Review // The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

This year I celebrated my 27th birthday, and although I am by no means old, it got me thinking about anti-aging.

When should we start thinking about this?

I think it's important to start thinking about anti-aging before it happens - prevention is better than cure after all!

I have heard people say you should start wearing anti-aging products in your early twenties - which I definitely didn't do! I have been careful to limit my sun exposure, I don't smoke and I rarely drink - all things renowned to aggravate the aging process.

Hitting 27, and my skin having started to settle, I thought it was about time I at least gave it a thought. Until recently I was still looking for anti-blemish over anti-ageing - so I didn't really pay that much attention to anti-aging products! One thing that has always worried me about anti-aging skin care is the richness of the creams. For someone like me, who has suffered from blemish prone skin, I am always cautious about what I put on my face through fear of provoking breakouts. Heavy oily creams have always been a no no.

Having done my research, it became apparent that the delicate skin around the eyes was one of the most noticeable areas of facial aging. I starting looking into anti-aging eye creams, and oh boy there are a lot out there!

I ended up purchasing The Body Shop's Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream at £14. It was by chance that I ended up seeing this product - I was given a £10 off a £20 spend voucher and thought i'd stock up on some bits. I will add here that I am really glad I did find this cream, I love it and will be replacing it when it runs out.

The cream is not designed to just 'reduce the appearance of fine lines' - which so many products claim to do, instead it is designed for the first signs of aging. It soothes the eye area leaving it soft and supple without being heavy or sticky. Keeping the eye area well hydrated is key to reducing the onset of wrinkles. The cream's ingredients are 99% of natural origin - which is always a plus.

My eyes feel fresher, and my make-up applies really well over this product. I don't actually have any fine lines around my eyes - so I cannot comment on that. But I have seen an improvement in the appearance of my under eye skin.  I would recommend this product for anyone in their twenties as a fab first eye cream.

Fingers crossed it will be a while before I have to up my anti-aging game!

What anti-aging skin care do you use?

Beau Jardin Luxury Hand Creams

Monday, 1 September 2014

I have a 'thing' for all things floral and/or vintage inspired - and this doesn't stop when it comes to buying beauty products.

Beau Jardin from Heathcote & Ivory make the most gorgeous toiletry products. All their packaging has been beautifully created in a vintage French style. Seriously, vintage and French - does it get much better???

I've had the pleasure of trialing their Shea Butter Hand Creams in all three of their wonderful scents. These scents were inspired by the tradition of mixing and blending home grown herbs and floral essences.  The Beau Jardin range is packed with lovely ingredients like Shea butter, vitamin E, oat bran, almond oil and contains no parabens or sulphates.

The three different scents include; Citrus Grove, Rose and Geranium, and Lavender and Jasmine. They are really light, and pretty, floral scents - quite traditional but not so traditional they smell like old lady perfume.

I love their little motto - “a treat for today springing from the wisdom of yesterday”

The hand cream is lovely and rich. It soaks into the skin to leave your hands silky smooth. The tube does take a little warming up to help get the cream out easier – if you don’t you’ll be squeezing for some time as it is quite a thick cream. But don’t let its thickness put you off, when  it warms into the skin it’s pure luxury.

I have really enjoyed using the creams; they keep my hands soft and smell great – a really top product all round and not too badly priced at £8 for the set of three! They are small so good to keep in your handbag - and I like to swap and change depending on my mood. Overall I would recommend them and their packaging means they also make great gifts. You can buy these pretty potions from the Heathcote and Ivy website here.

p.s - there is an offer at the mo if you spend over £15, see below..


Beauty // Mini Makeup Haul

Thursday, 28 August 2014

I popped into Boots on my way home from work today, and picked up a few treats from the Rimmel stand.

I'm by no means a makeup snob, but I tend to buy mainly Bobbi Brown and MAC makeup for myself, but every now and then a drug store brand catches my eye. 

I used to use a lot of Rimmel in my teens, it was always very affordable and actually pretty good!

I've been reading a lot of good things lately about their 'Wake Me Up' foundation - so thought I'd give it a go! I only wear foundation when I'm off out somewhere nice, or have a meeting with work. I like a medium to full coverage that is buildable and moisturising - there's nothing worse than a tight face from overtly drying foundation! At a mere £8.99, it was also a complete bargain - so why not!

Life // Emily Griffin Make-up Artist

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sorry for yet another long delay between posts, once again I have let life get in the way! You may have noticed my blog is undergoing a bit of a re-vamp - it's not quite finished but I think it looks much cleaner than my previous theme. I will finish it soon I promise!

