28 February 2014

The Stand-outs # 2

The Stand-outs # 2
My beauty lovers heart has been offered to just a select few products this month, as the hectic house move meant I either had no time at all for makeup, or my products were still packed away and I reached for whatever I could find among the boxes. This tactic actually worked out quite well, and these particular products stand-out from around a handful more which have been constant everyday reached for products. The biggest love for me this month has to be the Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover (Selfridges, 125ml, £17), which is my most recent splurge repurchase and an eye makeup remover I just cannot be without. It makes removing eye makeup (and matte, highly pigmented lipsticks) easy and fuss free. It's a pricey eye makeup remover, I'll give you that. But pop to your local Clarins counter and see if they have a little sample they can give you - you'll soon see why it's so loved in the beauty world! Another favourite is a product from Origins that I had wanted to give a go for quite some time, and finally caved before Christmas. There's been a few times this month where I've needed to stop, sit down and just relax for five minutes. Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind OntheSpot Relief (House of Fraser, 15ml, £13) is a product I heard of purely from reading beauty blogs, and ones I am so glad I finally picked up. A light gel product, Peace of Mind is the product I've reached for when I'm feeling stressed, applying two dabs on pulse points and my temples. This has been perfect for keeping in my pocket or handbag when out, and whether it's the ingredients or the scent I don't know, but it certainly has a soothing and calming effect.

There's a few drugstore products I've been coveting this month and all are regulars in my everyday routine. I shared my thoughts during the week on the purse-friendly Vichy Aqualia Thermal Repairing & Soothing Lip Balm (Escentual, £2.15), a soothing and repairing balm that's soft and gentle, leaving my lips happy after use each. I've hit well beyond pan on my Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer (Boots, £10) and it's been a constant in my makeup stash for nearly two years now. I'm not sure if I will repurchase, though, as I always find the last quarter of product is firmer and harder to work with than the usual luxuriously creamy product you use first. It's a great dupe for the high-end Bobbi Brown Corrector and Concealer Duo (House of Fraser, £24), though! I grabbed a Barry M offer in Boots months ago now, and the gift with purchase was a Barry M Lash Vegas Volumising Mascara (ASOS, £6.49) I am so smitten with this mascara, for such a budget-friendly product I've been turning to it more than any of my high-end mascaras. It lengthens, it volumises, it leaves my lashes looking luxurious and deeply black. The only downside is every time I use this mascara, I find it clumps but always at the very base of the lashes, irritating my eyes. The MaxFactor Whipped Creme Foundation (Boots, £9.99) is back in the top spot as my favourite base, despite a little falling out with it over Christmas where I was worried it was oxidising. It seems fine now and I love how it's a light sheer base that I can wear for any occasion, but one which can also be built up if I need a more medium coverage. 

I started briefly using my Benefit Browzings in Dark (House of Fraser, £23.50) again, but I can't help turning back to my HD Brows Kit in Foxy (BeautyBay, £19.95) I find the shades in the HD kit leave a far more natural finish. I do love my Browzings though and it's the only brow product I reach for in the summer months. I'm still smitten with the Michael Kors Sporty Bronze Powder in Glow (Escentual, £34) as it's perfect for any makeup look, being the ideal shade for an all over natural glow as well as easily built up for a touch of definition if used to contour. My final stand-out offering for February has to be the NARS Narsissist Eyeshadow Palette which I have been unable to tear myself away from. It's just an incredibly versatile palette for a huge array of looks and styles, with everything covered from neutral to a flash of colour or that deep sultry eye. 

What are your stand-out products for February?


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26 February 2014

The mid-week pamper # 9 + giveaway

Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Honey Bath & Body

Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Honey Bath & Body

What a week! Since last week's mid-week pamper nothing whatsoever has gone to plan. I've been so un-organised (as you may have noticed with a lack of blog posts), I've been trying to get the new house in order, as well as keeping on top of Uni work, having guests every day, as well as being ill! I'm finally on the mend and I have a free couple of days to get back on track with everything, before we have more visitors come see our new home. It's all go, go, go lately and so my mid-week pampers are a Godsend and something I am looking forward to more than usual. I've had a friend from Uni visiting the past few days and she's disappearing at lunchtime, so my first agenda is a big hot bath to relax and calm my mind and body. The product starring in today's mid-week pamper is easily one of the most beautifully scented products I have ever come across, and one I am completely smitten with already (even after only one use!) 

The Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Honey Bath & Body (Birchbox*, 300g, £32) has an incredible scent of fresh, ripe figs. Fig is one of my favourite scents and one I seem to be quite obsessed with, owning more fig scented products than I care to admit! As my family is Cypriot and from Cyprus, figs have always been a popular and regular fruit in my diet and the scent of figs always reminds me of 'home' (Cyprus) The Laura Mercier Fresh Fig range has such an incredible scent, I defy anyone not to fall instantly in love! Fresh Fig is combined with Apricot Nectar and Ylang Ylang, Macadamia Nut and Sweet Almond Oils, Oat Protiens, Shea Butter and Pro-Vitamin B-5 to create a sumptuous, luxurious and super moisturising product that makes bath time a real treat. If luxury wasn't enough, all of the Laura Mercier bath products include an adorable honey dipper, to make popping this extravagant product into your bath not only super simple, but fun too! A drizzle of this under running water and I'm in bubble bath heaven; the scent lingers throughout a whole bath, and long after too, and my skin is left feeling moisturised and hydrated before I've even popped on moisturiser. Can you tell I'm smitten? I don't think I've ever been this excited for a mid-week pamper - this beauty is the perfect pick me up after the past week! Smitten! 

Sound indulgent? Then you'll be happy to hear I have an extra Laura Mercier Fresh Fig Honey Bath & Body* to giveaway, thanks to the lovely team over at Birchbox UK! All you have to do to enter is fill out the RaffleCopter below. This giveaway is open to UK readers only; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and will run for two weeks beginning today February 26th and ending March 13th. The winner will be announced in this post, on Twitter and on my Facebook page. 

Good luck!

[[This giveaway is now over and the winner has been selected and contacted]] 


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23 February 2014

The Sunday post # 8

A View of England - The Cottage Travel Candle Set
A View of England - The Cottage Travel Candle Set
Today has not gone to plan. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you will have probably seen me moan at the level of a small child over the past five days, due to being ill. I don't actually get ill very often so when I do it's like my body likes to throw everything at me at once. If being congested wasn't enough, for the past three days I have had muffled ears and I'm struggling to even have basic conversations with people because I can't make out what they're saying! All I want to do is sleep, but then sleep becomes repetitive and when you have a list of things to do as long as your arm.... well it's not always as easy as just getting in bed and getting some rest! I wanted to get two posts up today, but that hasn't gone to plan. I'm working in slow motion (slower than the tortoise in The Tortoise and the Hare!), so one will have to do.

As I haven't really got the energy or effort in me for properly moving things around, and thankfully most of the unpacking is actually done now, I'm left with all the little bits and bobs which make a house a home. With my beauty products and new makeup storage sorted, our new bedside tables all set up and my laptop finally working so I can watch Gossip Girl on repeat in our bedroom, I've spent most of the day making a bare room a lot prettier. Can you guess what I have the most of adorning pretty much any flat surface? Yup. Candles. Forever a candle addict I think at last count there were 21 scattered around the house, but you can never have too many candles, right?

I was recently introduced to a new concept of candles, which have taken pride of place on one of the bedside tables (the partners, as he owns nothing which would look as pretty there....) A Life with a View is a British company, with all products made right here in England. Encompassing invoking fragrances to create products which act as both harmonious scents as well as beautiful home styling. The thing I like the most about A Life with a View, is the variety of fragrances available. It's not the vastest range, with four scent ranges, but it's the ranges themselves which stand out. The four scent ranges include A View of New York: The Loft, A View of England: The Cottage, A View of Italy: The Villa and A View of Provence: The Gite. Each range encompasses the perfect scents for the places around the world they are named after. I was kindly sent A View of England - The Cottage Travel Candle Set (A Life with a View*, Set of 3, £50), which actually makes me love the concept even more because no matter where you are in the world, you can carry the scent of the beautiful English Countryside with you! The first scents you catch are Rosemary and Bergamot, the top notes which are a beautiful combination and two of my personal favourite scents. Underlying the Rosemary and Bergamot we have the heart notes of Lily, Sweet Pea, Wisteria, Lavender and Lilac, which instantly make me feel as if I am in a Countryside meadow. The scents which stay around the longest are the stunning base notes of Amber, Patchouli and Vanilla. A sweet, floral and entirely serene scent. The Provence scent is right up my street too, and one I hope to add to our bathroom! You can find out more about A Life with a View and each of the scent ranges over on the website!

