Friday, 30 January 2015

Cold Weather Skin Saviours

If ever there's a time when my skin feels a bit dry, dehydrated and lacklustre it's at this time of year. The bitingly cold weather and central heating are recking havoc on my skin not to mention the after effects of one too many late nights in December. My skin has a tendency to get very sensitive in the cold but over the last few years I've managed to come up with an arsenal of products to keep it in tip top condition. 

Cleansing is so important in the cold, anything foaming will just strip the small amount of moisture there is in the skin. I've been using the Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil in the evenings and the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser in the mornings and as a second cleanse at night. The combination of the two have left my skin feeling fresh and clean but still plumped up, nourished and soft. 

The Clarins Special Eye Contour Balm is one I seem to come back to every winter, I spoke about it more in my Morning Skincare Routine Video which you can see here. It's rich and moisturising but still sinks in easily and sits well under makeup. I've also upped my usage of Time Bomb's Youth Juice Secret Oil from a couple of times a week to 3 or 4, I've also been piling it on on at-home, no makeup days. It too sinks in easily and the lovely scent makes it such a pleasure to use. 

I generally moisturise my body all year round but in winter I love an oil or a super rich body butter. The Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter is so thick it's almost solid, it takes a bit of rubbing in to get it to sink in but boy is it worth it! I've been quickly working my way through this deluxe sample tube but a full size purchase may be in order! 

Two things I definitely couldn't forgo are hand cream and lip balm, Soap & Glory Hand Food is everyones favourite for a reason, it smells lovely, is lastingly moisturising and most importantly doesn't leave a reside on the hands. The Body Shop's Coconut Lip Butter is thick and moisturising enough to heal even the most cracked lips but unfortunately does leave a bit of a pale cast on the lips. For that reason, I reserve it for overnight use and I always have super soft lips come morning!

What are your favourite cold weather products?

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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Objects of Desire: Diptyque Rosafolia Candle

I think this might just be the prettiest candle I've ever seen. I just love the rose and leaf illustrations surrounding the jar, plus it smells amazing. It has notes of Rose and Geranium, it's very floral without being at all powdery, it's incredibly fresh and modern and I absolutely love it. There's also a 'multiuse fragrance' in the same scent, a massive 200ml for £55. The candle is £44 and is currently sitting at the very top of my wishlist!

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Monday, 26 January 2015


When the Essie stand beckoned me the other day, I decided to go for a nudey pink shade that I could wear anytime, with anything, without really thinking about it. I spent a few minutes holding the shades against my hand to see which best suited my skintone and decided to go for this one, called Not Just A Pretty Face

It's such a lovely, barely there shade that somehow just looks incredibly polished and chic. I know I'll be reaching for it over other polishes constantly so if you don't see another #ManiMonday post for a while, you know why! 

I find that Essie polishes are the best in terms of formula and ease of application. I'm definitely glad I added to my collection with this one!

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Friday, 23 January 2015

Another Little Haul

Another haul, I know, shoot me. It's been barely a week since my last one and here we are again. I really wanted the Nars Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret when it came out and as usual I dilly-dallied and they quickly sold out. Story of my life. Luckily they came back into stock and I quickly snapped one up. (As I write this they're still in stock online). I'm so glad I got it as I just love all of the shades, there isn't a single dud. 

When I'm in Boots, the Essie stand always manages to draw me in, their polishes are so pretty and I'm a sucker for anything arranged in colour order. I decided to go for a barely there pinky nude called Not Just A Pretty Face, which made it onto my nails in record time. I'm already certain this is going to become a long term favourite.

The last thing I got was the Nars Multiple in South Beach which is just a ridiculously beautiful colour. It looks really orange in the bullet but doesn't transfer that way, it applies as a sheer coraly-bronze that does wonders to warm up dull skin. I've been using it as a blusher/highlighter hybrid and I love it. 

Have you bought any new makeup recently?

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede

I'm definitely not one for having a 'signature scent', life is too short and I'm far too fickle. But if ever I was to have one, Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede would be a serious contender. 

