18 Dec 2014

E-Reader vs Book

E-reader vs Book
Besides my interest in the world of beauty and fashion I have always had a huge interest and passion for reading. Even before the likes of Harry Potter I was quite the book worm whereby by the age of eleven I had read quite a lot already. To this day I still remember climbing onto the top bunk, wrapping myself up in my duvet and escaping into another world. My bookshelf as a child was crammed full and I found this continuing into my early twenties. Over the last few years I've had to be a little more ruthless with my collection as it was incredibly out of hand; this has led to countless trips to the charity shop over the last few years whereby now I have everything comfortably on two shelves (although there is a box full under my bed, shhhh).

Working in a book store for what seems like a lifetime and being such an avid reader myself I naturally have a huge soft spot for a physical book. Therefore when the e-reader started to take the market by storm I felt as though my enjoyment of reading was being attacked, I didn't like it! For the longest time I was dead set against e-readers, I simply tuned out and wouldn't want to hear about them as they quite literally went against everything I believed in. That was until I had to start selling them at work, imagine the sheer horror when I saw the e-reader stand being installed and I had to learn how to use them and more importantly act enthusiastic about them. 

Fast forward a few years or so I have definitely developed quite a difference stance on them, not least because I now own one of my own. Mine was actually a leaving present when I left work after I moved back home from university however I can safely say that I would have purchased one eventually. My two main reasons for using an e-reader are quite simply because firstly they help to save a lot of space, particularly when you have limited storage like me. I'm forever sacrificing one book on my bookshelf for another however with an e-reader I don't have to do this. Whilst it's sad to not have a physical copy I do have to weigh up the possibility that I may never read that particular book again therefore I really don't need it sitting on my book shelf gathering dust. The second reason is that when new books are released they tend to be in hardback which is a format I never buy; for me they are too heavy and too big for reading in bed which means I have to wait a while until a paperback version is released. Luckily with an e-reader I don't have to wait at all which is fantastic if it is a new release that I have being looking forward to reading.

There are of course a few downsides to an e-reader of which one I have already alluded to. The lack of a physical book can make me a bit sad at times as it's always nice to have the real physical thing, especially if the cover art work is nice as e-readers, not tablets (as far as I know) are not in colour so I do miss out on that aspect of a book. Of course you have to also ensure that your e-reader is charged up, if it isn't you won't be reading anything until it is.

Overall there are a few pros and cons in regards to e-readers whereby in my opinion it all simply boils down to personal preference and what you are most comfortable with; see my list below.

Pros of an e-reader -Portable, lightweight, saves storage space (big issue for me), cheaper books (at times), accessibility to thousands of books at your fingertips, ability to change font size, personalisation as there are a lot of different covers out there now, some e-readers are also tablets so they have more than one function.

Cons of an e-reader - Initially expensive, computer based therefore there is perhaps a fear of losing your purchases, lack of personality (no creased spine, no traditional book scent) , an internet connection is required to purchase online which not everybody has access to, a technological stigma which I would argue has been removed somewhat.

Generally for me it all still boils down to what book it is and the price at the time. For instance I would have never purchased Harry Potter for my e-reader because I love it too much and therefore need a physical copy. Furthermore if it is a new author that I just want to try out I'd be more inclined to buy an e-book instead. 

What do you think of e-readers, are you a fan or do you still prefer a traditional book?



17 Dec 2014

The Body Shop Shea Festive Picks Gift Set

The Body Shop Shea Gift Set The Body Shop Shea Festive Picks Gift Set The Body Shop Shea Festive Picks Gift Set

The Body Shop and me go way back as I distinctly remember it being a store that, as barely a teen I would go into with my friend and look at the vast array of brightly packaged products whilst our parents weren't too far away looking at moisturisers, night creams and other things that did not interest a pair of twelve year olds. Fast forward quite a few years later it has been a store that I have frequented a lot whereby I have tried various moisturisers, namely the Vitamin E range and body products which have fast become some of my favourites of all time.