If you've been reading my blog, or following me on my various social media accounts, you'll know that I have completed my make-up course and I am now qualified - eek! My website is not quite finished, but you can see the work in progress at (yes I know another job on my ever growing list!).

I am so excited, I got my Sally's trade card this week (for those of you not familiar with Sally's it's a hair and beauty trade suppliers - aka heaven!). I bought some fantastic supplies for my kit - and my favourite shampoo in salon size at a very good price.

I have been researching 'setting up a business' and extra makeup products to buy for my kit. I bought a fantastic holdall from Primark at the weekend, to carry all my lovely kit in. I am not a huge fan of the heavy makeup boxes, as they aren't the most practical. The bag is black with gold hardware and looks sleek and professional. I sort my makeup into clear plastic cosmetic bags, with black piping, so these fit perfectly in the holdall. I haven't taken a picture yet - but I will do this week. It was only £12, and a real bargain!

I will do a little post soon, to show you all my hard work setting up as a freelance makeup artist (and a sneaky look into my makeup kit). I am hoping to get some portfolio pictures shot this month - so that will also make for an interesting post!

I have also set up a Facebook page here - so please help support my new business venture and hit the like button! I will be sharing tips and advice soon, as well as advertising my work.

if you have any questions for me then please do post a comment!

Emily x

Review // Romantic Birthday Getaway at Thornbury Castle Part 3

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Welcome to the final part of my Thornbury Castle review. I have saved the best until last.. the restaurant. You can read part one and part two here.

Thornbury Castle's restaurant is truly fantastic. The food is incredible. It doesn't come cheap - but then you do get what you pay for. The dinner menu rocks in at £50pp excluding drinks. But - it is honestly worth it.

Review // Romantic Birthday Getaway at Thornbury Castle Part 2

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

If you read the first post in this series (if not read it here), you'll know that I took my boyfriend for a surprise night away to the amazing Thornbury Castle. I took so many pictures, and the hotel was so great, that I decided to split it up into three posts; The Room, The Grounds and The Restaurant.

I think the grounds speak for themselves, so here they are:

Review // Romantic Birthday Getaway at Thornbury Castle Part 1

Monday, 5 May 2014

A couple of weeks ago I surprised my other half Kevin with an overnight stay at the highly renowned Thornbury Castle Hotel for his Birthday. Kevin loves history, castles, the Tudors, unique luxury hotels and good food. So, with this in mind, Thornbury Castle fitted the brief perfectly.

I first came across the Castle after reading an article on Total Bristol - following their victorious win, again, of Small Hotel of the Year 2013 in the Bristol Tourism and Hospitality Awards. The hotel is situated in the small (emphasize small) town of Thornbury in South Gloucestershire. The building dates back to the 1500's (but has obviously undergone renovations and updates since then). Apparently, it's not a 'true castle' but more a Tudor country house - but either way it's pretty fantastic! It even boasts a visit from King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Kevin has no idea I had booked this surprise stay until the day we were due to leave. I do love a good surprise! Anyways, off we headed.

The breathtaking hotel is hidden just behind a beautiful old church, on a narrow winding road. It is set in preened green gardens and it really is a gorgeous building! I ended up taking so many photos that I am splitting this post up into three; Our room, The Grounds and The Restaurant.

Our Room - The Bedford

We parked the car up (although there was valet parking) and headed to reception to check in. We were staying in one of the hotel's 'Deluxe rooms' called The Bedford - and it really was deluxe. We headed out of reception, across the pretty courtyard, to the little tower and up a winding spiral staircase to an old oak door (okay, so i don't know if it was actually oak - but it's setting the atmosphere right??).

We put the old fashioned key in the door and were greeted by the most amazing hotel room I have ever seen. A gigantic four posted bed adorned with luxurious red velvet and gold piping was situated to the left of the room, the stone walls were decorated with old tapestries, guild mirrors and period paintings. To the right of the room, in pride of place, was a large gas fireplace, two couches, a TV (in an old fashion cabinet) and a complimentary decanter of sherry. The room had wonderful wooden floors with large traditional rugs and it was simply incredible.

