Saturday, 23 September 2017

Autumn Skin Saviours

Whilst I do love Autumn - the crispness in the air, jumpers, the heating on, great TV and getting the slow cooker back on, in the UK from one day to the next the temperature can fluctuate by 10 degrees and you can leave the house in jumper, boots and coat only to be hit with a sweltering heat an hour later. And this temperature fluctuation can play havoc with your skin. And even though it's not proper cold at the moment, my lips and hands are telling me winter is coming as they have suddenly gone very dry.

I was lucky enough to be sent a few things recently, which I've been trying out and think they work perfectly for this time of the year.
Skin Chemists Rose Quartz Hydrating & Illuminating Day Moisturiser
Skin Chemists Rose Quartz Hydrating & Illuminating Day Moisturiser
Skin Chemists Rose Quartz Hydrating & Illuminating Day Moisturiser
Firstly the colour of this moisturiser is just lovely, although it applies as clear. There is the slightest scent of rose and the formula is light, non sticky and quick to sink in. This day cream is especially great for those of us living in urban and cities area, as it helps to detox and hydrate skin from environmental aggressors. This cream is great for dry skins, or normal skins that need an extra bit of hydrating.
This is an expensive cream but keep an eye on the SkinChemists website as they do have great reductions from time to time. Currently priced at £29.99 available here.
Dr Botanicals Moroccan Superfood Facial Oil
Dr Botanicals Moroccan Superfood Facial Oil
Dr Botanicals Moroccan Superfood Facial Oil
Even though I have combination skin, I do enjoy using a facial oil at night to really hydrate and plump the skin. Some oils are oily that others and this can put people off - applying an oily oil to already oily areas. That's a lot of oil! Well this, also pink coloured, Rose superfood oil is the un-oiliest oil I've tried. It smells lovely and disappears in to the skin quick as a flash and leaves absolutely no residue at all. Available here for £35.90.
BalmKind Alpine Rose & Lysine Lip Balm
BalmKind Alpine Rose & Lysine Lip Balm
(I've just realised that I've got a bit of a rose theme going here!).
BalmKind Alpine Rose & Lysine Lip Balm
Like most people, I will never be found without some sort of lip balm in my bag. Just like headache tablets, you can bet your bottom dollar that if I don't have any, my lips will be cracking and splitting all over the place. So when I was sent this cute lip balm to try out, it couldn't have come at a better time as my lips have started to dry out due to the change in the weather.
Although this is a balm, the liquid just glides on. There is a soft rose scent but not at all overpowering. I'm lucky not to suffer from cold sores but the ingredients of Alpine Rose and Lysine are said to help reduce the occurrence of nasty cold sores.
There are also no bad ingredients in this balm, such as parabens, mineral oils, lanolin and petroleum.
£14.50 available here.
Botanicals Hands & Nails Replenishing Serum
Botanicals Hands & Nails Replenishing Serum

Botanicals Hands & Nails Replenishing Serum

My hands are on the down turn as well. And my cuticles and the skin around the sides of my nails seem to be as thin as paper and about as moisturised. I've previously enjoyed the Botanicals Hand Balm and so was excited to try this specifically targeted hand and nail serum.
This organic oil has a subtle scent, which smells like aniseed to me but I think its the sweet fennel. I love applying this last thing at night so that the oil can sink in and deeply condition my dry hands and cuticles over night. I've been waking up with lovely soft hands and my nails look in better condition.
£14.00 here.



Saturday, 16 September 2017

Is Social Media bringing out your green eyed monster?

Love it or loath it social media has taken over our lives. It's killed the excitement of receiving a letter, naff postcard and even a good old chat on the phone. In my youth my friend and I used to write 10 page letters to each other. We sat next to each other on the school bus and spent most lessons together, and didn't live too far apart either. Yet those letters, which we would then read on the bus (sat next to each other) were some of the funniest, most honest and heart warming words on paper I've ever had. But that art, and actually I do believe it is an art to write a good letter, has all but gone.

