Sunday, 19 July 2015

A Skincare Chat

It's been a while since I have sat down and talked about my favourite skincare, so grab a cup, get comfy and let's take a look at the products that have been on rotation for the last few weeks.


On an evening, I find the most affective product to get the bulk of my eye make up off is The Body Shop Camomile gentle eye makeup remover. Gentle, yet amazing at getting even the most stubborn mascara off. I then go in with a cleaner that is probably a life favourite (bold claim to make, I know) The Body Shop Camomile silky cleansing oil. I've lost count how many bottles I have gone through, it's so darn good and when I find something I love, I just can't be without it. A new product to work it's way into my routine,k is the Sk:n Facial exfoliating cleanser *. As it exfoliates, I don't use it everyday, but combined with a facial brush this stuff does a really good job at sloughing away dead skin to reveal fresh and radiant skin. I've also found it to be a good body cleanser. By this, I mean I have been suffering with a few pimples on my back (not glamorous to talk about I know) and because it has glycolic acid in, it's a done really good job at calming my skin down.

Next I move onto the toning step. For that, I have been relying on my trusty REN Clarifying Toner, a staple if like me you suffer from skin that's prone to producing a bit too much oil. A recent addition, is The Body Shops Vitamin E facial Mist, which at not strictly a toner, does a great job at adding moisture back into my skin on days when it's feeling a bit dehydrated. It's also great for applying before and after foundation if I apply a bit too much powder.

Lastly, I need to add moisture back into my skin. For reference, even though I suffer with oily skin , it's also quite dehydrated and The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense cream makes my skin feel well and truly pampered along with hydrated. For mornings when I want my makeup to last, I've been enjoying the Sk:n Blemish Control Lotion* that does a really great job at mattifying the skin along with controlling any pesky blemishes that might have appeared.

As you can see, I am a huge Body Shop skincare fan. They've really raised the bar with their product line up lately, and combine that with a discount code that always seems to be floating about, I really think their products are a great buy.

Have you tried any of these products?

Monday, 15 June 2015

Brighten Up Your Home: Appleyard London Flowers

Since buying our own home last year, I've grown quite attached to having a selection of fresh flowers dotted around the house. I find they really brighten up the place, and with magnolia walls, they're a welcome addition to making the place feel like home. I was recently sent a bouquet from Appleyard London, and I just had to share them with you as they're truly beautiful.


I was kindly sent the Pomegranate Rose & Peony bouquet and I can't stop looking at them. I was drawn to this particular bouquet, because every blogger seems to love a peony, and while I have a small artificial bouquet from Next, I've never had a real life peony!



I could honestly look at them all day, I particularly love the weave of lavender in the bouquet, again a favourite of mine. At the minute, I'm having a serious think of what flowers we want at our wedding next year, and peonies are a definite maybe!



If you're looking to send flowers for a loved one, or even just order them for yourself, I'd definitely recommend Appleyard London as a flower delivery company. Their prices are similar to that of a highstreet florist and the quality of the flowers is second to none. I received the bouquet on Saturday, in a cardboard box so they were properly protected and the peonies have only started to bloom now while the rest of the bouquet is going strong.

Appleyard London have kindly given me a discount code to share with my readers which gives you 33% off any bouquet on the site. The code you will need is BLOG33.






Thursday, 21 May 2015

Downsizing Your Bag When Space Is Tight

I don't know about you, but I tend to shove everything but my kitchen sink in my over sized handbag just to nip to do the weekly food shop. For me, it's go big or go home so the over sized handbag is a trend I never want to see fade. Often, an occasion calls where lugging your over sized bag really isn't an option so you need to downsize. So today, i thought I would share a few beauty and life essentials that are always top of my list when downsizing.


First, let me show you my favourite clutch which I got from Accessorize last year for a friends wedding. The daisy detail is so different to my usual black plain clutches.  






