Saturday, 29 August 2015

Love, Hate...Tag!


Since my blog is fairly new, I have been trying to think of different posts that would let you guys know a little bit more about me. I’ve always thought the best blogs show the personality of the writer rather than just churning out facts so when the lovely Kate recently tagged me in the Love / Hate post I thought it would be the perfect opportunity!

For those that aren’t familiar with the concept of being tagged in a post (i.e. me before I was tagged…), it usually means that another blogger has answered a set of questions and are then asking for your answers to the same thing. In this case, it was to write about 10 things you love, 10 things you hate and then to tag 5 bloggers to take part.

So let’s get the grumpiness out of the way first, these are the things that pretty much ruin my day:

1. Grumpy Bus Drivers. As a 26 year old who has still not graduated from public transport slave to a car owner with the world at her fingertips, I currently get 4 buses a day for work. The individuals who are in control of my transportation have the power to make or break my day and half the time they don’t even seem to realise it. Now, I understand that my bus driver is not just a part of the bus, he or she is a person. I get that maybe they don’t want to be a bus driver. Or they might like driving but aren’t wild about people. I understand that they might be having a crappy day and can’t stand the bubbly blonde in bright yellow grinning manically at 7am… to be fair I can be pretty damn annoying. But honestly, manners cost nothing. Bus drivers that barely grunt if you are lucky let alone say hello, practically snatch your money from your hand and chuck your ticket back at you while all the time avoiding eye contact…no thank you. It instantly puts me in a foul mood. Plus don’t even get me started on the ones that seem to think you are single-handedly destroying the bus service by paying with a (shock, horror) £5 note rather than the exact £4.37 or whatever the extortionate price is this week.

2. Static Hair. You know when you’ve spent ages perfecting your makeup, your hair is all shiny and perfectly styled and all is looking on point...But then you make the school boy error of pulling on a dress over your head and when you pop out the other side you look like you’ve been hit with a bolt of electricity a la cartoon style? Yes…that…I hate that.

3. “I call a spade a spade”. That line…goodness me. What I find that line often translates to is in fact “I am a rude individual who gives no thought towards how I can affect others with my words”. Now honesty is a good thing in life and we all need that person who will give it to us straight when others are dancing around an uncomfortable subject. But some people just completely cross the line and need to rein in their spade calling abilities.

4. Weak carrier bags. Yeah I know, I’m really going for the hard hitting, deep subjects. Seriously though, there is nothing more irritating than trundling along with a bag full of shopping when without a seconds notice, the contents of said crappy bag start decorating the street. There is then the delightful game of dodge the stranger to pick up your stuff while typically everything seems to have a far better rolling ability than you ever thought possible. Add to that the use of paper bags on a rainy day. Yes we absolutely need to save the environment but when a shop assistant hands over a precariously packed paper bag when you both know it is torrential outside…it’s not going to end well.

5. No signal. Oh good lord the fear that those two words create. I’m sure this is probably thought of by some as the “problem with our generation” but I like to be connected to the world and I’m not ashamed of saying that. Especially now that I am blogging, this whole new type of interaction has opened up. Being online isn’t just about mindless scrolling and cat videos, though yes, that is certainly an enjoyable aspect. But it’s also about sharing your thoughts, the ability to contact people you might have never met or stay in touch with those half a world away, creating a space that is your own and being who you want to be without fear of judgement. So yes, I miss that little bundle of internetty goodness when it’s not available. However just to make things clear, no that does not mean I think it’s acceptable to ignore others to sit on your phone while people are talking to you / completely lose the concept of the “real world”.


6. When your shoes rub. Buying shoes is not something I overly obsess over but it is rather nice to add some exciting new footgear to your collection. However, with new shoes often comes that torturous period where the seemingly soft and inoffensive material decides to become as skin friendly as a cheese grater. Within half an hour of donning the beauties, no longer are you strutting your stuff like Paulo Nutini, instead you are tentatively limping around the place with a strained look plastered all over your face. Even worse than the new shoe pain is when good shoes turn bad. You have broken them in and they fit your foot like a glove so you think they are the perfect shoe choice for a day of wandering around a new city. Little did you know they were just luring you in with a false sense of security before viciously betraying you at your time of foot hugging need. Ouch.

7. Bananas. They are smelly and mushy and offensively yellow. They are the devil's fruit. Plus my sister hates them too…Need I say more?


8. The words “moist” and “succulent”. Honestly, shivers are running through me at the mere typing of these words. They are vile. I can’t even explain why but they are hideously sloppy sounding words that should just be struck from the dictionary and never uttered again by anyone. That includes you Mary Berry and your wet sponges.

