Archive of ‘Shopping’ category

Lush Haul – Valentines 2017

It’s that time of year again when I have to rush to Lush to get my grubby paws on their limited edition Valentines themed things.

Lush Amynoos

I popped down to my local branch in Brighton recently and yet again was overwhelmed by all of the beautiful lovely things, superb friendly and approachable staff. Spot on, well done again Lush.

Ladybird Bubble Bar Lush Amynoos

This is the tremendously cute Ladybird Bubble Bar and at £3.95 is one of the more affordable items. I adore the bubble bars as you can get so many uses out of them. The assistant in the store said you could get two uses but I bet you can get more. I guess it is how many bubbles you want! The Ladybird has sweet geranium and peppermint oils. Everyone in the store swooned over my choice in this little fella so I can’t wait to give it a go.

Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar Lush Amynoos

These are the main reason that I had to get down to Lush for their Valentines day items. These beautiful Unicorn Horns have a cult following and are one of the best selling items. These are my absolute favourite bubble bars of all time (hence I got two!) They use two of my absolute favourite fragrances lavender and neroli to make this blissful pretty bubble bar. I adore it! You can also get a lot of uses from each bar which I love. These are £4.25 a piece.

Lover Lamp Bath Bomb Lush Amynoos

Over to bath bombs. I had one of these Lover Lamp bath bombs last year and it was so lovely I had to get another one this year. Cocoa butter, vanilla absolute, Brazilian orange fizz away releasing the cute little red hearts into your bath water. It is just so pretty. This is £4.25.

Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb Lush Amynoos

This is not one of the Valentines day ones but I caught a wiff and I couldn’t say no. This is the Rose Bombshell. I have had one of these before and it was delightful. It is rose scented and as it dissolves in your bath water it releases petals. My only gripe is that I hate getting the petals out the bath after, but this one smells so good I am willing to over look that. This is £4.25.

Cupid Bath Bomb Lush Amynoos

Last but not least is the Cupid Bath Bomb. This one is only £2.95. This has rose and bergamot is in the shape of a heart with an arrow. I think this one would make a very cute gift for someone.

What has been your favourite Lush Valentines product this year? Any I have missed? :)

Halloween Lush Haul

My obsession with everything Lush is quite serious. My poor OH has stood outside many a store because he refuses to go in while he waits for me to sniff everything and touch everything and spend a small fortune.

Halloween Lush Haul 2016

Last week saw the launch of the Halloween items and I could not go without sampling at least one of them. So when pay day arrived, off I went to my local store. I pretty much bought one of everything.

Oopsie.

Everything smells amazing so I thought we could do a little show and tell, because frankly this stuff makes me freaking happy, and I want to tell you about it!

Pumpkin Set Lush 2016 Halloween

I don’t usually buy the gift sets, but the packaging of this was just too cute to pass up!

Pumpkin Set Lush 2016 Halloween

In includes 4-items, 2 bath bombs, a bubble bar and a bath oil all very cleverly wrapped in this brilliant cloth to look like a pumpkin. It would make a brilliant gift for someone (or in my case for myself). It cost £20.95.

Pumpkin Set Lush 2016 Halloween

Everything was very securely packaged in the parcel, all packed with biodegradable packing peanuts which I am a massive fan off. I DESPISE polystyrene, awful stuff. Anyway I digress….

Pumpkin Bath Bomb Lush 2016

First out of the package was the pumpkin bath bomb, available to buy on its own for £3.95. This is described on the website as “sweet, comforting vanilla and spicy cinnamon” I was a bit dubious about the smell of this one when I heard how it was described as I am not a huge fan of these sort of smells for baths but it is a lot more subtle and actually really nice. It produces what I can only describe and a more ferocious fizz than some of the other bath bombs (think Sakura) so the “pop fizzle” is over pretty quickly, but leaves your bath water a delicious warm orange colour. Not sure I would rush out and get this again, but it was great to try.

Boo Bath Melt Halloween 2016 Lush

Next out was this cute little fella, the Boo bath oil. I have been interested in trying the bath oils for a while, but have been a bit put off by the fact that they make everything they touch oily. I didn’t really like the lava lamp bath bomb for this reason, cleaning the purple tide mark from around my bath after a nice relaxing soak wasn’t ideal. However I figured this one is white so no stains (I hope!). I have not used it yet, so we will see. It is available on its own for £3.50 and is described as “mimosa and warming ginger” which sounds delightful.

Lord of Misrule Bath bomb Lush Halloween 2016

I have a feeling this Lord of Misrule bath bomb is one they have done before, I was immediately drawn to this on the website because of its pretty colours. It is described as “patchouli and black pepper oil”, and “has a deep green exterior that slowly froths away to reveal a rich, wine-coloured centre”. That description alone made me to that weird deep throaty gargle noise that Homer Simpson makes. It smells incredible. It is available to buy on it’s own for £3.95.

