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I recently got to try out the yet-to-be-released Clayspray. Read my review…
When I received a bottle of Clayspray in the post I had already heard whisperings of this new product launch so I was more than a little excited to try it out.
Clayspray is the first clay emulsion to come in a spray can which not only helps keep the clay fresh and pure but completely mess-free. Great news for me as clay masks have always done wonders for my complexion but I tend to avoid them as they can be a real mess,
The clay itself is sourced from deep within the Iberian Mountains of Spain, and is only mixed with cardamom and spring water to create what Clayspray promise to be the ‘purest clay on earth.
Here comes the science bit…
To also retain the natural moisture and skin nourishing properties of the clay, it’s been enriched with 'macromolecular hydrogels' to moisturise the skin and enhance the properties of the clay.
I got to try the Pore Refining White Clay Masque which suited me down to a T. The recent muggy weather has left my skin feeling sticky and congested, and with Clayspray promising to exfoliate, remove impurities and nourish deep down it seemed just what the skin doctor ordered!
When I got home that evening I was truly knackered and my skin looked awful – large pores, dark eyebags and a shiny t-zone (nice!). I removed my make-up, splashed my skin with cool water, as recommended, and dispensed the clay from the can. In my head I had visions of it spraying out like a hairspray but in reality it was more like a mousse or shaving gel effect, and the clay was perfectly smooth and dense!
I gently massaged a 50 pence-sized amount onto my face and it immediately felt nice and cooling. Like most clay masks it felt tight across my skin as it dried and after 20 minutes I was definitely ready to take it off. After I removed it my skin felt really fresh and clean. My pores also looked less noticeable and my complexion felt really smooth. I really didn't want to put anything on my skin but I applied a light moisturiser to stop it from drying out.
The next day my make-up blended in better, which for me is always a good sign. Overall, I was really impressed with Clayspray. It was easy to use, mess-free and my skin felt daisy fresh. I've since found out White Clay contains minerals including potassium, calcium and silica which is great for moisturising and anti-aging so it seems to have most bases covered.
Clayspray is a pricier product than most at £44.50 for a 125ml bottle but with 17 treatments per bottle it works out around £2.60 per go. I've since tried it another three times and my skin is looking smoother and my pores don't feel as congested by the end of the day. It's a good alternative to a professional facial!
The Clayspray range also includes both a Brightening and Toning White Clay Masque as well as Red Clays which comes in Glow, Mattifying and Deep Cleansing versions. There are also two hydrating H20 Sprays that can be used pre-clay as part of your skincare routine.
The lovely people at Sacla' sent some of their delicious pesto over to us and I decided to see what I could make with it! My second recipe is for Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pull-Apart Bread - best served fresh from the oven.
How to do it...
I took them into MagicFreebiesUK HQ and everyone in the office got to try some. Nick had this to say, "A fantastic alternative to garlic bread."
Why not check out the Sacla' website for more information of their products?
We love a good beauty freebie here at MagicFreebiesUK so hurrah for these free samples of E45 Lotion.
This morning I received my free samples of E45 Lotion and it was perfect timing. Just as my skin felt like it was going to crack with dehydration, this little pack from E4 landed on my desk.
I was lucky that when applying for the free samples I selected the Nourish & Restore option as, where I've recently been away in ridiculous 40 degree heat, my skin is now really parched.
I ripped open one of the sachets (quite a decent size!) and smothered my arms in the lotion. It's quite a runny formula so I was half expecting my skin to feel greasy but it sank in fairly quickly. A good burst of moisture - just what my dry skin needed.
I'll be keeping my sachets in my desk drawer. They'll be handy for when my skin needs a quick moisture boost!
If you haven't applied for yours yet then don't worry there's still loads of free E45 samples left.
Regular blog readers will know we love a good cup of char here at MagicFreebiesUK so when teapigs sent us some of their delicious teas to try we were very excited.
The morning the tea arrived we all gathered around to ooh and ahh over the immense selection. We’re already big fans of their everyday brew and a few of their herbals but we had no idea just how many different varieties were available.
From Chilli Chai to Popcorn there were all kinds of exciting flavours and not a dusty teabag in sight! They all smelt so fresh and even the bags - or tea temples as they are lovingly referred to by teapigs - were high quality and biodegradable.
The healthy team members went straight for the Lemongrass and Silver Tip White whilst the rest bee-lined towards the fantastical-sounding Chocolate Flake tea.
We've all been in our element trying them all out and it's safe to say it's been a pretty tea-tastic week here at MF HQ. Here's what happened...
I rekindled my love of Sausage Dogs and Darjeeling.
“Having dabbled with Darjeeling Earl Grey before I was expecting a strong taste but this wasn’t at all overpowering. Full of flavour yet easy to drink. The blue cornflowers were a nice touch and I LOVE the little sausage dog packaging”.
