Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bath & Body | Treacle Moon 'Her Mango Thoughts'

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I quite like posting about bath products, my favourite kind of 'me time' is definitely in the bath where I can use all different kinds of products to pamper myself. I very rarely post about body butters and lotions because I simply don't use them enough to know what they're really like, so when I make a point of doing a post about a body butter you know it's got to be good.


'Her mango thoughts' Body Butter* £4.05 Treacle Moon 

I cannot express to you enough how much I have completely fallen in love with this body butter; everything about it totally works for me which is so unusual because normally I don't really get on with body butters. The main reason why I don't get on with body butters/lotions is because they seem to take an absolute age to  soak into my skin but this one from Treacle Moon just melts into my skin pretty much in an instant; it's not really heavy which is probably why it works well for me as there's absolutely no greasy residue after application and I don't have to wait 10 mins to do anything after I've put it on. 

The smell is absolutely amazing. Normally I don't go for fruity kinds of fragrance because I find they are a bit sickly but this Mango one smells just like Lilt (as in the drink), to the point where I'm sat here blogging, craving Lilt. It's not headache-inducing strong but it's strong enough to make you want to drink the contents of the pot!!! Everyone who I've showed this to have all said how gorgeous it smells; it's totally out of the ordinary for me to have a fruity smelling product in my cupboard, I'm normally one for oriental, musky kind of smells but this body butter has really broken the mould. 

Ray from Oh Who Is She recommends Mango Thoughts to keep your fake tan on longer and I can definitely vouch for this as I use Xen Tan at the moment which is supposed to give around a weeks wear in one application; since I've used it I've never got a week out of it but when I used this every other day it prolong my bronzed-ness easily to a week! I try and use this every other day whether I've tanned or not after a shower or a bath and I'm absolutely loving how it's making my skin feel! 

Even if you don't think you're a fruity lover I urge you to pick this up, it's only £4.05 on the Treacle Moon Website for 250ml which is a total bargain considering it's £13.00 for 200ml in Body Shop and in my opinion the Treacle Moon one smells much better. I honestly cannot rave about this enough!! 

Treacle Moon would also be a great brand to treat your mum with for Mother's Day, from what I can see on the Tesco Direct website, Treacle Moon has some great offers on in Tesco so definitely have a look next time you're in! 

Have you tried anything from Treacle Moon?
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Friday, 22 February 2013

How To Make the most out of a Shopping Trip to London

I don't profess to be good at many things, but one thing I can do properly is shop, which is why I love London so much. I don't 'know' London as well as a lot of people but I can certainly find my way around when I get there. I've been going at least once a year since I was about 4 as my Auntie used to live there and my love for the place has just grown with the years. I know London is quite daunting, and it still is to me so I thought I'd do a post about how to make the most out of a trip there. Generally tourists make a weekend out of it, I know I'll usually go Friday night and stay until Sunday night or possibly Monday morning depending on the price of hotels and train tickets. In order to do more than one or two shopping areas I would say you need two full days in London. I'm going to use this post to give you some tips on things like what to take, where to go, etc.




Before you Go

- Train tickets and hotels can be the most expensive part of your trip, I highly recommend starting to look for your train tickets 3 months in advance, and your hotel even earlier if you can plan that far ahead. If you THINK it's a good deal, it probably is as long as you're using reputable websites like Lastminute or Laterooms. I tend to use the Trainline for my train tickets as I know it's a reliable service and they check all the different train companies to find you the best deal. I live in Yorkshire and if I book far enough in advance I can get a return ticket for £20, give or take.

- Save Save Save! Obviously you want to have as much money as possible to splurge with in London so cut the unnecessary purchases and have a little think of what you might like to buy when you get there. Obviously you also need to allow for food and any tourist attractions you might want to look at while you're there.

What to take

- Comfortable shoes are an absolute must! I know in an ideal world we'd like to walk around in some beautiful heels all day without them hurting your feet but the bottom line is, your feet will probably feel like they're gonna fall off even with flats never mind heels!

- A lightweight jacket or coat is a good idea I think, I prefer to layer up rather than wear a massive coat because I get wayyy too hot going in and out of shops and I really resent the idea of carrying a coat around all day (last time I went to London in December I took a huge coat and almost threw it away in a bin down Oxford Street, it was that bad haha)

- An appropriate bag, one that you can carry around with ease all day. Everyone has their own preference but I like cross body bags; I have a horrible habit of leaving things lying around unless they're practically glued to me so having a bag that is across me means that I don't have to worry so much.

