Friday, 30 August 2013

Cheap 2 Ingredient DIY Exfoliating Scrub!

A bit of a different post today- a DIY body scrub with only 2 ingredients- sugar and olive oil. It's really customisable, you can use sugar or salt and any type of oil, but this is just what I had lying around. This is such a cheap, exfoliating scrub, since you just use kitchen cupboard ingredients that you should hopefully already own!

DIY Exfoliating Scrub

All you need is:
  • 1 TBSP Sugar
  • 2 TSP Olive Oil

And you're done! So simple. I like to use scrub this on my hands, or feet. Obviously, if you need more, then you just multiply up the ingredients accordingly.

Ingredients for a cheap DIY body scrub

Step 1: Put 1 tablespoon of Sugar in a bowl

Step 1 for a cheap body scrub- 1tbsp sugar

Step 2: Add 2 teaspsoons of Olive Oil

Step 2 for a cheap body scrub- 2tsp olive oil

Step 3: Mix until combined

Step 3 for a cheap body scrub- mix 1tbsp sugar and 2tsp olive oil

Step 4: Rub onto skin, leave for a bit to sink in and then wash off! Voila! So simple and so effective!

I think that making a homemade body scrub is a great way to save money on beauty products! I know that body scrubs can get very expensive and this is a quick scrub that won't break the bank and will honestly do your skin a lot of good. It's 100% natural and really cheap, so the best kind of beauty product!

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Birthday wishlist!

My birthday is next month, so I'm doing a little research into what I might like. Here are my ideas so far:
My birthday wishlist
1. Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation: I've tried this in Boots and I love it. It's got great coverage and is very easy to apply. I can't wait to get my mitts on this!
2. Nikon D5100: This is what I really want- a decent camera. I've been checking out DSLRs and this Nikon looks good. I need to go into Currys and have a play around with them, but this looks the best for me so far.
3. 'Everything is Going to be Ok' Print: I wrote about this before in my Interior Design Wishlist post and I really like it. I might couple it with the RIBBA frame from IKEA for that classy look.
4. Oxblood Batchel: This is from the Cambridge Satchel Company and I adore it. I really want one and I love the Oxblood colour range. Last week I posted about my love of burgundy colours for Autumn and this would fit in perfectly. 
5. Michael Crichton- Congo: Still loving Michael Crichton! I'm looking for another one to read and I haven't got this one. I saw a bit of the film on tv the other week and it looked good! I do like a good book for my birthday.
6. Tears for Fears Greatest Hits: I've recently got into Everybody Wants to Rule the World and think that the Tears for Fears Greatest Hits is probably the best way to introduce me to their other stuff. I'm a bit of a sucker for 80s music.
Knowing me, I'll probably change my mind before my birthday comes along, but these seem like a good starting point!
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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

My Favourite Perfume: Hugo Boss Orange Woman

My parents just got back from holiday and kindly picked me up my favourite perfume in duty free, Boss Orange Woman (such a funny name, no?) 

Surely an orange box would've been a better choice?

This is the perfect fruity perfume for me. I am not a fan of floral scents and find it difficult to find a perfume that I actually like. This one fits the bill perfectly- it's young, fresh and fruity. Orange is one of my favourite scents, and I love the Satsuma range from the Body Shop, but this is more subtle. It doesn't leave you smelling like you've showered in orange juice, but does make you smell very inviting.

The bottle is rose  gold- so on trend
If you like fruity smells then I'd recommend you go and give it a sniff. At £45 for 50ml, it's not too bad for a perfume, although of course it's cheaper at duty free! 

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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Rimmel Apocalips Celestial Review

Yes, I know that everyone and their dog has reviewed the Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquers, but you know, that doesn't mean I can't chip in with my opinion as well!

Rimmel brought these out quite recently and are billing them as better than lipstick or gloss. That's quite the claim, so does it hold up?