At the back of the room was a small door way. This lead through to the huge bathroom. For me bathrooms are just as important as the hotel room, and I'm pleased to report that the Bedford's bathroom was lovely. It was large, clean and decorated to a high standard with wonderfully fragrant toiletries. It had a huge sink, a big shower cubical and a separate bath. I was slightly disappointed in one thing - there were no mini toiletries! I love getting to a hotel and using their mini products - there is something about a mini product that I just love. (I've even ended up buying products after using them in a hotel and they are always brilliant for your carry on luggage when you fly). They did have lovely products though. The brand they used was VOYA - which is a lovely organic spa range. They were in large bottles and it was cleared stated if you took them home you'd be charged.. so we just enjoyed them there.

The bed was lovely and comfy, the bedding was crisp and clean and there wasn't a sound to be heard. We really did love the room and had a great night sleep - after enjoying dinner in their fabulous restaurant and a cheeky bottle of a delicious Bordeaux.

Stay tuned for the restaurant review (including rhubarb vodka, the perfect chocolate fondant and mouthwatering peppered loin on venison), and some snaps of their picturesque grounds.

Here are our room pictures, enjoy...


Life // A New Spring in My Step and Bath in Fashion

Saturday, 26 April 2014

April so far has been just incredible! After a lot of hard work and dedication, and an absolute refusal to give up, I am pleased to announce I have started a brand spanking-new job. I am now - drum roll please - a Digital Content Editor for the for the amazing Total Guide to Ltd.

I studied English at uni, but never really knew what I wanted to do. It was 6 years ago when I graduated, and it was only in the last 2/3 years that I realised I wanted to work in the media. Not being fresh out of Uni, I thought I would find a lot of obstacles in pursuing a career change to this industry. Luckily for me, my commitment and passion, and a whole lot of freelancing has paid off. 

So far my month has been jam packed full. My first week started with Coba Cocktail Ice Lollies and ended with my, extremely well deserving, boss the stunning Liz Ledger (who I am hoping will inspire my waist line not just my career) winning Business Person of the Year after a champagne reception at the glitzy Wiltshire Business Awards.

I have honestly had such an amazing first few weeks and I couldn't of ask for lovelier work colleagues.

But, little did I know the best was yet to come. Bath in Fashion, now that's what I'm talking about!

I am so excited to be going along to some of the events to cover them for our Bath site. With the likes of Barbara Hulanicki (the brains behind the iconic brand BIBA), Mary Homer of Topshop, Vogue on Vivienne Westwood, Makeup Masterclasses, catwalks and much much more Bath in Fashion 2014 looks to be a huge success - and I can't wait!

You can check out our coverage and details of all the events here at Total Guide to Bath's Bath in Fashion Guide.

I'd love to know if you are going to any of the events or have been in previous years?

Hopefully, I'll see some of you there!

Vintage and Retro Festival

Friday, 28 March 2014

A few weekends ago I went along to the Brunel Swindon's first ever Vintage and Retro festival with the lovely Stephanie from Stephanie Dreams and Jess from Total Guide.

The festival took place over the weekend with lots of locals getting involved. The Brunel's own vintage shops Carry on Vintage and Miche Niche styled the catwalk - with wonderful vintage hair styled by the lovely Sass's Hair and Beauty. There was also a fab make-up demonstration from the students of Swindon College (which is where I did my makeup course!). They were kindly gifted make-up products from the Boots No 7 brand - which believe it or not, was first launched in 1935!

One of the highlights for me was a lesson in 1940's fashion from the wonderful Biltz Buddies group. They are a group of friends who all share a love of the Blitz era. They had the most incredible clothes - including original pieces as well as beautifully crafted reproductions. They even had an infamous hard wearing CC14 coat and a parachute silk dress - and let's not gloss over their very own Captain Mainwaring!

The event also had vintage cars, music, dancing and a vintage market. Over all I really enjoyed the day - it was a welcome change for my little home town and I am looking forward to seeing what the next one has in store!

Here are some snaps of the day:


Event // Revolution Bath Relaunch

Thursday, 27 February 2014

When an email from the lovely Abi at Bath's Revolution Bar popped into my inbox I got very excited. She kindly invited me, and a couple of chums, to the Revolution Bath re-launch party to celebrate their trendy refurbishment. 

Busy Busy Busy..

Friday, 21 February 2014

I have been very noticeably absent from my blog of late - so sorry to all my lovely readers! I have been keeping my facebook page and instagram (@emilyselixir) somewhat up to date - so be sure to follow me there!

So where have I been? Well I've been swallowed up my my makeup course- and a few other bits i'll share soon..

Here is a look at the makeup I've been doing in class.. let me know your thoughts!

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