It's no secret I love peonies, I even named my blog after them, but of all the peony based fragrances I've come across, this is by far my favourite. It has that beautiful floral fullness of fresh summer peonies which when combined with the suede note suddenly feels more sophisticated. The top note of  crispy red apples gives it a lightness and freshness that makes it feel exceptionally modern. Not something easily done with a peony based fragrance. 

I've been wearing this fragrance almost non stop since I got it, I find the scent so addictive that I spend most of the day sniffing my wrist when I wear it (much to my hubby's amusement). It's definitely a fragrance I'll be repurchasing again and again in years to come. 

What is your current favourite fragrance?

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Monday, 19 January 2015

Mini Beauty Haul

I've not been buying a huge amount lately in an attempt to use and make the most out of things I already have. One product aside, I've bought products to replace the ones I've used up recently.

I've always used Coconut Oil for a multitude of beauty tasks, mainly as a hair mask. I've become slightly bored of it so decided to have a bit of a change and give sweet almond oil a go. Fushi make a good selection of organic, cold pressed oils which I'm planning on trying more of in the future. I love the fact that I won't have to melt this oil everytime I want to use it as a hair mask!

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme 

I tried a sample of the original Elasticizer a while ago and thought it was brilliant, when I decided to buy a full pot I went for the extreme version instead as it's designed for thick, coarse hair that's quite damaged. I'm desperately trying to get my hair back to a good condition and I hear this is the stuff for the job!

Soap & Glory Archery

I usually fill in any gaps in my brows with powder and an angled brush, it gives the best finish but it's definitely not the quickest method. I also unfortunately lost my spoolie between a crack in the floorboards so an eyebrow pencil with a spoolie on the end was a necessary purchase! I really love this one, the pencil is very thin and so looks very natural it also has a wind up mechanism so it does't need to be sharpened.

Soap & Glory Supercat

I've been wearing winged liner a lot lately so when my Avon SuperExtend liner ran out I needed another one pronto. I had read good reviews on this one and I'm really glad I got it, the pigment it super black, the point stays sharp and the formula stays put.

Late to the party, I know. I finally caved and bought this palette after lusting after it for the longest time. I'm so glad I did because I absolutely love it and have been getting a lot of use out of it. I know it will be my go-to palette for traveling as it's a great edited down selection of every colour I need. 

Have you tried any of these products?

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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Video: Morning Skincare Routine

Exciting news! I filmed my first ever video for the blog, I decided to talk about my Morning Skincare Routine and did mini reviews of the products I'm using along the way. I'll be filming my Evening Skincare Routine soon too so stay tuned for that one!

I really enjoyed the experience of filming and editing this video so I really hope you like it. I have a whole list of others I'd like to film but if there's anything in particular you'd like to see me do let me know! I'm so excited about this new venture and can't wait to get stuck in!

Products Mentioned;

Elemental Herbology Delicate Cleanse

Clarins Special Eye Contour Balm (full review here, it's an oldie!)

Elemental Herbology Cell Food

Delarom Acquaconfort Cream (full review here)

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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Sale Edit

I love a good sale but I always seem to leave post christmas sale shopping till january. I don't like the stressful and frenzied atmosphere that comes with shopping as soon as the sale starts. It does usually means that most of the popular stuff has already gone but to me that's part of the fun! I like to take my time looking around and I always end up finding some hidden gems. 

1. I love this Marc Jacobs iPad Case, it makes me feel like spring is on it's way (if only!) I'd be snapping it up myself if they did a version for iPad minis. Perhaps I could use it as a makeup bag? Because obviously I don't have enough of those!

2. This Caudalie trio from Space NK is an absolute bargain at just £11, the body butter alone is usually £21! All 3 products work brilliantly and smell delicious too.

3.  I love the cut of this Flowy Vest from Zara, it could easily be dressed down with jeans or up with leather skinnies and a statement necklace.

