A Look Into L’Occitanes Natural Shampoo Range*


I am going to be honest here, L’Occitane was not the first brand to spring to mind when thinking about haircare. Turns out they are quite the experts!

Their natural shampoo range has been enriched with natural extracts and essential oils which means they are designed to work with any hair type. Inspired by the golden rays of southern France, these beauties will help to restore, nourish and protect your hair.

So if you are looking for hair that makes you feel as radiant as the Provençal sun, read on to find out more…

Citrus Verbena Shampoo

Looking for an all rounder? This staple ticks all the boxes, especially for shiny hair! The Citrus Verbena Shampoo is packed full of citrus fruit notes but what is Verbena? Lemon Verbena is leafy with an intense lemony scent which can be smelt everywhere in the markets of Provence.

This lemon shampoo is suitable for daily use and comes with the added surprise of a refreshing sensation to the scalp whilst washing so great for those early morning ‘wake me up’ showers. You’re left with citrus scented hair full of shine.

Repairing Shampoo for Dry & Damaged Hair

I have actually tried, tested and since purchased the Repair Shampoo and matching conditioner before. One of my very first blog posts in fact, you can take a look at it HERE if you like.

Anti-breakage is the name of the game with this one and it has won awards to prove it. there are 5 essential oils involved – Ylang-ylang, sweet orange, lavender, geranium and angelica to be precise. There are also plant-derived amino acids, which help repair the hair fibre and loads of Vitamin B5 to get that smooth soft feel to your locks.

 

Body & Strength Shampoo

If you have fine or thinning hair then this silicone-free body & strength shampoo is the ticket. Again there are 5 essential oils involved – Rosemary, Cypress, Ylang Ylang, Juniper and Cedar. There are also some strengthening amino acids to help those strands man up and get some muscles to fight breakage and loss.

If you have the time to combine with the Body & Strength Scalp Essence, you will see the best results. The founder of L’Occitane Olivier Baussan first distilled rosemary in 1976 and has then since used essential oils in the heart of formula creation, this product in particular. You’ll feel your hair is fuller and stronger with this range.

 

Revitalising Fresh Shampoo

Another good one for daily hair washers, the Revitalising Fresh Shampoo helps to keep your hair feeling clean for longer. The 5 essential oils used in this one are – Mint, thyme, grapefruit, cedar and lavender. An added bonus is there’s no everyday build up with the purifying plant-based vinegar which has also been added. The foam is gentle with this one so your hair will feel lightweight all day.

A little L’Occitane tip for you – Massage the shampoo onto your scalp with your fingertips, starting from the bottom of your scalp and moving upwards to your temples with small circular motions. Finish at the top of your scalp. Rinse your hair, making sure that no residue remains.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Sensitive Scalp

If sensitivity is an issue for you, the Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is silicone free and will sooth the scalp. There is plenty of Mint, thyme, grapefruit, cedar and lavender packed into this bottle and a little zinc pyrithione which will help reduce flaking and stop any unwanted return.

The Vitamin B5 inside will help to calm any itchiness and freshen and sooth the scalp. Spend some time massaging this one into a lather and let the steam of your shower spread the scent around.

Cedrat Purifying Shampoo

What on earth is Cedtrat? I asked myself the same thing! Turns out it is a mysterious citrus fruit and L’Occitane are using it in their new energising mens range. The Cedrat Purifying Shampoo is most definitely one for the men with its masculine scent. Along with the energy cedrat brings to the party, purifying rosemary essential oil helps restore balance to any feelings of discomfort with the scalp. It’s an all rounder for hair types and will leave your hair soft, shiny and easy to style.

 

To take a look at L’Occitanes full range head over to their website HERE or pop in to one of their boutiques, find your closest one HERE. I am actually thinking these would make great Christmas gifts wrapped up with a conditioner in a nice bag, tissue paper and bow. Without breaking the back either!

The oils in these products smell divine, I really would recommend slowing down your shampoo time and enjoying the Provençal scents.