And don't even get me started on phone calls! Again in my younger years and even in to my 20's, I would spent a happy hour (or longer) just nattering on the phone to friends. Pointless conversations with no real reason for the call, other than to reach out and maintain that all important contact with each other. I remember talking (and not quietly) on my work desk phone to a mate for at least half an hour, regularly. But everyone did it back then. Well maybe not everyone but I certainly had no qualms about it. 

Yet now we are in an age where even when we can be arsed to leave the sofa and Netflix and get together with friends and family, everyone sits around, heads down, on their phones. What is that all about? It's rude and we are losing the art of a good old chat. Engaged, making eye contact, ohhing and ahhing at some juicy gossip with someone you want in your life. Will it come to a time when humans no longer have vocal cords?

And Social Media - on the surface of it, and I'm sure what developers envisaged, we have easy to access and use platforms which open up the whole world to us. A one stop source of inspiration, knowledge, insight and a discreet stalk. 

With Instagram I get to see what people are wearing, what they've seen in the shops or online, where they're holidaying and eating. I love it. I'm a visual person, I like getting a heads up on what's New In and have purchased many things having seen them on other people's Instagram. But there are days when I just beat myself up - I don't have a "theme", I don't have my pictures taken for me/of me, I work full time so, at best, can post a couple of pics at the weekend and I don't have 1000's of followers (if truth be told I'd be happy with a 1,000!). I see beautiful images on Instagram of beautiful people, in beautiful locations eating beautiful food and it can make me feel a bit rubbish. 

Twitter, I'm really not bothered about at all. It seems to me to be a beefed up Facebook status update of people either showing off, slagging off or generally having a very public melt down. I have practically no engagement on Twitter and at best I use it for BBC Breaking News. And I can certainly see how Twitter gets out of control. I have seen some really nasty and bitchy spats between grown women. I mean, seriously, where is the stiff upper lip us Brits were so well known for?

And Facebook, whilst that can be a great platform for seeing what your long lost friends are up to with their lives, it can also be a knife in your back, or heart, especially when you see check in's and pictures of your friends having a great time at the pub after work or a night out - when you never even got an invite! Ouch.

For me, when I get the social media green eyes, I have to remind myself that what I'm seeing is the best version. No one's going to post their cheese sandwich and packet of walkers for lunch are they? Or when they've been in saggy old stained jogging bottoms and no make up all day. We want to post our very best version or check in at somewhere exciting and not Asda! Which is why I like it when well known bloggers will confess that that picture that got 1,000's of likes actually took 30 shots before they could pick the best one and then filter it to within an inch of its life. And with a lot of the great outfit of the day shots, they've been taken by someone else, perhaps a professional photographer. With a lot of bloggers, particularly full time ones, this is their job and main source of income so their Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook is their shop window or business card. It's their advert to attract more business, so of course they need to look their absolutely best. And whilst it looks amazing to see pictures of people being whisked away to exotic locations by brands, for me I just think about how knackering that must be and to be going away with people you don't know but who look stunning in a bikini - I just couldn't be doing that.

And actually that's how I control my green eyed monster. I remind myself that when people post online, it's staged, like a shop window. It's not always real life and so I take it all with a good pinch of salt. I also every now and then have an enforced couple of hours away from my phone. I'll purposely charge it upstairs whilst I enjoy watching a full TV programme without the constant urge to keep checking my phone and seeing people in fabulous outfits, checking in to amazing restaurants with their gorgeous boyfriend. It's so good to have time away from the device we can't live without. Because for a few hours, you can and if it reminds you that your life is actually ok and shuts that green eyed monster in the cupboard, it's got to be a good thing and maybe even a self preservation thing.



Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Tanya Burr Cosmetics - not just for the kids

I may be old enough to be her Mum but I've enjoyed watching Tanya Burr's You Tube vlogs and make up tutorials for quite a while now. And her make up is good. It's affordable but also great quality with wearable shades and good formulas.
Sadly though trying to buy any of Tanya's products in Superdrug is just not an option. Why? Because not only do they never have a fully stocked shelf but every item they do have has been opened and tested vigorously. Even the items which are sealed - nothing is safe.

