Haircare is something that I am not often wowed by, especially when it comes to your standard shampoo and conditioner. In the most part, I find that the majority do a very similar job and that it's not worth spending extortionate amounts on products that ultimately never seem to make a huge difference in comparison with their budget counterparts.

Every once in a while though, I find something that stands out and that I think is worth writing home about - or blogging about as is the case in this instance. 

I've tried a number of products from Keratase before and as a result I am quite a big fan of their treatments - the Kérastase Resistance Ciment Thermique and the Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique being two of my favourites. Until now though, the shampoos and conditioners I had tried had never proven to be anything special. My downfall when it comes to washing my hair is that I quite often end up skipping conditioner a) to save time and b) because it often ends up weighing my hair down.

When teamed together though, the Kérastase Chronologiste Revitalizing Bain Shampoo and the Kérastase Elixir Ultime Fondant Conditioner give exactly what it is I'm after - lightweight, squeaky-clean hair with a healthy shine. In general I am pretty lucky in that I only need to wash my hair, on average, around twice a week. And so, when I do, I like to use a shampoo that is going to really get in deep and remove all trace of the products I've been using on the days in between.

The Chronologiste shampoo does a great job of this and it also smells amazing. It lathers up well meaning I can get a really intense massage going to rid my scalp of any remnants of products and impurities, and it is also formulated with Abyssine - what is essentially a molecule that helps to regenerate and strengthen hair fibres - something my desperately in need of a trim hair really needs at the moment. 

When combined with the conditioner which is actually very thin in consistency (hence the ability to avoid weighing your hair down), and which contains a plethora of precious oils - Argan, Maize, Camellia and Pracaxi - the two are a match made in heaven. I love the fact that I can smell the subtle fragrance on my hair for days afterwards, and for the first time in a long time it looks as though both my shampoo and conditioner will be finished up at the same time. Now if that doesn't show what a conditioner convert I have become then I don't know what does!

Have you tried anything from the Chronologiste or the Elixr Ultime ranges? 

Sarah x

I go through stages of wanting to trial different skincare items, and my latest obsession has without doubt been cleansers - budget, high end, balm, cream - you name it, I've got it on the go, because for me, the best way to sort the wheat from the chafe is to have each option lined up in front of me and to see which one I keep reverting back to time and time again. And in this case, the Votary Cleansing Oil won every single time.

After seeing Fleur mention it in one of her vlogs I became intrigued. She wasn't raving about it per say, in fact, she didn't really give any thoughts on it. No, it was the rose geranium and apricot contents along with the sleek packaging and minimal website that had me wanting to know more. It was an impulse purchase and I never looked back.

Since then and after doing a little more research I have come to learn that it is also one of Caroline Hirons' favourites (no wonder I love it so much), and that as well as the luxe rose gold and green glass bottle, there is also a heck of a lot more that this stuff has to offer.

It smells divine and despite its relatively thin consistency, feels incredibly nourishing on the skin. I like to use it in the same way that Caroline suggests - as a second cleanse in the evening, so that I can really absorb the benefits, with it also working a treat when it comes to getting rid of any mascara remnants. 100% natural, cruelty free and vegan friendly, it is packed with ingredients including jojoba, chamomile and apricot oil that make it a delight to apply and leave skin feeling clean, plumped and refreshed. You may want to steer clear if your skin has a tendency to react to essential oils, but other than that there's nothing too obvious in there that is likely to cause any issues.

The Votary range of skincare itself currently only consists of three different products - the cleansing oil, a toner and their facial oils - all of which I am now dying to try. The Jasmine and Calendula Oil sounds absolutely divine!  I get the feeling it's a case of do little and do it all exceptionally well with these guys. If you can get your hands on this stuff then I would seriously recommend you do so - I've fallen head over heels with it!

Sarah x

1. The Printed Word

I've a terrible habit of taking my phone to bed with me, which, more often than not results in at least a half hour of scrolling before making any actual attempt to sleep. Equally, I do the same thing when I'm facing a train journey home or a commute to work - endless staring at screens in addition to the 8+ hours each day that I spend working in front of one.

And so, recently I've made a conscious effort to ditch the tech and revert back to a bit of old school paper copy - after all, there's nothing more satisfying than the physical turning of a page, right?

One of my favourite discoveries as a result of this has been Hole & Corner magazine. With the most glorious layout but with a focus on content rather than style, it aims to help celebrate 'craft, beauty, passion and skill', and to help promote local trade and talented individuals. The pieces inside are both inspiring and beautiful and if you want to read a little more about the concept behind them then you can do so here.