As we build up to the Christmas holidays The Body Shop have launched their own festive Advent Calendar which over the course of 24 days is seeing a variety of bloggers feature a range of different products from the this much loved high street brand; it's really fun and worth checking out if like me you're a big fan of The Body Shop. Today I feel really privileged to say that I get to take part and fill the spot of day 17 whereby I'm going to share with you my thoughts on the Shea Festive Picks Gift Set* which is filled with some gorgeous products to keep you feeling pampered throughout Christmas and the New Year.

From first instance I really do think that this gift set is beautiful, I absolutely adore the packaging and the design of this and have already decided that I'm going to be keeping hold of it in order to store a few bits and pieces in for next Christmas. Moving onto what's inside the gift set you will find that there are a variety of different products which are of course all centred on the Shea scent. The Shea range is quite traditional to The Body Shop and has quite a nutty, warm, relaxing scent to it which I'm personally quite the fan of, particularly at this time of the year.

The Shea Shower Cream* makes a wonderful addition to any shower as it feels really rich and moisturising whereby in conjunction with the Shea Body Scrub* I think that they both work really well. I think these are two products to use just before bed as despite my love for citrus scents I don't like to use them of an evening as that is the time for winding down and relaxing. The Shea Body Butter* was a product I knew I would enjoy before I even used it as these body butters have for a long, long time been my favourite products from The Body Shop. Again this one does not disappoint at all, it is the perfect product to use after having used the shower cream beforehand whereby it always leaves my skin feeling super soft!

The added bonus of the Shea Soap* was really nice as I have never tried any of the soaps before. In comparison to other brands I really do think that this is much more moisturising as I've known soaps to dry my hands out in the past whereas this one did not. To round off the gift set there is a miniature Bath Lily* included which I think is pretty handy as in my opinion the mini ones are much easier to use compared to the full size ones you can buy. On a side note I have to say the term Bath Lily is a new one to me, I've always called them body poofs; what do you call them? 

The Shea Festive Picks Gift Set really would make a wonderful gift this Christmas whereby you would not only be giving to one person you would also be giving to another. This year The Body Shop is teaming up with War Child which is a global charity that helps children who have been affected by war all over the world by helping to provide them with an education. Through the purchasing of gifts such as these, no matter how small you and I will enable a child in a war affected country to attend a class; the gift of an education truly is priceless. This Friday I finally have a chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping so I'll definitely be popping into my local store in town to check out all of the amazing gift sets this Christmas.


15 Dec 2014

Christmas Jumpers

Christmas Jumpers

The annual Christmas Jumper post seems more of a priority to me than a Christmas gift guide right now, especially considering I'm so far behind in my own Christmas shopping! It feels a bit odd to try and give a few tips to any of you guys, especially when I have no idea myself this year. Despite this I have however found a few Christmas jumpers that have taken my fancy whilst looking for gift ideas. 

My favourite above has to be the two penguins from Dorothy Perkins, although the jolly snowman from Primark is pretty awesome too!


11 Dec 2014

Liz Earle Christmas Giveaway

Liz Earle Christmas Giveaway

Since starting my blog there has been one brand that I can honestly say that if it wasn't for blogging and the community in general I would probably would never have discovered it; that brand is Liz Earle. Right down from the botanical scents to the wonder that is Cleanse and Polish it has been a brand that throughout my time blogging has been one that I continue to use on a regular basis.

Just last week I mentioned that I wanted to hold two giveaway's this Christmas, I very rarely do them but at this time of year I do like to say thank you. This blog really does mean the world to me (a cliché I know), it's something that I enjoy immensely! The whole process of running A Little Boat Sailing fills me with so much enjoyment whereby those that read my blog and actively contribute to it in so many different ways only add to that enjoyment; thank you all so very much. Therefore as my little thank you I'd like to offer one of you the chance to win a Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser 50ml; this is my all-time favourite cleanser to date so I hope that if you are the winner you will like it too.

Once again this is just one more opportunity to say thank you. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a incredible New Year.

To win the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser 50ml in the Christmas packaging all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will run for one week and is open internationally so everybody is free to enter. I'll aim to have it posted out to the winner as soon as I can, although please bear in mind that depending on the location of the winner this may not arrive in time for Christmas; I'll do my best though! This was purchased with my own money and is simply a gift from me to one of you. Please follow the rules in the rafflecopter widget below and I'd like to politely request that this giveaway is not posted to any competition websites, thank you. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


10 Dec 2014

My Exfoliation Story Part Two

Chemical Exfoliation

When it comes to exfoliation of the skin I have in the past have had a bit of a history. Over time I've used various different types of exfoliators which can be narrowed down into two groups, physical and chemical. Back in September I posted my first part of the series, My Exfoliation Story Part One in which I have to admit I never quite intended to leave the gap between this post and the previous as quite as long as I did.

