26 May 2016

South Of France With Avene

Avene



If you follow me on any kind of social media, mainly Snapchat though (username gemmalondonlife) then you will have seen that last week I went on a trip to the South of France with the natural French skincare brand Avene. Along with the brand I was also joined with some incredible bloggers (Ellie and Lex) and hilarious journalists which made up just the most amazing group of women ever but I'll gush more about that later. I'd been a fan of Avene for years as it's a brand that is perfect for dry and sensitive skin which is how I would probably describe my skin type. During the 4 days we spent two days in the actual village of beautiful Avene which is located at the top of the mountains in the South of France and then two days in Montpellier which in contrast to Avene was a super buzzing busy city. 

Avene Hydrotherapy Center

Avene Hydrotherapy Center

Avene Hydrotherapy Center

During our time in Avene we essentially learnt all there is to know about Avene from discovering their entire extensive range of products to actually visiting the factory where the products are made and packaged (which as a science geek, I absolutely loved). During our stay we also visited the Hydrotherapy Center which is a relaxing retreat where people with extreme skin conditions go and stay to have a 3 week course of treatments to target specific skin concerns. As part of our tour we actually had one of the treatments the centre offer to their patients where you have a relaxing bath which has been filled with the Avene spring water whilst jets massage your legs to remove and soften any dead skin cells in an effort to speed up the skin regeneration process. You then take a strange kind of shower the fires jets of water onto your body which remove all the dead skin cells that were softened during the bath. I have to say, I liked the bath but being such a short person I found the jet experience almost hilarious as they were essentially being fired into my face. 

Avene

Avene

Avene

Avene

For the rest of the trip we learnt about their extensive list of products and all they ranges from the brand, and let me tell you, there are a lot. As you can see from the pictures above there are so many different ranges, some of which we don't actually get in the UK which is heartbreaking but we do have access to a huge amount of their products. I've spoken a lot about how amazing Avene is for people with dry skin but almost all of their products also work really well on normal skin. From their products I would say that my favourites ranges are the Cold Cream and Tolerance Extreme. The Cold Cream body moisturiser is a product that has completely transformed the dry skin on my arms in literally 5 days of using it, it's kind of crazy. The Tolerance Extreme range is the newest range from Avene and only contains a maximum of 7 ingredients in the whole line. Now if you're thinking that 7 ingredients is quite a lot just have a look at the back of one of your moisturisers... it contains a lot more than 7 right?! The range is made in completely sterile conditions, contains no preservatives and is made from 70% Avene water, which makes the products absolutely perfect for eczema sufferers, people with dry skin but also if you have normal skin and just like to know what you're putting on your face. 

Avene

gemmalondonlife

Along with all the face creams, masks and cleansers we also learnt a bit more about the Avene Thermal Spring Water, which is one of their cult products. It's essentially super high quality spring water in a can that is super multi-tasking as it can be used on sunburn, nappy rash, after shaving, after exercise and post make up removing before applying your skincare. I like to think of it as a spray that can be used to cool down the skin, which means it's so perfect if you suffer for itchy dry skin. 

Avene Hydrotheraphy Center

Avene Hydrotheraphy Center

Avene Hydrotheraphy Center

Avene Hydrotheraphy Center

Avene

Avene

Avene

Avene

Avene

Avene

Avene

Avene

Avene

All in all as you can probably tell by the tone of this post I had the most amazing time with my Avene Squad (that's what we're called now) and couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to spent the time with. 


You can also probably tell that I'm now a little bit in love with the brand and have been recommending it to every man and their dog. If you're in the UK you can get your hands on a lot of the Avene ranges from Boots and there will definitely be a line for any skin concern you have or if you're just in the market for products that don't contain any nasties! I've popped a few of my favourite items below:



Finally (stay with me) I'm going to do a separate post on the outfits I wore during the trip as I got quite a few questions on Instagram so I thought it would be better to put them all into one big post!










