Tuesday, 30 July 2013

i'm in morocco!

First off I just want to apologise for the lack of posts for the past two days! On Sunday I was working and when I came home my parents and I went out for dinner which was followed by late night packing. Then yesterday I was in full on stress mode trying to get everything ready for the pick up time of 4 o'clock! As a result I've not really had time to update you on the fact I'm currently in Morocco! I'm away for two weeks and I'm not too sure how easy it's going to be for me to post but I'll try! The hotel is absolutely amazing, the weather is gorgeous and I'm a very happy girl right now! I bought some very lovely goodies in duty free at the airport so I'll definitely be doing a little haul for you all when I get home! :) I hope the weather isn't too bad at home and the sun reappears soon! Sorry for the short post but I'm currently doing this on my phone in hotel reception!

I'm off now to return to the sun so I'll update you all soon (fingers crossed!)! :)

Saturday, 27 July 2013

soap & glory the greatest scrub of all facial exfoliator

I'm a huge fan of skincare products. Unfortunately, due to the fact I used to suffer with rather bad acne (and now have the scars to prove it) and still get the occasional blemishes, products that promise to improve the general look and condition of my skin are ones that I will buy almost instantly. I feel now that my face is just mostly clogged with lots of blocked pores (mainly on my nose, middle of my forehead and around my nose) and blackheads (everywhere really but most noticeable on the end of my nose and chin). Therefore exfoliators, besides masks, are my favourite skin care product to buy. They make my face/skin really clean and smooth (well my favourite ones do) and they're sort of the 'criteria' I look for when searching for a new exfoliator.

Soap & Glory are a brand I've only really gotten interested in recently (after catching up on Zoe's blog and videos - she's a big fan!) and I've heard nothing but wonderful stuff about them. Therefore when I popped into Boots last month after a pretty rubbish day of exams, I decided to treat myself to some new skincare products. Soap & Glory actually had a 3 for 2 offer so I had a long look over the products and came away with this exfoliator and 2 masks. The masks I am still yet to try out but I've given the scrub a go so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you!

The first thing I'd like to mention that I really love is the packaging and the names of the products from Soap & Glory. Without realising it, a lot of us do judge by appearance and so a company that takes care in the design of their packaging is always going to prove popular. I also like that most of their products have quirky names or they have a play on words involved. I love it!

Now onto the actual product itself! It is relatively thick and the texture is sort of like a paste, it's not a cream and it's not a gel. As you can see in the last picture, the cream contains little beads for exfoliation. They are called 'smooth-boost spheres' (which apparently "pop open when you press on them", not that i've tried this) and they aren't too abrasive or scratch the skin which is brilliant. I found that it was really nice to apply and the beads were obvious, but as I mentioned, not uncomfortable on the skin. One thing I did notice is that when you go to wash it off, it didn't later too well and when water is splashed on it, it just washes away rather than lathering up first. This isn't a huge problem but I've always found that when exfoliators lather, they seem to be 'working' more? The smell is pretty average. I don't personally mind it but some people may not be a fan. It's a typical clean smell and I've had other exfoliators with this smell so it's nothing special.

Unfortunately the first time I used it, I didn't follow the directions of use (silly billy!) and I did it how I'd normally use an exfoliator but it still worked well enough. My skin felt and looked really clean and fresh. It felt slightly smoother too and my skin wasn't too tight after use either. However, the second time I washed my face with it, I did it properly and followed the instructions! I did find it washed off a little easier when you dampen the face first and I enjoyed massaging the product into my face for the 30 seconds it recommends. I felt that this helped to clean the pores and unclog them. 

I've used this both day and night now and I've liked the results both times. I love washing my face in the morning as it makes me feel cleaner, fresher and just overall 'better' and this is exactly what this exfoliator does. It gives you a great fresh feeling and I've found that it reduces the amount of oil on my face providing a more matte start to the day (which is great for me). At night it also makes your face feel really clean after the day's activities. I would recommends taking your make up off first, as it can get messy, and then using this as a secondary, deep clean, step. 