In part one I looked at the different types of physical exfoliation I had used in the past, in which I came to the overall conclusion that despite turning towards more chemical exfoliation these days I can't quite bring myself to skip physical completely; it just doesn't feel right.

Part two will today look at some of the chemical exfoliators I have used in the past year in which in that time I've been able to gain quite a good idea as to how well they work for me. Starting off with the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner this was a product that I had read and heard so much about namely from Caroline Hirons. This was something that I really wanted to try as at the time I had no form of chemical exfoliator in my skincare routine other than the REN Glycolactic Radiance Mask which to be honest is more of a treatment product for once a week rather than an almost daily toner. 

The Clarins toner for me worked relatively well and really did feel very gentle to use, I found it hard to imagine there being any form of chemical exfoliant within this due to how nice it felt to apply. Using this was the first time I had introduced AHAs into my routine; this stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acids which in a nut shell exfoliates the surface of the skin leaving it at the optimum level for moisture absorption. Using a cotton pad I would gently sweep this across my skin and down my neck and then proceed to use my moisturiser of choice. Generally speaking I only use this toner on an evening and even then I tend not to use it every single day perhaps only reaching for this three or four times a week. I have to say I do notice a difference when using this although it's not something that appears overnight, a little bit of patience is key. My skin feels smoother, softer and looks much more radiant than before and does not feel irritated in the slightest through using this. 

My first purchase from Space NK was the much hyped about REN Glycolatic Radiance Mask which was something I had once again heard a lot about prior to the purchase. If I'm honest having now had a long time to use this I do feel as though it was hyped up quite a lot, it's good but for me it just wasn't worth the attention it got sadly. I'm very loyal to REN and have some really positive experiences with their products yet sadly this left me underwhelmed as I was expecting more. The texture is a bit like thick marmalade which you apply as you would any other face mask and then leave on for around fifteen minutes. Whilst it did leave my skin feeling really nice and soft as well as radiant as the name would suggest I still found it as an overall thing to be a bit expensive for what it was. In the past I have read reviews of people who mentioned that this has stung their skin or that they have felt a tickling sensation. I'd have to agree with the latter but I've personally had no stinging or burning what so ever with this at all which is a big positive.

The last product I have to share with you is the Radical Skincare Age Defying Exfoliating Pads* which I have being using each night over the sixty day period. These pads are pre-soaked with the formula which includes AHA and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids which treat oily, acne prone skin and those pesky black heads) which aim to exfoliate the skin and clean pores as well as other ingredients which help to tone and improve the overall texture of the skin. Now up until receiving these I had never tried this type of product before whereby I must admit I was a bit sceptical as I thought they would be quite wasteful (I have a thing about using cotton pads and try where I can to not use them) however I put my scepticism to one side in order to try them out.

Over the sixty days I used these I did notice that my skin was feeling a lot more smoother, any little bumps that I had were disappearing and not returning however in terms of helping to clear out my skin I honestly don't think that they worked in that respect; the old blackhead issue wasn't really improving. One other factor was that at times when my skin may have been slightly broken or I had messed with a spot (slap on the wrists) using the pads would sting my skin which is only natural as they do contain an acid, however note that the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator does not do this. My general thoughts on these was that overall they were nice but for me they did not warrant the price tag, maybe they would have worked better for my mum though as being only twenty five I can't help feel that maybe I was a bit young to really benefit from them.

Overall I have mixed feelings about the last two products here, I like them for one reason and don't for another whereas the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator has seemed to come out shining. It's not a miracle worker by any means but I think incorporating this into my skincare routine has helped to make a difference to the overall appearance of my skin.

It is extremely important to note that when using these types of exfoliants they will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and therefore sun damage so always ensure you incorporate an SPF into your routine. My favourite by far is the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SFP 50+ Ultra Light Fluid.