2. Snapchat

And at the complete other end of the scale - truth be told, I spent so long avoiding the world of Snapchat that I had basically dismissed ever giving it a go myself. I just never really 'got' it the way I did other forms of social media that I enjoy using. A few weeks back though, I thought I would give it another chance and though I am still in the midst of deciding whether to go the whole hog and start snapping myself, I am seriously enjoying following a lot of my favourite bloggers and vloggers on there. Less of a commitment than YouTube and with more frequent updates, it seems like a good stepping stone and is something I definitely want to try and embrace even more going forward.

3. Preservation, preservation, preservation

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for skincare. Having just turned twenty-eight though, I'm becoming more and more aware of the fact that in order to stay looking 'fresh', I might need to do more nowadays not only to deal with any short term issues but to make sure that my skin stays looking good ten years down the line.

In addition to drinking more water/less wine and maintaining a more balanced diet, something else I struggle with is remembering eyes in my skincare routine. And so, as well as trying to make headway with the first two points, I've been road testing a few new products to try and get myself into the habit. My favourite so far has been the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant Eye Serum - it's light in texture and absorbs easily which are the two main things I look for in an eye 'cream' and though, as with most similar products, it'll more than likely be a long time before I can tell whether it makes a real difference, it feels good to know that I'm doing my best to take care of my skin in the long term.

What little things have you been enjoying lately?

Sarah x

It's a rare occasion these days that I get to spend a good hour just taking my time, meandering around Boots, eyeing up the latest releases - but last week that is exactly what I did. There were a few bits I had seen floating around the 'blogosphere' that I wanted to get my hands on to test out, and so, after what was a great deal of searching in some cases, I managed to pick them up, give them a go, and now I thought I'd do a quick run through of the bits I've been loving the most.

I've used the original Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water before and it was great - a good dupe for cult favourite Bioderma and handy when, after a night out I just wanted something quick and easy to take off my face of make up. This stuff takes things to a whole other level though. Think Clarins Instant Eye Make Up Remover but more product for a third of the price - it has been tackling my Dior Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara like nobody's business and so if you have problems removing something similar this is the one for you.

This was recommended to me by so many people during last week's beauty blogger chat on Twitter, that I just had to get my hands on it to see what all the fuss was about. It's currently out of stock online and it took me what was eventually seven visits to different stores to track it down but I'm glad I made the effort. With a glorious mix of rosehip, shea butter and jojoba oil it feels luxurious to apply and has quite a soft formula that is easy to work with and melts into your skin quickly and easily without needing to warm it up too much in your hands pre-application. It leaves skin feeling soft and supple, and though it isn't the best balm I've used when it comes to taking off eye make up - when used post Garnier micellar water, it makes for a nice first cleanse and in my opinion would make a decent dupe for the fabled Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm just with a slightly denser texture to it.

L'oreal Colour Riche A L'Huile Nail Polish

These gorgeous polishes are formulated with a blend of oil that promises to provide intense vibrance and shine. And, in not wanting to beat around the bush, this is exactly what they do. I picked up the shades 224 Rose Ballet and 550 Rouge Sauvage - a muted pink with a browny tint to it and of course, a classic pillar box red. The bottles are chic, the brushes nice and wide, and, combined with the thick formula they apply beautifully - one of those one coat wanders! I can't wait to get my hands on some more now - in particular, 670 Cobalt Indecent and 334 Violet De Nuit are calling out my name.

Again, it took me so long to be able to track these down but after seeing how hyped up they had been I knew I needed to check them out. Gorgeous, pigmented formulas that are long lasting and aren't too drying on the lips thanks to their matte but not super matte finish and slightly thinner consistency than a lot of the liquid lipsticks I've tried. There's a nice selection of colours, though personally I prefer the more neutral shades (they seemed easier to apply/were less streaky when I swatched them). My two favourites are Flirtation - a muted peachy-coral and Seduction - your standard browny nude.

When I first tried this I really wasn't so sure. The formula is a lot drier than what I normally go for and the giant brush can be a little tricky to manoeuvre. However, just by chance I happened to be playing around with mascara combinations one day, and this, layered over any of my go to options - Lancome Hypnose, Dior Overcurl, Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat - just creates the biggest, most billowing lashes you could wish for. So if it's mega volume you want, this might just help to do the trick for you!

What are your favourite new budget beauty releases of late?

Sarah x

One thing I want when I'm in the mood to treat myself, is to be able to find all manner of luxury goods under one roof - where I can browse and buy at leisure without needing to trawl the net to find the best bits on offer. And, when it's high end that I'm after, there's no better place to find this than at FarFetch.

