Sunday, 20 January 2019

three things I'm changing about my skincare routine in 2019

As the new year approaches a lot of us tend to reflect on the things we considered successes or disappointments of the previous year.. this is what helps us to make goals for the next one.  A few weeks ago I wrote a post on the things I wanted to change or continue for the new year which you can read here! 

This post is slightly different from the norm, this post will share the three things I'm changing in my 2019 skincare routine. Skincare is a love of mine, always has been - one of the huge misconceptions around my own personal routine is that people assume because I accumulate a lot of products that I have a very complex and product-heavy regime -
wrong. I love to collect products don't get me wrong, but I keep my routine very simple: cleanse, tone, moisturise in the morning... and cleanse, moisturise, serum in the evening - occasionally I use a face-mask but not every single day! 

1 - As I've said many times before I will always choose wash-off cleansers over micellar waters or cleansing oils. I find the only way to make sure the skin is truly 'cleansed' is by using a product that is followed up with warm water. A few of my favourites include: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. This year, I'm going to try to ditch the micellar water completely and make sure that no matter how tired I may feel - I make time to cleanse properly.

2 - I regularly use toner, but only in the morning. I recently experienced a facial at my local Elemis counter and after looking in detail at my skin through a selection of photographic images it was clear that some areas of my skin were dehydrated. I went home and had a look at the toner's I had been using to find a couple contained Alcohol - since switching to an Alcohol free toner I've noticed such an improvement, my skin is definitely on the road to recovery and heading in to 2019 I'm going to make sure it stays this way. I make a conscious effort to ALWAYS check the ingredients in my products. (& if you're interested I've read a few good books which help to simplify a lot of the ingredients and fancy terms which I can recommend/share if you fancy learning a bit more too!)

3 - Facial Rollers are increasingly popular right now with many questioning if they actually 'work'. I picked up a jade roller at my local TK MAXX before christmas and started to use to roll in my overnight serum. In my experience there is definitely more to the facial roller than a pretty Instagram flatlay.. there may not be any proven health benefits yet but I do truly feel that by rolling in your serum I encourage absorption and increase blood flow (note the word encourage, this is my own personal opinion and not scientific fact!) Facial rolling is something I want to continue in 2019, I want to learn more about it and continue to monitor long-term benefits.

I hope you enjoyed this post, skincare is something I will always enjoy writing about - however everything written is from my own personal experience, there is no correct routine or way of doing things and not everything works for everyone. I would love to know about any changes your making this year to your skincare routine?


Thursday, 27 December 2018

new beginnings, good-bye 2018

A slightly different post from me, something a little bit more personal. 2018 has been a really big year for me... I had minor surgery, finished my degree, quit my job, went on an amazing holiday with my friends (my uni friends are all absolute gems, trust me I wouldn't have graduated without them) started a new job alongside making a conscious effort to get out of my comfort zone. 

Going forward in to 2019 I'm determined to make it an even better year, I always write myself a bucket list.. this year it's called '19 things for 2019' not a typical bucket list, it contains small personal goals that I feel can truly be achieved. As I feel a little bit reflective I've decided to share a couple of my goals below:

1 - think about where I want my blog to go: I have been fortunate to work with amazing brands this year, mostly through my Instagram. I love visuals so for me, Instagram has always been my main platform. I love to create content and to share my thoughts and ideas though images. I feel really happy with how my photography and 'style' has developed behind the camera but would love to work on my blog this year - I love to write, it's something I have always enjoyed but it definitely takes a backseat.. I hope to change this next year. 

2 - travel: I would love to travel more, there are so many places I would love to visit not just on a global scale but here in the UK. This year I have a steady job, regular hours and the funds to be able to explore more - this is something I'm going to take advantage of for sure.

3 - continue to practice self-love/self-care on a regular basis: I am a huge cheerleader of self-love/care and the benefits it can have on your quality of life - bold statement I know, but I truly believe there are huge positives that can come from taking time out of your week to focus on you.  There is no wrong or right way but taking some "me-time" to mentally or physically recharge really has had a positive impact on my day-to-day life.  

