Thursday, 28 December 2017

What I Got For Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas! I hope you've all had a lovely and relaxing few days full of food & drink. I'm going to keep this blog post short and sweet as I've got a few posts planned on my reflections on 2017 and all my plans for 2018, but for now I love being nosy and seeing what everyone got for Christmas (if you've done a blog post then please leave me a link!) so I thought I'd share my gifts with you too.

My family don't really go mad on presents and usually give me money so I can buy things for myself, and this year I bought quite a lot in the sales so I have included that below too...

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Best of Supermarket Beauty

With the amount of beauty stores and websites to browse these days, supermarkets may be the last place you expect to pick up a new beauty buy. Now with many supermarkets bringing out their own ranges of luxury products, adding a budget caviar night cream or luxury body scrub may not be a last-minute trolley dash but actually a find worth shouting about.

I've always loved browsing the beauty aisles in supermarkets and discovering a bargain buy, but supermarket-own brands have been dominating headlines this year. Whether it's due to tighter budgets or the rise of the high street, a lot of people seem to be turning away from high-end price tags and embracing bargain brands.

Monday, 18 December 2017

My Favourite Cleansing Balms

With winter playing havoc with my skin and office air conditioning sucking the life out of it, my dry face feels like it’s taken a complete battering this Winter.

Combined with harsh cleansers stripping away moisture at the end of the day, my skin really doesn’t feel like it’s getting any TLC at the moment. After trying out coconut oil as a makeup remover recently, I’ve become interested in different cleansing balms. Cleansing balms are a great way of nourishing and moisturising skin while also removing makeup and any built up grime and dirt.

There are a number of benefits to using cleansing balms. As well as not drying out the skin, if you’re the type who doesn’t like washing your face then a lot of cleansing balms don’t require water. Just massage in, wipe away and let the leftover goodness soak in – doubling as both a cleanser and a night cream.

Some of my current favourite cleansing balms include:

  • Pixi Double Cleanse - This cult product is the brainchild of skincare guru Caroline Hirons. Double Cleanse has been raved about for years and I can't believe I've only just tried it. It is a two-step cleanser consisting of a solid oil to melt away makeup and a gentle cleansing cream for a deep cleanse. I love using this after a night out to ensure my skin is thoroughly clean!
  • Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm - If you've tried Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish you will LOVE this. Controversial opinion but I'm not a huge fan of Cleanse and Polish, I find it dries my skin out too much, whereas the benefit of a balm instead of a cleansing cream is that it keeps it moisturised. Most cleansing balms come as a solid that you need to warm up in your hands to melt, but this is a thick liquid that comes in a squeezy bottle. It is made up of Shea, Mango and Cocoa Butter (so smells amazing!) and it rich in vitamins and essential acids that plump the skin. I was surprised to find oat powder in here too so it exfoliates the skin as it cleanses too. It also comes with a muslin cloth that acts as a hot cloth cleanser.
  • Beauty Kitchen Abyssinian Oil Facial Cleansing Balm - This is ideal for sensitive skin as it is fragrance free and non-greasy. It quickly melts into the skin and swipes away makeup. It contains Abyssinian oil (a turbo charged version of argan oil) to help moisturise skin replace essential skin lipids without blocking pores. This is no hassle and no fuss with gentle cleansing! 

*Post contains PR Samples

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Why a Winter Holiday is now a must for me

Working in the travel industry outside of blogging, I’m always keeping an eye on trending holiday destinations and try to cram in as many trips as possible throughout the year. Whether it’s a weekend city break or a long-haul holiday to the beach I love to get away from the dreary British weather.

I was recently lucky enough to travel to St. Kitts in the Caribbean with my work and, while it felt a little odd sunbathing in 28 degree sunshine in December for the first time, it was a welcome change from the rain, snow and freezing temperatures in England!

In St. Kitts I stayed at the new Park Hyatt resort, taking full advantage of their swimming pools and beach access, and got to go ziplining through the rainforest as well as exploring the island’s culture and history.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Benefit Brow Collection

Any beauty fan, or anyone who has stepped into a department store in the last year, will know that Benefit had a complete over haul of their brow collection last year.

For me Benefit is a makeup brand that is loved by people of all ages and their products are always lusted over because of their quirky packaging, cheeky brand messaging and unique formulations. From cult classic products like Benetint lip & cheek tint to Highbeam highlighter, and Hoola bronzer, there is something for everyone.

There is now a whopping 36 products in Benefit’s brow range that are suitable for all skin tones and can solve any dilemma possible – even ones you probably didn’t even know you had!

