Saturday, 30 January 2016

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Collection | Review


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When I first moved to the UK I rushed into Boots just to get my hands on the Soap & Glory products and I haven't looked back. They are some of the most lovely body washes and body butters I have ever tried. All the scents are incredible but recently I have been gravitating towards the Sugar Crush Collection. Initially I thought this line to be more of a summer scent as it smells like a creamy lime ice cream soda but I have been loving it this winter instead. I think it's because it reminds me of sunny days and being outside.

I do admit that I prefer the body wash over the body butter as the smell can get a little tense using both to the point were it is a little sicking but smelling the body butter in the tub is delicious.

I also recently seen that Soap and Glory now do a scrub and a hand food in the same scent which I am super excited to try out!

Friday, 29 January 2016

The Happiness Guide


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The older I get I find myself stressing about so many things from simple things like travelling to the shops safety to planning my meals for the week. With so many stresses and responsibilities finding things that make me happy are starting to become far and few. So I have piled together a list of 5 simple things that I will incorporate into my day to keep the stress levels down and generally help with overall happiness.

1. Laugh at Yourself There is no point in trying to take yourself so seriously all the time and if you can laugh at yourself the mistakes you make don't become so awful anymore but rather amusing.

2. Make a Plan for your Day If you are finding everything is becoming too much with studying or working then at the start of each day compile a list of smaller tasks to do. That way you stop thinking about everything you have to do but rather manageable tasks that are achievable in each day. I am definitely the type of person who over estimates the amount of time I have and thinks I can do everything to the point when I don't achieve it I believe I have failed. Now I am trying to change this way of thinking and just set myself smaller, urgent goals each day as I have to remember that there are always things that need doing but it's just managing when you can/have to do them.

3. Work Out I am ridiculously lazy when it comes to working out but when I do I can't help but smile at the end of the work out. I love the feeling of moving my body and feel it get stronger. I have been setting myself small goals of going to the gym at least twice a week and it has been cheering myself up a lot as I find that I leave work on time and I have created a more balanced life style for myself.

4. Listen to Music Last year I crashed my car which knocked my confidence so much when it came to driving. I still don't listen to music in the car as I like to fully focus on what I am doing but as I result I haven't been listening to music at all. Music plays a big part of my life so now in the mornings when I am getting ready I play music to just set my mood for the day.

5. Create Hobbies Since finishing school I have struggled to find hobbies to do. At school I did music groups (I played the flute), Netball, loads of different clubs like chess club, knitting club, language club and I would do weekend activities like Saturday sports and volunteering. Now that I have graduated it's not as simple as writing my name on the board for a club and dragging my friends along as there are other commitments that now take up my time. But since I have moved to a new town I have been making an effort to put myself out there. I have gotten back into Netball and I love it! I have also been looking into taking ice staking lessons next month or dance classes with my husband.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Toni&Guy Nourish Reconstruction Mask | Review


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I have recently been getting my hair cut at Toni&Guy and have been impressed with the results of my hair. Don't get me wrong- to get your hair cut there is super expensive but I found they did a really good job and the process took half the time compared to where I used to get my hair done. The only thing I could fault is that the head and neck massage that they give needs to be longer! For the price they are charging I expected at least a 5 minute head rub but mine last about 30 seconds which was disappointing because past places where I have paid a lot of money they will give me a nice 5 minute head rub.
When I was doing my regular weekly food shop at Tesco I spotted a stand of Toni&Guy products. The shampoo and conditioner they used on me made me hair feel so soft and lovely but my scalp totally disagreed as it caused a outbreak of dandruff (TMI!). However I decided to try their hair mask as I never apply this to my scalp and thought that it will still give me the same results as if I was to use the shampoo and conditioner.

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Firstly the smell is gorgeous with it being the typical "hair salon" scent. The texture is thick so I had to really work the product into the ends of my hair. Once worked in (only putting it in the end of my hair and avoiding my roots) I would leave it in for about 1-3 minutes in the shower. Then I would wash off about 90 per cent of the product but leave in some of it because I have very dry hair and need the extra moisture. After washing I will blow dry my hair and as I would do this I did notice my hair feeling super soft but because I have fizzy hair I didn't notice how it tamed it until the next day and it left a lovely result. My hair was wavy with no frizz! When using this product I wouldn't straighten my hair as I loved how it enhanced the natural movement of it. It truly is a lovely product and it really does nourish the hair. I got about 5-6 applications of it and at Tesco it retails for £6.99 which I think is great value for money considering the amazing results.