Now for some short term effects! My pores do look smaller and more refined after use but I can't see there being any long term benefits. With high street exfoliators, I never really expect their to be any long term changes - I leave that for the likes of Liz Earle and Clinique. However, I am pleased with it so far and will continue to use it! My blackheads seem less obvious but they are still there.

So there are my thoughts on this lovely exfoliator from Soap & Glory. I do recommend it if you are looking for a relatively cheap product that can make your skin feel really clean and refreshed! As I mentioned, I still have 2 masks to try out and give you my thoughts on so keep your eyes peeled for them!

Sorry this post is a little late but I'm just so hot and exhausted it's taken me a little while longer than usual. I went into Manchester with my mum today to pop into Primark to get some last minute bits for our holiday. I didn't actually get any of the things I'd planned to from there but picked up some other bits and bobs instead! I also got a new bikini from M&S which I really really like and can't wait to wear next week! I'm currently watching Shrek 2 (guilty pleasure...) but should probably go to bed soon as I have work tomorrow (not looking forward to it!). 

Thank you for sticking with me through this rather lengthy post and I'll hopefully have a lipstick review for you tomorrow! :)

Friday, 26 July 2013


As usual with these boxes, I leave it until months after receiving them to actual post about them. I end up forgetting what's in them and I'm surprised (again) by what I've ordered. This time I seem to have ordered a whole load of creams for different things. Some are from a brand I've never heard of and the others are from a pretty well known French brand.

So Caudalie is the big French brand that I've heard of and it's one that I'm really keen to try so any chance there is to give their products a go as a sample, I go for it! Now these samples are teeny tiny but they should give me a good idea of what the products are like! I have the Premier Cru The Cream and the Premier Cru The Eye Cream and seen as I've left it so long to write about them, I've actually forgotten what they're for but after a quick google, the Caudalie website says that they are the 'ultimate anti-aging' products. Now as an 18 year old, anti-aging is hardly the top of my agenda but the creams promise to hydrate, regenerate and restore and personally, I feel that all ages need this for their skin. Also, I don't actually use any eye cream and never have done. I'm lucky in that I don't suffer with dark under eye circles or big under eye bags. However, some days, my eyes do feel especially dry and some mornings I can wake up with very puffy eyelids. Therefore, I think this would be nice for those times when my eyes need a little extra special care.

The next four packets are from the brand Belnatur and I've never actually heard of them but these creams sound very interesting. The little blue cream is a regenerating oxygenating cream. I don't actually know what it means by an oxygenating cream but the regenerating part sounds lovely. The purple cream is a hydro-nourishing comfort cream (bit of a mouthful!) and I'm taking it that it promises to hydrate and nourish at the same time. To me, this sounds like the perfect cream to use during a pamper session, when you've just used a face mask and your freshly washed face needs a little nourishment. Or perhaps when it feels a bit dull (most of the time for me!). The final (two) creams are the balancing cream for combination cream. I actually consider myself to just have oily skin but most of my foundations tend to be for normal/combination skin so I doubt this will do any harm and there's nothing wrong with a little balance in life!

Quite a short post this time as I only had two brands worth of products in this box but I'm super excited to try all these creams and give my skin a real treat! I'm happy that I've picked creams that will do a range of different things and I'll be sure to report back if I find anything good!

I was planning to do this post yesterday but I just wasn't in the mood and did end up running out of time in the evening unfortunately. Yesterday was pretty average and I just popped to the gym (i've been everyday this week - super proud of myself!) before treating myself to a new diary. It's really pretty and I really enjoyed filling it in yesterday (anybody else's favourite thing to do? no? just me then...). Today I went to the gym again before being treated to a wonderful facial at the beauty zone at my gym. It was so relaxing and my skin still feels super smooth even now! 

I've just finished watching Mamma Mia which is possibly one of my favourite films and I enjoyed belting out all the songs at the top of my voice! I'm now watching Celebrity Juice and off to order another load of samples from Latest In Beauty! 

