29 January 2015

Latest In Beauty - Get The Gloss Beauty Insider's Kit

Latest In Beauty Get The Gloss Latest In Beauty Get The Gloss Beauty Insider Kit Latest In Beauty Get The Gloss Beauty Insider's Kit

Beauty boxes and me have had a very rocky relationship, I'm not one for surprises so I guess the whole concept of a surprise beauty box each month was always doomed to fail where I'm personally concerned. Having said that there are a few beauty boxes floating around which allow you see what's inside them before you purchase them which in my opinion is a much better concept as this helps to remove a lot of disappointment. 

Just last week I was kindly offered the chance to try out the new Latest in Beauty Box which is currently in collaboration with Get the Gloss. Over the time in which I have been aware of Latest in Beauty I have always admired the boxes that they have put together, they've always seemed extremely well thought out and presented; the latest edition is of course no exception. The Latest in Beauty Beauty Insider's Kit* features nine different brands which will kick start you into 2015. From Essie, Glamglow, Shiseido and Laura Mercier there are a number of brands that I recognised as well as a few new ones that I was introduced to.

Starting off with skincare there is a nice little selection of products here, firstly the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (30ml) is a serum from what I understand which helps to protect the skin from day to day damage and signs of ageing. I must admit it's a new one to me but I'm really looking forward to giving it a try. Next up there is the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil (10ml) which I have tried before and really liked, this is a really nice and hydrating product that I like to use before bed in order to give my skin some TLC when it's suffering from dehydration. Another new brand to me was the Therapie Roques Oneil Cherish Skin Repair Serum (30ml) which I have to say smells incredible; again this is a serum which helps to protect the skin against environmental pollution. As well as this it also aims to boost micro circulation in the skin, so if it works just as good as it smells then I think we will be onto a winner. One of the products I was looking forward to trying the most was the Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment (10g) which I had read countless things about. I've already tried this as I just couldn't wait any longer and can confirm that it is without a shadow of a doubt the best clay mask that I have ever tried; I have never seen my t-zone look as clear as it has. Yes it is expensive but I'm seriously considering picking this up in a few month's time.

Moving onto make up products and tools there are a few nice treats to be found within this box. Starting off with the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer (30ml) I'd say that the inclusion of this inside the box is one of my favourite aspects alongside Glamglow. This is a primer that I actually have myself and it is one that I have used for the last six months; I think it's the best one that I have tried yet so it's nice to see this included. It's also worth noting that I have used mine a lot and have exactly the same size as this and it is still going strong therefore I think that this is a pretty generous size. There are also two mini Essie (5ml) nail polishes included, Shearling Darling is a deep wine shade which is a great choice for this time of year and Parka Perfect is a grey toned with shimmer inside. For the eyes there is an Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eye Liner (2g) which again is something I have tried in the past, it's a good little liner in my experience although I wish it didn't dry up as quickly as it does; having said that it's nice to have a backup as my current one is starting to dry up a little now. The James Read Sleep Mask Tan (25ml) is a product that is brand new to me and if I'm honest is one that I probably won't use, I'm not a big fake tanner anyway let alone for my face so I'll probably pass this onto a friend. Finally there is the Daniel Sandler Concealer Brush (full size) which I have to say is super light and pretty small too, I'm looking forward to trying this out tomorrow morning before I head off to university.

There is also a little leaflet with various discounts and offers on the brand websites that have been featured within this collaboration, I'm currently eyeing up the Glamglow one that's for sure!

Overall I'm really impressed by this box as every product barring one item is one that I would use and in some cases I have already purchased myself. The contents together are worth a total of £116 however it can be yours for just £19.95 plus p&p. I think this will be really popular as there are some really great products within this collaboration, if only all beauty boxes could be this good!

27 January 2015

Things I've Learnt About Blogging

Things I've Learnt About Blogging

My little space here will be three years old in March, where whilst looking back across my archives I realise I have never really written down in any great detail the various things that I have learnt about blogging over this period of time. From initially setting out to just write about mascara I was incredibly oblivious to this online community and the wonderful people within it. I have to say that when I sat down to plan this post I thought of a lot more things than I expected to so I'll try to keep it short and snappy but still informative.

It's not a race | The blogging world is growing at a rather rapid rate where is so different now to how it used to be back when I started almost three years ago. It's extremely fast paced in my opinion and it is incredibly easy to get caught up within it. Blogging is not a competition, we're all out doing our own thing and hopefully are enjoying what we do, if you're not you need to look into as to why that is. It's important to keep at your own pace so that first and foremost you don't lose your voice, your enjoyment and your passion for your blog. 

A DSLR isn't necessary | Of course I feel a little bit of a hypocrite considering my picture above has a DSLR in it, however I've seen plenty of bloggers who have used their phones for pictures before investing in a DSLR, in fact I used my phone to take the picture above. From my experience it's not how you take the photograph (although that sure does help) it is how you edit afterwards.