Sparkly Pumpkin Bubble Bar Halloween Lush 2016

This is the “Glittery Pumpkin” bubble bar. Now, I freaking love glitter. I do not love cleaning freaking glitter out of my bathtub. However the total pixie in me cannot resist any Lush sparkly goods so like a magpie I was drawn to this. Again, like the pumpkin bath bomb I was a bit dubious about the potential “pumpkin” scent which I am not always a fan of. But after giving it a good sniff (snorting half the glitter, fairy sneezes for the rest of the evening thank you Lush) I decided that this smelt AMAZING. I am willing to look past the fact everything I touched afterwards, was glittery. I am still to work up to the golden egg they do at Easter… it’s so pretty but the prospect of cleaning that crap out my bathtub feels me with woe. Luckily the OH seems to either not notice the sparkly bathtub or he doesn’t care. This is available for £3.95. I always love to get a bubble bar because I feel like they are the best value of the bath products as you can get a few uses out of them. Depending on how much you crumble into your bath, I reckon you could get at least 3 good baths out of this one, maybe 4.

Monsters Ball Bath bomb Halloween Lush 2016

Moving onto the two extra items I bought. I actually wanted to try these the most so I couldn’t walk away without them! This is the Monsters Ball Bath Bomb which sells for £4.25 (the most expensive of them all!). I was immediately drawn to the cute little face. This smells quite fresh with lime and neroli oils. It is hard to describe. I have not yet tested this one, but overheard one of the Lush workers telling another customer about it and how much she loved it. Apparently towards the eye is the last thing to dissolve so you just have a funny little fizzy eye floating around your tub which I think it quite fun! I think it has more of a slow dissolve (think dragons egg/yoga bomb) which are my favourites. I love to sit in the bath and prod and poke them watching them dissolve. Never too old for some bath time fun!

Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb Halloween Lush 2016

Last but not least is the Autumn Leaf bath bomb, which sells for £3.75. This was the one I was most excited for, I really loved the colours and the way it was described “The scent of fresh grass evokes the crunch of crisp leaves underfoot as the last remnants of summer are stolen away”. What a delightful description! The smell of this reminds me a lot of the Experimenter bath bomb which is one of my favourites. It has quite an earthy musky smell which I find very warm and comforting, and I think is perfect for something designed to reflect an autumn leaf. This has quite a slow fizz which fills your bath with greens, oranges and red, the colours of summer into autumn and leaves your bath a lovely burnt orange colour. If ever there was a bath product to reflect autumn, to me, this is it.

Wow, if you made it all the way to the end of this 10 glittery lush stars to you! I will try and be a bit more restrained with the imminent Christmas product launch but if instagram is anything to go by, I might need to sell a kidney and you might get a blog post edition the size of war and peace!

The Great Contact Lens Event

My Mum has a massive phobia of eyes, and through what I can only assume is osmosis I thought I had the same. (Mum – this post might freak you out!). If you don’t want to hear about contact lenses click away now…

I first started wearing glasses when I was about 15 or 16, I noticed that I was having trouble reading the board at school and the clock in exams. I got myself down to the opticians to become a proud member of the spectacle wearing club. I only ever needed them for far away things, so at school, at the cinema, at home watching TV, but generally I didn’t wear them very much.

It wasn’t really until I was around 18/19 that I noticed that I was really struggling when I wasn’t wearing them. Friends would often tell me off for giving them “the evil eye” when seeing them from a distance, the truth was I was actually trying to focus them in!

Long before glasses were required.

Long before glasses were required.

I look to wearing my glasses all the time when I was travelling (I hitch-hiked – wanted to see drivers from a distance) but soon found that without them, I couldn’t actually see diddly-squat. So I have been wearing my glasses all the time since I was about 23.

“Why don’t you get contacts?” I was asked all the time, and the truth was that I would have loved too, but I was too scared. The thought alone of having to get a little bit of plastic in and out of my eye would give me heart palpitations. I admitted to myself that I was just destined to be one of those speccy four-eyes forever, and it was fine. My friends and family are now more used to seeing me with glasses than without.

Amynoos Glasses

Now there are some definite draw-backs to being a glasses wearer (these are obviously massively outweighed by the fact that you can see….). Rain is a nightmare, you genuinely need windscreen wipers, especially if it is that god-awful misty rain where you can actually see more without your glasses than with. Also, misting. Shopping in winter is a pain in the backside, outside fine, in a shop – nope – no more sight for you – just fog. Walk into a bar after being outside… fog… can’t see with glasses, can’t see without glasses…. so many people… so many obstacles… OH THE HORROR!!!

