31 May 2014

May Overview

It is that time all over again whereby I feature another monthly round up of what has being going on over on A Little Boat Sailing. It has been a really long month as I stated in my previous post however June is always a nice pleasant month so I'm really looking forward to it. Tomorrow I will be attending my first ever blogger event which I'm super excited about, albeit a little bit nervous so if you have any tips about attending these types of things then I'd appreciate it!

There were a number of products that I decided to feature in my Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat post which consisted of products that I think are pretty darn good and are ones that I have repurchased in the last year. Speaking of repurchases I also found a pretty good bargain in my local Boots a few weeks ago where I found the Essie Mama Knows Best Duo Set reduced down to £6.

My Facial Cleansers post proved to be really popular this month whereby I discussed my general cleansing routine for both morning and night. From a range of gel cleansers to creams and balms there was quite the combination of products that I found switched between depending on my mood or skin needs at that particular time. Of course looking after your skin is extremely important therefore we should ensure that we do not forget the rest of our body. My Body Care Treats post featured products to help remove dead and dry skin that would help to leave your skin looking brighter along with a couple to keep you nice and moisturised; of course a Soap and Glory product just had to be mentioned.

For a long time I hadn't got around to trying out the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipsticks therefore when I finally did I just had to mention them on here. Tempting Lilac was my shade of choice and has been a firm favourite ever since, I simply cannot get enough of this shade and indeed formula. 

A few weeks ago we happened to have a really nice Sunny Weekend which was most unusual for the UK therefore I took the opportunity to pick up my camera and take some snaps in the garden. This post received some really lovely comments so thank you ever so much for those who took the time to respond to that post, I'm so blessed to have such kind and beautiful readers.


29 May 2014

May Favourites

May has been a really long month for me so I have to say I'm pretty glad to see the last day cropping up in my diary this week. Whilst thinking of what I wanted to feature in this month's favourite posts I did feel as though I struggled quite a lot because these days I find that I'm using the same make up on a daily basis and due to the fact that skincare normally takes a while to decide upon I found myself at a bit of a loss. After reflecting upon what I had being using this month I did manage to pick a few things that I have being enjoying which enables me to kick start off this post with the first item.

The La Roche-Posay 50+ Anthelios XL Fluid was a bargain purchase from Boots the other week for just £4. My local store has had quite a few products reduced over the last month or so due to new lines being added however I'm not entirely sure why this was reduced because from what I can see online it is still being advertised on the brand website. I've only being using this SPF for just over a week so I do feel a bit uneasy posting this in a favourite post so soon however I have been so impressed with this so far. It isn't greasy in the slightest and leaves my skin feeling nice and soft, it also works well under make up too and leaves me reassured that my skin is well protected from the sun.

My second item choice arrives in the form of an Essie polish whereby the shade Ballet Slippers has being gracing my super short nails over the last few weeks. Those who follow my blog will know that I suffer so badly when it comes to growing my nails however I do find that having them painted helps me quite a bit. Sadly brighter shades tend to look a bit daft on short nails so I have being painting them a nice neutral shade for a bit of self-encouragement.

The L'Occitane Lavender Pillow Mist has been quite the revelation this month; in fact I have being relying on this so much that I will have to repurchase it before it runs out. My mum actually purchased this for me because she knew I had being struggling to sleep for over six months and in all honesty it was becoming a real problem. There are a lot of reasons as to why which need not be addressed here however this product has helped me so much. I'm not really sure if it is a psychological thing or if indeed there really is something in it however all I know is that I'm now a huge believer in these types of products.

Last but most certainly not least is an item of jewellery from Oh My Clumsy Heart whereby the creator Sophie has an array of beautiful gold and silver jewellery all designed and created by herself. The necklace above is called 'Verity' and is one that I'd had my eye on for over a month or two before I purchased it. It's a tri-tone ring necklace that is even more beautiful in the palm of my hand than I would ever have imagined. I've being wearing this none stop ever since I purchased it and truly hope to buy a few more things from Sophie later on in the year.


