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27 Jul 2014

The Lone Ranger

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Over the last two years my friend here has made a couple of appearances on my blog yet I've never really discussed what it is like to live with a cat. I should imagine living with a friendly, affectionate cat is pretty darn good however my cat is no ordinary cat, he's rather anti-social to say the least yet he has an incredibly gorgeous face to make up for it. 

Oliver or more often known as 'Ollie' or 'Little One' has just turned 14 so he's getting on a bit now, in cat years this makes him 73 according to an online calculator; he's a fragile old boy. I've had Oliver ever since I was 11 years old and still to this day remember going to fetch him with my mum. He was a tiny bundle of fluff with baby blue eyes, a white nose, soft grey fur and his white paws which still to this day look like he is wearing socks.

Being young myself when we had Oliver I think it was only natural to want to play with him and cuddle him at any given opportunity however me and my family swiftly learnt that that he just wasn't going to be that type of family pet. Don't get me wrong he certainly has his affectionate side however for the first nine years or so these were few and far between. It has only been the last five years I would say where he has finally mellowed and will come and sleep on your lap for an hour or two or will let you fuss him on the lawn in the sunshine; he knows and has always known where his bread is buttered.

Living with quite an anti-social cat has been all I've ever known, he's the type of cat that comes in and eats his dinner and hops back outside to lick his paws for a good ten minutes. Oliver is most certainly an outdoor cat, in fact he absolutely adores being outdoors and loves nothing more than lying down and having a snooze or two under his favourite spot in the garden. Being a boy he's naturally very territorial and despite being neutered when he was younger he has always remained very protective of his territory, aka our garden. Of course with him being so protective of his patch this does not come without injury as he has got into so many tussles with neighbourhood cats over time that I have now lost count. From minor cuts which I've treated myself to more damaging injuries such as a broken tooth or general illnesses such as cystitis which he suffered from a few years ago (he was so poorly), it certainly goes without saying that cat insurance is vital; those vet bills can and do mount up rather quickly.

I realise that I've made him out to be a bit of a brute which in truth he has been in the past however he has changed so much over time and now has become quite a friendly boy when he wants to be. He's wary of strangers and always will be I think which isn't necessarily a bad thing yet he knows where home is and where his family are. His latest habit is jumping onto my lap whilst I'm trying to write blog posts at my pc, and proceeding to nudge my hands out the way of the keyboard. This to me is not even remotely annoying as I just adore this softer side to him which was vacant for so many years. He means so much to me he really does whereby I guess if you don't have pets yourself you may struggle to understand those types of feelings however if you do then I'm sure you can relate.

Having a cat in my life has been fantastic despite his awkward nature and I wouldn't change him for the world. Meeting other people's cats over time leaves me at the conclusion that Oliver is quite unique in his attitude however I'm sure there are more out there like him somewhere.

What is living with your cat like? By the way Oliver's neck doesn't always look like that, he recently had to go under to have some teeth removed so they vets had to shave some fur from his neck and front paw.

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26 Jul 2014

A Tuscan Evening

Great Plains Tuscany Skirt Great Plains Skirt Skirt Tuscany Skirt White Asos Sandals

Top: Primark, Skirt: c/o Great Plains, Sandals: Asos, Watch: Olivia Burton, Bracelet: Camilia

Whilst I'm not going to be one to complain about the hot weather (we never see the sun here in the UK) I will be one to say that I always prefer summer evenings compared to the roasting daytime sun. I'm a bit like my dad in that respect, I can't stand being too hot and immediately find myself seeking even the remotest spot of shade going. Before I ramble on too much about my incapability to deal with the heat I thought I'd show you the latest skirt I've being pottering around in since it arrived.

The Great Plains Tuscany Linen-Blend Skirt is so beautiful; it's in the sale at the moment and is available in two different colours. If you look closely there are some little houses dotted amongst the floral pattern resembling the houses that can of course be found in Tuscany. I think I was drawn to this particular item because of my now rather watered down Italian routes however it's still quite an awesome fact to know. With the skirt being made of linen it is super light making it perfect for the warm weather at the moment, I need all the help I can get from my garments.

My Olivia Burton watch also made a sneaky appearance into this outfit as I'm finding every opportunity to wear it at the moment.

24 Jul 2014

Balance Me 'Beauty Voyage'

Balance Me Facial Oil

Balance Me has been just one of the wonderful brands that I have discovered since I started writing about beauty just over two years ago. Their cleansing balm is to date one of my favourite skincare products whilst I have in the process fully converted my mum to the brand; she's a huge fan of the moisture rich facial cream which she got in her You Beauty Box last year.

To shed a little bit of spotlight onto the brand I wanted to highlight to you the current Beauty Voyage competition which Balance Me is holding throughout July and August across Twitter and Facebook. So if you want to stand the chance at winning some Balance Me goodies all you have to do is snap a picture of your favourite Balance Me product on its voyage whether you're at home or on holiday. Simply use the hash tag #balancemehome or #balancemeaway depending on where about you are in the world and ensure that you share it to the Balance Me social media pages @balancemebeauty.

