Category: Beauty

Ciate has unveiled its festive Candy Cane House!

candy cane houseGood news nail fans, those lovely peeps over at Ciate have only gone and released a new candy cane selection of its lush polishes.

Yep, if you love your polishes and are a fan of the festive season too, then you definitely need to get your mitts on the Candy Cane House.

Just revealed, the collection contains four fragranced glitter polishes. Yep that’s right, as well as making your nails all sparkly, they actually make them smell like Christmas too – with scents including gingerbread, candy cane, fresh cotton and Christmas trees.

Also included in the set is four mini pots in colours labelled ‘Ginger Snaps’, ‘Tangled Tinsel’, ‘Snow Fall’ and ‘Candy Cane’.

How great does that sound?

The ‘house’ is priced at £25, which I think is quite a bargain considering it’s lush packaging, high quality and because of the fact it will literally make your fingernails smell like a yummy gingerbread man.

You can but the set from many outlets, such as Selfridges and John Lewis, however if you are like me and collect your Boots points, it may be worthwhile ordering it there!

Happy shopping!

Sam x

Skincare: Five ways to keep your skin supple in winter

With the wind howling and it getting darker and darker in the mornings, it’s pretty clear that winter is now well and truly here in Blightly.

I’m pretty sure you’re all getting out your woolly knits, scarves, coats and hats now, however, as well as changing your wardrobe, it is also important that your adapt your skincare to the seasons too.

Check out my five tips to get keep your skin smooth and supple throughout the winter period.

1. Go for a more heavy-duty moisturiser

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With the strong winds and cold temperatures, it is really easy for your skin to dry out in the winter season. This is why it is important that you ensure your skin is moisturised thoroughly so it doesn’t become sore and flaky. Unlike summer, when you will want a light moisturiser to reduce grease, you will want a much more nourishing product. I recommend No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream for your face, which has been designed to maintain elasticity and protect your skin from the environment. For the body, I love the Sanctuary Spa Body Butter, which is packed with cocoa butter and creamy shea butter.

2. Still keep up the SPF

clarinsAlthough you may think it’s time to put away the sunscreen, it’s actually important to keep up your SPF coverage in the winter. This is because your skin can still be damaged from UV rays, even though it may not be sunbathing weather. Try and go for a foundation that has SPF care in it such as Clarins Extra Comfort Foundation SPF15 or go for a BB cream like Garnier Skin Perfector BB Cream which already has it built in. If you prefer to go make-up free or you are using a foundation that doesn’t have SPF, then it may be an idea to invest in Piz Buin Ultra Light Dry Face Fluid SPF15, which gives you that protection. The product also dries straight away, so your face won’t be left greasy.

3. Invest in a good lip balm 

Again, with the temperature dropping it is easy for the lips to become dry and chapped if you don’t invest in a good lip balm. I recommend Carmex Moisturizing Vanilla Lip Balm SPF 15. This helps leave you lips supple and the vanilla flavour is delish’. The SPF also gives you extra protection from UV rays.

4. Go for a festive face packmoisture

As I said above, it’s important to step up your moisturisation in the winter. This is especially true for you face as this is the area that will be most exposed to the weather. To make sure you are as supple as can be, why not invest in a moisturising face mask, such as Superfacialist Rose Intense Moisture Mask, or if you’re even more serious, go for Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask.

5. Don’t forget your hands 

As well as your face, your hands can get very dry and chapped if they aren’t looked after properly during the winter season, so much so that they may even crack and bleed if you’re not careful. To avoid this, try Soap & Glory’s Hand Food Hand Cream Pump. You could also invest in the brand’s miniature version of the cream to keep in your handbag.

So there you have it – your guide to the perfect supple winter skin!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Helping through the highstreet

October is the official month of Breast Cancer Awareness. This is a cause that is very close to my heart as many women in my family have suffered with the disease.

That’s why I’ve decided to write this post to recommend how you can easily help raise awareness and funds for this worthy cause just by visiting the high street. Check out the products to look for below & remember that you can also raise awareness by having a ‘Pink Friday’ event at work, school or at home or even entering the Breast Cancer Care WomenOnly Run this Saturday (Oct 18).