So with the little touches almost done, I plan on a relaxing night ahead. A bit of pampering, a hot bubble bath with some Aromatherapy Associates oils and maybe even a cheeky manicure and pedicure. I have a friend from University visiting tomorrow and staying through til Wednesday, which I can't wait for, and lots of exciting posts to get ready for you all. I'm hoping to get back into my usual blogging routine - it's been a lot harder than I thought sticking to my usual patterns and times of posting, as there's always something to unpack, and visitors left, right and centre! I hope you've all had a lovely weekend, and here's to an exciting (and slower paced) week ahead.

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20 February 2014

Vichy Aqualia Thermal

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Soothing & Repairing Lip Balm
Vichy is a brand I am exploring more and more and the most recent Vichy product I have become smitten with is the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Soothing and Repairing Lip Balm (Escentual, £2.75) Products which promise to keep my lips soothed in this winter weather are really appealing to me right now, especially as I have been suffering from sore, chapped lips. I've been turning to my Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (Escentual, £13.60) a lot, but when I want something without a hint of colour, the Vichy balm has been the one I've reached for. With an ultra-protective formula including calming Vichy Thermal Spa Water, h0ydrating Glycerine, nourishing She Butter and Antioxidant Vitamin E, the Aqualia Thermal balm works to tackle dryness and protect our lips from damaging free radicals. The balm itself is presented in a very simple plastic bullet packaging, and the product is a white, firm balm. It's super easy to apply, with no dragging or tugging and instantly feels soothing and nourishing. You can tell the formula is full of skin-loving ingredients because it feels as if you have a thin layer of nourishing, hydrating balm covering your lips, without any greasy or sticky feeling. There's no scent, and the soothing and repairing effects can be seen almost instantaneously. After continued use I have found this has been really kind to my lips and helped to restore a smooth, supple lips. A super purse-friendly product that I won't be going without again, I'm even thinking of ordering another for keeping in my hand-bag for on the go!

What's your favourite budget friendly lip balm?

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19 February 2014

The mid-week pamper # 8

The mid-week pamper # 8
Today couldn't have come around quick enough. I'm losing days quicker than I like, and last night when I realised today would be my mid-week pamper post, I suddenly got very excited for some down time. Since we moved I haven't even attempted to unpack beauty products, having been bare faced since Valentine's Day, my skin is looking pretty darn happy. My body, hair and lips however? Not so much. I can't properly unpack my beauty products until tomorrow evening, after my IKEA makeup storage has arrived, so earlier today I climbed over boxes and bags and dug out the products I knew would be perfect for this week's mid-week pamper. Battling dry, frizzy hair, sore lips, a lack of radiance and dry skin; the perfect four-product team to pamper with.

To battle my dry skin I'm turning to The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Morocco Exfoliant, which unfortunately isn't available any more (replaced with a new Spa Wisdom range) It's a gorgeous scrub that's incredibly gentle, with an almost jelly like formula, with Black Olive and Argan Oil. The exfoliants in this scrub are exceptionally fine and kind to my skin, it's a scrub I'm sad to see discontinued as it's utterly beautiful and leaves me with super soft silky skin after each use. I will definitely be checking out The Body Shop Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub (The Body Shop, 350g, £15) when it's finished! Keeping my lips soft and reducing the unwanted soreness I've experienced over the past few days is the addictive Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (Escentual, £13.60) which I can always rely on to help restore my lips back to their natural soft, supple condition. To keep my dry ends at bay and keep my hair pampered, soft and nourish I've pampered with the Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco Masque (Selfridge's, 150ml, £22.50) which is one of my favourite masques. It's lasted longer than any other masque I own, having had this tube (my second) for over a year. A 50p sized amount is more than enough, evenly distributing the deliciously coconut scented and luxuriously thick cream through my mid-lengths to ends. If you're after super soft, silky and healthy hair, this masque is one I would really recommend - it's always the masque I turn to when I know no other masque will make the cut! 