So with Tanya's latest release of make up, I ordered online from Feel Unique and received sealed, in tact items.
Tanya Burr Contour Stick
Tanya Burr Contour Stick
I've been using the Rimmel contour stick and having found it easy to use, I wanted to try other contour sticks. This one is great value at £6.99 and comes in two shades - light/medium and medium/dark. I bought the medium/dark but for me, it's not dark enough and I only have slightly olive toned skin. However, I really like this cream stick. It's sturdy (I've had two Rimmel contour sticks snap on me on first use!) and it's so creamy and blends easily. I'm sure in the winter when my skin is deathly pale, this will work better and for now I'm using it as a cream bronzer.

Here's the swatch:
Tanya Burr Contour Stick
Tanya Burr Contour Stick
Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder
Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder
This powder was the main reason for me placing an order. It is as gorgeous as it looks. It is meant to be an all over illuminating face powder and with a light dusting it really does brighten and awaken the skin, this way it is very subtle. But then with a firmer application across the tops of the cheeks, as a highlighter this positively beams out. It also works very well as an eye shadow, especially if you need to disguise tired eyes.
Here's a swatch.
Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder
Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder
Tanya Burr Lipstick
Tanya Burr Lipstick
I've wanted to try one of the lipsticks for a while, so went for Pink Cocoa which is a browny, pinky nude and is a great every day shade. The formula is creamy and applies easily, even without using a mirror. This is the lipstick I've been reaching for for a quick application and pop of colour that will keep my lips smooth and soft for hours. It's almost like a balm. £6.99.
Tanya Burr Lipstick
Tanya Burr Lipstick
 And the packaging..
If you fancy trying Tanya Burr Cosmetics (or anything from I've got a £10 off a minimum of £30 spend for you. Click the link here. You'll then get an email with a code and if you pass on to your friends, you'll get £10 off your next order when they use the code on their first order.
Just spreading the love.



Saturday, 9 September 2017

August 2017 Favourites

I'm so sorry this favourites post is so late. No excuse really, just hit a bit of a blogging wall. It happens now and then but I reminded myself, when I put my new blazer on again, that I do indeed have favourites from August.

Make up - Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour - £5.99
I had all but moved on from liquid lipsticks, especially matte ones as they are not only quite drying but after they've dried down, they tend to exaggerate and sit in the lines and creases of your lips. However, a work colleague told me about this new liquid lipstick from Rimmel and it looked so nice and smooth on her lips, that I had to try for myself.
I picked up the shade 200 Pink Blink as I wanted a darker nude colour and this is exactly what I was hoping it would be. It applies smoothly and the texture is mousse like, which I like. It dries down quickly but when I say dries down, it's not like other liquid mattes I've worn. It doesn't feel dry on the lips and lasts for many hours, and you can re-apply on top without the colour going all weird with a second layer. I like this so much I'm going to pick up the red shade, to get all ready for winter red lip season.
Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip
Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Lip 
Skincare - Sand & Sky Purifying Pink Clay Mask - £39.99 (but I keep seeing 15% off discount codes on Facebook)
I reviewed this clay mask for ReallyRee and you can read my review here. This is the best clay mask I've ever used. It's so cooling when you apply and is easy to remove, with no usual harsh scrubbing to get all the clay off. I know this is a pricey mask and the pot is fairly small, only 58ml. But as you apply it with the brush that comes with it, you don't use loads on each application and so it will last a good few months, even if you use it the recommended twice a week.
This mask promises to reduce pores, smooth the skin, make it clearer and also help reduce redness. It does, it really does. I love this mask and think I will be committing my own money when I use up this pot (gulp).
Sand & Sky Pink Clay Purifying Mask
Sand & Sky Pink Clay Purifying Mask
It has to be the latest season of Game of Thrones. You may know that I'm a fan of GOT and even went to Dubrovnik just so I could do the walking tour around the walled city's filming locations for the series. This penultimate season has been beyond epic. Apart from the first episode which was a bit slow and maybe I was too hyped up, each episode that followed just got bigger and better. If you haven't yet, you really should give it go.