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1. Office Metallic Pink Heels – £65 (30% goes to charity)

2. Crabtree & Evelyn Pear and Pink Magnolia Bath & Shower Gel (250ml) – £15 (£1 goes to charity)

3. QVC Charm Bracelet – £23.98 (100% goes to charity)

4. Office Cecilia Pink Glitter Pumps – £56 (30% goes to charity)

5. Official Ribbon & Hearts Tea Towel Pack – £7.99

6. Elemis Limited Edition Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (100ml) – £99 (Elemis are donating £10,000 to the charity)

7. Official Pink Heart Mug – £7.95

8. Asda Tickled Pink Care Bear Onesie – £15 (£1.50 goes to charity)

9. Rosa Rosa Skincare Set – £80

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory Exfoliating Scrub Gloves

scrub glovesSo today’s review I’m going to talk about one of my favourite new items I’ve bought in ages – Soap & Glory‘s Exfoliating Scrub Gloves.

As you can tell by that introduction, I really liked this product. You see, I’m really particular with body exfoliator. I find that most of them aren’t gritty enough and don’t feel like they’re actually even doing anything, so it annoys me as I can pay out a lot for a product and feel like I haven’t got much in return. However, I definitely don’t feel that what about these gloves.

You’ve probably got the gist, but to explain them properly, they are exfoliating mitts that you just put on like normal gloves and use in the shower. You don’t have to use any extra exfoliating product with them – just squeeze some of your normal body wash onto the product, lather up and you’re away.

As you can see, the product is really easy to use and it totally works too. The gloves give you a nice, deep scrub that feels like it’s actually doing it’s job, without feeling harsh on the skin. They are also really cost-effective, as they are only £4 and will last much, much longer than a bottle of exfoliator. Being pink, they also look totally pretty hanging in the shower.

So my advice is definitely to give these a go! I would say to use them 2-3 times a week in the shower for silky smooth legs, making sure you apply moisturiser after. You can buy them from Boots here.

Happy scrubbing and let me know what you think of the gloves if you try them out!

Sam x

Product Love: Ciate Advent Calendar

ciateI know some of you will grumble at this post because it’s Christmas-related, but I just HAD to write about this year’s Ciate Advent Calendar.

This cute gift, which is on sale NOW, is a total must-have for any beauty lover. Complete with 24 little Ciate treats, including its polishes, paint pots and nail transfers, you definitely won’t struggle for some nail inspo over the festive season!

The calendar, which comes complete in a cute little manor house design, may be a little more pricey than an average advent calendar, at £49, However, that is a huge saving on what it would cost you if you bought all of the items separately.

Beauty advent calendars are still quite new, with some retailers only introducing them last year. However, the ones who did sold out straight away so snap your Ciate one up before they all go!

New hair: Fringed bob!

hairrHi guys,

Just a quick post to show you my new haircut! Now, I know it’s not really that summery to have a fringe & a bob, but I was just so bored with my hair. I had it short and was growing it out, but I couldn’t stand it being to in-between anymore and I didn’t want extensions, so there was just one thing for it – cut it off!

It’s probably a little shorter than I wanted it at the moment, however, hopefully it’ll grow quite quick in the sun so I can make it a bit more versatile. What I do love about a fringe though is that it makes me feel so much more stylish and makes me dress more fashionable I think, as I am trying to match in outfits with my fringe.

Anyway, I just thought I’d show you all. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of my new ‘do in my upcoming posts!

Sam x

June Burts Bees event with Olivia Purvis

BB8I can’t believe it’s July already and I haven’t even had chance to write about this event yet! Time flies huh?!

So basically, last month, I headed up to London to go to the fantastic Burts Bees event with Olivia Purvis from well-known blog ‘What Olivia Did’. The purpose of the event was for Olivia to go through her best tips to stay fabulous throughout the festival season as well as show for the lovely Burts Bees peeps to show off some of their newest and most-loved products.

The event was held at the Burts Bees Pop-Up shop in London’s Monmouth Road. The shop has sadly gone now (it was only there until June), however look out for any similar shops in the future!

I got to the event a little flustered as my train was delayed, however I relaxed as soon as I walked in thanks to the lovely Burts Bees staff who greeted me and also because of the lovely prosecco they also handed to me!

There were lots of other bloggers there already trying out some of the products and I had a quick look around to see what some of the products were like. After that it was time for Olivia to come out and have a chat with us all.