So the final straw for me was learning to ski. Now, if you have been following my posts (original here, latest here) about skiing you will know that I am a somewhat reluctant skier to start with. So the fact that during my second lesson I realised that I would get half-way down the hill and not be able to see a single thing was utterly terrifying. I am sliding down a hill, on 2 sticks, blind, no control. How I did not injure myself or someone else is an absolute miracle. After doing a bit of online research when back on less snowy ground there was one conclusion, one way to solve this issue, and that was getting contact lenses.

The Friday after we came back from Cambridge/Skiing I decided to grab the bull by the horns and book myself an appointment. I saw that Specsavers (who are my usual optician anyway) do a free trial for contacts, so this seemed perfect. Luckily for me they had an appointment available the following Monday.

Contact Lenses

So on Monday, off I trotted into Brighton town centre, took a deep breath and headed down to the contact lens centre. There I was met by a very friendly optician who did all of the checks (very similar to an eye test, shining lights etc.) to make sure my eyes were healthy and to check my suitability. She said everything looked fine, then needed to check the “shape and size” with a magical machine. Lord knows how it worked but I basically looked into something and it measure the curvature (I assume) so they would know what size I needed. It was all very quick and simple. Perhaps a little uncomfortable with the light shining, but nothing painful or scary. She discussed my needs and what I was looking to get from wearing contacts, I elaborated the ski story….

Contact Lens

The next bit was the scary bit; “Are you happy for me to put them in?” she asked. Another deep breath and “yes it’s fine”. I have come this far, can’t back out now! She showed me these tiny delicate circles of gel like plastic and popped one onto the surface of my eye… look up, look down, look left, look right, blink blink blink and TUH DUH! Same with the other eye… blink blink blink. I can see. It is the strangest feeling every being able to see after so long without the world having a black frame.

After they were in I went to see another optician for the “teach”, here she explained the do’s and don’ts of contact (DO wash your hands, DON’T run your lenses under the tap) and explained how to take them out and put them in. Then came practical part of the lesson, so very carefully as instructed (chin to chest, very important) and took the first one out on the first attempt. She seemed pretty impressed at the ease with which I had done it, and asked me to do the other eye. Same again. Nodding, impressed she then explained about putting them in (daily disposables mean a fresh pair each time for me). Top Tip: to make sure they are not inside out they should look like a cereal bowl with no lip, if they look like a pasta dish with a lip then they are the wrong way around.

In they popped. She declared I was a natural after I managed to take them out again without any problems. Off I went with my free 5-day trial feeling really rather pleased with myself.

The whole experience as a pleasure. The staff were friendly, helpful and informative and really made me feel at ease. The trial worked you up to the full 12-hour wear, so first day 4 hours, second day 6 hours etc. On the following Monday I had a follow up appointment to check how I was getting on. I had another quick eye check with the optician while wearing the contacts and they said everything was fine. Next stop sales! I decided to get 20 a month on direct debit, they have quite a lot of benefits on direct debit like cheaper sunglasses and free glasses, eye check etc. so I thought it was a good place to start. Day on, day off, see how I go. So far so good! The novelty of going into a shop and taking off my sunglasses and being able to see is an absolute life-changer. The whole experience was so much quicker, easier and not at all remotely traumatic like I thought it would be. I feel very positive about it all, which is great for something that a few years ago stuck fear at the mere mention of it.

I am using the Acuvue Moist Daily Lenses

I am using the Acuvue Moist Daily Lenses

So winter here I come! You with your steamy eye glasses and your misty rain! I am ready for you!

Apparently the next stop of laser surgery… I think we are a way off that yet *shudder*

August Favourites

Well August came and went in a flash didn’t it? 
After the madness of June and July, I thought August would be a little more settled however it has been just as crazy busy just in a different way! I will explain more soon… 

Here are some of the things I have been loving in August!
These kept catching my eye in Sainsburys in the checkout queue of “must have some self-control” (I don’t…) I finally caved and bought one. 
I was very glad I did! Nutty, chocolatey, coco-nutty, and scrumptious. 
Rad Elephant Jumper
Damn those little ads on the side of Facebook… They know I am weak.
But also not damn them because they bought this jumper into my life and I love it.
A photo posted by Amy Teresa Elliott (@amynoos) on
I sported this sparkly wee number during Brighton Pride and it is so beautiful I wish I could wear it everyday! Janine Basil, the created of this gem has a line of really beautiful items so please go check out her website! I will be ordering more at some point… just need to find an excuse 😛

This smells like maple syrup and I want to eat it.
It is so freaking good there are not enough words.
Rub it all over, smell like a pancake.
This is what winning at life smells like…. and breakfast.
Skimmed milk, less calories, still chocolatey. So happy.
 

source

I have been dying to get my grubby paws on this bath bomb since seeing it in a vlog. I finally did and it is the most beautiful, fizzy, sparkly joyous thing to grace my bath since… well… ever.
I posted about it in #findthehappy . Just beautiful!
This Joke

This. Just this. Explains itself. I probably laughed too much.