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22 May 2016

New Launches from Clinique

Clinique New Products

Clinique New Products

Clinique Foundation Stick

Clinique Micellar Wipes

When it comes to launches this year, Clinique have been pretty on it, so instead of writing a post for each individual launch I thought it would be easier to compile them all into one big post. 

The launch of the Colour Pop Lipsticks is still one of my favourite launches, the packaging is super cute and the range of colours are incredible. On top of all of the colours already in the line they’ve just added a bunch of new shades extending the line even more. If you haven’t tried the Colour Pop’s before they’re really pigmented and actually feel lovely and comfortable on the lips, almost balm like. Along with the new shades they have also launched the Colour Pop Glaze Sheer Lip and Primer which are kind of a less pigmented, sheer version of the original. Adding to the new lip launches are some new Lip Colours and Primers which I’m so glad they’ve brought out. Don’t get me wrong I love lipsticks but sometimes its nice to have something that’s a little more long lasting. With some long lasting lip products I find that they’re so drying and really stick to dry patches but I really didn’t find this at all with this product. If anything they feel like applying a lip gloss to the lips with the added bonus that they’ll last a long time. What more could you want?!

Along with additional shades to the Colour Pop line they have also added further shades to their Lid Pop Shadows. The shades shown are a beautiful olive/taupe shade and then a pinky/champagne shade. I find that these shadows work really nicely on their own or patten on top of another shadow. 

In terms of skincare I would say that Clinique are up there with some of my favourite holy grail brands. My favourite range from them is their Take The Day Off, particularly their cleansing balm so you can imagine my excitement when I heard they were bringing out Micellar Cleansing Wipes. As a general rule I tend not to be a big fan of wipes, in fact I would never use them to remove my face make up but don’t mind them for removing eye make up. Micellar cleansing wipes seems to be the newest trend in make up removing launches this year and I have to say, I don’t love them, they’re okay but I find that they don’t do an amazing job at removing mascara and eyeliner. What surprised me about the Take The Day Off wipes is after I used them my eyes actually felt quite sore which I had never experienced with the range before. Generally they’re okay at removing make up but they haven’t been added into my skincare regime purely because the left my eyes feeling sore. 

Lastly is something completely new and that’s they new foundation sticks in the same design as their chubby face sticks. It also comes with an amazing brush thats so, so good at buffing and blending in the product. I have to say, that foundation sticks do remind me of my teenage years and those first few experimental years with make up. However, don’t be fooled by the design as the actual product has definitely advanced since we first started playing with make up. I would describe the coverage as medium but build able and actually feels quite light on the skin which is always something I look for as we move into summer. 

Are you a big fan of Clinique, what are your favourite ranges and is there anything from this post that you want to try out?


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18 May 2016

Clarins Summer Launches


Clarins Summer Launches

Clarins Summer Bronzer
Clarins Summer Collection
Clarins Instant Comfort Lip Oil
Clarins Summer Collection

It's that time of year again when Clarins reveal their new summer releases and as with previous years they have not disappointed us. This year their summer collection is as beautiful as always and makes me want to go on sunny beach holiday immediately. Every year Clarins release they new summer bronzer and this year they combined both bronzer and blush in one compact. It contains a lovely mix of bronze and peach colours which give a lovely overall glow. I think the idea is that you swirl your brush around the outside bronzer section of the compact and then finish with the peach blush in the centre. Sticking with the bronzed theme another summer product from Clarins in their Self-Tanning Milky Lotion with fig extracts which works to nourish the skin whilst giving a light golden glow. I often find that fake tan leaves my skin feeling quite dry so I always look for tanning products that contain something to add moisture back in as I find that it makes the tan last much longer.

A few other launches this summer are the new waterproof cream eyeshadows which are insanely long lasting and come in a beautiful orange/bronze, taupe/grey, golden peach and copper brown shade. Then along with the waterproof shadows are a make up fixing spray for long lasting make up and the Double Fix' top coat mascara which turns any mascara waterproof. 

