Sunday, 17 July 2016

Lush | July Favourites

Over the last couple of week's I've felt really stressed out and it's taken a toll on my health. I used to let this stress build up inside until it would completely take over. Now, when I recognise the symptoms, I try to nip it in the bud and take care of myself. With that in mind, my recent visit to Lush was all about finding products that I could use to relax when taking some time out.

First, I ran a hot bath using Rose Jam Bubbleroon (£3.95). The 'Bubbleroon' is shaped like a macaron and looks good enough to eat! I only had to use half of this bar in my bath to change the water a pretty pink and create so many bubbles! It has a gorgeous floral scent from the rose and geranium oil and made my skin feel and smell delicious afterwards. It was such a lovely product to use! It definitely helped create a relaxing atmosphere.

I also used the Ceridwen's Cauldron Bath Melt (£4.95 / 80g). I kept the melt in the muslin pouch so I could use it again. The scent of frankincense, rose and sandalwood worked really well with Rose Jam. I loved using the pouch to scrub my skin and give myself a mini-massage. I also tried this out in the shower and felt it worked just as well!

The facemasks in Lush are my favourite - they leave me feeling so fresh faced! I decided to try out the BB Seaweed Face Mask (£6.95 / 75g) as it's a good overall mask for cleansing and reviving. It's a really hard working mask and I was really impressed with the results as my skin felt so refreshed afterwards.

For the first time, I tried out a massage bar! I actually thought Shades of Earl Grey Massage Bar (£5.95) was soap when I bought it (oops!) but I had to try it because it just smells so good! Unlike the name suggests, it doesn't smell of tea - it has a gorgeous citrus scent. I got the bf to give me a massage with it and it was just fantastic. It melts at body temperature and I found it so easy to use.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Primark | Affordable Essentials + Bits

In my experience, there are some products out there that don't need ribbons and bows, they just need to work. Certain brands will market these products with gorgeous packaging and buzz words but ultimately there really isn't a difference in quality between high end and bog standard. That's why I stock up on a lot of my essentials at Primark. It's cheap but the quality is the same. It's also good for buying a couple of non-essentials without breaking the bank!

There are several items from the Primark PS Love range that I find myself buying again and again. The Nail Polish Remover (£1) and Round Cosmetic Pads (50p) are two such items! The polish remover is 300ml so the bottle takes me ages to use up and I really can't tell the difference between this and more expensive polish removers. The cosmetic pads are also such a bargain. There are so many uses for these and recently I find I go through a packet quite quickly so I really appreciate the price.

The PS Love Facial Cleansing Wipes are also a favourite of mine. I chose to get Cucumber Facial Cleansing Wipes and Deep Facial Cleansing Wipes (both are currently £1 for two packets of 25 wipes/ 50 wipes total). Again, I go through these really quickly. I do find some brands a little harsh on my face but I don't have a reaction to these and they are perfect for quickly removing makeup.

I was really pleased to find these plain Black Elastic Hair Bands (£1). 50 in a pack may sound excessive to some but these go missing in my flat all the time! I know I've given a few to friends when they need one but the majority have been stolen by the cat! These are my favourite bands as they are so basic - plain black, a selection of thick and thin, excellent quality. They don't have the metal bit that pulls out my hair and very rarely does the elastic break inside them (and that's after a lot of wear).

I also got a really cute PS Love Gel Eye Mask (£1). You pop the mask in the fridge to cool it before wearing it and it soothes the skin around your eyes. I found this mask to be a little awkward to put on but once it was actually on it felt really relaxing. It will be perfect for coming home after work or when relaxing with a face mask!

As I've said, Primark is also great for non essentials! I bought a couple of beauty bits from the PS Love range just to experiment. The PS Love Matte Nail Polish in Lavendar Ice (£1.50) was just too good an offer to pass up. The colour is absolutely gorgeous, really neutral and would go with anything.

The PS Love Blush Stick in Peach (£1.50) was a complete wild card! I wasn't sure if my pale skin was going to suit this, however it applied thinner than I thought which is perfect as I can build up the colour. It's also a really lovely shade of orange, quite pink and very pale.

While I was there, I got a couple of interior bits for the flat. The Pink Bubble Candle (£4) has a very subtle citrus scent. The pink jar holding the candle is huge! It's also really cute and cheerful. The Copper LED lights (£6) are such a find - I love the geometric shape, they look really good lit up!

PS Love my cat. He was 'feline' curious!

Have you got any good bargains at Primark recently? Where do you stock up on your essential items?

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

TK Maxx Haul

I don't think I have ever left TK Maxx empty handed or disappointed. I popped in over the weekend to have a quick browse and came away with so many new products to try! It's definitely my favourite place to pick up a bargain.