A slightly short but chatty post, that I really hope you enjoyed - I would love to hear your goals for the upcoming year. My inbox is always open and would love to hear about how your feeling as we transition from 2018-2019. 


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Review: Kristin Ess Hair

Review: Kristin Ess Hair

I have a very sensitive scalp, it's extremely dry and no amount of product or water intake has any improvement. This means that I don't tend to experiment with shampoo or conditioner as much as I'd like to - when you find something that works it's very easy to just stick to it (three years later I still use the same shampoo!) A few months ago my lovely friend Faye introduced me to Kristin Ess Hair, Faye recently returned from an amazing holiday in New York and brought back some really lovely haircare bits -  have a little read of her review here it's what influenced me to give the brand a try.

Kristin Ess Hair has recently become available in the UK, with a range of products now stocked on Feel Unique. I picked up a full-size shampoo in 'Extra Gentle' which kindly arrived with a travel size bottle of signature 'The One' shampoo and conditioner completely free! The packaging is beautiful, as you can see from the photos - it's such a warm aesthetically pleasing bottle with a really easy push-top. I've been using the product every other day - my hair is really long and fine so I find it does need regular washing to keep it in good condition. I did try to cut down on the amount of washes but really struggled with it so I look for gentle formula's that are sulphate-free and can be used daily.

During the wash I found that only a small amount of product is needed, the shampoo lathers up really well - it's not as heavily scented as 'The One' collection but still has a nice light fragrance that lingers on the hair. I like to spend a good 5 minutes making sure I've massaged the shampoo all over the scalp before rinsing first with warm water and a quick blast with cold at the end (I find this really helps to add shine and just feels nice!) The shampoo washes out really easily, as my hair is so thick I am always rinsing that little bit longer just to make sure it's all out.

I actually haven't used conditioner in ages.. my hair didn't seem to get on with it for a really long time, it made my hair feel really heavy which had an impact on volume. I used the occasional hair mask every month to keep my hair in good shape but it wasn't a regular part of my routine. I really like the 'the one' conditioner and it's something I will definitely be repurchasing. Yes, it is annoying as it adds an extra five minutes to an already long process (if you have long hair you'll know the struggle!) but it really has made my hair feel a lot nicer, the scent is so dreamy too!

One of the stand out features of Kristin Ess Hair is 'Zip-Up Technology' the product range aims to strengthen the hair, "zipping" up the split ends and improving the overall appearance. I have noticed that the ends of my hair are not as dry and there may be split ends but these are less obvious than previously.

It is definitely a brand I want to continue to trial, I'd love to try the hair mask or some of the styling products - If you've tried the brand please let me know of any products you think are worth a go?


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Review: 30 Montaigne

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." - Christian Dior

Dior 30 Montaigne:

My love of fragrance means that my perfume collection is always expanding... I really enjoy trying out new and interesting scents or discovering something different. The changing of the seasons is always a great time to change up your fragrance; to try something new. 

The lovely team at World Duty Free kindly sent me the '30 Montaigne' Dior travel collection with five of their signature fragrances, I love buying and receiving travel sets, they are perfect for trying out a couple of different perfumes seeing how they take to your skin (I find to test a perfume you really need to leave it a couple of hours to see how it takes to your skin; different scents vary on different people!) Travel sets also make the perfect gift, especially when they are packaged in a beautiful white box like the Dior collection.

Inside this lovely set:

Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet - A really lovely girly scent, a twist on the original 'Miss Dior' a scent I adore and wore throughout my teens. it definitely has stronger floral notes but it really is delightful, I love floral warm scents and really like this one - it's definitely my favourite in the collection!

J'adore - This is the only 'eau de parfum' in the collection, the rest being 'eau de toilette' - it's intense but luxurious and I love the gold hardware on the bottle. J'adore is very feminine, it was very popular a few years ago and I can see why - it's light and sweet but not in an obvious way.

Poison Girl - I'm not quite sure how to describe this, it's not something I would typically chose - it's a warm scent but quite unusual. There are definitely notes of orange and blossom but I can't work out what else.  I would definitely chose to wear this perfume in the evening, it's got a darker feel to it; I don't know if it's the apple shaped bottle or the name but it definitely feels quite villainous. 