June and July Favourites

This edition of my “favourites” is a super sized special!
As I have been busy fighting with the dark forces of filing paperwork I have not had time to put up 2 posts, however that doesn’t mean that I have not been enjoying things! So here are my favourites for June and July…
Teisseire Gourmet Drops – Vanilla
I love vanilla flavoured coffee. I have a friend who lives in California who years ago introduced me to the coffee mate vanilla creamer which doesn’t seem to exist anywhere else and I was obsessed! Occasionally as a treat in a coffee shop I will order a vanilla latte but upon a stroll down the coffee aisle of my local Waitrose I spotted this little gem. It is the same packaging as those new pocket sized squashes and great to chuck in my bag to vanilla up my coffee wherever I am! A couple of squirts and a stir and my coffee is deliciously vanillary. Its not that cheap, this cost £2.79 but if you are a fan of flavoured coffee give it ago.
I am obsessed with this at the moment. I have tried a few different coconut waters and this one is my current favourite. I have made my way through at least 3 of the big cartons in the past week alone. I cannot stop, it is just too good. Another Innocent winner! Plus, it’s brilliant for a hangover. Win!
Warburtons Cat Shapes Sandwich
I like cats. I like bread. I led out an audible squeak when I found these in Waitrose and embarrassed myself.
Sunbites Pitta Bakes – Oven Roasted Onion and Rosemary flavour
I am a fan of the Sunbites original “crisps” but I thought I would give these a go. They are amazing! They are like toasted crunchy pieces of pita covered in a deliciously savoury flavouring. The onion and rosemary are my favourite flavour. They do the same flavour in the crackers but there is something about the texture of these that I really like. Super crunchy and loaded with flavour. Yum.
The girls at work had been raving about this for months and I was a little slow on the uptake. It is based on the memoir of a woman who found herself in prison. The series is great. It is funny, heart warming, dramatic. It is great to see such a fantastic cast of characters all with their own individual strengths and weaknesses. While the introduction to the show is focused around Piper (in the orange) it does not solely focus on her storyline, each episode will look at another of the inmates in more detail and you do feel like you care about (or loathe) each of them. It is just great. There are now 3 series available on Netflix and it is definitely worth a watch.
I mean.. do I need to explain why I love these…? Just look at them! Added bonus – got them in the Office sale for £30.
I have been eager to try this for ages and so when I got the opportunity I jumped. It is not cheap at £18 a bottle but I really have noticed a difference since I have been using it. I feel like my skin is clearer and smoother. I notice when I have missed a couple days. It smells delicious too so that is always a plus. I am happy to have it included in my skin routine and I am excited when it comes to using it.
I got this wee tester eye cream in my Clinique shop a while ago and I have really been enjoying it! It feels so smooth and hydrating when it is on. I know eye cream is one of those things you should use, and have never really got into the habit of using one as they can often feel quite heavy and greasy. The full size one is expensive (why are all the things I love expensive?!) but the trial pot seems to be going quite far so I think it might be an investment that will last a while. I find myself picking it up each evening and putting it on, which is usually a good sign!
This product seems to be everywhere, and so when I received the trial ages ago in a Birchbox I was excited to try it out. It took me a while to start using it regularly but I love it. I perhaps would go as far as to say it is better than the Emma Hardie cleansing balm! It is certainly more affordable at £14 rather than £38! I have enjoyed getting into more of a skin care regime before bed and this has been used on a regular basis. I have already cracked open my full sized one. My skin feels lovely and refreshed after using it. It clears off any signs of make up with ease. Just lovely stuff.
Growing up by the seaside when sea salt sprays appeared I was at a bit of a loss as to why on earth I would use one. However having more recently embraced my wavy locks I understand it. I received a trial sized version (god bless you again Birchbox) and thought I would give it a go. This particular one smells lovely. You apply a couple of sprays and a scrunch and it helps to define waves and help them to stay in during the day. At £17 a bottle this is expensive, and I am not sure I love it enough to purchase the full sized version, especially with so many different brands on the market. I am interested in trying out some other more affordable ones. However well done Parlor on getting me using something I had totally dismissed.
Phew. Lots of things, thank you again for bearing with me while summer steals my time.
What have you been enjoying for the past couple months? I am always excited to try new things and any suggestions are always warmly welcomed. Please leave a comment below!