4. Another versatile basic that I could probably quite happily wear everyday. The Ribbed Sleeve Dress from Mango has a really great fit, it strikes just the right balance between slouchy and smart.

5. I imagine my self wearing this ASOS Sheer Panel Skirt, to a spring wedding in the country. Now all I need is an invitation to one. 

6. I love having hot, steamy baths, I'd like to say just in the winter but really I have them all year round. The Aromatherapy Associates oils are absolutely lovely, they're so potent that they fill the entire bathroom with scent by just using a few drops. This set is a great way to try a range of different scents. 

7. I usually dress in monochrome but I love adding a pop of colour with accessories. These sunglasses by Finds would fit nicely into my wardrobe and go with any outfit!

8. A smart black clutch is an absolute wardrobe staple and I love this minimally chic one from Alexander Wang. 

9. I've always loved the look of an Aviator Jacket but have yet to own one, I tried this one on the other day and am seriously tempted to go back and get it. It would be a great piece to throw over jeans and a white tee on weekends.

10. I love the scent of Life's Jump Start range, this set contains a mini body wash, sugar scrub, body lotion and candle. It smells like freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit just, great for mornings and perfect for beating the January blues!

11. I always get scarves in sales, I can't help but feel they're almost always overpriced for what they are. This Houndstooth Bicolour Scarf looks both cosy and smart, a combination I think can sometimes be a bit hard to find.

12. I wear my black boots 99% of the time but I really like the look of these beige Suede Ankle Boots, I could see myself getting a lot of wear out of them come spring.

I hope you liked my better-late-than-never sale edit! Have you found any gems in the sale recently?

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Monday, 12 January 2015

#Mani Monday

Come the new year, I like to pack away my festive, sparkly nail varnishes and dust off my nudes and neutrals. As you can see, this time I couldn't quite completely let go so I decided to go for a compromise. I guess I just needed one last fix! 

I went for one of my favourite nudes, Lower Sloane Street by Nails Inc on all my nails then layered up Avon Colour Trend in Rose Golden onto my ring finger in an ombre effect. I love the effect of an accent nail and it's the perfect look to transition me from party season into the new year!

What have you been wearing on your nails lately?

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Sunday, 11 January 2015

Nars Narsissist Palette

I think it's safe to say I'm late to the party on this one, the Nars Narsissist Palette came out around this time last year and I knew I instantly wanted it. I'm ummed and ahhed over wether to buy it as it was so expensive and of course being limited edition it quickly sold out. I instantly regretted not buying it and felt a little sad every time I saw it pop up on a blog with rave reviews. Sad, I know. But all was not lost as I was lucky enough to receive it for my birthday in december. Obviously, I was over the moon even though it wasn't a surprise and I've been using it non stop ever since. If you missed out on it too I'd recommend keeping your eye open on ASOS and Urban Retreat, the come back in stock every now and then only to disappear again at the blink of an eye. 

If you're a keen reader of beauty blogs, as most people who read my blog seem to be, you've probably already read multiple lists of the shades names and seen multiple arms covered in swatches so I won't make you sit through it again. Instead I thought I'd give a shout out to a couple of my favourite shades/combination of shades.

1. First up is Fez (top row, middle), my absolute favourite of the palette. I love this one simply washed all over the lid with nothing but a few coats of mascara. It looks simple, understated but like you've put in a bit of an effort. 

2. Fez on the lid, Mekong (middle row, right) on the outer corners and a little bit under the lower lash line with a touch of All About Eve (top left) under the brow bone and in the inner corners.

3. Mekong all over the lid with Coconut Grove (top row, right) in the crease is my go-to combo for a dark, smoky evening look. It's a great way of glaming up my makeup really quickly.

4. Bali (top row, 2nd from right) and Coconut Grove work really well for me as brow shades and of course Pandora (bottom right) is great as an eyeliner.

I've only used the other shades a couple of times so far so I'm still experimenting with them. I'm thinking of putting together a post with a few pictures of me wearing my favourite looks but I thought I needed a bit more time to experiment first! It is in the works though so keep your eyes peeled!

