Too good not to share…so I thought I’d kick off December with a few 2017 Awards entries I’ve picked out that have winged their way to us from “far and near”.

Some of these would make good Christmas presents – especially the 3 candles!


Here we go. So, from Left to Right in the pic:

KLAIRS (Korea) Rich Moist Soothing Serum – concentrated with a rich blend of organic complexes, I’m loving this! Great texture. They also do a great Vitamin C Juice Drops “serum” which is brightening and works. The other judges emailed me about Klairs, too – this Korean brand is really on our radar now.

ROMILLY WILDE‘s Light+Energy Serum Cleanser.  Gosh this is different… It’s very rich, very golden (it’s got Manuka Honey and Saffron in it). You just massage it onto dry skin and then remove with a wet cloth. It’s like a very luxe serum and would be fantastic for distressed, dry or probably skin that’s quite a bit older. The texture’s intriguing and the deep gold colour is gorgeous. I am also going to try a fragrance RW sent in…will report back on that one later.

TROPIC SKINCARE Organic Elixir (in the pretty coloured leaves wrap!) This is just fab. I love how the ingredients and story behind this are written on the orange inner tube – it contains the seeds of 2 moringa pods, 10 jojoba fruits, 28 rosehips, 35 kiwi fruits, kernels of 116 plums and pips from 1.4 pomegranates. It’s lush and lovely, if you know someone who is a a facial oil/elixir addict, get them this for Christmas! I definitely rate Kiwi Seed and Rosehip Oil – a wonderful winter protector – and both are in this impressive 100% natural elixir.

Sitting on top of Tropic is…PUR CandlesREVIVE YOUR MIND – MINT PEPPERMINT, BASIL & LEMON candle. It’s fab and I really need this, this week. They sent us two more candles so I’ll be lighting those this weekend. Lovely discovery! PUR are what good artisan brands are all about (and why we run the awards!)

THE LITTLE SOAP COMPANY’s Rose Geranium Pure Essential Oil Candle. How sweet! It’s small, but much bigger than a travel candle –  it’s a real in between size, in fact,  somewhere between a classic travel size and a full size. This artisan co. makes beautiful soaps and they’ve expanded into candles, out of the bathroom and kitchen and into the heart of our homes, so to speak. It’s eco soy wax, comes in a 100% recycled cardboard box, lead-free, hand poured into recycled glass jars and finished with pure cotton wicks. Adorable, and perfect for Xmas stockings! (For the bulging foot bit of the stocking, at the bottom).

GAIA SPA.  Whooop! I’ve really fallen for this balm/cream which doubles as a pre-shower hair masque too. We uncover everything during our Awards and I had to peel the sticker off the bottom of this beautiful bamboo “jar” to find the ingredients – always good to check before you start talking about something…and they are a gorgeous melange of grapefruit, tangerine, rosemary, geranium, peppermint and lemongrass oil. Do they have a candle like this? The blend really works. In a base of shea butter, sunflower, jojoba oil. A YES from me, I think you’d like it too. It’s very spa and very chillout. Gorgeous on winter skin on a winter’s night. Can’t wait to try more products…

OK what’s next? Ah yes…DR LEVY!! SWOON.

This is where Switzerland comes in (as in from Korea to Geneva). Last year this brand won BEST INTERNATIONAL SKINCARE BRAND. It’s pricey, it’s an investment but in all the years I’ve been writing about products, I’d say scrap the Creme de la Mer, etc and get on to this brand as fast as you can. If you don’t mind shelling out for really good skincare, this is what I’d be spending my Christmas bonus on, I can tell you. It’s a targetted, incredibly effective capsule range and I noticed a huge difference in my skin this time last year (and a noticeable difference too when I stopped using it) so I’ve got my mitts on the Intense Stem Cell Enriched Booster Cream already. Please do have a look at this brand if you’re over 40 and fancy splashing out on yourself I really cannot recommend it highly enough. My eyes used to glaze over when I saw “visible results” in beauty ads but Dr. Levy delivers – they ARE visible!  One of my desert island skincare brands, hands down. No time to go into how it works here, in detail, but Dr Levy’s ArganCellActiv complex is behind the results. Like a gift of new life for stressed, ageing skin cells. I’m 100% convinced this range really works.