Last but not least, I've done a bit of pampering on the inside, too, with the Viridian Organic Ultimate Beautea (Samsara Skin*, 50g, £12) With just six ingredients; Organic Calendula Officinalis Petals (Marigold), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root (Licorice), Organic Matricaria Recutita Flowers (Camomile), Organic Hibiscus Flowers, Organic Rosa Damascena Petals (Rose) and Organic Galium Aperine Leaves (Cleavers), this is one of the most inside-and-out body and skin friendly teas you could ever find! I have a cup of this every morning, using my beloved Whittard of Chelsea Teapot Infused (Whittard of Chelsea, £5). Popping one teaspoon of the beautifully scented loose tea in my strainer, I allow this to brew for around 5 minutes before removing the infuser and enjoying a delicious and beneficial tea. I've used this every single morning for the past two weeks and I find it has massively improved my complexion - so much so this was straight in the kitchen when we moved in! 

Mid-week pamper? Sorted! 

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18 February 2014

February TheVeganKind box

February TheVeganKind box

February TheVeganKind box
February TheVeganKind box
Anyone who is subscribed to a monthly subscription service, whether it be a beauty box or a lifestyle box, will know that each month you eagerly await the arrival of your chosen box and pray that it'll be a good one. TheVeganKind only started out at the end of last year, with the February box* being the fourth. Yet every single box has been amazing and warmly welcomed by my whole family, and each month we are left over-joyed by the contents. Most boxes can be mediocre at best, a few good products a month but a few you won't use. TheVeganKind has produced incredible boxes month in and month out, with each new box being even better than the one before. A lifestyle subscription service for vegans and everyone in between, that just keeps getting better. The February box had me delighted as soon as I opened it - and I stopped what I was doing to photograph it there and then, so I could delve in to the truly delicious contents! Let's see what's inside shall we?

The first thing I noticed was a bag of Raw Kale Baobab & Onion Chips (inSpiral Lounge, 30g, £2.19) which I was really excited to see, as I often make my own kale crisps and think they are a fab, healthy and nutritious snack. They were delicious, and I ate the bag in two parts as they are so flavourful that a whole bag at once was too much. I really loved them, but, the price for me is not realistic and it's the only reason I won't be repurchasing. I can make my own for a fraction of the price. Worth giving a go? Definitely if your budget allows it! The next food related item I spotted really had me excited, from a brand I have been eager to try for a while now but as of yet, haven't got around to placing an order. The Sweet Freedom Choc Shot (Waitrose, 320g, £3.59) is a delicious and natural product which can be used for anything from hot chocolate, to baking, popping in your porridge or whatever your chocolate-heart desires! This has been a delicious treat for my partner and I and it's pushed me to finally give more products from Sweet Freedom a go! My favourite way to use this is as chocolate spread on toast, or as hot chocolate! 

Next up my eyes were drawn to a clear bag filled with delicious golden chunks. When I realised it was a bag of Cinder Toffee (1066 Cake Stand, 100g, £1.99) I was that eager to try it that I sneaked a few chunks out before photographing. My partner and I finished the bag in no time, and both think it is easily the best cinder toffee we have ever had. Repurchase? 100%! I need this in my treat cupboard, constantly! Next up, more food, a delicious Blackcurrant Braw Bar (Braw Food, pack of 8, £6.99) which I actually found really tasty and I wouldn't mind picking up a box to have for when out and about, sticking one in my handbag if I know I'll be out a while instead of grabbing a less-than-healthy snack on-the-go! The final product in the box is the one and only beauty product for the February box, but from a brand I adore and was really happy to see had teamed up with TheVeganKind for the February box. The Organic Surge Sugared Almond Shower Gel (Organic Surge, 250ml, £4.35) has a delicious but subtle scent, which I can't wait to start using. I've tried many Organic Surge shower gels in the past and I love them (I love all of their products, actually!) and this is a new scent for me, so it was a perfect addition to the box!

Yet again I am chuffed with the contents. TheVeganKind is a monthly lifestyle subscription service for vegans costing just £10 a month plus £2.95 post and packaging. Find out more on the TheVeganKind website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!