May Favourites

Hello my beautiful readers! If you follow me on Facebook you will be aware that I was off on my holiday last week which is why there was a distinct lack of posts! 
I am now back in the UK and ready to get back to business. Next week we will return to #findthehappy but this week I am hoping to get up a post about my holiday so watch out for that. 
 
In the meantime…. here are some things that I loved last month…
 
 
 
The ingredient list probably reads like a horror to most, apple, beetroot, carrot, and ginger. I am a huge fan of the Cawston Press Apple and Beetroot juice but I can never find it anywhere. The innocent juice is so good. Sweet yet earthy, and I can kid myself that I am being super healthy. 
 
 
I am quickly becoming a huge fan of Korres products. I have had lots of samples though Birchbox and the latest in last months box was this Korres Burgamot Pear Body Milk. It is so nice. I am a bit addicted to the citrus body milk they do and have just cracked open my third tube (this is unheard of!) but this one is also delicious. I am definitely going to be purchasing the full size version once this has run out. It just smells so juicy and yummy and makes your skin feel lush.
 
 
Primers seem to be a thing now, back in my early days of make up I am pretty sure they were not a thing! It makes sense, and after trying this one from Laura Mercier I get it. My make up lasts so much longer when I have used this! It is a really nice light formula that you put on your face as you would a moisturiser (just less rubbing I guess!) and then apply your make-up as usual. This one isn’t cheap at £29 but I think the full size one would last ages, I am still using my very generous sample. You only need a small amount so I think it is definitely worth it!
 
 
I have had horribly cracked, dry and sore lips since winter. I do suffer with them usually but this winter they just wouldn’t go away. I have tried many different lip balms, and creams and lotion and potions but finally decided that I might need to spend a little more. So I bought this at the not so little price of £9.50. The reviews were great and with a name like “First Aid Beauty” I thought I might be onto a winner and I was. Its great. It feels gloriously luxurious on you lips and has a very slight menthol tingle which is nice, but most importantly it has worked. No more cracked lips. HURRAH!
Strawberry Oatmeal
 
 
Currently favourite breakfast! I soak my oatmeal the night before with a tea spoon of coconut oil, then in the morning add chopped strawberries and a good glug of honey, cook and tuh dah! I do mine in the microwave at work in this rather marvellous porridge pot from Lakeland. The porridge smells so good and all the girls at work have commented on the yummy breakfast aromas coming from my desk. Another tip – you only need 4/5 strawberries for this so freeze the rest. Once they have defrosted they go super soft and gloopy, but are perfect to mash up and wack in your porridge. Nom.
 
My favourite perfume is somewhat expensive so I do not like to use it every day. I picked up this one on a whim from Fragrance Direct for £10. It is lovely. It has a really fresh slightly floral scent and I love it. As it is so cheap I am happy to spray it all over myself, every day and smell delicious. That way I can save my expensive perfume for special occasions.
Ciate Fast Dry Top Coat
 
 
I love to paint my nails, however I am rubbish at sitting still long enough for them to set properly. This caught my eye with its “super quick-dry finish” claims, backed up by the rave reviews it had so I thought I would give it a go. It isn’t that cheap at £12 however it is will worth the money. Paint your nails as usual, and then use this as a top coat and it is touch dry in a matter of minutes. It sets quicker so no more smudgy nails! Hurrah!
What were your favourite things in May?

Fragrance Direct/Tanya Burr Haul

  • Fragrance Direct is a really rather marvellous website. 
  • It is like finding the hidden bit in your local Boots store where everything is super cheap and exciting. They stock make-up, skincare, bath and of course fragrance. I love to spend hours looking at all the hundreds of item, fill my basket and never actually buy anything. (Especially at the weekend, usually after I have consumed too many fizzy pops the night before) This time however I clicked “buy”. I spent £20 on the following 10 items!! Got to love a bargain! 
  •  
  • Fashionista Custom Design Palette1 6 x 2.5g
 
  • I love a palette, I have my eye on a couple of Urban Decay and Stila ones but at around the £30 mark they aren’t something I can bring myself to just buy. This was £2.99 (RRP £12.99). It has 3 eye shadows, 1 blush and 2 bronzers. It has a huge big mirror and looks really pretty. However I can’t help but feel like something is missing from this. Upon researching “Fashionista” I cannot find anywhere that stocks this brand any more. I suspect the reason it was so cheap is because they are no longer about. There is usually a reason for something like this! I don’t feel like it is really special and have not found myself going to pick it up when I put my make up on, but still sticking to what I usually use. Still for £2.99 I think it was worth a punt.
  • It certainly didn’t fill my need to own Stila Eyes are the Windows in Soul
 