I love this time of the year for TV, we've got a shed load of new drama series coming out. I've been enjoying the return of Victoria, for the acting, costumes and beautiful filming.
I'm not sure yet how I feel about the second series of Dr Foster though. At the moment Dr Foster is coming across as a bitter bunny boiler that can't move on, or even hide the fact she hasn't been able to get over her husband's betrayal. Come on Dr, not all women who have been cheated on, lied to and betrayed are like that. Some are just damn happy to be rid of the loser! But I'm sure her strength is going to grow and they'll be some kicking of arses soon.

Fashion - Primark Blazer - £17
I've always loved a blazer and have worn them from my very first job. Granted that was in the 80's where my shoulder padded blazer was worn with either a matching pencil skirt or ill fitting trousers. I remember my uniform when I worked in a Recruitment Agency was a grey bolero jacket, matching grey pencil skirt, baby pink shirt and then (the piece de resistance) a floral neck flouncy bow type thing. And yes I thought I was the dogs..
Anyway the current trend for blazers, particularly checked ones, has not passed me by and I picked up this ridiculously cheap one in Primark. When I say "picked up", I made a miserable looking sales assistant help me take it off the mannequin. It is a larger size than I would normally go for but actually I love it. And although I will be keeping my eye out for a better fitting, better quality blazer, for the time being this is ticking all the boxes and is great for this transitional time when it's too warm for a coat but too cold to not be covered up.
Primark Blazer
Primark Blazer
And those were my August faves. 



Monday, 4 September 2017

A Transitional Haul (because it's getting a bit chilly!)

I'm not really sure when we started using the term "transitional" to reference the change of season from the end of summer to the start of autumn but it does sum up this in between period of weather and what to wear pretty perfectly. Take last weekend - Saturday was like a balmy summer's day with highs of 26 degrees. I was in London and saw people sun bathing on the Common.  Then Sunday it rained all day and I gave serious thought to putting the heating on, to take the chill off you know.

Anyway in preparation for the impending change in temp, I've packed all my summer clothes back up in the loft (literally didn't even get to wear half of them this year!) and down has come my warmer clothes. I've also picked up a few things recently to embrace the new season and to add some autumnal shades in to my wardrobe.
H&M striped long sleeve tshirt - £12.99 (I think, can't find it online but I got mine in store)
This easy to wear long sleeve T also comes in black and I think light blue. I need to go back and get more as these are a great transitional piece - long sleeve and soft fabric but not so thick for those freak 25 degree days.
New Look Funday jumper - £19.99
This is a dupe for the astronomically expensive Bella Freud 1970 jumper, which I should have as that's my birth year. However, I love the red and white and black colour combo and this jumper is light enough to be worn right now, or in winter under a thick jacket.
Weekday J'Adore Diana Tshirt - £12.00
Weekday has only very recently come onto my radar and last weekend I popped in to the Regent Street store, which has just opened. Weekday are a jeans and basics range but at affordable prices with heavy, quality fabrics. Check out their website here.
I just had to pick up this t-shirt, which is very current as we mark the 20th anniversary since Lady Diana's death. And at this transitional time, t-shirts are great for wearing under jackets or cardigans..
River Island Red Chunky Cable Knit Cardigan - £40.00
I saw this super soft, thick cardi on Instagram and couldn't stop thinking about it. I love the colour and it's so thick and warm that I'm aiming to wear it in place of a coat on non rainy days. I mean let's face it, there's no way I'm getting a coat over that bad boy.

Arm detail..
Colour matching..
I think my new work place is going to be really cold in autumn and winter, so I picked up this thin knit from Zara.
And here's a close up of the on trend pearl button detailing..
This Zara mustard coloured jumper also comes in stripes or grey and it's only £19.99.
I also picked two pairs of jeans and in particular straight leg jeans, which are so much more comfortable to wear. I bought these light wash jeans from M&S and from their outlet store but they are very similar to the straight legs they have in store currently. I haven't worn a light wash jean for a long time and I like them. (I'm wearing the wrong shoes here with them and would normally go either flat shoes or trainers).
These darker wash jeans are from Gap, in the sale, and I've purposely gone for a shorter leg so they don't drag on the floor when I wear trainers.

