The Scent of Summer: Body Shop Piñita Colada

two body shop pina colada products laid out on a tropical print cushion

Here where I live the summer this year has been pitiful so far. Pitiful! It's cold, rainy and generally not very summer-like and because I am starved of sunshine, wearing flip-flops and eating outdoors I have decided to fake it this year. There's a few things that help me with this endeavour and one of them is the absolutely incredible new range from the Body Shop - meet Piñita Colada

One of the nicest and most summery things to do, whether you are on holidays or just chilling in your back garden, is having a piña colada (recipe for the actual cocktail on the blog next week). The mix of pineapple and coconut just screams summer sun and the new Piñita Colada range from Body Shop does exactly that. It smells good enough to eat / drink and I am very tempted, but a previous experience with their raspberry body scrub taught me that it definitely does not taste as good as it smells. The range consists of the regular favourite goodies: a shower gel, body butter, scrub and body sorbet.

The scent is super refreshing and makes me feel amazing. After my morning shower & moisturising routine I get the hint of piña colada for the rest of the day and lack of a real summer is that little bit easier to bear.

I think I might stock up on some shower gel and crack open a bottle in winter to deal with those January blues!

Have you tried the range yet? If you haven't get yourself to a shop for a sniff!

Alex Signature

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Protect Your Skin: Nimue SPF Range

Protect Your Skin: Nimue SPF Range | Pink Elephant Blog

It's coming into that time of year... if you haven't already cracked out the SPF, now is the time! A tiny bit of sun on your skin is great to load up on vitamin D but if you are spending an length of time in the sun it is so important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The numbers of people with skin cancer are constantly rising and I'm sad to say that in Ireland skin cancer is the most common form of the disease. 

We've recently chatted to Nimue, South African skin technology brand, about some of their sincere products and after having tried and tested them I have to say, I am impressed! Sun protection is one of the Nimue key skin philosophies to reduce and prevent the harmful effects of environmental stress, pigmentation and premature ageing caused by ultra violet (UV) and infra red (IR) rays.

First up is the SPF 30 Body Spray* (also comes in SPF 50). It's a lovely lightweight liquid cream formula that absorbs fast into the skin. It is non greasy and doesn't leave that horrid white look on your skin. The spray is waterproof but I would still advise to reapply after a dip in the pool or the sea - it may be waterproof but a lot of the time your SPF is rubbed off if you are drying yourself with a towel. Better safe than sorry!

When I am away on holiday or if I am outdoors on the weekend I love using a tinted sunscreen instead of foundation. This one is absolutely lovely: non-greasy, moisturising and gives a beautiful dewy finish with the broad spectrum protection of SPF 40. The Sun-C Tinted SPF 40* comes in three shades (light, medium & dark) but like a lot of pharmacy / salon foundations will not be suitable for the paler skin tones. The light is actually quite a warm shade so if you are very fair I would suggest mixing it with regular facial sunscreen to lighten the texture up a bit and make it more transparent.

I've left the best for last. The After Sun Hydrator* is the star of the show for me! It's probably one of the nicest after sun products I have ever used. It's a wonderfully cooling, soothing and moisturising gel that helps repair and relax the skin after being in the sun. The best part - it smells absolutely incredible!

Protect Your Skin: Nimue SPF Range |Pink Elephant Blog

If you are on the lookout for some quality sun care products the Nimue range is definitely one to check out!

You can find Nimue products in spas and salons such as Platinum Therapy, Mount Merrion, Dublin; Buttercups in Malahide and in Dublin 2; Plush Beauty, Co. Limerick; Coco, Ballincollig, Cork; Beauty Republic, Carlow and many more.

Enjoy your days in the sun!

Alex Signature

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*post includes PR samples

Adventure in Style: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016

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“H&M Studio for spring/summer 2016 is an adventure in style. Our girl is always exploring, whether she’s on the city streets or on the trip of a lifetime. She mixes function with femininity, sportswear with pieces for a party, and whatever she wears she always looks effortless,” says Pernilla Wohlfarth, H&M’s head of design.