Celestial by name, Celestial by nature
I picked up the colour Celestial, a neutral pink. I toyed with the idea of the more shocking pinks, but to be honest, when am I ever going to wear them? These lip lacquers cost £5.99 RRP, so are mid-range price wise, but are usually on offer. There's usually a 3 for 2, or x Rimmel products for £x in Boots, so just wait for them to be cheaper! 

Warning- don't actually wear lip products here

The actual product is a bit weird. It feels quite dry on the bottom and then gloopy on top. I like the effect that it gives, but it really does not last. At all. One touch of your lips to a glass and the gloopy layer comes right off. I find myself reapplying this multiple times a day, which can get a little tiresome. The dry layer does tend to last a little better and does leave a bit of colour behind, but in a very subtle way. Perhaps the stronger colours might leave more colour behind.

Surprising how long it takes to get a good lips picture
One thing about Apocalips, although it didn't do it this time, is that it often bleeds around the edge of your lips. Not a massive issue, but can look a bit odd up close. It also leaves my lips feeling quite dry, so I find that if I put on lip balm first, it applies a little better. 

I do like the colour, though. It gives a nice matte finish and looks striking on first application. With a few top ups, you can sustain this, but it is a bit irritating to keep doing this. The applicator is soft and makes it easy to apply and the lacquer has a sweet smell, which does tend to linger if you're into that sort of thing.

I think the colour is the best thing about this product. It's strong and bold, without being obnoxious. The main drawback is the staying power, but if you're not fussed about reapplying, then it would be good for you. Personally, I find it very irritating. Depends on what you value more.

Final verdict: Not as revolutionary as Rimmel would have you believe, but still a solid product

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask Review

I go through phases of being obsessed with Lush. Really, really obsessed with Lush. Then I go off it and won't go in for months. No real reason, I just like to switch things up. Recently, however, my skin has been feeling a little so-so, and I know that the Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask is one thing that always sets it straight.

Miracle in a pot

I actually had five empty Lush pots stocked up, so moseyed on down to my local Lush store and exchanged them for the Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask. This is the best thing about Lush. Well, that and the free samples haha. Forever a cheapskate.

Personally, I think that this is the best Lush face mask, since it's hydrating, soothing and cleansing. It really peps my skin up and makes it glow. It's a good face mask for my dry skin, although I've been assured that it works on all skin types.

It works better than it looks!

I've tried two other Lush face masks, Oatifix and BB Seaweed, but have found Catastrophe Cosmetic to be the best. The other two were good, but I felt that I could easily make Oatifix at home, and BB Seaweed was such a grim smell that I couldn't get on board with it. However, there are no such problems with the Catastrophe Cosmetic face mask.

Mmmm clay...

The main ingredient in Catastrophe Cosmetic is blueberry, which gives it its distinctive blue colour. I was a little put off at first by the bits of blueberry in the mask, but aside from looking a little odd, they're inoffensive. The mask also contains Irish Moss, Almond Oil, Rose Absolute, Chamomile Essential Oil and a few other ingredients. These combine to make a deep cleaning face mask that really makes a difference and seriously reduces your spots.

This video explains it a bit better than I can:

I must add that when I first started using the face mask, it did cause some spots to appear, but this is a good sign (apparently). It means that the face mask is working and drawing out all the gunk. After I use it, my skin feels very soft, hydrated and most of all, clean. I can see a noticeable difference in the look and feel of my skin, which is what makes it my favourite face mask. It almost plumps my skin and evens my skin tone out. A definite plus, since I have quite a bit of redness.

The one annoying thing about these face masks is that you have to keep them in the fridge and use them within three weeks. However, I usually use the mask two times a week, since if you're careful with it, you can get six uses out of it. So, it's not really an issue, so long as you actually remember to use it!

The texture of the mask is clay-like and it's pretty thick. I'd recommend taking it out of the fridge five or so minutes before you use it, so that it softens slightly, as it can be a little difficult to apply when hard. Luckily the smell of this one doesn't make me dry heave like some of the others; Cupcake I'm looking at you (I really don't like chocolatey smells in products, so sue me). It's actually quite a pleasant smell once you get used to it.