I would love to try out more hair masks, do you have any recommendations I should try?

Saturday, 23 January 2016

My Weekend Makeup


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As you may know from My Winter Makeup | Work Edition post that I love to put my make up on in the morning however I know that it is good to have make up free days to let your skin breathe and relax. Over the weekend I tend to avoid wearing make up during the day but if I am doing something and just want a little "something-something" this is what I use to achieve a natural fresh make up look.

I have recently discovered BB creams and so far it is the best replacement for foundation because it is super light weight, provides a little coverage to even out the skin tone and super easy to apply. I have only tried two BB creams so far- the L'Oreal Nude Magique BB cream (which is nice but didn't stay on the skin for very long) and my new favourite Rimmel BB Cream Matte in the shade light. For a BB this one has a lot of coverage which I love because I have a lot of pigmentation on my skin. I enjoy the matte finish as it is not a cakey finish but it does help to combat any shine. To add a little colour on my cheeks (but still keep things very natural) I use my fingers to pat in the Rimmel Stay Blushed in sun kissed cherry.

For the eyes, cream eyeshadows are perfect for just a wash of colour. My favourite is the Maybelline Color Tattoo in On and on Bronze which is a popular favourite around the blogging community. They last a long time on the lids and I bought mine about two years ago and it still hasn't dried up so it is definitely worth the money! Then a put on a few coats of Clinique High Impact Mascara which gives very fluttery, soft lashes that are very natural looking. Then to finish off the look I like to wear Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm in super strawberry because it that gives a lovely tinted berry colour to the lips without the colour looking overwhelming.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Cosy Comforts


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Christmas is over and it seems people turn all down and glum in January because it's cold, dark and money tends to be tight. There is nothing worse than feeling trapped inside but I am making the most of it by catching up on my reading. At the moment I've been loving the Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) series. It is a crime/detective book but I love the way JK Rowling writes as it really places you in the middle of the story to the point that it makes you feel like you are in the room with the characters. So far she has done three books and I'm currently on the second. I'll do a review on it when I have read them all. While reading I love snuggling up in freshly clean PJ's and having a candle burning. I've been really enjoying the Yankee sugared apple candle that I got last year and I really wished I bought the bigger size of this as I can't get enough of it!

I don't want to batter on about how amazing Lush bath bombs/bubble bars are...but they are amazing and I love them in the winter. I promise thats all I'll say about them!

In the colder months it is so easy to just eat chocolate but I am really trying to kick my bad habits. While I am reading a book or watching a TV and I want a snack (which used to be chocolate) I have opting for the Nakd fruit and nut nibbles as it feels like a naughty treat... but it's not.

I hope you are all having a cosy January as well!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

2015 Non-Makeup Favourites


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I have to admit narrowing down what to put in this post was hard. I had loads of non-makeup favourites but a lot didn't make the cut because, frankly, they wouldn't fit in the photo. This year I didn't try out a lot of skin care and my routine is still the same as it was when I posted about it in the summer. I am also 100 per cent sure that the Origins clear improvements face mask has featured in my blog one too many times already but it is really one of my favourite masks if my skin is not going through a break out period so it has made it to the top of my list for my favourite skin care item. I am not going to feature many skin care products because I really don't know what is amazing and what isn't because I've never experimented with it but this year I want to ditch buying large amounts of make up and to start looking after my skin. After all, make up looks better when you have a flawless canvas to work with!

Since trying The Body Shop Vitamin E range I have fallen in love. So far I've only tried the moisturises but I cannot be without them. The evening moisturiser is really thick in texture so a little bit goes a long way. It doesn't leave the skin feeling sticky as it sinks in beautifully and in the morning you can really feel the benefits as my skin feels wonderfully soft and smooth. The day moisturiser is quite opposite to the night one as it is very watery in texture but like the evening one it sinks into the skin quickly and I love using this before applying my make up as it helps clear up any dry patches.