27 May 2014

Blogs I read #5

Once again I'm back helping to spread a little bit more love around this fantastic blogging community which has taken a bit of a hit over the last few weeks with one thing and another. In order to help spread a little bit of love I have picked four more of my favourite reads to share with you all today. If of course you're new to this type of post then please check them all out as well as all of the others I have shared in previous posts; I'm quite certain that you find plenty of new reads.

The first blog I'm going to mention is Wonderful You which belongs to the gorgeous Megan whose hair I'm completely in love with. She's a truly beautiful girl with a fantastic dress sense that's often quite vintage in my eye with a nice modern twist to it; if you're a fan of clothing (which woman isn't?) then this is most certainly the blog for you. I'm a huge fan of her photography and writing style, especially when it comes down to the lifestyle posts as I feel as though I can relate to her on many levels. Megan's blog is overall a pure pleasure to read on every occasion and is most certainly one to check out if you haven't already.

Beauty Full Homes is the blog to follow if you like home decor and a bit of the old do it yourself. Run by Abby this blog is bursting with fun ideas and inspiration for home improvement. I'm already a huge fan of Beauty Full Homes and have so far found myself already planning out my bedroom, bathroom and kitchen of a house that I don't even own. One of my favourite things that I have so far seen has to be the DIY Jewellery Display; this is such a good idea and is perfect for my necklaces that more often than not end up in a bit of a pickle.

All the way across the sea there is a beautiful blog based in Canada run by Brittany from Life Set Sail. Writing mainly about lifestyle and beauty there is an abundance of gorgeous make-up to discover, in particular there is quite a bit of Bobbi Brown. She along with a few others has already managed to convince me that I have to buy the Bobbi Brown lipstick in rosy at some point in the near future. Brittany also creates some blog designs too which I've being having a little nosy at over the past few weeks; they are gorgeous!

The last blog I'm featuring today is Sailor Jennie which is one of my all-time favourite blogs to read. Jennie to me has a true gift with words, it's something that I'm quite critical with in regards to myself as no matter how much I try I feel as though I can't achieve a nice flow to my writing style whereas Jennie just seems to nail it every single time. Her blog is so beautiful, not just in style and photography but from the warmth that it seems to generate, she's not just another woman out there writing about a lipstick or blusher she truly comes across to the reader as a real person who could easily be sitting opposite to you speaking out loud rather than you reading what she has to say; for me Jennie's blog is one of the true gems out there.

There are many more blogs to discover in past posts like these so feel free to check out the links below.


25 May 2014

Steam Cream Always

Steam Cream is a brand that has intrigued me for a rather long time due to a few reasons. Firstly the name of the product is rather interesting and suggests a process a bit more unusual and secondly the visual appeal of all the various designs of the packaging has on more than one occasion had me browsing the website. In all honesty though I didn't really know what the actual product itself was really about until I was kindly offered the chance to try the limited edition Steam Cream Always* tin.

The process for producing Steam Cream requires steam which some of you may have already guessed. Freshly handmade high quality ingredients are used in conjunction with a shot of steam to produce a light and gentle moisturiser that can be used on the face and body which is suitable for all skin types. Many products on the market use a combination of complex molecules which bind the ingredients together which can in turn make them quite heavy when applied to the skin yet through this method of using steam the molecules within Steam Cream are much lighter therefore they can penetrate into the skin much easier.

Over the last month I have being trying out the Steam Cream Always which pays homage to one of the key ingredients Steam Cream use for those with sensitive skin; lavender. Lavender is used because it helps to balance and sooth the skin as well as acting as a natural antiseptic. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect having never tried anything like this before yet I have been really satisfied with the results so far. I have mainly being using this on my hands at night time because I suffer with dry hands quite a lot. Just before I go to bed I like to pop some of this on whereby it absorbs quite quickly without leaving a greasy feeling afterwards, with the additional hint of lavender this makes it an ideal product to use at night time due to the relaxation properties associated with the scent.

A little goes quite a long way so I wouldn't let the price put you off in anyway as at £12.95 it doesn't initially appear like you get much for your money however I'm pretty certain that I will buy one of these in the future; I can't help but feel really tempted to pick up the Cancer Zodiac designs which is gorgeous to look at.