9. My rubbish left knee. To be fair it is not entirely my knee’s fault that I hate it. When I was 16 I partially tore my cruciate ligament while playing an ill-fated game of basketball and it has never been the same since. At the not so basketball friendly height of 5 foot 2 and being the lazy, uncoordinated lump that I am, I should have known better than to attempt exercise really. At one point of the game a rather terrifying girl of much larger stature than myself barreled in to me and the knee, I learnt, was not a fan of bending sideways. Anyways, since then it has been a permanent pain in the back side. A little too much activity and it spontaneously turns purple! Thank the lord I had already graduated from snowplough to parallel turns when skiing otherwise I would be even grumpier with the knee than I am currently. Also, it likes to ache when the weather gets cold. Yes, I am a 90 year old woman, nice to meet you.

10. Noisy eating. The fury that builds up inside me when a noisy eater is in my presence is unhealthy to say the least. A good ol’ crunch is fine but it’s the overly drooley sloshing sounds that simply turn my stomach. Plus it’s one of those things that once you have noticed, you simply cannot prevent your ears from hearing it any more.

Ok so that's the whingey part out of the way, I sound delightful right now I'm sure...On to the happy stuff! I'll assume that given the fact I have a blog all about it, you guys already know I'm a fan of all things beauty so I'll try to be a little more inventive!

1. Lets start with a bit of cheese to get the ball rolling on this love stuff. I consider myself to be a very lucky girl to have such wonderful family and friends. I come from the type of family that always hug and say I love you. The type that still all go on holiday with each other despite being all grown up, get drunk together and are generally just that family from the tv adverts that look annoyingly chummy. Yeah, we're them. Add to that some of the best friends anyone could wish for. I am not one who is surrounded by crowds of chums but the ones that I do have are the utmost amazing people you could ever imagine. I am so lucky that I even have one extremely special one that I have literally known since we were babies. She even comes complete with memories of both of us eating soap when we were little to try and get attention from our parents by looking a bit rabies-esque...how could you beat that? Honestly, you guys are the best.


2. Carrying on with this theme of serious sicklyness, next up is my fiancé. He started out as the boy who lived on the floor below me in university halls who played his music too loud. Little did I know, after wooing me with a homemade caesar salad and some questionable cat impressions (oh yeah, serious romance up in here) this boy would become my best friend and the love of my life. He's a mysterious, amusingly grouchy, gloriously bearded, manly man that I couldn't live without. Not to mention the fact that he is a world record breaking powerlifter...hello hunky.

3. Next up are my two Bengal cats, Diego and Django. Yes that's right, I've gone from cheese to crazy cat lady. If you aren't aware of the bengal breed, they are hybrids between domestic and Asian Leopard Cats and oh my god they are mental. If they aren't zooming around the house at warp speed, they are opening drawers, turning on taps or biting the fingers off of rubber gloves. They are also extremely loving and will literally headbutt you awake for cuddles.
4. Oh how I love doing nothing more than lying around in my pyjamas, snuggled up on the sofa with my boys and having a day filled with eating and film watching. This my friends is why I will always be on the chunky side of life.

5. In the words of Jesse from Breaking Bad, "Yeah Science!". Call me a geek, I do not care, I freaking love Science. From the latest findings in space to tech that detects brain tumors during surgery to reading what would happen if you put a nuclear bomb in a volcano...I'm all over it.

6. I've been lucky enough to have been going skiing since I was about 12 years old and I absolutely love it. It's not just the activity itself but the snow, the mountain air, that feeling of being on top of the world, it's just amazing. What makes it even more special for me is the fact that we've been skiing in the same resort in Bulgaria (Borovets!) right from the very start. So not only is it a great holiday but we now have a number of friends there which adds to how fantastic it is!


7. Tights. An odd one I know but whoever invented tights is a god. Sadly I am not blessed with the long, slim legs of Taylor but something far more tree trunk like. Given this, I'm not a fan of getting the pins out at all. However, I LOVE dresses...conundrum. Chuck in some tights and the problem is solved. Plus they can be used to add another element to your outfit since they come in such a range of colours and patterns.

8. My engagement ring. Yes I am having a materialistic moment but oh my goodness it is stunning. It's a faceted moonstone on a diamond encrusted band and I absolutely love the fact that I have never seen anyone else with something similar. It constantly changes colour from clear to milky to blue depending on how the light hits it which I find fascinating...I'll admit that I sometimes just sit there staring at it twinkling away. The main stone and the band were chosen separately and then my fiance had it all put together so it's such a personal item not to mention it obviously signifies something pretty special.