You don't need Photoshop | Now this is one that may raise a few opinions as I know Photoshop is a programme that a lot of people use and spend a lot of money on, however I don't own Photoshop and have never once used it for any of my pictures. Recently I have been extremely blessed in that I've receive such lovely comments from people who read my blog in regards to my photography, so I think it's high time I put together a few tips on what I use to edit my photographs. Whilst I don't think it is a necessary programme to have, I do think that it would be an amazing one to use. I hope to one day to purchase it however that is a long way off as it isn't something that I'm in a rush to do.

Drama | Don't get involved.

Hype | When I first started blogging I fell for the hype, I fell hard and found myself spending so much money. Trust me when I say that it's not worth it, hold fire and wait a few weeks, read around the product properly and then decide; don't just take someone's word for it.

I love it | I never thought three years ago that I would enjoy doing something so much. I've learnt that I love writing about make up and skincare and all the random other things that occasionally crop up on here. Editing photographs is also something that I really enjoy along with staging props etc, quite simply I really enjoy being creative.

Learning new skills | Before I started my blog I knew nothing about photography, I knew nothing about HTML and I knew nothing about the powers of social media and how marketing, branding and SEO worked, although that last one still confuses me quite a lot.

Communication | Looking back over the time I have being reading blogs and writing my own, I would say that this is the one area in which I feel as though I can give myself a pat on the back, although lately I have been incredibly busy so it's something that I'm trying to get back into the swing of. Comments go along way with fellow bloggers, in fact any form of interaction goes a long way and it is something that I feel quite strongly about. If you enjoy reading a blog let them know, if you loved that post they wrote last Thursday and it helped inspire you to do something, let them know; it will make their day!

Rewarding | Over the last three years I have developed and learnt new skills, I've also made friendships with some lovely people and I have had some really wonderful opportunities. Yet above all else I think I've gained confidence which honestly feels great to say as I've always been an incredibly shy person. Starting up my blog has been one of the best things I have done, it's nice to finally be able to fill out the dreaded 'hobby' box and write something down that isn't something pulled out of thin air.

Don't fret | If you run out of ideas or don't have time to blog then don't worry, take a break as I can assure you the ideas will come back to you. I used to worry all of the time that I hadn't posted in two days and even now I still do on occasion, however I've learnt that it just isn't worth it. It takes the fun out of it completely for me when I'm worrying about publishing content regularly so when I feel myself slipping into those old habits I just sit back, turn off my PC and do something else.

Quality over quantity | This next point links in well with the previous as I personally think that if you're constantly publishing content without much thought or consideration behind it, then ultimately you're doing yourself an injustice. Take time to plan your post and do your research properly, read back over previous posts and reply to your comments if you can. Personally for me I believe that quality stems not just from your published content but from the time and effort you take to communicate back to people. Replying to comments, tweets and emails helps build up a relationship between you and your readers over time. This is incredibly valuable and important to me, where from a reader perspective (I read A LOT of blogs myself); I know that I truly appreciate it when somebody replies to my comments whether it's on twitter or on their blog. Receiving a response from somebody when I've shown an interest in their content doesn't go unnoticed, not just by me but from other readers too I should imagine.

Be professional (within reason) | Now I wasn't quite sure what to call this point hence the bit in brackets. I can be a fine one to talk as when it comes to my blog I try to be as professional as possible because that's ultimately how I believe you should be, particularly if you're in the position where you work with brands. I'm honesty a big believer in the notion that 'first impressions count', they will stick so try and make them positive. Writing this particular section I immediately thought of twitter, as in all honesty some of the things I see on there shock me! However, on the other hand I think you can be too professional as people still want to see the human behind the blog and that's a good thing. I always like to remember that I'm just one little fish in a very big pond (this is the analogy of where my blog name comes from) and even now after three years it's still something I believe.

Spell Check | Oh the irony! I can spell check my work until the cows come home, yet two days later when re-reading over a post I can still spot errors I have made. I'm not perfect and I'll no doubt always make errors here and there yet by spending a minute or two checking for errors it can really help to make a difference to your content. In fact I have one more tip that I will squeeze into this section which is to read your work out loud. You may feel a little silly, yet I think it is extremely helpful in that it can help you to identify any sentences that perhaps don't make sense so that you're able to correct them accordingly.

Finally I'd like to add that singing along to Ed Sheeran doesn't always work when trying to write a blog post, however most of the time it does.

26 January 2015

Shu Uemura Metallic Bouquet Collection

Shu Uemura Make Up Shu Uemura Metallic Bouquet Shu Uemura Metallic Bouquet Shu Uemura Metallic Bouquet Shu Uemura Beauty Event

Last Thursday I popped along to Selfridges with a few fellow bloggers in order to check out the new Metallic Bouquet collection that has recently been launched from Shu Uemura. Having never tried anything from Shu Uemura before this event I found myself excited to learn more about the brand and to see what they had available. Up until then I had only ever heard about the eye lash curlers which have seemed to have won the hearts of some of my favourite bloggers, therefore before I had even got there I knew that I was going to pick them up at the event. I booked my place to attend this event after seeing it advertised on Instagram, whereby it was a simple invitation to have a look at the brand new collection after it had just launched therefore it's worth keeping an eye out to see what events are occurring at your local counters.

