Wednesday, 29 June 2011

NOTD - Essie's St Lucia Lilac

I just can't stay away from purple things. Nail varnish included. In theory, nails are a place to experiment and perhaps try colours that you wouldn't necessarily incorporate elsewhere in your wardrobe. I, on the other hand can't help sticking with my favourite. But I suppose, when you see this baby, how can you possibly say no?!

St Lucia Lilac by Essie
This is a toned down pastel lilac with a touch of grey. It goes on like a dream (I like to go for two coats) and lasts a good four days (with top coat) before any chips start appearing. I know Essie have received a lot of bad wrap for their formulations, but unless this is an exception, it looks like they've stepped up their game. 

You can buy Essie nail polishes here for £8.50

Ciao for now x

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Monday, 27 June 2011

A Pukka Cuppa Cha

You may have noticed that I haven't been around all that much lately.This is due to me not being at all well. In fact, things were so bloody awful that I had to go into hospital for quite a major operation. Not to despair though, because not only am I on the on the mend and normal blog service can be resumed, but I am also going to share with you my ultimate feel-good/recovery aid.
Yes folks, a good old cuppa. But not any old cup of tea. A Pukka one. I'm sipping one now, I slurped one through a straw when I awoke from my anesthetic and I hoard various flavours in each of my different handbags.

I know some people think that herbal teas taste like expensive perfume or as my mother tends to say - a little bag of hay, but the health benefits can't be argued with, and once you find a blend to tickle your taste buds you'll be hooked. Trust me.

These particular teas made by Pukka (which is actually Hindi for genuine or authentic) use 100% organically grown and ethically sourced ingredients, so we're off to a pretty good start. But for me, it doesn't really end there. The ethos and feeling behind this brand depicts living wisely and wholesomely and they have about 20 different tea blends to try each with their own unique health-giving properties.

These are my particular favourites:

Three Mint

Peppermint tea was one of the first herbal teas I tried. I think I must have been about twelve and remember reading in a magazine about peppermint being a digestive aid. Inspired, I trotted down to the local Holland & Barrett and bought myself a box of the most basic stuff you could find. I remember thinking that it smelt awesome but unfortunately, not yet a learned tea maker, I steeped it for as little as a minute. What I sipped was like watered down mouthwash. Trying to fix the situation I added a splash of milk. Needless to say, I didn't rush to have it again. (NOTE: Herbal tea plus Milk = No!!!)

Luckily, I did have an opportunity taste peppermint tea as it should have been made and further on into my teens I could not begin my day without a cup. I've been the same ever since. I found Pukka's Three Mint version pretty much as soon as it hit the shelves. It has such a pretty box, it was hard to miss. 

The ingredients are as follows: Peppermint leaf (34%), spearmint leaf (34%) fieldmint leaf (32%) and Pukka says,

 " sweet yet intensely fresh with a delicately aromatic scent. Three delicious varieties of mint leaves have been used to create the fullest flavour. It will help support digestion and refresh the palate."

I can't tell you how refreshing yet de-stressing this tea is. There are so many mint teas out there but this one is, in my opinion, by far the best. I think that may be because the fieldmint gives it an extra dimension. There are of course, some super duper health benefits to sipping this tea and it has long been known as a powerful healing plant. Great for:
  • Digestive discomfort whether that be bloating, IBS or heartburn
  • Sickness
  • Building and strengthening the immune system
I tend to leave my teabag in the cup, but it depends on how strong you like your mint!


Organic Nettle, Fennel & Peppermint tea make up Pukka's Cleanse blend.

Pukka says,
"Cleanse tea is a unique blend of cleansing herbs with fantastic purifying properties. Drink it throughout the day to help maintain a healthy, glowing complexion. "

The ingredients are as follows: Nettle leaf (40%), peppermint leaf (25%), fennel seed (25%), dandelion root, licorice root, aloe vera leaf (concentrated natural extract).

This is the tea that I think really helps my skin. As I always say, what you put onto your skin is important, but what you put inside is where it all starts...The ingredients that work this magic are not hard to spot; Nettle is fantastic as it contains vitamin A and beta-carotene which help protect against free radicals. Dandelion root holds properties that can help the body to detox and give skin a good deep cleanse. 

Taste wise this is a sumptuous tea. Like the three mint, it is refreshing. It has a good depth of flavour and everything is particularly well balanced. A major plus point for me is that it contains both dandelion and nettle - you very rarely find them both together yet they are both star performers when it comes to tastiness and their health properties. 

Morning Time

A blend that brings together organic rooibos, honey bush and red ginseng. This one is definitely suited to those who need an energy kick to get them going in the morning. Pukka says,
"Morning Time tea is a naturally caffeine-free, deliciously sweet and full-bodied blend of uplifting herbs which can be enjoyed with or without milk to help kick start your day." 

The ingredients are as follows: Fairtrade superior rooibos leaf (70%), honeybush leaf (10%), licorice root, red ginseng (whole root) (5%), roasted black maca root. 

I also drink this one at about 4pm when I feel the afternoon slump coming. Slightly controversial I know, but it seems to work out for me and I get a second wind becoming uber

As I mentioned earlier, Pukka have about twenty different blends. I've only talked about three here. Why not go and have a peek at the website to look at all the other lovely offerings. In total - currently - I think I have about nine types of theirs. I have a 'tea cupboard' that is full to capacity. After much consideration, there is only one thing for me to do...

Ciao for now x

Note: All my tea opinions are my own and I purchased them all myself.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Botox at the dentist anyone?

The other day I cracked my tooth in half and had to make an urgent appointment with my dentist. Unfortunately, I couldn't get an appointment right away because my dentist was in 'Botox Clinic' that afternoon. 

I'm sorry what? 

Apparently, this isn't unusual these days. Most dental surgeries offer non-essential cosmetic botox as a lucrative sideline. Three other surgeries in my local area also provide facial peels and collagen implants. Dentists argue that there couldn't be anyone more suited to administering injections since they are already 'experts' in the head and neck.

Dentists may or may not be good at delivering this service. That is not really what gets to me. It's more the fact that there is an increasingly blase attitude to injecting stuff into faces, and everywhere you turn there seems to be a place to get your image surgically altered. What's wrong with what we've got?

What's your opinion on this? I'd love to hear it. 

Ciao for now x

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Outfit of the Day

If I ever can't decide what to wear, I always go for a little black dress. It might not be the most imaginative, but it is quick and I know I can accessorise it in so many different ways. Plus, a black dress never goes out of fashion. (A massive bonus for me as I own so many!)

This one is from Zara for approx £30

And the rest of the look:


And finally,

There is nothing like a spritz of a scent that you discovered many moons ago. Mine happens to be Ghost and I always pick it out on a day when I want to feel a little bit special. It's such a feminine scent combining jasmine with rose petals and soft vanilla with earthy sandalwood. It is perfect for the daytime, especially at this time of year as it is so light and fresh. 

That's it for now, I hope you've enjoyed this quick post. If you have, don't forget to sign up to follow - it really means such a lot.

Ciao for now,