Sunday, 16 October 2016

THE LUSH CHRISTMAS 2016 COLLECTION: A LOOK IN-STORE

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that recently I've rekindled my love for Lush, and my timing couldn't have been better. On October 1st they launched their Christmas collection so I made a point of going to the store near where I work to have a look at this years selection of bath bombs and other festive bits and pieces. Even though it was a good 2 months until Christmas I couldn't help but feel a bit festive while I was browsing the shop. This is going to be a photo heavy post and I'll let them speak for themselves.



A gold, sparkly bubble bar on a cinnamon stick with red ribbon on and a bell wrapped around it, seriously, could you get anymore stereotypically Christmas - I love it!


Eeek! Father Christmas - my favourite Christmas Eve bath bomb.


It's not all about Christmas yet at Lush though, there's still the Halloween bits hanging around obviously because we aren't even at the end of October but I love the fact that the whole store is filled with seasonal bits - just another reason why autumn/winter is my fave!



I've never had a white bath bomb, I should probably try one but I don't think the magic of a bath bomb would be there for me if the colour of the water didn't change...?


I finally bought myself some Fun! Even at 25 who says that playdough in the bath can't still be fun?!


I bought one of these after seeing that Louise Pentland really liked it and it really is like present because you don't know what's inside it until you put it in the bath.


Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about bubble bars on a stick... 


I do wish it showed enough in the UK to make actual snow angels but until it does I'll have to make do with a bath bomb.


Last but not least, a collection of bottles of Snow Fairy varying in size... I think you could say it goes something like fanatical, lover and first time buyer haha.

Ahhh doesn't it make you a bit excited!?

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MICHAEL BUBLE BY INVITATION

It's been a while since I found a celebrity perfume I really liked, in fact the last time I posted about one was back in March 2014 when I discovered that Katy Perry Killer Queen was actually a pretty good dupe for Victor and Rolf Flowerbomb. However, I was recently sent the new perfume which Michael Buble has put his name to: By Invitation.



By description, it's exactly the kind of scent I would go for; floral oriental, spicy top notes with a base  of musky sandalwood and vanilla and it doesn't disappoint when on the skin. I've been using this as a day time scent because I don't find it overpowering and the fragrance really softens once it's been on for a few minutes.

I've been very pleasantly surprised how many compliments I've had when wearing this because I have to admit I do like to wear a perfume which stands out from others and I didn't expect this to be one of those but it obviously does grab people's attention. Admittedly, I'm personally not a massive fan of the bottle but I can overlook that because I do really enjoy the perfume itself. 

If, like me, you tend to overlook celebrity perfumes I would recommend breaking tradition with this one because if you're into spicy oriental kinds of scents then you'll love this one.

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

SUPERFOOD FACE MASKS

The pinnacle of at home pampering, for me, has to be the face mask. It's the part of a facial that anyone can do with little or no skills; you just smooth it on and relax for 10 minutes while it works its magic. The only trouble is, that most face masks only address one or two skin complaints so I tend to always go for the ones which are most suited to what I want to target which is usually something to do with detoxing and dealing with blemishes. 

However, The Body Shop are exactly on point with their latest idea. 

Their idea of using several masks at the same time means that you don't have to use one masks as a 'blanket' treatment for your whole face.. Their new range of face masks consists of five different Superfood masks, each of them packed with natural ingredients and formulated to address different skin issues. Each of the Superfood face masks is 100% vegetarian and free of silicone, parabens, paraffins and mineral oils to ensure that what you're putting on your face is 100% natural


Whether it's detoxifying, hydrating, nourishing, brightening or energising, or a combination of the five, there should be something for you in the Superfood range because what you can actually do is create your own at-home facial based on your own skin complaints. 


Good for: releasing impurities and toxins




Good for: energising skin which is tired and stressed


Good for: revealing a dewy glow


Good for: a dose of replenishing nourishment


Good for: dull skin in need of a pick-me-up

I personally struggle with an oily t-zone but dehydrated, blemished cheeks so the Hydrate and Invigorate facial is what I tried first which inclues the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask, the Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying and Polishing Mask and the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask.


Each of the masks is used to target a different 'problem' so obviously you apply accordingly; I put the Himalayan Charcoal on my nose and forehead (t-zone), the British Rose on my cheeks and the Chinese Ginseng and Rice on my chin. So in the 15 minutes I left it all on it was addressing 3 different problems rather than using a single mask as a 'blanket' treatment.

The separate face masks are absolutely perfect for me because I usually just apply masks to my t-zone as I usually buy clay based treatments to try and sort out my oily, blemish prone skin but I love the fact that now I can treat my dehydrated cheeks at the same time.

