Friday, 24 May 2013

Vichy Normaderm Review

...Floreat Curator Cutis...

Vichy skincare range has been around for a while and often has been hailed as one of the more leading high-end drugstore products with its claimed mineral-rich therma spa water ingredient. Vichy have a range of specially developed skin care products designed for those of us with the more complicated skin types. The Normaderm range itself is targeted mainly for oily combination skin, with a little targeted action for acne prone skin too; helping to target blemishes and keep those breakouts at bay. The Vichy Normaderm range recognises the link between oily combination skin and breakouts (excess oil produced by our skin blocking our pores leading to breakouts…you know the drill, most of us have been there).

I have used Vichy Normaderm products in the past, but never truly committed fully to the cause. So I have been wanting to review the Anti-Imperfection Hydrating Care (Day Moisturiser) and Chrono-Active Pore Refining Care (Night Moisturiser) for some time now, but wanted to incorporate these two products properly in my routine before I could review them (hence the slightly erm “weathered” packaging in the photos – sorry about that).

Vichy Normaderm Anti-Imperfection Hydrating Care (Day Moisturiser)

This daytime moisturiser claims to common problem areas targeting: imperfections, pores, oily/shiny skin and uneven skin tone. This daytime moisturiser is not my favourite, once it is applied to can rub off in little bits and looks as though your skin is peeling off (when in fact it is the day moisturiser that is dried onto the skin)! It has a matte finish and although it may make your skin look less oily for me it was not really a hit, as I did not really feel or see the real results. The formula  flaking off my skin was something that I was disappointed with and it did not last long at all. This product does contain Alcohol therefore I would not recommend using this product if you have sensitive/dry skin during a hot summers day or on your tropical holiday; as it could leave your skin dehydrated rather than hydrated. 

Overall this product did not blow me away; it did not deliver on its bold claims. I could not wear this day moisturiser all day on my skin, as the product was often peeling away from my skin and rather looked more like an acid peel than a moisturiser! It did not have a great wear time at all for a moisturiser, and did not leave my skin hydrated all day.

A 50ml bottle of Vichy Normaderm Anti-Imperfection Hydrating Care Day Moisturiser is £12 from Boots.

Vichy Normaderm Chrono-Active Pore Refining Care (Night Moisturiser)

This night time moisturiser is my favourite of the two moisturisers, it claims to limit the amount of pores that produce excess oil overnight so that the skin has a more even tone and that pores are less visible overtime. It easily melts onto the skin and once applied instantly - what I can only describe somewhat as dissolving into the skin – it was not greasy at all even though the consistency when it comes out of the tube is runny. You may feel a tingling sensation when you apply it onto your skin, this is probably the Zincadone A ingredient that targets bacteria and skin regeneration, although I would not recommend applying this night-time moisturiser onto broken/sensitive skin; as this may deeply irritate the skin and cause discomfort! On my skin this moisturiser was perfect, I definitely noticed my pores were less distinguished and my overall skin tone did improve. I particularly liked the fact that my skin was noticeably soft after I applied the moisturiser without that heavy greasy feeling that most night moisturisers tend to go over load on the greasy results.

A 50ml bottle of Vichy Normaderm Chrono-Active Pore Refining Night Cream is £12.77 from Boots.


Overall I am not completely convinced, I will not be re-purchasing the day moisturiser again!


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Edinburgh City Break

...Haste Ye Back!...

Various glimpses of around the main city area and George Street
Sometimes life can leave you feeling tired and wanting to regain and recover the strength that we all need to go on; and that is normal, after all we are all need an escape to feel re-energised. I was lucky enough to do so; so that is exactly what I did. I hit the road to the historical and stunning city of Edinburgh.
Parliament Square
Balmoral Hotel

I was in Edinburgh for a couple of days, I do recommend visiting for more than two days in order to get the most out of this city, there is a lot of things to do and see – from the famous Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, the Dungeons, sightseeing the beautiful coast line and natural wonders, visiting the old fashioned University, Scottish Parliament, the famous Balmoral Hotel, Botanical Gardens, the Scottish National Museum...the list goes on!

Edinburgh is known for its traditional architecture, very Gothic style and the grandeur is breath-taking. I managed to get away during the early May Bank Holiday and noticed the constant bustle of tourists visiting the city; I recommend getting about on local transport which runs regularly throughout the city as it is very cheap. You simply have to be on foot to explore all areas (£3.50 for a day saver on the Loathian bus service – happy days). 

