. I think that I over trimmed them and they now need some time to establish themselves.

Here is my basket with only one Cyclamen, but it is still in bloom. I haven't decided yet what to add to it. Do you have any suggestions?

This beauty, is a gift from my neighbour. A succulent plant, as well known as Chinese Money Plant. It looks great on the other end of the balcony.

I had such a great time tidying my plants for the spring. It is amazing how simple plant caring gives you such a positive set of mind. I can call it my anti-stress balcony therapy.

How is your garden/balcony/patio looking this spring? Share your blooming corners with me in the comments below. Colourful spring to all!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Empty bottles - Good Things and Neal's Yard

I have two empty tubes to review today: Good Things Stay Clear Purifying Cleanser and Neal's Yard White Tea Enriching Facial Mask. Both are from natural skin care brands and both worth a read.

Good Things Stay Clear Purifying Cleanser is a gentle cleansing gel with Mango and Blueberry extracts. This cleanser is free from: Parabens, Mineral oils, Sodium Laureth Sulphate and Animal Ingredients. It contains only Good Things and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Since I bough mine, Good Things have changed the cleanser packaging, but the ingredient list is the same.

Aqua (Water), Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Chloride, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Magnesium Nitrate, Benzyl Alcohol, Tromethamine, Sodium Hydroxide, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Dipropylene Glycol.

It is perfect for oily, combination skin types or skin which is prone to breakouts. I bought it for its scents - sweet and berry like. I guess, I needed a change from my YESto Cucumbers cleanser and was looking for something more sweet. In the beginning I found it a little bit too drying and was using cleanser only every other day. It is more purifying than YESto Cucumbers Daily Gel Cleanser (click here to read the review) and my skin took few weeks to get used to it.

150ml bottle lasted me through autumn and winter, but I am generally slow with my beauty products. 

Good Things Stay Clear Purifying Cleanser has gel consistency and it worked well with my Foreo Luna. You won't get much foam from it, but all natural cleansers I have tried don't really foam much.  Anyway, my skin was always squeaky clean after each wash. 

If I would rate cleanser from 1 to 5, I would give Good Things Stay Clear Purifying Cleanser 5 points. It is natural, gentle and washes well all impurities and make-up from the face, has delicious scent and packaging looks lovely on the bathroom shelf. Another natural cleanser I can always come back to from my skin care explorations.

Neal's Yard White Tea Enriching Facial Mask. I got this little sample when I bought my Neal's Yard Eye Shadows last month. Sales lady told me it is wonderful and it truly is. I stretched this little tube for two applications and am thinking to buy a full size jar.

This is an intensive nourishing treatment to restore vital moisture levels, plump the skin and help reduce the appearance of fine lines. With antioxidant white tea and purifying kaolin. 

Creamy texture when you apply and take of the mask. It dries to almost invisible layer on your skin. You do feel the tightness, but you don't look like a ghost. It is creamy and soft on touch when you wash it off. 

My skin looked clearer and fresher after each use. Only reservation is the mask's scent. It smells strongly of White Tea and linger with you for some time. If I would rate the mask from 1 to 5, I would give Neal's Yard White Tea Enriching Facial Mask 4 points. Minus one for the scent and fat 4 for the properties and results.

Here is the ingredient list for you to have a look at:

Aqua (Water), Kaolin, Glycerin*, Oryza sativa (Rice) extract*, Alcohol denat., Rosa centifolia (Rose) flower extract, Zinc oxide, Cetyl alcohol, Propolis extract*, Cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin) seed oil*, Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose) oil*, Ribes nigrum (Blackcurrant) fruit oil*, Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) extract*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil*, Elettaria cardamomum (Cardamon) seed oil*, Cistus ladaniferus (Cistus) resin*, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder*, Camellia sinensis (White tea) leaf extract, Sodium hyaluronate, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Citral, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 59% organically produced ingredients and 26% natural clay minerals.

Have you tried any from above?

PS: Not an advertisement, just a personal opinion on these items.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

My skin care routine - face - spring update

I am so glad spring is actually here, at least on the calendar. I have noticed with relieve that day light stays for longer too. It is time to come out from the shell and one of the first tasks for spring is to update my skin care routine.

