A Peek Inside… My Little Cosy Box

This month’s theme is ‘My Little Cosy Box’. I was so excited when I heard of the theme, as like every other person in existence, I love Autumn. Autumn to me is a month to cosy up at home and relax, and I was so hoping that this month’s box would reflect that feeling…

What was inside My Little Cosy Box?
– Illustration by Kanako
– Espresso Cup designed by Kanako
– Tsumori Chisato ‘Hot Water Bottle’
– My Little Beauty Mascara
– Essie Nail Polish
– Star Liner Kohl Pencil
– My Little World Magazine

What did I think?
Unfortunately I don’t have too much to say about this month’s box as I am rather underwhelmed by it all. At first I was giddy at the sight of Tsumori Chisato’s name, but that quickly turned to disappointment when I realised that the ‘hot water bottle’ was no more than a relaxation pillow. After a long day at work it was a novelty for all of 5 minutes…before I realised I’d never use it again. The print was also a bit of a let down – it didn’t scream Tsumori Chisato like a lot of her work does – it just seemed very generic. As for the beauty products; I don’t use kohl eyeliner, and the Essie polish shade is off-season and just outright hideous (for my personal taste). I thought I had found my saving grace in the mascara though. It adds amazing length and volume…but smudges like no one’s business, which is a big turn off. Kanakos illustration and the ridiculously cute espresso cup are the only items I can see myself making use of. I don’t actually drink espresso but I have used it to store a candle on my office desk, whilst the print will go up on my wall. Overall this month’s box was a real let down, which says a lot when I hold My Little Box in such high esteem. It’s a shame, but hopefully December’s box will remind me of why I love the brand.

If you fancy subscribing yourself, head to My Little Box.

A Peek Inside… My Little Diane Von Furstenberg Box

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Everyone knows the horror of coming home to find a ‘sorry we missed you’ note from the Royal Mail. Well I am not immune either it would seem, as I found out last week. I knew it had to be my October My Little Box. I rushed to the depot as soon as it opened the following day, and the relief I felt when my box was handed over to me was like nothing else. I think I’m hooked.

This month’s theme is ‘My Little Diane Von Furstenberg Box’. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first heard of the theme. DVF is a household designer name, yet for me all it brought to mind were images of wrap dresses. I wasn’t quite sure where they would go with this box. I didn’t hang around to find out…

What was inside My Little Diane Von Furstenberg Box?
– Illustration by Kanako
– Drawstring pouch
– DVF scarf
– DVF lips brooch
– My Little Beauty Eau Micellar
– Keratase Hairspray
– L’Occitane Hand Cream
– My Little World Magazine

What did I think?
Honestly I wasn’t looking forward to this box as much as last month’s, for the aforementioned reasons. Still I wanted to give the MLB team the benefit of the doubt. They’d done well by me last month, and I had faith that they would continue their winning streak. As I opened the box I was greeted by an array of gorgeous colours and patterns. The lip pin is adorable, and I can see it fitting in perfectly with my current love for monochrome. I wasn’t too keen on another travel size hair spray, but Keratase are a good brand at least. The eau micellar water (smells amazing by the way) and the L’Occitane vanilla hand cream are both perfect travel-size goodies. The pouch wasn’t as cute this time round, and Kananko’s illustration was ok, but not as cute as her previous ones. The magazine is a great read (love the scarf tutorial), and although I probably won’t use it, the DVF discount is a nice touch. The winning item for me? The scarf. At first I was a little disheartened that I hadn’t received the monochrome version, but truthfully this will look so much better paired with my outfits. It’s bold without being brash, and the colours which at first seemed daunting, are actually rather gorgeous. Ultimately the October My Little DVF Box falls into the goodie pile, mainly thanks to that gorgeous scarf.

If you fancy subscribing yourself, head to My Little Box.

French Pharmacy Favourites

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It’s safe to say that when I’m travelling I have my go-to favourite French pharmacy beauty products. French skincare is renowned as some of the best in the industry, and I’ve been swearing by it for years. So it only made sense that on my recent trip to France I took along some travel size versions.
I brought products from Avène, Klorane and Nuxe, all of which are brands I’ve featured on the blog before. Spoiler alert: they all came from UK stores.

My French pharmacy travel size favourites:
Avene Light Hydrating Cream with SPF20*
Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray
Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream
Klorane Extra-gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk*


Review: A-Derma Intense Repair Hand Cream

You may remember me professing my love for this particular product on my Youtube channel
I realise not all of you will have watched my video so I decided to do a review here, to make it a bit easier for people to find and read more about the product. This particular hand cream is from the French beauty brand A-Derma, who are a sister brand of Avène (my favourite beauty brand), so I had high hopes for the brand. Once again natural ingredients are at the core of this product (Rhealba Oat Milk), as I have come to expect from the Pierre Fabre family. As for the properties of the hand cream, the brand claims it repairs dry, irritated skin, whilst protecting it.  
+ Smells amazing
+ Nice texture
+ Absorbs quickly
+ Non-greasy
+ Moisturising
– A little doesn’t go a long way
After being introduced to this hand cream it has quickly become one of my favourites.
I look for two things in a hand cream – hydration and a nice scent. Most hand creams do the same thing – hydrate, which is wonderful but I want that irritating dry feeling gone, which this thankfully gets rid of. After that I’m just left looking for something that makes the cream different, and that one factor for me is smell. I want my hands to smell lovely after I’ve applied a hand cream. There are some delicious foodie scents out there, but I love the refreshing calm scent of this more. The formula has a good texture, which is in-between a gel and a cream. It isn’t greasy, and the cream absorbs quickly, which is great if you’re a busy bee like me. The only downside is that I found I needed to squeeze out more from the tube than I have done with other creams. I think this is down to the thin, gel-like formula. So I would maybe like to see a bigger tube, as it does feel like I’m using twice as much (although that’s probably just a psychological thing). For £7 I don’t think it’s badly priced, and I would happily purchase it again as it’s exactly what I look for in a hand cream. 
You can purchase the A-Derma Intense Repair Hand Cream at Boots.