Even though brows are by far one of the biggest beauty trends of the moment I’ll admit I’m guilty of not giving my eyebrows the TLC they need and they are often ignored in my makeup routine. To be honest I was a little surprised by the sheer volume of brow products Benefit launched and wasn’t exactly sure why so many were needed at first. That was, until I tried them for myself!

I recently tried a few products for myself from Debenhams and happily ate my words afterwards as I was so surprised and impressed by the results.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Look Fantastic Ready, Set, Glam Box November 2017

Of all the beauty subsciption boxes available at the moment I think the Look Fantastic boxes have some of the best quality products and a great range. I bought myself the special edition This Works box last month so was super excited when I was given the chance to review their November beauty box.

This box was called Ready Set Glam and it came in a super glam dark navy box with a sparkly top.

With party season on its way, the theme of the box is all about products you need to get ready for a glam night out.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Winter Wishlist

With Winter well and truly here this is the time of year I always like to go shopping for chunky jumpers, a new long coat and Winter makeup in berry shades. Here are some of the things I have been lusting after this week...

1. Abercrome & Fitch grey jumper, reduced to £47.99 through LoveTheSales

I recently discovered Love The Sales and it is an ideal website for scouring reduced clothing, electricals and beauty products. This jumper is really smart and classy, I love the ruffle detail.

2. Cream Jumper, £25 Miss Selfridge

Winter isn't complete without a chunky jumper and this one is ideal! I love the pattern details and the thick material which is perfect for keeping cosy.

3. Hourglass Blush / Highlight Palette, John Lewis

Hourglass Palettes have been on my lust list for a long time and this one is ideal for the colder weather as it gives you a nice, flushed glow while brightening and highlighting the skin.

4. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume, House of Fraser

Viktor&Rolf perfumes have also been on my wishlist for a long time and I think this is the perfect scent for brightening a grey day.

What products are on your wish list this Winter?

Create Your Own Beauty Box

For me, the best way to treat myself is with a new beauty product. Beauty boxes in particular have become my latest obsession as they are a great value way of getting to try out lots of different products and it is like a little surprise that pops through the letter box each month.

You’ve probably heard of a lot of the beauty subscription boxes, like Birchbox and Glossybox, but the only downfall of not knowing exactly what you’re receiving each month is that you could not like a lot of the products and be left feeling disappointed. Which is why I love the idea of a create your own subscription box from Latest in Beauty.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

How to keep healthy in Winter

I’m guilty of making more of an effort to keep fit and healthy during Summer but then go into complete hibernation in Winter. The daunting fear of summer holiday bikinis, combined with the weather staying lighter and me wanting to be out and about during summer keeps me motivated to exercise, but as soon as it starts getting dark I immediately want to curl up under a blanket and eat as much comfort food as possible. However, with the arrival Winter and cold weather we are also more susceptible to getting run down and feeling under the weather, which is why it’s important to keep up a positive, healthy lifestyle when the cold draws in!

Meal Prep: Making my lunches for the working week helps me save money and means I won’t be tempted to “treat myself” on a daily basis to unhealthier meals. If I ever forget my lunch I resort to huge portions of pasta bakes or packet sandwiches and never get enough fresh vegetables. I was recently inspired by Carly Rowena’s meal prep video and usually whip up a batch of couscous, chicken and peppers then sprinkle some spinach on the top, it takes all of 15 minutes to prepare and is a cheaper option too.

Switch off: I can’t begin to describe how important a sleep routine is to me. As a child I was one of those people that could never sleep and even as I grew older I had problems switching off or would stay up unnecessarily late just playing on my phone or laptop. Now I have no shame in heading for bed early and making sure I get a good night’s sleep as possible. I try to steer clear from my laptop or phone before bedtime and instead head to bed with a book. I’ll switch my main bedroom light off and just keep some fairy lights or a candle on then spritz my pillow with a lavender spray (I love the This Works pillow spray) and I drift off in no time.

Wake up on the right side of the bed: While you don’t necessarily need a full eight hours of sleep, quality is definitely more important than quantity. If you get disturbed throughout the night while sleeping or have irregular sleeping patterns it may be more difficult for your body to repair and recover. I was recently sent a sample of Benenox Overnight Recharge, a night time supplement and is a combination of honey, Sustamine® and Vitamin B6, which supports good quality sleep and allows you to wake up feeling fully recharged and ready to take on the day.

Kick the bad habits: So no one can transform into a healthy-eating, clean living, exercise-doing goddess overnight, but making small changes to your lifestyle can help you on the way to get there. Think about some of your unhealthy habits and how you can change them. If it’s snacking, pick up healthy options during your food shop and snack on fruit and vegetables throughout the day. If it’s smoking, try to cut back.

