Friday, 31 October 2014

Banana Boat Aloe Vera Gel

Not a very seasonally appropriate post today but I have just come back from a week in Tunisia. It was a very hot relaxed week by the pool so we did get a lot of sun.

We did get a little too red on a couple of occasions, but even if I didn't I would always use an after sun. My after sun of choice usually is Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Body Butter in Exotic Coconut which is available from boots.com for £10.50. The reason that we didn't bring this is because we already had this in our cupboard after buying earlier in the year after my boyfriend burnt his face.

I know a few people that swear by Aloe Vera throughout the year but I thought that I would still prefer the much nicer smelling body lotions and creams. However after getting a few bits burnt mainly my toes and my chest I have to say this is much better if you do actually get burnt. As nice smelling as the Hawaiian Tropic one is, if you do get burnt it isn't a patch on this one. It is cooling and absorbs much quicker. It also seems to let your skin breathe and not clog up up your pores.

My boyfriend also loved this which was a surprise, he caught more sun then me and was impressed in how quickly this soothed his skin. 

This has definitely become a holiday essential for us both which we will be taking on future trips to the sun.

You can pick this up for £6.00 from boots.com.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Soap & Glory - Trick and Treatment Dark Circle Concealer

I thought I would complete my mini series of the concealers I currently own *although at the time of posting I have bought another one. After being impressed with the Laura Mercier Undercover Pot which I reviewed here I saw that Soap & Glory did a version the Kick Ass Concealer which is available from boots.com which I fully intended to buy. 

However once in Boots I got sucked into trying out this. The reason I wanted to try this instead of the Kick Ass one is that this claims to not only conceal but also treats your dark circles. 

This is only available in one shade which with hindsight should have got the alarm bells ringing as sadly this really isn't my shade. I am rather fair and this is too dark and orange for me.

Shade aside I am not a huge fan of this due to the large amount of glitter this seems to have in it. My camera doesn't pick this up but it's like a glitter ball, especially in natural lighting. It also doesn't actually cover my dark circles just adds a large amount of sparkle. 

I can't review the claims on treating the dark circles as I haven't used more then a handful of times. If you are fair skinned and have bad circles I wouldn't recommend this sadly, the tone is just too dark and the coverage just isn't there either.

This hasn't put me off trying the Kick Ass concealer but will definitely check the shades.

You can pick this up from boots.com for £9.

If anyone has any concealer recommendations please let me know.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Laura Mercier Undercover Pot

I thought I would do a little mini series of the concealers that I have at the moment after reviewing the MAC Pro Longwear one here. This time it's the Laura Mercier Undercover Pot which is another YouTube inspired purchase. I spotted Sam Chapman using this in a video and quickly headed to the shops and picked up the lightest shade number 1.

This is the most expensive concealer I have ever used retailing at £29 but you do get three different products for that.

On the bottom is the loose setting powder, which is worth the £29 alone in my opinion. Before becoming obsessed with YouTube and blogs I never set my under eye area. I then bought a generic drugstore one thinking loose powder is loose powder - how wrong was I. This stuff is amazing, it keeps my concealer in place all day and somehow adds a touch of brightness. It doesn't cake up and I think that this small little pot will last much longer then the other products in the trio. I did read that if you are being photographed to use this very sparingly especially if a flash is involved.

Now onto the cream products the first the lighter of the two is secret camouflage. This is the product that I have used the least mostly due to the texture. It is very dry and is meant to cancel out redness but I just can't make this work. I can't put on blemishes as I find it impossible to blend and it just clings and makes them look worse This is also much to dry to go anywhere near my eyes. If anyone knows if I am doing something wrong please let me know.

Lastly is the secret concealer the more salmon toned concealer and this is designed to cancel the darker tones. This is the best concealer I have used to conceal my dark circles, it doesn't get rid of them completely but is definitely the best result I have ever had. I apply with my fingers as find that with their heat it blends beautifully. Once set with the loose powder this doesn't bunch all day.

As much as I love two of the products I can't see me buying this again, and there are two reasons for that. One is the secret camouflage, I just don't get on with this and can't see me using up the one in this let alone another one. The second reason is that I don't feel that you get enough of secret concealer I hit pan alarmingly quickly and now only use on special occasions, however there is still loads of the powder left, and I use daily regardless which concealer I am using.

I will definitely buy the full size loose powder which is £29 at uk.spacenk.com. I don't know if I will buy the full size secret concealer as I am convinced that there is something that will cover them completely maybe that is just wishful thinking but that is what I am on the hunt for.

I am glad that I tried this and would recommend to others with bad dark circles. You can pick this up for £29 from uk.spacenk.com

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

I have been searching for the perfect concealer for years. I have 'suffered' with dark circles since I was a child and one of the main reasons that I still wear my glasses is that they help hide them. My left eye has got worse recently with the darkness spreading. 

So if I see someone rave about an under eye concealer and especially  if I see one being used on YouTube then I want to try it. I am not ashamed to admit it but I love Jaclyn Hill, she always looks flawless and after watching one too many of her videos I decided I needed to try this.