The recent launch of the 2015 Spring and Summer Metallic Bouquet collection sees bursts of colour from reds, greens, yellows and pinks, all of which are inspired by the twinkling bright fireworks of Tokyo nights. The collection boasts ten Metal Ink Me liquid eye liners, four of which can be used to define and six that are much more daring and playful.  I have to say after trying these for myself I thought they were absolutely beautiful, the pigmentation was incredible and they did not budge one little bit until I physically removed them with make up remover. The lovely Natasha is sporting the yellow liner there as you can see, I think she looked gorgeous! I like how these liners allow you to be able to play with a bit of colour without being over the top or too much out of your comfort zone.

Alongside the liquid liners there are also four Triple Me Pressed Eye Shadows which are all equally beautiful and can be used to create a playful metallic look. Whilst I admit they're not the types of shades I would wear on a day to day basis they are something I'd be tempted to consider for a party or even for a day when I'm feeling a little more experimental with colour. They were incredibly easy to blend and they left such a beautiful shimmer to the eye, in fact I'm actually regretting not purchasing one of these now purely because of how nice they were. From my pictures left to right you have Silver Viola, Platiunum Plumeria and White Gold Daisy, there is also Copper Dahlia which I seem to have forgotten to photograph, oops!

Onto lips there are five Rouge Unlimited Lipsticks which are limited edition shades. Cosmic Pink, Poppy Orange and Iris Mauve I would argue are the more pigmented out of the five shades, whereas Marigold Shimmer and Sakura Shimmer are,as the name suggests much sheerer and add a subtle hint of shimmer to the lips; these last two complement the metallic liners really well. I actually did come away with Iris Mauve as that particular shade really caught my eye whilst I was there, it's a really soft mauve tone with a pink undertone and comes in pretty awesome clear packaging.

My first insight into Shu Uemura has been fantastic as it really does seem to be a fun brand and one that keeps on coming with unique and interesting collaborations. The upcoming Yaz Bukey collaboration sounds like it will be fantastic so I'm really looking forward to seeing that once it is released in March. Before I round up this post I'd like to say a big thank you for the lovely ladies at Shu Uemura Birmingham who had us over for the event, it was a really lovely evening


24 January 2015

La Roche-Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti Blemish System

La Roche Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System

When it comes to my enjoyment of make up there is really only one thing that can ruin it and that's neglected skin. We all know that there's no point in spending our money on make up, no matter whether it is high street or luxury if we're not looking after our skin. Our skin is the blank canvas for our make up whereby if your skin is looked after to the best of your ability it makes the whole process of applying make up so much easier.

Now by no means do I have perfect skin, in fact quite the contrary as recently after a rather long sugar induced coma from Christmas my skin took quite the nose dive. That was however quite the blip on the radar as up until then I would have to say that things were going pretty well. Upon evaluation over the last few months I would have to say that the La Roche Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System* has helped to play a role within that, although as you will read it hasn't been completely plain sailing.

La Roche-Posay is one of my favourite skincare brands to date, I'm a huge fan of Effaclar Duo + and have already alluded to how much I like their Anthelios XL Ultra-Light SPF for my face. Back in the beginning of November I started using the La Roche Posay Effaclar 3-Step Anti-Blemish System twice a day morning and night and feel that now almost three months on that I can share with you my thoughts on it.

The three step system is based around a cleanser, toner and moisturiser which as a routine aims to help those who suffer from oily and blemish prone skin to achieve clearer skin over time. My skin I would say definitely falls into this category albeit it having issues of dehydration, particularly around my eyes which I haven't managed to combat completely. 

Step 1: This involves the Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gelwhich is unscented and is as the name suggests a gel that gently foams up on the skin. You can use this to take off your make up if you wish but I personally would refrain from that and would use this as your second cleanse as I don't think it removed my make up particularly well. Now I have to say that I have steered clear of foaming cleansers for over a year now and after using this I do find that I still stand by my reasons for doing so. I wanted to like this and at first I did however over the time period in which I used this I do think that this is the product which caused me my main issue: dehydration.

Step 2: The second step involves using the Effaclar Clarifying Tonerwhich I do believe is only available within this three step set. The purpose of this product is to help to reduce the appearance of pores, refine skin texture and to also help mattify the skin. Overall I liked this product as I think it certainly achieved some of its claims, particularly the mattifying aspect which is something that I noticed as soon as I applied it. Along with this I also believe that it helped to refine skin texture as my skin really did feel silky soft after using it.