Diorissimo -  A very fresh scent, made with the romantic lily of the valley flower but with hints of Jasmine. A classic bottle to match, this fragrance reminds me so much of spring mornings.

Forever and ever Dior - Another gorgeous combination from Dior, the notes of jasmine are very strong against the subtleness of the freesia, it's a very delicate scent. It's definitely a mature fragrance, not something I would have picked out for myself but I have found myself reaching for this in the mornings!

Dior not only create the most gorgeous feminine scents but the perfect bottles to hold them; every single one of the bottles in this set is beautiful making it an ideal gift! This collection stays true to Christian Dior's love of flowers with each perfume bringing something different to the set. 

I honestly loved every single scent in this collection, I have so many ideas of how to make use of the beautiful box too! World Duty Free really is a lovely place to shop before boarding your flight, what I love the most is the prices - when you buy from World Duty Free you are always getting a bargain! 

* Disclaimer: The travel perfume set was a gift from World Duty Free. I was under no obligation to post about this product - all opinions and views stated are my own * 


Saturday, 28 July 2018

Review: TreatBox

"TreatBox is a hug in a box designed to make you feel loved and uplifted" 

Review: TreatBox

This post is a little different from my usual topic of skincare. I was kindly sent the July TreatBox this month and decided to pop up a post detailing what TreatBox is all about, whats included and a mini-review as such! The theme of the July box was Paris (If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll remember in February I visited Paris for the day, I've popped a link to the post here!). I absolutely love Paris and the treats inside this box were perfect, I actually chose not to do any research prior to receiving my box as I wanted the contents to be a surprise; a real TREAT!

One of the things I love about TreatBox is the attention to detail, everything is so well packaged and thought-out. It is full of personal touches - the note 'just for you' and the little card detailing everything that's inside the July Box. I think the concept of a theme is great, especially for a monthly box. In addition to a monthly box there is the option to create your own TreatBox with 5,7 or 10 items - there's a fab selection to choose from (something I will definitely be using for presents in the future). The items range from: notecards, hand creams, coasters and even notebooks! I personally love the idea of a surprise monthly box but if you wanted to have more input the build a box aspect is ideal!

So I've popped up a photo of what was included in my box:
- 'La Vie Est Belle' biscuit (I'm unfortunately Gluten Free but I was told it was very good)
- French themed badges
- Art Print (I will definitely be framing this! it translates to 'under the beautiful stars')
- Lip Balm
- Socks
- Photo Frame
- Coin Purse
- Personal Note - this not only contains what's inside your box but can also be used as a monthly calendar!

I am honestly amazed at the selection, all of these lovely treats all for £12.95... £12 if you subscribe! It's clear the contents of this box is worth a LOT more. My favourite item is the socks, the Eiffel Tower embroidery is so cute; something I haven't seen before either. My second favourite item is the 'bubble t' macaroon lip balm - it's even shaped like a macaroon, and is such a nice formula!

As I mentioned earlier there is the option to create your own box, I was kindly given a code "FB10T" to share with you that would take 10% off your order - this is NOT valid on the monthly boxes. I linked the website above but if you do feel like treating yourself or a loved one here's another link to the TreatBox website! Hope you've enjoyed reading this post as much as I have receiving the TreatBox!

* Disclaimer - Although the product in this review was gifted, all opinions and views stated are my own*


Monday, 18 June 2018

#GatwickSummerFestival - a mini beauty/skincare haul

#GatwickSummerFestival - a mini beauty/skincare haul:

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that in the past I have kindly received some products from the lovely PR team at World Duty Free. Last week, I was invited by the team to attend a shopping event in celebration of the Gatwick Summer Festival, an in-store event that runs from now (June) to the end of August across both terminal buildings. The festival has been launched as Gatwick celebrates its 60th anniversary year in collaboration with World Duty Free.