Laura x

(Whilst this post is a paid collaboration with L’Occitane, as always I have been honest with my thoughts)

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GET A GRIP

Photography | Laura Stafford-Smith


HEAD DOWN

This is how I have been walking for a while now, head down watching my feet shuffle along. I can’t pinpoint the moment I started to do this, I just noticed it in photos of myself. Self confidence is generally a hard topic to talk about for most and seems to be a pretty current one right now.

Generally my ‘outside’ self confidence has always been pretty good. Recently though I have found it harder to smile as often as I like and portray that ‘image’. My little swan feet are going hell for leather underneath. Before we carry on, Sorry! This post is selfishly for myself. I want to look back in 3 months time at the beginning of January and have seen a change in myself because – Laura, you need to get a grip!

 

These photos were taken by the talented Laura Stafford-Smith on a brunch & shoot day we had recently. I LOVED this day, both the company and photos were amazing. Having said that, seriously though can somebody please tell my face! This was a serious fat day for me and for good reason – I have put on the timber recently. I am blaming the lack of future holidays, if there is impending doom of swimwear I am game on. If there isn’t a sniff of a swim up bar, pass me the red wine and cheese! I feel super comfy in this outfit, it’s quirky and fairly loose. I was even having a good’ish’ hair day. Still, I am not feeling myself.

I really can not fathom why or what has caused me to feel this way. I am pretty sure I am solar powered for a start. All I do know is that I need to address this feeling to sort it out and for this, I have A PLAN!

 

MINDSET

I guess this should be addressed first. I feel like I spend a lot of time by myself however I do not allow time FOR myself. The rest of this year is already becoming packed socially in the evenings and weekends. I must plan into the diary time for me. Time for my brain to relax and my head to clear. Time out of the house also, I have recently realised I am worse the longer I spend inside.

We moved home four months ago now and brought our first property. It has been a huge change to our lives and our quality of living is wonderful now. We are still adjusting to family life in our new home and how we all work around each other, this one will just take time as we all settle in.

I have begun to worry and I am not a worrier. I usually spend my time talking Scott and my best friend round from their panicked states. This just feels weird and I don’t like it, positivity is much more fun.

I also need to address my increase of migraines and pain in the back of my head. I have today booked an appointment with my new doctor so that’s at least one thing I have done something about.

 

FOOD

NO quick fixes Laura, plan baby steps to turn it around. I need to address my weight gain and relationship with food before it spirals. I adore food – Fact. These changes need to be long term and sustainable. I’m not looking to be skinny, I will always be curvy with a big bum and boobs. Just need to be healthy and fit which leads me on to…

EXERCISE

MOVE Laura! Working from home in front of a laptop / Spending all day sitting in a car driving around is not exercise. Close those rings on your Apple watch every single day woman! I have recently discovered working out in the mornings triggers my migraines, which is super annoying as I am a morning person. I feel I have been using this as an excuse not to move. All I need to do is work out or jog in the early evening before dinner, simple.

 

ORGANISATION

I am very limited with my clothing at the moment, in terms of what fits. So I have decided to evening plan my outfits for the following day. That way I will have comfort and less stress first thing, slimming down the risk of wearing something uncomfortable all day which will in turn affect my mindset. The same goes for my skin and haircare routine. I am coming towards the end of my Zanthalasma treatment with Louise from U and Your Skin which has been helping me boost my confidence in my own skin and (very) occasionally, allowing me to leave the house without make up. I need to keep on track with my daily skin care routine day and night! My use of olaplex on the old barnet has also slacked. At one point I was using it once a week on a Sunday then suddenly – STOPPED! Why Laura? Because rat tail hair is a good look? Nope I don’t think so.

 

JUST DO IT

Ok, an unintentional use of the old Nike slogan there but they are so right! Why wouldn’t I want to have a healthy body and a healthy mind? I guess by writing this down and putting it out there on the internet, it’s real – My issues are real. This is a starting point for me to getting myself and my mind back. The uneasiness of not feeling like me sits really uncomfortably. Roll on looking back at this post in 3 months time with my smile back on my face in a wholehearted way – And the top button of my jeans done up.