Video: French Pharmacy Goodies

I went to Avène & A-Derma’s bloggers breakfast last week and received a personalised skincare goodie bag* full of products from the popular French pharmacy brands. I decided to open up the goodie bag on camera and share what was inside with you all. All of the items in the video can be purchased from Boots, and are in selected Boots stores.

Check out more of my videos and subscribe to my Youtube channel – if you like.

The Secret of Avène Eau Thermale

On Thursday I was invited to breakfast with my favourite skincare brand – Avène.
They had cryptically told me that I would be finding out the secret behind their products.
As the brand has made such an impact on my skincare routine I couldn’t wait to find out.
Amongst the gorgeous bouquets of flowers and delicious food were some new products.
Avène is now releasing their ‘XeraCalm A.D’ range, which is aimed at those with eczema.
As someone who suffers from eczema from time to time, this came as a delightful surprise.
But wait, didn’t I mention a special little secret? Well luckily for you I’m going to share it.
So what is the secret of Avène?
The lovely representative told us that it is all down to nature. A long time ago, the founder of Avène found a spring that had special healing properties. The locals also knew about it and used it to bathe in and to help ease their skin conditions. It sounds as though it could be something from a fairytale, right? At least that’s how I imagined it. 
Now, do you remember your geography children? Then you might recall how springs come about. Rain falls down into the soil and makes a magnificent journey through the earth before creating a spring. It is this process that allows Avène to gather their eau thermale, as it rises from a hot spring under the earth. The water in this spring takes all the minerals and a unique microflora ‘dolomiae’ from the earth and soil. This process takes over 50 years, so the eau thermale in all your Avène products really is special. It is a science that the Avène team have been working on, and perfecting, for many years. Luckily for us they are now sharing their secret, so we can all benefit!
So it’s no wonder why Avène’s products are soothing, anti-free radical and anti-irritating. It’s amazing to think that a spring discovered in 1736 is still helping us, and our skin woes today. Avène have put a lot of research, thought and care into their products and I love that about them. I also think it’s wonderful that the eau thermale in their products comes from a natural spring. How many people can say they use the water from a thermal spring in their skincare routine? Their products aren’t only for those with eczema or sensitive-skin, anyone can use them. If you want to be converted, like I was, then you need to try out Avène. 
You can purchase Avène’s new range from selected Boots stores, from April 2014.

How I Fight My Eczema – Eczema Remedies

I suffered from eczema a lot as a child. 
It would often cause me a lot of pain and discomfort, and I would usually bleed due to the severity of it. I remember my parents trying all sorts of remedies to get rid of it, but nothing really worked, until one day…it just disappeared. 
I had pretty much forgotten about it until September 2011, when I saw my eczema return, with a vengeance. I had returned from my holiday to Provence and suddenly my whole stomach, leg and breast area was covered in dry, sore, itchy spots. I visited the doctor and they confirmed it was eczema. I was given an emollient cream to help, but it didn’t work. I was then given a steroid cream that I could only use for 2 weeks. My eczema disappeared…then it came back a week or so later. The doctor didn’t know what to do and told me to relax (as it can be caused by stress) and continue using a moisturiser and the original cream. I would have a shower and then look down at my body and burst into tears. I felt embarrassed and grossed out by my own skin. My fiancé tried to console me time after time but it had worn me down. I’d had enough. None of the medications worked well enough to solve the problem so I decided to try out something a little more natural and sensitive. Surprisingly they worked a lot better and even got rid of most of my eczema.
My eczema remedies are:

Korres’s Fig Showergel (90.4% natural content) & Fig Body Butter (93.5% natural content).
These products have been my saviour and I 100% believe they are the reason for the eczema on my stomach, legs and breasts disappearing. I had heard from a friend that these were great at combatting eczema and even psoriasis! She wasn’t wrong because I now use these daily to help keep my skin hydrated and to combat my eczema. I first used these until I ran out, then my eczema came back and Anna bought me some more. Now it’s slowly going away again. 
I swear by these products.

You all know I am a big Avène fan and use it in my daily skincare routine. Well when my eczema started appearing on my face for the first time I didn’t know what to do. It actually coincided with my trip to Chamonix, so I figured that since I was in France I’d try out a cream by one of my favourite French skincare brands – since they recommend it for those with eczema. I used it for a week on my face, and by the end of my holiday my eczema had cleared up. This is free of parabens, fragrance and colouring agents – and they’ve used as few ingredients as possible, making it perfect for sensitive skin. 
This is now my daily moisturiser for face & neck.

Eczema can be a very uncomfortable, painful and sometimes embarrassing illness.
I don’t want anyone else to suffer so I’m hoping these remedies might help others also.
Let me know your own personal remedies in the comments!