I just like blueberries, ok?

I leave Catastrophe Cosmetic on for about 10-15 minutes, or until it has constricted and I can't move my face. I then wash it off and moisturise as usual. You don't necessarily need moisturiser, but I feel so wrong not doing it!

I really like this mask once in a while for a moisturising boost. It gets a little pricey to buy these face masks too often, since you have to remember to use them, or they go to waste. They're also £5.95 each (or free if you have 5 empty pots), so not a bargain, but definitely worth it! I really like Catastrophe Cosmetic, since its a great all rounder and I think that its the best Lush face mask. Well, that I've tried anyway. 

Have you got any recommendations for your favourite face mask, Lush or otherwise?

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Friday, 23 August 2013

Colours for Autumn: Burgundy

Autumn is almost upon us and my favourite Autumnal colour is creeping into the shops. In case you can't guess from the pictures, it's Burgundy. I think it's such a gorgeous colour and Autumn is the time where you can really go to town with the berry tones. 

Of course, I wouldn't wear these burgundy clothes together. I think that might be a little too intense. I like cream and burgundy, with gold accessories. That's a classy Autumn look for you.

Below I've picked out a few pieces that I like from a couple of high street shops. Although I must say, the prices seem to be creeping up somewhat. Maybe I'll wait for the sales...


From New Look, I've picked out:


From Dorothy Perkins, I like the: 


My favourites from Oasis are:


What's your favourite colour for Autumn?

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Thursday, 22 August 2013

What's On My Nails: Tate by Nails Inc

Today I was inspired by an old song that I just can't get enough of at the moment and decided to pay tribute to the Chris De Burgh classic and become a Lady in Red (nails).

For this transformation I used Nails Inc's Tate nail varnish, which is a classic pillar box red. I really like the consistency of this nail varnish. It's quite a thin formula, so you can easily do a couple of coats without it getting too bulky. A definite plus. It's highly pigmented, so the results you see here are achieved with only one coat! Amazing. It dries relatively quickly to a shiny finish and stays chip free for a few days.

I like Nails Inc's varnishes and often ask for them for Christmas and birthdays, since at £11, they're not exactly an every day nail varnish purchase. I think they have a great range of colours and although they are a little pricey, the quality is excellent. So, totally worth it.

I like this particular red because it's not too brash. It's more of a subtle red, so is suited to both day and night. And dancing cheek to cheek, of course ;)

Awkward hand pose #1
Now, enough about nail varnish, let's get back to the real star of the show. Sing it: I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight...



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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Cheap Bioderma Dupe: L'Oreal Micellar Water

Everyone and their dog has been banging on about Bioderma recently. A French pharmacy product that apparently makes angels sing when you pour this heavenly nectar onto a cotton pad. Hmm. I think a lot of its popularity is to do with its exclusivity. It's hard to get hold of, unless you're in France and that makes it all the more appealing. And expensive.

However, it is possible to get your hands on Micellar water, which is essentially what Bioderma is and for much cheaper than it would be to fly to France, or get it imported.

Hello fancy water in a bottle
L'Oreal have just released their Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution, which is currently on offer for £3.33. Bargainous!

Basically what this does is remove all your make-up. I'd say that it is isn't quite as effective as a traditional eye make-up remover at removing stubborn mascara, but it makes pretty quick work of foundation etc. Don't get me wrong, it's still good, just not as fast.

It also claims to unclog your pores and tone your skin. Not sure if it does this, since I mainly use it as a make-up remover, but I'm sure there must be a reason why they're claiming it does these things.

One thing to note with this is that the liquid tends to come out quite quickly, so you should be careful when tipping it onto a cotton pad, otherwise you'll oversoak it and wasting product is never cool.

I'd say this is a great way to try Micellar water on the cheap. I'm not 100% sold on whether its such a miracle product, but I know I'm not willing to shell out 20 odd quid to get some Bioderma over from France.

Final Verdict: Effective make up remover, but would still recommend using a traditional cleanser afterwards.

