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Give and Makeup Shoebox Appeal


Give and Makeup have run the past 4 years to help children and young people living in domestic violence shelters across London. This cause is near and dear to my heart because I have been a victim of domestic violence in my childhood and in my adult relationships. It is not something you hear people admit but I am admitting it. I am a victim of domestic violence. It happened to me. It was a horrible thing and I am genuinely sad it happened and I am fortunate to have had allies in family and friends who trusted and believed me and helped me move on with my life into more positive situations. I am lucky. Other people are not so lucky and they must leave their homes and they have no one to rely on and must move to shelters and rely on people like us who have something, anything to give. Here is what is acceptable:

They can have anything – pyjamas, clothing, slippers, books, crayons, colouring books, suitable dvd’s (they will be checked anyway), toys, sweets, chocolate, magazines – pretty much anything that you know a child/young person will appreciate.

  • gifts are suitable for ages between newborn and 15
  • no toy weapons
  • no borderline ‘sexy’ items of underwear (it has happened in the past)
  • no items of a religious nature
  • new or nearly new please
  • boxes can be packed according to one child/gender or a mixture across all ages
Please send your donations to:
Give and Makeup c/o
Pardip Barmi
PO BOX 855
W4 4AW
Thank you so much for your continued support. You are changing people’s lives.
For all information on Give and Makeup please see here:
Please, please support. Anything you can…anything is better than nothing. These families are starting over with nothing and you have no idea how hard this is…as someone who has started their life over in the past and choosing to disclose now in the present I hope you can find it within you to give something.


Estee Lauder to acquire Le Labo fragrances

Le Labo

NEW YORK (AP) — Beauty products company Estee Lauder is buying fragrance company Le Labo to expand its offerings.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le Labo, which also offers body care products, candles and other items, was founded in 2006 by fragrance industry veterans Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi. It has offices in New York and London.

Estee Lauder Cos., based in New York, has brands including Bobbi Brown, MAC and its namesake.

The transaction is targeted to close in November.



Personally as a massive fan of LeLabo – their London exclusive scent is the ONLY scent I can wear as an incredibly scent sensitive person, I’ve tried hundreds…thousands of perfumes from different brands, styles and all the rest I’ve tried trigger migraines. I loved this company for it’s niche business concept and now to see it be picked up by a massive conglomerate….means the business has done really well but it saddens me to see a brand I love go under the big corporate umbrella and away from its independent roots.

Anne Semonin Body Oils Available at Liberty

Anne Semonin Body Oils

So when something comes into my inbox that makes me curse my lack of being a bazillionaire….and is about one of my all-time favourite brands – Anne Semonin…I have to share the love. Just because I can’t afford this doesn’t mean I shouldn’t put it here and entice someone else! I’m evil that way (muahahahaha)!

I adore this brand. I have almost everything put out by them and am actually coming to the end of my trace/balancing oil set I got about 3 years ago. That is how long things last from this brand….so beautiful. I will never forget my amazing £20 eBay steal of their Precious Serum (RRP £100+!) and I treasure it. Precious Serum and the Phytarosa serum are integral in maintaining my face from breakouts and keeping everything hydrated and happy.

I can only imagine how lush and smelly (good smelly) these body oils are…this brand can do no wrong in my eyes. Someone please buy what I cannot and then make me jealous with how amazing it all is….please!? This gal needs some vicarious beauty loving because I am trying to be good and actually use what I own!

Jonathan Ward Velvet Moss Rose

Jonathan Ward Velvet Moss Rose

So it isn’t very often I talk about fragrances (I wear my Le Labo Poivre 23 and nothing else) mostly because I am incredibly scent sensitive. It is a huge migraine trigger but I am someone who wants to love smelly pretty things. Which is why I’m blogging about this diffuser! Jonathan Ward…isn’t a brand I can tell you much about besides the fact that it is very popular and loved by many. I stumbled across it at a Whole Foods and couldn’t get over how beautiful this particular scent, Velvet Moss Rose was and had to have it (I stood in Whole Foods and smelled each scent and this one is incredibly appealing but the rest…not so much)!

I have worked my way through 2 diffusers over time and they smell divine. I definitely want to pick up a scented candle from the same scent…maybe even see if I like any of the others as much as this. This is a scent that is on regular run at my house, I just can’t get enough of it. It isn’t overpowering and is just delicious.

This is how the scent is described at Ward’s website:

Velvet Moss Rose is a sensual scent ideal for relaxation and its mix of Vetiver, Patchouli, Lavender and Egyptian Musk inspires calm.

I honestly can’t tell you if I like these scents in other combinations but in this form/mixture? Absolute heaven! I am hoping to birthday gift a new diffuser or scented candle to myself in the coming weeks!

200mL diffuser retails for £35 –

Hurraw Green Tea Lip Balm

Hurraw Green Tea Lip BalmSo anyone who knows me can attest that I am one of Hurraw’s biggest fans. I wear the Moon balm to sleep and the Cherry balm during the day…there is practically nothing this brand can do to offend me. They are affordable, have an obscene number of flavours, they’re vegan and don’t make my lips MORE chapped just from using them!

This month I received the Green Tea flavour in my monthly Love Lula box (if you haven’t subscribed yet…you are MISSING OUT! £12.50/month for a box of full size, samples or other [this month I even got an eyeshadow EcoTools brush!] amazing green beauty products…I’m super absurdly fond of it because “green beauty” is one of the few things unfamiliar to me and this box allows me to try before I buy. I’d be a big liar if I didn’t say that every month I end up adding at least 1 product to my many “to buy” bookmarks!) and I love green tea. I drink it by the bucket load. There are so many reasons to stuff your body full of green tea (I know I don’t need to list them) and a green tea flavoured lip balm was intriguing. I love cherries and the cherry balm is delicious, this was another winner…right?

Unfortunately for me…I can’t stand this flavour. Which totally depresses me because (as noted in the image) it has matcha and antioxidants…it’s a lip party of goodness! I just…don’t like it. It has a weird taste that lingers or maybe a smell and I just cannot get on with it. I thought it was perfect timing because I have to use a tiny spatula to get out my Moon balm (it’s so close to empty…the sadness! [but pleasure at actually finishing a product!]) and I figured I could use this in the interim (even though it is less heavy duty) but I just don’t like it :(

This isn’t the first balm flavour I’ve disliked, I don’t like the Coffee flavour (which completely surprised me!)…but for a brand with over 22 flavours I’m sure there are bound to be loves and hates.

Disliking this flavour in no way deters me from promoting the brand to anyone who will listen. Cheap yet perfect…does a product get any better!? I think I’ll just stick with my nighttime and cherry balms for now!

I would use the search facility on the Hurraw website to find your local retailer: (their site isn’t working this second…hopefully it will be back up soon)

It is worth mentioning that I did a quick search for Hurraw in the UK and one retailer, MyPure ( is doing a 3 balm for £10 offer and since they usually are around £4ish each…you save a couple squid and get 3 Hurraws! I’m super eager to try out the Vanilla balm, Vata balm and to replace my nearly extinct Moon balm. Thinking about using this offer myself!!!

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