Thursday, 31 August 2017

Review: Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Collections (a project with Savvy Circle)

I was recently lucky to be selected to take part in a research project with Super Savvy Me: Savvy Circle and Herbal Essences, to try out and review three of the ranges under the new Bio:Renew collection of shampoos and conditioners*

I generally only wash my hair once or twice a week (it's healthy, I promise!), and I usually look for shampoos and conditioners that primarly are for strength and repair, or those for coloured hair. I was interested to give these a go; I have used Herbal Essences in the past but not for some time.

There are seven lines under the range (in the UK - the US has nine, lucky them!) I was able to test out three of them, highlighted in bold as follows:

Argan Oil of Morocco
Coconut Milk
White Grapefruit and Mosa Mint
Golden Moringa Oil
Cucumber and Green Tea
Rosemary and Herbs
White Strawberry and Sweet Mint

Monday, 28 August 2017

#GothUpForSophie - Goth Makeup for a Good Cause

In August 2007, a young woman named Sophie Lancaster, and her boyfriend, were brutally attacked simply for looking 'different'. Sophie later died from the injuries she sustained.

The Sophie Lancaster Foundation was set up in her memory, and make up brand Illamasqua have long been supporters of this cause. On the 10th anniversary of Sophie's death, Illamasqua encouraged its fans to show support for the foundation and the cause, by 'gothing up' in Sophie's memory.

You can read more about this in Illamasqua's blog here.

When I found out about this, I decided to give it ago, both because I believe strongly in every human's right to choose how they look, and because I thought it would be fun to get out of my comfort zone and try a completely different look for me.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Fashion Purgatory... the Summer to Autumn Transition

It’s Britain, it’s August, and it’s cold.  Ok, not as cold as it will be in February, but as I Sat at my desk writing this, wearing a vest under my shirt, I felt cold.

I said it.

I admit defeat. 

I really do feel like Summer is over.  August Bank holiday weekend is upon us, and I am mentally ready to wrap up and embrace the pumpkin-spiced goodness that autumn has to offer.

Shame my wardrobe hasn’t quite caught up.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Review: Batiste 2in1 Dry Shampoo and Conditioner (a project with TRND)

I recently had the opportunity to test and review a new offering from Batiste - their 2in1 Dry Shampoo and Conditioner, in Orange and Pomegranate scent*

The new formula dry shampoo is designed with specific hair types in mind - dry, curly, dark or coloured hair. The clue is also in the name, it combines the traditional properties of dry shampoo, with additional conditioning benefits.

Batiste suggest that to get the best out of this product, you embrace the "new way to spray" - the suggestion is that the 2in1 should be sprayed at arms length, in a 'halo' motion over the whole of your hair, and then through the ends. It is recommended that you avoid directing the spray right at your roots.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

First Impressions - Dr Dennis Gross 2 Minute Skin Fix

Just thought I'd pop by to give my thoughts on a skincare product I've been trying out - Dr Dennis Gross 2 Minute Skin Fix: Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel

This came as part of the recent Summer Goody Bag which was available at Cult Beauty.

I hadn't heard of the product before I got the goody bag, so I didn't have any idea what it would be like before using it.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Light Summer Makeup feat. Rimmel, Becca, Maybelline and Makeup Revolution

Since summer has made a welcome appearance these last few weeks, I have been really enjoying using lighter makeup, particularly for day to day when I'm heading to work in a stuffy office.

There are a number of products that I have really enjoyed using this last week or so, so I thought I would share my thoughts on those items and give you an idea of how you may be able to get a summer glow too.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Holiday Essentials: My guide to travelling light

I'm about to embark upon something crazy. Radical, even. I'm going to tackle it head-on and see what happens. Wish me luck.

No, I'm not talking about something gruelling like climbing Kilimanjaro. I'm talking about embarking upon on a two week holiday in Spain...with HAND LUGGAGE ONLY.

Yes, you read that right.

Cabin bag. Mini suitcase. Air crew holdall. Call it what you like, it's small and terrifying and I'm about to attempt to squish two weeks' worth of clothes, shoes, toiletries, and accessories into it.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Bitesize Blogpost: My Mac Lipstick Collection

I think pretty much every makeup lover in the world likes a Mac lipstick. They're a staple amongst beauty fans.

I don't have a vast collection, but I thought I'd take an opportunity to round up my Macs and show you what I have.

I have amassed enough empties to claim a 'back to Mac' freebie lipstick, and judging by my very pink toned collection I think I need to branch out when picking my next colour.

From Left to Right then, this is what I currently have:

  • Brooke Candy Doowop - Matte finish - this is my ultimate summer colour.
  • Verve - Satin finish - a nice 90s style brown
  • Plum Dandy - Frost finish - a lovely two toned purple / brown
  • Hot Gossip - Cremesheen finish - a perfect everyday pink that I've worn to death, as evidenced in the photo!
  • Brave - Satin finish - my wedding day lipstick and a gorgeous everyday nude pink
  • Modesty - Cremesheen finish - my first Mac lipstick purchase which is another ideal nude
  • Goddess of the Sea - Cremesheen finish - a limited edition, gorgeous purple
What's your Mac collection like? Any recommendations for me?