If you aren't already au fait with how the site operates, they work alongside over 400 independent luxury fashions boutiques to help bring to the table the widest array of offerings and availability from across the marketplace. The pieces they have on the site are always stunning, and now, the latest addition to the list of companies to collaborate with them is none other than home of premium beauty - Space NK.

Any long-term readers of Beauty Kix will know that I am more than just partial to the odd splurge when it comes to cosmetics. In fact, what is almost the entire contents of my current make-up bag, is made up of brands now available on the site, and so with this in mind, I thought I would share with you all today, some of the things you might expect to be able to get your hands on if you head over there.

What is without doubt one of my all time favourites when it comes to lightweight bases - the Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser is perfect for day to day wear when I want something that will even out my skin, cover up any redness and leave it with a fresh glow. And when it's real radiance that I'm after, nothing does a better job of achieving this than the Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfectors. 

It's not just their highlighters that are worth the hype either. Becca has been a brand I have grown to love of late and another product of many that I have fallen for has been their Ombre Rouge Eye Palette. Buttery, pigmented, and as the name would suggest - warm toned shadows that thanks to the built in primer, mean they last extra long on the lids.

And last but not least, to add a flush of colour, I like to carry around the fabled By Terry Baume de Rose to keep my lips feeling smooth and hydrated in these colder months, along with  the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - providing the compact version of three of my favourite Hourglass products in one - their Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, my go to blush in Mood Exposure and the beautiful Ambient Lighting Bronzer.

Of course, as is always the case, I still have a long list of products on my list that I am dying to give a try - number one being some some of the sensational skincare on offer. Aurelia's Refine and Polish Miracle Balm is calling out to me what with my recently having fallen in love with their Miracle Cleanser, and now I can't wait to try more from the them.  The Chantecaille Detox Clay Mask is also something I am eyeing up as I love a good clay mask to  help unclog and leave my skin feeling squeaky clean - pore minimising and skin firming claims have me holding high hopes for this one.

Always on the hunt for a good primer what with my oily t zone and 12 hour days to contend with, I'm torn between the Hourglass Veil and the This Works In Transit Camera Close-up, both of which I have heard great things about. And then, how could I resist what is truly my biggest weakness - adding yet another lip product to my growing collection; again, a brand that I am yet to dabble in - Lipstick Queen's Black Tie Lipstick - a gorgeous deep red, matte yet supposedly comfortable on the lips - sounds like it ticks all the boxes!

No doubt I will be spending far too much time (get it?) over the next couple of weeks before payday, building up an even bigger wishlist. Farfetch, you have me hooked!

If you want to see the full beauty ensemble on offer, then you can do so here. Be sure to let me know what's on your wishlist or if there's anything else you'd recommend I try... not that I need much persuading!

Sarah x

As it's Mother's Day weekend, I thought it might be nice to treat my lovely Mum to a slap up meal in one of our favourite spots today before heading up to my Sister's tomorrow for Sunday Lunch.

I had heard good things about Dylan's and as it's only a ten minute drive from what is potentially my favourite place in the entire world - Brynsiencyn - and is situated in the most breathtaking position on the banks of the Menai Strait, it was only right that after a lengthy stroll along the coastline we popped in to sample the delights.

Drinks wise, I went for a bellini (one of my favourite tipples) and Mum stuck to the soft stuff with an elderflower lemonade - both beautifully presented and equally delicious.

As we were by the sea and as Dylan's specialises in locally sourced produce, we decided that it would  be sacrilege not to go for some of the seafood options on the menu. Neither of us could resist starting with the scallops - combined with an apple and vanilla puree, the most mouth watering black pudding crumble and red amaranth. Then for main, I opted for the sea bass served with broccoli puree, roasted potato and shallots with a drizzle of chorizo oil with Mum choosing the herb and parmesan crusted hake with creamy mustard leeks and new potatoes.

Both courses were heavenly - perfect portion size, melt in the mouth plates full of flavour. So much so, that we just had to sample a dessert to finish off.

The peanut butter jelly donuts were what caught my eye - fresh, warm donuts sprinkled with vanilla and lemon sugar, teamed with peanut butter ice cream and squares of raspberry 'jelly'. Mum went for the poached pear with raspberries and panna cotta - again, both absolutely divine!

Service was fantastic, location was spectacular and we will no doubt be back again soon with others in tow to introduce them to the delectations on offer. If you're near this neck of the woods or fancy a trip (I would highly recommend it as the area has so many beautiful places to explore), then pop in here and you won't be disappointed.

Sarah x