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Interior Design Wishlist

I'm thinking of overhauling the decor in my room and have been looking on Not on the High Street for some inspiration. Here are some of my potential picks. What do you think?

Karin Åkesson print- £23

Rosie's Vintage Lampshades- Vintage Map Lampshade £31

Paper Paper print- £10
Rustic Country Crafts- Flying Fox Hand Printed Cushion £34.50

For All We Know- Vintage Ceramic Plate Clock £18

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Beauty Face Off: Pore Strips

As a new feature, I thought I'd pit two similar products against each other and today it's the turn of the pore strips. Nobody likes gunky, clogged pores and the idea of these is that they remove blackheads, grime, etc and leave your pores all clean and cheery. 


I picked up one bargain and one expensive option to compare, so let's get going...

In the red corner, we have Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Facial Pore Strips and in the blue corner we have Bioré's Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. They're both similar products, but how will they fare in this head to head battle of the beauty products?

Price

The clear winner here is Boots' offering. At £3.33 for 6, it's much cheaper than Bioré's £7.99 for 6. (In the picture I have the box of 14, but for the sake of fairness, I'll compare the similar sized boxes)

That's round 1 to Boots.

Aesthetics

Let's be shallow here, the Bioré strips are in a much nicer box. The Boots ones look pretty ugly and cheap, but it's what's inside that counts. Bioré do both nose and general pore strips, whereas Boots only do generic strips. Not a massive difference between the strips themselves, but for their hideous box, Boots has to lose.

Ding ding round 2 to Bioré.


Effectiveness

I didn't take any pictures of the strips post-use because that is grim. Nobody wants to see anybody else's blackheads. I can report that while they perform similarly, I'd have to give this round to Bioré, just because they seemed to remove slightly more grime.

Round 3 goes to Bioré.

Usability

Now, you have to be a little careful with both of these and follow the instructions carefully. If you don't, then they just don't work. You need to make sure that you make sure your skin is damp and your hands are dry and then leave it alone. It's tempting to put extra water on, but don't do it! They won't harden and nothing will happen. Believe me. I actually had more problems with Bioré not working, which surprised me. You have to be very, very careful not to get water on the outside once its on your skin.

And that's round 4 to Boots.

Knockout

I'd have to give the title to Boots. Considering that they're half the price of the Bioré pore strips and do pretty much the same job, it's a bit of a no-brainer. Sorry, Bioré, maybe when you're on offer!

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Liebster Award!

I was very kindly nominated for the Liebster Award by the gorgeous Jo at Sparkle Bug, who runs a fantastic beauty blog. The point of this award is to spread the word about great, lesser known blogs!

The rules of The Liebster Award are:

1) You must link back to the person that nominated you
2) You must answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
3) You must pick 11 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers
4) You must come up with 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5) You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees

Here are my answers to Jo's questions. I added pictures because I like pictures haha.

1) What are your three "can't live without" products?


Tough one! I'd have to say:

  • It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product because it really is a miracle. My hair is 10000% times better when I use it. Love it. I got it in TK Maxx and probably should have bought more than one bottle because I can't seem to find it in there anymore
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo because who can be bothered to wash your hair every day?
  • Johnson's Baby Oil because when mixed with sugar/salt it makes the best DIY body scrub and it's just generally great for any moisturising related activities. Love it.   

2) What made you start a blog?


I just like the sound of my own voice. Ha ha not really. Well, ok maybe a bit. Basically, I wanted to start writing about things I enjoy, so this blog was born.

3) Which blog is your all-time favourite to read?


I love Louise at Sprinkle of Glitter. She's so witty, positive and confident. She puts so much effort into her blog and you really get a sense of her wonderful personality. A total gem.

4) What is your favourite drink?


Believe it or not, it's actually water! Whenever my grandparents see me, they always buy me water, like these gorgeous Fiji water bottles.

5) What is the most you've ever spent on a beauty product?