There is no simple way to say this – smoking kills. For decades we have known this, and yet people continue to light up. It is such a powerful addiction that quitting is one of the hardest things you will ever do.

If you choose to quit smoking you need to think about the method you are going to use to conquer the hold smoking has on you.

According to the World Health Organization, over 7 million deaths can be attributed to smoking annually. Second-hand smoke exposure is responsible for roughly 600,000 deaths. More than half of the people who smoke will eventually die from it, making smoking one of the largest threats to public health the world has ever seen.

There are many different plans available to help stop smoking. One is a nicotine replacement therapy and another option is vaping. The Royal College of Physicians issued a report in spring 2016 recommending smokers make the switch to vaping products. Use of them has increased significantly, almost doubling from 700,000 users to more than 1.3 million. Other can also turn to hypnotherapy while acupuncture can also assist with cravings, restlessness, irritability, and jitters. PRescription medications and herbal remedies are also available, while some people can simply go cold turkey. This is probably the most difficult options and requires extreme commitment but it is the most effective method. Of course, it goes without saying that the sooner you quit, the bigger health benefits to yourself and those around you.

*Post contains PR Samples

Monday, 23 October 2017

Rodial vs MakeUp Revolution Banana Powder

Two powders, two very different price tags. Banana powder has become something of a bestseller recently so I have put two different one to the test...

What is Banana Powder? Banana Powder is a great multi-tasking product that is mainly used in contouring/strobing. It is a yellow powder that neutralises darkness, colour corrects redness and sets makeup. More recently Banana Powder has risen to fame after being approved by the likes of Kim Kardashian.

How to use Banana Powder - Banana Powder should be one of the last steps when doing makeup and applied over foundation and concealer. You can either apply the loose powder with a fluffy powder brush or dab it onto skin using a blending sponge.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Sleek MakeUp's My Face. My Rules. Campaign - #MyFaceMyRules

After developing acne as a teenager I’ve worn makeup pretty much every day since the age of around 14. Now, this has by no means been ‘bold’ makeup and I’ve never been one to be particularly daring with bright colours, winged eyeliner or ultra-defined brows, yet I’ve still found myself to be on the receiving end of criticism around the makeup I choose to wear.

From people telling me I “cake my face” in makeup to others questioning my choice to put makeup on when I’m holiday – “Are you really going to put foundation on when we’re just going out for the day?” – most people don’t seem to realise that these comments are pretty personal and give my confidence a knock.

See, truth is I don’t feel like I’m me until I’ve put my face on in the morning. That may seem silly but it has become part of my daily routine to sweep on a bit of foundation, bronzer and blusher, fill in my eyebrows and pop on some mascara. Then I’m ready to face the day.

Everyone has their own unique style and their way of doing their makeup, and yet so many people feel the need to comment on it. How many times have you heard someone say that another person is wearing “too much” makeup?

So when I heard that Sleek MakeUP is launching a new global campaign with the aim of tackling makeup shaming, I had to find out more and share the news.

(Before I go on I have to say this is in no way a sponsored post – just something I am very passionate about and couldn’t agree more with!)

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Benefits of Derma Rolling

Derma Rolling (or micro needling) is a procedure I had never come across until recently. It is essentially a small skin roller which is made up of tiny needles that help to stimulate collagen production and increase blood circulation as you move it across your skin. I have been using Swiss Clinic's skin treatment kit after reading about it on the lovely Lydia Millen's blog earlier this year, and wanted to share how I'd been getting on with it after a few months.

As I'm now entering my late (eek!) twenties, anti-ageing and preventing wrinkles is something I'm becoming more concerned of, so I'm trying to change my skincare to reflect that. Without wanting to go down the route of fillers or botox, derma rolling seemed like a good alternative. I used the Skin Renewal kit (£84), which contains a 0.2mm Skin Roller and Swiss Clinic's Rejuvenating Serum, and also a sanitising spray (£18) to clean the roller.

Sleek Lifeproof Foundation

Sleek Lifeproof Foundation

Sleek Lifeproof Foundation

It's rare that I get this excited over a high street foundation, so was surprisingly impressed when Sleek Makeup's latest launch came along. Lifeproof Foundation is available in 24 shades and is designed to be one of those foundations that just does everything you need!

It is oil-free, sweatproof and lifeproof, so it goes along with your day and doesn't budge. It has a medium to full buildable coverage but still looks entirely natural.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A Sprinkle Cafe comes to London!

Did you know Dutch people have sprinkles for breakfast every single day? That's why Holland is one of the happiest places in the world. So Easyjet have brought a taste of Holland to London with 'Café van der Sprinkles', a pop-up cafe serving Holland's staple breakfast dish - Hagelslag (sprinkles on buttered bread).