Snapshots of some of the grandness that surrounds Edinburgh
Shopping is next to none in Edinburgh, Prince Street is a busy hive of lively tourists with the beautiful views overlooking the castle as a perfect backdrop, it is filled with great names from high end to high street such as Zara, the famous Jenner’s Department Store, Debenhams, Fraser Hart, Harvey Nicholas etc. I also visited the more up-market George Street were the atmosphere was slightly less touristy and more upmarket and cosmopolitan – a range of sophisticated boutiques lined up the area, there are a lot of swanky bars and fashion giants from Karen Millen, Coast, Jaeger just to name a few. The architecture really came to live in George Street, stunning and very opulent; I can certainly see how this was once the financial heart of the city with the buildings telling their own story.


Edinburgh surprised me when it came to shopping, I can safely say it rivalled that to my usual shopping hangout of the modern Bullring based in Birmingham; simply put shopping in Edinburgh was more of a relaxed experience which treated my eyes to the beauty of the old fashioned building’s that stood against the spell of time, really worth a visit for those shopaholics out there!

Various touristy sights, an American Candy Store, the world famous Hard Rock Cafe, and various shops on Princes Street.
If you don’t intend to go to Edinburgh for the shopping then you must nevertheless visit its department store Jenners – think of this as Edinburgh's own version of Harold’s based in London. The magnificence and old fashioned family heritage was the selling factor of Jenners, it is now owned by House of Fraser although still holds the notable Jenner golden etched sign above it premises and is somewhat of a local landmark. Inside Jenners you can see for yourself the beautiful grand hall of against the Victorian remains of  spiralling pillars that hold each floor. Even if you are not interested in buying or shopping in particular Jenners offers a glimpse of the past and is well worth the visit.
Outside of Jenners Department Store

Inside Jenners located on Princes Street and a little French infusion of sugary treats - Macaroons and slice of cake from Patisserie Valerie (don't worry, they were not all for me)!

You ultimately have to visit Edinburgh Castle; with stunning views from across the city far and wide it dominates the whole city horizon, sitting at the top of the whole town both new and old. It was not too busy when we ventured up there, I do recommend dressing appropriately by wearing a jacket/blazer with the odd scarf (perhaps a tartan would fit the occasion); the wind was notorious at the peak despite it being May.

Scotland in all its glory
Edinburgh Castle
The National Scottish Museum is well worth a visit too; not only is it free but it offers something for everyone (recently refurbished) with great open indoor architecture and countless worldwide exhibitions from the animal section filled with an enormous T-Rex skeleton to the white Iranian inspired hall filled with exotic monuments – there is something for everyone to be excited about. There are so many amazing photograph opportunities inside the Museum; it left me feeling very inspired for an amateur/novice photographer.

Various snapshots of inside the Scottish National Museum

Overall there is more to Edinburgh than just the beautiful scenery and history, it is a rich cosmopolitan city that is definitely worth the visit, although I would pass on the Scottish Haggis and whisky I shall definitely be back and perhaps celebrate the world famous Hogmanay celebrations later on this year (yes I know a tad too early to be talking about new years eve celebrations yet)! There is so much more that I could write about what I got up to in Edinburgh  but I feel as though I would be here forever typing it all out. Simply put you should venture up North yourself to find out for yourself. If you a looking for an affordable city break that offers more than just the usual modern gimmicks then Edinburgh is for you. I would recommend planning in advance if you are going to get the most out of your visit; the Visit Scotland website offered me a great insight into booking tickets and costs regarding my trip to the City.

Main square

Quirky Police Station

Anyone ventured into Scotland’s wonder city before?

The Scotsman


Evening-wear Perfume: Versace Crystal Noir Review

"In Italian there is an expression: We don't sleep on the fame." - Donatella Versace 
Another modern classic of mine, originally this little gem was launched in 2004 but I have used it on and off throughout the years; most notably using it in those beautiful summer evenings when you want to leave an air of mystery, fitting with its deep purple design colour. What I love about this musky ambery scent is that it lingers throughout (something that I look for) yet develops its depth whilst you are wearing it.