Tom discovered a decent Lemongrass tea.
“As a fan of Lemongrass I had high hopes for this. It didn’t disappoint - it was light and refreshing. Really nice compared to other brands' versions – I’ll be stocking up” .
Rachel craved Popcorn.
“The Popcorn tea smelt just like popcorn but tasted of green tea. There was also a distinct taste of rice crackers in there. In a nutshell, it made me really want to eat popcorn”.
Oosh rated Mao Feng Green tea.
“I’d drink Mao Feng again, it had a lot more flavour to it than my usual green tea of choice. Surprisingly not bitter to taste but slightly sweet. 4 out 5”.
John tried Liquorice tea for the first time.
“I don’t overly like liquorice or tea, but to my surprise I was made a ‘Liquorice flavoured tea’…while it has not changed my opinion on either, it was nice all the same”.
Colleen went crazy for Chilli Chai.
"Before my lips touched the mug my nose was fully aware I was in for a delicious treat. Having requested a "surprise" teapigs tea, I was both happy and amused - I already drink chai fairly regularly - but never Chilli Chai and I quickly became the world's biggest fan”.
Mark pondered Peppermint.
“Peppermint Leaves - compared to other mint teas, this has a more refined flavour. It somehow avoids the bitterness sometimes found in a minty brew. The second best after fresh mint”.
If you'd like to try some delicious teas then skip over to the teapigs website and pick a brew. There are over 26 teapigs varieties to choose from and they'll even suggest a tea depending on your mood! If you work in an office then become a teapigs office fairy and you could land even yourself and your colleagues some free tea.
I've also been experimenting with teapigs Organic Macha tea, a super concentrated green tea powder packed with antioxidants (one cup is the equivelent to 15 cups of regular green tea!) and making lots of treats so watch this space for a review.
Anushka and I both have dark locks, so when it came to reviewing John Frieda's new Everlasting Blonde shampoo and conditioner, we turned to Mel, our fair-haired friend.
What product did you review for us?
John Frieda Sheer Blonde 'Everlasting Blonde' shampoo & conditioner.
What did you think of Everlasting Blonde?
Upon opening the bottles I loved the smell of both the shampoo and conditioner - it made my hair smell great too!
My hair felt really soft and manageable after just one use. They seem to be the perfect product for keeping highlighted hair as light as possible.
Would you use it again?
I would 100% use Everlasting Blonde again and I am going to recommend it to any of my blonde friends.
Did you like the packaging?
I thought the packaging looked very appealing and I liked the look they've used (yellow merging to pink). It would definitely be something I would pick out. I also like the use of a tube instead of a bottle - this makes it easier to squeeze out!
Thanks so much for your time Mel and for the review - we think your hair looks fab! If you want to know more, check out JohnFrieda.co.uk. You also have the chance to win 1 of 26,000 trial packs of Everlasting Blonde for yourself - good luck!
We're reviewing Spa Break's Spa in a Box experience. Read part one here - a review of the Rituals Luxury Gift Set.
I love a good spa treatment. There's nothing nicer than booking a spa day, sitting back (then inevitably falling asleep) and letting a professional massage and manicure you to your heart’s content. It is splurge though, so for me a rare treat.
The rest of the time I go solo. From recreating a mani-pedi to exfoliating and giving myself a DIY facial. I’m a firm believer in at-home pampering so when Spa Breaks – the UK’s biggest premier Spa Booking website – asked us to review their ‘Spa in Box’ gift experience I jumped at the chance. Spa in a Box is an all-in-one pampering gift that combines a Rituals Luxury Gift Set and spa day (watch this space for a review!).
I’ve always loved Rituals' philosophy that ‘happiness can be found in the smallest of things’.They believe by taking the time to enjoy simple things like a relaxing bath you’ll feel better from within. With this in mind they've created natural skincare and home ranges designed for pampering.
I was instantly impressed when the Rituals Luxury Gift Set landed on my desk. It came beautifully packaged in a Spa Rituals gift box and when I opened it, like a kid at Christmas, I found these four treats:
I was to have a pamper sesh at home but I couldn’t resist trying the Mei Dao Organic White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren Body Lotion. It smelt absolutely amazing, lovely and fresh yet the White Lotus gave it a tropical floral twist. The combination of flowers and fresh cotton sheets reminded me of a Spa I once visited in Thailand.
Once home, I ran a bath and replaced my usual bath candles with the Rituals Home Fragrance. I like fragrance sticks as they give the same warming scent as a candle but without the constant worry of burning the house down. Infused with sweet orange and cedar, this had a heady scent to it with quite a masculine edge. I don’t usually go for strong scents but combined with a hot bath, I found it surprisingly relaxing. I’ve since kept the fragrance sticks in the bathroom as a stylish alternative to an air freshener.