Laura x

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THE HUNT TO FIND THE PERFECT GIFT

Photography | Laura Ellen Wright


Before we begin, Dad this sentence is for you – Do not read any further unless it is after Fathers Day! Now, let’s crack on…

Last week, Intu Chapelfield contacted me with a challenge of the shopping variety. My favourite past time – Of course I jumped at the chance! Then there were the ACTUAL challenge – Find the perfect gift for Fathers Day without buying socks *Insert head in hand emoji.

Hands up here guys, I am the cliche card giver with a scribbled note inside reading ‘Cinema trip on me’ and this is given to my dad every year. Mothers day is a breeze in comparison, or so I thought.

As if this challenge wasn’t going to be hard enough, I decided to nip onto the one stop Intu shop on my way home from work – Giving me a tiny 30 minute gap to nail this challenge. Being the well practised shopper I am, I also managed to vlog it at the same time (There’s a link to said vlog at the bottom of this post)

MENSWEAR

Slipping past the socks in Zara for men, I found plenty of well priced unexpected items. For £50 you could practically get your dad a whole outfit in here. I particularly loved these shirts, they felt amazing quality too. Just don’t do what I did and go shopping without your dads sizes *Oh there’s that emoji again!

Levi is a store I rarely set foot in, I don’t know why and this is going to change. The wallets were beautiful in here, amazing leather and quality. They currently have an offer on also, buy yourself a pair of jeans and nab yourself 30% off of your fathers day belt! This then gives you a little extra to choose your dad a classic logo T-Shirt or something a little different.

Whilst Intu Chapelfield is your one stop shop with everything under one roof, House of Fraser is an even easier option for those short on time. Without even going too deep into the menswear department I found Ted Baker and their amazing sale – up to 40% off. This meant a whole heap of great quality items with a fancy pants brand name for under £50, again you could treat your dad to a couple of things.

GROOMING

Did you know Kiehls offered beauty services in store? Nope neither did I! Pick up one of these cards and it gives the man in your life a mini facial. You could pick up a couple of products from their display and said card would offer a nice little bonus gift – What’s even better that part would be free of charge to  you!

TECHNOLOGY

Again HMV is a store I rarely visit, I haven’t been in here for years which is probably why I was so surprised by it! There is SO much in here for the man in your life. Beyond DVDs and CDS, there’s Vinyl | T-Shirts | Comic Books | Breaking Bad Travel Mugs | Head Phones and shelves more. The staff are super friendly and helpful in here too so don’t be afraid to ask them anything.

Apple of course, is by far the classic store for technology. Considering some of the highly priced items it sells, there was a lot under £50. An iPod shuffle was the most surprising I thought, along with Mobile Charging Devices | Apple Watch Straps | Phone Cases | Ear Pods | Home Lighting Technology and so much more.

ALTERNATIVE GIFTS

Lisa Angel Has it going on with the alternative presents. There’s a great selection of cards, outdoor gifts and mens jewellery. How on trend are those pineapple cufflinks! Marble ones also for under £50. This store is great if you want to buy a few smaller gifts instead of one lager one.

And of course, if all else does fail Intu Chapelfield have got your back with the classic gift card so he can choose his own manly items. Although we do all recommend you note down – ‘No Socks Allowed’

MY PURCHASES

I went for two gifts this year, the first being from Lisa Angel . As soon as I saw this book I knew I had to get it for my dad who uses Facebook as a diary! It’s also a little present to the rest of the family as I think it would be nice for us all to flick through in five years time.

The second purchase was from Apple . We have to look after theses men in our lives guys, they are not getting any younger. With this in mind, home technology was brought so the living room light can be turned on and off with a  simple ‘Hey Siri…’ Even when you are away from home!

It turns out shopping for men is much easier than I thought. In fact the challenge came with choosing which gifts to purchase from such a huge selection. This is just a snapshot of the shops available in Intu Chapelfield for the full list of shops click here before you go and plan your visit to make it much easier.

All of these shops were visited in 30 minutes and I even found time for a refreshment break in pret! Below is a link to my Intu Chapelfield shopping challenge Vlog – I hope it gives you some inspiration for Sunday and good luck!