- An Oyster card is totally optional but I find it saves a lot of hassle if you plan to travel a lot on buses or on the tube as you literally load it up (£20 was more than sufficient for 2.5 days of travelling for me) and scan it every time you enter and leave a tube station, and it charges you accordingly. 

Where to shop

When I go to London I like to try and shop in places that I can't find in my locality (us Yorkshire folk are a bit deprived when it comes to shops). For me, the main shopping areas in London are Knightsbridge, Covent Garden, Bond Street, Regent Street and of course Oxford Street. Obviously there are other areas but those are the 5 I prefer to shop in. If you are travelling by tube, I think you are better to have one day doing Knightsbridge and Covent Garden and another day doing Regent Street, Bond Street and Oxford Street as the two groups are on the same tube line meaning you don't have to mess around as much changing tube trains.

Knightsbridge (Picadilly Line)

Home of the one and only Harrods, Knightsbridge is one of the more upmarket areas of London, but for me in terms of shops there's only really 2 that I'm always desperate to pay a visit to which are obviously Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Harvey Nichols Beauty Mart is somewhere I haven't been yet but I'm really desperate to go, it's such an exciting concept, so many beauty brands in a really different and unique setting. If you haven't heard of it, basically I think there's like showcase pieces eg. some of British Beauty Blogger's make up was displayed for a while and there's lots of things to try out without being approached by pushy sales people. 

Harrods beauty hall is also a must, it has pretty much every high end make up counter you could think of as well as a gorgeous food hall with all kinds of food you could possibly want... then there's my favourite on the fifth floor; pet kingdom. If I had it, I could spend some serious money in there, they have all sorts of stuff for your dog, cat etc. and they even have their own little pamper parlour! If I don't leave London with a Harrod's bag I haven't finished my shopping; that's the way I think of it! I still don't own a Harrod's bear so I need to buy one next time I go.

Covent Garden (Picadilly Line)

If you like quirky little boutique style shops then Covent Garden is the place for you, I love the little shops but I also like the markets; East Collonade Market is open every day of the week selling hand-made goods, Jubilee Market is open Tuesday - Friday selling clothing and household goods and Saturday/Sunday is arts and Crafts. I'm desperate to visit a Covent Garden market next time I go to London, even if it's just for a look.

Bond Street (Central Line)

Another high end street, where you'll find the likes of Victoria's Secret (one of only 2 in the country!), Mulberry and Chanel. Definitely the place for a bit of indulgent shopping if your budget allows for it, and if not then Victoria's Secret is worth a look even if it's just to admire the beautiful lingerie.

Regent Street (Central Line, Oxford Circus)

Home of Hamley's, the Apple store and Swarovski, to name but a few, this is just off Oxford Street so not out of the way as a  little detour along the way. No matter how old you are Hamley's is a must, just to take you back to those days when toy shops were totally magical! In between Regent Street and Oxford street (near the London Palladium), you'll find Liberty London which is a gorgeous department store, the design reminds me somewhat of something out of the Shakespearian era (google it and you'll see what I mean). More of a high end Department Store, Liberty London stocks brands such as Diptyque, Perricone MD, Hourglass and Eve Lom... an absolute must if you're a beauty addict like me.

Oxford Street (Central Line, Marble Arch or Oxford Circus)

This has to be one of the best streets in the world for high street shopping, along with many other flagship stores, there's the biggest Primark you ever did see up at Marble Arch and Selfridges with one of the most beautiful department store fronts. You definitely need at least half a day if not more just to look properly down Oxford Street. Forever 21 is one of only three stores in the UK so that's definitely somewhere you need to check out; very reasonably priced and the choice is amazing!

Night Life

If you're not already absolutely tired out by the days of shopping you have, then you'll be looking for something to do with your time on a night. I don't have any desire to go 'clubbing' in London because it can get very expensive and at the end of the day, I can do it at home! However, there are plenty of things which are quite unique to London like the Ice Bar which is essentially a bar made entirely of ice (stating the obvious, I know), it's £12.50 Sunday - Friday if booked in advance or £16 on Saturdays, for that you get a 40 minute time slot to spend in the Ice Bar, use of a cape and gloves for that time and a free drink served in your very own ice glass, here's a photo of me and my friend when we went in December... definitely something I'm glad I experienced!