Hoping everyone's had a lovely day and enjoying the fact it is now the weekend. My parents are super happy as they now no longer have to do anymore work before our holiday on Monday! Hopefully another post tomorrow so I'll see you then! :)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

MONKI haul

I only heard of the brand Monki when I started reading blogs and always admired the clothes - they were unique and interesting and unlike most English brands. However, it only took me until earlier this year, and their HUGE summer sale (which is still going on!) to actually make a purchase. And I'm so glad I did. I'd saved up quite a lot of money and so went for a big splurge and I am in love with (most of - a few things had to be sent back because i didn't need them or they didn't fit) what I bought!

Now I've worn a few of the items already and so they are a little creased, I apologise! But I hope you like the post anyway! I also apologise for the not so brill pictures, I just haven't figured out quite how to take flattering photos of me wearing the clothes yet - I'm working on it!

I know this isn't a piece of clothing but this is the box that my clothes came in (which shows just how much i bought...). How amazing is it? I think it's adorable and such a nice touch. And I know that this isn't the only type of box that Monki sends out, if you watch this video of Zoe's, she shows how amazing the box she got was! Hopefully the greatness of the packaging will further encourage you to have a little venture onto the Monki site ;)

Now onto the actual clothes!

Now I know jumpers are the complete wrong thing to buy from a summer sale but I just love this type of knit - the type with two different coloured threads that looks slightly speckled and is completely oversized (if that makes any sense at all?). I have actually wanted one like this for a while but most of the ones I've found have been too expensive, however this one was £12 (in the sale) which I thought was a very nice price! I also particularly liked the huge pocket on the top left of the jumper. It's too big and droopy to actually put anything in it but it's a nice little detail. 
Annie knit in blue (£12)

Again, not the most obvious thing to buy for summer but I don't own any items of clothes of this colour and I just love it. I feel that this mint/pastel shade of green is super bright and it really reminds me of spring. Now I know it's summer but I also think it'll be a nice colour to wear in the evenings when it just starts to get a little cooler. Overall I'm super happy with this jumper and I can't wait to wear it when the weather starts to get a bit cooler (although i don't particularly want the sun to go away any time soon!). 
Pam knitted top in light yellowish green (£12)

When I saw this shirt on the website I immediately thought this was a demin shirt and denim could quite possibly be my favourite fabric. I have, in the past, rocked the double denim look before and I really think it could work with different 'shades' of denim. I already have a denim shirt but it is a much lighter blue and is smaller (read: tighter) as it's a very old purchase. As a result, and because I knew how much use I would get out of it, I decided I would treat myself to a new one. However this is in fact a blouse but I still think it could pass for a denim shirt. It is much 'smarter' than the one I already have and is baggier. It's darker and much softer (due to the fact it is a blouse). I absolutely love it. It looks great undone with another top underneath and done up under a jumper with the collar just poking out (my favourite way to wear it). Out of everything I've bought, this is my most worn and most loved.
Friday blouse in blue (£18)

I believe this design was created from an outside designer for Monki's use and I love it. I really like the palm tree design and I think it is super summery and perfect to wear out at night when the weather is still warm. I took it on holiday and it was great for keeping cool. I wore it tucked into both a maxi skirt and a waterfall skirt and it fitted great with both. It is very sheer but the pattern on the front means that you can still remain dignified if just wearing a bra (i.e. without a vest underneath). It is slightly short in length but not so much that you call it cropped - just a warning for those with long torsos!
Olga palm blouse in black (£12)

Blazers are items of clothing that I used to have to wear everyday for school and they slowly became the bane of my life. However, I do think they are nice to wear when you want to look a little smarter for an occasion - for example, an evening meal, a family celebration etc. Therefore I decided to get this one because it is slightly snazzy (due to the shine of the fabric) and it's different to any of the ones I used to have to wear for school. I like that it's slightly longer to your usual blazer length as it makes it a little more casual and less constricting than your average suit blazer.
Sara blazer in black (£25)

Now I did mention that I really loved this palm tree print so I couldn't really pass up on getting it on a t-shirt as well as a blouse could I? Obviously this is much more casual than the blouse so will be easier to wear on a more everyday basis. I really do like this print and think it's just great for summer!
Agnes top in white (£5 - bargain or what?!)

