Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014


I always find the end of a year a bit weird. Full of reflection and regrets. So I thought I'd compile a little collage of my favourite pictures from this year.

(Nothing about beauty, just boring pictures.)

The past couple of years have been pretty dire, and although this year didn't start brilliantly; I managed to change my luck slightly towards the end. I started this blog back in June, had one of my photos featured on TV and I wangled my way into the BBC for a week in November; so it's not all bad!

Happy New Year!

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Monday, 29 December 2014

Yankee Candle Cinnamon Stick


What smells more festive at this time of year than cinnamon? 


This is my first ever Yankee Candle and although I was put off by the price, I must admit it smells fantastic. There's nothing more festive than your entire house being filled with the aroma of cinnamon.

I originally intended to put this in one of my Christmas Gift Guides, but completely forgot. Sorry. As you can see from the photos, it contains pure, natural spice extracts.

Despite the fact that it's a bit pricey (to me) for a candle, it makes a wonderful treat or gift for someone. This is the smaller candle, which is 104g. Although it's small, it's lasting really well. I've used mine sporadically since October and there's loads left.

On their website, the one I have is unavailable, but other versions of Cinnamon Stick are on offer, such as tealights for £6.99 or a medium candle for £14.99.

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Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Body Shop Strawberry Hand Cleanser


Guarantee you'll be addicted to the smell of this.


It's that time of year when there's so much going round, it's essential to protect yourself. This is a lovely hand sanitiser from The Body Shop to do just that!

The smell is so strong but wonderful; that you'll probably want to guzzle an entire punnet of strawberries... or you'll get Wimbledon flashbacks.

There's no stickiness and it dries really quickly. This gel isn't too drying either, so if you suffer from dry skin or dermatitis, it shouldn't aggravate it. 

It contains no triclosan, which I had to Google. Apparently it's a controversial antibacterial agent which causes liver cancer in mice. So it's good news for humans, because it could do the same to us over time. Thanks Body Shop for not putting potentially carcinogenic ingredients into your products. Much appreciated.

I'm a bit of a mysophobe, so I know my hand sanitisers. (Saddo.) This won't necessarily protect you against all germs, but it smells so nice! While we're on the negatives, it's not the cheapest of hand gels out there, but I think the main attraction to it is the strawberry scent.

I wouldn't recommend it if you're not keen on strong fruity scents, or if you're looking for something to give you a high level of protection against bacteria. If you do buy it, I'm warning you now, you might end up licking or eating your own hands...

You can buy it online for £2.50 by clicking here, or pop into your local store and buy it for £3.

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Snow Way!


Excuse the poor pun that forms the title of this post.


If you read yesterday's post, you'll already know that I had a lot of trouble wading through the snow on Boxing Day. This post is not about beauty, but a bit of a rant instead. Sorry in advance.
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Saturday, 27 December 2014

It's Christmaaaaassssss!


Pandas are festive, right? 


Above are a selection of pictures from Christmas, if you hadn't already guessed. 
(I'm now taking over-sharing to the max...)

Christmas Day this year consisted of: pandas, presents and a bit of turkey too. Just as an aside, I didn't get the dog drunk... I selflessly drank the wine instead to save him from any potential drunken canine capers. I couldn't finish that massive plate of Christmas dinner either, despite the fact that there's every excuse stuff your face at this time of year!

Boxing Day was full of snow! (Proper snow from the sky!) And although it looked pretty; it was a bit of a nightmare, to be honest. Seriously: People falling, cars skidding and getting stuck in town at night in the snow is not fun. But I'm home now, sat in front of the fire, so all's good.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas too!

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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her!




For those of you who are terribly late at buying presents.


Soap and Glory Body Butters - £8 - Boots
Oh my goodness, these all smell gorgeous! You get three different mini body butters in this pack, which are:
  • Butter Yourself,
  • Sugar Crush,
  • The Righteous Butter.
After all, who doesn't love some Soap and Glory goodies for Christmas? And, if you fancy getting these for yourself, wait until after Christmas when they'll be half price! That's what I did last Christmas!