Do you have the Nars Narsissist Palette? What is your favourite shade or combination?

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Friday, 9 January 2015

Favourite Eyeshadow Brushes

I promised an edit of my favourite eyeshadow brushes here on the blog a while ago but for some reason it was a post that I kept putting off. I think I felt I should wait until I had all the brushes I wanted but then I realised that I'm actually quite happy with the ones I've got. You'll probably be quite surprised to see that this edit does not feature a MAC 217! I know, shocker! I just never got round to getting it as I have a few quite similar brushes that work well for me. That said, I'm sure I'll end up picking it up at some point! Anyway, here are my favourites and what I use them for!

(Clockwise from top left)

1. Real Techniques Accent Brush (available as part of the Eye Starter Kit)

This brush is great for precision application. I use it mainly for an inner corner highlight or to apply shadow under the lash line for when I want a bit of subtle definition. 

This brush has had a makeover since I got my hands on it but the newer version is essentially the same brush with a nicer handle. It's the biggest eye brush I have and I think it's great at blending and softening out edges. I never actually ever put any eyeshadow on it! I just use it clean to make sure there are no harsh lines and everything looks well blended out.

3. Space Nk Eyeshadow Brush

This flat number is great for packing on colour, particularly high shimmer shadows, pigments and even cream shadows. 

A recent purchase that is very quickly becoming my favourite and most used. It's just so easy to use, works with so many different eye shapes and makes eyeshadow application unbelievably quick. In my opinion this is a seriously underrated brush! I use it to apply shadow all over the lid and the outer corner, it hugs the eye contour really well and does all the work for you.

I don't use this one quite as often as the others but I love it all the same. It's great for applying lots of shadow under the lower lash line for a grungy, smoky look or for getting really precise definition in the crease. Both looks I love but don't wear that often.

I love sephora makeup brushes, I think they're great quality for their price range. This one is a great all rounder, at a push I can do my entire eye make up with just this, for that reason it's usually the one that makes the cut when I'm travelling. It's similar to the MAC 217 but a bit bigger and fluffier, the hairs aren't as tightly packed. I use it to apply shadow to the lid, in the crease, blend out and to add a brow bone highlight. As I said, it does a bit of everything.

7. Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush (available as part of the Eye Started Kit)

Another great does-a-bit-of-everything brush. Similar to the sephora one but smaller and more densely packed. I tend to use this one if I want to build up more pigment and it's probably my favourite for blending shadow into the crease or for creating a smoky eye. 

With these brushes I pretty much have all my eyeshadow needs covered, I hope this post was useful to you if you're on the hunt for some new brushes. What is your favourite eyeshadow brush?

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Top 5 Skincare Discoveries of 2014

I've discovered quite a few products in 2014 that I absolutely love, particularly skincare so I thought I'd share 5 of my favourites with you today and let you know why I love them so much! 

1. The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (full review here)

I absolutely love this oil, it's so effective at removing makeup, cleansing the skin and leaving it feeling soft and plump. It's just as good as some high end oils which is great because not only is it half the price, it also contains double the quantity!

From the budget to the not-so-budget! This one certainly isn't cheap but is most definitely worth it. It's hands down the best night cream I've ever used. It manages to deliver a huge amount of moisture to the skin but still sinks in easily. The consistency is just great and it smells good too. 

3. Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask (full review here)

Whenever my skin feels a bit dull or grotty I reach for this. It's a clay based mask which unclogs pores, contains fruit acids to brighten and exfoliate and manuka honey to moisturise. It's a great all rounder that I'd recommend to everyone. 

4. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ (full reviews here and here)

I don't get very many spots but I like to keep this to hand for when I do. A small amount applied to any areas with spots, clogged pores or blackheads help get skin back to normal in record time. The face wash and toner from the range are pretty good too, I spoke more about them here.