Step 3: For the final step we have my favourite product which is Effaclar Duo +* , this for me is the star product of the whole system. This is a product that I think is sometimes stressed as an all over moisturiser however that's not how I like to use it, in doing so I find that it can be too much for my skin. Personally I like to use this on areas that I'm having trouble with such as my jaw line and forehead on occasion; for the rest of my face I simply opt for another product entirely. This has been a product that I have purchased myself in the past and will be one I repurchase again, I think it is brilliant at helping to reduce break outs in itself whereby this does make me question whether a system such as this is needed; although that is however just my personal opinion and experience after trialling this.

Over the time period in using this I noticed a couple of things. Firstly my skin did become clearer which is a positive as I noticed that break outs were reduced overall, and yet even when they did arise they were quickly diverted. On the other hand I also noticed that whilst my skin was clearer it was also a lot drier, my skin was visibly suffering as I think the system was just too much for it. A combination of products all aimed at tackling oil production had left my skin feeling quite stripped. I noticed this within three weeks of using it and decided to cut the whole thing down to just once a day, although I'm still convinced that it was just a little too much. The concept of this is great and whilst I really liked two of the products I can't help feel as though the foaming cleanser was a bit of a hindrance to me.

I'd like to quickly add that I'm aware that people can suffer with extremely oily skin in comparison to my own so this may work much better for them as a whole system than it did for me.


23 January 2015

Walking down the Avenue

Avenue 32 Wish List
There's nothing quite like having a good old browse online for some clothing inspiration, especially after having a mooch through your wardrobe and realising that you no longer feel like what your have fits your style any more. For the last few months I have being clearing out quite a lot from my wardrobe due to this factor and have slowly but surely started looking around for more classic items of clothing.

Working in collaboration with Avenue 32 I've pulled together a few of my favourite things from their website which I have to say is bursting with an array of talented designers, some that I recognise and some that I don't. Whilst these items are all on the more extravagant side in terms of price I can't help buy still have a look, a girl can dream right?

The BLK DNM Skinny Black Jeans instantly stood out to me. I'm forever hunting down the perfect pair of black jeans as they seem like the hardest type to get right from my experience so far.

After having a little browse of J W Anderson I came across the White Side Knot Cropped Shirt which reminded me of something from the likes of Greece. I think this type of shirt is utterly beautiful and so incredibly feminine; it will look perfect in the summer time with some light denim jeans.

The Paul Andrew Civic Sandals are for me classic yet still elegant and could easily be worn for a number of occasions. You can beat a black heel no matter what time of year so one day I know I will probably invest in a really nice pair.

Charlie Brear is a brand that I hadn't heard of before where even though the collection so far on Avenue 32 is quite humble I really do find myself wanting to keep an eye on this brand in particular. It's incredibly beautiful and sophisticated yet simplistic at the same time. The Black Tuxedo Jacket is really nice and has reminded me just how much I really want something like this within my own wardrobe.

The brand Shrimps x Poplin looks incredibly sweet what with this shrimps print kimono actually having tiny little shrimps printed all over it in the shape of hearts; it's just too much for me to handle. I'll admit that this really caught my eye as the soft design and light material are exactly the type of thing I look for when it comes to nightwear, particularly as we start to head into warmer nights (that seems rather wishful thinking at the moment).

Finally quite possibly the sweetest pair of earrings I have seen in a while belongs to the brand Aamaya by Priyanka who have created the Rose Gold Pearl Bunny Earrings; I'm secretly hoping for a rose gold stud at the back to resemble the short fluffy tail.

Once again I've somehow managed to go all out monochrome, this seems to be a bit of a habit of mine in the last few years although I can't see it going anywhere soon, it's instilled within me I think. This post has been sponsored by Avenue 32 although all opinions and the self proclaimed love for shrimps are my own.

*Sponsored Post

21 January 2015

Budget Beauty Hero's

Budget Beauty Hero's

There's no denying that when it comes to make up I have quite a profound interest, from budget beauty to more luxurious treats I'm more than willing to give anything a try. Across the period in which I have being writing about beauty (three years this March) I have featured a wide range of products which have varied in price, availability and brand however I did notice that towards the end of last year I felt as though I was focusing a little too much on the expensive stuff. For me this has to stop, I love high end brands and I always will however I'm more than aware that there are some serious gems out there to be found on the shelves of Boots and Superdrug.

That's not to say I won't be featuring luxury brands on here as I most certainly will however all I want to do is gain back that balance. Therefore today I'm starting off strong by sharing with you some of my favourite budget beauty hero's. All of these products here are under £10 which for me is my ball park figure in whether I regard something as budget friendly or not, anything more and I'm heading towards more high end; I'm strict guys, I'm strict.

My affair with the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters is still going strong although I do admit I've side-lined the ones with the shimmer inside for the plain normal versions. Juicy Papaya and Strawberry Shortcake are still my favourites where they are some of my favourite shades to wear in the spring and summer. Staying with lip products I absolutely love using the L'Oreal Rouge Caresse Lipstick in the shade Tempting Lilac, these lipsticks are relatively hydrating, nicely packaged and provide a really nice finish and hint of colour. Sadly from looking online I do fear that these may have had the chop as they now seem only available on the likes of Amazon and eBay.