Lastly and probably the thing I'm most excited about is a new addition to the incredible Comfort Lip Oil range in a beautiful Raspberry shade. I cannot explain how much I love the Comfort Lip Oils, they're the most nourishing lip product I've tried and form a moisturising film over your lips leaving them so soft. I keep one under my pillow every night and apply a really thick layer before I go to sleep as I feel like it protects my lips for hours and prevents them from getting chapped.

As you can probably tell from the new releases, they're all aimed at bronzed skin and long lasting make-up and absolutely perfect for summer. Have you tried anything for their new collections?


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6 May 2016

BareMinerals BareSkin






BareMinerals is a new-ish brand to me, I've used a few bits and bobs over the years but it hasn't been until recently that I've been using their products consistently. The first product and my favourite is the BareSkin Serum concealer and the reason I love it so much is that it's super creamy and blendable and leaves a flawless finish to the skin. I think the reason it sits on the skin so well and blends really well is because it's part make up and part serum which leaves a lovely glow to the under eye area. Sticking with the skin theme I also love the BareSkin Sheer Sun Bronzer which is a liquid bronzer for the face that also contains serum to nouish the skin. This will be so perfect for the summer because it's so light on the skin that it doesn't feel like you're wearing anything so on top of some kind of tinted moisturiser this would be the perfect light summer base. 

As part of their latest launch they've released the stunning golden quad with the prettiest bronzed and rose tones. I'm a big fan of wearing red and bronzed colours of the lids, especially as I have blue eyes as I think they work really well together. Then finally they've launched a limited edition gold Perfecting Base brush, which works really well at distributing product over the face, and you know, it looks beautiful! 

Have you tried anything from BareMinerals? What are your favourite bits?

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3 May 2016

Babington House, Somerset

Babington House

Babington House


Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

Babington House

After leaving our lovely little home in Cornwall we made our way over to Babington House
in Somerset. Babington House has been on my list of places to visit for the longest time but we've never found ourselves over in Somerset until my lovely fiancĂ© planned a surprise trip. As soon as you arrive at Babington you're greeted with the most incredible view of the house at the end of a private long drive way surrounded by beautiful fields and trees. 
The first thing we did when we arrived was head straight to the conservatory for a late lunch. We both shared the chicken pate, soup and the largest most incredible salad I've ever had. I have to say, every thing we ate at Babington was bloody amazing. Everything served is sourced locally which I always find makes a huge difference to a dish but the food is just generally delicious. 

After eating a long lunch we headed up to our room which as you can see from the photos was absolutely incredible. Firstly, the room was huge and placed smack bang in the middle was a ginormous four poster extra king sized bed which was like something from The Princess & The Pea. Opposite the bed was a large vintage bath tub set in front of a huge log fireplace and then the best in room minibar I've ever seen. As with every room in Babington the decor was incredibly beautiful and unique pairing both vintage and and luxe furniture. We stayed in the main house where each room is individually decorated, which I think is a great way to make each visit completely different. The rooms are the kind where you could quite easily stay in there for the entire stay. Along with the standard room service you can also get in room spa treatments from their cowshed spa so if needed you could quite easily spend your whole trip in one room. But when staying at such a beautiful place why would you?! 

After dropping our bags off and looking at every single part of the room we headed out for a long walk around the grounds, and if like me you forgot to bring your wellies they're actually provided for every guest staying so there's no need to worry about getting those white converse muddy. There are a number of different walks around Babington that you can do but even just walking around the edge of the house is pretty enough and you'll always find yourself in a different area than you found last time. 

Once we'd had a nice long walk we headed over to the Cowshed spa for lovely few hours of pampering and relaxation. Cowshed have spas dotted all over London so if you feel like you need a few hours of zen in the middle of the city then I'd highly recommend them. I'm a huge fan of Cowshed anyway and I think the pairing of their products and Babington is the perfect match.

Having easily had fallen fast asleep after our pamper session we managed to get ourselves ready and head down for dinner, where again we had an amazing meal. We then made our way over to the Library for a few cocktails before heading back up to the room to watch a film in front of the huge fire. 

All in all Babington was the most dreamy and relaxing stay we could have asked for to celebrate our first few days of being engaged. 
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