My obsession with Lush is forever growing and I just cannot get enough of it. I tend to only take a bath on Sunday to prepare myself for another week but recently (since shopping in the boxing day sale) I have been wanting to take two or three baths a week because I just love the bath bombs. I like to shut out the world, light some candles and pop my iPad onto a chair and just chill out for half an hour. The smell of all the Lush products I've tried are incredible and I have never been disappointed.

When I'm not taking baths I have been loving the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush shower wash and body butter. The smell is like a lime, kiwi, creamy soda. It's nothing I have smelt before and in the morning and always makes me smile at how wonderful the scent is. The amount of product you get is massive and so far is has lasted me 6 months so it is amazing value for money.

2015 was an interesting year full of ups and downs but it's made me strong and prepared for 2016. There are some amazing new brands I want to try and I can't wait to publish them on my blog!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Empties | Part Two


empties one

In the past few months I have been trying to use up products that have been sitting around in my bathroom for months as there is nothing worst than having half used products everywhere. I have been getting into an awful habit of using a shower gel or a face wash just to 'try it out' and never finishing it as I always want to buy more. As you may remember in my New Year's post I want to consume less and actually use products I have. I have now separated my unopened products to my used products and I have banned myself from using my new things until I use up my old things. Perhaps as a result it will stop my shopping addiction!

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Since the New Year I have surprised myself and have finished 6 bottles! As you can see I have a lot of Body Shop products and the first is the RainForest Moisture Hair Butter that claims to be luxuriously rich and intensive deep-conditioning treatment for soft, glossy and tangle-free hair. When I used this I felt like it didn't do anything for my hair and I only got two applications out of the 200ml tub which for £8.00 I think is a little expensive as I have tried hair masks from the pound shop that have worked better than this.

In the summer The Body Shop released a limited edition mojito range that smelt amazing and the body scrub was no exception! I really hope they re-release it again this summer! The scrub wasn't too harsh on the skin and it was lovely as it removed all dead, flakey skin so I had soft and smooth legs and arms.

Finally the honey bubble bath which had been in my bathroom longer than I care to admit (I have looked in store and the website and they don't seem to sell this anymore) but my gosh this was dreamy. It smelt like a sweet honey bath and the bubbles it created were incredible. It also left my skin feeling so soft and very hydrated.

empties two Last year for Christmas I got this lovely Ted Baker body wash. The only issue I had with it is that the gel was so thick that it was so tough to squeeze the product out. But it smelt nice nevertheless but it wasn't anything special.

I am always on the look out for new dry shampoos and when I picked up the Girls Only for Brown and Dark Brown hair from Tesco I had very low expectations as it was super cheap. However this has been absolutely amazing! It smells gorgeous and it really soaks up all the excess oil. I would go as far to say that this has been my favourite dry shampoo so far.

Lastly, I have been really enjoying using the Boots own brand tea tree toner. I just place the cotton pad over a spot and I have noticed when I do this it helps reduce the redness and clears up any infection. I have now re-purchased this again as I can't be without it.

I should expect there will be a few posts like this on my blog this year as it is the best feeling using up a whole bottle!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

My Winter Makeup | Work Edition


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I love getting ready for work, it's the one thing that sets my mood for the day. I tend to prepare what makeup I'm going to wear the night before because I hate not evenly using all my products (I have to rotate them and if I don't prepare I find myself in a safety net that I don't want to get out of). I am also daring, even at work, when it comes to lipstick. I feel as long as it is not a green or blue lipstick and I balance the dark, vampy berry with a nude eye then I can get away with it for the office. However in this post I'm going to be talking about products that I do tend to fall back on when I want a makeup look that I know is going to work with anything I'm going to wear and that I don't need to touch up a lot.

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I haven't owned the Charlotte Tilbury magic foundation for long but what I can say about it is that I love it for the daytime and especially for the office. It is light weight, high in coverage and gives a healthy glow on the skin. I will be doing a more in-depth review on this foundation in the next few weeks so keep your eye out for that!
I know I keep hammering on about Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution lipsticks but they. are. seriously. soo. good. !! I just can't get enough of them. A good shade to look professional is Bond Girl which I don't nearly use as much as I should. To prep my eye lids I like to use the Maybelline leather effect creme eyeshadow in Creamy Beige which I sometime use on it's own as well when I'm short on time in the morning.