Even though Norwich has a MAC store I haven't bought much from there. I popped in to ask whether empty brush cleaner bottles can be used in the back to MAC program (which yes they can) and asked if I could be colour matched for this.

I don't know whether it was the lighting in the store or the way she applied it but I thought yes I have found it. We both decided that NW15 was the best as it really brightened my under eyes. I skipped out the store happy as Larry and ready to never worry about dark circles again.

Sadly my happiness soon faded, firstly the pump on this drives me insane. Half a pump of this is way too much and I feel like I end up wiping more off my hand then I put on my under eyes. 

Talking of applying unless you have a damp beauty blender type product I wouldn't bother. I usually use my fingers to apply concealer but this was just a hot mess. I tried brushes but they just seemed to move it around. The only way I like to apply is generously thankfully with the pump issues you have plenty on the back of your hand to work with, and then dab with a damp beauty blender - I use the Real Techniques one.

This does need to be set and although it called Pro Longwear I do find it does crease. If you have very dry skin I would find something else as I do find it quite drying.

Now all these little gripes I can live with but I am not convinced that NW15 was the right shade, I find that this can make me look a bit grey. I think I need something more warm, usually I go for more salmon toned concealers which seems to cancel out the darkness better. I have just used findation.com it suggests NC15 as a foundation so guessing I picked wrong. You live you learn.

This might not be perfect but I think it could be damn close with another shade.  I might see if I can get another shade and do a bit of mixing as I love how this brightens. I am meant to be on a spending ban but that is another blog post.

This is available for £17 for 9ml from maccosmetics.co.uk

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Recent Empties More Skincare

This will be my last empties from the products I used up whilst having a blogging break, they should go back to monthly - fingers crossed.

Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser I haven't got much else to say about this. It is still my favourite cleanser, I have already repurchased two of these. If you want to see my full review you can here.

Caudalie Cleansing Water I have had this for ages as I got it the Christmas before last, you can see what else I got here. I held off using as it's expensive but decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. I must say I do like it, it smells amazing and doesn't dry out the skin unlike other cleansing waters I have tried. The only issue I have is price, I only use cleansing waters to take off my makeup. I don't think they cleanse well enough to be used alone and for that I don't see the point in splashing the cash. This doesn't do anything that cheaper brands don't apart from smell nicer. Now if money was no object I would buy this again, but sadly it is. You can pick up 100ml for £8.55 from feelunique.com.

Neal's Yard Power Berry Daily Moisturiser I picked this up with InStyle last year, as I am rapidly approaching 30 something that has Youthful Skin on it meant I had to try. I can't say that my skin looked more youthful but it does also claim to give you 'brighter dewy- looking skin' and it definitely makes your skin dewy maybe too dewy. I don't mind a bit of a glow but my forehead and nose were just really oily. If my skin was more on the dry side, I imagine I would have liked a lot more. It does have a scent but I liked it and was a light easily absorbed formula. This is available for £12 for 50ml from nealsyardremedies.com

L'Oreal Age Perfect Refreshing Toner I bought this as I am sure that this was recommended by Caroline Hirons. The first thing I noticed about this is the scent. It smells very strong and is not very pleasant, if it did wonders for my skin I could over look that. Sadly it didn't, it left my skin feeling tender and a bit red. I was tempted to stop using but I hate wasting products so carried on. My skin didn't get used to it and remained tender. Safe to say I wouldn't repurchase again. I am now on the hunt for a budget friendly toner I do like the Liz Earle toner but that isn't exactly budget friendly so if you have any cheaper alternatives please let me know. You can pick this up for £4.49 for 200ml from superdrug.com.

As always none of the above links are affiliate - just like to be helpful.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

My Troubles

If you read my recent(ish) post here you will know I touched on going through a bit of a rough time recently. I wish I could say that it has now passed but that would be a lie. 

Firstly I would like to point out that I know I am very lucky to have what I have and secondly yes there are a lot of people a lot worse off then me. But when people point this out to me it makes me feel worse not better. When people say that life is a gift I actually feel guilty for being here. I don't want this post to make anyone else feel bad or for anyone to feel sorry for me. I guess I just want to share what I am going through maybe by putting it out there it will help me.

Having suffered before I realised that I was heading down the same path. I became obsessed with things and trapped in a cycle of deeply unhealthy and disturbing thoughts. In some ways having been through something similar was both helpful and unhelpful at the same time. On the positive side I knew the signs so could seek help sooner but on the other hand I was terrified. I knew what was coming and I knew how bad it could get.

I went to the doctors and felt that they just wanted to put me on medication, I don't personally believe that my problems are 'medical' I don't want to offend anyone and I am no doctor but I don't think that taking pills without trying other options was the right thing to do. That hasn't been to say that it hasn't been extremely hard and at times I have wanted to go back to the doctor just to take the edge off. 

I guess it would be a good idea to say what I have been suffering, which is difficult as I do not agree with my doctor.

Again I don't want this post to be here to slag off the NHS I understand that we are incredibly lucky to have free health care but I don't believe that speaking to someone for five minutes who I have never seen before and ticking a few boxes actually counts as a diagnosis. 