My first pick, is my favourite setting powder, MAC Select Sheer and its perfect partner the Real Techniques powder brush. These literally come everywhere with me. A quick sweep of the powder and I know my make up will stay in place and my face will be shine free. I also can't go anywhere without some form of fragrance, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is my current scent of choice and I'm just about to start my second bottle. If you're out eating and drinking, then you can't go wrong with throwing your favourite lipstick in. I'm really into MAC Ruby Woo at the moment, my perfect red lip. As it's a matte shade, I tend to find it can be quite drying so a quick sweep of my favourite Nuxe lip balm before and I'm good to go. I tend to use a clutch bag on an evening, and tend to wear uncomforable shoes more on an evening than on a day. My Nuxe lipbalm also doubles up as a saviour for blisters! Rub a bit on the affected area and it relieves any chafing on my feet from shoes. As I suffer from dry hands, my Clarins Hand Moisturiser is always with me, it smells great and keeps my hands hydrated.
 
 Not strictly beauty, but a female essential none the less, you may spy something in a designer worthy wrapper. Tampax Compak Pearl* is discrete and boasts a stylish wrapper which means it won't stick out like a sore thumb if someone spies it in your clutch. According to a recent survey, over a third of British women carry a tampon in their bag at all time and think the wrapper should be as stylish as other essentials in their bag, which is why the new range from Tampax are the perfect accessory for any clutch. Next, we have a mini size Benefit Roller Lash*, one of my favourite mascaras that really is the perfect size for any clutch. Lastly, i had to include my phone, you never know when the moment might strike for an Instagram selfie and with a front facing camera it doubles up as a mirror for when space is tight, literally genius! 
 
 I love reading these types of posts so feel free to share the essentials you can't live without when downsizing your handbag!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

My First Week On Slimming World

With our wedding 403 days, 17 hours and 54 minutes away (at the time of writing this post) i thought it was time to start shifting some weight that had been bothering me for a while. I've only been shopping for dresses once, but when I did I ended up feeling restricted on the style of dresses that I tried on which wasn't really how I had envisaged my first trip. Back in January, my Mum joined Slimming World and has lost two and a half stone so far so I decided to join too. My first week on Slimming World really didn't go to plan (wine, pizza and a cream scone) but I've had to tell myself that is ok because sometimes life gets in the way. I'm determined this week will be much better, all my meals are planned and I am raring to go. I thought I would share some of the things I have been enjoying this past week.

The basics of the plan are as follows, everyday you get the following: a healthy A extra which covers dairy, a healthy extra B which is fiber and then a huge list of free foods to make your meals from followed by 5-15 syns each day which you can use for anything, be it wine, chocolate, crisps or anything that is not classed as free.



Breakfast:
Initially I started having fat free yoghurt and berries but that wasn't filling me so I decided to use my healthy extra B at breakfast by adding 35g of bran flakes to the mix. 

Lunch:
Options are so vast, you could have beans on toast (2 slices of wholemeal bread from a 400g loaf) a sandwich, salad or soup 

Dinner:
Again, you can have pretty much anything that is modified to fit in with the plan. We've been having spag bol, chilli, burgers and fish dishes. Just make sure if you use meat it's lean. Aldi do a great less than 5% fat beef mince. 

Snacks:
I always stock up on fruit to nibble on, speed fruits such as clementines, apples and melon are great to tide me over between meals. For my syns i like to have a bag of hula hoop puffs which are 3.5 syns, a curly wurly which is 6 syns or a kit kat which is 5.5 syns or even a glass of wine. 

The options are endless but it's all about moderation and balance, something which I do tend to struggle with. I'm excited to see what results I can get and hopefully share some tricks, tips and recipes along my journey.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Sneak Peak: New in at The Body Shop

The Body Shop is without a doubt, one of my favourite highstreet stores. I've been through countless bottles of their Camomile Cleansing oil, Balm and eye make-up remover. Their Vitamin E Facial Oil and Vitamin E face cream also feature heavily in my skincare routine. So when they sent me a sneak peak of their new Fuji Green Tea range I was over the moon and couldn't wait to share it on the blog.




There's nothing I love more on a morning than a steaming mug of green tea to kick start my day, so I instantly knew this range would be right up my street. Green tea is a great natural antioxidant, and in some cultures, Japanese women have been known to apply it straight to their skin to reap the natural benefits. The Body Shop have taken this knowledge one step further to create the first beauty line featuring Green Tea.