The recent H&M Studio SS16 collection really resonated with me! I love the explorer chic vibes - traveling is my favourite thing to do and in spring and summer I love channeling my inner adventure seeker. It's hard for me to pick one favourite piece because, honestly, I love nearly every single one! 

“H&M Studio for spring/summer 2016 is an adventure in style. Our girl is always exploring, whether she’s on the city streets or on the trip of a lifetime. She mixes function with femininity, sportswear with pieces for a party, and whatever she wears she always looks effortless,” says Pernilla Wohlfarth, H&M’s head of design.

“H&M Studio for spring/summer 2016 is an adventure in style. Our girl is always exploring, whether she’s on the city streets or on the trip of a lifetime. She mixes function with femininity, sportswear with pieces for a party, and whatever she wears she always looks effortless,” says Pernilla Wohlfarth, H&M’s head of design. Sneak Peek: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016 Sneak Peek: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016 Sneak Peek: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016 Sneak Peek: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016 Sneak Peek: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016 Sneak Peek: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016 Sneak Peek: H&M Studio Spring / Summer 2016

The colourful tunic dress (€79.99) is definitely on my shopping list and so is that nifty little blanket / scarf carrier (€29.99)! There is also a great range of swimwear in the collection... ok who am I kidding? I want it all!

Which piece is your favourite?

Alex Signature

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Summer Red: Barry M Passion Fruit

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Barry M Satsuma Nail Polish

It's fair to say that Barry M Gelly nail polish is my absolute favourite, at this stage I own pretty much all of the colours. It's a combination of finish, longevity & shade range that makes me reach for these polishes all the time while a lot of the more expensive ones (cough *Chanel* cough) are sitting in my beauty cupboard, unused. 

Barry M Satsuma Nail Polish

Passion Fruit is one of my more recent purchases (a recommendation from the gorgeous Aoife from The Alpha Nail) and ever since I got it it's been on my nails! It's a super vibrant summery neon red that looks incredible on tanned fingers and toes! I would be a fab poolside colour for a sun holiday! I can just imagine it with a nice stripy navy bikini, on the side of a gorgeous pool in sunny Grece... I digress.

Barry M Passion Fruit The best thing about it is that it is perfect in one coat! It is super opaque, creamy and lasts amazingly well on the nails. If I have the time I put on two very thin coats but more often than not it's just one quick one on the run.

Barry M Passion Fruit

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Passion Fruit is €5.99 and available in Boots.

I've a feeling that Passion Fruit will be on my nails for most of this summer. What is your favourite summer polish?

Alex Signature

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MAC Huggable Lip Colour

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MAC Huggable Lip Colour

Lipsticks have been back in fashion for a while now and recently we've seen so many  brilliant new formulations like stains, balms and liquids. This summer MAC have brought back a limited edition of the Huggable Lip Colours in 10 absolutely gorgeous shades. If you are getting married this summer I highly recommend you check out this range as these babies are the perfect wedding lipsticks! 

The Huggable Lip Colours* have a comforting, creamy and moisturising feel to them with amazing shine that isn't sticky. They are also long-wearing which is always great but particularly important if you're using it on you wedding day.

The formulation is truly something between lipstick, balm and stain. It's not quite as lightweight as a balm but definitely doesn't have the feel of a full on lipstick either. I am really impressed with the colour pay-off of the three shades I have tried - you can make it quite sheer or build it up to quite an opaque coverage. I will definitely be buying a few more shades before they are gone!

MAC Huggable Lip Colour

The shades I have are I'm Game (a gorgeous dark pink raspberry colour), Soft Talkin' (a warm peachy nude) and, my favourite, Love Feeling (a vibrant orange - I always want to describe this colour as a pastel neon).

The MAC Huggable Lip Colours are amazing for every day and definitely one of our top picks for perfect lips on your special day!

*PR Sample

Alex Signature

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Summer Elderflower Gin & Tonic #DublinGandT

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Summer Elderflower Gin & Tonic

A good Gin & Tonic has to be one of the most refreshing drinks ever. With the summer finally here to stay I have been experimenting with different gins and flavourings to come up with the perfect summer G&T and the outcome was the, very seasonally appropriate, Elderflower Dingle Gin & Tonic. If G&T is your tipple of choice or you would like to try some creative variations make sure you head to the Dublin Gin & Tonic Fest next week!