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16 February 2014

The Sunday post # 7


































A short and sweet post today, whilst I take a break from a busy few days. It has been the busiest week of 2014 for me so far, yet one filled with excitement and happiness. On Friday many people would have been celebrating Valentine's Day, whilst I was frantically moving house. An exhausting process, my week has been filled with last minute home-shopping, lots and lots of packing, and then even more unpacking. After months of planning our big move, I can't tell you how lovely it feels to be writing this post sat in our beautiful new home. I can't wait until everything is how we want it, so I can share some home decor posts with you all, and the move means a lot more posts will be regular features here on Tattooed Tealady. The extra space means you can expect a lot more fashion related posts with outfit posts, and I'll even be dabbling in sharing some recipes. I can't wait to share all of my ideas with you all!

With a busy week behind us, the week ahead is looking pretty blissful with no plans, no appointments, no commitments. Just me, my dissertation and blogging. I can't wait! Until then, it's back to unpacking and trying to organise my life again... Have a lovely Sunday all!


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14 February 2014

Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm



I mentioned the Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm (FeelUnique*, 75g, £28.99) in my February Products to Try post, but it deserves it's own full review as it's become a staple product for a multitude of reasons. This little beauty was on my radar for a long, long time, with some of the most respected skincare gurus in the UK hailing this as a miracle product, a statement I really believe in myself now I've given the Saviour Skin Balm a thorough testing. I've been trying this luxuriously thick balm for around two months now, and it has been beneficial to so many different areas of my body. But first, let's delve into the ingredients. Packed with rich oils blended with powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial healing properties of Australian Tea Tree and New Zealand Totara, there's also anti-oxidant rich Echinacea and Vinanza Grape, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter, to name just a few of the skin loving ingredients. Scientifically proven to stimulate synthesis of Type 2 collagen in human skin cells by more than 95%, Saviour Skin Balm is a potent balm which offers a remedy for a variety of skin woes.

You can literally use this balm anywhere on your body, it's incredibly multi-purpose and works wonders wherever it's applied. It works perfectly as a lip balm, especially if you're lips are really dry, sore and chapped as mine have been lately. Popping some on before bed leaves me with soft, plump lips by morning, and it also works well under matte lipsticks to keep your lips hydrated and prevent unnecessary drying. It works wonders as a cuticle balm for both fingers and toes, massaging in pampers an area many of us forget to look after and makes manicures a lot more special. Dry elbows and knees? This works fantastically well to tackle dry skin and not only leaves both elbows and knees softer, but feet too! I've loved applying this as an overnight foot mask every week or so, and it's made a massive improvement in how soft my feet feel! Last but not least, I love using this all over my face as a quick-fix face mask, massaging it in before leaving it on for a good 20 minutes whilst I have a browse of the latest Allure, working miracles to brighten, soothe and nourish my complexion. Wonder product? Definitely. Must have? Without a doubt! 


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13 February 2014

February Birchbox

February Birchbox
February Birchbox



One of the biggest names in beauty boxes, Birchbox never fail to impress me. The February Birchbox has been perfect and handy, with a great selection of products that have kept me occupied whilst most of my beauty stash is packed away, ready for tomorrow's house move. When the February box landed on my door-step, the first thing I thought was, "This is a bit weighty isn't it?", all down to an exciting contents of five products and one lifestyle extra. Like usual, upon opening the box I was greeted with the Birchbox drawstring bag and Birchbox inserts. I actually love these bags as I find them handy for travelling and popping travel sizes in to, as well as saving me from having to tidy up lots of shredded paper! The inserts are always fab too, with tips and tricks and this month, a little sneak peek at a brand which will feature in the March Birchbox, Lulu Guinness. Each month there is a new theme for Birchbox, and this month the theme is Love Style, inspired by London Fashion Week (and I'm guessing a touch of Valentine's Day!) Let's delve in to the products shall we?

The first product which caught my eye is also, for me, the most exciting product in the box. I have heard so many fantastic things about Leighton Denny nail colours and inside my February Birchbox I found a truly unique and stunning Leighton Denny Nail Colour in Message in a Bottle (Birchbox, 12ml, £11)This is definitely the next shade going on my nails, I have no idea where to begin with describing this colour. There's a blue-grey base, with fine opalescent shimmer, it looks nude and cool toned. This is going to be the perfect shade for spring and summer, catching the light beautifully. Next up, I spotted a 45ml sample of Gilchrist & Soames The London Collection Shower Gel (Birchbox, 236ml, £13.75), a Paraben-free shower gel with Red Tea, Grape Seed and Milk Thistle that has a subtle yet refreshing scent. Nails and body care covered, we have a full sized makeup product in the box, too. The Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner (Birchbox, £12) is one of the most intense black liners I've come across, effortlessly creating perfectly precise lines and flicks, with a precision pen-tip applicator. After just one use of this beauty, I'm smitten. You need this liner in your life!