Sadly this year I'm not going on holiday however the gorgeous weather in the UK at the moment makes me feel like I'm almost there! All I'm missing is the sea and the sand but let's not knock it, this is a good summer for us folks in the UK. Of course taking advantage of the lovely weather I got snapping my Balance Me Extra Care Radiance Facial Oil* which I must admit fell out of these flowers more often than I would care to admit. This is quite a new product for me so I've a bit of road testing to do for this one however I have heard and read such good things about this product.

So there we have it, good luck and have fun taking some pictures! 

23 Jul 2014

Simple Illuminating Radiance Cream

Simple Illuminating Radiance Cream

The brand Simple and I have often had a bit of a up and down relationship in the past as I've struggled with their light hydrating moisturiser which I found to make my skin feel quite oily after a short period of time. Due to this I found myself looking at other brands to try which of course made me a little bit oblivious to many new releases from the brand over time. One of these new releases was the Kind To Skin Illuminating Radiance Cream* which is a product I have being testing out over the last few months. 

Initially I was a bit concerned that I would have the same problem with this moisturiser as I'd with the former however I can happily report back that this didn't exacerbate my combination to oily skin type. First and foremost this was the primary thing I was looking for and it passed with flying colours. With an UVA/UVB SPF 15 this is a nice moisturiser to have on hand although I must admit I'd prefer a higher SPF, particularly during the summer. Having said that I think that during the winter where most people would possibly neglect an SPF this would be handy as there will always be some protection there for your skin. 

Speaking of winter I do think that this will be a moisturiser I turn to more during the colder months as although it didn't make my skin feel greasy I can't help wonder if it is a little too heavy for me with all the warm weather we are having at the moment, especially when I compare it to some lighter textures that I'm now using. Overall as moisturisers go I really like this and have most certainly changed my opinion on Simple. I now know that since using this that I definitely want to explore the range again to see what else has been released since I last checked it out. Since writing this post I have indeed done that and now firmly have my eye on the cleansing face mask which sounds rather good!

My only real issue with this moisturiser is the fact that it is marketed as an illuminating radiance cream as in all honesty for me I haven't seen any real difference. On my face I cannot see this coming through my foundation although there are hints of illuminating light reflecting minerals to be seen if you look closely with no foundation on. Sadly for me it does fall down a little bit there but I personally wouldn't let that one factor put you off a rather nice every day moisturiser.

Priced at £7.99 and quite often found on offer I think it's well worth the money, a little goes a long way, there's an added factor of SPF and it works well on my relatively sensitive skin too.

Have you tried Simple?

21 Jul 2014

Recently Recycled #1

Recently Recycled #1

Remember those monthly empties I used to do for the last two years? Those posts have been gone for a while now as to be honest with you all I just lost a little bit of interest in writing them. I also found that I quite simply couldn't manage to use up enough products within a month which would justify dedicating an entire post to them therefore for a while I decided to put those types of posts to the back of my mind. Fast forward a few months I now have a few skincare items which I have worked my way through therefore I thought it would be nice to do a quick summary of each of them before they finally make it into the recycling bin.

The Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water has been one of my favourite products over the last few months or so with it being quite simply a cheaper alternative to the rather popular Bioderma Micellar Water. I can't really say that much about this other than I use it to remove my eye make up of an evening whereby it works pretty darn well. Water based make up removers such as these are perfect for me when it comes to removing my eye make up as creams and balms around the eye area make me feel a little funny.

It has been a while since I mentioned the Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm* which was kindly sent to me roughly one year ago. This was my first experience in using a balm type cleanser and at first I was unsure just how well it would work for me considering my skin type can be prone to oiliness however my concerns were easily put to bed as this cleanser worked perfectly. I found this to be a perfect pre-cleanse whereby it would lift the bulk of my make up from my face as well as providing mild ex-foliation. If you're looking for a nice gentle cleansing balm then I really couldn't recommend the Balance Me offering enough, it is lovely!

I've finished off a Soap and Glory Girligo Body Moisturising Mist before but seemed to have another one floating around. Again my general view of this particular product hasn't really changed from my original thoughts back in December a few years ago therefore I'm quite glad that this has finally been finished off despite it being an OK product. I just hope that there isn't another one lurking around somewhere.

Hydraluron is a rather odd product in that I know plenty of people have seen no results after using this at all however for myself I have to say that I do notice a difference when I use this, despite that difference not being on a whole dramatic. It is a product that I have since repurchased although I'm probably going to be saving this for later on in the year when my skin becomes a lot more dehydrated.

The final product that I have finished up is the Ali Mac Camellia Cleansing Melt* which I reviewed back in July last year. First and foremost I'm actually a little sad to have used this cleansing balm up as it turned out to be a product that I really enjoyed using. My reason for this is that it was so incredibly soft to use on my skin as it melted so quickly and smelt incredible all whilst removing my make up perfectly! If you're not a fan of citrus scents then you should probably skip this however I personally love them which is just one factor that made this product so incredibly enjoyable to use.

What have you used up recently? Don't forget to recycle!

*PR Samples.