Blush is probably one of my favourite products to apply as it can really add that extra something into a look. From a natural flush to the cheeks to a brighter pop of colour in the summer I tend to try all types depending on what eye make up and lip colour I'm wearing. The powder Sleek blushes are super popular and it's not hard to see why, they're affordable, easy to find and pretty darn pigmented therefore it's hard to find anything to really criticise about these. Cream blushes are probably my favourite formula I would say although I'm generally a fan of both. The NYX Rouge Cream Blush in the shade natural has been the only blush that I have worn this month; it's easy to blend and adds a beautiful dewy finish to my cheeks that I find lasts pretty well throughout the day.

Only today I was talking about nail polish with a fellow blogger where I confessed that I have one too many! My collection primarily consists of a million and one Barry M polishes because they're quite simply great in my opinion. They're as cheap as chips, there is a huge array of shades and finishes available and they are once again very easy to find in the UK (I know that these are hard to find abroad).

Rounding up with base products I have the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation which is probably one of my favourite high street foundations to date, if not my favourite. It's a great base that is light to medium coverage, it doesn't feel heavy and it matches my skin tone really well. The only two issues I do have with this is the distinct lack of pump (it's a pain in the backside) and the fact that it can highlight dry skin which is something I cannot stand. I'm willing to overlook that last issue as when my skin is fine it is a fantastic foundation to wear. 

My last two products are concealers whereby the first is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Concealer which helps to brighten areas. I use this underneath my eyes and on the very top of my cheek bone as I think it does a really great job at making this area much brighter. I wouldn't say that it is the best concealer in the world, having said that I have repurchased this before so I clearly get on with this very well. Another repurchase is the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer which is my go to under eye concealer. I really like this and find that it works very well for helping to mask dark circles without creasing up into any fine lines. It isn't a miracle worker by any stretch of the imagination but I'm relatively happy with it.

What are your Budget Beauty Hero's?


19 January 2015

Gone Walkabout - Getting Outdoors

The North Face Quest Waterproof Jacket Foggy Winter Morning The North Face Quest Waterproof Jacket Winter Morning The North Face Quest Waterproof Jacket

Whilst I've always been a person who enjoys going for walks and exploring the woods I have this year made a promise to get out and enjoy them even more. My love for the woodlands and wildlife within them I would hope is no secret to those that read my blog and to those that know me in person. Whilst on my degree I took part in a field trip which included going to the Isle of Rum, the Cairngorms and Inverness all are places within Scotland which I would highly recommend visiting. 

Of course a bit closer to home I really like visiting my local AONB as it really is quite a magical place, especially on a winter morning when the fog is rolling down the hills and you can just make out people walking their dogs in the distance. Today me and my mum went for a morning walk and had a lovely time, despite it being absolutely freezing! Me being me I rather stupidly forgot my gloves so I had to suffer whilst taking these scenic shots, they were worth it though in my opinion.

Sporting my new The North Face Quest Waterproof Jacket* I was wrapped up nice and warm whereby I have to say I was very surprised at just how warm I was. The jacket in itself is pretty light and doesn't feel too heavy to wear at all which makes it perfect for wearing outdoors. Being outdoors in the typical British weather I find that it can change quickly ranging from being quite cold to relatively mild; the winters here have been all over the place in the last few years. Usually for this type of jacket I would have chosen something darker such as black or navy however I was really feeling a lighter colour this year. I think the white is much more feminine and one should hope that it would make me much more visible should I have the misfortune of falling down a ditch somewhere!

Luckily it didn't rain today although we did have some flurries of snow which really added to that magical feel, albeit for only five minutes. The Quest Jacket is waterproof so that's super handy as nobody likes getting soggy whilst out and as I've already alluded to is extremely breathable and lightweight due to the hyvent fabric. I opted up a size in this as I like my jackets generally a bit bigger so I can squeeze a hoodie or something similar on underneath without feeling too constricted. If you're somebody who is quite active and likes being outside in all types of weather conditions it's extremely important to have the correct type of clothing, particularly in the cold weather. Don't forget your gloves like me and if you're out for a long period of time it may be worth having a hat too!

Being outside for a few hours or even longer can be so incredibly relaxing, even if it is cold as it gives me chance to chill out and more importantly have some fresh air. For me there is something incredibly exhilarating and refreshing about being outside surrounded by nature; it's so inspiring and therapeutic at the same time whereby I'm left feeling really positive and rejuvenated afterwards. 