Once I've used this up I'll be saving the tin to store a few trinkets in, at the moment I'm thinking earrings but if you have any other ideas then please do let me know in the comments below.

Vegan friendly and cruelty free.
*PR Sample.


24 May 2014

New and Untested

These days I'm cutting back on buying new things when it comes to skincare and make up therefore when I do I tend to get a little excited. Strictly speaking some of the items that I'm featuring today are products that I have recently purchased with a voucher that I won from taking part in a competition held by Sandra over on The Black Pearl about a month ago, a big thank you goes out to her.

The first product I chose was one that was completely and utterly inspired from Estée as I saw her mention the EOS Shave Cream in one of her latest videos. In all honesty it's a bit expensive for shaving foam, especially when I'm quite the fan of the Imperial Leather Foamburst Body Washes when it comes to shaving my legs. They are quite a bit cheaper however I did fancy a change from my usual choice therefore I decided to go with this to see what it would be like; I'll be back with an update in a few weeks.

Shower gels are more often than not the product that I will skimp out on nine times out of ten, this feels somewhat contradictory considering my previous paragraph so please do forgive me however I do find it hard to justify spending a lot on these as they end up down the drain in a matter of minutes. For a very long time now I have been a huge fan of the Original Source Shower Gels, they're fruity and smell absolutely incredible and what with them being just £1 in Boots at the moment it was rude not to pick one or two up. The scent above is a new one to me as in the past I've often stuck to my favourites which are Lime, Lemon and Mint therefore I'm really looking forward to trying something a bit calmer on the senses with the Vanilla and Raspberry offering that I have just purchased.

Melvita is a brand that I have wanted to try for a while so after doing a bit of research online I decided to go with the Melvita Rose Milky Cleansing Oil. In a way I'm hoping this is somewhat similar to one of my favourite skincare products by Una Brennan which is the Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Miracle Makeover Facial Oil. I'm aware that the latter does not turn into a milky cleanser like the Melvita Cleansing Oil however I'll see how I get on with this over the coming weeks.

The next two items are both inspired by beauty bloggers with the Organic Surge Spiced Lily Foaming Bath being one on my list ever since I saw Jennie mention it. The same goes for the Antipodes Manuka Honey Mask whereby if I were to list everybody that has made me want to try this over the last two years I would probably be here all morning.

My last two products were the result of going shopping with a friend on my day off this week. To be fair to us both it could have been a lot worse as we both walked out with just two lip products each of which so far I'm finding myself super impressed with the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Peach Club as well as a much cheaper alternative in the Collection Cream Puff Lip Cream in Cotton Candy.

What have you purchased lately?


22 May 2014

A little bird told me...

Shoes: Converse, Shirt: Peacocks, Skirt: New Look, Necklace: New Look

So a little bird told me that we would get some sunshine last weekend therefore I put on a skirt (shock horror) and put my milk bottle legs out for the whole world to see. In fact I was so startled and indeed dazzled by how white my legs were that I have since put on a little bit of fake tan, this is unheard of.

You know when you think you're smiling and then it turns out you're not, well that's what happened to me with this picture. Despite my somewhat glum look I actually did feel ready for summer...honest. 


20 May 2014

Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.

Being quite the fan of beauty this means that I tend to try quite an array of products from a variety of different brands. Whether they are cheaper high street brands or more luxurious and indeed expensive this means that I never really find myself using the same thing more than once. This is something that I have noticed over the past year and is something I'm slowly starting to rectify, I'd like to have a much more consistent routine if perfectly I'm honest.

Therefore when it comes down to repurchasing products I know that when I do it is because I have truly enjoyed using them. I've five items here that I have repurchased, some are new and some are old yet all of them have worked their way into my life where I would find it rather sad if were ever to part. First up is the Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser which at just £4.99 for 200ml this is a beauty bargain not to be missed. It's a fantastic product that leaves my skin feeling really nice and clean, it's super gentle and is a pure pleasure to use; this will be in my 2014 favourites for sure. My next product I have repurchased has been the much hyped about Hydraluron from Indeed Labs which helps to keep my skin feeling a much more hydrated as I'm prone to suffering from dehydration. In hindsight (I repurchased this about five months ago) I probably should have looked into simply drinking more water before buying this again.