Behind the Easyjet aeroplane door, at The White Space in Leicester Square, you can enjoy sprinkle-inspired beauty treatments then create your own art masterpieces using sprinkles and of course devour all the sprinkly bread you wish!

Visitors also have the chance to win a pair of return flights to Holland by taking #SprinklesCafe on their photos of the event.

The cafe is open from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th September!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

How to Self Tan Your Face

Has anyone else done a fake tanning session at home, only to find it washes off their face pretty much straight away and they are left with a ghost face / orange chest look? Fake tan usually lasts on the body a lot longer but, because we are always applying different products to our faces and washing it, it disappears from your face quite quickly. But there are a few products I like to use to help prep my face for fake tan as well as applying and maintaining it.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

MUA Lipstick Review and Giveaway

Nothing makes me happier than a bargain makeup brand with high quality, and I've been turning to the high street more often to discover new products and stock up on some of my favourite beauty brands.

Make Up Academy (MUA) is just one of the brands I've been loving recently. Stocked exclusively at Superdrug it offers bargain prices, with lipsticks starting from just £1 and foundations starting from just £4. Their Luxe range also offers beautiful baked blusher palettes, matte liquid lipsticks and colour correcting kits.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Top Nail Polish Shades for Summer

As you would have seen in my last blog post, for me summer is all about bright colours and having fun with what we wear. It's the rare occasion in the year that I brave getting my feet out so I like to make sure my toe nails are filed neatly and painted with a bright colour.

Gel nail polishes are my personal favourite as the high shine makes nails look plumpier, healthier and a little more professional. I rarely get my nails done in a salon and instead invest in a good quality nail polish that will last a long time. I've built up a collection of Nails Inc Gel Effect Polishes over the last year (TK Maxx sells them at bargain prices!) and my current favourite shades are (from left to right in the top image): Kensington High Street, Lexington Gardens, Kensington Passage and Soho Place. All of Nails Inc's classic colours are named after places in London and I particularly love these as they are bright colourful shades.

As part of a new campaign by to find The Perfect Summer Nails, I also decided to experiment with some new nail shades this summer and got Nails Inc's latest set - the Sparkle Like a Unicorn Kit. It contains two irridescent polishes that bring gleam and sparkle to the nails. One is Rainbow Wishes, a soft sheen rainbow shade with blues and purples, and the other is Dream Dust, a sparkly bronze with 3D pigment.

Depending where you travel to this summer you can match your nails to the type of location you're visiting. For beach holidays I'd pick a bright shade like Nails Inc Kensington Passage or Soho Place, for sightseeing and city breaks I'd go for a classic shade like Kensington High Street or even a nude shade, and for travelling or party holidays I'd use the Sparkle like a Unicorn kit to jazz up my look!

*Post contains PR Samples

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Summer Dressing

When it comes to fashion I usually play it safe with staple wardrobe items, then invesst in a few stand out pieces to help make outfits pop. Statement fashion and jewellery can transform any outfit, so the experts over at Red Dress have offered their top tips on how to make a fashion statement this summer. 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Health Supplements: Yay or Nay?

A topic I always find interesting in the beauty world is health supplements and, quite frankly, do they work? Walk into any pharmacy, supermarket or health shop and you'll find supplements for everything and anything - from topping up your daily vitamins to assisting weight loss, beating stress, and helping to clear skin. So one of the biggest questions is do they actually work and do we need them?

While I'm no health expert I thought it would be insightful to share my thoughts and opinions. Most research and health websites will advise "food first" and "plate over pill". This essentially means we should use our diets to get the vitamins and nutrients that we need. Supplements can plug nutrition gaps in our diet but they cannot replace the nutrients and benefits of foods and they are not a one way ticket to good health. The nutrients and, more importantly, fibre found in food cannot be solely duplicated into one pill.

However, when the good we are eating doesn't contain some essential minerals or vitamins - such as calcium, potassium or Vitamin B / Vitamin D, a supplement can help to boost nutritional benefits. Supplements are good way of maintaining health, alongside a balanced lifestyle, and can help prevent deficiencies and health conditions.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette

It's the most talked about launch in the blogging world for a long time, but does Urban Decay's new Naked Heat palette live up to the hype? With reddy, copper and bronze tones throughout, this is something completely different from Urban Decay and it strays away from the usual 'Naked' palettes - made up of nude and everyday shades.

Having light blonde hair and fair skin I wasn't sure if this palette would be right for me as I didn't think the shades would suit me. I'm not even usually one to wear eyeshadow regularly so while everyone else was losing it over this palette and swatching away, I decided for some time that I was going to stay and not bother it. But being the typical blogger I am and letting curiosity take over I eventually caved and got the palette for myself!

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