I was kindly booked in to the BLOC hotel at Gatwick's south terminal, I was unsure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the hotel and the room I was given. The rooms are clean, well equipped with a rain shower and flat screen TV. The beds are king-size and EXTREMELY comfortable, I was lucky enough to have a view of the runway and could see all the planes getting ready to take off (if that wasn't enough to make me want to book another holiday?!) Inside my room was a lovely goodie bag from the girls at World Duty Free, it included Champagne, popcorn and lots of travel beauty treats.

This was my first ever blogger event, I hadn't met any other bloggers before so it was quite nerve-wracking. However, all the girls were lovely and so welcoming, they made me feel so at ease (instead of the beginner I am!) after picking up our security passes we all walked together to the World Duty Free Store at the North Terminal - a short shuttle away from the south. Upon arrival we were greeted by the lovely team in store, the team provided us with a brief introduction to the festival and explained to us about a few of the exclusive offers and opportunities available. One of the festival opportunities that I wanted to share is that the MAC counter are offering 'festival glow' makeovers to all passengers - if you love beauty and skincare like me, then 100% pop along to the counter and one of the lovely artists will make you over. Another  Gatwick exclusive that interested me was the introduction of two new alcoholic spirits, a Caribbean White Rum and Sour Cherry and Coconut Gin Liquor - both sound like such a dream! I was told these would be available in restaurants around the airport as well as inside the store. I was unable to sample these so if you get the chance I'd love to hear your thoughts - hoping to pick some up next time I visit the airport. 

One of the things I love the most about shopping at the airport is how much cheaper it is than in store - you are very unlikely to find the same item this cheap on the high-street! In addition to the bag of treats in my room I was treated to some vouchers by the girls from World Duty Free. I honestly cannot tell you how surprised and grateful I was/am, this was so unexpected and it really highlights their amazing PR team, the girls are lovely and they organised a truly amazing event. In the second half of this post I'm going to show you the things I picked up:

1. Urban Decay Backtalk Palette: I was sold as soon as I saw the four cheek shades so you can imagine my surprise when I realised the palette included a selection of eyeshadows too! I have always loved the Naked Palettes so was very excited to see they had a new palette! I haven't had a chance to try all the shades out yet but, my favourite shades so far would definitely be 'bare' and 'curve' - if you have this palette I would love to know your favourites too.

2. Viktor & Rolf 'Flowerbomb' Candle: I have always been in love with the 'Flowerbomb' Fragrance and after seeing the candle continuously pop up on my Instagram feed I picked one up. The packaging is absolutely gorgeous as is the scent, the candle burns really well and doesn't tunnel - I was scared to light it at first but am so so glad I did.

3. Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado: As you may know by now I am OBSESSED with Kiehl's... this cream has been on my wish list for a long long time! The skin around the eyes is so delicate and it's an area I could definitely look after that little bit more. I can't wait to see the results after a few weeks use.

4. Chanel Les 4 Ombres: I picked up this eyeshadow quad in the shade '272' with the exception of nail polish this was my first Chanel purchase. The quad comes in a black case and looks so professional, I love the selection of colours what initially drew me in was the metallic shade in the top left and the way it contrasts the dark mauve. Eyeshadow is something I want to experiment with more, I chose colours that were out of my usual comfort zone but weren't too daring. I cannot wait to keep you updated with how I get on.

5. Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Bath Oil: This item isn't pictured but I chose to pick up a new bottle of bath oil, Jo Malone is incredibly well-priced at the airport so it's definitely worth stocking up if you pass through. I love baths and do tend to spend a little bit extra on luxury bath products in contrast to the shower, I have always had good experiences with the Jo Malone oils. They leave your skin feeling moisturised and smooth - the perfect companion for a  Sunday soak.

I hope you enjoyed this post, if you pass through Gatwick during the Summer festival I would love to hear your thoughts or see what you pick up. If you have your eye on something in particular, there is the option to reserve and collect - you can do this from as early as a month before your trip and as little as a day before by logging on to the website!