5. Indeedlabs Pepta-Bright (full review here)

If you're wondering why this one isn't in the main picture it's because I ran out of it a while ago and threw away the tube! The only reason why I haven't repurchased it yet is because I already had another serum in my stocks that I thought I'd use first. Anyway, onto the product. It has what indeed labs describe as a cream-serum formula which I'd definitely agree with, it's surprisingly moisturising for a serum and oily skin types can probably get away with using it on its own. The reason why I love it so much is because it's absolutely phenomenal at getting rid of pigmentation. Whether it's hormonal, from sun damage or as in my case, old acne scarring. By the time I came to the end of the tube my pigmentation was almost all gone!

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my favourite skincare discoveries from 2014, what were yours? 

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Monday, 5 January 2015

The Bathory Bespoke Bath Soak

I love a good bath product, especially when it feels a little bit luxe and the Soothe Bath Soak from The Bathory definitely does. It contains a base of pure epsom salts, oatmeal, honey and buttermilk which together leave skin feeling nourished and soft. The best part by far though, is the scent, you get to create it yourself by choosing 3 essential oils when you order it and it's hand blended just for you here in the UK!

I decided to go for Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot, all scents which I love but I had no idea how they would work together. I decided to risk it and I'm so glad I did because the combination smells amazing, I'm so pleased with it! 

The directions recommend either using 1/4, 1/2 or the full jar in your bath, I initially thought that seemed like a lot so I just put in a couple of capfuls and was a bit disappointed as there wasn't really any scent at all. The next time I tried it I decided to just go for it and poured in half the jar and it created such a lovely bath. The water went cloudy and took on the scent of the essential oils and the whole bathroom smelt lovely. Add to that the skin softening ingredients and I felt cosy and relaxed after my bath.

A Bathory Bath Soak would make a great treat to yourself or as a gift for someone else, they also have a couple of other bases and a good selection of oils to choose from. I'll definitely be experimenting with another combination next time, although I won't be using them too often as they work out quite expensive per bath, especially if you were to use the whole jar at once! 

Lastly, how pretty is the jar! I just love it, to me their packaging is just perfection. I almost can't wait till it runs out so I can use the jar to store my makeup brushes! 

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Sunday, 4 January 2015

La Roche Posay Effaclar 3 Step Anti Blemish System

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of La Roche Posay's Effacer Duo+ I spoke about it in great detail 1 tube in here and 2 tubes in here. When I heard that they were bringing out a 3 Step Anti Blemish System containing a much hyped toner I was very excited to give it a try. Here's what's in it and what I thought!

First up is the Purifying Foaming Gel, I have to be honest and say I haven't even tried this. I'm not a fan of foaming cleaners at all, they just don't agree with my skin so I passed this along to the boy to try and give me his verdict. Suffice to say he loves it! He said it doesn't foam too much but still leaves his skin feeling clean but not dried out (he has combination/oily skin). Since using it for the last couple of months he hasn't had a single spot in spite of having a terrible cold. He said he likes that it's an unfussy product in practical packaging and that he'll continue to use it and repurchase it indefinitely! 

The Clarifying Toner is only available as part of this set and it's the product I was the most excited about. It contains lactic and salicylic acid in a glycerin base so it's exfoliating but also moisturising. I've been using it for a couple of months twice a day and really like it although it doesn't tingle the skin as other exfoliating toners do. I'd definitely recommend it, particularly to those who have never used an exfoliating toner before. 

Last up is the Effaclar Duo+, I won't talk about this one too much as I've spoken about it in detail in previous posts, make sure you check those out if you want more info. In a nutshell it's a cream - serum hybrid that can be applied all over the face or just to specific areas. It's incredible at taking down spots in record time and also helps fade any scars they leave behind. A brilliant product that I'll always have at hand just incase!

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Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015 here on Peony and Peach! I've got some exciting things in the pipeline for this year. I've upgraded my camera and equipment so expect to see better quality images, and maybe even a few videos popping up every now and again. Blogposts will be coming your way on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, so make sure you stay tuned and follow me on bloglovin' if you aren't already. What have you got planned for this year? 
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