  • I have finally come to terms with the fact that as a freckly red-headed lass I am never going to have a tan. I am very aware of how easily I burn and have been caught out on many occasions and ended up with a face the shade of a lovely ripe tomato.
  • I was very interested in this specific lotion from a well known sun cream company designed for your face. The packaging is quite nice, the liquid has a nice swirl in it which is quite attractive. The lid isn’t very secure and I get the feeling that it would probably come off in your bag and all of your handbag would end up covered in sun cream, but as a bass for my make up it works pretty well.
  • It smells like sun cream rather than a normal moisturiser, slightly coconutty like Hawaiian Tropic lotion always does. It did initially feel a little greasy but it soon sunk in and felt fine. The smell was a little much for me, on holiday this will be fine but as a day to day thing I am not sure I would want to smell like I am on the beach all the time!
  • I will not get this again to be honest, I will probably use it but there are many more products out there that do the same thing and I wasn’t hugely impressed with it.
  • Especially as this hit our news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32738241
 
  • For those who are down with the kids and the rise of the “YouTuber” you will know who Tanya Burr is. (Yes, I am down with the kids….) 
  • Tanya Burr is a beauty blogger, make up artist and writer well known for her YouTube videos. Last year she released a line of beauty products and I have wanted to give them a go. Being that she is quite hot property at the moment, they have been raved about in the blogging community so when I spotted them on Fragrance Direct I was excited to get a few and give them a go! I got 3 lipglosses and 4 nail varnishes. £1.50 each (RRP £5.99-£6.99) 
  • Tanya Burr Lip Gloss 8ml (Mistletoe Kisses, Red)
  • Tanya Burr Lip Gloss 8ml (Just Peachy, Natural)
  • Tanya Burr Lip Gloss 8ml (Aurora, Pink)
I am not a huge fan of lip gloss. To be honest I struggle with all lip products, to not look like a 3 year old that has got into her mums make-up.  However everyone has raved about these so much I wanted to give them a go. 
They are nice, they have a very sweet flavour and smell tasty. The package feels nice in your hand, solid and good quality. The applicator is really nice, it doesn’t take on too much product so during application you can put on as little or as much as you like. 
I went for 3 different shades, a strong red colour, peachy natural colour, and a gentle pink colour.
 
 
 
I love the Mistletoe kisses, it is lovely, it gives your lips a really gentle lovely flushed look without looking too made up. I think this one will find its way into my regularly used collection.
Just Peachy is really not for me, it is quite opaque, pastel and creamy. It really doesn’t suit my skin tone. I really didn’t like the shade or the way it applied, being quite pastel it either had to be laid on quite thick or smoothed out so it didn’t look like I had any on. One extreme to the other. I really didn’t like this one.
Initially I wasn’t bowled over by Aurora, it is a very similar to the shade of my lips, and I didn’t really see the point. However I have found myself picking it up and using it more and more. As a day to day product its great, doesn’t look too much for work, but adds a nice tint to your lips.  
If you like lip gloss then get involved, there are many different shades and definitely one to suit everyone! 
 
  •  
  • I had to stop myself from buying all of these, I stopped at 4 shades which I thought would give me a good sample across the range.
 
  • I have been after a brown/grey shade so the first into my basket was Penguin Chic, which I really like. I remember first seeing grey and brown shades of nail varnishes and not instantly thinking wow but they have really grown on me. I think they can look quite classy and they are a good shade for all times of year. I really like this, it is listed as grey but I think it is more of a grey brown. 2 coats and it was good to go.
Second into the basket was Little Duck, described as green but I would say more of a blue, perhaps duck egg blue is where the name of the shade came from. This also only needed 2-coats to give a lovely colour. I really liked this, and I think it will be a lovely colour for spring and summer. It is quite playful and fun,
Peaches & Cream is a nice peachy orange shade which again I think is really lovely and will be great for the summer. This also only needed 2-coats.
Mini Marshmallows is a really cute pastel pink shade, this needed at least 3-coats to get to a good level but is super cute and very girlie. 
All in all I am really pleased with the nail varnishes, they are all lovely shades and good quality. The lids did crack and creak a little when I opened them and I was a bit worried the plastic would break but it was fine, not quite as good quality as the lip glosses but still good.
 
Overall pretty pleased with my Fragrance Direct purchases, and really pleased that I finally got to try out some of Tanya Burrs products. 