I have a lot of t-shirts. Too many if I'm honest and I certainly don't need to be buying anymore. However, in order to justify this one, I don't actually own any tops of this colour. I prefer my tops to be baggy and whilst this isn't as baggy as I'd hoped it is a really nice top and great for just wearing on those days where you want to be casual/lounge around the house. I'm not sure how well you can see it in the picture but the pink is slightly speckled with white (the description on my delivery note says the colour is 'yellowish pink' so i think the speckles are actually meant to be yellow but they appear white to me, not that i'm fussed, just thought i'd inform you!) and this is just my favourite type of 'finish/effect' on tops - it saves them from being too plain.
Jenny tee in (yellowish) pink (£8)

Now this is one of the items I was most excited about arriving because of the see through strap. How unique? I certainly haven't seen any vests like it before! I do really like wearing it but just a warning, it does stick to the skin when you get too hot and if you 'perspire' (if you get where i'm going...) so do keep an eye on it! I actually wore the denim shirt (mentioned above) over the top and so avoided any awkward situations but I did feel it (uncomfortably) sticking to my shoulder. I still plan on wearing it and I might take it away with me at the of the month when I need to be covering up over a bikini.
Olymphia singlet in white (£5)

This was the first item to enter my basket and as soon as I saw it I just knew I had to have it. I love wearing dresses made that are made from 'jumper' material and I think they are so cute to just wear round the house with bare legs. I personally would never go out without wearing leggings/tights/trousers (some form of coverage for my legs) but round the house, that's a whole other story! This is so cute and comfy and I just love to curl up in it! It's super soft and just really nice to wear! 
Precious knitted dress in blue (£12)

When I was younger my parents used to call me the bag lady because I would just buy a new bag even if I didn't need a new one. But they are my weakness. And this one was no exception. I have actually been looking for a bucket bag like this for a while now and I particularly liked this one due to the two zips going round on either side - they add a little extra something. The bag is super big inside and can hold a lot. I took it away with me to Turkey earlier this month as my carry on bag and it fitted everything in it, including a huge hoodie so it's definitely great for carrying everything you need in it. I just really love it and I'm really glad I bought it!
Ariel bag in black (£12)

I did also buy a pair of earrings in the sale (for only £2 can i point out!) but unfortunately I wore them a couple of times before taking pictures (blogger probs) and they have actually both broken slightly. They were hoops with chains of gold, silver and rose gold hanging off them and some of the chains have come off. They are still wearable but I didn't think I'd photograph them if they were broken. I don't think it's Monki's fault, I think it's just that I kept getting my hands, hair etc caught in the hoops and accidentally tugging them. There isn't anything that a bit of superglue can't fix!

Anyway, that's the end of my little haul. I hope you enjoyed it and perhaps seen something you like? I'm not sure how many of these things are left in the sale but there is still plenty of items in the sale that are worth checking out! And not only clothes/accessories in the sale, but in the main shop too! Monki has a really great variety of clothes and I'm already looking at more things I want to buy!

One last thing I wanted to say about Monki before I leave is their excellent customer care! I actually had to call up their customer service number because I wasn't sure if I'd left it too late to return my clothes so wanted to know whether it was worth me returning them or if I was too late. Anyway, the girl I spoke to was super friendly and super helpful and even said 'have a good evening!' at the end of the conversation. To me, those little things just make me smile and make me love a brand even more! Just thought I'd share that little bit of 'feel good' at the end of my post :)

I'm off to bed now as I am super duper tired even though I've done absolutely nothing except go to the gym all day... Hoping today has been alright for everyone else and for those of you still working, only 2 more days until the weekend! 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

february 2013 glossybox

And I'm back again with another Glossybox post! This time it is the Feburary box and so the 'Valentines' special. That means it is both themed and full of products to treat yourself with whether it is for a loved one or because you feel you deserve a good indulging. Although the day for love has passed, it doesn't mean that we don't need a little 'pick me up' every now and then! And I personally cannot wait to use these products when I feel like a little treat for myself!