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I'm a little cheeky putting this Soap & Glory palette into my post as it was a Christmas limited edition but if you do/can get this I highly recommend as the colours are so pretty ranging from bronzes to berries and browns to creams it's definitely a palette I have been grabbing a lot the past few weeks. The texture of the shadows is lovely and soft, making it easy to blend. There are two matte shades which are perfect blending shades and the glitters are not super glittery that it looks like you are on a rave making it perfect for the daytime and especially for work.
When I'm not blending eyeshadow colours I have been putting Maybelline Creamy Beige all over my lids and tight lining my upper lash line with the Soap & Glory smoulder kohl eyeliner in black which makes my eyes look lovely and big and makes my lashes look thicker than what they are. Again there is no surprise that the Rimmel super curler is in this post as it give such lovely lifted curled lashes without a eyelash curler making getting ready in the morning a little bit quicker. Another quick trick I've been doing is using a creme blusher like the Clinque chubby stick blusher in amp'd up apple. I blend it in with my fingers and it gives a nice warm glow to the cheeks.

There you have it, my little snap shot at the makeup I wear to work. What are some of your favourite products to wear to work?

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Things To Do In Shropshire | Hoo Farm


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During the last school holidays we had my husband's little sister come to visit. I have always wanted to visit Hoo Farm but had the impression that it was a very 'family' thing to do so felt awkward going without a child. I was so wrong! It is completely like a mini zoo with animals from Africa but a lot more interesting as they had events every half an hour where a member of staff would talk to you about the animals. We missed the Meerkats event which I was gutted about cause you got the chance to hold the Meerkats, feed them and play with them.

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You were allowed to feed any of the animals in the "farm area" and I have never fed a sheep out of my hand. They would lick the feed from you so if you got ticklish hands you are in for a treat!

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They also had two very friendly farm cats. My husband and I are huge cat lovers and I think this particular cat knew because it was climbing all over Adam! So if you are ever in the Shropshire area I would definitely make a trip to Hoo Farm. It was really a great day out!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Top 5 Makeup Products in 2015


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2015 had so many great makeup releases so it was hard to narrow it down to simply 5. My collection has grown so much this year and when I look at it I can't help but smile (which is a little creepy how makeup can cause such a reaction!). The 5 products I have selected have totally stood out to me this year as I feel my most confident when I'm wearing one of these items. I have featured a lot of them in previous posts but I just want to give them a extra shout out for being so awesome!

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I was hesitant about including a limited edition product but it wouldn't be a favourite top 5 products of the year if I didn't include it- 2014 limited edition Chanel Highlighter Camelia De Plumes is simply stunning. It is a beautiful silver high lighter that just makes your face glow! I don't tend to wear this in the summer as it is cool toned but I certainly have been waiting for the colder months to come by so I can pop this onto my cheek bones and I haven't been happier.
I have seen on a lot of bloggers put Max Factor Creme Puff Blush into their yearly favourites and rightly so. They are so beautifully pigmented and anyone can use this and make it look amazing as you can be heavy handed but because it blends out like butter no one can look like they have clown cheeks.
This will come are no surprise to a lot of you as you all know my favourite lipstick is the Rimmel Kate Moss in 107. It's a lovely dark raspberry, plum colour which looks amazing on any skin tone. It is completely matte and doesn't crack or cake on the lips at all.

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I have absolutely loved Urban Decay this year and it was so hard to narrow one which Naked palette I love the most as I do interchange between them all but the Naked 2 is my all time favourite. I think the bronze tones suit my skin colouring, eye colour and hair colour the best. My favourite look this year (my date night on Valentine's Day with my husband) I used this palette and felt incredible and if a make up product can make you feel that amazing then I take my hat off to it!
The Naked Skin Foundation will come as no surprise as this is my ultimate favourite foundation. It is matte without looking cakey, light weight, doesn't break me out, stays on all day and doesn't change from the moment you put it on in the morning to when you take it off at night (which I find a lot of foundations do!). It is my most reliable foundation and there is nothing about it I can fault.