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Review: Origins Skincare*

*This post contains PR samples

I've been a fan of Origins face masks for a while now; I'd even go so far as saying they're my favourite brand for a skincare treat. Some of my favourite masks include:
I also adore the Maskimizer Skin-Optimizing Mask Primer; this for me is a must and a total game changer when it comes to face masking.

Since I love the brand so much, I've recently been branching out and trying more Origins products. I had a wishlist as long as my arm. One thing I really like about Origins is that they have a feature on their website which enables you to complete a 'profile' (skin type etc), to receive tailored recommendations on what products will suit you. 

So, after getting hold of some Origins samples and some of my 'wishlist' items, and giving them a try for a few weeks, I thought it would be timely to round those up and provide a review of the things I'm loving. I have quite a few items so grab yourself a drink, get comfortable and have a read through.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Bitesize Blogpost: Customised Acrylic Lipstick Storage

There's no escaping it - clear plastic / acrylic makeup storage is a firm favourite amongst beauty lovers. Everyone who is everyone organises their makeup in crisp, clear, acrylic drawers, boxes and trays. They're ideal.

But...they're not very pretty are they?  They're not very personal, or even very original nowadays.

I've always had a bit of a 'thing' about doing things, or having things, that everyone else does or has. And for this reason, for a while at least I had a quite strong aversion to acrylic storage for my makeup.

I resisted for so long. But then I found a lipstick tray in TK Maxx, and I had to have it. I wanted my favourite lipsticks out of my dressing table drawer - both for access and for display purposes. I caved.

However, I was still twitchy about how it looked on my vintage / shabby chic inspired dressing table. Then I had a small wave of inspiration.

I had some pretty, vintage style, lace ribbon leftover from wedding crafting. A quick bit of double-sided tape, et voila! My boring old lipstick holder was customised.

My lovely mum bought me another holder for my birthday, a cute heart shaped one from Primark, and I gave it the same treatment with my last bit of ribbon.

I now have the ideal storage for my lipsticks and my liquid lipsticks, and still feel like I have a touch of individuality on my dressing table.

Sometimes the simplest ideas give the best results!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Review: Happy Place Cosmetics Parma Violet Unicorn Brush Cleanser

Some time ago (I'll be honest, I can't remember exactly when), I stumbled across a lovely brand on Instagram, called Happy Place Handmade Cosmetics. I was drawn to their pretty pictures of soaps, makeup brush cleaners, face scrubs and more, a lot of which are themed around traditional sweets and treats. The brand makes products which are Vegan, Cruelty-free and SLS-free.

Photo: Happy Place Cosmetics
Photo: Happy Place Cosmetics
They recently released a Parma Violet scented Makeup Up Brush Cleaner, and I was completely sold as soon as I saw it. I love the sweets, and I adore the scent of violet. To add to the appeal - the solid brush cleaner features a sparkly purple unicorn in the design. Like I said, sold!

When my order arrived I was really pleased with the parcel. I had ordered solely the Parma Violet brush cleaner, but when I opened up my package I was pleased to find I had also been sent a small brush cleaning 'egg' tool and a sample of the company's Chocolate Brownie Face Scrub.
My lovely parcel from Happy Place Cosmetics

I tend to think brush cleaners are 'much of a muchness', but I have to say this one really did impress. Prior to getting this, I was using Lotti London Soap Star Brush Cleaner, which is a cheaper solid brush cleaner (costing £7, compared with Happy Place Cosmetics' option costing £17). I was happy with Lotti, but it wasn't very pretty or exciting.

Enter Happy Place. This product is really, really great.  It's a solid brush cleaner in a metal tin, so you simply dampen your brush and/or the soap, swirl the brush around to get a lather, and then rub on your cleaning egg. 

I chose to use my Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove, rather than the brush egg I was kindly sent. The main reason for this is that my hands get irritated being in water for too long, and the Sigma product is a full glove that lets me clean my brushes without getting my hand wet. I think I will be popping the brush egg sent by Happy Place into my 'gifts' box, to pass onto a good home.

The Parma Violet brush cleaner is very impressive. It smells lovely and that smell carries whilst washing brushes - it doesn't just keep its scent in the tin, if that makes sense. My clean brushes also now have a slight scent of Parma Violet on them, which is lovely.

They came up sparkling clean - the brush cleaner cuts right through thicker product such as foundation with ease. My brushes were not left stained, they came up as good as new. Once dry, the bristles were uber soft.