Alternatively, you could go and see a show (either a matinee showing or a night time showing), you can get some really good theatre deals on the latest shows... I'm absolutely dying to see Wicked but I think no matter what you go and see you'll have an amazing time, I've not seen one bad show yet and I've been to a fair few which I didn't think I would enjoy. If you have never seen a show in the West End, I really urge you to go and see at least one, you won't regret it!

So there we are... there's my little guide to a shopping trip in London! Is there anything I've missed out that you think should DEFINITELY be a part of a shopping trip to London (doesn't matter whether its a shopping district, a tourist attraction or a night time activity).

This post was put together to also act as a competition entry for the VisitBritain Shop Blogger Competition to win a £500 cash prize. Details of how to enter can be found on the Visit Britain Shop website.
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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Skincare | Dehydrated Skin & Hydraluron

Most of you will have heard about Hydraluron but I bet there are some of you thinking that it's not for you, I certainly did when I first read about it. The idea behind hydraluron is by using Hydraluronic acid, it helps the skin to hydrate better, dehydrated skin can cause your face to look old, dull and flakey. Hydraluronic acid is often what is injected into the skin when women go for treatments to make their skin look plumper and therefore younger. I didn't start using this because I have worries about looking old, I actually started using this because I realised that one of the problems I have is that my skin is dehydrated. 

What is the difference between 'dry' and 'dehydrated'?

This is one of the main questions I think everyone needs to know the answer to, especially if you're unsure of what is actually the problem with your skin. I have found that I have an oily t-zone (forehead & nose) and dehydrated cheeks. To look at my skin you'd maybe think it was dry, especially where I have spots which are a bit flakey. 

The truth is that when your skin is dry, it is because there isn't enough natural oil, whereas dehydrated skin is lacking in water, which is where Hydraluron comes in for my skin, I know my skin doesn't lack oil because I get a breakthrough of shiny-ness around my t-zone midday if I'm not careful, but whenever I cleanse/wash my face it immediately goes really tight. 

You might think that if you have oily skin and/or spots that your skin doesn't need hydration and a lot of people tend to try and treat these problems by using products which totally strip the skin (harsh cleansers, alcohol toners, minimal moisturiser). These kinds of products can set your skin on a little vicious circle of being excessively dry & dehydrated which can then cause the skin to over product oils because it feels there aren't enough on the skin.

I urge you to look at your current skincare routine if it's not working for you and consider changing it if there are lots of harsh alcohol containing products included.




How do you use Hydraluron?

As soon as I see the word 'acid' I immediately think 'harsh', Hydraluronic Acid isn't a nasty acid it helps the skin absorb more moisture. I decided it was a good product for me to invest in because I don't like using really heavy moisturisers as they are sometimes too much for my skin, so I just use my regular Clarins Hydraquench lotion on top of Hydraluron. This is not a miracle cure which is used alone, you must use it alongside your skincare routine, I use this morning and night; I cleanse, tone, then apply Hydraluron then my moisturising lotion. Using this on it's own defeats the object, if you don't give it any moisture to soak up and hold in, it's not going to make any difference whatsoever. 

What does it feel like?

It's a clear liquid which feels a bit like a really watery serum, you don't need to use a lot otherwise your skin will feel sticky. I now understand why the tube is relatively small; because a little goes a long way. Initially when I apply this my skin does feel a little tight, but I think that's mainly down to my skin just drinking it up, as soon as I put moisturiser on it changes totally and feels absolutely fine. On a night I'll tend to apply more moisturiser than I do during the day just because I know my skin has got all night to drink it up. The only thing I will say about this is that during the first week of using this I found that my chin was actually a bit worse than it was before in terms of how dry and rough it felt, it actually bordered on flakey at one point but after reading several reviews I decided to persevere and after using it for over 2 weeks now I'm so glad I didn't stop using it.

What difference does it make?

I've made quite a few changes recently to different aspects of my skincare and make up and I've found they've worked really well together. I have added Hydraluron and started using Diorskin Forever foundation, I now very rarely get cakey looking skin, when I used Double Wear I found it would look cakey and patchy 9 times of out 10 whereas now Diorskin Forever is looking fine all day 9 times out of 10. Once spots have got over the worst and gone dry they tend to disappear a lot quicker instead of hanging around for weeks looking all dry and gross and overall my skin just looks and feels better.