9. Adventure! There is nothing like discovering new places and experiences. Thanks to my travel happy mum and dad I had the opportunity to visit so many amazing places all across the world while I was growing up. It's definitely instilled in me that want to see as much of the world as possible! Before I went to university, I took a gap year and spent 8 months in Australia working in an Aboriginal boarding school and traveling along the East coast. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and made me realise that it's always an amazing thing to push your boundaries and try new things in new places.

10. Diving. 71 percent of the Earth is covered in water and under the surface is a whole new world altogether. I find diving so calming. It's as if everything slows, it's just you and the gentle rhythm of your breathing. I got the chance to do my Open Water PADI certification on the Great Barrier Reef while staying on an uninhabited island which was an absolute dream. Two of my life goals are to  dive with whale sharks and great whites, though preferably a cage will be involved with the latter!


So that's it, now you know a little bit more about me! I know it was quite a ramble but hopefully it gives you a little insight into the writer behind the blog.

On to my final task, choosing five bloggers to give it a go. I'm going to nominate:

Pinja from Pinja K
Sarah from See The Stars
Jessica from Jess' Journal
Bethany from Polished Couture
Catherine from You Wish You

Hopefully none of you guys have done this before! Everyone make sure you visit the blogs above because they are great!
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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mac Rebel Dupe Alert!


Hands up if you love saving pennies? I do. Now, hands up if you love Mac Rebel? I DEFINITELY do. In all honesty I think Mac Rebel is my favourite lipstick of all time. I simply cannot get over it's gorgeous berry tone and do not care whether it is considered only suitable for Autumn and Winter, it is my go to year round. If you aren't familiar with Mac Rebel, shame on you. I joke of course but really, do yourself a favour and check it out, it is glorious.

So from the above you can probably imagine my utter joy when I was sent a new lipstick recently that turned out to be a perfect dupe and is less than half the price! Hells. Yeah. But what is this wonder twin I hear you ask?

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Gosh Cosmetics Velvet Touch Matt lipstick in Plum:



This beauty is part of Gosh Cosmetics’ AW15 launch and is one of eight new matte shades in their lipstick collection (£6.99). It was sent to me as part of a #berryorbare challenge that The Mall Cribbs Causeway (Bristol's local shopping centre) is currently running. Beauty Bloggers were sent their choice of either a berry or nude lipstick and we had to create a look and post it on Instagram. Whoever gets the most likes on the Mall's instagram by the 31st August will win some goodies so if you'd like to help me out, please do pop over and like this picture here! Many thanks to the lovely people that do or already have!

Anyway, back to the task at hand, I promised you all a dupe! Now I know the phrase dupe gets thrown around a lot and often what it actually turns out to mean is only “vaguely similar”. You get all excited, go out and purchase your new "dupe" with a super smug feeling. All is right with the world and you relish the jingle of extra monies that remain in your oh so dupe savvy self's purse. But then you get home, try out your new lippie and it is not the coral of laid back summer dreams but a bright orange that brings out every freckle on your face. Note - as an owner and lover of freckles, this is not always a bad thing. But if it is unexpected? No thank you.

But seriously, take a look at the swatches below!

From left to right - Mac Rebel and Velvet Touch Plum
Pretty bang on right? Both have the same stunning pinky purple tone to them which makes them extremely wearable compared to the more brown toned berries. Apply with a light touch and it gives a wash of colour perfect for day time or line and apply heavily for an intense night time look.  There is a slight difference in the finish since Mac Rebel is a satin while Velvet Touch Plum is an all out matte but apart from that, in terms of look they are pretty damn twin like.

After the swatch I tried applying both to see if there would be a difference in the finished look and honestly I could barely tell the difference. Can you?

Trying out Gosh Cosmetics Velvet Touch in Plum

My old faithful Mac Rebel
Suffice to say, in terms of look they are pretty much bang on. But what about formula?

So here they do part ways a little but certainly not enough to become a problem. Plus to be fair, Mac lipsticks are pretty difficult to match anyway, let alone at half the price. Mac Rebel is intensely pigmented and only needs the gentlest of touches to start building up colour. The swatch above was only one stroke...it's that good. 

The Gosh Cosmetics lipstick on the other hand does need a little bit more building up to get a strong colour. In this case though that isn't entirely a bad thing as berry can be a little scary for some! Having a lipstick that lets you build the colour up to where you are comfortable might actually make it even more suitable for some people, all depends on what you are after!

With Autumn just around the corner, well actually given the weather lately it's basically here..it's the perfect time to get those berry lips on! What better timing could there be to find a Mac Rebel dupe?!
 