The masks are £15 each and available now from the Body Shop website you can also save £10 on a £25 spend with the code 19807

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

SHAVING GAMECHANGER

Hair removal is a definite #girlproblem for those of us who wish to get rid of unwanted fluff, I approach summer with a sense of dread for the months in which I have to shave my legs on a regular basis because it's just such a pain. I did think I'd found my 'Holy Grail' of razors in the Gillette Venus range with the shave gel bar built in; I flitted to others when they were on offer but I've always gone back to Gillette. Until a razor with 6 blades was brought to my attention. 

You may be wondering what difference that extra blade makes, well I'll tell you that the more blades generally the smoother the shave. Have you ever noticed that most good mens razors have loads of blades? Well that's because more blades make it as gentle and close on their little faces so why shouldn't we have the same for our fuzz?? 

Anyway, enter the Dorco EVE 6.


On the face of things it looks just like any other normal razor and you'd be right, it's not dissimilar to loads of razors on the market in terms of the handle but there's a couple of features which do sort the ladies from the girls of the razor world:



- 6 blades split into a 3 blade format to help contour your bodyshape
- A brush finger on the head to help massage and raise hair follicles for a closer, smoother shave
- A Moisturising band with Aloe and Vitamin E to protect sensitive skin
- A flexible head which moves to the contours of your body


As you can see the Dorco looks quite a bit different to the Wilkinson Sword one which has 5 blades all together and the head doesn't move at all which doesn't make shaving impossible obviously but the additional little features of the Dorco really do make shaving so much easier. I think that the moving head makes a massive difference with how smooth the shave feels; there's absolutely no dragging and no nicks and cuts around the usual areas (ankles and knees) and it makes underarm shaving an absolute dream because it's so quick.

The final little gem about Dorco razors is that they offer them as a subscription service so I'll no longer be waiting for my blades to be on offer because the Dorco Eve 6 is so reasonably priced I can't afford not to snap it up!

To buy the Dorco Eve 6 on it's own with 1 blade it's £4.55 but for £5.45 you get a handle and 4 blades! I must have read that about 6 times on the website because I can't believe how affordable it is considering I usually pay around £15 for 4 blades! You can set the subscription for as often as monthly or push it to 6 monthly depending how often you shave which I think is brilliant because not only is it really affordable it also means you should never be caught short of razors.

I can't rave about this enough, just at least go check out the Dorco Razors website.

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Thursday, 11 August 2016

LOW SYN SWEET TREATS: SKINNY BAKERY

As a Slimming Worlder I'm constantly on the lookout for my next low-syn sweet fix so when my friend introduced me to The Skinny Bakery I knew I had to order some bits to try. The whole idea behind Skinny Bakery is one which I love; founded in 2013 by a home baker called Mariella who experimented endlessly to find the tastiest recipes containing a fraction of the calories. The fact that her business has gone from strength to strength speaks volumes of how nice the stuff must be so it'd be rude not to order selection of their sweet treats. 


They do a 'Not So Skinny Bakery Box' which contains one of each of their 8 product range and it's only £19.99 so I figured that'd be a good place to start if I was seeing what I liked. The box contains:

Sweet Potato Brownies
Mini Coconut Bites
Chocolate Pearls
Beetroot Pearls
Mini Flapjacks
Mini Gingerbread Men
Choc Chip Cookies
Double Chocolate Meringue Cookies

I've picked out 4 of my favourites from the selection which I can 100% recommend to you if you're looking for some low syn/low calorie sweet treats. You can of course buy each of these separately at £2.99 per pot. 

PLEASE NOTE: All syn values are approximate; calculated by the fact that 20 calories equals 1 syn.


Skinny Chocolate Pearls (208 calories/10.5 syns per full pot) are like squdigy mini cupcakes with a thick chocolate sauce in the middle which is actually made from low fat yoghurt. They're perfectly moist and the chocolate yoghurt frosting just gives the texture a little bit of something different. 

Skinny Double Chocolate Meringue Cookies (141 calories/7 syns per full pot) I think I'm going to declare these my favourite; although they look lighter brown than the other chocolatey bits, I think they actually taste the most chocolatey. They're crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside which is exactly how a meringue should taste in my opinion!



Skinny Choc Chip Cookies (187 calories/9.5 syns per full bag) I expected these to be hard cookies but I was so pleasantly surprised to find that these are actually soft and silky. They've got the sweetness just right with these and they're so perfect with a cuppa. 

Skinny Sweet Potato Brownies (189 calories/9.5 syns per full bag) I'll start by saying that these taste nothing like sweet potato; they're made with dates to sweeten them and they're soft and squidgy just as a brownie should be... they only trouble with them is that they're not big enough!

Admittedly, I didn't like everything in the box but the whole point of getting a selection was to see what I preferred and it was no surprise that the chocolate products came out on top! You can scoff your way through full packs of these with zero guilt because you know you're not consuming high amounts of calories, sugar and fat and they actually taste really, really good which is a revelation... a taste sensation!