Actually routine stays the same: cleanse, toner, moisturise plus exfoliate and treat; but products I use do change with each routine. Well, most of them! I actually have some items which travel from one routine to another and I feel kind of proud of myself to locate beauty products which work for my skin. 

Today I will divide my skin care routine in three sections: morning, evening and special treats. January and February were mostly all about finishing beauty products I got from the Glossybox and other samples. I am almost done with them, but few still present in my bathroom and I hope by time summer will roll in I will have a more clear picture to share.

My skin care routine - spring update


Most of my mornings I just wash my face with water while in the shower and that is enough. On some occasions like after the morning run, or if I feel like I use light and gentle face wash. You will find below in the evening routine photo.

Few routines back I introduced toner and now I can't imagine how I could live without one. I skipped my natural toner from Vichy Purete Thermale Perfecting toner for its scent and wonderful, refreshing effect it does to my skin. This is my second bottle and I am sure not the last one.

I have changed my day cream for La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV Legere. This is anti-redness moisturiser. My skin tends to get pink and flashed on my nose and cheeks. It was a while in my mind to give this type of cream a go and see if I can control and hopefully reduce the effects. I will share a full review with an empty tube as I go.

Another La Roche-Posay addition to my skin care routine is Rosaliac CC Creme. This is daily unifying complete correction cream. I tried to use it along with my make-up, but found application routine very tiring. La Roche-Posay Rosaliac CC Creme has a beautiful consistency and blends brilliantly on my hand, but on my face it feels dry and I find it hard to blend. I did find a little trick. At the moment I add one pump into my day cream and apply it on my face after the shower, while my skin is still moist.

Both my day cream and CC cream got SPFs, so I am not using a separate one at the moment.

I use Etre Belle Golden Skin Roll-on for my eyes. I like the refreshing effect of roll-on in the morning. 


I usually start my evening skin care routine by removing my eye make-up. I am using L'oreal Skin Perfection Micellar Water for a long time and you probably will see it again in my future skin care routine updates. I shared the full review on my blog in the past, click here to read it again.

As I mentioned above I prefer light and gentle face wash for cleansing. This time I decided to give it a rest to a natural face wash and try Vichy Purete Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel. That is purely because I am in love with the Purete Thermale toner. Looks like I am moving more into direction of the pharmacy facial skin care. I use my Foreo Luna to remove any impurities and to add an element of massage into my evening skin care routine.

I use Vichy Purete Thermale Perfecting toner spray to refresh my face after the cleansing and to prepare it for the night cream.

My night skin care routine isn't that straight forward as the morning one. I tent to change what I am using and in what order almost every night. This because I have few beauty products I try to use up, like samples I have mentioned above, and I tend to alternate them. I have these little samples from Neal's Yard - Frankincense Hydrating Cream and Darphin Paris - 8-Flower Nectar Oil Cream. Both are rich, hydrating and ideal for the overnight skin care. Another evening beauty product I currently use is REN Wake Wonderful Night-time Facial. It contains acids, so I use it once or twice a week for exfoliation and skin radiance purposes.

YESto Blueberries Fine Line and Wrinkles Face and Neck Oil is lovely and I use it once in a while along with my cream to give that extra hydration. I think YESto Blueberries is a wonderful and affordable natural skin care brand for the 30+ skin. 

My evening time eye cream is from Super Facialist by Una Brennan. It is natural, firming eye cream to illuminate the skin under the eye. I like the consistency, but again I am in search for an eye cream I can adore.

My constant companion is Vicco Turmeric Skin Cream. This cream is present in all my skin care routines. I prefer to use it in the evening. It has healing and nourishing properties. 

A treat:

Here is another Vichy skin care product in my routine this spring - Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser, Scrub and Mask. I use it mostly as a scrub and a mask. Love the texture, scent and the result.

Next facial treat I have is from Nuxe - Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute. I love everything about it: formula, texture, scent and that it can be used for the under eyes area. 

I would like to include my Lanolips Golden Ointment in to my skin care routine. I mentioned it in my winter beauty saviours. This is a multi-use ointment, I use it not only for my elbows, knees and feet, but also as a lip balm. Another "keep" item for my beauty routines.

Here is my facial skin care update for the spring. Have your changed yours yet?