Nescafe Dulce Gusto Coffee Machine - £45 - Currys PC World
For the coffee lover in your life. I've had this machine for about 10 months now and it's brilliant.

You buy pods, which are available from supermarkets and then pop them in the machine. You flick a switch and then wait for your drink to be made! It really is that  easy, and it's much cheaper than getting takeaway coffees all the time. Unless, like me, you're hopelessly addicted to Starbucks Cappuccinos. 
(Nothing's going to stop me from getting my Starbucks fix, except a nuclear war or something.)

Boots Extracts Strawberry Mini Mix - £4 - Boots, obvs.
Lovely little present containing shower gel and body butter. I got this for my best friend, so hopefully she won't be reading...

Mac Lipstick -  £15.50 - Mac Cosmetics 
If you've not seen me mention this before, where have you been?! It's lauded one of the best lipsticks for a reason and there are loads of different shades on offer! Pictured is Coral Bliss.

Satsuma Shower Gel - £4 - Body Shop
This smells AMAZING. I only stumbled across this last week, when I bought it for myself but had to pop back to get some more for presents. As well as smelling wonderful, it's also soap-free, so it won't dry your skin out, which is brilliant at this time of year!

Note: Your entire bathroom smells of satsumas for hours afterwards using. (Not complaining though.)

If the receiver of your gift isn't that big a fan of satsumas, the Body Shop offer a range of other scented shower gels too!

Just as an aside, I'm not writing a Christmas Gift Guide: For Him, because I don't have very many men to buy Christmas presents for... I don't think I'd be much help in that respect anyway... It'd probably only be socks, ties and beers.

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide: Under £10





If you're tight, this is the post for you. After some stocking fillers, but don't know where to start? Here are some ideas!



Barry M Limited Edition Glitter Nail Polish - £3.99
(Who doesn't love Barry M? Who even knows who this Barry M guy is? Is it Barry Manilow?)

I picked this up in Boots the other day for £3.99 and it's beautifully festive and glittery. There are two limited edition shades currently on offer to celebrate Christmas: Moonlight (above) and Starlight. 

These add such a lovely bit of sparkle to your nails. They can be used on their own or popped over the top of another colour to give nails a bit of festive sparkle!


Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick 110 - £5.49
This is a bright red, perfect for the party season. I recently mentioned this in my November Favourites, so won't go into too much detail here. (You can read that post here!)

This is almost a dupe for Mac Ruby Woo which costs around £10 more. If you're on a budget and know someone who's lusting after that lipstick, why not get them this instead?


Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick - £6.49
Yes, another lipstick... I'm addicted at the moment. Rimmel are renowned for their great value, good quality lipsticks. This is for those people with dryer lips that don't want to shy away from lippy. It's moisturising, long-lasting and there are a range of colours on offer.

I have it in the shade 130 Oxford Street Fuchsia, which is a perky pink.
(I like alliteration. Don't judge me, okay?) 

Zoella Beauty Goodies - £5 each
Pictured is the Zoella Body Lotion, but the Body Wash and the bath fizz (which is supposed to be REALLY good) are also only £5. The only places that stock the Zoella Beauty range are selected Superdrugs stores and Feel Unique at the moment.

I also mentioned this body lotion in my November Favourites, which you can read by clicking here!

Original Source Skin Quench Body Butter - £5.99

This is a lovely brand new body butter from Original Source. Admit it, this is very cheap for a good quality body butter, it's even fast drying and vegan too! I've got Vanilla and Sweet Almond Oil, but you can also get your hands on Lime and Coconut Oil. They sound good enough to eat, don't they? 

(But don't do that, you'll probably end up in hospital if you do...)

Twining's Double Mint Sensation Tea - £2.49
Of course, I've mentioned this before... You can read my post on this lovely tea by clicking here. 

This tasty tea is incredibly minty and refreshing. It's also well-presented, which makes it a good gift for the tea lover in your life. At £2.49 for 20 envelopes, it's not going to break the bank either!

You can buy this from most UK supermarkets or from Twining's website.