Laura x

*This project has been sponsored by Intu Chapelfield Norwich. As always, my opinions are my own – I don’t do that fibbing thing!

 

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MY THOUGHTS ON MY NEW S&G PRODUCTS

Photography | Laura Ellen Wright


You may or may not have been lucky enough to catch the Soap & Glory mega deal in Boots recently.  I spied it on Laura Stafford-Smith Instagram and headed straight to my local Boots to take a look. In short when you spent £14 on Soap & Glory make up you received a free gift. I wanted to share my thoughts on the products with you and whilst doing so have found out Soap & Glory have the same deal direct on their website – H E R E I’m not sure how long for mind you so get in there whilst you can!

The only product I’ve ever tried from the brands makeup range is Sexy Mother Pucker (Pretty sure that may have even been my first ever blog post!) Walking into the store I realised I was so fixated on ‘The Deal’ I had no idea what I wanted or needed. Almost a full 20 minutes later this is what I came out with. Three of these full sized products were completely FREE OF CHARGE!

ARCHERY™ D-I-Y BROW BAR™ | £12

First Up I decided on a brow product. I haven’t had my brows tinted in a while so though I’d give building them up on my own at home a try. The ARCHERY™ D-I-Y BROW BAR™ is a 4-in-1 kit designed to Shape | Perfect | Highlight | Tame. I’ve never been great at shaping my own brows so made sure I read the instructions and man alive this is a good product!

Firstly you shape your brows with the brow brush | Then using the other end of that brush you work some of the wax  through each brow | Using the colour pallet on the right hand side, you mix it up to create the perfect colour for you | Finish off with a sweep of the highlighter under each arch. The only negative with this product is the size of the brushes, they are small and fiddly to use.

ONE HECK OF A BLOT™ PRIMER | £10

I have to admit, I’m very sceptical of primers. This fear mainly comes from not finding a good one! I have tried so many and I just find my make up sits on top of them and slides off quicker than ever. Given my first product didn’t quite cover the £14 (Nothing did in fact – See what you did there guys!) I chose the ONE HECK OF A BLOT™ PRIMER. I thought I’d choose a primer to wear on its own without make up. This is because I knew I had a skin treatment for my Xanthelasma (Shameless plug – Read more on this H E R E) coming up and I wouldn’t be able to wear make up for a few days. I still wanted my skin to look good so thought this would do it.

I had nothing to fear with this product – Without makeup it instantly mattes your skin and shrinks your pores, well it mine anyway! It comes complete with PORE-SHRINK™ Technology and SHINE-BLOC™ 12HR Matte. Absolutely NO idea what that means but it works! I have also tried it underneath my makeup and it creates a great smooth base and has since become part of my daily makeup routine!

THE FREEBIES

THICK & FAST™ HD MASCARA | £10.50

I am a stickler for my Chanel mascara however I’m not going to turn down a free full sized product! It’s all about the brush with the THICK & FAST™ HD MASCARA. It has 7 sides with a V-Groove which pushes the volume and intensity. It’s packed full of collagen and seriously guys, zero flakes! Whilst it isn’t waterproof, it hasn’t smudged on me once as yet. Having said this, it is really easy to remove – What is this magic!

SEXY MOTHER PUCKER™ XL EXTREME-PLUMP | £10

Being a Sexy Mother Pucker fan, I knew I would like the XL Version. I don’t know if I’m a little weird but I quite like the tingly sensation you get with these products. I actually found the SEXY MOTHER PUCKER™ XL EXTREME-PLUMP was less ‘tingly’ than the original however most definitely plumps more. This is a great product on its own or over your favourite lipstick. The free full size you receive is the clear version.

SUPERCAT™ | £6

Now eyeliner is NOT my strong point, it never has been. I usually use a liner underneath my bottom lashes. I’ve always wanted to use it on top of my eyelid however my lids are hooded which means I usually end up with a black line higher up where it’s rubbed on to. So with the hooded eyelids in mind, I can certainly kiss goodbye to the perfect ‘flick’! SUPERCAT™ has a really interesting tip, it’s a little like a marker pen.