The Stila Convertible Colour in Poppy for £16. I blogged about this a few posts back. It was pricy, but I love it. I usually favour cheaper make up, so this was a massive treat for me, but totally worth it.

6) How many pairs of shoes do you own? (stab a guess..?) ;)


More than I think I have! 18 at last count. These are my favourites, Clark's Hamble Oak Brogues.

7) Where would your dream vacation be?


Japan! I've always wanted to go there since I was younger and obsessed with anime. I may have grown out of that obsession, but I do really want to go to Japan. Especially in the spring when the cherry blossoms are out. Gorgeous.

8) What is your favourite item of clothing?


Excuse the eBay style picture, but it's this dress from Joy. It's a 40s style dress with a cowl neck and is very flattering on my figure.

9) If you could be any celebrity for the day who would it be?


The Legendary Miss Britney Spears because I always have and always will love her.

10) Night out...do you go heavy on Eyes or Lips?


Definitely on eyes! I actually didn't own any lip products (beyond lip balms) a year ago! I like this Mac palette for a smoky eye. Now, before anyone calls me out on the fact that this probably costs more than the Stila Convertible Colour, I received this as a very generous Christmas present one year, so technically I didn't pay for it! 

11) Skirts or shorts?


Skirts all the way. I don't own any shorts. Again, excuse the eBay-esque picture. This is my favourite skirt that I got from TK Maxx. Knee length suits me best.

My nominees:

1) Lipstick and Lectures
2) Dolce Beauty
3) Spring Summer Susie
4) Love and Liquor
5) Belles and Bows
6) Colours & Curves
7) Daydreams Daisy Chains
8) Fashion Squash
9) Lorilee's London
10) Pretty Gloss
11) Beauty from the Fjord

My questions for my nominees:

1) Which would you rather give up for life: Mascara or foundation?
2) What is your favourite bargain beauty product?
3) What is your favourite clothes shop?
4) What did you want to be when you were younger?
5) Would you ever shave your hair off for charity?
6) High Street or High End?
7) Who is your beauty inspiration?
8) What is your favourite song?
9) Top beauty tip?
10) What's on your beauty wishlist?
11) Who is your embarrassing crush?

Enjoy and happy blogging!

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Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain 005 Crush Review

One of my friends is a big fan of these Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, so I thought that I'd give one a go after hearing her rave on and on and on about them. Seriously, you'd think she worked for Revlon. A quick search revealed lots of rave reviews, so maybe she's onto something. I also read that they're a good dupe for Clinique's Chubby Sticks, which piqued my interest. In my quest for objectivity, I closed the browser tabs and went to try one out for myself.

I picked one up in Boots a while back when they were on offer, but they usually retail for £7.99, which seems a little pricey to me for a lip stain. The packaging is pretty sleek and if you twist the silver bit at the bottom, it reveals more of the product, which is a nice touch. I like when companies colour coordinate the packaging and the product, so A+ on that front, Revlon.

I think 005 Crush looks like a glass of fine, red wine
The Balm Stain glides on easily and comes out relatively sheer. It has little bits of shimmer in the balm, but because they're so minuscule, they're more noticeable in the packaging than on your lips. The colour on these is buildable, so you can go from subtle to intense pretty easily. And that's about it, really.

It comes out quite sheer, but you can build the colour
In all honestly, this product left me feeling a little flat. I didn't really get a great, giddy high from a great colour pay off, or intense moisturising benefits. It was just a bit, well, average. I think Revlon does some great products, like the Lip Butters, which I much prefer. I just don't think there's anything particularly special about this product that warrants its price tag. I know that the Chubby Sticks are about a tenner more, so yes, it's cheaper than them, but really, what are you getting? It just turns your lips a slightly different colour. Nothing to rave about, in my opinion.


It adds a little colour to the lips, enhancing your natural colour

Final verdict: Alright, but not that special. I prefer the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters, which have a wider range of colours and are more moisturising.