I believe that I have anxiety which seems to be backed up by other services. I read somewhere, sadly I can't remember where, that depression is where the mind is focused on the past, either on a sad event or longing for past happier times. Anxiety is where the mind is consumed with fear of the future. 

Right now I am unable to enjoy the now, everything could be perfect I could be having the best day of my life, but I can't enjoy it. All I can think is how the next second it could all be smashed. The trigger seemed to be new neighbours moving in next door, I am not sure why this has had such a profound affect. I think it was it highlights the lack of control you have over your life. 

When I am most anxious is the weekends, most people count down to leaving time on a Friday but I dread it. I hate being alone at the weekends I feel trapped in my home and head and will do anything not to be home alone. If I go out I dread going home. Ideally I would love to move, but everyone is convinced that I would simply become fixated on something else.

After going to my doctor I was refereed to my local wellbeing service. The first stage was attending stress control classes. It was not group therapy more a of workshop and if you want more information you can visit stresscontrol.org.


Every week you had to complete a questionnaire and after all the sessions you chat with another member of the  service and are evaluated. I was deemed to need more help so have been seeing a CBT therapist. I have been to counselling before and this is not the same at all. It is much more focused on the here and now, there are some questions about the past, but only in as much as how has your past made you view the world and how you fit into that world.

You are set homework, or at least I have been. I have been given relaxation exercises to do and been recommended to try exercise and meditation. I am also trying to not control my thoughts but to be able to focus on the ones I want to aka not the unhelpful ones.

Being happy is a lot more work then being unhappy it seems, but I am hoping that by following the advice I can get there.

If anyone reading this is struggling with any similar issues, I urge you to seek help, if you don't want to contact your GP there are several sites such as mind.org.uk and samaritans.org I only know UK based sites but please don't face this alone.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Recent Empties - Bath and Body


Another post on my empties I accumulated on my little break from blogging and this edition is on the bath and body products.

Avon Strawberry Sorbet Bubble Bath I have mentioned before in other empties how good Avon's bubble baths are, and this was no exception. Now they might not smell the most sophisticated but they create lots of bubbles and don't dry out my skin. They are also usually on offer in the brochures and are often real bargains.  I usually get the big bottles but this was only the smaller 500ml size. It still lasted ages and I would definitely purchase again. It is available from your local representative or from avonshop.co.uk for £4.00 (but as I said it's frequently on offer)

L'Occitane Mango Flower Hand Cream I got this as a freebie with a magazine back in October 2012, you can see what else I got here. This smells gorgeous and like all the other L'Occitane hand creams is practically a miracle worker. This can be a bit greasy if you apply too much and less is definitely more when it comes to this. The packaging also gets a big thumbs up as you can get all of the product out. This was limited edition but there are several other hand creams available from uk.loccitane.com I probably wouldn't buy one for myself but would make a lovely present.

Herve Leger Femme another Avon product and this one I have had for ages, I think I purchased this when I was an Avon Lady so many moons ago. I must admit that I wasn't a huge fan of this, there was something in it that I wasn't keen on. The notes aren't on their website but it is described as 'enticing freshness, exotic florals and addictive honeyed woods' My personal feelings on this is that it is more of a mature scent. It lasted well on my skin and hasn't put me off Avon fragrances, I just wouldn't purchase this again. It is currently half price at £10.00 from avonshop.co.uk.

Soap & Glory The Scrub of your Life I have mentioned this a few times but not done a full review, which I should as I do love this. This summer I have tried to embrace self tanner well one of the gradual ones, and have found if I use this every few days it gets rid of any dry flaky skin. I am not going to say that it helped me get perfect bronzed skin but it wasn't a disaster. I also love these little travel sizes for holiday. I am not going away until October but will definitely take one of these. The large 200ml is available from boots.com for £7.

L'Occitane Fleur Cherie Bath and Shower Gel my best friend got me this for Christmas last year, you can check out what else I got here. I decided to take this away with me when I went to Cheltenham at the height of my 'troubles' the scent now both comforts and also reminds me of very upsetting time. The scent is very sweet and lingers. I didn't use as a shower gel just as a bubble bath, as I felt to wash it straight off would be a waste. I do love L'Occitane products but not the price tag, they are excellent gifts though. The full size 250ml is available from uk.loccitane.com for £14

Friday, 5 September 2014

Recent Empties #Makeup

Another post on all the empties I have collected whilst having a break from blogging and this time it's makeup.

MUA Pro-Base Fixing Mist I bought this after lusting over the Urban Decay setting sprays and thinking I would be frugal and try this budget one first. To be honest I am not sure whether this does much, I never really struggled with makeup lasting, but I do get a shiny T Zone. This hasn't stopped that at all, and I am not sure if it is really designed to. I have bought another one but  I have also just ordered an Avon version which is cheaper and bigger. If that doesn't work I am going to bite the bullet and get an Urban Decay one. This is available from superdrug.com for £5.