Onto hair care and we have a brand I love and product I've been curious about for a while now. A very talked about and coveted hair oil, there's a 10ml sample of the Beauty Protector Protect & Oil (Birchbox, full size £16), exclusive to the Birchbox UK website! An exclusive launch and product you won't find in any other beauty boxes, the Protect & Oil promises to nourish hair whilst protecting from UV damage, heat and preventing breakage. It smells like a more subtle version of Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess (Harrods, 100ml, £45), and leaves my hair feeling ultra smooth and healthy. The final beauty product in the February Birchbox is a skincare product, a feature I am always thrilled to see in beauty boxes. The Urban Veda Radiance Exfoliating Polish (Birchbox, 125ml, £8.99), of which I received a 20ml sample. Promising to gently exfoliate the skin and packed with superfruits for a radiant, youthful complexion, this has left my skin amazingly soft after just one use. Perfect. 

The Lifestyle Extra in the February Birchbox was a piece of Green & Black's Dark 70% Chocolate (Birchbox, 100g, £2.29) I say was, because this was enjoyed with a cup of tea as soon as these photos were taken! Overall I'm really, really happy with the contents of the February Birchbox. There's a product for every aspect of beauty, two full sized products and some very decent travel sizes. If you'd like to subscribe to Birchbox, you can find out more on the Birchbox website. Birchbox costs £10 a month plus £2.95 post and packaging, and this month there's free shipping on all of the brands featured in the box, on the Birchbox shop


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A new US launch, from a UK brand

BSP

Not so long ago I shared a review of some amazing body jewellery from UK based brand, BodyJewelleryShop. Sharing my thoughts on their plugs, tunnels, labret and tragus jewellery, I learned lots of my lovely readers are also modified and shop at BodyJewelleryShop too! And as I have lots of lovely international readers, I thought I'd let you all know some fab news... BodyJewlleryShop have launched in America, as BodyJewelryPiercing. Having heard about the new launch I decided to pop over and check out the new site and see how the range of products compared to the UK site, a site my partner and I regularly shop from for our body jewellery. The range for the US is just as extensive for the UK, I love the look of the Blackline and on the UK site I'm eyeing up the range of Alchemy Gothic Necklaces. The site covers all of your body jewellery needs, BodyJewelryPiercing brings a vast range of piercing jewellery and accessories, jewellery and even piercings tools and aftercare, and at incredibly purse friendly prices. One of the best places to go for an extensive size in stretching jewellery and all with fantastic customer service and super-fast delivery? You can't go wrong!


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12 February 2014

The mid-week pamper # 7

Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Masks
I don't know what it is about the beginning of a new year, but my skin is never happy for the first few months. Saying our skin suffers in the winter months is an understatement; mine decides to up the ante and throw it's worst at me all at once. My skin is generally happy; I very rarely gets spots or blemishes, I'm not sensitive to any ingredients or products (except for the Caudalie Beauty Elixir) and my only issues usually are an oily t-zone and a touch of dehydration on my cheeks. Since around last autumn, my skin has gone from having the occasional dry spot to 100% dehydrated in areas, something I've mentioned a couple of times on the blog but not in much detail. It's difficult dealing with skin that can't make up it's mind and I know it's to be expected; our skin type won't always stay the same, it can be altered by environmental effects, our lifestyle and even as we age. My skin is no longer simply oily. If anything, I'd say it's more on the dehydrated side now! Going from using products solely designed for oily skin for so long means finding the right products to give my dehydrated skin a boost on a long-term scale, takes some getting used to. I've tried more products to give my dehydrated skin what it needs, than I can even count. Some have turned out to be all sales pitch and no action, with a select few making it into my routine on a regular basis, products my dehydrated skin loves.