The North Face clothing and accessories can be found over on the Blacks website where there is currently a sale still being held. Blacks have all types of clothing ranging from fitness to hiking so they really do suit a variety of interests and hobbies. Incidentally it is the store that I visited to kit myself out before my Scotland trip back in 2012. I purchased lots of warm clothing as we were told it would be cold and when we got there we all got sun burn as it was so hot and sunny. You see I told you the weather in the UK is a little bit unpredictable!


14 January 2015

Skincare Spotlight || Bee Good

Bee Good Skincare
Every now and then there comes along a brand that makes me feel good about using it. Bee Good is a nice natural brand that now has a lovely little collection of skincare products that over the last few months I have had the pleasure of trying out. The brand not only produces great skincare they also help to protect and educate people about our extremely important honey bees of which if you follow my blog you will know that I have a huge soft spot for bees, particularly the big fat bumble bees you see in the spring and summer.

In the last six months I have being trying out a few things from Bee Good whereby I now feel as though I can give you my general overall thoughts on the brand so far. In the past I have published a few product reviews however I thought it would be nice to pop everything into one post in order to form a little bit of a Bee Good low-down. 

By far my two favourite products would have to be the Bee Good Honey and Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser* and the Honey and Wild Flax Daily Moisturiser*. For me both of these products work very well in doing their job for my particular skin type. For reference my skin is oily to combination with dehydrated areas every now and then whereby I have to say I think that the moisturiser is perfect even at this time of year, it doesn't make my skin feel greasy at all yet it also provides adequate hydration. The cleanser was the first product I tried and is one that I know I want to pick up for myself once this current one has been used up. The scent of it is gorgeous and it also works really well at removing make up, although once again I would steer away from your eyes with this and go for something lighter such as micellar water or something towards that nature.

That ties in nicely with the next product which is the Honey and Wild Water Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water*. I'm a huge fan of cleansing waters as for me they are the only thing I use around my eyes, in fact I'm really not keen on using anything else other than those around my eyes. The cleansing water for Bee Good does the job relatively well however I don't think I'd want to rely on this too heavily to remove mascara, particularly waterproof. Having said that the one thing I have noticed with this product is that it wasn't stripping in the slightest. In the past some cleansing waters I have tried have left my skin feeling rather dry whereas this was completely different. Considering I only use this type of product to remove my eye make up I can't say that I was blown away by it, it was nice but sadly I think I have used better and cheaper alternatives.

Both hand creams and lip balms are products that I use every single day because if I don't I end up feeling like a wrinkly prune. Dry skin runs in my family so it's something I'm always rather aware of. If I'm not careful and fail to use creams regularly my hands can feel really tight so I always have to ensure I have a hand cream to hand (that wasn't intentional but I'm keeping it). The Bee Good Honey and Crambe Daily Hand Cream* makes a nice addition to my ever growing hand cream mountain, although for me I would say it's one to use of an evening before bed as I find it takes a little bit longer to sink into my skin. The results are in my opinion worth that little wait as my hands are always left feeling super hydrated and smooth after I have used this.

Finally the Vanilla and Honey Lip Balm* makes a wonderful product to pop into my hand bag (along with a variety of others) as I'm forever using lip balms. I wouldn't say that it is the most hydrating lip balm that I have ever tried but it works OK for the day time, although because of the texture it may be difficult to apply a lipstick on top so that's something worth bearing in mind. For chilled out days at home however I think this is pretty great.

These products have all been sent to me over the last six months where I have in that time found myself overall pretty impressed. There are for me some stand out products such as the cleanser and moisturiser and perhaps one that I wouldn't really recommend from my personal experience. Overall I think that for someone who's keen to try out something new or indeed for the more conscious customer I think that this truly is a brand worth having a read about.

*This post contains PR samples, for more please read my disclaimer. 

12 January 2015

My Little Box - Fleur De Force

My Little Box Fleur De Force My Little Box December My Little Box December

Beauty boxes for a very long time had left me feeling rather underwhelmed and disappointed, so much so that I was convinced that they just weren't for me. That was until I started to see a number of reviews popping up on some of my favourite blogs of a new subscription box; My Little Box. The Parisian beauty and lifestyle themed box has been on my radar ever since however I was still hesitant as these boxes always look so good online yet then when they arrive I'm never quite convinced.

When I saw that Fleur De Force had collaborated with My Little Box for the December issue I decided to give it a shot. I've been a huge fan of Fleur for a very long time now and if I'm honest she's one of the very few YouTubers that I watch, for me I just felt as though it would be a great box if she had put her name to it. Not just a beauty themed box My Little Box incorporates fashion and lifestyle too which I think is an excellent move which makes it so much more unique to the many subscription boxes that are out there at the moment.

From the super cute illustrations by Kanako to the delightful presentation and care that has clearly been taken I think that this issue alone has helped to persuaded a beauty box sceptic that they can be fantastic. Inside this issue there were some Christmas craft bits and bobs of which I know that I'm too late for these to be used this year (I ordered this a week before Christmas) however I'll be saving them for next year for definite. As well as this there is also a little magazine which after having a quick flick through is one that I know I will actually read and absorb. Within it there are some nice short interviews as well as some awesome little DIY projects in there that I wouldn't mind trying myself.