What do you guys think of my dupe discovery? Do you think it's worthy of the term or do you have another that I should try? Are you a berry lover or hater? Let me know in the comments!
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Monday, 24 August 2015

A gorgeous new natural brand to try - soapNskin Part 2


I recently wrote about the wonderful, luxury brand soapNskin here when I was sent a gorgeous selection box full of their products*. My first impressions were definitely positive but I wanted a little time to put these products to use to give you a full review! After two weeks of putting these products to the test, would they be as good as I was initially hoping? Read on to find out!

Neroli & Patchouli with Jojoba Oil Body Wash £6.00
As I mentioned in my first post, this was my least favourite scent of all the products. It has quite an intense patchouli scent which isn't entirely to my taste but a lot of people will absolutely love it! The formula itself is sulfate-free and packed with jojoba oil which makes it really gentle on the skin. Removing the sulfates means that it has quite a light lather but that certainly doesn't impact how well the product works. My skin felt squeaky clean after using it but there was no tight feeling. I'd definitely like to try the body wash in a different scent!

Rosemary & Peppermint with Argan Oil Shampoo £7.00
I've said it before and I will say it again, I am completely in love with the scent of this shampoo! Rosemary isn't usually a scent that I love but combining it with peppermint makes it absolutely glorious and quite unique. Similar to the body wash, this product has quite a light formula and lather but it is most definitely effective. Due to this, it's tempting to use heaps of it in one go but trust me, it works perfectly well with normal if not smaller amounts. The peppermint stimulates the scalp and creates a delightful tingling feeling that made me feel fresh and clean. Not to mention the fact that my hair seemed fuller and shinier than it had done in a long time. It felt like my hair had been fully cleansed, removing any product build up and leaving it bouncier than ever!


Not that I want to sound filthy, but usually I hate soap. I'm not saying I don't wash, but bars of soap are generally a no go. I usually always opt for a moisturising hand wash or an antibacterial gel rather than standard soap so was expecting not to like this to be honest. Off I went to give it a try though like the good little blogger I am! The soap has a delicate scent which I'm sure pretty much everyone will like. The light lather gently cleansed my hands and I then awaited the dreaded tight, sore feeling that I usually get. But it didn't come! My hands were left feeling clean but not stripped, in fact they remained perfectly happy! I know this might not sound wildly exciting to you but I was genuinely really impressed with how gentle this product was on my rather wimpy hands.

 
Rose & Sandalwood with Neem Oil Body Butter £6.00
Meet my favourite product. This fantastic body butter has had such a great effect on my skin after a couple of weeks of use. Not really surprising considering the huge list of wonder ingredients it includes. Rosehip and Almond oils as well as Shea, Cocoa and Mango butters have been used to create these little pots of magic and they certainly work well. There is no sticky or heavy feeling, it just glides on and results in much happier, healthier skin. If you are going to try any of the products, I think this would be my top choice. I'd love to try this in the Rosemary and Peppermint scent, I imagine it would be amazing.

After having a little longer to try out my selection of soapNskin goodies, I am even more impressed than I was initially. To create products that are natural yet still so effective is quite a feat and has certainly taken time and dedication. Give these products a try, you won't be disappointed!

If you'd like to buy some of these stunning goodies, head to www.soapnskin.com! For a limited time, you can even get 20% off of your first order with the discount code LAUNCH20.

*This post features a PR sample, however the post is entirely my own opinion. For more information, please read my full Disclaimer  here
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Sunday, 23 August 2015

A day in the country for your skin - Dusty Girls Makeup



"Have you ever noticed how after a day in the country your skin always looks great? It might be a bit dusty, but the colour and tone is always better than after a day in the office."

This is the exact reason why Dusty Girls was created. If you haven't yet discovered them, they are a gorgeous Australian brand created by skincare range MooGoo that use clays and minerals to create their products. As they have recently been launched in the UK, they are currently only available online at www.dustygirls.co.uk and in all honesty, they are some of the best products I have ever used.

The lovely Dusty Girls team very kindly sent me their mineral foundation*, multi-tasking Earth Cream* and mineral blusher* to try and I have absolutely fallen in love with them.

First off, due to the fact that they base their makeup on natural minerals with just a few extras to make the products work as well as possible, they are very skin friendly. If you are like me and have always felt a little bit guilty for using makeup to cover up imperfections when you know full well it would be far better to let it breath sometimes, this makeup is the answer to your prayers. While silicone based products can make application a doddle, it does have the tendency to clog up pores which in itself can cause trouble for skin. This can lead to breakouts which then results in higher makeup use to hide it and hey presto, hello vicious cycle...