Gin & Tonic is classically a highball cocktail made with gin & tonic poured over ice with the typical garnish being a wedge of lime. There is nothing wrong with the classic, it is one of my favourite drinks in the world but... in summer I cannot resist adding a little something to my G&T.

I have also recently discovered Dingle Gin, which has very quickly taken first place in my gin collection (yes, I do have a gin collection!). Dingle Gin is a hand crafted, artisan gin made in small batches in County Kerry. It is delicious, infused with a blend of different botanicals including rowan berry from the mountain ash trees, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather for a taste of the Kerry landscape.

If you'd like to try a Dingle Gin & Tonic or some other amazing G&T creations make sure you head to the Dublin Gin & Tonic Fest taking place next week from 22.06 to 27.06 across 30 different venues all over Dublin! Each venue will be creating and selling a specific Irish Gin & Tonic at a 30% discount to anyone with a Dublin Gin Fest wristband (€5).

Summer Elderflower Gin & Tonic

The Elderflower G & T must be one of the easiest drinks to prepare, you don't need a shaker, you just pour it all into your glass and enjoy! Minimal effort, minimal mess.

Elderflower Gin & Tonic

50ml Dingle Gin 5 ml elderflower cordial tonic water ice cubes sprig of mint

Fill a glass with ice. Tip in the gin and cordial. Give it a quick stir then pour over the tonic water and garnish with a sprig of mint! Cheers!

Hope to see you at the Dublin Gin & Tonic Fest! What are your favourite G&T creations?

Alex Signature

That Summer Base

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That Summer Base

Just like most women I am very picky when it comes to my foundation. Even though my skin is far from perfect (I get hormonal breakouts around my chin and jawline) I hate bases that are too heavy and cakey. Foundations that visibly sit on top of my skin are not my thing. I do use slightly higher coverage foundations in winter, but in summer I go for the lightest bases that give me a natural glow.

The trick to using sheer bases when you have a good few imperfections to cover up is to use a very good, high coverage concealer on the blemishes - this way you cover what you need without camouflaging your entire face (more about this soon).

That Summer Base

At the moment I am using two products that get me that glowy, fresh-faced skin: the Omorovicza Complexion Enhancer and MAC Face & Body Foundation.

Omorovicza is a luxury brand and the Complexion Enhancer is a complete splurge at approx. €90 (available in Space NK). It can be used completely on its own as a very sheer, natural base but I like using a very thin layer under my foundation, as a make-up / skincare hybrid. It gives my skin that extra bit of glow without actually making it darker. It also provides hydration and blurs our minor imperfections and fine lines. If Omorovicza is not within your budget there are tons of great lightweight skin enhancers that would do just as lovely a job, the Bourjois Bronzing BB Cream would be a great substitute here!

That Summer Base

My other favourite product is the MAC Face & Body foundation. It's not everyone's cup of tea - the texture is a mix between liquid and gel and doesn't feel like any of your other foundations. It really is worth trying as it is super long lasting (in fact it's waterproof, which makes it perfect for summer) but still gives a very sheer and glowing coverage. It can be built up a good bit but I love just a thin layer worked in with my fingers for a natural effect. I love that the texture of the skin still shows through this foundation making the whole look very youthful and summery.

What are your favourite glow-inducing products? Let me know!

Alex Signature

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The Fashion Edit: Florals

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Summer Florals

The last few days have been so beautiful that I have finally braved it and bared my legs! I usually don't venture far from my trusty monochromes but at the beginning of summer I always have an urge to wear colour. This year is no exception and I went for this gorgeous floral pleated skirt from Littlewoods Ireland and my new favourite flats - purple suede ballet pumps from H&M. 

Summer Florals

Pleated Floral Skirt | Littlewoods Ireland White T-shirt | H&M Purple Ballet Pumps | H&M Sunglasses | River Island (similar) Lipstick | Rimmel In Love with Ginger Denim Jacket (old)

Summer Florals Summer Florals

What is your favourite summer outfit?

Alex Signature

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