She had some great tips for the festival season up her sleeve. These included taking a cheap phone, using disposable cameras and having some sensible mud-proof boots. She also recommended some of the Burts Bees products which were perfect to take to any festival. These included Burts Bees Lip Shimmer, which she said was nourishing yet pretty and the Burts Bees Aloe & Linden Flower After Sun Soother if you stay out in the sun a bit too long! The Burts Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with White Tea Extra were also a must, according to Olivia, to get off the days festival make-up.

After Olivia’s talk (and more prosecco) we were then allowed to try out more products and buy any that took our fancy. I went for the Aloe & Buttermilk Body Lotion, as well as the Almond & Milk Hand Lotion, as well as the banana version of the latter too. When buying these I was then handed a goody bag full of even more treats such as a make-up bag, two Acai Berry Lip Balms, a miniature Peppermint & Rosemary Bodywash and a miniature Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream. It was definitely fair to say I was pleased and loaded down with goodies!

The good thing about all these products is that the ingredients are packaging are all natural as well as working great. Good work Burts Bees!

Before I went, I also got to have a quick chat with Olivia, who, to my surprise, told me that this was her first kind of event that she had done. I was really shocked considering that Olivia has been blogging for a good few years now. I told her that she should definitely do some more though and that I will definitely be attending them!

Check out some photos of the event below…

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Left: The beautiful Burts Bees Pop-Up shop. Right: Some of the testers available on the night. 

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Left: Two of the lovely Burts Bees ladies. Right: Olivia shows us how to get festival fab.

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Above: Some of the lovely goodies I came away with!

 

Lifestyle Diary: Relaxing Hen Weekend in Southampton/Winchester

So this weekend I was lucky enough to be invited on my lovely friend Deborah‘s hen party.

Being down south, the beautiful bride-to-be kept things local, with us going on our day activities in Southampton and then getting a mini bus to Winchester, Deborah’s uni town, for the evening.

We started off the day going for a gorgeous afternoon tea at the Southampton’s Dolphin Hotel. We had the tea in the main dining hall, which was lovely and our table was gorgeous laid out with white covers and little bows on the chair.

As soon as we sat down we were asked whether we wanted tea and coffee and were then bought out a jug each of our chosen drink! Shortly after the food arrived and were weren’t disappointed. There was a whole tray of salmon, cucumber and ham and tomato sandwiches to share between four of us and a whole cake tray full of yummy treats.

I had only had a small bowl for cereal really early in the morning meaning by this time (1pm) I was really hungry. So, let’s just say I didn’t hold back in digging in. I had about five sandwiches and around eight of the cakes, which were such delights as chocolate eclairs, cream puffs, scones with cream and jam, profiteroles and chocolate and raspberry tarts. Honestly I don’t think I’ve eaten as much sugar in one sitting as I did, but it was all really nice.

The afternoon tea cost us £12 which was really reasonable for what it was. As I said, the room was beautifully decorated, there was tons of food and the hotel staff were extremely attentive. As soon as we even got halfway through our jug of tea or coffee they were asking to re-fill it. All in all I would definitely recommend the Dolphin Hotel for an event or treat if you are nearby.

After the tea, we walked just along the high street to April’s House of Beauty for some pampering. The maid of honour gave us three options to choose from (as they were all reasonally priced), these were a manicure, a pedicure and a hand wax treatment.

Now, I know what you’re think after reading that last sentence… ‘hand wax?’ It’s not like it sounds! Basically they put a wax treatment on your hands, which makes your hands super, super soft after they’ve left it on for half an hour.

I went for the manicure however and had a lovely deep burgandy colour painted on. Whilst we were having our treatments, we were all drinking prosecco that we were allowed to bring with us, so it was extremely relaxing! These three treatments are all priced at £10 each, however the salon also does many other treatments such as massages and eyebrow threading to choose from. The staff were so lovely, so again if you are local and looking for a beauty salon, I definitely recommend April’s House of Beauty.

Finally after getting back to the hotel, getting glammed up and playing a few hen games, we headed to The Gourmet Pizza Company in Winchester. The restaurant is quite quaint so it was perfect for us as it felt very private and like our own little venue for the evening. The menu was your typical Italian menu, which all the usual favourites such as dough balls, garlic bread, lasagne, pasta and pizza, of course. I opted for bollognese tagliatelle and got the biggest plate ever, I think I only could manage around half of it! The staff were really great at the restaurant, especially as we started playing a loud singing game and got some silly moustaches out, but they didn’t seem to mind.