So, while I'm not saying I'm going to give up all silicone based products because...well that would be a lie...the three products that I'm going to talk about in this post have become part of my daily routine for the last couple of weeks and they are fabulous.



First up I'm going to talk about their Earth Cream. This beauty is a multi-tasking bottle of gloriousness. It comes in two shades, light and medium and has a neutral base to suit a huge range of skin tones. I am of the rather pale skinned variety so I opted for the light shade. It looked a little dark upon first applying and I wasn't entirely convinced but it blends out and matches my skin perfectly. I'd imagine if you have a particularly dark skin tone then the medium shade would not be dark enough however so hopefully in time they will bring out a larger shade range because frankly everyone should be able to use this! 

Take a look at the difference it made in the pictures below. On the left is my naked skin in all its patchy glory and on the right it looks visibly smoother and far less blotchy. Thank. God.
At only £11, the product is priced incredibly reasonably and is marketed as not only a replacement for your foundation, but also your primer, moisturiser and sunscreen! Considering it doesn't advise what factor of sunscreen is included, I would probably still choose to use a separate product just to be on  the safe side but it certainly reduces if not entirely negates the need for primers and moisturisers. I found it really evened out my skin tone but without any heaviness at all. My skin can still breath while wearing this even on humid days so I think it would be perfect holiday makeup! 

I tried using brushes but found that it works best if you use your fingers to work it in and gives a light to medium coverage. It does build up quite nicely though if you needed a little extra. Not only does this product give great results, it's loaded with ingredients that sooth and repair such as Manuka Tree Leaf Oil for it's antibacterial properties, Magnolia Acuminata Extract for soothing and Chaulmoogra Tree Seed Oil for skin repair. The only tiny downside I found with this product was that it did have a slightly odd smell but that disappears pretty quickly so it's certainly not something that would put me off.

If you fancy a little more coverage, Dusty Girls has a lovely mineral foundation (£17.50) that you can use either in combination with Earth Cream or on it's own. Similar to the Earth Cream, it contains no nasties that can cause irritation so it's great for those with sensitive skin. I used this with and without Earth cream as a base and found it so easy to use. If you aren't a fan of liquid foundations, this would be a perfect option. There is a pretty good range of shades covering cool, warm and neutral undertones so it also might be a little easier to find a shade match with this foundation if you are struggling with the Earth Cream.


Pink Ladies Blusher swatch on the left and blended out on the right
Last but not least is their mineral blush (£15). Dusty Girls have two equally gorgeous shades, Golden Delicious and Pink Ladies. I opted to try Pink Ladies and couldn't be happier. It's a subtle, dusky pink with a light shimmer that's perfect to sweep across the cheeks for a touch of colour. It has great pigmentation without being overpowering so no clown faces here, just a lovely rosy glow.

Since these products seemed like the perfect combination to create a soft, natural look, I gave them all a try and was very happy with the results!


Thanks to the wonders of oily skin, I am usually used to looking in the mirror and being greeted by a shiny mess by about 11am but this combo held strong all day. Not only that, but it actually seemed to look better as the day went on! Suffice to say I am in love with this makeup and it has replaced my previous foundation / powder combo that I was using. Sorry Benefit and Nars, Dusty Girls has stolen my heart. Now, please excuse me while I go and purchase the rest of the Dusty Girls range...

*This post features a PR sample, however the post is entirely my own opinion. For more information, please read my full Disclaimer  here
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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Be A Flamingo Among the Pigeons

It's a bit of an odd title isn't it. I'm sure you are wondering if it's some kind of new makeup or a bizarre marketing strategy. Truth is, it's neither. This is going to be a little different from the posts I have put up before so bear with me...

I've been pretty happy with how my blog is going so far. It's quite new, it's all exciting and I'm enjoying the fact that I have a place to write about the things I love. I’ve already been incredibly lucky with some brand collaboration and blogger event opportunities and am amazed that I have had so much interest so early on. It’s really been a delightful whirlwind. But… I still felt like something was missing. Annoyingly though, I couldn't quite put my finger on what. 

Are there too many reviews? Do I need to do more tutorials? Are my pictures boring? Do I need that marble background that everyone is using…oh and possibly a cactus? Cue panicked reading of approximately 25,604,703 blogs on how to blog / how to perfect your photographs / what your blog is missing / how you are a failure of a newbie blogger and have been doing everything wrong and will never succeed unless you buy an entirely white house with strategically placed items of beauty. Ok so the last one might be a slight exaggeration but you get the idea.