So those are my favourite makeup products of 2015. I have got my eye on new products to try this year so it will be interesting to see if anything from my 2015 line up will make it to 2016!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dior Star Foundation and Concealer | Review


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dior three If you don't know already, I love testing out foundations. I don't mind splashing out on them because when I find an amazing foundation I have the most amazing make up days and feel my most confident. Sadly when I tried the Star foundation for the first time in the summer it just went all wrong. I bought the Dior Star foundation (£32.50) and concealer (£22.00) in the summer and it just would not sit on my skin. It would slide all over my nose and forehead creating weird patches that was so noticeable even my husband commented on it asking whether I'm wearing a really budget foundation and he was shocked when I told him it was Dior. When I had the concealer on my chin it would patch and go almost lumpy. It was the worst foundation I had ever purchased and was even most disappointed in the fact that I had spent so much money on both!

However now that the weather is colder I have tried it again and it is a lot better as it actually clings onto the skin. However it does highlight dry patches really badly. The finish doesn't give me a healthy 'glow' but rather a very flat finish (however a factor could be because I was matched a shade too light for me). I found the best way to apply the foundation is using your hands as brushes just don't distribute the product evenly and the product doesn't sink into the skin either.

The bottle is very heavy glass with an amazing pump which doesn't release too much product. The texture of the foundation is very thick which I was shocked about as the coverage is very light. It does have a floral smell which is a little strong in my opinion but it doesn't aggravate my skin. Even though the foundation seems to be applying and sitting on my skin better in the winter it still does do anything amazing for it leaving me very disappointed.

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In addition to the foundation, the concealer does not go lumpy in the winter but now I get no results at all- it just does not do anything. I have tried it on spots, pigmentation, my under eyes and it just doesn't cover. I know the line Star is meant to be very light in coverage but I don't notice any change in my skin when I do apply it.

Overall for the price of these products and the results it gave I would sadly not purchase this again. I have read that it has worked wonders on other people so even though this didn't work for me it might for you.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Reflecting in the New Year


NYR

For the past few days I have been reflecting what I achieved in 2015 and what I want to achieve in 2016. I love how symbolic the New Year is and how it makes you stop and think about where your life is heading and where you realistically want to be going. 2015 was a bumpy year for me. I struggled through the LPC but came through with a commendation, I got my first legal job but got made redundant but then got another amazing job that I'm really enjoying. Along the way I have learnt so much about myself as I have been tested not only in my professional life but I have also had my emotional strength tested having gone through a car accident.

At the start of 2015 I set my goal to live a "clean eating" lifestyle and failed at that. I wanted to be fitter and failed at that too. However it all has made me a better person and I have learnt that people are not perfect (as much as we would like to be!) and that no matter what you do in life your family and friends are always going to be there for you.

I am going to be taking 2016 head on and have made myself a little bucket list of things I want to do.

Resolutions for 2016

1. Look After my Health

I want to not only look after my physical health (drink more water, exercise more, lose weight) but also my mental health. This is my first year (apart from the GAP year I took) working full time and it had been stressful as I have not found ways to de-stress and take time out to not over think every situation that happened in the day. I have been suffering a little bit with anxiety especially on a Sunday night so I'm going to try and go for a swim at my gym on a Sunday night to de-stress and just switch my brain off from thinking about the next day.

2. Learn a New Skill

Now that University is over I want to learn something new. I have always been interested in learning new skills like a musical instrument and in 2015 I picked up Netball again but I want to branch out to something outside my comfort zone. I'm not 100% sure what it will be but I have been toying with the idea of ice skating, skiing or rock climbing lessons.

3. Consume less and use more

What I mean by this is to use products and wear clothing that I already have rather than getting wrapped up in always trying to consume the latest make up release or clothing trend. I want to enjoy what I have already purchased rather than always wanting more. Also hopefully that will mean I will also save more which brings me to my next resolution-

4. Book a Summer Holiday

I don't really care where it is or what I am doing but I really want to go overseas somewhere for summer in 2016. For 3 years I have been studying and working with no real time for fun. Now that I don't have university and I am working full time I am now in a position to travel somewhere!

5. Cook more

My husband is the main cook in our household and I want to be able to contribute more. I am going to set myself a goal of at least cooking one meal a week for us as I want to learn new recipes and experience different flavours.

So those are my resolutions this year. I am excited for 2016 and I hope it will be just as enriching as 2015 was!
 

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