Benefit They're Real Mascara if you haven't tried this where have you been? I got this in either a beauty box or free with a magazine I can't remember now. As with the majority of reviews I love the look you can get with this. Your lashes are super black and dramatic, I also love the wand especially the spiky end which makes bottom lashes nice and easy. What I don't like with this is the hassle involved with removing. It doesn't matter what I use it takes several attempts to get rid of all traces of this. I just don't have the patience for that on a day to day basis. For a night out this is hands down my favourite mascara. I will continue to pick up these little samples but can't see me shelling out for a full size. Mascara is just not a product I am willing to spend a lot of money on. You can pick up the full size for £19.50 at feelunique.com.

Benefit The POREfessional Pro Balm Primer another product that you can pick up samples from anywhere, I think that this is my second sample and I still have one unopened. This is also another product I am happy to pick up as a freebie but wouldn't hand over my cash for a full size. I don't think this does anything for my pores and I don't love the feeling of this. It also doesn't stop me from getting shiny. Like the setting spray I use a primer but never sure whether it actually makes that much difference. The full size is available from feelunique.com for £24.50.

Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base I have mentioned many times before that I have very oily eyelids. I can't not use a primer and even then can suffer from creasing. I bought this as I had previously been using the Urban Decay Original Primer, but found it worked best with Urban Decay shadows. I thought maybe this would work better with other shadows. It really didn't, this works amazingly with Urban Decay shadows and less well with anything else. Nars is not readily available in Norwich sadly and also this is more expensive then the Urban Decay so I won't be repurchasing. If anyone has any budget recommendations please let me know. This is available from houseoffraser.co.uk for £19.50.

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream in Ivory as well as suffering oily lids I have dark circles. This looked different with its focus in colour correcting so picked it up. I really liked this, my circles didn't vanish but were better. It was also a nice consistency for under eyes and once set didn't crease. The actual colour was a good match for me and generally I liked it. I am still on the hunt for something that will get rid of my circles 100% but I am starting to think that without a good few layers of different concealers that isn't going to happen. The only downside I found to this is that it didn't last very long, but I would repurchase again if on offer. You can pick this up from boots.com for £7.99.

Monday, 1 September 2014

My Morning Skincare Routine

I thought it was about time I shared my morning skincare routine, this does change quite frequently mostly due to the number of samples I have picked up due to freebies and beauty boxes. This is my current routine and one I am quite happy with.

Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser if you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will know I love this. I have raved about this time and time again, my full review is here. I do have some other cleanser that I am trying but I like to use this in the morning as I know my skin reacts well to it and feel like if I tried to many different cleansers my skin would freak out. This is available from superdrug.com for £4.99 but is often on offer.

Naked Skin Up Tone Girl I picked this up at my local Savers as I heard some good things about the brand. I really like this toner as it gentle to my skin and smells gorgeous. The last toner I used left my skin feeling tender and looking a bit red, so I felt like my skin needed something gentle. I am upset that I can't find this anywhere, I am guessing that is why it was in Savers, but if anyone does see this I would recommend picking it up.

Liz Earle Daily Eye Repair after finding myself in the position of not having any eye cream samples I had to take to the shops and buy one. I don't know why I didn't buy the full size of the Benefit B'Right It's Potent Eye cream which I reviewed here but alas I bought this instead. I have loved many Liz Earle products but often find a more budget alternative which I like just as much, case in point the Hot Cloth cleanser which has been replaced by the above Superdrug one. I don't know whether this will be the case with this, in fact I would say I like this just as much as the Benefit one. This does include light reflective particles to brighten the eye area and it can also be used on other fine lines. After reading the back this does say to use in the morning but I use am and pm. I do feel that my circles have gotten a tad better with this. I might alternate this with the Benefit if I ever remember to buy the full size. You can pick this up from johnlewis.com for £14.75.

Decleor Aroma Solutions Engerising Gel this was given to me by my lovely sister, a few months ago I was going through a lot of stress and my skin really took a hammering. My skin was dry all over my body that it started cracking and nothing would get rid of it. I was quite distressed as I would wake up at night in pain as it felt my skin was shrinking. I ended up getting rid of it by slathering tons of Palmer Cocoa Butter available from boots.com on. But everyone had a suggestion and my sister said she had bought a set from Decleor and that this was included. She didn't know what it was but that it could be used on the face or body. When we looked online it was obvious that this was very expensive but bless her she said she wouldn't use. I didn't try this on my dry skin but have used in my morning skincare routine. I can't say exactly what this has done, or how much is down to this or other products. But my skin is looking and feeling a lot better then it has in months. I can't say my fine lines are gone but they haven't gotten an worse and also spots have been very few and far between. I can't say that I will repurchase but this 200ml will last months as I only use a small blob every morning.  A smaller 150ml size is available for £36.52 + p&p from qvcuk.com.

Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream I got this as part of the most recent beauty box from britishbeautyblogger.com I used to always think that I had dry skin but as I have got older my T zone has been getting oilier. I tried using products for oily skin but they parched my skin and made my forehead worse. I have therefore come to the conclusion that my poor skin is probably combination and dehydrated. I know I should drink more but I can't spend all day on the loo, anyway this is for normal to combination skin and although my forehead still gets rather dewy I can live with that. This is designed to fight, ageing so tackles wrinkles, dullness and uneven skin tone. As with the above it is hard to tell which part of your routine has the biggest impact but I do really like this. It has a light texture which absorbs quickly and leaves my skin soft. It also has a nice scent and I like that it is in a pot as you can get every last bit out. The full size is available from boots.com for £22

So that is my current routine - am I missing anything?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Random Haul #6

I haven't posted a haul for ages, that doesn't mean I haven't been shopping just been too lazy to write a post. This month I was meant to be being good, alas I have spent a fortune. These are just the beauty bits and pieces I have picked up in August - so far.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge I have had my eye on this for ages, I have always wanted a Beauty Blender but always thought that they are expensive and wasn't sure about how easy they are to keep clean and hygienic. I decided to get this as I love all my Real Techniques brushes and wanted to use with my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. I also technically got this for free as I used my Advantage Card to pay. You can pick this up for £5.99 or 599 points from boots.com

If anyone has any tips on cleaning this please leave me a comment.

NYX Blush in Pinched this is another product I have been eyeing up forever. I know this is a YouTuber favourite but I have never seen in the actual shops so always resisted. I randomly found a NYX stand in my local Next in the lingerie section! Is it just me that thinks that is an odd place to put a makeup display? Anyway after spotting I was soon raiding the stand for this bad boy like a mad woman. As soon as swatched I knew it was coming home with me. It was £6 which I think is a bargain, sadly I can't find this on next.co.uk or anywhere else. If you are looking for this and want to swatch I would suggest popping into your local Next.

NYC HD Color Quattro Eyeshadow in 815 Best of Broadway I really don't need any more eyeshadows but I was shopping with my mum and lets just say I suggested quite a few products. She then made, yes made me buy something. So I picked up this little palette, I am sure that I have seen this in a YouTube video somewhere so I decided to give it a try. I have never tried anything from the brand and thought that this would be great for travel. It was a bargain at £2.99 and is available from lloydspharmacy.com

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 I went in the MAC store to ask a question and came out with three products! I suffer from very bad dark circles and have yet to find my Holy Grail concealer, I mention this whilst chatting to the lovely MAC lady and she suggested this. I know that Jaclyn Hill uses this, and also uses to prime her eyelid so I was intrigued. As always in the store this looked amazing, I have yet to achieve such results at home. I do also have a few niggles with this product but hoping that the Real Techniques sponge might help. This is £17 from maccosmetics.co.uk.

MAC 286 Duo Fibre Brush this is the second thing I bought in MAC. I also bought a bottle of Brush Cleanser which I didn't include in this haul as it's not terribly exciting. You can pick that up here. Anyway after agreeing to purchase the concealer I stupidly asked what the best way to apply was and guess what she suggested two brushes. One of the ones was a small foundation brush which I wasn't feeling and the other was this one. When I saw this I knew I was in trouble, it is so soft. I love my duo fibre Real Technique eyeshadow brush, but I find if I blend too much it feels like it scratches. I can report that I don't have any such problems with this. I am not sure I would use to blend my concealer but I am glad I bought. This is £23 from maccosmetics.co.uk.

Deep Action Mattifying Shine Control Papers which might just be one of the least glamorous beauty products ever but I can't wait to try these out. I use the Rimmel Stay Matte powder which due to having awful packaging is no way going in my bag. The lid is split and doesn't stay on. It also doesn't keep me matte through a full work day so have been looking rather more dewy then I would like. I only bought these today so can't report back whether they are any good. I did really struggle to find these, does anyone use any other brands or have any recommendations. These are £2.59 from superdrug.com.

Clearasil Superfruits Refreshing Pads as I have now finally finished my AAT I have been catching up on YouTube and watched Caroline Hiron's Budget Skincare video which you can watch here. When Caroline recommends products it's pretty much guaranteed that I will lust after it, and when I saw this in Boots for £2.71 I knew I had to have it. Again I only got this today but I can't wait to try and report back. As I said this is on offer for £2.71 at the moment from boots.com.

I am hoping for my bank balances state that this will be the last haul for awhile but I just cant say no at the moment.

Friday, 8 August 2014

A Happy Ending?

Well this is going to be a bit of a different post for me, sort of a random ramble based on something that I have been thinking about this week - is all we want is a happy ending?

I am not ashamed to admit it, although maybe I should that I am a hopeless romantic. I love reading Mills and Boon and watching chick flicks. Now sometimes I question why I read them, I know it's not how real life works. I know that I am not going to be swept off my feet by a knight (billionaire) in shinning armor (Giorgio Armani) who has a tonne of staff. I have a boyfriend who I know loves me, ok he doesn't say heart melting things to me daily or shower me with Chanel, but a girl can dram right.

Sometimes I find it quite depressing and ask myself why isn't my life like that. Our these books giving us unrealistic expectations of relationships and life in general. Shouldn't I read something more realistic and more empowering. Yet my iPad mini is full of romantic tales that I consume at an alarming rate.