Two of the newest releases at present have also been products that I've taken a fancy to. The revamped La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo + has been a fundamental product within my skincare routine of late with this only confirming itself to me the last two weeks where I stopped using it to trial something else out. Needless to say my skin is looking a little worse for wear at the moment so tonight this handy serum will be going straight back onto my face. The Garnier Micellar Water which came out a month or so ago has been pretty popular online, a cheaper alternative to Bioderma perhaps? After trying the two out I must confess that in my opinion they are pretty similar, the Garnier version however pips it to the post for me due to how easy it is to find, price point and the fact that to me it works just as well as the more expensive offering.

Out of all the products I buy over the year the most repurchased item hands down has to be dry shampoo. I'm not quite sure how I ever got by without Batiste Dry Shampoo yet it has been a full-fledged romance ever since that first spray. My favourite scent was the 'lace' version however much to my displeasure this was discontinued late last year; luckily the 'oriental' version is pretty nice too and seems to be almost the same.

When I sit down and think about it's not that often I will repurchase a product. What about you?


18 May 2014

A Sunny Weekend

Lilac Lupin Jacob's Ladder Snail in the garden Oliver

Lilac, Lupin, Jacob's Ladder, Sally Snail and my beautiful and rather sleepy Oliver.

What with the absolutely glorious weather we have had so far this weekend I thought I would pick up my camera and take a few pictures in the garden. I'm really quite lucky to have such a lovely garden; it's full of various flowers with an array of different colours and lots of different insects and plenty of birds. In all honesty it's a bit wild in places but deep down I think that's how a garden should be, I'm not one for these neatly cut hedges or neat borders; I'm all about the wildlife within it.


17 May 2014

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Tempting Lilac

L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Tempting Lilac L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Tempting Lilac

For a rather long time I had found myself wanting to try the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick line however for some reason I never quite made it to the checkout with one in my hand. Queue the Boots 3 for 2 a couple of weeks ago I finally decided to pick up the shade that I had being looking at the most, this was 'Tempting Lilac'.

I'm pretty late to the party with this line of lipsticks as they've been out for a while now however over the last six months or so I haven't found myself needing to try out the latest releases as much as I used to. Having said that I'm rather relived that I didn't wait much longer with this particular lipstick as it is most certainly my new favourite.

The packaging of this line is quite pretty and rather sturdy too I might add so rest assured that it will remain intact whilst rattling around in your hand bag. Tempting Lilac in the bullet to me looks to be a light plum/pink shade with subtle hints of brown however once applied on me I find that it comes across ever so slightly more pink than expected. In terms of application it has to be one of my favourite formulas from all of the high street lipsticks that I have tried thus far. It's most certainly on par with the Revlon Lip Butters which are some of my absolute favourite lip products to date as they apply so smoothly and do not crease in any fine lines; quite simply if you're a fan of the Revlon Lip Butters than I'd place my bets that you will like these too.

The overall finish is really quite pretty with a nice gloss look; they're not sticky in the slightest and have really nice pigmentation. I'd argue that they can be quite sheer if you're gentle but they pack more than enough pigmentation for the look I like for every day. The only real downside to these is probably longevity as they don't really last that long. Generally speaking I would say that this lasts roughly 1-2 hours before I need to reapply it however it does wear off evenly. I guess because these are more like a balm rather than a lipstick this can easily be forgiven, I'm certainly curious as to whether the brighter and indeed darker shades would last longer. At £7.99 they're not as cheap as some other brands found in Boots or Superdrug however they certainly won't break the bank either; I'd most definitely recommend these to you if you haven't tried them before.

In hindsight I played it relatively safe with Tempting Lilac however I'm now most certainly considering trying something a bit more daring from the range such as Rebel Red.

Have you tried these lipsticks from L'Oreal?