Onto beauty there are three items which I think are of a very decent size, firstly there is the Cowshed Invigorating Body Lotion which is a brand that I haven't yet tried. Along with this there is the L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream which is a moisturiser that helps to reduce lines and wrinkles, to boost the skin's firmness and to generally help with anti-ageing. From online reviews this has pretty positive feedback so I'm actually really looking forward to giving this a try. Lastly there is a little red lipstick from the in house brand My Little Beauty in what must be the most adorable packaging ever, the little gold stars on the box have completely sold me.  In fact the lipstick I have to say has impressed me quite a lot already and that is only from initial use. It has quite a glossy finish however it isn't as pigmented as I had expected which if I'm honest isn't always a bad thing for me as I do like to have control and to be able to build colour up if I wish. The texture is super smooth and it doesn't feel drying in the slightest, in fact now I've tried this I'm incredibly keen to try some of their other make up products.

Upon popping this post together I have realised that I forgot to photograph the headband that comes with it, oops! I received the black one which is really nice however I'm not entirely sure if I will wear that myself, I need to have a look and see if I like it on me although I know that if I don't my sister will for sure!

Overall I'm SO pleased with this subscription already; furthermore I'm now really looking forward to seeing what the January Energy Box has installed for us. The box works out at a price of £14.95 a month including postage and packaging which I actually don't mind for this, at the moment I can safely say that I'm happy to keep paying.


11 January 2015

Time Flies When Doing Something You Enjoy

A Little Boat Sailing 2014

Last year was a good year for me and my blog, by that I mean it was the year where I finally got out and met some of the wonderful ladies within this awesome community that I'm so incredibly proud to be part of. Looking back it was a good year; I really enjoyed it and found a new found love for my blog when I had been struggling. It's not easy blogging regularly, especially when juggling everyday life, work, socialising and taking time aside from all of that simply for you. I would have loved to have produced more content last year but overall I'm relatively happy with the way things panned out. 

In January I kicked off the year with the coming spring trends along with a couple of LUSH reviews, both Tisty Tosty and the blogger favourite Snow Fairy were featured. The one question I'm left with right now is why didn't I stock up on Snow Fairy this year? February was the month that I decided to treat myself after finally passing my driving test; it took forever as I had put it off for such a long time. Passing first time was incredible, although to be fair my instructor was awesome! My treat for passing was a palette from the Bobbi Brown Nude Glo Collection whereby my mum also treated me to one of the lipsticks from the collection.

In March I decided to start posting more about books in Bookshelf  #1 although looking back this did not last. This is probably one of my only blogging regrets thus far as I absolutely adore reading and it is something I want to highlight on my blog more this year. Blogging daily was the challenge I set myself that month whereby you can read about it here in my blogging experience post. It was super tough however it would have been so much easier if I had planned ahead. April saw me start my new job so it took a while for me to get used to incredibly early mornings. Being at work for 7am soon took its toll on me as I was rather used to having late nights, my dark circles were even bigger than normal! The NARSissist Palette came into my life that month where for some reason as much as I love it I've found that it has sat rather unloved as of late. I've recently dug it out to start using again as it is a fantastic eye shadow palette. I also braved MAC All Fired Up which became one of my favourite shades to wear in the summertime. 

Rolling into May I found myself trying to come away from single beauty reviews as these had been such a huge focus of mine in the past. To this day I will still continue to produce them as I enjoy writing them however I do like to try and mix things up where I can.  One such post was A Sunny Weekend where I shared with you some pictures from that beautiful week we had in May; oh how I miss the sun at the moment and the warm breeze. June was a fantastic month for me as I attended my first blogger event and met an amazing group of girls in the process! A bit later on in the month I was also kindly featured in the Blogosphere Magazine which was a little bit surreal considering it's a magazine that I read myself; a huge thank you to this day goes out to Rosie for thinking of me.

Within July I featured a brand focus post whereby my Ode to Una went down really well with so many of you. The Superfacialist brand has been one of my favourite skincare brands to date as everything I have so far tried has worked really well for me. I also went back to basics with an everyday make up post as I realised I had never really done one before. As always I'm forever late to the game with incredibly hyped up beauty products however I finally did manage to try Rimmel 107 in August where naturally I just had to share with you my thoughts on it. It's all about Kate was such a pleasure to write as it was nice to be writing about a product that warranted the hype.

During September I felt like being a little bit more personal on my blog whereby I shared with you many of my thoughts at the time in My Blogging Relationship. From that post I received so many comments of support and encouragement, along with people sharing their own thoughts which I found incredibly interesting and reassuring at the same time. October was the month in which I started my GDL course in which I'm so grateful that some of my favourite bloggers helped me out with a few guest posts whilst I settled into my course. At this time I set myself some Short Term Goals as I felt like I needed to address certain things in my life, looking back I think I managed them in the end.