The idea is you can use the thin end for a precise look and the thicker part for a more intense look. I LOVE THIS I’m putting it out there, I LOVE IT! whilst I haven’t built up to the ability to create a flick, let alone a perfect one… It doesn’t transfer onto my top lid or budge at all throughout the day! It also has that magic ability to stay put yet be removed easily at the end of the day.

All in all for £22 I took home £48.50 worth of makeup! That’s a whopping saving of £26.50. And I have to say with the exception of the mascara (I really do like my Chanel one) I will be using these products on a daily basis and repurchasing.  Here are some quick links to all of the above products but if you’re thinking about buying any, do so H E R E and grab the freebies! I’m not sure how long this offer is on for so apologies if you read and it’s stopped.

ARCHERY™ D-I-Y BROW BAR™ | £12 – H E R E

ONE HECK OF A BLOT™ PRIMER | £10 – H E R E

THICK & FAST™ HD MASCARA | £10.50 – H E R E

SEXY MOTHER PUCKER™ XL EXTREME-PLUMP | £10 – H E R E

SUPERCAT™ | £6 – H E R E

Laura x

 

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MY XANTHELASMA STORY

Photography | Laura Ellen Wright


Yes I am holding my hands up – I USE FACETUNE – Controversial right!? I use it on my selfies for one thing and one thing alone. Actually Whilst I am being honest, I may have used it in the past to alter my body shape (Now I’m talking YEARS ago here guys) which is just ludicrous!

Whilst I would love to be the perfect size 10, I have learnt to embrace my curves and body shape so trust me when I say body altering is not something I’m a fan of now. If you watch my weekly vlogs you may have noticed the blemishes around my eyes and the reason I use this app already.

THE REASON

As I said, I use Facetune for one thing and that’s to slightly smooth underneath my right eye. The reason for this is a skin condition I have which I am ashamed to say, I am embarrassed about – Xanthelasma. To some this may seem like nothing, however for me it’s a big deal.

I can honestly say, I don’t let a lot get me down. Yes I moan about my weight and the odd spot however these are all changeable things and if I really wanted to loose weight I’d be doing it. Spots, I can cover and eat cleaner to avoid them. The Xanthelasma for me is just there. It makes me feel uncomfortable, self conscious and unattractive.

Xanthelasma

If you have never heard of Xanthelasma before it’s a condition which generally lies around the eye area. It shows in small lumps and are often described as cholesterol or fatty deposits. I have to admit, I am lucky, if you google Xanthelasma the photos online are not pretty. If you have these, the first thing you need to do is go to the doctors and get your cholesterol checked out. Mine was thankfully ok and no one seems to be able to tell me the cause of these unsightly additions to my eyes.

I first heard about Xanthelasma when I visited my optician and he asked if I had recently had my cholesterol level checked. In fact I can’t remember the first time I noticed the lumps. I feel like I have always had them! Looking back through facebook they seemed to develop in my late 20s and then get worse when I hit 30.

The photos below are of my face laid bare, unaltered in any way. They do not show however, how raised the lumps are or how they alter during the day. Make up does not cover them, in fact I think it makes them look worse as does smiling – And I like to do a lot of that!

TREATMENT

This week, I am going to visit Louise Thomas at U and Your Skin as I have my first ACP (Advanced Cosmetic Procedure) booked in. After an initial consultation, Louise recommended an ACP treatment (Hopefully I will only need the one) Where she will use a gentle diathermy heat current to oblate the fatty deposits within the skin and breakdown the unsightly lumps under my eye. As you can see I do have a few smaller ones underneath my left eye however the right one is my main concern.

This has not been an easy post for me to write and put out there. I am sure some of you are looking at these pictures and calling me vain. The bottom line is, my eyes make me feel self conscious. I’m working on it by vlogging without make up on, posting this and deleting Facetune. I wanted to share this post because more people than you think have this condition. If a simple ACP treatment can make me feel more comfortable in my own skin, I want to share that possibility with other sufferers.

Of course I shall post an update following on from my treatment with Louise. I am both excited and a little nervous but I know the U and Your Skin family will look after me.

Laura x

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