Everything 5 Pounds Haul

I am a huge fan of Everything 5 Pounds, don’t get me wrong it can be hugely hit or miss, I have bought some absolute horrors on there. I think most of the items must be end of the line or unwanted stock. Some items appear to have come from high street stores like Primark and H&M, and even River Island. Regardless, I love a bargain and there are some great items on there for the incredible price tag of £5!
I had a little splurge on there last week, in an attempt to make myself feel better while dosed up to my eyeballs on Lemsip. Here are the goods I received. I am really pleased with most of the items this time!
Please excuse the not-so-great photos, I am in desperate need of a better set up/camera.
This is the only item I am not that pleased with. For some reason they cut the “Atmosphere” label out (to the trained eye – Primark!), which is fine, but it looks like the did so with an old blunt pair of kiddie scissors. It is also very very sheer, and will need a top underneath it, and riddled with static. I am not sure I am going to get along with it. I think it is quite different from the image on their website on this occasion.
Frill Hem Pattern Tunic Dress

 

Really pleased with this. It is a really lovely forest green, I haven’t tried it on yet but feels like a good quality item that can be dressed up or down with accessories. It’s probably going to be a little too short to wear without leggings. I am fine with this though, I usually find I am much more comfortable wearing leggings!
Open Front Linen Blend Blazer
I have been after a blazer for ages, they just seem to really smarten up any outfit they are teamed with. Also they are great for the warmer days when you don’t want to take a coat out but want something lightweight to cover you. Really pleased with this item, it is a very soft relaxed material but it looks quite smart. I think it was definitely help to add a bit more of a grown up look desperately needed in my wardrobe…. clearly demonstrated by this next item.
I am over the moon with this!! It is the best thing ever. It’s fluffy, it has a huge hood, it has ears, it has bobbles, it has holes in the sleeves for your thumbs, it was £5. I am never taking it off. Ever.
Silky Feel Open Front Cardigan
This is a bit of a cross between a kimono and a blazer, it is a bit more of a lighter blue than it has come out in my photo but is perfect for the summer.
My tips for getting the most out of their website
Stick to the first few pages, their new stock is usually put on the first few pages and the further back you go the less likely they are to have it in your size.
Don’t hang around too much, items sell out super quick, I have seen items go out of stock as soon as I have gone to add them to my basket!
It is a bit like shopping in TK Maxx, be prepared to rummage, and if you find something you like hang onto it! :)
Keep an eye on the postage too, it is charged per item so it can soon rack up. 5 items of clothing this time cost me £5.15.