15 May 2014

Fashionably Fit

Exercise, the one word that used to fill me with dread and most of the time still does. The idea of going for a morning jog before everybody is up and about sounds quite nice, the calm air, peaceful atmosphere with the birds singing; what's not to like? Reality however is a little bit different come 7am when you're snuggled up cosy in bed, plus when you're at work for 7:30am in the week the weekend lie in becomes quite sacred; I like to hold onto it for as long as possible.

Recently however I have tried to be a little more proactive, whether this has been simply taking up the 30 day shred (again) or going for a light jog. The arrival of a few items from Sports Shoes a couple of weeks ago has helped to encourage me further into this field of a healthier lifestyle. I'm not perfect when it comes to my health, believe me when I say this that I eat a lot of crap and I'm more than aware of it therefore I really do want to make a positive change to my lifestyle as well as within the food I eat. I know that I will have to begin with baby steps because I'm not physically very fit at all however we all have to start somewhere right?

Since receiving a few new items courtesy of Sports Shoes I have to say I honestly have felt far more motivated to improve my fitness. Before I had being wearing some pretty old things that I had felt a little embarrassed to be wearing, I'm talking here about very old battered trainers at least ten years old as well as a pair of leggings with a hole in! I could have changed this of course however I didn't, for whatever reason my motivation was not there for me to make that simple and easy change. Since I have recently had the opportunity to try out a few new items I've definitely had more enthusiasm. Was it a lack of confidence before? Was I feeling a little ashamed to be seen out and about in my old things? Perhaps although I also feel that it was because what I wore didn't really symbolise fitness to me, I didn't associate my clothing with fitness as the hoodie I would wear to go out jogging would be one I would wear around the house (not on the same day of course). It's a bit like the idea where you shouldn't sit and work on your bed, because if you do you then associate it as a place of work and not a place of relaxation etc; I did a lot of this at university so I do believe in analogy. I sure hope that makes sense and that some of you have heard of that before or else I will feel a right numpty.

I've been really quite shocked to see how a few simple changes such as different clothing to wear has made a difference, a difference that I wasn't quite prepared for. Having decent running shoes such as the Nike Dual Fusion Run 2* has been a revelation for me as for the first time in my life my feet no longer hurt when I jog. I've decent support for my feet now too which really does make a world of difference! This has been quite the experience for me, especially for a girl who practically lives in Converse.

Often I have worn a hoodie for a light jog, not just to keep warm but to also use as some sort of comfort blanket to keep me covered up; again it's a confidence issue. However it's not such a bad idea as initially going for a run in the early hours of the morning can be quite chilly therefore you need something warm however you don't want it to be too heavy as you tend to warm up quite quickly. The Nike Racer Women's Long Sleeve Running Top* has been super handy to have as it's long sleeve so takes the brunt of the chill off but also let's your skin breathe as your body temperature increases. I've since replaced my hoodie with this and I have to say the experience has been so much better; it's so incredibly light and allows me to move with much more freedom. The same also applies to the Nike Racer Short Sleeve* from the same range however I'd be more inclined to wear that on a summer evening. 

If you want to start a bid to get more fit then I really do think it is worthwhile picking up a few new things to kick start your routine. You don't have to spend expensive at all, I really wish I had decided to buy a couple of new things long ago as clearly it may just have been the encouragement that I needed.

I'd just like to acknowledge that these items of clothing were very kindly sent to me to review in order to see whether being fashionably fit helps to spur you on with exercise or if comfort over looks is something you prefer. Personally for me I think in the end it boiled down to a bit of both, of course comfort is a priority when it comes to exercise however it surely cannot hurt to have a bit of a confidence boost if you're wearing something nice; I know I certainly felt nicer in myself. If by doing so it gets us all out and about a bit more and living a healthier lifestyle then I'm all for it.

I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on this one, please do let me know what you think.

*PR Samples.


14 May 2014

Pandora - My Ring My Style

Image Source: Pandora

It'll come to no surprise to those who frequent this blog to find out that I'm extremely excited to share with you the latest competition being held by Pandora. This is one of the most unique and fresh jewellery brands around that produces beautiful jewellery for women of all ages. From intricate necklaces, statement rings and to the classic charm bracelets which stores beautiful memories there really is something for everyone.