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Monday, 25 July 2016

TASTE SENSATIONS: WARNICKS WHITE CHOCOLATE VODKA

I've always fancied myself as a little bit of a drinks connoisseur so when I heard about this new White Chocolate Vodka I was all over it. I love experimenting with different concoctions and this sounded absolutely perfect for putting in loads of different drinks or even just for drinking on ice as a bit of a dessert style drink.


If you've ever had a nana or a mum offer you a Snowball at Christmas then chances are you've drank another drink by Warnicks in the form of Advocaat (creamy yellow egg drink which you mix with lemonade); I always loved a good Snowball so I had high hopes for this little beauty. 

It smells absolutely devine, with a hint of mint which makes it a little less sickly and creamy than it would be without it. Firstly, I tried it over ice which was absolutely amazing, if you like Bailey's and drinks like that then drinking this neat will definitely be up your street. However, if you don't like the idea of drinking it straight then topped up with lemonade is equally as amazing. Chocolate and lemonade does sound like an odd combination, I know, but it really does work. It's so smooth and easy to drink and it actually feels like you're drinking a cocktail which is way more complicated than simply adding 2 ingredients. 

I bought my bottle from Morrisons and it's actually on offer at £8 rather than £15 but you can also buy it at Asda (currently selling at full price as of 25/7/2016). 

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
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Friday, 22 July 2016

WHAT TO BUY AT BATH & BODY WORKS

In case you hadn't heard, I love America.

The people, the sights and possibly most importantly - the shopping. They have lots of amazing brands and shops which aren't available in the UK and one of the most talked about of those in the blogging community is probably Bath & Body Works. I'd be very surprised if you've never heard of them but they're basically Gods of fragrance on the American high street. As the name would suggest, they stock products to use in the bath and on your body - with a few extras thrown in there like candles and room sprays all in the most amazing range of scents I've ever seen.

They do a few different collections of scents but they're basically split into two for the most part: signature and seasonal. The signature stuff is what's available all year round, a good example of a signature scent is 'Warm Vanilla Sugar' which incidentally, is one of my favourites. Whereas the seasonal scents are available for a limited time and different ones are usually released 3/4 times per year; I was going to say what my favourite season is for scents but I genuinely don't think I could pick because they bring out some amazing fragrances every time.

Anyway, onto what you should be buying from Bath & Body Works. Hopefully this brief guide may cut down your visit time a little... or maybe not (to be honest in the few minutes I've spent on the website I've seen new fragrances that I know I'd spend ages smelling in store so if you're in store for the first time... good luck!)





I'll start by saying that it does pay to take advantage of the offers when you're there because individual prices can seem quite expensive and this goes for anything; not just shower gels. In store, they'll generally do 3 for $24 dollars or something like that so essentially you're getting one free if you buy 2.




These little guys are probably the things you'll see most people coming back from Bath & Body Works with; they come in loads of different scents both from their permanent ranges and also seasonal scents. I always buy plenty when I go because they're don't take up much room in your suitcase and you could have some in your hand luggage if you wanted because they're under 100ml. They're $1.75 each or 5 for $6 and you can also buy little holders which you can hang off your bag or a belt loop. They smell absolutely divine and they obviously serve a purpose as an anti-bacterial. 



These are hands down the best hand washes I've ever tried in terms of scent and feel on your hands. The formula is so gentle on your hands and the foaming element makes it feel so soft when you're washing. This hand wash doesn't leave your hands feeling 'squeaky' clean it makes them feel refreshed and smelling good!

So if you're really pushed for time in Bath & Body Works these are the 3 product ranges I'd personally look at but in all honesty if you can afford to, set aside a good hour for shopping in there because it's absolutely unreal, why they don't have one in the UK is beyond me!

Have you tried anything from Bath & Body Works?

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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life

I realised a few months ago that a 'Quarter Life Crisis' is a thing, a real thing that I think I've experienced (and probably still am experiencing the effects of a little bit). I felt like my life had reached a stalemate where I no longer felt challenged by my job; I'd totally lost my spark for it was making me feel like I was failing at life basically. I wasn't, at all but that was how I felt and I knew something had to change.

Since October my life has been a bit of a whirlwind really and it's gone so fast I've not really had time to catch up and actually process the changes I've gone through. I've got a new job in a school which is something I've wanted to do for a long time but never had the confidence to actually apply for any jobs because I didn't have any experience. I'm still working in the pub so I very rarely get any real time to myself and when I do I spend it sleeping but I'm determined to try and set aside some time for the hobby I love - blogging. 



You might have noticed that I've been absent from Twitter (that was definitely a good thing during the referendum!!) and obviously I've not posted on here for a long, long time but I really do want that to change even if I just set myself little goals of joining in with some twitter chats and posting once or twice per week; I also want to get back to reading other people's blogs because I really enjoyed that too. For now, I'm not promising the earth because I need to work this 'making time for myself' thing out first but I will try and be more visible - I miss the community and I miss writing and I can't wait to see what you've all been up to!

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