I've never heard of this brand before but I'm glad because that's the whole purpose of sample boxes, to be introduced to brands and products you would never have used before. Now in the leaflet, it says that this is a 'blush powder' but in the pot, it looks more like a bronzer. The colour is described as Terra Cotta (surely a more appropriate name for a bronzer?) but when swatched on the hand it produces a gorgeous peachy pink with gold shimmer. It seems very natural and very flattering with it's own highlighter included - I'm very much looking forward to trying it out on my actual cheeks! 

Me Me Me are a brand I've heard of before but never really had a chance to get my hands on. As far as I know they only stock at Superdrug (on the high street) and unfortunately my local one has closed down. Therefore, I'm very glad to be able to give a full sized product from the brand a go! I've never actually used a highlighter before (part of me is wondering how/where i actually apply it...) and I'm wondering how it will change how my make up looks overall when the product is applied. I do actually think that on other people, highlighters are very subtle but also obviously flattering, if that makes sense...

Now the lighting in these pictures is pretty pants, the colour is more of a dark and vampy purple-y red (whereas the pictures seem to show it as a very dark purple...). The consistency is ultra creamy and as soon as I touched the lipstick onto my skin, the colour was transferred. One swipe created an opaque layer and so I'm uber excited to try it on the lips! I've never tried Helen E products before but I do recall hearing about the brand before and after a quick google and venture onto the site, the products look very nice!

Body spray is not a product I actually thought I'd receive in a beauty box. I'm not sure why, I just thought I'd get perfume samples, not a full sized body spray! Body sprays are not products I tend to spend a lot of money on even though they are something I use every day. I usually go for the drugstore brands (Impulse, Charlie, etc) and whilst they do the job, it's nice to have something a little more 'upmarket'. I've never heard of the brand 'Q' before but it sounds of high quality. Unfortunately the smell is not one I can get along with. It's very highly rose scented and reminds me too much of 'old ladies' so I think this may be a product for my mum or grandma. 

Now unlike the spray, this is a scent I very much enjoy! I've recently been really getting into the scent of raspberry and I think it could quite possibly be over taking strawberry as one of my favourite scents! As a result, I'm very much looking forward to using this cream! As far as I can tell, it is a full body cream and so I plan to use it after I've indulged myself with my next bath! The box says that the "cream enfolds your skin in absolute softness and hydration" which sounds so promising and luxurious. I don't usually use a body cream but I was actually thinking today about how I should probably start using one to keep my skin hydrated so this could be a great one to start with!

This was a nice little addition from Glossybox who seem to get it just right with all themed boxes. The little added extras, the little surprises and gifts you wouldn't normally expect, these are what keep me interested and ever eager when a glossybox arrives at my door. So thank you Glossybox! :)

That's it from me today and I hope you enjoyed this post. They are actually one of my favourite posts because they re-introduce me to the products I've received from past glossyboxes that I've actually forgotten about. They are also very easy to read because my thoughts just seem to flow!

I've had a pretty relaxing day today. I went into Manchester with a friend and we went for lunch at Wagamama's before a quick spend in Primark (i bought a new purse, some bits & bobs for my hair and some face wipes). I saw quite a lot of stuff I liked so I'm going to go back in with my mum on Saturday for a bigger spend! 

Hoping everybody else has had a nice day and that the descent in weather conditions hasn't got you too down... Luckily I sleep through anything and so the thunder and lightning did not disturb me but I hope it doesn't cause too many problems for any of you tonight! 

Monday, 22 July 2013

a groupon offer and a much needed update...