I was even toying with the idea of writing one, I have read so many I know the drill. A young (they are usually fresh out of college) female meets and falls in love with a drop dead gorgeous man. As soon as they realise this another event tears them apart, there is then a period where she can't eat, sleep or function without the love of their life. But alas they end up happily together, after she finds out that he is filthy rich and amazing in bed.

I was trying to think of twists, what if she wasn't young and single, what if he wasn't a CEO but a bin man, and most shockingly what if they didn't end up together.

Alas I never started it but then I read a book which I can't stop thinking about. I won't say what it is because it will totally ruin it, but it had the most heart breaking ending. I literally couldn't read through the tears, not only did they not end up together but it finished with the devastatingly young couple discovering that not only could they not be together but that love is a myth and that they will never fall in love again.

Now I am not saying that this is more realistic as there was some very dubious plot twists but my God it haunted me for days. I couldn't stop thinking if the couple really loved each other they could overcome the obstacles, the book left absolutely no hope of this. I found it utterly heart breaking and could think and talk of little else for a couple of days.

I actually became quite angry how could the author be so heartless? How could she do it to them and more importantly to me? What had happened to her that made her so cruel?

It was then I decided that if I ever wrote a romance novel it would definitely have a happy ending. After all if our escapes from the drugged of life leaves us a sobbing mess what kind of escape is that, or positive message.

I may not believe that I will end up with a billionaire sex God but I do believe that love conquers all and that with the right partner by your side you can get through anything. In many aspects I am very negative and skeptical but matters of the heart I am ever the optimist. I realised I am unwilling to give up that hope and belief. If a romantic heroine doesn't get her happily ever after what hope is there for us.

Lastly I would like to say for the record that I am not saying to have a happy ending you have to have a man/husband, in fact many happy endings can come in many forms but I would like to think that there is a happy ending for everyone.

Recent Empties #Skincare

A rather Ren heavy post today, the reason being is that I had a few mini sets from magazines to use up. Now these are small samples and some I haven't used for a while so might not be the most in depth reviews - sorry.

Ren Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel buying and trying new cleansers seem to be my thing right now. At the moment I have four on the go, this is one of the more expensive ones that I have tried - so is it worth it. Well yes and no. This smells gorgeous as it is rose scented and is feel more luxurious then most. It also didn't dry out my skin or leave it feeling tight, but it didn't do anything amazing either. This is a product I wanted to fall in love with as it smells so good, but really it didn't do anything that my Superdrug one doesn't do for a fraction of the price. If you haven't seen my full review of that, click here. So for that reason I wouldn't repurchase. The full size is available from marksandspencer.com for £14.

Ren Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream this promises to protect against free radicals and environmental aggression whatever that means. The thing I couldn't and still can't get over is that this is a protection day cream but doesn't include and SPF - is it just me that thinks that is weird? This does have a light but I find pleasant scent, and is a light texture which is quickly absorbed. Again as with the cleansing gel, I wanted to love this but just wasn't wowed by it. Maybe because I only had 10mls but I didn't see any real difference in my skin. I am glad I tried and have nothing negative to say, but I wouldn't rush to purchase. You can pick up the full size for £27 at uk.spacenk.com.

Ren Vita-Mineral Day Cream I liked this more then the previous one, for a couple of reasons. It seemed more hydrating than the Global Protection one and it reminded me a lot of the Caudalie Vinosource Sorbet that I loved, which I reviewed here. It too had the same light texture yet managed to be uber hydrating. Depending on what offers were on when I need to buy a new moisturiser it will be a choice between this and the Caudalie. If you like a light moisturiser but need a lot of hydration I would strongly recommend this.  The full size is £25 from asos.com.

Ren Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel now 3ml is not a very large sample and I didn't test this out for as long I would have liked but this didn't make any difference to my dark circles. I have always suffered with dark circles but recently they have got worse, probably due to everything that is going on. Maybe if I had a larger sample and therefore used for longer I would have seen an improvement. Has anyone else used this? The full size is £20.00 from marksandspencer.com.

As always none of the above links are affiliate links.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Mascara

During my little sabbatical I was still wearing and loving makeup, and one of my favourite finds was this mascara from ModelCo. I got this as a freebie earlier in the year with Glamour magazine. 

To be honest I didn't have high hopes for this as had visions of this crumbling and flaking off all over my face.

This is a very dry formula and at first I wasn't sure, but I was really impressed with this. For day time I like to make my lashes as black as possible with no clumps and some added length. This delivers on both counts.

I was also impressed with the longevity, it didn't smudge, flake or crumble and it was removed easily. I am too lazy to wear mascara that is difficult to remove on a daily basis.

The packaging also get a thumbs up from me, as this has a handy mirror on the side, which although gets very grubby does come in handy.


The only issue I have with this is the price and the availability. I have never seen this in the shops and can only find on two websites. It is available from modelcocosmetics.com for £16 with £5 p&p unless you spend £100! Alternatively I have found a duo available for £6.99 on xtras.co.uk who I have ordered from before and  have been  very impressed with.

I am tempted to purchase the duo but do have quite a few mascara's but when I am running low I will check Xtras to see if they are still in stock.