April Favourites

Here are some of the things that I have been loving this month!
At Christmas my flat mate rushed to me, little pot in hand squealing with glee.
“Look at this, look at this” she beamed jabbing her chipped nail varnished finger at me, “My mum found this, it bloody changes everything!”
It has.
This concept has literally revolutionized my life. I have introduced it to my mum, and now I am introducing it to you. This stuff is amazing. The concept is simple, in this tub is a sponge soaked in nail varnish remover, the sponge has a small hole in the middle that you put your varnished finger nail in, twisty-twist and remove and as if by magic…. done! Why has no one come up with this sooner!? It is so much quicker and easier then the ol’ pad and bottle routine. (Although, I do have to say that glitter nail varnish still needs a pan scourer and a litre of remover to get off…)
I notice now that many shops are on the bandwagon, doing cheaper more affordable ones than the somewhat hefty price-tagged Bourjois (£4.99 in Boots) I picked one up in Primark last week for £1!!! I haven’t cracked that open yet but I will let you know how it goes. But yes, get it in your life.
I have some some absolute gems of products via Birchbox. The Beauty Protector range is one of them, in particular their leave-in conditioner. It is not very cheap, but not crazy expensive (£14) this stuff lasts ages. I bought a bottle around 4 months ago and it is still going strong, I did pick up a spare recently in preparation so I am stocked for a while yet. It is just lovely, it has a beautiful delicious candy floss smell. I am not usually a fan of sweet smelling beauty products but this is LUSH. After washing hair, spray all over, brush through and style hair as normal. My hair feels silky smooth and soft.
I would like to say I found this myself, but to be honest the thought of bacon popcorn would have probably made me turn my nose up. I am not a huge fan of bacon crisps and envisioned a similar over-powering fake bacon smoky, sickly orange mess over delicate puffed corn…. however this stuff is just delightful! Firstly it tastes a bit like sweet popcorn, then you get the bacon – sounds a bit weird I know, but it is good. If you like bacon and maple syrup you need this in your life. Delicious.
I used to find it a little difficult getting off to sleep at bedtime, sometimes my brain just wont switch off. Lavender is a well know relaxing scent for helping you get off to sleep, so a little while ago when a friend was struggling with getting to sleep I bought her one of these. At the time they were on offer so I bought myself one and since then I have used it on a regular basis. I have tried a couple of others in the interim that are more pure lavender oil based but there is something about this one from boots that I just love. It comes in a lovely metal can with a pump spray. It is a mixture of different essential oils designed to help you relax and get off to sleep. I just spritz my pillow and a couple of lucky sprays around my bed before getting in and snuggle up in the relaxing scented sheets. Give it a go if you are having some trouble sleeping, or if you just like lavender.
Beauty Blogger Lily Pebbles reviewed these and I was immediately drawn to them for some reason. I was in the market for a new blush, and picked this up in Superdrug to give it a go. I love it. It has multi-tonal pigments which blend with your skin tone to give a natural appearance. I use a medium sized blusher brush to apply to my cheeks. With a gentle sweep, it gives a lovely gentle glow and shimmer. It can also be built up easily for a more blushed look. It seems very easy to use without looking too much like a painted doll. The multi-tonal blend also means you can use it a little for contouring, so sometimes I like to just do a gentle sweep across my forehead and down the centre of my face (just be sure to be careful with the amount on your brush – unless you are going for a bright pink face look!)  There is something weirdly satisfying about the packaging also, the tub has a good solid structure and clicks nicely when it’s closed. Probably a bit weird I like that.
House – All seasons available on Netflix
Jezz loved this show. I watched the final series with him when it aired back in 2012 but had not watched any others. I was browsing Netflix back in January and found they have all of them on there! I started, very slowly, watching them and had managed to get about a third of the way through by March when Jezz expressed an interest to watch them again, so we picked up where I had left off. I am now obsessed. We are currently on season 6. One weekend all we did was watch House, and by the end of it I had lost my tiny mind and was diagnosing myself with all-sorts every time I did something odd or my arm hurt… hahaha. I am also experiencing the strange side effect of finding Hugh Laurie attractive….
I have been dying to try the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. I have seen numerous beauty bloggers rave about it and it sounded amazing. I was put off trying it due to its HUGELY hefty price tag. The 200ml tub is £49. I think this is an obscene amount to spend on a beauty product. However, Groupon have been running a deal with FeelUnique where for £15 you get £25 to spend on their website. So I treated myself to their 4-piece starter kit. It comes with a 50ml tub of the Moringa Cleansing Balm, a cleansing cloth, 15ml tube of Amazing Face Age Support Cream and a wash bag for £23. The wash bag was a bit of a let down, it looks and feels quite cheap, but the other items more than make up for it.
I can see why everyone has been raving about this. The balm has a lovely citrussy smell to it, and leaves your skin super smooth and silky. You take a small amount in the palm of your hand with a little warm water and mix to create a cream. Massage this all over your face and neck, then to remove use the cleansing cloth soaked in warm water to wipe away. After using my skin felt so clean and refreshed. My make up came off with such ease. I am afraid I am hooked. I think the tub will last a while as you only need a small amount for each use but I am not sure I can bring myself to spend £49 on the big tub.
What have you been loving this month? Please leave a comment below, I am always eager to try new things!

Birchbox – Who? What? When? Where? How?

I thought we would have a little chat about Birchbox for those who don’t know what I am on about and for those who do, a little more information!
I initially subscribed to Birchbox with the first attempt of this blog in 2014 with the aim of doing an “unboxing” with each months box. However, I found that I wasn’t hugely interested in writing about each item, some items I would save and not use straight away to judge properly and as you know..the blog fell to the wayside. However the Birchboxes did not, they continued to come and my addiction to beauty products was fueled further.
So what is Birchbox? Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that sends you 4-5 sample beauty products each month. Some months as a treat there is a full size item! I have had quite a few nail varnishes, and my most favourite item of all… a beautyblender!!
These babies cost £26! (A ludicrous amount to spend on a make up sponge if you ask me, however I do love it and desperately need a new one – just cant bring myself to pay that much!)
I have received mascaras, primers, face washes, shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, snacks, oils…. I could go on.
Each box also comes with some tips, an explanation of your products and when you go to their website you can fill in surveys about your thoughts on the products and the box itself.
Birchbox Reward Points – This is what has kept me subscribing with Birchbox and not trying another service at the moment! For each box you pay for you get 12 points, for each survey you complete you get 5 points. For each £1 you spend in their online store you receive 1 point.
For every 100 points collected you get £10 to spend in their online store! I love this, since I have become completely hooked on a couple of products I save up my points to get about £20 at a time, and treat myself to some beauty products I usually wouldn’t spend that on.
Anyway, this all sounds a bit like a hard sale, but its not. I just love to get things in the post, and I really enjoy getting my Birchbox each month. Each box cost £10.00 plus £2.95 delivery, but you can subscribe for cheaper if you pay for more boxes at a time.
If you are interested in receiving Birchboxes each month please click here and get 50 points added to your account to get you started!