Suffice to say the message was pretty constant on things I “need” to do to improve. During this rather intense reading session, I was lucky enough to stumble across Sophie etc. Sophie recently wrote an AMAZING post "On chasing perfection & being an ideal blogger" (If you haven’t read it… really, you should!) and talked about how she was frustrated that a lot of bloggers are almost losing their identity as they seem to be following a standard set of do’s and don’ts. Within the post, she used the delightful phrase “A flamingo among a flock of pigeons” to encourage bloggers to write about what they want, rather than just following the “rules” and it really resonated with me.


Granted there will always be things that are probably best not to do (the whole #bloggerblackmail scandal anyone?!), but outside of that, isn’t one of the greatest things about the internet and blogging specifically the fact that there aren’t really any rules? That you can be who you want to be without fear of reprisal. That you can express your thoughts and dreams and yes that £50 makeup brush that you know you shouldn’t buy but god dammit life is short so it’s now in my possession. So why are we following standard guidelines of what every blog should do in what is supposed to be the most all-encompassing platform available? And that got me thinking…why do we need this outlet of wild, internetty goodness anyway when our lives are our own? For hopefully the vast majority of the world these days, we are free to live as we please, create our own path and be who we want. Yet I think in some ways we actually feel more stifled than ever. Why is that you may ask? I have one word for you my friends…expectations.

Yes we are technically free but in reality I think all of us feel at least some pressure of achieving certain things to feel like we are “good enough”. Now these things could vary hugely, as does where you actually feel the pressure from. It could be from your parents to go to university because that is the “right” path to the “right” job. It could be wearing that particular dress because your friends think you wear “weird” clothes. Or it could even be as far as having a child because you have been told you are the “correct” age and you have a partner so that’s what you are expected to do next right?

Now don’t get me wrong, all of those things I have mentioned above can be perfectly lovely things. Going to uni, getting married, wearing fashionable clothes, having babies and a myriad of other life experiences are all fabulous things IF, and this is a big if, they are what YOU want. Not your Aunty, your best friend or the designer of the month. You. Encouragement and guidance from others is a wonderful thing and that should really be enjoyed as it can help us to achieve things we didn’t think we’d be capable of. But if you are starting to be pushed away from what you would actually like to be or do then it’s starting to go wrong. 


Sometimes I think we can get so lost in what is expected of us that we forget who it is that we want to be. You shouldn’t feel that unless you have checked off A, B and C you have failed and you certainly shouldn’t feel like you need to be the same as everyone else to be “good enough”. Cheesy though it may sound, the true excitement in this world comes from the variety of people in it. So if we all strive to be exactly the same to fit in, and we don’t take that leap of spontaneity or creativity, then life could become a pretty boring place. It’s lovely when you click with someone and agree on lots of things isn’t it? But what if they had the same hair as you and the same goals and the same outfit and the same views on EVERYTHING…am I making you feel a little queasy? Because it certainly gives me the shivers.

Now yes of course I am perhaps exaggerating things. Living up to expectations of society doesn’t mean that we are all going to become mindless clones but what I am trying to say is that we shouldn’t be afraid to be who we want to be. It shouldn’t be a terrifying thought to stand out from the crowd because you are something a little different or because you want to choose an alternative path. It’s something to be embraced and celebrated! 

That goes for all areas of life…with perhaps a few caveats so do be sensible about this but you know what I am saying. So if you want to blog about something utterly random do it, if you want to shave all of your hair off or change career or become a wanderer living on a mountain with only a goat for company, DO IT. Think carefully about the mountain living, goat thing though yeah? We only get to live once and life can be a bit of a dick sometimes so go on, do that thing you’ve always wondered about but were never brave enough for. Be a flamingo!

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Got some shiny blonde locks? Try Blonde Addict


The life of a blonde can be a tricky one. Yeah it's pretty cool and all, rocking your sun-kissed beach hair but get it a bit wrong and it's hello orange town. Or to be honest, even if your hair has been dyed the perfect shade initially, over time it can go rather brassy which we all know is not a good look.

Enter Blonde Addict.

