Lavender Fields & Chartwell!

Hi everybody,

I was very fortunate to experience two wonderful places in Kent this week.

I come from a family where we grow flowers for the flower markets in Latvia, so I love flowers so much. I have always wanted to visit the lavender farms in the South of France and I was surprised to learn that in Kent there is the biggest lavender farm in the UK! I was reading the Waitrose magazine and there was an article describing Castle Farm and the lavender fields. I had to go!

Castle Farm is a working family-owned farm of 600 acres deep in the Kentish countryside near Sevenoaks. Of the 600 acres, 90 acres are set aside for lavender. They also rent a further 40 acres from other local farms nearby.

Lavender growing is a heavy, labour intensive farming operation where instant rewards are not given! It will be a number of years for the lavender to mature and cultivate to deliver the flowers. Thankfully, they do cultivate other crops at the farm.

The tour was made up of ‘lavender lovers’ for all ages attracted by the scent and colour of this plant. Lavender has many benefits to humans, be it medicinal, aromatherapy, decorative and food.

The tour was an eye-opening experience of how intensive it is. 5000 plants are planted for every acre! Machines cannot always plant them so manual human planting is required.

The shop was wonderful. I did go a little mad in the shop!  I bought honey, chutney, jam, hand cream, tea, culinary flowers (to add in cakes, biscuits) and of course some lavender!

If you have a chance to visit Castle Farm, please visit https://hopshop.co.uk. To visit the lavender in full bloom you need to book a tour as they have dates available.

 

 

 

We then went to the home of one the greatest Englishman that has ever lived. Chartwell near Westerham was the home of Winston Spencer Churchill from 1922 to 1965.

It is a beautiful home and garden overlooking the Weald of Kent with stunning views. Churchill said he bought the property because of the view.

It is a homely, peaceful house and it was a wonderful to experience British history and see more of this beautiful country.

‘A day away from Chartwell is a day wasted’ he said and you can see why..

Rxx

 

 

June Favourites!

Hi Everybody,

Hope you are enjoying the lovely summer weather and also looking after your skin so you don’t look like a lobster!

June favourites and half way through the year..

MAKE-UP

NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel is a new product for me. I finished the Benefit version of eyebrow gel and really enjoyed it using it as I thought it made a real difference to my eyebrows. I decided the NYX version was worth a try as it is cheaper than Benefit’s. The wand is nice to use, picks up the perfect amount of product and holds the eyebrow throughout the day. It doesn’t leave a white residue and wet streaks on them either.  Its also affordable compared to Benefit.

Body Shop Brilliance Powder in ‘Shimmer Bronze’ can be used for either the face or the body for a shimmer glow. I love using this for the summer as it gives a nice shimmer to the skin. It’s my summer thing! I also use it on my legs. Love it!

SKINCARE

I love the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm when I was on holiday. The hard balm, which turns into an oily consistency when used, was perfect for removing the make-up at the end of the day. I had the small travel size and it lasted the whole 2 weeks I was away. I still have quite a bit left as you only need a very tiny amount. My skin was so soft, smooth and cleansed after using it. I also love the herb scent as well!

ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser is a three-in-one product. A cleanser, exfoliator and mask.  I use it as a cleanser and exfoliator as the Jojoba spheres melt into the skin when you rub it gently into the skin. It brightens the skin and soothes it as well.  I did test it on my mum and it instantly you could see the difference with her skin too.

Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum is a lightweight serum. It is so nice on the skin as it absorbs easily into the skin and no stickiness either. I have used it under all moisturizers and it was perfect. The skin felt hydrated and radiant and no breakouts either.

I have never used Oil serum before so I was keen to try ESPA Optimal Skin Pro Serum. This serum nourishes and strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier and helps to even the skin tone. It’s also good to use if you have early signs of aging. I use a very tiny amount in the evenings and it absorbs easily into the skin. My skin feels hydrated and nourished after using it and no breakouts. It is a lovely product and great value.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet is a lightweight moisturizer for the face. It gives really good hydration and is good as a base for makeup. It kept my skin moisturized and calmed the skin, especially during the hot period we have had.

Madara Time Miracle Total Renewal Night Cream is a birch based cream with 0% added water. I immediately felt my skin, after just one night,  was  more hydrated, more radiant and smoother than before. No breakouts and the scent is so clean and fresh. This could be the best night cream I have ever used. I can’t believe I have never tried this little miracle from Latvia!