GAIA SPA Naturally Calming Bath Oil (haven’t tried this yet so cannot comment but it slipped into the pic!)

DR ORGANIC HEMP SKIN LOTION. This is fantastic stuff. Packed with essential fatty acids, aloe vera, almond, avocado oil, horsetail, hops and hibiscus…along with rosemary, may chang, lavender oil and loads more, it smells a little minty, a little green – very pleasant in fact. Dr Organic is such an affordable, reliable brand and I’m going to squeeze in a quick “high 5” for their Rose Bath Oil which frankly could be three times the price and I’d still buy it (I think?!) I’ve been using this on my hands and body – it’s by my laptop at the moment doubling as my hand cream of the week…so healing. Nice one.

TRILOGY’s EVERYTHING BALM (partially hidden in the pic, next to REN) A very melt-on-contact balm, rosehip is one of the heroes here. I had a mini size (which comes with the large size) and used it all up in about two weeks. I love this for nails, too, file under “healing beauty balms”…perfect for that Christmas stocking too.

REN Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift.  “When products do what they say”…this is one of them! Honestly, if you haven’t tried it yet, you’ll know what I mean when I say effects are visible. You apply it over the eye contour and lid (it literally firms up my lids…almost magically and it feels quite cooling). Supposed to reduce dark circles and puffiness but the main effect I see SO clearly is the lifting/firming. This is so clever. Apply a little when you’re having one of those look in the mirror mornings when you say “OMG. I LOOK WRECKED”. It’s almost startling seeing it get to work. It’s hydrating, too. Another YES.

NADIA Z (the black bottle with gold writing next to REN)…this is Herbal Walk, biphasic lotion by Nadia Z (Swiss brand) for tired legs but I’ve used it on my feet, too. Presented in really luxe packaging, it’s like a five star apothecary product, packed with good things from blackcurrant leaf water to mafura seed butter, rosemary extract, mastic leaf oil, clary safe, peppermint and twig extract. I am really enjoying using this. Not a product I’d have thought of, really, but now that it’s arrived and I have it at home – another one I’d recommend for its therapeutic effect. It’s a lovely, calm-down ritual applying it after a crazy day before you switch to your PJs and slippers for a cosy night indoors.

Last but not least:

LUMI (Estonia) have come out with a unique formula for problematic and sensitive skin based on hemp seed and bioactive extracts, and the range has been developed and tested in Tartu Biotechnology Park. I knew nothing about Lumi until they entered the Awards, I have to be honest…the name rang a vague bell.  But OMG! This is a fantastic deep moisturing face cream. Light, but rich, effective but not greasy. They’ve got a huge, diverse range and we’re going to be discovering more about this brand soon, of that I am sure.

COCHINE SAIGON luxury candle (Tuberose & Wild Fig). I posted this on Instagram yesterday. I’ve fallen in love with it! It’s summer, inside, it’s fig…but brighter, it’s happiness…with a sensual twist…it’s uplifting but with a subtle earthiness. I’ll be burning it again at the weekend and amazingly, the throw is SO good, that it filled my large “living area” with scent, something a lot of the candles have not managed to do. It’s going into my bedroom next! Stunning textured cream box with a grey/green tassle, this is a stunning candle. By a mile, one of my favourite candles of the year.








  1. Laura Morris says:

    Thank you so much for featuring me in this fab pic and for your lovely comments! So glad you’re loving the Peppermint, Basil & Lemon..burning this at the mo to bring me out of those January blues!! xx

  2. Loretta McDonald says:

    Some amazing skincare goodies#tried&tested favourites.

  3. All these products look fabulous cant wait to get our entries over to you.:)