Please note that none of the above links are affiliate links 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Recent Empties #Haircare



If you read my recent where have I been post, linked here you will know that I have quite a few empties to get through. I decided the best way to go through them was by category, and decided to start with the one I have the most opinions on - Haircare.

Just a recap I have very fine hair with a very sensitive scalp, so am looking for products to give me some serious volume, without making it look greasy whilst also being kind to my scalp.

So here is what I have used up

Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner for Flaky/Itchy Scalps I really think if you have a sensitive scalp that you can't go far wrong with Philip Kingsley, I love love love the shampoo in this range and have got through litres of the stuff. That said my scalp still plays up as it's seriously high maintenance. The only way my scalp behaves is if  I religiously use the shampoo, toner and a mask once a week. As soon as I stop my scalp goes back to being flaky and not very nice. This did help my scalp and as I haven't repurchased my scalp is currently playing up - why haven't I repurchased I hear you ask? Well it's just so expensive for how often I need to use it. 250mls retails at £19 and as I wash my hair daily I get through a bottle in less then two months. I have read somewhere that you can make your own scalp toner by mixing Witch Hazel and mouth wash but as yet I haven't dared try, in case I end up bald. I know I will repurchase this at some point I just wish it wasn't quite so pricey. If you do want to give this a try it is available from feelunique.com for £19.00.

Phyto Phytobaume Volume Express Conditioner for Fine Hair I bought this after this brand seemingly to be recommended by everyone in the beauty world. First up I didn't notice that my hair had any extra volume because of this. I still have visions of finding a miracle product that will make my hair bouncy, thick and full of volume. Alas this is not that product, but it isn't bad. As it is meant to be rinsed out straight away it is thicker then I am used to, and you do have to be careful not to put too much in but with the right amount it does make your hair less knotty and smoother. I can't really say that this is bad, it lasted ages seeing as I only needed a small amount but can't say it did anything special. If this was on offer I might be tempted to repurchase but right now still hunting for my Holy Grail conditioner.  You can pick this up from spacenk.com for £14.50.

Toni & Guy Prep Heat Protection Mist I bought this after deciding that all drugstore heat protectors are the same and thought I would give this a try as it says it has Anti-Static Control. This product has made me realise that not all heat protection is created equal, this for instance is awful. There I said it, lets get the claim that it can control static out of the way first. My hair was more static using this, so much so that I had to use something to try and tame it, which I never usually have to. I could just about cope with that but what drove me nuts about this is the packaging, the nozzle fell apart every time I used it. So it is safe to say I will not be purchasing this again, if you want to give it a try it is available from boots.com for £6.99.

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray I got this free with Elle last year. I was so excited to try as have heard so much about the brand but never tried anything. Sadly like 99% of volumising products this was a disappointment. It did add some volume but was sticky and smelt funny. I can't describe what was wrong with the smell it just wasn't overly pleasant and quite strong. The other thing that let this down was the nozzle, it didn't spray an even fine mist which I feel contributed in the sticky result. I am glad I tried to cross it off the list but won't purchase this or the full size. This mini is available from boots.com for £8.50.

Please note that none of the above links are affiliate links 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Mini Monday - Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle

I received this in one of my Birchbox's and was interested to see how I got on with it. I haven't dabbled with leave in conditions for years thanks to my fine hair and only use drugstore heat protectors usually.

This makes several claims on the back
  • instantly detangles
  • provide thermal and UV protection
  • seals cuticles
  • smoothes hair
  • locks in colour
  • add shines
  • is weightless, non greasy and suitable for all hair types.
On first use I thought I had a dodgy bottle as I just couldn't get anything to come out, but after a good shake it finally came out. This is more of a serum then a watery spray which I wasn't expecting. 

It is heavily scented of vanilla which I personally love but if you aren't a fan of scented products that may put you off.

Anyway scent aside did it deliver? Well yes I think it did. I don't know how you are meant to test whether it heat protects your hair and I don't have colour treated hair but I agree with all the other claims. 

My hair was noticeably softer and less frizzy, it also had more shine and needed less brushing. You do have to be careful with this as if I applied too much my hair did just end up looking greasy, but with the right amount it just looked like it was in really good condition.

I wash my hair daily so can't comment on how day two hair would look but as a daily washer this has become my holy grail heat protector. 

The only snag is the price and the availability. This appears to be a Birchbox exclusive and is £15 for 236ml available here

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

TMI Tag

I have seen a few of these tag videos on YouTube most recently from leighannsays and thought it looked like fun, so here are my answers.

1: What are you wearing?
It's currently 10pm so I am sporting some rather fetching Thumper pj's from Primark.

2: Ever been in love?
Yes

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?
Yes - from both sides, had my heart broken and broke up with someone who didn't handle it very well.

4: How tall are you?
I am not 100% sure but I think I am around 5 foot 4.

5: How much do you weigh?
At my last Slimming World weigh I was 9 stone 6.5lbs.

6: Any tattoos?
Nope and can safely say I will never have any either, I am not against them but I am just too fickle.