Despite being a massive Body Shop fan, I realised I've never tried one of their Body Butters, a cult classic from the brand. I thoroughly enjoyed using The Fuji Green Tea Body Butter (£13.00) after a long soak and exfoliate with the other products in the range, which are pictured above. The Fuji Green Tea Scrub (£14.00) is lovely, not too abrasive but rough enough to slough away dead skin. One of the standout products for me, is the The Fuji Green Bath Tea (£12.00) which I've never come across before. You can also buy a cute tea strainer (£5.00)to pop the tea in. Using a combination of the products, my skin felt so refreshed and supple.



The range launches on 31st March at stores and online. My top picks are definitely the Body Butter and bath tea. Will you be picking anything up?


These products were sent to me for review purposes. As always, opinions are entirely my own.



Friday, 27 March 2015

Working Out At Home vs The Gym

Since setting the date for the wedding, my thoughts have definitely turned to fitness. January rolled around and like others, I made a beeline for the gym determined to shift the Christmas bulge. I always tend to set myself up for a failure, by vowing to go 5 times a week. However, 5 times quickly turned to 4, 4 to 3, 3 to 2 and you get the picture, my motivation quickly disappeared. I started to think, is a gym the only place you can get fit and loose the inches like they suggest? Around this time, I was also approached asking whether I wanted to review a Fitness Pack which included some headphones and an iTunes gift voucher, so i jumped at the chance seeking to compare my at home workouts with the dreaded gym.





 When I initially started thinking about working out at home, my thoughts turned to the traditional work out dvd which I have done in the past and to be honest, bored me to tears. Motivation is definitely key here and for that, I need to be interested so keeping things varied is essential to hold my attention. It's often said our lives revolve around our smartphones, and while that's true, I realised my iPhone held the key to keeping things varied. Having never really taken an interest before, I soon learnt the app store has so many apps designed to working out at home, so the good news, if you can't get to a gym you can still workout at home with very little or no equipment.











 The photos above document some of the apps I have discovered. I've found a great range of free and some that are not.

Aside from variety, music is definitely key to keeping me going when I feel like giving up. So I was happy that the fitness pack included a set of headphones that are designed for working out. Unlike my Apple earphones, these do not fall out of my ears as they hook round your ear, fabulous!


My current workout album is Taylor Swift. I am literally obsessed with her. 

Over the past few weeks, I've actually lost half a stone, which even though it's not a massive amount, it's a start. I'm actually booked in to try wedding dresses on next weekend which I am so excited about. I can't wait to try on dresses and feel like a Princess for the afternoon.

I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on working out, do you favour the gym or your own home?

* I was sent the headphones and an iTunes gift card to feature in this post, but as always the content is my own

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

January Favourites

January. Possibly the most depressing month of the year is officially over. It hasn't been all doom and gloom though, I've discovered some beauty products that have seen me right during the colder days and nights.

The Make-Up:


At some point during 2014, I rediscovered my first ever high end foundation purchase, and it basically hasn't left my face since. Mac Studio Fix Fluid is the epitome in perfection in my eyes, it can simply do no wrong. It provides the perfect amount of coverage I require and Nc15 is the perfect colour match for me. To warm my complexion up, I've been reaching for The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in shade 002. It provides me with the perfect flush of colour to warm my face up, with no orange tones in sight this shall see me through to the Summer months. For the lips, it's been all about the darker more neutral tones, and Mac Brave has been my shade of choice. Said to be a favourite of Kylie Jenner, it's a great everyday shade. Not strictly a make-up item, but something I consider to be part of my make-up routine, is the Benefit Puff Off!* which I reviewed in more detail here. Keeping in theme with the eyes, and considering I've only had it a few days, I had to give an honourable mention to Benefit's new mascara, Roller Lash*. As a firm believer that They're Real is the best thing since sliced bread, I wasn't sure if this would live up to it predecessor. But WOW, Benefit have really outdone themselves with this one. I posted a picture of my lashes with it on on my Instagram, so click here to see it in action.

The Skincare:



Two new discoveries this month, come from The Body Shop. A brand that really can't do much wrong in my eyes. I managed to tear myself away from my beloved Camomile oil cleanser, to try their new offering, their Softening Cleansing Gel Oil. I adore oil cleansers, and this is no different. It removes my make-up and leaves my skin soft, cleansed and radiant. For a pick me up treat, I've been enjoying using their Warming Mineral Mask. A clay based mask that cleanses right down into the pores leaving your skin feeling nourished and clean.


I'd love to know what you've been loving this month, and if we share any favourites.

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