BODYCARE/HAIRCARE

My heels have been dry because of wearing sandals in the summer heat and I have been impressed by Sanctuary Spa Heel Balm. This balm has hydrated my heels and I apply only in the evenings as I feel the benefits are better then. Look after your heels in the summer!

Ladival Sun Protection SPF30 is a very good sun protector as it protects from UV A , UV B and infrared -A rays. We have been glad to be using this at the moment during the warm period and the hot sun.  Another advantage is that it comes in a spray-able form so easy to use!

Elemis Skin Nourishing Body Cream is yet another excellent product from Elemis. This soft cream hydrates and nourishes the body. No stickiness or greasiness when applied. The body feels so smooth and nourished afterwards and it’s particular nice after showering.  Love it!

I apply Carita Haute Beaute Corps Sérum Expert Réducteur Contours  on my thighs and I have found it hydrates and has a cooling effect on my legs after applied. It has a nice sticky, oily texture which absorbs easily into the skin. It is also good for targeting the dreaded cellulite. It feels nice on the skin but to see real results and benefits, you will need to use it for the long-term.

I do love leave-in conditioners for the hair and I saw the Palmers Manuka Flower Honey Leave-in Conditioner in Superdrug and bought it without hesitating. Its good for detangling the hair, fighting frizz, moisturizing and repairing the hair if damaged. It perfect for all natural hair textures and is colour safe. Smells divine too and I really love it. Must try the shampoo range..

Rxx

 

 

Sanctuary Spa ‘Shower Bursts’!

 

Hi Everybody,

Browsing in Boots one day, my little eyes spotted something new. Sanctuary Spa Shower Bursts range. I like to try new things and these seemed good to try.

I bought both shower bursts, the purifying charcoal and the 3 day long lasting moisture version. Both versions have a really pleasant smell, a real refreshing scent. I think the charcoal version could even be classed as unisex as the scent is not too feminine in my view. The charcoal starts black but as you rub it into your body it turns into a white foam, like shaving cream! I have found it to be really nice to use. My skin doesn’t feel dry or tight afterwards and feels very soft. The 3 day long lasting version only differs from the scent which is very feminine and floral. I also found you only need to use a tiny amount of product from both as it will be more than enough to cleanse the whole body. Its a nice addition to their range of products and to update the range for a wider audience is a good idea.

I did enjoy using them. They are good value for money and do a nice job in cleansing the body. I must try their new wet skin moisture miracle..

Rxx

 

 

 

Chanel No5 L’Eau EDT!

Hi Everybody,

This new fragrance in the legendary No 5 line was launched in the fall of Autumn 2016 and created by Olivier Polge, son of the former Chanel house perfumer, Jacques Polge. It follows N0 5, and No 5 Eau Premiere.

I remember going to a Perfume Society ‘How to Improve Your Sense of Smell’ event in Brighton and a large bottle of the perfume was passed around the table and I knew I had to have it! The original No 5 is quite strong and heady and even though it is arguably the most influential perfume ever made, it is not on my dressing table. The appeal of L’Eau is that it is a softer, No5 for these who find No 5 too strong.

The first spray of L’Eau is a burst of citrus fruits,  lemon, mandarin, and orange. Neroli and aldehydes are also prominent with the first spray. It relaxes into a jasmine, white flower and rose scent but the warmth of musk, cedar and vanilla combines with them as well.

No 5 L’Eau is a perfect summer scent, perfect for day or night. It isn’t edgy or old fashioned, it is a modern, softer take on a classic perfume that won’t become outdated in the years to come. Chanel have being clever in being respectful to the original (the bottle design is the same) without losing the essence of No 5. I love it!

Rxx

 

 

 

Postcards from Riga!

Hi Everybody,

I thought I would share some of my photos of my recent visit to my home country.

The beautiful architecture of the Old Town in Riga..

…the newly restored Bourse Art Museum at the old stock exchange…


…the many open air restaurants and cafe’s in the Old Town…


… the traditional Latvian Black Balsam…

…traditional Knitted Latvian hats and scarves in the markets…

…the stunning Art Nouveau architecture…

…visit the panoramic views from ‘Stalin’s Birthday cake’…

…visit the Riga central market which houses the flower and food market and the stunning Zeppelin buildings…

…and of course you must try the Laima chocolate, the best chocolate in the world..


Rxx

On My Nails- BarryM Coconut Infusion ‘Lemonade’.