*disclaimer: the hotel, goodie bag and spending vouchers were provided by the team at World Duty Free but all views and opinions stated are my own*

Sunday, 22 April 2018

What's in my bag: Radley Rose Court Small Drawstring Cross Body Bag

What's in my bag: Radley Rose Court Small Drawstring Cross Body Bag

I was kindly sent this gorgeous bag for part of a collaboration with Radley, after a week of constant use I thought it would be a great opportunity for a 'what's in my bag blog post'. I've never written one of these before but thought it would be something a bit different from my usual beauty and skincare reviews. Radley is a British company who make the most gorgeous bags, prior to this beauty I also own a black cross body from an earlier collection. What I like about Radley is the quality, so many bags break or start to show wear after a few uses, this bag is so durable and you can tell that it's really well-made. I was so skeptical about a taupe coloured bag as I was worried I'd get it dirty or that it wouldn't match well with my clothes - I was wrong! 

The bag is such a perfect size for all my essentials, I can't wait to start styling it with my spring/summer pieces over the next few weeks. I loved photographing this bag too, it's such a gorgeous colour even better than expected. I really hope you enjoy having a sneak-peak what's in my everyday bag.

1. One of the things I can't go anywhere without is my iPhone. It's not always possible to carry my camera in my bag all the time, there just isn't enough space. It's so handy to be able to snap-away with my phone if the opportunity arises; I love taking photos! My case is a really lovely gold embellished Rifle Paper Co branded one, I love it, it's so pretty and does the job (I've had three iPhones now and haven't cracked a single screen - yet) It also makes it incredibly easy to spot if I'm in a rush and can't find it... priorities! 

2. I always carry a notepad around with me, I'm incredibly organised and find myself forever writing various to-do lists or just jotting things down. This journal is one from Rifle Paper Co (you can probably notice a theme here... I love this brand!) I love the pretty pink illustration on the cover, it's so summery. The notebook is the perfect size and the pages are lined inside making it so easy to scribble down thoughts quickly. 

3. Glossier Boy Brow need I say more, this product is a life-saver. I get my brows done once a month and have been doing so for a couple of years now, they are an area of my face that needs regular attention and lose their shape extremely quickly. I use the shade brown as this pretty much matches my natural hair colour and my choice of tint! It's a really smooth formula that isn't too clumpy or runny, I apply this by gently brushing through my brows in upward strokes - to add more volume you can backcomb your brows by brushing the opposite way coating both sides of the hair. I have quite thick brows so I find that one swift application works for me and lasts the whole day. I'm never without this product, it fixes any stray hair and keeps my brows looking perfect all day long.

4. Another beauty product that I always keep in my bag is perfume, at the moment my favourite perfume is the Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede, this is my go-to scent and I wore it pretty much all of Summer 2017 - The first signs of sunshine prompted me to reach for it again. It is a light, floral scent and is perfect for day to night transition. This is the smaller size available from the store, I love the full-size option but for my handbag the smaller bottle is perfect.

5. At the moment I have been using this lovely Cath Kidston paisley purse, this isn't my usual purse option but everything is pretty much contactless these days so I don't feel the need to carry so much cash around all the time. This purse fits my card, my regular loyalty cards and my id. I love the paisley print; I would link it but this is such an old design that I picked up at a Selfridges concession about 5-6 years ago. Like my iPhone my purse is another item that I never leave the house without, but I am on the lookout for a new one - any recommendations welcome!

6. The final item that I have been carrying around with me is the Glossier Balm dotcom in original, this skin salve is a life-saver. I hate dry lips so I try to apply this regularly to make sure they stay soft and hydrated, I like how the product works as a base for lipstick but also as a stand-alone balm. There are so many different flavours and I am so keen to try coconut or rose, they will definitely be on my wish list and making their way in to my basket on my next glossier order. If you have any recommendations of which Balm dotcom's to try next please let me know!

I really hope you've enjoyed this post in collaboration with Radley. They have so many gorgeous bags right now with so many amazing options - all featuring the trademark Scottie dog keyring. I've popped a link in here! if you wanted to have a look at some of their new arrivals. I would love to know what you thought of this post!

* Disclaimer - the bag was gifted as part of a collaboration all views are my own *

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