As I won't get much time to myself for the rest of this week, due to moving house on Friday, I'm taking some time this morning to give my skin a pamper, a super dose of nourishment. Starting off with the Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse (House of Fraser, 200ml, £43), I'll be using the luxurious yet refreshingly scented balm to cleanse my skin. I generally use balm cleanses at night, but I have started to really enjoy using the Extra Balm Rinse before a mask recently and find my skin is more harmonious overall when I do. Next step, the Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator (Pai, 50ml, £20) to smooth the surface of my skin and get rid of any dead skin cells. This is a little tip I picked up from one of Gemsmaquillage YouTube videos; if you have dead skin cells on your skin opposed to a smooth surface, you're skin won't absorb the benefits from your chosen mask as well. It may just be in my mind, but I really think this helps masks work better, for me at least. Once my skin is nice and smooth, I'll be turning to a new favourite mask, the Aromatherapy Associates Rose Hydrating Face Mask (LookFantastic*, 100ml, £36) A clear gel mask with a subtle yet soothing scent of rose akin to my favourite Aromatherapy Associates Hydrating Rose Mist (LookFantastic, 50ml, £20), this mask works to soothe, moisturise and regenerate thirsty, lack-lustre skin. It's recommended to pop this on for 5-10 minutes, but I leave it on for a good 10 minutes at least to ensure my skin laps up all the hydrating benefits. If you're looking for a quick hydration boost, that's long-lasting and beneficial to your skin, you have to give this a go! To finish off my hydrating skin pamper, I'll be extending my mid-week pamper through the night by popping on the Aromatherapy Associates Overnight Repair Mask (CultBeauty*, 50ml, £51) Formulated to hydrate skin, leaving it radiant and plump, with Pure Essential Oils and Floral Water, this light-weight cream mask leaves me with beautifully soft, hydrated and happy skin every time. 

What will you be doing for your mid-week pamper?

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*This post contains a PR sample - for more information please see my disclaimer.

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9 February 2014

The Sunday post # 6

The first full week of February has turned out to be quite the exciting week! We handed in the application for the house on Monday, and by Thursday we knew the house was ours! We move in next Friday, Valentine's Day, so it's been hectic as we don't have very long to pack and get ready. It also means we've had to cancel our Valentine's Day plans, but I can't wait to be in our new home with a takeaway instead! I've spent the past few days ordering everything we need for the new house, running to Argos in the rain to buy all of our kitchen electrical's, as thankfully they have a sale on at the moment, and booking moving vans. I haven't had a chance to start packing yet, but I'm going to tackle that from tomorrow as I have a ton of uni work to be getting on with too. We're going to be without a sofa for a while, but we finally decided on one from the DFS sale and it'll take four weeks to arrive, but I'm smitten with the sofa we went for. I have also finally ordered my new makeup storage and makeup desk. I went for the IKEA Malm Chest of 6 Drawers and the IKEA Malm White Dressing Table with a glass top. I also want to add the Malm White Chest of Drawers later down the line when we have some spare cash for more furniture, as they'd be great for clothes and/or work storage! Luckily, other than the sofa which we will have a wait for, we have everything we need. I can't wait to go 'home' shopping for all the more decorative pieces, cushions, nicer curtains, ornaments and nic-nacs.

Despite it only been February, I'm already thinking about summer and the line ups for festivals I go to year in and year out. With moving into our own home, doing two full camping weekend festivals this summer is really not on the cards, so we're putting Leeds off until 2015, and debating whether to do the same with Sonisphere. Although I really want to go to Sonisphere this year because Iron Maiden (best band in the world!) are headlining, as well as it being the first Sonisphere since their unexpected (but slightly predictable) demise in 2012. One festival we are definitely doing and putting money aside for, is Download. We live 15 minutes away, so we're going for at least one day and getting the bus there and back! We're 100% going on the Friday, for Rob Zombie, who is pretty much my favourite artist, ever. I've seen him live twice, both at the front, his shows are incredible and I've never seen an artist live like Zombie before! If you're a festival go-er too, let me know who you're excited to see this summer!

This week I also took part in #TimetoTalk, which was such a wonderful success. I shared my own #TimetoTalk post, but have been reading posts every day since by searching on the hashtag, and it is so wonderful to see so many people talking openly about their mental health.  

Today I'm going to try and grab the few hours I have to relax and enjoy a traditional Sunday dinner, before a hectic week of juggling packing with work and moving home.... Happy Sunday lovelies! 