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Mexican Chickpea Salad recipe

The other day I made Vegangela's delicious Mexican Chickpea Salad and I just have to share it here. I'd been on the look out for an easy salad to make for lunch and stumbled across her blog. I'm excited to try out more recipes since this one was so good! The flavours of this salad all balance perfectly to create a really zingy, fresh and filling dish.


Vegangela's Mexican Chickpea Salad

Calorie estimate: About 600 for the whole lot (portion accordingly)
Price estimate: £1.68 for everything (roughly, I mean, it'll cost more if you're buying the spices for the first time)

Ingredients:

  • 1 400g can chickpeas, drained (60p)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, quartered (50p)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped into small pieces (20p)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh corainder, chopped (20p)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or any vegetable oil) (10p)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (5p)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (1p)
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or any chilli powder) (1p)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (1p)
Recipe: 
  1. Whisk oil, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and add to bowl
  3. Chop the tomatoes, coriander and onion and mix together
  4. Enjoy!

Such an easy lunch, or side dish. Thanks, Vegangela!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Woburn Abbey

Last weekend I took a trip to Woburn Abbey to see the Strictly Dancing Dresses. For someone who knows next to nothing about Strictly, dresses, or dancing, I really enjoyed it. (I did go with people who do like those things by the way- I'm not some sort of weird masochist)

Historic houses are some of my favourite places to visit and this one was no exception. Woburn Abbey has a colourful history and great number of connections to the monarchy- Charles I was interviewed there by Oliver Cromwell (would've loved to have been a fly on the wall in that conversation...), Queen Victoria stayed there, and Gower's Armada portrait hangs in one room (I was very excited by this one...I love Elizabeth I). There's a fantastic collection of silverware and each room is sumptuously and unabashedly lavish in its decoration. It makes my little bedroom look like the runt of the litter.

Dotted throughout the Abbey are dresses from Strictly Come Dancing. Up close, they actually look quite cheap and unimpressive and even a little tacky, but in the accompanying photographs they had much more impact. Then again, I suppose they are designed with movement in mind and hanging limply on blank faced mannequins, they probably don't look their best. It was interesting to see them though, but I have to say I was much more impressed by the house itself.

We didn't get to see much of the grounds, or gardens, as we had to dash off, but we did pop into the pottery shop and I bought a beautiful Denby-esque mug for £3. I couldn't help myself! I like supporting independent potters and the glaze was stunning. On the way out, we got a good glance at the deer that roam the grounds and I got a not so good picture of a stag. Unfortunately I missed getting a picture of the fawns, which were much cuter.

I would recommend going to Woburn Abbey for the Abbey itself, and not so much for the dresses. However, since they don't really distract from the house, you wouldn't have to wait until they're gone, thankfully. If you are interested in seeing them, they're there until the 29th September, so hop to it!

We weren't allowed to take photos inside, as you can see from this sign :(
Loads of deer in the grounds- took this out of the moving car window... Don't think I'm going to give any wildlife photographers a run for their money
First time taking the Oxford Tube from London and was very impressed. Decent price and leg room! 
I do like a good hanging basket
Some vintage buses in the car park

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

No7 Beautiful Skin Normal/Dry Review

A few weeks ago, I decided to change my skincare routine. I had been using odds and ends from loads of different companies and my skin was really suffering. I have sensitive skin and it does not like being messed about with. I think that some of the ingredients in the different products didn't really go together and that meant that my skin was red and irritated. I also have dry skin and no matter how much moisturiser I slathered on, it just didn't seem to work. Right, I thought, it was time for a change.

I was in the market for something simple, unfussy and gentle. After umming and ahhing for a while, I settled on the No7 Beautiful Skin range for Normal/Dry skin. I wasn't aware at the time that they actually do a range for Dry/Very Dry skin because my local Boots doesn't stock it, but actually, I am very pleased with this range.


I purchased the following:
There was a 3 for 2 offer on, so I got the cleanser for free. It's a little more than I would have liked to pay for skincare, but I thought that it was a good idea to spend money on a decent brand. There are cheaper, gentle skincare options, such as the Simple range, but I have tried that range and didn't really get on with it. Instead, I thought I'd fork out on something mid-range. I always get the impression that No7 makes an effort with their skincare, since it's aimed at a slightly older target market, and therefore I thought that it was probably a safe bet for a good result.