Maybelline Baby Lips - £2.99
This is a fantastic tinted lip balm that's available in a range of colours. Maybelline have also recently released the Electro range of Baby Lips; which are a bit bolder, but also still £2.99. All in all, a cheap but lovely stocking filler! 

You can even pick these up in supermarkets if you can't venture down to Boots or Superdrug!


Keep your eyes peeled for more gift ideas coming very soon! 
(which are clearly for those of us who leave our present buying until the last minute...)

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Review: Simple Night Cream


It's that time of year when your skin needs extra nourishment. So, what better time for me to write all about Simple's Night Cream?



I have used this for a few years now, but recently, I stopped. It's almost as if Simple have altered the formula slightly and it's suddenly much richer, waterier and smells a bit different too.

Whether it's my skin or the apparent change of formula, I appear to break out in spots whenever I use this. It does moisturise my skin really well; but often just a bit too much. It's quite disappointing that it's suddenly making my skin so bad...

On the plus side, it contains: pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin E, as well as a number of 'skin loving ingredients'. Simple state that they never use artificial perfume or colour and avoid using harsh chemicals, which is fantastic for those of us with sensitive skin! 

One 50ml pot also lasts for ages, so it's not something that you have to constantly repurchase. 

Would I recommend this? Yeah, it's an exceptionally good value night cream; but I'd only recommend it to people who have seriously dry skin.

If you have delicate skin and fancy trying this, you can buy it from Boots for £5.99 by clicking here.


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Monday, 15 December 2014

Vlogmas #1



Here's my (late) attempt at Vlogmas. Enjoy!


This is what I got up to in the past week. I couldn't do one every single day because I just don't lead an interesting enough life...

(I know that there's absolutely no demand for this, but humour me.)


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*'That video' is my next YouTube video, which should be up in the next few days!
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Saturday, 13 December 2014

November Favourites!



Now, I haven't done a favourites post for quite a while, ashamedly. So here are my favourites from November!



Costa Coffee Orange Hot Chocolate
I'm not normally a regular drinker of hot chocolate, but this is amazing! When you first take a sip of this, it's just like normal hot chocolate but after a couple of seconds you get this whopping orange kick! 

So, at just over £3, it's quite expensive... But it's a gorgeous wintery treat!! And it's nearly Christmas, so you're well within your rights to: A.) eat and drink as much chocolate as possible and B.) treat yourself. So there.

You can pick this lovely drink up at Costa Coffee. You can't order it to be delivered to your house, unfortunately...

Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick in 110
I am really getting into my lipsticks at the moment and this is one that I recently picked up in Boots. I was looking for shade 111, because I read somewhere that it's a fantastic Mac Ruby Woo dupe, but they didn't have it, so I picked this one up instead. 

For saying it's a matte lipstick, it's not drying, which makes it perfect for this time of year! It's also so much cheaper than Mac Ruby Woo (about £10 cheaper...) so I would definitely recommend this one for those of you on a budget!

Rimmel Kate Matte Lipstick costs £5.49 from Boots; which you can buy by clicking here.

VO5 Nourish My Shine Bedazzling Oil Heat Protector
Oh my goodness, why have I only just discovered this?! It's brilliant! I bought it a few weeks ago and I've used it pretty much every day since. It was a lifesaver when I was on my BBC work placement because I spent quite a lot of time outside, and this stopped my hair from descending into a frizzy mess.

You spray it on your hair before blow drying and it adds shine, but also conditions as well as being a heat protector! It's a jack of all trades, this one.

This costs £4.99 and you can buy it from Boots by clicking here.

Zoella Beauty Body Lotion
Everybody's been raving about the Zoella Beauty range since it came out in September, and I must admit that I bought a couple of goodies on the day they were released (yes, I'm a saddo, I know...)

I've been meaning to write about them for ages. Literally. Sorry.

I love this body lotion. For starters, it smells wonderful. Secondly, it lasts all day on your skin. It's not overbearing or greasy; but it's still really moisturising. This would also make a brilliant stocking filler for someone!

It costs £5 and you can buy it from Feel Unique by clicking here

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara
I must admit that I didn't like this to begin with (back in those halcyon days where I shunned natural-looking lashes and went around with ones like spider legs instead...) but recently I've been using this as my every day mascara.