I exfoliate once a week to keep my incredibly dry, flakey skin in check so I'm no stranger to a good body scrub. The Wai Wang Organic White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren Exfoliating Body Scrub had the same comforting scent as the lotion. I used it with a pouffe in circular motions to shift dead skin cells and immediately my skin felt smoother. Unlike other scrubs the scent lingered long after it was rinsed away, too.
I usually apply body cream straight after a hot bath, as I find they work better when the pores are slightly open, so I applied the Mei Dao Rich Nourishing Body Cream. It was a nice creamy consistency, not too thick that it took effort to rub in and not too thin that it felt greasy. My skin felt soft and supple. I noticed that all the body products contained Yi Yi Ren which are seeds that come from coix plants and commonly used in Chinese medicine for their nourishing properties.
The last product to try was the Lao Tze Chinese Mint & Yi Yi Ren Cooling Foot Balm and one I had high hopes for. As the weathers been hotting up, my feet have been feeling hot and sticky so this was refreshing on my tired old soles and my feet felt much softer. The strong toothpaste smell might not be to everyone’s liking though!
As a self-confessed beauty junkie I've tried loads of products so it takes a lot to impress but this gift box was just lovely. Every product was a treat to use and I genuinely felt better after my evening of pampering - I slept like a baby and woke up with really soft skin.
The Spa in a Box gift also comes with a voucher for a spa day which Colleen and I eagerly waiting to go on. If you’d like to try Spa Breaks' Spa in a Box or treat your loved one to this lovely gift then check out the various Spa in a Box options available. There's even one that comes with chocolate and wine!
The lovely people at Sacla' sent some of their delicious pesto over to us and I decided to see what I could make with it! My first recipe is for Pesto, Tomato & Mascarpone Pastry Wheels - ideal for a picnic lunch in the sun.
How to do it...
I took them into MagicFreebiesUK HQ and the office tucked into them at 11am. Anushka had this to say, "These pesto wheels are incredibly moreish. I know what I'll be taking to the next Summer BBQ!"
Why not check out the Sacla' website for more information of their products?
It's wedding / beach / having-to-prance-about-in-less-clothes-season - so I'm thinking I need to calm down on the Greggs sausage rolls...
...BUT, and this a big BUT - I get super hungry during the day. This calls for some healthy snacks! After some research, all of the following healthy snacks are under 100 calories. So if like me, you get hungry, why not snack on these:
For the savoury fans:
25 pistachios - 90 kcals
10 peanuts - 78 kcals
14 almonds - 95 kcals
1 bag of Twiglets - 97 kcals
3 x lightly buttered rice cakes - 90 kcals
For the sweet tooth:
16 strawberries - 58 kcals
20 chocolate raisins - 80 kclas
an apple - 90 kcals
6 fried apricots - 100 kcals
6 squares of dark chocolate - 100 kcals
Enjoy! If you know of any healthy snacks that are tasty, I'd love to know of them in the comments below.
Sorry I haven't written a post in a while, we've been very busy at MagicFreebiesUK HQ getting ready and launching our brand new Facebook game, The Magic Postbox. For those of you who haven't had a chance to play yet, what are you waiting for? There are 1000s of prizes to be won, so you should play now!
Anyway... back to the blog. I was checking out Stylist.co.uk and found out about Starbucks' Secret Menu - the top-secret drinks list they don't want you to see! My favourites (although I'm yet to try them yet, so this is just based on the ingredients) are...
Order a Cafe Misto with a pump of chocolate, a pump of hazelnut with caramel drizzle. For the sweet toothed people, you can also ask for caramel drizzle inside the cup.
Order a cinnamon Dolce latte with a pump of caramel and a pump of chocolate mocha syrup.
Ask for a double Chocolate Chip frappe with white mocha syrup instead of regular mocha.
Go check out the Starbucks' Secret Menu now and see what delicious drinks you can enjoy...
If you haven't picked up your free Yes Peas! recipe book then what are you waiting for?
One of my favourite pea recipes is Pea and Roasted Garlic Soup. It's a healthy and delicious soup and incredibly easy to make. If you're a fan of garlic you will LOVE the smell of roasted garlic filling your kitchen. Here's how to do it:
4 heads of garlic
2 onions peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 kg frozen peas
1 ltr vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraîche and chopped chives to serve (optional, but advised!)
How to do it:
1. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast at 180°C for 40 minutes.
2. Fry the onion in butter and oil for around 3 minutes until soft.
3. Add the stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Bring the garlic out of the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Cut the top off and (this is the fun bit), squeeze the soft roasted garlic into the pea soup.
5. Puree roughly.
6. Serve with dollops of Crème fraîche and chopped chives.