Now, as for the products themselves...

Gel Cleanser

At first, I found this cleanser a little odd, having only ever used foaming cleansers previously, but it does a very good job of cleansing my skin without stripping it and does leave it very smooth and soft. It doesn't have a strong smell at all and a little does go a long way, so I think it will last a while. I'd definitely buy this again.

Day Cream

I'm pleased with the day cream. it's very moisturising, as well as containing SPF 15 and UVA protection. It's not at all greasy and sinks in quickly. It doesn't smell of much at all, which I'm thankful for. My make-up is easy to apply on top of it, even a few minutes after I've put it on, so all positive, really. I would like a tad more SPF in it, but I can always apply SPF separately where necessary, so not a massive drawback. 

Night Cream

The night cream is functional, but not massively impressive. It feels the same sort of consistency as the day cream, except without all the sun protection. My skin does feel silky soft when I wake up, so it must be doing something, but I wouldn't call it a miracle product or anything. It's pretty standard. This is the only part that I'm not sure I'd necessarily repurchase.

And how does my skin feel after using these for about two weeks? It really has improved. The itchiness and redness I was feeling before has completely disappeared and my skin is smooth and soft. I'm very impressed with the overall effect! My make-up goes on much easier and I haven't had many, if any, spots. I feel like this routine is very kind on my skin and although it isn't a miracle worker (my skin isn't flawless by any means), it does do a good job and I have seen a big improvement in the texture and look of my skin. 

Final Verdict: I am very impressed with this routine and I'd recommend it for anyone wanting a simple, quick and effective skincare routine.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Travel inspiration: Devon

I was watching Fat: the Fight of my Life the other day (I know, I know) and was suddenly struck with inspiration, and no, not the inspiration you're thinking of, although I could do with a bit of that too... Jessie Pavelka, the trainer, took Darren, the contestant (is that the right word?) to Woolacombe beach in North Devon to work out. I was struck by how stunning that beach was and am now cooking up a long weekend in my head.

This beautiful photograph is from http://www.devon-photography.com/
This evocative image is from http://www.devon-photography.com/

Turns out I know next to nothing about Devon and I really need to rectify this. I enjoy taking holidays in England, because I think you can get caught up in wanderlust and forget about the beauty on your doorstep. I took a similar holiday in Bath last year, which I might blog about actually, and it was so refreshing to not have to worry about currency, flight times, language barriers and the like. I do like going abroad and broadening my world view, but for a quick break, another county is a great option.

At the moment, this plan is still in its infancy, so if anyone has any suggestions for anywhere to visit, I'm all ears. I'm thinking I might start in Exeter and then make my way up to the more rural beaches in the North, but who knows? Devon has a lot to offer.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Stylish shoes from an unexpected place!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fashion snob by any means. I will wear clothes from anywhere and everywhere, so long as I like them. I've never been ashamed to admit where my clothes are from, whether they're from a charity shop, Primark, car boot sale, I don't care. So long as they suit me, I'm good. Same with accessories, shoes, you name it.

Somewhere I don't usually shop, however, is BHS. I never thought that I fit its target demographic and, to be honest, I did dismiss it slightly. Maybe I was prejudiced because I was put off by their Classics section, which wouldn't look out of place in a retirement home fashion show. However, the other day I wandered in out of curiosity and was surprised to discover some pretty decent shoes in amongst the polyester granny trousers.

All reasonably priced at around the £20-£30 mark, I was drawn to:

  1. Tan Fashion Brogues (£25)
  2. Black New Chain Slipper Cut (£20)
  3. Blue High Multi Sandals (£25)
  4. Black Lace Brogue Flattie (£30)

All of these shoes were comfortable, high quality and wouldn't look out of place on the Topshop shelves, for about half the price. I would seriously suggest that you check them out for Autumn!