Stacking rings are at the moment one of the most popular ways to wear rings, this has been seen across many celebrities over the last few months however it is most certainly not a new trend. Personally I adore this look and find it so incredibly inspiring; I think it really adds a bohemian feel to an outfit which is something I wish I could pull off on a daily basis. There really is just something so elegant and feminine about the whole look, it's interesting and visually will always attract my attention.

This type of look can be created in so many different ways as you can easily mix larger statement rings with smaller delicate ones, or if you fancy you can wear lots of little ones that provide a combination of colour. My personal favourite would be to simply use lots of small silver rings however the large silver flower one above may just win me over as it is beautiful, plus the beauty blogger in me cannot fail to notice that wonderful nail art. I cannot lie I have used the Pandora site to create my own bracelet a number of times in the past and will be checking out the online tool rather swiftly to make my own ring combination too! The choice really is up to you which is why I think this look really does make it rather unique and individual to you.

Of course I had mentioned a competition here so all you have to do to enter to stand the chance of winning one of three wonderful prizes is to tweet @PANDORA_UK a photograph of your Pandora rings (the image has to feature at least one Pandora ring) against a cool background. Be sure to use the hashtag #MyRingsMyStyle and ensure that you're following the Pandora UK Twitter account to make sure you are entered correctly. Running until the 19th May you have a few more days to get your entries in so go grab your camera and get shooting!

This post was sponsored by Pandora. All words and opinions are my own.


13 May 2014

Body Care Treats

When it comes down to moisturising my body I have to admit that it is something that I fall down on quite often. I'm one of those people that likes to get ready as quick as possible after a bath or shower and therefore has no time to wait for body lotions or body butters to sink in. At the start of the year I decided that this had to stop, I needed to start taking better care of my skin even if it wasn't on show (like my face) I still had to look after myself.

In general when I look at my general body care routine I've always been one to exfoliate as this is something that is quite easily carried out in the bath or shower yet the second part of the process is something I have struggled with, which in all honesty has been down to sheer impatience. So to tackle my issue I decided to knuckle down and start looking after myself; 'my body is a temple' and all that. 

First of all I have over the last few months being using a dry brush technique. This supposedly helps to get circulation going within the skin which in turn can help in reducing the appearance of cellulite, whether it works or not I don't know as to be honest I can't say that I have seen a huge difference in that area. Of course it doesn't take a genius to know that dry brushing will help remove dead skin cells leaving brighter and smoother skin, as well as this it also helps with in grown hairs which can be quite annoying! The brush I use is from the Boots Botanics range and isn't very expensive to buy at all however unlike me I advise not getting it wet because I had to unfortunately replace mine due to the wood turning a very suspicious colour.

Whilst in the bath or shower I like using an exfoliating scrub, there's just something really nice about them. which makes me feel like I'm doing something proactive for my skin. My all-time favourite has to be Soap and Glory 'The Breakfast Scrub' however my current option is again from Boots with this being the Cocoa Butter Sugar Scrub from the Extracts range, which in my opinion is lovely and deserves more attention than it gets. This brand appears to be being revamped at the moment as a lot of the products were reduced down in my local store, the new images online would also suggest this. Generally speaking I tend to not dry brush and then go ahead and use a scrub too, I find that can be a little harsh on my skin so I very often find myself alternating between the two.

For moisturising I have being using two products with my current choice depending on my mood at the time. The SPAtopia Body Butter is incredibly moisturising so this is the product I tend to choose when my skin is quite dry; I mentioned this back in my September Favourites last year. For occasions when I'm feeling a little more adventurous (readers of my blog will know I'm generally not a fan of lotions) I will opt for the Soap and Glory Butter Yourself Lotion which I'm going to surprise even myself today by saying that I'm really enjoying it so far. It's a nice light and hydrating body lotion that smells so good, let's face it, most things do by this brand.

What are your body care treats?