A salon professional hair care and styling range designed especially for blondes to control those nasty yellow tones and keep your hair looking glorious. The range* has recently been launched exclusively at Chill Cabinet and the kind folks at Vivid PR sent them to me to try out.
eems that despite the wide range of hair ranges on the market there can never be enough, with the news that Blonde Addict is set to launch.
The range, which includes six products, has been formulated to salon professional standards with ingredients to visibly accentuate blonde tones on natural or colour treated hair.
The range is infused with vitamins, hydrolysed proteins, grapeseed oil and anti-ageing agents designed to leave hair conditioned, soft, smooth and manageable, while exclusive violet pigments neutralise unpleasant yellow and brassy tones.
“Blonde tones and colour vibrancy are noticeably enhanced and intense, and hair is left fragrant with a silky, glossy sheen”.
The product range comprises: Shampoo (£8.99), Mask (£9.99), Active Leave-in Conditioner (£8.99), Gloss Serum (£9.99), Shine Spray (£9.99) and Ultra-Glossing Fixing Spray (£9.99).
New to the UK, Blonde Addict has been formulated and created by the internationally renowned hair care experts at Reef Cosmetics and is available exclusively at the Chill Cabinet, a new online store.[1]
- See more at: http://hairandbeautywirral.co.uk/index.php/all-made-up-hair-and-beauty-salon-hair/8-all-made-up-hair-and-beauty-salon-news/22333-blonde-addict-launches-in-the-uk.html#sthash.a00uR19c.dpuf


The range is made up of 6 products with each item priced between £9-£10. The shampoo and leave-in conditioner are loaded with grape seed oil, silk proteins and violet extract, resulting in soft, healthy hair without a brassy tone in sight. The mask also has violet extract but is loaded with extra goodies like vitamin E oil to promote hair growth and Panthenol to create shine and moisturise. On paper, they are pretty damn good, but how did they measure up?

Both the shampoo and conditioner have a lovely light floral scent and a thick, luxurious formula. After using them a couple of times my hair does feel very soft and bright. I have also used the mask a number of times and it has definitely made my hair feel healthier. I love my hair but oh my goodness do I abuse it. It's dyed and styled and blow-dried and forced into all manner of styles so needless to say I need to really pamper it on a regular basis. I will quite happily continue to use these on a daily basis as I think they will keep my hair in great condition. I might need a slightly stronger treatment now and again but they are definitely nice day to day products.


The next three products are more on the styling side of things. All are filled with grapeseed oil and generally have been developed to make your hair shiny and healthy looking. Sadly, I wasn't hugely impressed with the gloss fixing spray or the shine spray. They smelt wonderful with the same light floral scent as the shampoo and conditioner but they just didn't seem to do anything.

The fixing spray didn't seem to have any hold at all and the spray mechanism needs a bit of tweaking. Instead of a mist that I would expect with most sprays, there were quite heavy droplets which resulted in too much product being applied. On the other hand, the shine spray seemed to be almost so fine it just kind of dissipated into thin air. Perhaps this was just a one off but I think it's something that needs to be checked as such a simple thing can really affect the product experience.

The serum on the other hand was another pleasant product that tamed flyaways, left my hair feeling silky and hydrated and was a pleasure to use.

So all in all, it's a bit of a tough one. Are they as good as they seem on paper? Maybe not entirely. But I certainly think the shampoo, conditioner and mask will keep my hair in great condition while preventing my blonde locks from getting dull and yellow toned. The serum is also a nice addition to the range and something I will certainly continue to use and to be completely fair, maybe the other two products just have teething problems.

It's pretty difficult these days to create a completely innovative hair product as lets be honest pretty much everything has been done. So no, this range isn't something you can't find elsewhere but it most certainly does the job!

 *This post features a PR sample, however the post is entirely my own opinion. For more information, please read my full Disclaimer  here
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Monday, 10 August 2015

A gorgeous new natural brand to try - soapNskin



It is always a rather nice feeling when you find a new brand that you enjoy, but even better than that is finding products that are not only amazing but also free of any chemical nasties. Add to that a lovely back story of two determined friends and a charming personal touch and you truly have something special. That's exactly what I have found to be the case with soapNskin.

soapNskin came about when two best friends became tired of struggling with various skin conditions and the chemical laden products that were currently on the market. After a fair few years of experimenting, a beautiful selection of shampoos, body butters and soaps were created! The owners, Samar & Rabia, decided that they wanted to share their creations at road shows and markets and after a really positive reaction, have taken the next step by launching their website.

I really love to try out natural products and so I was a very happy girl when I was very kindly sent the gorgeous "Try Me" Selection Box* by soapNskin. Admittedly, while I love natural products I am sometimes wary that I will be met with overly strong, obnoxious scents and a lack of any actual effect, but that's certainly not the case here!

Inside the selection box was a variety of the goodies that soapNskin make including the following:

Rose & Sandalwood with Neem Oil Body Butter £6.00
Full of Shea, Cocoa and Mango butters for some serious hydration as well as Rosehip and Almond oils to soften and tone, this immediately grabbed my attention. I opened it straight away to have a little test and was met with a gorgeous smell of rose with a slight smokey undertone of sandalwood. The body butter itself sank in quickly without any greasiness and left my skin feeling really soft. I think the results of long term use of this will definitely be great!