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8 February 2014

Lime Crime Lipstick Collection

Lime Crime Lipstick Collection
Lime Crime is a brand I am always drawn to for the unique, stand out packaging and bright, intense colours across the ranges. Their lipsticks are adored for their purple and holographic packaging which come in incredible shades and feature a unicorn - have you ever seen lipstick packaging like it?! Today I wanted to share my Lime Crime lipstick collection, which isn't the biggest collection, but each and every shade is one I adore and turn to regularly to finish off a look. Lime Crime lipsticks are incredibly dreamy. Each has a lovely creamy formula that glides on effortlessly with intense, opaque colour. The colour pay-off for all Lime Crime products I have tried, is intense. Long-lasting, you rarely need to re-apply and a lip liner is rarely necessary. 

The first Lime Crime lipstick I added to my collection was Retrofuturist, a true cherry red with blue undertones that looks not too dissimilar to MAC Ruby Woo, but with more oomph and a nicer finish. This is easily one of my favourite red lipsticks because the finish is beautiful; a natural shine that's not quite glossy, but a shine that boosts thecolour beautifully. Countessa Fluorescent was a shade spurred on by the popular MAC Candy Yum Yum, which I personally feel is a touch too bright against my Mediterranean complexion; I wanted a bright pink lipstick, but I wanted one which wouldn't made me look like I'd painted it on. Countessa Fluorescent is a blue toned neon pink that has such a creamy formula, it leaves me smitten every time. It's bright, very bright, but the blue undertones are flattering and it has just the right hint of softness to it to turn it from harsh, to darn right gorgeous. Geradium is a shade I picked up due to the sheer hype around it when it first hit the UK and boy am I glad I did; a beautiful and very wearable coral pink. The perfect spring pink.

There's two nudes in my Lime Crime lipstick collection, finding myself drawn to nude shades from any brand I try. A nude lip is the universal easiest lip colour to wear, a necessity for any makeup collection and perfect for any occasion. Coquette is a super pale nude with peach undertones that I adore, but I reserve for the winter as when my skin is darker in the warmer months, this can look just a touch too light. I think this would make the perfect warm nude for paler beauties and would look super flattering! Babette is the pinkier cousin to Coquette, a pastel coral nude that's unlike any other nude I own, or coral for that matter. Last but not least the most recent addition to my Lime Crime lipstick collection and another purchase inspired by the excited buzz around it when it hit the UK, Poisonberry. Poisonberry is a violet, purple berry that is a very bold shade to wear. Think squashed blackcurrants and you're on the right track. This is so new to my collection, I actually haven't worn it yet - but when I do, I can't wait to team it with MAC Nightmoth lip liner!

There's a few more shades I want to add to my collection (OK, practically every shade), as well as dabbling in more Lime Crime products on a whole. Have any recommendations? Leave them below! Lime Crime lipsticks are available from CutECOcosmetics and CocktailCosmetics, £12.50 (shade availability differs between sites)


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7 February 2014

Lush Toucan Love for Valentine's Day

Lush Toucan Love for Valentine's Day
Lush Toucan Love for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day around the corner, one of the collections I've lusting after the most is from Lush. Lush always create incredibly delicious, colourful and fun collections, with products which often end up cult products. Inspired by a romantic tropical holiday, reflected in the colourful and funky packaging, the Toucan Love Gift Set (Lush*, £10.95) contains two products which are sure to make Valentine's day a delicious one.

Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb is easily one of the prettiest bath bombs you'll ever see. With Rosebuds, Geranium and Jasmine, in a perfectly themed heart shape, this smells so deliciously sensual and calming. Based on a medieval love potion, there's also a touch of Orris Root Powder, Rose and Lemon. Part of the permanent bath bomb range you can pick this up all year round, but it makes the perfect addition to the Toucan Love set which also includes a deliciously sweet product perfect for after a bath with Tisty Tosty.

Close to You smells absolutely heavenly, like seriously delicious. Made with a blend of luxurious butters and oils including Cupuacu Butter, Shea Butter and Olive Oil, Close to You is a rich massage bar which will leave your skin soft and smooth whilst smelling divine with the Vanilla fragrance akin to Rock Star Soap (a firm favourite of mine!) and Creamy Candy Bubble Bar. I've popped this beauty in the fridge to keep it firm, as it has the perfect formula for a massage bar and begins melting when you hold it, keeping it in the fridge keeps it firm and ready for use (which also means the fridge smells delicious, too!) Valentine's Day, hurry up!

Check out the full Lush Valentines Day collection here.


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