11 May 2014

Nail Care 101

When it comes to having nice nails I have to hold my hands up and admit that I'm a complete and utter failure in this department. Years and years of biting my nails have left me with really brittle and weak nails that take forever to grow. Every new year my resolution will be to stop biting my nails which these days I must admit I do tend to do quite well with up until I hit a high period of stress and worry which for me seems to be all the time recently. 

At the moment I'm once again trying to grow my nails to a passable length so that I can keep wearing pretty nail polishes. In order to do this I have being using on occasion the Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover which is a gel like texture that helps to dissolve any over grown cuticles. I also use cuticle sticks to gently push back my cuticles always ensuring that I have soaked them before hand so that they are nice and soft. Pushing back hard cuticles can be a little bit scary as there is a tendency to slip, this will make your cuticles quite sore and rather red so it is best to prepare them before hand. Any excess cuticles can simply be removed with a cuticle timmer as shown above however in all honesty I rarely need to use mine.

The most recent addition to my nail care routine has been the Dr LeWinns Renunail Sensitive Nail Strengthener* which is a little bit like OPI Nail Envy only cheaper whereby you apply it for four days and then remove it and repeat for a total of three treatments. So far I've noticed that my nails do seem stronger since I started using this so it has become a most welcome addition into my nail care routine. Application is nice and smooth with the overall finish being really quite natural as it is nude in shade.

Once I have painted my nails with my chosen shade of choice Barry M Grapefruit I then pop on a bit of the Nailtiques Cuticle and Skin Gel* which has become my favourite product of this type to date. In the past I've used similar products however they have always been a little too greasy taking a long time to sink in however the Natiltiques Cuticle Gel has been a pure pleasure to use. Sinking in quickly and being so smooth in texture this product has helped to improve the appearance of my cuticles which were looking so neglected. The gel also helps to repair broken skin which is something that comes in handy as I'm always scuffing my hands and nails at work.

Other than these simple actions I do believe that growing your nails really is down to will power alone if you're a nail biter. I have over time tried so many things, this time it is down to me.

What do you use to look after your nails? Nail growth tips are most welcome!

*PR Samples.


9 May 2014

Facial Cleansers

As much as I have an incredible amount of love for pretty eye shadow, luscious lipstick and the effect of my favourite mascara there is no denying that at the end of the day all I want to do is take it all off. Cleansing and removing all of the days make up along with the various pollutants from outside has to be one of my favourite things to do of an evening; it's feels so good to have a nice clean face ready for my evening moisturiser.

Of course cleansing isn't just part of my evening routine, I do this twice a day once in the morning and once when I'm home from work in the late afternoon or evening. Due to these different times of day I do tend to favour certain cleansers as in the morning I would tend to go for something light such as the Super Facialist Tea Flower Deep Clean Purifying Cleansing Wash which is like a gel cleanser. This is quite refreshing and helps to wake me up, not just my skin. About twice a week I will use the REN ClearCalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser* which is a truly beautiful product to work with. Again this leaves my skin feeling really refreshed and clean without any stripping affect which so often clay based products can result in; read my more in depth review here.

Come the evening I tend to go for something richer and heavier when it comes to cleansing because I want to remove all of my make up. To ensure that I do this as well as I can I do double cleanse, this is something that I'd recommend to everybody if you wear make up as I've found that it made quite the difference to my skin when I started. Initially I do tend to use a micellar water in order to remove any make up on my eyes, I've a thing about putting cream around my eyes and naturally do prefer a water based product in that area. Once my eye make up has been removed I then opt for a cleansing balm such as the Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm* which is an all-time favourite of mine. Offering moisture and gentle exfoliation due to very small and soft oat particles it has to be the best balm cleanser that I have tried to date. I encourage you to delve back into the archives to read a more in depth review here. A cheaper alternative to this would be the Botanics Cleansing Balm which I'll admit I don't like as much however it does do the job relatively well. 

The second part of my double cleanse generally involves a cream cleanser which I use to fully ensure that my balm cleanser has been removed properly as well as any lingering make up. At the moment I'm currently trialling out the Bee Good Honey and Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser* which is far working really well for me. It's a really light cream cleanser which is ideal for using after a heavier balm, I can already see this becoming a firm favourite over the next few weeks.