Hi Everybody,

We had beautiful weather in the UK recently and hope you enjoyed the weather.

As the weather has been so beautiful you want to go with a bright, distinctive and vibrant nail colour. I had an eye on this particular BarryM nail colour when I first saw it in Boots. Coconut Infusion ‘Lemonade’ is a pastel bright  lemon colour,  it’s almost creamy in fact.

First of all, the brush is a vast improvement on other BarryM polishes I have tried before. It’s easy to use and is of good quality.  The formula is enhanced with coconut water and coconut oil to hydrate and nourish the nails. It also has Hexanal to strengthen the nail condition. Its amazing how a budget maker is getting better with the technology and quality of their products.

It says to get full benefit of the ingredients they recommend not to use a base coat. I always do apply a base coat but this time I didn’t as I wanted to see if it stained the nails but it didn’t.  I have had it on my nails for 5 days and in that time,  I have had no chipping and the colour hasn’t faded at all.

I love the Lemonade name and it really is a lovely nail polish, so perfect for the summer! I will like to try the others in the coconut infusion range. You really can’t go wrong with BarryM nail polishes. They have great, varied colours and the formulas are excellent.  But best of all, they so reasonable to purchase!

Rxx

 

 

 

May Favourites!

Hi Everybody,

I’m a bit late on May favourites as I visited my family in Latvia. So here it is and there will be more coming in the June one!

MAKEUP

I finished my Urban Decay eye primer so I found the Bourjois Eye Primer 24 Hour in Boots and decided to try it.  Its good but it didn’t last 24 hours as claimed but lasted about 8 hours on me. Any eyeshadow product I used went well on top of it. It is a universal colour with a rather good wand applicator. It would be unfair to compare to the Urban Decay but as a budget option it’s rather good.

 The Body Shop Blending Brush is a really good 100% cruelty free brush. it’so soft and easy to use. The slightly domed top is the perfect size that makes it easy to blend into the eye socket. The wooden handle gives it a more luxurious feel and I will buy more of these brushes from Body Shop.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Sheer & Shine ‘Red-Y Set, Go!’ is a beautiful sheer red-orange shade. It’s so nice on the lips and it lasts a long time and it looks so juicy on the lips! I can’t stop wearing it.

Max Factor ‘Star Dust Pink’ 615 is the opposite to the Rimmel. It’s a pinky-nude shade. I have been wearing this shade when I have gone for a darker eyeshadow look. I think this type of shade is perfect with a more dramatic eye look and it always looks great. It lasts well as it is a creamy texture.

SKINCARE/HAIRCARE

L’Oreal Micellar Water is good at removing eye makeup.  I don’t use micellar water as a face cleanser, I only use them for the eyes and most importantly it doesn’t sting them It does the job and it’s also reasonably priced.

Balance Me Restore and Replenish Cream Cleanser is a  proper creamy cleanser rather than a watery cleanser. It removes makeup well and doesn’t dry the skin out.The skin feels refreshed and smooth afterwards. It didn’t cause any breakouts and therefore quite gentle to the skin. The scent is pleasant too and I really love this.

Super Facialist By Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Brighten & Refine Facial Scrub does not have a great scent! This is a thick creamy consistency  but with a gritty feel to it as well. I wonder if it will be too strong for those who have sensitive skin. Saying all that, it does leave the skin smooth and bright. It’s an excellent choice if you need something instantly to brighten or freshen the skin.

I bought the ESPA Balancing Face Treatment Oil with a discount code back in March and I have been using every evening before I go to bed. It’s a purifying oil that boosts hydration and to balance excess oils. This oil is good for oily/combination and congested skin types. It has a nice herby scent and I think my skin looks better for using it. It absorbs easily into the skin and hasn’t caused any breakouts. I do love using facial oils, it gives time to work into the skin and there is nothing wrong with using oils in the skin.

I love my hand creams and I have throughly enjoyed Caudalie The Des Vignes Hand Cream. The scent is beautiful and you instantly feel the difference as you rub it into the hands and nails. I love it this hand cream a lot and its my bedtime routine favourite at the moment.

I have tried so many of the OGX range and I have never been disappointed with any of them. OGX Bamboo Fiber-Full Shampoo, Conditioner & Root Booster is another great additions to the range. It gives a lovely squeaky clean feel to the hair but at the same time it boosts volume and bounce to the hair. I attend  to try all the OGX ranges they do..

Rxx