The bottle design is not one of Versace’s better looking pieces; with the somewhat awkward looking giant gem bottle top looking like a U.F.O. sitting on top of the bottle; bigger in proportion to the actual glass bottle itself, making it look rather amateurish (a word not usually associated with the likes of Versace)! But looking beyond the mere design concept the scent is mature and strong, you only need tiny spritz. If you like oriental with gardenia base notes then this fragrance is for you; I always get compliments when wearing it. It is not overpowering but still distinguishable, Crystal Noir does leave the wearer reaching for it again and again after each wear – not only because of its 8 hours staying power (well on me at least) but because of that elegant presence it evokes…simply put I love it!

A 50ml bottle of Versace Crystal Noir can be picked up from Boots for £47.


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Put the “Point” in Everyday Flats


I always have a pair (well more than one pair) in my collection of sturdy trusty flat shoes that never fail to disappoint. I have even been known to carry a spare pair in one of my enormous handbags when towering about in one of my higher heels (my feet always thank me for it later). With the sunnier weather I personally do not like to sweat around in high heels (leave that to the gym, the sweating that is); especially when you are on your feet for more than a few hours - keep it comfortable and practical.

I like to team up my flats up with some light washed acid jeans for that laid back summer ensemble, to keep it clean and easy going. I am currently loving the range of “pointy” flat shoes that can be seen everywhere on the high street, slightly smart yet casual - I love the slight attitude that these shoes scream with that pointy front, great for everyday wear when you may want to leave the stilettos behind for better days. 

Some of my seasons favourites…


June Pointed Ballet Flats £35 from Asos

These pretty cut out  scallop detailed flats have cute pin buckle and strap detailing that give it that extra girly touch. Cut out in style they are right on trend. I love the strong coral/pink colour it is perfect for the sunnier days and will brighten up any outfit.


Faux Suede Loafers £19.90 from Forever21

These bad boys add a fierce roar to any casual look with the lion motif, team them up with a baggy pop art t-shirt to add that instant 90's punk vibe. As they are faux suede they are perfect for being worn this time of the year (hopefuly the lack of supposed rain will not wear them out too quickly)!

Leather Loafers £34.99 from H&M

Another season friendly pair with the nude/beige undertones, these beauties are at a very steal price considering the quality of the leather. The faux snakeskin top detailing make these pair more expensive than they look. Overall very simple yet stunning.


Pointed Slipper £49.99 from Zara

Wow. Where do I begin with these blue eyed beauties? The bold Aztec style print screams attention; they are perfect for bringing a simple outfit to the centre court. I would easily team these up to add an instant style statement to one of my simple jersey maxi dresses, without looking as though I am trying too hard. 



Aldo Bozena Toecap Pointed Ballet Flats £45 from Asos

AH another one of my favourites, for those of you who love the toecap contrast trend then these are both comfortable and stylish without hopping around in agony in sky high heels all day. These can easily be worn to the office, being both smart and wearable. 



Glitter Slipper £39.99 from Zara

Check those sparkles, these flat slippers can rival those of the taller kind -  glittery and sparkly they certainly do not lack in personality. Again, very smart looking but can easily look great with some blue jeans and a fitted blazer. Who said flat shoes cannot do glam? These pair certainly do.


Do you own a staple pair of flats?


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Supermodels featured in F&F Summer Campaign


Glancing at the TV one summer evening sometime last week I was amazed to see the new F&F summer fashion campaign featuring the international male super model no other than Jon Kortajarena and Victoria Secret’s Model Amy Hixon. Never would I think to associate two internationally renowned supermodels with the supermarket chain store Tesco.  What impressed me the most about the advertisement was that only after the closing few seconds of the advert I realised it was an F&F campaign (Tesco’s own supermarket brand)! I was half expecting it to be a more luxury designer brand; the whole look and feel of the advert has that high fashion and supermodel feel to it, with beautiful models posing effortlessly in their t-shirts/kaftans making it look very effortless and unflappable to be parading around in the sun. 

This to me showed the power of successful marketing, with addictive music (featuring the uber cool British duo AlunaGeorge with their electro beat "You Know You Like It" track) and soft lighting the whole collection looked something far more worthy of being on a catwalk let alone on a plastic hanger at your local Tesco’s. You have to give it to the marketing team at Tesco Headquarters; they delivered on their marketing goal, having great recognisable faces (from the handsome Jon Kortajarena *swoon*) to talented new music artists (AlunaGeorge will definitely be feeling the success of this advert to their sales I am sure) everyone is talking about this advert.

Take a look at the advert and see for yourself some of the sensual yet moody posing…

The full collection is available at most Tesco stores and online.


Hope you all enjoy the Bank Holiday Weekend!