Skincare happens to be something I'm growing ever more passionate about and is something that I generally enjoy using. If you've tried out something new recently or have discovered an old favourite then I would absolutely love to hear about it.

*PR Samples.


7 May 2014

What's In My Bag?

I'm not quite sure why it has taken me just over two years to publish one of the most popular types of blog posts/YouTube videos out there. I guess when I think about it what I carry around with me on a daily basis is to me actually pretty boring, I feel as though nothing is particularly special or really worth addressing however I know we're somewhat a nosy bunch us bloggers therefore I trusted that someone out there may find this a little bit interesting.

First of all my bag is the Zara Mini City Bag in navy which I hunted down last year. It's a really smart bag that is just the right size for me for going to work (for the moment) however you will struggle to get a bottle of water in this which still to this day irritates me. It also has two side compartments which you're not able to secure properly as there is no zip. Originally I didn't think that this would bother me however it does, it's the sole reason as to why I don't use it when I go off to town as sneaky hands could easily get into it. There are some good things about this bag though as for the price I think you get a really well made bag, the quality is really good. It's nice and sturdy and overall is well presented; I think it looks really smart and sophisticated. For a little while I had been considering the larger offering from the City Bag range however after seeing it just a few days ago in store I decided that it was far too big; reading this post from Sophie only confirmed that to me just a few days later.

For a relatively small bag it does however hold quite a few things which is commendable. Starting off I have just a few necessities lying around in there such as my small umbrella, keys, tissues, inhaler and a simple black pen. Considering I have a pen it's a little odd that I'm found to be lacking a little notepad, I did have one however it seems to have been misplaced. 

Other items include my hand sanitiser from Carex, a simple cheap body spray from Charlie which takes me back to my teenage years whenever I spray it as well as my small handbag sized hair brush which comes in super handy after walking to work. My purse as you may have noticed is looking well past its sell by date, however considering it is verging on six years old it has served me pretty well indeed. Obligatory Boots vouchers can often be found lying around in my bag although whether they are in date or not is often another story. 

In terms of make up products considering I write about beauty on a regular basis I do tend to not carry much around with me. Whilst at work I don't really have time to be touching up my make up so generally I tend to have just a couple of products in my bag. My current choices at the moment consist of lip balms from the Maybelline Baby Lips range, a lipstick called 'Tempting Lilac' by L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick and the 17 Stay Time Concealer.

So all that remains is to ask you one vital question. What's in your bag?


6 May 2014

Essie Mama Knows Best Duo

My experiences in the past with Essie Nail Polishes have generally been a bit hit and miss. On a number of occasions I have had small thin brushes with an extremely poor streaky finish to large brushes with an opaque covering in just one application; the consistency has been quite poor which has left me rather reserved over the brand as a whole. At the moment I do tend to find myself looking for numerous reviews on nail polishes from the brand before I think about buying one as when each nail polish costs £8 or more a pop it's certainly a purchase you don't want to get wrong.

Going completely against my ethos a few weeks ago I purchased on a complete whim the Essie Mama Knows Best Duo that was reduced down in my local Boots store to just £6. This was a release for Mother's Day earlier on this year and includes Peach Daquiri and Lilcasim which happened to be one of the shades that I had being thinking about purchasing for a while.

These are both very pretty colours that are quite perfect for spring and summer with each of them offering a beautiful finish on the nails. The above image has been photographed with just one application of each shade so you can see what the coverage is like. In regards to wear time I've managed to get about three days out of each of these before I noticed any chipping that bothered me enough to remove it. Tip wear of course will always be a factor but even this was down to the minimum for me. Overall I'm super impressed with my latest Essie polishes, especially considering that they only cost me £3 each. Since my latest experience I'm a bit more inclined to trying a few more from the range now however I do think I'll try to hold off for the autumn collections as like always I bet they will be lovely.

I know my local Boots has had quite a few reduced items as of late, Essie polishes in particular so it's worth having a look at the clearance stands just in case.

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