This was probably my least favourite out of the selection on first impressions as it wasn't the kind of scent I particularly like, however I'm sure big fans of Patchouli will love it!

I'm really interested to try this as my hands tend to be extremely sensitive to soaps and often get sore and dry (delightful!). Considering one of the main reasons behind this brand being created was to use chemical free solutions that are gentler for skin, I'm hoping this soap will be just what I need!

I fell in love with the smell of this the second I opened the bottle. The peppermint smells so refreshing and it has that lovely tingle on the scalp. It will take a little getting used to as it is thinner in comparison to normal shampoos (due to not adding any chemical laden thickeners). However, I'd much prefer a lighter shampoo that is better for my hair and skin in the long run so can certainly work with it!

Along with the products there was also a handwritten note and a little booklet to give a little bit more of an insight into the brand. As well as a description of each product, it also lets you know that everything is handcrafted in England in micro-batches to keep that personal touch. It was these little aspects that make soapNskin something so unique. Personally I was in awe of how much time and thought is quite obviously put in to the brand, it is a labour of love that's to be sure!

What I think is particularly refreshing about this brand is that despite the obvious luxury side to the products, there isn't the usual intimidating price tag to go with it. In fact, this is something they have purposely chosen to be the case as they believe natural, luxury products should be available for everyone and who isn't at least a little bit charmed by that?

I was so excited about soapNskin that I wanted to let you all know about them as soon as possible but will be putting together a follow up review after I've had the chance to use the products for a little longer! My first impression though is that if you have a love for gorgeous smelling, natural products, you really need to check out soapNskin!!

You can buy these stunning goodies at www.soapnskin.com and for a limited time, you can get 20% off of your first order with the discount code LAUNCH20

So what do you all think? Are you dying to try them out for yourselves? Which scent would you love to try? Let me know in the comments!

 *This post features a PR sample, however the post is entirely my own opinion. For more information, please read my full Disclaimer  here
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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Mesauda Milano Desert Sand Bronzer Review




The number one product to easily warm up your look when the sun hasn't been coming out to play is most definitely bronzer. A few quick sweeps of a brush and suddenly you are a bronzed goddess who has just had a week in the sun. Not only that, but it has the handy bonus of doubling up as a useful contouring product. So needless to say, it's probably something you want to have around for those days when you want to dazzle. However, this type of product does have a dark side too which can make people pretty wary...I'm talking about the orangey streaks of teenage nightmare or possibly even worse, the I've been playing in a muddy field look (fine for Glastonbury, not so good for the office)! So when choosing a bronzer, it's always something that I like to fully check out before I spend my precious pennies.

The bronzer that I'm going to talk about in this post is the Mesauda Milano Desert Sand Bronzer in Sabbia Sahariana* (£14.95) that I was kindly sent by the lovely people at Beauty Crowd*.

As I'm sure I have mentioned before, I am completely drawn in by a good looking product and this is no exception. The packaging is sleek and has a reassuringly solid feel to it, you could definitely chuck this in your bag in a bit of a rush and not have to worry about finding a golden explosion the next time you open it. The top is also transparent which lets you see the gorgeous, marbled, shimmery bronzer inside which has got to be a bonus.

The bronzer itself is intensely pigmented, almost surprisingly so! Just a quick sweep of the brush and I easily had enough product for my whole face so it will certainly last well. The colour that I was sent was a warm toned bronzer that unfortunately was a touch too dark for my rather pale skin, but I think it would look wonderful on a medium or dark skin tone. Since it is so pigmented, I'd definitely advise to use the lightest touch when brushing on the product, always better to start light and build it up to avoid overdoing it. 


Considering that I'm usually more a fan of matte bronzers, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the shimmer in this one was so subtle that it wasn't overpowering at all. It simply results in a delicate luminescence and let's be honest, we are all in search of that magical glow!  It has a smooth, buttery consistency that blends out so well, it would definitely be perfect for contouring and creating a natural, summery look. By the time I had finished trying it out I was genuinely gutted that it was too dark for me because it was a pleasure to use..so much so that I might keep playing with it to see if a feather light touch might make it usable!

I think this bronzer is the perfect option if you have a slightly darker complexion. Sadly us pale girls will probably have to keep searching but I for one have my fingers crossed that some lighter colours will be added to the collection very soon!

*This post features a PR sample and includes an affiliate link, however the post is entirely my own opinion. For more information, please read my full Disclaimer  here
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