7: Any piercings?
Only my ears and only the one in each ear, although I have had them pierced twice.

8: OTP?
I am so uncool I don't even know what that means!

9: Favourite show?
Probably the early series of The Big Bang Theory, but this season has been awful. I have been loving Brooklyn 99 - has anyone else been watching that?

10: Favourite bands?
Erm can't think of any current bands or cool ones, the last band I saw live was Elbow but that wasn't through choice. I really want to say Five - there I said it.

11: Something you miss? 
Being carefree, being an adult is not what I expected.

12: Favourite song?
At the moment Say Something, but can't think of my all time favourite one.

13: How old are you?
29

14: Zodiac sign?
Pieces  

15: Quality you look for in a partner?
Honesty and being able to cook

16: Favourite Quote?
I have a lot, but the one that has stuck with me is, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

17: Favourite actor?
Christian Bale, no big surprise if you follow me on Pinterest.

18: Favourite colour?
Purple

19: Loud music or soft?
I like my music loud and others soft. I hate hearing other people's music.

20: Where do you go when you're sad?
In my own little world.

21: How long does it take you to shower?
Too long according to anyone who has ever lived with me - 15-20 minutes.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
About an hour and a quarter 

23: Ever been in a physical fight?
Only with my sisters

24: Turn on?
A confident man in a suit aka Bruce Wayne

25: Turn off?
Skinny men

26: The reason I joined Youtube?
Erm I am not on YouTube but started blogging as I love reading blogs and thought it would be nice to have a piece of the internet for myself.

27: Fears?
Everything, I suffer from anxiety at the moment so my main one is that I will be stuck with it for life.

28: Last thing that made you cry?
Oh God I cry all the time, anything and everything makes me cry, so I can't really remember.

29: Last time you said you loved someone?
Via an email to my Dad tonight.

30: Meaning behind your Youtube Name?
My blog name is a nickname I got when I was at high school.

31: Last book you read?
Was a Mills and Boon - I know I said I would quit them but I can't help myself.

32: The book you're currently reading?
Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman which is great and would recommend.

33: Last show you watched?
New Girl

34: Last person you talked to?
Ross my boyfriend

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
Hannah my best friend

36: Favourite food?
Meat

37: Place you want to visit?
New York

38: Last place you were?
The last trip I went on was to Cromer.

39: Do you have a crush?
Is the Pope Catholic - I have a massive crush on Christian Bale. 

40: Last time you kissed someone?
This evening

41: Last time you were insulted?
Today by a colleague I am sure it was in jest, but I didn't find it very funny.

42: Favourite flavour of sweet?
I love Maynards Wine Gums.

43: What instruments do you play??
None I did start the piano but that was decades ago.

44: Favourite piece of jewellery?
My ring Ross got me for my 25th, have never taken it off.

45: Last sport you played?
Volleyball years ago

46: Last song you sang?
Say Something

47: Favourite chat up line?
I don't have a favourite one

48: Have you ever used it?
I have never tried to chat anyone up, I can't imagine it would be a good idea.

49: Last time you hung out with anyone?
I hang out with my boyfriend all the time does that count?

50: Who should answer these questions next?
Whoever wants to

Has anyone else done this tag?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Where have I been?

Long time no see, as you may have noticed I haven't been blogging or posting anything for a while. I wasn't going to explain why not, after all it's no one business and no one was probably that worried. That said I decided to write this little post as an explanation.

It's not a secret that I have been studying towards my AAT Level 4 which takes a large chunk of my time. I had an exam in March and one in the beginning of July, hopefully that is it now unless I fail my last one. Please people keep your fingers crossed that I haven't. I tend to get very stressed before an exam ever spare moment is spent practising questions or re writing my notes for the 100th time.

Earlier in the year my grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and rapidly declined. Spending time with my family obviously became more important. She sadly passed away the week before my birthday and two weeks before my exam. My exam didn't seem that important and I spent as much time with my dad as I could. I debated about postponing my exam but decided to give it a bash and see what happened, luckily and surprisingly I passed.

Whilst this was all going on I still managed to post semi regularly but I found it had become another added pressure. I was trying to see my dad, study, blog and work full time. I was getting stressed out about not using something before I had taken photo's, trying to remember what I needed to post before it joined the empties pile - which was rapidly growing. I had bought and received stuff for my birthday which I wouldn't let myself use til I hauled.

Basically it was all getting a bit silly so I decided that is it I am done with blogging. I threw out all my empties, deleted all my drafts and most of my photos, and started using all the new products.

At first it was a relief but I started to miss posting, I still kept reading blogs and watching videos, and found some really good and not so good products. I have also been struggling with anxiety and have found it hard to find people who I know who are going through similar things.

I don't really know what will happen this little old blog, I started collected empties again a few month ago, many are mini's which I used up quite a while ago and not sure I can really give an in-depth review, but I might do a mini series none the less. I have also thought about writing about my anxiety, and just generally more personal stuff.

I guess this is actually just a post to say I have had a rough couple of months and my blog might change a bit. I hope you guys are all well and if there is anything you would like to see more of let me know.