Winding down towards the end of the year November it was becoming extremely chilly and my skin was looking a bit worse for wear. At any first sign of my skin acting up I immediately pick up my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish because I know that it will sort out any issues. I know that this cleanser is spoken about a lot therefore I hate to sound like a broken record but for me it is always the cleanser to beat, it sorts my skin out every single time. Finally wet hit December where if I'm truthful this is always one of my favourite months when it comes to writing my blog. I love how festive and excited everyone becomes (I confess I sit down to watch one too many Vlogmas episodes) and I look forward to reading and watching yearly beauty favourites. Naturally I put my own together whereby this year I decided to have three categories instead of one big post. Skincare Favourites and Beauty Favourites were my primary favourites of the year whereby to round the year off with something a little bit different I decided to add a brand focus whereby Charlotte Tilbury came out on top.

Throughout 2014 I found myself enjoying blogging more than I had ever done before. It goes without saying that a lot of that comes down to the level of engagement that I feel I have with so many of you. It's great to have conversations with people who have the same interests as me and to that I thank you. All of the kindness and encouragement over the last year has been amazing and it's something that I'm so thankful for. Currently I'm running a very short blog survey whereby if you do have a moment to spare I'd greatly appreciate any feedback that you could give me. Once again thank you to those that have already filled it out.

9 January 2015

A Little Boat Sailing Blog Survey

Blog Survey
A Little Boat Sailing will turn three years old in March this year where I'll be honest with you I would never have thought that I would be sitting here writing this blog almost three years on. It's odd getting my head around it as in a way it has been one big diary for the last three years, it's not just about beauty any more as I'm finding it to be changing as I get older where naturally my life is changing too.

Surveys such as this can be so helpful as they allow you to gain an insight into what your readers think, whether it's positive or negative therefore I thought I'd put together a new one for the year just gone. I'm a little bit behind with this survey as I had intended to post this at the very beginning of January however I think I can get away with popping this up now, just about! Last year I posted a blog survey and really appreciated the feedback that I received therefore if you have a spare moment today then I would be extremely grateful if you could spend one minute to fill out the few questions below. If it does not work below then you can access it here.

A big thank you if you take the time to answer the questions below. I'm hoping to really improve my blog this year and to make it even more enjoyable for both you and me.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.


Green People Age Defy+ Cleanse and Soothe Balm

Green People Age Defy+ Cleanse and Soothe Balm
Some of you may remember that within my Skincare Favourites 2014 post I briefly mentioned the Green People Age Defy+ Cleanse and Soothe Balm* which has been a product that I have being using since September. Cleansing balms are one of my personal favourite cleansers and have been now for a while. Whether they come in a little glass jar like this or a tube I find that for me they work so well in removing my make up of an evening and leaving my skin hydrated and clean without any feeling of being stripped of moisture.

Green People is an organic brand which boasts an array of organic products ranging from skincare to make up.  The Age Defy+ Cleanse and Soothe Balm does not contain any parabens, alcohol, petrochemicals along with many other ingredients so it is most certainly a brand worth checking out if you're moving towards making more organic choices when it comes down to skincare. The Green People cleansing balm comes with its own muslin cloth which can be used to help remove the cleanser and buff away dead skin cells. Personally I always use a basic flannel which I think for me achieves the safe effect however I know people do have their personal preference. 

Being a balm cleanser the consistency upon first use is relatively thick however it's not hard to remove from the glass jar at all, where once placed upon dry skin it starts to melt and can easily be worked into the skin. Rosehip and Pomegranate acids within the product are there to help prevent wrinkles and to improve skin elasticity where Perilla Oil helps to prevent damage from free radicals. My only issue I had with this product was that it stung my eyes when used to remove my eye make up. Regular readers of my blog will know that I always use a micellar water to remove my eye make up, therefore I only used this cleanser around my eye area for trial purpose. Generally speaking I have pretty sensitive eyes anyway so I always use a micellar water no matter what product I'm using to cleanse my face, although on occasion I'm still inclined to try something else.

In terms of scent I would have to say that it is incredibly light in fragrance with hints of Neroli, Ylang Ylang and Jasmine. If I'm honest I could have handled something with a bit more of a punch to it, having said that it the scent is still quite nice and not overpowering.  

I did find that the cleanser removed my eye make up very well along with the rest of my make up on my face, where afterwards my skin was left feeling incredibly soft and moisturised. Around the time when I first started using this cleanser the facial massage routine from Lisa Eldridge was released on her YouTube channel. Since that video was released I have found myself using this cleanser in order to do something similar. It provides an excellent slip for the facial massage and I have to say that afterwards my skin feels great!

Overall my first experience with Green People has been a pretty positive one and is a brand that I'm happy to recommend to my friends and family as well as you. At the moment the Green People website has £5 off cleansers which makes it an excellent opportunity to maybe check out what they have to offer.

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