I will definitely repurchase this product when it runs out (though sadly Parma Violet is limited edition so I'll have to try another scent!) True, there are more affordable alternatives on the high street, but in all honesty, I think it is worth the price. I can see already this will last me a while - the tin contains a good chunk of soap and it is barely touched after cleaning a full set of brushes. The unicorn has now lost its sparkle, but it's worth it for a full set of squeaky clean, soft brushes.

I can't wait to give the Chocolate Brownie Face Scrub a try, although I might struggle to resist eating it - it could not look or smell more like chocolate cupcake batter if it tried! I've already got my eye on some of the other products Happy Place offer -  the Unicorn Bath Dust and Fluffy Marshmallow Hair Mask may just find their way into my basket on payday.

Have you tried anything from this brand? Can you recommend any other handmade or independent brands you think I'd like?

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Bitesize Blogpost - One Night Sleepover; Product Essentials

I recently spent one night at my mum's - we went to see the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour and as it would be late night it made sense for me to stay at mum's; she lives closer to the arena than me.

Mum was absolutely gobsmacked when she came into the room whilst I was getting ready - she couldn't believe how many products I had with me for one night!

Here's a run down of what I felt to be the 'essentials' that I simply had to pack:


  • Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Oil - for removing makeup
  • Pixi Glow Tonic - it was an acid toner day!
  • Nip+Fab Dragon's Blood Serum - my favourite daily serum for morning
  • Sanctuary Spa Facial Oil - great for my dry skin
  • Facial SPF - I recently started using this because...anti aging!
  • May Lindstrom The Youth Dew serum - this is my night serum. It's gorgeous but I'll cry when it runs out because it costs a bomb!
  • Pixi Beauty Sleep Night cream - for on top of the May Lindstrom
  • Balance Me Dragon's Blood Eye Cream
  • L'Occitance Ultra Rich Facial Cream - for daytime
  • Simple Facial Gel Wash - for cleansing in a morning
  • Deodorant & Perfume - because who wants to smell?!

  • Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Palette - my favourite eye palette at the time
  • Makeup Revolution Contour Palette
  • Collection Translucent Loose Powder
  • Collection Highlighting Concealer
  • Benefit Gimme Brow
  • Forgotten-the-name-of-it lip plumper
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
  • Rimmel ScandalEyes Nude Eyeliner - for the waterline
  • Urban Decay skin and eye primers
  • Beauty Blenders
  • Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector 
  • Maybelline Eye Eraser Concealer
  • Clinique Mascara
  • Mac Fixing Spray
  • Mixed L'Oreal setting Spray and GOSH Lumi Drops
  • A gazillion brushes

  • No Oil Oil (forgotten the brand!)
  • Ouai Salt Spray

So, what do you reckon? Too much for one night away?!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Review: Kat Von D Beauty - Shade and Light Eye Contour "Sage" and Liquid Lipstick "Lolita II"

It was my birthday recently and I was completely and utterly spoiled. One of my gifts came from my group of makeup loving friends; they bought me Kat Von D's Shade and Light Contour Eye quad in the shade "Sage", and one of her liquid lipsticks in the shade "Lolita II"

Until I got this gift, I'd only used the "Tattoo Liner" liquid eyeliner from KVD's beauty range - and absolutely loved it - so I was really excited to give some other products from the range a try.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

I dyed my hair pink!

I did something pretty random on Friday night. Inspired by a friend, I drove to Boots after work, picked up two bottles of wash out hair dye, and went home to dye my hair pink.

Told you it was random!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Peacock Eye Makeup with Prima Glitter

This is a look from a while ago, Christmas Eve 2016 to be exact, but I was really pleased with how it turned out and wanted to give it an airing on the blog.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Recent Favourites: January 2017


Just a quick one from me today, to share some of the products I've been loving for the last month or so.

I've given myself a small (big) 'challenge', in an attempt to be sensible and save a bit of cash. Admittedly, during the latter part of 2016, I went a bit spend crazy and bought all sorts of beauty products and makeup. I wanted to start the new year with some 'goals' in mind and one was to curb my spending on beauty and clothing, so that I could really use some of the stuff I already have and get the most of out my collection.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

A Bit of Glitter and Tulle

Today I'm sharing my Christmas Day look with you - because who doesn't like reminiscing about the glitter and glitz of Christmas on a cold January weekend?!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Our Vintage Inspired, Yorkshire Day Wedding

Earlier in the week, I found myself having a little reminisce about our wedding day, which took place on 1st August 2015. And I fancied sharing it here on my blog. I know the day has (long) been and gone, but who doesn't love a good wedding?!

Full credit for the photos in this post goes to our fabulous photographer, Robin of 83Photography.  He captured our day perfectly.

I don't actually plan on writing very much, but this was my excuse to share my beloved photos and remember what a fab day we had!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

An Itch To Be Scratched

Well hello there!

Yes, it's me. 

And I'm blogging.

I've been thinking about this post for a while, wondering if I wanted to start this up again or whether it really was just too much effort. And today I felt that the itch just needed scratching.