And my favourite item has to be this check blazer from Primark. Blazers are everywhere this season and why not, they are the perfect transitional piece and smarten up a basic jeans and tshirt look. To me wearing a blazer is like having a security blanket around you. But then I grew up in the 80's where you were no one without a heavily shoulder padded blazer!

It is a longline blazer and comes to mid thigh length.
And it only cost £17. And comes with pre ruched sleeves.
I hope some of these pieces have got you feeling all autumnal and ready for the new season.



Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Naked Heat for Everyday Use?

I did think about not posting my review on the new Urban Decay Naked Heat palette, as the internet is awash with reviews but I decided it's too pretty not to and I think it's versatility is worth telling you about.

So during a recent day trip to London, I wandered in to Urban Decay in Carnaby Street. Of course I'd seen the release of Naked Heat and had thought it looked nice but at £39.50 I wasn't about to order online for fear of receiving it damaged or not liking what appeared to be brightly toned shades. But in a very unlike me (I like to think about and research purchases for an irritating amount of time!), I walked confidently to the till and asked if they had any in store. They did. I purchased. It was that easy, and I had no pangs of guilt at all. Can I also say that the staff in Urban Decay were a delight. Not at all like Mac staff!

Anyway I did think that this was going to be a palette "for best" and "nights out", both of which I don't partake in much but actually I've been using this everyday since I bought it. For work and weekends. Yes all the shades are really pigmented (so they should be at that price) so you only need a gentle dab with a brush and I do find that even the lighter colours show up richer/more intense on my lids but it's fun to practice and try out. I tend to use one of the lighter shades all over my lid and then a mid tone shade for the socket line and outer corner and then a darker shade as a liner.
There are 12 powders, 4 of which are shimmery shades and the rest are mattes. The palette also comes with a decent dual ended brush which I have been using.

Swatches of the first 4 lighter shades are left to right: Ounce, Chaser, Sauced and Low Blow.
Swatches of the middle 4 mid toned shades: Lumbre, He Devil, Dirty Talk and Scorched.
And swatches of the last 4 darker shades: Cayenne, En Fuego, Ashes and Ember.
The shimmer shades are gorgeous as well and can be worn as an all over colour, or just as an accent highlight pop in the centre of your lid.

Like most eye shadow palettes I am using one more than the others and that is Sauced, which is a light, warm brown which looks great just on its own.

I am so glad I didn't think about buying this palette. What seemed at first to be a palette just for the more adventurous eye make up wearer or nights out out, is really a versatile all occasions and work days item for your make up bag.



Saturday, 26 August 2017

I hit pan! (Empties worth a re-purchase?) #4

I really enjoy doing empties posts because I can tell you what I thought of the product after using it all up. I hate waste so, unless something is really bad, I will use it all up and can tell you whether I would buy it again.  So here's this round of pan hitters.
Mandara Spa Hand Butter* - I like to surround myself with hand creams. I can't bear to have dry hands and have to moisturise them after every hand wash. This hand cream has shea butter and you can tell because the rich cream leaves hands feeling soft and moisturised for a long time after applying. Yes I would repurchase but then again there are so many hand creams out there to discover..

Corsodyl Mint Mouthwash - I bought this mouthwash specifically because now and then I suffer a little with bleeding gums. Over zealous brushing I reckon. This mouthwash does stop bleeding gums and like most mouthwashes it is strong and leaves the tip of my tongue tingling for ages. It's not overly pleasant but as it does the job I need it to do, I have already repurchased.