It's perfect for creating a fantastic day look. It's not over the top, but it's definitely enough to give your lashes lift and volume. It's nothing too showy, but it's just a great 'traditional' mascara.

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Mascara costs £7.99 from Boots, which you can buy by clicking here!

I am going to be writing about my top 2014 favourites very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

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Friday, 12 December 2014

T-Zone Nose Pore Strips


If you're a Spotty Dotty like me, you might be tempted to try some nose pore strips out...


These T-Zone ones are some of the best that I've stumbled across. You can easily pick a packet up in discount beauty stores for about a pound, so they're not going to break the bank if you try them and don't like them. Places like Home Bargains and Bodycare always sell loads of different types of nose pore strips.

They are specifically designed to eradicate blackheads. I've never struggled with them; but I do get plenty of whiteheads and blocked pores. There's something SO satisfying about inspecting these after you've peeled them off. I'm strangely addicted to it... It feels kind of good to know that you've ripped some oil out of your pores - which is great if you're prone to spots in the nose area.

I know that they're quite controversial; and some people are reluctant to try them because they could potentially do more harm than good, but I've been using a range of different ones for years without problems. (I don't know if use exacerbates oil production, but I've never noticed a surge in spottiness days after using these.)

You should always leave at least three days between using these, but I tend to do one a week. Unless you fancy looking like Rudolf, you really don't want to overdo it. Just be careful not to rip any skin off.

If you fancy trying these, you can get a pack of 6 for £2.99 from Fragrance Direct by clicking here.

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Thursday, 11 December 2014

Google Chromecast



Is it worth spending £30 on Google's new televisual goody?


Something a little different, I know... I have Freeview and recently, the signal's been quite bad, so I opted to turn my TV into a Smart TV with the help of Google's Chromecast. It was a pretty impulsive buy, I only went to Curry's PC World to have a look but ended up leaving with one! 

You control this with your computer, tablet or phone. You do have to download the Chromecast app to your phone or tablet but it's definitely worth it, as your gadgets effectively become a TV remote.

It's pretty small. All you do is plug it in and then pop it into your HDMI socket! After that you link it up to your wi-fi network and then it's pretty much all set up! It really is that easy.

I'm a big fan of YouTube; so I tend to use this most with my Chromecast. It's pretty exciting to be able to watch YouTube videos on your TV (if you're a slightly techno-phobic old codger like me.) You can also watch BBC iPlayer on your TV too, with the iPlayer app and TuneIn Radio works with the Chromecast too.

The only issue, I would say, is that there aren't many more compatible apps that I've found. It would be good if there were more on offer in the future; like ITV Player and 4oD, amongst others.

Would I recommend this? Yes, definitely! For £30, it's a lot cheaper than Apple TV and it doesn't require a subscription like other similarly priced services; such as Sky's Now TV. 

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*Just in case you were wondering, this post was NOT sponsored.
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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Glossybox November 2014!



I have been soooo busy lately that I just haven't had chance to try most of what's in this box. (Excuses, excuses...)


 Why am I writing about it then? Because I didn't want to let my lovely readers down completely, obviously.

Burt's Bees Lip Shine
This is a lovely little lip gloss from Burt's Bees. The only problem is, I'm a bit odd and every time I use lip gloss, I develop a tickly throat and cough until I have to wipe it off... So, I've not really given this a test run. Can you blame me?

Lollipops Eye Pencil
How pretty is this? It's a retractable eyeliner pencil in 'Black: Goodbye Moon'. Lollipops is a brand that I've never stumbled across before, it's French. This pencil is supposed to be anti-aging... (Quite offended that Glossybox think I need that yet.) It also has Vitamin E, so it's nourishing and it doesn't contain preservatives either.

The fact that it's retractable is great because you don't need to sharpen it! It costs 14 euros, which is just over £11. 

Green & Black's Organic Butterscotch Chocolate
Now this didn't last long. Yum.

(It was a special treat from Glossybox for being a subscriber for a year! That's lovely of them, isn't it?)

