Friday, 20 July 2018

ESSENTIAL BEAUTY: KIEHL'S ULTRA FACIAL CLEANSER

Guilty as charged. For a good 12 months I massively neglected my skin, I wet-wiped it every single day and although I'm a massive advocate of wet wipes rather than nothing I realised the importance of even a half decent skincare routine when I noticed my skin looking really dull and lack-lustre. Don't get me wrong I think tiredness and stress contributed to some of that but having spoken to an assistant in Sephora she made me realise that the fact that my skin wouldn't keep makeup looking decent probably was nothing to do with the fact that I didn't use primer (still bought one though obviously because: mini sizes strategically placed near the till!!!).

Anyway, I raised my concerns about not wanting anything too heavy and oily or at the other end of the spectrum: a cleanser that would strip my skin of all natural oils because I've had one too many bad experiences with cleansers that have caused problems, mainly breakouts. After trying plenty of different types I finally settled on the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser and I've been using it for a little over a month now so I thought it was the perfect time to share my thoughts.


Firstly can I just say that Kiehl's packaging is the one. I love how simplistic and no-nonsense it is. This squeezy bottle has all the ingredients and directions for use on the front which makes up the packaging design itself.

When I first tried this in the Sephora sinks I thought it was foaming which is an instant no go for me because I'm a firm believer that anything foaming strips your skin way too much but it's actually not foaming in the strictest sense, it's a gel kind of formula which is actually really soothing on the skin. It can't be used on your eyes which is a slight pain in the bum but because I really like the cleansing action of this I'm willing to overlook it. As with most cleansers you wet your face first, squeeze a small amount of product onto your fingertips and massage into your face with circular motions. I then rinse off with clean, warm water and then remove any excess product with a clean flannel.

The Kiehl's no-nonsense approach also extends to the ingredients and the lack of huge amounts of perfume etc. is clear in the scent of the cleanser - it smells soapy as opposed to overpoweringly fragranced which is reassuring. The foaming agent is a sugar derived glycoside which, without sounding like I know exactly what I'm talking about where ingredients are concerned, means that it doesn't strip the skin like regular foaming agents do so although my skin feels cleansed and makeup/dirt free after using it, it doesn't feel like it's squeaky clean (because as Caroline Hirons says: you should never aim for squeaky clean anything, whether it be skin or hair). It contains soothing emollients (things which soften the skin) such as apricot kernel oil, avocado oil and vitamin E to ensure that your skin doesn't feel starved of moisture after washing.

For me this is the perfect cleanser to use both morning and night for my normal/oily skin and (not surprisingly) I've found that it gives me the perfect base for applying makeup. Using this has given me a new found confidence to actually try other products from the Kiehl's brand so the Ultra Facial Cream is looking like a promising candidate when I've finished my current moisturiser. It also comes in two sizes on the Kiehl's website: 75ml (£9.50) which is the perfect travel size or if you want to kind of try before you buy or they also do the full size 150ml for £16.50 which doesn't break the bank too much where skincare is concerned.

Do you have a favourite cleanser?

Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

ESSENTIAL BEAUTY: WILKINSON SWORD INTUITION F.A.B RAZOR

So it might not be as glam as the release of a new contour palette but let's be right, the vast majority of us use razors for one thing or another and we are of course in prime shaving time given that our legs are out more than ever in this stupendous UK heatwave so when I saw the new Wilkinson Sword Intuition F.A.B razor on an advert I was quite intrigued. 

As an avid user of Gillette Venus razors I did wonder whether there was something as good, if not better, on the market (I did have a brief fling with some disposables from Aldi... that didn't end well). The Intuition F.A.B razor claims to be revolutionary in that it shaves backwards and forwards (hence the F.A.B...) so I thought I'd give it a whirl.



The design of the razor handle is really comfortable to hold, it doesn't slip out of your hand because of the soft rubber and the grooved grips help to give really good control over where your shaving which is obviously essential because it moves with the contours of your body without any awkwardness. 



The razor head itself is quite substantial in size and is surrounded by a water activated gel which for me is an absolute must because I find it provides so much more comfort when shaving because it doesn't pull or graze your skin even if you don't use loads of shaving gel/foam (I actually don't use shaving gel or foam I just use foaming shower gel which works just as well with a razor like this). It has 5 blades all together which ensures that you get a smooth, close, comfortable shave.  

The 'forward and back' element of this razor does take some time to get used to because obviously the natural movement is to just move one way but once you get used to the fact that you can actually shave backwards and forwards it makes things surprisingly easier than normal razors and I seemed to get a much closer shave (presumably because it's catching the hairs both ways so even the smallest of hairs get a close shave). I find that the F.A.B razor actually made shaving quicker because you don't have to lift it from your skin until you want to wet the razor.


At £11.99 for blade refills the price point is similar if not slightly cheaper than its main competitors, the initial outlay for the razor handle plus one blade is slightly higher than Venus (£11.99). Just a quick note aswell, you need to buy the specific F.A.B handle to use the backwards and forwards blades as they don't fit any other Wilkinson Sword handles. I'd definitely recommend this razor for anyone who's looking for a slightly quicker yet still comfortable and close shave.

18/07/2018 - Boots have an offer on Wilkinson Sword products where you can buy 2 for £10 so now would be the perfect time to pick a couple of these up if you're wanting to try it! Buy the F.A.B Razor here

Do you prefer refill or disposable razors?

Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:

Friday, 15 June 2018

FOOD AND DRINK: MILLER & CARTER STEAKHOUSE DONCASTER SHARING EXPERIENCE

Steak is undoubtedly one of my absolute favourite meats. Decent steak that is. Fillet has to be my all time favourite cut, followed closely by rump along with all the trimmings and sauces. For me, meals don't get any better than that. Which is why Miller & Carter is one of my go-to restaurants for any kind of special occasion because as far as steakhouses are concerned, they have it pretty much nailed on perfect. You'd be forgiven for thinking that because it's a chain of restaurants that they will have compromised on quality one way or another but I can absolutely say the one in Doncaster is second to none. 

I have been previously but my most recent visit was with my boyfriend as a little celebration of it being a year since we met so effectively it was a bit of a treat date night. We decided before we got there that we were going to try the chateaubriand which neither of us had ever had before but I'd personally heard really good things about it from friends.

The overall experience from setting food into the restaurant to the end of our meal was so enjoyable and the food was absolutely amazing so let me get on with some food pics. (Note: I didn't take my 'proper' camera because in all honesty I didn't expect to take photos or indeed write about it but after leaving I really wanted to share my experience. The lighting isn't brilliant for photos but it is however very fitting for the feel of the restaurant.)


We started with the Taster Board which was beef & bourbon meatballs, sticky chilli-hoisin glazed chicken & duck wings, beef barbacoa mac & cheese, hand-cut nachos, buttermilk ranch dip and garlic bread. The mac & cheese really was something else. I'd never thought of putting beef with it but it really, really worked. Beef barbacoa is a little bit like pulled beef; really slowly cooked and then shredded and it comes with a number of the starter dishes but I can highly recommend it with mac & cheese. This sharer is perfect for two people, in all honesty I wouldn't particularly want to share it with more but you could probably share it between 4 as there was 4 of everything that could be portioned. 


Then the main event. The Chateaubriand which is a cut from the beef tenderloin which we had medium rare. It was absolutely delicious and came served with 2 portions of fries, 2 onion loaves (Miller & Carter's version of onion rings), 2 lettuce wedges with dressing and 2 steak sauces. To look at the board you may think it doesn't look like there's that much but trust me that piece of beef was thick! It was perfectly cooked and so tender. We would normally go for a fillet each but this didn't disappoint at all and it was really quite a nice experience to share it together. Another thing I must mention because it was so tasty was the beef dripping steak sauce. It is absolutely unreal. I'd never had it until tonight because whenever I thought beef dripping I just thought of a lump of lard and it made me wonder what I'd get if I got that steak sauce but it's actually a really rich, meaty, beefy gravy. I don't know what they do with it to get it to taste like that but it is so good!


I think because we'd saved ourselves all day for what we knew would be a huge meal we were able to fit in a pudding. Again we shared each one but I went for the banoffee pie and Kev chose the fresh berries and strawberry meringue. My personal preference was the banoffee and I think Kev would agree. The portion sizes were perfect and you could taste every little part of the banoffee pie from the biscuit base, to the toffee, to the bananas... so good!! The berry desert was also quite nice but in all honesty I would have preferred another scoop of the strawberry and prosecco sorbet instead of the meringue which was a little bit hard. 

Overall I cannot rave about Miller & Carter enough. They have restaurants all over the UK which you can find on their website and although I obviously can't speak for every restaurant but I can say that the Doncaster (Bessacarr) branch is top notch; the staff, the food; brilliant. One tip I do have though is that if you're going on a Friday or Saturday night make sure you book otherwise you run a very high risk of not being able to get a table!

Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:

Thursday, 14 June 2018

HOME SCENTING: THE PERFECT HOUSEWARMING GIFT

I'm no stranger to a candle/reed diffuser or two; I have at least one if not more in every room of my house because I do like it to smell nice. I do think that for anyone who's just moved house either for the first time or to a different house, candles are a perfect go to housewarming present and the new Wax Lyrical Yvonne Ellen collection combines both beautiful scents and gorgeous designs to compliment any decor. 



Yvonne Ellen Votive Giftset £25.99 (Wax Lyrical)

The packaging shows of Yvonne Ellen's quirky illustrations but inside the Votive Giftset there are 3 votive candles each with a timeless, simple design which would suit any decor. In midnight blue, powder pink and grey/white they can either be split up into single candles or displayed as a trio. 

As you would expect, the scents are just as beautiful as the packaging; Wild Jasmine, Exotic Fig and Vintage Palm which are all gorgeous. My personal favourite is the Exotic Fig because the fig is nicely subtle but the tonka bean really comes through which I love... the perfect kind of fragrance for a bedroom. Wild Jasmine is more of a musky kind of scent but not in any way overpowering at all which is the beauty of the Wax Lyrical formulation because although they do fill the room with fragrance, they're not the kind of candles that would induce a headache thankfully. Finally Vintage Palm is a lovely fresh scent which would be perfect for any hallway or kitchen. Even when these candles aren't lit their scent is still noticeable which for me is a tell-tale sign of a good quality candle.

The beauty of these little votives is that whether you buy them as a treat for yourself or for someone else, it's the perfect introduction to Wax Lyrical. Each of the 3 candles is available in a larger version so if you found one in particular that you really enjoyed you could buy the full size version. All Wax Lyrical products are made in the UK with the highest quality ingredients so you can guarantee that you're getting an excellent quality product and you can be safe in the knowledge that you're supporting a British business. Also, all Wax Lyrical products are vegetarian friendly.

You can find the full Yvonne Ellen collection along with their other extensive range of home scenting products on the Wax Lyrical website.

Subscribe: Blog Lovin' | Twitter | YouTube
SHARE:
© Girl Up North. All rights reserved.
MINIMALIST BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig