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).

Friday, 25 July 2014

Pamper Night

The last few weeks I have been stressed. I changed jobs, definitely for the better in terms of taking a leap in the right direction, and I have a lot more responsibilities. As one of those odd people who is happiest when busy and working with plenty to do, I have been really happy! However, I find it pretty hard to switch off once I get home.

So that is what my mission was last night. To take some time to myself to chill out. It doesn't come naturally to me, but I have decided to do this more often as I felt so good afterwards! Here are my tips for a lovely night in.

Firstly, it is essential to set a relaxing atmosphere before you start. I preferred having the night to myself as I am sure many of my readers would too, so try and set it around a time where you won't be interrupted by family or friends. Try getting rid of any clutter and giving the room a quick clean and hoover before you start - it makes a huge difference. Closing the curtains, setting up some candles and filling the room with clean scents also helped to set the mood for a relaxing evening.

Once I was happy with my surroundings, I had the exfoliating gloves on and gave myself a good scrub! My favourite shower gel is Original Source in Mint and Teatree. I find it very soothing and I love the tingly clean feeling you get afterwards. For my face, I use a gentle facial scrub. I recommend Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant - it is expensive, but I have never used a gentler product that has such an immediate effect. For those extra rough areas, I would use Lush Sugar Scrub. A mix of sugar, fennel, ginger and lavender oil, it buffs the skin and is great for softening areas that need a bit more attention. Alternatively, a pumice stone is a great investment and super cheap from any chemists.

Once you are free of all that gross dead skin, it's time for a super sweet smelling body lotion. Johnsons baby oil is always lovely to keep moisture locked in and leave your skin feeling amazing. I tried out Whish Body Butter in lavender for a really relaxing formula that melted into my skin. Lavender is one of my favourite scents when I'm pampering myself, I find it very calming and cleansing! For those extra rough bits such as elbows, knees and feet, I used Derma Intensive+ Cocoa Body Butter by Mellor and Russell. I got it as a gift and it smells so strongly of chocolate! It is really hit or miss for some people as the scent is very strong but I enjoy using it, especially as the scent is long lasting and becomes more subtle throughout the day. I'll take a moment to buff my nails and maybe paint them before I pop some socks on to keep my feet extra moisturised.

Finally, my face. Pick out a face mask - Montagne Jeunesse are a favourite of mine, especially 'Red Hot Earth' Sauna Masque which feels really hot on application but leaves skin feeling fresh. I then spritz on my new favourite, Lush Tea Tree Toner, and apply some moisturiser. My skin is fairly non-fussy so I use Simple moisturiser - it's a cheap enough product that does what I need! I also pop some eye cream on just to keep the more sensitive skin around my eyes feeling fresh. I used Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream, it has a pleasant zesty scent and felt lovely and soft to apply.

After my evening of concentrating on myself, I definitely felt like I had a clearer head and generally just felt good all over! I'm going to try and have them regularly so they become part of my routine. Have you guys got any pamper night tips to share?

Friday, 4 July 2014

Accessorize Sale Haul

Neon Woven Stripe Stole

Higher Intellect Stacking Ring, Statement Geometric Ring

Parrot Satin Vest Set

Sales are both exhilarating and frustrating to me. They are everywhere at the moment and even when you are getting something for less, it is important to remember it won't be a bargain unless you are definitely going to use it.

When I saw Accessorize had a 50% sale, I knew it could be dangerous as I adore shopping there. It is just so good for getting little bits and pieces and especially good for buying gifts for other people. I always find something I adore! So I had a browse but decided I would only buy for me and only if I really, really liked it.

I bought this scarf, which I actually wanted before it was in sale and would have paid full price for. It is so soft and I love the design, plus it goes with my bag (also Accessorize!) and I love the unusual colours. It's quite heavy so it will be perfect for Autumn.

I went a bit crazy for the jewellery, I couldn't help myself! Eventually I put a lot of it back as I know I am terrible for losing jewellery and I didn't want to buy heaps, I wanted to buy some pieces I would really get the use out of. So I settled on these cute gold rings which will go with anything and can be stacked or worn alone.

With the pyjama set, I was torn. I loved the pattern (which isn't something I would usually like) and I loved the design. I try not to buy myself pyjamas because usually I get them for Christmas and then I end up with way too many, but after circling the shop I came back to these because I just couldn't help myself. Maybe it was the heat, I don't know, but I'm so glad I did get them! They are just so cute and sexy. I think they'll actually be pretty practical as it gets pretty hot at night in the flat.

Have you bagged yourself any bargains in the sales this season?

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

TK Maxx for Interiors

I have already posted how much of a fan I am of TK Maxx for the amazing bargains you can pick up. It is a really cool place to browse when you are furnishing a new space on a budget. I picked up these pieces on a recent trip and I am in love with them. I have a small collection of owl related things as I find them pretty lucky so I was really pleased to find this beautiful vase and cute little ceramic box. The photo frame has so much texture to it, it really stood out for me. I like how all the pieces are neutral white and would go with anything, yet have lots of personality.

TK Maxx is also brilliant for finding discount candles that smell amazing! I love a scented candle but they can be really pricey, and cheaper supermarket versions don't have the same scents or cute labelling. TK Maxx usually has an aisle dedicated to candles and other scented pieces for rooms and you can usually sniff out a bargain! This MySenso candle retails at £15.90 and I picked it up for £4.99. The scent is musc cassis, it's very heady, feminine and floral, perfect for a pampering session.

Have any of you guys picked up a bargain recently?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Birchbox UK | June 2014

Birchbox - May 2014 Edition

I cannot seem to get away from the football madness at the moment, something that was confirmed to me when I realised that the theme for Birchbox this month was footie related. Le sigh. However, the box did not disappoint. It was more of a global theme than a sports theme, with lovely products from around the world. Here is my round-up:

Embryolisse | Lait-Crème Concentré

I found this moisturiser to be very rich, though it did melt into the skin very quickly. I'm not sure how those with sensitive skin would find it, but I found it really pleasant on my combination skin. My skin tends to get drier in the winter months, and I have a feeling this would be a brilliant moisturiser for then.

Silk + Honey| Shea Butter Hair Mask

I only have showers, so to have to stand about for 15 minutes for this to soak in was never going to be a good idea for me. I loved the scent which was fresh and feminine, but it didn't stay after my hair was dried. I wasn't very pleased with the product (I'm used to a thicker, quicker hair mask). However, I did get lots of compliments later about how shiny my hair was looking so I can't deny that it worked!

OPI | Nail Lacquer - The Brazil Collection

I received the colour 'Next Stop the Bikini Zone'. It is a shimmery lilac shade, very feminine and metallic. Honestly, I'm not a fan of the colour, though the solution went on a treat. I've decided I'm going to give this away to my Mum and sister, who both tried some on when we were opening the box and fell in love with it!

Yves Rocher | Sheer Botanical Lipstick

This shade (corail doux) is a beautiful orangey pink that goes really well with my complexion. The stick is velvety and goes on really well, leaving lips very moisturised. I definitely recommend this if you find lipsticks dry out your lips or if you aren't used to wearing lipstick, as it was a lovely subtle formula. This was probably my favourite product this month and it's already become a handbag staple!

Naobay | Body Radiance Lotion

This citrus scented body lotion left my skin feeling very silky and the scent lasted a decent amount of time. It's a light formula and felt very fresh, making it a brilliant morning pick-me-up! It's organic and also against animal testing which is always great to see.

I also got a wee yellow and green flip-flop keyring as my lifestyle product, but there isn't much to say about it apart from it's now on my window keys! It was a great box with lots of really good pampering products as well as products for use on the go. I loved all the sweet and citrus summer scents and how moisturising all the products were.

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!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

But Debbie - Pastel?

Top: Zara

Blazer: New Look

Trousers: Miss Selfridge

Shoes: Office Shoes

Necklace: New Look (old)

Technically, this is what I wore a couple of days ago! My boyfriend was lovely enough to take some photos for me so I could pop them on my blog. I was feeling very grown up and chic!

The blazer is new and perfect for Summer, it's a lovely mint colour and really light. It feels very relaxed but it also makes me feel very smart.

The shoes are also new, they are such a gorgeous shade of grey! When I first saw the style I wasn't sure because I worried they looked a bit clunky. Then my friend got the black pair and I saw how neat they looked on and I was converted! They are definitely a lot prettier on the feet than on the shelf.

I've made a point of taking a photo of my nails as it is the new polish I got in my Birchbox! I haven't had a chance to use all the products yet or write up a post, but I will be doing it soon so keep a look out for that!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Mini TK Maxx Haul

TK Maxx is actually brilliant for finding bargains and discovering new beauty brands. The other day I popped in for a wee nose and managed to restrict myself to some new brushes and a toning moisturiser. I'm trying to be improve my savings a bit since getting the flat so TK Maxx is just perfect for treating myself in small doses.

elite models | Professional Foundation Brush

I've really been on the look out for a decent but affordable foundation brush. This one is lovely to use, I've tried it with a few of my different foundations and bb creams and it has handled the variety of products really well. It is a solid but soft brush that leaves a good texture on my skin so I'm really happy with the result.

Beauty Strokes | Mineral Optics Brush

This brush is more of a luxury than a necessity, but I adore it! It has different lengths of bristles to apply powders and mineralisers and it is so, so soft on the skin. It uses the lightest touch during application and it is really easy to control the amount you use, perfect for powder especially which I find can be easy to overdo. I usually shy away from bronzer because I find it too dark on my complexion but I managed to wear some when using this brush because it was so subtle.

(close up of mineral optics brush - the white bristles are a lot lighter, meaning you don't use as much product and you get a much more natural application)

Laidbare | Smooth as a Peach

The older I get, the more I notice 'difficult areas'. This cellulite buster promises to help firm and improve skin texture and appearance. It's made with natural ingredients and should help with both stretch marks and the 'orange peel' effect. I have only used it a couple of times and I have seen a slight improvement (though nothing beats a good diet and plenty water!). The lotion has a delicious summer scent of elderflower and dries super quickly which makes it really handy on busy mornings when you don't really have a lot of time.

Have you ever found a bargain at TK Maxx?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Birchbox UK | May 2014

Birchbox - May 2014 Edition

Wow! What a gorgeous Birchbox this month! An exclusive collaboration with Harper's Bazaar celebrating the great outdoors and all things summer, this box was all about flexible samples that are perfect for freshening up. Sophie Bloomfield, the beauty director at Harper's Bazaar, also contributed her own tips for the box which are actually very helpful and made the in-box magazine a fantastic read. Here is a round-up of my box opening:

Benefit Cosmetics | They're Real! Mascara

Mascara is definitely one of my essentials and I am always on the hunt for a mascara that lasts without clumps or flaking. This is a neat sized sample with a brilliant wand so I'm really happy with the packaging. The formula itself promises "both volume and length to all types of lashes" and is a beautiful jet black, perfect for framing the eyes.

Soigné | Nail Lacquer

I was a bit hesitant at first as I am quite fussy with my nail varnishes and before I knew what colour it was, I just hoped it would be a summer shade! Luckily, I got this absolutely gorgeous nude with a slight pearl sheen, 'crème au beurre'. The formula is non-toxic, animal cruelty free and vegan which is great to see. They have a stunning selection of nail shades that I may just have to order as they all look fabulous.

Aromatherapy Associates | Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil

This is an odd product, an oil that, if you have a shower, you are recommended to smooth over your body before showering, then you wash it off (if you are having a bath, you add it to the bath water before getting in). However, I absolutely love an oil product as my skin really appreciates the moisturising effects and it is perfect for summer when you need to lock in all the moisture that you can! Also, the scent of pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry is amazing and lasts ages. The suggestion by Harper Bazaar's beauty director Sophie Bloomfield is to wear it as a fragrance which I am tempted to do as I just love the luxurious scent.

Beauty Protector | Protect & Shampoo, Protect & Condition

I am really glad Birchbox put in the two samples of both a shampoo and conditioner so you can get the full effect of both products! Exclusive to Birchbox, these two products are perfect if, like me, you are guilty of using heat on your hair. The honey pearl powder works like keratin to help repair any damage to the hair like frizz and split ends whilst also protecting from any future damage to the hair with UV protection.

Liz Earle Beauty Co. | Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

I love hot cloth cleansers so I am so excited to try this out! Muslin clothes are excellent at buffing, giving you a unique glow to your skin. The product is celebrating an amazing 100 beauty awards, so you just know that this is going to be fantastic.

I loved my box this month, it was just so on point with the packaging, the products and the collaboration with Harper's Bazaar. With the box came a subscription offer with £12 for 12 issues of Harper's Bazaar which is a really good extra for Birchbox subscribers. I just feel the boxes are getting better and better, this one in particular felt so me and I cannot wait to use these products!

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!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Birchbox UK | April 2014

Birchbox - April 2014 Edition

This month, Birchbox was inspired by all things foodie related. Many of the products had scents and influences from the kitchen! Here is a round-up of my box opening:

theBalm® cosmetics | How 'Bout Them Apples

The packaging is adorable and I loved how it felt on my lips as it is a soft, creamy balm that felt very moisturising. The colour palette is really good too. I loved trying out the shade 'pie', it was a vibrant, deep pink that really suited my skintone. Not sure I'll be trying this product on my cheeks as I think the colour might come off a bit strong on my pale skin, but really pleased with this tester.

Lord & Berry | Couture Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil

Apart from the sample pencil being absolutely tiny, this was a decent eyeliner to try out. The pencil was a thick, dramatic black which framed my eyes perfectly. I'm thinking of trying out a darker, smokier eye on my next evening out so I will definitely be returning to this sample!

Color Club | Gala's Gems Nail Polish

A mini collab between colour club and blogger Gala Gonzalez brought about these really pretty polishes. They are exclusive to birchbox and come in four pastel colours, inspired by retro lacquers of the 70s and 80s and perfect for spring. I received 'aquamarine azulino', a pearlised duck egg blue. The colour really stands out and is really beautiful once on. The formula was super easy and quick to apply, so very pleased with the quality of this product!

Propercorn | Sweet Coconut & Vanilla

Ok, firstly I will say I am not a big fan of popcorn! My sister once broke a tooth on a piece and I've been a bit reluctant to trying it since! However, I am super excited to try this flavour, I can't help it, I have a really bad sweet tooth and coconut vanilla sounds tasty! I'm going to save it for my lunch tomorrow!

Yes To Cucumbers | Facial Wipes

These towelettes are a really handy size and promise to be very moisturising as well as cleansing. The cucumber, aloe vera and green tea should be gentle on my skin, which isn't particularly sensitive but can sometimes feel dry after using wipes. Also, the wipes won a best of beauty award from allure, so I'm excited to try this product out.

Campos de Ibiza | Almond Body Milk

I have never tried body milk before so I am a bit apprehensive about this product, as I tried a wee bit on my arms and it felt a lot like runny body lotion! It smells amazing, very floral and summery. I'm hoping it surprises me and becomes a must have because I love when that happens, it's the best part of trying these boxes!

The box this month was a varied mix and I'm excited to try all the products more fully over the next few weeks. I am already in love with the nail polish and lip stain!

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!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

New Home

My blog posts have been ridiculously sporadic this month due to a big change in my life. My boyfriend and I have become home owners! Packing up and moving has been exciting but really time consuming and we have had no internet so it has been impossible to keep track. I think that most things have now found their place so now it is onto decorating and making it our own.

Expect plenty of DIY and interior posts in the future! In the meantime, you will have to make do with these photos!

My workspace in the kitchen with all my sewing bits, magazines and papers.

A peek at our beautiful kitchen, in love with this room.

Our amazing 70s style sitting room.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mothers Day Inspiration

Reminder folks! Mothers day is this coming Sunday! Best to get inspired now. I'll be working that morning so have planned an afternoon tea at home rather than brunch. Though it doesn't show in her dressing or decor, my Mum is secretly super girly so I plan to make it as twee and pretty as possible. I love looking online for inspiring bits and pieces, especially on sites like pinterest. They're really good for cheaper alternatives that get you thinking creatively. Hopefully Mum appreciates it! What are your plans for Mothers day?
(None of the photos are my own)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Birchbox UK | March 2014

Birchbox - March 2014 Edition

I just love the look of this month's Birchbox, in collaboration with Lulu Guinness! It was so different from the usual box designs and really lovely and bright. Here is a round-up of my box opening:

Benefit | Stay Don't Stray

Benefit is a really good quality brand you can rely on so I'm really excited to try this eye primer. The packaging is adorable. I have a few cheap eye shadows that are really bad for clotting when I'm out at night, but I love the colours and can't bare to get rid, so hopefully this will be the perfect product to help out.

Dr. Brandt | Pores No More Pore Refiner

I am a huge fan of Dr. Brandt products, they are really expensive (a full size of this product is £39) but they really work. This will be a nice alternative to primer for a more natural look, I'm hoping it will leave my skin looking dewy and clear.

Aroma Works | Serenity Body Oil

This oil smells so good! The scent is a mix of lemongrass, neroli and geranium, it's really fresh and sweet. I love that it is a citrus scent in an oil, it would be the perfect wake up call for early mornings. The texture is smooth too so it goes on really easily and it feels really luxurious. It absorbed really well, especially on my legs that were left with a subtle glow (not too shiny like other oils!)

Molton Brown | Rhubarb & Rose Replenishing Hand Cream

My hands get so dry at work so this is definitely going in my hand bag! It isn't as strong as other hand moisturisers but it does make a difference. It is such an unusual scent, rhubarb is definitely not something I would have chosen for myself, but I'm so glad it was chosen for me! One of the main reasons I love my birchbox is because it chooses products I wouldn't otherwise try. The rhubarb is a different choice, but it's a winner for me, I love that it reminds me of my mum's rhubarb pie!

English Laundry | No. 7 For Her

This perfume is described as having 'top notes of pear and jasmine blend with gardenia, vanilla and sandalwood'. It's a sweet smelling perfume, personally I would use it as day wear perfume. It is quite a fruity scent but the vanilla balances that out.

Candy Rock

A cute stripy piece of rock was popped in as a lifestyle extra. It represents the Lulu Guinness side of the collaboration, as she was inspired in her Spring/Summer 2014 collection by traditional sweet shops. It has been ages since I've had a piece of rock, it always reminds me of my Grandad and visiting him in Great Yarmouth!

I really loved the design of the box this month, the collaboration with Lulu Guinness was awesome. There were a lot of lovely scents this month, perfect to get me into the mood for Spring and out of the hibernation mind set!

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!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Celebrity collaborations can be very hit and miss, but I think this one works really successfully. The collection comprises of a mix of laidback lux with sporty details and fitted body con pieces. The colour palette of monochrome and cobalt blue is perfectly modern, the colours work so well together. The glamourous style of Nicole Scherzinger is captured really well but also what customers of missguided really want, which is wearable, reasonably priced fashion. I love that it's quite minimalist but really sexy at the same time.

These are my favourite pieces - did you guys have any favourites?

You can shop the collection here.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Mad March Hair| Topsy Tail x3

I've been really bored with my hair recently and I thought it might be fun to try out new styles rather than my usual down and wavy. I don't spend a huge amount of time doing my hair and I like it a bit rough and ready, so I've been experimenting with quick and easy styles that will last through the day.

This hair style is so basic to do and it takes mere minutes, but it is really effective as a cute and different style. All you need is a topsy tail tool (you can get one here) and 3 hair bands.

You section the hair into three parts and tie them with the bands. Then use the tool to twist the tail into itself. You repeat that with each section. The two top tails then get tucked into the twists underneath them. Spray with a little hairspray and you're done! It is so simple!

I wore this up do to work, and it lasted all day - if anything, it looks better when the hair comes away a little from the style.

If you guys have a style to recommend, I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Top: H&M (old)

Dress: H&M

Jumper: Vintage

Shoes: Office Shoes

Rings: B&Q

I bought this jumper in Paris I think 5 years ago in a vintage shop there, and I don't think I could ever throw it away. I have always loved the textures on it and all the beading, and I have so many good memories of wearing it. That's what I love about a beautiful vintage piece, they are just so unique. I bought these rings when I was styling my garments for my fashion show at university and I kept a hold of them because I love the colour and how different they look, though you can't keep them on too long as they will stain your fingers after a while! That, and the dog goes nuts and thinks they are for playing with, even if you are wearing them!

Obviously this is my first outfit post and look how uncomfortable I am! I've been really ill with flu the last few days but I've been sucking it up and working at the same time. I really can't wait to have a break and have a lazy morning, preferably with tea and biscuits involved.

I'm going to do a post in the next couple of days detailing how I did my hair so keep an eye out for that!