Monu Face Oil
This is Monu's Soothing Hawaii Facial Oil, with Cardamom, Sandalwood and Lavender.
My skin's been spotty recently, I don't want to risk making that worse by smearing my face with oil... So I've not tried this. I have tried Monu's bath oil though; which is gorgeous!

A full sized bottle of this, which is 100ml, costs a whopping £26.

H20+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment
Again, this is something super-nourishing and hydrating for skin. Which is great, if your skin needs it. It's not, if your skin is already spotty. Glossybox do say that it's oil-free, but I don't really want to risk it.

H20+ is also quite a premium/expensive brand. A full-size tub, which is 50ml, costs £27.50!

This is also 'age prevention', as it reduces the appearance of fine lines. What are you trying to say Glossybox?!

OGX Argon Oil Conditioner
Okay, confession time: This is another thing I ashamedly haven't got round to trying yet! A large bottle costs £6.99 from Boots. I've seen this in shops for ages and keep on meaning to try it!

I will try to write reviews of all the products that I've not been able to try yet in the coming weeks!

My Glossybox December review will also be up soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Anatomicals - Spray Misty For Me


Who wants a nice smelling face? Meeeeee.


This is one of those products that's a wonderful little treat. It's not really a necessity, but I adore Anatomicals, with their funny product names and packaging filled with jokes. The products themselves are lovely too, obviously.

Clint Eastwood's on the back of the bottle, for some reason... Which reads:
'Not Clint (as in Eastwood), more mint (as in peppermint) and a long list of other co-starring ingredients such as rose, lavender, aloe and witch hazel to leave your skin refreshed and radiant. You could say it's the spray that makes your day.'

You can use this as a setting spray, like I do. It can also be used to calm irritated skin down during the day or you can even use it to calm your nerves! (The lavender is supposed to have a calming effect...)

When applying it, you can spray it directly to your face, like me, or you can spray it onto a cotton wool pad and then wipe it gently over your face. It's designed for dry/sensitive and normal skin; so it's probably a bit too rich for those with oilier skin. 

I bought this months ago from ASOS for about £6, but they don't stock Spray Misty for Me on their website at the moment. The only place that I've found it online is Amazon, and it's a little more pricey than it used to be... 

...A bottle of this currently costs £7.10 from Amazon, which you can buy by clicking here.

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Saturday, 6 December 2014

Original Source Mint & Tea Tree Shower Gel



Like feeling clean? This one's for you then!


Oh my goodness, this is cold. Take note, it's essential to be careful when you use this... It can be a bit of a shock otherwise... 

You will definitely feel REALLY cleaning after using this, and probably a little cold too. Just a warning: Hot water definitely seems to exacerbate the extreme cold feeling that you get with this shower gel.

It smells gorgeous; so fresh. In fact, it's probably the most refreshing shower gel in existence. It also makes your bathroom smell strongly of mint for ages after you've stepped out of the shower. Which, for me, is blissful. 

It's not going to break the bank and it's also a unisex shower gel, which gives it the potential to be a lovely little stocking filler for everyone!

If you fancy trying this, you can get it from Boots (where it's now on offer for £1) by clicking here.

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Friday, 5 December 2014

Lee Stafford Sprays


Whatever you say about Lee Stafford, you know he loves his Caps lock.


Yes, he may be inconsistent with his capitals, which grates on me a little, but these hair sprays aren't bad. 
(These are the travel size ones, because they're cheaper and I'm tight.)

Shine Head is a shine spray, which is supposed to make your locks glisten and Dehumidifier spray is supposed to help your hair to stay straight whilst also keeping frizz at bay.

With both these sprays, it's very hard to get the balance between using the right amount and using too much; which is enough to make your hair greasy in an instant. They are quite good, except for the whole 'potential greasy hair thing'. I normally save them for those days where my hair's looking very lacklustre or if it's chucking it down outside.

(If you do get it wrong and overdo it, a little spritz of dry shampoo seems to do the trick.)

The full sized tins of these products cost £5.99 each from Boots, which you can buy here: Shine Head & Dehumidifier.

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