After the lovely food and and plenty of bottles of wine we were back to the hotel to chat for a bit and to call it a night. All in all it was a lovely day and definitely one of the more sophisticated hen do’s which was nice as it was really relaxing.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post and got some inspiration if you are planning a hen do yourself!

Sam x

P.s. You can check out a few of our snaps from the hen do below…

 

 

Product Review: Herbal Essences ‘Fresh Balance’ Clarifying Shampoo

herbalI have always had quite thick hair & I’m used to it being quite big, which I like.

However, just recently my hair felt really bogged down for some reason & definitely wasn’t as bouncy and full as it usually felt. I had been using a colour protect shampoo as I had dyed my hair a red shade and I know that it fades easily. I don’t know whether this was the reason it felt heavy and flat if it was locking in the colour, but I definitely knew I needed to try something.

Feeling a bit down about it (you know what us girls are like) I asked my friend and fellow beauty blogger Lauren what she thought I should do. She suggested a clarifying shampoo.

So, off to the shop I went in search of one. I looked in Boots & Superdrug, but I literally couldn’t find any and thought I might have to go online. However, as a last resort I tried a Tesco Extra and found Herbal Essences ‘Fresh Balance’ on the shelf.

Personally, I love Herbal Essences as a brand. They offer a wide range to suit all hair types, smell lush & are not too expensive!

I decided to go the full wack and buy both the shampoo and conditioner. These were £3.79 each, which are a tad more expensive than the other types in the range, but it’s still not expensive and I definitely needed to try something.

On first use, I noticed the gorgeous smell. With citrus blossom extracts it really creates a gorgeous fruity aroma in the shower. The shampoo also lathers up lovely, more than any other shampoo I’ve used.

I washed my hair with it twice and noticed that it left a squeak after I did, which made me feel like my hair was really clean. I followed up with the conditioner after, which had an equally great smell and left my hair feeling soft.

When I got out of the shower I was eager to dry my hair to see what it was like and I definitely wasn’t disappointed… Before when I went to comb my hair the brush kept getting stuck in the knots, however it was now coming through easily and I had my big bouncy hair back. I was so pleased that I had to take an Instagram of the effect straight away!

I know it’s sad, but you definitely feel better when your hair is better and this product helped me do that so I would definitely recommend it if you feel like your hair is a bit flat and bogged down.

The only thing I would say is that it might not be suitable for everyday washing as it may leave your hair a bit dry. If you do wash your hair everyday though, you could just alternate this shampoo with another.

But yes overall it’s a massive thumbs up from me – Herbal Essences you’ve done it again!

Let me know if you’ve used this product of if you have any wonder shampoos that you use.

Sam x

P.s. This shampoo and condition are buy one get one free in Tesco at the moment so snap it up while you can!

Beauty Review: Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector

bb creamNow when I heard about BB creams, I was sceptical.

The thing is, I’d tried tinted moisturisers before and didn’t really think that much of them. This was because I felt like they didn’t give enough coverage, were too greasy and it felt like I was moisturising make-up into my face basically.

However, these BB creams are a lot more than just tinted moisturisers. They are beauty balms which combine serum, moisturiser, primer, foundation and sunblock all into one product. Clever huh?!

So, unlike the tinted moisturisers, which do actually end up rubbing foundation into your skin, this product will protect you as the primer in the product acts as a shield against the foundation being absorbed, however the serum in the cream still leaves your face hydrated. What’s more, the product has SPF which means you are protected from the sun too!

I decided to try Garnier‘s BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector as I also use their face moisturiser and gradual tan lotion & I love both of these products. I have to say, once again, they’ve created a great product that I really love.

The cream glides on easily, provides great coverage, makes my skin look healthy and glowing (without looking shiny) and last all day. Obviously, there are some days that you want to wear full foundation, such as when you are going on a night out. However, for everyday use, this product is perfect and makes you feel like you are still being good to your skin when you are wearing it.

It is also perfectly for sunny city breaks, where you are walking in the sun, but won’t be jumping in a pool every five seconds, as it contains SPF 15 and isn’t greasy whatsoever. Being an all-in-one cream also means that it saves space in your make-up bag & means you don’t have to spend out on lots of different products – what a result!

The Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector is available in two different shades and is £7.99 for a 50ml bottle in Superdrug.

Let me know what you think of BB creams; they’ve certainly won me around – especially this one!

Sam x