Although this is £24.99 for only 30ml I definitely recommend it if you have issues with dehydrated skin. Don't assume that it's just for older women, as although it's great for improving skins elasticity, it's also great for improving the overall look of any skin age and type.

Have you tried Hydraluron?

*massive thanks to Caroline Hirons for helping me discover that I have dehydrated skin!*

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Monday, 4 February 2013

Personal Post | 50 Random Facts About Me

Sorry if you're thinking 'here we go again' but I've been really loving reading everyone elses 50 things about me so I thought I'd do one because a) I want to and b) I think it's important that my readers get to know a bit more about me, even if it's pointless random facts!



001. I've seen 14 bands and comedians in concert; Steps, Atomic Kitten, Westlife, Boyzone, Leona Lewis, Stereophonics, Keane, The Editors, Kaiser Chiefs, The Enemy, We are Scientists, Neil Diamond, Peter Kay & Russell Brand.


002. My husband and I run a village pub

003. But I'm pretty much intolerant to alcohol, it makes me soo sick most of the time.

004. I'm totally obsessed with World War II, I love reading and learning about it, it fascinates me.

005. Unsurprisingly, History was one of my choice for both GCSE and A Level along with German & IT (GCSE) and Law & Business Studies (A Level)

006. I have a degree in Retail Marketing Management.

007. I've had 4 pets all together (exc. Goldfish); 3 hamsters and 1 dog.

008. I still played with dolls and barbies until I was about 13.

009. When I was at university I used to drink at least one can of Red Bull per day.

010. I'm allergic to cats.

011. I used to have a massive thing for Russell Brand, now not so much.

012. Love Actually is my feel good film, if I'm ever on my own or can't sleep I put it on.

013. I've had 5 different jobs; I've worked in a pizza takeaway, a local department store (Boyes), Orange retail, a Marine recruitment company and of course the pub.

014. I've never been to Scotland

015. I have a scar on my forehead that looks a bit like Harry Potter's lightening bolt, I did it when I was 5 when I road my bike into a wall

016. I've done a bungee jump

017. My life isn't at all like I thought it would be.

018. My parents separated when I was 16

019. I have lived in 5 different houses.

020. My favourite food is meat, vegetables, mash, yorkshire puddings and gravy.

021. I have very sensitive teeth

022. I can't stand the sound of knives and forks scraping on a plate; I used plastic everything until I was 18.


023. My favourite film of all time is Schindlers List

024. I used to be a really clumsy kid, always at minor injuries for something but I've never actually had an overnight stay in hospital since I was born (touchwood!)

025. One thing I want to do before I die is travel North America

026. I used to dance freestyle and rock 'n'roll; In 2005 my dance partner and I were North East Lincolnshire dancing champions for our age group and ability.

027. I only lived Leeds for university for about 3 months, all I wanted to do was come home while I was there.

028. I drive a Ford Street Ka

029. One job I'd love to do is work on a make up counter or in PR

030. I have the dullest mousey coloured hair underneath all my highlights

031. High School musical is one of my guilty pleasures

032. When I was little all I ever wanted to do was work in Tesco on the checkout

033. I don't own one piece of high end designer clothing

034. My friends think the amount of money I spend on makeup is bonkers

035. I've never broken a bone

036. I still have really quite spotty skin on my face and back, it's really starting to knock my confidence now because I thought I'd be rid by now.

037. If I could live anywhere in the country just for a year, it would be London, however I don't think I'd want to bring up a family there.

038. I know exactly what I'd call a baby girl if I had one; Jessica Karina but I have no idea for a boy.

039. I used to like to think I was a bit 'emo' when I was younger... dyed my hair dark and listened to Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco.

My best friend Beka and Me

040. I had my first 'proper' boyfriend when I was 15

041. I have size 8 feet.

042. I absolutely loved school but I hated college and university

043. I have a short story published in a book from when I was at school... can't remember what it's called though!!

044. My perfect dress size would be a 12

045. I'm quite a solitary person and I love my own company

046. I don't bother putting myself on spending bans because I'm actually quite sensible with money

047. If I had a time machine I'd go back to 1945 right before the war ended, would have loved to have been there on VE Day.

048. I used to be a bit weird when I first started secondary school because I thought it would get me friends, unsurprisingly, it didn't haha!

049. When you first meet me I seem really shy but when I'm around people I'm comfortable with I'm much more outgoing.

050.  I'm an only child

Phewf! That took longer than I was expecting! Are you similar to me in any way?
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