Lange is a french beauty brand I hadn't heard of before so I thought I'd try out the Cleansing Foaming Gel (RRP £34, TKMaxx £9.99) and the Matifying Mask (RRP £75, TKMaxx £12). I've been using the gel for the last couple of days and I've noticed my skin looking clearer and calmer. The flare ups and red patches I can be prone to have improved and my skin feels fresh and thoroughly cleansed. I also really get a kick out of using this as the foam comes out directly on the applicator so it's very fuss-free and easy to use. No fiddly bits to put together and it's so easy to keep clean and tidy away! The applicator itself is almost like a very soft brush - the bristles are short, rounded and very flexible so it's not scratching your skin. I felt it was very gentle and relaxing when I used it to massage my face.

The matifying face mask is a green clay mask for blemished and oily skin that is suitable for sensitive skin. The packaging is again really impressive and it's obviously a very high end product. The formula was quick to apply and I found a little went a long way.

Another french product I found for my skincare routine was Valenca Paris face scrub (RRP £18, TKMaxx £9.99). The formula uses a mix of microbeads and oils to cleanse and moisturise the face. The main scent is Damascena rose oil which gives the scrub a subtle floral smell. I used to be obsessed with face scrubs but stopped using them after a while as I found the cheaper ones did more damage than good and I couldn't afford the more expensive ones! However this one is a rarity in that it is really good quality and relatively inexpensive. The microbeads were very gentle and my face definitely felt softer afterwards.

There was a huge selection of hand soaps so I decided to get some for the bathroom - Provence Beauty Natural Shea Butter bath soap (RRP £3.99, TK Maxx £3) and Molly & Rex Pillow Box Rose soap (RRP £2.99, TK Maxx £2). I was intrigued by the shea butter bath soap as I've never used shea butter in a cleansing product, I've only used it to moisturise. I love the bright packaging, it looks great in the bathroom and it smells lovely too. The lamb soap is adorable and I will admit, I bought it solely for the packaging! It was too cute to walk past! The soap inside is small and smells of roses, it's a really pretty item and would make an excellent present.

I was on the hunt for a decent hand cream and discovered Grace Cole Lavendar & Camomile (RRP £4, TK Maxx £2) and Panier den sens en Provence Stimulating Red Thistle (RRP £7.50, TK Maxx £4). I wasn't sure about the Lavendar and Camomile at first because those are two scents I associate with sleep and I really wanted hand cream for work! However I was won over by the price so I thought I'd treat myself! I've been using it after washing my hands and before going to bed and it's really soothing. The Stimulating Red Thistle scent is fantastic, it genuinely smells of the Scottish countryside and reminds me of hiking munros on muggy weekends. The packaging is gorgeous too and the formula itself melts in quickly and left my hands feeling soft and smelling lovely for ages.

I also got a couple of decorations and candles for around the flat. Bahoma London 'Vineyard' candle (RRP £25.95, TK Maxx £7.99) has such a gorgeous, luxurious scent. It wasn't until afterwards I realised that is was inspired by wine (hence 'Vineyard') which certainly explains why I liked the scent so much! It's a heady, fruity scent - fragrance notes are apple, aniseed, jasmine, cognac, orange, caramel, vanilla and musk. It smells really decadent and sweet, I love it. I haven't yet lit my Pecksniffs 'Rose and Peony' candle (RRP £15, TK Maxx £4.99) (how cute is the brand name Pecksniffs by the way?!). It smells very feminine and summery. I got this rather small Buddha for my fireplace (RRP £16.99, TK Maxx £4), I've been on the look out for a small Buddha for years so I'm happy I found this! I also got this house plant (TK Maxx £7.99) and I am ridiculously happy with it! All my plants die (mainly due to my cat attempting to eat them) so I thought I would try a fake one! So far the cat has been interested but the 'plant' has survived!

So pleased with my finds! What goodies have you found recently?

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Birchbox x Pinterest | January 2016 Edition

Birchbox - January 2016 Edition

This month Birchbox teamed up with Pinterest (one of my favourite sites) to inspire and help visualise the year ahead. These gorgeous, luxe beauty samples are certainly helping me bring in the new year with a spring in my step! The box also had the prettiest postcards by illustrator Viktorija Semjonova - they are adorable! Not sure if I should spread the love and send them on to friends or keep them for myself!

Jelly Pong Pong | Lighten Up Brightener + Waterliner | £14.95

This cute Jelly Pong Pong pencil is perfect for brightening your eyes and will be brilliant for the big eyed sixties look when applied to the waterline. It should also be handy when shaping my eyebrows!

Benefit| They're Real! Tinted Lash Primer | £18.50

It wasn't too long ago that Benefit launched this product and I can't wait to try it out. The primer goes on before mascara and lengthens and defines the lashes, encouraging them to seperate so no more clumps! You can also wear it as a stand alone product for a more natural look.

PARLOR | Shampoo & Conditioner | £16 each

I'm planning to keep these two samples for this weekend when I travel down to Glasgow, as they are the perfect size for a trip away! Exclusive to Birchbox, they are fresh and peachy scented and promise to strengthen and moisturise hair with the lightweight formula.

COWSHED | Gorgeous Cow Blissful Body Lotion | £20

Cowshed is a firm favourite in my household as they're products always smell so good and this body lotion does not disappoint! Moroccan rose, French lavender and Madagascan Ylang Ylang compliment each other perfectly and the exotic, floral scent really lasts and leaves your skin feeling so gentle and moisturised.

Absolution | L'eau Soir et Matin | £27

I've received a few Absolution products from Birchbox and I always find them a really good solution for my skin if it's feeling especially dry and needing a boost. This cleansing water works as both a make up remover and a pre-cleansing toner, ideal for prepping before the night time routine. Best of all, it leaves skin feeling soft and refreshed.

Birchbox| Compact Mirror

This months Birchbox bonus item was this cute pocket mirror - handy for when I'm out and about and need a quick beauty touch up.

You can subscribe to Birchbox for £10 per month (plus £2.95 for P&P). You receive 5-6 beauty samples to try each month, and makes a great present for family and friends, or just a monthly treat for yourself!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Birchbox UK | July 2015

Birchbox - July 2015 Edition

Wow, a year since I have done a Birchbox post! This month is more of a Birchbag - a cute, bright yellow bag to be precise. It's a fun change from the usual box packaging and the bag will be handy for holding my toiletries when out and about, and gives me that holiday feeling!

Birchbox this month had a very summery vibe with lots of products that cater towards travelling, perfect for those going away as they are all in handy sample sizes too!

Cowshed | Cow Pat Hand Cream

This rather odd blend of grapefruit and coriander actually complimented each other pretty well, though it did take getting used to! I prefer more floral, fruity scents with my hand creams but the results were great and I was left with smooth, soft hands. I liked that it left my hands smelling fresh and melted in really quickly.

Balance Me| Congested Skin Serum

I love Balance Me products! I am always pleasantly surprised at how well they work and how great they leave my skin feeling. This 'congested skin serum' has a gorgeous scent, a blend of chamomile, lavender and aloe vera. It smells a lot better than what I usually put on skin blemishes and is great for calming break outs.

UNANI | Aloe Vera Gel

I'm not really sure what to make of this one! It's for soothing burns, blemishes, eczema and bites. It doesn't have much scent, but I guess it wouldn't as it's basically a medicinal product. However I am planning to use it after shaving, hopefully it will soothe my skin and improve the feel without irritating.

POP Beauty | Eyeshadow Trio in Peach Parfait

This cute pallet has gorgeous, warm tones. A mix of shimmery, creamy copper colours. They seem to have a good pigment to them and they blend really well. I can't wait to try these out for summer, they are perfect for summer days and the beach!

Benefit Cosmetics | Dream Screen

The sun cream smells so subtle and blends quickly and efficiently. I loved that it felt barely there, especially as sun creams can feel so heavy and sweaty on your face. It's also SPF 45, perfect for those who are subject to burning (like myself!).

Barely| Prep, Blot & Blend Sponge

I love blending sponges so can't wait to try this - just worried because my cat is OBSESSED with sponges, especially make up sponges! Keeping it in the bag for now until I have somewhere I can hide them from him!

You can subscribe to Birchbox for £10 per month (plus £2.95 for P&P). You receive 5-6 beauty samples to try each month, and makes a great present for family and friends, or just a monthly treat for yourself!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Victoria's Secret Love Spell Hydrating Body Lotion Review

I have a relatively complex opinion on body lotion. I usually find it a bit naff. It often feels filmy, smells cheap and doesn't really have a lasting effect. It also tends to be one of those products I get as a present rather than choose myself. After trying several different lotions over the years with varying success, I had sort of accepted that I would forever be a body oil kind of girl, leaving the lotions for pamper nights when I wasn't really too bothered about getting it all over my pyjamas.

So imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to find the perfect body lotion. I was even more surprised to find it was Victoria's Secret, a brand that you either love or loathe. I always felt that behind the gorgeous campaigns, they had a reputation for making cheap underwear that was severely overpriced that really put me off buying into the whole 'angel' concept. How wrong can one girl be?!

Seriously, I have no idea what the underwear is like, but this lotion is amazing. I tried a few of the different scents, but Love Spell was my absolute favourite. A fruity blend of cherry blossom and peach, it is so sweet and strong. I love that all of the scents were so feminine and clean, managing the tricky balancing act of being both heavy and day appropriate. The formula (containing aloe, oat and grape seed) instantly smoothed into my skin and felt so soft.

My favourite thing about this lotion? Being proved wrong. I had a full on EUREKA! moment. Finally! A body lotion that feels great with a beautiful scent that lasts all day!

Have you tried any of these lotions?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Inspiration Organisation

I am attempting to become more organised. Though I am addicted to lists and I always use my diary, I am definitely feeling inspired to utilize my time more fully to get more out of my day. I am terrible for wasting hours on Netflix and then realising I haven't done any household chores and my home is a mess, and honestly I'm fed up of it. So, I've collected some visual inspiration to get me going and hopefully this will lead to spending more time on things that really fulfil me (like this blog!). It will also be pretty sweet to know everything has a place and where to find things! Have you got any organising tips?

(None of the photos are my own).