Good Things Restoring Body Scrub - This scrub smells divine. I need to find out if they do it in a body wash. They do, with Coconut and Cocoa Butter-yummy. This non harsh but effective body scrub is a delight to use and is free from nasties like animal ingredients, sulphates, parabens and mineral oils.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water - Still love the Garnier micellar waters. They do a great job of removing make up and dirt. I use as a second cleanse to ensure all last traces of make up are gone. The big bottle lasts me ages, even though I use it quite generously. I don't think I'll never not re-purchase.

Sanex Dermo Sensitive Anti-Perspirant - Thanks to my sister for recommending Sanex to me after I had a skin reaction to Mitcham. Sanex restored my pits back to their previous smooth, soft, non irritated selfs. Granted this anti-perspirant is not as long lasting as Mitcham but there was a price to pay for that, which I eventually did with my sore pits. Already re-purchased a few times.

Mitcham 48hr Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant - I have to say that I used Mitcham for a long time before I had a reaction to it and because I wasn't sure what it was, I continued using it, which made things worse. I would give Mitcham a go again, particularly for those days when I need 48hr protection and if I alternate it with Sanex, I should be ok.

CoLab Dry Shampoo Fruity Fragrance - In my humble opinion CoLab do the best dry shampoos. I love that they do not leave any white powder in my hair. This fruity fragrance was nice and sweet but let me tell you, the Tropical fragrance is delicious and the packaging is so cute.
Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse - I've already written previously that I didn't like this and that's because I do not think it's good value for money. One side is a solid balm, which I love but I got through this much quicker than the second cleanse side, which is a cream. I also didn't like the cream. It wasn't a thick enough cream for me. So no re-purchase and back to my trusted Clinique Take the Day off cleansing balm.

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask - I must have got this in a beauty box because it's a mini but actually lasted me a while and for a once a week 10 minute mask, it was great. It was easy to take off and did leave my skin glowing. I would pick this up again.

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex - Another item I received in a beauty box, which was a steal as to buy this is £38! I always use a hyaluronic acid product and whilst this was good, due to the cost I wouldn't repurchase. The Ordinary do a great hyaluronic acid for £5.90 though.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair - I've wanted to try this for such a long time and although this is a mini, it has lasted me ages. This night serum is lovely and I did feel it helped to improve the texture of my skin. I wouldn't repurchase this but only because I have a backlog of serums to try.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation - This was my 2nd or 3rd re-purchase of this foundation, so I think that shows how much I enjoyed it. But fickle me has now moved on to loving another (foundation) and such is my greed for my favourite make up product that I am currently loving four foundations! If you haven't tried this, it is worth a try if you are after a medium to full, flawless coverage.

Benefit Dew the Hoola- This is another mini from a beauty box and is a liquid bronzer. You can use it either as you would a powder bronzer or as I did as an all over liquid "tan", either as well as foundation or instead of. I really enjoyed this and will be re-purchasing.

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer - You would have seen this under eye concealer in my empties before. This to brighten my under eye area and then Collection Lasting Perfection concealer for all other concealer areas is my go to duo.
Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara - I've used this mascara for the longest time, and I've missed using it so will be re-purchasing. I've been using more expensive mascaras for a change and whilst they've been great, I think I'll always go back to Lash Sensational. The wand grabs every lash, giving a full and lengthened look, with no rub off on the lids.

Too Faced Better than Sex mascara - I had always wondered about the hype around this mascara and was chuffed to get it in a beauty box (QVC Tili beauty boxes, which come out every three months are great for trying high end products). It's a great mascara with a good brush and really coats lashes giving a volumised look. I won't be re-purchasing purely because I think drugstore mascaras are great, and affordable.

Tarte Tarteist mascara - This was part of a Tarte discovery set I bought from QVC and I have really enjoyed using it. I'm currently using another Tarte mascara from their Maneater set, and I don't like that one as much as this one. No re-purchase for the reason stated above and there are a few new drugstore mascaras I want to try.

Benefit Gimme Brow - I'm so glad I discovered gimme brow. It's quick and easy to use and keeps my brows looking fuller and in place. I've already re-purchased. Although I'm quite intrigued to try their Brow Zings palette.

Honestly, don't you just love make up?


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