A while back, I was reading through my Groupon e-mails and came across an offer for a 120 colour palette for only £5.99. Let me tell you, when I came across this, I very quickly clicked on the 'View it!' button, I just couldn't pass down the offer. I think it could quite possibly have been the definition of 'bargain'. Unfortunately, the offer of just one palette had sold out by the time it came round to actually purchasing the palette but there was a chance for me to buy two for only £11 (still a bargain!) so I thought I'd get one for me and my mum.

Now just look at all those colours! Look at how gorgeous and wonderful they are! There is such a range of shades that I can't wait to start playing with them all and figuring out what looks I can discover! There's also a range of 'finishes' - glitter, matte, shimmer - which increases further, the amount of looks that you can create!

I would say the pigmentation is pretty average. Some are far more opaque than others and produce a gorgeous colour with just one swipe whereas others are sheerer and only provide a wash of colour. But I think that only adds to its range of use - for both day time (more subtle) looks and night time (more drastic) looks. 

And speaking of looks, I've just thought of an idea for some posts I may put up on the blog involving this palette... I'm off to Morocco at the end of the month and instead of taking a whole load of eyeshadows, I may just take this palette with me and see what looks I can make with this huge range of colours and then document them on the blog to show you how I get along and as inspiration, perhaps, for you guys? Just an idea and I'd love to know whether you guys would be interested!

Now I know you can get these type of palettes on Ebay but considering I was signed up to Groupon, it was only right to make use of its offer. And this is another thing I wanted to include in this post. Obviously, my main aim was to show you this palette and how much I recommend you popping onto Ebay to pick yourself up one but I also wanted to tell you to get yourself signed up to Groupon! At first I couldn't be bothered with it - the e-mails annoyed me and I didn't want to spend my time searching through pages and pages of offers to find one I actually liked. However when I actually began to read through the e-mails I started to find the rare offer I was genuinely interested in. Now Groupon isn't for everyone but for those of us who want to save a little here and there, I think it's worth it. It is annoying when you don't find any offers you want, but trust me, one will come along that you just have to snap up! And they don't just do products, they do tickets for days out, appliances for the home, electronic gadgets, even holidays! Another offer I purchased earlier this year was a 2-person ticket to an old historic hall near where I live which proved to be a great day out for my parents and myself!

I'm not being sponsored to say this, I'm just genuinely eager to get people signed up and to give it a go! You might actually find something you like!

Now for the second part to my post... The dreaded 'where have I been' part... Now there aren't really any excuses but there are reasons why I haven't posted. And here they are:
  1. Lack of motivation. I just haven't had the urge to sit down and write a post and there's no point me banging one out when it's half hearted and definitely not my best piece of writing. I have since had a good think about my blog and caught up on the bloggers that inspire me and now have a new 'mojo' (i hope...).
  2. I've been catching up on blogs. I really don't like posting a blog post when I haven't read all of the posts from the blogs I follow. I don't know why, but it's just my routine and what I like to do. So it's taken me a while to get through them but I'm finally back on track!
  3. Getting back into a routine. Since summer has gone on, I've slowly found myself doing absolutely nothing with my days and by the time my parents come home, I realise I've wasted an entire day. I notice that a lot of bloggers have 'to do lists' and 'routines' and I thought it was about time I started doing that myself. I figured it would get my butt into gear and actually make me productive. Today is the first day of my new 'organised' system and it seems to be working...
  4. I have also been busy with 'life' and have been spending time with my friends quite a lot. I've been to Wales on a big group trip and also to Turkey on a girl's holiday. It's been really nice to get out of England and just have a change of scenery I guess. I also had my 'senior' prom (basically the prom at the end of year 13) which was lovely but also strange to think that I may never see some of my 'peers' again... (sorry for the slightly 'morbid' thought - it's just part of growing up i guess!). I've also been working quite a bit as well, clocking up some extra days to get me through the summer.

So that's that, I don't think there are any more reasons as to my lack of posts apart from the fact life has been getting the better of me. I think I'm finally getting back into blogging so I hope you stick around with me! :)